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HeroQuest Glorantha starting setting

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1 hour ago, None said:

 

So the Feathered Horse Queen's (that being every Feathered Horse Queen) right to deside who was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass was a concolation price and the King of Dragon Pass is always the senior partner? Or is that competed about every time?

Regardless I'm a little surprised she the Feathered Horse Queens doesn't just refuse any contenders that seem like they could win over her. I have to assume that something either forces her accept worthy contenders or gives her a reason not to only accept weak ones. I'm also assuming the contests between the two monarchs isn't only to see what the  King of Dragon Pass looses. Thzat would put him at a serious disadvantage unless he literally begins with everything.

Well, not exactly. My opinion is that the Queen and King positions are inherently unequal and the Queen is superior to the King. The Queen is the avatar of the land, the King is just some dork who thinks he has what it takes to be anointed and blessed by her. 

The problem (and it's a perennial problem within existing Gloranthan material, alas) is that there's an implicit passive/active distinction which is heavily gendered. It's not as bad for the FHQs, because most of them are historical actors and they appear to hold the real balance of executive power in Grazer society. 

To be honest, though, I think the Queen has been the superior partner for most Kings of Dragon Pass. The Beast People live in a way that the Lady of the Wild would appreciate, and Ironhoof was King of Dragon Pass when she was the sovereign power. Tarsh tolerates human sacrifice to a degree most Orlanthi and Pelorians find disquieting (look at how eagerly they've adopted the Hon-Eel maize fertilization rites) and Arim the Pauper was King of Dragon Pass when he codified early Tarshite society.

The main exceptions seem to be Sartar and Argrath (now that I think about it, Tarkalor vanishing after Grizzly Peak may have been him sacrificing his body to Dragon Pass) and Sartar seems to merely prove an equality between Heortling life and Grazer life? And then they split their kids between them.

I mean, I don't really have a problem with the King having a massive disadvantage. It's like the fight with the Bad Man in the Runequest Glorantha rules for becoming a shaman- the odds are stacked so high against you that only the very lucky or the naturally powerful are able to awaken their fetch without having taboos imposed on them. If you want power over the world, you have to accept the world pushing back. 

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The Book of Heortling Mythology contains several different version of the Contest between Orlanth and Yelm, and in most of them (iirc), Ernalda is quite shocked at what Orlanth did - but then it's not clear what she thought would happen otherwise.

You'll have to excuse me if I don't entirely trust Ernalda's reaction to be completely genuine. While there is smething to be said about failing to understand just how reckless Orlanth is Ernalda feels way to good at never being held accountable for anything and appearing close to whatever god is the most powerful at the moment to completely belive her or any retelling of events that have been touched by her.

Personally I think she conciders Orlanth the best thing that could have happened to her at the time. A ridiculously powerful, impulsive idiot that never stops to think through the consequenses of his action, thinks with his libido half of the time, has advantage over Water and dissadvantage to Earth, can summon rain and isterminally bad at understanding duplicity.

But maybe that is just me. Although the whole, the people and the temples of Orlanth give gifts to temples of Ernalda on her holy day but only the people give gifts to the temples of Orlanth while the temples of Orlanth give gifts to temples of Ernalda and the temples of Ernalda give gifts to no one on Orlanths holy day doesn't help.

(As an interesting tibit: I actually happened to tell my mother about the bit about the temples and the holy days once and her reaction about Ernalda was "She's a psychopath.")

1 hour ago, Eff said:

Well, not exactly. My opinion is that the Queen and King positions are inherently unequal and the Queen is superior to the King. The Queen is the avatar of the land, the King is just some dork who thinks he has what it takes to be anointed and blessed by her.

So the Queen can not only descide if the King is worthy but she is also in a stronger possition initially ands the King can only loose power from there? In that case I can only agree that the King is just some dork. Oh dear.

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4 minutes ago, None said:

(As an interesting tibit: I actually happened to tell my mother about the bit about the temples and the holy days once and her reaction about Ernalda was "She's a psychopath.")

 

 

That's one way to look at it. I've also heard her described as a mafioso who gets others to do her dirty work.

I think, ultimately, to some extent, we should take some of her defining featured at face value, as naïve as it might seem. She is a mother. She cares for her children. Whatever it takes.

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58 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

That's one way to look at it. I've also heard her described as a mafioso who gets others to do her dirty work.

I think, ultimately, to some extent, we should take some of her defining featured at face value, as naïve as it might seem. She is a mother. She cares for her children. Whatever it takes.

I belive both of those to be true. Only she's a mother thant want to own he childrens love.

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1 hour ago, None said:

So the Feathered Horse Queen's (that being every Feathered Horse Queen) right to deside who was worthy of becoming the King of Dragon Pass was a concolation price and the King of Dragon Pass is always the senior partner? Or is that competed about every time?

The partnership between Tarkalor and FHQ 3 (his first degree cousin) appears to have been a rather co-equal relationship, with Tarkalor being the younger partner but of quite heroic stature.

Moirades doesn't quite strike me as the dominant partner of his Kingship of Dragon Pass, either.

How Argrath's wedding is going to turn out might depend on the actions of his companions - blame the player characters.

 

1 hour ago, None said:

Regardless I'm a little surprised she the Feathered Horse Queens doesn't just refuse any contenders that seem like they could win over her.

That would be equal to refusing her power of sovereignty. Great power, great responsibility...

The bride usually makes impossible demands that are then fulfilled by the heroic suitor(s). FHQ 5 (of Moirades) set an impossibly high bride price. Moirades overpaid, hence he remained eligible. He also brought a song-bird back to the land which had been absent for ages. It isn't clear what kind of challenges Tarkalor had to overcome.

1 hour ago, None said:

I have to assume that something either forces her accept worthy contenders or gives her a reason not to only accept weak ones. I'm also assuming the contests between the two monarchs isn't only to see what the  King of Dragon Pass looses. That would put him at a serious disadvantage unless he literally begins with everything.

In the end, the King of Dragon Pass pledges his life, and usually pays with it somehow, too.

The FHQ that Argrath is going to marry is going to be quite powerful, but won't outshine Argrath. The next (or the Queen of Saird), Inkarne, is going to outshine the Argrath in future memory.

 

1 hour ago, None said:

Wouldn't that mean at least some of the gods have a vested interest in making their followers call upon divine intervention as much as possble?

No - the gods aren't an extraction and rescue service. Calling upon their regular (special) Rune Magic is much more helpful to establish or strengthen their influence in the Middle World. So are long time blessings received as the reward for heroquesting.

 

1 hour ago, None said:

Ah, so the Orlanthi and Dara Happans are essentially retroactively lessening the reconciliation between Orlanth and Yelm?

There is one myth about the reconciliation, against multiple myths about confrontation. And Orlanth has not made peace with Jagrekriand, the slayer/crippler of his father Umath.

1 hour ago, None said:

If so I can't help but think of someone, or several someones, cooking up a scheeme to make their respective god's rune magic more effective or hostile against their rival's.

Happens all the time, yes. Look at Tatius...

1 hour ago, None said:

Although, something like that would probably be the prone to gather a lot of attention as the effects would be quite widespread, especially in the case of the greater gods.

Hence the cycles of cataclysmic conflicts. The Hero Wars are coming.

 

1 hour ago, None said:

Gee, what a surprise. I've always considered killing the sun one of the stupider moments in Orlant's life.

Orlanth didn't attack the sun, he attacked the Evil Emperor. According to the Dara Happans, the sun disintegrated from grief over the loss of the Emperor Murharzarm. And indeed, for most of the Storm Age the Cold Sun remained in the Sky. (Seemingly there wasn't a day/night cycle in that Age, either.) It took a number of further defeats for the remaining sun to dim away, like the Hill of Gold conflicts, and possibly the Dara Happan Dome against the Ice.

