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School me on the Changes to the Malkioni

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Given that Harrek wasn't in Sog City for very long and we are also ignorant of any military conflicts leading up to the Sack of Sog City, it's a weak argument from silence to say that Loskalm didn't do anything when Harrek attacked.  Loskalm is currently not an imperialistic country but they can get involved in foreign wars for reasons other than conquest.

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Peter I said the Loskalmi were fond of the Furlandan school because Against the Demons is one of their core texts, and it is the specialty grimoire of the Furlandan School. We also know the sort of spells it contains - resist spirit, banish spirit, remove curse, etc. Not the most exciting, but with its practical uses (it's good against disease as well as shamans and other spirits). I assume that its popular across Loskalm because its a core text of Siglats New Hrestolism. It is true that it isn't uniquely Hrestoli magic, but they are clearly enthusiastic about it. 

You are quite right that I said Telendarian when I meant Zendamalthan. My mistake. The New Hrestoli of course regard the Telendarian school very unfavourably, since it was banned by Talor at least. Quite right too, with its ancient Vadeli connections, and associations with unsavory travelling types. I presume also a favourite of Nysaloran missionaries in the first age, hence Talor hating it (and its not just good for travellers, but also perfect for infiltrators and spies). 

The Zendamalthan school is I think uniquely the only major sorcery school that is described, but without knowing any sample spells. I personally think it concentrates on improvement of all mental attributes and perceptions. Boring, I know. The idea of geometry and magic together also makes me think of magic circles, walls, lines, all manner of magic defences, magic prisons. Even using the magical correspondence of one circle to another to create teleport circles, clairvoyance devices, etc. 

I do think the Zendamalthans are very influential in New Hrestoli magic theory, replacing old rote lists of correspondences and conditions with new geometric and numerological correspondences, so New Hrestoli sorcery seems more intellectual and less concerned with material detail than the older forms. 

But to answer your more general question - I think the New Hrestoli are as capable of learning any form of magic as any other, and confronted with the Kingdom of War will turn back to the less favoured but very effective elemental magic and Death magic, and corrupt their Furlandan spells to begin commanding spirits rather than just defending against them. This is really rediscovered God Learner magic, though they won't say as much. 

But their native magic, perfected in their time of isolation, will concentrate on self-empowerment - but eventually to the point where this is symbolic, or entirely transcends. A beginning wizard will enhance his ability to fight with a spear. A better wizard will send his spear screaming away from his hand like a rocket to slay enemies on its own at a distance. A great wizard might attack with a spear that exists only magically. Knowledge of the body that enables them to enhance it (including various ways of filling the body with runic power, such as fire), or disrupt it (spells to paralyse, blind, etc). Plenty of spells to manipulate perception. Spells that work in the world of the purely mental, such as telepathy, mindlinks, confusion, mental attacks. Spells that enhance themselves in subtler ways, such as boosting morale and the charisma and presence of their commanders. Spells of self-empowerment don't stop at simple mundane boosting (thought that is where they start), but extend to making things approach their platonic ideals - a wizard-knights sword cuts through both magical and mundane protections as if it was the true Sword of Justice, his Shield protects against magical attacks, he is not just indefatigable but is not confused or afraid. 

But its not just their philosophical ideas, but also the structure of their society that will influence their magic, at least. Perhaps the idea that every wizard was once a farmer or crafter manifests as more spells that deal with animals and plants. That so many wizards are also warriors and former crafters almost certainly means that the New Hrestoli are masters of practical enchantments such as magical armour and weapons. 

(and to pick up on a smaller point from earlier - yes, Hrestol did not discover henosis. But he did discover that it could be used fully by castes other than the zzaburi.) 

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3 hours ago, davecake said:

Peter I said the Loskalmi were fond of the Furlandan school because Against the Demons is one of their core texts, and it is the specialty grimoire of the Furlandan School.

You speak of the Furlandan School as it still exists, which is not a given.  It existed in the Dawn Age and who knows what has happened since.  You also speak of the spells in the Furlandan School as if it were being set in stone unchanging in time whereas the needs it fulfils for the Loskalmi today are surely different from the needs of the early Hrestoli in the Dawn Age.  

