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Yelm worship in Dragon’s Pass


GoldShogun

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Hello, super new to the world of Glorantha. Loving the lore and the rules and have a question for those more knowledgeable.

Hopefully sometime in the future I will be joining a Runequest game and one of the players is thinking of playing a solar worshipping Orlanthi. They seem quite interested specifically in Yelm which from reading the lore seems rather difficult.

From my newb understanding solar worshipping Orlanthi all pretty much follow Yelmalio/Elmal with the Grazelanders following Yelm under a different name, Is there any presence of Yelm’s cult in Orlanthi lands?

Second question, how widespread is Yelm’s cult in Dragon’s Pass, I understand it exists where the Grazelanders dwell but is it present anywhere else in the region?

These questions will probably be answered in the future cults book but nonetheless I’m still curios about it now and unsure what resources to look into for an answer.

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1) None. Orlanthi don’t worship Yelm, any more than Yelmic types worship Orlanth.

2) Probably small shrines in Lunar Tarsh and the Sun Dome Temples at most. As a minor associate of the Yelmalio cult. Not as a ruling cult in its own right.

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21 hours ago, GoldShogun said:

From my newb understanding solar worshipping Orlanthi all pretty much follow Yelmalio/Elmal with the Grazelanders following Yelm under a different name, Is there any presence of Yelm’s cult in Orlanthi lands?

As Nick, notes, there will be shrines to Yelm in Sun Dome temples, probably at Vanntar and Boldhome, so associated with Yelmalio.

21 hours ago, GoldShogun said:

Second question, how widespread is Yelm’s cult in Dragon’s Pass, I understand it exists where the Grazelanders dwell but is it present anywhere else in the region?

Among the Grazelanders as Yu-Kargzant, but otherwise only in Yelmalio temples or perhaps small shrines in Tarsh and probably not with anything approaching a cult with any significant membership. And to a Dara Happan, the Yelmalions are barbarous hill-landers, little better than their savage Storm worshipping neighbours.

If your player wishes to worship a Solar god in Dragon Pass, their options are probably limited to a Grazelander, a Yelmalion, or an exiled or hostage Dara Happan noble who hasn't been ransomed or has chosen not to go home, the latter being challenging, and they'd have to visit a Yelmalio temple to worship at its shrine.

Edited by M Helsdon
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21 hours ago, GoldShogun said:

Hopefully sometime in the future I will be joining a Runequest game and one of the players is thinking of playing a solar worshipping Orlanthi. They seem quite interested specifically in Yelm which from reading the lore seems rather difficult.

Lolwat?  Yelm interests you? 😉 You should check out "The Glorious Reascent of Yelm", "The Fortunate Successions", and "The Entekosiad" in the Stafford Library. 

21 hours ago, GoldShogun said:

From my newb understanding solar worshipping Orlanthi all pretty much follow Yelmalio/Elmal with the Grazelanders following Yelm under a different name, Is there any presence of Yelm’s cult in Orlanthi lands?

Your "newb" perspective is correct.  The Orlanthi call the sun of their hills by the name of Elmal.  He is not the big sun, he is the light in the hills and of horses and stewardship.  The bonus with Elmal over Yelmalio is that Elmal gets Fireblade and Firearrow, because Elmal never bled away his fire powers on the hill of gold.

21 hours ago, GoldShogun said:

Second question, how widespread is Yelm’s cult in Dragon’s Pass, I understand it exists where the Grazelanders dwell but is it present anywhere else in the region?

It is faintly possible there is a shrine to Yelm in Furthest, which is the capital of Lunar Tarsh, and is likely to have a small community of Dara Happan migrants.  The Sun Dome Valley will also maintain a shrine to Yelm in order to get his Fiery Father's associated cult spell Sunspear. A Yelm worshipper could potentially renew their rune magic there, but probably couldn't gain new spells other than Sun Spear  and Cats Eye (from treating Yelmalio as an associated cult).

