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Joerg

Perennial Hrestoli Old Ways (not Pentan Religion)

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2 hours ago, metcalph said:

Style note: being ultra-precise in identifications is unnecessary. 

When Peter says "Hrestoli", he means Gaiseron's brand of Loskalmi Hrestolism, with an unknown quantity of Irensavalism and influence of the unorthodox Perfecti among them.

When I say Hrestoli, I mean something different, like including the practices in Pithdaros, the Castle Coast and various parts of Ralios where the Rokari revisionists have been rejected. The Guide includes the weird Galvosti in its (correct) definition of Hrestoli, and gives an offhand bombshell about Hrestoli belief in reincarnation (that much for Malkioni having no concept of soul). All Stygian/Henotheist churches are branches of Hrestolism, never Rokarism.

One of the key features of Hrestolism (to me) is hidden in the description of the Galvosti sect (Guide p.53):

Quote

Like other Hrestoli schools, the Galvosti believe in reincarnation.

"Other Hrestoli schools" doesn't necessarily mean "all other Hrestoli schools", and it would be interesting to know Gaiseron's take on this issue (or whether he makes a stand for either yes or no). Assuming that at least half of the Seshnegi used to find hope in the prospect of reincarnation, the suppression of that through the Rokari cannot have been received with joy. (Joy is of course another concept that the Rokari persecute, as is Ascended Mastery.)

All of these Rokari changes are undeniably logical, since neither Joy nor Ascension nor Reincarnation can be explained by the weak insights their interpretation of the scripture allows. Despite all logic, these features are what keep the less informed population enthusiastic about the religion, though. I think that Halwal and Yomili would have stood united against anyone suggesting something like this during their lifetime.

Fronela outside of Loskalm is Hrestoli, but hardly Gaiseron's New Idealist Hrestolism, except for the attempts of the Count of Einpor. They may be mostly Irensavalists, though, other than the Malkioni south and east of Erontree. Not the order transplanted here from Seshnela by Jonat, though.

 

2 hours ago, metcalph said:

If you say New Idealist Hrestoli then there's no need to say "of Loskalm" because there are no other significant populations out there. 

Only a couple hundred thousand in Akem (300-400k out of 600k), Syanor, Jonatela (maybe 150k), Junora (300k - the transition to Gaiseron's way was flawed), Pithdaros (up to 100k), southwestern Tanisor (20-50k), the Castle Coast (50k), Ralios (hard to estimate, but ranking second if you take the various Arkati sects as single entities, and third if you group them), and Maniria (up to 20k), not counting what is going on in Umathela away from the Silence-damaged parts.

It isn't clear how thorough the eradication of the old ways was in Loskalm (which had 120 years without outside interference, but significant internal resistance to overcome in the first 40 years or so as the relief of Siglat and companions documents) and Seshnela (a little over 2 centuries). I'd point you to Montaillou for the persistence of Katharism in the face of one of the bloodiest persecutions in church history. The Spanish inquisition went less against heretics and more against incomplete converts, a problem more prevalent in parts of Loskalm than in Tanisor.

Among ancient wizards in exile, some form of Hrestolism is the norm. Those in Loskalm or Tanisor who did not conform didn't get that old. Since few powerful wizards go without apprentices as cheap sorcerous muscle, they will have propagated their ways among those who count in Malkioni populations.

In Nochet, Rokari are contenders for the second largest group of Malkioni, although in the watered-down Quinpolic ways (they might say watered-up). Arkati and real (non-Loskalmi) Hrestoli are common among the Men-of-All and their sorcerers. I expect similar numbers among Seshnegi expats in Ralian and western Manirian mercenary bands. (Thinking of the Irish Catholic noble mercenaries of Spanish Habsburg in the Netherlands here for an example of significant numbers of expat "people that count" when it comes to decide on confessions in a religion.) Half of southwestern Seshnela inside the kingdom will lapse to Hrestoli ways the moment Leplain-trained zzaburi look away. Many a noble family will keep one or two overtly Rokari heirs in the land and encourage the rest to continue the real religion while adventuring in distant lands, hopefully to return with powerful allies when the time is right. Other houses who have accepted Rokarism just send their black sheep that way.

