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Who is the Devil in the Second Age? Who is the Hero?

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7 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

This makes sense to me.

This is what Greg wrote in The Middle Sea Empire, p.42: 

"They used the Abiding Book as a source, a “cosmic grimoire,” and cast great magic that did bad things. They did not know it but the entity that had led them there was Gbaji, the Deceiver. It led many, including some of the greatest and most powerful people among them, to do evil and to worship Malkioneran, revealed later to be the Devil."

So does that mean the Abiding Book is false?

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HOLD UP

If the Abiding Book's appearance in 635 was a manifestation of the Devil then that would put the next Devil birth at 1235 or so... which is suspiciously close to the birth of the Red Goddess!

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The Devil in the First Age was Gbaji. Manifesting as Nysalor. 

The Devil in the Second Age was Gbaji. Manifesting as Malkioneran.

The Devil in the Third Age will be Gbaji. Manifesting as ? (the Red Goddess is the obvious target)

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

"They used the Abiding Book as a source, a “cosmic grimoire,” and cast great magic that did bad things. They did not know it but the entity that had led them there was Gbaji, the Deceiver. It led many, including some of the greatest and most powerful people among them, to do evil and to worship Malkioneran, revealed later to be the Devil."

I don't think the Abiding Book was false. The Abiding Book contains a bit more truth (including inherent contradictions) than the more orthodox are comfortable with (hence the expurgated Sharp Abiding Book later), but the practice of using the whole Abiding Book as a grimoire is something that happened long after its first appearance, in the early 800s. And as they begin using it as a grimoire, they begin editing and reducing it - the 753 Compilations is something like the Abiding Book for Dummies, a guide to using the book as a source of cool magic for heroquesting and pagan blasting, with the most awkward (mysterious, contradictory, focusing on deeper morality and ethics, etc) parts ignored or explained away. The later Abiding Grimoire and Unencumbered Lights of Reason take this further, and just actually remove the tricky bits entirely. 

It is not the Abiding Book itself that is the problem, or its use by the mainstream of the God Learners (the orthodox Hadmalists always believed that the moral instruction, etc parts of the Abiding Book was key to understanding). It was the Malkioneranists who took the book, stripped it of anything that wasn't of direct magical value, and turned it into little but the basis for a magical armory that, IMO, let the devil in. 

Of course, we know that the foundations of Malkioneranism come, ultimately, from their exposure to Illuminated thought, their Nysaloran artifact Impossible Landscapes leading them to techniques we would now recognise as a form of Illumination. They then began doing what Illuminates always seem to do when they gather  - some might seek deeper magical liberation, but some take the new magic they have found and use it apparently without humility or conscience to loot the otherworld for personal power. 

The Devil is essentially Gbaji made manifest, IMO. 

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

The Devil in the First Age was Gbaji. Manifesting as Nysalor. 

And Arkat. Or as the separation between the two.

 

2 hours ago, davecake said:

The Devil in the Second Age was Gbaji. Manifesting as Malkioneran.

Ho hum. I am not convinced yet. As with Nysalor, it wasn't the entity that caused the evil, but misguided followers. If Malkioneran had a champion against him, it might have been Halwal. But then, Halwal's main opponent was a Makanist like himself, Yomili.

 

2 hours ago, davecake said:

The Devil in the Third Age will be Gbaji. Manifesting as ? (the Red Goddess is the obvious target)

Red Goddess and Sheng come as a pair, much like Arkat and Nysalor, but Sheng gets disposed of early.

Jar-eel is Argrath's Other, I suppose.

 

Following this list, Gbaji is the Devil, within Time. In a way, he may also have been Kazkurtum, whose demise starts the pre-Time that gives us the first 600 year cycle from the Greater Darkness.

 

2 hours ago, davecake said:

I don't think the Abiding Book was false. The Abiding Book contains a bit more truth (including inherent contradictions) than the more orthodox are comfortable with (hence the expurgated Sharp Abiding Book later), but the practice of using the whole Abiding Book as a grimoire is something that happened long after its first appearance, in the early 800s.

