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School me on the Changes to the Malkioni

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

 Rokarism is a movement to restore the ancient glories of the West, while avoiding the abominations of the God Learners (who are viewed as an inevitable byproduct of Hrestol's teachings).

I wonder if Hrestolism wasn't a return to the opportunity for everyone to participate in the philosophical process of deriving insights from the logics.

The six ancient tribes of Danmalastan defined themselves by a certain intellectual pursuit - writing, building, sailing, speaking, discovering and cogitating. It doesn't look like the castes were present in these tribes from the start. And even if they were, in the ancient world (or more precisely, in ancient Athens) the lowly farmers and cobblers could be highly regarded (or despised) philosophers. A man was expected to contribute to philosophical debates as much as he was expected to contribute to the polis. Those who didn't were idiots (selfers).

 

The Rokari wizard caste doesn't seem to like it when warriors or serfs pursue original thought or philosophy. They may be acutely aware that there aren't any great wizards like Halwal or Yomili around any more, even though they appear to have the chain of veneration control at the heart of their power and pursuits.

The (old) Hrestoli society appears to have a widespread basic literacy - enough to trail the scripture with your index finger. (I'm not so sure about the New Idealist Hrestoli degree of literacy, they may have reserved the the Rs (reading, writing and (a)rithmetics) for the knightly curriculum.) I don't think there was a concept of serfs in Malkioni lands, although the barbarian lands (like Rindland or Slontos) probably reserved such a status for the indigeneous non- or not-quite-Malkioni.

The only grassroot participation the Rokari want is in the chain of veneration, the magical support of their wizards.

Now compare the vibrant intellectual exchange and debate in the 13 colonies of Jrustela in the years before the arrival of the Abiding Book, and the enthusiastic popular reception of that scripture, and the various schools about how to approach it.

I doubt that the stodgy linealist Hrestoli of the southern provinces of the Kingdom of Tanisor named Seshnela retained much of that spirit after observing most of their neighbors being drowned, but they appear to have been a haven of liberal thought compared to the strictures of the Rokari dictate.

I wonder where the Pithdarans stand (and stood). They have always been proponents of an ascetic pursuit of the philosophy, and the last defender of pre-1049 orthodoxy was Yomili. Practically all modern Malkioni schools in Genertela can nod towards Halwal, Yomili's contrahent, for formulating their stances against the God Learners (foes of Yomili as well). Yomili was a staunch (old school) Hrestoli but loyal to the imperial crown.

I wonder where the Pithdarans stood in the battles of Bailifes. From the Seshnela  color plate, we can infer that they now follow the Rokari school. However, they are located in Nolos, which has managed to remain outside of the king's direct influence for the time being.

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On 07/11/2015 at 9:32 AM, Jeff said:

Terms like "saint" or "medieval" carry baggage that makes it very different to get the Malkioni (the Buddhist term arhat may be better but is far more obscure). And Church is about as appropriate as referring to the "Church of Shaivism" or the "Allawite Church" or the "Pythagorean Church". I use school (Movement or Way would have been equally good) to avoid carrying any of that baggage over.

Revering particularly holy people (those who have experienced Joy) is a sign of proper respect by most Hrestoli (and not as an intercessory between the mortal and the Invisible God - although many barbarians combine worship of the gods with veneration of Ascended Masters, which is just symptomatic of how clueless they are). The Rokari zzaburi consider it to be at best pointless, and at worst tantamount to serving a spirit or petty god.
 

If I may reopen this discussion...

I am wondering what happens from a "practical" point of view, when Malkioni evoke/worship Ascended Masters?

Are they just considered "Guides of the Way", (e.g. the Old Zzaburi telling his student: "please read again the Commentary of St Xemela on Compassion and meditate Her Holy Path, then you will be in the proper disposition to channel the Energy of Life to the person you want to heal"; or preaching the farmers that "If you attend the Rites and follow the merciful example of St Xemela, your sick will enjoy the reward of their faith", which could just mean they grant some energy to the leading wizard to cast a blessing)?

Or do commoners also get something from their veneration? (by commoner, I mean "someone who has no access to Grimoires", as is a widespread case in the West)

Or is it just a labelling on some proper magic teaching, e.g.: "I follow the Path of St Talor" really means "I have learnt the spell to smash enemies mightily with a flail"... (and whether you are authorized & enabled to do so will obviously depend on caste and school: Seshnegi Rokari won't let Horali do that, Loskalmi Hrestoli will)

 

Any light is welcome in the middle of the night of doubts...

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On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2015 at 3:49 AM, Joerg said:

The six ancient tribes of Danmalastan defined themselves by a certain intellectual pursuit - writing, building, sailing, speaking, discovering and cogitating. It doesn't look like the castes were present in these tribes from the start.  And even if they were, in the ancient world (or more precisely, in ancient Athens) the lowly farmers and cobblers could be highly regarded (or despised) philosophers. A man was expected to contribute to philosophical debates as much as he was expected to contribute to the polis. Those who didn't were idiots (selfers).

