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Why Esrolia for the Holy Country in RQG


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15 minutes ago, Hijabg said:

There is something in there that reminds me of the Lightbringers quest: going down into the darkness of the underworld to bring the light back. 

"We fought. My sun."

Great insights on how Dara Happa perverts what we would consider the essential sacrificial dynamics of the rite. We see hints of something similar in the west and maybe other civilizations' survival stories: some people learn how to give and forgive, others only learn how to win.

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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

The horror, the horror!  😱 Clearly into a landscape of madness... 😉 Belintar as the shadow of the Red Emperor?  Belintar as Yelmgatha falling back to the world after escaping Moonson's t

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?

Re: Sun and Storm:

Bear in mind that Sun is rational mind and intellect and Storm is passions. Without letting Storm in, you're a Dayzatar, indifferent, ascetic, solipsistic. But by letting Storm in, you open yourself up to overthrow, passion overcoming intellect. 

Lunars would say that the solution is Moon, intuitive/irrational mind, as a balancer which can suppress each one as it becomes too strong without ever being too strong to dominate in turn. People who've been hit with a Mindblast might disagree on the last part. 

(There are also Dark and Water and Earth here, and they play their own part in this drama, one that can be partly glimpsed by looking at the Elmal-Esrola-Heler and Ernalda-Orlanth-Heler triangles- but that's another story.) 

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We aren’t usually casting Mindblast and Madness spells at people who we particularly want to help*. Just saying.

* (at that specific moment. Of course, in a more universal sense, the Red Army and the Seven Mothers cult are entirely devoted to helping barbarians and foreigners)

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes, that had only a local effect. But Argrath might be going to build an Orlanth temple big enough to cover the surface world.

It would be ironic if that was what cause of Orlanth's demise.

11 hours ago, Joerg said:
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The last part shouldn't be that impossible. Umath seems ,ore simple-minded than even Orlsanth. Although he might be harder to please and keep calm.

Well, we have a Jack Russell Terrier which chases his tail angrily, too. We throw him out every now and then, but we let him come back after he has cooled down.

Yes, on closer thought. One unruly Storm god should be eaasier to manage than five.

11 hours ago, Joerg said:
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Oh right. Lodril.

No need for all that purification nonsense. Dirty as the Earth comes...

Speaking on dirty and Earth. What is the Sky's and Earth's view on Water? I think I know more about Darkness than Water an Darkness isn't that central.

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes, bullying water is something of a specialty of his. Fathering the Triolini merfolk, drying up Faralinthor Sea, slaying Enkoshons the first of the Blue Dragons (fathering Iphara on the Blue Woman in the process).

I'm begining to think that Vadrus would be coastal Esrolia's worst enemy. The Lunar Empire at least is (in comparison) civilized and can be talked with.

Edited by None
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8 hours ago, Eff said:

(There are also Dark and Water and Earth here, and they play their own part in this drama, one that can be partly glimpsed by looking at the Elmal-Esrola-Heler and Ernalda-Orlanth-Heler triangles- but that's another story.)

(Bolding mine).

Now you've made me curious.

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31 minutes ago, None said:

I'm begining to think that Vadrus would be coastal Esrolia's worst enemy.

The worshipers of his grandson Ygg (the founding core of the Wolf Pirates) have certainly caused problems for Esrolia, but earth has gotten pretty good at taming the storm, or at least redirecting it to a preferred target.

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1 minute ago, nabda said:

The worshipers of his grandson Ygg (the founding core of the Wolf Pirates) have certainly caused problems for Esrolia, but earth has gotten pretty good at taming the storm, or at least redirecting it to a preferred target.

I'm not sure this particular Storm would be very tamable, or if it would even matter.

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1 minute ago, None said:

I'm not sure this particular Storm would be very tamable, or if it would even matter.

Not sure I get your point. Argrath, clearly influenced by an Esrolian Queen, has successfully pointed Harrek the Berserk's Wolf Pirates in the general direction of the Evil Red Empire, which suits Esrolia just fine. Given the alternative.

