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Questions on the History of Balazar


Jon Hunter

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The Vanchites have a reputation as thieves because in pretty much every Theyalan and Dara Happan story, they get referred to as "thieving Vanchites". Probably because at the Dawn, they worshiped raccoons. And everyone knows raccoons are thieves. By the Third Age, they have that reputation because they have that reputation.

When trolls die, their souls go to the land of the Dead. It's where they came from and it is a wonderful place if you are a troll. Always dark, full of dead things, and so on. If the troll is lucky, she's reborn in the land of the Dead as a mistress race troll. Or maybe stays there forever as a dehori. If she's unlucky, she's reborn in the land of the living as a dark troll. If you are in the land of the Dead - aka the Underworld - you are dead. Just like Inanna was dead when she came before her sister Erishkigal's Court. But if you are a hero, you might know a secret path out of the land of the Dead and back to the land of the living - which pretty much makes Death more of an inconvenience than a final destination.

I suspect you are using the term "death" simultaneously more broadly and more narrowly than a Gloranthan would.

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4 hours ago, Darius West said:

(1) Many people are mercenaries in Glorantha, many are pragmatic, but few have a reputation as thieves.

Sigh. The people of Vanch are on the borders of two distinct cultures with very different value systems. That border has moved over them in one direction or the other throughout Time. It's a little like the historical friction between the Irish and 'Vikings' - both peoples had honour based cultures, but their concept of honour differed significantly, to such a degree that each considered the other to be lacking in honour, with inevitable results.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

(2) In truth we have precious little backstory on Lanbril, or Vanch for that matter.  Lanbril has to come from somewhere, so why not Vanch?  I hear there is a whole hill of gold.

There's an entire cult write-up in the Pavis boxed set. As that states, many gods of Sartar and Prax have thieving abilities, and Gods of Glorantha names a few thief cults (though not Lanbril).

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

(3) That isn't even true of mortal hero questers like Sir Ethilrist, much less for deities.  

If they don't get out of the Underworld, they stay there as one of the dead.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

Also, where do trolls go when they die if what you say is true?  As denizens of the underworld according to your logic they cannot die.

Trolls left the Underworld when the dead Sun arrived. They are no longer 'denizens of the underworld' when alive, but most go there when they die (to a region set aside where the Sun doesn't shine), or are reincarnated, or are sent to the Sky Realm if they are judged to be evil - their 'hell' is the Sky cults' 'heaven'.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

(4) So when you visit a grave are you dead?  When you keep a graveyard are you dead?  When you raid a tomb are you dead?  A deity can visit the halls of the dead without dying, much like a human can visit the Valley of the Kings without dying.  Not to say that either is without potential risks.

Graves and tombs are not in the Underworld. The Halls of the Dead are. Any deity in the Underworld is dead, at least part of the Time, even when they leave.

In terrestrial mythology, numerous deities, often agricultural, are accounted dead in the myths part of the time. For example, Persephone, or the older Dumuzi, who was sacrificed by Inanna/Ishtar to be dead at least part of the time as her own 'get out of the Underworld' card. Death doesn't mean in those mythologies that the deity is literally dead and inactive, forever, because they can be active even when dead.

In Gloranthan mythology, finding how to distinguish between the Living and Dead, and to separate them to inhabit their proper places is a widespread activity of ancient heroes and gods, and in some locations, the Dead are still a bit peeved at this and sometimes get out and about, if the proper rituals aren't observed. For that matter, in Glorantha Life and Death aren't the only axis, because there's the third state of Undeath which covers creatures like vampires and ghouls who are Dead but active in the realm of the Living.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

(5) Yes.  But they are not dead BECAUSE they are in the underworld, they are in danger because the underworld is potentially dangerous.

Everywhere in Glorantha is potentially dangerous. The Underworld has its own dangers; it is also dangerous to non-residents because although you may get in, you may not get out.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

(6) True.  And relevant.  If Orlanth's Ring only drops out of its cycle when Orlanth is dead, then obviously Orlanth wasn't dead at other times.

There are times when it is normal for Orlanth's Ring not to be in the Sky. It has a fourteen day cycle, being in the Sky for seven of those days.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

(7) True.  But there were clear winners and losers.  Yelmalio lost his fire powers because he keeps losing at the Hill of Gold.  The real winner IMO was Zorak Zoran.

