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29 minutes ago, David Scott said:
39 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I would love a multi-level Illumination system, but it's not happening, it seems.

Write it yourself and stick it in the JC. Doesn't have to be big, some publications are just a few pages.

Secrets of Dorastor has something similar.

You can get higher levels of Illumination, i.e. Kewl Powerz, by meditating on you Illumination skill at Sacred Time. The first success Illuminates you, subsequent successes allow you to get more Powers.

One thing I didn't do, and perhaps should have, is to assign typical Powers that are taught by each of the schools.

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I would have abandoned the Tarot scheme.  The major framing device for the organization of the Arkati cults (Arkat the Destroyer etc) I would have attributed to Halwal (in order words, the cults of Ar

I apologize for the length of this reply in advance.    It's hard to take this post seriously at all. "Chaos is definitely objectively the death of the world, or else Gloranthans would rev

I really like this turn in the thread because it raises the question of the scenarios people naturally gravitate toward when confronted with the possibility of a liberation of consciousness from norma

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On 8/12/2020 at 12:47 AM, Nick Underwood said:

Not at all. Illumination can be gamed by munchkins, but that doesn't make it the authors' intention. 

The point is that within the history of Glorantha illumination HAS been exploited by munchkins, over and over again.  And yes, that means this was part of the Author's intention, unequivocally.  Illumination seems benign on one's first parse of the info, but it isn't.  Illumination is actually a hugely insidious and destructive force in Glorantha.

On 8/12/2020 at 12:47 AM, Nick Underwood said:

 It can be monotonous playing your third living embodiment of Orlanth... 

Then you are doing it wrong.  Orlanth has so many aspects and subcults that it is eminently possible to play any number of variations on the theme, who are all utterly individual and unlike each other...  Unless you are playing HQ, as then you are limited to some very standardized keywords and it can get very boring very quickly.  Optionally, why not play a different cult?  I had a riot playing a highly amoral and materialistic Chalana Arroy recently.  The point being, you don't need to play an illuminate to spice up playing any specific cult, and in virtually every way, a character is actually more interesting when they have restrictions, as they provide gravity and direction to a character.

On 8/12/2020 at 12:47 AM, Nick Underwood said:

That's bleak. We have to choose between adopting the inculcated values of our culture and becoming megalomaniac narcissists? I reject both those options and so might my characters. I suspect you do too.

 Are you kidding?  That's utterly realistic.  Yes, in life as in RPGs that mirror life, you need to choose between obeying the laws and scruples of your society or being an opportunistic psychopath/narcissistic criminal who needs to be put out of everyone else's misery because you have managed to escape the normal means of social enforcement.  Orlanthi and many other cultures passionately hate and fear illumination for a very sound reason.  It promotes atrocious behavior, and the long term effects of illuminates in a society are intensely toxic. 

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On 8/10/2020 at 11:09 PM, Eff said:

But Chaos isn't the death of the world. Absence of Chaos in Glorantha would mean its death. So at a basic, fundamental level, that spiritual message carries an important truth about the universe. Is that truth dangerous? The theory of special relativity is dangerous, too. Comparative mythology is extremely dangerous. That doesn't make them any less true or meaningful, it just assigns a moral responsibility to not be Occluded. 

Nope. Chaos is definitely the death of the world, or Glorantha would revere Wakboth as a great liberator and a new god.  Kajabor was so powerful that even the spirit of Glorantha herself couldn't actually destroy him, but had to turn Entropy into Time to curtail this immensely destructive force, which even now is destroying everything in Glorantha, just more slowly, and will inevitably completely destroy the world eventually.  The fact is, Glorantha existed perfectly happily before chaos, and to remove chaos would be an immense blessing.  There is no "spiritual message" involved here.  You have bought into illuminate propaganda that "chaos isn't so bad", but go back and read about the Greater Darkness, and compare that to what the world was like prior.  Glorantha doesn't need chaos any more than you need a malignant brain tumor Eff.  The whole idea that chaos is somehow necessary or "not so bad" is provably false.

On 8/10/2020 at 11:09 PM, Eff said:

That being said, though, speaking as someone who would probably be Illuminated in Gloranthan terms, in that I have "dodged cult strictures", as it were, in at least three times over, without suffering from "spirits of reprisal"/ the supposed inherent consequences for dodging said strictures, not all cultural responsibilities are created equal. Some of them are genuinely oppressive! Now, Glorantha is nicer than the real world, in that two of those specific strictures canonically do not exist anywhere in it, and the third one is probably somewhat local. But that doesn't mean that there aren't strictures which bind people unjustly amid the ones that are morally important. So, you know, "dodging your responsibilities" can be a moral decision, and more importantly, the construction of an awareness of what is Truth and what is Illusion, that is to say, what applies universally/objectively and what applies particularly/subjectively is itself intrinsically spiritual. 

If you don't like oppressive cult strictures, don't join those cults.  It isn't rocket science. 

As to Glorantha being "nicer" than the real world... Wow. Nope.  I have to completely disagree with you.  Glorantha is a bloodthirsty nightmare of a place ruled over by petty tyrants and warlords for the most part.  I can get in my magical cart and travel to another city hundreds of miles away without the expectation of having numerous bands of @ssh*les try to murder me along the way.  In Glorantha, not so much.  In terms of my social responsibilities, they are far lower than would be the case in Glorantha as my society is individualist, while Gloranthans are very collectivist for the most part.  For all our laws, you are not expected to take up arms whenever your local government decides it wants to attack the neighboring suburb. The notion is absurd, and such territorial rivalries are entirely restricted to the sporting fields.  Similarly your local councillors cannot refuse you a marriage license on the grounds that your partner hasn't brought enough livestock to the deal.  As to where that becomes a moral duty, well, every decision is invariably a moral decision.  Everything we do has moral consequences, even if the acts seem inconsequential.  

Now yes, dodging your responsibilities is definitely a matter of morality, and failing to meet your obligations is also a moral failing unless they are very unjust duties indeed.  As to breaking down spirituality into some sort of objective/subjective dichotomy isn't useful.  The fact is, objectivity and subjectivity are not opposites, and it is a failure of philosophical education that so many people think they are.  The personal is intrinsically public, and the public is intrinsically personal, as we are part of both systems at the same time.  You can't live in a society and not be affected by it, but this is a feedback loop, as you and your choices also affect your society.  Our brains produce electrochemical thoughts that are totally physical, however complex, and these exist in the world objectively, despite the fact that other people are not able to experience them the way our consciousness does.  If our thoughts and emotions are not subjective, what is?  It is all a matter of qualia, and normally one person's qualia is not so different from another person's.  As to what is spiritual... Ask a spirit.

