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Great Compromise


jajagappa

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Here's Jeff's Facebook post from yesterday on the Great Compromise.  Familiar, yet also bits and pieces that seem to add to the tale.  Jeff noted in a comment: "There's a lot of hidden treasures in this version of the story. Lots of links with other secrets."

THE GREAT COMPROMISE
Arachne Solara is the epithet of an otherwise unnamed deity who may be the goddess of Nature in Glorantha. Her origins are mysterious and subject to speculation, but there are strong indications that she is the ghost of Glorantha, the Mother of the Universe.
Arachne Solara first comes to notice in the tale of the Great Compromise, wherein Orlanth, Yelm, and the other deities in the Underworld swear pacts and oaths to preserve themselves. The plan upon which they agreed is said to have been created by Arachne Solara, based upon mutual support between all the remaining world.
The Spider Woman constructed a great and magical web made of many things no longer found in the world, and then she gave the web to all the gods to hold ready between them. When Chaos entered their realm, the gods cast the net upon the Devil and held him tight. While the other deities had distracted the Devil, Arachne Solara leapt upon him with vengeance and a strength of desperation and mystical splendor. She enwrapped the Chaos god in her legs and struggled mightily, and at last devoured the evil soul.
The great beings of the universe then held council, and tried to discover what their further course of action might be. The Seven Lightbringers proved that they could lead the way out of the Underworld, but they were not sure what world was left outside. Their Old Way was gone forever, replaced by empty void and Chaos. But they could no longer exist within the confines of the universe.
Arachne Solara proved capable of communicating with the Beingless Voice of Eternity. Through her, and with the Voice, the gods made unchangeable pacts and carved themselves into powerful spells. Arachne Solara led a great dance, reconstructing the shattered cosmic matrix, linking all the surviving gods within an immutable web of pacts and oaths, bonds and relationships, conjurations and creations. The gods swore themselves into a Great Compromise with Chaos, wherein the Old World and the New World (of Death and Chaos) would co-exist, alternating their forces and powers along the myriads of weaves within the matrix of the universe. She revealed her child, born after she devoured the Devil. The child is Time, the Pledge of the Gods, and all existence swore by it to uphold their agreements. This is the Great Compromise, and it is the oath which recreated the world.
The Lightbringers forced open the Gates of Dawn. Arachne Solara cast her net forth, and the myriads of immortals ran out upon it, filling the universe with their presence. Each knew their part, and went to it gratefully as if reaching home after a long painful recovery.
Upon the tattered physical world, portions of the Old World drifted upon the decaying remnants of the once-Golden Age. The snares of the net encircled them gratefully, anchored there, and cast further to other islands of unviolated existence. Inhabitants of those places saw the distant sky grow closer, felt the earth grow firm underneath, and felt the air once again move about them. Thunder rumbled upon the eastern horizon, which grew grey and then rosy and finally bright as Theya, Dawn Goddess, led forth her father, fiery Yelm, into the Sky. The gods marched across the barren world, bringing warmth, light, and flowers to the awed survivors.
In depths of the Underworld, the Great Wheel began turning, beginning the myriads of rhythms and exchanges throughout the universe. The servants of stone began their tedious march. The new world was created. Time started.
History began.
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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Arachne Solara proved capable of communicating with the Beingless Voice of Eternity.

Hm. "Communicating with" as in "speaking to" or as in "employing a particular method"? 

 

Also, this suddenly made me wonder of one of the lost things used to make the net was the Moon (or an abstract "moon-ness"), in one or all of its incarnations. That could have... implications. I'm sure I'm not the first to think about that, though.

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  • 7 months later...

Exploring how I want to create a story, I've got few questions about Arachne Solara

 

  • Is the text posted by Jeff the "true story" of Glorantha or a myth told by priests
Spoiler

I mean a lot of other reason may explain the world

- there was effectively a divine entity called Arachne Solara but she did not do anything except manipuating the memory etc... -  ...

