Stygian Empire of Second Age

Slightly Revised and Fixed the errors According to link of Lokarnos. com (17/May/2003)

As a reference, Peter Metcalph has distinctly different idea and attitude toward Arkatism and Arkati. (And we know such attitude is more discreet for God Learners destroyed the original memory and took their secret, and consequently they were also destroyed and erased from the memory of historians.)

See Peter Metcalph's "Some Notes of Esoteric Arkatism"
And see also Peter Metcalph's "Arkati"article in "the Scrolls of the Revelation" which is the booklet of Convention 2002 program.

2002/08/04 Glorantha Digest
Terra: Sith & Jedi from Star Wars: my first rough impression from Peter's writing arkat (in the Scrolls of Revelation):

Peter Metcalph: That was one of the inspirations.  Others included Nephilim, the Tarot, Eyes Wide Shut and the Vehmgericht.

Terra: Hate your deceiver, and get power from that. IIRC, Greg said HQ can be enacted only in Gods War, so Arkati might not become Arcane in that new setting.

Peter Metcalph: Green Age Heroquesting is mentioned as a bad thing to do in the Glorantha: Intro (p21) so AFAIK almost any age can be heroquested in.

Terra: Arkati & Nysalorian? (Peter's writing about Arkati) Historical Change? from original idea of Arkat.....

Peter Metcalph: That there has been change is unavoidable since my original writings were up before Herowars.  I felt it wiser to concentrate on what the Arkati are like today rather than worry about what Arkat was really like.

 Then, I want to write about Stygian Empire now. I know as real Safelstans of 17C Ralios, you might never agree to one matter with the opinions of your fellow gloranthaphile about the true nature of "Arkat" and the system of his Empire. And Peter Metcalph wrote something about Arkati in the "Four Scrolls of Revelation" (C02 Book) and I don't read it yet. (I want to do it as soon as possible...If Mark Galeotti may teach me how to do....)

Several Times many hints their own different idea about Arkat.

From American Heritage Dictionary:

*Stygian  also Stygian adjective 1.a. Gloomy and dark. b. Infernal; hellish. 2.Of or relating to the river Styx.

[From Latin Stygius, from Greek Stugios, from Stux, Stug-, Styx.]

Some References supposed to be the source in Sci-Fi Literature Area:
Robert E. Howard "Conan fought Stygian Sorcery and its Setite Priests (Enemy of Mithra?) and Magicians..." (Stygia is Prehistoric Name of Egypt in Conan Fantasy.....)

Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun: "Ascians (from Gloranthan Point of View....Seshnelans?) comes from the place without Shadow (Castle of the Otter)"

Read also Plato's "Nation" how his polis of ideal work in his ideal cosmos.....ruled by philosophers. (And reject sophists and democratic demagogues.....)

Malkionism Doctrine?

Her name is Sophia. (Dame Darkness?)

She sang a song inside the perpetual and eternal bliss, Darkness, and from its melody, Erasanchula appeared. From Center of her, the Sea of Styx enlarged and washed away everything which remained in Last Battle of Desperation. (Water = Time)

Three Childrens contested, and later fought for her affection. They are (Malkion), (Genert), (Pamalt) They want to make most beautiful melody for her through different methods.

Demons cursed Erasanchula so they got vision, forgetting the Song of Sophia.

Elder Races created humanity for their harmany for differences and communications. But they forgot it when they drank the water of Styx.

Arkat the Destroyer will appear when the Evil succumbed our World again, and destroy everything and remake this world as he did in several times.

Original Image 12 Autarchs of Stygia.....(12 Imams of Muslim Siia Sect?) Example, (and Trolls counts with elevens...(Uz: Unspoken Word?))

......They are all half UzUz....? I don't know, but I don't think they can control Safelstans long through too trollish manner and faces. And they have longevity and might have immortality....?

Stygians might be iconoclasts to orthodox Malkioni arts as Muslims and Protestants (and merfolks of Glorantha) They might prefer Music to Sculpture and Icon.....

IMHO, his capital was hidden in the depth of Narar (Modern Felster) Lake, and connected to true Stygia.....

Arkat's Empire was decentralized and there is many different policies between urban (arkati and monotheists) and rural (orlanthi, galanini and trolls) area. Safelstan Cities might already got great independence...(Though I don't think so, cultural independence is no good for total prosperity of one Empire...)