 

3 hours ago, davecake said:

We also know the sort of spells it contains - resist spirit, banish spirit, remove curse, etc. Not the most exciting, but with its practical uses (it's good against disease as well as shamans and other spirits).

I don't care for a bland list of spells if it has practical uses.  That's not what Glorantha should be about.  The spells are what they had at the start of the Dawn Age.  What happened to the School in the Imperial Age and what happened when the Men-of-All took over?  Are the wizards going to be satisfied learning the same lists of spells?

 

3 hours ago, davecake said:

The [Zendamalthan - PHM] idea of geometry and magic together also makes me think of magic circles, walls, lines, all manner of magic defences, magic prisons. Even using the magical correspondence of one circle to another to create teleport circles, clairvoyance devices, etc. 

Thank you.  That was actually the type of interesting insight that I was looking for.  

Quote

But to answer your more general question - I think the New Hrestoli are as capable of learning any form of magic as any other, and confronted with the Kingdom of War will turn back to the less favoured but very effective elemental magic and Death magic, and corrupt their Furlandan spells to begin commanding spirits rather than just defending against them.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with commanding spirits (although the old Hero Wars/HeroQuest mindset did give that impression).  The first sorceror of Wizpotket actually commands a Vadeli Ice Demon (Guide p211)

The rest of your post was and interesting and useful read.

 

 

 

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As an example of what I spoke about the focus of the schools changing over time, here's a little thought I had about the Zendalmathan School to resolve the inherent contradiction about an Archimedian Engineering School that rejects Empircism (deriving knowledge from sense-experience).

The School once had an argument with a God Learner about the path of a thrown stone.  The school argued that the path should resemble a circle while the God Learner proved arc of the stone was not that of a circle.  True to their philosophy, the school denounced the arc as a corrupt sign of Makan and set about making up a stone-thrower that would fling its payload in the circle's arc.  The magics required to produce such an effect would counter Makan's evil influence and thus be used to free humanity from its grasp.

That work is ongoing and the school Still has not built its desired circle thrower.  They laboriously build enchanted catapults, carefully calculating the effect of the spells and fire the payload only to end in failure. After it was reasoned correctly that the size of the catapult was a crucial factor (Makan would have trouble corrupting a larger catapult than he would a small one), the School has been building bigger and bigger catapults.  Their best effort can hurl a stone weighing a ton a full mile ("doing the ton" so the school labels the milestone).  

Their failed designs are not thrown on the scrapheap but bought by the Kingdom of Loskalm for their defences.  An unusual feature of these catapults is that the School quickly worked out the way to increase the effect of Makan upon a projectile.  All the school's catapults can be used in such a matter.  The stone travels in a straight line with no visible curvature in flight.  The stone gradually slows down until it reaches stillness whereupon it falls to the earth straight down.

 

 

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4 hours ago, metcalph said:

You speak of the Furlandan School as it still exists, which is not a given.  It existed in the Dawn Age and who knows what has happened since.  You also speak of the spells in the Furlandan School as if it were being set in stone unchanging in time whereas the needs it fulfils for the Loskalmi today are surely different from the needs of the early Hrestoli in the Dawn Age. 

IMG many of the modern sorcery schools are based upon the ancient schools. For example, the Barmalani School gave rise to the Iron Blood School of Seshnela, and it wouldn't surprise me if many other Schools followed suit. Even the more liberal order of Bardan's Book has many spells in common to the Iron Blood wizards, so it wouldn't surprise me if Bardan was a Barmalani Man of All who tried to further develop their magic in the wake of Hrestolism.

In much the same way, I doubt the Furlandans exist in their ancient form, but their grimoire (which as Davecake noted, is part of Siglat's canon) and traditions will have created many different Furlandan successors. I imagine several of those will be devoted to warding off the Rathori, in much the same way as their Furlandan ancestors drove off and subjugated the Pendali.

