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Xemela and the Well of Vapors


Erol of Backford

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So I'd like to develop a pilgrimage to the Well of Vapors (TotRM 13 p.15) to the cracked stone which supposedly endlessly decants healing wine (99% not canon but please go with it for the purpose of this thread) to bring some back for Aeolian Temples in the Heortland.

Do Aeolians feel that Xemela is a subcult or hero cult of Chalana or maybe an incarnation/avatar of her? Would any of this make Hrestol, Chalana's son? Didn't Chalana have children or did she consider the act of procreation as violent?

Do the PC's go on a hero quest when they are there (Voi or the Red Ruins - if you like vampires) or before departing to obtain some special healing ability from Xemela, do they meet her or her son on the Hero Quest or their spirits? 

Is there a best source for any myth besides the GtG?

Taking the roll of Xemela to potentially gain an ability, they die in the Hero Quest but its then a success and they are say sick but not dead after they get ejected from the quest? Wired to have a Hero Quest where the objective is for the PC's to get sick and maimed to be healed and the healer die? 

Where would one go to study the life of Xemela to better understand what and how she did what she did, sacrificing herself, New Pasos maybe? Arnlor is a much larger town and about the same distance from Voi.

Voi (small city): This city is famed for its
many hot springs with curative properties. It is
the most celebrated healing temple in the West
since the shattering of Old Seshnela. Pilgrims
flock to Voi to be healed by its specialist
school of wizards, who practice the ancient
teachings of Xemela. The city has grown rich
from the donations of grateful supplicants.

It would be to easy if the Well of Vapors was in Voi but maybe it's in the Red Ruins somewhere?

As far as travel to say Voi from the Heortland its ocean and up the Tanier River, across the Asgolan fields via the Red Runis... could be fun?

Ideas and thank you all.

image.png.6578109cc97eefc3bfa907f257f2f5fb.png image.png.8396d1e17c4f75f701f5f8ce13e92235.png

 

Edited by Erol of Backford
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4 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Do Aeolians feel that Xemela is a subcult or hero cult of Chalana or maybe an incarnation/avatar of her? Would any of this make Hrestol, Chalana's son? Didn't Chalana have children or did she consider the act of procreation as violent?

The Aeolians wouldn't give two hoots about Xemela as Chalana Arroy is their One of the True Faces of the Invisible God.  Their Seshnegi Allies on the other hand would have two views.  The ordinary Seshnegi believe that Chalana is another name for their Goddess.  The Seshnegi Wizards OTOH believe that Xemela was a hero that became attached to the larger worship of Chalana Arroy.  Neither the Seshnegi or the Aeolians would regard Hrestol as the Son of Chalana Arroy - that's like saying Jesus is the son of Isis.

As for Chalana's children, who do you think Arroin is?

 

 

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18 hours ago, metcalph said:

Neither the Seshnegi or the Aeolians would regard Hrestol as the Son of Chalana Arroy

I was supposing that if Chalana and Xemela were somehow seen as the same entity and a reader follows what is posted in TotRM on p.15: 

image.png.57ed9a40c4e23e612881a0011fb8b4fd.png

Makes me think Xemela is Hrestol's mother... does any source show that she is not his mother? If so let me know and I read up on it, thanks! Just starting to read a bit more on the "West".

18 hours ago, metcalph said:

As for Chalana's children, who do you think Arroin is?

I am only halfway through the Sourcebook and so now notice at your prompting that on p. 117 "she left her son". Noted that Chalana, Issaries or Lhankor on the family trees of the gods, at a quick glance...

Curious, do the Aeolians not venerate the "Ascended Masters" along with the Lightbringer gods? (I still like the idea of St. Emhil, YGWV.) I didn't read where Aeolians rejected the AM's but could easily have missed that like so many other items...

Maybe the Heortland & Hendrikland sourcebook by Jaja will clear some of this up?

Thanks again all.

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2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Makes me think Xemela is Hrestol's mother... does any source show that she is not his mother? If so let me know and I read up on it, thanks! Just starting to read a bit more on the "West".

Yes, Xemela is Hrestol's mother.

See Revealed Mythology p.37: "Xemela was the First Saint, venerated for the great protective deeds she performed during the Darkness, for her self-sacrifice to save her husband Froalar and son Hrestol, and for her subsequent answering of prayers for help and healing since."

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Curious, do the Aeolians not venerate the "Ascended Masters" along with the Lightbringer gods?

