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4 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

So i see much of the Gloranthan materials do the whole "male role as default "   which is a reflection of earth.

It's probably also something of a default for the RPG community, at least back when RuneQuest was first created. Something of a case of providing for the audience. As there is only X amount of space in any given book, the majoirty of it is probably best oriented to the majority of the players when possible. As more female RPGers appeared we started to see more female  oriented cults in the supplments. Should there every be parity, I suspect we'd see it be more of a 50-50 split.

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I'm very late to this party--been offline for a couple of days--and I really love this whole thread. It seems to me that there are a couple of inter-related issues going on with Glorantha in terms of

The Derthofan family and the Guthwing family have been at each other's throats for a generation, and it's really holding the clan back!  Recently, the Guthwings have been garnering sympathy for their

(phone posting draft) Initiation of Women, of the Feminine and of Glorantha and storytelling there in.   So i see much of the Gloranthan materials do the whole "male role as default "  

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11 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

I just have to know where to start.

 

Knowing whether or not to grab the HQ books and work on building a tribe.

 

Start small, once you have

 

About 50% of a given population will be identifiably female 

 

Great, the page is not white anymore. The above statement is not quite true as well. We know there are more than two genders, (let’s start small and being willing to see that there are other beliefs but lets stick to one area for now). So two facts and the acknowledgement of a controversy.  a bit of a start. 

Runes, deities, geographic features, and spirits will show signs of the separation. History has a Male/Female bias. 

Why are they separate, what stories and myths create these separations and why for that matter are their similarities. 

If you can come up with a few sentences here and then move onto the tools you have (the building a tribe rules) you should have a good start.

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3 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

I know I have aagriculture & hunting as starting points. (seems easiest to work with).

 

Though I like the idea that  these hm...  Horned Does (because yes mixing imagery for a horned female deer as their Wyter, is just visually cool).

But where to go with it.

well, have you checked out the sample clans given like the Red Cow? Coming Storm is worth it just to see how Orlanthi steads work. It takes place during the early Hero Wars so there's a split between Lunar and Old Ways Orlanthi, but still it's a solid description of how the clans came to be, their make-up, their Rings, and the important factions - notably, for the Red Cow, the sizable population of Helerings or "Blue People", who tend to initiate into the Water rune and claim descent from Heler and the Sea tribe (accurately, I might add).

I linked to the PDF but if you prefer print (I do), there's also print copies

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6 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

... Though I like the idea that  these hm...  Horned Does (because yes mixing imagery for a horned female deer as their Wyter, is just visually cool).

But where to go with it.

Wonderful topic!  Looking forward to an item on Jonstown Compendium, or a file here in BRPC d/l section... Or just a really really interesting thread!

It's worth noting that cows have horns, FWIW.  A "Vinga's Cow" myth, with the cow taking the bull's defend-the-herd & territorial roles, seems an obvious element to pursue.

Taking the idea of a "Horned Doe" you may be leaning in a "genderfluid" direction; not so much women "horning in" on the male space in a genderbinary way, as "anyone can do/be anything" with lots of Nandan / Helering / &c in the clan.

Looking forward to seeing more in this vein!

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6 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

I know I have aagriculture & hunting as starting points. (seems easiest to work with).

Though I like the idea that  these hm...  Horned Does (because yes mixing imagery for a horned female deer as their Wyter, is just visually cool).

But where to go with it.

A red doe is Vinga's sacred animal :) Oh, and it's does that retain antlers in winter, not stags, so Santa's reindeer are all female. There, random Xmas fact for the day :)

Seriously, I know there's a lot to take in, but the more I mused about this overnight, the more I realised that if you think Glorantha is male-default, you and I aren't in the same universe. I don't know what starting point you're coming from, but it sounds like RQ2, and we've moved on twenty years since then.

Thunder Rebels, for the Ernalda writeup: or rather, the Ernaldan half of the book. It's dead cheap anyway, incredible value for money. If you want to look at the warrior women, and the healers, then Storm Tribe, for Vinga, Babs Gor and Chalana Arroy.

Is Pam Carlson around over here? I'd know where to find her on Facebook, but I don't know if she's on this forum thing.

If you want to build an entire tribe (ambitious!) or just run a clan, go and buy a game called "King of Dragon Pass". That has you running a small and weak clan at the start of  the reoccupation of what will become the Kingdom of Sartar, and gradually building up to possibly form a tribe and marry the FHQ. It'll give you a good idea of the real, important, business of the clan  (crops, herds, healing, babies, magic, trading. Warriors are an expendable resource, not as important as cows.)

