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Cult distribution in Mo Baustra, other Sun Counties and Oasis People


Jape_Vicho

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Jeff posted in December in Facebook:

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Cult Demographics for Civilized Prax

I’ve been fine-tuning some of the cult demographic numbers for Pavis County and the Sun County. As of 1626, there are about 25,650 humans residing in Pavis County – this includes Argrath’s companions but does not include those nomadic bands that might winter in Pavis County. There are about 19,000 humans residing in Sun County.

The biggest cults are:

  • Ernalda 5325 (with another 4375 who are mere initiates of the Grain Goddess for a total of 9700)
  • Yelmalio 4900 (575 in Pavis County and 4375 in Sun County)
  • Orlanth 4700 (all in Pavis County)
  • Zola Fel 3500 (1500 in Pavis County and 2000 in Sun County)
  • Pavis himself has about 1000 initiates.

Now Orlanth punches higher than that, if you add the 650 Humakti and 550 Storm Bull cultists in Pavis County (many of whom are sworn to Argrath), and the other Lightbringer cults.

But it does give you an idea of the relative numbers of the various cults. Post the Liberation of Pavis, the Seven Mothers cult is very small, only about 500 members, and all in Pavis County).


For a point of comparison, in all all of Sartar (including Far Point and Sun County County) there are 6525 Yelmalio cultists. Of that, 2700 are in Sun Dome County and 1725 in the Far Point. There are more Yelmalio cultists in New Pavis than in Alda-Chur, but the Alda-Churi can also call on the 1000 Yelmalio cultists in the Vantaros tribe.

So let’s just ignore the Yelmalio cult in Tarsh, and focus on the cult in Sartar and Civilised Prax.The cult in Sartar is about a quarter bigger and is definitely richer. The Sun Dome Templars in Sartar are definitely more militarily skilled and disciplined. But they also must deal with a far more powerful and established Orlanth cult. It may be autonomous, but generally the Sun Dome is an ally of the Prince of Sartar. In Sartar, the Sun Dome and Varntaros are effectively just two more tribes among many.

The cult in Civilised Prax is smaller, but can approach the Orlanth cult as a peer. They are objectively weaker than the Sun Dome templars in Sartar but compared to their neighbours they are much stronger. They can be far more independent and autonomous than their kin in Sartar. And within Sun County, the cult is far more dominant than in Sartar. In Sun County, the traditional “Ernalda cult” is effectively a Grain Goddess cult and is long-tied to Yelmalio – but in Sartar, the Ernalda cult can always call upon the Orlanth cult for protection and support, and has ties to Esrolia.

So even though they are the same cult, worshiping the same god with the same myths and rules, the cults behave differently.

The Big Rubble has several other cults of importance:

  • Pavis 500
  • Black Fang 250+
  • Kyger Litor 500 (plus numerous lay members)
  • Zorak Zoran 150
  • Argan Argar 50
  • Aldrya 1000
  • Thed 200
  • Mallia 175

That being said, Sun Dome County in Sartar maintains close religious and cultural ties to Sun County in civilised Prax. Two of the last three counts of Sun County have been Sartarite, and Yelmalio cult in Sun County was among the first to follow Monrogh’s vision (after the Sun Dome itself).

 

All the post is very interesting and you can find it here https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/catalogue/websites/facebook/2022-01-jeff-on-facebook/ , but something in particular has piked my interest and is the numbers for Yelmalio and Ernalda in Sun County Prax. Considering the population of the county, which is around 19.000 as it's statet there and on the Guide, of which around 2/3 are adults, so around 12.667 then. If the cults of Yelmalio and Ernalda together have 8750 members, which is around 35% each, then there is some degree of change from the original cult distribution on the Sun County book, which made each 40%. Does this means that there are some cults in Mo Baustra that break the 1% mark and were not present in the Sun County book (besides Zola Fel)? Sorry if it's just WIP and the exact numbers don't say anything, but I would love some more diversity in the Sun Dome and this maybe means that.

Also, are other Sun Domes less religiously homogenous than Mo Baustra or just as much?

