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Do Gloranthans Dream of Rune Powered Sheep?


Darius West

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Humans spend 1/3 of their lives asleep.  In Glorantha, sleep is the time when you get your magic points back.  Allegedly, sometimes deities and spirits interact with you in your dreams in Glorantha.  Sleep is also the time when dreams come unbidden into one's head.  We also know that the main users of dream magic are the dragonewts, after all they produce dream dragons, and the Dragonewts Dream unlocked the Big Rubble.  

So the questions...

Who are the Deities of Sleep and who is the Deity of Dreams in Glorantha?  I mean, in Greek myth, we can point to Hypnos, and Morpheus.  In Mesopotamian myths it is Mamu and Sisig etc.  I suspect many Earth pantheons just had deities of night, and rolled sleep and dreams into their "portfolios".

I think the Lunars have Merasedenya, (HQ, "Under the Red Moon" p83) but what about the other pantheons?  Do they have sleep and dream deities?  Do they need them?  If they don't need deities to account for the visions people see when they sleep, how do they culturally explain dreams and sleep?

For that matter, by what process do people get their magic points back when they sleep in Glorantha?

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chalana arroy  😛

sleep helps health after all (and what about the spell !)

 

of course joking

but I have no idea. In addition of your question :

What is the purpose of a dream deity ? or rather what is the purpose of the cult of a dream deity ?

 

I mean your god (any one) is able to communicate with dreams. Your ancestors too. What could provide a dream god that your god (poetry, war, business, knowledge..) is not able to offer ?

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I mean your god (any one) is able to communicate with dreams. Your ancestors too. What could provide a dream god that your god (poetry, war, business, knowledge..) is not able to offer ?

I can think of a great many things that a dream god could provide off the top of my head...

The ability to send other people dreams and nightmares. 

The ability to dream things into being (like the trickster Hallucinate Spell).  

The ability to increase the healing and magic recharging benefits of sleep. 

The ability to build a dream palace with many features of a memory palace. 

The ability to improve one's skills and magic by interacting and training within a dream.

The ability to create a working temple to one's gods in one's dreams and thus refresh RP through nightly worship.

The ability to change people's opinions without them realizing it.

The ability to learn and research sorcery spells much faster.

An alternate and easier (or harder) path into the other realms.

The ability to create meeting places where people who dream can meet in secret.

The ability to manifest monsters from the depths of the human psyche into the real world

Maybe even a better ability to understand and communicate with dragonewts.  

With our dreams we make the world.

Edited by Darius West
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56 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I mean your god (any one) is able to communicate with dreams. Your ancestors too. What could provide a dream god that your god (poetry, war, business, knowledge..) is not able to offer ?

This is very tempting: Gloranthans don’t have a concept like our concept of dreaming, but they do say that otherworld interactions can be carried on during REM and sleep paralysis.

However, it is always good to offer an alternative. Try this: Argan Argar is the deity of Wakefulness; Xiola Umbar is the deity of Dreams; Zorak Zoran is the deity of Nightmares. Dreams are visions (so Light/Sky/Fire connection) in the Darkness (where you can only see by the light within). This function of these deities may be hard to talk about: cult secrets; non-Uz shunning ‘trollish’ gods; Uz not being primarily a visual bunch, perhaps they don’t dream, or dream differently — with their dreams presided over by a bat or other ‘sonar’ deity; the proximity of dream to illumination. Behind the three friends, of course, Arachne Solara, who — being a greater god — is not much worshipped. Doubtless you can think up other reasons why the deities with a special interest in dream don’t get much mention in the big public places of worship. Cragspider knows many dream secrets — she is a Gloranthan Sigmund Freud.

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30 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

This is very tempting: Gloranthans don’t have a concept like our concept of dreaming, but they do say that otherworld interactions can be carried on during REM and sleep paralysis.

