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Invisible God thoughts

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I might be wrong here, as my history knowledge is not super indepth.

Greek city-states, primarily The "citizenry" being strictly speaking a relatively limited portion of the (male) population for the most part, who were landowners and farmers, but had slaves and possibly dependent freedmen* supporting them. Expected to be economically capable of mustering the equipment of a hoplite, and come to the defence of the polis, and partake in regular (possibly multiannual?) exercises or otherwise regular physical training.

(*Who were citizens in neither Sparta or Athens or other city-states I've read about, though I might be off)

If I'm off on this one, fair dues. But this is something I would see as "somewhere between a well-trained Fyrdsman (carl) and a (full-time) sword-thane" (sorry about the added parentheses, I had sort of assumed them when first writing the sentence above).

I should also add that "trained from an early age" does not necessarily equate to "professional soldier", as Britain's longbowmen, or indeed Scandinavian vikings will attest to*. Depends on the level and intensity of training. 
(*At least if we believe some of the Icelandic sagas that relate wrestling and combat training from the tween ages or so).

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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The Loskalmi are hardly the type of society that has slaves and dependent freedmen supporting the guardians.  The Loskalmi have been described as having professional warriors (ie supported by the state).  It isn't a society run by landowners but a society run by a philosophical school (like say the pythagoreans) of wizards and first brothers. It's arguable how far Loskalm views the idea of personal property but I do think they would reject the idea of land ownership by people and have farmers being tenants on property owned by the state.  

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16 minutes ago, metcalph said:

dependent freedmen

do you mean like helots?

you'd have to have some kind of standing army to keep second-class citizens and slaves in line, that's, like, why the police were invented

Edited by Qizilbashwoman

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1 minute ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

do you mean like helots?

Sir Godspeed was the person who used the term and I was responding to him. I doubt he meant helots because they weren't free. 

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16 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I doubt he meant helots because they weren't free.

well it depends on your interpretation, Pollux's description was of dependent freemen, but fair enough. still, if you have a statist society with a hierarchy, what's going to stop the large number of workers doing hard agricultural work from taking more power unless you remind them? Church only goes so far before people start thinking heretical thoughts about ways they could do less backbreaking work while the warriors wrestle each other in oil.

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10 hours ago, metcalph said:

 needless irrelevance

skipped.

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

Where is this from?  I'm discussing Loskalm as is and have little interest in debating some hoary text that you don't have the decency to give a reference to.

Ah, sorry, the hyperlink I provided got cut in the process of editing my text down. https://www.glorantha.com/docs/history-of-malkioni-thought-brithini-and-first-age/

I think this should be the source document for the development of modern Malkionism.

Quote

When one achieves self-mastery though mastery of the Four Tools and quiets the clamor of the lower world, the essential soul can contemplate the purity in itself and ascend purified. The essential soul possessing true morality and all the purity of the virtues contemplates its greatness, its righteous life, pure morality, courage with its noble look, dignity and modesty advancing in a fearless, calm and unperturbed disposition, and the godlike light shining upon all. The essential soul returns within itself and ascends to the One, transcending the phenomenal world and joining the One. We call this reunification with the One “Joy”.

Four Tools: the primary tools of the four castes of traditional Brithini (male) castes. These may be symbolic - mastering the crown or the sceptre as respective tools named for the talar or zzabur caste seems impractical, mastering the sword as the symbol of the horali caste seems quite appropriate without the symbolism, even though the spear or pike probably remains as the main tool of formation warfare, and whatever tool the worker caste or farmer caste would bring to the party. Or they may be four standardized skills a Hrestoli man-of-all has to master come ice or flood. In that case, the literacy to read the Book of Glorious Joy and to write their own name and simple orders might be the ability asked from a man of all as the sorcerous tool.

Essence Soul: not nesessarily a leftover term from the Hero Wars/HQ1 era of the three world models. Something different than the five Orlanthi or seven Lunar souls. Possibly the intellect of the individual.

 

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

Well, you throw around the term Irensavelists and leave it undefined so I really don't know who you are referring to here.  Why not just say Loskalmi?

Because I disagree with your definitions of those terms.

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

Is there a Man-of-All who doesn't worship Irensavel? 

Irensaval worship is not identical to the experience of Joy.

All men-of-all , whether in Loskalm or Seshnela or Ralios or Maniria undergo the experience of Joy in a successful initiation.

(Yes, there are men-of-all in Seshnela, though not in mainstream Rokarism.)

The ability to cast a sorcerous spell through the use of a technique and a rune might be the proof.

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

The use of Tai Chi is likewise obscure but I do believe I said Henosis first, other sorcery later, so I really don't know what you mean by newly consecrated.  A guardian?  A wizard?  A first brother?

