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Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 8 - Deep Discussion


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This is the Deep Discussion thread for Week 8 - Feel free to speculate, move away from the Guide section under discussion and into other related areas.

main thread - https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/6642-guide-to-glorantha-group-read-week-8/

 

Edited by David Scott

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Again, I read the following: "Heroquesting did not exist in the Gods Age. In that Timeless age there was no division between the worldof men and gods, of life and death, of body and spirit." This always make me ponder was there other beings than gods before Time began? Like, you know, common people (or trolls or elves..) Where did they live and how. I have read about some heroes that still live and have lived before the Dawn. There was no but there was causality. Did this cause these beings to die at some point?

 

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There were certainly humans and the Elder Races before time began, yes. But I can't begin to imagine how they dealt with there being no concept of time, and then suddenly there was time. How could a mortal deal with such a thing? I don't recall this being described.

 

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11 minutes ago, jrutila said:

Again, I read the following: "Heroquesting did not exist in the Gods Age. In that Timeless age there was no division between the worldof men and gods, of life and death, of body and spirit." This always make me ponder was there other beings than gods before Time began? Like, you know, common people (or trolls or elves..) Where did they live and how. I have read about some heroes that still live and have lived before the Dawn. There was no but there was causality. Did this cause these beings to die at some point?

Yes, there were different tiers of people in the Gods Age. Even the gods who became the Greater Gods of post-Compromise Glorantha offered prayer and worship to the Greater Gods of the Celestial Court, like Orlanth did when preparing for the Aroka Quest or the Lightbringers' Quest.

Vingkot was a demigod born to a mortal mother, but became a god. His children were second generation demigods, typical for royal bloodlines.

Tada wasn't quite a god or Garden giant, but the next best thing. His children (like the wives of Vingkot) were demigods or second generation demigods.

Such divine bloodlines watered down over the generations, but extraordinary (heroic) individuals could and can refresh the divinity in such a lineage.

Durev the Everyman of the Downland Migration is a case of people becoming gods. Heortling Mythology has an interesting, not quite clear paragraph on such people on p.39:

Quote

The Old Migrators
Some people say that the First Tribe were the ones who migrated from Dini into the world. They say that Orlanth and the First Ring were the leaders.
Others say that the First Migrators were not yet Orlanth’s tribe or clan, but that they were many beings who lived at Dini before the tribe was made.
The First Migrators include these beings:
Durev, who had been carved out of wood
Orane, who was pulled out of the earth.
Orstan the Elder
Tatouth

By the power of their deeds, these people became deities of the Orlanthi, as aspects of Orlanth or Ernalda.

One gets the impression that people grew old and retired to an existence like the afterlife modern Gloranthans achieve after being judged by Daka Fal.

Godtime had the semblance of days, and in the Storm Age nights as well, years, and similar cycles. The Vingkotlings and Durevings certainly sowed their fields and reaped their harvests, and plowed them before and afterwards. They did so well into the Lesser Darkness, even though things deteriorated, harvests failed, etc..

 

Gods and even greater heroes have the power of pluripresence. They can manifest in different ways and places without disappearing in the other form. Mortals generally don't have this power.

 

For the Yelmic Court, I suggest court proceedings as a means of keeping days and years.

I cannot quite picture the Sun Horse as an unmoving object in the sky, so I see some perspective for Ehilm (father of Galanin), Kargzant/Reladivus and Elmal moving about in one of their manifestations, spreading their light unevenly over the lands. When Yelm still was up in the sky, the effect of this may have been negligible, but after he was replaced by the weaker Antirius, the whereabouts of these lesser suns mattered, and the further Glorantha slid towards the Greater Darkness, the more it mattered. In the East, a lesser manifestation of the sun seems to have remained in the sky, occasionally beset by Antigod schemes, but never lost.

 

There was no way for Gloranthans to plan to walk between the Ages. Some did, like e.g. Vingkot, but not as a voluntary course, but because of their personal fate that meandered through these Godtime events in different sequences or manifestations. Hence Vingkot's deadly wounding in a battle that may have occurred outside of his reign - it may have affected a different manifestation, and the repercussions of that wounding may have affected the other manifestation out of linear sequence. It is clear that the king aspect acquired that wound and chose to undergo death, leaving his realm to his sons and sons-in-law.

 

Godtime can be confusing in other ways, too. In some perceptions, the nine tribes of Vingkot's sons and daughters made up the entirety of his kingdom. In other perceptions, there were Great Tribes of Helerings and Durevings part of this kingdom, along with lesser folk who got adopted into clans or tribes of the Vingkotlings. It isn't quite clear when the first clans came into existence among the Vingkotlings. In a way, we assume they have always been there, but there is bound to be a "Green Age Moment" when the concept of clans was formed for subdivisions of the Vingkotlings.

