People of Glorantha - Humans



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Created On 24 June 1999
Last Updated On 24 June 1999
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1999

See Also Overview/Peoples of Glorantha

Possibly the most important of the races descended from GrandFather Mortal, humans are certainly the most numerous of the Surface races and the most successful in Mundane Glorantha since Time.

There are many sub-types of humans, each claiming a particular descent from a Hero or Deity and each having their own culture and myths.

The sub-types (Races) described here are:

Agimori
Artmali
Brithini
Hsunchen
Kralori
Ogres
Tusk Riders
Vadeli
Waertagi
Wareran

Agimori

The Men-And-A-Half, descended from Lodril when he used the Man Rune, these are almost super-men, superior to normal humans in most physical areas. Created to live in hot lands they can only reproduce after drinking purified and blessed water to tame their fiery natures. They are intolerant of cold and suffer when exposed to near-freezing temperatures, but can survive in far hotter climates than normal humans.

The Agimori are the Black race of Glorantha. They live mainly on the Pamaltelan Grasslands and are the dominant humans on that continent. There are Agimori throughout human Pamaltela, especially in the grasslands but also in the forests, mountains and coastal towns. Most pamaltelans in Pamaltela follow the Way of Pamalt and are modelled on either the African Tribes of Watusi, Zulu and other African Nomads, or the Australian Aborigines depending on whether they follow the Right Hand or Left Hand Path. Amongst the coastal cities the Agimori follow a combination of Malkioni and Barbarian worship being influenced by the Theyalan and Jrusteli settlements.

A group of Agimori travelled to Prax during the God Time and remain there with a different culture to the Pamaltelan fellows, these Agimori follow Lodril and Foundchild and have no knowledge of Pamalt. They have a military structure for their tribes and field armies of Pikemen in battle, often as mercenaries for the many wars in Prax. Another group of Malkioni Agimori came from Pamaltela in the First Age and settled in the West of Genertela where they have fully integrated and supply Agimori Knights to the Western Kingdoms.

Agimori are described more fully in Wyrms Footnotes and Borderlands. They are also covered in the Tales of the Reaching Moon magazine.

Artmali

There are four main types of human if skin colour is considered a typing method. The Wareran or White Race, Agimori (Black), Kralori (Yellow) and Artmali (Blue).

The Artmali are descendants of Artmal, the Son of the Blue Moon, who established a great Empire in Pamaltela. Unfortunately for them this Empire was destroyed some time ago and the Artmali were sold into slavery. They have generally remained in this state ever since, in fact the word fro Slave in many Pamaltelan languages is "Artmali".

Few people remember the Artmali Empire or the fact that the Blueskins ruled it. Even the Artmali only know that they once had a glorious past and that one day a great Hero will come and set them free. Apart from a few folk tales and obscure prophecies that is all they know of their past and future.

Artmali generally worship the local deities or whatever local deities slaves are allowed to worship. They often worship their ancestors and know that a Blue God was their founder, sometimes worshipping Artmal when free. Occasionally they give worship to the Blue Moon but this is rare.

Brithini

These are the descendants of the people of the Kingdom of Logic and claim to be the First People from whom all others are descended. They say that other humans forgot the Brithini Way and became Mortal. They claim proof of their beliefs by the fact that a Brithini who obeys all Caste Laws will not age or die of Old Age. Those who break even the smallest of Laws will begin to age normally and will eventually die of old age. Death for Brithini is a terrible thing to be feared as their souls dissipate after death and they have no afterlife. They have a large number of taboos and ceremonies to be performed when a family member or acquaintance dies so that they will not be contaminated with Death.

Brithini can be found on the lost Isle of Brithos where only immortals and Heroes may travel and in the scattered colonies throughout Genertela, for instance in Aronlit, Sog City and God Forgot in the Holy Country.

When Brithini go to war they are awesome, protected by immense spells and enchantments, armed with weapons to kill Heroes and an instinct for self-preservation that has to be seen to be believed.

Hsunchen

These humans claim descent from an ancestral animal deity and claim kinship with their ancestral totem. They can be found amongst all the human races and throughout Genertela, Pamaltela and many of the islands.

