Brian's Voluntary Self-Dismemberment

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Mon 05 Feb 1996 - 22:43:17 EET

Brian returns rashly to the fray:

> I re-read Nick's treatise on how the Red Moon is still there and
> the Lunars really won at the end of Argrath's Saga. He cites the
> ritual of the utuma, but neglects to notice that the ritual is
> "voluntary" and involves *self*-dismemberment.
I take it this "neglect" is deduced from my sentence:

: So, the secret of the ceremonial utuma appears to be that it is a
: *voluntary* act of ceremonial suicide by self-dismemberment...

Gosh, you're so perceptive, Brian!

The point is: you barbarians may *think* you killed the Red Goddess, but she (in
effect) *forced* you to be the agents of her transcendent self-dismemberment.

When the Dragonewts commit utuma, they utilise a ceremonial knife: not a part of
their bodies. When the Goddess of the Red Moon did so, she used Argrath.

> Now claiming that the Red Goddess "voluntarily" allowed the ritual
> to take place is like arguing that I volunteer to let a thief take
> my wallet when he has a gun to my head.

Or (RW analogy) like arguing that Christ's crucifixion was part of some divine
plan to redeem the world, instead of a wonderful event in which an alliance of
Roman and Jewish authorities successfully derailed YHWH's inhuman plans for our
"salvation" by some evil Messiah? "Come off it, Nick: they nailed him up there.
He's dead! How can you claim the Christians won in 33AD?"

> She had no choice in the matter, she was destroyed by Argrath's forces.
> And unless there's a real language barrier in there, I don't think she
> dismembered herself. I remember reading that the draconic forces (Nick's
> terminology) did it.

Let's talk about 'wielding': you barbarians are so easily led. The Goddess
shaped Argrath into a pliant tool, then used him, used his Draconic forces. He
couldn't help destroying her, as she wished to be destroyed. You barbarians
claim that your dead god Orlanth chose to slay Yelm the Emperor; you forget that
it was Annilla, the Lunar goddess of Secrets and Assassins, who led that

Never to learn from the past: this is the fate of the ignorant. Like the vilest
chaos abomination, these foolish Orlanthi can nonetheless serve as horrible
warnings to civilised folk everywhere.

Erik sez:

> 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
> Solara's web...

Take a look at MOB's scenario in Tales #13 (hordes of Westerners on the fringes
of Dragon Pass), though it's hard to lull around while playing it! Also, talk to
Joerg about the Rokari crusade against the Aeolian heresy in Orlanthi Heortland.
There's plenty of ways to get the West into Real Games in Dragon Pass.

> If the Western Sailors my players met in Esrolia were a carbon-copy of
> anything, it was probably Cliche (but in no way nasty) Moslem...

"There is only One God, and He is the Invisible God, and Malkion is His

> Mixing stolen stuff is no new thing in Glorantha (Orlanthi as Celts+Vikings+
> Amerinds) so why not?

No reason not: I think the West benefits greatly from the addition of Moslem and
Jewish 'chrome'; also from looking at the real shape of Christian society in the
Middle Ages, rather than the childrens' picture-book impression which is all
that many people bring to the Gloranthan West. ("Church Councils in the Middle
Ages? Impossible!").

But I think the *material* culture of the mainstream West is pretty rigidly
European Mediaeval: the range stretches from High German Loskalm, Italian
Renaissance Safelster and Provencal Nolos, to the "Arthurian" Castle Coast,
French-cum-Frankish Seshnela and Anglo-Saxon Heortland, not to mention
Transylvanian Ramalia and the backward Slavic/Balkan fringes of Fronela.

(All of these one-note 'models' should of course be Gloranthified, mixed and
mangled, but knowing the kind of tone and mood you want from a place is a great
help when you're trying to *use* it for something).



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