Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Underworld

This text comes from a God Learner treatise on the Underworld, found in a Lhankor Mhy knowledge temple.
It represents one school of thought during the time, and is a useful illustration of the God Learner's attempts to apply logic to the illogical.
Scholia from an unknown third age commentator has been reproduced as footnotes.

The Underworld, as it has been labelled by others, is one of the least understood fragments of the Invisible Measure 1. Common depiction of it has been a network of caverns deep beneath Glorantha's surface, or as a hemisphere to complete the Sky Dome above, but deeper Jrusteli research 2 has proven that the Underworld is in fact an inverted pyramid or cone, descending from the Mortal World, into the depths 3.

The top-most layer of the Underworld is that part just under the surface of the Material World, the natural caverns of stone 4. These caverns were created by all manner of creatures including dwarves, trolls, and worse monstrosities. There is no god of this layer, but instead many petty tyrants war for dominance.

Beneath this lies Gamataler, the portion of the Underworld which lies on the Magic Plane 5. This is the earthly Underworld, deep within the Cube of Gata which floats in the endless ocean. Here many demigods and heroes dwell, living lives of plenty within cavernous realms. It is ruled by Asrelia 6.

On the borders of Gamataler lie the Lands of the Dead. Here is where the souls of the dead end up, all travelling towards a great necropolis in the centre. They pass by many horrors, as demons attempt to stop their passage towards the city of the dead. Within the city lies the Court of Silence, where Grandfather Mortal and Ty Kora Tek sit to judge each soul that passes through their realm, before leading them to their eventual destiny 7.

Under the Lands of the Dead lies the Deep Underworld, untouched by Light. It is located on the Symbolic Plane 8, for here is a world not of matter, but of pure energy. The Deep Underworld is the largest part, descending from the Lands of the Dead, until it reaches the final point of Darkness. The trolls are said to have come from this realm of perpetual gloom, and it is their goddess Kyger Litor 9 who rules it 10.

The Deep Underworld is surrounded by the Black Ocean, where the waters of Glorantha meet the depths beneath. She has many names but is most commonly just called Styx. Sometimes pictured as a lake, river, or pool; the Styx can take many forms, and is sometimes made of liquids unknown on the surface.

Beneath the Deep Underworld lies the singular point of Darkness. This is the pure Runic form of the element, without substance, form, or will. It is also known as Nakala 11.

Beyond Nakala, and the rest of the Underworld put together, lies the Entropy Pit, also called Hell. This is a place of pain and suffering, where the demons of Chaos dwell. They know of no mercy, no kindness; living only to torment others. No God Learner has ever journeyed here and returned 12.

1 This is an old God Learner name for the Other Side.

2 The infamous Runic Vision? An early expedition by the Outer Atomic Explorers? Or simple conjecture passed off as irrefutable fact?

3 The fact this would resemble the Rune of Logic, and the importance of that rune to the God Learners leads me to believe this is simply wishful thinking.

4 Known by the Dara Happans as Dubgrulub, this is in truth not a part of the Underworld, for it does not leave the Inner World, just as flight does not mean you are a part of the sky world.

5 Better known as the Hero Planes or Spirit World.

6 The Dara Happans call this layer Veskerelgat

7 Known as Voshgatyuth to the Dara Happans, they claim the judges here are either Lodril and Ernalda, or the dead Yelm. We know they are in fact Darhudan and Darhudana, the father and mother of all men.

8 The God World.

9 Also known as Deloradella, she is a fierce enemy and rare ally to Orlanth.

10 The Dara Happans do not distinguish the Deep Underworld from the other, lower regions; calling it all Erskintu. This is easily explained by their enmity to the gods of Darkness, and the resultant lack of interest in their home.

11 Despite the God Learner's claims, this is Dame Darkness of the Celestial Court and her realm beneath the deepest darkness. She is the goddess of all the Underworld, and is often depicted as a great shadowy queen.

12 An obvious lie, since this is the Pit of Valkata and the Plateau of Ikadz above it. While hostile, many of our great heroes have recorded being there, often to rescue some poor damned soul.

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