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Everything posted by scott-martin

  1. Elsewhere . . . I have a DUMB THEORY that there was once at least one culture that believed that Orlanth's father was actually Larnste, making him the rowdy brother of the otherwise urbane great god of the deal. The business with Umath may have been an evil stepfather situation or just their real dad on a bad week. When dad died, the cults retained different versions of their parentage and so naturally evolved to conform to the standard lightbringer relationship we all know. And that there was at least one more culture that identified Issaries' rowdy brother with HMKT until the introduction of an intermediary storm god from elsewhere upset the binary and forced a realignment of characteristics. This forced "division of war from peace" or winter and summer is then further garbled as the birth of Umath pushing sophisticated sky and crude earth apart in order to open up an exciting new space in between. And finally there was a culture or maybe even just a crazed religious visionary who believed that Issaries was Orlanth's real "father," or more accurately but more vague, that Issaries is to Orlanth as Asrelia is to Ernalda: a senior cult role that young fathers age into when they get a little slower on the way to the grave. In this "six winds model" you could have widdershins shadow gods to fill in . . . the shadow of Issaries here is Umath or even archaic Jagekriand, death father who shows up when good dad leaves the building, the opposite of Superman never being where Clark Kent is visible.
  2. That's really, really good. Wounderhome.
  3. Love it. IMG it's a matter of where you're looking in a process of dynamic opposition. The active yields to the passive and the passive activates, women and men, world without end. Flirted with regaling the thread with funny insights derived from my clinical training but tonight I think the most important thing I can say is that within the lightbringer complex you have two "genders" . . . the quest taker at the center tasked with doing the deeds and making the moral choices, and the quest giver who facilitates and motivates "him" from the background and around the edges. All the lightbringers are more or less "passive" in this construction, ranging from the entirely inert GJ and the sacrificial FM to the instigator who keeps everything from getting stale but lacks real creative force. Are they male or female, active or passive? The rite really only recognizes two angles on consciousness, the actor and the spectator. We call the actor the orlanth nowadays and foreigners assume the role is somehow associated with masculine performance. We know that sometimes that's true and sometimes she's a vinga. The spectator has a lot of names, situationally attached to serve the moment in the drama. Subject and object, quest taker and quest giver. If you're pressed for time you can compress it a little more and simply have the quester and the quest as your archaic O/E "pronouns" . . . when anyone is active, they take the old O mask, otherwise they're assigned something else. If they don't like it, they can speak up and take over. But to most foreigners, it's all that normative mom and dad. We know it's a little more and less complicated.
  4. If a hero war can't finally kill zzabur once and for all we need to do it again. However I think something like an issaries will respawn and pick up where the old age left off. It's happened before. Smart people will have hedges in place.
  5. That is one of Sandy's more cryptic pronouncements. Given the amount of time he focused in that talk on the reforestation, I'd be surprised if his players didn't find a way to blame the local elves for using KOW as a blunt instrument to exhaust the meat nations before the big reveal. IMG like many of the big things it's overdetermined. For some, KOW is the expression of Loskalm's utopian rejection of conflict . . . but at that vantage, we could just as easily argue that the modern Lunar Empire also functions as that kind of geopolitical shadow, glowering just across the horizon with a sorcerous infrastructure partially derived from the old unreconstructed "Irensaval" system. Squint at it right and these are Siglat's (pbuh) decadent cousins who speak something like our magical language but get everything wrong. As for the Arrolians, there's still a lot we don't know about both sides the Fronelan frontier going into the Ban. Were the Valmark colonies also oppressed by the White Bear