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I think they were regional deities, since the texts usually go on to specify something along the lines that "in one area crops failed" and "in another, divorce rates skyrocketed" or something similar.

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5 hours ago, Nevermet said:

As I've been looking up info on Maniria, I can't seem to find this:

In 849, the Middle Sea Empire "proved" their theories by switching 2 Earth goddesses in Maniria.

Which goddesses did they switch?  The only book I own that says anything is Blood Over Gold, which suggests it is 2 local grain goddesses (Inica & Eikorn).

 

According to Esrolia: land of 10K Goddesses, the Goddess Switch came immediately after the Middle Sea Empire invaded Esrolia and attacked the Shadowlands.  It would make sense that one of the goddesses being messed with was Esrolia herself or one of the other central Earth goddesses.  But who else?  A Ralian goddess?  This seems significant.

This may be uncanonical due to Mongoose's version of Glorantha being thrown on the fire, but:

The Empire’s greatest achievement in new myth creation is clearly the Goddess Switch. God Learner sorcerers of Pythos University devoted many years of research to fi nding two pagan deities of separate cultures who had similar myths.  They also needed low-powered deities who were incapable of retaliation. They chose the respective Grain Goddesses of Wenelia and Slontos: Inica, goddess of wild rice and Einkorn, the goddess of grassland wheat. Their adventurers, who blended in with the wild grazing and foraging peoples of both lands, learned two similar myths: ‘Inica Feeds the People’ and ‘How Einkorn’s Bounty Filled the Land’. Squads of HeroQuesters journeyed into these myths, playing the roles of the goddesses’ attendants. Over many iterations, they slowly altered the stories, until finally Inica and Einkorn were drawn into the same story. A few minor deities proved resistant and were slain during this process. Eventually, prompted by HeroQuesters with RuneQuest Sight, the grain goddesses were forced to admit that they had to be long-lost sisters. Then the sorcerers enacted a new story in which the two goddesses, to stave off a world-eating famine, traded husbands.  The god-talkers of the Slontan gatherers experienced visions of their new grain goddess, as did those of Wenelia. In their dreams, they learned new myths, which were not so much different from the old ones.
At first the switch appeared to be a great success, proving that the pagan gods were false and essentially interchangeable. A few flowers stopped
blooming in each place but so what? Then the crops failed. Inica’s delicate grain could not be cultivated in Slontos and Einkorn’s grass-wheat was damp and blighted in Wenelia. Fruit stopped growing in Wenelia and in Slontos no marriage lasted for more than a year.
In 908 these changes are apparent to the experimenters of Pythos University and to the cultures affected but word has yet to spread across the Empire. Battalions of mercenaries prevent travellers from entering the worst-hit areas. Assassins are dispatched to silence those who try to tell the tale.

(page 20 of their guide to Glorantha)

The Guide to Glorantha discusses the switch, but doesn't say who.

The Glorantha Wiki says it was Ernalda and Dendara in RQ3.

 

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7 hours ago, Nevermet said:

In 849, the Middle Sea Empire "proved" their theories by switching 2 Earth goddesses in Maniria.

Which goddesses did they switch?  The only book I own that says anything is Blood Over Gold, which suggests it is 2 local grain goddesses (Inica & Eikorn).

According to Esrolia: land of 10K Goddesses, the Goddess Switch came immediately after the Middle Sea Empire invaded Esrolia and attacked the Shadowlands.  It would make sense that one of the goddesses being messed with was Esrolia herself or one of the other central Earth goddesses.  But who else?  A Ralian goddess?  This seems significant.

My guess is Teshna.

First my reasoning.  The oldest statement about the Goddess Switch is this:

Quote

In the mythologies of the world she [Glorantha - PHM] takes a very background and passive role, almost becoming absorbed by the world as it grows to flower and fruition. During the Darkness, she was shattered and broken as terror and hate
overtook her children. Afterwards, within our realm of history and time, she has been worshipped often and by
many, but always as a local deity rather than being recognized as the cosmic entity she is.  Even during the revival and unification of the Elder Cults by the God Learners there was a stubborn persistence of these cults to remain
apart despite the most complex and perfect magical acts of the philosophers. In one case, upon Summoning and
Riddling two similar goddesses the God Learners managed to make the two deities admit that they were interchangeable,
and even forced the goddesses to exchange worshippers without any substantial change in deity or cult, but they could not make the two admit to being one and the same.
Thus, has the Goddess been absorbed into the Web, and remains ever hidden from us behind the Great Mystery.

