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Eff last won the day on November 25 2019

Eff had the most liked content!

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About Eff

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    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    My first RPG book was Star Wars D6 Revised back in the late 1990s, but I didn't start playing until years later. Also D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Fiasco, Exalted, FFG Star Wars, Heroquest 1e.
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    Dry spell at the moment
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    Lunar as heck

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  1. The Guy Ritchie film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a terrible, terrible movie by most respects, but it has frequent journeys into the Otherworld and a downright hallucinogenic sequence towards the end, alongside a kind of goofy earnestness that's certainly very Gloranthan. Films that are aesthetically very distinct but which help carry some of the tone or thematic aspects of Heroquesting and interacting with the Otherside: Phase IV Last Year at Marienbad Beyond the Black Rainbow Millennium Actress (This film depicts a kind of Heroquest as the characters cast themselves into the roles of characters in a variety of movies and the film shifts visually to depict their entrance into these roles.) Paprika
  2. Well, the Guide doesn't describe any kind of political boundary- the cities are subsumed within the tribal confederations. And a city can't exist without a hinterland providing it with things, generally speaking, so there has to be some kind of relationship between the Orlanthi tribes and the cities. But the Trader Princes themselves are not described as taking much direct action compared to the Orlanthi confederations as a group, which suggests that such a relationship involves some kind of political integration.
  3. I have had thoughts about the Pralori percolating for a while, and as an extension of that, some things that I considered for Maniria in general (based almost entirely on the Guide). - I suspect that as a long-term consequence of the Goddess Switch and Slontos rolling over that most Manirian cultures have strange relationships with the Earth. We have, in the Guide, the Legros people around Tallcastle who live in accordance with Aldryami ways. I also thought that Maniria would be a good place to have slash-and-char agriculture, as a way to improve soil with poor fertility (and thus providing a very real and material reason for Ditali and Solanthi to be swayed by what few Lunar missionaries would have reached so far- perhaps they have their own version of the Hon-eel rites...) - The Solanthi and Ditali are political unions of multiple tribes. However, they are described in the Guide as confederations rather than kingdoms. Greymane is also described as a warlord, not a king, and we know that the two titles can be translated identically. The Trader Princes are also described in the Guide as still somewhat recognizably Malkioni, which suggests that they have hereditary control of the cities, contrary to standard Orlanthi practice which sees the city as deriving its legitimacy from the tribes that contribute to it, plus the Ring of the urbanites themselves. - My interpretation of this: the basic political alliance that emerged out of the Manirian Road was that the confederations agreed, as long as the flow of goods along the road continued, to accept that they would always elect one of the Trader Princes to be overall "prince" of the confederation, while retaining the traditional candidacy qualifications for "king"/"warlord", with the two positions somewhat more equal than in, say, the Heortling or Talastari mode. The Opening and the Road drying up disrupted this balance and led to the warlord becoming more prominent again, and thus enabling Greymane's rise. - To overanalyze the little information we have about Greymane, he is consistently described as having "retired to his favorite wife's farm," which is an interesting turn of phrase. To build a castle in the air from this, let's presume that the "Entruli belt" shares in matrilineal and matrilocal clan structures, like Esrolians, without having the patron-client structures of Esrolia. Instead, Greymane's ability to marshal Ditali and Solanthi is because he's both- married into multiple different clans across the two confederations and thus providing a kin-based linkage. Even if his sons had survived Pennel Ford (I think the consensus is that they didn't, or at best the pro-Lunar one retreated northwards with other Lunars and is now a guest in Tarsh and soon to be dead or a guest in Mirin's Cross) they would have had a hard time maintaining Greymane's fleeting empire without his network of marriages. - This is mostly the past. What does the future hold? Seshnelans. At some point, whether it's Guilmarn or the Great Talar of the West, there's almost certainly going to be Malkioni probing eastwards across Maniria. There's also nothing in the Argrathsaga about them reaching anywhere in Argrath's domains, so let's presume that they didn't. What turns them back? Ramalia erupting like a burst pimple? The Pralori once again pitting the power of the Serpent Beasts against Malkioni logic (assuming that they're not preserving some critical bit of information about the worship of Seshna Likita that the Great Talar of the West will need to successfully copulate with her)? A grand barbarian alliance with the New Coast? And then, of course, apres ceux, le deluge.
  4. Eff


