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Kaldar and Sinjota


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On 8/21/2022 at 6:37 PM, Erol of Backford said:

If either were a parent

No one has picked this up, so perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to inject a little context. Apologies for everything I am about to get wrong.

Guide to Glorantha, page 162:

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Kaldar and Sinjota were two guardians of the Gates of Dusk during the Great Darkness. They were confronted by the Seven Lightbringers, who wished passage but were denied. Orlanth killed Kaldar and Eurmal seduced Sinjota; the latter act begat Yomat Burtae, who was worshiped later in the West.

Guide to Glorantha, page 373:

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Eurmal the Clever One, and his son Yomat Friend of Men

I am guessing that the context is a PC Lightbringer quest. The metaphysics of heroquests is above my pay grade. Do they normally multiply entities? That is, if the Godtime original event caused something to come into being, does the recapitulation of the event in a heroquest cause a new thing to come into being? If not, can’t the child just be Yomat?

The worry is if the quest goes off piste and a trickster PC (any sex) gets pregnant and gives birth back in the mundane world? I would suggest Swallowing the thing and hoping it finds its way back to the Great Darkness. Or “your quest has indeed brought light back to the world; bow down before … Nysalor!” Now, no one can tell the right kind of riddle from the wrong kind — or even remember that there was supposed to be a difference.

Probably missed the point entirely.

Edited by mfbrandi
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16 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Not sure why but Goya came to mind...

No, that seems about 80% appropriate, but gulp, don’t chomp. Less messy.

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not liking the whole eating the child!?

For the follower of a God who engineered the murder of the sun/emperor of everything, what is swallowing just one little baby? I mean, killing the sun worked out just fine in the long run — who would want to live in eternal day? — and it is just one child, and it’s wafer thin.

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moral and just but with demigod powers?

I guess it depends on how you feel about letting the divine manifest inside time. I am totally relaxed about Sedenya and Nysalor, but more uptight others might see their shenanigans as a breach of the capital-C Compromise. Others might say, “It is only a demigod; what could possibly go wrong? Harrek? Never heard of him.” or “What is theistic magic but the gods violating the Compromise, anyway? Happens all the time.” Me? What do I say? I am just going to go hide under this rock, OK?

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On 8/23/2022 at 5:01 AM, mfbrandi said:

Yomat Friend of Men


(Y)uma(k)t. If you're seducing one I would give it Death and Truth, maybe a touch of what we call Disorder. Getting the "baby" back to the surface is probably not a challenge for the trickster in question. The challenge is figuring out how to have a relationship.

Great thread!!

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55 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

(Y)uma(k)t.

And although that adds a touch of irony to “friend of men”, there would seem to be a case for Death, Time (incorporating our old friends Chaos and the void), and indeed the progressive “thinning” of Glorantha (first hobble the gods and then get rid of them and the elder races) all being friends of humans. Roll on the Fourth Age. (Although, I would quite like the 4th Age to be a “blank land”.)

BTW, what happened to Kajabor (rather than Wakboth) as god killer and father of Time? Were we never supposed to buy Kajabor != Wakboth, or is giving Wakboth this rôle a retcon (possibly following “Argrath & the Devil”)?

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7 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

BTW, what happened to Kajabor (rather than Wakboth) as god killer and father of Time? Were we never supposed to buy Kajabor != Wakboth, or is giving Wakboth this rôle a retcon (possibly following “Argrath & the Devil”)?

[response too large for thread / MULTIPLE DEVILS EXEMPTION DETECTED]

Now that you mention it, Kaldar + Sinjota = KAjota(R). The twin guardians of the gate together add up to something like entropy, the erasure that threatened before death and time. In their own place, following their proper function, they aren't necessarily a problem. It's only when their prerogatives are resisted or the system (machine) around them breaks down that they flow together into something more apocalyptic.

But "Friend of Man" is a tell here because we usually associate it with Eurmal directly and not with some secondary (burta) figure. This is northern Eurmal, the clever god who liberates fire for mortals in a cold world. He has more of the attributes of southern Orlanth (who does not appear in these tales), being a warrior as well as a troublemaker. Squinting, he could have taken care of both guardians of the gate on his own without doing much more than changing his hat and pitching his voice differently.