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2 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:
5 minutes ago, None said:

I'm not sure this particular Storm would be very tamable, or if it would even matter.

Not sure I get your point. Argrath, clearly influenced by an Esrolian Queen, has successfully pointed Harrek the Berserk's Wolf Pirates in the general direction of the Evil Red Empire, which suits Esrolia just fine. Given the alternative.

I was more thinking that succefully pointing Vadrus in another direction would probably just mean that everything between you and there, including you, would still get wrecked.

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Just now, None said:

I was more thinking that succefully pointing Vadrus in another direction would probably just mean that everything between you and there, including you, would still get wrecked.

Well, yes, Harrek does go on to sack Boldhome. Fair comment.

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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 beginning to suspect that another child of Vadrus, over on the other side of the world, is the Pamaltelan goddess Keraun. She is normally considered beneficial to the inland Doraddi, to home she brings gentle rains, but she is the goddess of the typhoon, and feared as such by most of coastal Pamaltela. Just Pamalt, in his usual way, was able to talk her around to helping him out, without actually making her a good person. 

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6 hours ago, None said:

(Bolding mine).

Now you've made me curious.

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? What is it that is frightening me? The transition from eating rocks and being a devouring shadow to eating fish and being a giant cuttlefish monster. Earth is the pragmatic/cunning mind- how do I get what I want? How do I achieve fulfillment here? Where the other three are abstract thoughts, "above" you and filtering down, these three are concrete thoughts, "below", filtering up. 

So Lodril is Fire-in-Earth, rational thinking turned to practical ends. Artisanship, wrestling. But Argan Argar has power over him, can lead him around by his spear, because in descending to Earth, becoming embroiled in practical matters, Lodril gains a sex drive. And Argan Argar, Darkness's face to that which is non-Dark, mediates our drives into social expression/Communication. 

So let's talk about Orlanth, Ernalda, and Heler. The Quivini love triangle is that Orlanth (passions) is caught between Ernalda (practicality) and Heler. What does Heler represent here? Heler represents storming for its own sake, passions running wild. So we see the basic dynamic here- will Orlanth stay at home with Ernalda or go rambling about with Heler (and have gender-changing adventures either way)? Will the storms be mild and bring necessary rain, or will they be wild and indulgent? 

Of course, the Orlanth-Ernalda relationship isn't meant to be a polyamorous group marriage, so Ernalda has to take off her shapewear, loosen a lace or two on her bodice, and trade the kohl eyeliner for umber. And now she's Esrola, and we can examine the third leg of that triangle- Ernalda-Heler.

Ernalda is caught between Yelmalio Kargzantirius and Heler, between the Earth behaving rationally and predictably or wildly and indulgently. Will our crops grow just enough to continue as we were, or will we have a bumper crop or a famine? And there's always Argan Argar, indulging her wants directly. It's no wonder there's a Babeester Gor holy site on the Shadow Plateau!

Moon is not present here, and we will have to look elsewhere to find inconstant Sedenya merrily twirling about before Ernalda's throne, offering her promise of an Earth that isn't beholden to anyone. Blood waters the maize. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, or is it funk to funky? Regardless, though, the marriage of cunning and irrationality is essential to the universe. It's where the art comes in. 

Edited by Eff
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There is one thing I have to ask now. Seeing as Darkness is before gender (that came with Earth as I understand it) and all about primal urges and needs and more connected with, uh, mushrooms was it? Something that buds of, of itself (I'm unsure if I'm writing that term correctly, so please do forgive me) to create more creatures like itself.

How come they're so female focused and matrarchal. I've seen the immagery, and it is well made immagery, but shouldn't trolls be indifferent to gender or completely without any genders at all? (Even morer so than Water.)

Actually Water beeing what it is in Glorantha surprised mer when I first heard about it. As just like earth (when viewed as an element and an energy or essence edit: from a non-Gloranthan perspective) is usually conected with women and the femenine, so is water.

With air and fire being conected to men and the masculine.

But for some reason that doesn't hold true in Glorantha even though the other three follow that pattern quite closely (although the nature of air and fire has been switched around).

