Arkati sects, Giant Baby, Teshnos Tail

From: Stephen Martin (
Date: Sat 07 Feb 1998 - 10:12:32 EET

Peter Metcalfe responding to:
>>Or found their own Arkati splinter sect, believing that their former
>>sect has obviously strayed from the true path, or that she has
>>discovered deeper truths than those before. Of course - this is how all
>>Arkati sects start out!
>True. But IMO there's really a limit of six traditions that
>could be followed given the known history of Arkat (ie Knight,
>Humakti, Troll, Krjalk, Emperor and Deceiver) which the Arkati
>are unconciously emulating. So if someone founds a new cult, it
>will be similar to and compatible with an extant Arkati Cult.

Focussing on the fight up until Gbaji, I would have wrongly left Emperor
off of this list. One could add Brithini to this list, though, since
Arkat was a good Brithini for a number of years. I am not sure what an
Arkat the Horal cult would be like, but I imagine they would be very

Although it seems likely to me that there is a separation between Arkat's
being a Humakti and his being an Orlanthi, I think Peter is correct to
only list one of them, certainly the Humakti one.

Finally, I would hope that somewhere the was _one_ Arkat the Duck sect,
since we "know" from Eric Rowe's story of some time ago that Arkat became
a duck shortly before becoming a troll. :)

Richard Develyn
>2a. "Rattlesnake": Is there anywhere I can learn about this aspect of
>the god?

I am not certain of this, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe I was
the one who first proposed that Rattlesnake was a form of the Praxian
trickster. In my normal fashion, I looked at one of the old articles
(Waha's Quest, Different Worlds 4), where Trickster's forms are given as
Human, Raven, Coyote, Toad, and Hare. Now, I know that these are some
"classic" forms taken by Trickster in the RW, but I looked at them from a
Praxian viewpoint -- how could I make this fit better into Prax?

Raven and Human were fine, and it took no stretch of the imagination to
turn Coyote into Hyena, given that creature's mocking laughter and
tricksterish natue in Nomad Gods. Hare was also fairly easy -- Sandy had
talked about the ubiquitous Praxian jackrabbit, so Jackrabbit he became.

Toad was harder -- the only toad spirits were Frog Woman and the Red Toad
from Gaumata's Vision (in Sun County). (There was also my own Blue Toad
Cult, but I ignored that for many reasons, most particularly that it is
based entirely on not one, not two, but three stupid jokes).

Frog Woman _could_ have worked (her Leap spell being a manifestation of
the trickster fleeing motif), but seemed very weak to me. After a lot of
thought, I decided that rattlesnakes were probably known in Prax (it is
the right climate). And Rattlesnake seemed to me to be a great form of
Trickster in his more malicious aspects. Rattlesnake is the one who did
not bow before Lord Genert when all the other animals did. Rattlesnake is
the one who ate all of Sun Hawk's eggs, just for spite (just as Eurmal
ate the flying raccoon babies in Gods of Glorantha's Prosopaedia).

>6. HelpWoman finds the baby crying (it got scared when the sun blotted
>out). With a strong sense of deja-vu it leads it away to safety before
>the Trickster can get back to eat it. Zola Fel becomes aware of the
>incident and helps get the child downriver to safety.

Ah, the Helpwoman angle is very nice -- very appropriate.

>6a: "FoundChild": I did wonder if this baby could have been *the*
>FoundChild. I think this would mean this incident had to have happened
>during GodTime, which raises lots more questions. Is this an avenue of
>thought I should pursue?

This is an interesting theory -- I note the Praxian Foundchild Myth has
him growing to full size in "three days" -- could be a description of a
giant baby reaching man size very quickly. Though having the Giant Baby
now be that huge constellation in the sky could work, it seems clear to
me that Foundchild, like Waha, is a Gray Age deity, who helped the people
survive the period before the first Dawn. Besides, I think the Sunstop
angle is much cooler, so I suggest you continue with that.

Some of your other ideas are very interesting, but I personally favor the
Cwim idea (not surprisingly).

>While I favour the former (the latter seems too high powered for me), I
>see no reason why conflicting versions of the Ancient Cradle Saga
>shouldn't exist. This seems perfectly in keeping with the spirit of
>Glorantha (maybe we should call the baby Argrath).

One definite gameable possibility is that the PCs are confronted with a
number of possible identities/locations of the baby. Some clues hint that
Cwim is the baby, others that it died and turned to stone at Feroda when
Helpwoman was off somewhere. Others point to it being mummified out in
the Wastes or on the Plateau, no way to know for certain.

Thus, the PCs will have to investigate the different theories before they
can locate the little guy/gal. Makes for a more involved/protracted
scenario, which leaves it up to personal taste.

Harald Smith
I think that there would have been a guardian aboard, though since
continued into the Second Age without the benefit of GWDs, that the
guardians either were some other being or differing types of beings until
the time of Pinchining (since the GWDs would retain a memory I suspect of
how the Elder Giants created their young).

Ah, a memory of the original baby-producing process lost to the giants in
the interim -- an excellent idea. For those who wonder how the Elder
Giants could forget, they didn't -- all of the ones who were around in
the First Age are mountains now, difficult to awaken. And Gonn Orta was
originally from Fronela (?), and spent most of the First Age there and in
Dorastor, so can be presumed to not have the full details on this
process. Works for me, anyways.

>Maybe your helpwoman was really the midwife of chaos (that would be
>Malia I believe) and took the baby to Malia's Stool.

Another good suggestion for those who subscribe to the Cwim theory -- I
had wondered about the corruption mechanism, but couldn't come up with a
good one. Neat.


Simon, excellent story, I love how the Praxian myth was visible in it! I
do hope the Weekly has started already so this can be among its first

Stephen Martin
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