Mythos and History
Gorakiki is the greatest and most well known of the daughters of Kropa the many-legged.
Born when the first appeared in the darkness, Gorakiki thrived in this time of endless food and safety. She bore many children, who each went out to find their own place in the world.
Kyger Litor, the mother of trolls, befriended Gorakiki, pledging her protection for what gifts Gorakiki could offer, and together the trolls and insects thrived, becoming the greatest in all of existence.
When the burner arrived, Gorakiki fled with her children, arriving on the surface world. Here she had more room to grow, and although food was never as bountiful, her children grew new methods to hunt and catch it.
She once again became allied with Kyger Litor, and together their children expanded, conquering the shadowed surface world, and becoming masters of all.
When the burner returned to the surface, Gorakiki hid in the trolls' caverns, only coming out during the dark of night, although some of her more adventurous children adapted to the new light, and becoming fearless warriors.
Nature of the Cult
Gorakiki is the mother of all insects, the most successful of all creatures of darkness. As such her cult is found across all of Glorantha, even when it is not obvious.
While small bands of Hsunchen worship some of her aspects, and humans and elves sacrifice to Gorakiki to ward off her children, the most infamous worshipers of the Insect Mother are the trolls. To them, she is both provider and protector, even as they provide and protect her children.
Gorakiki is present in all depictions of insects. Among the trolls, her totems often resemble piles of refuse made from discarded carapaces and mandibles of their local totem.
Particular Likes and Dislikes
Gorakiki has few friends, and even fewer enemies, for she cares most about food and shelter, and ignores those who do not trouble her. Any who offer her tribute will be looked on with kindness though, and Gorakiki is willing to share her gifts with those who have helped her.
Among her worshipers, the cult of Argan Argar is often a convenient source of allies, for the nests of the insect mother produce many valuable creatures and resources which the Argan Argari are eager to trade for.
Cult Organization and Holy Places
Gorakiki's cult is spread out into many self-sufficient nests (Shrines of Gorakiki) and spirit societies. There is little inter-shrine communication, even between those of the same society, and rivalries are common within different nests within the same community.
A nest is devoted to breeding, caring, and aiding one of Gorakiki's children, and deep within them lie the actual breeding chambers, the most sacred place within each nest, and where the most powerful and dangerous rites of the Insect Mother are performed.
Each nest is divided into two groups, the workers and the guardians, each is led by an Imago, a Shaman of Gorakiki, and therefore each nest must have at least two shamans to remain sanctified, and both shamans must remain united in purpose, even if they do not care for one another personally.
The cult holds special rites on the Freezeday of each season's Fertility week, celebrating the emergence of new insects, or their progression to a new stage of life. During Dark season, these rites are especially frenzied, and few trolls will approach the cult's nests during this time.
The Gorakiki Tradition
- Any hero with the Beast Rune has the potential to join the Gorakiki Tradition, although only among trolls and the strange insect people of Jrustela is this common. To join, you must convince an Imago (a shaman of Gorakiki) to initiate you into the tradition.
- For game purposes, any hero with a Beast Rune can join the Gorakiki Tradition at the same rating as their Beast Rune. Simply add Kyger Litor Tradition (Darkness, Beast) keyword after the Beast Rune.
- When joining the Gorakiki Tradition, you receive a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the Gorakiki Tradition typically include Climb Wall, Deadly Bite, Find Prey, Hide From Light, Kill Plant, Make Chitin Weapon, and Speak with Insects.
- In addition, when joining the Gorakiki Tradition, heroes must choose a spirit society to belong to. This spirit society follows the rules found in HeroQuest page 113.
The Beetle was the first of Gorakiki's children, and has almost as many children as her mother. In the darkness of Wonderhome, Beetle provided food and protection to the trolls, and was fed and nurtured by them in turn. Even today beetle shells are the most common material for troll arts and armour, for they are far more common than lead, and do not require heat to work.
- Carapace. Slumbering beneath the troll's skin, when awoken these spirits thicken the skin into a hard black and shiny shell, acting as a charm of Grow Carapace. The Taboo of this charm is Protect Others.
- Many Arms. These spirits rest in the arms of the troll, and act as a charm of Grow Extra Arms, sprouting them from their sides when activated. The Taboo of this charm is Never Refuse to Help.
- Sprout Weapon. These are spirits of many different kinds, but all inhabit the head of the troll. When awoken, these spirits act as a Sprout Weaponry From Head charm, allowing the troll to grow large horns, antlers, beaks, or shovel-like projections of carapace, turning their own face into a weapon. The Taboo of this charm is Never Retreat.
