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Guess the God Learners' Secrets.


hanataka

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The Secret of the God Learners has not yet to be released to the public. I'm sure there are others who know it, but I would have liked to hear it from Greg himself while he was still alive.

Whether they are true or not, it would be interesting to speculate on it. How about this, for example.

  The God Learners have found a way to come in contact with figures of a completely different dimension. They were able to get concepts and ideas from him that did not exist in Glorantha, and it was the hidden basis of their singular development. The concepts that were not rooted in the world were also the source of their demise. That world they came in contact with was called "The Earth," and the person they spoke to called himself "Greg Stafford."

It may have been more ridiculous or hideous or deeply truth.
Would you share your speculation?

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Eurmal the trickster created the EWF by showing humans how to talk to dragons.

So it is no stretch to believe that when Orlanth smacked Eurmal about the head a few times and told him to fix the mess, trickster decided to make even more mischief by making the abiding book appear, so the power of the EWF would be matched by the God learners, restoring cosmic balance by giving EWF a powerful rival, preventing EWF from simply spilling across the entire world.

”See, all fixed now Orlanth”

The proof is the God Learners built the only know trickster great temple, to try to access trickster’s higher powers - an obvious mischief which proves trickster’s hand in god learner affairs.

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4 hours ago, hanataka said:

The Secret of the God Learners has not yet to be released to the public. I'm sure there are others who know it, but I would have liked to hear it from Greg himself while he was still alive.

“Yes I have [said what the GLS is]. I told Robin,and he wrote it down, and it was published.” -Greg

“_Glorantha, The Second Age_ by Robin Laws states the God Learner secret on page 13.” -Greg

The sidebar from Glorantha, the Second Age (Mongoose 2006). It’s short, 118 words.

The God Learners’ Secret
“God Learners gifted with RuneQuest Sight have perfected techniques allowing them to punch back through the Hero Plane into the God World, permanently changing what they find there. This is how they pulled off the notorious Goddess Switch. It is the ability to permanently change the Gods World. The God Learners can go into the Theist Otherworld and do things that have consequences in the ordinary world. Normally these are little things, but lately they effected the Goddess Switch, proving they can do more powerful things as well. They are certain that these changes are good, permanent and have no subsequent effects. They are wrong but will not discover this for a long time yet to come.”

At many many conventions Greg would do a Q&A, one of the seven (?) questions he would never answer was "What is the secret of the God Learners". I always thought this was a wind-up aimed at obsessive gamers. One of the other questions was what are the other questions you won't answer? I've no idea what the other five were. 

you might also like look at this thread:

 

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5 hours ago, David Scott said:

“Yes I have [said what the GLS is]. I told Robin,and he wrote it down, and it was published.” -Greg

Yeah (and the Guide says much the same thing as well). We know what it is, but not how it was done. I'm assuming sorcery, but that's still merely the tool, not the method.

Quote

God Learners gifted with RuneQuest Sight have perfected techniques allowing them to punch back through the Hero Plane into the God World, permanently changing what they find there

This is interesting because it's basically a Compromise breach from the reverse direction. We're used to the Compromise being threatened by the gods inserting themselves into the mundane world, but this is exactly the opposite.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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6 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

We know what it is, but not how it was done.

Guide p.135: "The secret is dead with its initiates, but was evidently called the RuneQuest Sight. It apparently allowed initiates to see the world as a series of patterns, relationships, and repetitive reflections which could be organized according to the now famous Runes. Their Heroquesters followed the paths of their Runes through the Otherworld, and then shaped the Otherworld by planting those Runes into other parts of it."

and p.136: "The detachment required by the most avid adherents of RuneQuest Sight blinded them to many of the realities of a compassionate and created world. Their Heroquesters lost touch with the basic rule of Arkat: “No questing without respect and humility.” Rather than recognizing unique living entities, they saw a thing of numbers, abilities, and potential – mere raw material."

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39 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Guide p.135: "The secret is dead with its initiates, but was evidently called the RuneQuest Sight. It apparently allowed initiates to see the world as a series of patterns, relationships, and repetitive reflections which could be organized according to the now famous Runes. Their Heroquesters followed the paths of their Runes through the Otherworld, and then shaped the Otherworld by planting those Runes into other parts of it."

and p.136: "The detachment required by the most avid adherents of RuneQuest Sight blinded them to many of the realities of a compassionate and created world. Their Heroquesters lost touch with the basic rule of Arkat: “No questing without respect and humility.” Rather than recognizing unique living entities, they saw a thing of numbers, abilities, and potential – mere raw material."

Yes, but again, we don’t know how they did that.

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9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yes, but again, we don’t know how they did that.

Well, if we knew exactly, it wouldn't be "dead"! 

I can't remember which source noted it, but one of the ways they did it was combining sorcery skills with Rune magic - they could invoke those magics and then manipulate them in terms of duration, intensity, etc.

GS p.141 notes some of this: "Cleverly exploiting the similarities and differences in all that they found, creating grand and grandiose devices or magical spells, they wove the four modes of magic into one etheric cloth of powers and energies which seemed to envelope the cosmos."

