Re: Demons in glorantha

From: Greg Stafford <glorantha1_at_jkQRZgNkS7ThXHBJlO9eqCEwplckxAZTz33rskqJFvVR64ziO0pGwwvw9Q8HyGRKo>
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2008 10:05:17 -0700

YGWV On Sat, Aug 9, 2008 at 7:00 AM, valkoharja <> wrote:

> > > Another obvious(?) source of demons are chaos
> > > entities. I'd like more
> > > guidelines for these, but at least I have some grip
> > > on it.
> >
> > Guidelines concerning what?
> I have a fairly good grip on what kind of entities the Dehori are. I'm
> not sure how I should deal with chaos demons.
> Are there chaos demons that are not unique but would form a class of
> entities (I hesitate to call it a species)?

We can, of course, consider broos, scorpion men, ogres and so on to be classes of chaos demons. Chaotic beings form a spectrum of entities, ranging from a slight "touch" of chaos to full, blown down monstrous mutating evil destructiveness (say, the sky horror).

When writing up demons,
> should I consider each chaos demon a unique entity instead, or can

A characteristic of chaos creatures is their uniqueness. Certainly, entire "species" have been polluted and may parallel a normal species (the slime deer, for instance), but even among those the individuals are always varied. To the outsider they may appear to be the same--a pack of broos might all have alligator jaws and an extra left front paw, for instance. But closer inspection (if anyone ever did such a thing in Glorantha, which hasn't been done due to the danger) would reveal differences between them. Some differences would be tiny (an extra claw on one limb), some subtle (crocodile jaws instead of alligator), or some huge (horns, one with extra eyes, a belching organ in its neck and a small controlling torso attacked to its left ankle that drops putrid fruit seeds).

The uniqueness generally increases as the entity increases in size and power. So there is one Kajaboor, one Sky Horror, etc.

> there be chaotic parallels to the demons (hell entities) native to
> Glorantha?

I would not make a list of Underworld entities and list their chaotic counterpart.

> Are chaotic demons inherently more dangerous/deadly/feared than the
> non-chaotic demons (like the horse demons of Sir Ethilrist)?

No. I think there are some relatively innocuous chaos things, like maybe a chaos insect whose droppings kill, although their harboring of chaos is always a potential threat to all existence.

> > But what about foreign daemons and spirits? In the
> > > spirit of
> > > misapplied worship, I suspect a sorcerer can summon
> > > up a daemon as an essence.
> >
> > Can you clarify for me what you mean by "as an
> > essence?"
> > A sorcerer or wizard could summon a daemon, yes, but
> > it would not change it into an essential being. Nor is
> > he likely to think of it as such.
> Misapplied worship seems be a case where a god (for instance) has a
> short of a shadow in the essence and spirit planes. There is a spirit
> and an essence version or side of the god that can be reached by
> venerator's and extatic worshippers. Maybe I've misunderstood this?

It's not a false version of the being, but I would suggest instead that their incorrect method of magic limits their access to perceive, work with or exploit the entity in question.

If the above is correct, then a sorcerer could summon up / encounter
> an essence version/shadow/manifestation of a daemon.

This isn't quite correct.

One could
> presumably do misapplied veneration of Gavreninkin (the cat).
> Gavreninkin (under a different name) would then appear as an essence
> creature (saint?) to the worshippers. Wouldn't a sorcerer be able to
> summon up such a creature as well?

I think it's more correct to imagine that the sorcerer is only able to summon a part of Gavreninkin, or an incomplete version of him, and maybe it will have some "extra parts" or powers "stuck to it" by its being forced into a shape (i.e. essence-like) that it does not normally have.

If he/she can do that, how different would that manifestation of
> Gavreninkin be to the one called up by a heortling clan worshipping
> him in a theistic manner?

The differences could vary quite wildly, from getting an acid-spitting, multi-headed monstrosity whose lopped off parts turn into little images of its major self, to a super huge alynx that is cowardly and bright red in color. The variables would depend on the spells used for the summonging, the place it was done, the history of such summons, etc etc.

Thank you in advance :)

You are welcome. I enjoy questions like this whose answers are not obvious, or not revealed yet, etc.

Greg Stafford
Game Designer

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