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David Scott

Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 8 - Cosmology

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The Cosmology pages were quite nice looking. The runes themselves are already quite familiar, but the element rune order and strength over another was new thing for me.

Why is Chaos both in Forms and Conditions. I don't think any other rune was in two different pages

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Comments on the Rune diagrams:

It is a pity that none of the text is searchable or indexed, even though it contains core information. For a revised edition, at least the index ought to be updated.

(I typed in a text version of this for my personal use that I am willing to share for this purpose in case the original files are hidden in obscure storage.)

Some of the text suffers from sloppy editing, too.

On the other hand, the graphic presentation of the runes and possible interactions is great. The handwriting in the background makes it look like there is a decipherable text.

For pages 146 and 147 I was trying to figure out whether this was an old original parchment in Old English or Latin, but the diagram on p. 148 has the black-inked Gloranthan runes in the vertical bar overlaid on the sepia- (or hawthorn bark-) inked text, with a correction or annotation of that text left of the bar between Mastery and Law, and again between Infinity and Magic, so I am inclined to assume that these are actual alchemical diagrams a couple centuries old.

 

My usual gripe about the Power Runes of Illusion and Disorder hasn’t changed since I first read this in Gods of Glorantha after getting an overview over the deities of Prosopaedia:

Eurmal should be the heir of Ratslaf for Disorder, and Illusion should go to Donandar.

 

I have no real problem with Eurmal not giving a shit about “should” and usurping Illusion, but given the God Learner inability to come to terms with the Pamaltelan pantheon, I wonder why the only Pamaltelan deity appearing here (except for Pamalt representing his own rune) has to be Bolongo. Leaving that position open would have been acceptable, too, or giving it to the Boggles collectively.

Knowledge about Bolongo came to the God Learners through the Pithdarans. This alley should have given them a good overview over the rest of the Pamalt Pantheon, but their ethnographers didn’t take the Agimori stories about their life in the Veldt seriously.

Maybe I’ll go with this theory – the original Theyalan identification scheme did have Boggles, and a God Learner (in the Great Trickster temple in Slontos?) transcribed this wrongly as Bolongo.

Mastakos is another rather minor deity when worshiped under that name – his role among the merfolk appears to have diminished after Orlanth took him to his own court (similar to Heler), and the Zaranistangi probably direct the most worship to his planet. (Uleria is rarely worshiped for having a planet.) But again, the God Learners failed to understand the Zaranistangi, and their reign over Melib resulted more from blind luck than from magical insight.

I doubt that Zzabur’s writings have a list of current owners – it would have to be a revised, or self-revising, edition of one of his original six books so charmingly inscribed on the skins of vanquished foes. (Those peaceful Tadeniti might have been victimized (pp. 686, 689) for an excellent and moral reason, despite Vadeli and Mostali agency.)

 

The hexagram of Forms lacks the long diagonals of the hexagon, which strangely leaves plant and spirit without direct connection. The lack of connection between Man and Dragonewt isn’t significant, and Chaos and Beast isn’t of major importance, but should be there anyway.

 

Why is Hykim/Mikyh spelled “Korgatsu”?

What do the Veldang and Zaranistangi have to say about moon as an element?

Not quite for the Errata list: we get “Lorian” instead of Lorion. This alternate spelling occurs rather often, similar to Tanian/Tanien. Is the spelling of water deities as fluent as their sex and gender?

 

Page 149 suggests specific magical connections between certain Condition runes, without giving any clues or providing insight for the why. The vertical bar in the center bears some similarity to the Spike above the Chaosium, but that is the only halfway sensible Gloranthan explanation I can come up with.

 

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

It is a pity that none of the text is searchable or indexed, even though it contains core information. For a revised edition, at least the index ought to be updated.

Please add this to the error thread. There no reason I can see that these shouldn't be searchable.

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

It is a pity that none of the text is searchable or indexed, even though it contains core information. For a revised edition, at least the index ought to be updated.

Agree.  There's been several times I've been hunting for content that I know is in the Guide only to finally realize it was on these pages and it's not indexed.

