Re: Good Myths

From: Simon Hibbs <>
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2001 17:19:37 -0000 :

In a message dated 2/6/01 7:45:34PM, you write:

><< So what makes a good myth? Have you discovered any useful principles of
> myth-building? Should myths be... short? long? simple? detailed? Should
> tie in with well-known Gloranthan mythology? Should they be independent?

>I am afraid I do not know the answer to this either. A specific problem I
>have is with gods we already know about. I tend to start thinking of the
>biography of the god instead of breaking that gods story into little bits,
>episodes. The effect this has is to make gods defined by the one story that

>ismost famous. We know Orlanth killed the sun, then got him back again and
>that is the essense of his story (IMO, and just as an example) but that
>doesn't mean that his myth is all about that whole thing even though all
>other myths relate to it in some way.

Orlanth killed the Evil Emperor, but that's nitpicking.

Or is it? After all, the same myth can be sued against anyone identifiable as
being like an Evil Emperor in the same mould.

Myths are archetypes - they contain recognisable generic characters such as 'The brash young hero', 'The Wicked Witch', 'The Dragon'. Often these characters
are specific, such as when Orlanth steals the sandals of darkness from Kyger Litor, but the Orlanthi don't realy care that much that it was Kyger Litor, to
them it was really just a darkness horror of some kind.

The best way to create new myths is to rip off ideas from old ones. Find a myth
similar to the one you want and translate it across into Glorantha. Often the
existing mythic landscape of Glorantha will then suggest interesting changes to the
story that will add local colour too.

Simon Hibbs

End of The Glorantha Digest V8 #259

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