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What is the Red Emperor


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The Red Emperor is Moonson, the male demigod aspect of the Red Goddess that was chosen as the emperor of the lands she had united through conquest and conversion. He is the Emperor of Dara Happa, qualified by undergoing the Ten Tests challenge.

All masks of the Red Emperor so far had a previous existence as a human (or human demigod) male before they became emperor.

But there is more to the emperor than just that human body.

In a way, the Red Emperor is also the wyter of the Empire, and he has the Egi, a group of demigods/ascended people on the moon who contribute to his consciousness and magic. These Egi incarnate aspects of the Red Goddess.

The Great Sister is a complement to the Red Emperor, the female demigod aspect of her, and presumably like Moonson contributed by a group of incarnated aspects of the Goddess on the moon.

 

Each new mask of Moonson embodies a different agenda, and brings in a new personality. That doesn't have to mean that the old personalities disappear - unlike Belintar, we don't know where Moonson parks his former identities. Having all of them in your head all the time is bound to drive you deeper into Madness.

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The reason there are Masks is because originally, the Egi put the dead Emperor's souls back together. Monsoon's title was Taken Egi "Lord of the Egi".

But there was a disaster. There was a Chaos kingdom dating to the most ancient times, Tork. It was contained in a kind of bubble, but Monsoon fought them. Tork killed him so hard the death echoed back and killed some of his Egi.

After this, Monsoon could not be restored as-is. The only way to save him was to graft His remaining souls onto a willing person, who would retain part of their personality. These new forms became known as "Masks", and the appearance of the first one really freaked people out because the Red Emperor looked like a new person! It took a lot of proof to demonstrate it really was the real Red Emperor.

Since they had their own personalities up in there grafted onto Monsoon's, there could be real corruption. Noble houses fought to have their champion be the stand-by choice for if the current Emperor died.

The original form of the Red Emperor is called Monsoon. The later ones have their own titles.

Before he was the Red Emperor, Monsoon was called the Crimson Warlord.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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Here's the official description:

The Red Emperor is a living god, the son of the Red Goddess. He has no personal name, only titles. He is Moonson, Lord of the Four Quarters, Staff and Pillar of God, Leader of the Egi, Shah of Shahs, and the Bright and Illustrious Emperor of Dara Happa. As a living god, the Red Emperor presides over the rituals that maintain and revive the cosmos and is in charge of maintaining the magical connections of the empire. The Red Emperor first appeared at the Battle of Castle Blue. Although he can be slain, no death can claim him for long. The Red Emperor has been reborn many times. Whenever the emperor is killed, the priests in Glamour begin the rituals that will allow them to aid the Red Emperor in regaining himself and the parts of his soul that may have been damaged by his death. The Red Emperor is worshiped throughout the Lunar Empire as a separate divine entity apart from his mother. He is the Highest Priest for the cults of the Red Goddess and Yelm, as well as the subject of his own cult.

Lunar Empire maintains that there has only been one single Red Emperor since 1250. However, it is the custom and cheer for the Red Emperor to change his form to suit the needs of the time and place. The custom began after the Nights of Horror, where the Emperor and most of his household and staff, were killed. The Red Emperor has been reborn at least fourteen times. Each new incarnation takes on a Mask Name. 

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3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Monsoon

I assume this was a mistake of the moment, but it's "Moon-son", and not "Monsoon" as in the tropical rainy/stormy season. God knows reading this messed me up a lot when I first got into Glorantha. 

Also, I think it's a generic title that applies to the original Takenegi form and all subsequent Masks.

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10 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Also, I think it's a generic title that applies to the original Takenegi form and all subsequent Masks.

Yep, Jeff wrote: " The Red Emperor is a living god, the son of the Red Goddess. He has no personal name, only titles. He is Moonson, "

Edited by prinz.slasar
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57 minutes ago, prinz.slasar said:

Yep, Jeff wrote: " The Red Emperor is a living god, the son of the Red Goddess. He has no personal name, only titles. He is Moonson, "

Okay.

People have referred to the forms before the death of his Egi as Monsoon because the ones after actually have names: Magnificus, Artifex, Voracius, Venerabilis, Robustus, Celestinus, Militaris, Reclusus, Ignifer, and Argenteus. The ones after are also commonly called "Masks".

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7 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Okay.

People have referred to the forms before the death of his Egi as Monsoon because the ones after actually have names: Magnificus, Artifex, Voracius, Venerabilis, Robustus, Celestinus, Militaris, Reclusus, Ignifer, and Argenteus. The ones after are also commonly called "Masks".

Those are the Mask names of the various incarnations. 

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I assume this was a mistake of the moment, but it's "Moon-son", and not "Monsoon" as in the tropical rainy/stormy season. God knows reading this messed me up a lot when I first got into Glorantha. 

