Jump to content
Nevermet

Feedback on my Spol writeup?

Recommended Posts

Hi!

 

So, I'm about to play in an online game of RQH, where the pitch quickly states is a bunch of Adventurers from Carmania coming down to Dragon Pass.

 

I decided to play a Spolite... and then realized I didn't know that much about Spolites other than "Scary Darkness People."  So, primarily using the Entekosiad and Guide to Glorantha, I tried to get a handle on what the Spolite Religion entailed.

 

I wrote up my version of Spolitism here, and I would love feedback or discussion.  I may not be right, but I can explain my reasoning and how it relates to published materials in most cases.  I tried to generally stay "inside" published setting information and not violate it too much.  The biggest "bending" of canon I've done is equate Ganestoro with Lodril.

 

I've also in general fallen in love with Pelanda and Carmania, so I suspect I will be interested in that corner of Glorantha more moving forward.  Thanks!

Edited by Nevermet
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

also in general fallen in love with Pelanda and Carmania,

One of my new best friends!

This version looks complex and exciting for your game. I really like the aldryami sacrificial origin, which will tell us a lot more than we currently know about early interactions with the forest that I think ends up as Rist. 

My "hungry ones" are a now-extinct digijelm occupation so I wonder if there's room for earlier trollish influences on their Darkness reactivated in the early Second Age. Maybe it was mediated through the elves so you'd get a Light / Grower / Summer complex and a Dark / Eater / Winter side. In your game of course the elves would be the ones who defined the relationship and warned the people against Daak and company. But when the elves started failing, Spol embraced the dark.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

One of my new best friends!

This version looks complex and exciting for your game. I really like the aldryami sacrificial origin, which will tell us a lot more than we currently know about early interactions with the forest that I think ends up as Rist. 

My "hungry ones" are a now-extinct digijelm occupation so I wonder if there's room for earlier trollish influences on their Darkness reactivated in the early Second Age. Maybe it was mediated through the elves so you'd get a Light / Grower / Summer complex and a Dark / Eater / Winter side. In your game of course the elves would be the ones who defined the relationship and warned the people against Daak and company. But when the elves started failing, Spol embraced the dark.

Greetings, new friend! :D

The Aldryami come in because of two things: First, the city of Karresh (1) has had an Elven Garden since before the Dawn, (2) It has a pyramid to Derdromus the Pelandan Monster Man, and (3) it is the hometown of a Spolite Emperor who also ruled Dara Happa.  Additionally, we know that ELves were VERY active in Pelanda early on: The maps in The Fortunate Succession  show Pelanda as heavily reforested, and the Entekosiad documents Elves destroying at least one Pelandan city (Othens) during the Dawn Age.  Meanwhile, the Uz were nowhere near Spol until Arkat helped them settle in the Yolps.  The Spolites started going bad when they tried to graft Uz mythology in, and got a bit... ambitious.

 

IMG, During the Bleak Times, human sacrifice created a sort of symbiosis between human & Aldryami communities: humans died in ways that kept plants alive without a sun, and the humans could then eat some of the harvest, using moon-sickles.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

There are rumors that the Vampire Legion is based in or near Spol.

Oh, that sounds fun!

Do you have a cite for that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

One of my new best friends!

This version looks complex and exciting for your game. I really like the aldryami sacrificial origin, which will tell us a lot more than we currently know about early interactions with the forest that I think ends up as Rist. 

My "hungry ones" are a now-extinct digijelm occupation so I wonder if there's room for earlier trollish influences on their Darkness reactivated in the early Second Age. Maybe it was mediated through the elves so you'd get a Light / Grower / Summer complex and a Dark / Eater / Winter side. In your game of course the elves would be the ones who defined the relationship and warned the people against Daak and company. But when the elves started failing, Spol embraced the dark.

