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davecake last won the day on May 11

davecake had the most liked content!

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About davecake


  • 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. davecake

    On illumination and real world enlightenment

    In general -Illumination is an experience, ot a belief. Once you have had the experience, you are able to leverage it in various ways (some of which may require being able to revisit the experience as required, and so may not be available to all), basically the list of abilities listed for Illuminates in HQG pg 204. That list may not be complete. And, in as much as not all paths to Illumination teach all of those abilities, not all Illuminates are equal. Draconic Illumination generally doesn’t teach how to deal with Chaos, and Lunar Illumination does, for example. Lunar Illumination teaches how to deal with some pairs of opposing Runes (particularly Life and Death, and Truth and Illusion), but isn’t very good at dealing with some others (notably Disorder and Stasis are hard to approach via Lunar methods). Much varies not just on path to Illumination, but also how it is approached. Magicians who have been illuminated may seek out further mystic experiences to learn further powers. Notably, some Illuminates, and probably some entire (by their nature, minor) traditions do not know how to teach it to others, or not easily. The Imarja tradition, for example, may teach Illumination only by the dangerous method of HeroQuest to the Green Age. Now, most direct useful magic is still recognizably animist, theist or sorcerous. But Illumination allows access to magic techniques not previously available. Use of Chaos most obviously, but also just combining magic in ways not usually possible. Austerities are worth discussing. I think they are a basic magic method usable by all magicians - like meditation or enchanting. Shamanic Taboos, Gifts and Geases, and sorcerous oaths may all be examples. But hey, if you are an Illuminate you can collect abilities this way, but then may not be bound by them. So it’s a magic technique that works really well for Illuminates. I think Ven Fornism is very austerity driven for this reason. A lot of powerful mystic abilities, and in particular the EWF powers from the dragon otherworlds, are essentially HeroQuest that only mystics can access, or succeed in.
  2. davecake

    On illumination and real world enlightenment

    I think, rather, that Illumination is one form of God Learnerism. Specifically, in Middle Sea Empire (which obviously needs a lot of revising for new terminology etc, but assuming most of it is still more or less correct) Malkioneranism, as described on pg 42, just reeks of Illumination, but it’s a minority God-Learner philosophy opposed by Makanism. Makanism approaches the one kind through intellectual means, Malkioneranism believes it can be contacted directly (and that is Illumination). Both Malkioneranism and Irensavalism believe that Illumination is contact with the mind of Malkioneran, but the Irensavalists also believe Malkioneran is the corrupt demiurge, so Illumination is a terrible moral temptation that must be overcome (its possible they believe that experiencing, and overcoming, this temptation is part of the path to becoming an Ascended Master, though). The modern New Hrestoli attitude to Illumination comes is large part from Talor, who spent his life fighting Illuminates (but probably was one, via the Arkati route).
  3. davecake

    First Human Question

    A short, gaming applicable, summary - if the have the same Runes and are basically an ancestor worship (and optionally judge of the dead, to the extent that an authoritarian judge figure is culturally appropriate) figure, you can, and probably should,treat them as the same. Many of them probably have similar Death myths too. For other purposes and myths, the normal caveats about the wisdom of God Learnerism apply - they all have differences, ignoring the differences can get you into trouble - but many of them can be thought of as being about that specific lineage anyway.
  4. davecake

    Where the Wild Things Are

    I think I found another Borges reference in Pamaltela somewhere too.
  5. davecake

