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davecake last won the day on February 25

davecake had the most liked content!

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About davecake

  • Rank
    Lhankor Mhy


  • 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.
  • Current games
    Mostly Glorantha, in all its forms.
  • Location
    Perth, Australia
  • Blurb
    Lhankor Mhy Sage according to MOB. Or is it Irripi Ontor?

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  1. Brithos divided

    So, hypothetical ultra-orthodox Malkioni but who follow a practice that almost every way we look at it, seems somewhat heterodox? I do think that even the Brithini go to the Underworld and the Courts of Silence at death. When judged if able to choose their afterlife, they should choose ‘none of the above’ (regarding them all as essentially eternal servitude of some kind): and choose the bliss of dissolution. It may be that the Judge gives them no choice. I’m not sure that all Malkioni schools are as ignorant of the Underworld. Some notable Ascended Masters have been there, and returned, and probably written about it. Arkat in particular. And the God Learners of course. Though I doubt the Rokari think there are good reasons to spend too much time studying it.
  2. Brithos divided

    I think this duality - that great fathers like Hippocrates were considered both great authorities whose writings contained vital practical knowledge, and also considered to have some divine ancestry and could be treated as a minor deity - mirrors the treatment of Ascended Masters, who are generally understood as notable to great scholars by all Malkioni, but worthy of veneration by only some. I do not think this anything to do with ancestor worship (or especially Ancestor Worship) - they are an Ascended Master quite independently of whether or not they are related to you. And let’s not confuse theurgy and necromancy. Unless you are a Rokari deliberately demonizing Hrestoli practices, of course.
  3. Brithos divided

    So the question is whether this might be the form of ancestor worship hinted at in the Praxian Daka Fal write-up from Cults of Prax. No, veneration of the Ascended Masters is not Ancestor worship. It is venerating them for their spiritual achievements, not their familial relationship to you. It’s closer to Hero cults, but still a long way from that. You are trying too hard hrre, trying to fit a square block into a round hole. And the mistake here is to continue to make your argument based on a close reading of Cults of Prax while ignoring other sources. That’s not a rule for the broader RQ3 version, and though we don’t have a specific HQ writeup that rule does not appear to be the normal rule for spirit traditions in HQ2. Though on a close reading, it only says the worshipper must be willing to relinquish other traditions, not that they always are required to, the likelihood of getting an ancestor who knows other cult magic is pretty high, and Daka Fal has a couple of associated cults. And of course it might be only for Daka Fal in Prax, and other variations may have different rules. I wouldn’t read too much into even if I was drawing only on RQ2 sources for some reason.
  4. Brithos divided

    Sure, but are you claiming to be able to achieve what Zzabur can not? < eyes the possible deluded heretic suspiciously > Note that Hrestol spread such ideas on Brithos, too, when he visited. And the subsequent murder of Hrestol by Brithini we may take as a response to how well that was received.
  5. Brithos divided

    To the Brithini, the recorded knowledge of most people is largely worthless, and those whose magical knowledge is worth knowing are capable of writing it down in a book. Not all knowledge or experience is of value, only those parts that are endowed with Reason. Spending a lot of effort on heterodox practices just to pick up a few scraps is very unwise, when you could be continuing to study the vast wisdom of Zzabur and his acolytes, conveniently recorded in giant libraries for your convenience. Besides, if you really want to know some scrap of wisdom from a 2000 years ago, there are living people around you can ask.
  6. Brithos divided

