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The cycle of killing someone and discovering you needed them for Glorantha to function?


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I believe I have officially fallen into the proverbial deep end, because I have recently read some parts of King of Sartar

So there are two events that come to mind:

1. Orlanth killed Yelm and caused the Storm Age and Lesser Darkness. But that resulted in serious problems for mortals, culminating in the Great Darkness and the need to bring Yelm back.

2. Argrath (or a bunch of heroquesters under his name) took down the Red Moon and also killed Wakboth, causing the 4th Age. The people from the 4th Age seem to describe a world constantly getting worse and lacking magic, which sounds analogous to the Storm Age and the Lesser Darkness to me.

If the Red Moon is the embodiment of the Moon Rune and Wakboth is the embodiment of the Chaos Rune, then would this not be removing two things that Glorantha really needs to function? Without Moon Magic there might no longer the regular maintenance of the Mortal Realm and its laws of reality by connecting it to the God Time. Without Chaos there might no longer be a source of energy and mass for Glorantha itself - since all originated from Chaos in the first place.

The 4th Age is probably not headed for a "Darkness" but it may at least be headed for some kind of other un-survivable condition, like a magical version of heat death of the universe, and lack of any new souls to inhabit newborn mortals, and inability of anyone to do anything heroic to fix anything.

Am I approaching Illumination about Glorantha's fate in the case that King of Sartar occurs as written, or am I way off-base here? Would the 4th-Agers then need to do a heroquest of the Moonchaosbringers to restore habitability again? Of course creating someone other than Wakboth to be the embodiment of the Chaos Rune might be nice.

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Posted (edited)

The King of Sartar book doesn´t give us a place where this Realm of Zin is located. It could be the ruins of Dragon Pass, it could also be the remenants of the Lunar Empire, or somewhere else entirely. 

The author (not Greg, the fictional author of the in world text) describes the state of the realm HE lives in. In other parts of Glorantha the world could be lovely to live in. 

If the place where the realm of Zin is located was a chaos or moon worshipping region (lets say the Lunar Empire/Monster Empire or Dorastor) at the end of the third age then Argraths deed in destroying th moon and Wakboth is seen as a catastrophe. 

The author also doesn´t seem to know any nonhumans (at least not uz). Maybe the people of the realm of Zin all ARE uz, but they don´t know that humans called them uz, and think of themselves and all the people they read aboud as uz?


The Fourth Age of Glorantha in King of Sartar is not a setting desciption, but the view of a few scholars looking at the realm they live in. 

Edited by AndreJarosch
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6 hours ago, XcessiveNinja17 said:

Orlanth killed Yelm … [b]ut that resulted in serious problems … and the need to bring Yelm back.

OR we discovered we needed to kill Yelm every day. We didn’t return to the supposed status quo ante. Hegel and Marx are delighted. 😉

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

OR we discovered we needed to kill Yelm every day. We didn’t return to the supposed status quo ante. Hegel and Marx are delighted. 😉

he's also reborn at every dawn
What importance it has really depends on what the compromise was going for. It's possible that yelms dying and coming back to life happens so that xentha can mentain part of her rulership of the surface world, so that both darkness and light can be happy.

Edited by theconfusingeel
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42 minutes ago, theconfusingeel said:

he's also reborn at every dawn
What importance it has really depends on what the compromise was going for. It's possible that yelms dying and coming back to life happens so that xentha can mentain part of her rulership of the surface world, so that both darkness and light can be happy.

Well, Yelm could go behind the skydome instead, which is impermeable to light where a star hasn't been punched into it. I'm fairly certain (YGWV) that this is how most people experienced the Sun in Godtime- the Sun came through Dawngate and left through Duskgate and spent night behind the sky, in the higher heavens. 

I think the descent into the Underworld is because the entity the Lightbringers Quest calls "Maggotliege" lit up parts of the Underworld, and so everyone native to the place knew the Sun passed, if diminished and dim, through the Underworld, and so that was part of the deal- Yelm goes down so that the Underworld continues to get light.