But it was the expurgated versions which were circulated by the fringe splinter groups. The initial error probably lay in declaring portions of the book as ballast. The Makanist Hrestoli majority in the Empire was as much at fault with this.

The early great successes of the God Learners were founded on the unabridged book - burning down most of Vralos, calling down Tanian.

 

2 hours ago, davecake said:

And as they begin using it as a grimoire, they begin editing and reducing it - the 753 Compilations is something like the Abiding Book for Dummies, a guide to using the book as a source of cool magic for heroquesting and pagan blasting, with the most awkward (mysterious, contradictory, focusing on deeper morality and ethics, etc) parts ignored or explained away. The later Abiding Grimoire and Unencumbered Lights of Reason take this further, and just actually remove the tricky bits entirely. 

It is not the Abiding Book itself that is the problem, or its use by the mainstream of the God Learners (the orthodox Hadmalists always believed that the moral instruction, etc parts of the Abiding Book was key to understanding). It was the Malkioneranists who took the book, stripped it of anything that wasn't of direct magical value, and turned it into little but the basis for a magical armory that, IMO, let the devil in. 

As I am not agreeing with your equation of the Devil with Gbaji (see below), I don't think this is the case. But what it definitely did was weaken the fabric of the world (aka Arachne Solara's web which holds it all together). That's their difference to what the Arkati did (and keep doing, either ones from the original era suspended in timeless questing, or their heirs unwittingly using half-understood fragments of secrets. At least some of them, others fail greatly and provide the opposite effect.)

2 hours ago, davecake said:

Of course, we know that the foundations of Malkioneranism come, ultimately, from their exposure to Illuminated thought, their Nysaloran artifact Impossible Landscapes leading them to techniques we would now recognise as a form of Illumination.

Interesting. I viewed it not so much as a guide to Illumination than as a guide to entering the world of myth through stories, something the old Hrestoli questing apparently did not do. Hrestol's quest (and other quests begun in the Hrestol's Saga collection of fragments) appears to be more a stumbling into the myths by confronting or more often being confronted by guardians of the magical places/the Otherworld. Almost always some confrontation with a (or the) deceiver.

I didn't think that Impossible Landscapes was Nysaloran in origin, either - I placed it in the Arkati camp, as a basic tool for their heroquesting to guard the Otherworld. (Which doesn't make it any less prone to conveying some mystical insights.)

2 hours ago, davecake said:

They then began doing what Illuminates always seem to do when they gather  - some might seek deeper magical liberation, but some take the new magic they have found and use it apparently without humility or conscience to loot the otherworld for personal power. 

The Devil is essentially Gbaji made manifest, IMO. 

Despite you making excellent points here, I think I disagree.

Gbaji is the Deceiver, the twister of Truth (rather than the bringer of illusion). As such he is instrumental in paving the way for the real bad things, and I am firmly convinced that e.g. all the Ompalam stuff that rules/ruins Fonrit is based on Gbaji, and much of the orthodox Yelmic doctrine is, too (beginning with the rise of Brightface before the so-called Golden Age).(Umath and Orlanth are bumbling efforts to express their disagreement with that, perhaps more destructive than anything Gbaji creates himself, but naive in their raging.)

There might even be a case for equating Antirius or Metsyla or Govmeranen with Gbaji - the immortal part of Yelm.

The Devil on the other hand is something released by Orlanth, if unwittingly and unintentionally. Release Orlanth into the world, and the Devil will follow, and it is a lot worse than anything Gbaji produces. Sure, it was Ragnaglar's misdeeds that set up the creation of the Devil, but it was Orlanth's (and Ernalda's) mismanagement of the situation that brought about the vengeful acts of the Unholy Trio. Orlanth stepping forth, showing his power to right a situation, and achieving the opposite.

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Gbaji is the evil that tells you that your ends justify your means because you are the best and only judge of what and who are important. Gbaji says not to worry where the road you are paving with your good intentions leads, you can surely handle it.

