Jump to content

Women in Glorantha


HeartQuintessence

Recommended Posts

One consideration we haven't taken is the relationship of the Boar God to the hsunchen. In the Tusk Riders, we have humans re-hsunchenising themselves and worshipping an earth and darkness god. The darkness is the cause of the Bloody Cut, the Earth is the original Earth deity. I know they say they are half-trolls, but what if they read as darkness but that's because of the worship and the appearance is a hybrid form like the Telmori have?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

One consideration we haven't taken is the relationship of the Boar God to the hsunchen. In the Tusk Riders, we have humans re-hsunchenising themselves and worshipping an earth and darkness god. The darkness is the cause of the Bloody Cut, the Earth is the original Earth deity. I know they say they are half-trolls, but what if they read as darkness but that's because of the worship and the appearance is a hybrid form like the Telmori have?

I am very far from having read everything on Glorantha but I have not yet read something indicating that Gouger and the Boar God of the Hsunchens are the same.   😕

But I agree with you about Darkness and its influence on the appearance of the Tusk Riders. I was about to reply to @Joerg's post in this way when I saw yours.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

One consideration we haven't taken is the relationship of the Boar God to the hsunchen.

I regard the Mraloti Hsunchen who now live in northern Ramalia as unrelated to the Entruli, although they probably immigrated because of the boar magic that was ambient and largely untapped here after the Manirians turned into Malkioni and/or Orlanthi.

 

17 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

In the Tusk Riders, we have humans re-hsunchenising themselves and worshipping an earth and darkness god.

I don't think so. Hunter-gatherer beast riders aren't exactly Hsunchen, although there are Hsunchen in Ralios with temple-cities, too.

The Aramites orginated as Storm-and-Earth-worshipers and are now Darkness-worshipers with residues of these former orientation, in a rather elemental mode - unlike how the Hsunchen deal with these elements. The Aramites are theists, and have always been theists. They have not the slightest mention of shamanism. Almost explicitely so (which is also one difference they would have to the claim of them being half-trolls).

 

17 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The darkness is the cause of the Bloody Cut, the Earth is the original Earth deity. I know they say they are half-trolls, but what if they read as darkness but that's because of the worship and the appearance is a hybrid form like the Telmori have?

Yes, their appearance does indeed remind of the Hsunchen spell of Alter Head. So does the Minotaur head, and both the majority of the Beast Valley beastmen and the altered Tusk Riders come from the EWF era. This seems to be one of the more successful modification methods of the Remakers, and the Aramites followed the example of their Great Living Hero, Varankol the Mangler. Possibly with some aid of the Remakers. Ask Delecti for details.

But no, the only Hsunchen anywhere near Dragon Pass are Telmori and Basmoli.

  • Thanks 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/29/2019 at 7:37 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

The Orlanthi of Maniria (sometimes called Entruli) are likely at least in part converted pig/boar Hsunchen, and appear to preserve some cultural substrata. Entru is perhaps more a Dawn Age culture hero than a god (but differentiating those can be difficult without firsthand sources) who was married to Ketha (which might be the local Dawn Age name for who we would consider Ernalda or Esrola nowadays, or specifically the local land goddess, it's hard to say).

There's a document that might date from around 1969, the Seshnegi Book of Foreigners, that lays out a variant narrative for the land it calls "Ernaldela." A storm god Foi loved the Sow Goddess Mralota and their son Entru married Ketha (an Aldrya) and had five sons. This is before the dawn in Genert's country to the east. Entru and four of the boys (Ramal, "Heeril," Wenel and Manir) migrate to the lands we now call Slontos. The fifth, Vathmai, stays home until 115 ST.

Vathmai is as much a pigman as his brothers but by the time his people go west under Lalmor they're firmly assimilated into the Unity Council and their storm father is Orlanth. Two tusker nations there, the Harandings northwest of primeval Nochet and the Aramites of the Plinth on the other side of the Pass. I suspect the Aramites have a separate origin but only their mounts really know for sure at this point. The Harandings probably become the Vathmai "missionaries" bringing the gospel to previously estranged pig cousins to the west . . . since this is their holy land, population pressure from burgeoning Esrolia might have been a factor in addition to religious zeal. The Ditalings seem to get absorbed early on.