If you look at the Red Cow quest in The Eleven Lights, there is nothing to indicate that the Orgorvaltes under King Ulanin form anything like clans. It is the tribal king and his followers who ride against Bergilmer and his village of mountain giants.

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2 hours ago, jrutila said:

Again, I read the following: "Heroquesting did not exist in the Gods Age. In that Timeless age there was no division between the worldof men and gods, of life and death, of body and spirit."

There are examples of Deities having performed HeroQuests. Orlanth did a quest to free Heler that is remarkably similar to one that Vadrus did to gain the Blue Woman, for example.So, I am suspicious of the claim that heroQuesting did not exist in GodTime.

 

2 hours ago, jrutila said:

This always make me ponder was there other beings than gods before Time began? Like, you know, common people (or trolls or elves..) Where did they live and how. I have read about some heroes that still live and have lived before the Dawn. 

 

Definitely.

There were Dark Trolls, Mistress race Trolls and Cave Trolls, for example. All trolls born when the trolls came to the surface were Dark Trolls. Cave Trolls were mutated by Pocharngo.

Elves definitely existed, as we have High King Elf, admittedly a deity, but others too.

Humans lived as well, not many of them but they were there.

Westerners were doing Western things, the Brithini were keeping the world together, Malkion's Poeple had split from the Brithini, the Vadeli were slowly being wiped out, Waertagi were making Dragonships out of Sea Dragons and so on.

Genert's Garden was trashed by this time, but Oasis People survived in their hovels.

Dragon Pass had been repeatedly flooded and risen from the waters, but people survived in their hill forts.

Peloria was overrun by the Starlight Ancestors, Pentian horsemen, who were normal folk.

So, a lot of normal people around.

 

2 hours ago, jrutila said:

There was no but there was causality. Did this cause these beings to die at some point?

When Time began, mortals just got old and died.

I think the standard "People lived longer way back when" still applied, as these were considered to be more powerful than people in "modern" Glorantha, but they still died.

 

 

 

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

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

So, I am suspicious of the claim that heroQuesting did not exist in GodTime.

*SNIP*

When Time began, mortals just got old and died.

I think the standard "People lived longer way back when" still applied, as these were considered to be more powerful than people in "modern" Glorantha, but they still died.

OK, I think you can only Heroquest since Time. Gods don't/didn't heroquest, and neither do/did the demigods and other denizens of Godtime. They had no reason to, as they are stuff of the Heroplane and its' raw potential. They are the fabric from which we weave our tales, our Myths.

After Time, those tales are fixed, and can only be experienced by ritual or heroquesting. You only heroquest for 2 reasons: to reforge your bond with Gods and to use myth to find a solution for an exotic problem.

Orlanth doesn't "heroquest" to liberate Heler from Aroka, but you do by following in his footsteps to break a drought. Saying he heroquested is like saying he followed in Harmasts footsteps to fulfill the Lightbringers quest*. Just because two myths are similar doesn't mean that one god was replicating the others heroquest.

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The Dara Happans have linear time even in the God time. The gods lived in their domain often separate from people. There was still some form of separation between them and the gods. Yelm was in the sky for example and that was still separate from those on the earth. To reach him you would still have to traverse the worlds. I don't think it's hero questing as we know it, but I think its still a movement through worlds. Much easier than now. Maybe called something like going to the gods home. Like the worlds of Norse mythology before ragnarok.

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Everyone experienced linear time for each of their manifestations, but the sequence of events for many manifestations wasn't necessarily the same, nor was the redux when another manifestation reacted to experience of a manifestation in an event.

It's a bit different when a Godtime entity got subsumed as a subcult or aspect by a deity greater than the first. Orlanth may be present in all of the Thunder Brothers. That doesn't mean that different Thunder Brothers shared the experience of the others.

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On 15/08/2017 at 11:47 PM, Joerg said:

Everyone experienced linear time for each of their manifestations

How can that be, since Time didn't exist? I don't expect there can be an answer to my question, since it's impossible for us time-bound creatures to understand a world without Time. A bit like trying to understand a world with four/five/whatever dimensions.

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11 minutes ago, Steve said:

How can that be, since Time didn't exist?

That is contradictory to Dara Happen time which has a clear linear component to it. The time birthed by Arachne Solara is clearly a different time to most, but Dara Happen time still continues the same. Another way of putting it is that Storm pantheon has a timeless mythology, while the solar has a timed one. Of course these are contradictory, but they both exist and so are both right. This is clearly another place of conflict between the two pantheons. Perhaps the Compromise caused the Storm Pantheon to obey Solar time. Likewise the godlearner maps show us a linear devolution of the world, impossible without time. Timelessness is certainly a facet of both mythologies. A day could be a blink of an eye or be several years like the stories of faerie, (many examples), or be repeated like the film Groundhog day.

