Re: The Glorantha Digest V5 #618

From: Jeremy Handler (
Date: Sun 17 May 1998 - 08:47:14 EEST

The Glorantha Digest wrote:

> The Glorantha Digest Saturday, May 16 1998 Volume 05 : Number 618
> Peter Metcalfe Illumination
> Nick Brooke Re: Adopted Pagan Deities
> Nikk Effingham Saints and Sainthood
> Mikko Rintasaari Orlanthi sorcery
> Jose Ramos Saints and Sorcery
> Ian Welsh Basmol, Lions and Kingship
> 1. Do not include large sections of a message in your reply. Especially
> not to add "Yeah, I agree" or "No, I disagree." Or be excoriated.
> If someone writes something good and you want to say "good show"
> please do. But don't include the whole message you praise.
> 2. Use an appropriate Subject line.
> 3. Learn the art of paraphrasing: Don't just quote and comment on a
> point-by-point basis.
> 4. No anonymous posting, please. Don't say something unless you're ready
> to stand by it.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 17:05:41 +1200 (NZST)
> From: (Peter Metcalfe)
> Subject: Illumination
> Frank Rafaelsen:
> >> OTOH One could argue that since the Crimson Bat itself is illuminated,
> >> it doesn't register on Sense Chaos. But I have cold feet about this.
> >Is it illuminated? I can't remember. But I would think that if it didn't
> >register on the senses of The Bull it would be a well known puzzle.

If memory serves, 'Sense Chaos' is a skill in RQ2. Oddi could always have failedhis
skill roll. However, such a gamey explanation isn't narrative-cool.

Could it have been because of Oddi's Illumination? The Illuminant recognizes
the 'truth' that there is no inherent difference between Law and Chaos, while
Storm Bull teaches the profound difference between Order/Existence
and Chaos/Void. Essentially, Oddi was blinded by the light of his own
Illumination. In enough Light, one can not see the differences between
things, including the lines between self and other, good and evil. Perhaps
This is why Arkat embraced Darkness and it's Deities, to counterbalance
the Light within him, which shows his wise approach to Illumination, a secret
which was embraced in later Lunar teachings.

Sane and right-minded peoples recognize this danger of Illumination,
since Illuminants become blinded by their own inner light to the dangers
of not seeing differences. Chaos, in and of itself, is totally undifferentiated,
a seething morass of potentially but without any form...all Chaos is
essentially the same when their is no order to contrast it. Without proper
training to recognize differences after the Illuminated state, both
withing oneself and in the outside world, the Illuminant becomes a
danger to him or herself and the world at large. One would assume that
Kralori schools, the Arkat cults, and the Lunar schools of Illumination
would include such safeguards in their teachings. Effectively,
Illuminants are, according to the standards of most Gloranthans,
quite insane (I'd imagination that a bad Illumination experience may well
drive some seekers into blathering idiots.) I also suspect that the Kralori
Enlightenment is somehow deeper and more profound than even Illumination,
but even more difficult to reach, being the peaceful Void beyond Chaos.

As for the RQ sight, I'd say it actually has nothing to do with Illumination,
but was purely a lawful thing. IMO, the RQ sight was the ability to see the
God-powers of Glorantha not as Gods, but as relationships. the God Learners
knew how to HeroQuest to alter, create and re-create these runic relationships.
The GL's had perhaps one of the most spiritually profound abilities in Glorantha...
They could percieve the Runes in all their naked glory. This was, of course,
an ability which the squandered.

All IMO, of course.

> Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 12:12:58 GMT
> From: "Nikk Effingham" <>
> Subject: Saints and Sainthood
> If Saints remain "elsewhere" other than Solace, then Invoking their
> powers, meeting them in dreams and in miracle appearances, means that
> there is less evidence for the existence of the Invisible God and the
> Creator. After all, an Orlanthi Shaman might just point out how alike
> Hero Cults and Saints are to each other.

Too true. Perhaps a good explanation may be that the differences between
Pagan"miracles" and true divine revelation in Malkioni culture may be that there is
no "Compromise" for the Invisible God.

