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What Would Happen if an Initiate of Uleria Got Pregnant?


Ryan Kent

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5 minutes ago, Ryan Kent said:

What if it happened as part of the ritual performed with visitors to the temple? What would the Initiate's options be?  Are there cult restrictions?  Does the father have any say?

As the Heortlings say: "Sex is easy, marriage is hard."

I assume that children born out of wedlock are members of the clan of the mother. The father might be known but has any say. 
The child will be raised by the clan it was born into, and the mother lives in. 

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Hmmm... Any other ideas?  I assume Uleria forbids abortions unless chaos is involved, but not sure.  As context, it was the Temple to Uleria in Apple Lane.  An intitiate of Storm Bull was visiting.  Something happened during the "ritual" and he channeled Storm Bull and overcame the magic preventing pregnancy.

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6 minutes ago, Ryan Kent said:

Hmmm... Any other ideas?  I assume Uleria forbids abortions unless chaos is involved, but not sure.  As context, it was the Temple to Uleria in Apple Lane.  An intitiate of Storm Bull was visiting.  Something happened during the "ritual" and he channeled Storm Bull and overcame the magic preventing pregnancy.

In My Glorantha the child would be raised by the clan (Hiording in this case), OR could be raised by the earth temple (in Clearwine).

If one of the player characters is Thane in Apple Lane i could also decide that the Uleria Initiate decides that her child should be raised in the household of the Thane of Apple Lane. 🙂

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2 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

Oh, under those circumstances I'd think that it rather depends on the omens surrounding that 'overcoming,' and their interpretation by a priestess.

It was Storm Bull being Storm Bull and Uleria being Uleria and touching the middle plan during an accidental Heroquest which occurred during the ritual coupling.  The children (there are twins) have an important part to play in the coming storm of the Hero Wars.

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It should be largely up to the players.  Does the Storm Bull PC Father want to have a say in the raising of the children?  What Clan is he in?  If so, especially since another PC is Thane of Apple Lane, that should probably happen.

One future problem is that, should the PC become a Storm Khan, he can only marry an Earth Priestess.  Though I've seen lots of players ignore that.  Or just marry her now.  Or keep it informal.

As for the Storm Bull player possibly not wanting the mother to continue with her "oldest profession", that could be interesting roleplaying.  Note that Ernalda Priestesses must have already borne children, presumably by another man, so Storm Bulls are kind of used to their wives having interesting and active histories.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ryan Kent said:

What if it happened as part of the ritual performed with visitors to the temple? What would the Initiate's options be?  Are there cult restrictions?  Does the father have any say?

The child is reared and raised by the temple, much as they would if they were born in any cult performing a Fertility ritual. 

Launcelot: Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his own child. 

The Merchant of Venice

Act II. Scene II.

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49 minutes ago, Ryan Kent said:

Hmmm... Any other ideas?  I assume Uleria forbids abortions unless chaos is involved, but not sure.  As context, it was the Temple to Uleria in Apple Lane.  An intitiate of Storm Bull was visiting.  Something happened during the "ritual" and he channeled Storm Bull and overcame the magic preventing pregnancy.


Is either party -- the Ulerian or Storm Bull -- a PC?  Are both?  It's well worth taking a step back and asking if *everyone* at the table is OK with this storyline, and likely consequences.  Plenty of folk have *VERY* strong opinions about children, pregnancies, etc.  For some, this arc could be treading the line of fun vs. not-fun.

When you say "he channeled Storm Bull" was that something that "just happened" (the God decided)?

Or did the Initiate intentionally call upon Storm Bull, to be a Bully in the middle of the Ulerian ceremony?  THAT... honestly gets (more than a little bit) rape-y.

===

Back to the OP query, though...  Given the *active* involvement of Storm Bull, I expect the child(ren) to be exceptional (and exceptions to the general rules about Ulerian pregnancy); also, it's possible that The Bull wants to have a say in the matter...
 