Why would they? They worship the Invisible God, the Lightbringers and other deities are the Emanations of the Invisible God (and they get magic through them), and Malkion and Aeol are their prophets who revealed the Way.  (There's no need for a Saint "Ehilm" when members of specific castes can worship gods directly.)

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Maybe the Heortland & Hendrikland sourcebook by Jaja will clear some of this up?

The answer right above! 😉 

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9 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Curious, do the Aeolians not venerate the "Ascended Masters" along with the Lightbringer gods? (I still like the idea of St. Emhil, YGWV.) I didn't read where Aeolians rejected the AM's but could easily have missed that like so many other items...

The Ascended Masters are mortals who have achieved their status by revealing a truth about the Invisible God.  Only Aeol would so qualify among the Aeolians.  Gods like Aerlit and Seshna Likita (for the Seshnegi) or Orlanth and Ernalda (for the Aeolians) are by definition not Ascended Masters but True Beings, who are legitimate for non-Wizards to worship.  

Most Ascended Masters teach no magic for the Truth they have revealed is sufficient magic - For Aeol, this would be the revelation that the Invisible God has Thirteen Heads.  A few (such as Hrestol, Arkat and Talor) do but none are worshipped by the Aeolians.  

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"St. Ehilm" was my way to have a Malkioni version of Yelmalio/Elmal without using either name (1994 had about as loaded a debate about Elmal/Yelmalio as we have had the last few years, with old school Yelmalio players despising the Orlanthi cold sun). My write-up had "saintly gods" or "divine saints", acceptable deities to the Aeolian worshippers, working from the RQ3 Gods of Glorantha premise that Intensity-only sorcery could be learned by a Malkioni (or East Isles and Kralori) populace without entering an apprenticehood with an adept sorcerer (through their familiar?). In my write-up, these theist cults all tolerated the practice of sorcery, but with popular sorcery mostly gone from the rules, these exceptions for Aeolian worship of theist gods while doing sorcery may have been obviated.

(One might argue that donating MP in an Invisible God worship is a form of sorcery. Anti-sorcerous zealots probably do argue this way.)

St Chalana was formulated in the same context. Xemela apparently worked her self-sacrificial healing magic in the trans-Neleomic colony of Frowal, and possibly affected the neighboring Neleoswal as well, during the Gray Age.

Aeolians do seem to venerate Ascended Masters, mortals who not only experience Joy (Henosis with the One Mind) but offer assistance to others to achieve this state, even after their deaths. Unlike the Seshnegi or Akemite Hrestoli, the Aeolians don't seem to make much of a fuss about Men-of-All. In a way, all Aeolians combine the Malkioni castes in their lives, with the tasks of the Soldier caste (defense, campaign service) falling to all Aeolians. In Loskalmi terms, the entire Aeolian population is eligible as guardians. All castes use theist magics - every non-wizard uses both Rune Magic from their (Theyalan: Lightbringer/Earth) cults and Spirit Magic (Battle Magic). Literacy is open to all castes, too, although not all Aeolians are functionally literate. This is similar to Loskalmi Guardians, too.

I guess we will have to wait for the Malkioni book in the CoRQ series to learn how RuneQuest treats Ascended Masters, veneration of these, and possible in-game benefits derived from such veneration. It will also be interesting to see whether the Aeolian definitions of Rightness provide benefits similar to those of Rokari orthodoxy or Loskalmi orthodoxy.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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From previous discussions of the aeolians, my understanding was they could be described as having three castes; Wizards, Kings and everyone else.

Wizards do sorcery guided by Lhankhor Mhy, Kings do ancestor worship guided by wizards, everyone else does whatever works.

Arthur being revealed as  the son of Uther Pendragon by performing a magical task under the guidance of Merlin is a tale every Aeolian would recognize.

Sometimes Aeloians have been known to add the Western word Saint in front of the names of their gods, especially when talking to a heavily armed Rokari. So it is absolutely plausible that they would assume 'Saint Xemela' as he same sort of thing. So if, say, faced with a plague that resisted normal healing magic, and a reference in an old book to the Well of Vapors, it is absolutely possible they might decide to head West.  

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

"St. Ehilm" was my way to have a Malkioni version of Yelmalio/Elmal without using either name (1994 had about as loaded a debate about Elmal/Yelmalio as we have had the last few years, with old school Yelmalio players despising the Orlanthi cold sun).

