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Sir_Godspeed

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Sir_Godspeed last won the day on November 6

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About Sir_Godspeed

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    Sycophantic Contrarian

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    Some DnD, mostly video games otherwise.
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    Very much a beginner. Mostly interested in the story- and lore aspect over crunch.

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  1. I mean, I get that - but I'm wary of how deliberately using the Orlanthi/Theyalan name Ernalda creates a false impression that it is literally the Heortling Orlanthi deity that is somehow more specialer and importanter than the conceptions of the same archetype (Earth Queen/Spiritual Earth Goddess) in other cultures. As we've seen on this forum, it can lead to the misconception that Solar Pelorians and who knows else goes around believing that the Storm Barbarians to their south has some kind of divinely accepted dominion over the Earth through the marriage of their storm god to the earth queen, which I think is patently ridiculous. The Earth Queen/Spiritual Earth appears in almost every culture, I'd argue, but she is not by default the Orlanthi Ernalda, nor is it a given that the special relationship between her and the Storm King which is so crucial to the Orlanthi myth cycles has to play any significant role in other mythologies. I know that most of us here mostly use the Theyalan names for the purposes of simplicity and recognizeability, and that's fine, I'm just wary of reproducing Orlanthi ethnocentrism in discussions that are in effect about comparative mythology. It's like trying to discuss the relationship between Christianity and Islam, but then consistently referring to Muhammad as Mahomet, and seeing Islam ("Mahometism") as a Christian heresy, which early Medieval Christians genuinelly thought it was. (or replace this scenario with the opposite, only using Islamic terms for Christian concepts - you get the point). For example, IF (and this is purely a hypothetical one) it DOES turn out that Dendara is released in the Gods& Goddesses of Glorantha as an Earth&Harmony goddess, and she can be mapped onto Ernalda in the same way Oria can be mapped onto Esrola, then that shows that the entire idea of the Earth Queen "leaving" the Sun Court is just true for Orlanthi myths. For Pelorian/Dara Happan myths, she clearly never left at all, and has stayed faithfully by Yelm's side all along. Now apply this to Pamaltela, for example, where the principal candidate for an instance of the Earth Queen (or Earth Witch in this case), Aleshmara, has no particular association with Air/Storm, and her daughter Faranar (the other most likely candidate for the Pamaltelan instance of the Earth Queen, making Aleshmara something more like Asrelia, possibly) is married to Pamalt, a fellow Earth Sovereignty entity. I guess my overall point is this: prioritized usage of Orlanthi terminology in a cross-religious analysis should not be accompanied by prioritized belief of Orlanthi myths. This was one of the limitations/faults of the God Learners, and we do not need to repeat it.
  2. This sort of assumes that the entity named Ernalda is somehow the "true" face of Earth. I think a better reading is simply to say that Ernalda, along with all the other Earth Goddesses are masks/instances/aspects/etc. of the overall Great Earth Goddess, like fingers on a hand, or the limbs on a body or what have you. I also think that some of the divisions we see are somewhat arbitrary. Does Ernalda (spiritual powers of the Earth) need to be separate from Esrola (physical powers of fertile Earth) or Maran Gor (violent powers of the hard Earth)? No, I think these are mainly culturally/mythically produced historical particularities. If you go into other regions, this trinity might look different, and be a binity or unity or something entirely else. This also means that the Maiden-Mother-Crone trinity can also look different, and while you put Esrolia in there, I've tended to put Ernalda in there, partly due to the sovereignty aspect (Asrelia is the former Earth Queen, after all), and Voria isn't necessarily an aspect of any physical Earth, but rather the virgin innocence that both people, animals and places can have - depending on how you look at it. Again, it's not that either is wrong or right, it's just that ultimately the answer you get depends on the question you ask. I've personally had somewhat of a fondness for the idea that Voria, Ernalda and Asrelia aren't so much different goddesses as they are the same goddess in her different age groups, or even that it's different goddesses going through the same roles ("There must always be an Ernalda") - but of course, as with the other trinities above, this differentiation is largely academic and hypothetical. They're fun to think about though. I know there's a tradition of merging Ernalda (or insert you personal choice of generic-brand Earth Queen) with Glorantha/Arachne Solara, but there is of course the issue of elementalism. It feels a bit wrong to limit the representation of the entire cosmos to a specific element. Perhaps it's possible to amend this by saying that Glorantha/Arachne Solara is an entity whose qualities refract in a number of other protective/sovereignty deities... or maybe I'm making a problem where there is none. (I personally also would like to think that Glorantha the deity and the Invisible God and possibly the Cosmic Dragon have some things in common, due to them being arguable transcendental "supra-deities" that arguably represent the collective cosmos, but I digress).
