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When is 'dead', dead, (Esp for gods) in Glorantha?


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So, When the Great Compromise is enacted and (all) the dead follow the Sun back to the surface world, why do some Gods stay dead?
Thinking of Baroshi from Snake Pipe Hollow, yet many others come back (Ernalda)?

This Is (this) separate from annihilation from Chaos?

Edited by Orlanthatemyhamster
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The Lightbringers enacted the greatest Heroquest ever in order to make the Great Compromise possible. What's more, they didn't have any pre-trod path to go by. They had to journey to Hell without the mystic support of clan or tribe and find their own way to correct Orlanth's mistakes.

Some dead gods were too minor and limited in scope to return with Yelm. Baroshi was a petty godling nearly consumed by Chaos and therefore wasn't powerful enough to return with Yelm.

 

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30 minutes ago, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

and (all) the dead follow the Sun back to the surface world,

I do not see that they (all) followed the sun. In fact you point that out. To the best of my knowledge, it was only Yelm who came back, and only half the time at that. 

ETA
Damn, seems I was incorrect. Allow me to demonstrate with a quote.

Quote

Everything which had been killed in the Gods War had to remain dead one-half of Time, yet also was alive one-half. Thus, the world which made up the gods’ bodies was subject to those changes, and the magical energies of the world also followed the flow and pattern. Thus, in the winter the Earth and Fire deities are weak, but in summer the Fire gods are most powerful.

[GSB page 132]

Now this statement seems odd, as many did not return...contradicts the “Everything” that starts the quote.

 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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1 hour ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Now this statement seems odd, as many did not return...contradicts the “Everything” that starts the quote.

I think it can be finessed with a "did not return . . . yet." Dead gods who cannot be contacted today and have yet been unavailable within time may one day follow their colleagues back up from the velvet underground into the world of the living. Their strange aeon simply hasn't come round at last, their long hour not quite here. Even the Gold Wheel Dancers were extinct once until somebody prayed hard enough.

Some esoteric Gloranthan thinkers probably see time as the long process of recovering every lost god from the brink of oblivion. Given the cyclical / tidal ebb and flow of the seasonal powers, they'd put great stress on calendrical calculations. Others deride these "makers of 'moons'" as muddled mystagogues, rehearsing endless streams of meaningless syllable combinations in the hope of catching an otherwise lost god name like Baroshi or Sedenya or whoever. 

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2 hours ago, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

So, When the Great Compromise is enacted and (all) the dead follow the Sun back to the surface world, why do some Gods stay dead?
Thinking of Baroshi from Snake Pipe Hollow, yet many others come back (Ernalda)?

This Is (this) separate from annihilation from Chaos?

One way of looking at this is that when Arachne Solara makes a net, she and the gods made the world anew. So, some gods are dead because they are defined as dead in the world that was made, like Baroshi or Vadrus- the gods said, "this agent was once active, but isn't any more". But you could bring them back, because there's knowledge of them, as opposed to someone who's been so eaten by Chaos they're beyond knowledge, who would have to be created new. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I think it can be finessed with a "did not return . . . yet." Dead gods who cannot be contacted today and have yet been unavailable within time may one day follow their colleagues back up from the velvet underground into the world of the living. Their strange aeon simply hasn't come round at last, their long hour not quite here. Even the Gold Wheel Dancers were extinct once until somebody prayed hard enough.

Some esoteric Gloranthan thinkers probably see time as the long process of recovering every lost god from the brink of oblivion. Given the cyclical / tidal ebb and flow of the seasonal powers, they'd put great stress on calendrical calculations. Others deride these "makers of 'moons'" as muddled mystagogues, rehearsing endless streams of meaningless syllable combinations in the hope of catching an otherwise lost god name like Baroshi or Sedenya or whoever. 

Other deities have been lost or assimilated over time. Like Praxian Sun Daughter, Elmal and Antirius. A few have been killed, like Ifttala Likita (ancestress of the Pendali) or the God of the Silver Feet in Fronela, or quasi-killed like Rathor.

At times mortals became gods, and assimilated or removed pre-existing deities. Daxdarius and Natha usurped peaks of Mt. Jernotius in Godtime.

