Re: The Glorantha Digest V5 #332

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Wed 14 Jan 1998 - 23:05:00 EET


Loren, thanks for a very promising thread...

Erik Sieurin on serpent analogues in Carmania:
>Loren, I come from a VERY cold and usually snowy country (Sweden), and
>my ancestors on both sides also come from a VERY cold and usually
>snowy country (Finland), and the mythologies of both these countries
>are filled with serpents, snakes and adders,

True. Remember, though, that (at least some of) your ancestors
immigrated from lusher regions, aeons ago. Heimskringla has a very
interesting report on Odin and his tribe migrating through the region
where archeologists found artifacts of the battle axe culture. The Finns
came migrating through the lower Wolga and Don areas (where there are
still peoples speaking related languages).

So, what you get is people bringing reports from monstrous beings living
in distant lands, just by hearsay description.

"a beast with a large, hollow nose through which it sucks the sap of
plants and beasts, even humans"

A moscito. I didn't say "about a finger-nail long", so the next person
who retells my report might add a size out of his frightened
imagination.

Now add the description of another beast with a huge trunk (the
elephant), and voila, a dreadful monster...

>from the adder mother who
>has to hang from a tree while her young are born, so that they won't
>killer her with their venom, to the venom-spouting lindorm from the
>Viking stories.

The lindorm is a prime case for hearsay growth of normally only slightly
dangerous snakes.

Does anyone know which of the Assyrian beasties were indigeneous and
which had been imported through hearsay?

Carmania has seen a number of immigrations - from the west (blue people,
Tawari, Bisosae, Telmori, Loskalmi), the south (Lenshi, reindeer people
from Darjiin, Andams, other Barbarian Belt peoples e.g. during the 2nd
Council and the EWF) and the east (Kenstratae and Lendarshi, Dara Happa,
Char-un). Any of these could have brought knowledge about foreign beasts
- - whales and walrusses (or Ouori) from Loskalm, giant birds from Dara
Happa or Rinliddi, most recently descriptions of Kralori beasts through
the Char-un and Sheng Seleris (though the latter left less impressions
here than further east...).

Loren tackled various replies:
>Perhaps I could substitute the rubble runner for the crocodile. Makes for a
>weird looking dragon though, and can rubble runners cry crocodile tears?

Crocodiles are known from Suvaria, so the Carmanians might know about them
without having seen much beyond a stuffed or caged specimen.

>As to lions, the carmanian lion that results would be quite huge, being
>partly descended from cave lions and sabertooths. Could be an inspiration
>to basmoli everywhere!

Sounds a bit like a two-class society of lions - huge cave ones, and lesser
European ones like the beast slain by Hercules.

>I almost hesitate to admit I don't yet have FS.

Wouldn't help much, since the info is in Entekosiad.

>Would another one of the races of blue men fit the mosquito men?

As I interpreted the Blue Men, they were mainly human, only with a magical
affinity to water. Of Veldang racial stock, IIRC. Rumored to be survivors of
Artmal's empire (compare their history to that of Fonrit...)

Peter Metcalfe:
>> But the Char-un to the north have bred a carnivorous stallion and a winged
>> mare. So Griffins seem perfectly acceptable for Carmania.

>[manic laughter muffled] I want more color.

Ok, but unless you have a twopartite landscape with the human world and a
parallel mythical beast world (much like Dragon Pass where, to hunt the
Iron/Bronze Deer and similar beasts, or the Lady of the Wild, you enter a
faerie realm/heroplane territory overlaid to the normal countryside) you
will run out of space soon. On the other hand, at least one major hidden
castle is known for the region...

I think that this makes sense for most of Glorantha. And it has the nice
side effect that any non-canonical feature can be pushed to the fringes of
that realm and become less unpalatable for Glorantha purists.

For instance, I sort of liked the idea of the living Stone Woods in RQA #4,
but for my campaign the Stone Woods need to be fossilized territory. Thus I
changed John Castellucci's description to start: "Entered from a certain
direction, at a certain time, ..." while keeping my less unusual version for
ordinary encounters.

>That quibbling aside, I agree that cockroaches are repulsive insects, and
>as they can live anywhere we humans can I'm sure the Carmanians have them
>aplenty.

Why do I remember the Men in Blue right now?

>OK, here's the new conversion table.

>Eagle -> Owl

You might have kept the eagle - I am pretty sure that there are fish
eagles along the Sweet Sea. Nothing wrong with various kinds of owl parts
in mythic basties, though.

Which kind of owl, BTW?

>Hawk -> Falcon
>Vulture -> Fox

Not Raven or Crow?

>Scorpion -> Mosquito (damn big and scary)

Or other oversized arachnids. Why should these be limited to Skyfall Lake
and Dorastor?

Maybe even Scorpion People?

>Camel -> Elk

I hardly dare to ask: elk as in oversized red deer or elk as in moose?
Lithuania has its fair contingent of moose, East Prussia even has the moose
"shovel" as its coat of arms.

>Sturgeon -> Pike

Might as well remain Sturgeon as well. At least I associate sturgeon with
Russia...

>Whale -> Giant Pike

Catfish? These beasties reach several metres length, comparable to Orca or
the whales shot before Norway.

>Crocodile-> Rubble Runner (?)

What beasts participated in the 1st Age battle of Eleven Beasts? Broken
Council lists bear, wolf, wooly mammoth, reindeer, rhino and an unknown
beast (high llamas, for the sake of the pass through the Nidan mountains?)
for the Fronelan hsunchen peoples. The Tawari bull people are explicitely
mentioned, too (p.14).

>Blue Bloodsuckers
>This race of blue-skinned sub-men are semi-intelligent humanoid mosquitos,
>about the size of human midgets, that live and move in swarms. They breed in
>the fens around Castle Blue and are a pestilence on the area. Some of them
>(about 5%) have wings and can fly.

Hit locations: human for non-winged specimen, winged specimen insert a 1 in
d10 chance for each side of wings after chest, take these from the arms.

How do we have to imagine their dentition? Lots of canine-like needles (like
the Midget Slashers from Troll Pak) or some sort of archetypical vampire
dentition?

>Watery Blue Men (DediVakuRu)
>The Watery Blue Men are large men and women with heads and tails like those
>possessed by an enormous pike.

Well, from Entekosiad I had the impression that they were humanoids, but
some sort of Hsunchen spell aid might well give them this shape.

Hit locations proposal: remove 1 in d20 from each leg and insert these two
points before the abdomen.

Where is Innsmouth on Lake Oronin?

>Owlion
>The Owlion has a lion's body and legs and the wings and head of an owl. It
>is a night hunter, associated with the moon instead of the sun. It loves to
>eat dogs and cats and other household pets, prefers cold weather, and its
>wings are muffled and silent. It is a fearsome figure in Carmanian tales.

Hmm. If not associated with the sun, how about an association with
Lightfore? Otherwise, with which moon did the Carmanians associate it during
their height of power?

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