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EricW

Are Lunars God Learners?

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The Lunars tamper with myths and bend the rules. Even the Godlearners never attempted to kill Orlanth. The Lunars openly use and accept chaos, well beyond whatever use God Learners may have made of chaos.

What protects imperial sorcerers from the Doom Guardians? Given all their abuses, what more would Lunars have to do to trigger immediate retribution?

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While both the God Learners and the Lunars were foes of the Orlanthi, that is about what they had in common in terms of goals and methods. The agents of reprisal you mentioned were NOT sent by the Orlanthi of Dragon Pass and Peloria (who still lingered under the after-effects of the EWF and its collapse and had little if any magical clout left, and they had overcome the local God Learner perversion more than a century earlier.

The Gift Bringers were a Umathelan effort to deal with the rampant perversions over there, and didn't make it across the Closed oceans. The God Learners of Teshnos were left leaderless when their heroic king Av(a)lor left to pursue the abductors of his wife across the continent all the way to Loskalm, the ones in Kralorela were something else and perished only after the Dragonkill (which came 70 years after the drownings of the western God Learner lands Seshnela, Slontos and presumably Jrustela (where we have no witness accounts for the date of the drowning). Esrolia, the main population of the Orlanthi culture surviving the Dragonkill, was pretty much shaken up by those events, too.

The Lunars use different secrets to meddle and suppress deities. And, as illuminates, their sorcerers are immune to certain sendings, and their use of Chaos gives them another countermeasure.

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4 hours ago, metcalph said:

The only God Learners around are Harrek and Argrath from their sojourn in Jrustela.

Unlikely, given that the God Learners are extinct due to the Gift Bringers, and the Arkati patrolling the Hero Planes are there to ensure it doesn't happen again.  I think both the Lunars and the Sartarites are something new, and that now human know how to kill deities, they are likely to do more of it. 

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3 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Unlikely, given that the God Learners are extinct due to the Gift Bringers, and the Arkati patrolling the Hero Planes are there to ensure it doesn't happen again.  I think both the Lunars and the Sartarites are something new, and that now human know how to kill deities, they are likely to do more of it. 

Not unlikely.  Canon.

Quote

JRUSTELA: The Sunken Temples
In 1623, Harrek and his Wolf Pirates
descend upon the sunken isle of
Jrustela. They raise part of the isle and
uncover ancient God Learner temples
preserved by powerful sorcery, and
wrest forbidden secrets from the ghosts
of the God Learners. Now more gods
than men, Harrek and his companions
sail off to Genertela.

Guide to Glorantha p502

And

Quote

Argrath's
Companions
Argrath is served by
several companions, each
an extension of the hero,
like trained weapons in his
hands. They all contributed
insights into the creation of
the Sartar Magical Union.
As of 1627, his
companions are:
Mularik Ironeye -
Arkati illumination
Orlaront Dragonfriend -
Draconic consciousness
Elusu the Trickster
- Trickster magic
Tosti Runefriend -
God Learnerism

Annstad of Dunstop
- Lunar Illumination,
Red Goddess and
Orlanth Thunderous
Tarkala the Lover
- Esrolian secrets of
Life and Death
Rurik Runespear
- Many Suns

HeroQuest: Glorantha p30

 

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1 minute ago, metcalph said:

Not unlikely.  Canon.

The fact that they went looking for the information, and found ghosts who could tell them about it isn't the same as unravelling the RuneQuest Sight.   Knowing a few God Learner tricks is not the same as being a God Learner.   If you rediscover the RuneQuest Sight the Gift Bringers still come after you, illuminated or not (after all the God Learners were illuminates, and the Gift Bringers still killed them), much like if you create a new God, the Compromise is invalidated and you can be destroyed by direct Divine Intervention.  Neither Harrek or Argrath rediscovered the RuneQuest Sight, so they are not real God Learners.  You don't need to have the RQS to build the Sartar Magical Union; admittedly it would help though.

