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Why Esrolia for the Holy Country in RQG


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On 4/14/2021 at 6:45 PM, Eff said:

So the sense that Uz could be agender, genderless, gender null, just wasn't as salient a possibility there.

How come Water is the way it is in Glorantha then? Or the way the Orlanthi view gender?

Or am I missunderstanding something about Water here?

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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?

3 hours ago, None said:

How come Water is the way it is in Glorantha then? Or the way the Orlanthi view gender?

Or am I missunderstanding something about Water here?

Both of these things emerge later. Vinga and Nandan first are discovered at the tail end of the 80s and become prominent in the 90s, and Water remains perhaps the most mysterious of the elemental courts, and was even less explored until the 90s-2000s period when the really deep dives on Glorantha (including the Avalon Hill Glorantha Renaissance material like Sun County) start popping up.

Of course, the spaces that have been given thoughtful treatment are mostly ones where the sea is on the edge of things (with the exception of the book Blood over Gold), if present at all, and so in that sense we have generally been splashing about in the shallow end of rivers and rain, naiads and oceanids rather than nereids. Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha will give us a bit of a look at Wachaza, an important sea deity. From there we can take our first step into the deep end of the pool... but we will have to start swimming, eventually.

But with Water, the metaphor is one of fluidity, so it's perhaps not surprising that fluidity of gender is more upfront here.

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1 hour ago, Eff said:

Both of these things emerge later. Vinga and Nandan first are discovered at the tail end of the 80s and become prominent in the 90s, and Water remains perhaps the most mysterious of the elemental courts, and was even less explored until the 90s-2000s period when the really deep dives on Glorantha (including the Avalon Hill Glorantha Renaissance material like Sun County) start popping up.

Not quite. The Missing Lands were cut from the Genertela Box for publication in 1988 (IIRC), 4 years before any Vinga showed up in King of Sartar, and Nandan the Birthing Man was a scandalous new discovery in  the middle of the nineties.

The mythology of the Sea Tribe, with the three children/aspects of Zaramaka (Daliath: Intellect, Framanthe: Soul/Spirit, Sramak: Body) mating with one another created the three strands of sea divinities. That's already in the Wyrm's Footnotes series Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha that became the core part of the Sourcebook.

The Missing Lands spells this out, in a section that was skipped when the Guide was collected.

Tales of the Reaching Moon #10 printed a good portion of these myths (years before Missing Lands was finally released) but left out some of the more whacky ones. Or those were added afterwards to Missing Lands...

But no, the gender fluidity of at least one (each) of the first triplet (and also the second generation triplets - at least the Manthi and the Heler-Triolina-Nelat one) was long established.

1 hour ago, Eff said:

Of course, the spaces that have been given thoughtful treatment are mostly ones where the sea is on the edge of things (with the exception of the book Blood over Gold), if present at all, and so in that sense we have generally been splashing about in the shallow end of rivers and rain, naiads and oceanids rather than nereids. Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha will give us a bit of a look at Wachaza, an important sea deity. From there we can take our first step into the deep end of the pool... but we will have to start swimming, eventually.

Nymphs of any kind owe their ancestry to the example Uleria Tilnta the Grower set. They should almost have their own form rune. They are capable of parthenogenetic or sexual reproduction. The Malkioni trace their ancestry to the Tilntae, the Aldryami (except for the Vronkali) depend on them for reproduction, the Orlanthi claim descent of their ancestral storm god from the greatest of the mountain nymphs, Kero Fin.

Naiads, oceanids and nereids are just the water application of this principle, much like hags are the darkness application. There ought to be air nymphs, but those somehow fail to materialize in myth, unless you name Entekos, or "Orlanth's Sisters" in Dini on the Spike in the Downland Migration story.

1 hour ago, Eff said:

But with Water, the metaphor is one of fluidity, so it's perhaps not surprising that fluidity of gender is more upfront here.

