Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Talk of Gloranthan fiction sends my mind racing again toward the intermittent question of how people in the lozenge categorize the imagination (khayâl) and its works, whether they play out as personal fantasies, deliberate evasions of Truth, meditation experiences or quasi-objective illusion magic. 

I could footnote this to luxuriant length bringing in people like Ibn 'Arabi but would rather focus on how you relate various specialist explanations of spirit planes, short worlds and sorcery nodes to the more intimate microcosmic realities our characters presumably inhabit when they close their eyes. Does god talk to your character in dreams? Every dream? Even if you never sacrificed for a true divination? How can you tell?

Is it possible for a riddler, trickster, illusionist or plain old free-floating spirit to slip counterfactual information "under" the gates keeping my dozing mind from reality and (normally) from direct communication with yours? Language helps to bridge our subjectivities when we're awake and chattering online, but language can be exploited to mislead the unwary. Are all false dreams the domain of the red goddess and her associates? Whose games have explored this? 

Dragonewts and dragons "dream" and so do some of the people of the farthest East, piping at the gates of dawn. Is there a connection or just the seductive appearance of meaning here?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pah, your speak as if dreaming and waking are different, self-absorbed dream as you are. The world is a perfectly truthful lie with OUROBOROS at the center and the outside and nowhere and everywhere all at once. Self and reality are not, all is subjective as all is illusionary but oh so perfectly real. I am a dream but by my awakening I know I am dreamer as well and am split in half, and so all of the dream is of me and I of it. Only the fools know there is a barrier between dreaming and waking. They do not know the true secret of OUROBOROS so they see with both eyes but still hold one shut for fear of illusion being illusionary.

Alright, serious answer. I think people's imaginations in Glorantha are pretty much like their own otherworlds. IIRC there are even Vithelan sorcerers who deal with dreams much the same way Shamans do with the spirit world. They can have their own denizens, environments, and such which are just as real as the other otherworlds but contained within one person (or multiple in some cases. Hell, Glorantha itself technically only exists in the imagination of people :P).

On dragons and dreams, one of my personal theories is that dragons, their kin, and draconic mystics view the world and themselves as the dream of the Cosmic Dragon, the concept/being of Ouroboros, or some other entity we don't know. Due to this, they can cast magic by basically treating reality as a lucid dream since, if they're a dream, then that means by extension they are a part of the dreamer and thus the dream is really their own. The EWF masters believed the Cosmic Dragon was the source of reality and so everything within their dragon dream began to take on draconic characteristics which could not exist beyond, which is how they could have all their unique animals and crops which disappeared after their fall.

Edited by Richard S.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Q. O Storm Voice, tell me, what are dreams?

A. Ah, my brave young warrior, most dreams are the sendings of Eurmal. They are illusions and lies he whispers to you as you sleep, to amuse, seduce, and horrify you. That is why they seem like nonsense, because nonsense is the language of the Trickster. His illusions have no order. They are a jumble of impressions that can be confusing and troubling, as are all the Trickster's jokes. You can enjoy them when they please you, or ignore them when they don't, as with all the workings of Eurmal.

But beware, because sometimes the Trickster mixes truths with his lies, because otherwise you would never believe him. And sometimes other gods send messages to you in your sleep as well. They may be prophecies or warnings, promises or threats. When a god other than Eurmal whispers to you in your sleep, your dreams will become much more coherent and memorable, though still often symbolic and obscure. Those dreams may repeat, and if you have one, you should come to me so we can discuss it and I can try to help you understand which god is speaking to you and what their message means.

But do not be too eager to act on the messages from your dreams. Because the Trickster knows how the dreams of other gods look and feel, so sometimes he will send dreams indistinguishable from theirs. Or he will interrupt their messages with his own nonsense and lies. So be cautious with dreams and seek the guidance of the wise if they trouble you overmuch. 

And lastly, if you are dreaming of Ongara Touchfire, know she dreams of you too and this is a different kind of message from the gods. One you two should talk about by the hearth of her parents' home one night soon.

Ah... That is a nice leg of mutton. My thanks, young warrior. Blessings of Orlanth to you and may all your dreams be pleasant and true.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Revealed Mythologies deals to a large extend with the importance of dreams and illusions in the Eastern Isles. Not only is there Avanapdur's Transitory Empire, which was revealed to be a dream, an illusion, a lie, but everyone who bought into it disappeared with it, and even islands did. The end of that empire is, as far as I understand, the closest we get to the Theyalan "Dawning" myth and beginning of Time - with Vithela/Eastern Isles having a chronology that overall kinda defies the Theyalan-GL version of things.