If Yomat is the friend of man and also death, then this might be a survival of the original northwestern understanding of why "we" die when nearby immortals (notably the people of Brithos but also dwarves, altinelans, luatha etc.) do not. Yomat in this reading is something like Pandora's box, superficially a curse and a heartache but ultimately a kindness that allows stuck souls in damaged bodies an avenue for change, transformation, growth. We make mistakes so we can learn. We fall so we can learn to get back up again and we die so we can start over. 

This is a little different from the more familiar archaic western division of the "Orlanth" attributes between Eurmal and a figure once called Humakt . . . "the storm god, chief of the gods, wielder of the thunderbolt and bringer of rain" or more simply "god of the air" who forced earth and sky apart, quarreled with the sun and changed the world. Obviously this reminds us of someone else. At this stage, he is not Death and Eurmal is not explicitly the Thief of Death either. Those relationships are explored elsewhere. 

And so it's interesting to see this transitional version where the epithets are shuffled a little differently. Maybe in this version "Orlanth" was death and his story played out differently while Eurmal and "Yomat" stayed a little closer together. Or all three of them reflect aspects of some even more primordial air god no longer worshipped within time but still recalled dimly in the far north and west. 

By the way, in this reading Kaldar and Sinjota may be equivalent to "Nakala and Tolat." Tol, the primeval red "moon," is a strange god, broadly identified with death. If so, he vanishes from the genealogy at this juncture while Nakala ultimately produces a child who is also a secret who is also a gift. Her sorrow in later iterations of the westfaring may only be a kind of echo of the original bereavement, a kind of mythic stone tape.

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52 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

[response too large for thread / MULTIPLE DEVILS EXEMPTION DETECTED]

But where is the memo I missed? The Guide, the Sourcebook, and the Well of Daliath still tell the familiar story from the 1980s (and possibly further back — I didn’t check past the Gods of Glorantha red box). It is true that “Kajabor is mistakenly called ‘the Devil’ in some older documents, confusing him with Wakboth” (Guide, p. 119) does look like it could be some kind of lame arse covering (in-world or otherwise), and it is soon followed (p. 120) by the cagier:

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Prevalent belief says that Kajabor was killed by Wakboth, leaving the world defiler to face the Storm Bull and the god of entropy to face the forces of the dead. This theory has much strength, since the mundane world (reconstructed later) was usually held to be the origin of immorality, while the combination of entropy and existence seem to synthesize into the god Time, who later rules the cosmos.

But — sentimental fool that I am — if I had to take Occam’s razor to the chaos pantheon, I would rule that Evil is a whole lot more boring than Entropy, and I would throw Wakboth under the bus. But, you know, let a hundred devils bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend — I can fit them all on the head of this pin.

Of course, in Gloranthan myth, one is always happy with teasing are they?/aren’t they? games like Arkat is/isn’t Nysalor, but that at least seems motivated — and I am failing to see it with Entropy = Evil. I am probably playing with half a jigsaw.

And I never bought that Entropy/Kajabor = Chaos while Eurmal/Disorder != Entropy, so Eurmal conspiring with Arachne Solara to get the Ritual of the Net right the second(?) time around — having failed to keep the gods from meddling with the mundane world previously, it is time feed them to the god killer/black hole/swallow of no return — with Argrath the know-nothing stooge facilitating the utuma (as per Nick Brooke on the destruction of the Red Moon) of (cough!) “Kajabor” as worm/dragon. So Ragnarok recapitulates the Draconic creation myth, which is as it should be, right?

Now, where did I put my anti-psychotics? Nurse! Nurse!

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So what happens to the child swallowed in the underworld brought back and possibly then vomited up by the Eurmali? Would they be OK as they are a demigod in a sense? Also if a female PC, not an Eurmali gave birth to the demigod would she be hurt physically during birth, like say when a Broo larva is born? I suppose anything is possible? The twins bodily joined in Dorastor, Skanth and Skath have exotic birthing results as well.

