From: David Cake (dave@starfish.net.au)
Date: Wed 03 Jun 1998 - 10:07:08 EEST

Bravely stepping between two Simons...
>> Why would a Yelmalion want to change his own myth? Surely if he does
>> that then he's cast aside any lessons he might have learned from it?
>Not really, all he would be doing is show that Yelmalio was not
>always beaten at the Hill of Gold, not a major change, surely. :-)

        The answer is, too some extent, both. If a Yelmalion beats Zorak
Zoran at the Hill of Gold, he has shown that Yelmalio does not always have
to lose, and that is not a major change. He has also failed to learn the
lesson he was supposed to learn. These are not contradictory.
        The prize for completing the Quest the way Yelmalio did it is a
better one than mere Fire powers. But if you would rather have fire powers
than Immortality, that is your choice...

>> is a trial by ordeal and nayone who completes it successfuly has
>> proved their devotion to Yelmalio under the most extreme of
>> circumstances. It's a lesson of obedience and duty and is of a
>> wholly different order to Illumination.
>This is the argument for all "Loser" Quests. "We do it to prove our
>piety". It is, of course, a load of rubbish. HeroQuestors perform
>"Loser" Quests so that the Quest may eventually change to become a
>Victory Quest.

        It is NOT a test of obedience and duty. It is a test of ability to
survive, and ability to know what is important. The ultimate goal of the
Hill of Gold is more important than mastery over Fire. If you Zorak Zoran
and steal his power of fire, then according to standard Yelmalian
orthodoxy, you have failed on the quest, because the choice of which path
to take is an important part of the quest (more important than mere combat
        There is an element of truth, though. The Yelmalio cult does not
want to 'win' at the Hill of Gold - as far as they are concerned, they
already have, because they get immortality and their gods ability to endure
all hardships, and all they lost was mastery over Fire, a much inferior
power. The Antirius cult, though, has a very different attitude (the
Antirius and Yelmalio cults are very similar in some ways, but very
different in some others) - the Antirius cult did lose the first few times,

but they did want to win, and eventually, they did - its in GRoY (pg 50 in
the Gold Pages edition, I don't know what page in the IP edition, where
Darveskorgos recovers the Orb for Khordavu). But note that in GROY
Darveskorgos gambled his soul for temporal power in doing so - the
Yelmalions would rather keep their souls intact, even if it means their
body and magic takes a bit of a beating.

>> Why would a Yelmalion want to change his own myth?
>Good question, I don't know. But things like this happen: in King of
>Sartar it is said about Argrath that he 'changed his god'.

        There are reasons to want to run a quest a different way, but they
go beyond simply changing a quest. A Yelmalion who takes a different path
on the Hill of Gold has made an error. A Yelmalion who takes a different
path and said that it was the right path, and that he made a better choice
than Yelmalio did, is a heretic. A Yelmalion who takes a different path,
says it is the right path, and convinces many other people that his
interpretation is correct, is a founder of a new sect.
        (Actually, it works more the other way - IMO the Antirius cult did
the quest from the solar direction first, but they were determined to
defeat the Cruel God. The Yelmalio cult introduced the idea that you were
better of losing that particular fight and aiming for the big prize.)

>And if cultures
>use questing to get information about the past, experimental questing that
>changes that myth will change history (what are myths if not ways to
>explain the world?).

        Yes and no. Heroquesting does not change history, though it can
obscure it. A couple of thousand years of Yelmic belief that they were the
first did not change the truth that there were people who came before (the
Pelandans), and eventually that truth reasserted itself.
        You can visit the past in Glorantha. But you still can't change it.




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