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

the God Learners are extinct due to the Gift Bringers, and the Arkati patrolling the Hero Planes are there to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Aren't the Arkati patrols there to ensure Arkat doesn't happen again?

 

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15 minutes ago, Darius West said:

If you rediscover the RuneQuest Sight the Gift Bringers still come after you, illuminated or not (after all the God Learners were illuminates, and the Gift Bringers still killed them), much like if you create a new God, the Compromise is invalidated and you can be destroyed by direct Divine Intervention.

image.png.b2e3fbaef82d019f74cd41d6bf601488.png God created

image.png.4fed1904def6d50b1a48f3515f6fc199.png RuneQuest Sight discovered

(Excerpt from Seven Mothers todo list.)

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1 hour ago, The God Learner said:

Aren't the Arkati patrols there to ensure Arkat doesn't happen again?

 

They clearly fail.

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

much like if you create a new God, the Compromise is invalidated and you can be destroyed by direct Divine Intervention.

True. But it bears reminding that the gods TRIED to destroy the Lunars and the Red Goddess at the battle of Castle Blue... and failed.

Why would Gift Bringers or other things fare any better if the Lunars uncovered Runequest Sight?

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

The fact that they went looking for the information, and found ghosts who could tell them about it isn't the same as unravelling the RuneQuest Sight.   Knowing a few God Learner tricks is not the same as being a God Learner.   If you rediscover the RuneQuest Sight the Gift Bringers still come after you, illuminated or not (after all the God Learners were illuminates, and the Gift Bringers still killed them), much like if you create a new God, the Compromise is invalidated and you can be destroyed by direct Divine Intervention. 

The Gift Bringers chase you if you crop up in Umathela or Fonrit with that knowledge, provided the cult did not exterminate itself for knowledge about the forbidden knowledge. The Gift Bringers never operated north of the Homeward Ocean, as the Closing prevented any communication.

We don't know whether the secret hunted down by the Gift Bringers was the RuneQuest Sight, or whether it was some other heroquesting ability. Everybody who knew about the secret - including the Gift Bringers themselves - was eradicated.

There are plenty of ways to create or revive a god inside Time that don't violate the Compromise. Manifesting a major deity (i.e. something a lot bigger than Firshala or our barley-headed godling down in Snake Pipe Hollow) probably will violate the compromise, but the four new stars for Orlanth's Ring don't really.

Possessing the RuneQuest Sight does not violate the Compromise. It used to trigger the rage of a Pamaltelan secret organisation, and looking at Fonrit, I doubt they managed to reach everyone.

Illuminates die, like everyone else does. Heroquesters die, and then return from the Underworld to avenge themselves.

Quote

Neither Harrek or Argrath rediscovered the RuneQuest Sight, so they are not real God Learners. 

What's your source for that?

Quote

You don't need to have the RQS to build the Sartar Magical Union; admittedly it would help though.

Finally a statement I can agree with.

Edited by Joerg

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10 hours ago, EricW said:

The Lunars tamper with myths and bend the rules. Even the Godlearners never attempted to kill Orlanth. The Lunars openly use and accept chaos, well beyond whatever use God Learners may have made of chaos.

What protects imperial sorcerers from the Doom Guardians? Given all their abuses, what more would Lunars have to do to trigger immediate retribution?

There's a conceptual difference between the Godlearners and the Lunars. The Godlearners were sorcerers with an established and evolving schema  of the known universe. They used their powers to establish a grand unified theory to incorporate everything, which was not only flawed, but they were blind to their own shortcomings. The Lunars have a syncretic religion that has proved it can exist within the bounds of compromise (castle blue) It's headed by a goddesses made from fragments of older broken gods, which is a clever trick. The Goddess wants to heal the world, but her methods are flawed due to her synthesised nature. However the Doom Guardians have been activated and will arrive soon. Argrath is clearly her end.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Gift Bringers chase you if you crop up in Umathela or Fonrit with that knowledge, provided the cult did not exterminate itself for knowledge about the forbidden knowledge. The Gift Bringers never operated north of the Homeward Ocean, as the Closing prevented any communication.

