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3rd Age Malkionism


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On 1/8/2022 at 4:46 PM, metcalph said:

I'm not sure where we are getting the idea that the Saints Ascended are limited in the Rune Magics they provide.

From @Jeff as linked to earlier in this thread, particularly his descriptions of cults such as Hrestol. I’m sorry if you did not find that context obvious. 

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On 1/7/2022 at 6:14 AM, Eff said:

I think my assumption is that DF shamans come mostly from the dronars and have a position somewhat like that of shamans in contemporary South Korea, especially in terms of how discordant they seem when performing their necessary rites in a talar household.

While certainly possible, ancestor worship among the Talars seems far more significant in Seshnela. And the nature of ancestor worship is that it is primarily hereditary, and will not cross caste lines much at all. 

Given we know ancestor worship without shamans is possible, I think it is likely the case among the talars. 

And I’m not that sure that ancestor worship among the dronars gets them that much - few dronar ancestors will be notable at much except their craft. Professional gods (like the equivalents of Gustbran, farmer gods, Minlister, Mahome, Hyalor, etc) seem much more likely to be significant, often organised as Guilds for more specialised professions. 

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3 minutes ago, davecake said:

While certainly possible, ancestor worship among the Talars seems far more significant in Seshnela. And the nature of ancestor worship is that it is primarily hereditary, and will not cross caste lines much at all. 

Given we know ancestor worship without shamans is possible, I think it is likely the case among the talars. 

And I’m not that sure that ancestor worship among the dronars gets them that much - few dronar ancestors will be notable at much except their craft. Professional gods (like the equivalents of Gustbran, farmer gods, Minlister, Mahome, Hyalor, etc) seem much more likely to be significant, often organised as Guilds for more specialised professions. 

I mean, to be frank, this is my assumption because it's a dynamic which forces constant disruption into Seshnelan society and deliberately questions caste boundaries. If (mainstream) Malkioni society is one that runs perfectly smoothly, without any internal friction or self-contradictions, they're just stupider Brithini and that's no fun. So if ancestor worship is how Seshnelans do it, and talars are discordant with shamans, then shamans come from the peons and they have to sit there and let the peasant shamans do their work to negotiate with Great Great Great Great Uncle Louisant who wants to know why you refuse to talk about Malkioneran anymore. And maybe a player character found their calling with the shamans, and that's why they're a functional human being instead of a mass of Rokar-induced complexes.

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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On 1/9/2022 at 9:52 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

This isn't the thread for my own takes on things, but I thought it would be cool if "mundane" expertise had sorcerous secrets baked into it. So a Master Mason, for example, would through his masonry tutelage learn not only to calculate load bearing and such, but also specific sorcery that deals with ensuring structures' stability and what have you. Perhaps these were ultimately Kachasti, Tadeniti or Kadeniti secrets or whatever, but their origin is effectively irrelevant.

This is the Mostali way, and the Malkioni have been trading some knowledge with the Mostali (admittedly very cautiously) for centuries. I think certainly some knowledge that is considered essentially sorcerous may well have worked its way into particularly dronar guild knowledge, through Men of All at least if not actively under the Rokari. There will also be times when the castes collaborate (zzaburi and dronar collaborating on magic weapons and armour, siege engineering, magical defenses, etc). 
This may not look the same as sorcery normally does though. Not Mastering Runes or Techniques, no years of studying abstract theory. But knowledge of basic enchantments or alchemy techniques passing to dronar master craftsmen, or rote learned rituals similar to the Open Seas spell. Mostly as secrets of guilds passed down through the guild masters. Perhaps stolen Mostali secrets kept very hidden for fear of the Mostali learning about them. 

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Ancestor worship is so common in the RW that any one of a myriad of forms is possible. Greeks, Romans, and just about any ancient people conceptualized veneration of ancestors as important to the current wellbeing of the recognized family. 

From what I read between the lines, I'm wondering if perhaps (Southern?) Chinese ancestor worship isn't perhaps the most apt comparison? 

