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why is Argrath considered an asshole?


Charles

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9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Not to cloud the dance floor (a cloud like a star) any further but I suspect the Sartar Rising poets are a lot deeper in sky magic than I am with their juggling stars and planets and such. We can all fight over whether this means they were close to the Kallyr court or simply rocking adjacent mysteries . . . this is a good fight to have.

Being a simple and uncomplicated person, I really do see the Dragonrise as a straightforward application of sympathy and contagion. The visiting team had set up their set of identifications so they could force the local sky to hold a certain configuration (perpetual full). Home team finds a weak entry point and within the ritual vocabulary becomes identified with the ring. The sky can't reject the ring once it's there. Everyone knows the ring contains a green star so the perfection of the ritual stage requires a green star to emerge from somewhere. As above, so necessarily below. The dragon emerges. Little orange stars exit as the ring does. The sky gets on with its work.

The simplicity may be a tell that Kallyr and her tricky sky people truly weren't in the loop or at least involved with the ritual planning. All we really know is that they had orders not to molest Pole Star if they could help it, which seems to be a concession to her known all(eg)iances. 

It raises a great question whether Burbustus magic is intrinsic to the Reaching Moon network or just a local flourish designed to set the temple into the local ecology. If Burbustus runs the Yara temples in the east, that's awfully interesting. If he doesn't, that's interesting too because then the question is how those temples work, why they changed (feedback from local sacred mountains?) and whether Storm Pent has anything to say about Reaching Storm when that happens!

 

My immediate thought is that the Reaching Moon operates by holding a celestial body in a seeming stasis, which requires some kind of sovereignty over the sky to function. But asserting that sovereignty allows other entities with claim to that sovereignty to challenge you directly, if you can get in. 

Orlanth is one of them, but Moon goddesses participated in killing Yelm alongside Orlanth, so I would assume Lunars have fairly easy ways to hinder any recreation of the Doom Conjunction. But some representative of Night also was an earlier challenger (and in between, Water, in the form of Oslira). So while Burbustus may be the name used in Dara Happan texts, I rather suspect that he's a draconic version of our good friend from Pent and points east, Basko, who has a great deal of human sacrifice magic. Which is certainly essential for the temple's operations. 

The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

The real goal was apparently always creating a sympathetic opening for the green star to make an appearance above and be answered by some dragon power closing the circuit below. The timing indicates that they wanted to be as far from the site as possible before that proton torpedo went off. At best, it covered their retreat. At worst, it looks like a suicide mission.

Yes, I completely agree about this - all the prepwork point this way, and they seemed to have their exit strategy well planned when they saw that it was going off properly, so at the bare minimum they know they're adding some draconic mess to the general mayhem they're performing. Maybe Kallyr didn't plan to wake a dragon exactly, but there could have been no possible doubt that they were doing something with multiple draconic connections.

Quote

He gets banished anyway as Starbrow is "seeking to contain what had been awakened."

Actually, what does happen with the Brown Dragon after the Dragonrise? I can't remember seeing it being particularly important?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

...which sounds to me like the Dragonrise will never be fully "explained" officially, which is GREAT since different groups will be able to make it what they want... but I'm learning about a bunch of moving parts I didn't know about before, just by skimming this thread. Are these different moving parts and elements going to be written in, say, the Dragon Pass Campaign book? (a "here is what the PCs might know or learn about.... now come up with your own conclusions and gaming opportunities" kind of chapter)  I'm asking because I'm a bit worried that even though the Dragonrise is obviously a SUPER BIG DEAL in Glorantha, it ends up being treated as a footnote in practice: something that happened just before you start playing, and then is forgotten as everybody goes adventuring and rallying troops for upcoming battles.

Perhaps the most official place we should expect it is if the addendum to Red Cow about the Dragonrise gets published for HQ? Unless the line is completely dead now?

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Actually, what does happen with the Brown Dragon after the Dragonrise? I can't remember seeing it being particularly important?

It rises into the Sky and heads towards Peloria.  It is turned back by the magical powers of the Red Emperor.  Then it circles around Kero Fin a few times before returning to the great crack in the Earth it came out of.  So, it's there and waiting for whoever wants to visit it.  (In KoS, it doesn't do anything further until the end when it's one of the two dragons that help to tear apart the Red Moon.)

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10 hours ago, Jeff said:

It is entirely possible that Tatius the Bright was the main person responsible.

I hope you didn’t miss my suggestion that this was Enerian Scarlet’s utuma ritual?

