Jump to content

How magic changes Glorantha from Earth. Let's start with sex...


JRE

Recommended Posts

Effectively, any value will actually be limited to 5 - 95, but I would use the 0 as a marker that this is magically cursed, and not a natural value. That could be also an effect from failed heroquests or even extreme apostasy. Few player characters will be in a hurry to lift an infertility curse. Most will be concerned by a 0 earth rating, and Earth cultists will be extremely hampered.

Now you have to find how to lift the curse, and that is MGF in my book. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do believe there is a devolution in magic power through time. The magics of the 2nd Age had much higher penalties than in the first age because the Compromise is weaker, and any big magic stretches the Compromise closer to the breaking time. 

It may be my chemistry base, but taking Time as Entropy, the only direction possible is down. And we already have good reasons to expect magic is much weaker in the fourth age. Those are the two reference points we have, Dawn and the fourth age. I also think the number of Heroes / Superheroes / new gods is much higher in the First Age than later. We do not have all the names and events, but in the first age, normal magics, without strange heroquests or myth exploitation  were world-shattering, while now you need to use Arkat's and the God Learners techniques just to be in the race. Which is why at the end they break magic, because you need to abuse it more to get similar returns. But this is clearly a matter of personal preference, so YGWV, and I doubt we will get an official position from Chaosium. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/28/2022 at 10:46 AM, soltakss said:

Apple Lane shows that it is commonplace, so not just confined to big cities.

I seriously doubt that. Apparently Apple Lane was built around a pre-existing shrine as a trade post, and then became (more) notorious when Gringle, a companion of the Prince, settled down there with his own exotic followers.

There are other hamlets with an Issaries-run "inn" and stables and a smithy - all together meaning a caravanserai waystation. These exist on minor roads, so the princes' highways are bound to have equivalents, too. But to suggest that Apple Lane was your run-of-the-mill waystation seems a bit wonky to me.

On 5/28/2022 at 10:46 AM, soltakss said:

In my opinion, children born to polygamous parents might know who their birth mother is, or they might just be raised as being children of the family. Similarly, children born to polyandrous families might know who their father is, but also might just have several fathers. It depends on the kind of family and the rites. 

Quite a few children will have grown up with (one set of) their grandparents (or at least one, possibly remarried otherwise in the meantime) rather than with their biological parents anyway. Their direct contact adults is likely to be an aunt married into the grandparent's household. Possibly a female cousin.

Temporary marriages are a thing, posibly as repeat performance with the same partner, sometimes alternating between the clans of the parents (like Sartar and FHQ1 practiced during their contest). That may result in full siblings belonging to different clans (or even tribes).

Divorces are a thing, too. In those cases, the child remains in the clan and location it was born. (In case of year marriages, conception during that year customarily extends the marriage until the child is weaned, at least IMG.)

Half siblings are pretty common, too. The number of Harmastsons was extreme due to Harmast's role as fertility bringer under Lokamayadon's rainstop, but chances are good that your characters will have half-siblings in unexpected places (unless they know the itineraries of their parents very well).

Usually, the woman giving birth to a child will be considered the mother of that child. (Usually she will be the woman who conceived the child, too, but Arthur C. Clarke's truth about sufficiently advanced technology applies to Glorantha as well in the reversal of the trope. Some of what is possible in our moden world has already been described in the Mabinogion.)

IMG, the biological mother wouldn't be the default woman raising the child, though, the "mother" responsible for upbringing and education. The responsibility for this lies with the mistress of the household, usually a (step-) grandmother or grand-aunt, while the actual nannying will be done by a family member closer to the actual age of the mother. This may place the biological parents in a role little different from the other uncles and aunts or elder cousins in their home. And that may mean that a spinster aunt (of whichever gender) has all the practical experience about raising all the children to initiation while having no biological offspring.

 

On 5/28/2022 at 10:46 AM, soltakss said:

Don't forget that Lords of Terror has a Chaos Deity of incest, so, from that point of view, incest is seen as Chaotic.

Lords of Terror has added a few cults of as dubious continuity as some of the subcults in Thunder Rebels. (The Earth Healer???)

There is more to Glorantha than just fighting Chaos at every corner. IMO half the Chaos fought by the Orlanthi has been summoned and nurtured by over-eager zealots bent on finding Chaos.

 

On 5/28/2022 at 10:46 AM, soltakss said:

Having said that, many of the ancestral lines of deities is incestuous. The Water deities married their siblings. Gata bore Genert, who fathered the Land Goddesses on his mother and the Grain Goddesses on his daughters. Gata was Aether's mother and wife, she was also grandmother to Orlanth and Ernalda, so they were first cousins. So, incest among the deities was commonplace and acceptable.

Divinity transgresses. So does heroism. Which might be perceived as Chaos by some people, or at least as a disruptive practice unless left to the professionals. Such as the cannibal virgins serving the Shaker priestess.

 

On 5/28/2022 at 10:46 AM, soltakss said:

In my opinion, Voria is the virgin, the innocent one, the girl who has not yet had sex, Ernalda is the mother and Asrelia is the grandmother, the crone, who is past childbearing age. Although there is a natural progression from Voria to Ernalda to Asrelia, I don't think there is a similar natural progression from Babeester Gor to Maran Gor to Ty Kora Tek. Instead, there is a progression from Voria to Babeester Gor, Ernalda to Maran Gor and Asrelia to Ty Kora Tek, none of which really involves sex.

