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Gods and Death


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I'm spinning this off from the thread about Mahayana Buddhism the degree to which it's possible to interact with deities after they die, because, y'all, the relationship that the gods have with Death is something that's been fascinating me. (Particularly given where I ended up as regards the Skinning of Thed, which is a fragment I've only shared on the blog in my sig thus far.)

Thesis 1: the gods can die like mortals can. This seems fairly self-evident at first glance: Yelm very famously gets Inigo Montoya'd by Orlanth and does not pass GO, does not collect $200, but goes straight to HELL until he can roll doubles. Vadrus gets torn apart and now it's useless to try to contact him inside of Time. The Devil is dead with only his ruby slippers and one hand sticking out from underneath the Square Mountain that dropped on his head. Many gods succumbed to Death after listening to Rashoran/a speak, though the bearers of Life and Death themselves were instead enlightened. (Perhaps if Orlanth had not learned how to save the world, and all the others too, Humakt would have been the last one left: left there waiting to blow out the candles, fold the quilts, and set Death as a crossbeam for the doors.) Once a god is dead, that's it, game over.

Antithesis 1: but hold on, what about all the times that the gods die and that doesn't stop them? Orlanth freezes to death and Yinkin brings him back with his good good mlems (and that's not even acknowledging Wakboth shattering him into forty-eight pieces). Babeester Gor exsanguinates herself in order to drink her own blood. Tien gets his head lopped off and proceeds to kill Hrothmir and steal his head. It seems clear that the gods are not simply just people; they are capable of doing impossible things with their magic, and having a much looser relationship with Death seems to be one of them.

Thesis 2: okay, fine, let's concede that a god dying doesn't seem to stop them to the degree that it would stop you or me. That's just because of the Ritual of the Net, obviously. When the gods turned their hands to the weaving of the world into the net which is named Time, they did so down in the underworld, so every god who was dead could weave themselves back into the pattern: Yelm returns in glory with Time as his cloak, Ernalda finds breath filling her lungs at her husband's kiss, Storm Bull trots back out with blood on his hooves and a smug look on his face, Shargash creates a conterminous zone and calls it Alkoth, so on and so forth. The gods of Chaos barely managed to squeak in holding the tassels, which is why they are losers and unquiet ghosts and suchlike.

Antithesis 2: but hold on, even the gods that didn't make it back in have a presence in HeroQuests! Vadrus is still dead as the proverbial doornail, but it's not like there's a Vadrus-shaped hole in every story that he made an appearance in! When Vinga goes off to exterminate the enemy gods so thoroughly that not even their names survive, there's still an enemy to fight and not just "well, I'm at the space where the battle was supposed to happen, guess I'll have lunch and then wander back eventually." Rashoran/a comes back in cycles, and the Lunar goddesses are mended, and the line between the living and the dead seems very permeable. If you can kick Vadrus's ass while wandering outside of Time, you should be able to kick Ragnaglar's ass - or that of his son.

Thesis 3: maybe it's because people believe that the Devil is trapped beneath the Block, and that Vadrus was shattered and nobody cares to try to put that asshole back together again, but all the good gods and goddesses were beloved enough that they were welcomed back into the world? And those awful things of Chaos crept in, too, because we need some sort of explanation for why Broos exist, and scorpion men, and other such things.

Antithesis 3: you are treading perilous ground concerning the power of belief and its effects on the Hero Plane.

Synthesis: still uncertain. I will need to prepare the proper rites and secure a copy of the Second Arkat Journal before I properly descend in search of the answer.

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What's death to a god? 

Or conversely, what's death to a mortal? Is it when the heart stops, or when a state of what we moderns call "brain death" sets in? Perhaps it's when the soul, spirit, or essence is separated from the body? Does toking up on hazia count as a... not a "little death", but perhaps a medium one? 