Actually, in Sartar, you don't want to try to build your own tribe. All the tribes exist, and are documented, if not in great detail in some cases. Pick one that's barely been touched and develop that if you like, but you'll be reading up scraps of the Resettlement Sagas to find out how they fit in without clashes, and that's a lot of work. Dr Moose (who again, I don't know how to contact on this forum, or even if he's here) did that for the Balkoth, you could talk to him about what's involved. I keep thinking about doing something similar for the Kheldon, and not quite getting round to it.

I know we're drowning you in fiction, but for some quick snippets, come Christmas, treat yourself to a series of micro-fiction on my website. A few years back (um, 12 years back - how did that happen?), I did a challenge to write a story for each of the days of Xmas, starting with a Partridge in a Pear Tree and carrying on for all 12 days. Thinking through, I'm not sure even one of them is male-default. Some have protagonists who happen to be male, usually because I was using existing NPCs, but that's incidental to the story.  http://www.jane-williams.me.uk/glorantha/stories/index.cfm

 

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4 minutes ago, g33k said:

Taking the idea of a "Horned Doe" you may be leaning in a "genderfluid" direction; not so much women "horning in" on the male space in a genderbinary way, as "anyone can do/be anything" with lots of Nandan / Helering / &c in the clan.

 

Deers could well be Helering, no? If any animal seems to be a wee bit fluid I would think deers would be it... not to mention cats...

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4 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Deers could well be Helering, no? If any animal seems to be a wee bit fluid I would think deers would be it... not to mention cats...

Yeah, but Yinkin let the cat out of THAT bag... 

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12 hours ago, Eff said:

The broad difficulty here is that the defining events which have hitherto been described in initiating terms are ones that emphasize passivity on the part of the initiate. You can see this in the Ernaldan outline- "this passivity is key to Ernalda's power". Or in what appears to be the defining Dendara event, where her virtuousness lifts her into the sky away from the impure world. Or in the Lives of Sedenya, where the passages of the Red Goddess primarily consist of having things done to her- impregnation by Umath, shot down by Lukarius, impaled and tormented by the Devil, etc. 

Shot down by Lukarius I accept as passive. But her impregnation by Umath was hardly passive - Umath was in tatters at the time - and neither will be any other impregnations out of consensus. Rufelza's concourse with the Devil (named Blaskarth in the HQ1 era) is not that passive, either, although not as active as Arachne Solara's union with Kajabor.

 

11 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

I mean growing food is hardly passive, hunting is probably masculine.. But using your crops as a lure... Is crafty and 'feminine'.

Turning things into active hmm does seem to make them Masculine by Gloranthan standards... Right? If The red goddess who was shot from the sky...

That's still a work in progress. It was the Blue Moon goddess who fell to earth, among other reasons because of Lukarius. Shooting the bow may or may not have been involved. But then the bow of Lukarius is a female mystery in itself, stringed with the umbilical that connected him to his mother.

11 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Instead choose to come down and caught the arrow as it approached, so she is still hit, but instead chooses to descended to meet her foe...

Enabling the arrow with the umbilical link to the son, who may have been little else but a puppet in this. (Although Herustana is a supporter of Sedenya - e.g. taking in Gerra from the drowned tower - and not an advertised earlier form of the turning goddess. A surrogate mother of the moon, anyway.)

 

I haven't written anything on female initiation, but I guess I really ought to finish the English language version of my funerary pilgrimage scenario, the first half of which was published in the German HeroQuest scenario collection (as one of two Gloranthan scenarios, with strong editorial input and finishing touch by Robin Mitra). It is designed for an all-female cast of characters from various tribes, with husbands or sons or brothers as possible sidekicks for use in action scenes.

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Isn't the Hero Wars about tradition and change? At least in part? To survive, doesn't the Heortling culture need to change and bring the women at the forefront as much as the men are?

A whole campaign could be built around the idea that the Heortling culture (among others) needs to get rid off its partriarchal structure to survive the Hero Wars. And all the better it that can help some people understand that this is also what we need in the real world.

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1 hour ago, Corvantir said:

Isn't the Hero Wars about tradition and change? At least in part? To survive, doesn't the Heortling culture need to change and bring the women at the forefront as much as the men are?

