Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Darius West

Who were the God Learners' Heroes?

Recommended Posts

We all know the story of the Jrusteli Empire, how a group of sorcerors got together and reverse engineered the RQ rules then figured out a bunch of clever rules-lawyer exploits that turned themselves into a world power.  We even know the names of the original people who came up with how to exploit hero quests from other pantheons, but who were the actual heroes doing the missions?  You would imagine that they would have been completely terrifying, and one might even suppose that they would have the skills and wherewithall to completely escape  even a cataclysm such as the one that befell Jrustela at the close of the Age.  What do we know about these heroes, if anything?  Who were they?   What became of them?

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My gut is that the lingering caste stigma kept the brahmins from getting their hands dirty and the kshatriyas from reading the books. The talars got richer and the world got poorer. Each caste had their exemplars but it's just biography to us now, no giants striding across the lozenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of a quite a few of them being the in-universe equivalent of terribly played murderhobos: just out to get awesome loot and min-max everything. The Jrusteli higher-ups would have had to grit their teeth and work very hard to convince them to make notes and observe better to create a better understanding of the mythography they explored, like a terribly frustrated GM trying to goad his players into doing at least a little roleplaying. :P

  • Like 2
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I like the idea of a quite a few of them being the in-universe equivalent of terribly played murderhobos: just out to get awesome loot and min-max everything. The Jrusteli higher-ups would have had to grit their teeth and work very hard to convince them to make notes and observe better to create a better understanding of the mythography they explored, like a terribly frustrated GM trying to goad his players into doing at least a little roleplaying. :P

Yes.  I imagine that they would be just like that.  They would have a veneer of "setting", but essentially cynical power gamer munchkins.  Just for openers, we know that the Jrusteli were keen on doing Lhankor Mhy hero quests, as they provided useful powers at very little risk, and were a valuable foundation for future acquisitions of knowledge.  No doubt a bit of Arkati illumination would have been a must as well.  Next you tuck into all that Chalana Arroy goodness, as it is also low risk and high gain, and will keep you alive in bad situations.  I imagine swiping Barbeester Gor weapons with Axe Trance would have been a high priority.  Who can say no to a spell that gives you +10% skill for 1 MP... and you have so much bound MP !  2000% Axe Attack everyone?  Oh, and stack that with that Tsankth spell that gives you a whole extra action, and some Strength of Basmol, then go Berserk.  Does anyone know any sorcery for dropping your SR?  Then there is all that Orlanth Woad that they stole and tattooed in for 20AP+Counter Magic. Of course if they all decided to go a bit cyberpunk 2017 and get Zistor implants, and when those failed, they got a bit less scary, but of course they would just use their Chalana Arroy regrow limb spells, as they had those to fall back on.

My point is, they would have been terrifying douchebags, and basically too tough to kill.  They are geared to survive the death of their civilization, and if there is a path to eternal life, they would have found it and taken it with the same nihilistic cynicism they did everything else.  Did they just get bored and "retire"?  Now, not all of the God Learning bands would have been made equal, but they represent a threat that more mundane Gloranthans would be ill prepared to deal with.  Perhaps they are all still out there hero questing?

In any case, do we know their names and more optimistically, their deeds?  

Edited by Darius West

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe they decamped en masse to the GodTime/Hero Plane and became the nightmares known as Demons. Or even the very Gods themselves, shaped by the myths they were trying to shape, as much as they did any shaping themselves. 'S a bit recursive, perhaps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there may arguably have been some of that, but it was also due to the application of secrets such as 'the scientific method' and a whole new metaphysics.

Here at the Remnant Faculty, while somewhat scattered across the world and sometimes even unfairly restrained from acting, we still have many wonderful things, not to mention ways of working, that you do not. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Darius West said:

My point is, they would have been terrifying douchebags, and basically too tough to kill.  They are geared to survive the death of their civilization, and if there is a path to eternal life, they would have found it and taken it with the same nihilistic cynicism they did everything else.  Did they just get bored and "retire"?  Now, not all of the God Learning bands would have been made equal, but they represent a threat that more mundane Gloranthans would be ill prepared to deal with.  Perhaps they are all still out there hero questing?

Well, they were also hunted down, murdered, and possibly magically lobotomized by the Gift Carriers, weren't they? There's also the possibility that some of their more cutting edge benefits became useless after the God-Learner systems smacked back into their previous shapes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Well, they were also hunted down, murdered, and possibly magically lobotomized by the Gift Carriers, weren't they? There's also the possibility that some of their more cutting edge benefits became useless after the God-Learner systems smacked back into their previous shapes.