Maybe a descriptive definition would work better, at least until Chalana Arroy answers my emails. "You're dead when you're cut off from your body and can't return to it." Some things related to bodily trauma can cause this, as can a Humakti glaring at you really hard, and so can some diseases. And maybe metaphysically I can say that they change both parts as they separate, so that they can't be joined together on their own without a Resurrection spell that looks remarkably like a spirit possessing a corpse in the descriptions, or a shaman's ability to casually expand their selfhood to incorporate their fetch and other spirits they've integrated, or more arcane secrets and mystical powers. 

But there are problems with casually assuming dualism like this, where the "body" is separate from the "self". And that gets us back to gods. King of Sartar very somberly tells us that Wakboth smashed Orlanth into 48 pieces, but if he had smashed Orlanth into 49 pieces, that would have been it for Orlanth. It also gives us the story about Umath and Harana Ilor and Predark. This story takes place before death, so what the Predark monsters do instead is cut parts off of the gods, and if the parts stay detached for long enough, they become a different person that possibly doesn't want to be part of the original god anymore.

Yelm shatters into six pieces, Tada falls apart into Grisly Portions, and when Umath is blown apart by Shargash, his sons leap up from where he fell, clutching his weapons. Poor old Jokbazi on the Gods Wall is just a collection of disparate pieces that don't add up into anything. Dragons also seem to explode into smaller pieces, some of them animate on their own, and friendly to the dragonslayer. (Who themself may well have shed that "s" shortly afterwards, though I doubt it gained a will of its own.)

I propose that a dead god is simply a Humpty Dumpty- all the rex's horses and all the rex's men can't put Vadrus together again- and has been splintered into too many parts to be treated as a cohesive whole anymore. Or maybe parts that pull in different directions. After all, every god died in the Gods War. All of them were there for the Ritual of the Net. Maybe all the gods are an assemblage of these different parts that are at peace with one another, and which can break up or have other parts brought into the compact that defines them as "Yelmalio" or "Drosopoly". Vadrus is dead because the results of Vadrus being repeatedly fissioned off into smaller pieces are uninterested in working together to be Vadrus or are too small to do anything in response to sacrifices. But you could put them back together again, with some work, or a lot of work.

What am I saying? As we all know, the Godtime is unchangeable except when it isn't. Don't ask about Five Arkats Returning.

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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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Hard to answer this, as the myths include so much contradiction. But then they are myths, the truth is so far from reach for mortals and most gods that perhaps even they do not know..Truth is literally in the highest heavens now.

This whole issue is something that has fascinated too. So in a game I am playing a Humakt, but instead of following the death path slavishly like most do, I am nudging my gm to explore the Humakt tie to the truth rune. Sure he has it as his mother owned it, but it’s an active rune for Humakt, so what does it mean when it’s so closely aligned to a god that holds the death rune? Feels like a future hero quest to discover and define for our Glorantha, loads of scope to explore. Sometimes answers are not needed, just the fun of seeking them.

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1 hour ago, Eff said:

What's death to a god? 

Or conversely, what's death to a mortal?

We do have to separate out the Immortal/Mortal axis from Death. 

Gods (and dragons) are Immortal. They possess the Infinity Rune. Mortals do not. What does that imply? The gods do not Age and Die - they are not Finite.

It's unclear what this distinction means before the coming of Death (or Aging?). Mortals as created beings where body and spirit are bound together (a collection of Runic bits and pieces), which then at some point disintegrate back to body and spirit. But with no Underworld calling, the spirit can perhaps reanimate and enter the body once more? And they do so until Grandfather Mortal is slain, and he sets the path to the Underworld and the permanent separation of the spirit from the animate body. 

The gods though may have different parts? They are not simply body and spirit and do not disintegrate. And if we investigate what they are, we find that they are Runes. They may be singletons, or a combination of two or three, or a subsequent "devolution" of those Runes. But they simply are (until they are not).  

2 hours ago, Tatterdemalion Fox said:

Thesis 1: the gods can die like mortals can.

Generally yes, with the exception of Aging until Death. This seems to be a unique Mortal thing.