Glorantha Sourcebook p70 (repeating the Wyrms Footnotes)

The RQ3 cult writeup of Ernalda states the cults of Dendara and Ernalda were switched.  

Quote

The God Learners were convinced that Dendara and Ernalda were the same entity and they even managed to transpose worshippers with no ill effects

RQ3 rules Book 5 p20

This mirrors the language in the Guide:

Quote

At first their shortsightedness had no effect: the famous experiment vulgarly called the Goddess Switch, of 849 in which two earth goddesses were switched as objects of worship, had no immediately noticeable result.

Guide p135

It's clear that the God Learners thought Ernalda was a manifestation of Glorantha ("always as a local deity rather than the cosmic entity she is").

Now for the effects:

Quote

In one of the two lands involved in the Goddess Switch all fruit plants ceased bearing. In the other, the divorce rate became phenomenal – no marriage lasted over two or three years.

Guide p137

and:

Quote

849  The Goddess Switch causes widespread famine in Esrolia. The Dragon Lords, busy elsewhere, are unable to maintain their hold and Esrolia regains its independence.

Esrolia: Land of 10K Goddesses p42

Now it's clear that EWF are ruling Esrolia at the time, so the Goddess Switch occred in a neighbouring land.  Almost certainly this is Slontos.  

Now the other land has not been mentioned but there are numerous clues.  Swapping around Seshna and Ernalda for example wouldn't be difficult as everybody agrees they are pretty much the same deity.  So it seems to me based on the RQ3 extract, the God Learners swapped around two dissimilar deities (A goddess married to the Storm God and the Goddess married to the Sun God).  The RQ3 said this was Dendara but Greg's thinking as evolved since (the RQ3 writeup doesn't mention Faranar for example).  So what we are looking for is the Earth Goddess of a Solar Pantheon.

There were two Solar lands under God Learner hegemony - Fonrit and Teshnos.  Now Teshnos is interesting because there's a fair bit of interesting detail about infidelity.

Quote

Teshna is a daughter of Genert, the wife of Solf [Maybe Somash is meant - PHM] and the lover of Tolat. Her cult was important in the Second Age during the rule of the God Learners, but receded into the background in the Third Age.

Glorantha Sourcebook p93

Teshna lies between Ernalda and Kralora. She is a wife of the Sun, but took his son Tolat as a lover. [...]. She has taken many lovers, sometimes not entirely of her choice, but remains rich and lush.

Glorantha Sourcebook p7

During the nearly two centuries of foreign rule, Teshnos was abused by its God Learner overlords. Like all lands, it lost some of its gods, and the perpetrators suffered for it afterwards

Sidebar: Fig. 1, 2, 8, and 9. Celestial Maidens: It is unclear whether these figures are star goddesses or their mortal devotees.

Guide p428

Seeing that the other land suffered marriage failure, it seems that the formerly faithful Teshna underwent a personality change ("She has taken many lvers, sometimes not entirely of her choice") and took up with Tolat and others.  This scandalous behaviour led to the removal of her and related goddesses from the Teshnan canon leading to "Her cult [...] receded into the background in the Third Age" and "It lost some of its gods".  This mythic even might even be the origin of the Marazi whoses claimed mythical origins are somewhat impeached by the fact they don'[t seem to ruler their island until the Third Age.

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5 hours ago, metcalph said:

Seeing that the other land suffered marriage failure, it seems that the formerly faithful Teshna underwent a personality change ("She has taken many lvers, sometimes not entirely of her choice") and took up with Tolat and others.  This scandalous behaviour led to the removal of her and related goddesses from the Teshnan canon leading to "Her cult [...] receded into the background in the Third Age" and "It lost some of its gods".  This mythic even might even be the origin of the Marazi whoses claimed mythical origins are somewhat impeached by the fact they don'[t seem to ruler their island until the Third Age.

