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The Seven Mothers' Lightbringer Quest

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Look, it is reductionist God Learner madness to think the Seven Mothers performed the Lightbringer Quest as part of the creation of the Red Goddess....

Unless they did.

If they did, which role did each of them take? Some are obvious, some less so. But for sake of argument:

Orlanth - Danfive Xaron is forced to play this part.

Lhankor Mhy - Irrippi Ontor obviously. He probably came up with the whole thing.

Ginna Jar - She Who Waits. Who exactly either of these entities is is a deeper mystery. It's entirely possible they're the same deity, right?  Perhaps both ritually invoked manifestations of Arachne Solara and/or Glorantha itself? Or maybe this is the ghost of Lesilla?

Chalana Arroy - Deezola seems the best candidate. 

Issaries - I'm thinking this is the role assigned to Teelo. Or maybe Etyries actually did this part, even though she's not an official Mother, because they'd already ritually sacrificed poor little Teelo?

Eurmal - Jakaleel. She has illusion magic and the Blue Moon is tricky. Though there's part of me that thinks it's hilarious if this was YT.

Flesh Man - Yanafal Tarnils takes this role since it's basically a blank. Interestingly, when we've run the LBQ in my games, the Humakti ends up here a lot. But could be Teelo.

No, it's all insane. This can't be what happened. It's all too neat. 

Unless it isn't.

SMOKE BOMB! TRICKSTER EXIT!

 

 

 

Edited by RHW
STUPID BOGGLES!
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2 hours ago, RHW said:

Look, it is reductionist God Learner madness to think the Seven Mothers performed the Lightbringer Quest as part of the creation of the Red Goddess....

Unless they did.

 

 

 

 

Musing upon this, especially since the GL monsters didn't directly reach Rinliddi, makes me wonder just how widespread the basic myth form is.

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Given that the Lunar pantheon contests the Middle Air with the storm pantheon, perhaps its better to think of it as an anti-Lightbringer Quest, dialling back the Great Compromise long enough to make room for more Chaos to enter the world? So maybe we should be looking at which of the Mothers are in opposition to the Lightbringers in that unknown ritual? Perhaps they put Yanafal Tarnils in Chalana Arroy's role, and Jakaleel or Danfive Xaron in Lhankor Mhy's?

Boom!

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42 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Musing upon this, especially since the GL monsters didn't directly reach Rinliddi, makes me wonder just how widespread the basic myth form is.

All you need is Irrippi Ontor. I guess he’s a Buseri now instead of a Lhankor May, but they’re masks of each other more or less and he would’ve either know about the LBQ or been able to research it. And he was outlawed by his cult for pursuing forbidden knowledge. Or at least I think that’s still a thing.

 

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16 minutes ago, RHW said:

All you need is Irrippi Ontor. I guess he’s a Buseri now instead of a Lhankor May, but they’re masks of each other more or less and he would’ve either know about the LBQ or been able to research it. And he was outlawed by his cult for pursuing forbidden knowledge. Or at least I think that’s still a thing.

 

Yes, but what of the other wind cultists?

Doburdun, TarUmath, North War Wind etc.  Is there a primordial '7 to save the world' myth, with parallel outcomes?

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2 minutes ago, RHW said:

All you need is Irrippi Ontor. I guess he’s a Buseri now instead of a Lhankor May, but they’re masks of each other more or less and he would’ve either know about the LBQ or been able to research it. And he was outlawed by his cult for pursuing forbidden knowledge. Or at least I think that’s still a thing.

IIRC, Irrippi was an early companion of Yanafal, a Carmanian, i.e. someone whose culture was founded from first hand contact with the God Learners, and plenty of local interaction with hill barbarians of Brolia and Charg.

Yelmic administration was a thing in Carmania even in the Spolite Empire, and all the preceding ones, too. That means Buseri scribes should be found in all urban places in Carmania. Most of them not very academic but very bureaucratic. Irrippi obviously was much less of a bureaucrat and very much a scholar gone wild.

As to the role distribution, I would place Teelo in the Flesh Man role, and have Yanafal in the Orlanth role. Danfive makes a good Trickster, bonded in chains. That leaves the Issaries role of the navigator and negotiator in the Underworld to Jakaleel, as Deezola standing in for Chalana and Irrippi for Lhankor Mhy are pretty much the only position there is little debate about.