2 hours ago, Tatterdemalion Fox said:

Antithesis 1: but hold on, what about all the times that the gods die and that doesn't stop them?

Yes, there is something else there. And I would guess this has to do with proximity to the power of the Runes.

2 hours ago, Tatterdemalion Fox said:

Thesis 2: okay, fine, let's concede that a god dying doesn't seem to stop them to the degree that it would stop you or me. That's just because of the Ritual of the Net, obviously.

Their parts (let's call them Runes) are bound back together, and the Ritual of the Net is clearly part of what binds them back to the world. Yet curious that the Moon Goddess was not. She existed, she was slain and part of the Underworld, but seems to have been left out of the Net - at least until a group of mortals quested with broken parts and rewove her into the Net. And now she's in this weird Mortal/Immortal, Dying/Undying state. 

2 hours ago, Tatterdemalion Fox said:

Antithesis 2: but hold on, even the gods that didn't make it back in have a presence in HeroQuests!

Generally, yes. But there are those (such as the god broken at the Skyfall Battle) who were lost permanently, even from the Gods World. The Void/Oblivion is an "ultimate" Death that takes you out of the picture/Net in your entirety. 

2 hours ago, Tatterdemalion Fox said:

Thesis 3: maybe it's because people believe that the Devil is trapped beneath the Block, and that Vadrus was shattered and nobody cares to try to put that asshole back together again, but all the good gods and goddesses were beloved enough that they were welcomed back into the world?

There are good gods too though that do not return such as Genert or Tada. Some places remain a Waste. Some are vanished (e.g. the Spike). Might you find memories of them in the Underworld? Likely. But there seems to be some point at which the god parts are too shattered to bind back together (or perhaps certain parts got added to some other god so are no longer available to put back together without disassembling some other deity?). The Ascension and subsequent Death of Belintar (or the Only Old One) are examples of gods that may be parts and if one takes away a part, resurrection/return is not possible. Those gods are now Dead.

1 hour ago, Eff said:

After all, every god died in the Gods War. All of them were there for the Ritual of the Net. Maybe all the gods are an assemblage of these different parts that are at peace with one another, and which can break up or have other parts brought into the compact that defines them as "Yelmalio" or "Drosopoly".

Unless we believe the tale that Yelmalio was the sole survivor. The one last light left upon the Hill of Gold waiting for the world to reassemble. (Of course, Lightfore, who is Yelmalio, and Kargzant, who is Yelmalio, do appear to die, so is Yelmalio simply the one fragment of many left Living?)

But there's definitely something about the Parts of the God (or perhaps even the Parts of the Hero) which seems distinct from the parts of the Mortal.

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12 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Unless we believe the tale that Yelmalio was the sole survivor.

Whatever we are supposed to believe, it is too good a story not to embrace it. One of the “good guys” but outside the Compromise. A light that never goes out because not bound to time, perhaps?

Perhaps all the “events preceding time” — the sequence without sequence — only precipitate out at the beginning of time; the Gods War as a sort of Schrödinger’s prehistory, with the advent of time as the opening of the box? It is only at the first sunrise that we can say that Yelm had “previously” been murdered.

And Yelmalio is the anomaly — an outsider without being a thing of the Void. Give the poor sucker a break and let him be special; it is just so delightfully … generative! Or is it just me? I can see him staggering through multiple ragnaröks, ever more alienated, losing all cult, forgotten, becoming a Watcher figure bearing witness to the truth and the light. I am just an embittered old romantic, I guess.

Of course, it is just a fairy story, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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32 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

And Yelmalio is the anomaly — an outsider without being a thing of the Void.

Actually I remember there is at least one other, and he is the one who steps outside the Dome and at some point rescues Lightfore: Dayzatar.  So, let there be LIGHT! And the world reborn.

34 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

I can see him staggering through multiple ragnaröks, ever more alienated, losing all cult, forgotten, becoming a Watcher figure bearing witness to the truth and the light.

