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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It's just interesting how Chaosium so consistently chooses to gloss the volcanic god as Lodril, even in a Sartarite or Esrolian context (where, culturally, the likelier name would be Veskarthan or something, surely?), while they, for example, never gloss Dendara as Ernalda, or Oria as Esrola, even though, runically, it seems like Chaosium's interpretation (and I might be reading incorrectly between the lines here) is that they are equivalents (much to the confusion of some, iirc.)

I'm not saying it's *wrong*, it's just interesting trying to guess at the editorial strategy and to which degree it does and doesn't overlap with in-universe practices.

Sorry, this is quite off-topic now.

This stuff is all in the Cults Book. I do wish people would not say "Chaosium does this" or "Chaosium does that" Oria is a Grain Goddess - same as "Pelora". Dendara and Ernalda are a strange pair. The God Learners were convinced that Dendara and Ernalda were the same entity, and even managed to transpose worshipers with no ill effects. But they never succeeded in getting either goddess to admit identity with the other.

Which gets us to Lodril. Veskarthan is just a localised name for Lodril. Probably just means Big Volcano or even The Vent. But Lodril is also used as the name - and has been since at least the First Age. In the Second Age, Lodril became the preferred name for the god by the Caladralanders. I can imagine that someone from Whitewall might head over to Caladraland, as about "Veskarthan the God of the Vent" and the locals reply "you mean Lodril?"

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3 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Which gets us to Lodril. Veskarthan is just a localised name for Lodril. Probably just means Big Volcano or even The Vent. But Lodril is also used as the name - and has been since at least the First Age. In the Second Age, Lodril became the preferred name for the god by the Caladralanders. I can imagine that someone from Whitewall might head over to Caladraland, as about "Veskarthan the God of the Vent" and the locals reply "you mean Lodril?"

I think the main problem was that there was a movement away from using generic names, as they were used in the Monomyth, to using local names, because the Monomyth was bad. Then there was a movement to have the local names as being entirely separate deities that the God Learners merged together, because the God Learners were bad.

So, some people think that Veskarthan is a different volcano god to Lodril. For me, Veskarthan is just the local Orlanthi name for Lodril, because they don't really understand who/what Lodril is.

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Just now, soltakss said:

I think the main problem was that there was a movement away from using generic names, as they were used in the Monomyth, to using local names, because the Monomyth was bad. Then there was a movement to have the local names as being entirely separate deities that the God Learners merged together, because the God Learners were bad.

So, some people think that Veskarthan is a different volcano god to Lodril. For me, Veskarthan is just the local Orlanthi name for Lodril, because they don't really understand who/what Lodril is.

Actually the problem was simpler. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Greg wasn't writing any RuneQuest - he was working on First Age material for his Harmast novel. So he needed to answer questions like: what did the survivors of the Great Darkness in Dragon Pass call the Sun when it first rose? What did they call the Volcano Gods of what would later be Caladraland? And so forth. Same thing with Dara Happa - Greg's focus was on how the Dara Happans viewed the world before they really started interacting with the Theyalans in the Broken Council. 

This was all fascinating stuff - but also more than a thousand years before the setting of RQ. Its like setting our game in Halicarnassos during the Hellenistic Age but still insisting that we preserve the separate identities of "Teshub" and "di-we" instead of just calling the god "Zeus" and the local version "Zeus Labrandos" (because he's always depicted holding a double-sided axe here). Locals know that Zeus Labrandos is Zeus, scholars might know that once upon a time the inhabitants of this place called him Teshub. 

So now let's fast forward a thousand years. The Pelorians and the Theyalans and the God Learners have all had centuries of contact. The Monomyth is broadly accepted by most educated Gloranthans. Many people speak several languages, and have many local titles for a god that they accept has broad, even universal, existence. So we might have Orlanth Umatum in Saird, or Yelm Yu-Kargzant in the Grazelands. We have Yelmalio Elmal or Lodril Veskarthan. And so on. But for game purposes it is easier to just say Orlanth, Yelm, Yelmalio, and Lodril. 

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But getting to the original question, there isn't much of a Lodril cult among the Yelmalion farmers of Sartar or Prax. Yelmalio is a husband-deity of Ernalda, so that cult works perfectly well to get her blessings.

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Names of the gods: Isn't it part of the worship rites to call out the myriad of the deity's names, possibly in the right order for the date of the service?

 

What is the proportion of Barntar farmers (for less martially inclined farmers) in the Sun Dome lands (Goldedge, Vanntar, Zola Fel valley)? Yelmalio isn't that well known as a plowman. (Neither would have been Elmal.)

