Orlanthi Independence

From: Saravan Peacock (saravan@perth.DIALix.oz.au)
Date: Thu 02 Jan 1997 - 07:48:18 EET


Peter Maranci:

> His instinct is to go up by himself into the mountains on a sort
>of personal spiritual pilgrimage, and not to return unless he reaches some
>sort of peace with himself.
>
> Has anyone dealt with solitary spiritual journeys in Glorantha?
>I'd like to hear about them. This isn't (necessarily) intended to be a
>HeroQuest, though the character has done some questing before. The goal,
>rather, is some sort of spiritual enlightenment. He does not intend to
>come back as the same person who started the trip -- if necessary, he'll
>die rather than fail.

Sounds just like a HeroQuest to me - becoming more like one's god. It
sounds like you'd have to get at the core of why the character feels
unease. If it is because he's not exactly like his god, then maybe he
really does have a fundamental flaw - ie no sense of self as anything other
than a mortal parody of an 'impossible' (well immortal anyway) ideal. If
however, he wants to improve himself because he recognises a fundamental
problem in his attitude (ie inability to make his own decisions), then
you'll have to concentrate on that. There are doubtless other alternatives.
The first step seems to be for the character to identify the source of his
own unease.

Then, you're right, a spiritual and physical journey is best to come to
some understanding of how to begin to act with more personal will and
decisiveness. The character could foreswear calling for assistance or
guidance for a set period (ie the journey), and then face a number of
trials of moral, practical and magical substance. The aid of a GM would be
great here. Thus the character would be forced to confront the issue of
decision making, and choice, without the coddling support network of his
religion. He needn't make 'the right choices' all the time. He need only
confront the need for choice and then act. Thus he can face a beginning.
The foreswearing of divine aid could even include no casting of Rune Magic
etc.

But remember that there is nothing wrong in wanting to emulate the virtues
of the gods. The goal is not to eschew the gods or realise that the gods
are mere power batteries, but to recognise the Orlanthi belief in
self-reliance and self-determination. A true Orlanthi should be able to
apply himself to any
situation and make decisions from first principles, rather than through an
exhaustive knowledge of the proper path in any given circumstance. Orlanth
is flexible, and changes according to circumstance. I think that is what
his independence signifies.

Having said all that, does everyone recognise the paradox of heroes herein?
Heroes act with a sense of determination (and maybe destiny though I think
not) beyond the bounds of normal mortals. They become extraordinary more
through their own will to follow and create paths of power than anything
else. And yet in the end, by becoming more like their gods, they give up
the free will which allowed them to gain their power.

Cheers

Saravan.

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