Murharzarm the Emperor doesn't get resurrected at the Dawn, only the shackled/harnessed sun.

Orlanth isn't alone in killing the day star. Telmor ate the sun, according to the Hykimi myths of western Genertela. Zorak Zoran felled Flamal's Tree, plunging the (lesser) sun resting atop of it into Hell.

1 hour ago, None said:

Its also one of the reasons I'm suspicious of Ernalda. I refuse to  believe she isn't intelligent enough to understand what effect her words would have on Orlanth or that she wouldn't understand what the consequenses of killing the sun would be, and she still wanted it to happen.

Killing was brand-new. Grandfather Mortal had been killed by the new power of Death that didn't allow the effect being undone as the next (day) cycle starts, but that wasn't commonly known yet, or treated like the POTUS treats climate change. "Fake News!"

The Emperor had the gall to treat Ernalda as a lesser concubine. The spurned woman is a terror to behold, and that mythic theme re-appears, e.g. in the Sword and Helm Saga, or in the finale of the Adjustment Wars at the start of the Third Age. In the Sword and Helm Saga the Queen of Nochet chose to abandon the heroic defender against Chaos. Sure, he was an asshole. But he may have been married to a shrew.

One of the roles of Ernalda is the Femme Fatale. To love her/be married to her is to die, or to go to Hell. (Orlanth did the latter, successfully.)

1 hour ago, None said:

That aside, it is just as interesting to see moments when some of the Orlanthi and (Dara Happans?) Pelorians (I assume) put their old grudges aside in favour of more mundane and direct realities in the world around them as a list of their mutual aggression.

Actually speaking of agression (sort of) have Esrolia ever had any greater calamity that they haven't quickly recoverd from or that left them with an actually peranent deficit? The only two I know about is the God King (or Pharao) but he was onle next tyo Esrolia, and the one time when they managed to any Ernalda by missusing the Earth rune too much.

The Devastation of the Vent toppled the majority of buildings in Esrolia, with all the human drama involved with such earthquakes. These buildings included dams of reservoirs. While this isn't stated, even the dam that creates the lake around the Necropolis in Esrolia may have been damaged, with unfettered Dead roaming around until the damage was repaired.

 

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17 minutes ago, None said:

You'll have to excuse me if I don't entirely trust Ernalda's reaction to be completely genuine. While there is smething to be said about failing to understand just how reckless Orlanth is Ernalda feels way to good at never being held accountable for anything and appearing close to whatever god is the most powerful at the moment to completely belive her or any retelling of events that have been touched by her.

Capital D Death was new, and while it had changed Grandfather Mortal forever, nobody thought that the mightiest of the gods might be subject to it - not until Orlanth slew the Emperor. Even Orlanth was shocked (he had not been a witness to Grandfather Mortal's death), and probably repeated Humakt's words "uhm, was it supposed to do THAT?" (and possibly also "where am I going to get that wergild?").

17 minutes ago, None said:

Personally I think she conciders Orlanth the best thing that could have happened to her at the time. A ridiculously powerful, impulsive idiot that never stops to think through the consequenses of his action, thinks with his libido half of the time, has advantage over Water and dissadvantage to Earth, can summon rain and isterminally bad at understanding duplicity.

Orlanth was thoroughly untrained in anything the Vadrudi host couldn't teach. Ernalda changed that...

17 minutes ago, None said:

But maybe that is just me. Although the whole, the people and the temples of Orlanth give gifts to temples of Ernalda on her holy day but only the people give gifts to the temples of Orlanth while the temples of Orlanth give gifts to temples of Ernalda and the temples of Ernalda give gifts to no one on Orlanths holy day doesn't help.

Ernalda feeds the world. What more gifting do you demand?

17 minutes ago, None said:

(As an interesting tibit: I actually happened to tell my mother about the bit about the temples and the holy days once and her reaction about Ernalda was "She's a psychopath.")

The Orlanthi phrase that somewhat as "she is level-headed, patient, and plans and plots ahead." The Orlanthi value that side of their Queen of Gods. There is a reason that Orlanth has a diplomat, while Ernalda is her own.

The "Making of the Storm Tribe" myth shows Ernalda excelling at double dealings. Enticing the Dark Tribe to raid the assembled Storm folk is simply badass assholery. You can trust a queen like that to deal with foes.

 

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8 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:
10 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Also I find that having the Gods really truly frozen out of Time would turn them into, I don't know, less interesting things. They would be just like characters in a forever playing movie. Sure, it's a cult movie (ho ho ho), but at this point, the characters' only usefulness is that if you get all your friends to gather up in the theatre every month to cosplay and sing the songs and throw rice, then you, err, get alien transvestite superpowers (yes, my comparison breaks down quickly here). That turns Gods into simply a cheaper universal force to tap into compared to the basic Runes, and makes their motivations/personalities somewhat irrelevant.

 

Quote

In just seven days, I can make you a maa-aaaa-aaa-aaan.
Dig it if ou can!

Sounds like theology to me! I think yer on to something...

 

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4 hours ago, None said:

So the Queen can not only descide if the King is worthy but she is also in a stronger possition initially ands the King can only loose power from there? In that case I can only agree that the King is just some dork. Oh dear.

i mean

uh

is this worse than "the King is the boss always"?

also, Ernalda loves Orlanth but she has a lot of year-husbands on the side: Elmal, Heler, I mean, just look at all the children she's born and how they were born. She's the Great Earth Queen, and she commands a family of Great Earth Queens.

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8 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

i mean

uh

is this worse than "the King is the boss always"?

also, Ernalda loves Orlanth but she has a lot of year-husbands on the side: Elmal, Heler, I mean, just look at all the children she's born and how they were born. She's the Great Earth Queen, and she commands a family of Great Earth Queens.

It's my firm belief/firmly part of my Glorantha that the traditionalist Ernalda priestess attitude towards the Lunar Way can be summed up as: "If Sedenya thinks she's so important she can marry Ernalda too."

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15 hours ago, Eff said:

It's my firm belief/firmly part of my Glorantha that the traditionalist Ernalda priestess attitude towards the Lunar Way can be summed up as: "If Sedenya thinks she's so important she can marry Ernalda too."

Well, maybe the Red Emperor as the phallos of the Red Goddess could indeed ritually be made to do that!

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22 hours ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Wouldn't that mean at least some of the gods have a vested interest in making their followers call upon divine intervention as much as possble?

No - the gods aren't an extraction and rescue service. Calling upon their regular (special) Rune Magic is much more helpful to establish or strengthen their influence in the Middle World. So are long time blessings received as the reward for heroquesting.

I din't mean it as divine Intervention the rescue service but as, the more the gods are called upon in whatever whay it may be the more said gods can influense the the world within Time to their preferences and designs.

 

22 hours ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Its also one of the reasons I'm suspicious of Ernalda. I refuse to  believe she isn't intelligent enough to understand what effect her words would have on Orlanth or that she wouldn't understand what the consequenses of killing the sun would be, and she still wanted it to happen.

Killing was brand-new. Grandfather Mortal had been killed by the new power of Death that didn't allow the effect being undone as the next (day) cycle starts, but that wasn't commonly known yet, or treated like the POTUS treats climate change. "Fake News!"

 

22 hours ago, Joerg said:

Capital D Death was new, and while it had changed Grandfather Mortal forever, nobody thought that the mightiest of the gods might be subject to it - not until Orlanth slew the Emperor. Even Orlanth was shocked (he had not been a witness to Grandfather Mortal's death), and probably repeated Humakt's words "uhm, was it supposed to do THAT?" (and possibly also "where am I going to get that wergild?").