Gorakiki birthed the Locust mother after the exodus from Wonderhome, when food became scarce for the first time. The Locust mother and her children (including grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids) spread across all of Glorantha, eating anything and everything they could find in a massive swarming horde. It took the combined forces of the trolls and their enemies to kill and eat much of this horde, and even today the worshipers of the Locust mother follow and feast upon their totem, in contrast to other members of the tradition.
- Insect Song. This spirit rests within the bones of the troll, when flexed the troll can create a deafening creaking noise, acting as a charm of Communicate Long Distances. This communication is not understandable to those who do not worship the Locust mother. The Taboo of this charm is Never Prevent Music From Playing.
- Leaping Legs. Sleeping within the legs of the troll, when awoken, these spirits act as a charms of jumping and leaping. The Taboo of these charms is Never Sleep in the Same Place Twice.
- Ravenous Jaws. This spirit inhabits the jaw of the troll and provide charms of hunger, eating, chewing and biting. The Taboo of these charms is Never Refuse Food.
Gorakiki-MothThe Moth mother is one of the most favoured of all Gorakiki cults, for their fur is pleasing to the darksense of trolls, and they hate the Burner as much as trolls for driving them into hiding.
When the burner returned to the sky, one of the moth mother's daughters stood unafraid of his light, alone amongst her siblings. While her sisters and brothers fled to the safety of the night, she clad herself with warpaint and became the warrior mother of butterflies.
- Butterflight. These spirits dwell within the troll's back, hiding peacefully until awoken. Then they spread a pair of wings, either a plain white, or covered in bright colours, these wings act as a charm of Winged Flight. The Taboo of this charm is Never Hide from Enemies.
- Featherscales. Acting as a charm of Make Weapon Harmless, these spirits release clouds of feathery scales to gum, up enemy weapons. The Taboo of this charm is Use No Cutting Weapons.
- Feelers. Dwelling within the skull of the troll, when awoken they sprout a pair of large antennae, and become sensitive to movement. These act as a charm of Detect Enemies. The Taboo of this charm is Never Ally With Creatures of Light.
AraneaUnlike most of Gorakiki's spirit societies, Areana is not one of her children. Instead the great spider spirit is Gorakiki's elder sister and the two are often rivals for food and other resources.
Aranea is often seen as a mystical goddess, for during the darkness she met with the great goddess Arachne Solara, and the two bonded over their shared connections. From this gave rise to Arenea's power over the fate of all things.
- Spider Fangs. These Spider spirits inhabit the teeth of the troll, and drip foul liquids. They provide the charm Agonizing Bite. The Taboo of this charm is Feed Any Hungry Spider they meet.
- Many Legs. These spirits dwell within the troll's legs, and when awoken turn the troll's limbs into several horrifying legs like a spider, providing charms of freedom of movement, clinging to walls, and skittering movement. The Taboo of these charms is Never Harm A Spider.
- Webbing. These spirits inhabit bundles of spider silk, providing charms of Throw Entangling Webs. The Taboo of this charm is Never Interfere With Prophecy.
Krolar was the younger brother of Gorakiki, born into hell when it was ruled by the evil Burner, and protecting the last remaining darkness there along side his twin. When Chaos emerged, Krolar's twin was devoured, and Krolar left the darkness (for it has gained other protectors) to search for a weapon to slay the Chaos.
Krolar found this with Zorak Zoran, the god of hate, who gave Krolar a spear of death, and armour of lead, and two claws of agony. Krolar confronted the Chaos thing, killed its children and drove it off to hide. Krolar is now worshiped by some trolls as a fearsome patron, who fears neither death nor Chaos.
- Chitin. These spirits live in scars upon the troll's thick hide. When the spirits are awoken they provide the charm of Leaden Skin. The Taboo of this charm is Never Flee Chaos.
- Jabbers. These spirits dwell within the trolls hands, and provide the Grow Claws charm. The Taboo of this charm is Never Harm a Scorpion.
- Scorpion Tail. This spirit dwells within the troll's back, and provides the charm of Grow Deadly Tail. The Taboo of this charm is Never Use Antidote.
Imagoes - Gorakiki Shamans
- Those worshipers of Gorakiki with at least two years of experience, and a Gorakiki Tradition rating of 11W or Higher may undergo a ritual to become an Imago, a shaman of Gorakiki.
- The prospective shaman is led underground, to the secret nests of their spirit society, where they are placed among their totem insects. The insects cover the troll completely, until not an inch of skin can be seen, and send the worshiper to meet Gorakiki herself. If Gorakiki recognizes their kinship (a major plot obstacle), the worshiper is then able to rebirth herself as a fully adult member of Gorakiki's tradition, awakening their fetch, and becoming known as an Imago.
The FetchMembers of the Gorakiki tradition see the Imago's fetch as their true form, a giant insect or other arthropod the size of the shaman. As well as performing all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114) the Imago may become one with it at will, becoming a gigantic insect creature in the surface world.