 

 

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25 minutes ago, hanataka said:

RuneQuest Sight is a well known God Learners secret. But is that all? 
Are there any other hidden, yet untold secrets?

They mapped the Otherworlds and myths based upon the Runes.  Which means you could find common "nodes" between myths that have the same Runes and branch from one myth into another, thus creating new pathways and achieve new and different results (presumably yielding the greater power that an individual was trying to achieve).

Who knows what mythic pathways they created that wait for the unwary... I'm sure adventurers will find or fall into them though.

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58 minutes ago, hanataka said:

yet untold secrets

The secrets are a list IMO, different schools had different lists, some overlapping, things like

We can make your magic (using sorcery).

The compromise is a Thelayan construct.

The Gods being devolved anthropomorphosised runes are just that.

The four ways of magic are really just one (sorcery).

All realities are facets of devolved Law. 

Illumination is a construct of those who believe themselves unilluminated.

What theists call god is within us all, you don't need gods to unlock it.

Magic can be made in to matter and is reversible. 

There is no spoon.

Look at John Dee and Edward Kelly for ideas of how they may have worked, Helena Blavatsky and theosophy as well. Try to imagine how this would have been if they were god learners. Some of the greatest Godlearners have been Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell who mapped out most of the hero paths of our world.

Edited by David Scott
grrr autocorrect
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Also, remember that there were significant cosmic upheavals at the end of the Second Age, and it's entirely plausible that some "Secrets of the God Learners" no longer work. The world patched itself to resist their cheat codes.

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7 hours ago, David Scott said:

The sidebar from Glorantha, the Second Age (Mongoose 2006). It’s short, 118 words.

The God Learners’ Secret
“God Learners gifted with RuneQuest Sight have perfected techniques allowing them to punch back through the Hero Plane into the God World, permanently changing what they find there. This is how they pulled off the notorious Goddess Switch. It is the ability to permanently change the Gods World. The God Learners can go into the Theist Otherworld and do things that have consequences in the ordinary world. Normally these are little things, but lately they effected the Goddess Switch, proving they can do more powerful things as well. They are certain that these changes are good, permanent and have no subsequent effects. They are wrong but will not discover this for a long time yet to come.”

So it's The Matrix.  And every time Glorantha gets Gregged or Jeffed (apologies, but with great power comes great responsibility), it may as well be the God Learners asserting their power to change the world.

Someone get Alan Moore and Grant Morrison on the phone.

!i!

[Edit:  Ah, I missed that there is no spoon in a following post.  All lines of evidence converge.]

Edited by Ian Absentia
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carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

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44 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

Also, remember that there were significant cosmic upheavals at the end of the Second Age, and it's entirely plausible that some "Secrets of the God Learners" no longer work. The world patched itself to resist their cheat codes.

I thought this was even canon! That the GLS wouldn't work any longer even if we knew it.

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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

I thought this was even canon! That the GLS wouldn't work any longer even if we knew it.

Define we.

In the Third Age there are a number of groups doing things that will bring up a great upheaval. There are at least three groups doing meta-magical work:

Westerners with Arkat returns.

Lunars with their synergistic religion.

Orlanthi synthesising new magics.

Some may be using archeologically recovered information, some may have their own unique practices, some of the new practices may mimic lost GL practices, theories and ideas. Some of the mimicked ideas may do just that but use a different method to achieve this. We just don't know.

Within the third age only those who were alive then may know what happened, just not how it was done. Given this is a cyclic occurrence, it's likely that these same magical concepts keep arising in different cultural guises. A lot of the hero wars plots are known in outline and where they lead. What we don't know are all of the plot lines for the end of the 1st and 2nd ages. I think the God Learner secret is a red herring designed to distract those who are looking for power. Those that see beyond it realise that these kind of powers can be resythesised to achieve the same effects in a different form. See it as the search for the philosophers stone or the holy grail, those that are looking for it will never find it. While those who understand what they represent can move beyond the search into new discoveries.

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13 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I thought this was even canon! That the GLS wouldn't work any longer even if we knew it.

When you've been around as long as I have, it's hard to remember what's canon and what's stuff you chatted about with Glorantha's creators before it got published. Sorry for any confusion. I'm sure it's in the Guide, somewhere.

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On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

The secrets are a list IMO, different schools had different lists, some overlapping, things like

Yes. I think there are several different sects and sub-sects among the God Learners, as detailed in Middle Sea Empire. MSE plus material in the Guide is basically the best current text on the God Learners. From that, is clear that they were a long way from intellectually unified, but actually quite diverse and while they were all one empire they contended with another intellectually and magically - different groups had different great projects to prove their worth. And these factions were not exclusive, but there was some mix and matching between them. 