In this model, any family which are recognized as descending from a notable figure (or potentially a collective generic-ancestor) will invest into shrines or even temples dedicated to said ancestor, and visit and conduct ceremonies there. A member of the family will be appointed to maintain the shrine/temple and conduct said ceremonies, being for all intents a priest even if the term isn't used. The role might be applied to less or more prestigious lineages or a certain numbered child of a family (second sons or something?) or it might be something that is in rotations every few years and is either given to a younger person before they take on more active responsibilities, or provided to an ageing relative as a way to provide for them. Potentially, a Dronar could be hired or something, if the role is seen as more a caretaker role. (Junior Zzaburites could of course also be involved, but I feel like they're a bit overexposed in the literature already, so trying out other approaches).  

Due to the importance of "proving" ancestry, lineage lists might be important, and maybe reciting ancestry might be a part of ceremonies, effectively actualizing the bonds to make the magic benefits (and social cohesion) possible. 

Tombs, sarcophagi, death masks, death murals, alleged likenesses as statuettes etc. might all be important and copies made to sit in alcoves in the various domiciles outside of the shrine/temple itself, unless of course the shrines are smaller affairs to begin with and just another room in the house.

Just speculating, of course.

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6 minutes ago, Eff said:

If (mainstream) Malkioni society is one that runs perfectly smoothly, without any internal friction or self-contradictions, they're just stupider Brithini and that's no fun.

I admit my understanding of how Rokari society functions is a lot of almost universally understood and tolerated hypocrisy. Everyone knows that their own caste has many members who push the boundaries of what should be accepted, but forgives their own transgressions. Everyone knows they other castes go beyond what should be accepted (in various ways - the zzaburi generally keep to the magical rules, but I think other castes think they usurp the role of talars and interfere in other castes) and waggle their fingers in disapproval, but know the ways in which their own caste goes beyond the ancient caste rules (such talars being elite warriors, or holars using all sorts of beast magic) are absolutely necessary for practical modern reality. Hypocrisy - everyone should strive to be more like ancient Danmalastan, except those like me obviously- is probably pretty common. 


But then, I’ve never liked Rokarism from the start, and the more I learnt of its history the more my dislike was confirmed. It seemed too much like trying to imitate Brithini ways without making their most difficult choices, hopelessly trying to push back to a pre-Hrestol, pre-Time age that could never be regained, and probably shouldn’t be. LARPing at being Brithini. 

Much more friendly readings are possible, in which Rokarism is a series of carefully constructed compromises, designed to create a pragmatic, practical society on the Malkioni caste model that very carefully minimizes the chance of magical apocalypse through checks and balances and functional institutions that are effective against their hostile neighbors while not being corrupting. 
W

what will be interesting to me is when we finally start to flesh out some of those weirder smaller sects, presumably mostly God Learner era sects of mainstream Hrestolism, like the Galvosti and the Boristi, and the Sedalpists. 
Though I don’t know which of them have Men Of All. The Valkarists don’t seem to, for example. 

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59 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Due to the importance of "proving" ancestry, lineage lists might be important, and maybe reciting ancestry might be a part of ceremonies, effectively actualizing the bonds to make the magic benefits (and social cohesion) possible. 

We already know that lineage lists are very important to the talars at least, and conceptually to the zzaburi. Several major ‘sacred’ or magical books of the Malkioni are basically big lineage lists, with the ancestry of ‘gods’ and other magical being intermingling with the lineages of houses of the nobility - and the noble houses carefully maintain these lineages in their own records. 
Of course this has become different in the modern era for other castes - zzabur are no longer within their birth caste (but still obsess over the lineages of magical entities), horali may have come originally from non-Malkioni people, dronars may not even have long term family records. But I think obsessively caring about lineages (that usually link to legendary/ divine beings) and recording them in books is still a trait of the Malkioni upper classes almost everywhere. 

Of course the Orlanthi do this too, but it’s usually much more an oral tradition, and they seem much more flexible about it - a persons deeds can always over rule their lineage. 

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On 1/9/2022 at 3:44 PM, metcalph said:

The Horal generally has two deities - the Caste Deity and the Order Deity. 

The Caste Deity is either Hrestol, "Gerlant" or Arkat. 

