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Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 7 - Dawn Age


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Dawn Age section comments here!

Main thread: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/6602-guide-to-glorantha-group-read-week-7/

Deep Discussion: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/6603-guide-to-glorantha-group-read-week-7-deep-discussion/

Errors: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/6552-guide-to-glorantha-group-read-week-7-errors/

The historical maps in this chapters took a lot of to-and-frowing between Jeff and Lawrence Keogh. Jeff drew them out by hand, scanned them and then sent them to Lawrence. Who then drew them into Illustrator and then sent them back and so on. Here one of Jeff's maps Dawn maps:

5988cc8c94b53_0000DawnMap0ST.thumb.jpg.01e850ac1a9fe1da2a34130e58561069.jpg

Edited by David Scott

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Historical maps of Genertela: a bit of a pity that we don't get a few for the other continent/islands.

 

A few minor observations for starters:

p.126

The precursor civilization of Dorastor, the Feldichi. I wonder whether this was actually the Gold Wheel Dancer civilization. Dorastor is a small land, but the lack of recorded interaction of this civilization with the Vingkotlings or the Daxdarian empire is enigmatic.

The rest sank into savagery.

Isn’t it significantl funny that the Heortling culture is held up as the epitome of civilization in central Genertela, while the Horse Nomad rulership of Dara Happa and Pelanda is included in the savagery?

The Ralian culture based on Hrelar Amali gets surprisingly short thrift here, too.

 

p.127

I wonder how the defeat of the Dara Happan horse warlords led to the downfall of the Lendarshi ones. The Battle of Eleven Beasts doesn’t mention any Pelandan urban folk at all.

riding east to their ancestral lands in Pent

I had the impression that the Redlands were about as far east as the Starlight Wanderers had migrated, and from the map of their migration I didn’t get the impression that they had claimed those rough lands as those of their ancestors. That would have been further southwest on the Arcos River.

 

 

p.128

A few unnamed and unexplained major players participate in enabling the Sunstop.

The powerful barbarian god of Fronela: Given the suppression of Orlanth under way by Lokamayadon, I don’t think it was Orlanth. The Battle of Eleven Beasts was a century past, and Theyalan influence had spread along all the hills. The ever present White Bear menace kept returning.

A generation later Talor has a history with the Gate of Banir, which is associated with the Tarjinian Bull, so there are some indications that it could have been a bull god. But then, we also find Vorthan (the Fronelan form of Tolat/Shargash/Jagrekriand) worshiped in Jonatela.

 

Vorios the Lightning Ram

I tend to misread this as “Voriof”.

 

 

 

Edited by Joerg
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The Dawn Age's important place is Dorastor. Important actors are the councils, Osentalka/Nysalor/Gbaji/Perfect One and Arkat. Again there is no single truth and both the "final battle" heroes can be seen as good or evil.

Did the Sunstop break a contract from the Great Compromise some way? Wasn't the Time itself produce of the Great Compromise?

Also the first human HeroQuest (that took two years!) happens during this time and after that Arkat started shopping for religions. Was Arkat, among many other things, also the first God Learner?

The maps are interesting anc give some overall picture (other continents missing though, as Joerg said) but what is it with the double lines around some areas? There is no index about those.

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41 minutes ago, jrutila said:

but what is it with the double lines around some areas?

As well as a style to differentiate borders (without it, was often hard to see complex edges), we did the double and more banding to show the edges of empires and other larger political units that still contain visible regions. Follow the lines and you will see the areas enclosed. A key isn't needed. 

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p126 Arstola's Forest appears to originally be only the Old Woods in Kethaela at the Dawn.  It then becomes part of the Greatwood and eventually seens to be synonymous with the parts of the Greatwood that were not part of the Old Woods.

p129  Talor is Arkat's son?  Previously this was said about Gerlant.

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

I wonder how the defeat of the Dara Happan horse warlords led to the downfall of the Lendarshi ones. The Battle of Eleven Beasts doesn’t mention any Pelandan urban folk at all.

