Outrageaou Lunar Assertions 2/4

From: Philippe Krait (pkrait@micronet.fr)
Date: Sat 03 Feb 1996 - 21:38:33 EET


Mark Smylie:

> Delurking again (hmm) for a quick comment on the "Lunar" version of Argrath's
> supposed victory (a version I wholeheartedly endorse and long suspected).

> Philippe Krait, who seems mighty perturbed by this whole line of thinking,
> asks:

I ask myself who is the most perturbed of us, when you take only one
sentence of my answer in your post as an example. Is the rest so much
disturbing to you that you have no correct answers ?

> >What ? The Lunars planned it ? Why did they fight like cornered rats to
> >prevent it, then ?

> First off, IMO there could easily be a distinction between what the Lunars,
> as a material, worldly culture, and the Red Goddess Herself had in mind in
> their goals and objectivesre: Argrath; in fact, there is no reason to
> suppose that any member of the Lunar hierarchy, including Her own sons,
> daughters and incarnations, had any idea of what Her true intentions were.

Yes, what you are saying is that the Goddess deceived everybody, and
sacrificed all her worshippers and incarnations in order to re-enter
the God Plane. That is truly a god you want to worship...

Good, now, as a good worshipper, go sacrifice yourself and trouble us
no more (:-).

> Indeed, if _anyone_ in Glorantha was aware of the inevitable consequences of
> Argrath's somewhat hollow victory -- the sundering of the relationship
> between gods and men (which screws the Orlanthi as well as everyone else),
> the loss of literacy, etc. -- I can't imagine any Gloranthan would have aided
> Argrath in his tasks (indeed, that might explain why I've never played in a
> pro-Argrath campaign; it also might explain why there are so many First and
> Second Age campaigns out there [who wants to help someone destroy Glorantha
> As We Know It?]).

I agree with you here. But if you had read my whole answer, instead of
extracting just the sentence above, you would have seen that it was
inevitable. Because you can never rebuilt what has been destroyed by
Chaos or Entropy, all you can do is control those forces as well as
possible. And this _always_ means that some thing of value, something
magical must be lost.

The parallel between the end of the Red Goddess and the Compromise is
obvious. Each time a great menace threatened. Each time, it was
dismembered (Kajabor by Arachne Solara, the Red Moon by the Dragons),
controlled, but not annihilated. Each time, a great part of the magic
of the world was destroyed. Also notice who I compare the Red Goddess
with, not the best of company...

You see where this leads. The Red Moon was the first cause of decline,
as Kajabor was (I won't speak of Wakboth, who was merely "physically"
trapped by the bloc). And Argrath was the true savior, as Arachne
Solara was. Each was assisted by a group of being more powerful than
themselves (The Whole Gods host for Arachne Solara, a whole horde of
Dragons for Argrath). Each time the world was changed for the worse,
but the bad change was inevitable once corruption had entered the
world.

Only fools can blame Argrath for the result. And it seems to me that
they are not very numerous in the 4th age. For Argrath is worshipped,
while all the trappings of the Lunar Empire are only dust scattered by
the winds (Give me one sentence from KoS implying that this is not the
case, not counting the rambling about an Invisible Moon, because I have
already dealt with that).

And even fools can see reason when faced with the inevitable. Did not
all the gods assemble in hell to help Arachne Solara ? This was the
only way Glorantha could survive. It is the same with Argrath. The Red
Moon had to be destroyed (not the Moon Goddess, see above), so that the
universe could be free from the Chaos it let seep in.

> Secondly, it can easily be supposed that the ceremonial utuma
> suicide/self-sacrifice rite planned by the Goddess actually _required_ the
> summoning of the oft-cited Dragons, a Power which seems to have been outside
> the realm of Lunar magic; i.e., Argrath and his addle-brained minions,
> despite being Heroes all, were not in and of themselves capable of achieving
> this end.

Yes, it required it. But how would the Red Goddess (with no draconic
powers, as you've said yourself) have guessed that ? This is a big flaw
in your reasonning. She could not comprehend them at all but she could
comprehend the ultimate aim of the first and most central draconic
ritual ? Tss, tss,...

> The Lunar War against Argrath -- and perhaps even the more
> "hideous" incarnations which the Lunar Empire evolves into -- becomes,
> therefore, an effort to drive/goad him into using his Dragon Powers and
> summoning the Seven Great Ancestral Worms. (As an aside, his summoning of
> Sheng can then come as a major surprise to the Goddess, who thought him
> safely locked away; while Sheng is a major threat to the Goddess/Empire,
> without Dragon Powers he is useless to Her plans.

Read well the beginning of this post before answering, please. If you
take the schizophrenic / possession argument in consideration, you can
add that part of the Red Moon wanted herself destroyed because of the
pain of the Chaos around her. And of Course, the Chaos side wanted only
destruction. It is the Goddess who was surprised when, instead of
obliterating her, her most fervent enemy choose instead a compassionate
unknown way (She did not know draconic power, remember) to free her, to
liberate her and to send her back to the God Plane.

> Alternatively, if Argrath
> _is_ aware of the Goddess' manipulations [though personally I don't give him
> that much credit], then perhaps his summoning of Sheng was a way for him to
> attempt to circumvent the inevitable Dragon rites, an attempt to defeat the
> Goddess/Empire without giving the Goddess Her ultimate victory).

There is not one line anywhere showing such manipulation. And I think
that the presence of such manipulations would have been sensed by the
Dragons. I choose to give Argrath a lot of credit (see above), because
I like the idea that man can (since the compromise) dictate his will to
the gods. And in sending the Goddess out of reach in the God Plane (no
more "univeral" than any other god there), he proves to every mortal
that the gods are truly gone this _Time_, and that all their
world-destroying interferences are at an end. This can be interpreted
as a reason why the Dragons choose to help argrath, by the way...

