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Tell me about the Veldang and the quest for the Red Sword of Tolat


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I've decided to involve my RuneQuest players in the events of the Hero Wars surrounding the New Artmali Uprising in Fonrit.

In my Glorantha the heroic blue rebel Gabaryanga, having heard through travelers' tales of the Teshnite explorer Gebel's quest to recover the long-lost Red Sword of Tolat, began a Magic Road quest to meet up with Gebel and join his expedition.  After venturing alone through the otherworlds Gabaryanga arrived at the Pairing Stones in Prax during Sacred Time, and followed the line of the Zola Fell to find himself in New Pavis, where Argrath White Bull offered him guest rights without directly integrating him into the carefully choreographed Sacred Time ceremonies.  Before he set out on his magical journey Gabaryanga learned that Gebel was last heard to have ventured into the Wastes between Prax and Teshnos.  Gabaryanga seeks Argrath's support to lead an expedition (which the player characters may be a part of) into Vulture Country to find Gebel's explorers and help them find the fabled sword of the Red Planet.  In the meantime, Gabaryanga is repaying the White Bull's hospitality by helping to facilitate Blue Moon magic (which one of the player characters, an Ernaldan durulz assistant shaman, participated in).

I have access to the Guide to Glorantha and Revealed Mythologies, the best sources (to my knowledge) on the subjects of the Artmali, Pamaltela, Fonrit, the Sword of Tolat, and Gabaryanga's quest to restore Artmal in the Hero Wars.  I'm aware that in 'canon' Gabaryanga and Gebel meet and collaborate on a great quest across the world and otherworlds to find Artmal at the Lake of Fire, heal him, and return him the sword Tolat gave him in the Gods Age.  In canon these events precipitate the New Artmali slave rebellion in Fonrit, as a healed Artmal gives the Veldang slave population the power to undo Fonritian slavery magic and mount a serious bid to free themselves from a thousand years of Ompalam-empowered enslavement.  In canon the initial success of the revolt fades as the Fonritian slavers indulge in worse and worse Chaotic magic, and Gabaryanga is seduced by Seseine Kallig, arch-priestess of the goddess of seduction, into delving into the Artmali's own Chaotic sorcerous past to keep the revolt alive.

What I'd like to know more about, in order, are:

1) Any obvious sources, other than the Guide and Revealed Mythologies, on the subjects of the Veldang, Artmal, the Blue Moon, and Tolat worship in Teshnos.

2) Any more detailed accounts of the quest for the Red Sword and its outcome than what's printed in the Guide or Revealed Mythologies

3) RuneQuest mechanical resources for any of the above topics--rune cult write-ups for the Veldang version of Blue Moon worship, or the cults of Artmal or Tolat, would be great, for instance

4) In the absence of official published material on the above subjects, I'd be happy to hear commentary and speculation from the tribe regarding the quest for the Red Sword and the restoration of Artmal

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42 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

P.S.: Does anybody have any idea what a Zaranistangi loper beast actually looked like?  And are there any Zaranistangi left in the Middle World in the late Third Age?

Loper in the Bestiary

Screenshot_20200808-192641.jpg

Edited by Richard S.
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3 hours ago, dumuzid said:

1) Any obvious sources, other than the Guide and Revealed Mythologies, on the subjects of the Veldang, Artmal, the Blue Moon, and Tolat worship in Teshnos.

The Gods book will have more on Annilla/Blue Moon, and Tolat/Shargash.  Some of the Annilla content was in the old RQ3 Troll Gods book.

Most of the Missing Lands content should be in the Guide, so don't think you are missing anything there.

3 hours ago, dumuzid said:

2) Any more detailed accounts of the quest for the Red Sword and its outcome than what's printed in the Guide or Revealed Mythologies

Not that I recall.

