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Your Dumbest Theory


scott-martin

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An alchemical exegesis:

There are, of course, several planets that move in the Gloranthan sky: a blue planet, a red planet, a yellow planet, a pale yellow planet, a white planet, a broken orange planet, a dark red planet, a twin planet that changes color, and a boat planet. There's also a gray planet, and a lost planet. But never mind them.

Now, in historical alchemical texts, it was conventional to use astronomical names as references for various metallic substances. Let's presume that this is the case in Glorantha for a moment.

We have the following known common metals of Glorantha:

Lead
Aluminum/Mercury
Copper
Gold
Tin
Bronze
Silver
Iron

Either eight or nine. There are currently nine planets. Let's play around for a moment here.

Uleria/Mastakos: the blue planet, moves quickly across the sky, seems likely to be associated with water somehow.
Dendara/Moskalf: the white planet, definitively associated with earth
Lightfore/Yelmalio/Kargzant/Antirius: the yellow planet, the Little Sun, clearly associated with fire and the Sun.
Lokarnos/Issaries' Mule: the pale planet, presumably a very pale yellow, elemental associations uncertain
Shargash/Tolat/Jagrekriand: the red planet, associated with fire and sex and war and death.
Orlanth's Ring: the broken orange (and green) planet, associated with the air.
Artia: the dark red planet, associated with the moon.
Twinstars: the color-changing twin planets, associated with the moon.
Boat Planet/Anaxial: the boat planet, associated with boats and presumably with the sea.

We can make some elemental associations right off the bat:

Lightfore: Gold
Orlanth's Ring: Bronze
Uleria: Mercury (Quicksilver)
Boat Planet: Aluminum (it floats)
Dendara: Copper

What is still needed: lead, tin, silver, iron. From here, it gets more speculative.

One scheme:
Lokarnos: Tin. Pale planet, associated with the predictable motion of the Sky Dome.
Shargash: Lead. Shargash is an underworld deity.
Artia: Silver. Artia, as the bat planet, has very plain associations with the Moon.
Twinstars: Iron. Last planets to be identified as such. But then again, three of these are southpath planets. They move irregularly.

So let's assume Lokarnos is tin-associated and consider a more complicated possibility for the Southpath:

All three planets on the Southpath carry all three associations in different quantities. That is, Shargash is the iron planet because of his association with violence and death, the lead planet because of his underworld associations, and the silver planet because of being the first planet to complete the moon technique of death and resurrection. And Artia is the iron planet because bats are associated with death, the lead planet because she's also an underworld deity, Nightdaughter, and the silver planet because moon. How are the Twinstars associated with iron or lead? That demands further development/research (i.e. it beats me!!)

But the inconsistency of the three planets in their motions is explained by their variance between these three phases, as they attempt to incorporate the sky's opposite, the artificial metal, and the balance metal of the Old Gods.

So after all this alkahestry, are we any closer to an elixir vitae? Perhaps, perhaps not, but the value is in the journey.

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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Planetary metallurgy is bound to hit a couple of bumps once you look beyond the Theyalan associations. Tolat for instance is known by the Praxians as Bronze Treasure, due to the color of the planet. The Red Sword of Tolat may very well have started out as a splinter of one of Umath's bones, which makes it an excellent weapon to assist if not perform the murder of the Emperor.

Rather than looking at the modern, pretty much broken sky, I would go back to the Copper Ledgers which show the array of the eight planetary sons of Yelm. But then, those bodies were in all likelihood mostly flame and hardly fuel, mostly srvuali orbs of lesser Fire.

Maybe Yelm is 24 karat gold, and the Planetary Suns are 18 karat gold? Does that make them less srvuali, more Burtae?

There is a moment when Zator exits the Sky Dome through Stormgate/The Pit, and the stars emerge to become visible from below the Golden Dome. IMO that's the release of Silver into the visible sky, from above.

Malkioni metallurgy associates silver with Uleria, who was a member of the Celestial Court, so high on the Spike that it may have rested above the Sun Dome. I find it likely that all Power Deities shared that silver connection.

Uleria as a planet (or moon, as she is female) is a Dara Happan concept, not shared by the Theyalans.

On the other hand, we have the White Goddess preceding Golden Brightface. We might speculate about another form of silver, or we might associate her and the previous, pure sky with tin instead.

All red planets or moons in the sky have an Underworld association. Artia should show up in the Copper Tablets, at least in tablet 10 which shows the disintegration of Yelm, alongside Tolat/Shargash and Verithurusa (and of course the Rebel).

Red Verithurusa, red Shargash and the orange fragments of the Rebel all may carry a measure of Earth into the sky. So would the non-Yelmic Ghelotralas aka Lodril-as-a-planet. Only the alloy would be different.

And so would Serenha. the sister, daughter or afterbirth (nurturer) of Umath.

 

One thing I really wonder about is the differentiation of the sky metals. Lead, Quicksilver, Copper, Tin all are pretty straightforward, but now we get Brass, Silver and Gold.