Because the Dara Happan Empire annexed the Lendarshi in the Wars of Light and Darkness (cf Entekosiad and Fortunate Succession)

 

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

p.128

The powerful barbarian god of Fronela: Given the suppression of Orlanth under way by Lokamayadon, I don’t think it was Orlanth.

I've been told it was the Sun God that was suppressed.

 

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7 hours ago, jrutila said:

 

Did the Sunstop break a contract from the Great Compromise some way? Wasn't the Time itself produce of the Great Compromise?

 

The Birth of Time is/was/possibly wasn't a product/consequence of the Great/Cosmic Compromise. (Depends on who you ask.) Time may have been broken/stopped/changed at the time of the Sun-stop, though most people are unsure if things, (re Time), remained the same afterwards or whether things were different. Only those who were alive or present before the Dawn may know for sure, and they may not necessarily be telling others!

At the end of the day, it's a matter of YGWV, as you can choose whichever works for you. Hope that helps

Edited by Brian McReynolds
Forgot to put a line in.
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Can we unpack what happens at the Sunstop?

"first nothing happened, but then dark strands grew bolder in the sky, like huge loops of rope from the western edge of the world, and hooked over it tautly. Soon a great dark net was visible, straining to pull the Sun back to its path. Strands snapped and unearthly shadows were cast upon the world."

This is the dwarves catching it and pulling it on its correct path again, correct? Although the net or web also brings Arachne Solara to mind.

"Then a great dark spot rose into the sky upon the net. This huge bloated shadow flickered with a smoky glow. The shadow crept across the face of the Sun, blotting it out and making all the world cold for a moment."

No idea. Is this Chaos? Osentalka getting his light by taking it from the sun? 

According to the Wiki, this is Artia. How do we know, and what does that signify? What's going _on_ here?

"A snapping moment of terror pierced the world, then the dark sky-web vanished, and the edge of the Sun crept past the shadow. The shadow disappeared"

I don't get this. It sounds as though the net snapped, but the sun still moved? Is this a partial success, then? Or did something happen? What happened with the shadow?

"and the Sun brightened, but everyone thought it looked paler than it had before.

Paler is more white white-ish, or as in less bright? 

"Some said it moved differently, too."

This seems like something that could be easily checked against astronomical records in Dara Happa.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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8 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

"Then a great dark spot rose into the sky upon the net. This huge bloated shadow flickered with a smoky glow. The shadow crept across the face of the Sun, blotting it out and making all the world cold for a moment."

No idea. Is this Chaos? Osentalka getting his light by taking it from the sun? 

Earlier material has refered to a Deathspider Shadow.  If you hated spiders before, you would really be terrified now.

8 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

According to the Wiki, this is Artia. How do we know, and what does that signify? What's going _on_ here?

The wiki just says the dark red planet rose in the sky, not that it blotted out the sun.  It's an interpolation from the comment in the Guide (p647) that it was not recognised as a regular celestial body until the Sunstop

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12 hours ago, jrutila said:

Also the first human HeroQuest (that took two years!) happens during this time

Surely not the first human heroquest, just the first human Lightbringers' heroquest?

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Earlier material has refered to a Deathspider Shadow.

This is mentioned later in the guide too (p.278). Arachne Solara, right?

Edited by Steve
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5 minutes ago, Steve said:

Surely not the first human heroquest, just the first human Lightbringers' heroquest?

Possibly the first "modern" heroquest, as well. Harmast is the first one to substitute one station for another, correct (as the Baths of Nelat aren't really survivable)?

"Arkat was the discoverer of modern Heroquesting. Heroquesting itself is ancient – since time immemorial intelligent Gloranthan beings had used rituals and ceremonies to contact deities and spirits. [...] This method of spiritual conquest and growth was known previously, but none had the knowledge and power to explore or exploit it"

Edited by Akhôrahil
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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Possibly the first "modern" heroquest, as well. Harmast is the first one to substitute one station for another, correct (as the Baths of Nelat aren't really survivable)?

