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Eff last won the day on November 25 2019

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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. It's possible that the inability of broo to become impregnated or carry a child to term operates as a kind of spirit of reprisal attacking them for breaking Thed's strictures, and since Ralzakark is probably Illuminated in some fashion...
  2. "Eucatastrophe" most formally refers to a sudden event, one that is predictable in hindsight but often not in foresight. As such, the most likely candidate for an unexpected save at the eleventh hour is simple- a reassembled Empire of Ganderland, sending forth quack teams of Heroes to help bring the unwinding world beak together.
  3. An immediately relevant thing is that she created the New Pelorian script (and possibly the spoken language?). Her Masks last longer than her brother's (her current one has been operating for over a hundred years. Two whole Wanes!) and she has a private army. Sources differ on just what this army does. She resides in Graclodont, a city near the northern borders of the Empire and close to the division between the Heartlands and Western Reaches. She's also Moonson's "Lunar Other", as opposed to Sheng, his "Solar Other". What does all this add up to? One possible interpretation is that she's effectively the head of the security forces for the Lunar Empire. Depending on your sympathies, this could make her J. Edgar Hoover, M (with Jar-eel as Bond?), Felix Dzerzhinsky, Cardinal Richelieu or Milady de Winter, or John le Carré's Karla. Of course, she might also just be a nice old woman with a soft heart for the poor and lowly, always willing to speak up on their behalf.
  4. A theory that feels less and less dumb the more I think about it: The Crimson Bat does not destroy the souls of those it devours. In a literal application of "We Are All Us", those who are eaten by the Bat become part of the Bat. (Only the most Lunatic acolytes of the Bat's cult are willing to proselytize for being eaten by the Bat as a good thing, but many secretly believe it and abnegate themselves as unworthy of such close contact with Sedenya as to become part of Her favored pet and steed.)
  5. Sure, but that contravenes the notion that Sartar can't possibly stand against the Empire solely because it's small, rather than because it's a small, historically hostile polity sitting directly on the pathway to Karse and Nochet. Which is something that could theoretically be dealt with by statecraft (even if that statecraft would be so unpleasant as to make it an impractical option) as opposed to a Lunar Empire that is solely concerned with domination and conquest and thus must necessarily be opposed by assembling a plucky confederation of heroic states and chiefdoms etc etc.
  6. "Sartar could never bring enough resources to bear to more than temporarily halt the onslaught of the Lunars" And yet Talastar and Brolia remain politically independent, with the only demand placed on them by the Lunars being a pro forma expression of religious conversion. Rather strange, that.
  7. A little disquisition on dumb: Last December, I wrote a little piece that you can read here: https://eightarmsandthemask.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-good-emperor-phargentes-younger.html It was inspired by another piece I'd written a little bit earlier where I sat and meditated upon the White Moon Rebellion and on the paradox between the violence and the pacifism, and I drew a historical parallel to the Ikko-ikki and Pure Land Buddhism in Japanese history, and then I posited Phargentes the Younger (being the end of the Lunar Empire's own Sengoku Jidai) as an equivalent to Oda Nobunaga. Why Nobunaga and not Toyotomi Hideyoshi or Tokugawa Ieyasu? Well, there's another inspiration here, and it's that one of the other fandoms that I'm peripherally involved in has Oda Nobunaga as a character, with two versions- one is a tiny, gremlinish woman who talks in gamerspeak and dresses in an androgynous military uniform, and the other is a six-foot-plus woman who wears fantasy villain garb and talks like a lesbian's dream. With, and this is critical, red hair and red eyes. I sat there and I đŸ¤”'d, and then my mind put it together. So, in order to explain the illustrations (enjoy the alt-text on the second one, by the way, if you do click through), I proposed, tongue buried so firmly in my cheek I think it took most of the next 24 hours to fully extract it, that there was an artistic style wherein the Red Emperor, to denote that he was the son of Sedenya, would be depicted with breasts and hips, and then cracked wise about what it would look like for the old-guy Mask and the ferociously bearded Mask. I then sent it to a friend who's on the fringe of Gloranthaphilia. He responded, after reading it, "I thought the Red Emperors were all women doing the Hatshepshut thing and everyone was too humiliated by the fact to be honest in written records." And that, I believe, is the serendipity of dumb.
