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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.

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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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On 7/22/2018 at 7:55 PM, 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 - 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.

The term gnostic is a fraught one.  None of the sects that practiced what we now call gnosticism actually referred to themselves by that modern philosophical division for example.  The Muslim idea of gnosticism is quite different to the ones you provided, and might be relevant, as it refers to someone who has had a direct personal interaction with Allah.  Generally the term is used to refer to the Wali of Sufi mysticism, who are somewhat analogous to saints in that they continue to grant miracles after they are dead.

On 7/22/2018 at 7:55 PM, davecake said:

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 superimposition of the notion of Illumination just doesn't seem to fit here.  Nysalor was a manufactured deity, and there is little to no evidence that illumination plays any role in the western tradition outside of being Arkat's nasty little secret.  On the other hand, the notion of Asceticism forming part of the tradition, with the notion of transcendence and refutation of worldly concerns would fit just as well.  Asceticism is all about the disollution of the ego, and is the 4th Magical system in HQ, after all.  Ego loss is refutation of selfhood after all.  

On 7/22/2018 at 7:55 PM, davecake said:

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.

The notion of the Demiurge is very misunderstood in relationship to Gnosticism.  Gnosticism is in fact an artificial term that refers to sects such as the Sethites, Valentinians, Marcionites, Basilideans etc. and they all believed quite different things, while having a few salient views in common, that later scholars have used to group them.

 While anyone reading a text on Gnosticism could easily reach the conclusion that the Demiurge is a powerful malevolent force, the term has its origins in the theology of the Greek Pantheonic system and referred to Zeus, as the maker of the present world.  Other deities of other pantheons all had their own version of the Demiurge who was the central creator deity.  Thus, to the Loskalmi, Malkioneran is indeed the Demiurge, but there need not be any of the perjorative connotations that our books on Gnostic philosophy carry.  In fact it was this hatred and mistrust of the demiurge, whom most Christians call their God, that turned the various sects into heretics.

To the church of the day, these heretical sects were synonymous at best with being schismatics, and ultimately with heresy, and many carried the stain of Satanism. 

To suggest that we should use the fusion of gnostic and 19th Century occult philosophy as a philosophical basis for Irensavalism seems odd in the extreme, especially considering that we have other models to draw upon.  Given Greg Stafford's love of Arthurian myth, and the Loskalmi being an idealized feudal meritocracy, surely Irensavalism should draw more from that as a source?  The model being one of perfecting oneself towards achieving the grail.  I am sure that Arthurian legends are already full of hidden gnosticism, given their origin in the  Occitan, where the Cathars and their troubadors roamed freely for so long. 

The notion of putting Illumination in among the Irensavalist mysteries seems a bit like modeling Christianity using a Satanist description.  The aim of the Western faiths is Henosis, not illumination and A=/=B.

On 7/22/2018 at 7:55 PM, davecake said:

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.  

Choronzon is actually better modeled on the Invocation of the Bad Man in the Shamanistic tradition imo.  This is something that is done early as the first step to unlocking the real magic, which the apprentice shaman is being prepared for (and it is a big nasty first step).  In the Arthurian tradition it is all about the Chapel Perilous wherein one's character is put to innumerable temptations and must ultimately win free by willpower and force of arms or succumb to evil and either die or become corrupt.  To emerge victorious is to prove oneself a worthy contender to pursue the grail.  Incidentally, the grail has been described as the Sophia in , i.e. mystic knowledge of and connection to the Shekinah in Kabbalism.

On 7/22/2018 at 7:55 PM, davecake said:

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. 

Perhaps treat it as a form of Ascetic initiation that provides a versatile and reasonably powerful ability to provide refutation of many of life's challenges,  Joy of the Heart would be a bit like the notion of true faith i.e. a great support in adversity, that provides a means of stoic resistance to physical deprivation, pain, and incoming pagan magical and spirit attacks.  Again, illumination doesn't really fit  in Loskalm, they hated Nysalor/Gbaji and his riddlers, and they had their own ideas of the world that didn't include such notions as illumination.  Theirs is a path towards Herodom, not a mis-step into Arkati illuminism.

Edited by Darius West
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57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

The superimposition of the notion of Illumination just doesn't seem to fit here.  Nysalor was a manufactured deity, and there is little to no evidence that illumination plays any role in the western tradition outside of being Arkat's nasty little secret. 

Rashoranic/Nysalorean illumination doesn't play a role in the west outside the Niebie rejection wars of the late fourth / early fifth century.

Irensavalism apparently was a dualistic discovery of a disciple of Hrestol following Hrestol's second term as a prince, in Akem/Loskalm. Hrestol himself appears to follow a mystical path, restarting his career twice after instituting the concept of the Men-of-All in Seshnela.

 

I cannot say when Irensavalism was first discovered - perhaps @Nick Brooke knows whether the notion was around before How the West Was One. I remember an exchange where I compared the Carmanian dualist magics and hierarchies with my solution for a pseudo-Persian/Parthian kingdom in my alternate Earth/alternate Glorantha RQ3 setting - which pretty much was on spot.

