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Sir_Godspeed

Other Cultures' Equivalent of Wyter

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19 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

That gets into the subject of where the line is between a spirit and a god. The God Learners discovered that a god could be manipulated - that if you pray in the right way, the god has no choice but to respond with the magic. Now I may be making the mistake of referencing Second Age material written for The Edition That Shall Not Be Named here, if so my apologies. But if that is indeed "true", can the wyter resist a command from a correctly installed wyter-priest? Or, is it closer to being a middle-world being with a choice in the matter? Does it make a difference if there are other high-ranking community members that can help it resist such abuse, or that it could call out for to intercede on its behalf if it suspects a bad actor?

That "I will command the wyter" or "I will exploit the wyter" should be equivalent to "I can command the community" or "I can exploit the community".

Can the elected chief exploit the community that elected him? Without application of the necessary checks and balances, yes he can. And also by sidestepping those checks and balances. But can he do so through the wyter, through commanding the wyter?

There is a lower limit at which using the wyter is becoming unattractive and inefficient. Refueling a wyter through worship depends on the officiating priest, not the wyter, but casting magic through commanding the wyter is using the wyter's abilities, which in turn may rely on the wyter's magnitude of powers, stats, abilities.

Being loaned a (portable) wyter object for a heroquest is the equivalent to full, unambiguous support to the quester by said community. The rules for this differ somewhat, but in effect the magic to be drawn out of the wyter is limited to rather few significant uses even with the ablative wyter powers of RQG, and one use (though potentially lingering) with HQG. (Non-portable wyters still can give support as a lingering benefit from the "Arming of ..." rite performed in their place, and a quest with multiple protagonists may have multiple such rites that may be sponsored by different communities with fixed place wyters.)

Over-use of the wyter may be seen as weakness of the leader who commanded that. Doing so on a heroquest may have a delayed effect, as the backslash may be delayed until the quest is finished, and a successful quest may replenish the over-used wyter as if nothing adverse happened to it, and even load it with a future advantage. In reverse, an unsuccessful quest relying on a wyter that was used responsibly will still damage that wyter's magic significantly.

How much personality does the wyter have? And how much does that count against say the collective personality of the ancestors that dictates the customs of a kinship community?

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I am s glad the use of wyter as a player controlled tac nuke has been put back in Egregious Munkinerry where it belongs. That months long argument of "it's my tac nuke and if the community doesn't like it I'm gong to take my bat, ball and tac nuke and go home", is finally being lain to rest! (and there was great rejoicing in the lands... yay!).

Cheers

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4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

That gets into the subject of where the line is between a spirit and a god.

Well, in the Hero Wars/HeroQuest model, they were entities or descendants of entities who had been separated from the Material Runes and separated from the Sorcery otherworld(s), and either separated from the Divine otherworlds too (Spirits) or from the Spirit World (gods).

Of course to a good extent these are game rules artefacts, but if one understands the underlying description whereby Magic in Glorantha has been shattered into pieces through the explosion of the Spike, so that it has multiple sources, represented in-game by the various Magic rules in HW/HQ/RQ, then I think think one really needs only accept that spirits and gods *are* different, in the vast majority of cases, to realise that any proposed individual or other local exceptions to this state of affairs should best be actively justified in Myth and Design.

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6 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

But if that is indeed "true", can the wyter resist a command from a correctly installed wyter-priest?

That reminds me, we should try out some Wyter Swapping and see what happens.

 

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45 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

(Duplicate.)

 

Wyter Duplication, now there's a powerful God Learner trick!

Edited by PhilHibbs
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6 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Of course to a good extent these are game rules artefacts, but if one understands the underlying description whereby Magic in Glorantha has been shattered into pieces through the explosion of the Spike, so that it has multiple sources, represented in-game by the various Magic rules in HW/HQ/RQ, then I think think one really needs only accept that spirits and gods *are* different, in the vast majority of cases, to realise that any proposed individual or other local exceptions to this state of affairs should best be actively justified in Myth and Design.

The old (Hero Wars/HQ1) model actually said that there were four initial worlds with completely separate magics whose collision formed Glorantha (and presumably the Spike). The implosion of the Spike had nothing to do with these three separate worlds (the mystical way of the east did not add its own magical realm, although it later contributed the dream and nightmare short worlds).

That strict dogma used to be broken only by defiant entities (Disorder entities) like Eurmal and Storm Bull. But (thankfully) the HQ2 releases and the Guide have softened that back to the understanding we had prior to the Hero Wars strict doctrine, so we don't need to discern between three names for any kind of entity based on different otherworlds. Quite a lot of that still lingers here and there, and more so in the Stafford Library, but the softening of the differences needn't wait to be a consequence of the Hero Wars any more. At least we don't need to bother about "misapplied worship" any more.