Meanwhile the main body of Mralota's brood build an urban civilization along the coast, but tribal unity breaks down in the shocks around their capital sinking in 97 and the Pralorites move in from farther west. The Vathmai are greeted as liberators and ultimately absorb the other Entrulian nations into a polity that lasts roughly a century. By this point we're a long way from the pig days so the rise and fall no longer really matter to us here.

Whether they were ever lycanthropic tusk "brothers" instead of simply tusk "riders" is mysterious. No outsider knows where shapeshifting tusk "brothers" come from and they are too angry all the time to say. What we know for a fact is that tusk "riders" don't demonstrate any trace of hsunchen religion. They probably never had the right spells. The Harandings are also already human by the Dawn. Their cousins to the west may be more controversial.

However, I'm starting to think "hsunchen" shapeshifting is actually an innovation of the Serpent Beasts and not a primordial state of man/beast innocence. Even if we were all animal people back in the forest, it's clear that some nations had access to those spells in the dawn age and others did not. What we know is that the Serpent Beasts came into conflict with Council proxies just as much as they did with the expanding Malkionite communities of the far west.

The Remakers may have been trying to reverse engineer lost beast nations for reasons of their own. And of course all of this is paracanonical at best.

Edited by scott-martin
serpent beasts
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

However, I'm starting to think "hsunchen" shapeshifting is actually an innovation of the Serpent Beasts and not a primordial state of man/beast innocence. Even if we were all animal people back in the forest, it's clear that some nations had access to those spells in the dawn age and others did not. What we know is that the Serpent Beasts came into conflict with Council proxies just as much as they did with the expanding Malkionite communities of the far west.

Shapeshifting became something not natural at some Green Age moment. So did a lot of other breaks from ancestral unity - gender, cognition, you name it.

According to the Hykimi, cognition is a minor difference between Man-people and Beast-people, and while the value of what can be done with hands and wit have is improved chances at survival, when they become essential to the Man-people, they lose (most of) their connection to the Beast people side.

I'll only be approaching this from the western Genertelan Hsunchen approach, as each of the major groupings of Hsunchen has a whole bunch of common development behind them. The northwestern ones have Kachisti Logician influence (and quite a lot of that), the northeastern ones have been subsumed by the dragons (which may be unfair to those of Teshnos), and the southern ones share history with the Doraddi humans. 

They all share the division into sexes, unlike their ancestral entities who manifest as both as the myth requires, being fertile with their alternative sex when parenting both the Man-people and the Beast-people of their kind. Some of the shamanic traditions still have a sex-transition (biological rather than/in addition to behavioral one) when awakening to the Spirit World (awakening their fetch).

IMO there is a significant Kachisti ancestry in most of the Serpent Beast Brotherhood Hsunchen of Western Genertela - to the Man-people, that is. The God of the Silver Feet really is an important ancestor to the Man-people, will they or nil they, and because that is the case, the natural beast transformation of their ancestors may have become lost.

Or they may have mingled with the primitive Hill Barbarian animal totem pastoralists, many of whom with their Founders and Protectresses are not that distinguishable from Serpent Beast People.

And there are Man-people who have the Goddesses of the Land in their ancestry. Twin kin of the Man-people of the Hsunchen, but touched by the pernicious influence of culture, valuing the material culture more than appropriate, and thus leaving that unity with their beast ancestry. Three cultivating influences played on the Hsunchen, and whenever two or more of these come together, borderline human cultures come into being, often manifesting as permanent temple cities.

The Serpent Beast Brotherhood acknowledges some Earth ancestry, it seems, but retains a better connection to the Beast-people side of their existence than their more pastoralist or more urban neighbors.

There are at least three major groups in the region of the western Hsunchen who have very similar origin  - the Enerali, Enjoreli, and the Pendali. The Enjoreli and the Enerali share Kachisti, pastoralist Hill People and Earth people influences to make their cultures too different from the Serpent Beast folk to share in that beast transition magic. The Pendali of Old Seshnela lack the pastoralist influence, and still share in that beast transition of the Serpent Beast folk, but then I have the suspicion that their Basmoli ancestry is rather of recent Godtime arrival in Seshnela, predating that of Froalar and Neleos by few generations. (At least that's what I have been proposing for more than twenty years now

Search for discussions about the Pendali in the Glorantha archives. Read the voices of the people I am reacting to if you don't want to deal with my own wafflings. The discussions of 2010 were full of valuable insights, as a quick trip into this history showed me, and had some rare direct input from Greg on these topics.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But to get back to women (and other issues of gender) in Glorantha: there are four biological sexes or plumbing variations in Glorantha, male plumbing (yes/no) and female plumbing (yes/no), and where both answers are yes, there are people able to manifest one or the other plumbing at a time, and those who have both all the time. This  sums up the sexes of Man-rune creatures.