Gbaji does not deceive others, Gbaji helps you deceive yourself to justify ruinous acts. 

Gbaji says, "Whatever problems freeing Sheng-Seleris might cause are worth it for the harm he'll do to the Lunars, and you can handle him in any case. You're the Liberator, you've got this."

Gbaji is hubris.

 

 

Edited by JonL
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33 minutes ago, JonL said:

Gbaji is the evil that tells you that your ends justify your means because you are the best and only judge of what and who are important. Gbaji says not to worry where the road you are paving with your good intentions leads, you can surely handle it.

Gbaji does not deceive others, Gbaji helps you deceive yourself to justify ruinous acts. 

Gbaji says, "Whatever problems freeing Sheng-Seleris might cause are worth it for the harm he'll do to the Lunars, and you can handle him in any case. You're the Liberator, you've got this."

Gbaji is hubris.

Huh. I guess that explains why the cult of Elmal explicitly connects the Teller of Lies that Elmal vanquished in "Elmal Guards the Stead" with Gbaji; when it tried to trick Elmal into betraying his core principles, even though the tactics changed, it was always ultimately targeting his pride in some way.

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4 hours ago, Leingod said:

Huh. I guess that explains why the cult of Elmal explicitly connects the Teller of Lies that Elmal vanquished in "Elmal Guards the Stead" with Gbaji; when it tried to trick Elmal into betraying his core principles, even though the tactics changed, it was always ultimately targeting his pride in some way.

Really Monrogh, the best way for you to help Tarkalor is to convert as many Loyal Thanes as possible into Sun Dome Templars, with you as their prophet. Don't worry about the ones who like their current lives and communities, they'll see the Light thanks to your leadership. The mercenary angle is a challenge, but replacing their loyalty to Chief & Clan with loyalty to you personally is the only way for this to work. Besides, you trust yourself to be a friend and ally to Tarkalor, right? Surely your successors will follow your righteous example, no matter how much gold an outside power might offer.

Edited by JonL
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20 hours ago, RHW said:

But I figure the Devil isn’t officially “born” until he manifests.

Another fun idea is that it isn't Ralzakark who is the Monster Emperor, but it's actually his 'son', born of some Lunar heroine, so the new Devil is both Chaos and Moonson.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Another fun idea is that it isn't Ralzakark who is the Monster Emperor, but it's actually his 'son', born of some Lunar heroine, so the new Devil is both Chaos and Moonson.

Isn’t “both Chaos and Moonson” redundant? 

Signed,

Every Orlanthi

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23 minutes ago, RHW said:

Isn’t “both Chaos and Moonson” redundant? 

Signed,

Every Orlanthi

Not really. Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.

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3 hours ago, Leingod said:

Not really. Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.

RAGI MOVESLIKECAT: Dunno, boss. Couldn’t tell if all them four sides were equal or whatnot, but it definitely had all right angles, if you know what I’m saying.

ARGRY HARDBLOW: Good enough for me. Let’s get ‘em, lads! For Orlanth!

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6 hours ago, RHW said:

RAGI MOVESLIKECAT: Dunno, boss. Couldn’t tell if all them four sides were equal or whatnot, but it definitely had all right angles, if you know what I’m saying.

ARGRY HARDBLOW: Good enough for me. Let’s get ‘em, lads! For Orlanth!

VESTRANG WISEBEARD: It is fortunate that the world is a rectangular prism rather than a sphere, or this would be much more complicated.

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On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

As with Nysalor, it wasn't the entity that caused the evil, but misguided followers. If Malkioneran had a champion against him, it might have been Halwal.

Almost, but not quite there... (the idea that Malkioneran is 'an entity', rather than a way of looking at the nature of reality, is where you are going astray here - the Devil is a cosmic problem within time, not a single being). 

On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

Red Goddess and Sheng come as a pair, much like Arkat and Nysalor, but Sheng gets disposed of early.

