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29 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

Argrath becoming the King of Dragon Pass is a colossal miscalculation and intimately linked with why his war against the Moon spirals so horribly out of control.  To fulfill his correct role in the Hero Wars, Argrath needed to embrace more fully his position as the White Bull, preparatory to embodying Storm Bull, not Orlanth.  A healthy transition to 4th Age requires that Orlanth and Yelm make peace in Hell, while Storm Bull and the Unity Hero defeat embodied Chaos in the Middle World.  Argrath was supposed to be Storm Bull while Broyan was supposed to be Orlanth, but him dying to that darkness demon in 1624 put paid to that plan.  Argrath tried to synthesize the Orlanth and Storm Bull roles in Broyan's unavoidable absence, but ended up with an Orlanth who never fully gives up lordship to venture with his companions into the Underworld etc.  He stays in the Middle World for the final battle, like Storm Bull did, then tries to turn the Unity Battle into the Great Compromise...and the results are not pretty.

The Unity Hero is one or several PCs in this scheme.

Sure it wasn't Kallyr that was supposed to be Orlanth (after Broyan)?

Step forward Broyan - YOU shall embody Orlanth

(Oh bugger, he's dead)

Step forward Kallyr - YOU shall embody Orlanth

(What? What do you mean she's dead as well? Oh well, there's always that one)

Step forward Argrath - YOU shall embody Orlanth

(What? No, no, I'm sure he's got nothing of Storm Bull in him. What could possibly go wrong?) 

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@Jeff posted this in the RuneQuest FB group: to which Matthew Cole commented as follows:  

Wow, this has been my favourite thread here at BRP Central for a long, long time - and I feel like by reading it I've added a significant percentage on to my chance of Illumination next Sacred Time.

I am confident that Argrath is just a trickster way in over his head.

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4 minutes ago, DrGoth said:

Step forward Kallyr - YOU shall embody Orlanth

(What? What do you mean she's dead as well? Oh well, there's always that one)

The right move after that was probably for Leika (or a PC) to re-light the Sartar brazier, not Argrath, yeah.

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I love this because of how it breaks from the most fatalistic eternal return elements of Glorantha.

My next question at this point would be did any Lunars realize what was going on, and how did they react adjust their strategies (if at all)

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4 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

I love this because of how it breaks from the most fatalistic eternal return elements of Glorantha.

My next question at this point would be did any Lunars realize what was going on, and how did they react adjust their strategies (if at all)

something something Monster Empire maybe?

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On 6/18/2020 at 9:21 PM, Leingod said:

I would say the interesting thing is how appealing it seems to be to people to try to create a god who can be and do all the changes they want to see in the world for them rather than try to become the god (or man!) who can make those changes. But maybe I'm just reaching.

Becoming a god yourself forces you to soon ascend and leave the field.  You become bound by the Compromise.

Create a god, and you have a tool which can do anything.

Of course, it always blows up in your face somehow.

 

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On 6/22/2020 at 2:02 PM, dumuzid said:

Argrath becoming the King of Dragon Pass is a colossal miscalculation and intimately linked with why his war against the Moon spirals so horribly out of control.  To fulfill his correct role in the Hero Wars, Argrath needed to embrace more fully his position as the White Bull, preparatory to embodying Storm Bull, not Orlanth.  A healthy transition to 4th Age requires that Orlanth and Yelm make peace in Hell, while Storm Bull and the Unity Hero defeat embodied Chaos in the Middle World. 

Nice. The problem with Argrath is that his style is, to quote Watchmen, "Never Compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon." My reading of King of Sartar has long been that it subtly depicts Argrath in a bad light by comparing him with more sensible people, like Orlanth (!) and especially Sartar. Orlanth makes peace with his enemy - for Argrath, there is only extermination. Sartar makes peace with the Telmori - for Argrath, there is only extermination. And so on.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Nice. The problem with Argrath is that his style is, to quote Wathchmen, "Never Compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon." My reading of King of Sartar has long been that it subtly depicts Argrath in a bad light by comparing him with more sensible people, like Orlanth (!) and especially Sartar. Orlanth makes peace with his enemy - for Argrath, there is only extermination. Sartar makes peace with the Telmori - for Argrath, there is only extermination. And so on.

He's a hero-level munchkin.

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3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Nice. The problem with Argrath is that his style is, to quote Wathchmen, "Never Compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon." My reading of King of Sartar has long been that it subtly depicts Argrath in a bad light by comparing him with more sensible people, like Orlanth (!) and especially Sartar. Orlanth makes peace with his enemy - for Argrath, there is only extermination. Sartar makes peace with the Telmori - for Argrath, there is only extermination. And so on.

It is the Arkati mentality. Sworn utterly and completely against the foe. 