Well then, that would be an extremely imperfect solution to the problem, wouldn't it?  Given how much of Genertela was under Jrusteli domination, there would have been ample God Learners still alive in Seshnela, Ralios, Maniria, and even in Teshnos and Kralorela.  Did the Closing shut down the Hero Planes too, because if not, there is more than one way to traverse a closed ocean.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

There are plenty of ways to create or revive a god inside Time that don't violate the Compromise. Manifesting a major deity (i.e. something a lot bigger than Firshala or our barley-headed godling down in Snake Pipe Hollow) probably will violate the compromise, but the four new stars for Orlanth's Ring don't really.

  I believe the Compromise is pretty clear on the fact that Nysalor broke the rules, Zistor broke the rules, and the Red Moon Goddess breaks the rules too.  As to Firshala and Baroshi, they existed before time (which is also the Red Moon Goddess' excuse).  As to mortals who become deities, the rules aren't especially clear, which is something that will probably be resolved at the closing of the 3rd Age when the sevened deities of the Lunar Empire face their reckoning.

4 hours ago, The God Learner said:

Aren't the Arkati patrols there to ensure Arkat doesn't happen again?

No, they understood what Arkat sacrificed to haul down the false chaos accepting illumination of Nysalor.  Arkat had to become the perfect example of everything wrong with illumination in order to succeed in halting Chaos' plan to destroy the world again, and then he withdrew himself from power.  The Dark Empire actually functioned around the principle of "Don't disturb Arkat", and the delegation of power proved salutory.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Possessing the RuneQuest Sight does not violate the Compromise. 

I never said it did, re-read what I wrote before misrepresenting my position please.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

It used to trigger the rage of a Pamaltelan secret organisation, and looking at Fonrit, I doubt they managed to reach everyone.

There is more than one way to cross an ocean.  If the Gift Bringers didn't reach Genertela, then there would be no reason for Harrek and Argrath to have gone to all that trouble in Jrustela to find God Learners, as there would have been ample information in places like Seshnela or Maniria, and probably even surviving God Learners hidden away.  We know that immortality is a power available via heroquest, so they might still be alive today, except they aren't, and there are no people with the RuneQuest Sight either.  This supports a single logical conclusion, that they Gift Bringers completed HeroQuests that removed the God Learners and their powers from the world, much like the Closing, or the forthcoming Age of Illiteracy.  More importantly, it would not be enough to remove the people with the RuneQuest Sight, but also the books that detail how to obtain it too, otherwise the whole movement will be back up and running in a generation.  If it wasn't global then it wasn't nearly enough to have worked, and we might still find God Learners ogres hiding in the subterranean areas of Robcradle.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

What's your source for that?

Well, we all know what the RuneQuest Sight is right?  Greg already told us that.  The equivalent project would be trying to rebuild the military industrial complex from rubble, willpower and a copy of a High School Science Textbook that details just enough about physics, chemistry, biology and the scientific method to make it "just" possible.  Harrek simply lacks the temprament.  Argrath utterly lacks the time.  Even if Argrath had the time, it wouldn't yield results for years.  For example, what are the military applications of Calculus?  The answer is that they are profoundly important but far from obvious to your average soldier.  The same is true of the RuneQuest Sight.  In Gloranthan terms, the discovery of the military use of wyters is the equivalent of the discovery of gunpowder, and that is a pretty good trick; well worth a trip to the briny ruins of Jrustela.  In short, neither Harrek or Argrath really need the RuneQuest Sight to do everything they are going to do.

Edited by Darius West
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There is at least one being who knows the God Learners secret in the Third Age - Ralzakark (assuming he is still cannon).

So it doesn’t seem unreasonable an extremely difficult heroquest could uncover the secret, and that someone powerful enough to uncover the secret could also fend off the doom. Although someone who is already that powerful probably mostly already knows the secret, or as much of the secret as they need to further their goals..

