So often when we talk about heroquesting, it is in the context of gaining power, defeating a foe, exploring the mythic realms, learning magical secrets, and so on. Not surprising – that is the heroquests of the God Learners and of the post-Red Goddess Lunars. Such quests require knowledge, preparation, and magical power. They can achieve great things, but some theorize that the universe itself begins to react against them. Such heroquesters become trapped in Arachne Solara’s web unless they are very careful and respectful of what they do and where they tread. Of course there are other more powerful contexts for heroquesting. One is desperate personal need. When one has lost everything and can lose nothing more, Arachne Solara herself shows a path through the wilderness. Such quests require true need and desperation – like that of the Red Goddess.But the most powerful context is that of cosmic necessity. When the cosmos itself needs the hero lest part or all be destroyed by Chaos. Such quests are aided by Glorantha herself – or at least by her ghost. Some priests speculate that the full Lightbringers Quest requires both desperate personal need and cosmic necessity.
And this is why those who treat heroquests primarily as materialistic means to wrest power from the divine realm are doomed. And also why those with desperate personal need combined with cosmic necessity succeed on quests far greater than anything in the God Learners imagination.
Gaining the ability to kill with one eye is not a great power in the big scheme of things.
The cosmos itself has spirit and/or intelligence. Call it Glorantha, Arachne Solara, Ginna Jar, or the Invisible God, but Glorantha is not a clockwork thing.
Unless you are a mostali. Then it obviously is.
There are some interesting parallels with elements of the 12-steps of AA or NA in some of the personal desperation quests. Common to both the Lightbringers Quest and the Red Goddess quest is a point where the quester is lost and defeated and must accept that. Only then can they continue.
Now of course, no good God Learner is going to find that an easy thing to do.
The point is that not only is not every heroquest even, but not every motivation for a heroquest is even. Some motivations and psychological situations are more likely to produce results than others.