57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

On the other hand, the notion of Asceticism forming part of the tradition, with the notion of transcendence and refutation of worldly concerns would fit just as well.  Asceticism is all about the disollution of the ego, and is the 4th Magical system in HQ, after all.  Ego loss is refutation of selfhood after all.  

Is loss of the ego really the universal goal of Asceticism, or can Asceticism also be used as a tool to discover the Self?

 

57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Other deities of other pantheons all had their own version of the Demiurge who was the central creator deity.  Thus, to the Loskalmi, Malkioneran is indeed the Demiurge, but there is none of the perjorative connotations that our books on Gnostic philosophy carry. 

Correction: the Irensavalists condemn Makan - the mainstream Second Age Hrestolist Invisible God, not Malkioneran, the God Learner expression of the Creator, as the demiurge.

Which is a bit weird either way. It would all be easy if Malkioneran, the experimntal heroquesting God-meddlers' high deity had been condemned as the demiurge, although then too the question remains what Hrestol's disciple in the first or second century would have called the demiurge.

This condemnation of the Invisible God worshipped by all other orthodox Malkioni as evil is one of the reason I doubt that all Loskalmi Hrestoli are Irensavalists. There is Irensavalism in Loskalm, it is influential in parts of the doctrine, but I don't see a complete demonisation of all other Malkioni creeds by all Loskalmi Malkioni.

57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

In fact it was this hatred and mistrust of the demiurge, whom most Christians call their God, that turned the various sects into heretics.

That's another beef I have with this "evil demiurge" stuff. The Old Testament god is the tester, providing all manner of bad obstacles to the believer (e.g. Job), but is not perceived as evil. The testing is necessary, the material world is necessary, even though the reward is transcendent.

57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

To the church of the day, these heretical sects were synonymous at best with being schismatics, and ultimately with heresy, and many carried the stain of Satanism. 

Which is ironic since they accuse all the orthodoxy of satanism.

 

57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

To suggest that we should use the fusion of gnostic and 19th Century occult philosophy as a philosophical basis for Irensavalism seems odd in the extreme, especially considering that we have other models to draw upon.  Given Greg Stafford's love of Arthurian myth, and the Loskalmi being an idealized feudal meritocracy, surely Irensavalism should draw more from that as a source?  The model being one of perfecting oneself towards achieving the grail. 

I may have been polluted by Provencal concepts of the grail, the sang real, and by looking at the katharian dualist heresy. Not the first occurrence of dualism in this corner of the peninsula, the Priscillanists offer a similar outlook, also possibly influenced by dualist notions seeping in from the Parthian religion and its precursors.

 

57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I am sure that Arthurian legends are already full of hidden gnosticism, given their origin in the  Occitan, where the Cathars and their troubadors roamed freely for so long. 

The roots of the Arthurian legends are pagan, predating the christanization of Britain. A good number of the grail seekers are quite or totally pagan, with the christian veneer only a later varnish when everything but christianity was unthinkable.

There's also the connection of the holy chalice imagery of the grail with the Cauldron of Life from Irish and Welsh myth which makes Arthurian legends mythical rather than fairly boring warrior saints' vitae.

57 minutes ago, Darius West said:

The notion of putting Illumination in among the Irensavalist mysteries seems a bit like modeling Christianity using a Satanist description.

Illumination as in Nysalorean illumination - probably no. Some sort of enlightenment allowing the ascetic practitioners to distance themselves (their selves?) from the polluting influence of the world, probably yes.

The Westerners have no shortage of "Bad Men" in their prehistory. Elevating their own Creator Law into that position is odd.

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On 11/1/2018 at 11:17 PM, Darius West said:

The term gnostic is a fraught one. 

Indeed. For example, it is by no means an antonym for agnostic. But I think there is enough useful there for it to guide us a little. I was specific about meaning gnostic to mean 'there is secret wisdom beyond the world we live', and that is what Joy of the Heart is - and it is in specific contrast to the Brithini idea that right conduct in the world we live is all that matters, so it is a meaningful distinction. Further, it does appear that the Irensavalists (though not everyone who acknowledges Hrestol and Joy of the Heart) are gnostic in pretty every other way we would usually use the term. They believe goodness lives beyond the world of matter, that there is one true (but unknowable) god, that many other great powers sprung from him, that the material is created by a demiurge, and so on. 

On 11/1/2018 at 11:17 PM, Darius West said:

The superimposition of the notion of Illumination just doesn't seem to fit here.  Nysalor was a manufactured deity, and there is little to no evidence that illumination plays any role in the western tradition outside of being Arkat's nasty little secret. 

I'm using Illumination in the broader sense that is now used within Eg the HeroQuest Glorantha rules - a moment of dramatic mythic insight and experience of unity, that is encountered within a broad range of cultures within a broad range of sources, that is a relatively universal Gloranthan phenomenon and the core of all Gloranthan mysticism. The current understanding of Illumination is, quite explicitly, inclusive of the core experience of a wide range of mystic paths including (but not limited to) Nysaloran Illumination, and "...Umbarism, EWF draconic consciousness, Kralorelan draconic mystics, Vithelan mysticism, the Umathelan Cult of Silence, and even some God Learner schools all provided liberation similar to that of Nysalorean Illumination." That's the core, but there is more. All mysticism is at its core involving Illumination, all Illumination is ultimately the same. So all I'm really saying by linking Irensavalism to Illumination is that it has a mystic component, not that its directly linked to Nysalor. 

