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HeroQuest Glorantha starting setting

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

the way it works in Glorantha is that someone heroquests for power, so it's the other way around, sort of. Also, the first FHQ proved herself to be Sorana Tor, the Killer of Men and Queen of Dragon Pass, the living embodiment of Ana Gor, the goddess of human sacrifice, so not Ernalda specifically but the sort of inspiration for Hon Eel's role as maize goddess. Thus the subsequent FHQs do the heroquest and prove they, too, are Sorana Tor.

I know about HeroQuests but I supose my view of the Gloranthan gods are as still a litle active even though the official stance might be that they're not, excluding the Red Moon obviously she's more than just a little active.

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19 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

They're not thralls to anyone, they just happen to also worship Orest, who is apparently Ernalda, and thus have a common bridge with which to interact with the Orlanthi. They're quite un-Orlanthi, keeping human slaves and worshipping Yelm as a fiery pony.

While the Pure Horse Folk of Prax who became the Grazers are entirely un-Orlanthi, keeping human slaves is not at all what sets them apart. Worshiping the Sun Horse and the Golden Bow makes them ancient foes, and the reign of the Horse Warlords in Peloria that led to the Second Council wars and finally Argentium Thri'ile was the foundation of their beef with the Orlanthi.

The Pure Horse Folk of Prax were actually invited by the rulers of Orlanthland (which was becoming the EWF around that time) as a buffer against the nomads. They became allies of the Jrusteli of Feroda and Robcradle, and foes of the Elder Giants of the Rockwoods. When Pavis set up his city, one Pure Horse leader performed the Zebra magic and became king of that city, splitting off the Zebra tribe from the rest of the Pure Horse Folk. For a while, the Zebra tribe ruled supreme in northeastern Prax, but without the EWF to back up the city of Pavis and the Pure Horse Folk, first Pavis fell, then the horse nomads were overcome at their final Praxian battle of Alavan Argay. The survivors found refuge with and adoption by Ironhoof the Centaur and became the Grazers.

As the resettlement started, the Grazers lost hold of most of the lands between the Crossline and the Deathline, but managed to subdue the immigrants to the southwestern corner, which they still hold against the more successful immigrants in Tarsh and Sartar. Some of the displaced clans joined the Pol Joni and returned into Prax, eager to fight their ancient enemy Jaldon.

The next direct confrontation of Orlanthi with Pentans was with the Opili tribe/nation during Sheng's ascendancy, uniting the Kingdom of Tarsh and the Lunar Empire against those nomad invaders. Derik Pol Joni stole their sacred bull and grew his Praxian cattle herds from this stock.

The relationship between Grazers and the surrounding Orlanthi remains volatile. The betrayal of Tarsh King Yarandros (who stole Goldeneye horses for his cavalry) cost the Grazers yet more territory. When the original FHQ contested with Sartar for rulership of the Pass, she lost the contest.

The Grazers remain as mercenaries in the politics between the Orlanthi kingdoms and queendoms around them, usually profiting from the plunder they collect as the hill barbarians fight one another or the Lunars. Lunar Tarsh or the imperial forces are little better than the Orlanthi in hiring the Grazers and then cutting off a significant part of their lands (Sikithi Vale) by putting it into the Glowline. The Windstop wasn't favoring the Grazers, either, even though they served as mercenaries for the Lunars during that time.

19 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Grazers - the Pure Horse People of the Feathered Horse Queen - are kinder to their slaves than most PHP because of their vulnerability to the Orlanthi and the fact that most of the slaves, who are agriculturalists, are Orlanthis. They basically limit their interference to "don't worship Orlanth and no weapons"

With their domination over the Vendref, the Grazers have become a lot less nomadic, remaining rather close to "their" hamlets of Vendref who supply grain as fodder for their horses. The Vendref on the other hand owe their rather privileged status as walkers under horse nomad rule to the support they gave to the FHQ in her struggle for domination over the Grazers - magical, financial and military support. As oppressed Orlanthi compare, they don't have the worst luck - they are probably tied with the peasants of Jonatela in terms of oppression, and Ramalia is likely to outdo other places. Orlanthi in Holut in Ralios are worse off, too, and occupied Sartar had a couple of tribes that were hit very badly too (not talking about those that were annihilated).

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On 11/18/2019 at 3:15 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

She would be opposed by BOTH Orlanth and Yelm though. 

At Castle Blue, agree. However, the struggle against Orlanth is something different than against Yelm. Yelm can just cede her a part of the cosmos, while the fight against Orlanth is an existential one - who will rule the Middle Air. This is why the Dara Happans can be subjugated and keep their religion, but the Orlanthi have to be converted or destroyed. 

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43 minutes ago, Joerg said:

As oppressed Orlanthi compare, they don't have the worst luck

as I understand it, the vendref (Grazer slaves) are Orlanthi from a wide range of stock, from as far afield as Esrolia - the Esrolians have massive slave markets. They are forbidden from bearing arms or worshipping Orlanth, but they can worship any Earth god - Barntar is noted as a favorite - and there's no reason they can't worship like Yinkin or some of the Thunder Brothers or Heler. They also get to live in settlements and they are protected by the Grazers.

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47 minutes ago, None said:

Really? I was under the impression that Ernalda pretty much created the Feathered Horse Queen.

Horse queens with feathers occur among all the Pentan-descended nomads (and the Galanini queens aren't much different even though they have no Pentan ancestry). Hon-eel's contest in the Redlands that led to the creation of the satrapy of Oraya was against a Pentan horse and earth priestess, too, and one of similar heroic stature. (Sourcebook p.178)

It is possible that Hon-eel interfering with the Earth rites in Tarsh in 1490 was instrumental in transferring the sovereignty and avatarship of Sorana Tor to the FHQ.

The FHQ is not just a priestess but also a shaman, at least in older sources (which insisted that the Grazers were a predominantly animist society).

47 minutes ago, None said:

edit, edit: I know the solar, storm rivalry officially ended, I just don't go with that. I just make it less aggressive and violent than it originally was.

