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Elmal/Yelmalio in Holy country


Ironwall

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1 hour ago, JonL said:

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!

If the last campaign I'd played in had gone one more in-game year...

Edited by dumuzid
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5 minutes ago, Ironwall said:

Where in Heortland might one find a small Yelmalian Sun Dome if esrolia has 10,000 than there's at least a few thousand yelmalians in heortland

Where are you getting that Esrolia has 10K Yelmalians? The entirety of Dragon Pass only has around 16K, and he's got much more importance there than in Esrolia.

I'd guess there's a minor temple in one of the larger cities of Heortland, shared by the probably only a hundred or so Yelmalians in the region, but not a full blown Sun Dome.

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1 minute ago, Richard S. said:

Where are you getting that Esrolia has 10K Yelmalians?

Jeff posted that even at 1% of the population Esrolia would still have 10,000 Followers of Yelmalio. although im assuming heortland has a similar percantage

 

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10 minutes ago, Ironwall said:

Jeff posted that even at 1% of the population Esrolia would still have 10,000 Followers of Yelmalio. although im assuming heortland has a similar percantage

I would not make that assumption - the Sky/Fire cults are just not prevalent in the Sixth devoted to the Storm. 

If you want some Yelmalio shrines, I'd put them in the cities where they serve as hired guards/watch (or providing hiring halls for caravan guards).  Smithstone to protect the Redsmiths there.  Karse to provide caravan guards for merchants heading north who must pass through the gap between the Shadow Plateau and the Troll Woods (and deal with all the mercenaries camped in Newtown).  Likely find some in Durengard, again as city watch or caravan guards. 

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2 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I would not make that assumption - the Sky/Fire cults are just not prevalent in the Sixth devoted to the Storm. 

true. reason I made the assumption is that sartar had a large enough elmali population to become the sun dome. because many sartarite clans came from heortland I assumed heortland would have a similar amount of elamali that would later become yelmalians.

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I'd expect most of the Yelmalions in Esrolia to be Sun Dome mercenaries garrisoning the noble houses holdings where they face a hostile frontier, along with the consular/shrine community in Little Vantar. Along with that you'd have "Yelmalion" adherents of the local traditions. Their relationship with the Monroghists is probably quite varied, depending on local circumstances. Esrolia wasn't part of the conditions and events that led to the success of Monrogh's movement in Sartar. On the one hand, that means that local Elmali weren't magically swept up in the revelation en masse thanks to supporting Monrogh's heroquest. OTOH, it wasn't something that they had to take a side on or dig in to reject either. The Holy Country is already pretty darn heterodox and pluralistic, so Sun Domers showing up with their variation on the Little Sun tradition wouldn't necessarily be a hostile takeover or schismatic situation. I'm reminded of how Catholic parishes in US cities that cater to different immigrant communities have varying traditions, favorite saint feasts, art, and so on, but don't regard one another as separate sects either. I imagine there's some cross-pollination in play as well, as the Sun Domers bling and swagger attracts locals who find such appealing, while integrating themselves into Esrolian rites and social structures requires some adaptation on the Sun Domers' part as well. 

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1 hour ago, Ironwall said:

true. reason I made the assumption is that sartar had a large enough elmali population to become the sun dome. because many sartarite clans came from heortland I assumed heortland would have a similar amount of elamali that would later become yelmalians.

Yelmalio falls into the "Other" category in Heortland (~5% total or ~16k) along with deities such as Lodril, Gustbran, the River Gods, the City Gods, etc.  I'd place at less than 1%, so less than 3000 total.  We know there's no major Sun Dome temple (the closest at Vanntar) based on the Sun Dome temple distribution maps.

A couple points to think about re: Sun Dome.  Vanntar is an ancient site, so likely was the center of Elmal/Yelmalio pre-Dragonkill.  They probably joined the Dragonkill with the Sun Dome temples from the north, and were largely wiped out.  Figure survivors went south of the Crossline - I'd expect into the Curtali domains around Vorda Hill just south of Vanntar.

Belintar's arrangement of the Sixths focuses Storm magic in Heortland, Fire magic (Lodril) in Caladraland.  Elmal/Yelmalio doesn't quite fit except as a Husband-Protector to Ernalda in cities like Nochet.  But Belintar would not have had any strong reason to encourage Yelmalio since the Holy Country brought forward the Silver Age, not the Great Darkness.

 

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59 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

A couple points to think about re: Sun Dome.  Vanntar is an ancient site, so likely was the center of Elmal/Yelmalio pre-Dragonkill.  They probably joined the Dragonkill with the Sun Dome temples from the north, and were largely wiped out.  Figure survivors went south of the Crossline - I'd expect into the Curtali domains around Vorda Hill just south of Vanntar.

