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Women in Glorantha


HeartQuintessence

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oh man , now I see why I keep returning to Glorantha, this scratches a mythical itch that I didn't know I had.. also--- Ernalda priestes turing a body of clay or a doll into a living child is.. um...impressive- also cool. Also wow that's one way to keep a tribe alive.

they need to give us RQG rules, or maybe just some HQG rules for Heroquesting.

Who's Redala and where can I read about her? Is she also in obsolete material and doesn't count?
Skimming through some of this material- what is up with all this shapeshifting in Hero Wars material?

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51 minutes ago, JonL said:

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.

37 minutes ago, Eff said:

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.

We've been told explicitly by @Jeff that the Nandan subcult specifically exists to enable people to bear healthy children who have unexpected genitals to do this (i.e. dicks). No explicit detail is given about how this happens, only that it offers the opportunity for all Earth rune people to attain the rank of Priestess, which requires having given birth to a healthy child, assuming they have the other qualifications as well.

It will be in the forthcoming GGG but he wanted to clarify confusion about Nandan.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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Well that answers that question.

And with each question I ask, I get better equiped to answer my own questions and build my Glorantha slightly better.
Also I want God & Goddess of Glorantha out *[please let that been soon it sounds like we've been waiting for for 2+ years eve since Guide to Glorantha came out]*.

So now I am wondering if all this heroquesting stuff might present some new angles for women.

Edited by HeartQuintessence
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45 minutes ago, JonL said:

Orlanth and Ernalda are also somewhat extreme cases for gendered cults

How is Orlanth a gendered cult? AFAICT there are no restrictions to worship Orlanth or become a Wind Lord. The only gendered thing is societal trends, where women don't tend to worship Orlanth. And even then, there doesn't seem to be any social taboo about women being Orlanth initiates, no? This makes me wonder what is even the point of the Vinga cult, apart from the cool-looking red dreadlocks.... (Jane gave a bunch of interesting reasons on her website... I don't know what we'll see in the CoG book).

1 hour ago, HeartQuintessence said:

they need to give us RQG rules, or maybe just some HQG rules for Heroquesting.

That's supposedly coming in the GM guide book. Last we heard, Jeff had found a solution to the problem of having to spend time to tell the players about the myth (which can take a long time depending on the heroquest) before actually going in -- I think the mechanics will allow the whole group at the table to be able to build/tell the myth while heroquesting it, or something.

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2 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

... Also I want God & Goddess of Glorantha out *[please let that been soon it sounds like we've been waiting for for 2+ years eve since Guide to Glorantha came out]*  ...

It's a bit more complex than that...  The modern Chaosium was pulled back from the brink of failure a few years ago (2015).   The Guide is several years older, and the Cults book (sometimes known as GaGoG) was nowhere on the radar at that time

History hidden from the squeamish...

 

Chaosium had been "in decline" for a while.  Complaints and rumors were swirling.  Then, as I understand it, they "Kickstarted themselves to death:"  they had over-ambitious Kickstarter projects for 

Call of Cthulhu, (7e and HotOE), not realizing their expenses were growing so large (especially shipping, for such a large work (most especially international shipping! (they had promised free shipping???))) and were essentially out of money with huge swaths of their commitments unfulfilled.

Some of the original early-Chaosium folk (who still owned controlling interest in the company but had stepped away from active involvement) stepped back in -- Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen.  Mid-2015 was "The Return of the Great Old Ones."   🙂 

Greg had been pursuing Glorantha via a DIFFERENT company he founded (Issaries Inc) and a different RPG:  that's where he and Robin Laws created the HeroWars/HeroQuest line.

When the "Great Old Ones" returned to Chaosium, they brought in "Moon Design," a company made up of longtime RQ and Glorantha fans, sometime authors, etc.  Moon Design had produced, under license, the 4-volume "Gloranthan Classics" series, which I think was late-90s through the 'noughties.

It was Moon Design who were behind the Guide to Glorantha.  That was a Kickstarter Moon Design launched at the end of 2012, long before Chaosium got into such trouble (the Guide KS was itself also a bit "troubled" -- their stretch-goals turned out to take a LOT longer to produce than expected (though AFAIK there was no financial problems, just unexpected logistics and time demands).