I do not think Illumination (or mysticism, in whatever guise) plays a role in Zzaburism - it is quite the opposite Zzaburism and the Brithini (and so probably the Rokari) soundly reject the ideas that any deep inner spiritual insight could be more important than correct action and adherence to the Law. In God Learner malkioneranism, Stygianism and many Third age sorcerous traditions that have been influenced by those traditions, beyond the most ostentatiously conservative? I'm pretty sure yes, Illumination has a part. Irensavalism? I think yes, but they are also far more circumspect about it. It is a test along the way to Ascended Masterhood, not a goal on its own. But in early Hrestolism or pre-Dawn insights of Malkion and other intermediate stages? I'm not sure.

But I also think that history of Malkionism has, to a large extent, been about how they dealt with with the challenges of other approaches, but particularly mysticism - from the Arkat Wars in the first age, the reaction against Stygianism in the second starting the Return to Rightness, Malkioneranism leading the God Learners into ever more suspect paths, etc. 

On 11/1/2018 at 11:17 PM, Darius West said:

Thus, to the Loskalmi, Malkioneran is indeed the Demiurge, but there is none of the perjorative connotations that our books on Gnostic philosophy carry.  In fact it was this hatred and mistrust of the demiurge, whom most Christians call their God, that turned the various sects into heretics.

And you are right to pick up on this. It is a key difference between the otherwise closely related gnostic and neoplatonist world view, and I think essentially most post-Hrestoli Malkionism at least is somewhat neo-Platonist (and the original Zzabur worldview with Platonic aspects)

I do not think the Loskalmi hate and mistrust the demiurge per se (though those that remain in the lower castes may indeed see it in that simplistic way), what they hate and mistrust is those that do not see what lies beyond the demiurge - in particular those that experience that contact with Malkioneran without being properly prepared. They hate and distrust such people because they have ample evidence that they tend to go a bit mad and cause trouble, often trouble of the 'unleashing screaming Chaos on the world' type. They've seen what the Nybie wizards of the first age got up to, and they remember the wars against the Telmori and such, and they remember the disastrous results of the Malkioneranist wizards of the second age, etc, But they also know that only by rising to full understanding of the demiurge might we understand what lies above him, and become an Ascended Master. And Talor was, of course, their local example of a perfect leader for the first age, and is still revered by them (his writings are still on the syllabus) - but they also understand that Talor was also Illuminated. Talor passeds the test. 

In Christian mythic terms, the Loskalmi see Illumination - eg communion with Malkioneran/the demiurge - as being taken to a high place, and shown the Kingdoms of the World. They are very aware that some people see that temptation and say "well, that sounds excellent! Don't mind if I do.".

On 11/1/2018 at 11:17 PM, Darius West said:

Given Greg Stafford's love of Arthurian myth, and the Loskalmi being an idealized feudal meritocracy, surely Irensavalism should draw more from that as a source?

The Loskalmi are really kind of obviously Plato's Republic, to me. We should model them on neo-platonism - and the philosophies that descended from Neo-platonism, right down to its modern descendants, when looking for inspiration. And we should look to neo-platonist, not Christian, ideas. 

Another problem with Arthurian myth is its a bunch of stories and images, not a philosophy - and the Malkioni are always going to pursue an intellectual, philosophical, approach no matter what. 

I don't find that entirely incompatible with Arthurian myth, though. The image of the Grail is a representation of the true divine, which is experienced through the Higher self. In short, the Grail image is of Illumination, the Gold of the true communion with the divine that transcends mere mortal flesh etc 

On 11/1/2018 at 11:17 PM, Darius West said:

Choronzon is actually better modeled on the Invocation of the Bad Man in the Shamanistic tradition imo. 

Choronzon is only from Dee's Enochian, and as such entirely from a 'sorcerous' world view. Yes, he outwardly resembles the Bad Man, but there are vast differences. And one of the most important is that he absolutely isn't something faced by an apprentice magician at the start of his career, but guards the 'higher' realms, a challenge for magicians who have already become Master of the Temple etc. He is not about confronting the bad parts of the self/world, but about the dissipation and death of the ego. 

The idea that the Chapel Perilous is analogous to confronting Choronzon is something I would also reject - in various stories knights such as Lancelot triumph over the Chapel Perilous, but do not succeed at the Grail Quest. The Chapel Perilous is rejecting all of the earthly urges - but after that, after mastery of the self, there is still the rejection of the earthly self and the immersion in the great whole - before which, the self must be allowed to dissipate (Choronzon). 