The losers were either dismembered or utterly destroyed.

Edited by M Helsdon
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12 hours ago, Darius West said:

You are utterly ignoring the part where it says that the Vanchites are MERCENARY and PRAGMATIC, and worship any god they think will aid them.  These are not very honorable people, they sell out their principles to the highest bidder.  No doubt thievery is merely a manifestation of that mercenary pragmatism.  We don't know what the agriculture and trade is like in Vanch, but the suggestion is "not great", as poverty is a good reason for thieving to start.  Vanch may well be the home of the Lanbril cult, as Lanbril myths do mention contact with the Solar cults, and it has to start somewhere. The fact is that Storm and Sun cults manage to exist elsewhere without resorting to calling each other thieves over division of spoils etc, PLUS there is the issue that it isn't one group or the other who have the reputation, but ALL Vanchites, Storm, Solar Lunar whatever... they all have the reputation.  Non-Vanchites think Vanchites are thieves, not because of their cults and their practices, but because many Vanchites steal things, probably even from their supposed allies, when the opportunity presents itself.  THAT is how you get a reputation as thieves.

Vanchites think of themselves as pragmatic survivors.  This is a truism: "the Vanchites are MERCENARY and PRAGMATIC, and worship any god they think will aid them."  This attitude is a predominate cultural trait that has survived through waves of DH and Orlanthi contending back-and-forth over the area.

Other people think of Vanchites as thieves.  The Vanchites do not.  But they absolutely have a reputation as un-trustworthy by everyone else around them.

13 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

The more likely answer is that Vanch is a mixture of Sun and Storm cultures

This is also true, but Vanch survives as a hodge-podge cultural entity because of their willingness to adopt and adapt these practices.

I do not believe that Lanbril originated in Vanch.  The Vanchite cultural hero is the raccoon god - a god of many masks and wily ways.  Does Lanbril exist in Vanch?  Yes, likely in Bikhy and other cities.  As with other Orlanthi areas, not too likely in the clan lands.

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14 hours ago, Darius West said:

(2) In truth we have precious little backstory on Lanbril, or Vanch for that matter.  Lanbril has to come from somewhere, so why not Vanch?  I hear there is a whole hill of gold.

I've only got so much time to write, so most of Vanch remains in my computer files for the moment. However, I've added a few more of these pieces in the Vanch thread, including my HQ:G cultural writeup here:

[edit: aside from what made it into the Guide, the few published pieces were in Enclosure 2 including Vanch Geography, The Conquest of Mahzenelm, and the Fall of Heliakal.]

Lanbril has not been part of the picture to date, though, and he's really too much of an urban deity to originate in Vanch.

Edited by jajagappa
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On 11/30/2016 at 6:30 AM, M Helsdon said:

It is up to individual GMs to decide, but this is a public forum. Of all the Mongoose books, Dara Happa Stirs is the best and closest to canon. The others vary enormously in quality.

The penalty for using Mongoose books as canonical here is a trip to Dorastor with one of Ralzakark's avatars as your host...

I remember well when Gary Gygax, fueled perhaps by cocaine addiction, went all-out to try to make AD&D canonical.  I was a teenager at the time and the ridiculous authoritarianism of it was one of the things that turned me off AD&D.  Are we REALLY going down THAT road guys?  I mean, shame on you.  Greg Stafford has said that he himself is not the final authority on Glorantha, and there are occasions when he has contradicted himself, often I suspect on purpose, to short circuit exactly that sort of nonsense. You aren't doing Greg or Glorantha many favors.

On the other hand, I am pleased to know that the Vanchites ARE thieves because of their local Raccoon god Tunoral.  Thanks for the info Jajagappa.  I wonder if that is the same Raccoon deity the God Learners used to torment on HQs?  Seems a bit far north and central for them I guess.  As the saying goes, any deity called Mr. Raccoon deserves what he gets.

Edited by Darius West
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25 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I wonder if that is the same Raccoon deity the God Learners used to torment on HQs?  Seems a bit far north and central for them I guess.  As the saying goes, any deity called Mr. Raccoon deserves what he gets.

No, different god. :)

But if the God Learners had gotten that far, might they have tried to swap him into another myth?  Probably.