The Opening and the Thaw has expanded the possibilities to take temporary service in distant lands greatly. Theoblanc is well aware of that, one reason for his well-founded distrust of the Quinpolic League.

The Rokari denial of reincarnation is a very big deal, and a very good reason for outwardly docile Seshnegi to stick to Hrestolism. Maybe not quite up to a culture of martyrdom, though. Search for Ascended Mastery is another big idea that the Rokari deny, and that, too, will persist despite their brutal persecutions.

Basically, that's my take on Hrestolism. I know that Peter disagrees strongly, but I think my version offers better story potential.

 

2 hours ago, metcalph said:

Similar goes for "Pre- or non-Gaiseron" etc when the same is true of Hrestoli Sorcerors that do follow Gaiseron.

I wrote above how and why I disagree.

2 hours ago, metcalph said:

Secondly the Hrestoli Knights are Rune Lords, so-to-speak, of Irensavel, not lesser gods.  There's really no such thing as theistic deities because that confuses the magic a god provides with the essence of a god.  A god may provide rune magic or spirits or a mixture of the two but it is still a god.  How the Hrestoli Rune Lords would work is unknown to me (I don't think the Invisible God would provide Rune Magic) but the core concept of the Knights as seen in Cults of Terror is based on a status of a Rune Lord.

The Hrestoli wizard-caste knights (for lack of a better word for "men of three quarters of all") are rune lords or sorcerers (it is possible to avoid the Rune Lord career by going on the sorcerers' fast track through soldiery). The soldier caste riders aren't, they are initiate level, with the majority of the farmers standing for lay member level.

I don't think that they have access to DI (other than a chance to experience Joy) or Rune Magic through pre-sacrificed spells on hold that can be triggered at will and possibly be replenished through vigils. It just doesn't seem right. And there are sorcerous ways to provide items performing just this form of magical release.

A significant minority of the Loskalmi "Men of Three Quarters" might be neither walking on the way to adepthood nor to rulership but work on the magical equipment of the others of their caste.

 

This brings up an interesting question, however - what kinds of spell-casting are expected from a Man-of-All in full gear, and what spells are expected to be pre-cast?

Spells stripping away enemy protective or enhancement magic might be typical. To do this, one has to come into short missile distance, which is fine for armored riders but bad for robed wizards. Armor-bypassing offensive magic might be another common use, as are offensive spells causing some other form of impediment short of drawing blood through magic.

How much of this is allowable in tournaments between magical knights?

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Those in Loskalm or Tanisor who did not conform didn't get that old

That's always the test in a part of the world where there's a tradition of considering longevity proof of orthodoxy and hoping the converse will hold true as well. Allowing for even the theoretical possibility of metempsychosis cuts against all arguments (and authority) built on that principle.

I had a footnoted treatise here about archaic Hrestolism, Xemelism and Faralzism and how they play into various game frameworks but cut it. The important thing for our purposes is that while metempsychosis isn't an essential feature of either exoteric or esoteric Hrestolism, it's a useful and popular consolation in an imperfect world. The perfect talk about it in vaguely Nietzschean terms, as one of the paradoxes of JOY:

What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence - even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!" Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?... Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?

The Xemelist martyrs live once and die forever. The Faralzites cycle through the castes in order to live more lives before death resets the hourglass. Hrestol embraced the eternal recurrence. Talor even laughed. The rest of us struggle and fail, hoping to get it right in some theoretical "next time." Of course there are people see nothing but Vadel in all of this, like a reflection.

Edited by scott-martin
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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

Lets see an outline map of your different "Hrestoli" areas.

I'd love to comply sooner, but after fiddling around with my mouse producing unacceptable results in Inkscape, this will have to wait until I either have my graphic tablet (should be there by the end of next week) or port the screenshots from the guide into a GIS tool which allows me to create polygons the way I am used to (which will need to wait until I have more time over the weekend, if I do).

i was planning to use polygons with different pattern density over the Malkioni distribution map, with the historical map of 1450 crudely aligned to give me useful borders to show Old Hrestoli distribution, with variations like the Galvosti and presumed others. If there is one thing that is missing from the AAA it is a compound map of the various regions with borders and city sizes, but as I said, that kind of thematic maps belong into a GIS rather than into a PDF.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

When Peter says "Hrestoli", he means Gaiseron's brand of Loskalmi Hrestolism, with an unknown quantity of Irensavalism and influence of the unorthodox Perfecti among them.