A whole campaign could be built around the idea that the Heortling culture (among others) needs to get rid off its partriarchal structure to survive the Hero Wars. And all the better it that can help some people understand that this is also what we need in the real world.

I've always believed that the culture wasn't patriarchal and the the whole point is that it's the religion of Orlanth & Ernalda. With a historical skew of male gamers focusing on predominately male cults, this has given rise to the perception that it's patriarchal, whereas it's actually a balance. There's no reason why women don't head the clan rings (and they do).

As a side note, Esrolia and Hendrikiland are polarised into male and female biased cultures with the whole sword and helm thing. But the rest of the culture isn't. This is also how it appears in both King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages (to me).

Even amongst the Praxians, although it's has gender split cults, Waha & Eiritha form a balanced culture.

You don't have to play it this way of course.

Edited by David Scott
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11 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I've always believed that the culture wasn't patriarchal and the the whole point is that it's the religion of Orlanth & Ernalda. With a historical skew of male gamers focusing on predominately male cults, this has given rise to the perception that it's patriarchal, whereas it's actually a balance. There's no reason why women don't head the clan rings (and they do).

I agree. It looks more patriarchal because RPGers have been predominately male over  the years, and have predominately played  male characters. When you got half a dozen men and maybe one or two women in a group, it makes it look patriarchal.

Ernalda  is very important and tied not only to fertility, but also seems to be tied to sovereignty. It seems that every male ruler deity has to marry some aspect of Ernalda to legitimize his claim to rule.

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6 hours ago, Jane said:

A red doe is Vinga's sacred animal :) Oh, and it's does that retain antlers in winter, not stags, so Santa's reindeer are all female. There, random Xmas fact for the day :)

Seriously, I know there's a lot to take in, but the more I mused about this overnight, the more I realised that if you think Glorantha is male-default, you and I aren't in the same universe. I don't know what starting point you're coming from, but it sounds like RQ2, and we've moved on twenty years since then.

Thunder Rebels, for the Ernalda writeup: or rather, the Ernaldan half of the book. It's dead cheap anyway, incredible value for money. If you want to look at the warrior women, and the healers, then Storm Tribe, for Vinga, Babs Gor and Chalana Arroy.

Is Pam Carlson around over here? I'd know where to find her on Facebook, but I don't know if she's on this forum thing.

If you want to build an entire tribe (ambitious!) or just run a clan, go and buy a game called "King of Dragon Pass". That has you running a small and weak clan at the start of  the reoccupation of what will become the Kingdom of Sartar, and gradually building up to possibly form a tribe and marry the FHQ. It'll give you a good idea of the real, important, business of the clan  (crops, herds, healing, babies, magic, trading. Warriors are an expendable resource, not as important as cows.)

Actually, in Sartar, you don't want to try to build your own tribe. All the tribes exist, and are documented, if not in great detail in some cases. Pick one that's barely been touched and develop that if you like, but you'll be reading up scraps of the Resettlement Sagas to find out how they fit in without clashes, and that's a lot of work. Dr Moose (who again, I don't know how to contact on this forum, or even if he's here) did that for the Balkoth, you could talk to him about what's involved. I keep thinking about doing something similar for the Kheldon, and not quite getting round to it.

I know we're drowning you in fiction, but for some quick snippets, come Christmas, treat yourself to a series of micro-fiction on my website. A few years back (um, 12 years back - how did that happen?), I did a challenge to write a story for each of the days of Xmas, starting with a Partridge in a Pear Tree and carrying on for all 12 days. Thinking through, I'm not sure even one of them is male-default. Some have protagonists who happen to be male, usually because I was using existing NPCs, but that's incidental to the story.  http://www.jane-williams.me.uk/glorantha/stories/index.cfm

 

@Jane:
 I guess I never considered that Glorantha isn't 'male as a default' as most of the material I've read presents male as a warriors with  few Vingan things sprinkled in but maybe I am not reading the right material or am just steaking with HQ (, HQ:G, Kingdom of Sartar, The Sartar Companion) and RQG, and the Glorantha Source book and haven't actually look at any of the older material.
 
I own King of Dragon PAss- I suck playing it, just I struggle with it.
I guess I'll grab Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe, and  Coming Storm, (Good thing nothing on the winter steam sale is calling my name)

And So far  I've been loving the fiction(I spent last night reading your stuff!)