That is the tale. It is sort of a reverse Hell. Instead of going to Hell, Hell comes to him and all that he loves is lost. 

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Seems to me that the Lunars killing Orlanth and Ernakda. however temporary it may be, is proof that a god CAN be killed in Time and not just in the Godtime. 

But it turns out to be more important that gods are creatures of myth as well as of Runes, and since myth is malleable in Time they can be un-killed too.  The Compromise indicates a lot of inertia related to the gods IN TIME, so if they continue to do what they have always done, maybe that means living gods continue to live and dead gods continue to be dead.  Orlanth's and Ernalda's revival may be the Compromise snapping back like a stretched rubber band.

 For game purposes that killing and return of Orlanth and Ernalda sets a very high estimated boundary for what you can do through heroquesting, and that may be most of what we need to know as players.

The question of what gods are composed of is intriguing but not necessary for play, IMHO.

As for whether, for example,  you can heroquest to revive Genert, who is  a casualty of the God's War as I understand:  It strikes me that you probably cannot change the godtime in a major way unless you want to go the way of the God Learners. 

 But if the Seven Mothers could assemble Sedenya through a heroquest and ceremony and raping and sacrificing a virgin ( a Chaotic act) , then why not Genert? Didn't it work with Sedenya?  The answer seems to me to be that they synthesized a new goddess inside Time from fragments. and that though Sedenya may identify with one or more dead gods, she is not the same as that dead God.  She is more a Frankenstein's monster, wth that touch of Chaos.  So you could heroquest to reassemble Genert but it won't be te same Genert and it's a toss up whether Prax would really bloom again.  Or when it blooms will it look more like Dorastor?

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I think one of the key factors in Gods dying is that if Chaos kills you, you are far more likely to stay dead.

Death is just another Rune to a God, which is why Yelm could be brought back once he stopped whining.  Whereas Genert was busted up by Chaos.

On Orlanth and Ernalda... This is a particularly large version of what a local Heroquest could do.  If you bungle the Lightbringer's Quest, Orlanth may die and stay dead for *you*.  Until you do it right.

The Lunars did this to a large area, but Orlanth and Ernalda were *not dead outside the area*.

If you were a Ralios Orlanthi, you could still draw on their blessings.

Globallly killing Orlanth and Ernalda is probably impossible in Time, unless the whole planet teamed up to do it or Chaos was involved.

Reviving Genert would require Lunar level resources most likely and you'd end up with something Genert-like.  So now all of Prax becomes covered with belts of clover and grass and groves of fruit trees. 

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4 hours ago, John Biles said:

I think one of the key factors in Gods dying is that if Chaos kills you, you are far more likely to stay dead.

In my vision of Gloranthan cosmology I see Chaos more as 'Unfettered Change'. The polar opposite of stasis. The reason people don't really like it is that, by and large, people don't like things suddenly changing into something else (like your arm, for instance).

If this is the case, perhaps the reason being killed by Chaos seems to be more final than other forms of god-death is that it's not Death at all. It's Change. Into something wholly spiritually unrecognisable, and irreconcilable with what you were previously (that may also involve you becoming dead as well, but that's more of a side effect).

Hence, also, how the Lunars were able to 'reconstruct' the Moon Gooddess (how accurately can be debated). If Chaos is Change, then you can't truly create something new without changing how the world is. Same goes for Nysalor (and, in my estimation, Umath).

Spoiler

I kind of see this as the natural lifecycle of the Gods (or at least major new gods). The creation of something wholly new, like Storm/Umath, is inherently chaotic and the God spends a time as a Chaos God. This was Umath's 'rent the worlds of sky and earth apart to make a place for himself' phase. In time, if space is made in the world for them to no longer be a New Thing, they may rid themselves of their Chaos/Change association and just become a part of the world.

This phase never happened with the next generation of gods: Wakboth/Kajabor et al. They were killed off in their infancy by the incumbent generation who feared the changing of the guard, before whatever it was they represented beyond Chaos could mature and become part of the world.

