Friday, September 8, 2017

Icier Ripples From G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl By Gary Gygax

The last time I ran G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl the PC's had been hired by hired by nobles to destroy the frost giants & I was already running 'The Old Solar System' setting 

I want to do some brief flying commentary on the giants of the Old Solar system setting. Fire & Ice giants are respectively some of the only technology & magic item producing races in the solar system. This is due to their enslavement of the maggot like children of Ymir, the dwarfs who toil under the yoke of the giants. Its very possible that these beings have produced the mutate human/ Dwarfs who we see hither there in the exoplanets out past Pluto. We've gotten hints about them in the Clark Ashton Smith Hyperborea Cycle of stories & other hints about them HP Lovecraft's Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath

Two dwarfs as depicted in a 19th-century edition of the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá (1895) by Lorenz Frølich.

In the Whisper In Darkness we get a good solid sort of  look at the Mi Go. But there's other far more interesting hints that HP Lovecraft puts forward in "Henry W. Akeley" Mi Go Public Relations campaign;

"As a beginning of this improved rapport, the Outer Ones have naturally chosen me—whose knowledge of them is already so considerable—as their primary interpreter on earth. Much was told me last night—facts of the most stupendous and vista-opening nature—and more will be subsequently communicated to me both orally and in writing. I shall not be called upon to make any trip outside just yet, though I shall probably wish to do so later on—employing special means and transcending everything which we have hitherto been accustomed to regard as human experience. My house will be besieged no longer. Everything has reverted to normal, and the dogs will have no further occupation. In place of terror I have been given a rich boon of knowledge and intellectual adventure which few other mortals have ever shared.
The Outer Beings are perhaps the most marvellous organic things in or beyond all space and time-members of a cosmos-wide race of which all other life-forms are merely degenerate variants. They are more vegetable than animal, if these terms can be applied to the sort of matter composing them, and have a somewhat fungoid structure; though the presence of a chlorophyll-like substance and a very singular nutritive system differentiate them altogether from true cormophytic fungi. Indeed, the type is composed of a form of matter totally alien to our part of space—with electrons having a wholly different vibration-rate. That is why the beings cannot be photographed on the ordinary camera films and plates of our known universe, even though our eyes can see them. With proper knowledge, however, any good chemist could make a photographic emulsion which would record their images.
The genus is unique in its ability to traverse the heatless and airless interstellar void in full corporeal form, and some of its variants cannot do this without mechanical aid or curious surgical transpositions. Only a few species have the ether-resisting wings characteristic of the Vermont variety. Those inhabiting certain remote peaks in the Old World were brought in other ways. Their external resemblance to animal life, and to the sort of structure we understand as material, is a matter of parallel evolution rather than of close kinship. Their brain-capacity exceeds that of any other surviving life-form, although the winged types of our hill country are by no means the most highly developed. Telepathy is their usual means of discourse, though we have rudimentary vocal organs which, after a slight operation (for surgery is an incredibly expert and everyday thing among them), can roughly duplicate the speech of such types of organism as still use speech.
Their main immediate abode is a still undiscovered and almost lightless planet at the very edge of our solar system—beyond Neptune, and the ninth in distance from the sun. It is, as we have inferred, the object mystically hinted at as "Yuggoth" in certain ancient and forbidden writings; and it will soon be the scene of a strange focussing of thought upon our world in an effort to facilitate mental rapport. I would not be surprised if astronomers become sufficiently sensitive to these thought-currents to discover Yuggoth when the Outer Ones wish them to do so. But Yuggoth, of course, is only the stepping-stone. The main body of the beings inhabits strangely organized abysses wholly beyond the utmost reach of any human imagination. The space-time globule which we recognize as the totality of all cosmic entity is only an atom in the genuine infinity which is theirs. And as much of this infinity as any human brain can hold is eventually to be opened up to me, as it has been to not more than fifty other men since the human race has existed."
So what does this have to do with the events of G1-2-3 Against the Giants? Well in G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl we can see some of the moves behind the throne of the Ice Giants &  their allies. But are we really seeing all of the goings on & politic of what are essentially alien beings? I think not. I believe what we're seeing here are the machinations of the ice giants & their patron
the White Sybil, & through her the Ice Worm.