However, it is always good to offer an alternative. Try this: Argan Argar is the deity of Wakefulness; Xiola Umbar is the deity of Dreams; Zorak Zoran is the deity of Nightmares. Dreams are visions (so Light/Sky/Fire connection) in the Darkness (where you can only see by the light within). This function of these deities may be hard to talk about: cult secrets; non-Uz shunning ‘trollish’ gods; Uz not being primarily a visual bunch, perhaps they don’t dream, or dream differently — with their dreams presided over by a bat or other ‘sonar’ deity; the proximity of dream to illumination. Behind the three friends, of course, Arachne Solara, who — being a greater god — is not much worshipped. Doubtless you can think up other reasons why the deities with a special interest in dream don’t get much mention in the big public places of worship. Cragspider knows many dream secrets — she is a Gloranthan Sigmund Freud.

This is a really good interpretation mfbrandi and I like it a lot.  The use of troll deities explains why dreams remain so elusive to humans, but it does (in my mind at least) suggest a certain primal sort of dream. On the other hand, if Zorak Zoran is the god of nightmares, then seriously, the children of Glorantha have a serious Freddy Kruger plus problem under their beds.  There will need to be a deity who protects sleeping children from the influence of ZZ so he doesn't basically eat children from the inside out while they sleep as he feeds on their terror.  Also, it doesn't quite explain the more tangible relationship the Dragonewts seem to have with dreams than all other Elder races.  I mean, Dragonewt cities seem to behave like dream architecture, we have dream dragons and the Dragonewts' Dream that opened the Big Rubble.  Dragonewts aren't very trollish.  I also worry that humans would have developed their own dream specialists and deities to match.

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44 minutes ago, Martin Dick said:

Thella (https://glorantha.fandom.com/wiki/Thella) and dreams seem to be quite an important element in Vithela

 

Yes I remember reading about Thella in the East Isles.  She's more along the lines of what I thought a dream deity should be like.  A pity her worship remains a very regional secret.

27 minutes ago, Martin Dick said:

Based upon the Dream World being a type of Illusion, then in the Storm Pantheon, Eurmal would be the God of Nightmares and Donandar the God of Dreams, but dreams don't really seem to be an important thing in central Genertela.

I agree with everything you've written here. 

On the other hand, I'm surprised the Lunars aren't a bit more interested in dreams, given their mystical bent and th epotential for dream driven madness.  We had the (now deprecated) cult of Merasedenya from "Under the Red Moon", but nothing HQ survived the release of HQG (which is probably a good thing in retrospect).

Edited by Darius West
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10 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I mean, Dragonewt cities seem to behave like dream architecture, we have dream dragons and the Dragonewts' Dream that opened the Big Rubble.  Dragonewts aren't very trollish.

But remember that while AA, XU, and ZZ are worshipped by trolls, they are older than Kyger Litor and not themselves trolls. Their connection with Light/Fire goes back to before Yelm was emperor (or even born). Similarly, Arachne Solara is an old god with Light & Darkness connections (though possibly preceding those runes).

So what we maybe want is a connection between Arachne Solara and a draconic power in the early universe. Perhaps we can see the killing of a serpentine Wakboth on the net as a recapitulation of the draconic utuma that created the universe. Perhaps, Arachne Solara sent the first dragon a vision (the ur-dream) of the creation that would come from its dissection and then — having created the duty — assisted at that primal utuma. The LBQ Ritual of the Net and Argrath and the Devil recapitulate and extend this first conscious act of creation — Glorantha in the 3rd Age is still inchoate, still being created.

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21 minutes ago, Darius West said:

On the other hand, I'm surprised the Lunars aren't a bit more interested in dreams, given their mystical bent

“She who waits” — depicted as a jar in Under the Red Moon. G = Glorantha. Ginna Jar = Glorantha in a Jar. A funerary urn. Arachne Solara understands creation through destruction — even self-destruction — better than anyone. But the ruling class of the empire probably wouldn’t want too many people dreaming Arachne Solara-sent dreams of the future: Sheng eats the emperor, the red moon is destroyed.

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43 minutes ago, Darius West said:

There will need to be a deity who protects sleeping children from the influence of ZZ so he doesn't basically eat children from the inside out while they sleep as he feeds on their terror.

