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David Scott

What happens when you're dead

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The True Giants - we aren't talking the disorderly monsters who like to throw rocks at adventurers - are not truly mortals (although they can be killed in the Middle World). They experience Life and Death before returning to the Middle World to do whatever it is they will do. Their life cycle might be better thought of as part of the natural magical geology of Glorantha.

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As we know, the Great Compromise made that everything that was done before the time must be done in the Time. You must follow the same path that your ancestor has done : Men marked by death must degenerate (get old) and die, Brithini that maintain their rules stay like they were "nor old, nor young" without degeneration and the gloranthan-alien-race Dragonewts return in their eggs to be reborn (like in monopoly, they never go in jail).
True Giants are probably autochtonous being (auto : self-born chtonous : from earth, here son of Gaia) and must follow the same path as their ancestor and mother : to be born in the mountain, travel in the world, go sleeping sometimes in Underworld and came back in the Middle World. If True Giants are children of one goddess only without any father, they bear not the mark of Death like men do OR After death, as one can go with their god, giants could just go to their mother (a earth goddess living in the Middle world).

"What happens when you're dead" first depend on who is your ancestor but like a old Digest said "What happen when you are in Underworld is another thing" :
quote from : (1) Question in the Glorantha Digest by Orlanth Umathi, answer by Greg Stafford. (Published 4th Apr 2007)

Q: What is it about the underworld?
A: I *THINK* “it” is about the fact that the Underworld is the illogical ancestress of known Glorantha. It precedes all that can be known, and thus can not be truly known in of itself. It houses mystery, spawns mystery and is a mystery itself. It is not any one of the Otherworlds, but has aspects of them all. Many think that the Otherworlds themselves were spawned from the Underworld.


So What happen in Underworld is the hellish (XD) mix of what happen in ALL myths and paths followed in Underworld before the Time... I risk to say, If the path of Lightbringers is a single spaghetti, the Underworld is the Largest Bowl of Spaghetti in Glorantha (a UZ Super-over-sized one). Some may prefer an analogy with Solara webs (2), but I found it less yummy.

09112015_15minute_pastasauce_tomato.jpgOR http://3zw0tn2csmas1gxg5k1aagl5up3.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Glorantha-16-FIN.jpg

1/ http://www.glorantha.com/docs/what-is-it-with-the-underworld/
2/ http://www.glorantha.com/glorantha/glorantha-16-fin-2/

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20 hours ago, Darius West said:

As an aside, as you seem to like shamanic cultures, consider the Lightbringer Quest for a moment as a shamanic journey to rescue Yelm for a moment.  If those partaking in the quest have lost their connection to the realm of the living, how are they any different to dead Yelm whom they are trying to save?  How can they drag anyone into the land of the living if they themselves are dead?

There is a clear distinction to me between the world in the God Time and that within in time. The God time is a multitude of contradictions, time is much like our own world. When Gloranthans pass from the middle world of time into any other world, those contradictions still exist. In the God time there was no clear separation between living and dead, just separation. The quest to return Yelm is more about Orlanth setting his wrongs to right, not a dead to living quest. I don't believe the original LBQ has anything to do with return to life from Death. The version in time does however as it's a vehicle to go to the Underworld and return.

Humakt is the Orlanthi personification of the God of Separation. Within time this equates to death. In the God time, Humakt is Orlanth's Sword, his distant brother, a force that can separate souls/spirits from their physical forms and a rune (power). As death was widely copied and disseminated in the God time, many gods used it, and even transformed it to their own way. Many Gods wield Death, but they are not Humakt. Humakt is the pure form of separation.

As for my interest in shamanic cultures, I've been teaching and working with shamanism for over 20 years now. With that in mind It's not a coincidence that I contributed to the Praxian and spirit magic sections of HeroQuest Glorantha, and am working on the Praxian book.

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8 hours ago, Belgath said:

Ok the giants  that use the cradle's to take their babies to the underworld to, grow up. Are thay cusiderd dead? One other question if giants  going into the underworld is a natural part of the giants lifecycle what did they do befor The spike exploded?

