Belintar’s Book: Mountain Stories

From Belintar’s Book.

Belintar had a very widespread knowledge and composed a book which combined many myths from across Glorantha. He admitted that much of this information came from the notorious God Learners who he condemned as a practice while simultaneously defending their beginning information. The Monomyth was its own proof when it allowed people to travel between the mythic realms of different pantheons, revealing the unity of the gods’ mythic world. With such unifying underpinnings understood, here are some of the tales in Belintar’s Book.

How the World Grew

In the raw days of Creation the world itself grew. The amount of actual physical material, the very rock and soil increased, making the great cube of earth to be more broad and deep. The sky, shaped like a dome, stretched to surround the enlarging surface of the earth. Beneath the material body of the world swelled vast oceans of liquid creation that flowed from the bottomless well. At the edges of the world the outer edges of Glorantha pushed against the nonmatter which may or may not be there. The world crept forward at its edges, and began to transform itself and take shape.

Here’s an example of how the new things in the world were made. It is the example of the earliest mountains.

The Mineral World

The physical material of The Spike was the Ultimate Rock, called Truestone. It was not like the dead rocks we know today. Many rocks today can be found that are alive, but even they are not like Truestone. It contained the essence and vitality of all rocks. It was the First Solid which ever existed. Every other solid thing is a weak imitation of that ancient mountain. The nature of growing life was to duplicate the primary creative impulse in slightly different ways. The single mineral of Glorantha was reproduced first as new mountains, later as new types of rock, new soils, and finally as mineral beings.

The New Mountains

At first there was only one of anything, the Spike. Then there was one of everything inside the Spike, that was called Acos, the First, or the Mountain. And then later on the Outside of the mountain were many of many things. The Spike was Acos First Mountain. From One came Many. As the world of multiplicity grew a second mountain was inevitable. This became an event when Larnste, the god of change, departed for the first time out from the secret innards of the Spike to travel Outside. Peaks and valleys, even wide plains, were already known upon the flanks of the great Spike. But no mountain had risen separately upon the wide land. After some time the great mountain was surrounded by wide open lands. At first the Mountain was everything. Then not. How long did it take to make the Spike seem to grow smaller? No one knows because no one knew how to count in those days. But it seemed smaller only because a lot of the Surface World was exposed.

One day Larnste and Lodril met. Lodril, with the help of Larnste’s power of Change, raised for himself the magnificent Mount Turos, more commonly known as the Mountain of Fire. That was the second mountain, and its enemies called it Artarvey. Turos was similar in many ways to the Spike but, of course, never as large or as grand. Like the Spike, Turos also grew, and many different beings lived upon and within it. Lodril used that great mountain as the doorway to his home. Fire Mountain itself was ruled by his son Turos. Larnste kept walking around. As he strolled past them many other deities also wished to try to make a copy of the One Mountain, and many did. Of course, their mountains were inevitably slightly different or more likely, mightily different.

The Second Dragon, cut from its transcendent ancestor’s belly, made the next mountain. Some people say that Second Dragon intended to make its mountain more correct than Lodril’s Mount Turos, and as a result of that desire the entity was imbedded forever within the ancient earth. The Second Dragon crawled from inside and went to the north east. The Second Dragon raised its mountain from the secret inner powers of the earth, and took up residence inside. This mighty mountain had two tops instead of one. One of the peaks was white, like the tip of the Spike, but the other was black.

The third deity which stirred to make a mountain was Harana Ilor, who we know now as a Goddess of Harmony. She sat upon a slope of the Spike, and reached out her right hand and invoked the power of Innocence. As a result of her desire, her mountain was inverted, and made instead a deep hole whose volume, say philosophers, exactly equalled the volume raised by the mountains that were made before. Later on this huge pit was filled by water and became known as the Pool of Serenity.

The fourth to make a mountain was a great builder. He was Mostal, who is the father of the Maker Race. He is the Tool, the Maker of the Machine. Mostal was hearty but not very imaginative. He took everyone else’s ideas and combined them. Thus he made a really big, two-peaked mountain which grew both up and down at once. This mountain was called Mostal’s Mountain.

After this the common mountains rose like puny foothills around Spike, like afterthoughts by the Great Mountain. Some of those were very unusual, like Poetry Peak; others would be important later, like the one called Gonn Orta.

Mount Lodril

The perfect earth was pretty level. No features broke it, except for the Great Mountain. The first gods were naturally creative. Many beings did great things. Leaders emerged because others followed them. Leadership emerged first in Brilliantia.

One of the first Big Gods was Lodril. Large numbers of the Old Ones gathered around the him. (ie- aka Visarudaran, Entekosiad p 16). He was a Big God because he was a Fire God, from Above, but he had also been under the earth. Also, Lodril had already made lots of things, including plants and animals and peoples. (Lodril is still, today, a Great God.)

Lodril’s first tribe was the race called the Moderi. They called their ancestor by many names, but around his home they called him Father Lodril. Many of the Moderi are gods today, while some of the children of the Father were human beings, but no one knew any different at first. They were all so innocent that they didn’t’ even wear clothes.