There's an alternate interpretation. We're also told in the Sourcebook (iirc) that the goddess Kralora was worshipped in Kralorela during the New Dragon Ring, but that the cult diminished/disappeared after. 

To me at least, this reads like Teshna and Kralora are essentially God Learner exports of their own, culturally idiosyncratic "land goddess" concept, implanted in cultures with different earth/fertility goddess models, and once the empire fails, these imperal-sponsored cults recede. 

I could be wrong, but that was my personal reading on it.

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The Sourcebook p. 93 shows the Green Age with the land goddess Wenelia.  Elsewhere (the Guide?), it is noted that the goddess of Slontos "rolled over", effectively destroying that land (although there is also the eruption of the Vent as the cause of that destruction).

I like the idea that the swap was between different lands of the Middle Sea Empire.  Teshna does seem a likely candidate.  Wenelia (or perhaps Slonta) would seem the other (rather than Esrola) - one who is still effectively gone (and perhaps a likely reason why Maniria has not developed larger communities or more agriculture during the Third Age).

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I like the idea that it is Teshna & Wenelia who got switched.

 

Also, work is being a bit absurd right now, so I'm not working on Maniria as much as I want, however, I found another headache.

I have been assuming that "Ashara" is a corruption of "Issaries" (Issaries -> Ishari -> Ashara)... but what if it's a corruption of "Rashorana"? ("Rashorana" --> "Ashora" --> "Ashara")?

 

arrrrgh

Edited by Nevermet
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1 hour ago, Nevermet said:

I have been assuming that "Ashara" is a corruption of "Issaries" (Issaries -> Ishari -> Ashara)... but what if it's a corruption of "Rashorana"? ("Rashorana" --> "Ashora" --> "Ashara")?

I guess it depends on the source of "Ashara".  The term does not appear in the Guide, so I'm presuming it is from Blood Over Gold?  If so, I think you could safely go with the former.  (And who's to say that Castelain wasn't an Illuminated merchant?)  

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

I guess it depends on the source of "Ashara".  The term does not appear in the Guide, so I'm presuming it is from Blood Over Gold?  If so, I think you could safely go with the former.  (And who's to say that Castelain wasn't an Illuminated merchant?)  

Oh, definitely a merchant, and depending on how one reads Glorantha, one expects any Hero of sufficient power to be illuminated one way or another.

 

Also, the info on Castelein and Ashara is extremely sparse: 

  • From the Guide (no mention of Ashara):
    • An adventurer merchant originally from Ralios
    • Actively sought Kathaela 
    • He married an Elf
    • Arrived in Rhigos in 1170
    • He went to the Underworld and returned
    • Died in Selgos, and dismembered into 52 relics
    • The philosophers who followed him claim Equal Exchange is the First Principle
  • The Middle Sea Empire - additional material on Castelein
    • He managed to return to Ralios
    • Like the Sharp Abiding Book of Rokar, his works are also a "refinement" of the Abiding Book
    • He taught about Ashara and preached peace and communication and exchange across Maniria
  • Middle Sea Empire - on Ashara
    • Ashara is the name of the latest action, like Kiona or Ordelvis
    • Ashara is "the power of movement, which energized the malleable and fragile world to be made."
    • Ashara is a version of the Invisible God that is knowable to humanity
  • Blood over Gold
    • The original trek was to find a Diamond in the Holy Country for a Pralori as tribute to save his people
    • There is a "Dark Ashara" for Trolls (or for dealing with Trolls)
    • He has saintly companions
    • He negotiates with everything, including spirits, to make his way across Maniria.

...And that's about it.  That's an ABSURDLY roomy framework to work within.  That said, it's not really contradictory.

 

I need to go, but I may have time tonight to actually write up some of my personal thoughts, rather than just interpeting how pre-existing texts fit together.

Edited by Nevermet
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Crap, my night is gonna suck.

 

ok, the short, short version: The Ashara School of Castelein the Traveller was his own invention, based on Arkati mysteries and combined with him being a master of absorbing understandings of other cultures.  The result is a response to the collapse of the Godlearners that is as far away from the Rokari that you can get:

  • While the Rokari are reactionaries that wish to create a faith that is almost what the Brithini do, Castelein believed we can never go back, only forward.  We must continue to evolve and change, returning to a Golden Age will never work.  Instead, Innovation guided by Right Principles is the best idea.
     
