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Who is the sartarite sun god right now?


UristMcTurtle

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8 minutes ago, AlHazred said:

But if I magically prove Doburdon is Orlanth, isn't that enough?

Easier said than done!
 

 

8 minutes ago, AlHazred said:

So, the Pelandans don't recognize how great he is; that's a chance for Sartarite former-enemies to show them they're wrong!

Or maybe a chance for the Sartarites to recruit them to the idea that Storm > Sun ... and also Storm > Moon.

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1 hour ago, Eff said:

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. 

OK keep in mind, the Lunars did not make an effort to force the Orlanthi to worship some minor Pelandan thunder god. 

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I wouldn't be surprised if there was or would be an attempt by some of the Esrolians to do that (or at least to support it) if they ever became aware of Doburdun, actually. Not even necessarily Red Earth ones, either; the Grandmothers in general usually seem to want to downplay and weaken Orlanth as much as they can without denying him entirely (since the plain fact is that he's too intricately bound up in Ernalda to do that without it affecting her, as the Windstop seemingly proves), so magically proving that he (or one of his aspects, which they can then try to make the main one in Esrolia) is basically Vogarth-Strong-Man-but-Storm-God sounds like an appealing prospect to a particularly ambitious house, especially when Broyan was going around being called the Last Vingkotling.

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52 minutes ago, Leingod said:

I wouldn't be surprised if there was or would be an attempt by some of the Esrolians to do that (or at least to support it) if they ever became aware of Doburdun, actually. Not even necessarily Red Earth ones, either; the Grandmothers in general usually seem to want to downplay and weaken Orlanth as much as they can without denying him entirely

No longer the case.  The Esrolians have accepted Orlanth for a long time.  The few statements in Esrolia: the land of 10K goddesses were apparntly references to their view of Orlanth in the Dawn Age.

 

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On 8/27/2021 at 4:57 PM, Darius West said:

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

 

On 8/27/2021 at 5:30 PM, Nick Brooke said:

I like "minotaury." 😄

No sure about Sartar but in this pic behold the minotaury skies of Prax...

tumblr_789e311a1b1efe5f748757b11f2bfc57_79301e7f_540.jpeg.9388e4f12fff980cc9bea21b2c271d6b.jpeg

 

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22 hours ago, svensson said:

Published works have presented the Sun Dome as hostile to the Storm Pantheon generally

Cults of Terror and the Cult Compendium have Orlanth and Yelmalio as Neutral, both ways.

22 hours ago, svensson said:

they have been proselytizing among Elmal worshipers to convert them to Yelmalio.

That probably happened a long time ago, when most Elmali started worshipping Yelmalio.

Is there is any proselytizing nowadays, it isn't going to be "Look, our god is wonderful, much better than yours, why don't you stop worshipping your god and start worshipping ours", instead it is probably going to be "Hey, your god is really cool, but we worship him as well, just under a different name, look at what we do, we teach you Light for free! Look at our bright and shiny temples. We can teach you other things about your god that you probably haven't heard about."

22 hours ago, svensson said:

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.

Sure, that applies as well.

However, Yelmalio has always been a god of the Borderlands, of outsiders, not of the Dara Happan heartland, so the Lunars don;t jave a lot of interest in him, except as a way to tame the Orlanthi.

I agree that the occupation of Sartar forces some people down the "Us and Them" route, emphasising "Us" as opposed to "Them" and bad-mouthing "Them". However, Sartar and Tarsh are not that different. After all, Sartar was settled by clans from Tarsh as well as clans from the Holy Country, so many clans in northern Sartar have a natural affinity to Tarsh.

20 hours ago, GoldShogun said:

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

Yelm the Elder did not require family descent, but I am not sure if that still applies.

But, family descent could be shown to have been the case, due to a long-forgotten ancestor.

13 hours 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.

It can do. After all, Doburdan is one of the Thunder Brothers.

Under the Lunar occupation, I am sure that some Sartarites accepted Doburdan worship to fit in with the Lunars.

Some could say that Doburdan is merely an aspect of Orlanth, in the same way that all of the Thunder Brothers are aspects of Orlanth.

12 hours 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!

Yeah, that works. That way more Sartarites could worship him. Also, it gives Orlanth a place in Dara Happa.

