Technology vs. Magic, +

From: Stephen Martin (ilium@juno.com)
Date: Thu 29 May 1997 - 00:01:08 EEST


Peter Metcalfe <P.Metcalfe@student.canterbury.ac.nz>
magic and lunar indictment

>GOD LEARNERS vs YANOOR: The Dragon Emperor Yanoor has ruled the
>Land of Splendour. He is the Wisest Man on Glorantha and maintains
>the magic which has kept his land unchanged throughout the Great
>Darkness. He is overthrown by an outsider who doesn't have the

>faintest idea about what the Emperor could do.

Urr, what makes you think that the Empire of Kralorela is actually as
ancient and all-encompassing as the Kralorelans claim? There are hints in
published sources about this being untrue in the First Age, and all of
Greg's unpublished sources on the subject support it. The whole bit about
the Kralori Empire ruling the entire land, and having a continuous and
contiguous history since the Golden Age is objectively untrue. In fact,

what little I have gleaned from Greg's writings is that the whole myth of
the Kralori Empire was in fact created _by_ the God Learners of the False
Dragon's Ring.

I bring this up here, because this would imply that Yanoor is not in fact
an all-wise and mucho-powerful guy -- he was very likely just the King of
the Kralori Kingdom, one group of people among many, most of whom were
hsunchen.

>SIX LEGGED EMPIRE vs HON HOOLBIKTU: The Six Legged Empire is
>vast, powerful and organized. They maintain a professional
>army on horseback. They are overthrown by a hero who leads an
>army of half-naked savages wielding pointed sticks.

How can you make such assumptions based on, from what I can tell, one
sentence in print and two more sentences in unpublished material? We
don't know _who_ or _what_ Hon Hoolbiktu raised against the Six-Legged
Empire, or exactly what their level of technological expertise was. Given

the time period, I would also suspect some kind of God Learner connection
to this whole conflict as well.

>GOD LEARNERS vs CLOSING: Zzabur unleashes a massive spell called
>the Closing. Despite the combined intellectual power of the God
>Learner Empire at its height, they are unable to counteract this
>curse and so their Empire is shattered. Later the curse is
>nullified by a two-bit sailor turned heroquestor.

There is actually no proof, in Glorantha, that it was in fact "Zzabur"
who "cast a spell" to cause the Closing. Published references very

strongly imply that many peoples believe it was the world itself which
caused the Closing, rebelling at the abuses heaped upon it by men. Other
peoples probably believe that the Closing was a curse _against_ Zzabur
and Brithos, since they were the first to disappear.

And the curse has _not_ been nullified, that is very specifically stated
- -- it has merely been sidestepped, effectively giving the Dormal cult a
monopoly on sea travel, though a few two-bit thieves stole the secret
from him.

>EWF vs DARA HAPPA: The EWF leads a massive army which conquers
>the land of Dara Happa. Within a generation, the EWF ruler of
>Peloria is assasinated and a blind man's son has somehow been
>swept to power and is throwing the EWF back to Dragon Pass.

Most of this is Dara Happan propaganda and/or myth -- you can't accept
the _stories_ in The Fortunate Succession as gospel truth, unless you are
Dara Happan. Note that other emperors have been left off the lists in the
past, such as Wanthanelm the Cursed, and I think this is the case here --
the Dara Happans didn't like the man who became the "Dragon Emperor", so
they wrote him off the lists. Now, he may have been an actual dragon, but
he was also a man.

And I note that that self-same son of a blind man's dynasty didn't last
all that long, either.

>But if one point of magic is equivalent to one bullet, you've
>effectively conceded that there are other factors in the
>superiority of a magic system than the spell intensity. Even
>the roolz show that sorcery spells is generally superior to
the spirit magic spell.

I don't think you can take such a basic (and much-disputed) game
mechanic, and use it as a decisive argument in a Gloranthan discussion.

>The children are not enslaved but brought up in the Red-Hair tribe
>that guards Lunar Interests in Pent. The Lunars are no more cruel
>in this than the Ottomans in creating the Jannisaries.

Pardon my RW ignorance, but what is/are the Jannisaries? I ask only
because, if they are related in any way to trade, it may be the source of
the name Issaries.

>On grounds of personal disgust like Julius Streicher rather than
>complicity in horrendous war crimes methinks. But hatchet men
>from the dirty tricks brigade have been given high rank just
>about everywhere in Glorantha.

And in the RW, both in the ancient and the modern worlds. In pretty much
all countries, in many cases even when the regime is considered to be
"enlightened" or "civilized", such as the USA. CIA hit men, anyone?

>and Tarsh was
>for a time considered to be an independant state _until_ Palashee
>Longaxe kicked out King Philigos. Since then the Lunars have been
>trying to pacify the South. But after 1625 ST, it seems to me that
>all they are trying to do is to maintain Tarsh as a Lunar state and
>leave the affairs of Dragon Pass in the King's "in-box".

I hope you were speaking in a Lunar sense here, because otherwise, how
could Tarsh be considered independent when the king was a _loyal_
grandson or great-grandson of the Red Emperor? When a Lunar heroine
(daughter of the Red Emperor) comes in and kills the non-Lunar king,
after a century or so of aggression? Let's get real -- from the moment
Hon-Eel married the king, Tarsh was never an independent kingdom.

About the only time after that it was independent, was when Mularik ruled
it, and that because he wasn't particularly loyal to Argrath, either.

Stephen Martin
ilium@juno.com
- -----------------------------------------------
The Book of Drastic Resolutions
drastic@juno.com

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