Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Joerg

Western Hsunchen

Recommended Posts

Since this triggered quite a deviation from the thread about women in Gloranha, I quoted my leading statement here.

 

  

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

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.

 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

I love it. A contender for top post of the year!

Of the year so far, you mean? Easy to do, this early in the year... but thanks for the flowers.

 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

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."

That would be one way to regard Hsunchen. Basmol "finding a wife" is a bit weird, Basmol is both Basmalt and Basmola, both genders in one. But then Basmol did find a wife, Ifftala, daughter of Seshna Likita, and mother of Pendal, the ancestor of the Pendali dynasty. Where did the other Pendali come from? Possibly lesser siblings of Pendal multiplying, possible lions awakening to their human shape and taking other daughters of the Land? 

Was Basmol satisfied with just a single female, or did he find lots of lesser wild women of the land to include into his pride?

Even if we are talking about less than three thousand Malkioni at the Dawn in Seshnela, their complaint was that they (or at least their soldiers) were badly outnumbered by the Pendali.

The "city states" of Frowal and Neleoswal actually had several small cities each, and so did the Pendali "kingdoms". And while the proportion of Malkioni soldiers will have been at best 10%, or about 300, the Pendali brought their lion nobility in much greater man- and lionpower. At the Dawn, any single Pendali kingdom was a strong match for either Malkioni state in military, and thanks to their descent from Seshna through Ifftala, also in magic.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

And so on for all the first peoples.

So what are your thoughts on the first witnesses of Earthmaker's work? Did this happen just south of the Spike, with the spirits wandering on both east and west of that obstacle, onto the northern continent? That would explain the gap that was filled by Genert's Garden, the Theyalans, and the Pelorians.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

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.

But both Kachasti and Hykimi (to use the term that describes specifically the western Hsunchen of Genertela) appear as human bodies. The Humanist Logicians wouldn't talk to beasts. And the goddesses of the land appear as human bodies, too, and so do their descendants.

Ifftala is a lot like Sorana Tor.

 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

The ideas shape the peoples. The way they're shuffled at the start influence where they go within history. 

The ideas manifested human bodies as part of the Third Action, then underwent Multiplication in the Fourth Action, so at least for the Kachasti element I am fairly confident that their ideas spread on human legs. I will grant you some doubt about the Hykimi, and there is always the method of marrying in to an existing earth people that usually takes on the culture of the groom, whether in ancient Brithos or in Genertela.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might get a little fragmented.

3 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Of the year so far, you mean? Easy to do, this early in the year... but thanks for the flowers.

Thinking ahead to the awards for 2020 as a whole, but I was still a little groggy. "Of the decade."

Let's bracket a notion that one of the first things we learned about "Seshneg in the Dawn Ages" all that time ago was that they were masters of evolutionary taxonomy: lineage or genealogy. If they could deduce the antecedents of a thing, they could figure out how to manipulate it. As such, much of what we have from this era is page after page of dynastic charts and yet it strikes me I know next to nothing about Greg's mother, for example.

The Seshnegi Book of Enemies occasionally confuses the wives of Pendal and Basmal[t] but the bulk of the textual evidence reinforces the aldryan priority hypothesis: Pendal married Ifttala Likita while Basmalt [sic] raped Aeelra Aldryama first, back in the days when "the lions would not harm the deer and the rabbits scampered with the wolves." Maybe there's a version of this story where that act breaks the green age bliss and forces the lion people into a broken world of predator and prey. Presumably he has other litters elsewhere because that's what lions do. I don't know who the ancestral Lioness mates with but he would've needed to be fairly formidable to survive the experience long enough to be remembered.

However, Pendal's boys were all over the map in terms of mating preferences, so it's possible that the reference to Pendal being the one who married Aeelra preserves some otherwise suppressed incestuous union or Seshnelan propaganda. People hate the "mofo" reference in Lords of Terror but this is one place it could be folded back into a modern Glorantha. However, we digress . . . Orphal was the oldest and most lionlike, "he did not marry, although several nymphs and one of his sisters were mothers of his children." Rolfas simply married a sister. Avalal, Joril and Kaanil had sons but their mothers aren't named. Ernnal is taken by the sea and probably sires a lion nation elsewhere, the triolinas of this era being as thirsty as they were.

Basmalt is still circulating and available for incarnation into the second quarter of the first century . . . no firm dates but this is the generation of Laxus the Peaceful so the Lion would have mated with his own great-great-granddaughter to produce the magically gifted Children of Basmalt. Again, gods are different but this would have scandalized a few innocent proto-Westerners. It's possible that these are the people who in their desperation figure out how to wear a lion's skin. Otherwise the last of the lion kingdoms breaks down in 138 so they would have missed out on any missionary revival of "hykimite consciousness" spread by the Serpents. 

I think we've talked a lot about the horse people and their separate origin coming down into Ralios so will leave that part alone for now. One interesting note, however, is that one of the last kings of the Jorils (d. 109) "was a member of the cult of Yelm [sic!] and was skilled in the arts of bow and chariot." This is part of a wild story that amounts to a "Pendalite civil war" but the important thing here is the presence of the Ralian Sun God famous for his oracle. At this point some lion tribes may have intermarried with horse tribes. Some people believe these are the ancestors of Tanisor.

I agree that Ifftala as primary visible likita bears a strong resemblance to Sorana Tor as ultimate source of mystic kingship. There's a weird subtext I haven't fully plumbed where her death culminates one war (circa 2 ST) and triggers another (circa 4 ST, sack of Frowal and the annihilation of Avalalsket). Something going on among the likiti, a realignment. Ironically I think this story is told in greater detail in Hrestol Saga?

Show me a kachisti with its own legs instead of using legs as a vehicle! I am not denying their ability or intent to incarnate but simply want to keep other avenues of propagation and exploration available to them, especially since the archaeological record is so fragmentary. It is possible that jealous white wizards would have expunged the sites as blasphemous (politically awkward) however. Let's find the sites. But beasts definitely have languages worth collecting because the Xeotam entity spends a lot of time talking about Beast Speech and hsunchen languages in the Sourcebook fragment. (Amusingly the entity's knowledge of "Jonatings" both confirms the fragment's recent composition and indicates that the lion savages of the Mislari are not yet extinct. Let the hero wars begin!)

Which earthmaker are talking about, Langamul or Korgatsu? I've misplaced my Korgatsu materials but either way the Spike is tricky. Langamul is of course Noruma spelled backward, the southern "dragon."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the other thread

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

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.

I'm not sure the division there is necessarily that different. The Enjoreli are described as a confederation or tribe of Tawari (GtG 199, 222. Or vice versa 211) Likewise Galanini and Enerali seem like alternate names for each other (373)

The Tawari seem to have an obvious link to KevTavar, the bull god father of the Pelandan Bisos.

