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The quote from Cults of Terror

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The ultimate irony of the struggle between Arkat and his arch foe Gbaji is that Arkat was Illuminated while still a youth under the tutelage of the elves of Brithos. This secret was known only to the highest of the Arkat cult’s leaders.

 

26 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

it shows that Elves already had a somewhat independent tradition of Illumination. Picked up from pre-Nysalor Solar connections?

I don't think so myself. Nysalor born in 375, I think Arkat is Illuminated some time between then and him arriving in Seshnela in 400. Plenty of time for Nysalor missionaries to have reached Brithos via Waertagi ships, which were actively criss-crossing the oceans at that point. But it is possible. 

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

@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.

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1 hour ago, davecake said:

I don't think so myself. Nysalor born in 375, I think Arkat is Illuminated some time between then and him arriving in Seshnela in 400. Plenty of time for Nysalor missionaries to have reached Brithos via Waertagi ships, which were actively criss-crossing the oceans at that point. But it is possible. 

That seems like a very quick spread, especially as the Bright Empire was land-locked (although conceivable, agree). And would Brithos even accept such missionaries on the island? Openness to new ideas isn't exactly their thing.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

would Brithos even accept such missionaries on the island? Openness to new ideas isn't exactly their thing.

They talk a pretty good game (and modern wannabes on the mainland are eager to believe it) but there are dawn age texts that show a lot of innovation and even struggle on the island in this era. This isn't part of the Bright Empire Interlude because it's peripheral to the question of what the imperial civilization was actually all about, but in some stories the Gbaji teaching enters Glorantha on the island, loses a religious civil war and flees like all western heresies to cause trouble for the Genertelan colonies before the sun stops. 

This might make Arkat's island illumination either an independent phenomenon of his experience, a trace of the alien religion interacting with the local elf population or some venn diagram option. Right now I still lean toward the dumb theory that being an almost literal outcaste predisposed him personally to see the relationships between competing religious systems . . . I suspect aldrya initiates were mighty rare in the Talar's Army . . . but there might well have been something specific in the elf way that feeds both his consciousness and maybe that of other brithinite initiates. 

EDIT of course this is all old lore subject to revision and refinement now. YGWV. But Greg was working with these ideas at a crucial stage and it feeds his sense of what Arkat is all about when it's time to put Cults of Terror together a decade or so later. 

Edited by scott-martin
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Greg's writings on the Aldryami from the 90s also emphasise how they don't see the gods as literal anthropomorphizations, but part of the grander whole of Grower and Taker, and also how they are all part of a larger plant-consciousness. 

This is, if not exactly Illumination, somewhat Illumination-adjacent. Maybe the elves of Brithos were particularly "mystical"/contemplative, etc. for whatever reason.

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Greg's writings on the Aldryami from the 90s also emphasise how they don't see the gods as literal anthropomorphizations, but part of the grander whole of Grower and Taker, and also how they are all part of a larger plant-consciousness. 

This is, if not exactly Illumination, somewhat Illumination-adjacent. Maybe the elves of Brithos were particularly "mystical"/contemplative, etc. for whatever reason.

I don't really know where to go with this, but I've always found it interesting that the Adlryami are arguably the Elder Race that the Lunar Empire has persecuted the most, given the sunburn and moonburn.  I feel that somehow is a notable difference from Nysalor's cursing of the Uz.

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3 hours ago, Nevermet said:

I don't really know where to go with this, but I've always found it interesting that the Adlryami are arguably the Elder Race that the Lunar Empire has persecuted the most, given the sunburn and moonburn.  I feel that somehow is a notable difference from Nysalor's cursing of the Uz.

Nysalor permanently screwed up Uz reproduction... but killed a relatively small number of UZ.

The Lunars slaughtered a bunch of elves, but there's nothing stopping future elves reproducing normally.  

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8 minutes ago, John Biles said:

Nysalor permanently screwed up Uz reproduction... but killed a relatively small number of UZ.

