Jump to content

Masters of Luck and Death Question


Recommended Posts

37 minutes ago, Godweyn said:

So, is there some official information about the cult of the masters of Luck and Death? May be in older editions?

all help counts

To my knowledge there is not actually a cult.  

When Belintar's former body expires, certain individuals throughout the Holy Country become aware of their participation in the new Tournament of Luck and Death.  The Governors of the Sixths (the six provinces of the Holy Country) and other prominent/magical figures become part of this process which is effectively a heroquest across the mythic realm of the land.  The victor becomes incarnated as Belintar the God-king - they gain the immortal knowledge of Belintar housed within their body.  Most bodies survive about 13 years on average before they expire and a new tournament begins.  Most of the losers die - hence Luck and Death.

The last tournament was in 1616 but never completed because the heroquest paths were invaded by a scimitar-wielding, red-clad goddess.

In some fashion, though, there would have been a cult to Belintar as the God-king.  The folk of the Holy Country would most likely have worshipped as lay members, donating their magic points, so that Belintar would continue to bless their lands.  His immediate Governors likely got some magic from him, but unlikely that others did.  But his blessings would have been broadly universal across the communities, towns, and cities of the Holy Country.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, that’s useful.

 

I found a handful more information in the Well Of Daliath too.

But I fail to found details about said tournament, or the heroquest that this may represent.

Also in the "https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/the-tournament-of-the-masters-of-luck-and-death/" it says that not everyone who participates in the tournament ends up dead, that there are some who return strengthened, and not necessarily because they are possessed by the eternal essence of Belintar.

Any thoughts on that?

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Godweyn said:

Ok, that’s useful.

 

I found a handful more information in the Well Of Daliath too.

But I fail to found details about said tournament, or the heroquest that this may represent.

Also in the "https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/the-tournament-of-the-masters-of-luck-and-death/" it says that not everyone who participates in the tournament ends up dead, that there are some who return strengthened, and not necessarily because they are possessed by the eternal essence of Belintar.

Any thoughts on that?

The tournament has never been detailed as far as I know, beyond that the entire time period of the contest is basically an extended heroquest for the participants. I imagine that they at least need to reenact the actions Belintar took to unify the Holy Country, and probably there's some direct magical and/or physical contests between competitors. It was going to be detailed in the third board game after WBRM and Nomad Gods, but that unfortunately never saw the light of day beyond some of the tokens.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Godweyn said:

But I fail to found details about said tournament, or the heroquest that this may represent.

Also in the "https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/the-tournament-of-the-masters-of-luck-and-death/" it says that not everyone who participates in the tournament ends up dead, that there are some who return strengthened, and not necessarily because they are possessed by the eternal essence of Belintar.

Any thoughts on that?

The best source is the Guide p.239: "When Belintar’s mortal body expires, the next day select individuals, chosen by a means known only to the God-King, awake between dawn and day in a thoroughly magical Holy Country with the awareness that they are part of the Masters of Luck and Death. These individuals on the Other Side compete for magical powers and mystical insight.  The rulers of the six lands of the Holy Country and Belintar’s close companions are usually qualified to participate in the Masters of Luck and Death. Others are as well – people wake up knowing they are a candidate for the Masters of Luck and Death, but never why.

The Tournament is extremely dangerous. Most losers die during the contests or are magically crippled, although a few are known to have not only survived but strengthened by their participation. The winner of the Tournament of Masters of Luck and Death unites with the divine essence of Belintar and his body is overtaken by this immortal element, which flows through his whole being and dwells in it.  The winner becomes a living god – Belintar the God-King. The great magical energy inexorably overtakes the mortal body, and after a number of years the God-King requires a new body....

The participants in the Tournament never speak of their contests and it is widely believed that powerful magical guardians protect the secrets of the Masters of Luck and Death."

13 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

It was going to be detailed in the third board game after WBRM and Nomad Gods, but that unfortunately never saw the light of day beyond some of the tokens.

There are no other details published.  MoLaD (the tournament's abbreviated name) was conceived originally as a possible board game, but never got to a satisfactory state for Greg.  

Given that the Holy Country is made up of six provinces that represent the five Elemental Runes plus a mysterious Sixth, you can likely figure that contests involve the mythic struggles between elements (does Sea overcome Earth, does Storm drive back Sea, etc.).  

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

How good of a deal is this, really? If you lose, you probably die, and if you ”win”, you get essentially possessed? Especially since most of the participants would already be fairly successful in their own rights?

Is there an actual choice whether to participate, because this doesn’t seem like a strong sell?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Godweyn said:

May be in older editions?

