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Ian Cooper

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Ian Cooper last won the day on January 27

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About Ian Cooper

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    Senior Member


  • RPG Biography
    30 year veteran of BRP games including Call of Cthulhu & Runequest. More than 10 year veteran of HeroQuest (Hero Wars etc.). Published Gloranthan author. Active gamer with the Monday Nighters.
  • Current games
    HeroQuest: Glorantha, Call of Cthulhu, Fiasco, Puppetland, Numenera, The Clay that Woke, Microscope, Risus, Questlandia, 13th Age, The One Ring
  • Location
    London, England, UK
  • Blurb
    Software Developer in London, conference speaker, tabletop gamer, geek. Tattooed, pierced, and bearded.

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  1. Ian Cooper

    Orlaront’s Original Clan

    I wouldn't necessarily believe that list. it is a fan source and makes the dangerous assumption that Kallyr's household must have come from Kheldon clans, and so are so the clans they are listed as belonging to must be Kheldon clans. I suspect that nobles often draw followers from far-and-wide, sometimes preferring the counsel and protection of those whose loyalty is not compromised by kinship. The Jerending clan could be pretty much anywhere you want to place it, in the absence of other information.
  2. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    I agree. All reconstruction is difficult, because we are looking at fragments that 'leak' the older concepts. And I have not really sought to try and tackle Entekosiad - although I believe that there is probably a whole that we can pull from including that, I have just not really tried to include that yet. I was more interested in this question of the Many Suns and who is Yelm in this thread.
  3. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    Good thought, and too obvious for us all to see.
  4. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    Yes, but also no. Some of my thinking has developed with the thread. Lets try this. There is a one Fire rune: Vezkarvez The first 'god' to devolve from that rune was: Ezelveztay. It devolves by association with other runes into the Keskeskenni One amongst the Keskeskenni is considered the most fitting and given the title Emperor, or Yelm, or Lightfore. IMO Yelm and Lightfore are both titles that change hands, and can be translatd as Emperor. There are three brothers Lodril, Arraz, and Dayzatar who are the earliest 'worshiped' generation of sky gods Arraz is the first Yelm/Emperor/Lightfore. He is the celestial Emperor. Yelm/Arraz and Dendara have a child: Murharzam. He is the earthly Emperor. He is one of their eight children, which has always implied to me eight ruling deity suns of the cities of DH that are acknowledged (though 10 ought to be the number) I suspect this may be a relationship similar to the Red Goddess/Red Emperor. The Blue Dragon Oslir forces Yelm/Arraz from the sky; Murharzam defeats the serpent to become Lightfore/Yelm. Arraz is I think, now, the servant or something lesser not the Yelm/Lightfore any more. Orlanth kills Yelm/Murharzam. Other suns hold for the role for a while Yelm/Antirius (who dies), then Yelm/Polaris and Yelm/Ourania On earth there is a a succession of Emperors At the dawn Yelm/Antirius returns, but is not the sun disk, just a planet (Lightfore). At the dawn the sun disk is not Arraz either, who is now a star. The sun disk is something new, associated with Time. Under the Bright Empire the sun disk begins to receive worship, many myths of holders of the title of Yelm or Emperor are transferred to the sun. The sun accumulates all these individual Lightfore/Yelm/Emperor myths i.e. parts of Arraz, Antirius, Murharzam even perhaps Polaris and Ourania, The entities that were formally a Yelm decline in importance in worship. Or something like that. It's possible that Yelmalio is just a Bright Empire composite of the sons of Yelm i.e. the bits that were left over once we had done this 🙂
  5. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    Sorry, I have yet to play Six Ages as I don't have a platform it is available on, so I don't really know what it implies. So my question was genuine: what does Six Ages say? In GRoY and FS, the interesting questions around 'Yelm' are: is he is worshiped at the Dawn, GRoY and FS say no, not until the Bright Empire; is Yelm an entity with a mythic past, yes, but probably the 'Yelm' of the Bright Empire is a synthesis of the myths of Murharzam, Antirius, Kargzant and Elmal among others of the Many Suns; was there are an entity called Yelm that died, perhaps but it also possible that was just another name for Murharzam, the Emperor, who seems to be only one of the entities that form the 'cult of Yelm' that emerges with the Bright Empire. In a sense we have this postulation of One->Many->One, but it is not clear if the One of the Bright Empire is the One of God Time.
  6. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    In what way is Six Ages lore at odds with it?
  7. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    First, we don't have cavalry units for the Sun Dome Temples in the DP boardgame either. They are pikemen. Second, it's not about whether there are cavalry units, it is about the god's mythology having a strong association with the taming of horses. We have those myths for Elmal, not for Yelmalio. Six Ages tells the story of the Hyalorings and tends to imply that Elmal arrives with them among the Vingkotlings and marries in. As above, so below. But Elmal is a horsebreaker, Yelmalio is not. Runegate and Toena Fort have long been associated with horse markets for the Orlanthi, particularly because of the strength of the cult of Elmal at Runegate and Toena Fort.
  8. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    True, but by the Sourcebook we have already begun to interpret Yelmalio as Lightfore. I'm trying to look prior to that to see if it holds water with what we had in GRoY and KoS. For my part if we see Lightfore in the God's War as a title, it really belongs to the ruling 'sun' in DH. But at the Compromise it gets fixed on a planet which I believe is best described as 'horse and rider'. It's Antirius atop Kargzant or Elmal atop Redaylda. My problem with Yelmalio is he doesn't really have that myth i.e. he does not have the association with horses that seems fairly essential to Lightfore now, as a key idea is that Lightfore tames Kargzant with the bit and bridle.
  9. Ian Cooper