The Lunars slaughtered a bunch of elves, but there's nothing stopping future elves reproducing normally.  

While your point that there's a difference between a pogrom/forced displacement and a magical curse that changes a species is well taken, I think I'm still on relatively stable ground to say that the Lunar Empire has persecuted the Aldryami more than the Dragonewts, Uz, or Mostali.

Edited by Nevermet
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All I was doing was noting a partial observation:

As a beings of darkness, one can't be surprised the Uz ran afoul with the Bright Empire.

As beings of.... (territory? I dunno), once can't surprised the Aldryami ran afoul of the Lunar Empire.

I'm not sure how to finish that formulation.

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41 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

All I was doing was noting a partial observation:

As a beings of darkness, one can't be surprised the Uz ran afoul with the Bright Empire.

As beings of.... (territory? I dunno), once can't surprised the Aldryami ran afoul of the Lunar Empire.

I'm not sure how to finish that formulation.

I've recently read the Fortunate Succession, and while far from a red thread, there does seem to be somewhat of a (loose) trend of Elves coming out of the forests of western Peloria and killing Dara Happans, or alternatively just being a massive roadblock for expansion to the west. They never form an Empire, unless you count Dawn Age Greenwood which extended to at least Pelanda, but they might've held some kind of hegemony around the Sweet Sea and Oronin during the Dawn.

It's not explicit at all, but it might be read in such a way that the elves were considered some kind of time bomb that the Lunars got rid of before it went off. *VERY* speculative, though.

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6 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I've recently read the Fortunate Succession, and while far from a red thread, there does seem to be somewhat of a (loose) trend of Elves coming out of the forests of western Peloria and killing Dara Happans, or alternatively just being a massive roadblock for expansion to the west. They never form an Empire, unless you count Dawn Age Greenwood which extended to at least Pelanda, but they might've held some kind of hegemony around the Sweet Sea and Oronin during the Dawn.

It's not explicit at all, but it might be read in such a way that the elves were considered some kind of time bomb that the Lunars got rid of before it went off. *VERY* speculative, though.

That's fair.  So... there probably WERE large conflicts with the Elves, but they dwarfed in comparison to what happened to the Uz, so history tends to gloss over it?

 

(Also, as a Spolite fanboy, the most intriguing thing for me in the Glorious Reascent about Elves is the relatively undescribed "Rotwood" that existed in the 1st age.  ...I wish to know more, though not in this thread :) )

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20 hours ago, Nevermet said:

(Also, as a Spolite fanboy, the most intriguing thing for me in the Glorious Reascent about Elves is the relatively undescribed "Rotwood" that existed in the 1st age.  ...I wish to know more, though not in this thread :) )

Previewing work before it's ready for prime time is a dumb move so why not here?

The deep forest story of Peloria is a little more complicated than the time-lapse maps suggest. At the Dawn, Rist is unusually isolated, without a clear bond to any of the forest neighbors or regional survival compacts. The Riyestans are friends but don't really last long. The foundation of Berthestead points to elf vestiges down the Erenflarth but the forest has receded and the arrow bushes are growing wild for the harvest. A case can also be made for the practically provisional Arrowstone Vale culture as another ally or satellite of a once larger elf complex, maybe a joint project with a local dwarf nation.

While everybody suffered in the Dark, the overall impression here is that Rist suffered a little more than others and the process of deforestation continues into Time. This probably cast a shadow on their particular psychology that shows up again in the God Project and afterward. I suspect that the specific tribulations remembered in "The Second Plantings" belong to this forest and its early struggles with the Fire Tribes. This becomes a personal challenge for Saratin Seomale, who brings the good news and loves the light above all else.

Saratin Seomale is not a lifebringer from the council. Saratin Seomale is an awakener from the Greenwood to the West, which has a different survival compact and little history of hostile sky gods. The Greenwood has to be taught to fear fire and Saratin Seomale learns that lesson only at the end if ever. By the time the lifebringers come up, Rist is already there waiting for them and ultimately joins the World Council on its own terms.