- (ridiculous, for sure) glorantha was created by some modest ewoks and they define the "creation myth" to hide the true origin, for any reason

Of course one glorantha may vary, but I want to know if it varies or not from the "root" (did I say canon ?)

 

  • Is this myth known (and accepted) by the dragon pass people (trolls, humans, elves, etc...) ?

 

  • Arachne is relative to spider for sure, as she is sometimes called the spider goddess. But what about Solara, is there a relationship with the sun pantheon ? or at least the light rune ? Or Solara is about something else ?

 

Looking for any information on the web, a true chaosium (too much bad jokes sorry, I'm cursed) I found something interesting

Quote

Are you referencing Arachne Solara devouring the Devil? But it does raise the question: where is Ragnaglar hiding (other than in a different fresco!)?

  • What this story with Ragnaglar and Arachne ?

 

thanks a lot !

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On 1/27/2021 at 8:00 PM, jajagappa said:

The gods swore themselves into a Great Compromise with Chaos, wherein the Old World and the New World (of Death and Chaos) would co-exist

Sounds like Lunar blasphemy to me--compromising with chaos indeed!

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On 1/28/2021 at 1:00 PM, jajagappa said:

She revealed her child, born after she devoured the Devil. The child is Time, the Pledge of the Gods, and all existence swore by it to uphold their agreements. This is the Great Compromise, and it is the oath which recreated the world.

Arachne Solara didn't devour the Devil.  Stormbull buried Wakboth (the Devil) under the Block.  She devoured Kajaboor, who is Entropy, and rebirthed him as Time.  On the other hand, Time consumes everything (like Entropy).  Really, Time is still Entropy; a long drawn out death from falling apart slowly.  This is what Arachne Solara has incorporated into Glorantha; death by old age for the whole world.

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51 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Arachne Solara didn't devour the Devil. 

Both tales exist.  And even in the same source references. 

E.g. Cults of Terror p.38 and Glorantha Sourcebook p.124: "The Devil finally was slain by the Storm Bull and cast to Hell, where Arachne Solara devoured him."

or GS p.131: "When Chaos entered their realm, the gods cast the net upon Wakboth and held him tight while the goddess leapt upon him with vengeance and the strength of desperation and mystical splendor. She enwrapped the Chaos god in her legs and struggled mightily, and at last devoured him alive."

 

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And on the symbolic level, the stories are interchangeable- the gods compromise, and the world pulls that which is from outside- entropy, immorality for its own sake, motiveless malignity- into herself, devours it completely, and transforms it into an essential part of the universe. Unbirth and rebirth. It's a statement of how the world ought to function- the new and frightening things are incorporated in, changing themselves and changing the world in the process. The world does not function in this fashion all the time, so the Devil comes back again and again. Every 600 years or so, perhaps. 

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On the topic of the Compromise, I’ve always been unclear on how heroforming doesn’t seem to be considered a violation.

How do the Orlanthi, in particular, square incarnating a deity within Time as something other than a wholesale breaking of the rules? Just the usual barbarian hypocrisy?

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27 minutes ago, MHanretty said:

How do the Orlanthi, in particular, square incarnating a deity within Time as something other than a wholesale breaking of the rules? Just the usual barbarian hypocrisy?

Because the manifestation of the god exists within Time, but bound to their specific aspect.  E.g. there is Air (i.e. Orlanth) within Time, it moves, it forms thunderclouds, it hurls lightning.  There is the Sun (i.e. Yelm) within Time which moves through the Sky according to its specific route and warming the world.

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2 minutes ago, MHanretty said:

I’m not sure I understand the distinction. Why did Palangio incarnating Daysenerus break the Cosmic Compromise?

Well, the formation of the Black Eater also broke the Compromise. So what shattered the compromise was that Kyger Litor and Yelmalio-Daysenerus acted in ways that they weren't supposed to be able to- there was no mythological event where Kyger Litor and Yelmalio fought. For a moment, the split between God Time and mortal Time was no longer present and the gods were able to act unconstrained by the rules of the natural world. Which is why the Curse of Kin is so potent- everyone was acting in a mode where they were potentially creating new natural laws, and one law that shook out of that is the Curse of Kin, or what manifests as the Curse of Kin. 