No I do not.  There is simply no reason to assume that I ever restricted Hrestoli to such a precise group of people.  What I did tick you off for was to say "New Idealist Hrestoli of Loskalm" (among other banal phrasing) where New Idealist Hrestoli or Loskalmi Hrestoli would have sufficed.  By being unnecessarily ultra-precise in your wording you run the risk of 1) making sweepingly incorrect statements about the group that you refer to (ie Hrestoli can't become Adept Sorcerors) 2) wasting people's time with digression (we only started talking about Hrestoli because you made a statement about sorcery in a discussion about Pent!)

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

When I say Hrestoli, I mean something different, like including the practices in Pithdaros, the Castle Coast and various parts of Ralios where the Rokari revisionists have been rejected. The Guide includes the weird Galvosti in its (correct) definition of Hrestoli, and gives an offhand bombshell about Hrestoli belief in reincarnation (that much for Malkioni having no concept of soul). All Stygian/Henotheist churches are branches of Hrestolism, never Rokarism.

What every happened to the simple definition that Hrestoli is the theory and practice of Henosis or Joy, the unity of one's mind with the invisible God.  Simple, elegant and avoids all this handwringing about whether some populations of Malkioni are Hrestoli and if so, how Hrestoli are they?  I still can't get over your "unknown quanity of Irensavelism and influence of the unorthodox Perfecti among them" above.  What even waste words writing that?  Do you think others do not know?  And then having mentioned it, you drop the matter leaving others wondering what the point of mentioning them was.  If it wasn't important, not including the extraneous detail would make your writing a much better read.

 

Quote

The Hrestoli wizard-caste knights (for lack of a better word for "men of three quarters of all") are rune lords or sorcerers (it is possible to avoid the Rune Lord career by going on the sorcerers' fast track through soldiery). The soldier caste riders aren't, they are initiate level, with the majority of the farmers standing for lay member level.

 

And finally we get to a discussion of what I actually wrote about the Hrestoli, the point of the digressions about reincarnation and poulations having eluded me.  All this however rests on the use of the Tales of the Reaching Moon writeup which isn't canon.  More importantly it fails to engage with my actual contention - that the Knights may be understood as Rune Lords who have mastered the art of Sorcery (something which Joerg denied)

Apologies in general for the heated tone of the post.   I'll go back to being more civil in future postings.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

unacceptable results in Inkscape

You might find it easier to screenshot maps and then annotate them in a simple paint package - that's all I do.

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Why the verbosity?

First of all, remember that I am not a native speaker, and while I generally think in English while writing about Glorantha, some of my thought structures cry out for better ways to make the point in the idea space beyond that language.

Second point: New Idealist Hrestolism has not only usurped the unlucky non-Hrestoli that were trapped with the Loskalmi in the Ban, but has also found adherents elsewhere in Fronela since the Thaw. The Count of Einpor probably managed to bring a good portion though not necessarily the majority of his population over to Gaiseron's ways. There may be proponents of that way even over in Syanor, however much the majority of the Malkionized nobility thanks you very much for not mixing them up with their pagan peasants.

 

So, next point - how much is Irensavalism tied to Hrestolism, or is it an entirely independent movement that somehow has been made acceptable in Loskalm to avoid civil strife? Halwal appears to have taken it on in his Arkat-like struggle against the Deception aka God Learner error (if he wasn't just a disgruntled sore loser who would bear any mantle to whittle away his old rival's power base). Personally, I think that Halwal was a sincere serial fanatic. That makes his failure to return the complete Arkat even more ironic.

Siglat reformed Loskalm to Gaiseron's ideas during the Ban, through feats of arms against hapless minorities caught in the same Ban fragment as the juggernaut of Loskalm. Comparing the map of Loskalm under the Ban to the historical map of 1450, it contains significant portions of Fronela that were not considered part of Loskalm before. Some regions might have been annexed from Loskalm by the White Bear Empire earlier, and a lot of independent Junora became dependent of Loskalm all of a sudden. The clear and abrupt change from hill barbarian to Loskalmi Hrestoli on the border to Oranor is the result of a century of imposed Hrestolism of Gaiseron's new ways.