I'm not sure that's accurate.  It was a widespread belief among Platonists and neoplatonists that the central truths were on the level of mysteries because it took a prescribed progression of learning to be able to understand them, which were generally only provided by schools like the Academy; hence the aversion to documenting them.  Most of the Socratic dialogues involve his followers and friends, and usually aren't even held in public places.  (Yes, there were philosophers who would have discussions in the agora, but they tended more to be Sophists, who Socrates and the Platonists detested as moneygrubbing mountebanks, and other rhetoricians.)  The general run of students were well-to-do citizens or their children.

So perhaps their point of view is more along these lines.

Edited by Yelm's Light

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6 hours ago, Patrick said:

I am wondering what happens from a "practical" point of view, when Malkioni evoke/worship Ascended Masters?

According to the Guide p51

Quote

Ascended Masters are venerated by worshipers, who
seek inspiration and guidance from them. Ascended Masters
do not provide any direct magical benefits for those who pray
to them, but can aid them in achieving Joy, serve as guides for
the faithful, and as exemplars of virtuous behavior

The magic they provide are spells which anybody can learn.  One could argue that a saint could also provide an affinity (and the Cult of Pavis in Pavis: Gateway to Adventure would be a good example of that)  But you would find such barbarous practices among the henotheists (or perhaps the Tanisoran War Societies).

6 hours ago, Patrick said:

Are they just considered "Guides of the Way", (e.g. the Old Zzaburi telling his student: "please read again the Commentary of St Xemela on Compassion and meditate Her Holy Path, then you will be in the proper disposition to channel the Energy of Life to the person you want to heal"; or preaching the farmers that "If you attend the Rites and follow the merciful example of St Xemela, your sick will enjoy the reward of their faith", which could just mean they grant some energy to the leading wizard to cast a blessing)?

They are not Saints in the sense of agents of compassion and teachers of holy paths of meditation but intellectual discoverers of Cosmic Truths.  Their teachings are primarily for the wizards and men-of-all and have little relevance for the ordinary people.  The mindset of the wizards is that of the alchemist, the astronomer or the heart surgeon rather than the contemplative hermit.

 

6 hours ago, Patrick said:

Or do commoners also get something from their veneration? (by commoner, I mean "someone who has no access to Grimoires", as is a widespread case in the West)

Every western commoner knows spell magic whether it is through their occupation or magical nature   Theoretically the common arts were invented by people who would nowadays be Saints but the Brithini do not see their achievements to be worthy of applause (think of Aristotelian Logic, we use it quite often but worship Aristotle very little).

 

6 hours ago, Patrick said:

Or is it just a labelling on some proper magic teaching, e.g.: "I follow the Path of St Talor" really means "I have learnt the spell to smash enemies mightily with a flail"... (and whether you are authorized & enabled to do so will obviously depend on caste and school: Seshnegi Rokari won't let Horali do that, Loskalmi Hrestoli will)

That really goes to the nature of Joy, something which there has been little official word about in the new Canon.  

Firstly the Seshnegi Rokari.  The best example here are the war societies and we can pretty much trace their origins (Horse Society - Galanini Orlanthi, Snake Society - Serpent Kings, Lion Society - Basmoli, Bull Society - Tawari who invaded Seshnela in the Dawn Age, Deer Society - Pralori, Wolf Society - Telmori).  I don't get the impression that the Seshnelans are all that interested in policing the magical practices of the war societies, instead they are focused on ensuring correct thought among the wizards.  They probably insist on outside conformance with Malkioni norms (no shape-shifting into bestial form) but leave it at that.  Hence the war societies can probably teaches runic affinities or spirit charms for all I know.  They probably justify their practices as being endorsed by the saints whom they secretly worship but they would not be an saintly ordained warrior order in the traditional sense.

The Talars on the other hand are family focused and have a magical tradition based on what house they belong to (the Bailifids etc).  This may extend to war magics (such as the flaming swords) but the founders of these traditions are not considered to be Saints.

Now for the Loskalmi.  There's two types of orders, the wizardly orders (such as the Zendamalthan School which seeks God through Math) and the Men-of-All orders (the traditional knightly orders).  All wizardly schools in Loskalm are Hrestoli and seek Joy.  This comes because when the Men-of-All seized power after expelling the God Learners, they forced all the wizardly orders to open their ranks to the knights etc.

