Published 6th Sep 2002
Question(s) from Simon Phipp, answer(s) by Greg Stafford.
|Greg:||I just want to remind you that Illusions are REAL. An Illusion is a Temporary reality, not a false or unreal thing. They are not mind tricks, they are not hypnosis or hallucination. They are temporary reality.|
|Q:||Understood. I still think that if someone uses illusion powers to create the illusion of something, someone using Sense Runic Powers should be able to detect the fact that illusion powers are in play, but it depends on how good the two magicians are.The complication is when someone uses Illusion powers to create the illusion of a non-illusion based magical effect. Can someone use illusion powers to fool someone’s magical senses that can detect the source of a magical effect?|
|A:||This nearly gets to the core of why I discourage the use of “illusion” entirely. All magic is “illusion.” All magic is the creation of a temporary reality.|
|Q:||For example, I create the illusion of a Death Sword, imbued with the magical powers of Severence and Endings. Joe Bloggs walks in, sees the sword and uses his ‘Sense Death Magic’ feat. What happens?|
|A:||For example, I create a temporary Death Sword, imbued with the powers of Severance and Endings. Joe Bloggs walks in, sees the sword and uses his “Sense Death Magic” feat. He sees, with his magical senses, Death Magic.|
|Q:||Maybe it is possible to ‘spoof’ a magical sense with a sufficiently sophisticated illusion? I don’t see why not.|
|A:||What spoof? It is Death magic.|
ALL MAGIC IS “ILLUSION.”
Let’s look at the Hindu “illusion” here. In most texts you find that the god Maya, who made the world, is translated as “illusion.” This is a bad translation. It is better to translate it as “magic.” The whole world is made of magic. Some of it is of longer duration. Your life is a life of magic.
ALL EXISTENCE IS AN ILLUSION.
A Trickster who creates a temporary fire makes a fire. If you are able to discern the elemental (runic) association of it, you will detect Fire. A Humakti who creates a Death Sword makes a Death Sword. If you are able to discern the elemental association of it, you will detect Death. A Trickster who creates a Death Sword makes a Death Sword. If you are able to discern the elemental association of it, you will detect Death.
NOW, I know that Illusion is one of the Runes. Its opposite is Truth. I wrote that a LONG time ago, before even I understood the real meaning of Illusion. But because it is imbedded so deeply in Gloranthan reality, I would not dare to eliminate it now. I can only reinterpret it in light of my new understanding (which I am trying to convey here.)
This enters into the very difficult question of “what is Truth in Glorantha?” As we all know, Truth is subjective. (Who is the true Sun God? What is the true Magic? What is the true origin of the universe? Etc. ad infinitum.) A nonsubjective Truth exists, in theory. This would have to be an Absolute Truth, which is a mystical concept, and as such is (be definition) beyond the ken of mere mortals (who are, by definition, finite.)[[Orenoar]] is Truth. The basic myth sets her opposite Larnste, Change. As all the myths tell, she is no longer of this world. In other words, we can not know absolute truth, only subjective truth. [[Tylenea]], Illusion, is also gone from this world. This indicates she too is unknowable.
In other words, we can not know absolute illusion, only subjective illusion.
My conclusion here is that the entire question of whether a powerful magician could detect whether something is temporary or permanent is ENTIRELY based on the power of the magician.
A significant part of the entire Hero Wars is going to be whether or not people (both individuals and their societal backers) can convince others that their reality is more truthful than someone else’s. As the Hero wars progress the great and powerful beings will engage each other in Truth Contests, using the HeroQuest Challenge, to determine who is [more] right.
Imagine the time, which is going to come, when the entire world community of Yelmalio believers gives 100% support to their hero in a Quest Challenge to contest with the hero of Elmal, also backed by the entire Elmal world community. One will lose, and the entire world of that god will no longer be able to believe what they had before. The victor will then go on to contest whether their god is the True Sun God, pitted against Yelm and his worshippers.
Which will win? Well, whichever one is more powerful (in your game). In this manner huge portions of the world are essentially going to disappear.
In the same manner, but on a smaller scale, an Illusionist can pit his Death Sword reality against the Death Sword reality of a Humakti. Which one will prove to be right? Well, the most powerful one.
In that sense, “it is possible to ‘spoof’ a magical sense with a sufficiently sophisticated illusion.”