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Gallowglass

Who was King Oran?

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I have some questions about Oranor, which is a kingdom detailed on p. 216 of the GtG. I consider Oranor to be a good place to set a campaign, due to it's superficial similarity to Sartar. It is (seemingly) a tribal confederation loosely tied together by an over-king, where prospective player characters could enjoy the sandbox danger and heroics of Orlanthi clan life, and not have to worry too much about epic plots and earth-shaking conflicts. Up until now, I've assumed that Oranor is culturally made up of Orlanthi people who settled from the east in the Dawn Age, and mixed with the local Enjoreli tribes. Among other gods and heroes, they worship "Oran, the first king, and his wife Frona, the land goddess." I assumed that "the first king" meant that Oran was the founder of the dynasty that rules Oranor, and that they worship him the same way Sartarites worship Sartar. His marriage to Frona may have occurred within Time, like Arim the Pauper's marriage to Sorana Tor, or as a heroquest. 

But today I looked up Frona in the Glorantha Sourcebook, just to see if there was anything interesting about her mythology. That book mentions (p. 92) that the "demigod" Oran wooed and married her and became "King of Fronela." Then it says that she was defeated by Valind in the Darkness, and reawakened by the Theyalans at the Dawn. This seems to imply that Oran married Frona in the God-Time, which sinks my other theory and opens up a whole slew of other questions. If Oran is part of the mythological cycle, who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he worshiped in Oranor and seemingly nowhere else? Also, if Oran isn't the Dawn Age founder of the kingdom, then what is the true history of that region? Some people have posited that all of the Orlanthi people in Fronela are actually Enjoreli/Tawari that adopted the Lightbringer faith in the Dawn Age. I believe they are a mix of Enjoreli and Theyalans migrating west. But both of those models don't explain why Oran and Frona are so important to that area.

Does anyone have any thoughts or insight on this problem? Sorry, I know this is an incredibly obscure topic. 

Edited by Gallowglass
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13 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

If Oran is part of the mythological cycle, who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he worshiped in Oranor and seemingly nowhere else? 

Suspect that Oran is a variation of King Drona, who is similarly obscure, with a name that seems to be related to Dronar/Dromal, the First Commoner of the Westerners.

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1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

I have some questions about Oranor, which is a kingdom detailed on p. 216 of the GtG. I consider Oranor to be a good place to set a campaign, due to it's superficial similarity to Sartar. It is (seemingly) a tribal confederation loosely tied together by an over-king, where prospective player characters could enjoy the sandbox danger and heroics of Orlanthi clan life, and not have to worry too much about epic plots and earth-shaking conflicts. Up until now, I've assumed that Oranor is culturally made up of Orlanthi people who settled from the east in the Dawn Age, and mixed with the local Enjoreli tribes. Among other gods and heroes, they worship "Oran, the first king, and his wife Frona, the land goddess." I assumed that "the first king" meant that Oran was the founder of the dynasty that rules Oranor, and that they worship him the same way Sartarites worship Sartar. His marriage to Frona may have occurred within Time, like Arim the Pauper's marriage to Sorana Tor, or as a heroquest. 

But today I looked up Frona in the Glorantha Sourcebook, just to see if there was anything interesting about her mythology. That book mentions (p. 92) that the "demigod" Oran wooed and married her and became "King of Fronela." Then it says that she was defeated by Valind in the Darkness, and reawakened by the Theyalans at the Dawn. This seems to imply that Oran married Frona in the God-Time, which sinks my other theory and opens up a whole slew of other questions. If Oran is part of the mythological cycle, who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he worshiped in Oranor and seemingly nowhere else? Also, if Oran isn't the Dawn Age founder of the kingdom, then what is the true history of that region? Some people have posited that all of the Orlanthi people in Fronela are actually Enjoreli/Tawari that adopted the Lightbringer faith in the Dawn Age. I believe they are a mix of Enjoreli and Theyalans migrating west. But both of those models don't explain why Oran and Frona are so important to that area.