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On 11/15/2018 at 6:52 AM, davecake said:

I'm using Illumination in the broader sense that is now used within Eg the HeroQuest Glorantha rules - a moment of dramatic mythic insight and experience of unity, that is encountered within a broad range of cultures within a broad range of sources, that is a relatively universal Gloranthan phenomenon and the core of all Gloranthan mysticism. The current understanding of Illumination is, quite explicitly, inclusive of the core experience of a wide range of mystic paths including (but not limited to) Nysaloran Illumination, and "...Umbarism, EWF draconic consciousness, Kralorelan draconic mystics, Vithelan mysticism, the Umathelan Cult of Silence, and even some God Learner schools all provided liberation similar to that of Nysalorean Illumination." That's the core, but there is more. All mysticism is at its core involving Illumination, all Illumination is ultimately the same. So all I'm really saying by linking Irensavalism to Illumination is that it has a mystic component, not that its directly linked to Nysalor. 

But the Arkati wiped out all the illuminates in the West.  Of course the God Learners came along, but then they got wiped out too, by the Gods themselves no less.  Irensavalism gains nothing by being linked to illuminates, and loses plenty.  The Invisible God is a God of Law, and stands diametrically opposed to chaos.  There is no room for the false reconciliation that illumination offers between these ideas.  Law is about achieving a perfect system, whereas chaos is about the destruction of all systems and everything else besides.  Thus when illuminates say that there is nothing essentially evil or inimical about chaos, in every practical sense they have betrayed Glorantha and are Gbaji, which is just another face of chaos trying to destroy the world( this time with false liberation backed by specious philosophy, and we all know how dangerous that combo can be IRL).

Edited by Darius West

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5 hours ago, Darius West said:

But the Arkati wiped out all the illuminates in the West. 

Talor ended the hostile mystics using his own mystical unity with Joy of the Heart, and the Arkati never bothered to expand into Fronela. It is possible that he stole some of their powers for his own (and his disciples').

Irensavalism was (and IMO still is) just one of several Hrestoli sects or subsects in and around Akem.

5 hours ago, Darius West said:

Of course the God Learners came along, but then they got wiped out too, by the Gods themselves no less. 

In the West, that cleansing appears to have been done mostly by Halwal's efforts - only lands not cleansed by Halwal were drowned in the 1049/1050 cataclysms. The gods rising against the God Learners happened in Locsil. In Umathela, a mystic/gnostic and self-sacrificing sect played their part in ending the God Learners and their heroquester universities.

 

5 hours ago, Darius West said:

Irensavalism gains nothing by being linked to illuminates, and loses plenty.  The Invisible God is a God of Law, and stands diametrically opposed to chaos. 

Yes - there is a god of material order, and it stands opposed to attaining greater truths. Your point?

5 hours ago, Darius West said:

There is no room for the false reconciliation that illumination offers between these ideas.  Law is about achieving a perfect system, 

Law was about devolution from Oneness. Expanding on these laws brought about lesser ordered and lesser magical conditions in the West. That's what Law (especially Zzabur's laws) achieved, and what Tomaris may have originally have preached against, making a spiritual exegesis out of Hrestol's experiences with the Brithini and the Vadeli.

5 hours ago, Darius West said:

whereas chaos is about the destruction of all systems and everything else besides. 

And yet that is what Malkion the Sacrifice achieved with the Fifth Action.

5 hours ago, Darius West said:

Thus when illuminates say that there is nothing essentially evil or inimical about chaos, in every practical sense they have betrayed Glorantha and are Gbaji, which is just another face of chaos trying to destroy the world( this time with false liberation backed by specious philosophy, and we all know how dangerous that combo can be IRL).

Zzabur's interference with Fifth Action Malkion may be the Western version of the Unholy Trio myth, with Zzabur providing the moral evil component from his previous interactions with the Vadeli (and continuing in subsequent ones).

The Jrusteli RuneQuest Sight appears to have been a product of a sorcerous reading of the Abiding Book, leading to extraordinary sorcerous power release in Umathela shortly after the revelation of the Abiding Book, and yet before Tanian's Victory. No direct Rashoranic involvement, yet another form of mystical insight able to release vast amounts of magic.

 

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On 11/22/2018 at 6:10 AM, Joerg said:

Yes - there is a god of material order, and it stands opposed to attaining greater truths. Your point?

I think I can express my complaint more succinctly now I have done a bit more research.  I don't think Henosis is the same as Illumination, and I don't think it should be.  There is zero cross-over between Draconic mysticism and Sorcery as demonstrated by the Godlearner inability to infiltrate EWF mysteries, and ultimately the Illumination part of  Nysalorism derives from First Council Draconic influences as far as I am aware.  I always imagined Henosis to be a lot more like collecting a Law or an Infinity rune power, than like Illumination.

For my money, Illumination is a bit counterfeit as a form of enlightenment.  It is basically a "Non-detection" effect.  People with Sense Chaos, can't detect them, and neither can spirits of retribution.  That means they get to "steal" cult knowledge they wouldn't otherwise be privy to.  On the other hand, the thing that really sticks in my gullet is the notion that Chaos isn't either evil or inimical.  From everything I have read, that is an insupportable philosophical position, I mean, yes, being eaten by the Crimson Bat technically gets you off the wheel of reincarnation, but you do that by being completely annihilated.  Chaos sometimes just kills, allowing its victims to reincarnate, but it also has the power to utterly spiritually and physically annihilate Glorantha, and wants to do just that.  Most chaos creatures are morally reprehensible enough to be called evil, and chaos is definitely inimical to all life, if not all existence as far as I can see.  How do you reconcile that Joerg?  I'm interested.

