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Aeolian Notes


jajagappa

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From Jeff's recent FB post on the topic:

One of the more beloved minor cultures among many players are the Aeolians - sorcery-using Orlanthi or Orlanth-worshiping Malkioni that live in the south of Heortland. Now it is worth keeping in mind that there are somewhere around 50k Aeolians in total, maybe more, maybe less. That puts the total number of Aeolians at around the size of five Sartarite tribes.
Now that puts some big limitations on them - the other is that they are in contact with the God Forgot "atheists", who also number about 50k. These two are separate communities and religions, even if they are often conflated together by other Kethaelans.
 
> If we assume that less than 5% of the adult population have learned sorcery, there might be 1500 people with sorcery skills among the Aeolians. For comparison, there might be 1000 Lhankor Mhy initiates with some sorcery skills in all of Sartar. But Nochet might have twice that many Lhankor Mhy initiates that know sorcery, probably more.
 
> I tend to think of the Aeolians as being roughly analogous to the Druze or Yazidi. They are an ethnoreligious group that are always a minority outside of their strongholds.
> As an aside, I do not believe that the Aeolians try to convert anyone. I am not sure they even accept converts!
 
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On 7/25/2021 at 9:28 AM, jajagappa said:
> As an aside, I do not believe that the Aeolians try to convert anyone. I am not sure they even accept converts!
 

That makes them more like the Druze. I hope they wear distinctive outfits and politely avoid discussing their sorcery with outsiders, just repeating their Orlanthiness while smiling and serving remarkable food and the finest imported mate in their razor-sharp archaic dialect until people fall asleep.

fun note, the Arabic term for metampsychosis (reincarnation) is taqāmuṣ, which means "to put on a new shirt" (qamiṣ), and the latter word was an ancient borrowing from Latin camisia ... which borrowed it from Common Germanic *hamiþiją (that's a th and a nasalised a).

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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5 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

That makes them more like the Druze.

That is what Jeff suggested on FB.

5 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I hope they wear distinctive outfits

They might well do so.  Be interesting to think about options, but they live on a high plateau that gets hit with wet, southwestern winds and occasional dry winds from Prax.  I picture something like the Massif Central.

8 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

politely avoid discussing their sorcery with outsiders

I think they will lead Worship services for the Invisible God, so likely all "sorcery" is simply how they "channel" the prayers of the faithful and direct the will of the Invisible God for the community.

10 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

just repeating their Orlanthiness while smiling and serving remarkable food

I think they herd and eat goats.

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

They might well do so.  Be interesting to think about options, but they live on a high plateau that gets hit with wet, southwestern winds and occasional dry winds from Prax.  I picture something like the Massif Central.

The Esvulari might originate on the Vulari peninsula, that hammer-shaped area of dry land jutting south below the cliffs, between the Gathering Marsh and the Other Marsh (as per the map labels on the road map of the Holy Country).

Their survival site might be Jon Barat, shared with the Ingareens, who are a similar and totally different population.

Does having endogamous castes give the Esvulari (or the Ingareens) a distinct phenotype (or several caste-specific ones)?

 

7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I think they will lead Worship services for the Invisible God, so likely all "sorcery" is simply how they "channel" the prayers of the faithful and direct the will of the Invisible God for the community.

They have a hereditary Zzabur caste, which probably provides the literate portion of the population. Since sorcery requires literacy, the two other castes don't have much chance at having the basics for sorcery.

Their Talar caste would be a mix of heavy cavalry and diplomats and administrators, with their majority caste being the (free) Orlanthi everyman farmers and crafters serving in the militia and professional warriors.

Aeolian fisherfolk are attested, too.

 

7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I think they herd and eat goats.

Why? What goat deities would these herd beasts descended from? Ragnaglar and Thed (but forgotten)?

In our world's biology, goats aren't that well defined, and sheep may be seen as a sub-group of caprine herd beasts. Antelopes occupy the continuum between caprine and bovine ungulants.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Since sorcery requires literacy, the two other castes don't have much chance at having the basics for sorcery.

No, only the zzaburi caste would use sorcery.  Throughout Malkioni culture, the other castes are forbidden to do so and I don't see why the Esvulari would differ.

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Their Talar caste would be a mix of heavy cavalry and diplomats and administrators

Except Talar do not fight - that's for warriors to do.  They would certainly command/lead the fighters, but directly engaging in battle would be contrary to caste rules.

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Why? What goat deities would these herd beasts descended from?

Because it's something that Heortlings have a taboo about.  And goats could well survive browsing on the scrub grasses and brush along the Heortling coast.  As the Esvulari seem to have split off the Ingareens, goats might simply been adopted as a survival strategy by those whom the gods forgot.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

No, only the zzaburi caste would use sorcery.  Throughout Malkioni culture, the other castes are forbidden to do so and I don't see why the Esvulari would differ.

that is what I believe too, but I hope it will be published to clarify it definitively.

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Except Talar do not fight - that's for warriors to do.  They would certainly command/lead the fighters, but directly engaging in battle would be contrary to caste rules.

that is something I don't understand; what gods could follow (as initiate or more) Talars then ? Not the king of the gods who is (not only) a warrior ?

And even if they worship Orlanth, how could they be disallowed to fight ? (you know, no one can tell you blablabla)

 

 

by the way a great thanks again to share here these posts !

 

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I seem to recall that Rokari Talars fight, just not with swords (they use maces and "crowns" aka chakrams apparently, to get around certain rules). No idea whether this also applies to Aeolians. 

