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Saints/Ascended Masters of the Malkioni Sects


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Only things I have to add:

  • Castelein is currently a rather undefined figure.  In Blood Over Gold, he was a saint and a source of merchant wizardry.  In the Guide, all we know is he (1) started in Ralios, (2) forged a trade route to Esrolia, (3) married a spruce Aldryami and had a half-elven child, (4) went to the Underworld and returned, and (5) his body and possessions were turned into 52 relics used by Trader Prince wizards.  Partly based on that last point, he was a Malkioni IMG, but that's not something I can prove through extant texts.  Whether he was an ascended master or not goes even farther into IMG (I have outlandish and irresponsible thoughts on the matter).
     
  • Like Caselein, one can argue about Kaxtor's life and whether he was a Malkioni, though again like Caselein I believe he was a Malkioni.  However, he is definitely considered an ascended master by the inhabitants of Kaxtorplose, where he is viewed as a human incarnation of the Invisible God.  Outside that small city, he's probably only known to a few Arkati in Ralios.
     
  • I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Atrox may qualify as an ascended master, though nobody in the Third Age follows his teachings save for Ethilrist's Black Horse Troop.
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38 minutes ago, Nevermet said:
  • I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Atrox may qualify as an ascended master, though nobody in the Third Age follows his teachings save for Ethilrist's Black Horse Troop.

I had forgotten Atrox but doubt his existence (He's mentioned in the Esrolia: the Land of 10K Goddesses p45 if you want evidence that he exists).  In any even, I don't think the Black Horse Troop worships him and the word from Jeff has been that they are Hrestol worshippers (not Hrestol as an ascended master but as a god).

More details here: 

 

 

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On 6/4/2021 at 7:37 AM, metcalph said:

They do?  You should be careful in the sources you are using.  I have no idea whether you are happy with Trotsky's work or just want modern thinking on the matter.

TORM #13 pp14-16 primarily.  Plus the fact that religious ideology is a form of social glue that holds bronze-age societies together, and without something to venerate, that is more powerful than some old guy in a robe who can be blindsided with a sap, that social order will not hold.  

On 6/4/2021 at 7:37 AM, metcalph said:

Ordinary people are ignorant of sorcery because it requires literary and intense study.  There is nothing the Zzaburi can say or do to change that regardless of their attitude towards their inferiors.

Yes, because obviously there is no benefit whatsoever in attempting to educate the masses, even if all it takes is a room, a few pieces of slate or clay to act as an erasable  writing surface and some old fellow with a podium and a stick.

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On 6/2/2021 at 8:36 AM, Darius West said:

I am interested in where we currently sit in terms of all the various Ascended Masters of the Malkioni whom I will call saints because it is faster to type.  I am interested in doing something of a roll-call for the saints.  How many have been named and what is their area of specialty?  If you know the document and page they are in and on, including it would net you extra credit.

 

HeroQuest One names "saints" as one of several entities at home in the sorcery world, the essence planes, ... 

Quote

 an entity from the Essence World is an essence, psyche, or saint. 

This is relevant for the Three Distinct Otherworlds model (or dogma) that Greg was adamant on having in those years. That model created quite the workload for Jamie Revell aka Ttrotsky when he wrote Anaxial's Roster, having to define some entities for each of these otherworlds, and having to distribute other, pre-existing entities into these three Otherworlds.

The current dogma is back to naming these three (or four, if you include mysticism) approaches to magic perspectives, as of the foundational mention of these in Cults of Terror.

 

The HeroQuest first edition rules are full of saints, in cases of henotheist churches like the Aeolians (as presented there) as variations of the standard deities.. Then there are the founders of a church, or very important church leades who receive veneration. (like Mardron alongside Rokar), and rulers with sufficient heroic or magical potential in their dual role as temporal and religious leaders may have joined those ranks, too.

In HQ1, saints would have left behind scripture (often actually written by their disciples) from which liturgists would derive blessings, and wizards might derive spells.

Mechanically/magically, these saints were the expressions of nodes (topological entities in the magical flows of the world, at least in essence perspective) in the saint plane, the essence realm beyond the spell plane which provides the magical framework for sorcery magics. (If I understand the intention of sorcery spells in RQG correctly, the spells are temporary entities fueled by the magic points poured into them, or against their degradation in terms of points spent on duration, that act on behalf of their creators, the sorcery users. A sorcery spell behaves very much like a spirit when it comes to overcoming a target's resistance - the MP in the spell are used on the resistance table, rather than the POW statistic of the caster, as is the case for spirit magic or divine rune magic.)

