Storytelling; Writing; Conservatism

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Tue 20 May 1997 - 19:34:03 EEST

The 8th German RQ-Con was brill, but I'm in a rush: you'll have to learn
about it all (inc. Dan "Skull-Crusher" Barker's antics, a book-burning, and
the most fun "Tarsh War" session I've refereed to date) from somebody else.
Nice to see you all!

Time for a Quick Reminder: you've only got two months to prepare your
contributions for the GLORANTHAN STORYTELLING CONTEST at RQ-Con in Canada
this summer.

Usual rules apply: any Gloranthan myth, legend, saga, epic, tale, joke,
song, poem, dance, series of humorous gestures (it's happened!), or other
work of performance art will be welcome, as long as you can present it to
the audience in ten minutes or less. Don't forget to rehearse: practice is
important, even if you only have a couple of run-throughs to check timing.
And don't fall asleep ten minutes before the event, saying you need a quick
cat-nap and will be down in a moment, Mr MOB...

Your entries can come from any time or place across the vast, Objectivist-
offending breadth of Glorantha's mythology, history and geography: the more
variety we get, the better! Although the event has been billed as
"Pelorian" Storytelling, this setting is *not* a requirement. Have a look
at previous RQ-Con and Convulsion Compendia for some *winning* stories from
Cons past, then write something completely different... and better!

Entries will be judged on the night by Greg Stafford (influenza permitting)
for their creativity, mythic resonance, panache, "Gloranthanness" and sheer
entertainment value. Prizes, Acclaim, Likely Publication and Much Beer
await the lucky winner of the Contest! So slap on your myth-writing,
folk-telling, saga-scribing hats to bring us some new, original and
inventive stories. Get inspired! And get writing!!

Carl wishes that "different stuff" had been and was being published, better
fitting his rather literal take on some aspects of RQ2's Glorantha.

Now, if people who thought that way *were* writing and publishing, there
*would* be all these different types of sources. (Hurrah!). Instead, it
looks like the creative types among us mostly write about "Subjective"
Glorantha, and all that the "Objective" fans do is whinge about it and wish
nothing was being added to the already-perfect world as defined in the RQ1
rulebook and presumably sullied by every subsequent release (Cults of Prax
and Terror *not* excepted).

Maybe there's something fundamental about this: that the creative process
naturally leads us "Subjectivists" to want to:

        a) write articles, and
        b) add our own stuff to the world

... while the retentive, reductionist "Objectivists" only want to:

        a) criticise other people's articles, and
        b) wish nothing had been written since 'X'

... where 'X' is the last supplement before the Fall from Pure Objective
Grace (whether we date this to RQ3, KOS, GRAY or whenever).

Now, this attitude taken to extremes gives us the Die-Hard RQ2 Loyalists:
you remember, those people who were *so annoyed* at Avalon Hill's new rules
set that they *refused* to buy any new supplements, whatever information
they might contain about Glorantha. And I doubt anyone here still thinks
*that* was a sensible attitude.

I hope we creative writers can join together and resist this attempt to
stifle our work into bland, easily-wargameable conformity. But then I
would, wouldn't I?

If you need to find out whether Orlanthi Rune spells can be recovered from
West King Wind's worship services, why not go to the Redlands and Find Out?
My guess is yes, they can... but your Orlanthi would first have to get on

well with a savage tribe of horse nomads (through role-playing, please: not
just the Cult Compatibility Chart and Reaction Roll Table) to attempt this.
A Wind is a Wind is a Wind... maybe it'll take longer, or "cost more", to
recover Rune spells from someone else's services (or take a while getting
used to them at first), but that seems mythically fair enough, and would
certainly be more fun to role-play out than giving all our characters some
kind of universal common interface with the Divine World: quick, cheap and
easy-to-use... bleurgh! :-(

Frederic writes:

> In the mythic structure of this world, the conservatives seem to be
> always right: the innovative revolutionaries are always wrong and
> pawns of Chaos or self-destruction (Nysalorians, God-Learners, Wyrm
> Friends, Lunars). The only successful revolutionaries seem to be Arkat
> (but he betrayed so many cults that he strengthened Krjalk) and Hrestol.

Odd. I'd have added Orlanth (for his use of Death vs. Yelm), Malkion (First
Prophet), and Argrath (bringing Lunarism to the barbarians under cover of
rebellion) to your list of "innovative revolutionaries", and in the (rather
black-and-white) world-view you've adopted, these don't seem to meet your
criteria... yet. Siglat did pretty well in Loskalm, too, and wossname is
doing OK out in Teshnos. And the Slarges are expanding in Wongarissi, and
they're *all* innovative!

Out of interest, who informed you that Nysalor and the Lunars were "wrong,
pawns of Chaos or self-destruction"? Was it perhaps one of the reactionary
Orlanthi conservatives you so deplore, maybe? Can you find me an innovative
revolutionary to support this contention, or have they already been put up
against the wall, back where you come from? :-)

==== | Don't forget the Gloranthan Storytelling |
Nick | Contest at RQ-Con Vancouver comes sooner |
==== | than you think: there's no time to lose! |

PS: I'll be offline for the next few weeks, what with my imminent wedding
and honeymoon. So, why not take advantage of my absence to bring back the
interminable Compasses debate, get a resolution, and kill it? :-)


End of Glorantha Digest V4 #415

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