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Yelm in Umathela/Pamaltela

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I've been playing on Umathela a bit (10 game sessions so far...). And suddently, after meeting Sedalpists, Orlanthi and Aldryami, I wonrderd : Where are the Yelmists? Yelm is a pretty important God. And someone, somewhere should worship him. But who? I don't remember in the Guide having see any reference of Yelm in the South.

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Under the name Varama, he's worshipped by the Doraddi and Fonritians. Fonrit was actually viewed as solar worshippers by the God Learners thanks to Varama's importance (as the slave of Ompalam), and they introduced the name Ehilm there, and it's still used as an alternate name in the third age.

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1 hour ago, Manu said:

Really? Yelmalio, but Yelm?

RQG Bestiary p.27, Associated Cults

Quote

Yelm:  Provides  Sunripen  to  Shamans  of  Aldrya and Gardeners.

 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

RQG Bestiary p.27, Associated Cults

 

OK, but it is not a main cult. No great temple of Yelm in the Forest

 

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12 minutes ago, Manu said:

OK, but it is not a main cult. No great temple of Yelm in the Forest

No Aldryami great temples at all, unless you count the Great Trees.

Yelm is obviously an important god to the Aldryami, as will be Keraun, the rain-bringer, and the deities of the land (Pamalt, Vrala, Enklosa, Ernalda/Faranor). The Umathelan tribes might be encouraged to worship both on behalf of the forest overlords, without necessarily initiating in significant numbers.

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The Doraddi say that the current Sun [Varama] fell because of pride, for he thought that he could live without the help of everyone else in the world. He lost his powers and is now a slave, a bright orb of fire chained to an unyielding path, trapped by duty to his task. The Doraddi can always depend on him, because he has no choice. 

During the Artmali Period, Varama-by-another-name acted out that pride and fell. Despite the obvious assumptions, this is not Kendamalar, but a different, lesser sun god who inherited his role after his murder.

He was likely held prisoner by Vovisibor. Note that the five evil shamans were only able to kill a God due to his own wrong actions, which weakened him and made him vulnerable to their powers.

This is from Mythologies and so is ... well it's half-lore, half-speculation, both technically set in concrete because Arkat wrote it. It's a little bit about Yelm - the header actually says "Varama (i.e. Yelm)". Note it underlines the idea of Yelm as a title, not a specific deity, for those of us who are Arkati shamans (or Nysalorean Truth and Journeyers, or Jernotean gender-shifters).

So this is how you worship Yelm in a Chaos-run Malkioni nightmare slave society

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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I just find it strange that one would assume that the Aldryami would worship the Cold Sun of Winter and not the Life-Giving Hot/Full Sun. Sure, Yelmalio did the plant-folk a solid when he kept the sleeping forests safe during the Darkness alongside High King Elf and the waking Green Elves - but ultimately it's the Full Sun (ie. Yelm and his cognates) who makes plants blossom and grow, as a constitutent part of Grower.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I just find it strange that one would assume that the Aldryami would worship the Cold Sun of Winter and not the Life-Giving Hot/Full Sun. Sure, Yelmalio did the plant-folk a solid when he kept the sleeping forests safe during the Darkness alongside High King Elf and the waking Green Elves - but ultimately it's the Full Sun (ie. Yelm and his cognates) who makes plants blossom and grow, as a constitutent part of Grower.

Well Halamalao is identified with Yelmalio by aldryami - presumably something about Him existing before Yelm and therefore not being the Sun. I don't think He's identified with the planet Lightfore, but in any case that identification is pre-existing.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

 but ultimately it's the Full Sun (ie. Yelm and his cognates) who makes plants blossom and grow, as a constitutent part of Grower.

I wonder if that isn't really the case. In Glorantha, it may well be just the Light that matters for (plant) fertility, and not the warmth. Fire (in the guise of Oakfed) is after all a pretty major enemy of the forests. If that is the case, then light without heat (Yelmalio) would be exactly the sort of god elves would appreciate.