Nevermind that the various sorcerous groups known as Arkati today might not follow that mentality or not, but it's the same theme we find in Arkat's saga, Sheng Seleris' conquests, and Argrath's epic struggle. 

That's what I like about them. Fanatics are captivating narrative figures, irrespective of one's personal morals.

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9 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Fanatics are captivating narrative figures, irrespective of one's personal morals.

What I find less interesting about Argrath is that he has an extreme case of plot immunity. He can do whatever he feels like, and he always wins. The God-Learners read the rule-book, but Argrath can edit it as well.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

What I find less interesting about Argrath is that he has an extreme case of plot immunity. He can do whatever he feels like, and he always wins. The God-Learners read the rule-book, but Argrath can edit it as well.

Yeah, setbacks are important, they are what exacerbates the desperate fanaticism. 

I'm reminded of Warcraft 3, and the story of Arthas. You spend so much of that storyline unearthing the necromantic conspiracy to turn the population of the kingdom undead by poisoning grain supplies, and so after fighting messy battle after messy battle against peasants-turned-zombies you arrive at the city of Stratholme, only to be too late as the population has already eaten the poisoned grain. At that point, knowing that you'll soon be facing an entire city turned into undead, Arthas makes the desperate decision to preemptively kill everyone in the city, to prevent them from becoming undead and ravaging the region. 

It's such a clearly evil thing to do, so obviously beyond the moral pale, but since you've been playing as the character for several hours, and since you've just fought several battles barely scraping by survival against hordes of rotting monsters in derelict villages and towns, as a player you're inclined to agree that it's the most logical thing to do (or otherwise, horrified to be forced into being a complicit).

Those are the kinds of moments Arkat has (being killed at Kartolin, losing his Brithini support, the failed campaigns in Kethaela, etc.) that I guess Argrath lacks. 

Hell, if you were to let Kallyr survive and continue her quest, she would have the Dragonrise as a motivator to become more fanatically desperate, for example. Then again, I suppose you could argue that Argrath learnt from her setbacks or something. I'll admit my understanding of the exact storyline here is sketchy at best, even after reading King of Sartar.

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Argrath has his own setbacks.  The Red Emperor takes Boldhome back in the 1640s, according to the TakenEgi Stele.  Argrath and his companions spend a stretch hiding in Broyan's otherworld hall.  I think he and Harrek have already had their duel by then, after Gunda died in the sack of Boldhome.  His fortunes take a few wild swings before he embarks on the quest to free Sheng.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Those are the kinds of moments Arkat has (being killed at Kartolin, losing his Brithini support, the failed campaigns in Kethaela, etc.) that I guess Argrath lacks. 

Argrath has several huge setbacks. Battle of Yoran in 1635 is an unmitigated disaster and Argrath had to flee via Balazar and the Elder Wilds.  Takes Argrath 3 years to rally and build enough alliance to drive Lunars back out of Dragon Pass and Saird.  Boldhome nearly sacked, Earth Temple sacked, broos unleashed by Lunars...

While Argrath wins the Battle of Giants, and is able to free and wed Inkarne, it doesn't appear to last long.  KoS kind of glosses over this, but the Red Emperor (Phargentes) leads a great invasion of Tarsh and Dragon Pass.  "No one could stand before this might. Argrath sent his army home, and he and his companions fled to Broyan’s Hall, where no one could find them for a while. While there, they decided to perform Orlanth’s greatest pilgrimage in order to save their people."  The story moves on to the LBQ here, but clearly there's a period from at least 1643-1646 where the Lunar Empire is victorious and ruling Dragon Pass.  It might even occur as early as 1640.  This is probably the Red Tides period of Enjeem Leopard.

Then the return of Sheng Seleris proves bad for Argrath.  1646-1649 marks the rule of Sheng's nomad horde across Peloria, so it's unclear if the LBQ really even benefitted anyone.

By 1650 we're into the War of the Gods.  

Highwater mark for Argrath is really the early 1630's.  It's more and more desperate after that with a few successful battles.

 

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4 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

 

Then the return of Sheng Seleris proves bad for Argrath.  1646-1649 marks the rule of Sheng's nomad horde across Peloria, so it's unclear if the LBQ really even benefitted anyone.

 

 

Argath wants to see the Lunar Empire laid waste, and well, Sheng is good at that.

Pelorian death is as meaningless to him as stepping on a cockroach is to us.

 

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Just now, John Biles said:

Argath wants to see the Lunar Empire laid waste, and well, Sheng is good at that.

Or, he doesn't know what he's doing when he goes off to restore the Cosmic Order and is blindsided by the result...  Cragspider probably has a good laugh at that one!

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7 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Or, he doesn't know what he's doing when he goes off to restore the Cosmic Order and is blindsided by the result...  Cragspider probably has a good laugh at that one!