I would have said the Red Emperor and Sheng come as a pair, and the Goddess, being a goddess and not a mere earthly Emperor, is beyond either. 

On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

Following this list, Gbaji is the Devil, within Time. In a way, he may also have been Kazkurtum, whose demise starts the pre-Time that gives us the first 600 year cycle from the Greater Darkness.

That is a certainly one way of looking at it, though I think Kazkurtum is too Peloria specific, and too associated with The Emperor. Which is to say, Dara Happans might agree, but other cultures would not. 

[Abiding Book]

On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

But it was the expurgated versions which were circulated by the fringe splinter groups. The initial error probably lay in declaring portions of the book as ballast. The Makanist Hrestoli majority in the Empire was as much at fault with this.

We agree with the idea that it is the expurgation and reduction of The Abiding Book that is the error, not the book itself. In particular, the Hadmalists always said inclusion of the allegorical and moral aspects of the book was essential, while the Malkioneranists first reduced the Abiding Book to the Abiding Grimoire, and eventually removed even the structure of the book from the working grimoire just leaving the derived magic. The Sharp Abiding Book may have been one path along the way to error, but I think the Makanists were merely misguided, it was the Malkioneranists who led the God Learners along the path to true disaster (and The Devil). 

 

On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

I viewed it not so much as a guide to Illumination than as a guide to entering the world of myth through stories, something the old Hrestoli questing apparently did not do.

Impossible Landscapes, where Malkioneranism  begins, is clearly an artifact of either Arkat or Nysalor (taken from an Autarchy ruin). As more magic is discovered from it, they learn many 'many new, sometimes strange, practices'. Yes, the knowledge from it is interpreted by the (nascent Malkioneranist) School of the New Order as being about understanding of the Invisible God and heroquesting, but its clearly about heroquesting from an Arkat and/or Nysaloran perspective (and certainly, we know the God Learners made use of pagan religion and mythology freely without seeming to be bound by spirits of retribution etc), and increasingly departs from Makanism. 

 

On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

Hrestol's quest (and other quests begun in the Hrestol's Saga collection of fragments) appears to be more a stumbling into the myths by confronting or more often being confronted by guardians of the magical places/the Otherworld.

 I don't have access to Hrestol's Saga (feel free to share relevant portions with me), and as far as I know it far predates the MSE and RM published sources. I do think we need to be careful about interpreting the evolution of Greg's thinking about heroquesting with the evolution of Malkioni understanding of heroquesting. 

 

On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

I didn't think that Impossible Landscapes was Nysaloran in origin, either - I placed it in the Arkati camp

I'm not that sure that, in magical terms, there was any significant difference between Nysalor and Arkat apart from moral code, and varying experience with the magic of their respective allies. 

On 2/7/2019 at 12:29 AM, Joerg said:

Gbaji is the Deceiver, the twister of Truth (rather than the bringer of illusion). As such he is instrumental in paving the way for the real bad things, and I am firmly convinced that e.g. all the Ompalam stuff that rules/ruins Fonrit is based on Gbaji, and much of the orthodox Yelmic doctrine is, too (beginning with the rise of Brightface before the so-called Golden Age).

Gbaji is the Deceiver, for sure. But he is a mystic concept, and beyond mere Truth or Illusion as expressed by the Runes. Gbaji can lie with Truth. I do not think orthodox Yelmic doctrine has the Gbaji nature - it is a mixture of Truth and Lies, like all major religions in Glorantha. Gbaji is mystical falseness, Gbaji is solopsism and selfishness. Gbaji is what happens when you see the world is Illusion, so you decide that nothing is true and everything is permitted, and if everything is meaningless why not do exactly what you want? 

On 2/7/2019 at 1:33 AM, JonL said:

Gbaji does not deceive others, Gbaji helps you deceive yourself to justify ruinous acts. 

Yes. 

On 2/7/2019 at 1:33 AM, JonL said:

Gbaji is hubris.

Gbbaji is mystic hubris. 