When it comes to gender, to expressing these sexual roles through behavior and culture, I wonder whether the Hsunchen make gender that important to their lifestyle. Women bear children, men don't, but do they have much of a sex-based difference in job descriptions otherwise?

There will be an additional (and probably stronger) influence of sex-specific behavior in their animal totem to their specific cultures, which might re-inforce some stronger division of labor and behavior, making men more likely to be warriors as that often resembles their animal totems' mating behavior.

Any thoughts on this?

Edited by Joerg
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

But to get back to women (and other issues of gender) in Glorantha: there are four biological sexes or plumbing variations in Glorantha, male plumbing (yes/no) and female plumbing (yes/no), and where both answers are yes, there are people able to manifest one or the other plumbing at a time, and those who have both all the time. This  sums up the sexes of Man-rune creatures.

When it comes to gender, to expressing these sexual roles through behavior and culture, I wonder whether the Hsunchen make gender that important to their lifestyle. Women bear children, men don't, but do they have much of a sex-based difference in job descriptions otherwise?

There will be an additional (and probably stronger) influence of sex-specific behavior in their animal totem to their specific cultures, which might re-inforce some stronger division of labor and behavior, making men more likely to be warriors as that often resembles their animal totems' mating behavior.

Any thoughts on this?

So the hsunchen are animal people? Or people who shape shift into animals?  Reguardless, this  an itneresting point,  are there only a few types of hsunchen? Are there Lion hsunchen who's females are myriad but have only a few males? ( which in reality for human people is /bad/ way to go about procreation.)

 

Do the Hsunchen tweak their totemic animals life style to hit human models?

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

I have the suspicion that their Basmoli ancestry is rather of recent Godtime arrival in Seshnela, predating that of Froalar and Neleos by few generations.

I love it. A contender for top post of the year! The only door I'd like to keep open at this stage is the possibility that these might be primeval migrations of consciousness (or spirit patronage) and not necessarily nations.  When Lion came to the northern forest he might have found a people there already receptive to adoption. If nothing else he found a "wife."

And so on for all the first peoples. Before the world fractured, there were systems that looked like bodies and systems that looked like minds. The bodies would have needed to move in linear paths to get to where they met the Dawn. The ideas (dare I say kachasti here?) would have spread differently. The ideas shape the peoples. The way they're shuffled at the start influence where they go within history. 

Tribal identities erupt everywhere in the turmoil leading up to the birth of the world. At that point, some carry Fralar and came "here" from Fralar's land. Some carry Froalar and consider themselves exiles from Froalar's land. All equally "immigrants."

Now once we all get here, there are two early consolidation movements in the West and at least three others elsewhere across the lozenge. This is not hidden backer-only lore. It's just a slightly different perspective. It may not ultimately be historically "true" but it can still generate compelling explanations. We're familiar with the process of reunifying the scattered "western" experience after an initial period of isolated local development: Hrestol brings good news to all the surviving cities, white wizards argue for reformation, etc. In the past, I at least have tended to consider this "history." It's familiar colonial textbook material. Civilizations are built on the bones of savages.

But for a moment we imagine a Glorantha where the other people (who embodied the other half of the green world) start innovating and consolidating too when they wake up. They aren't locked into any colonial fantasy of the wilderness passively waiting to be cultivated. They have their own ideas, build collectives that Greg sometimes calls cities and sometimes takes it back, embarrassed by his own audacity and accepting his own white wizard rhetoric. There were "hsunchen" civilizations. They just didn't look like what the chauvinists who wrote Greg's early history books would consider civilization at all, and so their religious movements get buried. They become people with no official history because official history is written by the winners and any records the losers left behind are destroyed.

Like the proto-malkionite West at the Dawn, it was initially a mess. Some had riding, some had herding, some had neither, all had an ancestor. Scattered contacts happen. Some expressions of the proto-totemic consciousness die out early. Others become part of larger systems, "beast collectives" and "lion empires" and so on. They interact. They exchange ideas. They have their religious and political geniuses. Consolidation. The second consolidation, a beast consolidation.

