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  • #5187
    Profile photo of Carol Hodges
    Carol Hodges
    Spectator

    Hey everyone I’m interested in the metaphysics of Glorantha and how they work as a whole due to the unique design of the world (being flat and supported by both physical and mythic laws.)

    Also how exactly does Gravity work in the setting? Since the world is flat doesn’t that cause a lot of gravitational problems?

    #5651
    Profile photo of Martin Helsdon
    Martin Helsdon
    Spectator

    Gravity works not through the physics of mass and gravity, but through the attraction and love embodied by Uleria: the Earth attracts objects not because of its mass, but because of its love.

    #5653
    Profile photo of Jeff Richard
    Jeff Richard
    Keymaster

    There’s plenty of in-Gloranthan theories about the movement of bodies with mass. The most popular among Malkioni and Theyalan scholars is that the elements seek to find their natural place. Thus things strong with Earth (such as a human body) moves downward towards the bottom of the Earth cube, which is its natural place. Conversely, the elements Air and Fire, move by the nature upward towards the Middle Air or the Sky, respectively.

    #5709
    Quote:
    Quote from Jeff Richard on September 7, 2013, 08:28
    There’s plenty of in-Gloranthan theories about the movement of bodies with mass. The most popular among Malkioni and Theyalan scholars is that the elements seek to find their natural place. Thus things strong with Earth (such as a human body) moves downward towards the bottom of the Earth cube, which is its natural place. Conversely, the elements Air and Fire, move by the nature upward towards the Middle Air or the Sky, respectively.

    To further muddy up things, Earth used to be rising up, too (most recently from central and ventral Peloria), and while heavier than surface water, manages to swim in the deeps. Water level isn’t necessarily constrained by gravity, either – during the Vingkotling age, the Orlanthi lands were cut off from western and eastern lands by two standing waves covering the Rockwood Mountains, forming the sea connections between the Oslir Sea in the north and the Raging Sea in the south.

    Glorantha being a flat surface world rather removes problems than creating them. There is a defined down vector that applies vertical to the average surface, practically everywhere on the Gloranthan surface (excluding the Crater and possibly parts of the funnel inside Magasta’s Pool).

    What’s more interesting is the fact that the spherical surface of the Red Moon has a defined down direction, too, towards the center of that body.

    I wouldn’t be able to tell you the direction of gravity in the Sky world, either. It is possible that it doesn’t quite apply there – things seem to move on the inside of the Sky Dome, other things fall out of the Sky World into the Surface World, most notably the Skyfall and the Blue Moon.

    I think that it is possible for Orlanthi and Helerings at least to walk on clouds without falling through if certain circumstances are met.

    #5835
    Profile photo of Carcosa
    Carcosa
    Spectator

    I thought the Red Moon was just a disk in the sky and nothing like our real moon… kind of like what ancient people used to think of the moon…

    #5836
    Quote:
    Quote from Carcosa on September 19, 2013, 03:40
    I thought the Red Moon was just a disk in the sky and nothing like our real moon… kind of like what ancient people used to think of the moon…

    The moon is several things at once – a spiritual entity, a clod of Darsen soil lifted into the sky, the face of the Red Goddess – but all descriptions that deal with its geometry agree that it is spherical.

    The sphere and its observable features hang motionless in the middle sky. For that reason, it has six poles – an up pole, a down pole, and one each pointing north, south, east and west.

    It has a rotating orbiter putting half of the moon into shadow. Scholars disagree whether this is a hemisphere or some property of the surface.

    A couple of years ago, I put some effort into creating a visual model using a basic VRML model provided by Jane Williams and a couple of hand-drawn maps by Stephen Martin that were the basis for the moon map finally published by Issaries. Getting the shadow to behave as it was supposed to took some effort since there are two different angles from which the moon is viewed, inside and outside of the Glowline. The project ended somewhat inconclusive.

    Oddly, the easiest solution to have a red background for whatever objects I wanted to place on the moon was to have a red disk always perpendicular to the observer rather than a sphere.

    Finally a question: what is current canon on the visibility of Lunar surface features (cities/jewels) on the shadowed half? Obscured, or brillantly visible?

