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We ran Lunars for ~20 years, and once had a Yemli noble PC.  The sexist obnoxiousness upset everybody, especially the player of the Yelmi.  And none of us were women!  Nobody regretted his heroic passing.

So, just a warning - make sure the old fashioned sexist (but, hopefully, chivalrous) behavior is o.k. with all the players on "Session Zero".

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Gorgorma and Monster Man... So, you have five very prominent goddesses in the big Dara Happan myth complex. You have Ourania, who rules the domestic life of the Sky Dome, Dendara, wife of Yelm, E

Yeah, Shargash is everywhere. Often secondary, sometimes primary.  Ernalda:  There's a basic and fundamental difference going on here. Orlanth's position as King of the Gods is not inherent.

OK. PG Wodehouse was a British author who wrote comedies about weird upper-class families, mostly. The most famous are the “Jeeves & Wooster” books, in which a phenomenally capable butler (Jeeves)

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5 hours ago, None said:

Yes I've been recomended that book several imes now. Unfortunately I dn't think it will be easyto get ahold of. Albeit it does seem like a period with a lot of potential for a Solar campaign.

There are copies available but not cheap: https://www.amazon.com/RuneQuest-Happa-Stirs-Glorantha-Second/dp/1905850409

You might find a FLGS that has a copy lurking about, but unfortunately that's it at this point.

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IF you want to run a Solar society without Lunar elements, you're going to have to go back to the Second or First Age.

And even there, you have to find a period where the Dara Happans haven't been taken over by another culture, because the DH have spent a lot of history basically being someone else's flunky.

Some comments from my own take on them which may not line up with other people's views or canon, but you might find them useful.

Why did Dara Happans obey the Dragon Emperor *and* not like having a dragon Emperor?

There's a central problem for the Solars, which has hosed them repeatedly.  To be Emperor, you must pass the Ten Tests.  In theory, this means the Emperor has Yelm's blessing.  But a sufficiently mystically potent person (we're talking very high levels of power and/or heavily backed) can pass the tests even though they're no more Yelm's chosen one than I can eat the Red Moon.  But passing the tests means blam, you're Emperor and no one can stop you.  (Unless they can chop you to kibble, but anyone who can rig the Tests is not easily turned into kibble.)

But the other part of it is that the EWF were a collection of split-tongued super-freak whackos who wanted to turn most of Genertla into a dragon.

Imagine if Charles Manson was a howling tentacle beast but he managed to get the college of Cardinals to make him Pope.  He's now Pope by the rules, but everyone knows howling tentacle Manson is not what you want as Pope.

This central problem is how they ended up with Nysalor leading them to their death and how the Moonson controls them.

 

How are the Dara Happans organized?

The ideal is that each of the 10 holy cities controls a territory; every Dara Happan within that city's territory is under its authority.  In theory, the Emperor appoints magistrates in each city which perform various duties and/or act as judges.  There is a higher level of magistrates who form the central government under the Emperor.  

The Dara Happan upper class is divided into many individual, intermarried families, each typically associated with a specific city.  In theory, this upper class remains the same lines of descent forever; in practice, there are always families self-destructing into poverty and others rising to the top, usually through marriages.  (One family has status and needs money; the other has money and needs status).  Every upper class family is officially the same in status - in practice, wealth and the offices you held or are still holding determine a pecking order.  The lowest ranking nobles dwell out in the rural villages most of the time, instead of in the city proper.  (Someone has to govern these people!)

Everyone else is officially a peasant.  Some of those 'peasants' are big, wealthy merchants who haven't found the chance to move up yet.  Basically, anyone who doesn't be a noble for a living is part of this group, having more rights than outsiders, but less than the upper class.  There is a definite social hiearchy but it has no legal existence.  But some guy who owns a giant glazier shop is effectively higher status than Lucius the peasant farmer.

Two major things bind society together - Associations and Patron/Client relations.   Associations are formed by noble families to accomplish some kind of goal - they generally function rather like guilds, but they may also act like a political activist group, or serve to carry on some feud or contest.  Patron/client relations may link two noble families, or a noble family and a peasant family or two peasant famiies.  In practice, everyone in DH is part of a set of patron-client pyramids which spread down from the highest ranking officials.  Patrons provide services and aid to their clients and clients support their patrons *and* provide a source of status.  This is phrased as 'gifts', even if it's really more like 'rent'.  So associations are horizontal, while patron/client is vertical.  These practices overlap.

So Julius the Orange, Origen, Marcus, Terrance, and Nigerius are Dara Happan nobles.  They all have clients living in the rice belt along the Osilira.  They form the Osilira Rice Farmer Association - their clients, who are tenant farmers, all pay their rent in rice, and the DH nobles use their Association to get a better price for their rice.  They might have a feud with a rival Rice Farmer Association.  Lucius the peasant farmer is one of Julius the Orange's clients; he pays 30% of his crop to Julius as a 'gift' which is actually rent.  In return, when Broo invade the area, the ORFA hires mercenaries to kill the Broo.  (And the ORFA 'shares' a plot of land with him for him to grow his crops.)

 

How does Law Work?

In theory, the written and unchanging laws of Yelm resolve every legal dispute.  In practice, there's a lot of flex and authority in the hands of the judge.  Past imperial decrees, judicial precedents, and the existence of varying schools of legal interpretation leaves judges with a lot of leeway to make up whatever sounds reasonable, within a system where crimes against your superiors is punished the most and against inferiors the least.

Typically you can appeal from a rural court to an urban one, from an urban one to the city's high court and from that to the Emperor.  Good luck there.

How do Adventures work?

PCs could be troubleshooters for an important DH noble or an association; in return for various benefits (like housing and food and gifts of money), they go deal with problems that require the usual violence of PCs.

They also might be hired by a rural magistrate or an urban one for some suitable task.

Caravans also need guards to protect them.