*Arkat the Great: 450-500
Hero Mistress Troll? Third Prophet of Stygian Heresy, Savior, Destroyer, Peacemaker, Chaosbane, Great, Liberator, and...Deceiver. 453 Third Ecclesiastical Council (between Gerlant and Talor), 480 Dara Happa Liberated. Granted Uzgor Hills to his follower Trolls, appointed Archons.

*Peacemaker: 500-550?
He abandoned some of outer Area protectrates (as Hadrianus did for Trajanus' Mesopotamia in RW Roman Empire) and befriended Only Old One (his friend in his youth?) and studied Art of Argan Argar. Made peace with Telmorian Werewolves cursed by Talor. Shadow Warrior band founded. (Guardians of Hero Plane)

*Mad: 550-564?
He was a devotee of Subere's Secret and did many fanatical and politically bad things, perfectly abandoned human form through sacrifice and Bloody Rituals, many Arkati sub-Heresies appeared in his reign, 578 S.T, Massacre of Tax Collector in Dragon Pass. He was killed by Humathi Sword Council of Lankst?

*Lawmaker: 564-580?
Oppression to Lanksti Orlanthi for his "Elder-Brother"'s Death.

Made Eight Aspects of Arkat Subcult. Rebellion of Brothers, Civic War weakened Autarchy but trolls intervened from Guhan. A Heroquester Zorak Zorani who tried to kill D'Wargon inside of Wonderhome and rescue Kolasting from the Enemy. (Of course, he failed)

*Stalker 580-608?
Leader of Shadow Warriors didn't settle in one place, nomad life-style. Powers of Galvosti (Kingdom of Nomia 607) and Boristi appeared (implanted?) during his reign for his experiment, for his cruelty to humanity?

*Singer 608-638?
A sort of Orpheus? Connection to Spolites land beyond High Llama Pass, travelling to Underworld? 632 S.T, Fourth Ecclesiastical Council of Malkionism and failed. (Civil War of Seshnela) He is a sponsor of both Uz Art and Human Art and tried to make synthesis...?

*Stealer 638-652?
His great feat against Slontans of South and Aldryami. (but they revolted against him later and the realm of Autarchy shrank, but Stygian contemporaries didn't care much about it.)

*Wizard 652-668?
He made a pact with Evil Sorcerer, the successor of Enchanter, Goventainer the Greenshirt of Southeast and got Power from Underworld to fight Ascian Seshnelans.

Galanini Cavalry?

*Conqueror 668-702?
He pretended mad early of his reign and test loyalty of his subjects. He regained old Stygian Domain through Conquest, by invoking the aspect of Arkat the Conqueror, his army fought the Army of Hymat and got once Frowal, through Thyerm and Grodram, he oppressed Seshnelans.

*Quester 702-713?

Leader of Shadow Warriors and a researcher of Arkat realm while the condition of war against Seshnelans worsened (Army of Jrustela and Ullmal), he went Sturdom's Well and died heroically in Dove Constellation? The Capital of Lake Narar abandoned for his failure.

*Destroyer 713-718?
Zorak Zorani Tyrant without Great Ancestor, Arkat's ability. He didn't care about Mundane Affairs in his domain and concerned only destruction and frenzy fight, he always told his subject, "Arkat waits you after that." Revered only Arkat the Destroyer. And he fought and won against Return to Righteous several times, but died horribly after East Wilders had betrayed him.

*Pazlac Martyr 718-740
He sought the way to continuity of his Empire and salvation of Arkati Hero Quest art? He got arts from Ascian (Seshnelan) Hero Questers, he went East and sought help from Halikiv Great Mothers. But rejected by Charmilla Softspeak, he was a famous seer and foreteller of what would occur to Godlearners, he sought to save them from such a tragedy but failed.

736 S.T, Aringor Darstalsson's Lightbringer Hero Quest made Dragonewts and Beast Tribes to support Orlanthi of Delela, Narnarra the Greater and Nisaro Flamesword allied and killed Pazlac at the riverside of Naskorioni. Nisaro destroyed the Grave of Arkat but failed to destroy Arkat's soul / spirit.