It was a couple of decades before I finally realised that the title was, in fact, Moon-son and not Monsoon.  That said, I always found the title "Inspiration of Monsoon" beautifully poetic, if weirdly inappropriate to a northern, largely landlocked empire.

!i!

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18 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

before the death of his Egi as Monsoon

Thus the popular quip attributed to Hon-Eel (in her Instruction), "devant moi, le déluge" or loosely translated, "rainy season is over, now I am on fire."

It's interesting to go back to the masks as moments when a particular current in elite lunar thought reached its apotheosis and then was discarded. Some of them may only be dormant waiting for the hero wars to be revived in a new and more vibrant expression. Others become monsters. Some go both ways.

(Will get back to other threads soon.)

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I assume this was a mistake of the moment, but it's "Moon-son", and not "Monsoon" as in the tropical rainy/stormy season. God knows reading this messed me up a lot when I first got into Glorantha. 

5 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

t was a couple of decades before I finally realised that the title was, in fact, Moon-son and not Monsoon

6 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Thus the popular quip attributed to Hon-Eel (in her Instruction), "devant moi, le déluge" or loosely translated, "rainy season is over, now I am on fire."

I am so happy it was not just me, I always thought that Hon-eel was the 3rd inspiration of Monsoon, I think it was at least 20 years before I got around that. 

Thanks for that Martin!

cheers

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1 minute ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I am so happy it was not just me, I always thought that Hon-eel was the 3rd inspiration of Monsoon, I think it was at least 20 years before I got around that. 

Thanks for that Martin!

cheers

image.png.408b10696cb3a868da5c184b783b1331.png

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Was the original Red Emperor (Doskalos/Scarlet Warlord) the biological son of the goddess or was he adopted to fulfil the Role of emperor?

Were the Egi assembled before the event of the battle at Castle Blue or did Doskalos originally enjoy an existence independent of the Egi?

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37 minutes ago, MHanretty said:

Was the original Red Emperor (Doskalos/Scarlet Warlord) the biological son of the goddess or was he adopted to fulfil the Role of emperor?

Were the Egi assembled before the event of the battle at Castle Blue or did Doskalos originally enjoy an existence independent of the Egi?

Afaik, they had independent existence prior to the Battle of Castle Blue, and it's my impression that they apotheosized during/after it along with Sedenya, or alternatively, she apotheosized, and then later elevated them too to the position of divines/semi-divines. 

That being said, it's possible that Doskalos/Crimson Warlord did have some connection to the the Red Goddess prior to the Battle, but whether he was literally her son prior to it, or a worshipper I don't know.

That being said, the being who would become the Red Emperor was already one of the Arrows of Light at the Battle of Four Arrows of Light, which too place iirc 4 years prior to the Battle of Castle Blue, suggesting that he already then was a formidable champion. And I believe I fought in some siege of Torang (the first capital/origination point of the Lunar Empire) prior to even that, but I don't have the Redline History handy so I might be mixing some stuff up.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Afaik, they had independent existence prior to the Battle of Castle Blue, and it's my impression that they apotheosized during/after it along with Sedenya, or alternatively, she apotheosized, and then later elevated them too to the position of divines/semi-divines.

The Blue Moon had a daughter and a son, just like Sedenya. The son, an archer, betrayed his mother to the Solars and so she was killed, while the Good Daughter, at her mother's command, hid in a secret grotto until it was time to resurface again.

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12 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Okay.

People have referred to the forms before the death of his Egi as Monsoon because the ones after actually have names: Magnificus, Artifex, Voracius, Venerabilis, Robustus, Celestinus, Militaris, Reclusus, Ignifer, and Argenteus. The ones after are also commonly called "Masks".

My point is those aren't really names. They are Mask names adopted after the new Mask is recognised. Masks names are essentially "nicknames" - and not used officially or ritually. Some claim that each Mask had another name before being recognised as the Mask, but the Irrippi Ontor cult (which reports to the Red Emperor) does not track such things. The Red Emperor always is the Red Emperor, regardless of the mask he wears. 

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18 minutes ago, Jeff said:

My point is those aren't really names. They are Mask names adopted after the new Mask is recognised. Masks names are essentially "nicknames" - and not used officially or ritually. Some claim that each Mask had another name before being recognised as the Mask, but the Irrippi Ontor cult (which reports to the Red Emperor) does not track such things. The Red Emperor always is the Red Emperor, regardless of the mask he wears. 

These are terms used to distinguish the Masks. Unofficial or not, they are names. The current Mask is Argenteus, and the game texts straight up say it just like that.

Maybe the court doesn't like it or whatever but de facto it's true.

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3 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

These are terms used to distinguish the Masks. Unofficial or not, they are names. The current Mask is Argenteus, and the game texts straight up say it just like that.

