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Can a Lightbringer Kill an Illuminate Who Abuses the Lightbringer Summons?

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If light bringers identify an illuminate, but the illuminate (also a light bringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options? Can they ignore the summons if they are sure in their mind that the summons is dishonourable? If so what level of proof do they need, to satisfy their god?

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35 minutes ago, EricW said:

If light bringers identify an illuminate, but the illuminate (also a light bringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options? Can they ignore the summons if they are sure in their mind that the summons is dishonourable? If so what level of proof do they need, to satisfy their god?

My first thought is, the options... some great roleplaying, man!

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2 hours ago, EricW said:

If light bringers identify an illuminate, but the illuminate (also a light bringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options? Can they ignore the summons if they are sure in their mind that the summons is dishonourable? If so what level of proof do they need, to satisfy their god?

The Lightbringer is refising the Call.  He will be visited by Spirits of Reprisal as a result.

There is no duty to kill an Illuminate as they are not chaotic.  

He may be wary of the request and supect that the Illuminate is trying to get him killed or worse.  But past calls have been made by people who weren't Illuminates.  Gorangi Vak was sent on a HeroQuest armed with only a stick and a rope in one such case (History of the Heortling Peoples p83)

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Just to clarify, I’m trying to figure out what happens if an illuminated lightbringer who has been outed as a chaotic attempts to ensnare the party about to attack them with a legitimate sounding summons, to prevent the attack.

”Aid me to destroy the crimson bat”.

As an illuminate, the chaotic traitor who issued the summons has no obligation to fulfill the summons. But the others now cannot kill the traitor with facing spirits of reprisal? Or does something else happen? How do lightbringers in this situation resolve such a mess, assuming this scenario is plausible?

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The Lightbringer is refising the Call.  He will be visited by Spirits of Reprisal as a result.

There is no duty to kill an Illuminate as they are not chaotic.  

He may be wary of the request and supect that the Illuminate is trying to get him killed or worse.  But past calls have been made by people who weren't Illuminates.  Gorangi Vak was sent on a HeroQuest armed with only a stick and a rope in one such case (History of the Heortling Peoples p83)

This is a classic case of people on the internet overthinking stuff and making assumptions that player characters somehow know the rules of cults they have no experience with. How many illuminated Lightbringers are there? How does a non-Illuminate have any idea that someone who is not a Lunar cultist is an Illuminate?

Think about it this way - the majority of all Illuminates in the world are Lunar cultists. All Red Goddess initiates are Illuminated. Most members of the Lunar College of Magic are Illuminated. And so on. There are many Lunar schools of Illumination, gurus, etc. Want to know your default Illuminate? It is a Lunar priest. That's the only place where Illumination is reasonably common.

There are occasional Illumination in Kralorela and Ralios. But their Illuminates aren't Lunars. And who knows how their schools work.

So maybe your player characters know a lot about Lunar Illumination. The Lunars have schools and gurus - called Riddlers - to teach this stuff. People PAY to be taught, or dedicate themselves to a Riddler, etc. But in their experience, can a Lightbringer even become an Illuminate? Are there any paths to Illumination outside of the Lunar Way? 

Jeff

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9 minutes ago, EricW said:

Just to clarify, I’m trying to figure out what happens if an illuminated lightbringer who has been outed as a chaotic attempts to ensnare the party about to attack them with a legitimate sounding summons, to prevent the attack.

”Aid me to destroy the crimson bat”.

As an illuminate, the chaotic traitor who issued the summons has no obligation to fulfill the summons. But the others now cannot kill the traitor with facing spirits of reprisal? Or does something else happen? How do lightbringers in this situation resolve such a mess, assuming this scenario is plausible?

Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought that illuminates were, pretty much by definition, not Chaotic. Storm Bull's Sense Chaos? Nope. A Detect Chaos matrix? Nada.

If it's a "by their actions shall ye know them" sort of thing, then I suppose you could find evidence that they were a Thanatari or whatever, but I would imagine Thatatar has no more love for illuminated cultists than Orlanth does (since illuminates only join Thanatar for the sweet, sweet, powers - some of them use them against chaos, the do-gooding scoundrels).

Not all bad guys are Chaotic. Even if you think illuminates are scum with no exceptions, that really only means that you consider illuminates to be just as bad/worse than Chaos (a defensible position!), not that they are Chaos.

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14 minutes ago, Jeff said:

This is a classic case of people on the internet overthinking stuff and making assumptions that player characters somehow know the rules of cults they have no experience with. How many illuminated Lightbringers are there? How does a non-Illuminate have any idea that someone who is not a Lunar cultist is an Illuminate?