Actually I am liking the child siding with their human parent's cause, raised by them, not liking Lunars!? There is another story line here that may have some parallels. In the old Cult Compendium book, the brother of Norayeep and the "quest" to get him to the elven forest may be an interesting plot hook if the child doesn't turn into a actual PC!? The Backford Campaign I am working on has enough weirdo PC's in it already...

4 hours ago, scott-martin said:

The twin guardians of the gate together add up to something like entropy, the erasure that threatened before death and time. In their own place, following their proper function, they aren't necessarily a problem. It's only when their prerogatives are resisted or the system (machine) around them breaks down that they flow together into something more apocalyptic.

Would entropy not equal life or more so this child-character's life as it matures and moved closer to the Hero Wars?

Also what if any personality would Kaldar & Sinjota have and how would it meld with the human parent's personality manifested in the child?

From what I understood, the temple guardians at some temples in Asia represent the first and last breath of life, Ah and Un or something like that. What do these 2 characters in Glorantha represent other than just being guards of hell?

image.png.6064a7f48cca6699c98ef1f703f304fc.png "Ah" & "Un" - first and last breath of life...

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Thread . . . 

2 hours ago, mfbrandi said:

But — sentimental fool that I am — if I had to take Occam’s razor to the chaos pantheon, I would rule that Evil is a whole lot more boring than Entropy, and I would throw Wakboth under the bus. But, you know, let a hundred devils bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend — I can fit them all on the head of this pin.

 

. . . Escalating Quickly . . .  (Revealed Mythologies, Book One)

17 minutes ago, Erol of Backford said:

Would entropy not equal life or more so this child-character's life as it matures and moved closer to the Hero Wars?

IMG this is how the world is persistently reborn so just make it a beautiful baby, some new hope for the future snatched from hell. More later. Backford deserves to be a weird place. We must imagine Norayeep happy.

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7 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

So what happens to the child swallowed in the underworld brought back and possibly then vomited up by the Eurmali? Would they be OK as they are a demigod in a sense? Also if a female PC, not an Eurmali gave birth to the demigod would she be hurt physically during birth

I must admit that my first thought was of an Eurmali PC giving birth after return to mundanity, but this works, too — Trickster as drug child mule or sensitive crocodile parent.

I am not a huge fan of “because the GM says so”, but I see no reason for the child or mother to suffer just to generate a spurious patina of realism. The grimmest thing isn’t always the truest thing, and although it is sometimes MGF, not for everyone and not all the time.

I suppose one thing to be considered is whether the child is divine/semi-divine, at all. If we assume the PC mother is a mortal in some sense playing a divine rôle and that she contributes mortal DNA, what about the guardian of the gate? Could that be an NPC “playing” Kaldar/Sinjota? That could avert godling-on-the-loose but still allow the child to be a symbol of hope (“yes, you brought back light to the world …” — vegan sausage roll & manger optional) and to generate plot points: what species is the other parent? what sex is the other parent? who is the other parent, and is it looking for its child? does the kid have a messiah complex — possibly because of the attitudes/mistaken beliefs of the adults around it — but lack the magical oomph to back it up?

Isn’t there a “special” child in the Wooden Sword way back in Wyrm’s Footnotes? (Too long ago, don’t remember.)

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6 hours ago, mfbrandi said:

Isn’t there a “special” child in the Wooden Sword way back in Wyrm’s Footnotes?

Particularly vexing to the defenders was the fact that Errol Silksword was now quite pregnant, and it had been revealed through Divination that she was to give birth the day of the fight. During this, Errol Silksword gave birth. Immediately afterwards she was stuck by a small elemental but, despite incredible weakness (and near impossible rolls) she lept up and killed the thing. The baby was shielded by the Chalana Arroy Initiate, who also lived, barely, through the fire damage. NISELDA, the Invisible Child; daughter to Alebard and Errol Silksword, born this battle.