    The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

    OK, some more thoughts from digging at The God's Wall, on the Lightfore question, with Elmal and Yelmalio thrown in. It's the only God's War document, from the ascension of Murharzam. It's important to note when it was made as I think this denotes the most significant figure. So I think we need to see the most important figure there as Murhazam (as there is no Yelm :-)) (1) Solar Court 1 is Murhazam the Emperor. He sits on the Throne (Burbustus) which rests atop the Footstool. In front of him stand his four sons who are in charge of the directions. (2) Anything with a planet symbol is one of the Many Suns. They may well be sun gods for individual cities along the Oslir. The Emperor is simply Raibanth's son. (3l The largest sun symbol is over the Emperor, because Raibanth rules the other cities. (4) Arguably the sun gods could be said to 'bear' their sun over be their sun. This is important because at the dawn various gods bear the sun disk. (5) Where is Antirius? He is at I-1, he and Murharzam are swapped by Plentonius in error, because Murharzam is the divine Emperor at the time the wall is carved. Antirius doesn't 'rule' until later. (6) Who is Lightfore? He was the Emperor, but only because he is the first light! The story of the Emperor is the movement of Lightfore in the heavens. The symbol above the Emperor on the God's Wall is Lightfore. The identity of Lightfore in the sky changes, as the God's War develops, and suns fall, new suns become the ‘first sun’ and Lightfore. Murharzam is Lightfore first, Antirius is Lightfore at the Dawn. (7) What is the cult of Lightfore now? The Great Compromise fixed roles. The star called Lightfore is such because is Antirius, who was Lightfore at the Dawn. He rides Kargzant, so Kargzant is Lightfore too, and he bears the sun, which can be seen on the Sunpath in the day. No one worships the sun at the Dawn because there is no Yelm before the Bright Empire. It is just the sun disk. (8) Where is Elmal? He is not on the God's Wall as he shines from atop Keep Fin, not a DH city. He is one of the Many Suns, but no one in Peloria worships him, not, unlike Orlanth does he come into DH as an aggressor, and can be identified as Rebellus Terminus. Is he Antirius? It is possible, but mythically Antirius is present in DH, so it is also possible to see them as different suns with Elmal not mentioned. Elmal shines from atop Kero Fin. At the Dawn he is the sun disk's bearer (the torchbearer), not the sun. (9) Is Elmal/Redayla also the planet Lightfore? Lightfore gets associated with Antirius, as the premier sun god at the dawn, other than the sun disk. Kargzant is Antirius’s steed, so they are one planet in the sky. This seems to be part of the Great Compromise. So do all the 'sun bearers' become associated with the horse and rider planet Antirius/Kargzant called Lightfore. Is Elmal/Redayla also Lightfore? Maybe. The other explanation is the Elmal is visible as the sun - he bears it, but is not it, but cannot be seen carrying it. This seems possible as the Orlanthi claim him as the sun, and not the Great Darkness Lightfore, who shines from Kero Fin, not Raibanth. I would guess that the synthesis with Antirius/Kargzant comes as part of the Bright Empire, where Murharzam and Antirius/Kargant become merged, alongside Elmal, into Yelm. Yelm is the Murharzam sun, and Lightfore the Antirius/Kargzant planet on the sun path. A kind of correlation by the Bright Empire might then make Anitirus/Kargzant = Elmal/Redaylda = Lightfore. It isn’t necessarily that Elmal is that planet on the sunpath, but the Bright Empire tries to associate him with it. (10) Where is Yelmalio? He is also Not here. He is created by the Bright Empire and is not a Dara Happan god. He is not one of the Godtime Many Suns. Is he a Bright Empire version of Antirius? It's possible that when the Bright Empire creates him, they shift some of the beliefs of Antirius/Kargazant to Yelmalio, because Antirius does not seem to be directly worshipped, but only as part of the Yelm cult. In that sense Yelmalio could be associated with Elmal, to the extent that Elmal gets associated with Antirius. (11) But that seems to overload the whole Antirius/Kargzant = Elmal/Redaylda piece. Alternatively Yelmalio might also be a mask of Dayzatar, the sky dome, who sets out to find the missing Emperor (Lightfore). After all, he is the god of bright sky without Yelm in it i.e. Dayzatar. Dayzatar also holds the Truth rune. He also seems a little bit like Polaris, the marshal of heaven, and the defender of the Sky Dome when Dayzatar left. After all, the martial sun domers move to order, just like the troops of Polaris. As an Bright Empire creation he might synthesise those. In that case Halamalo the elven sun god, could be Dayzatar or Polaris. He could be mystical view of Dayzatar/Polaris once, but shorn of Nysalorian trappings after the First Age. (10) Who is Yelm? He is a synthesized god, created by the Bright Empire. He is worship of the sun disk, not it's bearer, which only appeared in its current form in time. Much of his mythology is of Lightfore, the leading sun of any given time, so the Emperor but other parts are Kargzant, the nomad conquerors of DH, Antirius the foremost sun defending Dara Happa after the Emperor dies, and other parts come from Elmal the barbarian sun god.
  10. Ian Cooper

