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galafrone

Balazar deities

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2 minutes ago, galafrone said:

neolithic

minus the curse of agriculture! the neolithic is often called "the neolithic revolution" because it was a time of transition to large-scale agriculture. balazarings rely on gathered plants, which is perfectly acceptable, but is a little annoying when you can herd swine because you can't feed them normally.

there must be a massive trade for maize stems for pig slop - and a decent trade for maize kernels for mieliepap - from neighboring Lunar territories.

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4 minutes ago, galafrone said:

fertility, nurturing, healing and even defending the "hunters-child" (foundchild)

And don't forget gathering, i.e. knowing where to find the roots, wild plants, herbs, mushrooms, etc.; knowing how to use reeds and wild grasses for clothing, thatch, etc.  These are not "agricultural" but are still a significant part of the Earth goddess/Land goddess manifestation here.

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1 minute ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

there must be a massive trade for maize stems for pig slop - and a decent trade for maize kernels for mieliepap - from neighboring Lunar territories.

"Hey! Did you know those Balazarings will trade useful slaves and furs for corn stalks??? We can make some Lunars off that!"

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58 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

 but is a little annoying when you can herd swine because you can't feed them normally.

there must be a massive trade for maize stems for pig slop - and a decent trade for maize kernels for mieliepap - from neighboring Lunar territories.

Pigs can eat basically anything and in a semi-Wilderness ecosystem they can subside of a variety of vegetable (and even animal) parts. The fact the pigs are a mostly raised in the 3 cities (we can call them just that, even if 1000 inhabitants really dont make them "cities") says a lot about the need of a "cattle goddess". The votanki mosly hunt and gather. from what i remember and the more the clans are in the Wilderness the less they can keep pigs. They actually DONT need pigs, they hunt and gather the abundant fauna and flora of the balazaring lands

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16 minutes ago, galafrone said:

Pigs can eat basically anything and in a semi-Wilderness ecosystem they can subside of a variety of vegetable (and even animal) parts. The fact the pigs are a mostly raised in the 3 cities (we can call them just that, even if 1000 inhabitants really dont make them "cities") says a lot about the need of a "cattle goddess". The votanki mosly hunt and gather. from what i remember and the more the clans are in the Wilderness the less they can keep pigs. They actually DONT need pigs, they hunt and gather the abundant fauna and flora of the balazaring lands

Nice pig info... 

But, however, isn't bacon soooo tasty!
They might not need pig, but they probably enjoy it! ;) 

Though, I believe, pig meat is the most likely one to turn bad quickly (particularly in those hard time before the invention of fridge) and if they don't know how to make ham and bacon... Pig meat is more of a liability than anything else...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

pig meat is the most likely one to turn bad quickly

salt pork!

it's true that their reliance on pig is bizarre when not paired with agriculture. the use of domesticated swine is usually hand-in-hand with agricultural waste to feed them. i know they can eat anything, but they're really likely to get away and go feral if you're out feeding them in the forest. it's not usually worth the effort. usually if you are reliant on gathering food you aren't going to need that much meat! easier to just snare a brace of coneys once a while. what are you gonna do with all that pork?!??!

the only thing that makes any real sense is if they sell most of the herds to Lunars, and even then... like, hardly worth the effort.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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I can't help but wonder.... It's a lot of scrutiny for what is an imaginary culture... Isn't that.. excessive? And bound to find holes!? :o 

I am sure my homebrew setting have gapping huge unrealism! 😮 (that is, even for a magic world)

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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Just now, Lloyd Dupont said:

I can't help but wonder.... It's a lot of scrutiny for what is an imaginary culture... Isn't that.. excessive? And bound to find holes!? :o 

It's Glorantha. Staring at navels is basically kind of what we do with it.

But. I mean. It's a lot of pig for a culture that lives in a land that is cursed to prevent agriculture. I'd rather imagined the swine lord to be a boar god before I learned about Balazar up close because what kind of people reliant on gathered produce wants to spend their day herding pigs? there's literally no reason to.

