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Elmal/Yelmalio in Holy country


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Sorry to ask but wasn't there a cult write up in one of the publications for Elmal, TT or Tales somewhere? I know there are a few on people's web sites but looking for something published (maybe not canan) but still want to take a look at it.  It had horses and fire as I recall, maybe incorrectly?!

Also where in Nochet would any Elmal/Yelmalio shrine be? Possibly in or near the Lodri Temple? What is the yellow rectangle with the slight oval in it to the east side of the Lodri Temple? Possibly there'd be an Elmali shrine in the Orthanth Temple as well?

Again sorry to ask but I looked in many many hard copy sources and cannot locate it. Thank you all!

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Edited by Erol of Backford
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1 hour ago, Erol of Backford said:

Sorry to ask but wasn't there a cult write up in one of the publications for Elmal, TT or Tales somewhere? I know there are a few on people's web sites but looking for something published (maybe not canan) but still want to take a look at it.  It had horses and fire as I recall, maybe incorrectly?!

The only official Elmal-as-such writeups we've seen from Chaosium/Moon Design were for HeroQuest 2/G. Issaries era, there was also one in Storm Tribe for HW/HQ1. (The extent to which folks are fussy about the downgrade are a testament to their excellence.) There was also some supporting material about the cult-center in Runegate in the Sartar Companion.

For a RQ writeup, should you find the current "just a Yelmalio subcult" approach unsatisfying, you'll need to go farther afield. Back to Balazar has a decent RQG-compatible fan version. Mongoose's Cults of Glorantha Vol I had a brief Elmal write-up, though it might not provide much value unless you were using MRQ/Mythras already.  

In any case, if you wanted to work out a native Esrolian Little Sun tradition rather than a Heortlander, Sartarite, or Sun Domer import, I'd expect to do some of your own work. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Erol of Backford said:

Also where in Nochet would any Elmal/Yelmalio shrine be? Possibly in or near the Lodri Temple? What is the yellow rectangle with the slight oval in it tot he east side of the Lodri Temple? Possibly there'd be an Elmali shrine in the Orthanth Temple as well?

The Nochet map shows "Yelmalio Temple" in the Little Vanntar neighborhood, "Elmal's Watch" and "Sunheart Hall" adjacent to one another in the Elmal's Town neighborhood. I'd also expect representation in the "Home of the Noble Husbands" and "Sky Temple" within the central temple/palace complex.

Edited by JonL
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1 hour ago, Erol of Backford said:

Also where in Nochet would any Elmal/Yelmalio shrine be? Possibly in or near the Lodri Temple? What is the yellow rectangle with the slight oval in it tot he east side of the Lodri Temple? Possibly there'd be an Elmali shrine in the Orthanth Temple as well?

There's an Elmal cult in HQG Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes.  Non-canonical at this point.

As for temples in Nochet, you're in the wrong neighborhood.  What you're showing is part of the Tendayvora district which is heavily oriented towards Caladraland (e.g. Lodril).  

The yellow rectangle with the slight oval is Lodril's Spear!  (In all senses of that word, of course!) 😉

For Yelmalio look for Little Vanntar (just east of the Great Market) and Elmal see Elmal's Town (just northeast of the Great Market).  Both are in the Sarli district which is the largest urban collection of Sartarites/Heortlings.

 

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Again I don't know why people would expect that the cult of the Little Sun is going to look very different from Yelmalio, regardless of name. 

Prior to 1500 or so, the Little Sun cult in Sartar would look a lot like Yelmalio, although possibly with no gifts, no Cloud Clear, and probably no Sunbright. Now that the Little Sun cult is revealed to be Yelmalio, the Yelmalio-as-Orlanth's Thane cult just swaps out Shield from Yelm with Shield from Orlanth.

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2 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

A small matter of fire and horse magics, perhaps?

None of the Little Suns or Cold Suns have fire magic (hence the common name). And gets Command Horse from Hippoi.

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Just now, Jeff said:

None of the Little Suns or Cold Suns have fire magic (hence the common name). And gets Command Horse from Hippoi.

No matter how you slice it, the pre-Monrogh Elmal cult had far less magical power and range than the post-Monrogh Yelmalio cult.

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Whether one prefers the new model or the old is of course a matter of taste. For myself,  I find differing cults reflecting different cultural perspectives and understandings on the gods to make for a richer and more interesting setting. Whether one sees "Elmal and Yelmalio are both the Little Sun." to be more like "Clark Kent and Kal-El are both Superman." or "Harlem and Greenwich Village are both Manhattan." - the ideas and understandings that go along with those different facets are not all completely interchangeable, despite the common substance.

