Monday, April 18, 2016

#19 - Hyperboreans & Gla'aki


Hyperboreans were a great race, predating mankind. They lived in Hyperborea—which is now known as Greenland—until the coming of the ice age. Physically, they are practically human, though they tend to be slightly smaller (40-70 SIZ compared to humans' 40-90) and have long earlobes.

In the RPG...

I knew nothing of Hyperborea or its peoples until researching this blog, and since have come to like the creatures that originate from there, namely the Serpent People, Voors, and Voormis. The Hyperboreans, however, are essentially human, so don't interest me as much. I've not read any of the source material, but all the artwork I've seen depicts them in a Norse fantasy style—such as that of Marvel's Thor, or the Skyrim video game—which has never been my thing either. However, the Malleus Monstrorum states that the surviving Hyperborean descendants live as "primatives", so would serve the same narrative roll as Tcho-Tcho, and like them, I imagine it's possible there are even some that have been civilised and live amongst us.

In a video game...

If I were to include Hyperboreans in a video game, I would probably send the player back to their heyday via Daoloth or other means, or at the least bring some of them to our time, as I don't think the "primatives" would be of much value.

In a film...

As I said above, I'm not the biggest Norse fantasy fan, so a film set in Hyperborea would not interest me that much. Though having said that, I have seen the Thor films and played Skyrim, so if such a film was made there's a good chance I would still go and see it.


Gla'aki—or Glaaki—is a giant slug with spines made of metal that lives in a lake in England. If poisoned by one of its spikes, a person will become Gla'aki's servant... and also a zombie.

In the RPG...

Gla'aki has been one of my favourite mythos deities ever since I read the scenario included in the 7th edition rulebook. I even went so far as to track down the source material to read. Anyway, what makes Gla'aki interesting in the game is that he can turn people into undead slaves, though they still retain their personality, making them different to regular zombies. He does this with his spines, which contain a special toxin. To make things even more interesting, there are four different outcomes from this attack: 1) If the spine kills the victim and injects the toxin, they become an undead slave as mentioned above; 2) If the spine kills the victim but they manage to break it off during the same round—the spine itself has 4 armour and 6 hit-points—then they simply die; 3) If the spine fails to kill—there's a 64% chance the damage will be less than 18—but the toxin is still released, then the victim becomes an undead horror, though not subject to Gla'aki's will; and 4) If it fails to kill and the victim manages to break the spine off, then they remain human. It should also be mentioned that Gla'aki himself is one tough cookie. With 40-point armour, it would take 2 shots from a tank to even take him out.

In a video game...

Being so tough, I doubt Gla'aki would make for a good enemy, though his servants would. When first turned, they look and behave no different than they did before—except for the massive wound in their chest—so could pass as regular citizens. It's not until later that they start to decay and appear more zombie-like. The only caveat would be that Gla'aki cannot move far from his lake, so this would need to be worked around somehow if a different location was desired.

In a film...

As I mentioned above, Gla'aki is a favourite of mine, and I'd love to see Ramsey Campbell's The Inhabitant of the Lake adapted to film.

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