Do they not know the tales of Arkat then? Isn't the fact of Arkat's illumination pretty obvious (joining multiple cults, no spirits of reprisal)? Or do most non-Illuminates assume Arkat was just lucky to have avoided the spirits of reprisal somehow?

Arkat pretty obviously couldn't have been a Lunar illuminate since the Lunars weren't a thing back then. And given Orlanth's general aversion to dragons I'd say there's a decent reason to believe that the EWF had a fair few illuminates too (in that one would imagine a cult like Orlanth the Dragon couldn't be worshipped otherwise)  - is their history not known? I'm not sure if the God Learners were illuminates (they didn't strictly have to be, if they were sorcerers rather than members of divine cults, so they wouldn't have had spirits of reprisal to worry about).

In essence, how much of Gloranthan history is your average (say) Sartarite aware of? I was always of the opinion that the answer was "basically all of it, in a general sense". So a Sartarite wouldn't know the details of the Yelmalion Sun Dome Temple in Prax, or exactly how Nysalor invoked the Curse of Kin... but they would know that Arkat existed, and what he did, and that there were two empires in the Second Age (the Jrusteli and the EWF), and at least vague details of what they were about (if only to avoid repeating their mistakes). Of course they wouldn't know of any particular mechanism to attain illumination - even most Lunars probably don't know many Riddlers - but, well, I'm not an astrophysicist, and yet I do know that the discipline of astrophysics exists and (very broadly) what sorts of things an astrophysicist might be expected to know.

Of course I live in the 21st century's Information Age, so I'm open to the idea that most Heortlings don't know much about history. I'd just never heard that suggested before.

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4 minutes ago, GAZZA said:

Do they not know the tales of Arkat then? Isn't the fact of Arkat's illumination pretty obvious (joining multiple cults, no spirits of reprisal)? Or do most non-Illuminates assume Arkat was just lucky to have avoided the spirits of reprisal somehow?

Arkat pretty obviously couldn't have been a Lunar illuminate since the Lunars weren't a thing back then. And given Orlanth's general aversion to dragons I'd say there's a decent reason to believe that the EWF had a fair few illuminates too (in that one would imagine a cult like Orlanth the Dragon couldn't be worshipped otherwise)  - is their history not known? I'm not sure if the God Learners were illuminates (they didn't strictly have to be, if they were sorcerers rather than members of divine cults, so they wouldn't have had spirits of reprisal to worry about).

In essence, how much of Gloranthan history is your average (say) Sartarite aware of? I was always of the opinion that the answer was "basically all of it, in a general sense". So a Sartarite wouldn't know the details of the Yelmalion Sun Dome Temple in Prax, or exactly how Nysalor invoked the Curse of Kin... but they would know that Arkat existed, and what he did, and that there were two empires in the Second Age (the Jrusteli and the EWF), and at least vague details of what they were about (if only to avoid repeating their mistakes). Of course they wouldn't know of any particular mechanism to attain illumination - even most Lunars probably don't know many Riddlers - but, well, I'm not an astrophysicist, and yet I do know that the discipline of astrophysics exists and (very broadly) what sorts of things an astrophysicist might be expected to know.

Of course I live in the 21st century's Information Age, so I'm open to the idea that most Heortlings don't know much about history. I'd just never heard that suggested before.

Most people do not know that Arkat was Illuminated. Most Lunars do not know that Arkat was Illuminated. The idea would be shocking to almost everyone. It is a closely guarded secret of the Arkat cult's leaders and a few others. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Most people do not know that Arkat was Illuminated. Most Lunars do not know that Arkat was Illuminated. The idea would be shocking to almost everyone. It is a closely guarded secret of the Arkat cult's leaders and a few others. 

 

Arkat was a thousand years earlier and every crazy thing is believed about him by *someone* by now.

There is undoubtly someone in Dragon Pass who won't eat at Geo's because he thinks Geo was secretly Arkat.

How exactly did they identify this guy as an illuminate?  It isn't stamped on his forehead.

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2 hours ago, John Biles said:

How exactly did they identify this guy as an illuminate?  It isn't stamped on his forehead.

No-consequences abuse of cults he belonged to would seem to be an indicator...

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4 hours ago, GAZZA said:

Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought that illuminates were, pretty much by definition, not Chaotic. Storm Bull's Sense Chaos? Nope. A Detect Chaos matrix? Nada.

Ralzakark sends his regards.

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50 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

No-consequences abuse of cults he belonged to would seem to be an indicator...