Darkness is similarly fluid in terms of shape. Kyger Litor as the Hell Mother may be the (rather late) adoption of the nymph principle when the Man Rune appeared in the Celestial Court, alongside the Hsunchen-like ancestry of the beasts of darkness, or the fungal life. Other Darkness/Underworld species emerged independent from these concepts, like the Alkothi Shadzorings or the multitude of Adpara lesser antigods of the East like Andinni or Gorgers. Ethilrist's Hell conquests (Hound, Diokos night-mares, Goblins) are outside of this ancestry, too.

Niiads (something different from naiads) and tritons are the original Triolini, the people of the mer-kings like Wartain (strangely renamed Waertag in the Sourcebook). Malkioni classification make them the Srvuali from that strand of Sea Triplets, with the Manthi mer-deities their cousins. The entities of the bodies of water, descended from Framanthe and Sramak, are a lot less "people", but they would have been the ones who fielded Worcha the Raging Sea against the Vingkotling dry lands. (And Genert's Garden.)

The Cetoi and Piscoi Triolini are a lesser, mortal race of Burtae, of Storm and Sea ancestry. So was Malkion, and his son Waertag.

But then, Malkion (in other, earlier incarnations) was also Maseren, Paseren, and even the One and the Transcendent No Number. A different way to look at the divinity and ancestry of Malkion, a bit of an orthogonal truth to the myth of the Founder and the Prophet, and his various sons by various goddesses of whom at least Zzabur also claims Paseren status.

 

I think that Earth has its own brand of hermaphrodite archetype, too, Jernoti-us/a/um/x. Which also seeped into the Celestial (and) Lunar archetypes.

For Storm, we have Vinga, and various other Red Women, and Nandan, and the loan of Heler, all with a Burtae perspective. Storm is the only element coming from sexual propagation. Its descendants are defined by the sexual double binary (female reproduction or not, male reproduction or not) which results in four sexes: female/not male, female/male aka hermaphrodite, not female/male, and not female/not male.

When it comes to sexual behavior, Storm is anything but stodgy. Tat (young Orlanth) gets around, meets and mates Eurmal, and is way more huggy and kissy than most modern cis males are willing to tolerate, and all too ready to share even more affection regardless of plumbing. Plus he becomes the red-haired girl, with all the awkwardness experiencing the female state. He can do patriarch, too.

Ernalda never has experience being a man, but she has plenty experience as a tomboy in Enferalda myths. We don't get to hear anything about female affairs from her or her daughters (yet?), except as her contribution to Vinga's attempts to navigate sexuality, gender and marriage. Unless sisterly love gets raunchy, but then, transgression of human sexual mores is one of the most common expression of the divine. Twins of opposite sexes are practically destined to marry, whether in Tarsh or Caladraland.

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2 hours ago, Eff said:

But with Water, the metaphor is one of fluidity, so it's perhaps not surprising that fluidity of gender is more upfront here.

Which always takes me a moment to remember as outside Glorantha water is usually associated with intuition and emotions (but not the kind of fiery or intense and explosive emotions as associated with fire).

Even if fluidity comes up its always (as far as I know) strongly connected to the female. I belive I've mentioned that enough though and it's clear Glorantha takes water in another direction.

 

Instead I'm going to ask. Do you know anything about the personality of the Water Rune? because what could besummed up as 'fickle' or 'unpredictable' isn't much to go on.

 

2 hours ago, Eff said:

Vinga and Nandan first are discovered at the tail end of the 80s and become prominent in the 90s

This surprised me quite a lot considering how the game loves reminding everyone of Vinga (while Nandan barely gets a footnote).

58 minutes ago, Joerg said:

and Nandan the Birthing Man was a scandalous new discovery in  the middle of the nineties

This however does not surprise me nearly as much once I've taken all of the above into account.

(I'm actually not upset. It's just small a pet peeve of mine that the ability to kill stuff is somehow considered way more important than anything not connected with the ability to kill stuff is in so many situations.)