Does anyone have any thoughts or insight on this problem? Sorry, I know this is an incredibly obscure topic. 

There's nothing stopping King Oran from being a Dawn Age demigod. There's a few of them running around.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

There's nothing stopping King Oran from being a Dawn Age demigod. There's a few of them running around.

Very true, and if that were the case it would make my attempts to create a history of Oranor much easier. 

Another thing about the Frona entry in the Sourebook is that she was guarded by High King Elf while she slept through the darkness, and the people of Oranor are friends with the Erontree aldryami. This is probably not a coincidence?

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6 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

if Oran isn't the Dawn Age founder of the kingdom, then what is the true history of that region?

One thing that's super interesting about them is that they've only been free of the Ban for about a decade . . . for generations their world was the plateau bounded by Kikina on the west and maybe Enneserah on the east. If you and your players aren't looking for epic plots, that's the only true history that matters. As far as they're concerned, history starts with Oran finding Frona back in the Dawn Age, gets hazy in the middle and now they have some new neighbors as well as some ancient ones who have returned. 

Of course if you're looking for something weirder, nobody outside this slice of Thaw remembers Oran. Instead they have different patriarch figures who also married the land. They might even have records of a completely different situation on the plateau . . . but now it's like Oran has always been there. The limits of his slice and the limits of his memory are more or less identical, so wherever he is worshipped is Oranor and vice versa. 

Practically this territory gives you some bull traces in the west and probably other influences as you move east. A surprising amount of mining. The pacts with the elves may be ancient if you like. They could also be new. 

Edited by scott-martin
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The first Orlanthi King in Fronela is Dakal, who ruled in the city of Ayos in what is now Syanor.  Although the historical maps are silent on what is happening among the Fronelan barbarians circa 700 ST, Oranor as a Kingdom does not appear until the 1450 ST which means it was known before the Ban.  Prior to that it seems to have been part of Junora and Jonatela which suggest exposure to Malkioni elements and mythology.

On the other hand, the Kings of Oranor claim to have an unbroken heritage dating back to the late first age (Guide p216).  I think the kings here should refer to the tribal kings as any claim of unbrokenness is implausible for any High King.  My current thinking is that the worship of Oran was developed during the Modern Age to unite the tribes.  

There is a commonality between Drona and Oran.  Drona comes from the sea, builds menhirs (Dorsomon Guide p206), is King of the World and has an unnamed boar god companion (Baklene, Guide p215).  Bakan the boar is sister to Frona (Bakanos, Guide p224).

From the construction of the menhirs, it seems to me that Drona was not a Kachasti but one of the Kadeniti Builders.   In his efforts to organize the locals to build things, he became King.  Thus the High King of Oranor will be a builder of megaliths.  Oran was probably his name as calling him the Worker seems like a Malkioni thing to do in mythology.  

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5 hours ago, metcalph said:

The first Orlanthi King in Fronela is Dakal, who ruled in the city of Ayos in what is now Syanor.  Although the historical maps are silent on what is happening among the Fronelan barbarians circa 700 ST, Oranor as a Kingdom does not appear until the 1450 ST which means it was known before the Ban.  Prior to that it seems to have been part of Junora and Jonatela which suggest exposure to Malkioni elements and mythology.

 

I wonder about where the people of Junora trace their descent? Their language is a Theyalan one. The modern Junorans and people of Oranor seem different only in that the latter are described as "traditionalist Orlanthi." It's also worth noting that the area was (according to the maps) controlled by the kingdom of Frontem in the Second Age, so that almost certainly means exposure to Malkionism. 

 

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

On the other hand, the Kings of Oranor claim to have an unbroken heritage dating back to the late first age (Guide p216).  I think the kings here should refer to the tribal kings as any claim of unbrokenness is implausible for any High King.  My current thinking is that the worship of Oran was developed during the Modern Age to unite the tribes.  