I like your three cultivating influences predictor and will raise you something like a dragon as a correlating factor . . .  something like an EWF. This might not be the original beast consciousness at all. It might be their greatest achievement but they lost the war of time. They aligned with Dorastor and all the works of Dorastor are fragmentary now, so tattered the survivals look impossibly archaic to modern observers. It's "natural" to assume that the wretched and bereft we see today conform with how we imagine the original human condition in some hypothetical "green age." The books say they never learned. 

This is nothing new to you but might be productive for others. The Telmorites fell. Beast peoples who remember the lycanthropic rites are scattered to the barren wilds. Those who converted forgot and their children survived. And so it goes. The familiar history resumes, with the children of malkion ultimately writing the books and the children of pendal replacing our old horalite class. Desperation produces monsters and demonization is one hell of a sorcerous technique. But almost nothing in Glorantha remains buried forever. We'll find out. Maybe we'll find out in our lifetime, in a western hero wars. Or an eastern one, for that matter. A southern one.

Now to keep this overtly on topic it's fascinating that while the sons of malkion and the sons of the beast are fighting the daughters are playing out their own continental drama. Ancestresses. At some point there's a divergence or evolution within what we would call the "earth" group and you see some people trace their lineage from an "aldryama" while others come from a "likita." These are all mammals so the choice (moiety) of tree or snake seems more symbolic than anything else. Some nations come from tree mothers (the Entruli, for example) and some come from snake mothers (the Pendali). And of course other nations have other mothers.

Interactions among tree mothers and snake mothers generate a weird and ungainly duplication of entities but at the dawn it's almost as though it's a binary choice: inherit the ideas from Aldrya or from Seshna, for example. Tree worship survives among mammals in the grain goddess complex. The snake mother system seems to evolve into the modern land goddess list, but occasionally you see a vestige of something older, a shaker cult or chthonic / tectonic goddess. Along the tectonically active southwestern coast we don't see the humans interact with a lot of tree mothers. Even at the dawn the forest already belongs to Seshna's first children and actual elves are rare in the sagas. Tree mother consciousness is already done here and is already hard to find in Ralios as well as the Flamal cult rustles. Here in Seshnela, the mother war is now about which vision of snake inheritance will be master, and as we know Hrestol triumphs. 

This has ramifications for all mothers to come in the West, the carriers of menena. The likita consciousness gets coopted into the serpent king system everywhere except places like the Vadeli isles where everything is always inverted. Traces of the aldrya consciousness turn into Earth Witch, giving the ladies who live on the fringe of the forest access to options: technologies of consciousness (intoxicating drinks), alternative sexualities (furries) and of course spells the patriarchy can't figure out. This is a good thing. Now that I'm actually reading the Sourcebook I see that Earth Witch is prominent among the mralot people, who are a tree mother people in Maniria . . . successively orlanthized, gbajized, arkatized, malkionized and syncretized but maintaining ancient alliances with the Arstola.

That's a good thing for them because Slonta is a tectonic goddess (likita) who ultimately rolled. I would not be surprised if part of the truth behind the "goddess switch" was an effort to interchange a likita with an aldrya, but everybody has a favorite pet theory there. 

But there's a third female expression in the archaic genealogies: the tilnta, pure fertility in itself. This person is not defined by her lovers. She defines them. I am hunting the birth of "Ernalda" in the fusion of snake and tree and maybe pig in this part of the world right now. A new kind of consciousness who unlike the destructive masculine rivalry of the farther west integrates and bridges previously parallel systems. She has both sisters' magic, land and grain. Of course now that she's proved her superiority, people call tree and snake her daughters. It's easier to get your head around that way, even if Since Time the evolution has gone in the exact opposite direction. Generational cycles, scratch an old lady and you'll find a little girl and a woman in between.

I think the Ernalda cult was complicit in the age of the empires, acknowledged in Jrustela (where people did come in boats) and interacting with the latter-day EWF. That's okay. We all have adventures. What's interesting now is whether something like Ernalda consciousness, the self-aware tilnta, spreads in the apocalyptic West. Time for Menena to take her crown. I am sure I am missing some crucial details in this rant. I swear it looks organized in my head.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

So the hsunchen are animal people? Or people who shape shift into animals?

Depends on the tribe. The Telmori are one people with four legged and two legged members, Uncolings are reindeer who can assume human form, the Flari are people who change into animals.

