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Why is learning god learner magic bad?

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Yes, originally, the God Learners took the Malkioni Scriptures and went through them, almost line by line, working out which were true scriptures and which had non-Malkioni influence. They produced the Abiding Book as a result, unless that was the one that write itself out of thin air. 

The tricky bit was when they tried to find new ways to differentiate between true Malkioni and non-Malkioni influences, as some of it looked very similar. So, they used non-Malkioni techniques, probably reasoning that if they could do something using non-Malkioni techniques then it wasn't true Malkioni and could be removed. The deeper they looked, the more they got sucked in, until they mostly concentrated on the non-Malkioni stuff. Eventually, they categorised the non-Malkioni material in the same way as they did Malkioni material.

I like the description of the first God Learner HeroQuestors. They found a way into the Storm Realm and sent experimental HeroQuestors there, but none came back. So, they sent a small party of HeroQuestors and none came back. Then they sent a dozen HeroQuestors and none came back, then twenty, then fifty, then a hundred HeroQuestors and one came back, barely alive, to tell their tale. Success!

My impression was that the original Abiding Book wrote itself out of thin air on Jrustela (I'm a bit unclear as to whether this is some snippet of surviving GL propaganda or whether it literally happened), and that the Rokari later went through it line by line and eliminated everything they deemed non-orthodox to create the Sharp Abiding Book. Maybe this happened twice, I don't know.

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21 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

My impression was that the original Abiding Book wrote itself out of thin air on Jrustela (I'm a bit unclear as to whether this is some snippet of surviving GL propaganda or whether it literally happened), and that the Rokari later went through it line by line and eliminated everything they deemed non-orthodox to create the Sharp Abiding Book. Maybe this happened twice, I don't know.

Almost: the original Abiding Book wrote itself out of thin air on Jrustela; then the God Learners happened. The Luathan Quake sunk Jrustela and the original  copy of the Abiding Book was lost.

The Shielded Abiding Book was indeed a GL-altered version of the Abiding Book, but it didn't survive. Most GL used the original Abiding Book.

Later, Rokar decided (apparently entirely incorrectly) that the Abiding Book had had been altered by the God Learners for their own goals, so he purged it of Bad Ideas, thus bringing us the Sharp Abiding Book.

The Abiding Book he purged was the standard 216-verse one. His Sharp version left only 72 verses.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Almost: the original Abiding Book wrote itself out of thin air on Jrustela; then the God Learners happened.

Yes, that is a statement of faith. It's not like there could have been a complex spell driving that invisible hand...

The Abiding Book appeared after a significant period of scripture collection, exegesis, discussion and de-selection in Jrustela, with widespread participation not limited to the zzabur caste. Producing a consensus document was a necessity, and by divine grace there appeared such a document confirming the previous process. Success!

3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Luathan Quake sunk Jrustela and the original  copy of the Abiding Book was lost.

The Luathan Quake sank Seshnela. The catastrophes which hit the core lands of the Middle Sea Empire find a nice parallel in a set of big magical weapon-grade spells from the reign of Emperor Keramalos (AKA Kralas), 55th ruler in the Seshnela King List. (p.24)

The Green Waves - developed to be used against the East Isles (and apparently successful, as the island of the allies of Mokato was drowned) was an unstoppable tidal wave that can drown an island. Pretty much what hit Jrustela.

Slag Movement - causing the air to liquefy. Fairly similar to the Desolation of the Vent which turned over Slontos.

 

3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Shielded Abiding Book was indeed a GL-altered version of the Abiding Book, but it didn't survive. Most GL used the original Abiding Book.

Missing Lands talks about the God Learners deducing an Abinding Grimoire from the Abiding Book for sorcery purposes, with later additional popular grimoires for heroquesting.

3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Later, Rokar decided (apparently entirely incorrectly) that the Abiding Book had had been altered by the God Learners for their own goals, so he purged it of Bad Ideas, thus bringing us the Sharp Abiding Book.

