Question From DAVID CAKE. Answer by Greg Stafford. Originally published March 1998.
Q: I’ve heard about all sorts of blue people. I’ve heard of the Veldang, the blue Vadeli, Pelorian blues, blue waertagi in Sog City, and other blue people. I’ve even heard it said that the Zamokil Veldang and the Fonrit Veldang are the same race as the Loper people and the blue people of Peloria. I’ve also heard it said that some of the blue people of Peloria live underneath the water and aren’t completely human, while others seem to be human enough. So, who are all these blue people?
A: Several blue-skinned peoples exist in Glorantha, because not everyone with blue skin is closely related. Blue is the color of the Water element, and people who have blue skin are usually those who are descendants of the ancient Water Deities. Being blue shows that these people have more water in their physical makeup than all of the other elements combined. (All beings made from the Man Rune are composed of multiple elements). However, since they’re just mortal races they all manifest different aspects of the “watery blue power,” so they are quite different peoples.
The Blue People of Peloria are the simplest to explain. They are the collective water entities which attempted to reclaim the earth after Yelm died. Their invasion is part of the Great Flood which is noted in many Genertelan mythologies. Some of those beings were humans, being “water humans” in the way that uz are “darkness humans.” They were defeated by Bisos and others, and the blue human beings were driven out, away, or down under the waters of the Sweet Sea and Lake Oronin, where their other blue kin live. Castle Blue is a remnant of these beings, whose last blue skinned humans were killed by the Red Goddess.
The Veldang of Pamaltela are another part of that invasion. They are descendants of the ancient Artmali. Artmal called his mother Vendara, who was one of several Blue Moon goddesses. She rose after Yelm died and was very prominent when Artmal and his people descended by boat from the moon to during the watery part of the early Storm Age. The Artmali settled first in south Pamaltela and eventually covered much of the southern hemisquare, with colonies around the base of the Spike. Their “blue powers” were less associated with water than with the related powers of fluidity and growth. They were ruined by the Storm Age, and when their gods died their civilization collapsed. Pamalt’s peoples gained the upper hand and the Artmali were separated into groups with their varying fates.
The Loper Folk (named after their riding beasts) are originally of this race, and travelled to Genertela before the Spike exploded. (Lopers are extinct in Pamaltela now, rare in Genertela).
Waertagi are creatures of the sea, as seen by their color and close relation to the denizens of the deep. (They didn’t have to fight those mile-long sea dragons whose bodies they live in!) They are descendants of **. They come in two colors, green or blue, depending upon the measure of the earth and water in their bodies. Most are a mixture, not distinctly either color. Rare individuals are known — they’re hard to miss when you see them.
Blue Vadeli are one social class of the Vadeli race. The Vadeli of the Storm Age were incredibly powerful sorcerers who performed several terrible actions in their efforts to take over the world. (Brithos is fortunate that the Vadeli fought each other as much as outsiders.) Some of them essentially fused their beings with the parts of the world so that they could exploit them more easily. After Zzabur sank their land the Vadeli survivors sorted themselves out to their current social order. The blue Vadeli had some boats. The blueness of these Vadeli is a cyanotic blue, like a corpse.
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