Practically, the common progression to Babeester will be adulthood initiation (so Voria, yes), or from Ernalda. Voria (i.e. female before initiation) may join Ernalda (or one of her fertile daughters). Babeester, Maran, or some non-earth deity. Direct progression to the Crone is practically unheard of, although a magical case of progeria might warrant adulthood initiation to TKT.

  • Thanks 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/30/2022 at 11:33 AM, JRE said:

As I write more, and see the replies, I am now thinking we have a situation of decreasing magic in the world, probably starting at the Sunstop. So some of my suggestions may have been true at Dawn (menstruation and menopause induced by magic, rather than normal biological processes) but as magic wanes, they are overtaken by mundane processes, so that in the Third Age only an exceptional Ernaldan such as Queen Bruvala can delay menopause through magic. 

There is the known (or at least known-about) heroquest that allows the heroquester to avoid aging. Hofstaring Tree-leaper was famous for that. I suppose that a female plumbed hero(ine) with that power will avoid menopause, too, if she managed to perform the quest beforehand.

Bruvala spent most of her reign as a queen in pregnancy, which may have held off menopause. Her later pregnancies may have been the result of powerful fertility magic despite being menopausal, too.

On 5/30/2022 at 11:33 AM, JRE said:

I still think we need to break some more Earth's preconceived notions to explore Glorantha better, if only to show us some of those preconceptions we are not aware they exist.

Possibly not so much Earth's preconceived notions as those of our modern civilization and monotheistic religions. Including sexuality in forms that are criminalized in certain countries but acceptable in others, or in earlier times (e.g. notions of adulthood age in Romeo and Juliet), including notions on personal property and personal liberties. On people being chosen to go into certain death or eternal spiritual servitude. Or certain annihilation, e.g. by the Crimson Bat.

  • Thanks 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/23/2022 at 9:14 PM, JRE said:

Women independence.

There are several factors, and we will touch some others, but for me the main one is the low infant death ratio. We know of some magic that helps pregnancies, and the general magic use practically guarantees that in attended deliveries survival rate will be 100% for both mother and child. Although we still expect a high casualty ratio in human males and a lower but significant ratio among human females due to the higher systemic violence, that probably means smaller families and much less pressure on pregnancies for women, as the dead males are socially disposable. If marriages are mainly monogamous, of course. So there will be an excess of single women without partners and widows, which are those better suited for adventuring and other independent life choices.

A higher women independence would balance out the decreased number of married males and decrease social tension, and bring a more equal social weight, though we have irregular results in the cultures described in the literature, but that is not the point today.

I disagree. Seriously look at how Esrolia functions.  They are not strictly Orlanthi, but they are Orlanthi enough.

The driving factor in population growth in the Bronze Age and in most agrarian ages subsequent was that having children was a source of free labor.  Children equal wealth, assuming you have excess land to work.  Motherhood is a means to power, because every child you bring into the world is another human being who is completely loyal to you, and whom you can barter into a politically advantageous marriage or work in the fields.  You seem to think that small families are a virtue, but in this context they are not.  There is no impetus for small families at all.  Unmarried widows will barter for husbands, or will become matriarchs who hold the land they have gained in several marriages in trust for some of their children.  The notion of an excess of single women ignores the fact that there are Hero Wars going on, and there are plenty of war cults that are eager to take female recruits, or will only take female recruits like BBG and Vinga.  Mothers ARE the means of production and they own themselves.

Edited by Darius West
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, you go from motherhood and big families to plentiful warrior women, which I find a bit contradictory, as I suppose you agree warrior women do try to minimize pregnancies.

The social structure of orlanthi does not really benefit from crowds of people, as the clan land is limited, so once you have enough people to work your land, there is no incentive to have extra people, except in time of war, and you need to prepare that a generation early. That is why I propose population control, as the alternative is low intensity continuous warfare. That is the benefit for orlanthi of small families, peace with the neighbours.

As for Esrolian matriarchs, as they are matrilocal and the husband joins the wife's clan, land is always in the hand of the matriarchs, who hold it for their daughters. Another aspect where dynastic power is concentrated through smaller families.

The sources (GtG and KoS) show that having the childless widows dye their hair red, it is unusual, but not impossible. But still men will be the majority of the combatants, so they will be the majority of the casualties. So, an excess of unmarried women. 

I still find worrying the lack of women among Argrath's companions, but it may be Argrath's choice, as he is fighting a strongly feminine religion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, JRE said:

The social structure of orlanthi does not really benefit from crowds of people, as the clan land is limited, so once you have enough people to work your land, there is no incentive to have extra people, except in time of war, and you need to prepare that a generation early. That is why I propose population control, as the alternative is low intensity continuous warfare (emphasis mine). That is the benefit for orlanthi of small families, peace with the neighbours.