Unlike in Seshnela, prominent wizards disagreeing with Gaiseron's doctrine had no way of becoming dissidents in exile, due to the Ban. I suppose that Gaiseron offered a lot of grandfathering in their personal status when he spread Siglat's reforms. Ancient magus-level wizards may have censored their publicized opinions on caste and state in the interest of continued breathing, although I am pretty certain that quite a few had to be convinced the hard way or to be shut up permanently.

 

How much of Perfecti doctrine was adopted by Gaiseron (or did he come from that background?) How much of his New Idealism is a watered down version of that purity-obsessed doctrine? And how much do their purists loathe the compromises Gaiseron was willing to accept in order to maintain a national unity of style and purpose?

Old Hrestolism did not demand that everybody undergoes the arduous road of becoming a Man of All. It was perfectly fine to be perfect in your birth caste and never touch anything outside of it. Among the priviliged caste families, this created a sense of entitlement (whether founded in scripture or simply in human greed), and breaking that will have caused quite a bit of strain during the sparsely documented early years of Siglat's reign and ascension. There are always Old Day Traditionalists that need to be crushed, and only rarely can they be exterminated for good.

One thing Gaiseron doesn't seem to have changed are the practices of Joy, Ascension, and possibly Reincarnation.

 

About eighty years earlier, Bailifes and Mardron blew the fledgeling school of Rokarism which condemned all of these three out or proportion and imposed it from their obscure corner of Tanisor all over Eastern Seshnela and Tanisor. Unlike the situation in Loskalm, dissidents had other ways than to buckle under or die resisting. Emigration happened. The Castle Coast received a huge number of the entitled castes, creating a society of way too many higher caste population in nostalgic grief. More pragmatic houses among the losers of Asgolan Fields 

 

There have been Malkioni wizards or sorcerers in various places of exile. I would posit that the City of 10,000 Magicians will have had more extremely ancient Malkioni sorcerers than just Akgarbash of Laurmal, who could be a Brithini in exile, or a Makanist Hrestoli from their period of control over Arolanit. He and his colleagues must have washed up in the northern EWF significantly before the Dragonkill, and must have been able to free themselves of any unacceptable ties to the EWF when facing the True Golden Horde. (Being over-powerful sorcerers surely shifted acceptability into their favour...)

There is a notable presence of prominent minority Malkioni among the expat communities e.g. in Nochet or in the mercenary companies taking service elsewhere. And these aren't farmer caste Malkioni used to dancing to the tunes of rulers, wizards and soldiers, but potential movers and shakers, with a higher average of magical potential. In other words, these expats contain proportionally a lot more philosophers and individuals schooled in magics than the population sustains in their home countries. It is a bit like the Persian Ayatollahs in exile during the Shah's reign. A massive number of highest ranking religious leaders non-conforming with the current regime was ready to replace the flunkies of the regime.

 

There might be enough Old Hrestoli wizards, philosophers, men-of-all and talars in exile to replace the entire Rokari leadership. Doesn't seem to happen in the prophecies of the Hero Wars, but the potential might be there. And much of it might be diverted into Argrath's fight against the Lunar Empire and into the struggles of Ralios, and spent in those conflicts. Again, the Irish Wild Geese of the Spanish Netherlands are a good example for such an exile community. The Persian empire had plenty of Greek Exiles when they tried to conquer Athens and the other city states.

 

The same argument could be made for adherents of the Silence hiding in Fonrit, Adjusted clans in Esrolia, or of Jolaty anywhere in remote portions of Sheng's former empire. Expat communities strong in dissidents aren't a modern development. It isn't quite clear how much of those were possible in the courts of Rhamessis or Hattusha, but both winners and losers of the Iliad are reported to have ended up in exotic places.

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4 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

Sorry, but I had to chuckle at Joerg tasking someone else for being verbose. :D

I meant "why my verbosity"...

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12 hours ago, Joerg said:

First of all, remember that I am not a native speaker, and while I generally think in English while writing about Glorantha, some of my thought structures cry out for better ways to make the point in the idea space beyond that language.

Generally editing your prose after composition with a good helping of "Murder your darlings" will work wonders.  There's no reason to mention each and every possible influence or variation so long as your central idea is sound.

