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AndrewRead

Glorantha timeline query

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Couldn’t find the answer to this in the GtG, so here goes.

Am I correct in thinking that the world is only 1600 or so years old (depending on when one sets the campaign)?

Did the Orlanthi exist before year 0? Was there any civilisation before year 0?

I know that some current civilisations are built atop the ruins of others, but I don’t see how a civilisation could grow from barbarism, develop a civilisation of their own, collapse and then the whole cycle repeat in just 1600 years. Human civilisation on Earth took thousands of years to develop from Stone Age Hunter-gatherers. If people existed in Glorantha societies before year 0 though, then I guess that it is feasible.

I know that the Dara Happans have a calendar that extends back a long way, but I’m struggling to understand how they managed that.

Apologies if this question displays an amazing amount of ignorance but I’m relatively new to Glorantha, and have only just bought the GtG.

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The Dara Happans number the years in the tens of thousands. Their calendar stretches back to 100,000 years before the Dawn.

Whether you believe that or not, Gloranthan "history" does stretch back to the time before Time. 

In many ways, Glorantha is a post-apocalyptic world, with the magical and wondrous civilizations of the God Time being cast down and shattered by the destruction of the Gods War.

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Glorantha has, broadly, two sets of time, Time and GodTime.

God Time was the Time Before, Mythic Time, the Time of the Gods. This ended when the world was destroyed and remade, with the Great Compromise. The result of the Great Compromise was that the Gods and Goddesses agreed to retire to their own realms and let the other Gods and Goddesses exist, from that agreement, a new child was born, the God/Goddess of Time.

Time is what has happened after that point. After The Dawning, when the Sun rose again, Time could be measured properly, Night follows Day, follows Night. That was just over 1600 years ago.

Although History stretches past the beginning of Time, it is normally the History of the Gods. Most people are descended from tribes who were around after Time started. Very few can claim descent from those living before Time. Dara Happa is a bit different, as it has histories that stretch back to before Time began and has recorded those events. 

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1 minute ago, AndrewRead said:

So there were plenty of civs around before year 0. Hence plenty of ancient ruins.

Oh, yes. If there's one thing that Glorantha is not short of, it's ancient ruins.

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6 minutes ago, AndrewRead said:

So there were plenty of civs around before year 0. Hence plenty of ancient ruins.

Yes.

From the Guide p.112 "The Dara Happan Empire measures time from Yelm’s Enthronement, 111,000 years before the Dawn (meaning 1621 ST is 112,621 YS). This dating system is the YS system, and is still used in Dara Happa."

Ostensibly Yelm's Enthronement marks the beginning of the Golden Age and that lasts 100,000 years.  Then the Storm Age lasts 10,000 years and the Great Darkness 1000 years.

Also same page of the Guide "The Brithini calendar measures time from the first turning of the Red Sands of Time, which they date to 14,825 years before the Dawn (making the year 1621 ST the year 16,446 by Brithini reckoning)."

If you use the Dara Happan system, then the Vingkotlings who followed Orlanth were strongest during the Storm Age and built their various hill forts as well as various burial mounds.

Genert's Garden, where the Wastes are now, dates to the Green Age, so even before Dara Happan measurement.  The best examples of ancient ruins there are the Tunneled Hills and Plateau of Statues.  Other ancient Earth-cult sites could date to the Green Age too.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

...

Although History stretches past the beginning of Time, it is normally the History of the Gods. Most people are descended from tribes who were around after Time started. Very few can claim descent from those living before Time. Dara Happa is a bit different, as it has histories that stretch back to before Time began and has recorded those events. 

As it says in HeroQuest Glorantha at the end of the Lightbringers Quest:

Quote

Armed with Time the gods could reassert themselves in the cosmos. They fought their way back to Being, reassembling the shattered world as they went. At last Yelm, preceded by his daughter called Dawn, returned to the world of the Living and released Time uponthe cosmos.

Thus began History.

So we have Time and History starting with the Dawn. And therefore before the Dawn you have ... Pre-History (so to say 😉). History is now at 1625+. But as you can see from the Dara Happan and Brithini calendars already mentioned above, Pre-History spans a much longer time than History so far, and therefore there is enough room for a lot of pre-historic tribes and clans and legends and myths, which all may or may not have an impact on current History ...

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As others have noted, Glorantha is ancient, but its age can't be measured in ordinary temporal time, because before the first Dawn, chronology has no absolute measurement. Instead before Time, Glorantha had existed through many Ages, mostly defined by major events, but with a duration that cannot be accurately described. Those people who claim to have chronological records extending make far into the past cannot really compare them with the sequential linear time since the Dawn. The Dara Happan chronology is no doubt a construct, derived from their Sacred Number, which is 'ten'. In reality, Glorantha might be millions of years old, as there is mention of coal and oil in places, but the concept of years is utterly flawed. So there have been Ages, and the rise and fall of entire intelligent species, cultures, civilizations, some remembered, some forgotten save for obscure ruins and artifacts, and modern Gloranthan humans live in a post apocalyptic world, with only a limited knowledge and understanding of the cosmos before Time.

At the Dawn, the number of human survivors was small and scattered as remnants of earlier cultures. Since then, human populations have exploded across the world, despite the cataclysms that end each Age in Time.

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Outside of the Theyalan and Dara Happan dating systems, we also have the Vithelan and Brithini systems.

It's mentioned in the Guide and Revealthed Mythologies that the Brithini (and Waertagi, Vadeli, and really obsessive Rokari wizards) date things using the turnings of the Red Sands of Time, with the dawn taking place in year 14,825. (Interestingly in Revealed Mythologies it's mentioned that this was the first dawning of the sun seen since the device was used. Indicating that it's only in use since the lesser darkness, and roughly equal to the Dominions of Shargash and Antirius)

Revealed Mythologies mentions that the Vithelan Human Cycle (roughly equal to the Gray Age and Time) as starting 2500 years ago.

 

This post of Jeff's over on G+ is also interesting, for potential dating of pre-time.

 

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