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17 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Is this Serdrodosa

She has many names. Serdrodosa is Earth Witch in some places but Earth Witch is not Serdrodosa in all places.

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14 hours ago, galafrone said:

I beg you pardon, who is Earth Witch ??

Earth Witch is the spirit of Ernalda or of all the Earths and so is different aspects in many places. She never went to sleep and was a bridge with the Earth goddesses in the Great Darkness. Her followers are usually shaman, but sometimes priestesses, sometimes she is a spirit cult, sometimes she has a spirit society, sometimes a rune cult. To the Praxians she is helpwoman, to the Balazarings she is Hearthmother, some Orlanthi call her Serdrodosa. She has other aspects that can be found in the Guide to Glorantha.

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On 10/24/2019 at 12:09 AM, galafrone said:

i am running a balazar campaign and i am in a situation where i need to clarify to myself how to represent some balazar deities in terms of RQG

Although not RQG you might find the following links useful. I fleshed out the Balazaring tradition when I was developing the spirit magic section of HeroQuest Glorantha, just to cross check that the Praxians worked properly:

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/6315-starting-runes/?tab=comments#comment-89865

https://www.glorantha.com/docs/balazar-hq2-keywords-and-magic/

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2 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I can't help but wonder.... It's a lot of scrutiny for what is an imaginary culture... Isn't that.. excessive?

Sure. But then, that's the definition of geekdom, isn't it?

But look at it in another way. This is Glorantha. We are expecting very high standards for this background, and we like having field days explaining apparent inconsistencies in the setting with myth or other such workarounds.

2 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

And bound to find holes!? :o 

Those aren't holes, they are plot hooks.

2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

It's a lot of pig for a culture that lives in a land that is cursed to prevent agriculture.

Pigs are a way of turning the barely human consumable stuff growing around the citadels into meat that is reliably available. Over here, there are farmers herding their pigs between the future christmas trees for clearing the ground of weeds and other unwanted growth. A monoculture of firs doesn't really offer much in the way of human-compatible sustenance, but the pigs get by fine.

The curse (or the blessing of the Wild) appears to prevent all forms of horticulture, but may be quite helpful for fire-farming, increasing the yield of both hunting and certain types of gathering (such as wild grains) if done in moderation. Around the citadels, fire farming would probably have to exceed moderation a lot, and lead to a devastation of those lands. Hence, a different method is required.

2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I'd rather imagined the swine lord to be a boar god before I learned about Balazar up close because what kind of people reliant on gathered produce wants to spend their day herding pigs? there's literally no reason to.

I disagree. The Votanki are hunters and gatherers, and the citadel folk are, too, except for the swine herding. Yes, acorns and beech nuts are possible parts of a human diet, but fed to pigs they are a lot less unbalanced for the human consuming them. The pigs also gobble up earth worms, beetle larvae etc., few of which are welcome dietary components outside of famine. At least as far as urban life goes.

Chicken would probably have a similar good conversion rate from fodder not fit for humans to human food, but I suspect that Balazar had some of the "eat no bird" geases when he quested for the pig mother to sustain his citadels.

Apart from the pig herding, Balazar is a mesolithic culture. The citadel dwellers may not have been volunteers for the pig herding - Balazar will have recognized the problem of having to feed his templars (distributed over the citadels) by just relying on hunter-gatherers, a life-style that rarely produces surplus food for trade or tribute.

Sure, pigs will "gather" all the edible stuff human hunter gatherers would focus on, but unless their human counterpart, their appetite isn't limited to that. I don't know about the Votanki, but pigs will cheerfully feed on insect life, roots and herbs that humans would eat in small amounts at best.

As to conservation - stuffing cut-up or crushed meat into intestines (together with grease and unspeakable filler materials) with some salt and drying it (using smoke or just the air) must have been a tradition known to Balazar and the Mralota holy folk he brought from across the EWF heartlands. There may have been traders teaching their preferred conservation methods to the pig herders, too - happened with Hanseatic traders and herring fishers on the outskirts of the League (they did much of their herring fishing nearby themselves, as part of their lucrative fast period food delivery business, but they would buy additional supply from further north).

