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Invisible God thoughts

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As most of you all know, the Invisible God will not be making an appearance in the Cults of Glorantha - as sorcery really needs a full treatment, and the so will be getting its own book. 

At its core, all variants of Malkionism are ways of addressing the following questions. 

1. What is the relationship between mortals and gods? This ranges from treating the gods as nothing more than anthropomorphised natural forces (like with the Brithini) to permitting worship of specific deities as favoured emanations or agents of the Invisible God (as is common among henotheist Malkionism). 

2. Who is allowed to learn sorcery? This might be a small elite (hereditary or meritocratic), potentially everyone but practically restricted to a few, or everyone. The last is very rare except among a few transgressive sects.

3. What is the relationship between sorcerers and the rest of society? Sorcerers are sometimes removed from society as a "sacred" caste surrounded by taboos and restrictions. In other societies, sorcerers are the rulers of society. And in still others, they advise but do not rule.

4. What is the ideal form of human society? Malkionism encourages people to look at abstract ideals as the perfect form of something (and that sorcery is the technique of bringing the material world in compliance with that perfect form). But what is the ideal form of human society? Logically human society is divided into castes or classes, but how are those chosen and comprised? 

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49 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Who is allowed to learn sorcery?

also, what is sorcery in a world where power is fairly readily accessible? where's the line?

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59 minutes ago, Jeff said:

At its core, all variants of Malkionism are ways of addressing the following questions.

This is very useful, thanks!

I imagine the Navigationalist school of the Quinpolic League could approach them with something similar to:

1. The gods are the beasts upon the Invisible God's metaphorical sea of souls. They may be avoided, fought off, or treated with; but are still separate from society.

2. Sorcery is the province of those who are most worthy of it. There is no point teaching its secrets to someone who can not understand them.

3. Sorcerers are the titular Navigators of the school, who are able to plot out the route ahead in physical and spiritual matters. They primarily act as advisors to their captains, although astronomy and cartography is also within their purview, including magical cartography of the Other Side. They are most commonly seen by others as the wizards who perform the rites of Opening for ships.

4. The ideal form of society is the Ship of State. The Navigator's role is as described before; while the nobility are the Captains, who decide the course and command the crew. The Crew are members of the worker caste, who are vital for the ship to function, but equally know nothing about navigation or commanding and their mutinies would cause the ship to fall apart. The most ideal of captains is the Man of All: a philosopher king who understands Navigation, and how all the Crew perform their duties, and through this are able to navigate the ship (both literal vessels and cities and other social structures)

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4 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Navigationalist

Navigationalism is perhaps the most interesting school to me!

The Hrestoli are cool but c'mon, an entire philosophical school based on SAILING?

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4 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

It's a no-no Chaos action is what it is

Everyone's a bloody Hrestoli Idealist these days!

Big fan of the Boristi position here!

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Just now, Akhôrahil said:

Everyone's a bloody Hrestoli Idealist these days!

hey a lot of ... whatever we're deciding to call Malkioni and anti-Malkioni schools en masse ... are anti-tapping. The Rokari are and they are hierarchical abusive slaving assholes. 

Which brings me to why I never like Western/Malkioni settings: they are so unpleasant and the theology is worse, grim and miserable. I might think, like, Orlanth is an ass (I don't specifically) but at least Dragon Pass is interesting and the myths are fascinating.

So much of the West is like: THERE ARE FOUR CASTES. ALSO THERE ARE WOMEN, THEIR OWN CASTE, BECAUSE THEY SUCK MORE. THE WORLD IS FILTH.

It's like, listen, I live in New England in the United States, if I wanted shitty theology I could turn on the TV.

At least give me bodhisattvas boldly stolen from other religions. Manichaeism worked because it made Gnosticism interesting. Sure the evil creator made this filth-world, but also look at this amazing art and the printed books and hymnals and wow, here are some great stories. Hype those saints. Bring me the Navigationalists and their weird ship-cults.

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1 minute ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Hype those saints. Bring me the Navigationalists and their weird ship-cults.

A DARE.

I seem to have an extra copy of Codex 2 (The Fronela Special) to send as a PRIZE to the person or team who concocts the best rhythm of the saints, public acclamation take all. Bonus for Madonna references or at least Hildegard von Bingen because I'm from the late '80s. But if revolves around the yacht rock that's good too. Or anything. 

