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Time and the Devils (gonna bring me everything I need)


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 Spun off from the lovely Diseases and Decay thread.

6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:
7 hours ago, scott-martin said:

One of two things I love about this is the ways it reopens questions of who exactly is trapped under the Block.

One interpretation would be that Wakboth is trapped under the Block. But because he was killed, he went to the Underworld next, because that's what you do

In the before times, we saw it like this:

  • Kajabor is Chaos-as-the-Void, that into which everything vanishes, even gods and information
  • Wakboth kills Kajabor
  • Dead Kajabor wrestles Arachne Solara in Hell
  • Arachne wins and synthesizes Time from Cosmos and Chaos

But in retrospect, we should have been more cautious, for as early as Cults of Terror we were warned not to take things at face value.


At one point the armies of Kajabor and Wakboth began to devour each other, but philosophers dispute which one was killed, for no one alive or sane could know such things.

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 …

A massive block of Truestone, a piece of Law cast adrift when the Spike exploded, crashed to earth and struck the Devil, grinding him and spreading him and his strength about. Afterwards other forces and beings further lessened it and destroyed its unity in the world forever. — CoT, p. 15

So when Wakboth began to show up in the net getting up to unspeakable hi-jinks with our beloved Spider, it wasn’t exactly a retcon. And Kajabor as the father of Time is only “right” in the sense a psychoanalytic dream interpretation is “right”: the patient accepts it; evidence doesn’t get a look-in.

To find out what happened, I took my uncle out for an evening of absinthe chugging and tale telling. He is neither quite alive nor even slightly sane, so he was bound to have the real low-down. (He provided Rita Hayworth’s singing voice in Gilda.)


The explosion of the Spike was our Big Bang: from then, we were on the clock. The clock is running down, and the Mostali are deluded in thinking they can fix it. It ain’t really broke. It just is what it is … till it isn’t. They will get their precious stasis — they just gotta wait.

“Err … that’s a bit terse and abstract, ZeeZee.”


The — I am trying to keep a straight face, really — mighty chaos fighter Storm Bull was facing off against Kajabor when shrapnel from the exploding Spike took out the Voidster — ker-splat! — smearing Old Chaosface thinly across all creation. Urox was a helpless bystander — or by this stage, just a bypanter and bybleeder. Instead of having one consolidated easy-to-manage giant non-hole in creation, we now had nano-non-particles of nothing embedded in everything. However fine you chopped the world, there it wasn’t: Chaos. Since then, the world’s been going to the Hyenas. What’s under the Block? Nothing, kiddo, nothing. And that, my little enlo, is how time began.

“Yeah, I think we can sell that one. Thanks, ZeeZee.”


I mean who was Wakboth, anyway? Just a kid, right? In the wrong place at the wrong time.

So the gods — Orlanth, Yelm, and all those tossers — stuff our baby goat in a sack and take him off to the Spider as a snack-cum-sacrifice-cum-fee. They have a PR problem, and they figure she’s the one to spin them a suitable tale. She makes a show of playing with the food, then bundles it up in silk and maybe gives it a good suck. (It is dark down there, hard to see.) The gods have had a pointless war and pretty much trashed the planet; now they want to make up publicly, but no one wants to own up to being the bad guy.

“Look,” says Arachne, obviously bored, “I have waved my magic wand and put all your sins in the goat — anything really bad, just say the goat did it — and if anyone asks why everything is falling apart, say … the Spider ate the goat and shat out time: it’s a compromise. Some crap like that. You’ll busk the details.”

“But, Arachne, filling the goat with evil — that’s just symbolic, right?”

“Yeah, sure, whatever. You are as depraved now as you ever were, aren’t you, you old scrote?” Did she have her back pair of legs crossed? The Spider is a trickster, after all.

Everyone marches topside, and soft-hearted Arachne releases the goatling enjoining it to gambol forth and make mischief. She chuckles to herself thinking of what the cult scribes will write about this in years to come — for of course, she knows.


This is the kind of farrago one types after drinking strong cocoa too close to bedtime.

Don’t agree — impossible, anyway — or disagree, but write your own True Tales of the Devils and post them here, for it is only by repeatedly abusing Godtime that we can reshape reality.