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Second point: New Idealist Hrestolism has not only usurped the unlucky non-Hrestoli that were trapped with the Loskalmi in the Ban, but has also found adherents elsewhere in Fronela since the Thaw.

 

There's generally no reason to mention these people outside a detailed gazetteer of Fronela.  They can be safely ignored without anybody being the wiser.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

So, next point - how much is Irensavalism tied to Hrestolism, or is it an entirely independent movement that somehow has been made acceptable in Loskalm to avoid civil strife?

If I recall correctly, the topic under discussion was the Hrestoli of Loskalm or the New Idealist Hrestoli.  There's no practical reason to bring Irensavel as those groups worship him by definition.  Ah, you say but what about the non-Hrestoli who don't worship Irensavel?   Who cares about them?  Nobody knows if they exist or not.  Bringing the theory and practice of Irensavelism into a discussion of Hrestoli is quite frankly a red herring.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Siglat reformed Loskalm to Gaiseron's ideas during the Ban,

As I said elsewhere I fail to see why you think Gaiseron outranks Siglat.  If Siglat is Marx, Gaiseron is an Engels at best.

 

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

If I recall correctly, the topic under discussion was the Hrestoli of Loskalm or the New Idealist Hrestoli. 

The topic I discussed is grasping for my understanding of Loskalm and what has it done to Old Hrestoli ways and why is it so different. Irensaval is a Fronelan concept which was suppressed by the (Makanist Hrestoli) God Learners, but embraced by Halwal in overthrowing those.

 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

There's no practical reason to bring Irensavel as those groups worship him by definition.  Ah, you say but what about the non-Hrestoli who don't worship Irensavel?   Who cares about them?  Nobody knows if they exist or not. 

I care, and that's enough for me trying to find out about the situation. I am not arguing against you, I am trying to find out what could be going on.

Irensaval got projected on Idovanus (or vice versa) by Syrantir's wizards in his demigod son's new kingdom. Snodal's demigod son is in a very similar position.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

As I said elsewhere I fail to see why you think Gaiseron outranks Siglat.  If Siglat is Marx, Gaiseron is an Engels at best.

I see Siglat rather as Lenin, the guy who put the theory into some praxis, breaking heads to get there.

For other comparisons, he is Thomas Müntzer or Jan Mathys (of Münster) to Gaiseron's Luther or Calvin. Or maybe Henry Tudor, ordering the church changed without providing details, but approving or disapproving of his bishops' work, but failing to complain about that cleric's noise. Siglat is the architect of the kingdom, maybe the societal structure. Gaiseron is providing the scripture, and possibly had a draft prepared before Siglat came into his inheritance. Siglat is maybe 15 years old when his father triggers the Ban. The bearded old man clearly is Gaiseron, even if he was a youthful 80 years old or so at that time.

Or, to use more Bronze Age or Classical parallels,  Gaiseron is Aristoteles to Siglat's Alexander, or Chiron to Heracles. (Merlin to Arthur works, too, but leads to wrong ideas about medieval armor.)

Loskalm finds itself under the Ban with about half again as much land as it laid claim to around 1450. Some of it is inhabited by barbarians who require forceful pacification and conversion, see p.202/203 in the Guide. I doubt that these were the only heads he had to break in order to establish his change, although he was undoubtedly aided by the fact that his kingdom experienced an apocalyptic isolation.

 

Being a semi-divine prince, Siglat will have begun his schooling towards classical Man-of-All status besides the Talar duties of administration and manners - i.e. horse-care, swordplay and basic spell manipulation, perhaps even have reached graduation.

The new society of Loskalm resembles neither the old Hrestoli ways nor the caste system of Altinela (which mentions separate stats for different castes, much like Luatha have, too, so I don't see much possibility of caste mobility there). Entitled-thinking heirs suddenly need to prove their merit beyond lazily fulfilling the minimum requirements of their caste. Many an owner of privilege will see how unfit his children really are to take up his inheritance, and some might object to their family falling from privilege for a single generation's failure.

Probably Siglat was sufficiently charismatic to carry the majority of the disinherited elite youth along his (and/or Gaiseron's) new vision. Maybe all of them join the grand adventure of painting Aunt Polly's fence, or at least enough that the number of civic broken heads remains below significant reporting.

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