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

I think I can express my complaint more succinctly now I have done a bit more research.  I don't think Henosis is the same as Illumination, and I don't think it should be.  There is zero cross-over between Draconic mysticism and Sorcery as demonstrated by the Godlearner inability to infiltrate EWF mysteries, and ultimately the Illumination part of  Nysalorism derives from First Council Draconic influences as far as I am aware.  I always imagined Henosis to be a lot more like collecting a Law or an Infinity rune power, than like Illumination.

Collecting an infinity rune power is pretty much how Illumination has been described. The experience of Joy appears to be similar in consequences, and is likewise attached to one-ness with something from beyond the World.

Still yes, the Hrestoli pursuit of Joy is not identical to Rashoranic Illumination. It goes beyond the runic Oneness e.g. the Storm mystics of Old Wind Temple are pursuing, but it is the limited Infinity that comes from the doubled runes (as presented in RQ3).

 

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

For my money, Illumination is a bit counterfeit as a form of enlightenment.  It is basically a "Non-detection" effect.  People with Sense Chaos, can't detect them, and neither can spirits of retribution.  That means they get to "steal" cult knowledge they wouldn't otherwise be privy to. 

There is of course the fact that joining a cult (which is pre-requisite for getting access to its secrets) does form a spiritual entanglement which is disadvantageous for your spiritual progress.

The problem about Nysalorean Rashoranic Illumination is its sudden experience, often without the necessary preparation, which may make the recipient unaware of any continued progress that is supposed to be made. Unlike the eastern paths which start through meditative practice, getting illuminated by a riddle without actively meditating is bound to create abuse.

The Lunar Way seeks to provide a framework for Illumination to avoid random occlusion. The verdict is open whether its entire complex is just a more sophisticated form of occlusion. But the same must be said for Arkati enlightenment/endarkenment.

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

On the other hand, the thing that really sticks in my gullet is the notion that Chaos isn't either evil or inimical. 

Not inimical to what matters about you. As to evil, that is something that doesn't matter in the greater scheme of being cum not-being. It is something you want to avoid, as it brings all manner of additional temptations that interrupt your spiritual steps.

 

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

From everything I have read, that is an insupportable philosophical position, I mean, yes, being eaten by the Crimson Bat technically gets you off the wheel of reincarnation, but you do that by being completely annihilated. 

The Crimson Bat is an ultra-hard austerity, and few if any have undergone it sufficiently prepared to overcome it. Releasing it on unprepared populations may be interpreted as a sign of occlusion. Releasing it on enemies of the Lunar Way as a lesson pour encourager les autres may be only borderline rather than outright occluded.

The methods employed to spread the Glowline are another such case.

 

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Chaos sometimes just kills, allowing its victims to reincarnate, but it also has the power to utterly spiritually and physically annihilate Glorantha, and wants to do just that.  Most chaos creatures are morally reprehensible enough to be called evil, and chaos is definitely inimical to all life, if not all existence as far as I can see.  How do you reconcile that Joerg?  I'm interested.

Enough foes of the Lunar Empire are objectively evil, too, without being Chaotic.

Glorantha herself is already a transcendent or at least transcending entity. She is the vehicle for lesser instances of herself - including mortals - ascending likewise, too.

The void outside of Glorantha provides the means of cleansing the whole or part of the world of stuff that prevents ascension.

Letting too much of that into the world of Time is damaging the world, but a balance of destruction and new creation can be struck - either to provide a constant "decay" that allows and actually furthers attempts at ascension as an incentive and an agent of purification, or even striking an equilibrium that brings enough new Creation into the world to replace what has been cleansed off, perfecting the way the world operates.

 

You seem to think that I applaud or support everything the Lunar Way does. I don't. That is the job of Moony Madfolk like @Nick Brooke.

But the Lunar Way appears to be a valid instrument to hasten spiritual development and ascension of individuals to transcendent states. Like I said above, the verdict is open whether those states do offer an ascension to the Ultimate, or whether they are similarly cul-de-sac aspirations like the hastened draconic ways of the Third Council - unless of course the 1042 demise of all Draconic Thinkers was indeed a mass ascension of all these draconized humans to a valid form of Dragonhood enriching the total draconic ascension scheme while ending the burden on the other draconic creatures pursuing their more traditional ways to reach Dragonhood and beyond.

I don't claim to hold to the truth of illumination. I am trying to provide as rational a model of it as I can conceive and to measure all the stuff that has to do with the Gloranthan Ultimate with that. That involves not providing answers, but at best leading questions that enable you to ask the next question, and so on. If you want, making the path of Enlightenment use the scientific method. When you run out of questions to ask next, you hopefully have achieved Henosis with the Ultimate, or at least the transcendent truth of your choice stemming directly from it (e.g. Eastern Atrilith, or full unity with one of the Core Runes).

