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Mortality in Glorantha


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50 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

2) death is Humakt.

How many sartarite nobles / ring will try to challenge humakti ?

They need good reason to rob Humakt , don't they ?

After all, some humakti kill(ed) CA cultists just because Chalana is.

Well... CA is a Lightbringer, Humakt is not. Humakti are somewhat like Uroxi - you need them handy, but they're not exactly good citizens (in the Uroxi case, because they are wild and beligerent, in the Humakt case, because they are somewhat single minded). Of course these are stereotypes, but I think that's largely inevitable if you're talking about preferring Humakt over Chalana Arroy (or vice versa).

At the very least I don't think it's a given that all clans would give preference to Death over Harmony. I suspect, ala KoDP, most would take a balanced approach, some would indeed favour Humakt (war clans), some would favour CA (peace clans).

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My own suspicion is that Glorantha has bigger population growth in the short term than the real world, but then has periodic apocalypses which basically negate a lot of that growth.  The end of the fi

I ain't anyone in authority, but I'm gonna ask y'all to please take your knives and arguments to a private message or at least another topic. This is getting increasingly away from the point and, from

Because we can read.

3 hours ago, GAZZA said:

Well... CA is a Lightbringer, Humakt is not.

Although Humakt always accompanies him as Humakt is Orlanth's lightbringers sword / Unbreakable sword. 

See the Arming of Orlanth in KoS

Quote

Then Heler girded about his lord’s waist a stout belt cut with magical figures, which bore the sword whose name is Humakt.

Likewise with Babeester - his axe.

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15 hours ago, David Scott said:

Although Humakt always accompanies him as Humakt is Orlanth's lightbringers sword / Unbreakable sword. 

See the Arming of Orlanth in KoS

Likewise with Babeester - his axe.

And CA is his bandages, LM is his cheat sheet, Issaries is his map... :)

In all seriousness, yes, fair enough - but I don't think it's reasonable to conclude from that, that Humakt and BBG are Lightbringers (doubtless there are hidden myths that reveal otherwise, but that doesn't seem to be a mainstream belief). I was merely pointing out that the idea that Humakt was more important to a particular Orlanthi/Clan/Tribe than CA is, at least, not a given.

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1 minute ago, Leingod said:

What's Eurmal, his "lucky" rabbit's foot?

I was thinking more his Travel Games set, but yours works too.

Just let's not get into what his Flesh Man is. :)

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On 6/29/2020 at 4:49 AM, Nick Brooke said:

"Darius West" thinks I need his help to understand Glorantha.

Cool, thanks for that, dude. Appreciate it.

You want to spin things a certain way. and that's fine, but it is only one interpretation.

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On 6/29/2020 at 4:24 AM, M Helsdon said:

One constant in every Age since Time began is that anything that seriously alters the state of the Gloranthan cosmos ultimately summons its own destruction.

The birth of a new manufactured god, the attempt to create a new manufactured dragon, the exploitation of the cosmos, the creation of a perfect society, the rebirth of a moon, all lead to their equal and opposite and massive destruction.

Nysalor's Bright Empire led to a war across a continent; the EWF tried to utilize draconic powers and the dragons returned to eat it; the Middle Sea Empire rose to great heights until the laws of nature brought it down; the New Hrestolism of Loskalm is mirrored by the Kingdom of War; the rise of the Red Moon will ultimately cause it to fall.

Nysalor summoned Arkat.

The Red Emperor summoned Sheng Seleris.

Jar-eel summoned Argrath.

All these things will bring massive destruction because each distorts Glorantha, and as before Time, each leads to an increase in entropy and the devolving of nature and magic.

Morality in these events is almost impossible to determine, but they all bring a massive increase in mortality.

That is one way to look at it certainly, but what is causing the effect?  Obviously the Great Compromise is important as a factor, as is Time, but what of the heroes that have no apparent "nemesis" to their destiny?  I have always preferred to view this as Glorantha's immune system reacting to new deities as if they are a fresh disease.  For example, is Ironhoof the nemesis of Delecti, or is it Indrodar Greydog?  Who is Cragspider's nemesis?  I am not saying you are wrong, as clearly many heroes have a clear nemesis, Pavis/Jaldon Toothmaker, and Sir Ethilrist/Keener Than, for example, but is this an inevitable product of becoming a hero that you summon a nemesis/shadow?  Or is it that if as a hero you exert power, you will eventually bump into someone of equivalent power who doesn't like your ambition i.e. happenstance?  Is the enemy that pulls down your city in Glorantha entropy (Time'/Kajabor), or fate (Time/Arachne Solara?), or an equal and opposite force (Arkat/Nysalor), or is it just a product of heroes butting heads (Yanafal Tarnils/Humakt)?  To what degree is this apparent balanced opposition a contrivance too, and how much of it is actually a projection from the reader?