The Eleven Lights are a late case of lesser deities awakened in a Lightbringer fashion.

A possible late stage plot of the Hero Wars might be the assimilation of previous deities - even (or maybe especially) rune-holder deities - by the surviving heroes at the end of the Hero Wars. At least that is one way to read the botched Ritual of the Net rite in the Argrath Book section of King of Sartar.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, svensson said:

The Lightbringers enacted the greatest Heroquest ever in order to make the Great Compromise possible. What's more, they didn't have any pre-trod path to go by. They had to journey to Hell without the mystic support of clan or tribe and find their own way to correct Orlanth's mistakes.

They were gods, not heroquesters, none of what they did was pre-trod, although they did have the mystic backing of their tribe. Also the Lightbringers quest is likely a post-Compromise myth: why would the King of the Gods suck up to Yelm? The original myth is about going to Hell to wake Ernalda, only with the First Council did the Lightbringers bring back Yelm, thus the Sunstop.
 

Edited by Dogboy
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(God Learner gibberish warning)

I think the Everything in the quote is Lightbringer propaganda. Some deities returned with cyclical death because it was decided they are part of the fundamental nature of the world, like Yelm, or Orlanth, or Ernalda. Some never died, and got a pass. As for the rest, most remain dead, and their energies help the return of those that Arachne Solara considered that had to return. 

Incidentally, that is how I justify that the Lunars could "kill" Orlanth and Ernalda, because they are actually dead, and you can cut the flow of energy that animates them.

As there was not enough energy for everyone, gods melded and joined, just to get a shot at living. Orlanth absorbed most of the Storm Tribe, so although the Thunder Brothers may be manifested by Orlanth when necessary, they are dead most of the time, as the price of keeping Orlanth active most of the time. It must feel lonely at times, when most of the crowd in Orlanth's high hall is actually Orlanth and Ernalda with different masks.

That is the Compromise. A few are ressurrected, most are dead, we have to decide who gets to live and under what conditions. We can never know who actually did the LBQ. But those who returned were the ones chosen by the Compromise to return as saviors of the world.

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1 hour ago, Dogboy said:

They were gods, not heroquesters, none of what they did was pre-trod, although they did have the mystic backing of their tribe. Also the Lightbringers quest is likely a post-Compromise myth: why would the King of the Gods suck up to Yelm? The original myth is about going to Hell to wake Ernalda, only with the First Council did the Lightbringers bring back Yelm, thus the Sunstop.
 

What the Lightbringers did WAS a Heroquest... in fact, they trod the first path of Heroquesting. They changed the world by creating a new myth by spiritual and physical means... that's a Heroquest no matter who the performers are.

Orlanth was the King of STORM Gods. He had no power or authority over the Sun/Sky Gods, the Dark Goddesses, or the Sea Gods, and damned little over the Earth Goddesses, save only that which Ernalda chose to give him. It was Ernalda that convinced Orlanth that he'd made a mistake in killing Yelm, the Sun Emperor, and informed him that the Earth needed both Rain and Sun to be bountiful. Thus, Orlanth DID Heroquest to free Yelm from Hell, albeit at the behest of his wife and the need of his people. And this was when Orlanth learned to take responsibility for his mistakes as well as his successes.

Edited by svensson
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5 hours ago, JRE said:

(God Learner gibberish warning)

I think the Everything in the quote is Lightbringer propaganda. Some deities returned with cyclical death because it was decided they are part of the fundamental nature of the world, like Yelm, or Orlanth, or Ernalda. Some never died, and got a pass. As for the rest, most remain dead, and their energies help the return of those that Arachne Solara considered that had to return. 

Incidentally, that is how I justify that the Lunars could "kill" Orlanth and Ernalda, because they are actually dead, and you can cut the flow of energy that animates them.

As there was not enough energy for everyone, gods melded and joined, just to get a shot at living. Orlanth absorbed most of the Storm Tribe, so although the Thunder Brothers may be manifested by Orlanth when necessary, they are dead most of the time, as the price of keeping Orlanth active most of the time. It must feel lonely at times, when most of the crowd in Orlanth's high hall is actually Orlanth and Ernalda with different masks.

