Dragons, Philosophy and Giants

From: Peter Metcalfe (P.Metcalfe@student.canterbury.ac.nz)
Date: Sun 19 Jan 1997 - 13:28:21 EET

David Dunham:

>Has anyone given any thought to how Alakoring actually broke dragons and
>earned his title? He managed to physically kill Drang, and he introduced
>the (presumably Ralian) idea that tribal kings did not owe allegiance to
>any larger institution, including the Cult of Orlanth.

There is the example given in Ingolf Dragonfriends Saga of how Ingolf
was wrestling with a Dragon and found himself magically huge. The
Giants who fought the Dragons were also somewhat large but permanently

One could also adopt the trick of actually being swallowed, resisting
the digestion and cut yourself out from the inside (Sir Ethilrist does
this to Hungry Jack and Argrath does this to the Devil). I suspect

that when Orlanth puts his foot in the Dragon's bottom jaw and tears
the head off using his arms, he is using a variant of this motif since
by putting his foot on the dragon's jaw, he is exposing himself to
consumption by the Dragon.

There is also Murharzarm's battle with Nestendos/Tiamat where he lets
the Serpent wrap itself around him nine times before breaking its
back which combines the motif of becoming magically huge and being
swallowed and cutting oneself's way out. One could argue that
since the Dragon had to wrap itself around Murharzarm several times
whereas Orlanth was only big as the Dragon's Mouth that Murharzarm
was a better hero than Orlanth...

>* To tie in with a recent comment, Vadrus rescued Blue Woman from the water
>demon, and ended up fathering Iphara on her. Orlanth rescued Heler from
>Aroka the Blue Dragon. It's easy to see a possible connection between Blue
>Woman and Heler.

Or a 'connection' between Orlanth and Heler for that matter....

Stephen P Martin:

>Finally, note that Drang was the Diamond _Storm_ Dragon. This must also
>have had something to do with it, IMO.

I think Alakoring was warring against the Orlanth Dragonfriend Cult
and they decided to force a confrontation. Perhaps the EWF decided
that sending a Storm Dragon against Alakoring would rob him of the
advantage of his bag of tricks. But given that Drang was also the
Diamond Dragon, does that means that either the Dwarves or the
Caladralanders were also participants in the Dragon?

On being eaten by the bat.

Me>>They are not destroyed...
>>Thus the Bat is actually performing a Good Deed when it eats

>So, if this is true, what did the Bat do
>when it ate people in the First Age, before it was "enlightened" by the

Some scholars believe that the Immortal Self was returned to the
Creator devoid of everything it had experienced upon Glorantha
and insist that the Bat now preserves the experiences.

Others believe that the Bat merely sent the Immortal Self is
sent to become part of Gorpgod or Primal Chaos who lies outside
the Universe. But since the Immortal Self still has an
attachment to something which is material, it has not returned
to the Creator.

Others believe that the Bat always sent its victims back to
the Creator with its experiences intact since the experiences
are part of the Immortal Self and cannot be destroyed by
Chaos. What the Red Goddess did was to incorporate the Bat
into the Lunar Way.

Joerg Baumgartner:

>Fact is, we have one recorded influx of Praxians, along with their beasts
>and presumably their myths, into Dara Happa, as it happens just before Mr
>Plentonius wrote his book.

Just a slight correction. They only settled down into certain areas
of Dara Happa (mainly the South and Kostaddi) not all over Dara Happa
as Joerg seems to imply.

>The immigrating Praxian nomads simply took over the role of the horse-riding
>warlords who ruled that part of Peloria since the Dawn.

I don't think this is correct. The Horse Riders were last ruling
Darjiin where Argentium Thi'rile occured whereas the locations of
the Praxian Overlords (Bison Lords of Darleep, Hungry Plateau)
are *not* in Darjiin. Darjiin had an autochtonous governer at the
time of the Broken Council.

>Am I the only one who wondered why the giants - especially the Good Giants,
>Gonn Orta's kind - speak Darktongue? They lived in an age _before_ Sky and
>plants when they fought their wars with the dragons. I wouldn't be
>astonished if they worshipped Night besides their ancestral deities, He Who
>Moves and "Annilla".

I don't really think the God Learner comsomology is correct when
it says that there were no plants before the Green Age nor Sky
before the Golden Age. That would be akin to assuming that there
were no Mammals before the Age of the Dinosaurs - methinks the
Ages should refer to a dominance of a particular 'rune' if at all.

FWIW Entekos and the Eight Lights were reportedly in the Sky before
the coming of the Three Aetheric Brothers and gave off light. The
God Learners would have viewed these entities as Empress Glorantha
and the Celestial Court IMO. Likewise (also IMO) the Green Age is
more of an ad hoc label to describe the Wild Age before the time of

the Golden Age Civilizations rather than any actual dominance by

Moreover the fact that the Giants are humanoid effectively dates
them to after the appearance of the Man Rune rather than the Dragon
Age (which I view as akin to a Dinosaurian Age upon Earth). Most of

the humans were effectively living in a Provarian (Hunter/gatherer)
stage when the Giants began their war with the Dragons. As proof,
I cite the material culture of most giants.

Perhaps most of the Giants speak Darktongue because during the Great
Darkness they fell under the influence of the more sophisticated Uz
and so learned Darktongue to speak with the little people.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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