On 8/10/2020 at 11:09 PM, Eff said:

Being able to join any cult doesn't really mean much. You still need to make sacrifices and attend worship to regain your magic. You still need to engage with the cult in order to do that, too. Someone who's initiated to Orlanth and Sedenya and Jolaty and Rathor and Waha and Pamalt and Wachaza and Octamo is not going to be able to maintain a normal life, and they'll need to be fantastically wealthy and have a constant source of incoming wealth that they don't have to work to gain, or else be a fantabulously temporally powerful figure, in order to actually use all that delicious, delicious Rune magic, (and let's not even contemplate how much time it takes them to build their personal mojo up to get all those spells and have them actually be usable) and then have it be replenishable, rather than a single-use trick they can pull out for a single moment and then have to spend potentially a year or more working to regain. 

I completely disagree with your opening sentence.  Joining a cult is a Gloranthan's primary point of identity.  It grounds them in their relationship to the world on a fundamental mythological level, remembering that in Glorantha that mythology is equivalent to our ideas of atomic and subatomic structure and the scientific disciplines that allow us to understand and manipulate them.  It matters a lot

As to the rest of it, well, no Orlanthi is going to knowingly initiate a Sedenya worshipper into Orlanth.  Now in terms of being fantastically wealthy, often this requirement can be avoided by being a traveller.  This wouldn't be lost on an illuminate, as many of them will have to travel extensively to replenish their delicious rune magic until they qualify as priests.  It might be possibly to consecrate a small temple space to regain rune magic to some degree.  The point is, we don't want a world full of these sort of absurd God Learners, so it is good that they are restricted by the cults.

On 8/10/2020 at 11:09 PM, Eff said:

Or, to put it another way, an Illuminate that tries to do cult-shopping for power is extremely likely to have such little MP, in RQ terms, that they can fire off one or two exotic spells and then they fall over asleep. And if we assume that RQ kind of generally represents aspects of Gloranthan reality, then that reflects something about whether Illumination is actually the expressway to direct power. 

Now let's think about this in terms of chaos features.  You can play an illuminated Storm Bull/Uroxi who has chaos features, and nobody could detect the chaos features.  Most chaos features are on all the time btw.  So why not join Urox and Primal Chaos?  A good illuminate would see no contradiction here.  After all, it is great to be able to regenerate while I go berserk with my 12 AP skin armor under my iron armor. Now I'm off to see if I can convince the Dragonewts into letting me restart the EWF and teach me lots of dragon magic to offset my sorcery and shamanism.  Honi soit qui mal y pense. 

On 8/10/2020 at 11:09 PM, Eff said:

Now, joining cults to gain their secret knowledge of the world and expand your worldview without then maintaining those associations indefinitely, that's something that's much more practical, and is essentially exactly what Arkat did... but it's also not something in the rules for any Gloranthan game. You can't really call it "munchkining" because it exists in a space where it's not definable in rules terms and its relation to fantastic sources of power is left inarticulate, allowing the people playing in Glorantha to decide what it means for themselves. Which is only right and proper. 

See above.  Arkat would have had access to sorcery from his time in the west, divine magic from his time among the Orlanthi and shamanism from his time among the trolls.  Later he took on chaos features.  The trick with munchkining is to find ways that these things create loopholes that the rules don't apply to.  For example, you can stack spirit magic with sorcery on the same weapon, and then boost it with divine magic too.  So Bladesharp + Boon of Kargan Tor + Neutralize Armor + Truesword, on the Unbreakable Sword, because why not, oh and just use Morale to multiply your skill, as your shield + protection + castback + ward against weapons will protect you.  This is of course all powered by spirits bound into power crystals, but if they are running a bit low, just start chucking Tap spells. Those chaos features are just the icing on the cake.  It's only right and proper.  Who cares about the intricacies of your worldview when you can basically slaughter the crimson bat in a combat round with a 1600 point head critical. that will go off unless you roll 00?  The real trick is of course to become immortal enough to have time to learn what you need to know.  How many hero quests would that take?

On 8/10/2020 at 11:09 PM, Eff said:

Or, to put it another way, the amount of effort I put into playing an Illuminated character and having them quest for power by uncovering occult knowledge and chaining it together, if it was put into someone behaving according to socially conventional ways, would almost certainly produce someone far more directly powerful in every dimension. Weird, mystical behavior allows you to be a weird mystic... but Alakoring slew the Diamond Storm Dragon anyways. 

You can also take the blunt force approach. It works just as well but breaks the game very effectively.  A good munchkin will always work their hardest to FUBAR the game, regardless, but illumination just makes it so much easier.

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11 hours ago, Darius West said:

Are you kidding?  That's utterly realistic.  Yes, in life as in RPGs that mirror life, you need to choose between obeying the laws and scruples of your society or being an opportunistic psychopath/narcissistic criminal who needs to be put out of everyone else's misery because you have managed to escape the normal means of social enforcement.  Orlanthi and many other cultures passionately hate and fear illumination for a very sound reason.  It promotes atrocious behavior, and the long term effects of illuminates in a society are intensely toxic. 

That is at least, questionable, and at most, just the opposite. Humans have existed way before laws, and all was fine and dandy back then (even better than now if you have a certain view of prehistory and the world).

I for one can't see the unimaginable hazards of illumination that some of you people here mention. In fact, being able to liberate the beings of chaos from it's existence of pain and hatred is a very good think, even they deserve redemption. 

Also, can't see how glorantha was perfecty happy before chaos when the own (ill) actions of the gods broke the world and made chaos almost consume it. From my point of view it is the gods who are evil.

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8 hours ago, Darius West said:

Glorantha existed perfectly happily before chaos,

When did Glorantha exist before, or without, Chaos?  The Chaosium is the source of primal creative power, Chaos is the infinite from which form itself arose.  The trolls understand this: Bozkatang, the first true Chaos Fighter, faced and defeated the first demons born from the Chaosium long before Yelm drove the trolls aboveground.  Chaos cannot be allowed to win, but it is a necessary component of the Gloranthan cosmos.  Always has been.

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11 hours ago, Darius West said:

listic.  Yes, in life as in RPGs that mirror life, you need to choose between obeying the laws and scruples of your society or being an opportunistic psychopath/narcissistic criminal 

Sorry, no.  Black and white thinking like that is false in real life and false in Gloranthan Illumination. 

14 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

When did Glorantha exist before, or without, Chaos?

Agree, it did not.  All the Creation stories, whether of the Dragons or the Invisible God point to the creation out of the void of Chaos (or the Predark if you prefer). And it is a regular ongoing threat - e.g. the Jokbazi episode of Yelm.

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1 hour ago, Jape_Vicho said:

can't see how glorantha was perfecty happy before chaos when the own (ill) actions of the gods broke the world

Yeah, go ask Entekos and the Hundred Goddesses of Pelanda just how sweet life was under Emperor Brightface, once he finished killing their sons, enslaving their daughters, stripping them of their temporal power and imprisoning them, with power they originally gave him to keep everyone safe.