As far as I can suss things out, Joy is a sorcerous mysticism, to wit; a spiritual state achieved through the use of spells, which is to non-Hrestoli "inconsequential and typically of no interest" (Guide to Glorantha p9).  The aim of Joy is to acquire the Infinity Rune/achieve (not Nysaloran) Illumination.  I think the Loskalmi have special spells that can only be cast either in a state of joy or having experienced a state of joy and these spells repeat to some extent the special abilities of an illuminate.  Most Loskalmi joyous battle spells would be of the ability to combine incompatible runes

 

 

 

 

 

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As I said over in that other thread, I've been using both Kabbalah and the entire Western Esoteric magical systems that ultimately descend from Neo-Platonism as inspirations for how sorcery works, and that has given me a lot of insight into not just sorcery (and related magical topics like Heroquesting) but the entire society. There are a lot of ways in which this material is very useful for grasping Malkioni mythology and philosophy. The Malkioni as Neo-Platonists, but for whom the perfect Just City of Plato, ruled by Philosopher Kings, is not an ideal that might one be approached, but the perfect Golden Age of the past from which mankind has fallen through error, is one useful way to understand the Malkioni. Another useful idea thinking of them as Jews, but for whom Kabbalah mysticism has always been regarded as an absolute mainstream part of not only religion, but practical society (as the foundation of magic). Kabbalah and Neo-Platonism are both a long way from being unified traditions, but of course this is true of the Malkioni as well. Gnostic ideas help to understand Hrestolism. I mostly associate Zoroastrianism with Carmanians. 

Some of the magic that ultimately descends from Neo-Platonist theurgy that is far too modern for terrestrial Bronze Age (eg highly syncretic modern traditions like The Golden Dawn, or Renaissance ones like Pico Del Mirandola)  makes sense to me as inspiration for sorcery after the 'magical revolution' of the God Learners. John Dees Enochian magic works for post-God Learner traditions like Zistorism. Goetic (eg demon summoning) traditions of the Middle Ages clearly descend from neo-Platonist theury - and while they would be inappropriate for Malkioni, would work as inspiration for Vadeli and other wicked Sorcerers. Even very modern traditions can still be helpful for ideas about modern Gloranthan traditions that have no corresponding ancient traditions such as Crowleys Thelema for Illuminated sorcerous traditions, Laveyan Satanism for the Vadeli. 

Non-magical ideas it gets a bit more complex, because the caste system is the core of Malkioni society. Indian ideas about caste are an obvious inspiration. But the division into gold-souled rulers, silver souled warriors, bronze or iron producers in Plato's Republic is another useful idea. Neither, of course, quite corresponds to the Malkioni system - in the Hindu system one caste (Kshatriya) is both warriors and rulers, to Plato one caste (the gold souled) are both the intellectual caste and the rulers. Of course some Hrestoli very much believe in social mobility. 

And if you want to learn about the ideas of Plato without having to just dive straight into Plato, I highly recommend the novels The Just City and The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton, that will gently introduce you to many of the ideas of Plato, specifically Plato's Republic. 

 

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I've been thinking about a campaign set in Seshnela and Ralios and dealing with a lot of Western ideas. Based around a mercenary company (somewhat inspired by Glen Cooks Black Company books), start with aiding Nolos and/or Pasos against the invasion of King Guilmarn and his Brithini allies, then continuing with a flight to Tanisor fleeing the Rokari Crusade, and running into the various intrigues around the multiple returns of Arkat. 

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I'm very reluctant to consider Joy to be the same as Illumination. 

For one thing, it makes the entire Arkat/Gbaji story sort of nonsensical. Illumination, instead of becoming a dangerous and disruptive new philosophy and magical power, instead becomes simply a foreign version of something that the West has been dealing with for centuries, reducing Arkat to a mere xenpphobe. 

I do believe Joy of the Heart should have some intrinsic magical powers, but I don't think they should be the same as Illumination - I think Joy constrains and sharpens the moral senses of those who possess it, in stark contrast to Illumination. 

I can think of a few powers it might provide. It is essentially the power of perfect intellectual union with The One. Perhaps it allows sorcerous powers to be accessed in a more direct manner than by laborious rote learning. Or perhaps the pure Joy of ecstatic union with The One provides powers such as resisting all magical attack from others, or an inner fountain of Energy. As long as it is something different to Illumination. 

The big problem with Joy of the Heart to Rokari and other conservatives is that it is individualistic at its core. Pre-Hrestolic Malkionism is about Society, and civic virtue. Hrestolism is about your individual journey to comprehend The One, being the best Dronar you can be is no longer about serving your community best, but about striving to improve oneself in all ways. 

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Joy is not the same as Illumination. Joy is a transcendent moment of unity with the Invisible God - with the ineffable moral reason behind everything. Illumination is a transcendent moment where one is liberated from the illusion that there is law, reason, or indeed anything. 

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Perhaps the only magical effect of Joy is the simple knowledge that, whatever insights you bring back from your moment of unity, they are absolutely correct. 

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54 minutes ago, davecake said:

I'm very reluctant to consider Joy to be the same as Illumination. 