We are also fortunate that we have Greg's comments on subjects like this

15 hours ago, Godweyn said:

So, is there some official information about the cult of the masters of Luck and Death?

Quote

Some mysteries are deep, deep, deep and maybe cannot be solved from the outside.

Have a look at

https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/WorldofGlorantha/2010/12131.html

https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/WorldofGlorantha/2010/12171.html

https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/WorldofGlorantha/2010/12178.html

https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/WorldofGlorantha/2007/3779.html

 

  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

How good of a deal is this, really? If you lose, you probably die, and if you ”win”, you get essentially possessed? Especially since most of the participants would already be fairly successful in their own rights?

Is there an actual choice whether to participate, because this doesn’t seem like a strong sell?

Well, it's not standard possession, in fantasy terms. What happens if you win is that you get to enter the little paradise that Belintar has for those who give up their bodies to him, and in exchange for that prolonged bliss, the God-King takes your perishable, ephemeral body. And, presumably, like the Masks of the Red Emperor, you have an influence on Belintar while he's using your body as his avatar.

Now, there are people who survived the disastrous tournament after Jar-eel dismembered Belintar, so presumably you can refuse safely.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Eff said:

Well, it's not standard possession, in fantasy terms. What happens if you win is that you get to enter the little paradise that Belintar has for those who give up their bodies to him, and in exchange for that prolonged bliss, the God-King takes your perishable, ephemeral body.

Do the participants have good reason to believe this? If someone told me "I need your body, but I'll pack away your soul in a pocket paradise", I would at least be skeptical at first. Even if it was, in fact, true.

Edited by Akhôrahil
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Akhôrahil said:

Do the participants have good reason to believe this? If someone told me "I need your body, but I'll pack away your soul in a pocket paradise", I would at least be skeptical at first.

Those of them who had positions of importance in the Holy Country might well have direct experience of Belintar's Otherworld (as would anyone who had competed before). And Belintar himself might well be able to establish contact with his previous bodies to reassure worried people (assuming they're separated from ancestral worship rites). Now, are these absolute reassurances? Could these things be convincingly faked by someone who had absorbed those previous personalities? Could Belintar actually be a monstrous spiderlike entity that peels off the spiritual faces of his most delicious victims, those who had struggled for so long, and cozens the Holy Country with saccharine lies? Yes.

Is that all that interesting? Not to me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

How good of a deal is this, really? If you lose, you probably die, and if you ”win”, you get essentially possessed? Especially since most of the participants would already be fairly successful in their own rights?

Is there an actual choice whether to participate, because this doesn’t seem like a strong sell?

Being possessed (or turning into, who knows) by Belintar is probably enough of a sell for the people selected for the contest. Sure, maybe his power overwrites your mind and burns up your body, but the chance to be that deeply connected to a god is something pretty special, and the people selected are probably those who were devoted to Belintar in life anyways. Plus, while I don't recall exactly where I heard it, I believe the winner gets a special afterlife paradise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Eff said:

And, presumably, like the Masks of the Red Emperor, you have an influence on Belintar while he's using your body as his avatar.

There's at least one case where this seems to be true.  Noted in the Sourcebook p.28 with Queen Imarjira of Esrolia: "Her brother won the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death in 1550."  She subsequently became Queen of Esrolia in 1551.  And although a troubled reign in Esrolia, this is the period when Tarkalor defeated the Kitori, presumably working to some extent with Belintar's approval to reopen trade/remove tolls from Karse to Boldhome.

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Eff said:

What happens if you win is that you get to enter the little paradise that Belintar has for those who give up their bodies to him, and in exchange for that prolonged bliss, the God-King takes your perishable, ephemeral body. And, presumably, like the Masks of the Red Emperor, you have an influence on Belintar while he's using your body as his avatar.

I think a much stronger case for why you'd want to participate is the influence you can have on furthering the goals of those you are most loyal to.  I noted the case of Queen Imarjira's brother becoming Belintar, and then she becomes queen of Esrolia.  Big win for House Delaeos (and lays the groundwork for her great-granddaughter Samastina).  

Someone who became Belintar worked to open the Seas - very beneficial for the Islanders as well as Nochet.

Back around 1460, Belintar aided the Kitori in suppressing the Volsaxi and reestablishing the Shadow Tribute.  A troll or Kitori Belintar I'd bet.

Seems like perfect material for a great Gloranthan historical analysis: "The Influence of Belintar's soul upon the Economic and Political Development of the Sixths." 😉

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...