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I apologize for the length of this reply in advance. 

7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Nope. Chaos is definitely the death of the world, or Glorantha would revere Wakboth as a great liberator and a new god.  Kajabor was so powerful that even the spirit of Glorantha herself couldn't actually destroy him, but had to turn Entropy into Time to curtail this immensely destructive force, which even now is destroying everything in Glorantha, just more slowly, and will inevitably completely destroy the world eventually.  The fact is, Glorantha existed perfectly happily before chaos, and to remove chaos would be an immense blessing.  There is no "spiritual message" involved here.  You have bought into illuminate propaganda that "chaos isn't so bad", but go back and read about the Greater Darkness, and compare that to what the world was like prior.  Glorantha doesn't need chaos any more than you need a malignant brain tumor Eff.  The whole idea that chaos is somehow necessary or "not so bad" is provably false.

 

It's hard to take this post seriously at all. "Chaos is definitely objectively the death of the world, or else Gloranthans would revere Wakboth as a great liberator" is quite simply devoid of logic. Wakboth is not Chaos as a whole. The objective truth of what Chaos is does not mean that Gloranthans have that same perspective on Chaos. And, though this is tiny compared to the yawning gaps elsewhere, even if Wakboth is Chaos as a whole (which I must emphasize is fairly obviously and overtly false within every source we have on Chaos) then even if Chaos is essential for the functioning of Glorantha, that doesn't mean that Wakboth would therefore be a "great liberator". Indeed, if Chaos were objectively the death of the world, then it would make more sense to worship Wakboth as a great liberator, as liberating souls from the gross matter they have been captured in, in a kind of cod-Gnosticism. 

And this doesn't get any better as we move on. "Glorantha existed perfectly happily before Chaos". False. Predark, which is very obviously Chaos, predates the Darkness, the origin of Gloranthan existence. Predark is fought by the gods in the story of Umath and Harana Ilor. Predark is fought by the gods, according to this story, with a weapon they call "Creation". Let's leave that aside for a moment. The Uz fought Chaos during the Golden Age, when Yelm ruled the skies. Chaos and Chaos monsters are a factor in Six Ages: Ride like the Wind, which clearly predates the Great Darkness. 

All of this is without going to the fairly standard explanation of the setting and the note that the Chaosium pours raw Chaos into Glorantha but this Chaos is absolutely necessary to keep Glorantha moving, as without it Glorantha would be kept in a permanent stasis. And that no sane Gloranthan understands this. Which makes it a very etic perspective, to go with the emic perspectives which contradict your interpretation. 

And all of this is without considering whether Time is in fact a good thing. Certainly, I would rather live in the mythic now than in the Green Age, since I generally enjoy individual consciousness and the existence of other beings. Certainly, at least, endless Creation without Entropy would turn Glorantha into an endlessly expanding malignant brain tumor, a cancer cell of a universe, devoid of anything we can relate to as human beings. 

But, again, "Illuminate propaganda" has me wondering if this is performance art. 

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If you don't like oppressive cult strictures, don't join those cults.  It isn't rocket science. 

As to Glorantha being "nicer" than the real world... Wow. Nope.  I have to completely disagree with you.  Glorantha is a bloodthirsty nightmare of a place ruled over by petty tyrants and warlords for the most part.  I can get in my magical cart and travel to another city hundreds of miles away without the expectation of having numerous bands of @ssh*les try to murder me along the way.  In Glorantha, not so much.  In terms of my social responsibilities, they are far lower than would be the case in Glorantha as my society is individualist, while Gloranthans are very collectivist for the most part.  For all our laws, you are not expected to take up arms whenever your local government decides it wants to attack the neighboring suburb. The notion is absurd, and such territorial rivalries are entirely restricted to the sporting fields.  Similarly your local councillors cannot refuse you a marriage license on the grounds that your partner hasn't brought enough livestock to the deal.  As to where that becomes a moral duty, well, every decision is invariably a moral decision.  Everything we do has moral consequences, even if the acts seem inconsequential.  

Now yes, dodging your responsibilities is definitely a matter of morality, and failing to meet your obligations is also a moral failing unless they are very unjust duties indeed.  As to breaking down spirituality into some sort of objective/subjective dichotomy isn't useful.  The fact is, objectivity and subjectivity are not opposites, and it is a failure of philosophical education that so many people think they are.  The personal is intrinsically public, and the public is intrinsically personal, as we are part of both systems at the same time.  You can't live in a society and not be affected by it, but this is a feedback loop, as you and your choices also affect your society.  Our brains produce electrochemical thoughts that are totally physical, however complex, and these exist in the world objectively, despite the fact that other people are not able to experience them the way our consciousness does.  If our thoughts and emotions are not subjective, what is?  It is all a matter of qualia, and normally one person's qualia is not so different from another person's.  As to what is spiritual... Ask a spirit.

Well, I was referring obliquely to being a polyamorous transgender lesbian. Because the broader point there is that cults in Glorantha are not like (most) modern religions where you can join or leave freely, they're expressions of particular roles within society. You don't become an initiate of Issaries just for kicks, you do it because you are drawn into the roles that Issaries represents in your culture, or in a culture that you're joining. And in Orlanthi cultures, you can't just say, "No, I refuse to become an adult". And so, in the metaphor I am using, I was raised in the United States of America and initiated in a variety of American "cults" that had cultic strictures- I was to be a heterosexual man, I was to engage in heterosexual sexual intercourse, I was to express romantic devotion to only one woman. 

And if I was to deviate from these strictures, then a frightful array of "spirits of reprisal", that is to say entities which operate independently of social sanction, would descend upon me and tear me apart. They serried in ranks, moved to bar my way through the world at every turn, and because I could not fulfill the cultic strictures, I was tormented by them again and again. 

And then I was Illuminated. It was, in its own way, the Illumination of the Red Moon, in that I resolved that if I was going to be tormented by these "spirits of reprisal" anyways, I wouldn't let my fear hold me back from embracing what I felt and knew. And then when I was Illuminated, that is, when I had accepted that I was a trans woman and not a man, that I was a lesbian and not anything else, that I was polyamorous, the spirits of reprisal could no longer touch me. (As a side personal note, I was already exploring Glorantha before this, but it was at about this point that I began to favor the Lunars most heavily.)

But of course, as an Illuminate in a world where there is no Lunar Way, no Humakti, no Waltzing and Hunting Bands, there is then the difficulty of constructing what exactly the spiritual universe is, having left behind one's previous one as unsuitable. Which is in fact a substantial matter for, in the real world, lesbians (and queer people more broadly) and trans women (and transgender people more broadly) and polyamorous people. 