I think that the rivalry never ended. The bid for friendship on Orlanth's Lightbringer Quest just added another layer to it.

Cloud cover vs. clear skies does remain an everlasting struggle in most of Glorantha (the Skyfall being a notable exception, and the Storm Bull storm probably another one). That silly riddling custom between Wind Lords and Light Sons is another remainder of this rivalry.

All of Godtime exists parallel to the world of Time. Most of that Godtime has Orlanth as a rival of Yelm, and Vingkot and his sons as foes of Dara Happa (and much of the rest of the world). The Great Compromise freezes all of that, not just the Ritual of the Net and the emergence from the Gates of Dawn. The moment when Orlanth slew the Emperor is at least as present as the bid for friendship.

There's also Shargash/Jagrekriand doing the Emperor's bidding in wounding and dismembering Umath.

Then there is history between Dara Happa and the Heortlings.

In the Gray Age, Shadzoring demons from Alkoth destroyed or at least harrassed the northern Orlanthi tribes.

The horse warlords - emperors of Dara Happa - slew the Lightbringer missionaries. The Second Council retaliated, and ultimately overcame them at Argentium Thri'ile, plundering the wealth the horse warlords had taken from urban Dara Happa. (They refrained from plundering the tripolis, but sending an army of that size into Dara Happan lands was little different from plundering the land raw.)

In the Battle of Night and Day, Palangio broke the Compromise. In its aftermath, Palangio suppressed and plundered the Heortlings, and Maniria. In Ralios, Dara Happan forces fought the Ralian Orlanthi rebelling against the Bright Empire, and suffered severe losses against Arkat before he was killed and sent to Hell.

At the end of the Gbaji War, the Heortlings led the attack into Dara Happa, whose emperor had sent his most magical warriors to Dorastor to fight Arkat. The Heortlings won, ended the Khordavu dynasty, took lots of loot and lot of tribute southward for the nine years they held to the power in those lands, then had to be fought to finally leave.

The reign of the Dragon Sun over Dara Happa as part of the EWF was the next Orlanthi crime against Dara Happa, at least as far as the Dara Happans are concerned. The retaliations against the EWF that followed - especially the raid of 1042 - was never forgotten by the Orlanthi of Dragon Pass and Saird (many of the latter had been allies in the fight against the EWF, but were looted in transit of that raid).

Both Orlanthi and Dara Happans blame the Dragonkill to one another. (And the dragons, of course.) The Orlanthi have the more sincere cause in this, but the Dara Happan thirst for vengeance was fueled by that massive loss of manpower.

The conquest of Sylila and subsequently the Provinces by Hwarin Dalthippa was seen as a fair retaliation by the Dara Happans, who then had to swallow the bitter pill that the Sylilan barbarians received the status of a heartland satrapy and equal standing with their own nobility. I guess they always blamed the Sylilans to be way too soft to the Provincials.

That the Orlanthi couldn't be trusted showed once more in the Battle of the Falling Hills, which weakened the Lunar military so much that Sheng's barbarians could overrun the Empire. Under Sheng, there were plenty Dara Happan noble houses willing to rise against the Red Emperor to renew their privileges as Solar nobility - pretty much the picture you want for your campaign start.

The Assiday involvement in the conquest of Sartar and its subsequent wilfull mis-administration is one of the latest expression of Dara Happan hostility against the Storm Barbarians. The Tarshites would have been happy to convert Sartar into another Seven Mothers-dominated provincial kingdom under their control, but the Dara Happans wanted revenge, and set out to destroy those barbarians. (It helped that the land remained wealthy from trade even after it had been looted dry of civilized goods during the conquest.)

The disgraces towards Euglyptus (Building Wall Battle, Battle of the Hill of Orlanth Victorious) and him being replaced with a provincial barbarian as governor was the next slap into the face of Dara Happan revanchism.

Enacting the Windstop was Tatius' latest (and biggest recent) atrocity against the Orlanthi.

Summoning a dragon to kill Tatius was the latest (and biggest recent) atrocity against the Dara Happans (and the Lunars).

 

Each side in this ongoing conflict sees only enemy atrocities and justified retaliation. A beautiful friendship looks different.

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1 minute ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

as I understand it, the vendref (Grazer slaves) are Orlanthi from a wide range of stock, from as far afield as Esrolia - the Esrolians have massive slave markets. They are forbidden from bearing arms or worshipping Orlanth, but they can worship any Earth god - Barntar is noted as a favorite - and there's no reason they can't worship like Yinkin or some of the Thunder Brothers or Heler. They also get to live in settlements and they are protected by the Grazers.

I just realized how shockingly practical it would be for the Pure Horse People to have access to a cult of tame Helerings... droughts can be really bad, and Sun worship has nothing to offer against it.

I also really liked the HW scenario where you help set up a secret Orlanth shrine for Vendref. It mostly comes to nothing in the end, but you've sown some seeds for the future...

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@Joerg you missed that Nysalor was itself a Solar insult on top of whatever other nonsense the Gbaji wars was. All those fanatics seized power over the Storm gods and then unleashed the Über Light to control the world.

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5 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

as I understand it, the vendref (Grazer slaves) are Orlanthi from a wide range of stock, from as far afield as Esrolia - the Esrolians have massive slave markets. They are forbidden from bearing arms or worshipping Orlanth, but they can worship any Earth god - Barntar is noted as a favorite - and there's no reason they can't worship like Yinkin or some of the Thunder Brothers or Heler. They also get to live in settlements and they are protected by the Grazers.

Calling the Vendref slaves is wrong. Slaves are a trade good. The Vendref live in self-organized villages and have roughly the same rights as many Lodrili in Dara Happa have. By Orlanthi standards, that amounts to vile oppression, but by Solar standards the Vendref have a pretty normal deal.

