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An Alternate Glorantha


Pentallion

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So i was thinking about doing a parallel Glorantha, sort of Luther Arkwrightish or Moorcock's Million Sphere's like.  Where some decision was made that created an alternate reality.  A parallel universe.  In this alternate Glorantha, Orlanth gave Thed justice.  She never became the Goddess of Rape, Ragnaglar was cast into the Pit of Solitude.  There was no Unholy Trio.  There was no Wakboth.  However, Orlanth still went on the LBQ to bring back Yelm eventually.  Chaos still seeped into the world, just not led by Wakboth.  So the battle was not as terrible, but in the end there was still the Compromise, the Spike was gone, Arachne Solara begat Time.  It just all happened differently.

Anyone have any thoughts on what major changes in the world there would have been had there been no Unholy Trio?  I mean, besides obviously the Block?  What of Malia?  What of the broos?  What myths would be radically altered?  What history radically changed?  All because Orlanth chose to do the right thing.

Edited by Pentallion
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Well for the topic of an alternate Glorantha, I can only say one thing: YGMV

As for major changes, I'm no where near the most devoted sage in the library, but I can make a few guesses:

1. Malia would probably be a healing goddess still, albeit a minor spirit cult probably. Perhaps Thed as well though i don't know what type of goddess she was before the, *ahem*, incident.

2. Broos would probably be of normal beastman stock, a lot cleaner, and not have "Impregnate Everything I Breathe On 20W4". They could still have mixed animal descent possibly.

3. Kolat would no longer have his special abilities against Thed and Malia.

4. Generally a lot less Chaos in the world.

5. HOLY CHAOS! I just realized that the distinct lack of Wakboth means that Sedenya survived, therefore never going on her quest and achieving illumination, never gaining the cyclical association, and most importantly: NEVER FOUNDING THE LUNAR EMPIRE. Well, actually, there's nothing that really says that she didn't go on to found an empire, but it would probably be a more naval power.

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2 hours ago, Richard S. said:

5. HOLY CHAOS! I just realized that the distinct lack of Wakboth means that Sedenya survived, therefore never going on her quest and achieving illumination, never gaining the cyclical association, and most importantly: NEVER FOUNDING THE LUNAR EMPIRE. Well, actually, there's nothing that really says that she didn't go on to found an empire, but it would probably be a more naval power.

Now see, that would have never dawned on me.  That's why I brought this idea here, to get some feedback so if I design a Glorantha 2 campaign, it will be logically different and hopefully entertaining to my players.

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18 hours ago, Richard S. said:

I just realized that the distinct lack of Wakboth means that Sedenya survived, therefore never going on her quest and achieving illumination, never gaining the cyclical association

Or does it?  Instead of Thed and Ragnaglar, perhaps it is Artmal, corrupted by the Vadeli, who gives into chaos.  Sedenya the Balancer accepts chaos and opens the Rift, but this time it is in the Far South (e.g. around the Nargan Desert).  Pamalt is the one who falls.  Chaos corrupts the aldryami and the mass of chaotic vegetation spreads across the southern continent and onto the Spike.  Mallia, who is a fertility goddess, succumbs to chaos and gives birth to and unleashes the rot that devours and consumes.  Etc.  (all very much off the top of my head)

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9 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Or does it?  Instead of Thed and Ragnaglar, perhaps it is Artmal, corrupted by the Vadeli, who gives into chaos.  Sedenya the Balancer accepts chaos and opens the Rift, but this time it is in the Far South (e.g. around the Nargan Desert).  Pamalt is the one who falls.  Chaos corrupts the aldryami and the mass of chaotic vegetation spreads across the southern continent and onto the Spike.  Mallia, who is a fertility goddess, succumbs to chaos and gives birth to and unleashes the rot that devours and consumes.  Etc.  (all very much off the top of my head)

This is great. 

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On 2/21/2017 at 2:55 PM, Pentallion said:

In this alternate Glorantha, Orlanth gave Thed justice.  She never became the Goddess of Rape

You seem to think that Thed's behavior was a result of injustice, rather than a product of her own foul character.  Remember the myth when she tried to seduce Orlanth?  Sex under false pretenses is rape too.  Now Barbeester Gor's "I spit on your grave" or Gorgorma's "approach" seem more legitimate responses that reveling in rape to the point of becoming the deity of it.  Thed was always a bad lot.

On 2/21/2017 at 2:55 PM, Pentallion said:

 Ragnaglar was cast into the Pit of Solitude.

Ragnaglar becomes a storm deity of ascetic hermits?  Hard to refute. :)

On 2/21/2017 at 2:55 PM, Pentallion said:

However, Orlanth still went on the LBQ to bring back Yelm eventually.  .