And do we know which are the preferred deities of the Oasis People? I'm sure Eiritha is the main one but it's a mainly femenine deity, there has to be one that speaks to the males too, and I don't think they worship Waha or Storm Bull, no one wants slaves worshipping warrior gods (unless those slaves are mamluks of sorts of course, but Prax is not Fonrit).

:50-power-truth::50-sub-light:

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7 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

And do we know which are the preferred deities of the Oasis People?

I am writing up the Oasis People for Jonstown Compendium, slowly but surely.

In my Glorantha, the Oasis People are broken, their beliefs were shattered with the death of Tada and Genert, and they have remnants of the core beliefs.

So, each Oasis Folk settlement has its own deities, pretty much just Spirit Lords, whom they worship. Oasis Folk don't travel between Oasis very often, so have no idea that their deities are worshipped elsewhere, in a slightly different form.

 

7 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

I'm sure Eiritha is the main one but it's a mainly femenine deity, there has to be one that speaks to the males too, and I don't think they worship Waha or Storm Bull, no one wants slaves worshipping warrior gods (unless those slaves are mamluks of sorts of course, but Prax is not Fonrit).

Eiritha is a goddess of those who herd cattle of various types. In my Glorantha, Oasis Folk don't herd cattle. Instead they rely on the bounty of their Oasis for everything they need. If their Oasis doesn't provide something then they don't need it.

I don't think they worship Waha, as they were not part of the Covenant.

I don't think they worship Storm Bull routinely, as Storm Bull was out of their belief sphere when Genert and Tada were killed. Some individuals might worship Storm Bull, but not as a full cult.

Instead, they have lots of Spirit Cults.

But my Glorantha varies.

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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23 hours ago, soltakss said:

I am writing up the Oasis People for Jonstown Compendium, slowly but surely.

In my Glorantha, the Oasis People are broken, their beliefs were shattered with the death of Tada and Genert, and they have remnants of the core beliefs.

So, each Oasis Folk settlement has its own deities, pretty much just Spirit Lords, whom they worship. Oasis Folk don't travel between Oasis very often, so have no idea that their deities are worshipped elsewhere, in a slightly different form.

 

 

This sounds excellent, one of the things I was always hoping would be produced was an ' Oasis of Prax' supplement, either stand alone or as part of a larger Prax Pack. So I'm looking forward to this.

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23 hours ago, soltakss said:

I am writing up the Oasis People for Jonstown Compendium, slowly but surely.

In my Glorantha, the Oasis People are broken, their beliefs were shattered with the death of Tada and Genert, and they have remnants of the core beliefs.

So, each Oasis Folk settlement has its own deities, pretty much just Spirit Lords, whom they worship. Oasis Folk don't travel between Oasis very often, so have no idea that their deities are worshipped elsewhere, in a slightly different form.

 

Eiritha is a goddess of those who herd cattle of various types. In my Glorantha, Oasis Folk don't herd cattle. Instead they rely on the bounty of their Oasis for everything they need. If their Oasis doesn't provide something then they don't need it.

I don't think they worship Waha, as they were not part of the Covenant.

I don't think they worship Storm Bull routinely, as Storm Bull was out of their belief sphere when Genert and Tada were killed. Some individuals might worship Storm Bull, but not as a full cult.

Instead, they have lots of Spirit Cults.

But my Glorantha varies.

I can see the logic in all the suppositions.

The Oasis Folk are canonically held in very little regard by the Beast Nomads, each tribe of which uses/abuses them as they need to. When a tribe moves into the area, the Oasis villagers 'belong' to them for the duration of their stay until they're replaced by next tribe in the grazing cycle.

This would strongly suggest the absence of any kind of war god or god that advocates strong or defiant leadership.

However, the idea of a roaming protective shaman who aids and subtly guides the various Oasis Peoples isn't an altogether bad idea... similar to the shaman/protector of the Votanki in 'Griffin Mountain', Blueface? I don't have the reference immediately to hand and I forget his name. In any event, the guy was a seriously powerful shaman that even iron-clad full priests of major deities would not casually tangle with.

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3 hours ago, svensson said:

However, the idea of a roaming protective shaman who aids and subtly guides the various Oasis Peoples isn't an altogether bad idea... similar to the shaman/protector of the Votanki in 'Griffin Mountain', Blueface? I don't have the reference immediately to hand and I forget his name. In any event, the guy was a seriously powerful shaman that even iron-clad full priests of major deities would not casually tangle with.