I'm not sure the Pendali weren't that different from "real" Basmoli, given they don't seem to have degenerated as much as the Basmol clan of Basim, which they're presumably related to. (394)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tindalos said:

I'm not sure the Pendali weren't that different from "real" Basmoli, given they don't seem to have degenerated as much as the Basmol clan of Basim, which they're presumably related to. (394)

If I recall correctly, Pendal is a son of Basmol, and with his wife Ifttala (whom Hrestol wounded), sired all the royal houses of the Pendali.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Er, I have a question that I think may be related to this topic. Are the Seshnelan Horali war societies related to Hsunchen traditions at all? I know the societies claim animal ancestry, but I'm unsure whether they're actually related to Hsunchen cults.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Are the Seshnelan Horali war societies related to Hsunchen traditions at all? I know the societies claim animal ancestry, but I'm unsure whether they're actually related to Hsunchen cults.

Rokari Wizard to a commoner who dared to ask this question:  Perish the thought, imprudent scum!

Same Rokari Wizard talking to another wizard about his encounter with a Horali:  So there I was minding my own business when the Hsunchen walked in...

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Joerg said:

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

Are you saying the God of the Silver Feet was a Kachisti? If so, where are you getting that from?

Also, in terms of ancestry, I thought the Kachisti were either wiped out by the Vadeli, or absorbed by the Orlanthi who rescued them as slaves. I don’t see the ancestral connection, although there probably was trade and exchange of ideas in the Storm Age, at least with the Enjoreli. 
 

Edit: looking at at the God Learner maps again, and I’m noticing that the Basmoli are described as having “enslaved many descendants of the Kachisti.” (GtG p. 690). Maybe that could happened with the Enjoreli and Enerali too.

Edited by Gallowglass
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

Are you saying the God of the Silver Feet was a Kachisti? If so, where are you getting that from?

The God of the Silver Feet may have been the Kachisti ancestor.

Where do I get this from? There is an overall agreement that both Issaries and Lhankor Mhy are from the West, or at the very least found in the  west. Revealed Mythologies gives us the six tribes of Danmalastan, with three already well established players - Vadeli  (formerly Vyimorni) vs. Brithini (formerly Enjoreli), with the Waertagi going to the seas, but there are three more - the builders (Kadeniti), the writers (Tadeniti), and the Speakers (Kachasti). It isn't a great leap of imagination to connect the Tadeniti with Lhankor Mhy, and from there another small step to compare the Kachasti Speaking Tour with something Issaries would do.

 

2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

Also, in terms of ancestry, I thought the Kachisti were either wiped out by the Vadeli, or absorbed by the Orlanthi who rescued them as slaves. I don’t see the ancestral connection, although there probably was trade and exchange of ideas in the Storm Age, at least with the Enjoreli. 

The Vadeli love having their slave populations. The sundering of matter and energy in the Tadeniti may have been a special revenge they have had for the ones who invented the flensing of their ancestor Vadel to make Zzabur's Blue Book, Brown Book and Red Book. This is a magic doing with (living?) skin suspiciously close to what Thanatar does half-living heads. But the Vadeli didn't wipe out any of their other slave populations - they were happy to conquer the Kadeniti and the original city of the Malkioni. Of course, those refugee Tadeniti who had mingled with the Kadeniti after that first assault, and many a Kadeniti too will have fled from Zerendel to Brithos.

 

2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

Edit: looking at at the God Learner maps again, and I’m noticing that the Basmoli are described as having “enslaved many descendants of the Kachisti.” (GtG p. 690). Maybe that could happened with the Enjoreli and Enerali too.

Whether enslaved or assimilated. I posit that the temple cities of e.g. the Telmori were also built and inhabited by wolf people with Kachisti ancestry, and that many a wolf brother outside of those cities had such ancestry, too.

On the other hand, this could be little more than a sinister claim that all the people of Western Genertela have Danmalastan ancestry, and are apostates whose claims to their land are inferior to those of the true Malkioni way. It certainly would aid Malkioni magical claims for the land.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

With the added twist that those savages really only enslaved "our Kachisti brethren". They have usurped the land from our kin.

In the case of the Basmoli, that claim might even be somewhat fair. But then, for the Kachisti to go speaking to people, there had to be people wherever they went. If those were beast people, so be it.

The Nidan uprising broke Kachisti culture, but it didn't destroy all of the Danmalastan inheritance. The six tribes all started out with their specialities, but the Brithini accumulated all the achievements of the six tribes, and by the time of the Vadeli uprising. Urban life and cultivated rural life with the benefit of building that the Kadeniti had brought to the Western culture had become the Brithini norm. The Polis was the cultural center, where the holy people knew things and distributed blessings based on thatt

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

These temple-cities may very well have been a consequence of meeting the Kachisti, and later absorbing those who escaped the Vadeli. The Malkioni have an uncomfortable way of sub-humanizing the Hykimi. They might encounter the temple cities, (correctly) recognize Kadeniti achievements in city layout and architecture, and conclude (incorrectly) that these were places conquered from Danmalastani.

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

While the Kachasti experience in the beast lands appears to have been without overwhelming hostility to the folk from Danmalastan, the reverse needn't be true - the Blue Meanie sorcerers of Wendaria may well have been Kachisti in the first wave, together with Janubian (and Sweet Sea) Waertagi. The Vadeli then overthrew the Kachisti, and much of YarGan may have been Vadeli evil.

The Vingkotlings knew the beast tribes of the Great Western Forest, too, and they claim that these tribes were united under the Enchanter of Seravos, whose command over the Vingkotling lifestock led to the Plundering of Aron.

The Plundering of Aron has the Vingkotlings fight elves and strange Face Guardians, but there are no fights against the beast folk in the Plundering of Aron.

But then, we know that Dorastor had a thriving civilization right next to that of the Vingkotlings, but we have no Vingkotling stories of interacting with the Feldichi. Strange, isn't it?

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

The western Hykimi don't have any Amuron or Korgatsu any more, do they? Or do the Pralori retain that ancient knowledge?

The Pralori hegemony was huge - covering Tanisor as well as Slontos and (now drowned) Wenelia. The western Entruli had nothing to counter this, until the Vathmai brought Lightbringer magics to trump the Pralori shamans.

The Dangans appear to have been unaffected by the Pralori. But then they controlled Hrelar Amali, the most holy site between Seshna's Temple and Ezel. The Entruli had no such powerful center of magic until they learned the Theyalan ways.

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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. 

