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Can you sail off the edge?


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You'll hit Sramak's river eventually. I think the currents get stronger the further out you go, and beyond a certain point even Waertagi ships will get physically torn apart, but that may just be my interpretation.

Alternately, and more firmly speculatively, the currents get stronger and force you into one of the Otherworlds that dot the physical edge of Glorantha like Altinela or Luathela if you go too far out, probably wrecking your ship in the process and leaving you, like Odysseus, to straggle ashore.

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1 hour ago, Brootse said:

What happens if you keep on sailing towards east or west? Do you hit the Sky Dome, fall off the edge, change dimension, or something else?

Yes. With emphasis.

Falling off the edge is easier in Magasta's Pool - somewhere out there on Sramak's River, the waters churning down in the Maelstrom come up again towards the surface, and from the re-appearance(s) of the main Waertagi fleet, that somewhere can be found in the West. If you can sail against that current, you'll get to Hell, but there are other places that allow access to the Underworld.

The Hell Fount in the middle of the Jrusteli archipelago goes the other way, too, but Revealed Mythologies p.15 tells us about a maw to Hell, opened by the Vadeli to swallow a tidal wave sent against them by the alliance of Brithini and Waertagi.

 

There are places where the Sky Dome dredges up water from Sramak's River to feed the Celestial River, and also the Skyfall in Sartar. Sailing up this river and then following some of its tributaries may bring your vessel outside of any known referential points.

 

There are approaches to the Outer World that let the explorer grow in size commensurate to the size of the denizens, like the Luatha. There are others that keep the travelers small and meek.

Sailing the outer portion of Sramak's River takes magical vessels, as this is where the full gale force of Orlanth's Hurricane strikes the churning surface of Sramak's River. The visible Sky Dome is just the first permeable obstacle on the way out. There are weirder outer places beyond that first dome, some draconic in nature.

Finally, it might be possible to sail across vast stretches of Sramak's river into another Inner World, with its own floating piece of dry land, its own celestial dome, and its own Chaosium.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Sailing the outer portion of Sramak's River takes magical vessels, as this is where the full gale force of Orlanth's Hurricane strikes the churning surface of Sramak's River.

The Sendereven (Guide p.500) are those folk who can do this.

"The Sendereven are a race of boatmen whose feats are so remarkable that they are thought to be demigods. They sail around on Sramak’s River – the outskirts of the known world – on big dualhull ships which have been carved from stone. Where they sail there are winds of a hundred miles per hour that strive to push their boats underwater. The Sendereven just laugh at these winds. They can sail to the Sky World or to Hell, if they wish, and back."

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Sramak's River is often described as infinite.  For example "The Inner World, the world of mortals, is shaped like a huge cube of earth floating in a limitless sea of water. " (https://www.glorantha.com/glorantha/)

Whether the sky dome extends all the way down to sea level is one of those unanswered questions.  Perhaps Umath's lift separated the rim from sea level, and the four pillars held it up.  Perhaps sometimes it dips down to sea level and even lower, when part of the outer edge is hidden seasonally.  I think the the physical form and size of the outer world is very interesting, but I'm not too fussed about it.  I figure it's magic, and you can always fake it and say that it's not Euclidean.

By the way, one time I was curious how fast the sky dome moves at its perimeter, and you have to make some assumptions but I came up with 5000 miles (diameter from the Gate of Dusk to the Gate of Dawn) * 3 (pi) / 24 hours (one rotation per day) = 625 miles per hour.  You could suppose that the Srmak current gradually increases to the same speed once you get out to around where the gates are.

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4 hours ago, Roko Joko said:

Sramak's River is often described as infinite.  For example "The Inner World, the world of mortals, is shaped like a huge cube of earth floating in a limitless sea of water. " (https://www.glorantha.com/glorantha/)

Whether the sky dome extends all the way down to sea level is one of those unanswered questions.  Perhaps Umath's lift separated the rim from sea level, and the four pillars held it up.  Perhaps sometimes it dips down to sea level and even lower, when part of the outer edge is hidden seasonally.  I think the the physical form and size of the outer world is very interesting, but I'm not too fussed about it.  I figure it's magic, and you can always fake it and say that it's not Euclidean.

By the way, one time I was curious how fast the sky dome moves at its perimeter, and you have to make some assumptions but I came up with 5000 miles (diameter from the Gate of Dusk to the Gate of Dawn) * 3 (pi) / 24 hours (one rotation per day) = 625 miles per hour.  You could suppose that the Srmak current gradually increases to the same speed once you get out to around where the gates are.

Wouldn't the Skydome be somewhat behind the Gates?

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Edited by Brootse
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1 hour ago, Zit said:

beyond Sramak's river, isn't it simply the primal Chaos ?

Beyond, yes, but Sramak's River is limitless, and Glorantha is one eddy inside it - admittedly one with a seriously huge intake of water.

Which Outer World reality you encounter and how you experience it will strongly be influenced by your means of arrival and your intentions.

Depending on your expectation, there will be an outer shell of Darkness below and Aether above that marks the end of Creation. It is known that stars from the Underworld sky show up on the horizon as the tilt of the Sky Dome deviates from the vertical axis. There are a number of named realms on those borders, or possibly beyond, such as Kapertine, visited by draconic mystics like Ingolf.

Depending on your expectation, you will be able to sail on forever (assuming your vessel is built for the ultimate hurricane with the ultimate wave action), and possibly enter different zones of calm, possibly under a different sky dome.

Depending on your expectation, your course will take you up Lorion's Sky River rather than out to Sramak's Ocean, or down onto the Styx.

 

I understand that strictly speaking Primal Chaos lies at the bottom of the Underworld, beyond Subere's hall of secrets, beyond the Chaosium, but the Chaos Rift created upon the implosion of the Cosmic Mountain carried that into the heart of Glorantha - somewhere in the below-surface parts formerly occupied by the Cosmic Mountain, encapsulated by the Maelstrom of the Homeward Ocean.