    Where the Wild Things Are

    One of the great joys of the Guide read through was catching a lot of these (though I’m sure there are many we missed). I’m particularly proud of catching the Innsmouth reference, given that it required translation from a language I don’t speak! I hope we get into part two soon! I found some great stuff in Pamaltela I’m keen to share.
  6. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    As far as Irensavalist mysticism goes - I currently tend to think of Joy of the Heart as analogous both to Lunar kindling - a pre-mystic State - and the idea from the irl Western esoteric tradition of ‘knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel’, which in turn is related to the neo-platonic autogoeides, Hindu Atman, Platonic luminous being etc. irensavalism is fundamentally gnostic -there is secret wisdom beyond the world we live in, that must be discovered for oneself. Contact with ones true self is considered a necessary step, but not the only one, towards liberation. Some sources (such as the Book of Abramelin) follow this step with magical operations such as the binding of demons that might otherwise negatively influence the magician. It’s considered a preliminary step before crossing The Abyss. In turn, I think of Illumination as equivalent to the crossing of the Abyss in kabbalistic tradition. The magician that is prepared, and willing to dissolve their ego into bliss, can then go on to seek unity with god. The magician that is not prepared (has not experienced Joy/ knowledge of the HGA) will go on to become deranged or corrupted by the experience (Crowley calls this becoming a Black Brother) -eg the corruption of Gbaji. The Irensavalists and the God Learner Malkioneranists both conceptualise Illumination as something like direct experience of Malkioneran. But the Irensavalists regard Malkioneran as the demiurge, so this experience is, in itself, a temptation or test not a reward. To use the knowledge to do Illuminated things - do Chaotic acts, join cults, etc. -is to fail the test. But it is necessary to experience Illumination become an Ascended Master, because Malkioneran is master of the veils that stands between the magician and direct knowledge of god while incarnated, and must be confronted (compare Choronzon). This is probably a secret doctrine, learnt from Talor, taught only to high wizards. So the Irensavalists concentrate on henosis - on being prepared, spiritually and magically, for the confrontation with the Demiurge - rather than rushing towards mysticism. In game terms, Joy of the Heart should be something as simple as a Passion, though it may often seem almost an anti-passion. That sense of the true joy of contact with the divine often resists much behaviour - it helps you resist fear and passion and despair, to be guided by divine love (Agape) rather than worldly connections like Loyalty, etc. it’s a subtler ability than most. But eventually, one who mastered that connection can confront the temptation of Illumination without giving in to madness or egotistical temptation. Or so goes the theory. Anyway, that is all highly speculative. And my ideas are constantly evolving - and I think I need to explore more theurgy and neo-Platonism (and actual Plato). But I absolutely think that we need to look at Malkionism through a deeper study of analogous spiritual and magical traditions, not just (mostly very incomplete) Gloranthan sources. some recommend reading: Jo Walton’s The Just City and The Philosopher Kings.
  7. davecake

    RQ Sorcery

    My answer to this question is more or less the Furlandan school of magic (the Furlandan grimoire Against the Demons is a canon text of New Hrestolism), the specialist school at Ienawal, etc. They have sorcerous specialists tasked with guarding against spirits, who are adapting at opposing the foreign magic of the Enjorelli. Peter is right that they focus on Henosis and improving the self, but they just don’t see this as about exerting their will on the external. The Furlandan school etc think first in terms of things like health and hygiene, funerary practices, moderating bad desires, etc (and in this sense in their less esoteric senses are part of the education of every New Hrestoli citizen, starting with hygiene lessons for farmers). And everyone, from farmers to the most philosophical wizards, strives for health and fitness (as described in Plato’s Republic). Physical health and fitness, including exercise, is regarded as fully complementary to spiritual practice (similarly to the way that what we now refer to as yoga originate as preliminary/ supporting practices for the higher spiritual practice of yoga), not opposed to it. Wizards extend this to identifying, and banishing or removing, threats to physical and spiritual hygiene, many of which take the form of spirits, and many wizards, and schools of wizardry, specialise in these forms of magic. So when they fight the Enjoreli, it is simply that they are, due to their good practices and magical defences, and a few good banishing spells, able to let the foul magicians of the primitives exhaust themselves fruitlessly. After that, it is a simple exercise for the soldiers, assisted by a few spells to improve their physical capabilities, to conclude matters.
  8. davecake

    Runequest Beastiary impressions

    The Dragon Hsunchen of ancient Kralorela are probably draconic spirit magic. And the Path of Immanent Mastery a descendent of that path - whether they are totally out of touch with their mystic roots, or just way out on a weird variation, is something on which opinions differ (at the very least, I presume the PoIM themselves don’t think their approach is entirely mystically wrong). And Eastern sorcerous draconism possibly might look a lot like Darudism. The EWF at its height appeared to be quite culturally fond of sorcery, and that they wrote their grimoires in Auld Wyrmish, suggests they thought they were making a form of draconic sorcery. On the other hand, they few surviving EWF sorcerers and grimoires that we know of (eg Delecti, Pavis) appear to have very little draconic connection. That could be due to Dragonkill survivors bias, though.
  9. davecake