Or perhaps the Vanchites would have tried to exploit the gullible God Learners.  Not that it would have necessarily benefited to do so (and there are certainly notable failures by the Vanchites e.g. Hwarin and the Blue Deer Princes), but they probably would have tried.

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22 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Sigh. The people of Vanch are on the borders of two distinct cultures with very different value systems. That border has moved over them in one direction or the other throughout Time. It's a little like the historical friction between the Irish and 'Vikings' - both peoples had honour based cultures, but their concept of honour differed significantly, to such a degree that each considered the other to be lacking in honour, with inevitable results.

As it turns out, no.  The Vanchites are raccoon worshiping thieves.  Thanks Jajagapa.

22 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

There's an entire cult write-up in the Pavis boxed set. As that states, many gods of Sartar and Prax have thieving abilities, and Gods of Glorantha names a few thief cults (though not Lanbril).

In terms of the mythology of Lanbril these are a thumbnail sketch at best.  So in truth, nobody knows.

22 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

If they don't get out of the Underworld, they stay there as one of the dead.

And yet they also don't stay there, because they aren't dead.  How did they die?  Were they ritually murdered as part of the HQ? No. Just being in the land of the dead doesn't make you dead, any more than going to a cemetery makes you dead (unless there is a cholera epidemic or some such).  This is not shamanic self resurrection hit point by hit point, this is giving Diros the boatman 2 obolos for the entry fee and a sprig of mistletoe as payment in advance for the return journey.   Conversely, if you die in the Underworld, you don't suddenly spring back to life in the land of the living.

22 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Trolls left the Underworld when the dead Sun arrived. They are no longer 'denizens of the underworld' when alive, but most go there when they die (to a region set aside where the Sun doesn't shine), or are reincarnated, or are sent to the Sky Realm if they are judged to be evil - their 'hell' is the Sky cults' 'heaven'.

The point is that Trolls were an underworld LIFE form.

22 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Graves and tombs are not in the Underworld. The Halls of the Dead are. Any deity in the Underworld is dead, at least part of the Time, even when they leave.

In terrestrial mythology, numerous deities, often agricultural, are accounted dead in the myths part of the time. For example, Persephone, or the older Dumuzi, who was sacrificed by Inanna/Ishtar to be dead at least part of the time as her own 'get out of the Underworld' card. Death doesn't mean in those mythologies that the deity is literally dead and inactive, forever, because they can be active even when dead.

In Gloranthan mythology, finding how to distinguish between the Living and Dead, and to separate them to inhabit their proper places is a widespread activity of ancient heroes and gods, and in some locations, the Dead are still a bit peeved at this and sometimes get out and about, if the proper rituals aren't observed. For that matter, in Glorantha Life and Death aren't the only axis, because there's the third state of Undeath which covers creatures like vampires and ghouls who are Dead but active in the realm of the Living.

Everywhere in Glorantha is potentially dangerous. The Underworld has its own dangers; it is also dangerous to non-residents because although you may get in, you may not get out.

The point for me is that when someone dies within Glorantha, their SPIRIT goes to the underworld, their body just gets buried.  Now when heroes go to the underworld, they go there physically, not as mere spirits.  Shamans of course are the exception, as they separate from their bodies.  It is an alternative HQ strategy.  Trolls were alive in the underworld and had bodies there, and those bodies came to the world above intact.  That is why they are alive and not a plague of ghosts.  Now this is not to say that a living bodied human in the underworld cannot die there, it is a dangerous place after all.  Now what is true for a human hero is more true for a deity.  When Orlanth goes Lightbringing into the underworld he is the living breath of Glorantha, and if things go badly he might not be.

22 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

There are times when it is normal for Orlanth's Ring not to be in the Sky. It has a fourteen day cycle, being in the Sky for seven of those days.

And when that 14 day cycle is broken because Orlanth is actually dead as a result of the fall of Whitewall, then Orlanth is actually dead, not otherwise.  The Lightbringers went into the underworld as living gods, they were living gods IN the underworld, and they left the underworld alive too.  Yelm by comparison was destroyed in the living world and had no living body to return to the living world in until after the Lightbringer Quest resurrected him. The Yelm in the underworld is like a ghost, albeit the ghost of a god, but clearly unable to renew the connection to the world of the living on his own for want of the divine equivalent of a working body. As above, so below.

