Monday, 11 January 2016


Inspired by discussion on the Glorantha Google+ page here

Gold and Carnelian broach depicting the Red Goddess.
The term Moonstone is used within Glorantha to refer to a wide variety of objects. From the nearly mundane pieces of sard and onyx used as jewellery by the lesser nobility of Peloria, to the myriad charms used by the unkindled lunar worshippers, the term can refer to almost any stone; although usually only those of red, black, white, and blue are considered truly sacred.
However, these moonstones are pale reflections of true Moonstones, just as spirits and spells are pale reflections of the true magic of the Red Goddess.
True Moonstones are said to have come from the Red Moon itself, and can take nearly any form or substance; making it easier to understand how the lesser or false moonstones could be mistaken for the real thing.

What sets them apart is their power. Each Moonstone seems to glow with the light of the Red Goddess in one of her seven phases, even those associated with the dying or black moons shine a contradictory bright shadow. Lunars who have kindled their Moon Rune find this spiritual radiance calming, and those who have been crazed by Occlusion can find their madness quieted when in its presence. The Orlanthi claim to find the glow of a Moonstone irritating, and attribute this to the Moon's Chaotic nature. At least one instance of kinstrife has been blamed on poisoning by powdered Moonstone.

The effects of Moonstones have been well attested, if not well understood:
  • The Moonstone may be used to summon a Lune, much as a shade can be summoned from a pool of darkness, or a campfire can be used to give birth to a salamander. The stone will typically crumble after use, or at least be lessened by the summoning.
  • The Moonstone can be used to to craft a Glamour as if the Moon was full. The Moonstone can only be used a few times for this purpose before it crumbles to dust.
  • Even those whose Moon Runes are not kindled can use a Moonstone to create an Evocation based upon the phase of the Moon the Moonstone is associated with. The Moonstone is always consumed by this. Regardless of the phase of the moon, this is always a stretch.

Natural Moonstone prism.
What only the most Illuminated understand about the Moonstones, is that they are not truly real.

Each Moonstone is a fragment of the Red Moon's power, substantiated in Glorantha. They are solidified Lunar magic, a Glamour made manifest. As such, they can be unwoven from their material shape, and used to shape Glamours. When used to summon a Lune, the Moonstone is instead rewoven into the form of a Lune, and some say that Lunes can be turned into Moonstones in turn.

Because Moonstones are a form of Glamour, Moonstones can be created by powerful magicians, such as the Crater Makers.  The making of Moonstones is an exhaustive process, and even then the Moonstone is lesser than those created by the Goddess and her attendants, and will fade eventually.

This of course, leads to a further revelation. As Moonstones are made from the same substance as the Red Moon, and as Moonstones are a form of Glamour; the Red Moon itself is a Great Glamour, woven by the Red Goddess to be her footstool when she ascended. This is why it waxes and wanes with the Lunar cycle, not as its cause, but as its symptom. The Goddess Rufelza, seen as the material aspect of the Red Goddess, can also be seen as the Lune manifested as the Red Moon.

Blue Moonstones
Blue Moonstones, also known as Dead Moonstones are superficially similar to normal Moonstones. They give off a spiritual light and are connected to the ancient Blue Moon of the gods age. Despite the name, Blue Moonstones are rarely blue, instead being a dull grey. It is only when viewed with magical senses, that the deep blue light they give off becomes visible.

Unlike regular Moonstones, Blue Moonstones cannot be used to create Evocations, nor can they aid the creation of other forms of Glamour.
Instead of a Lune, a Blue Moonstone may be used to summon a Selene, also known as a Dead Elemental. These spirits are invisible to normal vision, but are all too real when they engulf their victim. Those unfortunate enough to be swallowed by a Selene slowly has their soul unravelled. Their fire goes out, their breath becomes shallow, their body becomes withered and frail.
They can only take form from the invisible light of a Blue Moonstone, making them thankfully rare.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for updating, hope you're doing better/feeling post-slump.