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School me on the Changes to the Malkioni

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Yes, I think you're right. The Esvulari will certainly have some rich Malkioni influences, and God Forgot will no doubt be an odd variant of Malkionism. The Game of Luck and Death will be interesting, the dark secret behind Casino Town ( the Gloranthan Las Vegas!), it sounds like some left-over Zistorite technology that shouldn't be tinkered with. I'm looking forward to this publication.

I would really love to see Seshnela further developed. I think the interplay between the Castle Coast, The Kingdom of Seshnela, and the Quinpolic League would be very interesting, with the mysterious presence of the Brithini watching from Arolanit.

At this stage I'm using some analogies from the late Roman Empire when the Legates (Generals) were often in conflict with each other during succession wars. This could perhaps be a reasonable reference for some of the internal Seshnelan strife between Guilmarn and various contentious Dukes of the provinces.

I also think the idea of the various Hrestoli War Companies is a great concept, kinda like independent armies that the Talar Dukes have to keep in their pockets otherwise they might be convinced to shift their loyalties to rival Talari. The concept of War Companies reminds me a little of Roman Legionaries whose loyalty was to their Legion above all else. 

 

Harald, MOB, and I have done a fair amount of work on the folk of God Forgot and of the Esvulari. A few notes:

BACKGROUND INFO
First a few facts. There are about 100,000 Esvulari people in Kethaela. About 30,000 of them are in Bandori County and Marcher County, where they make up about 50% of the population. Another 60,000 of them are in what used to be the Kingdom of Malkonwal, where they made up only about 20% of the population. The remaining 10,000 are scattered in the County of the Isles, in God Forgot, the Left Arm Islands, Hendrikiland, and in Nochet. Lets say there are about 1500 in Nochet.
 
The most important settlements of the Esvularings are Mount Passant and Refuge. Durengard, Vizel, and Leskos are also significant urban centers for the Esvularings.
 
The Guide - always our first source - describes them as such:
The Esvularings were once atheists like the folk of God Forgot, but have embraced a unique henotheist variation of Malkionism called Aeolism, which holds that the Orlanthi gods are emanations of the Invisible God. They worship the Invisible God, but heartily participate in the Orlanthi rites as well. [Page 247]
 
In the Second Age, the God Learners described the Esvularings are "descendants of the folk of New Malkonwal too sinful to be taken to Solace with Malkion's sacrifice, but have the temerity to claim that Malkion abandoned them. They were once foolish atheists and are now little more than idolators who venerate Worlath as an emanation of Makan and even claim Makan sanctified the god through the deeds of their founder Aeol. They are a people temperamentally incapable of conviction or strong faith. However, they do not offer blood sacrifice to gods and view that as abhorrent. They are ruled by their Talari and pay tribute to the Hendriking kings, but do not follow their laws."
 
In the later Second Age, the Esvularings were ruled by the Zistorites of the Clanking City. This radical materialist and atheist movement sought to build the Divine Automaton to transmute Creation. Many Esvularings embraced worship of the Machine God, until the Clanking City was destroyed and cursed in 917. 
 
The Esvularings were directly ruled by the Hendriki from 917 to 1337.
 
RELIGION
The Esvularings worship the Invisible God as the supreme Creator, He is the Source, the Egg of Wonder, the One. He is sometimes depicted as an elderly god with thirteen (eight powers plus five elements) heads and four arms. He holds no weapons, but instead a measuring stick, a book, and string of eyes. He is crowned.
 
The Invisible God is viewed as too remote and too unapproachable to directly worship. Instead, the Esvularings worship Orlanth, Chalana Arroy, Issaries, Lhankor Mhy, and Eurmal as personifications/emanations of the Creator. Of these, Orlanth is most important. These gods have consorts who are worshiped in combination with them.  
 
Much of Esvularing philosophy focuses on the series of emanations from the Invisible God to the Cosmic Court down to the gods and then down to mortals. The wars of the gods are viewed as part of the ongoing process of creation until the Unholy Trio rebel against creation and bring Chaos to destroy the universe. The cosmos is saved by the Lightbringers' Quest.
 
