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davecake

Gunda the Guilty

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Anyone know more about her besides what is the Guide and Wyrms Footnotes? 

Her mother is said to be a Jonating warrior woman, and she is said to be favoured by her mothers 'grim death god' - which god is that? Likely candidates (that is, known Jonating Grim Death Gods) include Humakt, Babeester Gor, and Shargash under the name Vorthan. 

She defeats the Queen of the Kiss. What brings her into conflict with her? 

And of course - what exactly is it she is considered Guilty of?

Edited by davecake
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Gunda was the Sartarite equivalent to Bean Pot Aelwrin in the original boardgame. The rules had this thing were Gunda and Aelwrin would fall in love if they were in the same battle. This would result in their counters being removed from play. Gunda's mythology hasn't really expanded beyond the guide entry. 

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Just now, albinoboo said:

Gunda was the Sartarite equivalent to Bean Pot Aelwrin in the original boardgame. The rules had this thing were Gunda and Aelwrin would fall in love if they were in the same battle. This would result in their counters being removed from play. Gunda's mythology hasn't really expanded beyond the guide entry. 

I have never heard that before, actually - and it runs directly counter to one of things that is well known about Gunda (and is in both the Guide, and the 1983 board game rules), that she is cursed to never know love. 

I do know that rule certainly isn't in the Dragon Pass version of the board game, but there was a rule that she was the best friend of Harrek, and not only do Harrek and her combine effectively, but Harrek would go into a berserker rage if she died. 

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6 minutes ago, albinoboo said:

The rules had this thing were Gunda and Aelwrin would fall in love

I am not familiar with this rule but I love the narrative ambition behind it.

I always assumed that Gunda's Guilt was a factor of betraying the Queen who captured her. Her god (probably her mother's valkyrie god) might enforce severe penalties for breaking oaths, even if magically enforced. I'm sure people over the years have suggested that the Queen was deep on the vampiric path of Ecstatic Communion.

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The only notable differences I can see between the 1983 description of Gunda in Dragon Pass and the Guide are that her mothers rapist is specified as being a Brithini, her mother is described as a Jonating warrior woman who follows a grim death god rather than a Valkyrie, and Gunda is favoured by her mothers god. Other than that, it is more or less word for word. 

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That "rule" is not there. Nor is it appropriate for Gunda. Here's her short bio:

Gunda the Guilty

Gunda was born in 1595, the daughter of an warrior woman from Ayos who was conquered and raped by a cruel Brithini philosopher from Sog City. Her youth was spent in flight and exile, and she quickly learned her mother’s skills and is favored by her mother’s grim Death God, Humakt. She is widely thought to be one of Humakt’s Choosers of the Slain, heroes of that war god.

Gunda was but twelve winters old when she claimed by combat her first pack of Wolf Pirates. She is most famous for her stay with the notorious Queen of the Kiss, whose infamous buss seduced man, woman, and monster alike into sworn obedience. Of those so trapped, only Gunda broke the spell, her oath, and the Queen’s back - but at the cost of never knowing love. Shortly thereafter she met Harrek, and from that meeting their friendship has grown. 

Gunda is Harrek’s chief lieutenant and murderously loyal to the White Bear.

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23 minutes ago, Jeff said:

She is widely thought to be one of Humakt’s Choosers of the Slain, heroes of that war god.

Well, that answers the question of which Grim War God. Thank you Jeff, I appreciate it. 

23 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Gunda was born in 1595, the daughter of an warrior woman from Ayos who was conquered and raped by a cruel Brithini philosopher from Sog City.

And a little more helpful detail, giving us specific cities for both her mother and father. Perhaps Gunda may have, at some point, worn a wolfskin cloak, as Humakti war priests from Ayos do. 

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I found, to my surprise (though I certainly would have read it at the time) that:

  • Sandy had actually posted her full stats! For a high powered variant of RQ3 including both personality stats and rune percentages, and Sandys sorcery system.
  • But Greg has explicitly said they were not canon, particularly Sandys core idea about her!
  • Sandy thinks her guilt was of a supernatural nature due to absorbing the sins of others, but Greg thinks it is just that she is guilty of killing her lover the Queen of the Kiss. 

I'm going to go with Greg.

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As an additional comment - so interesting to see how the same two paragraphs of core Gloranthan information have evolved with minor editing over the decades, each time refining and clarifying and adding detail, but without changing the core information, 

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There's something very interesting about the idea of a Brithini Philosopher, since they're very much not fans of thinking outside one's station. Maybe they were all about arguing against other ideas as a form of cultural defense.

E: you could probably contort her life into an arkat analogy if you really wanted to get posted at here or murdered in safelster.

Edited by Wrestlepig
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The Zzaburi are supposed to be philosophers as well as sorcerers (from a certain angle, sorcery is a form of applied philosophy). But they certainly aren't the 'question everything' kind of radical philosophers we think of these days. They are all followers of the philosophy of Zzabur, who just study his philosophical writings and further refine how to apply it to questions he did not specifically cover. 

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The Brithini angle is interesting in that raping Gunda's mother was likely an act of suicide, if a slow one. Consensual sex with outsiders ought to blow immortality, let alone rape.