Brass is Tin injected into Copper. Gold is somehow depleted sky, with Bronze/Brass emerging. Silver is somehow purified Sky, descended from above.

Then there is Dendara, up in the sky, or the Air. Serenha.

 

And the Mostali add Rock as the precursor mineral, on equal footing with the metals. There is Stone, Truestone, and Adamant. From (the corpse of) Stone they extract Iron, the metal of Separation and Death. And then they recognize Diamond as emergent from weak but self-replicating Clay, a departure from Rock into Soft Earth.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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12 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

If Iron has a planet, wouldn't it be one that rose AFTER the Golden Age? It would be kinda weird to have an original "Perfect Sky" planet representing iron, a metal that did not yet exist. (Or at least, not known to exist).

Where did the star/planet-killing Jugger come from?

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8 hours ago, Darius West said:

Here's one for the ages...

There are a whole group of broos who have no chaos taint, at large in the world, but most people never twig to the fact. 

They are called satyrs.

Is this dumb enough? I assume it is the case in an earnest way.

Basically, that both come down from the original goat people before the chaos taint. The shared lechery (also shared with Ragnaglar) is hardly a coincidence.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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This thread's totally like being asked "your biggest weakness" in a job interview, or "your most humiliating moment" on a national TV show.  Sacrifice the point of Honesty, and under no circumstances answer with your actual dumbest theory.

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1 hour ago, Alex said:

This thread's totally like being asked "your biggest weakness" in a job interview, or "your most humiliating moment" on a national TV show.  Sacrifice the point of Honesty, and under no circumstances answer with your actual dumbest theory.

80% Truth rune - just say no!

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So in which spirit...  here's potentially my second-dumbest one.  I'm still rather fond of an old theory that the Kralori have eight elements.  Reasoning:

  • Look at that Dragon rune!
  • Geomancy.
  • Looting from RW Chinese and Japanese takes on the elements, but not getting rid of the "standard" Gloranthan ones, so we need to knock through to make more room. 
  • Much easier to Balance!

Might have looked feasible back in the day, when washing care-labels doubled as minor variant runes, but looks pretty dumb in the light of current canon.

Edited by Alex
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1 hour ago, Alex said:

This thread's totally like being asked "your biggest weakness" in a job interview, or "your most humiliating moment" on a national TV show.  Sacrifice the point of Honesty, and under no circumstances answer with your actual dumbest theory.

The level of play here is intimidatingly high, maybe too high for everyday dumbness to slip through.

However I'm the one who's obsessed with mapping Dawn Age hrestolite schisms onto 2014-era electronic dance music festival culture so shouldn't be trusted. For example this is clearly the story of How Hrestol (Hardway) And Faralz Rocked The Island With Sacred Geometry And Beats, Having Converted The Lion People.

Clearly.
 

 

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There's also a tendency to focus on the high-level metaphysical and cultural theories. So, a character theory: I once heard Annstad of Dunstop compared to Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. That's not the dumb theory. The dumb theory is not that this makes Phargentes the Younger Paul Atreides. No, the dumb theory is that Phargentes Jr. is Alia Atreides. (Does this make Jar-Eel Jessica Atreides? Don't be silly, King Moirades of Tarsh is clearly the Lady Jessica equivalent here.) And clearly, shortly before Onjur Fazzurson duels Annstad of Dunstop and then cuts him dead with a word, Phargentes the Younger, eyes all red-in-red from consuming a little too much of the spice takenegi, wanders into the Tarsh court and assassinates... I have no idea. Unstey of Wintertop? Who's a good Vladimir Harkonnen equivalent?

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5 hours ago, Eff said:

Does this make Jar-Eel Jessica Atreides? Don't be silly, King Moirades of Tarsh is clearly the Lady Jessica equivalent here [...] Who's a good Vladimir Harkonnen equivalent?

Bah. If you read or played The Duel at Dangerford, you'd know that King Moirades of Tarsh was the Vladimir Harkonnen equivalent, at least posthumously. Thank goodness this is the Dumbest Theory thread!

(Moirades would actually make a totes legit "floating fat man," given the ascension/levitation and orgiastic practices associated with the illuminated Lunar elite. This is now part of my headcanon, and I will take no further questions)

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Oh, you wanted my dumbest theory. Hmmm...

What about my theory that Snake Pipe Hollow was originally a place of Ragnaglar worship? The term "snake pipe" is fairly suggestive. The Snake Pipe Dancers have learned to use the remnants of his old, untainted magic, but they risk Chaos every time it is invoked; the Hollow is a Chaos nest, but also their holy place where the powers are recharged, which means every time they wish to renew the powers it is a dangerous quest.

The "Snake Pipe" that can be found is actually Ragnaglar's untainted generative organ.

Yes, it is also a pipe that one must "blow" to get its effects.

Listen, Ragnaglar's always been too lusty for his own good. It's a lesson to all male Orlanthi...

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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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Just now, AlHazred said:

The "Snake Pipe" that can be found is actually Ragnaglar's untainted generative organ.