That said, there are entities that are clearly closer to the animist spirit world than to that of the elemental deities of theism, but especially the Beast Rider deities are sitting pretty much on the border.

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

That said, there are entities that are clearly closer to the animist spirit world than to that of the elemental deities of theism, but especially the Beast Rider deities are sitting pretty much on the border.

But also recall that whole class of non-elemental Deities from the Celestial Court:  Uleria & Acos &c ...

And I think most would be more at-home with a "spirit of a hidden spring" or such than a "minor god of a hidden spring," and "elementals" (as such) are usually seen as firmly on the "spirit" side of the divide.

Does each herd have a protector-spirit?  Is it like a wyter?  Or are they all faces of the Mother for that species of Herd-Beast?  Or ... ?

I think believing that human labelling & categorization was reliable for Otherworld entities was one of the foundational errors of Godlearnerism.

YGMV

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

But also recall that whole class of non-elemental Deities from the Celestial Court:  Uleria & Acos &c ...

Yes, but these are more abstract, rather universal. When they are smaller, localized versions, they usually take on a local aspect that includes elemental connections - "of a spring" means a Water connection, "of a mountain" a land (i.e. Earth) connection.

The mixed children of the Powers like Chalana Arroy, Issaries and Lhankor Mhy and their aspects/children are the ones that are ready to accept non-divine magics, blurring their identifications.

3 hours ago, g33k said:

And I think most would be more at-home with a "spirit of a hidden spring" or such than a "minor god of a hidden spring," and "elementals" (as such) are usually seen as firmly on the "spirit" side of the divide.

Nymphs are sitting right on the divide, too. Do you regard them as minor deities or as spirit entities?

 

3 hours ago, g33k said:

Does each herd have a protector-spirit?  Is it like a wyter?  Or are they all faces of the Mother for that species of Herd-Beast?  Or ... ?

That's another border situation, especially with the Nomad Gods/Great Spirits situation in Prax. 

The Protectresses in Prax are responsible for the sum of all herds of one type (e.g. bison) rather than individual herds. Is there such an entity for the Uncoling reindeer or the Pralori deer? Orr herds of beasts without any (surviving) human relation?

 

3 hours ago, g33k said:

I think believing that human labelling & categorization was reliable for Otherworld entities was one of the foundational errors of Godlearnerism.

I don't quite agree. The God Learner categorization would have been empirical, as in "susceptible to this class of spells". Their error was to assume that this susceptibility was all there was to the entities.

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16 minutes ago, Joerg said:

... I don't quite agree. The God Learner categorization would have been empirical, as in "susceptible to this class of spells". Their error was to assume that this susceptibility was all there was to the entities.

Or even the most significant thing about them.

Sandstone and humans both get smashed when forcefully struck with a maul... but classing them together, and different from basalt & whales because those are barely marred by the maul, is a largely erroneous categorization (other than the "breaks when mauled" category). 

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32 minutes ago, Joerg said:

...

Nymphs are sitting right on the divide, too. Do you regard them as minor deities or as spirit entities?

My point is -- and it's a work in progress, I admit -- that "the divide" doesn't necessarily exist, at least not the way humans express it.

It's not necessarily the case where "most" entities are clearly-and-entirely Gods or clearly-and-entirely Spirits, and then there's a few wierd entities "on the divide".

Rather, it's a continuum, or maybe suites of characteristics.  Closer to the "God" end of the continuum, and/or with mostly "God-type" characteristics, and we call them Gods instead of Spirits.  But even "clearly-a-God" entities like Orlanth have those weird exceptions like Kolating Shamans, like the Earth-Witch approach to Ernalda...

Edited by g33k
Ernalda. Don't dis Her!

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

My point is -- and it's a work in progress, I admit -- that "the divide" doesn't necessarily exist, at least not the way humans express it.

It's not necessarily the case where "most" entities are clearly-and-entirely Gods or clearly-and-entirely Spirits, and then there's a few wierd entities "on the divide".

I thought that was where you were going, when I introduce the concept of Glorantha to my new players. I tell them the creek out back is a goddess they enter into treaty with on a sacred day once a year in order to live in harmony with it and in its spheres of influence. A minor diety, perhaps,  there are far more important and powerful ones...

 The truth of this statement is irrelevant, is it A to awful to contemplate, R rumour, T true F false... As far as the players characters are concerned it is not only real but verifiable. Mess up the ceremonies and there is less to eat for the next season. If the result is a myth and story: the quality of its power to evoke dream/myth is more important than its quantity of its power to evoke dream/myth.  That is, what I am trying to say might be; the size of the miracle is not as important as the miracle, itself...

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

The old (Hero Wars/HQ1) model actually said that there were four initial worlds with completely separate magics whose collision formed Glorantha (and presumably the Spike).

IIRC that was how the old HW/HQ model depicted the God Learners' understanding of things in those versions, and I stand by my point that these representations are mainly game rules artefacts.