The Vendref have less liberties than semi-free Orlanthi clansfolk (formerly concisely known as cottars) have, true. But they are significantly better off than the unfree (thralls - i.e. slaves whose offspring don't inherit the slavery) in Sartar.

(Only) Vendref can join the Humakti bodyguard of the FHQ. And Barntar is a deity whose best known heroquest is a variant of the Orlanth and Aroka quest, which involves the Arming of the quester.

More than the prohibition against weapons, the Vendref are prohibited from riding or owning horses. I wonder whether they have donkeys instead? Someone in Glorantha must breed them, or Issaries would be without mules.

1 minute ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

@Joerg you missed that Nysalor was itself a Solar insult on top of whatever other nonsense the Gbaji wars was. All those fanatics seized power over the Storm gods and then unleashed the Über Light to control the world.

There are Orlanthi in Ralios who still think that Nysalor was one of the better ideas of their ancestors. After all, the Bright Empire was instrumental in defeating the Evil Emperor of the West until Gbaji (Arkat) converted other Orlanthi in Ralios to fight the Bright Empire.

The Talastari remember Lokamayadon and the Bright Empire as a high point in their power in the world. Only the Heortlings, Arkat's Korioni and Talor's Fronelan allies were active foes of the Bright Empire, which had a high number of Orlanthi  fighting on their side throughout the wars, too.

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26 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Talastari remember Lokamayadon and the Bright Empire as a high point in their power in the world.

neglecting that Loko Moko had to first brutally subdue them because they revolted against him joining the Broken Council in the first place. Also that he demanded he replace Orlanth in worship in Theyalan society after engaging in deeply heretical and shameful acts...

Aside from that, Ms. Lincoln, how was the play?

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Part of how Dara Happan acceptance of the Lunars works is that they don't necessarily see "Moon" as a distinct thing from a Sun. They know that Sedenya was of old the Changing Sun of Mernitia, whom Antirius brought to heel during the Darkness. Yelmgatha acknowledged her place in the world as the Changing Sun of Pelanda, but she remains within the Air with the other inconstant beings and does not contest the holy Sky above.

The HeroQuest Voices entry for Dara Happa does a great job of presenting their parochial perspective on their own identity, even if frustrated by your mother and her exhasperating Lunar ideas about "equality."

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11 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

neglecting that Loko Moko had to first brutally subdue them because they revolted against him joining the Broken Council in the first place.

What is your source for that? Lokamayadon's timeline in History of the Heortling Peoples p.33 doesn't mention any conflict between Loky and the Talastari. Plenty of conflict between Loky and Rastalulf, and Loky and Haradangian, but none at home.

Loky had long been on the Dorastan Council as Speaker for Storm when Haradangian (and the trolls and 'newts) broke away. Nobody from his own tribe had resisted his accepting that position.

 

11 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Also that he demanded he replace Orlanth in worship in Theyalan society after engaging in deeply heretical and shameful acts...

All of that was forced upon the Heortlings, but apparently embraced by the Talastari. And they had the Battle of Night and Day as their brutal subduction.

 

11 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Aside from that, Ms. Lincoln, how was the play?

Nice quip.

Still, your facts were only of Fox News quality.

 

Lokamayadon is condemned in hindsight, by the victors, and Rastalulf and Haradangian get promoted from losers to martyrs for the good cause. But the Orlanthi were split about halfways about the issue of Nysalor. The Heortlings and their allies (and the Esrolians as allies of the Only Old One) kept a closed front, but so did the Talastari on the opposite side.

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29 minutes ago, Joerg said:

What is your source for that?

In 369, right as the First Theyalan War ended, King Arstor of Somarin and Brolia lead the Talastari faction angry at the entire war, the alliance with the Dara Happans, the kinslaying, and him generally being a gigantic dick. After a debate lead to spirit combat, Loko Moko struck King Arstor so hard he fell unconscious for thirteen seasons and the rebellion was ended.

There's a version of this in Guide to Glorantha.

29 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Lokamayadon is condemned in hindsight, by the victors

Okay I think we can all agree he was literally a heretic, he tried to apotheosise himself as the New Wind to replace Orlanth, like. This isn't just about the winners. The man was famously a creep.

Odysseus is famous but nobody thinks we should act like him. He was a terrible human being.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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There's been a lot that's been said, but going back a bit I want to say that I agree with the general sentiment that putting the Lunar superstrata on top of Solar cultures and putting them up against Storm cultures creates - from an aesthetic, marketing, and "optics" perspective - is a bit of a mess.

I mean, when WarCraft was released, it had a nice picture of a green orc in pelts and horns pitted against a human in chainmail. Simple. Evocative. Clear.

Now imagine if we had this whole thing with how the orcs were actually ruled by an ogre aristocracy that supplanted their symbols with stone-derived iconography and blood sacrifice, and actually the orc warchief was a reborn ogre chieftain whose soul was helt together by a necromantic ritual dedicated to Jim the VP of Sales and and and--- you get what I mean.

Now, obviously Glorantha is not Warcraft - nor should it be because it's so much more - but there is something to be said for optical clarity.

Glorantha's complexity, and it's tendency to follow the consequences of its own complexity into unexpected consequences is, to be very blunt, its greatest asset and it's greatest flaw, and I have nothing but sympathy for newcomers who feel like tearing their hair out while asking themselves why everything has to be so roundabout and convoluted.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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5 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

There's been a lot that's been said, but going back a bit I want to say that I agree with the general sentiment that putting the Lunar superstrata on top of Solar cultures and putting them up against Storm cultures creates - from an aesthetic, marketing, and "optics" perspective - is a bit of a mess.

Cutting through the process of how we discovered some of the Deep Sources that inform the Lunar Way, I think many observers would conclude that absorbing the imperial system was a wrong turn for what would otherwise could have become a liberation movement with truly cosmic potential. Some anti-imperial currents can still be found and may be among the ultimate winners of the Hero Wars. We just don't see them yet because the sun is literally in the way.