I'm speaking only in the HeroQuest Glorantha definition which also states that Draconists are illuminated and elsewhere insinuates that the God Learners were illuminated.  Not to mention obvious loons like Argrath running around stating all these states are the same.

54 minutes ago, davecake said:

For one thing, it makes the entire Arkat/Gbaji story sort of nonsensical. Illumination, instead of becoming a dangerous and disruptive new philosophy and magical power, instead becomes simply a foreign version of something that the West has been dealing with for centuries, reducing Arkat to a mere xenpphobe. 

Illumination (henceforth referring only to the Nysaloran) has been around long before the Sunstop (cf Yelm).  Whatever reasons Arkat opposed Nysalor is not necessarily the reason that Nysalor threatened the Cosmos (gratituous breaches of the Cosmic Compromise) and they may be distinct by whatever Gjabi was up to.

Secondly Arkat did not become illuminated as a result of becoming a knight.  He was supposedly illuminated by the Elves of Brithos before coming to Seshnela.  Now you can disagree with that however you wish (I myself think he was what the Lunars call a Natural and his condition arose through the Sunstop) but Arkat's reasons are largely personal to him rather than general dislike of something different.  Nysalor was the evil deceiver who kept him and others emeshed in the turmoil of the Gods War

 

54 minutes ago, davecake said:

I do believe Joy of the Heart should have some intrinsic magical powers, but I don't think they should be the same as Illumination - I think Joy constrains and sharpens the moral senses of those who possess it, in stark contrast to Illumination. 

Unfortunately the description of Medispiction (in the Middle Sea Empire p46) makes it clear that their moral senses are not that sharp.  

More importantly you are criticizing my equation Joy = Illumination on the on the grounds that they are subjectively different.  I quite agree  But I was equating Joy with Illumination on the grounds that both conferred similar cosmic awareness as the HeroQuest: Glorantha rulebook also said was the case for Draconic mysticism, Eastern Isles Sagely wisdom, the Cult of Silence and whomever is fooling around with God Learner artifacts in Jrustela.  Do all these ways yield the same (or even similar) mental insight?  Almost certainly not!  But the effect of the acquisition of this knowledge is largely similar and in broad strokes can be summed up in the seven illumination abilities (as per HQ:G p204).  

Now having argued that the enlightened states are the same only in the consequences of that knowledge, I will now u-turn again and suggest that the magic that the different paths derive from their enlightened knowledge will differ radically and be largely influenced by myth, magical practice and culture.  Lunar magic (Moon Rune Glamours) flows from Illumination yet would be vastly different from whatever use the Bright Empire used it for (my guess is ignoring the Cosmic Compromise as per the Battle of Night and Day).  Dragon Magic will differ yet again being concerned with Dragons and so on.

 

Lastly I do think that what magics the Loskalmi now derive from Joy are different from what the God Learners, Gerlant and Talor derived (and their magics different from each other).

54 minutes ago, davecake said:

I can think of a few powers it might provide. It is essentially the power of perfect intellectual union with The One. Perhaps it allows sorcerous powers to be accessed in a more direct manner than by laborious rote learning. Or perhaps the pure Joy of ecstatic union with The One provides powers such as resisting all magical attack from others, or an inner fountain of Energy. As long as it is something different to Illumination.

You haven't said much in the way of powers at all (I know I haven't).  Intellectual union with the one is a description of what Joy subjectively is rather than being a visible point of difference between the power of say Sir Meriatan and an ordinary sorcerer which is what people are really interested in.  Ease in learning sorcery spells is largely negated by the time spent in trying to achieve joy in the first place.  Immunity from magical attacks would be qualified by an ability rating and become another version of Countermagic.  

Better abilities might be:

1) LIVING GRIMOIRE: A personal rune becomes active.  A spell can be derived from this rune on an ad hoc basis and cast (without any specific ability bonus)

2)  FREEDOM OF THOUGHT: The Man-of-All renders himself immune to the effects of the corrupt world of matter whether physical (ie cold weather, alcohol etc) or mental (rigid thinking, narrow social mores).  He can still be affected by actions caused by another person

3)  UNTAP:  Mutate a form of chaos into something ineffective or self-harmful to its possessor

4)  WIELD JOY: the Man-of-All can make his joy known to others.  Usually used as a teaching aid but can be used offensively.  Use of Joy to kill or to commit a crime is considered an extreme error.

5)  HIDDEN MOVE: The Man-of-All moves his body through the eyes of Irensavel.  All his actions are at +9.  While in such a state, he is unable to do anything hostile to another person in a state of joy (and could but shouldn't to a Loskalmi who has not yet experienced joy).

 

54 minutes ago, davecake said:

The big problem with Joy of the Heart to Rokari and other conservatives is that it is individualistic at its core. Pre-Hrestolic Malkionism is about Society, and civic virtue. Hrestolism is about your individual journey to comprehend The One, being the best Dronar you can be is no longer about serving your community best, but about striving to improve oneself in all ways. 