 

22 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I agree. It looks more patriarchal because RPGers have been predominately male over  the years, and have predominately played  male characters. When you got half a dozen men and maybe one or two women in a group, it makes it look patriarchal.

Ernalda  is very important and tied not only to fertility, but also seems to be tied to sovereignty. It seems that every male ruler deity has to marry some aspect of Ernalda to legitimize his claim to rule.

I did notice that whole, without the female aspect soveriegnty means little. Though i guess when your marriage partner is an aspect of the Earth Goddess, which means food and animals and people continue to produce and change and grow and without it he world becomes very barren, it make sense.

 

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Shot down by Lukarius I accept as passive. But her impregnation by Umath was hardly passive - Umath was in tatters at the time - and neither will be any other impregnations out of consensus. Rufelza's concourse with the Devil (named Blaskarth in the HQ1 era) is not that passive, either, although not as active as Arachne Solara's union with Kajabor.

 

That's still a work in progress. It was the Blue Moon goddess who fell to earth, among other reasons because of Lukarius. Shooting the bow may or may not have been involved. But then the bow of Lukarius is a female mystery in itself, stringed with the umbilical that connected him to his mother.

Enabling the arrow with the umbilical link to the son, who may have been little else but a puppet in this. (Although Herustana is a supporter of Sedenya - e.g. taking in Gerra from the drowned tower - and not an advertised earlier form of the turning goddess. A surrogate mother of the moon, anyway.)

 

I haven't written anything on female initiation, but I guess I really ought to finish the English language version of my funerary pilgrimage scenario, the first half of which was published in the German HeroQuest scenario collection (as one of two Gloranthan scenarios, with strong editorial input and finishing touch by Robin Mitra). It is designed for an all-female cast of characters from various tribes, with husbands or sons or brothers as possible sidekicks for use in action scenes.

And this is the part I do not quite understand about Glorantha in some respects, I guess I its because its so old in  many respects, tales and have btold and again and experienced by thousands of people, and yet, I as a new person have  zero reference points.
 Though I suppose in a way this experience is very Gloranthan, a child learning at the feet of her tribe, to understand the stories of her people and therefore experience them anew, with each variation a deeper and  more interesting meaning.

 

Each time someone mentions some new name I go and google it and it gets more confusing. But I kind of like it.

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42 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

I did notice that whole, without the female aspect soveriegnty means little. Though i guess when your marriage partner is an aspect of the Earth Goddess, which means food and animals and people continue to produce and change and grow and without it he world becomes very barren, it make sense.

Yes, historically fertility was considered a female trait in the real world, and seems to be so in Glorantha as well. So a king marrying the Earth Goddess is forming a productive tie to the land that should result in a productive land and a good reign. In theory. Conversely, not forming a tie with the land means blight, famine and other bad things. There is only so much a ruler can do without food to feed his people.

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Which does make me wonder about another fictional series, where Queen's had'power' over the Earth, a literally connection of the land they ruled: Anne Bishop's Black Jewel Triology.

 

It makes me wonder if the women of Glorantha, any woman in that sense as an initate of Ernalda (or one of her daughters, or other forms), would have a 'Queen's Garden' a little patch of land that symbolically (and maybe literally) is a reflection of herself.

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50 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Which does make me wonder about another fictional series, where Queen's had'power' over the Earth, a literally connection of the land they ruled: Anne Bishop's Black Jewel Triology.

 

It makes me wonder if the women of Glorantha, any woman in that sense as an initate of Ernalda (or one of her daughters, or other forms), would have a 'Queen's Garden' a little patch of land that symbolically (and maybe literally) is a reflection of herself.

We already know that Ernalda Temples have a special sacred field, (maybe where special grains are grown to mill into holy three grain bread used in ceremonies) and lots will have gardens surrounding the  temple (maybe growing special plants like the bitter herbs used in  ceremonies)

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4 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

And this is the part I do not quite understand about Glorantha in some respects, I guess I its because its so old in  many respects, tales and have btold and again and experienced by thousands of people, and yet, I as a new person have  zero reference points.
 Though I suppose in a way this experience is very Gloranthan, a child learning at the feet of her tribe, to understand the stories of her people and therefore experience them anew, with each variation a deeper and  more interesting meaning.

It's the way of Glorantha for everyone. There are people on here who are old-school Glorantha fans who learn new things. That's part of Glorantha.