    Well, to go back to that multipartite model, Dendara is far more purely a tilnta goddess, and of course Tilnta herself is generally identified with Uleria, who if she has any elemental associations at all, are (indirect) Lunar and Solar ones. I think that, to drop into a more historicist/less mythical viewpoint for a moment, that Pelorian religion (as we have it today) and Kethaelan religion (as we have it today) have a broad difference in that Kethaelan religion fused together their various Earth goddesses into a single figure they called Ernalda (who was "originally" likely the likita-goddess of "Ernaldela", the drowned land beneath the sea) who wears all the various masks of the Earth in one, and in Peloria(n city-states) we have a firm split between the goddess who reigns over the actual process of planting crops and the goddess who reigns over the things which make us human (and in turn, the goddess who reigns over the unrestrained, suppressed urges within our selves- but among the Kethaelans this figure is split into at least two divinities and distanced from Ernalda directly). But that regnant divinity is also a source of sovereignty, which is very tricky within the Pelorian mode, so I think that "Raibanth Dendara" is largely presented to us as lacking in her Earth connections that are a bit more... earthy... because it became necessary to try and retrofit her as a celestial goddess. So Plentonius presents her almost as an emanation of Yelm, possibly attempting to recapitulate the parthenogenetic (or neaniagenetic, if you want to be strict about things) aspects of how Dayzatar reproduced. There's probably an "upland Dendara" or a modern "Pelandan Dendara" that has rites and practices that are a bit more earthly in their nature. (Clean-hand Dendara versus green-thumb Dendara.) And of course, if Dendara is the sovereignty source, then the speculations about Yelm as a title become a lot more interesting...
  5. Eff


    Well, I think that at a minimum the gor/kor/tor complex should be pulled out a bit. I think you could also pull out craft goddesses (though these are less well-defined in existing materials, overlapping in names with other goddesses) as a distinct category of their own. Perhaps these could be distinct vertices instead- the gorae as "Prey"+Shape, the craft goddesses as Love+Shape? Which gives us a fourth corner for the square, and a total of six vertices. It would be better if there were eight, for the numerology, but I remember a source which indicates that there are six daughters of Asrelia- the familiar Ernalda/Esrola/Maran trio, and then three others that I think are representative of the high crafts? (Pottery, weaving, ?)
  6. Eff


