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redmoongoddess

Is it possible to form new myths in Glorantha or merely rediscover old myths?

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As evidenced by the history of Glorantha, new groups and institutions are found many times. And as we can see, most cults generally have myths to strengthen their actions to the gods.

Discounting examples of heroquests rewriting reality, is it possible for an new cult to form around an rarely covered aspect of pre-existing deity, without needing an previously existing myth based around that aspect, or does it always need an myth to actually exist?

Theoretical example: Lets say that an group of Chalana Arroy worshipers decided to start an group decided to helping the children of those who's parents were killed in war. Lets say they establish the group as an cult. Lets say that there aren't any known myths about Chalana Arroy protecting and rising orphans caused by war. 

Would they... 

A. ...Be a cult, but one unable to get anywhere because they wouldn't have any unique mythical powers to aid their goals? 

B. ...Not be a proper cult, and more just an general faction that merely has a shitton of Chalana Arroy worshipers?

C. Would conveniently end up finding an myth that just HAPPENED to fit their goals despite not knowing about it beforehand anyways, because either...

-C1. ...It actually did exist all along?

-C2. ...Reality somehow bent itself to allow the myth to come to be?

If any of the options but C2 is true, does that mean there's technically an inherently limited amount of "myths" that exist without heroquesting to create new ones, despite God's Time's subjective nature? If so, doesn't that count as an chicken and the egg situation where it's unclear on exactly "where" those limited number of events originated from without people actively messing around with God Time? And if C2 is true, what's the difference between that and rewriting pre-existing myths with the aid of Heroquesting? Do new versions only come when the needed myth is an "natural" evolution of another myth instead of an massively drastic change caused by 'questing nonsense?

But if there is one thing I know...it's that YGWV.

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They'd probably send Heroquesters into the hero plane in search of a myth on which to found their cult, and with proper support they'd probably come back with something. Whether it was created or just found doesn't really matter - in Glorantha, 99% of worship will give you something, usually proportionate to how many people are doing the worship.

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Basically, you can always try to change myths, though the more radical the change, the more likely something blows up in your face.

So a myth where Chalanna Arroy takes care of orphans would probably not be too hard to create, because it fits her well.

One where Chalanna Arroy is the head of a brothel (where Uralda, Ernalda, Esrolia, Dendara, Kygor Litor, Vinga, Orlanth, Heler, and Humakt get pimped out), though deeply hilarious, would probably require ludicrous resources to create.

Too much of the latter is part of why the God-Learners went boom.

You make myths by starting a Heroquest, then doing something *different* than the normal myth.  

Once you blaze a trail, you keep doing it until it gets easier.

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Any creative heroquesting does this, really. And a heroquest doesn't have to start with a known myth, thats just the way people tend to do it because it increases your chance of a successful result significantly. Any journey into the otherworld is a form of heroquest. 

And creating something new may not even be that difficult - it will just be a myth about the creator, not a mth about the god directly, which not everyone will accept as correct. What is truly difficult is contradicting what is already known. 

There are many heroes that have done this. Start with Hrestol in the year 2. 

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Pretty much. Whether you adapt and repurpose a preexisting myth by going for a different result, or "find" an old myth that just so happens to be what you want, or "create" a new one that due to the fact that everything is always happening at once forever in God Time was "actually" always there, as long as you can pull off the Heroquest, you can find/make the myth you're looking for. No one in-universe can actually know for sure which of these they've done, and in the end it doesn't actually matter.

Just look at the Fangplace in 13th Age Glorantha. The God Time should not be understood as what actually, definitely happened, exactly as it happened, but just how you're seeing it happen from your own perspective, and by forging your own path you make your own story out of it. The Fangplace story of "Orlanth got mauled by wild animals and left for dead this one time" can be completely changed by Heroquesters into just about any outcome they can manage to pull off, and with very different magical results.

And yet, as far as the God Time is concerned, this is all valid. After all, there is technically nothing "new" in the God Time because the whole idea is that it's outside the linear Time experienced by mortals; it is the place where everything that ever happened before Time began is always happening, forever. So in a sense, even a myth you "create" has in some sense "always been."

Edited by Leingod

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Well-made points above, and I agree with them.

We do know that Heroquests can blow up in some people's faces (Valare Addi was blinded for trying to prove that the Red Goddess was Entekos, the God Learners ruined Slontos by trying to prove two earth goddesses were the same, etc.), but what exactly marks a "limit", if anything, is unknown. 

I personally find this inescapable subjectivism one of Glorantha's main strengths. There's no omniscient third-person narrator to tell you what *really* is true. Different groups try as best as they can, but they are ultimately finding very different answers to the same problems. 

Whether these different answers are a part of the same overall mythic "truth", fractured interpretations, or whether they are in fact creative processes is, as has been mentioned, ultimately unkowable, and thus largely irrelevant. 

Put in another way: if it works, it works.

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My take on this is pretty much mostly a no.  

 

A big part of the whole breakdown of the Celestial Court happened when the various powers were used not just irresponsibly, but even against themselves.  This was the oft repeated line where Acos rules against himself, Kargan Tor is called to face himself in battle, etc.  Use of these powers in that way was what broke everything.  Most of the current holders of those runes are newer gods, and they seem to be much less abstract, and more like a hyped up mortal.  Basically, they react to their misuse -- and harshly.

So the creative aspect is really dialed down within time.  And that's the caveat to my general stance -- to make a new thing, or at least a new BIG thing, you need to be a firing on all cylinders hero -- at least in my Glorantha.  It isn't that it can't be done, exactly, but that the barrier is high. 

