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Why Esrolia for the Holy Country in RQG


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On 4/5/2021 at 7:56 PM, None said:

I've been wondering. Does an aspect or version of Ernalda that is more concerned with urban life exist? I mean , yes she is an Earth Goddess, but she is also a huge and very wide spread goddess ands I'm assuming the way she is presented in the Runquest core book is focused on the waythat Sartarites see her but the Esroilas while certainly interested in the part of Ernalda that is about life growing from the land.

An Ernalda priestess born to a great house in Nochet, for instance would potetially be less interested in the prts of Ernalda that is lets say Bless Crops and more interested in theaspects of her that are more relataböe to life in a city and court or temple intrigue.

There's a goddess in Esrolia called Imarja. Imarja is a bit complicated, because according to one of Greg's books, "Esrolia: The Land of 10,000 Goddesses", she is identified as a Creatrix, by acting as a goose that digs the land up from the waters, and laying eggs that produce living beings. (This is a role that overlaps with the Mother Goddess archetype, which also includes Ernalda, Asrelia, Gata, etc. Basically, the whole Earth Goddess Complex overlaps and can be seen as different facets of the same Goddess. Anywho.) 

However, Imarja is perhaps most notable for providing the people of Nochet with the Compact of Nochet, which is a sort-of-constitution or city bylaw on which their society is funded. 

While Imarja is apparently worshipped as a separate deity in her own temple, it's not too much of a stress that, at least in the context of Notchet, that she represents a kind of legalistic, urban aspect of Ernalda. 

I believe there is, but could not find, also a former queen of Notchet who was deified as a sort of aspect of "Ernalda the (City) Queen". Others probably know.

EDIT: I believe there might be other sources that paint Imarja as a kind of spiritual or mystical entity not directly contacted, so my take might be overly colored by having only encountered her in "Esrolia, 10k G.".

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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It has just occurred to me that one particular manifestation of the six-slice pizza that is the Holy Country in the material world is the layout of the core Disneyland parks: six themed areas laid out

I think of Vadrus as being pure hurricane, not lightning or thunder, just winds well over 100 kph, lifting everything that throwing it around at crazy speeds. Raw violence and power.  I am also b

So in the psychological motif here, Dark is wants and needs, basic drives. "I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I'm afraid, I'm turned on". Water is the ability to categorize these things- what am I hungry for?

On 4/5/2021 at 1:56 PM, None said:

Does an aspect or version of Ernalda that is more concerned with urban life exist? I mean , yes she is an Earth Goddess, but she is also a huge and very wide spread goddess ands I'm assuming the way she is presented in the Runquest core book is focused on the waythat Sartarites see her but the Esroilas while certainly interested in the part of Ernalda that is about life growing from the land.

An Ernalda priestess born to a great house in Nochet, for instance would potetially be less interested in the prts of Ernalda that is lets say Bless Crops and more interested in theaspects of her that are more relataböe to life in a city and court or temple intrigue.

Ernalda is the Earth Mother and Queen.  She encompasses both rural and urban life.  She can be considered the Universal Mother (excluding the Sea and Darkness of course which have their own Mother figures).  Her healing magics, her Charisma, her blessings upon her champions, her blessing of pregnancy and reproduction are all fully useful in urban life.

Remember too that unlike modern cities, there are fields all around the cities (even Nochet) and gardens within.  Part of Ernalda's rituals will include blessing the crops on these areas to help ensure the urban populace is fed.

That said, if you get into the Esrolian cities there will likely be other sub-cults that emphasize additional aspects.

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21 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

That said, if you get into the Esrolian cities there will likely be other sub-cults that emphasize additional aspects.

That was essentially what I was curious about.

Oh, and what Ezel beeing ruled by the Grandmothers Council means but I've already asked about that and is trying, and failing , to be patient.

(Its when the thread turns to a new page that it happens. It makes me antsy because its very easy to just look at the most rescent page but repeating myself makes me feels obnoxious.) Oh, well.