That is the Compromise. A few are ressurrected, most are dead, we have to decide who gets to live and under what conditions. We can never know who actually did the LBQ. But those who returned were the ones chosen by the Compromise to return as saviors of the world.

This is a really interesting view on it. What source can I read to see this perspective further explained? (Or is this a theory you came up with that doesn’t have proponents in universe?)

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5 hours ago, svensson said:

What the Lightbringers did WAS a Heroquest... in fact, they trod the first path of Heroquesting. They changed the world by creating a new myth by spiritual and physical means... that's a Heroquest no matter who the performers are.

Orlanth was the King of STORM Gods. He had no power or authority over the Sun/Sky Gods, the Dark Goddesses, or the Sea Gods, and damned little over the Earth Goddesses, save only that which Ernalda chose to give him. It was Ernalda that convinced Orlanth that he'd made a mistake in killing Yelm, the Sun Emperor, and informed him that the Earth needed both Rain and Sun to be bountiful. Thus, Orlanth DID Heroquest to free Yelm from Hell, albeit at the behest of his wife and the need of his people. And this was when Orlanth learned to take responsibility for his mistakes as well as his successes.

The LBJ (Lyndon B Johnson) is an Orlanthi Myth. Sun Worshippers everywhere would say, 'Quest? What Quest?' or 'Rebellus Terminus and the other Rebels were drawn to Yelm by his command of Divine Justice* and made to atone for their sins, and so the world began to return to rightness, with Yelm leading the return to the surface worldm proceeded by his heralds and harbingers.

Yelm is the god of justice.

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7 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Some esoteric Gloranthan thinkers probably see time as the long process of recovering every lost god from the brink of oblivion. 

For the love of Go...Something not a deity, NO!

If that were to happen, I think the whole dumb God's War cycle would start again, and this time there would be No Ginna Jar to save us.

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1 hour ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

This is a really interesting view on it. What source can I read to see this perspective further explained? (Or is this a theory you came up with that doesn’t have proponents in universe?)

Just an educated guess why only certain gods return to the surface after the compromise, and how, with the help of the Theyalan missionnaries, all the storm gods seemed to become Orlanth. 

More speculation. Any ressurrected god breaks part of Arachne's web. And after the first big tear, the Sunstop, tearing the web is easier. Now even the Giftbringers seem unable to pursue the knowledge of the God Learner secret. End times indeed, but now is the moment to recover your favorite deity, before the web unravels fully. So let's hope few gods ever return. 

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1 hour ago, svensson said:

What the Lightbringers did WAS a Heroquest... in fact, they trod the first path of Heroquesting. They chan ged the world by creating a new myth by spiritual and physical means... that's a Heroquest no matter who the performers are.

Creating new myths was what being a deity was about, although repeat performances of other deities' myths was part of the course, too (like the Storm god slaying/releasing the water dragon or the Storm Leader marrying Earth afterfreeing her).

 

1 hour ago, svensson said:

Orlanth was the King of STORM Gods. He had no power or authority over the Sun/Sky Gods, the Dark Goddesses, or the Sea Gods, and damned little over the Earth Goddesses, save only that which Ernalda chose to give him. It was Ernalda that convinced Orlanth that he'd made a mistake in killing Yelm, the Sun Emperor, and informed him that the Earth needed both Rain and Sun to be bountiful. Thus, Orlanth DID Heroquest to free Yelm from Hell, albeit at the behest of his wife and the need of his people. And this was when Orlanth learned to take responsibility for his mistakes as well as his successes.

Orlanth had conquered the Sky, and it was he who defended the sky against the Sky Terror, his one major victory over Chaos in direct confrontation. (The LBQ was his greatest victory over Chaos, but that was achieved by taking the Other Way rather than fighting it head to head.) He had conquered much of the rest of the surface world, too, and had rid the Middle Air of that pesky moon presence, too. He had plundered the deepest seas and churned its surface as much as Magasta did - Orlanth's cyclone and Magasta's Whirlpool work hand in hand, although Orlanth retains some freedom to move his Brastalos zone about.