  3. That's one way to look at it. I've also heard her described as a mafioso who gets others to do her dirty work. I think, ultimately, to some extent, we should take some of her defining featured at face value, as naïve as it might seem. She is a mother. She cares for her children. Whatever it takes.
  4. That does seem to be the general gist of it, yes. Or, rather, while genders may have existed, bi-sexual reproduction was not yet the norm, which is arguably also why many of the early Darkness deities seem to procreate through some kind of mitosis or budding or whatever. Honestly, it's not like there's some mechanistic simplicity to this, but more like a general trend. The goddesses of the Ralian lakes are generally quite friendly, as is Choralinthor. There are some lost seas in the East Isles ("lost" as in they used to be more discrete but are now joined with the world ocean) that appear sympathetic in Revealed Mythologies. It seems in general that bodies of water had to be "pacified" though some means or other in order to become friendly/tolerant. No, in this case it means that the origin myth of Mahome describes how she left the Fire Tribe (ie. the Sky pantheon) to join the Storm Tribe, by following Ernalda from the palace after Orlanth killed Yelm. Elmal and Heler are other "adoptive" cults, in the sense that they are neither Storm/Air or Earth. It's.... complicated. On the one hand, Ernalda can be seen as a universal, cosmic goddess of the spiritual powers of the Earth - while in others ways, she can be seen as the local Manirian (Kethaela, Kerofinela, etc.) goddess of those properties. If you ask a Ralian, it's quite likely they'll explain why it is of course Ralia/The Green Lady who is the true cosmic goddess of the Earth. The question of whether this is just another name of Ernalda (or Esrola) is... difficult to ascertain. Certainly the Goddess Switch shows that these can't be messed with willy-nilly, but there is an underlying connection to them nonetheless. I personally don't really consider Ernalda to be anymore of a "superior" Earth goddess than any of the others. The Heortlings certainly do, but then I'm not beholden to their biases. Possibly, yes - insofar as we connect her to Entekos, imho. She is joined by deities like Molanni (daughter of Vadrus and mother of Daga, the Famine God), and Serenha (Umath's daughter, who came into being in his wake - ie. the calmer, swirling air behind the stormwind. She is also seen as the mother of Kolat's wind spirit companions, which is a bit unusual, but that's myths for you), and Brastalos (possible daughter of Kolat or Orlanth, the goddess of the doldrums, ie. the large, windless areas over the open seas in the middle of the perpetual storm around the Homeward ocean - also married to Magasta, whose body is the whirlpool in the middle of the Homeward Ocean, around which the storm circles). There is of course the potential for all of these "Still/Calm/Good Air" goddesses being the "same", in the sense that all those "Heat-in-Earth/Volcano" gods are all the "same" and all the "Land/Crop" goddesses are the "same". (And the question of what exactly that means, as mentioned above and which I realize I keep harping on about, is forever a conundrum - intentionally so.)
  5. The Lunar ideology, theology and cosmology is summarized by the phrase "We Are All Us". In its ultimate form, it's the recognition that the separation between all things, beings and states is a false structure imposed on the mind and matter due to imperfection and limitation. On a social level, it's also a slogan to legitimize Lunar proselytizing and imperial expansion. There is place for everyone in the Goddess' embrace, and within the Empire's borders. As long as you pay your taxes and acknowledge Her as the Lord of the Middle Air, of course.