"Arkat was the discoverer of modern Heroquesting. Heroquesting itself is ancient – since time immemorial intelligent Gloranthan beings had used rituals and ceremonies to contact deities and spirits. [...] This method of spiritual conquest and growth was known previously, but none had the knowledge and power to explore or exploit it"

Good point, but I can't imagine that Harmast hadn't tried some "modern" heroquesting out before undertaking his Lightbringers' Quest. I would have thought he'd have discovered the possibilities through experimentation before going for the big one.

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The historical maps are one of my favourite parts of the whole Guide. I have the same reservations about some of the boundaries as I do on real world maps in the same style, that imply that the boundaries are clear and easy to determine. For example. the population densities in the Dawn age make most areas just empty wilderness. I like the fact that the horse nomads are in a narrow band in 400ST p130 for example, as I think the blank white areas are practically empty of humans and to shade it all yellow because a horse nomad once rode through it is misleading. I would love to see maps in the same style for Fonrit and Umathela - I think Garangordos and his crew are interesting. 

 

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1 hour ago, Steve said:

Good point, but I can't imagine that Harmast hadn't tried some "modern" heroquesting out before undertaking his Lightbringers' Quest. I would have thought he'd have discovered the possibilities through experimentation before going for the big one.

I think that Harmast's first Full LBQ was almost accidentally correct as he assembled lots of fragmentary reports on the quest into his template, which was spiked with his earlier heroquest interactions with Jajamokki. Upon meeting and accompanying Arkat, he may have learned the substitution technique for his second run, which took only half the time in producing Talor. Harmast was in all likelihood an intuitive heroquester - he survived the Orlanth initiation when all other candidates were slain.

The Baths of Nelat are one way of preparing oneself for the Flame of Ehilm and the acid baths mentioned in the illustration of the previous chapter. From the list of Harmast's quests, Harmast never undertook this one, but his very initiation troubles might have prepared him for this stage of proof.

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

I really like how the LBQ always brings back someone problematic and iffy, who might get the job done but where you may well regret it later. Yelm, Arkat, Sheng Seleris... :) 

Both Arkat and Talor cursed Chaos in a way that it became permanent - Arkat affixed the chaotic mess that is Dorastor, and Talor cursed the Telmori to become ravening mad beasts on full moon (the chaotic nature of their gift may have come already from Nysalor, or it may have been revealed as such through Talor's curse). Yelm's resurrection was what gave us Nysalor in the first place, and Sheng is an entropic force of his own. Note that Sheng was no ordinary LBQ reward - Argrath could have chosen something milder, but his insistence on Sheng sent him further into deeper, Lunar (or Chaotic) hells.

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36 minutes ago, KeithN said:

The historical maps are one of my favourite parts of the whole Guide. I have the same reservations about some of the boundaries as I do on real world maps in the same style, that imply that the boundaries are clear and easy to determine. For example. the population densities in the Dawn age make most areas just empty wilderness. I like the fact that the horse nomads are in a narrow band in 400ST p130 for example, as I think the blank white areas are practically empty of humans and to shade it all yellow because a horse nomad once rode through it is misleading. I would love to see maps in the same style for Fonrit and Umathela - I think Garangordos and his crew are interesting. 

These maps have been compiled from Greg's impressive master map on transparent paper. There ought to be at least 17 layers of historical maps, spaced at 50 year intervals.

The earliest edition of The Fortunate Succession had numerous scans of a layer of these maps and the basic geography for Peloria. These maps are how Greg traced his history in his world-building at Chaosium.

The political maps of the now might be considered an eighteenth such layer.

The bad news is that such maps exist only for Genertela, and I suspect that the Kralorelan and Teshnan map information might have been an addition when the Guide was compiled. There simply are no such maps for the rest of the world. Yet.

I would really like to work on a project making such maps and lots of other thematic layers available as a digital application, possibly with pdf export options. However, that would be a full-time job of more than a man-year for getting that data together, never mind the application infrastructure.