I would have said all three of those are caste deities of Men Of All or talars, not horals. And Arkat not accepted among the Seshnegi at all. 
The caste deity, if not Horal himself, likely Humakt or other warrior gods. Through these gods they are granted their weapons and weapon magic (in ancient Malkioni myth) - but they do not serve them, so I think they practice only cut down, limited versions of those cults. They must always put their talar above their god, or they break caste law. 
That said, it’s not as if Rokari horali are likely to be Resurrected, or be asked to fight alongside undead, anyway, right? But still, most stick to their beast societies, who make less awkward demands. 
 

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The put it in simple rules terms - the cult of a major Ancestor like Froawal probably grants a limited number of rune spells, including Summon Ancestor, Summon Specific Ancestor, and Summon Spirit Teacher. I think a limited number of other Rune spells.

On the rare occasion it becomes necessary to perform a ‘shaman’ task, like a spirit quest into the spirit world, they summon an ancestor with all three spells so their ancestor may act as a fetch, and Discorporate probably using a ceremony that involves something along the lines of hazia, and can then travel into the spirit world without danger. Yes, most of the time they are kind of bad at this, and it’s something done in extremis. But they can also look into getting other sources of help - Spirit Block from Hrestol, sorcerous help from friendly Zzaburi, and the assistance of powerful ancestors. 

But that’s the generic version. Most lineages will include other ancestors of heroic or divine status, and get a few other magics that way. 
 

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

I would have said all three of those are caste deities of Men Of All or talars, not horals. And Arkat not accepted among the Seshnegi at all. 

Arkat is indirectly accepted through the fiction that he is the father of Gerlant.

Gerlant is an interesting figure. He is very unlikely to have any Seshnegi Talar ancestry. His "adoption by Arkat" may be the only ancestral tie to the Malkioni ancestry from Brithos.

Is there a chance that Arkat was the biological father of Gerlant? Rather slim, IMO. Arkat was born in 375 during the Sunstop. (There is a chance that he was conceived during the Sunstop, too, and that his childhood with the elves of Brithos all happened during the Sunstop as well. Growing up to teenage age in that timeless realm may be the source of his Illumination, rather than any specific mystical  teachings from the elves.) After the Sunstop, Arkat is assigned to the caste of his Horali grandfather and starts training with the new batch of Horali that had been bred on Brithos, possibly in reaction to the attempt of the Silver Empire to conquer the ancestral lands of the Malkioni.

 

2 hours ago, davecake said:

The caste deity, if not Horal himself, likely Humakt or other warrior gods.

I wonder whether Humakt can be separated from Horal Sword-wielder. The ancestral cult could be to "Horal and the sacred sword", with a selection of Humakti rune magic available. Probably no gifts or geases in this Spirit Cult set-up.

2 hours ago, davecake said:

Through these gods they are granted their weapons and weapon magic (in ancient Malkioni myth) - but they do not serve them, so I think they practice only cut down, limited versions of those cults. They must always put their talar above their god, or they break caste law. 

Unless the talar asks them to go against the rules of their caste. As long as the talar's demands are within his right to demand from the horali caste, the horali have to obey. Whether enthusiastically or with some hesitation may be valuable feed-back to the talar in charge, feed-back which may have been ignored before.

But then, the Rokari talar is a martial caste, too, with its many inheritances from the Man-of-All status of Hrestolism - all except sorcery. Literacy might even be encouraged with Rokari talars, at least to some point. Probably a lot less so with horali.

2 hours ago, davecake said:

That said, it’s not as if Rokari horali are likely to be Resurrected, or be asked to fight alongside undead, anyway, right? But still, most stick to their beast societies, who make less awkward demands. 

Horali who join mercenary bands to serve in Safelster or Maniria might come into that situation.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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4 hours ago, davecake said:

The put it in simple rules terms - the cult of a major Ancestor like Froawal probably grants a limited number of rune spells, including Summon Ancestor, Summon Specific Ancestor, and Summon Spirit Teacher. I think a limited number of other Rune spells.

I really don't see why Seshnegi ancestors have to be so "limited" when the Trolls worship Kyger Litor in  the same fashion with her own runic cults.  It also clashes with what is said about the Seshnegi Ancestor worship in Cults of Prax.

