[Glorantha]Re: Myth-making

From: Roderick and Ellen Robertson <rjremr_at_sierratel.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 10:31:08 -0700

> If a player in my campaign would ask such a question,
> I would answer that Lunar Gods myths "work" because
> they are related to the godswars, ie the heroplane, ie
> the prehistory.
> The Lunar Gods (I think you talk about the seven mums
> or Etyries, not Nysalor or Natha) discovered or made
> links between their "acts" (=feats) and the feats of
> forgotten/killed divine entities which lived during
> the Godswar.
> I don't think that even a god can make something like
> "make a new myth", because it would challenge the
> Compromise.

Gods can't "make new myths", but the 7 Moms were mere mortals (superheroic mortals, perhaps, but still just mortals) when they did their deeds and created their myths. While they may have "established links to forgotten/killed divine entities" they didn't necessarily need to; after their ascendance their own deeds became myths. Yanafal Tarnils beat Death all on his own - he didn't use the magic of some other god to do it.

The Red Goddess was a Goddess (as opposed to a Mortal) when she performed some of her myths, and yes, this *did* break the compromise. Castle Blue, however, proved her legitamacy in the world of Glorantha.

The deeds done by a Mortal are immortalized as myths when the mortal dies and becomes a Hero / ascends to Godhood. They form the basis for the feats/affinities provided by the herocult/subcult/cult. (this is in Thesitic-speak - Animism and Sorcery have different words for similar ideas...)

So can an act performed only a little while ago (100 years for an American, 500 for Europeans :-) ) be replicated as a myth by today's heroes? Absolutely. Even if it was performed only 10 years ago, or yesterday (assuming that the person just became a god overnight).

Of course, myths are unique events - just going on a "standard" quest (say, the one in Heavy Earth in the rule book) aren't enough to qualify as your own myth. Finding another way to deal with the problem might be. If, instead of taking on the role of Bush Child and wrestling Strong Earth Nephew you decide to convince Earth Witch to "have a stern talking-to" with SEN to make him stop; that might be worthy of becoming a new myth for your herocult.

> Creating new myths involves heroquesting, challenging the established
> beliefs of everyone who cares about the older version of the myth, and
> thereby changing the timeless world of the Gods War. Since that exists
> outside time, in a sense you are "realising a new facet of myth that
> existed". But from a cynical point of view, you are creating new myths
> through experimental heroquesting. In practice, there is no demonstratable
> difference between the two statements.

Creating a new myth need not mean creating a variation of an old myth - a unique deed is worthy of enshrinement as a myth! Sartar built Cities & Roads. I'm sure that his descendents used his City/Road-building myths as their templates when they built their own, and scrounged magic from it, too! But I'm pretty sure that he did it "from scratch", not borrowing City Building myths from someone else.

> Politicians and rulers can seek to create myths so effectively that I'm
> having trouble coming up with current examples that aren't liable to start
> flame wars.

Remember the Alamo!
Gunfight at the OK Corral
Remember the Maine!
Remember Pearl Harbor!
PT 109
General Patton
General MacArthur
First man in Space/to do a spacewalk/on the Moon First baseball player to hit X number of Home Runs in a season/his career (substitute sport of choice)
Remember 9/11!
(All of these are American examples, except first man in space, which is Russian. But then, I'm an American...).

It is by my order and for the good of the state that the bearer of this has done what he has done.
- Richelieu

--__--__-- Received on Sat 01 May 2004 - 06:24:36 EEST

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