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How the gods differ in the various lands


Ironwall

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So as you adventure you may go to other lands such as tarsh, Prax esrolia ect and you being an adventurer go to the local temple to your god to give due worship, but these are strange foreign people who while worshiping the same gods as you probably do so in a different way or view your god from a different perspective so I have to ask how do the various homelands view various gods. To start I'd like to know how orlanth, ernalda, storm bull, daka fal are viewed/ worshipped in esrolia and prax in contrast to sartar. However don't confine this thread to just those gods feel free to say what you know or even theorize on possible differences across the entire breadth of the cube.

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For example how would the view of an uroxi in sartar differ from an uroxi in esrolia and a storm bull khan in prax when they look to Thier gods deeds what do they emphasize differently from one another? Do Thier rituals differ? ( I imagine this is going to be a rather long form answer and debate posting)

(Another question will this be answered in the upcoming gods book)

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I will not help you a lot !

for me there are different answer levels

 

what the cult teaches / what its role in the community is 

what the worshippers experience is when they « leave » the mundane world

what the gods are

 

then to answer your primary question

nothing: the gods don’t differ 😝

what the worshippers see during their heroquests (dislike this word in this case, would like a more religious word than a gameplay/technical word) I don’t know. at least they see their gods with their local fashion gears. They may have no access to some myth because their location (for example Orlanth freeing Heler  in the desert part of prax  may be hard to visit)

what the cults teach and do are then really different. Orlanth is the leader in sartar, ridiculous in some praxian tribes (not all) and just one husband god among others in esrolia (may become the main husband after the hero war

 

so no efficient answer but some ideas I hope

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In Prax, Eiritha is the Herd Mother, the goddess of Praxian herd beats. Elsewhere, she is the Herd Mother, the goddess of various types of cattle. Praxians visiting an Eiritha Temple in Sartar might be horrified to see her as a cattle-headed goddess.

In Prax, Storm Bull is the father of the Khans, through Waha, and an ancestor of the spirits associated with the Tribes. Outside Prax, he is just a killer of Chaos. So, Praxian Storm Bulls might be miffed to find that the Mythology of Storm Bull misses out on him being an ancestral deity.

Daka Fal, for me, is a god of families, so is worshipped according to the local culture. A Praxian Baboon Shaman of Daka Fal would see very little of their Daka Fal in the Ancestor-worship found in Yelm families, for example.

Orlanth is found almost everywhere in Central Genertela. Most of his worship will be the same, but will vary depending on the particular Heortling culture of the area. Praxian Orlanthi see Orlanth as Little Brother, a friend of the mighty Storm Bull. Sure, they know of his other myths, but the important one is of being Storm Bull's kin. Heortling Orlanthi in Parax, for example those of Pavis and Pavis County, have more of a traditional Orlanthi approach and see Orlanth as being King of the Gods, a Lightbringer, bladiblah, but also recognise him as being Storm Bull's most important brother.

Some deities are more recognisable everywhere. So, Issaries is probably the same, or similar, all over.

 

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This is all my metagame view, not what people in Glorantha will believe.

The Godtime links mean that the cults are more similar and through longer distances than in Earth. Though each area will have their own myths, that they keep because they work, understanding "work" as we get some benefit out of them. Sometimes the benefit is great, and some myths will spread fast, and bring uniformity to the cult.

Much more people than the God learners did so, though Issaries ubicuity and uniformity, strongly linked to trade routes and the language tradetalk is their creation, with the built in safety valve of different daughters and sons, which is where you will find the local variations.

The orlanthi have had several widespread "reforms", and they are widespread because they work, and that is why they are almost everywhere and a strong culture. We have first the Thelayan missions, that fixed more or less the pantheon and in my opinion The compromise and I fought we won, then Harmast and Arkat's codification of myths, including the critical Lightbringer's quest, but also formalizing and reinforcing the main myths. The EWF added many Draconic touches and an undercurrent of mysticism. Finally Alakoring Dragonbreaker not only tried to break off the Draconic bits, but added Rex and a series of changes that made orlanthi kingdoms possible, something I suspect Harmast would have found aberrant. Argrath is probably preparing a new one, going a step up to Empire, as well as adding and spreading myths that bring the results he wants at this point in time.

