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metcalph

RQ Sorcery

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Shifted from the RQ-rules section.

LUNAR SORCERY:

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The way I interpreted the text, mastering the Moon rune doesn't grant any insights to the other elements, but the Lunar cult of the Young Elementals grants access to all elemental runes except air through the Lunar school of sorcery.

Carmanians might be able to add Air, too (Invisible Orlanth...)

 

Given the description of the Young Elementals, I doubt they would contribute to anything beyond being a source of elements.  I furthermore don't think Invisible Orlanth is a sorcerous cult in that it's worshippers are warriors.

DARA HAPPAN SORCERY

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I don't think that Dara Happan Star Lore has many spell applications, but I agree that by its very nature ()something learned) it has aspects of sorcery. It probably uses or replaces gears and similar devices for reproducing and predicting stellar movements. Personally, I prefer a purely light-based magic with crystal prisms forming the Firestick axis in their Star Towers.

 

I don't think the Buseri study the stars as stars but as signs of the heavenly powers that made the world.  To them, a complete understanding of the Sky is the equivalent of the Abiding Book or the Blue Book.  The planets are the equivalent of the celestial court, the zones of the sky the different mythic ages, the constellations the many forms.

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Personally, I see Buserian as the sacrificer of cattle (or bulls, compare Busenari, Mother of Cows). That activity probably predates the emergence of the Stars in the wake of Umath's celestial rampage. The original bearer of stellar lore may have been Zaytenaras, the other planet (in addition to Entekos and the eight planetary suns/sons) in the sky.

 

According to the Glorious ReAscent:

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“Where are you from?” asked the people, satisfied, and
hopeful for the first time in their miserable lives. “Who are
your gods?”
“We have no gods,” they said, “for the gods can only
disappoint we mortals. We instead believe only in the power
of the stars, and their spirits who help us.

Glorious: ReAscent p70.

The Buseri probably do sacrifice cattle as divine food to reach the sky or they could be known for their earliest writings on cow skins.  They were around long before the stars appeared AFAIK. They came into being when the first planets appeared.  Look at the Last Stable Sky (Glorious ReAscent p5).  It's not showing the Sun, his wife, the eight planets and the two brothers in the sky - it's showing the Celestial Dragon circling Dayzatar's Eye.  Sometime early in the Golden Age, the various stars emanated planets, thus the Sun came from Dayzatar's Eye, Shargash came from Burbustus' neck etc, which then began to move around in the sky.  That was the moment the Stargazers decided to keep records.

 

HRESTOLI:

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  55 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Loskalmi sorcery would be all about Joyb and henosis.  They would bulk up on enhance characteristic spells and other spells that improve the self to enhance their ideal nature.  Spells that effect the external world would have a reduced attraction to them as they are primarily concerned about contacting the Hidden Mover and not the external world.

This would be true of the New Idealist Hrestoli/Irensavalists had not had a history of 14 centuries of struggle with the various beast toten peoples of Fronela and Ralios/Seshnela.

 

Being in contact with the Hidden Mover is all that is necessary to defeat the lesser peoples.  The material world is gross matter and immersion with it only prevents contact with the Hidden Mover.

 

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The Enjoreli bull folk were as much a threat to Talor's Loskalm (or to that of Talor's predecessors) was very real, and I think that  the magic deployed against these had a tradition of its own in the ranks of the Men-of-All.

What spells or magics do you think the Hrestoli should have learned to withstand the Enjoreli?  Looking at the frieze Siglat defeats the Barbarians (Guide p202), the Loskalmi are clearly saying that all that is necessary to defeat the Barbarians is to be Ideals.  Signlat's not casting a fireball, his warriors are not shielded by visible magic or mithril chainshirts but are protected by their own ideals.  Whereas their barbarian opponents are wearing festishic caps and aided by a snake-witch and yet they still get defeated.

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The higher consciousness magic you propose may come either through vision/grail quest like exposure to the Otherworld or be practiced by the wizard caste after the other stuff had been mastered.

 

This is backwards IMO.  The Higher Consciousness (Henosis/Joy) is fundamental to Hrestoli philosophy.  Being in contact with the Hidden Mover is what being a Hrestoli is all about.  The Wizard caste of Loskalm does not practice higher consciousness after mastering everything else.  The Hrestoli that become wizards have already mastered Higher Consciousness and have thus demonstrated they may handle wizardry knowledge without losing contact with the Hidden Mover (unlike Zzabur and the God Learners).

 

 
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There is Sheradpara sorcery in what used to be Govmeranen's Realm, and according to RQ3 that even replaced spirit magic for the Parondpara of the East Isles. 