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3 minutes ago, Darius West said:

And yet they also don't stay there, because they aren't dead.  How did they die?  Were they ritually murdered as part of the HQ? No.

The Lightbringers did ritually die.  It was in their passage through the Gates of Dusk. The rituals to enter the Underworld in the recent HQ:G releases makes this much clearer than it was previously.

And they don't stay there because they are living, but because they ritually resurrected the world, as happens each Sacred Time.  Life dies, and is reborn, and returns from Death.  There was no guarantee when the Lightbringers arrived at Yelm's Hall of the Dead that they would return.  But they established the path that allows this to occur with the Great Compromise.

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I remember well when Gary Gygax, fueled perhaps by cocaine addiction, went all-out to try to make AD&D canonical.

AD&D is a game; Glorantha is a world, based very definitely upon the rules of mythology you will encounter in numerous terrestrial mythologies, especially those of Ancient Greece, the Near East, and others. It isn't a matter of canon but of how the world is set out. You are welcome to play in your version of Glorantha, but don't confuse it with the canon of Glorantha.

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Greg Stafford has said that he himself is not the final authority on Glorantha, and there are occasions when he has contradicted himself, often I suspect on purpose, to short circuit exactly that sort of nonsense.

Contradictions are common in mythology...

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

On the other hand, I am pleased to know that the Vanchites ARE thieves because of their local Raccoon god Tunoral.  

Sigh. No, that's how others perceive them, not how they perceive themselves.

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

And yet they also don't stay there, because they aren't dead.  How did they die?  Were they ritually murdered as part of the HQ? No. Just being in the land of the dead doesn't make you dead, any more than going to a cemetery makes you dead (unless there is a cholera epidemic or some such).  This is not shamanic self resurrection hit point by hit point, this is giving Diros the boatman 2 obolos for the entry fee and a sprig of mistletoe as payment in advance for the return journey.   Conversely, if you die in the Underworld, you don't suddenly spring back to life in the land of the living.

They died by entering the Gate to the Underworld, and were Dead until the Great Compromise changed the rules of a damaged and dying cosmos. Anyone who enters the Underworld is Dead, unless they can get out.

I suspect there's a fundamental issue you are missing: Death doesn't mean inactive, decaying, but is a different state of being in Glorantha.

The Underworld isn't the destination of all who die: being eated by a Chaos monster like the Crimson Bat expunges you from reality; the Brithini fear Death because they have no afterlife - the spark of life goes (somewhere) but individual identity vanishes. Not all of the dead stay in the Underworld or even go there. The Underworld only became the level of the Dead when Death was found hidden there and released into the world.

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On 29/11/2016 at 7:30 PM, M Helsdon said:

The penalty for using Mongoose books as canonical here is a trip to Dorastor with one of Ralzakark's avatars as your host...

8-)

That was very funny Martin...

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

 Are we REALLY going down THAT road guys?  I mean, shame on you.  Greg Stafford has said that he himself is not the final authority on Glorantha, and there are occasions when he has contradicted himself, often I suspect on purpose, to short circuit exactly that sort of nonsense. You aren't doing Greg or Glorantha many favors.

 

I don't think anyone has an objection to none canonical ideas, all our games have them. Mine are full of them. Just Mongoose second Age stuff doesn't do it for me. Like you say ygwv.

Back to Balazaar. Did he wear trousers or a skirt....?

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6 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

If he was a Light Son then he would not be able to dress as a woman, so no skirt.

8-)

Well, but... since we can't even be certain that he WAS or WAS NOT a Yelmalion, we CERTAINLY can't be sure whether he was unconventional, actually blasphemous, or had some Special Dispensation, an exception to the rules...

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13 hours ago, Darius West said:

I remember well when Gary Gygax, fueled perhaps by cocaine addiction, went all-out to try to make AD&D canonical.  I was a teenager at the time and the ridiculous authoritarianism of it was one of the things that turned me off AD&D.  Are we REALLY going down THAT road guys?  I mean, shame on you.  Greg Stafford has said that he himself is not the final authority on Glorantha, and there are occasions when he has contradicted himself, often I suspect on purpose, to short circuit exactly that sort of nonsense. You aren't doing Greg or Glorantha many favors.