The Origin of Ralian Orlanthi:

Nick Brooke said: "Ralian Orlanthi was coming from Slontos during the Arkat Conquest."
Peter Metcalph said, "Lanksti might have come from Talastar during the Unity Council, so they are not Vingkotling."
Old Genertela Box said, "East Wilders still remember the Good Nysalor era...."
If I can induce direct Real World parallel and Palangio's Bright Empire is that of Assyrians, Stygian Empire might be Achaimenesians In My Humble Opinion.....

Hero Wars was mainly written for 17 Century Sartar, Lunar Empire. Not for Gbaji Wars and Arkat.

I began to think about magic and doctrine of Stygian Autarchy before Return to Righteous Crusade killed the Last Autarch Pazlac, God Learners also destroyed it for the work of Convention 2002 book (Four Scrolls of Revelation?) and my Alakoring graffiti:

First, Godlearners robbed them their HQ secret (and Godlearners were also destroyed.) and erased their memory through ordinary, mundane (or sometimes, unique) method. (But Outerspace Explorers could not find the Well of Statham,(according to Troll Gods) (So I and any other GMs or Narrators can makeup new setting relatively easily) We don't know whether truly Pazlac was the heir of Arkat blood and the Mistress Race troll, as Arkat became in troll legends or not.

Second, Dorastor: Land of Doom and Lords of Terror taught us why Arkat could (relatively easily) switch his cult and drive agents of reprisal through the "philosophy" illumination. Peter Metcalph taught me it is connected to Eastern Philosophy and Mysticism.

Third, maybe Arkati had done same before Godlearners killed them on Hero Plane, preserved the "original status" of God Plane and Hero Plane. "Their HeroQuesters lost touch with the basic rule of Arkat: 'No questing without respect and humility.'"(Genertela Boxed Set: History of Glorantha: Thank you, David Dunham.)

Fourth, I should confess I don't know precisely who began to call Arkati Empire as "Autarchy". But if I can guess the origin of this term, Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun". In this complicated and difficult SF series, dying Autarch told Severian (main character) why Civilization and Technology should be halted, and Nick Brooke hinted the "philosophy of cave" of Platonic Philosophy, control of gnosis for Idealized World (and pessimistic attitude to Athenian democracy). But I don't know how it can be linked to Trollish pragmatic, materialistic attitude toward metaphysical philosophy (except few exception).

Fifth, each of minor districts are administrated by the title Archons (so still many of Safelstan Lords are still called by this title), and it was rather "a complicated network of obligations and cults (Greg Stafford)" than like of monolithic empire of RW Orient. (Though I cannot find difference between it and Nysalor Empire from the point of view, or truly Arkat "is" Nysalor Gbaji.) But I think areas imposed "Arkat Tax" through Trollish Overlords included much of Ralios, Maniria, Dragonpass and Peloria during his living in Ralios (450-500 S.T)

And there is difficulty why Arkat switched frequently his cult in the limitation of Hero Wars rule...(though if Illumination is included in Mysticism and considering the current status of it in the plan of Hero Quest rule...I cannot say anything) there is almost any advantage to switch except he can gain the knowledge of Hero Quest and can erase the "Alien World Penalty Modifier" or turned it into his (and / or his worshippers) advantage (maybe it is Arkati peculiar illumination power?). (I still think Arkat could use "Death=Severspirit" as Humaktson,,,though both HW 1st Rule and Peter Metcalph's memo denied the man who achieves more than one Secret.)

All is In My Humble Opinion and not official. But I think Arkat was used his Sorcery Knowledge to enlarge the boundary of Stygia across four world system, and imposed by Seshnelans (and later) Godlearners who felt menace by control of hero plane(s) by Arkati who thought Underworld is good. I think Godlearners used different conclusion from Brithini philosophy (and science?) and literally "changed" their World for defeating Stygians. They induced Orthodox Rune System and secretly changed the mindset of people of their domain. (Now do I try to hinder Robin Law harmonized World system...?) There is no Stygian Sorcery before Arkat. Though Animism and Theistic Worship were ancient before historical age.

I think Boristi and Galvosti are remnants of Arkati trollish pragmatic rule to rebels (like Black Sun Cult in Kingdom of Ignorance?) and mad Godlearner experiments....I know generally Orthodox Malkioni ban tap, but maybe my view about it is distorted....


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