  • He rejects the concept of devolution, the idea that the world has steadily gotten worse since before the Dawn. 
    • The world has gotten more dynamic and diverse with every action.  Creation has increased its wonders every Age.
    • With every Age, the overt presence of the Divine diminished, but that's simple because the world had become that uch more sustainable and glorious that He could recede and/or imbue everything with divinity
    • Malkion the Sacrifice was not a flawed attempt at saving the world that barely worked because He was betrayed.  Instead, it did exactly what Malkionaru wanted / needed it to do: usher in a new age.
      • Malkion was devolving his power to more Beings, not being ruined by Error.
         
  • In every Age, the Law changes, and we must constantly begin anew to understand the New Law.
    • Understanding the world that exists now is not a matter of logic, but of rhetoric and communicative rationality.  We must understand others in order to always build a New City
    • For Castelein, stagnation is a core error of thought.  The Godlearners thought they could understand everything by identifying mythological archetypes, but doing so is both inherently disrespectful and misunderstanding as it does not take the stories and meanings of others seriously.
       
  • Castelein's power was in part from constantly living as Old Malkion did outside his citadel.  Never rest, never stop, always meet new people, learn from from them, teach them.  Exchange is central to this.
     
  • Castelein's heirs are essentially sophists
    • Rhetoric over logic
    • At its most crass this becomes language games and manipulation to "win" arguments and negotiations
      • The party line is that they're moving toward more understanding
      • There is a more radical heresy that sees the wealth of teh Trader Princes as a perversion of Castelein's teachings.
         
  • Castelein did not leave a system for achieving illumination
    • He assumed if someone wanted it, they'd find the "gaps" in his writings and seek out new sources of truth to fill them, and find illumination eventually.

That's what I;ve got so far.

That's about half-way to being IC.  There's a naive enthusiasm that I need to control.

Edited by Nevermet
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1 hour ago, Nevermet said:

That's about half-way to being IC.  There's a naive enthusiasm that I need to control.

It's how Glorantha happens. At least one of the Princes believes this. Others reject or amplify parts. We find out who is on which side.

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10 hours ago, Nevermet said:
  • He married an Elf
  • He went to the Underworld and returned
  • Died in Selgos, and dismembered into 52 relics

These three points are all very interesting, and are bits that can be drawn upon.

Marrying an elf is highly unusual - you could graft in the Three Tests of Ernalda, and make them Three Tests of Aldrya to prove his worth to cross "Elf" Woods.  One would logically be to go to the Underworld and return with a lost Seed.

The 52 relics are interesting, too - it's like cutting a root into x number of pieces and "planting" them to form new plants. At the same time, undoubtedly useful for preserving his magics.  Has some parallels with the various rites of the cities of Elamle.  

This may tie into why the cities don't grow much - rites are needed to maintain friendship and protection with the elves, including not cutting down trees beyond a certain distance from the city.  And those rites may inhibit rapid population growth (or have other effects).

 

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13 hours ago, scott-martin said:

It's how Glorantha happens. At least one of the Princes believes this. Others reject or amplify parts. We find out who is on which side.

Oh, Certainly.  It's just that when developing a setting, it's important to keep one's "Mary Sues" under control as much as when you write fiction, IME :)

 

Also, upthread, I made this joke about the Manirian Hero Wars:

On 5/25/2020 at 10:02 PM, Nevermet said:

And I don't have my thoughts in order about what happens to the Trader Princes.  The short version: Chaos vs. Helerings vs. Neo-Entrulings vs. Glorantha Socialists. 

I still don't have my thoughts in order, but I'm seeing the Trader Prince political order completely falling in the face of the Reforestation.  Some of the Manirian Tribes give up their metal and farms and live in the Forest, kneeling before the Aldryami.  The Helering Priests of Blue Water re-assert power (possibly having visions of a coming flood).  As for the ones who insist on being heirs to Castelein... I suspect some will turn to ever darker manipulation magics, and others will have a radical egalitarian version of Castelein.