Ruins from the God Time / Bright Empire / EWF all dot the landscape and are suitable for self-driven adventure to get loot

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Eff said:

There's a basic and fundamental difference going on here. Orlanth's position as King of the Gods is not inherent. It's a consequence of his deeds. Which is to say, the celestial order is made good through Orlanth acting to please Ernalda and thus retaining the Earth's assent to rule. 

Yelm is the Emperor because he is. His soul, his essence, is that way and cannot be anything else. As such, Dendara grants Yelm righteous authority if he behaves in a righteous fashion in turn. Thus, the sovereignty-granting relationship is threaded through an elaborate power game.

This is really interesting because it paints some of the riction between Orlanth/Yelm and Ernalda Yelm.

Both Ernalda and Yelm are sources of authority or the right to rule but in different ways. just as both Yelm and Orlanth are rulers or wielders of authority but in different ways. All of this also mean that for the Ernalda cult andn from Ernaldas mythic perspective Yelm must be married to Ernalda because of what he is but Yelm from his mythic perspective doesn't need to and probably dosn't want to, because the moment they are their respective mythic stories collide and one or the other become less than they are otherwhise. However the Ernaldan perspective has the most to gain because if her myth is ascendant she grows in power by Yelm being married to her but if Yelm's perpective is ascendant he dosn't really gain anything he doesn't already have.

This means that anywhere the Ernaldan myth holds sway Yelm is either an unrightful ruler or her husband, or he dosn't exist. While anywhere Yelmic myths hold sway Ernalda either existst or she dosn't and it dosn't matter as much eithereven though the later is more desirable to Yelm.

This also paints Orelia as a vision  of an Erath Goddes that can coexist with and inside the Yelmic myths without trouble for either while Ernalda is a vision of an Earth Goddes that cannot.

 

Thats who I percieve this at least.

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I think I need to know more about Gorgorma and Monster Man (yes I'm asking for more thoughts and explanations). 🙂

 

Also, I don't really want to repeat myself but I'm also leery of page shifts so here, agai: (Sorry for being a bit obnoxious about my questions.)

15 hours ago, None said:
15 hours ago, Joerg said:

or possibly the lowered body of the White Queen

Who? I don't recognize the name.

I'm assuming Brightface is aother name for Yelm?

15 hours ago, Joerg said:

Her innocence is of a different direction than that of Voria, and her dark twin Gorgorma is different from Babeester Gor. This has been discussed recently.

Really? Where? And how exactly (for both of them)?

 

About Oria:

15 hours ago, Joerg said:

There's a basic and fundamental difference going on here. Orlanth's position as King of the Gods is not inherent. It's a consequence of his deeds. Which is to say, the celestial order is made good through Orlanth acting to please Ernalda and thus retaining the Earth's assent to rule. 

Yelm is the Emperor because he is. His soul, his essence, is that way and cannot be anything else. As such, Dendara grants Yelm righteous authority if he behaves in a righteous fashion in turn. Thus, the sovereignty-granting relationship is threaded through an elaborate power game.

I don't quite understand whst you mean. Do you mean in Dara Happa?

 

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12 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

We ran Lunars for ~20 years, and once had a Yemli noble PC.  The sexist obnoxiousness upset everybody, especially the player of the Yelmi.  And none of us were women!  Nobody regretted his heroic passing.

So, just a warning - make sure the old fashioned sexist (but, hopefully, chivalrous) behavior is o.k. with all the players on "Session Zero".

Duly noted.

While I have given some thought to this my interst and most of my attention have been directed at other parts of the Solars. This justmakes understanding and having a firm grasp on the Pelorian and Dara Happans thought, worldview and society more important because it both gives you more to focus on than that particular detail but should also make it more nuanced and less obnoxious when, or rather if, you have to give it any attention.

My current stance is that the way the Solars view the world should be natural to all of them and not something they really need to point out or be obnoxious about. So, yes they're really patriarchal and while I havn't yet decided if I want to do something about that or not (because my interest here is Solar not patriarchy, if that makes any sense) I feel that if I just leave it as it is it should be something that's just there and everyone living inside it accepts as completely natural without thinking about it.

(Like rain in our world. You don't need to remind everyone that rain is wet and falls downwards, or command it to falll downwards and threaten it to no dare fall upwards for that matter.) Rain in Glorntha can definitely fall upwards but that's beside the point.

----

 

11 hours ago, jajagappa said:

There are copies available but not cheap: https://www.amazon.com/RuneQuest-Happa-Stirs-Glorantha-Second/dp/1905850409

You might find a FLGS that has a copy lurking about, but unfortunately that's it at this point.

Yes that is pricey even before shipping. Ouch.

 

2 hours ago, John Biles said:

And even there, you have to find a period where the Dara Happans haven't been taken over by another culture, because the DH have spent a lot of history basically being someone else's flunky.

I've gotten that feeling, yes. Its one of the reasos I'm interested in the Dara Happans , I'm basically feling pitty for them and the way they feel like the worlds punching bag. Just how many times have they been stomped into the ground by the Orlanthi or someone else and how many times have they basically been under someone elses heel befor the Orlanthi stomped them? Maybe I'm exaggerating.

One of my other main reasons is basivally that after enough Orlanthi you get tired of the Storm (and the Earth) and barbarian civilizations and get more interested in their rivals the Sun, urban civilization and wielding the power of the Sun.

 

2 hours ago, John Biles said:

Some comments from my own take on them which may not line up with other people's views or canon, but you might find them useful.

I do. Maybe not everything but ideas and perspectives are useful and it does help me get a better general fel for the Dara Happans and how they differ from the Orlanthi. There's not much point with a Solar Campaign if it ends up just beeing 'Orlanthi but with Sun powers'.

 

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15 hours ago, None said:

So he is practically one of Dara Happa's war gods. Possibly its only god that is in a way purely a war god, no more like a death and war god with a bit of violent trickster for good measure.

Yes, Shargash is a wargod. He is Yelm's attack dog, his thug, his brute, his berserker. Shargash is not a god of soldiers, but is a god of mace-wielding hooligans, the solar equivalent of Zorak Zoran.