 

Glorantha is a world of low intensity warfare. Even if you have peace with the neighboring clans/tribes you have to contend with Broo, Scorpionmen, Hangry Uz, Tusk Riders, Chaos monsters, non-Chaos monsters, and Hostile Spirits. And this is the best case scenario: most Clans have feuds with other Clans that manifest as low intensity warfare and cattle raiding. Sure if you look at the Lunar Heartland or Esrolia many of these threats are much diminished but those places are the exception not the rule. Low intensity warfare is the norm to such an extent that one of the lunar empires greatest achievements has been to prevent it within its heartlands by creating the institution of dart compilations.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, JRE said:

The social structure of orlanthi does not really benefit from crowds of people, as the clan land is limited, so once you have enough people to work your land, there is no incentive to have extra people, except in time of war, and you need to prepare that a generation early.

Orlanthi society has an outlet for surplus population, adventuring. People are encouraged to go wandering, especially childless adults. King of Sartar speaks of Wanderlore travelers. And that needn't be limited to part-time  warriors.

Another "expatriat" status is gained by taking service in a leader's household or organisation. That can be a temple, as many leaders double as god-talkers or priests.

Food productivity in normal years is sufficient to support cities and elites while building up reserves for bad years. Overpopulation appears to be rare. Mortality in bad years is somewhat higher, and may hit landless clan members first.

Breeding for a specific war doesn't sound very Orlanthi to me. Breeding for war readiness, sure.

 

3 hours ago, JRE said:

That is why I propose population control, as the alternative is low intensity continuous warfare. That is the benefit for orlanthi of small families, peace with the neighbours.

One form of population control are marriage arrangements. While a lack of marriage status doesn't prevent sexual activity and conception, the exogamous nature of Orlanthi clans sort of limits the access to casual partners. Children grow up with the grandparent(s) who provide the seat of the marriage, or in case of unmarried women, the maternal grandparents if she lives with her clan.

 

3 hours ago, JRE said:

As for Esrolian matriarchs, as they are matrilocal and the husband joins the wife's clan, land is always in the hand of the matriarchs, who hold it for their daughters. Another aspect where dynastic power is concentrated through smaller families.

In Esrolia, land ownership appears to be concentrated in the Enfranchised Houses, who then lease out land to client houses. At least that is how Nochet appears to work. (Not that that is much different from the Earth Temples in Sartar being the ultimate land-owning authority, acknowledged by the clans holding the land in the form of tithes by their client Earth temples.)

Land allocation for agricultural production is overseen by the clan leader  - chiefs in Sartar, Grandmothers in Esrolia.

There is always some productive land left fallow.

Population increase may lead to less productive land being made arable. In our real world, such pioneering generally leads to a generation of poverty and possibly famine, depending on the productivity of the land, However, there is something like a temporary fertility for land left as pasture, often enough to last for a generation before the soil is exhausted. Once that happens, migration ensues - whether within the lands claimed by the clan, or longer range migration.

These more marginal areas probably tend to be managed by tenants rather than free farmers.

 

 

3 hours ago, JRE said:

The sources (GtG and KoS) show that having the childless widows dye their hair red, it is unusual, but not impossible. But still men will be the majority of the combatants, so they will be the majority of the casualties. So, an excess of unmarried women.

Childless widows only?

Child rearing is a community job.  Quite a few mothers will have little to do with the daily lives of their older children (say above five years old), as those will be overseen as age groups by a small number of adults. Possibly unmarried daughters of the household.

Childless widows may return to their birth clans. Their status in the marriage clan wouldn't usualy be that high if they haven't given their in-laws descendants.

Defender women would include mothers of weaned children, at least in populous households.

 

Then there is the case of divorced women, or participants in past temporary marriages. Temporary marriages may break the patrilocal or matrilocal preference of the culture, possibly resulting in a couple in a serial temporary marriage to have children at both sets of grandparents' households. Practitioners of temporary marriages with multiple partners may have offspring from marriages in several clans, or in multiple households of a primary marriage clan if the clan comes out of a triaty-like relationship. There will be mothers living in different places from their children as the result of marriages which ended, whether in divorce or simply because the duration ended.

 

3 hours ago, JRE said:

I still find worrying the lack of women among Argrath's companions, but it may be Argrath's choice, as he is fighting a strongly feminine religion.

Argrath does have female companions in the shape of temporary wives raising his children. Samastina for instance, who appears to have taken him as a ritual companion resulting in one or more pregnancies. While raising his children, her adventuring is somewhat limited, and she will have other partners as fathers for her children, too. These relationships will result in support on his heroquests - possibly a factor in how Harmast Barefoot was so successful as heroquesters, as he had multiple mothers of his children who would give support at some point in his quests. (Which makes me wonder whether Harmast would have had multiple "love family" passions? Greg's semi-finished novel was titled "Ten Women Well Loved"...)

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Argrath does have female companions in the shape of temporary wives raising his children

Could you please cite dates and sources?  One of our GMs (we rotate) comments that, as of 1627 at least, he has found no reference to Argrath having any children, or even showing much interest in women.  Thanks.