I think of Gbaji as very much like Aleister Crowleys concept of 'the Black Brothers' - having crossed the Abyss and experienced mystic insight about the nature of reality, if you then rebel against the dissolution of ego into the all, lapsing back into ego and solipsism, you become a Black Brother, and are toxic and destructive no matter the good or evil of your intentions. 

 

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1 hour ago, davecake said:

I would have said the Red Emperor and Sheng come as a pair, and the Goddess, being a goddess and not a mere earthly Emperor, is beyond either. 

Arkat was as much a mortal as Sheng, and that changed only with his apotheosis around 500 ST.

 

1 hour ago, davecake said:

That is a certainly one way of looking at it, though I think Kazkurtum is too Peloria specific, and too associated with The Emperor. Which is to say, Dara Happans might agree, but other cultures would not. 

The notion of Gbaji apparently became a world-wide effect spreading from the Bright Empire (unless you ask the Dara Happans, who will say that it spread from Brithos), so a Dara Happan origin might be a possibility.

1 hour ago, davecake said:

[Abiding Book]

We agree with the idea that it is the expurgation and reduction of The Abiding Book that is the error, not the book itself. In particular, the Hadmalists always said inclusion of the allegorical and moral aspects of the book was essential, while the Malkioneranists first reduced the Abiding Book to the Abiding Grimoire, and eventually removed even the structure of the book from the working grimoire just leaving the derived magic. The Sharp Abiding Book may have been one path along the way to error, but I think the Makanists were merely misguided, it was the Malkioneranists who led the God Learners along the path to true disaster (and The Devil). 

When exactly did Malkioneran emerge? The School of New Order appears as part of the Return to Rightness crusade already under Hadalin, the first manager, and tried to take over the rule in Seshnela when Pilif the Magus fielded his claim for the throne, and only barely was overcome by Saval.

In a way, the conflict between Saval and Pilif was a re-hash of the conflict that was triggered by Hrestol and Faralz a few years into Hrestol's exile in Brithos, where the supremacy of the sorcerer (Zzabur himself) over nobility was in question. Saval all but exterminated the New Order in Seshnela, but on Jrustela the Order changed its organization.

1 hour ago, davecake said:

Impossible Landscapes, where Malkioneranism  begins, is clearly an artifact of either Arkat or Nysalor (taken from an Autarchy ruin). As more magic is discovered from it, they learn many 'many new, sometimes strange, practices'. Yes, the knowledge from it is interpreted by the (nascent Malkioneranist) School of the New Order as being about understanding of the Invisible God and heroquesting, but its clearly about heroquesting from an Arkat and/or Nysaloran perspective (and certainly, we know the God Learners made use of pagan religion and mythology freely without seeming to be bound by spirits of retribution etc), and increasingly departs from Makanism. 

We have a slight chronology problem here. Saval's savage revenge against the New Order predates Annmak's conquest of the Autarchy by a generation, and due to the internal strife, I doubt that great advances against the Autarchy were achieved under Saval.

 

1 hour ago, davecake said:

 I don't have access to Hrestol's Saga (feel free to share relevant portions with me), and as far as I know it far predates the MSE and RM published sources.

Yes - it predates the first mention of Argrath by about seven years, I guess. No idea when Harmast Barefoot first entered Greg's writings.

Unlike the other prose pieces in the Hrestol's Saga collection, Hrestol's Saga (his original quest to kill Ifttala, the mother of Pendal) is actually a finished story of nine short chapters and a tenth giving an outlook on later events. Two other unfinished stories are included, the rather long visit of Sir Faralz on Brithos (which at least features the Kingslaying, unlike Patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind series which features the adventures of the Kingkiller) and a much shorter fragment about Sir Lokalm (no s in the name), a young man-of-all eager to show his mettle through a chivalrous quest (name a monster, slay it, encounter otherworldly opposition and guides on the way) - in his case a mysterious ferryman who refuses to be paid (always a bad sign). This fragment ends there and then.