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On 8/25/2022 at 6:02 PM, mfbrandi said:

But — sentimental fool that I am — if I had to take Occam’s razor to the chaos pantheon, I would rule that Evil is a whole lot more boring than Entropy, and I would throw Wakboth under the bus. But, you know, let a hundred devils bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend — I can fit them all on the head of this pin.

Circling back around to thread this needle a little better. The Convergent Devil Hypothesis is challenging to talk about but maybe we start by grounding it in the shamanic moment of maximum existential threat when the outer world is dead and all you have left in there with you is the Enemy () and whatever else you brought in with you. Some people succeed in this ordeal and some don't. Those who succeed end up carrying some form of survival covenant that miraculously reintegrates the outer world and disintegrates the Enemy back into its scattered petty grievances and irritations. 

Everybody's Enemy is different. As "I" becomes "we" and communal systems achieve scale, the trace of the initial Enemy lingers around the margins as a local devil. For some people fleeing apocalyptic proto-Prax, this was Wakboth, ultimate expression of everything wrong in their system. They were a "moral" people and so their devil was actively evil, perverse and inherently corrupt. The people of the Neliomi basin called their local devil Kajabor at first. They were a "logical" people and so their devil was a kind of thermodynamic constant with no native moral attributes. He might even have simply been Disorder, the crack that precipitates everything. And there were other local devils we don't talk about so much.

In the clash of civilizations that ultimately ended the Dawn Age, some people recognized their gods in other people's gods and the survival covenants expanded. Other people recognized their devils in their neighbors' gods and were confronted with an existential threat. And still others got stuck between multiple devils. Their magicians struggled to identify the true enemy, with various levels of success. As the Gbaji Wars unfolded, some decided in their hearts that Wakboth the goat god of the chapparal was the final devil to coalesce out of the competing "chaos" factors. Others reasoned that Kajabor was the ultimate enemy we all need to fight just like we did at the beginning of all things. Again, some tried to have it both ways and there were (MGF) complicating factors we don't know very much about today. The historical record is deliberately messy.

A thousand years later, successful survival covenants have expanded and absorbed their neighbors. Depending on where you're from, the ultimate existential threat can take many forms. Once again, some look a lot like the gods of their neighbors. Hero Wars are inevitable. The alternative is to let the world (as we know it) end, which is again a form of the mystic utuma.

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22 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

The alternative is to let the world (as we know it) end

I guess I see the world as we know it as the slow unwinding into heat death (entropy + time), which is not tragic or terrifying. The Gods’ War is the scary early universe in danger of blinking back into non-existence before it has settled down into anything comprehensible to mortals. (This is not meant to be real physics, just use of the tools of modern myth.) So I guess I am seeing the myth as an explanation of how the world we know and love came to be.

Whereas having Wakboth in the net seems to be an attempt to explain a fallen world: the world was perfect once, but it blew up; in order to save it at all, we had to stitch evil into its fabric. This might be because one is trying to tell a tale of how one’s people survived a mundane disaster (which we have booted out of history and into the realm of the gods) through moral compromise. Or maybe one just has a really icky take on the universe. Or … ?

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1 minute ago, mfbrandi said:

moral compromise

This is great. Greg needed to juggle multiple forms of theodicy, thus the competing devils. As you are right to highlight, the western model allows for a more resigned "go gently into the night" philosophical approach but does not allow much in the way of a cosmic compromise. It's brittle, literally unforgiving. When pushed to its extreme, it refuses coexistence and instead rages against death or any perceived dimming of the light. They fancy themselves immortal because the alternative is too awful to contemplate. Or in the north, they consider every experience as a direct communication of the devil (whatever they call him/it/them at the time) with their souls. 

I wanted to talk about whose local devil "Gbaji" is or was but who has time to get dragged into the minutia of arkatism

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2 minutes ago, scott-martin said:


I wanted to talk about whose local devil "Gbaji" is or was but who has time to get dragged into the minutia of arkatism

I like to imagine that the only “devil” Arkat was fighting was himself — everything else is just collateral damage. Don’t externalise your “hero’s journey”, or innocent bystanders will get hurt. (M. John Harrison once called heroes “dangerous baboon colony stuff”, but that seems a bit hard on the baboons.)

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