But it couldn't really have gone otherwise. For one thing, while the imperial system reflects a kind of insanity grafted onto the spiritual system . . . madness is inherent to the moon ("cold hearted orb / that rules the night") and within Time we have to accept the waning phases with the wax. And realistically, Pink Floyd was huge when Greg was noodling around with proto-Peloria, so the sun must, after all, be eclipsed by (conjunct) the moon, at least for a little while.

Like I said up thread, exciting to ponder how to end the dialogue between the sun and the moon. I am not a fan of the solar complex myself so have a strong bias.

 

8 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Heortlings and their allies (and the Esrolians as allies of the Only Old One) kept a closed front, but so did the Talastari on the opposite side.

I like what you do here. When Storm was forced to choose between Night and Day, all the parts that weren't Loko chose the Kingdom of Night and ultimately we have the world we have. I don't think any Light Storm or Sky Storm people survive but the Hero Wars are full of surprises. Maybe whatever is going on in Pent contains some elements of High Storm survival / reborn. It would be cool.

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16 hours ago, Joerg said:

When the original FHQ contested with Sartar for rulership of the Pass, she lost the contest.

Tis part I'm very surprised about. I was under the impreession (one that, granted, almost only comes from King of Dragon Pass) that the Feathered Horse Queen never was in the contest or in a position to lose but the one the orlanthi prince had to prove himself to. That it was her descision whether he was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass.

 

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Windstop wasn't favoring the Grazers, either, even though they served as mercenaries for the Lunars during that time.

Why?

17 hours ago, Joerg said:

the FHQ in her struggle for domination over the Grazers

Also, how did this come about? While it wouldn't surprise me if the Grazers have members that are of the Storm or Earth rune among the (excluding the Vendref) due to their proximity to the Orlanthi and ubiquosness of the Earth rune but the appearance of the Feathered Horse Queen among the Grazers and the idea that she should heroquest herself (I assume that is what she did) into the highest Earth priesstess of Dragon Pass and then subjugate and replace the Sun King feels like it suddenly came right out of nowhere.

 

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

I think that the rivalry never ended. The bid for friendship on Orlanth's Lightbringer Quest just added another layer to it.

I really appreciate this list of mutual aggression between the Orlanthi and Dara Happans, thanks.

This part however:

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Great Compromise freezes all of that

makes me have to ask. What is the the official stance one the Great Compromise? Doeas it just mean the gods can't directly (i.e. personally) work upon things or stomp around inside Time as I belive. Or does it mean they're literally frozen, unable to move as much as a finger or even notice anything outside of motals calling upon them. Essentially trapped as an existence of the "past" where they're constantly always and simultaniously doing and being eveyrthing that was before Time and nothing else. Beacause in the later case they might as well not exist as consious or even sentient forces.

(Also, when I said the storm, solar rivalry had officially ended I meant among the gods, not the mortals. THe whole Orlanth and Yelm have resolved their diferences thing.)

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

Under Sheng, there were plenty Dara Happan noble houses willing to rise against the Red Emperor to renew their privileges as Solar nobility - pretty much the picture you want for your campaign start.

Yes, that does sound like it has some potential. Upon closer consideration I think I need to take a closer look at that.

 

6 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I don't think any Light Storm or Sky Storm people survive but the Hero Wars are full of surprises. Maybe whatever is going on in Pent contains some elements of High Storm survival / reborn. It would be cool.

This interests me. Can someonwe explain who the Light, Sky, High Storm people were. What were their ideals and desires? How did their diferent from the regular Storm people? Aside from following Lokomayadon and/or Nysalor which I assume they did, but what did it mean beyond that?

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1 hour ago, None said:

Tis part I'm very surprised about. I was under the impreession (one that, granted, almost only comes from King of Dragon Pass) that the Feathered Horse Queen never was in the contest or in a position to lose but the one the orlanthi prince had to prove himself to. That it was her descision whether he was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass.

 

makes me have to ask. What is the the official stance one the Great Compromise? Doeas it just mean the gods can't directly (i.e. personally) work upon things or stomp around inside Time as I belive. Or does it mean they're literally frozen, unable to move as much as a finger or even notice anything outside of motals calling upon them. Essentially trapped as an existence of the "past" where they're constantly always and simultaniously doing and being eveyrthing that was before Time and nothing else. Beacause in the later case they might as well not exist as consious or even sentient forces.

1) In my opinion only- there's a primal power which represents sovereignty over Dragon Pass, which manifests itself in various forms. Becoming King of Dragon Pass involves a mystical contest that has several parts to it- first, you have to prove that you're even worthy to contend with that power, which is the wooing contest itself. But once you're married, then you face a challenge where the primal power attempts to demand parts of you in exchange for access to the sovereignty she grants. 

So Ironhoof weds the Lady of the Wild, though this is described in a much rougher fashion in King of Sartar, and then struggles with her and ends up losing his ability to produce male children, at a minimum (this of course may also be a shorthand or an inadequate description of a more profound transformation). Arim the Pauper weds Sorana Tor, and she demands from him the acceptance of human sacrifice in Tarsh, it seems. Or something related to that- certainly the firm belief that Tarshite rulers had a fixed term before being sacrificed has to come from somewhere in King of Sartar. 

At this point, the Feathered Horse Queens become mortal incarnations of Dragon Pass's sovereignty. Sartar then marries the first one and contends with her and manages to win all the contests, and so he loses nothing to Dragon Pass and remains wholly himself. He is probably the only one to do so. Tarkalor and Moirades also become KoDP but I don't care to speculate on what they lost to Dragon Pass (it is curious that Jar-Eel challenges the FHQ that married Moirades and apparently either killed her or "liberated" her in the same fashion she does Moirades...)

Argrath also becomes King of Dragon Pass at some point, but the sources there are confused and I prefer it that way. 