 

Many of these concepts are discontinued in current canon, but the separation of babies from bathwater may have been too drastic, as I think there are plenty things in the bathwater that have enough virtues to live on - if not in official canon, then possibly in your on variant of Glorantha.

 

In general, HeroQuest 1 and the Hero Wars books before that provided a forest where too many branches (subcults) were counted as trees, and where every feat of a deity became a named subcult entity. (Plus we got the Allfather and Allmother aspects of Orlanth and Ernalda which have disappeared already in HQ2/HQG.)

 

Blessings derived from scripture based on the recorded deeds of a saint by liturgists and spells cast by orderlies have disappeared from canon (already in HQG or the Guide), and with these the needs for sorcerous patrons of most activities that define a majority of the lesser saints mentioned earlier in this thread. Grimoires are the sorcery containers in HQ2 and HQG.

RQG doesn't have anything like the sorcery student that we saw in RQ3 any more - sorcerous practitioners able to learn sorcery spells and only the most basic manipulation skill of intensity, no range, no duration. The orderlies of HQ1 had a magical ability similar to apprentice sorcerers or part-time sorcerers (like RQG Lhankor Mhy cultists, or philosophers outside of that cult).

 

Ascended Masters as presented in the Guide are mortals venerated for changes they brought. Many of these appear to have realized an error in their ways and then teaching or exemplifying a way out of those erroneous ways. Hrestol himself had at least three starts into new insights, the third of those cut short by his martyrdom, whereas most other ascended masters brought one, at most two such new directions or changes of their ways. (Halwal might have been one to change his ways after the liberation of Fronela, seeking a new way in the Arkati/Stygian path, but failing to re-unite the Arkat branches, so maybe a 1.5 alteration of his ways. Other masters may not even have completed their first approach.)

School Founders are lumped in with Ascended Masters. In HQ1, this was explained by the School Grimoire, a collection of spells tied to that school, which wasn't just a book copied by all of the adherents of the school but also a collection of magical/energetic pathways across and vertically connecting the Essence Planes to their Saint Node. HQ2 has those grimoires, but doesn't refer to the nodes any more.

Current canon aka RQG doesn't have any grimoires - not sure whether that is a "not yet" or a "not any more". All literacy (and hence reference to scripture) is subsumed in Lhankor Mhy and his associates and other shapes like Buserian (although the cult of Argan Argar as per the basic rules is as literate as that of LM, if only in Darktongue as its default). All writing is magical, even when hardly meaningful (as in graffiti carved into ancient ruins or balustrades of city walls or bridges).

 

HQ1 scripture, or the reading of it, would have been a form of mental re-enactment of the saint's deeds (or really the saint's knowledge put into deeds) of similar magical importance as ritual re-enactments in a theist or animist worship rite. As such, some magical blessings were derived from such ritual activity. RQG offers passions instead. I suppose a passion "veneration of <Ascended Master>" might be the mechanical equivalent of those scriptures celebrated by liturgists (i.e. literate people reading those passages aloud, or reciting them from memory while holding the written text).

Lesser patrons of a craft or similar might be done in a similar way.

 

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We stopped using the term "saint" precisely because people understandable ported over Catholic saints part and parcel. 

Through the history of Malkionism there has been a tendency to create cults around various entities who are lesser than the Invisible God, but are nonetheless worthy of veneration and worship. Some even provide Rune magic!

This goes back to before Dawn, when Malkion became a cult figure for those still devoted to the right way and Talar, Hrolar, and Dronar all became cult figures for their castes. Hrestol became a cult figure, followed by several of his pupils. Many of the leading figures of the Gbaji Wars got cults as well. Some of these cults were associated or syncretized with other cults, such as Talar and Issaries, or Xemela and Chalana Arroy. Some were combined with Daka Fal worship. The distinction between god and hero gets awful blurry here. During the Second Age, cults like Issaries, Chalana Arroy, and Lhankor Mhy got disseminated throughout the lands ruled by the Middle Sea Empire, and their association was sanctioned and even encouraged by the God Learner philosophies.

With the destruction of the God Learners, many Third Age Malkioni have experienced radical spiritual re-evaluations. Rokarism has pared back these syncretic cults, seeking the pure message of Malkion. New Hrestolism, in contrast, has radically reinterpreted Hrestol's teachings and tried to create a perfect society and world. Many of these new Malkioni movements would be almost unrecognisable to the Dawn Age Malkioni.