In other words, you can Munchkin as hard as you want, but never convince yourself that your power is greater than that of the DM and that you need not fear his wrath, for he holds the ultimate power: The power to say "Rocks fall, everyone dies, no I don't care how many dice you can throw to save."

Edited by Leingod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Darius West said:

We all know the story of the Jrusteli Empire, how a group of sorcerors got together and reverse engineered the RQ rules then figured out a bunch of clever rules-lawyer exploits that turned themselves into a world power.  We even know the names of the original people who came up with how to exploit hero quests from other pantheons, but who were the actual heroes doing the missions?  You would imagine that they would have been completely terrifying, and one might even suppose that they would have the skills and wherewithall to completely escape  even a cataclysm such as the one that befell Jrustela at the close of the Age.  What do we know about these heroes, if anything?  Who were they?   What became of them?

A lot of them got trapped on HeroQuests and became HeroQuest gaurdians, or at least heroQuest bad guys, in the same way that Arkati became HeroQuest Guardians.

Some of them would have just been killed by the cataclysmic events at the end of the Second Age. The EWF highups were targeted and I have no reason to suppose the Jrusteli high-ups were not also targeted, just not in the same way.

Some of them just jumped ship. Delecti may have been originally a God Learner. The Path of Immanent Mastery was founded by God Learners. Caladra and Aurelion have two God Learner Hero Cults.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Darius West said:

We all know the story of the Jrusteli Empire, how a group of sorcerors got together and reverse engineered the RQ rules then figured out a bunch of clever rules-lawyer exploits that turned themselves into a world power.  We even know the names of the original people who came up with how to exploit hero quests from other pantheons, but who were the actual heroes doing the missions? 

The Middle Sea Empire p43 does mention some names like:

  • Davaka the Dealer: organizer of the first raids on the rural holy places (c 800 ST)
  • Alan of Nolos who calculated power places and weak spots from pagan manuscripts (also 800 ST)
  • Venrestol Bookmmen who explored the holy places of the Malkioni (c 810 ST)
  • This led to the Bookman School under Abbot Bookman which was an general exploration.
  • In 845 ST, under Abbot Inkarion the Blockbuster, the God Learners began invade the pagan strongpoints.
  • In 849 ST (part and parcel of the Goddess Switch), Iskandos of Reyerswal made copies of unique items for a time (he may have been a Zistorite as a similar complaint was made about the Machine City in Different Worlds #24).
  • By 960 ST, they were regularly performing Power HeroQuests but no name is given.  
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, scott-martin said:

My gut is that the lingering caste stigma kept the brahmins from getting their hands dirty and the kshatriyas from reading the books. The talars got richer and the world got poorer. Each caste had their exemplars but it's just biography to us now, no giants striding across the lozenge.

I think that the main workload for heroquesting fell onto the (possibly monastic) Men-of-All and the monastic wizards.

Makanism is just a reform of Hrestolism, and the Seshnegi kingdom inherited by Talar had had Man-of-All kings for centuries, so that there was no need to bring any non-Man-of-All Talar types along unless that would provide a special identity advantage.

Master artificers or even farmers would have been encouraged to become Men-of-All to add some magic to their abilities, and to be able to interact better with the wizards. Master hunters or scouts would be recruited for heroquesting, and probably put through a heroquester basecamp which they would leave as men-of-all. Outsider companions would receive basic training to act as heroquesting sepoys.

On the whole, I think that most of the infamous God Learner quests were done as conquests, with quite a number of spare troops taken along to fight through where they didn't know or care about the correct maneuver. Think of commando raids.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Well, they were also hunted down, murdered, and possibly magically lobotomized by the Gift Carriers, weren't they? There's also the possibility that some of their more cutting edge benefits became useless after the God-Learner systems smacked back into their previous shapes.

I find references to the Gift Carriers only in the Umathelan context - nothing of this for the drowned lands of Seshnela, Jrustela or Slontos, or for the lands previously liberated by Halwal (Fronela and Ralios).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, soltakss said:

A lot of them got trapped on HeroQuests and became HeroQuest gaurdians, or at least heroQuest bad guys, in the same way that Arkati became HeroQuest Guardians.