But that's assuming that the LBQ the Carmanians learned about was that closely modeled on Harmast's two (quite varied) experiences. While this is purely personal speculation, I tend to think that the Lightbringers' Quest known in Dragon Pass mostly is based on Harmast's first experience, which yielded Arkat, while in Fronela and probably all the way to Brolia the LBQ is based on his second journey that brought back Talor. If (personal speculation again) Harmast had to take a role different from Orlanth's in his second quest since you can make your own imprint on such a path only once, he would have had to lead the quest from the Flesh Man role, and someone else would have had to undergo the tests like the Flames of Ehilm. All of that may have led to a different way that LBQs are performed among the western Orlanthi.

If (still speculation) the knowledge about the LBQ came from Carmania, it would have drawn on those western experiences and role models, and possibly activities of the questers.

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3 minutes ago, Joerg said:

As to the role distribution, I would place Teelo in the Flesh Man role, and have Yanafal in the Orlanth role. Danfive makes a good Trickster, bonded in chains. That leaves the Issaries role of the navigator and negotiator in the Underworld to Jakaleel, as Deezola standing in for Chalana and Irrippi for Lhankor Mhy are pretty much the only position there is little debate about.

Jakaleel as negotiator and navigator in the Underworld makes a lot of sense, being a Hell-Witch. I prefer these allocations. 

I cannot find a PDF version of Lives of Sedenya on my PC, but I am sure that gave some clues about how the Seven Mothers Quest worked.

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6 hours ago, RHW said:

Orlanth - Danfive Xaron is forced to play this part.

Yes, and no. Danfive Xaron is the rebel, but the rebel is bound. Who did Orlanth bind on his quest? Eurmal. Likely best to say Danfive Xaron = Eurmal.

Orlanth is the martial leader of the LBQ. Who best fits that for the 7 Mothers? Yanafal Tarnils. If you think about the fact that Orlanth carries Humakt (i.e. his sword) on the quest, then this works out in a second way too.

6 hours ago, RHW said:

Lhankor Mhy - Irrippi Ontor obviously.

Yes, that's the easiest one.

6 hours ago, RHW said:

Chalana Arroy - Deezola seems the best candidate. 

Yes, they are the healers.

6 hours ago, RHW said:

Issaries - I'm thinking this is the role assigned to Teelo.

No. You need to think of Issaries in his psychopomp role, and that leads to Jakaleel.  She's the one who traces the way to the parts of the Red Goddess.

6 hours ago, RHW said:

Flesh Man - Yanafal Tarnils takes this role since it's basically a blank. Interestingly, when we've run the LBQ in my games, the Humakti ends up here a lot. But could be Teelo.

It's Teelo. Think mortal human here who had no idea of what the others were doing.

6 hours ago, RHW said:

Ginna Jar - She Who Waits.

Glorantha, Arachne Solara, Ernalda. But always a ghost-like figure. Or the collective spirit that travels with the others.

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

As to the role distribution, I would place Teelo in the Flesh Man role, and have Yanafal in the Orlanth role. Danfive makes a good Trickster, bonded in chains. That leaves the Issaries role of the navigator and negotiator in the Underworld to Jakaleel, as Deezola standing in for Chalana and Irrippi for Lhankor Mhy are pretty much the only position there is little debate about.

Yes, pretty much how I look at it.

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, and no. Danfive Xaron is the rebel, but the rebel is bound. Who did Orlanth bind on his quest? Eurmal. Likely best to say Danfive Xaron = Eurmal.

 

In Pavis GTA, DX is described in what I consider an Orlanthine way. (Though I'm not seriously into the whole idea of the Swiss army LBQ.) What do you think?

Danfive Xaron was a bloodthirsty outlaw who volunteered for the most dangerous task in the ritual and is now called “Bridge for the Seeker.” He is the guide of the dead and the teacher of redemption.

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10 hours ago, RHW said:

Ginna Jar - She Who Waits. Who exactly either of these entities is is a deeper mystery. It's entirely possible they're the same deity, right?  Perhaps both ritually invoked manifestations of Arachne Solara and/or Glorantha itself? Or maybe this is the ghost of Lesilla?

Chalana Arroy - Deezola seems the best candidate. 

Note that Pavis GTA also mentions Queen Deezola as being an Arachne Solara priestess, no less. I'd consider her one of the prime RG plotters, which makes the connection even more interesting. The actual Ginna Jar and/or She Who Waits is of course a tantalizing mystery that I doubt we will ever know. 

