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Do the cities of sorcerers have city gods?


EricW

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Does the founder of a city of atheist sorcerers find themselves unexpectedly attached to the city in the afterlife? So do cities filled with atheists actually have a city god? If so, how do the gods of atheist cities compare to cities with more formal ancestor worship?

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The city god isn’t necessarily the city founder; the Westerners recognise all kinds of ways by which powerful spiritual entities can be created. Yes, there are city gods in Malkioni lands. They’re worshipped by the citizens of their cities (duh!), other than members of the Zzaburi wizard-caste, who are of course forbidden to worship any god other than the Invisible God. (Terms and conditions apply)

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The people serving the sorcerors (Princes, Fighters and Commoners) would worship any city god.  Whether it is the guy who founded the city (normally a non-sorceror as building stuff is a worldly distraction)  or a demon summoned and bound by the leading sorcerer of the city is another matter.

City Gods in Seshnela are usuaully Noble Ancestors.

I think the Loskalmi would rely on the bound gods or spirits that are fed by the commoners.  The Loskalmi who are worshipped for being saints/ascended masters have achieved more important stuff than founding a mere city (case in point - Siglat).

The Arkati have normal city gods.  

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An option for the western cities migh also be some sort of magical 'container' to store the magic (magic point, powers and the like) given by the population and keyed to let  suitable zzaburis draw on that pool when they need to perform heavy-duty magics. Which avoids relying on some otherwordly entity that may have it's own volition and agenda.

Edited by Manunancy
typos fixing
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I would answer differently:

there is no (who believe it ?) or only one invisible god

others are entities powerful enough to be named (ancestors, protectors, …)

dumb people called them gods but there are not. Barbarian consider Issaries as a god but we know issaries is our Talar’s ancestor. Is our Talar a god ? Of course not. Then the Logic says Issaries is not a god but a Talar who succeed to gather powers, became immortal and can help his mortal heirs and their followers.


that the same for cities. A founder or a great leader may have enough power and decide to protect his city and it’s citizens. Barbarian call them city god. We, we who know, we know they aren’t they are just immortal heroes

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4 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I would answer differently:

there is no (who believe it ?) or only one invisible god

others are entities powerful enough to be named (ancestors, protectors, …)

dumb people called them gods but there are not. Barbarian consider Issaries as a god but we know issaries is our Talar’s ancestor. Is our Talar a god ? Of course not. Then the Logic says Issaries is not a god but a Talar who succeed to gather powers, became immortal and can help his mortal heirs and their followers.

that the same for cities. A founder or a great leader may have enough power and decide to protect his city and it’s citizens. Barbarian call them city god. We, we who know, we know they aren’t they are just immortal heroes

The westerners recognize gods as being gods, the Zzaburi just teach that humans are intrinsically superior to gods. The Malkioni are humanists, not atheists or even really monotheists. And you can have a godly ancestor without being a god yourself, just ask anyone of even middling importance on the lozenge.

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Of course, Brithini have, in the Revealed Mythology interpretation, a rather disturbing relationship to the local land goddess Britha. There's no small possibility this would shape how they understand city-gods and treat them.

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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I think the most likely situation for city gods/wyters in the Malkioni lands would be:

1) they are under the command and direction of the Talar of the city.

2) based on 1), they can be summoned and directed as needed by the zzaburi to address outbreaks of Disorder, disease, etc (perhaps even serving as the primary investigator)

3) by performing 2), they make life more orderly and help the horali and dronars maintain Rightness.

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I think a better way to think of it is that essentially all Gloranthan cities have wyters (whatever they are called in the local tongue), sometimes those wyters are also worshipped like gods (or have some close magical relationship to the city god, so that they effectively parts of the same cult). Sometimes the wyter is the spirit of the founder, sometimes a spirit of the place, sometimes some other being, sometimes an a more abstract sorcerous entity, or all sorts of other things. 
Sometimes it is also worshipped, and grants runespells (usually just City Harmony) and has a priesthood etc - but that’s not the only model. 
I suspect even for the Rokari it will vary a bit by city and history. Some of the wyters of the most ancient cities of Seshnela are likely to be spirits of place that once were worshipped with pagan Earth rites that are now largely ignored or suppressed (or hidden from the zzaburi), or reduced to mere off traditions beloved by the common people. Some of the most modern and devout cities will be pure spirits of unity summoned by the sorcerous founding rituals, who mighty powers are available for use by the zzaburi fairly directly. In between will be cities whose founding ancestor is the city god, and still acknowledged by their Talar descendants. Many do grant access to the City Harmony rune spell via the correct rites, which are considered appropriate for the Dronar to participate in if properly overseen by the Talars. 

In New Loskalm, the city wyters have been purified by Men of All rituals and heroquesting of pagan roots and heresy, and so they attempt to guard their citizens against the corruption of the world when directed by the Lords. Or so they say, and it certainly worked well during the Ban, and everything is fine in Siglats Dream. 