While Joy could be interpreted in such an individualistic fashion, I do not believe the Loskalmi and others do normally do so.

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Peter, much of this is redundant since Jeff made it clear that Illumination and Joy are absolutely not the same thing, but a few points.

49 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I'm speaking only in the HeroQuest Glorantha definition which also states that Draconists are illuminated and elsewhere insinuates that the God Learners were illuminated.  

I do think the God Learners (or at least some of them) were Illuminated, but I trace this via the original 5 New Ways book and the imp discovered within, that originated the entire God Learner magical program, rather than via generic Hrestolism. I take this book to be a remnant of Nysaloran magic that was not fully destroyed by Arkat. Note the reference to Gbaji in MSE. 

49 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Illumination (henceforth referring only to the Nysaloran) has been around long before the Sunstop (cf Yelm).

Yes, but we have no evidence that it was known to the West prior to Nysalor. 

49 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Secondly Arkat did not become illuminated as a result of becoming a knight.

Exactly - he was not Illuminated by contact with Hrestoli, but by elves (who presumably learnt it from Nysalor - the transmission of Illumination within the elven population clearly different from humans). 

49 minutes ago, metcalph said:

You haven't said much in the way of powers at all (I know I haven't).  

You suggested that they use Joy to cast magic that combines Opposing Runes. I have seen no evidence whatsoever that any Hrestoli (or any other sorcerer for that matter) has ever done this ever. I really dislike the idea (giving the high adepts of Loskalm a power otherwise only associated with Lunars seem wildly off to me). 

I do think my suggestions of powers are a bit off, but I'm not sure I like yours much more. I suspect that the great power associated with Joy is really simply becoming a Man of All (or, as Jeff said elsewhere, even being able to access the full range of zzaburi sorcery without being a hereditary Brithini zzaburi). 

 

 

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On 28/10/2015 at 11:56 AM, Jeff said:

 Ian Cooper and I have both spoken of our desire to one day write a campaign set there. You have decadent civilization, secret societies, tribal barbarians, trolls, elves, and even dwarves. An awesome place for a good sword and sorcery campaign.

If I wanted to do something really Howard or Leiber I would definitely do Safelster and Jeff and I have played games together there. Perhaps we could open the bidding with a Wyrm's Footnotes special or the like. Be good to gauge some interest.

One model I have for western sorcerers is what would happen if Plato, Sophocles, Pythagoros etc. all taught magic to their students as part of their 'philosophy' teaching alongise logic, mathematics, epistimology etc. What if Marcus Aurelius's Meditations wasn't just about the rational philsophy of stoicism but a sorcerous grimoire too. Plato's stories of Altantis become tales of the Kingdom of Logic etc.

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20 hours ago, davecake said:

I do think the God Learners (or at least some of them) were Illuminated, but I trace this via the original 5 New Ways book and the imp discovered within, that originated the entire God Learner magical program, rather than via generic Hrestolism. I take this book to be a remnant of Nysaloran magic that was not fully destroyed by Arkat. Note the reference to Gbaji in MSE. 

I agree that the God Learners were not illuminated through Joy and never meant to suggest they were.  There's scant Hrestoli influence among the God Learners.  The reference to Gbaji is not conclusive as any bad influence would be labelled by them as coming from Gbaji.  

As for the error of the God Learners is, I feel, a result of their short cuts.  In their study of much of the world (Draconists, Arkati, Eastern Islanders, their own Henosis tradition [HeroQuest Glorantha p174] etc), they were able to derive a new Exalted State that would be superior to all other paths.  It was however the "Most Learned and Least Wise" of the states of mystical awareness.  

 

20 hours ago, davecake said:

You suggested that they use Joy to cast magic that combines Opposing Runes. I have seen no evidence whatsoever that any Hrestoli (or any other sorcerer for that matter) has ever done this ever. I really dislike the idea (giving the high adepts of Loskalm a power otherwise only associated with Lunars seem wildly off to me).

There has been very little evidence of the type of magics cast by the Loskalmi full stop so the argument that the Loskalmi aren't known to do this isn't that strong an arguement.  Casting magic combining opposing runes is not unique to the Lunars - HeroQuest: Glorantha has it as a general power known by the following people:

  • The Arkati
  • The Draconists
  • The God Learners who made the water burn.
  • The Eastern Islanders
  • The Cult of Silence
  • The Near Ones with a big Question Mark.

Two and probably three of those also use Western Sorcery.  How they use this power is yet undescribed but that it should rest comfortably within magics of the rank-and-file and not look like a rulesy interpolation.  

 

20 hours ago, davecake said:

I do think my suggestions of powers are a bit off, but I'm not sure I like yours much more. I suspect that the great power associated with Joy is really simply becoming a Man of All (or, as Jeff said elsewhere, even being able to access the full range of zzaburi sorcery without being a hereditary Brithini zzaburi). 