Aeol is the founder, a sage (note - the name Aeol might be a title or a description!) and a (semi?) divine being who composed the verses that form the basis of Aeolianism. These verses were first written down in the First Age, but then were provided with copious amounts of commentary under God Learner influence, that brought Aeolianism within the broad range of Malkioni philosophy (albeit in the outer limits). 
 
Malkion is acknowledged by the Aeolians as a prophet preceding Aeol who taught Aeol the revealed truth of the Invisible God. Some God Learners identified Aeol with Malkion.
 
The Aeolians have only three castes: noble (talar); advisor (the priestly families); and free (commoner). These castes are endogamous.  They do not practice caste mobility, but leaders from the noble and advisor castes are chosen by the free commoners.  
 
The priestly caste performs the rites and ceremonies for the community. Although they are called priests, they are in fact sorcerers.
 
GOVERNMENT
The Esvularing a tribal confederacy of chieftains called talars chosen by the local commoners from the noble families. The chieftains serve as military leaders and judges, and are roughly equivalent to Heortling chiefs. 
 
There is no Esvularing king. Instead the talars have annual councils in Mount Passant and Refuge where they resolve disputes between each other.
 

More Notes
At the Dawn, the Ingareens were atheists in the Brithini model. However, it was very hard for such a small community (only 100) to maintain all those taboos. So some of the Ingareens adopted Theyalan ways, adopted a Theyalan language for regular use (like Yiddish amongst the Ashkenazi - a Theyalan vernacular with elements taken from Ingareen Western), married outside their community, and prospered as a result. They kept their Western tongue for certain religious rituals, continued to use sorcery as their primary means of interacting with the gods, but also introduced some Theyalan worship. These folk became the Gansavuli (of Mount Passant) and Densavuli (of Refuge) in the First Age. The Gansavuli and Densavuli later became the Esvulari. In the later Second Age, the Jrusteli showed up and the Ingareens prospered. The Esvulari accepted Ingareen or even Jrusteli rulers and wizards.

When that collapsed and the Closing cut the Ingareens off from the Middle Sea Empire, the Esvulari were again ruled by the Hendriki.

The Ingareens, more isolated in the post-Apocalyptic Mad Max Fury Road desolation of the Left Arm Islands, went another way to survice, modeling themselves on full-blown Brithini society brought to them by Talar Barat of Brithos, who arrived in 917. Unlike their Esvularing kin, they have the four Brithini castes (except the only member of their Talar caste is "The Talar").  Talar Barat brought a "pure" Brithini way, which was eagerly adopted by the Ingareens. They are a community of about 50k in total, with the Immortal Talar as the supreme authority. There might be about 250 sorcerers (including their apprentices) - I wouldn't be surprised if many are the children or descendants of the Immortal Talar. I suspect all of the officials appointed by Belintar belonged to this group. There's maybe a 1000 Horals, most actually mercenaries recruited from outside. The rest are Dromal crafters, farmers, and fisher folk.

While Brithini have the Menena Caste, but the Esvularing have three free castes (plus slaves and foreigners). The Ingareens continue to speak Old Brithini, while the Esvularings speak a Theyalan tongue except for rituals (when they use Old Brithini). The Ingareens follow the Brithini caste system, while the Esvularing have three free castes, and their priests and rulers are chosen by the commoners. Nonetheless, the Esvularings acknowledge the superior sorcery of the Ingareens. Actually I suspect Ingareen sorcerers are often used as "court magicians" by the Hendrikings and Esrolians. They have a bad reputations and are feared, but that is part of the reason why you use them!  

The Esvulari are like what was called "God-Fearing" by Hellenistic Jews. Those were Greeks who shared religious ideas with Jews, to one degree or another. However, they were not converts, but a separate community, engaged in Jewish religious ideas and practices. They did not adhere to all of the Laws of Moses (including dietary restrictions, circumcision, Sabbath, etc). I think the same thing goes on with the Esvulari regarding both Ingareen and Orlanthi practices. They share religious ideas with both (imagine a Ven Diagram showing the overlap of ideas), but follow few of the restrictions. To honor Orlanth, the community abstains from eating the meat of goats on Orlanth's storm days (though those are not Esvulari holy days per se), and closes their market on those days.

