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Non-Human Orlanthi (and similar cases)?


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Almost anybody who knows about Glorantha knows about the ducks.  They're adorable, they're ferocious.  Don't mess with the ducks.  Part of what makes them so charismatic is the ducks' sharing in their human neighbors' religion, more or less.  There are duck worshippers of Orlanth, Humakt, Issaries, Ernalda etc.  This is a rarity though, and the ducks are a special case, religiously speaking.  Most of the sapient non-human species inclined towards theism have their own pantheons, the troll and elf pantheons being the most obvious examples.  Some non-human cults are known to have human versions--humans worshiping Argar Argan while trolls worship Argan Argar, for example, or humans joining Flamal cults, or joint human and elf communities worshiping Yelmalio.  Arkat is of course the outstanding example of humans initiating into non-human cults, going so far as to become a troll by adoption and metamorphosis before the end of his war with Gbaji.

What I have not heard or read much of, outside of the case of the ducks, is non-humans initiating into human cults.  I haven't heard of elves who joined Ernalda or Esrola's cults, or trolls who worship Orlanth (though I have heard of troll smiths who worship Lodril).  Are there any general principles involved when a non-human seeks to initiate into one of a human community's religious groups?  The act of initiation presumes a strong level of acceptance for the non-human; are there any known tests or caveats, beyond what's usually done, that the temple or cult testers would impose on a particularly exotic potential adherent?

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Hahrat Blowhard is a troll hero of the Yolp Mountains who worshipped Orlanth. 

There are troll worshippers of the Red Moon. 

The trolls of Ignorance worship many human Cults (which for Ignorance isn't saying much) 

The trolls of Ralios worship Arkat. 

The Shadow landers would worship some Esrolian Cults as well as Caladra, I think. 

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I seem to recall @Jeff mentioning that while the large majority of Aldryami are initiated to Aldrya alone, a minority of them initiate to cults like Ernalda, Yelmalio (Yelm?), etc. (I'd personally include Heler, but I can't recall whether he mentioned them). That's Chaosium's position I think. 

I'm not sure if this is really comparable to the Durulz case though, since the Ducks are culturally and religiously Orlanthi as much as anyone else (albeit "racially" a minority), whereas Aldryami do not, as far as I know, ever really convert culturally, whether it be to Orlanthi or Pelorian cultural forms. 

Speaking purely personally, I'd guess there is some cultural overlap between humans and Keets in the East Isles, at least I imagine so, but once we get to know more Chaosium might present a more ethnically/racially segregated society a la Aldryami, Mostali & humans. (I always find it ironically that out of all the Elder Races, the conventionally "bad" trolls are by far the most gregarious and approachable in human terms, even if they can be problematic too.) 

Do Minotaurs join Stormbull? Or am I comitting a kind of racial prejudice here?

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4 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I seem to recall @Jeff mentioning that while the large majority of Aldryami are initiated to Aldrya alone, a minority of them initiate to cults like Ernalda, Yelmalio (Yelm?), etc. (I'd personally include Heler, but I can't recall whether he mentioned them). That's Chaosium's position I think. 

I recall that too.  I like your adding Heler, and I'd be inclined to add Zola Fel and other Fertility/Plant enhancing River God(desse)s, at least occasionally.

5 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

... (I always find it ironically that out of all the Elder Races, the conventionally "bad" trolls are by far the most gregarious and approachable in human terms, even if they can be problematic too.) ...

I think it's a mindset that comes from other RPG's and other myth/faerie cycles, where "Troll" is almost universally a Bad Thing, a "monster."

In RQ, "Trolls" are also commonly called Dark Men, and aside from some unfortunate overlaps with appearances of being "primitive" and "barbaric" really ARE much more gregarious and approachable in human terms.

10 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

... Do Minotaurs join Stormbull? Or am I comitting a kind of racial prejudice here?

I believe that Minotaurs are most commonly held to be actual descendants of Storm Bull, and default to being religiously so too.

 

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2 hours ago, metcalph said:

Hahrat Blowhard is a troll hero of the Yolp Mountains who worshipped Orlanth. 

There are troll worshippers of the Red Moon. 

Hachrat Blowhard?  I see he's mentioned in the Guide as having destroyed an EWF library in the 10th century, around the same time Alakoring slew the Diamond Storm Dragon, but that single line of description seems to be the only mention of him in either volume.  Do you know where a more detailed version can be found?

And worshipers of the Red Moon?  I had heard of Blue Moon trolls, and their partnership with the Lunar Empire, but not of trolls following the Red Moon directly.  Makes sense though.  Trolls can only see red, black, white, and shades of grey; the red-to-black moon would stand out to them.

2 hours ago, metcalph said:

The trolls of Ralios worship Arkat. 

The Shadow landers would worship some Esrolian Cults as well as Caladra, I think. 

Well, I'd figure the trolls of Ralios worship Arkat as Arkat Kingtroll, a bit of an edge case.

As for the Shadowlanders, yeah, I'd forgotten when I wrote the op, but History of the Heortling Peoples describes the trolls of the Shadow Plateau as worshiping Argan Argar and Esrola.

 

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2 hours ago, dumuzid said:

Hachrat Blowhard?  I see he's mentioned in the Guide as having destroyed an EWF library in the 10th century, around the same time Alakoring slew the Diamond Storm Dragon, but that single line of description seems to be the only mention of him in either volume.  Do you know where a more detailed version can be found?