Empire? In that scenario, maybe their magicians traveled down river to participate in Snodal's conspiracy . . . and they would shoulder shared responsibility for the fragmentation of regional identity that followed. I always thought that was what was at stake with the demon of Riverjoin, Varnaro's externalization of some aspect of the city's communal consciousness (or her own, or some fusion of the two). Or was the Ban imposed by the proto-Loskalmites on everyone else in the region, in which case the relatively innocent communities wouldn't shoulder the magical consequences? Again, there's still a lot we don't know about pre-Ban politics. I don't think the country we call Loskalm today was anywhere near as hegemonic at the time . . . places like Valmark now lost to the current records may have been much bigger factors in those days. In that scenario, Loskalm's crime and Loskalm's guilt are interesting to Loskalmites but other people in the region are still getting offered the terrible choice of KOW. Maybe the real solution will actually come from a refugee magician from Perfe or somewhere, someone who has lost everything already and is not intimately involved with the Siglatist (pbuh) national drama. I do believe the Shattered Map Hypothesis by the way. It doesn't show up in the Guide maps because one of the horrific things about the Ban is that the landscapes it changed were also affected retroactively . . . most (but not all) old maps adjusted themselves to match the new unfolding reality as the region reopened. Whoever compiled the Trollpak maps and a few others was somehow immune to this "minarian map revision." I don't have time right now to unroll my archival maps but IMG it wasn't as much actual area being created, destroyed, stretched or compressed as a rotation of the coast and a slight shuffle of the inland features (lakes, forests, etc.). The Ban was big and the Ban was bad. Ripping the Snodal culture out of its context and then cramming it back into Third Age Glorantha messed a lot of stuff up around the edges.
  6. Love it. In the complexity of a fully developed East I suspect there are multiple competing configurations, each of which allow their adepts access to a different set of oblique strategies and occult politics. The current Dragon, for example, may only have prevailed through aeonic upheavals. Another thing that drops out of this is a Vithelan astrology separate from what they have in Dara Happa. For that matter that's probably where you see your tightest links between alchemies and esoteric planetology. As for trickster, we know boggles eat precious quadrotriticale and breed like gremlins and other nanotech weapons.
  7. I wonder where and when these stories were recorded. The "fertility beats disorder beats harmony" dynamic points to the occasional confusion over which runes actually oppose illusion and change. In a strict binary code system each power rune would have one polar opposite and more tenuous relationships to the other six powers. But in a more networked structure they might interact more like the theyalan elements, with one rune suppressing a second, which suppresses a third and so on through the cycle. Maybe they also have supportive or augmentation relationships if you look the other way around. In this model maybe fertility beats disorder beats harmony beats illusion beats death beats stability beats change beats truth beats fertility. Or something like that. It depends on how a power rune civilization expresses the cosmic dance. The East is an obvious place to search because they need magic of their own that isn't just the I Ching or what is now a Western elemental pentagram.
  8. We would pronounce "Arrowhead," an archer, god of directional focus and clarity at a distance.
  9. Oh yeah. Lip service to "the Orlanth of my fathers" can be as stultifying as any other element, an undead society just going through the stereotyped motions. "Orlanth And Ernalda" has been exciting. A robust lightbringer system can be as magically sophisticated as anything they brag about in the great historical empires . . . and a whole lot more agile as long as we stick with it and resist the temptation to settle into a yelmlike or a malkionlike situation, a molanni or abstract High Storm architecture or whatever looks comfortable. Ambitious local leadership might look to the molanni stories in particular as a cautionary tale. There's a purity in old storm but it's ultimately sterile. It's not what we DO. It's not the kind of weather the ginna jar likes.