But my question was more about more or less normal lunar college of magic types who somehow seem to tinker with myths on a scale comparable to God Learners, though possibly all the difficult work is done by very advanced heroquestors?

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19 minutes ago, Darius West said:
2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Gift Bringers chase you if you crop up in Umathela or Fonrit with that knowledge, provided the cult did not exterminate itself for knowledge about the forbidden knowledge. The Gift Bringers never operated north of the Homeward Ocean, as the Closing prevented any communication.

Well then, that would be an extremely imperfect solution to the problem, wouldn't it?  Given how much of Genertela was under Jrusteli domination, there would have been ample God Learners still alive in Seshnela, Ralios, Maniria, and even in Teshnos and Kralorela.  Did the Closing shut down the Hero Planes too, because if not, there is more than one way to traverse a closed ocean.

Yes, the Closing was a very powerful magical effect that did stop almost every form of contact or communication. Middle Sea Empire p.27 has the timeline for the breakdown of communication between Jrustela and Seshnela. There are no Malazan-Book of the Fallen style Hero Plane or Spirit Plane roads between the continents that allow to enter in one continent and leave in the other. What there are are Heroplane roads that lead into the mythic equivalent of the other continent (or the Spike in between) in Godtime, but you re-emerge where you enter. The best half way offer is the Fish Road from Deepest to Magasta's Pool, but I don't think that there is any way to cross the rifts of the broken Earth Cube that way.

 

30 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I believe the Compromise is pretty clear on the fact that Nysalor broke the rules, Zistor broke the rules, and the Red Moon Goddess breaks the rules too. 

Actually, at the Battle of Night and Day, Daysenerus broke the rules. Osentalka was born during the Sunstop, a period outside of Time, a break in the compromise in itself but not caused by the birth of the (as it turned out, not so) Perfect One. Zistor manifesting full divine powers was a clear break of the Marquess of Queensbury rules of summoning divine presence (which was not broken by Tanian's Victory...). The rise of the Red Moon in 1247 was blatant and universally witnessed, but not the moment which would be blamed. The rebirth of Teelo as Teelo Estara was not a break of the Compromise, and her subsequent demigod existence wasn't, either. Her return on the back of the Crimson Bat at the First Battle of Chaos clearly brought Chaos into the world, which may be seen as a break of the Compromise, but then some of the Praxian practices involving the native Chaos horrors of the Wastes or the Devil's Marsh are about as dubious.

The Orlanthi all claim "foul" and "break of Compromise", but when and how exactly did that happen? Their answer is of course, "who cares? She openly consorts with Chaos!"

30 minutes ago, Darius West said:

As to Firshala and Baroshi, they existed before time (which is also the Red Moon Goddess' excuse).  As to mortals who become deities,-th STles aren't especially clear, which is something that will probably be resolved at the closing of the 3rd Age when the sevened deities of the Lunar Empire face their reckoning.

Humans who apotheosize usually do so by leaving the Mortal Plane and entering the Otherworld where they had prepared their future abode when still just heroes or demigods. The Compromise is fine with that, as the nature of Godtime is both ever the same and ever growing and changing, fed by the experiences of the various visitors. The Lunar divinely ascended humans face the destruction of their Otherworld abode, or rather the problem of following it through its further ascendance which does result in some red glowing rock dropping back onto the Earth.

 

43 minutes ago, Darius West said:

There is more than one way to cross an ocean. 

On the surface of the water, flying, or below the surface. The only entities who can cross the ocean below the water are the merfolk and their demigods and deities, and they have to handle the Doom Currents on the way. (As do ships and other water surface travel methods). Flying used to be feasible in the early phase of the Closing, but the magic adapted, and the few long range flyers suffered more and more attrition (940-962 ST), with the final flier a passive passenger probably selected for some magical affinity to being floated and pushed across that magic in 998 ST.

