Re: Godly questions

From: richard <>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 10:08:05 +0100

Simon Hibbs replies to me:

>Most Gloranthans can't write. In fact most gloranthan languages don't
>even have a written form. Most cultural lore is passed down by word of
>mouth, and the oral traditions speak of the world as it was before
>humans were made. If you want truly ancient knowledge ask dragons or
>the giants. They know, because they were there.

I must admit I often get confused between what we know to be the case and what we are told certain Gloranthans believe to be the case at certain times in their history. I think I understand correctly that an awful lot of the RQ2/RQ3 stuff was written from the POV of Orlanthi in the 1600s.

Now what you're saying here is that most of what they know is handed down through oral traditions, since I don't suppose many of them chat to dragons and giants. One has to start wondering how accurate any of this could be beyond a few hundred years.

>Surely the most obvious and inspiring evidence gloranthans have for the
>existence and acts of their gods are written in the landscape in which
>they live. The bones and crystalized blood of their gods, the imprint
>of their weapons and bodies on the landscape and the shapes of the
>very mountains that make up their horizon are plain to see and predate
>any written records.

How does a Gloranthan know that a crystal is crystalized blood of the gods? Is the inspiring evidence really evidence? I know Gloranthans in the 1600s _believe_ it, but are their beliefs all we have to go on?

w.r.t. Myths

>I would say that they are plastic up to a point, but if manipulated too
>much have a tendency to a kind of 'backlash' effect, such as what
>happened to the God Learners, and the Nysalor project, and the EWF, and
>is apparently about to happen to the Lunar Empire.

Would you say the backlash was a return to original form or just a sort of explosive reaction?

What I'm trying to figure out is whether myths represent events in the past, or whether they reflect the needs of communities in the present.

I've been tending to believe the latter, which means they are not historically useful.

>The Orlanthi on the other hand have maintained a relatively stable
>mythology for a considerable period and display a commensurate
>resilience to the forces of history. They adapt to the world, rather
>than trying to force it to a shape they impose upon it. I believe this
>is what Arkat meant when he said 'No heroquesting without humility'.

So maybe in the Orlanthi case their myths are more historically accurate (possibly because they have had less of a need to change them?)


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