Jump to content

Who is the sartarite sun god right now?


UristMcTurtle

Recommended Posts

This is not about the eternal debate of Elmal against Yelmalio, nor the state of those cults in current Sartar. 

Straightforwad: In modern Glorantha canon, who is the sun god of the sartarites? Who recieves the blessings and prayers when your average farmer needs a sunny day? The focus of the usual discussion seems to be around the identity of Lightforge, but considering that Elmal was born so the orlanthi could have a sun god, I think this question is rather important.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, UristMcTurtle said:

Who recieves the blessings and prayers when your average farmer needs a sunny day?

This is pretty interesting imo, and a very good way to show the differences between the Orlanthi and Pelorians, and to clear some minds on the Orlanthi religion (this is all my imagination so it's not canon but I think it fits and it's fun).

First, Peloria is way colder than Dragon Pass and Kethaela, the cradle of Orlanthi civilization, so despite the love of hills of the Orlanthi, the cold is much more of a problem for the sun-worshipping pelorians than for the storm-worshippers.

Second and even more important is how the two civs react to environmental hazards. A Pelorian village faced with a torrential rain that threatens to destroy their crops will call upon Yelm to smite the clouds and clear the sky, if faced with a hurricane they could call Yelm again or maybe Shargash, who even though dangerous, is a famed storm-killer, and if the winter cold of Valind is making them freeze, they can call upon Lodril to fight him and warm them with his heat. But the Orlanthi follow a completely different approach: if they are struck with torrential rain, they call upon Orlanth or Heler to tame the rain and make it bountiful, not destructive; if they are suffering a hurricane, they obviously resort to Orlanth magic in order to control it; if the winter is too cold, they buy Valind with sacrifices and rituals, so he takes his anger somewhere else (and they also worship Mahome through Ernalda, not through Lodril as the Pelorians usually do). Doing this, they have no need for Yelm, and the only solar deities they may get a use of are Yelmalio if they are facing terrible odds against enemies or if they are suffering attacks from Darkness creatures (but they could also choose the pacifist route and worship Argan Argar instead) and Rigsdal in order to gain knowledge of the stars and planets (and even this can be managed with some weird approach to Orlanth Thunderous). 

So, the Orlanthi recognize Yelm as the sun god, there's no way to deny that (even though some times they might have called him by a different name, but he is always the Sun Emperor), but they have no need for him, they have plenty Storm, Water and Earth magic to help them with all their problems. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Orlanthi acknowledge the existence of Yelm, but he is a god seldom seen under the minotaury skies of Sartar.  When they see the Sun it is as "the light in the hills", at dawn and dusk, and occasionally if he peeps through the clouds, and dimly as a pale white disk when the cloud cover isn't too thick to obscure him completely.  The god of dusk and dawn, the light in the hills, is Yelmalio or Elmal, depending on your clan's take on the matter.  In Orlanthi lands you pray to them for sunlight, and your clan's allegiance to the old god Elmal, or the imported Yelmalio is an important political decision to make for any clan.  They are both lesser faces of Yelm, and sons of the sun, but they are the only Sartarite conduits for solar magic unless some Dara Happans are in the area as occupiers

Edited by Darius West
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sun god of the Orlanthi /Storm pantheon is the Loyal Thane, Elmal.

Heortlings generally follow the Orlanthi pantheon.

Sartar is a country based on Heortling culture, traditions, and religion.

Ergo, the Sartarite sun deity is Elmal.

Yes, SOME tribes at the edges of Sartar influence abandoned their Storm traditions to worship Yelmalio, the Sky deity of frontiers, thereby returning to the slavery of Yelm. This is unfortunate as many Elmali abandoned the principle of Loyalty in order to return to that slavery.

But make NO mistake. Elmal is the Storm sun god. Yelmalio is a Sky /Fire god and is in no way part of Heortling cultural traditions.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, svensson said:

The sun god of the Orlanthi /Storm pantheon is the Loyal Thane, Elmal.

Heortlings generally follow the Orlanthi pantheon.

Sartar is a country based on Heortling culture, traditions, and religion.

Ergo, the Sartarite sun deity is Elmal.

Yes, SOME tribes at the edges of Sartar influence abandoned their Storm traditions to worship Yelmalio, the Sky deity of frontiers, thereby returning to the slavery of Yelm. This is unfortunate as many Elmali abandoned the principle of Loyalty in order to return to that slavery.

But make NO mistake. Elmal is the Storm sun god. Yelmalio is a Sky /Fire god and is in no way part of Heortling cultural traditions.

I guess this can be true in YOUR Glorantha. But that's not the way things are going to appear in publications.