To the question at hand, I'm intrigued by how an Esrolian perspective might be different from either a Monroghist or traditional Sartarite one (whether one takes the current road on what that is, or the previous one). The various Orlanth cults vary in significant ways within a single culture. While sharing some common influences, Esrolia's myths and traditions are not the same as the Heortlanders or Sartarites. I'd expect their understandings of and relationship with the gods to vary accordingly. (Though I can also respect that page-count limitations are a thing.)

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18 minutes ago, JonL said:

Whether one prefers the new model or the old is of course a matter of taste. For myself,  I find differing cults reflecting different cultural perspectives and understandings on the gods to make for a richer and more interesting setting. Whether one sees "Elmal and Yelmalio are both the Little Sun." to be more like "Clark Kent and Kal-El are both Superman." or "Harlem and Greenwich Village are both Manhattan." - the ideas and understandings that go along with those different facets are not all completely interchangeable, despite the common substance.

To the question at hand, I'm intrigued by how an Esrolian perspective might be different from either a Monroghist or traditional Sartarite one (whether one takes the current road on what that is, or the previous one). The various Orlanth cults vary in significant ways within a single culture. While sharing some common influences, Esrolia's myths and traditions are not the same as the Heortlanders or Sartarites. I'd expect their understandings of and relationship with the gods to vary accordingly. (Though I can also respect that page-count limitations are a thing.)

As I think I probably wrote earlier in this thread, about 1% of the Esrolian population worships Yelmalio. Given the large population of Esrolia, that means the total number of Yelmalio cultists is large - probably around 10,000, which is about half again more than in all of Sartar. But Esrolia has ten times the population of Sartar, so it actually means the cult is far less prevalent Esrolia than Sartar, despite the greater absolute numbers.

Yelmalio in Esrolia revere the Light and the Little Sun, and has the same connections to elves, same obligation to protect the Earth goddesses, etc. It is just less significant. There are about as many Eurmal clowns and tricksters in Esrolia as there are Yelmalio cultists, and the cult is just one of many smaller cults in Esrolian society.

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9 hours ago, Jeff said:

No matter how you slice it, the pre-Monrogh Elmal cult had far less magical power and range than the post-Monrogh Yelmalio cult.

Perhaps, YGWV. But it certainly does add a little bit of flavor to each region and make it less like one overarching myth imposed [Holy Grail French Axent] by nasty God-Learner types [/Holy Grail French Axent].

SDLeary

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On Elmal sources:

His Storm Tribe writeup gives him Blazing Spear under his Combat affinity. His S:KoH writeups lets initiates use Fire for what what are essentially Fireblade and Firearrow, summoning Urzani, creating warmth, and burning Trolls and Chaos. If we count Mongoose, Fireblade, Firearrow, and Ignite were cult spells, and Sunspear in their second edition.

Not taking a side here, just listing what I've found.

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The local differences are always up to how much work you want to do and how willing you are to deviate from written canon. If you want you can have slight variations even among neighbouring clans because unless you have a Sun Dome Temple all temples will be small or shrines, so you will never have a whole magic set. And if you want the local Elmali to have some weird difference is a matter of taste, even something apparently major like allowing Firearrow.

The big difference for me is social, as Yelmalio can be a ruler cult, as one of Ernalda's husbands, and can take part in fertility rites and general fun, while Elmal as the good thane just will always be second fiddle.

Now, as a worshipper, what would feel more fulfilling, the sun's son that saved the world, and shags the queen, or the guy that gets always left behind to guard the stead while the king is away having fun and saving the world?

To master horses for you, or to do it for someone else that killed your father?

For me, besides the mythical reasons that I mentioned earlier, it is no surprise the Elmali turned to Yelmalio  as soon as they were aware of what it meant.

Outside adventurers, most people would prefer to join the fertility orgy rather than being the guys/gals stuck guarding the tula while all the rest are shagging, even if they let me learn Fireblade. What use is that anyway, 99% of the time?

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4 hours ago, JRE said:

The big difference for me is social, as Yelmalio can be a ruler cult, as one of Ernalda's husbands, and can take part in fertility rites and general fun, while Elmal as the good thane just will always be second fiddle.

Now, as a worshipper, what would feel more fulfilling, the sun's son that saved the world, and shags the queen, or the guy that gets always left behind to guard the stead while the king is away having fun and saving the world?