And so there's a straightforward "materialistic" explanation for why Chaos enters the world without the Compromise- without the Compromise (as a new Spike/Axis Mundi/Law Rune), the world is in flux and new things can enter into it freely, and all new things are created from the Void of Chaos. Physics is temporarily suspended in flavor of a higher, less constraining metaphysics. 

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With the Great Compromise, the gods accepted limits on what they could do within the mundane world.  They are present (there is Air, therefore Orlanth; there is a Sun, therefore Yelm) in this world as well as in the Gods World outside of Time.  But they cannot act outside of those limits (e.g. Yelm must die every day).  The Creation of Nysalor (as much if not more so than summoning Daysenerus) brought a deity into Time who could act in a manner that was not bound by the Compromise (e.g. the Sun stopped in the Sky), hence broke it. 

Heroforming says that you are acting like your god.  E.g. as Orlanth, you can raise winds, hurl lightning, etc.  But only doing the deeds that Orlanth did in the Gods Time and accepted as limits during the Great Compromise.  In heroforming Orlanth, you cannot create firenados - it's not something he has command of based on his God Time deeds.  In heroforming Yelm, you cannot create fire rain - it's not something he has command of.

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And breaking the Compromise isn't something gods seem able to do on their own, with one potential exception. The Osentalka project temporarily stops the Sun in the sky, probably because the Uz and most Orlanthi left and so it was only people who believed the Perfect Sky was one that was still and in Stasis. But that's not something any deity willed, it's the result of how the Perfect One was designed and created. And so on with Night and Day, with Palangio summoning Daysenerus rather than Daysenerus acting through him.

Nysalor does act at Night and Day, but he claimed not to be a god and he only acts after the Compromise is broken. 

The one apparent exception is the Red Goddess at the opening of the Battle of Castle Blue, but she was substantially mortal in any case. And there, the suspension of the Compromise sees an amendment made which allows for the Red Moon to exist and hang in the Middle Air. (And after Moonfall, it's still there, but it's invisible.)

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9 hours ago, jajagappa said:

With the Great Compromise, the gods accepted limits on what they could do within the mundane world.  They are present (there is Air, therefore Orlanth; there is a Sun, therefore Yelm) in this world as well as in the Gods World outside of Time.  But they cannot act outside of those limits (e.g. Yelm must die every day).  The Creation of Nysalor (as much if not more so than summoning Daysenerus) brought a deity into Time who could act in a manner that was not bound by the Compromise (e.g. the Sun stopped in the Sky), hence broke it. 

Heroforming says that you are acting like your god.  E.g. as Orlanth, you can raise winds, hurl lightning, etc.  But only doing the deeds that Orlanth did in the Gods Time and accepted as limits during the Great Compromise.  In heroforming Orlanth, you cannot create firenados - it's not something he has command of based on his God Time deeds.  In heroforming Yelm, you cannot create fire rain - it's not something he has command of.

Ah. This is the distinction I was after. I think I understand now.

It does seem like there's a fair bit of grey area where one could commit an act (a crime?) of novelty but argue - in a legalistic way - that a pre-existing myth was still being honoured and replicated. 

An immediate thought came to mind of heroquesting to the Golden Age, to argue your case before the Celestial Court but, of course, the CC had already ceased to be when the Compromise was made. (Unless they were part of Yelm/Bijif's entourage in Hell, I suppose... ) 

9 hours ago, Eff said:

The one apparent exception is the Red Goddess at the opening of the Battle of Castle Blue, but she was substantially mortal in any case. And there, the suspension of the Compromise sees an amendment made which allows for the Red Moon to exist and hang in the Middle Air. (And after Moonfall, it's still there, but it's invisible.)

The events at Castle Blue always struck me more as a "Might makes right" situation than anthing else but I suppose the Orlanthi tribes can't really argue with that - unless there are tribes that don't accept the provision that "Violence is always an option".  

