So based on the past few posts, hopefully I conveyed the idea that the Second Age featured widespread mythic experimentation and exploration. Not only did we have God Learnerism, dragonic mysticism, and syncretic developments in cults, but also there was an exploration of the God Time. This was a time of remarkable cult-changing heroes such as Pavis, Alakoring Rex, Gorangi Vak, Ingolf Dragonfriend, Carmanos, Verenmars, Jaldon Goldentooth, Delecti, and many more. This was the time that experimental artificial gods were created – and they proved to have magical power (although not necessarily as expected).However, the Second Age ended in catastrophes worse than that of the First Age. The Oceans were closed to humans. Seshnela was sundered into fragments, Slontos sunk, and the Dragonkill War exterminated humans in Dragon Pass. Nature struck back against human hubris. After 1120, humans had learned to fear experimentation, exploration, and new ideas.
There were three main exceptions to this:
In 1220, a desperate cabal with nothing left to lose brought back into the world a goddess that had been destroyed in the God Time. Seeking weapons against her enemies, she tread paths in the Underworld and became lost there until she was Illuminated by Nysalor and returned with the Crimson Bat. She later rose into the Middle Earth as the Red Moon after appointing her son as her regent for her mundane affairs.
In 1313, a Stranger came ashore in Kethaela despite the Closed Seas. He made alliances with the Silver Age heroes of that lands, gained acceptance of their gods and goddess, and overcame the Only Old One, the dark lord of that land since prehistory. He instituted rites and ceremonies by which the Gods World could remain in proximity of the mundane world, and began the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death to keep those pathways active and empowered. Kethaela became known as the Holy Country because of this.
In 1470, a wanderer named Sartar came to Dragon Pass from the Holy Country. Without using violence himself, this wanderer united the quarreling Orlanthi of Dragon Pass, made friends with the dwarfs, centaurs, dragonewts, ducks, and werewolves, founded cities and built roads, temples, and libraries, and made himself King of Dragon Pass when he married the Feathered Horse Queen (another mythic adventurer from the Grazelands). He displayed the secrets and magic of Orlanth Rex, but also maintained draconic friendship. The kingdom he founded became rich on trade, and was influential far beyond its size and population.
Does Godunya count as an experimenter? Godunya is a True Dragon in human form, or so the Kralorelans tell me. He permits himself to exist in this form in order to bring harmony and perfection to the Kingdom of Splendour.
What is the “nature” that struck back? Is it personified? some might say it was Arachne Solara or Glorantha herself that struck back.
This backstory helps explain the context of the Hero Wars, and gives ideas as to what they are all doing. Few if any of the main heroes are repeating the deeds of others. They are forging new paths, experimenting and exploring. Like your adventurers likely do!
Greg’s references to First, Second ages goes back to the mid-60s. When he added White Bear & Red Moon to Glorantha, and shifted the focus and subject of his stories, they fell into place.
Makes the Pharaoh’s death even more tragic and the Lunar empire even more evil. the assassination and dismemberment of Belintar was pure imperialist aggression – Belintar blocks our access to the ocean and its rich trade, thus we must kill him and conquer the Holy Country. Interestingly, that episode was carried out by Jar-eel, and likely planned by her as well.