many things

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Mon 02 Jun 1997 - 14:14:33 EEST

Stephen Martin:

>Given the hatred with which both Shang-hsa (MHNBC) and the FDR, I always
>assumed Shang-hsa (MHNBC) was their False Dragon Emperor. I think I still
>prefer that to his being the Emperor who "realized the secrets of the
>symbol [the Dragon's Eye], and was liberated from another stage of
>consciousness.] (Cults of Terror, pg. 17).

It's a natural assumption, sure, but it falls into the hoary old
mindset that the God Learners are responsible for Everything Wrong
which I intensely dislike. Kralorela should be splendid enough to
have an Emperor that surpassed the God Learners in infamy.

>>It seems to me given the above, that after the Sun Stop, the human
>>exarchs decided not to conduct an Emperor Hunt (the Sun Stop was a

>As with Godunya (who made himself quite evident with the Dragon's
>Awakening Shudder and the War in Heaven*), I find it hard to believe that
>the exarchs would need to go on an "Emperor Hunt".

You will have noticed the *four* year discrepancy between the War
in Heaven and the eventual enthronement of Godunya? After the
Dragon's Awakening Shudder, Godunya spent a century unrecognized
as a belt buckle salesmen. FWIW, Godunya did not reveal himself
in the Dragon's Awakening Shudder - that was a massive earthquake
- - nor did he sho himself in the War in Heaven but instead a flight
of True Dragons came and ate the false dragons, their prophets and
their followers up.

>When one Dragon was
>ready to be released from existence, presumably to go on to become a True
>Dragon outside of the illusion of Gloranthan reality, I assume another
>_Dragon_ would come along to take over the throne. Whether or not the
>exarchs wanted this.

The concept of a queue of True Dragons waiting to take a turn at
governing the Land of Splendor seems to me rather trite to me.
Also within Kralorela, most of the Dragons are former humans
(the Dragons of Fanzai are the exception) IMO and the Exarchs
are also called Lesser Dragon Kings which implies that they too
are True Dragons. So by saying that a True Dragon 'appears' leads
one to wonder why the Exarchs haven't subverted this process.

I would much prefer the concept of the mandarins and exarchs
testing their poplace to see which one is the next emperor
(like the Tibetans do to find their Lama). Normally this
results in a child ascending to the throne under the wise
tutelage of the exarchs, but this time around, they had to
test all those born during the Dragon's Awakening Shudder
some seventy years previously.

Furthermore I don't think that Godunya *knew* he was the
Emperor in hiding until he passed the tests. During his
pre-imperial lifetime, he would have been an ordinary
belt-buckle salesman. If by some fate, he was killed before

the exarchs recognized him, they would have consecrated
somebody else (who had passed the tests but not as well)
as the Emperor. Some wonder if an even better candidate
was killed before the exarchs did their search.


I mentioned that the God Learners survived the Closing by
a least a century and thus were not completely destroyed
before they had a chance to investigate it as Stephen

>Maybe they were experimenting, trying to break or sidestep the Curse?


I thought that the wording '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' in the original paragraph
*implied* this!

>But enough of this -- I am merely trying to suggest that we cannot ASSUME
>that the Closing was _in fact_ originated by Zzabur as a curse on the
>waertagi, or on anyone else [...]. Now, it may be true that Zzabur did
>the Closing, but that is unknowable.

What makes you think I don't know that? But it is rather
pointless and tiresome IMO to qualify each and every mention
of a supposed historical fact about glorantha with explicit
exegesis and source criticism.

'Zzabur unleashed the Closing' is far easier to read than

'Zzabur is thought to have unleashed the Closing. OTOH it
may have been his apprentice Boris. If it was his apprentice
Boris, then the strange inability of Zzabur to dispell the
Closing should be noted. [blah, blah ... 2000 word essay on
possible origins of the Closing] Finally it should be noted

that each and every mention of the Closing comes from biased
histories and/or RQ objective histories (which are by their
very nature suspect). Therefore it must be concluded that
we have no real proof that the Closing ever existed. All
modern observations of a Closing should therefore explained
by the existance of other unseen, unknown and unrecorded
phenomena. Until the existance of these phenomena is disproved,
we must deny for the sake of historical accuracy that the
Closing exists...'

[On Dormals records]

>>If the records were God Learner designs, then it is unlikely that
>>the designs were made in an attempt to thwart the Closing. The
>>local God Learners were the Zistorites who conquered Esrolia.
>>Since they had been vanquished in 917 ST before the Closing began,
>>it is unlikely that the plans were GL prototypes to thwart the Closing.

>We don't know that the Zistorites were the _only_ God Learners in
>Kethaela. We have only one story about them, in King of Sartar --
>Genertela implies a much stronger presence than this.

Stronger presence? The Zistorites *conquered* Esrolia. Esrolia
wasn't liberated until Zistor was defeated. The Genertela Book
gives no God Learner activity in the Kethealan region after 886
ST. Ergo after Zistor's defeat, I think the possibility of any
God Learner remaining within Esrolia trying to solve the riddle
of the Closing is rather slim.

[Was the EWF kicked out of Dara Happa? Did Man land on the Moon?]