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17 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Both tales exist.  And even in the same source references. 

E.g. Cults of Terror p.38 and Glorantha Sourcebook p.124: "The Devil finally was slain by the Storm Bull and cast to Hell, where Arachne Solara devoured him."

or GS p.131: "When Chaos entered their realm, the gods cast the net upon Wakboth and held him tight while the goddess leapt upon him with vengeance and the strength of desperation and mystical splendor. She enwrapped the Chaos god in her legs and struggled mightily, and at last devoured him alive."

 

Well, one of the tales is clearly and obviously incorrect.  How can Wakboth be eaten by Arachne Solara when he's pinned under the Block?  How can Wakboth be in Hell when he's pinned under the Block and struggling to get out to this day?  Some cultures just don't know the facts, and can't tell one Chaos deity from another.  Damn hicks.  Send them to Jonstown and get them an education. 😆

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

How can Wakboth be eaten by Arachne Solara when he's pinned under the Block?  How can Wakboth be in Hell when he's pinned under the Block and struggling to get out to this day?

Evil is everywhere!  Clearly if he was completely contained under the Block, this would not be the case.  He obviously tried to escape through the usual route of Death, and arrived in the Underworld, and thus got caught in the Cosmic Web of Time.

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18 hours ago, MHanretty said:

How do the Orlanthi, in particular, square incarnating a deity within Time as something other than a wholesale breaking of the rules? Just the usual barbarian hypocrisy?

They are just bringing a shadow of the deity into the world. This is not the same as the deity walking the world.

16 hours ago, MHanretty said:

I’m not sure I understand the distinction. Why did Palangio incarnating Daysenerus break the Cosmic Compromise?

It probably didn't, at least in my opinion.

The Sunstop broke the Compromise, everything else was just consequences.

Maybe the birth of Nysalor broke it, but I don't think it did, that was just a symptom that people recognised.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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11 hours ago, Darius West said:

Well, one of the tales is clearly and obviously incorrect.  How can Wakboth be eaten by Arachne Solara when he's pinned under the Block?  How can Wakboth be in Hell when he's pinned under the Block and struggling to get out to this day?

It would be like if someone was both buried and in the Underworld at the same time!

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On 9/3/2021 at 9:37 AM, Darius West said:

Well, one of the tales is clearly and obviously incorrect.  How can Wakboth be eaten by Arachne Solara when he's pinned under the Block?  How can Wakboth be in Hell when he's pinned under the Block and struggling to get out to this day? 

It's a myth. Myths can be contradictory. Storm Bull saw the Devil pinned beneath the Block, other deities saw the Devil appear, be trapped in the Net and be eaten by Arachne Solara. Maybe it wasn't the same Devil, maybe it was.

On 9/3/2021 at 9:37 AM, Darius West said:

Some cultures just don't know the facts, and can't tell one Chaos deity from another.  Damn hicks.  Send them to Jonstown and get them an education. 😆

Breaking Myths down into a series of Facts is what starts heresies, splits and different sects. 

"We know that this happened this way, your belief that it happened that way" is the start of dogma and rigidness. 

Better to stick with the Myths and their many possible interpretations.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Pluripresence is nothing new to the gods. Nor is... how do you put it... pluri-phasis...? Basically the idea that a deity can be alive and dead at the same time, or young and old at the same time, or in peace and at war at the same time. Presumably this also applies to Wakboth.

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Pluripresence is nothing new to the gods. Nor is... how do you put it... pluri-phasis...? Basically the idea that a deity can be alive and dead at the same time, or young and old at the same time, or in peace and at war at the same time. Presumably this also applies to Wakboth.

Is there a cult of Schrodinger?

 

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There are accounts of Kajabor being the form of the devil caught in the Arachne Solara’s net, with his appearance in the underworld due his defeat and death at the hands of Wakboth. 
 

I don’t know if that account is a real-world or in-universe post-hoc explanation, which accounts for Wakboth being trapped under the Block, but it works nicely either way.

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