Re: Great Gods and Echoes

From: Chris Lemens <>
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2001 16:44:13 -0700 (PDT)

Peter Metcalfe, responding to me:
> >It seems to me that we have some very concrete
> >in-world evidence of some eqeuivalence between
> >theist gods and sorcerous (loosely used) false
> >gods and saints. For example, Worlath, Humct, etc.
> I don't think False Gods are sorcerous entities.
> Rather they appear in the Malkioni cosmology not
> because they appear in their otherworld, but
> because they have real effects in the mundane
> world that the Malkioni must explain.

Really? News to me. I thought (though I don;t follow western stuff at all) that saints and false gods were energy node type things.

> Worlath is worshipped by the Aeolians as a Divine
> Saint and going by the example of Saint Taurox, the
> object of their worship is a theistic god rather
> than a sorcerous entity.

Given that St. Taurox is part of a Defiant entity and Storm Bull may not be a Great God, I'm not entirely sure it is a good example. I'm not sure that it's not, though. If it is true that Transcendant Concepts have expression as Great Gods, Giant Spirits, True Beings, etc., then you really don't need the Defiant Entity class anymore. It is unusual only that the worshippers of the various otherworld expressions recognize the underlying relationship.

Why do you say that St. Taurox is the worship of a theistic entity? I realize this is what the write-up implies, since it says that the worship of St. Taurox is misapplied worship, but is there any other reason?

> >For Orlanth, you have animist Rain Man/Little
> >Brother in Prax and sorcerous Worlath.
> AFAIK Little Brother is misapplied ecstatic worship
> of Orlanth rather than an actual echo.

I don't know why it should be misapplied worship. Rain Man is just another Praxian spirit who comes in to visit from the west.

> Apart from mindless quibbling about the examples, I
> should point out that 'echo' carries the wrong word
> as it implies the corresponding entity in another
> world is weaker than it is in the Godplane which I
> don't think to be true.

Point taken. It seemed to fit my examples. We should be able to come up with examples where it does not fit. Perhaps Lodril & Balumbasta are in that category.

> Rather the model should look like:
> - Great God (on Godplane)
> Transcendent concept - |- Giant Spirit
> (on Spirit Plane)
> - True Being
> (on Sorcery Plane)
> with all three lesser concepts being of equal
> strength. [qualifications snipped]

I probably agree with this. What's your definition of a true being? Does it have to be native to the Sorcery Plane?

> Secondly I don't think that the cognate entities
> will be carbon copies of each other (or as close
> as possible). Orlanth's spirit-cognate IMO is not
> an animist version of Orlanth but possibly Kolat.
> Ernalda's spirit-cognate might be the Earth Witch.
> >This makes me wonder what sort of events you can
> >access related to each great god from its various
> >otherworld homes.
> Given the example of Orlanth's home, . . .

I agree with you, but that's not the sense of "home" that I meant. Instead of "otherworld homes" I should have just said "otherworlds". Frex, can Lodril and Balumbasta worshippers access the same events on each of the spirit and god planes, as the worshippers of Storm Bull and Urox seem to?

> A problem with this theory is that it implies that
> the Great Spirits are constant across Glorantha
> which I'm not altogether sure about. For example:
> are both Kendamalanar (the Agimori Sun Spirit) and
> Halamalao the same entity as Kargzant? If not, then
> how do they differ?

I think that the structure of great gods, great spirits, and true beings expressing transcendant concepts only implies the above if you also believe that one and only one of each type can express it (or hold the rune, if you will). I don't believe this, so I don't have the problem. Kendamalanar and Halamalao both express the sun. There will necessarily be some interesting similarities because of the concept they both express. But where Kendamalanar may express the burning cowardly sun, Halamalao would express the warm brave sun (or whatever, depending on your narrator's take). As you have implied, if not said, before, things can be the "same" god at different levels. With this example, they are only the same at a transcendant level.

What a bunch of rubbish I just wrote. I think I'm going to have to join the riddlers now.


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