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4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

These three points are all very interesting, and are bits that can be drawn upon.

Marrying an elf is highly unusual - you could graft in the Three Tests of Ernalda, and make them Three Tests of Aldrya to prove his worth to cross "Elf" Woods.  One would logically be to go to the Underworld and return with a lost Seed.

The 52 relics are interesting, too - it's like cutting a root into x number of pieces and "planting" them to form new plants. At the same time, undoubtedly useful for preserving his magics.  Has some parallels with the various rites of the cities of Elamle.  

This may tie into why the cities don't grow much - rites are needed to maintain friendship and protection with the elves, including not cutting down trees beyond a certain distance from the city.  And those rites may inhibit rapid population growth (or have other effects).

 

Yeah, compacts with the Aldryami are definitely something limiting population growth in Maniria.

Do we know of any other Gloranthan traditions of relics or dismembering the honoured dead?  So, yeah, I'm willing to believe  it's related to an Elder Race.

I haven't completely decided what I want to do with Castelein and either the Newts of Ryzel or the Uz.  Regarding the Uz, it is entirely likely that Castelein either descended to or returned from the Underworld via Ice Peak.  Exactly how he got safe passage is unclear, but I assume a reference to Arkat is involved.  And the Newts are also a complicated issue, because Palangio brought them to Maniria during the First Age... again, with little detail I can find.

 

So, yeah... interrelated questions of what is Castelein's philosophy/sorcery, what did he do to get across Maniria, how did he die, and how is he remembered by the Trader Princes over the last 400 years.   ...I need whiskey.

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7 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

So, yeah... interrelated questions of what is Castelein's philosophy/sorcery, what did he do to get across Maniria, how did he die, and how is he remembered by the Trader Princes over the last 400 years.   ...I need whiskey.

I don't think Castelein is a philosopher/sorceror at all.  Just have him as a regular trading hero of Issaries.

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7 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I don't think Castelein is a philosopher/sorceror at all.  Just have him as a regular trading hero of Issaries.

So the Malkioni influence in Maniria, in your view, is basically a remnant of sunken Slontos?

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2 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

So the Malkioni influence in Maniria, in your view, is basically a remnant of sunken Slontos?

There are Malkioni in Maniria, I just don't think they are anything like a organized church or even a widespread philosophy.  It's noteworthy that the Guide makes no mention of Ashara.  Malkioni that are in Maniria would be:

  • Arkati pilgrims travelling to and from the house of Black Arkat.
  • Ramalians haunted by the Opening of the Book of Secrets.
  • Rokari from Nolos trading the coasts.,  

You would have individual sorcerors here and there much like Urvantarn and Miskander.  But they wouldn't have anything like a common philosophy.

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I think I prefer the idea that the Trader Princes follow a common ideology (or credo) as a means of interacting over the idea that they're just sorta a bunch of unrelated Malkioni holed up in their caravanserai-fortresses, but YGWV. I admit I am a sucker for Rule of Neat.

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2 hours ago, Nevermet said:

Oh, Certainly.  It's just that when developing a setting, it's important to keep one's "Mary Sues" under control as much as when you write fiction, IME :)

 

Also, upthread, I made this joke about the Manirian Hero Wars:

I still don't have my thoughts in order, but I'm seeing the Trader Prince political order completely falling in the face of the Reforestation.  Some of the Manirian Tribes give up their metal and farms and live in the Forest, kneeling before the Aldryami.  The Helering Priests of Blue Water re-assert power (possibly having visions of a coming flood).  As for the ones who insist on being heirs to Castelein... I suspect some will turn to ever darker manipulation magics, and others will have a radical egalitarian version of Castelein.

The Woodland Judgment of Umathela might provide inspiration for Maniria post-Reforestation.

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2 hours ago, Nevermet said:

Oh, Certainly.  It's just that when developing a setting, it's important to keep one's "Mary Sues" under control as much as when you write fiction, IME :)

 

Unless you're Dragon Pass, of course, in which case there's almost nothing EXCEPT Mary Sues. ;)

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45 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I think I prefer the idea that the Trader Princes follow a common ideology (or credo) as a means of interacting over the idea that they're just sorta a bunch of unrelated Malkioni holed up in their caravanserai-fortresses, but YGWV. I admit I am a sucker for Rule of Neat.