I don't think that is what Jeff said.  Hrestoli spells are contigent on Joy.  Zzaburi spells can be cast by non-Brithini but require special requirements (the reasoning having been lost in the midsts of time) to be effective such as the requirement that their horses be of a specific height (cf the pony ridden by the Soldier on p406 of the Guide).

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Speaking of the malkioni, what happened to the Crowning of King Bailifes frieze art that were advertised on moondesignpublications.com site 4 years ago but was eventually not included into the Guide?

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On 8/19/2016 at 10:45 PM, Ian Cooper said:

If I wanted to do something really Howard or Leiber I would definitely do Safelster and Jeff and I have played games together there. Perhaps we could open the bidding with a Wyrm's Footnotes special or the like. Be good to gauge some interest.

Safelster in particular sits well for me as a Fritz Leiber-inspired setting; I can see the urban regions as a various hodge-podge of cultures filling in nicely for settings similar to Lhankmar.

The G2G really does a great job dispelling the previous medieval flavour which scantily portrayed The West, and it whets the appetite for more material. I'm kinda thinking of portraying the Malkioni by using early Byzantium Empire and ancient Iberian cultures as a foundation, and mixing in Babylonian, Palmyrene, and some very weighty Vedic influences.

The Vedic influences of caste structure and aesthetic seeking of knowledge are definitely major influences for understanding the Malkioni. I'm also taking some cues from Yiddish, Kabbalah, and Neoplatonism (specifically for the Zzurbari caste), but I'm eager to see some more official depictions that I can use.

I would certainly buy a campaign set in Safelster, perhaps over one set in Prax or Dragon Pass, as I have a fair bit of those already. I think The West really needs to be elaborated upon in one or two large campaigns so we can get a feel for the region and cultures much better.  

I'm also very interested to see how Sorcery is presented in CRQ4, as this will influence my own Malkioni games.

In The West, obviously the magic of Sorcery is the specialty of the Zzurbari, but also known to a degree by the Talori and Horali castes. However I really want to know how the Dronari enact their magic. Given that Sorcery requires a certain amount of literacy, then many in the Dronari caste may have practical difficulties even learning the magic. I have read somewhere that due to illiteracy, many Dronari may also worship neighbouring deities for Theistic magic, especially those of more agricultural origins. I could see this happening in a region like Safelster, given it's honotheistic philosophy, although I am less certain if this would happen in Seshnela for instance.

Although CRQ4 will likely have a focus on the Dragon Pass/Prax cultures, I hope the Sorcery rules are enough to elaborate upon for different cultures. I'll also be interested in seeing the difference in Sorcery between Lunar Sorcerors, Theylan Grey Sages, and Malkioni Wizards.

(BTW my earliest notions of Rune Magic from RQ2 were quite vague, and I developed the concept that most Rune Magic was faith-driven, some perhaps intuition-driven, whereas other forms could perhaps be scholarly-driven, more like Sorcery in nature.

I envisioned that the majority of Priests used faith-driven Rune Magic, although the occasional few could have intuition-driven Rune Magic, such as Yinkini or Eurmali perhaps; whereas others may be use more scholarly-driven Rune magic, such as Goldentongues or Grey Sages. I presumed that Delecti's necromantic magic was another example of an ancient scholarly-driven form of Rune Magic.

RQ3 blew all these notions away however, with presenting Divine Magic and Sorcery as very different forms of magic. In some ways I still find my original perception of 'Rune Magic being the 'high magic' which can take different forms" as being an easier way to view magic in Glorantha.) 

 

Edited by Mankcam
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Peter, I think we actually know a fair bit about Loskalmi magic at least (though of course virtually all modern Malkioni magic could be regarded as Hrestoli). Furlandan Exorcists. Zendamalthan geometry magic. Abstraction, purity, rejection of the messy physical and everything that interferes with the pursuit of the perfect intellectual. 

Not that I think the Fronelan Irensavalists are ignorant or reject sorcery that manipulates the physical but the sorcery they esteem most highly goes very much in the opposite direction, and manipulates mind, magic, and other high immaterial and abstract ideas. Just as they value health and physical ability, but never as highly as they value intellectual attainment. They are Platonists. They seek total intellectual understanding, not the reconciliation of the unreconcilable that Illumination provides. 

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8 hours ago, davecake said:

Peter, I think we actually know a fair bit about Loskalmi magic at least (though of course virtually all modern Malkioni magic could be regarded as Hrestoli). Furlandan Exorcists. Zendamalthan geometry magic. Abstraction, purity, rejection of the messy physical and everything that interferes with the pursuit of the perfect intellectual. 