 

 

58 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The mythology of the Sea Tribe, with the three children/aspects of Zaramaka (Daliath: Intellect, Framanthe: Soul/Spirit, Sramak: Body) mating with one another created the three strands of sea divinities. That's already in the Wyrm's Footnotes series Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha that became the core part of the Sourcebook.

This makes it feel like water was quietly doing their own thing entirely separate from the rest of Glorantha.

 

58 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Nymphs of any kind owe their ancestry to the example Uleria Tilnta the Grower set. They should almost have their own form rune. They are capable of parthenogenetic or sexual reproduction. The Malkioni trace their ancestry to the Tilntae, the Aldryami (except for the Vronkali) depend on them for reproduction, the Orlanthi claim descent of their ancestral storm god from the greatest of the mountain nymphs, Kero Fin.

So there's actualy a rather strong conection between the Storm and Water gods? Or not? You're somehow making an argument for both at the same time.

58 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Naiads, oceanids and nereids are just the water application of this principle,

Ah, you meant Nymphs as their own class of beeing (more similar to the nymphs of greek mythology rather than a subset of Water.

58 minutes ago, Joerg said:

much like hags are the darkness application. There ought to be air nymphs, but those somehow fail to materialize in myth, unless you name Entekos, or "Orlanth's Sisters" in Dini on the Spike in the Downland Migration story.

No solar nymphs? Or did I miss the ones you mentioned?

 

58 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Ethilrist's Hell conquests (Hound, Diokos night-mares, Goblins) are outside of this ancestry, too.

Aren't Ethilrist's riding beasts actually connected to Yelm?

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51 minutes ago, None said:

Aren't Ethilrist's riding beasts actually connected to Yelm?

Technically this is what we call a "dumb" or "crazy genius" theory but I like the insight into his methodology and where it goes when he takes his eye off it. One day it will be useful to explore this secret connection.

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Tilnta

This is important in the larger discussion of the origin + evolution of gender. I tend to give them the Uleria rune that has been mostly annexed into modern earth but might be profitably examined in different elemental combinations. But who has time these days!

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2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Technically this is what we call a "dumb" or "crazy genius" theory but I like the insight into his methodology and where it goes when he takes his eye off it. One day it will be useful to explore this secret connection.

Thanks? I guess?

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3 hours ago, None said:

Aren't Ethilrist's riding beasts actually connected to Yelm?

As noted in the Bestiary: "The Black Horses of the Black Horse Troop were taken from the herds started when the Sun was a resident of Hell. The conditions of Hell made for a very different breed of horse."

There's a connection with Yelm's arrival in Hell, but the exact relationship is otherwise unknown.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

As noted in the Bestiary: "The Black Horses of the Black Horse Troop were taken from the herds started when the Sun was a resident of Hell. The conditions of Hell made for a very different breed of horse."

There's a connection with Yelm's arrival in Hell, but the exact relationship is otherwise unknown.

Well, I like the idea of Yelm creating a breed of hell horses after he was killed. 🙂

He got to have something to do while waiting for Orlanth to finally get it into his skull that maybe killing the sun wasn't such a great idea.

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14 minutes ago, None said:

Well, I like the idea of Yelm creating a breed of hell horses after he was killed.

He got to have something to do while waiting for Orlanth to finally get it into his skull that maybe killing the sun wasn't such a great idea.

Apparently Yelm had lots of sex in Hell. The Blue Moon that gave birth to the Artmali was sired in Hell, and had a number of planetary siblings.

Separation from the pure part (which continued to hover in the sky for most of the Lesser Darkness aka Storm Age) may have removed any prohibitions he may have had before. Hell is cold, after all.

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18 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Apparently Yelm had lots of sex in Hell. The Blue Moon that gave birth to the Artmali was sired in Hell, and had a number of planetary siblings.

Separation from the pure part (which continued to hover in the sky for most of the Lesser Darkness aka Storm Age) may have removed any prohibitions he may have had before. Hell is cold, after all.

I didn't mean it quite like that but it does make sense that Yelm without Light (the pure part) would be more like Lodril.

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I love the idea that Bijiif was a horndog, lol. 