 

I don't put much stock into what Gods of Glorantha wrote about the East considering that it was composed under time pressure and intent on conveying the alien nature of Eastern societies more than anything else.  

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I am still somewhat caught up in the notion that a lot of the martial arts may practice some form of sorcery, limited to their combat styles.

It depends on the look and feel of what you are trying to emulate.  As written, the RQG sorcery rules are inappropriate as the spells take longer than 1 round to cast, which means that your average martial artist is going to get killed by the barbarian who casts bladesharp 4 before charging.  I doubt even most Malkioni warriors have sorcery spells for use in combat - relying on spirit magics and furtive rune magics.

To hazard a guess, martial arts would be developed from the Rune Affinities.  For example in order to use a Solar Stance, one would have to successfully become inspired by the Fire Rune.  The various spells that the martial artist knows from whatever source do not increase the artist's fighting ability (there's plenty of spirit spells floating around for that) but to enhance the artist's connection with the form - ie provide a bonus to successfully invoking the Thunderbolt Strike etc.
 

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I wouldn't mind seeing more of a form of spell-casting that uses writing, or pre-written foci, to release sorcery. We know this from various east Asian fantasy movies where patches of calligraphed paper fly between sorcerers and demons. (And we find this in a very unlikely place, too - Egil Skallagrimsson carves runes into pieces of wood in a very similar manner.)

One can have carved words as a foci for a spirit magic (ie a fire rune as a focus for a fireblade).  As for the Asian spell effects mentioned, that's probably handled by the Kralori having a ritual of pre-cast caligraphy.  Cast your magic and most of the MPs while drawing down the spell on the special paper.  Then at the moment of casting, cast a magic point or lose 1 hit point and invoke the spell in 1 strike rank.  There'll probably have to be some additional limitiations on how much paper one can be walking around with at any one time (ideally far fewer than 100).   

 

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I am not sure that Tishamto had sorcery, although I would be less surprised if the Veldang picked it up or even brought the core concept with them and spread it to the Doraddi. But Bolongo makes a singularly unsuitable candidate to be saddled with sorcery. A Bolongo-influenced anti-Pamalt-pantheon north of the Fensi mountains might, though, and that appears to be what Garangordos came from before his studies of Vadeli secrets.

I don''t place to much stock in the myths of Bolongo ruling north of the mountains.  That's from the same style of myth which explains the God Learner philosophy as being an illusion of the Jester King.  Bolongo rules Fonrit is how the Doraddi explained why all the bad things were coming from there but the people opf Fonrit need have no awareness of Blongo.  And Garangordos came from Afati's migration out of Tishamto in the decadent phase to Mondator in the Storm Age.  No connection with Bolongo but plenty of connection to the Artmali.


 

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The Fonritian sorerers did of course inherit a lot from the Malkioneranist God Learners (more so than from the original Abiding Book movement, IMO). The purge of the God Learners was complete and drastic in Umathela, but I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the God Learner teachings survived unter the mantle of slavery. Fonrit is also where I would for remnants of Six-legged Empire sorcery.

I am less convinced about the completeness of the God Learner purge in Umathela.  The Sedalpists were purifying the sacred laws of Malkion from among other things: God Learner heresies in 1399 ST (Guide p623)  And there are a number of schools in Umathela who may not have purged themselves.

I don't think Six-Legged sorcery was anything special and I doubt it has any impact in Fonrit.  It still has an impact in Jolar primarily through the sorcerors who plague the Doraddi.  

 

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  55 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Vithelan sorcery about about purifiying the soul and is similar to Loskalmi sorcery except that most sages consider spells to fight Andins and other unsavory types to be a distraction.

I doubt that, really. Most Vithelan practices of magic are about dealing with the world, IMO, purifying the world to create conditions in which the sages can pass on their meditative wisdom.

What Vithelan practices of magic are you referring to?  The best description of Vithelan sorcery is Another View: Mashunsasn tells us (revealed mythologies p70) in which the events of the Gods War are re-interpreted as states of consciousness.  That is a) neo-platonist and b) how sorcerors are said to interpret myths in Glorantha.  

 

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There is of course the myth about sorcery coming from Meksornmali, and it is distinct from that of Babadi, one of the Adpara servants or allies of Bandan. (Taktari, lord of the stone monsters, sounds like another form of Mostali troubles in the east.) Point of contact with Danmalastan could have been a stray Kachisti colony, stray Vyimorni/Vadeli explorer-raiders, or Waertagi support bases at the furthest reaches of the waters of the Neliom currents (presumably also with Kachisti or Kadeniti pesonnel brought there on their ships).

