Hsunchen spirits of place

From: carolyn mckinney (kone@xsite.net)
Date: Thu 01 May 1997 - 17:13:04 EEST


Marion wrote...

<The way I see Hsunchen is that they are simply pseudo-humans who are=
 influenced and in tune=20
<with the "spirits of place".=20
...snip...

<The world of Glorantha, instead of having discrete and fixed Hsunchen=
 types, has only one <shapeshifting tribe, the Hsunchen.=20
...snip...

I really like this explanation. It has, IMHO a nice mythic resonance,that=
 these people are shaped by the spirit of their landscape. Your post just=
 peaked my interest in running Hsunchen!=20
One point though: This reminds me of one animistic reincarnationist belief=
 that the group-soul, or well of souls of the people resides in the earth=
 between incarnations. This leads to the fear that, if you give birth after=
 concieving on foreign soil, you'll bear a child with a foreign soul,=
 instead of continuing to re-cycle your own ancestors. This dosen't really=
 disprove the next point...=20

<In this way a travelling, adventurer Hsunchen may find as they move further=
 from the lands of <their birth, and the influence of the totem of their=
 land and tribe, that their form may <gradually start to alter until they=
 adopt the new forms of the totems of their new lands.=20

 But, I prefer to imagine the local totem being involved in blessing=
 Hsunchen fertility or not, according to the parents' keeping of taboos etc.=
 So, if your Hsunchen parents cheezed-off the local totem you'de be born a=
 "normal" human considered sub-normal by your tribe. You'de still be a=
 Hsunchen, and might try to move up the coast and earn your place in another=
 tribe and the blessings of their totem, or do some great service (quest)=
 for the displeased spirit of your original tribe, so that your offspring=
 might be normal/blessed Hsunchen. The idea of Hsunchen changing to match=
 the form of local totems makes them seem more like shapeshifters (or the=
 spirit's play-doh). I agree this makes for cool & creepy role-play imagery=
 but, game-wise, the whims of important spirits can provide rich veins of=
 story material. Opens up a whole can of cultic/shamantic worms, eh?

- -Carolyn

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