Also, isn't Ingareen more of a Dawn Age term? Or is it synonymous with the God Forgot atheists?

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39 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

that is something I don't understand; what gods could follow (as initiate or more) Talars then ? Not the king of the gods who is (not only) a warrior ?

And even if they worship Orlanth, how could they be disallowed to fight ? (you know, no one can tell you blablabla)

Jeff posted notes on FB which were referenced here regarding the concept of Caste RIGHTNESS.  Talars don't fight.  If they fight, they lose RIGHTNESS - i.e. the special powers of their caste.  Same reason shamans don't break taboos, or certain cults don't break geases.

 

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34 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I seem to recall that Rokari Talars fight, just not with swords (they use maces and "crowns" aka chakrams apparently, to get around certain rules). No idea whether this also applies to Aeolians. 

That's how Brithini Talars in Arolanit defend themselves (Guide to Glorantha page 408), well, at least the more liberal ones. 

The Rokari seem even more liberal, with kings and princes having swords (ibid, page 412 mentions them) and while the weapons of the "heavily-armed cataphracts" raised from the Talars (ibid, page 407) aren't explicitly described, lances don't seem out of the realm of probability. 

 

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

And even if they worship Orlanth, how could they be disallowed to fight ?

There are several ways the Esvulari Talars might approach Orlanth.  (And we know the Orlanth Rex cult did not spread that far south.)

First, they might initiate into Orlanth Thunderous.  Think of the spells (e.g. Cloud Call, Increase Wind, Thunderbolt).  Those are all "Command" spells.  So they wouldn't violate the "do not fight" if they are directing the powers of nature.

Second, they might invoke Orlanth as their Ancestor.  In this case, they would Summon their specific ancestor, Orlanth, and direct him to fight for them.  Obviously this would not be the full god manifested, but some portion of the god. 

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It's possible - likely, even - that what "Rightness" means differs with the school. Rokari Rightness is different from Hrestoli Rightness is different from Aeolian Rightness. Or, it could just be that non-orthodox groups just don't care about losing the benefits of caste.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

we know the Orlanth Rex cult did not spread that far south

Now that you put it like that, I wonder if Alakoring drew on local henotheism in Ralios that we just don't hear about today because it became indistinguishable from modern Heortling Rex. In this model, Rex wouldn't have offered the Orlanth Talar people anything they didn't already have, so it never caught on. 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Their Talar caste would be a mix of heavy cavalry and diplomats and administrators

IMG the perquisites of aristocracy are so compelling that plenty of people within Time have claimed "talar" status without the necessary background or interest in Rightness. This allows them to break caste even though it creates category confusion for us at home. Since many of these titles are achieved and held through force, these "talars" do tend to favor martial talent like Joerg says. When anyone is in a position to complain, you can always tilt your beefy neck at the wall hanging of Sidi Hrestol you put there to celebrate caste freedom. Case closed. Fight on, bro.

This creates challenges as well as opportunities for local sorcerers to adjust the rites. Sometimes it works pretty well. Sometimes it fails. And from time to time, sorcerers in the know will rescind the "adjusted" coverage, turning the putative "noble" back into a lowly horalite or even peasant. I don't think they like to do this often but it's always an option if the jocks make themselves completely obnoxious. 

These adjustments can then become "local rightness" templates rewarding on-message caste behavior in that particular land. The Rokarians are obviously very good at this. Someone in these lands who pursues authentic talar performance can still exercise Talar's Gifts but we haven't heard very much about these movements yet.

I don't know if they even follow the "authentic" rules on the island today and welcome surprises either way.

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2 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

It's possible - likely, even - that what "Rightness" means differs with the school. Rokari Rightness is different from Hrestoli Rightness is different from Aeolian Rightness. Or, it could just be that non-orthodox groups just don't care about losing the benefits of caste.

You'd hope so. I hate the idea of an "empirical" Rightness that's just fundamentally evident.

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1 minute ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

You'd hope so. I hate the idea of an "empirical" Rightness that's just fundamentally evident.

Talar is unusual because there is an empirical proof of charismatic authority: when they can't help but follow you, you're Right.

The other ones are more elusive, with the sorcerers working overtime to weasel the language of the Law, the jocks simply pushing to get what they want (note that Right and Might are opposed in the Arthurian literature) and everyone who doesn't distinguish themselves in these ways being lumped into the peasant category. They don't really get magic powers in the current drafts. They're just a little better at what they do, which is a circular argument.

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Are we talking about Saint Worlath, the Free Wind?

... I'll show myself out. 🙂

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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Except Talar do not fight - that's for warriors to do.  They would certainly command/lead the fighters, but directly engaging in battle would be contrary to caste rules.

The Aeolians only have three castes - Nobles, Zzaburi and Commoners.  Given that other noble castes can and do fight elsewhere, I'm a bit doubtful that the Aeolian Talars do not (it's possible that they are influenced by God Forgot but the omission of the warrior caste makes this hard to sustain).

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The Aeolians only have three castes - Nobles, Zzaburi and Commoners.  Given that other noble castes can and do fight elsewhere, I'm a bit doubtful that the Aeolian Talars do not (it's possible that they are influenced by God Forgot but the omission of the warrior caste makes this hard to sustain).

I'm guessing that Aeolian nobles include groups similar to Orlanthi Thanes, since they are at least partially Orlanthi.

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