> Talathum (SP!) were teh shrunken, preserved heads of vanquished
> enemies and were often used as magical weapons -- usually to inflict
> curses or horrible infected wounds...
Speaking of unsavoury magical practices, I've been reading Aztech history lately, and it really is so easy to translate their mythologies into the kind of structure that GS employs. I'm very impressed by the methodology of the hero-quest and the way glorantha deals with mythologies - tip o' the propellar beanie. Not sure how deeply I'd want to go into defining Aztech cults and their practices, though.
Arguably the most horrifying cult practice I've ever heard of was a relative of a friend of mine who travelled in Borneo several decades ago. He spoke to a shaman and discovered how they acquire fetches. The shaman adopts a child form the local community, and raises them as their personal servant till the adge of 6 or 7. At this point the shaman conducts a ritual in which he commands loyalty from the child. As the child opens their mouth to speak, the shaman pours molten lead into their mouth, which kills them. The idea behind this grisly business is that the child dies and its spirit goes to the spirit plane, with the promise of eternal loyalty still on its lips, forever. The body is then cremated, and the lead placed in a gourd, which forms a spirit-rattle with which the shaman summons the childs spirit.
This is not the kind of thing I would really want in a gamne unless I was deliberately going down the horror route.
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