I want to make it clear that this is all a metaphor. There isn't a gribbly creature with big sharp fangs called Lesbian Bed Death that comes to torment women exploring their sexuality. However, the metaphor is one that I find very valuable to use to think about culturally-bound beliefs and practices that are genuinely hurtful to the subaltern, and the terrible freedom that is imposed by breaking free of said beliefs and practices, and the necessity of constructing one's own beliefs and practices in conjunction with others, so as to avoid Occlusion. Which in this metaphor, is the perpetuation of hurtful behaviors.  

This lengthy personal story is here specifically to explain that metaphor in excruciating detail and thus to clarify some of what I meant by Glorantha being softer than the real world. In that Glorantha is, specifically according to Greg Stafford himself, better to live in for LGBTQ people in any culture in the setting than anywhere in the modern day. So in a very real sense, Glorantha is softer than the modern day, let alone history, in this very specific area. So probably nobody in the setting actually has to ever go through the torments I went through, or anything even particularly like them. Which is a good thing. 

And so I take exception with your view that "failing to meet your obligations is also a moral failing unless they are very unjust duties indeed". I would not say (in a serious context, jokes are another matter) that being a man is an unjust duty, or that heterosexuality is an unjust duty, or that monamory is an unjust duty. Let alone a very unjust duty, for any of them. I would say that they are unjust things to impose on people regardless of their consent. But that, oops, brings us to the freedom of Illumination and the ability to move between identities and cast off one's skin in a very slippery fashion indeed. The Red Moon turns back to full. 

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I completely disagree with your opening sentence.  Joining a cult is a Gloranthan's primary point of identity.  It grounds them in their relationship to the world on a fundamental mythological level, remembering that in Glorantha that mythology is equivalent to our ideas of atomic and subatomic structure and the scientific disciplines that allow us to understand and manipulate them.  It matters a lot

As to the rest of it, well, no Orlanthi is going to knowingly initiate a Sedenya worshipper into Orlanth.  Now in terms of being fantastically wealthy, often this requirement can be avoided by being a traveller.  This wouldn't be lost on an illuminate, as many of them will have to travel extensively to replenish their delicious rune magic until they qualify as priests.  It might be possibly to consecrate a small temple space to regain rune magic to some degree.  The point is, we don't want a world full of these sort of absurd God Learners, so it is good that they are restricted by the cults.

Now let's think about this in terms of chaos features.  You can play an illuminated Storm Bull/Uroxi who has chaos features, and nobody could detect the chaos features.  Most chaos features are on all the time btw.  So why not join Urox and Primal Chaos?  A good illuminate would see no contradiction here.  After all, it is great to be able to regenerate while I go berserk with my 12 AP skin armor under my iron armor. Now I'm off to see if I can convince the Dragonewts into letting me restart the EWF and teach me lots of dragon magic to offset my sorcery and shamanism.  Honi soit qui mal y pense. 

It matters on a profound personal level. It doesn't matter in terms of munchkinry. Someone who is cosmopolitan in attitudes and behavior is not more powerful than someone who is provincial, except in such power as comes from having a broader perspective to draw upon. 

You cannot realistically be a traveler who moves between Rathorela and Vormain in a single year and hold down any occupation that isn't "being Richie Rich". That's one of the jokes on that list, along with including a god who's only worshiped by furtive cults or in inaccessible places. And even if you are a traveler in realistic terms, you're still going to have to have a massive cash reserve to fund cultic obligations in order to participate in worship at anything beyond the most basic level. Let alone trying to become a priest of multiple gods that are not shared within a particular culture. 

Now, I don't think any game rules reflect this, but it's said in several sources that it takes 198 people to successfully perform a worship ritual that restores magic and allows contact with one's god. Can you do it with fewer, or with one person? Perhaps, but presumably not predictably or regularly. You might not even be able to restore what RQ calls Rune Magic with this! It may just allow you to restore more exotic magical abilities that reflect personal and individual contemplation. We don't know, and we certainly can't make any definite claims about how realistic it is to be a Esvulari and maintain your Sedenya and Uncol and Triolina and Pamalt mini temples so you can charge up on their magic every season. 

But in the end, "we don't want a world full of these sort of absurd God Learners" is an asinine statement. What stops people from all becoming cosmopolitan Illuminates? The fact that the vast majority of them will never go any further than the nearest market or local center of religious pilgrimage! The kind of cosmopolitan exploration of the universe via moving between cultures is something that only player characters and other extraordinary individuals can really do. (Note that, in turn, the EWF's decline from Right Action is linked to them moving away from draconic mysticism entered into voluntarily and towards draconic mysticism forcibly incorporated into...) 

"You can play an illuminated (sic) Storm Bull/Uroxi who has chaos features, and nobody could detect the chaos features." Storm Bullies are dumb, but they're not so dumb that when they look at skin turning into acidic slime they'd say, "Wow, new skincare?" But what you're offering up here is fundamentally an asinine proposal. Why not join Primal Chaos as a Storm Bully? Why would someone who thinks that's a credible option remain a follower of Storm Bull after Illumination? You're saying, "What if a player character decides to try and do these supposedly abusive things," in essence. And that's not a problem that is solvable by removing Illumination as an option, because the problem is not that the option exists as such. The problem isn't even that the player wants to pursue this for their character! The problem is that there's clearly some mismatch between what that player and other players want to play, which is something that would manifest in other fashions no matter how you adjusted the rules. 

And if the players all agree that one character deciding to become some kind of transhumanist abomination is something that they're willing to play with, then what's wrong with letting that happen, exactly? 

(This is not to say that game balance is irrelevant, but that game balance is an issue when choices are presented in a way such that people can inadvertently break the balance of gameplay, and indeed when they regularly do so. This is not true for Illumination in Gloranthan gaming and it's also not true for Chaos worship. It's also not really possible within the rules as written to choose which Chaos features you get, in any case, so even if you do try and pursue your stoorworm transformation fantasy the rules as written mean you likely dissolve into gorp before you get too far.) 

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See above.  Arkat would have had access to sorcery from his time in the west, divine magic from his time among the Orlanthi and shamanism from his time among the trolls.  Later he took on chaos features.  The trick with munchkining is to find ways that these things create loopholes that the rules don't apply to.  For example, you can stack spirit magic with sorcery on the same weapon, and then boost it with divine magic too.  So Bladesharp + Boon of Kargan Tor + Neutralize Armor + Truesword, on the Unbreakable Sword, because why not, oh and just use Morale to multiply your skill, as your shield + protection + castback + ward against weapons will protect you.  This is of course all powered by spirits bound into power crystals, but if they are running a bit low, just start chucking Tap spells. Those chaos features are just the icing on the cake.  It's only right and proper.  Who cares about the intricacies of your worldview when you can basically slaughter the crimson bat in a combat round with a 1600 point head critical. that will go off unless you roll 00?  The real trick is of course to become immortal enough to have time to learn what you need to know.  How many hero quests would that take?