Honestly, I find the weird ethno-chauvinism around "Elmal" (no "Heortling" would ever embrace Yelmalio as a broader name for the Sun Dome god) to be just perplexing. The Orlanthi of now have embraced many new experiences and insights over the preceding three Ages. Like any culture on a continental crossroads does.

Edited by Jeff
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I guess this can be true in YOUR Glorantha. But that's not the way things are going to appear in publications.

Honestly, I find the weird ethno-chauvinism around "Elmal" (no "Heortling" would ever embrace Yelmalio as a broader name for the Sun Dome god) to be just perplexing. The Orlanthi of now have embraced many new experiences and insights over the preceding three Ages. Like any culture on a continental crossroads does.

Well Jeff, 'are going to appear' isn't what we have in front of us. Published works have presented the Sun Dome as hostile to the Storm Pantheon generally and they have been proselytizing among Elmal worshipers to convert them to Yelmalio. As new works are published that add more information, our views will change accordingly.

As for Sartarite society, Sartar has spent an entire generation having to literally fight for their cultural survival as Lunar missionaries tried to turn Sartar into Lunar Tarsh 2.0. While Argrath certainly brings new experiences both magically and temporally with his Praxian allies and more contact with the Holy Country opens many avenues for change, I don't see it as particularly hidebound for Sartarites to be prickly and somewhat defensive about their ways for the next couple of decades or so. Sartar needs to put its tula in order after the Lunar occupation and Prince Argrath is distracted with his ongoing Heroquest to bring down the Red Moon, so some of these matters are going to be settled locally rather than nationally.

And need I remind anyone that the Sun Domers supported the Lunar Occupation in addition to being Yelmite Sky worshipers. That's gonna lead to some hard feelings.

I think a good analogy would be how France, Belgium and the Netherlands reacted after the defeat of Nazi Germany. The Germans had spent a lot of time in a 'hearts and minds' offensive trying to win over many sectors of those societies on their 'Pan-Aryanism' theories. When those nations were liberated, they had to deal with British and American influences for a decade or more. So when they finally got their full sovereignty and independence back, there was a strong backlash against foreign influences as parents and grandparents tried to teach the children who grew up during the War what it meant to be French or Belgian, etc. There certainly was a level of reactionary ethno-centrism to it, but trade ties, diplomatic exchanges, cultural exchanges, etc. softened that stance over time.

  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, svensson said:

Well Jeff, 'are going to appear' isn't what we have in front of us. Published works have presented the Sun Dome as hostile to the Storm Pantheon generally and they have been proselytizing among Elmal worshipers to convert them to Yelmalio.

Which RuneQuest books are you talking about?

Edited by Nick Brooke
Over-quoting
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something I think people whose impressions of Sartar are based primarily on the King of Dragon Pass game or the Hero Wars books don't seem to get - Sartar transformed the tribes around the Quivin Mountains. Remarkable, radical changes. He built cities, roads, and markets. He introduced coin for trade, and built temples for the other Lightbringers cults. He diffused the bright lines of tribe and clan. He welcomed foreigners, married the Feathered Horse Queen, befriended werewolves, and so on. That change continued over the following century, as Sartar established itself as a wealthy principality that commanded the most important trade route in Glorantha. Some parts of this strengthened Sartarite society ("Heortling" is a painfully anachronistic word in Sartar); others caused civil dissension and conflict. The Solar worshipers of Sartar were simply blown away by the splendour and the deep sights of Pelorian Yelm worship. These Elmali turned on their tribal leaders, fought against the Orlanth Rex cult, etc. and a few managed to initiate themselves into Yelm's secrets. This, in combination with growing Lunar Empire aggression, imperilled the Kingdom of Sartar itself.

Monrogh saved us from that. Elmal was proven to be another name for the Little Sun and not of Yelm. The Sun Dome leaders allied with King Tarkalor and received their own part, where they could celebrate the Light without trouble. 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, svensson said:

Sartar has spent an entire generation having to literally fight for their cultural survival

I appreciate this narrative but IMG the occupation was a little more complicated than an instant polarizing shock that split Sartarite society (and each Sartarite's consciousness) into rebels and collaborators. For a lot of people, it was business as usual. They woke up, did their duty to their gods and communities, obeyed the observances and carried on. Only the color on the flag changed, as it were. Others saw real compensations in the new regime . . . we can bicker and joke about Lunar colonial incompetence, but there are always relative outsiders who stand to benefit from disruption. They liked it. It was an opportunity.