Tai Chi is a practice of meditative repetition of martial arts moves in slow motion that make sense in combat when performed at combat speeds but which doesn't prepare the practitioner to use them in combat. There are countless moves in Tai Chi which are fairly useless show elements, similar to sword-twirling. In other words, you force "hardened veterans" to learn a skill irrelevant for their continued service in the army.

I said "Man-of-All". That means, a former guardian in the New Idealist Hrestolism of current Loskalm who underwent this acquisition of a sorcerous rune or technique through what you named "henosis" and which the rules you refer to call "intellectual union with the source of their magic".

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

No wait, I have a better idea.  Rather than go through another person's writings with dense paragraphs why not outline HOW YOU FEEL THE HRESTOLI WOULD WORK IN THE RUNEQUEST RULES.  That way we can get a better sense of your thinking rather than having to wade through cryptic terminology.

To express how they work in RQ rules (which I would do in the RuneQuest forum, not here on the Glorantha forum) I first need to present how they work in Glorantha. Your assumptions of gumptless magical practice as a spiritual exercise only is a strong disincentive to play Loskalmi New Idealist Hrestoli - it feels like the otherwise useless skill a practitioner of the Path of Immanent Mastery has to learn. Has anybody ever seen an immanent master player character in their RQ3 games?

 

Perhaps we should start working out the details of Loskalmi society before we focus on Loskalmi Men-of-all. There is a very limited number of descriptions of Loskalm in the history of published Gloranthan writings:

  • The Guide to Glorantha - mainly the Loskalm chapter, with the "Western Culture" chapter unhealthily focussed on the Rokari ways (which are atypical to anywhere outside of the KIngdom of Seshnela, the Quinpoli League and maybe Tiskos). The only source free of "churches" and "knights"...
  • Jamie Revell's "Book of Glorious Joy" - explicitely non-canonical, a take on how Loskalm would look with churches and knights, based on the Hero Wars era official (as well as priviliged authors-only) material and written for use with HeroQuest 1st edition.
  • Martin Hawley's two page write-up for naval Loskalm in "Men of the Sea" titled "Homeland: Ozur Bay" based on the HeroQuest 1 rules, also in significant parts post-canonical. 
  • Peter Metcalfe's description in "Introduction to the Hero Wars", explicitely post-canonical except for bits that may be salvaged. Written for use with the Hero Wars rules (HeroQuest zero edition, so to say).
  • Character background in How The West Was One, the freeform written by David Hall and Nick Brooke, and the summary in the accompanying Sog City University Guidebook. Highly influentual, never canonical.
  • Missing Lands has three paragraphs or so on the New Idealist Hrestoli Loskalmi Church. Nothing on the society. It is the source for the Medispection ritual Peter mentioned above. (Revealed Mythologies has nothing on Siglat's Loskalm.)
  • Magazine articles, homepages and digest (or similar forum) contributions based on these aforementioned sources, none of them going into a comparable amount of detail.

That's it. Our only canonical source is the Guide.

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

The RuneQuest Sorcery rules make that highly unlikely.  It's far easier for men to know Heal 6 or Heal Wound (mechanisms for knowing yet to be determined) then it is to posit an army where a caster of Mend Flesh is on hand (I doubt it would be more common than one in a hundred in which case the Loskalmi army is pretty much screwed when it fights foreigners). 

It might be spiritually polluting, too.

Given that already the requirement for joining the Loskalmi army is being a guardian, i.e. belonging to the "men and women who display appropriate  spiritual  virtue  and  ability" (Guide p.203) makes use of unvirtuous magics problematic. Giving them spirit magic of dubious origins or theist rune magics of even less virtuous origins doesn't quite rhyme with idealism. So your approach requires the Loskalmi army and society to define virtuous sources of spirit magic and rune magic for their guardians and men-of-all to use in the service of the community.

 

So, rather than worry about how a New Idealst Hrestoli man-of-all acquires sorcery, how about describing how guardians and men-of-all (whether inside or outside of the military) access non-sorcerous magics, and whether and how that interferes with their intellectual union with the source of their sorcerous magic?

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

Runic affinities are used for Rune Lords and I see no reason to re-invent the wheel.

Which rune then. Law? Infinity? Magic? (Guide, p.151)

None of these are available through the character generation processes in RQG at the moment. Neither are they used in RQG sorcery (except for Magic, which is a place holder for "any rune" in the spell descriptions, but not among the runes you could master).

The parental experience carry-over might be a way to establish a basic value in these runes, similar to how passions are acquired, which means you wouldn't have to re-write the entire character sheet. You would need a way to gain such a rune through play, however, if you want to play in Loskalm and have outsiders who "see the light" and want to join the New Idealist Hrestoli ways.