The two main factions were the orthodox Makanists, and the Malkioneranists. The Makanists were the purists, sorcery uber alles, all magic is means of understanding the world (and approaching the Great Mind), sorcery is the magic with the least error. The Malkioneranists leaned towards more active engagement with mysticism/Illumination - and the idea that an Illuminated sorcerer could be an evil more powerful sorcerer, especially with access to other magic as well. Both wanted to go into the otherworld and bend it to their will. I am not sure if both used the RuneQuest Sight - probably. 

Different parts of the God Learners had different secrets - even for the greatest of the God Learners, their cosmic re-engineering required vast resources, including many many sorcerers who between them could create magic projects far too complex any single human mind. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

We can make your magic (using sorcery).

Yep, a core God Learner belief. Anything that shamans or priests could do, they could do, if not directly then by summoning and binding the appropriate entities. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

The compromise is a Thelayan construct.

Yes. The Gods create the Compromise, but if you can directly command a god and then break through into the God World, then they can break it. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

The Gods being devolved anthropomorphosised runes are just that.

And that anthroponorphisation is both a weakness to be exploited, and an error to correct. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

The four ways of magic are really just one (sorcery).

Though intrinsic in that understanding is that the true sorcerer is ultimately a form of mystic/Illuminate. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

All realities are facets of devolved Law. 

More or less. I think they argued about quite what was meant by 'All', but all agreed that the perceivable world of Matter and Energy was not. I think the Irensavalists had fundamental disagreements about this - and thought the Hidden Mover was not just devolved Law, but the thing that created the Law. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

Illumination is a construct of those who believe themselves unilluminated.

Before the Great Error, self-identification, effectively all beings were Illuminated. It is all this believing in the reality and value of individual intellects that causes you to behave in an unilluminated way. If you could achieve union with the One Mind, it would be very clear. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

What theists call god is within us all, you don't need gods to unlock it.

Yes. Understanding the Runes is only made more difficult by thinking of them as Gods. If you could master the Runes and have sufficient power to manipulate them, you would be as a god. The rest is just a small matter of Magical proficiency. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

Magic can be made in to matter and is reversible. 

What is Magic but the manipulation of Matter and Energy, including the transmutation between the two? (though even for the God Learners this was usually hard, equivalent to bringing a material object back from a heroquest?

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

There is no spoon.

Not to one with proper understanding and the RuneQuest Sight. It's all just Runes, spoons are merely a transient perception. 

On 6/18/2020 at 11:06 PM, David Scott said:

Look at John Dee and Edward Kelly for ideas of how they may have worked, Helena Blavatsky and theosophy as well. Try to imagine how this would have been if they were god learners. Some of the greatest Godlearners have been Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell who mapped out most of the hero paths of our world.

Absolutely! The Enochian magic of John Dee is my model for how most God Learner sorcery, especially the more Makanist stuff (including the Reconstructionalists). Edward Kelly, dubious chap that he was, shows what in practice many lesser God Learners are like, sneakily bargaining with divine beings. Helena Blavatsky and the theosophists make me think of how the God Learners dealt wth other cultures, constantly re-interpreting other peoples myths and trying to fit them into their scheme, adopting the parts they like but keeping their own colonialist sense of superiority and using it for their own purposes -  particularly the Malkioneranist wing, with their cooption of mysticism to mean what they wanted. 

The sense of endless Runic re-combination is very similar to the way the Enochian system generates its thousands of angel names, for example. 

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The reason the secret kind of falls flat is we already knew they could do this. What we got in GTSA is what the secret let them do, not what the secret was. I think the problem is that by that time the community knew a huge amount about Glorantha. The secret was first written about back when so little was known, even small tidbits by modern standards seemed enormously revelatory.

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

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On 6/18/2020 at 12:20 PM, Ian Absentia said:

[Edit:  Ah, I missed that there is no spoon in a following post.  All lines of evidence converge.]

How much like it? Was it the same cat?

EDIT: It is so good to see great HANATAKA here. That was what I wanted to say originally.

Edited by scott-martin
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I've always gone with the common Matrix-like theory that God Learners knew about the rulebook (as mentioned before, it's called "RuneQuest Sight" for a reason!), and could hear the dice rolling... after a while, they figured out how to affect the dice results by pushing the dice around, and even write on the character sheets. They did this by discovering a new Plane of reality, called the "Snack Table Plane", which they enter through the "Bag Of Cheetos", although they still have to figure out what a Cheetos is.

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On 6/18/2020 at 3:49 PM, jajagappa said:

Guide p.135: "The secret is dead with its initiates, but was evidently called the RuneQuest Sight. It apparently allowed initiates to see the world as a series of patterns, relationships, and repetitive reflections which could be organized according to the now famous Runes. Their Heroquesters followed the paths of their Runes through the Otherworld, and then shaped the Otherworld by planting those Runes into other parts of it."

and p.136: "The detachment required by the most avid adherents of RuneQuest Sight blinded them to many of the realities of a compassionate and created world. Their Heroquesters lost touch with the basic rule of Arkat: “No questing without respect and humility.” Rather than recognizing unique living entities, they saw a thing of numbers, abilities, and potential – mere raw material."

Basically imagine this, but on a cosmic/Platonic idealistic scale: 

 

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