Subjectively created Objects

From: James Wadsley (wadsley@cita.utoronto.ca)
Date: Thu 22 May 1997 - 20:42:23 EEST


I think most are agreed that the fundamental 'true' nature of
Glorantha is less important that how it is perceived by the
inhabitants locally and thus questions of subjectivity are of greatest
interest to the God-Learner-Digest. This POV is put to the test when
cultures conflict or meet with their different interpretations, with
the example of an Orlanthi trying to get spells back at West King Wind
shrines. The result seems to be a compromise, yes he can get spells
but no this doesn't answer questions as to the equality, equivalence
or other relationship between these gods. An analogy is the sea. If
you equate all oceans to "The" storm god and seas to Orlanth or West
King Wind repectively and perhaps bays and straits to Orlanth Fecund
or Orlanth Uproarious, you get a model where all is continuous yet
distinguishable but with very fuzzy boundaries. A God Learner
construct no doubt.

Another potent example, IMHO, is trolls. (Disclaimer: I don't know
detailed troll myth off the top of my head). A more "Universal" history
(of the trolls) indicates that Kyger Litor's womb was torn up/out by
an evil God thus generating troll infertility. Trolls attempted to
assert a different myth by questing to remove this myth or at least
temper it. The result is compromise: Trollkin and a low birth rate of
true trolls. Result: the detail of Glorantha is enriched and the
rather high power trolls species is limited. I think this provides a
good rule of thumb for any conflicts of myth and an indicator that
Trolls at least are somewhat 'subjectivist' in that they don't take
their myth lying down. Thus; I would argue that mythical conflicts
provide scope for enriching Glorantha rather than a representing a
flaw in the 'system'.

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