5 hours ago, None said:

Thanks? I guess?

You should check out the "Your Dumbest Theory"-thread. It's not actually dumb at all, hence the compliment! 

8 hours ago, None said:

So there's actualy a rather strong conection between the Storm and Water gods? Or not? You're somehow making an argument for both at the same time.

They do seem to behave similarly aggressive and, well, vivaciously, you might say. Very dynamic and expansionistic, and perhaps similatly passionate at impulsive. At least if we disregard the deeper, more profound currents, which perhaps have more in common with Darkness. 

Sea and Storm interact a lot mythically, interbreed a lot, fight a lot, become buddies, etc. so that's there too. Some Storm move into the Sea (Ygg, Brastalos, etc.), and some Sea move into Storm (Heler, others possibly), and they co-create new races (various races of merfolk). 

8 hours ago, None said:

This makes it feel like water was quietly doing their own thing entirely separate from the rest of Glorantha.

While much of water was involved in interacting with/invading the rest of the cosmos, we shouldn't underestimate the sheer massiveness of Sea. The abyssal depths are for all intents and purposes their own world. Additionally, Sea has its own lineages of life and spirits and so on, so it CAN go at it alone, but it doesn't HAVE to. 

Again, I think it's quite a lot like Darkness in this respect. Parts of Darkness certainly interact with the rest of Glorantha, but there's stuff out there so deep and dark that it hardly has ever been interacting with other elements, simply because it's so vast and impenetrable.

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8 hours ago, None said:

This however does not surprise me nearly as much once I've taken all of the above into account.

(I'm actually not upset. It's just small a pet peeve of mine that the ability to kill stuff is somehow considered way more important than anything not connected with the ability to kill stuff is in so many situations.)

Yeah, this is something that you're not alone about. It's a part of a much broader issue of combat-centricness of roleplaying, a massive topic in its own right. It's why we don't hear a lot about the brewer god or the carpenter god either. 

It's not like vingans are all warriors, and nandans can't be warriors, but stereotypically, they kinda replicate some stereotyped gender roles (probably influenced more by Real World stereotypes than in-universe Orlanthi ones, imho)

 

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19 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

In Pamaltela, we see a different Earthen gender dynamic, imho.

Very different. My current thinking is that, to an extent, to both genders, the power of Earth is somewhat associated with the power of adulthood and social power, IMO, though still more associated with women (for whom it is linked to motherhood) than men (for whom it must be sought out and earned by right behaviour). Earth as the natural, central, element for both genders in society, rather than a gender duality like the Orlanthi or Solars. 

I don't think there is an Earth goddess for young, unmarried, women, or at least not a major one. Young women are associated more with other deities such as Nyanka. 

Faranar I think is a cult that women join at marriage, and is strongly associated with the Wife role. She lacks the Fertility powers of Aleshmara, her mother, which also represents her ownership of everything and full social power, which she probably needs to have enough wealth to move out and start her own household to assume. 

And Aleshmara is the full power of the Earth, head of family, provider of the things that are needed for life, and owner of almost everything. But it's not open to younger women. It may be usual to join Aleshmara when you have an adult daughter? 

And then eventually, Yanmorla, the primal earth, for old women, when she is no longer part of a nomadic household. She casts responsibility for others aside, settles into full time dealing with the Earth mysteries, including sexual magic for its own sake (without reproduction). Earth is no longer about social power for her. 

But men or women that do not want to be part of a household, who do not want to be part of the central society, often end up in roles that are associated with other elements - Keraun (Air), Nyanka (Water), Sikkanos (Air), Noruma (Fire). 

Meanwhile, the 'default' element for men is Fire - Vangono is a deity associated with young batchelor men, and Balumbasta is the 'average guy' god, but more importantly Cronisper is basically the only old mans god - once men step out of a social role, their raw nature is Fire. But a mature and sensible man worships Pamalt, and so embraces Earth powers. The personal might of men might be about fire, but political  and social power for men is all about Earth, and one of the central principles of Pamalt and Doraddi society is that social power is more important than personal might. 