Hrestol and Faralz in Brithos has a whole lot of courtly interaction, playing out the caste laws and limitations, and then some action sequences and some high magic politics, culminating in the abdication of Zzabur and the hunt for Faralz the kingslayer (where this fragment ends).

Greg was great at writing expose prose for interesting characters - Aftal the Waertagi in Missing Lands is another such piece that plunges you into the middle of the action, and then leaves you on your own. With an upgraded gazetteer and a bunch of cameos, each of these could be sold as HeroQuest scenario books, I suppose, or using some other story-telling system like Prince Valiant. Maybe this format could be marketed as "Glorantha: the Origins - Make Greg Stafford's early visions of Glorantha your own."

Much of the genealogical stuff and the kings list from the Hrestol's Saga collection have been published on the old glorantha.com website.

1 hour ago, davecake said:

I do think we need to be careful about interpreting the evolution of Greg's thinking about heroquesting with the evolution of Malkioni understanding of heroquesting. 

While you are right that there is a difference, I think that Greg might have been hard put to point out the differences.

1 hour ago, davecake said:

I'm not that sure that, in magical terms, there was any significant difference between Nysalor and Arkat apart from moral code, and varying experience with the magic of their respective allies. 

My main argument is that there was a lot of heroforming but little heroquesting on the Bright Empire side of the Gbaji Wars, whereas Arkat is generally named as the grandfather of heroquesting (never mind his contemporary and probably equal Harmast, the Stanley to Arkat's Livingstone).

(BTW, any weird strings I failed to catch in this post would be commentary by Max, my office feline.)

1 hour ago, davecake said:

Gbaji is the Deceiver, for sure. But he is a mystic concept, and beyond mere Truth or Illusion as expressed by the Runes. Gbaji can lie with Truth.

Isn't that a common "secret" of all Truth cults? LM, Yelmalio, Humakt, IO, Buserian all are masters at misguiding others outside of their immediate groups.

1 hour ago, davecake said:

I do not think orthodox Yelmic doctrine has the Gbaji nature - it is a mixture of Truth and Lies, like all major religions in Glorantha.

I don't blame all orthodox Yelmic worshippers to be adherents of Gbaji, but I do blame the origin of this doctrine to have arrived there by the methods of Gbaji. But then, maybe Yelm is as innocent as Nysalor was of all the bad things Gbaji did (or had people do in his name) - somewhat, but yet not quite innocent.

1 hour ago, davecake said:

Gbaji is mystical falseness,

That's almost too easy. If this was the case, the Mashunasan exposure to the Ultimate test would affect Gbaji, but I think that Gbaji would be able to stand that test, and possibly twist it into a new Antigod way every time he was made to undergo a new, improved version of this.

The Initiation of Orlanth myth is a set of mystical conundrums served by the Evil Uncles, and escaping the Uncles' tests (does every Heortling undergo Orlanth's trial, or can exceptional characters choose to or be forced to undergo one of the other brothers' trials?) is the first mystic experience of that quest. The Star Heart part is the second mystical quest. Both are presented as remarkably free of Gbaji, possibly thanks to Harmast beating a way avoiding most of Gbaji's traps where thousands of other contemporary initiees succumbed and perished.

But then I do feel that Gbaji may have laid one trap there, too, causing the ones closest to Orlanth to trigger the release of the Devil. No idea whether Harmast was directly responsible in the Gbaji Wars (Arkat and Talor were the ones to produce the Chaos curses, both rescuees of Harmast), but if this theory holds water, Renvald would be one prime suspect for the appearance of the Devil in the Second Age. The honors for the Third Age summoning of the Devil go - of course - to Argrath Maniskison.

 

1 hour ago, davecake said:

Gbaji is solopsism and selfishness.

Solipsism is a mystical failing, but is it Gbaji? Is it Chaos? Is this just giving the name as a cheap label?

1 hour ago, davecake said:

Gbaji is what happens when you see the world is Illusion, so you decide that nothing is true and everything is permitted, and if everything is meaningless why not do exactly what you want? 