He's pretty darned busy on other things, so that is not necessarily a reflection upon his sexuality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

Glorantha is a world of low intensity warfare. Even if you have peace with the neighboring clans/tribes you have to contend with Broo, Scorpionmen, Hangry Uz, Tusk Riders, Chaos monsters, non-Chaos monsters, and Hostile Spirits. And this is the best case scenario: most Clans have feuds with other Clans that manifest as low intensity warfare and cattle raiding. Sure if you look at the Lunar Heartland or Esrolia many of these threats are much diminished but those places are the exception not the rule. Low intensity warfare is the norm to such an extent that one of the lunar empires greatest achievements has been to prevent it within its heartlands by creating the institution of dart compilations.

I agree that is the traditional case for Orlanthi before Orlanth Rex worked to create orlanthi kingdoms, so the case today in Ralios and Fronela, and often the case in Prax, Pent, etc. I think that Sartar also ended it, as the Tarshite dinasties did as well. Now Sartar has had a bad thirty years or so, but people still fondly remember the first century, and IMG they want that peace to return, and that is the baseline the Sartar clans want to return to. Belintar also brought a full end to low intensity warfare, so I do expect Dragon Pass orlanthi are not really into it.

My point is that magic may change that dynamic as well, as if we assume all pregnancies end well and most children reach initiation age, you do not need huge  families as in Earth, because that makes the low intensity high intensity, because you will be fighting for land, and that means displacement or genocide. Counting coup, cattle raiding, even Chaos except in the neighbouring land to Chaos strongholds, will always will be less deadly than simple pregnancy in Earth.

And that is a good thing, in my opinion, because it means women can be free to do what they want rather than popping a child a year.  Without such a pressure, not all marriages need to produce kids, which allows non-fertile couples, unlike our own religions that still work in a milennia old population frame. Good for a gaming world. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Childless widows only?

That is what says in the Glorantha sourcebook (not GtG) for 1625, "Every childless widow among the Kheldon tribe dyed her hair red that winter."

I assume that by joining Vinga you probably protect your clan from specific retaliation, and you can learn combat magic. An excess of widows would be a result of warfare, if we assume (as can be seen also in the cult distribitions) most women, though they would take part in the defence of the clan land, they do not join military operations outside their own territory. The phrase shows how dire things were for Kallyr, despite the Dragonrise, and how difficult it was for her to raise an army.

I agree many of the Kheldon widows may have been living with husbands in other tribes, though I would expect most marriages are within the tribe. Because the tribe is the Orlanth Rex basic unit, so it does not affect whether they are with their birth clan or still living with their dead husbands clan. They are motivated people that are not really necessary for the day to day running of the clan, so the kind of people you can send to war, specially if you have already lost a lot of males, so marriage options will be very limited.

It is a lot of construction on the flimsy base of a sentence, but it feels right to me. Not enough men left, no marriage perpectives among the decimated clans, so you just take on the dead guys helmets, spears and shields. 

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Argrath does have female companions in the shape of temporary wives raising his children. Samastina for instance, who appears to have taken him as a ritual companion resulting in one or more pregnancies. While raising his children, her adventuring is somewhat limited, and she will have other partners as fathers for her children, too. These relationships will result in support on his heroquests - possibly a factor in how Harmast Barefoot was so successful as heroquesters, as he had multiple mothers of his children who would give support at some point in his quests. (Which makes me wonder whether Harmast would have had multiple "love family" passions? Greg's semi-finished novel was titled "Ten Women Well Loved"...)

I am also interested in what are the sources. As far as I know, in the list in the Glorantha sourcebook only two out of thirteen are women, the infamous Elusu and Tarkala the lover, though in 1626 Annstad of Dunstop becomes the loving companion in her place. If we expand the list of companions we get three more, Jenesta the Grim, Leika the mayor and Natalina Vingasdottir, so five out of thirty or so, unless you think the different Elusu mentions may be different people with the same name.

I suppose Inkarne is his equal as Queen of Dragon Pass, so she does not count as a companion. In the same way I think Samastina, even if she had one or more children with him, is at least his equal, not a companion.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JRE said:

My point is that magic may change that dynamic as well, as if we assume all pregnancies end well and most children reach initiation age, you do not need huge families as in Earth, because that makes the low intensity high intensity, because you will be fighting for land, and that means displacement or genocide. Counting coup, cattle raiding, even Chaos except in the neighbouring land to Chaos strongholds, will always will be less deadly than simple pregnancy in Earth.

And that is a good thing, in my opinion, because it means women can be free to do what they want rather than popping a child a year.  Without such a pressure, not all marriages need to produce kids, which allows non-fertile couples, unlike our own religions that still work in a milennia old population frame. Good for a gaming world. 

I agree their the overall mortality will be significantly lowered by the much lower infant and maternal mortality which will lower the number of births. I got distracted by the specifics and lost track of the general conversation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JRE said:

That is what says in the Glorantha sourcebook (not GtG) for 1625, "Every childless widow among the Kheldon tribe dyed her hair red that winter."

I assume that by joining Vinga you probably protect your clan from specific retaliation, and you can learn combat magic. An excess of widows would be a result of warfare, if we assume (as can be seen also in the cult distribitions) most women, though they would take part in the defence of the clan land, they do not join military operations outside their own territory. The phrase shows how dire things were for Kallyr, despite the Dragonrise, and how difficult it was for her to raise an army.