But if they are protected, they won’t turn into little Arkats, and then who is going to grow up and “end” the world for us?

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42 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

“She who waits” — depicted as a jar in Under the Red Moon. G = Glorantha. Ginna Jar = Glorantha in a Jar. A funerary urn. Arachne Solara understands creation through destruction — even self-destruction — better than anyone. But the ruling class of the empire probably wouldn’t want too many people dreaming Arachne Solara-sent dreams of the future: Sheng eats the emperor, the red moon is destroyed.

She Who Waits is the Wyter of the Seven Mothers afaik.

39 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

But if they are protected, they won’t turn into little Arkats, and then who is going to grow up and “end” the world for us?

But I thought Zorak Zoran LIKED Arkat?

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14 hours ago, Darius West said:

Humans spend 1/3 of their lives asleep.  In Glorantha, sleep is the time when you get your magic points back.  Allegedly, sometimes deities and spirits interact with you in your dreams in Glorantha.  Sleep is also the time when dreams come unbidden into one's head.  We also know that the main users of dream magic are the dragonewts, after all they produce dream dragons, and the Dragonewts Dream unlocked the Big Rubble.  

 

I have to wonder if Dreamlands would be of any use here. It is BRP based after all. 

14 hours ago, Darius West said:

For that matter, by what process do people get their magic points back when they sleep in Glorantha?

Note, that one does not have to sleep to regain MPs... 

Quote

Magic points are automatically regained at a rate equal to the adventurer’s POW every day, or 1/4 per six hours. If time is critical, the rate is more precisely 1/24 of the adventurer’s POW per hour. Magic points regained can never exceed the adventurer’s POW, though an adventurer may use other means to have an amount of magic points greater than their POW, such as through magic point storing items, etc.

 

4 hours ago, Martin Dick said:

Based upon the Dream World being a type of Illusion, then in the Storm Pantheon, Eurmal would be the God of Nightmares and Donandar the God of Dreams, but dreams don't really seem to be an important thing in central Genertela.

Oh my lords and ladies, you are suggesting the dreamworlds are connected to Eurmal? Gadzooks! I may never seep again.

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I thought Zorak Zoran LIKED Arkat?

No, they need to be ALIKE. If you are not traumatised early, you won’t grow up to be a Death Lord, and that wouldn’t suit ZZ (or Arkat) at all. If you join Zorak Zoran, you have to suffer like your god, the eternal burn victim. (Or perhaps he only suffers when the fire of Aether is withdrawn, but to whom can he say that, his sister? Mephistophilis? Yelmalio?)

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

She Who Waits is the Wyter of the Seven Mothers afaik.

It looks like new (or maybe not so new) canon will be that she is the Red Goddess (or at least the owner of the moon rune, per Well of Daliath trail of the Prosopaedia), and that has always been a thought/possibility: She Who Waits … to be Reborn. However, it has also always been one of the easy 7 Mothers/Lightbringers party game matches to make She Who Waits = Ginna Jar. Ginna Jar = Arachne Solara. If we are ambitious for the Red Goddess maybe she is Arachne Solara, too, or at least a sock puppet of her. They have iconography in common: sunburst behind head, starry cloak, and the Goddess meets herself at least once (Nysalor) on her quest. So the two suggestions are not necessarily exclusive one of the other.

This is the picture I had in mind:
Jar 1

I don’t recognise the rune (but it is not the She Who Waits rune), but presumably that is Teelo Estara floating above. The face suggests the jar is someone and not just something — no rune because the RG has already been invoked at this point in the ritual?

And apart from Ginna Jar, who else gets depicted as a chunk of ceramic and has light/dark balancing properties?

Jar 2

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6 hours ago, mfbrandi said:

However, it is always good to offer an alternative. Try this: Argan Argar is the deity of Wakefulness; Xiola Umbar is the deity of Dreams; Zorak Zoran is the deity of Nightmares.

It's an interesting thought.  You could by extension say that the ultimate source for dreams is Subere as she contains all the deep, dark secrets within her.  Alternately, or in addition, it could be that Xentha as goddess of Night is the one who carries dreams along with her when she rises at the end of the day.

