Destroying gods; healers

From: David Dunham (dunham@pensee.com)
Date: Sun 03 May 1998 - 04:34:05 EEST


[Returning to the fray after questing against PageMaker, trying to bring
Enclosure 2 back to the community. A backup of your data is a potent
weapon!]

Simon Hibbs takes a strict view of the Compromise:

> attempting to heroquest to destroy another god
> is heretical, because it would be breaking your god's promise. Apart, of
> course, from potentialy destroying the world. Just look at what happened
> when the god of the silver feet was killed.

First of all, some gods are known not to be part of the Compromise, such as
the Red Goddess. Second, many cultures do not have myths of a compromise,
including the Pelorians. So neither the Orlanthi nor the Lunars would
consider heroquesting to destroy Orlanth as heretical.

I have no idea if Fronela had Compromise-style myths. I still think this is
a Theyalan explanation for why the gods are more removed than in the past.

Martin Dick

> 2) That one's health is generally a major preoccupation with people
> regardless of other factors.

True. I read recently that most real-world cultures have at least shamans
to do their healing, even if they also have priests.

> 3) In a modern Western country, we devote somewhere in the vicinity of
> 10% of GDP to medicine

> 4) Given the comparison between modern medicine and the healing magics
> of Chalana Arroy, why wouldn't a Sartarite clan spend a similar percentage
> of their energy (magical and economic) on Healers?

We are industrialized, and no longer need to devote 90% (figure from hat,
but it's certainly close) of our energy on creating food.

Healers may save a few people, and make everyone's lives better, but they
can't save everyone. Warriors can. Only warriors can keep the next clan
over, or the trolls, from killing or enslaving everyone. So they get
priority. Likewise, priests and priestesses who can feed us get priority.

> 5) Comparisons with medieval times aren't really valid IMO as the magic
> of Chalana Arroy works far more effectively

Yes, but Chalana Arroy is actually from an Iron Age culture. The issue is
not the efficacy of the magic, it's the economic support system required.

Also, I think the importance of Chalana Arroy is not about resurrection
(flashy as that is), but simply in keeping people healthy, and making sure
the warriors aren't permanently taken out of action by disabling wounds.

> 7) Overall, my opinion tends towards that a Healer in a clan would more than
> adequately pay off for the clan in terms of productivity for the clan, let
> alone in emotional terms as another child gets carried off by the Gloranthan
> equivalent of diptheria.

I think on average you could be right, but that war problem, occasional
though it may be, forces a non-optimal solution.

And hey, in times of plague, people will start paying a lot more time to
Chalana Arroy (and other goddesses of healing -- she's not the only one,
simply the best).

I still think it's not just a clan decision, but a personal decision. Being
a Healer is a big deal! While your mother and sister get to goad the men to
take vengeance, you have to play the pacificist. (Of course, you do get to
join them with the "There is always another way" some of the time.) You are
cutting yourself off from any productive skills -- you can't grow food,
hunt, trade, or even take stuff from other people. You don't even get to
eat meat!

Given that clans can't easily afford many Healers (since most people have
to farm), and few people in the clan want to make the kind of commitment
required, the number of Healers is very small.

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

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


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 23:16:00 EEST