This ultimately seems to just be a religious attitude, and ruleswise they seem to mostly use spells to change into animals though. If we see Uncol getting written up as a cult, we might know better.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@scott-martin I barely understood a word of this but it presents some interesting ideas. Are you positing that  the Hsunchen societies are part of a forgotten asnd down trodden culture that has simply been oppressed?

What if some Orlanthi were to  get comfortable living away from the Sartar and try and encorporate  these animal conciseness gods into the Storm Pantheon as kin and kith of Yinkin ( which seems to be  the easiest way to do it).

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

@scott-martin I barely understood a word of this but it presents some interesting ideas. Are you positing that  the Hsunchen societies are part of a forgotten asnd down trodden culture that has simply been oppressed?

What if some Orlanthi were to  get comfortable living away from the Sartar and try and encorporate  these animal conciseness gods into the Storm Pantheon as kin and kith of Yinkin ( which seems to be  the easiest way to do it).

Well there are a number of "animal totemed" people who have been called Hsunchen but seem more related to the Storm Tribe or others. Such as the Qa-Ying eagle people (actually wind children), or the Tawari bull riders, or Enerali horse folk. It's possible there were more who were more perfectly absorbed, which the Sylilan Odaylans and the Yinkini are remnants of. (Since they have similar magic to Hsunchen cults)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, HeartQuintessence said:

I barely understood a word of this but it presents some interesting ideas. Are you positing that  the Hsunchen societies are part of a forgotten asnd down trodden culture that has simply been oppressed?

First part: I know how that goes! Take what you want, I trust you to build the house you want out of the impenetrable sentences.

And yes! But not necessarily a single continent-spanning civilization . . . more of a "beast belt" full of local variations, innovations, reforms, empire building and disintegration across Time.

So like the Orlanthites or Malkionites, with their own history. Only as the losers, that history has not been studied but instead suppressed as with other variant expressions of Gloranthan consciousness. (Women, blue people, moon rune, etc.) We have the opportunity to reconstruct.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The term "Hsunchen" as we as players and as the source books use the term is actually a fairly recent development in-universe. Like so many of the overarching classificatory descriptions that exist in the Glorantha fandom (or whatever the term is here), it is derived from the terminology of the God Learners. 

The God Learners were a group of monotheist (or less commonly atheist) wizards who ruled a vast empire. They attempted to understand and put together the myriad of mutually incompatible myths from around the world and create a cosmic synthesis from it. They achieved things no one before or since have managed. It did not go well. As someone put it: "Most learned, and least wise" (Not sure if it that was straight from Greg or from another writer, but it is a fantastic phrase).

To get back on track, the God Learners observed lots of different groups that lived in close attunement with an animal and animistic animal totem, and they were the ones to give all of these an overarching term: Hsunchen (a term they likely borrowed from the East, afaik). 

The take-away here is this: 1) It's not a category without merit, but it contains lots of differences. Not all Hsunchen shapeshift, for example. 2) Before the God Learners came around in the Second Age, there wasn't really this idea of all animal-totem animist people belonging to this global category. There were attempts at similar things, such as the term "Hykimi" likely being a precursor, but limited to the Hsunchen of western Genertela, but most of these were local in nature. 

So basically, we shouldn't reach back into myths of the God Time and assume that there was some vast Hsunchen empire or civilization or consciousness of commonality or anything. Wolf-people were wolf-people first and foremost, and deer-people where deer-people. 

The ways in which these people interact with, for example, the Sorcerers of the West, or the Storm Peoples (who are often pastoralists and therefore feature a good deal of animal-human interaction and interplay themselves), or Earth peoples (which are another group with a highly complex animal interplay) varies on a case by case basis - and in my personal opinion, there isn't really a watershed border between these.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

So the hsunchen are animal people? Or people who shape shift into animals? 

Or animals that shift into humans. All of that, at least for those of the Hsunchen who haven't been meddled with (like e.g. the Telmori).

 

Quote

Reguardless, this  an itneresting point,  are there only a few types of hsunchen? Are there Lion hsunchen who's females are myriad but have only a few males? ( which in reality for human people is /bad/ way to go about procreation.)

Lions have a roughly equal ratio of male to female births AFAIK. Not all males breed, and those who do may lose their patriarch's position after a rather short stint at the top. Few survive that.

Plus there are lion prides where the males cooperate and hunt actively, like those prides that have specialized on hunting hippopotami in southern Africa. Not all lions thrive on antelopes and zebras.

