Submitted by GianniVacca on Tue, 21/08/2012 – 13:11
OK, I want to know more. There really isn’t much on glorantha.wikia.com or /tools/buserian/search [Dead tool], so please help.
Submitted by davecake on Mon, 27/08/2012 – 13:27.
I think the Fonritian version of Seseine is primarily a sorcerous cult, though it may (like the new version of the Pavis cult) have both divine and sorcerous aspects. Like Jeff, I see Seseine as about lust and seduction, not generic desire.
Sorcery is common in Fonrit, and I think the Seseine cult is often pursued by solo practitioners or small groups who wish to use it for both personal power and debauched pleasure – and the cult is often harshly suppressed by rulers who do not want their rule subverted. The cult teaches spells both to manipulate humans by various means, and to summon and domain succubi. But I think it is all too common for Seseine worshippers to miscalculate, and end up the servant of the succubi they thought to master (and the succubi themselves are perfectly capable of learning the Seseine grimoire spells too). The lamia and ogres who are the children of the succubi are surely also part of the Seseine cult.
That such an obscure and reviled goddess should apparently be worshipped in Fonrit but also known as far away as the Lunar empire reeks of God Learnerism to me (and I certainly wouldn’t put it past the later decadent God Learners to spread a sorcerous seduction cult far and wide, even well beyond their Imperial borders).
Submitted by metcalph on Tue, 28/08/2012 – 02:21.
I think you have misread what Jeff was talking about.
I portrayed Seseinse as largely a sorcerous cult whereas Jeff pointed out that she’s a goddess. Not overly fatal to my thinking but it will require a major rewrite in terms of approach.
I’m not really seeing your distinction between desire and lust. I didn’t concentrate on seduction for the very same reason that I didn’t concentrate on succubi and also the effects of completed desires (Ogres and Lamiae) – I wanted to focus on the corrupting nature of the cult.
Submitted by davecake on Tue, 28/08/2012 – 02:55.
From the context of the comment he was replying to, I thought Jeff was specific about the term goddess in reply to the idea of a Seseine of ambiguous gender. Not that I’m thrilled about it – one of my few criticisms of modern Glorantha stuff is that it can sometimes be a bit too gender essentialist, and Gloranthan succubi seem to be intrinsicly gender-fluid. Jeff did describe an alleged incarnation of Seseine as a sorceress in the same comment, so if he was trying to be clear on the nature of the magical system of the cult, he didn’t do a good job (sorry Jeff if I’ve misinterpreted you)! I still think sorcerous makes a lot more sense as the primary magic system, but hopefully we are, as discussed in another thread, being a lot less rigid about those divisions these days anyway (especially for chaotics).
I see a very big distinction, glaring, difference between generic desire and sexual lust. Sexual desire is different in a whole range of ways to simply wanting something, some of them physiological. Sexual obsession is one of the grand themes of art and life, it seems a great choice for a chaotic cult – and while corruption of a more general kind is also a fine theme for a chaotic deity, that has been done before a number of times. Seduction can, of course, can and should be linked to corruption, but there are other themes (the ‘playing with fire’ idea, in particular) that seem to be brought out more by the sexual seducation side, and would make Seseine far more distinct. Of course, this is in part an aesthetic argument, so the resolution will ultimately be by (Jeffs) fiat, but I’d be disappointed if the sexual elements of the cult were not a focus.
Submitted by metcalph on Tue, 28/08/2012 – 03:20.
Given that Seseine was described in the Prosopaedia as “She is illustrated as a beautiful man or woman, seductively dressed and posed”, I don’t see any anxiety about her appearing as male.
The actual comment about sorcery is that Seseine Kallig is a “demigod sorceress” who claims to be an incarnation of Seseine. It’s a bit of a long bow to conclude that from the sole mention of sorcery (compared with a mention of demigod and incarnation) that the cult is sorcerous.
As for the magic of Seseine, if the worshipper is using his desire as a source of magic then the cult is theistic. If the worshipper is merely using spells and grimoires then the cult is sorcerous. I’m not really seeing why the worshipper’s magic should be spells. That they summon and control succubuses? You don’t need spells for that.
On the distinction between desire and lust, Seseine isn’t the goddess of sexual lust, she is the goddess of lust. As the Prosopaedia has it “An intense desire for some object, emotion, or state of being can lead a person to use evil or corrupt means”. Now Seseine may have originally been about Sexual Lust (ie in the Storm Age or Great Darkness) and still be largely about sexual desire but I feel her worshippers have expanded their horizons since that time to encompass objects and states of being.
Submitted by davecake on Tue, 28/08/2012 – 04:44.