2) This is also only my opinion, but we know that Waha can both act directly and be changed by things in the mortal world- he wrestles with Pavis, and then swears to leave Pavis's city alone when he loses, leading to the resurrection of Jaldon Goldentooth as a Praxian hero who can work against Pavis. And Waha is certainly worshiped as a god. So at least some divinities can act in the material world without violating the Compromise (without getting into my theories about the Red Goddess and Castle Blue) and we know, for example, that Orlanth loses three stars from his ring over the course of history and then has them restored during the Dragonrise. 

You could interpret these things as various forms of magic interfering with people's ability to access transcendent, eternal forces, sure. But that's also not a position that most Gloranthans would have, so I don't look at it as a fruitful one to adopt. 

My interpretation of the Compromise and Gods War is informed by the frequent note that the stations of a Heroquest may be passed through in any order. Since that is the case, my working theory is that the strange behavior of time and space on the Other Side is due to limited perceptions- a mortal cannot see the totality of anything there, beyond perhaps the most trivial things like (some) blades of grass, so they can only move on a path where they see a limited slice of that thing, which doesn't have to match their previous understanding of that thing, either. Which is how gods at different points of their own existence can interact, and why if you try to reenact the story of Orlanth and Aroka sometimes you have to fight Aroka before you see any hint of Daga. Of course, ritual community Heroquests don't usually have this happen, so perhaps having more perspectives attempting to make sense of the Gods War forces it into an intermediate ground between them? 

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1 hour ago, None said:

Tis part I'm very surprised about. I was under the impreession (one that, granted, almost only comes from King of Dragon Pass) that the Feathered Horse Queen never was in the contest or in a position to lose but the one the orlanthi prince had to prove himself to. That it was her descision whether he was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass.

Sure, that was her second price. Her first price would have been to become ruling Queen of Dragon Pass, with Sartar has the junior partner in the relationship.

It is in King of Dragon Pass that you can lose to your partner (the FHQ or the Luminous Stallion King) in the last part of the contest, IIRC. You can of course come in only second in the race for her hand, too.

 

1 hour ago, None said:

Why?

Why didn't the Windstop favor the Grazers? Their bonded walkers (the Vendref) didn't produce any grain that year, and the pasture was frozen for half the year. How would they have profited from that?

They may have had the chance to graze their herds in Sikithi Vale, where the Glowline protected from the Windstop, and harvests could be brought in fairly normally, but the Windstop still was a big blow against their wealth.

 

1 hour ago, None said:

Also, how did this come about? While it wouldn't surprise me if the Grazers have members that are of the Storm or Earth rune among the (excluding the Vendref) due to their proximity to the Orlanthi and ubiquosness of the Earth rune but the appearance of the Feathered Horse Queen among the Grazers and the idea that she should heroquest herself (I assume that is what she did) into the highest Earth priesstess of Dragon Pass and then subjugate and replace the Sun King feels like it suddenly came right out of nowhere.

The appearance of the Feathered Queen appears to be an old Pentan prophecy. It certainly features in the prophecies for the Hero Wars in Dragon Pass.

But the other thing that happened was that after a century of being the only humans to graze the Pass region, there was a lot of change, pastures were lost to the migration pattern, and cheeky Orlanthi started farming in Grazer core regions, too. The old leadership had no good recipe for the problems, and it was time for doing things another way.

1 hour ago, None said:

I really appreciate this list of mutual aggression between the Orlanthi and Dara Happans, thanks.

This part however:

Quote

The Great Compromise freezes all of that.

makes me have to ask. What is the the official stance one the Great Compromise? Doeas it just mean the gods can't directly (i.e. personally) work upon things or stomp around inside Time as I belive. Or does it mean they're literally frozen, unable to move as much as a finger or even notice anything outside of motals calling upon them. Essentially trapped as an existence of the "past" where they're constantly always and simultaniously doing and being eveyrthing that was before Time and nothing else. Beacause in the later case they might as well not exist as consious or even sentient forces.

The Gods cannot do anything within Time without their worshipers causing this. They don't even have much of an agency when it comes to accepting or refusing worshipers, other than through divinations and thus indirect orders to their priesthood.

All the pasts up to the Dawn (or possibly up to the conception of Time in the Ritual of the Net) are still out there, and may be or have been altered by mortals (re-) emphasizing other outcomes.

Contacting a deity via the rites may fail the Turing test. Confronting the deity in their myths or in their domain outside of Time is a different proposal, as is manifesting (or killing) the deity (often in a breach of the Compromise) in the Middle World.

1 hour ago, None said:

(Also, when I said the storm, solar rivalry had officially ended I meant among the gods, not the mortals. THe whole Orlanth and Yelm have resolved their diferences thing.)

In the interval between Orlanth passing the Flames of Ehilm and the Ritual of the Net. All the rest of Godtime still exists, too.

Even if the deities had made up for good, their worshipers can undo that by introducing a new movement towards that rivalry. The capture of Whitewall and the ritual killings of Orlanth and Ernalda were such a mortal intervention, grown from long-term plotting by Dara Happan houses like the Assiday.

 

 

1 hour ago, None said:

This interests me. Can someonwe explain who the Light, Sky, High Storm people were. What were their ideals and desires? How did their diferent from the regular Storm people? Aside from following Lokomayadon and/or Nysalor which I assume they did, but what did it mean beyond that?

Whenever there is a major change in the world that involves the Orlanthi, some will be on the side of change, others will oppose it with all their might. The Bright Empire is a special case as even the allies of Arkat managed to vilify Arkat after the final battle in Dorastor, creating a mainstream that rejects both Nysalor and Arkat.

Compare the EWF. The traditionalist Orlanthi were opposed to getting too friendly with the dragons in, but the ones who made the EWF a success (for a while) were Orlanthi, too.

 

If you have The History of the Heortling Peoples, read Lokamayadon's account of the Battle of Night and Day. His faction of the Orlanthi in this battle are the Tarumathings, followers of the High Storm that he had discovered and embodied. They supported the Bright Empire, an organisation that managed to unite the known lands of Genertela under a leadership with Theyalan (Orlanthi) roots.