Do you think Vantar might be the same place as "Vanx" mentioned in E:Lo10kG's account of an EWF-era Yelmalion incursion? (I initially thought Vanx to Vanch, but that's a bit more of a trek.)

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2 hours ago, JonL said:

Do you think Vantar might be the same place as "Vanx" mentioned in E:Lo10kG's account of an EWF-era Yelmalion incursion? (I initially thought Vanx to Vanch, but that's a bit more of a trek.)

It's noted as a "city" but no guarantee that that is accurate (more likely a temple-city).  I think it's likely to be one or the other (i.e. Vanch or Vanntar).  I don't know that it matters which and both are important Yelmalio sites.

From the Guide p.720 I note that there was a battle at Vanntar during the Gbaji Wars: "397. Battle of Vanntar, Orlanthi defeated."

There are a few more notes on the battle in HotHP e.g. p.78: "Harabos was a brave man under immense pressure from many foes. He was killed at the Battle of Vanntar, where the last Orlanthi tribes succumbed to Nysalor’s magic."  Harmast's father Hardrinor was also killed there.

 

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I don't quite understand why Heortland would have effectively-nihil presence of Little Sun worshipers. Sartar's Elmal->Yelmalio people have to have come from somewhere, and while the Alda-Chur and Alone people are coming from Tarsh, you'd still have to explain the Runegate clans, miscellaneous Elmali from the main body of tribes who would naturally form the Vaantar population once that's established. It all seems to say to me that there's some kind of Little Sun presence in Heortland in the 1300s, and unless we're positing that the Little Sun's worshipers moved disproportionately northward, or that Belintar oppressed them to the point they became a meaningless presence, they still ought to be there in 1620 because they're not subcultural. They were integrated into the general culture at the time.

This might also apply to Esrolia, which has triple the population of all Dragon Pass and a cosmovision where it is essential that Ernalda clutch the Little Sun between her massive thighs as she does his dad, but I suppose that Kyger Litor delivers a more satisfying experience. So I can buy that Esrolia has a relatively marginal Little Sun presence, but overall the whole process seems to be centered around the idea that the Holy Country is neatly divided into elemental sixths, and the Fire portion is already filled by Lodril's own thundering thighs, so having solar worship breaks the system. But this would seem to require an activist Belintar going out and egging sun-worshiper's houses, because these elemental associations were not articulated clearly before him.

Overall, Elmal-Yelmalio-Lightfore-Kargzant-Antirius-Daysenerus-Tharkantus-Sun Daughter-Yelorna's Uncool Bro remains a very thorny problem to grapple with, it seems.

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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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2 hours ago, Eff said:

I don't quite understand why Heortland would have effectively-nihil presence of Little Sun worshipers. Sartar's Elmal->Yelmalio people have to have come from somewhere, and while the Alda-Chur and Alone people are coming from Tarsh, you'd still have to explain the Runegate clans, miscellaneous Elmali from the main body of tribes who would naturally form the Vaantar population once that's established. It all seems to say to me that there's some kind of Little Sun presence in Heortland in the 1300s, and unless we're positing that the Little Sun's worshipers moved disproportionately northward, or that Belintar oppressed them to the point they became a meaningless presence, they still ought to be there in 1620 because they're not subcultural. They were integrated into the general culture at the time.

Elmal tradition as such almost had to have come South into Kethalia with the Vingkotlings (who had themselves gained it when they integrated the Hyalorings). ELo10kG shows the earliest local conception of Sky there as Harono, Good King of the Sky people, who is slain by Orlanth when the Vingotlings come. Unlike the northern conceptions of Yelm though, he was neither a Bad nor Good Emperor. After initial moves to conquer the realm and marry the Queen, he acknowledges her virtue and becomes an allied protector. Orlanth slaying him does not start the Gods War though. That comes when a hubristic trio perverts Imarja's worship lessons and sacrifices Her to themselves to become Immortals.

 ELo10kG also has two Dawn narratives. One has the Sun as the Egg of the reborn Imarja. The other has Asrelia waking up from a death slumber and telling Ernalda to start a fire and wake everyone else. Ernalda rouses Veskarthen, who thaws and awakens Elmal, who wakes his daughter and bids her to open the door to Asrelia's hut (Theya as Elmal's daughter? I like it.). When Elmal emerges, the Sun rises.  So already there's starting to be some importing of Vingkotling (or even proto-Heortling) ideas and myths mingling with the Imarja-centered traditions.

