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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.
Reposted from: https://plus.google.com/105565958886348555846/posts/FUWS1NAXBKY "History is written by the Victors."(or how I learned to love the Illuminated Bull God)I've been attempting to piece together the Dawn Age history of Fronela, particularly focusing around the Gbaji Wars. I think I've made an interesting discovery, particularly about the nature of Arinsor, the so called "Chaos Wizard" and the Tarjinian Bull.If we step back to the Dawn, there are two dominant powers - Akem, the Brithini and Malkioni settlement centered around Sog City, and the Eleven Beast Alliance - a confederation of Hsunchen ruled by a Hykimi Shamans. The Eleven Beast Alliance are lead by a group of Tawari bull hsunchen known as the Enjoreli. These two powers clash for a while, and then in the 2nd century, the word of the Lightbringers are brought to the Enjoreli by the Unity Council.At this point the Eleven Beast Alliance changes - they do not entirely abandon their Hykimi Ways, but add the worship of the Lightbringers to their midsts. Even in the Third Age, many of the Orlanthi of Fronela worship bull riding, thunderbolt throwing King Storm. Is this an attempt of the Unity Council to convert the most influential of the Beast Tribes in the area?In 375 ST, the Sunstop occurs. From the perspective of the Fronelans, this was a magical contest between the Malkioni Sorcerers and the Hykimi Shamans, where the Malkioni prove their superiority by causing Ehilm to stop in its tracks. Things get more complicated after this.The Second Council begins to send Nysaloran missionaries to spread the word of the New God.Arinsor emerges at this time. Called by Talor and the Loskalmi as "The Chaos Wizard", it seems unlikely to me that he would embrace such a moniker. After all, he is here to spread the world of Nysalor. Arinsor "opens the Gates of Banir" and the most prominent thing that emerges from is the Tarjinian Bull.Predictably, the Malkioni react badly to this new religion, but it seems like the Eleven Beast Alliance embraces Nysalor. Perhaps the Tarjinian Bull isn't the quite the chaos monstrosity that the Talor and Arkat demonize it as. Perhaps Arinsor merely wished to demonstrate the amazing potential offered to the Eleven Beast Alliance, and brought forth this magical bull to convert their most powerful and influential Tribe to the New Light.History continues to unfold. Arkat and Talor emerge on the scene, struggle, die, and are resurrected. Talor eventually returns in 450ST, destroys the Hykimi Priests, and exterminates the Tawari Bull Hsunchen. This is a worse fate, perhaps, than the curse he leveled against the Telmori Wolf Hsunchen. What had the Tawari done that necessitated genocide? There are only ten tribes of Hsunchen left in Fronela afterwords.There are still signs of this conflict throughout Fronela:- The Loskalmi province of Tawars is still named after them, and there are renowned for their cattle.- Valsburg, Tawar's capital, has a Bull Gate in which the defeated gods of the Tawari are still bound.- Feleor in Tawars has exalted white cattle that are only slaughtered by an ancient line of butcher-priests. - Furlani the Horned One, magical guardian of Loskalm, has a bulls head. - Kikina in Junora has a sacred bull that makes auguries. - Orlanth the Bull Rider is worshipped throughout Junora and Oranor.When the Hero Wars start in earnest, the Gates of Banir will be reopened. Will the Tarjinian Bull emerge again? What will it mean for Tawars?