You can also take the blunt force approach. It works just as well but breaks the game very effectively.  A good munchkin will always work their hardest to FUBAR the game, regardless, but illumination just makes it so much easier.

But there's no evidence to suggest that Arkat ever actually mixed magic in this sense personally. The Arkat Kingtroll cult teaches sorcery to Uz, so we might say that Arkat kept using sorcery. (Of course, that's no different from being a Lhankor Mhy initiate in the core rules.) But the sources about Arkat indicate that when he moved between cultures, he stopped using most of the magic of the culture he had abandoned. When he achieved the Joy of the Heart, he was no longer described as using Brithini magic. When he initiated to Humakt and Orlanth, he is not described as combining Seshnegi sorcery with Sever Spirits and Thunderbolts. He then moved to becoming an Uz specifically to learn the secrets the Uz have for fighting Chaos... but after that point he's described as being a Zorak Zorani with a big burning third eye on his forehead. 

And after his wrestling match with Nysalor, he no longer behaves like an Uz. There's a consistent pattern here. And Arkat is described as using his experimental Heroquesting to seek out knowledge. So I think my description actually holds very well comparatively- power doesn't come from jacking your stats up to absurd levels and stacking magic spells atop one another, power comes from knowing things. 

"Who cares about the intricacies of your worldview when you can basically slaughter the Crimson Bat in a combat round with a 1600 point head critical that will go off unless you roll 00?" Well, for one thing, this character couldn't exist in RAW RQ:G. For a second thing, I would say that probably everyone you met who know who you were would care a whole lot about the intricacies of your worldview. It might well save a life! Or a few hundred! You're making an argument that extremely powerful characters are inappropriate for Gloranthan play, but... Jar-eel exists. Tada is waiting to be reassembled. Androgeus wanders the roads of the world. Harrek growls and snorts and gives orders aboard his pirate ship. Absurdly powerful characters already exist. They're part of the setting. The question is whether the people playing there decide, "We want to explore transhumanist power fantasies". 

Illumination specifically doesn't make it easier. Focusing on internal cultural views solely within the boundaries of the rules (unless the Illumination rules for RQ:RiG actually do allow you to do silly things like add free POW every season) will produce a more powerful character stats-wise. It's only outside the formal mathematical rules, where things are negotiated between the players and the books together, where Illumination can make "munchkining" so much easier. And at that point you're deep within Glorantha. 

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 Pro- "Zzabur savior of the World"'  Mode ON 🧐

6 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

When did Glorantha exist before, or without, Chaos?  The Chaosium is the source of primal creative power, Chaos is the infinite from which form itself arose.  The trolls understand this: Bozkatang, the first true Chaos Fighter, faced and defeated the first demons born from the Chaosium long before Yelm drove the trolls aboveground.  Chaos cannot be allowed to win, but it is a necessary component of the Gloranthan cosmos.  Always has been.

On 8/6/2020 at 1:37 AM, MJ Sadique said:

Zorak Zoran rule when dealing with Chaotic : Do you know when a chaotic lie to you ? They still exist !
...
Whenever you hear someone tell you "chaos is cool, illumination protect you from it" ...remember, their lips move and they still exist ! 🧐

  The greatest lie of Chaos : making believe you need it and that everything come from chaos...

Remember : Adamant is The materialisation of Law which destroy chaos by it simple contact. Chaotic will tell you that Chaos create law which perfectly destroy chaos... yes primal chaos is pretty stupid and no chaos is not a component of Glorantha. The Runes are element of Glorantha, there is no Chaos Rune, no chaos Nexus in the Spell plane, no Chaos domain in the Rune Plane nor any Chaotic Majestic Spirit ...
Dragons are the only stranger with an Gloranthan Passport, Chaotic are illegal invaders and Jabberwock are illegal immigrants (in rq3 and only because Sandy really love them ....)

8 hours ago, Darius West said:

The fact is, Glorantha existed perfectly happily before chaos, and to remove chaos would be an immense blessing.  There is no "spiritual message" involved here.  You have bought into illuminate propaganda that "chaos isn't so bad", but go back and read about the Greater Darkness, and compare that to what the world was like prior.  Glorantha doesn't need chaos any more than you need a malignant brain tumor Eff.  The whole idea that chaos is somehow necessary or "not so bad" is provably false.

Yes, And the removing of Chaos is the next Zzabur's project, the Great Blast was just a misfire... Chaos ultimate annihilation spell is being inscribing right now 😉

8 hours ago, Darius West said:

Now let's think about this in terms of chaos features.  You can play an illuminated Storm Bull/Uroxi who has chaos features, and nobody could detect the chaos features.
...

 Honi soit qui mal y pense. 

An Uroxi with chaos features ? Why not a Broo healer of Chalana.... Oh yes the broo healer exist and he remove all his chaotic nature, he is not illuminated, just wise ^^. An any Uroxi getting a chaotic feature should just kill himself right on the spot ! If he can't he will go looking for an Oreanos or a Zorani for an Immediate and swift-Axe-slicing Help.

 

One thing Darius, Why the Garter reference ? Dragonewt don't wear them 🤣 ...

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If there is one thing this thread has taught me, it is this:

 

If I ever play a relatively high powered game set in Glorantha, regardless of rule system (RQG, HQG, 13AG, etc), the question, "What is Illumination?" is probably something I'll want in the Session 0 discussion making sure everyone is on the same page.

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14 hours ago, Darius West said:

Nope. Chaos is definitely the death of the world, or Glorantha would revere Wakboth as a great liberator and a new god. 

Darius, please consider being slightly more accepting in your opinions?

One of the greatest strengths of Glorantha for me is that it encompasses so many different and opposing philosophies. I believe this is what brings so many thoughtful people into our community. When one of us persistently and categorically denies the validity of others’ opinions, then my enjoyment of the community is reduced.

For a specific counter to a core point of yours, do read Esrolia, Land of 10,000 Goddesses, and look for the shrine to Primal Chaos in the Ezel temple complex and the inscription there, which praises Chaos as the beautiful source of all. I apologise that I don’t have the source to hand, so can’t give a specific reference and quotation.

How does that tie in with the overwhelming hatred and fear of Chaos in Glorantha?

A thesis of mine is that Chaos was permanently changed, warped and twisted by the ritual of the Unholy Trio and their creation of Wakboth. Prior to that event, Chaos was just another force, another faction, that was more possibly more creative than most other factions, and likely less destructive. The pain, misery, jealousy, anger, madness, and many other negatives of the Unholy Trio were distilled to create the Evil of Wakboth. Wakboth took control of Chaos and moulded it in his own image.