16 hours ago, None said:

Does this mean he has a pressence in all of Dara Happas armies or is he more like the god of that one force of warriors you really don't want top have to use?

Definitely the band of warriors you don't want to have to use.

16 hours ago, None said:

Now I have to ask. I thought the Dara Happans where monogamous but now you makeit sound like they are somewhere between polygamous and monogamous in theory but polygamous in practice (and actually, the distinction between the two can be important.).

The marriage ideal is Yelm-Dendara, but men can take concubines. Although Dendara has many husband-protectors, my guess is that most Dendarans don't take many husbands.

Among the peasants it is different. Lodril took many wives and the Heron Goddess is known for her lustful and promiscuous ways, as are her worshippers.

16 hours ago, None said:

I'm taking this as each city having its own god and the families that descend from that god are local nobility?

Yes, each City of Dara Happa has its own city god, with the cities of the Tripolis being, I think, sons of Yelm.

Many noble families trace their descent through the male line back to the City God. 

 

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On the question of Orlanthi vs Yelmic notions of justice, there's a boxed text from Pavis: Gateway to Adventure that explains some of the difference (it's on pg. 319):

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Mutilation and Orlanthi Justice

As described in the Report on the Orlanthi (Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, page 216-218), the Orlanthi are a “revenge society” that restrains greed and violence through the threat of the blood feud. If a member of a clan injures an outsider, the victim can demand compensation from the entire clan. If compensation is refused, the victim’s kinsmen have the duty injure the offender’s clan. Courts exist so that the feuding families can brought into a settlement that can be enforced by the broader community.

Lunar justice, in contrast, is derived from ancient Dara Happan law codes (whose harshest provisions have been ameliorated under the influence of the Red Goddess). Offenses are not prosecuted by the victim, but by the rulers. Fines, mutilations, and executions are all prescribed by lengthy written codes which match each crime with an appropriate punishment. For example, here are illustrative provisions from the Code of Emperor Celestinus (circa 1572 ST):

Provision 8: if a freeman stole either an ox or a sheep or a pig or a boat, and it belonged to the temple or it belonged to the state, he shall make thirtyfold compensation; if it belonged to another freeman, he shall make good tenfold. If the thief does not have sufficient to make restitution, he shall be put to death by crucifixion.

Provision 22: if a freeman committed robbery and has been caught, that man shall be put to death by crucifixion.

Provision 129: If the wife of a freeman has been caught lying with another man, they shall bind them and throw them into the water until they both drown. If the husband of the woman wishes to spare his wife, then the judge in turn may spare her.

Provision 195: If a son has struck his father, they shall cut off his hand.

It goes without saying that the Lunars view the Orlanthi as lawless and that the Orlanthi view the Lunars as sadistic tyrants.

 

Edited by Leingod
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One thing that the Fortunate Succession does really well is dispel a lot of the notions that the Dara Happans have about themselves. To the Dara Happans, there is in unchanging continuity between the society and beliefs they have now and all the way back into the God Time and Golden Age. This is propaganda. The idea of Yelm and the idea of Dara Happan society has changed quite significantly, both in terms of swinging back and forth, and also linear innovations. Horse Lord ideas, Nysalorean ideas, EWF ideas, Spolite ideas, Carmanian ideas, Lunar ideas, as well as native ideas. It's highly doubtful that there is some internal, "true essence" here, however much the Yelmic aristocracy likes to pretend there is.

I will add that, if I recall correctly, the Fortunate Succession also supplies examples of a) bad emperors (Ten Tests or not), and b) unruly commoners that have to be allied with/compromised with rather than "justly" squashed. The point is that the hierarchical pyramid of Dara Happa is a lot less stable and static than what official propaganda common understanding would have you believe. Of course, after an old emperor is usurped, or a commoner revolt is integrated into a new power structure, the new ruler will declare that this simply restores the "true" nature of Yelmic society. And so on. There's a bit of the Mandate of Heaven going on here, as it were. Lots of historical revisionism. Exactly who was or wasn't a bad emperor or ideology in the past depends on who is currently in power. It's not CONSTANTLY changing, and some are more universally admired than others (typically most of the Emperors before Time), but there is no objective understanding of history. (Admittedly, this applies to all societies).

I believe in the "Voices of Glorantha" booklet, there is a text from the perspective of a Dara Happan mid-ranking Yelmite (iirc, I can't remember whether it's a aristocrat or commoner, but it's a Citizen I'm fairly sure), and it is a deeply militaristic, disciplined worldview. Service to their city and Emperor is tantamount. Duty and discipline. Their relation to their wives and mothers is somewhat cloistered. My impression is that the genders are more homosocial than most other places (ie. women tend to sozialize with women, men tend to sozialize with men)., but if I were you, I'd play with this model to create friction (a Dendaran widow, for example, presumably have no fucks to give. Her oldest son might claim to rule the family now, but no one is going to gainsay mom). I'm not sure to what degree the Dara Happans believe in "noblesse oblige", but it might be used to soften them somewhat. It can also be used in a calculated manner to entrench one's own family's safety and prevent revolts. 

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The whole Brightface and White Queen myth, is, I believe, a Darsenite myth. This is from the Entekosiad, which is arguably the most esoteric and confusing of all of Greg's writings. It basically deconstructs a lot of previous writings. In-universe it was written by a woman who wanted to legitimize the Lunar religion in previous Pelorian tradition, failed, and then shifted to instead analyzing myth to combine Dendara and a deity called Entekos, the primary Pelorian air goddess (with mixed results). The end result, I believe, is still a continuation of her first objective: to show how female deity legitimacy is not some newfangled thing, but very much native to the region. It is a valuable book, however, because it does supply some subaltern views (the views of those of lower status or minorities) on the orthodox understanding of Pelorian Solar myths and Empire.