Now these things might be hard to say because we like the idea of Sartarite patriots fighting a doomed cause against overwhelming odds and rejecting all the comforts of life inside empire. It's definitely romantic and feeds thrilling game environments that might give us something we can't get from the everyday grind. But I think they're true. The notion of Sartar as a bastion of religious purity and a kind of brave traditionalism, saying a firm "NO" to innovation and dangerous change . . . it's pleasant but only accurate for some of the people.

We know this because Sartar suffered the occupation for a generation even after imperial extremists came within a few steps of permanently killing God. They could have all said "NO" at any moment. Masada is a stirring tale of a people apart. Others participated in all levels of imperial society, experimenting with strange ideas, family relationships and even food. There was an exchange. 

Who are the people who have least to lose in regime change? Some of the underclass will always react defensively to outside overtures and work harder to preserve their traditions because tradition is all they have. These people initially fought against the Sartar revolution and more recently formed the nucleus of a hardcore anti-lunar resistance movement like in the published adventures. Others see more to gain. The central tragedy is that a lot of the sun-identifying people of Dragon Pass have the hardest choice of all to make. They have the least to lose . . . "what did rex ever do for us, where is our king?" . . . and the most to gain from deeper exchange with the imperial solar north.

So maybe it's ironic that this question comes up in this particular thread. I get that a lot of dome people spent the last generation doing the exact opposite of "fighting for the cultural survival" of storm Sartar. It happened. Now that the wind has turned, some of those decisions might look a little hard to justify. They're defensive. It's a defensive cult -- but it's okay. We're all in this together. We're all, as it were, us. The dome doesn't have Change as a core rune. The hand has to come from the other side.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Jeff said:

These Elmali turned on their tribal leaders, fought against the Orlanth Rex cult, etc. and a few managed to initiate themselves into Yelm's secrets. This, in combination with growing Lunar Empire aggression, imperilled the Kingdom of Sartar itself.

How did some manage to initiate into Yelm, I thought that required decent from Yelm?

Also what happened to the few who managed to initiate into Yelm’s secrets? Did they get assimilated into Yelmalio worship?

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, GoldShogun said:

How did some manage to initiate into Yelm, I thought that required decent from Yelm?

What a lot of Yelm people won't tell you is that a lot of the "rules" are social designed to preserve elite status . . . approach the god in the right way and he doesn't seem to care.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

What a lot of Yelm people won't tell you is that a lot of the "rules" are social designed to preserve elite status . . . approach the god in the right way and he doesn't seem to care.

Also, it has been 10,000 years since Orlanth killed Yelm and a LOT of beings are likely descended from Yelm. Especially fire/sky worshipers.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Also, it has been 10,000 years since Orlanth killed Yelm and a LOT of beings are likely descended from Yelm. Especially fire/sky worshipers.

Yeah, we're all made of everything at this point. If I were sufficiently motivated to get some solar magic, I could probably cultivate a few drops of descent needed to satisfy the cult spirits who are the "examiners" that really matter. The aristocratic gatekeepers will fume but there isn't a whole lot they can do about it short of doing their best to wipe me out and defile my memory . . . standard operating procedure in their world.

And of course MGF. If somebody's player aspires to direct communion (or even identification) with Sun Dad, let us know. They will be very useful in a Hero War. As it is, there are all these scattered and busted "other" suns thirsty for restoration . . . "little" suns that want to get big.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the most interesting aspects of this to me is that the Revelation of the Many Suns is only about 60-70 years old in the "present time". There are probably some old people around who remember the struggles over the Sun. And of course, it seems to have spread fairly fast- I assume that a temple in Fay Jee calls the god Yelmalio rather than "little Ehilm." But within people's lifetimes, there was a revelation that many different pathways to the Sun were all watched over by the same god, and that seems important. A sign of togetherness, if you can but grasp at it. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Eff said:

One of the most interesting aspects of this to me is that the Revelation of the Many Suns is only about 60-70 years old in the "present time". There are probably some old people around who remember the struggles over the Sun. And of course, it seems to have spread fairly fast- I assume that a temple in Fay Jee calls the god Yelmalio rather than "little Ehilm." But within people's lifetimes, there was a revelation that many different pathways to the Sun were all watched over by the same god, and that seems important. A sign of togetherness, if you can but grasp at it. 

The height of the Elmali civil conflict was 1550 to 1569, and after that it was over. Sun Dome Temple was founded in Dragon Pass in 1575. So basically it is a conflict from the 1950s and 1960s that looks just weird in retrospect.

  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Jeff said:

Also, it has been 10,000 years since Orlanth killed Yelm and a LOT of beings are likely descended from Yelm. Especially fire/sky worshipers.