And all of this is Jrustela to Seshnela, only half the distance (and resistance) from Umathela to Seshnela.

You may quote the pre-Closing journey of the Pithdarans as an alternative way across the ocean, but from their own records, they left shortly after the Sunstop and arrived only after Tanian's Victory broke some magical hold on trans-oceanic traffic that neither the Pithdarans nor the Free Men of the Seas knew about, and never really found out about.

43 minutes ago, Darius West said:

If the Gift Bringers didn't reach Genertela, then there would be no reason for Harrek and Argrath to have gone to all that trouble in Jrustela to find God Learners, as there would have been ample information in places like Seshnela or Maniria, and probably even surviving God Learners hidden away. 

The Luatha aren't the Gift Bringers, but they are a fairly potent lot of demigods, and one that Harrek did not overcome when he sailed down from Ygg's Isles as Ygg's champion. The Vingkotling magic used for the assault on Luathela in the course of the Lightbringers' Quest doesn't seem to work on the Seshnelan contingent. This is one of the most famous quests in Glorantha, and surely was studied by the God Learners (if only to learn about Arkat's and Talor's returns from Hell).

 

43 minutes ago, Darius West said:

We know that immortality is a power available via heroquest, so they might still be alive today, except they aren't, and there are no people with the RuneQuest Sight either. 

And we can prove a negative how?

43 minutes ago, Darius West said:

This supports a single logical conclusion, that they Gift Bringers completed HeroQuests that removed the God Learners and their powers from the world, much like the Closing, or the forthcoming Age of Illiteracy. 

Or some other agency rounded up those who used and proliferated these powers openly.

IIRC there was a canonical statement along the lines that the RuneQuest Sight ceased to work following the cataclysms. Someone had inserted a new patch into the source code of Time, and the RQS exploit was rendered powerless.

 

43 minutes ago, Darius West said:

More importantly, it would not be enough to remove the people with the RuneQuest Sight, but also the books that detail how to obtain it too, otherwise the whole movement will be back up and running in a generation.  If it wasn't global then it wasn't nearly enough to have worked, and we might still find God Learners ogres hiding in the subterranean areas of Robcradle.

Yawn. No way in or outside of Hell. Praxians have a taboo for horses, even for flogging dead ones.

 

55 minutes ago, Darius West said:
3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Possessing the RuneQuest Sight does not violate the Compromise. 

I never said it did, re-read what I wrote before misrepresenting my position please.

If you didn't say that, then just let this stand as a correlated statement. Being a God Learner doesn't violate the Compromise. Some things some fringe groups of the God Learners did was violating the Compromise back then, but their opponents violated it too ("it already was broken, so what damage could have been done...").

 

What God Learner secrets (or rather, no longer taught methods) may have been unearthed may be formulaic ways to construct, confirm and destruct identification with mythic actors. How much that is worth to an intuitive Hero Plane traveler like Harrek remains to be seen, but for Argrath who had always relied on the God Learner remnant aka Lhankor Mhy library knowledge, this may have been invaluable.

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4 hours ago, Darius West said:

...

Well, we all know what the RuneQuest Sight is right?  Greg already told us that.  ...

Ahem, excuse my ignorance, but in fact I do not. I've never had the honour and pleasure to meet Greg in person, nor did I follow all these educated discussions, that happened in other Internet places several years ago.

So if you would be so kind to elaborate a bit?

Edited by Oracle
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42 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Orlanthi all claim "foul" and "break of Compromise", but when and how exactly did that happen?

Interestingly enough, the Glorantha wiki writes "The Red Goddess, realizing that the Cosmic Compromise was broken at the Castle [by others], decided to use it as the means for her apotheosis." While one should recall that the fight was basically provoked by Lunars in the first place, it sounds like the quarrelers were the ones who broke the Compromise, not the RG herself.

45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

IIRC there was a canonical statement along the lines that the RuneQuest Sight ceased to work following the cataclysms. Someone had inserted a new patch into the source code of Time, and the RQS exploit was rendered powerless.

