Home Forums Glorantha Glorantha Discussions A Question about Metaphysics and The Hero Wars

This topic contains 18 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jeff Richard Jeff Richard 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #5391
    Profile photo of Charles
    Charles
    Spectator

    I suppose first off that I should admit to being a complete neophyte. I was first really introduced to Glorantha by the King of Dragon Pass game and really found the world presented there to be quite entrancing. I’m probably as much a lore-reader as I am a role-player, but I decided I wanted to try to run a Glorantha campaign.

    So I did my research, bought the Kingdom of Sartar and the Sartar Companion books and those honestly just made me want to read more. I started reading online about the Hero Wars and about how Greg Stafford proposed that the Fourth Age of Glorantha was simply the world we live in today. I thought this was a really cool idea, and I wanted to find a way to incorporate it into a campaign.

    Now for a long time I have wanted to run a campaign with a major shakeup to the players’ view of the world they inhabit–to really pull the rug out from under them, as it were, and to give them that singular moment of realization–of anagnorisis.

    As I understand it, the Hero Wars culminate in the destruction of the Red Moon by the Argrath, thus transforming Glorantha into our own mundane universe. From my perspective, the players are in this moment presented with a choice: to destroy Chaos, the Empire, and concomitantly the world, or to allow Glorantha to persist in its current state and perhaps lose the struggle with Chaos in some future time.

    That’s cool, I thought, but how to really drive it home that Glorantha becomes Our World–how to really give that moment weight? I thought for a while and then thought some more, and then wondered: If Glorantha could be transformed from one thing to another, why not back again? Could not a second, subordinate campaign be run alongside the other, in which characters in our world slide headlong towards a similar point? So that, at the end, both groups reach a nexus in which each must face each other and decide each others’ fate?

    My question, ultimately, is whether or not my interpretation of things is (at least somewhat) correct. This is all pretty rough concept, but I hope it at least makes some sort of sense, and if you’ve read all the way to this point, I thank you. If you have any comments or advice to offer, it would be very much appreciated.

    #7530
    Profile photo of Erick Eckberg
    Erick Eckberg
    Spectator

    As I understand things to have happened; In the end of the prolonged Hero Wars, around 1725, so over a hundred years from the time-frame of the Sartar books you own, the Lunar Empire has mutated and changed several times over the course of the last century. It’s final form, when ultimately pressed by the Argrath and his allies, shows its true face: Wakboth, the Devil, the Ultimate incarnation of Chaos.

    Now, this happened before, at the end of the Gods’ War, and the Great Compromise changed how the Gods could act and interact with the mortal world, but it stopped chaos from destroying the world. Argrath wanted to do something similar, but knew it wouldn’t work again, however, he was master of change, and so tried something similar but different: all the Gods were summoned to him, and each held a portion of the great net of reality with which to capture the Devil. They succeeded, and Argrath slew the Devil, but in so doing, all the Gods(or most, anyway)were devoured by empty chaos.

    Argrath said, “There is only one secret now, and that is what we have done. The world will remain as it is now, without any interference from God or Goddess. Now it is a free world, of Human-kind, for Human-kind, and ruled by Human-kind.”

    #7531
    Profile photo of Erick Eckberg
    Erick Eckberg
    Spectator

    At that point; the Gods became unreachable. Magic lessened, or totally dissipated, and “our” world came to be. I assume it’s an analogy of our modern world of reason and science vs our ancient world of myth and magic. Bringing back the magic of Glorantha, after the Hero Wars would be akin to our world turning its back on our collective modern mode of thinking and reverting to the mind-set of our ancient ancestors.

    #7534
    Profile photo of Pentallion
    Pentallion
    Spectator

    My campaign ended with my son – who was playing a Trickster/Thief – realizing that Lanbril WAS Trickster, or rather, Trickster was Lanbril, who fought for the lowly mortals and when Wakboth arrived, he realized that the thing to do was grab the net and toss it over the gods. Wakboth then devoured them, but having won two battles against Argrath, he was helpless when Argrath then unveiled the EWF Banner, making the Orlanthi invincible for the final battle with the Devil.