Second Age accounts include both an explicitly pro-Elmali & anti-Yelmalion account of an EWF invasion we mentioned above, as well as an account of a three-day massacre of Nochet's God Learners led by one Kestenelmal. Interestingly, Tharkantus/Yelmalio is described as being the son of the White Light, a phrase previously used to describe Palangio and Nysalor, respectively. 

By the Third Age Elmal is counted as one of Ernalda's pantheon in the Temple of Thirteen, but the description of the Noble Brothers Temples includes both Nolerianmar, “son of Elmal," and Yelmalio named as-such. To my eye, that points to an inflection point where Monroghist Sun Domers have begun to be welcomed into the fold alongside the longstanding local Elmali Little Sun tradition, in contrast to the grudge described in the EWF Sun Domer recounting. Elmal in Esrolia likely looks quite different than we got in the HQ books or video games though. None of the mentions of Elmal describe a connection or allegiance to Orlanth, though I imagine Heortland's Elmal tradition  looks more like the Loyal Thane that was eventually re-imported to Dragon Pass.

Now, ELo10kG is explicitly a semi-source like all the Stafford Library works; a compilation of ideas as they existed when they were written. Chaosium is clearly approaching Little Sun stuff differently in new works than what you'll find therein. Even knowing that though, it's the best picture of the Esrolian perspectives on this stuff that we have at present.  
 

Edited by JonL
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2 hours ago, Eff said:

it is essential that Ernalda clutch the Little Sun between her massive thighs

God I wish that were me

2 hours ago, Eff said:

I don't quite understand why Heortland would have effectively-nihil presence of Little Sun worshipers. Sartar's Elmal->Yelmalio people have to have come from somewhere, and while the Alda-Chur and Alone people are coming from Tarsh, you'd still have to explain the Runegate clans, miscellaneous Elmali from the main body of tribes who would naturally form the Vaantar population once that's established. It all seems to say to me that there's some kind of Little Sun presence in Heortland in the 1300s, and unless we're positing that the Little Sun's worshipers moved disproportionately northward, or that Belintar oppressed them to the point they became a meaningless presence, they still ought to be there in 1620 because they're not subcultural. They were integrated into the general culture at the time.

I wouldn't be surprised if many of the Heortland Elmali immigrated to the Sun Dome along with their Sartar cousins. They wouldn't have as close a tie to the revelations going on, sure, and don't have the pressure of a prince trying to deal with a Darkness problem and prevent a civil war, but there was probably still some attraction to them in the idea of an independent solar theocracy. Also the Kitori were a problem to Heortland too, so that might have caused some Elmali to go lend a hand.

Not saying there aren't Yelmalions in Heortland, my earlier guess was definitely way off, but with the Sun Dome being fairly close I think it's reasonable to assume a similar migration to what Sartar experienced.

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I imagine it's largely a matter of personality and temperament, along with how they feel about their particular community. Some guys join the Army right out of high-school to get a ticket out of their home town and never look back. Others put down deep roots in their home town. Neither is objectively right or wrong.

Edited by JonL
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Another ELo10kG observation: In describing Pelangio's occupation, the writer says that if he had come as a petitioner rather than a conqueror, he would have been welcomed. When the Third Age Yelmalions do just that, they are.

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My take on this is that due to Monrogh's quest, not only did his supporters suddenly know about Yelmalio, but that even the Elmali that did not join him started to remember the Yelmalion myths and see the Yelmalion myths when going to the other side. After a few community heroquests almost all Elmali were actually Yelmalions, probably to the dismay of many orlanthi chieftains.

A few probably pushed back, and if they had support of their clans maybe they held on, for a while, but if several hundred thousands Yelmalions believe one thing, the few hundreds of Elmali holding on will find it increasingly difficult, and what is worse, pointless, to resist, as they will not be getting magic, and fireblade just does not work for them unless they abandon their god. 

This is a magical consensus system. If enough people believe it is so, or if people with enough power do so, now it is so. Though it does not mean the opposite cannot be true at the same time. Most people can believe several contradictory things at the same time, if they do not have to think hard about it. Convince enough people, and you can create a god, or kill it, for a time...

Even if it seems in a HQ you are convincing gods or heroes in the other side, it is actually your own people and other worshippers doing ceremonies who you are convincing, and if you succeed, reality changes to adapt. 