Maybe the court doesn't like it or whatever but de facto it's true.

Like many things suffered with the light of Illumination, it is true and dangerously misleading at the same time. The current Mask in 1625 is Argenteus, but there will be others.

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Sage,

Within the Pelorian Aristocracy, how does one get chosen as the next Mask?  Is it a political decision.  Can 'anybody' be chosen (right place at the right/wrong time), and the existing personality is partially overwritten by much of the accreted Moonson experience to date (with Egi advice/IT support).  It seems similar to the God King, though he seems to completely quash the previous personality.

As some of the previous mask personalities seem to have been of 'poor' quality, I would assume political selection, with the chosen sometimes not quite enamored by their selection - though the religion/priests would reject this.  As the creature that is Moonson keeps dying then he seems more the fragile human (but incredibly magical) than a robust demi-god.  He does not seem to be of the level of an immortal hero such as Cragspider, more just a mortal/temporary focus for the magic of the Lunar Empire.

Lankhor Mhy Initiate

Edited by Ebaninth
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1 hour ago, Ebaninth said:

Sage,

Within the Pelorian Aristocracy, how does one get chosen as the next Mask?  Is it a political decision.  Can 'anybody' be chosen (right place at the right/wrong time), and the existing personality is partially overwritten by much of the accreted Moonson experience to date (with Egi advice/IT support).  It seems similar to the God King, though he seems to completely quash the previous personality.

As some of the previous mask personalities seem to have been of 'poor' quality, I would assume political selection, with the chosen sometimes not quite enamored by their selection - though the religion/priests would reject this.  As the creature that is Moonson keeps dying then he seems more the fragile human (but incredibly magical) than a robust demi-god.  He does not seem to be of the level of an immortal hero such as Cragspider, more just a mortal/temporary focus for the magic of the Lunar Empire.

Lankhor Mhy Initiate

That is the big question - the process whereby a new Mask is selected is very opaque. There clearly are requirements, and it is known that there have been terrible Dart Wars around the process. 

And I'd say the Red Emperor has incredible magical powers. Never underestimate him. The current Mask is handsome, witty, and a seeker of power for its own sake. He is initially popular with the urban masses and with the rural peasantry, while maintaining a glittering and hedonistic court - cheery, heartless, and amoral. It is a court of poets, artists, pleasure-seekers dominated by the Seven Daughters - his consorts. It is a high point of Lunar civilization. For most of his reign, he enjoys the support of his "daughter" Jar-eel the Razoress (actually the daughter of a previous Mask) and his "Great Sister" Deneskerva. His reign is initially peaceful, with only the slave rebellion of 1613 to trouble the heartland for the first 15 years of his reign (and it is short-lived and decisively suppressed by Jar-eel).

A series of disasters from 1623 to 1625 has shaken the Red Emperor's' regime to its foundations. The suppression of the White Moon Movement results in a peasant uprising throughout much of Peloria (. Before the uprising can be fulling put down, the Pentan hero called the King of Wings creates a confederation of many Pentan tribes and invades the eastern satrapies in force. Finally comes the Dragonrise, which overnight destroys the Provincial Army and much of the Lunar College of Magic, and quickly loses the Lunar Provinces. the Red Emperor used much personal magic to ward the True Dragon away from Glamour (and even then, the Glowline has sporadic failures).

The years 1625 and 1626 are the lowest point in the Lunar Empire since the Night of Horrors.

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So if the MoonSon is simply a Mask, why has the emperor never been female, if anyone can be chosen?

Also I know the Lunar Imperial Handbooks exist, but this all so interesting we need a new 'interior Lunar book' or two, to see what the Empire is like, from the inside, the culture and cults and expectations.

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36 minutes ago, Jeff said:

That is the big question - the process whereby a new Mask is selected is very opaque. There clearly are requirements, and it is known that there have been terrible Dart Wars around the process. 

(snip)

Now that is interesting and evocative, nice read over breakfast. Thank you.

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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40 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

So if the MoonSon is simply a Mask, why has the emperor never been female, if anyone can be chosen?

Also I know the Lunar Imperial Handbooks exist, but this all so interesting we need a new 'interior Lunar book' or two, to see what the Empire is like, from the inside, the culture and cults and expectations.

Short answer might be "because women cannot pass the Ten Tests". The Red Emperor reaffirms he is not only the son of the Moon but also the rightful emperor of Dara Happa by taking the Ten Tests.

No woman can pass the test because you must be a man to qualify.

The tests are not Lunar, but Solar, and are ancient. The exact tests vary, but one thing is certain: no woman has ever qualified for the tests. Solars are really misogynistic.

More on the ten tests: https://glorantha.fandom.com/wiki/Ten_Tests

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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