Magic like divinations (to know when nomads are coming), "harmony" with them (as in, only take most of our food), being able to hide away stuff, and so on will be very useful. There are likely spiritual reserves that can be brought up if any occupiers completely misbehave and the local spirits get roused. There may be nomad stories about someone who got cursed that way - the moral is that there's got to be limits even when you come for the Oasis Peoples.

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On 2/14/2022 at 2:21 AM, soltakss said:

I am writing up the Oasis People for Jonstown Compendium, slowly but surely.

In my Glorantha, the Oasis People are broken, their beliefs were shattered with the death of Tada and Genert, and they have remnants of the core beliefs.

So, each Oasis Folk settlement has its own deities, pretty much just Spirit Lords, whom they worship. Oasis Folk don't travel between Oasis very often, so have no idea that their deities are worshipped elsewhere, in a slightly different form.

...

 

I like this!

The proselytizing spread of the Lightbringers reunited shards of same-cult worship, that had fragmented in the Darkness and lost their unity; but the Oasis folk never had that experience (and, of course, likely worshiped Genert as their pantheon's chief Deity; but he no longer answers prayers or grants any Rune magic!).

 

On 2/14/2022 at 2:21 AM, soltakss said:

... Eiritha is a goddess of those who herd cattle of various types. In my Glorantha, Oasis Folk don't herd cattle. Instead they rely on the bounty of their Oasis for everything they need.
...

I bet there is some remnant worship of agricultural deities... Grain-goddesses, a Date-Palm goddess, etc...  Genert's daughters, grand-daughters?

 

On 2/14/2022 at 2:21 AM, soltakss said:

...

I don't think they worship Storm Bull routinely, as Storm Bull was out of their belief sphere when Genert and Tada were killed. Some individuals might worship Storm Bull, but not as a full cult.

 

I'd bet on some (possibly seasonal) propitiatory worship... much like Malia gets!

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7 hours ago, svensson said:

However, the idea of a roaming protective shaman who aids and subtly guides the various Oasis Peoples isn't an altogether bad idea... similar to the shaman/protector of the Votanki in 'Griffin Mountain', Blueface? I don't have the reference immediately to hand and I forget his name. In any event, the guy was a seriously powerful shaman that even iron-clad full priests of major deities would not casually tangle with.

I am writing up a such an NPC, the Sleeping Shaman (Mainly to annoy a Player in our campaign whose email begins sleepingshaman, but also for very good mythical reasons), but he will only begin to unite the Oasis Folk.

2 hours ago, g33k said:

The proselytizing spread of the Lightbringers reunited shards of same-cult worship, that had fragmented in the Darkness and lost their unity; but the Oasis folk never had that experience (and, of course, likely worshiped Genert as their pantheon's chief Deity; but he no longer answers prayers or grants any Rune magic!).

One of the big conflicts, for them, will be the clash between Ernalda, Queen of the Earth Tribe, and Genert, King of the Earth Tribe, after Genert is brought back.

2 hours ago, g33k said:

I bet there is some remnant worship of agricultural deities... Grain-goddesses, a Date-Palm goddess, etc...  Genert's daughters, grand-daughters?

Of course, each Oasis Folk Clan worships the waters and tress of the Oasis, so one of Mistress Palm's five daughters, for example. An Oasis without water is just a stand of trees, and an Oasis without trees is just a pool, the two have to go hand in hand.

2 hours ago, g33k said:

I'd bet on some (possibly seasonal) propitiatory worship... much like Malia gets!

In my Glorantha, each Oasis has its own way of dealing with, and surviving, Chaos. Those near Chaos Nests, for example near the Tunnelled Hills, have stronger magic to hide or fight.

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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10 hours ago, Agentorange said:

This sounds excellent, one of the things I was always hoping would be produced was an ' Oasis of Prax' supplement, either stand alone or as part of a larger Prax Pack. So I'm looking forward to this.

I would be happy with only good information about the broken pantheon of the paps, cults, deities, spells and some myths. For example the good shepherd. I know is a son of Ernalda and Tada with the life rune spell of seal soul and is an associate cult of Ernalda but we don't know nothing beyond that. 