    And Ancestor Worship among the Hsunchen (Old Man and Old Woman), and the Kralori and the East Isles (Ebe, Iste) according to the Guide (all have the same exact runes - double ir ownership of Man, plus Spirit), and in Gods of Glorantha it’s called Ancestor Worship and is explicitly generic. If you are basically going to argue from a close reading of Cults of Prax but not look at later sources, it’s going to make discussion pointless. The evidence is that Grandfather Mortal (and Grandmother too) has many names and guises, is the core of an active magical tradition of Ancestr Worship in many parts of Glorantha, and their core practices are animist and shamanic (as indicated by both the Spirit Rune and the GoG writeup). Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t magically access your ancestors in different ways. It is possible that you can use sorcerous necromancy or some form of divine intercession. And we already know that the trollish version is so closely tied to Kygor Litor as to effectively form a single mixed tradition. But those are going to be side offshoots to the main thing, what in Hero Wars days would have clearly been Misapplied Worship, but these days is just a sub-optimal weird way of doing things . Contacting his ancestors would seem to be the entire point of being an ancestor worshipper? Either you are proposing an extremely odd version of Ancestor worship that doesn’t involve contact with the ancestors, or you are hung up on a pointless terminological distinction. That seems rather the opposite of what you are arguing - rather than exiling heterodoxy, that is Brithos exporting Orthodoxy. Projecting power, in the modern argot, to defend against threats. If I was a court, I’d be shouting ‘objection, speculation’. There is no evidence that Brithos has been pursuing a dedicated policy of exiling the heterodox, and significant evidence they have no significant motivation to do so (the problem usually neatly takes care of itself if they do nothing). Speculating about possible motivations to do so doesn’t change that. We have no evidence at all that pure orthodox of participants is required for Zzabur to cast a big spell, and indeed the last great spell to end the ice age had ouri and Aldryami participants, and Danmalastan was never a pure unity (eg always had the Waertagi etc around), so this would seem to be an idea you have made up with little to support it.
  7. Brithos divided

    Yes, the Vadeli have books I think. Distinguishing between books that lie, books that contain useful knowledge, and those that are in between in a difficult business that has taken a fair bit of Malkioni history. There are a number of methods, but you are always torn between a too liberal policy meaning some books will be in error, and a conservative policy meaning you will reject something important, and There is always the question of how to interpret a book. Literally, metaphorically, magically, cryptically. I think they do use methods like Geomatria for example, it not consistently. And there is deliberate use of obscure symbolism, steganography, etc to hide knowledge from the profane. It’s possible that sects may interpret books differently. Tomaris may be the Gloranthan Pythagoras, with the Rokari reading him only for his maths texts.
  8. Brithos divided

    We had a chat at Eternal Con a couple of years ago about Ancestor Worship with @Jeff and others that discussed this. I don’t think ancestors can transfer knowledge of sorcery skills etc magically, but they can use their if they are eg possessing someone, or can give much useful advice. I suspect this is pretty rare and covert among most Malkioni, and heretical for many. But it can be a very effective tactic for a lineage of sorcerers, and I think happens in both Fonrit and Kralorela. Very handy to call up your adept great-grandfather for a chat. There is a really nasty bunch in Fonrit I’m writing up currently. They are both ancestor worshippers and sorcerers, they believe slavery does not end with death, and they have spells like Dominate Ghost and Tap POW. They have a form of ‘immortality’ by Tapping the POW of slaves to almost nothing then having their ancestors possess them to live again.
  9. Brithos divided

    Absolutely. Just ask any Brithini, and they will tell you that the Vadeli lie all the time.
  10. Brithos divided

    Well, the tradition also has the Spirit Rune. The idea that there is a strict division between the otherworldly nature of dead people (eg that there is a strict division between souls and spirits etc) isn’t one I really have much truck with, it seems a lingering thing from the Hero Wars era - but if it was a thing, then being an active member of a Spirit tradition would surely tend to put you the Spirit side of that divide. I do think that an ancestor who has been reincarnated will tend to be hard to contact, but also that anyone who has ancestor worship as their primary magical tradition, and is still given worship by their ancestors, will resist reincarnation. . I thought we’d already gone over this, and the Seshnegi left for political, not doctrinal, reasons. FWIW I don’t think Zzabur spends a lot of effort on doctrinal cleansing, the Brithini are unique in their lack of need to do that. If you don’t follow the Law, you start to age and die, so most issues of heterodoxy sort themselves out pretty quickly (from an immortal point of view). Well, mostly. The Vadeli are able to prove they follow the Law, as they don’t age either, this infuriates the Brithini beyond words, Yes, not only do the Brithini believe that the appropriate way to transmit knowledge is by writing it down, they believe that knowledge that can’t be transmitted through languages and thus written down in a book, is not worth transmitting, if it’s not linguistic, it’s not Reason. And if it’s not Reason, it’s therefore Error. I’m pretty sure this is what the Brithini think about both Joy of The Heart, and Illumination and other mystic insights. Not Reason, so therefore Error. Later Malkioni generally feel differently. Though maybe not most Rokari. I think that even the Brithini admit that great magicians may, instead of dissipating, have their Intellect preserved, by means of close magical identification with an Eranschula etc. they just don’t necessarily think it’s desirable. But again - what they can teach us through Reason must therefore be capable of being written down. To the Brithini (and Rokari) needing anything more than that is usually indicative that you are seeking something beyond Reason and Logic. There certainly exists the possibility that it might be useful to contact a dead person to learn something they just didn’t write down, but that is rare and weird, and in general necromancy is considered a bad idea by the Rokari (though there is the occasional case of ‘oh grandfather, where did you leave the map to the treasure vault’ I’m sure). To the Hrestoli, who believe that Joy can only be taught through experience, and is beyond the reach of philosophical enquiries alone, the idea that you might want to contact the dead Ascended Masters directly makes much more sense, as they have wisdom beyond words and can guide you through the ineffable mysteries. (In the guide it’s noted that veneration of the Ascended Masters can help you attain Joy. Perfectly sensible if you are Hrestoli, just asking for trouble if you aren’t ) Yep. And we know how the Rokari and Brithini feel about venerating Ascended Masters. And just another example of the Seshnegi descent into henotheism. While I think this is kind of magically plausible, I’m not sure it really is culturally. Danmalastan ancestors have only the secrets of Reason to teach, which they should have written down in a book if it was important. And if you just want to summon them up because they are powerful, then just summon them, don’t mess around with worship.
  11. Brithos divided