I'm sorry - I never actually responded to your thought:

 

The Uz of the Yolp Mountains would definitely have a lot of interaction with Spol.  This is where The Ebon City would come from, and Mount Gestinus would likely be a shared holy site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nevermet said:

Do you have a cite for that?

A not yet published document by Jeff, though am pretty certain I've seen the reference elsewhere.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool.

 

I mean, it fits.  The Spolites are rather obsessed with the underworld, and there are a lot of hints that they have experience with the undead, so I won't be terribly surprised if there are vampires running around.  EDIT: the only question is whether the Legion is in Zern, Dezarpovo, or near Natha's Well.

Edited by Nevermet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Nevermet said:

Oh, that sounds fun!

Do you have a cite for that?

Well, what we know is that there's rumours of the Lunars having a regiment of vampires training in Peloria's mountains. (GtG 726)

We also know that Carmania uncommonly suffers outbreaks of vampires. (GtG 322)

It would make sense if the Brass Mountains were where the vampire regiment was located.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed that completely!

 

Well, IMG Spolitism strived to transcend the binary between life & death and oppose the sun, so I can see how such a tradition could have either developed from Vampires or became fertile ground for them after the Dawn.

 

I'm inclined to think they were a post-Dawn addition, but I could see it being argued otherwise, since Hariij was known as The Hungry Ones, Yargan was a cannibal god, and Natha was a drinker of blood.  In general, I think that Spolitism was very much a post-Dawn institution that drew from pre-dawn magics but was not a mere continuation of a previous tradition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

There are rumors that the Vampire Legion is based in or near Spol.

Particularly notable evidence for this rumour is that one of the Uncommon Regional Activities for Carmania in the Guide is 

Quote

Vampire outbreak: all witnesses and infected are imprisoned by imperial authorities.

and, of course, if it is going to be anywhere in Carmania, Spol seems to the obvious candidate. 

7 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

In general, I think that Spolitism was very much a post-Dawn institution that drew from pre-dawn magics but was not a mere continuation of a previous tradition.

I agree - the ancient traditions of Natha, etc are the roots on which Spolitism draws, but it didn't become a real tradition that combines it all together until post-Dawn. Spolitism also really becomes invigorated by Umbarism as a Darkness oriented variant of Illumination in the late First Age onwards. 

Generally, I think of vampirism as a type of Chaos that began in the West and is mostly sorcerous, though the Nontraya myths of Ernalda might argue otherwise, and I tend to think it either began with Umbarism or came from the interaction of Carmanian Spolitism with the sorcerous tradition brought by Syranthir. But a pre-Time origin with YarGan is also pretty plausible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, davecake said:

I agree - the ancient traditions of Natha, etc are the roots on which Spolitism draws, but it didn't become a real tradition that combines it all together until post-Dawn. Spolitism also really becomes invigorated by Umbarism as a Darkness oriented variant of Illumination in the late First Age onwards. 

Generally, I think of vampirism as a type of Chaos that began in the West and is mostly sorcerous, though the Nontraya myths of Ernalda might argue otherwise, and I tend to think it either began with Umbarism or came from the interaction of Carmanian Spolitism with the sorcerous tradition brought by Syranthir. But a pre-Time origin with YarGan is also pretty plausible. 

One thing I haven't decided on how and when illumination entered Spolitism.  I can imagine several answers:

  1. It is indigenous, coming from Vogestes "The Inspired One," Gerra (a partial source of Lunar illuminating practices), Uleria (who IIRC is illuminated), or Jernotius.
    1. (BTW, I'm amused that within Pelandan myth, one could see is a balance between 2 balancers: Jernotius vs. Natha.)
  2. It is from the Arkati Uz of Yolp
    1. Xiola Umbar is not named in the Entekodiad.  I take this to mean that Xiola Umbar is equated with a goddess previously known in Spol. (My current guess is Azerlo)
  3. It is repurposed from Nysalor