 

Edited by Darius West
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Everyone seems to have hit the major points. Yelm is an associate of Yelmalio (though not Elmal), and in Dragon Pass the only people who worship him directly are the Grazelanders, under the name Yu-Kargzant. Yelmalians technically are supposed to defer to Yelm priests, though in practice there's not a whole lot of interaction and the little sun generally keeps himself independent of the larger solar pantheon, especially among the Orlanthi. Of course, it should be noted that everyone does still recognize Yelm as a critically important god, being the sun and all, it's just that the Orlanthi don't like him on a personal level, Yelm being the stubborn, demanding, oppressive rival of Orlanth.

Also a slight correction to what Darius said: as of the current age, Orlanthi acknowledge that Elmal and Yelmalio the same little sun, and while both names may be used most people call him Yelmalio. There's not a huge difference between the cults, besides that Elmal is associated with Orlanth instead of Yelm and doesn't get the gifts and geases of the sun domers. Neither offer fire magic, the little sun bled away its most intense heat in the darkness. Some older material doesn't adhere to this current version of things, and if you want to use that then all power to you, but this is how it's gonna be in RQG stuff moving forward.

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I wonder whether the Moonson Imperator cult which should be present in every Lunar administrative franchise would qualify as the cult of Yelm. If so, Provincial Tarsh would have quite a few places of worship, whereas any such places in Old Sartar would have been purged.

Alda-chur on the other hand is bound to have Yelm in both as his associate to Yelmalio and in his Imperial aspect.

 

There is no easy way for an Orlanthi to join the cult of Yelm, even if he happens to be the byblow of a son of Moonson that will need some proof by heroquesting and (probably harder) getting acknowledgement from the Imperial bureaucracy, and finally it will require a temple of Yelm to confirm these through initiation.

There appear to be a few odd Grazers living among the Orlanthi, like the stable-keeper in post-Windstop Apple Lane. Taking a "resident Grazer" background opens that avenue somewhat.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 6/24/2021 at 1:26 PM, GoldShogun said:

From my newb understanding solar worshipping Orlanthi all pretty much follow Yelmalio/Elmal with the Grazelanders following Yelm under a different name, Is there any presence of Yelm’s cult in Orlanthi lands?

Probably not.

Yelm the Emperor is seen as Orlanth's rival and there is not a place for Yelm Temples in Orlanthi lands.

Even among Yelmalians, Yelm if the Bog Boss, the Overlord, the Faraway Emperor. They love and respect him but like the fact that he is faraway even more. Yelm Initiates outrank all Yelmalians, so they tend to lord it over them when they come to visit, which Yelmalians absolutely hate.

On 6/24/2021 at 1:26 PM, GoldShogun said:

Second question, how widespread is Yelm’s cult in Dragon’s Pass, I understand it exists where the Grazelanders dwell but is it present anywhere else in the region?

It is present among the Grazelanders, for sure.

Every Yelmalio Temple will have a Yelm Shrine, but will probably not have any Yelm cultists.

Maybe Tarsh might have Yelm shrines, but not much more than that.

Yelm is definitely a Dara Happan cult to the Orlanthi, so is a foreigner and hostile cult, despite what the Cult Relationship Table might possibly say.

On 6/25/2021 at 1:10 PM, Joerg said:

I wonder whether the Moonson Imperator cult which should be present in every Lunar administrative franchise would qualify as the cult of Yelm

Yes, it is almost certainly a subcult of Yelm, but not all cultists worship Yelm.

Moonson Imperator shrines probably also count as Shrines to Yelm, as Moonson is the Red Emperor, the incarnation of Yelm in the world.

 

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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15 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

That's the kind of question answered by gaming, not by a forum

I agree. IMO Yelmic cultures are strongly patrilineal so the default answer is "Yes," but any wicked uncles or jealous rivals would have a field day insinuating that they can't be certain about the child's parentage ("You know what Orlanthi women are like...") unless they first complete various Tasks to prove their Yelmish uprightness... (cue several heroic quests in which the heir unwittingly takes Orlanth's role vs. the Yelmic patriarchy, ultimately winning of course because we all like happy endings).

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16 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

(cue several heroic quests in which the heir unwittingly takes Orlanth's role vs. the Yelmic patriarchy, ultimately winning of course because we all like happy endings).

Or very wittingly, if he grew up among the Orlanthi or at least knows the stories from his mother. Though acting like Orlanth to prove your Yelmic-ness seems like the kind of shenanigans that nets you some points for your next Illumination check.

