Grazers; Apotheosis; Heroquesting

From: David Dunham (dunham@pensee.com)
Date: Fri 04 Jul 1997 - 07:52:04 EEST


(I accidentally sent my post on traits to the wrong address; hopefully the
long-suffering Mr. Appel can reroute it.)

Jean Durupt wrote

> The Orlanthi are the most courageous people in Glorantha, so they
> were the first to resettle Dragon Pass. That is why they tell the
> story about how Centaurs were transformed into the Grazers.
> Sky worshipers cannot be more courageous than Orlanthi.
> In fact the Grazer nation is the Pure Horse nation that was expelled
> from Prax and came into Dragon Pass long before the Orlanthi dared to even
> think about going through the line of crosses.

I think you have the right facts, but the wrong conclusion.

First, I think that story is told by the Grazers. Second, it *is* a heroic
story, at least when compared to the truth, that the Grazers were sorry
refugees who were whupped at the Battle of Alavan Argay and barely managed
to flee Prax using a ruse.

Michael Cule wrote

> I was thinking hard about how to account for the fact that the Pharoh
> does not suffer from the 'pressure' that we have been told again and
> again forces most Heroes to leave the Mundane World and apotheosise.

Where have we been told this?

BTW, I think most people *want* to apotheosize. That's one way to become
immortal...

Jeff Richard mentions me

> David Dunham and I had a very similar discussion recently. His point,
> if I recollect, is that it is entirely possible that much of what we
> read in various Heroquests happen to be that day's Wandering Monster. I
> agreed, but also thought that how the intrepid hero interpreted that
> day's Wandering Monster was Mythically Vital.

I think I said something about how the encounters in e.g. Orlanth and Aroka
aren't necessarily set in stone. They merely represent opposition. Krakos
the troll avenger delayed Orlanth, but this doesn't seem to be an important
aspect of the myth, it's just something that happened, and the quester
could expect any previous action to rebound on him. And much as (in your
game) Korol Sure-Strike was looking forward to performing the quest and
getting a child on the Dark Woman, he dreaded the possibility that she
might be a troll instead of a lovely Kitori lass. Assuming that, in the
Place of Strangers, you met the Dark Woman at all -- there could be Jar-eel
whom you need to befriend.

Going back to Waha's Quest [in Different Worlds 4], there are 6 stages.
Every single one of them has unpredictable elements. For example, the
Forces of Darkness can be trollkin, dark trolls, tusk riders, morokanths,
or shades. As you point out, part of the key is viewing the encounter
mythically: "Aha, these are the Forces of Darkness" when you see some
Kitori tribesmen wandering the Plains of Prax. (In a heroquest game, it
might be playing your Waha Defeats Darkness card.)

> to
> Gloranthans (like most pre-moderns) there is little distinction between
> the sacred and the mundane

True, though I think Gloranthans, just like say the Irish, do make a
distinction between the mundane world and the Other Side. And in a typical
heroquest (including worship ceremonies), you cross that boundary
intentionally at the start, and may cross back and forth several times
unintentionally before your return.

Think Wizard of Oz (as I understand it -- I used to watch it on a B&W
screen as a kid). When Dorothy crosses the threshold of adventure, the
movie changes to color. Crossing to the hero plane is similar.

Alex Ferguson is

> not too surprised by the implication that a HQers will tend to
> make only one "real" Quest

and I'm not either. Most people only have one task they want to accomplish.
Most people do mini-max their lives, but very few of them choose to
optimize power. Oh, everyone *wants* power, but most people want other
things (such as leisure) more.

Besides, once you Kill the Dragon, how can you top that?

> At the climax, you're "supposed" to haggle with the Sun about how to
> Resurrect him. Insofar as it differs from this, it becomes extrapolative.
> "Yes, Arkat, well, he's _kinda_ like the sun, because, errrrr..."

Since Harmast's Saga is incomplete, as is Arkat's, I'm not sure what
happened at this pivotal moment.

But I don't think Harmast went after the sun. He wanted a tool that could
restore the world, just as Orlanth gained a tool that could restore the
world to more or less how it was before Chaos took over.

Also, remember that Arkat was a pretty powerful heroquester. Who's to say
that Harmast had any choice here?

(Jeff Richard had a theory, but I believe he intends to propound it at
Glorantha-Con later this month.)

David Dunham <mailto:dunham@pensee.com>
Glorantha/RQ page: <http://www.pensee.com/dunham/glorantha.html>
Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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