Home Forums Glorantha Glorantha Discussions Lunar Orlanthi and the Death of Orlanth

This topic contains 48 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jeff Richard Jeff Richard 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #8052
    Profile photo of Martin Helsdon
    Martin Helsdon
    Spectator
    Quote:
    The Red Goddess’ worshipers bind her into her existing position in the Cosmos. Only by sacrificing her most dedicated and aggressive worshipers and, in particular, her son can she achieve her next mystical stage.

    Interesting. And the history of re/creating gods in Time (Nysalor, Zistor, the Red Goddess) has a long history of unintended consequences, and it can hardly be accidental that in all three examples Orlanth and the Orlanthi are part of the ‘corrective mechanism’.

    #8055
    Profile photo of Michael Hitchens
    Michael Hitchens
    Spectator

    Martin Helsdon: “Until the Red Moon falls, the Goddess cannot achieve enlightenment as the White Moon.”

    Yes, but that does not require a black and white conflict.

    Peter Metcalfe “The Goddess wants her own destruction.”
    I’m assuming this means much the same as Martin’s statement, not a death-wish on Sedenya’s part. That is, she wants destruction of her current state to move to a new one.

    The White Moon movement shows that there are conflicts in the Lunar Empire over this point. Which gives options beyond a black and white Lunar vs Orlanth conflict. If some parts of the Lunar following might co-operate with the Heortlings in destroying the Red Moon (and the Empire) we are already away from black and white. The next step is what happens after. What possibilities are there for the relationship between Orlanth and the White Moon? That gives clues for a less black and white approach. I know I’m talking very far in the future compared to 1620-25 but it’s the long term that might answer King in Yellow’s question.

    We then get into questions of co-operation across the Lunar/Orlanthi divide. Some Orlanthi might be happy with a transformed Sedenya, depending on what she transformed into. Some will likely want the end of her. Lots of play opportunity in there as the two sides are no longer monolithic blocks and so the diametric opposition is no longer complete. What do your players do when someone on the other side reaches out to them? It might be White Moon followers, Orlanthi worried about fanaticism blind to the consequences, or Ernaldans looking for another way. How do they handle arguments between the hardliners and the compromisers? How do they reconcile whatever their stance is with their mythic position?

    The Empire might have to go, but that doesn’t mean a totally black and white conflict between followers of Orlanth and Sedenya. The possibilities there might hold the answer King in Yellow wants.

    #8056
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from michaelh on June 2, 2014, 01:32
    If some parts of the Lunar following might co-operate with the Heortlings in destroying the Red Moon (and the Empire) we are already away from black and white.

    Nice. Strikes me that there’s room for three-player scenarios in the Dragon Pass game so the culturally “orlanthi,” religiously “lunarized” and magically ambitious kingdom of Tarsh would be a good place to look for these people. Their “third way” approach may not be any more sympathetic to our Heortlings than the old policy out of Glamour, of course…

    #8057
    Profile photo of Peter Metcalfe
    Peter Metcalfe
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Peter Metcalfe “The Goddess wants her own destruction.”
    I’m assuming this means much the same as Martin’s statement, not a death-wish on Sedenya’s part. That is, she wants destruction of her current state to move to a new one.

    I fail to see how I can make it anymore obvious. I gave you a straight answer as to why Orlanth/Red Moon is by necessity lack-and-White and you proceed to water it down into something I have not asserted.

    Quote:
    The White Moon movement shows that there are conflicts in the Lunar Empire over this point.

    The belief of a few odd people on the ground is irrelevant to what the Goddess herself intends.

    Quote:
    If some parts of the Lunar following might co-operate with the Heortlings in destroying the Red Moon (and the Empire) we are already away from black and white.

    Again what some lunars might do has very little to what the Red Moon wants. We could discuss the case of Onjur Fazzurson and Tarsh’s collaboration with Sylila against the Selerans. But that is fleeting compared to what the Red Moon wants. Her acceptance of Chaos is fundamentally irreconcilable with Orlanth’s hatred of Chaos and so long as the Orlanthi and the Lunars are together, there will always be some people who listen to the Gods and take it out on the other side. Orlanth can’t change and if the Red Moon were to compromise, she would no longer be true to herself (that is why I found the concept of Lunar anti-chaos, such as the Irin Mystery School, to be unconvincing at best).