3 hours ago, dumuzid said:

3) RuneQuest mechanical resources for any of the above topics--rune cult write-ups for the Veldang version of Blue Moon worship, or the cults of Artmal or Tolat, would be great, for instance

Blue Moon and Tolat/Shargash coming in the Gods book.  Until then, only the old RQ3 Troll Gods book had anything on that. (And a couple Blue Moon troll assassins in the RQ2 Trollpak)

3 hours ago, dumuzid said:

4) In the absence of official published material on the above subjects, I'd be happy to hear commentary and speculation from the tribe regarding the quest for the Red Sword and the restoration of Artmal

See Herve Carteau's work in Rule One on the Loper people here: http://ruleonemagazine.com/Iss10/Zaranistangi.php 

 

 

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5 hours ago, dumuzid said:

3) RuneQuest mechanical resources for any of the above topics--rune cult write-ups for the Veldang version of Blue Moon worship, or the cults of Artmal or Tolat, would be great, for instance

I kinda think the original Artmali didn't worship Gods as such but use their mastery over the tides to invoke their magic.   Which made them creepy AF to their neighbours.

But the modern blues have lost these ways and are forced to worship their gods in the conventional matter.  I think some CHA-penalty on their rune magic is appropiate (-7?, -14?) to highlight their lack of connection to their ancestral gods (which would also mesh in with their gods being described as crippled.  Heros and Illuminates will have no such penalty.

Illumination Blue-Moon style would be to perform a divination ritual to learn a secret with the number of secrets known providing a chance for illumination.  

On the topic of the Loper Beast, based on their description in the RQG Bestiary, I don't think they are found in the wild.  Rather the Artmali took young Loper Beasts which didn't have any eyes on its back and implanted them to boost its teleporting powers.

 

 

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Well, on the plus side, if there's no more detailed treatments extant I can flesh out my own Red Sword quest, in the middle world and the Otherworld.

On 8/8/2020 at 9:55 PM, jajagappa said:

See Herve Carteau's work in Rule One on the Loper people here: http://ruleonemagazine.com/Iss10/Zaranistangi.php

I have read and enjoyed that article: how widespread is the interpretation that the Third Eye Blue are descendants of a Zaranistangi offshoot who set off to find a new great magical weapon to replace the Red Sword?

 

Anyway, turning to the Red Sword of Shargash.  To the best of my understanding, the chain of transmission goes like this:

Shargash gave the sword to his nephew Artmal Moonson in return for saving his life during the wars over the Sky World in the God Time.

Later in the Gods War Artmal was dismembered by 'the god of Desero, Lord of the Horde,' who may or may not have been Orlanth.  Desero and their horde were defeated by the Artmali hero Jarkaru, who led his people to refound the Artmali Empire at a new capital as a slave-taking, militaristic power.  If Desero claimed the Red Sword after their god defeated Artmal, submerging him in the Sea of Fire before scattering his bones, as is certainly plausible, it seems Jarkaru reclaimed in defeating the horde.

Some time during this second empire the Zaranistangi gained it from the Artmali, and kept it as the sacred weapon of their kings.  I've read versions that call this a gift after the Zaranistangi saved the life of an Artmali emperor, and versions less flattering to the Zaranistangi.

When the floods of Sshorg besieged the Zaranistangi homeland, Sechkaul, the Zaranistangi king Dengbalu stuck the sword in the earth and Tolat's hand reached down to draw it up, dragging the land above the waters rather than dislodging the sword.  Red Sword Temples spread throughout the land, practicing human sacrifice in exchange for Tolat's continued protection.  The Zaranistangi kings could still draw the Sword from its resting place and bear it to war.

One such king bore the Sword to western Genertela, where he was defeated and slain by the rising God Learners and the sword taken.

In 775 a Jrustelan man named Ordanal bore the sword back to Melib, replaced it in the original Red Sword Temple, and was acclaimed king of the land.  His dynasty ruled there for almost two centuries.  The last, King Avalor, managed to draw the Red Sword, but vanished with it into the Wastelands between Teshnos and Prax in pursuit of those who'd kidnapped his wife. 

With Avalor's disappearance the Red Sword falls off the map, to the best of my knowledge.  Subsequent expeditions into the Wastes to retrieve the Red Sword or take up Avalor's trail have all failed.  The Teshnite hero Gebel's current attempt, which succeeds according to the Guide, is the latest.

Does anyone know more about the God Learner dynasty in Melib, or the fate of the last king, Avalor?  Has there ever been any published material that deals with where the Red Sword ended up, or how Gebel finds it?

