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Was Argrath a hero or a villain?

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5 hours ago, Grievous said:

Rashorana certainly, in her various forms, and Zaytenera seems Illuminated.

Aren't there literal, explicit references to one of these deities teaching other gods illumination? I seem to recall there being a reference to this during a discussion on whether Chalana Arroy was illuminated. 

7 hours ago, Charles said:

During the Gods War, the Dragons and their kin generally did little to resist Chaos. To me, that indicates that they were very accepting of Chaos.

Disentanglement with the collapse of the universe isn't necessarily acceptance. I mean, I have no horse either way, but the actual dragons were already illuminated and ascended even by then, and the dragonewts left are the "spiritual dunces" so to speak, so I'm not sure what either tells us. 

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

During the Gods War, the Dragons and their kin generally did little to resist Chaos. To me, that indicates that they were very accepting of Chaos.

Which is interesting, considering how the Dara Happan sources never really talks about Chaos in and of itself. This might just be because Nysalor's teachings is a fusion of Orlanthi-Pelorian ideas where the Chaos element comes from the Orlanthi, or it might be that the Rashoranic/Zayeteneric cults originated from outside the Dara Happan core (Pelanda, Naveria, etc.) and had different ideas. Not sure. Possibly outside the scope of this discussion. 

15 hours ago, Darius West said:

A good point.  Of course we don't know if there is actually any difference between Nysalor Illumination and Draconic Illumination. 

This is completely circumstantial, but it seems to me that Nysalorean illumination is less strict with disentanglement, and more forgiving of using powers for temporal influence than Draconic illumination is. The dragons eventually saw the EWF's meddling as an error, and there are several sources about how the Orlanthi dragon mystics were spiritually screwed over by using their powers, but the Nysalorean remnants don't seem to have any kind of similar epiphany, instead blaming their downfall on exterior enemies. Or if they DID recognize internal faults, they might've stopped calling themselves Nysaloreans and taken up some other monicker (especially in Dara Happa as Nysaloreans were purged, but may have hidden under the umbrella of the Yelmic revival or whatever)

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3 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Which is interesting, considering how the Dara Happan sources never really talks about Chaos in and of itself.

That's because they know the real "Chaos" is Rebellion against Order.  And we all know the source of that!  The dreaded Rebellus Terminus!

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12 hours ago, Grievous said:

 

As an aside, I think there's some very odd views into Illumination existing on the forums (and I guess thus the readership of Glorantha). Not that I am an official holder of the truth here (or anywhere!), but I think most of the strange viewpoints stem from a a lack of understanding of the things that quite clearly seem to have inspired Greg regarding Illumination. Obviously, it is not just any one thing ported out of RL into Glorantha), but the inspirations don't seem all that cryptic and I actually think it's a pretty neat way of gamifying enlightenment traditions. I think just branding it as a form of mental disorder (psychopathy) or a total lack of morality is missing the mark pretty radically, but I guess that response to it is somewhat indicative of how scary it must sometimes look to some of the more conservative minded folk in Glorantha as well...

While I understand that illumination is supposed to reflect real world mysticism, the main examples we get of it are people it turns into monsters - Arkat, Nysalor and his followers, the EWF, Sheng Seleris, the Lunar experiments with Chaos..  Kralorelan mysticism has never really been developed much.

The end result is that we're short on examples of illumination that don't turn you into a psychopath or make you think playing with Chaos is a good idea.

 Glorantha has no Buddha figures to provide a really positive example.  It's all people you should probably kill on sight without pity or mercy.  

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23 minutes ago, John Biles said:

While I understand that illumination is supposed to reflect real world mysticism, the main examples we get of it are people it turns into monsters - Arkat, Nysalor and his followers, the EWF, Sheng Seleris, the Lunar experiments with Chaos..  Kralorelan mysticism has never really been developed much.

The end result is that we're short on examples of illumination that don't turn you into a psychopath or make you think playing with Chaos is a good idea.

 Glorantha has no Buddha figures to provide a really positive example.  It's all people you should probably kill on sight without pity or mercy.  

Unfortunately that's true, and will likely remain the case until we get a comprehensive look into the East Isles (which lorewise has SEVERAL Buddha-figures, actually, or Bodhishattvas, I suppose). 

Nick Brooke might have examples of less "destructive" Illuminates. He has a lot of insight into the Lunars. 

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10 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Unfortunately that's true, and will likely remain the case until we get a comprehensive look into the East Isles (which lorewise has SEVERAL Buddha-figures, actually, or Bodhishattvas, I suppose). 

Nick Brooke might have examples of less "destructive" Illuminates. He has a lot of insight into the Lunars. 

Glorantha has lots of examples of good Illumination.

Daruda was a great teacher who achieved union with Nothing and then re-entered the world in order to share his bliss with those who needed it. He is the model for all subsequent Dragon Emperors.

Nysalor was a great and good teacher according to the Lunar religion. He united all peoples - human and Elder Races alike - in enlightenment and spiritual development. He was opposed by monstrous dark trolls, inhuman dragonewts, and barbaric rebels who were shackled to the past, and ultimately murdered by a god-hating demon in the guise of a man.. 

