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Charles

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About Charles

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    Gloranthaphile

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    Glorantha
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    Singapore
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  1. I suspect that many of us tend to overthink it, and assume it's documented. I'd look to how oral (or semi-oral) cultures work today, for example modern gangs, juvenile and criminal or places where warlords violently compete to run the show. Basically, might makes right combined with traditions, some barbarous, some wise.
  2. From https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/gloranthan-documents/glorantha-2/cultures/orlanthi-initiation-rites/
  3. I'd turn it around and ask: can you play, tell or write a plausible story to <whatever>? If the story passes everyone's plausibility checks then yes. If players/gms/listeners/readers come up with plausible objections then no. And the answer in one gaming group will be different to the answer in another gaming group (forum, auditorium, whatever). And that's because Your Glorantha Will Vary. For many of us purists, that's an unsatisfying answer. We want to find the one true right answer. We want to read and write the stuff that becomes accepted as canon. On the other hand, as @Jeff has pointed out, that really only matters to those that want to go through all the effort of writing and then editing something for formal publication by Chaosium.
  4. In my opinion, there is no single truth, no correct single list. There are many patterns that are usually true but, in specific instances, are broken. And it's kind of fractal, you will find the same meta-pattern of general truths but specifically broken at all scales from the very local to cosmic. Never stop trying. I've spent much time exploring and savouring the mysteries over nearly 40 years.
  5. Running a forum with a view to keeping up with technology, keeping the history for the long term (we are almost 30 years as an online community) and managing the occasional flame war is actually quite a difficult ‘task’. And given the great diversity of skills needed, can be extremely expensive. We (as a community) have piggy backed off many ‘free’ providers that profit or hope to profit from us. Some of the providers have been community members who’s ‘profit’ has been the continued maintenance of our community. When looking at the alternatives, both for the community and for Chaosium, I’m not sure that there’s better than opportunistically taking what’s on offer from the ‘free’ providers.
  6. I will make some edits to this as I think of further points and, if substantive, I'll note it in the text
  7. I’ve thought for many years about this and still can’t fully articulate it. So I thought that I’d try to start here... When a Gloranthan uses their god’s magic they become their god. Mostly, we see this as the person participating in a fraction of their god. I don’t. I see them as actually becoming their god, with all the consequences that implies for the god. There are a lot of issues with what I’ve just stated. And eventually, I’ll get to (some of) them. First, I see this extending right back to the beginning of creation. The initial forces are very abstract and completely impersonal. After those initial interactions, the Runes arise - almost personality free and intellect free. Then the primal Gods, with a little intellect, choice and personality. Then the Gods that are worshiped, with personalities, choices, intellect and more human stories. What I think is is happening is that the powers, the bundles of powers that we call the gods, and the personalities are entirely separate things, though deeply linked. I think that beings with personalities find ways to invoke those Runes and, by invoking them, embody them. However, it’s not permanent. This is hinted in the mythology of Orlanth, where at different times he has different names. My premise is that each one of those, and many more, is a separate being, a separate personality, that found a way to invoke the powers of Orlanth, and extend them slightly. Orlanth became them and they became Orlanth. Vinga, a female personality, took up the the bundle of powers we call Orlanth and exercised them better than any of her brothers ( cousins, clansmen, tribesmen, nation, whatever ) and became Orlanth. Or Orlanth became Vinga. This continues after Time. The most famous case to my memory is Alakoring, who quite fundamentally changed the nature of Orlanth by making him more of a ruler and less of a first among equals. Less famous but as important and at the same time, Renvald Meldeksbane also changed the nature of Orlanth (but apparently less permanently). How does it work? The key is identification. Some people are better at identifying with their god. It doesn’t matter whether this is because of ancestry, nature, luck, power, necessity, determination, a combination of all of these, or whatever. So what does this theory do for us? Well to me, it starts to explain how the God Learners were able to achieve the damage they did. They would search out devotees and priests of a god and find someone that was powerful and that they could manipulate. This manipulation would not be coercion or corruption, more likely naivety or greed. Coercion or corruption would lessen the identification of their victim with their god. Having found their choice, the God Learners would offer a contest (a heroquest challenge) that they could genuinely lose. And then ‘cheat’ based on the personality or circumstances of their victim. So, for the Goddess Swap, they offered a contest to two different senior priestesses, one in each land (likely, it was many more than just two, because the GLs could, and probably did, lose some). During the contest, the GLs would help their opponent