Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'mythology'.
Found 3 results
First of all, I would like to clarify that with this text I do not intend to end a debate as complex as that of the truth in Glorantha. I am rather a new person in the setting, attracted thanks to my fanaticism in the "deep lore" of Elder Scrolls that later became an obsession with religion and folklore. I just wish to give my vision about it, a vision perhaps ignorant, but open to corrections and criticism. I've been reading these pages for a while now in silence. I only uploaded a post once, and since then I have dedicated myself to read and feed myself with the excellent discussions that you guys have here. However, when I encounter certain topics related to certain eternally controversial issues (Yelmalio-Elmal for example) I cannot help feeling that we forget one of the main characteristics of ancient religion and mythology, a serious thing, because ancient religion and mythology is the base of glorantha. I honestly believe that it is impossible to define a god as a fixed entity with personality, and treat their myths as if they were some kind of historical book (or a thousand historical books) that together will give us a complete and accurate view of the events that happened in that Glorantha's timeless past. This is not something new: I have read it several times here and elsewhere regarding the setting, and yet, I think that many times we do not realize how deep this goes. No doubt there are primary, cosmic, magical forces that manifest themselves in Glorantha through the cult of the deities, and no doubt heroquesting gives access to powerful magic that defines the characteristics of entire cultures. However, I do not believe that this means or brings with it some kind of literal knowledge about the nature of a deity or its personal tastes: God in Glorantha does not wear masks, as if by removing them we could find a "more true" primal entity than all the other ones. On the contrary, God in Glorantha is a mask, and it needs to be a mask because it is impossible for the mortal to approach what lies beneath without that little help. Heroquesting, myths, magic, etc. All this tells us more about people and about religion than about God in himself, just like any other cult in our mundane real world. We cannot expect to separate or unite two extremely similar deities as if they were opaque reflections of a third person that we are not able to see clearly, since being one, two, three, four or five thousand is irrelevant: At the end of everything , it will be the community, the cults, the people, who mold this mask and use it as a vehicle to access that reality that the mind can neither define nor understand without help. It is the people who end up shaping the magic and I have no doubt that it is the people who ultimately "create" or shape the heroquest, putting together a narrative from a convergence between history, metaphysical knowledge, truth and metaphor. I don't see anything said as something negative, complicated or strange; quite the opposite. This is what makes Glorantha the best fantasy setting since it appeared so many decades ago. It is ultimately an environment that speaks not only of epics but of individuals, peoples, cultures, human spirits trying to get in touch with the indefinable reality that has given birth to the most destructive forces and also the most benevolent in our world . Honestly, the more we try to define a deity as if it were an individual (no, not even that: As if it were a cardboard cutout), the further we will be from what makes this setting great. Again, this is just an opinion and I am still quite new in all this. I apologize if I seem arrogant or ignorant. I just wanted to get this off my chest, hahahaha. Sorry for a grammar or spelling mistake, I am not the best with English and I have to help myself with the translator when writing.
The Guide tells us For most of her human inhabitants, Glorantha is a simple and unsophisticated world. In Earthly terms, most of mankind is still at a Neolithic or Bronze Age stage of civilization (mixed agriculture, basic tools, and simple theocratic governments). And from many perspectives, Gloranthan technologies and cultures roughly approximate terrestrial Bronze and early Iron Age cultures. There are, however, significant areas in which human cultures are more sophisticated than terrestrial Bronze Age cultures: ocean going ships, large centralized states etc. so that it isn't uncommon for newcomers to question this comparison. However, I do wonder if when Glorantha is termed Bronze Age, this isn't just a technological designation, but a mythological one. Mr. Stafford would be familiar with Hesiod's Works And Days where human mythological history is given as: ll. 109-120) First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Cronos when he was reigning in heaven. (ll. 121-139) But after earth had covered this generation -- they are called pure spirits dwelling on the earth, and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men; for they roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist and keep watch on judgements and cruel deeds, givers of wealth; for this royal right also they received; -- then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far. (ll. 140-155) But when earth had covered this generation also -- they are called blessed spirits of the underworld by men, and, though they are of second order, yet honour attends them also -- Zeus the Father made a third generation of mortal men, a brazen race, sprung from ash-trees; and it was in no way equal to the silver age, but was terrible and strong. They loved the lamentable works of Ares and deeds of violence; they ate no bread, but were hard of heart like adamant, fearful men. Great was their strength and unconquerable the arms which grew from their shoulders on their strong limbs. (ll. 156-169b) But when earth had covered this generation also, Zeus the son of Cronos made yet another, the fourth, upon the fruitful earth, which was nobler and more righteous, a god-like race of hero-men who are called demi-gods, the race before our own, throughout the boundless earth. This is followed by Hesiod's own age, the Iron Age. There's a gradual diminishing of mortal powers, from the Age of Gold, the Age of Silver, to the Age of Bronze and the (unnamed) age of heroes, until the mundane age of iron. With the onset of the Hero Wars, Glorantha is entering its own age of heroes...
