Wellsprings of Inspiration

From: Michael O'Brien (mob@bayswater.schnet.edu.au)
Date: Fri 30 Jan 1998 - 09:07:45 EET


G'day all
__________________________
Wellsprings of Inspiration (was 're: Blank Balstor (long)')

Richard, in a very long post, sez::

>There are lots of places mentioned on the map without a single
>word of explanation inside...
>...If there are interesting things happening in the other River of Cradles
>or Sun County locations I would've liked a sentence or two describing
>them.

I suspect that even if I did attempt to dream up cool ideas for each and
every village, hamlet and corn field for SUN COUNTY, good old Uncle Ken
would have lopped most of 'em out of the book anyway. Why? Space
considerations for one thing, and second, I doubt if I could come up with
groovy goings-on for every damn location in the County anyway, nor would I
want to (my brain would ache).

I'd rather have a Mike Dawson or a Jane Williams (or a Richard?) come back
some time later and tell me what *they've* discovered about these places.
After all, their discoveries come from the same wellspring that I got my Sun
County stuff from, that Nick gets his ideas from, that Peter Metcalfe and
Sandy and Joerg and assorted Davids et al get their ideas from, and
ultimately Greg gets his from: WE MAKE IT UP.

A throwaway line, a comment, even a place-name in a publication might
provide a kernel of inspiration for somebody to weave stuff into whole
cloth. Some examples: the brief biographical sketch of Yolanela, the
Taloned Countess of Spol in the WoG Book has spawned several thousand words
of fiction and a number of plotlines for our LARP (play "Life of Moonson"
and find out for yourself!). A few sentences and one of your unexplained
place names in SUN COUNTY inspired Jane Williams to create a 8000 word
"Secret History of Sun County" (available in QUESTLINES II).

>I don't expect lots of detail, just the key
>facts...
>...Omissions don't tend to "come out" until some later publication
>appears.

That's probably because they haven't been thought of yet! While there a few
people who trawl through the dregs of Greg Stafford's wastepaper basket
looking for discarded pearls of wisdom they can trump as "official" holy
writ, most of us have a more flexible approach to Glorantha. I'd rather see
the world and the games we play there evolve, rather than stagnate by having
everything set in stone, immutable and unchangable from the beginning. I
prefer to see enigmas, mysteries, contradictions and omissions as spurs to
gaming creativity than problems or embarassments.

>Some of the comments made in the Avalon Hill publications seem almost
>deliberately antagonizing (dont touch places, people, or get big ideas
>about HeroQuesting - latter in Sun County).

What Sun County is saying is that this book was not the time or place to go
into great detail about HQs, and that, in the space available, we'd rather
put up a Cheap, Imaginative Stage Effect designed to produce the impression
of an otherworldly event without assuming the burden of rationalising it.
If we did, the book would have been 496 pages long (and if we'd gone ahead
and described every location in Sun County right down to Mars Melus's brick
privy out the back of Yelm's Griddle it would have 1549 pages long, and due
out for publication sometime early next century).

>> Still, I cant get away from the impression that this image of a
>> non-cohesive do-what-you-like-with Glorantha is a smoke screen hiding
>> a
>> very beautiful clearly thought out logical cohesive Glorantha whos
>> details are for some reason unavailable to most of us.

Nothing could be further from the truth! And bear in mind, with Glorantha,
sometimes the more people believe something, the more likely it is to become
so. If you don't care for the recently-reached concensus that Ducks *do*
indeed lay eggs, take Moonson as an example. In Greg's early writing he is
described as the "immortal, ever-reincarnating son of the Red Goddess".
Some time ago several of us put forward the notion that in fact, Moonson is,

and has been, a succession of individuals. Over time this seems to have
become the commonly-accepted view. I like to think Nick and I even changed
Greg's mind on this, by coming up with a groovier explanation than there was

before. Now if I can only convince him of my theories of the multiple Great
Sisters and the "false" Red Emperors...

>One last plea. In dealing with an area which is potentially critical of
>Gloranthan publications I am aware that I am dealing with issues which
>Im sure will be sensitive to many people in this group. I have tried
>hard to make such criticisms constructive rather than derogatory. If I
>have given anyone offence then please forgive me, it was not
>intentional.

I'm not really sure I understand fully what you're getting at, and doubt
very much if it is any way feasible (or even desirable), but let me asure no
offense is taken!

Cheers

MOB

____________________________________________
>From the Notes from Nochet files

[1621 ST XXVII-58] The most common form of clothing among ducks of the River
of Cradles is greaves, usually made of leather or cloth, wrapped around the
shins and tied with thongs.
____________________________________________
Michael O'Brien
Bayswater Primary School
Mountain Highway,
Bayswater, Victoria
Australia 3153

Phone: (03)9729 1733
Fax: (03)9720 8986

Our Home Page is http://www.bayswater.schnet.edu.au

------------------------------

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