Darsen is a country/region west of Dara Happa. it's a goddess-worshipping region, and draws on some ancient traditions that might predate Yelmic-Solar religion. The essence of the myth is that there used to be a goddess who ruled the universe, and her brother served as the war-leader or protector of the people. Then, one of them, called Brightface, usurped his sister and took over as ruler. 

Joerg, me, and others, see in this a possible transition from a prior state of the cosmos ("Green Age", probably, when the cosmos was young, constantly innovating and changing and growing) where it was presided over by an Earth Goddess or Celestial Goddess (or both in one, who knows) before the Sun God took over and froze everything in a "perfect" state of eternal day and imperial rigidity. It turns Yelm from a divinely appointed ruler into a bit of a fraud/thief.

There are some loose parallels here with some other western-Pelorian myths, that often seem to involve brothers or husbands or sons of goddesses coming and being sacrificed etc. 

All of this is, as mentioned, deeply esoteric, and not something anyone in Dara Happa would know, aside from a hypothetically VERY experienced heroquester or mystic. It's possible that none of the Darsenite Grandmothers (leaders and high priestesses of Darsen) would be able to connect the dots, their wordview being more conservative (as in: focusing on preserving their own traditions) and inward-focused. 

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Anyway, my overall point is that you should be wary of buying into a lot of stuff written in the definitive about Dara Happa, because it is very often parroting, in a sense, official Dara Happan propaganda. It's not wrong per se, it's just a very limited perspective. Unfortunately, as you've notice, we sorely lack subaltern perspectives on Dara Happan society and religion. Most of the info we get on commoners is, again, from the aristo perspective. 

So yeah, Dara Happan cities probably are quite a bit more vibrant and chaotic than what the official line would have you believe. But it's simmering under the surface, or kept at arm's length from the temples and palaces.

 

 

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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I actually meant before Orlanth appeared (or possible when he just had appeared), not that this period doesn't have potential too.

So Murharzarm's reign.

Now this is a period with lots of potential.

We know from myths in The Glorious ReAscent of Yelm (the first Stafford Library book on Dara Happa, dealing with the interpretation of Dara Happan Godtime and early Dawn Age by the non-rider urban society which overthrew the Horse Warlords after their defeat against the Second Council at Argentium Thri'ile in 221 ST) that Murharzarm's realm used gazzam (earth shakers = dinosaurs) as beasts of burden and possibly a source of meat. Them being a solar culture, I postulate that their earth shakers would have been of the downy version that science came up with only after George Lucas perfected the reptile-hide look for Jurassic Park and the re-release of the Starwars trilogy (around Luke), so no direct imagery of Fred Flintstone...

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a ruling elite of griffons (of the upright-going variety depicted on Gods Wall) or bird-people in Dara Happa prior to Murharzarm's elevation to emperor. Neither would I be surprised about a draconic element in early Dara Happa, or in Murharzarm's origin - the Glorious ReAscent makes it look like he was one of the three human nobles made by the cotery of six Dara Happan deities, but elsewhere he is a son of the sky. Then there is Sandy Petersen pulling an Arkati Trickster Shaman surprise by presenting the solar Emperor as a dragon in his Gods War game, and with good reason.

 

Glorious ReAscent of Yelm offers us Plentonius' interpretation of Godtime events as Yelmic time, a continuum of "years" throughout the Golden Age, Storm Age/Lesser Darkness ("Age of Antirius") and Greater Darkness and Gray Age into History. There are only very few dates for events in the Golden Age proper, all suspiciously divisible by 10,000:

0 YS Yelm (Brightface) takes over sovereign Yelm (from Aether, according to the Dawn Age mythographer Plentonius)

10k YS Lodril descends into the Earth, Dayzatar rises into the Upper Sky (aka Aether fertilizes Gata)

30k YS Birth of Umath, the Sky Dome gets lifted off the Spike (and apparently gets to rest on the four pillars only, while still rotating featurelessly golden above the world)

50k YS Murharzarm becomes emperor after solving the invasion of Oslira (which caused Yelm to distance himself from Dara Happa)

70k YS Umath emerges from Stormgate and approaches Yelm, throws the eight planetary sons into disarray until colliding with the southern son, guardian of the Gren City. Umath and Shargash emerge after the crash into the White God's pillar (or Jagrekriand - the Orlanthi name for the Red Sky God from the Underworld - destroys the northern Pillar going after Umath seeking healing from the northern Pillar god). Umath gets dismembered, and Orlanth appears on the stage (possibly already earlier, if Orlanth's taming of Sshorga and sending on Oslir to Dara Happa leads to the Ascendance of Murharzarm, but then that may have been a precursor aspect of Orlanth).

Basically, you get the ascendance of the Emperor Murharzarm, dealing with the invading Oslira by delegating the irrigation and damming works to the Ten Sons and Servants (children of Lodril and Oria). He rules over the previously newly created humans ("Uleria corrupted them and sp they had many children") and the various celestial beings of the Lower Sky.

The Dara Happans acknowledge an earlier kingship of Griffon and Lion, and possibly the bear Arakang, as celestial entities, and of course there is Vrimak, the bird lord of the north.

 

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Now I have to ask. I thought the Dara Happans where monogamous but now you make it sound like they are somewhere between polygamous and monogamous in theory but polygamous in practice (and actually, the distinction between the two can be important.).

The Wedding Contest of Yelm can be read as institution of a monogamous marriage, but it can as well be read as the institution of a primary wife above all the concubines who stepped forth.

There are known children of Yelm by other deities - King Griffon, Daga, Ironhoof (or Galanin). This may have been a non-physical impregnation much like Hon-eel's for her twin children in her contest with the Most Reverend Horse Mother, or they may have been concubines for the entertainment of the ruler. Plentonius, a Dara Happan biget writing shortly after Argentium Thri'ile, spreads a puritanic version which becomes the official party line.

 

 

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Actually a lot of Dara Happa's stories seem to be less about being adventurous and heroic (OIrlanthi) and more about performing the duties and the tasks given to you and dealing with the conondrums and obstacles that may appear while doing so.

