Myths and history

From: Richard Develyn (
Date: Fri 22 May 1998 - 18:10:22 EEST

Simon Hibbs wrote:

>Heroquesting can't change history, it can enhance or ameliorate the
>consequences of history on the present.

Not only can it not change it, ITSM that it has questionable bearing on

Now I _think_ that Trotsky and Nick would agree with me on this. At
least I felt I agreed with everything _they_ said, though of course it
doesn't follow that they'll agree with everything _I_ say. If you guys
feel I'm contradictin you then it might be because I'm not expressing
myself very well.

Anyway, this is how I (currenlty) see one aspect of the Hero Questing.

Myths are all, ultimately, just a bunch of stories. Waha kills Basmol,
Tada kills Basmol, Orlanth kills Basmol, Bemurok kills Basmol, Mickey
The Jackrabbit kills Basmol. Who did it? Is he dead? Did he exist? Does

he exist (in the underworld)? Does it matter? Different cultures make
these things up, using _some_ sort of inspiration, and then act them
out. Their version matters to them, but not necessarily to anyone else.

Sure, something pretty amazing happens when the acting out starts, but
the underlying truth, the moral message behind the tales, is much more
to do with the people alive in Glorantha today, than with the events of
long ago.

And quite frankly that's all it ever needs to be. Why should _we_ care
what really happened in the God Time, or even if there was a God Time at
all. What's important is the stories that Gloranthans believe about it.

Myths are more about sociology than history. I find it much easier to
understand things like the Lightbringers Quest when I stop trying to
figure out what might have really happened, and instead concentrate on
how this story helps groups of worshippers understand their
relationships with each other.

This thing which I just referred to as "something pretty amazing" is
really what makes Glorantha different from any other world. The hero
plane is a story world which isn't just a dream - it exists. It has an
ecology of sorts, it crosses over with the real world, it has its own
rules of behaviour, it has people (creatures) permanently inside it
_living_ there (somehow).

I've _no_ idea how it works, of course, but it's fun trying to figure it



Richard Develyn (


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