Whether Sedenya is this generation of gods having another go at the process, or a wholly different generation is up for debate.

 

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16 hours ago, Tatterdemalion Fox said:

Ernalda finds breath filling her lungs at her husband's kiss

Is there already a seasonal fertility myth that involves Orlanth descending into the underworld to resurrect Ernalda - Orpheus and Eurydice style? If not, that would make a great option for a bunch of Orlanthi living in the shadow of Valind's Glacier (or somewhere else suitably tundra-like and inhospitable). Perhaps their version of the myth keeps going wrong, and Orlanth can't resurrect Ernalda, leaving the ground cold and infertile as death. Perhaps they are waiting for a heroquester who is able to walk out of the Underworld without snatching a glance to see if Ernalda is following, and restore the lost life of the land.

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31 minutes ago, Ynneadwraith said:

In my vision of Gloranthan cosmology I see Chaos more as 'Unfettered Change'. The polar opposite of stasis. The reason people don't really like it is that, by and large, people don't like things suddenly changing into something else (like your arm, for instance).

If this is the case, perhaps the reason being killed by Chaos seems to be more final than other forms of god-death is that it's not Death at all. It's Change. Into something wholly spiritually unrecognisable, and irreconcilable with what you were previously (that may also involve you becoming dead as well, but that's more of a side effect).

Hence, also, how the Lunars were able to 'reconstruct' the Moon Gooddess (how accurately can be debated). If Chaos is Change, then you can't truly create something new without changing how the world is. Same goes for Nysalor (and, in my estimation, Umath).

  Reveal hidden contents

I kind of see this as the natural lifecycle of the Gods (or at least major new gods). The creation of something wholly new, like Storm/Umath, is inherently chaotic and the God spends a time as a Chaos God. This was Umath's 'rent the worlds of sky and earth apart to make a place for himself' phase. In time, if space is made in the world for them to no longer be a New Thing, they may rid themselves of their Chaos/Change association and just become a part of the world.

This phase never happened with the next generation of gods: Wakboth/Kajabor et al. They were killed off in their infancy by the incumbent generation who feared the changing of the guard, before whatever it was they represented beyond Chaos could mature and become part of the world.

Whether Sedenya is this generation of gods having another go at the process, or a wholly different generation is up for debate.

 

I don't think that's a good way of looking at chaos in glorantha. You have to remember that the most basic form of chaos is void, nothingness, that is what chaos leads to.
Plus, stasis is the oposite of movement, while chaos is the oposite of glorantha in general. Chaotic stasis is a thing that can exist(see Krasht)

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8 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

I don't think that's a good way of looking at chaos in glorantha. You have to remember that the most basic form of chaos is void, nothingness, that is what chaos leads to.
Plus, stasis is the oposite of movement, while chaos is the oposite of glorantha in general. Chaotic stasis is a thing that can exist(see Krasht)

Perhaps, though I'm sure that's what Storm looked like to Earth and Sky when it didn't have a place in the world yet either. The opposite of what Glorantha looked like then, back when it was only Earth and Sky and nothing inbetween. Separation when all Glorantha had ever known is unison.

And does not all change eventually lead to nothingness (heat death)?

I'll concede that it's not exactly a view that would be popular in-universe (anywhere outside Lunar philosophy that is). Chaos as the ultimate Other is the Orlanthi viewpoint (and they would take that viewpoint wouldn't they, if Chaos is the Zeus to Orlanth's Kronos). Chaos as a fundamental component of the World Machine feels a lot more Lunar (that isn't to say correct, but not necessarily incorrect either).

Edited by Ynneadwraith
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9 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Seems to me that the Lunars killing Orlanth and Ernakda. however temporary it may be, is proof that a god CAN be killed in Time and not just in the Godtime. 