There was a Sharp Abiding Book used by the wizards of the Rightness Crusade - which sounds like those who spawned Pilif the Magus, who attempted to become King of Seshnela.

Revealed Mythologies describes them thus (p.20):

Quote

At first it was a powerful unifying movement in Jrustela, and inspired the Return to Righteousness Crusade which  brought  monotheism  to  mainland  Genertela. However, they later became a rigid and bitter band of arch fundamentalists,  interpreting  everything  through  their  own book, called the Sharp Abiding Book today.

So the teachings from which Rokar drew are from Jrustela, and already present in the founding of the Middle Sea Empire.

3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Abiding Book he purged was the standard 216-verse one. His Sharp version left only 72 verses.

And it looks like a parallel if someone took the King James bible and concentrated on the Levites rather than the gospels...

To me, Rokarism is a mockery of Malkionism.

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52 minutes ago, Joerg said:

To me, Rokarism is a mockery of Malkionism.

Agreed, and thanks for the clarification - I know least about Malkionism as any part of Glorantha because it's already essentially an abhorrent creed to me, and Rokarism is like a distillation of the worst of it.

Things seemed okay at the beginning in Danmastalan and even interesting, and then immediately everything went buck wild.

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7 hours ago, David Scott said:

One of the interesting problems that the God Learners present to "modern" Gloranthans is the distance in time away from the events: if we use the Dragon Kill in 1120 as a line for the overall end of the the Second Age, this all took place (1627-1120) roughly 500 years ago or roughly 2000 generations of humans. Glorantha has some remnants of this history - there are beings still alive from that time and the gods hold some rules, and from events at that time tales, but mostly it's unknown to most people. Ironically the people who can actually delve into that past, the followers of Lhankor Mhy are those that can also use that knowledge and even have factions within the cult that want to assimilate that knowledge.

E.g. God Forgot has a bunch of first hand witnesses of God Learner magic, like the advisor in the 1616 emergency meeting in the City of Wonders in Prince of Sartar.

Akgarbash of Laurmal is a western wizard who is active in the Lunar Provinces. He is in all likelihood from Second Age Laurmal and may have somehow made his way to the City of 10,000 Magicians prior to the Mass Utuma of 1042.

 

7 hours ago, David Scott said:

So overall most in Dragon Pass people know:

Bad people upset the Dragons and they ate us. We called them the EWF (yoof). 

Bad people messed with the gods and were destroyed. We called them the God Learners (meldeks)

Honestly, with that level of ignorance displayed in these statements, terms like yoof or meldek are an intellectual challenge beyond the mental capabilities of such armchair "historians" among the uninformed.

7 hours ago, David Scott said:

Some people claim to know more, but clearly they are liars as that sort of thing isn't possible.

While this is a clear representation of the stereotypical crazy uncles who fall for populist autocrats who are currently on an evil upswing in our political realities, those people are a minority in our times.

The inbred culture that you are presenting here doesn't value knowledge, and hence doesn't claim to have all knowledge of the world. They probably don't even know the names of the heroes whose steps they follow in their ritual Otherworld experiences (like initiation or Sacred Time) and only know them by features of the ritual masks used in those rites. No Hengall, a small chance that Orgovale or Ulanin are

 

7 hours ago, David Scott said:

What's God Learner magic? Oh it's bad magic. (that's people doing things I don't agree with).

Yes, that's the Stickpicker's Lore. It has more such "truths". This is folklore, not knowledge. And your list of Bad People needs to accommodate monsters like Ethilrist, Jaldon, and changers of magic like Sartar or Hon-eel (depending on which side of the Dragonspine you are from).

 

7 hours ago, David Scott said:

In a bigger picture

The magic still works, but most has been lost, but it can be recreated / rediscovered.

Secrets have been lost but they can be recreated / discovered.