The Hykimi resisted the Theyalan expansion bitterly before they gave in and aligned with the Bright Empire. We get the Battle of Eleven Beasts in eastern Fronela/western Peloria, and we get the Battle of Zebrawood, both decisive defeats of the Hykimi, forcing them to serve the Theyalans. Not that this prior history matters in any way to the Malkioni whose interaction with the Bright Empire is through their beast people allies. The Telmori had two choices - become another Hill Barbarian people, or to play on their strength as lycanthropes and serve as a warrior branch. They chose to serve with their bestial magic, and Nysalor recognized the value of that gift, and gave it his blessing.

This brings in the beast-walkers whose ability is described as chaotic (in RQ2). They aren't limited to wolves, but also have bears, pigs and tigers. I don't think that they all arose from the Bright Empire, but from deeper in the Godtime. What is going on here?

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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. 

Bringing in an Aldryama maternal line for the Basmoli is fairly outside of my previous picture. But I wonder whether Aldryama may be an earlier expression for the Lady of the Wild. In post-Luathan Old Seshnela, we have Beastfolk unlike any Hykimi, but like in Beast Valley, and they appear to be as much part of the Children of the Forest as are the ones in the Redwood of Morak's story.

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

Vadela appears to be little different from Kala (the mother of Drona(r) and/AKA Dromal, the goddess of a hill or mountain range in Brithos). While you call them tectonic goddesses and they do have some earth-shaking magic, they also appear to be harvest goddesses.

Tanisor is described as grasslands interspersed with savannah. There have always been aldryami forests, and the lands in between offered sufficient forestation to prevent these "absolute forests" from being isolated from one another.

Grains are grasses, and grasses thrive on ground that is cleared by some agency - whether fire, grazing, or tectonic turning of the soil. Does the plow replace tectonic turning of the topsoil? Does the upturned soil form earth serpents?

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

Maniria between Esrolia and Ramalia might be understood as Greater Arstola, really. There are the volcano chains, slowly petering out to the west (is C&A's Meetplace in the Wenelian Islands still canonical?), there are Orlanthi tribes with very archaic beast totems, including what must be refugee Basmoli among the Solanthi, and there are the Trader Princes, but all of them are guests.

The Entruli appear to have a deeper connection to the land. Kaxtorplose managed to keep out Palangio for decades, and having this focus for resistance in his side proved to be the turning point in Palangio's failed defense against Arkat and his barbarian army.

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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. 

That may rather be the (or at least one) cause why proving that they were the same and interchangeable.

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

That means that the Malkioni culture received definition not so much by the son of Storm and Sea but by Phlia, the Tilnta who gave birth to the upper three castes?

I am always willing to discuss Danmalastan and Brithos weirdness, like the fact that there were four sons of Malkion and Phlia, but only three caste avatars, and the remaining brother the husband of Menena, of almost as noble rank as Talar himself.

 

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

Are you hunting within Time, or are you hunting in the Late Golden Age?

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

You'd be filthy rich if you could bottle that...

But yes, Ernalda is as much an umbrella (or in this case, possibly bell skirt) goddess as is Yelm to the Planetary Suns. But she (or at least two the previous cycle incarnations) has been around for longer than Yelm.

There are Orlanthi myths about how nubile Asrelia was destined for her half-brother Umath. This makes nubile Ernalda appear about the cycles/time when Umath crashes.

15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

Ernalda has been complicit in almost every empire ever. Including Chaos' reign of Terror. Only Nontraya, the jailer-turned-harbinger of Death, was refused her cooperation. That cost him his soul.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

On 1/1/2020 at 4:04 AM, Joerg said:

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.

18 hours ago, Joerg said:

just like the Galanini look like a Hsunchen equivalent to the Enerali

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.

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.

On 1/1/2020 at 4:11 AM, Joerg said:

Women bear children, men don't, but do they have much of a sex-based difference in job descriptions otherwise?

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

Addendum: Didn't see this thread when I made this post, and put this in Women in Glorantha, woops.

Edited by Mirza
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Mirza said:

Addendum: Didn't see this thread when I made this post, and put this in Women in Glorantha, woops.

I already replied over there, where it is fit because of the matrilineality and all, and I agree that the question how much the Galanini were Hsunchen is peripheral to Scott's greater new look at the Hykimi. (Which makes my replies to Scott's comments glacially slow as I look up obscure reference etc...)

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just gonna keep the debate here Joerg, sorry again about messing up the threads, but I just feel uncomfortable intruding into Women in Glorantha like that because of a mistake I made. Outside the guide, here are all the references that I ca find of the Galanini and the Enerali in what resources I got:

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

https://www.glorantha.com/docs/safelster-in-the-first-age/

image.png.5cc24e4958ae001d2756c56a7cb14a51.png
Glorantha Classics 3: Cult Compendium, Page 250

"The Ralios Story
There is a story in Ralios which is different from these. It concerns Galanin, the Horse God.
Galanin was part of a fallacious “animal genealogy” which the Westerners created in
order to organize (and overcome) the native hsunchen population, a very primitive people who
had not yet received the word of the Dawning
“Galanin is the son of Lofak, who is the god of Hoofed Animals, and is the son of
Hykim and Mikyh, the dragon ancestors of all beasts.”
The Galanini were actually a large confederation of pony‑riders who lived in Ralios
before it was civilized. They were foes of the Basmoli, or lion‑men, who occupied Seshnela
and Tanisor then."
King of Sartar, Page 191

My thoughts are probably a bit simpler than you think, it's just that the Galinini and Enerali are consistently written as being the same culture with varying terminology for their name, that seems to have solidified with the Guide into Galanini as the modern and Enerali as the archaic.

They seem to occupy the same places, worship the same primary gods, all without ever being mentioned in the same write-up as one another, like you'd think that one of the write-ups would mention that there is a split between the Horse Hsunchen, and those Theistic Horse people occupying the same space but there isn't. I'm just going with the most likely answer I can, which is that they are the same peoples over a period of time.

Sorry if you wanted some decisive piece of evidence that connects them Joerg, but this is what I have available, and the conclusion it's lead me to.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Galanini worship of Yelm does of course contradict Uz Lore by giving them the same full-on package of Yelm as the Grazers or the Pentans, including the horse-breaker. I would have expected at least that to be an un-necessary cult among the Galanini who are kin of their horses.

 

Quote

Sorry if you wanted some decisive piece of evidence that connects them Joerg, but this is what I have available, and the conclusion it's lead me to.

No, I was simply worrying that there would have been a source I had overlooked in my own assessment of the situation.

None of these texts makes a clear distinction between the shape-shifters and the rider people. All are Galanini in that they are descendants of Galanin, the Sun Horse. Eneral is.

But likewise, nowhere is it stated that those who had the magical power to shapeshift into horses were part of the four tribes founded by the sons of Eneral, or descended from him.