*ALL*GWV.  I don't recall that I have EVER seen a perfectly-canonical Gloranthan campaign in-play, neither in-person nor online.  Has anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  (hmmmm.... "Bueller" ... I may feel a new Glorantha NPC coming on...)

But the point of "canon" is to have something  from which  to vary, a common baseline; so in a question as to facts-of-the-world (such as this thread) it's worth noting when one is explicitly varying from commonly-accepted canon in ways that are explicitly "incorrect" for everyone else who doesn't take that specific variance; and MRQ is explicitly non-canon... and so worth noting.  No harm, no fowl (unless you're a Duck).

 

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On 11/28/2016 at 2:47 PM, Jon Hunter said:
  • Was Balazaar a Sairdite, Dara Happan or a Pelorian?

Probably from Saird, as he was Yelmalian.

 

  • In his reign was Balazaar more advanced or similar to now?

 

Probably about the same as in the Citadels. I don't think that Balazar himself was particularly advanced, but came from a civilised area. Instead, I think his strength was to unite the people and to find insights in their worship.culture. I am sure that he was building towards creating some kind of Elder Council in the Elder Wilds, but that is purely my own opinion.

  • Had the EWF previously had an civilising effects on Votankiland before Balazar arrived?

Probably not, although the people of Votankiland seem to have been raiders with a higher level of technology than now. At least that's the impression I got from Griffin Mountain. They might have sent  missionaries north, but it wasn't that important an area to them.

  • Did the EWF build anything in Votankiland, which has now been destroyed?

Almost certainly, However, I am not sure what.

  • Were there dragonewts in Balazaar in the EWF/ pre dragonkill war period?

It mentions somewhere that the dragonewt nests were carried on the backs of dinosaurs. So, the dragonewts had mobile nests rather than cities.

 

  • Who built highbridge and when? ( at least first age, maybe earlier)?

Maybe the giants. When? First Age or even God Time. 

All in my opinion, of course.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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On 12/2/2016 at 4:37 PM, Iskallor said:

Back to Balazaar. Did he wear trousers or a skirt....?

Definitely a skirt when fighting, but a manly skirt as he was not allowed to dress as a woman, being a Yelmalion Rune Level. Probably trousers when dealing with the Votanki, as he would have blended in and they normally wear trousers. 

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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16 hours ago, g33k said:

Well, but... since we can't even be certain that he WAS or WAS NOT a Yelmalion, we CERTAINLY can't be sure whether he was unconventional, actually blasphemous, or had some Special Dispensation, an exception to the rules...

If not explicitly stated in Griffin Mountain, it is implied that he was a Yelmalian, He was a mercenary who brought his cult of Yelmalio to Balazar and his children established at least two Yelmalian temples there. Yelmalio worship is linked with the cult of Balazar.

In our old campaign, one of the PCs proved himself a descendant of Balazar, using Firshala's magic, then proved that Balazar was a Yelm worshipper, which gave him a link to Yelm and allowed him to become the legitimate King of Balazar.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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On 12/3/2016 at 1:56 AM, M Helsdon said:

AD&D is a game; Glorantha is a world, based very definitely upon the rules of mythology you will encounter in numerous terrestrial mythologies, especially those of Ancient Greece, the Near East, and others. It isn't a matter of canon but of how the world is set out. You are welcome to play in your version of Glorantha, but don't confuse it with the canon of Glorantha.

And who determines the canon?  You?  Greg Stafford himself has said he didn't like the idea of getting stuck in a canon.  Are you preserving or ossifying and killing a legacy?

Regarding Tunoral the Raccoon god and Vanchites being thieves you said...

On 12/3/2016 at 1:56 AM, M Helsdon said:

Sigh. No, that's how others perceive them, not how they perceive themselves.

No, the worshippers of Tunoral are no doubt proud of their successful thieving and outsiders are quite correct in thinking that Vanch as a culture with a thieving raccoon as a major local god, are thieves.  Is everyone in Vanch a Tunoral cultist?  No.  But the attitudes of Tunoral affect the way they think and act in different situations in the same way religious mythology permeates most cultural attitudes.  Therefore ALL Vanchites will be more likely to steal, because respecting private property isn't something they are trained to do, in fact they are trained not to, because that is how their god and their ancestors survived Before Time.  