Presumably Arachne Solara or something on that level. The mechanism is not clear. Can 'patching' Time be seen as providing some Free Will to the same?

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:
6 hours ago, The God Learner said:

Aren't the Arkati patrols there to ensure Arkat doesn't happen again?

No, they understood what Arkat sacrificed to haul down the false chaos accepting illumination of Nysalor.  Arkat had to become the perfect example of everything wrong with illumination in order to succeed in halting Chaos' plan to destroy the world again, and then he withdrew himself from power.  The Dark Empire actually functioned around the principle of "Don't disturb Arkat", and the delegation of power proved salutory.

Indeed, but the point of the Arkati hero plane guards was to block others from doing the sort of hero questing Arkat did, wasn't it? 

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23 minutes ago, Oracle said:

Ahem, excuse my ignorance, but in fact I do not. I've never had the honour and pleasure to meet Greg in person, nor did I follow all these educated discussion, that happened in other Internet places several years ago.

Neither do I.

Kloster

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http://glorantha.tumblr.com/post/102359163248/what-was-runesight-how-did-the-god-learners should help:

> What was runesight? How did the God Learners attain it? Why does no one possess it any more?

The RuneQuest Sight was the name for the magical methods of observation the God Learners used to study the world. They could see the underlying patterns and structures of the world, which they formalised into the Runes. The RuneQuest Sight allowed them to make great discoveries about the nature of the Otherworlds, the interconnectedness of mythology and the mechanics of Heroquesting.

They developed the RuneQuest Sight through their unconventional and haphazard approach to Heroquesting. The nature of Malkionism and the Invisible God means that there aren’t really any Malkioni myths, so they had never really Heroquested before the Second Age. When the God Learner Collective was first formed, they weren’t travelling to any Malkioni myths but to the myths of the barbarian cultures they reviled. They didn’t recognise the srvuali as gods, and they didn’t understand the significance of the myths, so they were fairly ruthless and clinical about the whole thing.

This at first went really badly for them, as they blundered into Heroquests and were forcefully ejected when they failed to take on any of the roles. It was even worse when they tried to kill their way through the myths with battle magic, an approach that saw them slaughtered by the demigod guardians of the gods. But they kept trying, building off of small successes, until they were able to develop powers like the RuneQuest Sight. Eventually, they had surpassed even Arkat in their talent for Heroquesting.

The reason no one knows the secrets of the God Learners today is because of the Gift Carriers of the Sending Gods. When the Middle Sea Empire collapsed and the Otherworlds suddenly reverted back to the way they were before the God Learners started messing with them, the Gift Carriers entered Glorantha and killed everyone who knew the RuneQuest Sight. They were so thorough that there is no one alive today who knows the Sight.

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27 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Thanks for the explanation. Where does it comes from?

Kloster

Indeed.

In particular -- who IS "glorantha.tumblr.com" ???

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59 minutes ago, g33k said:

Indeed.

In particular -- who IS "glorantha.tumblr.com" ???

Given the numerous sketches and comic previews by jenxrodwell, I would guess that this is a page of Kalin Kadiev, illustrator of Prince of Sartar fame and a good number of recent contributions to Glorantha publications.

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I remember that! The Glorantha Tumblr was one of the first ways I got bite-sized lore info on Glorantha, back when I was first discovering the Prince of Sartar comic as well. It follows a kind of fandom-answering pattern that was popular on Tumblr a few years ago, with similar answering blogs dedicated to Lord of the Rings, or the Elder Scrolls, and so on.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Given the numerous sketches and comic previews by jenxrodwell, I would guess that this is a page of Kalin Kadiev, illustrator of Prince of Sartar fame and a good number of recent contributions to Glorantha publications.

I am unconvinced (but willing to believe)... Given the way the Internet generally (and Tumblr in particular) is prone to <s>taking</s>borrowing without attribution; the presence of ANYONE's content isn't proof that person owns a Tumblr...

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