But maybe the Man Rune might be the appropriate measure. The Malkioni are the Humanist faction as well as the Materialist one. The Man Rune stands for integration into society.

So, then which percent range in which rune does a guardian need to become eligible as a man-of-all candidate, and what skill values? (Or should we put this discussion into the RuneQuest forum?) Are they initiates, or are they somewhat higher in the rune level ranks?

One problem I have with making the 20,000 men-of-all in the Loskalmi army (and unknown numbers of men-of-all outside of the command structure of the army) all the way to the equivalent of rune lords is that this is an awful lot of rune levels. It also makes more than one third of the Loskalmi army have 90% or better combat skills, and all the rest at similar levels but lacking in one or two of the other cult skills.

Does the Loskalmi army provide city guards and caravan escorts, or does Loskalm have another pool of trained fighters to fill these roles?

 

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

 

15 hours ago, Joerg said:

Cult Lore could include verbatim recital of the scriptures, but I don't see why you would saddle the guardians with a costly Tai Chi magic requirement and then balk at making them able to read. I like the concept of obligatory literacy in this neo-platonic setting.

I really don't know what you mean by costly here and my objection about literacy was that effective sorcery requires it.  Regardless of whether you like it, making hardened warriors be skilled scribes at the same time sounds rather implausible.

Yes, making every warrior a master of calligraphy would break my definition of plausibility, too.

Costly as in a great amount of effort and time of the prospective men-of-all to spend on acquiring skills that have no military use.

For some reasons, only guardians are called to serve in the army - the Loskalmi don't seem to have any use for the obedient but ignorant grunt that is so valued by the Steuben-derived military doctrine. While McNamara's Project 100,000 shows the folly of this approach in the Vietnam war, the intellectual and moral challenges for becoming a functional pike-man in the Thirty Years War or back in the earliest Bronze Age are way lower. Does Loskalm not have any middlingly virtuous men-at-arms? If not in the army, then maybe as caravan guards, or marines on commercial ships?

So yes, our concerns are similar. You ask whether it is necessary to be able to read passingly well and to write a bit in order to join the army (rather than making your three crosses on the recruitment form), and I ask whether you have to be an upstanding citizen to be allowed to serve in the armed forces and whether a natural brawler in fear of his immediate superiors wouldn't be an asset in the military too.

Breaking a soldier's identity and ethics in boot camp to re-build him or her into a functional killer doesn't seem to be the Loskalmi way. Breaking and rebuilding is a typical initiatory praxis - the symbolism of Christian baptism is death by drowning followed by a rebirth. College fraternities got this principle right when destroying their aspirants' human dignity, but this doesn't conform with our conception of an enlightened society.

Does Plato or any of his successors have anything to say about this dilemma?

10 hours ago, metcalph said:
13 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Man-of-All is supposed to work well in coordinated mass action, but also as solo fighter.

What are you referring to here?

That the Loskalmi female man-of-all presented in the image on p.50 in the Guide is neither equipped for nor described as the member of a large body of cavalry or infantry fighters on the battle-field, but rather as a solitary fighter ready to stand in as the champion for the normal people.

(Very much unlike the Renaissance-armored knight that somehow made it into RQ3 Genertela Book which we all are trying so very hard to forget - in my case, I advocated for knights of 1300 years older traditions already in 1994, demanding East Roman cataphract rather than Reformation Age style of equipment.)

The troops arrayed behind Meriatan and his sorcerer in Jan Pospisil's color plate on p.204 of the Guide are equipped for mass action combat - we only get a good look at the foot soldier in the front, though.

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

I do believe I said Henosis would be a requirement for learning other sorcery.  There's nothing to prevent them learning other types of magic and I repeat my belief that most Loskalmi combat magic is not sorcery but spirit and rune magics.

So you don't think that the intellectual commitment to other magical practices hampers the intellectual unity with the source of sorcerous magics?

If most Loskalmi combat magic comes from spirit and rune magics, who in the Loskalmi pyramid of meritocratic magical people does provide them?

From the description in the Guide, normal people don't deal with powerful magics. If you are a guardian who may have the purpose to use such magic, you might be taught it. By whom?

I would suggest that any such teacher not remaining from before the Ban would have to be a former Man-of-All at least - possibly higher - who then somehow went on to become a God-Talker or spirit master in order to be allowed and able to teach rune magic or spirit magic. The recipients ought to be Guardians - the 10% or 20% virtuous elite eligible for volunteer community service tasks, the non-idiots in the Classical Greek sense of the word (selfish one).

(I am having some language/cultural context problems here. German language and culture has the concept of "Ehrenamt", which combines the concept of community service with the term "amt" for office - it describes people who take an office pro bono publico, without making it their core economic activity. There is a whole lot of context that the suggested translations "volunteer work" or "community service" don't even start to include. Such as a well-established culture of NGOs on every level of German culture, the so-called "Verein". I think that the Loskalm concept of Guardians is very similar to the German concept of "ehrenamtliches Engagement".)