 

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

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On 8/28/2021 at 9:10 AM, 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!

If you prove that you also prove you are a godlearner and thus a heretic.  It's a no-win situation.

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21 hours ago, MOB said:

No sure about Sartar but in this pic behold the minotaury skies of Prax...

"Minotaury" is a seldom used adjective that means dark, looming and menacing, like being overshadowed by a minotaur.  I discovered the word while doing a crossword puzzle a couple of years ago, and it amused me, so I look for opportunities to use it now. 😄

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1 hour ago, Leingod said:

Really? I've never seen that anywhere.

I mean, if you look at the myth in Storm Tribe, Doburdun is a headache Entekos had, produced by the Rebel Gods, and he went forth to thunder at them. Or, in other words, he's a part of the storm, specifically thunder-related, subordinate to the overall Storm god and born from them. By multiple definitions, he's a Thunder Brother. 

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1 hour ago, Eff said:

I mean, if you look at the myth in Storm Tribe, Doburdun is a headache Entekos had, produced by the Rebel Gods, and he went forth to thunder at them. Or, in other words, he's a part of the storm, specifically thunder-related, subordinate to the overall Storm god and born from them. By multiple definitions, he's a Thunder Brother. 

Except this requires one to believe that Orlanth = Entekos, which is something I don't think anyone has seriously tried to claim and magically prove in-universe. Some have tried to equate her with Dendara or later Sedenya, but I don't think even the God Learners, the champions of conflating very different deities based on their Runes, ever tried to claim Entekos as Orlanth and Doburdun as a Thunder Brother.

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18 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Except this requires one to believe that Orlanth = Entekos, which is something I don't think anyone has seriously tried to claim and magically prove in-universe. Some have tried to equate her with Dendara or later Sedenya, but I don't think even the God Learners, the champions of conflating very different deities based on their Runes, ever tried to claim Entekos as Orlanth and Doburdun as a Thunder Brother.

The God Learners never made it to Peloria in serious numbers. In any case, we know that Dendara is a mask of Ernalda, we know that Entekos is a Storm entity that's very close to Dendara/Ernalda, and that after Yelm died, Ernalda/Dendara lived with Entekos. We also know that Orlanth is so frequently encountered by worshipers as a woman that there is already an established cult around this variation. There are also subordinate bits of evidence- the inconsistencies in the sisters of Dendara, the lack of Orlanth in the myth about Chalana Arroy and the gazellets, etc.- but these are secondary to the basic fact that if Entekos is not an Orlanth mask, then we must posit a totally new Storm deity that has overlordship over the Storm as a whole, and who has an intimate relationship with Ernalda, and who has absolutely no relationship with Orlanth, nor vice versa. 

Now, this does make Orlanth and Ernalda some extremely kinky deities, but the Vinga thing means that this is already true regardless. 

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11 hours ago, Darius West said:

If you prove that you also prove you are a godlearner and thus a heretic.  It's a no-win situation.

Once upon a time, proving Doburdun's identity as a storm brother means that you are a Culbrea stopping to be a meek, subdued Lunar lackey. That was part of proving that Orlanth's magic never had gone quite away, and helped re-establish Orlanth's magic.

It takes more than that to become eligible as a God Learner.

4 hours ago, Leingod said:

Really? I've never seen that anywhere.

This was supposed to be part of the Sartar Rising arc for Hero Wars / HeroQuest 1st edition. What made it into Orlanth is Dead is a diplomatic encounter with King Ranulf, and in Gathering Thunder Ranulf appears as a quest giver after a scripted encounter. No mention of the Doburdun discovery, though, instead Doburdun folk are used as antagonists.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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5 hours ago, Leingod said:

Really? I've never seen that anywhere.

He was married to Ernalda and voluntarily gave her up when Orlanth returned from saving the world. 

All of the Deities of Storm could be a Thunder Brother.

4 hours ago, Eff said:

I mean, if you look at the myth in Storm Tribe, Doburdun is a headache Entekos had, produced by the Rebel Gods, and he went forth to thunder at them.

That sounds similar to the myth of the birth of Urain, produced when Orlanth has a really bad headache and was in a foul mood.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

He was married to Ernalda and voluntarily gave her up when Orlanth returned from saving the world. 