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9 hours ago, Darius West said:

TORM #13 pp14-16 primarily. 

Which is not canon and the current thinking about Malkioni has changed radically (or at least towards the thinking that was in Cults of Terror)

 

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7 hours ago, Jeff said:

With the destruction of the God Learners, many Third Age Malkioni have experienced radical spiritual re-evaluations. Rokarism has pared back these syncretic cults, seeking the pure message of Malkion. New Hrestolism, in contrast, has radically reinterpreted Hrestol's teachings and tried to create a perfect society and world. Many of these new Malkioni movements would be almost unrecognisable to the Dawn Age Malkioni.

Rokarism holds that only through reason and logic can the Invisible God be revealed. Syncretism and anthropomorphism, let alone superstitious traditions, obscure that pure reason - at best they only obscure the Invisible God. At worst, they lead to spiritual degeneration and lead mortals to attempt to replace the Invisible God with their own will. This was the great error and failing of the God Learners. 

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18 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Rokarism holds that only through reason and logic can the Invisible God be revealed. Syncretism and anthropomorphism, let alone superstitious traditions, obscure that pure reason - at best they only obscure the Invisible God. At worst, they lead to spiritual degeneration and lead mortals to attempt to replace the Invisible God with their own will. This was the great error and failing of the God Learners. 

So does this mean Rokari-dominated areas actively suppress cults?

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I'm now imagining Malkioni sects that still accept Malkioni materialism & monotheism - that the foundation of Creation is an invisible God and the basic forces of the universe They created - but rejects LOGIC! as the way to access it.  In short, an ecstatic Malkionism that insists emotion and feeling are as valid for understanding the basic forces and imposing ones will as Reason, if not more so.

 

EDIT: Or, if I live down to my self-imposed title of being an Asharan sophist, the development of personal virtue and the knowledge it creates is more important than logic and the knowledge of proofs.

 

...I may have had too much coffee.

Edited by Nevermet
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1 minute ago, Nevermet said:

I'm now imagining Malkioni sects that still accept Malkioni materialism & monotheism - that the foundation of Creation is an invisible God and the basic forces of the universe They created - but rejects LOGIC! as the way to access it.  In short, ecstatic Malkionism.

 

...I may have had too much coffee.

Maybe in Arrolia? Carmania?

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3 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Maybe in Arrolia? Carmania?

Possibly?  I'm not an expert, but but I'm very curious about how Lunarism mutates separate from the Empire in Arrolia.  And as for Carmania, they definitely have a notion of "Righteous Truth" that I feel isn't quite the same as Rokari logic.

But, I mean... I'm me, which at this point is a sadly predictable thing: If there is an indigenous form of (Henotheistic) Malkionism broadly construed among the Manirian Trader Princes, I'd argue it is about diplomacy and argumentation more than logical proofs. (And IMG Kaxtorplose, it begins with engineering, be it literal or metaphorical).

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27 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

That's been my understanding on them for quite a while now?

Yeah that's been the vibe I got from them for a while too, but the revelation to me that cults are present in Malkioni lands and are where many non-Zzaburi get their personal magic shook that perception up a little, so I'm no longer sure.

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28 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

Possibly?  I'm not an expert, but but I'm very curious about how Lunarism mutates separate from the Empire in Arrolia.  And as for Carmania, they definitely have a notion of "Righteous Truth" that I feel isn't quite the same as Rokari logic.

But, I mean... I'm me, which at this point is a sadly predictable thing: If there is an indigenous form of (Henotheistic) Malkionism broadly construed among the Manirian Trader Princes, I'd argue it is about diplomacy and argumentation more than logical proofs. (And IMG Kaxtorplose, it begins with engineering, be it literal or metaphorical).

The pseudo-Malkionism in Maniria is pretty far-gone from Rokarism. They accept the Invisible God, and recognise the Trader Princes as the talar caste. The Trader Princes claim descent from Froalar and Garzeen, and thus worship Issaries as their direct ancestor.  Their cult practices are by now nearly indistinguishable from Lightbringer worship elsewhere in the Holy County, except that the Trader Princes gain their power and authority from their descent from Issaries. The Orlanth and Ernalda cults dominate the rural majority, although the local Grain Goddess is often worshiped independently, and Caladra & Aurelion, Lodril, and Heler are comparatively significant cults.

In short, they don't look much at all like what was in Blood Over Gold.