    I believe @scott-martin has/had a working theory which divided Earth goddesses into likitae- goddesses of land/terrain, aldryae- goddesses of flora/plants, and tilntae- goddesses of social/material concepts. I find it attractive (I'd add at least one more minor category), but I'll leave it to him to clarify. Apart from that, if we look at the "snake leg" iconography as suggestive of a Likita goddess, then as far as I know it's definitely associated with Ernalda. It's also associated with Genert and Pamalt, though it would be stretching things a bit to call them goddesses or to propose a distaff "Likitus". Looking at the Glorantha Sourcebook, the Esrolian iconography there doesn't produce any more likely Likitae via snake imagery, barring perhaps Ty Kora Tek's scarf.
  7. Well, as Shargash says, "Death brings Life!" If you can't see how death and life are really the same thing, you just need a bit more illuminating exercise...
  8. My thoughts on the White Moon Movement are fairly unformed and focused more on the everyday aspects of the White Moon than on the higher cosmology, but: I see the White Moon Movement as existing in a position vis a vis the orthodox/orthopraxic Lunar Way as Pure Land Buddhism in Japan existed in relationship to the existing Japanese Buddhist traditions. The Pure Land movement emphasized the potential for anyone and everyone to achieve enlightenment through the direct intervention of the Buddha Amitabha without the absolute necessity of long decades of scholasticism as an ordained monk or nun. And as such, the White Moon as a whole emphasizes the potential to achieve the transcendent Sevening/"high enlightenment" (contra the "low enlightenment" of Rashoranic/Nysalorean/Yelmic Illumination) without the formal process of going before the Examiners. And so as a consequence, any and every crackpot idea that would ordinarily be Mindblasted out finds a home in the White Moon, so you have divergent traditions like Fiscal Anarchists alongside radical conscientious objectors and people who merely question the received wisdom that the White Moon won't rise until the light of the Red Moon shines over all of Glorantha, in turn leading to the (semi) familiar story where there's repression and crackdowns leading to a steady radicalization, a massive rebellion in the Heartlands right as Pent and Dragon Pass become major problems again, etc. etc. etc. (And then, IMHW, the White Moon's remnants after close to a decade of civil war backs Phargentes the Younger to the hilt, much as the equivalent Ikko-ikki remnants ended up backing Toyotomi Hideyoshi before dissolving.) Of course, to wade into the muck of cosmology for a bit, the Seven prior Masks of Sedenya seem to represent a pair of cycles: the youth-maturity-old age (or innocence-compassion-grief) cycle of Red-Blue-Black of Verithurusa/Lesilla/Gerra, and the Blue-Red(and-Black?)-White cycle of Orogeria-Ulurda/Natha/Zaytenera, which appears to be a cycle of sensing, acting on what is sensed, then relaxing in the balance created by action. These are joined/mediated by the invisible/absent/clear Rashorana. So in that sense, the White Moon exists "outside of the text"- She is the peace that is disturbed by the beginning of the story, as it were, and the peace that is contained in the words "The End" or "And they all lived happily ever after."* As such, it is not possible to have the full White Moon of Peace truly rise, because if She does so, then that means Glorantha comes to a halt. (Now, of course, if She were to rise and set, wax and wane, as it were, then Glorantha/the metastory would be able to continue on, in the periods of the White Moon.) And this allows us to perhaps understand why Zaytenera is such a shadowy figure- absent from Her appointed city of Senthoros, only appearing in the Lives of Sedenya in the very first paragraph. She is less a person than a philosophical concept, or the idea of a person. And the White Sun that predates Brightface, perhaps, never really existed as an entity until the moment of Brightface's usurpation, created in that disjuncture as someone to usurp, as primordial consciousness forms. So in this light, the Lunar Empire's quest to bring the Lunar Way to every corner of Glorantha to make the White Moon rise is inherently quixotic (perhaps even deliberately so), an impossibility that can motivate the Lunar Empire to continue on infinitely, or an acknowledgement that all empires are temporal and fleeting and will pass. But maybe, to paraphrase Pink Floyd, there's no White Moon, really. As a matter of fact, the Moon is always White. *As such, the White Moon is white because She's an incarnation of the endpapers...
  9. Eff

