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Women in Glorantha


HeartQuintessence

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2 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Ooh actually is there a book that talks about Prax? I always am curious about the rider culture... The feather horse queen and the pure(?) rider culture?

Pavis: Gateway to Adventure provides a lot of informations about Prax and the Animal Nomads. As far as I know, this is even the most complete book on the subject so far as it reprints and updates what was in River of Craddle, Borderlands, Pavis & Big Rubble, etc.

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1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

...

Is there a book about Prax and its culture? Because thenimage of thFethered Horse Queen is interesting...

There's several "rider" cultures, and the FHQ isn't Praxian!

AFAIK, the best Prax content right now is spread across several books.  The old RQ2 "Cults of Prax" has a lot of foundational stuff, and Borderlands has some interesting details, though not much broad material.  Some in P&BR.  But you're going to the old sources for this stuff!  Edit -- totally forgot about the HQ stuff!  Yeah, grab Pavis:GTA

Possibly the oldest of all (unless you get access to Greg's notes from the early/mid 70's) is the old wargame Nomad Gods:  https://www.chaosium.com/nomad-gods-rule-booklet-pdf/

===

The "Beast Riders" of Prax, following Waha's Survival Covenant, don't ride horses (horses are taboo to them) except for the upstart Pol-Joni tribe out of Sartar.  Eiritha is their main female deity, and the Most Revered Elder Priestess resides at the Paps; she is the central magical/religious figure for them.  The Khans of all the Tribes are largely independent... but seldom make really major decisions without consulting the MRE (or at least trying to figure out what she'd want).

There is Pent, disparate tribes but overwhelmingly Solar-worshiping.  They raid frequently into Prax.  This is the home of Sheng Seleris' "Celestial Empire."

Last (for now) are the Grazelands, ruled by horse-riding Hyalorings of largely Dara Happan X Pentan ancestry (I think) with a sedentary semi-slave "vendref" people of Orlanthi descent.  This is the home of the FHQ, and her role is similar in some ways to the MRE in Prax.  The Grazelands are due south of Tarsh, on the western edge of Dragon Pass.

Edited by g33k
HQ d'oh!
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1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Is there a book about Prax and its culture? Because thenimage of thFethered Horse Queen is interesting...

Nobody seems to have picked up on this so I'm not sure if I'm interpreting this correctly or not, but the Feathered Horse Queen and Prax are unrelated... Prax is the chaparral deserted plains east of Dragon Pass. The Feathered Horse Queen is the ruler of the Grazelands, which is in a completely different place: it's west of Dragon Pass, on the other side of Kero Fin and Beast Valley from Sartar, and south of the Tarsh Lunar Province.

Prax is inhabited by nomadic tribes riding each a different beast (bisons, llamas, impalas, etc.), and ruled by Khans. They have a harsh life, fighting Chaos and Lunars and, you know, finding food for their herds. They have some of their own deities, but also tend to be very shamanic. The Grazelands are inhabited by semi nomadic horse riding people who have some enserfed peasants called vendref tending to their lands while they ride around, acting superior, and worshipping a sun deity.

The only link that I know of between Prax and the Grazelands is that I think the Grazelanders were originally a Praxian horse riding tribe, but they left Prax and were among the first humans to settle back in Dragon Pass a few centuries ago. Praxians don't like horses now anyway so they wouldn't get along very well.

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So this means that Grazelanders are living in the Dragon pass.

 

Cause tobecome King of Dragon pass you have to marry the FHQ who apparently has some  amazing fallijg and those women are like Ghngis Khan levels of... "i have stuff todo excuse me..." from what i read in RQG.

 So maybe ill work from a Sartarite, Grazelander, Esorloian perspective and write some qomwn, s myths.

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12 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

So this means that Grazelanders are living in the Dragon pass.

 

Cause tobecome King of Dragon pass you have to marry the FHQ who apparently has some  amazing fallijg and those women are like Ghngis Khan levels of... "i have stuff todo excuse me..." from what i read in RQG.

 So maybe ill work from a Sartarite, Grazelander, Esorloian perspective and write some qomwn, s myths.

