My hope with these posts over the past few weeks is to give an impression as to the context around heroquesting, and to get us away from the approach in the King of Dragon Pass computer game (and often taken in the HW/HQ materials). Every culture performs ceremonies and rites that cause the mundane and divine worlds to overlap into what is called the Hero Plane. This is where you get your Rune magic from, your allied spirits, befriend cult spirits, and all that stuff. Now that stuff is gameable, but it really only gets interesting IMO when things go wrong. When the ceremony no longer predictably works, when dangerous enemies show up, etc.But far more interesting to me is deliberately exploring the mythic realms and discover previously unknown paths through the divine world. This is what heroes such as Alakoring, Argrath, Arkat, the Feathered Horse Queen, Harmast, Harrek, Jaldon Goldentooth, Pavis, Sir Ethilrist, Cragspider, Jar-eel, Hwarin Dalthippa, Hon-eel, and the Red Goddess. They did not “invent” new myths – they traveled previously unknown paths through the Hero Plane and brought back their experiences to the mundane world. They discovered paths and events that had always been latent in the God Time.This approach to heroquesting was fairly common in the late First Age and through the Second Age. Most people shunned it after the cataclysms that ended that Age. BUT not everywhere – in the Lunar Empire and the Holy Country this sort of spiritual exploration remained, although for very different ends. And Sartar and his dynasty inherit the techniques developed in the Holy Country. As the Hero Wars develop, the protagonists take more risks and gambles in their heroquesting – such as rediscovering the techniques of the God Learners and the Empire of the Wyrms Friends, using Chaotic magic in heroquests, and more. People take short cuts, make permanent changes for short-term gains, and all the sorts of things that people do when they are desperate and ambitious. That becomes the Hero Wars. We start from a familiar starting point, but by the end, the world has changed so much we can barely recognize where we began.
Chaotic magic? The Red Goddess has Chaos Feature, and it is only a hop skip and jump from Primal Chaos to other, more dangerous magic.
It is important to keep in mind that underlying Glorantha are the Runes and other archetypes. These archetypes are more real than reality. We know that the Runes joined together, came into conflict, devolved, and made the world we live in. But how we interact with these archetypes is based on our experiences which in turn is the foundation of our understanding of it all.
Repeating somebody else’s story is not the point of heroquesting – nobody becomes a hero by simply being the understudy! One becomes a hero by making your own path through the mythic realm of archetypes and Runes. Make the divine and eternal the personal and psychological!