Who Was Gbaji?

Gbaji is the most sophisticated form of Chaos that has yet invaded Glorantha. Because of Gbaji, all beings are diminished.

The Five Forms of Chaos are: Kajabor, Gorp, Pocharngo, Wakboth, and Gbaji. Each Form is more insidious than the previous. Kajabor, the Black Hole, is the master of Entropy, and destroys all traces of its victims, including the names and memories of the victim. Gorp destroys the physical form of its victims, but neither the names nor the memories of the victim are destroyed. Pocharngo does not destroy the victim, but rather warps the body of the victim into unrecognizability. Wakboth, the Devil, is the Moral Corruption of Glorantha. Though he can and has corrupted the body, he prefers to corrupt the spirit and ethics by compelling the victim to choose Chaos over Order through fear of pain, death, or annihilation.

Gbaji is far worse. The victims are not corrupted, but rather tempted to follow Gbaji of their own free will. GabijÕs followers believe that because Order and Chaos are not opposites, their personal desires and personal ethics are not opposite either. Anything they do is justifiable, including embracing Chaos. They are spoiled children, who think only of themselves.

Gbaji was not always like this. Everyone agrees that the god Nysalor was created in the year 375 S.T. (111,596 Y.S.) by the efforts of the Second Council, also called the Broken Council. The cult of the Bright God grew peacefully until a prophet of Nysalor corrupted herself in order to further spread the cult. After this event, Gbaji was created from Nysalor, and thousands followed him and spread Chaos.

Who Was Arkat?

Depending on whom you ask, Arkat either saved the world or was himself a Chaos monster who killed the Bright God. Everyone agrees that at first he was only a man, but he eventually became a tool to purge the world of a great evil, by becoming, but not succumbing to, that evil.

Arkat was created at the same time Gbaji was, for they are equals and opposites. For both, the ends justified the means. Gbaji increased the number of his worshippers by wielding Chaos and granting them their darkest desires, or through the gratitude of local populations when GbajiÕs priests cured disease which they themselves had secretly spread. Arkat wished to destroy Gbaji, and, according to many, betrayed his heritage, his gods, and ultimately, his own race, to do so. In his desire to slay Gbaji, he slaughtered thousands and left a path of ruin behind him which is still visible today. He cursed a beautiful land out of spite, and even today nothing wholesome grows there.

When Arkat met Gbaji

Arkat met Gbaji in the Tower of Dreams in the City of Miracles in 450 S.T. (111,671 Y.S.). With all except the most mighty slain, at last Arkat met Gbaji face to face. Arkat brandished his Sword and would have attacked Gbaji, but Gbaji asked leave to speak.

"You claim I corrupt beings into choosing Chaos. I do not. I provide a different perspective: that Chaos and Order are, ultimately, not different. You yourself understand this already, for you have felt my power. Yet because you believe I corrupt and that you have not chosen Chaos, you believe that you are morally superior to me, and for this reason, you try to defeat me.

"You are not better than me. You have broken oaths you have sworn to the gods, to your friends, and to your own race. You have broken the patterns and dishonored the God Plane. You have spread your worship just as I have spread mine. You have killed thousands of my followers because they believed in me and thousands of your followers have died because they believed in you. You rewarded them with misery, abandonment, and death.

"You are just like me. Your morality is not superior."

Arkat considered these words, for they held much truth. His face became grim as he realized what he had done. But then a smile crossed his face for his foe had unintentionally brought forth further Illumination.

"You are correct. I am like you, but I am not the same as you. We are One. We both came from the White Light, but we were allowed to choose our Path. You chose first, and became Action. I chose second, and became the Reaction.

"I cannot destroy you, for I would be destroying myself, which is forbidden. But even if I could, I would not, for We are necessary. We shall be the Inspiration and the Warning and all beings shall learn from us. We shall be the Good that does Evil, and the Evil that is Good."

And Gbaji, realizing that his final Deception had failed, wrestled with Arkat, stole from him the Sword Which Breaks Iron, and killed Arkat. But Arkat understood the true nature of himself and his foe. He realized that his death was impossible and so he did not die. Instead he drew the Mirror With One Side, whose purpose Arkat only now realized. With it, he embraced Gbaji and the power of the Mirror enveloped them both.

The being that emerged from the ruined Tower was called Arkat, but was not Arkat, which even his closest friends admitted, nor was it Gbaji, as the Book of Drastic Resolutions makes clear. It was a being which retained its abilities to Illuminate and to tempt, but also knew of the paths that destroy Temptation. "Arkat" had fulfilled his Quest to destroy his foe and yet in so doing "Gbaji" remained within the Net of the World.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License and is Copyright © 2004 by Jeff Okamoto.