Edited by None
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On 4/4/2021 at 5:43 PM, None said:

That still doesn't tel mel what Belintar's relationship to all of this because I could read it as Belintar being the ruler of all the above areras but I'm pretty convinced Esrolia is an indepedent country ruled over by its Queen and the Grandmothers, both who answer to no one (except that you even as the Queen really souldn't anger the Grrandmothers).

So what is Belintars role in all of this?

IMO this is pretty easily understood, but please pick holes if you see them...

Belintar washes up in the Holy Country in 1313.  By 1336 he has established his empire and instituted the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death.  Now the Holy Country has territories tied to the various elemental runes, and each is best described as a semi-autonomous region that owed fealty to Belintar.  In 1616 Belintar gets assassinated by Jar-Eel and subsequent tournaments fail to bring him back.

The Holy Country is an attempt to set up a model of the world back in the God Time, if you consider the way the runes are autonomous under an effective centralized demi-urge that is the focus of what can be described as a Confederation of Elemental Rune Power states.  Effectively the City of Wonders is The Spike, and thus Jar-Eel is effectively acting as Orlanth, and bringing Death to Yelm.  Harrek is effectively acting as The Devil when he destroys the City of Wonders.  The various powers orbit the City of Wonders, and pay tribute in wealth and magic and fealty to Belintar, much as the relationship of the lands to The Spike during God Time.

Post 1616, all the various Elemental Territories of the Holy Country are without a center to call upon, and are thrown back on their own resources.  In fact, this was already happening, when the Lunars had attacked the Heortlands and Belintar's efforts to protect this territory had been completely inadequate.  The Building Wall Battle was another story however, and Belintar's magical alliance was very effective at that time.

Even prior to the 1616 situation there is evidence that both Esrolia and the Heortlands were entertaining a somewhat separate foreign policy to that of Belintar, despite the fact that this is normally entirely the preserve of the central authority in Confederations.  So, while the Queen of Esrolia seems to be powerful and Independent (and there is no reason to suppose that she and her people may in fact chafe under Belintar's rule), it is fair to say that within her state she is the next best thing to absolute (but being under Belintar), and may have illegally entertained foreign diplomacy, but post 1616 all bets are off and the "Satraps are told to look to their own protection".

Edited by Darius West
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As an aside, and given how technically Yelm should rule the Spike, what do we know about the politics of Ventland, given that it is the Fire/Sky rune State of Belintar's Confederation/Empire?

Edited by Darius West
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37 minutes ago, Darius West said:

what do we know about the politics of Ventland, given that it is the Fire/Sky rune State of Belintar's Confederation/Empire?

It's ruled primarily IIRC by the volcano priests at the Vent. 

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

As an aside, and given how technically Yelm should rule the Spike, what do we know about the politics of Ventland, given that it is the Fire/Sky rune State of Belintar's Confederation/Empire?

A few hints and rumors in old post-Belintar campaign logs that they're actively working with Warm Earth to destabilize Esrolia, either as a counterpoint to the Lunar effort or just a parallel power grab. They seem to be aggressive enough to drive the rump unity faction into cooperation with Red Earth, but that might just be a phase in the struggle. Either way, they're definitely a player in the Earth Sixth and so their politics at home haven't really been explored yet. My guess is they came out of the MOLAD disaster in a relatively united and uh inflamed position, eager to project influence on more passive and incredibly wealthy former allies. 

In a way it isn't hard to imagine the Sixths spiraling into a reprise of the elemental Gods War dynamics (Fire oppresses Earth and is checked by Storm, etc.) after the artificial MOLAD system evaporates and all that magical energy needs to go somewhere. 

There are also hints of a naval alliance with a pirate town called "little Mandros" west along the coast. This might be an early draft of Handra or one of the other Manirian free ports. The goal is clearly to project friendly naval power into the Choralinthor over the anticipated protest of the locals. Again, elemental dynamics in play. In this model they also hate the Shadow Plateau and I wouldn't be surprised if some clever person isn't trying to raise Free Lodril via the usual tactics . . . overheating the volcano, calling local monster man, getting ornery. Not sure what Warm Earth is getting out of it beyond a soil infusion that doesn't depend on the rivers and the rain, but arguably in light of recent agricultural disruption that might be enough.