That isn't what I was talking about.  Look at the Orlanthi.  What magics do they use?  Storm magics, lightning bolts etc.  Likewise looking at the Lunars we see they use Glamours and Mindblasts.  Now what magics do the Loskalmi use?  What spells does Meriatan use in battle?  What spells does Gaiseron use?  We know some fields of what they study but not the types of actual magics they cast.  I don't find statements that their spells are all about abstraction, purity and rejection of gross matter to be very helpful.

And no modern Malkioni magic is not Hrestoli as Henosis is not invented by Hrestol.  

 

8 hours ago, davecake said:

Not that I think the Fronelan Irensavalists are ignorant or reject sorcery that manipulates the physical but the sorcery they esteem most highly goes very much in the opposite direction, and manipulates mind, magic, and other high immaterial and abstract ideas. Just as they value health and physical ability, but never as highly as they value intellectual attainment.

I wasn't asking about their philosophy but the visible magic they derive from their philosophy.  What would be the features of a spell that would be recognized as Loskalmi?  What type of spell would a Loskalmi not cast (or that a Zzaburi or Rokari would?)  The sources are silent on this (well there was HQ 1.0 which didn't handle the Malkioni very well)

Quote

They are Platonists.  They seek total intellectual understanding, not the reconciliation of the unreconcilable that Illumination provides. 

This would be the same Plato who wrote about dialectic method, no?  And how the dialectic method goes from Thesis and Antithesis to Synthesis?  

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4 hours ago, metcalph said:

What type of spell would a Loskalmi not cast (or that a Zzaburi or Rokari would?)

A spell that Taps others.

4 hours ago, metcalph said:

The sources are silent on this

Not completely silent.  Clearly Gerlant had his Flamesword.  And we know that Fronela in its campaign against war increasingly becomes like the Kingdom of War.  So perhaps they move from magics that use the elements to enhance their weapons to magics that create great damage (earth blasts, fire storms, feasting darkness) and then to weapons that even have the power to tap their foes (ala Elrics famed sword). 

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

A spell that Taps others.

The Rokari wouldn't cast such a magic.

What I was getting at was:

The Loskalmi consider they are spirits trapped in a corrupt cosmos.  They are philosophical idealists (Guide p203) which means they consider the world of thoughts to be superior to the material world.  Some of them (the Zendamalthan School) reject Empiricism (the acquisition of knowledge through sense experience).  Through their rejection of Makan and the Abiding Book, they may reject the standardised forms of the Runes (as perfected by the God Learners) in favour of more archaic formulations of these runes (The Debaldan School was extant in Hrestol's time so is permissible - the Tanian school was invented by God Learners so isn't).

The Carmanians are Materialists (Guide p725), they use Logic to study the laws of the Cosmos (associated with Idovanus) that govern the material world (associated with Ganesatarus).  

The Rokari are conservatives, rejecting Joy and other errors of the God Learners.  They may be philosophical realists, with the runes standing in for the world of forms (the text is vague)

The Brithini are arch-conservatives.  They could create new spells through Henosis but of off the opinion that the existing spells are good enough.

The Safelstrans and the Aeolians are Neo-Platonists who worship the Gods to obtain Henosis.

Now we have the magic. 

There's been the tendency to give Malkioni Magicians invisible magics (cf the Bardan School in HQ 1.0 which gave bless weapons and arrows), which, to be frank, is boring.  The more important spells should be visible remanifestations of the original mythic event that repeat.  A death spell based on Humakt's murder of grandfather mortal should have the appearance of a ghostly sword running through the victim.

Now I'm interested in seeing from the philosophy what type of spells the various schools might favour and which spells the various schools might shun.  I'm also seeing what the effects of the philosophy will have on how a school uses a grimoire (say there are two chapters of the Debaldan School of Magic - one in Loskalm and the other in Seshnela - how would the magicians differ in practice).

 

5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Not completely silent.  Clearly Gerlant had his Flamesword. 

I sometimes feel that the RQ2 spell of Fireblade is Gerlant's flamesword magic, which was stolen after the fall of the God Learners, used and abused by barbarians.

5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

 

And we know that Fronela in its campaign against war increasingly becomes like the Kingdom of War.  So perhaps they move from magics that use the elements to enhance their weapons to magics that create great damage (earth blasts, fire storms, feasting darkness) and then to weapons that even have the power to tap their foes (ala Elrics famed sword). 

That theory about Loskalm has been mooted in the past but Loskalm's fate according to the TakenEgi Stelae is to fall to the Red Moon under Phargentes the Younger.

 

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I think that knowing things like the Furlandan and Zendamalthan magic does tell use something about what the Loskalmi use. We know it is not uncommon for Loskalmi to train as Furlandan exorcists, and we know they get spells to combat spiritsa. We know the Telendarians avoid physical effects, and like geometry, are known as a cult of engineers, so they have spells that enable them to perform works of engineering. But we also know there is no reason for them not to have access to other schools even if they are not held in quite such high esteem. 