Still, Moon Design had a proven track record of success in the RPG publishing industry, and fulfillment of complex Kickstarters that had "exploded" in unexpected ways.  The Moon Design crew was placed in control of most "operational" issues at the company.

As was hoped, they were able to pull The Chaosium back from the brink.

# # #

With Greg, Issaries, HQ, and the Moon Design folk (MD now owned IP that Greg had sold them (he was very pleased with their handling of the Guide, I think)), everything was finally in place at Chaosium for a new edition of RQ.  That game (our current edition) released in mid-2018 for the PDF, late 2018 for the hardcopy... about 3 years after Chaosium's turnaround.

It was the new edition of RQ that saw the need for the new Gods/Cults book.

Edited by g33k
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4 hours ago, lordabdul said:

How is Orlanth a gendered cult?

historically - including up to HeroQuest Glorantha, which is like 2015 - Men were Wind, women Earth, with 1/7 of people other runes. Exceptions were Vingites, very rare Wind women, who worshipped Orlanth through the subcult of Vinga, and Nandans, who were very rare Earth men who worshipped Ernalda through the subcult of Nandan

That's how Orlanth was a gendered cult

It wasn't subtle in any way

But things have changed

 

also Vingites don't have dreadlocks per se, they just have dyed red hair

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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25 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

That's how Orlanth was a gendered cult

It wasn't subtle in any way

The "canonical social/religious composition" of Heortling clans was indeed a lot heavier handed in the HW/HQ1 sourcebooks than in the more recent publications, but I never read those as "you can't be a female Orlanth initiate". I only read it as "that's roughly how the population is spread out between cults", and therefore as "these are the rough numbers the GM should keep in mind when making up clan NPCs". Players were always free to make up whatever characters they wanted AFAICT, but I can imagine someone might have interpreted the intent of these old books differently. Either way, I think even now the cult membership trends are still valid, although I get the feeling the more recent books make it quite more diverse than just "1 in 7", which was pretty limiting.

32 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

also Vingites don't have dreadlocks per se, they just have dyed red hair

Yeah the dreadlock reference was mostly me having fun -- although a few illustrations I've seen make it look a bit like that... it's not like Vingans would spend much time re-braiding their hair on a regular basis (compared to time spent combat-training and sharpening their weapons), so their braids would quickly turn ugly enough to look like dreadlocks. Well, at least IMG.

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I mean, the "all Men/Women are Air/Earth" assumption was really the "Orlanthi All", which means it really only applied to somewhere between 70-80% of people in the "all". In HQG I don't believe Orlanth was really gender restricted, or at least females didn't have to worship him as Vinga if they wanted to join. Same goes for Ernalda, men didn't have to be Nandans I don't think.

Honestly, I'd say Ernalda is more gender restricted than Orlanth, since to rise higher than an initiate you have to give birth to a kid, something that, as far as I know, is notoriously difficult for men to do :P.

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A great discussion continues! Maybe it'll go on around me.

41 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

historically

Everything comes and goes. The original writeup was as gender neutral as it got in game land back in 1978-80 and you get at least one explicitly female Orlanth initiate in Borderlands, the lovely and lethal rhino rider Kranaka Windfriend, mounted on Hurricane and glorying in combat. She found Eiritha too restrictive. Not to call down the red tide but Kallyr was comfortable in Thunderous back in the freeform in WF 7. Leika also gets her divination from Orlanth in WF 14.

How Vinga erupts beyond that stage and where her adventurous takes her is a matter for specialists. Some of them red dyes will really fry the hair though.

Edited by scott-martin
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49 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Some of them red dyes will really fry the hair though.

there was a discussion about this regarding the red hair of Vingites and the temporary dye of the women who take up arms as vengeance-Vingans

the former were presumed to get red hair with their yearly holy day donation; the cost of dye would be more than most Orlanthis make in a year! their hair is actually that crazy red, darker redder than ginger, the colour of fresh blood, Orlanth's hair!

the latter just dye it in imitation, so they pay for whatever the equivalent of madder is.

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

there was a discussion about this regarding the red hair of Vingites and the temporary dye of the women who take up arms as vengeance-Vingans

the former were presumed to get red hair with their yearly holy day donation; the cost of dye would be more than most Orlanthis make in a year! their hair is actually that crazy red, darker redder than ginger, the colour of fresh blood, Orlanth's hair!

the latter just dye it in imitation, so they pay for whatever the equivalent of madder is.