Currently there is a resurgence of these magics, they are just not called GL magic: Argrath and his inner circle are a new group of God Learners, along with the Red Emperor and his inner circle of Demi-gods like Jar-Eel. Both groups are plundering other cultures magics and syncretically creating new powers.

Yes, there is a new Theyalan movement in Peloria and Kerofinela. Syncretism is at the core of both Lunar and Orlanthi society. The first phase of friendly missionaries has encountered bitter resistance, and what we get now is the variety of pushes into the same direction as the Second Council.

No need to invoke God Learners or the EWF.

If you want to curse more recent culprits, there is Belintar. Possibly Dormal, too. Definitely Harrek and his tampering with his own deity. Broyan and his re-awakening of Vingkotling kingship.

7 hours ago, David Scott said:

Why do Gloranthans never learn anything from history? Because no one remembers it - they are mostly not literate societies and those that have some form of literacy were the ones who did bad things and were destroyed.

It is rather that those who make the decisions are ignorant of the history, or unwilling to listen to those of their advisors who know better.

Rokar for instance has repeated the fallacy of the New Order. His successor Mardros actually managed to avoid Pilif's error, and Theoblanc has yet to make such a move.

 

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I can't comment on whether Rokarism is a mockery of Malkionism (although I agree that they are quite unsympathetic, which they have in common with the Solar patriarchies, for instance), but it doesn't exactly feel that much worse than, say, the Brithini.

Given that the Brithini explicitly severed their ties with Malkion during his exodus, I'm not sure if Brithinism counts here as defining what Malkionism is (altough they share the castes, runic worldview, sorcery and the urban principles).

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43 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I can't comment on whether Rokarism is a mockery of Malkionism (although I agree that they are quite unsympathetic, which they have in common with the Solar patriarchies, for instance), but it doesn't exactly feel that much worse than, say, the Brithini.

Given that the Brithini explicitly severed their ties with Malkion during his exodus, I'm not sure if Brithinism counts here as defining what Malkionism is (altough they share the castes, runic worldview, sorcery and the urban principles).

Yes, I don't regard the unchanging Brithini way as the definition of Malkionism, but instead the complete set of revelations by Malkion, all five actions and not just three or four.

Hrestol is the founder of Malkionism, IMO. His teachings integrate the mortal experience into the ancient Malkioni ways, and led his people(s) into an imperfect world. He overcame Zzabur's nihilism.

According to the Guide, Hrestoli believe in reincarnation, hence in an afterlife and a continuation of the soul(s? - they don't say how many).  This is different from the "soulless Meldek" drivel that too many people (both Glorantha fans and backwoods uninformed hillfolk) bought hook, line and sinker

Rokarism denies this continuation of the self, and goes against the mainstream of the Seshnegi orthodox creed prior to the Sinking. I am not entirely clear why Bailifes would have gone that unforgiving way of Rokar. It is not like the struggles of the late God Learner era were that present in the Tanier Valley of Bailifes' time. Bailifes was anything but a Seshnegi - a backwoods Fornoari duke on the border of Safelster with a big drive towards power. Calling the Tanier valley "Seshnela" doesn't really reflect its roots, either. While the majority of the noble families of the valley are from Old Seshnela and not from the Autarchy, I don't think that Bailifes had any such credit. (If there was any past ruler of Seshnela he could trace his ancestry from, my guess would be Thyerm or Grodlam, the foreign rulers of the interregnum before the Rightness Crusade).

Bailifes was in desperate need of some minuscule measure of legitimacy, and he found that in making his blatant war of conquest by allying with the weird fundamentalist sect headed by Mardron that had an old bone to grind with both the heresies supported by Halwal and the orthodoxy defended by Yomili four centuries earlier, reminiscences of that conflict still glowing at the Red Ruins.

Rokarism had about eight generations to make the population forget its Hrestoli/Makanist roots and more hopeful outlook. While that failed in Safelster (where the Bailifid rule was significantly shorter), at least Rindland and Tanisor proper should be properly demoralized into the faint promise of Solace.

