Re: Heroquests for the Unholy Trio

From: Ian Borchardt <iborchar_at_8fURSc0W6d33o0aZAJPC3I0ErdMd5djHOGf81wHhDNqxb6pIA9eJ_cF9sk7aiLHGyGm>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 09:33:13 +1030

Jeff Richard wrote:
> For what it is worth, I do not think that Chaos does not need
> heroquests or even worship.

Worshipping Chaos has to have some effect, otherwise why do people keep doing so? It's a fairly common theme in the game literature for a mistaken individual to turn to Chaos to punish a neighbour or keep a disease away, even if it does eventually lead to the demise of the individual. And by interacting with chaotic entities in this way they _are_ heroquesting, except, as with most Chaos, the entire magical procedure is reversed - you are bringing the "Otherworld of Chaos" [note the quotes before you explode and say there is no such thing] to you.

There are plenty of chaotic heroquests - they are the mirror of the equivalent anti-chaos heroquests. They are embedded and supported by all the cults performing their anti-Chaos quests and rituals. When Arachne Solara devoured Chaos and gave birth to Time (or the equivalent Final Defeat of the Bad Guys Myth your culture possesses) it made Chaos a part of the world. To eliminate Chaos from the world it would also be necessary to eliminate the forces that oppose it from the world.

And any action that encourages Chaos in the world is an act of Chaos worship. For example, every rape is an act of theistic worship of Thed (especially if it involves the sacrifice of virginity), and the perpertrator of such _will_ become broo. Spreading disease (by making places diseases can inhabit) is an act of worship to Mallia.

> Worshipping Ragnaglar and Wakboth is magically pointless (except
> perhaps as a way of weakening the world). The broo worship Thed
> because she is their ancestor and many people offer sacrifices to
> Mallia to keep her away.

Just because something is ultimately pointless doesn't mean that it might not be useful at times. Especially if it might give you a chance to magically weaken your enemies. Of course, you'd probably have to be rather insane to make the attempt, but desperate times can lead to taking desperate measures, and taking the role of the Devil to oppose your enemy's own heroquest seems (at first glance) to be a valid strategy. [At second glance it will almost definitely cause more problems for you than it solves, but that's what happens when you deal with Chaos -- remembering that, at the end, it was defeated, and so should you be.]

The use of Mallia as a weapon of war (that could also turn around and devour you), was established in Nomad Gods.

Actually formalising the worship of a chaotic entity in a cult or practice, such as the worship of Thed by broos or Mallia by disease cultists probably actually weakens the innate strength of these deities by giving them structure. But even chaotic creatures will develop customary ways of approaching these deities, which, to an outside observer, appear to be cults or practices.

Your Glorantha Will Vary.


Ian Borchardt    (
Philosoph, Fool, and Magician
"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
  And with strange Ians, even death may die."


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