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On 8/9/2020 at 1:05 AM, metcalph said:

Illumination Blue-Moon style would be to perform a divination ritual to learn a secret with the number of secrets known providing a chance for illumination.  

Can you expand on this?  Why would this specifically work as a Blue Moon method to teach Illumination?  I definitely agree that that is something she can teach, and has taught before.

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2 hours ago, dumuzid said:

Does anyone know more about the God Learner dynasty in Melib, or the fate of the last king, Avalor?  Has there ever been any published material that deals with where the Red Sword ended up, or how Gebel finds it?

Last question first, I see a Red Sword made its way to the Temple of War in Spada, where it remains until found. This tells us a little about where Av(a)lor ends up. 

Archaic, fragmentary and unreliable accounts collected in the Seshnegite Book of Foreigners indicate that Avlor [sic] was the half-caste child of a hsunchen serving woman and a Seshnegite aristocrat who may or may not have been the last full-blooded colonial king of Eest, called Bamalam son of Ramal at one point. He was reportedly raised as a slave and escaped like Moses before ultimately liberating mainland Teshnos with the help of a magic sword called Trarlem. He then marries the ocean's daughter who is kidnapped as described in the Guide, leaving a precocious son to preside over the disintegration of the rebel coalition . . . without the sword, the people simply refused to remain united.

A completely separate document describes a strange parthenogenetic system of greater and lesser Red Swords so it's possible Avlor was associated with multiple iterations. One in particular becomes the subject of a messianic movement among the northern Artmalites (loper people), passes through various hands and ultimately ends up with a Teshnite empire builder named Aamor, who ends up taking it to Ralios in an otherwise unrecorded and probably allegorical / fictitious continental migration. There, apparently, a local Artmalite population got their sword back and the blue moon stopped turning to shine forever full on that part of the world. Undoubtedly a prophetic narrative at best . . . but the deep lunar background is interesting in its own right. 

 

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3 hours ago, dumuzid said:

Can you expand on this?  Why would this specifically work as a Blue Moon method to teach Illumination?  I definitely agree that that is something she can teach, and has taught before.

The cult of Annilla in Troll Gods had a variant divination in which you learn random facts and on one occasion, an important fact directly relevant to you.  This is because Annilla is the Godddess of Secrets as well as hidden powers.  Making this a vehicle for illumination seems to me a plausible step.

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Thanks to those pointers I've found this much more in the Guide:

image.png.fa2f2ae3e67d25097a3f513c95202f51.png

And a search for Tryensaval and Halwal leads me to this:

image.png.59dee47cfda21303f4f2cf21115db0fe.png

Tryensaval is also included in a list of Ascended Masters venerated by Malkioni who respect such things in the Third Age.

So thirty years after Avalor/Avlor set off into the Wastelands, he or someone claiming to be him/named after him took part in Halwal, Tryensaval and Sigur's successful campaign to drive the God Learners from Fronela.  I don't know enough about God Learner anagathic sorcery or alchemy, or Avalor's biography (to know how old he was when he departed Teshnos) to guess whether it was the man himself who got to Fronela, but he definitely had the (or 'a') Red Sword.  No idea yet what became of him during the revolt, but now the Red Sword would seem to be housed in a temple to mean old pre-Malkioni storm and war gods (Humakt?  Vadrudings?  A version of Orlanth focused on his phase as the Death-bearer?).  

So, we know where the sword ends up!  That's a big deal.  Still plenty of questions though.  What happened to Avalor on his long journey west?  What happened to him at the end of the journey?  Who was this 'ocean's daughter' that Avalor/Avlor journeyed across Genertela to rescue or avenge?  Who were the kidnappers, that they could abscond with what sounds like a demigoddess across the face of a continent, or want to attempt such a scheme in the first place? And why did they kidnap her?  Though I have a sneaking suspicion the culprits were God Learners from the imperial core.

8 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

These are probably from the "Roots of Glorantha" collection only available to high-end backers of the Guide (though @scott-martin can correct if they came from elsewhere).

Ah, well, fair enough, I didn't really get into Glorantha until well after that kickstarter ended.  If that is your source @scott-martin I'll appreciate whatever you're willing to share.

