Re: Secrets of the Darkness

From: jorganos <joe_at_4G_fTSdsCLhEoN3B-OSXt30CsBaEICzCdGBEqBP9OVP5cCSnsyQS6FGfemtntvghnmTaJrku>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 09:57:51 -0000

Joerg here, again:

Greg Stafford <Greg_at_...> wrote:

>>"Esrolia - 10,000" gives their history,

> Recommended to all who are curious about this particular people.

Though hard to get if you didn't happen to be at Tentacles.

The most relevant sections are (obviously) the Kitori notes in the appendix, and the Siege of Nochet featuring the story of Kimantor (another title for the Only Old One, along with Lord Victory Nightbrother) and Norinel.

>>starting with human and a couple of other Theyalan survivors 
>>taking special studies with the Only Old One (who displays all 
>>of these characteristics as well, and possibly some more).

> At last! Someone points out the connection with Ezkankrkko!

Reading "Esrolia - 10,000" that connection is self-evident. Before that it was only known that some humans led by Varzor Kitor took up residence with the Only Old One, worshipped darkness and gained some powers. So all we knew was that the OOO was the friendly patron for the Kitori. We didn't know that he shaped a race in his own image.

>>> but the differences go farther than that, such as in reproductive >>> activities. A troll mating with a kitori spawns a troll, etc.

>>Are Kitori matings subject to the Trollkin curse?
> No. They are not uz, nor descended from Kyger Litor.

Let me clarify that question: are Kitori-Troll-hybrids subject to the Trollkin curse? Say a Kitori male in dark troll shape mates with an uzko woman. The children would be descended from Kyger Litor through the mother. How likely will the curse strike?

Opposite pairing: uzko father, kitori mother. Will she risk bearing trollkin?

What uz shapes do the Kitori master, by the way? Dark troll, or also the variants (Great Troll, Trollkin, Mistress Race, even more exotic like Cave Troll or Sea Troll)?

>>And do they "breed true" among themselves, or is there an initiation
>>required to make their descendants (or anyone else who qualifies) a
>>true Kitori (master of Darkness)?

> Those who are not hybrids breed true, if they breed at all.

That gives rise to the next question: under what conditions and at which rates do they age? Depending on their shape?

> It appears that the hybrids can undergo an initiation to be
> freed of a fixed shape, and rise (or perhaps better---sink)
> to their full ancestral powers.

And vice versa, as Ergeshi they are blocked from these powers.

>>Basically, this makes them a superior darkness race (or magical 
>>order) compared to dark trolls, and possibly even in comparison to 
>>mistress race trolls.

> According to some opinions, they are "superior," though such
> judgments are quite superficial.

They appear to be both more adapted to darkness (not as scarred as the Uzko) and less daunted by the Surface World.

>>> One more thing--there are creatures/beings that "appear to be" >>> human or troll,

>>You mean: other than the Kitori?

> Yes, other than Kitori. Darkness creatures with illusion or shape
> changing powers, for instance.

Hags (darkness nymphs) and demons (like Lord Lurker in Shadows, father of Pikat Yaraboom) are the only recorded cases for troll shapes. Human shapes are less known (unless you count vampires).

>>The Night Jumpers appear to know a secret that defines their >>opponents, making them vulnerable to magic that usually would not work.

> Reference?

Mainly the fact that they (of all the subject people of the Kitori) regularly raided the Kitori and usually got away with it.

>>Does this mean that people may know the same Kitori neighbour >>independently as a human individual and as a troll individual?

> I guess this would be possible, but in general they only seem to
> take one form to appear to a specific person or people.

This is sort of helped by their ceremonial attire when on official business - wearing a mask means hiding individual traits (or lack thereof, as I suspect in the case of Kimantor during his marriage with Norinel).

> But I imagine they might do this for kicks (if they have any sense
> of humor, of which there is no evidence.)

I rather thought of approaching the same neighbour in different functions - e.g. as trader, tax-collector, as friendly raiding neighbour, or as defender against raiding neighbours.

>>> The above is a "secret," or "higher
>>> knowledge," or some such. [It is always difficult to present
>>> information of this nature in a manner to differentiate "in world"
>>> or "out of world" knowledge.]

>>Maybe some kind of "what the troll tribe elders hesitate to whisper"
>>document for uz in-world experiences with Kitori matings, a report
>>how the Kitori collect the Shadow Tribute against Hendriki (even
>>Larnsting?) resistance, an Arkat experience, intelligence reports by
>>Palangio or Machine City warriors, tossed together similar to the >>troll material from the Jonstown library in Troll Gods?

> The amount of popular misconceptions for any race is more vast
> than any true information.

This isn't limited to the Kitori, but to mundane things like cities, roads, or taxes as well, I suppose.

> Something like "Minaryth Purple's Report on the Uz"
> which has more true information than false is actually quite rare.

Viewing Glorantha through the eyes of an apprentice sword sage, I expect some data like Marco Polo's journeys (e.g. Biturian, but more likely Tosti Runewolf's travelogue or some companion of Tarkalor's) to keep such information.

Lhankor Mhy libraries hoard all kinds of scraps of knowledge, and it is quite likely that a lot of those scraps are documentations of common believes.

> Most people act on misinformation, and so rub themselves with fern
> spores to protect them from curses,

<snip impressive list of superstitions>

Much like the Glorantha community chasing wrong leads, then...

> So, in answer to your question, "Maybe."

Not so much a question, rather a suggestion how to clothe this into in-world information rather than making definite observations from the outside.

"... so we jumped those Kitori - what looked like four humans and two dark trolls, all of them wearing those leaden masks and cloaks - from among the trees, all fourteen of us, yelling our warband's battle cry.  Half a purse of tribute they carried from the Dunlaingings, across the hills. Well, even before our first javelins could strike any of them, they dissolved into liquid shadows. Not just getting fuzzy to the eyes, as you do using the Sandals of Darkness, but tangible clouds of shadow, still able to deal mighty blows with cloudy fists - I was lifted off my feet and hauled into a stand of trees some fifteen feet away, and that's why I can tell you this tale. Needless to say that our blades and points did little more but inconvenience these demons. Four of our band died of fright when they were engulfed, and three more from wounds received by would-be rescuers. Darndrev used up two years supply of Thunderstones just to keep them at bay, so we could collect our fallen. And when the taxmen came next season..."            

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