That, that is a valid argument I have to admit. Doesn't change that the events imply that Ernalda wouldn't even consider marrying Orlanth unless he was the most powerful god around or that she ruthlessly used him to further her own interests and only pretended to be interested in him until he proved adequately useful. (which I admit feels like an appropriately bronze age mentality and fits her personalit and personal myth but that's beside the point).

I've always suspected Ernalda for beeing sore over Yelm replacing the Green Age but never concidered the Green Age replacing the Blue Age (which I assume once existed) a valid reason to get upset or angry (I.e. "The Ocean is just throing a childish tantarum, if it could just get rid of that salt and irrigate my fields propperly I we could be all the more bountiful").

 

22 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Emperor had the gall to treat Ernalda as a lesser concubine. The spurned woman is a terror to behold, and that mythic theme re-appears, e.g. in the Sword and Helm Saga, or in the finale of the Adjustment Wars at the start of the Third Age. In the Sword and Helm Saga the Queen of Nochet chose to abandon the heroic defender against Chaos. Sure, he was an asshole. But he may have been married to a shrew.

One of the roles of Ernalda is the Femme Fatale. To love her/be married to her is to die, or to go to Hell. (Orlanth did the latter, successfully.)

There's an issue though. Did the Emperor even what to touch her? The Orlanthi (and Ernalda) obviously say he wanted. Ernalda is the woman every man wants, that is central to her myths, and Orlanth rescued and proved himself worthy of her, that's central to Orlathi myths. Their entire myth is built upon the premise that no man could not want or desire Ernalda.

The Dara Happan's however clam the Emperor didn't even look at her, much less thouch her. At most Ernalda was one of Dendara's handmaidens. From that perspective the entire could almost be described as (excluding the contests, their personal dispute and whatnot of course):

Orlanth: "How dare you treat that lovely lady in green like that!?"

Yelm: "Who?"

Orlanth: ""That lovely lady in green! How dare you imprisson and touch her against her will!"

Yelm: "Seriously. Who?"

Orlanth: "Ernalda!"

Yelm: "Ernalda? Oh you mean that girl who thought I would be interested in her? My wife's handmaiden?"

Orlanth: "She's no handmaiden she's a Queen! You imprissioned her!""

Yelm: "She's no queen just a delusional gir. Allowing my wife to take her in as an act of good will was-"

Orlanth: "Scilence!" *stab*

The issue of course is who to trust, if any, but I've traid again and agaion to find any Solar myth that even acknoledges Ernaldas existence. Much less places her anywhere near the Emperor personally.

Its much like the Orlanthi myth about how hunger appeared beacuse the Solar pantheon stole the wealth of the Earth or something similar. The Solar version is, quite different. (Although I don't remember it right now.)

 

22 hours ago, Joerg said:
Quote

But maybe that is just me. Although the whole, the people and the temples of Orlanth give gifts to temples of Ernalda on her holy day but only the people give gifts to the temples of Orlanth while the temples of Orlanth give gifts to temples of Ernalda and the temples of Ernalda give gifts to no one on Orlanths holy day doesn't help.

Ernalda feeds the world. What more gifting do you demand?

Tha'ts like air demanding tribute for existing, or the sun demanding tribute for beeing warm and bright (although it wouldn't surprise me if that actually happens).

I also seem to remember said food requiring a lot of work from those who would eat it. It also entirely disregards the food that comes from the ocean.

Thing is, Ernalda already rescieves tribut (or gifts) for feeding the world. The whole holy day buissiness is more like Orlanth giving gifts to Ernalda for the right to be married to her and protect her and occasionally do her a favour. It's more like someone demanding you pay them for the immens favour of being allowed to wok for them.

 

22 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Orlanthi phrase that somewhat as "she is level-headed, patient, and plans and plots ahead." The Orlanthi value that side of their Queen of Gods. There is a reason that Orlanth has a diplomat, while Ernalda is her own.

The "Making of the Storm Tribe" myth shows Ernalda excelling at double dealings. Enticing the Dark Tribe to raid the assembled Storm folk is simply badass assholery. You can trust a queen like that to deal with foes.

I'm not saying she isn't capable or that she doesn't help the Orlanth and the Orlanthi, she definitely doeas and he'd be a catastrophe without her. I'm saying she isn't quite what she makes herself appear to be.

If settings story continued and a new pantheon of gods appeared and toppled Orlanth I would be willing to bet anything (figuratively) that it would only be a matter of time before Ernalda appeared next to that pantheon's top god if she had even the slightest opportunity to.

 

18 hours ago, Eff said:

It's my firm belief/firmly part of my Glorantha that the traditionalist Ernalda priestess attitude towards the Lunar Way can be summed up as: "If Sedenya thinks she's so important she can marry Ernalda too."

Yes that is exactly how I picture Ernalda and most of her priestesses.

 

Actually, thinking about it I think a large part of the problem with Ernalda (and possibly also the Feathered Horse Queen as a representant of the land) is the 'a king has to prove himself worthy of the land he rules over and respect it, not exploit it' thing the setting seem to want to work into their dynamic.

Only, the implications change quite drastically when said 'land' isn't an innert and very passive piece of earth but an active personalized force (or individual even) with its (or his/her) own desires, ambitions and designs, and the willingnes and drive to manipulate everyone else to to further those ends.

That changes what is essentially a passive and (mostly) defencless force into an actor and even potentially an aggeressor. That changes the whole 'you must be respectful and worthy of the land and show it your thanks for its selflessness' dynamic quite a lot.

 

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4 minutes ago, None said:

That changes the whole 'you must be respectful and worthy of the land and show it your thanks for its selflessness' dynamic quite a lot.

okay but uh

it turns it into "the land is just as much a person as every other divine thing and it has its own grown-up opinions about who should be in charge"

You're sort of sounding pretty negative about Ernalda and her fowk when them's doing nothing that all the top-level actors in the game are. Of course she's trying to be boss! That's what the powerful gods do, largely, including but not limited to: Storm Bull, Yeld (including all holders of that title), Lodril, Umath, Orlanth, Shepelkirt (Sedenya aka the Red Goddess), Flamal, various gods of the Water rune, and so forth. Name a rune, we can name the god(s) who vie to take over the world from that rune. What do you think the Great Flood was?

Exceptions are the ones who find alternative power outlets, like Humakt.

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

it turns it into "the land is just as much a person as every other divine thing and it has its own grown-up opinions about who should be in charge"

Not exactly.

Since the 'land' in this case retainsall the priviliges of being a passive entity and makes it aactor it kind of becomes, how should I put it, a contender and the judge at the same time. It also puts it in the win/win possition of being a sovereign and sovereignity at the same time while everyone else has a win/lose situation.

if it changed into "the land is just as much a person as every other divine thing and it has its own grown-up opinions about who should be in charge"  as you said the land would also be held accountable for its actions. Or maybe I should but it like this.

The land in the normal set up doeasn't have an ego. Here it does. That changes everything.

 

2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

You're sort of sounding pretty negative about Ernalda and her fowk when them's doing nothing that all the top-level actors in the game are.

Yes I am.

I like Ernalda as a the goddes of the Orlanthi and Esrolia. Not as the symbol of sovereignity or the land. Or as the higest expression of the Great Earth Goddess. Nor the extreme prevalence of earth goddesses that are very similar in core nature everywhere (I'm sure someone will dispute but the thing is that the Earth pantheon is the Earth pantheon even if individual goddesses may differ), how they are all in the end smehow conected to Ernalda, even if said people doesn't even recognoize her existence. There is no Great Earth Goddess (or great [element] god) with a diferent nature or personality and saying that there is doesn't really work if they're also just a different mask of Ernalda.

Also unlike with Orlanth where the game only half-hertedly atempt to deny that Orlanth isn't justy a rebel but also a powerhungry, thieving thug. Or with the other gods where it doesn't try at all. The game doesn't seem to wat to admit Ernalda's negative traits or how she acts. She's also somehow everywhere in a way none of the other gods are.