Queen Deezola was a ruler of lands on the Arcos River, and a priestess of Arachne Solara. She is called the “Binder Within”, and she is the Seven Mother of healing.

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26 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

In Pavis GTA, DX is described in what I consider an Orlanthine way. (Though I'm not seriously into the whole idea of the Swiss army LBQ.) What do you think?

Danfive Xaron was a bloodthirsty outlaw who volunteered for the most dangerous task in the ritual and is now called “Bridge for the Seeker.” He is the guide of the dead and the teacher of redemption.

I would agree - most of the time, Danfive is what the Empire would like Orlanth to be, and Yanafal is something else, but considering the various stations of the LBQ as known in Sartar, I think that Yanafal would perform a lot better than Danfive in the bids for recognition and friendship, and everywhere where Orlanth's sword solved problems.

Guide of the Dead sounds a lot like the Underworld function of Issaries after the Compromise, but it is not his role in the LBQ.

There is one Storm God that was chained by the hostile sky - that is Umath. Those chains took him out of the rest of the Gods War, however, leaving the action to his sons.

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I mean, they essentially mirrored the Lightbringers quest when stitching together the Red Goddess, although not in a way that would call an exact copy.

Sounds like you've been drinking some of Eurmal's "special stuff" and listening to God Learner tracts.

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3 hours ago, Bud's RPG review said:

I mean, they essentially mirrored the Lightbringers quest when stitching together the Red Goddess, although not in a way that would call an exact copy.

Where is this described?

 

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1 hour ago, The God Learner said:

Where is this described?

There will be more detail when the Gods of Glorantha material on the Lunar cults is available.

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I always thought that the Lightbringers might vary in different parts of Orlanthi (or really, Theyalan) world. In Esrolia, I think I recall from somewhere a Lifebringers' quest led by Ernalda... So the Lunar version is perhaps based on another potent myth cognate to the Heortling one but not necessarily interchangeable or matching in some one to one way. It's isn't really so much derivative as a telling of a method for bringing back a dead god[dess]. Since the Sun died/fell/drowned in the Western Sea more than once before Time, the path Orlanth took with the help of Ginna Jar, the ghost woman, might have been the path she took before the rise of Yelm. It is she who told them what to do.

Deezola's goddess is equated with Ginna Jar... 

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

We've previously speculated that they also based the ritual off of what created Osentalka in Dorastor - is this supported by the higher ups, or?

The Nysalor ritual was possible because of the Pseudocosmic Egg, which was a one of a kind artefact. Possibly the source for the Young Elementals now associated with her Redness.

But no, this wasn't about the birth of a new deity, but about the resurrection of a composite deity that had never been quite that (but, to be honest, few deities like we met them in Cults of Prax had been like that in Godtime).

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6 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

So the Lunar version is perhaps based on another potent myth cognate to the Heortling one but not necessarily interchangeable or matching in some one to one way.

It would in that case seem plausible that it's instead adapted from the Yelmite Glorious Re-Ascent, given the Yelm-Sedenya(-Nysalor) mythical and geographical connections. Though that annoying Lhankor Mhy connection remains, of course. 

I can with confidence say I'm even less of an expert on the following subtopic, but in GRoY (Chapter "Perfect Sky") there is a tantalizing section on a group called 'The Awakeners', including Delarvus, "the sacrificial victim", and Uleria.

"Numbers 63 through 68 are sometimes called the (Early) New Stars, but more often are called Awakeners for their part in preparing for the Dawn. The all appeared within a year and a half, followed by the First Dawn and the rise of Uleria. The return and recognition of Entekos led to a surge of wild prophesy, based in part upon the Brass, Silver, and Coal Tablets. These prophets believed that all of the old bodies would return. But the appearance of a new and radically different body in #69 [Uleria] shattered all illusions of prediction. "

On Uleria, I quote:

"The early sky was full of many swirling bits of shapeless debris, both good and evil. They were usually extinguished by the Young God, although many crashed down upon the earth. However, among all the dashing debris one small and immortal bit attracted others to gather around itself. This was the Heart of Uleria, and as it grew it became stronger than it had been before. ..." Apparently connected to Entekos too. 

Seems at the very least like an interesting mythical starting point for building a Red Goddess. 

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24 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

an interesting mythical starting point for building a Red Goddess. 

Now that I ponder it, I think Life of Sedenya provides confirmation of this view. 