Esvularing communities outside of southern Heortland often petition Mount Passant to send priests and qualified rulers. 

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Namaste:

I've been running a Fronelan campaign for two years now, working off early kickstarted previews of the Guide to Glorantha.  

I confess that I do like some of the Medieval flavor, and have kept a few things around.   "Ascended Masters" sounds too much like a RW Theosophical term to me, and so I use Saints for the New Hrestoli Idealists, but keep the now canon term for most other Malkioni Schools.   I feel less strongly about Churches vs Schools, but I like the Chain of Veneration idea from HQ1 so I've kept that around as well.

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Terms like "saint" or "medieval" carry baggage that makes it very different to get the Malkioni (the Buddhist term arhat may be better but is far more obscure). And Church is about as appropriate as referring to the "Church of Shaivism" or the "Allawite Church" or the "Pythagorean Church". I use school (Movement or Way would have been equally good) to avoid carrying any of that baggage over.

Revering particularly holy people (those who have experienced Joy) is a sign of proper respect by most Hrestoli (and not as an intercessory between the mortal and the Invisible God - although many barbarians combine worship of the gods with veneration of Ascended Masters, which is just symptomatic of how clueless they are). The Rokari zzaburi consider it to be at best pointless, and at worst tantamount to serving a spirit or petty god.
 

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Just out of interest, what happened to the Chain of Veneration or liturgy or blessings? In terms of magical ecology (or wargaming ressources), are these still a thing?

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Speaking of weird synchronicities - my parents just visited Hawaii, and attended the "Saiva Siddhanta Church" and brought me back some photographs and a nice souvenir.   

I understand what are you saying about Saints vs Ascended Masters, and trying to find the correct word is tricky.   Honestly the word "preceptor" makes a lot of sense, except for its brief foray into the Gloranthan Lexicon in ILH2.

I think my issue with the world "School" is that implies that everyone that is a part of it is a student.  This is fine for many Schools, like the New Hrestoli Idealists, but what about for the Rokari Realists?   Are the Dronar who are adherents to the school actually allowed to study anything?   I guess in a way they are taught lessons by the Zzaburi on proper behavior, conduct, and even some simple spells and grimoires that are caste appropriate

 

Edited by aumshantih

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2 hours ago, aumshantih said:

I think my issue with the world "School" is that implies that everyone that is a part of it is a student.  This is fine for many Schools, like the New Hrestoli Idealists, but what about for the Rokari Realists?  

I think this misconstrues what a Malkioni School is.  School is not used as a substitute for faith or creed but in the sense of a philosophical school.  The only people who would be properly be said to belong to a school are the wizards.  Everybody else are their supporters and retainers.  The non-wizards may learn spells, they may believe in an Invisible God (or not) they may follow whatever philosophical guidance their wizard gives (Don't worship Saints!  Don't worship Gods neither!  And absolutely no spirits!!) but they leave the heavy duty of thinking about Big Stuff to the wizards.

A Rokari merely means a follower of the Philosophical Tradition begun by Rokar.  They will not primarily identify themselves as Rokari.  They would be more likely to describe themselves as a man of Seshneg.  If pressed, they might refer to themselves as a worshipper of the Invisible God Makan (while looking confusedly at the nearby wizard who just received a massive headache).  If pressed to identify the schools of Malkionism, they would pump for the Malkioni (us), joyful degenerates (Hrestoli), dirty stinking pagans (Arkati) etc.

 

 

 

Edited by metcalph
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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Just out of interest, what happened to the Chain of Veneration or liturgy or blessings? In terms of magical ecology (or wargaming ressources), are these still a thing?

There are no longer any Saints Blessings - Everybody just has spells (or states of being) derived from a Saint's philosophical discoveries.  The chain of veneration still exists although it is no longer called veneration. Once could refer to spells derived from the Abiding Book as being a liturgy but I think the current thinking is to make everything part of general wizardly duties.

