Re: Glorantha Digest V2 #358

From: Erik Sieurin (
Date: Mon 05 Feb 1996 - 17:21:57 EET

I wrote:
> > The Poor Westerners All Are Bastards, Their Faith A Sham, Their
> > Society A Disgrace.
And Nick Brooke (among others) answered:
> You may find this hard to believe, but I found many aspects of the Western
> societies I was describing admirable. It's *because* I did my best to sound
> happy and optimistic about everything in the sect writeups that I spend time
> pointing out the drawbacks on the Digest (e.g. with the Castle Coast, who most
> people have forgotten), and had to add a section on internal tensions to the
> Tales #13 Loskalmi Idealist piece (in the misc. notes at the end).
I *do* find it hard to believe :-). To rephrase my statement, mostly
the Westerners are "hypocrits", they oppress the common people (from
a 20th century Western RW viewpoint - very much true, but so is it
for MOST other Gloranthan cultures), they cannot keep their faith because who
could really believe in such a god so lets make them more
pseudo-polytheistic folks, and of course the upper classes are cynical
bastards which do not believe in everything.
Personally I'm perfectly convinced that Theoblanc the Pious is so
ancient just because he IS Pious. That talk about Immortality spells
is just so much balderdash. I mean, especially if your piety includes
taking care of your body (vegetarianism, no strong passions, sparse

Same thing with this sorcery bit; oh yeah, the sorcerers "exploit"
the otherworld, they "enslave" their Other Self, they are Bad, of
course, because they're borrowed from the Real World's Western
ideologies, and you know how fashionable it is to spit on _them_.
Sorcery (or wizardry) is working with the forces of nature, to use
the possibilities in nature, instead of corrupting man's soul by
involvement with horrid non-human spiritual forces.

(Western wizardry view of theistic gods: stop this christian metaphor
about the Devil and pagan frippery a bit and be a little
anachronistic: think of Valind the Windwalker, Xentha The Thing That
Should Not Be, Aldrya The Great Tree Of The Woods With A Thousand
Saplings, etc. Not even mention that blasphemous chaos goddess, The
Crawling Chaos, The Soul And Messenger Of The Outer Gods, The Red
<. But, that
> said, you could find plenty of:
> > The apologists of idealistic Loskalm, pragmatic and pious Sehsnela,
> > the chivalrous Castle Coast, the wise Brithni, the mystically
> > insightful Stygians,
That's my point - there are not too many of them around. The
apologists, I mean.

> Just don't expect such folk to be starting the Hero Wars: that's a job for the
> narrow-minded bigots of Loskalm, the power-grasping brutes of Seshnela, the
> lunatic dreamers of the Castle Coast, the sinister Brithini, or the turbulent,
> untrustworthy Stygians. ;-)
You forgot the Vadeli.... the Vadeli are presented as so mind-numbingly evil that
not even Michael Raateroova dared accusing me of being one in his
little letter a month ago, where he included most other cosmopolitan
Gloranthan accusations :-)

Andrew Behan:
> Familiarity breeds contempt.
Probably, yes.
There oughta be more than the Christian root cellar to take from.
Since I only lull around in Dragon Pass, except for a short trip to
Esrolia and the dealings there, there have not been that many
Malkioni around in Real Gaming as opposed to talking on Arachne
Solaras web. Where they have been, I have tried to put in as many

other influences as possible. If the Western Sailors my players met
in Esrolia was a carbon-copy of anything, it was probably Cliche (but

in no way nasty) Moslem as apt to swearing by Malkion's Beard as by
Hrestol's Wounds, as apt to begin stories with "It is said - but only
the Creator is all-knowing " as to making the Sign of the Triangle.
Mixing stolen stuff is no new thing in Glorantha (Orlanthi as
Celts+Vikings+Amerinds) so why not?

I once in a strange fit of misdirected humour tried to rewrite the
"What my Father told me" for the Western Knight by changing all
references of a RW European nature to Indian - talking about
"Rajahs" instead of Lords, "Brahmins" instead of Wizards etc, but
it failed due to my ignorance of Indian matters. But the piece of

prince Hrestol meditating under the fig tree was amusing....

Ah bosh. It is only minor trouble regarding a minor aspect of
something that is meant to be done in spare time for fun. What the

Erik the Whyning (I like that appelation!)


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #362

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