Only a few heretical god learners and chosen dragon mystics would believe this in Glorantha, but for me, the magic that allows an orlanthi priest to fly does not come from Orlanth, but from his own belief (if strong enough) or the belief of his congregation that he is holy enough to be able to fly. Orlanth is a guide you can see in the God time, how to live, how to die, and what benefit you get from following the instructions, and punishments for not doing so. But the actual power comes from you, and if you are not strong enough, others who think similarly. The instructions can be changed by different revelations, so much that we have little idea how orlanthi really were at Dawn. So much for the immutability of God Time. 

That is why I consider Yelmalions suck in individual combat, because even them believe it, but are good in mass combat, because they are convinced of it. Solanthos Ironpike is a special case, because he agrees most Yelmalions suck at duels, but he has unlimited confidence in his own ability, and is a good duelist as a result. Each victory just reinforces it, and the county agrees with him that he is exceptional.

As other people believe other things, it is not enough to believe you should rule the world to rule the world, but it is a step in the right direction. And if you get a few million people agreeing with you, you can rule a big chunk.

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16 hours ago, JRE said:

but for me, the magic that allows an orlanthi priest to fly does not come from Orlanth, but from his own belief (if strong enough) or the belief of his congregation that he is holy enough to be able to fly. Orlanth is a guide you can see in the God time, how to live, how to die, and what benefit you get from following the instructions, and punishments for not doing so

Not for me (of course gently)

but I agree  the mechanism you are describing exists

but for me it is not divine magic (that is  for me gods who act for you because you believe them aka rune spell) it is hero magic (people worship/believe you and you are able to do again and again some feats you learn by yourself aka hero spell)

Edited by French Desperate WindChild
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On 4/29/2022 at 5:49 PM, JRE said:

My take on this is that due to Monrogh's quest, not only did his supporters suddenly know about Yelmalio, but that even the Elmali that did not join him started to remember the Yelmalion myths and see the Yelmalion myths when going to the other side. After a few community heroquests almost all Elmali were actually Yelmalions, probably to the dismay of many orlanthi chieftains.

A few probably pushed back, and if they had support of their clans maybe they held on, for a while, but if several hundred thousands Yelmalions believe one thing, the few hundreds of Elmali holding on will find it increasingly difficult, and what is worse, pointless, to resist, as they will not be getting magic, and fireblade just does not work for them unless they abandon their god. 

This is a magical consensus system. If enough people believe it is so, or if people with enough power do so, now it is so. Though it does not mean the opposite cannot be true at the same time. Most people can believe several contradictory things at the same time, if they do not have to think hard about it. Convince enough people, and you can create a god, or kill it, for a time...

Even if it seems in a HQ you are convincing gods or heroes in the other side, it is actually your own people and other worshippers doing ceremonies who you are convincing, and if you succeed, reality changes to adapt. 

Only a few heretical god learners and chosen dragon mystics would believe this in Glorantha, but for me, the magic that allows an orlanthi priest to fly does not come from Orlanth, but from his own belief (if strong enough) or the belief of his congregation that he is holy enough to be able to fly. Orlanth is a guide you can see in the God time, how to live, how to die, and what benefit you get from following the instructions, and punishments for not doing so. But the actual power comes from you, and if you are not strong enough, others who think similarly. The instructions can be changed by different revelations, so much that we have little idea how orlanthi really were at Dawn. So much for the immutability of God Time. 

That is why I consider Yelmalions suck in individual combat, because even them believe it, but are good in mass combat, because they are convinced of it. Solanthos Ironpike is a special case, because he agrees most Yelmalions suck at duels, but he has unlimited confidence in his own ability, and is a good duelist as a result. Each victory just reinforces it, and the county agrees with him that he is exceptional.

As other people believe other things, it is not enough to believe you should rule the world to rule the world, but it is a step in the right direction. And if you get a few million people agreeing with you, you can rule a big chunk.

For what it is worth, every time Greg or I have described Rune Magic it is the caster either wields the power of the god or IS a manifestation of the god. And this is often irrespective of your beliefs or those of your fellows.

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As I said, it is a natural conclusion from gods being fixed in the God Time and the magic system, but all theists will really believe the magic comes from their god, or they would not be theists. Living right lets you use magic, and more power you sacrifice, more magic you can use. 

The second argument is illuminati keeping their rune magic. They tend to break the rules, but I take it as a sign that the magic is yours, not the god's.

As my interest is really other geographical zones and periods in Glorantha, the magical framework and how things change from the orlanthi baseline is a key aspect for me, as a way to build mixed magic systems, as in Safelster or the Secong Age, with rune magic and draconic mysticism or sorcery. 