That is a case of an extraordinary degree of mobilization, but it doesn't exclude any other woman from dyeing her hair and joining the warband. Kallyr herself is a mother...

The typical Vingan defender has a more personal stake, though, IMO - there is no reason why a mother should not dye her hair if the manfolk has been eliminated, captured etc.

 

 

2 hours ago, JRE said:

I agree many of the Kheldon widows may have been living with husbands in other tribes, though I would expect most marriages are within the tribe.

Right, marriages between clans of the tribe would be fairly common, so for the tribal allegiance birth clan and marriage clan doesn't matter.

 

2 hours ago, JRE said:

I am also interested in what are the sources. As far as I know, in the list in the Glorantha sourcebook only two out of thirteen are women, the infamous Elusu and Tarkala the lover, though in 1626 Annstad of Dunstop becomes the loving companion in her place. If we expand the list of companions we get three more, Jenesta the Grim, Leika the mayor and Natalina Vingasdottir, so five out of thirty or so, unless you think the different Elusu mentions may be different people with the same name.

These women are temporary companions, or possibly take on Argrath as a temporary companion. Having talked to the player of Samastina in Jeff's HeroQuest campaign (that created the examples in HeroQuest Glorantha), I learned of at least one temporary marriage or the ritual equivalent thereof resulting in children. (2, IIRC.)

Leika is unlikely to have pursued a dalliance with Argrath, her claim to sovereignty is Orlanth rather than Ernalda, but there may very well be other powerful earth priestesses or ritual stand-ins for the Earth Goddess that had Argrath's children, like that Garhound harvest queen. The Feathered Horse Queen is of course pre-eminent among these, but there is space for other priestesses of important earth temples, other than Entarios. Possibly a number of herd Eiritha priestesses doing the White Bull.

Entarios is special in that she accompanies Argrath on at least one major experimental quest.

 

2 hours ago, JRE said:

I suppose Inkarne is his equal as Queen of Dragon Pass, so she does not count as a companion. In the same way I think Samastina, even if she had one or more children with him, is at least his equal, not a companion.

The quests that Argrath shared with Inkarne or Samastina may have been less of an experimental character and more of the affirmative "follow the story" type, although with an experimental quester like Argrath who is bound to have accumulated a set of recurring heroquest opponents weirdness is to be expected.

The female count on the LBQ team is 2 if you count Ginna Jar and assume that Eurmal hung on to his dick. Supporters and hangers-on aren't listed, other than Mastakos for the first stretch towards Ralios.

The pre-Cradle cotery of questers in the Rubble remains fairly anonymous, and so does the distribution between a participant and a supporter role among Argrath's companions from that time.

  • Like 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

These women are temporary companions, or possibly take on Argrath as a temporary companion. Having talked to the player of Samastina in Jeff's HeroQuest campaign (that created the examples in HeroQuest Glorantha), I learned of at least one temporary marriage or the ritual equivalent thereof resulting in children. (2, IIRC.)

Thanks.  Raises more questions though.

  1. Should we assume that Argrath sleeps with all the help, perhaps even the men?  He is a "David Bowie" rock star type.  But seems, well pretty sleazy...  I guess Billy Crystal was right in Sleepless in Seattle?
  2. If so, why don't we call them what they are: AFFAIRS.  I'm very tired of this "oh, no problemo, it was a Temporary Marriage" stuff.  It's completely implausible to believe that Argrath (and lots of other powerful Gloranthans in other examples) went to a priest to get divine blessing before sleeping with them.  Really spoils the spontaneity, don't you think?  And the fun.  Let them be affairs, but, since they are powerful men or women, they can usually get away with them.
  3. It would also be a better story, IMO, if sometimes they didn't get away with these affairs.  There would be almost no English Folk Music or American Country Music if it weren't for spurned lovers and adulterers, leading to jealousy, heartache, revenge, and murder.
Edited by Rodney Dangerduck
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Thanks.  Raises more questions though.

  1. Should we assume that Argrath sleeps with all the help, perhaps even the men?  He is a "David Bowie" rock star type.  But seems, well pretty sleazy...  I guess Billy Crystal was right in Sleepless in Seattle?

I think it depends on your view of Argrath, of course, and your view of sex and casual sex and all that, but I mean, just look at the art for Argrath. He's definitely open to playing both sides of the field, as it were. As far as that element of things goes, of course, I think mostly we have relationships that may be transactional but which are fairly firmly consensual- Annstad can leave any time he likes, he's not dependent on giving Argrath sexual favors to keep things together, etc. Really, the most potential for problems in this area might be Argrath and Harrek's relationship... but that's also nicely open to interpretation. 

  • Like 2

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

Eight Arms and the Mask

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

If so, why don't we call them what they are: AFFAIRS.  I'm very tired of this "oh, no problemo, it was a Temporary Marriage" stuff.  It's completely implausible to believe that Argrath (and lots of other powerful Gloranthans in other examples) went to a priest to get divine blessing before sleeping with them.  Really spoils the spontaneity, don't you think?  And the fun.  Let them be affairs, but, since they are powerful men or women, they can usually get away with them.