The Trader Princes are related and do have a common faith: Castelein.  But making Castelein a Malkioni Philosopher just doesn't work in light of the new thinking on Sorcery (ie no churches or lay Malioni faith). It is better to make him a hero of Issaries as that creates fewer tensions. 

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2 hours ago, metcalph said:

The Trader Princes are related and do have a common faith: Castelein.  But making Castelein a Malkioni Philosopher just doesn't work in light of the new thinking on Sorcery (ie no churches or lay Malioni faith). It is better to make him a hero of Issaries as that creates fewer tensions. 

Those are fair points, though what does that mean about the nature of their worldview in general? Are they just venerating a Hero for the sake of tradition (and profit), almost like a pseudo-clan ancestor? Are they Henotheists who view Issaries as the truest identity of the Invisible God and engage in some loosey-goosey theism? 

Or rather, perhaps more specific, what do the Trader Princes' Zzaburi (provided they have any, and I'm presuming they do) believe? When a (talar) Trader Prince family member comes to his Zzaburi, what does the Zzaburi tell him?

I have to admit I consider the chaotic aftermath of the God Learner collapse, coupled with the pluralistic and heterodox Safelster would open the idea for someone like Castelain, regardless of caste, to act as a philosopher of sorts, whether through complex mediations, or indeed through "saintly"/heroic example. 

 

 

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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7 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

 

Or rather, perhaps more specific, what do the Trader Princes' Zzaburi (provided they have any, and I'm presuming they do) believe? When a (talar) Trader Prince family member comes to his Zzaburi, what does the Zzaburi tell him?

I think that the Trader Princes mightt be a harbor for less orthodox zzaburi. The Wenelian wilds are a good place to escape the attention from  Segurane or other centers of doctrine.

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I'm going to be completely honest: Castelein's beliefs and magic are largely undefined.  I am choosing, based on my personal preferences, to keep him primarily sorcerous in his orientation.  I fully accept this is not the only way one could go, but it's how I want to go.  The question, for me, is given that editorial choice on my part, how can I best "fit" Castelein into Maniria and Glorantha as it currently exists according to the canonical Guide & Sourcebook.

 

More on culture & religion in next post.

Edited by Nevermet
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Now, as for culture.... that's a different kettle of fish than Castelein as a person. This post is only about the Manirian Tribes of the Trader Princes.  I'm going to not going to opine about the Volanic Manirians, the Kaxtori, the Pralori, the Caratani, the Handrans, the Mraloti, the Alatani, or the Ramalians at the moment.

 

Blood Over Gold had 2 broad cultures: Trader Princes and Wenelians.  The Guide, OTOH,  just has "Manirians" (though with some important subcategories). It's important to work out a coherent culture, therefore, which is primarily Orlanthi, but has a Western influence.

According to the Guide, the Manirians are a type of Orlanthi culture with a "thin veneer" of Western culture, especially in the cities.  We know they worship Orlanth and Ernalda, like most Orlanthi, but they also revere Mralot, Heler, Harand, and Entru.  We know the Henotheism practiced by the Trader Princes and their philosophers view "Fair Exchange" as the First Action.  Trader Prince henotheism, therefore, is not an element of daily life for most Manirians.  From the POV of the average Manirian, gobbledygook about an "Invisible God" that is somehow "behind" Orlanth is nutty city talk.  To talk about the Invisible God (whether it is called Malkion, Makan, Ashara, or something else) is a signal that you're Urban, which is a strange designation indeed in Maniria.  I don't expect any ceremonies to the Invisible God in the hills, only in the Cities.  Castelein is probably remembered as a weird Hero of Issaries, which probably is just fine with Castelein.

 

And this highlights a core paradox: The Cities of Manirian are simultaneously the most cosmopolitan and provincial places there are. To be from a City in Maniria means you probably know or own things of Esrolia or Safelster, but you probably don't know the countryside off the Manirian Road at all.    I'm sure strange people from many places end up hiding in the Cities.

 

I don't think the Trader Princes have castes. 

 

 

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