Remember that we're talking about the Holy Country here. That's a fine sales pitch to a Heortlander of dudebro temperment, but would be nonsensical to Esrovuli who know Elmal and Heler vie for Esrola's hand each year and Orlanth is an unruly northerner to be tamed.

The "son of the sun" angle is interesting to consider in a context far removed from Dara Happan culture. The tales presented in ELo10kG make no mention of Elmal's parentage and describe Yelmalio as the son of Nysalor. The Sun itself es either Elmal, Good King Harono, or Imarja's Egg, depending upon the context. One could imagine Elmal tales that arrived with the Vingkotling conquerors being incorporated into those of Harono's Sky People, but neither the Imarjan nor Ernaldan Dawn narratives have anything like the Heortlings or Dara Happan narratives. Harono is not restored or reborn with the Dawn. He is replaced, and Orlanth is not part of the solution. 

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7 hours ago, Jeff said:

And your source is?

"Greg Stafford and friends" writing in HW Storm Tribe. 

  • Elmali are Hearthguards (p48),
  • Victorious Sun Day ritual bonfires to destroy his enemies (p49),
  • Truth Day trials by fire (p49) - the only holy day shared with Yelmalio,
  • The Long Night when priests "burn with the infusion of Elmal's renewed sacred flame, and this allows them to heal" (p50),
  • "Heortlings dedicate the first hearth of any stead to Elmal.  As such it is kept aflame all day" (p50)
  • Elmalharan Feats of Dry Field, Sunripen and Resist Frost, Redaldan Rekindle Hearth Fire (not shared with the main Redaldan cult) (p54)
  • Yoskati agents of reprisal, preventing warming by sun or fire (p55)
  • "In the morning his brightness burned"  (p57)

"Greg Stafford and Jeff Richard" writing in The Book of Heortling Mythology)

  • "The vengeance of Elmal the Burner was so great that the wall melted" (p86)
  • "The crops were warmed by a flickering Elmal" (p121)

A short perusal (15 minutes) - when time permits i will give a deeper reading

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maybe a basic question (compared with  where are the fire powers 😛 ? )

 

every time I think about yelmalio, I see sun county (or little sun county quarter in big cities)

but... is it possible to find Yelmalio cultist in a "standard" clan (in esrolia, heort, sartar) ? In this case, is he considered as a weird guy ? or just as any worshiper of the storm tribe, fully integrated in the clan, without any issue ?  (don't know if I can use the storm in esrolia context but you see what I mean)

 

 

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8 hours ago, Richard S. said:

On Elmal sources:

His Storm Tribe writeup gives him Blazing Spear under his Combat affinity. His S:KoH writeups lets initiates use Fire for what what are essentially Fireblade and Firearrow, summoning Urzani, creating warmth, and burning Trolls and Chaos. If we count Mongoose, Fireblade, Firearrow, and Ignite were cult spells, and Sunspear in their second edition.

Not taking a side here, just listing what I've found.

I wrote the S:KoH writeup. In retrospect I got Elmal wrong (and I had serious doubts about it when I was writing it - but at the time I wanted it to link with KoDP).

So let me make it clear - if I was to rerelease S:KoH, I'd change that.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

maybe a basic question (compared with  where are the fire powers 😛 ? )

 

every time I think about yelmalio, I see sun county (or little sun county quarter in big cities)

but... is it possible to find Yelmalio cultist in a "standard" clan (in esrolia, heort, sartar) ? In this case, is he considered as a weird guy ? or just as any worshiper of the storm tribe, fully integrated in the clan, without any issue ?  (don't know if I can use the storm in esrolia context but you see what I mean)

 

 

There's all sorts of concepts jumbled together there. So Sun County - the Praxian Sun Dome Temple - is an outlier. It is the frontier of the frontier. The temples in Dragon Pass and South Peloria are likely more typical of the cult.

"Storm Tribe" - to be honest, I hate that term as a label for the Orlanthi pantheon. Greg and I played around with calling them the Tarkarlings ("High Free Ones"), but that's just a band-aid. 

Remember, in Glorantha the gods are real. Always start there. So there is a Yelmalio - we can interact with him in worship and on the Hero Plane. Yelmalio is associated with Ernalda (!) and her daughter Aldrya, so he is tied in through the Earth Temples as one of the Husband-Protectors. He's known at Clearwine and Three Emeralds, even if he doesn't directly receive much cult activity. 

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2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

"Greg Stafford and friends" writing in HW Storm Tribe. 