So, yes, there are different conclusions that we draw from this.

It is fairly evident to me that none of the Enerali tribes had any magic to shift into horse-shape. They are riders or charioteers.

The Galanini led by their queens are riders, but they have shape-shifting powers. This looks to me like a parallel as in the Pure Horse tribes of Pent and their cattle- and goat-herding majority tribes.

 

The Lofak-Galanin story in KoS is in keeping with God Learner assumptions on Hykimi descent. Galanin is also son of Ehilm. No problem, so he is son of Lofak and Ehilm.

Only that is a problem, as Hsunchen don't usually have elemental deities as parents. They tend to have pure descent from Hykim and Mikyh.

 

We don't learn about Galanini shamans, but then even the Pentans have shamans, and they are definitely no Hsunchen. On the other hand, there are no real Hsunchen without their shamans. Real Hsunchen and especially those of the Serpent Brotherhood have them.

The Enerali, Enjoreli and to a lesser extent the Pendali are kin of (potential) Hykimi who have adapted to a life that breaks Hsunchen habits and endorses too many of the blessings of civilization to remain true to the beast fathers. In all cases, there appear to be purer shape-shifting kin nearby, or within their culture.

Whether the Enerali or Enjoreli are former Hykimi or former Storm pastoralists is hard to say. There are several groups of primarily bull-herding Orlanthi, some of which are converted Hykimi while others are pastoralists who immigrated from the Sacred Mountain with their herds. The Bisosae of Oroninela appear in the same context.

Edited by Joerg
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  

21 hours ago, scott-martin said:

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.

With the added twist that those savages really only enslaved "our Kachisti brethren". They have usurped the land from our kin.

In the case of the Basmoli, that claim might even be somewhat fair. But then, for the Kachisti to go speaking to people, there had to be people wherever they went. If those were beast people, so be it.

The Nidan uprising broke Kachisti culture, but it didn't destroy all of the Danmalastan inheritance. The six tribes all started out with their specialities, but the Brithini accumulated all the achievements of the six tribes, and by the time of the Vadeli uprising. Urban life and cultivated rural life with the benefit of building that the Kadeniti had brought to the Western culture had become the Brithini norm. The Polis was the cultural center, where the holy people knew things and distributed blessings based on thatt

 

Quote

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.

These temple-cities may very well have been a consequence of meeting the Kachisti, and later absorbing those who escaped the Vadeli. The Malkioni have an uncomfortable way of sub-humanizing the Hykimi. They might encounter the temple cities, (correctly) recognize Kadeniti achievements in city layout and architecture, and conclude (incorrectly) that these were places conquered from Danmalastani.

 

Quote

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.

While the Kachasti experience in the beast lands appears to have been without overwhelming hostility to the folk from Danmalastan, the reverse needn't be true - the Blue Meanie sorcerers of Wendaria may well have been Kachisti in the first wave, together with Janubian (and Sweet Sea) Waertagi. The Vadeli then overthrew the Kachisti, and much of YarGan may have been Vadeli evil.

The Vingkotlings knew the beast tribes of the Great Western Forest, too, and they claim that these tribes were united under the Enchanter of Seravos, whose command over the Vingkotling lifestock led to the Plundering of Aron.

The Plundering of Aron has the Vingkotlings fight elves and strange Face Guardians, but there are no fights against the beast folk in the Plundering of Aron.

But then, we know that Dorastor had a thriving civilization right next to that of the Vingkotlings, but we have no Vingkotling stories of interacting with the Feldichi. Strange, isn't it?

 

Quote

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.

The western Hykimi don't have any Amuron or Korgatsu any more, do they? Or do the Pralori retain that ancient knowledge?

The Pralori hegemony was huge - covering Tanisor as well as Slontos and (now drowned) Wenelia. The western Entruli had nothing to counter this, until the Vathmai brought Lightbringer magics to trump the Pralori shamans.

The Dangans appear to have been unaffected by the Pralori. But then they controlled Hrelar Amali, the most holy site between Seshna's Temple and Ezel. The Entruli had no such powerful center of magic until they learned the Theyalan ways.

Quote

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. 

The Hykimi resisted the Theyalan expansion bitterly before they gave in and aligned with the Bright Empire. We get the Battle of Eleven Beasts in eastern Fronela/western Peloria, and we get the Battle of Zebrawood, both decisive defeats of the Hykimi, forcing them to serve the Theyalans. Not that this prior history matters in any way to the Malkioni whose interaction with the Bright Empire is through their beast people allies. The Telmori had two choices - become another Hill Barbarian people, or to play on their strength as lycanthropes and serve as a warrior branch. They chose to serve with their bestial magic, and Nysalor recognized the value of that gift, and gave it his blessing.

This brings in the beast-walkers whose ability is described as chaotic (in RQ2). They aren't limited to wolves, but also have bears, pigs and tigers. I don't think that they all arose from the Bright Empire, but from deeper in the Godtime. What is going on here?

 

Quote

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. 

Bringing in an Aldryama maternal line for the Basmoli is fairly outside of my previous picture. But I wonder whether Aldryama may be an earlier expression for the Lady of the Wild. In post-Luathan Old Seshnela, we have Beastfolk unlike any Hykimi, but like in Beast Valley, and they appear to be as much part of the Children of the Forest as are the ones in the Redwood of Morak's story.

 

Quote

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.

Vadela appears to be little different from Kala (the mother of Drona(r) and/AKA Dromal, the goddess of a hill or mountain range in Brithos). While you call them tectonic goddesses and they do have some earth-shaking magic, they also appear to be harvest goddesses.

Tanisor is described as grasslands interspersed with savannah. There have always been aldryami forests, and the lands in between offered sufficient forestation to prevent these "absolute forests" from being isolated from one another.

Grains are grasses, and grasses thrive on ground that is cleared by some agency - whether fire, grazing, or tectonic turning of the soil. Does the plow replace tectonic turning of the topsoil? Does the upturned soil form earth serpents?

Quote

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.

Maniria between Esrolia and Ramalia might be understood as Greater Arstola, really. There are the volcano chains, slowly petering out to the west (is C&A's Meetplace in the Wenelian Islands still canonical?), there are Orlanthi tribes with very archaic beast totems, including what must be refugee Basmoli among the Solanthi, and there are the Trader Princes, but all of them are guests.

The Entruli appear to have a deeper connection to the land. Kaxtorplose managed to keep out Palangio for decades, and having this focus for resistance in his side proved to be the turning point in Palangio's failed defense against Arkat and his barbarian army.

 

Quote

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. 

That may rather be the (or at least one) cause why proving that they were the same and interchangeable.

