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Elmal/Yelmalio in Holy country


Ironwall

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So the Elmal cult became the Yelmalio cult in sartar with the revelations of Monrogh but did these changes extend to heortland and esrolia?

Is Elmal still going strong in Heortland or is there minor yelmalio sun domes we just don't hear about

(Edit: corrected Heartland to Heortland) 

Edited by Ironwall
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Maybe 1% of the population in the Holy Country follow Yelmalio. The area was part of the Shadowlands for over a thousand years. That being said 1% of the population of Esrolia means there are more than 10,000 initiates in Esrolia alone.

Lodril is a far more important Fire/Sky deity in the Holy Country.

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2 hours ago, Ironwall said:

Is Elmal still going strong in Heartland or is there minor yelmalio sun domes we just don't hear about

There are numerous Sun Dome temples in the Lunar Provinces.  Elmal is not very strong there precisely because of these temples.

Further north in the Heartlands proper, the people are Pelorians, not Orlanthi.  There Anitius is recognized as part of Yelm.

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28 minutes ago, metcalph said:

There are numerous Sun Dome temples in the Lunar Provinces.  Elmal is not very strong there precisely because of these temples.

Further north in the Heartlands proper, the people are Pelorians, not Orlanthi.  There Anitius is recognized as part of Yelm.

Oops meant to type heort land. my phone corrected it to heartland

Edited by Ironwall
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7 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Elmal = Yelmalio. As far as I'm aware, no one in Glorantha sees them as different cults, and even before then the issue was more that the southern Orlanthi didn't know about Yelmalio in the first place.

But do the Orlanthi heortland know considering Jeff did say that yelmalio exists as a cult in esrolia the answer is probably yes.

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3 hours ago, Ironwall said:

But do the Orlanthi heortland know considering Jeff did say that yelmalio exists as a cult in esrolia the answer is probably yes.

Elmal was an insignificant presence in Heortland before then, and most will have accepted the Yelmalion revelations (60+ years ago now).  Bear in mind that in the Holy Country you had Belintar present, and as Jeff has noted, the gods were proximate to the realm (e.g. at least during holy days, Sacred Times, and during the Tournaments you might actually meet them).  There's just one Little Sun present and that is Yelmalio/Elmal/Lightfore - they are one deity.

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12 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Elmal = Yelmalio. As far as I'm aware, no one in Glorantha sees them as different cults, and even before then the issue was more that the southern Orlanthi didn't know about Yelmalio in the first place.

Not so.  That is godlearnerism.  Elmal is Orlanth's loyal thane, while Orlanth fought Yelmalio on the Hill of Gold.  If they were the same deity, Orlanthi myths would recognize that.  Much of the repression conducted by Harvar Ironfist was to force the Tarshite tribes of Far Point to give up on Elmal worship.  They are not the same deity, as Yelmalio only came into existence 60+ years ago and is a chaotic lunar plot to sow dissent and encourage covert Thanatar worship among loyal Elmali tribes.

Edited by Darius West
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4 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Not so.  That is godlearnerism.  Elmal is Orlanth's loyal thane, while Orlanth fought Yelmalio on the Hill of Gold.  If they were the same deity, Orlanthi myths would recognize that.  Much of the repression conducted by Harvar Ironfist was to force the Tarshite tribes of Far Point to give up on Elmal worship.  They are not the same deity, as Yelmalio only came into existence 60+ years ago and is a chaotic lunar plot to sow dissent and encourage covert Thanatar worship among loyal Elmali tribes.

Wow. That is just weirdly off mark.

Look Yelmalio and Elmal are the same god, whatever you want to call him. I've walked through the story it seems like a thousand times, so just search for one of the many times I have had to do that.

Big picture, there is a Yelmalio cult network that extends from Fronela to Prax. These are the Sun Dome temples. Most were founded in the First and Second Ages. In the late Third Age, the Hendreiki sun god Elmal was proven to be another name of Yelmalio and that revelation resulted in a great outburst of creative energy for the Yelmalio cult. The Sartarites and Lunars both support the Yelmalio cult - if for opposite reasons. The Sartarite princes support the cult because it is hostile towards the Red Goddess (unlike Yelm); the Lunars support the cult because of its neutral stance towards Orlanth.

Jeff

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14 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Much of the repression conducted by Harvar Ironfist was to force the Tarshite tribes of Far Point to give up on Elmal worship.

I don't know where you got this from? AFAICT (and in my Glorantha at least), Harvar crushed the Alone Confederation because that's where the Righteous Wind Rebellion went.