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9 hours ago, soltakss said:

< SNIP much intriguing content >
...

In my Glorantha, each Oasis has its own way of dealing with, and surviving, Chaos. Those near Chaos Nests, for example near the Tunnelled Hills, have stronger magic to hide or fight.

I dont mean Chaos... I'm suggesting they may offer worship to propitiate The Bull (during Storm Season) in much the same way (and for similar (i.e. self-protective) reasons) as folks propitiate Malia...

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10 hours ago, soltakss said:

I am writing up a such an NPC, the Sleeping Shaman (Mainly to annoy a Player in our campaign whose email begins sleepingshaman, but also for very good mythical reasons), but he will only begin to unite the Oasis Folk.

 

Well, obviously you're writing to your vision of who the Oasis People are, but as I understand it each oasis group is an entirely separate subculture. In the older RQ2 info, the Oasis People didn't even speak the same language between settlements! That might militate against 'uniting' the disparate groups.

But a 'super shaman' [please name him 'Sha'Zaham' 😆] who was known and accepted among all the oases [yes, that's the plural of 'oasis' and, yes, I had to look that one up], who knew ALL the oasis languages, ALL the customs, and ALL the local spirits would be a very powerful and protective force in the region. He'd provide a brake on the Beast Tribes getting too rambunctious with the locals.

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The oasis folk are the survivors of the Tada-Shi, the main inhabitants of Old Prax and Genert's Garden. I see them as horticulturists, with access to odd plant spirits/deities. Most oases have a mix of common crops (date palms for instance) and a special crop or three only available at that oasis.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Okay so three things:

1) I'll assume by the lack of answer to my original question, that the answer is "no", and that the cult distribution is pretty much the same than the one Sun County presented. 

2) Very interesting stuff about the oasis people, I like the saman idea. In that case, we could say that Daka Fal is an important cult right? If they have almost no gods but only themselves and the spirits, the Daka Fal cult would fit them perfectly.

3) This was not included in my original question but fits the thread nonetheless. In the Sun County book we are told that there are " a few Lunar expatriate families" who reside in the County and "still revere Yelm the Fiary Father, and can claim certain prerogarives". I wonder which prerogatives are those, I assume they are linked to the relation of reverence and respect that the Yelmalio cult holds towards Yelm, and thus my guess is that it means that they are honored guests in Yelmalion rituals and treated with respect even though they are outsiders, and this probably even improves the magic mo Mo Baustra, bc of all that "if Above so Below".

What I've quoted is as much as the book says about those Dara Happan families which reside in the County, but of course, with (almost) every Yelm worshipper there has to be a Dendara worshipper, and there is according to the Cult Membership chart, which puts a 2% chance to each, which would mean that there are about 760 individuals in Sun County Prax, including children, who are Dara Happan. This is a minority, but is the biggest religious minority in Sun County, and thus cannot be ignored easily. 

The question is, if there are about 500 adult Dara Happans in Sun County, what is their livelyhood? Bc as we know, the Yelm-Dendara cults are the aristocracy of Dara Happa; there, their work (well, more like Yelm's work) is to manage the local Lodril worshipping farming communities, collect taxes, redistribute gains, invest in infraestructure, defend... Well, what bronze age aristrocacies used to do. The "lowest" of the yelmites I can see being little more than household warriors, tax collectors, or local headmen, maybe even crafters, but they most definitely don't farm. But the Sun Counties (at least Mo Baustra) are very different from Dara Happa; in Mo Baustra (almost) every family is a family of free farmers who toll a land directly given by the temple, and they only have to pay taxes and aswer to the priests there. In that case, where do the Dara Happans fit? How do they earn the money they need to sustain their (costly) standard of living?