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

That is one way to look at it certainly, but what is causing the effect?  Obviously the Great Compromise is important as a factor, as is Time, but what of the heroes that have no apparent "nemesis" to their destiny?  I have always preferred to view this as Glorantha's immune system reacting to new deities as if they are a fresh disease.  For example, is Ironhoof the nemesis of Delecti, or is it Indrodar Greydog?  Who is Cragspider's nemesis?  I am not saying you are wrong, as clearly many heroes have a clear nemesis, Pavis/Jaldon Toothmaker, and Sir Ethilrist/Keener Than, for example, but is this an inevitable product of becoming a hero that you summon a nemesis/shadow?  Or is it that if as a hero you exert power, you will eventually bump into someone of equivalent power who doesn't like your ambition i.e. happenstance?  Is the enemy that pulls down your city in Glorantha entropy (Time'/Kajabor), or fate (Time/Arachne Solara?), or an equal and opposite force (Arkat/Nysalor), or is it just a product of heroes butting heads (Yanafal Tarnils/Humakt)?  To what degree is this apparent balanced opposition a contrivance too, and how much of it is actually a projection from the reader?

I suspect it depends upon whether the balance of the cosmos is threatened. There are heroes, and for want of a better word, super-heroes, so I suspect it depends on power and the size of the region affected, so both Delecti and Cragspider are fairly local, but Arkat and Nysalor, the Red Emperor and Sheng, Jar-eel and Argrath all have continent wide effects. Pavis was attempting to recreate the Green Age.

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On 6/30/2020 at 12:09 AM, GAZZA said:

Just let's not get into what his Flesh Man is.

Oh we should definitely get into it by moving over the "dumb theories" thread!!   I'm totally here for this "Orlanthi Voltron" theory!!

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I think on this issue we really need to acknowledge that this is a fictional setting and the various forces can tilt one way or the other, or balance out however we want. There's no objective way we ca determine this, what are we going to do conduct a set of multilateral double blind trials and surveys of populations in Glorantha? Someone would just have to make up the results. The fact is there are many counterbalancing factors - beneficial magic, rituals, spirits and gods on one side; hostile magic, monsters, chaos, cultists and demons on the other. My own preference is that the factors generally cancel out, to produce societies recognisable for us as similar to their historical analogues, so we can more easily reason about how those societies function and imagine what they look like. If in your game you want the outcome to look different, there are plenty of ways to justify whatever outcome you want. Looking at the sources, in Gloranthan history some societies throve and expanded while others were wiped out.

Appealing to the RQ or HQ rules for spells and such doesn't resolve anything, any more than it resolves what will happen in any given RQ scenario. As a GM I can write into existence how ever many or few Chaos cultists, Broo, Malia shamans, etc that I want, with however much magic and whatever equipment I want them to have. I generally choose to balance them roughly against the PCs and have the ingenuity and creativity of the PCs, and their better efficient use of their character's abilities (there are more of them than me) win the day. Same thing for the societies and world they live in.

Edited by simonh
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On 6/26/2020 at 3:23 AM, French Desperate WindChild said:

I fully agree with you except here. Very few are resurrected

I found few month ago some evidence : https://glorantha.fandom.com/wiki/Argrath's_Companions

named companions, so important companions of the great Argrath (at least in the eyes of "victorious" historians) are killed and not resurrected. How one of the most powerful leaders of the world is not able to resurrect his best followers ?

Agreed FDWC, it is odd how these important companions are not resurrected, and I have also noted this problem.  Certainly it is hard to account for given the rules.  So let's think about this a bit laterally for a moment and search for an answer, however remote.

1) Obviously Humakti don't get resurrected.  If someone initiates into Humakt and gets killed, that's the end of them.

2) I believe it is possible to sufficiently mutilate a body that resurrection becomes impossible.  Similarly crucifixion (death on a death rune) also denies resurrection.

3) Perhaps it wasn't possible to get them to a healer in time?  If a person lies dead for more than a week, they will lose all their skills according to the RQ2 resurrection rules.  It was always a factor when a character died back in RQ2 in my experience.  This is where godbones came in handy, as they prevented skill loss.

