The Second Age

So if we think about the Second Age, we have cultural transmission of ideas and secrets around the world. Around the coastal regions of the world, the Middle Sea Empire, with its mix of Malkionism with a smattering of Theyalan and Darkness myths (starting from the Broken Council and Gbaji Wars era, but later built upon with the Dark Empire) and finds parallels in Kralorela, Teshnos, Fonrit, and elsewhere. This leads to the Monomyth – a universal approach to Gloranthan Mythology.

Now many commentators will say “God Learner Lies” or similar nonsense, but the Monomyth worked. It enabled deep exploration of the God Time and experimental heroquests to gain power and rob secrets from their enemies. Like Arabic numbers, the Monomyth was too useful not to be used, and the Empire of the Wyrms Friends eagerly embraced it (which can be viewed as its return to its source – as the origins of the Monomyth was with the First and Second Councils).

And so by the height of the Second Age, a working understanding of the Monomyth had spread across much of Glorantha. The Monomyth never fully replaced many traditional names and cults, but it informed them of their greater context. In the Empire of the Wyrms Friends, the Third Council learned secrets from the dragonewts and wyrms, something entirely consistent with the traditional Orlanthi openness to strangers and new ideas. With aid from mythic maps stolen from the God Learners and with the Monomyth as a framework, experimental heroquests and mythic explorations were common in Dragon Pass, as the lives of such individuals as Gorangi Vak, Ingolf Dragonfriend, Isgangdrang, Lord Labyrgon, and Pavis show. The enemies of the empires also adopted their approach, and such heroes as Alakoring Rex, Iddi Scorchbane, Emperor Karvanyar, and Verenmars would not be possible without the secrets taken from the EWF and God Learners.

The disasters that ended the Second Age largely put an end to this experimental outlook and mythic explorations. With one big exception – the Lunar Empire.

An example of one of the God Learner Mythic Maps.

Remember, the God Learner Monomyth is more than just a Missionaria Protectiva. It works because at a certain level there is a universal mythology and set of archetypes in the setting – the Runes are universally acknowledged. The God Learners might oversimplify, try to hard to create a chain of events involving things that might not actually be part of that chain, or sometimes get specific associations wrong, or might not fully appreciate the importance of contradictions, but the Monomyth is fundamentally valid. It works because it is basically right.