Re: Heroquest/Spiritquest/Essence Plane

From: Greg Stafford <Greg_at_...>
Date: Sat, 04 Feb 2006 15:28:33 -0800

> From: "Mike Holmes" <mike_c_holmes_at_...>
> Subject: Re: Heroquest/Spiritquest/Essence Plane

Someone else said:

>> > Basically it seems that in theism quests one follows the acts of some
>> being that had an impact on an otherworld previously.

Give me an example. I know of none immediately to mind. The beings had an impact on the Everything World. They Be or Exist in the Otherworld.

>>> As such, there are generally
>> > two types - those beings that traveled to the otherworld, and those that
>> > are
>> > native to the otherworld (and then those who were around when all the
>> > worlds
>> > were one who are sorta both, but effectively the latter type "today").

I believe the above statement to be false.

>> I sense the implicaton here is that the quests take place in the God World,
>> Spirit World and Essence World. This isn't so. Such quests do and can
>> occur, but they are rare and nearly impossible to succeed in.

The implication is incorect, however.

I also said, earlier:
>> Normal heroquesting takes place in the God's War.
> I had, yes, somewhat slipped into refering to the essence world. I
> understand what you're talking about, however. What I should be refering to
> is those parts of the God's War/Heroplane that are similar to the essential
> planes.

And what parts are those?

> That is, unless I'm am confused (definitely possible), when a theist
> goes to the heroplane he tends to deal there with things theistic, and the
> animist tends to deal with things animist.

No, not at all. Think of the great war when the animal spirits tried to take over the world, during which Yinkin had to make his choice.

> Not automatically - as the rules
> state one can gain any sort of magic in a HQ no matter one's own magical
> bent. But I just imagine that wizards try to stay in the safer and more
> comprehensible (to them) areas of the God's War that are more like their
> prefered otherworld. In terms of what a "Wizardry Heroquest" looks like,
> it'll tend to have to do with essences, it seems to me, and, perhaps, mirror
> some of the things we see happening in the essence world.

I don’t think so. Sure, it is possible. There were wars between tribes of gods,
wars between classes of essences, etc.
Can you be concrete here instead of theoretical?

>> > 1. Yes, the whole Stations of the Cross, are precisely the sort of thing
>> > that I see happening for liturgists, and following saints for adepts. As
>> > somebody said, think of Arthurian legends, too, questing for the Holy
>> Grail
>> > and such. Seige Perilous would be, no doubt, a part of the Saint plane.

I have 100% doubt that the Siege Perilous would be part of the Saint Plane.

>> This is a chane in style perhaps, but in essence is the same "Let's go to
>> the Gods War to learn something powerful."
> Yes, they're all "essentially" the same. But the question asked originally
> is one of color - style as you put it. Do wizards tend to go on heroquests
> that involve contests like defeating the great frost hound daimone, or do
> they go on ones that are about Zzabur finding the essence of immortality
> behind a waterfall (or howeverthehell that happened)?

Zzabur did no have to find any essence of immortality anywhere. He was born immortal.
Now, did some mortal human go and search for the magic that would allow him to become immortal? Sure, someone could have done that. But he’d have to have gone
through the Hero Wars to do that.
OR he could perform his rites and rituals and go to the Essence Planes, yes indeed. But this would be to learn something that existed there, something like
a spell or a magical effect.

>> What you descibe here is not so much as a HeroQuest as it is the sorcerous
>> method of making a new spell or grimoire, or meeting a new being. The
>> nature of it is essentially different from a HeroQuest.
> Just as theists learning new feats while in the God World during certain
> rituals is not, precisely, heroqesting? I get it.

OK, good. But to berate the point: the Feat that is being sought “exiss” on the
God Plane, but the USE OF IT occurred in the God War, hence one goes to the God
War to see how the god used it, and thereby learn to use it.

> But does this never happen
> as a heroquest? That is, presumably there are stories of wizardry beings
> that discovered magic in the God's War - there exist Wizardry Heroquests.

Yes, which is why one goes to the Hero Wars to learn these things now.

> Are they not ever like the efforts of the saints that created formularies,
> or of the founders to create grimoires? Are there Saints or Founders from
> before time? Or is all that sort of activity from after the start of time?

Yes, there are such beings. But if they are not the essence of thtose things, then they learned them in the Gods War periods, and hence one goes there tolearn of them.

> If it's all stuff done on the essence plane since the dawn, then, OK, little
> of what I said pertains to what a wizardry HQ looks like. Does that mean
> that all wizardry HQs tend to be more like Percival's quest, or the acts in
> heaven? If so, it sounds to me a bit like adepts don't likely do much
> heroquesting at all. I may be missing an entire category of color of quest,
> however.

A wizardly being could heroquest to learn some new magic, for certain.

>> > For instance, the classic example that I can think of for an Adept
>>> heroquest is to cross over to the essence hell,
>> There is no essence hell or underworld. The Underworld is a different
>> place,
>> where the three worlds overlap (just like the surface world).
>> The demon would be in the Underworld, hence a HeroQuest type of movement.
> So the Underworld does allow for Heroquests. Well then my example seems to
> be allowable.

The Underworld is part of the Everythign World. It is a mixture, or a blending,
or some such.

>> The pure unicorn, being essence, would be in the Sorcery Planes and the
>> conflict
>> would be different to learn something from it. You would essentially be
>> learnign a spell.
> Well, I see what you're saying (again my examples are implying the essence
> world). But were there no unicorns during the God's War?