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if you were a GTA hero you got access to this this:

Quote

The Sword of Yeetai

The sword Hes-tur (warrior-wizard) is the child of the sword of Artmal, that red-metaled weapon forged by the Promalti smiths under the earth and given to Tolat, who in turn gave it to Artmal for services performed by the Artmali during the war against Gbaji. The lesser red sword, as Hes-tur was often known, was born to Artmal’s sword, Klestor, at the time of the descent of the Artmali to the Surface World from their original home on the body of Anehlla. Artmal gave the newly born weapon to Yeetai, first Emperor of the Artmali, as a sign and keeper of his sovereignty. Upon the sword was placed the powerful spell naming any Artmal who possessed it as rightful Emperor and ruler of the whole race.

 

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4 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

GTA?

Glorantha Trading Association.  It was an approach to raise money by Issaries during the HW/HQ1 days that provided some rewards for higher levels of support.

If you have any of those books, you'll typically find some text like this:

image.png.11502ab1690f01b136461ff79e43e517.png

Edited by jajagappa
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A long time ago in a website far way...

Quote

 

Welcome to the
Glorantha Trading Association

We Are the Tribe!

A current listing of all GTA members, by rank, except for Anonymous members.

What is the GTA?

The Glorantha Trading Association is a special insiders' group that began on 27 January 1999. Its purpose is to help Issaries, Inc. promote and sustain the wide world of Glorantha! The Glorantha Trading Association is a principal organization offering real support to Issaries, Inc. In return for its patronage, Issaries' goals towards the GTA are to expand the reach of Glorantha gaming and understanding, entertain friends, and encourage supporters.

Glorantha and the Glorantha Trading Association are trademarks of Issaries, Inc. HeroQuest, Hero Wars, and Issaries are registered trademarks of Issaries, Inc.

News and Information

March 20, 2003

We regret that we can no longer offer the GTA discount to members for purchases on Issaries products, effective immediately. Steve Jacksons Games' retail system is not set up to handle special discounts of this nature, nor are they prepared to deal with the additional accounting that such discounts would entail.

Nominations and voting have closed for the Best of Glorantha 2002. To see who won, go to Best of Glorantha 2002 Winners!

Membership Benefits

Click on this link to see full details of our Membership Benefits. You can also click on one of the below links to go straight to the membership level you are interested in:

  • Observer
  • Initiate
  • Rune Master
  • Hero

How Do I Join the GTA?

Please see our Contribution page. An unofficial version of this file is available in Japanese.

GTA Member Sites

Many GTA members maintain web pages wholly or partially devoted to the world of Glorantha in any of its several incarnations. We encourage members and observers to go to our Link List and take a look at these web sites. Get to know the other members of the Glorantha Tribe!

Restricted Library

The links below take members to the GTA private areas. Observers cannot access these pages, but can look at the GTA File Index to see what they can gain access to if they join the GTA (or upgrade their membership). We ask that members not distribute any of the files here, and that they not give anyone their password. All files in this section are copyrighted works, whether or not individual pages display a copyright notice. Many of the files are incomplete or unfinished works. Thank you for your cooperation.

Note: Members may need to enter their username and password more than once as they browse.

  • Heroes
  • Rune Masters
  • Initiates

Heroes also have access to the Deep Sources, a collection of ancient manuscripts taken from the depths of Greg Stafford's filing cabinet and rendered into electronic format through the assistance of several volunteers. Many are more than twenty years old, and they provide a unique insight into the development of Glorantha. They represent some of the oldest source material about Glorantha, and are, for the most part, previously unpublished. Initiates and Runemasters can read about Kalikos Icebreaker to get a taste of this rare information available only to Heroes.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

if you were a GTA hero you got access to this this:

Quote

 

It's been a long time since I looked at what I believe was PAMALT.txt (my local GTA files are on a machine in cold storage) but this is that. Would be nice if some of that could be released in some form when resources permit, maybe with textual glossing to add value.