I could be totally wrong here, this is just my own thoughts, but I don't think the giant cradles pass into the land of the dead.  I think they travel down the River Styx, never crossing into the land of the dead.  Also, I'm pretty sure that the cradles are an invention of the giants after the introduction of Time because they needed a way for their children to grow up outside of Time as they age too slowly to do so otherwise.  Before the spike exploded such measures weren't necessary.

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 It may be Daka Fll job to separate the Living from the Dead

 But its my job to Separate the Dead from the Treasure.

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3 minutes ago, TRose said:

 It may be Daka Fll job to separate the Living from the Dead

 But its my job to Separate the Dead from the Treasure.

Truth.

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I seem also to recall that True Dragons are immortal (Dragonewts are functionally but not technically immortal, since they are only reborn if the Eye is held).  Of course, they spend most of their time sleeping and/or dreaming, and the extent and form of Dragon knowledge is a mystery anyway.

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15 hours ago, Pentallion said:

I could be totally wrong here, this is just my own thoughts, but I don't think the giant cradles pass into the land of the dead.  I think they travel down the River Styx, never crossing into the land of the dead.  Also, I'm pretty sure that the cradles are an invention of the giants after the introduction of Time because they needed a way for their children to grow up outside of Time as they age too slowly to do so otherwise.  Before the spike exploded such measures weren't necessary.

Thanks I really like this interpretation. It fits well with my "scar the cradle camping" with the Giants babies end up going to The never never a place in the underworld that sits outside of compromise and hidden from chaos. 

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On 12/20/2016 at 11:21 PM, Pentallion said:

Okay, so say you physically travelled to the underworld, you didn't heroquest to get there.  Someone casts sever spirit.  Your spirit separates from your body.  Your body stays though, right?  Because obviously, on a HQ it might return to where the ritual started, but in this case, you aren't in a ritual, you walked.  So if I'm correct and your body stays there, can your spirit reenter it freely?  If not, what magic is necessary to reunite the spirit with the body while both are in the underworld?

Physically travelling to the Underworld is fairly easy, you have to go down a lot of tunnels.

Physically travelling to Hell is harder, as it is a lot further down and you have to cross the Styx.

In your case, if the traveller has not yet entered Hell, the body is dead and the spirit travels to Hell.

However, if the traveller has already crossed the Styx, the traveller is in Hell and the Spirit could well remain with the body.

Part of what makes a HeroQuest is that the magical matrix of the HeroQuest makes things behave in certain ways. Going to Hell without being on a HeroQuest means that you cannot control how things behave.

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On 12/21/2016 at 10:09 AM, Darius West said:

I agree, not cool at all.  Having someone say " I am more important than you because I am an editor, and I don't care if you are correct." is not cool.  

This is the problem with an inflexible notion of canon.  When a logical inconsistency occurs, the dogmatics form a group think echo chamber and recite the error over and over again until they are convinced it is correct through repetition.

When presented with a solid reason why they are wrong and they close ranks and minds.  That is the very opposite of cool.  Especially considering that they are deaf to all entreaties and alternatives.  I find that intensely hard to respect as a response to anything.

Canon is canon.

Although it changes, what is currently canon is exactly that, until it changes again.

You, or anyone else reading for that matter can react to the changes in canon and what is currently canon in several ways:

  • Accept all canon as it is now and adapt your campaigns accordingly
  • Pick out bits of canon that you don;t agree with and reject all canon on the basis that some bits are "wrong"
  • Accept that official Gloranthan canon is a load of old rubbish and use your own canon
  • Accept that gloranthan canon is exactly that but you don't stick to canon in your own games

I am sure that most GMs don't like certain bits of canon. That's fair enough, if you don't like it then change it for your game.

 

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On 12/21/2016 at 3:15 PM, g33k said:

You appear to be taking things personally, too

If I took things as personally as this then I'd have flounced off all the Gloranthan boards years ago.