  6. Chronological order? No. Narrative order? Often, yes, but not always. The Book of Heortling Mythology contains several different version of the Contest between Orlanth and Yelm, and in most of them (iirc), Ernalda is quite shocked at what Orlanth did - but then it's not clear what she thought would happen otherwise. These are from Heortling perspectives though. Esrolian perspectives are likely to present a different view - and indeed the story about Vingkot harassing Esrola and kicking away Harono (the Esrolian name for the King of the Sky) paints the Storm-takeover as Main Husband in a decidedly less heroic light. Which of these are closer to the "real" version (or if such a term is applicable, as we always return to) we can't really know. For whatever reason, the gods of the Compromise tend not to engage too much in rules-lawyering or munchkinnery. That seem more to be the purview of Illumination-centric deities/Compromise-breakers like Nysalor or Sedenya.
  7. I meant first sacrifice as in "first to officiate a sacrifice". He might not have been the first, but he's apparently acted as priest of sorts, which is interesting.
  8. This could be explained by having an interim between Umath splitting Earth and Sky and the waters invading. In that interim, swidden practice might've been useful. On could perhaps also argue that early-mid Golden Age Decapolians were less urban then their modern descendants would like to believe, but at this point we're reaching into ancient mythic time, so either can be true for all we know. But wasn't that marriage transferred to Alkor? Or am I thinking of Biselenslib? Well, not really, it's a completely different name formed from a completely different root - and in all cases it refers to Shargash in his role as the General of Heaven. It might very well be that Shadzor a different aspect/part/subdeity of Shargash, but at this point I'm equally likely to think that once Shargash returned from Hell, the Vingkotlings did not even recognize him as Jagrekriand. I'm a bit unsure of whether any Dara Happans ever use the term "Shadzor", or "Shadzoring". It's possible that the Hyalorings in Six Ages do use the latter. Am I going insane or is there some mention somewhere of Genert "inventing" theism in that he is credited with performing the first sacrifice or something? A Great Spirit practising theism isn't too farfetched, since we've got Vith, a Great God who practices mysticism (and is hardly the only one).
  9. These aren't silly suggestions at all. The current interpretation from Chaosium's side seems to be that Antirius, Kargzant, Lightfore, Elmal and Yelmalio are all variants of the "Cold Sun" archetype (Which overlaps to some degree with the Little Suns concept, though that is more wide-reaching as I understand it), that supplied light during the Storm Age, to a lesser degree during the Darkness, and the Dawn/Grey Age. Basically, insofar as any "Cold Sun" became the Full Sun, they all did, but while also retaining their Cold Sun exploits as a separate divine entity (ie. Antirius and Yelmalio are still around and can be worshipped) It's not impossible, of course, but I think the shattering of Yelm as a metaphor for the disintegration of the Empire is perhaps more apt, although not all of the Soul Parts neatly map onto any constituent parts of the Empire. Vrimak can be seen as represnting Rinliddi, but what part of the Empire is Bijiif meant to symbolize/represent? Or Berneel Arashagern? Or Kazkurtum? In addition to the portions as possible representations of the Empire's constituent parts, we have the problem that the portions of the Empire already have their respective "City Orbs", which are sometimes glossed as planets, and other times as sort of regional suns. Reladivus/Elmal for Nivorah, Shargash for Alkoth, Verithurusa/Lesilla for Mernita, etc., so it's a bit strange to double up on "regional patron deities". Perhaps a better interpretation of the shattering of Yelm is as a chart for the breakdown of the complete "Sky" rune. That works well for the Warmth, Sight and Bird portions, and even arguably Shadow (as its antithesis), but Beast? Shape? Ehhh, there is something that doesn't quite fit here too. And there is no mention of a "Light" Portion (a common variant of the Sky Rune), although Antirius (a Cold Sun) is identified as the "Sight" Portion, so maybe Light and Sight are synonymous in this case. Anyway, by mentioning this I have inevitable caused us to spin down the long and frustrating spiral of Little Suns discussions, for which I am deeply sorry. Speaking of the procession of Yelms: Is this a case of identifying what god holds the overlordship of the Sky, or to identify which god is currently the big yellow ball in the sky? Are they always synonymous?