On 12/3/2016 at 1:56 AM, M Helsdon said:

They died by entering the Gate to the Underworld, and were Dead until the Great Compromise changed the rules of a damaged and dying cosmos. Anyone who enters the Underworld is Dead, unless they can get out.

I suspect there's a fundamental issue you are missing: Death doesn't mean inactive, decaying, but is a different state of being in Glorantha.

The Underworld isn't the destination of all who die: being eaten by a Chaos monster like the Crimson Bat expunges you from reality; the Brithini fear Death because they have no afterlife - the spark of life goes (somewhere) but individual identity vanishes. Not all of the dead stay in the Underworld or even go there. The Underworld only became the level of the Dead when Death was found hidden there and released into the world.

I disagree.  Death is the separation of body and spirit... hence the Sever Spirit spell.  If the body has not been separated from the spirit, then death has not occurred.  Similarly, resurrection spells re-establish that connection. What is true for humans is true for gods; as above, so below.  

At what point in the Lightbringer Quest does it say that the seven give up their material bodies upon entering the Gate of Dusk?  By way of comparison, Yelm died when Orlanth used death on him.

Where unity of body and spirit persists, life persists, even in the land of the dead.  If that unity does not persist, then the underworld claims you.  The underworld has not claimed you before the point that your body and spirit are separated.

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27 minutes ago, Roko Joko said:

Moon design has a precise definition of its canon, here: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/canon/ .

YGWV.

A very worthwhile link... TYVM !   Note it's slightly outdated, as it describes "Design Mechanism" as a Glorantha licensee (which AFAIK they currently aren't).

I was going to describe "canon" as "the slightly amorphous and ill-defined mix of WhatStaffordSays X WhatThePublisherSays" (largely GtG-centric), with particularly-amorphous bits where they disagree, and where older (AH-RQ3 and earlier) bits of "canon" have been supplanted by newer bits, but parts of the "Glorantha-verse" (defined as the practice of large swaths of fandom, rather than publication) haven't caught up (their GWV).

[ Speaking of which, I'd be very interested to know how much of current Glorantha fandom does hail from those ancient times... ]

But it's worth noting that BOTH the publisher AND Greg have explicitly disavowed most of Mongoose Glorantha.  It can be part of anyone's Glorantha, but on issues of shared world-history and "what's canon"... Mongoose Glorantha is just NOT canon.

 

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8 hours ago, Darius West said:

And who determines the canon?  You?  Greg Stafford himself has said he didn't like the idea of getting stuck in a canon.  Are you preserving or ossifying and killing a legacy?

Moon Design/Chaosium define canon. Canon has well defined areas of doubt and uncertainty, but also some very definite certainties.

I don't define canon, though I do what I can to support the legacy.

8 hours ago, Darius West said:

Regarding Tunoral the Raccoon god and Vanchites being thieves you said...

No, the worshippers of Tunoral are no doubt proud of their successful thieving and outsiders are quite correct in thinking that Vanch as a culture with a thieving raccoon as a major local god, are thieves.  Is everyone in Vanch a Tunoral cultist?  No.  But the attitudes of Tunoral affect the way they think and act in different situations in the same way religious mythology permeates most cultural attitudes.  Therefore ALL Vanchites will be more likely to steal, because respecting private property isn't something they are trained to do, in fact they are trained not to, because that is how their god and their ancestors survived Before Time.  

None of which is what I said. If you read the Guide, it clearly states: Fairly or unfairly, the Vanchites have a reputation as thieves.

It says nothing about how Vanchites consider themselves. Note that in terrestrial cultures, when the neighbors declare a distinct group to be thieves, that group rarely considers themselves to be thieves. This may be because their cultural variety of honor is different, or because they aren't thieves. You are projecting your beliefs regarding Vanchite behavior, probably in much the same way their neighbors, rightly, or wrongly, do. However, saying something is true, is very different from it being true.

8 hours ago, Darius West said:

I disagree.  Death is the separation of body and spirit... hence the Sever Spirit spell.  If the body has not been separated from the spirit, then death has not occurred.  Similarly, resurrection spells re-establish that connection. What is true for humans is true for gods; as above, so below.  

The phrase you are misusing relates back to Babylonian astrology/astronomy where it was believed that events in the sky indicate or presage events in the world below. The Babylonians had vast codices of previous sky events cross-linked to events that happened at the same time. There was an expectation that if a shower of meteorites, for example, coincided with the death of a king, then if a shower was seen in the same direction and location, then a king was going to die. Of course, kings are always dying somewhere...