That said, I wonder if the elves have a god or named spirit for the smaller* fires that clear out underbrush/etc without harming trees. Or is such worship limited to isolate cults of Eucalyptus-Elf heretics? 

* smaller than Oakfed-fires, but still quite terrifying for anything smaller than an established tree.

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12 minutes ago, boztakang said:

I wonder if that isn't really the case. In Glorantha, it may well be just the Light that matters for (plant) fertility, and not the warmth. Fire (in the guise of Oakfed) is after all a pretty major enemy of the forests. If that is the case, then light without heat (Yelmalio) would be exactly the sort of god elves would appreciate.

The sudden emergence of Brown Elves is one of the weirdest things to happen in Glorantha.

 

12 minutes ago, boztakang said:

That said, I wonder if the elves have a god or named spirit for the smaller* fires that clear out underbrush/etc without harming trees. Or is such worship limited to isolate cults of Eucalyptus-Elf heretics? 

* smaller than Oakfed-fires, but still quite terrifying for anything smaller than an established tree.

Funny that especially you should say that, with the spirit of the Torch in the Redwood of Dagori Inkarth preserving just that kind of fire...

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Well Halamalao is identified with Yelmalio by aldryami 

Yes, when speaking with Yelmalio-worshipping neighbors, it seems.

One wonders what an Aldryami would tell a Harono-worshipping Esrolian, or Ehilm-worshipping Ralian or whatnot.

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53 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Yes, when speaking with Yelmalio-worshipping neighbors, it seems.

In older publications He specifically has the Light Rune.

In new publications He perhaps would be seen as one of the many Suns rectified by Nysalor's birth at Sunstop.

I guess we won't know until @Jeff prints his little books* 📚 if he is akin to Yelmalio or Yelm, unless he hints here because he's a nice man and it's kind of a minor thing to hint and also I'm a nudzić (sorry I don't know how to spell that in English, "noodge", it's Yiddish from Polish).

*I think we all know they are little neither in size or importance

53 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Harono

Wait, is Harono the Sun god in Esrolia? I'd missed that. (There's so much to know!)

1 hour ago, boztakang said:

Eucalyptus-Elf heretics

I presume these are Vronkali of Jrustela, Western Genertela, and parts of Pamaltela?

A lot of aldryami probably worship the lowfires; fire is crucial to healthy ecosystems.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman

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13 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Wait, is Harono the Sun god in Esrolia? I'd missed that. (There's so much to know!)

Harono is a sun emperor that turned up in Esrolia - Land of 10,000 Goddesses as a former ruler overcome by Storm. It isn't exactly clear whether he still receives any kind of worship, and how much what was known about him was subsumed in the shared Yelm cult under the Bright Empire.

People often complain about the God Learners and their syncretic ways, but the Bright Empire took up where the First Council had left and sought and found commonalities between the ancient stories and myths of the various people it took under its umbrella, and had them share in similar myths.

When it is stated that Peloria is virgin territory to God Learner influence, that is true for the God Learners proper. It is not true for the Theyalan cults and culture that was merged with the emerging sedentary Dara Happan one (after they had gotten rid off the horse warlords that had ruled them for four centuries (including some pre-Dawn Grey Age) at the Battle of Argentium Thri'ile.

The Esrolian sky king Harono came to Nochet from Above in his desire to have a certain Lady Drero (of no other story?) for his queen, and sent warriors to bring her (without asking for consent or anything, it appears from the story.  His first delegation is defeated by the resident war gods, but then he comes with the force of his people and overcomes their resistance. However, he is warded off from the city by an invisible barrier. In recognition of that magic, he just claims to be protector of the lands outside of the city.

The Esrolians blame Kodig (who else?) to have brought in Orlanth to conquer the land and destroy the city after he had slain Harono in the battle for the land and the city. Ernalda intercedes, with the Taming of the Storm story unfolding.

