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The Brithini are the most ancient and conservative human culture in Glorantha. All Brithini are immortal, so long as they perfectly maintain their ancient strictures, but if a Brithini should ever violate his caste restrictions, he would begin to age and become mortal. Fearing the taint of alien philosophies, they segregate themselves from the rest of humanity.
The stubborn Brithini reject everything that is not part of their ancient way: they are amoral atheists who do not believe in an afterlife, recognise the power of the Saints, or worship the Invisible God. They pay no heed to the Law of Malkion, and Tap without restraint. Nevertheless, the Brithini claim to be the most ancient and perfect followers of Malkion.
Brithini Sorcerers are the most famous magicians of the world, as they have had Ages to perfect their mastery of the arcane arts. It is claimed that Zzabur, the Sorcerer Supreme, has destroyed continents and changed the course of History.
Malkion and Hrestol were of the Brithini race, as were their first converts. They were exiled from Brithos for their faith in the Prophets. Those Brithini who preferred rigid, impersonal Logic to the optimistic doctrines of Solace and Joy through Faith are by nature xenophobic, grim and conservative; they obstinately reject the salvation offered by the Prophets. Today, the only extant Brithini colony is Arolanit, a gray and joyless land to the west of Seshnela. The famous Brass City of Sog is still ruled by them. Other small colonies of Brithini are scattered across the coastal regions of the world. The Brithini are a dying breed.
The Waertagi claim to be descended from the bastard son of Malkion the Founder and a mermaid. Their mixed ancestry reveals itself through their green or blue skins and webbed fingers and toes; they also display a natural affinity for the sea and other waters.
They ruled the oceans in the Dawn Age, when almost all sea traffic was carried in their great city-ships, formed from the living bodies of vast sea dragons. They were good friends of the Brithini and Malkioni, ferrying them across the oceans to colonise the coasts of Seshnela, Fronela and Jrustela.
The Waertagi were tolerated by the Brithini, despite the way they apparently bastardised the religion of the Invisible God to include reverence for their immortal merman ancestors and various spirits of the waves and the depths.
The sea-going Waertagi were shattered by the God Learners in the early Second Age. They returned in force centuries later to destroy Jrustela, but were then swept from the seas by Zzabur's great curse of the Closing. Only a few scattered colonies remain, mostly at ancient dock-sites dotted around the coasts of the West; the native greenskins of Sog City are the most famous example.
The Vadeli are ancient enemies of the Brithini. They are a wholly vile race of sly, devious atheists who cheat, steal and blaspheme, utterly corrupt and beyond all hope of redemption. Unlike the Brithini, they do not even pretend to acknowledge the Laws of Malkion.
There used to be three Vadeli races: Brown, Red, and Blue. In the Ice Age, Zzabur's magic sank their foul lands, wiping out all but a few forlorn Brown Vadeli fishermen on a tiny archipelago.
With the Opening of the Oceans, volcanic islands holding monstrous Red Vadeli warriors have appeared, seemingly from nowhere. Worse still, by cozening Dormal's secrets the Vadeli have become a major naval power. Now the Brown Vadeli unfairly command the sea lanes to Pamaltela, relying on their Red cousins to act as corsairs and drive off competitors. They are grotesquely rich, and can charge extortionate prices for those rare goods of which they are the sole suppliers. Fortunately, the ruling race of Blue Vadeli has been extinct since before the Dawn of Time.
Like the Brithini, the Vadeli are immortal so long as they obey their caste rules - though it is well known that these involve incest, promiscuity, murder, and all manner of unnatural acts. To avoid civil strife, the Vadeli are confined to ghettoes in all the Western port cities where their presence must sadly be tolerated.
|Glorantha, HeroQuest, Hero Wars, and Issaries are trademarks of Issaries, Inc. The contents of this page are copyright by Nick Brooke , 2001; any material derived from Greg Stafford's world of Glorantha is also copyright by Greg Stafford. Glorantha is the creation of Greg Stafford, and is used with his permission.|