Thoughts? I'm curious to the reason of all of the above.

 

Not actually an Edit:

Come to think of it darkness is usually connected with the feminine and light (being something separate from fire) with the masculine (when the two aren't divided as good and evil that is).

Edited by None
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2 hours ago, None said:

There is one thing I have to ask now. Seeing as Darkness is before gender (that came with Earth as I understand it) and all about primal urges and needs and more connected with, uh, mushrooms was it? Something that buds of, of itself (I'm unsure if I'm writing that term correctly, so please do forgive me) to create more creatures like itself.

How come they're so female focused and matrarchal. I've seen the immagery and it is well made immagery but shouldn't trolls be indifferent to gender or cmpletely without any gender st all? (Even morer so than Water.)

I would PERSONALLY argue that Earth being stereotypically female or feminine is less of a universal fact about Glorantha, and more a particularistic accident of Genertela. To put it bluntly, Genert was murdered, and most of those left were his (sister-)daughters. 

In Pamaltela, we see a different Earthen gender dynamic, imho. And there's always the Mostali, of course, who, while in a sense connected to all Gloranthan matter, certainly seem more directly associated with solid matter, as it were. 

...

Now, WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID, I think the feminine side of Earth is somewhat tied to the direct, observable continuity of life. I'm going to borrow some observations from some old anthropologists here, specifically, Sherry B. Ortner, who pointed out that it's a lot easier to see a woman giving birth and conclude that life comes from women, than it is to make the connection to a male ejaculating creating life as well. That's not to say cultures don't (The Greeks made some bizarre conclusions),but the point is, giving birth is so solid and powerful an image that it's hard to overrule it with other symbolism.

For Earth, procreating by itself is adequate and fine, but in order to diversity and spread, it seems to prefer to interact with male (or "counting-as-male") consorts, in order to mix and innovate. This could be argued to make the Earth vaguely hermaphroditic, but the main point is simply that Earth carrying forth life as opposed to its partners doing so kinda code it, or stereotype it, as feminine. Being material products of Earth makes her our Mother, for better or worse. 

This is my interpretation, of course, and one partly improvised at that. Another, equally valid, answer is simply "Well, I guess there's a lot of Earth goddesses in real world mythology, and also New Age ideas popular when Greg wrote this stuff kinda went hard with the idea of a universal mother goddess that supposedly predated patriarchal Indo-Europeans", but that's out-of-universe and so a less satisfying scratch to our curious itch, imho.

Now, I should say that this model of unsexed to sexual reproduction and gender roles is more of a God Learner construct than it necessarily objectively existing in Glorantha. It's a lot more complicated. Sky Gods emanate their descendants sometimes, for example, and lots of Darkness gods have explicit genders. It's more like a... overall, general trend, and not some hard rule to get all fixated on.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that all of this is predicated on sex as participants in reproduction, and not a comment on overall gender roles, where there is a lot more diversity.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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1 hour ago, None said:

There is one thing I have to ask now. Seeing as Darkness is before gender (that came with Earth as I understand it) and all about primal urges and needs and more connected with, uh, mushrooms was it? Something that buds of, of itself (I'm unsure if I'm writing that term correctly, so please do forgive me) to create more creatures like itself.

How come they're so female focused and matrarchal. I've seen the immagery and it is well made immagery but shouldn't trolls be indifferent to gender or cmpletely without any gender st all? (Even morer so than Water.)

Actually Water beeing what iti s in Glorantha surprised mer when I first heard about it as just like earth (when viewed as an element and  an energy or essence) is usually conected with women and the femenine, so is water.

With air and fire beeing conected to men and the masculine.

But fore so,me reason that doesn't hold true uin Glorantha even though the other three follow that pattern quite closely (although the nature of air and fire has been switched around).

Thoughts? I'm curious to the reason of the all of the above.

 

Not actually an Edit:

Come to think of it darkness is usually connected with the feminine and light (being something separate from fire) with the masculine (when the two aren't divided as good and evil that is).

I have several answers, some diegetic, that is, inside of Glorantha, and some non-diegetic, outside of Glorantha, and possibly they cross over a bit. 