Personally I think that Orlanth's, and probably by extension the Vingan's, hair is the shade of orange we call "red hair". Orange is the primary color of air, after all. Blood red is more of a fire or moon color.

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6 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Actually, it's not spelled out.  In those rules, 85% of generic Orlanthi men have Air.  But PCs are not generic.  They are the extraordinary.

Actual PCs are completely free to choose whatever Elemental Rune they please, just as in RQG.  You and Qiz are complaining about a rules bias that does not exist.

I haven't complained about anything. If you read any of my comments on this forum, you'll find that I don't give a stickpicker's fie about "canon," so I don't even have a horse in this race. 

I shared the information I did because I thought you might not be aware of it (as you said you weren't) and that might be the source of your accusation that Quizelbashwoman was fabricating the gender-based Earth/Air rune allocation among the Orlanthi. 

I never stated that PCs were bound to select runes based on their gender. You put those words in my mouth (for future reference, I prefer pizza or a medium rare steak to straw).  ;)

I stand by my statement, though: S:KoH clearly states that most men are drawn to Air and most women are drawn to Earth. I agree that this doesn't impact PCs, but it certainly impacts the world in which they live and operate. 

All of this is moot, though, because the world belongs to you once you start running a game in it. If you don't agree with something, do it differently. YGWV. Nobody should tell you that you're doing it wrong. I certainly won't.

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3 hours ago, HeartQuintessence said:

Which I think got one of those 'pre-pub' versions at gencon.

Off topic, Would you do me a little favour and judicially quote what you are responding to (Simply highlight as much as you wish to quote and then hover your curser for a second near the selection and a quote radio button will show up below and near the selection, click it and you will be taken to an open text box with your selection already quoted and space for your response, repeat as need, thanks) or be a little more directional in your responses. When reading several fora it helps when it it is easy to see what folk are talking about and this Thread does have its nuances to follow... Hell, many of the ones I follow do for that matter.

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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Now careful Rodney, no need to give Santa a reason to bypass yer house now is there.

Disagree for sure, but no need to get hot. It causes ones aim to falter. I am sure Shawn was walking by and giving a thought. Qizilbashwoman is not saying anything she has not said many a time before. It just might be egg nog time.Or time for more in my case.

Cheers

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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5 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Orlanth is only "gendered" cause you insist on the Air/Earth dichotomy, which, IMO, is an artificial construct of yours.

Rodney, I cited HeroQuest Glorantha, a current canon publication, which had its first printing in August 2015.

I'll give you the literal text from page 44:

Quote

In Dragon Pass, Heortland and Esrolia, most men are strongly associated with the Air Rune and most women are strongly associated with the Earth Rune; these runes are almost always one of your three most significant Runes. Normally, you can only have one elemental Rune. The Tarshites are largely the same, although the Lunarized cities have a significant minority of people associated with the Moon Rune.

And now:

4 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Actually, it's not spelled out.  In those rules, 85% of generic Orlanthi men have Air.  But PCs are not generic.  They are the extraordinary.

No, that establishes that the majority of Orlanth's followers are MEN, because MEN have the AIR RUNE.

6/7th of men are Air and worship Orlanth. A handful of the 1/7th of women have Air (rather than being a Helering, which is the majority alternative rune if you read the percentages given for rune populations by sex in the almanacs).

Just so, 6/7th of women are Earth.

Pretending there's no gendered dichotomy is a laugh, especially when some Earth gods forbid male worshippers.

==> Also, as an added note, Entekos, firstborn daughter of Umath, god of the winds of Peloria, is given both a male name and phallic imagery. Because she's an air god. She's not even Theyalan. Theyalans have never heard of her, and still: she's a goddess with a phallus and a man's name. Why? Because she's an air deity. Air is male.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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2 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Personally I think that Orlanth's, and probably by extension the Vingan's, hair is the shade of orange we call "red hair". Orange is the primary color of air, after all. Blood red is more of a fire or moon color.

maybe? they always made a fuss about Vingites dyeing their hair in the books and then someone did the math here and realised it'd cost them like a prohibitive amount of money to dye it full-time!

