From: Julian Lord (
Date: Thu 21 May 1998 - 03:54:14 EEST

Simon Hibbs:

> If they don't practice western sorcery, where do their philosophical =

> or religious traditions originate? Or are you postulating a form of =

> magic devoid of religious or philosophical meaning?

I think I am.

Quote time, I believe. This one's from Sandy's sorcery:
"Several different Gloranthan magic traditions are all vulgarly known as

'Sorcery'. ... etc. ... " Paragraph one of his rules.

Sorcery, as defined there, is a technique for the direct manipulation of
magical energies by a sorceror.

Now, one of the BIG problems with RQ3 sorcery was that it was, as
presented, "devoid of religious or philosophical meaning". Lots of
excellent work has been done since then to remedy this, but there might
be a danger of over-compensation. IMO, empty techniques of magic use (by
meldeks, and others) do actually exist in Glorantha. Unaligned
sorcerors, or old hags who spoil your milk, might have this kind of
magic, also among the Orlanthi.

I am specifically NOT using the "Sorcery is Any Evil Magic" definition.
While this definition *would* be my definition of choice if translating
a Gloranthan's speech or writing, I find it too confusing for discussing
Glorantha from the outside. I find it inaccurate, too: Do any RW
contributors to the Digest consider any particular magic of Glorantha to
be "evil" in comparison to others? =

> Where did [their sorcery] orriginate? How did it spread? How do they
> justify their abandonment of Orlanthi religious and thus social and
> moral values?

These are all very interesting questions, but I'd suggest that there
would be many answers to each of them. There could be renegade Malkioni,
evil sorcerors, people from Heortland, or from the Ditali Tribe. Most
sorcerors would be unable to consolidate their science of magic with
their religious beliefs, (this usually would, but might not hinder their
ability). Some of them might be able to mix'n'match, or mini-max, for
example the illuminated ones.
Each single case might in fact be different. =

OK, the phrase "orlanthi sorceror" sends out a bad signal.
Shall we use Meldek instead?

> From what we know of monotheism, pantheism and mysticism in Glorantha
> they are founded on mutualy incompatible philosophies.

Um. I've been re-reading my GregStuff, and I disagree.
Greg has called these: different "approaches" to magic. Magic itself is
always the same thing, but some people use different tools to get it
going. (Despite appearances, BTW, there is no contradiction between this
idea and Meldek sorcery being different to Malkioni sorcery. They are
similar, but different magical approaches.)

> For a pantheist to use sorcery seem to require that he accept and =

> believe axioms that directly invalidate his pantheistic religious =

> beliefs. =

But we know that, in fact, some pantheists *do* use sorcery.
Strong disagreement here, but my POV isn't yours ...


> Surely this would be a dilema for conciencious Olranthi sorcerers?

Who said anything about them being consciencious? Sorcery-using
initiates of C.A. surely would be. Others would be Meldeks, pure and
simple. Avoid them like the broo ... Some would be in a difficult state
of personal crisis. Very few would be heroic PC types.

And, if there's a dilemma? So much the better! =

The Meat and Wine of Myth!

> I prefer to keep things more clearly delineated in my games to avoid =

> abuse.

Fair enough. The clearly delineated Da Roolz version of Glorantha isn't
the one which I'm most interested in, though. (ie I *am* interested in
the Da Roolz version, but Greg's Glorantha, or my interpretation of it
takes precedence)
Rule of thumb: Da Roolz were meant to be broken ... (by Greg?)

> I'll be interested to discover how the new game deals with these =

> issues. I suspect it will probably produce a game system which has a =

> unified magic system with variations for sorcery, divine magic and =

> mysticism and emphasizes the cultural differences through appropriate
> characterisation.

Roll on GtG/HW !!
Well, I hope there's some game rules definition for the divine half,
But, if you have rules for mysticism, hey! presto! voil=E0 dogma!
Mysticism bye-bye ...


D. Pearton:

> Yes, but it is a hell of a lot easier to become an initate of a chaos >=
 cult (it is even possible to involuntarily initiate) than to find a =

> master sorceror (where?), apprentice yourself for many years (how do =

> you support yourself and your master - western societies have a =

> support system - the church) and study (with what books?).

Books? Oral tradition, windwords ...
Good remarks and questions, though, which aren't readily answerable.
I don't see Meldeks as conforming to the Gandalf/Zzabur model ...
Meldeks practice their Arts in the backstreets of orlanthi society.
Probably where they find their apprentices, too. In fact, Meldeks would
be outlaws, and criminals, wouldn't they? Orlanthi meldeks would
certainly be a mainly urban phenomenon. =

Otherwise, the hag down the lane might teach Sour Milk and the Art of
Range ...
No, I don't think there is a formal support system, but rather a few
isolated practitioners of sorcery, living on the edges of society. But,
I repeat myself ...

> > A sorcery-using Arroin cult is, IMO,
> > a) a Gloranthan likelihood,...
> In very well defined areas, eg amoungst the Hendriki.

The Kingdom of War (eg MunchkinLand) is THE likeliest place for it.
Similarly, Avalon Hill and RuneQuest.


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