There is also a lengthy section on the Goddess of Dreams, sought by a keet traveler. I struggled grokking that part, but it seems to be that her devotees consider her dreams to be good and non-delusional, actively contrasted to other dream-entities. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both Avanapdur and Jogrampur showed that sufficiently powered propaganda would become tangible reality, although of a weaker kind that might not survive the test of permanence that exposure to the Ultimate provides.

There is an entire clade of entities that would fade away or become transparent when exposed to near-ultimate, the Iradgenderi or the transient folk. But then, what are their characteristics? They get destroyed by unprepared exposure to the Void? Many entities do. They aren't shape permanent? Neither are Hsunchen, Sea entities, or Darkness entitiies. They are transient? Mystics teach that much of existence is transient.

Back in the days of the Three Separate Worlds dogma, there was also the concept of Short Worlds, Otherworlds without a direct connection to the Absolute but leeching the power from adjacent places that do. (E.g. through worship or emotions.) These short worlds are real enough if you don't test them too rigorously, may exchange content with the material world (such as inhabitants) that is assumed non-transient.

Avanapdur's Empire possibly was such a realm, contagious to the non-transient world, and in my personal opinion most of its transient content was pre-existing the creation of Avanapdur through the power of worship. The antigod Avanapdur just was the first to unite the disparate transient places into one realm.

I think that living next to transient places, and even using them in your daily routine, wasn't anything of a great deal in Godtime. These transient places may have been placeholders for Creation still waiting to happen, and having a transient reality nearby probably was vastly preferable to having a Void of non-Being in its place. Dangerous entities would emerge from non-transient places just as much as from transient ones.

Transient places change the rules - but so did the altered realities of the Bright Empire, the EWF dragon emanation, the Glowline, the Closing, or the fallout from the Syndics' Ban, and probably others.

When Arachne Solara cast out her web, rather few of these transient places were rescued. Many had succumbed to Chaos and were lost by the contact, or had become so corrupt that they couldn't conform to the Compromise, another filter imposed on the post-Great Darkness material world.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All great things. 

Looking for the moment I remember when Greg emphasized the transitory nature of Illusion so strongly over its opposition to Truth that the classic binaries changed, I see a paragraph that should warm some hearts and chill others:

Imagine the time, which is going to come, when the entire world community of Yelmalio believers gives 100% support to their hero in a Quest Challenge to contest with the hero of Elmal, also backed by the entire Elmal world community. One will lose, and the entire world of that god will no longer be able to believe what they had before. The victor will then go on to contest whether their god is the True Sun God, pitted against Yelm and his worshippers. (Q&A September 2002

So which model of the little sun god survives the Hero Wars is up to the magically courageous to determine and the ultimate rewards can be huge. Dare to dream a future where your guy is the hottest or brightest thing around. Dazzle us. The age of multiple visions (at least Two Counts) is upon us. Use it.

Of course that plays out in the way planets and stars continue to move after they've left the objective sky. In the inner eye, in the human interior, in the "underworld" most people only see when they're gone. Out here in the day Black Yelm is an invisible god except when you close your eyes in some left-hand meditation or theoretical Buserian calculation (if there's a difference). The monks debate the small points, set multiple theoretical "suns" in motion until the sky confirms which models were only fiction. Truth is a matter for Dayzatar and he is perpetually unavailable. 

But that was Buserian. Here in modern times the sophisticated knowledge god of the empire of Illusion is the brown man. I've never really needed to look at him before . . . the beards closer to home keep me mighty busy. I imagine Irrippi as a dirtier monk than often depicted, bronze age Rabelais. A punning cunning man, king of the sophists. His insight was that Truth was relative and that if nothing is objectively True, almost everything is permitted up to the point where "reality" bites back. And that if the interior sky is manipulated with enough conviction (truth value = high), the objective sky warps with it. "As below, so above."

He apparently wrote several Gloranthan novels but there's no authoritative edition. He knows the known masks of god and will bullshit his way through the rest.

Anyhow, if Greg switches celestial court partners, "reality" is whatever we bump into in the dark. It's the shock that wakes you out of the dream. There's probably some Arachne Solara rigmarole around this but I'm not interested in that right now.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...