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2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I think that simply calling the Ring to its rightful place in an otherwise sanitized ritual sky wouldn't have bought them anything

As the rightful place for Orlanth's Ring on that date would have been the back of the sky, and not the visible side. If the ring had already been in the sky, nobody would have remarked on its sudden appearance.

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

beyond a short-term stalemate motivating the empire to torch the jungle, as it were.

Calling in the ring outside of its appointed date, and then tracing the path Umath took on his invasion of the (then still star-less) sky at a speed significantly higher than the normal steady rise, and leaving the northwest to trail stations across the entire sky was something Minaryth had carefully plotted.

 

But then, what exactly was the purpose of the celestial rite (beyond starting another Temple of the Reaching Moon)?

A re-adjustment of the relative (magical) position of the Red Moon to the Temple, so that it would become the focal point for another Silver Shadow? Establishing (another) one of the Eight Sons in the Sky, a warm-up for an even more elaborate Sunstop?

What kind of celestial alteration would Tatius have wrought?

Tatius may have been a visionary (similar to Delecti, an age earlier) plotting to re-arrange the sky. And while he was deeply immersed in Lunar magic, I am still not convinced that the Lunar Way was what he was working towards. I still think that he was a creature of the Empire rather than the Moon, a Solar fanatic willing to use Lunar magic and even Chaos to re-establish a Greater Dara Happa that never had been. The Red Emperor was a sufficiently solar creature, and past masks had shown that it was possible to inject new portions into his being by switching out Egi.

As much as that "Alternate Lunar Empire" thread has already grown, imagine a Lunar Empire triumphant at the dedication of the New Lunar temple in bloodily subdued Sartar, with the Middle Sky pushing out the Middle Air. WHat would happen next?

And what would become of Tatius and the Assiday family now the Southern Conquest had been completed?

Could Tatius have known of the draconic energies? Could he have plotted to become a new Dragon Sun? Would he have made them his throne?

 

The Dragonrise was an event that shook the whole world. It used the energies that Tatius' magicians had stockpiled over seven years, sacrificing thousands. What would Tatius have unleashed on the world?

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Tatius is one of the highest priests of Yelm, has the backing of a large proportion of traditionalist Solars', and has sufficient lineage to try for the 10 tests, and is blocked by the Lunars. In Sartar, he found an immense source of power that could not be classified as Theistic, Sorcerous, or Spiritist. So he built his New Model Temple Of The Reaching Moon on it. Taking the Throne was his primary goal. Killing Orlanth and dominating the Orlanthis was a significant secondary goal. Using Chaos was just a means.

Many years ago, Nick suggested Darth Vader as a model for Tatius. He could no longer breathe Orlanth’s air without mechanical aids, and his shadow follows a different Sun.

Do we need Argrath the Villain?

Edited by Charles
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1 hour ago, Charles said:

Tatius is one of the highest priests of Yelm, has the backing of a large proportion of traditionalist Solars', and has sufficient lineage to try for the 10 tests, and is blocked by the Lunars. In Sartar, he found an immense source of power that could not be classified as Theistic, Sorcerous, or Spiritist. So he built his New Model Temple Of The Reaching Moon on it. Taking the Throne was his primary goal. Killing Orlanth and dominating the Orlanthis was a significant secondary goal. Using Chaos was just a means.

Many years ago, Nick suggested Darth Vader as a model for Tatius. He could no longer breathe Orlanth’s air without mechanical aids, and his shadow follows a different Sun.

Do we need Argrath the Villain?

Tatius could even be the Gold Proxy - particularly tasked by the Red Emperor to perform the rituals of the Sun.  And what might be more galling than to know that the Emperor is a decadent, hedonist like a new Ovosto.  With the Perfect Sky above, and the Temple of the Reaching Moon below, Tatius could rise between while drawing upon the great magical energies beneath as if it were a new Footstool.

Meanwhile the Emperor smiles, knowing that his proxy has stepped into a wonderful trap.

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All this talk about Tatius being the trigger of the dragonrise and his secret ambitions is making my head split in half. All those things I would have never imagined, they stir conflicting emotions. 

I always thought that "shadow from another sun" was a result of him being so doped up on solar magic that his body believed he was in the Sunstop, or something like that.

Also, the comments have made me remember something I thought about the Temple of the Reaching Moon of Sartar. RM temples seem to work as a beacon of magical energy, or perhaps a relay, being that all temples "bubbles" seem to overlap. Also, their bubbles seem to shrink in size as they stride further from Glamour. Knowing that, why would the lunars create a RM temple in Sambari lands, thousands of km from the temple of tarsh, that doesn't even pour it's red bliss into the neighboring Alda-Chur? I thought this a long time ago, but dismissed it as I thought it probs just was bc the designers thought it looked cooler there or something of the sort, or because this temple's shadow was supposed to be absulutely huge. Now I'm not so sure. 

