Magical Specialism

From: Martin Laurie (MLaurie@compuserve.com)
Date: Sat 31 May 1997 - 00:37:33 EEST


One thing I've noticed with Gloranthan magic and the Empires that
periodically arise and fall in all areas of the lozenge is that their wea=
k
spots are also often their strengths - magicaly speaking that is.

Take the God Learners - incredibly potent magically, in fact without thei=
r
unifying monomyth magic, their Empire would never have held together so
well but at the same time this reliance on the monomythis magics left the=
m
vulnerable to the actions of the same deities they attempted to control
given the mutability of myth in Glorantha and the adaptability of priests=

in their cultures to find new myths and new ways to combat the foreigners=

who took over or remolded their cults.

The EWF had staggering magic but was vulnerable because of the nature of
their power - without the Draconic links they _had_ no power and ceased t=
o
exist in a unified way. =

The Dara Happans are magically strong and their society makes it almost
impossible to crush them for long given the nature of the Emperor and the=

magics that support him - the Lunars defeated and absorbed them by using
their Emperor magic against them by simply making an Emperor that could
fulfill the DH requirements.

Shengs Empire existed because the nomads magic was based on their persona=
l
aestheticism and the power they gained from creating suffering focussed b=
y
a leader of suprassing strength. However, they also had the weakness of

all centralisation - their magic was strong and unified beyond all measur=
e
while Sheng was there but without him they fell apart. =

The Lunars have a mighty magic but are vulnerable to their own element -
the Middle Air. All other foes have fallen before them due to the
adaptability of the Lunar way but the Orlanthi don't because the Lunar
strengths are largely counterbalanced and rendered ineffective by the
Orlanthi strengths of change and movement. =

The Kralori have a tremendous magical pyramid scheme which was taken over=

by the God Learners who realised that they simply had to insert themselve=
s
at the top of the pyramid to gain its energies. Of course, the Kralori w=
ho
fought against the New Dragon Ring simply did exactly the same thing and
re-replaced the NDR.

The only societies in Genertela that don't produce large Empires are the
monotheists (the GLs don't count given their heresy from true Malkionism,=

nor does the Dark Empire) because there is no unifying magical philosophy=

that is larger to the people than the daily lives they lead. Instead the=

magic of the West is relegated to a lower position of influence than that=

of social and military strength. These forces by themselves are not enou=
gh
to create large Empires in Glorantha IMO as they can be easily neutralise=
d

by powerful esoteric theistic magical effects but conversely the Theists
cannot easily crush the monotheists for exactly the same reason - they ar=
e
playing two different games in essence.

Thoughts anyone?

Martin Laurie

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