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

Reacquaint yourself with the literacy limits on sorcery (a sorcery skill can be no higher than read/write). 

Yes. Obviously you need to devote a significant portion of your self-improvement on literacy if you want to be able to cast magic in a virtuous way.

Note that a high reading ability doesn't make you a scribe. My hand-writing resembles a cypher more than legible text, and I suppose that quite a lot of secretive sorcerers may make a virtue out of this vice, too.

That said, a low skill can and will be routinely boosted to tolerable success chances in non-combat situations through meditation and passions such as Loyalty Loskalmi Kingdom, Love Comrades (often in more than the platonic sense)/Loyalty to your unit, Hate Enemy.

 

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

Given the levels of literacy  you are prepared to accept here, you condemn the Loskalmi into being pretty crap sorcerers. 

The entry level Man-of-All isn't supposed to be a master of magic, but to have learned the necessary basics. In the end, individual letters are just a mnenonic crutch to parse a sentence, and the average fluent reader doesn't parse single letters, but words or even sentences or paragraphs. Being well-acquainted with a text allows you to parse it at much higher efficiency than beginning to read it. Cheating the read skill by having memorized a text verbatim is common practice everywhere.

It is also what makes editing a text you wrote yourself so hard.

Gloranthan Western magic and philosophy is all about cognitive processes practiced by humans, so why not transfer our experience of cognitive processes - whether personal or scientific - to Gloranthan sorcery?

A man-of-all being prepared to rise to the status of wizard does need to master her literacy. Perhaps even her calligraphy, at least when it comes to producing magically meaningful diagrams.

But then, I don't think that the 20,000 men-of-all serving in the Loskalmi army are the entirety of all men-of-all in the 3.2 million population of Loskalm.

The Men-of-All are living a state-sponsored life, or the life of mendicants, as they have given over all their worldly possessions to the state upon their initiation as Men-of-All. But that was basically an invitation for the state to equip them with whatever personal items they brought to that initiation when serving as men-of-all afterwards. While it is likely that there will be some ceremonial or educational loss of certain items brought to that initiation, the sponsors of that initiation are highly unlikely to strip an applicant of all their worldly belongings forever and reduce their available equipment to the clothes they wear and the sword they wield (as visible symbol of their status as man-of-all).

The Men-of-all (of Loskalm) are described as "a mystical order of warrior monks", but I don't see monasteries in the descriptions of Loskalm and its cities to house them. Those of them in the army will be equipped by their battalions (or detachments thereof).

There will be a role for men-off-all in Loskalmi culture outside of the military - as judges, healers, magistrates, teachers. A man-of-all serving in such caacity will receive housing, appropriate clothing and food as a stipend. As horse riding is a signature ability of men-of-all, the stipend will in all likelihood include stabling and fodder for the horse(s) assigned to the man-of-all. The clothing will include official, highly decorated garments in the style worn by Meriatan and his First Brother/wizard companion in the color plate of p.151 and utilitarian everyday clothing displaying their humility as in the drawing on p.50 (both in the Guide).

Then there will be men-of-all on a spiritual quest. Unlikely during military service, although there may be a contingency for men-of-all in the Army to take a sabbatical provided there are other men-of-all able to fill in their numbers in the ranks.

The necessary equipment may have to be earned through worker-caste work, or produced by the man-of-all herself as part of the quest. Access to the means of production and the materials may be provided by an official, or volunteered by a community or an individual controlling such means of productions (e.g. a loom, a smithy, a bakery, a dyer's workshop, a scriptorium).

Going onto a quest will probably require a sponsor to start off with suitable starting equipment, and a mendicant approach that allows the questing man-of-all to access her provisions (food, replacement garments, etc.) from the community she visits.

The quest may be a pilgrimage (on horse), or it may be a form of heroquesting. Some of these quests may be assigned by their superiors, others may be volunteered for (making finding a sponsor harder).

All the upper levels of the Loskalmi state are basically living on and equipped with stipends from the state. At some level a state official (of man-of-all or higher rank) will make the decision to assign equipment, food, steed, and assistants to the officials and other men-of-all.

10 hours ago, metcalph said:

That's why I felt they had an alternate means of instruction.

I wouldn't go down that way. You'll regret introducing such exceptions from the rules when dealing with the Carmanians, the only other group of Loskalmi tradition men-of-all (although paired with Lunar and Jernotian mysticism and henotheism).