All of the Deities of Storm could be a Thunder Brother.

That sounds similar to the myth of the birth of Urain, produced when Orlanth has a really bad headache and was in a foul mood.

It is worth keeping in mind that Greg and I discarded ALL of that when we wrote Sartar Kingdom of Heroes. And for RuneQuest, Doburdan is pretty much confined to Pelanda.

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On 8/25/2021 at 4:40 AM, UristMcTurtle said:

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?

If someone can answer the straightforward question without involving the matters above it, we will all no doubt be illuminated. 🤣

Short answer? Depends on what you call "modern."

The Glorantha Sourcebook (2018) tells us that "...among the Heortlings of DragonPass, the Sun Disk is identified with Elmal, Orlanth's Loyal Thane." (The Sourcebook also tells us that the planet Lightfore is known as Yelmalio by the Orlanthi.) The Guide to Glorantha (2014) tells us that "Most Orlanthi say that the Sun is Elmal, a thane of Orlanth." This perspective is consistent with the various HW/Q1 and HQ2/G materials released between 2000 and 2015 with the latter still being available until earlier this year (though currently off the market pending a rebrand - long story). 

Starting with the RQG Preview that appeared at Gen Con in 2017 though, we start to get things like "Yelmalio is the predominant sky deity in Dragon Pass"  - with Elmal relegated to ever more marginal status when he's mentioned at all. If you get a new RQG book tomorrow, it'll probably tell you something like, "Yelmalio, though some folks still call him Elmal." (It seems that Monrogh's Revelation has spread from Vantar to Chaosium itself.) 

So basically, pick what you like. Various books currently on offer disagree.

(Take any answer of course with a spoonfull of regional and community variation, even just within Sartar.)

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4 hours ago, JonL said:

(Take any answer of course with a spoonfull of regional and community variation, even just within Sartar.)

And attitude, I think.  IMG (where I go with the odd-numbered Gregging, rather than the even-numbered ones, and the Elmal sitch in Sartar is much more historically recent), by far the majority of solar-cultists worship "Yelmalio", but most non-solars ordinarily think of and refer to the sun as "Elmal".  But almost everyone has the understanding they're essentially the same god -- insofar as magic and mythology allows any precision and certainty about matters of identity.  So if someone is talking to a Yelmalio worshipper, which name is used may come down less to deep theology and more to a wish to extent some basic courtesy vs gratuitous obnoxiousness.

Of course, Orlanthi being Orlanthi, gratuitous obnoxiousness to solars is often the mythically correct thing to do!  Though also often not...

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6 hours ago, JonL said:

If someone can answer the straightforward question without involving the matters above it, we will all no doubt be illuminated. 🤣

Easy. By 1625 the Sartarites recognize Yelm as the Sun, and Yelmalio as the main Solar Deity (think Helios and Apollo). In some old stories he is called "Elmal" who was once sometimes seen as another deity, but since the mid-1500s, they are seen as different names for the same deity. This is no different from how the Sumerian Inanna became Ishtar. 

 

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In RQG, Yelmalio is not associated with any of the other Orlanthi cults.  Just Ernalda, everybody loves her.  🙂 And "friendly" to CA.

Should the "main Solar deity" of the Sartarites be more connected to the cults most Sartarites worship?  This makes recovering rune spells awkward too.   Will there be an updated cult compatibility chart for the Sartar branch of Yelmalio?

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3 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

In RQG, Yelmalio is not associated with any of the other Orlanthi cults.  Just Ernalda, everybody loves her.  🙂 And "friendly" to CA.

Should the "main Solar deity" of the Sartarites be more connected to the cults most Sartarites worship?  This makes recovering rune spells awkward too.   Will there be an updated cult compatibility chart for the Sartar branch of Yelmalio?

Yelmalio's always been a stand-offish guy.  The lack of associate cults is not a flaw but by design.  He's still got more friends than Humakt.

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17 hours ago, JonL said:

The Glorantha Sourcebook (2018) tells us that "...among the Heortlings of DragonPass, the Sun Disk is identified with Elmal, Orlanth's Loyal Thane." (The Sourcebook also tells us that the planet Lightfore is known as Yelmalio by the Orlanthi.)