Taking a closer look to Hrestol's Saga again, there is a stage of his quest where he awakens to find a crone who offers him one of the apples of Flamal, the fruit of immortality. The nature of this obscure helper is not disclosed, and after managing to take one bite from the apple, Hrestol is elevated to be like the gods, and can continue into Jorestl's Forest, where Ifttala has her lair. After Hrestol killed Ifttala, Seshna appears (claiming much the same powers as Ernalda does) and sends Hrestol's soul to Hell, where it is salvaged by Yingar the Messenger, but not brought into the afterlife to Malkion.

 

Quote

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.

That means that the Malkioni culture received definition not so much by the son of Storm and Sea but by Phlia, the Tilnta who gave birth to the upper three castes?

I am always willing to discuss Danmalastan and Brithos weirdness, like the fact that there were four sons of Malkion and Phlia, but only three caste avatars, and the remaining brother the husband of Menena, of almost as noble rank as Talar himself.

 

Quote

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.

Are you hunting within Time, or are you hunting in the Late Golden Age?

Quote

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.

You'd be filthy rich if you could bottle that...

But yes, Ernalda is as much an umbrella (or in this case, possibly bell skirt) goddess as is Yelm to the Planetary Suns. But she (or at least two the previous cycle incarnations) has been around for longer than Yelm.

There are Orlanthi myths about how nubile Asrelia was destined for her half-brother Umath. This makes nubile Ernalda appear about the cycles/time when Umath crashes.

Quote

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.

Ernalda has been complicit in almost every empire ever. Including Chaos' reign of Terror. Only Nontraya, the jailer-turned-harbinger of Death, was refused her cooperation. That cost him his soul.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Where do I get this from? There is an overall agreement that both Issaries and Lhankor Mhy are from the West, or at the very least found in the  west. Revealed Mythologies gives us the six tribes of Danmalastan, with three already well established players - Vadeli  (formerly Vyimorni) vs. Brithini (formerly Enjoreli), with the Waertagi going to the seas, but there are three more - the builders (Kadeniti), the writers (Tadeniti), and the Speakers (Kachasti). It isn't a great leap of imagination to connect the Tadeniti with Lhankor Mhy, and from there another small step to compare the Kachasti Speaking Tour with something Issaries would do.

One thing I noticed in my Oranor research is that Greystone Fort seems to have had a connection with the God of Silver Feet. Why else would it be swamped with “angry ghosts?” There’s also the question of where the fort came from. It’s described as a massive stone “fortress-city.” Not something the local Oranor hill folk would bother to construct. So mayhaps its a ruin dating back to Kachisti times. Or King Drona’s time, which may be the same thing.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/2/2020 at 6:48 AM, Joerg said:

Which makes my replies to Scott's comments glacially slow

I hear that. Keep the icebreakers ready as this thing starts pulling water out of circulation and new shorelines emerge. With that in mind, I'll try to stay as focused as I can. Let's start this round in a place where I think we can all agree:

On 1/2/2020 at 4:54 AM, Joerg said:

The Malkioni have an uncomfortable way of sub-humanizing the Hykimi

This is why I'm reluctant to embrace the RM narrative where everything good comes from some hypothetical "absolute elsewhere" beyond the sea that only the wareran colonists remember . . . especially in the absence of independent corroborating evidence. As you point out, a doctrinaire Western observer would either not recognize urban complexes of coastal Genertela and Ralios as "cities" when they don't conform to their chauvinistic expectations or else posit some ancient precursor whose achievements were taken over by savages who don't understand them. The second approach is not perfect but it's an improvement, more faithful to the documents and MGF in which the wolves and lions built cities, drowned civilizations are scattered around the Manirian coast, things were happening in archaic Fronela and so on. 

Naturally I like to push as far as I can until the evidence pushes back, so maybe there are even more dynamic models in which some proto-hsunchen achieved a relatively high level of material culture on their own before backsliding or one or more hitherto unexamined ur-sources (material or otherwise) seeded the Western and other cultural revolutions independently from one another. In other words, maybe good things don't need to come from either western colonists or Council missionaries. Sometimes people in between developed and survived on their own before their stories were ultimately consolidated into one of the dominant narratives (god learner maps) and the undigested bits discarded. 

And of course in the cyclical fullness of history there might have been multiple expressions of all of this. Some western influences would become submerged in the continental landscape, "going native" or simply failing to persevere in the face of internal and external threats like "chaos," floods, dwarves growing a mountain range on you. The blue man would say that the world degenerates. All of this has happened before and will happen again. And then the stories are wedged back together in ways that preserve some truths and obscure others. This isn't only about west and north, either. A vision of a world segmented into four alienated quadrants is just another of the blue man's schemes to keep us all weak, small and lonely. In the real world before he broke it all the influences circulated everywhere . . . the world was made of everything, as it were.

But all that is too serious, which is why it is far more labored than my usual style. Time to stir some lore:

On 1/2/2020 at 4:54 AM, Joerg said:

The Plundering of Aron has the Vingkotlings fight elves and strange Face Guardians, but there are no fights against the beast folk in the Plundering of Aron.

But then, we know that Dorastor had a thriving civilization right next to that of the Vingkotlings, but we have no Vingkotling stories of interacting with the Feldichi. Strange, isn't it?

That might be a bottomless question. Let's start with the Face Guardians, who are a kind of recombinant "hsunchen" echo, only inverted as they start out as "domesticated" animals who receive human heads like manticores or the sedrali women of Ballid. Either way, they subvert the standard modern distinction between beast and man. They have breath weapons like dragons. And in the logic of myth, when we hear that they were animals "like" the stolen livestock, we need to be open to readings that they are the same creatures enhanced by the magic of Seravus, whom we never see but are told knows about the shifting of shapes. (It's significant that the liquidation of the Guardians and the liberation of the livestock take place roughly simultaneously, as though these are two versions of the same event.) 

The enchanter himself is a known rival of the Vingkot way of life even though his motivations here are not recorded and the Herdsman gets all the screen time. What we know about him is that he reflects a world where the paternal role in conception is a little vague by modern scientific standards. He comes from one of those archaic moments where your mom can get pregnant from a magic rock or a toilet seat or whatever. This is a story that tribal people in the know like to tell about people they like to consider primitive or inferior. (Since it's Glorantha and Before Time, of course the magic rock might actually be as literally true as it gets. However, every mythological utterance begs to be interpreted in its own terms like a persistent dream.) 

We also know that the enchanter is at least sometimes in league with elves (aldrya) against the tectonic reptile earth powers (likita or here the shaker goddess). Note that the shaker is intimately associated with Kero Fin and so she is on the Vingkotling side of history. She hates the enchanter. He is a very big piece of why she turned mean in the first place.