There are quite a few cycles about the Young God, which are traced by Lightfore in the Sky, and rather unrelated to the deeds of Aldryami Yelmalio, Dara Happan Antirius or Horse Nomad Kargzant, and which appear to be the result of the Bridling of Kargzant, an event that happened late in the first century of the Dawn Age and forced Lightfore (or at least Kargzant) onto the Sunpath.

Earlier on, there was a War in Heaven in which Kargzant overcame Shargash in the Sky and sent the deity to heal and rest in his Enclosure in Alkoth. This happened around the Dawn, and involved the son of Jenarong and second emperor of that dynasty.

 

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Who? I don't recognize the name.

The White Queens appear to have been a pre-Dara Happan celestial dynasty in Peloria. The story is in two places in the Entekosiad, the mythiest (pronounced messiest) of the books in the Stafford Library, dealing with non-Dara Happan and pre-Dara Happan myths of Peloria.

In a nutshell, there is a tradition of (possibly Sedenyic) female rulers of Peloria prior to the usurpation of power and sovereignty by Brightface. Most of the story is on p.30-32, naming the female ruler as DerOrios. In the chapter "Naverian Myths" on p.76 there is only the headline "Franar, The White Queen" and then a reference to DerOrios. The rest of the references hides mostly in footnotes.

The story goes that Brightface is nominated as problem solver for the increasing violence that comes from the male gods. He does, and when asked to step down after doing so locally, he points to the Four Directions, and goes including them in his reign. Asked to step down again, he points to the monsters, then solves that. Asked to step down again, he points out that he has not conquered the last resistance to his reign - the women deities who appointed him in the first place. He overcomes their champions, has all dissidents slain, and starts the Golden Age.

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I'm assuming Brightface is another name for Yelm?

Yes. Probably a direct translation.

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Really? Where?

Harald's post:

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And how exactly (for both of them)?

Voria is the innocence of a new-born preserved into nubile age - a woman on the brink of initiation.

Dendara is the pure one, the goddess of Virtue, and has a few stories in Entekosiad how she rose into the sky (10), and she was sullied and died (p.52, "Fall of the House of Virtue". Things get complicated because her planet is the planet of Entekos, and there are passages which refer to "Entekos the Dendara".

All of this is very mythy (pronounced muddy, here), again, as has to be expected from the Entekosiad. If you go there, you are in the deepest of the rabbit holes.

(Some people like being there...)

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About Oria:

I don't quite understand whst you mean. Do you mean in Dara Happa?

Ernalda is pretty much the all-encompassing goddess of both earth, fertility and female mysteries - not the actual specialists for the latter, that would be Uleria and Imarja, but for most cultures Ernalda does all that, and she also includes all of the Dark Side sisters in her grasp of Earth.

I liked @jajagappa's concept of looking at the Dendara/Entekos rune and assigning halves of that to each of the light and dark aspects.

To my knowledge, Oria is only worshiped in Dara Happa. Her role overlaps with Ernalda (in her lesser role as the light sister) and Esrola (in the model where three goddesses make up the earth - Esrola the physical earth, Maran Gor the moving earth, and Ernalda the spiritual earth, as per e.g. Thunder Rebels). The earth mysteries defy God Learner analysis, but stlll allow God Learner descriptions. Esrolia has yet another model where there are six sisters rather than just the aforementioned three.

Oria, Dendara and Gorgorma are another "pair of three goddesses". Dendara and Gorgorma are both sisters and daughters of Oria, depending on how you look at them. In contrast, neither Voria nor Babeester have ever been portrayed as sisters of Ernalda, always as daughters, as the next generation. On the other hand, there are stories of Ernalda's youth and Asrelia's motherhood period where Ernalda pretty much held the role Voria would inherit, and it may be that prior aspect of Ernalda which overlaps most with Dendara, or at least Dendara prior to winning the Wedding Contest.

Afterwards, Dendara pursues a rather new path, that of the Faithful wife, even descending to her husband in Hell to conceive the new planets of the Darkness period, and of Time. Including a(n incarnation of, or directly the) Blue Moon. Black Dendara aka KataMoripi (her Pelandan name, mentioned mainly in Revealed Mythologies when discussing the Pamaltelan Sky Witches) is a largely unexplored phenomenon.

Gorgorma is what isn't Dendara. She is dark and threatening where Dendara is bright and nourishing.

Oria is what isn't Dendara. She doesn't care for virtue and purity but embraces propagation of life and the activity that leads there to the fullest.

The aspect as bringer of fertlity is what the Land Goddesses carry. In non-Yelmic society (Orlanthi, even Malkioni), they also carry the key to Sovereignty, but that is an aspect that is missing from Oria, as far as I can tell.

 

And then there is the synopsis of (the Gloranthan in-world document) the Entekosiad: Entekos is not Dendara, except when she is, and Entekos most definitely is not Sedenya (although all the collected proof shows that she is). (Entekos is not the Red Goddess - that much is very clear. But the Red Goddess claims to be Sedenya. IMO only a preliminary stage of Sedenya, though Jar-eel is going to work on that after having become the avatar of the Red Goddess.)

 

Quote

I'm taking this as each city having its own god and the families that descend from that god are local nobility?

Yes. And yes to @soltakss's comment on the city gods being sons or at least grandsons of Yelm.

The Glorious ReAscent of Yelm weirdly has the cities of the Decapolis only on the cardinal directions from Raibanth (below) and Yuthubars (above), and not in the four quadrants, but then the Copper Tablets position of Nivorah in the Southeast rather than the far south beyond Alkoth is cheating, and the insertion of Yuthuppa north of Raibanth after the Flood makes comparison between the Decapolis and Anaxial's initial Heptapolis difficult, too.

According to the Copper Tablets, there are nine Great Cities in ancient Dara Happa, not including Yuthuppa. Alkoth, Raibanth and Nivorah are easy to locate, so is Mernita in the north (under the Blue Moon Plateau). Verapur in the far north may have shifted to Rinliddi, but there is no ancient Dara Happan city in that region to take that claim. Instead, we have sacred Torang, and some bird madness.