Quote

Each community attends regular ceremonies where they provide magical energy to their zzaburi wizard-priests and up through the Rokari hierarchy to the High Watcher.  Guide to Glorantha p53 

In other words, the participants in the ceremony may or may not believe they are worshipping the Invisible God, it depends on what their wizards says.  I guess that in the rural areas, the wizards tell the poplace that it is worship necessary for entry to Solace while in the more sophisticated urban regions, it's seen as magical taxation/tithing.

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I remember well the days when playing D&D got people labeled as Satanists.  Nearly two decades later, MtG dropped their iconic card Wrath of God just to not piss off the American Taliban.  Retconning the west to make it not a parallel to Christianity feels a lot like paying tribute to the American Taliban.  It doesn't really matter whether it's like Hindu, Jewish, whatever, so long as it's never, ever like Christianity.

 

Well, F that S, is how I feel about it.  

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On 11/7/2015 at 10:06 PM, Pentallion said:

I remember well the days when playing D&D got people labeled as Satanists.  Nearly two decades later, MtG dropped their iconic card Wrath of God just to not piss off the American Taliban.  Retconning the west to make it not a parallel to Christianity feels a lot like paying tribute to the American Taliban.  It doesn't really matter whether it's like Hindu, Jewish, whatever, so long as it's never, ever like Christianity.

 

Well, F that S, is how I feel about it.  

I strongly doubt that anybody behind the decision to take out the mediaeval and renaissance parallels spared a second even thinking about those people. The recent Glorantha publications aim at an adult readership and might have to be sold within brown paper bags if they were available in your FLGS in the Bible Belt.

Yes, of the real world monotheistic religions Christianity has been dissected a lot for conflicts and terms that create a familiarity. Crusades, saints, prophets, churches. Blame the card game Credo (which generates insidious insights to the nature and evolution of the Nicaean creed) and the freeform How the West Was One which started the Gloranthan community to work on the West, if you want. Or sit back and read some of the discussions we had in 1993 and 1994 while trying to find a consensus how the West in the Third Age worked. About how not to get lost too much in the trappings of Christianity.

Any Taliban (of whichever creed) are likely to get apoplexies if they read into Glorantha. They won't even get anywhere close to the point where they can make a comparison between the various Gloranthan religions and cults and their own twisted understanding of their holy books.

Edited by Joerg
typo
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9 hours ago, metcalph said:

There are no longer any Saints Blessings - Everybody just has spells (or states of being) derived from a Saint's philosophical discoveries.  The chain of veneration still exists although it is no longer called veneration. Once could refer to spells derived from the Abiding Book as being a liturgy but I think the current thinking is to make everything part of general wizardly duties.

I did like the concept of secular orders in HQ1 where e.g. craft guilds had their own (really limited) grimoires linked to their craft which allowed them to use "spells" as an enhanced process of performing their skills. A magic of making and doing - something hinted at in the tribes of Danmalastan. At least I don't quite see Zzabur or other wizards as masters of the flensing knife or the preparation of glue or parchment in order to transfer Vadeli skin into book bindings.

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8 hours ago, Pentallion said:

Retconning the west to make it not a parallel to Christianity feels a lot like paying tribute to the American Taliban.  It doesn't really matter whether it's like Hindu, Jewish, whatever, so long as it's never, ever like Christianity.

 

Well, F that S, is how I feel about it.  

The West, as presented during the RuneQuest days, was itself a retcon. The very oldest Gloranthan writings of Greg Stafford were set in the West. And those writings were nothing like the pseudo Christian, pseudo Medieval of the RuneQuest era publications.

If you are interested to dig deeper, get Revealed Mythologies, Arcane Lore and Middle Sea Empire, which contain some of these earlier writings.

There is more that is extremely difficult to obtain that has even earlier versions of Greg's stories. However, apart from being difficult to obtain, they need to be read carefully to discriminate between what is still accepted and those ideas that Greg discarded long before the publication of RuneQuest.

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16 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I did like the concept of secular orders in HQ1 where e.g. craft guilds had their own (really limited) grimoires linked to their craft which allowed them to use "spells" as an enhanced process of performing their skills. 

These still exist.  A good example is the cult of Flintnail in New Pavis in which the stonemason skills are cast using the Stonemason keyword.  