    Because there is a subtle difference between ideas like theism (an abstract concept) and Rune/Divine magic (a game concept), that may or may not represent important truths of Glorantha. Many of the interesting parts of animism are implemented, in RQ2 and RQ3, using divine magic rules (not just Ancestor Worship, essentially every interesting Animist tradition has Rune spells in those games, eg all the Hsunchen transformation spells). That might indicate that animism and theism are concepts that overlap somewhat and one can develop into the other, or it might indicate that the animism magic rules in RQ2&3 are somewhat underdeveloped and not capable of representing the range of magical effects that Gloranthan animism is capable of, or both (I tend towards both). The Mythras animism rules show that you could have animism rules that are capable of performing a much wider range of magical effects purely from using spirits rather than spells, which would reduce the need for every animist tradition to have Rune spells in RQ. RQG does not seem to have done much of this, and seems to be basically heading down the RQ2/3 route but with more interesting shamans. There are a bunch of reasons why they may have chosen to that route, some of them quite sensible, but it does mean that we shouldn’t take the use of Rune spells as necessarily implying a tradition being more or less animist if that is how the rules have to work. i think all forms of magic are pretty ritually intensive, but usually provide you with really useful magic you can use in the moment as well. Ancestor Worship is no different - you can use its magic to have an ancestor help you out in an emergency, and it’s pretty good for certain emergencies (like being threatened by enem6 spirits). Quite how this is implemented in game may vary, but we shouldn’t expect any game to be a perfect simulationist rendition of Glorantha.
  12. Brithos divided

    I don’t think all ancestor worship is shamanic in nature, but I was using Ancestor Worship as by definition shamanic in nature. That is, I was using Ancestor Wirship as the collective name for the multiple Man and Spirit Rune based traditions, all of which I think are more or less identical, and the Spirit Rune indicates are shamanic. Variously Daka Fall, Old Man and Old Woman, Ebe, Iste, and probably a bunc( of other names too, including Darhudan and Grandfather Mortal. Most of the time when someone is an ancestor worshipper, I think that it’s that tradition or a close variant. But there are other ways to magically interact with the ancestors that are outside that near universal tradition. The Orlanthi do seem to interact with them as a clan, though it’s unclear quite how it works - the specific question would seem to be do the interact with the ancestors as a clan, or as a group of bloodlines. I certainly think that cultures we do not think of as animist still do ancestor worship, and probably also Ancestor Worship. And interestingly, though it is a shamanic tradition, it may be sustainable without shamans, as long as someone with the Axis Mundi spell is around. I don’t know how to interpret that, because it’s obvious that in RQ2 and RQ3 the cult was written up with a full complement of Rune spells. Quite practically useful ones, too.
  13. Brithos divided