Easier said than done. If Faltikus the Good gets along with Lunars and cooperates with them, and suffers not from the spirits of retribution, does that mean:

1. He just hasn't crossed the line yet, but don't worry, he'll get his soon.

2. He's a Lunar illuminate and has pulled the wool over Orlanth's eyes.

3. Orlanth doesn't care about such things nearly as much as his mortal worshipers.

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8 hours ago, EricW said:

If light bringers identify an illuminate, but the illuminate (also a light bringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options?

Looking at the context of the Lightbringer Summons in Biturian's travels in Cults of Prax (classic page 66), Biturian has a whole discussion about what to do before anything happens. It's a poem that calls for a ritual reaction given by another lightbringer, no one stops what they are doing and rushes off to kill monsters. So nothing happens immediately and as Biturian does, you can buy your way out of it.

As for identifying an illuminate, Illumination provides a range of 8 abilities. Every illuminate has the first one (knowing as truth that Chaos is, in itself, neither evil nor inimical), with most having the second and third as well. Then the abilities get rarer and so on up to number 8. Number 4 is detect illumination in others, if they can do that then they are also illuminated. Otherwise you'd need to identify them by seeing them overcome their runes, passions or embracing runic opposites (2 and 3). Most of these will be internal struggles and it will likely only be the runic opposites that are a give away. I'm not even sure how you'd spot these unless they reach 80%.

Back to the summons:

8 hours ago, EricW said:

Can they ignore the summons if they are sure in their mind that the summons is dishonourable?

There's no honour involved the summons - it's a ritual calling, if it's not true the asker will suffer from their cult spirit of retribution (Can't avoid that unless you have ability 7). If they can avoid it, there will be a discussion as to the right course of action (see biturian).

I not sure what would happen if they managed to identify an illuminate:

"So you feel that Chaos is, in itself, neither evil nor inimical"

"Pretty much so"

"and this nest of broos you just mentioned threatening the village"

"yes"

"You need help wiping it out"

"Yes"

"Right let's get on with it"

There are two overused answers in RuneQuest - Humakt (for many reasons) and Illumination. Overall I Feel illumination is greatly misunderstood in RuneQuest. As @Jeff says most is overthinking something which is of minor consequence as a whole. Sure there are people who act weird, but few are likely to be illuminates.

And don't forget : Humakt Illuminated?

Edited by David Scott
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1 hour ago, The God Learner said:

Ralzakark sends his regards.

You can detect Illuminates by how they don’t register on Sense Chaos even when they should.

(We had fun about that Lunar broadsheet with “Storm Bulls - trust your senses”. The joke’s on the Lunars - Storm Bulls can’t read anyway...)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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3 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Now that the question has been clarified, the correct answer:

Yes

Violence is always an option.

Yes, of course, even if he does not know that the illuminate is illuminate. Violence is always an option, you just need a reason to activate it.

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Some of the reactions here (and to some extent the original question) seem to me to be about looking for mechanical rules for situations that inherently require roleplaying out.

There are few, if any, magical abilities in Glorantha that are automatically successful when there is some possibility of opposition. If a Chaotic does not want to be detected as such and where they have relevant magic or chaos, then why should Storm Bull be able to detect them automatically? If an Illuminate does not want to be detected by another Illuminate, then why should detection be automatic? There are even stories of ways that non-Illuminates can avoid spirits of reprisal, though the consequences of those measures can be even worse for the initiate.

As this is the way Glorantha works and Gloranthans generally know it, then we should look for our own reactions to messy situations where we cannot completely determine the actual truth. Some of us completely believe utter nonsense, such as determining guilt or innocence by whether someone floats or drowns (if they float, they're guilty, of course that's true, it stands to reason). Others of us are very cautious and very reluctant to assign blame without extremely compelling evidence. And most are on a spectrum in between.

 

Edited by Charles
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18 hours ago, The God Learner said:

Ralzakark sends his regards.

Chaotic does not equal Evil; it is sufficient but not required. I have absolutely no problem saying Ralazakark is not Chaotic, and no magic can ever prove me to be wrong about that. He's evil, certainly.

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5 hours ago, GAZZA said:

I have absolutely no problem saying Ralazakark is not Chaotic, and no magic can ever prove me to be wrong about that.

If Glorantha had no detect chaos, there would be no chaos. 

 

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14 hours ago, The God Learner said:

If Glorantha had no detect chaos, there would be no chaos. 

Erm... yes? I mean, how would you argue otherwise? As I say, you can be evil and not chaotic (though apparently not the reverse); why would you need the distinction if it wasn't something you could detect? Wouldn't you just oppose evil regardless of whether it was a broo or an Uz? Don't most PCs do that anyway?