Harald Smith:

> Nick B offers some wonderful Lunar pieces. I particularly liked the
> King Argrath story--the ending was great (and the Dorastor bit seemed
> inspired).

Yes, the story was great, although unsupported by any "historical
fact".

> Philippe Krait:
> > How can the "Lunar way" have survived, when all that survives is a
> pitiful philosophy absolutely unsupported by any physical or magical
> fact ?
>
> Who says it is 'absolutely unsupported'? You've obviously imbibed too
> much Orlanthi propaganda. Just because some illiterate Sartarite
> refugees hid out in the Black Dragon mountains during the great wars and
> later assembled assorted fairytales about the 'fall' of the Red Moon
> hardly means that the great Dara Happan and Lunar traditions did not
> continue unabated into the new age.

Who are you accusing of propaganda here ? At least something survived
of the Orlanthi way. We have not _one_ proof of what you assert.

> Everyone knows that after Shargash
> is unleashed at the end of each age to shatter the world that he returns
> to the world and begins rebuilding it, always starting in the glorious
> Dara Happan lands.

Fanatic propaganda again. Have we even one inkling of this anywhere ?
  
> > The civilization itself did not survive, neither did itsreligions of
> philosophies. So what is it that did survive ?
>
> Why the White Empire, of course, that worships the Sun Father, the Moon
> Mother, and whatever other deities that Shargash reassembled.

Which white empire ? I would like to read something official here...

> > What ? The Lunars planned it ? Why did they fight like cornered rats
> to prevent it, then ?
>
> Because all resurrections require an extreme sacrifice of magic and life
> to overcome the powers of death. This was true in the Gods War, in

> Arkat's destruction, in the Dragonkill, and again in Argrath's
> destructions. The Lunar priests and leaders had to summon Argrath to
> them and have him incarnate Shargash (hence the King of Saird and
> Peloria bit), so that the world could be properly shattered and
> resurrected as they wished it to be.

Read the above, and you will see I agree with you. But whose
destruction was it, but the one spread by the Lunar and then the
Monster Empire ? Which force did threaten the cosmos sufficiently that
the Dragons themselves had to come down and dismember it ?

So the sacrifice was effectively made by the whole world to get rid of
the chaotic cooruption of the Red Moon, paying in power, lives and
magic. It is an additionnal benefit that the Moon Goddess could be
freed to rejoin the God Plane, freeing in return all the mortals.

Mike Cule:
[Conspiracy of the Lunar Empire]
> (My favourite)
> A conspiracy of militant Humanists who are digusted with the (undoubted)
> existence of gods and have struggled from the beginning to destroy every god in
> Glorantha. Consider the legend of ARGRATH AND THE DEVIL in the light of this.
> (Yes, even the Invisible God HAS TO GO!)

This is a great idea, but I think that it pushes the puppeteer style a
bit far mor my taste. It could well be true, especially in the light
that the Moon Goddess was ressucited with a precise aim. But this
approach detracts from the greatness of the whole (IMHO, of course). In
particular, it throws away the decadent greatness of the Lunar Empire
(Yes, I admire it, as you admire a valiant foe with misguided aims),
and it throws away the greatness of the Man who freed mortals from Gods
and Chaos.

On the other hand, do you play Amber DRPG ? Because this kind of
manipulation would fit in perfectly...

> I have it half in my mind to allow a copy of KoS drop through from the future to
> my own campaign in 'current' Glorantha. Scrawled on the front page is an
> incoherent appeal from the author to prevent this from coming to pass....

This would be a great campaign idea, yes. I'm not sure what PC could
do, and I may not like the style (Time-travel paradoxes don't fit well
with heroic-fantasy in my tastes), but still...

Nick Brooke fianlly:

> Poor Philippe Krait has a few problems.

It seems to me that _you_ have a problem: even though I ask, you have
not been able to describe the Lunar Way to me. As we say in french: "ce
qui se concoit bien s'enonce clairement": What is well thought out, is
explained clearly".

> > It was very pleasant to re-read all the citations you collected in your
> > vain try to deform the only truth there is: the Red Moon and the Lunar
> > Empire are no more.
>
> I agree completely. But the White Moon and the Lunar Way are triumphant!

The white moon is triumphant ? Where did you get that ? You are not
even able to prove that it is white, or invisible, or event that it
exists !!! Tell me about triumphant when Argrath is worshipped. Of that
we have proof. We have none about your "triumph".

And don't talk to me about "the Lunar Way" being triumphant when you
are not even capable of explaining it. If you are such a prozelytizer,
please try to enlighten this "poor barbarian boy".

Finally, see above about the ambiguity (no doubt intentionnal) between
what you write just above and simply: "The Lunar won", which was your
theme before.

> It's
> ignorant barbarians like you who permitted Argrath to (literally) get away with
> murder and create the Lunar Cosmos of the Fourth Age. I'm glad you are able to
> read the citations, at least; would thinking about them be too much work?

What Lunar Cosmos ? Is there any proof of that in KOS ? In the
contrary, there is an Argrath Empire and worship...

And, as I've said before, I read the citations with delight (no
sarcasm). But your reasonning is incoherent. You claim that it was a
ceremonial Utuma. I say that it was not, because suicide is just that:
killing one self, or, in the present case, dismembering one self. This
is what the Great Dragon did. But the Red Moon resisted to the end, and
was dismembered by external forces, against her will. And don't talk to

------------------------------

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