So big influential cults will be quite similar because there is real power in uniformity. Small cults will be all different in the neighbouring valley, unless there is a clear benefit in the neighbours' way, which will make you adopt their ways when you are aware of them. In my opinion the Elmal / Yelmalio switch is such a change, when a minor cult adds myths that make them major, so the cult adapts. That does not mean more magic necessarily, but in this case the benefit for the cult is that they stop being a subservient cult and now it can be a ruling cult, able to marry Ernalda on their own, even if that means losing some fire magics.

The Sartarite do not have any beneficial way from adopting Praxian Storm Bull myths. The Praxian likewise with Urox myths. So they recognize they are faces of the same god, but do not adopt them.

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6 hours ago, Ironwall said:

To start I'd like to know how orlanth, ernalda, storm bull, daka fal are viewed/ worshipped in esrolia and prax in contrast to sartar.

To take the Earth goddesses: one standard genealogy is that Eiritha is a daughter of Ernalda with Hykim. Some Gloranthan books describe an alternative Herd Mother in Esrolia, Uralda the Cow Mother, a daughter of Esrola, their local land goddess. Uralda is also mentioned in Sartar. I would acknowledge that they are clearly different faces of the same entity, but worshipped in a very different way.

This thread is relevant to that point:

Eiritha seems to be the primary Earth goddess in Prax, and mainly so because she is the source of fertility in both the land and the beasts. The local earth deity, Genert, is long dead. The herd animals are a gift of the earth to the Praxian tribes. I don't think Ernalda has anything more than a background presence in Prax.

In Esrolia, Eiritha or Uralda will not be the all-encompassing earth deity favoured by women, but a minor deity probably mainly considered as part of the rituals of farmers. Herds are static rather than nomadic, and when people want to sacrifice for the bounty of the earth it might instead be to Esrola. And one aspect of the above thread that I absolutely don't buy is that they are just different names for the same thing. There should be a big difference (IMO) between how people see a fully domesticated herd animal, and how they see herd beasts who are the losing partners in Waha's Survival Covenant.

The Earth deities have often been portrayed as "splitters": lots of goddesses who are sometimes seen as independent, and sometimes as aspects of a greater being (Ernalda). I think this means they are more likely to be encountered through these very different facets in different lands, compared to some of the other deities. This is also related to the history of individual cultures: the Orlanthi culture of Sartar and Heortland is home to key temples and sacred sites. You would have to go well outside Dragon Pass to find very different interpretations of Orlanth. The earth goddesses are different: the temple at the Paps has an independent life from the temples in Esrolia, and its focus is driven by the needs of a totally different culture.

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On 5/1/2022 at 5:40 AM, Brian Duguid said:

You would have to go well outside Dragon Pass to find very different interpretations of Orlanth.

If you go to Prax, you get a very curtailed version of Orlanth - what you find in the old Cults of Prax book.  There the only form of Orlanth you find is Orlanth Adventurous - no Thunderous, no Rex.  Orlanth does not control the weather of Prax, and worship services will emphasize the myths of his adventures not his social functions.

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I find different "experiences" of the god a more accurate description than interpretation. In Prax, we typically experience the Thunder God as the Thunder Bird, and so we view him mainly as the Adventurous young god. In Pavis, the Sartarites brought the Dragon Pass Orlanth and so of course we know of Thunderous and Rex. But those aspects rarely manifest in Prax - perhaps the Dragon Pass Orlanth is just mightier than the Orlanth of Prax? Perhaps here his brother is mightier, nearest to his place of victory and close to his Raging Storms? We experience those often, worst of all being the terrible Copper Winds.

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On 5/1/2022 at 12:47 PM, Ironwall said:

So as you adventure you may go to other lands such as tarsh, Prax esrolia ect and you being an adventurer go to the local temple to your god to give due worship, but these are strange foreign people who while worshiping the same gods as you probably do so in a different way or view your god from a different perspective so I have to ask how do the various homelands view various gods. To start I'd like to know how orlanth, ernalda, storm bull, daka fal are viewed/ worshipped in esrolia and prax in contrast to sartar. However don't confine this thread to just those gods feel free to say what you know or even theorize on possible differences across the entire breadth of the cube.