 

The Loskalmi culture is ruled by the equivalent of Rune Levels. Their rulers are the equivalent to Rune Lord/Priests, their wizards are the (somewhat martially trained) equivalent to Rune Priests or (as First Brothers) Rune Lords, and their Men-of-All are somewhere between Initiate and "Assistant Rune Lord" level. The Guardians appear to be the equivalent of Initiates, or RQG starting characters, without any sorcery, but - provided we find some virtuous source for spirit and rune magic - not necessarily without magic at all.

Another possible source for non-wizard magics would be expanding the principle behind the Rite of Opening available to non-sorcerers to a whole lot of other magics. Dormal's Rite of Opening doesn't require literacy, either. It is a way to get the results of a sorcerous spell through other means.

Personally, I would prefer to see an approach like this for Guardian-level access to magic, and carried over to all those Men-of-All that don't aim to master Literacy and become wizards.

It has the disadvantage that we would have to design it from scratch right now, as there is no hint in the published RQG how the rite of Opening is performed by non-sorcerers. Or at least there wasn't any such published hint prior to the GenCon sale of GaGoG preview books, which required special connections for overseas-non-attendees. So if anybody who has access to the GaGoG preview and its description how a non-sorcerer Opens the seas wants to chime in, you're welcome.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

maybe the Man Rune might be the appropriate measure.

Hot stuff! Reminds me of Swedenborg. "Since heaven, as a whole, resembles one man, and is, also, a Divine-spiritual man [maximus homo] in the greatest form, even with respect to shape, it necessarily has the same distinctions, as to members and parts, as man has, bearing similar names."

It also opens up MGF tension in their system in that the more Loskalmite you become, the more alienated from the primordial Enjoreli / Eleven Beasts underpinnings of the region. They don't seem to have Beast Societies up there. Or if they do, it might be in a dramatically different form.

In general I think Loskalm has some of the biggest magic left in the world imported from Altinela and elsewhere to support the idealistic population. Everyone eats and many have time to play as long as the magic holds up.

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23 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

In general I think Loskalm has some of the biggest magic left in the world imported from Altinela and elsewhere to support the idealistic population. Everyone eats and many have time to play as long as the magic holds up.

Speaking of magic, it could be a good idea to look at their grimoires and see what they'd have from that.

Siglat's canon includes Against the Demons (Anti-spirit magic, as well as a lot of hygiene instructions), The City of Virtue (Written by Tomaris and used for public worship, likely contains a lot of community spells), Snodal's Vision (probably incorporates the Altinelan spells you mention), Siglat's Dream (likely spells about maintaining Loskalm's perfection), and apocrypha of Talor the Laughing Warrior (most likely anti-Chaos or joy related spells.)

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

skipped.

Ah, sorry, the hyperlink I provided got cut in the process of editing my text down. https://www.glorantha.com/docs/history-of-malkioni-thought-brithini-and-first-age/

I think this should be the source document for the development of modern Malkionism.

I disagree.  The Loskalmi can be described as is without needless hegelian dialectics about what Jeff wrote five years ago or even what the Loskalmi were like in the Dawn Age let alone pointless digressions about the "Dawn Age True Hrestol Way" or how sorcery was described in the Hero Wars RPG.  Simply adding that detail just bores people senseless.  I'm  only interested in what their current practice is.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

Because I disagree with your definitions of those terms.

What terms are you talking about?  Irensavelist?  I made a whole post which didn't use that term and now I'm supposed to have defined it in a way that offends your theories?

Or did you just edit the meaningful link out again just to waste time?

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

Irensaval worship is not identical to the experience of Joy.

Never said it was and my post did not imply such a description.  Please stick to your own description rather than taking potshots at mine.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

All men-of-all , whether in Loskalm or Seshnela or Ralios or Maniria undergo the experience of Joy in a successful initiation.

There are men-of-all in places other than Fronela?  References please.  You define men-of-all as initiates?  That's not what the Guide says which has the Men-of-All being selected from the Guardians.  Where is your reference for saying the Guardians do not experience Joy?  Moreover I see all this in in response to a question of mine about there being a man-of-all who doesn't worship Irensavel.  For some reason you waste time by refusing to provide a yes/no answer, you won't provide references and you waste my time with tedious waffle.

 

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26 minutes ago, metcalph said:

There are men-of-all in places other than Fronela?  References please.  You define men-of-all as initiates?  That's not what the Guide says which has the Men-of-All being selected from the Guardians.  Where is your reference for saying the Guardians do not experience Joy?  Moreover I see all this in in response to a question of mine about there being a man-of-all who doesn't worship Irensavel.  For some reason you waste time by refusing to provide a yes/no answer, you won't provide references and you waste my time with tedious waffle.