As for Light Orlanthi - at the Dawn, they named themselves "People of the Dawning", Theyalans. Obviously they welcomed the return of the sun, and life mostly like it had been good. There were those who had special problems with other folk - e.g. with overbearing Serpent Beast folk like the Pralori. For people in that situation, the rivalry between Storm and Sky was a theoretical consideration far removed from their actual existential problems. Having the sun back was good.

Orlanth didn't just slay the Emperor, he also conquered the sky, and unlike the Middle World he also successfully defended it against Chaos. The Star Captains of the Orlanthi tribes and their folowers were a form of Sky Orlanthi IMO.

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16 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Gods cannot do anything within Time without their worshipers causing this.

My understanding was that Gods could intervene in Time if they wanted, but that they most likely won't because that could trigger a new Gods War (see "Devising Rune Spells", RQG p348). It's called the "Great Compromise", after all, not the "Great Imprisonment" or something.

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

Contacting a deity via the rites may fail the Turing test.

Heh, that's an interesting way to think about it :)  But when you consider things like Divine Intervention or Divination, it gets a bit... hazy. How can they answer your questions if they really can never ever ever do anything new or interact in Time? Does that mean your questions are just variants of proto-questions, and all possible proto-questions have already been asked during God Time? Or does that mean there is no free will?

I don't know, it feels simpler and more powerful to say that the only reason Gods can get involved in those 2 cases (DI and Divination) is because it lies within the very limited "gray area" of the Great Compromise. Maybe one day someone will figure out another Rune spell or ritual that opens up a 3rd gray area of the Compromise...

Also I find that having the Gods really truly frozen out of Time would turn them into, I don't know, less interesting things. They would be just like characters in a forever playing movie. Sure, it's a cult movie (ho ho ho), but at this point, the characters' only usefulness is that if you get all your friends to gather up in the theatre every month to cosplay and sing the songs and throw rice, then you, err, get alien transvestite superpowers (yes, my comparison breaks down quickly here). That turns Gods into simply a cheaper universal force to tap into compared to the basic Runes, and makes their motivations/personalities somewhat irrelevant.

Edited by lordabdul
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20 hours ago, None said:

Tis part I'm very surprised about. I was under the impreession (one that, granted, almost only comes from King of Dragon Pass) that the Feathered Horse Queen never was in the contest or in a position to lose but the one the orlanthi prince had to prove himself to. That it was her descision whether he was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass.

 

Have you caught Joerg, if so I am impressed, A hard thing to do, In any case, I do recall it like you do...

A little later, no, looks like Joerg might well do it again. I’m used to it.  He is tuff.

1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Tis part I'm very surprised about. I was under the impreession (one that, granted, almost only comes from King of Dragon Pass) that the Feathered Horse Queen never was in the contest or in a position to lose but the one the orlanthi prince had to prove himself to. That it was her descision whether he was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass.

 

And here comes another contenduh for the middle weight champeen ship bout, the bad new is I agree and that might just bring you bad luck against the champ. I have landed a few hits but nothing that stuck in my forays against Joerg...

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

 

Also I find that having the Gods really truly frozen out of Time would turn them into, I don't know, less interesting things. They would be just like characters in a forever playing movie. Sure, it's a cult movie (ho ho ho), but at this point, the characters' only usefulness is that if you get all your friends to gather up in the theatre every month to cosplay and sing the songs and throw rice, then you, err, get alien transvestite superpowers (yes, my comparison breaks down quickly here). That turns Gods into simply a cheaper universal force to tap into compared to the basic Runes, and makes their motivations/personalities somewhat irrelevant.

Welcome to the wonderful world of religion. Seriously, though, I think it is an uncomfortably close analogy! 

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On 11/18/2019 at 9:09 PM, Joerg said:

The Red Emperor in Fronela is Phargentes. And his claim to be Moonson is almost as good as Takenegi's, and much better than any of the previous masks. Like Takenegi, the mortal Phargentes takes on Egi upon his ascension to the throne. Probably including his own father.

Gah if there is one thing that I find confounding it is the Red Emperor business... I haven't really found a source that truly explains this beyond leaving it very cryptic and quite inaccessible in regards to using it at the table. I mean, I get that the original Red Emperor got ganked by Sheng and thus needs to incarnate via the Masks. However, the Mask business doesn't seem to be working exactly, but I can't fathom how exactly.. perhaps the Masks retain too much of their original personalities? And how the heck do the Egi still fit in?

 

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3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

My understanding was that Gods could intervene in Time if they wanted, but that they most likely won't because that could trigger a new Gods War (see "Devising Rune Spells", RQG p348). It's called the "Great Compromise", after all, not the "Great Imprisonment" or something.

My understanding is that the gods need the agency of mortals (or immortal or demigod Inner World denizens) to have agency.

Quite often, they have avatars or heroes doing stuff in their name, giving them the ability to change stuff. Rune Magic is the least of this, heroforming (or stuff like Daka Fal's "Incarnate Ancestor") is a step further. Some deities have actual avatars running around. The Red Goddess, who isn't well known for adhering to the Compromise, has three - Red Emperor, Great Sister, and Jar-eel.

 

3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Heh, that's an interesting way to think about it :)  But when you consider things like Divine Intervention or Divination, it gets a bit... hazy. How can they answer your questions if they really can never ever ever do anything new or interact in Time?

Good point. They accumulate the stuff that is carried to them until that point of linear Time, so their knowledge is not static, but increases as Time proceeds. And they usually have an area or sphere of influence  in the Middle World. Orlanth has all Air, Mahome has the Hearthfires, Yelm has wherever sunlight touches, etc. When asked a question via Divination, the deity can consult the stored memory and activate the sensors of their domain (at that point in Time) to sense for the object of the question.

Divine Intervention is obviously triggered by the cultist, and also powered by the cultist. It does give the deity agency - within limits - to lend a helping hand to that cultist. The limits (imposed by the Compromise, I think) are that there must be no direct hostile interaction with the rest of the world.

