Re: What Mostali Look Like

From: donald_at__aRcDzI1o1L8Qn3RohclFo4qvbVW0UZD5FbbvnaORyyhNdaoUQ_u7ii0lX08RhnjIlOWI
Date: Wed, 07 May 2008 20:32:37 GMT

In message <> "felixtimestwo" writes:
>What Mostali Look Like
>I've been vaguely dissatisfied with how Mostali have been described
>ever since I started learning about Glorantha, back in the RQ2 days.
>Gloranthan elves and trolls were identifiably Gloranthan-but the
>Mostali looked (and originally behaved) like identikit fantasy dwarves.
>There has come a point in my game where one of my players wanted to
>play a dwarf, and I had to ask him not to, until I'd got my ideas of
>what Mostali (by which I mean clay Mostali, common or garden dwarves)
>looked and behaved like a bit straighter in my head, and I wanted to
>run my thoughts past you guys.
>Dwarves as ancient looking misshapen and hairy is the classic dwarf
>look that Mostali seem to conform to, all of which (along with short
>stature, I suppose) signify great age-which seems appropriate, as we
>know that orthodox Mostali are immortal, and what's more those craggy
>old men's features are evocative of rock faces.

I'm trying to think of any depictions of a dwarf race as misshapen. Short and stocky yes, but misshapen appears in literature and myth as an attribute of individuals who are part of the human race. That's part of the genetic disorder known as dwarfism and not relevant to the Mostali of Glorantha.

>But, to me what these features signify is imperfection and decay of
>the form of the man rune. Mostali runes are man and stasis, and the
>nature of Mostal and the proper working of the World Machine should be
>of perfection of form and function. So bearing this in mind, it seemed
>to me that ancient looking, imperfect hairy dwarves aren't what you'd
>expect from Mostal as the master manufacturer and embodiment of stasis.

Given that just about everything published about Glorantha is subjective I'd suggest that there is a human bias in the descriptions. And that's influenced by the fact that most of the Mostali that humans see are less than perfect - they have started to deteriorate because they aren't following the way of Mostal.

You should also bear in mind that the man rune doesn't represent human. It represents beings which can stand upright and have intelligence. What's perfect to a Mostali may seem very different to us.

Donald Oddy


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