Or by that point, he's beyond caring what happens even to his own.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Argrath has several huge setbacks. Battle of Yoran in 1635 is an unmitigated disaster and Argrath had to flee via Balazar and the Elder Wilds.  Takes Argrath 3 years to rally and build enough alliance to drive Lunars back out of Dragon Pass and Saird.  Boldhome nearly sacked, Earth Temple sacked, broos unleashed by Lunars...

He does have a couple of setbacks, but you’re never in any doubt that he will win, and do it basically by himself (everyone else is a sidekick). A setback just means he has to do something even more outrageous next time.

Part of this is undoubtedly that our only source is out to paint him as the most awesome guy ever in the universe, but even so...

I really liked the idea that there were multiple Argraths and not just a single guy who did everything that matters.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Or, he doesn't know what he's doing when he goes off to restore the Cosmic Order and is blindsided by the result...  Cragspider probably has a good laugh at that one!

My reading is that it’s his plan from the start. He’s the one who specifically requests Sheng (and never mind that it makes the cosmos groan).

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

My reading is that it’s his plan from the start. He’s the one who specifically requests Sheng

It is the Argrath Saga, so naturally it is his agency that delivers the results.

I think we'd get some different perspectives in Harrekssaga, Ethilrist's works, etc.  For instance, we get a small tidbit in the Cryptic Verses (Guide p.746): 

Plate 36: This plate depicts a radiant golden horseman, accepting the submission of Can Shu and the Blood Sun.
Comes the lustrous solar son once pent in hell, Iniquitous umbral emperor he must quell.

From the Kralori perspective, radiant Sheng has been summoned and come to defeat Can Shu and the Blood Sun/Red Moon.  Was Argrath involved?  Not mentioned, but then it is "cryptic".  Might have been the Exarchs, or the Kralori peasants calling for the Sun to redeem them.

At the same time, Argrath certainly has an agenda.  That's noted in Ethilrist's words (Guide p.750): "He would stare with those orange eyes of his, as if he were looking through people and reducing us to barest components to remake us into something shaped by his will."

Whether we learn anything more in the Hero Wars Campaign remains to be seen.  At the moment, it's still open enough that different perspectives can be given.

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7 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Whether we learn anything more in the Hero Wars Campaign remains to be seen.  At the moment, it's still open enough that different perspectives can be given.

Ideally I'd like to see at least two Hero Wars Campaigns, one from the Sartarite viewpoint, one from the Lunar, and following very different trajectories. In each, the side that is followed should be the 'winner'.

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5 hours ago, dumuzid said:

Argrath and his companions spend a stretch hiding in Broyan's otherworld hall. 

Getting the feeling this is when many of us get serious about the real work of the next world, leaving the old one to him and the other recidivists when they get back.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

 

Plate 36: This plate depicts a radiant golden horseman, accepting the submission of Can Shu and the Blood Sun.
Comes the lustrous solar son once pent in hell, Iniquitous umbral emperor he must quell.

From the Kralori perspective, radiant Sheng has been summoned and come to defeat Can Shu and the Blood Sun/Red Moon.  Was Argrath involved?  Not mentioned, but then it is "cryptic".  Might have been the Exarchs, or the Kralori peasants calling for the Sun to redeem them.

 

I am dubious that solar hero is Sheng Seleris because there's nothing to indicate he went to Kralorela and the Kralorelans *hate his guts*.

Can Shu and the Blood Son are connected to the Kingdom of Ignorance and Sheng reborn is focused on murdering Pelorians.  And Argath had no connection we know of to the Kingdom of Ignorance.

 

 

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I have a few dumb theories. They aren’t that interesting and contradict themselves:

- The I Fought, We Won battle and the LBQ are the same thing: expressions of the overwhelming of Glorantha by chaos, and the thinking people of the world collectively taking action, fighting, and/or choosing to do whatever is necessary to allow the world continue to exist. But each Age is now locked into a repeat — the same pattern, with minor variations, plays out, ending in the same collapse, the same resurgence of chaos, the same requirement that the world choose to continue.  Chaos has been given a kind of order, but the order is changeable. And the world is *created anew* at the beginning of each age.

- “Gods” are not singular beings. They are ascended “adventuring parties”. Worshipping a “god” is joining the party. 

- The events of the godwar are just the earliest pass through a set of cyclical historical events, and the myths of the gods are just stories: history become myth. 

- nysalor and gbaji are just two different stories/myths/perspectives about a single being. How you view it’s life depends on what lens you view it with. Arkat has a very specific opinion and sees them only through the gbaji lens.

- the godlearners were totally a version of the three blind men describing an elephant. They had ahold of a trunk, but never saw the whole picture. gods are stories. The compromise made chaos part of the order and contents of the world. 
 

I dunno. 

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