To begin with, Uz were developed in detail relatively early on in Glorantha's great flowering, and in the late 70s and early 80s people were not thinking about gender in the terms and mindsets we're using as often as they do today. So the sense that Uz could be agender, genderless, gender null, just wasn't as salient a possibility there. What was more common there was the Gimbutas theory of primordial matriarchy and goddess worship, and Uz dental art is often reminiscent of ancient artwork like the Venus of Willendorf. Uz, then, as the primordial people, are matriarchal. 

Another component, which I am not especially qualified to make firm assertions about, but which @scott-martin might be, is that Uz may have arrived in Glorantha with White Bear and Red Moon- they may not have existed in the primordial West of the 60s. And as such, they arrive with Cragspider. Now there's an entity or a motif or an image, of a woman with a spider for a lower body, that (or who) was important to Greg Stafford, and Cragspider is one of her reflections in Glorantha, and so Uz may be matriarchal from having this mother involved in their creation.

Well, that's the apologetics, in the sense of "explanations", let's get to the diegetics!

Uz were already diminished by the arrival on the surface. The Mistress Race mostly gave birth to Dark Trolls. It is quite possible to imagine that they were once undifferentiated darkness and gender emerged over the course of differentiation as they were forced into contact with light.

And indeed, Yelm might well have, in his descent into Hell, sensed the Uz, sensed Kyger Litor, sensed a Jungian Shadow of a more literal form, and, like a character in the videogame Persona 4, declared "You're not me!" And the Uz formed into his opposite, as it were.

Of course, I don't think anyone has determined whether the famous six boobs of a Mistress Race troll are unique to female trolls of that type. Arkat Kingtroll art usually doesn't give him a noticeable bustline, but I'm pretty sure they don't have push-up bras in Glorantha and Arkat would probably be unhealthily skinny by Uz standards, an emaciated wild-eyed (all three of them) mystic killer and divine beast. This is... not not an encouragement to put this in fanart.

And Uz aren't the only creatures of Darkness. Voralans/Dark Elves seem to be either agender or to have genders of "it's complicated", dehori/darkness spirits seem more masculine-dominated. We may be seeing only the femme-to-butch space of the Darkness ball up close, as it were.

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11 minutes ago, Eff said:

Uz were already diminished by the arrival on the surface. The Mistress Race mostly gave birth to Dark Trolls. It is quite possible to imagine that they were once undifferentiated darkness and gender emerged over the course of differentiation as they were forced into contact with light.

 

That's possible. It's also possible that the Uz, being creations of interactions between Darkness and the Man Rune/Grandfather Mortal, are predisposed towards bi-sexual reproduction/dimorphism (whichever term is more appropriate) because that's just one of the qualities of that Form Rune.

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57 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I would PERSONALLY argue that Earth being stereotypically female or feminine is less of a universal fact about Glorantha, and more a particularistic accident of Genertela. To put it bluntly, Genert was murdered, and most of those left were his (sister-)daughters. 

I should have been more clear on that I was talking about non-Gloranthan elemental connections when I spoke about elemental gender associations above. (Not that I thouink you misunderstood but just to make sure). You pointing out that male Earth deities are more common in Pamaltela and why is still interesting.

57 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Another, equally valid, answer is simply "Well, I guess there's a lot of Earth goddesses in real world mythology, and also New Age ideas popular when Greg wrote this stuff kinda went hard with the idea of a universal mother goddess that supposedly predated patriarchal Indo-Europeans",

Oh, I know about that and also about some later ideas about how the possible matriarchies that worshiped or venerated said Mother Goddess actually had at their end become just as opressive and sexist (albeit in a diferent way) as the aforementioned patriarchal Indo-Europeans (who as a consequence shouldn't have begun as bad either).

It all ends up in having been two phases that humanity when through, and that they had to go through both to know both (and also forget the former to experience the late without it being coloured by the former).

57 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Sky Gods emanate their descendants sometimes, for example, and lots of Darkness gods have explicit genders.