BTW, another thesis of mine is that the most holy priests of Orlanth at Old Wind temple and of Ernalda at the Ezel temple complex are Illuminated. Likely, the Orlanth path to Illumination is Draconic. I have no idea what the Ernalda path to Illumination is, except that it long predates Nysalor. These holy people seem generally able to suppress any base impulses to Chaos and the destruction of all.

The problem with Illumination seems to be among those that become Illuminated along an ‘easy’ path, without the commitment to transcendence. They are easily diverted to the path of selfishness and solipsism, leading to atrocities and horrors.

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1 hour ago, Charles said:

 

BTW, another thesis of mine is that the most holy priests of Orlanth at Old Wind temple and of Ernalda at the Ezel temple complex are Illuminated. Likely, the Orlanth path to Illumination is Draconic. I have no idea what the Ernalda path to Illumination is, except that it long predates Nysalor. These holy people seem generally able to suppress any base impulses to Chaos and the destruction of all.

The problem with Illumination seems to be among those that become Illuminated along an ‘easy’ path, without the commitment to transcendence. They are easily diverted to the path of selfishness and solipsism, leading to atrocities and horrors.

Nysalorean illumination - the Riddlers - strikes me as the form of illumination which is most like walking through a town throwing molotov cocktails everywhere.

While there *is* Draconic Orlanth traditions, they were largely stomped out when the EWF went down.  I think an Orlanthi tradition would have to do with realizing that violence to others is violence against yourself and thus transcending that other/self division.  Which also transforms 'no one can make you do anything', when you realize you are that other person trying to coerce you too.  

Ernaldan Illumination would have to do with dying like Ernalda and being reborn, having shed some of your self, but also recognizing life and death are the same thing.  

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4 hours ago, Nevermet said:

If I ever play a relatively high powered game set in Glorantha, regardless of rule system (RQG, HQG, 13AG, etc), the question, "What is Illumination?" is probably something I'll want in the Session 0 discussion making sure everyone is on the same page.

It is far more fun when everyone is on different pages.

That way you get the Arkati and Rashorans arguing, the Lunars looking down from their moral high-horse and the Gbajites just stirring up trouble.

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2 hours ago, Charles said:

A thesis of mine is that Chaos was permanently changed, warped and twisted by the ritual of the Unholy Trio and their creation of Wakboth. Prior to that event, Chaos was just another force, another faction, that was more possibly more creative than most other factions, and likely less destructive. The pain, misery, jealousy, anger, madness, and many other negatives of the Unholy Trio were distilled to create the Evil of Wakboth. Wakboth took control of Chaos and moulded it in his own image.

From Cults of Terror;

The Birth of Chaos

The growing instability worsened conditions for gods and men who craved peace and security. The initial disruptions were hastened by Ratslaff, god of Disorder, and his race of creatures called Boggles. Some blame everything on Ratslaff and his followers, but sup blame only shifts attention away from the real culprits, the gods themselves, who persisted in acting against their own welfare.

Gradually there came to to be other things in the world. At first these creatures seem to have seeped through the cracks in the world's logic, oozing through and infecting the surface and the interior of reality. 

One such creature is well known in tales. Its true name is unknown but it is always called Krarsht. Krarsht may have been the creature which Larnste once saw, "a small squirming thing, foul to sight and smell, which lay on the ground and turned the dust to ash". The god of motion stamped on it, hoping to destroy the thing which his divine trampling, but the slimy think bit him and pierced the skin. Larnste was immediately infected and ever afterwards limped when he moved. Worse, his blood was infected. Wherever his blood dropped to the earth it left a foul cesspool. The place where the monster had been was drenched in polluted ichor, and never was healed itself. The place is called Foulblood Woods, in the Holy Country.

There were other such minor invasions as well, but they failed to do more damage to the world than the gods did to themselves.

The Conspiracy of the Unholy Trio

One god who lived at this time is said to be the last born of the young gods. He was called Rashoran, and none know his parentage. at first Rasoran went about calming the frightened gods, teaching them to be unafraid. It is said that of all the cosmos only he did not fear that he did not know. He taught this knowledge to some of the other gods; most of them succumbed to the Darkness without a struggle after learning from Rashoran, though a few seem to have been fortified, such as Humakt and Uleria. Three others found that they were not afraid, and that they could use the fears of others to their own ends. One of the first things they did was to destroy Rashoran to keep his secret to themselves. 

These murderers were the Unholy Trio. Hatred, selfishness, greed and jealousy motivated them. These short-sighted emotions are now considered to be symptoms of chaos in the world, and they were originated by the three, who concentrated their forces and wills to make something new.

The point is, chaos was scary and wrong even before the Unholy Trio took an interest. And illumination is generally bad. A handful of beings are strengthened by illumination, but most "succumb to the darkness without a struggle", or hatch murderous plans to dominate their fellows using the new powers illumination has delivered.

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6 hours ago, soltakss said:

It is far more fun when everyone is on different pages.

That way you get the Arkati and Rashorans arguing, the Lunars looking down from their moral high-horse and the Gbajites just stirring up trouble.

KINSTRIFE!!!!!!!!

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5 hours ago, EricW said:

Some blame everything on Ratslaff and his followers, but sup blame only shifts attention away from the real culprits, the gods themselves, who persisted in acting against their own welfare.

There were other such minor invasions as well, but they failed to do more damage to the world than the gods did to themselves.

The point is, chaos was scary and wrong even before the Unholy Trio took an interest. And illumination is generally bad. A handful of beings are strengthened by illumination, but most "succumb to the darkness without a struggle", or hatch murderous plans to dominate their fellows using the new powers illumination has delivered.

 I don't see how the totality of the quote contradicts what I see as a possibility, and my chosen sentences seems to emphasise it as a probability.

It certainly is true that the Orlanthi hated Chaos much earlier, with their wars against the PreDark.

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7 hours ago, EricW said:

From Cults of Terror;

The Birth of Chaos

The growing instability worsened conditions for gods and men who craved peace and security. The initial disruptions were hastened by Ratslaff, god of Disorder, and his race of creatures called Boggles. Some blame everything on Ratslaff and his followers, but sup blame only shifts attention away from the real culprits, the gods themselves, who persisted in acting against their own welfare.

Gradually there came to to be other things in the world. At first these creatures seem to have seeped through the cracks in the world's logic, oozing through and infecting the surface and the interior of reality. 