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Just now, Qizilbashwoman said:

if you were you'd have mentioned the Catherine Wheel

Bring it all on, the shelleyan orphans, the frazier choruses, all the lonely eyesores the Rokarists forget to their sorrow.

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20 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

hey a lot of ... whatever we're deciding to call Malkioni and anti-Malkioni schools en masse ... are anti-tapping. The Rokari are and they are hierarchical abusive slaving assholes. 

The Rokari tap animals last I looked. Because supposedly, loving animals is impossible. That's the Rokari for you.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

The Rokari tap animals last I looked. Because supposedly, loving animals is impossible. That's the Rokari for you.

Well, not to echo, but

21 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Which brings me to why I never like Western/Malkioni settings: they are so unpleasant and the theology is worse, grim and miserable.

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37 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

And they all need to decide where they stand on Tapping.

Tapping whom, or what?

The Neliomi Sea was reduced to an almost still, insignificant puddle due to having been tapped by both Vadeli and Enro(l)valini (better known as Brithini) in the Late Storm Age (Guide p.692)

I found it possible to make an ethically defensible statement on Tapping peasants saying "We must not forbid peasants to volunteer for Tapping to give the sorcerers the necessary power to save the community!" in the committee on Tapping at How The West Was One. Unfortunately, all the other committee members were too enmeshed in their respective ideologies to apply Logic to the problem, and no one from the openly tapping schools was even invited to that committee.

Originally Tapping was not in any way Chaotic, but a necessary measure on part of the wizards to keep Change and Creation at manageable speeds. Like with pre-Death killings of beasts for food, on the next morning or at least at the next major rite, the killed individual beast would return to where it died, and likewise Tapped anything would regenerate from the ongoing stream of Creation.

The Boristi sort of misunderstood this.

The Galvosti (who tap non-Malkioni humans) are a Hrestoli group.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

As most of you all know, the Invisible God will not be making an appearance in the Cults of Glorantha...

Well, he is invisible.

19 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

The Rokari tap animals last I looked.

So you like to watch, do you?

All joking aside, yeah, I'm glad to see that Malkionism/sorcery won't inadvertently get short shrift by including a truncated rendition in CoG.

!i!

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I find the argument that tapping Chaos is theologically sound convincing - "Do not ruin that which you love", it is written, but clearly, you cannot (or damned well should not!) love Chaos.

Now, there might be more practical arguments against it...

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6 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I find the argument that tapping Chaos is theologically sound convincing - "Do not ruin that which you love", it is written, but clearly, you cannot (or damned well should not!) love Chaos.

In the fullness of time some monks have probably argued that thou shalt not love that which thou canst ruin, so tap it all and grow mighty. Those guys are jerks though.

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

As most of you all know, the Invisible God will not be making an appearance in the Cults of Glorantha - as sorcery really needs a full treatment, and the so will be getting its own book. 

At its core, all variants of Malkionism are ways of addressing the following questions. 

1. What is the relationship between mortals and gods? This ranges from treating the gods as nothing more than anthropomorphised natural forces (like with the Brithini) to permitting worship of specific deities as favoured emanations or agents of the Invisible God (as is common among henotheist Malkionism). 

2. Who is allowed to learn sorcery? This might be a small elite (hereditary or meritocratic), potentially everyone but practically restricted to a few, or everyone. The last is very rare except among a few transgressive sects.

3. What is the relationship between sorcerers and the rest of society? Sorcerers are sometimes removed from society as a "sacred" caste surrounded by taboos and restrictions. In other societies, sorcerers are the rulers of society. And in still others, they advise but do not rule.

4. What is the ideal form of human society? Malkionism encourages people to look at abstract ideals as the perfect form of something (and that sorcery is the technique of bringing the material world in compliance with that perfect form). But what is the ideal form of human society? Logically human society is divided into castes or classes, but how are those chosen and comprised? 