I've said before that my own opinions & edits to G2 have parted ways with the official G2 very quickly when I ran it as a part of the second adventure in the 'Against the Giants'series of adventures. Now I've mentioned the Mi Go, The White Sybil, but how does the Ice Worm fit in the answer comes straight out of Wiki;

"As in Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, the bulk of this adventure takes place in two locations: an upper area consisting of caves and the rift floor, and a lower area consisting of natural caverns. In the upper area there are ice caves, barracks, and a dome of ice. These are inhabited by yeti, frost giants, ogres, and winter wolves. The dome of ice houses a remorhaz. In the lower area there are caverns that house the servants, serve as a prison, and contain the Jarl Grugnur and emissaries who have come to meet with him. The main inhabitants are frost giants and ogres."
The remorhaz is a monstrous servant of the Ice Worm & that thing is an Old One of the lowest orders. We get our answers to this in The Coming of the White Worm by Clark Ashton Smith; "

In much fear and wonder he descended and flung wide the portals. Before him were two men, or creatures who had the likeness of men. Both were strange of visage and bright-skinned, and they wore for mantles such rune-woven stuffs as wizards wear. The runes were uncouth and alien; but when the man bespoke him he understood something of their speech, which was in a dialect of the Hyperborean isles.
"We serve the One whose coming was foretold by the prophet Lith," they said. "From spaces beyond the limits of the north he hath come in his floating citadel, the ice-mountain Yikilth, to voyage the mundane oceans and to blast with a chill spendour the puny peoples of humankind. He hath spared us alone amid the inhabitants of the broad isle Thulask, and hath taken us to go with him in his sea-faring upon Yikilth. He hath tempered our flesh to the rigour of his abode, and hath made respirable for us the air in which no mortal man may draw breath. Thee also he hath spared and hath acclimated by his spells to the coldness and the thin ether that go everywhere with Yikilth. Hail, O Evagh, whom we know for a great wizard by this token: since only the mightiest of warlocks are thus chosen and exempted."
Sorely astonished was Evagh; but seeing that he had now to deal with men who were as himself, he questioned closely the two magicians of Thulask. They were named Dooni and Ux Loddhan, and were wise in the lore of the elder gods. The name of the One that they served was Rlim Shaikorth, and he dwelt in the highest summit of the ice-mountain. They told Evagh nothing of the nature or properties of Rlim Shaikorth; and concerning their own service to this being they avowed only that it consisted of such worship as is given to a god, together with the repudiation of all bonds that had linked them heretofore to mankind. And they told Evagh that he was to go with them before Rlim Shaikorth, and perform the due rite of obeisance, and accept the bond of final alienage." This also means that the frost giants depicted in G2 might be the lead in for an invasion  from another world & the various classic era monsters featured in the module might be siege forces for the Ice Worm and its cult. All of this is kicked off from the rise of the elemental cult.

But where does that leave the Drow who kicked this off? Well since we're accessing Clark Ashton Smith, the myrkálfar worship Atlach-Nacha whose daughter Loloth (Hyperborean spelling) might have kicked off events in the background of the Against the Giants series. We'll get into those when we cover the G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King

All of this ties back into the Leigh Brackett (ology)
by Blue Tyson  which goes into the whole timeline of Leigh Brackett's solar system including her take on Pluto and its out lying worlds. Basically whole cycles of history repeat back on themselves and the cults of the Old Solar system could see the rise and fall of the Hyperborean empire more then once. The cult of the Ice Worm ties into the fate of Hyperborea & Old Earth which is a vastly different place then the one we know today. More old school random tables tomorrow folks! 

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