Cosmologically at the time, Greg used to say that there wasn't much difference if Glorantha was originally unified and split into 4+ then was gathered back together, or if it was originally 4+ and merged into one which broke and then was gathered back together. Structurally, it's exactly the same thing, just viewed in the opposite directions. The image of the dragon with its tail in its mouth is pertinent to this, I think, in its symbolism.

The typical 3rd Age Gloranthan perspective in most Gloranthan cultures though is that the World is Broken, and I'd tend to follow Qui Gonn's suggestion in the Phantom Menace that "your focus determines your reality", which is quite similar indeed to how Greg usually determined things in the magic systems of his Gloranthan design work. Theists view the Spirit World as an alien realm because their focus typically defines it as such, and so it "becomes".

So I'd tend to follow the notion of a single World shattered into pieces in my characterisations of the deeper cosmology of Glorantha and of most Gloranthan magicians as this pertains to Glorantha within Time -- though having said that, it's also quite true that the formation of the Material World considered particularly followed the pattern of a merging together of separate Runes, Powers, Forms, and Realms.

But the thing is though, l'un n'empêche pas l'autre in these things ...

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

I don't quite agree. The God Learner categorization would have been empirical, as in "susceptible to this class of spells". Their error was to assume that this susceptibility was all there was to the entities.

That is exactly a "human labelling & categorization".

Their Error IMO was in the false idea that they were the active element of their own magic, without realising that they themselves would inevitably become its object, and passively. They saw their magic as cause without heed for consequence.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

My point is -- and it's a work in progress, I admit -- that "the divide" doesn't necessarily exist, at least not the way humans express it.

It's not necessarily the case where "most" entities are clearly-and-entirely Gods or clearly-and-entirely Spirits, and then there's a few wierd entities "on the divide".

Rather, it's a continuum, or maybe suites of characteristics.  Closer to the "God" end of the continuum, and/or with mostly "God-type" characteristics, and we call them Gods instead of Spirits.  But even "clearly-a-God" entities like Orlanth have those weird exceptions like Kolating Shamans, like the Earth-Witch approach to Ernalda...

No, I disagree ; the Cosmology has always posited -- including for basic gaming purposes -- that most entities are clearly-and-entirely Gods or clearly-and-entirely Spirits and etc etc.

Perhaps there was once a continuum or perhaps not -- in any case, whatever there was has been shattered by Chaos and the Gods War.

The splits and breakages have a material existence in Glorantha, structurally, that cannot just be wished away by abstract speculations.

You can mend a broken pot with glue, but the cracks in the pot and its separate pieces simply exist even after the mend.

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4 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Rather, it's a continuum, or maybe suites of characteristics.

4 hours ago, g33k said:

My point is -- and it's a work in progress, I admit -- that "the divide" doesn't necessarily exist, at least not the way humans express it.

I am with @Julian Lord that there is a divide, and a qualitative difference. The Elder Races hearken back to a Green Age or early stage of collusion which saw an intermingling of the theist and the animist world, and their Otherworld beings have their roots or feet in either camp. Something similar occurred with defiant Umath and his offspring. Storm Bull's ancestry from Mikyh (and Eiritha's from Hykim) blurs those lines further, taking the Beast Riders quite some steps into the animist side of things.

The Cult of Daka Fal really is a problem, here.

 

4 hours ago, g33k said:

It's not necessarily the case where "most" entities are clearly-and-entirely Gods or clearly-and-entirely Spirits, and then there's a few wierd entities "on the divide".

Remembering many a talk with Greg on this subject in that seminar room of Castle Stahleck, the impression I was left with is that most entities of the Other Side have their roots clearly on one side of the divide, although they may have a significant domain on the other side of that divide. Greg once said about the Orlanthi religion and worship that it is about 70% theist, 30% animist in nature. (End Greg paraphrase...) That doesn't mean that the Orlanthi deities are only 70% theist - most are fully theist in nature - or that 30% of the Orlanthi are animists while the rest are theists. It means that the Theyalan worship has a more personal interaction with the deities than pure theism would have. The high proportion of initiates actually would be a symptom of this somewhat animist mode.

 

4 hours ago, g33k said:

Rather, it's a continuum, or maybe suites of characteristics.  Closer to the "God" end of the continuum, and/or with mostly "God-type" characteristics, and we call them Gods instead of Spirits.  But even "clearly-a-God" entities like Orlanth have those weird exceptions like Kolating Shamans, like the Earth-Witch approach to Ernalda...

Neither Kolat nor Earth Witch are approaches to the deities holding the runes of Storm and Earth respectively, they are approaches to the runes, and part of the religion, but not the cults.