Have you seen "Selkana's Saga"?

https://www.chaosium.com/blogselkanas-saga-1-telling-diverse-stories-with-runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha/

https://www.chaosium.com/blogselkanas-saga-2-how-setting-drives-the-story-and-a-crash-course-on-esrolia/

(the map at the bottom of #2 shows the Grazelands in the upper left quadrant)

But also, Selkana's Saga is worth reading for the overall Awesome it contains!  Links to all 11 are here:

 

 

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1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

So this means that Grazelanders are living in the Dragon pass.

Yes, the Grazelanders live to the west of the Dragonspine Ridge and the Smoking Ruin (to the south-west of Kero Fin and Wintertop).

The Pol-Joni are an independent tribe among the Animal Nomads and are horse riders originating from Sartar. They had to fight harshly to earn their place in the plains of Prax.

The ancestors of the Grazelanders are Sun (Yu-Kargzant) worshipping horse riding nomads from Pent who conquered Prax and were later driven away by the other tribes. They are called the Pure Horse Tribe because they left Pent to preserve their purity. As far as I remember they refused to herd cattle whereas the other Pentans were adopting this practice.

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2 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Well i guess the Orlanthi people are mired in their religiousity.

The thing about "religion" in fantasy RPG's is that it's entirely reasonable and rational to be religious.

In the modern real-world, "rationalist" and "skeptic" POV's are like, "yeah you can't prove it rationally, I don't believe <your holy book> any more than I believe Bulfinch's Mythology."

In many FRPG worlds, that POV would be literally insane -- denying objectively-provable reality...  Particularly in a myth-heavy world like Glorantha, where events like Initiation, casting Rune-Magic, and Heroquesting, all enable you to experience the deities directly & personally!

The Orlanthi (and others) aren't so much "mired" in their religiousity as they are informed and empowered by it.

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4 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Well i guess the Orlanthi people are mired in their religiousity.

 

This was already adressed above by @g33k, but beyond just generically an FRPG trope that gods are real and therefore to some extent objective factors in the universe, Glorantha in particular is based around the idea of myths as living, participatory stories that form the central core of people's worldviews. People aren't just *told* about Orlanth's journey or Ernalda's wisdom, they partake in reenacting those stories during holidays and during Sacred Time, and those reenactments harmonize so strongly with the universe that people genuinely take on the form and personality of those gods, and literal magic and wonders occur. Not every ritual, and not always as strongly, but certainly often enough that most Orlanthi have a genuine, personal sense of experience of the divine and mythic. 


Also, great thread. I am unfortunately unable to participate in any meaningful degree due to being in a place with abysmal internet connection, and being swamped with family events, but reading it has been a delight.

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It now occurs to me, that being descended from the Pentans, the Grazelanders are eligible to take the Ten Tests in Dara Happa to become Emperor. 

By extension, so too would be the descendants of a Feathered Horse Queen and King of Dragon Pass couple.

Man, what a way to dethrone the Red Emperor that would be.

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3 hours ago, JonL said:

It now occurs to me, that being descended from the Pentans, the Grazelanders are eligible to take the Ten Tests in Dara Happa to become Emperor. 

By extension, so too would be the descendants of a Feathered Horse Queen and King of Dragon Pass couple.

Man, what a way to dethrone the Red Emperor that would be.

hail harshax

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19 hours ago, prinz.slasar said:

Yes, If someone stays with the RQG-Line and the few still official HQG books [Red Cow Campaign; Guide To Glorantha] the matter is quite simple and not confusing.

With RQG, Chaosium did a very good job so far, to keep Glorantha simple and straight forward. Anyone who wants to mix different RQ/Glorantha versions does it at their own risk. Be aware!

Or to put it another way, and one rather more relevant to anyone but newbies, the three shelves or so of Gloranthan material on my shelves can all be used together, as later things (RQ3, HW, HQ) gradually built on and expanded others, with the few suggested horrible clashes (all female Wind Lords vanishing because Greg was an oblivious idiot) being firmly squashed at the time. The new RQG not only clashes, but apparently does so deliberately, so we won't even be getting errata to put things right as we used to (remember the people who repeatedly failed to read KoS and got the date of the Bat at Whitewall wrong?). So, choice between one new and rather expensive book, or the last twenty years of development? Shame it has to be a choice, but it is, and it's a no-brainer.

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Wait @Jane , can I get a little  clarification on that: You siad the RQG Clashes in what ways? Is this clash with prior material?

And what do you  mean 1 expensive book and the last 20 years of development?