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The Unholy Trio are really the saviours of Glorantha. Watching the appearance of Kajabor, they realised the end was coming for this cycle of creation and all would be lost in the Stasis void. Seeing this they corrupted their own powers with Chaos to bring Wakboth into the world. Only Disorder joined with Chaos would be able to defeat the Godkiller. 

Wakboth and Krajbor meet. Krajbor is defeated and the forces of Chaos weakened. But Wakboth knows this is not enough. He goes looking for the only god he knows can stop him and after much destruction meets him. But the fight is close and knowing he will be needed in the future Wakboth impales himself with a piece of the Spike disappating Disorder and Chaos within Gata herself.

He waits, beyond worship, to be called when the Cosmos is on the brink of destruction again.

All Hail The Trinity and the One Saviour!

Edited by kr0p0s
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I always liked the balance of one of Wakboth/Kajabor being pinned under the block and the other being defeated by the Gods in the Underworld.  Although another way to look at it is the difficulty of understanding what the hell (pun intended) happened at all.  The monomyth is not Truth (with a capital T). It's just one way of looking at things (and not necessarily a good way). The Kralori and Malkioni, for example, having very different takes.  Chaos is Chaos and the Godtime isn't something with fixed continuity.  My bet is you could heroquest and 'prove' either take true.  But for the stability of your world view, if it is theistic, it needs to account for what happened to both Wakboth and Kajabor.  I can see any of the following

  • one of them beat the other, the winner faced Storm Bull, the loser went to Hell and lost to the assembled Gods (double knock out for that one)
  • one of them beat the other, the loser was off the scene (annihilated?), the winner got done by the Spike, went to Hell and lost to the assembled Gods

Interestingly, either of those means whoever the Gods fought in Hell had already lost somewhere else (either to the other of Wakboth and Kajabor or to the Spike/Storm Bull)

Edited by DrGoth
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How many Devils? Well, my little cabbage, before the Block, you never saw any round here.

I was watching Storm Bull chase his … tail (let’s call it that: this is a family show) — round he’d go, but since he’d bitten the end off, he could never catch it — when a dirty great lump of rock came crashing down at a rate of knots. Crunch! Our ears were ringing for days. When the dust started to clear, a huge horned figure — with screaming faces boiling out of its skin; all over, but densest on its forearms; funny how you remember the details — coalesced in the air in front of us. Then a hole so black it looked like it had been painted on the desert floor with Acme pitch opened up under it, and whoosh, it was gone. The hole closed, or evaporated, or … anyway, wasn’t there any more.

We were left with this lump of Truestone, known and loathed everywhere. But you know what? I don’t think it was Truestone in flight — it was just your bog-standard pyroclastic crap — but it hit so hard that all the chaos in it and the patch of ground it hit boiled out and condensed into the ‘Devil’ we’d seen. It takes a lot of energy to knock the natural chaos out of things, and then you are left with lumps of utterly inert, unworkable ‘rock’. Cut off from all the natural cycles, they just sit there waiting for the end of time. What a waste.

What happened to that big angry mother when it reached Hell? I don’t know: I had a hot date with Yelmalio that night. I asked him whether he wanted to go to the party, but he said, “No, all those guys are dead down there.” Laugh? I nearly broke a tusk. But when all the bigshots came up out of the ground the next morning looking embarrassed — I mean really shifty — they were preceded by the cutest baby goat you ever saw, and I have kept it as a pet ever since. You know what? In 1600-odd years, it hasn’t grown an inch or aged a day, adorable as ever. Just don’t look into its eyes unless you’ve had a very stiff drink. The things I have seen there. And worse, not seen — “the unearthly dark of fathomless absence,” you know?

Your round, I think. The usual for me and a bowl of soya milk for Fluffy.

Edited by mfbrandi
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I think the division which assigns Kajabor to natural evil and Wakboth to moral evil aligns with expectations all across Glorantha. Despite this, there is no formal (i.e. runic) evil in our received Gloranthan metaphysics, just a circular approximation, which sort of kills this twice-theodicy off in the cradle. We may now follow the dead to Arachne Solara. Kajabor in the Cosmic Compromise is intuitive: we can make peace with natural evil, accepting its existence if not its necessity. But moral evil is an empty mask. Wakboth is defined by his excess, his evil is cosmic redundancy. How could this ever be compromised with?

