Weak Horrors

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Scherme
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Weak Horrors

Post by Scherme » Thu May 23, 2019 6:02 pm

I have been diving into source material and came upon this:
If we accept Jaron's hypothesis as accurate, we can conclude that the Horrors come from a magic-rich netherworld whose landscape thankfully remains unimaginable and inaccessible to Name-givers. The question then immediately arises: why do the Horrors leave their home plane to wreak havoc in our world? If we presuppose that the Horrors have all the magical energies and anything else they can possible want in their netherworld, then this question can have no answer. However, all too many Horrors appear eager to bridge the gap between the astral and physical realms to feast upon our land. Any Barsaivian who glances out his window at the still-scarred landscape, or listens to family stories about our forebears' time in the kaers knows the truth of this. Therefore, we can only conclude that the Horrors want or need something our world has to offer.
ED1 - Horrors pg7
Their theory seems to suggest that the Horrors that stepped from their astral home into the physical world made up a majority or at least a large portion of the entire Horror populace. I venture to imagine that not every Horror even made the journey to the barrier between the worlds.
According to Jaron, the Horrors' native lands lie somewhere in the deepest (or perhaps furthest) reaches of the astral plane. ED1 - Horrors pg6
I would argue that the native Horror realm contains the necessary resources for them to thrive, but within that world there is competition. The strongest of them have an easier time obtaining those resources. The weakening of the barrier between worlds, allows the most opportunistic among Horrors to breach the gap and make their way into the physical world. Their opportunistic nature is what has allowed them to survive in their world alongside superior Horrors. This world allows them access to those resources with less competition... for now.

My argument is based on the comparison of Horrors to my knowledge of real-life, which is probably a mistake.

Conclusion: I know we usually play in a world with a stagnant but relatively low level of magic, meaning that the majority of the more powerful Horrors (of the ones that made the transition) find it impossible to remain. The purpose of expressing my theory was simply to suggest that the Horrors that ravaged the world during the scourge, which we think of as fearsome and powerful, are actually the weaklings of the netherworld.

I am expecting to find out that my theory was either covered or squelched by other source material I have yet to thoroughly read. Just fun to think about.

JetBlackJoe
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by JetBlackJoe » Thu May 23, 2019 6:34 pm

With Icewing describing Verjigorm as something akin to the creator of the world in Horrors p. 66, he certainly is as powerful as they come - and thus a useful thing to measure the rest of them against.
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Scherme
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by Scherme » Thu May 23, 2019 8:18 pm

My theory is a stretch for sure and indeed Verjigorm is powerful. My thoughts were of what is actually true as opposed to legends and tales spun by Dragons or Name-givers. Icewing, son of All-Wings, daughter of Dayheart, spawn of Nightslayer, spawn of Verjigorm. There is a disconnect between the stories and lore held by dragons and the truth.
The story tells of lands untouched by Verjigorm, I don't believe the world was its to create. - cherry picked lol

The caveat to my take on the facts is that Verjigorm is the most powerful Horror that the physical world has experienced, the most fearsome Horror dragons and other Name-givers alike are aware of. Whom may have even been the origin of those Name-givers.

but! is Verjigorm actually THE most powerful horror?

Horrors- Page 69
Game Information
Verjigorm, the Great
Hunter, is perhaps the most
powerful and feared Horror in
the Earthdawn universe.
perhaps?

Yeah probably. :D

That "perhaps" occurs a couple times when describing Verjigorms power, as was probably only added so developers were not forced to contradict it if there were ever plans to make a more powerful Horror.

lanir
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by lanir » Fri May 24, 2019 2:24 am

Stories can always be wrong.

But stories in Earthdawn can help build a legend. Verjigorm certainly has one. He wasn't even present this time around but the dragons are still so freaked out about him that they swap tales.

The background story for why Horrors are here has apparently changed over time but I haven't kept up with it. Originally they wanted to strongly hint at but not outright say that some insect spirits had caused the Scourge to happen multiple times to weaken the planet so they could take over. The Horrors were just shock troops that were manipulated (not that they minded the free meal). I think they later removed the insect spirits and their invasion but I'm not aware of them actually replacing that story with anything else.

Personally, due to the nature of how they feed and the swarms that came to Barsaive, I think they might be starved on the other side. When someone feels emotional pain or terror for long enough, there's a measure of jadedness that can occur. And yes, the intelligent Horrors are certainly capable of pushing boundaries and breaking someone more than once if they start to get this way, but even with that there's a limit. You can't be raised in an awful environment where these sorts of things are going on without being partially affected by it, so that cuts out some of what the Horrors could feed on before they even start. Essentially they sound like they actually need untouched populations in order for the more intelligent variety to actually feed.