The events of the Three Against One occur early in the Golden Age/late in the Green Age.  There were no Kachasti, Viymorni or Waertagi at the time.  Sorcery was not invented in Danmalastan but a natural way of looking at the world that would have occurred anywhere within Glorantha.  Danmalastan is associated with sorcery because it was best understood there.  The lands of Martalak probably lay much closer to Vithela - perhaps it lay within the Jabbi Isles where the Valkarians now live, and only much later was Meksornmali associated with Danmalastan.

 

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But, like with Kralorela, I see various schools of mystical warriors and sorcerous magicians banishing or trapping demonic entities, in the best tradition of also Korean cinema.

There's far more to sorcery in Glorantha than just trapping or banishing demonic entities.

 

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With the RQG paragraph on Rokari personal magic in the sorcery chapter, I find it hard to name significant differences between a run-of-the-mill Rokari peasant and a Carmanian peasant. Orlanthi peasants are about 95% initiates of deities or spirit cults. Lodrili peasants do sacrifice, but apparently as a group rather than as individuals, receiving the divine magic through the priesthood performing those sacrifices. Personal initiation to specific cults appears to be rarer than among Orlanthi.

Only two types of Malkioni learn sorcery now, it appears - zzabur caste members with sufficient talent, or men-of-all with sufficient talent.

The Rokari solve the problem by recruiting children with proven high INT for the celibate Rokari caste at age 5. I wonder how they manage to do that... in Germany, pupils are made to select their branch of school at age 10, and that may be too early for them to show the extent of their mental capacity.

The New Idealist Hrestoli claim to have a meritocracy.

Now it is possible that members of the Malkioni culture receive a cultural INT bonus in character creation. Loskalmi encounter sorcery training only after having been raised to the "knight" caste, misleadingly called "men of all" when they have mastered neither zzaburi nor talar caste abilities yet. The older Hrestoli ways as practiced in southern Seshnela in covert defiance of the Rokari, and on the Castle Coast and in parts of Ralios in open defiance of the Rokari.

 

The rest of the Malkioni use spirit magic and/or divine rune magic. Now how are they different from pagans in Safelster or Dara Happa? Does mandatory attendance to the "Worship Invisible God" rites on Goddays with the magic point sacrifice make them any different from Turos worshipers in Doblian doing the same for their Carmanian culture overlords?

The idea of sorcerous orders whose scripture gave access to spells and blessings which were associated with the major schools of sorcery/philosophy (to avoid the word "church") was touted in HeroQuest 1. It made some sense that communal donation of magic could be turned into blessings by the orderlies.

 

I also feel that rote knowledge might be all that is required to create a magical effect, it doesn't always have to be deep understanding and deduction. That's not quite how the pre-ancient world worked.

 

Single-use enchantments, like scrolls, or taoist seals, might be another way to have sorcery rather than a divine uplink to create a magical effect triggered by a secondary action (that still needs to be learned), but here we get into the territory of "something you have", which is a (slightly weird) generalization of animist magic.

 

Right now we are in a situation that both HQG and RQG use the same concept of the six techniques with their inter-relations (Command and Tap inferring all other techniques, the other two pairs only inferring their respective opposite), without making them an ability that is rolled but more like an initiatory state - you know a technique direcly, can infer it from another technique you know, or don't know it at all. "Mastery of the Runes" is a bit unfortunately named in RQG since it has a quite different meaning in HQG, where passions rather than skills can be rolled as activity in a conflict, and mastery is measured as a scale rather than a on/standby/off model.

The HQG sorcerer uses his grimoire ability as the basic ability, with spells as break-out. The RQG learns all the spells individually, based on the written sources available to them.

 

On a non-rules level the sources we have around the Abiding Book or Zzabur's writings and how they contain magic were interpreted like that in HQ1.  This has been lost to some extent with the HQG approach.

In an ideal game system we would have techniques and runes that have become a part of the magical self of the sorcerer enabling him to interpret a piece of scripture and make into a spell creating an active magical effect in the world, or learn how that spell does what it is doing to reproduce the effect. (Whoever said sorcery would be easy?)

 

This doesn't get easier with the way "high level" practitioners of shamanism, theism and sorcery access the magic of divine level magical entities.

Shamans approach such entities on something resembling their turf and negotiate or gamble to get them do a thing for them. That's a bit different from taking a lowly spirit, giving it a charm to inhabit to be in the world of life, and release it to do its stuff, but not too different. "Something you have" doesn't quite describe how a Soul Wind is released...

High level Theists become their deity, and just perform the feats. Easy enough.