  8. I don't know if you can get dumber for Ralzakark theories than that scorpion-arm and unicorn are just two guys with the same name.
  9. We really need four or five explanations of why people fall in Glorantha. 1. (Theistic) Uleria's Love holds the universe together, and those things she Loves mostly strongly have the least ability to move away from her. Curse Uleria, and her clinginess! 2. (Logical/Humanistic) Like attracts to like. Humans are primarily made of Earth and Water, and so they are pulled towards the center of the cube of Earth. Humans have large proportions of Fire and Air, so they stand upright, unlike snakes or fish. And when they sleep, they lie down, because the Darkness within pulls them towards the Underworld. If we had but bodies with water that was also Fire, we might fly. 3. (Animistic) Humans pull upon the spirits of the earth whenever they walk, trying to lift them away with their feet. The spirits pull back, and because they are much larger than people, the people stay on the ground and the spirits are not pulled away by our feet. Unless you know the right trick to it. 4. (Mystic) We do? 5. (Lunar) We fall so that we know how it feels to fall, and from that knowing, we shall fly.
  10. A major question to consider is this: Who were the core of the Bright Empire/Empire of Light? That is, when we describe a polity as an empire, we are saying that it is composed of several different groups of people, and that there is a core and a periphery, and the core takes things from the periphery. For the Bright Empire, we can say that the people of Kerofinela certainly saw themselves as part of the periphery. Who made up the core? We know a few names- Lokamayadon, Palangio, others I can't recall offhand. Palangio is from Rinliddi, Lokamayadon from Talastar. Dorastor itself was the geographical core of the Bright Empire. Who lived there before Nysalor was born? Who lived there while Nysalor did? One possibility is that the Bright Empire revolved around the creation of a kind of synthetic identity which allowed Dara Happans and Talastari and mostali and aldryami to all be considered part of the elite core of the Empire of Light, but that seems speculative and also kind of an ourobouros: who convinces them to start doing this in time for the Battle of Night and Day in 379 and Lokamayadon revealing his High Storm that same year, given that Nysalor is all of four years old at that time and the God Project 14?
  11. Eff


    Oh, the Lunars are definitely descended from Nysalor, and the vast majority of people accept that claim, whether they remember Nysalor fondly or hostilely.
  12. Eff


    The Lunars claim they do, but the Jernotie and Atarks stories date to an earlier phase of mythological time than the Rashoran/a stories (eg they're not taking place in the apocalyptic wasteland in which Rashorana, the Tormented Woman, hangs upside down and impaled, they're taking place in a kind of primordial universe where Jernotie is out and doing things rather than sitting on a mountain.) And the Lunars claim that these are earlier forms of Rashorana/Sedenya, in any case.
  13. Eff


    Some immediate thoughts: I'm not sure that draconic mysticism is canonically a form of Illumination or brings Illumination, but if it is (and it certainly makes sense that it would be), then Vithelan mysticism should also be on that list, as its own bullet point. Yelmic White Sun Illumination is another Pelorian example. I don't believe there's any specific examples of MSE schools that practiced Illumination currently and/or canonically. My speculation/invention/interpretation (pick any two): The basic insight that makes up Illumination is simple: "There is nothing to be afraid of." This is of course a Lunar view, but it's also one that has some monomythic support (eg in the story of the Unholy Trio in King of Sartar). This realization confers no fantastical powers in and of itself, but what it does do is allow you to recognize frightening truths about the universe. So you could (to provide the orthodox Yelmic understanding of Yelm's Illumination) understand that the One is Many and the Many are One and therefore that there is no firm line between yourself and other people, or between clean and unclean things. This is ordinarily too frightening to recognize- to accept it would be to accept that everything you believe, as a good Dara Happan, is false. But with the Illuminated intellect, it's possible to understand how both of these things can be true and accept the insight that the One is Many and the Many are One into yourself, and that your Other is really just You. Note that this is an insight that is fundamentally nonsensical to a Sartarite because they don't have the culture that produces beliefs in One, Many, cleanness and uncleanness, et cetera necessary to understand why this insight is such a big leap. So Illumination to them means something very different! It might come as, say, a realization that everyone is kin, or that all kinship is fictive. The broad point is that Illumination allows you to peek outside of your cultural perspective for a bit and understand truths that are normally veiled. Thus, the reason why Illuminates can become so powerful is because they can peer into truths that they would normally not be able to understand without abandoning some of the truths they knew previously, and they are able to (hypothetically) reconcile these truths together. These are capacities rather than demands, of course, and the notion of Occlusion demonstrates that it's hardly impossible for an Illuminate to conceal the truth from themselves. (Or to put it in slightly more game-mechanical terms, Spirits of Reprisal affect you because you're in tension over holding mutually incompatible truths in your head, and by making the truths compatible, Illumination makes it difficult for them to affect you because you're invisible to their radar, as it were.)