:50-power-truth::50-sub-light:

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On 2/13/2022 at 7:34 PM, Jape_Vicho said:

Jeff posted in December in Facebook:

 

All the post is very interesting and you can find it here https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/catalogue/websites/facebook/2022-01-jeff-on-facebook/ , but something in particular has piked my interest and is the numbers for Yelmalio and Ernalda in Sun County Prax. Considering the population of the county, which is around 19.000 as it's statet there and on the Guide, of which around 2/3 are adults, so around 12.667 then. If the cults of Yelmalio and Ernalda together have 8750 members, which is around 35% each, then there is some degree of change from the original cult distribution on the Sun County book, which made each 40%. Does this means that there are some cults in Mo Baustra that break the 1% mark and were not present in the Sun County book (besides Zola Fel)? Sorry if it's just WIP and the exact numbers don't say anything, but I would love some more diversity in the Sun Dome and this maybe means that.

The breakdown of the Praxian Sun County is approximately:

Yelmalio 0.35
Grain Goddess 0.32
Ernalda 0.05
Yelm  0.01
Lokarnos 0.01
Lhankor Mhy 0.01
Issaries 0.01
Chalana Arroy 0.02
Uleria 0.01
Zola Fel 0.16
Other 0.05

 

On 2/13/2022 at 7:34 PM, Jape_Vicho said:

Also, are other Sun Domes less religiously homogenous than Mo Baustra or just as much?

Yelmalio is the dominant god at each of the Sun Dome temples, in most cases with somewhere between 30 and 41% of the population. There is normally an Earth Goddess consort or consorts with about the same percentage of the population - a local Grain Goddess or Ernalda depending on the location. The rest worship a diverse group of local gods and spirits.

 

 

 

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On 2/16/2022 at 5:24 AM, Joerg said:

The oasis folk are the survivors of the Tada-Shi, the main inhabitants of Old Prax and Genert's Garden. I see them as horticulturists, with access to odd plant spirits/deities. Most oases have a mix of common crops (date palms for instance) and a special crop or three only available at that oasis.

Do we know something about Camenura, the Oasis south of eiritha hills? 

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15 hours ago, Jose said:

Do we know something about Camenura, the Oasis south of eiritha hills? 

I can't see that on the map.

Do you mean Cam's Well? That is south of  The Block, between Monkey Ruins and Sog's Ruins, and was described in a fanzine as having lots of snakes.

 

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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55 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I can't see that on the map.

Do you mean Cam's Well? That is south of  The Block, between Monkey Ruins and Sog's Ruins, and was described in a fanzine as having lots of snakes.

 

Yep, but no canon information that we know about it at this moment. It seems. 

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56 minutes ago, Jose said:

Yep, but no canon information that we know about it at this moment. It seems. 

The Guide to Glorantha says:

Quote

Cam’s Well: This deep, covered well is the remains of a God Time palace. Inside, it consists of white pearlescent walls with a double helical ramp large enough for herd animals to traverse.

 

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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12 hours ago, Jose said:
19 hours ago, soltakss said:

The Guide to Glorantha says:

 

Uhm! There has to be some type of water spirit there for that oasis to survive. Right? 

In my forthcoming Secrets of the Oasis Folk, I have a Water spirit and an Earth spirit at each Oasis. Without a Water spirit it is just a stand of tree, without an Earth spirit it is just a still pool of water, both have to be present for the Oasis to bloom.

9 hours ago, Ladygolem said:

I'd wager every oasis has at least some kind of locally powerful water spirit to keep it going, sustained by a small but very dedicated local cult.

Yes, I agree.

 

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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11 hours ago, Ladygolem said:

I'd wager every oasis has at least some kind of locally powerful water spirit to keep it going, sustained by a small but very dedicated local cult.

That's sort of a given, if you look at the River Horse spirit in the Bestiary (p.184f) or in Nomad Gods rules pdf (p.42). All the oases are connected to the Heart of the Seas much as the headwaters of the rivers are, and we know that all rivers have their deities/spirits as a whole and lesser ones for sub-sections (like Kinope for the part of the Zola Fel going through Sun County in Prax).

The local oasis folk are permanent worshippers of that water entity, and the temporarily resident nomads will offer worship and sacrifice, too. Especially if they want to access separate water holes in the same catchment area, too.

Not sure whether the local cult will have much of a rune master, at least not among the humans. There might be a local awakened animal or some other creature with more affinity to water acting as the Godtalker and leading the worship. Newtlings may serve in that role, for instance, but intelligent fish or crawfish might as well..

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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