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Maybe I’ll go with this theory – the original Theyalan identification scheme did have Boggles, and a God Learner (in the Great Trickster temple in Slontos?) transcribed this wrongly as Bolongo.

That theory works for me!

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p147 Korgatsu is named instead of Hykim.  

p149  The Light Rune is distinct from the Fire Rune.,  The Dragonewt Rune is distinct from the Dragonpower Rune.  The condition runes are reminiscent of the Sepiroth except that Mastery is at the top, not Infinity.  I also found it interesting that Unlife and Eternal Battle are presented as fundamental runes.

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

I have no real problem with Eurmal not giving a shit about “should” and usurping Illusion, but given the God Learner inability to come to terms with the Pamaltelan pantheon, I wonder why the only Pamaltelan deity appearing here (except for Pamalt representing his own rune) has to be Bolongo. Leaving that position open would have been acceptable, too, or giving it to the Boggles collectively.

Bolongo is associated with Fonrit which lay within the God Learner orbit whereas the other gods of Pamaltela lay south of the Fense.  It may be that the God Learners understood Bolongo too well which obscured their understaning of the other Pamaltelan Gods.

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The runes should have been in use at the Celestial Court - after all those deities are named as the original owners. The Theyalans are descended from the people (and deities) who made the Downland Migration from Dini, below the Celestial Court, and we know that e.g. Humakt was a regular guest at Kargan Tor's court. This makes it quite likely that the Vingkotlings used the runes, and the Heortlings as well. A primary use would of course be personal, clan and tribal tattoos.

We know that the Berennethtelli tattoo worn by Harmast Barefoot mutated into the Kodigvari tattoo. This means that tribal tattoos were used by the Vingkotlings already (the Kodigvari never had the chance to become Heortlings).

All of this points to a continuity of the use of the core runes among the Theyalans.

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On 8/15/2017 at 5:44 PM, Joerg said:

On the other hand, the graphic presentation of the runes and possible interactions is great. The handwriting in the background makes it look like there is a decipherable text.

For pages 146 and 147 I was trying to figure out whether this was an old original parchment in Old English or Latin, but the diagram on p. 148 has the black-inked Gloranthan runes in the vertical bar overlaid on the sepia- (or hawthorn bark-) inked text, with a correction or annotation of that text left of the bar between Mastery and Law, and again between Infinity and Magic, so I am inclined to assume that these are actual alchemical diagrams a couple centuries old.

I believe these pages are from the Voynich Manuscript

I do love how these pages present the Runes, especially now that we'll have Runic Passions I imagine these pages getting a lot of use

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I love the look of these pages - gives a sense of the type of work a Rokari wizard-priest will be dealing with. 

The Power Runes and pairings are well-known.  Didn't find any surprises there.

The Form Rune connections are interesting.  Within the outer hexagon we have two triangles: Beast-Plant-Dragonewt and Man-Spirit-Chaos.  The first seems like the original forms of Life.  The second seem like the those that led to the decline and destruction of the Golden Age.  The Mortals that spread and disrupted the original Harmony, the Spirits that arose when Death struck down Grandfather Mortal, and the final Chaos that arose.  Nice little Moon crescent in the center.

Zzabur's Sigil gives us the elemental progression, plus inner connections across the elements.

The final page has varied Conditions.  Chaos again, now at the bottom.  Infinity at the center.  Mastery at the top (the crown).  Moon, Magic, and Law filling out the center axis.  Interesting to see Moon closest to Chaos.  The pairing of Luck and Fate.  And Arachne Solara with ownership of Mastery, Magic, Fate, and the Infinite.

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I love Zzaburs Sigil. The placement of runes, everything about the syymbolism, all seems carefully thought out and spot on. And it translates one of the core symbols of terrestrial occultism perfectly to a Gloranthan equivalent.

I find the condition Rune page, by contrast, quite annoying. It is clearly visually  based on another core diagram of terrestrial occultism, the cabbalistic tree of life, but it seems very arbitrary in design, which runes are included, where they are placed, etc. 

And yes, artwork clearly based on the Voynich manuscript. The weird ladies standing in plumbing is a giveaway. 

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