Harvar was drumming up discord around Alda-chur for a few years, and when the Orlanthi priests became violent towards the Lunar missionaries, Harvar stepped in and started kicking storm-worshipper butt (even though some people had been warning everybody that Harvar was orchestrating the whole thing in the first place, being bankrolled by the Red Emperor... any parallel with any recent political rise of a certain side of the political spectrum financed by a red-coloured state is fortuitous). The Righteous Wind people fled to the east and try to lay low within the Alone Confederation lands, but when they met at Gamla's Leap, Harvar showed up and slaughtered most of them. Then he rode on to Alone, burning and killing everything and everybody he could find until he made it clear that no more rebellious tendencies would be tolerated from this side of the Far Place.

IMG (and based on my research) it had nothing to do with Yelmalio/Elmal or any other theological topic. In fact, the Alone Confederation has Yelmalio as their primary sun worshipping cult. They totally embraced the upgrade from Elmal to Yelmalio back when they were still in Tarsh because (1) Monrogh was one of "their" guys (he was an Orlanthi Tarshite, buddies with Tarkalor, and killed at the Battle of Grizzly Peak) and (2) I'm pretty sure Yelmalio has much better light magic than Elmal, which is useful to fight all the nearby trolls of the Indigo Mountains (there are temples in Alone and Amadhall).

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In my game (set in the Alone Confederation in the years following Harvar's coup), it's actually one of the themes that the Yelmalions of the Alone Confederation have to walk a fine line between their local loyalties (to their tribe, to their kin who got slaughtered by Harvar's men, etc) and their duty to Harvar as head of the cult in the Far Place. NPCs have, ahem, complicated feelings towards the Yelmalions, although they still rely on them for protection against the trolls. One of my players is a young Yelmalion apprentice whose father was demoted within the cult because he stood aside while Harvar was rampaging through the city. There's a lot of fun opportunities for stories around there!

read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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12 minutes ago, Darius West said:

... as Yelmalio only came into existence 60+ years ago and is a chaotic lunar plot to sow dissent and encourage covert Thanatar worship among loyal Elmali tribes.

3 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Wow. That is just weirdly off mark ...

If I had to guess, Jeff, I'd guess Darius was jokingly presenting some bit of weird in-character / YGMV philosophy, maybe from an embittered old Elmali who never really accepted Monrogh's teachings...

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2 hours ago, Ironwall said:

Wouldn't be surprising if the yelmalio cultists were concentrated in and around a specific city

Little Vanntar is a small neighborhood in Nochet actually. There's also an area called Elmal's Town right next to it, funnily enough. I'm not sure what the status of Y/elmal/io was when the map was made, but I guess Yelmalio just has two temples in Nochet now. I'd guess Elmal's Watch is used for if they do stuff with the Orlanth temple.

Edited by Richard S.
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16 hours ago, Jeff said:

Wow. That is just weirdly off mark.

Look Yelmalio and Elmal are the same god, whatever you want to call him. I've walked through the story it seems like a thousand times, so just search for one of the many times I have had to do that.

Big picture, there is a Yelmalio cult network that extends from Fronela to Prax. These are the Sun Dome temples. Most were founded in the First and Second Ages. In the late Third Age, the Hendreiki sun god Elmal was proven to be another name of Yelmalio and that revelation resulted in a great outburst of creative energy for the Yelmalio cult. The Sartarites and Lunars both support the Yelmalio cult - if for opposite reasons. The Sartarite princes support the cult because it is hostile towards the Red Goddess (unlike Yelm); the Lunars support the cult because of its neutral stance towards Orlanth.

Jeff

So you side with Harvar Ironfist then?  Nay I say, and thrice nay!  Elmal and Yelmalio are not the same god and have never been so.  You speak of Sun Domes.  They are hives of villainy.  Good Elmali don't worship at them, but at their Orlanthi village shrines and temples.  Yelmalios enter into Snakepipe Holow not to fight chaos but to placate and worship at its shrines!  They have similar magics, it is true, but not the same. Elmal is the gate guard and horse master of the Orlanthi, and Elmal has the fire rune not the light rune.  Elmal never bled out his fire on the Hill of Gold, because he never went to the Hill of Gold, and did not fight his liege Orlanth for that would be the very definition of disloyalty but Elmal is the Loyal thane, and so Elmal retains his fireblade and firearrow spells. Now it is true that he is not worshipped as widely as Yelmalio, but he fought hard through the Long Winter and with the New Ring of Orlanth risen his time is coming again anew.  It is time to purge the false cult of Yelmalio, which is riddled with hidden Thanatar worship.  This revelation by Monrogh was false and the product of Chaotic illumination, and only dreamed up recently and After Time, and a means by which the Lunars sought to spread dissention among the Orlanthi by making their loyal Elmal thanes think they are part of the Solar Pantheon, and follow a Yelm pantheon quisling version of Elmal.  The loyal Elmali of Far Point will never succumb to this sleazy lunar ploy.  The Lunars and Solars may look down their noses at the Elmali, calling them parochial savages, and the Elmali fight in the Orlanthi way as part of the shield wall, not as phalangites, but the Elmali bring fire-power to the battle field, and have their lord and friend the wind to fan those flames.  You speak falsely and as a scion of Lunar tyranny, and the Elmali will never bow to these falsehoods.