  10. I suppose "Anglophone" was a bit too wide, I should perhaps have used "of a particular usage shaped by Medieval English semantics". Glorantha* does not really have royal privilege on hunting, nor does it have organized forestry**, and so post-Norman technical terminology on woodlands isn't hugely helpful in understanding the classification of vegetation and cartographical representation of said vegetation types. (*Nor does Middle-Earth, for that matter) (**outside of some possible cases in Esrola, heartland Peloria and Seshnela, maybe)
  11. Something that's interesting, and not touched on often enough is how the Dara Happans seem obsessed with presenting Yelm as a monogamous husband-pater familias, while we have a good deal of myths that either strongly imply, or outright state (albeit from Orlanthi sources) that he had a harem and many concubines, and may even have been properly married before being with Dendara. I think the whole "Yelm wouldn't be with [X] type of goddess" is a product of Dara Happan religious orthodoxy, and not really evident mythologically. Granted, that doesn't quite open the door for Dendara being a full-on Earth goddess, since ultimately this is a cult that needs to be accepted IN Dara Happan society, whatever kind of goddess she turns out to be. This is a massive aside, but I honestly wish Yelm had been married to Ourania or something. The Day Sky being married to the Night Sky would have had a nice symmetry to it, plus stars are nice and could have captured a basic "motherhood" theme if so desired. A sort of Gloranthan Elbereth Gilthoniel, if you will. Obviously, that's not what happened, so it's pointless to discuss, but it's been simmering in the back of my mind for a while, so I just wanted to put it out somewhere.
  12. I'd argue that the wetlands around Alkoth did not yet exist when he was a swidden god. Isn't his role in this myth that he fails and then Murharzarm has to step in with water management? Unless Shadzor is just a Theyelan mispronounciation of Shargash. Although I'd agree that whatever happened f**** him up. If we want to call that traumatized side "Shadzor", that's fine. Well, that's what the Orlanthi would say. I'm not so sure the Praxians see it like that, even if they arguably have assimilated some Orlanthi mythology. Again, as RW players and readers we are subconsciously influenced by the fact that the material we read - and which appears to us as the kind of "omniscient narrator"-style information that you'd find in a D&D Gods manual or something - is actually pseudo-in-universe texts, to a large degree based on God Learners research into divine/runic relations by way of studying mostly Orlanthi peoples. And that's not even taking into account how a lot of those God Learner texts have in turn been edited and "made safe" by Orlanthi scholars later. Pretty much the entire written catalogue of Glorantha, as best as I can tell, makes use of an in-universe perspective, even if it isn't explicitly meant as an in-universe text. It's similar to the anthropological adage that "you can't stand nowhere, you have to stand somewhere". A very valid criticism is that you can't expect a newcomer to Glorantha to understand that. It's entirely reasonable of them to assume that most of these texts are, essentially, fairly objective, straightforward texts a la D&D manuals, or even the Ainulindalë of Tolkien. I know that the writers at Chaosium have given this a serious amount of thought, and that there is currently some simplification/straightforwarding going on behind the scenes that we're not privy to. The most obvious, and most controversial one is how Elmal is just straight up identified with Yelmalio now, and done so with a pretty "objective" authoritative voice (similar to how Lodril, Turos and Veskarthan are identified to the point of the names often being used interchangeably by in-universe authors and fans alike) .Some people dislike that (including me, to a certain point), but it's undeniable that such moves will make the universe more welcoming to newcomers, and there is merit in that. You're learning quickly! XD
  13. There's been a lot that's been said, but going back a bit I want to say that I agree with the general sentiment that putting the Lunar superstrata on top of Solar cultures and putting them up against Storm cultures creates - from an aesthetic, marketing, and "optics" perspective - is a bit of a mess. I mean, when WarCraft was released, it had a nice picture of a green orc in pelts and horns pitted against a human in chainmail. Simple. Evocative. Clear. Now imagine if we had this whole thing with how the orcs were actually ruled by an ogre aristocracy that supplanted their symbols with stone-derived iconography and blood sacrifice, and actually the orc warchief was a reborn ogre chieftain whose soul was helt together by a necromantic ritual dedicated to Jim the VP of Sales and and and--- you get what I mean. Now, obviously Glorantha is not Warcraft - nor should it be because it's so much more - but there is something to be said for optical clarity. Glorantha's complexity, and it's tendency to follow the consequences of its own complexity into unexpected consequences is, to be very blunt, its greatest asset and it's greatest flaw, and I have nothing but sympathy for newcomers who feel like tearing their hair out while asking themselves why everything has to be so roundabout and convoluted.