For really fertile game exploration I think the most important things the Teshnos-facing material can teach us is that far from being a sleepy land with no history and mostly passive borders this was a place of dynamic struggle and aspiration open to successive waves of migration. Artmal and Pamalt in the north can be more influential than God Learner chauvinists would like to believe. The east spawns its own heroes who then make an impact in the lands we know. There are blank spots in the history waiting to be filled in.

And the Sword keeps getting lost or stolen by people who don't really know what it means. That's good gaming.

I wonder where the name "Aamor" in the West comes from, maybe there's a different kind of blue gene lurking in those old families waiting to express itself. The last king of Eest might well have had two names, one he was born with and a royal one he assumed. Under the one, he passed out of history. Under the other, he entered the prophetic realm and his distant descendants are the fulfillment.

EDIT As for Halwal, he got up to trouble for well over a century but we have a fairly firm end zone (kaboom) for any active cooperation with him personally.  Avlor is still relatively young when he Leaves For The West so he could theoretically start his quest in 950 and wander for decades being a badass before making it into the far north before 980. Halwal is a classic player who will use the local talent that presents itself to achieve his strategic goals, so I think it's possible that Avlor might have met Jonat, for example. Either way, the Temple of War may be part of the general Halwalist neopagan revival. I don't know anything more about the kidnapping. 

Edited by scott-martin
come for the typo, stay for the follow-up
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Here are some ancient texts, purporting to provide the history of the Artmali and the Sword of Yeetai. I think they are First Age texts with some Second Age revisions and edits. Use them with caution:

The Artmali

After the War between the Gods, the daughter of Ehilm [Shamal, Yelm] and Nakala [tide and darkness] paced her way through the skies in the footsteps of her father, giving light to the earth during the night. She shone white [blue] and was considered beautiful among the goddesses, and her name was Anehlla. In the sky she was impregnated by Zrethus [sky] Senalfe, and from the fertilization was born a son whose name was Artmal. And Artmal was blue of color, like his father, and he lived upon the body of his mother just as the earth-gods lived upon Gata.

One day while looking upon the surface world Artmal spied a beautiful woman, Cathora by name, the daughter of the king of the Fralari nation. So Artmal flew to the earth, and there took the Princess Cathora for his own, returning to Anehlla with her as his wife. There they had children, and these children numbered seven when the War with Chaos began, and of those seven two were Artmal’s grandchildren.

During the War with Chaos Artmal led his sons boldly against the Evil Gods, he leading them in the fatal attack on Bredjeg who fought in the sky for Chaos, and in the attack saved the life of his uncle, Tolat the Red. As a reward for this, Artmal received the sword of Tolat, named Klestor, which was forged by the Promalti smiths at the dawn of the world. And after the end of the war, Artmal and his family returned to Anehlla to live, there building the city which is still visible as a dark spot. And the people thrived and grew on Anehlla.

But in time they were too many for the goddess to support, and she sent the race to earth, they landing in a thick blue mist which protected their descent. Artmal and the Elders remained behind, but to protect the race the Founder gave to his grandson Yeetai the child of Klestor, the sword Hes-Tur.

 

The Sword of Yeetai

The sword Hes-tur (warrior-wizard) is the child of the sword of Artmal, that red-metaled weapon forged by the Promalti smiths under the earth and given to Tolat, who in turn gave it to Artmal for services performed by the Artmali during the war against Gbaji. The lesser red sword, as Hes-tur was often known, was born to Artmal’s sword, Klestor, at the time of the descent of the Artmali to the Surface World from their original home on the body of Anehlla. Artmal gave the newly born weapon to Yeetai, first Emperor of the Artmali, as a sign and keeper of his sovereignty. Upon the sword was placed the powerful spell naming any Artmal who possessed it as rightful Emperor and ruler of the whole race.

The sword passed along the heredity lines of the Emperors of the Artmali, whose seat was originally in Pamaltela, retaining the name of its original owner, Yeetai. In the times between the death of Gbaji the Chaos Power and the Closing, the influences of the surface world corrupted the Artmali, causing them to connive with the greater kingdoms of the world in a quest to make themselves the most powerful. The connivings grew more and more intense until finally the settlements of Pamaltela, including the capital city of Rew’melod (Place of Landing), fell under the conquerors, causing most of the survivors to go into hiding where they eventually grew and became the Wandering Tribes of Pamaltela. It was at this time that Anehlla began facing away from the Surface World for some of the time.

