Mythic-languages and the end of the world

From: Jeff Richard (
Date: Thu 08 Feb 1996 - 00:40:58 EET

My fellow polemical pontificators;

Despite the Closing of the Oceans and the Curse of the Gift Carriers, it =
seems that many of my scholars of things Gloranthan seem compelled to =
repeat the God Learners folly by seeking "the truth beyond the myth" =

with regards to various muttered prophecies regarding the Fourth Age of =

Fellow scholars, arguments about what myth-system will win the hero wars =
are ludicrous. Neither myth-system "won" in any objective (and by that =
term I mean from a perspective outside of any mythic system) sort of =
evaluation - assuming that it is even possible for there to be any =
"objective" evaluation of the myraid myth-systems of Glorantha, which =
there is not.

An analogy might be made to language games as per Eco, Peirce and =
Wittgenstein. The Orlanthi myth-language has its own formal structure =
and "things external" to the myth-language must be "pigeon-holed" into =
it. Same thing is true of the Lunar myth-structure. It's sort of like =
translating another language into English or how the Anglo-American =
common law system copes with the disputes arising from new technologies. =

As we all know, the pigeon-hole that the Orlanthi interpret the Lunars =
into their "subtle chaos" classification, which I believe was a creation =
of that most masterful expander of myth-language Harmast the =
Bare-Footed. The Lunar myth-language interprets other mythos into its =
own messianic pigeon-holes. Hence the famed Lunar missionary Nikolai of =
Brokius is subjectively correct (in the sense that it is an adequate =
translation into Lunar myth-language) in interpreting the revelatory Zin =
Letters, as is Broyan of Curley in translating it into an Orlanthi =
myth-language (although it seems the myth-language of the Zin Letters is =
quite derivative of Orlanthi and so such a translation is not much of a =
stretch), despite that when these translations are then translated into =
my own Quivini-Sartarite myth-language, both seem to be completely =
contradictory. If all three of us attempted to convey our respective =
myth-language translations to a sage of Sog City, said sage would no =
doubt be utterly confused and question whether we are even interpreting =
the same empirical source.

That individuals interpret Glorantha through the lens of these =
mythic-language games is, of course, merely a restatement of the =
obvious. The danger arises when individuals, in their hubris, seek the =
"objective truth" of Glorantha and seek to rewrite the mythic-languages =
so that Elmal and Yelmalio and Yelm and Ehilm are identical. Or worse, =
seek to create an unholy synthesis of the Orlanthi mythic-language and =
the Dara Happan. Or seek to force the mythic-language of the Quivini =
Orlanthi upon all those who recognize a god they call Orlanth. Down =
that path lies the terrors of the Second Age and the End of Glorantha.

        With trepidation and much warning,

        Jeff Richard


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #372

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