Sorcerers make magical entities do their bidding through their runic natures. "You there, you are a second tier air elemental that deigns to take on a useless identity by the name of <X>. As a second tier air elemental, through my knowledge of your nature I bid you do <Y> (something that is part of your nature)."

Taking that to the lowest level isn't really much different from spirit magic. "Spirit, I bid you enter this housing I prepared for you." "Spirit in the housing, by the nature of you and the housing you reside in, I bid you to do <Y>." That housing would be almost indistinguishable from a spirit spell focus, and the effect indistinguishable from a spirit spell effect.

 

 

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I don't put much stock into what Gods of Glorantha wrote about the East considering that it was composed under time pressure and intent on conveying the alien nature of Eastern societies more than anything else.  

I do put some stock in certain societies being different from the spirit magic users in Prax, Maniria and Peloria, especially the westerners, but why not also a good portion of the easterners?

It is true that we never received the equivalent of the Genertela Box' Players Book for the parts of Glorantha presented in The Missing Lands. We did get Elder Secrets for Mostali and Aldryami, without any attempt to make the Mostali any more playable.

I don't have access to the full range of ancient notes and scribbles, but from mentions in old interviews or APAzine articles, concepts like the ancient home of the keets are at least as old as the heyday of RQ2, so the weird east, the invasion of the seas ending much of that great culture, and that weird presentation in the Jonstown Compendium show that a lot of the basic thoughts finally presented in Revealed Mythologies are fairly old - the story of Kahar, Harantara and Nenduren is a good explanation for the otherness of the Zabdamar which has been there ever since the Gloranthan Bestiary got published or Kahar's Sea of Fog mentioned. (Kahar's Sea of Fog was present already in 1978 for it to be shown in that world map on p.6 of RQ2, although the implications may have grown gradually).

RQ offered two significantly different magic systems, battle magic and rune magic. Cults of Terror published the four world views, which somehow became the Four Separate Worlds by the time Hero Wars was published, and probably at least a decade earlier. Greg was fairly emphatic about that "magical organ" that a person developed to interact as a conduit with the world of magic, or in case of mystics as an isolator or reflector already in the middle nineties.

 

The mysticism of the east has its pure form - the meditating mystics spending ages or centuries in contemplation and/or otherworldly experiences, or the "applied mystics" who accumulated insight by living right, as exemplified by the dragonewts and apparently also a good portion of the Eastern humans, keets and even merfolk. Not certain about the eastern Ludoch, but sure about the Zabdamar.

In a way, this goes for the eastern Antigods, too. They seek to attain oneness with their activity or rune of focus - be it an elemental rune or some other principle. And their presence may just be a manifestation of austerities of the greatest mystics.

Revealed Mythologies sort of re-introduced spirit magic to the East with the spirit master of the three Sheradpara brothers, but the presence of the sorcerous Sheradpara brother Martalak remains, so we have to deal with Eastern sorcery.

 

Mystical martial arts are something you learn and then perfect. The RQ3 Land of Ninja ki system was an interesting way to tie this in with a skill system, but suffered from the "initiate gap" the same way that only very few and exceptional RQ3 player characters ever made it to rune levels unless more or less created that way through inventive application of the Previous Experience system and starting with old characters. It is fine to have a skill threshold to reach before you can start developing the quasi-magical effects of the ki skills, but putting it at 90% just to start developing it is basically taking these out of the game.

I would be happy with a more reachable ki skills approach for mystical martial arts, including stuff like seals, and the original Men of All having something vaguely similar.

 

Not all men-of-all are Irensavalists like Talor, although all should be able to draw on the experience of Joy.

 

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It depends on the look and feel of what you are trying to emulate.  As written, the RQG sorcery rules are inappropriate as the spells take longer than 1 round to cast, which means that your average martial artist is going to get killed by the barbarian who casts bladesharp 4 before charging.  I doubt even most Malkioni warriors have sorcery spells for use in combat - relying on spirit magics and furtive rune magics.

I think that the Malkioni use sorcery for battle or quest preparation the way an Orlanthi would use a sacrifice.

Martial arts cliche has opponents do a kata or a swirl or the like before initiating combat. Think of that as casting the spell. Likewise, the self-presentation of the heroic warrior primes the warrior for his magic in combat.

Sorcery is a literate magic, and inscribing a formula shorthand through motion of the weapons and/or the body might be another way to activate a spell.

 

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To hazard a guess, martial arts would be developed from the Rune Affinities.  For example in order to use a Solar Stance, one would have to successfully become inspired by the Fire Rune.  The various spells that the martial artist knows from whatever source do not increase the artist's fighting ability (there's plenty of spirit spells floating around for that) but to enhance the artist's connection with the form - ie provide a bonus to successfully invoking the Thunderbolt Strike etc.