The three western cities with ziggurats (or one inverted ziggurat) aren't that easy to allocate, either. Especially since the inverted ziggurat is shown in the southeast rather than in the north-east where Dezarpovo, the great inverted ziggurat of the Gerra cult, can be found in former Spol. (The modern Carmanian satrapy of Spol is only a fraction of old Spol, much of that is now administrated as the Oronin heartland satrapy.)

These cities of the Planetary Sons of Yelm plus Raibamus would be the cities with the most Yelmic city gods. Yuthuppa as the Dara Happan capital of Antirius throughout the Lesser Darkness has its own very Yelmic city god, named Yuthu (p.40 of RQ3 Genertela Box, as a grandson of Yelm, alongside Alkor for Alkoth on p.35 and Raiba for Raibanth on p.39 as direct sons of Yelm). The omission of these three half-sentences from the Guide is one of the most striking difference between this early gazetteer and the Guide.

Nowadays we don't have the green god of Alkoth any more, but the Red God Shargash, unshakably identified by Plentonius despite Shadzor having been the known underworld god of that city within his lifetime, or at least within family memory. Plentonius' writings are a master-piece of fixating myths and unmutably imprinting his interpretation for more than the next millennium on rather vague source material open for plenty other interpretations.

 

 

Edited by Joerg
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6 hours ago, None said:

This is really interesting because it paints some of the riction between Orlanth/Yelm and Ernalda Yelm.

Both Ernalda and Yelm are sources of authority or the right to rule but in different ways. just as both Yelm and Orlanth are rulers or wielders of authority but in different ways. All of this also mean that for the Ernalda cult andn from Ernaldas mythic perspective Yelm must be married to Ernalda because of what he is but Yelm from his mythic perspective doesn't need to and probably dosn't want to, because the moment they are their respective mythic stories collide and one or the other become less than they are otherwhise. However the Ernaldan perspective has the most to gain because if her myth is ascendant she grows in power by Yelm being married to her but if Yelm's perpective is ascendant he dosn't really gain anything he doesn't already have.

This means that anywhere the Ernaldan myth holds sway Yelm is either an unrightful ruler or her husband, or he dosn't exist. While anywhere Yelmic myths hold sway Ernalda either existst or she dosn't and it dosn't matter as much eithereven though the later is more desirable to Yelm.

This also paints Orelia as a vision  of an Erath Goddes that can coexist with and inside the Yelmic myths without trouble for either while Ernalda is a vision of an Earth Goddes that cannot.

 

Thats who I percieve this at least.

-----

I think I need to know more about Gorgorma and Monster Man (yes I'm asking for more thoughts and explanations). 🙂

 

Also, I don't really want to repeat myself but I'm also leery of page shifts so here, agai: (Sorry for being a bit obnoxious about my questions.)

 

Gorgorma and Monster Man...

So, you have five very prominent goddesses in the big Dara Happan myth complex. You have Ourania, who rules the domestic life of the Sky Dome, Dendara, wife of Yelm, Entekos, ruler of the air and calmer of storms, Oria, the fertile earth and peasant woman goddess, and Gorgorma, who is the mirror image of these four faces of virtue. Gorgorma is insouciant, impure, corrupts whatever she touches, and in at least some material has a vagina dentata thing going on which I take as a kind of representation of that inversion- she devours with that mouth instead of anything coming out of it. (Note that she has had at least one child despite this. For further speculation on this... actually, about five jokes tried to get out of my mouth at the same time and got stuck.)

Gorgorma is, despite all this, allowed, if not welcome, everywhere. Every so often she walks into Yelm's palace and sits down with her sister/alter ego to play board games. Gorgorma is thus essential to the functioning of the universe even if nobody likes her. And how she's essential to the functioning of the universe is as a reminder of the limits of order. Hell, for Dara Happans, is a place where you lose your selfhood. It is a place where reason is lost. And when lords and emperors behave unreasonably, then women of all classes and orders put aside their spindles and begin sharpening their shears.

Monster Man is slightly simpler. He's Hell Lodril. Or rather, he's Lodril when Lodril is in that Gorgorma mood. Actually, he's Lodril as the most inexplicable thing: a peasant who was once good and now has become incomprehensibly insolent. Maybe Monster Man is actually pretty complex!

But Monster Man is relatively straightforward. Normally, like Gorgorma, he patrols the edges of Hell and keeps people in their proper places when they are dead. When the celestial order is disrupted, though, Monster Man bursts from the ground in a swelter of hellfire, which flows like water and is thick like earth and thus is a cognitohazard for Dara Happans. So, the two of them are gods of righteous peasant uprisings, and other such "revolts from below" which are justified. (Really, all of them, but that's not how anybody thinks of it...)

Gorgorma is probably most similar to Maran Gor, but they are more distinct than Dendara and Ernalda or Oria and Ernalda/Esrola are. Monster Man is just straight-up Lodril in a spooky skeleton man costume.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

One thing that the Fortunate Succession does really well is dispel a lot of the notions that the Dara Happans have about themselves. To the Dara Happans, there is in unchanging continuity between the society and beliefs they have now and all the way back into the God Time and Golden Age. This is propaganda. The idea of Yelm and the idea of Dara Happan society has changed quite significantly, both in terms of swinging back and forth, and also linear innovations. Horse Lord ideas, Nysalorean ideas, EWF ideas, Spolite ideas, Carmanian ideas, Lunar ideas, as well as native ideas. It's highly doubtful that there is some internal, "true essence" here, however much the Yelmic aristocracy likes to pretend there is.