I know Glorantha can and does ellicit strong feeling from various corners of the internet (the friend who introduced me to Glorantha for that matter).

 

I mean isn't the point of Your Glorantha May Vary (YGMV) to allow people to address those clashes at their own table and not necessarily have to have official stuff match?

Though I will agree that perhaps not mentioning any female Wind Lords is a little silly ( but wait are Wind Lords different from Vingan's which are different again from something else (Rune Priests?)?)

If this is the case then nothing 'clashes' persay, though I admit that having more material with female wind lords would be cool, front and center in official published material- so that way we can point and say: Yeah they  considered things!

 

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1 minute ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Wait @Jane , can I get a little  clarification on that: You siad the RQG Clashes in what ways? Is this clash with prior material?

And what do you  mean 1 expensive book and the last 20 years of development?

I know Glorantha can and does ellicit strong feeling from various corners of the internet (the friend who introduced me to Glorantha for that matter).

 

I mean isn't the point of Your Glorantha May Vary (YGMV) to allow people to address those clashes at their own table and not necessarily have to have official stuff match?

Though I will agree that perhaps not mentioning any female Wind Lords is a little silly ( but wait are Wind Lords different from Vingan's which are different again from something else (Rune Priests?)?)

If this is the case then nothing 'clashes' persay, though I admit that having more material with female wind lords would be cool, front and center in official published material- so that way we can point and say: Yeah they  considered things!

 

I have no idea what she is talking about. Queen Leika is described as a Wind Lord of Vinga Adventurous in the GM Pack materials and Vasana is described as becoming a Wind Lord of Orlanth in RQG. 

When we wrote the Guide to Glorantha, Greg and I decided to make it clear that the Bat arrived at Whitewall in 1620 rather than 1619 (Guide page 241). It worked better with how he thought the overall Lunar campaign (and fit Lunar internal politics better). 

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10 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Wait @Jane , can I get a little  clarification on that: You siad the RQG Clashes in what ways? Is this clash with prior material?

And what do you  mean 1 expensive book and the last 20 years of development?

I know Glorantha can and does ellicit strong feeling from various corners of the internet (the friend who introduced me to Glorantha for that matter).

 

I mean isn't the point of Your Glorantha May Vary (YGMV) to allow people to address those clashes at their own table and not necessarily have to have official stuff match?

Though I will agree that perhaps not mentioning any female Wind Lords is a little silly ( but wait are Wind Lords different from Vingan's which are different again from something else (Rune Priests?)?)

If this is the case then nothing 'clashes' persay, though I admit that having more material with female wind lords would be cool, front and center in official published material- so that way we can point and say: Yeah they  considered things!

 

To offer a second- or third-hand summary that's hopefully neutral (and please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, people who were there at the time!)

-In the early Runequest material in the 1980s, the Orlanth and Ernalda cults are not restricted by gender. Women can become Rune Lords of Orlanth, Men can become Rune Priestesses of Ernalda, and this is backed up with assorted NPCs in official materials. 

-Vinga emerges in this period as the daughter of Orlanth and a goddess that (I think) is associated with Kallyr Starbrow and the basic "women warriors, red hair" elements are set here. 

-The version of the Vinga cult which you can find on @Jane's website (and that of John Hughes) more or less is developed during this period in terms of the social functions of the cult and becomes fairly widespread in the fandom.

-In the 1990s, Greg Stafford presents his own version of the Vinga cult, which offers a very divergent take on the cult and which states that Vinga is the way by which women worship Orlanth (which of course invalidates the Orlanth women of the older materials) alongside the new Nandan cult as the way by which men worship Ernalda. This provokes a great deal of controversy at the time.

-In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Hero Wars/Heroquest 1E material is published, and that has a great deal of involvement from people with the "fan" version of the Vinga cult. Vinga during this time is closer to that version. 

-Recent material (Heroquest 2E/Heroquest Glorantha/Runequest Glorantha) adopts a kind of compromise positions where Vinga and Nandan are described in the way of the 1990s version of the cult (Orlanth-as-a-woman, Ernalda-as-a-man) while still remaining generally compatible with the 80s/2000s version, and which ditches the gender restrictions on the Orlanth and Ernalda cults. 

My own personal take is that the specific situation in RQG took quite a bit of work to understand language-wise, but that's with me coming into it as someone with a bit of Gloranthan experience and preconceptions. I have no idea how someone fresh to the setting understands it. 