Most Hsunchen societies are primitive or at best nomadic/barbarian in nature. The more advanced societies include the Basmoli and Kralori Dragonfolk. Where a society becomes too advanced it loses its animal nature and ceases to be truly Hsunchen, this has happened amongst the Horse Folk of Ralios and the Basmoli of the West where even their language has changed from the Basmoli elsewhere. Where a Hsunchen tribe is spread throughout Glorantha its people generally share a common language and culture and if they meet other far-flung members of their people then they will be able to communicate and mix freely.

Hsunchen share the nature of their totem and sometimes have trouble breeding with other humans although this is always possible. This helps keep the Hsunchen clans fairly pure and inbred. Where Hsunchen mate with animals there can be born Shape Shifters who can transform between human and animal form without the use of spells.

Hsunchen typically worship their ancestral deity together with associated hunters and other primitive deities. Most of their worship is shamanic in nature and includes worship of Heroes and Spirits.

Hsunchen are described in heroes magazine. Telmori are described in the Book of Drastic Resolutions and Basmoli in Tales of the Reaching Moon.

Kralori

The Kralori are the Yellow Race of Glorantha and are found in the East of Genertela, mainly in the Kralori Empire and adjoining lands and in the Eastern Isles. The Kralori are the Dragon People and are descended from the Dragons of their Empire. Their culture is based on that of Ancient Cathay (China) and they are ruled by Angelic Exarchs and an Emperor who can all turn into Dragons at will, the Emperor being a True Dragon himself.

Most of the Kralori are peasants who mistrust strangers and worship their rulers, their old gods of Yelm and his servants and practice some sorcery. There are other classes of beaurocrats, traders, artisans and soldiers but these are not as important as the peasants according to Kralori beliefs.

Ogres

This race of chaotic humans claims to be the First Humans and believe themselves to be superior to other types. Generally, Ogres are bigger, stronger, healthier and more attractive than normal humans. Unfortunately they are tainted with Chaos, having sided with Cacodemon in the Greater Darkness, having sharp, pointy teeth and often having Chaotic Features.

Ogres live in all regions of Genertela where they try to infiltrate human society. They are prevalent in Peloria and other parts of the Lunar Empire and can also be found in Chaos Nests and any wilderness areas.

Ogres befriended Cacodemon in the Darkness and are often found worshipping the Great Fiend, although they can worship almost any deity worshipped by humans and most chaotic deities. Ogres have special magic that allows them to pass for normal humans, even foiling the special Senses of the Storm Bull cult. However, when an Ogre comes close to a Cacodemon Holy Place, Shrine or Temple his natural cannibalistic savage tendencies surface and his elaborate disguise undone by his bestial nature. Ogres try to avoid such places as they find it hard to keep up the pretence of a normal trader when they rip their defeated foe's throat out with their bare teeth.

Ogres are described in the Elder Secrets Pack in great detail.

Tusk Riders

Born in the Greater Darkness these are savage, bestial humans said to be half-troll or half-boar. They ruled an area of Sartar and the Rockwoods before being pushed back into the Stinking Forest during the First and Second Age. During the Darkness they were one of the prime forces fighting against Chaos in the area and fought in the Unity Battle. During the First Age their leader Aram-y-Udram sat on the Council of Friends and resigned rather than participate in the God Project.

Tusk Riders ride on immense boars and are organised into mercenary companies or warbands. They can be found throughout Central Genertela as their groups travel to earn a living.

In appearance they are large and strong with tusks rather than teeth. They have a strong odour normally, reminiscent of boars and pigs. They dress in armour and carry weapons at all times.

Tusk Riders worship their Founder and the Cult of the Bloody Tusk to whom they sacrifice victims in orgies of blood. They also worship martial deities such as Zorak Zoran and Storm Bull. Females occasionally worship Babeester Gor, males sometimes worship Ikadz.

Tusk Riders are detailed fully in the Elder Secrets pack.

Vadeli

Descended from Vadel, one of the Angels of the Kingdom of Logic, the Vadeli lived in Vadeliland which lay beside the Kingdom of Logic. The Vadeli and Brithini were mortal enemies and fought many wars which resulted in the sinking of the Vadeli Lands beneath the waves and the almost complete destruction of the Vadeli. Remnants of the Vadeli survived in the Old Vadeli islands where they lived a wretched and miserable existence.