Two of the most totemic of the Storm Tribe play a role, with Yinki[n] doubling for Vin[g]ko at one weird point where they tell the same story twice. Odalya the bear reports to Vingkot the man. Yinkin the cat seems out of place, emerging from a secondary narrative now lost or garbled. As we know he is Orlanth's brother and patron of Desemborth. The Bull is missing, either not yet adopted into the tribe or absent when the mundane cattle vanished. At the end of the story Odalya stops coming around as often as he did: another of the primeval beast bonds estranged. We're increasingly just people and pets.

So what do we have so far? Vestiges of a rival cultural complex, a different system for interacting with the animal world. A rivalry with the tectonic goddess system. A friendship with elves. Shapeshifting. Weird beast forms.

Where does he live? I think everyone agrees that this is going on in Ralios, where the Serpent Beasts were already in place at the Dawn. The real question for me is by which route the Thunder Brothers travel to get there. We know they don't face elf resistance until after they cross the mountains, which to me indicates that they went all the way through Kartolin and then had to burn their way through forest to reach their final destination. If so, they went through Dorastor and apparently already found it empty of interest. The alternative route is through a suddenly quiet southern Greatwood / proto-Arstola followed by yet another of those passages through the impassable Mislari, at which point the natives get restless.

They don't kill the enchanter. This was a first contact situation but not the last. While we aren't any closer to the identity of the Fel-di-chi here, the Wolfbear strikes me as the sort of entity the enchanter would appreciate. 

The Wolf is of course the king of the carnivores in Telmorite territory, a band that ultimately encompasses modern Dorastor, much of Ralios and in some texts straddles the Nida gap to spread into Fronela as well after the Serpent Beasts are wiped out. They were an urban people once.

The Bear is of course the king of the northern system that succeeded the "Hykimi Alliance" and sometimes becomes Jonatela. Multiple beast expressions already. Wolf + Bear = Dorastor. A sign of a fusion or alliance among powers broken only a generation or two before the God Project. Reptiles and carnivores.  

The Eneralites who become the Dari Alliance don't seem to participate. The horse people develop their own urban culture.

The Pendalites might have had access to Serpent Beast magic across the southern forest, but those records do not appear to survive.

Drona came from the south and a pig introduced him to his wife.

The northern bull people are next.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

some proto-hsunchen achieved a relatively high level of material culture on their own before backsliding

This is clashing a bit with my understanding that the Hsunchen are among the earliest adopters/emanation of the Man Rune, although the Four Tribes of Mountain People erecting their camps in the cardinals may be contenders (however much that myth is something that happened). But then, those mountain people would have been demigods anyway.

Humanity comes from various sources, according to e.g. Entekosiad. Included are the Made People, like the Dara Happans or the Agimori (both the southern Doraddi and the coastal Thinobutans), but also wildly diverging other origins, like the Suvarian hatching from divine eggs, humans born from trees, or simply later generation demigods with dwindling divinity. The Hsunchen appear to have been the oldest adopters. To me, it looks like the ancestral beast witnesses took on the man shape and had children that way.

Humans meeting other humans apparently breed with one another - who would have thought that paleo-genetics would find evidence for interbreeding of quite diverse hominid branches. Scientists have cause to infer a number of ghost populations that we cannot associate with even fragmentary fossil evidence.

Such basic urges will be reflected in myth. And hence, there will have been human-shaped Hsunchen interacting with other human-shaped people, and there may have been mixed offspring.

Which brings me to verbal or otherwise conceptual communication. Hsunchen beasts and humans of a single origin can exchange concepts and information quite freely. Communication between Hsunchen of different origins may have been harder, possibly limited to pure physicality. At least, before the Kachisti entered the picture.

 

I wonder how much the building of temples and cities can be something understood by the beasts. Living in and with such structures is a different thing, but actually constructing these? There are beasts that burrow, or build nests, and those might be more pre-disposed to start building up structures. The Rathori have actual houses and still retain their beast-features easily. Many other hsunchen might not even have tents or lean-to huts covered with leaves or branches.

Nothing about this would stop the human-shaped beasts from erecting totemic markings for their territory. This is a lot less common for migratory species, but the great Serengeti trail of zebras and wildebeest is only weakly conserved in what remains of Genert's Garden. Cattle will have practiced transhumance before they attracted human companions. We know of the reindeer wanderings in northern Fronela, and the sea turtles of the various Sofali have such annual wanderings, too.

 

The Hsunchen humans share a paleolithic material culture, possibly mesolithic. That is pretty regardless of what kinds of beast they are associated with. Stone-knapping, fire-control and the curing of hides are pretty universal. Weapons are eagerly adopted from neighboring peoples if they prove useful for that lifestyle. Monkey see, monkey do.

 

But it doesn't have to be the beasts or the humans who direct the development of the temple cities. The spirits and deities of the place may provide the blueprints.

In case of the western Hykimi, the collective name Serpent Beast Brotherhood points at the Earth spirits and deities as potential providers of the know-how for creating edifices at holy places,

 

Then there is the other effect that Godtime "technology" often was less craftmanship and more sympathetic magic. When you built a boat, it was more the general concept of a boat, with a watertight hull only an initial consideration (dugout-technology) but easily overlooked when that basic dugout was epanded to become a hull made of composite material. There will have been Godtime boat constructs that kept out water by defining a boundary and the water not daring to cross that border.

 

The temple cities may have consisted of similarly threadbare technology made functional through will and worship.

 

But when the Kachisti came, these constructs would still tell them that the builders were people, and worth trying to talk to, And once they had a language to convey concepts outside of interaction with their natural environment and their spirits, the Kachisti could have demonstrated and communicated their ways of building learned from the Kadeniti.

 

17 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Let's start with the Face Guardians, who are a kind of recombinant "hsunchen" echo, only inverted as they start out as "domesticated" animals who receive human heads

like the Praxian herd Protectresses. This makes "raid" preceding the counter-raid at Aron sound like something a pastoralist culture would have done.

 

18 hours ago, scott-martin said:

The real question for me is by which route the Thunder Brothers travel to get there. We know they don't face elf resistance until after they cross the mountains, which to me indicates that they went all the way through Kartolin and then had to burn their way through forest to reach their final destination.

The text in Heortling Mythology makes it clear that they created and used a gap in the mountains that humans (other than the fliers of the Nardain Society) could not use. Someplace north of Arrowmound, east of Dorastor, IMO.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love all of this. Building up steam for the next wave . . . the notes on beast/man material culture are really useful.