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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@Eff & @Jane Thank you for clearing that up, that's actually really interesting from a new person's point of view, like to have that mini summary.

So 1) Which early Glorantha '80s material can I find this in where the cults are not restricted by gender?

2) Where is there info on this Nadan cult? (I've heard a few people talk of it, but never seen any. More book suggestions please!

So this presents and interesting view point: and I ask all of my elder and more knowledgeable tribe mates for information on this topic cause this gets my wheels turning.

 

3) What are the compromises that  you all see?

 

Since I am really quite new, I think I kinda like idea  and may spin it this way:

a) Women and men can worship  Orlanth and Ernalda, and yes the subcults(?) Vinga (Orlanth as Woman, and Nadan (Ernalda as man) exist and maybe indeed  be the way  in which some Gloranthans  come into themselves and access the mysteries and their power.

But I don't think it stops men from worshiping Ernalda as Queen of the Earth, they just cannot be her Priestesses (because of the requirements, persay)

and I am not sure how it afffects Vingans.

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3 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

But I don't think it stops men from worshiping Ernalda as Queen of the Earth, they just cannot be her Priestesses (because of the requirements, persay)

I strongly suspect that a Nandan male could meet the motherhood requirement for priestly status through Heroquesting as a female figure on the other side. Hero(ine)-forming would be another theoretical possibility, but maintaining that long enough to carry a child to term would be... "impractical" seems like an understatement.
 

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Hero forming? Ok, please tell me more, because that idea just makes me go wait, in Glorantha you can do this by Heroquesting? Wait what? (like i know everything is mythical, but my brain is doing some real gymnastics to keep up with new information.
 

Could a man  wanting to Serve Ernalda as a priestess  simply take on a Heroquest and during that quest quest bear a child, cause like you said it seems impractical (not to mention exauhsting, I mean real child bearing just takes a toll, I can only imagine that doing it as a Heroquest is going to really be... intense.

Wait are people transported to the Heroplane physically or are they spiritually there? Is there a difference?

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2 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

@Eff & @Jane Thank you for clearing that up, that's actually really interesting from a new person's point of view, like to have that mini summary.

So 1) Which early Glorantha '80s material can I find this in where the cults are not restricted by gender?

Any. The only material subject to this are Hero Wars and HQ1 publications.

 

2 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

2) Where is there info on this Nadan cult? (I've heard a few people talk of it, but never seen any. More book suggestions please!

Storm Tribe (a HW publication applicable to HQ1), or the Stafford Library Book of Heortling Mythology. The latter has no game data at all, the HW publication has some for a very different system that is no longer supported.

 

2 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

3) What are the compromises that  you all see?

MGF - whatever works best in your games. As long as your fellow players share your Glorantha experience (or learn it from you), you have a wide array of choices. Only when people with different pre-conceptions play the same game there may be weird disconnects.

Practicality tells me that the GM is usually right in the current game situation, although people who feel a disconnect can approach the GM after the game and discuss that.

(Me being a difficult player, I might hog a bit of the spotlight and try to narrate my version into the game...)

2 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Since I am really quite new, I think I kinda like idea  and may spin it this way:

a) Women and men can worship  Orlanth and Ernalda, and yes the subcults(?) Vinga (Orlanth as Woman, and Nadan (Ernalda as man) exist and maybe indeed  be the way  in which some Gloranthans  come into themselves and access the mysteries and their power.

Yes. Every cult position that doesn't require certain biological prerequisites can be filled by any gender.

While there are magics that allow males to experience the pains of giving birth (Xiola Umbar's Couvade), that is probably not enough to become a priest of Ernalda.

It is possible to play a character who is hermaphrodite (functional male and female procreative and sex organs) or asexual (missing either).

 

2 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

But I don't think it stops men from worshiping Ernalda as Queen of the Earth, they just cannot be her Priestesses (because of the requirements, persay)

Right. They should be able to become God-talkers.

 

2 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

and I am not sure how it afffects Vingans.

Some Vingans are Ernalda worshipers taking a war sabbatical. Other Vingans have undergone the boys' adulthood rites and a subsequent Orlanth initiation, usually after their adulthood rites as women.

