Re: Myths and history

From: TTrotsky (
Date: Sat 23 May 1998 - 12:33:08 EEST

Richard Develyn:

<< 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.>>

     IMO, Basmol did exist, and somebody did kill him, but I agree that from a
gaming POV it doesn't matter who. I think he exists in the underworld in the
sense that you could potentially HeroQuest there and meet him.

 <<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.>>

     Myths do have an underlying truth - the gods do exist and they must have
got up to *something* before the Dawn and the myths reflect that. But details

may change with time, such that widely separated cultures may have different
opinions about what happened. Where was the Spike? At Magasta's Pool
(Mermen/God Learners)? Just outside Raibanth (early Dara Happans)? Lake Oronin
(Pelandans/Wendarians)? Who cares? Not me :-)

 <<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.>>

     I think its pretty clear that there was, although it wasn't necessarily
the way the Orlanthi portray it. Plentonius' account of the closing years of
the God Time, corresponding to the early Jenarong dynasty in Dara Happa, make
it sound fairly historical rather than mythical, and he was a lot closer to it
than 17th century people are (although, to be fair, still a couple of
centuries away). But unless you're going to set a campaign in that time period
you don't IMO need to work it all out in order to run a game.

Forward the glorious Red Army!


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