 

Also, yes. A lot of what I said asbout Ernalda and the earth goddeses can be said in varying degrees about the other gods and patheons too.

For example, I would like it if there also was a surpreeme Storm god that whose main indentity wasn't 'rebel' or 'wild and impulsve' or a Supreme Sun god that all about beeing concervative and hierarchial.

Put in another way:

I'd like there to exist supreme Storm gods that aren't Storm, Motion, Mastery without being weaker than Orlanth and without being Orlanth or a mask of Orlanth.

I'd like there to exist supreme Sun gods that aren't Sky/Fire, Stasis, Mastery without being weaker than Yelm and without being Yelmor a mask of Yelm.

Similarily I wish that the land goddesses and Earth goddesses outside Orlanthi territories and Esrolia weren't connect to or subservient to Ernalda at all which still remain the most important to me as while the other two (somehow ) appear somewhat local the Earth is everywhere and the thing (alledgedly) everyone covets.

 

edit, edit, edit: That said, while I understand the idea of giving each element its own nature and then having civilizations build out of those and the interesting things you can do with that  (I actually like the idea) I feel (grom a game developing perspective especially) like the setting don't make use of/give the same amount of room to all the elements and that there is an overabundance and swollen significance given to some.

Having one element or elemental civilization fixated or dependent upon another element in this set-up is, I can't say I think it is good.

Especially not if it is done (almost) all the time and it is even worse if it hapens to all elements, and even worse if they're all fixated on the same element.

Edited by None

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I mean, I think the issue here is that the elements used have fairly strong connotations. The idea of a calm storm defies the basic metaphors we use to understand the world. It's downright paradoxical. 

Obviously, there's calm air, so perhaps the Storm element should "really" be the Air element or whatever. But a lot of Gloranthan definitions are built around these basic metaphors. The Fire rune is technically the Sky rune. The Sky is the heavens. The heavens are above us. They're perfect and unchanging, reliable. So the Sky is better than we are and by implication demands we submit to it. So the idea of a rebellious Sun requires quite a bit of work to fit in (unless it's as a cosmogonic rebellion against the Dark or the Earth or whatever). 

So I don't like the "elemental civilization" motif because I like Glorantha because of how anthropological it is. That is, elemental civilizations in fantasy fiction are generally similarly metaphorical and so they become a kind of extension of a psychological state, especially for the protagonist. To pick on Avatar: the Last Airbender for a moment, it's not surprising that it's Water and Air fighting Fire's attempt to dominate the world and having to try and persuade Earth to assist with difficulty. There's also nothing wrong with that. 

But when Glorantha is running on all cylinders (and it certainly doesn't always do so), then it takes these externalized psychological/metaphorical conflicts and reintegrates them back into people's heads without sacrificing the externality. That is to say, it is easy to imagine the internal conflict between self-aggrandizement and self-sacrifice within a person, but in the Gloranthan mode that I use, it can also be shown via Harrek fighting Jar-Eel. So Glorantha is in a way a playground where we can explore sacredness. 

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On 11/19/2019 at 7:03 PM, Joerg said:

Horse queens with feathers occur among all the Pentan-descended nomads (and the Galanini queens aren't much different even though they have no Pentan ancestry). Hon-eel's contest in the Redlands that led to the creation of the satrapy of Oraya was against a Pentan horse and earth priestess, too, and one of similar heroic stature. (Sourcebook p.178)

It is possible that Hon-eel interfering with the Earth rites in Tarsh in 1490 was instrumental in transferring the sovereignty and avatarship of Sorana Tor to the FHQ.

The FHQ is not just a priestess but also a shaman, at least in older sources (which insisted that the Grazers were a predominantly animist society).

I think that the Feathered Horse Queen of the Grazers is a special case, as she proved herself to be an Avatar of Sorana Tor, so she was the Queen of the Earth People of the area. Of course, the area could be the Grazelands or Dragon Pass as a whole, as marrying the Feathered Horse Queen means you become King of Dragon Pass.

Wasn't the FHQ around before Hon Eel did her stuff in Tarsh? I can't remember.

On 11/19/2019 at 7:25 PM, Joerg said:

Calling the Vendref slaves is wrong. Slaves are a trade good. The Vendref live in self-organized villages and have roughly the same rights as many Lodrili in Dara Happa have. By Orlanthi standards, that amounts to vile oppression, but by Solar standards the Vendref have a pretty normal deal.

I have always treated them as slaves. Of course they are slaves who can marry, own things and become Priests and Priestesses, but they are controlled in many ways by the Grazers. The FHQ is their Queen and they are her slaves, with her being their Protectoress.

On 11/19/2019 at 7:08 PM, Akhôrahil said:

I just realized how shockingly practical it would be for the Pure Horse People to have access to a cult of tame Helerings... droughts can be really bad, and Sun worship has nothing to offer against it.

Oh, they don't need anything against drought, they just ask Yelm to put Daga back in his jar. They have a HeroQuest for that. Orlanth needs to fight Daga, Yelm just commands him.

On 11/19/2019 at 7:56 PM, Qizilbashwoman said:

neglecting that Loko Moko had to first brutally subdue them because they revolted against him joining the Broken Council in the first place. Also that he demanded he replace Orlanth in worship in Theyalan society after engaging in deeply heretical and shameful acts...

My impression was that Lokamayadon had a lot of support among the Talastari, they were his people after all. He had a lot of support and worship throughout his tenure. The mistake he made was to support a Light God rather than a Storm God and the general population of Storm People didn't much like that.

On 11/19/2019 at 8:45 PM, Joerg said:

Lokamayadon is condemned in hindsight, by the victors, and Rastalulf and Haradangian get promoted from losers to martyrs for the good cause. But the Orlanthi were split about halfways about the issue of Nysalor. The Heortlings and their allies (and the Esrolians as allies of the Only Old One) kept a closed front, but so did the Talastari on the opposite side.

Yes, that is the impression that I got from the older sources.

On 11/19/2019 at 9:15 PM, Qizilbashwoman said:

Okay I think we can all agree he was literally a heretic, he tried to apotheosise himself as the New Wind to replace Orlanth, like. This isn't just about the winners. The man was famously a creep.

Lots of Storm heroes try for Apotheosis. His mistake was that he tried to prove himself the equal or superior of Orlanth and failed, He famously could not Thunder, so was not Orlanth's equal.

However, had he not tried to challenge Orlanth, he would have been a reasonable Storm God, a Sky Friend. In fact, I would expect some Lunars to try and access him as an equal to, or replacement for, Orlanth.

On 11/20/2019 at 5:05 AM, scott-martin said:

I like what you do here. When Storm was forced to choose between Night and Day, all the parts that weren't Loko chose the Kingdom of Night and ultimately we have the world we have. I don't think any Light Storm or Sky Storm people survive but the Hero Wars are full of surprises. Maybe whatever is going on in Pent contains some elements of High Storm survival / reborn. It would be cool.

My personal opinion is that Argrath uses some of the powers of High Storm, especially when he creates the Temple of the Reaching Storm.

On 11/21/2019 at 5:18 AM, lordabdul said:

My understanding was that Gods could intervene in Time if they wanted, but that they most likely won't because that could trigger a new Gods War (see "Devising Rune Spells", RQG p348). It's called the "Great Compromise", after all, not the "Great Imprisonment" or something.

No, they can't, unless the Compromise is broken, in which case they do, in order to mend the Compromise.

One of the Heroes of Castle Blue was pleased that his sword rose into the air, as that meant the Compromise was broken and he could fight against the Red Goddess. I can't remember the source for that.

What normally happens is that heroes do things that are so powerful that they break the Compromise, which allows the Deities to act.

On 11/21/2019 at 9:55 AM, None said:

Gee, what a surprise. I've always considered killing the sun one of the stupier moments in Orlant's life.