3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Does that mean your questions are just variants of proto-questions, and all possible proto-questions have already been asked during God Time?

No. Accumulating memory with Time is something that happens to deities, although from their perspective it might be like pages of the book or scenes of the movie they haven't seen yet, and someone else (Time) holds the control and steps the progress.

3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Or does that mean there is no free will?

None for deities.

For the mortals, there is free will - but fate will still provide the framing parameters, otherwise prophecy wouldn't work.

(Now, how exactly prophecy works is yet another, deeper can of worms.)

3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I don't know, it feels simpler and more powerful to say that the only reason Gods can get involved in those 2 cases (DI and Divination) is because it lies within the very limited "gray area" of the Great Compromise. Maybe one day someone will figure out another Rune spell or ritual that opens up a 3rd gray area of the Compromise...

Getting reborn into the world or possessing a denizen of that realm is an acceptable way. Jar-eel is (yet) fully Compromise-compatible.

Rathor doesn't have that much agency now Harrek has bound him into his fur, but the berserk's actions aren't exactly against Rathor's nature.

3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Also I find that having the Gods really truly frozen out of Time would turn them into, I don't know, less interesting things. They would be just like characters in a forever playing movie. Sure, it's a cult movie (ho ho ho), but at this point, the characters' only usefulness is that if you get all your friends to gather up in the theatre every month to cosplay and sing the songs and throw rice, then you, err, get alien transvestite superpowers (yes, my comparison breaks down quickly here). That turns Gods into simply a cheaper universal force to tap into compared to the basic Runes, and makes their motivations/personalities somewhat irrelevant.

That's the case if you don't invest into the deity but treat it like the God Learners did - observing, following the rotes, rewriting the story. That is very different from becoming the deity with all your (and its) passions, as you do in a theist heroquest. The fun stuff about entering a heroquest is that its course is not predictable and completely scripted. And it will change the story of the protagonists and antagonists in that quest, somewhat.

Again, it is the infusion of a mortal's Free Will that makes things uncertain and different.

It's the stuff that's coming out of the Chaosium.

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36 minutes ago, Grievous said:

Gah if there is one thing that I find confounding it is the Red Emperor business... I haven't really found a source that truly explains this beyond leaving it very cryptic and quite inaccessible in regards to using it at the table. I mean, I get that the original Red Emperor got ganked by Sheng and thus needs to incarnate via the Masks. However, the Mask business doesn't seem to be working exactly, but I can't fathom how exactly.. perhaps the Masks retain too much of their original personalities? And how the heck do the Egi still fit in?

The best write-up of Takenegi probably is in The Fortunate Succession.

The original Moonson died in the Battle at Castle Blue. The Red Goddess brought him back, and made him her immortal emperor. His powers are way beyond what a single mortal body could confine, and it is carried by his "chorus" on the moon, the Egi - a set of immortals who carry part of Moonson's burden. They are the Egi, and Takenegi was a projection of these (with the original Moonson one of the Egi, I believe).

When Sheng snuffed Takenegi for good, so that the mask of Magnificus had to replace him, some of the Egi had expired, too, and replacements were required. IMO one of the replacements was the former body of Magnificus. The body of Takenegi could no longer be manifested.

A new mask of Moonson appears out of necessity, choosing a suitable candidate (knowing the Lunar nobility, in all likelihood a direct descendant from Moonson through at least one line, quite likely more than one). The final death of a mask causes a change in the Egi. Not necessarily the death of a previous contributor, but certainly a change in status.

The Red Moon is an unusual Otherworld, as it is subject to TIme, and adjacent to the lands under the Glowline, IMO. It is an ageless realm nontetheless, again IMO.

A new mask of Moonson is not yet automatically the Red Emperor - he needs to undergo the Ten Tests and probably visit bodily on the moon to take on that role. He will be regarded as acting emperor if he provides sufficient proof of his moonson-ness, though.

When Moirades "inspired" Jar-eel with Phargentes (his son, not his father), he advanced to the moon and joined a state of being that I want to call the waiting room for future Egi. I am certain that when Phargentes finally advances to Emperorhood, Moirades will be one of his Egi. I also want Moirades the Egi-candidate to make a visit to Lunar Tarsh on the eve of its fall, but that might be just wishful thinking. Pharandros probably gets visitations by his late dad on a regular basis - no wonder he has little tolerance for an overbearing subject like Fazzur.

 

I think the wider issue here is who gets to while his afterlife or ascended life away on the Red Moon, what makes folk eligible, how crowed is the moon?

Illumination probably is a minimal prerequisite. It might be required to be able to step on the moon at all (or might be forced upon you when making that "small step for a man").

The Full Moon Corps is made up of Lunar demigods, quite likely heroic or extraordinarily pious/inspired followers of the Red Goddess in her many wars and conflicts to establish herself, and expanding as the Wanes went on. They seem to me like something like the Terracotta army, manifesting corporeally in the Middle World while simultaneously living on on the moon. Pluripresence (as per the enigmatic texts in Arcane Lore) may be a weird concept, but I think it is behind this phenomenon, and behind Moonson, too.

 

Belintar has built a similar set of contributors to his mortal form with the winners of the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death. While the mortal body changes with each incarnation, the personalities of the previous bodies (dominantly including the original) remain, whle the donors of the body enjoy a timeless existence in a domain of their own making in the special  Otherworld that also serves as the tournament grounds. These winners sit there, apparently unchallenged (yet - or up to Jar-eel's intervention), and their continued existence and their memories from joining Belintar might be something to quest to if one went about to re-awaken the Lord of the Harshax.