    The Red Moon knows this. She wants the acceptance of Chaos to be universal. Her own mythology tells her that she must be defeated before she can win. And because she wants a cosmological victory, her defeat must be total – no namby-pamby token conflicts. Because of this, her opposition to Orlanth is, by her choice, uncompromising, unrelenting and unchangeable. In short, it is by design, black and white.

    Quote:
    What possibilities are there for the relationship between Orlanth and the White Moon?

    This assumes that Orlanth survives the Hero Wars. I don’t see a lot of evidence for that.

    #8058
    Profile photo of Peter Metcalfe
    Peter Metcalfe
    Spectator

    Compare Orlanth’s actions with those of:

    Quote:
    Zzabur – I must break the Cosmos into pieces so that my piece can survive. The other pieces can look after themselves.
    Yelm – I’m dead, the world must come to me and beg that I come back.
    Pamalt – I kicked their ass out of my domain, so what do I care about other domains?
    Vashanti / Yanoor – we are so pure that we are not threatened by Chaos. What is this rest of the Comos and why should we care about it?

    That’s a rather unconvincing interpretation of what those deities themselves intend. Orlanth could just as easily be portrayed as abandoning the universe to find a safe bolthole and came out as the savior unintentionally (cf every Flashman novel ever written).

    #8059
    Profile photo of Martin Helsdon
    Martin Helsdon
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Yes, but that does not require a black and white conflict.

    It requires a conflict between the Red Goddess and a foe capable of standing against her. The conflict for the Middle Air makes it inevitable that Orlanth is the foe.

    Quote:
    The White Moon movement shows that there are conflicts in the Lunar Empire over this point. Which gives options beyond a black and white Lunar vs Orlanth conflict.

    Except that the White Moon movement is not part of the central Lunar authority or hierarchy, and is actually suppressed by the Lunar state.

    Quote:
    If some parts of the Lunar following might co-operate with the Heortlings in destroying the Red Moon (and the Empire) we are already away from black and white.

    The Lunar Way has schisms within it, which are, in part inevitable due to the flawed nature of the recreated Goddess. There is indeed the possibility for parts of the Lunar Empire to split with the imperial center and go their own way – there are in the ‘present’ two such areas, in the west and to a lesser extent the east, and as the Hero Wars progress, a third will become important, for a time. But: none of these are central to the Lunar state or religion (and there is really no such division of state and cult, the Lunar Empire is a theocratic state).

    #8060
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Peter Metcalfe on June 2, 2014, 06:43

    [interesting stuff as usual]

    Quote:
    by her choice

    Just curious: is this something chosen back in the 1240s — in which case it’s the people on the ground who change — or does she have free will now?

    #8061
    Profile photo of Peter Metcalfe
    Peter Metcalfe
    Spectator

    Her opposition to Orlanth is the best solution. Whether or not she can change her plan, she is unlikely to even want to. As for when she decided to oppose Orlanth, she would have known that her ultimate destruction as a Great God was necessary when she embraced Chaos (ie when she returned riding the Crimson Bat) IMO.

    #8062
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Nicely stated. It’s a tricky proposition because canonical statements of her intent are scattered (unless I’m forgetting them, which is always a strong risk) and I don’t know her mind. All I can really see is the evolution of imperial policy under the aegis of Moonson, which the FS account very interestingly refers to as the “tanist” left behind to live in the world and pursue her agenda once she was gone.

    We all know Moonson has changed both masks and tactics within Time, so interpreting the deeds of empire may be a sidetrack. The empire may have gotten plenty wrong over the last 3-1/2 centuries because she ultimately wants to lose. OK.

    But when the goddess was alive and making plans like people do, what did she know of Orlanth, up there on the Arcos, and why did she pick him as her . . . “utuma” is the wrong word here because she has little truck with dragon powers, but implement of cosmic self-sacrifice? Is opposition to Orlanth in particular something she learned under the tentacular tutelage of Blaskarth or something she remembers from the Mernita days? Sadly the storm god is not mentioned by name in the translation of “Lives of Sedenya” I have access to.

    #8063
    Profile photo of Michael Hitchens
    Michael Hitchens
    Spectator

    Just for information as to where I’m coming from. Back at RQ COn III in Melbourne, 1996, in the Lore auction. Yes, I know how long ago that was and that it doesn’t fall anywhere near the cannon, let alone in it.

    Question “In King of Sartar, the ending is presented as basically that Argrath wins and the Lunars are [virtually] eradicated. You said once that you were thinking of writing a Lunar book and the ending would be completely different, with the Lunars victorious and the Sartarites [the losers]. Are you continuing along those lines?”