 

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4 hours ago, Jeff said:

This stuff is all in the Cults Book. I do wish people would not say "Chaosium does this" or "Chaosium does that" Oria is a Grain Goddess - same as "Pelora". Dendara and Ernalda are a strange pair. The God Learners were convinced that Dendara and Ernalda were the same entity, and even managed to transpose worshipers with no ill effects. But they never succeeded in getting either goddess to admit identity with the other.

Which gets us to Lodril. Veskarthan is just a localised name for Lodril. Probably just means Big Volcano or even The Vent. But Lodril is also used as the name - and has been since at least the First Age. In the Second Age, Lodril became the preferred name for the god by the Caladralanders. I can imagine that someone from Whitewall might head over to Caladraland, as about "Veskarthan the God of the Vent" and the locals reply "you mean Lodril?"

Thanks Jeff, that is exactly the kind of answer I needed. ūüôā¬†

I guess I say "Chaosium does this" simply because I don't have another way to distinguish the imagined, cumulative in-universe practices of people and possible editorial policy. I'm pretty new to the fandom/community/hangers-on, and I gather there is a history of, uh, confrontational fans, but personally  I'm still throwing feelers out there and trying to work out a decent jargon, as it were, so sorry if this all comes off as annoying grognard hairsplitting.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yelmalio isn't that well known as a plowman.

Yet another thing that Yelmalians do that Yelmalio wasn't very good at.

He wasn't really a Templar in a phalanx, offering no such magic, but his worshippers often are.

He wasn't really a Farmer, offering no such magic, but his worshippers often are.

 

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33 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Yet another thing that Yelmalians do that Yelmalio wasn't very good at.

He wasn't really a Templar in a phalanx, offering no such magic, but his worshippers often are.

He wasn't really a Farmer, offering no such magic, but his worshippers often are.

 

Absolutely correct. 

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21 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Yet another thing that Yelmalians do that Yelmalio wasn't very good at.r

There's that. Some say this extends to being a warrior...

21 minutes ago, soltakss said:

He wasn't really a Templar in a phalanx, offering no such magic, but his worshippers often are.

I think this may be a bit harsh. We know that there was phalanx warfare in the Gods Age, and Yelmalio may have been involved in a few hussles involving phalanxes. In such altercations, he may well have been the second man in the front rank, and the fifth, and the seventh, and... not necessarily throughout the battle, but in critical moments.

21 minutes ago, soltakss said:

He wasn't really a Farmer, offering no such magic, but his worshippers often are.

It is pretty hard to survive in Glorantha as something else than a farmer, or manager of a farm. The Templar hoplites or bodyguards may manage to do so, but they come from ranks of pre-templar spearmen/hoplites who have to work for the living they make outside of militia duty. Your landed Pendragon knight becomes a farmer, too, or at least a farm manager.

Only freemen can afford a templar's basic set of equipment. Do the hoplite-class non-templar sun domers of Prax or Goldedge have tenant farmers, or do they manage unfree or live in semi-free folk who do the actual field work?

Do they have lighter spear-and-shield forces (at least in the militia) who train both in hoplite formation and as skirmishers?

The horse-archers would have to be fairly wealthy freemen, too, in order to be able to support a horse. They might be recruited from mounted herders rather than grain farmers.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Do the hoplite-class non-templar sun domers of Prax or Goldedge have tenant farmers, or do they manage unfree or live in semi-free folk who do the actual field work?

No, in my opinion, they do the farming work themselves, out of a perceived duty to the cult and to themselves.

They don't have any real farming magic, so they rely on their own toil. 

This, of course, feeds in to their martyr syndrome of working hard and gaining no magical benefits.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

It is pretty hard to survive in Glorantha as something else than a farmer, or manager of a farm. The Templar hoplites or bodyguards may manage to do so, but they come from ranks of pre-templar spearmen/hoplites who have to work for the living they make outside of militia duty. Your landed Pendragon knight becomes a farmer, too, or at least a farm manager.

Only freemen can afford a templar's basic set of equipment. Do the hoplite-class non-templar sun domers of Prax or Goldedge have tenant farmers, or do they manage unfree or live in semi-free folk who do the actual field work?

Do they have lighter spear-and-shield forces (at least in the militia) who train both in hoplite formation and as skirmishers?

The horse-archers would have to be fairly wealthy freemen, too, in order to be able to support a horse. They might be recruited from mounted herders rather than grain farmers.

