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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: rape in glorantha  (Read 12244 times)
joshua neff
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« on: October 16, 2003, 08:41:41 AM »

I just read Ron's Daedalus article on Thed & rape in Glorantha, but I didn't want to tack my reactions onto the other Daedalus thread, just in case anyone else wants to chime in on this.

I remember your original post here on that, Ron. This article is even stronger. Good, good stuff. And it gives me a lot to think about, since we have Thed lurking in our game as well. Julie's character, Alaerin, is a Sylilan who grew up outside of the glowline, perilously close to Dorastor. When Alaerin was a small girl, around 6 or so, her mother was raped by a broo and eventually died during childbirth as the broo ate its way out. So, now Alaerin has a strong ability of Hates Chaos. And Julie made an offhand comment before we actually began play about "Alaerin has a Broo sibling out there somewhere." Woah.

Another thing to consider: Alaerin is a practitioner of the Five Spirit Moons practice & wants to eventually become a Jakaleel witch.

So, thanks for the article, Ron. I'll definitely be thinking about this stuff when prepping for play (although I don't think Alaerin's past will necessarily be coming into play in the very near future--but down the line...).
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2003, 08:50:27 AM »

Not in the near future!?

Maybe it's my all-things-Thed bias, but goodness gracious, talk about great stuff to throw into play right away!

What if the sibling is now a broo warrior in Ralzakark's army, which has just allied with the Lunars? Or what if the sibling is a broo shaman who can secretly help with the character's Jakaleel-based ambitions? Or ...?

Julie's asking for any and all of this stuff, in my view. Why wait?

Thanks for the kind words about the article. I'd love to receive more feedback and ideas for anyone about it.

Best,
Ron
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2003, 08:54:53 AM »

Oh man!

Just think how it would truly mess up an Heortling.

"Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your mother..."
"He told me broo killed her!"
"True, I am your brother!"

Chaos and Kinslaying in one tidy package.

A fantastic article, Ron.  One that oozes mythic potential

Graeme
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joshua neff
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2003, 08:59:48 AM »

Actually, Julie hasn't asked for all of that. Not loudly, anyway. There's other stuff on her agenda for Alaerin.

But believe you me, I was already thinking of fun ways to throw this stuff in. And then your article popped up. My brain is working overtime now.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2003, 09:20:06 AM »

Hiya,

In Ron-think, by having all that mess in the character's background and especially making that oh, so off-hand comment, Julie is loudly and firmly proclaiming her desire for all that kinda stuff in the game, ASAP.

But that's just me-think. Rather than give away any plans you have in mind, we should probably stop the chit-chat and see what happens in play.

Anyone else have any interesting notions or reactions to my article, or thoughts of your own about Thed and so forth?

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2003, 12:25:16 PM »

Hmmm. Only 50 hours until we play. That's not a lot of time to figure out how to get Josh back to thinking about how to include more magic and arcana like I've been bugging him to do for the last week. Thanks a lot Ron. I write a couple thousand words on what I'd like to see in the game, and you come along with an article just in time to sabotage me!

I'm backstabing any Broo that arrives on the scene!

;-)

Do me a favor, and convince him that character Self Knowldge via their source of magic is a compelling and interesting source of story in Glorantha. I'm trying to specialize in Selfrock Teaching, see....

Mike
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AnyaTheBlue
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2003, 01:22:52 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Anyone else have any interesting notions or reactions to my article, or thoughts of your own about Thed and so forth?


Wow.

Just....wow.

I'm not sure Greg Stafford intended that to be in there, but I'm quite sure it is there, just as you've analyzed.  I've actually known a few rape survivors, and dealing with this in-game is a pretty serious Social Contract issue.  But I suspect most people know that...
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Dana Johnson
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ethan_greer
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2003, 02:39:18 PM »

Yeah, that's an interesting point.  While it's true that interpretations and authorial intent are two separate things, I'd be curious to know Greg's reaction to the article.

My reaction to the article, incidently, goes along the lines of, "Damn." Excellent, thought-provoking read, Ron.  Thanks.
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AnyaTheBlue
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2003, 03:30:12 PM »

(I agree, Ethan.  I'd really like to hear what Greg's response is...)

Ron,

After some thought, here's a more sustantive reaction.

One of the things that simultaneously maddens and fascinates me about Glorantha is the purposeful obfuscation.  Glorantha, from a purely 'SubCreation' context (in the sense of Tolkien's On Fairy Stories), clearly has a certain number of principles that it follows in describing or explaining any phenomenon.  Every piece of text about Glorantha is in character text, with a particular set of biases and cultural views built in.  Even the seemingly object stuff, like Campbellian monomyth analysis, is pretty explicitly a God Learner-ism.

At the same time, it uses familiar tropes and patterns, and very consciously repeats itself, but never exactly.  So the same things keep happening, but they happen slightly differently, to slightly different people, in slightly different ways, over and over again.

And then there's the details of how the Outer Worlds and the Inner World interact.

I'm torn.  It's obvious that this approach gives Glorantha a realistic texture completely lacking in most (all?) other RPG settings.  It also supports and encourages 'Found Meaning'.  That is, a reader is able to tease actual true meaning out of the background material that the various authors did not explicitely put there -- that's what I meant by saying that Greg Stafford may not have intended what you've seen, but what you've seen is clearly true about Glorantha, in the Orlanthi All sense of True.

At the same time, I get the very strong impression that there really is an Objective Reality behind certain sequences in Gloranthan myth and history, even though Greg really seems to deny this.  The fact that the God Learner secret is known to be a 'real' thing in Glorantha and here in the real world, and that Greg and Sandy know what it is, but nobody in Glorantha knows it, and it doesn't work anymore, really feeds this suspicion in me.  There are True Things about Glorantha that we don't know.