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2 hours ago, Steve said:

How can that be, since Time didn't exist?

Strictly linear Time did not exist. Time with mostly linear progress did exist, but had alternatives.

2 hours ago, Steve said:

I don't expect there can be an answer to my question, since it's impossible for us time-bound creatures to understand a world without Time.

We are talking about Godtime and Cyclical Time, and about Cause and Effect.

Cyclical Time isn't completely gone from Glorantha. There is this ominous passage in King of Sartar:

Quote

“Enemy of Mine, stop before me!” said Argrath, “you have come again to destroy us, as you have done to our forefathers before us. Every 600 years you have come, and this is the time we have forecast to behold you, again and again each time until you are gone for good.”

So, Glorantha works on the principle that certain events are going to recur in some form for each Age of History, and there are indications that a similar effect was in place in the Godtime, less and less innocent.

The Golden Age myth is presented to us as if Yelm has always been the Emperor of the Universe. However, there are various sources that suggest that Yelm was only the last in a sequence of rulers of the Universe, among these Entekosiad and a Jonstown Compendium entry in RuneQuest Companion. These events are distant from the collective or individual memories of the people of Glorantha, though, and visiting such events is similar to Green Age heroquesting (as in "First of Events" heroquesting).

IMO there are two different things named Green Age. One is the era when plants spread all over the earth, with life blooming up in over-abundance. Another name for this would be the Earth Age.

Then there is the passage of the world from undefined into a definition through a First Action - first birther, first namer, first drinker, first deathdealer, etc. A lot of such events appear to be located in the Earth Age, but there are other events like the first mortal dying or the first god dying (rather than being dismembered beyond reconstitution) occur in the Golden or Storm Age. Likewise, even the Storm Age has serious innocence at its beginning, e.g. in the Veldang myth and history, and the troll myth and history in the surface world starts as naive and innocent.

That said, human consciousness isn't prepared to remain intact in the older cycles. There are ways to prepare questers for those older cycles, but this same preparation makes them something different from human, possibly leaving their human existence as one of several options and/or manifestations.

In a way the Orlanthi worshipers flying on their breaths to the Holy Mountains while leaving their bodies behind in the local rites are undergoing such a widening of their human existence into a however small and temporary divine existence. They leave their bodies behind, which may collapse, or which may continue to dance, bow or sing with the rest of the clan that acts as supporters of the rites. The mask bearers will most likely follow the ritual dances while the quester's consciousness drifts to Orlanth's Hall and beyond.


But there was a quasi-history shared by communities, a joint travel along a set of sequences. Individuals may have detoured and touched other events, but that is natural if they got spatially separated from the rest of the community. Individuals may have missed certain events, too - this is similar to missing a few game sessions of your regular gaming group. Rather than living through the deterioration, these individuals' stories read mory like "one day, things had become a lot worse. ..." They are missing out on the memory, though not necessarily on the consequences for the rest of the communal experience.

Storytelling uses non-linear techniques as well, e.g. through flashbacks, possibly nested or interwoven flashbacks. Heroquests or (for stories outside of Glorantha) time travel may alter the anchor position.

 

2 hours ago, Steve said:

A bit like trying to understand a world with four/five/whatever dimensions.

A bit like that, yes. Most people are comfortable with projections that reduce the dimensions to a number they are comfortable to deal with. Partial understanding derived from such projections may further the approximation to the whole of the problem, especially if several different projections are used to analyze such a thing.

That's why I said that an individual will use their own linear journey through a sequence of events as their measure. A big group of individuals whose paths are parallel for most of the way share a linear history. Other groups may have intersecting paths, possibly in different sequence before the birth of entropic Linear Time made that impossible.

Skipping bits of Linear Time in the otherworld still is possible. The Pithdaran journey across the seas is such a case. They seem to have departed around 400 S.T. but arrived in Pithdaros only after the Battle of Tanian's Victory.

 

If you are a video-gamer who can go back to saved games and branch off a new chain of events, you might have a first experience what a less stringent frame of time could look like. This is making time two-dimensional - even if you are pushed forward, you have different paths you can follow and possibly explore from an anchored position. If your activities modify the game setting, your anchor might not let you back on the original track.

 

What I am saying is that IMO each individual, or individual manifestation of a greater entity, experienced Godtime as a sequence of events. The sequence needn't be the same sequence as for other individuals or manifestations of the same greater entity.

 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Storytelling uses non-linear techniques as well, e.g. through flashbacks, possibly nested or interwoven flashbacks. Heroquests or (for stories outside of Glorantha) time travel may alter the anchor position.