 

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21 hours ago, Joerg said:

When you run out of questions to ask next, you hopefully have achieved Henosis

"Sometimes you just gotta LAUGH." In some of these practices the objective is to exhaust (if not "destroy") all rational thought in order to make room for the transcendent. This is especially crucial when you're fighting the logicians but we even see traces in how Ulerian erotic lucidity is also "comatose" and why Arkat's ultimate retirement broke the penultimate caste taboo in pursuing a quiet country life. 

Great thread. I suspect there's an entire history of conflict between Illumination and Joy lurking in the buried history of Fronelan Malkionism, complete with gameable mythic opponents.

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6 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The way you describe those riddles, @scott-martin, they sound a bit like Zen koans.

If so, @Sir_Godspeed, I suspect I'm far from alone.

It took me a few years to come around to how "Nysalor consciousness" has a corrosive quality in Greg's body of work. Each riddle truly does seem to pull on some fragile loose end of the cosmic fabric and so opens gaps in the weave where chaos can recover. The result is a wakened mind and a weakened world, which for some people is the goal of meditation anyway. You want to get the goose out of the bottle.

Various gnostic strands of Hrestol initiation may or may not have "Vadelite" origins but they strike me as more sympathetic in their effort to reconstruct the world they deconstruct with the other hand. The knight errant MOA drifts through a world of "adventure" making spiritual "gestures" that may or may not express some higher personal truth but at least they make the most of time and incarnation. You enter a world already in thrall to the law-of-the-name-of-the-father and you'll probably leave it in roughly the same condition. The struggle in the middle is the important thing.

The Hrestol of Joy is of course a later construction different from the historical Hrestol of the sagas. He seems to be most popular in the north where the historical Hrestol went late in life, or that might just be a historical accident. Either way, back here on earth I would say "jouissance," the ecstasy that's always in translation whenever you put it in words, stopping the mind through embracing the world (as a direct communication with my "soul" as it were) and the next day finding mind and world restored the same as ever. Or not.

There are probably esoteric Hrestolite versions of the Ox Herding Pictures that go into detail in Gloranthan terms. A set or two of these might have found their way to Carmania and then into the hands of the Seven Mothers, who put their own radical spin on the cycle. But Talor simply laughs. No words, no riddles. A joke, maybe a joke of the general at the expense of the particular or the other way around. Read it the one way, you start with a pimento, add wings and a dragonfly flaps away. Read it in reverse, a child pulls the wings off and the fruit of the cruelty left behind is just sort of empty and sad. 

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5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

If so, @Sir_Godspeed, I suspect I'm far from alone.

Indeed, you are not alone! 😎

 

5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Each riddle truly does seem to pull on some fragile loose end of the cosmic fabric and so opens gaps in the weave where chaos can recover. The result is a wakened mind and a weakened world

I like this phrasing - seems to capture a real essence of Illumination.

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On 11/25/2018 at 5:52 AM, Joerg said:

Collecting an infinity rune power is pretty much how Illumination has been described. The experience of Joy appears to be similar in consequences, and is likewise attached to one-ness with something from beyond the World.

I would suggest it is really entirely different.  Henosis is becoming at-one with a deity.  Getting an infinity rune has nothing to do with Illumination if that is the case, as very few deities are illuminated, but all deities have access to the infinity rune, as that is what defines their divinity.

I prefer the following interpretation.  Henosis when defined as the infinity rune means gaining access to an infinite amount of MP, and potentially increasing your species maximum POW to 25 or 30.  In effect you tap into the magical flows which form the pulse of the living Godhead.  You no longer need to forage for the scabs of gods (crystals), or trap primitive spirits in matrices to milk, you feel an ineffable and constant connection to the source from which all magic derives.  

There.  Rules in keeping with sorcery. No illumination required.

In terms of what Joy of the Heart means, the prime example is Talor the Laughing Warrior.  Why does he laugh in battle?  He is inspired by his Joy of the Heart, and with perfect henosis what the will of the Invisible God is.  Death holds no fear for him therefore, and his exertions, and even martyrdom becomes a pleasure as he is a "serving vessel" of divine will.

Edited by Darius West

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I would suggest it is really entirely different. 

 

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Henosis is becoming at-one with a deity. 

 

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Getting an infinity rune has nothing to do with Illumination if that is the case, as very few deities are illuminated, but all deities have access to the infinity rune, as that is what defines their divinity.

Getting an infinity rune has everything to do with standard mysticism.

As far as I am concerned, only original core rune owners have the infinity rune. Current core rune owners (signified by a doubled rune) don't have quite achieved the direct link to the Ultimate yet.

 

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I prefer the following interpretation.  Henosis when defined as the infinity rune means gaining access to an infinite amount of MP, and potentially increasing your species maximum POW to 25 or 30.  In effect you tap into the magical flows which form the pulse of the living Godhead.  You no longer need to forage for the scabs of gods (crystals), or trap primitive spirits in matrices to milk, you feel an ineffable and constant connection to the source from which all magic derives. 

There's a catch here - you don't need to know sorcery to achieve Henosis with the Invisible God.

That entity you reach henosis with is far beyond the Cosmos - it has (and provides) an outside view/insight of the Cosmos. Just as Illumination does through detachment and an approach to the Ultimate (one hopes).

