Glassware and undead

From: Vesa Lehtinen (
Date: Thu 12 Feb 1998 - 16:54:11 EET

Richard asks:
> What is the state of play with glass in Glorantha.
        I thought about this in detail at one time. So I am obssessed with detail
but here goes...
        IMG glass was originally Mostali secret which "leaked" to the surface
world during the Dawn Age. They still use it extensively. Covering a piece
of delicate machinery by a glass dome could be a nice touch, for example.
        Most of the human world, however, can only make opaque glass, not the
modern transparent one we would recognize as glass. Techniques would be
just what Oliver D. Bernuetz described.
        Syran could be one exception but IMG they guard their secrets with murder,
if necessary, desiring to maintain their monopoly at least in Ralios. IMO
they did not invent glassblowing; there could be various possibilities
        - Result of a forgotten deal between them and Nidans (totalirian
glassmaker's guild, anyone ?)
        - Random effect of an otherwise botched God Learner raid (If elves can get
iron"wood" from mostali, why not humans could not "steal" glass.)
        - The local ground contains enought silicates that some alchemist
developed the stuff accidentally. I bet there would be a shrine to a guy in
that case.
        - Somebody looted a massive hoard of broken dwarven glass and they keep
melting and recasting it (Too MGF, maybe)
        Syrans IMO make more aesthetically pleasing glassware, as opposed to
Mostali glassware which is sturdy (industrial-quality glass, if you will)
and can withstand anything but is ugly and utilitarian. Only malkioni
churches could buy stained-glass windows (they can always sell
indulgences...) And if Mostali of Iron Mountains are willing to sell iron,
why not specially-made glass mirrors (their warranty expires with a spell...)
        Lenses made of transparent glass are still a mostali secret, probably made
to compensate the dwarf shortsightness on surface. However, you can find
"field glasses" (a tube made of leather or more sturdier stuff with two
lenses) in certain marketplaces like Handra or Nochet. Those are expensive
and usually used by ship captains, army commanders or filthy rich
adventurers. They have to dodge random anti-glass gremlins and have access
to Repair spell.
        Some kralori sages do have lenses to ignite their holy fires but they are
mostly relics taken from Mostali in the bygone ages. They could be one of
the rare people to know the equivalent of a "Form/Set Glass"-spell.
        Armored class I had not thought of, however, but I also consider it to be
mostali stuff (maybe magically altered) thought, for a future scenario, I
must assume Leonardo of God Forgot could have access to it...
        Piece about the Lordili Glass sacrifice was very interesting to say the
Nick Brooke
>They wouldn't be at all common or widespread: a master glassmaker from
>Syran or some such place might be able to make them. Glass bottles are
>fancy goods
        I agree and even if a commoner would obtain one, he would probably sell it
to somebody soon enough because of fragility.

Peter Metcalfe
>So yes to Glass Ornaments and bottles, "bottle-glass" windows and
>clear glass. Nope to flat glass windows and flat mirrors although
>there are hand held mirrors. There are definitely no sextants or
>re-inforced windows in human lands.

Guy from EBWE Engineering
>How closely is the world of the Undead linked to Chaos?
>I'm of two minds over this. First is that an element of Chaos causes
>Undead to exists.
        Not very likely, see ZZ.

        One minor part of the non-dualistic nature of the Glorantha I cherish is
that undead are not necessarily evil (though usually dangerous to NPCs) or
even chaotic.
        As there are multiple sources for magic, there are multiple sources for
undead. Ghouls can be results of "accidental" possession of a recently
deceased body by a ghoul spirit, intentional possession caused by a
Vivamort sorcerer or a ghoul-poisoning caused by Kralorelan Huan To.
        Zombies can be created by Zorak Zorani, Vivamort, followers of Gark the
Calm, certain shamans and at least one school of Kralori sorcerers. And I
would not be surprised if there were a mostali group who recycles
non-mostali bodies as undead.
        (I also consider that ZZ do not zombiefy just about anyone, only those
worth of it, and the enchantment ritual is a communal one; required POW or
whatever is taken from multiple sources. It is a form a funeral rite where
the deceased remains a member of his community in a very physical manner.
"Group spirit" keeps these zombies animated. Strong-willed leaders become
guardian ghosts and only very strong ZZ warriors are turned into zombies;
after all, trolls usually _devour_ their dead).
        Ghosts are not "created" as such. They either appear "naturally" or are
summoned for a certain purpose. IMO wraiths are a "variation" of a ghoul
spirit who does not need physical body (hmmm - maybe ghoul spirit is just a
stage of a very peculiar undead development; spirit of hunger-> ghoul
spirit-> wraith-> ???)
        Skeletons are magical artifacts created a manner somewhat similar to
creating Jolanti (albeit using organic matter instead of a inorganic one).
One wonders if there could be something similar to "bone golem" composed of
bones of multiple corpses...

        I see Vivamorti not a chaotic cult but a a very warped, Darkness-connected
Henotheist Malkioni who have taken both Feudal structure and Brithini
attitudes in their extremes. Pre-Anne Rice vampires and especially Dracula
have been portrayed more or less as a symbolic feudal overlords who wants
to suck their peasants dry. Maybe they could be treated as a Shadow of
Brithini; "You drain the environment, we drain the blood of the people".

David Cake
> Then there are undead created by magic, and sustained by magic.
>Zorak Zorani zombies, shamanic zombies, Ty Kora Tek Mummies. These are
>always the result of a deliberate magical act.
        I agree, but I would not include Ty Kora Tek Mummies (they prepare corpses
for afterlife, not un-life)? If Ty Kora Tek have somebody guarding the
graves or something, IMO it would be ghosts. Mummies belong to ZZ IMO.

Philip Hibbs wrote
>Are we in danger of the Glorantha Weekly becoming the Erik Sieurin
>Mostali Weekly?
        Then it would be interesting at the very least.

Vesa "Aku" Lehtinen


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