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10 hours ago, Pentallion said:

I remember well the days when playing D&D got people labeled as Satanists.  Nearly two decades later, MtG dropped their iconic card Wrath of God just to not piss off the American Taliban.  Retconning the west to make it not a parallel to Christianity feels a lot like paying tribute to the American Taliban.  It doesn't really matter whether it's like Hindu, Jewish, whatever, so long as it's never, ever like Christianity.

 

Well, F that S, is how I feel about it.  

Wow - well I guarantee you that some "American Taliban" has ABSOLUTELY ZERO to do with this. Instead, it is that the key myths of Christianity simply are completely incompatible with Malkionism and its fundamentally humanist world view. Medieval Europe developed in an environment utterly unlike the Gloranthan West and is simply a terrible model for understanding it.

I hate the idea of plugging some real world model into a fantasy setting without thinking why that real world culture was what it was and how it is even relevant to the fantasy setting. IMO, that results in sterile, derivative, and dull fantasy. There are already fantastic games set in the mythology of medieval Europe (Pendragon and Ars Magica both come to mind) - Glorantha is its own thing. 

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BTW, research the history of Greg Stafford, starting from his website.

If there were politics involved in pulling the pseudo Christian elements from Glorantha, it was likely less to do with his fears of zealots and more to do with his own attitudes and beliefs.

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11 hours ago, Pentallion said:

I remember well the days when playing D&D got people labeled as Satanists.  Nearly two decades later, MtG dropped their iconic card Wrath of God just to not piss off the American Taliban.  Retconning the west to make it not a parallel to Christianity feels a lot like paying tribute to the American Taliban.  It doesn't really matter whether it's like Hindu, Jewish, whatever, so long as it's never, ever like Christianity.

 

Well, F that S, is how I feel about it.  

Wow, holy crapola, this is one of the most unusual things I have seen posted in a Gloranthan thread, and certainly presents itself as one of the most bitter flavoured

Using historic influences from the ancient world portrays the setting of Glorantha much better than using later references from the medieval period. I always felt that the previous depiction of the Malkioni was out of synch with the rest of Glorantha, so I welcome the return to a more ancient flavoured portrayal of Malkioni culture.

I think perhaps it is wise to keep contemporary sensitivities out of these discussions as much as possible

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mankcam
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23 hours ago, Baulderstone said:

You have to be very selective to see Greg Stafford, the author of Pendragon, as someone afraid to represent Christianity in a RPG. 

There's a very big difference between representing Christianity in a pseudo-historical "real-world" RPG setting where Christianity was present, and doing the same in a Bronze Age fantasy world, surely?

Edited by Steve

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1 hour ago, Steve said:

There's a very big difference between representing Christianity in a pseudo-historial "real-world" RPG setting where Christianity was present, and doing the same in a Bronze Age fantasy world, surely?

Sure - why should one do the latter?

The West has been described as

Materialist (Cults of Terror)

Monotheist (RQ3 Gods of Glorantha)

Kingdom of Logic (various).

Of these three, only the Monotheist label has a tendency that could be read as Christian. Or, in a Bronze Age context, Jewish.

Earliest explicit mention of the Malkioni West appears to be in the Cult of Issaries in Cults of Prax, the Garzeen subcult tying in with Fenela, sister of Hrestol. Curiously using materialism in the negative:

Quote

Garzeen looks rotund and bearded, and often shows his wealth and status with excessive dress or luxury. With this he once hoped to attract Fenela, a daughter of King Froalar in the west. She scorned such materialism, and even more distrusted the advances of a god, fearing infidelity after a time.

We do inherit the term knights for Hrestol and subsequent Malkioni. This could look Christian. But then, e.g. Charlemagne's stories tell about Saracen knights. So does the Saladin myth. And we get pagan knights in the Arthurian legends based on the Welsh originals of those myths.

And then there is the rather unique name of church for the various groupings of Malkioni in the RQ3 and subsequent material. The only term I find almost exclusively used in Christian context among these, describing a monotheist organisation of veneration without sacrifices. (There are other, even non-religious organisations like the Scientologists who use this term, too.)