I will add that, if I recall correctly, the Fortunate Succession also supplies examples of a) bad emperors (Ten Tests or not), and b) unruly commoners that have to be allied with/compromised with rather than "justly" squashed. The point is that the hierarchical pyramid of Dara Happa is a lot less stable and static than what official propaganda common understanding would have you believe. Of course, after an old emperor is usurped, or a commoner revolt is integrated into a new power structure, the new ruler will declare that this simply restores the "true" nature of Yelmic society. And so on. There's a bit of the Mandate of Heaven going on here, as it were. Lots of historical revisionism. Exactly who was or wasn't a bad emperor or ideology in the past depends on who is currently in power. It's not CONSTANTLY changing, and some are more universally admired than others (typically most of the Emperors before Time), but there is no objective understanding of history. (Admittedly, this applies to all societies).

This is very much like what you see with China, where we have a tendency to view "China" as this static monolith that barely changed for thousands of years, when of course that isn't remotely the truth. And a big part of the reason we see it that way even now (and even within China itself) is because, for propaganda purposes, that's how most Chinese elites throughout time wrote and talked about it, due to each of them wanting to emphasize their continuity with the glorious past to legitimize themselves, including - nay, often especially - the dynasties ruled by Sinicized foreigners, of which there were many. And of course you tend to change the record on which dynasties were legitimate (and thus good) and which weren't depending on political expediency, as well.

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3 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

 

I believe in the "Voices of Glorantha" booklet, there is a text from the perspective of a Dara Happan mid-ranking Yelmite (iirc, I can't remember whether it's a aristocrat or commoner, but it's a Citizen I'm fairly sure), and it is a deeply militaristic, disciplined worldview. Service to their city and Emperor is tantamount. Duty and discipline. Their relation to their wives and mothers is somewhat cloistered. My impression is that the genders are more homosocial than most other places (ie. women tend to sozialize with women, men tend to sozialize with men)., but if I were you, I'd play with this model to create friction (a Dendaran widow, for example, presumably have no fucks to give. Her oldest son might claim to rule the family now, but no one is going to gainsay mom). I'm not sure to what degree the Dara Happans believe in "noblesse oblige", but it might be used to soften them somewhat. It can also be used in a calculated manner to entrench one's own family's safety and prevent revolts. 

 

Patron/Client relations fill the need for 'noblesse oblige;, to essentially soften Dara Happan rule by giving everyone someone they can turn to for help.

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8 hours ago, Leingod said:

On the question of Orlanthi vs Yelmic notions of justice, there's a boxed text from Pavis: Gateway to Adventure that explains some of the difference (it's on pg. 319):

I think the most important thing in that text is that Orlanthi Justice revolves around the victim, or the victim's people, seeking Justice, whereas Yelm's justice sees justice meted out by the state, regardless of what the victim wants.

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7 hours ago, Eff said:

Monster Man is just straight-up Lodril in a spooky skeleton man costume.

This gets weird with the Entekosiad*, where Derdromus (probably Monster Man) imprisons Turos (probably Lodril), and/or Turos unleashes Derdromus on the world.  Of course, the Big E being what it is, it's still entirely possible Monster Man is Lodril in a skeleton costume.

 

 

* Of course, everything gets odd with that

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17 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

This gets weird with the Entekosiad*, where Derdromus (probably Monster Man) imprisons Turos (probably Lodril), and/or Turos unleashes Derdromus on the world.  Of course, the Big E being what it is, it's still entirely possible Monster Man is Lodril in a skeleton costume.

 

 

* Of course, everything gets odd with that

Well, think about it this way: good Lodril isn't around when bad Lodril is loose and vice versa. If you're not aware of the fact that they are the same deity, you might well think that Derdromus had imprisoned Turos, or that Turos could threaten to unleash Derdromus, as if they were two separate people. And they might even be separate personalities of the same entity!

In fact, if you're praying to Turos/Lodril, only Derdromus/Monster Man is going to answer back, which would make the imprisonment seem credible.

Edited by Eff
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12 minutes ago, Eff said:

Well, think about it this way: good Lodril isn't around when bad Lodril is loose and vice versa. If you're not aware of the fact that they are the same deity, you might well think that Derdromus had imprisoned Turos, or that Turos could threaten to unleash Derdromus, as if they were two separate people. And they might even be separate personalities of the same entity!

In fact, if you're praying to Turos/Lodril, only Derdromus/Monster Man is going to answer back, which would make the imprisonment seem credible.

There's a Bruce Wayne joke in here somewhere.

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Forgot to add: the sublimination of Shargash's fertility aspect is probably more accurately his "son", Alkor, the City God of Alkoth, and who I believe "took over" one of the marriages? He's also called the Green God, isn't he, or am I mixing in fan conjecture?

Anyway, Shargash also has an association with drums in at least one myth, and in Six Ages, the Alkothi are depicted using Aztrc-style shrieking whistles, so I'd argue he is at least somewhat associated with terror and mental warfare as well, a bit like Ares (with Polestar being the obvious Athena parallel).

I have lots of deeply heretical ideas about Shargash, but I'll avoid adding any for the sake of poor OP.

EDIT: I wrote this on my phone, and it kept changing "Shargash" into "Shariah", which made this post very weird. Apologies.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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15 hours ago, Joerg said:

So Murharzarm's reign.

Now this is a period with lots of potential.

I thought so too. That's why I was interested in it as a potential time for a Solar Campaign.- My only two concerns was the worry that while there are things going on during this time it might not be all that developed yet (both in the way of there not being a lot of material on it and in the way there being less on the map for the players to interact with) and there beeing too many major figurs running around in too small an area leaving no space for the players.

The other concern beeing that its the Era Before Time. Things prsumably worked diferently back then due to the godworld not being the Other World yet. Presumably the gods are more present and they might even be different from how they are after Dawn. Rune points are also presumably more easily accesible or might work entirely difderent and Hero Questing would defenitely be different. Then ther' is the bit with death not existing yet and time being a lot more flexible. Not that it isn't tempting.

If I get really ambitious with this campaign (yes, I know, planning to big too early is fraught with pitfalls) I could make this a generational campaign so that the actions of the player characters in the Ear Before Time creates myths for later player characters to interact with and use in Hero Quests.

