Unglamourous Glamour

From: David Cake (dave@starfish.net.au)
Date: Wed 11 Aug 1999 - 09:32:58 EEST


>These sound like some sort of broo elite, however I think there is also
>large *underclass* of chaotics living in (and in the sewers *under*) the
>streets of Glamour. Chaotics throughout the Empire gravitate there, because
>as David suggests, Glamour is probably the only place in the Empire where
>chaotics are not persecuted. Nevertheless, most chaotics can only survive
>in Glamour by begging, thieving and other criminal activities, because few
>people are willing to employ them.

        I thoroughly agree.

        I've been meaning to write this up for a while, thanks to MOB for
reminding me.

        All over the Empire, the philosophies of the Lunar Empire tempt the
unwary into experimentation with chaos, or otherwise encourage interaction
with chaotic forces. But obvious chaotic features, or other evidence of
chaotic taint, is still not socially acceptable to the majority of the
Empire. A seven fingered hand or third eye might be something a high Lunar
official can get away with, but for most it leads to ostracism and lynch
mobs. Those afflicted gravitate to Glamour - it is well known in the Empire
that chaotics can live unmolested in Glamour, as there are a few high
profile chaotics who live there and are well known (at least one broo poet,
for example).
        The Teelo Norri cult and other such do-gooders will assist chaotics
in making their way to Glamour - the minor level of official assistance
they can provide is often the only reason many chaotics survive the
journey. At least they can sleep in Teelo Norri poorhouses along the way,
rather than in ditches - chaotics are welcome in few inns.
        Once in Glamour, they discover the ugly truth - while the few
succesful chaotics are feted for propagandistic purposes, those who have
played with chaos and lost are still losers in Glamour. While the citizens
of Glamour may accept the Emperors edicts about the official acceptability
of chaos, they are still regarded as unwelcome by most.
        The only place where they are truly welcome is among their own
kind. Glamour has a literal underworld, of sewers and strange excavations
(even, it is rumoured Krarshtkid tunnels). There live the rejected
experiments of the Empires grand chaotic project. Many where not born
chaotic, but became chaotic through Chaos Gift and similar magics. Many
turn to crime, including trading in exotic drugs and pleasures not socially
acceptable even in the decadent heart of the Empire. The secret masters of
the Krarsht cult cult grow fat.
        The crime, of course, as well as the use of broos as sewerage
workers, means that the good Lunar citizens of Glamour can justify their
discrimination, while at the same time mouth the platitudes of Lunar
acceptance of chaos. 'Of course I do not discriminate against those who
accept the gifts of chaos, but that does not mean I need to welcome
criminals or dung-carriers into my neighbourhood or employment'.

        I imagine the Underside of Glamour to be the Gloranthan equivalent
of William Burroughs Interzone - deranged half-humans turning to exotic
vices to cope with their shattered lives. A little of Al Amarja, too. The
scorpion man that continually threatens to commit suicide with his own
sting, strange prostitutes that defy classification into the normal sexes,
half man half insect beings that sell their own body parts as exotic drugs,
and so on. And Spare Ass Annie, of course, straight from the title track of
the William Burroughs/ Disposable Heroes CD.

        And if you want to make the whole area even more remarkable, there
are many rumours about the Glamour underworld. Some say that something else
existed on the site of Glamour, long ago, and the tunnels under Glamour
have dug into strange ruins. Other rumours say that the tunnels actually
contact the inside of the Crater in places, there to contact secret dark
Lunar mysteries.

        Remember, the word Glamour can mean illusion, a good-seeming false
image places over reality. Truly Glamour is a city well named.

        Cheers
                David

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