I imagine this particular bit is one where you see a great deal of difference between Mo Baustra in Prax and Vaantar in Sartar (I don't know enough about Goldedge to venture a guess as to how they organize themselves, but it probably leans closer to the "slaves and/or tenants supporting the templars" thing). In general, though, tenants or slaves wouldn't directly toil for Templar families, but for the Sun Dome Temple itself, since the Sun Domes are a theocracy where technically most property - including land - belongs to the cult of Yelmalio.

In Prax, the Sun Domers have very little cavalry and are more dependent on their militia to guard against Animal Nomad raids that their Templars can't respond to in time. Therefore, you'll see fewer tenants and more freemen, because each free farmer is a (hopefully) decently trained militiaman ready to fight to the death to protect his land and family.

In Sartar, the Sun Domers do have cavalry, but they also have a large population of slaves toiling in the fields for them, which might balance out in terms of supporting the full-time, well-equipped soldiers versus having a healthy number of free farmers.

Now that I think about it, since so many of the Sun Dome's initial populace came from dissatisfied Elmali - many of whom would have come from the higher levels of Sartarite society, since so much of Elmal's magic and mythos is bound up in either combat or horses, which are both fairly high-status pursuits - I'd be willing to bet part of the impetus for developing a substantial number of Ergeshi was that many of these new Sun Domers would have been very resentful of being made to labor as tenants. Even the ones who were tenants before would have no doubt felt cheated, since it would mean the bright new vision of a land where these Light-worshipers would be the ones calling the shots that they abandoned their old clan and tribal identities for wanted to put them right back where they started, only now with lots of added taboos and restrictions. Vaantar's participation in Tarkalor's wars might have been just as much motivated by the need for captives to enslave to stave off a revolt or mass desertions as any notion of religious animosity against Darkness-worshipers or Monrogh's personal friendship with Tarkalor. But then Tarkalor and Monrogh are dead, and the Lunars have a lot more slaves they're willing to sell, and pay better for mercenary work besides...

EDIT: Trying to go somewhat back on-topic, it occurs to me that, if there is a Sun Dome Temple out there with a significant number of unfree/semi-free tenant farmers rather than slaves or freemen who are obligated to serve in the militia, those might well worship Lodril rather than Yelmalio. That might be how the more northerly ones tend to do it.

Edited by Leingod
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13 hours ago, Leingod said:

I imagine this particular bit is one where you see a great deal of difference between Mo Baustra in Prax and Vaantar in Sartar (I don't know enough about Goldedge to venture a guess as to how they organize themselves, but it probably leans closer to the "slaves and/or tenants supporting the templars" thing). In general, though, tenants or slaves wouldn't directly toil for Templar families, but for the Sun Dome Temple itself, since the Sun Domes are a theocracy where technically most property - including land - belongs to the cult of Yelmalio.

@MOB and I don't think slaves or thralls are the norm in Sun County, Prax. (I mean, the nomad khans think every groundman is a thrall-in-waiting, and back in the Mad Max days things were pretty grim with proud noble lineages treated no better than Oasis People -- but we're talking about nowadays). Yes, there's a notable exception in the Corn Dolls. It's flagged as an innovation: it's not the way we've ever done things round here.

Even when the Sun Domers capture Praxian prisoners-of-war, I expect they'd be ransomed back to their own tribes rather than sold to the Lunars / Morokanth or kept as slave labour. Yes, nowadays you might get good money breaking with tradition and going into the slave trade, but polite society would frown on you. (It's the sort of thing a Silver arriviste on the make with no reputation to lose might dabble in, I suppose) 

The Dragon Pass Sun Dome near Sartar has a helot class of grey-skinned thralls (WF#15). Up in the Provinces (Tarsh and points north) I agree things will vary. Each Sun Dome Temple is a self-governing polity with its own history; Monrogh's religious reforms didn't ever attempt to standardise everything, so there's plenty of room for diverse treatments in your own campaigns.

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Just now, Cassius said:

Who could they be ?

More details of the Ergeshi are in Wyrms Footnotes #15, which has a five-page article about that temple. Remember that the Sun Dome Temple in the south of Dragon Pass was only founded after Tarkalor Trollkiller's Wars against the Kitori Tribe from the Troll Woods: his victorious Yelmalians enslaved the surviving human Kitori, because they're assholes like that, and keep them magically suppressed. So while they are allowed to worship Ernalda, Barntar, and various chthonic / ancestral / local spirits, they are strictly forbidden to make sacrifices to the powers of Darkness. (And now you are coming up with scenarios, because as MOB always says: you don't make rules against something unless you have a problem)

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4 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

More details of the Ergeshi

Interesting to note that this term is specifically Dara Happan; it comes from the name of the peculiarly Dara Happan slave god Ergesh.