In 193, Rist blooms, wiping out what appears to be horse nomad territory up to what is now Doblia. Something unrecorded happens and the Greenwood and Elder Wilds forests expand shortly thereafter, producing FS Map 5. This gives the Khordavites a little breathing room and probably makes Dorastor feel even more enchanted as a beacon of coexistence in an otherwise hostile wood green empire. The council moves. Khordavu is crowned. We win Argentium Thri'ile. 

Starting around 325, the new growth collapses. Something is wrong. Maybe, as in Pamaltela, there's a rot somewhere in the fiber. Maybe they just overreached. And maybe people like Erraibdavu help. Pelandan records from this era have not been recovered so we don't know what they were like so far from the Entekosiad. My guess is that they were Saratin Seomale's friends. Either way, New Forest persists around Jernalf and the Brass Mountains through the Gbaji Wars. The Poisonthorn broods. The fact that the Army of Righteousness does not cleanse these forests suggests that either he couldn't do it or he saw no taint. We know Arkat had no friends in the Greenwood because he was denied northern passage, but he evidently saw no enemies either. He always gives elves a choice and evidently some chose right. And Rist endures for the time being.

Around 500, the forest around the Brass Mountains tries again and spreads across modern Carmania, once again disrupting the historical record there and clearing the stage for the Spolite Empire to follow. Maybe someone there recognized that Arkat was no longer paying attention and decided to make their move. It doesn't take. Something terrible called THE ROT appears on the 550 map, which is helpfully subtitled "nonhuman wars." The Carmanian forest evaporates. There's also a battle in the Brass Mountains, "dwarves out." Spol rolls in. A conspiracy theorist might ponder whether this is some awful, awful rite engineered to birth some kind of karmic successor or ghost project. We know almost nothing about this forest, what it wanted or where it went. They might have originally been the vaguely sinister Old Ones beckoning from Map 6. They're almost certainly the forest that erupts in the reign of Elmharsnik. Note the simultaneous digijelm incursion.

Rot Wood itself pops up in 700 north of the Brass Mountains. Again, it doesn't last. Something within the Spolite complex might maintain a sacred forest of shadows but it loses its separate elf identity in the birth of Carmania. This leaves Rist and peripherally Erigia in the region and they do not try to reforest again despite the post-Kill upheavals and opportunities. I don't think they can do it. They feel the season aging.

Rist ultimately dies in one last efflorescence on behalf of ancient allies in the Erinfarth watershed. Rootless survivors take quickly to the hidden way of krjalk. Maybe they preserved it all along and nobody noticed. They are, of course, pretty pissed off.

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On 7/18/2020 at 7:55 AM, scott-martin said:

Some nations we now classify as "human" were liberated alongside more distinctive Jolanti forms and live mostly among us today, enriching our bloodlines and technological capabilities.

This isn't even that "dumb" a theory ...

Agimori were separately created, not from the same line as "other" humans.

I think a case can be made for Praxian people -- two-legs and four-legs -- to be of a separate act of creation by Genert.

The different skin-colors of very-elemental-aligned "humans" suggest they are Man-Rune-as-expressed-by-an-Elemental-Power.

Etc...

Edited by g33k
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54 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

At the Dawn, Rist is unusually isolated, without a clear bond to any of the forest neighbors or regional survival compacts. The Riyestans are friends but don't really last long.

Riyesta (and Rikalra the Flower Ground) came out of my work with Greg on Saird.  By the Dawn, that group had become isolated (and dominated by Odayling hunters), but as the name "Riyesta" suggests, it was envisioned as part of a great contiguous woods including the Rist Forest and the woodlands of the Sylilings within the Great Garden/Bowl of Reladiva (aka Ernalda in a Sairdite guise).  What is left of the Riyestan culture does not last long, as you note.