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4 hours ago, Eff said:

Well, Yelm could go behind the skydome instead, which is impermeable to light where a star hasn't been punched into it. I'm fairly certain (YGWV) that this is how most people experienced the Sun in Godtime- the Sun came through Dawngate and left through Duskgate and spent night behind the sky, in the higher heavens. 

I think the descent into the Underworld is because the entity the Lightbringers Quest calls "Maggotliege" lit up parts of the Underworld, and so everyone native to the place knew the Sun passed, if diminished and dim, through the Underworld, and so that was part of the deal- Yelm goes down so that the Underworld continues to get light.

well my interpretation would be that night appeared after Yelm died, with Xentha appearing around then(thought day didn't exist then).
in a more general sense, I think the great compromise-dawn myths represent the origin of cyclical phenomena in glorantha(days,seasons,ages) and as such I dodn't think the sun dissapeared from the sky in any way before the greater darkness. I know there's some stuff in the entekosiad, but i haven't read that.

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13 hours ago, Ynneadwraith said:

I sense a 4th age Heroquest to resurrect the devil and bring magic back to the world coming...

The Traveller in Black explores this. The traveller grants wishes, but every wish binds the world and stills its magic. The final story, people in a world largely bereft of magic conspire for selfish reasons to bring back the ancient gods, and undo the peace and freedom from arbitrary horror the traveller has created for them.

Author John Brunner has largely been forgotten today but he wrote some amazing stories, like my other favourite Times Without Number, which starts in 1988 London, England, which is part of the Spanish Empire.

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Wakboth isn't needed, as the world got by fine without him; indeed, from the moment he arrived, things were getting worse.

The world also got by without the Red Moon for most of its existence.

They're both disposable.

17 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

The King of Sartar book doesn´t give us a place where this Realm of Zin is located. It could be the ruins of Dragon Pass, it could also be the remenants of the Lunar Empire, or somewhere else entirely.
The author (not Greg, the fictional author of the in world text) describes the state of the realm HE lives in. In other parts of Glorantha the world could be lovely to live in. 

If the place where the realm of Zin is located was a chaos or moon worshipping region (lets say the Lunar Empire/Monster Empire or Dorastor) at the end of the third age then Argraths deed in destroying th moon and Wakboth is seen as a catastrophe. 

The author also doesn´t seem to know any nonhumans (at least not uz). Maybe the people of the realm of Zin all ARE uz, but they don´t know that humans called them uz, and think of themselves and all the people they read aboud as uz?


The Fourth Age of Glorantha in King of Sartar is not a setting desciption, but the view of a few scholars looking at the realm they live in. 

I think it's logical to assume that the Realm of Zin is located in Dragon Pass, in Argath's kingdom, as I doubt anyone in Peloria would ever worship him.

King of Sartar almost entirely ignores the Elder Races and eastern Genertla and western Genertla.

 

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6 hours ago, John Biles said:

I think it's logical to assume that the Realm of Zin is located in Dragon Pass, in Argath's kingdom, as I doubt anyone in Peloria would ever worship him.

King of Sartar almost entirely ignores the Elder Races and eastern Genertla and western Genertla.


Peloria = Saird and you can have both. 

The Realm of Zin could be a big as Dragon Pass, or as small as the region of Aldachur. We don´t know anything about it. 

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10 hours ago, John Biles said:

Wakboth isn't needed

Is that so? Depends how tightly magic is tied to chaos in Gloranthan metaphysics. It certainly wells up from the Chaosium, and rains down from the pinholes in the firmament. I'd say we don't know enough about chaos' function in the world machine to know for certain whether it has a role in it or not.

10 hours ago, John Biles said:

The world also got by without the Red Moon for most of its existence.

Again, I wouldn't be so certain. The dwarves are patently clear that the world machine is thoroughly broken, and one of the missing pieces are likely to be the lunar goddesses. Just because we're familiar with the world we've grown up in, doesn't mean that's the way it's supposed to be. A fly born without wings doesn't know that it's meant to take to the sky.