Instead, I take the view that I am right and everyone else is wrong, regardless of whether they win arguments or have better logic than me, or even if they quote facts against my opinions. However, once I am satisfied that my opinions are right and everyone else's are wrong, I retire from arguments in smug, deluded, self-satisfaction. I don't keep banging away until people are sick of me.

Edited by soltakss
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On 12/23/2016 at 6:46 AM, Belgath said:

Ok the giants  that use the cradle's to take their babies to the underworld to, grow up. Are thay cusiderd dead? One other question if giants  going into the underworld is a natural part of the giants lifecycle what did they do befor The spike exploded?

Are the True Giants in the Underworld or in Hell? In Glorantha they are two different things.

 

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On 12/22/2016 at 3:15 PM, Darius West said:

So, as a quick question on this point.  Did Humakt kill Issaries, Lhankor Mhy, Chalana Arroy, Eurmal and Flesh Man too ? How did they all wind up dead?  Seems pretty dishonorable to kill poor CA.   I thought Humakt liked her?

 

Humakt likes Chalana Arroy because she can heal wounds and cure diseases that Humakt cannot. Humakti dislike Chalana Arroy because she resurrects the dead, although whether this is sour grapes because they cannot be resurrected, I am not sure.

There is a Lead Cross HeroQuest where Humakti dedicate themselves to Death, go to Hell and return with a Lead Cross that is unpleasant to undead. As part of this HeroQuest, they have to kill a bunch of Chalana Arroy healers.

 

Flesh man in particular is of interest I should think...  Being a man of flesh in the underworld is a really interesting point if you think about it.   After all, if he is flesh and dead in the underworld; isn't he a zombie if he keeps walking around ?  Or perhaps he is still alive?

I seem to remember that Flesh Man was killed on the LBQ but simply carried on regardless.

 

 

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6 hours ago, soltakss said:

There is a Lead Cross HeroQuest where Humakti dedicate themselves to Death, go to Hell and return with a Lead Cross that is unpleasant to undead. As part of this HeroQuest, they have to kill a bunch of Chalana Arroy healers.

Stop you stupid jokes soltakss ! Some may believe you XD... If Water is Life that Death is Whisky : Abusing Whiskey is bad, this is why Humakti will chase after murderers and can help the poor Chalana's followers in their quest to correct wrong used of Death/sword. Vivamort and undead are heretics who add water in their whiskey because they don't like plate water nor the whiskey at full strength. Death is like whisky, you don't mix it with water or cola... it's a rebellion ! a crime ! a blasphemy !

----------------------------------------------------------

Soltakss ask : Are the True Giants in the Underworld or in Hell? In Glorantha they are two different things.

The Question was about Giants who are in the Middle World and sending their children in a cradle to underworld ? for them to come back in the Middle World. The Cradle sending is their equivalent to giving birth as state in the ol' Greg Sez: Q&A :

Why do the Giants use the River of Cradles?

Question from HERVE ANCELIN. Answer copyright ©1999 by Issaries, Inc.

Q: Why did the Giants let their children drift on magic cradles along the Zola Fel ?

A: The question implies that the giants had a choice on this matter. They did not. They have no more choice in this than a human woman has over her own biology. The comparison would have this woman not "let her children drift enclosed in an amniotic sac down her birth canal."

The analogy is intentional, and can be a good example of how something is not always exactly what it appears to be. The giants in question here are tremendous being, far more huge than Gonn Orta. The peaks of the Seven Giant Mountains are just small parts of the giantess. The journey of the baby down the Zola Fel, and subsequently down the Homeward Ocean, is the giant equivalent of giving birth.

It may date back to the old Glorantha Site I saved back but I think it's still in the Canon....

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28 minutes ago, MJ Sadique said:

Stop you stupid jokes soltakss ! Some may believe you

I'm not sure why you think this is a stupid joke. It's a fan made humakt HeroQuest on nick effinghams website: 

http://www.nikkeffingham.com/runequest/leadcro.htm

simon is just referring to it. Whether you like it or not is another matter  

Humakt and Chalana Arroy are at opposite ends of the same spectrum. The joke is of course that all mortals die and they don't easily come back. Even Chalana Arroy followers die. I'm not sure that all humakti would save a white lady if their time has come. It boils down to which power flows stronger through them - Death or Truth. 