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12 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

elemental dynamics in play.

If I were pursuing it today I'd have some guys in there working with a pro-Solar imperial faction, the Assiday I guess, to restore Sky to what they think is its rightful role at the center of the universe, refine away this weird and annoying lunar crud, get the many little suns lined up. For fun let's say a bunch of recalcitrant (Y)ehilmaloids get the news this is their new promised land and head down to work out their oedipal issues over there. 

Unfortunately for them IMG this would be part of a larger rotation among the fires and so between a revitalized and truly vibrant Lodril Unchained (plateau blows its top, spike rises) and Jar-Eel and her gang putting the red kibosh in Esrolia proper the normal solar influence melts down pretty fast. Also star magic, unicorn women, Teshnites.

Ultimately they all screw it up when the western (storm) tribes intervene like they do.

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I'm not sure holding Lodril as your paramount deity equates to aligning with Pelorian Yelmic ideas, though. They might as well be deeply suspicious of any attempt to cast their volcano Lord in the role of a "lesser" or subjugated deity. The Caladralanders never struck me as potential Yelmites/Pelorian Lodrilites.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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5 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

'm not sure holding Lodril as your paramount deity equates to aligning with Pelorian Yelmic ideas,

That's why it blows its stacks! Literally. But there's still a lot we don't know about Caladra inner doctrine, how they relate to the Plateau in particular, etc.

For that matter I'm reminded that I now need to make an open call for Heler enthusiasts to get a better sense of how the hero wars play out in western Maniria. Still a lot we don't know or have forgotten about those tribes too.

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On 4/7/2021 at 1:54 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

There's a goddess in Esrolia called Imarja. Imarja is a bit complicated, because according to one of Greg's books, "Esrolia: The Land of 10,000 Goddesses", she is identified as a Creatrix, by acting as a goose that digs the land up from the waters, and laying eggs that produce living beings. (This is a role that overlaps with the Mother Goddess archetype, which also includes Ernalda, Asrelia, Gata, etc. Basically, the whole Earth Goddess Complex overlaps and can be seen as different facets of the same Goddess. Anywho.) 

However, Imarja is perhaps most notable for providing the people of Nochet with the Compact of Nochet, which is a sort-of-constitution or city bylaw on which their society is funded. 

While Imarja is apparently worshipped as a separate deity in her own temple, it's not too much of a stress that, at least in the context of Notchet, that she represents a kind of legalistic, urban aspect of Ernalda. 

I believe there is, but could not find, also a former queen of Notchet who was deified as a sort of aspect of "Ernalda the (City) Queen". Others probably know.

EDIT: I believe there might be other sources that paint Imarja as a kind of spiritual or mystical entity not directly contacted, so my take might be overly colored by having only encountered her in "Esrolia, 10k G.".

Imarja is the feminine principle of the world. She was identified with Gata by the God Learners or with Glorantha herself. She does not have initiates but is offered worship by most Esrolians. Think of her like an analogue to Shakti.

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19 hours ago, Darius West said:

IMO this is pretty easily understood, but please pick holes if you see them...

Now you have pointed it out. it is obvious, really.

Thanks, I have never thought of the Holy Country in that way before.

Edited by soltakss
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17 hours ago, scott-martin said:

A few hints and rumors in old post-Belintar campaign logs that they're actively working with Warm Earth to destabilize Esrolia

What is the deal withte Warm Earth faction anyway, and wahat do they want?

Judging by the name and what you've said I'm assuming it has something to do with Lodril and Ventland?

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1 hour ago, None said:

What is the deal withte Warm Earth faction anyway, and wahat do they want?

Judging by the name and what you've said I'm assuming it has something to do with Lodril and Ventland?

When the Holy Country collapses in the aftermath of Belintar's killing, the different city-states and dynasties of Esrolia align themselves into different ad hoc coalitions. This is in many ways standard procedure of the Esrolians. Mythically and ideologically, they seek to align themselves with whatever partner can act as a guarantist for stability, prosperity and peace. But this time around there's no clear alternative.

