Re: spirits, cradles and dinosaurs

From: Nick Brooke (Nick_Brooke@compuserve.com)
Date: Sat 31 Jan 1998 - 12:21:19 EET


Richard asks some new questions:

> Were there ever Hsunchen here [in Sun County] (apart from Basmoli)? Cou=
ld
> there be things hanging around from these previous populations?

Possibly. Many of the oases have ancient ruins from the Praxian Golden
Age, but the more noteworthy ones are on the maps. (Prax isn't a vast
expanse of rubble from bygone ages: it's a pretty empty plain where most
any landmark is on the maps). Far more likely "things" to have hanging
around are spirits of bygone peoples' deities (and demons). The spirit,
and its current-day spirit cult (if any), offer us direct continuity
with the distant past.

Think what you could do with the Red Toad cult (if you felt so inclined).=

A modern-day shaman contacting the lost god of an ancient people could
very well learn the location of their Holy Sites, their Lost Regalia, and=

(but of course) how to perform the Sacrificial Ritual when the Stars Are
Right and bring back in majesty the Day of the Toad (cue: Brekekekex koax=

koax! Koax koax koax!).

> Could there be an ancient cradle stuck in the North Bog?

More likely under the mud by now, if there was. There could be, but you'd=

have to know why the Jrusteli missed it (they were *good* at what they
did), and why it turns up now (easy answer: pure blind chance!). The lie
of the river is doubtless different now to what it was a thousand years
ago. Cradles had magical guardians and defences, so something would have
to have nobbled these in order to cause a Cradle-wreck. The most obvious
*big* magic-affecting thing would, of course, be the Sunstop of 375 ST.
Easy to believe that, if a Cradle were floating down the Zola Fel when
this happened, it'd have run aground with its defenders "off-line". Any

"Giant Thing" is tough for the nomads to go up against, and they'd most
likely not want to do so: maybe the protective magics lasted long enough
to leave the Cradle intact until it silted up and sank into the bog?
The place it went down would be a taboo spot ('cos you might still be
near enough the old wreck to trigger horrible defensive effects), and
the Cradle itself needn't be discovered for -- well, at a rough guess,
some 1250-odd years.

> Is anything much known about these old cradles?

Nope, not much. We have a centuries-old account of one (from Pavis), and
can assume the layout is similar to or different from the one detailed
in the scenario, as suits our purposes and sources.

> The Solitude of Testing was a time when there was a big troll dominance=

> in the area. Could it be that at certain points the Sun Domers were
> pushed right back, maybe even over-run?

Could be. Certainly the Yelmalio/Troll enmity wouldn't be helped any by
the Troll conquest of Pavis. We don't hear much about trolls outside the
city -- the impression given is more that they took Pavis and then sealed=

it up with themselves on the inside, nobbling all comers, rather than
trying for territorial possessions in Prax and the Valley. Still, it only=

takes one tough troll warband (led by a descendant of Gerak Kag) to kick
in a decaying Sun Dome Temple -- and he lives on in the memories of his
victims, not the Pavic Rubble trolls who kicked him and his no-good sons
out to fight their wars elsewhere...

___
Ken is looking for dinos in Glorantha:

> It makes me wonder why two of the most-often-seen-in-PopCulture Dinos;
> the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Triceratops are apparently nowhere to be
> found.Seems like quite a gaff to me...

Dinosaurs are all over Dragon Pass: cf. the boardgame of the same name
(including "neutral" Pterodactyl, Triceratops, Brontosaur and Trachodon
units), and the article on "Draconic Secrets" in Elder Secrets (which
sets out the accepted Gloranthan theory that some of the dinosaurs are =

emotionally imbalanced dragonewts (who are reborn with weird, excessively=

distorted bodies instead of proceeding along the path to Dragonhood).
These "first-generation" dinosaurs may exhibit strange magical powers,
intelligence, or unusual behaviour (e.g. carnivorous brontosaurs, fire-
breathing Godzillas, etc.); they can breed with other dinosaurs, and the
offspring are "normal" dinosaurs.

More dino refs: the breeding pair of Allosaurs roaming the Elder Wilds
in "Griffin Mountain"; the herds of funny spiky things from the Cradle
valley bogs in "Borderlands"; the Brontosaur Hunt (and other Bronto refs)=

in "Tarsh War", *including* the theory and practice of the Noble Sport of=

Tarshite Kings, Dinosaur-Harpooning; the Trachodon Marsh of Maniria; and
the "real" (non-Dragonewtish) dinosaurs of distant Slon.

I think the lack of T-Rexes in published Glorantha is probably admirable.=

These are Real Monsters: there are smaller dinos that still pose a vast
threat to any reasonable PC party (and, magically-assisted, even to the
more unreasonable PCs); knowledge that the T-Rex is bigger, tougher,
rarer and more devastatingly evil than the "little" dinosaurs that gave
you such trouble should be salutary. I know where I could find one -- I
don't have any real incentive to go looking! (Of course, Lunar merchants
looking to procure Big Hungry Beasts for the arena are scouring the Pass
even now...).

BTW, thanks for the WW2 parallel: very instructive (I hope).

::::
Nick
::::

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