    #5838
    Profile photo of Erick Eckberg
    Erick Eckberg
    Spectator

    I have read many descriptions and hypothesis concerning the physics/science of Glorantha. It always seemed to me that the writers were missing the point. Glorantha is a world of magic and myth. It is what Earth was to our primeval forefathers = a place of gods, spirits, and unknowable forces. If one were to travel too far, one would ‘fall off the edge of the world’. That obviously wasn’t a fact, it was a belief. Glorantha is a world of beliefs. Perhaps Zzabur, or the Jrusteli knew that Glorantha in fact is a sphere. That Yelm is a ball of super-hot gas 100 million miles away, around which Glorantha orbits. None of these things matter. What matters is what the residents of Glorantha believe. I think those who ponder the “look of a flat horizon”, or whatever, are missing out on the wonder of mythical Glorantha by dragging way too much of their modern, factual and correlated mode of thinking with them into Glorantha. Don’t worry about such things, all you need to know is that gravity works. Yelm rises, crosses the sky, and sets. Orlanth provides the air you breathe. The Red Moon is an unmistakable reminder of the power of Shepelkirt (or Sedenya, if you’re a Lunar citizen).

    #5843
    Quote:
    Quote from Erick Eckberg on September 19, 2013, 18:57
    I have read many descriptions and hypothesis concerning the physics/science of Glorantha. It always seemed to me that the writers were missing the point. Glorantha is a world of magic and myth. It is what Earth was to our primeval forefathers = a place of gods, spirits, and unknowable forces. If one were to travel too far, one would ‘fall off the edge of the world’. That obviously wasn’t a fact, it was a belief. Glorantha is a world of beliefs. Perhaps Zzabur, or the Jrusteli knew that Glorantha in fact is a sphere. That Yelm is a ball of super-hot gas 100 million miles away, around which Glorantha orbits. None of these things matter. What matters is what the residents of Glorantha believe.

    If you test the interior logic of Gloranthan stellar mechanisms, you will find that there is no way to have the surface pointed towards the pole of the stellar orbit and at the same time orbiting around the sun that traverses this pole. Unless you allow for the stars and planets to be atmospheric rather than stellar phenomena, you will end up with a planet circled by a fast moving sun, and a number of planets using the same plane of rotation (shown as a path in the sky when viewed from below). Planet Glorantha orbiting its sun simply doesn’t fit observable facts, whether you make the planet spherical or cubic.

    Mapping the surface onto a sufficiently large sphere might actually work – IMO distances in the Outer World (Far Vithela, Altinela, Luathela, Burning Ocean) diminish as people (and items) who quest there get larger than life, so you get a Mercator-projection like effect.

    These things still leave blatantly obvious effects like Magasta’s Pool, the Skyfall and the two views of the Red Moon or the Annilla tides of the seas to be included in a rational model other than the official “flat surface below a dome” model.

    Quote:
    Quote from Erick Eckberg on September 19, 2013, 18:57I think those who ponder the “look of a flat horizon”, or whatever, are missing out on the wonder of mythical Glorantha by dragging way too much of their modern, factual and correlated mode of thinking with them into Glorantha. Don’t worry about such things, all you need to know is that gravity works. Yelm rises, crosses the sky, and sets. Orlanth provides the air you breathe. The Red Moon is an unmistakable reminder of the power of Shepelkirt (or Sedenya, if you’re a Lunar citizen).

    Most of the audience are science-trained people who have at least some of these questions ingrained. Fortunately, the Materialist point of view is a valid (but neither exclusive nor exhaustive) one for Glorantha.

    #5851
    Profile photo of Erick Eckberg
    Erick Eckberg
    Spectator

    I shall leave such esoteric ponderings to the Grey Lords…. I’m off to plunder the lost ruins of Feroda, and I won’t think twice about the horizon, if I happen to glimpse the sea… 😉

    #5857
    Profile photo of David Scott
    David Scott
    Keymaster

    I’m really not sure what you’re trying to tell us here :

    Quote:
    Quote from Joerg Baumgartner on September 20, 2013, 09:49
    If you test the interior logic of Gloranthan stellar mechanisms, you will find that there is no way to have the surface pointed towards the pole of the stellar orbit and at the same time orbiting around the sun that traverses this pole. Unless you allow for the stars and planets to be atmospheric rather than stellar phenomena, you will end up with a planet circled by a fast moving sun, and a number of planets using the same plane of rotation (shown as a path in the sky when viewed from below). Planet Glorantha orbiting its sun simply doesn’t fit observable facts, whether you make the planet spherical or cubic.