Otoh, this kinda breaks my schemes for my campaigns, am I doing it wrong if I assumed the dragonrise was a plot engeneered by Kallyr and Orlaront? But to realize this you have to know a lot about the lore, you can't be supposed to know this much as an average player, IMO. And the worst is that it doesn't solve anything, it just creates more questions. 

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On 12/29/2020 at 7:20 AM, Charles said:

Many years ago, Nick suggested Darth Vader as a model for Tatius. He could no longer breathe Orlanth’s air without mechanical aids, and his shadow follows a different Sun.

That's interesting. Personally, I tend to think of Tatius as being closer to Admiral Tarkin, with the Reaching Moon Temple as his very own Death Star.

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1 hour ago, Jape_Vicho said:

Knowing that, why would the lunars create a RM temple in Sambari lands, thousands of km from the temple of tarsh, that doesn't even pour it's red bliss into the neighboring Alda-Chur? I thought this a long time ago, but dismissed it as I thought it probs just was bc the designers thought it looked cooler there or something of the sort, or because this temple's shadow was supposed to be absulutely huge. Now I'm not so sure. 

Two reasons I can think of:

1) From the meta-game viewpoint:  It's the location where the Brown Dragon was placed on the WBRM map.

2) From the in-world viewpoint:  It was identified as a source point of powerful magical energy by the Lunar geomancers. 

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1 hour ago, Jape_Vicho said:

Otoh, this kinda breaks my schemes for my campaigns, am I doing it wrong if I assumed the dragonrise was a plot engeneered by Kallyr and Orlaront? But to realize this you have to know a lot about the lore, you can't be supposed to know this much as an average player, IMO. And the worst is that it doesn't solve anything, it just creates more questions. 

There is no "wrong" here.  Proceed as before. 🙂

But it's useful to realize/remember that a heroquest is always a "dance for two" (or possibly more).  Every hero has a villain that they are attempting to stop, and those villains always have long-term plots coming to fruition (perhaps think of James Bond stopping the plots of Goldfinger, or others?).  

Tatius is very, very ambitious and does have a grand plan.  Perhaps just the creation of the most powerful Reaching Moon temple, perhaps a stepping stone (aka a Footstool!) to something far grander....  Clearly the whole choreography of the Perfect Sky is of celestial-changing significance.  And Tatius is at the center of that.  

Do you need to care about that in your campaign?  No.  But Tatius thwarted many efforts to stop his plans, including disposing of the Vingkotling king Broyan and defeating Argrath's nomad horde earlier in the same year.  He probably had a trap for Kallyr... something for PC allies of Kallyr to fall into (or perhaps foil).  

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2 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

All this talk about Tatius being the trigger of the dragonrise and his secret ambitions is making my head split in half. All those things I would have never imagined, they stir conflicting emotions. 

My impression is that Tatius was a mix of brilliant and idiot, seeing only the path for success while discounting any possible problems. ”Oh, here’s a huge source of unknown magical power, I’m sure it will be well-behaved and nothing bad will come of it.” ”I’m sure the locals won’t manage to pull anything sneaky off when we consecrate the temple.” ”Orlanth and Ernalda are dead, so there is no way they could return from the Underworld, why that would be unheard of!”

Edited by Akhôrahil
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@Jape_Vicho on Glorantha Lore: “It doesn't solve anything, it just creates more questions.”

That’s why we stick around. Simplistic answers are unsatisfying. Glorantha’s fractal complexity is glorious.

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8 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

All this talk about Tatius being the trigger of the dragonrise and his secret ambitions is making my head split in half. All those things I would have never imagined, they stir conflicting emotions. 

Well, that's Glorantha for you. You come in with a conviction, then somebody pulls up an oblique passage or asks a question, and all of a sudden you find yourself in a very different situation.

 

8 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

I always thought that "shadow from another sun" was a result of him being so doped up on solar magic that his body believed he was in the Sunstop, or something like that.

The Sunstop (and the Golden Age) was a situation when the sun was directly overhead, so nobody had much of a shadow while standing upright.

I wonder whether having acquired a second shadow would have been seen as beneficial by a devout Solar. Sure, they would have gained another source of light. But they had increased Darkness around themselves.

I wonder what Tatius' Assiday family did during the Dragon Sun Emperor's reign in the EWF. A Dara Happan tenet seems to be that having an Emperor is good, no matter what kind of emperor. Throughout Dara Happan history there have been families siding with the Horse Warlords whenever those were powerful. There were Dara Happan families happily cooperating with the Carmanian emperors, and there were Dara Happan families taking advantage of the shift in power when the Dragon Sun sat on the Footstool and the Dragon Throne. These latter families may very well have acquired some draconic insight or artifacts and passed them on.