    The Dragonfriend then went on to become the new incarnation of Oroborous and the world was made anew, but that, of course, is how my Glorantha varied.

    #7538
    Profile photo of Simon Phipp
    Simon Phipp
    Spectator

    In King of Sartar, it says that, on Argrath’s Second Lightbringer Quest, Argrath’s Trickster killed the gods by trapping them in the Net.

    Now, whether that means that all the Gods were trapped, or the major gods, or some gods, or just the gods in Hell or whatever, who can say?

    But, magic definitely lessened, the perils of the Hero Wars definitely increased, trolls mainly died off, humans became dominant and so on. What snippets there are of the Fourth Age show that magic is weak and logic, or perhaps sorcery, is dominant, from what I can remember.

    #7539
    Profile photo of Roko Joko
    Roko Joko
    Spectator

    If you’ve read king of Sartar you’ve read everything that’s been written about this bit. There’s no hidden information or truth. The idea of correctness just doesn’t apply to this.

    #7540
    Profile photo of Jonathan Geere
    Jonathan Geere
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Simon Phipp on April 12, 2014, 14:30
    …trolls mainly died off, humans became dominant and so on…

    Really? Where was that said, apart from Cragspider getting kicked out of her home? Also humans were pretty dominant before the Hero Wars anyways. And the Zin Letters and these late sources have a limited and biased view-point.

    Wasn’t that the intention of the King of Sartar? Or did I get that completely wrong (entirely possible BTW)?

    #7541
    Profile photo of Charles
    Charles
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Erick Eckberg on April 12, 2014, 04:34
    At that point; the Gods became unreachable. Magic lessened, or totally dissipated, and “our” world came to be. I assume it’s an analogy of our modern world of reason and science vs our ancient world of myth and magic. Bringing back the magic of Glorantha, after the Hero Wars would be akin to our world turning its back on our collective modern mode of thinking and reverting to the mind-set of our ancient ancestors.

    That’s exactly what I was hoping to find here. Thank you very much, Erick.

    I understand that Glorantha is very much in the mold of allowing the group to change and adapt the setting to what’s enjoyable for them, but having a foundation to build off of is helpful to me.

    #7542
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from kaydet on April 12, 2014, 01:11
    That’s cool, I thought, but how to really drive it home that Glorantha becomes Our World–how to really give that moment weight? I thought for a while and then thought some more, and then wondered: If Glorantha could be transformed from one thing to another, why not back again? Could not a second, subordinate campaign be run alongside the other, in which characters in our world slide headlong towards a similar point? So that, at the end, both groups reach a nexus in which each must face each other and decide each others’ fate?

    This is awesome. Weirdly the very first Gloranthan game I actually ran worked like that. It was bathetic and awesome.

    Not to get hung up on Fourth Age hints and mysteries (elder races have been doomed in the past but continually cycle back as well) but there’s a very, very old fragment that might help structure that second half of your game:

    “Dragon Pass and the Red Moon have moved far from us now. . . . What really happened? The only way to discover that is to Experience It Yourself. A gathering of heroes, like these Battles of Dragon Pass, can bring forgotten places and memories back to us. Muster your unconscious: see the glitter of spearpoints, hear the clash and cries of battle, and know the threat and excitement of facing a deadly foe. The importance is in the Doing. Play it NOW, not then; HERE, not there; and ENJOY…” (White Bear & Red Moon)

    So that’s what the second group does. I for one would love to lend whatever free time I have to that group. It isn’t much!

    #7543
    Profile photo of Jeff Richard
    Jeff Richard
    Keymaster

    Gang – we have no idea what happens in the Fourth Age and never will. My own belief is that the Third Age ends with the end of the Glorantha we know. What comes after is up to your game. Maybe it is the world that dreams our own. Or maybe it is the nightmare that creates our own. Who knows?