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I suppose it is kind of assumed that "Brithini philosopher" automatically means a zzaburi - but could it be a member of a different caste? Dronars deal physical labor and applied work, after all. A "natural philosopher" of [insert stripe] could be one of them.

Admittedly, I am leaning towards a zzaburi as well, just airing the possibility.  That does make the rape not only a breach of endogamy though, and a crime, but also a breach of celibacy. Was he TRYING to go for a trifecta? An outcast of some kind?

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I suppose it is kind of assumed that "Brithini philosopher" automatically means a zzaburi - but could it be a member of a different caste? Dronars deal physical labor and applied work, after all. A "natural philosopher" of [insert stripe] could be one of them.

Admittedly, I am leaning towards a zzaburi as well, just airing the possibility.  That does make the rape not only a breach of endogamy though, and a crime, but also a breach of celibacy. Was he TRYING to go for a trifecta? An outcast of some kind?

The left-handed path of breaking all taboos is Vadeli, of course. They are, a twisted sort of anti-Brithini, aren't they?

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8 hours ago, JonL said:

The Brithini angle is interesting in that raping Gunda's mother was likely an act of suicide, if a slow one. Consensual sex with outsiders ought to blow immortality, let alone rape.

I suspect the Brithini in question would maintain that non-Brithini aren't people, so nothing that one might do to them counts as a crime or a breaking of taboo. It's not sex or rape. It's just using an object for gratification. No worse than tapping, really. 

Some might argue Gunda's "father" was wrong about this, but it's all a philosophical discussion at that point. 

But then, I'm pretty sure the Brithini are one of Glorantha's most effed up cultures. They're the Vadeli with pretense, and in some ways, that's worse.

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The main saving grace of the Brithini is that they are isolationist creeps rather than expansionist creeps like the Vadeli. It is possible that that is one of the grievances both Brithini and Rokari have with Hrestolism - it is adventurist, hence expansionist. But then King Guilmarn does wish to expand his influence over Ralios. "Re-instating the reach of the True Philosophy", or some such excuse.

Brithini culture, and especially its avatar Zzabur, suffers from the Übermensch syndrome just as much as do the Vadeli - who are scum enslaving whomsoever and play cruel games with both their subjects and their enemies. But then Zzabur thinks nothing ill about skinning his antagonists and using that to write down his heritage to his "right people". Everyone else is of beast or demonic origin and deserves nothing.

As to what happened to Gunda's mother, from her perspective it was rape. It isn't clear how that philosopher framed it - possibly it was part of a heroquest, drawing her in as a stand-in for one of the female figures of Malkioni ancestry - goddesses of fertility, sea, or land. Possibly as part of a marriage rite.

Things that happen in Other World context often override taboos or mortal laws. They are likely to override the limitations living within Time imposes on the Brithini.

Philosopher used to be one of the six tribal activities of Danmalastan, that of the Enrovalini, the sole tribe that defended its lands against the Vadeli empire (taking in refugees from the other tribes, at least the Kadeniti). Any Enrovalini regardless of caste could be called a philosopher. (The two Dronari crafters in Akem sound more like Kadeniti...)

Edited by Joerg
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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Things that happen in Other World context often override taboos or mortal laws. They are likely to override the limitations living within Time imposes on the Brithini.

To reverse this, the Brithini are immortal to the extent to which they can engineer their existence to respect Other World contexts, taboos and laws, thus evading Time.

Greg seems to have gone through a period in the lead up to WBRM where he explicitly equated this highly rule-bound (like gaming) experience with "faerie" in Old Seshnela. Obviously outdated now (carnage on the roadside of Time) but potentially useful as a way to see how an archaic Western Other World would have functioned before the sorcerers paved it over.

Gunda's dad is characterized as "cruel," so there's either malice in his actions or at least unusual needless suffering involved. I wouldn't be surprised if mom's chooser-of-the-dead-type religious role precluded marriage or motherhood, so her people would have considered the relationship "enslavement" and definitely nonconsentual either way. 

I suspect someone has gotten one form of revenge or another on him so the proof of his immortality is in the boneyard now.

 

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5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

To reverse this, the Brithini are immortal to the extent to which they can engineer their existence to respect Other World contexts, taboos and laws, thus evading Time.

While subject to the influence of Time on This Side.

5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Greg seems to have gone through a period in the lead up to WBRM where he explicitly equated this highly rule-bound (like gaming) experience with "faerie" in Old Seshnela. Obviously outdated now (carnage on the roadside of Time) but potentially useful as a way to see how an archaic Western Other World would have functioned before the sorcerers paved it over.

This still seems to be somewhat in place in the Loskalmi questing.

5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Gunda's dad is characterized as "cruel," so there's either malice in his actions or at least unusual needless suffering involved. I wouldn't be surprised if mom's chooser-of-the-dead-type religious role precluded marriage or motherhood, so her people would have considered the relationship "enslavement" and definitely nonconsentual either way. 

Sorcerers often are cruel because they waltz over any non-sorcerous considerations. They dominate spirits and deities rather than enter a worship relationship, and that is seen as cruelty.