  • Elmali are Hearthguards (p48),
  • Victorious Sun Day ritual bonfires to destroy his enemies (p49),
  • Truth Day trials by fire (p49) - the only holy day shared with Yelmalio,
  • The Long Night when priests "burn with the infusion of Elmal's renewed sacred flame, and this allows them to heal" (p50),
  • "Heortlings dedicate the first hearth of any stead to Elmal.  As such it is kept aflame all day" (p50)
  • Elmalharan Feats of Dry Field, Sunripen and Resist Frost, Redaldan Rekindle Hearth Fire (not shared with the main Redaldan cult) (p54)
  • Yoskati agents of reprisal, preventing warming by sun or fire (p55)
  • "In the morning his brightness burned"  (p57)

"Greg Stafford and Jeff Richard" writing in The Book of Heortling Mythology)

  • "The vengeance of Elmal the Burner was so great that the wall melted" (p86)
  • "The crops were warmed by a flickering Elmal" (p121)

A short perusal (15 minutes) - when time permits i will give a deeper reading

Greg had very little to do with that writeup. And Book of Heortling Mythology was filled with draft ideas from us without any editing. I am sure I have said many times that Greg was ambivalent about publishing that for exactly that reason (same with Arcane Lore).

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5 minutes ago, Jeff said:

There's all sorts of concepts jumbled together there. So Sun County - the Praxian Sun Dome Temple - is an outlier. It is the frontier of the frontier. The temples in Dragon Pass and South Peloria are likely more typical of the cult.

"Storm Tribe" - to be honest, I hate that term as a label for the Orlanthi pantheon. Greg and I played around with calling them the Tarkarlings ("High Free Ones"), but that's just a band-aid. 

Remember, in Glorantha the gods are real. Always start there. So there is a Yelmalio - we can interact with him in worship and on the Hero Plane. Yelmalio is associated with Ernalda (!) and her daughter Aldrya, so he is tied in through the Earth Temples as one of the Husband-Protectors. He's known at Clearwine and Three Emeralds, even if he doesn't directly receive much cult activity. 

So when we think about the cults in Orlanthi society, we get a bunch of clusters networked together:

Around Orlanth, we have the Lightbringers, Storm Bull, a few other storm gods, and some specialists (Mastakos, Odayla, Voriof, etc.) or strange connections (Yinkin, etc.). And we get Humakt, friendly but alone.

Around Ernalda, we get the other Earth deities (Maran Gor, Ty Kora Tek, Asrelia, Babeester Gor, Grain Goddesses, etc.), we get Orlanth and the other husband gods, some specialists and strange connections. 

Orlanth and Ernalda are tightly connected, as are some of the other cult as well.

And then we get all sorts of little localized cults that might be tied to one of these clusters.

You could create a nice handy relationship map that visually displays this all.

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2 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

maybe a basic question (compared with  where are the fire powers 😛 ? )

 

every time I think about yelmalio, I see sun county (or little sun county quarter in big cities)

but... is it possible to find Yelmalio cultist in a "standard" clan (in esrolia, heort, sartar) ? In this case, is he considered as a weird guy ? or just as any worshiper of the storm tribe, fully integrated in the clan, without any issue ?  (don't know if I can use the storm in esrolia context but you see what I mean)

 

 

Well, we know that Yelmalio worship is done in "standard" Praxian communities. So there's already at least one area where Yelmalio worshipers can be part of a broader society without being seen as a weird type of guy. 

But heading further west... I think we have two frameworks to look at this through. One framework is through the idea of the god as having some kind of functional role within the religious system. The other is through the idea of runic affinities and gods as ways to fulfill that affinity. 

So in the second framework, there are clearly going to be men and women who are aligned with Fire as a power. And they have a fairly limited set of options to work with on pure Fire grounds- Mahome, who exists within Ernalda, Gustbran, who is a limited professional cult, spirit cults, which are highly local, and Yelmalio. So just on these grounds alone, the Yelmalio cult has to exist as a social outlet for the flame, particularly for people whose gender identity pushes them away from the Ernalda complex. I think you can make some arguments that Lhankor Mhy and Issaries and Chalana Arroy would pick up a lot of Fire-affinity people based on the associations in the RQG corebook, but these are also professionalized cults. 

Let's go back to our first framework. What's Yelmalio's role within the overall social order? We have the Elmal cult of King of Dragon Pass/Storm Tribe, which has a straightforward kind of social role- horses, hatchetmen, guarding things that aren't related to the Earth. Yelmalio seems to have taken that over almost entirely, so we have a kind of vision of what Yelmalio people might be doing, and it seems like they'd have a social space for them to exist without them being weird guys. 

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

Eight Arms and the Mask

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