  10. Fret no further. IMG any Orlanth ring that requires a seat for any stuffy old emperor ceases to be an Orlanth ring because forcing local authority to find a round peg to fit that mandated hole will become a drain on the system's ability to adapt spontaneously to change in the world. Every other tribal chief has the freedom to fill the ring from the ground up with whatever local talent circumstances provide, and if the mix doesn't work, the mix changes. If I have to go out of my way to cultivate a Big Yellow Hat and take that person's counsel as seriously as I do everyone else's, I am no longer running the show . . . Big Yellow Hat ultimately becomes the role we all need to coddle and the haughtier the phrasing, the more work we all do learning what all that rigmarole means. And then when we balk, suddenly we're the rebels! So in a typical ring this role will flex. Sometimes they call it Rainmaker and ascribe a loose bag of magical and social functions to it. The person assigned that bag figures out how and when to deploy it. Other times and other places they call the role something else and hand out a different bag, whatever bag they have to hand out. I think the lover on the side role is pretty common in places where local Orlanth doesn't hit that particular spot. They might routinize social roles where that happens and so "heler" or some types of "elmal" (or moon or star) might become fairly common expressions there. Where you live with horse people, horse people are the common side husband. When you live with water people, water people experiences are frequent. Maybe in the water part of the world, the water experience becomes so regular that we say that's the rain person down there. Other places Orlanth personally brings the weather. Some places weather is what Orlanth does and so you don't bring the weather without being at least naturally acquainted with what we call "thunderous." IMG this person could well be a type of vinga . . . none of my business. But then, in other places you might not have a Rainmaker at all for various reasons. Some intellectuals in the cities probably want a more cosmic ring but intellectuals like a lot of goofy things. One thing about Yelm is that he is a jealous god unwilling to be the side piece in any multi-ring circus, the "sixth business" as they say. I would argue that these people are one of many evolutions out of traditional Orlanth social psychology into something that might better resemble what they had in the Bright Empire or places like that. We don't talk much about "post-theyalan" communities, what happens when local Orlanth ossifies into something else. Maybe there are all kinds of great monsters in places like Saird that can metaphorically turn people(s) into stone. Come to think of it they have a thriving statue cult there!
  11. Now that you mention it, I guess there's nothing that says dream dragons have to be scaly and serpentine. I wonder how many "god sightings" this resolves . . . in these scenarios, it's good to carry a mirror to catch the eye of the entity and see if you can shake its self image.
  12. No, again, that's pretty insightful and sheds a great deal of light around the unusual gender performance going on around the Hard Earth culture. Speaking of which, I spent awhile convinced that Brithos always looks like whichever Derek Jarman movie you're watching right now, but especially Wittgenstein early on leading into Glitterbug, the Tempest in the early middle, Last of England within time and now for an uncomfortably long stretch Blue. War Requiem, Edward II, Caravaggio, Sebastiane, Jubilee, The Garden, The Angelic Conversation, The Art of Mirrors, Broken English, The Queen Is Dead, Journey To Avebury, Imagining October . . . all Brithos. We can hope it cycles through to the Pet Shop Boys tour loops before it's over.
  13. The level of play here is intimidatingly high, maybe too high for everyday dumbness to slip through. However I'm the one who's obsessed with mapping Dawn Age hrestolite schisms onto 2014-era electronic dance music festival culture so shouldn't be trusted. For example this is clearly the story of How Hrestol (Hardway) And Faralz Rocked The Island With Sacred Geometry And Beats, Having Converted The Lion People. Clearly.
  14. Harrek infamously defies the normal logic around the Ban or at least demands unusual gymnastics around the timeline. But change may be one of the most painful things for most gods to contemplate. A new incarnation into uncertainty, you could get turned into a fur coat and go from beautiful to incredibly dirty. All the strange rock and rollers doing all right.
  15. I put on some make-upTurn up the eight trackI'm pulling the wig down from the shelfSuddenly I'm this punk rock star of stage and screenAnd I ain't neverI'm never turning back
  16. I think you've hung a bell on the primal pain of the terminal imperial moon, or at least one of them. Once you get a Third Girl you can project toward a fourth and before you know it you're free to multiply girls to fill the world. Each one distinct, unique, her own person. Infinite hair colors and textures. Platinum witch girl. Valerie's astounding dreads. Whatever is going on with Alexandra. But it's a lot of freedom and a lot of people in the terminal wane step back from that. A burger appears in the western sky, an omen. Butcher gods. Magic butcher blocks. It is coming. Reject the redhead (who might be a "blonde" redhead, a "black" redhead, even a blue redhead) and call the bull. EDIT of course high class lunar women are bald
  17. Not puckish in the slightest but it generates a separate axis . . . I saw that on a website somewhere once, building a mystery as it were EDIT Oh, I need to be "on topic." OK. So this is the Revelation of Kana Poor: the intrinsically dualist "blondes or brunettes" stratification of Carmanian society (I think Nick has called it "the Ivanhoe Problem") had become unbearable but they had no language to resolve it. The colonial Veronicas were too far out of touch with the humble but scrappy Betty . . . until they saw a red light rise into the sky (local "east" from Carmania; the direction of possibilities and disruption) and it wasn't actually Archie. You could have a Third Girl, a Third Mother, a triplicate goddess free to be neither whore nor nun. Unfortunately choices were made that then set the clock on the hamburger wars.