 

 

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6 hours ago, davecake said:

From @Jeff as linked to earlier in this thread, particularly his descriptions of cults such as Hrestol. I’m sorry if you did not find that context obvious. 

There's no neede to be so patronizing.  I saw the same text as you did and also know that Jeff described Hrestol's worship in Black Horse County in much scarier terms. 

Quote

 

And yet. Ethilrist's followers worship Hrestol as a god and Ethilrist as demigod. And somehow gain Rune magic from Hrestol (!). And the magic includes such strange things as Shield, Darksword and Control Demon (and I've even seen rumours of Command Chaos!). 

Rather than rely on a sample size of one, I'm asking you why you feel the need to assert the Seshnegi should be so limited in their rune magics.

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1 minute ago, metcalph said:

I really don't see why Seshnegi ancestors have to be so "limited" when the Trolls worship Kyger Litor in  the same fashion with her own runic cults.  It also clashes with what is said about the Seshnegi Ancestor worship in Cults of Prax.

Kyger Litor is a much older and more "pure" entity than pretty much any human ancestor, with a more established place in the godtime. And the throwaway line about Seshneg in CoP explicitly says that it was a thing from the Dawn Ages, not necessarily something that's lasted up until the Third Age.

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4 hours ago, davecake said:

I would have said all three of those are caste deities of Men Of All or talars, not horals. And Arkat not accepted among the Seshnegi at all. 

Arkat was born a Horal.  The Seshnegi do not accept Men-of-All as a valid Caste.  Regardless of current attitudes towards Arkat, he and his worshippers still have a great influence in Tanisor (Mularik Ironeye claims descent from him).  Yes, Arkat is disfavoured but again then so is Hrestol.

The point was that worshippers of these gods among the Seshnegi are not trusted by the Talars or the Zzaburi.  

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6 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Kyger Litor is a much older and more "pure" entity than pretty much any human ancestor, with a more established place in the godtime. And the throwaway line about Seshneg in CoP explicitly says that it was a thing from the Dawn Ages, not necessarily something that's lasted up until the Third Age.

And what stops the Seshnegi from worshipping God-time ancestors like Aerlit, Seshneg, Ehilm etc?  The RuneQuest Companion p7 mentions the Seshnegi adding temples to Orlanth and Magasta at Hrelar Amali.  What stops those gods from being worshipped as ancestors?

 

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4 hours ago, davecake said:

I would have said all three of those are caste deities of Men Of All or talars, not horals. And Arkat not accepted among the Seshnegi at all. 

And Rokarism has joined the non-hereditary Man-of-All quasi-caste to the talar caste. But then, so did old time hrestolism for a number of its king, starting with the first King of Seshnela not from the line of Froalar, Gothimus.

Gerlant is the first King of Seshnela without obvious ancestry from Brithos.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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15 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Kyger Litor is a much older and more "pure" entity than pretty much any human ancestor, with a more established place in the godtime.

I would consider purity a lot less important than Kyger Litor being an Underworld Goddess, a place where such human boundaries between different magics are a lot less meaningful.

Also, the Hellmother is numbered among the Great Gods with a stake in the Hero Wars. Malkioni caste ancestors aren't anywhere as relevant (= powerful).

15 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

And the throwaway line about Seshneg in CoP explicitly says that it was a thing from the Dawn Ages, not necessarily something that's lasted up until the Third Age.

Throwaway lines have a history of unfolding into something a lot bigger in the writing of Glorantha.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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6 hours ago, davecake said:

Well, would for a Malkioni. Becoming an initiate of Orlanth would not be compatible with retaining membership of the talar caste ,and so would mean giving up leadership, including the command and support of other castes, including any caste magic.

I'm not really seeing this.  Other Malkioni societies (the Carmanians and the Aeolians) permit the Talars to worship Gods.  

6 hours ago, davecake said:

Most major deities also forbid sorcery for higher levels. 

The Talars don't learn sorcery as a general rule (I mean they could but it's too much hard work) so this doesn't strike me as an incompatibility between the duties of being a Talar and the duties of worshipping a prominent Ancestor.   Likewise I don't see Caste Magic as being incompatible with ancestor worship as the particular form of the ancestor worshipped may be just fine with it.

