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scott-martin last won the day on January 23

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About scott-martin

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    King of Birds


  • RPG Biography
    Standing on the shoulders of giants leaves me cold.
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    That sugar cane that tasted good
    That cinnamon, that's Hollywood
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    the catacombs appear

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  1. Hi Sten -- welcome to the ranks of the green sages and please keep us updated on your adventure. The illustrious Jajagappa has covered all the essentials. I would add this essay of Greg's as a slightly different take on the core mythology. Reading between the lines might get you going down rarely traveled paths. The Mongoose supplement points in a good direction but I think was overly burdened by game design values at the time. More tightly focused material from that author shows up in Tradetalk 7-11 if you're willing to dig a little. It's really as close to modern canon as we have.
  2. They do seem to be extremely popular.
  3. Every forest secret worth knowing either remains unrevealed or is now the common property of every peasant shoveling dirt. On the whole a marginal win so far. The dwarves screwed up by trying to keep everything and so spawned whole nations full of motivated snoops. And someone down there always wants to brag so the snoops keep coming. In terms of tricksters, this is probably a role for aldryami who understand fire, "the rose that takes." As noted above, runners and pixies handle most of the day-to-day shenanigans / shanannigans so the forests can echo with laughter. Does anybody, ah, remember laughter? Some are susceptible to a kind of fermentation that converts the sugars into alcohol . . . growth bubbles over when the fire within gets too hot. Trickster understands that process and can share with a few friendly cults. Only YOU can prevent forest fires.
  4. The known limits of their bromance make this a really useful opening to distinguish "Arkat" as a magical technology from "Arkat" as personal allegiance. Anyone with motive and opportunity can become an arkat technician by incorporating that methodology into the personal practice. Some people will also nourish a personal relationship with the historical figure and his messianic agenda. Some push it as far as they can in both directions. Others stay mostly on one side of the venn diagram or the other. IMG most people pursuing "arkat" experience pursue it as a vanilla hero cult. This is your guy. You're a fan. You study his adventures and try to apply the lessons to get ahead in life. There are compensations. Your cult has friends and enemies. When you see an opportunity to advance the cult's this-world goals, you contribute your resources and participate. There are many cults. The technicians have what we might call a more explicitly sorcerous approach to the material. The Stygians went places and encoded their conclusions in ways we can exploit now to get what we want. The persistence of a historical Arkat is irrelevant. This ultimately points toward a state of consciousness that interacts with the better documented "illumination" you talk about here. Mularik can be a technician who shuffles the letters to see that Argrath maps onto the historical Arkat and doesn't care. A hero cultist would have a conversion experience (model with passions) or some other spiritual moment: this is the guy we were promised. A technician might see a competitor, potential ally, catspaw, whatever depending on the circumstances. In my experience many technicians would view a reincarnated Arkat Actual as a rival and a threat. They're territorial people. So Mularik one day concludes that the guy he's been hanging out with is the guy thousands of people back home have been praying a thousand years to see. He doesn't fall down on his knees and cry. He waves for the check. They're no longer pals. It's on. Struggle of the Magicians. Five Arkats, you say? There Can Be Only One in the end. Now it gets complicated because at the highest levels the ambitions of the cult and the most impeccable technicians converge again. The cult is an easy thing for the technicians to control. And as the formative experience for many technicians, the cult will shape their attitudes and agendas. Then these "true arkati" can coopt, divert or otherwise interfere with the rest. I think this is where a lot of the reportage around shadowy figures guarding key HQ nodes comes from. The problem is when they get what they want in a form they weren't expecting. There's a lot of history outsiders don't see about how the Stygians responded to the Seshnegite threat and ultimately the God Learner Empire gave them what they wanted all along. Some people say that because that history is invisible, it must be sad propaganda losers come up with to feel better: the God Learners ruled the world for centuries, Paslac is a footnote and that's that. I welcome compelling evidence either way but can't help but notice that whenever I encounter resistance on a key HQ node the challenger usually looks, acts or smells more than a little like me in pancake makeup. It's the only place I really see the back of my own head. But I'm just a technician, no dog in the fight.
  5. Love this. It makes the existence of Catseye really interesting as part of the spiritual preparation required to really have the Hill Experience and "see the sparks." I wonder if people with Permanent Catseye are in some way always susceptible to being pulled into Hill interactions, etc. no matter where they are physically. Lantern, maybe not so much. Might be obscure cult dogma here. Hottest lore of the quarter.
  6. Any sufficiently charismatic claim to authority is indistinguishable from birthright when the examiners read the wind right. Some people lean into this mechanism and scatter the seeds around just in case. I love what you've done here: "Enough" is always enough. You get what fate needs. Separately I was just dreaming about how dangerous an unreconstructed Yelmgatha teaching would be in an empire already spinning too fast. Every man a Yelm. Maybe a non-trivial number of women too.
  7. Coincidentally I was just looking at the ancient Cults of Terror story of Rashoran that distills that teaching as "you do not have to be afraid of what you do not know." That's all it is. No ethical gymnastics, pretzel logic or attraction to paradox for its own sake. Just an openness to the alien and the faith that it cannot really hurt you in any way that matters. Since then the teaching has been routed into the service of the self and its passions: "hatred, selfishness, greed and jealousy." By the time it gets to Nysalor, the riddles and other compensating mechanisms are in place to prevent something like the Trio from happening ever again. Maybe it's worth looking at the Argrath in these terms. Still a lot we don't know about the nature of his spiritual liberation + I "coincidentally" always seem to have better things to do than psychoanalyze him. He is what he is, like the weather. Wear a hat if you don't want to get wet.
  8. Now that you two mention it, I wonder if the Flamal Quest ("greater bonus") wasn't really the core of an archaic LifeBQ pushed to the margins of history as the Yelm narrative took over from the Dawn Age. In that scenario, some people might still perform it every year with only the usual hoopla . . .it just hasn't been weaponized in the same way. Of course in the Hero Wars people spinning out of the Argrath mystique might reach back to these primal mysteries. I know I would.
  9. I like the oncological vocabulary you are using and hope that all is well. To extend the metaphor, there is no ultimate or permanent cure for chaos in Glorantha. All we can do is extend our ability to mitigate its virulence, buying time for something else to kill us instead. The LBQ does a "good enough" job and so is still prescribed today in cases that do not respond to more orthodox forms of treatment. Specialists keep working on refinements that help the therapy work even better . . . we've come a long way since Harmast and outcomes that would have been miraculous a century ago are now routine.
  10. This is a popular interpretation. The Khordavu narrative emphasizes an Antirius restoration and suggests that "preparing the way" for a god named Yelm originates with some religious imperative the Lightbringers brought with them. "-Elm" enters the dynastic lists shortly thereafter and ultimately Erzanelm lays the groundwork for the Sun Swap And Stop in 111,375. I've never asked how exactly Khordavu coopts the Monster Army but it is clearly a pivotal event that ultimately contributes to the Break in the Council. Yelmgatha figured it out and his revelations seed the modern Red Emperor complex. The only real question for us is which "Bright One" he equated her with. I'm thinking Osentalka, which would make her an incarnation of the Nysalor who ruled the universe in tandem with Khordavic Yelm Imperator, much as the two halves of my response here are mirrors.
  11. scott-martin