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8 hours ago, David Scott said:

I'm not sure why you think this is a stupid joke. It's a fan made humakt HeroQuest on nick effinghams website:
... Humakt and Chalana Arroy are at opposite ends of the same spectrum. The joke is of course that all mortals die and they don't easily come back. Even Chalana Arroy followers die. I'm not sure that all humakti would save a white lady if their time has come. It boils down to which power flows stronger through them - Death or Truth. 

Ohohoh ... I haven't gone on Nick's website since ... at least ten years. I really didn't remember this very funny part of his heroquesting but resurrection didn't exist until Chalan Arroy complete the lightbringers quest. Whatever, It's a minor problem since miss-using the power to heal is like miss-using the power of Death ... a very bad thing. Killing an innocent is bad as much as resurrecting a non-repentant killer, even If personally think a non-repentant killer cannot be resurrected (he must repent like orlanth or stay dead).

I'll be more sadic than nick stating that a humakti who can use Truth affinity to find who are *bad*-healers may progress in the path of Humakt but If they kill a *good* healer who try to heal a non-chaotic, orlanth-like-repentant (accepting having miss-use death) such Humakti is certainly miss-using Death. Death and Life (Fertility) are opposite and complementary, a Healer with fertility (resurrection) can correct wrong-using-of-death as an Humakti with Death (sword) can correct wrong using of Fertility (rape).

The tricky part is Death without Truth make you a good murderer but don't bring Justice; Truth is vital since it help humakti selecting who must die and who have to live : it's the role of Humakt as Judge of Living and murderer's hunters. Killing a bunch of *good* healers (chalana or not) could make you one of top 10 Humakti's Most Wanted. Humakt could say that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions ... and mainly Orlanth's ones".

I really think it's a marvellous, sadistic n' stupid joke : because anyone could make a stupid error (fumble) and the joke could turn you in your own cult' enemies list (Humakt or Chalana questers alike). and I Loooooooooooove such jokes.

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2 hours ago, MJ Sadique said:

but resurrection didn't exist until Chalan Arroy complete the lightbringers quest.

Resurrection clearly existed before time as the power of Life could clearly recombine soul/spirits with their bodies as the opposite of Death. Resurrection within time has two clear definitions; the within seven day version that Chalanna Arroy and other cults use, or the beyond seven days version that's going to the Underworld like the quest for Arkat, Harmast and Hostfaring Treeleaper. It's not always the Lightbringers quest, although that is one vehicle for going there and back. The Seven Mothers did another variety. 

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On 12/23/2016 at 3:20 AM, boztakang said:

I fear that you are beating an underworld horse here...

And the trolls that the Lightbringers are apparently feeding Flesh Man to... alive or dead?  And if dead, then why do they need to eat?

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2 hours ago, MJ Sadique said:

It's a minor problem since miss-using the power to heal is like miss-using the power of Death ... a very bad thing. Killing an innocent is bad as much as resurrecting a non-repentant killer, even If personally think a non-repentant killer cannot be resurrected (he must repent like orlanth or stay dead).

I think you are confusing morality with the fundamental forces of the Universe. They don't have any inherent morality, it's the cults that personify them that introduce restrictions and reasons in the anthropomorphization of the runes' devolution. 

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4 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Resurrection clearly existed before time as the power of Life could clearly recombine soul/spirits with their bodies as the opposite of Death. Resurrection within time has two clear definitions; the within seven day version that Chalanna Arroy and other cults use, or the beyond seven days version that's going to the Underworld like the quest for Arkat, Harmast and Hostfaring Treeleaper. It's not always the Lightbringers quest, although that is one vehicle for going there and back. The Seven Mothers did another variety. 

If what you say is true, then Chalana Arroy would not have had her impetus for the Lightbringer Quest, which was a wound she could not heal, being death.  Prior to the Lesser Darkness death wasn't an issue.