  18. Love it all. The elliptical trajectory of East is Known (Splendor Becomes Ignorance, Ignorance Becomes Splendor: No Blame) so it does raise serious questions about how West on the other end pivots around multiple axes. It might be expressed as Mostal and Malkion on the extremes or in Nick's cherished metaphor, the mythic "past" versus a projected (future) "middle ages." But then one of my secret theories is that Gloranthan "west and east" are not so much compass directions anyway but a literal relationship to Death, with everything following something like a sun path or LBQ from a hypothetical "vithela" (age of dawn) into normal adult consciousness / history and thence toward the ultimate rausa encounter. Everything mortal rolls "westward." This means that the local "west" isn't completely concentrated in the sorcerous quadrant at all but can be found distributed across the lozenge, wherever the world starts to show its age. Having two axes on either end of the (bifocal) lens of Time would then imply decision points or choices that can be made. This in turn is Known within the surviving body of Carmanian Sorcery but is usually finessed as "a kind of manichaean dualism." We know it in the work of William Blake, experience and innocence etc. Since the Lunar Way inherits this technical understanding they become good at Time; the emergence (conversion) of "the historical Kana Poor" is a metaphor for this. What was the question again? This is also the Gloranthan "precession of equinoxes" and why a single point of blue divination will reveal that "Polaris not the first polestar or last," whatever that means.
  19. This is of course Known but I had forgotten it until comparing the "west on top" WBRM map to contemporaneous SCA maps of the Known World. But in Glorantha north and south are cardinal points while two wests and two easts appear. The question is who believes there are two east poles and two west poles . . . intersecting sun paths or some kind of wobble, maybe.
  20. Love it. Only one could come home at that point. The extended version of this I've seen gets a little more complicated . . . You meet an Arkat on the road. Let him go. If he doesn't come back, he was a fake. Otherwise, you're out too far and you're both the real Arkat. Only one of you can come back without leaving at least a little something behind.
  21. MUSIC CUE: soulful duduk There are those who believe the children of waertag came from a distant "planet," the fantasy bronze age equivalent of outer space. Early inscriptions told of a great and pyrrhic war of "boats" with another blue people, the "artmalite empire." The funny thing is that statistically every "waereran" human now bears some genetic markers and arguably other humans bear others. It is known.
  22. Western languages clearly distinguish internal vowels because there's little textual urgency to differentiate TaLaR from TaLoR. However if they run on a consonantal root basis Gloranthan cabalists have spent endless hours trying to "resolve" the laughing warrior as an emanation or commentary on the father of genealogy and trade . . . perhaps with surprising results. On the other hand if Western dialects consider /r/ and /l/ as well as /m/ and /n/ to be equivalent pairs then the confusion between DRoMaL and DRoNaR becomes theoretically trivial while remaining politically explosive. DoRMaL, however, may be an emanation or commentary on the one but not necessarily the other.
  23. Love all this but this note in particular gets me wondering whether the transported brought a little sun with them to the far hot country and if so, who it was. Presumably this deity wouldn't have maintained an equestrian tradition or developed a conventional Dome . . . but would have evolved in other directions. You also get me wondering how central to Dragonslayer the northern and western domes were and are. Absolutely love this by the way. "R" is for magic. "T" is for combat.
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