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Sources for an interesting path to illumination?


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In the campaign I'm running one of my players has, through a heroquest, started on the path to illumination. The character is a sartarite child, and a darkness shaman, so he does not know anything about illumination besides what orlanthi propaganda states, and as such it's very difficult for him to directly go looking for info on illumination. As such, I was thinking of gradually introducing illuminate things through the campaign, but all I have found about it in books was a short text about the Nysalorean Riddles in, I think, the Cult Compendium, but that method looks very impersonal and not really linked with character development, and it requires a lot of work from the GM as the examples it offers are almost non existent. So I was wondering if any of you knew about some publication where this issue is adressed, as I'm sure it exists, or have any tips (like some real riddles the player has to answer or some mini-adventures that happen in dreams or something of the sort that does not rely solely on dice) 

(I was debating between asking this question in the illumination post or making a new one but as I didn't want to seem too off topic I made a new one, sorry if it should have been the other way around) (Sorry also for the bad english but it's very late here)

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Mysticism has never been developed much as a system.  So there's not a lot to work with here.

Illumination is about breaking out of the straitjacket of your worldview.  So his illumination should come from things that contradict his worldview.  Where doing the 'right' thing in his worldview isn't the right thing.  If he finds his way out of his straitjacket, he will reach enlightenment.

If he is a Darkness Shaman, he will have to confront the limits and flaws of the Darkness and Shamanic viewpoints.

What those are will depend on your campaign.  

To give a standard Orlanthi example, if I had an Orlanthi warrior who sought enlightenment, I'd confront them with situations where 'Violence is always an Option' and 'No one can make you do anything' are making things worse.  They would need to learn the limits of their current POV to break out of it into illumination, like being presented with two clans feuding to the point of slaughter because people disobeyed the clan authorities and took private revenge.

 

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Secrets of Dorastor has a chapter on Illumination, with new powers.

There are many ways to Illumination, all of which involve gaining, increasing and rolling an Illumination skill.

You can gain or increase the illumination skill in many different ways, some examples of which are:

  • Answering Nysalor Riddles
  • Performing certain deeds (For example, touching all the walls of the Puzzle Canal)
  • Participating in certain events (Some mythical events automatically increase Illumination)
  • Watching certain Mystery Plays performed by Illuminated Entertainers
  • Being quizzed by Lunars in sacred rituals
  • Talking to an Illuminated Master
  • Contemplating the secrets of Illumination (Research)

Soltak Stormspear, one of my PCs, became Illuminated by meeting Nysalor on the spirit Plane and gaining 1D6 Illumination, he rolled 4, I think, then rolled it the next Sacred Time, so he didn't need to answer any riddles.

I don't bother with thinking up Nysalor Riddles, I just get Players to roll the skill. Some GMs would prefer to think of riddles and answers. I seem to remember some examples in very old threads, perhaps the Gloranthan Digest.

As to a Darkness Shaman gaining secrets of Illumination, perhaps the shadow mages from Secrets of Dorastor might be a way in. Arkati hold the secrets of Illumination, too. also, don't forget Xiola Umbar's secret of Light Within, which is a school of Illumination. They might be natural ways in to Illumination. 

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The most up-to-date reference is HeroQuest Glorantha.  The rules are largely unchanged since Cults of Terror.  Illumination is acquired not just through Nysaloran Koans but also through conversations with a Dragon, exposure to the All etc.  The mechanical resolution is the same.  One mystical experience gives a 1% (cumulative) chance to being illuminated in any given year

Different schools have different methods:

The Lunars expose people to the All.  They see the Cosmos in such a way that their brains melt and flow out of their ears.  This is exceedingly dangerous but the lunars pride themselves on the intense experiences they've undergone.

The Arkati unite their consciousness with the Gods in sorcerous rituals conducted in secret.  

The Draconists do many things such as speaking with True Dragons without being eaten.

For your Sartarite Darkness Shaman, a fairly mind-bending experience (ie the sort of expereince you get if you fail your San in Call of Cthulhu or watch David Lynch for too long) can lead to a chance of being illuminated.  He or she will then be approached by the Warlocks (Sartarite Battle Magicians) who are on the lookout for magicians who are a bit freaked out.  They will explain what is going on and give certain suggestions of what should be done next in order to Truely Undesratnd. For a Warlock's mentor, think of a evil genius seeking to corrupt the seeker down a dark path.  Although the mentor offers guidance and comfort, there should be a lurking doubt by the seeker as to what is really being offered,

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Your darkness shaman could learn illumination from a slave. Put something fascinating in their path, like saving an abused lunar slave from random violence, then the slave offers to teach a great magical secret in thanks for their salvation. The slave does not reveal the exact nature of the secret, they explain you can only reach understanding through self realisation and careful coaching.

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Ideas:

* go around to all the Darkness-related factions in the area (Cliffhome, Dagori Inkarth, Troll Woods, Shadow Plateau, Arkat's Hold, Ivory Plinth, Black Horse County) doing deeds and collecting wisdom
* undergo the troll initiation and join the cult of Kyger Litor
Neither of the above is directly mystical, but you could depict them as broadening the PC's consciousness.
* join the cult of Subere, deep in troll territory
* join the cult of Arkat, maybe through Argrath
* join the cult of Jakazeel (Spirit, Zorak Zoran) or Yanafal Tarnils (Darkness) and learn from Lunar masters
* serve Cragspider and learn from Arachne Solara, who was associated with Cragspider in earlier books, and the Black Dragon
* have crazy adventures in the underworld

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Thanks a lot for the tips you all! Really helpful as always.

 

On 8/14/2020 at 8:11 PM, simonh said:

Does the character want to become illuminated, or does the player think this would be an interesting way to go? It’s not a given.

The character is a very curious and magically ambitious boy, he doesn't explicitly want to be illuminated YET (as he doesn't understand what it is) but by staring into the void after seeng the devil's face he knows he has started upon a path to something greater, and he is willing to do anything to know where it leads. Also the player likes the idea of illumination of course, as he is a fervent lunar.

 

On 8/14/2020 at 11:18 PM, Roko Joko said:

Ideas:

* go around to all the Darkness-related factions in the area (Cliffhome, Dagori Inkarth, Troll Woods, Shadow Plateau, Arkat's Hold, Ivory Plinth, Black Horse County) doing deeds and collecting wisdom
* undergo the troll initiation and join the cult of Kyger Litor
Neither of the above is directly mystical, but you could depict them as broadening the PC's consciousness.
* join the cult of Subere, deep in troll territory
* join the cult of Arkat, maybe through Argrath
* join the cult of Jakazeel (Spirit, Zorak Zoran) or Yanafal Tarnils (Darkness) and learn from Lunar masters
* serve Cragspider and learn from Arachne Solara, who was associated with Cragspider in earlier books, and the Black Dragon
* have crazy adventures in the underworld

Is there any book that details the Uz lands of northern DP? Maybe the Trollpack? BTW I thought Cliffhome was kinda the capital of Dagori Inkarth, or at least part of the region.

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9 minutes ago, Jape_Vicho said:

Is there any book that details the Uz lands of northern DP? Maybe the Trollpack? 

Yes, RQ2 or RQ3 Trollpack.

9 minutes ago, Jape_Vicho said:

BTW I thought Cliffhome was kinda the capital of Dagori Inkarth, or at least part of the region.

Cliffhome is where Cragspider lives. she is the ruler of the area.

The capital of Dagori Inkarth is the Castle of Lead.

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