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I would expect the Lightfore super-cult for Hyalor Horsebreaker by whichever name it is called to be fairly common as a minor cult in the Storm Sixth, at least on par with Gustbran, and like that deity tied to a network of guilds.

On 4/28/2022 at 9:46 PM, jajagappa said:

Yelmalio falls into the "Other" category in Heortland (~5% total or ~16k) along with deities such as Lodril, Gustbran, the River Gods, the City Gods, etc.  I'd place at less than 1%, so less than 3000 total.  We know there's no major Sun Dome temple (the closest at Vanntar) based on the Sun Dome temple distribution maps.

That doesn't necessarily reduce his importance for horse breeders and stable keepers in the trading network that extends at least to Karse, but probably all the way into the Heortland Plateau, following the Sartarite model of roadside "inns".

 

On 4/28/2022 at 9:46 PM, jajagappa said:

Belintar's arrangement of the Sixths focuses Storm magic in Heortland, Fire magic (Lodril) in Caladraland.  Elmal/Yelmalio doesn't quite fit except as a Husband-Protector to Ernalda in cities like Nochet.  But Belintar would not have had any strong reason to encourage Yelmalio since the Holy Country brought forward the Silver Age, not the Great Darkness.

The horsemasters' guild(s) along the Issaries network may have a big number of the Lightfore worshippers. The Issaries cult is involved in breeding equines, too, and will have both donkey and horse breeders among its cult members, or as associate worshippers.

Not all horsemasters will be Lightfore worshippers, but where else do they draw the Horsebreaker secrets from?

 

On 4/29/2022 at 4:23 AM, Eff said:

I don't quite understand why Heortland would have effectively-nihil presence of Little Sun worshipers. Sartar's Elmal->Yelmalio people have to have come from somewhere, and while the Alda-Chur and Alone people are coming from Tarsh, you'd still have to explain the Runegate clans, miscellaneous Elmali from the main body of tribes who would naturally form the Vaantar population once that's established.

Yes. We know that the Hyaloring Triaty, the Dundealos and the Locaem brought heaps of Lightfore worshippers into the Quvini foothills. We know that Ulanin (another descendant or kinsman of Hyalor) is big among the Red Cow clan.

But then, we also know that there is a selection bias when it comes to what folk left Heortland to brave the unknown or a little later the known new dangers in Dragon Pass over succumbing to Belintar.

On the whole, one might think that any Lightfore cult would applaud Belintar ending the domination of the Only Old One's shadow over the Holy Country, yet we find three strongly Lightfore worshipping tribes (Runegate, Dundealos, Locaem) and several more clans among the first and second wave immigrants to Dragon Pass.

 

On 4/29/2022 at 4:23 AM, Eff said:

It all seems to say to me that there's some kind of Little Sun presence in Heortland in the 1300s, and unless we're positing that the Little Sun's worshipers moved disproportionately northward, or that Belintar oppressed them to the point they became a meaningless presence, they still ought to be there in 1620 because they're not subcultural. They were integrated into the general culture at the time.

Thus probably associated with horse-breeding and horse-training, essential for the mounted forces of both Heortland and Sartar warrior nobility.

 

On 4/29/2022 at 4:23 AM, Eff said:

This might also apply to Esrolia, which has triple the population of all Dragon Pass and a cosmovision where it is essential that Ernalda clutch the Little Sun between her massive thighs as she does his dad, but I suppose that Kyger Litor delivers a more satisfying experience. So I can buy that Esrolia has a relatively marginal Little Sun presence, but overall the whole process seems to be centered around the idea that the Holy Country is neatly divided into elemental sixths, and the Fire portion is already filled by Lodril's own thundering thighs, so having solar worship breaks the system. But this would seem to require an activist Belintar going out and egging sun-worshiper's houses, because these elemental associations were not articulated clearly before him.

Overall, Elmal-Yelmalio-Lightfore-Kargzant-Antirius-Daysenerus-Tharkantus-Sun Daughter-Yelorna's Uncool Bro remains a very thorny problem to grapple with, it seems.

Hard to bridle, requiring to be broken into beng useful, just like the horses. I wonder whether there should be some Lightfore aspected subcult of Issaries or a guild controlled by the cult for the purpose of breeding mules as well as their two progenitor beasts. Then I look at Apple Lane and find the franchise of the (Jonstown?) Guild of Horsemasters still taking care of the stable there, although now with a Grazer worshipper of Hyalor and Lightfore. And Yelm.

At the very least, all these horse breeding or breaking professionals should provide a stable pool of permanent lay worshippers at Lightfore shrines. More so than all the Waha worshipping butchers.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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