 

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Nysalor ritual was possible because of the Pseudocosmic Egg, which was a one of a kind artefact. Possibly the source for the Young Elementals now associated with her Redness.

But no, this wasn't about the birth of a new deity, but about the resurrection of a composite deity that had never been quite that (but, to be honest, few deities like we met them in Cults of Prax had been like that in Godtime).

True. However there is an argument to make that Nysaor wasn't actually a new deity (doesn't the Lunars believe that in some capacity?)

I do think it would be thematically interesting if the Seven Mothers drew on both Nysalorean processes (combination to create a deity) and the Lightbringer quest (ressurecting a deity) to perform their quest. It just feels like there's enough Lightbringer Quests-undertakings thrown about in Glorantha for it to become a bit of a predictable plot point at this stage (Yelm, arguably Ernalda, Arkat, Talor, Sheng Seleris, and who knows what more). Adding some supressed Pelorian mystical(?) tradition would mix that up, imho. But that's just my gut feel.

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58 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

True. However there is an argument to make that Nysaor wasn't actually a new deity (doesn't the Lunars believe that in some capacity?)

I do think it would be thematically interesting if the Seven Mothers drew on both Nysalorean processes (combination to create a deity) and the Lightbringer quest (ressurecting a deity) to perform their quest. It just feels like there's enough Lightbringer Quests-undertakings thrown about in Glorantha for it to become a bit of a predictable plot point at this stage (Yelm, arguably Ernalda, Arkat, Talor, Sheng Seleris, and who knows what more). Adding some supressed Pelorian mystical(?) tradition would mix that up, imho. But that's just my gut feel.

The original LBQ managed to resurrect all the dead gods assembled at ash-liege's court. Harmast was the first to return a specific captive of the Underworld this way, and he did it twice, and a handful of others managed to do so once.

There is of course the magic Chalana Arroy gleaned from her LBQ experience to return the soul of an individual to its body, but I don't know of other Godtime feats penetrating to the Court of the Dead and beyond to return an individual.

We have a few other quests where a single individual is rescued from a state of death, like Heort liberating Ivarne Frozen Woman from the ice, and there is the sorcerous reanimation of recently died Brithini that all Brithini expect to receive in case of fatal accidents. There are countless pre-Sword Story ways of returning a slaughtered beast or even a slain individual to life, provided all of the necessary parts were available (in case of slaughtered beasts, obviously not including the meat consumed by those who feasted on it), but those ceased to work over the course of the Gods War.

The Lives of Sedenya tell us about a later quest of Sedenya (the one illustrated by the seven disks) which involved Yanafal Tarnils going down to the deepest hell on the trail of his goddess, which may have been similar to the Seven Mothers' quest, or which may have been modeled on another "rescue from Hell" quest we don't know about, or possibly the Carmanian rendition of Harmast's second quest (after all, Syranthir's followers who became the Carmanians were heirs of Talor). That quest goes on somewhat differently, but then Teelo Estara's communion with Blaskarth was a new concept as far as I can make out. The closest Godtime parallel would have been Uleria's taming of the Boggles, but that was a destructive power of much lower threshold. Arachne Solara's interaction with webbed Kajabor doesn't quite fit that myth, but it might make part of the Seven Mothers' quest without following the pathways laid down by Harmast, and in Teelo Estara's quest, no birth resulted and no demon was consumed with all orifices (if anything was consumed, it was Yanafal's life and Teelo's body, both to be returned afterwards - Teelo's even twice, once as Estara, once as Norri).

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The Seven Mothers as warped Lightbringers makes a lot of sense IMO. 

What happens if a group of "Lightbringers" reach the the Halls of the Dead, then ask for the restoration of a chaos god? The result could well be an impossible contradiction, a chaos god  (or goddess in this case) who wants to heal the world with chaos.

This could also explain the failure at Castle Blue, and the waxing and waning of the moon. If a dead and shattered chaos goddess re-entered the living world via the same path Yelm took, she has to be part of the compromise. She can't simply be ejected as an unwelcome incursion of chaos.

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On 3/31/2019 at 5:33 AM, EricW said:

What happens if a group of "Lightbringers" reach the the Halls of the Dead, then ask for the restoration of a chaos god? The result could well be an impossible contradiction, a chaos god  (or goddess in this case) who wants to heal the world with chaos.

*Nysalor likes this comment

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