The Red Earth Alliance believes the Lunars are the best choice. The Old Earth Alliance believes King Broyan of the Volsaxi/Hendriki is the best choice. 

The Warm Earth Alliance believes that the Caladralanders are the best choice. Others have mentioned above that this might be due to them being largely unscathed by the conflict so far.

As far as I know, there's not too much more to it than that.

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4 hours ago, None said:

What is the deal withte Warm Earth faction anyway, and wahat do they want?

Free Love? 😉 The immersion of Fire into Earth?

In Esrolia where each city has a Queen, and the land has some 200 noble houses, there's a constant back-and-forth between rival factions to be the leading force in the land.

The Warm Earth faction is led by the Demivierge of Rhigos, the Queen of what is effectively the #2 city in Esrolia after Nochet.  Rhigos is close to Caladraland, and she has actively courted Caladraland leaders to her cause.  After the Siege of Nochet and the subsequent death of Queen Hendira, the Red Earth faction is greatly weakened.  As of 1625, the struggle for leadership is largely between Queen Samastina in Nochet (and controlling much of North Esrolia) and the Demivierge in Rhigos (who controls much of South Esrolia and gets help from Caladraland). 

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Free Love?

Love it! When do they want it? How soon is "now?"

I've been waiting for Samastina enthusiasts to start weaving these exciting theological threads into something useful like a hat, a brooch, a fabric pterodactyl. If anyone knows anyone like that please point me their way. Until they step up with their revelations, here's my hot take on warm earth.

Start by standing in the place where you live: Rhigos is important as the real center of Esrolian "earth power" (insanely rich soil, land routes) and so is probably a better example of the Ernalda complex in isolation than cosmopolitan Nochet. The gender mysteries or Old Ways run closer to the surface here. There aren't so many alternatives or distractions.

When push comes to shove, this is the natural pivot point of mainland Esrolia against Nochet, as we see in the civil agrarian wars of the 1070s. Ezel cloistered in the hills of Delain works through Rhigos where Delain is the local goddess, linked by common archaic Delainaeo heritage (survival or reconstruction). I would not be surprised to see more substantive digging reveal that the Delainaeo were "the original Asrolians" supplanted at some stage by younger goddess people from elsewhere, but this is complicated, obscure and controversial.

The Esrolian people were relatively untouched by the teachings of the Theyalan Lifebringers.

Rhigos gets the full benefit of enriched volcanic soil coming down the rivers and spread by the prevailing Heler winds. People looking for "Egypt" can find it here. You could practically drop a baby tooth in this dirt and in a year dig up a fully formed baby. This naturally makes the place a bigger prize for hungry outsiders so the girls have gotten crafty at managing the boys. Think of the techniques the Earth Pantheon uses in Gods War. Think of the Husband Protector system. Think of Harmast Barefoot. Think Flamal Rites, Entekosiad. Think of oxen and swine, bachelor herds and their opposite. Mighty Rhigos, mother of nations. 

Caladra is where the gods who "warm" the goddesses come from. This is the warmth the Warm Earth is looking for. Veskarthan at home is not necessarily Lodril because at home the male corner is the devourer, hated and feared by elves and other crops. You have to lure Veskarthan into town in order to lodrilize him and make him useful but not dangerous. 

She chanted the words, breathed upon the remains of the ashes, and a tiny flame burst out.

More recently, Rhigos probably suffered significant indignities in the Adjustment before finally subverting the Hendrikite overseers and regaining their freedom in time to greet the Trader Princes. A golden age begins. Good things come down the river like volcanic soil. The rivers are Heler's daughters. Heler versus Veskarthan, in her cycle the goddess marries blue and then she marries gold. (And maybe red also.) Once again storm becomes a fourth wheel as Hendrikite influences get absorbed into the native mythic ecology and vanish. 

She has different names in different seasons. Delain remains abstractly above it all, eternally herself but ringed in with taboo, euphemism, rainbows and other veils. She dances. 