That's Rashoran's demise, at the claws of Ragnaglar, Thed and possibly Malia (one "l", no apples involved). Nihilism, really.

1 hour ago, davecake said:

Gbaji is mystic hubris. 

Mystic hubris is what Greg called "failed mystic", see e.g. Sheng or the major antigods like Keltari or Oorsu Sara.

To be honest, I don't see the necessity for mysticism in the appearance of Gbaji. Bad myth-interpretation and myth-presentation of past events like Garangordos in Fonrit is sufficient. (Intended as bad puns...)

1 hour ago, davecake said:

I think of Gbaji as very much like Aleister Crowleys concept of 'the Black Brothers' - having crossed the Abyss and experienced mystic insight about the nature of reality, if you then rebel against the dissolution of ego into the all, lapsing back into ego and solipsism, you become a Black Brother, and are toxic and destructive no matter the good or evil of your intentions. 

That's the best description of Sheng Seleris I have seen so far.

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33 minutes ago, Joerg said:

the conflict between Saval and Pilif was a re-hash of the conflict that was triggered by Hrestol and Faralz

 Looking at it all with a strategic eye (guten abend Max) I start to suspect that the Hrestol Saga we have is actually a propaganda document of the Saval faction. Whether the Saints ever went to that island and did those things in that way in their mortal lifetimes is less important than the story of how autonomous sorcery overreached. 

Whether all the archaic documents can be placed with Gloranthan ownership (probably in those dreary centuries of schism and reconstruction) remains a work in progress.

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On 2/5/2019 at 12:20 AM, RHW said:

Possibility 2. Or was it Zistor? Zazistor? The Machine God is destroyed in 917 but seems to fit the role of the Devil better than the EWF. Orlanth himself is credited with the destruction of the Machine God, but presumably this was actually achieved by some Orlanthi hero or collection thereof.

Possibility 3. Was the Devil a product of the God Learners? Certainly Aringor is the best candidate for the Hero of the Age, since he performed the LBQ to defeat the God Learners. So who took the role of Wakboth?

Whoever Aringor fought was the Devil, as the best way to defeat the Devil is through the LBQ.

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Just now, soltakss said:

Whoever Aringor fought was the Devil, as the best way to defeat the Devil is through the LBQ.

I thought that the best way to defeat the living Devil (Wakboth) is through dropping a few cubic kilometers of Truestone on him. The Devil overcome by the Ritual of the Net (Kajabor) was already dead, but still active in the Underworld.

The LBQ is a complicated variant of the Summons of Evil which requires to summon (or indeed, cross the line and bring it back) a lesser evil to overcome a greater one. The ones performed within Time appear to have summoned the Devil (and not necessarily Kajabor, but the morally evil one) as their side effect.

So really, the quote by Argrath should be amended to "Every six hundred years, some witless Orlanthi hero summons the Devil through a Lightbringer's Quest, and almost breaks the world getting rid of it again."

And that's the real victory of Gbaji.

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On 2/5/2019 at 3:34 PM, RHW said:

Arrrrkat, Harrrrmast, Arrrrringol, Arrrrrgrath, Jarrrrr-eel.

I rest my case.

If Kallyr had just spelled her name Kallarrrrr, she would have probably won out.

Hilarious nominal determinism, well done.

As to the Second Age, well all ages have seen the Devil arrive in the form of a newborn deity born within time.  Each time this breaks the Great Compromise.  In the Second Age, it was obviously Zistor.  The devil put too much faith in his human followers though.  To say there needs to be a Hero/Devil component is not strictly true.  If the Devil plays the age badly, it will be defeated without the need for the counter card of the Hero needing to enter the fray.  I think the Devil screwed up on the second age, possibly deliberately.

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Hilarious nominal determinism, well done.

As to the Second Age, well all ages have seen the Devil arrive in the form of a newborn deity born within time.  Each time this breaks the Great Compromise.  In the Second Age, it was obviously Zistor. 