    I think we are basically quibbling about terminology here. Or at least, we need to settle terminology before we can work out any real disagreements. First, I think the way you are using the word animist there is kind of unhelpful. Everyone in Glorantha believes some variant of animism, I think (even the Brithini, sort of - they think it’s an Error, but they thin’ it’s a pernicious Error because the magic works, but for the wrong reasons). Rather, I’m using animism as a synonym for what the Guide calls Spirit Magic (a term I avoid due to its varying use within various RuneQuest editions), one of the four big magic methods. Which I think is what you are calling shamanism, the generic magic of spirit contact - but I don’t like using the term shamanism if there isn’t a shaman involved, and not all contact with the spirit world, or all Spirit Traditions, require a shaman (ie Storm Bull is animist, but not shamanist, because they have magic involving spirits, but no shamans). So, when I say the Orlanthi aren’t very animist, I’m talking about their magical methods than their beliefs. They believe in spirits all over the place, it’s just not a sensible way of doing magic compared to godly worship rites. And I certainly And when I use the term Ancestor Worship (inconsistently capitalising the w because I didn’t anticipate this terminological confusion) I mean the tradition Formerly Known As Daka Fal, known as Ancestor Worship in GoG, and assumed to be the basis of the many similar traditions (all animist, as they have Spirit Rune). The Orlanthi, by contrast, mostly just practice ancestor worship, that is they worship their ancestors, generally in a plain simple way of offering them worship without expecting much back in return (though on Ancestor Day and other specials occasions it becomes more interactive).
  14. Yellow elfes (Embely)

    Actually the idea that all trees, or all forests, are either deciduous, coniferous, or tropical jungle is a really weird one. By describing Embyli as tropical evergreens (as the Guide does) or as the elves associated with broadleaf flowing plants (angiosperms) as other sources do doesn’t really help. Either the problem is ‘where are all the evergreen plants that aren’t tropical or coniferous’, or how do we classify deciduous angiosperms, or similar. No system quite fits because conifers are a class of plant (that happen to all be evergreen), but deciduous is a thing plants do that happens across many classes of plant. Either Glorantha is really vastly less ecologically diverse, and missing a lot of common plants, or the situation is a bit different on close examination. The latter seems more likely, as we really only have a human view of elf society in canon sources. My theory is that: our designations of elf forests as green, brown, green/brown or yellow is an oversimplification. Humans focus on elves, and think of it in racial terms, but the Aldryami are organised more by biomes than anything comparable to human societies or nations, each of which includes multiple species of plants and animals. Basically, a large contiguous (or nearly) tree dominated biome gets you an elf forest. I suspect elves really aren’t the important bit (it might be dryads), just other Man Rune creatures tend to see it that way. Elves vary quite a bit within the elf species, depending on their tree type, age, etc. Stats for yellow elves etc are typical, not universal. There are also cases where there are closely related types of tree (and thus, presumably closely related types of elf) that vary as to there defiduousness -eg there are both evergreen and deciduous oaks, sometimes in the same forests. Almost every elf forest will then include a wide range of Aldryami from a range of classes of plant. For example, a green elf forest will be dominated both by coniferous trees and green elves, but may include holly runners (who are angiosperm flowering plants). These typically includes some (though a minority) temperate broadleaf evergreen elves in brown forests - humans don’t really recognise these as yellow elves. And culturally, they don’t present that way. We know there are the mixed green/brown forests where no single type of elf predominates, but we don’t always consider that a mixture of trees in one elf forest is normal. Some of what we regard as true of ‘embyli’, like preferring blowguns to bows, is more of an Erinorru jungle cultural difference. The multiple different forests that make up the Erinorru jungle probably represent different biomes rather than just political divisions, so not all will be tropical jungle, some will be sub-tropical, or evergreen broadleaf forests, rather than jungle. Outside of the Erinorru jungles, an implication for play is that if you want a character who is from a brown elf jungle, but don’t want them be hibernating for a session every year, just find an appropriate tree for that biome. I will continue to be disappointed that I can’t find a good place in Glorantha, both geographically and mythological it, for eucalypts. Suggestions welcome.
  15. Brithos divided

    I don’t think this is true. You won’t get access to those ancestors through broad community worship ( eg Heorting clan rites), but that isn’t the normal pattern of Ancestor worship in Glorantha. If your ancestor has gone to join some weird other cult and gone on to a different afterlife that may be an issue. But I think you can use Ancestor worship to contact the spirit of your uncle who travelled to a different city etc. They don’t get to see them on Ancestor day as part of Clan rites, but if they became true Ancestor worshippers (which would be unusual because Ancestor worship is still a shamanic tradition and so rare among the Heortlings), they would be able to contact them just fine. The problem isn’t clan membership, it’s about having a shaman who is in your bloodline to lead the rites.