So, after the roaring success of my Earth People thread (the responses to which I'm still very thankful for), I've decided to look into another one of the wider areas I've been thinking about: the descendants of Umath and their respective followers. For simplicity's sake, I've lumped them together as "Para-Orlanthi", but just "Storm peoples" work as well. To start off, Umath, the Primal Storm was begat by a union between Sky and Earth, and claimed a realm for himself, the Middle Air, with violence. He was later killed or maimed and chained, essentially leaving him out of the rest of Gloranthan mythology. Not to dwell on basic mythology here, just sort of setting up the threads I want to follow. Before he was brought down, he seems to have begot several descendants with various entities, most famously Orlanth with Kero Fin. He and his associated deities, in conjunction with allied Earth deities, would give rise to the Orlanthi as we know them today. However, this wasn't always the situation, and this is sort of what I'm looking into. Below I'm going to go through some of the stories and events I know about. They are not meant to be exhaustive (but feel free to add to it and help enlighten me/the question), but sort of put some things into perspective. I'm going to keep in mind that all of them have a source, and few can be seen as objectively true or even particularly reliable, but I don't have the patience to mention that after every story, so I'm just putting up this disclaimer. To start off, did Umath himself ever gather about him followers beyond the scope of maybe a band of heroes, ie. something that could feasibly be called a "people", whether clan or tribe? In short, was there were a "Primal Storm"-people? For his descendants, I'm aware that Vadrus had his "Vadrudings", or "Hurt Everything Clan", which besides being featured in (Theyalan) Orlanthi mythology, are also present in Six Ages to a small extent, and seem to be involved in the creation of either the Danmalstani in general or the Waertagi specifically through Aerlit. I'm also aware that Vadrus had some run-ins with draconic entities, and may have released a Heler-equivalent of some kind (not sure how this tale relates to the near-identical take featuring Orlanth). Any information about how the Vadrudings were organized or who they were would be excellent. I'd inquire about their female members as well, however everything I know about them seem to indicate that many of them were probably abducted and held against their will. Given the Piscoi's origin from raped Niiads, and the emphasis on Aerlit's exceptionality in seeking consent, it seems likely to me that the Vadrudings stood for some of, if not all, of the Piscoi storm ancestry. The Dara Happans seem to have included him as one of two prime deities of the group they labelled the "Erlandings" (with Erlandus being Orlanth), although whether these constitute a separate storm people, or were just one of several migrations I have no idea. In Heortling myths, he is active seemingly even before Orlanth (such as in the myth of the First Ring), perhaps indicating he is an older brother (that story is pretty out there in general though, so who knows). We're also told Vadrus fathered a daughter called Molanni, the goddess of Still Air. To me, this seemed like a way for the Orlanthi to account for Entekos, the goddess of "Good Air", who is an air deity of considerable age and notability in Pelanda and later, Peloria as a whole, but is seemingly entirely absent in the actual Air peoples' stories. This was strengthened by her being mentioned as a traitor. However, since she is mentioned by name in the Wedding Contest for Yelm, and contrasted with Dendara (the other possible Entekos-mask/equivalent) I'm not sure how plausible that is. I'm more tempted to see Entekos as a direct daughter of Umath now, but that's pure speculation on my part. In the Gods War, Vadrus was killed by Chaos, and essentially rendered null and void, beyond reach, thus presumably also ending the Vadrudings as a people unified under his rule, if they could ever be said to have been thus. However, before this, Vadrus was, after an attack on Barntar, defeated by Orlanth, and we're told that Valind was given his father's properties. That's the Glacier of course, which seems to me to imply that Vadrus may have already personified winter winds, however this is not necessarily true, it may have been a novel project started by Valind after his father's disgrace. Curiously, I thought Himile might've been Valind's mother, but Himile is stated as a male, and merely on "good terms" with the god of cold. We know Ice trolls inhabit the glacier, but I assume some kind of semi-demigod people of Storm descent inhabit it as well. Do have any canon mentioned of anything along the lines of "Valindings"? Valind's son, Ygg, is the first case were I can find a clearly stated, presently-extant people of Vadrudi descent. The Yggites reside on the Ygg islands, and are mostly famous for their Wolf Pirates. Most fan interpretations of them I've seen seem to see them as a more brutal and violent version of Heortlings, essentially. To me, it would be interesting to see how their interpretation of mythological events differ. Heortlings see Vadrus as an overly violent bully, Valind as a coward, and Ygg as a nuisance, it seems. Conversely, I could for example see the Yggites viewing Vadrus' death as a courageous sacrifice to protect his kin (or refusing to step down from a challenge, no matter the odds), as opposed to the Heortling