Scant evidence for a Christian parallel in the official material. Except in what the readers from a predominantly Christian background make of it.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Sure - why should one do the latter?

We do inherit the term knights for Hrestol and subsequent Malkioni. This could look Christian. But then, e.g. Charlemagne's stories tell about Saracen knights. So does the Saladin myth. And we get pagan knights in the Arthurian legends based on the Welsh originals of those myths.

And then there is the rather unique name of church for the various groupings of Malkioni in the RQ3 and subsequent material. The only term I find almost exclusively used in Christian context among these, describing a monotheist organisation of veneration without sacrifices. (There are other, even non-religious organisations like the Scientologists who use this term, too.)

The oldest known occurrence of the word "knight" in wiriting comes from an 862 Old English translation from Latin of Orosius' Seven Books of History Against the Pagans (the original was written between 414 and 416). The first use of "knight" (well "cniht" as it is written in the text) is applied to Marcus Curtius, a devoutly pagan Roman soldier who died in 362 BC. 

In it's earliest usage, it's a term to describe a boy in service to another. This service may be military in nature, but it doesn't need to be. It isn't until the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of around 1100 that it takes on the connotation it has today in English. It's continental Germanic equivalent, "knecht" came to mean a servant, farm laborer, or stable boy. 

And speaking of it's Germanic origins, it is a word that the Saxons brought to Britain before they even converted to Christianity. 

The word "church" is also Germanic. Western Roman and Celtic Christianity used the term "ecclesia" for a place of worship, while Eastern Rome had "basilica". Unlike knight, there isn't any evidence of pre-Christian use of the word "church", which doesn't settle the case either way given the scarcity of early Germanic writings. It's origins are murky and controversial, so as gamers, we are free to impose our own opinion on the matter in our personal campaigns. :)

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5 hours ago, Steve said:

There's a very big difference between representing Christianity in a pseudo-historical "real-world" RPG setting where Christianity was present, and doing the same in a Bronze Age fantasy world, surely?

Sure. I'm not seeing how that relates to my point that Greg is willing to portray Christianity in a RPG.

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1 hour ago, Baulderstone said:

The oldest known occurrence of the word "knight" in wiriting comes from an 862 Old English translation from Latin of Orosius' Seven Books of History Against the Pagans (the original was written between 414 and 416). The first use of "knight" (well "cniht" as it is written in the text) is applied to Marcus Curtius, a devoutly pagan Roman soldier who died in 362 BC. 

In it's earliest usage, it's a term to describe a boy in service to another. This service may be military in nature, but it doesn't need to be. It isn't until the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of around 1100 that it takes on the connotation it has today in English. It's continental Germanic equivalent, "knecht" came to mean a servant, farm laborer, or stable boy. 

And speaking of it's Germanic origins, it is a word that the Saxons brought to Britain before they even converted to Christianity. 

Knecht also means able-bodied man, and as Landsknecht means Man-at-Arms. The German term for knight is just like the Latin/French/Spanish one simply rider or horseman. Looking at the Malkioni innovation of riding warriors, mixing prerogatives of the talar and horal castes, the connotation of horse warrior these languages bring are spot on. Persian or Indian mounted warrior nobility fit that same bill, too, and date back into earliest Iron Age.

I am not sure that researching these terms linguistically will further our Gloranthan understanding.

1 hour ago, Baulderstone said:

The word "church" is also Germanic.

True, it is Germanic in the use for ecclesia. Actually, church or Kirche or kirk are derived from Greek kyriakon "belonging to the Lord", which appears to have been used by the greek-speaking early communities around the Mediterranean.

The early Germans didn't really have a concept for a sacred enclosed building (even though they kept using the megalithic graves and sacrificial stones - no stone circles on the Germanic lowlands). They had places of sacrifice, often using inspiring natural features (trees, boulders) or inherited from earlier cultures, possibly in an enclosure. Now where have we seen such a description before?

Right, the Orlanthi.

But back to the Germanics - they had basically no contact at all with the Greek language, so there would be no pre-Christian opportunity to adopt the term kyriakon.