In light of this possibility, there might be a small cooper industry in the citadels, using wicker for barrel hoops, and a significant salt trade to conserve the meat as one staple of the templar and citadel dweller diet.

So why Balazar didn't opt for goat herding rather than pig herding? Possibly RQ2 anti-goat bias: with rampant broo trouble, one might want to reconsider that option. But then the usual prey of the Votanki is as prone to broo impregnation as are domestic goats in the forests. But then, pigs aren't safe from this threat either.

Another reason to avoid goats might be that the Votanki experience with goat herders mey have been as slaves.

Apart from the salt trade, there might also be a trade in ice to the citadels, or otherwise a major harvest of ice in Dark and Storm Season. Joh Mith's trade paths make more sense when you give him salt as one of his staple trade goods.

Then there is of course the slave trade - possibly the main source of income for Balazar and his templars when he established his rule over the land. This would mean systematic slave-taking on the more distant Votanki tribes, possibly delegated to rival Votanki hearth groups, buying up captives from mutual raids as they were rounded up. After the Dragonkill, that commodity would have been even more valuable, and I don't see as significant a loss in warriors among the Votanki as there must have been in Carmania, Dara Happa and Saird or among Balazar's Templars.

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16 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

salt pork!

it's true that their reliance on pig is bizarre when not paired with agriculture. the use of domesticated swine is usually hand-in-hand with agricultural waste to feed them. i know they can eat anything, but they're really likely to get away and go feral if you're out feeding them in the forest.

I don't know, letting the pigs out to to feed on acorns and the like was absolutely standard practice in many places.

(One of the most oddball laws we have in Sweden is a law from 1736 pertaining to the details about putting your swine out to feed on acorns (Byggningabalken 12 kap., "Huru svin må i ollonskog släppas").)

I gather that the reason Balazar doesn't support agriculture is because it simply doesn't have a grain goddess sponsoring that kind of thing? I'm sure the Lunars have some ideas...

Edited by Akhôrahil

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I gather that the reason Balazar doesn't support agriculture is because it simply doesn't have a grain goddess sponsoring that kind of thing? I'm sure the Lunars have some ideas...

I actually don't really understand Balazar very well, maybe someone can weigh in. The GtG isn't particularly helpful; it just says it's incredibly infertile.

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Just chiming in to say that I'm going with:

- Votank is a regional variant of Ancestor Worship. In addition to the normal Ancestor Worship abilities, they get 1 extra spell from the Votank hero-cult. 

Summon Son of Votank

Ranged Temporal Stackabble

a spirit with INT 2D6+6 POW 5d6+6 CHA 2D6+12 appears as the clans total animal totem.

Physical form can manifest, attacks physically at Spirit Combat %age (typically POW x5%) doing 2d10+2, Hit points equal to POW.

Friendly if the Summoner is descended the same clan as the caster. Knows 2D4 points of Rune magic, 2d4+6 spirit magic spells.

Can be stacked with Summon Spirit Teacher and otherwise acts as a Summon Ancestor for magical purposes.

- I agree that Hearthmother is essentially Serdrosa/Earth Witch, but I think closely associated with Rigtaina. As such shamans can have access to Earth Elementals (Summon and Dismiss, all sizes). They are also able to automatically become members of Rigtaina. Rigtaina is also worshipped separately. In return, Rigtaina members gain access to spirit magic from Hearthmother.

Rigtaina is the land goddess, but is not an agricultural goddess, more a goddess of the wild. She does not get Bless Crops, but does get access to Land spirits, nymphs, etc through Command Cult Spirt etc. She has no full priests, only 'God talkers', many of whom then become shamans of Hearthmother. Major ceremonies to Rigtaina are led by Shaman-priestesses. 

- Balazar is a sub-cult of Yelmalio. I think it should have access to one extra Rune Spell, I'm not sure what this is - possibly Sureshot.