 

This is certainly possible. As Oreanor is described as the capitol of the confederation, I would think that this is where the center of the cult is, and where the current high king resides. 

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14 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

But today I looked up Frona in the Glorantha Sourcebook, just to see if there was anything interesting about her mythology. That book mentions (p. 92) that the "demigod" Oran wooed and married her and became "King of Fronela." Then it says that she was defeated by Valind in the Darkness, and reawakened by the Theyalans at the Dawn. This seems to imply that Oran married Frona in the God-Time, which sinks my other theory and opens up a whole slew of other questions. If Oran is part of the mythological cycle, who is he? Where did he come from? Why is he worshiped in Oranor and seemingly nowhere else? Also, if Oran isn't the Dawn Age founder of the kingdom, then what is the true history of that region? Some people have posited that all of the Orlanthi people in Fronela are actually Enjoreli/Tawari that adopted the Lightbringer faith in the Dawn Age. I believe they are a mix of Enjoreli and Theyalans migrating west. But both of those models don't explain why Oran and Frona are so important to that area.

The first thing I notice about Oran is not the similarity to "Orlanth" (drop l and th), but the similarity to Orani, a demigod son of the Storm Bull whose mistake names a place in Prax.

My theory would be that Oran is a son of the Bull, from the general migration that deposited the ancestors of the Hill Barbarians in the Barbarian Belt, and from a culture of bull herders (and possibly riders, too). Whether that makes him distinct from the Enjoreli and/or Tawari is another can of worms.

The Dawn Age founder of this kingdom (tribal confederation) may have invoked the Godtime ancestor/predecessor as the protector of his kingdom rather than apotheosizing as such himself (in the way Sartar did).

 

14 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Suspect that Oran is a variation of King Drona, who is similarly obscure, with a name that seems to be related to Dronar/Dromal, the First Commoner of the Westerners.

IMO that's less likely than the parallel to the Praxian Orani.

Drona appears to be an Earth King, and he is an interesting anti-parallel to Aram ya Udram.

I see a good probability for a Drona, son of Malkion and Kala (a land/mountain goddess of Brithos), to have entered Fronela and to have established a theist kingdom alongside his divine companions. An unsubstantiated theory of mine is that there were twins, Drona(r) and Dromal, one of which became the caste leader of the dark-skinned native Earth folk of Brithos while the other led those who rejected the teachings of Malkion into an exodus. Adjusting this with the Kachasti/Kachisti Speaking Tour/colonisation of Gennerela may take some work, or possibly some source revelation, but the Drona exodus probably would have preceded the Kachasti acquisition.

Bakan the Boar appears to be tied to all cultures practicing agriculture in Fronela. In a bull-obsessed environment it is almost weird to have the boar as the main phallic deity. An arrival prior to the Bull/Hill Barbarians and subsequent assimilation would be an explanation.

 

The Guide claims only that the dynasty has unbroken heritage since the late First Age. That's a fairly big claim in a place that has certainly been subject to the Arimadalla dynasty. The best explanation might be that their kingdom shrunk down to an inconsequential local power during that time but became a leader under the Ban as their history and the extent of the Ban fragment coincided. (Which may have been a consequence of one of their numbers having joined Snodal as one of the Syndics.)

 

The exact role of the bull Orlanthi of Fronela in the struggle between Talor and Varganthar and Arinsor is obscure, as is the exact nature of the Tarjinian Bull - a monster to the Hill Barbarians, or a deity in chains?

In 450 Harmast returned with Talor at Hrelar Amali, and the two of them (plus unnamed companions) went across High Llama Pass to Oranor, where Harmast convinced the local Orlanthi to follow Talor's lead against Gbaji, convinced by the success of the Battle of the Giants at Ulros (which, while taking place in the Nidan Mountains, is a different event from Gonn Orta's attack on Nida in Dara Happan Emperor Sothenik's reign, a bit more than a century later.