An alternate association is with Ernalda and the Earth goddesses, and that dreams arose when they went to sleep.  Their unconscious thoughts continue to work up from the Underworld out of the Caves of Silence.

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

You could by extension say that the ultimate source for dreams is Subere as she contains all the deep, dark secrets within her.

Subere and Dehore are depicted as being very satisfyingly dark, and their children — the spirits of darkness — do look like something out of an old Ditko Strange vs. Nightmare strip. So I like it.

I do wonder about the Father of Demons and the Mother of Space, though. I know next to nothing about them, but do we need a demon father so close in a family tree to Zorak Zoran? And if Xiola Umbar is a pot, is she not thereby also a mother of space — the void she contains? MoS and FoD as the tantric aspects of XU and ZZ? XU as mortar and ZZ as pestle (look at that club)? Only maybe — I am making this up as I type. (And collapsing generations is a familiar trick, too.)

And the pose will — perhaps — make us think of @Eff’s favourite “advanced kink scene” in which also, one might say, a serpent is consumed to creative and world-changing effect. All this talk of snakes and spiders makes me think of Leiber (and so heroquest as change war):

The Big Time

Edited by mfbrandi
kitchen equipment
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I think "Darkness" is entirely separate from "sleep" and "dream."  There may be some "backdoor" connections from the primal Dark into dreams; but then, there's probably some connections from the primal Dark into fuch'ing everything, so.

Despite its relatively "unknown" status, I'd follow the leads via the East Isles... Thella, Avanap(d)ur, etc.
IIRC, some Keet peoples were involved in that conflict, too...?

I'd also keep an eye on Draconic shi...uhhh... stuff.  Dragonewts' Dream, Dream-Dragons, etc.
The Draconic take on dreams is... likely not "irrelevant," but also likely not "simple" or "obvious," and definitely not "safe!"

Nor even useful, unless you're an experienced heroquestor and have already got some dragon-dealings under your belt.

Edited by g33k
p.s. - I also quite like the @Barbaric suggestion of borrowing from Dreamlands (above)
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Gorgorma sends nightmares to punish…. Err wrongdoers who she does not choose to punish in any of the many other means she has at her disposal. But nightmare seems a significant aspect. And of course, night = out of the sunlight of Yelm. I don’t know who sends good dreams in Solar myth, but Dendara (as goddess of virtue, and of course Gorgormas sister) is a possibility. 

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In the East Isles, not only is Thella the goddess of dreams, but Avanapdur, once the mighty god of Illusion and ruler of the world, is now the Nightmare Lord - a bad guy, but purely in the dream world. And there is a whole system of magic based on dreams and the Dream world. Dream magicians can lucid dream and control their dreams, then enter the dreams of others and control their dreams - and eventually drag dreams into the waking world and make them real. There are multiple schools of dream magic, some who believe its illusions can teach deeper truths, but many who believe the dream world is false and must be destroyed. It is a whole complicated thing, much more detail in Revealed Mythologies - and we intend to create rules for Dream Magic for a future book in our East Isles series. 

As a aside note to that, I think there was active use of Dream Magic in the City of Wonders, possibly now looted by Wolf Pirates. That should be a pretty good adventure hook. A few Dream magicians from the East Isles may have made it to Nochet as well. 

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6 hours ago, g33k said:

IIRC, some Keet peoples were involved in that conflict, too...?

To the extent that Dream Magic is closely connected to Theya/Thella and her web at the Dawn is probably the central myth cycle of modern Keets. The creepy little ‘pterodactyl keet’ Chaos critters the sorns were created then too. 

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Why is Xiola Umbar depicted as a pot in this illustration?  Or is she a drum perhaps?  Very odd.

I don’t know when/where this originated, but it made it to her entry on the Well of Daliath:

Quote

She is symbolized as a clay pot inscribed with a healing charm on the exterior, and a mouthless face on the inside bottom.

According to Beer with Teeth at least, it is not just a pot, but a food pot.

Edited by mfbrandi
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