 

In Harmast's time, the city had a temple to Harono,, and he was recognized as the god of the Sun Disk that had been returned to the Sky by Ernalda (through her "Sleep of feigned Death" and instigation of the Ritual of the Net).

That was half a century into the reign of the Bright Empire... so maybe my claims for unification by the Bright Empire were a bit overstated.

The God Learners did learn about Pelorian Yelm from the Pure Horse Folk of Prax, allies of theirs in the capture of the Giant Cradles.

13 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I presume these are Vronkali of Jrustela, Western Genertela, and parts of Pamaltela?

Eucalyptus is a an evergreen broad-leaf tree (family), which would make it a yellow elf kind of tree. Vronkali are really about coniferes.

 

13 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

A lot of aldryami probably worship the lowfires; fire is crucial to healthy ecosystems.

I am not so sure about that. The stone age forest of mesolithic Europe was product of cultivation by controlled application of fire, much like the Australian outback was shaped by aboriginal fire-farming.

There are plenty of healthy ecosystems which make do without this human interference with their density of growth. The ecosystems (with the same starting conditions) are quite different from what human hunter-gatherers made them. Undergrowth management probably was in the hand of megafauna rather than fire-using humans.

The European forest was actually an invasive group of species from the south replacing the previous tundra, grass steppe, and taiga. It isn't quite clear whether it had a chance to invade without human involvement.

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36 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The European forest was actually an invasive group of species from the south replacing the previous tundra, grass steppe, and taiga. It isn't quite clear whether it had a chance to invade without human involvement.

I mean, fires start naturally. North America was shaped by human hands the same way (there's a reason New England was lovely farmland when the Pilgrims arrived - it's 85% forest now!), but we also have species predating humanity's existence on the Earth here in North America that require forest fires to go to seed. That's basically how pine cones work in general as well, but we have some species here that require fires that burn everything to the ground. Lightning and dry weather alone are enough.

tl;dr fires are also natural and show up even before humans, although certainly humans vigorously and enthusiastically torched the underbrush once they figured it out roundabout the time they started to be humans (the ash piles appear suddenly like once every seven years instead of at irregular time periods).

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Joerg pretty much summarized what we know about Harono, but I thought I'd add that our main source of Harono - Esrolia: Land of the 10k Goddesses - also lists several instances of Elmal being listed as the god of the sun.

In one myth, as Ernalda starts the hearthfire next to her dead (but still speaking) mother Asrelia in a (supposedly) vain attempt to heat her, Veskarthan takes over fire-keeping duties, and then Elmal and his daughter (my assumption is that she's Theya and/or Voria) leave the tent together - ie. the Dawn of Time.

Elmal is also noted as having a section devoted to him at Ezel (the most sacred Earth Temple complex/city in Esrolia) - he is stated to be one of the "Beloved", a title that can apply to a number of male gods who are seen as lovers/protectors/companions of the Earth Goddess (not entirely clear whether this is Imarja, Esrola, Ernalda or whoever... might not even matter). (Addendum: women use the title for certain male gods, men use it for certain goddesses). This section is written in such a way that it comes off as being "contemporary" (ie. third age at some point), as no historical context is given, it's merely a tour of the facility.

He is also referenced in the section on the temple of the Noble Brothers, ie. the group of male gods who are seen as good boys who will protect the Goddess and Her people. One of the Noble Brothers is called Kestinelmal, which is explained as "Son of Elmal", and his particular type of warriors is explained as being horsemen. This is explicitly from the First Age.

In a later story, the Queen of Nochet lures Sun Dome Templars into what they believe will be a night of love-making, only to murder them, at the behest of the Grandmothers. The text then goes on to state the Grandmothers do not want Tharkantus (explicitly stated to be the Second Age name of Yelmalio) in Esrolia, as Elma is the "rightful holder of the Sun Power", and the text goes on to state that the Grandmothers have frequently backed "[Elmal's] warriors' claim" against "foreign interlopers", making it sound theological rather than military, although as mentioned above, it's a Second Age story.

