Diamond Storm Dragon; God Learner HeroQuesting

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@compuserve.com)
Date: Mon 20 Jan 1997 - 12:03:05 EET

__________ ________________
Kiwi Peter and Stephen P Martin have been discussing Caladraland and Drang
the D.S.D. After which, we see this from Peter:

> The chief problem is that Caladraland was controlled by the God
> Learners up until the closing. So if the contest between Alakoring
> and Drang took place then, the Caladralander theory is flawed...

OTOH, the Golden Dragon (which may have been the Emperor Sothenik, is
almost certainly Sun Dragon from RQ2, and which became the Dara Happan
Emperor in "The Fortunate Succession") is known to have existed long before
the EWF took Dara Happa. So maybe the EWF prepared an appropriate Dragon
for each of the regions they hoped to assimilate later. In which case,
Drang the Diamond Storm Dragon would at some point have taken up residence
in Gemborg (or the Vent Volcano, or wherever), if it hadn't been killed
first by Alakoring Dragonbreaker...

David Cake cavails at my caveats:

> a) before the God Learners, the Arkati did it, at least.

Nope: they were sympathetic and respectful HeroQuesters, *unlike* the God
Learners you describe. Arkat didn't abuse the Hero Plane: he transformed
himself in order to use it more effectively. (I can think of no evidence
that Arkat went against the grain of any of the cultures he championed in
his actions on the Hero Plane: they regard him as a traitor because he
deserted them to follow another cause, not because he screwed up their
mythology). So Arkat was, in turn, a sympathetic/responsible Brithini,
Hrestoli, Humakti, and Zorak Zorani - however odd that may sound. He worked
for each of his cults as a fanatical True Believer, not a cynic.

> b) ... if you mean successfully following a known heroquest
> path to gain personal power without the proper motivations,
> how do you tell if they are doing it or not?

Based on what I feel and have seen in games (primarily), but also on what
the sources say, and on the fact that the God Learners are universally said
to have been a unique evil for the manipulative way in which they behaved
on the Hero Plane, abusing it *as the Arkati had not* [my emphasis].

I believe, at least, that priests in Third Age cults would stress to their
worshippers that they must ensure they have the proper motivations before
participating in any worship or heroquest. The Cakeian model, in which most
heroquesters assume their profession will involve twisting and abusing
myths in a manipulative manner, seems wrong to me: I'm not saying "it won't
work now" (although there are good and strong reasons why it should not, in
a Third Age Gloranthan campaign), more that "people aren't like that". Just
as the popular notion that much HeroQuesting is done "to make your god
better" seems daft to me: Yelmalions are *proud* of their God's mythology,

they don't *want* to change it. Humakti don't *want* to be resurrectable.
Et cetera.

> c) the world fundamentally changed at the end of the Second
> Age? Well, I've always been sceptical about this...

Fair enuf: it's your world too. But at least you know you're chucking out a
general Gloranthan given when you state your theory that everyone can (and
does!) carry on God Learning, just as if nothing had changed.

> Nick's idea that Malkioni do not name beings encountered on
> heroquests is something similar.

I intended that to be a reaction *against* the God Learners' tendency to
name demonic beings, define their True Names (and pronunciation guides),
lump several somewhat similar demons together and claim them to be the same
entity, etc... all of which strengthened the demons to the point that they
could overthrow the Middle Sea Empire, sinking Jrustela, Slontos and
Seshnela. Nowadays (Third Age), this is "obviously" the result of the God
Learners prying into things Man Was Not Meant To Know: hence the nameless
anonymous persons (and *not* named gods or demons) that I suggested might
be encountered on modern Malkioni HeroQuests: so the Blind King, the Black
Knight, the Green Lady, etc., rather than Yelm, Humakt and Ernalda (or
Ehilm, Humkt and Seshna, if you prefer).

==== God Learners used Names to make Demons stronger.
Nick Strong, Named Demons destroyed the God Learners.
==== So we don't deal with or name any demons we meet.


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