Orlanth killed the Emperor, as he was an evil Emperor who enslaved the people. Orlanth's Father had also attacked the Evil Emperor, in a different guise, so Orlanth just did his father's deeds a bit better, as he wielded Death.

How was Orlanth to know that the Emperor was also the Sun? There were other Suns around, so killing one of them wouldn't be that bad, surely.

 

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On 11/21/2019 at 11:52 AM, Eff said:

Well, not exactly. My opinion is that the Queen and King positions are inherently unequal and the Queen is superior to the King. The Queen is the avatar of the land, the King is just some dork who thinks he has what it takes to be anointed and blessed by her. 

The problem (and it's a perennial problem within existing Gloranthan material, alas) is that there's an implicit passive/active distinction which is heavily gendered. It's not as bad for the FHQs, because most of them are historical actors and they appear to hold the real balance of executive power in Grazer society. 

The FHQ works in the same way as Ernalda does. She has various Husband-Kings, as Ernalda has Husband-Protectors.

Some candidates prove themselves unworthy and become her slaves, others become King of Dragon Pass. 

The FHQ has had several Kings of Dragon Pass as husbands, but nobody has been King of Dragon Pass without the FHQ as a husband, with the possible exception of the Only Old One.

On 11/21/2019 at 12:17 PM, None said:

Personally I think she conciders Orlanth the best thing that could have happened to her at the time. A ridiculously powerful, impulsive idiot that never stops to think through the consequenses of his action, thinks with his libido half of the time, has advantage over Water and dissadvantage to Earth, can summon rain and isterminally bad at understanding duplicity.

Oh, I agree. He freed her from being the Emperor's Concubine and made her Queen of the Gods.

12 hours ago, Grievous said:

Well, maybe the Red Emperor as the phallos of the Red Goddess could indeed ritually be made to do that!

I assume that was the plan. The Red Emperor, as Emperor of Dara Happa, i.e., Yelm, would marry Ernalda and put her back in her place as his Concubine, thus gaining power over the Earth Tribe and a good whack of the Storm Tribe.

 

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Orlanth killed the Emperor, as he was an evil Emperor who enslaved the people. Orlanth's Father had also attacked the Evil Emperor, in a different guise, so Orlanth just did his father's deeds a bit better, as he wielded Death.

Also, apart from the Chaos thing, it worked out great. The Storm Age has no Yelm, but to the Storm Gods, it's just the best!

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31 minutes ago, soltakss said:

My personal opinion is that Argrath uses some of the powers of High Storm, especially when he creates the Temple of the Reaching Storm.

Love it. Insight coming out of Ralios is coming one way or another. Can't say I've ever seen the mechanics of Reaching Storm ever really worked out. I suspect the revelation of multiple Holy Mountains is part of it (at least, that's where I'd start) . . . when it's just another magical commodity they can be built like franchise stores.

For that matter can't say I'm clear on what Reaching Storm actually does for allied magic. That sounds like High Storm has a role there.

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14 hours ago, None said:

I've always suspected Ernalda for beeing sore over Yelm replacing the Green Age but never concidered the Green Age replacing the Blue Age (which I assume once existed) a valid reason to get upset or angry (I.e. "The Ocean is just throing a childish tantarum, if it could just get rid of that salt and irrigate my fields propperly I we could be all the more bountiful").

 

I think @Jeff mentioned that there wasn't actually ever a Blue Age, just a Black Age... or, wait! Did I get it switched around? That there was a Blue Age but never a Black Age?

I forget.

4 hours ago, soltakss said:

I've always suspected Ernalda for beeing sore over Yelm replacing the Green Age but never concidered the Green Age replacing the Blue Age (which I assume once existed) a valid reason to get upset or angry (I.e. "The Ocean is just throing a childish tantarum, if it could just get rid of that salt and irrigate my fields propperly I we could be all the more bountiful").

 

Unless there are elements of chattel sales, then I'd go for them being an ethnic serf class.

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8 hours ago, Eff said:

So I don't like the "elemental civilization" motif because I like Glorantha because of how anthropological it is.

I remember the discussion on whether Yelmalios could use knives because it's a "Storm type of weapon". To me, that's an example of when the elementalism just becomes an annoying obstacle that people are taking way too literally and mechanistic, rather than using it to create interesting narratives. 

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Just now, Sir_Godspeed said:

I remember the discussion on whether Yelmalios could use knives because it's a "Storm type of weapon". To me, that's an example of when the elementalism just becomes an annoying obstacle that people are taking way too literally and mechanistic, rather than using it to create interesting narratives. 

And, to be honest, the elementalism breaks down completely if you're in an spiritism-dominated culture or Malkioni country. It's kind of a shame that theism has such a dominant presence in Gloranthan discussion online- there's at least three other answers to any given question about the setting, and while Lunar ones are usually unhelpful... 

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6 hours ago, soltakss said:

nobody has been King of Dragon Pass without the FHQ as a husband, with the possible exception of the Only Old One

and to be fair to Him, He was literally a demigod already running a state, what, 1500 years before the first FHQ, and he did marry a different Earth goddess symbolising the authority of Dragon Pass as soon as it was possible to do so

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8 hours ago, soltakss said:

I think that the Feathered Horse Queen of the Grazers is a special case, as she proved herself to be an Avatar of Sorana Tor, so she was the Queen of the Earth People of the area. Of course, the area could be the Grazelands or Dragon Pass as a whole, as marrying the Feathered Horse Queen means you become King of Dragon Pass.

The Grazer FHQ is a special case, true. But that might be due to the fact that she comes from a Pure Horse nation in the Hyaloring tradition.

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

Wasn't the FHQ around before Hon Eel did her stuff in Tarsh? I can't remember.

Sure, but if you look at the timing of the King of Dragon Pass contest, it occurs almost the moment Hon-eel usurps the Tarsh Earth rites (1490) and ends the Sorana Tor royal lineage there (or modifies it - pick your choice). Coincidence?

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

I have always treated them as slaves. Of course they are slaves who can marry, own things and become Priests and Priestesses, but they are controlled in many ways by the Grazers. The FHQ is their Queen and they are her slaves, with her being their Protectoress.

It probably depends on your definition of the term slave. To me, that definition includes taking the human chattel to the market and selling them off like any other merchandize, which is something you don't do with serfs who are bound to their land. The owner may sell the land and the serfs along with that, but the owner may not pick a number of serfs and sell or gift them away at a whim.

IMO the vendref clans are bound to their land. They may exchange daughters with other Vendref for maintenance of their exogamous marriage system - probably without interference by the owning Grazer clans if appropriate gifts/marriage taxes are given.

Ownership of a Vendref clan (or several) is sort of a secondary herd to the Grazer clans holding that ownership, and holding that ownership probably is subject to being able to hold off other Grazer clans from that asset. No idea whether this is solved in a way analogous to the Dart Competitions in battles among the Grazers only, or whether taking stuff from the Vendref clan without retaliation  bestows some form of ownership. Allowing some form of such warlike interaction certainly is part of the Grazer culture now they are less nomadic herders and more land holders with some sacred herding on the side.

 

Lokamayadon:

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

Lots of Storm heroes try for Apotheosis. His mistake was that he tried to prove himself the equal or superior of Orlanth and failed, He famously could not Thunder, so was not Orlanth's equal.

However, had he not tried to challenge Orlanth, he would have been a reasonable Storm God, a Sky Friend. In fact, I would expect some Lunars to try and access him as an equal to, or replacement for, Orlanth.

Lunarized Orlanthi, possibly. Neither Carmanians nor Dara Happans would care much for that, and the Carmanians have their own "liberated Orlanth" crackpots in form of "Invisible Orlanth" to experiment with.

