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Treasures from the Dawning of Glorantha


jajagappa

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Jeff shared a couple ancient treasures from the Dawning of Glorantha over on FB.  Thought they be of interest here as well.

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An account from earliest records of Glorantha, probably circa 350 ST.
The City of the Gods
The City of the Gods (Hrelar Amali) is located on the Crimson Plains between the lands of Ralios and Seshnela. It is the spot where Flamal, beloved of Gata, fell at the hands of Eurmal the Murderer during the Great War between the Gods. For this reason it is considered one of the most sacred spots in all Acos.
At the death of Flamal, Gata ordered that a temple be built on the spot. The Hsunchen did this, adding a temple to Gata herself and one to Nakala, who carried off the body of Flamal, as appeasement to her. When the Seshnegi captured the land around the area, the added temples to Humakt and Sramak, their native gods. Later temples to the other Nine were added, as well as to many other of the lesser gods. The priests were allowed to live there, as well as visitants, but there were not allowed to be any regular living quarters built. To guarantee the sanctity of the place, the gods made it possible for the priests to never labor, giving food and other things themselves. They also guaranteed the sacredness of the place by oaths which protected any pilgrims and priests there or on the way, so long as they wore the yellow robes.
Frazral is the mouthpiece of the temple, acting for any god who is in charge at the time. He is called Chief of the Srvuiali, having been created by all the Nine from their blood.
 
Subsequent Comments:
The dating of this is difficult. I think it dates to the era of belt buckles if not before. Certainly before any had heard of the Red Goddess, Sartar, or Dragon Pass. Back then, all of that was mere krjalki and srvulai. But Gbaji already was threatened, although his tales were not yet fully known or dated.
 
But we can see what was there before the Lightbringer missionaries came with the rest of the stories and the correct names, before Nysalor showed links we hadn't realised, before Arkat discovered truths through desperate measures, and before the God Learners rationalised everything.
 
It is Wisconsin at least. Maybe even early California. We are just before things click together and the Lightbringers bring forth the Dawn.
 
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Also from Jeff on FB:

Another document from near the Dawn of Time. I believe it dates to the Wisconsin era, when the earliest Seshnegi were locked in conflict with the Pendali and long before the first Lightbringer came to the West.
The world in the early times was populated by many different races. The lands were shaped differently, and it was before the great conflict with the children of Jotimam, for that took place in the time of Men, many years later.
The Mostali were the first race. They were created by Urtiam as his servants. They were numerous, and they were close to Lodril, the celestial smith, and it is from him that they learned the arts which they preserved forever.
They were loosely joined together in a nation, and their king was named Raliktol. They were short of stature in comparison with other beings, but they were wise. They lived in vast underground caverns, or in cities which they built in imitation of the celestial palaces.
The Hecalonit were another race. They were the children of the gods and therefore of high origins. They were gigantic in size, towering over the other races. The oldest among them at times could change their size, and sired children with other races.
The Aldryami were servants of the terrestial gods. They were first made from the spittle of the Great Gods. They knew all the secrets of the land, and were close to nature. They needed no homes, but lived in the forests with the animals. They were handsome and none on land could compete with their beauty.
The Triolini were the race that lived in the waters of the wrold. They had tails of fish and could not go onto land, but their first-made had the power to change their shape into that of land beings.
In the air lived the Kolati. Although today they are invisible to the eyes of Men, they are visible to the Elder Races, except for the few first created who have the ability to become totally invisible to mortals, just as any of the oldest Srvuali have.
Occasionally the Dehori would be seen on the surface. They peacefully lived with other beings. At a few gatherings, the Promalti would also attend.
This was the time for the Elder race of Animals, and many of these animals were intelligent enough for people to converse with them concerning the highest matters, and all had the power of speech.
This characteristics also pertained to the Father-Plants of the world. These were the first of the plants, created by Goddess Florla and the Smith Makram and also with help from other gods. These Eldests of plants could speak to other beings. This trait, however, did not pass on to their children.
 
Subsequent Comment:
This text, although ancient, and lacking the greater insights of the Lightbringers or the benefits of the God Learners and their magical synthesis movement, nonetheless has many core Gloranthan truths rarely expressed so plainly.
 
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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

does Jeff refer to in-universe or RW age? Does the "eras" refer to something like where Greg lived when he wrote them?

I believe it is a bit of both. 

Greg first began exploring/writing about Glorantha in the 60's, first while in Wisconsin at Beloit College, and then moving to California.  Hence you'll see reference to "Wisconsin era" - e.g. among his earliest writings.

These writings pre-date the revelations of the Lightbringers, the God-learners, etc. (e.g. writings in the 70's which began to coalesce the mythos).  But from an in-world perspective, they suggest understandings of the world before the Dawning or during the First Age when such mythic synthesis was yet to occur.