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4 minutes ago, Darius West said:

And if dead, then why do they need to eat?

Of course they need to eat, that's why we send them along with grave goods. Why do the dead not need to eat? We've plenty of examples where they do - The feasting in Orlanth's Hall for example.

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15 hours ago, MJ Sadique said:

Why do the Giants use the River of Cradles?

Perhaps a little odd that the Giants send their children into the underworld... to die... when the kindly God Learners were quite happy to help them die in the Middle World, yet that upsets the Giants for some unfathomable reason :)

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6 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Of course they need to eat, that's why we send them along with grave goods. Why do the dead not need to eat? We've plenty of examples where they do - The feasting in Orlanth's Hall for example.

So what do the dead eat exactly?  And as to the feasting in Orlanth's Hall, who says anyone there is dead? If immortality means what immortality means, then a dead god is merely very self indulgent and sulky.

Edited by Darius West

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8 minutes ago, Darius West said:

If what you say is true, then Chalana Arroy would not have had her impetus for the Lightbringer Quest, which was a wound she could not heal, being death.  Prior to the Lesser Darkness death wasn't an issue.

I'm confused that you would apply a true / false label to what I wrote. It's true or false depending on your interpretation of Glorantha. YGWV. There are no absolutes here, I'm looking at the same texts you are, this is my interpretation and so it's an opinion. 

Sartar: KoH page 145

Quote

When the Darkness came and the Gloranthan Court was thrown down by Chaos, Chalana Arroy met with her son in the center of the world. There they found a being they could not heal, for it was a dead god. Chalana Arroy decided that her inaction no longer worked, though her son urged her to stay and keep her purity for the sake of the cosmos. While they debated they were met by Flesh Man, who was witless from seeing the death of the whole world even before it was over. Arroin used his powers and almost healed the fugitive. But Flesh Man still died. Chalana Arroy chose to act. She left behind her son and followed the Flesh Man to search for the Wound in the Cosmos to heal it.

[...]

The secret of Chalana Arroy's success was her decision to act.

[...]

Her impetus was that she chose to act rather than succumb to the collapsing world around her.

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On 12/23/2016 at 11:22 PM, David Scott said:

The quest to return Yelm is more about Orlanth setting his wrongs to right, not a dead to living quest. I don't believe the original LBQ has anything to do with return to life from Death. The version in time does however as it's a vehicle to go to the Underworld and return.

Actually on closer inspection I think you will find that the whole reason for Chalana Arroy to do the LBQ is to heal the wound she could not heal, which was death.  Also, given that the world was dying without Yelm, his resurrection was essential to making life possible again and ending the Greater Darkness.  Lhankor Mhy was questing for his dead love too.

 

On 12/23/2016 at 11:22 PM, David Scott said:

Humakt is the Orlanthi personification of the God of Separation. Within time this equates to death. In the God time, Humakt is Orlanth's Sword, his distant brother, a force that can separate souls/spirits from their physical forms and a rune (power). As death was widely copied and disseminated in the God time, many gods used it, and even transformed it to their own way. Many Gods wield Death, but they are not Humakt. Humakt is the pure form of separation.

Humakt is not purely an Orlanthi deity.  I suspect he is worshiped in Carmania and the Kingdom of War which are pretty western.  I would be surprised if Vormain doesn't have a Humakt cult too, given the Samurai sword culture.

On 12/23/2016 at 11:22 PM, David Scott said:

As for my interest in shamanic cultures, I've been teaching and working with shamanism for over 20 years now. With that in mind It's not a coincidence that I contributed to the Praxian and spirit magic sections of HeroQuest Glorantha, and am working on the Praxian book.

Good.  So, given your background in this area you must have a deep understanding of how important it is within a journey into the underworld to keep one's connection to the world of the living as an anchor if you are trying to draw them back from death.  It is an idea which is central in the majority of shamanic cultures when dealing with the issue.  There are exceptions, such as the Bardo, but even there you will find sutras to save the sick by drawing them back to the land of the living.

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