10 hours ago, John Biles said:

the world got by fine without him

Fine for whom? For humans and Uz and elves I'm sure, but not so much for broo or scorpionmen or tusk riders (or anyone else who isn't on 'our' team). Whether this is a good or bad thing overall is largely dependent on how skewed the perspective on Gloranthan early history is...

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19 hours ago, EricW said:

Author John Brunner has largely been forgotten today but he wrote some amazing stories, like my other favourite Times Without Number, which starts in 1988 London, England, which is part of the Spanish Empire.

Agreed, but 'Shockwave rider' and 'Stand on Zanzibar' (my favorites from Brunner) are difficult to relate to Glorantha.

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15 hours ago, John Biles said:

Wakboth isn't needed, as the world got by fine without him; indeed, from the moment he arrived, things were getting worse.

Orlanth isn't needed, as the world got by fine without him; indeed, from the moment he arrived, things were getting worse!

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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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19 minutes ago, Eff said:

Orlanth isn't needed, as the world got by fine without him; indeed, from the moment he arrived, things were getting worse!

To unpack this, Orlanth and Wakboth are literary foils of one another. Orlanth's father Umath was wronged, in a way related to sex, by his uncle Yelm. Wakboth's mother Thed was wronged, in a way related to sex, by his uncle Orlanth. Orlanth challenges Yelm repeatedly, supposedly out of love for Ernalda, and eventually kills Yelm and takes his throne. Wakboth challenges Orlanth repeatedly, supposedly out of love of evil, and eventually drives Orlanth into the Underworld, and takes his throne. Orlanth faces many challenges to his rule, some of which defeat him, but all of which are overcome eventually. Wakboth faces many challenges to his rule, some of which evade him, and one of which kills him. Or pins him in place. 

This story as myth tells us that the desire for justice is tied up with the desire to see people suffer, and that the only way to break the cycle of retribution is to offer forgiveness to one another, which renders vengeance no longer purely destructive, but transformed into time, which heals all wounds and makes it so that this, too, shall pass. Or, alternatively, the only way to break the cycle of retribution is through laws and constructive effort. Both summon the great web which ties together the world that was falling apart. But the story also tells us that we can never be sure whether the devil is Kajabor or Wakboth, and whether we are confronted by wickedness or someone trapped by circumstance, who does it because he has to. 

And yet the story ends by the gods agreeing that they will bind the world together by separating Us from Them, Self from Other, and that these people will be bound by their law but not protected by it. And so the day may come again when a man becomes an uncle and the nephew comes for him to avenge injustice against his mother or his father, and the world falls apart piece by piece.

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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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6 minutes ago, Eff said:

And so the day may come again when a man becomes an uncle and the nephew comes for him to avenge injustice against his mother or his father, and the world falls apart piece by piece.

My favorite part of the Branagh Hamlet is when Osric dies in the hall of mirrors as though he was only another reflection, an optical illusion required to stage the full play in luxurious 70 millimeter. Here come the Norse!

But I also still love the Almereyda as an artifact of a certain time and place.

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6 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

My favorite part of the Branagh Hamlet is when Osric dies in the hall of mirrors as though he was only another reflection, an optical illusion required to stage the full play in luxurious 70 millimeter. Here come the Norse!

But I also still love the Almereyda as an artifact of a certain time and place.

I think that to an extent it's a shame that the multiplicity of the devil, the emptiness of the mask, has remained an inner teaching. You can't light anyone up by asking them "How could Sekever be the Devil and a fighter of Chaos?", sure, but I'd love to see the art of the many devils approaching the holy mountain from all sides.

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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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The cycle of killing someone and discovering you needed them for Glorantha to function?

Nothing is needed for Glorantha to function.

Spoiler

Argrath and his Trickster killed most of the Deities in Hell, so even they are not needed for Glorantha to function.

 

On 5/9/2024 at 7:11 AM, XcessiveNinja17 said:

2. Argrath (or a bunch of heroquesters under his name) took down the Red Moon and also killed Wakboth, causing the 4th Age. The people from the 4th Age seem to describe a world constantly getting worse and lacking magic, which sounds analogous to the Storm Age and the Lesser Darkness to me.

