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Videopete

The Weave of Gods and Society

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So reading about a few of the cultures in Glorantha has me considering something odd. The advancement of societies is determined by their gods the portfolios.  The two most advanced societies often absorbs other cultures gods that  being the Lunars and the Esrollians.  This got me thinking on how societies actually function and their reliance on certain entities to maintain them.  The basic unit is the Wyter, without it a village or clan ceases to be and soon dissolves into a chaotic mess.  The clan then begins to tie their selves to the larger tribe and so on and so forth.  Then as I was reading Griffon Mountain it hit me.  The Balazarans only have the hearth, hunting and recently pig herding because that is what their gods have. The last one due to Heroquesting from Balazar him self, which is a pretty weak component as its magic functions only in the Citadels.  They cant build because none of their gods are capable of doing it, and the Lunars are stuck in the one fort because of the stupid way their magic is limited, and the very land fights or doesn't support the concepts.  Infact the Orlanthi nearly fall apart during the wind stop because the very concept of kingship their form of leadership was collapsing because of the absence of thier god.  The Balazarans are unable to unite because Yelmalio is not really a god that represents the aspects of leadership they need.  What with Balazar himself being a small Hero Cult limited to the Citadels has not been able to spread the gift of the pig farm beyond their walls. Mean while every clan maintains shrines to Brother dog and so can maintain thier dog packs.  So when Arachne Solaer created the great compromise, gods and mortals established thier symbiotic relationship, the gods give the concepts of civilization while the mortals give them the energy to feed and grow on. So comments.

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2 hours ago, Videopete said:

The Balazarans only have the hearth, hunting and recently pig herding because that is what their gods have.

But don't forget that this goes the other way as well, perhaps even moreso - their gods have only these portfolios, because it's what their people actually do.

The Votanki have no use for a god of literacy or formation combat, because of their social and technological circumstances.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I think its the other way around - the people choose their Gods. Consider the Second Age, people got all excited about draconic enlightenment, and the strange powers and ideas it delivered, and for a while the "old ways" really took a backseat over a vast region.

Or take the third age expansion of the Lunar Empire. The Lunars didn't force Sartarites to embrace Lunar ways. Compared to say the carnage caused by the Conquistadors in the new world, the Lunar occupation was extraordinarily restrained. Plenty chose not to embrace the Lunar way, but over time, many people who should have known better chose convenience and came to embrace the Chaos Moon of their own free will.

The Lunar occupation could have been very different. If you want to read what a truly brutal occupation is like, try reading an account written by someone who witnessed the horror of a real 16th century occupation first hand. But be warned the author doesn't hold back, the horrors of the occupation are described in stomach churning detail.

A Short Account of the Destruction of the West Indies

 

 

Edited by EricW
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On 3/31/2020 at 10:53 PM, Videopete said:

So reading about a few of the cultures in Glorantha has me considering something odd. The advancement of societies is determined by their gods the portfolios.  The two most advanced societies often absorbs other cultures gods that  being the Lunars and the Esrollians.  This got me thinking on how societies actually function and their reliance on certain entities to maintain them.  The basic unit is the Wyter, without it a village or clan ceases to be and soon dissolves into a chaotic mess.  The clan then begins to tie their selves to the larger tribe and so on and so forth.  Then as I was reading Griffon Mountain it hit me.  The Balazarans only have the hearth, hunting and recently pig herding because that is what their gods have. The last one due to Heroquesting from Balazar him self, which is a pretty weak component as its magic functions only in the Citadels.  They cant build because none of their gods are capable of doing it, and the Lunars are stuck in the one fort because of the stupid way their magic is limited, and the very land fights or doesn't support the concepts.  Infact the Orlanthi nearly fall apart during the wind stop because the very concept of kingship their form of leadership was collapsing because of the absence of thier god.  The Balazarans are unable to unite because Yelmalio is not really a god that represents the aspects of leadership they need.  What with Balazar himself being a small Hero Cult limited to the Citadels has not been able to spread the gift of the pig farm beyond their walls. Mean while every clan maintains shrines to Brother dog and so can maintain thier dog packs.  So when Arachne Solaer created the great compromise, gods and mortals established thier symbiotic relationship, the gods give the concepts of civilization while the mortals give them the energy to feed and grow on. So comments.

Yes, to a large degree the gods are the technology.  Without the divine archetype to encode the behavior, there is no behavior model to follow, but using divinities as a model in this fashion is a means of making a society stagnate, as the Gods themselves, being outside of Time, are also stagnant.  Of course some might call stagnation a strong word, and prefer to invoke the myth of ecological equilibrium.

Edited by Darius West
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