Since this is the type of activity I generally reserve for a high powered, long-running campaign, I should have left around several Chekhov's guns for the players to exploit.  A couple of times I got caught out, and quickly discovered Eurmal is always the answer when ad-libbing.  But it is much, much more satisfying for a long running narrative hook to be pulled off the shelf from four months ago by a heavily engaged, thinking-cap-on player and be used for something like this.  That's pretty much what I am looking for as a GM in this situation.  I want a character who is powerful enough, has suffered the "Arkat grind" enough to have earned it, and the player has had the "eureka!" moment using information introduced within the campaign itself.   Short of these things, I think the established order's barriers to such changes are too great.

 

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13 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

As evidenced by the history of Glorantha, new groups and institutions are found many times. And as we can see, most cults generally have myths to strengthen their actions to the gods.

Discounting examples of heroquests rewriting reality, is it possible for an new cult to form around an rarely covered aspect of pre-existing deity, without needing an previously existing myth based around that aspect, or does it always need an myth to actually exist?

Theoretical example: Lets say that an group of Chalana Arroy worshipers decided to start an group decided to helping the children of those who's parents were killed in war. Lets say they establish the group as an cult. Lets say that there aren't any known myths about Chalana Arroy protecting and rising orphans caused by war. 

Would they... 

A. ...Be a cult, but one unable to get anywhere because they wouldn't have any unique mythical powers to aid their goals? 

B. ...Not be a proper cult, and more just an general faction that merely has a shitton of Chalana Arroy worshipers?

C. Would conveniently end up finding an myth that just HAPPENED to fit their goals despite not knowing about it beforehand anyways, because either...

-C1. ...It actually did exist all along?

-C2. ...Reality somehow bent itself to allow the myth to come to be?

If any of the options but C2 is true, does that mean there's technically an inherently limited amount of "myths" that exist without heroquesting to create new ones, despite God's Time's subjective nature? If so, doesn't that count as an chicken and the egg situation where it's unclear on exactly "where" those limited number of events originated from without people actively messing around with God Time? And if C2 is true, what's the difference between that and rewriting pre-existing myths with the aid of Heroquesting? Do new versions only come when the needed myth is an "natural" evolution of another myth instead of an massively drastic change caused by 'questing nonsense?

But if there is one thing I know...it's that YGWV.

"Yes"

 

I mean... like, "all of the above."  Or any.  Or most.

Possibly in mutually-contradictory ways (but especially:  YGWV).

 

Edited by g33k
ygwv

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17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

Discounting examples of heroquests rewriting reality

I am not sure why you would discount this, as HeroQuests are used to do exactly what you are asking.

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

is it possible for an new cult to form around an rarely covered aspect of pre-existing deity, without needing an previously existing myth based around that aspect, or does it always need an myth to actually exist?

A Sub Cult or Cult, in my opinion, always needs a Myth. 

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

A. ...Be a cult, but one unable to get anywhere because they wouldn't have any unique mythical powers to aid their goals? 

B. ...Not be a proper cult, and more just an general faction that merely has a shitton of Chalana Arroy worshipers?

B, for me.

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

C. Would conveniently end up finding an myth that just HAPPENED to fit their goals despite not knowing about it beforehand anyways, because either...

Conveniently finding a myth means HeroQuesting to prove that they have that myth.

 

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

-C1. ...It actually did exist all along?

This does happen fairly often. You simply "remember" a "forgotten" aspect of the cult. So, everyone says "Oh yeah, we forgot about that myth, but now it totally makes sense".

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

-C2. ...Reality somehow bent itself to allow the myth to come to be?

Yes, this happens through HeroQuesting. You go off and create the Myth of Chalana Arroy helping orphans, or rather you create a Myth of the Organisation's Founder helping orphans and then "give" that ability to Chalana Arroy.

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

If any of the options but C2 is true, does that mean there's technically an inherently limited amount of "myths" that exist without heroquesting to create new ones, despite God's Time's subjective nature?

There are a lot of "forgotten" myths that are just waiting to be rediscovered.

Don't forget that Glorantha was broken in the Gods War and had to be stitched up again. Many myths were forgotten or broken, so they are no longer available. All you need to do is to find a myth fragment and remember it, then you have the myth and can teach it.

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

If so, doesn't that count as an chicken and the egg situation where it's unclear on exactly "where" those limited number of events originated from without people actively messing around with God Time? 

Yes and No.

There is really no difference between a rediscovered forgotten Myth and a newly invented Myth. They are effectively the same.

It is very difficult to tell what is an original Myth and what has been amended through HeroQuesting. That is what the Back to Righteousness Movement of the God Learners tried to do. They stripped back Myths and Beliefs to try to work out what was an original Myth and what had been added.

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

And if C2 is true, what's the difference between that and rewriting pre-existing myths with the aid of Heroquesting?

Nothing whatsoever. That is what HeroQuesting does, it bends Myths to create new ones.

17 hours ago, redmoongoddess said:

Do new versions only come when the needed myth is an "natural" evolution of another myth instead of an massively drastic change caused by 'questing nonsense?

It can work both ways. A Myth can snap into place due to the actions of others, or a new Myth can be created through HeroQuesting.

I think that by discounting HeroQuesting and changes caused by HeroQuesting nonsense, you are making it very difficult for yourself. HeroQuesting is the method to create new Myths and to rediscover old ones. 

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You could have awesome fun with experimental heroquesting. The broken council, the god learners, the wyrms friends, the seven mothers and Argrath all discovered interesting and strange new powers when they tried something new.

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