The Triolini of the surface seas were children of Storm, too (though not Orlanth's get), but only one Storm God managed to rule over a sea down to its roots (on the body of Earth): Kahar. Other than Kahar, Sshorg and Neliomi, the seas that had flooded the Middle World been dried up by the Storm Gods (admittedly under the leadership of Valind, where Faralinthor was concerned,, but the rest had been driven off by Orlanth).

The Dark Gods or at least those worshipped by the tolls had been forced out of Hell by the embers of the Emperor, and may have been the biggest rivals of the Storm King for Surface World domination, other than his nephews Valind and Wakboth. Both Genert and Pamalt restricted their authorities (which were different from Orlanth's) to their quarters of the Lozenge, and then only half of that (Pamalt lost control over Somelz, and Genert had ceased the western half of his continent and remained mainly inside his garden. Zzabur fought a losing war against the Vadeli, and Vithela was overrun by the antigods.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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5 hours ago, JRE said:

More speculation. Any ressurrected god breaks part of Arachne's web. And after the first big tear, the Sunstop, tearing the web is easier. Now even the Giftbringers seem unable to pursue the knowledge of the God Learner secret. End times indeed, but now is the moment to recover your favorite deity, before the web unravels fully. So let's hope few gods ever return. 

Any god brought back has to have been somewhere in the folds of Arachne Solara's web. There are deities that no longer are part of the fabric of the universe, and those cannot be brought back.

The Red Goddess is a case of extreme patchwork "reconstruction" or re-creation, nuilding uo a body of myths within Time and then establishing those in the shape of the Red Moon as a new complex  both in the Otherworld and visible above the Inner World.

One way to perceive Arachne Solara's web is somewhat similar to DNA. The Inner World and the Godtime it is built upon are the parts of the web which have an expression as reality, while there are foöds in the web that contain potential Godtime memories that aren't currently connected to the Inner World.

The web thus contains potential creation that happened in Godtime but that is not currently expressed in the Inner Worlld, the part of the universe that exists in Time and thereby allows all the rest to continue.

Yes, there is the Chaosium, the wellspring of Creation which can add stuff to the universe from raw potential. And there is Time, the final arbiter of what exists in the now, the judge of reality, or the apparatus that turnse myth into reality reading and expressing the selection of ftagmentary information, and the seams between such fragments that create a continuum between these.

The seams can be challenged - this happened in the Syndics' Ban. And what emerged from the Ban was different from what went into it, too. Coastal Fronela and Brithos were rotated somewhat to allow new territory between Loskalm and Rathorela, such as the Black Forest and the core of the Kingdom of War. Compare the coast line of the God Learner mythical maps or the historical maps in Troll Pak with the modern map (which the historical maps of Genertela in the Guide have been based on).

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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I really like your idea of dead gods as potential folds in Arachne's web. That would mean that any "returned", "rediscovered" or "ressurrected" deity either comes through a tear in the web, or (the right way to do it) a redefinition of the Compromise, a new negotiation and change in the constraint conditions.

In the web you have zero degrees of freedom, as a god currently active you have one degree of freedom, heroes and demigods active in time would have two, and normal humans have all three degrees. I would go as far as saying that illuminati have four, as they have discovered the other direction and can act on it.  

The gods' freedom comes from humans giving up theirs, so it is all connected. And a big hero getting enmeshed in the web can even bring back a dead god without breaking the compromise, by becoming like a god herself...

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17 hours ago, svensson said:

What the Lightbringers did WAS a Heroquest... in fact, they trod the first path of Heroquesting. They changed the world by creating a new myth by spiritual and physical means... that's a Heroquest no matter who the performers are.

It was probably a HeroQuest but was not the first one.

Orlanth had followed one of Vadrus's myths when he fought the Blue Dragon and freed Heler, for example. So, there are examples of deities following the paths of others way before the Lightbringers Quest.

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

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4 hours ago, soltakss said:

It was probably a HeroQuest but was not the first one.

Orlanth had followed one of Vadrus's myths when he fought the Blue Dragon and freed Heler, for example. So, there are examples of deities following the paths of others way before the Lightbringers Quest.