One thing you often find in scenarios is an old temple that is mythically intact and functional, but has no congregation. In fact, I can't think offhand if any scenarios were there is an old temple that is magically inert. There is also the example of the Maran Gor Shaker Temple near Wintertop that is the bastion of the Tarsh Exiles. And so holding out against the Lunar occupation of Tarsh for decades. I think Old Wind in Sartar was similar.

This all suggests that deconsecrating a major or great temple is seriously difficult, even if you have complete military control of the surrounding lands. One way of expressing that level of difficulty it to have it require success at a major heroquest, defeating an opposition with a POW in the hundreds. It seems plausible that that was the Lunar goal, taking down not just King Broyan, but his magical backing in the form of the Whitewall temple wyter.

They Lunars could have plausibly expected this to only take down Orlanth Adventerous, the spirit of rebellion, raiding and murder. Instead, they got Orlanth Thunderous , who is not only a weather god, but Ernalda's husband. And the one who resurrects her each Sacred Time.

So all the Orlanth and Ernalda temples across Dragon Pass stop working. If you conduct a worship ceremony there, your Worship roll automatically fails,  As far as you are concerned, Orlanth and Ernalda are dead.

Reactivating any given temple by rebuilding, resurrecting or finding an alternative to the dead wyter are all achievable heroquests. And ones that PCs of that ere canonically did achieve.

For  truly dead God, such a heroquest would be impossible, as would founding a new temple.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Ynneadwraith said:

Perhaps, though I'm sure that's what Storm looked like to Earth and Sky when it didn't have a place in the world yet either. The opposite of what Glorantha looked like then, back when it was only Earth and Sky and nothing inbetween. Separation when all Glorantha had ever known is unison.

And does not all change eventually lead to nothingness (heat death)?

I'll concede that it's not exactly a view that would be popular in-universe (anywhere outside Lunar philosophy that is). Chaos as the ultimate Other is the Orlanthi viewpoint (and they would take that viewpoint wouldn't they, if Chaos is the Zeus to Orlanth's Kronos). Chaos as a fundamental component of the World Machine feels a lot more Lunar (that isn't to say correct, but not necessarily incorrect either).

I'm pretty sure the whole yelm-orlanth story is based on egyptean mythology, where set kill osiris and then allies with him to kill chaos. Chaos is explicitely different from gloranthan things, which includes air even in it's inception.
Plus I don't think the concept of heat death(or many real life science things) apply to glorantha. Things happen due to myths in most cases
Thought vithelans or pelorians might not consiider orlanth that different from a chaos diety, but they are different, chaos came from outside glorantha, umath was born from earth and sky.

Edited by theconfusingeel
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2 minutes ago, radmonger said:

They Lunars could have plausibly expected this to only take down Orlanth Adventerous, the spirit of rebellion, raiding and murder. Instead, they got Orlanth Thunderous , who is not only a weather god, but Ernalda's husband. And the one who resurrects her each Sacred Time.

This I like.

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

3 minutes ago, radmonger said:

For  truly dead God, such a heroquest would be impossible, as would founding a new temple.

Would the Heroquest be impossible because the god is dead, or is the god dead because no-one remembers how to heroquest for them?

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11 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Chaos is explicitely different from gloranthan things, which includes air even in it's inception.

Is it though? Is not the Chaosium the fundamental well from which Glorantha springs? I think these things are not so different once you peer past the masks they wear...

11 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

I'm pretty sure the whole yelm-orlanth story is based on egyptean mythology, where set kill osiris and then allies with him to kill chaos.

This does not necessarily make it true, simply a thing that people believe to be true.

11 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Plus I don't think the concept of heat death(or many real life science things) apply to glorantha. Things happen due to myths in most cases

And yet, the sun shines to make crops grow (as it does in our world). The wind blows and brings the rain (as it does in our world). Why not have change that leads to ultimate stasis? Whether the mechanism is physical or mythic is neither here nor there. Having Chaos embody both is myth enough perhaps...