I would take Saintly intervention as truly divine miracles allowed by the
Invisible God, to remind the Faithful that he still loves and cares for his
children. Unlike the false pagan spirits who may only intervene and
interact with the world according to the strict laws of Time, as set forth
by the Invisible God, the IG creates miracles at times of his/her/it's choosing,
not at the behest of a worshipper like some Pagan Deity. IMO, the Saints
do reside in Solace, but unlike Theist Deities, they do not reside on a Hero
Plane, waiting to be found and emulated. All the gifts offered by the Saints
flow from the Invisble God, the Saints function as examples of how to
achieve the Solace of the Body and the Joy of the Heart, and function as
channels through which the generosity of the Invisible God flows down
to his faithful. The Saints, on their own, have no a pious
Malkioni, all power in the world lies with the Invisible God, and
contemplation of his benevolent wisdom and generosity, of his love
for his children and how he constantly gives and never takes, leads
pious Malkioni into Solace (I've always thought that Islam was a better
real world metaphor for Malkion belief than Christianity anyway.)

What are the Malkioni views of Chaos, and Illumination? I'd like
to know. I will say that the whole debate over Arkat's illumination
don't even stem from traditional Brithini beliefs...According to
Cults of Terror, he was taught Illumination by the Elves of Brithos,
who most likely taught him via the way of Maker and Grower,
and Aldryami mysticism (THAT must have been a turnaround
from standard Brithini belief!)

> Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 18:05:40 +0200
> From: Jose Ramos <>
> Subject: Saints and Sorcery
> Julian Lord goes against general opinion in the Digest.
> >>There are sorcerers among the Orlanthi?
> >
> >RoC p.169: "Initiates of Chalana Arroy may become shamans
> > or even sorcerors, ..."

I like the model of the 'Meldek' , the wise or clever man who knows the
secrets of the Gods. One of the problems with the RQ2/3 model for
Rune Magic is that when you learn Rune Magic, you really don't learn
anything. Instead, the God gives you a portion of his or her fixed power
(powers associated with his or her Runes, Myths and Deeds).

I hope that the new game instead uses a model of where if you Quest
and learn a God's secrets, you gain his or her powers by emulating
him or her. This is normally done through the Rune Cults. While
the Gods no doubt need and appreciate all that POW and MP
sacrificed to them (and which is necessary for the survival of the world,
as this strengthens the Gods and gives them the strength which allows
them to hold back Chaos), the actual Magic learned is not something
that the God gives you from his or her 'soul' or substance. More
precisely, it's a runic mystery, which questing on a certain Deity's
Heropath allows the Theist magician to comprehend intuitively,
as opposed to the Malkioni Sorcerer who comprhends the Runic
mystery logically... two routes to the same comprehensions. Shamans
effectively do the same things priests do, except with much smaller
Gods (Spirit Cults and the like.) The Draconic mysteries allow direct
comprehension of the great magnificent Void which lies behind and
powers the Runes...The Runes being a framework and gateway to
that unfathomable power of Magic in Glorantha.

Sartar himself may well have been an Acolyte of many cults
 - as many as he could have been a member of and not have his
cult duties conflict- probably the Lightbringers, Ernalda,
Mastakos. Think about game roolz, Acolytes need only give
up 50% of their time, and full Priests give up usually 90%
of their time, plus 10% for each Cult they hold Acolyte status
in. Sartar was probably a priest of Mastakos (which only
requires 50% time) and held Acolyte status in Orlanth,
Lhankor Mhy, Issaries and perhaps Elmal, thus learning
secrets of many of the Gods. A Priest of Orlanth could
do nearly the same thing, learning all of the Associate Rune
Magic that was available to Orlanth, which I've seen no PC
do, as well as having full access to the Mastakos mysteries,
as well as Associate magic from the Lightrbringers, Elmal
and most of the Storm Pantheon found around Esrolia and
Sartar. Sartar could simply have been a butt powerful Priest
who was initiated into many Godly mysteries.

**I hope the hell some of this made sense.:)**

I await your praise, comments and flames,

Chris Bell


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