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

My personal opinion is that Argrath uses some of the powers of High Storm, especially when he creates the Temple of the Reaching Storm.

He apparently manages to subvert Yara Aranis, or to bring forth a local variation of Yara as the "six-armed goddess of Saird" in his fight with Sheng Seleris.

"Temple of the Reaching <anything>" appears to me to create a portion of land that obeys a different magic than the rest. Yara Aranis created the Glowline to stabilize and then extend the Silver Shadow effect on Lunar Magic over a larger territory.

(That leads into my own crackpot theory about the Silver Shadow around the Crater being identical to the Red Moon beyond the Crown Mountains, which happen to be the mirror of the Crater Walls. Mentioned a couple of times already...)

Basically, one thing the Bright Empire, the EWF and the Lunar Empire inside the Glowline have in common is that inside their borders magic was different. Nysalor's "At the Edge of Light there is Always Shadow" may not have been an excuse for the very dirty way that his missionaries tried to force the Seshnegi into their fold but a realistic statement about the extent of his brightness. The EWF's dragon's dream faded out without much of a direct delineation, too. The SIlver Shadow in the first through third wanes may have been less abrupt in its change of the cyclical nature of Lunar magic, but then it looks as if the current organization into Satrapies was only started in the Fifth Wane in the course of re-organizing the Empire after Sheng's visitations.

Argrath had sufficient folk with insight into the Lunar magics to learn that the Temples of the Reaching Moon had been an anti-Sheng measure, and he must somehow either re-created a sibling of Yara or established a truce with her that allowed her to use Storm rather than moon as her tool against her hated enemy Sheng and his nomad minions.

In the Dragon Pass boardgame, Argrath has the exotic magical power that he works as an anti-Glowspot. I always assumed that this was a draconic cancellation of Lunar Magic, rather than the product of combining Nysalorean illumination with Storm powers. He and his magicians had certainly disrupted or destroyed enough Reaching Moon temples in their career - possibly to the point that he had a special task force of "Temple busters" that he could send to neutralize or destroy a local Reaching Moon temple when campaigning.

The Reaching Storm temples might be a magical extension of that personal power of Argrath.

We'll have to wait for a publication making a canonical statement on this power. So far, it hasn't surfaced, yet, as Argrath still has to go to Tarsh and interact with the Glowline. His upcoming wedding to the Grazer queen might bring that about, though, and if not that, then the conquest of Tarsh.

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

One of the Heroes of Castle Blue was pleased that his sword rose into the air, as that meant the Compromise was broken and he could fight against the Red Goddess. I can't remember the source for that.

Alakoring (who had been permanently retired by Tobosta Greenbow in 940, 305 years before that battle)-  KoS hardcover p.82.

If you read the expanded story of Castle Blue in the Sourcebook which introduces the character Darbeest (a human who was married to a princess of that castle) and his sons, it may have been the assault of a fleet of the dead destroying Meglardinth that caused that breach of the Compromise, rather than anything Teelo Estara did. (Although the Four Arrows of Light as the trigger for this was another event that stretched the boundaries of the Compromise, to say the least.)

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

What normally happens is that heroes do things that are so powerful that they break the Compromise, which allows the Deities to act.

Or otherwise, an entire nation does a huge extraordinary rite with the same effect. There is a question whether the Skyburn of Erigia or the Moonburn of Rist were on one of the breach side of stretching the Compromise or barely not, and again when the Syndics slew the God of Silver Feet creating the Ban.

8 hours ago, soltakss said:

Orlanth killed the Emperor, as he was an evil Emperor who enslaved the people. Orlanth's Father had also attacked the Evil Emperor, in a different guise, so Orlanth just did his father's deeds a bit better, as he wielded Death.

How was Orlanth to know that the Emperor was also the Sun? There were other Suns around, so killing one of them wouldn't be that bad, surely.

The Dara Happans themselves make the distinction that Orlanth slew Murharzarm the (demigod) Emperor of the World (which was Dara Happa), and that Yelm disintegrated out of grief and shock. Effectively, the Sword of Death never touched the Sun.

But then, Murharzarm probably was more than a demigod, he may well have been a crucial manifestation of Yelm (among several - the sun disk/globe/orb, and the golden Sky Dome, and possibly others). The orb remained in the sky after the deed, and was called Antirius.

9 hours ago, soltakss said:

The FHQ works in the same way as Ernalda does. She has various Husband-Kings, as Ernalda has Husband-Protectors.

That's possibly not an Ernaldan trait, but one in common to the feathered priestesses of the horse nomads. The

9 hours ago, soltakss said:

Some candidates prove themselves unworthy and become her slaves, others become King of Dragon Pass. 

Phargentes in his old age did not come across as a slave of the FHQ. He certainly lost some form of power or magic to her or to the contest as a whole which was inherited by Tarkalor and FHQ3, though. Basically, entering that contest means that you and your supporters bid a sufficient amount of power - financial, magical, personal - into that contest. The winner(s) take it all, and more.

 

9 hours ago, soltakss said:

The FHQ has had several Kings of Dragon Pass as husbands, but nobody has been King of Dragon Pass without the FHQ as a husband, with the possible exception of the Only Old One.

Ironhoof was King of Dragon Pass through the Lady of the Wild, and Arim was King of Dragon Pass through Sorana Tor. Illaro became King of Tarsh through Sorana Tor, and so did his dynasty. IMO Hon-eel entered Tarsh Earth rites pssibly tied to Sorana Tor and usurped her role, separating her from the King of Dragon Pass role in 1490. The FHQ picked that up, and the preliminaries from which Sartar emerged as the contestant for the FHQ ended in 1492. The years 1493 and 1494 were the years of the contest between Sartar and the FHQ.

CHDP tells us that Argrath marries the FHQ in 1628, meaning that the contest or at least preparatory quests by choice companions of his (hint: player characters) may start as early as 1626. But then CHDP has Inkarne, infant daughter of the Queen of Holay, as the bride of Argrath in 1634, too (prematurely bestowing Argrath with the title of "King of Dragon Pass and Saird", and sending the infant queen to the Kero Fin temple (presumably Shaker's Temple in Tarsh).

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Doesn't change that the events imply that Ernalda wouldn't even consider marrying Orlanth unless he was the most powerful god around or that she ruthlessly used him to further her own interests and only pretended to be interested in him until he proved adequately useful. (which I admit feels like an appropriately bronze age mentality and fits her personalit and personal myth but that's beside the point).

Selecting the most powerful groom: isn't that the point of any marriage contest? The contest for the harvest queen in "Melisande's Hand" in Sun County (or Tales of the Reaching Moon #4, IIRC) has just that theme, and it probably is quite timeless.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

I've always suspected Ernalda for beeing sore over Yelm replacing the Green Age but never concidered the Green Age replacing the Blue Age (which I assume once existed) a valid reason to get upset or angry

The concept of dry land, on a surface that used to be submerged and hence accessible to the sea for harvesting the magic/food there, was what ended the Blue Age and started the Green Age. The description of the strata in Snake Pipe Hollow makes it clear that the surface world was once covered by the Sea, and Snake Pipe Hollow was part of the remaining dry parts of Vingkot's kingdom during the great flood that made up the second sub-segment of the Storm Age, so the sea creature fossils had to go there at an earlier time.

Hence my concept of the Earth Cube as covered in a "mother of pearl" surface of sea excretions whose layers are so huge that we regard them as ancient sediment.

19 hours ago, None said:

(I.e. "The Ocean is just throing a childish tantarum, if it could just get rid of that salt and irrigate my fields propperly I we could be all the more bountiful").

 You write this weirdly from the Earth's perspective, when the ones having the beef is the Ocean.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

There's an issue though. Did the Emperor even what to touch her?