So the Moderi went around shaping the earth. At that time they didn’t have spirits and bodies. They were just the Shapers. They didn’t do the work alone, but enlisted the help of whatever awoke where they touched. Most of the time they made things that were whole, but sometimes they were of either only spirit or body, or other parts.

They shaped the land, such as the time that Gerendentho wanted to amuse his child son and made the Gerendentho Hills for him to run up and down. Or when Harakeel the Tall took a little growing rock and made it stretch out to become the mountain we call Top of the World. Several gods, such as Mohenjar in the north and Sener in the south, dug channels and invited seductive lover to share it with them. (Today Mohenjar is remembered as God of Irrigation while Sener was drowned, and is now a demon.)

Mount Lodril was the palace where Lodril lived. It was very similar to Mount Spike. It surface was broken into cliffs and valleys, and grown over by forests and brush. The Spike had tribes of immortals living upon its surface, and on Mount Lodril many of the Moderi, the Holy Ones, had camps. They gathered there, the peoples and the animals that the Moderi had made. Inside Mount Lodril was the greatest shrine of Lodril. He had raised the first Lodril Pillar there when he taught his wife and her familiy how to worship the Supreme Being of the Gods. I went there once. It is easy to recognize. It looks like a huge penis, to the blind. It is a lingam pillar of immortal proportions, for no human being can ever see its top and bottom both, nor measure its circumference. In the vast chamber which surrounds this you can find the places where Lodril’s worshippers knelt. If you can, you should try to fit your kees into one of those pairs there. If you fit correctly you will gain contact with that ancient deity, and also a glance into the Transcendent. In the ancient days of creation, no one even thought about such things, though. If you Journey to such sites now, you will probably find them empty of contemporaries from that innocent age.

The Rockwoods

The god called Larnste the Change one time went out of the fortress in which the Gloranthan Council normally lived. He was, after all, the Changing One, and he had to do this in order to keep on Changing. He could do nothing else. He was Change. So eventually he changed his location and he went outside. Larnste strode upon the verdant plains of the outside world. This place was called the Surface World. It is on top of the ground that we walk on, and it was underneath the sky. He walked, first, on the slopes of the great mountain, Mount Spike.

Larnste stood and looked down where the little people lived. Maybe this was the first time that a difference between different beings was noted. Larnste then and there was assuredly larger than the ones that he looked at. We are little, next to him.

All of the Gloranthan Council appeared to be giants whenever they came out of the mountain. Even to the great gods like Lodril and Mostal the Council members appeared like giants. If you ever get to Journey to the time when Larnste Walked, then you will see what gigantic is like. So Larnste looked down at the two groups of people that he saw. They were arguing. They were two tribes and they were arguing.

One of the tribes was called the Tilntae, and they were a tribe who were wonderful growers of things. Tilna, their goddess, was called the Grower, and all of this tribe grew new ones of each other. They were once everywhere, but today the strongest survivors are the plants. That is because one of them, Shans, grew a race of people. They became entangled with the plant beings. Maybe Tilna had borne the Shans so that she would share in the People Rune like all other forms of life were doing. The modern day elves, the People of the Grower, claim this to us.

The other people we call today the Davimostingsi, named after their own god Davimostings. Mostal was the maker, and he had already made his own big mountain and inhabited it with his Davimostingsi. They cheerfully dug through the mountain, refined crude portions to draw out metals, and recrafted the simple stone into elegant beauty.

So they were discussing about the best way to create: was it growing or building? This was, of course, their nature. Larnste saw that this conflict was really a manifestation of his power, because as the tribes spoke the world around them was changing. All of a sudden, though, both tribes stopped talking. Nothing was really changed, but both were satisfied. Each tribe then went their own way.

That was when Larnste took something from his bag, and he planted it into the ground where the argument had been held. And then he took another seed of change from his bag and did it again, and again, and over and over. Where each seed was placed there grew a tree of stone. They were rock and wood. They grow so closely that they became a formidable fence, far too steep to be climbed by either the Davimostingsi or Shanassee.

So the giant used this wall to cut both of the two tribes apart, making four where two had been. That place, where the tribes were sundered, was and is called the Bad Rockwoods Mountains. Trolls live there now. [Halikiv] But because of that, things kept changing, much to Larnste’s delight. For a long period half of each tribe, to the north of the mountains, lived in peace, perhaps even spawning a prehistoric dynasty. They are all extinct today. On the other side of the mountain one of the Davimosting tribes and one of the Shanassee tribes each became dire foes. Their descendants are the dwarfs and the elves of today.

The garden of Larnste, which we call the Rockwoods, continued to grow upward, eventually being so tall that they poked the Sky. Dayzatar was the name of the Sky. “The Sky should not change,” grumbled Dayzatar, “Certainly not to suit a rock.” The Sky was a lot closer then, because there wasn’t any weather in between. The Sky can not be touched, and so when Dayzatar asked Lodril to shake the Rockwoods down, Lodril did. The growing rockwoods things were shattered. The pieces have been ground down by events of the ages, but enough still remains to be the largest mountain range alive today. We call the Rockwoods now. They’re still so powerful that they keep peoples apart.

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