It all gives Glorantha a realism and depth that are truly staggering.  But it's still frustrating.  These details about Thed may be one of those Objectively Real things that some people have always known, and most of us haven't figured out.  Or, it might be something that has arisen without conscious intent on the part of any one person, or any group of people, even though it's clearly really there.  On some level it's a question of Authorial Intent, kind of like the Mystery of Elwin Drood (I think I spelled that right).  We can't know who did it because the author died before finishing it.  We could know these details about Glorantha if someone who knows them would just come out and tell us.  Most likely, we won't ever find them out.

Obviously, as a Creator, Greg has this right.  It's still maddening, and clearly the amount of skull-sweat that people (myself and others) have spent trying to work out a cohesive Ur-structure to what's going on historically and mythically, I'm not the only one who is bugged by this.  Troll the Glorantha Mailing List and you'll see an awful lot of 'Sobjectivism' debates.

So, how does this all relate to Ron's Thed essay?  This is probably the clearest explication of a Gloranthan Event from the God Time that has ever made complete and utter sense to me, and clearly not been written from a Gloranthan-Native point of view.  Thank You.  I knew it was in there somewhere.  It's very satisfying to have read part of it, even if there's lots more still lying under the surface.  You'll note that even though we now 'know' this, Glorantha hasn't collapsed.  Actual truth is fun, too, y'know?

Now, if I could just trouble you to look at these several hundred pages of questions... =)
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Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
RaconteurX
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2003, 06:00:51 PM »

Actually, broo-birth is entirely unnatural... it is more a parasitic infestation than a pregnancy, as broo can theoretically impregnate anything. If it had attacked Alaerin's father, her pet alynx, or the hearthstone at the stead where she grew up, a broo-birth would be the result. No Heortling would recognize relations to a broo birthed of kin, else all broo would all be kin.

Recall that Ragnaglar, the progenitor of the broos, was Orlanth's brother ere joining the Unholy Trio with Thed and Mallia to sire Wakboth the Devil. Your Glorantha will vary, of course. Now if Alaerin had a kinsman who raped her mother and thereby devolved into a broo due to the evil deed, that's another story... :)

Look to Shadows on the Borderland, one of the Avalon Hill RuneQuest scenario supplements, for examples of how moral evil can warp the body as well as the mind. Dorastor and Lords of Terror are also good sources. It's every bit as nasty as any Cthulhoid horror can inflict.
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RaconteurX
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2003, 06:12:36 PM »

Where is this article of Ron's to be found, by the way? No web search turned it up.
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AnyaTheBlue
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2003, 06:22:59 PM »

1.  Go here: http://www.chimera.info/daedalus/
2.  Click on Redeeming Thed, goddess of rape by Ron Edwards
3.  Enjoy!
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Dana Johnson
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2003, 08:50:35 PM »

Hi there,

Dana, I know what you mean about the Trueness issue, but I urge you to put aside Greg & Sandy as the place to go for it. This is Hero Quest 2003, not RuneQuest 1985 - you and your group are the people who provide what you're looking for. In an absolutely literal fashion, that's what the Hero Band in your particular group does.

Michael, I think you're claiming a bit too much interpretation of the broo concept to be the "way to play." No Heortling would recognize the birth? You've provided what some priest will tell the character, which is fine ... but that's all it is. As I see it, anyway, the character who decides, for himself, that the child of his kin is his kin, is a viable and desirable premise for a Hero Quest character. We're not talking about what the Heortling people think or what the clan thinks - we're talking about what he thinks, and whether that claim is going to be the basis of a new Hero Cult or not.

I don't quite see what you're saying about Ragnaglar. Are you saying that his divine influence is what gives the broo their astonishing fertility? If so, I'm not sure how that's relevant. Can you clarify?

I submit that my points and interpretation about Thed have nothing to do, at all, with my Glorantha varying, except in terms of the outcome of the group's heroquests and their effects on the setting.

Best,
Ron
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joshua neff
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2003, 09:13:54 PM »

I don't want to get this thread sidetracked with this, but...Michael: let me add to what Ron said by saying I'm neither finacially able nor intellectually interested in buying every Glorantha supplement or researching every bit of canonical Glorantha stuff. As far as I'm concerned, the main HeroQuest book is everything one needs to play in Glorantha. If it's not in the book, it's up for grabs. As always, Your Glorantha Will Vary.

So, if Julie says Alaerin's mom was raped, & it's significant that it was her mom & not her father, or the family dog, or the tree in the front yard, then the fact that broo can impregnate anything is not relevant to the game, & as far as I'm concerned is only possibly true. (Maybe humans think broo can impregnate anything, but they're wrong.) And if Julie says Alaerin has a broo half-brother running around somewhere, & if said broo ever showed up in the game & Alaerin acknowledged it as a half-sibling--well, then, that's what Glorantha is like.
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--josh

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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2003, 11:47:01 PM »

Broo birth may be unnatural (OK is unnatural and extremely icky), but it has been a feature of broos that they resemble the non-broo parent in many ways. How many is up to the narrator.

Most broos are born from animals and they look like animals. Smart animals, but animals. One born from a human will have human traits - it seems entirely reasonable to me that some of those would be recognisable family traits. Perhaps even the traits necessary for heroism.

I don't want to preempt anyone, but there are beings in Dorastor who would plan broo raids in order to generate superior quality broos for special missions.

Coming face to face with a broo that looks like a member of your family will certainly put a bit of a strain on the "We are all Us" of a Lunar character with a Hate Chaos trait.

OTOH if character wants to be a Jakaleeli, insanity from the mental fallout is a clearly bonus.

I'd say that Alaerin's player has staked a claim for her character's dramatic arc. Woah, indeed.

Graeme
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