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4 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I am not entirely clear why Bailifes would have gone that unforgiving way of Rokar.

I wonder if it was presented in terms that would be more generous to legitimated "talars" . . . Rokar may have adjusted the caste obligations as part of his creed, allowing someone who would otherwise have remained a mere warlord to put down the sword and take up the scepter if not the scale. Lock in behaviors you want to encourage, lock out what you really don't like. And then by the Law, the talar is the only person who can tell the liturgists what to do.

The tale of Bailifes' rise probably rivals that of the Pendragons for murder and opportunistic wizardry. Only this time the knights are exterminated.

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21 hours ago, seneschal said:

What about those wonderful pre-literate society memories where a kid proves his manhood by reciting the entirety of his people's sacred texts or names all his ancestors (and we mean all), perhaps with the aid of a carefully carved and preserved memory stick/ceremonial staff? 

That's a very good point. In the case of the GLs and Dragonkill, there were few if any survivors. So it's the case of peoples external to the event looking in for memories "and they disappeared "...

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21 hours ago, soltakss said:

I make 2000 generations of humans approximately 60,000 years!

Yes, I removed the extra zeros

21 hours ago, soltakss said:

If the Second Age is between the end of Gbaji and the Dragonkill, that is about 600 years, or roughly 20 generations, at 30 years per generation. From the Dragonkill to current Glorantha is 500 years, or around 17 generations. That is still a long time, plenty of time to forget things.

Familial generation can be anywhere between 22 and 33 years, I use 25 for Glorantha. I don't believe it's as high as 30 which is a mark of modern societies. However if we look at the Bronze age site of Lerna in Greece it's 24 (Lerna Vol II, The People, J. Lawrence Angel. 1971).

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8 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Yes, I removed the extra zeros

Familial generation can be anywhere between 22 and 33 years, I use 25 for Glorantha. I don't believe it's as high as 30 which is a mark of modern societies. However if we look at the Bronze age site of Lerna in Greece it's 24 (Lerna Vol II, The People, J. Lawrence Angel. 1971).

Adulthood starts at Initiation, which isn´t taking place when you turn 20, but more like 15 years. 
So building a family can easily start at anything from 16 to 36. 

I use 20 in my Glorantha, because "children can happen", you don´t have to be married. :-)

 

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53 minutes ago, AndreJarosch said:

I use 20 in my Glorantha, because "children can happen", you don´t have to be married. 🙂

Because Glorantha is magical, sometimes you don't even need to have sex.

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4 hours ago, David Scott said:

That's a very good point. In the case of the GLs and Dragonkill, there were few if any survivors. So it's the case of peoples external to the event looking in for memories "and they disappeared "...

Catastrophic mass-deaths make genealogy very difficult. My dad used to do a lot of genealogy research for our family, and the main tool for that were parish registers ("kirkebok"). They worked pretty well back to about the early-to-mid 1400s (ie. the tail end of the main Black Death epidemics) if I recall what he told me correctly, at which point they lack a great deal of names and dates are uncertain at best.

In an oral society this effect might be even worse - especially when taking collective trauma, and even potential taboos into account.

Oh, and of course, the deaths of key ritual experts (Lhankor Mhy scribes, nobles, other literates or other poets) would also create a kind of bottlenecking effect where the knowledge that is preserved comes mostly from those lineages that did not live in that area or participate in the invasion.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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3 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

Adulthood starts at Initiation, which isn´t taking place when you turn 20, but more like 15 years. 
So building a family can easily start at anything from 16 to 36. 

I use 20 in my Glorantha, because "children can happen", you don´t have to be married. 🙂

 

Sex is easy, marriage is hard.

EDIT: I go off on a bit of a tangent, I hope you don't take this as an attack on your post.

If I remember correctly, the average of marriage age in rural peasant societies in the early modern era (14-17th centuries) was about 27 for men, and 20-23 for women. This was not hugely different from the preceding Middle Ages, iirc. The Bronze age might've been different, but I suspect not.

