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Friday, 3 July 2020

Jonstown Jottings #23: Petty Spirits

Much like the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, the  Jonstown Compendium is a curated platform for user-made content, but for material set in Greg Stafford’s mythic universe of Glorantha. It enables creators to sell their own original content for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and HeroQuest Glorantha (Questworlds). This can include original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, details of NPCs and monsters, and so on, but none of this content should be considered to be ‘canon’, but rather fall under ‘Your Glorantha Will Vary’. This means that there is still scope for the authors to create interesting and useful content that others can bring to their Glorantha-set campaigns.

What is it?
Monster of the Month #6: Petty Spirits presents four minor spirits for use with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

It is an eight-page, full colour, 911.74 KB PDF.

Monster of the Month #6: Petty Spirits is well presented and decently written.

Where is it set?
The four petty spirits may be found almost anywhere in Dragon Pass, although some may not be found in the Praxian Wastes.

Who do you play?
Shamans, farmers, and redsmiths will be interested in some of these spirits.

What do you need?
Monster of the Month #6: Petty Spirits requires both RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and RuneQuest – Glorantha Bestiary

What do you get?
Monster of the Month #6: Petty Spirits presents four different, minor spirits which can annoy, interact with, or even be used by the Player Characters. The four are Bronzebiters, Lily’s Eyes,Premonitions, and Seed-Eaters. Each is broken down to cover its ecology and both superstitions and rites related to it, as well as stats.

Bronzebiters are red mouths with black teeth which devour the bones of Air and Storm gods—or bronze. When they attack bronze, it appears pitted and discoloured, or diseased. They are a nuisance, but also a warning to oil, polish, and maintain a weapon. They cannot enter a space sacred to Gustbran, the god of redsmiths, and Praxian shamans will bind them and send them against enemy tribes.

Lily’s Eye spirits are flowers with tiny eyes which grow in the Spirit World before they manifest and grow in the Middle Realm—especially in wild, fertile areas. Oddly, Aldryami consider them to be spies, as do Orlanthi. Lily’s Eye spirits can be plucked, their magical properties being highly valued by shamans and alchemists.

Premonitions are manifestations of the Movement Rune which carry a glimpse of the future from the far Outer Regions of the Spirit World, where boundaries grow vague, and Eternity draws near.

Seed-Eaters are small rural Darkness spirits with long snouts used to rummage through the furrow of plowed fields, plucking up and eating seeds. They like spiritual foods linked to Chaos—strife, disease, and hate. Despite this, they are associated with Mallia, the Goddess of Disease.

On one level, these are four inconsequential spirits which the heroes should not be bothering themselves with, but on another there is scope with each one to add flavour or detail to an adventure or scenario. The presence of Seed-Eaters might suggest the influence of Mallia and thus work as a clue, but the passing of the seasons could be indicated by the annual ceremony to win their favour. Similarly, Red Mouths might be a simple annoyance, but perhaps be the indication of an attack by the shaman from a rival tribe. 

Is it worth your time?
Yes. Monster of the Month #6: Petty Spirits gives the Game Master four interesting spirits that can be used to add small, flavoursome details, and serve as clues, challenges, and so on.
No. Monster of the Month #6: Petty Spirits consists of details too small to really bother about—especially if the Player Characters lack a shaman.
Maybe. Monster of the Month #6: Petty Spirits are mostly colour, mostly the small details, and some of the four are easier to use than others. 

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