No, again, that's pretty insightful and sheds a great deal of light around the unusual gender performance going on around the Hard Earth culture.

wittgenstein2.jpeg.bc086cd457537005f1272b3176c38265.jpegSpeaking of which, I spent awhile convinced that Brithos always looks like whichever Derek Jarman movie you're watching right now, but especially Wittgenstein early on leading into Glitterbug, the Tempest in the early middle, Last of England within time and now for an uncomfortably long stretch Blue. War Requiem, Edward II, Caravaggio, Sebastiane, Jubilee, The Garden, The Angelic Conversation, The Art of Mirrors, Broken English, The Queen Is Dead, Journey To Avebury, Imagining October . . . all Brithos.

We can hope it cycles through to the Pet Shop Boys tour loops before it's over.
 

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Hmmm...

Talosa, as an entity, seems pretty bland. She seems to be associated with the Talosi, snake-like spirits of reprisal of Ernalda. She really seems like a remnant of some other, older goddess associated with the Earth and snakes.

I speculate that, if Ragnaglar was originally the Snake Pipe God, then Talosa might have been his original wife. And their original forms might be wildly different than what they are now, a chaos god and a source for spirits of reprisal. And they might have had different names.

In Snake Pipe Hollow, there are indications of two divine entities who do not appear anywhere else in the Gloranthan mythos as far as I know: King Varalz and Queen Enori, the parents of the godlings Baroshi and Serisha. Perhaps, Varalz was the original entity, blasted by Chaos which "sent his spirit careening through the spirit planes without guidance or skill." Perhaps the spirit was lost to Chaos, perhaps it was separated from the soul of the daimon and left a void to be "filled" by Chaos, but that resulted in the corruption of Ragnaglar. Enori went after Baroshi was born and was killed by the Chaos invader, leaving only the remnant Talosa. This makes Baroshi the son of Ragnaglar. So, if he's resurrected during The Eleven Lights, that's a spark of Ragnaglar come back...

Is that dumb enough? It's pretty dumb.

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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"Subere" is "Erebus" backwards; this isn't news.

However, "Himile" (her brother) backwards has more than a little similarity to the "-elm" part of gods like Yelm, Elmal, Ehilm and Yelmalio. So he doesn't have a proper name - he's the "Anti-Fire".

Edited by Akhôrahil
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10 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

"Subere" is "Erebus" backwards; this isn't news.

However, "Himile" (her brother) backwards has more than a little similarity to the "-elm" part of gods like Yelm, Elmal, Ehilm and Yelmalio. So he doesn't have a proper name - he's the "Anti-Fire".

Fire burning backwards, a state of heat leaving behind fuel and cold.

Where does that leave us with the third sibling, Erohed?

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 9/21/2021 at 12:35 PM, scott-martin said:

No, again, that's pretty insightful and sheds a great deal of light around the unusual gender performance going on around the Hard Earth culture.

wittgenstein2.jpeg.bc086cd457537005f1272b3176c38265.jpegSpeaking of which, I spent awhile convinced that Brithos always looks like whichever Derek Jarman movie you're watching right now, but especially Wittgenstein early on leading into Glitterbug, the Tempest in the early middle, Last of England within time and now for an uncomfortably long stretch Blue. War Requiem, Edward II, Caravaggio, Sebastiane, Jubilee, The Garden, The Angelic Conversation, The Art of Mirrors, Broken English, The Queen Is Dead, Journey To Avebury, Imagining October . . . all Brithos.

We can hope it cycles through to the Pet Shop Boys tour loops before it's over.
 

I incline to think Brithos resembles the movie Zardoz.

 

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On 9/24/2021 at 6:33 PM, scott-martin said:

We would pronounce "Arrowhead," an archer, god of directional focus and clarity at a distance.

Holiest site is in Missouri, key magic includes folding badly under pressure from aging Floridians.  (If you'll pardon the redundancy.)

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14 hours ago, John Biles said:

I incline to think Brithos resembles the movie Zardoz.

Or possible even the other bunch of immortal caste-based fascists:

"You have been raised up from Brutality, to kill the Brutals who multiply, and are legion. To this end, Mostal, your God, gave you the gift of the Gun. The Gun is good. The Penis is evil. The Penis shoots seeds, and makes new life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the Gun shoots death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth, and kill! Mostal has spoken!"

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On 9/20/2021 at 10:49 AM, Darius West said:

There are a whole group of broos who have no chaos taint, at large in the world, but most people never twig to the fact. 

They are called satyrs.

According to King of Sartar satyrs are deermen (page 86 in the Revised and Annotated). Sartar - Kingdom of Heroes describes their lower parts as deer like.

Edited by simonh
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Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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7 hours ago, simonh said:

According to King of Sartar satyrs are deermen (page 86 in the Revised and Annotated). Sartar - Kingdom of Heroes describes their lower parts as deer like.

Runequest Glorantha Bestiary p35 says hindquarters of a horse or a goat.  The passage in King of Sartar was written during the Inhuman Occupation and so I suspect what lower quarters the satyr has depends on the species in the area.

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