Edited by Darius West
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9 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

in Little Vaantar, right?

Yes, that is what I named it. 🙂

5 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Little Vanntar is a small neighborhood in Nochet actually. There's also an area called Elmal's Town right next to it, funnily enough. I'm not sure what the status of Y/elmal/io was when the map was made, but I guess Yelmalio just has two temples in Nochet now. I'd guess Elmal's Watch is used for if they do stuff with the Orlanth temple.

I based the distinction as related to the time of settlement.  Elmal's Town is an older neighborhood, Little Vanntar is more recent (post-Monrogh).  The neighborhoods retain the names (no different than all the varied names of Ernalda), but they all worship the same deity.  Elmal's Watch is a tower from where hired guards (by the Issaries temple) can keep a lookout for disturbances in the market.

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What I would imagine and expect...

* Elmal was known there of old, probably as far back as the late Storm Age, see the Heler v Elmal annual competition for Esrola's hand tradition. It will not have been super prominent during the Only Old One's reign though.

* Proto-Yelmalio worship in the form of Daysanerus arrives with Palangio during the Bright Empire occupation. They likely walk all over the local Elmali holy sites and show that Elmal and Daysanerus are not different through the wonders of Illumination, but their dominance is brief. Arkat shows up with an army, wrecks them, and gets cozy with the Darkness.

* God Learners and EWF probably both had people in Nochet poking around for obscure Little Sun lore to support their competing projects, including the EWF's revival of the Sun Domes (which would eventually be turned against them). 

* In the last century, Esrolia was not subjected to Lunar/Pelorian religious imperialism the way that northern Sartar was, nor were the local Elmali ritually contributing to Monrogh's heroquest. As such, Monrogh's revelation did not become their new reality as it did for so many to the North. As Esrolia was friendly to the Kitori, Sun Dome County was not a welcome development, but the Grandmothers are pragmatic. "The Goddess has many husbands."

* The Yelmalion revivalists from Vantar probably showed up expecting to supplant/absorb the local Elmali as they had in Sartar (and see what ancient cool Daysanerus stuff they could find there), but were less successful than they were accustomed, being outside the immediate influence of Monrogh's quest (to say nothing of the cult's male chauvinist streak). The Grandmothers are always happy to have another masculine faction set in rivalry against others though (especially against Orlanthi), so they help Little Vantar happen. Note that the map has Esrola's temple in Kimantor's Plaza though, and Hendira had Troll bodyguards. Belintar may be gone, but the tradition of keeping the various elemental factions in balance is not entirely dead.

Edited by JonL
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I think Esrolians are supposed to make up their armies mostly with mercenaries, so I'd think most Yelmalions in the HC must be that, pikes for pay from Vaantar (most of them), southern Peloria and Mo Baustra. Of course there'll be some locals to but a minority, mostly passing mercenaries or former ones that decided to stay and form families. This would make for very interesting campaigns with a party of Yelmalions, maybe employed by Samastia to solve some problems and cement her rule in post-war HC. 

As for the rest of Kethaela, in Heortland most sun-worshippers emigrated north after the take-up of the Pharaoh, that's why there are so many Yelmalions in Sartar, bc they (well, their Elmali forefathers but potato potato) were the ones who emigrated the most (also I suppose that the influence of Monrogh might have converted some, but in my headcanon most Yelmalions in Sartar come from long dinasties of sun-lovers), and almost none remain. What I don't get from this is why the old Heortling Elmali decided to flee from Belintar, I get that the Hendriki were friends with Ezkankkeko but you would think that a country without an Uz demigod overlord would be better for the sun-lovers? Well that's how it is anyway, I guess Yelmalions can be even more stubborn and hostile to change than the Orlanthi, even if it could be for their best. 

Also I love the idea that Lodril kinda takes Yelmalio's niche in Esrolia and Caladraland, even though they have very different cults and personalities, an Orlanthi society can only take so much sun-worship, and two major cults would be too much. 

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2 hours ago, JonL said:

The Grandmothers are always happy to have another masculine faction set in rivalry against others though (especially against Orlanthi), so they help Little Vantar happen.