  14. Minor note: the pre-Lunar Dara Happan sources we have don't make the connection between "Sedenya the Changer" and "Verithurus/a". The former is one of the slayers of Yelm and later a contender in the War of Many Suns, the protector of Mernita. The latter is, in feminine guise, one of Yelm's suitors, and in masculine guise, one of the proctors of the Ten Tests. Lesilla appears in the Plentonic commentary on the Gods Wall as the "goddess of mothers", while Gerra is the "goddess of sorrow", but their position in Lunar myths is absent from the Glorious Reascent. Rashorana also appears as the "tortured woman" on the Gods Wall, while Verithurus/a and Zayenera/s appear in their places as children of Yelm. Natha is noted as keeper of the Second Hell. Only Orogeria/Ulurda is totally absent from the Gods Wall in Plentonius's commentary... If we had a better idea of where some of these stories come from (it's entirely possible that the extant Lesilla and Gerra stories just aren't recorded by Plentonius but existed in his time) we would have a better sense of what it means in an emic sense for the various stories to be combined together into a single mythical story.
  15. I think that to a certain extent this is backwards- other methods of Illumination generally involve an elaborate method of schooling to prepare you for the awakening. That's how EWF mysticism worked before the rise of the Short Cuts, that's how Kralori mysticism works minus the Path of Immanent Mastery, that's how Orlanth mysticism works too- you spend decades or hundreds of years practicing your breathing before you open your third eye- and that's probably how White Sun Illumination works. But you don't actually need any of that, it's all just safety nets to give you a grounding when you awaken to the nature of reality and realize just how much freedom you really have. Nysalorean riddles will stretch your mind enough to jog that third eye loose and open it wide. So the Lunar Way teaches that you can reach the low stage of enlightenment called Illumination in any way you please. You can become Illuminated by the Gerra rites, third eye bursting forth during the aftercare. You can become Illuminated by mixing drugs in exciting new ways. You can become Illuminated by getting tossed out of your body and looking at a Lune directly in the eyes. You can become Illuminated by indulging in pure excess, or by indulging in deep asceticism, or by both. And you can also do it the safe way, by studying Sedenyic writings and meditating and repeating mantras and making sure to do your mudras. If you're a nerd. So Examiners emerge because proceeding down the left-hand paths stands a high chance of turning you into a wreck of a human being, which they call "Occlusion", and if you proceed down the pathway to the higher enlightenment with that kind of development, you get Zho Lath Ey. (I think Examiners definitely became much more important post-Sheng.) The necessity of imposing some kind of order on enlightenment so that you don't get demon bodhisattvas running around creates the preconditions for a tight ideological grasp on Lunar higher ministries and recognition of officially Sevened individuals. Would it be better to perhaps restrict Illumination so that you don't have this problem in the first place? Perhaps, but 1) Sedenya's divine Lunacy necessarily animates everything we do and 2) restricting Illumination to monastic study takes it from out of the hands of the people unless you implement a significantly more controlling police state that can shuffle people around at random.
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