>And I am not obfuscating, I am merely pointing out that you cannot rely
>upon a version of history written by Dara Happans, to be an accurate
>reflection of history in an objective sense -- it has inherent Dara
>Happan biases, it looks at things from a very different viewpoint, both
>logically and mythically, than do the EWF histories, or the Fronelan
>histories, or the XYZ histories.

Great. So I was not using unreliable myths but biased history?
Somehow I don't think I ever denied this. I even took care not
only to rely upon the Dara Happan History but also the Carmanian
version (a point which you curiously seem to not to have noticed).

What I *do* want to know is what is *wrong* with the simple
statement that 'The EWF conquered Dara Happa and were violently
expelled'. All I have had so far is a load of hot air about
historiography which assumes I am some sort of fundamentalist.

To amplify my comments, my original paragraph was on the same
historical level as 'Arkat made war against Nysalor's Empire',
'The Sun stopped in the Sky' or even 'Sheng Seleris invaded
the Lunar Empire'. Now either you can point out the *error*
in these statements (after all, we all know the standard
RQ history is 'suspect') *or* stop complaining about alleged
biases in the sources when you have no alternative explanation
whatsoever to offer.

[Falling Hills, unstable arguments]

>>>Since Falling Hills was prompted by Lunar aggression (in both versions of
>>>the story we have, the Lunar one and the Tarsh one), only the most
>>>pro-Lunar propagandist could say that it was an invasion of Peloria.

Me>>'Lunar agression'? The battle is fought in Holay which has been in
>>the Lunar orbit since Hwarin Dalthippa's time as the Daughter's Road
>>ends there. Arim, you'll remember, had to cross the Line of Death to
>>flee the Lunars.

>You'll note that Arim is fleeing the Lunars.

Wrong. Arim *fled* the Lunars after the fall of Holay to the
Conquering Daughter in 1330 ST and founded the Tribe of Tarsh.
The Battle of the Falling Hills is 32 years later. We happen
to be talking about whether this is an barbarian invasion of
*Peloria*. I do not believe that only the most pro-Lunar
claim that it was an invasion.

>>Furthermore the lunar version of the battle mentions no agression save
>>that the army was looking for a grove of trees.

>Now, in Glorantha, if I approach a grove of trees armed with fire magics,
>anyone in their right mind is going to assume aggression on my part. I
>assumed aggression on the part of the Lunars from this, though I could be

So Arim the Pauper lives in a grove of trees in Holay? I always
thought that his capital was further south near KeroFin. Note
again that Holay has been conquered by the Lunars so the Lunars
could be said to be operating *within* their territory. KoS
confirms this with the remark that 'In 1362, King Arim, accompanied
by his twin teenaged children, marched with his army into Holay to
fight the Lunar Empire'. So this is as I originally said it was, an
invasion of Peloria by the Tarshites. And there are plenty of other
reasons for Lunars to be roaming around in Holay other than acting
against Arim.

>Also, given the nature of Tarsh at the time, which was _not_ aggressive,
>and given the nature of the Lunars, who _were_ aggressive, I think it is
>a big stretch to suggest that the Lunars were defending themselves
>against Tarsh aggression, as you seem to be implying.

Tarsh is *not* aggressive? What was Arim doing in Holay if he
wasn't aggressive? After the battle, the remaining free clans
of Holay, Balazaar and 'beyond the Dragonspine' *joined* Tarsh
(noted in Vastapoor's reign).

Michael Raaterova:

>Speaking of the Lightbringers, am i alone in believing that the LBQ (from
>an orlanthing POV) aimed not to get Yelm back, but to awaken/resurrect
>Ernalda from her sleep/death and to free Elmal from the commands of Uncle
>Yelm that held Elmal from leaving the Underworld?

It's rather difficult to say. The Orlanthi at the Dawn believed
that the Sun they rescued was Elmal. They don't know of Yelm

until a few centuries later. In the end, the good aspects of
the Emperor devolve onto Elmal while the bad aspects devolve
onto Yelm IMO.


Me>>I don't think the Riverjoin city for example would use Orlanthi
>>myths. This is like saying that the British or the French uses
>>the US Constitution.

>Not really, the Janubian cities are supposed to follow Stygian Heresies,
>so they must incorporate _somebody_ else's myths. Aside from the Orlanthi,
>nobody else in the vicinity has a tradition for democracy, so this seems to
>me the most likely set of myths to be added.

That is precisely the thing I was complaining about. The Orlanthi
myths proper are in Dragon Pass. We have no real idea what the
Fronelan Orlanthi myths are like. In addition, the Hsunchen social
structure which is more pervasive would be a far more logical source
of 'democracy'.

Jane Williams:

[Wonders where else ducks are]

>There's a suggestion that some of them fled "to their kin in the
>Holy Country" - any idea what bit of the Holy Country?

There are Giant Cranes in the Holy Country that live in the
Marshes around Mirrorsea bay. I suspect the ducks would live
there. FWIW an old issue of Different World had some snippets
about a New Fens campaign (by Marc Willner) which mentioned an
exile Duck population (after Starbrow's revolt).

>I'm having problems finding any "normal" ducks with whom to
>compare them.

There are normal ducks?

- --Peter Metcalfe


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 17:00:34 EEST