Re: LBQ and souls

From: Ben Waggoner <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 14:47:56 -0700

From: Peter Larsen <>
> If you can get your killer to come to Hell after you, don't they
> have to repent? Or suffer some terrible calamity. Assuming you have Justice
> on your side, of course.

    Yeah. It seems that this would be enormously difficult to arrange. It'd require forcing an involuntary HQ on your killer, which wouldn't be easy being dead. There's some MGF in here somewhere!

> The Goddess brought herself back from the Underworld (although I
> think she got lost in the process). That whole Full to Empty to Full cycle
> seems a natural for resurrection magic. Yanafal Tarnils overcame Death when
> he proved himself to Humakt, so there's another route. Jakaleel the Witch
> controls spirits -- perhaps there's some way for her to find souls in the
> Underworld and give them new bodies. Danfive Xaron is all about renewal
> (and the TotRM write up had him hide in the Underworld for a while) --
> perhaps there's some way for a worshipper to use Him to rturn to life
> (although that would probably be as bad as staying dead -- DX is not
> exactly charitable).

    There are clearly a lot of myths there that can do it. But which Lunar cults are known to have resurrection magic, be it self or other? I'd guess self-resurrection would be a lot more common. But that the self-ressurrected would come back quite a bit different than they left, if Lunar.

> Of course, most of the Agrath information is much later and has a
> lot of "spin" on it. Maybe his supporters assumed that he intended to bring
> Sheng back because a) that's who he got and b) it more or less worked.
> Perhaps Sheng was released from Hell because he was the Emperor's (and
> Empire's) foe, and the Goddess decided it was time for the Empire to fall
> (cycles and all that). Maybe Agrath could have been stopped, but he was
> serving the Plan. Kallyr, who wasn't, wasn't so lucky...

    That doubled quest thing would be a very odd thing to creep into the myth after the fact. Hmmm. I suppose he could have got to the gods and asked for "help" and they respond, "It's gotta be Sheng, but we can't give him to you, woe is us, we break a promise, the universe shall be rent." Of course, this may only have been the Storm Pantheon portion of the Otherworld that would have been shattered by this paradox, but wrecking the Storm Tribe certainly wouldn't help Argrath beat the Lunars. So Argrath sees the only way out is a doubled quest, not because he wants to, but because he has to. So all those dead companions would be killed not by Argrath's ambition, but to save their religion. Hmm.

    My interpretation of KoS had been that asking for and then insisting on Sheng was the penultimate example of Argrath's machiavellian (not meant pejoratively) willingness to do what ever it took to do whatever it was he was trying to accomplish in the end. But this new interpretation would have some interesting implication: that Argrath was actually not nearly as on the bad as he was made out to be, but was rolling with the punches as best he good given everything that was going on.

    This match how I've felt about Arkat and the developments of his myth, which that he was probably a decent guy underneath, cursed to evil and betrayal by his unique understanding of the greater evil of the betrayer he faced.

    It's always seemed quite non-Gloranthan to me for anyone to ever really be the puppetmaster pulling all the strings. I've always liked that all the heroes have a lot of terrible, costly failures in their histories.

> The more I think about it, the more I think the LBQ isn't about
> resurrection at all. It's the source of CA's resurrection powers, but it's
> real purpose is to change the world. The "get a dead guy to help you"
> effect is not the major one. If you can influence how Aracne Solera weaves
> her web, you can change the rules of the world. Perhaps which gods are
> present holding which strands is a key. After all, the original LBQ didn't
> just bring Yelm back -- it ended the reign of the gods, created time, made
> chaos manageable within the world, made mortality bearable, and on and on.
> Harmast's LBQs brough the Old World to a decisive end -- most of the Old
> Races are pretty much done for at the end of the Gbaji Wars; it's a human
> world. Apparently Agrath does the same but even more so. maybe too many
> LBQs are like writing on magnetic media over and over and over again --
> bleedthrough, incomplete erasures, corrupt data, soon nothing works at all.

    I like this. Perhaps that explains some of the side effects of CA resurrection; it leaves a "blankness" in the recovered soul since it misses the personal transformative elements of the full LBQ. Perhaps the reason the more devout do better with it is they are able to relate the experience more part of the full myth.

    As for Harmast's LBQ, how did the world change after Talor's return? Perhaps that was also to remove some of the "fire with fire" bitterness Arkat (necessarily) brought to the world.

    Man, do I ever want a copy of Harmast's Saga now. Is there any legitimate way to get a copy?

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