Hrestolism is noted as having men-of-all (guide page 48), and as there are Hrestoli schools outside of the Fronelan schools, it would make sense they would allow them. (Such as in Pithdaros, the Castle Coast, the Galvosti of Ralios,

Certainly Arkat as a man-of-all (Arkat Liberator, page 376) is worshipped in Ralios, so the existence of men-of-all there would make sense, even if it's not an explicit confirmation.

Of course these Men-of-All will be more likely to be Hrestol's original "member of all four castes" rather than the New Hrestoli Idealistis' warrior-monks.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

 

It might be spiritually polluting, too.

Given that already the requirement for joining the Loskalmi army is being a guardian, i.e. belonging to the "men and women who display appropriate  spiritual  virtue  and  ability" (Guide p.203) makes use of unvirtuous magics problematic.

Why is using spirit magic unvirtuous and how would you solve the problem of sorcery being unsuited as magic for the average glorantha?

Quote

Giving them spirit magic of dubious origins or theist rune magics of even less virtuous origins doesn't quite rhyme with idealism. So your approach requires the Loskalmi army and society to define virtuous sources of spirit magic and rune magic for their guardians and men-of-all to use in the service of the community.

And the problem with that is?  Do you think it impossible or contrary to the source material or what?

Quote

So, rather than worry about how a New Idealst Hrestoli man-of-all acquires sorcery, how about describing how guardians and men-of-all (whether inside or outside of the military) access non-sorcerous magics, and whether and how that interferes with their intellectual union with the source of their sorcerous magic?

Sufficient penalties are already given in the RuneQuest rules.  But I fail to see why you should be making rapid fire demands of how this would all work when you singularly  fail to come up with any concrete details of your own.

Quote

If most Loskalmi combat magic comes from spirit and rune magics, who in the Loskalmi pyramid of meritocratic magical people does provide them?

I'm really waiting for Jeff to describe what such cults look like within Malkioni lands.

 

Quote

Yes. Obviously you need to devote a significant portion of your self-improvement on literacy if you want to be able to cast magic in a virtuous way.

Again what is this equation of sorcery with virtue?

 

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31 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Hrestolism is noted as having men-of-all (guide page 48), and as there are Hrestoli schools outside of the Fronelan schools, it would make sense they would allow them. (Such as in Pithdaros, the Castle Coast, the Galvosti of Ralios,

Except the Castle Coast has sorcerer warriors (guide p405) rather than men-of-all and Mularik is described as a Warrior Wizard (guide p413).  None are reported in Pithdaros etc and so I think men-of-all exist in Loskalm being an obsolete spiritual discipline elsewhere.

 

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3 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Except the Castle Coast has sorcerer warriors (guide p405) rather than men-of-all and Mularik is described as a Warrior Wizard (guide p413).  None are reported in Pithdaros etc and so I think men-of-all exist in Loskalm being an obsolete spiritual discipline elsewhere.

Ah, much like Meriatan the Swallow. (205)

Saying that the Hrestoli of the Castle Coast who combine nobility, sorcery, and martial prowess aren't men-of-all (hrestoli who have surpassed the concept of caste strictures) simply because of the lack of the term being used there seems a little extreme to me.

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27 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Ah, much like Meriatan the Swallow. (205)

A Loskalmi.

27 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Saying that the Hrestoli of the Castle Coast who combine nobility, sorcery, and martial prowess aren't men-of-all (hrestoli who have surpassed the concept of caste strictures) simply because of the lack of the term being used there seems a little extreme to me.

Except they are not described as Hrestoli.  The Guide p405 describes them as following Jrusteli ways (but not God-Learnerism) while p415 describes them as following Makan with heavy Hrestoli influences.  I don't think a warrior-wizard is by definition a men-of-all as that would include Lhankoring Sword Sages.  Rather I think warrior wizards/arcane lords/etc are most common in Loskalm where they are known as Men-of-all.  

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4 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Except they are not described as Hrestoli.  The Guide p405 describes them as following Jrusteli ways (but not God-Learnerism) while p415 describes them as following Makan with heavy Hrestoli influences.  I don't think a warrior-wizard is by definition a men-of-all as that would include Lhankoring Sword Sages.  Rather I think warrior wizards/arcane lords/etc are most common in Loskalm where they are known as Men-of-all.  

My book has a page 408 in which "The Castle Coast preserves a Hrestoli school that is less rigid in its caste restrictions." As for Makan, the schools were convergent in the Imperial Age, when (p. 411) "Most famous is the Temple of Makan, the center of Hrestolism. Here new Men-of-All take their sacred oaths and enter the service." What happened between then and now to divorce Makan from Hrestol and eliminate MOA status is MGF.

This is all good rehearsal of centuries of theological debate that should inform a God of the West book one day, heaven help us all. 