That's right. The end of the Third Age could have been the end of magic, as we know it, in Glorantha.

On 5/9/2024 at 7:11 AM, XcessiveNinja17 said:

Am I approaching Illumination about Glorantha's fate in the case that King of Sartar occurs as written, or am I way off-base here?

You are spot on.

Embrace it!

 

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Eff said:

it's a shame that the multiplicity of the devil, the emptiness of the mask, has remained an inner teaching

"When all you have is an argrath everything looks like the devil." - Nietzsche

People bicker about the German and whether it should be translated "a" devil or even pluralized but the text is clear: "der" Teufel, not "ein" or "die." This in itself is just part of the cycle. Multiple argrath staging was hot for awhile in the wake of what was going on in depth psychology but it turned out the amount of work involved with that turned a lot of fans off. People wanted to see messianic figures performed and not be those figures. It happens! But when you revert to more or less unified readings of the characters you tend to end up collapsing all the probabilistic choral alternatives . . . especially the devil and we know who that particular argrath's devil is.

I have no idea whether Mel Gibson's Hamlet is a better movie because I haven't seen it. A good play deserves to run forever in repertory. I think there was a kinescope of Peter Brook's out there somewhere but that was the year I went chasing bootleg Lears instead so might be getting the Paul Scofield and the Orson Welles one mixed up.
 

On 5/9/2024 at 2:11 AM, XcessiveNinja17 said:

The 4th Age is probably not headed for a "Darkness" but it may at least be headed for some kind of other un-survivable condition, like a magical version of heat death of the universe, and lack of any new souls to inhabit newborn mortals, and inability of anyone to do anything heroic to fix anything.

It makes me happy you are here. One trick about the literary fourth age is that while things for them are clearly very different than they are in the classic game setting, people do well enough to crawl out of the catastrophe like they always have before. Writing comes back. Hundreds of years of stuff goes by that feels dire and crucial at the time but at the end of the day people move on from every event and only the sages are invested enough in the minutia to argue about it. There are institutions and they aren't universally popular. Rebels push back on rules they don't appreciate. Some people say it isn't Glorantha any more at that point because Glorantha as we know it died in the utuma net betrayal maneuver. Some people argue that at that point it's just a story about life on earth. People get up, do their thing, obsess over hobby projects. Maybe the fourth age is the story of your adventures and all this other trash is just the egg you peck your way out of. Maybe the moon was also that egg.

That said, if you find yourself killing someone and then finding out later that they were necessary all along, that's what the regular lightbringer's quest was invented to do. 

Edited by scott-martin
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1 minute ago, scott-martin said:

It makes me happy you are here. One trick about the literary fourth age is that while things for them are clearly very different than they are in the classic game setting, people do well enough to crawl out of the catastrophe like they always have before. Writing comes back. 

They can zerodize, with the right eye and, for all I know, with the left. 

image.png.4a5cfd476e22ccfde7402d214f71a021.png

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Sometimes the time comes to leave the "holy mountain", but sometimes the mountain comes back with you.

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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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14 minutes ago, Eff said:

They can zerodize, with the right eye and, for all I know, with the left. 

Presumably most of the stars survive so these techniques survive with them or are rediscovered.

Talking about actors, this one was always one of my favorites and one of the few I managed to see live. He played a cop!
 

 

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11 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

After Welles?

If I could heroquest back and retrieve two Welles, that would be the other one. Looks to me like Gertrude did the deed.

But this is central to the apocalyptic argrath scenario if you know where to look. Somebody loaded the gun before hanging it on the setting wall. After that, the audience would feel at least a little subliminally cheated.

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3 hours ago, scott-martin said:

A good play deserves to run forever in repertory.

Maybe Hamlet's actually the source of the problem? Perhaps if we stopped telling this Hamlet story, this tendency of reality would get rippled out by the other narratives and allow us to do something other than kill ourselves in the name of vindication?

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