Yelmic shamanism among the horse people or shamans of Waha are part of those cults, and probably part of the identity of the cult entity. But then Yelm has been known to absorb planetary entities (check the Copper Tablets in the Guide, or Heortling Mythology for Makestina) that needn't have been divine in origin. Reladivus/Kargzant may be ambiguous in his (or her) mode of contact, too.

 

Daka Fal as an Underworld entity and Judge of the Dead has every right to be ambiguous, but the nature of the ancestors contacted through the rites of his cult is troublesome. Mortals are of the world, and "The World is Made of Everything", so each mortal will have a number of elemental souls, possibly also mystical ones, a spirit, and a materialist essence. These may be of different strengths. Depending on their religion and inside that their cultic preference, the mortals have expressed a spiritual organ to interact with the otherworlds using their souls and spirit and possibly essence. Upon death, these components dissociate, with the deities to which the individual was initiated laying claim on various portions of their souls not already given over to that deity (e.g. via rune points) - the individuals have expanded into those dominions already in their lifetime. Their spirit will be released, and (if all goes well) join the ancestors in the spirit world, or roam alongside their deity if said deity has a dominion in the spirit world. Rune-owner deities have such a dominion in all the Otherworlds.

 

 

In reply to @g33k

4 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

No, I disagree ; the Cosmology has always posited -- including for basic gaming purposes -- that most entities are clearly-and-entirely Gods or clearly-and-entirely Spirits and etc etc.

Most Otherworld entities. Magical entities with a firm residence in the Middle World are Made of Everything, though probably much less so than entities native to the Middle World. Which leaves us with ambiguous genii loci.

 

4 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Perhaps there was once a continuum or perhaps not -- in any case, whatever there was has been shattered by Chaos and the Gods War.

And put together again by the Web, and conjoined worship, from the tatters left by the Gods War.

4 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

The splits and breakages have a material existence in Glorantha, structurally, that cannot just be wished away by abstract speculations.

You can mend a broken pot with glue, but the cracks in the pot and its separate pieces simply exist even after the mend.

The problem to keep them apart is when everything is a reconstructed mosaic of tattered pieces, with missing bits replaced by glue and worship.

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5 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

You can mend a broken pot with glue, but the cracks in the pot and its separate pieces simply exist even after the mend.

What if the pot was made from four different kinds of clay, and shattered along the join lines? Then both answers, "multiple origins" and "single broken pot" are true. Riddle: Craft (Pottery).

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

The problem to keep them apart is when everything is a reconstructed mosaic of tattered pieces, with missing bits replaced by glue and worship.

Quite, the problem with analogies is that you can pick a different one and get a different implication.

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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

What if the pot was made from four different kinds of clay, and shattered along the join lines? Then both answers, "multiple origins" and "single broken pot" are true. Riddle: Craft (Pottery).

Quite, the problem with analogies is that you can pick a different one and get a different implication.

L'un n'empêche pas l'autre ... 😎

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3 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

. Mmm crunchy Jedi 

 

jedi doughnut's are soft, not crunchy, unless you engage with the SW:EotE item-creation rules.

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16 hours ago, g33k said:

My point is -- and it's a work in progress, I admit -- that "the divide" doesn't necessarily exist, at least not the way humans express it.

It's not necessarily the case where "most" entities are clearly-and-entirely Gods or clearly-and-entirely Spirits, and then there's a few wierd entities "on the divide".

Rather, it's a continuum, or maybe suites of characteristics.  Closer to the "God" end of the continuum, and/or with mostly "God-type" characteristics, and we call them Gods instead of Spirits.  But even "clearly-a-God" entities like Orlanth have those weird exceptions like Kolating Shamans, like the Earth-Witch approach to Ernalda...

My impression has been that these distinctions between spirits and gods and other forms of entities are A) subject to a good deal of ethnocentric bias (as much as terms like "krjalki" and so forth), but perhaps equally importantly, it's a bit like how you measure light in physics. If you measure it like a wave, it's a wave. If you measure it like a stream of particles, it's a stream of particles (this is *VERY* simplified, but I hope you get the gist).

I'm not necessarily saying that every minor hearth spirit is a god unto itself, but maybe there a possibility of either approaching the same entity as an individual in its own right, or whether you approach it as an instance of something larger.

I don't know, I think I prefer the implied ambiguity of perceived* categories rather than the gaming-friendly, clear-cut as-is categories.

(*Which doesn't mean they're false, per se.)

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

jedi doughnut's are soft, not crunchy, unless you engage with the SW:EotE item-creation rules.

No, I use the KOTOR 2 rules and the item creation is not only crunchy, it creates crunchy Jedi.... mmm.

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My view is that Kolat and Orlanth are one.

My view is that Kolat is a spirit and Orlanth is a god and they are completely different.

Possibly it is better to do this as an in-Glorantha viewpoint. A random Orlanthi stickpicker will likely hold the viewpoint that they are completely different, while a disciple at Old Wind might admit that they are one.

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