There's a natural etymological impulse to make the Demivierge a kind of hungry virago figure threatening to upland masculine sympathies.  But I don't know. "Old" storm-facing earth was never going to fly down here until the Samastina fans cook up something really astounding. The only real question here in flyover country is whether you prefer the breadbasket of the world be warm or red, low fire or lunatic sky. And in that moment I know who really had Kallyr's ear to the sorrow of just about everyone.

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7 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Love it! When do they want it? How soon is "now?"

I've been waiting for Samastina enthusiasts to start weaving these exciting theological threads into something useful like a hat, a brooch, a fabric pterodactyl. If anyone knows anyone like that please point me their way. Until they step up with their revelations, here's my hot take on warm earth.

Start by standing in the place where you live: Rhigos is important as the real center of Esrolian "earth power" (insanely rich soil, land routes) and so is probably a better example of the Ernalda complex in isolation than cosmopolitan Nochet. The gender mysteries or Old Ways run closer to the surface here. There aren't so many alternatives or distractions.

When push comes to shove, this is the natural pivot point of mainland Esrolia against Nochet, as we see in the civil agrarian wars of the 1070s. Ezel cloistered in the hills of Delain works through Rhigos where Delain is the local goddess, linked by common archaic Delainaeo heritage (survival or reconstruction). I would not be surprised to see more substantive digging reveal that the Delainaeo were "the original Asrolians" supplanted at some stage by younger goddess people from elsewhere, but this is complicated, obscure and controversial.

The Esrolian people were relatively untouched by the teachings of the Theyalan Lifebringers.

Rhigos gets the full benefit of enriched volcanic soil coming down the rivers and spread by the prevailing Heler winds. People looking for "Egypt" can find it here. You could practically drop a baby tooth in this dirt and in a year dig up a fully formed baby. This naturally makes the place a bigger prize for hungry outsiders so the girls have gotten crafty at managing the boys. Think of the techniques the Earth Pantheon uses in Gods War. Think of the Husband Protector system. Think of Harmast Barefoot. Think Flamal Rites, Entekosiad. Think of oxen and swine, bachelor herds and their opposite. Mighty Rhigos, mother of nations. 

Caladra is where the gods who "warm" the goddesses come from. This is the warmth the Warm Earth is looking for. Veskarthan at home is not necessarily Lodril because at home the male corner is the devourer, hated and feared by elves and other crops. You have to lure Veskarthan into town in order to lodrilize him and make him useful but not dangerous. 

She chanted the words, breathed upon the remains of the ashes, and a tiny flame burst out.

More recently, Rhigos probably suffered significant indignities in the Adjustment before finally subverting the Hendrikite overseers and regaining their freedom in time to greet the Trader Princes. A golden age begins. Good things come down the river like volcanic soil. The rivers are Heler's daughters. Heler versus Veskarthan, in her cycle the goddess marries blue and then she marries gold. (And maybe red also.) Once again storm becomes a fourth wheel as Hendrikite influences get absorbed into the native mythic ecology and vanish. 

She has different names in different seasons. Delain remains abstractly above it all, eternally herself but ringed in with taboo, euphemism, rainbows and other veils. She dances. 

There's a natural etymological impulse to make the Demivierge a kind of hungry virago figure threatening to upland masculine sympathies.  But I don't know. "Old" storm-facing earth was never going to fly down here until the Samastina fans cook up something really astounding. The only real question here in flyover country is whether you prefer the breadbasket of the world be warm or red, low fire or lunatic sky. And in that moment I know who really had Kallyr's ear to the sorrow of just about everyone.

We can link this to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Enkidu, wild, unformed, golem in several senses, encounters Shamhat, and is initiated by her into civilization by sex, being taught the mysteries of fashion and grooming. Enkidu then becomes the faithful companion/lover of Gilgamesh of Uruk, and is able to temper Gilgamesh and transmute wild unformed animal energy into strength and power through this encounter with the feminine. When Enkidu dies, he first curses Shamhat for awakening him to consciousness, and then blesses her for it.

(It's no surprise that at least one recent take on the Epic of Gilgamesh makes Enkidu a nonbinary shapeshifting figure.)