Some of them would have just been killed by the cataclysmic events at the end of the Second Age. The EWF highups were targeted and I have no reason to suppose the Jrusteli high-ups were not also targeted, just not in the same way.

Some of them just jumped ship. Delecti may have been originally a God Learner. 

If he was a western sorcerer (which has a fairly good likelihood) and Malkioni, one could have called him a God Learner since the Malkioni drew on the Abiding Book, one of the earliest results of God Learning. Whether Delecti belonged to any of those specialist schools, and which of those, is another question. We cannot discern whether he was a Makanist, Malkioneranist, or whether he was rather agnostic (which is quite likely for him to take up business in Dragon Pass).

18 hours ago, soltakss said:

The Path of Immanent Mastery was founded by God Learners.

Apparently it was a pre-existing path that they explored and then usurped.

The same path is cited for Isgangdrang's short-cut teachings in Heortling Mythology p.138.

18 hours ago, soltakss said:

Caladra and Aurelion have two God Learner Hero Cults.  

They (and Jogrampur, Worlath and Humct in Umathela) are the lasting successes of the God Learner meddling with theist cults (other than stolen artifacts).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I find references to the Gift Carriers only in the Umathelan context - nothing of this for the drowned lands of Seshnela, Jrustela or Slontos, or for the lands previously liberated by Halwal (Fronela and Ralios).

Oh, huh. I always got the impression that it was worldwide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Oh, huh. I always got the impression that it was worldwide.

That was the general assumption after reading about them in the Glorantha Book of Genertela Box, yes, but consider the Closing that separated the elf forests and the mostali colonies just as efficiently as it did any human communication. Restricting their activities to Umathela and Fonrit wouldn't make their achievement any less impressive. It is quite clear that Jrustela before the drowning was not afflicted by any such activities, whereas the breakdown of the God Learners in Umathela and Fonrit predates that cataclysm by about a century. The Umathelan tsunamis were much smaller and more targeted than what befell Jrustela, Seshnela and Slontos.

I think that Halwal's activities did a lot to minimize such damage in Fronela and Ralios, and it might have saved Tanisor, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/30/2018 at 2:37 AM, Darius West said:

We all know the story of the Jrusteli Empire, how a group of sorcerors got together and reverse engineered the RQ rules then figured out a bunch of clever rules-lawyer exploits that turned themselves into a world power.  We even know the names of the original people who came up with how to exploit hero quests from other pantheons, but who were the actual heroes doing the missions?  You would imagine that they would have been completely terrifying, and one might even suppose that they would have the skills and wherewithall to completely escape  even a cataclysm such as the one that befell Jrustela at the close of the Age.  What do we know about these heroes, if anything?  Who were they?   What became of them?

Personal visit from Arkat? The God Learners did a lot of harm to Arkat's designs, breaking his cult, plundering his empire and abusing his secrets. Perhaps Arkat found a way to return for a short time. I doubt he would have been pleased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EricW said:

Personal visit from Arkat? The God Learners did a lot of harm to Arkat's designs, breaking his cult, plundering his empire and abusing his secrets. Perhaps Arkat found a way to return for a short time. I doubt he would have been pleased.

Still working on that - not even Halwal's efforts, using the God Learner knowledge against what they had done to the Arkat cult trying to aid the Arkat cultists of Ralios, had managed to bring him back. Possibly because Halwal aimed for a single one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/30/2018 at 4:19 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

Well, they were also hunted down, murdered, and possibly magically lobotomized by the Gift Carriers, weren't they? There's also the possibility that some of their more cutting edge benefits became useless after the God-Learner systems smacked back into their previous shapes.

Ah yes, the Gift Carriers of the Sending Gods.  This somewhat begs the question of "What was the gift?" and who were the "Sending Gods", and indeed who the gift carriers were?  Were they mortals, or some sort of creature made for the occasion?  As to how one hunts down a person with the runequest sight, especially when they are potentially greater hero questers than Arkat, well, it is a very deus ex machina fix, but how was it achieved? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Darius West said:

Ah yes, the Gift Carriers of the Sending Gods.  This somewhat begs the question of "What was the gift?" and who were the "Sending Gods", and indeed who the gift carriers were?  Were they mortals, or some sort of creature made for the occasion?  As to how one hunts down a person with the runequest sight, especially when they are potentially greater hero questers than Arkat, well, it is a very deus ex machina fix, but how was it achieved? 