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2 hours ago, Steve said:

Harmast hadn't tried some "modern" heroquesting

Love it. My sense of the barefoot womanizer is that he -- deliberately or otherwise -- practically (re)invented what we now call Orlanth worship from the scraps Loko hadn't managed to eradicate. This process undoubtedly took time and a lot of work we would call "heroquesting" before he had enough of the LBQ to try it. When Varmast initiated Barefoot he initiated a genius. Thank God.

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49 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I would really like to work on a project making such maps and lots of other thematic layers available as a digital application, possibly with pdf export options. However, that would be a full-time job of more than a man-year for getting that data together, never mind the application infrastructure.

Used up my likes. I strongly believe that the board game simulations mad visionaries like @KeithN and others have run over the years are the accelerated way to fill the gaps on regions where the notes at Chaosium are no longer extant or may have only been fragmentary anyway. If you reading this happen to be someone who has been involved with these, please let me know if you have records.

Edited by scott-martin
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47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I think that Harmast's first Full LBQ was almost accidentally correct as he assembled lots of fragmentary reports on the quest into his template, which was spiked with his earlier heroquest interactions with Jajamokki.

Another way to say the same thing is that he created the 'correct' quest. It's probably far too simple to say that there's a correct path for the heroquest and your job is to discover it – instead, in the mess Lokomayadon had made of Orlanth-worship, Harmast created (or at the very least put together from disparate parts) a myth-cycle to quest within. To us, it looks just like what we think we know about Orlanth's own LBQ – but then, it would, wouldn't it, when everyone is working from how Harmast did it? We have no idea how pre-Harmast notions about the LBQ looked like or how they differed from the pattern he created.  

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At the Dawn, Genertela West of Pent/The Wastes is basically mostly Elf Forest - and none of the previous discussions of the Dawn Age had ever given me that impression to this extent. The massive deforestation in the early First Age is the most obvious geographical change, and it is huge. I expect to some extent this is really more de-Aldryami-isation - that is, the areas remain somewhat forested but the Aldryami are driven out or, as in the Elder WIlds, reduced to a scattered remnant - otherwise the ecological change would be even more extreme. Still, very significant. The disappearance of the entire Tallseed Forest. Almost the entirety of Fronela South of the Janube. Huge swathes of North-East Ralios. The Elder WIlds. The entire Jorestl's Forest. Presumably almost all of this is down to the internecine fighting of Aldrya's Woe, in which case it is was truely vicious and catastrophic. In most cases, it was too the benefit of Hsunchen - the Hykimi and Enjoreli in Fronela, the Serpent-Beasts in Ralios, the Pralori and Mraloti in Maniria. 

I'm assuming this warfare is mostly fought with ecological weapons, rather than anything resembing conventional warfare. Diseases, parasites, animals that target seeds, etc. The virulent rot that the Pamaltelan elves are fighting at the Sunstop may be an example of this (and if its fungal, it does raise the issue of how the voralans fit into the whole thing). 

Two notable exceptions to the great forest die off. The Warm Wood in Teshnos is barely scratched - it gets a little smaller but only a little. Presumably its physical isolation sees it relatively outside of hostilities and its mild shrinkage is due to conflict with humans. And the elven forests actually significantly expand to cover the Lendarshi lands. That is worth some discussion, as it presumably tells us something significant about human/Aldryami relations in Peloria. 

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This chapter makes it seem as if the Feldichi ruins and what was learnt/recovered from them were fairly significant in First Age history, but we know incredibly little about them, except that one weird sun-powered flying sled thing in Dorastor. And I kind of hate the sled thing - it seems rather too science fictional rather than magical to me. The other Feldichi magic we have described - the ice that only melts in liquid, magic translator scrolls, singing wards - don't leave me much less confused. Anyone got anything more on the Feldichi?

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The Dawn age civilisations west of Teshnos I know very little about. I can't find a single reference outside of these maps to Amtal, Inzagril, Mralani, etc. There is clearly a lot more to the story - and the history presented in the Teshnos chapter doesn't (I know I'm jumping far ahead here, but only to determine that the question won't be resolved when we get there). There is clearly some document from which the names come, but what? 

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