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5 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Except they are not described as Hrestoli.  The Guide p405 describes them as following Jrusteli ways (but not God-Learnerism) while p415 describes them as following Makan with heavy Hrestoli influences.  I don't think a warrior-wizard is by definition a men-of-all as that would include Lhankoring Sword Sages.  Rather I think warrior wizards/arcane lords/etc are most common in Loskalm where they are known as Men-of-all.  

408 mentions them following a Hrestoli school.

Given the term "Men-of-all" has existed in Seshnela, and seems perfectly designed to refer to them, I'd say a Hrestoli who incorporates parts of all castes fits the definition of a Man-of-all just as much as the midpoint of the New Hrestoli path.

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13 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

408 mentions them following a Hrestoli school.

It says preserves rather than follows.  In light of the other references, I'd say this meant there is a Hrestoli school there but which is not followed by the rulers (although they may have followed it in the past). 

Quote

Given the term "Men-of-all" has existed in Seshnela, and seems perfectly designed to refer to them, I'd say a Hrestoli who incorporates parts of all castes fits the definition of a Man-of-all just as much as the midpoint of the New Hrestoli path.

The Castle Coast school is only described as "less rigid in its caste restrictions" rather than actively having people incorporating all castes as a spiritual goal.  The description of its founding does suggest Hrestolism was an active part but in light of its current impoverished state and the mention of Jrusteli ways, I think the school has fallen out of favour and the Hrestoli there simply don't have the resources for anything other than a monastery. 

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Men of All seem to be  present in Hrestolism generally at least as far back as Arkat's time. Where the New Hrestoli Idealists stand out is in arranging their society around systematically cultivating them.

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37 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

As for Makan, the schools were convergent in the Imperial Age, when (p. 411) "Most famous is the Temple of Makan, the center of Hrestolism. Here new Men-of-All take their sacred oaths and enter the service." What happened between then and now to divorce Makan from Hrestol and eliminate MOA status is MGF. 

My current thinking (given what Greg was writing about the Abiding Book's silence on the subject of Joy) is that the Temple was dedicated to Makan as a sign of God Learner superiority and that any Hrestoli who wanted to study at the Temple had to publicly accept the God Learner creed thereby limiting their power. This was because the temple was too well-known to be closed so they tried to control it instead. The original text IIRC is from the Middle Sea Empire where it's a description of how wonderful Seshnela is.  

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The back-and-forth between metcalph and Joerg is making me very uncomfortable, so I'd rather not participate in this discussion anymore.

I'm planning to start a thread in the Runequest forum about how feasible a pure sorcery-using character would be in the current rule system. I feel like it is implied in the Guide that this is what advanced Loskalmi warriors would use in combat, but I also accept the sorcery rules make them better for long rituals, rather than in the thick of battle. 

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16 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

The back-and-forth between metcalph and Joerg is making me very uncomfortable,

You're not the only one.

It is very hard for me to reply to Peter's ideas without reacting to what feels to me like nastiness and unpleasant ad-hominem criticism. Peter portrays me as a liar, as unable to write readable text, as being needlessly precise while lack of mention of men-at-arms for other Third Age Malkioni is sold as solid fact that none such exist, and as devoid of any original thought.

It is hard to stay civil. At times when I am too tired, the send button is hit before I can edit out snarky retorts. Those may be somewhat cathartic, but they don't belong on this forum, and I apologize for those. Please don't be deterred by such slips of decent behavior on my side.

 

I won't let these reactions to my comments stop me from participating in this debate. I tried edit out all the controversial discussion with Peter, as he clearly stated that he is not interested in dialectics, but the forum only lets me delete the entire text.

Edited by Joerg

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3 hours ago, metcalph said:

My current thinking (given what Greg was writing about the Abiding Book's silence on the subject of Joy) is that the Temple was dedicated to Makan as a sign of God Learner superiority and that any Hrestoli who wanted to study at the Temple had to publicly accept the God Learner creed thereby limiting their power. This was because the temple was too well-known to be closed so they tried to control it instead. The original text IIRC is from the Middle Sea Empire where it's a description of how wonderful Seshnela is.  

Yomili's acclamation as "Mouth of Hrestol" despite any known fondness for caste transgression backs this up. One could evidently be the pinnacle of what they considered "Hrestolite" in that era without resembling much of what we casually call "Hrestolite" today.

The first questions that then emerge revolve around finding nomenclature that distinguishes historical usage (how people at any given time define schools) from the evolution of praxis. We ran into this recently together with Greg's cryptic "Loskalmites are not Malkioni" position. 

I am interested in seeing how "Hrestol" praxis changes, revives, is coopted and reconstructed in various times and places. Maybe there's something intrinsic that remains through all the changes.

The Dawn Age hagiography is undoubtedly useful to some Gloranthans looking for a historical foundation. It's as close as we get, but even that, given its archaic and barely published nature, isn't much. Everything beyond that becomes precarious as the West rewrites itself for its own purposes. Perhaps we start there again.

