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davecake

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davecake last won the day on February 14

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  • Lhankor Mhy

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  • RPG Biography
    been playing RuneQuest in some form off and one since the mid-80s, been a fanatic Glorantha fan for the same length of time. Also play many other RPGs.
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    Mostly Glorantha, in all its forms.
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    Perth, Australia
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    Lhankor Mhy Sage according to MOB. Or is it Irripi Ontor?

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  1. Perfectly true. The Illuminates will tell you that Truth and Illusion are not truly opposites.
  2. But it does not teach that. It teaches that Chaos is not always to be feared.
  3. I definitely don’t share this feeling. We’ve known the Praxians, a very anti-Chaos culture, will use broo as mercenaries. A temporary alliance with Chaotic beings for pragmatic reasons does not seem to make you Chaotic. I think Chaotic taint is a personal thing from personal acts.
  4. Just noting that the opposite of is of course, and one of the few deities associated with the Fate rune is Artmal. And in the Pamaltelan myth cycle, the two contrasting styles of leadership (corresponding to Yelm and Orlanth in the North) are Artmal and Pamalt (though we don’t really have the Artmal side of the story). I’ve kind of taken this to imply the Artmali have a strong emphasis on prophecy (and the deep secrets of Annilla etc) and in their version the good ruler knows the deep magic secrets unknown to others. The imagery probably isn’t seen as Arachne Solara’s web, but two interlocking Truth runes - the Truth of the world that is known, and the secret Truth of the world to come. This contrasts to Pamalt, whose rulership is consensus building, so his Truth is not hidden but shared, it is the Truth of the eternal present of us together, and is discovered not by prophecy but by asking others their Truth. So Pamalt is by contrast associated with Luck, but Power (three legs not two) is more than luck, by bringing everyone into the consensus/ the Necklace, Luck ceases to control us, because bad luck for one of us is good luck for another. Not that Arachne Solara’s web should be unknown in Pamaltela, but it seems not to be as known. We know the Sunstop is a big deal there too. And there are Aranea worshippers there, but AFAIK not the spooky special Cragspider kind, just spider fans.
  5. I think most Gloranthans will believe that a Storm Bull is very dedicated to the destruction of Chaos, and I think most would presume that a Storm Bulls motivations are valid. But they are also generally not presumed to be smart, deep thinkers, so while people might presume the Storm Bulls senses are probably correct, that doesn’t mean they are going to presume the Storm Bulls advice about what to do in response is going to be followed.
  6. My general take on this issue is that in general deities and the religions that follow them are quite different things and can diverge, that humans understand this poorly, that thinking of deities either as acting distinct entities with a ‘self’ with a unitary nature and well defined borders is how this misunderstanding generally (but not exclusively) manifests itself, and this is natural to the human psyche (and so is manifested by both players and Gloranthans). Divine revelation and spiritual experiences either don’t just add more confusion, or to the extent that they provide profound insight are not directly communicable (and hello Illumination). I think Elmal and Yelmalio, and others, as essentially the same divine entity is true. But I think RQG overstates the extent to which this means this is obviously taken as proving Yelmalio is more ‘true’ than Elmal (except by Monrogh for inhabitants of Sartar and Prax) and understates the historical importance of Elmal for a bunch of reasons. And their religions can differ a fair bit for historical reasons - Yelmalio is more a collection of historical influences than original religion at this point, and all of that is just as religiously valid to follow the Elmal rites (if not politically supported in Sartar). Many associated arguments about how important it is that Yelmalio remain incredibly ineffective as a general purpose warrior cult are just damn silly, and seem driven by RQ2 era nostalgia more than anything, but can have their fun side.
