Re: Divine Identity

From: Alex Ferguson <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 21:58:31 +0100 (BST)

Peter Metcalfe:
> What I am saying is that the Pelandans
> and the Dara Happans have different understandings of the same
> goddess and indicated how this might be treated in Hero Wars
> terms.

I might be prepared to stipulate that they were "the same entity in some sense", but "same goddess" goes far beyond what the Entekosiad foreward is saying about their "connectedness". (It refers to them throughout as "goddesses", plural, for example, is is throughout a description of the befuddlement of the parties involved as to the nature of this connection.)

> >and then gives her/them a set of
> >overlapping aspects to explain why they appear different;
> So giving Orlanth different aspects to explain why Orlanth
> Adventurous, Thunderous and Allfather appear different is
> a "problem"?

How is that remotely similar to your vague outline of a "solution" to the entity of Dendara and Entekos? The different aspects of Orlanth is something the Heortlings explcitly recognise, not just a game-mechanical convenience, or a piece of externally imposed cosmological surmise.

> >because it assumes her/they _have_ aspects in HW sense (i.e.
> >are "Great Goddesses", which is where we came in, again...);
> How else would you explain the relationship as described in
> the foreword of the Entekosiad if they were two separate
> goddesses and conforming exactly as possible to the published
> Hero Wars?

You're entirely missing the point of my objection that "divine identities are problematic" if you assume that I'm simply asserting that they're "different goddesses". My entire point is that "same goddess/different goddess" is not necessarily something that has a "crisp" answer.

A HW description isn't difficult, however, one can simply describe the (single) Pelandan goddess, and the (two) Dara Happan goddesses, as seen by their respective cults. A grand unifying theory is in no way necessary for a game mechanical account.

> What "same question" is this? How the fused aspect came about?
> Three possible answers are given in the Entekosiad foreword.
> Whether the fused aspect is one aspect or the other? Half and
> half.

The latter. It simply "moves" the issue of identity of the goddess to that of identity of the aspects. Your answer implies that they're not identical, as seen by their cults, so either this variation is a purely subjective cultic thing with no objective basis whatsoever, or it presents exactly the same problem of "is this one thing, or two?" as you claim to have definitively answered at the "goddess" level.

> "Such matters" being whether Gloranthans can determine whether
> different cults are to the same god or not?

Yes, and what "the same god" even means, in any cross-cultural sense.

> I disagree because
> I've asked you to provide examples of "such matters" actually
> existing and most of your examples were found wanting, the
> single exception was not because there wasn't enough information
> about Oria to decide either way.

I entirely disagree about my examples; that it was the sole example you refrained from speculating about does not negate my objections to your "solutions" in the other cases.

> I do agree that Gloranthans will argue whether X is right or
> wrong but I also believe that there are many things that they
> can determine. The existence of Great Gods is one.

The issue isn't their existence, but their precise identities.

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