So yeah... Complicated as usual, those suns. As you might be able to tell, I have just recently read Esrolia. :lol:

(Sorry for derailing the thread, feel free to cut off or just move back to the main topic.)

EDIT: Added "Elmal is" to  "the 'rightful holder of the Sun Power'", the previous phrasing made it sound like Tharkantus/Yelmalio was the rightful one, which is definitely not correct. My bad.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Eucalyptus is a an evergreen broad-leaf tree (family), which would make it a yellow elf kind of tree. Vronkali are really about coniferes.

That weird idea that the only non-deciduous trees are either conifers or tropical is one of the most long term irritating things about Glorantha to me. 

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3 hours ago, davecake said:

That weird idea that the only non-deciduous trees are either conifers or tropical is one of the most long term irritating things about Glorantha to me. 

The idea that yellow elves are tropical is what I don't really see. But then the dense spruce forest of Winterwood right next to the Glacier is something that doesn't rhyme with my experience of life next to a permanent Glacier, either (e.g. the Svartisen right on the arctic circle, with one branch reaching down almost all the way to the sea into Glomfjord).

Yellow elves are aligned to non-deciduous broadleaf trees, brown elves to deciduous broadleaf trees. Green elves aren't necessarily tied to cold climate, and (at least from my experience) are likely to cohabit with dwarf birch elves (or runners) along the cold fringes of the Glacier.

Spruce, fir or pine forests are different in character from broadleaf forests. Pine (and cypress) are the most likely to mingle with broadleaf trees. Yew is another borderline case, as is redwood, but both are clearly coniferous, and at least the Redwood in Prax and Umathela are associated with green elves.

The most problematic coniferous tree is the larch, which is also deciduous. It might have hibernating green elves, or none at all.

Vice versa there are a couple of deciduous trees which cohabitate with pine - birch and rowan in the subarctic and moderate regions.

Large evergreen broadleaf bushes like rhododendron or laurel are yellow elf rather than either green or brown elf in nature, but they rarely grow to forest size with sufficiently high individual trees.

There are Brown Elf type trees (like certain oaks) that aren't deciduous. That doesn't make them green elf trees, nor any elves associated with these green elves. Maybe insomniac brown elves...

One way to test this is the question whether a tree has female elves associated with it. If so, it is not a yellow elf tree.

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Thankfully, we have the option of chalking this up to the God Learners not really understanding their botany and preferring simpler, totemic schemata for their precious theories over the more chaotic, mixed and decidedly complex reality of elvenkind.

That's my stance, at least.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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Joerg, the problem would be a lot more obvious if you (and Greg) looked south of the equator, to see all manner of temperate, non-deciduous, forests all over the place. 

11 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Thankfully, we have the option of chalking this up to the God Learners not really understanding their botany and preferring simpler, totemic schemata for their precious theories over the more chaotic, mixed and decidedly complex reality of elvenkind.

My stance too. Some day I’d like to do a grand retcon of the Aldryami, explaining how their entire elf classification scheme is nonsense the Aldryami have carefully chosen not to ever correct. It requires more biology than I have to do well. 

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3 hours ago, davecake said:

Joerg, the problem would be a lot more obvious if you (and Greg) looked south of the equator, to see all manner of temperate, non-deciduous, forests all over the place. 

Only if that environment was what Glorantha was modeled after. As a European, I often don't "get" some of the Gloranthan ecology at first glance, either.

I still say that these non-deciduous temperate broadleaf trees (if encountered on Glorantha - possibly on the East Isles?) are tied to yellow elf populations that toughed it out, rather than making them tied to green elves. Hence, no females, dryad mothers only, but probably elf bows rather than blowpipes.

 

3 hours ago, davecake said:

My stance too. Some day I’d like to do a grand retcon of the Aldryami, explaining how their entire elf classification scheme is nonsense the Aldryami have carefully chosen not to ever correct. It requires more biology than I have to do well. 

Then let's ask Sandy.

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