I have no idea about the European lions social structure, but it may have been a lot closer to that of tigers as there are not that many ways a huge apex predator can survive in a borealic environment, as the Cave Lion did, or in at best Mediterranean conditions like the European lions of the Bronze Age did.

Quote

Do the Hsunchen tweak their totemic animals life style to hit human models?

Definitely. The Rathori are a lot more gregarious than brown bears are even during salmon season, for instance. The Pralori form significantly armies even though male stags usually are as solitary maintainers of their herd of females as are African lions of their pride. The Telmori form tribes with alpha wolves, a behavior only observed with wolves in captivity, never in the wild (other than young adults sticking with their parents).

And quite possibly the animals paired with the humans change their natural behavior, too.

 

Quote

What if some Orlanthi were to  get comfortable living away from the Sartar and try and encorporate  these animal conciseness gods into the Storm Pantheon as kin and kith of Yinkin ( which seems to be  the easiest way to do it).

Has happened over and over again... the lure of human culture is significant, and the Orlanthi have the most compatible culture west of Genert's wastes. East of the wastes, both the Hsunchen and their relationship with the human culture is different.

 

1 hour ago, Tindalos said:

Well there are a number of "animal totemed" people who have been called Hsunchen but seem more related to the Storm Tribe or others. Such as the Qa-Ying eagle people (actually wind children), or the Tawari bull riders, or Enerali horse folk.

The Tawari bull riders may be the Hsunchen equivalent to the Enjoreli just like the Galanini look like a Hsunchen equivalent to the Enerali. And I posit that the Pendali are the civilized sibling culture of the real Basmoli, but unlike Enerali and Enjoreli retaining some of the power to shift shape. If only Odayla-like.

 

Quote

It's possible there were more who were more perfectly absorbed, which the Sylilan Odaylans and the Yinkini are remnants of. (Since they have similar magic to Hsunchen cults)

There are more non-Hsunchen cultures not that different from Hsunchen.

Yinkini don't really have shape-shifting any more, they only have partial transformation - but then so do Storm Bulls, and even subcults of Orlanth and Heler.

 

But really, let's discuss this in a different thread.

Edited by Joerg
Suggesting new thread for the Hsunchen topic
  • Like 2

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/29/2019 at 6:46 PM, Rob Darvall said:

Cultures are not doing the initiation because it's easy or safe, they're doing it because it's mythically necessary. IDK what the mortality rate among Spartan initiates was, but I'd posit that it was lower than among Gloranthans. This is simply because Gloranthan initiations can have genuinely hostile entities participating (ala Red Cow).

A bit off topic, but evidence suggests that the mortality rate among Spartan 'initiates' was quite high. Although often presented as a coming of age ritual, the whipping at the Altar of Artemis was something boys underwent every year between age 7-8 and 20. Plutarch witnessed multiple boys dying during the ritual, and since Spartan boys were underfed and the weak ones were brutalized regularly, it's likely that the ritual was part of a strategy of culling the weak boys out. It's one of the reasons the number of Spartiate citizens declined steadily across the polis' existence. I doubt that most Gloranthan initiation rituals are quite that brutal (although perhaps among Maran Gor worshippers they might be). 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Yinkini don't really have shape-shifting any more, they only have partial transformation - but then so do Storm Bulls, and even subcults of Orlanth and Heler.

 

But really, let's discuss this in a different thread.

Yinkin has access to the Transform Self spell granted Hykim and Mikyh where as the others don't seem to.

But yes another thread on the Hsunchen/Hykimi/Fiwan and other related groups would be handy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Come to think of it, Ernalda's and any Earth Goddess worship would dramatically change if we're talking about Hsunchen, from what I am understanding. These people are closer to the Earth and it seems their religion and  style of worship would be very different from the Orlanthi.

 

But I agree a thread we can weave together for the Hsunchen/Hykimi ect might be good. (Might be another book in the making)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Bohemond said:

A bit off topic, but evidence suggests that the mortality rate among Spartan 'initiates' was quite high. Although often presented as a coming of age ritual, the whipping at the Altar of Artemis was something boys underwent every year between age 7-8 and 20. Plutarch witnessed multiple boys dying during the ritual, and since Spartan boys were underfed and the weak ones were brutalized regularly, it's likely that the ritual was part of a strategy of culling the weak boys out. It's one of the reasons the number of Spartiate citizens declined steadily across the polis' existence. I doubt that most Gloranthan initiation rituals are quite that brutal (although perhaps among Maran Gor worshippers they might be). 