Of course, these are not mutually exclusive. IMG, a lot of Bleak Period traditions were lost when Lendarsh established hegemony.  These were then rediscovered and reconstructed through interactions with spirits, heroquesting, the Uz, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

One thing I haven't decided on how and when illumination entered Spolitism.  I can imagine several answers:

  1. It is indigenous, coming from Vogestes "The Inspired One," Gerra (a partial source of Lunar illuminating practices), Uleria (who IIRC is illuminated), or Jernotius.
    1. (BTW, I'm amused that within Pelandan myth, one could see is a balance between 2 balancers: Jernotius vs. Natha.)
  2. It is from the Arkati Uz of Yolp
    1. Xiola Umbar is not named in the Entekodiad.  I take this to mean that Xiola Umbar is equated with a goddess previously known in Spol. (My current guess is Azerlo)
  3. It is repurposed from Nysalor

Of course, these are not mutually exclusive. IMG, a lot of Bleak Period traditions were lost when Lendarsh established hegemony.  These were then rediscovered and reconstructed through interactions with spirits, heroquesting, the Uz, etc.

I'd vote Jernotix, as the kids today write it, who is oddly parallel to Natha's bifurcated form. Have Natha 'fulfil' the Jernotian Way when she took her seat on Mount Jernotius. Then it became the Nathan Way with its new bloody flower of truth.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the names used, but I think a substantial part of modern Spolitism is straight out Darkness worship - Xentha (named by the Pelorians Netta)  and Subere. Both of these cults have relatively limited Rune magic but a powerful range of cult spirits to draw on, and the way they cults are structured (Subere only allows non-Darkness races like humans to initiate if they are already initiates of another Darkness cult) makes them naturally function like an Inner and Outer cult, first you initiate into the surface Darkness, then the deeper Darkness. That's modern Spolitism though - the Entekosiad makes no mention of deities of Darkness as such, though that doesn't mean proto-Spolitism didn't exist, just Valare didn't investigate it. 

(I know Netta is associated with Kygor Litor on the Gods Wall, but Plentionius is wrong about many things - Gods Wall IV-5 is Kygor Litor, but Plentonius gets the name wrong)

Also, a modern (definitely Carmanian, rather than Pelandan) Darkness based sorcery tradition, focussed on summoning underworld beings, including necromancy. Which of course has suspicious links with vampiric sorcerous traditions. 

I equate Azerlo with Ty Kora Tek/Annara Gor - after the 'Lodril in the Underworld' story, she remains a goddess of the dead and guardian. I don't think she is generally equated with compassion, she only showed it to ViSaraDaran after he showed it to her, and there are no other stories about her showing compassion. And of course her cult includes necromancy.

I think the 'knowledge of all death and suffering' experience of Vogestes in the Gods Third Error story is understood by the Umbarites (and so many Spolites) to be the Darkness equivalent of Illumination. Whether this is 'true' or a post-hoc rationalisation I can't say. 

I don't know when Umbarism, as a native Darkness mystic tradition, begins - earliest we can be sure of iate first age, though it is presumed to probably be much older than that (late First Age is just when the Dara Happans recognise it). I'd probably tend to link it to Rashorana. 

Gorgorma is also part of the Spolite tradition. We don't really need to do anything to incorporate her - she was freed by ViSaruDaran at the same time as the benevolent deities, so is already part of the myth cycle. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, davecake said:

I equate Azerlo with Ty Kora Tek/Annara Gor - after the 'Lodril in the Underworld' story, she remains a goddess of the dead and guardian. I don't think she is generally equated with compassion, she only showed it to ViSaraDaran after he showed it to her, and there are no other stories about her showing compassion. And of course her cult includes necromancy.

Azerlo is Asrelia, the aged Earth, and compassion is not always distinct from death. It may be the 'treasure' she guards beneath the ground.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to add - I should be clear that I have access to the GoG preview, so I'm informed by that - which references the Gorgorma cult as the major power behind both the rise and fall of the Spolite Empire, and notes Xentha as one of the deities worshipped as part of it. Subere is my own extrapolation, but it makes sense to me. 

