Re: Ghouls

From: Peter Larsen <p3larsen_at_DM_sYQXe2bIP3u-xDCbhaJXkrkZDTfUdOpJCDCAEjAaj5qOG2Lf9PXcOdpcNelJqOzF>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 12:07:06 -0400

On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 11:27 AM, bryan_thx <> wrote:

> > Secondly, do ghouls have religious beliefs? If so, what are they
> like? Is there a god of ghouls? Would these beliefs be anything like the
> ghoul religions in Delta Green/Call of Cthulhu, for example?
> >
> I have no idea if anything is written up anywhere, but this being Glorantha
> I'd be most surprised if they _didn't_ have religious beliefs of some sort.
> My best guess is that larger pockets would even have their own 'cultural
> hero' who taught them to survive the great darkness through eating the dead.
> There are enough godlings, spirits, underworld beings, and whatnot around
> that no doubt there is something that they can obtain power from.

This being Glorantha, I bet there are a whole lot of different creatures that eat the dead. Some of them debased humans, some of them undead, some of them people who followed an unpleasant god (not necessarily Chaos) during the Darkness, some people with odd but essentially wholesome religious beliefs, some undead (some of whose condition was caused by their eating of corpses, some of whom where it is mearly a biproduct), some not human but still living, and so on. They will have a wide range of capabilities, intelligence, and culture. Let's call this broad class of beings [ghouls].

Each local area will treat their [ghouls] in an appropriate way. Likely, most cultures will treat [ghouls] with distaste or revultion, but some cultures might tolerate carrion eaters as long as they do their job and stay away from decent people. Some cultures could shunt various unpleasant jobs onto a [ghoul] population -- sewage removal is obvious, but possibly tanning, handling dead bodies, etc.

The fun comes in when cultures clash. Let's say a Humakti from Dragon Pass is traveling. She is used to a form of [ghoul] that wanders out of the Upland Marsh occasionally, and is essentially a ratehr smart and mobile zombie with a taste for dead, rather than living flesh. These creatures are more or less mindless and desecrate the dead and funeral rituals when they can. Huimakti hunt them down as a matter of course. Later she is off in some obscure part of the world and sees a group of hideous creatures in nasty rags eating a copse. Of course, she whips out her glowy sword and dispatches the things, not noticing that her anti-Undead magic doesn't go off at all. Later, she discovers that she has killed a person, a hereditary follower of the Little God of Carrion in the local area, and she is in trouble with the Headman of the area who wants to know who is going to clean out the refuse pits now and repay the damage that she has caused. Since, of course, the Little God of Carrion is a poor cousin of the Sun God and deserves to be honored in its rightful place. Talk your way out of that, Devotee Swing-First-Ask-Questions-Later!

Peter Larsen

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