It's okay to read wide but it's also okay to start with the basics. I started with Sartar Kingdom of Heroes; the Glorantha Sourcebook is I think a more comprehensive and current introduction to the "five tribes" (Darkness, Water, Earth, Air, Fire) as an overview with some discussion of Moon and Chaos. There are cute family trees that help a lot.

The Stafford works are good if you want to really go mythological: several of the more complete books are about Theyalans, such as the two books about the Heortlings and the book about Esrolia, although Esrolia is admittedly weird from the perspective of "let's play RQ:G!" because it is a matriarchy and a Greek-style city-state, thus sidelining both Orlanth and the basic social structure we expect from Orlanthi society!

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13 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

It's the way of Glorantha for everyone. There are people on here who are old-school Glorantha fans who learn new things. That's part of Glorantha.

Plus things change over time, as Greg "discovered" new things about Glorantha.

 

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7 hours ago, David Scott said:

I've always believed that the culture wasn't patriarchal and the the whole point is that it's the religion of Orlanth & Ernalda. With a historical skew of male gamers focusing on predominately male cults, this has given rise to the perception that it's patriarchal, whereas it's actually a balance. There's no reason why women don't head the clan rings (and they do).

As a side note, Esrolia and Hendrikiland are polarised into male and female biased cultures with the whole sword and helm thing. But the rest of the culture isn't. This is also how it appears in both King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages (to me).

I'm going to disagree, here.  That "historical skew of male gamers focusing on predominately male cults" hasn't just created a "perception" it has created a reality, the canon.

Yes, Esrolia/Hendrikiland are (much MORE) polarized.  But Sartar has a LOT of patriarchal stuff in play; SOME more balanced; I've seen only a little that's genuinely "matriarchal" or feminine-centric (though recent efforts are better, there's a LOT of that older POV embedded into "the canon").  I'd assert that there's a bunch of systemic/institutional issues which people can squint-and-pretend aren't there, but REALLY are there (not unlike most real-world RPG'ing cultures such as USA, UK, etc...).  

It's "Orlanthi" culture to begin with.  The defining cultural god, and the defining & controlling ethos, is the male.  The Kingdom of Sartar was male at the founding, and most of the main actions defining the history are male actions, or -- even if performed by a woman -- are "masculine" actions:  warfare & raids, etc; violence-centric, strength-centric, etc.  I mean...  "Prince" Kallyr Starbrow... really?

But, as mentioned:  recent material is MUCH better, and we are only limited by the past if we choose to accept those limitations.

 

Tangent to the "masduline POV" argument ...  I still wish more of the major events from family/background (personal history of the PCs' families) involved major magical rituals, curses, &c.  The dominance of "battle" as history-defining material is definitely a masculine POV, and frankly not a very sophisticated or mature one (Esrolian-style "soft power" is at least as influential in RL!), and more myth & magic -- without any armies in the field ! -- would feel much more "Gloranthan" to me (notwithstanding WBRM &c ... ) .

 

Edited by g33k
And now we move on...
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8 hours ago, David Scott said:

I've always believed that the culture wasn't patriarchal and the the whole point is that it's the religion of Orlanth & Ernalda. With a historical skew of male gamers focusing on predominately male cults, this has given rise to the perception that it's patriarchal, whereas it's actually a balance. There's no reason why women don't head the clan rings (and they do).

As a side note, Esrolia and Hendrikiland are polarised into male and female biased cultures with the whole sword and helm thing. But the rest of the culture isn't. This is also how it appears in both King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages (to me).

Even amongst the Praxians, although it's has gender split cults, Waha & Eiritha form a balanced culture.

You don't have to play it this way of course.

I agree with you, the Orlanthi culture is not that patriarchal, the Praxian culture is rather balanced and Esrolia is a matriarchy.

It seems to me that there is still a slight bias towards male as leaders in Sartar and Prax, especially through the cults of Orlanth in Sartar and Waha in Prax. Isn't sharing the power (as in decision making) as important as being treated equally? I guess that a Khan of Waha or a Clan King would think twice, if not thrice, before taking a decision without the consent of the Priestesses of Ernalda or the Sisters of Eiritha, but he can still take it. And there are examples in the history of the Third Age. I might be wrong for Prax though, as it seems to me that the power is shared according to the current situation and threats. The cult of Eiritha leads when the Clan is at peace, the Cult of Waha leads when the clan is at war, etc. Am I right?

Perhaps even Esrolia should change and share the power with men again, by the way.   😁

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