One such creature is well known in tales. Its true name is unknown but it is always called Krarsht. Krarsht may have been the creature which Larnste once saw, "a small squirming thing, foul to sight and smell, which lay on the ground and turned the dust to ash". The god of motion stamped on it, hoping to destroy the thing which his divine trampling, but the slimy think bit him and pierced the skin. Larnste was immediately infected and ever afterwards limped when he moved. Worse, his blood was infected. Wherever his blood dropped to the earth it left a foul cesspool. The place where the monster had been was drenched in polluted ichor, and never was healed itself. The place is called Foulblood Woods, in the Holy Country.

There were other such minor invasions as well, but they failed to do more damage to the world than the gods did to themselves.

The Conspiracy of the Unholy Trio

One god who lived at this time is said to be the last born of the young gods. He was called Rashoran, and none know his parentage. at first Rasoran went about calming the frightened gods, teaching them to be unafraid. It is said that of all the cosmos only he did not fear that he did not know. He taught this knowledge to some of the other gods; most of them succumbed to the Darkness without a struggle after learning from Rashoran, though a few seem to have been fortified, such as Humakt and Uleria. Three others found that they were not afraid, and that they could use the fears of others to their own ends. One of the first things they did was to destroy Rashoran to keep his secret to themselves. 

These murderers were the Unholy Trio. Hatred, selfishness, greed and jealousy motivated them. These short-sighted emotions are now considered to be symptoms of chaos in the world, and they were originated by the three, who concentrated their forces and wills to make something new.

The point is, chaos was scary and wrong even before the Unholy Trio took an interest. And illumination is generally bad. A handful of beings are strengthened by illumination, but most "succumb to the darkness without a struggle", or hatch murderous plans to dominate their fellows using the new powers illumination has delivered.

This is a very Orlanthi-centric account, which is par for the course for Glorantha, but it bears saying.
Vithelans will see things differently.
Kralorelans will see things differently.
Many Pelorians will see things differently.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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On 8/17/2020 at 11:17 AM, EricW said:

1) The point is, chaos was scary and wrong even before the Unholy Trio took an interest. ...
2) And illumination is generally bad. A handful of beings are strengthened by illumination, but most "succumb to the darkness without a struggle", or hatch murderous plans to dominate their fellows using the new powers illumination has delivered.

  1/ yes, Chaos is Bad, Very Bad, Wrong and Scary ....
2/ Nope, as sword is not bad, nor is any power, nor is Illumination... just badly use; very-very badly use

PS : I've got some thoughts to share about Chaos / Entropy and why they are so much badly understood... but I'll live it for another time.

On 8/17/2020 at 6:51 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

This is a very Orlanthi-centric account, which is par for the course for Glorantha, but it bears saying.
Vithelans will see things differently.
Kralorelans will see things differently.
Many Pelorians will see things differently.

Perfectly agree, And I will say even more....

Arkati Mode On 😈 (To stay in the illumination thread theme)
As an Arkati, I'm a tiny bit Illuminated because I understand the universe from an outside point of view (First step of Illumination)

When Orlanth refuse to recognize the merit of Malia, he force her to seek a power none should take away from her ... Chaos was created
When Orlanth refuse to give justice to Thed, he forced her to seek vengeance ... Chaos was need
When Orlanth refuse to kill his faulty brother Ragnaglar, he let chaos roam free ... Chaos expand
And finally when Orlanth started to see the danger of the Trio, he still did not send them to hell nor imprison them : Orlanth use death to cut their ties with his tribe and banish them out of his kingdom : Chaos spread to the whole universe.

Orlanthi claims that Chaos exist before them to not bear the guilt that their acts create the Chaos : Whenever an orlanthi refuse to recognize the merit of akin, whenever they refuse to give justice to the weak or Whenever they refuse to punish their own criminal kins ... They create chaos !

(Should use this in a scenario ... I'm sometimes very proud of my own impro ^^)

Being Illuminated just sometime mean you understand the myths beyond the simple story, the rules of the universe beyond the normal use... a bit like understanding the limits and the mechanic of a spells/ability and going to do a Munchkin's topic post. (Player living outside of the myths are already a kind of Illuminate, they understand thinks beyond what a simple gloranthan see).

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My new illumination way

 

There was no chaos until people were said there was chaos

Then, Chaos was created by people believing this bad act they did attract chaos

 

if someone believes he is doing bad thing, he attracts chaos (remember how the succubus was born in sun county  scenario )

if someone does the same thing thab previously but believes it is good, then he doesn't attract chaos

if someone believes he is a bad guy, he becomes chaotic

we can conclude than destroy chaos is a very simple thing.

Just convince people that no acts can attract chaos.

Very simple, not easy, but very simple.

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10 hours ago, MJ Sadique said:

  1/ yes, Chaos is Bad, Very Bad, Wrong and Scary ....
2/ Nope, as sword is not bad, nor is any power, nor is Illumination... just badly use; very-very badly use

PS : I've got some thoughts to share about Chaos / Entropy and why they are so much badly understood... but I'll live it for another time.

Perfectly agree, And I will say even more....

Arkati Mode On 😈 (To stay in the illumination thread theme)
As an Arkati, I'm a tiny bit Illuminated because I understand the universe from an outside point of view (First step of Illumination)

When Orlanth refuse to recognize the merit of Malia, he force her to seek a power none should take away from her ... Chaos was created
When Orlanth refuse to give justice to Thed, he forced her to seek vengeance ... Chaos was need
When Orlanth refuse to kill his faulty brother Ragnaglar, he let chaos roam free ... Chaos expand
And finally when Orlanth started to see the danger of the Trio, he still did not send them to hell nor imprison them : Orlanth use death to cut their ties with his tribe and banish them out of his kingdom : Chaos spread to the whole universe.

Orlanthi claims that Chaos exist before them to not bear the guilt that their acts create the Chaos : Whenever an orlanthi refuse to recognize the merit of akin, whenever they refuse to give justice to the weak or Whenever they refuse to punish their own criminal kins ... They create chaos !

(Should use this in a scenario ... I'm sometimes very proud of my own impro ^^)

Being Illuminated just sometime mean you understand the myths beyond the simple story, the rules of the universe beyond the normal use... a bit like understanding the limits and the mechanic of a spells/ability and going to do a Munchkin's topic post. (Player living outside of the myths are already a kind of Illuminate, they understand thinks beyond what a simple gloranthan see).

Illumination is the preparedness to risk the end of the world to achieve your personal goals.

Consider the description of the Lunar Chaos Gift spell - normal people involuntarily resist it the first time it is cast, even if it they cast it on themselves. Illuminates only resist if they choose to do so. 

Chaos gift is normally relatively harmless - a mild power up to give the caster the edge in a battle. But going by the rules there is a remote probability every time chaos gift is cast that the world could end.