Five things I want to linger on for now. Not an exhaustive list, just the ones that come to mind. Four revolve around the Enchanter:

1. His influence can project east from "Aron." At first I thought this was because he was aligned with the mountain giants of the pass, but I wouldn't rule out a relationship with the "hostile breezes" that have yet to be consolidated into an Orlanth Tribe at this time. He might preserve traces of a pre-missionary Ralian storm complex with dramatically different views on the man/beast relationship as well as paternity, etc. This might ultimately feed into Loko with his Ram totem, the Caroni people of the Mislari or ultimately the storm revelations happening in modern Ralios right now.

2. The question is what he did after losing the Vingkotling livestock. This feels less like a simple prank than the expression of a foreign religious system. (Do farmers near Beast Valley have to worry about their stock being freed and fused, or only romanced and left with strange pregnancies? Is there a Beast Folk PETA?) Also the Sivin Feat sounds apocalyptic enough to have scorched a big hole in the Greatwood. Maybe it grows back before the Storm Age ends but maybe it becomes the "hole" in the vast western forest that those Serpent Beasts inhabit at the Dawn. In this scenario we can speculate about changing relationships with the elves, perhaps a rejection of the aldrya mothers for a different earth orientation. Some theoretically inclusive Mother of Mammals who transcends totemic identity.

3. The Enchanter's rivalry with the dinosaur goddess seems personal, especially if we start hunting "reptile hsunchen" into Peloria where the Fire Tribe has already wiped out a few gazzam ecologies and the elves and their allies continued the work of extermination. Seravus may be etymologically closer to sereving than we think. On the other side of the feud, she kills his son (the Herdsman?) so the scales balance somewhat. Either way, she represents a different beast lineage and seems more active in proto-Peloria than proto-Esrolia. (See also the snake mothers / snake daughters I recall Steve Perrin putting in that part of the world back in WF.) I wonder if the Fel-di-chi were reptiles. 

4. "Aron" may be the forest that becomes "Eron" but also a fix for the cryptic "Erona" who shows up separate from Frona in the sourcebook. We don't know a lot about the Erontree except that they had already divided from the Greatwood at the dawn and that they're friends with Oranor, which traces its descent from Oran instead of Drona. Oran, Eron, Aron. The people remember a boar father much like the Jonatings remember a bear. Maybe the original north-south split in the hsunchen unity was whether the local tree was green or brown. EDIT one or more "Arroin" may also be involved. Non-spell botanical technology. A dead god.

And the larger theoretical point at this stage revolves around the importance of lineage in general in Greg's West. Looking for all these quotes I was reminded of the Q&A in TOTRM 13 where Greg characterizes the West as "the root cellar of our modern way of thinking. It is where the mythological flaws and strengths of our Western way of being can be played with." At the time, this was considered "medieval," but as we all know the truth of this term both in Glorantha and our world is a lot more complicated than simple knights and crusades. We let go that word.

Do we keep the Gloranthan West as the root cellar of what becomes a cosmopolitan and largely secularized modernity? These encounters with alternatives reveal something about what that might entail. I would go back to the Cults of Prax reference to a dynastic development of Daka Fal and euhemeristic explanations of other people's gods. I'd also go back to the statement that appears a number of times in the canon, which is that the most important myth for most peoples is their tale of origin. Who are the first ancestors? Where do we come from?

Ironically, the imperial Western monomyth crowds out most of these stories, leaving us only with some maps and archetypal placeholders that support a model of history where civilization starts in the Far West and is exported to the northern (and southern) continent, ultimately outcompeting the barbaric failures that were here before. In this model, primitive tribes might evolve into "barbarian belt" consciousness or convert directly to the sorcerous view. I think for many of us this is a pessimistic way to look at Glorantha because it makes the secularists villains who succeed in wrecking what's otherwise an enchanted and splendid world. 

While I am working up ways to redeem parts of the West, it's also worth deflating their propaganda wherever we can. We know the God Learners lost catastrophically. They got the world wrong. This forces us to question their other assumptions about where the long arc of the world is going. Maybe that includes the hsunchen hypothesis. I think Greg would like that. If nothing else, in a world where tribal resistance to the "western" commercial monoculture and myth seems increasingly futile, it's nice to have a hobby where we can contemplate other outcomes.

Anyway, the important thing for me is establishing that monomyth genealogies aren't innately privileged over local or isolated origins. Other people have their own history. Whether it's recorded in a way that interests the sorcerers is secondary.  

Besides, there's a weird bit in TOTRM 13 where Greg Himself tells the story of YarGan. Remember? The Kingdom of Logic was YarGan's realm of refugees attracted from all over. They were amoral, wise and venal. They probably flattered themselves to think of their adopted land as some abstract utopia, a realm absolutely alienated from the natural processes that lesser people had to obey . . . on the continent but not of the continent. Is YarGan's realm the only historical "Danmalastan" we will discover? I don't know, but it's worth looking. Such melodrama!

Edited by scott-martin
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Do we keep the Gloranthan West as the root cellar of what becomes a cosmopolitan and largely secularized modernity? These encounters with alternatives reveal something about what that might entail. I would go back to the Cults of Prax reference to a dynastic development of Daka Fal and euhemeristic explanations of other people's gods. I'd also go back to the statement that appears a number of times in the canon, which is that the most important myth for most peoples is their tale of origin. Who are the first ancestors? Where do we come from?

Ironically, the imperial Western monomyth crowds out most of these stories, leaving us only with some maps and archetypal placeholders that support a model of history where civilization starts in the Far West and is exported to the northern (and southern) continent, ultimately outcompeting the barbaric failures that were here before. In this model, primitive tribes might evolve into "barbarian belt" consciousness or convert directly to the sorcerous view. I think for many of us this is a pessimistic way to look at Glorantha because it makes the secularists villains who succeed in wrecking what's otherwise an enchanted and splendid world. 

While I am working up ways to redeem parts of the West, it's also worth deflating their propaganda wherever we can. We know the God Learners lost catastrophically. They got the world wrong. This forces us to question their other assumptions about where the long arc of the world is going. Maybe that includes the hsunchen hypothesis. I think Greg would like that. If nothing else, in a world where tribal resistance to the "western" commercial monoculture and myth seems increasingly futile, it's nice to have a hobby where we can contemplate other outcomes.

Anyway, the important thing for me is establishing that monomyth genealogies aren't innately privileged over local or isolated origins. Other people have their own history. Whether it's recorded in a way that interests the sorcerers is secondary. 

Looking at the Xeotam Dialogues, I feel like the modern Malkioni view would be that regardless of hsunchen or ilfadori origins, people are people, and that most humans have mixed blood of many types. Malkion's descent from Aerlit and Warera isn't too much different than Vingkot's descent from Orlanth. (Not least because they're first cousins once removed.) And even then they note that even then hsunchen still have a similar divine ancestry to the ilfadori.