The most important difference is that Balazar is associated with Mralota (also worshipped separately)

- Mralota, even in the citadels, mostly only has shrines and/or associated cult worship, which grant Bless Animals and Command Swine

- Brother Dog is a spirit cult. It teaches Speak With Dog and Command Dog, and like many spirit cults is associated with many dog spirits. 

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On 10/28/2019 at 9:36 PM, Akhôrahil said:

I don't know, letting the pigs out to to feed on acorns and the like was absolutely standard practice in many places.

(One of the most oddball laws we have in Sweden is a law from 1736 pertaining to the details about putting your swine out to feed on acorns (Byggningabalken 12 kap., "Huru svin må i ollonskog släppas").)

I gather that the reason Balazar doesn't support agriculture is because it simply doesn't have a grain goddess sponsoring that kind of thing? I'm sure the Lunars have some ideas...

In the Domesday Book a lot of woods are defined by the number of pigs they could support. 

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On 10/27/2019 at 6:46 PM, Qizilbashwoman said:

I'm surprised there's no presence of Aldrya anywhere

 

Give her time to come back. Right now, the absence of an Aldrya ecology is a signal of how deep the Second Age collapse went . . . and the elves nurse grudges.

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3 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

 

Give her time to come back. Right now, the absence of an Aldrya ecology is a signal of how deep the Second Age collapse went . . . and the elves nurse grudges.

the elves near Balazar are big mad, and that's saying something considering the reverence they have for Sun Dome Temples generally.

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1 minute ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

the elves near Balazar are big mad, and that's saying something considering the reverence they have for Sun Dome Temples generally.

Yeah, this is definitely one of those places where the "ideal type" of elf-sun syncretism emerged as a model for others . . . and then failed. A lot I still don't know about where and when "Halamal" gets into the Dome complex. Balazar is a good place to look for how he makes like a tree and leaves.

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On 10/27/2019 at 10:43 PM, Qizilbashwoman said:

minus the curse of agriculture! the neolithic is often called "the neolithic revolution" because it was a time of transition to large-scale agriculture. balazarings rely on gathered plants, which is perfectly acceptable, but is a little annoying when you can herd swine because you can't feed them normally.

The Votanki are more Mesolithic than Neolithic, as they are mobile Hunter-Gatherers who gravitate around ritual hearths/camps.

The Citadel Votanki herd pigs, but I doubt they are Neolithic, as the Citadel Dwellers are typically Bronze Age.

why don't the types of culture bleed together and bring the Votanki up to a different technological base? Who knows.  My thoughts have been that something actively stops them.

On 10/27/2019 at 10:46 PM, Qizilbashwoman said:

I'm surprised there's no presence of Aldrya anywhere

The Elves were burned out of their forests in the First Age. Firshala, is trapped in her prison because of that and I think she was the Burner. Arkat was friendly with the Aldryami, so it might have been Zorak Zorani who burned them, or perhaps humans, who knows? In any case, there are Aldryami in the Elder Wilds, but few in Balazar. Aldrya is important in the Elf Forests of the Elder Wilds, in the same way that Kyger Litor is important to the trolls in the hills and mountains of the Elder Wilds. The Elf Sea was named for the water Aldryami who lived there, but they are long dead.

On 10/28/2019 at 9:36 PM, Akhôrahil said:

I gather that the reason Balazar doesn't support agriculture is because it simply doesn't have a grain goddess sponsoring that kind of thing? I'm sure the Lunars have some ideas...

In  my Glorantha, Balazar's goddess is Rigitania, the Earth Nymph. She is a daughter of Genert, as per one of the many sources I read, maybe something in an old Wyrms Footnotes. So, she is the analogue of the Lady of the Wilds, another daughter of Genert. in my Glorantha, the daughters of Genert reached into a bag and pulled out some tokens, some had grains on and they became Grain Goddesses, others had beasts on and they became the sources of those wild beasts. Rigitania pulled out a beast token and the game animals of Balazar and the Elder Wilds come from her. When a hunter performs the Peaceful Cut, it sends the spirit of the dead beast back to her for rebirth. That is why Balazr is light on agriculture and has a lot of hunting of game.

 

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