I would like to see meditative katas transforming into effective battle actions. The martial arts styles we have been presented so far don't have clear core rune affinities associated to them, and any such system needs to start looking at the documented instances and explaining those (or giving extremely good reasons to discontinue them).

 

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One can have carved words as a foci for a spirit magic (ie a fire rune as a focus for a fireblade). 

That's not what Egil and other famous Viking sorcerers did.

 

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As for the Asian spell effects mentioned, that's probably handled by the Kralori having a ritual of pre-cast caligraphy.  Cast your magic and most of the MPs while drawing down the spell on the special paper.  Then at the moment of casting, cast a magic point or lose 1 hit point and invoke the spell in 1 strike rank.  There'll probably have to be some additional limitiations on how much paper one can be walking around with at any one time (ideally far fewer than 100).   

The question remains whether this calligraphy would be a sorcerous spell or rather something like a ki skill, but yes, this is what I was thinking about when considering how cinematic or manga taoism could translate into Eastern Gloranthan mystic warriors or spell casters.

Ways to limit this in RQ might be temporally blocking Free INT for a spell effect, with a limited stack of applications (and paper sheets) of that ability tied to the intensity of the pre-cast. While it could be possible to block more Free INT, the maximum intensity of the pre-cast will be reduced with each additional stack - a game of diminishing returns. The MP cost during activation, even if drawn from a storage, provides another limiter. Tapping hit points creates all sorts of mechanical problems and should be avoided.

However, whatever we define for RQ had better also have a manifestation in HQ. How to do a ki skill in HQ? A breakout of another ability at one mastery less?

I don't know enough about 13th Age rules to be qualified to suggest something for that system.

 

More later, work calls.

 

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ways to limit this in RQ might be temporally blocking Free INT for a spell effect, with a limited stack of applications (and paper sheets) of that ability tied to the intensity of the pre-cast. While it could be possible to block more Free INT, the maximum intensity of the pre-cast will be reduced with each additional stack - a game of diminishing returns. The MP cost during activation, even if drawn from a storage, provides another limiter. Tapping hit points creates all sorts of mechanical problems and should be avoided.

I like that, I was thinking about using a familiar to 'store' spells for quick casting but I really like the idea of sorcerers using scrolls. So the sorcerer creates a scroll for a spell capturing the potential for the spell to be cast rapidly, but thy must devote a point of Free INT to hold enough knowledge, linked to the expression of the spell in the scroll, in memory to be able to use it. Nice.

Is the scroll expended in the casting though, or is the the Free INT released when doing so? What's the rationalisation for that? Perhaps the spell is actually cast into the scroll, which has to be destroyed in order to release it?

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On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

Shifted from the RQ-rules section.

LUNAR SORCERY:

Given the description of the Young Elementals, I doubt they would contribute to anything beyond being a source of elements.  I furthermore don't think Invisible Orlanth is a sorcerous cult in that it's worshippers are warriors.

 

"Sorcerous cult" is already a contradiction in terms... It is quite possible that Invisible Orlanth has sorcerers attached who provide the magical extra to the warriors.

I understand that you discount- the possibility of men-of-all from non-Rokari denominations to learn sorcery, but I need better arguments than "it isn't that useful in the middle of combat".

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

DARA HAPPAN SORCERY

I don't think the Buseri study the stars as stars but as signs of the heavenly powers that made the world.  To them, a complete understanding of the Sky is the equivalent of the Abiding Book or the Blue Book.  The planets are the equivalent of the celestial court, the zones of the sky the different mythic ages, the constellations the many forms.

Now it is me who is saying "that's just a lore skill", one allowing to make predictions and to milk the utmost out of beneficial constellations for rituals. This works for a purely theist priesthood just as well.

 

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

According to the Glorious ReAscent:

The Buseri probably do sacrifice cattle as divine food to reach the sky or they could be known for their earliest writings on cow skins.  They were around long before the stars appeared AFAIK. They came into being when the first planets appeared. 

Buserian is named as the overseer of Abgammon in the Decapolis, which is dated at YS 60,000, whereas Umath's invasion of the sky ("first rebel gods come to Yelm) is dated at 75,000 YS or later.

The eight planetary sons might be the orbs standing above the cities, but then the copper tablets show only one planet in each cardinal direction, and one each in the four lands. (The position of the inverted pyramid/ziggurat isn't quite at dezarpovo, either).