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1 minute ago, Jeff said:

The pseudo-Malkionism in Maniria is pretty far-gone from Rokarism. They accept the Invisible God, and recognise the Trader Princes as the talar caste. The Trader Princes claim descent from Froalar and Garzeen, and thus worship Issaries as their direct ancestor.  Their cult practices are by now nearly indistinguishable from Lightbringer worship elsewhere in the Holy County, except that the Trader Princes gain their power and authority from their descent from Issaries. The Orlanth and Ernalda cults dominate the rural majority, although the local Grain Goddess is often worshiped independently, and Caladra & Aurelion, Lodril, and Heler are comparatively significant cults.

In short, they don't look much at all like what was in Blood Over Gold.

Yeah, I didn't think they looked like the BoG Asharan Church any more.  I also assume whatever veneer of Malkionism that exists in Maniria ends with the city walls - the Manirians of the forests and hills probably feel the Invisible God is something the City-Folk get to worry about and isn't their problem.

And thank you about the Garzeen comment - i've been wondering about that!

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1 minute ago, Nevermet said:

Yeah, I didn't think they looked like the BoG Asharan Church any more.  I also assume whatever veneer of Malkionism that exists in Maniria ends with the city walls - the Manirians of the forests and hills probably feel the Invisible God is something the City-Folk get to worry about and isn't their problem.

And thank you about the Garzeen comment - i've been wondering about that!

Actually most of the Manirian population are Orlanthi farmers, with a fair number of Pralori and Mraloti. The dense forests are in the north, in the Arstola Forest. So if you imagine the countryside, it is not so much dense forests, as farmland. More humid subtropical, like the US Southeast, or parts of the Adriatic coast. 

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3 hours ago, Richard S. said:

So does this mean Rokari-dominated areas actively suppress cults?

Except when there are "political" considerations such as:

  • The nobility worshipping their ancestors
  • The warriors worshipping barely-disguised hsunchen cults.

The wizards don't like that these aberrations exist with their reactions best characterized by the Kuber-Ross model.  

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12 hours ago, Richard S. said:

So does this mean Rokari-dominated areas actively suppress cults?

As I understand it, the talari have their ancestor cults, and the dronari and holari have their own cults, all tolerated so long as they do not threaten the order and stability of the caste system. 

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9 hours ago, metcalph said:

Except when there are "political" considerations such as:

  • The nobility worshipping their ancestors
  • The warriors worshipping barely-disguised hsunchen cults.

The wizards don't like that these aberrations exist with their reactions best characterized by the Kuber-Ross model.  

As in any human society, logic and reason must make certain compromises with tradition and power. This is the same dilemma the New Hrestoli face. And actually the New Hrestoli are far more similar to the Rokari than either would be comfortable acknowledging.

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16 hours ago, metcalph said:

Which is not canon and the current thinking about Malkioni has changed radically (or at least towards the thinking that was in Cults of Terror)

I find the notion of canon to be fraught.  Look at what happened to TSR when they played with that nonsense.

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On 6/5/2021 at 12:28 AM, metcalph said:

I had forgotten Atrox but doubt his existence (He's mentioned in the Esrolia: the Land of 10K Goddesses p45 if you want evidence that he exists).  In any even, I don't think the Black Horse Troop worships him and the word from Jeff has been that they are Hrestol worshippers (not Hrestol as an ascended master but as a god).

More details here: 

 

 

Atrox is gone. We went back to Greg's original intentions for Ethilrist, which fit into the stories far better.

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On 6/5/2021 at 6:42 AM, Nevermet said:
  • I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Atrox may qualify as an ascended master, though nobody in the Third Age follows his teachings save for Ethilrist's Black Horse Troop.

If you do still want to use Atrox and his school, a better place for him than Black Horse County would be Seshnela itself.

Given his book was a strict text, which was later superseded by the Abiding Book, but probably has a lot more in common with the Sharp version. It's association with the order of black iron echoes the school of Iron Blood in Segurane, and while the guide notes other Malkioni schools are subject to varying degrees of repression, a fellow school of wizard ascetics would fit in nicely.

What we have as his details even works nicely: An early follower of Malkion, who saw his betrayal and death by rebellious gods, and wrote down what he saw.  While his followers agree with the Rokari that one needs to obey your caste laws to achieve Solace, the Atroxics further hold that mortification of spirit and flesh is needed. They probably don't get on well with nobility, but you might find a sorcerer who follows those harsh laws trying to instruct some peasants somewhere. You could even connect it to the World of Losers movement found in Ralios, with Atrox being the first Hideous Saint.

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