    😯
    and then you said:

    Quote:
    Most of the audience are science-trained people who have at least some of these questions ingrained.

    Okay I’m science trained, have a science degree* etc, so why are you even suggesting testing the interior logic of a fantasy world that has been repeatedly stated is based on myth. Surely we should be testing it with what it was derived from, not an abstract (to it) concept. My science background simply says – it’s myth based, I have no science tools to study this with. You can’t apply science to explain it.

    I would say that gravity doesn’t exist in Glorantha, so I don’t need any science to explain it. Within the cultures of Glorantha, I’m pretty sure that no one actually wonders why they don’t fly into the air. It’s pretty obvious to them – no affinity with air gods/spirits/powers. The few who would want to look further – God Learners, some Western wizard philosophers and couple of Lhankor Mhy librarians (who had no storm rune) would only be interested as they were researching some other method of flying with out air runes – the moon can make things fly (moon boats), the sky rune could do it, etc.

    Your other question

    Quote:
    what is current canon on the visibility of Lunar surface features (cities/jewels) on the shadowed half? Obscured, or brillantly visible?

    Jeff?

    * before you dismiss me as a science crackpot, I have an arts degree as well. You may dismiss me as an science and arts crackpot.

    #5866
    Profile photo of Erick Eckberg
    Erick Eckberg
    Spectator

    Thanks, David, that’s where I was coming from. One of the things I love about Glorantha is; I can let go of my modern mode of thinking (scientific explanations, categorizing everyone and everything, etc). I think too many folk take the “flat world”, “magic is real”, thing too seriously and immediately start trying to explain Glorantha or rather, understand it, using our modern beliefs/knowledge. I think it diminishes the grandness of the whole “project”. Get primitive, folks! Think like a Gloranthan, not like Bill or Nancy who works in an office, has a BA degree, and must understand/justify everything in their life. Do that and you will reap untold benefits from participating in this creation. Glorantha is what its inhabitants believe it to be, nothing more, which is awesome.

    #5901
    Quote:
    Quote from David Scott on September 20, 2013, 17:37
    I’m really not sure what you’re trying to tell us here :

    I am trying to tell you that the observable facts don’t support the idea of a planet orbiting a sun inside a firmament of stars that change their apparent position thanks to the rotation of the planetary surface.

    Such a theory is wey more contradictory than having two enemy deities claiming the same stellar body, or a mountain chain both being a True Dragon and an Elder Giant.

    Quote:
    Quote from David Scott on September 20, 2013, 17:37and then you said:

    Quote:
    Most of the audience are science-trained people who have at least some of these questions ingrained.

    Okay I’m science trained, have a science degree* etc, so why are you even suggesting testing the interior logic of a fantasy world that has been repeatedly stated is based on myth. Surely we should be testing it with what it was derived from, not an abstract (to it) concept. My science background simply says – it’s myth based, I have no science tools to study this with. You can’t apply science to explain it.

    I am saying that the standard absolvent of any mundane school in the first world will be trained to look for cause and effect, a modicum of the scientific method. Those of us who also delve into myth have to leave that training aside. Degrees don’t come into this, except possibly to the degree how much has to be laid aside.

    Your science background might as well tell you that you do have tools to study myths. You can and will apply logic to any story, and you would not be satisfied with a myth bare of any structure. You’d be hard put to communicate such a myth, too. Things do have origins, and myths explore these.

    For Glorantha, we have something like a grammar for following myths in heroquesting.

    Glorantha has a mundane world that (according to the Orlanthi) is based on the Compromise and Time, establishing something at least similar to cause and effect. In that environment, at least some things can be tested.

    It also has a Materialist component, composed of essences of energy and matter that act according to Logic. That’s a quite uncool but still present form of mythical reality, whether as practiced by the Brithini or as practiced by the Mostali.

    Quote:
    Quote from David Scott on September 20, 2013, 17:37
    I would say that gravity doesn’t exist in Glorantha, so I don’t need any science to explain it.

    I agree. Things fall down or hover in Glorantha because that is their nature, with the exception of that ball of Darsen soil that left behind the Crater which at the very least has changed it nature in the process of being lifted into the Middle Air.

    Glorantha has rules. These can be observed and tested by playing a character in that setting. Are there repeatable experiments? The very concept of heroquesting suggests there are.

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