 

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

There.  Rules in keeping with sorcery. No illumination required.

If this works for you, play that way.

 

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

In terms of what Joy of the Heart means, the prime example is Talor the Laughing Warrior.  Why does he laugh in battle?  He is inspired by his Joy of the Heart, and with perfect henosis what the will of the Invisible God is.  Death holds no fear for him therefore, and his exertions, and even martyrdom becomes a pleasure as he is a "serving vessel" of divine will.

Talor has become the poster boy of Joy. Not sure what his foes called him, the giggling slayer?

It was Hrestol who discovered Joy, and from that text in the Middle Sea Empire, probably during his time of acquainting himself with the everymen of Akem.

Hrestoli sects believe in reincarnation - Brithini and Rokari (officially) don't. The mere consideration of reincarnation does contradict the complete dissolution of the soul/self upon death, doesn't it? I wonder whether this has to do with the prophet and is disciples experiencing Henosis. Getting an objective insight on the cycle of reincarnation?

To my knowledge, Talor did not undergo any martyrdom after Harmast brought him back, although there is a possibility that what landed him in the Underworld was a martyrdom rather than simple death in (supernatural?) battle.

 

Suggesting that it takes serving vessels to facilitate divine will sort of acknowledges an Adversary on similar level as the Invisible God (or else a very asshole attitude of that entity - which may be how the Irensavalists dissociated themselves from the Creator of Matter).

 

I still think that both Illumination and Joy are insights first and side effects second. You get heated up on the side effects and design game rules around them without considering how and why insights received might cause such effects.

Somewhere, somehow a power to curse an entire tribe of enemies (Talor) or an entire country (Arkat) appear to be side effects of either (possibly in conjunction with heroquesting).

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35 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Getting an infinity rune has everything to do with standard mysticism.

I would say it has more to do with completing your hero quest as a sorcerer on this occasion.  

36 minutes ago, Joerg said:

As far as I am concerned, only original core rune owners have the infinity rune. Current core rune owners (signified by a doubled rune) don't have quite achieved the direct link to the Ultimate yet.

The official owner of the Mastery, Magic and Infinity Core Runes is listed as Arachne Solara.  

39 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There's a catch here - you don't need to know sorcery to achieve Henosis with the Invisible God.

Clearly I have missed something here.  What are your sources for this please?  

45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

That entity you reach henosis with is far beyond the Cosmos - it has (and provides) an outside view/insight of the Cosmos. Just as Illumination does through detachment and an approach to the Ultimate (one hopes).

In Glorantha, the Cosmos is the sky dome.  There is no vacuum of space there.  Beyond the sky dome is just chaos trying to get in and eat the world. The way you describe illumination sounds appallingly like being possessed by some sort of chaos entity that poisons your brain and drives you mad (and that doesn't sound like Henosis).  We know what the Ultimate is, and I quote:

"The Ultimate is when the World is undivided and back together. It is called, simply, the First World. No disembodied entities exist, nor dies death or any other privation."

-Page17 Arcane Lore

Henosis then is the understanding of the world as created by the Invisible God from the perspective of its creator, which is not transcendental (only chaos is transcendental of all the four realms), but immanent (it therefore must be understood  as complete and from within, not from without).  As the Buddhists would say "not two".  The minute you see from without, you are already a dualist, and that is not unity.

53 minutes ago, Joerg said:

If this works for you, play that way.

I just think it is enormously reductionist to assume that all mysticism follows the same trajectory and outcome.  For example, we know that Dragonewts and Kralorelans don't become illuminates, they become true dragons.  Why then would you even want Henosis to be the same shabby concept as the flawed and obviously chaotic "revelation" of Nysalor?  The assumption that all mysticism devolves into yet another form of Nysalorism is lazy writing.

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The concept of "rune ownership" strikes me as such an odd element of Glorantha. It feels decidedly "gamey". Why would the Malkioni acknowledge Arachne Solara as beyond the Invisible God, or how would Brithini acknowledge the runes as separate entities from the Erasanchulas that are presented as the literal runes with sentience? Does a worshipper of Entekos just roll over and go "oh yeah, our goddess is the mistress of air, the lungs of the world, the giver of life and good hue - but that angry hill barbarian god is the true owner of the rune of air because this poster says so, I guess."

I dunno, I just find it bizarre.

EDIT: I know one can write it off as more God Learner systematizing, but it's still an odd one to me.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:
4 hours ago, Joerg said:

There's a catch here - you don't need to know sorcery to achieve Henosis with the Invisible God.

Clearly I have missed something here.  What are your sources for this please?  

Revealed Mythologies p.17:

 
Quote
4 hours ago, Joerg said:

There's a catch here - you don't need to know sorcery to achieve Henosis with the Invisible God.

Clearly I have missed something here.  What are your sources for this please?  

This means that the ordinary worshipper can experience Joy. No wizardry training necessary, not even the Men-of-All kind.

Xemela is ranked among the Ascended Masters. She was a queen, not a sorceress.

