A multiplicity of Argraths

From: Michael Schwartz (mschwartz@mindspring.com)
Date: Sat 24 Jan 1998 - 22:59:10 EET

While being interrogated by agents of the Lunar Blue Army, Loren Miller

>There is a common theory that Argrath was a composite figure made up of
>several heroes who fought against the Lunars...doesn't it seem peculiar
>that the same Argrath who was in his prime in 1618 should still be in his
>prime 52 years later...when he starts off on his heroquest to retrieve
>Harmast? Isn't it more likely that there was someone else who *called*
>himself Argrath?

I concur with Loren (and the various others who support this theory) that
the existence of a single person named Argrath who performed all the
deeds attributed to "King Argrath" is quite unlikely. This is similar to
the views held by many modern Arthurian scholars, who purport that the
"King Arthur" of legend was actually a composite of several historical
and unknown individuals. While not as grandiose as the idea of a single
Argrath who fought and liberated Prax, Sartar, Tarsh and Peloria from the
Lunars, it is certainly more realistic and MGF.

The exact identity of Argrath (and perhaps other heroes as well) is one
of those Gloranthan variables which allow one's own players to step into
the larger picture. A favorite scenario I created involves a group of
characters who must assume the role of "Argrath and his ring" and perform
great deeds in their name to garner support for the growing rebellion
against the Lunars. For me, this is truly *heroic*: the characters must
consciously *choose* the role of hero knowing that, even should they
succeed [1], their true names will remain unsung and their deeds
attributed to another.

I liken the question of Argrath's identity to that of "the dread pirate
Roberts" from "The Princess Bride": a succession of individuals assuming
the role over the course of several decades. This is not only
significantly more MGF, it allows any gamemaster's Glorantha to be
different, yet still remain consistant with THE Glorantha.

[1] -- The theme of the scenario is "sacrifice for a cause" and, as a
rule, the characters die to a man at its the end. However, word of the
sacrifice made by "Argrath's Ring" spreads throughout Sartar and renews
the tribes' flagging enthusiasm for the revolt. As for "Argrath" himself,
a new Argrath reappears nearby not long afterward "after wandering the
Spirit Plane for several days", having managed a heroic escape (a la
WB&RM) from the fray.

Michael Schwartz mschwartz@mindspring.com Ann Arbor, MI USA
"What if life actually *was* fair, and we somehow deserved all the
truly awful things that happened to us?" -- Marcus Cole, Babylon 5


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