 

16 hours ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Really? Where?

Harald's post:

Oh, 😳 well. Now this is slightly embarasing.

 

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

Dendara/Entekos rune

What? I don't think I undertand you here entirely (I'm assuming you actually mean the Earth Rune) the only time I've seen ay runes conected to Dendara is in the Guide to Glorantha were her runes are :20-sub-light::20-power-harmony:. Actually This brings this up again (I belive we spoke about it a year ago) You all keep refering to Dendara as an Earth Goddes but her runes mark her as a Sky Goddes. How come?

 

15 hours ago, Eff said:

You have Ourania, who rules the domestic life of the Sky Dome

Now I need to ask about Ouriana, who is she and who are initited into her? Actually, I don't think she is in the Gods of Glorantha/cults book and I can't remember at the top of my head if she appears in the Guide to Glorantha so do any of you know what her runes are?

Also, since I've already asked about Lodril I think I should also ask about Dayzataar. Could anyone esplain him to me? Seeing as he is one of Yelm's brothers he should be pretty important to the Solars.

 

15 hours ago, Eff said:

Monster Man is just straight-up Lodril in a spooky skeleton man costume.

He also sounds like the magma when it descides to not stay underthe earth any more and erupts into an exploding volcano.

 

15 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Sorry for dropping all these names and terms on you, None. We're kinda dealing with a big and muddled field here.

I've noticed and I was expecting the Dara Happans (and Pelorians in general) to have much less clear material than the Orlanthi. I've never felt like they (the Dara Happans) were truly meant to be player characters. No worry though, I can digest it slowly if I have to. Just bear with me if I accidentaly ask something that you just literally explained.

 

7 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I have lots of deeply heretical ideas about Shariah, but I'll avoid adding any for the sake of poor OP.

😊

About the city Alkoth though. Would it be possible to enter it from the living world and exit it into the underworld and the other way around?

Knowing that the Imperator subcult of Yelm get Command Griffin I should probably also ask how common they are in Peloria and what role they play theer. Somehow I doubt they are riding beasts.

Also do anyone of you know anything about the Dara Happans relationship with the different Elder Races? Witht he way Dara Happans are usually portrayed I half-expect them to look down on anything an deverything not Dara Happa but that is wehile possible also a bit, well, stupid to very studid depending on how you do it and how blatan they are with it. It also feel like this presentation could very much be a result of how Orlanthi centric much of the game material is.

 

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18 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

My impression is that the genders are more homosocial than most other places (ie. women tend to sozialize with women, men tend to sozialize with men)., but if I were you, I'd play with this model to create friction (a Dendaran widow, for example, presumably have no fucks to give. Her oldest son might claim to rule the family now, but no one is going to gainsay mom).

The commonly-seen PG Wodehouse model for Dara Happan aristocracy (including idle drones, bizarre obsessives and terrifying aunts) is built of such things.

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1 minute ago, Nick Brooke said:

The commonly-seen PG Wodehouse model for Dara Happan aristocracy (including idle drones, bizarre obsessives and terrifying aunts) is built of such things.

I wish I understood what you just said but I don't. It's the PG Wodehouse and idle drones bit that has me confused.

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OK. PG Wodehouse was a British author who wrote comedies about weird upper-class families, mostly. The most famous are the “Jeeves & Wooster” books, in which a phenomenally capable butler (Jeeves) and a blithering nincompoop (Bertie Wooster) navigate an aristocratic world of breaking scandals, doomed romance and minor crimes.

The Drones Club is the spiritual home of idle young men like Bertie (generically, “Drones”): pampered and cosseted by inherited wealth, they have never had to grow up and instead spend their time being tossed on the tempest waves of their Aunts’ scheming. Some Drones are recurring characters (Bingo Little, Pongo Twistleton, Oofy Prosser), the mass of them are a braying crowd throwing bread-rolls around and egging each other on to steal policemen’s helmets.

There are two iconic auntly types: Aunt Agatha, who is terrifying and rules by diktat (usually by demanding Bertie should marry some suitable young lady), and Aunt Dahlia, who is cunning and drags her nephew into elaborate criminal schemes (often, if memory serves, stealing domestic staff from her rivals).

The older men have bizarre obsessions which they are able to indulge because of their wealth (and the fact that they don’t need to do anything). Exemplars are the Earl of Emsworth (whose life revolves around his prize pig, the Empress of Blandings) and Sir Roderick Spode (a fascist politician - the leader of the Blackshorts, no less! - with an embarrassing background in lingerie).

And in my opinion this sort of thing makes *perfect* scenario seeds for a Dara Happan campaign.

Edited by Nick Brooke
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Ah, now I get it. Thank you.

16 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

And in my opinion this sort of thing makes *perfect* scenario seeds for a Dara Happan campaign.

I can see what you mean but my concern would be that if you take it too far the entire campaign would easily become so much of a farse where no one take anything seriously that the game could never recover from that and would be locked into beeing purely a parody. Which can be fun but you cn't realy back away from it afterwards.

I've noticed that once you've made something too 'not-serious' the players will never forget it, so it's kind f a tightrope walk.

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1 minute ago, None said:

I've noticed that once you've made something too 'not-serious' the players will never forget it, so it's kind f a tightrope walk.

That's one side of the balancing act. On the other hand, if you are too grimly Bronze Age puritanical and serious in your devotion to the Pure Texts of Stafford, your game may never get the spark of life it needs to take off. Blending whimsy with anthropology will give you wings.

And you can take a Drones-type plot and go grimdark with it, if you want to steer clear of Whitehall farce, hiding fiancees in sarcophagi, stealing valuable canopic jars and cult artifacts, etc. One excellent early campaign setting for "Call of Cthulhu," the Games Workshop book "Green and Pleasant Land," provided Wodehouse investigator templates for Lovecraftian cosmic horror investigations, and did it very well indeed.

Do Ducks feature in your Glorantha? (I idly wonder)

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