 

That said, sorcerers (like e.g. Halwal) can achieve Henosis, even ascend, and draw on extraordinary power. But Joy wasn't required for that, as the Umathelan episode with the burning of most of Vralos in 654 shows when Jrusteli sorcerers armed with new insights from the Abiding Book all but destroyed that elven forest.

 

3 hours ago, Darius West said:

 

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

That entity you reach henosis with is far beyond the Cosmos - it has (and provides) an outside view/insight of the Cosmos. Just as Illumination does through detachment and an approach to the Ultimate (one hopes).

In Glorantha, the Cosmos is the sky dome.  There is no vacuum of space there.  Beyond the sky dome is just chaos trying to get in and eat the world.

As far as I know, there is no source stating this plainly.

My Gloranthan cosmology differs:

The Sky Dome comes in layers, and the one visible in blue throughout the day and in black throughout the night is just an inner shell, with several more layers to come. The far side of all the dome layers is Dayzatar's realm of contemplation, probably witnessing the emanations of the Void but infinitely distant from them. There is no entropy leaking in to Dayzatar's Realm except possibly where the Gods War may have left punctures, but given the fact that the Sky had been ably defended against Chaos by Orlanth, such wounds are unlikely.

There is plasma out there, pure flame. Bright, but transparent.

If you glide down this outer, plasma-enshrouded dome, you will drift down to where the endless outer River and the as endless outer Storm extend way beyond the limits of the outer dome and bowl of the world. This is a plane of immense currents and gales, way beyond imagination, and endlessly increasing. Possibly getting less and less tangible as the distance to the outer Dome goes.

 

3 hours ago, Darius West said:

The way you describe illumination sounds appallingly like being possessed by some sort of chaos entity that poisons your brain and drives you mad (and that doesn't sound like Henosis). 

Huh? What possessed you to write that madness?

Most mysticism involves a detachment from the world, and the ability to take an impartial view of what is going on, free from preconceptions grounded in entanglement with the world. (Venfornist inclusion gives a similar impartiality through integration of everything, IMO.)

 

A sorcerer questing on the Essence "plane" will encounter ever more abstract concepts and interactions, will see flow diagrams overlaid with wave functions and logical framing parameters rather than concrete Creation. There should be such a meta-world of magic expressed in formulas too vast to be used by mortal or even demigod sorcerers as encountered, but the sorcerer will be able to come up with (much) lesser copies of these to subject to his own will. All quite groovy and possibly even psychedelic, but not at all what I expect Joy to confer.

 

3 hours ago, Darius West said:

We know what the Ultimate is, and I quote:

"The Ultimate is when the World is undivided and back together. It is called, simply, the First World. No disembodied entities exist, nor dies death or any other privation."

-Page17 Arcane Lore

Nice quote, but from the Animism/Shamanism section.

P.16 (the Sorcery section) offers a different definition, IMO way more pertinent to the discussion of Joy:

Quote

Ultimate, the All 
God  is  the  All,  a  force  or  entity,  perhaps  approachable,  which initiated creation but is not immanent in the natural  world. 

And that's a Zzaburite perspective, not a Hrestoli or Rokari Malkioni one, describing the Invisible God.

 

3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Henosis then is the understanding of the world as created by the Invisible God from the perspective of its creator, which is not transcendental (only chaos is transcendental of all the four realms), but immanent (it therefore must be understood  as complete and from within, not from without).  As the Buddhists would say "not two".  The minute you see from without, you are already a dualist, and that is not unity.

I think that the sorcerous description of the Ultimate and the Invisible God on p.16 explicitely says that this entity is not immanent.

What is your source for "only chaos is transcendental of all the four realms"?

And IMO you mix up the pre-creation stuff (e.g. Glorantha Sourcebook p.67, named as Prime Mover in the West, Silence by the Theists, Primal Plasma by the Animists and the Void by the Mystics) with Chaos which is that pre-Creation (aka Pre-Dark, as Darkness was the first element created) interacting with the Cosmos inside the Cosmos. Without interaction with the Cosmos, this "stuff" is not harmful in any way, but glorious infinite potential for Creation, Permutation etc. Only when forcefully impacting that what was created it becomes hyper-entropic Chaos. Chaos is the unpredictable interaction of that what lies beyond Creation with Creation in a destructive way, whereas such stuff as channeled through the Chaosium at the bottom of the Cosmos becomes directed Creation.

 

You may well argue that this is an illuminated or otherwise detached point of view, and you would be right as this is what the God Learners (themselves having acquired their peculiar form of enlightenment) described the world as. For a full understanding, you might require the God Learner Nostrum in addition to the written text. Your over-simplification "it is all Chaos" is wrong IMO.

Neither of these states of pre-Creation provides a beneficial environment for Gloranthan denizens, although dragons and similarly advanced mystics of other approaches might be able to negotiate these without damage to their selves. Exposure may very well appear like Chaos dissolving your self, but there are other (e.g. elemental) purification rites/quests like the Fire of Ehilm or the Baths of Nelat doing pretty much exactly this to the subject of these rites. The purification powers of the Seas boosted by the Rivers are even powerful enough to sear away that entropic agent of annihilation which has been sealed by Magasta's Whirlpool.

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