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Sir_Godspeed

What the Missionaries Brought Back

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A lot has been said about what the Lightbringer Missionaries brought with them in terms of mythology, social conventions, laws, technology and so forth during the First Age.

However, I am here inquiring a bit about what was brought back to the Theyalan heartlands around Kethaela and Kerofinela.

Here are a few suggestions of mine, mostly based on what I heard said, or contextual clues:

- The name "Ernalda" to describe the general archetype of the Earth Queen Goddess from the areas around Saird. This is based on some posts I've heard here before, which are in turn possibly based on Dawn Age maps from the Guide, or possibly older. The name may have supplanted native terms like Ketha or Ir, or maybe not, this one is not something I'm hugely knowledgeable about.

- The name "Yelm". A generally accepted syncretization of the Heortling mythical cycles and those of the Dara Happan mythical cycles occured during the Council of Friends and later the Bright Empire, where Orlanth was identified with Rebellus Terminus, and Yelm was identified with the Bad Emperor. This is not to say that they were not always the same - a dicussion that's been had in many older threads - but at least the explicit identification was new at the time, it seems, and reshaped the myths as told from then on. It is also quite possible that this meeting also changed the narrative itself, where the main focus of the Darkness quest turned from bringing back Ernalda ("The Lifebringer Quest") and turned to bringing back the sun and creating a lasting compromise and mutual recognition of the sun and storm ("The Lightbringer Quest"). Alternatively, these myths have always coexisted in some capacity.

- The name "Ehilm". This is the Western term for the sun god, found in Ralios and Seshnela at the Dawn. It is also found in a single instance in the Lightbringer's Quest, near the very end, and may suggest that either the Missionaries brought the name back with them, or that later east-faring Orlanthi brought it (for example Alakoring, or who knows).

My suggestions have been exclusively names and mythic details or themes, but feel free to add art styles, architecture, technology or whatever. Also, these are suggestions, so take everything with a pinch of salt, as I'm not exactly speaking from authority here.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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Hot stuff!

I think a lot of material was rolled together on the mission to the west, which as you point out should have huge religious significance for those looking to emulate the storm. (And this in itself opens up further questions about how LBQ becomes associated with Westfaring before being suppressed and revived.)

Ironically, much of the pre-Council religious landscape of this region was forcefully resettled/converted and the sites no longer exist so the only traces we have now are part of what we consider the modern Orlanth complex. Slontan Trickster forms (Orlmarl / Eurlanth), for example. Maybe the primeval pig goddess who might or might not have had a magic necklace. Aspects of Moon and Sea. All kinds of wonderful and exotic lore that doesn't play a central role in the central Genertelan sky/storm conflict. 

All of that would have come back through Esrolia of course. 

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Wasn’t the LBQ basically invented by Harmast Barefoot, and it was Lifebringers Quest before that? Although it makes all kinds of sense that he constructed it from recent mythic material brought back by the missionaries.

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The God Learners used missionaries to bring back fragments of myth, and used those fragments to weave new patterns...

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On 11/7/2019 at 3:12 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

A lot has been said about what the Lightbringer Missionaries brought with them in terms of mythology, social conventions, laws, technology and so forth during the First Age.

However, I am here inquiring a bit about what was brought back to the Theyalan heartlands around Kethaela and Kerofinela.

It was definitely a two-way exchange.

As they awoke the various peoples after The Dawn, they rediscovered a lot of their own, lost mythology, and brought it back with them.

However, i can't think of any obvious examples off the top of my head, except Yelm-Orlanth being Golden Emperor-Rebel.

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On 11/7/2019 at 5:24 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Wasn’t the LBQ basically invented by Harmast Barefoot, and it was Lifebringers Quest before that?

Some people call it the Lifebringers' Quest, but I don't know where that term originally came from.

On 11/7/2019 at 5:24 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Although it makes all kinds of sense that he constructed it from recent mythic material brought back by the missionaries.

He certainly constructed it from the myths of various people he visited and added in some of his own ideas through HeroQuesting, but he did this centuries after the Theyalan Missionaries, so I am not sure how much had been brought back. Presumably, they brought back some of the myths from their work.

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Lifebringers are mentioned in the History of the Heortling Peoples. (14 has Lifebringer Missionaries near Dorastor, 35 has Harmast going on the Lifebringer Quest, 102 mentions the Esrolians had their own myths surviving separately to the Theyalan Lifebringers.)

In the Book of Heortling Mythology it's mentioned quite often as well.

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Further wrinkle: Harmast Barefoot was Ralian, and their myths differ somewhat from those of the Heortlings.