The Emperor touches everything in the world with the rays of the sun. Yelm is the poster boy culprit for the metoo movement. His light is capable of causing pregnancy, as proved by Hon-eel's quest by which she overcame the Most Reverend Mother of Horses (Sourcebook p.178).

(That text introduces a strange new character:

Quote

First, Hon-eel had to prove herself worthy to the step-mother of the Sun, a goddess jealous of her hold on the god and reluctant to let his powers and blood descend to mortal races.

A wife of Aether? Only Ga/Gata comes to mind inside the Monomyth, but we don't know the Dara Happan stories about how or even whether Aether fathered Umatum. They and the Pentans may have other stories, untampered with by God Learners and hardly overwritten by the Theyalans before them.

19 hours ago, None said:

The Orlanthi (and Ernalda) obviously say he wanted.

Metoo says so, too. A deity that can impregnate by just looking at a woman is fearsome in that regard.

19 hours ago, None said:

Ernalda is the woman every man wants, that is central to her myths, and Orlanth rescued and proved himself worthy of her, that's central to Orlathi myths. Their entire myth is built upon the premise that no man could not want or desire Ernalda.

The Emperor wanted to possess Ernalda, too. That's why she was drudging away at his palace, bereft of her role as Queen of the (Surface) World. Whether she was a concubine or just a hostage put to work as a housemaid is immaterial.

19 hours ago, None said:

The Dara Happan's however clam the Emperor didn't even look at her, much less thouch her.

That's Oria, not Ernalda. Or rather, not the only appearance of Ernalda at this contest - take Esvenratha instead. Invert the nr, transform th to ld, and you have the name Esvernalda. "Esv" comes up in Esvuthil (Land of Thilla) and the name Esventheus. If you look at the mess Plentonius makes of other Theyalan transliterations, this one is well possible. (@Qizilbashwoman - I hope this is linguistically sound.)

19 hours ago, None said:

At most Ernalda was one of Dendara's handmaidens. From that perspective the entire could almost be described as (excluding the contests, their personal dispute and whatnot of course):

[amusing dialogue snipped]

Ernalda never was a topic of contest between Orlanth and Yelm. Recognition as King, and the case against the killer/chainer of Umath was.

Looking at what has been told about Dara Happan court protocol (mostly by MOB), I very much doubt that any petitioner was allowed to raise his voice in the presence of the Emperor, instead a court official would take the complaint statement and present/translate it to the Emperor.

19 hours ago, None said:

The issue of course is who to trust, if any, but I've traid again and agaion to find any Solar myth that even acknoledges Ernaldas existence. Much less places her anywhere near the Emperor personally.

GRoY page 73, "Orlanth in GRoY", pretty much explains that absence. Unlike with the Theyalan myths, which we learn about in their post-monomyth form, the GRoY is a pre-God Learner and even pre-Theyalan Influence document. We haven't seen any comparable documents for the Theyalan side, although there ought to be fragments in the shelves of Lhankor Mhy libraries. Esrolia - Land of 10,000 Goddesses gives us a glimpse at pre-God Learner sources and names with the Harono and Kodig stories. No idea whether these are also pre-Theyalan.

19 hours ago, None said:

Its much like the Orlanthi myth about how hunger appeared beacuse the Solar pantheon stole the wealth of the Earth or something similar. The Solar version is, quite different. (Although I don't remember it right now.)

Heortling Mythology has the Coming of Hunger as the core Uraldan myth, but gives no other reason than "the two-legs discovered it".

Acknowledgement of Hunger as a force is really a fundamental Green Age / End of Golden Age myth, reappearing over and over. Entekosiad has some of that from a proto-Lodril perspective.

19 hours ago, None said:

Tha'ts like air demanding tribute for existing, or the sun demanding tribute for beeing warm and bright (although it wouldn't surprise me if that actually happens).

Both do, in less pleasant form than the Earth does. Earth's demands are at least as terrible, though. The Uralda myth is another view at the primeval butchering myth that e.g. the log walkers in Entekosiad have. Ernalda's and Uralda's logic in that myth is ice-cold:

Quote

"Bulls  never  understand  that  a  little  lost blood is nothing, when there is life to be given. If the two-legs find in us a way to banish the thing called hunger, our herd will prosper. For every one of us they take, the biting things would have taken two. Trust to your goddess, and go out and be bulls again."

There are other such examples, one of my favorites is Genert's sacrifice of his followers that creates the Copper Sands in the Wastes.

19 hours ago, None said:

I also seem to remember said food requiring a lot of work from those who would eat it. It also entirely disregards the food that comes from the ocean.

That's a different cycle of myths. Capital h Hunger in the dry lands is about the end of plenty to humans, whereas the Oceans have their myth about the loss of plenty as lands fell inexplicably dry. That loss left them with an appetite for something they couldn't reach (a different Green Age kind of moment), but not a welfare-threatening one.

19 hours ago, None said:

Thing is, Ernalda already rescieves tribut (or gifts) for feeding the world. The whole holy day buissiness is more like Orlanth giving gifts to Ernalda for the right to be married to her and protect her and occasionally do her a favour. It's more like someone demanding you pay them for the immens favour of being allowed to work for them.

The Tom Sawyer feat of getting a fence painted... Yelmic Justice works on this principle, too.

19 hours ago, None said:

I'm not saying she isn't capable or that she doesn't help the Orlanth and the Orlanthi, she definitely doeas and he'd be a catastrophe without her. I'm saying she isn't quite what she makes herself appear to be.

If settings story continued and a new pantheon of gods appeared and toppled Orlanth I would be willing to bet anything (figuratively) that it would only be a matter of time before Ernalda appeared next to that pantheon's top god if she had even the slightest opportunity to.

And the Gods War boardgame does provide an Earth Queen for the Chaos faction, too... in keeping with this mythology.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Yes that is exactly how I picture Ernalda and most of her priestesses.

Note that the Red Goddess with her "marrying cults into the religion" has the same mechanics to work on e.g. Pavis.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Actually, thinking about it I think a large part of the problem with Ernalda (and possibly also the Feathered Horse Queen as a representant of the land) is the 'a king has to prove himself worthy of the land he rules over and respect it, not exploit it' thing the setting seem to want to work into their dynamic.

Only, the implications change quite drastically when said 'land' isn't an innert and very passive piece of earth but an active personalized force (or individual even) with its (or his/her) own desires, ambitions and designs, and the willingnes and drive to manipulate everyone else to to further those ends.

That changes what is essentially a passive and (mostly) defencless force into an actor and even potentially an aggeressor. That changes the whole 'you must be respectful and worthy of the land and show it your thanks for its selflessness' dynamic quite a lot.

And Ernalda is described as the one of the three sisters who is very much this force. Maran is the terrifying destructive force (but still a mother), and Esrola is the physical and nourishing aspect isolated. Thunder Rebels treats Esrola as an aspect of Ernalda, RQG might not.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Since the 'land' in this case retains all the priviliges of being a passive entity and makes it an actor it kind of becomes, how should I put it, a contender and the judge at the same time. It also puts it in the win/win possition of being a sovereign and sovereignity at the same time while everyone else has a win/lose situation.

Yes. But then compare the Wedding Contest for Yelm.

Orlanth is pretty unique in proclaiming judgment on himself and going into exile. Reminds me of Frederic II of Prussia and his glee at losing the court case against a miller - did wonders for his reputation as proponent of enlightened absolutism.

19 hours ago, None said:

I like Ernalda as a the goddes of the Orlanthi and Esrolia.

You should add Saird, as per GRoY. Maniria and Prax/Genert's Garden are given as bonus in the Sourcebook, and the region might as well be called Tada's Realm.

19 hours ago, None said:

Not as the symbol of sovereignity or the land.

Not the symbol - the thing itself. The land, and the sovereignty thereof.