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I would not say "all", but all long lasting population centers certainly do. It is a great explanation.

I consider magic and power are finite resources, so at a certain point you have to decide if it goes to the IG (and the officiating church) or it goes somewhere else (land goddess, city harmony, ancestors...).

So the rulers have the option to sprad the magic around or to focus in something, but that will weaken the rest. Go full war and city harmony will be disturbed, crops will suffer and zzaburi will have less magic to play with.

Well established cities are so resilient in Glorantha precisely because the spirit/god (and from a westerner point of view the difference is not qualitative but quantitative) is there and has a lot of invested power in it, so it is better to recontact it than making / finding a new one. New cities are weak because their spirit is weak, and in some cases the rulers are focusing in something else, so they are also easier to destroy.

At least that is what I am working with in Ralios and having more or less the same cities (though they may move a bit) for centuries, but mixed in with Arkati secret societies and creative heroquesting. That also means some people talk about a god and some about the city to refer to the same thing. 

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Most communities in Glorantha - be they cities or tribes - have their own guardian or tutelary deity. These range wildly in form and power - for example, the tutelary deity of Boldhome is the god Sartar Rex, while the guardians of Wilmskirk, Jonstown, etc., are the spirits of Sartar's companions (and still serve Sartar/Orlanth Rex). Meanwhile in Pavis, the city god is the deified Second Age founder.In Furthest, the new city founded by Hon-eel and Phoronestes has a Lunar guardian. Glamour has a Lunar spirit named Glamour, invoked by the Red Emperor as his First Inspiration when he founded the city.

Meanwhile, some ancient cities nave the ruling deities as their patrons. In Whitewall, the city guardian is Orlanth the Unfettered. Nochet's goddess is a local version of Ernalda, who is the tutelary deity for Esrolia. Alkoth's guardian is Alkor, a son (or incarnation) of Shargash, and Raibanth is Raibamus, a son (or incarnation) of Yelm or Murharzarm. 

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

In Whitewall, the city guardian is Orlanth the Unfettered.

Is this a liberated Orlanth Rex? ie: Before the Lunars chained ("killed") Orlanth by  taking Whitewall was the the City Guardian Orlanth Rex?

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On 3/19/2022 at 2:08 AM, EricW said:

Does the founder of a city of atheist sorcerers find themselves unexpectedly attached to the city in the afterlife? So do cities filled with atheists actually have a city god? If so, how do the gods of atheist cities compare to cities with more formal ancestor worship?

Assuming a city god is basically a big wyter, I think this text from page 286 of RQG is interesting and probably relevant:

Quote

The origins of an individual wyter varies, and wyters include the spirits of dead heroes, genius loci, children of gods, artificial psychic constructs, souls of extinct spirits, intelligent elementals, and many other possibilities. (Emphasis added.)

So I imagine some sort of magico-logical Rube Goldberg machine kept running off the locals' magic points feels on-theme. Maybe the hoi polloi give the thing a "name," but its engineers know better.

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Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here. Disclaimer: affiliate link.

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On 3/19/2022 at 6:08 PM, EricW said:

Does the founder of a city of atheist sorcerers find themselves unexpectedly attached to the city in the afterlife? So do cities filled with atheists actually have a city god? If so, how do the gods of atheist cities compare to cities with more formal ancestor worship?

When the Malkioni found a city, it will generally take a patron who will become an ascended master or what used to be called a saint.  Sometimes this will be the founder, and sometimes not. Malkioni are not atheists, its just their God is invisible and a bit abstract for your average intellect to fathom.  In fact, Pavis and Flintnail are likely sorcery cults, but the backwards humans can only worship them in the more theist manner due to their ignorance.  On the other hand, the Theist method isn't without its power.  Even Vadeli aren't atheists; they accept that god's exist, they just only value the power Gods provide in the same manner as Chaos worshippers do.

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Revealed Mythologies has about a quarter of a page about the Kadeniti, the Builders of the Six Tribes of Danmalastan who created manifest civilization by architecture as well as urban organization. As usual, these tribes would have had workers, warriors, administrators and sorcerers selected by caste.

Apparently, these Logicians had a means to build a community magic in concrete matter, or possibly even in concrete (think the Pantheon in Rome made of "opus caementitcum" for the material I am talking about rather than modern Portland cement stuff). Anyway, there is a community magic inherent in Logician (and by extension Jrusteli) planned cities, with the walls being what held the place and its inhabitants together (prominently enough that the Brithini cities all ended on "-wal", although the term "-ket" appearing in both Seshnelan and Pelandan place or god names might have a Logician source in the Kachasti migration, too, possibly describing a defensive structure with inhabitants rather than a city built to support the Zzaburi). So, possibly the design of a planned city has a magic to create a community, which then acts as a conduit of communal magic to the sorcerers.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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