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Shiningbrow

What happened to the God Learners?

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I'm slowly going through the sourcebooks, so don't shoot manufacturing it's covered there.

I'm not referring to their lands, I'm wondering about the individuals who would have been spread far and wide across Glorantha. 

Were they all affected by the same magical disaster that affected the islands? Or, were they able to continue with their lives (without a home base)? 

And, what happened to all the knowledge and magic they had? 

Unless otherwise stated, I'd presume there are still outposts of GLs still around... Just doing it more in the sly.

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There are occasional ancient sorcerers around that - judging from their age and origin - were around in the Middle Sea Empire era, such as Akgarbash of Laurmal who resides somewhere in Aggar with his giant stork that acts as the finishing move for his Shapechange Human into Frog magic. Laurmal is a ruin in Arolanit, and was ruined during the Sinking of Seshnela. While Akgarbash might be a Brithini talar, Arolanit was under God Learner doination for quite a while.

Those who were the magical representation of the Middle Sea Empire surely made enough enemies to be hunted down by the next of kin of their victims. Others were hunted down just for suspicion of being involved in God Learner manipulations, regardless of their track record.

The exact definition of God Learner remains open, too. The Orlanthi hill man won't exactly say "oh, you're a Makanist and not a Malkioneranist, you may pass." Neither Halwal nor Yomili (the two leading opponents in the late Seshnegi empire) were Malkioneranists, both were exceedingly powerful individuals, and while Halwal was opposing the imperial doctrines (supporting practitioners of variant forms of Malkionism like Irensavalists and Arkati), his magical origin was pretty much the same as Yomili's.

One of the East Wilds people of note is an ancient shaman who is famous for having rounded up several powerful God Learner individuals.

We don't know what happened to Valkaro, and how much he was part of the Makanist orthodoxy or Malkioneranist leanings.

The False Dragons Ring in Kralorela persisted until 1124, and those guys at least started out as God Learners, presumably of the Malkioneranist persuasion. The God Learner disappearance from Teshnos and Melib is unclear - while the heroic king Avalor is noted for taking the Red Sword of Tolat along on his hunt for the abductors of his wife (all the way to Fronela, where he may have allied with Halwal against the -adalla dynasty that ruled the land in the name of the Empire). The absence of the king wouldn't immediately lead to an absence of sorcerers, but with the native replacements, it doesn't look like Eest retained much God Learner personnel. Many may have taken the last ships west before the Closing would cut them off from a manageable land journey to Slontos and Seshnela.

 

Their knowlede and their magic? The RuneQuest Sight stopped working some time between the university riots in Umathela and the sinking of Slontos. We aren't told when exactly, but I am inclined to blame the Luathan rite in Seshnela for this change in the world's magic. Another possible date would be the mutual annihilation of Halwal and Yomili a few years earlier. Yet another such event could have been the completion of the Closing.

The Abiding Book remains. What spells may be drawn from it wouldn't have changed much, either. We don't see uses like the burning of Vralos any more, however - something clearly not tied to heroquesting, but pure overpowered sorcery based on insights from the Abiding Book.

 

Are there still God Learner outposts around? That depends on how narrow or wide you apply the term God Learner. The Abiding Book is the original triumph of the Malkioni God Learners who researched their own philosophy, and it is the basis for most Malkioni schools. Most of the Neo-Arkati movements in Ralios are derived from the magical reconstructions done by Halwal, who used to be one of the foremost sorcerers in the Middle Sea Empire before running renegade/eco-terrorist. Cults created under God Learner influence persist and flourish, like Caladra and Aurelion, and presumably Humct, Worlath and Jogrampur in Umathela. Valkarism continues. Both New Hrestoli Idealism and Rokarism build on the Abiding Book and experiences drawn from the God Learner era. The monastic wizards transplanted to Jonatela by Jonat appear to continue the exact same doctrines they had in the Middle Sea Empire. The old Seshnegi ways are glorified on the Castle Coast, too.

Zistorism is dead and gone, as is their deity. Its secrets have been taken over by the Mostali. Whatever new things were done in Jrustela after it was isolated by the Closing remains unknown, the only survivors of God Learner Jrustela are the timinits, and they don't tell - possibly don't remember. But then that may be due to Vadeli magics, after all the Vadeli were among the first to re-discover Jrustela and its magics. The conclave of elves, dwarves and trolls doesn't seem to have realized that they inhabited the core region of the God Learners for quite a while.

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

I'm not referring to their lands, I'm wondering about the individuals who would have been spread far and wide across Glorantha. 

The commoners just remained and converted to other religions, or retained their normal Malkioni beliefs. However, a lot were killed when Slontos rolled over or Jrustela broke up.

The leaders, HeroQuestors and magical elite were mostly killed off in the wars and disasters that ended the Middle Sea Empire. Some, such as the Heroes of Tessele, just became so intertwined with the cults they founded that they became Heroes of those cults. Some were captured or enslaved, so Ralzakark has some God Learner slaves, who succeeded in awakening him from his sleep.

Unlike Arkati, who became Guardians of the Other Side, the God Learners generally don;t take up such a role, as they were the Destroyers of the Other Side.

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It varies. Some killed in wars or riots. Some died in huge disasters like the destruction of Slontos. Some killed magically, by terrible monsters or mysterious blights. Some killed by magical assassins. Some hid, and may or may not have survived, but do not appear to have passed on their beliefs. Some key God Learner magic stopped working, so their descendants no longer practiced magic that didn't seem useful any more. Some of their knowledge and magic is preserved and known, if awkwardly not much discussed. Some was expunged from the world by magical assassins who killed everyone who knew it. Most of the normal people, the commoners etc, either died in disasters or lived on under changed leadership. 

There were a few survivors. Some hid, and some may be hiding still. Some denied their previous path and may have survived, or were protected by powerful entities. 

But mostly, the more powerful and knowledgable about God Learner magics you were, the more likely you were destroyed by some terrible doom. 

And if you were a powerful God Learner and survived, someone would probably want to destroy you just on principle. A lot of people still remember why they destroyed the God Learners, and would be keen to finish the job, including a lot of Mostali and Aldryami. And Orlanthi. And Loskalmi. And and and... 

Of course, the ones captured by Ralzakark probably just wish they were dead. 

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

Zistorism is dead and gone, as is their deity.

Bwahaha that's what everyone thinks, don't they?

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It really depends on what angle you are viewing this from, however the following for me pretty much sums it up for me.

1. They are all dead, and that's it. Their magic and artefacts destroyed by the gods.

2. They are mostly dead, some survived for a while but were sought out by victims turned hunters (in a similar vein to Simon Wiesenthal).Rumours persisted for years of survivors, some were true others dead ends and red herrings. Their magic and artefacts are rarely found and always attract disasters, riots and backlash when they appear.

3. Some survived: magical stasis, alternate godplanes, short worlds, pods wrapped in chaos fields. You find these at the end of a horrific adventure, awaken it and all die horribly (the thing, alien, quatermass, the mummy, etc) you unleash an old enemy back into the world. I expect this as part of the hero wars.

4. Some are the Gods... Reality was changed and unlike Lokamayadon succeeded. Some maybe petty local gods (heroes) but I'd throw in the Red Goddess, Lhankor Mhy and a few other from around the world, clearly one of them was a god learner...

There are loads of other angles on this.

 

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1 hour ago, The God Learner said:

Surely there's no need for all those traps and protection spells and what not anymore?

 

And the patrols?  I mean, those are expensive and we could be using those funds for more important things.  Renewing those enchantments isn't cheap either.

PS your name checks out, of course.

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