    Runequest Beastiary impressions

    True of all higher magic, to some extent, IMO.
  10. davecake

    Runequest Beastiary impressions

    No, that’s making unwarranted assumptions about what I said. I simply mean that it’s magic that is 100% requiring a mystic attainment to use and fully integrated into a system of mystic advancement. But this is a point of linguistic formalism, like saying spirit magic taught by a cult, even if specific only to that cult, isn’t ‘properly’ theism. I think that this true for the most part - the majority of what looks like ‘Mystic magic’ is sorcery, Rune spells or sorcery that is adapted so that it has certain advantages when used by mystics. But it ignores that that adaption can sometimes be fairly profound. Lunar magic is an example that we now understand fairly well - by linking what seems like relatively normal Spirit, Rune or sorcery magic to a fundamental view of the world as ultimately illusory, they have created a form of magic that seems flawed and a little incoherent to those lacking in mystic attainment, but supremely flexible and integrated to the Illuminate. I think most most other forms of known ‘mystic’ magic - Ven Fornic magic including martial arts magic, some dreaming magic - can be treated as such, as conventional magic that simply becomes more valuable to the Illuminated. Some forms of ‘Mystic’ magic - possibly Arkati, Nysalorism, Malkioneranism - may prove to be nothing much beyond combining conventional magic in unusual ways, and taking the ‘forbidden’ paths in heroquesting. But Dragon Magic seems a little more profound. Not only can it be *very* powerful, it is accessible *only* to those with the necessary mystical attainment, and it appears to use different rules. It’s true that it could be approximated by convoluted changes to the Rune Magic rules, but I’m not sure what the advantage would be, other than to maintain a fairly literal and strict interpretation of the four worlds model (which seems fairly un-mystic and in-draconic) to me. There are also interesting questions about to what extent Dragon Magic is Mystic, and to what extent Dragonnewt. So I’m searching for an explanation that makes more sense to me. That it involves potentially lethal confrontation with dragons makes some sense to me - it makes it more Dragonnewt, and in addition it makes the gaining, then failure, of EWF use of draconic powers obviously about Dragon cooperation. I think that we are talking about austerities here. I personally think that austerities are a form of magic methodology that can be used by magicians of any type, and gifts and geases and shamanic taboos are examples. And they are used by martial artist magicians particularly extensively (cf the Austerity War etc). I believe mystics are fond of austerities as a form of magic because to the un-Illuminated the consequences of breaking austerities are permanent and often crippling, to the Illuminate they may be temporary or slight, or perhaps only spiritual. I think they do have spiritual consequences though, which makes Ralzakark (who encourages his followers to abuse gifts and geases this way, per Dorastor) a sort of anti- boddhisvata). But I’m really kicking the speculation into high gear here, and getting way off topic. If anyone wants to chat more, we should start a new thread.
  11. davecake

    Sun Domers back up weapon

    Just generally going to agree with Martin here. The secondary weapon of a hoplite/phalangite is specifically for situations in which their spear is not practical, when enemies have broken through the wall of spears and shields. It’s a weapon to be used in combat situations resembling a rugby scrum. Shorter spears might see some use - but not in formation (other than a single throwing spear). Hoplites, and especially phalangites, might want some variation because troops might be assigned to roles other than combat vanguard (eg garrison of conquered territory) and might want a weapon more practical than a sarissa for those roles.
  12. davecake

    Runequest Beastiary impressions

    I know, they just seemed a little more rewarding for the high cost than some of the new ones.
  13. davecake

    Runequest Beastiary impressions

    I find Dragon Magic really interesting. Now that Illumination is firmly established as being equivalent to draconic insight, Dragon Magic would appear to be a form of mysticism magic, and is far far more practical than we normally think of that. While a lot of it is closely tied to the Draconic form, not all of it is - and we know some high EWFers have acquired similar powers. My current theory is that these powers are kind of akin to heroquest powers - the dragonnewts are not merely taught them, but acquire them through a form of HeroQuest accessible (or completable) only by those with draconic insight. And many of them may routinely involve the death of the quester, which to dragonnewts is but a mild inconvenience, eg perhaps the Fire Breath ability is learnt by perishing in dragon fire. Death as the ultimate austerity. It is also possible that attempting to gain such powers risks dinosaurian devolution for the unworthy. “Because they shun the elements, dragonewts do not use any magics that are elementally oriented” Fire Breath isn’t fire oriented? Sure, whatever you say, mr dranonnewt sir, I’m sure there is some terrifically mystic explanation that makes sense. Though to be one lacking in draconic insight such as myself, it does appear somewhat like an obvious contradiction.
  14. davecake

    Runequest Beastiary impressions

    I wasn’t quite so pleased. It seems like we got a lot of detail on magic that we didn’t really need to know in play (eg dwarves have absurdly expensive (1 permanent POW) to precisely measure things) and very little about the sort of magic they are likely to use against you in regular play. Detail we didn’t need, not much detail on the stuff we do need. I have been figuring that could be because it’s a Nontraya thing. Being able to steal Rune Magic has seemed precisely as plausible as trading Rune Magic. I know you disagree.
  15. davecake

    Elmal Yelmalio thing

    Generally speaking, Death can be understood as permanent exile to the Underworld, entirely cut off from the physical world. Dayzatar is totally different. He is permanently exiled to the Overworld, entirely cut off from the physical world. Not at all the same, obviously. Ok, that’s a pithy dismissal. But to the Orlanthi, Westerners, etc gone is gone - he survives more as an abstraction than a living accessible deity, but his ‘Death’ avoids oblivion, and so is significant. To the Orlanthi, Down is just one of the Seven Directions, but to the Dara Happans, Up instead of Down is a very big deal.