 

On 4/15/2021 at 1:22 AM, None said:

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

Water is fairly strongly feminine among the Doraddi, too - the only two notable water deities are Nyanka and Tamakderu, both female, and Water is very strongly associated with feminine mysteries, reproduction and birth. 

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On 4/17/2021 at 1:42 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

It's why we don't hear a lot about the brewer god or the carpenter god either. 

Even though I immagine initiates of the brewer god are concidered really important in most communities.

Imagine the horror of any Orlanthi chief or king that wants to hold a victory feas only to discover that all of the brewing god's initiates are dead and there isn't anything left to drink.

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On 4/18/2021 at 8:05 AM, davecake said:

Meanwhile, the 'default' element for men is Fire - Vangono is a deity associated with young batchelor men, and Balumbasta is the 'average guy' god, but more importantly Cronisper is basically the only old mans god - once men step out of a social role, their raw nature is Fire. But a mature and sensible man worships Pamalt, and so embraces Earth powers.

Pamalt has a very strong presence in Pamaltela (if the name didn't mke that obvious enough), huh?

On 4/18/2021 at 8:05 AM, davecake said:

 

I don't think there is an Earth goddess for young, unmarried, women, or at least not a major one. Young women are associated more with other deities such as Nyanka. 

Faranar I think is a cult that women join at marriage, and is strongly associated with the Wife role. She lacks the Fertility powers of Aleshmara, her mother, which also represents her ownership of everything and full social power, which she probably needs to have enough wealth to move out and start her own household to assume. 

And Aleshmara is the full power of the Earth, head of family, provider of the things that are needed for life, and owner of almost everything. But it's not open to younger women. It may be usual to join Aleshmara when you have an adult daughter? 

And then eventually, Yanmorla, the primal earth, for old women, when she is no longer part of a nomadic household. She casts responsibility for others aside, settles into full time dealing with the Earth mysteries, including sexual magic for its own sake (without reproduction). Earth is no longer about social power for her. 

This is pretty similar to the Ernaldan earth cults, although I'm guessing several of the similarities are only superficial as I'm not sure if Ernalda's model would even work in the enviroment you've just described.

Certainly not the same way as in Northern Glorantha. Pamalt doesn't sem to be as, well, stupid as Orlanth.

On 4/18/2021 at 8:05 AM, davecake said:

Water is fairly strongly feminine among the Doraddi, too - the only two notable water deities are Nyanka and Tamakderu, both female, and Water is very strongly associated with feminine mysteries, reproduction and birth. 

That's interesting. So Water has more or less taken the place of Earth among the Doraddi?

I'm getting the impression that Water has more of a presence in Pamaltela than in Northern Glorantha.

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On 4/19/2021 at 3:14 PM, None said:

Certainly not the same way as in Northern Glorantha. Pamalt doesn't sem to be as, well, stupid as Orlanth.

Pamalt also doesn't need to do everything himself. Some of his greatest deeds are either done by everyone working together (such as the Firefall), or done by others at Pamalts instruction (eg the raising of the Fense mountains). And Pamalt tends to ask others first, rather than rushing off and doing the deed (like Orlanth) and then trying to fix his mistakes later. 

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On 4/19/2021 at 3:14 PM, None said:

That's interesting. So Water has more or less taken the place of Earth among the Doraddi?

No, providing all the necessities of life is still very much an Earth thing, Earth is still very much the foundation of life. 

But the role of Water in procreation is emphasised in Pamaltela. Without Water, Earth can sustain life but not create new life. 

On 4/19/2021 at 3:14 PM, None said:

I'm getting the impression that Water has more of a presence in Pamaltela than in Northern Glorantha.

Magically, though in practice Jolar does not have huge amounts of water, and Tarien is quite dry. 

The odd thing is that Tamukderu is supposed to be the ocean deity and a major deity, but very little of the Doraddi grasslands contacts the oceans in modern Pamaltela. Not quite sure how that is resolved. 