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23 hours ago, Eff said:

My interpretation of the Compromise and Gods War is informed by the frequent note that the stations of a Heroquest may be passed through in any order. Since that is the case, my working theory is that the strange behavior of time and space on the Other Side is due to limited perceptions- a mortal cannot see the totality of anything there, beyond perhaps the most trivial things like (some) blades of grass, so they can only move on a path where they see a limited slice of that thing, which doesn't have to match their previous understanding of that thing, either. Which is how gods at different points of their own existence can interact, and why if you try to reenact the story of Orlanth and Aroka sometimes you have to fight Aroka before you see any hint of Daga. Of course, ritual community Heroquests don't usually have this happen, so perhaps having more perspectives attempting to make sense of the Gods War forces it into an intermediate ground between them? 

I always assumed that since the God Time is outside of Time there's no reason for any of its events to happen in chronological order.

 

23 hours ago, Eff said:

1) In my opinion only- there's a primal power which represents sovereignty over Dragon Pass, which manifests itself in various forms. Becoming King of Dragon Pass involves a mystical contest that has several parts to it- first, you have to prove that you're even worthy to contend with that power, which is the wooing contest itself. But once you're married, then you face a challenge where the primal power attempts to demand parts of you in exchange for access to the sovereignty she grants. 

 

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

Sure, that was her second price. Her first price would have been to become ruling Queen of Dragon Pass, with Sartar has the junior partner in the relationship.

It is in King of Dragon Pass that you can lose to your partner (the FHQ or the Luminous Stallion King) in the last part of the contest, IIRC. You can of course come in only second in the race for her hand, too.

So the Feathered Horse Queen's (that being every Feathered Horse Queen) right to deside who was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass was a concolation price and the King of Dragon Pass is always the senior partner? Or is that competed about every time?

Regardless I'm a little surprised she the Feathered Horse Queens doesn't just refuse any contenders that seem like they could win over her. I have to assume that something either forces her accept worthy contenders or gives her a reason not to only accept weak ones. I'm also assuming the contests between the two monarchs isn't only to see what the  King of Dragon Pass looses. Thzat would put him at a serious disadvantage unless he literally begins with everything.

 

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Gods cannot do anything within Time without their worshipers causing this. They don't even have much of an agency when it comes to accepting or refusing worshipers, other than through divinations and thus indirect orders to their priesthood.

Wouldn't that mean at least some of the gods have a vested interest in making their followers call upon divine intervention as much as possble?

 

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

In the interval between Orlanth passing the Flames of Ehilm and the Ritual of the Net. All the rest of Godtime still exists, too.

Even if the deities had made up for good, their worshipers can undo that by introducing a new movement towards that rivalry. The capture of Whitewall and the ritual killings of Orlanth and Ernalda were such a mortal intervention, grown from long-term plotting by Dara Happan houses like the Assiday.

Ah, so the Orlanthi and Dara Happans are essentially retroactively lessening the reconciliation between Orlanth and Yelm? If so I can't help but think of someone, or several someones, cooking up a scheeme to make their respective god's rune magic mmore effective or hostile against their rival's.

Although, something like that would probably be the prone to gather a lot of attention as the effects would be quite widespread, especially in the case othe greater gods.

 

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

Having the sun back was good.

Gee, what a surprise. I've always considered killing the sun one of the stupier moments in Orlant's life. Its also one of the reasons I'm suspicious of Ernalda. I refuse to  belive she isn't intelligent enough to understand what effect her words would have on Orlanth or that she wouldn't understand what the consequenses of killing the sun would be, and she still wanted it to happen.

That aside, it is just as interesting to see moments when some of the Orlanthi and (Dara Happans?) Pelorians (I assume) put their old grudges aside in favour of more mundane and direct realities in the world around them as a list of their mutual aggression.

Actually speaking of agression (sort of) have Esrolia ever had any greater calamity that they haven't quickly recoverd from or that left them with an actually peranent deficit? The only two I know about is the God King (or Pharao) but he was onle next tyo Esrolia, and the one time when they managed to any Ernalda by missusing the Earth rune too much.

 

7 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Also I find that having the Gods really truly frozen out of Time would turn them into, I don't know, less interesting things. They would be just like characters in a forever playing movie. Sure, it's a cult movie (ho ho ho), but at this point, the characters' only usefulness is that if you get all your friends to gather up in the theatre every month to cosplay and sing the songs and throw rice, then you, err, get alien transvestite superpowers (yes, my comparison breaks down quickly here). That turns Gods into simply a cheaper universal force to tap into compared to the basic Runes, and makes their motivations/personalities somewhat irrelevant.

I think I understand what you're saying ansd I think I have to agree. THe gods are more interesting if they have at least a little personal agensy.

 

edit: that is I know of the time they managed to any Ernalda by missusing the Earth rune too much not its details.

 

Edited by None

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1 hour ago, None said:

I always assumed that since the God Time is outside of Time there's no reason for any of its events to happen in chronological order.

 

Chronological order? No. Narrative order? Often, yes, but not always.

 

1 hour ago, None said:

Gee, what a surprise. I've always considered killing the sun one of the stupier moments in Orlant's life. Its also one of the reasons I'm suspicious of Ernalda. I refuse to  belive she isn't intelligent enough to understand what effect her words would have on Orlanth or that she wouldn't understand what the consequenses of killing the sun would be, and she still wanted
it to happen.

The Book of Heortling Mythology contains several different version of the Contest between Orlanth and Yelm, and in most of them (iirc), Ernalda is quite shocked at what Orlanth did - but then it's not clear what she thought would happen otherwise.

These are from Heortling perspectives though. Esrolian perspectives are likely to present a different view - and indeed the story about Vingkot harassing Esrola and kicking away Harono (the Esrolian name for the King of the Sky) paints the Storm-takeover as Main Husband in a decidedly less heroic light. Which of these are closer to the "real" version (or if such a term is applicable, as we always return to) we can't really know.
 

1 hour ago, None said:

Wouldn't that meqan at least some of the gods have a vested interest in making their followers call upon divine intervention as much as possble?

 

For whatever reason, the gods of the Compromise tend not to engage too much in rules-lawyering or munchkinnery. That seem more to be the purview of Illumination-centric deities/Compromise-breakers like Nysalor or Sedenya.
 

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