Could Tatius have gotten into contact with the Dragon Sun, or Sun Dragon?

8 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

Also, the comments have made me remember something I thought about the Temple of the Reaching Moon of Sartar. RM temples seem to work as a beacon of magical energy, or perhaps a relay, being that all temples "bubbles" seem to overlap. Also, their bubbles seem to shrink in size as they stride further from Glamour. Knowing that, why would the lunars create a RM temple in Sambari lands, thousands of km from the temple of tarsh, that doesn't even pour it's red bliss into the neighboring Alda-Chur? I thought this a long time ago, but dismissed it as I thought it probs just was bc the designers thought it looked cooler there or something of the sort, or because this temple's shadow was supposed to be absulutely huge. Now I'm not so sure. 

I have this crackpot theory that the Silver Shadow and its extension, the Glowline, is actually the invisible part of the Red Moon beyond the Crown Mountains, which (IMO) look like the mirror image of the Crater Walls because they actually are the backside of the Crater Walls.

Thanks to the Temples of the Reaching Moon one doesn't notice this any more, but from what I see in the descriptions the Silver Shadow has had the Glowline effect ever since the formation of the Crater. Yara Aranis' first temple did create a Glowline which lay entirely inside the Silver Shadow, though, but it looks like it created an additional barrier against the magics of Sheng's Empire. A bit like mystic one-upmanship. 

 

 

8 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

Otoh, this kinda breaks my schemes for my campaigns, am I doing it wrong if I assumed the dragonrise was a plot engeneered by Kallyr and Orlaront?

Kallyr definitely was involved in a plot against the dedication ceremony of the New Lunar Temple, and she had taken advice from Orlaront on draconic energies there. That much is factual, as is a rite performed by the new Feathered Horse Queen and Jandetin the Avenger to deal with some revenge. I wonder whether the previous FHQ was at the dedication ceremony, or whether the Dragon Dance of her successor and her new Stallion King caught her elsewhere. So at least one other major player was mucking around with draconic energies to overcome a rival.

We have no idea what went on in Kralorela at the time, but I don't really think there can be a huge draconic event without Kralorela seeing some repercussions. (But then, how did the Dragonewts Dream event play out in Kralorela?)

Elsewhere, the fleet of Waertagi from Hell with its Dragon City-ships re-appeared on the surface Seas. Anybody want to bet on an arrival date different from the Dragonrise? (Sure, the first rise of the Boat Planet since the Closing is a good rival.)

And who knows what dark rituals went off in Fonrit in the struggle between the Artmali rebels and Afadjanni establishment that enabled or influenced the stellar distortions of the Dragonrise? Was a return of the Blue Moon into the sky thwarted by how the rites turned out?

8 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

But to realize this you have to know a lot about the lore, you can't be supposed to know this much as an average player, IMO.

You cannot actually "know" this, as much of this hasn't been written down in publications, and possibly not even in the unpublished notes and marginalia from Greg or the writing process for the Guide, which saw a good deal of elimination of available but not too relevant information, too.

Glorantha remains a journey of discovery - sometimes of facts you find in writing, sometimes of extremely cool things that come up in your game or in your preparations for a game.

8 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

And the worst is that it doesn't solve anything, it just creates more questions. 

Just like science.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Could Tatius have gotten into contact with the Dragon Sun, or Sun Dragon?

Or perhaps he was expecting the magical energy source under the new temple to be the Sun Dragon...

There were three well known: Red (moon), Black (darkness), and Green (earth).  Their locations strongly suggest another dragon was needed to complete the square.  The Blue dragon would be assumed to be within the Oslir.  So a natural assumption might be that the Sun Dragon was the missing one, not the Storm Dragon.

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This sounds a bit like another "I fought, We Won"-Event, i.e. several different players working on their own schemes to achieve a certain goal, but in the end all these different actions lead to a much bigger than expected event: a Dragon awakens and rises into the sky killing a lot of people while appeasing his hunger with a snack of bystanders ...

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4 minutes ago, Oracle said:

i.e. several different players working on their own schemes to achieve a certain goal, but in the end all these different actions lead to a much bigger than expected event: a Dragon awakens and rises into the sky killing a lot of people while appeasing his hunger with a snack of bystanders ...