 

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13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Jeff shared a couple ancient treasures from the Dawning of Glorantha over on FB.  Thought they be of interest here as well.

 

jajagappa, you are a lovely man. Thanks for keeping us—the knights who do not say FB (or nee)—up to date!

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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20 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Lumberjacks don’t taste that good! I mean they are ok as the song says...

yeah, better stick with dryads

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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32 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

I asked this on FB, but could someone explain the "Wisconsin era" thing?  

Jeff hinted it may be a political dicey thing in some way, so I can accept if the answer is "no".

See up-thread, but basically Greg was a student in Wisconsin for a while.

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Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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1 hour ago, Nevermet said:

sorry I missed that

Greg was a student at Beloit College in Wisconsin for a relatively short period (ca. 1966 IIRC) before moving to California, but that seems to be the period that marks the Genesis of Glorantha. 

So this "dating", as well as "early California", "belt buckles", etc. reflect either where Greg was or what he was doing for a living while he began developing what became early Gloranthan documents.  Most of these, I believe, are set somewhere in western Glorantha, but they all pre-date the discovery of the Lightbringers, God Learners (i.e. when Greg developed the Monomyth and brought many early names & info together), the Red Moon, etc.

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On 6/17/2021 at 9:29 PM, jajagappa said:

Another document from near the Dawn of Time. I believe it dates to the Wisconsin era, when the earliest Seshnegi were locked in conflict with the Pendali and long before the first Lightbringer came to the West.

The Hecalonit were another race. They were the children of the gods and therefore of high origins. They were gigantic in size, towering over the other races. The oldest among them at times could change their size, and sired children with other races.

Now I want to play it that Gonn Orta is a Hecalonit.

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One other related post by Jeff on FB:

Another ancient manuscript from the early Dawn Age. Again I think this might date to the Wisconsin era.
THE SESHNEGI were marked culturally by an inspiring burst of growth over the realms of the 150 years ruled by the Serpent Kings. Despite the wars of expansion to fill their granted land the Seshnegi found time to develop arts to a high pitch of quality. Their society was tuned to a high degree of compassion through its flowering ages, believing that if a man should give its life for a country then the country should give its life for him. The ridiculous Scorpion men wars were fought over that right, but the rigidity of that foreign policy proved a solid and trusty front for the highly nationalistic peoples of Seshnela. Even before their culture had filled the lands of Seshenla they had already began expanding to fill the lands surrounding it.
During their later expansion period the energies of Seshenla were naturally directed outwards rather than inwards, and the development of the arts of any sort stagnated in growth, but expanded geographically. The superior posture and obviously superior lifestyle of the Seshnegi attracted foreigners wholesale, despite the semi privileges of their half-citizen status. After a couple of generation the old civilizations would be gone, replaced seemingly forever with the Seshnegi culture, complete with freedom-fighting knighthoods and snake-worshiping priestesses.
Seshnegi expansion was successful because of the superiority of its culture in one respect, but this was supported by the superiority of its pantheon. The gods of Seshnela were a synthesis of the dominant cults of the land, whereupon it was the royal policy of serpent kings to select one temple as the dominant one in the land and raise its status. Thus there was a balance between the five elements which was available to the battlefield magicians of the Seshnegi. This flexibility was denied to most of the foes of the Seshnegi, and even the oddest foreign deity would easily find a way into the sprawling “lower pantheon” of the Seshnegi empire.
Militarily, the Seshnegi army was very flexible at its earliest stages. In the reign of the Serpent Kings the Knighthood were trained in all arms and, although they were famous and greatly successful for their body armor and heavy spears, tribes of the interior they often scrambled up hills in armor to fight their enemies.
Around the year 250, when overseas e imperial expansion demanded a much larger army of professionals, there was a major reform in the Seshnegi and allied armies, so that the once all-purpose knights were divided into mounted and foot types, plus foot archers. The absence of foot mounted archers is explained by the obvious lack of any such deity even among the multitudes of lesser deities in the Seshnegi pantheons. Such an absence can only be explained as deliberate, if subtle, intervention by the god involved, and cause for this grudge can be found in the old story about when Warera, wife of the Founder of the race, snubbed Jaralitor, virgin of the Sun, the fire rider armed with a bow which so many nomad types pray to. Such distantly removed mythical events often reverberate that way through history.
Seshnela found solid conquests in nearby lands, and also through the coastal and river-bottom lands of Fronela. They penetrated through to the central lakes of Ralios, but were staunchly fought by the barbarians beyond that. While they were friends with the Triolini races the Seshnegi even carried invasion as far as the southern edges of the Empire of the Wyrm’s Friends, but the Sea/Land wars which destroyed the Seshnegi navy left the invaders stranded and later they surrendered.
It was in Fronela that the first major clash with anything of a power approaching their own came to Seshnela. That was the contact between the traders of the Seshnegi and the Empire of the Wyrm’s Friends in the barbarian lands of Fronela, beginning a conflict which would last for 175 years. These were the Fronela Trading Wars.
 