So the thing is that in the context parts of Gloratha you we are operating in people powerful on the scale you are talking about are mostly priests of one sort or another. So they are perfectly capable of conducting their own temporary marriages. So as long as this is a semi-long term thing (a few months) and neither party are in a form that of marriage that prevents it their is very little reason for these kinds of people to not to make a temporary marriage, assuming it can be done in a short ritual (which I think is likely). The real drama comes from proper affairs with marriage individuals or other obligations see Annstad of Dunstop for a good example of this. 

Argrath un my understanding is particularly unlikely to knowingly have disadvantages affairs. He swore on Edzaroun to destroy the Red Goddess/Moon and She is avoided because of how powerfully She enforces her oaths. 

Edited by FlamingCatOfDeath
Grammar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

mostly priests of one sort or another. So they are perfectly capable of conducting their own temporary marriages.

That's far too close to Popes openly having children and other infamous Church shenanigans, such as annulling marriages for political or monetary reasons, for my taste.  RQG page 427: "marriage is sanctified by divine oath".  As I read it, the appropriate God (Ernalda?  not sure) is involved.  It's not just the priest telling the pretty slave girl "sure, we are married for today..." as he slips off her clothes.

 

49 minutes ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

neither party are in a form that of marriage that prevents it

True.  Interestingly, there is no form of marriage listed on page 427 where both man and woman can have multiple spouses.  Which everybody here assumes is common: Orlanth / Ernalda, King of Sartar / FHQ, etc...  I guess it exists, but strange that it isn't listed among 7 other options.  (I don't yet own a copy of 6 Paths, does it list more?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

That's far too close to Popes openly having children and other infamous Church shenanigans, such as annulling marriages for political or monetary reasons, for my taste. 

But the presthoods we are talking about are not prohibited from marriage or children.  
 

43 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

RQG page 427: "marriage is sanctified by divine oath".  As I read it, the appropriate God (Ernalda?  not sure) is involved. As I read it, the appropriate God (Ernalda?  not sure) is involved.  It's not just the priest telling the pretty slave girl "sure, we are married for today..." as he slips off her clothes.

Yes even a temporary marriage is sacrificed by divine oath so and therefor has unpredictable divine retaliation for breaches. So they need to keep their marriage vows for as long as it lasts. What I am talking about is really the kind of “medium term girlfriend” relationships: they get involved, think it might last a while, make a variation on a year-marriage, have a falling out/loss of interest two months into the relationship and get divorced ending the marriage ten months early.

shorter term stuff will just be casual sex if both parties are out of wedlock or a (deliciously scandalous) affair if that is not the case (assuming the party in wedlock doesn’t have some weird form of marriage that allows seeing non married people on the side if such exist, Lodril marriages perhaps?) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

they get involved, think it might last a while, make a variation on a year-marriage,

So by your very timeline, it starts at  an affair.  That, later, becomes a "divinely blessed year-marriage" that doesn't even last a year.  Sounds like a Hollywood couple.  Very sacred.

I'm not a prude, sure, people cheat, but to claim it's all o.k. and divinely sanctified strikes me as baloney.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/13/2022 at 7:07 AM, JRE said:

The social structure of orlanthi does not really benefit from crowds of people, as the clan land is limited, so once you have enough people to work your land, there is no incentive to have extra people, except in time of war, and you need to prepare that a generation early. That is why I propose population control, as the alternative is low intensity continuous warfare. That is the benefit for orlanthi of small families, peace with the neighbours.

I must disagree.  Every bronze age society has a huge impetus to populate.  Every child represents an extra pair of hands to bring in the harvest and engage in unpaid farm work until they achieve their majority, and possibly long after that if they want to inherit.  This was one of the main population drivers of all agricultural societies and it is only in the post WW2 era that this has begun to change in the developed world, but it hasn't changed in the undeveloped world.  High populations and high pop growth rate are also extremely necessary for any group that engage in regular warfare.  Small groups get trampled by large groups.  This "trampling" is how those who lack land are accommodated, they fight and win or lose and die.  This is extremely relevant to Orlanthi tribes too, as their regular feuds are symptomatic of this process.

Edited by Darius West
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

So by your very timeline, it starts at  an affair.  That, later, becomes a "divinely blessed year-marriage" that doesn't even last a year. 

My timeline is a little different than your impression of it, the confusion occurred around the phrase “get involved” by which includes the courting that precedes either an affair/relationship or a year marriage (or an relationship that turns into a year marriage) 

courting phase —> reflection on level and type of attraction —> either a Year Marriage or affair depending on circumstance (attraction type, previous relationship, political circumstances, individual preferences, etc.)

3 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Sounds like a Hollywood couple.  Very sacred.

I'm not a prude, sure, people cheat, but to claim it's all o.k. and divinely sanctified strikes me as baloney.