Expanding on this, welcoming Yelmalions makes some sense in the face of a growing population of Orlanthi immigrants fleeing Lunar-occupied Sartar and the perceived threat of Broyan's rise. Playing Heler and Elmal factions off against one another is great until a rising Orlanth faction threatens to unite them. Having an Orlanth-antagonistic Sky faction around, especially one whose loyalty they can outright purchase, starts to look appealing. (I think the Red Earth faction's cozying up to the Lunars followed similar reasoning, at least in part.) 

Edited by JonL
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3 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

I think Esrolians are supposed to make up their armies mostly with mercenaries,

Yes and no.  Going back to the God Time the Esrolian cities have relied on two main forms of military mobilization: a militia system capable of mobilizing much of the male population for defensive military service (called the Irillo Hundreds in Nochet) and a corps of professional soldiers/warriors.  The militia system has survived successive political changes in Esrolia, but the nature and recruitment of the professional component has varied considerably within Time.

The professional tradition goes back to the Darkness, when Queen Norinel entered into a strategic marriage with Ezkankekko, bringing his troll followers to defend Nochet in exchange for a share in Nochet's food.  Ezkankekko participated in the human society of Nochet under the Esrolian name Kimantor, and the body of warriors and magicians who served him by defending Nochet and venturing out into the dying world of the Darkness to maintain contact with other outposts of life took their name from him: the Kimantorings.  After the refounding of Nochet at the end of the Darkness and the start of the Silver Age the Kimantorings were formalized into the standing army of the Kingdom of Night, serving as the personal army of Ezkankekko, presumably supported by the proceeds of the Shadow Tax, with local control delegated to his Shadow Lords.  The Kimantorings recruited from the several species and societies within the Kingdom of Night, and would've served as the earliest core and pattern for the armies of the World Council of Friends that fought against Alkoth and Dara Happa after the Dawn.

The Kimantorings waxed and waned as a body through the vicissitudes of the Kingdom of Night.  They were defeated in Belintar's conquest of Kethaela, but they survived as an organization, retaining their barracks-temple in Nochet, at the cost of being restricted by Belintar to defensive campaigns.  After he won, Belintar instituted an essentially similar new organization, a royal army of his own recruited from each of the Sixths of his Holy Country and directed regionally by his governors.  Belintar's royal army would've been the core and cutting edge of the forces that defended the Building Wall against the Lunar invasion.  Like everything else to do with the Holy Country, the system unraveled swiftly after Belintar died, with consequences I'll address in a moment.

Throughout Time the great houses of Nochet have maintained their own military forces in parallel to the royal armies.  These are mainly mercenary bodies, though I'd reckon male offspring of the great families often find their way into these forces.  They recruit from the war cults and Esrolia's neighboring lands, and are directly beholden only to their patron house.  The forces of the great houses have swelled with recruits from Belintar's disintegrated royal army, and have now replaced it as the de facto professional military of the Esrolian cities.  If Broyan had lived he might've instituted something new, or revived one of the older traditions, but whatever plans he had died with him.

Thus, in the 'current' circumstances of circa 1626 ST the armies of Esrolia are absolutely dominated by mercenaries, but based on the region's history their prominence will likely recede in favor of a new royal formation should a new regime establish itself as the husband-protector of the goddess, or something analogous.

Edited by dumuzid
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1 hour ago, dumuzid said:

Throughout Time the great houses of Nochet have maintained their own military forces in parallel to the royal armies.  These are mainly mercenary bodies, though I'd reckon male offspring of the great families often find their way into these forces.  They recruit from the war cults and Esrolia's neighboring lands, and are directly beholden only to their patron house.  The forces of the great houses have swelled with recruits from Belintar's disintegrated royal army, and have now replaced it as the de facto professional military of the Esrolian cities.  If Broyan had lived he might've instituted something new, or revived one of the older traditions, but whatever plans he had died with him.

Thus, in the 'current' circumstances of circa 1626 ST the armies of Esrolia are absolutely dominated by mercenaries, but based on the region's history their prominence will likely recede in favor of a new royal formation should a new regime establish itself as the husband-protector of the goddess, or something analogous.

The royal standing army reporting to regional governors disbanding and mostly hiring on with various noble houses' private forces isn't functionally all that different if everyone hangs together and cooperates for the common good. That is, of course, an "if" the size of the Block. Time for an Argan Argar champion to crash the marriage contest (perhaps taking advantage of a Yelmalion having shouldered out the local Elmali), win Esrola's hand, and unleash the Unity magic!

Edited by JonL
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