 

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

Look at the Last Stable Sky (Glorious ReAscent p5).  It's not showing the Sun, his wife, the eight planets and the two brothers in the sky - it's showing the Celestial Dragon circling Dayzatar's Eye. 

Does it? The caption (or preceding text) says that it shows the sky from above. I see the symbols of all the planetary sons of Yelm. It is possible that Dayzatar and Yelm are superimposed, but I think it is more likely that we see this from Dayzatar's position.

 

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

Sometime early in the Golden Age, the various stars emanated planets, thus the Sun came from Dayzatar's Eye, Shargash came from Burbustus' neck etc, which then began to move around in the sky.  That was the moment the Stargazers decided to keep records.

What's the source for this?

The map on page five is titled "the last stable sky", which means to me that this was the formation visited by Umath, and not some draconic precursor.

 

But all of this is straying from sorcery, and doesn't really tell us why the overseer of the city of priests of all celestial people should be the one wielding sorcery. Unless this is based on the similarity between the rune of the (near) eastern son and that of Zzabur in HQ1.

I am happy with Pelorian sorcery being primarily of Fronelan origin (or at least passage, and this includes Syranthir's Carmanians) until the EWF and Sheng brought in other (human) varieties. This still leaves Kachisti, Vadeli and Waertagi for various shades of blue-skinned sorcerers in Entekosiad, native Pelandans learning or stealing from them, and pale-skinned ones accompanying Syranthir.

 

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

HRESTOLI:

Being in contact with the Hidden Mover is all that is necessary to defeat the lesser peoples.  The material world is gross matter and immersion with it only prevents contact with the Hidden Mover.

Irensavalists only? RM names Ferbrith as the entity contacted by Hrestol's Joy, and that applies to a significant portion of Loskalmi even after Halwal helped overcome the God Learner dynasty.

Maybe it is just me thinking in two languages at a time, but calling a dualist theology strict monotheism sounds fairly paradoxical to me.

 

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

What spells or magics do you think the Hrestoli should have learned to withstand the Enjoreli? 

"Spirit Screen" or "Banish Spirit(s)" for starters. Something to counteract spirits.

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

Looking at the frieze Siglat defeats the Barbarians (Guide p202), the Loskalmi are clearly saying that all that is necessary to defeat the Barbarians is to be Ideals. 

Never mind that Siglat is a demigod with divine ancestry and essence.

Do you really think that Siglat or his followers fought in the nude, without any magical protection?

We know from the city descriptions in the Guide that there were both weird Hsunchen and Orlanthi trapped in Loskalm after the Ban fell. Those opponents in the frieze appear to be Orlanthi.

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

Signlat's not casting a fireball, his warriors are not shielded by visible magic or mithril chainshirts but are protected by their own ideals.  Whereas their barbarian opponents are wearing festishic caps and aided by a snake-witch and yet they still get defeated.

The description also says that this is an artistic convention rather than the actual equipment. If it was, what business does Meriatan have wearing all that shiny armor, and bringing his sorcerer companion to the meeting with Congern and his wife? The Loskalmi victory certainly was supported by virtue of having the better armament.

 

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

This is backwards IMO.  The Higher Consciousness (Henosis/Joy) is fundamental to Hrestoli philosophy. 

Hrestol had his revelation through the experience of Joy. Afterwards, he became the first Man-of-all, and after leading a force to a victory against the Pendali as a fighting commander, others like Faralz took up this way.

Arkat learned sorcery as part of his becoming a Man-of-All in Seshnela. It was this sorcery that was inherited by the uz, not that of any zzaburi companions of his.

Never mind modern Loskalm. Let's look at the Men-of-All before the unholy rise of the Rokari school with its perversion of the original caste system, turning the entire talar caste into mounted warriors without first qualifying as men-of-all.

 

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

Being in contact with the Hidden Mover is what being a Hrestoli is all about. 

Experiencing Joy is what being a Hrestoli Malkioni is about - that is what set them apart from the Brithini. All the Makanist Hrestoli of the Middle Sea Empire were encouraged by seeking Joy rather than being promised mere Solace.

The Irensavalist dualism is a splinter group of Hrestolism that gained great purchase when Halwal (a Makanist Hrestoli wizard) supported them against the God Learners.

There is no evidence whatsoever that Talor was an Irensavalist, only conjecture. Prince Hrestol himself surely was not an Irensavalist.

On 7/3/2018 at 11:38 AM, metcalph said:

The Wizard caste of Loskalm does not practice higher consciousness after mastering everything else.  The Hrestoli that become wizards have already mastered Higher Consciousness and have thus demonstrated they may handle wizardry knowledge without losing contact with the Hidden Mover (unlike Zzabur and the God Learners).

