Lunars, Illumination, and Chaos: a dark triad

From: Brett Evill (
Date: Tue 21 May 1996 - 02:58:12 EEST

D M McNamara <> wrote:
>Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 10:22:11 +0100 (BST)
>Subject: illumination questions


>the answering of the riddle isn't based on the understanding of the
>character itself, rather on how 'good' your character is with something,
>which suggests that illumination strikes a chord with certain
>essentialist truths in the consciousness. Now, this is odd, because this is
>surely the thing which illumination ought to be challenging.

Perhaps the riddles expose the hollowness of the supposed essential truths
that people formerly relied upon. That is, after all, the way Zen koans are
supposed to work.

>The question was asked, 'lunar empire, good or bad?'
>Well, it does indeed depend where you stand. As far as i see it, there is
>little difference between the lunar and the RW roman empires, in that
>both ultimately serve particular classes or interest groups, and
>legitimate the hegemony through various 'means'.....

In a military and political sense, perhaps even an economic one, the Lunars
may well resemble the Roman Empire. However, the Romans did not feed people
to the Crimson Bat, and did not encourage irresponsible hero-questers to
pillage the god plane, risking disasters as great as those brought on by
the God-Learners.

> We must also not forget the great meditteranean sea, the romans
>friend. Apparently it cost far less to shift a cargo of grain by boat
>from one end of the meditteranean to the other, than take a cargo by oxen
>100 miles on land (at this point the ox will have eaten your profit!).

This is more than just apparent. I don't quite remember the exact figures
from "The Wealth of Nations", but ox carts are several thousand times as
expensive per cargo tonne-kilometre than ships. That is why the Europeans
found it worthwhile to construct navigation canals at fantastic expense.

> I suppose there is a danger of viewing non-lunar,
>technologically 'primitive' societies, in a 'noble savage' light here.
>Certainly, every society in glorantha appears to contain misery, power
>relations, and the like. Certainly, there must be an alternative, but the
>greedy reaching moon of the lunars threatens to damage the uniqueness of
>the rest of glorantha. This is a Bad Thing.

Semper fi'e!

And by the way, the Lunars have already overwhelmed a viable alternative-
the civilised Darahappan empire.

>Chaos _uses_ Illumination? The only chaotic school of illumination
>that I'm aware of is Razalkark's. Beyond this there is hardly any
>systematic theory of Illumination among any chaotics in glorantha.
>Even Razalkark's school will cease to exist after he gets his
>comeuppance by Oddi the Keen a few years hence.
>IMO most chaotic illuminates are considered *insane* to their non-
>illuminated brethen (Consider Jim Chapin's version of the Wild
>Healer posted recently). Furthermore their hold on reality is so
>fragile that I find the possibility of the destruction of the world
>at their hands to be remote (Why should I want to destroy the world?
>It doesn't exist! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!).

True enough. But even so, Illumination is infectious, like other forms of
chaos. Unchecked, Illumination will infect all RuneLords, swamping
everything else and destroying all societies and religions. Also, it will

erode the defences against chaos of everything currently unpolluted, and
chaos taint will do to our bodies and to ordinary people what illumination
has done to our runelords and culture. That is, it will replace the
delicate pattern of variation that we have now with a random wash of
unstructured noise.

Chaos causes suffering, especially for the chaotic. 'Nuff said.


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #578

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