  7. That isn’t quite a contradiction in terms, but it certainly seems to sort of miss the point? If you could practically create such gigantic floating thing (which seems unlikely - the Waertagi can only create their titanic dragon ships by defeating sea dragons, so presumably they’d create a floating drydock from an even bigger dragon?), you’d need a drydock for that? In any case - the other known dragon ship drydocks we know or seem to be shore based facilities, like to one in Sog City, which was presumably very similar in design. And it wouldn’t seem to make much difference Millenia later. While I do think it was a fairly big city when active, and yes, probably populated with Brithini as well as ancestors of the Oasis people, that was a very long time ago, and the rest of the city would be of much less sturdy construction and I think would be already long deserted by the time of the Gods War when it was crushed by the bouncing Bock. Only the ruins of the dock itself would survive I think. I had it inhabited by mostly weird old Waertagi magic and traps and ‘sorcerous spirits’, mostly on a Water theme, including some quite nasty ones like water elementals that are also acidic, and invoking various Waertagi ancestor gods. A vough and her brollachan spawn is also fairly obvious? (Once a more pleasant water nymph, but now clearly mad and hateful)
  8. I’ve seen other writeups of the pair that do make them explicitly Chaotic - in the free HeroQuest Glorantha scenario Highwall Inn Chaosium put up in 2019, and I’d probably stick with that IMG, because it fits better with the rest of that scenario, and I think it’s a great fun scenario (and I didn’t enjoy the treatment of the same area in Pegasus Plateau much, which didn’t really work very well as either Glorantha material or an RQ scenario to me tbh). They may have just not wanted to add information about a cult not otherwise described to characters that are a very minor part of that scenario. But FWIW - neither of them are described as cannibals themselves in either source, but thieves and murderers who butcher their guests in order to buy off the ghouls. Murder and thievery are dishonest, wicked, dishonourable - but relatively human crimes, crimes that several non-Chaotic gods are known for (Gagarth, for example). The real question about cannibalism is why is it ok to practice ritual cannibalism as part of the Praxian Cannibal Cult, or as a troll (some of whom, of course, are ritually obliged to occasionally eat their own relatives). The answers may lie in the specifics of those cases?
  9. I use those terms not after prolonged linguistic consideration, but because those are the terms that have been used previously in cult descriptions (in both Cults of Terror and Lords of Terror), and I have every reason to suppose will be used in whatever the Chaos Cults book is called (as the Cults draft write up uses those terms too). So they are the ‘right words’ to use for purposes of communicating about the Mallia cult in some common vocabulary, which I think certainly helps discussion. So I will continue to use those terms to describe those cult statuses. Perhaps we can follow the common community practice of capitalizing such Defined Terms where we need to make that distinction? And sure, they may not be the perfect terms, as there is a choice to not choose to continue to fight the disease to the point of death, so you may suggest more appropriate terminology if you want for general discussion of the issue. And certainly you can treat it becoming an Involuntary Initiate as voluntary and a despicable Chaotic act if you want - it’s not enough that you suffer, you must be additionally punished for not choosing additional suffering/doom? But I can certainly see the argument that if, due to circumstances and misadventure, you are placed in a position that allows the filth goddess to point her metaphorical disease gun at your head and say ‘give me a point of POW or I shoot’, it’s not really much of a voluntary choice, and I think it’s a fairly strong argument that it’s not a Chaotic act. And all of those writeups state that she is associated with the runes of Death and Darkness, and associated with Chaos when worshipped by broos. While I get that the classes of Involuntary Initiate and Voluntary Initiate do not map 100% to whether or not she is ‘worshipped by broos’ and thus associated with Chaos, it does seem like that is by far the most natural reading, as you can become an Involuntary Initiate without ever being anywhere near broo, or any other Voluntary Imitiate of Mallia. If it is possible to treat Mallia as simply a Death and Darkness cult, surely that is the situation for Involuntary Initiates? So the evidence from observed RuneQuest Glorantha is pretty firmly on ‘Involuntary Initiate=/=Chaotic’ to me.