Don't forget that the Glacier would have approached this area as well, and disrupted at least the northern edges.  And the Glacier would have meant both dark trolls and snow trolls, as well as ice monsters, foraging south.  

 

 

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Urox and Eiritha were player characters in a game. And Eiritha died to save Urox and Urox was still going to die. But the player threw dice and a d6 landed on Wakboth and knocked him over and the GM took that as an excuse to have a cube of the spike squash Wakboth, to prevent a party wipe and save the world.

Even if it is not true, it is right.

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Ralzakark-with-the-Scorpion-Arm is the original Ralzakark. He heroquested to achieve Broo perfection, which kinda worked... it just turned out that the Unicorn Emperor it produced wasn't him, and he was still himself. Now they're locked into opposition. D'oh!

(This actually would explain a few things, such as Scorpionarm’s claim and Unicorn Emperor’s dismissive attitude, and their issues with each other.)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:
On 7/19/2020 at 11:55 PM, Nevermet said:

As beings of.... (territory? I dunno), once can't surprised the Aldryami ran afoul of the Lunar Empire.

“Having valuable lands close by”?

That is precisely right. Both Skyburn and Moonburn were to blast Aldryami Forests and gain vast tracts of land.

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On 7/21/2020 at 6:18 AM, Whizbang said:

Urox and Eiritha were player characters in a game. And Eiritha died to save Urox and Urox was still going to die. But the player threw dice and a d6 landed on Wakboth and knocked him over and the GM took that as an excuse to have a cube of the spike squash Wakboth, to prevent a party wipe and save the world.

Even if it is not true, it is right.

Whizbang theory My favorite of all !

About my personal dumbest theory started aeons ago just after playing Hawkmoon and my first RuneQuest master explain my what runequest was (rq3) after a long explain,
-I just said : I understand everything, it's not a complicated world. (Goddamn, I regret saying this this today)
-My first GM : And what do you think ?
-
Pretty simple, First the actual world is born after a big disaster, probably a moon or a big asteroid crashing upon the world and destroying the ancients continents. So the world axe flip an the real fire sun now only light the southern part creating the pamalt land of fire, and the nothern part without the big sun is now an eternal ice kingdom. And what people think about the "Spike", the magical castle of the gods, is probably an Orbital Base link to an giant orbital lifter and I think that the giant mountain Kerofinela is surely the base of the orbital Lifter, a great place of power where we could get some cool "magical items".
-GM : And the actual sun of glorantha who go from east to west ?
-Easy, when planet axe flip, the orbital lift was broken and the top star base got broken in piece, the Gravity Ring which hold habitation became the Juggernaut, the giant wheel, another part probably the central crystal computer was use the destroy wakboth creating the Block of prax and the Core of the base with the reactor is still burning and orbiting in the space creating the actual sun "yelmalio" the little sun...
-GM : And What about the God's magic ?
-I think when chaos invade this world, the most powerful at this time could not beat it so someone invented a complex ritual to flew away in a higher dimension, so the great compromise is just most powerfull one ascending/Cowardly-escaping to another plane. The only powerful one which choose to stay protecting the human is probably Zzabur who use is magic to crash a little moon on the surface, ending the war only with the help of surviving humans.

-GM : So you think that Zzabur is the saviour of mankind ! Interesting and why ?
-Because almost e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y hate him, the Gods, the chamans and even most of western fear him as a God of sorcery or the evil sorcerer. If so much people hate him and only a tiny group of immortal follow him, he is certainly the only good-guy out there ! Like Hades, the most fearsome and terrifying one is surely the only human friendly one and good guy among the immortals !
-GM : So you what character do you want to play ? An orlanthi, a lunar opposing the gods ...
-Nope, I will no pray the cowards gods and surely not chaos; Orlanth vs Redmoon is like the Bad vs Evil and only the worst of them will win. I will always play a malkioni, with a preference to the ones who follow Zzabur laws.