Some of the settlers in Pamaltela managed to remain there, isolated on the coastal islands of little importance. Others still managed to flee in the swift ships of the Blue-people to their lesser overseas possessions, the most important of which was Melib Isle, an island named after its first govenor-chieftan and situated south of Teshnos in Eastern Genertela. The Sword of Yeetai was carried by one of the survivors to Melib, but soon the island fell to the Seshnegi Empire who sought both the strategic island and the magic sword of Power. In flight again the Artmali landed on the major landmass of Genertela, there becoming the Wandering Tribes of the Northern Continent. At this time the sword was lost by the Artmali, and a prophecy was made that whenever it again came to the Artmali it would be in the place of their new home, at which time Anehlla would shine forever full on the surface world.

The sword first was among the barbarians of Teshnos who, due to misunderstanding and lack of knowledge, lost it again to the Vrimaki of the Eastern Mountains, and the Vrimaki held it in hiding with other weapons and implements of power for their friends, the Mostali, who would reveal when and to whom these things could be given out.

The sword of Yeetai was finally stolen by the Hykimi in their incessant raids on their ancestral enemies the Vrimaki. Like the barbarians of Teshnos, the Dragon-people didn’t use the full capacities of the weapon. It was easily stolen in a surprise raid by one of the Wandering Tribes who had heard of its existence. This tribe settled where the weapon had been captured, growing stronger by the year until no enemy could dislodge them. But Anehlla still went through her phases. It was in the hands of the Regent of the Sword Vealii during the Opening and it contributed greatly to the defense of that portion of the world in the raids of the Slontonian pirates.

It remained with Vealii for some years, but was stolen by a foreigner named Aamor in a manner which didn’t allow the Artmali retaliate, for Anehlla had given her protection to Aamor, although the man didn’t realize it. He became a powerful chieftain among the barbarian tribes of Teshnos, unifying many of them into a single nation stronger than any of that land since the death of Jeald Artmalson. But even though Aamor wielded the sword with more skill than any non-Artmali ever had, he was still unable to protect his land or people from the invading and settling Nagi from the island of Arrest. He therefore led his peoples in a mass migration across the continent to his home of Ralios.

In Ralios Aamor and his people, the Teshni, became involved in a struggle between the Jonati, Tamali, and Artmali. A series of events eventually led to a peaceful settlement over the issues involved, and Aamor peacefully gave the sword to the Artmali involved. It was at this time that Anehlla looked with favor upon her chosen people, continuing to shine in her full phase while in the sky. Thus the Artmali gained a new home, drawing together the Wandering Tribes of Genertela and forming a unified People, led by their Chosen Emperor.

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

Here are some ancient texts, purporting to provide the history of the Artmali and the Sword of Yeetai.

Interesting, and heavily contradictory to other sources in parts.  The early section is more or less in line with other sources, if we read 'Chaos War' as the war for the Sky after Yelm's death.  I recall the name 'Bredjeg' as the name for an enemy god of Artmal's in Revealed Mythology. 

The naming of Cathora's homeland among the 'Fralari nation' is new to me.  The only thing I can find in the Guide that resembles that name is Fralos in Estaurenic County, Seshnela, a mid-sized city with a peculiar relationship to a guardian spirit descended from Nakala.  Per the Blue Moon's theogony, something descended from Nakala could be a descendant of Anhilla/Veldara as well.  Is there an Artmali spirit resident in the heart of old Imperial Seshnela, which reputedly resists all attempts by the Zzaburi to compel it sorcerously (or at least, all such attempts have ended disastrously)?  Could it be the spirit of one of the Bones of Artmal, cast across the earth by 'the god of Desero' in the Gods War?  The guardian requires that the leader of the city be a female of the talar caste--a stand-in for Cathora herself?

This offers a personal name for the original Red Sword, which I've never seen before, along with proposing the red sword carried by the Armtali emperors and Zaranistangi kings was a parthenogenic offspring of the Sword of Tolat, not the sword itself.  Which is a very interesting distinction, because I would expect that Artmal needs the elder sword to recover from his debilitation in the Sea of Fire, not the one he bequeathed to Yeetai.  It doesn't take Zzabur to calculate that recovering Hes-tur could be instrumental on a greater quest to recover Klestor and bring it to Artmal.

