Uz shamans

From: Julian Lord (
Date: Fri 24 Mar 2000 - 22:43:37 EET

Simon Hibbs :

>Phil says :

> Me > This would imply that a human Matter/Spirit
>>>dichotomy would be intimately meaningless to a

>>I wouldn't be surprised if there was an Uz "Spirit
>>Eating Ritual".

>Quite. If they need a ritual for it, then there
>clearly is a difference between spiritual entities
>material entities.

In the roolz, definitely.

Whatever the 'truth' about Uz shamans is, it'd have to
fit into rules paradigms that would obey our Western
conceptions, anyway. The question is : is Spirit
Eating a roolz artefact, or does it describe
Gloranthan reality ?

(But we've had this thread before, haven't we ? ;-)

>I understand the point being made, that Trolls
believe >that spirits are real things. I think they do
>recognise a distinct difference between spiritual and
>material entities.

Sure, but these would be differences of species
instead of a deep difference in nature, IMO. Like the
difference between cats, men, and fish.

But the trolls keep totems that are magical in
themselves and can cast what we'd call spells.
The totems don't *contain* spirits ; they *are* the

>I just wonder whether this 'materialism' of trolls is
>significantly differrent from that of human animists.

My guess is that it would be more primitive in a way,
more powerful in others, and probably less versatile.

Probably the best way to get a decent answer to this
question (supposing that the flesh/spirit dichotomy
doesn't apply) would be to remember that a shaman
is a bridge between worlds ; between the inside
(AKA the womb of KL) and the outside (almost
everything else).

So, a troll shaman would continue to have dealings
with what a human shaman would call 'spirits', ie
elementals, nymphs, undead, etc.

But he wouldn't be able to discorporate, and his totem
wouldn't be much like a RQ3 fetch. Shamanic Journeys
would be physical journeys too (Searching for Totems).
And the trolls would have notions that there are
magic places where they can go to contact certain
powers, because that's where they live, and there are
magic items (totems) that have shamanic powers.

I suppose that another key thing from the
phenomenological POV would be that troll shamans
can perceive things that are invisible to other
but that these things are still part of the natural
world, which is why they are powerful there.

Another possibility is that Uz shamans can't do
anything that other trolls couldn't do ;
but that's what they specialise in, in the same
way that some trolls become potters, some warriors,
and some priests.

But basically :
totemic instead of animistic shamanism, IMO.

Julian Lord

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