Few years after I started mastering RQ because the "secrets of Glorantha" was so appealing ... I did not think this "not so complicated" was so vast and complex.

Today I call it the Hawkmoon-Orbital + Stargate-Escaping-Gods theory... And I recall it whenever I heard about the Outer Atomic Explorer !

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20 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Ralzakark-with-the-Scorpion-Arm is the original Ralzakark. He heroquested to achieve Broo perfection, which kinda worked... it just turned out that the Unicorn Emperor it produced wasn't him, and he was still himself. Now they're locked into opposition. D'oh!

(This actually would explain a few things, such as Scorpionarm’s claim and Unicorn Emperor’s dismissive attitude, and their issues with each other.)

OK, so who is the unicorn-headed guy, then?

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2 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

OK, so who is the unicorn-headed guy, then?

From Sandy Petersen's discussions we know that Ralzakark knows the secret of transforming the Chaos Gaggle into the Sky Terror.  Why does he know this?  Because Ralzakark is also a Chaos Gaggle, just a different one, and also composed of multiple parts.  When he finds the final ritual, he will be able to transform himself (and all his parts) into Kazkurtum, the Empty Emperor, once again.

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34 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

From Sandy Petersen's discussions we know that Ralzakark knows the secret of transforming the Chaos Gaggle into the Sky Terror.  Why does he know this?  Because Ralzakark is also a Chaos Gaggle, just a different one, and also composed of multiple parts.  When he finds the final ritual, he will be able to transform himself (and all his parts) into Kazkurtum, the Empty Emperor, once again.

So Voltron, only with broos instead?

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43 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

So Voltron, only with broos instead?

Well, obviously one part is broo.  But there is also the regal unicorn-man, the strange "face" of Ralzakark, and I'm sure other parts (just like the Chaos Gaggle was not all gorp).  Perhaps one is the Cold Ember of Kazkurtum, some rather formless gelatinous blob of darkness, hidden within the Ash Flats - if you can just find that hidden amidst all the ash, I'm sure you'll be well rewarded!

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1 minute ago, jajagappa said:

Well, obviously one part is broo.  But there is also the regal unicorn-man, the strange "face" of Ralzakark, and I'm sure other parts (just like the Chaos Gaggle was not all gorp).  Perhaps one is the Cold Ember of Kazkurtum, some rather formless gelatinous blob of darkness, hidden within the Ash Flats - if you can just find that hidden amidst all the ash, I'm sure you'll be well rewarded!

These theories need to get dumber. To celebrate my thousand-and-first post this one, for example, really just reverses the murder and disintegration of Yelm, which is a type of magic on my mind lately. Cut it into pieces, redeploy the pieces. Or find the pieces, put them back together . . . maybe in a new and personally more appealing form. 

It's a somewhat gruesome calculus in its nether reaches (think of entities like hydra with negative magic factors) but can be as simple and universal as the food song. Ralzakark is clearly having trouble rolling all his parts together, which is a good way to know the world hasn't ended yet. Maybe when he goes to the east and meets the black sun.

4 hours ago, MJ Sadique said:

Today I call it the Hawkmoon-Orbital + Stargate-Escaping-Gods theory... And I recall it whenever I heard about the Outer Atomic Explorer !

This theory will also have to do better in order to earn "dumb" status.

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

This theory will also have to do better in order to earn "dumb" status.

One of the things I remember from Stormbringer was that one of Elric's ancestors (father? grandfather?) went to the edge of the world and helped to fight Chaos there, pushing it back to create more land.  I have a theory that the Altinae are doing the same, particularly given the breaking of the northern pillar.  But so might the Luathans and Vithelans, and this is why we so rarely see them in the Middle World.  The map from RQ2 with its Mountains of the Sky in the northeast, may in fact be a map of the future where some of these demigods have succeeded and built up a new barrier against Chaos.

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