It is also anywhere where the strength of Arachne Solara's Web is weak, and shards of reality are only tenuously connected.

And it lies in waiting at the End of Time.

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I think that there's no edge (or no way to get to the edge). Sramak's River becomes exponentially more violent as characters try to sail further out. Depending on who they are and what they intend, they may find a way to sail up into the Sky world or down into the Underworld. This is likely much easier than trying to survive the torrent.

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22 hours ago, Roko Joko said:

Sramak's River is often described as infinite.  For example "The Inner World, the world of mortals, is shaped like a huge cube of earth floating in a limitless sea of water. " (https://www.glorantha.com/glorantha/)

It's worth noting that astrophysicists make the difference between "infinite" and "limitless". For instance, the surface of a balloon is limitless but not infinite.

So if you want to get trippy with it, you could also decide that once you sail past the Gates of Dawn or Dusk and across the stormy/moving parts of Sramak's River, the surface of the water transforms into a 3 or 4 dimensional membrane that wraps around Glorantha and you can sail across space and time, into the God Time and whatever is after the End of the World, into the Underworld or to the Sky Realms, and wherever/whenever else you like. In fact, maybe the big storm and currents and Sky Dome actually protect Glorantha from dissolving into this higher dimensional space, forming this little bubble for things to live inside.... which, I guess, would make this higher dimensional space Chaos, effectively. So yeah, let's say you can sail on Pure Chaos. Sounds fun!

Edited by lordabdul
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17 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Also, would you sail over the edge, or collide with the sky dome?

I'd think you'd either sail up into the Sky realm (i.e. via Lorion), or down into the underworld (i.e. via Styx), or forever/into Chaosium (the latter could be called "over the edge" and might be what the Outer Atomic Explorers of Godlearners did???).

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3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

For instance, the surface of a balloon is limitless but not infinite.

That was exactly my thought, seeing again the picture :

is Sramak the balloon ? then the sky air and darkness are in the balloon

is Sramak around  Seas ? so same "geometric plane" than Earth and Seas, then the sky and the hell are above and bellow. But is there a "balloon" in that case ?

 

I like the idea of Sramak the balloon theory :

darkness born from chaos and succeed to protected itself from chaos by creating a kind of skin: sramak. Then inside Sramak other elements emerge as usual.

I m not sure it fits or not with gloranthan creation (my lore is too weak)

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May be since the Cosmos is a buble of reality in the Void, anything real cannot leave the World. The reality of Time and Distances is contracting at the edge and you just sail endless with the illusion to move, but you actually move slower and slower. Are the edges of the World asymptotic ? And is there any other rpg setting where players can have this kind of debate ? 😄

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On 1/8/2021 at 12:59 PM, Zit said:

 And is there any other rpg setting where players can have this kind of debate ? 😄

Ars Magica. We’ve had in-character discussions about substances and accidences, the effects of Impetus mechanics, and whether Latin is the ideal magical language or a (purely hypothetical) reconstructed Adamic would be preferable. It’s a game that’s hard to beat when it comes to drawing the logical conclusions from a setting.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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On 1/7/2021 at 6:25 AM, Brootse said:

Wouldn't the Skydome be somewhat behind the Gates?

Oh, OK; yes, you're right.  The sun path is inside the sky dome.  At least at the top it is; almost everything about the rim of the sky dome is an open mystery.  And the sky dome itself is supposed to have multiple layers, so that complicates it as well.

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13 hours ago, lordabdul said:

the surface of a balloon is limitless but not infinite.

...

if you want to get trippy with it, ...

Yeah.  Another idea I had was that if you sail way out on the Sramak, well, there are heroic challenges doing that and surviving or retaining any kind of consciousness, but if you went out far enough, you would get to a place of pure current where there's just water, more water, and three directions: with the current (which goes somewhere and nowhere at the same time), in, and out.  The only thing present is a circle eating its own tail, very draconic.

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24 minutes ago, Roko Joko said:

The only thing present is a circle eating its own tail, very draconic.

Well, you could of course encounter Zaramaka!  Whether you encounter the infinite Sea Dragon as a current of water, an aqueous monster, a serpent, a dragon, or some other form may be a matter of mindset.

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Keep in mind that you are moving on the (very perturbed) surface of the sea, and that the Great Hurricane is raging above as much as the waves churn below. It's not just Zaramaka, it is also Umath. Possibly tattered and in pieces, possibly some of those recognizable as Orlanth.

And, however far out you may be, have you reached the outer layer of Nakala or Aether yet?

It is unlikely that you will have much of the influence of the Red Moon out here, or of Earth. There may be Blue Moon out here, possibly drifting in the churn, possibly in the hurricane, possibly below the waves. Quite likely in tatters, too. Possibly also white moon, lost planets, lost stars. Lost pieces of the Spike, perhaps of the Celestial Palace or the white elf forest on top of it. Firebergs, possibly up in the air. Entire pieces of land held up in the air by the hurricane. Stretches of metallic air or water.

And temporary reality, aka Illusion. Or absences - how much of the web of Arachne Solara will be consolidated that far out?

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22 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

if you sail into another world would it be one of the Gloranthas that may vary?

Gooooood. Various Gloranthas, all being the reflection of a primal one on the waves of a chaos sea (I know, I have read Zelazny at least once too much). In that case, that would become the search for the primal one.

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Note a möbius band has a single edge. What appear to be its interior edge and its exterior one really are the same edge. So, if Zaramaka has the topology of a möbius band, you can go though its edge from inside Glorantha to enter Zaramaka, and when you go though its edge again, you just entered back inside Glorantha. 

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