Edited by Ynneadwraith
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1 minute ago, Ynneadwraith said:

Is it though? Is not the Chaosium the fundamental well from which Glorantha springs? I think these things are not so different once you peer past the masks they wear...

 

Glorantha was made from chaos, but it was made to be different from it.
Chaos doesn't mean to change glorantha, but turn it back into chaos, by breaking down distinctions between the various things in it(runes) and turning it into indistinct stuff, and then turning that into nothingness. Chaos isn't change, it's destruction.
Umath didn't destroy anything, he made somthing new(air), chaos doesn't make new things as much as it destroys barriers between things. Undead creatures are the result of the difference between life and death being destroyed, not really something new.

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14 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Glorantha was made from chaos, but it was made to be different from it.
Chaos doesn't mean to change glorantha, but turn it back into chaos, by breaking down distinctions between the various things in it(runes) and turning it into indistinct stuff, and then turning that into nothingness. Chaos isn't change, it's destruction.
Umath didn't destroy anything, he made somthing new(air), chaos doesn't make new things as much as it destroys barriers between things. Undead creatures are the result of the difference between life and death being destroyed, not really something new.

Perhaps, and you're entitled to have your own interpretation of events. I dare say your interpretation is the more popular one. Certainly among the Orlanthi at any rate. It's not how I see things, but then again I do like my Nysalorian riddles.

14 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Chaos isn't change, it's destruction.

Change often looks like destruction if we were fond of the thing that is being changed, and don't like what it is being changed into.

14 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Umath didn't destroy anything, he made somthing new(air)

Umath did destroy things. He destroyed the harmony that had existed in the world before his creation. He destroyed the unison between Sky and Earth. He wrought great destruction upon primitive Glorantha in his creation of a space for himself.

14 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

chaos doesn't make new things as much as it destroys barriers between things.

Is that not a form of creation? Where once there were two things, now stands one thing that is something new. The unison of England and Scotland creates the United Kingdom. The unison of beans and toast creates Beans on Toast. The unison of tin and copper creates bronze.

13 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Glorantha was made from chaos, but it was made to be different from it.

Was it? Do we know the Invisible God's intentions (if it was even them who did it!)? Do we even know what exists in the void beyond the Sky Dome? The Dragons do, but anyone who finds the answer to that question goes to join them before telling anyone else...

Edited by Ynneadwraith
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1 minute ago, Ynneadwraith said:

Perhaps, and you're entitled to have your own interpretation of events. I dare say your interpretation is the more popular one. Certainly among the Orlanthi at any rate. It's not how I see things, but then again I do like my Nysalorian riddles.

Change often looks like destruction if we were fond of the thing that is being changed, and don't like what it is being changed into.

Umath did destroy things. He destroyed the harmony that had existed in the world before his creation. He destroyed the unison between Sky and Earth. He wrought great destruction upon primitive Glorantha in his creation of a space for himself.

Is that not a form of creation? Where once there were two things, now stands one thing that is something new. The unison of England and Scotland creates the United Kingdom. The unison of beans and toast creates Beans on Toast. The unison of tin and copper creates bronze.

I don't hnik this is going anywhere, but the last thing I think I'll say is that glorantha already changed out of chaos, it formed barriers out of primitive chaos-stuff. Chaotic forces destroying those barriers is really just a restoration of an earlier state.
many things(glorantha)--->chaos--->one thing(primordial chaos)
one thing(primordial chaos)--->gloranthan cosmic forces--->many things(glorantha)

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2 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

I don't hnik this is going anywhere

And here we see some of the irreconcilable differences between the Orlanthi and Lunar worldviews. Is Chaos a part of the world machine, or an outsider trying to wreck it? Mostal probably knew, but he's no longer answering my calls.

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2 hours ago, Ynneadwraith said:

Is there already a seasonal fertility myth that involves Orlanth descending into the underworld to resurrect Ernalda … ?