But Yelm's death was meaningless.  He was merely sent into the underworld in a time when death was meaningless.  According to the Dara Happans Yelm could have always resurrected himself but didn't because he was in a snit with the surface dwellers, a bit like Amaterasu when Susuano-O went wild in the world and she entered a cave.  No doubt Trickster could have coaxed Yelm back to the surface by using a mirror and his innate narcissism.  No LBQ necessary.

On 2/21/2017 at 3:43 PM, Richard S. said:

HOLY CHAOS! I just realized that the distinct lack of Wakboth means that Sedenya survived, therefore never going on her quest and achieving illumination, never gaining the cyclical association, and most importantly: NEVER FOUNDING THE LUNAR EMPIRE. Well, actually, there's nothing that really says that she didn't go on to found an empire, but it would probably be a more naval power.

Or Sedenya may have simply become one of the plethora of minor deities on the God's Wall that most people forget, just another daughter of Yelm.  As for being a Naval empire... of the White Sea?  Poor Sedenya will be about as relevant as an Austrian Admiral.

On 2/21/2017 at 3:43 PM, Richard S. said:

Malia would probably be a healing goddess still, albeit a minor spirit cult probably. 

Optionally Malia becomes a deity of good digestion (helpful microflora), and becomes supreme cook of the gods, with a huge following among trolls and humans alike.

On 2/21/2017 at 3:43 PM, Richard S. said:

Perhaps Thed as well though i don't know what type of goddess she was before the, *ahem*, incident.

That would mean that goats aren't chaotic, and don't crop the roots of grass causing desertification, and are less obscene in their mating habits.  Thed was the mother of Goats before the "incident".  Hmm... duck mating habits are really goddamn awful IRL... perhaps a Duck rape deity and the Banded Mongoose deity of Incest? :)

On 2/22/2017 at 10:08 AM, jajagappa said:

Or does it?  Instead of Thed and Ragnaglar, perhaps it is Artmal, corrupted by the Vadeli, who gives into chaos.  Sedenya the Balancer accepts chaos and opens the Rift, but this time it is in the Far South (e.g. around the Nargan Desert).  Pamalt is the one who falls.  Chaos corrupts the aldryami and the mass of chaotic vegetation spreads across the southern continent and onto the Spike.  Mallia, who is a fertility goddess, succumbs to chaos and gives birth to and unleashes the rot that devours and consumes.  Etc.  (all very much off the top of my head)

A nice idea.  Other potential chaos bringers could be the trolls, who not knowing what chaos was, assumed that they could eat it, but it consumed them from within, disorder powers notwithstanding.   Or perhaps the Dragons lose control of Orxilli, unleashing a reincarnating chaos species of dragonewts?  Or maybe the Vadeli Empire harnesses chaos then loses control of it?  Otherwise, it may be that chaos has always sat outside Glorantha, looking hungrily to get in, banished by the Elder Gods of the Primal Elements in the Age of Darkness?  Or perhaps Grandfather Mortal brings chaos to the world, never becoming the Judge of the Dead, but the Bringer of Confusion ?  Or perhaps Humakt merely sees Chaos as a greater Death than the one he wields?  

Or what if the threat to the world is not Chaos at all, but a suffocating surfeit of stagnant evil Law ?  What if Mostal and Ompalam took over the Spike in Yelm's absence, enslaving the world with a plethora of terrible mass produced chains?  A slightly more Elric version of Glorantha perhaps?

There is also the issue of what form the Great Compromise would take, if it occurred at all.  Perhaps without the intrinsic entropic threat of Kajaboor that had to be harnessed into the thermodynamic force of time, there is not actual negative to time?  Perhaps things can fall together and the center holds all too well?  No chaos means that the Spike never falls, even if Yelm does, unless there is something to cause its fall.

One of the keys to understanding Chaos is to look at kinslaying.  Kinslaying is the worst crime for Orlanthi because it is normally kinship that forms the basis for legal dispute.  If a person is slain, it is the family of the slain that seeks redress.  But if the slaying is done within the family, though there is evil done, who brings the claim for redress?  Thus the family unit disintegrates and attacks itself, as it must commit kinslaying in order to redress kinslaying until all the family are dead in the name of justice.  This logical contradiction brings chaos, as it is something the system cannot handle.  In any well ordered system, the more contradictions you introduce, the more chaos is created, until it all falls apart.

 

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1 minute ago, Darius West said:

No doubt Trickster could have coaxed Yelm back to the surface by using a mirror and his innate narcissism.  No LBQ necessary.

But that WAS the LBQ!  Everyone knows that Trickster was getting cold and tired of eating raw meat, so he hired a bunch of goons to get to the Underworld, meet the Big Sun himself, and then get Yelm to come back out and warm everything back up (and provide some fire to roast the meat).

 

3 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Or what if the threat to the world is not Chaos at all, but a suffocating surfeit of stagnant evil Law ?  What if Mostal and Ompalam took over the Spike in Yelm's absence, enslaving the world with a plethora of terrible mass produced chains?