  10. So the Power rune is clearly, IMO, a condition rune, like Mastery. Or rather, it’s clearly like Mastery, and we now classify Mastery as that, so Power must be too. The God Learners got it wrong, they think the Power Rune is just a variant Mastery Rune with Earth, but we all know they don’t understand Pamalt. Power is as much about Earth as Mastery is about Storm - they associate in the person of the ruling god, but not by intrinsic nature. The (very God Learner indeed) Earth Goddess book says Power isn’t real at all, just a funny word for Earth and Mastery. But that’s just the sort of thinking that led to the Six Legged Empire getting their butts whipped. I think the Power rune can implies the method of rulership of Pamalt. Pamalt does not rule simply by asserting himself as the rightfully most powerful (the Mastery way) by either unchanging rule (Stasis, the Yelm way, never truly changing, only temporarily faltering) or asserting their right to claim power over others (Movement, the Orlanth way, always open to change just Orlanth winning). Pamalt rules by continually being part of the right solution, his power as Earth King makes him always part of the Council, but what makes him the god of Power is that the Council chooses not a person, but a solution - but Pamala is always part of the solution, never part of the mistakes. The real significance of Pamalt having Power is that because Pamalt never died, and always has been the ruler, Power is the Golden Age, pre-Darkness, way of rulership. Once everyone has spoken, everyone sees what the right thing to do is. The Power rune is rulership by consensus, by the person understood to be the right leader leading. Mastery is the post-Lesser Darkness way of rulership - there is disagreement about leadership, so it must be settled by some means or other. A Doraddi Chief only ever has power contingent on the approval of the tribe*, it ultimately comes neither from lineage or his personal authority, but by continuing support that he is the Right Chieftain. Graphically, it is related to Harmony - three lines - but representing a community not simply existing together (three lines separately) but actively working as one (the different parts of the community all acting in concert), the three lines of harmony leaning together. It can be seen as the spear, with the community strength behind it, but I think that’s another God Learner mistake. But it is also the magic mountain that Pamalt sits atop, the mountain built by the community members and representing them all, but that would not exist without Pamalt. Pamalt is not the One like Yelm or first among the Many like Orlanth, he brings the Many together as a bigger One than before. The Mountain is just the macro cosmic representation, though, it is also the tripod stool that the chief sits upon, three individual lines making a greater thing that supports what could not happen before. And where Force is raw and unsupported, a point with no stability, Power is the same Force but stable. So, to truly understand Power - stop seeing it in 2D, it’s taking the three sticks of Harmony and using it to build a tripod in 3D! This also has an important secret revealed - Mastery does not care if you can prove you represent the Truth, both Yelm and Orlanth represent their own truth and don’t care if you share it as long you obey it, but building power through getting people to share the consensus must be built from shared Truth. To the Doraddi, Truth is the stool of Pamala seen from above (the view of Cronisper) or below (the view of Yanmorla), the two gods who unite Above and Below, divine and mortal. The union of Cronisper and Yanmorla is the union of spirit and divine (as symbolised by the staff of Cronisper too), but this essential primal esoteric secret must be recreated in the world by the exoteric work of coming together to maintain the ideal world by maintaining the right society. The idea that this work only seems like building the symbols and mechanisms of power, but is really about making Truth, is a cool secret that I’m sure gets revealed with a dramatic upturning of the stool of the chief in some Pamaltelan initiation ritual, maybe several. The Law rune is a different thing. It is the three sticks of Truth as a flat thing, the things as they were and will be. Power is not passive Truth, simply observing what is and using it. Power is building a new thing made of Truth, a society built on truths about the world, a magical creation that shows Truth may be used in new ways through insight (and the gods/spirits are people that can learn and gain insights about truth and so change the world, not inert descriptions of dead power like the sorcerers say). The Six Legged Empire thought they could learn all the facts about the world, and so know truth. But Hon Hoolbiktu showed that if you can make the spirits and gods and shamans and people see a different way of Truth, maybe some build a new understanding of Truth, and maybe their silly hoofed animals can not survive in the Truth of the plains like they through. They say three points define a plane -three points sounds like Bolongo to me! * ok continuing approval of the tribe means ‘approval of the rich old women’, but that just makes sense - add the rich old women headed households together, and that is the people. And many kingships have rules to make it harder to remove the king, sometimes very hard, but that that’s just a matter of local legislative ordinances and historical idiosyncracies, not a lofty matter of mythic patterns like we are discussing here. *waves hand dismissively* Cynics might also say that ‘the chief is always right, and always represents the Right Path’ is achieved by just removing any chief who makes a decision that doesn’t seem defendably the right one. Eh, no one said the mythic truth is the whole truth. It’s just like how the chieftain is always Orlanth leading the tribe to victory until he isn’t, or the Imperator is always the perfect and Just representative of Yelm until he isn’t. The biggest practical difference is that it is common for there to be no clear consensus replacement for a Doraddi king for some time. And for more prolonged paralyses of power while kings try to manipulate a group into consensus (which may sometimes look like prolonged dickering or gripe sessions to outsiders). But once a big powerful group like the Arbennan Confederation) emerges as a real power that all its members believe is needed, there is a lot of pressure for everyone to keep it conceptually in existence.