I think many of these great events are.  The deaths of Orlanth/Ernalda and the Great Winter should trigger many efforts by many different folk to get their plans in order for the Hero Wars.  The rise of the Boat Planet just a year before is a good example.  Whether or not events during the ship's passage along the Sky River contribute to the Dragonrise should probably be up to the individual GM, but a lot of convergent events (and claims) could aid the Dragon's awakening. 

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I think many of these great events are.  The deaths of Orlanth/Ernalda and the Great Winter should trigger many efforts by many different folk to get their plans in order for the Hero Wars.  The rise of the Boat Planet just a year before is a good example.  Whether or not events during the ship's passage along the Sky River contribute to the Dragonrise should probably be up to the individual GM, but a lot of convergent events (and claims) could aid the Dragon's awakening. 

Definitely. Stuff in The Eleven Lights like the boxed text "Around the World" (pg. 143) regarding the Three New Stars makes that pretty unambiguous:

Quote

This event is visible around the world. During the events of Orlanth is Dead, those Orlanthi outside the area of effect of the New Lunar Temple, living in locations such as Ralios and Umathela keep their magic. However, they are aware of the changes in the Sky. Across Glorantha, Orlanth’s Ring no longer traverses the Heavens.

From each of these lands heroquesters set off to the sky to return Orlanth’s Ring to its rightful place. Heroes from those lands, such as Garundyer in Ralios, each work to return the stars to the Sky and have their own story of how they obtained the Three New Stars.

This is normal. In Glorantha great events are often the result of many heroquesters journeying to the Other Side.

Which is good, because it means a campaign set in Ralios or Talastar or wherever isn't consigned to just passively watching stars disappear and reappear from the sky, having a metaplot that isn't relevant just kind of happening somewhere a long way away. Every campaign can have its own distinct explanation for what the disappearance of Orlanth's Ring means and what the consequences are, and every campaign can have its own version of the Heroquest that puts the Three New Stars and later the full Eleven Lights back up in the sky. It's just up to GMs (and/or writers or even players) to think up what those might be.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe this should go into another thread, but...

Our Colymar Storm Tribe PCs are in Pavis to check out this Argrath guy, and I'm really struggling with what to make of all the "mystic stuff".  It's 100% obvious to all of us that Argrath has recruited hundreds of Illuminated Lunars to his cause.  Proof: hundreds of IOT scholars who no longer do Lunar worship yet haven't lost their INT.   And he likely has even more illuminated non-lunars.

I'm usually good at not basing roleplaying decisions on metagame info, or info my PCs don't know.  But surely some PCs can be very suspicious?  Arkat was the "good" illuminant yet even he has a very sketchy reputation, he deserted friends and allies, ....

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25 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I'm usually good at not basing roleplaying decisions on metagame info, or info my PCs don't know.  But surely some PCs can be very suspicious?  Arkat was the "good" illuminant yet even he has a very sketchy reputation, he deserted friends and allies, ....

Arkat was good? News to me! Arkat fought Nysalor and Gbaji won, after all...

That said, I think you could probably raise the heckles on any PC by describing Argrath as a combination of overpowered and ethically sketchy...

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16 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I'm usually good at not basing roleplaying decisions on metagame info, or info my PCs don't know.  But surely some PCs can be very suspicious?  Arkat was the "good" illuminant yet even he has a very sketchy reputation, he deserted friends and allies, ....

But people can be suspicious about good people too. So a pc suspicious is just a player acting a suspicious character

There are reasons to not believe (as a character) a strange and stranger guy.

There are reasons to believe and love a powerful Sartar heir or a whitebull leader too

I think that the ultimate answer is Argrath is part of the GM. You could have a good Argrath in a table, a bad Argrath in another table and a "grey" Argrath in a third one. And here you can surprise, or comfort, your PC.

After all, some Argrath's loyal followers  were not betrayed by him, understanding and accepting the why and the how of his decisions, some succeed to have a good life and a peacefull death, didn't they ?

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

some succeed to have a good life and a peacefull death, didn't they ?

I'm actually not sure, did they? Perhaps the trick is getting out in time, but even that didn't save Mularik, for instance.

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6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I'm actually not sure, did they? Perhaps the trick is getting out in time, but even that didn't save Mularik, for instance.

I m not talking about named "politicians" in any book from post third age scholar. I m talking about thousands of praxians, sartarites, esrolians and other who followed him. Some were opportunistic, some were suspicious but some were just convinced, confident and loyal.

 

I just say than the best and the worst leaders can find followers, and these people can suffer or be satisfied at the end of the story (whether the leader and the story were good or bad).

Recent history shows us with no doubt than even among the followers of the worst leaders around the world, a part never rejected their loyalty, still convinced by their cause, and succeed to avoid any issue at the end of the "game". 

 

 

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