    River Dragon?

    Peter has what I intended, but YGMV.
  11. Ian Cooper

    Notes on the Many Suns and the Sun Gods of Prax

    I think snark is a bit harsh. As far back as Cults of Prax (CoP), Yelmalio was: * The god of the sun dome - the glowing dome that provides light when neither sun nor night are in the sky. A link between his identity as the 'Son of the Sun' and the Many suns that appear after Yelm/the Emperor disintegrates is possible, and that might hook him into the Kargzant and Lightfore, but his identity as the Sun Dome not one of the Many Suns makes that hard. In addition, the merger of Kargzant and Lightfore appears to be the story of the taming of the horse in which rider and steed become one, and the identity of the SDTs as pikemen doesn't really fit that. * Of course, Yelmalio is not really a Dara Happan cult, a Bright Empire creation, so his analogy need not be exact. But he seems to bear more analogy to Dayzatar, the sun dome than to the sun. It is only really with the revelation of Many Suns by Monrogh that we seem to get the suggestion that he is one of the Many suns and could thus **swap** in for worship of the sun, where he seems to become the 'winter sun' due to his lack of heat. We do know from CoP that only the 'hill barbarians' think of him as winter sun over sky dome. So his identification seems very local * A minor deity, confined to his monastic temples, who spread in the second age to Prax as mercenaries and was invited by the House of Sartar into Dragon Pass in the Third Age. His sudden transformation into a little sun and not the god of the sun dome, is problematic because it does not fit the mythology we have for him already. I don't think most of this would be such a burning issue, apart from the decision to see Elmal as a sub-cult of Yelmalio, and thus downgrade Elmal to an old name or historical footnote of that cult. That is the core of what we are struggling with. I would prefer that Elmal and Yelmalio remained separate cults and if the desire was to downplay Elmal, we suggest that Rurik Runespear, under the support of Argrath, is championing the Yelmalio cult outside of the Sun Dome Temples, and that the cult of Elmal is going into decline as people converted to the ascendant cult of Yelmalio. That leaves existing material intact, and allows for those who want to 'rescue' Elmal to fight back against Rurik. That change would probably make the issue of whether Yelmalio is one of the Many suns less emotive.
  12. It depends on the version. In HW/HQ feats are pretty much rune spells, with more flexible usage if they have slightly ambiguous names. In HQG, the rune spell equivalent is just use of a divine rune affinity (and in a sense by RQG not forcing you to pre-decide your rune spells the two have become closer). in HQG feats are heroforming, and intended to mirror the kind of magic seen in the extract from Harmast Saga in Gloranthan Visions called : Morden defends the Camp. You become the hero and gain access to a whole range of abilities whilst heroformed (until the terminal conditions are met or you are identity challenged). I guess in RQG terms it would be like being able to access a pool of rune spells by becoming a hero, and being able to spend points on any rune spells in that pool whilst the effect lasted. But HQG is trying to mirror Greg's writing more than RQG.
  13. I think there is something in that, and its compatible with the version in S:KoH in many ways
  14. Not everyone is a fan of them, but I like Thunder Rebels a lot. It was clearly bronze age, with its funerary rituals, storms etc. and influenced by a range of European cultures. And i think there was something to the more complex religion of Orlanth and Ernalda. I think that it went a little too far in some places, and that 'housewife magic' was an idea that should have been stepped back from, but it has more that I like than dislike.