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I'm not really treating the Furlandan school as unchanging - rather, their favourite Furlandan grimoire, Against the Demons, is unchanging (more or less), though new spells can be found in it.  And we perhaps know a little too much about that book for it to be too much fun - from what we know of Against the Demons, most of it is about evil spirits or hygiene, so its difficult to extrapolate really cool interesting spells without going down 'the dark side' of commanding evil spirits. It does appear to be useful mostly as a source of defensive magic, though that might include laying the dead to rest, cursing shamans, curing madness, etc. There are some very general chapters in the book, like an account of creation and the expulsion of Malkion, and there are some very prosaic chapters (praise of marriage and charity, praise of physical effort (some physical buffing spells? hardly exciting), and the indignity of breach of contract (oath magic?) and assault (calming magic?). I do like the idea of New Hrestoli spells based on their superior hygiene, though. 

A Man of All smiling broadly, the light glints off his perfect teeth, overcoming the smelly pagans by virtue of his perfect teeth, hair and body odour.

Ultimately, Furlandan magic, even if we extrapolate multiple new grimoires, is still going to be Spirit Rune magic, and that is still going to be mostly defensive to a culture that thinks messing with spirits is generally a bad idea. Not every school needs to be cool. There might be some careful theurgic summoning of beneficial spirits. Of course, there are presumably forbidden volumes of Spirit rune magic that cover commanding and summoning all manner of wicked spirits but well... they're forbidden. Or at least restricted to the truly wise and trustworthy. 

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17 hours ago, Tindalos said:

IMG many of the modern sorcery schools are based upon the ancient schools. For example, the Barmalani School gave rise to the Iron Blood School of Seshnela, and it wouldn't surprise me if many other Schools followed suit. Even the more liberal order of Bardan's Book has many spells in common to the Iron Blood wizards, so it wouldn't surprise me if Bardan was a Barmalani Man of All who tried to further develop their magic in the wake of Hrestolism.

Well IMO the Bardan School is has many of the problems that plagued Issaries cult writeups at the time - it isn't very good to such an extent that it's no longer canonical and unlikely to have anything written about it in the future.,

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My opinion on the Against the Demons

Originally the grimoire of the Furlandan School, it was developed to combat evil spirits in the Great Darkness.  The school had its greatest success in fighting the Enjorelli and after they were vanquished, the school had no external enemies to fight.  As a result, the school's magicians turned their attention within themselves, using their magics to purge themselves so they could attain Joy.

King Siglat revived the Grimoire.  He wanted to cleanse the land of evil influences so the country would become more receptive to Joy.  He reinterpreted the teachings of the school from purging the body of evil spirits to one of purging the country of evil spirits.  He had the Grimoire taught to his Men-of-All so they could see the signs of wickedness, summon the responsible spirits and remove them.  The Men-of-All who carried out the cleansings were part of the First Brothers rather than the Furlandan School so Siglat did not trust wizards no matter how much they sang Hrestol's praises. 

Cleansing a land usually involves summoning the local populace (a village or a town), questioning them on anything bad that has happened to them over the past year.  Armed with such a knowledge, the Men-of-All leads the population in summoning the spirit whereupon they struggle to imprison it within an energy prison to be disposed of later.  In cases of magical calamities, the Men-of-All are often more coercive in their questioning if they suspect someone within the community is actively aiding the spirit.  

Captured spirits are usually contained within a nearby fort dedicated to holding energy prisons.  The Men-of-All often have carry imprisoned spirits working their misdeeds through penal servitude.  The Men-of-All usually demonize these spirits so they will confer spell knowledge rather than function as a charm.,

 

 

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I've always thought of the Schools of Magic as being intellectual traditions, rather than specific learning institutions/organisations of any kind. So the idea of someone using the magic derived from Against The Demons but not being part of the Furlandan School is incoherent to me, or at the most a subtle distinction probably not worth making. But the idea that the magic changes in practice have taken place in how it is used and approached over history depending on social context, absolutely. 

Against the Demons is a Dawn age book, because it contains dialogues attributed to Hrestol, though its conceivable other Furlandan grimoires predate it. I don't know the name of the author, but quite likely a companion of Hrestol, who used its magic initially to combat the lion men of Fronela. I know it was founded in Woswal (in Seshnela, though now underwater). Of course it could be based on earlier sources, much as the Hrestoli Telendarian school is based on Viymorni sources. 