4) Healer has already used her divine points.  Yeah, you're just out of luck...  Having resurrected 6 people this season, she can't do any more. 

Hanni the Healer: "Now yes, the poor deceased may be a named character of Argrath's retinue, but see that party of a Stormbull, a duck and a Zorak Zoran morokanth over there?  Yeah, they "donated" 15,000L to get the Morokanth priority resurrected.  Tell the King "sorry"; had you showed up earlier and out-donated them, things might be different. I can't help you this season guys, try another Temple."

On 6/26/2020 at 3:23 AM, French Desperate WindChild said:

what proportion of people we know were resurrected ?

there is an inconsistency between the spell in rules (so easy) and the sources.

Note that I understand this inconsistency from a gp perspective. players may consider hard to lose a character.

I completely agree with you about this. Honestly we don't know what proportion of the population are resurrected.  How do the Chalana Arroys decide that anyhow?  I suspect there is a tacit bidding war of "donations" for a timely resurrection, unless there is a CA in the party (that is always how I play it, anyhow).  Are they bound to keep their resurrection magic free in case someone important is killed?  How important does that person need to be?  When it comes to player characters being killed and resurrected, I estimate about 25% are likely to get resurrected at least once in the character's lives.  And yes, there are a lot of discrepancies in the rules versus the literature (unless you happen to be Yanafal Tarnils fighting Humakt at Castle Blue, in which case, you resurrect every 30 seconds or so).

Edited by Darius West
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Argrath's enemies may have also used certain means to prevent them from being resurrected. I'm reading the Fortunate Succession now, and it talk about the Lunars having to "work to prevent our men from being trapped in foreign hells". 

Secondly, there is the potential possibility that some people... don't want to be resurrected? If someone dies a worthy death and feels a strong certainty that they will party forever with Orlanth, then their mortal ties might beckon less strongly. 

Lastly (for my post), there's probably an inherent uncertainty to healing and resurrecting. Sometimes the ritual just doesn't take. That's life.

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46 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Secondly, there is the potential possibility that some people... don't want to be resurrected? If someone dies a worthy death and feels a strong certainty that they will party forever with Orlanth, then their mortal ties might beckon less strongly. 

The regular Resurrection spell seems to assume this - you have to beat up the spirit of the dead person to get the whole thing to work.

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  • 2 months later...

I thought resurrecting a discussion on resurrection would be in order...

On 6/25/2020 at 7:23 PM, French Desperate WindChild said:

I found few month ago some evidence : https://glorantha.fandom.com/wiki/Argrath's_Companions

named companions, so important companions of the great Argrath (at least in the eyes of "victorious" historians) are killed and not resurrected. How one of the most powerful leaders of the world is not able to resurrect his best followers ?

Many of these were lost in alien realms, as Argrath went deeper and further out than any Lightbringer quester before him. You might call that "lost to Chaos", much like many of the host in the Battle of Earthfall. The equivalent to death and annihilation by the Crimson Bat.

Also, a few of these may have chosen to remain behind, becoming a guardian of a heroquesting station where earlier selfish questing may have created a vacancy that needed to be filled in order for the quest to continue. It's a form of apotheosis a great many Arkati questers have chosen for themselves.

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9 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

Honestly, I am just upset that Argrath severs the connection between the gods and the mortals.

To be completely fair, KoS doesn't explicitly say that the connection is completely severed. Sure, several gods get killed in an LBQ (but is it a true death or can they get better?) and "the way that the gods and mortals communicated was altered", but the idea that the gods are just not a thing in the fourth age is, in my opinion, a rather unfounded assumption.

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1 minute ago, Richard S. said:

To be completely fair, KoS doesn't explicitly say that the connection is completely severed. Sure, several gods get killed in an LBQ (but is it a true death or can they get better?) and "the way that the gods and mortals communicated was altered", but the idea that the gods are just not a thing in the fourth age is, in my opinion, a rather unfounded assumption.

sorry, i didnt read the entire thread before posting

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2 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

so how would one go about rezzing someone like Kallyr who seems unreachable?

The LBQ is a classic.

Or perhaps some easier underworld HeroQuest like the one in the Colymar Campaign or t11L.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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20 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

The LBQ is a classic.

This has been made difficult by the fact that Kallyr lost her best supporters able to go on any form of a LBQ in her failed attempt to set the universe right in her Short Lightbringers' Path. While she still may have devout admirers, or even worshipers of her hero cult, their ability to pull off a LBQ at short notice seems to be rather limited.