There's no further published detail as far as I known.

2 hours ago, dumuzid said:

And worshipers of the Red Moon?  I had heard of Blue Moon trolls, and their partnership with the Lunar Empire, but not of trolls following the Red Moon directly. 

It's mentioned as far back as Cults of Prax:

Quote

A. JAKALEEL THE WITCH
This cult explores the diverse horrors and solaces contained
in the secrets of Darkness in its many forms, and some close
associations with the Blue Moon are present. Most trolls who
join the Lunar faith gravitate toward this cult.

Cults of Prax p45

 

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4 hours ago, dumuzid said:

Hachrat Blowhard?  I see he's mentioned in the Guide as having destroyed an EWF library in the 10th century, around the same time Alakoring slew the Diamond Storm Dragon, but that single line of description seems to be the only mention of him in either volume.  Do you know where a more detailed version can be found?

 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

There's no further published detail as far as I known.

From WF#14:

"HACHRAT BLOWHARD
A famous troll hero of the early Second Age. Hachrat was inspired by the winds and sought to study in Molorios, which was still a center of interspecies studies. As a famous warrior he led the assault which stormed his alma mater and razed it years later. Although most trolls distrust Orlanth Lightbringer , Hachrat gained a huge following during the Second Age Wars and his cult is still popular in the Yolp Mountains .

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13 hours ago, metcalph said:

It's mentioned as far back as Cults of Prax:

I've definitely seen that phrasing before, too, though I've never read Cults of Prax.  Fair enough.  Certainly wouldn't be the first time the great matrons in Dagori Inkarth commanded one thing, while trolls living elsewhere went and did another and Jalkaleel, as a darkness matron herself, makes perfect sense as a Seven Mother who'd attract trolls.

 

11 hours ago, Richard S. said:

From WF#14:

Well, thank you!  He sounds like a fine troll, though one wonders what happened to turn him against the school at Molorios so.

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Wind Children and Orlanth, although this is hardly surprising.

Depending on your premises, Morokanth and the Praxian gods.

I imagine Newtlings might be able to get away with worshiping humans gods? As might, of course, the rare baboon...

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Just now, Richard S. said:

Wyrms apparently worship Orlanth on occasion. I wonder if they have their own temples or if you have the occasional wyrm dropping into services.

I wonder if some creatures have some kind of "inherent worship", or whether Orlanth-worshiping Umbroli actually have to drop in at temple worship regularly to replenish Rune Points. The latter is really cool, so I would be inclined towards it, but I'm not sure how much sense it makes. 

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3 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I wonder if some creatures have some kind of "inherent worship", or whether Orlanth-worshiping Umbroli actually have to drop in at temple worship regularly to replenish Rune Points. The latter is really cool, so I would be inclined towards it, but I'm not sure how much sense it makes. 

In the case of spirits like Umbroli they could appear during myths as minor storm gods or something like that. You're already bringing the other side to the middle world during worship, O don't think it'd be that hard for some spirits to join in.

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Not exactly the same thing, but can ancestor ghosts worship in the same way as mortals?  The ancestor ghosts shamans and Daka Fal initiates (and Daka Fal shamans etc) summon have RP and rune spells, after all.  Does an Orlanthi stead with a sufficiently potent Daka Fal tradition usually have a few immaterial ancestors openly participating in ceremonies?

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4 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

Not exactly the same thing, but can ancestor ghosts worship in the same way as mortals? 

Yes, this is explicit in the rules. With Ancestors counting as worshipers for temple size, it’s far easier to maintain a DF shrine in your stead than any other cult. Supposedly, Ancestors with DF Rune points will be able to regain.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Ducks are a strange little anomaly. They occupy their little city near the Upland Marsh and a few villages, farming (but how do they plow people always ask), and fishing. They live right next to the Upland Marsh and Delecti the Necromancer. They are rarely found outside of Dragon Pass, and I am uncertain if they even appear in any of Greg's First or Second Age stories. They just sort of appear sui generis in the Third Age, along with the other Beast People during the Inhuman Occupation. That's not to say they weren't there in the First and Second Ages - but we have no evidence for them one way or another. If they were there, they left no trace. They have a curious association with the Cult of Humakt - perhaps they embrace Death in order to avoid being that most pathetic of undead monster: the zombie duck.

Edited by Jeff
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10 hours ago, Jeff said:

Ducks are a strange little anomaly.

Yes. It makes perfect sense that ducks are a type of keet, and in the East Isles there are duck keets that are more or less indistinguishable physically from the ducks of Dragon Pass, and the God Learners just assumed they were connected based on that and, it seems, not much else. 
 

Only that’s not how the ducks, or anyone else in Dragon Pass, remembers it, and they seem culturally and magically distinct from duck keets entirely, so 🤷‍♂️
 

(I personally go with the idea that they originated from duck keet eggs that arrived in Dragon Pass without live ancestors to teach them much of their own culture so they just adopted the local one, sometime during the Inhuman occupation probably, but that is wild speculation that doesn’t agree with the ducks own stated opinions, and just raises many more questions than it answers. Luckily the weirdo duck keet monk PC that arrived in Dragon Pass as their one unique thing in my 13th Age in Glorantha playtest never got around to asking difficult questions, I just liked being a kung fu feathered fury)

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