So basically the New Idealist Hrestoli Men-of-all are a form of illuminates, from whose ranks some rise to the rank of wizard?

Note that the experience of Joy is open to the Dromal caste of Siglat's Loskalm, too, and doesn't result in elevation to the Horal or Man-of-All caste.

Your reduction of Hrestolism to just what Siglat and Gaiseron created from Halwal's inheritance in Fronela may work for Loskalm and parts of Junora. It doesn't work for southern Seshnela, Umathela (where Makanist Hrestolism underwent changes after the Cult of Silence), Safelster, or Maniria. Understanding non-Irensavalist Hrestolism should come before postulating stuff about offshoots, whether in Loskalm or the East Isles.

 

There is even a chance that RuneQuest Sight tied into Joy, too.

Rokarism denies Joy of Heart, Ascended Masters, Men-of-all, and various other fairly ubiquitious Hrestoli notions which are found in all other sects except the Rokari. Even the Aeolians may be descended from Hrestolism, or adopted it along with (bits of) the Abiding Book.

 

The magic of Malkionism is called the Materialist or the Humanist world view. Making the entirety of Loskalm a sect of mystics somehow leads this description ad absurdum. Malkioni magic is about the mastery over the material world, not of liberation from it. Not even Irensavalist wizards should be created that way.

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The events of the Three Against One occur early in the Golden Age/late in the Green Age. 

Danmalastan emerged from the Green Age, as did the Six Tribes, if you subscribe to the Zzaburite version of Malkioni history. Alternatively, the Vadeli preceded the Brithini in the West, and may have been visited by Martalak.

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There were no Kachasti, Viymorni or Waertagi at the time. 

There is no contest that Martalak precedes Malkion Aerlitsson. But that doesn't mean that the Six Tribes didn't exist yet. Zzabur's One World is Early Creation Age, the same event as the Musicians, Dancers etc. in the East. Vith and his wives getting children is the same step as the formation of Danmalastan with its six tribes.

 

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Sorcery was not invented in Danmalastan but a natural way of looking at the world that would have occurred anywhere within Glorantha. 

That's an interesting hypothesis. You won't find any evidence for this in the Stafford Library or earlier publications - all of the Stafford Library is written under the doctrine of the Three/Four Separate Worlds.

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Danmalastan is associated with sorcery because it was best understood there.  The lands of Martalak probably lay much closer to Vithela - perhaps it lay within the Jabbi Isles where the Valkarians now live, and only much later was Meksornmali associated with Danmalastan.

Meksornmali had three parts - square land, where the theists with their priests (priests? at this stage of Theism?) lived, semicircle land (admittedly not a good description for triangular Danmalastan), where the sorcerers lived, and triangular land, where the animists/shamans lived. Sorcery did not come from the north or the south, it came from the west, and only the west.

The Jabbi Isles are well inside Sensan (aka Shan Shan) mountains (continued southwards, they would run on to Teleos).

 

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There's far more to sorcery in Glorantha than just trapping or banishing demonic entities.

Agreed, as far as this statement goes. We do disagree about what else counts as sorcery.

Edited by Joerg
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On 7/3/2018 at 5:38 PM, metcalph said:

What spells or magics do you think the Hrestoli should have learned to withstand the Enjoreli

My answer to this question is more or less the Furlandan school of magic (the Furlandan grimoire Against the Demons is a canon text of New Hrestolism), the specialist school at Ienawal, etc. They have sorcerous specialists tasked with guarding against spirits, who are adapting at opposing the foreign magic of the Enjorelli. 

Peter is right that they focus on Henosis and improving the self, but they just don’t see this as about exerting their will on the external. The Furlandan school etc think first in terms of things like health and hygiene, funerary practices, moderating bad desires, etc (and in this sense in their less esoteric senses are part of the education of every New Hrestoli citizen, starting with hygiene lessons for farmers). And everyone, from farmers to the most philosophical wizards, strives for health and fitness (as described in Plato’s Republic). Physical health and fitness, including exercise, is regarded as fully complementary to spiritual practice (similarly to the way that what we now refer to as yoga originate as preliminary/ supporting practices for the higher spiritual practice of yoga), not opposed to it. Wizards extend this to identifying, and banishing or removing, threats to physical and spiritual hygiene, many of which take the form of spirits, and many wizards, and schools of wizardry, specialise in these forms of magic.

So when they fight the Enjoreli, it is simply that they are, due to their good practices and magical defences, and a few good banishing spells, able to let the foul magicians of the primitives exhaust themselves fruitlessly. After that, it is a simple exercise for the soldiers, assisted by a few spells to improve their physical capabilities, to conclude matters. 