The possibility is you could roll on the wild chaos table, roll two chaos gifts, then roll again and roll two chaos gifts, each time multiplying the number of gifts, until you have millions of chaos features from one casting of the spell. Effectively one casting of chaos gift and some lottery win level luck and a new major chaos god erupts into the world. The odds are millions to one against this happening, no PC will likely ever see it happen in a game - but if Glorantha was real, with hundreds of thousands of Lunar initiates running around, fighting battles, this would be a genuine and ongoing threat to the stability of the world.

It doesn't matter if any given illuminate chooses not to embrace chaos, because enough of them do, that illumination must be seen in the context of increasing the probability that the cosmic catastrophe such as I just described could occur.

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8 hours ago, EricW said:

Illumination is the preparedness to risk the end of the world to achieve your personal goals.

This is just totally off.  It works perfectly well as a statement about Occlusion though.

Illumination is about experiencing the Other, experiencing your Shadow, and in most ways obliterating the self.  It's the realization that there are no "personal" goals.  You are Us, part of the Cosmic flow, if you will.  

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On 8/17/2020 at 4:13 PM, Charles said:

Darius, please consider being slightly more accepting in your opinions?

And why would I do that when none of the evidence points to any other view being correct?

On 8/17/2020 at 4:13 PM, Charles said:

One of the greatest strengths of Glorantha for me is that it encompasses so many different and opposing philosophies. I believe this is what brings so many thoughtful people into our community. When one of us persistently and categorically denies the validity of others’ opinions, then my enjoyment of the community is reduced.

Right, so, we should take a broo's opinion of the truth over the rest of Glorantha's?  The only reason Glorantha has a diversity of opinion is because it rejects chaos.  Had the bulk of Glorantha simply accepted Chaos, all those views you are saying are so diverse and important would have simply ceased to exist, having been destroyed by Kajabor and Wakboth and the world would be dead.  Where's the diversity in that horrible gooey monoculture of dead chaos slime?  I am defending the right of Glorantha to look at the inculcation of chaos via illumination and say "this is a wolf in sheep's clothing and it needs to die for everyone's safety", so how about you get off your high horse and respect the diversity of my opinion too?

On 8/17/2020 at 4:13 PM, Charles said:

For a specific counter to a core point of yours, do read Esrolia, Land of 10,000 Goddesses, and look for the shrine to Primal Chaos in the Ezel temple complex and the inscription there, which praises Chaos as the beautiful source of all. I apologise that I don’t have the source to hand, so can’t give a specific reference and quotation.

"What is evil? Where the Four Virtues are good, their opposite is evil. Philosophers often call this chaos, which seeks to corrupt and pollute and destroy." - Also found in Esrolia, Land of 10,000 Goddesses.  It is quite likely that some illuminated infiltrator left your "Chaos is beautiful" graffiti some time in the first age. 

On 8/17/2020 at 4:13 PM, Charles said:

How does that tie in with the overwhelming hatred and fear of Chaos in Glorantha.  A thesis of mine is that Chaos was permanently changed, warped and twisted by the ritual of the Unholy Trio and their creation of Wakboth. Prior to that event, Chaos was just another force, another faction, that was more possibly more creative than most other factions, and likely less destructive. The pain, misery, jealousy, anger, madness, and many other negatives of the Unholy Trio were distilled to create the Evil of Wakboth. Wakboth took control of Chaos and moulded it in his own image.

It is pretty obvious that the Unholy Trio polluted the Primal Plasma, and Chaos can now never be anything other than a blight on Glorantha.  Yes, Wakboth was a part of the outcome, but he wasn't the only chaos deity spawned from the primal plasma.  So how does this tie in with chaos being the beautiful source of all?  Fundamentally the point is wrong.  It is not chaos that was a beautiful source of life, but the primal plasma, before it was tainted.  Post tainting it is just chaos, and a danger to all living things, in much the same way that babies growing is fine when they are tiny and until they are full adults, but after the point of full maturity, further growths are almost always cancerous.

On 8/17/2020 at 4:13 PM, Charles said:

BTW, another thesis of mine is that the most holy priests of Orlanth at Old Wind temple and of Ernalda at the Ezel temple complex are Illuminated. Likely, the Orlanth path to Illumination is Draconic. I have no idea what the Ernalda path to Illumination is, except that it long predates Nysalor. These holy people seem generally able to suppress any base impulses to Chaos and the destruction of all.

I would draw a hard distinction between illumination that teaches an acceptance of chaos, which is dangerously incorrect at its core, and other forms of mysticism.  Orlanth has at least 2 forms of mysticism that I know of, the draconic stream and the Larnstings.  Why would it then need Nysalor?  They fought against Lakamayadon after all.  Also, the Draconic mysticism stream is more about growing yourself into a dragon, rather than embracing chaos.  Similarly the Larnstings are pacifists who believe in change, if Sartar's behavior is anything to go by. Orlanthi are enemies of illumination as it teaches the acceptance of chaos, and in what way should anyone accept chaos if chaos' version of acceptance is being subjected to unspeakable things?  There is a simple matter of basic reciprocity that chaos doesn't understand or can't be bothered with.  Then there is the whole business of chaos being the death of the world.  Now you might be fine with working for the death of the world by accepting illumination, but not everyone is, and a great many people would regard that as a form of treason, and rightly so.

On 8/17/2020 at 4:13 PM, Charles said:

The problem with Illumination seems to be among those that become Illuminated along an ‘easy’ path, without the commitment to transcendence. They are easily diverted to the path of selfishness and solipsism, leading to atrocities and horrors.

Central to the mystical experience is the truth of the mystic's oneness with all that exists.  IRL this means a feeling of one-ness and compassion with even one's bitterest enemies, and an equanimity towards things that can harm you as being transitory.  Then the vision ends and you are back in the world, and your enemies still hate you and you are not immune to the ailments of the body.  A vision is of no value to you if it gets you killed.  How many more will you kill when you embrace your one-ness with chaos, now you know it is always an option, sitting there to tempt you without any apparent negative repercussions?

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On 8/17/2020 at 10:08 AM, MJ Sadique said:

An Uroxi with chaos features ? Why not a Broo healer of Chalana.... Oh yes the broo healer exist and he remove all his chaotic nature, he is not illuminated, just wise ^^. An any Uroxi getting a chaotic feature should just kill himself right on the spot ! If he can't he will go looking for an Oreanos or a Zorani for an Immediate and swift-Axe-slicing Help.

The Broo healer of the Rockwoods mainly heals broos.  And yes, a good Uroxi would commit suicide rather than take on a chaos feature, but is an illuminated Uroxi a good Uroxi?  Is an illuminated anything a good anything?  Not for long.

On 8/17/2020 at 10:08 AM, MJ Sadique said:

One thing Darius, Why the Garter reference ? Dragonewt don't wear them 🤣 ...

Dragonewts do many odd things, and never rule out wearing garters.  "Shame on anyone who thinks evil of it"

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