From 'The Sword of Yeetai' onward we start to diverge, even from the preceding section of text.  The conflict in which Artmal received Klestor is called the 'war against Gbaji'.  Does this refer to the  struggle of the Sky Gods against assorted invaders in the Gods Age, or the First Age war against the Bright Empire?  The second paragraph would seem to support the latter reading, and port the mythic history of the Artmali forward into the First Age S.T., during a time when the Guide claims that groups we know as the Artmali were living a post-urban tribal life in what becomes Fonrit or living as nomadic clans in Zamokil in far southern Pamaltela, while the Zaranistangi were a kingdom in modern Melib conducting loper expeditions throughout Genertela.  According to the Guide the Zaranistangi lost the sword while fighting for the ill-fated Archons of the Stygian Empire against the rising Middle Sea Empire, putting them on the Arkat side of the Gbaji Wars if they participated directly at all, but I'd expect Shargashi/Tolati documents from within Time to be on the Nysalorean side of that divide.

This text describes the fall of the old Artmali empire as if it happened within Time, and makes no direct mention of the Firefall that's so central to those events in Pamaltelan myth.  It makes no distinction between Artmali and Zaranistangi as it traces Hes-tur's movement from Pamaltela to Melib.  From the Zaranistangi settlement in Melib onward it spirals away from the Guide's version of history, with only limited contact by way of distantly similar names and vaguely similar patterns.  By the time it reaches history in parallel with the Jrusteli dynasty in Melib this document's version has diverged from the Guide to the point that the pictures the two paint bear little resemblance.  In-setting, it's the sort of document that only holds up in the absence of any other reliable sources on the subject, like the medieval legend of Prester John's India.  Metatextually, I suspect it comes from a previous draft of Gloranthan, particularly Artmali and Zaranistangi, history.  Nonetheless, there's some stuff worth mining and integrating into the modern version of the setting.  I really like the potential for a Fralos connection to the Blue Moon, to offer the potential of Ordanal claiming descent from Cathora's family and deriving greater control of Hes-tur's powers than most through that connection.

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Another general question: the Guide says that Gabaryanga was originally a slave in Benestros, which is described as the breadbasket of Afadjann.  I'm still getting my head around Pamaltelan geography, and try as I might I can't find Benestros on the Argan Argar Atlas sections covering Afadjann.  Does anyone know where the place lies?

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1 hour ago, dumuzid said:

Fralari

I say make it happen. In context this refers to the carnivore totemic nation that dominated the southern Shan Shan in the era, probably hsa tiger people. But the delicate proximity between Froalar and Fralar has been noted before . . . keep running the ball until it stops.

For example, I am struck for the first time how close Hykim meshes with Akem as east and west rhyme across the sun's daily path.

I seem to recall a paracanonical history of this part of the world with some king names in the Four Scrolls of Revelation booklet but don't have my copy at hand right now to confirm.

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3 hours ago, dumuzid said:

the 'Fralari nation' is new to me.  The only thing I can find in the Guide that resembles that name

Fralar, King of Carnivores, IIRC, father of Yinkin, Basmol, and Telmor, among others.  Fralari thus could reference the hsa tiger people as @scott-martin notes, but could also represent the Basmoli of Seshnela, which might provide the link to Fralos.  As it notes on Fralos in the Guide p.415 "Efforts by several different Rokari wizards to compel the lion-headed guardian ..."

3 hours ago, dumuzid said:

which is described as the breadbasket of Afadjann.  I'm still getting my head around Pamaltelan geography, and try as I might I can't find Benestros on the Argan Argar Atlas sections covering Afadjann.  Does anyone know where the place lies?

Looks like it did not get a label on the map (and does not appear either in the old Heroes magazine article on Fonrit nor in Missing Lands).  To be a breadbasket for Afadjann though would have to place it either at the southern end of Kanem Dar island, or between Gargosganda and either Yrania or the Poysida Strait.  Perhaps best is north of the Blue Man Hills.

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