There may be other female, peace-oriented cults that allow a war sabbatical as Vingan, e.g. Eiritha. Taking the Vinga route may be preferable to doing the permanent switch to the Dark Earth (Babeester, Maran etc.)

But then, it doesn't have to be the Orlanth cult. Redalda is the daughter of Ernalda who married Elmal, and she is the goddess of female riders. A fighting woman. Redaylde, the youngest daughter of Vingkot, marrying Beren was her avatar - apparently a quite spirited woman, too. But then, Vestan(t)e may have been the most domestic of Vingkot's daughters, choosing Goralf Brown for her husband.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

@Eff & @Jane Thank you for clearing that up, that's actually really interesting from a new person's point of view, like to have that mini summary.

So 1) Which early Glorantha '80s material can I find this in where the cults are not restricted by gender?

2) Where is there info on this Nadan cult? (I've heard a few people talk of it, but never seen any. More book suggestions please!

So this presents and interesting view point: and I ask all of my elder and more knowledgeable tribe mates for information on this topic cause this gets my wheels turning.

 

3) What are the compromises that  you all see?

 

Since I am really quite new, I think I kinda like idea  and may spin it this way:

a) Women and men can worship  Orlanth and Ernalda, and yes the subcults(?) Vinga (Orlanth as Woman, and Nadan (Ernalda as man) exist and maybe indeed  be the way  in which some Gloranthans  come into themselves and access the mysteries and their power.

But I don't think it stops men from worshiping Ernalda as Queen of the Earth, they just cannot be her Priestesses (because of the requirements, persay)

and I am not sure how it afffects Vingans.

1) The Runequest Classic material from Chaosium: https://www.chaosium.com/runequest-classic/

2) The Nandan cult, as far as I am aware, only ever had a writeup in the Hero Wars supplement Storm Tribe, which is available here: https://www.chaosium.com/storm-tribe-pdf/ but is certainly obsolete. (The version of the cult given in here is straightforwardly a subcult for trans women Ernalda cultists, which I think is probably not the current intent, and they are totally unable to bear children, which is certainly not the case for the current conception of the cult from Chaosium!) I have no idea to what extent Nandan will appear in Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha or any future RQG supplements. 

3) When writing out my thoughts I quickly realized several contradictions in them, so I need to develop my thoughts on this further, but I think the key difference lies in certain highly gendered tasks that are also fortuitously mostly irrelevant to Runequest/Heroquest play. 

The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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3 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Hero forming? Ok, please tell me more, because that idea just makes me go wait, in Glorantha you can do this by Heroquesting? Wait what? (like i know everything is mythical, but my brain is doing some real gymnastics to keep up with new information.
 

Could a man  wanting to Serve Ernalda as a priestess  simply take on a Heroquest and during that quest quest bear a child, cause like you said it seems impractical (not to mention exauhsting, I mean real child bearing just takes a toll, I can only imagine that doing it as a Heroquest is going to really be... intense.

Wait are people transported to the Heroplane physically or are they spiritually there? Is there a difference?

Heroforming is a strong level of divine magic where you physically incarnate your god in the material world. You do this by so strongly identifying with the god (both mentally and through your actions) that you're able to become their physical double. So if you're an Orlanth (or Sedenya) worshiper, you're growing extra arms, your skin is turning blue (or red), your every breath is a rushing wind from your mouth, etc. During this state, you can toss around divine magic like it's nothing (in Heroquest, which is the only system that has definite rules for this). You can be broken out of this state through what are called "Identity Challenges", where someone offers evidence or even proofs that you are not your god, breaking the connection. 

My thoughts on the matter are that there's no reason childbirth has to be 100% natural in Glorantha, and if you don't want to go through an accelerated pregnancy on the Hero Plane (albeit with the benefit of Chalana Arroy's good painkillers) or get a divine vaginoplasty of some kind, you could also be spiritually impregnated and then have to provide a body for the child out of clay or a doll or whatever, with the benefit of other Ernalda priestesses working to make the little child one of flesh and blood when the birth happens. Or you could have the baby delivered by snake/lizard messenger from the gods nine months later. There are a variety of options. 

There is a difference! It's possible to have the Heroplane just be an overlay over your eyes, something you're seeing at the same time as the material world, it's possible to be there in your spiritual body (as in a shamanic quest) and it's possible to fully bodily enter the plane. The deeper you go, the more you risk but the more you'll bring back. 

The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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