Don't all of them also address something along the lines of "what is the nature of the physical (which in this case includes energy) universe, and how does it relate to a higher power?" I know it can be said that *every* worldview deals with this to some extent, but at least from the material I've read, this question is where some major divisions have occured, from the Brithini ("there is no higher power except for the impersonal Law"), to the Irensalavists ("the physical universe is created by a corrupt Demiurge and so is inherently corrupt"), to the "orthodox" Rokari (Malkioneran? I can't keep up with all the denominational terms) ("the physical universe was made by Malkion in several stages, and ultimately Malkion sacrificed himself to preserve it.") 

Feel free to correct.

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For many Malkioni, the answer to question 1 is most important. In the Second Age, most orthodox Malkioni held that the gods are powerful but limited beings that can be made to serve the interest of men. The God Learners studied and even worshiped the gods to understand them - which thereby allowed them to use the gods to further their goals. In the Third Age, the Rokari and New Hrestoli- both being a reaction against the God Learners - reject worship of "mere Rune holders" (although of course they still worship city guardians, and other minor entities in exchange for magic). 

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3 hours ago, Tindalos said:

2. Sorcery is the province of those who are most worthy of it. There is no point teaching its secrets to someone who can not understand them.

I still imagine western peasants knowing some sorcery to make their daily work easier. Because knowing spirit magic would be worse, right? :P 

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4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Which brings me to why I never like Western/Malkioni settings: they are so unpleasant and the theology is worse, grim and miserable. I might think, like, Orlanth is an ass (I don't specifically) but at least Dragon Pass is interesting and the myths are fascinating.

 

I can definitely understand this take. I'm curious which Malkioni sect or culture you think is the most "playable." I've put a lot of thought into how I would potentially build a campaign in each region featuring the Western culture, namely Seshnela, Loskalm, and Safelster.

Despite what the GtG says, I think the Rokari Seshnelans are probably the least playable next to the Brithini, who are unplayable for lots of reasons. There's the Vadeli too I guess, but I don't really consider them part of the club. In Seshnela, if you're a horali or a dronar, you pretty much have to do whatever the talars and zzaburi tell you to do, right? It would make a mixed-caste party of Seshnelan characters a bit difficult to manage. The status of women in Seshnela is also quite depressing. Every other religion in Glorantha seems to have some kind of escape valve cult for non-conforming women (Vinga, shamanism, basically the entire Lunar Way), but I don't see that among the Rokari. 

Loskalm on the other hand has rejected caste restrictions, and apparently grants women the same status as men. Their religion is a bit grim, yet they still celebrate the human body through art, athletics, etc. I'm not totally clear on their attitudes to sex. Probably somewhere between, "All flesh is evil" and "the body is a reflection of the unknowable divine." I think it's also notable that there seems to be acceptance of same-sex relationships there, based on the relationship between Meriatan and Gundreken. I could see playing a Loskalmi character being more interesting too, because they can choose to study and worship different Ascended Masters, kind of like a theist character has their choice of cult. 

4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

At least give me bodhisattvas boldly stolen from other religions. Manichaeism worked because it made Gnosticism interesting. Sure the evil creator made this filth-world, but also look at this amazing art and the printed books and hymnals and wow, here are some great stories. Hype those saints. Bring me the Navigationalists and their weird ship-cults.

Sounds like Safelster is your place!  Weird cults and occult knife fights. I would run a campaign there in a heartbeat if I just had me some good heroquesting rules, and an Arkat cult writeup. 

Edited by Gallowglass
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9 minutes ago, Runeblogger said:

I still imagine western peasants knowing some sorcery to make their daily work easier. Because knowing spirit magic would be worse, right? :P 

Maybe this is a better question for the Runequest forum, but I'm still very confused about what kind of magic you're allowed to use if you're Rokari, and not in the zzaburi caste. I got the impression that the other castes can't cast any kind of magic, just receive sorcerous benefits from their wizards. If you were playing RQG, this seems like a huge disadvantage, compared to what the average theist character receives. 

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There's nothing wrong in knowing spirit magic in Malkioni societies (shamans are another matter but it isn't essential to go to a shaman for such magics).  Rune magic is slightly trickier and it remains to be seen how this is done.

As for tapping, is Tap Air intrinsically evil?

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As Rokari woman are their own caste, they are not bound by caste restrictions that affect their men.  In practice, most obey the restrictions of their own men.  I know Greg was amenable to female warrior rokari (I have no idea whether it exists now) but I think most would go the way of adopt men's habits to get ahead.

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