59 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Azerlo is Asrelia, the aged Earth, and compassion is not always distinct from death.

There is no story of Asrelia that corresponds to the Derdromus/Azerlo story - Asrelia is a goddess of the deep Earth, and keeps her treasures, but is never the keeper of the dead, and never imprisons her children. Ty Kora Tek is also the same 'age' as Asrelia, or older.  Ty Kora Tek is the ruler of the land of the dead, and there are myths of her imprisoning her children, and marrying a Darkness demon to do so. eg from the Glorantha Sourcebook.

Quote

Ty Kora Tek had a Darkness God as her husband, and with his knowledge built a vast grey cavern where she would be her own queen. 

And Asrelia is beautiful - Ty Kora Tek, and Annara Gor, and Azerlo, are all described as hideous. 

The case for Azerlo=Annara Gor=Ty Kora Tek is very strong, Asrelia much less so. 

If anything in the ViSarudan/Azerlo story, Asrelia would be HerthaElsor, but there are both the normal mutable nature of the Earth deities, and the confusing nature of the Dendara/Ernalda identity, to consider. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Nevermet said:

I wrote up my version of Spolitism here, and I would love feedback or discussion.

As a neophyte, relatively speaking, I'm really enjoying what I see as I skim through your writeup. One of my challenges when venturing out of Dragon Pass/Prax is that the cultures overlap and tangle atop one another really quickly, and I start to feel lost in the distinctions. (In particular, I feel this increases the farther north I wander.) In contrast, your writeup feels concise and consequentially more engaging. I really like the "What my Maskmaker told me" section. I also like how this writeup interacts with and justifies human sacrifice, describing what Earth humans see as dark and awful in a... well, still somber, but more acceptable and necessary sense.

I could see myself trying to play a Spolite, is what I'm trying to get at. And that's not often my reaction to Gloranthan religion/culture writeups.

Thanks for sharing your work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really interesting viewpoint on Northern Pelanda. I've been meaning for some time to do something based around the unusual local rules-of-engagement in Human-Tararg waves of afforestation and deforestation where there seem to be well defined refuge areas in which 'defeated' enemies are allowed to congregate under relatively benign oversight of the victors. Much to chew over. The Pyramid of Derdromus at Karresh and it's underworld connection is probably relevant to your 'Greater Spol' cultural area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The real question is if you're gonna have any Black Sun worship

I think that that is a topic of the Hero Wars development in the Empire. There is an agent of the Black Sun active in the Imperial College of Magic, with ties to the world-wide Chaos conspiration and Send Valu.

I have to admit that the Black Sun "mysticism" of Ignorance has left me rather uninspired. The most interesting bit about Basko is his mention in RQ Companion's Jonstown Compendium, as the first of three opponents of Yelm (followed by Molandro and Jokbazi).

I have taken Molandro to have been the Earth Walker husband/protector of the White Queen.

But then, these three opponents may really have been aspects of Yelm that he may have shed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nevermet

You are writing up Azerlo as Xiola Umbar, but she's Ugly Old Woman, i.e. Ty Kora Tek (Annara Gor, GW IV-9). Any reason for that identification of the woman with serpents for hair as Xiola Umbar instead?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I have to admit that the Black Sun "mysticism" of Ignorance has left me rather uninspired.

Its unmysticism. Illusion and lies with little meaning. You cook people into a stew to make illusionary monsters. 

It is like a trollish offshoot of Adpara. Mysticism says the world is an illusion, so the best thing to do is to ignore it and try to find something important behind it. Adpara and the Black Sun say the world is an Illusion, so the best thing to do is to make more Illusions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I don't think the Black Sun has much to do with Spolitism per se (they largely evolved entirely separately), but probably got tangled up with Umbarism in Dara Happa. And who knows what happens in the Hero Wars. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...