    Yeah, you have a green light all the way unless some lost trove gets discovered elsewhere. I can't wait to see where you end up! 🤣🤣🤣
  12. We're all here to argue about it. Since the alternative would have been worse, I'll call it a qualified win, a compromise. Some of my favorite lines characterize his intent (and his role) a little differently: Orlanth found his mother dead, saw his father suffering and chained between the earth and sky, and took upon himself the task to right the wrongs which had brought such disaster about. He took what tools and weapons he could, called some friends and met others along the way, and thereby joined the Lightbringers who searched unknowable paths to rescue the world. IMG to undertake the quest with the Lightbringers is a matter of atonement. You need to feel sorry and you need to take responsibility for the way the world has evolved around you. The quest is an adventure in search of solutions. In the story we tell, the solution he found was forgiving his enemy and submitting to alien justice for the good of the world. A new sun rose. The world was not reset as though nothing had ever gone wrong. It was only repaired, good to go until the next time. Later a hippie becomes so distraught by the way he sees the world going that he tries something similar. Following in god's footsteps hands him a weapon from the west. We say he has raised the dead or restored the world, or something. The weapon he reached for changes the world and those changes require additional adjustment. Time is a process. Clever people figure out what's going on and weaponize the ritual trigonometry in order to get what they want. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they only get what they need. I really like this line also:
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