Zola Fel Folk

From: drakon@mindspring.com
Date: Fri 13 Sep 1996 - 03:13:38 EEST

>Glorantha Digest Thursday, 12 September 1996 Volume 03 : Number 190
>The source of the Zola Fel is the Leaping Place Falls. A small
>congregation remains there, and the Temple Barge travels to the Falls for
>Sacred Time. My PC's and I turned a blind eye to this, but I decided to
>pinpoint the location. It appears on a map in the Troll Pack. My eyes
>just about bugged out: The Falls are deep in troll territory and in a
>forest that has an elf population. Is there anything printed about
>the relationship between the Zola Fel folks, the trolls and the elves
>along the route?
I find it difficult to believe that the relatively
>combat light ZF's would have an easy time in troll territory, year after
>year, without a formal arrangement.

My current Glorantha game features the Zola Fel river folk as its center,
and all of the main player characters are of this society. They are
currently on their slowly way upriver, bound eventually in their minds and
in mine to the Leaping Place. They are finding that the traditions of the
riverfolk vary as they proceed. This is for a number of reasons, variety
and fun being themselves primary.

In my game notes, I have assumed that the riverfolk are an ancient culture
but one that has experienced many different contacts with adjoining
cultures. The mix of sea peoples that brought their spirits and traditions
to the domain of Zola Fel mixed to some extent with the primordial earth
folk of Genert. There were also various sea Hsunchen and so forth. The
ancient friendship with the elder giants was already in place at this time.

Uz and Aldryami had domains in the river's upper reaches, and Zola Fel met
both of the them, finding accomodations, if not always great understanding,
and his people benefitted (or at least didn't suffer so much) from these
encounters. I keep in mind that water and darkness are close kin in many
traditions. Water is certainly a good friend for Aldryami in Prax and
adjoining regions.

There has been very little positive cultural exchange with the nomads.

After the Dawn came Pavis, EWF, Jrusteli, sun worshippers, and so forth.
Orlanthi clans, as we know, later settled along the river's upper reaches.
They and the still more recent immigrants from Peloria have barely been
present long enough to have much effect, but Third Age river folk certainly
them some attention.

The riverfolk have at least observed and interpreted these societies as
they have waxed and waned. Some of their traditions and more often their
local habits have been affected. The bog and coastal folk continue their
ancient cycle of near tidal migrations over the course of the seasons*. The
small clans of Sun County live in skittish subserviance for the most part.
The several clans of the New Bog are reclusive, xenophobic, and ironically
the keepers of some of the most ancient rituals and magic. The clans near
Pavis are more settled, worldly, and open to contacts. There are only a
few clan of the still more northern stretches of the river. The river
there is different, and so are they, incorporating more hunting, divergent
dwellings and tools, and many more spirits of darkness, light, and
non-aquatic fauna and flora. They have understandings with their non-Human
neighbors, but, of course, sometimes things go wrong.

I think very few river folk actually ever make a pilgrimage to the Leaping
Place. Even their "own people" there are strange, not to mention the very
different environment.

You may have already noticed that Leaping Place Lake is fed by the Chinloni
River. Is this a daughter of Zola Fel? Is it another name for Zola Fel?
I myself have not yet decided. Then there are the Boathouse Ruins on
another extreme tributary. What is that?

*The seasons for most river folk are wet season, dry season, and storm
season. Their most sacred and central Festival of the Birth of Waters just
happens to fall during the equivalent of Theyalan Sacred Time.

>Here are my specific questions about the Cradle:
>1. Why is the Cradle full of magical treasure?

It's a sacred Cradle bearing an infant giant.

>2. Why does it have defenses?

Because people try to invade its holy interior

>3. Where did it come from?

The Giants sent it down the river. Perhaps they launched it from Boathouse

>4. Why didn't upstream folks stop it?

Uz and riverfolk have ancient friendships with the elder giants, and if I
recall, the Aldryami of Pavis aren't hostile when the Cradle passes.

It's a fascinating series of scenarios for highlighting the complexities of
socities and political entanglements in the region.

Thanks for sparkin several new ideas for me.

David Millians

David Hamilton Flewellen Swanson Millians
Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30307 USA
GAMA Education Group
Teacher Gamer Storyteller Adventurer Learner


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