Re: Flesh Man

From: Jerome Blondel <>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 19:42:59 -0000


Topi Pitkanen:

> > I'm especially teased by the 'horror' possibilities. If you've got
> > any idea, expand please... :-)
>I, alas, do not have too many specific ideas. But I'd like to expand
>on general level. _Supernatural and horror do not mix well._
>If a narrator wants to create and maintain fearful mood in
>his horror-story he had better not to introduce too unreal
>elements. The best horror that can be conjured through a roleplaying
>experience is somewhat minimalistic in form.

Just hearing the sound of the chainsaw but not really seeing the guy cutting up the meat.

>Flesh Man in his everyman, human aspect is mundane - compare to gods.
>Mundane is the scene for horror, error, worry, pain, loss, tragedy.
>Themes that are human are themes were Flesh Man can easily appear.
>And Flesh is so superfiscially defined that Man can be where the
>story requires.

Yes, good. Flesh is superficial but important. It's what makes Flesh Man vulnerable to things that gods don't care about. Maybe that while following Flesh Man to the end of Hell the Lightbringers (and by extension the gods) learned a bit more about men's weakness and this prepared them for the Compromise, leaving the humans alone in Glorantha because life is hard when gods are waging World War all around.

>(Orlanthi horror is finding out your mother is propriating Malia.)

Could be a sort of Flesh Man vision indeed.

> > What we know about him is that he went mad because he (fore)saw
> > someone die. Maybe the 'someone' was himself
> > (which makes sense if he represents humanity).
>Could Flesh Man be thought of as Wyter of all humanity or all mortals?
>If so, he could actually include malkioni, the Hidden Kings, Harmast's
>tribe etc - lots of groovy ideas - while still not being Malkion or
>Fetch of Grandfather Mortal or anyone else.

Maybe not wyter, which has a specific meaning and i don't know if it applies here. Maybe even the reverse of a wyter. Among the overwhelming mass and variety of humankind (including the Others: Malkioni, funny beast worshippers, etc.), Flesh Man might be just one individual. He has no other identity than his Fleshy condition. Now, maybe i'm actually changing my mind, but i fancy he represents human-ity? (not sure about vocabulary) not as the whole but as just one. In practice, in LBQ-style councils, Flesh Man may actually be an important member of the mass (e.g. the Mayor of Wilmskirk). His charge in this (very ritualized and not very magical) context is to defend the interests of the 'mortals'.

>...Flesh Man could be seen as
>the first being committing voluntary suicide. Flesh Man wasn't
>quite dead yet when he entered hell. He had only realized that
>once he will die. Then he made it happen.

Gee, i buy this at once!

>(If your into death-mysticism and unworthy word-plays then ask what
>Flesh Man had Unrealized to commit The Self-Murder...)

I give my tongue to the cat:-) i'm not sure enough i understand this.

> > what exactly the role of Flesh Man on the full quest consists in.
> > What sort of guy plays that role, to begin with?
>A scetch:
>A human I would suppose. Not runie, eh? Perhaps the flesh man has
>to give up all cult ties to _every_ deity, ancestor, daimon
>and community wyter he has been connected to and then he must wait
>for a vision of death to come to him. The tragedy is that the vision
>may never come, yet it can come any minute, any day, any year.
>Speaking before "seeing the elephant" will spoil the quest and kill.
>It won't be easy and there is no one flesh man can really turn to.
>Perhaps some flesh men actively seek visions through "staring sun
>and self mutilation". If it doesn't help it will only hurt like hell.
>If he receives the vision he may tell it to godar and folks, but then
>he must go to hell alive (literally?) haunted by the things he saw.

Go to hell alive. I suppose not many people will volunteer to do that quest but i really like the way you put it. I also suppose that with appropriate magical circumstances it could happen to anyone by accident. They just begin to see or hear things, or having strange insights. As this proceeds, their gods become distant and eventually abandon them. Finally, they go raving and forget their own name and end up committing suicide. This can happen to anyone that is not a devotee (too close to their gods) or a trickster (of course), because just everyone is a Flesh Man. Maybe a soft-hearted and pious Heortling warrior who discovers his mother propitiates Malia and misses his roll of Resist Traumatizing Revelations might be later subject to the effects of the Flesh Man 'syndrome'.


Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

Powered by hypermail