For more than a thousand years, the gifts of Nysalor have been secretly passed on to those who needed them. But the rulers of the world sought to keep the people in mental slavery and suppressed him when they found him. But the Red Goddess was Illuminated by Nysalor and overthrew those who sought to keep your minds and souls in bondage. Now his gifts are freely available to those who wish to follow his path.

But this has long since had anything to do with Argrath.

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17 hours ago, John Biles said:

While I understand that illumination is supposed to reflect real world mysticism

I'd say that illumination is real world Enlightenment, that can be found in all Gloranthan religions. You don't have to be a mystic to be illuminated.

This is reflected for me in Jack Kornfield's book - after the Ecstasy, the the Laundry - it looks at what happens after spiritual enlightenment.

Illumination is a yes / no state, and your religion may support you in transcendence (if recognised as such) or the revelation may crush you. Either way you can always turn to your god for support in this. Your god likely don't care about your illumination (is is likely illuminated anyway), your local religion may on the other hand not understand what's going on and do the historically correct thing (burn, drown, discredit, exile, etc) the transgressor.

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13 hours ago, Jeff said:

Glorantha has lots of examples of good Illumination.

Daruda was a great teacher who achieved union with Nothing and then re-entered the world in order to share his bliss with those who needed it. He is the model for all subsequent Dragon Emperors.

Nysalor was a great and good teacher according to the Lunar religion. He united all peoples - human and Elder Races alike - in enlightenment and spiritual development. He was opposed by monstrous dark trolls, inhuman dragonewts, and barbaric rebels who were shackled to the past, and ultimately murdered by a god-hating demon in the guise of a man.. 

For more than a thousand years, the gifts of Nysalor have been secretly passed on to those who needed them. But the rulers of the world sought to keep the people in mental slavery and suppressed him when they found him. But the Red Goddess was Illuminated by Nysalor and overthrew those who sought to keep your minds and souls in bondage. Now his gifts are freely available to those who wish to follow his path.

But this has long since had anything to do with Argrath.

I don't disagree with you, but these are, ultimately, examples of the Bodhisattva as powerful - imperialistic even - temporal rulers, which DOES happen, but is not, at least to my knowledge, the norm. Whether you belong to a culture that despires or loves them, their political and military power is undeniable.

What we don't have a lot of examples of, are named illuminated individuals who act in other spheres of social life, ie. leading ashrams, monastic cults, meditative retreats, traveling sages, (or even expert craftsmen), etc.etc. 

This isn't meant to trod down what is already there. It's a desire to have more, which I hope is taken as a compliment.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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Our own take on the question included :

Argrath is Arkat

Argrath is Argrath, as History is always written by the Victor.

Your PC is the Argrath !

"I'm Argrath and so is my dog."

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4 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Our own take on the question included :

Argrath is Arkat

Argrath is Argrath, as History is always written by the Victor.

Your PC is the Argrath !

"I'm Argrath and so is my dog."

"I'm Argrath and so can you!"

"I can't believe this isn't Argrath."

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16 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

"I'm Argrath and so can you!"

"I can't believe this isn't Argrath."

“The real Argrath was inside you all along.”

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

“The real Argrath was inside you all along.”

IF you can't believe in Argrath, believe in the one who believes in Argath.

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6 hours ago, GAZZA said:

If you meet Argrath on the road, kill him.

I tried that already. There was another one on the road not two minutes later!

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On 7/11/2020 at 12:42 AM, John Biles said:

Except Conan wouldn't skin and wear a god

We would have if he could.

On 7/13/2020 at 10:10 PM, jajagappa said:
On 7/13/2020 at 7:22 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Actually, what kind of Illumination did Arkat achieve?

Arkat is the Shadow of Nysalor - he would have achieved Nysaloran Illumination as it was understood at the end of the First Age.

I agree.

On 7/13/2020 at 7:22 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Rashoranic Illumination would have you accept chaos, so that's probably out.

Does it? Rashoran Illuminated both Yelm and Humakt, neither of which is necessarily Chaotic. Now, you could argue that they are neutral to Chaos, due to Rashoran, I suppose.

All the deities involved in the Compromise accepted Chaos, even Storm Bull and Zorak Zoran.

 

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20 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Does it? Rashoran Illuminated both Yelm and Humakt, neither of which is necessarily Chaotic. Now, you could argue that they are neutral to Chaos, due to Rashoran, I suppose.

I can't say how canonical it is, but it's stated outright in Cults of Terror/Lords of terror/Cult Compendium "The illuminated one will know as truth that chaos is, in itself, neither evil nor inimical. This secret knowledge is the source of the other five benefits of Initiation." I would add that "accepting" here doesn't mean "like" - your phrasing of "neutral" is just as good. There's nothing special about Chaos in the eyes of the Illuminant. I suppose you could argue that Arkat's problem wasn't with Chaos in general but with Nysalor in particular. 