Someone else can start with Fronela as hotbed of modern Hrestol and see why that land developed differently, sometimes in line with one or more "Hrestolisms" and sometimes independently. And we can look at caste observance and triangulate from that perspective. In theory there's also the cult of the saints, although I suspect that's one of the first and deepest of the post-Hrestol accretions.

(Once upon a time I did a lot of work on sufi transmission. This may be like that.)

But what I know about Fronela is surprisingly thin. While people have worked with it, not much has really stuck. Akem is its own thing but the modern non-Sog population seems to propagate from the abduction of an otherwise undocumented daughter of Malkion by the "Redeli" bear people who vanish from the texts soon thereafter. By the end of the Dawn Age there are settlements of the blond Isefwalites before the Gbaji Wars sweep all that away to bring in the bull-riding Losk-alim allied with Talor. There's the Irensaval resistance to the God Learner invasion. (Isefwal / Irenswal?) Then in the wreckage of the God Learner era we see Jonat and other warlords build realms. And finally Snodal and his son purportedly represent the culmination of history. Any or all of these people can have relationships with various post-Hrestol forms or provide the foundation on which interpretations emerge.

The caste-driven approach seems easier because the struggle there revolves around the desirable limits of caste mobility. Do we live in a casteless society where everyone can do anything? (Some texts argue that this was the reaction to Hrestol in the Dawn Age. It's also a funny D&D / RuneQuest joke.) Is the "engrion," the knight or MOA, a sixth caste separate from the others (they tried this once on Brithos in the early texts) or a state of being outside the castes? Or as in the Rokarite system, is caste behavior an ideal to be emulated in pursuit of morality if not immortality?

Malkion had all the caste tools but was still a slave until he had enough hands to wield them all. And where are the pragmatic limits between the castes under historical pressure? The texts are full of sorcerers seeking rulership. I am more than half convinced that all the original talars have fallen and been replaced by people who misinterpret their archaic religious role. Warriors move up or down. Peasants come and go. Women are appreciated or not. (How about that Person rune?) "The varnas revolve," a vedic scholar might observe. 

Maybe good things will come out of Pithdaros. It's the Hero Wars.

Edited by scott-martin
clarity is precious so let's make this one count
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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

And where are the pragmatic limits between the castes under historical pressure? The texts are full of sorcerers seeking rulership. I suspect the archaic talars have fallen and been replaced by people who misinterpret their religious role. Warriors move up or down. Peasants come and go. Women are appreciated or not. (How about that Person rune?) "The varnas revolve," a vedic scholar might observe. 

I think that interplay is exactly where is the MGF derives.

4 hours ago, scott-martin said:

My book has a page 408 in which "The Castle Coast preserves a Hrestoli school that is less rigid in its caste restrictions." As for Makan, the schools were convergent in the Imperial Age, when (p. 411) "Most famous is the Temple of Makan, the center of Hrestolism. Here new Men-of-All take their sacred oaths and enter the service." What happened between then and now to divorce Makan from Hrestol and eliminate MOA status is MGF.

This is all good rehearsal of centuries of theological debate that should inform a God of the West book one day, heaven help us all. 

And of course formed the basis of the wonderful LARP, 'How the West was One'. One of my favourite parts of that was the theological disputation mechanic (rock-paper-scissors). If you lost bad enough, you had a "Crisis of Faith' and got to open your special sealed envelope that every character had. It explained the revelation you now had about your beliefs, and how to act going forward. 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Maybe good things will come out of Pithdaros. It's the Hero Wars.

Hopefully not too late 😄

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2 minutes ago, MOB said:

And of course formed the basis of the wonderful LARP, 'How the West was One'. One of my favourite parts of that was the theological disputation mechanic (rock-paper-scissors). If you lost bad enough, you had a "Crisis of Faith' and got to open your special sealed envelope that every character had. It explained the revelation you now had about your beliefs, and how to act going forward. 

 

Yeah, the TWIST! I think often about how efficiently the classic LARPs extended and deepened what was then relatively rudimentary canon. We know a lot more now about how the Council Broke, the Life of Moonson and the Fall of Boldhome and even the Rise of Ralios thanks to those experimental heroquests. That vision of Sog held up for a long time too, before it lapsed into its own extra-theological purgatory or limbo, where dreams go.

Of course now the convention never ends and is open to everyone with a phone so similar experiments could open up these corners of the lozenge while Dragon Pass gets its love. Worth thinking about. They don't have to be authoritative or even lead anywhere, but every step into the territory helps.

For me I'd be willing to entertain the idea that Malkion the Sacrifice is anti-zzaburist propaganda if it gets us closer to where we need to be.

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