  14. As I've said, I agree about the Orlanthicentrism, and hopefully future texts will expand upon some of this - though texts like Fortunate Succession, Glorious Reascent and Entekosiad does help paint a much more complex and interesting picture of the Pelorians (even if GRoY and FS also betray the chauvinistic imperialist attitudes of the Dara Happans which doesn't make them hugely likeable). I personally think we find "women's goddess" in almost all cultures. Sometimes it's an Earth Goddess, sometimes a Crop Goddess, sometimes it's a Horse Goddess (Gamara seems to have this role in the equestrian cultures), and some times it might be some other animal goddess (Eirithia, obvs., but also Entra/Entrula, etc.). We might have some other cases as well (maybe water or what have you, such as the Enslib godesses), not including the obvious Elder Races ones (ie. Kyger Litor and so on). I also think it's better to think of these godesses less as "the goddess of women", and more as "the goddesses of the things women do/the things that make women women". That's why we so often find a focus on how they contribute to their societies and have sacred activities, in addition to stuff like childbirth and so on. And I agree, so far Dendara has been lacking in this. @Eff, thanks for the Six Ages reference. Interesting. There's a direct quote from Six Ages (which is as close to Chaosium canon we're gonna get on this one, I think:) ""A priest from the <Rider> clan told me of an old tale he had recovered, of how Shargash the Red Demon Sun of Alkoth was once a benevolent god who brought the city fertility by burning away trees and weeds so they could plant their crops. But the storm gods made him crazy. <Interesting if true, but not very useful/This might be so, but it really won’t help us>." I personally interpret this as Shargash indeed being a god of slash-and-burn agriculture, which a) is useful before the coming of the great rivers, and b) fits with his now-destructive properties, but also c) ties into his underworld associations, as someone who uses death to bring life, and also reveals the hidden "good" seeds underneath the "bad" weeds. Metaphor for him being the crusher of rebels is tempting to add as well. If it's okay to associate Shargash with two celestial objects, then I'm all onboard with Shargash being the Sun in the Underworld, though that claim could also be held by Bijiif, Yelm's "Warmth" Portion and presumably the same entity that's called "Maggotliege" in Orlanthi stories. There's also the Egyptian way: where Shargash acts as the Sun's Guardian in the underworld, much like Set/Sutekh does for the Solar Bark. Then there's Shargash's association with Tolat, the god of war AND male fertility/virility, and who is considered the twin of the Blue Moon, which in Peloria is associated with Verithurusa, as @Eff mentions. We can arguably say that Pelorian Shargash shed the fertility and virility aspects over to his son(-aspect) Alkor, and then more purely cultivated a war-death ideal, but the connection to the Moon is a potent mystery, I think. Especially since he's credited with destroying old Mernita, I think. Hm... If this indeed is correct, then my tentative association of Dendara as a "domesticated" Dara Happan version of Ernalda might not be entirely off the mark, though I'm not sure if I like that. There are other, more interesting paths to follow, imho.
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