RE: Maunderings

From: Sandy Petersen (SPetersen@ensemblestudios.com)
Date: Fri 30 Jan 1998 - 20:52:18 EET


Daren Clari:
>The discussion of lions and Basmoli in Prax and the Wastes recently has
reminded me of a question I had. Do the Basmoli >exhibit the same habit
as is seen in RW lions whereby a male taking over a pride will often
kill all of the young in that pride.
        Only if necessary for MGF or a particular scenario. I believe
that for most Hsunchen, including the Basmoli, cultural practices are a
mix of the animal & human -- thus, all Hsunchen (in common with the
remainder of humanity) engage in some form of marriage, though this
might be looser in some Hsunchen types, especially during holy times.
However, obvious bits of the animal practice should have impact --
perhaps when a Basmoli remarries, his or her step-children must move to
the "bachelor huts", or live with an unwed aunt, or get traded away as
slaves, or, sometimes, are murdered.
        The problem, of course, is that many animal practices are
incompatible with humanity -- it's hard to imagine a human society
modeled after that of a fur seal or a tiger -- such humans would be so
alien as to no longer really be "human" (and so they might as well be
non-humans). The purpose of Hsunchen, IMO, is to present us with humans
that show clearly, or in an exaggerated way, the animal side of our
nature. Not to provide us with an additional set of non-humans.

Peter Metcalfe
>I tend to be extremely sceptical about claims for Kralorela's cultural
conservatism.
        But Peter, _everyone_ in Kralorela KNOWS that they have exactly
the same culture as in the golden age of Yelm (aka Yung Ti). *snicker*
[sarcasm alert] How can you possibly think that their culture would have
been altered by minor happenstances such as Shang-Hsa's Burning of the
Books, the arrival of Nysalor & Illumination, the False Dragon Ring's
re-structure of society and myth, the re-conquest by mandarins who had
spent several centuries dwelling in Ignorance, Sheng Seleris's brief but
thorough reign, or the years of the Closing?
        Seriously, it's quite obvious that Kralorela has been affected
as much if not more than any other Gloranthan cultures by the currents
of history. This is what makes Kralorela so interesting -- it is a
totally reactionary, conservative culture opposed to any type of change
which yet undergoes constant flux. And of course since they're so ridden
by the weight of history (they really do have more ancient writings and
survivals from primitive times than anyone else), they cannot help but
be aware of the vast gulf that separates them from the good old days.
Hence they cling ever more desperately to those threads of their culture
which _do_ seem to be genuinely old.

>And how many of the other cultures in the world make the same claim?
The Dara Happans, the Malkioni, the Brithini, the
>Elves, the Mostali and the Teshnans. Even the Lunars claim to have
restored lost Golden Age customs.
        Well, actually the Malkioni don't make that claim, and I'm not
sure the Teshnans do. In any case, "restoring" the Golden Age is not the
same as having an unbroken continuity leading back to that time.
Technically the Elves have changed a LOT since the Golden Age, too. For
one thing, there _weren't_ any Elves in the Golden Age (they are a
product of the Gods War). Ditto for the Mostali, unless you're counting
the extremely rare true Mostali as a "culture".

Nils Weinander
>Wouldn't it be more interesting if there _was_ one exception, one
nation where tradition really _is_ unbroken?
        You bet. And we have several such nations: Brithini, Vadeli,
Trolls, maybe some Mostali. Hmm. It's kind of interesting that all the
survivals of the "real" Golden Age seem to be unpleasant, no? Makes you
wonder.

Stephen Martin
>OK, again I was being imprecise, and again I apologize. This is a VERY
LATE First Age, and early Second Age, situation, .
>In other words, the 200-300 >or so years before the God Learners came.
Why do you think the God Learners were able to
>take over so easily? There was no Dragon Emperor, and fuck-all of
Exarchs around to coordinate the defense of the land.

Peter M
>Given that Yanoor is considered by the Kralori to have been a dragon
emperor, I find this unlikely.
        Yanoor is known to have been a weak emperor. The Empire was
under considerable stress at this time, and we know that the Hsunchen &
Ignorance overrun most of it. Remember also that the modern Kralori are
very eager to have a continued chain of emperor-ship, so even if all
Yanoor ruled was a tiny central plot of ground (rather like the
Renaissance Popes), he would qualify as the Emperor of all Kralorela.
Personally, I am of the belief that after Yanoor's Accession, the Beasts
& Trolls recognized him as Emperor and he made them satraps & governors,
thus officially recognizing their status and bringing them technically
under imperial domination.

>Trollpak refers to the Kralori defeating a combined army of dwarves and
trolls at the Battle of Warring Ford in 560 ST.
>Which would be unusual for an empire in retreat.
        I think it's pretty obvious that this is a civil war between
Ignorance & the Beasts, in which the Kralori sided with the Hsunchen.

>The concept that Kralorela suffered a setback after the Sunstop is well
taken and this is why I disagree with Sandy's Theory >when he says that
Shang-Hsa became Yanoor after the Sunstop.
        You can disagree with me all you like (though my theory seems to
be ever more widely accepted among Gloranthologists), but the fact that
Shang-Hsa became Yanoor doesn't conflict with the occupation of most of
Kralorela by foreigners after the Sunstop.

Peter
>Every nation here and in glorantha thinks their land is the best in the
world and the others are not so good.
        Actually this is quite not true, and Peter knows it.

>Thus the Kralori do have an afterlife. How to reconcile this with the
Palace of Excellent Reward mentioned in GoG (and the >mass suicide
following Yanoor's flight) is interesting but I won't pursue it in this
post.
        To elucidate. The Kralori afterlife is as follows (for most
Kralori -- there are exceptions, of course): upon death, the soul goes
to Vithela, the Land of Dawn, where it awaits the Emperor's Passing On.
When the Emperor dies, all the souls who died during his reign move
ahead with him to the next stage of existence. This "next stage" was
equated with the Malkioni Solace by the God-Learners. The Kralori do
_not_ believe that this is the end, though -- they say that eventually
everyone passes on to yet _another_ stage of existence past that, and
then another, and so forth, an eternal progression. This is why there
was the mass suicide at Yanoor's Passing -- it looked like there would
never be another emperor, and so if you died, you'd be stuck in Vithela
for always, unable to advance and progress. So they killed themselves in
hopes that their souls would "catch the last train" to heaven, so to
speak.

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