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Jeff

Invisible God thoughts

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9 minutes ago, MOB said:

formed the basis of the wonderful LARP, 'How the West was One'. One of my favourite parts of that was the theological disputation mechanic

I enjoyed that LARP! 

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2 minutes ago, scott-martin said:
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.

The view of the (Brithini) Amoral Majority, if I recall correctly. And they are still around - though no longer a majority - so in their minds at least this is so. 

 

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1994 was the year of my first forays into the Gloranthan west - I got to play a Castle Coast bishop in How The West Was One at Convulsion, and even before that I wrote up a short piece of scenario ideas for peasants in Rokari Seshnela (whch I should re-visit, and bring up to date), and I created a huge stink around my explorations of the Aeolian Church of Heortland on the Daily. I also complained that the term "knights" should really apply to people equipped like late Roman Empire heavy cavalry like Frankish clibanarii, East Roman (Thracian) cataphracts, or at most Carolingian or second Crusade European and Muslim knights.

How The West Was One was hugely influential on all things Malkioni in subsequent fan works, and a good portion of Rise of Ralios (the original freeform of 1996 at the first RQ convention held at Castle Stahleck) was a continuation of several of the characters and many of the concepts of HTWW1 that MOB mentioned.

 

When looking back to those years, I don't think that the "feudal" component was jarring against the current look and feel of Glorantha. Rokari heavy infantry Lords, men-at-arms, a clergy (that has become closer to Roman Catholic with the celibacy demand for Rokari wizards) and the vast majority of peasants and workers is as close to Plato's Republic as it is to say the Kingdom of Wessex.

The main difficulty that I see with that older material is to get the churchy bits out.

One might apply the "put it in the trash can and forget about it" approach that some people have been advocating, but that's not how Jeff has approached the Guide. Instead there is a maximum of salvage of Greg's Malkioni concepts and details, both from the Stafford Library (Revealed Mythologies, Missing Lands) and from Greg's unpublished fiction pieces with significant amounts of world building notes attached.

 

The Five Actions of Devolution are an integral part of the Abiding Book and the religious outline it provides. There are way too many references to "church" in those Stafford Library books, however.

We know (from RQG) that "Worship Invisible God" still is an important facet of the magical ecology of the Malkioni west, and that the sorcerers of the Rokari and the New Idealist Hrestoli hierarchies profit from the praxis, possibly in a way similar to how the Brithini and Vadeli profit from Tapping. The non-sorcerers among the Malkioni profit in turn from the magic the sorcerers receiving part of their worship energies cast on them, and all the rest goes into the (badly needed) cyclical renewal of the world.

Crudely said, it's Worship Invisible God or Tapping, your choice, peasant.

 

The Jrusteli city states are portrayed as a hotbed of ordinary citizens dabbling in philosophical pursuits, pretty much like the Athenian protagonists in Plato's dialogues. Almost like what the description of the Enrovalini tribe of the original six tribes of Danmalastan appears to promise, but exactly without that rigid specialisation that Plato let's Socrates demand in The Republic. Yes, everybody pursues his alloted role in society as a land owner, cobbler or trader, but when that allotted work is done, people assemble in public or in private houses to pursue the enlightenment and entertainment of logical debate. Theses are presented, dissected (sometimes in ways unbecoming of stately (i.e. polite in Greek, civil in Latin) behavior. Much of the time Socrates is a trickster in Plato's dialogues, probably a lot like Malkion or Hrestol were when they impacted the accepted wisdom of earlier revelations.

What is remarkable about the poleis of Jrustela is that all that cogitating managed to get the zzaburi of the colonies to go along with the citizens.

The sons of Nralar who left their father's neverending reign for new shores on Waertagi ships were Hrestoli, the same creed that Arkat adopted when he wouldn't leave Gbaji alone after the Brithini expeditionary force had done their job in defeating Grachamagacan, the (vampire) King of Tanisor and military backer of the Bright Empire missionaries who had spread the plague in Seshnela and Arolanit only they could heal. Born of the Talar caste, most of them likely underwent the studies to become men-of-all, and they seem to have encouraged all of their followers to start upon the same path once they had mastered the Tool of their own caste.

To me it looks like popular participation in the pursuit of philosophical advancement was greater in Jrustela than it was in Siglat's Loskalm, perhaps at the cost of martial development after the Olodo and the timinits had been pacified and somewhat integrated and before the conflict with the Waertagi flared up. All the restless energy that had led to this colonisation turned inward and into the philosophical realm.

In this context I wonder how much the One Mind is not just an expression of the One but also a kind of intellectual collective of the Malkioni (or Brithini) participating. What exactly happens in the Worship Invisible God rites?

Yes, magic is transfered. But is there also a way that intellectual progress is shared? Thoughts and prayers (prayer standing in for magical energy)? Are these worship rites some form of upload, or some form of shared processing similar to the SETI distributed computing project (or, in a more Vadeli approach, the distributed Bitcoin mining on unwitting components of a compromised bot-net)?

If thoughts are shared, or rather logical revelations of the past week, then maybe this build-up of memetic material may have shaped and altered the One Mind, at least from the shared platform of a philosophical school, managed by the officiating zzaburi.

Where the Rokari might share their confession of sins, maybe the Hrestoli shared their confessions of insight. The effects may show in the magics available to the zzaburi maintaining these uploads.

I am using the internet as descriptor for this shared body of memes, because everybody reading this will be using it. But literacy and prior to that oral tradition have also formed memetic bodies of information, the immaterial components of culture. Including language, including the process knowledge of technologies and not just the material components of those that archaeologists can unearth - mostly abandoned attempts or discarded or lost specimen, except where sacrificial or hidden hoards of undamaged goods have been found.

The Logicians basically draw their identity from a memetic body of knowledge and processes.

 

A tell-tale difference between Malkioni and Brithini is the rite of worshiping the Invisible God. While Zzabur is credited to have done his bit in the I Fought We Won battle that marked the turning point of the Greater Darkness (parallel to the Ritual of the Net in the Underworld), what are the Brithini contributions to the continued existence of Glorantha? Did the Worship Invisible God come as a consequence of the henotheist practices of Serpent King Seshnela, with the Malkioni wizards discovering that those services gave them a cleaner access to magic than the old Brithini practice of Tapping?

Do Brithini zzaburi tap the world to stabilize it?

And are the Enrovalini who remain on Brithos merely a form of cloud computing platforms for Zzabur? An inverse of the weird concept behind the original Matrix movie?

 


 

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Joerg, Peter - this is not the place for personal sniping or snark. Behave in a civilised manner or I'll lock down the thread.

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