Another analogue is that we recall the Godtime in almost exactly the same ways we recall a dream. The narrative feels coherent at the time but in retrospect discontinuities, paradoxes and outright absurdities emerge. Key transitions drop out. Symbols shift when we open our eyes. While communicating our "dreams" -- our non-empirical experience -- can further compound the confusion, occasionally enough similarities shine through that we can work together as fellow initiates.

We, on the other hand, have Glorantha.

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I think the no hero questing in the godtime means it wasn't a distinct thing, activity, not that most of the things that we think of as HeroQuest activities weren't possible. Basically, heroquesting is contacting the other world from the mundane world, so it doesn't even make sense when both worlds were united. In the God Time, a HeroQuest was 'just' a quest, because every thing was magical and portentous. 

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Interesting the Hero Plane Ages table. Of course every culture has myths of every era, but they may not articulate it as a separate era. 

I think most of the Green Age myths of Pamaltelan are Fiwan myths. Though the mythic maps would suggest many of them are eleven (or red eleven). The Pamalt pantheon was present, just not doing much. 

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15 minutes ago, davecake said:

I think the no hero questing in the godtime means it wasn't a distinct thing, activity, not that most of the things that we think of as HeroQuest activities weren't possible. Basically, heroquesting is contacting the other world from the mundane world, so it doesn't even make sense when both worlds were united. In the God Time, a HeroQuest was 'just' a quest, because every thing was magical and portentous. 

Thank you for saying what I obvious couldn't convey clearly. very nicely put.

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@davecake said

Quote

Waha has changed quite a bit - Beast Man Death in RQ2 and GoG, Mastery Death in the Guide. David, any comments?

In HQ Glorantha is also Mastery and Death and in RQ Glorantha, Man and Death. Some background. Waha is the counterpart to Eiritha's Life rune. This is their main emphasis. Secondary to that are their other runes. Eiritha has Beast as well and in RQG it due to the way the runes are balanced it makes sense to have Waha with the man rune. In reality Waha secondary role in the Wastes is Mastery. As shown in HQG page 169, Mastery over different areas. There is no magic in RQG tied to the Mastery Rune, but in supplements future there may be.

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On 15/08/2017 at 11:49 PM, Steve said:

There were certainly humans and the Elder Races before time began, yes. But I can't begin to imagine how they dealt with there being no concept of time, and then suddenly there was time. How could a mortal deal with such a thing? I don't recall this being described.

 

Babies have no concept of time, and it gradually develops. The mythic ages can be viewed as a metaphor for the developing conciousness. 

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18 minutes ago, KeithN said:

Babies have no concept of time, and it gradually develops. The mythic ages can be viewed as a metaphor for the developing conciousness. 

Babies are still acting within time though, even if they don't understand it. And the imposition of time onto adult sentient beings must surely have been something of a shock to the system. Suddenly everything was linear.

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12 hours ago, Steve said:

Babies are still acting within time though, even if they don't understand it. And the imposition of time onto adult sentient beings must surely have been something of a shock to the system. Suddenly everything was linear.

This is still kinda true for young children. I'm sure that I'm not alone in remembering those childhood summer afternoons that seemed to go on for ages when I was young.

It may have been similar for those merely mortal survivors of the Greater Darkness and early Silver Age, who remembered the God-Time as being 'different', though possibly not quite able to communicate that difference to their 'Time-bound' descendants who have no frame of reference for some of the strange things that 'Old Uncle Kalf' rambles on about!

Even for the 'transitional generation', the God-time may have become as poorly remembered as our own childhood memories.

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10 hours ago, Brian McReynolds said:

Even for the 'transitional generation', the God-time may have become as poorly remembered as our own childhood memories.

What were the skies like when you were young, Grandma?
They went on forever and they, when I, we lived in Esrolia
And the skies always had little fluffy clouds
And they moved down, they were long and clear
And there were lots of stars at night

And when it would rain it would all turn, it, they were beautiful
The most beautiful skies as a matter of fact
The sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire
And the clouds would catch the colors everywhere
That's neat, 'cause I used to look at them all the time when I was little
You don't see that anymore
 

 

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16 hours ago, Dogboy said:

What were the skies like when you were young, Grandma?
They went on forever and they, when I, we lived in Esrolia
And the skies always had little fluffy clouds
And they moved down, they were long and clear
And there were lots of stars at night

And when it would rain it would all turn, it, they were beautiful
The most beautiful skies as a matter of fact
The sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire
And the clouds would catch the colors everywhere
That's neat, 'cause I used to look at them all the time when I was little
You don't see that anymore
 

 

Quality tune! Totally works in the context of the thread as well. :-)

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