identify more completely with their goddess. And then switch the basis of the contest in a way that their opponent could not resist. Perhaps a personality flaw that was consistent with the identification with the goddess. Or perhaps by posing a dilemma that was completely outside the domain of both the goddess and the priestess. One part of their cheat was likely their RuneQuest Sight that allowed them to precisely identify the runes the opponent could manifest and which Runes they might be more vulnerable to. Maybe the GLs even had magic that helped their victims identify more deeply with their gods and goddesses. And few devotees or priests could resist that... Having won the contest, the GLs could the offer back the lost powers, on the condition that the priestess would relocate to a foreign land. As the priestess was her goddess, the two goddesses would have switched lands. Similarly, this is how Tatius and the Lunars killed Orlanth. I can pick some holes in my theory. First, some people seem to be genuinely powerful without that level of identification. Yes, and that’s OK to be independently powerful. Second, this doesn’t explain spirit worshipers that well (but with the right twist it might), and doesn’t explain sorcery at all. In the meantime, I’ve already written a lot and power is rapidly draining from my iPad - maybe it’s the Doom Guardians coming for another God Learner... -- Becoming the god - well yes and... If defeated (or if unusually successful) then the level of identification matters. Not just personal identification but the communal belief or communal investment (power, treasure, etc) that the identification represents some wider community. Tatius 'killed' Orlanth in a very wide area because he could arrange ritual defeats of many Orlanth priests across a vast area, even if only symbolically by banishing worship from all towns and cities. This could impact Esrolia and Prax because they looked to Sartar and/or Heortland for Orlanthi leadership, even if only unconsciously. At the start I mentioned powers and bundles of powers and then didn't much explain. Initially, the first personality to take up a power might express one Rune. Over time both the original personality and successors refine the expression of those powers and, particularly if successful or widely emulated, they expand the powers into bundles. What gods know - gods know a little of what each of their communal worshipers know (which for a great god can add up to a lot), more of what their initiates know etc. They know this from when their worshipers use their magic. Basically, a Spirit of Retribution is self-imposed. This is also my explanation how the regional and local variations of the gods arise - a god does not always have global knowledge, so what their local or regional worshipers do shapes them. Behind all the accumulated beings that make up the god, there is still a primal something with it's own agenda. This something, let's call it the core god, can be roused to give dreams and visions to those who will become heroes - or dead or insane. It works both ways. As a worshiper uses more of their gods' magic, they take on more and more of the agglomerated aspects of their deity. If they resist this, then they lessen their identification. Until a worshiper becomes illuminated... and then an illuminate can hide knowledge from their god.
  8. In my opinion, it's like using Nazi anatomy books as a guide to surgery. In many experts' view, those books are the best available. However, because of how those diagrams were made, it gives moral qualms and/or reputational fear. I think that most God Learner magic still works for those brave or stupid enough to research and learn it. Some parts of that magic taint users with Chaos / Illumination / both. An even smaller part does not work. Several of our scholars argue that the Doom Guardians are not a Glorantha wide thing, but the fear of the Doom Guardians is...
  9. Huckster however, it is not as strong as I remembered. My recollection of Greg's postings was that it was in YahooGroups or another forum, not in a book.
  10. I believe that there is a short description / reference in Dragon Pass - A Gazeteer of Kerofinela to an entirely fake religion in the 2nd Age. I recall that Greg posted that there were fake religions in Glorantha but have no recollection of where he posted that.
  11. As far as I can work out, Delecti is a demi-god equivalent with at least two manifestations. First, he is a survivor of the EWF. This suggests that he is Illuminated (Dragon variant), and therefore can not only mix chaotic and non-chaotic magics but also Rune/Spirit/Sorcery magics. Second, he is The Avatar of Nontraya, the enemy of Ernalda (caps intended). This means that he is strengthened by some fraction of the worship of Ernalda in, at the very least, the greater Dragon Pass region, and possibly of all Orlanthi worship of Ernalda in Glorantha. He may also be an avatar of Vivamort, though that could be the same as being Nontraya. What this means is that Delecti is as difficult to kill/destroy as Harrek / Agrath / Belintar / Ralzakark / Cragspider / JarEel. Not impossible, but definitely Heroic.
  12. I think that free will is not a Rune, because it was not needed for the creation of Glorantha. In my opinion Freee Will arose as a consequence of the Compromise and the integration of Entropy (Chaos) as Time into the fabric of the Cosmos.
  13. My view is that Kolat and Orlanth are one. My view is that Kolat is a spirit and Orlanth is a god and they are completely different. Possibly it is better to do this as an in-Glorantha viewpoint. A random Orlanthi stickpicker will likely hold the viewpoint that they are completely different, while a disciple at Old Wind might admit that they are one.
  14. I suspect that the priestesses in Esrolia are attempting this with a programme to conflate Arachne Solara and Ernalda.
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