    But the Fourth Age is not going to be pinned down by us – I plan to cheerfully contradict myself about it every chance I get.

    #7544
    Profile photo of Charles
    Charles
    Spectator

    Thanks Scott! My tentative idea right now is that a piece of the Red Moon somehow survived into our world, bringing with it pieces of Chaos and Magic, and various groups’ desire for possession of that fragment will be the impetus that drives the involvement of the players.

    Jeff – from what I understand, the GtG will contain indirect information on the Hero Wars, but actual focused material will be published at a later date?

    #7545
    Profile photo of Erick Eckberg
    Erick Eckberg
    Spectator

    I shall now look into the mind of Greg Stafford……… Mr Stafford has an intense fascination with ancient/primitive methods of viewing life as opposed to modern methods, he also has a long-lasting interest in the Arthurian legends. Argrath is Arthur (hence the “Many Argraths” as their were likely “many Arthurs”, the magic of Britain and its fading upon Arhtur’s death, etc). Glorantha is an opportunity to delve into the world of heroes, mythology, and magic that mirrors our own world.

    Arthur/Argrath died and “real” history asserted itself. The gods/heroes/magic went away and were forgotten, to all but modern-minded students who knew them only as interesting side-notes of history. I believe King of Sartar follows this theme.

    It’s a sad juxtaposition; the world is “saved”, but is it a “better” world? The age of magic ends. A few hundred years after the Harshax Dynasty, the average Gloranthan will be bustling off to work, worried about paying the bills, tuning in to the 6 o’clock news, and planning a summer vacation to what was once the shore of the Holy Country. The great deeds of the Argrath, and Harrek, and the Red Emperor will be lost to fairly tales told to restless children.

    Of course, I could be Totally wrong.

    #7546
    Profile photo of Erick Eckberg
    Erick Eckberg
    Spectator

    And heck, a hundred+ years is a REALLY long time to play a campaign. (Like the 80+ year long campaign presented in Pendragon!)

    #7549
    Profile photo of Simon Phipp
    Simon Phipp
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Jonathan Geere on April 12, 2014, 14:38

    Quote:
    Quote from Simon Phipp on April 12, 2014, 14:30
    …trolls mainly died off, humans became dominant and so on…

    Really? Where was that said, apart from Cragspider getting kicked out of her home?

    Pretty much, yes. I think it says something like they found some dark men where the firewitch dwelt, which surprised everyone as they thought they were all dead, but my copy is buried somewhere and I don’t have it on PDF, so I cannot check.

    #7551
    Profile photo of Pentallion
    Pentallion
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Jeff Richard on April 12, 2014, 17:53
    Gang – we have no idea what happens in the Fourth Age and never will. My own belief is that the Third Age ends with the end of the Glorantha we know. What comes after is up to your game. Maybe it is the world that dreams our own. Or maybe it is the nightmare that creates our own. Who knows?

    But the Fourth Age is not going to be pinned down by us – I plan to cheerfully contradict myself about it every chance I get.

    I have been working on a fascinating idea for a continuation of the game. I call it Shadow of Yelm. One of the gods survived…
    sort of. His divinity was consumed by a piece of living chaos and now, in the 21st century Earth, what remains of the god has inhabited a program meant to develop artificial intelligence. I call him the Machine God. He is aware that the chaos escaped Earth and went out into the Milky Way, causing destruction to the very fabric of the universe. A massive black hole at the center of the galaxy, the “Shadow of Yelm” has been turned into a god by this divine chaos being and the machine god enlists the player characters to travel into space to defeat it.

    Runequest IN SPACE (echo chamber).

    There they meet strange beings who are warped realities of the creatures of Glorantha. Chaotic dwarves, a solar wind god, trolls who never heard of Kyger Litor, but worship the Shadow of Yelm, etc.

    Hopefully, my old gaming group can get together for it when it’s ready.

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