When I read the myth about the marriage of Ernalda and Argan Ardar I don’t see a story of love blossoming into a long term relationship. I see a story of a negotiation of role and relationship, an exchange, in the form of a marriage contract. I think that is primarily how we should see marriage in Gloratha: a contract to bind the participants  together and exchange things between them. Love-marriages (love-spouse) are a perfectly valid form of that, where all that is exchanged is love and commitment, but so are year marriages. The binding is what matters to the gods not the timespan.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I must disagree.  Every bronze age society has a huge impetus to populate.  Every child represents an extra pair of hands to bring in the harvest and engage in unpaid farm work until they achieve their majority, and possibly long after that if they want to inherit.  This was one of the main population drivers of all agricultural societies and it is only in the post WW2 era that this has begun to change in the developed world, but it hasn't changed in the undeveloped world.  High populations and high pop growth rate are also extremely necessary for any group that engage in regular warfare.  Small groups get trampled by large groups.  This "trampling" is how those who lack land are accommodated, they fight and win or lose and die.  This is extremely relevant to Orlanthi tribes too, as their regular feuds are symptomatic of this process.

Actually that is the whole point why I fully disagree with the idea that Glorantha is Bronze age, except in appearance. My thesis is that the presence of magic fully changes the dynamic, as we can see also with the population density in most of Glorantha, that are much higher than in Earth during modern times, not to mention the Bronze ages.

And I insist the changes are good for a game world. Women are free to do other things besides having kids. No obsession with sex for procreation (except high class Yelmites, I suppose, but we need someone to mock), which also avoids most of our world's hang-ups with same sex couples and casual sex, or with people changing or assuming different genders. Just because most peoples are over the subsistence level, so the extra people are not really necessary thanks to fertility magic, and there is a very good chance that a pregnancy will give you a new adult (or two) in sixteen years.

Borders have moved very little in Dragon Pass in the last centuries. If we do not count the Lunar occupation, which is a recent event, Sartar has been a haven of peace for more than a century, so I do not see that low intensity orlanthi on orlanthi warfare in Dragon Pass. There are a few sharp wars with Tarsh, roughly once for generation, but I do not expect that affects most of the population, but the professional warrior class and martial magicians of both sides.

The Lunar occupation changes that, and brings oppression and war to each clan, which is why the rebellions abound. But I would say most want to return to what they had before. Yes, the Tribes fight, and all gang up on the Telmori, but they still want to have a Prince of Sartar in the throne and peace all around.

I would expect bigger families in Ralios, where intra-orlanthi violence is much higher, and many young men and a few women take the mercenary road to Safelster. But Dragon Pass is quite full, so anybody with big families is planning war gainst their neighbours. Which could be a thing in Sartar, if they had not just suffered the long winter. I would expect very few children were born while Ernalda was asleep, as I prefer contraception / loss of fertility to infanticide.

As for Argrath, I would expect he will try to ritualize even his affairs, to extract all the power he can. So he will cast his partners as Orlanth's partners, and really love them. And then he will play at being Heler, and sow further afield. He will be (Storm) White Bull in Prax, and extend even further his influence by fathering little Wahas, or look for less known myths that foster the brotherhood with benefits between Urox and Orlanth...

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JRE said:

Actually that is the whole point why I fully disagree with the idea that Glorantha is Bronze age, except in appearance. My thesis is that the presence of magic fully changes the dynamic, as we can see also with the population density in most of Glorantha, that are much higher than in Earth during modern times, not to mention the Bronze ages.

Which population densities are we comparing, though?

Dragon Pass offers us the trade nexus of a Silk Road, compared with loess soil from the Glacier grinding up the Pelorian topsoil in a quality and quantity mainly found in the Ukraine, a climate significantly less continental than the Ukraine, a lot richer in metals than the Karpathians (who traded away their metal with the rest of Europe), and yet lagging behind the population density and soil use following the Gbaji Wars when the density of urban population was comparable to Mesopotamia in one of its more humid periods, but without the need for huge public waterworks or irrigation, and neither dependent on the annual floodings of the Nile caused by the Monsoons.

While the climate doesn't allow two harvests like in Sri Lanka or the Nile Delta, the greater Pass region offers a cold Meditarranean climate with much better soil than any Mediterranean culture other than the Nile Delta had to offer. Comparisons with the Copper Age Tripolye-Cucuteni culture in a period of more clement climate would be fair, only advanced beyond that technology.

Glorantha is a post-apocalyptic Bronze Age, too. Pre-apocalyptic Golden Age magic can be reconstructed or imitated, and even be re-established by means of the Proximate Holy Realm as built by Belintar and still lingering.

 

1 hour ago, JRE said:

And I insist the changes are good for a game world. Women are free to do other things besides having kids. No obsession with sex for procreation (except high class Yelmites, I suppose, but we need someone to mock), which also avoids most of our world's hang-ups with same sex couples and casual sex, or with people changing or assuming different genders. Just because most peoples are over the subsistence level, so the extra people are not really necessary thanks to fertility magic, and there is a very good chance that a pregnancy will give you a new adult (or two) in sixteen years.

I disagree with your assessment of population growth. The population of Sartar has diminished since Jarolar's reign. Tarsh east of the Dragonspine was depopulated by Phargentes. The Opening of the Seas has brought twice the size of the Colymar population into Nochet and Karse. The Lunar conquest sent refugees south and east (Pavis County). Warfare, enslavement and terror campaigns have depopulated significant ranges in eastern and southern Sartar. The depopulation and land falling fallow is not quite as bad as after the Great Plague, but there are swaths of arable land currently unmanaged. Not in the direct neighborhood of Jonstown, maybe, but further east, such as the former Maboder lands or the area around the Dragonrise (even with the scar left behind by the dragon).