I think regular Orlanth-worshippers would only get the red (orange?) locks if they are above a certain rank. Not every single Orlanthite will get red hair, but certainly we know some do - the woad-clad ones certainly have red hair. Maybe you need to be, say, a Rune Lord or the like.

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So, I think the conclusion is that there is a gender dichotomy. Whether this is a good thing or not is a matter that probably won't ever be resolved. Personally I think a little gender dichotomy is good for a fantasy world, as long as it goes both ways and there's a good amount of gender equal organizations and societies as well. Lends a little bit of grounding and some possible story hooks (one unique things?) as well ("I am the only female worshipper of Yelm", "I am a man who gave birth and now serve as a devotee of Ernalda"). YMMV/YGMV.

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4 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Lends a little bit of grounding and some possible story hooks (one unique things?) as well ("I am the only female worshipper of Yelm", "I am a man who gave birth and now serve as a devotee of Ernalda"). YMMV/YGMV.

See 13th Age/13th Age: Glorantha and the One Unique Thing.  The fact that exceptions are possible within a culture, tradition, or organisation, doesn't mean there are exceptions everywhere; in fact, for the sake of drama, your character is the only one.

!i!

[P.S. This is also why I find these hypothetical discussions around canon so tedious and limiting to actual play.  YGWNIFAP.]

[P.P.S. That was a little harsh of me.  More "frustrating" than "tedious".  Well, tedious, too, but that's on me.]

Edited by Ian Absentia
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Question:

Do Wyters(clan-spirits I guess), do they have a gender? Can they have gender? I know they mentioned  in Sartar Kingdom of Heros, but then in reading say Thunder REbels- which really goes into them (boy was Thunder Rebels eyeopening if, 'outdated' as others have said. But it opened my eyes to the world of Wyters.

Can a Wyter be created or born, formed from the collective quest to bring the clan together? Is there a clan-making ritual? Has it been written about?

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1 hour ago, Richard S. said:

So, I think the conclusion is that there is a gender dichotomy. Whether this is a good thing or not is a matter that probably won't ever be resolved.

I mean, it's a thing. It's not supposed to model an ideal world. And as we've seen, it's gone back and forth over time: sometimes this has been called 'gregging', when Stafford has decided to change something and people objected. Vinga being explicitly Orlanth was a change, and I think a small number of people think it is a gregging.

Also, HeroQuest and RuneQuest model the same universe with very different rules. You have three runes in HQ and three runes only (more or less like the great gods of Glorantha in RQ): you can't have points in Earth and fewer points in Water, for example, it just doesn't work that way. It's [Element] [Condition] [Form/Condition]. RuneQuest works very differently.

Thirdly, our culture and society have changed a ton over the years and so our understanding of what the texts say also change; indeed, the newer-issued texts change what they say! The Vinga change I mentioned above was done I believe in the early 90s when Greg was playing and ran into Vinga again and found it gross and backwards and he weren't having it in his Glorantha that way anymore. The world had changed since he had played it the first time in like 1978.

Finally, none of this ever has ever had anything to do with players. No one ever demanded players have to have an Earth rune because they are women. No one has suggested you can't just have a dick and be an Ernaldan, or be a Wind Lord with boobs. Or be genderqueer! Or anything! There's nothing prescriptive in our discussions about player agency. This is entirely setting, and players and setting are never the same thing.

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The sense in which I was speaking had little to do with mechanics or runes. The Orlanth cult is the primary vehicle by which Heortling boys are taught to be a man. The Ernalda cult is the primary vehicle by which girls are taught to be a woman. Whatever deeper mysteries lie beyond, defining and expressing gender norms and work is their main presence in day to day life.

Edited by JonL
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26 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Should she prefer a male?  I.e., do women have higher voices and males lower, that would better complement each other?

*sigh* do you really not understand gender or is this the trollbait it so blatantly appears to be?

* given that Vingites specifically have a myth about bearing children, the answer would be "they have the same range of voices as women in our world". Presumably those Air rune people who wanted to eat "testosterone root" and grow a beard would just join the regular Orlanth cult

So the answer is: some women sing bass, but most are contralto to mezzo-soprano. Source: my mother, who has sung in choirs her entire life and is preparing for her national championship. You get to decide for yourself what range your Vingite sings.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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