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1 hour ago, Ryan Kent said:

Hmmm... Any other ideas?  I assume Uleria forbids abortions unless chaos is involved, but not sure.

For the reasons g33k mentions, the circumstances here sound rather...  chaos-adjacent.  Though I'd be more concerned with player-agency and player-consent in the first instance, given that subject matter.

But what sort of idea are you looking for exactly?  If there's a particular sort of outcome you're looking to rationalise -- or preclude -- rather than just blue-skying an outcome from the premise?

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Who says it's never happened?

Uleria is the Goddess of Love In All Its Forms. Familial love is certainly part of that. While I know of nothing in the Glorantha canon that speaks of Uleria being a mother, there's nothing that speaks against the concept, either.

And by Lankhor Mhy's Grizzled Beard, there's several deities that could be ret-conned as children of Uleria... Donadar, Ronance, etc.

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The only player character is the Storm Bull initiate and he was very interested in invoking Storm Bull during the "ritual" and having little Storm bull babies. Dice were rolled and Storm Bull's fertility engaged with Uleria's.  As GM, I decided the offspring were twins who would be important in the Hero Wars.

I am not sure what the player of the Storm Bull will want, but expect him to want to nurture his children.  I anticipate the Initiates of Uleria will cooperate with his participation, but may give the children to another couple in the tribe to raise.

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10 hours ago, Ryan Kent said:

What if it happened as part of the ritual performed with visitors to the temple? What would the Initiate's options be?  Are there cult restrictions?  Does the father have any say?

The process is very simple and well established.  Uleria does acknowledge marriage, so if the Ulerian is married the child is part of the marriage.  If not, the child will become a ward of the temple much like Palashee Longaxe.  On the other hand, it is likely that Uleria as a cult  knows more about contraception than any other organization in Glorantha.  Pass around the sylphium.

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3 hours ago, Ryan Kent said:

The only player character is the Storm Bull initiate and he was very interested in invoking Storm Bull during the "ritual" and having little Storm bull babies. Dice were rolled and Storm Bull's fertility engaged with Uleria's.  As GM, I decided the offspring were twins who would be important in the Hero Wars.

Girls? Horned (like little Morag)?

Will the mother be fine? Norayeep's mother basically sacrificed herself in that ritual. And Uleria has a myth about barely surviving exposure to Disorder.

 

3 hours ago, Ryan Kent said:

I am not sure what the player of the Storm Bull will want, but expect him to want to nurture his children.  I anticipate the Initiates of Uleria will cooperate with his participation, but may give the children to another couple in the tribe to raise.

Good fosterage is often part of a heroic upbringing. Sometimes anonymous, sometimes in the light of the public.

The Storm Bull doesn't go by the name of Sky Rider? Or is he a walker?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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the arkat option: whatever plans the human characters make, the day after the babes are weaned a party of aldryami arrive, insisting cryptically that they have come to take the sacred children to fosterage in their grove, 'as per the agreement'

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11 hours ago, Darius West said:

On the other hand, it is likely that Uleria as a cult  knows more about contraception than any other organization in Glorantha.

Yeah, apparently that was factored in, and the PC deliberately ignored and "overcame" that.  Which makes me wonder if we're not teetering on the edge of "Are we the baddies?" here, for my personal sensibilities.

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On 11/24/2021 at 9:07 AM, Darius West said:

On the other hand, it is likely that Uleria as a cult  knows more about contraception than any other organization in Glorantha. 

I think so

 

if there is a child, that's because Uleria and the priestess want it.

I don't believe there is any IRL issue "oups I forgive something".

From my perspective, no abortion concept is needed in any regular way, as Uleria is the goddess of all pleasures, with consequence (if there is a "something else" need) or no consequence (if there is nothing else need)

 

If abortion is needed for a Uleria priestess that means (for me) chaos was involveld before, not as a consequence, but as a cause. And a big chaos power (curse, strong spells, etc...) to be able to challenge the maybe most powerfull god in the world

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On 11/25/2021 at 7:49 PM, French Desperate WindChild said:

I think so

if there is a child, that's because Uleria and the priestess want it.