    Greg’s answer: “Yes”

    The text can be found on page 24 of Questlines II.

    I asked Greg another time for some clarification which (if my memory serves) ran something along the lines of those two endings would be the ends of a spectrum, and players would then be free to explore a whole range of possible endings for their campaigns.

    That was, of course, 18 years ago and things have changed a lot. I could be running on the remnants of a completely abandoned approach.
    But it’s why I don’t take the ending of the Hero Wars and what comes after, as described in KoS, as pre-ordained.

    #8064
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from michaelh on June 2, 2014, 12:42
    Greg’s answer: “Yes”

    Love mining the ’90s sources for insight into how truth has evolved.

    There’s always that anonymous postscript to the Annotated Argrath’s Saga after he changes the world, “shapes his god” and kills the moon: So they say. But it’s still here! And now it’s invisible instead! So while the goddess may win or lose by her own lights, the outcomes are controversial by the time we approach far-flung Hobby Year 1800.

    #8065
    Profile photo of Martin Helsdon
    Martin Helsdon
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Question “In King of Sartar, the ending is presented as basically that Argrath wins and the Lunars are [virtually] eradicated. You said once that you were thinking of writing a Lunar book and the ending would be completely different, with the Lunars victorious and the Sartarites [the losers]. Are you continuing along those lines?”

    Greg’s answer: “Yes”

    If you read the appendices in the Guide you’ll find that the outcome is far less certain than as portrayed in KoS, certainly far more complex.

    There’s one side bar hidden away which is very… surprising.

    The end of the Hero Wars is hidden beyond an event horizon, and I’d be wary of taking any source from that period as reliable, given the vague hints of a splintering cosmos.

    #8076
    Profile photo of Michael Hitchens
    Michael Hitchens
    Spectator

    Scott Martin
    “the outcomes are controversial by the time we approach far-flung Hobby Year 1800.”

    My interpretation (emphasis, emphasis on it being nothing more than my interpretation) of what Greg told me all those years ago is that the ending of the hero wars and the future history thereafter in KoS is just one possibility of many. Further interpreting that (again, just my interpretation), there is absolutely nothing that says your Glorantha (YGMV) has to be headed towards the Zin letters, the hobby years discussion, the illiteracy era, or the society/situation that produced them. My understanding (emphasis again, I could have been wrong) was that the Lunar book I referred to in an earlier message would have shown a completely different future. There was no fixed single ‘canonical’ future which defined the end of the Hero Wars, what happens, who and what survives and what comes after. My interpretation (again emphasis) on Greg’s intention *back then* was to provide two diametrically different outcomes, and let the players/GM choose anything anywhere in between, which could include ruin or prosperity for any or all groups.

    Remember, though, that this is my interpretation of a short conversation from almost two decades ago. So my conclusions may be misleading due to me mis-remembering, poorly interpreting Greg’s intent or there having been changes made since. I have no idea if my interpretation was correct or, even if it was, what Greg’s thinking is now.

    #8079
    Profile photo of Roko Joko
    Roko Joko
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from michaelh on June 3, 2014, 00:47
    (again, just my interpretation), there is absolutely nothing that says your Glorantha (YGMV) has to be headed towards…

    No, not just your interpretation! Objectively, there is absolutely nothing that says your Glorantha has to be anything. And verisimilitude is really pretty subjective, as is literary appreciation, as is game fun.

    #8138
    Profile photo of David Summers
    David Summers
    Spectator

    I can’t quote chapter and verse like many here, but I don’t see the Goddess as being in favor of chaos for its own sake. I play a Lunar campaign and the message I get is that, while the Orlanthi say “we will destroy chaos” the Lunars say “Chaos can’t be destroyed.” and so they feel they need to find a way to accommodate it.

    I do agree that Orlanth is anti-chaos and can’t live with any plan to accommodate it. Though even then I wonder how much is just a petty power struggle over the domain of the middle air. (Many here dismiss that, but struggles over who is top dog in a domain forms the basis for many conflicts between gods.)

    I do like the idea it that the Lunars want to enlighten Orlanth in hell as the reason why they kill him. I mean, Lunars are always “we don’t want to “destroy” them, we just want to “heal” them of their need to not agree with us” and weather is such a fundamental force, it is hard to see how a plan to heal the world can go forward without it.

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