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14 hours ago, AlHazred said:

Now I want to play it that Gonn Orta is a Hecalonit.

When Gonn Orta passed through Dara Happa on his way to Nida, he apparently picked up the Dara Happan Emperor Sothenik as a travel companion. Sothenik did not return to Dara Happa. Whether the term Hecolanti applies to Gonn Orta as well or only to his giant companions isn't quite clear.

The most ancient myths of Annilla (so far published only in RQ3 Troll Gods, although I expect that to change by the end of this year) connect the Elder Giants of the Rockwoods to the Blue Moon goddess.

Still, at least the Lunar Empire managed to aggravate the Pass Giant when they tried to capture and plunder his daughter in 1621, which explains nicely why he is going to muster against the Empire.

 

Greg's early writings had a range of elemental entities with distinctive names. The term Promalti appears to be tied to Aether Primolt, the Likiti are the earth entities of ancient Seshnela, and so on. The earliest mention of darkness beings bear more resemblance to the Dehori (or the Dehori shape of Kitori) than they do to the Uz, although by the time of RQ1, the curse of kin clearly has been established. The first published trolls are of course the units of Cragspider in White Bear and Red Moon.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Posted (edited)

Here's another really old piece Jeff has shared:

Here's another fragment that is so old it is almost before the Dawn. Definitely in the WIsconsin era. It manages to combine Thanmor and Snodal into a single story, you get the earliest glimpse of the White Bear or at least the Big Bear, and lots more. You need to squint a lot here, like reading an Alexandrine Romance of the 12th century, but oh gosh the outline can be seen.
Story of Thanmor-Ratesk
Thanmor was a young man at the time, the hair barely grown from his face. He was born to the warrior class of the Jonati, a barbarian tribe north of Frontem.
At that time, the Jonati had a particular ceremony. A youth, sometimes male, sometimes female, was brought to a certain spot in their lands, and there he was tied, unarmed and helpless. During the night there emerged a huge bear which killed and at the helpless victim. It was done because the founder of the tribe, one named Jonat, had sinned against the gods and in order to free himself from the bondage he would be in after he died, it was required that every year the tribe sacrifice one youth to him. It happened near the fall season.
But one day it chanced that the lot fell to a young maiden, and she was the betrothed of Thanmor. He obviously disliked the sacrifice, and against the words of the elders of the tribe, he swore to rescue his woman. He hid in the woods, and when the bear came, he slew it with his spear and sword. But in the process his woman was also killed.
When the elders heard this they captured the man, who was hiding in fear at the time. He tried to defend himself, but during the council there appeared the ghost of Jonat. The ghost condemned the youth, saying that none of the tribe could now have freedom after death unless they suceeded in killing great numbers of the enemy. Also Thanmor was outlawed, and the ancestors of him said that they would never help him again until he succeeded in capturing the seven chiefs of the Jonati. If he died before he succeeded, he would be condemned to the darkest pits of Nakala after death. He fled from the council, and hid in the woods. He decided to try to warn the Frontemi who were sure to be attacked, but he was too late in deciding. He was traveling south when he witness the battle where the Frontemi lost utterly. He managed to escape with the leader of their army, however, who was Prince Snodal.
They traveled north, planning to go to the lands of the snow-dwellers and await the coming of a trade ship from Frontem. On the way, however, Snodal was captured by the Hrolli (snow-demons), and Thanmor barely escaped himself. He went to the snow-dwellers and stayed there until the coming of the trade ship when he went south to the kingdom of Frontem.
In Frontem he lived in the city of Frontan, in the slums, among the other brigands and outlaws. There he stayed for a time, building up a following and becoming a leader of reknown. When the army was raised again to great numbers to fight the feared invasion to the south, Thanmor offered his band to the king, Krital by name, as light cavalry. In dire straits the king accepted.
It was then that Snodal returned. He made peace with the Daga, and then prepared to fight the following Krjalki. Thanmor, now promoted to commander of the barbarian mercenaries, became friends with Snodal, at least as much as was possible between the two divergent characters. After the defeat of the Krjalki, Thanmor took his band and went north again, seeking the fulfillment of his geas.
Once there he made peace with the nymph of the land, and her dragon pbrother. He married her, and together they finally defeated the seven Jonati chieftains, as well as some other surrounding tribes. He ascended to kingship of the united lands, and a new kingdom was made.
Edited by jajagappa
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