The is also this which I love from RQA 01 p.12 and will use until I stop playing (MGWV):

There is a current rife in Sun Dome — an ancient document was
revealed claiming that Yelmalio is not really the son of the sun or
even a member of the Solar Pantheon. This tablet claims that the
god of Sun Dome is actually Elmal, thane to Orlanth and
member of the Storm Pantheon. Scholars are bitterly arguing
over this point and Divination has yet to clarify the matter. See
King of Sartar for more information on Elmal.

St. Ehilm, St. Xemela... what's not for the Aeolians to love!?

5 hours ago, radmonger said:

Sometimes Aeloians have been known to add the Western word Saint in front of the names of their gods, especially when talking to a heavily armed Rokari.

Of course they do!

4 hours ago, Kloster said:

guided by the Invisible God.

Exactly.

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The big problem I have with Saint Orlanth etc. is that the Aeolians explicitly see him as a Face of the Invisible God and not some mortal human.  Hence calling him a Saint sounds as wrong as Saint Jesus, St Holy Spirit and Saint Father. 

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Trying to make sense of the Aeolian faith, I come up with this:

The Nobles are Aeolians eligible to become leaders of the faith.  There's about 13 cultic positions, one for each Face. The positions are equivalent to the Highest Priest of the Cult among the Aeolians.  Commoners can become Priests or Rune Lords of these positions but they cannot become leaders of the Cult.

Since the Aeolian Wizards see the Gods as Faces of the Invisible God, I don't think they weaken their commoners' worship as the Western Wizards do.  Instead they cast special magics that further enhance the power of the ranking Nobles.  Perhaps they made use of the Tournament when Belintar was alive.  But now he is gone and their leaders are much weaker.  The wizards are trying to remedy their loss but in the meantime, the Aeolians have through their lot in with Seshnegi idiots  allies.

Looking at their leaders now:

AIR: Orlanth obviously.  The leader of the Aeolians rules as a incarnation of Orlanth Rex.

DARKNESS:  Subere.  I think the leading Crone dominates the local Argan Argar temple.

DEATH:  Humakt, naturally.

DISORDER:  This is kinda tricky for Eurmal is already on the list but Bolongo is unlikely to be worshipped.  The picture in the Prosopedia suggests Maran Gor but I also think fellow disorder cults like Lodril or Storm Bull get a turn at representing Disorder depending on the omens.

EARTH:  Ernalda

FERTILITY: Uleria.

FIRE: "Yelmalio"/Ehilm.  Ehilm being the bloke that provides Sunspear to the worthy "Yelmalions".

HARMONY:  Chalana Arroy.

ILLUSION:  Eurmal.

MOVEMENT:  Mastakos.  I think the Mastakans are supported by the local Issaries temples to stay relevant in Aeolian circles..  

STASIS:  Mostal?  Makes me wonder if the Aeolians have a Dwarf among them.  Another possibility might be that the Aeolians ossify their dead nobles and this is a funerary cult.

TRUTH:  Technically this should be Dayzatar and not Lhankor Mhy.  Buserian/Irrippi Ontor can however retire to become Dayzatarans and so the Aeolians might have a similar practice among their sages.  

WATER:  Magasta.  Presumable whoever held this position was also Count of the Isles.

 

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4 hours ago, metcalph said:

Trying to make sense of the Aeolian faith, I come up with this:

The Nobles are Aeolians eligible to become leaders of the faith. 

To an extent, yes. The nobles lead the primary cults (i.e. Orlanth, Ernalda, possibly the other Lightbringers like Chalana Arroy and Issaries), though commoners can initiate into those too. Nobles are not warriors, farmers, etc.

Commoners also worship and become priests of the lesser cults (i.e. Grain Goddesses, Humakt, Storm Bull, etc.) as the commoners include farmers, warriors, etc. (everything not Talar or wizard). 

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

Since the Aeolian Wizards see the Gods as Faces of the Invisible God, I don't think they weaken their commoners' worship as the Western Wizards do. 

That is correct.

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

Perhaps they made use of the Tournament when Belintar was alive. 

Remember that they are part of the Sixth of Storm, so it is still an Orlanth-dominated society, and it is his magic that Belintar draws on in the relevant rites and rituals (Belintar is there in the Orlanth temples on the High Holy Days standing right beside Orlanth). Many of the Heortland Governors were drawn from the Aeolians and are able to stand-in for Belintar as needed in the Orlanth rites.

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

The wizards are trying to remedy their loss

The wizards support Aeolian society (nobles and commoners) and lead all in the worship of the Invisible God. That's not gone or weakened. All participate in it as part of the community. 

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