But in general, I agree that we simply do not know enough about what sorcery grimoires actually contain. We need much more info about what the common schools are, what spells they teach as standard, etc. We don't have it yet, and as a result discussion of sorcery and the West tends to flounder in philosophy before getting to the playable. 

I agree that neither the Rokari nor the Irensavalists are likely to have any enthusiasm for Tapping others. They leave that to the various heterodox sects of Ralios mostly. Though Tapping a spirit might seem perfectly sensible to either. 

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11 hours ago, metcalph said:

There's been the tendency to give Malkioni Magicians invisible magics (cf the Bardan School in HQ 1.0 which gave bless weapons and arrows), which, to be frank, is boring.  The more important spells should be visible remanifestations of the original mythic event that repeat.  A death spell based on Humakt's murder of grandfather mortal should have the appearance of a ghostly sword running through the victim.

Well, maybe he's called The Invisible God for a reason ;-)

Just a thought...

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12 hours ago, metcalph said:

Loskalm's fate according to the TakenEgi Stelae is to fall to the Red Moon under Phargentes the Younger.

 

Thanks for bringing attention on this Stele :-)

I had forgotten about it (GtG p744). Sometimes, detailed info can be found in unexpected places...

Not sure it means The Red Emperor will overcome Loskalm, though. The "King of the West" could be the king of Charg (after the Ban is lifted). And the stele claims reached Sog City and the Sea, which means conquering Akem, rather than Loskalm.

But there's plenty of good stuff here, for a Hero Wars campaign in Fronela ;-)

 

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48 minutes ago, davecake said:

I think that knowing things like the Furlandan and Zendamalthan magic does tell use something about what the Loskalmi use.

The Furlandan And Zendamlathan Schools have been around since the Dawn Age!  Surely the Loskalmi might have discovered something else since then?  Secondly it's not good pointing to the Zendamalthan School unless you can actually describe how you think Zendamalthan Spells would actually work.  Otherwise we are back to a school of philosophy with no magic, or even worse, another Bardan School.  

48 minutes ago, davecake said:

We know it is not uncommon for Loskalmi to train as Furlandan exorcists,

We do?  The Furlandan School is not mentioned in the Guide.  You might be able to say that the Wizards of Ienswal are frtom the Furlandan Schoo given their role in Logic Beats Spirit (Guide p208) but that's one city.  What do the Men-of-All and the Wizards of the other fifty cities learn?

48 minutes ago, davecake said:

We know the Telendarians avoid physical effects, and like geometry, are known as a cult of engineers

The engineers are the Zendamalthan (Guide p208).  The Telendarians do not appear in the Guide.  

48 minutes ago, davecake said:

But in general, I agree that we simply do not know enough about what sorcery grimoires actually contain. We need much more info about what the common schools are, what spells they teach as standard, etc. We don't have it yet, and as a result discussion of sorcery and the West tends to flounder in philosophy before getting to the playable. 

I wasn't asking for a literature survey or even an agreement.  I was asking for *Ideas* on how Loskalmi spells might look and how they would work.  It's not good saying we need more information given we're quite free to speculate on other matters.

 

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37 minutes ago, Patrick said:

Not sure it means The Red Emperor will overcome Loskalm, though. The "King of the West" could be the king of Charg (after the Ban is lifted). And the stele claims reached Sog City and the Sea, which means conquering Akem, rather than Loskalm.

Not sure that Akem has a history of being conquered by outside countries and I doubt that Loskalm is willing to let a huge army wash its feet in Ozur sound without a fight.

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3 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Not sure that Akem has a history of being conquered by outside countries

Well, there's at least that guy called Harrek, who thought he'd have some fun party by the gates of the City of Brass in 1615... The Brithini are powerful, but not invincible.

3 minutes ago, metcalph said:

and I doubt that Loskalm is willing to let a huge army wash its feet in Ozur sound without a fight.

As of 1621, Loskalm isn't an imperialist or intervention-prone country; so far, they left Junora to itself, and didn't intervene against Harrek's plunderer horde, so long as they didn't move further than Akem. What happens afterwards depends on quite a few factors, e.g. whether Loskalm is still too busy fighting the Kingdom of War to bother.

YGMV. I am not saying the Red Emperor did NOT conquer Loskalm. Maybe that's the meaning of the sentence: "I [...] cleansed my weapons in the salt sea". Maybe not.

Maybe the Kingdom of War will bow to him, on his glorious way to the West, in recognition of some secret link between them. Maybe not; and maybe he will even reawaken the Tarjinian Bull at the Gates of Banir, in Timms to crush them on his way down the Janube.

Maybe he will bring Telmori along to overcome the defences of Sog, hence fulfilling an ancient prophecy. And maybe not.

In any case... plenty of fun ideas to play with - just out of a half-forgotten stele in a faraway corner of the world!   :-)

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