What you are saying is true: in the Mundane World, but the Underworld isn't part of the Mundane World, and if you enter the Underworld, whether living or dead, you are dead, unless you can get out.

8 hours ago, Darius West said:

At what point in the Lightbringer Quest does it say that the seven give up their material bodies upon entering the Gate of Dusk?  By way of comparison, Yelm died when Orlanth used death on him.

The Lightbringers took their 'bodies' into the Underworld. So did Yelm:

Howling, he fled on the trail which Grandfather had taken, and hid in the Underworld.

I refer you to King of Sartar, the Lightbringers' Quest:

Aklor, the son of Luath and Jeleka, was the Luathan leader. Aklor escorted Orlanth and his companions across their beautiful, but shadowed land to the magnificent, vacant palace of their ruler. This was Rausa, goddess of the Western Gates. She hated Orlanth because he had killed her father, Yelm, and banished him to remain forever below her own Western Gates. Rausa had been the last to see him in the world of the living. She hated Orlanth so much that she smeared herself with her father’s crimson blood to remind herself to take revenge. She hated Orlanth so much that, whenever she had the strength, she armed and rose up from the horizon to look for him. She wished to send Orlanth to her father’s fate, and then lock the Gate of the West behind him. Now, at last, he was here, in her palace.

However, she also feared Orlanth and what he could probably do to her, her people, and to her palace if he unleashed all his powers. She knew it would be difficult to kill him if he was alone, and he was not. He would be hard to kill if he was unarmed, which he was not. He would be hard to trick, too, since he was so well advised.

So Princess Rausa asked him what he wanted here, in her house. And Orlanth spoke simply.

“I wish to travel beyond your home,” he said, “and through the Gate of the West, and have them locked behind me.”

And the goddess was so happy that her wish had come true that she did not ask what his business there was, or with what intent he entered into this, or what end he hoped to accomplish. She collected the fee for going to the Underworld, then ordered the gate keepers, Vamth and Rhylor, to wrench the great doors open, and to lock them again when the travelers went through.

So for the gods to enter the Underworld was to die. And later:

This agreement between the gods is called the Cosmic Compromise. All of the deities agreed to share the world with each other, and with all of the experiences which they had already had. No one was allowed to avoid what they did not like, and so all of the gods agreed that they would share their time among both Life and Death. They agreed to these things, and that they would not actively intervene in each other’s realms except in those ways which they had already done. They would not individually or consciously alter the world. They would not even turn their awareness to it, unless called upon to do so.

Yelm died when Orlanth used Death to slay him; Orlanth died when he entered the Underworld.

Both were released from the Underworld, part of the time, when they agreed the Great Compromise.

When Orlanth dies 'permanently' after the Fall of Whitewall there are major ramifications because he (and Ernalda) are trapped in the Underworld. This brings on the Great Winter in Dragon Pass. The details are part of the campaign of The Eleven Lights. When the Lunars kill Orlanth the Great Compromise is damaged, which has ongoing implications.

8 hours ago, Darius West said:

Where unity of body and spirit persists, life persists, even in the land of the dead. 

No, that is not how it works, in Glorantha, or terrestrial mythologies.

For example in the story Inanna's Descent to the Underworld, the goddess is only freed from death in the Underworld when she sends her lover Dumuzi there in her place. The template of the dying and resurrecting god, of which Dumuzi is the earliest example we know of, has continued throughout history in the Near East.

Edited by M Helsdon
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On 01/12/2016 at 10:26 AM, Jeff said:

If you are in the land of the Dead - aka the Underworld - you are dead. Just like Inanna was dead when she came before her sister Erishkigal's Court. But if you are a hero, you might know a secret path out of the land of the Dead and back to the land of the living - which pretty much makes Death more of an inconvenience than a final destination.

I suspect you are using the term "death" simultaneously more broadly and more narrowly than a Gloranthan would.

I'm surprised that anyone would still be trying to argue against what Jeff has already said so clearly above

While YGWV, as Greg, Jeff and others have always encouraged, I don't think it's helpful to try and argue that what Jeff has said here is "wrong". That's very different from just choosing an alternative interpretation for your own games.

 

Edited by Steve
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