I would say the Devil obviously wasn't Zistor, since Zistor was beaten 133 years before the end of the Age. For comparison, the Bright Empire lasted only 75 years. And Zistor wasn't exactly born. It was revealed.

It wasn't the birth of Nysalor that produced the break of the Compromise, but Palangio manifesting Daysenerus in the Battle of Night and Day. The uz manifesting the Black Eater in response were as Compromise breaking, but hey, can it be broken twice in a single battle? The same reasoning applies to Renvald manifesting Orlanth in reaction to the revelation of Zistor.

No, Nysalor was a perfectly valid demigod birth/rebirth, all within the rules of the Compromise, as if orchestrated by a lawyer.

The Devil moment of the Gbaji Wars probably was Arkat and Nysalor manifesting their Chaos Monster aspects at the final battle, something enabled by Harmast's Lightbringer's Quest. Their battle must have been an re-enactment of the big slug-out Kajabor had with Wakboth, which left Wakboth remaining in Prax to be hit by the Block and Kajabor roaming Hell to be caught in Arachne Solara's Web. The survivor at the Battle of the City of Miracles somehow managed to transfer all the Chaos into the curse laid on the land of Dorastor and return mostly un-bedeviled to Ralios.

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

The devil put too much faith in his human followers though.  To say there needs to be a Hero/Devil component is not strictly true.  If the Devil plays the age badly, it will be defeated without the need for the counter card of the Hero needing to enter the fray.  I think the Devil screwed up on the second age, possibly deliberately.

We have no idea what exactly went on on Jrustela, other than that there was some naval or maritime assault or action ("damn the torpedoes", although reading up on the origin of that phrase attributed to Admiral Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay, it may have quite a different meaning than I originally assumed, referring to naval mines in the way the ships would be taking, and not incoming ammunition). It is more than possible that a conflict similar to that between Halwal and Yomili caused another magical implosion. Jrustela isn't glowing in the night (any more), but if that conflict was naval, some place under the water might.

The Luatha faced only token resistance in Seshnela, but they may have faced much worse out at their island, with their rite in Seshnela a desperate magic to support their real fight.

I would still like to blame an Orlanthi alive in the late phase of the Second Age, but all draconic leaders had undergone utuma in 1042, and while a Hendriki king died heroically failing to defend against the allied Carmanian - Dara Happan - (Dog) Sairdite raiders, I see little potential there for a devil release. Post-Halwal Ralios doesn't offer that good a cataclysmic battle or struggle, either, and same for Fronela (unless Jonat did something a lot bigger than I know of). That leaves Umathela or Slontos. But then, maybe this lack of such an Orlanthi made that devil comeback mostly a non-event.

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On 2/7/2019 at 10:43 PM, davecake said:

, if you then rebel against the dissolution of ego into the all, lapsing back into ego and solipsism, you become a Black Brother, and are toxic and destructive no matter the good or evil of your intentions. 

 

Or so the All would have you believe.  Tha All is oblivion, chaos, Gbaji the deciever.  Do not give your Self to the emptiness of the All.

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On 2/6/2019 at 6:41 AM, davecake said:

The Devil in the First Age was Gbaji. Manifesting as Nysalor. 

The Devil in the Second Age was Gbaji. Manifesting as Malkioneran.

The Devil in the Third Age will be Gbaji. Manifesting as ? (the Red Goddess is the obvious target)

Prince of Sartar heavily implies Jar-Eel.

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5 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Ralzakarrrrrk

Atarks (a male version of Rashorana that got castrated by KaCharal, a Maker/Earthwalker father of Turos. I.e. another form of Gbaji.

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Prince of Sartar heavily implies Jar-Eel.

Jar-Eel is the Red Goddess, made manifest in human form. 

I bet by the end of the third Age, she is able to pull the Yelmgatha trick - prove that 6 of the 7 parts of herself are the same as the goddess, excepting only her physical body. 

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