There were three races of Vadeli - Blue, Red and Brown, named after the colour of their skins. Each race lived in its own caste and had its own practices. The Brithini wiped out the Blue Vadeli, or Ruler caste, in the God Time and the Red Vadeli., or Warrior Caste, during Time, leaving only the Brown Vadeli (Worker/Trader Caste). Recently the Red Vadeli have reappeared on the Red Islands and this can only be a bad thing.

Vadeli can normally be found on their Islands, on the Seas in their ships or in various ghettos in coastal cities where they are confined due to their obnoxious practices.

Vadeli are generally accepted as being evil. Their caste practices include rape, incest, torture, murder, mutilation and other activities normally considered anti-social. Thus they are shunned by normal people. However, a Vadeli who keeps his caste laws is immortal like the Brithini. As Traders the Vadeli lie, cheat, charge excessive rates and often steal cargo or enslave passengers. As Warriors they are ferocious pirates, well armed and rapacious. At the moment, the Red Vadeli threaten the trading routes between Genertela and Pamaltela although they do not attack the Brown Vadeli, a fact that increases the brown Vadeli's attractiveness to merchants.

Once the Seas were opened by Dormal, the Brown Vadeli quickly established their Trade Routes and appeared to many people who had never seen ships before. They established themselves as Gods and Heroes and forced many coastal peoples into slavery or gained tribute from them. With the advent of the red Vadeli they have had increased trade as people prefer their ships as they will not be raided. People fear that the Blue Vadeli may reappear which would be a disaster for all normal sailors. Since the Opening there have been several battles with the Vadeli and there will be more as other sailing folk try to threaten their dominance of the waters. When the Waertagi return, many people expect battles between these two rivals and expect the Vadeli to fall once more.

There has been much speculation on the Gloranthan Digest about the nature of Vadeli. What was agreed was that the Brown Vadeli was the equivalent of human excrement, the Red Vadeli of blood and the Blue Vadeli of corpses. There was much discussion of the nature and practices of the Vadeli, not all of which I agreed with, so I will not mention them here. However, the Vadeli are unpleasant people with noxious practices and customs, a thoroughly evil folk.

Waertagi

Malkion, the First Prophet of the Invisible God, was the son of Aerlit, a Storm God, and the Blue Woman, a water spirit. He married another water spirit and produced a son, the deity Waertag. This god fathered a race of humans called the Waertagi who quickly gained dominance over the open seas.

Waertagi are Wareran humans with a green or blue tint to their skins. They often have webbed hands and feet and sometimes have gills. When away from water they feel nauseous and begin to pine away, sometimes even dying if away from the sea for too long.

Waertagi sailed immense Dragonships made from the bodies of Sea Dragons a mile long (these were probably True Dragons but nobody knows for certain). They ruled the Seas with their Brithini allies until the Jrusteli Empire defeated them by invoking Tarien the God of Burning Water and setting the Sea aflame. When Zzabur closed the Oceans many of the Dragonships joined in immense rafts and sailed down Magasta's Pool into Hell. Others crashed onto remote islands or far away coasts and the survivors settled colonies such as Sog City where their descendants talk of the Dragonships returning and restoring their old dominance.

Waertagi are now found in scattered colonies along the coasts of Genertela and Pamaltela where they gain a living from being the best sailors in Glorantha. Many Waertagi can hold their breath for long periods while underwater and some can even breathe water naturally. This gives them a natural advantage over other sailors and boatmen.

Waertagi are allies of the Brithini even now, despite the Closing of the Oceans by Zzabur. They hate all things Jrusteli and have an age-old rivalry with the Vadeli. They do not like the emergence of the Red Vadeli and know of the dangers in dealing with them.

Waertagi are Malkioni Sorcerers who follow the Old Ways and have no Saints and no Inter-caste mobility. They have also always followed the Stygian Heresy and worship other deities alongside the Invisible God. Their favoured wargod is Wachaza and they worship Magasta as a ruling deity and can summon sea monsters when necessary. They worship their ancestors and may summon water spirits and nymphs as ancestors in many cases. Some can even trace their ancestry back to Waertag and can summon this deity as an ancestor but none can summon Malkion or Aerlit.

Wareran

These are the White Race of Glorantha. They are unique that they do not have a culture of any type as there are Wareran Hsunchen, Ogres, Theyalans and so on. I believe that they are a race only by Skin Type and that apart from that they are nondescript. Think of the Wareran as the normal Race of humans with other variations being differences to the norm.

[End]