It don't think would be unreasonable to suggest that none of them individually were as prolific and powerful in the HeroQuest as Arkat; if they were, later Ages would remember their names... Collectively, they had more extensive effects, but perhaps even as Heroquesting 'teams' they were still tractable to Arkatian suppression.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Ah yes, the Gift Carriers of the Sending Gods. 

Sounds very much like a euphemism for some sort of death. The name may have been a trick.

Edit: a trick that appeals the God Learner's particular sin, that of Greed.

Edited by jeffjerwin
another thought
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/2/2018 at 3:02 AM, womble said:

It don't think would be unreasonable to suggest that none of them individually were as prolific and powerful in the HeroQuest as Arkat; if they were, later Ages would remember their names... Collectively, they had more extensive effects, but perhaps even as Heroquesting 'teams' they were still tractable to Arkatian suppression.

Actually, we don't really know how extensive the effects of the God Learners were.  What we can say is that most of what we take for granted about Glorantha is a by-product of God learner Cosmology.  For example, the God Learners created the Monomyth, in that they recognized that it was possible to understand God Time as a single meta-myth full of many actors.  Quite apart from creating cults like Immanent Mastery and Caladra and Aurelion, they also had a profound effect on even quite powerful cults such as Lhankor Mhy, Chalana Arroy and Issaries.  We also know that they were heavily involved in stealing the secrets of the Elder Races, (save for the Dragonewts, for some reason). 

As to Arkati suppression, there is little evidence of any success.  The Arkati were yesterday's men by that stage.  Arkat's Dark Empire shrank a little every year as the Jrusteli grew, from secrets they "stole" from the Arkati.  Once the secret was out, it is quite likely that the Arkati secret of illumination was put to good (or evil) use by the Jrusteli as a means of curtailing spirits of retribution.  Arkat had long since gone into the stasis that overtakes humans who are becoming gods, and his followers simply prostituted their knowledge for cash and prizes with the Jrusteli.  And really, the Jrusteli were merely democratizing and marketing the power that Arkat had unleashed, so the Arkati could hardly complain when Jrusteli abused the power, as Arkat had already abused it and betrayed everyone who fought alongside him.  It makes the whole Jrusteli Empire look like a big Arkat Hero Quest when you think about it.  Or is that too controversial?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

As to Arkati suppression, there is little evidence of any success.?

Save the fact that the God Learners were eradicated and to some extent wiped from memory. I was referring to the suggestion that maybe it was somehow Arkat coming back to sort 'em out (cos they would be donkey-kicking muddy funsters and only a Heroquester as potent as Arkat might have the mojo to geek 'em all, which apparently happened). I should perhaps have said "Arkat-y" to avoid confusion with followers of that Ascendant.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, womble said:

Save the fact that the God Learners were eradicated and to some extent wiped from memory. I was referring to the suggestion that maybe it was somehow Arkat coming back to sort 'em out (cos they would be donkey-kicking muddy funsters and only a Heroquester as potent as Arkat might have the mojo to geek 'em all, which apparently happened). I should perhaps have said "Arkat-y" to avoid confusion with followers of that Ascendant.

The loss of the names of the heroes has more to do with the sinking of Jrustela, the Syndics Ban and the Closing of the Oceans I suspect.   As for Arkat worship, that is almost exclusively a trollish affair these days.  I strongly suspect that Arkat was off the board preparing for his next incarnation as Argrath in the 3rd Age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Darius West said:

As to Arkati suppression, there is little evidence of any success.  The Arkati were yesterday's men by that stage.  Arkat's Dark Empire shrank a little every year as the Jrusteli grew, from secrets they "stole" from the Arkati. 

The history of the conquest of Ralios tells us otherwise. The conquest of Safelster occurred in the reign of Annmak Peacemaker, and the documents on heroquesting made it to Jrustela less than a decade before the fall of Paslac.

It isn't clear when and how the God Learners blocked all paths to Arkat, but they did so only after the fall of the AUtarchy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Darius West said:

The loss of the names of the heroes has more to do with the sinking of Jrustela, the Syndics Ban and the Closing of the Oceans I suspect.   As for Arkat worship, that is almost exclusively a trollish affair these days.  I strongly suspect that Arkat was off the board preparing for his next incarnation as Argrath in the 3rd Age.

Or maybe Sheng Seleris, that is, AgartuSay...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×