Yes, of course there were. They “came out of” the Essence world to interact in the Everything World.

> Basically my impression was that most things that exist "now" only in one of
> the three otherworlds, once existed all together in the God's War.

I am not quite sure what you mean by this. But what I do not see here is the understanding that those things also existed previous to the Gods War in their own realms.

> As such,
> aren't wizardry heroquesters more likely to find such a creature than, say,
> an animism quester?

Why would that be so?

>> > An alchemist, for
>> > instance, might go on a quest in the otherworld to find 10 things he
>> needs
>> > to put together to create the Philosopher's Stone (or Gloranthan
>> equivalent)
>> > to ensure himself immortality (I'm sure this is what the Brithinians do,
>> > no?).

No. The Brithini are immortal. They do not “become immortal.” They are. The might, by breaking the strictures of behavior, beome mortal.

>> You can not go into the Otherworld and bring something back. Or rather,
>> it is so rare that it is the equivalent of never happening.
> Right. "Not since Malkion" or something like that. Reminds me of a line from
> Lawrence of Arabia (parphrased):
> Lawrence: "I'll just cross the Sini."
> Cairo Fred: "But, Orince, nobody crosses the Sini!"
> Lawrence: "Moses did it."
> Cairo Fred: "But, Orince, you are not Moses!"
>> To try to make the
>> Philosopher's stone one would have to have the ten ingredients and then
>> take
>> them into the Essence Plane and purify them, but if they are not pure
>> already,
>> they can not be taken there. So instead, take them tot he Gods War and
>> purify them there...
> Alright, that's the confirmation I'm looking for. No, not done in the
> Essence Plane, but done in the God's War as a heroquest. Basically, it is a
> valid sort of heroquest, just done like all HQs in the God's War.


>> I believe the rules are pretty explicit that learning a spell requires
>> going to the Essence Plane to interact with this essence.
> Hmm. I recall somebody saying recently that the theism rules said somewhere
> that practice quests can produce something like "minor magical abilities."

I am afraid that “recall somebody saying” is a weak reference point. Can you quote me a reference in the rules? Or to something that I said?

> Either that may not be true, or it may only be true for theism? Do wizardry
> participants do practice quests to get magic? If not, I assume they do them,
> just for practicing actual heroquests?

Certainly wizards can go HeroQuesting to find magic that is no longer known, but
was known in the ancient times.

>> > 2. Heroquest - the adept, following chapter four of the grimoire he's
>> > studying, crosses over to the hero plane to follow some steps taken by
>> the
>> > grimoire's writer when he first discovered the spells. The character
>> learns
>> > the same spells in doing so.
>> Quite likely and fairly common method, but still requires contacting
>> the essence plane.
> So it seems you're either saying that this is not a heroquest (all done on
> the essence plane), or that said heroquest is followed up by a trip to the
> essence plane?

If there is a living, powerful grimoire that was originally made in the Hero Wars, then it as already established a link with the Essence Plane from which that magic comes. It is NOT necessary for a person learning that grimoire to go
to the HeroWars to learn the grimoire. He has the link right there. So he goes to the Essence Plane to learn that Essence Magic.

>> > 3. Heroquest to the Node Plane - the adept, helped by his school,
>> crosses
>> > over to the Node Plane, to attune his new copy of the grimoire to the
>> node
>> > to which it usually is attuned.
>> Posible, and going to the spell plane to learn spells. Possible too to
>> go to the
>> "grimoire node" to create a grimoire. But you'd have to know the spells
>> already, I think.
> But again this is like "worship" for the adept. Not a heroquest? (Worship in
> actuality if you consider the chain of veneration, but not for sorcerers)?

Not a HQ tolearn a grimoire.

>> > 4. Improvised Heroquest to the Node Plane - after years of study and
>> other
>> > quests, the heroic adept crosses over to the Node Plane, and there
>> creates a
>> > new grimoire from his understanding of some new node.
>> Crates a new grimoire form his knowledge of the spells he alrady know.
> Again, not a heroquest, right? As a further clarification, this would

Correct, not a HQ.

> probably be a culmination of many visits to learn enough spells linked to
> the node to have enough to put in the grimoire? That is, I first go on, say,
> seven trips to learn seven spells linked to the node, and then go and create
> a grimoire in which they are all recorded?

The spells “live” on the spell plane. The Grimoire node is “higher up.”

>> > I always wondered how wizards
>> > created magic stuff - well, I think they do it in heroquests, just like
>> > theists do.
>> Correct. They make an item, take it to the Gods War and charge it up with
>> power form the Essence Plane.
> Cool. Good to know I got that right.

Mind you, this is for some items.
They CAN, if they have the grimoire, go into the Essence Plane, the node from which this exists, and crate it there. But this is not a HQ.

> But my practice quest example of making a magic ring won't work? One has to
> go to the God's War?

Depends on the ring.

> Could practice quests perhaps be done to create the "vessel" in this case?
> Make the ring that will be taken on the heroquest to be charged?


This is an old discussion. My answers may not suit the questions there. Feel free to try again, but let us start over, rather than trying to build upon the multiple layers of this letter, ok?

Greg Stafford

Issaries, Inc.
2140 Shattuck Ave., PMB #2030
Berkeley, CA 94704 USA

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