Good point. I'd forgotten that one.

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For the god Artmal, it took scattering his bones across the worlds after Orlanth drowned him in the Sea of Fire in the utter south of the world.  I expect Gargandos and his Glorious Ones performed some aggressive heroquesting in the First Age to raise up his aspect of Artmal the Slave while keeping the rest of him thoroughly dead and dispersed.

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On 6/1/2022 at 9:57 PM, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

So, When the Great Compromise is enacted and (all) the dead follow the Sun back to the surface world, why do some Gods stay dead?
Thinking of Baroshi from Snake Pipe Hollow, yet many others come back (Ernalda)?

This Is (this) separate from annihilation from Chaos?

Death is a direction in Glorantha.  Under the correct conditions you can walk back from Death to Life.  It is likely that before the discovery of the Death Rune, it was far easier to return from Death, which was likely merely an extreme expression of the Underworld (before time).  In some ways gods are eternal, but in others they are simply trapped in their addiction to power.

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On 6/2/2022 at 10:37 AM, dumuzid said:

For the god Artmal, it took scattering his bones across the worlds after Orlanth drowned him in the Sea of Fire in the utter south of the world.  I expect Gargandos and his Glorious Ones performed some aggressive heroquesting in the First Age to raise up his aspect of Artmal the Slave while keeping the rest of him thoroughly dead and dispersed.

Not to draw in too much real-world scholarship, but it's been noted that slavery is a form of social death that is frequently treated as a more literal death as well in folklore. I think it makes a lot of sense for Artmal to be a kind of zombie servant but otherwise dead. Though probably healing him requires a bit more than feeding him salt.

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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A more elucidating form of asking this question is why and how the gods who died came back, and what their cycle of life, death, and rebirth means. Ernalda sleeps in death every winter, and Voria is born as spring. The sun sets and rises. These have mundane explanations we can pull from our own experience, but they also mean something more, and that something more isn't just "they were participants in the Great Compromise."

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Dismemberment of a deity can prevent the deity from coming back, even though it is not a Death death. Umath suffered that fate at the blows of Jagrekriand (probably overexerted himself when banging Verithurus(a) in the Underworld, rather than healing himself), and Orlanth narrowly escaped following in his father's trails at Stormfall, where the Chaos foes shattered him into 48 pieces, one less than the commonly accepted minimal number to prevent re-assembly. (Or at least re-assembly by less than world-shattering means, or integration into another deity, or both (Red Goddess, anyone?).)

According to Dara Happan traditions, Murharzarm the Emperor was stricken dead by Death, and that caused Yelm to dismember, sending the white-hot embers into Hell and leaving the orb of Antirius in the sky, a weaker, cold sun (that was not yet merged with Lightfore). That seems to indicate that fragments of a greater deity may still operate as lesser deities. The Blue Streak of Annilla may be another such case, and Humakt did something like that to himself.

Both Nysalor/Gbaji and the God of the Silver Feet were dismembered, the pieces scattered. (The pattern of the Thaw of the Ban may indicate the scattering pattern of those pieces.)

 

 

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The dismemberment-and-scattering approach seems to be done with the knowledge that some deities can't be stopped just by killing them. This was done with the Devil himself, trapped under the Block, to be eroded away for all Time. Arkat replicates it with Nysalor, but, tricky not-god that he is, that seems to have just made Illumination more deeply integrated into the world...

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Arkat could not unenlighten himself, and was not willing to eradicate himself and his disciples, so Nysalor's death could not change illumination. That is one of the reasons why it does not really matter who left the Tower of Dreams alive, as they were by then functionally identical. Whoever did claimed it was Arkat and embraced darkness, as that choice brought peace. 

However Nysalor's return to the middle world also brings Arkat back, and that is one of the big threads of the Hero Wars. We can only hope this second time one of the two, or even the two together, will perform the Utuma in the right way, so both leave the universe behind, and break the cycle.

Illumination will remain, and (in my dumb theories tradition) the whitening of the moon will be such a mystical event that all who witness it become illuminated. That ends the Hero War, because there is no reason to fight anymore, and the power of gods is broken when all their worshippers are illuminated...

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