This raises an interesting idea for me.  I think, within the hero questing environment that territory really matters.  We think of the Before Time period of Glorantha, but what would a world without time look like?  My answer is that the Gods have an area of operation that was open to them Before Time, and this is where their myths take place, and after a fashion, these myths took place all at once.  Humans superimpose a temporal narrative onto the stories to create a continuity that doesn't actually exist.  How else can someone perform the same Hero Quest 3 times, and then do a hero quest for the same god that happened logically before the previous 3?  If there were a proper temporal structure to hero questing, then no hero quester would perform the quests more than one time each, and they would need to be completed in a chronological order.

How does this apply to the question Ironwall has?  Well, I think that Gloranthan deities take on very different characteristics in different places.  We get a little bit of a sniff of this when we look at the cult of Indrodar Greydog from ToRM #19.  Indrodar Greydog is a hero subcult of Humakt that teaches the release zombie spell as a special associate pick.  You can't get this spell from any other Humakt temple but the Greydog Clan Temple of the Lismelder Tribe.  There, beside the Upland Marsh, Indrodar became sufficiently at-one with Humakt that a new spell came into being designed for the problems of the people in the area.  I suspect that there are many other subcults that are potentially very regional and provide special magic to a specific clan or tribe who knows their secrets.  Obviously these secrets can potentially be traded, but consider that a clan's specific interpretation of how to complete a given hero quest may well vary considerably from that of another.  The idea of associated subcults is important imo.

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37 minutes ago, Darius West said:

We think of the Before Time period of Glorantha, but what would a world without time look like?  My answer is that the Gods have an area of operation that was open to them Before Time, and this is where their myths take place, and after a fashion, these myths took place all at once.  Humans superimpose a temporal narrative onto the stories to create a continuity that doesn't actually exist. 

Getting a bit off-topic, but perhaps the Mostali see it like this:

God Time = the God World in development mode; a set of conflicting, overlapping, and related narratives that were generally frozen before release to the public at the Dawn.

God World = the public release version of the God World, which exists alongside the Mundane World and drives much of how the visible world works: it is the operating system, or the modules of the operating system that sit intelligibly above the low-level code of the Essential World. It is dynamic in the sense that it is constantly driving things that happen during Time, even if some subroutines (like the Red Moon) were initially disconnected and only enabled at a later date. Generally minor tweaks to the God World can be made from within Time, major changes to this part of the OS are dangerous as they may destabilise the system more widely (cf. God Learners, or Argrath).

Hero Plane = a user-friendly UI allowing access to the God World from the Mundane World from within Time. Because people exist within Time, the Hero Plane(s) view the God World in a semi-structured manner: different modules are associated with the Green Age, Golden Age, Storm Age etc; this allows access to the revision history of the development code, not just the version currently operating. Early revisions are known to be pretty flaky, and wise heroquesters avoid them. Note that to interface between the structured, sequential world of Time, and the poorly-annotated and often contradictory code of the Hero Plane Ages is challenging, and the UI must be generated dynamically. This is why heroquesters often encounter different versions of the same myth.

Why gods are experienced differently by different peoples in different places = they interface with the underlying God World through UIs tailored to their individual cult, culture, time and circumstances. The UI constrains what they encounter. The Praxian UI for Orlanth only has the modules that culture considers relevant; but by constraining their "window" into Orlanth, they will miss out on seeing many things, but may also bring other aspects into focus that are perhaps not readily apparent elsewhere.

To be 100% clear: I am not suggesting this is how Glorantha works. That would be crazy. I am suggesting it is one way for a modern, linear, analytical mind to relate to what is going on beneath the hood (sorry, mixing metaphors).

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In my last session in my Pavis Royal Guard game, the characters received a VIP tour of some of the shrines in the outer comples of the Paps thanks to an expeirence entering the sleeping Eiritha Hillls on their way to one of the nomadic zebra clans, and the Impala rider Yelmalio worshipper was confronted with a depiction of his deity (clearly recognizable as such) as Sun Daughter (i.e. with enough accoutrements that were totally different from what he had seen a week or so earlier at (Vega's) Sun Dome temple on the Zola Fel. A fellow cultist from the same tribe (but not part of the party) suggested to refrain from asking questions (channeling Worf in the "Trials and Tribulations" episode of Deep Space Nine when Miles O'Brien asks him about the appearance of the Klingons in the original series).

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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