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Hello. I've been a fan of Glorantha for decades but I've only lately become active in the wider community. This is also my first (though not last) post on this forum. I'm normally pretty shy at starting forum topics, but it so happens that I'm going to hold a talk at Ropecon, a Finnish role playing convention held on July 2018, on the subject of illumination: how it works in the real world on one hand and in Glorantha on the other. For the real world I'm mostly focusing on Japanese buddhism since that's what I'm most familiar with. Just to make things clear (disclaimer time), my practical purpose for establishing this thread is to ask the fine people of this forum to help me sound out some ideas and gain tips and insight for the talk, although as a Gloranthist I'm also otherwise extremely interested in what will come up. In my talk I will publicly give credit and my heartfelt thanks to the participants of this thread, and post a link to the video of the talk here if it ever gets uploaded (some of them do). Please understand that some of the ideas you post here may end up in the talk, so if you don't want that to happen, please say so in your comment. And of course, no comment posted after the end of July 2018 will even make it in. I am not getting a monetary compensation for holding the talk, although it will gain me a free entry to the event. Now, as I understand, enlightenment in Glorantha comes in two basic flavors: Nysalorian and Draconic illumination. Because Nysalorian revelations give you the power to ignore cult restrictions and embrace chaos with few repercussions, I've always had the understanding that the revelations themselves are chaotic in origin, or more accurately transcend the dichotomy between gods and chaos. I guess they are probably based on some insight that all stuff is fundamentally made of primal chaos or such. This form of illumination seems to hold up with the buddhist view that the world is based on nothingness and that the world is ultimately a chaotic and random existence. At least Heroquest Glorantha treats draconic enlightenment as something similar to Nysalorean in terms of gaming rules, but I think the two are quite different. First, where Nysalorean illumination features a dichotomy of gods and chaos, the Draconic kind only focuses on dragons and how to become one. Godunya doesn't seem to do any chaotic or otherwise anti-draconic stuff while meditating to become a dragon (although who knows...), nor is chaos a big part of the Kralorean setting when compared to the lunar one. It's also hard to imagine Argrath's Dragonically illuminated warlocks sprouting tentacles. In short, if you consider all this and the stuff that draconewts and EWF do and did, draconic enlightenment seems to hold up better with another facet of real world enlightenment: the liberation of the soul, or the reaching of a transcended state of existence through meditation. As a side note, although the runic goal of illumination seems to be the gaining of the infinity rune, Orlanthi mystics are also doing something similar with the mastery rune high up on the mountains. In short, it seems to me that the different Gloranthan traditions of illumination are drawing from different aspects of real world enlightenment, and that they are actually quite different from one another. What are your thoughts on this? Also, does anybody know where the illuminated Riddlers and draconic mystics go in the afterlife? Not the primordial chaos, I bet.
How open is the Lunar Empire about illumination? Is it common knowledge that anyone can aspire to or is it more along the lines of a secret society that only the few and select can aspire to? From the Prince of Sartar comic it seems to fall more into the category of secret knowledge. Perhaps another way to phrase the question is if a devotee of one of the Seven Mothers could become illuminated just by attending cult ceremonies or would they have to be selected by a Lunar examiner first? Is it something you are selected for, happen upon by accident or have thrust upon you? Can the Lunar examiners reliable detect the illuminated? A follow question is what do examiners do with those found to be Occluded?