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The God Learners Episode 12: People of Glorantha: The Aldryami


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Episode 12 of the God Learners is out! We welcome Shannon Appelcline, author of Designers & Dragons (among many other fine books) and expert on the Aldryami, the elves of Glorantha. We talk about their culture, religion, myths, psychology, and all the other material we'll find in the upcoming "Elfpak" sourcebook!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So... These elves... Do they eat poop? 🤔

I only ask because of their strange behavior after we ate near their camp.  They kept following us around with "the shovel" and handfuls of pre-picked leaves of Old Friend (the wiping leaf).  Is this the origin of the old Gloranthan saying "never kiss an elf?", and why half-elves are so rare? 

For the record:

Old Friend

This is a perennial and fast growing weed of Glorantha, having travelled the world, likely with the God Learners on their ships, if not traded far and wide by Issaries merchants in the First Age.  Old Friend has a soft, broad downy leaf that is fibrous and doesn’t tear easily. The down of the leaf is actually its seeds. Old Friend is used for wiping bottoms, and in the process of doing so, its seeds get the nutrients it needs to grow more Old Friend.  Old Friend does need more water than is commonly available in Prax, and hence it is mainly found growing at Oases, or the banks of rivers, and seasonal rivers.  As a water-rich plant, grazing animals like to eat Old Friend’s succulent leaves, and propagate it in their dung.  If picked and allowed to dry, Old Friend can be burned to produce a very smoky fire, which sometimes has signaling value.  The down of Old Friend can be scraped and collected in a laborious process that produces a pinch of material per leaf, and can be used to season with a mild taste which has a gentle nutty bittersweet flavor, with hints of pepper, citrus and anise.  The leaf itself is safe for humans to consume but has little to no taste, and has very little nutritional value, but has plenty of water content.  Praxians are not at all squeamish about eating a plant normally reserved for wiping bottoms, especially if they are thirsty. 

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I would think that they would leave the stuff to compost for a while. They prefer the poop from earthworms.

 

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 6/16/2022 at 1:29 AM, Darius West said:

For the record:

Old Friend

Hah where is that from?

On 6/16/2022 at 4:39 AM, Joerg said:

They prefer the poop from earthworms.

Worm composting is interesting because worms are probably creatures of Darkness... another dichotomy! Which, Shannon says, we need to make into a trichotomy...

On 6/16/2022 at 1:29 AM, Darius West said:

why half-elves are so rare? 

Half with what? Elves are their own species. This isn't D&D with its silly and somewhat offensive approach to ethnicity. IMG the only way to get cross-species offspring is by going into the God Time, where weird sex stuff just seems to work.

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9 hours ago, Ludovic aka Lordabdul said:

Hah where is that from?

It is a staple from my Prax notes.  In other words, I made it up.

9 hours ago, Ludovic aka Lordabdul said:

Half with what? Elves are their own species. This isn't D&D with its silly and somewhat offensive approach to ethnicity. IMG the only way to get cross-species offspring is by going into the God Time, where weird sex stuff just seems to work.

You're right, of course, but that does make Pavis' half-elven status even odder.  I mean we all know about the Green Age Man Rune conspiracy of the Godlearners in Prax which produced him, but...

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

You're right, of course, but that does make Pavis' half-elven status even odder.  I mean we all know about the Green Age Man Rune conspiracy of the Godlearners in Prax which produced him, but...

That conspiracy was an outgrowth of the Theyalan idea rather than a God Learner movement, taking advantage of the ambient magical energies that followed the draconification of Dragon Pass. A similar project was rampant under the Second Council (and probably continued under the Bright Empire) in the Dawn Age. The absence of such a project in the Third Age is rather noteworthy, unless you count the Tusk Riders as a Third Age development.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Darius West said:

You're right, of course, but that does make Pavis' half-elven status even odder.

I count him and Arkat (half troll or whatever he is) and other such NPCs as the exceptions. They are heroes (superheroes maybe even) who clearly did something totally unique to become who they are. My point is just that "half-whatever" isn't a biological thing, otherwise we would have all possible variants of ancestries, like "well you see I'm 70% human and 25% elf on my grandmother's side, but there's also a bit of pixie in there somehow, and I'm also 3% troll from my great-great-great-grandfather but we don't speak about that and we haven't eaten mushrooms for 4 generations because of that story, it's a long story"

11 hours ago, Darius West said:

I mean we all know about the Green Age Man Rune conspiracy of the Godlearners in Prax which produced him, but...

What Man Rune conspiracy? Is that the thing Joerg brought up in the episode? (I don't know anything about it, or I forgot)

Edited by Ludovic aka Lordabdul

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10 hours ago, Ludovic aka Lordabdul said:

I count him and Arkat (half troll or whatever he is) and other such NPCs as the exceptions. They are heroes (superheroes maybe even) who clearly did something totally unique to become who they are. My point is just that "half-whatever" isn't a biological thing, otherwise we would have all possible variants of ancestries, like "well you see I'm 70% human and 25% elf on my grandmother's side, but there's also a bit of pixie in there somehow, and I'm also 3% troll from my great-great-great-grandfather but we don't speak about that and we haven't eaten mushrooms for 4 generations because of that story, it's a long story"

I hate to say it, but the Man Rune conspiracy may well mean that Pavis was closer to the latter than the former.  It suggests that he was part of an experiment to recreate a person of the primal man-rune incorporating all the Elder man-rune races into one person.

10 hours ago, Ludovic aka Lordabdul said:

What Man Rune conspiracy? Is that the thing Joerg brought up in the episode? (I don't know anything about it, or I forgot)

The man-rune conspiracy involves the shadowy parents of Pavis, who were allegedly of Godlearner stock hiding out in Adari during the Second Age after the fall of Robcradle.  They were hooked into the lost lore of Prax, and were interested in Genert's Garden, and worked to "build-a-brat" Pavis into a Green Age expression of the man rune, from before there were properly defined races.  This in turn would open certain ritual opportunities to recreate the Green Age, which sort-of happened when Pavis built his city.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Am I wrong when I say Arkat was a « full » human and became a « full uzuz » once adopted by KL ?

He underwent Uzification and became an Uz, at least in terms of his mortal form.

After the Gbaji battle, he wasn't an Uz anymore, although it's unclear exactly what (who?) he was.

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3 hours ago, JRE said:

As a brithini, he could be more than a "normal human", and as the shadow of Nysalor he surely was more than human. I do not think many horali have an Unbreakable Sword. 

There were many Brithos-born Malkioni and mixed offspring in Malkioni lands. Arkat as a demigod born inside Time was part of a somewhat smaller group.

There have been a few cases where Brithini offspring interfered with Seshnegi dynastic politics. One of the Emperors of Land and Sea married a Brithini woman, whose lineage was present in the subsequent emperors who had to deal with the Closing and other cataclysms..

Other than unusal age experienced in a stasis environment and extensive job specialisation, I don't think that Brithini are "superior" to other Malkioni. Neither do I see how Malkioni are superior to Hykimi-descended humans, many of whom mingled with the descendants of Brithos/Danmalastan. the followers of Froalar thought nothing bad about taking Pendali wives. The war between them and the neighboring Pendali resulted from a fatal contest for a Pendali woman, without any notion of bestiality.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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