Part of the issue here is that there's a difference between reaching adulthood and working up the necessary acumen and resources to start one's own family. According to tradition, a child was made an adult at age 15 in Lutheran Norway, at which point they were eligible to take up apprenticeships, work at sea, or otherwise be gainfully employed, however they very, very rarely married at this age, because there were expectations to be fulfilled. The parents of the prospective bride, for example, if they were in somewhat good standing (ie. not desperate to marry off their daughter) would evaluate suitors' financial status, and older suitors obviously had a better chance there, and they would also scrutinize not only familial status, but the skills, reputation and achievements of the suitor himself. The would-be bride would also be a part of this, with more or less agency according to lots of different variables that I don't need to go into here. 

Long story short, many people, due to practical and financial concerns, didn't really have the opportunity to start families and procreate until sometime in their mid-twenties. While the example I am using is from the decidedly un-Gloranthan 16th/17th century Norway, to the best of my knowledge these basic dynamics have been pretty common through many eras and areas.

The teenage marriages tend to be outliers from the very wealthy (dynastic alliances) or the very poor (child marriage is often a desperate attempt to reduce the burden at home, and ensuring some measure of support for the one married off. Harsh, but there are often few other choices).

Early betrothals do pretty frequently occur though, but they might last several years as the families wait until the would-be-couple are deemed old enough and sustainable.

There are some differences at play here though. Admittedly, the Orlanthi are a lot less stuck up about premarital sex than Lutheran Europeans (they remind me more of some Melanesian trends in courting I've read about, but that's really neither here nor there), although on the other hand they also have easier access to birth prevention that the aforementioned RW people (through magic and/or herbs, iirc - and of course, it's not like every sexual encounter is potentially childbringing, ie. oral, manual, etc.). Another difference is the collective housing and living of the Orlanthi. This might mean that there is less emphasis placed on the bridal couple's ability to support themselves before they are married, which might bring the marriage age down. On the other hand, Orlanthi society is a good deal more gender-egalitarian, so women might collectively and individually work to prevent marriages from occuring too early (due to health concerns as well as simply not wanting a character to enter her "Ernaldan" stage too early. "Let the girl live a little before she settles down, there's always time for childrearing later!" might be a common sentiment.)

In summary, there are probably a number of factors that prevent Gloranthan "generations" (the time from birth to parenthood) being shorter than somewhere in the 20-25 ballpark.

This is just my impression, as always.

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28 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

In an oral society this effect might be even worse - especially when taking collective trauma, and even potential taboos into account.

Oh, and of course, the deaths of key ritual experts (Lhankor Mhy scribes, nobles, other literates or other poets) would also create a kind of bottlenecking effect where the knowledge that is preserved comes mostly from those lineages that did not live in that area or participate in the invasion.

Good thoughts. What's interesting about the Kill is that people the Horde left at home survive and can propagate their cultural capital under new conditions. For some, that means being driven underground by opportunistic invasion from farther out. For others, the men at the top change but life goes on more or less unchanged. Maybe one or two end up liberated for a little while and their cultural capital blooms like cactus after a once-a-century rain. 

Either way, what's lost is the warrior lineages and whatever else got fed into the Dragonslayer complex. All those people and their adult succession die out simultaneously. Heirs too young to take along stay home where they never get initiated into the family lore. 

The people left behind are mostly women as well as weaklings, slaves, refuseniks, nerds and criminals. Their lore continues. Severed from the warrior population there are challenges and opportunities. Each of their societies evolves differently. Some die out anyway. Others contribute to the ones we know in the terminal Third Age situation.

With the God Learners Doom (as well as the end of EWF) you have the decapitation scenario where the cultural commanding heights are wiped out and everyone else is left to make the best choices they can. Interestingly this also means women and other suppressed alternative mysteries have a chance to reach the surface like Uma Thurman punching out of her own grave in Kill Bill. 