Another perfectly viable alternative.  And then Orlanth and his brothers quest deep into the Underworld, kill the guardian of the gate of Chaos, and let chaos in to shatter the stagnant and evil law forever.

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59 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

But that WAS the LBQ!  Everyone knows that Trickster was getting cold and tired of eating raw meat, so he hired a bunch of goons to get to the Underworld, meet the Big Sun himself, and then get Yelm to come back out and warm everything back up (and provide some fire to roast the meat).

Another perfectly viable alternative.  And then Orlanth and his brothers quest deep into the Underworld, kill the guardian of the gate of Chaos, and let chaos in to shatter the stagnant and evil law forever.

Regarding Trickster... *giggle* yep, its all about creature comforts for good ol' Trickster.  I suppose the mirror trick is an alternative in case he couldn't recruit goons who would listen to him?  Illusions and mirrors etc all good trickster magic.

As for Orlanth unleashing chaos in an alternative LBQ to save a world from Ompalam, I totally concur; love it in fact. :)

Edited by Darius West
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Yes, I absolutely DO believe Thed's behavior was a result of injustice and up until then, she had no foul character.  She was the innocent sheep girl.

 

I like that Malia doesn't turn towards chaos without Ragnaglar.  But Ragnaglar is mad.  I never said he became a hermetic monk, though that's a thought too.  It's also quite possible that he escapes the Pit of Solitude and still fathers Wakboth.  Perhaps on a goat boy this time.

Edited by Pentallion
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19 minutes ago, Iskallor said:

Chaos has many faces. What if Wakboth turned out nice?

I think the essence of Chaos is its mutability; no stable end-point is reached.  It never "turns out" (and then stops) but is eternally becoming what it is about to be...

No matter how "nice" today, or this week -- or this millenium, if you're a god -- the Chaos will eventually be something not-so-nice.  Who knows -- if Wakboth hadn't been defeated, he might have "turned out" nice (for a while) ...  

 

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On 2/25/2017 at 10:34 AM, Pentallion said:

Yes, I absolutely DO believe Thed's behavior was a result of injustice and up until then, she had no foul character.  

Thed isn't a sheep, she's a goat.  And who, mortal or divine, allows their tragedy to define and redefine them to the point Thed does?  If you were raped and you had the power, would you turn all your kids into rapists and send them out to sexually assault the whole world, innocent and guilty alike?  Does that sound innocent or sick or evil?  Revenge is one thing, but this is disproportionate and undirected, it has no sense of affecting only the perpetrators. This is adopting the methods of the enemy and becoming what she claim to have hated; spiritual hypocrisy, with the added horror of nihilistic hatred of all reality.

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On 2/25/2017 at 8:35 PM, Darius West said:

Thed isn't a sheep, she's a goat.  And who, mortal or divine, allows their tragedy to define and redefine them to the point Thed does?  If you were raped and you had the power, would you turn all your kids into rapists and send them out to sexually assault the whole world, innocent and guilty alike?  Does that sound innocent or sick or evil?  Revenge is one thing, but this is disproportionate and undirected, it has no sense of affecting only the perpetrators. This is adopting the methods of the enemy and becoming what she claim to have hated; spiritual hypocrisy, with the added horror of nihilistic hatred of all reality.

So you intend to derail this entire thread?  Not going to let that happen.  No offense, but I'm ignoring this as what I asked for was people's thoughts on what would change and how it would affect an alternate Glorantha, not debate with you.

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2 hours ago, Pentallion said:

So you intend to derail this entire thread?  Not going to let that happen.  No offense, but I'm ignoring this as what I asked for was people's thoughts on what would change and how it would affect an alternate Glorantha, not debate with you.

Well, you want to suggest that Thed is somehow a blameless victim in the scheme of things.  It isn't derailing anything to suggest that given her reaction to her situation suggests a pretty damaged character to begin with, and one that is predisposed to do evil in the future, based on what we know about her.  I am questioning your presupposition of Thed's innocence based on the evidence we have about her.  How is that derailing anything?  Are your views so flimsy that you can't defend them?  Critique and peer review only make for a stronger overall position.  What makes you so sure Thed was innocent?

Edited by Darius West
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I imagine that Thed given justice by Orlanth ends up turning out much like Babeester Gor, though with trappings more Storm than Earth. If Orlanth came down hard on Ragnalar, righteously shames his brother before the whole Storm Tribe, and casts him into the Pit of Solitude where he can harm no one else (though particularly not slaying him, because kinslaying is still a major no-no), whatever cruel & vindictive streak she may have had to begin with remains on-target rather than inflamed to maddening levels by justice denied and turned upon the whole community. She could even be given Ragnalar's former place of honor as Storm Goat alongside Orlanth Storm Ram and Urox Storm Bull, and be the bane of rapists much as Urox is the bane of chaos.

 

Edited by JonL
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