To be fair, though, I'm descended from at least one of the "Mayflower" families, and I never get invited to family reunions.  Blood gets thin out at the margins and the gate keepers seem to care about maintaining legitimacy.

!i!

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the thing that is hard to wrap one's head around is not the "Elmal is Yelmalio" aspect. Sure, you exchange "Yelmalio" for "Elmal" in this chant while doing the movement with your arm straight out, and the Sunspear launches in the same way. Okay, sure. All the Elmal worshippers immediately leave for Sun Dome lands, yada yada.

So, why doesn't this work for Doburdon? "Wave your arms in the same way, replace 'Orlanth' with 'Doburdon' in the chant, and use this here red madder instead of woad, and the clouds come just the same!" Are we saying that won't work? Doburdon is Storm, Orlanth is Storm. They have similar Rune Magic. Why isn't the Lunar Empire more successful proselytizing Doburdon worship among Sartarites? And if you say the reason is politics, then I once again don't understand how easily the Elmal/Yelmalio switch was made.

Mind you, I'm comfortable if the reason is, "Yelmalio is old RQ, and we like old RQ and want to use that." I, too, like old RQ.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, AlHazred said:

I think the thing that is hard to wrap one's head around is not the "Elmal is Yelmalio" aspect. Sure, you exchange "Yelmalio" for "Elmal" in this chant while doing the movement with your arm straight out, and the Sunspear launches in the same way. Okay, sure. All the Elmal worshippers immediately leave for Sun Dome lands, yada yada.

So, why doesn't this work for Doburdon? "Wave your arms in the same way, replace 'Orlanth' with 'Doburdon' in the chant, and use this here red madder instead of woad, and the clouds come just the same!" Are we saying that won't work? Doburdon is Storm, Orlanth is Storm. They have similar Rune Magic. Why isn't the Lunar Empire more successful proselytizing Doburdon worship among Sartarites? And if you say the reason is politics, then I once again don't understand how easily the Elmal/Yelmalio switch was made.

Mind you, I'm comfortable if the reason is, "Yelmalio is old RQ, and we like old RQ and want to use that." I, too, like old RQ.

The adoption of Yelmalio involves a political settlement where sun-worshipers received more autonomy. The point of the Lunar suppression of the Orlanth cult in its various forms is to remove non-Lunar sources of sovereignty and thus limit Sartarite political autonomy. So that's a key difference in acceptability. There's probably a straightforward mythical reason (the actual Orlanth equivalent is probably Entekos but her public-facing myths involve ordering the air rather than indulging in wild Storm, so it requires climate engineering and serious mythological labor to try and transplant her) but on a basic political level, one transformation grants autonomy, the other limits it. 

The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, AlHazred said:

So, why doesn't this work for Doburdon? "Wave your arms in the same way, replace 'Orlanth' with 'Doburdon' in the chant, and use this here red madder instead of woad, and the clouds come just the same!" Are we saying that won't work? Doburdon is Storm, Orlanth is Storm. They have similar Rune Magic. Why isn't the Lunar Empire more successful proselytizing Doburdon worship among Sartarites? And if you say the reason is politics, then I once again don't understand how easily the Elmal/Yelmalio switch was made.

Doburdun is a little tiny Pelandan thunder god of very little importance overall, if he isn't just a name for Orlanth in a land where Orlanth doesn't get much worship. Lunars didn't make much if any attempt to spread his worship except in a few old HQ sources, and those are defunct now. The Lunars were content with the Orlanthi abandoning the stormier parts of their god for Barntar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But if I magically prove Doburdon is Orlanth, isn't that enough? So, the Pelandans don't recognize how great he is; that's a chance for Sartarite former-enemies to show them they're wrong!

Edited by AlHazred

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, AlHazred said:

But if I magically prove Doburdon is Orlanth, isn't that enough? So, the Pelandans don't recognize how great he is; that's a chance for Sartarite former-enemies to show them they're wrong!

Sure! 

Now take a missionary expedition into Lunar heartlands and forment a religious awakening that seriously threatens Lunar stability. Simples!

Jokes aside, I totally think it would mythically/theologically work, but the sociopolitical context is VERY different there. Seems like a helluva campaign though!

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, AlHazred said:

But if I magically prove Doburdon is Orlanth, isn't that enough? So, the Pelandans don't recognize how great he is; that's a chance for Sartarite former-enemies to show them they're wrong!

I suspect the result of this is that Doburdan is recognised by his worshipers as an aspect of Orlanth. Of course, some of the most powerful hero questers in the world might oppose you.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...