The only ones I can thnk of that haven't reprodused solely by theselves like that are the Storm Gods.

45 minutes ago, Eff said:

What was more common there was the Gimbutas theory of primordial matriarchy and goddess worship, and Uz dental art is often reminiscent of ancient artwork like the Venus of Willendorf. Uz, then, as the primordial people, are matriarchal. 

Which is kind of interesting because there are New Agey theories (probably later ones) that say the more primordial people (so to speak, I'm not sure thats the best term in this case) were actually hermaphrodites and the division into genders and rise of matriarchies came later.

45 minutes ago, Eff said:

of differentiation as they were forced into contact with light.

What is the Gloranthan perspective on the relationship between :20-element-darkness: and :20-element-fire: ayway? I don't know much about it or what the two think of each other.

---

You didn't say anything about why Water's gender association is different in Glorantha than what is usual. 😢

(Yes I  know ythat Ocean Gods are usually (always?) masculine but thats the thing. Ocean gods are usualy male but water as an element is usually (I would say almost always) conected to women and the feminine.)

---

Still I appreciate your post. Thank you.

Edited by None
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17 minutes ago, None said:

Oh, I know about that and also about some later ideas about how the possible matriarchies that worshiped or venerated said Mother Goddess actually had at their end become just as opressive and sexist (albeit in a diferent way) as the aforementioned patriarchal Indo-Europeans (who as a consequence shouldn't have begun as bad either).

It all ends up in having been two phases that humanity when through, and that they had to go through both to know both (and also forget the former to experience the late without it being coloured by the former).

It's worth mentioning that these ideas have never really been supported by mainstream archeology. 

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11 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It's worth mentioning that these ideas have never really been supported by mainstream archeology. 

True, but knowing about stuff like this can be really useful when you like creating worlds and stories. Especially if you don't want to always dig into more usual worldbuilding and story ideas.

(Read: I'm a bit tired of standard mideaval fantasy-europe.)

Edited by None
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2 hours ago, None said:

True, but knowing about stuff like this can be really useful when you like creating worlds and stories. Especially if you don't want to always dig into more usual worldbuilding and story ideas.

(Read: I'm a bit tired of standard mideaval fantasy-europe.)

Oh, definitely.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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4 hours ago, None said:

True, but knowing about stuff like this can be really useful when you like creating worlds and stories. Especially if you don't want to always dig into more usual worldbuilding and story ideas.

(Read: I'm a bit tired of standard mideaval fantasy-europe.)

Except that much of it is based on 'The White Goddess' by Robert Graves - and he himself disowned it in later years, wondering what was wrong with him when he wrote it!  Far better to go to real ancient texts.

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19 hours ago, None said:

The only ones I can thnk of that haven't reprodused solely by theselves like that are the Storm Gods.

One example comes to mind. According to the Book of Heortling Mythology, Umath seems to have spawned a daughter of his own, Serenha in his (literal) wake, without anyone involved.

She doesn't figure much in mythology beyond being supposedly the mother of some of the spirits/elementals that Kolat later allies with, but there are some neat ideas about her. I personally think it would be neat if she turned out to be another name for Entekos, the Pelorian goddess of "right air".

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21 hours ago, Eff said:

the famous six boobs of a Mistress Race troll

My friend Uzmund Freud is one of the few trolls who will still talk to me and says this holy but somewhat controversial sextet is also sometimes the Seven Sacred Ancestors (minus one who always "talks in a local twang"), which points in turn to an archaic troll LBQ only without so much light of course. A BQ, as it were.

More when things calm down! And this is not actually thread drift.

Edited by scott-martin
stinger!
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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:
22 hours ago, None said:

The only ones I can thnk of that haven't reprodused solely by theselves like that are the Storm Gods.

One example comes to mind. According to the Book of Heortling Mythology, Umath seems to have spawned a daughter of his own, Serenha in his (literal) wake, without anyone involved.

I remember reading somewhere that Orlanth was in a really bad mood, with a bad headache, and threw it off to form Urain.

Maybe King of Sartar or Heortling Mythology, something officialish anyway.

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