Kinda-sorta. The Lightbringers’s quest is the just-so story for the year as well as the day (and the grand cosmic cycle — great year?), so:

  • The Earth Queen followed Orlanth and Yelm to Rebirth in Time with the Dawn. Even before she appeared, her daughter Voria went about the world with the promise of life, leaving a trail of flowers behind her. — Prosopaedia: Ernalda (PDF, p. 35)

Voria/Spring/young Ernalda precedes bounteous matron Ernalda and is the earth returning to life after the death of the Darkness/Gods War/Winter. Possibly this has become a little obscured with all the cruft the LBQ has accumulated over the decades.

Edited by mfbrandi
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NOTORIOUS VØID CULTIST

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8 minutes ago, Ynneadwraith said:

And here we see some of the irreconcilable differences between the Orlanthi and Lunar worldviews. Is Chaos a part of the world machine, or an outsider trying to wreck it? Mostal probably knew, but he's no longer answering my calls.

It's funny you say that because I'm more of a lunar person too 😄I just have a diferent view on these things

Edited by theconfusingeel
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50 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

I don't think that's a good way of looking at chaos in glorantha. You have to remember that the most basic form of chaos is void, nothingness, that is what chaos leads to.
Plus, stasis is the oposite of movement, while chaos is the oposite of glorantha in general. Chaotic stasis is a thing that can exist(see Krasht)

 Everything in Glorantha comes from the Void. See? 

image.thumb.png.9e3b08b0d70368d1f6d90657dd0f34f0.png

   

21 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Glorantha was made from chaos, but it was made to be different from it.
Chaos doesn't mean to change glorantha, but turn it back into chaos, by breaking down distinctions between the various things in it(runes) and turning it into indistinct stuff, and then turning that into nothingness. Chaos isn't change, it's destruction.
Umath didn't destroy anything, he made somthing new(air), chaos doesn't make new things as much as it destroys barriers between things. Undead creatures are the result of the difference between life and death being destroyed, not really something new.

And yet one of the hallmarks of Chaos is mutation, which is a form of change. In fact, all change is both destruction and creation- one must destroy what existed before to make what will exist now. 

image.png.dad6a3b43d9e6d29292f310b92083193.png

(Source and Creative Commons license.)

Now, Umath had to destroy the connection between Sky and Earth in order to have his own realm of Air. Magasta had to destroy the perfect Earth Cube for rivers and seas and bays and harbors to exist. Xentha destroyed the golden color of the night sky, and Yelorna broke the Sky Dome to lead out the stars. One of Kyger Litor's large adult sons destroyed the inviolability of Aldrya's beloved trees with the Tree Chopping Song to make axes. All that destruction... but now we can feel the breeze as we sit on the dock of the bay and lean back and look up at the night sky and count the stars. 

Destruction, for lack of a better word, is good. Destruction is right. Destruction works. Destruction clarifies, cuts through, and if you listen to the Malkioni, it captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit, though they'd say "devolutionary", because they're all Devo over there. 

But... destruction is generally best accompanied by creation. The destruction of ignorance clarifies by creating knowledge. The destruction of a barrier creates a doorway, a window, a path. So there is destruction which is unaccompanied by creation, and creation which is unaccompanied by destruction, and the two are hard to distinguish from another when they start up. 

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Eight Arms and the Mask

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34 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

Chaos isn’t change, it's destruction.

  • [B]oth Law and Chaos create in different ways, and all creativity rests upon co-operation between elements of existence. He who operates solely from personal desire will not cooperate … Without co-operation and creativity, the being is a parasite … Nothing he can do or make can add to the sum of his species or culture. In this sense, fully Lawful beings can be as much agents of the dark side as was the worst Gbaji prophet.
    Cults of Terror: Nysalor (Classic PDF, p. 87)

According to this, Chaos can create — and isn’t that change worthy of the name? The selfish, childish, and uncooperative are called out as lacking the capacity to create — and that lack, we are told, doesn’t require a dash of Chaos.

I don’t say you have to buy into the CoT view of how the world works, but creative Chaos hasn’t always been alien to the party line.

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