  11. It is worth thinking about the idea that the Chaos tainted Telmori provided the Sartar Royal Guard for decades. Including the bodyguards of the King of Sartar, and the House of Sartar even intermarried with Telmori at points. And the House of Sartar (including several Kings of Sartar) also associated with the Storm Bull cultists in that time, and obviously remained members in good standing of the Orlanth cult (including high priests of Orlanth Rex). And this is aside from under Lunar occupation. Even Storm Bull cultists can sometimes understand that there are reasons for Chaos taint that must be accommodated practically. Even Storm Bull cultists can hold their feelings about Chaos in check if they believe there to be a reason for what they are sensing. Sure, I don’t think a Storm Bull cultist would want to be around Telmori themselves, and they probably would remain resentful about it. The association with Telmori was, I believe, always at least controversial. But it does point to one very obvious way in which Storm Bull Sense Chaos can be ‘fooled’ - when they are correct about the presence of Chaos, but wrong about why. An ogre PC in one game (I was unsure about allowing it, but the player was keen and I did not make it easy for him - and he was not a Chaos worshipper, just tainted by birth, so effectively as Chaotic as a Telmori) once survived a brief association with a Storm Bull by this means - he had a companion who was a Telmori, a hostage as part of a peace deal with the Telmori (the Queen of the Cinsina also has Telmori hostages in her household), and by staying close to him was able to always claim that any time Chaos was sensed it must have been the Telmori. It might not have lasted forever, but it worked for a few days.
  12. and it’s a great scenario for examining some of what being fanatically anti-Chaos really means, and why it might be religious doctrine but isn’t usually an accurate depiction of behaviour (and so Storm Bull really are different in this regard). Most players will claim their PCs are 100% Chaos killers. But I certainly found that most PCs were not so keen on being the ones One very long running PC (an Orlanthi) in my longest running campaign permanently acquired the epithet ‘the Butcher’ that day, because his companions saw that he (and a Storm Bull who was with them) did not flinch from what was required.
  13. We know, and the average Gloranthan knows, that it is against the ethos of Storm Bull to lie about Chaos, that their cult and/or god might punish them for such a gross insult to their gods holy gift, etc. They, and we, know that rarely such morally unworthy acts still occur (ie spirits of reprisal etc don’t prove that such things never happen, but exist to ensure they remain very rare), that Storm Bulls are sometimes unreliable broken people - and that accusing a Storm Bull of lying about Chaos would perhaps be taken as a deadly insult. But that also they can be mistaken. There are surely many cases where a Storm Bull detects Chaos, violence ensues, and another Storm Bull can later find no trace of it. Sometimes just a mistake, sometimes the Storm Bulls will claim it must therefore be Chaotic trickery (a Chaotic spirit must have possessed them, that’s why the person you slaughtered showed no signs of Chaos!). Do you always believe them?
  14. We know, and the average Gloranthan knows, that it is against the ethos of Storm Bull to lie about Chaos, that their cult and/or god might punish them for such a gross insult to their gods holy gift, etc. They, and we, know that rarely such morally unworthy acts still occur (ie spirits of reprisal etc don’t prove that such things never happen, but exist to ensure they remain very rare), that Storm Bulls are sometimes unreliable broken people - and that accusing a Storm Bull of lying about Chaos would perhaps be taken as a deadly insult. But that also they can be mistaken. There are surely many cases where a Storm Bull detects Chaos, violence ensues, and another Storm Bull can later find no trace of it. Sometimes just a mistake, sometimes the Storm Bulls will claim it must therefore be Chaotic trickery (a Chaotic spirit must have possessed them, that’s why the person you slaughtered showed no signs of Chaos!). Do you always believe them?
  15. We know, and the average Gloranthan knows, that it is against the ethos of Storm Bull to lie about Chaos, that their cult and/or god might punish them for such a gross insult to their gods holy gift, etc. They, and we, know that rarely such morally unworthy acts still occur (ie spirits of reprisal etc don’t prove that such things never happen, but exist to ensure they remain very rare), that Storm Bulls are sometimes unreliable broken people - and that accusing a Storm Bull of lying about Chaos would perhaps be taken as a deadly insult. But that also they can be mistaken. There are surely many cases where a Storm Bull detects Chaos, violence ensues, and another Storm Bull can later find no trace of it. Sometimes just a mistake, sometimes the Storm Bulls will claim it must therefore be Chaotic trickery (a Chaotic spirit must have possessed them, that’s why the person you slaughtered showed no signs of Chaos!). Do you always believe them? Moderators, please delete the multiple copies. A forum software glitch
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