 

1 hour ago, JRE said:

Borders have moved very little in Dragon Pass in the last centuries. If we do not count the Lunar occupation, which is a recent event, Sartar has been a haven of peace for more than a century, so I do not see that low intensity orlanthi on orlanthi warfare in Dragon Pass.

1550ish had the Elmali rebellion, followed by the exodus that re-settled Vanntar. Even without enslaved Kitori, the farming there is good, and temple mercenary service brings in luxuries. The wars against Phargentes and Moirades - mostly fought in Old Tarsh territory - did create a constant need of fighters to refresh battle losses, quite often with high casualties (deaths of Jarolar, Jarosar, Tarkalor). Under Terasarin, Alda-chur was added, alongside with refugees from the Bush Range. The 1590 victory would have had casualties, too - still outside of Old Sartar.

Add to this the bad neighbors in parts of Sartar - the Upland Marsh, Brangbane's forest, and despite the Pol Joni screen occasional Praxian raids. Peaceful, to some extent yes, but hardly demilitarized.

 

1 hour ago, JRE said:

There are a few sharp wars with Tarsh, roughly once for generation, but I do not expect that affects most of the population, but the professional warrior class and martial magicians of both sides.

Jarolar fought the Lunar Tarshites twice, and was disastrously killed the second time. Jarosar fought them, and was betrayed (on the battlefield).
Tarkalor probably had battlefield exchanges with Phargentes, too, after returning from the Volsaxi stage. His contest with Phargentes for FHQ3 may have been easier on Sartarite losses, but Grizzly Peak became a death trap for the Sartarite forces.

The professional warrior class is recruited in a large part from the Freemen (previously known as Carls), ambitious sons and some daughters taking service with prominent leaders (the Sartar dynasty, city rexes, outstanding tribal kings like Hofstaring) becoming professional warriors through that service, or joining up with mercenary groups of various size (like Thane Dronlan's daughter).

There is also the draw to Belintar's Holy Country with its heroquesting for wannabe heroes, whether royals, thanes, or ordinary folk seeking aggrandizement or wealth. And, to a lesser extent, an equipment run beforehand into the Pavis rubble. Or gainful service as caravan guards, all the way into Lunar Tarsh or to the Sea. And, once established as mercenaries, the Lunar Empire might become an employer on its borders, too - Pentan nomads, unfriendly Chaos, or provincial rebels alongside bandits and the worst criminals, tax defaulters. Or special forces experience in the Dart Competitions.

 

1 hour ago, JRE said:

The Lunar occupation changes that, and brings oppression and war to each clan, which is why the rebellions abound. But I would say most want to return to what they had before. Yes, the Tribes fight, and all gang up on the Telmori, but they still want to have a Prince of Sartar in the throne and peace all around.

A prince providing peace, wealth, and an opportunity for glory (outside of Sartar), and at the same time a bigger piece of the cake that is up for re-distribution after the Lunar appropriations.

 

1 hour ago, JRE said:

I would expect bigger families in Ralios, where intra-orlanthi violence is much higher, and many young men and a few women take the mercenary road to Safelster. But Dragon Pass is quite full, so anybody with big families is planning war gainst their neighbours. Which could be a thing in Sartar, if they had not just suffered the long winter. I would expect very few children were born while Ernalda was asleep, as I prefer contraception / loss of fertility to infanticide.

Rather than infanticide, disease striking during famine. People of all ages died to unintended exposure.

The WIndstop would have seen pregnancies carried over into the bad times. It lasted four seasons, less than a pregnancy term. The following regular winter without much of a harvest (some hay might have been made) and only diminished wind magic may have seen bad conditions to raise children (newborn or otherwise), but by then there was a distinct need to regrow lost population, so whoever thought they had the means would have tried to get offspring.

 

Heroic affairs:

1 hour ago, JRE said:

As for Argrath, I would expect he will try to ritualize even his affairs, to extract all the power he can. So he will cast his partners as Orlanth's partners, and really love them. And then he will play at being Heler, and sow further afield. He will be (Storm) White Bull in Prax, and extend even further his influence by fathering little Wahas, or look for less known myths that foster the brotherhood with benefits between Urox and Orlanth.

Given the sexual nature of a whole range of support and sorvereignty rites, I would expect Argrath to enact quite the series of "for the ritual" marriages, fathering little successors to those clans and groups that pledge to him, and probably relying on such blood bonds for drawing in support.

  • Thanks 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

RQG page 427: "marriage is sanctified by divine oath".  As I read it, the appropriate God (Ernalda?  not sure) is involved.  It's not just the priest telling the pretty slave girl "sure, we are married for today..." as he slips off her clothes.

Given the number of "husbands" that Ernalda has as her "protectors", I don't think she's really going to care, and is probably more likely to happily bless such a short-term union.

And "pretty slave girls" (and boys) are probably not to be of any consequence in this matter. Ie, casual (and consenting) sex with them will be seen as something fairly normal, and not a breach of the marriage vows... unless a child comes from them (and probably not even then).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...