Each of her maternal predecessors yielded that bunch of power and responsibility to the next generation - Gata to Asrelia, Asrelia to Ernalda. Each such generational passage weakened the thing itself but brought forth other aspects that were missing from the earlier, purer form, that's the nature of Devolution that the God Learners (and Zzabur before them) discerned in the universe of Glorantha.

19 hours ago, None said:

Or as the higest expression of the Great Earth Goddess.

We have the highly unsympathic entity Imarja for that, too.

19 hours ago, None said:

Nor the extreme prevalence of earth goddesses that are very similar in core nature everywhere (I'm sure someone will dispute but the thing is that the Earth pantheon is the Earth pantheon even if individual goddesses may differ), how they are all in the end smehow conected to Ernalda, even if said people doesn't even recognoize her existence.

Said people don't recognize the name, and don't look past the deities familiar to them. It takes enlightenment to doubt your immediate deity, or exposure to foreign ideas that lead to enlightenment. The Esrolians are big on Enlightenment, even though they followed the Only Old One after the Battle of Night and Day and they never trusted Palangio. They have Imarja as a secret identity beyond Ernalda - something the God Learners apparently missed, or failed to exploit.

19 hours ago, None said:

There is no Great Earth Goddess (or great [element] god) with a diferent nature or personality and saying that there is doesn't really work if they're also just a different mask of Ernalda.

Asrelia introduced some personality to the job of Great Earth Goddess, but didn't get to go all the way (the Orlanthi have a myth about how Umath and Asrelia were destined for one another but how the Celestials prevented that from happening). Ernalda is the incarnation that has brought forth the personality.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Also unlike with Orlanth where the game only half-hertedly attempt to deny that Orlanth isn't justy a rebel but also a powerhungry, thieving thug. Or with the other gods where it doesn't try at all. The game doesn't seem to wat to admit Ernalda's negative traits or how she acts. She's also somehow everywhere in a way none of the other gods are.

Because everywhere is the Surface World. The Orlanth Storm is everywhere, too, as is Daylight or Night's shadow. Only Water has a problem with ubiquity in the Surface World.

"The game" - which one are you referring to here?

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Also, yes. A lot of what I said about Ernalda and the earth goddeses can be said in varying degrees about the other gods and patheons too.

For example, I would like it if there also was a surpreeme Storm god that whose main indentity wasn't 'rebel' or 'wild and impulsve' or a Supreme Sun god that [isn't] all about beeing concervative and hierarchial.

I am certain that there is a mystical unity between Umath and Entekos.

Then there is Aerlit of Seshnela, a gentle wind among the wild gales of the Vadrudi, ancestor to the Malkioni. In a way, Malkion is the storm god you are missing.

As to the non-conservative sun god, the rebellion of Brightface in Entekosiad shows the Young God in a much different light, and some of this was retained by e.g. the Sankenites of Dawn Age Kostaddi and also by the horse warlords. Hierarchy sort of goes with Gloranthan and Solar civilization, but a sun barbarian shouldn't be impossible.

None of these emerged victorious out of the earlier phases of the Gods War or as survivors/resurrectees of the Greater Darkness. At least not in a major role.

The Doraddi civilization of Tishamto might satisfy your urge for a much less stratified solar-friendly society. Significantly, the sun wasn't in charge, though, and neither was fire (Balumbasta/Lodril), but Pamalt was, the Tada figure of the southern continent.

Teshnos has Calyz, possibly the friendliest male fire deity you may be able to find anywhere in Glorantha. The God Learners were pretty much unable to identify him with any other fire emanation known to them, unlike for Solf (Lodril/Lodik/Ladaral), Somash (Yelm/Ehilm) and Zitro Argon (Dayzatar/Zrethus). (Of the Pelorian entities, Turos comes closest to Calyz.)

Pelandan Idovanus is something like a "Great Yelm" with hints of the Invisible God. Powerless now, possibly since the ascension of Daxdarius and Natha to the Jernotian Celestial Court.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Put in another way:

I'd like there to exist supreme Storm gods that aren't Storm, Motion, Mastery without being weaker than Orlanth and without being Orlanth or a mask of Orlanth.

I'd like there to exist supreme Sun gods that aren't Sky/Fire, Stasis, Mastery without being weaker than Yelm and without being Yelmor a mask of Yelm.

You are aware that "supreme" invokes adjectives like "asshole", "trickster" or "hierarchical", and that it doesn't usually come in the plural?

 

19 hours ago, None said:

Similarily I wish that the land goddesses and Earth goddesses outside Orlanthi territories and Esrolia weren't connect to or subservient to Ernalda at all which still remain the most important to me as while the other two (somehow ) appear somewhat local the Earth is everywhere and the thing (alledgedly) everyone covets.

Surenslib's Suvaria (originally extending to Biselenslib's Henjarl and east of the Yolp mountains that sprang up about one third into her expanse from west to east to that region's ibis-headed wetland goddess) is possibly such a place. The EWF and the Lunar Empire made their alternate magical realities such objects of supreme desire. But then, Suvaria is a mix of dry land and water with a creation story for the universe of its own (and hard to reconcile with the Monomyth).

The Malkioni acknowledge land goddesses among their ancestry, and probably have them as descendants of Empress Earth, the Erasanchula of Earth. Britha or Kala are not descended from Genner (Genert), and I think that neither is Seshna Likita, unlike Frona and Ralia, but a dry remnant of Danmalastan.

The aldryami of Genertela (and since the Third Age, Jrustela) acknowledge Ernalda, but that might be a consequence of the Lightbringer Awakeners. The forests awakened from Winterwood might have had a separate entity that got straightened out during the Bright Empire. Errinoru's visit in the north may have aligned Pamaltela, or not. By that time, the God Learners had swallowed the Theyalan version hook, line and sinker and went on to promote that as the basis of their monomyth. They surely tampered with the mythic landscape of Umathela. They never had the chance to do so on Brithos, but they might have aligned Seshna with the Ernalda story.

 

19 hours ago, None said:

edit, edit, edit: That said, while I understand the idea of giving each element its own nature and then having civilizations build out of those and the interesting things you can do with that  (I actually like the idea) I feel (grom a game developing perspective especially) like the setting don't make use of/give the same amount of room to all the elements and that there is an overabundance and swollen significance given to some.

Having one element or elemental civilization fixated or dependent upon another element in this set-up is, I can't say I think it is good.

Especially not if it is done (almost) all the time and it is even worse if it hapens to all elements, and even worse if they're all fixated on the same element.

The Gods War gamed things out between numerous manifestations of these powers in different contexts. Then the Greater Darkness filtered out only those manifestations that had been strong enough prior to the Greater Darkness to be brought back from oblivion by Arachne Solara's Web.

Glorantha is a post-apocalyptic setting with recurring cataclysms. That means it can afford to be lacking in some forms of expression, it has a backstory to explain those.

 

If you don't want to ditch the entire concept of the Four Quarters of the World that collided in the Creation of Glorantha, then Ernalda may be the expression of the Earth in the northern quarter. The Jrusteli and possibly the Theyalans before them (including the Olodo) may have exported her to other parts (Seshnela, Teshnos, Kralorela, Jrustela, Umathela) that weren't originally parts of her quarter. Much of Pamaltela and the East may be unburdened by Ernalda. Everywhere else she appears to have been a success story since local forms were identified with her.

The simplification of local expressions is part of the History of Glorantha within Time. Usually we are presented with the expressions at the end of the Third Age, as in the Guide, but occasionally older stories shine through, as in GRoY, Revealed Mythologies, Esrolia - Land of 10K Goddesses.

You will be hard put to find any Orlanthi documents untainted by the Theyalan missionaries, and the Esrolian lore went into the Theyalan canon, too. Peloria and Pent were less infiltrated by Theyalan stories, or immunized by the arrogance of the Dara Happans, which may be why there were older stories left to be found by Valare Addi.

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