Hill of Gold

From: David Cake (dave@starfish.net.au)
Date: Fri 05 Jun 1998 - 20:01:41 EEST

 talking to Peter Metcalfe

>There's really no such thing as an Antirius Cult HQ with respect to
>the Hills of Gold. There was an Orb of the Eye there. The Dara
>Happans knew that many years ago their god had been killed when
>attempting to take the Orb. The Dara Happans preserved legends of
>their god's defeat for many years but it wasn't a ritual they recreated.

        Depends which accounts you believe are completely mythical, and
which contain a historical element. There are at least two accounts of
unsuccessful attempts by specific people (Vergustus and Vanyoramet),
'accompanied' by Antirius, which sounds to me like heroes trying and
failing and weakening the powers of Antirius thereby.

        I think the Dara Happans may have recreated parts of the quest (ie
the part where 'Antirius the Undeceivable is not fooled by his invisible
Other'), but not known the whole story of the version where Antirius wins.

And they kept trying to recreate the whole myth, and kept failing. Instead
of making a virtue of his failure, they kept trying until they got it
right, and discovered the important parts of the myth (ie where 'Antirius
kicks the crap out of the Cruel God').
        Its a similar situation to the Lightbringer quest. Before Harmast,
no one had put enough of their individual myths together to have a path
through the whole quest. If an Orlanthi hero had attempted the LBQ at this
point, they too would probably have ended up like Vergustus or Vanyoramet
(or that Orlanthi hero who ends up falling out of the sky). But the
Orlanthi still had lots of myths about it, and re-enacted them in ritual,
just no one knew enough for the whole quest (and for that matter, Harmast
was missing some vital bits of information when he set off, at least the
first time, and came awfully close to horrid failure (and did kill all of
his companions)).

>After the Dawn, a Prince of the Ten Tests attempted the HoG quest (and
>seems to have been the only person to have done so sinec Antirius was
>killed) and succeeded. Since that time, no Antirius cultist has ever

>taken the quest, simply because there is no need. It's like questing
>for the Golden Fleece after Jason has been and gone.

        But you can repeat the quest on a smaller scale - if you are a
Yelmic noble, and you lose your traditional regalia, you might attempt a
version of the Antirius quest to regain it. Repeating a quest on a smaller
scale to gain a smaller reward is a common pattern in Glorantha.
        And there are very good reasons why the quest is not repeated 'for
real' by the Dara Happans, at least not in its original form. The Orb
represents the authority of the Emperor - so the Hill of Gold quest
involves the Emperor losing his authority, and is thus highest treason.
This is IMO the 'Mythic Trial of Antirius' that the rebellious Enestool
family attempt (TFS page 26). The Hill of Gold quest as practiced by the
modern descendants of the Antirius worshippers IMO involves going up the
Footstool instead (ie is probably part of the Ten Tests - its certainly
this part of the Ten Tests that seems to involve fighting, anyway). Its
certainly true that the Dara Happans would not say that they Orb can be
found on top of a Hill in Vanch, though.
        But in any case, there are other good reasons for the different
approaches of the Antirius and Yelmalio cults, and if you want to know them
you should ask me off line (yes I am being deliberately mysterious, I don't
want to give away a secret). But its more to do with a change in attitude
than the quest no longer being necessary.




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