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On 6/28/2021 at 4:43 AM, Grievous said:

How about the somewhat unclear Yelmic influence which spread before the whole Yelmalion affair/crisis? I seem to recall that had something to do with plowing, but I've wondered about whether this was tied into some form of Yelmic worship as well.

The Lunar Empire was Big and Rich and they were not.

This no doubt lead to some cultural influence in the area closest to Tarsh and facilitated the whole Yelmalio cult rising thing.

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On 7/2/2021 at 3:33 AM, John Biles said:

The Lunar Empire was Big and Rich and they were not.

This no doubt lead to some cultural influence in the area closest to Tarsh and facilitated the whole Yelmalio cult rising thing.

The current view seems to have Sartar looking pretty rich, however. Certainly not an empire, though. So, maybe not for the country bumpkins (which are not necessarily the most likely to pick up Lunar/Yelmic influence either), but there is wealth to be had. This could suggest that this foreign trade blossomed among those who maybe felt left out.

Also, the Dinacoli spring to mind. Trying to square the circle about everything that's been said about them in the past is a bit difficult, so my mind is still trying to figure them out in relation to everything else (and within the Yelmalio/Elmal complex). If Tarsh is the conduit for the Yelmic current (which makes sense), then they'd (and/or perhaps parts of them that moved south - I think the Lorthing have at some point been described thus, I believe) also possibly fit in with this trend. Maybe a development that occurred after the dreadful Brangbane business. They did join Sartar only after Grizzly Peak though (which is where Monrogh died). Later on, they're known to be rich as well, so there's that. I dunno, just riffing now!

Edited by Grievous
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Who knows whether it is still canon but wasn't Harvar Ironfist the pro-Lunar Duke of Alda-Chur angling to somehow get himself declared an Initiate of Yelm before he got eaten by that dragon?

(and given that according to the Dara Happans Yelm ruled 100,000 years ago and had multiple sons shouldn't pretty much everyone be descended from Yelm at some point - the one thing the DH nobles have on everyone else is their ability to trace that descent).

 

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26 minutes ago, Professor Chaos said:

Who knows whether it is still canon but wasn't Harvar Ironfist the pro-Lunar Duke of Alda-Chur angling to somehow get himself declared an Initiate of Yelm before he got eaten by that dragon?

(and given that according to the Dara Happans Yelm ruled 100,000 years ago and had multiple sons shouldn't pretty much everyone be descended from Yelm at some point - the one thing the DH nobles have on everyone else is their ability to trace that descent).

 

That presumes a degree of mobility that is often not the case in Glorantha, though probably much of Peloria would be descended from Yelm by now.

That would certainly help explain how everyone and their dog has passed the Ten Tests at some point.

Edited by John Biles
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Given that Genertela is *only* the size of the United States and there have been at least five continent-spanning empires over the past 50 or so generations I'd say there is probably quite a lot of mobility - even during The Closing you still had the Lunar Empire inexorably expanding and driving waves of refugees before it and then Sheng Seleris doing the same and then the restored Lunar Empire expanding again bringing unity, peace and plenty and greatly expanded migration opportunities to Dara Happans and ungrateful barbarians alike.

Throw in the 100,000+ years or 4,000 generations of Yelm's Golden Empire, the Gods War etc and I'd guess that mathematically most central Genertelans would have to be descended from Yelm at some point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, dumuzid said:

I seem to recall reading here on the forums that you only count as 'descended from Yelm' through the paternal line, but I don't have any textual sources to back that up, and indeed would like to see the point clarified.

Within four generations of a God or another Emperor is the Dara Happan standard.

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1 hour ago, dumuzid said:

sure, but that's the requirement for becoming emperor, not joining the Yelm cult period

But then, the post of the Emperor makes you the head of the Yelm cult. Even individuals of dubious descent like Denesiod or Moonson Takenegi. And it validates all offspring as of Yelmic lineage.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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8 hours ago, John Biles said:

hat presumes a degree of mobility that is often not the case in Glorantha, though probably much of Peloria would be descended from Yelm by now.

Yelm the Elder used to allow Priests from solar cults to join, under certain circumstances. I am not sure if that it still the case, but it might have been possible with Harvar Ironfist.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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