Re: How Glorantha Works

From: Simon Hibbs (
Date: Tue 05 May 1998 - 13:09:27 EEST

Jane Williams posts a very thoughtfull post on the relationship between
physics and magic in glorantha :

>The atheist (if Glorantha had such, but let's not get into that), as I
>understand it, sees the world as controlled and explained by a set of
>laws. These laws include geometry, physics, chemistry, genetics, and so

>on. For the purposes of convenient reference, let's group them all
>together under the heading of Mundane Law.
>The theist (and the mystic, and shaman, etc, etc.) sees the world as
>controlled and explained partly by these (for the minor stuff, where it

>doesn't matter), but much more by what I want to call Mythical Law.....

You seem to fall into the trap of assuming that the physical laws which
pertain in glorantha - the 'physics' and 'genetics' studied by atheists
such as the brithini - must work in the same way that they do in our
world. You define magic as being an exclusively theist activity. What is
brithini and malkioni sorcery if it is not magic?

>On the Heroplane, only Mythic Law applies. Heroquesting consists of
>using that to alter things in the HP, then convincing the mundane world
>tofollow suit.

This would imply that malkioni and brithini could not heroquest

>Without someone deliberately concentrating on one set of laws or the
>other, which controls things, Mundane or Mythic? That depends on >which
is strongest. .....What do you think would happen if
>Mundane Law won, and Gravity noticed what was going on? That's why >the
Sacred Time ceremonies are so important. No matter what event they
>reenact, they reenforce Mythic Law. And without Mythic Law, >Glorantha
would not exist.

I do not believe there is any struggle in glorantha between two
competing sets of natural laws. Gravity as it pertains in the real world
is a meaningless concept in glorantha. 99.9% of the apparatus in a
modern laboratory, if transported there, would be useless junk.

The theist and atheist philosophies attempt to interpret and understand
glorantha in different ways, and are successful in their own ways and on
their own terms. They are not complete, nor are they perfect, but for
the purposes of incompleter and imperfect mortal minds they suffice.
Perhaps illumination is the realisation of this.



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