Ravens, Giants, Stars

From: Stephen P Martin (ilium@juno.com)
Date: Wed 22 Jan 1997 - 10:14:36 EET

"Erik Sieurin" <BV9521@utb.hb.se>
Re: Glorantha Digest V4 #107
>I also had the more sinister idea of Raven being the mouth of
>Humath - the Death God rarely speaks in myths, always communicating
>through his pet/sidekick/Other Self, the Raven.
Goes back to the Odin link I mentioned a few days back.

>Note that ravens lay their eggs and hatch them in the winter, or at
>least very early in the spring - and Humath is a god of cold winds,
>"death winds" as opposed to those who bear warm weather and
>life-giving rain.
Another nice tie-in.

Peter Metcalfe <P.Metcalfe@student.canterbury.ac.nz>
Giants, Malkioni Astronomy and Orlanthi
>JB>>I'd rather say that the Giants became humanoid when the Man Rune
>I disagree simply because there's no evidence for the Giants
>changing their shape.

Not _changing_ their shape. It is all a matter of perception. The Elder
Giants right now appear to be mountains -- have they _always_ been
mountains, or are they very tall men with dirt all over them? I prefer
that they have _always_ been mountains, just as Gonn Orta is slowly
turning into one. Is he humanoid? Certainly. But is he _only_ humanoid?
Certainly not -- soon he will be a big rock.

Shape is in part a matter of perception. Trickster can change his shape.
Sorcerers can make you think their shape is different, or they can change
your shape. Dragons have dreams which look like what we think of as
dragons. But are True Dragons really big winged lizards with four legs,
covered in dirt (or cities)? Or are they mountains? They are none of
these, or all of them, depending on what they want, and on what the
viewer expects.

A human, looking "back" on the wars of the Elder Giants, is likely to
give one side or the other (or both) a humanoid shape. Now, dragons are
easy - we have dragonewts around, and they claim descent from the
dragons. So, True Dragons must look alot like them. Other than animals
and plants, that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for a shape for the
giants. But just because humans _believe_ they had humanoid shapes, and
even _see_ them as humanoid, does that mean that they _are_ humanoids?
Not IMO.

>Once we start making statements like 'the Elder Giants weren't
>really Giants' (and likewise with the Elder Dragons) we are rapidly
>moving away from what most people understand by the War between
>Giants and Dragons.

This is a very true point. And, since pretty much by definition no human
_can_ understand such a war, your statement actually supports my view
better than my own. Humans is just about the youngest race in Glorantha,
how can you trust their opinions about _any_ of the Elder Races? If
humans can't even understand trolls or elves, how do you expect them to
understand Elder Giants or True Dragons?

>Merely altering the date at which it occurred
>and playing down the hype (yes, it was a big war but it was not
>the First War) seems to be the lesser of the two evils.

I disagree -- why alter the date just so you can claim to understand what
is very essentially a metaphysical confrontation? This smacks more of
misguided to me. It smacks of God Learnerism as well -- We can Change
what doesn't Agree with us.

>If you want to posit a primal battle between two opposed forces
>when Glorantha was *really* young, that's find by me but I deny
>that the two sides were giants and dragons. The Elves and Dwarves
>have a similar concept of a First War but strangely the participants
>are the Elves and the Dwarves. Was it the same battle? Probably
>in the light of the Cosmic Duality occuring in other mythoi.
It may or may not be the same battle -- I could probably be convinced of
either view. Certainly, the Maker and Grower concept cannot be applied to
Elder Giants and Elder Giants, since neither really fits into one or the

>>The Jonstown Compendium
>>entry states that Dayzatar's Eye and Pole Star are the same star.
>Given that no Star in the Dara Happan mythos is called Dayzatar's
>Eye, I assumed that the writer was misled by some hack author.
No, Arraz takes the place of Dayzatar's eye there. I wonder if there is
some people who call "Arraz/Dayzatar's Eye" something different, and call
the Pole Star Dayzatar's Eye? Since Greg recently claimed to me that the
name Dayzatar _is_ common to just about all the places RQ2 and RQ3 have
made it common to (including the Orlanthi and the Dara Happans), this is
easily possible. Perhaps in northern Saird, where Arraz would be
unimportant, but both Dayzatar and the Orlanthi are?

>>I wonder which
>>Elder Secrets or GRoY stars are the ones known in the West as Malkion,
>>Snodal, Jonat, Talor, and Dromal (is that supposed to be Dormal,
>>perhaps?)? Arkat we already know, from ES.
>If I had a list of constellation appearances over time, I could
>answer the question with more sagacity. Malkion would be one
>of the circumpolar stars and probably Arraz. I wonder if they
>view the Arraz-Polaris-Ourania as the Law Rune?

Now there is a nice idea. Though it does beg the question of who makes up
the corners of the Law rune -- there are Four castes (plus the women) in
Malkioni culture. Is one of them inside the Triangle, or what?

>I suppose that Arkat's constellation is actually the three heroes
>who fought against Gbaji. The Brightest One is called Talor in
>Loskalm and Gerlant in Seshnela. The Second Brightest One is
>called Gerlant in Loskalm and Talor in Seshnela.

Nice touch, this. Very appropriate.

>The third as
>every Malkioni knows is Arkat who starts of with such bright
>promise and ends up in darkness.

And what about the blinking star? Is that Arkat, or one of his heroes?

Stephen Martin
- -----------------------------------------------
The Book of Drastic Resolutions


End of Glorantha Digest V4 #113

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