But also in GS (page 118): "The Elmal cult in Dragon Pass came under tremendous influence from the solar religion of Dara Happa, until Monrogh Lantern revealed their god to be another name for Yelmalio. The Yelmalio cult has now eclipsed the native Elmal cult".

There's an astronomical clue there to how this solar influence may all be a dastardly Lunar plot to eliminate Orlanth's loyal thane ("eclipsed" is usually down to the moon obscuring the sun). But more seriously, this is the existing canonical reference confirming that for most Sartarites, Yelmalio is their sun deity.

It might add to the confusion, by implying that the Heortlings consider Elmal/Yelmalio to be both the sun-disk and also to be Lightfore, but never mind.

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5 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

In RQG, Yelmalio is not associated with any of the other Orlanthi cults.  Just Ernalda, everybody loves her.  🙂 And "friendly" to CA.

Should the "main Solar deity" of the Sartarites be more connected to the cults most Sartarites worship?  This makes recovering rune spells awkward too.   Will there be an updated cult compatibility chart for the Sartar branch of Yelmalio?

I think it wouldn't be crazy to make CA an associated cult too (in my Glorantha they are associated). I remember there being a myth in King of Dragon Pass that connects CA to Elmal, and it could easily be also practiced by Yelmalions. And it wouldn't throw off the balance either, it could provide Heal Body as rune spell, which loads of other cults have, and the only really good spirit spell that CA has and Ernalda does not is Sleep, which can't be learned by those not initiated into CA, so Yelmalio's spell pool would not change much. 

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20 minutes ago, Brian Duguid said:

But also in GS (page 118): "The Elmal cult in Dragon Pass came under tremendous influence from the solar religion of Dara Happa, until Monrogh Lantern revealed their god to be another name for Yelmalio. The Yelmalio cult has now eclipsed the native Elmal cult".

There's an astronomical clue there to how this solar influence may all be a dastardly Lunar plot to eliminate Orlanth's loyal thane ("eclipsed" is usually down to the moon obscuring the sun). But more seriously, this is the existing canonical reference confirming that for most Sartarites, Yelmalio is their sun deity.

It might add to the confusion, by implying that the Heortlings consider Elmal/Yelmalio to be both the sun-disk and also to be Lightfore, but never mind.

Well, the main point there is that there's been a transformation. In the paradigm of the Guide and Sourcebook:

Elmal: the Sun or the Sun Disk, subordinate to Orlanth in some fashion. A general Orlanthi deity, but not one with a major cult, or possibly a consistent cult.

Yelmalio: Lightfore, also subordinate to Orlanth in the minds of mainstream Orlanth worshipers. A general Orlanthi deity, with a major cult. 

And then in the RQG paradigm:

Elmal: A relic Lightfore cult in Sartar practiced in a handful of places there and nowhere else, and an infrequent name for the Sun Disk generally. Was once a hybrid Sun/Lightfore cult. 

Yelmalio: the mainstream Lightfore cult among Orlanthi.

Yelm: the common Orlanthi name for the Sun. Without a cult there.

Is it possible to reconcile this apparent inconsistency? Sure! Is it likely an artifact of communication difficulties*? Yes! And I, personally, find the meat of the RQG version interesting enough in its implications to prefer it. But the inconsistency still exists such that to the casual reader, people in the setting stopped saying "Elmal" as a common name for the Sun between 1621 and 1625. 

 

*If I had to guess, I would suspect that what's going on here is that some people, myself among them, will use variant names of deities as variant names/masks and not as references to an explicit other deity, and that this sometimes gets interpreted as references to the latter. 

Edited by Eff
Clarifying the cultic situation in the texts.
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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

Sartarites in general don't worship the sun

_Orlanthi_ rarely worship solar powers. But In 1625 politics, as I understand it, Yelmalians are Sartarite, but not Orlanthi. 

The few Orlanthi who do worship any solar power follow Elmal. Which any even slightly cynical Lhankhor Mhy scholar will tell you is is the name Yelmalio uses when he pledges loyalty to Orlanth Rex. 

The relation between names, mythology, magic, power and politics is a closed circle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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