I don't believe there is any IRL issue "oups I forgive something".

From my perspective, no abortion concept is needed in any regular way, as Uleria is the goddess of all pleasures, with consequence (if there is a "something else" need) or no consequence (if there is nothing else need)

If abortion is needed for a Uleria priestess that means (for me) chaos was involveld before, not as a consequence, but as a cause. And a big chaos power (curse, strong spells, etc...) to be able to challenge the maybe most powerfull god in the world

Yes, I can't really accept that the Goddess of Love and bearer of the Life rune would be okay with abortion, as it sort of runs counter to her gifts.  Prevention is another matter entirely, and I'm sure that she's fine with giving her worshippers some power over when they conceive and with whom.  The idea being that sylphium is not just an abortifacient but an actual contraceptive if taken prior according to some of what I have read.

On 11/25/2021 at 6:54 AM, Alex said:

Yeah, apparently that was factored in, and the PC deliberately ignored and "overcame" that.  Which makes me wonder if we're not teetering on the edge of "Are we the baddies?" here, for my personal sensibilities.

Stormbull initiates aren't under any restrictions as to their relationships. Ulerians certainly aren't.  As to the whole "made her pregnant without her consent" bit, well, that is generally called an accidental pregnancy and isn't considered rape.  As to Stormbull, remember that he raped Thed while pretending to be Orlanth, and Ragnaglar was their brother who went to the "Sex pit" during their initiations.  Retcon as we may, it is all in the literature.

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22 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Yes, I can't really accept that the Goddess of Love and bearer of the Life rune would be okay with abortion, as it sort of runs counter to her gifts. 

The perennial debate about when the unborn child counts as more than a possibility and an entity of its own. A heartbeat? Motion?

If every egg is sacred, menstruation shouldn't happen.

This is the Bronze Age, so only viable children may be regarded as worth giving birth to. Uleria might have some secret ritual magic to re-absorb non-viable offspring.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Children are raised as much or more by institutions or extended families than individuals. I assume the temple would take this as a sign that this is Uleria's desire. I would be inclined to make them wards of the Ulerian Temple and part of the clan of their mother. If the Storm Bull really wants to try and raise children, just let him miss some adventures because a kid is sick and he'll understand that adventuring and solo parenting are not a good match.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

This is the Bronze Age, so only viable children may be regarded as worth giving birth to. Uleria might have some secret ritual magic to re-absorb non-viable offspring.

"Life begins at first Breath" would be an especially "Hardcore Orlanthi" take, if one wanted to take a maximalist approach in the other direction...

37 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Yes, I can't really accept that the Goddess of Love and bearer of the Life rune would be okay with abortion, as it sort of runs counter to her gifts.

"Bearer of the Life rune" seems a little over-worked, for me.  As Greater Gods go, she's very small beer these days.  If she's notionally the same as the Celestial Court divinity, she's farmed out a lot of the heavy-lifting, especially to various Earth goddesses.  Of the three third-of-a-lemon minor subcults welded lightly together) yes, one of them is on those lines.  (Going by the RQ3 writeup, CoG might vary from that in either direction.)  Though Reproduce very much seems to assume a willing "target".  Community, Erotocomatose Lucidity, and the Courtesan skill aren't really concerned with that at all.

37 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Prevention is another matter entirely, and I'm sure that she's fine with giving her worshippers some power over when they conceive and with whom.  The idea being that sylphium is not just an abortifacient but an actual contraceptive if taken prior according to some of what I have read.

Yes reputedly both, as I understand it.  Not medically verifiable due to lack of much in the way of double-blind randomised clinical trials at the time, and as it's not known what it was (or is).  But on the face of it plausible if it was oestrogenic and taken in sufficient quantities.  Mythically it's a gift from Apollo -- surely a major Life Rune deity in anyone's money.  (After a little bit of alternate-reality currency exchange, admittedly.)