If you really want to mess with your player's heads, especially if they're already familiar with the Earthdawn setting, you could always start linking the Passions and the Horrors. According to the published story they're both all about the emotions of Namegivers. One specializes in devotion, the other pain and terror. Where you can go with that... well, what if a Passion is just what a really well fed Horror looks like? What happens then if the Mad Passions start to dip below a certain threshold? What happens if the Horror Hunter or Verjigorm get a cult of true believers? Maybe back home, the Horrors and the Passions used to be far more balanced but somehow the Passions made off with all the food/energy, evolved, and ran off to other worlds. The Horrors are just chasing them down every chance they get (and having an effect on some, such as the Mad Passions) and all the Namegivers are just yummy distractions? I doubt that theory will ever make it into a published product but the Horrors and Passions are both mysterious enough and have few enough details printed about what they are and how they work that I don't think there's anything contradicting it.

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Mataxes
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by Mataxes » Fri May 24, 2019 4:10 am

lanir wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 2:24 am
If you really want to mess with your player's heads, especially if they're already familiar with the Earthdawn setting, you could always start linking the Passions and the Horrors...

I doubt that theory will ever make it into a published product but the Horrors and Passions are both mysterious enough and have few enough details printed about what they are and how they work that I don't think there's anything contradicting it.
Check out the recently released Questors sourcebook, pages 15-16. The section entitled "Motives".
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Scherme
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by Scherme » Fri May 24, 2019 1:20 pm

lanir wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 2:24 am
well, what if a Passion is just what a really well fed Horror looks like? What happens then if the Mad Passions start to dip below a certain threshold? What happens if the Horror Hunter or Verjigorm get a cult of true believers? Maybe back home, the Horrors and the Passions used to be far more balanced but somehow the Passions made off with all the food/energy, evolved, and ran off to other worlds. The Horrors are just chasing them down every chance they get (and having an effect on some, such as the Mad Passions) and all the Namegivers are just yummy distractions?
I can't even handle these concepts lol. My first ED game was almost 20 years ago with first edition, and I have played on and off since, most recently with 3E and I still don't know ANYTHING.

The Passions were never a part of our campaigns in any big way, but I hope now that I plan to run my own games, I do not allow my limitations to limit my players. Which is why I have been diving head first into source material. I am mechanics oriented when it comes to playing, it is just how my brain works but I am looking to change that and provide story.
Mataxes wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 4:10 am
Check out the recently released Questors sourcebook, pages 15-16. The section entitled "Motives".
I cannot wait to get my hands on 4E. I am expecting my first child in a few months so I have set up a pretty strict budget, but it allows me to buy 1 book a month starting next month. I finished the "Live from Barsaive" podcast and I am current with "Legends of Earthdawn" so these forums are getting a good combing now.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri May 24, 2019 3:56 pm

This thread is a-maz-ing.

Lursi
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by Lursi » Sat May 25, 2019 1:35 pm

So horrors coming to our world and ravaging across the lands are just victims of stronger horrors in their own sphere?

Thats a nice one. A stranded horror mother with her little horror child fleeing into our sphere to finally feed it properly.
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

Avanti
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by Avanti » Wed May 29, 2019 3:43 pm

The theory that passions are horrors, only different, is mentioned in passing in the Questors book but it also leaped at me.
This indeed opens many possibilities. Questors are actually horror-marked and get the powers via that mark, it only happens that the emotions they gather are on the positive side rather then the unpleasant type :) this can imply they come from the same astral plane but are different species - mabye opposed to each other? One is more like a symbiotic type (passions) the other parasite like (horrors)?

Which also allows some space to introduce yet another type of being - something akin to gods. Beings that feed off energy released when a namegiver dies provided that Namegiver believes (or WILLs it) their pattern will go to their god at the time of death. e.g. true believers. So such Beings would devote their time & effort into making as many believers as possible so they can thrive on their souls... Food for thought here.

Back to the Horrors - we know so little about their origin, any speculation is possible. Let's think of horrors as us humans on earth. In a not-so-distant future we will destroy our planet. It will still sustain life yes, but it will be a miserable place. At that point, terra-forming another planet looks like a good idea, right? So we will look for planets suitable for us, preferably with atmosphere good for breathing and temperatures that would not kill us outright. Horrors might be doing the same - but instead of a planet - another plane of the nether-space, instead of temperature they look for high enough magic level, instead of atmosphere - proper potential for emotion etc.

debney
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Re: Weak Horrors

Post by debney » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:18 am

Slimcreeper wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:56 pm
This thread is a-maz-ing.
Agree!
Most of my friends think I'm crazy. They say I have to find a real job instead of voting for online casino book of ra winner. I don't really care about em.

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