We don't have any indication why the battle at Ulros was called Battle of the Giants, and if actual giants were involved, on whose side they fought, and in which capacity. A participation of giant Jolanti seems likely.

 

12 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

There's nothing stopping King Oran from being a Dawn Age demigod. There's a few of them running around.

Or there being both a Dawn (or Gray) Age demigod by that name, and a Godtime precursor.

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52 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Bakan the Boar appears to be tied to all cultures practicing agriculture in Fronela. In a bull-obsessed environment it is almost weird to have the boar as the main phallic deity. An arrival prior to the Bull/Hill Barbarians and subsequent assimilation would be an explanation.

 

As Bakan is cited as the brother of Frona, and not yet another husband(-protector), it seems reasonable that he's not a Storm People import at all, but a preexisting Earth People deity that got, as you said, assimilated. If we speculate that the Godtime Earth People of Fronela (whoever they were) were matrilineal, this "avuncular" patronage becomes quite significant as the mother's brother is more genealogically significant than possibly even the father, although that's purely anthro-spec.
 

56 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Guide claims only that the dynasty has unbroken heritage since the late First Age. That's a fairly big claim in a place that has certainly been subject to the Arimadalla dynasty. The best explanation might be that their kingdom shrunk down to an inconsequential local power during that time but became a leader under the Ban as their history and the extent of the Ban fragment coincided. (Which may have been a consequence of one of their numbers having joined Snodal as one of the Syndics.)

 

By "unbroken dynasty" they might not mean "sovereign dynasty", simply an unbroken genealogical lineage (that may have held some power continuously). Having them bent knee to the Emperors of Land and Sea, or even the Bright Empire - or whoever - and becoming temporary vassals does not really take away from the unbroken part, imho. It's as likely a familial claim as it is a political claim.

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Evidence seems to suggest that Oran probably was a mythological figure, rather than a historical one. I also prefer the theory about Drona and Oran being the same person.

It is definitely weird that Oranor doesn't show up on the historical maps until 1450, since the city of Oreanor has apparently existed since the Dawn Age. My reasoning for that is that the city's guardian, the Copper Man, was "placed there" around that time (GtG p. 216). Perhaps the city of Oreanor existed as a center for the cult of Oran, rediscovered by Theyalans in the Dawn Age, and then increased it's influence enough by 1450 that it could claim dominion over the other cities in the region that shared it's culture and religion: Agnara, Kikina, Greystone Fort, and Ulros. 

The pantheon that includes Oran may have been consolidated during the Ban. Before it happened, I could see the other cities being more Junoran in character. 

 

Edited by Gallowglass

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8 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

The pantheon that includes Oran may have been consolidated during the Ban. Before it happened, I could see the other cities being more Junoran in character. 

Just noticing that when you look at it, you find the word "Junoran" contains "Oran". Coincidence? Connection? 

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18 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Coincidence? Connection? 

Last night I was looking at ARNmORN in the light of dRONA but thought, "nah, this is just a mound of mashed potatoes."

But since you were brave enough to speak up there was also syANOR here once. All these refractions of the primal patriarch, cut up and rearranged across history and then shuffled in the Ban.

Edited by scott-martin
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2 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

But since you're brave there was also syRANOR here once. All these refractions of the primal patriarch, cut up and rearranged across history and then shuffled in the Ban.

Dammit I was already confused before this!

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12 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

Dammit I was already confused before this!

That's the Ban for you. But stick with your players in the sandbox and it will all be fine.

(Probably the granddaddy of all is hidden behind fRONA herself before the rune arrangers buried him in "Frontem." Brother and sister, king and queen.) 

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Just noticing that when you look at it, you find the word "Junoran" contains "Oran". Coincidence? Connection? 

Well, considering that "Junoran" is a derived, English-formed adjective of "Junora" I'd say it's a coincidence. "Junora" leaves us with Jun-Ora. Jun-Oria and Pel-Oria? Ah, probably stretching it too far. 

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