Large-scale field slavery like this is apparently foreign enough to warrant a loanword. Slavery exists on and off in Orlanthi territories, but not this kind of caste slavery.

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I'm left pondering the relationship between Templars, Ergeshi and the Amber Fields after the Trollkiller Wars were over but before Tarkalor had granted the land to Monrogh's Sun Dome Temple. My best guess is that the Templars already occupied some or all of the lands they were subsequently granted, but they didn't yet have any legitimate title to them (that is, they knew they were occupying a conquered land), and they hadn't yet rebuilt the ruined Sun Dome Temple.

Why the delay in recognising their status? Because until Tarkalor Trollkiller became King of Dragon Pass, he lacked the authority to allocate territories outside of Sartar. He needed a wider sacral role before he could make a lasting disposition of conquered lands outside his kingdom. 

And why the delay in rebuilding the ruined Temple? Because until Monrogh actually had title to the land, granted by its legitimate ruler but not by an Orlanthi King, he couldn't begin to do that. The Yelmalian demand had always been for "their own lands, and the chance to make their own rules" (King of Sartar, p.169). The lands couldn't be granted by an Orlanthi Prince of Sartar -- that in itself would bring unwelcome entanglements -- but they could certainly be accepted from the sacral King of Dragon Pass, husband of the Feathered Horse Queen, legitimate fount of sovereignty in Kerofinela. And once they had that dispensation, they could raise the Temple again...

Well, that's how I'd explain it, anyway. Possibly I am overthinking things again. I don't see a major migration from other regions to the Amber Fields after King Tarkalor gave the land to Monrogh: I think many of Monrogh's people had been living there for decades, but were now liberated to build a Temple according to their own laws, unbeholden to the Princes of Sartar. And doing that would have attracted some more converts; but the bulk of the Templars were already in situ, and had been since they seized those lands from the Kitori back in the 1550s.

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6 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

Possibly I am overthinking things again. I don't see a major migration from other regions to the Amber Fields after King Tarkalor gave the land to Monrogh: I think many of Monrogh's people had been living there for decades, but were now liberated to build a Temple according to their own laws, unbeholden to the Princes of Sartar. And doing that would have attracted some more converts; but the bulk of the Templars were already in situ, and had been since they seized those lands from the Kitori back in the 1550s.

I think that all works well.

What we might look back to is the events of 1460.  From HotHP p.96, we get:  "Turmoil in Volsaxiland [1460 to 15**]. No high kings elected at Whitewall - much fighting amongst the chiefs and kings. The Kitori impose the Double Sacrifice on the Volsaxi." and p.107: "The Kitori tribe held political sway over large parts of Volsaxiland, perhaps all of it. Tribute went to the Kitori kings. They were still close to the uz tribes that lived in the Plateau and got regular troll help."

My personal belief of what happened:

  • in 1460, Belintar assumes a troll body.¬† He regrants privileges to the Kitori and the Shadow Plateau and the Double Tribute is imposed on the Volsaxi for their rebellion against Belintar.¬† (Perhaps this ties into the efforts by Dagori Inkarth against the Lunar Empire that begin in 1435-40 as noted in Trollpak)
  • The Kitori with their troll allies take increasing tribute from the Amber Fields as well as Volsaxiland.¬† The sun-worshipers of the area are miserable and don't have strong enough solar powers to overcome the darkness.
  • Sartar doesn't aid them - he has other things in mind.¬† Nor do his immediate descendants, who likely see trade with the Holy Country as a plus despite the Shadow Tribute going to/from Karse.
  • Only when Tarkalor comes to power do they find an ally, and perhaps this is due to Monrogh seeking a way to break the control of Darkness over the region.
  • And the subsequent enslavement of the Kitori then fits as revenge for the perceived (or real) subjugation of the light for much of a century.
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The southern (former) Locaem clans more or less stayed where they lived when they shifted their loyalty towards Monrogh.

Tarkalor's war against the Kitori started either during Saronil's or Jarolar's reign, well before he came to take the title of Prince of Sartar. IMO the Kitori wars were part of the reckoning with House Norinel and the houses of the Suitors,

Around 1470 the Locaem and Kultain have invaded Balmyr and Sambari lands, and threaten to oust these tribes from there. Sartar solves the conflict by founding Wilmskirk. If the light-worshiping clans are under duress, did they form the forefront against their northern neighbors, and are now thwarted in their attempt to get away from the Kitori?

 

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