The other queens of the Sartar tribes weren't that fond of Kallyr, and are open for other candidates with a somewhat similar pedigree. Oh look, there's Garrath Sharpsword!

20 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Or perhaps some easier underworld HeroQuest like the one in the Colymar Campaign or t11L.

The Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes underworld quest managed to liberate the soul of Hofstaring, but he remained dead afterwards. His hero cult may have regained the secret of tree-leaping, though, provided they somehow managed to hold on to their worship of the disappeared and non-responsive hero.

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6 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

so how would one go about rezzing someone like Kallyr who seems unreachable?

Go full Arkat. Figure out where she is, (probably in the Sky World), start exploring myths wantonly to locate the mythological connection that will take you directly to wherever she's at. (Easily enough, she's associated with Rigsdal and Sky Orlanth, time to start digging up star-related stories!) And then talk her into abandoning the existence she has achieved. And have a spare body hanging around she can climb into. 

Trivial stuff. 

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6 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

so how would one go about rezzing someone like Kallyr who seems unreachable?

 

8 minutes ago, Eff said:

Go full Arkat. Figure out where she is, (probably in the Sky World), start exploring myths wantonly to locate the mythological connection that will take you directly to wherever she's at. (Easily enough, she's associated with Rigsdal and Sky Orlanth, time to start digging up star-related stories!) And then talk her into abandoning the existence she has achieved. And have a spare body hanging around she can climb into. 

Trivial stuff. 

In our campaign, my PC gave a speech in Boldhome proposing the theory that Kallyr doesn't want to come back.  She is spent, in horrible pain, all of her family is dead, along with most of her boon companions.  Only some horrid Lovecraftian sorcerer would bring her back to this world.  Let her be.

"Let her rest in the halls of the All Father, with her friends and kin, in whose great company she shall know neither shame nor defeat."

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1 minute ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

 

In our campaign, my PC gave a speech in Boldhome proposing the theory that Kallyr doesn't want to come back.  She is spent, in horrible pain, all of her family is dead, along with most of her boon companions.  Only some horrid Lovecraftian sorcerer would bring her back to this world.  Let her be.

"Let her rest in the halls of the All Father, with her friends and kin, in whose great company she shall know neither shame nor defeat."

I mean, I figure this is the case, and also that if you actually went and did this rather than going through a proper resurrection, she'd be a Sky Storm entity tethered awkwardly to a mortal body, so her blood would ignite on contact with air, lightning would occasionally crackle off of her, burning wings would burst out of her back or arms at random, she might even breathe fire... Fun for the whole family whenever she'd make an Orate roll!

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

This has been made difficult by the fact that Kallyr lost her best supporters able to go on any form of a LBQ in her failed attempt to set the universe right in her Short Lightbringers' Path. While she still may have devout admirers, or even worshipers of her hero cult, their ability to pull off a LBQ at short notice seems to be rather limited.

Sure - I read the question about what's a possibility, not what's practical. Of course, PCs being PCs...

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes underworld quest managed to liberate the soul of Hofstaring, but he remained dead afterwards. His hero cult may have regained the secret of tree-leaping, though, provided they somehow managed to hold on to their worship of the disappeared and non-responsive hero.

Yes, but they use basically the same methodology as Argrath does in his LBQ later when freeing Sheng Seleris. The HQ may need more oomph than the one in S:KoH provides, but it's clearly pointing in the right direction when it comes to getting someone out of a Lunar hell, or other resurrection-blocking stuff. 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Reading the adventures for RQG this subject came to mind. Looking at the characters that appear, the ones that are described as "so old that there are only a handful of people of this age in all Dragon Pass" have around the age of 70. Only very magically powerful people are said to live more than that (that is of course, if they don't partake in one of those Hon-Eel's "death by snu-snu" ceremonies. I don't blame them, I would too.), and IIRC, none live for more that 2 centuries. 

So, we could say that the average lifespan of a human in Glorantha is about 60sh, exceptionally some very healthy people can get to their 70s, and magically it can be extended to a hundred and some more. 

This also would explain why the "experienced" npcs are in their 30s, what would be like the middle of a glorantha life, and war veterans, chiefs and generals don't usually have more than 50.

That would make the Uz have like 20-30 more years of lifespan than humans, which puzzles me really as they have a life that isn't precisely safe and quiet. 

Or perhaps I'm completely wrong. 

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