Since mortals are of the same substance as gods/runes/true beings/erasanchula, just much lesser due to their divided and mixed nature, what would be important is less the origins (although that helps magic) and more the teachings.

(One suspicion of mine is that the "false gods"/"sorcerers" comes from mistranslations of Erasanchula. After seeing that the ancient Malkioni individuals like Zzabur were classed as them, and they they assumed that indicated a mundane origin rather than these ancient beings being akin to the gods.)

(Another is that the genealogies found in the Blue Book (and thus the ones we tend to see) are designed for the teaching of sorcery, and are combinations of runic powers. Hence why so many have a point where one aspect of an elemental lineage mixes with Flamal, Hykim/Mikyh, and Grandfather Mortal to produce elemental plants, animals, and people. To many sorcerers, there's no difference between saying "the combination of the Earth Rune and the Plant Rune" and "Aldrya" except that one is faster to say.)

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tindalos said:

Another is that the genealogies found in the Blue Book (and thus the ones we tend to see) are designed for the teaching of sorcery, and are combinations of runic powers.

I like a lot of this "modern Malkioni" push back against the bland narcissism of the white wizard doctrine . . . to me they are better and smarter people if they are at least open to these nuances. But I like this part in particular.

One idea I toy with is that a native Genertelan wareran population might have initially developed a Western Lands cosmology as a prescriptive spiritual practice, a sort of projected visionary world where the soul could have its adventures and accumulate the experiences required to achieve its goals. Meanwhile the empirical history of these people continued on through the known ancestors and culture heroes similar to the ones everyone else has: son of Aerlit and Warera, son and husband of Phlia, father of the nations, etc. 

But at some stage the levels were confused so what was initially recognized as the future of the soul replaced the mythic origin and then the people became mental hostages to an artificial past. Obviously some entities benefit from this while the people no longer develop, effectively becoming stereotyped and "immortal." And something like a "sorcery plane" emerges, stark and rigorous. People like the waertagi (YarGan "made the masters of boats, called blue men") spin out or are kicked out along the way. An original native Genertelan "wareran" population may originate in a colder sea and Old Trade was always a myth . . . a little fancy footwork would be required but it answers the underlying question of what Brithos has been doing Since Time. 

There was one more point on the Plunder of Aron, also. Cults of Terror contains the evocative note that until the Lightbringers came West to meet Arkat, the notion of a Manirian route from Seshnela to Dorastor was apparently unknown. Unless this has been revised away, nobody had even theorized that this approach was possible, leaving the space in between to the beast peoples. I like this because it reflects the way central Genertela was a void in the archaic western fiction. The Seshnegi were apparently familiar with all the coasts but anything northeast of Slontos was alien territory until the map finally filled in and the "krjalki" resolved.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

There was one more point on the Plunder of Aron, also. Cults of Terror contains the evocative note that until the Lightbringers came West to meet Arkat, the notion of a Manirian route from Seshnela to Dorastor was apparently unknown. Unless this has been revised away, nobody had even theorized that this approach was possible, leaving the space in between to the beast peoples. I like this because it reflects the way central Genertela was a void in the archaic western fiction. The Seshnegi were apparently familiar with all the coasts but anything northeast of Slontos was alien territory until the map finally filled in and the "krjalki" resolved.

Of course, this becomes further interesting given Garzeen's history in Seshnela, seeking marriage with the daughter of Froalar.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Tindalos said:

Of course, this becomes further interesting given Garzeen's history in Seshnela, seeking marriage with the daughter of Froalar.

If I can put all the issaries back together maybe these hyenas will leave me alone! Side bonus.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

If I can put all the issaries back together maybe these hyenas will leave me alone! Side bonus.

No, mon.

Once dem Hyeen' gets dere teeth in ya, Mon... thy fate be sealed, mon!

Quest on, righteously!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woah, this thread is going deep. Love it. The idea of plant-based and tectonic-based earth goddess complexes rivaling each other in a time before the current paradigm reigns is particularly interesting. 

The evidence of how Hsunchen may have absorbed and utilized both western ideas (Danmalastani builders or speakers) and Elementalisms (Solar horse people, Storm cattle people, and the list goes on, possibly some Earth snake people in there, or maybe that's some of that reverse-engineering diversified/particularized beast lineages back to basal draconist beast commonality I've proposed before - Either way, some of these stay kin to their animals, other assume mastery over them.) . Very interesting. Too much for me to comment on now.

 

8 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Anyway, the important thing for me is establishing that monomyth genealogies aren't innately privileged over local or isolated origins. Other people have their own history. Whether it's recorded in a way that interests the sorcerers is secondary.  

 

I agree wholeheartedly. This is one of the reasons why my approach to localized myths follows the Entekosiad model of only applying the Monomyth when it feels fitting, rather than using it as a straightjacket. IMG Shargashite priests acknowledge more than his bloodlust. Yggites see Ygg as the holder of the Storm Rune and King Storm, and Orlanth is a fairly insignificant mountaintop trickster wind (landlocked and jealous). Enerali/Galanini Ehilm/Galanin may have had basically no patriarchal impulses whatsoever. Seshna Likita isn't just some "local Earth goddess" to the Pendali and later Seshnegi. She IS Earth. So is Ralia to the Ralians - before the Missionaries homogenize and categorize and bring their version of the interpretatio. 

And the various worldviews of the Hsunchen would probably frustrate anyone trying to put them all together in a neat little cladistic tree. Solar Horses kind of throws their similarity to other hoofed animals out the door. Or maybe it doesn't.

 

On 1/4/2020 at 9:18 PM, Joerg said:

Which brings me to verbal or otherwise conceptual communication. Hsunchen beasts and humans of a single origin can exchange concepts and information quite freely. Communication between Hsunchen of different origins may have been harder, possibly limited to pure physicality. At least, before the Kachisti entered the picture.

 

So the innovation of the Kachisti may have been finding the key for Man Rune beings to communicate across man-beast-(plant?) complex cultures? Wolf men and wolf beasts go well together, since they are both wolves. But wolf men and bear men are too different to find common ground. Then one day the Kachisti come along, and allow the Men to take part in a new communicative community. Beast Rune family members are left out. Claude Levi-Strauss would be intrigued.
Or is this too easy, too simple a model? 

5 hours ago, Tindalos said:

ilfadori

Not familiar with these folks. Google shows me nada. 😕

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:
13 hours ago, Tindalos said:

ilfadori

Not familiar with these folks. Google shows me nada. 😕

Ifaldor is how it is spelled in the Xeotam dialogue. Born from the union of two Srvuali (single element deities), like Aerlit and Warera. Mortals.

(Although Aerlit is technically a Burta already.)

Edited by Joerg
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
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.

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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...