Its always (as far as I can tell, given its obsession with hygiene) been about both fighting animists and also fighting disease and other spirit based 'enemies within'. So certainly it probably became popular for fighting the Enjoreli in the Dawn, but retained some value for fighting disease as well as other mundane spirit attacks even in the Ban - though the idea that they would turn inward and focus on purging the populace makes sense. I do like the idea of purging the populace of spirits. 

I also think that during the ban the Furlandan exorcists would summon spirits to purge the land, expel them from Loskalm to purify the country - and are thus responsible for empowering the Kingdom of War with the dark side of Loskalms power. 

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16 minutes ago, davecake said:

I've always thought of the Schools of Magic as being intellectual traditions, rather than specific learning institutions/organisations of any kind.

They are described as specific institutions in the Guide.  For example, the Zendamalthan School maintains the Temple of the Invisible God in Seliset (p211) whereas the Ekozite School is spoken of as having a centre of learning in Leplain (p417).  Given that both Loskalm and Seshnela both have state-mandated philosophical schools, other permitted schools would be ordered as formal organisations in an effort to control them.   

16 minutes ago, davecake said:

So the idea of someone using the magic derived from Against The Demons but not being part of the Furlandan School is incoherent to me, or at the most a subtle distinction probably not worth making.

I'm not sure I can see the worth of a Loskalm without politics or internal tension.  If it's good for the Orlanthi (who have struggles between Kings and Priests in their history) or the Lhankorings (who feud mildly over whether God Learner texts should be studied) then it should be good for other places in Glorantha.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, metcalph said:

Well IMO the Bardan School is has many of the problems that plagued Issaries cult writeups at the time - it isn't very good to such an extent that it's no longer canonical and unlikely to have anything written about it in the future.,

At least one branch of Bardan's Bookmen still exist, the Bright Fletching Company can still be found in the map of Notchet (just northeast of Kena Hill.)

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11 hours ago, metcalph said:

the Ekozite School is spoken of as having a centre of learning in Leplain (p417).

 

The "Ekozite School" is mentioned in Revealed Mythologies, as established in the Dawn Era and focused on alchemical transformations.

The "Ezokite School of Alchemy" is mentioned in the Guide, as located in Leplain.

 

So...

1) Does the Guide supersede and correct the RM spelling, and we should only talk of Ezokites?

2) Did Ekozite wizards become Ezokite as some point - languages evolve, and 1600 years leaves plenty of time to trigger a switch on consonant sounds in a name?

3) Are they actually unrelated? (unlikely and minimum game fun)

and in any case...

What do we know about them, about from these very very brief mentions?

 

Hints welcome, that would really help me writing my campaign; though I can always imagine my own silly solutions, of course ;-)

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10 hours ago, Tindalos said:

the Bright Fletching Company can still be found in the map of Notchet (just northeast of Kena Hill.)

Yes, a Bright Fletching Company exists in Nochet.  And it does produce fine arrows for the Green Arrows militia and other mercenaries.  Whether the head of the company is a wizard, a Trader Prince, or something else is a subject of rumor and speculation.

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, a Bright Fletching Company exists in Nochet.  And it does produce fine arrows for the Green Arrows militia and other mercenaries.  Whether the head of the company is a wizard, a Trader Prince, or something else is a subject of rumor and speculation.

In any case, I would prefer the company's magics to be something other than buff arms and armour.  

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7 hours ago, Patrick said:

What do we know about them, about from these very very brief mentions?

They study the transformation of one substance to another through alchemical processes.  A big issue is that what people know about alchemy is rather medieval in scope which strikes at odds with the bronze-age feel that the guide strives for.  The little notes that Jeff put up at glorantha.com show an inorganic focus (ie metals and minerals).

I think the basic magic of the school is preparing acids and alkalis (by getting a sample of suitable fluid and casting a spell upon it with the strength of the acid or base equal to the effort of their spell).  They also know how to ferment organic material to produce liquors of various strengths.

I think the school knows how to make black powder (but never so controlled as the Mostali) and rather than turning base metal into Gold, they are seeking the making of Iron.  