 

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I guess its safe to say that for many modern readers, the terms 'knight', does tend to reflect medieval knights. Other Malkioni titles also reflect medieval period, perhaps more so, such as 'Dukes' and 'Counts' and so forth. Regardless of their historic origins, these titles certainly do conjure up medieval analogies for many of us.

I guess this is partly why the artistic portrayal of Malkioni in the RQ3 Glorantha box does have medieval influences, as the artists themselves would of thought likewise. 

Given the scant attention shown to Malkioni in subsequent official publications, the fan base itself filled in the gaps, and various fanzines supported this medieval portrayal. By the time Hero Wars was released, the Malkioni were very much perceived as a medieval culture, and other sources did little to alter this. 

However it did seem to me to be very different from the other more ancient flavoured cultures of Glorantha, so I think its much better now that the portrayal of Malkioni from the G2G onwards reflects a culture more in keeping with the setting.

In regards to the Horali, I can keep the title of 'knight' as an interchangeable term, as its easy to use Eurasian Cataphracts as analogical references here without too much difficulty. It is also widely known that some non-medieval cultures also had a 'knight social class', such as Japanese Samurai, for instance. 

The various titles of the Talori hold more baggage I think. Titles such as 'Count' and 'Duke' do bring to mind a medieval feel, and I wish that other titles would have been used in the G2G to further distance the Malkioni away from their preexisting medieval influences. 

I think the best analogy to provide to players is to use the late Roman Empire / early Byzantium Empire as a base reference for the civilisation level.  Mix it up a bit with influences from the Macedonian Empire, ancient middle-eastern influences like the Achemenid Empire, and some romano-arabic influences like the Palmyrene. For coastal areas such as members of The Quinploic League perhaps throw in some concepts from the Phoencians as well. To understand the Malkioni mindset use references such as Vedic, Hellenistic-Judaism, Gnostic, Brahmic, Buddhist, Zorastrianism, etc. It's more in the ballpark of portraying the Malkioni, and will do the trick unless further resources are published.

I do think it is great that the Malkioni are a much more ancient flavoured culture now, it just works so much better for Glorantha as a setting.

Edited by Mankcam
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On 6/11/2015 19:38:23, aumshantih said:

Namaste:

I've been running a Fronelan campaign for two years now, working off early kickstarted previews of the Guide to Glorantha.  

Any records of that campaign?

I'd be very interested... :-)

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9 hours ago, Mankcam said:

The various titles of the Talori hold more baggage I think. Titles such as 'Count' and 'Duke' do bring to mind a medieval feel, and I wish that other titles would have been used in the G2G to further distance the Malkioni away from their preexisting medieval influences. 

 

We considered doing it - but in the end, we concluded that to do that required either creating a whole new system of titles using made-up words or using the titles from another RW culture with just as much baggage. And dukes and counts have been in Greg's earliest tales of the West (unlike churches, liturgy, etc - which was all conspicuously absent.

One thing to keep in mind about the Malkioni in the Third Age - their civilization is both OLD and NEW.

Western culture views itself as ancient, with unbroken lineages going back to the God Time - there are Brithini in Arolanit and Sog City who were born before the Dawn. Malkion's revelations took place in the God Time and even Hrestol had his epiphany in the first years of Time. The title claimed by King Guilmarn is nearly 1500 years old. It is similar to having Frederick of the Staufen's take the title Romanorum Imperator, or Artabanus assuming the titles of the Achaemid Shahs. As a result, the Malkioni tend to look backwards to a distant Golden Age (much like the Dara Happans, but quite unlike the Lunars and Argrath's Sartar).

But, Western civilization is also quite new. The end of the Second Age devastated the West. The heartlands of the civilization - Seshnela and Jrustela - were destroyed. Jrustela sank. Seshnela was shattered. Other important centers like Slontos were submerged. Outside of a few enclaves (like Sog or Arolanit), probably 90+% of knowledge was lost. Much of the West in the late Second and early Third Age probably resembled Mad Max! The rulers of Seshnela are a half-barbarian dynasty from the frontier. Rokarism is a movement to restore the ancient glories of the West, while avoiding the abominations of the God Learners (who are viewed as an inevitable byproduct of Hrestol's teachings).

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