I know that we have a tendency to go back and forth arguing what exactly was meant in some fragmentary, soon to be superceded, source from the early 80s more than is useful. But it seems particularly odd and pointless to be doing so about something Jeff said last week, without even waiting for him to have a chance to comment and clarify.
So I think I shall stop.
But FWIW, I like the idea of a sorcerous cult because we have not enough non-Malkioni sorcerous traditions, there is said to be a Fonritian preference for sorcery, and I think the cult works better game wise if it allows for corrupted self-motivated individuals, rather always having to be part of a conspiratorial network, and that seems a better fit for sorcery. I’d also (as I indicated) be very happy with a hybrid tradition (like Pavis).
(part of my preference for sorcery is also that in some previous rules, succubi where restricted to sorcery for the magic could cast themselves, but that seems no longer currently relevant)
Submitted by metcalph on Wed, 22/08/2012 – 01:33.
I assume you’re dissatsifed by her just being the goddess of Succubuses.
I generally place her worshippers in Fonrit. There many people are unhappy and want better things in life. Seseine offers them a chance of release. Her worshippers cultivate an intense desire of either wealth, power or booty. They work for the benefit of their priests and are rewarded with momentarily visions of themselves enjoying their desire. With spiritual training, they can make their desires real for a time.
Since most people do not have the training, the Priests of Desire do most of the work in fulfilling the desires of their worshippers. They do this by summoning a succubus or related spirit and sending it to bless their worshipper. (They also have the solemn responsibility of capturing stray succubi to serve the temple). But the Priests have to know their worshipper’s desires (which is generally done through a confession) and the Priests also have their own desires that they want to satisfy. So the Priests of Desire end up a) corrupting their worshippers to abuse their own resources for the good of the temple b) recruit new worshippers among the rich and powerful by getting a wind of their possible vices and blessing them with an appropriate succubus-related vision and c) abusing their own office and magics to satisfy their desires. None of which will end well.
Many Fonritan cities have attempted to control the worship of Seseine by requiring the Priests to be eunuchs, frequent purges of worshippers or outright prohibition (which just drives the cult underground).
Desires of booty are self-explanatory.
Desires of wealth and riches are satisfied by turning the worshippers possessions into, say, jewel encrusted versions of the original. These possessions look real both materially and magically. A common trick is to sell a jeweled dagger to a visiting foreigner for a cheap price (most Fonritans are well aware of the trick). But when the magic wears off, the worshipper still wants more than the real gold he has.
Desires of power, the worshipper’s ability in a desired region is temporarily boosted by the strength of his desire. Mainly followed by adventurers and other sad people.
Submitted by GianniVacca on Wed, 22/08/2012 – 06:14.
Thanks a lot for the input. I like the phrase “adventurers and other sad people” 🙂
Submitted by Herve on Wed, 22/08/2012 – 15:05.
I like Monsieur Metcalfe’s ideas that make Seisene more than a simple carnal demon. To me, that’s what it was – emphasis on IT. It’s neither female nor male. It can be both. And incubus, it seduces women and makes them give birth to demons such as ogres. Once it has expelled its monstrous seed, it becomes female and “collects” male seed, which will spoil and turn chaotic, and turn it in a male again, which… you get the idea.
There might several ways to worship Seisene. One is a the courtesan slave of Ompalam, the Goddess of houris and all pleasure slaves, for the skills and magics it brings to them. In this case it’s “regular”, “female” Seisene. Another is the darker, fuller Rites that know what S. really is, and use this power to corrupt and influence mortals who need to be corrupted. Some temples might have a quiter mercenary attitude about that.
Finally, I’m pretty sure there are some Seisene mystics, whose allure and body make them litteral breath-takers. I even wonder if you wouldn’t find Seisene in Zoria’s underground…
Submitted by Jeff on Thu, 23/08/2012 – 05:33.
I fear that is not the approach we’ll be taking about Seseine in the Guide and future books. Seseine is the Chaotic goddess of lust and seduction.
For what it is worth, there are two People of Interest with a connection to Seseine in the Guide. In Fonrit:
Seseine Kallig: This demigod sorceress was originally a blue slave. She claims to be the incarnation of the Chaos goddess Seseine and to have seduced a god of Death into servitude. She is served by an all-female band of assassins, all blues and all fanatically loyal.
In the Lunar Empire:
Send Valu: Send Valu is the demigod daughter of Seseine and Ralzakark, two truly awful entities. Yet she claims to do no evil or even bad. Send Valu is a voluptuous woman, reeking of pleasurable powers, surrounded by a household of similar, but weaker, demigods. She lives in the Lunar Heartland, where her numerous palaces are nests of decadence. She is a friend of the Red Emperor, who often attends her functions.
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