Pet Theory: Harmast researched/discovered/scouted many different versions of the seasonal renewal myth, and stitched them together in such a way to deliberately blur the Bright Empire's  Theyalan+Pelorian syncretic Bad-Emperor=Yelm identification with the Ralian Bad-Emperor=Malkion concept in order to go into the Underworld and bring back his Malkioni hero to save the world from Chaos. 

See also: Argrath enacting the Orlanth+Yelm pact that the Future would be like the Past before bringing back fellow Arkat-walker Sheng Selaris as a weapon against the Red Emperor. Argrath:Harmast, Sheng:Arkat, Takenegi:Nysalor, with the added double whammy of Sheng already having been Takenegi's Arkat in his own lifetime.

Edited by JonL
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Downside: The recurrent rise of a Devil analog every several centuries may be Harmast's fault thanks to his baking the Future Pact into his LBQ to empower himself and Arkat as Orlanth and Yelm/Malkion to defeat Nysalor as Chaos.

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15 minutes ago, JonL said:

Further wrinkle: Harmast Barefoot was Ralian, and their myths differ somewhat from those of the Heortlings.

YGMV, but Harmast in Greg's stories was a descendant of the (by then destroyed) Berennethtelli, grew up on or around Exile Stead, and spent his early married life among the Hendriki of northern Heortland. His quests somehow started on the Hill of Orlanth Victorious but ended in Ralios.

Harmast made a living as rain bringer through the subcult of Niskis the Lover, an alias of Orlanth during his self-judged exile from the Storm Tribe by which he seduced his temporarily widowed queen. It isn't quite clear whether anybody in the Storm Village was fooled by this... Anyway, one of the symptoms of Niskis making love was rainfall out of a clear (cloudless) sky, and as a result Harmast's job as holy person was to make love to quite a few Earth Queen volunteers to combat the draught that Lokamayadon's imprisonment of Orlanth had brought to Kethaela. After helping out the Hendriki one year, Harmast was recruited to aid the Esrolians who suffered likewise. At Nochet, his Berennethtelli tattoos somehow had morphed into Kodigvari tattoos, making him a persona non grata despite his magical (and physical) efforts on their behalf.

As a result, dozens of Harmastsons could be found in Dragon Pass and Kethaela, and they would have a couple of heroical and tragical roles to play in the course of the Gbaji Wars.

If Harmast had access to Ralian lore, then probably through some of his companions. His personal and mythical experiences were purely Heortling.

Edited by Joerg
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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

YGMV, but Harmast in Greg's stories was a descendant of the (by then destroyed) Berennethtelli, grew up on or around Exile Stead, and spent his early married life among the Hendriki of northern Heortland. His quests somehow started on the Hill of Orlanth Victorious but ended in Ralios.

Thank you for correcting my misconception. When I read the Rastalulf & Harmast sections of The History of the Heortling Peoples a few years back, I don't think I had context for who the Berennethelli were yet, and it blurred in with all the other unfamiliar names. I always took his being named for the earlier Harmast who proselytized Ralios, his association with Arkat before the latter came to Kethalia, their emergence from Hrelar Amali after the LBQ, and his participation in the Lightning Revolt to mean he was Ralian. (This connection does make me even more excited for future installments of Six Ages though. :) )

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

If Harmast had access to Ralian lore, then probably through some of his companions. His personal and mythical experiences were purely Heortling.

The Hrelar Amali connection certainly suggests that he learned it somewhere along the way. The dude certainly got around.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Harmast made a living as rain bringer through the subcult of Niskis the Lover, an alias of Orlanth during his self-judged exile from the Storm Tribe by which he seduced his temporarily widowed queen. It isn't quite clear whether anybody in the Storm Village was fooled by this... Anyway, one of the symptoms of Niskis making love was rainfall out of a clear (cloudless) sky, and as a result Harmast's job as holy person was to make love to quite a few Earth Queen volunteers to combat the draught that Lokamayadon's imprisonment of Orlanth had brought to Kethaela. After helping out the Hendriki one year, Harmast was recruited to aid the Esrolians who suffered likewise. At Nochet, his Berennethtelli tattoos somehow had morphed into Kodigvari tattoos, making him a persona non grata despite his magical (and physical) efforts on their behalf.

OK, that's hilarious. Where is this recounted?  I want to hear more. HotHP only briefly touches on the funky tattoos & Nochet around his meeting with Hendrik.

Edited by JonL
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That rainmaker account was part of Greg's pre-Patreon "Friends of Glorantha"-sponsored novella "Ten Women Well Loved". Chaosium should really get this published somehow.

My info on the Harmastsons is straight from HotHP.

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