I suggest: by prying off the mask, picking the scab, and seeing that it is the same wound underneath. Wakboth is natural in the world.


"The Devil is one of the Bad Guys. He is a personification of abstract principles as observed and feared by the Theistic Praxians. Their gods depend upon their Being for existence and, at the Godtime Compromise, sold out their freedom in exchange for Being. They MUST view anything threatening their static Being as evil since it is a danger to their very fiber of existence. The Devil, a personification of entropy (or cosmic death) takes on a personality in their myths because it is how they think."
— Cults of Prax, Designer's Notes

Edited by Ormi Phengaria
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4 hours ago, Ormi Phengaria said:

They MUST view anything threatening their static Being as evil since it is a danger to their very fiber of existence.

This is why the king of the gods is a puffed-up windbag: “I am big. I exist. I only look like a void.”


Other interpretations of evil will be revealed and explored where appropriate. Some will be mentioned here. There is an Empty Void, which is a pre-everything conception and bears some resemblance to a Buddhist Nivanna — CoT, p. 106

Stafford as Trickster — so he is putting us on: Nirvana doesn’t really top his list of evils. Stafford as Arkati Trickster — hell, maybe he does mean it.

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2 hours ago, mfbrandi said:

This is why the king of the gods is a puffed-up windbag: “I am big. I exist. I only look like a void.”

Stafford as Trickster — so he is putting us on: Nirvana doesn’t really top his list of evils. Stafford as Arkati Trickster — hell, maybe he does mean it.

"Bears some resemblance" puts me in mind of pratyekabuddhayana, "solitary buddhahood", and how this is sometimes characterized as driven by fear of samsara...

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 "And I am pretty tired of all this fuss about rfevealign that many worshippers of a minor goddess might be lesbians." -Greg Stafford, April 11, 2007

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

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On 4/1/2023 at 3:57 AM, mfbrandi said:

Kajabor is Chaos-as-the-Void, that into which everything vanishes, even gods and information

that's the most incomprehensible thing I find in Glorantha. How some..one described as a god (then able to decide, to lead army, to target, etc...) can be "the void", how its own intelligence, a structure, can resist to itself the most void of the world ?


so you're right : there is probably something behind what is told by the priests


Eurmal's tale

Kajabor is the chaos god who brings with him the "purest" primal chaos form, thanks to his magic, he keeps the primal chaos in a magical net.

Kajabor uses it as the strongest weapon of massive destruction ever seen, but never remembered, thanks to oblivion

Wakboth, known as the probably the most jealous god of the world, wanted this power for himself and fought Kajabor

Yes Wakboth was the winner, but the fight was so enormous, that at the end of the battle, too tired, he fell asleep, the chaos net without guardian.

Then Eurmal, as usual, tooks this opportunity, and decided to destroy this threat. If there is no world, there is no joke to do after all.

And we know some of Eurmal powers. He ate the chaos net and no one anymoe was able to use it to destroy the last existing forces

but the void is a very powerful thing, and Eurmal had some difficulties to digest it. That's why he joined the lightbringer. To find a way to stop the gastroenterities... But he was unable to tell his trouble to anyone, even Chalana.

We understand now why he left the group, just because he had to... defecate, and that's why the world was near to be destoyed.

At the end, when Orlanth and Yelm met,  A last time, Eurmal vomited on Ginna jar the net,last thing he had in his stomach.

It transformed Ginna jar who then was called Arachne Solara thanks to the bright net, coated by Eurmal's digestive juice.

This digested net was however powerful but not pure destruction, it was able to fix the most part of the chaos in the world, able to save the world.

But the gods refused to consider Eurmal as their savior, and refused to teach their worshippers that the world was saved by the trickster's vomit. So they made a compromise with Eurmal.

They said that Arachne Solara destroyed kajabor and with their both powers created the net and time. Eurmal had to never say what happend, and, in exchange, obtained the protection of the king's god.


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