    Pavis Chronology

    Well, the Compromise certainly appears to have rather large loopholes. Things that definitely don't violate the Compromise: - Ezkankekko walking around and doing things. - Praxians heroforming/incarnating Waha so frequently or so deeply they're described as him by historical sources. - Belintar's deal where he uses a succession of mortals as his "horse" to act within Time. - Being a True Dragon. Things that have been accused of violating the Compromise but which don't seem to have definitely provoked divine intervention: - Nysalor's creation. - Zistor's creation. - Sedenya's creation. Things that definitely provoked divine intervention of some kind: - The Battle of Night and Day. - Something that happened in the final stages of the siege of the Clanking City. - Something that happened shortly before the Battle of Castle Blue. Things that probably should violate the Compromise as most perspectives have it, but which don't/aren't marked out as a violation: - Tearing a hole in Glorantha so you can quickly zip from the bottom of the Underworld to a camp outside Torang (First Battle of Chaos) - The Fourth Arrow of Light. There are probably others that I'm not recalling at this time. Of course, as @metcalph notes above, the Compromise isn't a document that you can read, it's an understanding that the universe is consciously maintained via willful effort that emphasizes refraining from actions, and different cultures will understand how that maintenance happens and what kind of divine restriction from action mirrors mortal codes of behavior in different ways. So perhaps we might say that the effective text of the Compromise is an agreement to limit your interventions in the mortal world to acting via mortal means- you can possess a human, even for an extended length of time, you can even be walking around in the mortal world, as long as you act for most intents and purposes like a mortal- but two of the things which definitely "freed the gods to act" are physical incarnations of deities that seem to be somewhat more complete than standard heroforming- the Clanking City taking shape as Zistor, the Black Eater emerging at the Battle of Night and Day. So perhaps it's all about making sure nobody shows up in their full glory in the fragile Middle World. Edit: There is one particular consequence of this interpretation for how we understand the apotheosis of the Red Goddess and just what exactly She was between Her incarnation and Her Godquest, or perhaps even Her incarnation and the rise of the Red Moon.
  10. And of course another way to look at it is in instrumental/pragmatic terms (which is very historically appropriate for how traditional religions function/functioned). You can offer up "conclusive" proof, by taking down a couple Western scrolls and some Plentonius and so on and so forth, and laying out an impenetrable logical argument that Orlanth is necessarily an avatar of Sedenya. But until you can bring the storm with moon magic, the real storm, not the still and placid breezes of Entekos-Molanni, who's going to care except the scribes? (And of course, if/when you do bring your Moonstorm, that will definitely prompt a rather shocking, gusty rebuttal...)
  11. Well, in a certain sense, proving that a god is another god is as simple as pie. Just show that God 1 teaches secrets that only God 2 knows, that the rites of God 2 are revelatory for God 1. Of course, in another sense, if you want to make a pie from scratch, you must first create the universe... Which is probably the best way to understand the Entekosiad- Valare Addi had a pie she wished to create: "Where did I go wrong when I said the Red Goddess was Dendara?" In order to make that pie, she ended up having to go back to the beginning of the universe.
  12. Or, to put it in straightforward, in-universe terms, the Mad Sultan of Tork has committed a handful of murders and hangs out in Dorastor, the Red Goddess destroyed an empire and sits in the middle of the Middle Air.
  13. Well, after 1628 there's a decade or so in which there is no Red Emperor and the Lunar Empire is divided by a civil war between various claimants. So if you're enough of a Lunatic, one possible interpretation this is clearly a brief correction by Sedenya and she's telling you that the official attitudes towards the "barbarians" are incorrect, and that it's time for the cycle to turn around again. From on top, to the bottom, a character decides to humbly submit themself to an Orlanthi leader as another step on the Way. There are of course religious dissidents but those are, if not well-explored as such, certainly given a bit more flavor. Here's someone who, in the absence of one preeminent religious authority and the weakening of another (since Great Sister fails to maintain political unity within the Empire), attempts to maintain orthodoxy through the filtered preconceptions of their religion. Obviously, this is easier if they've been personally humbled or humiliated first. (This has some good roleplaying grist, too- you can have a character constantly catching themselves on being arrogant and condescending and trying to force apologies out, which can be psychologically interesting, comic relief, or a mood-lightening quirk. "Get illuminated, barbarian wine-drinker! Sorry, sorry, I'm trying to stop it...")
  14. Well, I'm pretty sympathetic to the Kallyrist position, personally, but I guess my thought is that the assumptions of both RuneQuest and HeroQuest play are that you start out as at best a local somebody and being in a position where your personal battle skills can change the outcome of the Battle of the Queens requires that you be at least important enough to be in Kallyr's bodyguard, or perhaps commanding an element of the Sartarite force. So in that sense, saving Kallyr on PC efforts alone is something where you'd want to be starting playing around the time of classic RuneQuest modules so that you can be famous enough to be in command and close up the ranks at the right moment to catch the teleporting assassins, when the Battle of the Queens hits. So I don't know if there's really a good solution without (first-party or third-party) materials that provide a means to create an "advanced start", or more (almost certainly third-party) materials that help produce a campaign that starts in, say, 1618 or 1620, or (definitely third-party) materials that provide a sense of "this is what could happen if things go another way". And of course, if Kallyr survives the Battle of the Queens, then perhaps we go to the timeline I personally interpreted from King of Sartar when I first read it, where Kallyr ends up highly dependent on Argrath White Bull and the Wolf Pirates, ends up dying in a suspicious string of circumstances involving Gunda and Harrek and Argrath, and then we have a situation which forks off but then returns fairly neatly back into the likely RQ Campaign timeline by 1630. But I do think that the RQ Campaign timeline is helpful for constructing these alternate possibilities, so that you can say, "Well, if Kallyr is the Argrath of Sartar, then there's still X Y Z things happening around Sartar, how does she react to them," etc.
  15. Eff


    It appears on the Condition Rune tree of life diagram in the Guide, but so does Moon. (And the sub-elemental Runes don't appear on Zzabur's Sigil, either.)
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