(I personally don't think it's meaningful to talk about what gods are Illuminated or not. You will only interact with gods through the raster of your myths anyway. It doesn't matter in the slightest what they "really" are outside of their myths, if it's even a meaningful concept.)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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23 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I can't say how canonical it is, but it's stated outright in Cults of Terror/Lords of terror/Cult Compendium "The illuminated one will know as truth that chaos is, in itself, neither evil nor inimical. This secret knowledge is the source of the other five benefits of Initiation."

That is in Rashnoranic, Nysaloran, Arkati and Lunar Illumination. I thought you meant that is was specific to Rashoran.

 

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3 minutes ago, soltakss said:

That is in Rashnoranic, Nysaloran, Arkati and Lunar Illumination. I thought you meant that is was specific to Rashoran.

Aren’t those (possibly excluding Arkati) the same thing?

I meant that I’m not sure that Arkat was accepting of Chaos, which would indicate that he wasn’t Nysalorean/Rashoranically Illuminated.

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5 hours ago, Richard S. said:

I tried that already. There was another one on the road not two minutes later!

Worst Whackamole Variation Ever

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This thread has long since stopped having anything to do with Argrath. If you want to continue musing about Illumination, create a new thread,

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On 7/14/2020 at 2:22 AM, Akhôrahil said:

There aren't so many types.

If you ask an Illuminate, really just one. Or as many types as there are Illuminates. Answers in between misunderstand Illumination. 

On 7/15/2020 at 5:43 AM, Darius West said:

We know that presently the only rules for illumination are those from Cults of Terror. 

Not quite true, as there are rules for HeroQuest (and there were rules for RQ3, though they were not very different). If you look at the two sets of rules, and say 'if you take the HQ rules as a basis for how you would update the RQ2 rules for RQG', you will end up with something very similar to the draft rules from the GoG draft. Which is more or less me saying Illuminates have the power to develop opposed Runes, and to master their Passions, and otherwise its a lot like RQ2. From a game world point of view, very much the same. 

On 7/15/2020 at 3:05 PM, Grievous said:

As an aside, I think there's some very odd views into Illumination existing on the forums (and I guess thus the readership of Glorantha). Not that I am an official holder of the truth here (or anywhere!), but I think most of the strange viewpoints stem from a a lack of understanding of the things that quite clearly seem to have inspired Greg regarding Illumination. Obviously, it is not just any one thing ported out of RL into Glorantha), but the inspirations don't seem all that cryptic and I actually think it's a pretty neat way of gamifying enlightenment traditions.

Yes, I think a lot of people on the forums pretty much have ideas about Illumination that come from a small number of old core Glorantha texts (mostly cults of terror) plus gaming experiences and extrapolation, and essentially almost no knowledge of actual mysticism etc. Greg always tied in back to real world mysticism. Two decades ago all the discussions I had with him started with 'step one, read the Yoga sutras of Patanjali'. HIs ideas evolved, but always coming back to real world mysticism. 

On 7/15/2020 at 3:05 PM, Grievous said:

I think just branding it as a form of mental disorder (psychopathy) or a total lack of morality is missing the mark pretty radically,

Yes, way, way, way off. Greg essentially considered himself Illuminated, I think. 

I think Greg thought mysticism could be used as an excuse by the immoral, could derange the unprepared, but had every bit of the spiritual value for those who fully approached it in the right spirit of selflessness and understanding. To see 'beyond good and evil' as the same as 'amoral' is clueless. The Bhavagad Gita isn't a bad starting point. 

(and also note the Vadeli, who actually are all sociopaths, are not generally linked with Illumination, it is largely irrelevant to them)

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13 hours ago, davecake said:

Not quite true, as there are rules for HeroQuest (and there were rules for RQ3, though they were not very different). If you look at the two sets of rules, and say 'if you take the HQ rules as a basis for how you would update the RQ2 rules for RQG', you will end up with something very similar to the draft rules from the GoG draft. Which is more or less me saying Illuminates have the power to develop opposed Runes, and to master their Passions, and otherwise its a lot like RQ2. From a game world point of view, very much the same. 

Yeah... But it's HeroQuest...  Do we all have to put the trainer wheels back on?  As to the RQ:GoG draft, yeah, I have proofread it.  I really think that mysticism in general and Dragon Mysticism in particular need a separate treatment.  To say they are the same is like saying mystic strains of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sihkism, Zoroastrianism, Animism, and Shinto are all the same.  I mean, really?  Are they?  I would never have said so.   While they may have "some" similarities, surely it is as lazy and ignorant as saying that Chinese people and Japanese people are "the same".  For example, we know that Dragon Mysticism unlocks dragon magic, while Illumination by Nysalor gives you nothing extra beyond illumination as he is a dead deity.

Edited by Darius West

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On 7/15/2020 at 3:35 PM, Charles said:

If I remember correctly, the HeroQuest Illumination rules indicated that there were many different paths to Illumination but they were all fundamentally the same Illumination.

I argue that this is due to laziness, not design.  No two forms of mysticism are much alike in real life, why should they be like that in Glorantha?

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