However, what's "another matter entirely" is...  another matter entirely!  Gloranthan deities aren't known for their 'you have have "some power", but not too much approach.  If rampant fertility is a Ulerian cult virtue, are her priestesses (of that particular subcult) being impious by using birth control?  And are we reasoning from Bronze-Age knowledge and sensibilities?  Or from high fantasy runic-deterministic ones?  Because those might be very different.  Is the sharp dividing line between prior and "emergency" contraception?  Or between before conception and after?  Or before implantation, and after that?  (The most usual scientific definition being the last of these, but even that's rather variable.)  Before we even get into historical concepts like "quickening" or other such notions of late-breaking ensoulment.  And I mention this not out of any interest in arguing which is the "correct" take, but to point out what a sensibilities minefield that potentially is, too.

37 minutes ago, Darius West said:

As to the whole "made her pregnant without her consent" bit, well, that is generally called an accidental pregnancy and isn't considered rape.

I believe UK case law would disagree with you there, where this is a deliberate act contrary to the wishes of the other party.  I'll grant you that concerned "stealthy" condom-removal and not non-consensual use of fertility magic, so the comparison isn't exact.  But that's inevitably true in both directions.  Given that the PC "very interested in invoking Storm Bull during the "ritual" and having little Storm bull babies", I don't believe this is accurately describable as "accidental" in any way.  Whether it teeters over into "chaotic" one might argue either way.

37 minutes ago, Darius West said:

As to Stormbull, remember that he raped Thed while pretending to be Orlanth, and Ragnaglar was their brother who went to the "Sex pit" during their initiations.  Retcon as we may, it is all in the literature.

I've not suggested any retconning of those matters.  (Indeed, just the opposite, though the least said about that other thread...)  Not that there's one single "definitive" myth in the publication history either.  CoT doesn't have any version of this at all.  I'm not sure off the top of my head which telling of the Thed myth you're referring to, but it sounds within the range of variation.  KoS refers to "[Orlanth's] brother", and I think the phrase "sometimes called the kinsman of Storm Bull" could be hinting at the same thing.  Or implying Ragnaglar is more closely related to Urox than to Orlanthi (a full rather than a half brother, perhaps?).  Or this is the Orlanth-cult version of the tale, and "kin of Storm Bull" is more palatable than "of Orlanth".  And the myth are undoubtedly multiple even (or especially) in Glorantha.

My questions are rather, is this something people really want to foreground in play?  And especially, is this something we want to portray as being fine, dandy, and attracting no adverse consequences?  And what exactly is the OP seeking input on, anyway?  How grimdark their table experience is, and quite how tough a gig it might be for NPCs, is of course entirely up to them.

If one is looking for some Lore options to tone this down a tad, note that the Storm Bull has a whole lot of "seducer" form.  So obtaining the prior consent of the Ulerian (or more dubiously, getting it after the fact) is a mythically congruent choice.

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13 hours ago, Joerg said:

This is the Bronze Age, so only viable children may be regarded as worth giving birth to. Uleria might have some secret ritual magic to re-absorb non-viable offspring.

This is also Glorantha, where spells like Bless Pregnancy exist.  

My current PC is a pregnant Vinga worshipper who last session was very harshly dumped by the cad of a father, Annstad.  She still plans to bear, cherish, and love the (twin) children.  And show that bastard by making them Princes of Tarsh!  🙂

I don't buy a Ulerian being too shocked that she got pregnant by a Storm Bull.  What are bulls for?  Though I respect that YGMV and everybody has their own personal take on this very personal subject.  

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As I said, Storm Bull and Uleria were both involved in the accidental heroquest during the ritual coupling that resulted in the pregnancy.  The NPC Uleria initiate was not surprised at the outcome and certainly happy to be part of Uleria's planned pregnancy.  Not sure she is to keen on a relationship with a Praxian Storm Bull initiate. Seems like the temple will raise the children.  Horns.... hmmm. that sounds interesting.

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