view that he was just trying to get Wakboth's power. The Yggites are also a great deal more maritime, compared to their mostly landlocked Orlanthi cousins, as befits the people of the Sea Storm. The wiki seems to use "Vadrudi" as a collective term for all Storm-worshipping people of Fronela (including the Orlanthi Jonatelans), but I'm not sure if that's a very accurate and descriptive usage. Personally I'd limit it to whichever culture can seem to be traced back to, or continue to practice, Vadrus-derived social forms or beliefs, such as, presumably, the Yggites. We also have other children of Vadrus, such as Iphanna and Gagarth, but I've never seen any actual peoples being associated with them, so I will pass by them in silence and leave any inferences about hypothetical mist-people or the Wild Hunt to others. Now, moving on to another son of Umath (EDIT: he seems to only sometimes be ascribed a son of Umath, I must admit I just assumed it. Still, he's a Storm deity, so I'll leave him here.), I'm looking at Ragnaglar. He is most known to me, prior to creating the Unholy Trio, through the Initiation story where it is heavily implied that he is driven mad in the Sex Pit, and in the Descent from the Mountain, where he is accompanied by the Great Goat. I'm not sure if it is Ragnaglar himself who is totemic to the goats, or if the Great Goat is Thed, much like the Great Cow is essentially Uralda , the totemic entity/beast mother of cattle - however it's clear that goats are taboo for the Orlanthi due to their association with him, and that the Broos, who by default are goat-like, are his "children" in some sense. From what I gather, the new Bestiary has retconned their origin from the "Primal Rape" of Thed to a previously existing race of goatmen who followed their ancestor deities, Ragnaglar, Thed and their "adopted" mother Mallia into Chaos-worship. In that sense, I suppose that if there ever was a people we could call the "Ragnaglarings", it would be the Broos. I don't have too much else to say about that, really, aside from that I wonder if this means some Broos can reconnect with some Storm-heritage, or if it's been burnt away by Chaos. Would make for a pretty out-there Heroquest for an enlightened Broo or something (or even leading to Old Wind-style enlightenment, as opposed to Lunar/Nysalorean style)(Addendum: Aside from the Storm association, his goat-association is an interesting parallel to Urox, both being animal-associated, and having a massive duel on either side of the line of Chaos worship.) I'm going to pass Humakt by, since it seems he explicitly had no children or amassed no conventional clan or people, aside from, allegorically at least, Arkat (in his Humakti aspect) within Time. He seems to be a pretty orthodox and integrated aspect of the Orlanthi proper. I'm tempted to say the same for Urox, but throughout the time I've been here, people have mentioned the presence of several Storm people invasions across the world, from the Erlandings, Ram People and Andam horde in Peloria, to the Desero Horse, worshipping the storm god Baraku who tried to cross the Fense in Pamaltela, and who knows elsewhere. Some have raised the possibility that these were Uroxi, or Storm people associated especially with him. I'm also tempted to think of the currently-isolated people of Charg. More importantly, it seems to me, is Urox, or Storm Bull's role as a primal ancestor of the Praxians. Now, the Praxians aren't really Storm People (although they acknowledge various different roles for storms in Prax and the Wastelands), but they are Waha's people, and Waha is Storm Bull/Urox's son, unless this is a later syncretization and innovation. Importantly though, Urox isn't just the ancestor of the humans there, but also the herd animals. There seems to be a reoccurring theme of Horned Storm-patriarchs, such as with the ordeeds of the Andam Horde (with Varnaval the Shepherd King as their "horned patriarch", possibly), Urox of Prax and all its myriad herd beasts, and possibly even Ragnaglar and goats/broos. Heck, with the usage of the term "Rams" from a DH perspective and in Six Ages for Storm people in general and Vingkotlings in particular, and Orlanth's frequent depiction with coiled ram horns, as well as one of his sons, Voriof, being depicted as a literal ram, this seems to be a trend continued across the board. It also ties into the idea that mammals were a new introduction to a previously reptilian and avian surface world. Not sure what the many mammalian Hsunchen would say to that, but that's a matter for another time. Kolat is another of Umath's sons, the Spirit Father. The only "people" I've seen overly associated with him, aside from non-hereditary shamans who are otherwise a part of mainstream Orlanthi society are the Wind Children. Their ancestry eludes me, as they are also noted to worship Orlanth himself. Their wings make me think of Sky-descent as well, but I'm wary of taking such things too literally. Either way, it would be cool to see some connection there. From what I understand, Kolatings aren't celibate, but I could be wrong. I'm also not sure if Kolat's spirits can be seen as his "descendants" or "people" in any meaningful way. So, that's about it, as far as I've read and seen so far, and any thoughts about this is very welcome. Anyone I've neglected? Other cultures perspective on Storm peoples? I've not gone into mainstream Orlanthi (Theyalan, Heortling, Talastaring, Alakoring, etc.) pantheons or peoples, since that would be like ten times what I've written already.