6 hours ago, davecake said:

\A talar who rejected Malkion to worship a pagan deity would find it difficult to keep living in the same castle. 

But worshipping one's ancestor does not require the rejection of Malkion or adoption of a pagan deity.  AIl a Talar worships Aerlit then he is worshipping an ancestor who has been part of Seshnela since the Storm Age.  If's not as if he's going to Heortland to worship Orlanth.

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Where I'm coming from.  A partial Q&A from a Seshnegi noble.

Aren’t you Godless?

I worship the First God who is the Ancestor of All.  I worship my ancestors for they are worthy of worship just as the First God is.  Orlanth is my greatest ancestor.  [Allied Spirit Name] is closest to me.

You worship Orlanth?  Our Orlanth?

When Orlanth was King in Seshnela, he called himself Aerlit and that the name in which I worship him.  But the Wizards have taught me the his names in different places and how they are all One Orlanth.  So I worship your Orlanth but do so in the Right Manner to avoid the Great Error.

The Great Error?  What is that?

The Great Error is the error that destroyed the Old World.  By being worshipped for themselves, men empowered the Gods to forget the First God.  In worshipping my ancestors and reciting my lineages, I and other nobles remind them of the First God and those that came before them.  By doing so, we avoid the Great Error.

Nobles?  What about the others of your land?

The Wizards do not worship Gods as we do but share the thoughts of the First God directly.

The soldiers and farmers worship the Gods as you do.  They cannot avoid the Great Error because they have no lineage to remind the Gods of their origins.   Only though accepting noble leadership can the damage they create be averted.

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6 hours ago, Richard S. said:

And the throwaway line about Seshneg in CoP explicitly says that it was a thing from the Dawn Ages, not necessarily something that's lasted up until the Third Age.

It was not a throwaway line. 

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On 1/11/2022 at 4:43 PM, Joerg said:

Gerlant is an interesting figure. He is very unlikely to have any Seshnegi Talar ancestry. His "adoption by Arkat" may be the only ancestral tie to the Malkioni ancestry from Brithos.

? Gerlant is a Secret Keeper, and thus of an acknowledged lineage. He was not a King by birth, but as he marries into a royal lineage you would assume he is of the Talar caste (if not by birth, by becoming a Man of All, but being of a known sacred lineage you’d presume by birth). You seem to be assuming ‘not a king by birth’ is the same as ‘not a talar by birth’, which I don’t think is true. 

On 1/11/2022 at 4:43 PM, Joerg said:

I wonder whether Humakt can be separated from Horal Sword-wielder.

Horal also wields several other weapons, from other gods. So yes. 

 

On 1/11/2022 at 5:18 PM, metcalph said:

Arkat was born a Horal.  The Seshnegi do not accept Men-of-All as a valid Caste. 

Yes, and as a Brithini Horal he does not seem to be particularly successful, and then quickly breaks caste law. I doubt he is venerated for that. 
Prather, he is venerated for his deeds starting as a Man of All - and that not by the Rokari. 

On 1/11/2022 at 5:18 PM, metcalph said:

Regardless of current attitudes towards Arkat, he and his worshippers still have a great influence in Tanisor (Mularik Ironeye claims descent from him).  Yes, Arkat is disfavoured but again then so is Hrestol.

Yes indeed. But they aren’t Rokari. And accept Arkat as a Man of All if they care about his caste at all. 


 

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TLDR: A terrible Joerg rant, calling forth obscure sources correlating to the map of Old Seshnela, and the Seshnelan King List. Enter at your own peril.

19 hours ago, davecake said:

? Gerlant is a Secret Keeper, and thus of an acknowledged lineage.

Let's examine that reasoning, trusting that that term which turns up in the Abiding Book still is part of the Malkioni canon. I'll examine what it means below, after tackling what is known about Gerlant popping up in the history of Seshnela.
 

And moved over into a new topic:

 

Edited by Joerg
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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Joerg - can you please not post 3200 word wall of text as a reply? If you want to create a new thread then create one. But to be perfectly fair, those sorts of replies are nearly unreadable and tend to force people out of forums. 

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