 

 

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On 8/25/2016 at 2:53 PM, Patrick said:

The "Ekozite School" is mentioned in Revealed Mythologies, as established in the Dawn Era and focused on alchemical transformations.

The "Ezokite School of Alchemy" is mentioned in the Guide, as located in Leplain.

 

So...

1) Does the Guide supersede and correct the RM spelling, and we should only talk of Ezokites?

2) Did Ekozite wizards become Ezokite as some point - languages evolve, and 1600 years leaves plenty of time to trigger a switch on consonant sounds in a name?

3) Are they actually unrelated? (unlikely and minimum game fun)

and in any case...

What do we know about them, about from these very very brief mentions?

 

Hints welcome, that would really help me writing my campaign; though I can always imagine my own silly solutions, of course ;-)

That an alchemical transformation has obviously swapped the letters K and Z, no doubt, as any alchemist can tell you, because the equilibrium constant K and the atomic number Z which uniquely defines a chemical element were somehow altered on a subatomic level.  The very nature of the Gloranthan universe was subtly changed with the only visible clue being the shift from Ekozite School to Ezokite School. 

The real question is was this due to a failed or successful heroquest and did the school take the quest or were the dwarves fixing the World Machine?

Edited by Pentallion
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57 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

failed or successful heroquest

Clearly the Outer Atomic Explorers have returned and will ultimately restore Lankhor Mhy to his true place in Glorantha and defeat the upstart Lhankor Mhy.

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My conception of alchemy is that a number of alchemical physical processes are known, that correspond to various Powers (eg Putrefaction is Death, Crystalisation is Harmony), and substances are catalogued according to correspondences with elements and sub-elements (eg Alcohol is the Fire of Water, vitriol might be literally water of Death?). Philosophically, it becomes vital to Western sorcery and philosophy - it is the key by which the abstract world of Runes is intellectually translated into the complex world of matter (and back). Without Alchemy sorcerous interaction with Matter would be far more simplistic - probably just simple Elemental manipulation. It concentrates on metals and minerals because much Western Sorcery is ultimately from Mostali sources, but that's not all there is - Plant and Beast alchemy is known to Malkioni in the modern era. Note also the Pavis grimoires seem pretty clearly alchemical and deal heavily with Man (though of course not Western). Alchemy has mundane as well as magical uses (like old RQ2 Alchemists Guild, also perfume manufacture in Fonrit), but purely magical or philosophical use still has value. I admit this is more medieval than Bronze Age but *shrug* 1600 years of sorcerous development surely means Gloranthan sorcery has progressed beyond our own Bronze Age, especially if some Mostali secrets have been stolen.

I don't think that knowledge of gunpowder is common - it may be a known secret, but still likely to lead to an invasion of gunpowder gobblers, and no one wants that, so it isn't widely known or used. 

Of course seeking Iron is desired practically, but a secret the Mostali guard jealously. And philosophically, Iron is Death, which seems uninviting. Ultimately perhaps they seek to refine Adamant, pure solid Law. And surely no one who isn't a major Hero or demigod at least has ever done his. Maybe only Zzabur, or perhaps Ezok. 

Eastern alchemy, though still sorcerous, is of course a whole different thing. 

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I think of the schools as being primarily intellectual traditions, but certainly some of them may be associated with specific institutions, just as we speak of Chicago school of economics or the Oxford school of international relations. but some schools (eg the Debaldan) will have many individual centers of learning, without one being pre-eminent.

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Ezok is the guy I presume the Ezokite school is named after, presumably an ancient Enrovalini sorcerer who studied under Zzabur or something. But I just hypothesised his existence, so its entirely possible that Ezok is a city or an untranslatable term or something instead. 

Edited by davecake
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18 hours ago, davecake said:

Ezok is the guy I presume the Ezokite school is named after

Revealed Mythology p.11 indicates:  "some of the schools of sorcery that were well established during the Dawn Age.  These are not named after their founders, but are descriptive words indicating their powers....

Ekozite [sic] - Philosophy: Zzaburite; Affinity: Alchemical Transformations"

So the transmuting "Ezok/Ekoz" relates to spells that make alchemical changes.

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