Here we have the hints of a kind of reversal- the point of Orlanth's temples being placed on the outskirts has less to do with his unwelcomeness at the loom, but rather with leaving a space for Orlanth to be wild still, to believe that he hasn't been brought into the center of the Earth court and given a cosmic makeover. The apparent lack of a Yelm to go with the Lodril and Lightfore husband-protectors is perhaps explicable in this light- Yelm is here nearly unrecognizable, so distinct that Yelm temples have to stay outside the city to keep them from being brought deep into the earth's embrace.

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30 minutes ago, Eff said:

Enkidu a nonbinary shapeshifting figure

Love it. I was indeed thinking about them with the whole business of luring the volcano into town. The Adjustment may not have been so much an invasion as "bait" like in a Mad Max movie but that's really up to the Samastina enthusiasts to proclaim or not.

Thinking again of the "nonbinary" refusal of Water to play these role games in the modern monomyth. In theory members of an isolated Helerite community would simply love one another and the cycle of love would ensure generational continuity. Heler is Helera. Sshorg is Sshorga. Merlin is indeed mother and father of the baby now and coincidentally the line of Flamal is rarely discussed. (Faralinthor.)

It's only with the promulgation of the Gospel Of Earth Fertility "Woman" into the Manirian west that the indigenous water people find themselves increasingly forced to choose. The origin of love. But before that they built their own cities, mostly gone below the waves now but maybe not exactly extinguished. If the hero wars do not bring out what is within every people then the hero wars will destroy them.

Now the trolls code matriarchal also and TKT is a dark goddess (eater) but that's not what brings us here today.

And maybe not all the Elmalites came down from Saird. (Y)Ehilm(al)AEO, the strange persistence of "Elmal" among Asrelia's warmers and maybe an insight into what becomes the Hill of Gold. How the mothers learned to make fire for themselves. "Troll" mysteries, failed efforts to breed around the trollkin problem.

 

Edited by scott-martin
forgot the punchline!
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49 minutes ago, Eff said:

leaving a space for Orlanth to be wild still

Now that you mention it, the persistence of apparently sprawling "traditionalist reservations" within the larger uh fabric of the Middle Sea Empire is something Samastina enthusiasts might beneficially face head on, at least amongst themselves before presenting a version of what "Ernalda" did in the second age that's fit for public consumption. Heritage breeds.

Of course all our cults based in Nochet have an understanding not to really talk about it.

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I wonder about the division of Esrolia under Belintar's government.

Judging from the military organisation of the Holy Country (History of the Heortling Peoples p.87, Esrolia was divided into eleven provinces each with their own sub-commanders, and Heorland was divided into three provinces, each with its own sub-commander.

Caladraland weirdly only gets one province, despite being divided into Vinavale, the Vent region, and Porthomeka (although that may have been counted as Esrolian).

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5 hours ago, Eff said:

Yelm is here nearly unrecognizable, so distinct that Yelm temples have to stay outside the city to keep them from being brought deep into the earth's embrace.

Well, except in Nochet where he is simply renamed Harono and it is his temple that lies within the Sacred City.  But this is a deity who is kept separate and perhaps isolated and relegated to very ritualized functions and never invoked as a Husband-Protector.

37 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Judging from the military organisation of the Holy Country (History of the Heortling Peoples p.87, Esrolia was divided into eleven provinces

I'm not sure we can read too much into this.  This section has the feeling of an "unfinished" bit (perhaps from MoLaD units?) that was brought into the text, but doesn't really seem in accord with the ongoing development of thought around the Holy Country. 

Overall, Esrolia is just denser in population, but it wouldn't surprise me if the "provinces" aren't simply focused on the major cities.

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6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Well, except in Nochet where he is simply renamed Harono and it is his temple that lies within the Sacred City. 

I don't think Harono = Yelm.  To me, he's more like Arraz or Yelmalio.

 

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I view Harono as the Emperor god, first and foremost. The incarnate sun sitting atop the ziggurat. Possibly in dragon form.

Sitting atop the ziggurat removes the emperor from the embrace of earth.

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