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3 hours ago, davecake said:

No, providing all the necessities of life is still very much an Earth thing, Earth is still very much the foundation of life. 

But the role of Water in procreation is emphasised in Pamaltela. Without Water, Earth can sustain life but not create new life. 

Water plays a bit of a corrosive role - without drinking water, the first Agimori were immortal but infertile. By taking in water, their life force was washing away, which enabled them to pass it on to a next generation.

 

3 hours ago, davecake said:

Magically, though in practice Jolar does not have huge amounts of water, and Tarien is quite dry. 

That's why the Oases play a big role in Pamaltela, much like in Prax, although with the difference that the oasis people down south are prestigious bloodlines rather than abject slaves.

But then, their Tada figure (Pamalt as the new son-in-law in earth-grandmother's hut, as opposed to the earth king worshiped by the Errinoru elves which parallels Genert as continental deity) emerged alive and victorious from the Greater Darkness.

3 hours ago, davecake said:

The odd thing is that Tamukderu is supposed to be the ocean deity and a major deity, but very little of the Doraddi grasslands contacts the oceans in modern Pamaltela. Not quite sure how that is resolved. 

Might be the deity of the former Nargan Sea which was at the heart of the Doraddi lands.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

But then, their Tada figure (Pamalt as the new son-in-law in earth-grandmother's hut

I find it really odd that you consistently declare Tada to the equivalent to Pamalt, rather than the obvious Genert. 

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4 hours ago, davecake said:

I find it really odd that you consistently declare Tada to the equivalent to Pamalt, rather than the obvious Genert. 

Pamalt is both. The one appearing in Doraddi stories follows pretty much the itinerary of Tada - pushing up a range of mountains to seal off the bad neighbors, for instance, or cheating the invader (bringing the Necklace to a one-on-one duel vs. hiding Eiritha under her hills).

I don't know why Genert acted through an avatar with a decidedly trickster-like streak.

Pamalt raising the Fense mountains to stop his aldryami worshipers from reaching his garden makes it feel like there were two aspects operating there, one giving fertility regardless of association, the other doing his best to keep his chosen creations from being overwhelmed by another group using that fertility against them.

Pamalt as the continental source of fertility (and sovereignty?) is something different from Pamalt the new husband and guardian of Aleshmara's not so little family. Genert and Tada have a somewhat well defined division of labor between them. In Pamaltela, both these jobs bear Pamalt's name.

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22 hours ago, Joerg said:

Water plays a bit of a corrosive role - without drinking water, the first Agimori were immortal but infertile. By taking in water, their life force was washing away, which enabled them to pass it on to a next generation.

Are you sure that isn't due to the relationship between Water and Fire?

On 4/21/2021 at 6:39 AM, davecake said:

Pamalt also doesn't need to do everything himself. Some of his greatest deeds are either done by everyone working together (such as the Firefall), or done by others at Pamalts instruction (eg the raising of the Fense mountains). And Pamalt tends to ask others first, rather than rushing off and doing the deed (like Orlanth) and then trying to fix his mistakes later. 

Defenitely smaterthan Orlanth then.😑

I'm beginning to wonder just how much would be different in Genertla if Genert was alive.

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6 hours ago, None said:

I'm beginning to wonder just how much would be different in Genertla if Genert was alive.

It's worth considering that the notion of Pamalt being the equivalent of Genert is, as far as I understand, probably a God Learner notion. They identified this big, powerful Earth god associated with leadership in the southern continent, and they made the connections, much as we do, to Genertelan myths about Genert. However, these aren't really native Doraddi concepts, from what I recall. That doesn't mean it's wrong, but it's worth considering. 

All that being said, I think the implications are that a surviving Genert probably would have produced a more... harmonic and pleasant Genertela, perhaps. But who knows.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Please either return to the original topic or create a new thread.

Why not do both?

Here:

and:

Could someone (or several of you) explain the Esrolian Temple City Ezel, the council of Grandmothes that rule it, how it woks, and what their stance on Genert is?

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