Not as deliberately brutal, but there are still the "wicked uncles". Even if they are holding back to ensure the boys survival they are still introducing a mythic peril which may partly offset the lower infant mortality so evening out the death rate in Gloranthan pre-teens to something closer to RW stats, just at a later age.

Still, a serious flogging every year between 7 and 20 is probably worse than Gloranthan initiations. The Shargashi might be similar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, Mirza said:

Scott, Joerg you both hit on some solid gold here, it's a line of thinking that acknowledges the agency of the Hykimi rather than simply having them be acted upon. But I do have some disagreements with a couple minor things that Joerg said.

Great. I thrive on debate, and when it comes in this friendly tone, even more.

Quote

The Galanini are the descendants of the Enerali, not a separate Hykimi equivalent, and they are still capable of the shape-changing Serpent Beast magic (or perhaps have innovated it again), if the sidebar on 382 of the Guide is correct. Specifically I think that the Galanini are descendants of two tribes of the Enerali: the Utoni, and what remains of the Fornaoli that didn't convert to Malkionism.

They never rejected the ways of Galanin/Galana, they still acknowledge that they are kin to their horses. Their Solar identity is wrapped up into this, I've posited that the Horse Hykimi had a Solar identity from the very beginning before ever meeting Humat or the Kachisti, and I think it still rings true. I've been thinking that on top of the purity of the Fire/Sky rune, there seems to be a tendency towards hierarchy, and complexity from civilizations with a Solar identity, and I wonder if the Galanini's culture was compatible with urbanization due to this.

Uz Lore, of RQ2 Troll Pak, p.14, mentions "horse-worshippers who were untainted by the light of Yelm" from Ralios as mercenaries at Argentium Thri'ile but doesn't call them Galanini or Enerali.

I encountered the term Galanini a lot earlier than I first saw the term Enerali. P.373 in the Guide speaks of the clans of the Galanini being united by the resident priest-judges into the Dangan Confederation.

But then, Eneral is a son of Galanin, a human son, whose four sons found the four tribes of Safelster in well established fashion. The Galanini as described in the Guide hint at their queens, and it is possible that they are the remnant of followers of a daughter or even sister of Eneral. Looking at the description of Lartuli, p.384, which is the seat of the Galanini Queens, this almost suggests a parallel matrilineal or even matriarchal tribal structure.

 

I don't dispute that the Enerali are descendants of Galanin, and that the Galanini led by their queens are their kin, being descendants of Galanin himself.

I do not find any positive evidence that the Galanini who have these Hsunchen-type magics are descendants of Eneral.

Can you be certain that the Galanini are part of the Enerali by descent? Do you have a source explicitely saying so?

Or is it possible that many Hsunchen-like Galanini also fell prey to the shiny magics the Lightbringers brought and joined their Enerali cousins?

 

Quote

Hopefully that doesn't throw a wrench in your thoughts Joerg, but it's weird how this one specific culture of Hykimi have managed to never reject their nature or their gods, and yet are a part of the most urbanized region in all of Glorantha, and have periods of dominance in the region instead of just surviving at the edges. The Galanini/Eneral continue to fascinate me.

Same with me, and I have been at it since I read about the non-Yelm horse people of Ralios in Uz Lore.

To me, they are some form of Pure Horse nobility among the majority of those who fell victim to agriculture and Theyalan ways.

The cult of Yelorna might be related to Galana, the sun goddess of Nislan. (also p.384)

 

Quote

Perhaps this is just me, but if I were to write up the Galanini like SKoH, I think I'd have them reject the whole Man's God and Woman's God dichotomy. It's something that isn't from them, it's a Theyalan import.

The Theyalans infected all of the Enerali, but IMO not (or only barely) the Galanini. Galin has queens, but is an Enerali city. Helby is an Enerali city, but has a male ruler. Whatever forms of horse god worship there may have been in the Tanier Valley has long since been overwritten by the Seshnegi, and I don't expect to find much of it further up the Nidan River in Fornoar, either.

Quote

The chieftanesses of the Galanini are probably worshipers of Ehilm, which doesn't really square with him being the Galanini Man's God if all his highest rank and powerful worshipers are exclusively women.

Nislan offers the sun goddess Galana. A possible substitute.