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As far as Irensavalist mysticism goes - I currently tend to think of Joy of the Heart as analogous both to Lunar kindling - a pre-mystic State - and the idea from the irl Western esoteric tradition of ‘knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel’, which in turn is related to the neo-platonic autogoeides, Hindu Atman, Platonic luminous being etc. irensavalism is fundamentally gnostic -there is secret wisdom beyond the world we live in, that must be discovered for oneself. 

Contact with ones true self is considered a necessary step, but not the only one, towards liberation. Some sources (such as the Book of Abramelin) follow this step with magical operations such as the binding of demons that might otherwise negatively influence the magician. It’s considered a preliminary step before crossing The Abyss. In turn, I think of Illumination as equivalent to the crossing of the Abyss in kabbalistic tradition. The magician that is prepared, and willing to dissolve their ego into bliss, can then go on to seek unity with god. The magician that is not prepared (has not experienced Joy/ knowledge of the HGA) will go on to become deranged or corrupted by the experience (Crowley calls this becoming a Black Brother) -eg the corruption of Gbaji. 

The Irensavalists and the God Learner Malkioneranists both conceptualise Illumination as something like direct experience of Malkioneran. But the Irensavalists regard Malkioneran as the demiurge, so this experience is, in itself, a temptation or test not a reward. To use the knowledge to do Illuminated things - do Chaotic acts, join cults, etc. -is to fail the test. But it is necessary to experience Illumination become an Ascended Master, because Malkioneran is master of the veils that stands between the magician and direct knowledge of god while incarnated, and must be confronted (compare Choronzon). This is probably a secret doctrine, learnt from Talor, taught only to high wizards. So the Irensavalists concentrate on henosis - on being prepared, spiritually and magically, for the confrontation with the Demiurge - rather than rushing towards mysticism.  

In game terms, Joy of the Heart should be something as simple as a Passion, though it may often seem almost an anti-passion. That sense of the true joy of contact with the divine often resists much behaviour - it helps you resist fear and passion and despair, to be guided by divine love (Agape) rather than worldly connections like Loyalty, etc. it’s a subtler ability than most. But eventually, one who mastered that connection can confront the temptation of Illumination without giving in to madness or egotistical temptation. Or so goes the theory. 

Anyway, that is all highly speculative. And my ideas are constantly evolving - and I think I need to explore more theurgy and neo-Platonism (and actual Plato). But I absolutely think that we need to look at Malkionism through a deeper study of analogous spiritual and magical traditions, not just (mostly very incomplete) Gloranthan sources.

some recommend reading: Jo Walton’s The Just City and The Philosopher Kings. 

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On 7/22/2018 at 11:55 AM, davecake said:

As far as Irensavalist mysticism goes - I currently tend to think of Joy of the Heart as analogous both to Lunar kindling - a pre-mystic State -

Joy is not limited to Irensavalist Malkioni. Basically all Malkioni but the most orthodox Rokari and the Brithini accept the state of Joy. 

Hrestol's revelation of Joy brought a very limited form of liberation, and allowed him to transcend the caste system with the formation of the men of all. There is no evidence whatsoever that Hrestol regarded the material world as evil, and neither is there for Talor, or for the followers of Syranthir.

IMO Irensavalism is a non-heretic yet also non-canonical heterodox concept for a majority of the Loskalmi Hrestoli. There is no necessary evil in the physical existence. It is in harmony with Solace and Joy. It might be comparable to Priscillanism in late Western Roman Empire Galicia - condemned by some distant patriarchs, tolerated by closer ones.

 

I wonder what the Irensavalist position is on the widespread Hrestoli concept of re-incarnation. Do

All of this has been complicated badly by the "news" that the vast majority of Malkioni only contributes to sorcery through the "Worship (Invisible God)" rites on Goddays. To learn a spell, you have to be either a zzaburi or train to be a man-of-all.

The rest of the Malkioni are Daka Fal cultists or worship e.g. regimental deities or local deities, possibly through veneration rather than sacrifice, but the effect of granting these entities magic is hardly different from Lodrili layman sacrifice and worship of whichever deity comes in handy for a problem, and initiation reserved for priesthood fanatics. Neither sacrificer nor worshipers are initiates of the deity in question when they sacrifice for its magic.

 

I would suggest that the Hrestoli concept of Joy is better described by theoria than by henosis. It is the delight in recognizing the divine truth from afar.

The Rokari and Brithini concept is closer to nepsis of an ancestral and unreachable henosis. The Paseren emerged from the First World, and entered Danmalastan, where Oneness no longer was achievable.

 

 

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