Are you proposing some sort of trolley experiment where PCs have to choose between killing a "merely evil" bunch of marauding bison riders intent on killing one half of your tribe or an "actually chaotic" bunch of broo intent on impregating the other half? Is that something that comes up a lot, and if so is there really a clearly correct choice in any case?

Or are you suggesting that some acts, while chaotic, do not appear evil enough to oppose? Could you give an example? I'm just honestly not clear why you think undetectable chaos isn't effectively the same as no chaos - the only way I can see that argument manifesting is if, say, you're arguing that an illuminate can commit a chaotic act without committing an evil one. Which may be true! I just can't think of any examples - as far as I am aware, Glorantha treats Chaos as a superset of Evil, and since something being wrong ought to be a sufficient reason to oppose it, the supernatural element of chaos - if it is undetectable - is at best an unnecessary additional reason to oppose something you should oppose anyway.

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On 7/15/2020 at 4:15 AM, EricW said:

If light bringers identify an illuminate, but the illuminate (also a light bringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options? Can they ignore the summons if they are sure in their mind that the summons is dishonourable? If so what level of proof do they need, to satisfy their god?

Of course they can ignore the Lightbringer Summons.

Cowards and despicable folk ignore it all the while. It is the mark of a dishonorable person to refuse the Lightbringer Summons.

All that happens is that the various Spirits of Retribution will visit them, as they have singularly failed to answer the most basic tenet of being a Lightbringer: Come to the aid of other Ligthbringers.

On 7/16/2020 at 11:17 AM, The God Learner said:

If Glorantha had no detect chaos, there would be no chaos. 

I see what you did there!

 

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On 7/15/2020 at 11:15 AM, EricW said:

If light bringers identify an illuminate, but the illuminate (also a light bringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options? Can they ignore the summons if they are sure in their mind that the summons is dishonourable? 

Take the idea of Illumination out of it, and replace it will 'someone they have reason to distrust' and you have your answer. 

So, If Light bringers identify someone they distrust, but that person (also a lightbringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options?

Honour lies in your deeds, not your enemies. If you do not honour your own words and do the right thing, you are dishonourable, regardless of what others do. And your enemies honour is also in their deeds. There are always issues where being honourable forces you to make difficult choices, no Chaos or Illumination or even evil intent required - just dealing with people whose idea of honour may be different to yours, or whose priorities are very different to yours. 

Illumination is almost irrelevant. An Illuminate can still be honourable, betraying an honourable person is dishonourable regardless of their relationship with their god, which is mostly their business.  Have they broken a law? 

Now, if the Illuminate is known to have committed an actual crime, that is a different thing. If you know they have consorted with Chaos, very different. But you didn't say this was true. 

On 7/16/2020 at 11:34 AM, Charles said:

Some of the reactions here (and to some extent the original question) seem to me to be about looking for mechanical rules for situations that inherently require roleplaying out.

Yes! A code of honour forcing you to make difficult choices, between your honour and what you desire or what seems most sensible, is one of the great drivers of drama across human culture. There are difficult choice, and they have consequences - not just for making the 'wrong' choice, but for making the 'right' one. Embrace it!

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On 7/15/2020 at 3:30 PM, EricW said:

I’m trying to figure out what happens if an illuminated lightbringer who has been outed as a chaotic attempts

outed as Chaotic is the important part. Illuminated or not is a detail. If they have proof, they have many options, some of which should see them no longer regarded as a true Lightbringer (for example, a senior priest could Ban them), and no one will quibble too much on timing. But if they have no proof and are not believed, then they have a difficult choice. Difficult choices are bad for them, but good for the game. 

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6 minutes ago, davecake said:

outed as Chaotic is the important part. Illuminated or not is a detail. If they have proof, they have many options, some of which should see them no longer regarded as a true Lightbringer (for example, a senior priest could Ban them), and no one will quibble too much on timing. But if they have no proof and are not believed, then they have a difficult choice. Difficult choices are bad for them, but good for the game. 

This is where it gets interesting though, because illuminates are always in good standing with their god, no matter what rules they break.

So if say Ralzakark was to issue a light bringer summons, assuming one of his many abuses is membership of a light bringer cult, because he is an illuminate metaphysically he is a good light bringer able to issue the summons, even though he is a chaos monster.

So that becomes the question - can a light bringer ignore a summons if they have good knowledge that the person issuing the summons is dishonourable? If so what standard of proof is required, to avoid spirits of retribution? If not, this is devastating - lunar agents or whatever to lead light bringers to their doom, by snaring them with a false summons.

 

Edited by EricW

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