Greg being Greg, most of them don't make it. Where elites were concentrated (Kerofinela, Jrustela, Seshnela, Slontos), even the mass population is wiped out and nothing but fragmentary archival material survives now. But on the periphery there was a chance. In the far northeast prairie country, a red light glimmers, a promise.

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While Kerofinela was wiped clear by two successive events less than 80 years apart, there was Kethaela which kept the records pretty much unbroken. Sure, both God Learners and EWF invaded northern Esrolia aka Kotor, and infected Nochet, but this infection also makes Nochet a conservatory for their lore. Sure, Nochet too was hit by the 1050 cataclysm, and retracted into a shadow of its former self, but it wasn't the only place of lore conservation. Of the Lhankor Mhy Great Libraries some always remained functional. (And then there is the possibility of L-Space, possibly as a weird survival of the Hero Wars rpg period essence planes.)

Halwal made sure that God Learner documentation survived (as enemy secrets essential for their destruction) in Fronela and Ralios. His mutual annihilation with Yomili did take a lot of the most advanced secrets with them, yes. But those aren't all there is to setting yourself up as a God Learner heroquester or an "orthodox" Malkioni ultra-sorcerer.

There are plenty God Learner methods that were inefficient and wasteful, due to their inexperience with the mythic fabric they tampered with. Arkati-schooled heroquesters were likely a lot more efficient than their God Learner counterparts.

Belintar's Tournaments of the Masters of Luck and Death and the Lunar Dart Competitions are as much training grounds for badass questers as the Kralori camp Sheng Seleris emerged from.

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3 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

If I remember correctly, the average of marriage age in rural peasant societies in the early modern era (14-17th centuries) was about 27 for men, and 20-23 for women. This was not hugely different from the preceding Middle Ages, iirc. The Bronze age might've been different, but I suspect not.

If I remember correctly, the numbers for France were around 30-35 for men and 13-15 for women from circa 1000 to 1789.

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7 hours ago, Kloster said:

If I remember correctly, the numbers for France were around 30-35 for men and 13-15 for women from circa 1000 to 1789.

That doesn’t sound right, although it is about the expected ages in ancient Athens. Also, be aware that marriage ages among the nobility and the commoners are completely different matters.

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15 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

Adulthood starts at Initiation, which isn´t taking place when you turn 20, but more like 15 years. 
So building a family can easily start at anything from 16 to 36. 

I use 20 in my Glorantha, because "children can happen", you don´t have to be married. 🙂

I think it’s meaningful to distinguish between “technically an adult” and “actually an adult”. The Orlanthi 15 year old working on the parents’ farm is an adult in the same way as a modern Western 18 year old who is still in High School is an adult. i.e. legally but not truly socially.

I also believe it’s canonical that a newly intiated Ernaldan is, in the words of the immortal Britney Spears, “not a girl, not yet a woman”.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Dwarves are not the same as ancestral Mostali, and almost all the time references to Mostali are to dwarves. The number of Ancestral Mostali still alive seems to be in the dozens across all Glorantha, and in general they are not active in the world. 
Dwarves have the Man rune. They reproduce sexually. They are not very obviously sexually dimorphic, and it doesn’t seem to be a major factor in the lives of normal Mostali. Generally speaking the Mostali seem not to like thinking about it (for one thing, it highlights a big difference between Clay Mostali and the Ancestral Mostali). Other Mostali, like the Flintnail cult, may feel differently. 
The Pavis cult has a grimoire that includes magic to allow Man rune races to interbreed. Presumably this explains dwarfs interbreeding with the daughters of Pavis. Pavis is said to have written the grimoire - but presumably did so after learning about the magic used to create himself, a half-elf.

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On 10/11/2019 at 10:38 AM, Qizilbashwoman said:

what's "Darkness blood"

It's what happens when yo mama did it with a trollkin.

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