Quote

(The Galanini are matrilineal for determining who their chieftesses are, and perhaps matriarchal depending on your definition.)

Yes. A sort of Yelorna light. No unicorns, but golden horses, a sun goddess (sister of the horse god?), warrior queens.

 

Looking into this matrilineality or matriarchy makes this discussion right at home in this thread...

Edited by Joerg
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm gonna keep the Hsunchen talk in the Western Hsunchen thread, we can debate about whether the Enerali are the Galanini there, but here's some interesting bits for this thread.

Interestingly we can actually see the origin for the Galanini's matrilinearity, it comes from the Vustri of all people.

https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/gloranthan-documents/glorantha-2/the-enerali-circa-130-st/

Check the Galin section of the document, it was at 130 ST the only location that used matrilinearity at the time, but by 265 ST (according to the maps in the Guide) it's conquered by the Dari, and not controlled by the Vustri. I could very much see a situation where the Queen of Galin was willing to surrender if the Dari accepted her hereditary rights to Galin, and converted from Humat (Storm) to Ehilm (Solar) in exchange, popularizing this kind of primogeniture among the Dangkae (later the Galanini).

Edited by Mirza
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't delved deeply, but from what I have seen -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- the key element is... hrm... let's call it mutability.  Hykim-Mykih, shapeshifting, genderbending.  Not really "genderfluid" in the modern parlance (still binary), but M-or-F-as-needed-or-inclined.  Gender seems to be less of an "identity" here.

I'll add that the more devolved away from their divine ideal, the less mutable.  Shapeshifting gets harder and harder, and the gender-switch seems to go away entirely.

Edited by g33k
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/2/2020 at 4:45 PM, g33k said:

I haven't delved deeply, but from what I have seen -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- the key element is... hrm... let's call it mutability.  Hykim-Mykih, shapeshifting, genderbending.  Not really "genderfluid" in the modern parlance (still binary), but M-or-F-as-needed-or-inclined.  Gender seems to be less of an "identity" here.

I'll add that the more devolved away from their divine ideal, the less mutable.  Shapeshifting gets harder and harder, and the gender-switch seems to go away entirely.

Arguably Hykim-Mikyh are just the female and male aspects of the larger hermaphroditic and draconic Korgatsu. There's possibly some Earth interceding at some point - possibly allowing not only the involvement in "gross matter" and explicit sexual creativity, but also to solidify the binary gender structure (which also seems to be a bit of an Earth innovation - from previous Sea-dominated hermaphroditism or sequential hermaphoditism - which interestingly touches on how Sea-entities are so often called dragons, and how Korgatsu can be seen as hermaphroditic being whose two sexed aspects act out the genesis of (mostly land-based) animals. Although it should be noted that the differnce here is of degree, not absolute, as Jeff has mentioned earlier.) 

Now granted, this model does have some holes, since the Green Age was very much still an age of mutability as mentioned above. Even so, I suspect it was moving towards the strict order of the Golden Age, and leaving the radical fluidity of the Blue Age before the Earth Cube rose from the seas behind. 

Anyway - I'd say Hykim & Mikyh are probably, at some deeper level, understood to be the same being, but in a general, conventional way, probably act as different individuals in the stories and myths of the Hsunchen. It's easier for the youth and the uninitiated to comprehend that. Once you become an elder or a shaman, however, you probably come into contact with the deeper secrets. Just my two cents, anyway. 

EDIT: Incidentally, elderhood is when male and female bodies start getting more similar in hormonal output in the RW, and in the RW shamans are often shown transgressing gender norms, so these two examples might fit very well with attaining deeper knowledge into the fundamental connectedness of the male and female beast ancestors. Another two cents, if you'd like.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Hykim & Mikyh are probably, at some deeper level, understood to be the same being

Catching up but this always struck me as a remnant of a tantric formula that survives in the southern systems but is not often described in the north  . . . 

Kendamalar taught to the wise among the seers how to bring together Cronisper in the lap of Yanmorla again properly, so that they could be with Langamul when he made the world.

or in the other system, 

Aleshmara and Cronisper tried, but they failed. Each of them only managed to get parts of Langamul back. Noruma shows them how to work together. They do what Noruma says, and they burst into flame, but are not burnt. 

M+F in the right way = composite entity, creator reborn as great horned serpent

Hykim = mikyH
Noruma = amuroN

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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

×
×
  • Create New...