 

5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I suspect someone has gotten one form of revenge or another on him so the proof of his immortality is in the boneyard now.

Brithini have access to resurrection, and they go out of their way to ensure that everyone of their number has access to that. It is possible that Gunda's father met his death, and still is about... or that he met it more than once before leavin this world.

Yes, Gunda comes from a culture of Deathbringers, but they were respected as such and usually not counteracted. The gall to resurrect a victim of theirs might have stunned them somewhat.

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8 hours ago, RHW said:

I suspect the Brithini in question would maintain that non-Brithini aren't people, so nothing that one might do to them counts as a crime or a breaking of taboo. It's not sex or rape. It's just using an object for gratification. No worse than tapping, really. 

Some might argue Gunda's "father" was wrong about this, but it's all a philosophical discussion at that point. 

But then, I'm pretty sure the Brithini are one of Glorantha's most effed up cultures. They're the Vadeli with pretense, and in some ways, that's worse.

It's noted in the guide (407) that the Brithini see intermarriage with non-Brithini as akin to bestiality, and abhor it even more than they do usual sex.

It's also noted (49) that Rokari Zzaburi are celibate, probably something they copy from the Brithini. It can also be inferred from the quick summary on the old glorantha site that the celibacy may come from Brithini grimoires.

As such, even other Brithini would find it intolerable.

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4 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

It's noted in the guide (407) that the Brithini see intermarriage with non-Brithini as akin to bestiality, and abhor it even more than they do usual sex.

It's also noted (49) that Rokari Zzaburi are celibate, probably something they copy from the Brithini. It can also be inferred from the quick summary on the old glorantha site that the celibacy may come from Brithini grimoires.

As such, even other Brithini would find it intolerable.

Unless they had parthenogenetic modes of reproduction, the Zzaburi of Brithos weren't that celibate. Zzabur himself had a (exactly) one son. Leaving of course all manner of openings to "The Meaning of Life's "they have a child whenever they have sex" and "because we're British" (although IIRC it actually says Protestant), given Zzabur's extraordinary life-span. "We're Brithini."

Yes, it is bestiality when it is with a non-Malkioni "human" - the exodus Brithini that joined the Middle Sea Empire apparently weren't quite that restricted (which may have been the reason for them being purged). It isn't bestiality when it is with the avatar of a goddess, however poorly matching.

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23 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

It's noted in the guide (407) that the Brithini see intermarriage with non-Brithini as akin to bestiality, and abhor it even more than they do usual sex.

Given that the Brithini are sorcerers with the ability to dominate spirits and have a whole range of sorcerous abilities available, it is entirely feasible that there was no physical interaction involved. The Brithini may have dominated an "unborn" spirit or perhaps one of his own "thoughts", then combined it with the mother through the Life rune to eventually give it birth (not unlike the birth of Athene from Zeus' head).

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9 hours ago, RHW said:

suspect the Brithini in question would maintain that non-Brithini aren't people, so nothing that one might do to them counts as a crime or a breaking of taboo. 

That is Vadeli philosophy, basically. But it’s been my theory for a long time that the rules that the Vadeli follow for immortality are actually much the same as the Brithini ones, it’s just their attitude that is different - the Brithini conservatively try to follow the spirit of the law, the Vadeli treat the laws as specific requirements free of moral value. 

Which is why the Brithini can’t logically prove the Vadeli wrong (which drives them crazy), and why the Vadeli are moral evil incarnate to the Brithini. 

Edited by davecake
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23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Yes, it is bestiality when it is with a non-Malkioni "human" - the exodus Brithini that joined the Middle Sea Empire apparently weren't quite that restricted (which may have been the reason for them being purged). It isn't bestiality when it is with the avatar of a goddess, however poorly matching.

Did you ever see the genealogy where Menena is resolved by marrying her off to someone named Horal whereas the line of the third son of Malkion (somebody named Gwymir) appears to die out unless you know where Grodram and Nrodram end up?

The problem of zzabur replication is solved for me by the way they have "schools" and sorcerous lineages instead. Other people make the bodies. Zzabur breeds in the mind like other parasites. I don't know how he got Kaldes though.

Edited by scott-martin
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3 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Did you ever see the genealogy where Menena is resolved by marrying her off to someone named Horal whereas the line of the third son of Malkion (somebody named Gwymir) appears to die out unless you know where Grodram and Nrodram end up?

Nope. I have wondered about the genealogy which has both Holar and Horal on the same level, though.

3 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

The problem of zzabur replication is solved for me by the way they have "schools" and sorcerous lineages instead. Other people make the bodies. Zzabur breeds in the mind like other parasites. I don't know how he got Kaldes though.

The same source that gives us Kaldes (Hrestol's Saga) also has Froalar's sorcerer naming his son-in-law as his prospective successor.

Malkioni history starts swarming with monks in the Jrusteli period, possibly earlier with those Damolsten guys (who may have been something like a sacred band or the Jomsvikings). Judging from Meriatan's description in the Guide, such sacred bands appear to be a Malkioni thing.

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