Re: The Glorantha Digest V7 #446

From: darvall (
Date: Sun 26 Mar 2000 - 06:07:24 EEST

>>I wrote this stuff in order to give my hunter's a more wilderness centred
>>approach to their lives. <snip> I felt they
>> could form a basis for weird Odaylan behaviour.
>Like Darvall, my love of wilderness stems from long weeks in the aussie
>bush - all this euro-siberian oak and otter stuff is pretty alien to me
>personally. Which is perhaps why we both find it so compulsive...
>Our experiences help to ground it of course. Talk all you like about

>surrendering to mystical oneness and the nobility of solitude, but also

>remember the cold and damp that gets in your bones and just won't go away,
>the insect bites, the way it *feels* to sleep on the ground, the effect
>that all that *space* and silence and darkness can have on you, (mystical -
>maybe, scary - you bet!) and the uncertain pleasures of campfire cooking.
>Did I mention the way your companions all start to smell? And the longing
>for decent toilet paper?

This is very much where I'm coming from. Although after 4 weeks you can't
smell your companions. Other people are a different matter.

>I stumbled a little over the proper name 'Tara' for the Lady of the Wild,

I tend to ignore the RW origion of names in G.

>> As mother /protector/
>>hunter of all wild creatures she both provides the hunters' prey & preys
>>apon them. The act of hunting brings a mortal into her domain more surely
>>than any other.
>So cult membership is part active worship and part surrender to a reality
>too big to be ordered or controlled. And part cold opportunism.

Bloody ay. Esp cold opportunism. Being hunted (army escape & evasion
training) is bloody frightening. At one stage we caught a snake which we
ate raw while running. I see the Odaylans as being far less squeamish than
I. They live it I just practiced for it.

<big snip>

>>Any meeting with Tara is a mystical
>>event, although Taran mystics have low life expectancies.
>Yip. Isolation takes its own toll. Many LotW mystics would become liminal
>even to the hunting folk, becoming as beasts. There is a strong correlation
>right across Heortling culture between solitude, mystical experience,
>arcane power and wacko off-ya-face high strangeness/madness. Heort taught
>that solitude is for the outlaw, holy person and madman - all liminal and
>dangerous categories - and no doubt labels that often conflate together.
>Like King Sweeney in the Irish 'Buile Shuibhne Geilt' (translated by Seamus
>Heaney as 'Sweeney Astray') they would be partly delighting in the
>participation of Oneness, and partly self-pitying at the constant physical
>discomfort, degradation and isolation from kin. Most hunters would clearly
>see the dangers of too close a participation.
This is the nub of it. The effects are designed so that as the hunter has
more contact with Herself there is an increasing animalism to their
behaviour culminating in a "wild man" effect.

> a strong general hunters 'cannibalism' taboo that extends
>to bans on chewing nails or sucking a cut finger.

Lovely. & therefore true.

>>Share of Blood Meal
>I'd deal with this sort of identification long-term by using personal totem
>animals, and extending it with personal taboos and animal mimicries.
>Semi-hsunchen, if you like.

I do like & thought of this as a method of gaining yet another totem.

>>Wolf' Portion
>Tovtaros Odaylans have their famous cloaks. <snip>

Works for me. Where can I find more about these myths?

>>Bear's Portion <snip> metal is eschewed <snip>

> I tend to play Odaylans as being
>anti-metal anyway, out of a general mind-set that the best place to carry a
>tool is in your head. 'The gors provide'.

Hmmm. Must think more on this one. Perhaps as an emphasis?
>>Yinkin's Meal The hunter shares the kill with Tara. Both
>>eat the
>>prey raw <snip>

>The difference between Raw and Cooked is a pretty basic taboo line about
>being 'cultural' i.e. 'human'. This would be dangerous, with a chance of
>being claimed by The Lady.

As stated the intent is that ANY contact with TLotW is fraught with danger
& that the hunter will both lose & gain by it.
>>Stag's Portion Sex. <snip> results in a child

>I'd regard the birth of any divine child as major heroquest material. Once
>again, you spell out clearly the risk of obsession and madness when messing
>with the Lady. I'm not sure a hunter *could* go to another land for any
>extended period, they share soul with their tula in some basic physical sense.

Dunno about the divine bit. I see the child as very definitely mortal but
marked for special attention (which can also mean an early death as per
Animal Twins)
The moving lands bit is inspired by my own reaction to moving from W Qld (2
season) to Melb (4 seasonish) & a trip to Korea (shocking seasonal change)
although for those with tighter ties it would be more difficult to
impossible. Does this then mean that invaders have to wage a war of
extermination against remnant populations of hunters who know the Tula &
have more ties to the spirits? Better them than me.
>>Gargath lottery <snip>
>Again, a majorish heroquest. Give us the myth!

Working on it.
>>Twinson's Fate The hunter is sacrificed on the Wild Altar. This
>>confirms the old pact that ended the tearing claw. Any hunters related to
>>the sacrifice are blessed with a 15% better chance of success
>A desperate act for desperate times.

Depends who does the sacrificing. If Tara just takes the life is this a
sacrifice or merely luck of the draw? Or both?
>>Deed of blood
>Sweat lodges aside, I'd think immersion in hot water baths would be pretty
>foreign to most Odaylans.

Yeah. Not real happy with this one but I'm trying for the idea of increased
beastiality. Smellier than your average barbarian. Also the offensiveness
of the freshly bathed to those who have not for weeks. Believe it or not
this is so. The bathed smell funny to the unwashed.
>>Bewilder The hunter must cause some ploughed land to return
>>to wilderness.

>The first part of this to me is either clan politics (given that hunting
>lands are part of the tula) or aldryami-type terrorism. The second part is
>pure psychology, and similar to effects fairly common in earthly tribal
>experience. I'm not sure why B should be contingent on A.

I like my G psych to be contingent apon religion & magic rather than
mundane experience. (The effects aren't limitted to tribal folk. 2 of my
brothers still can't stand closed rooms & we've all had houses for over a
decade. yes we're whitefellas) The first part gives more emphasis to
Odaylan roles in politics & encourages their participation in same. One
more faction within factions. It also persuades hunter PCs to take a more
active interest in what the rest of the clan is doing.
>>Taboo The hunter can judge the success of the hunt, the
>>weather, coming battle, lawsuit, or other matters from the behaviour of a
>>single species. Only one matter can be judged per species but the hunter
>>will not harm the messenger species.
>Ahhh, animal symbolism. Divination, Solara's web of wyrd. An *enormous* topic.
& a good place to start tapping in.

>From quiet homes & first beginnings
Out to the undicovered ends
Theres nothing worth the wear of winning
But laughter & the love of friends.
Hilare Belloc


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