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Origins of the Orlanthi peoples and the Lankhor Mhy and Issaries cults


Charles

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As mentioned in Bull Gods of Fronela, I have some pet theories of the origins of the Orlanthi peoples and some of the Orlanthi cults. It starts with this: Guide to Glorantha page 689 - "Later Orlanth and his Storm gods freed many of the Kachisti survivors from bondage."

My theory is that the Durevings were the Dronars of the Kachisti peoples (kinda, see end-note). As circumstantial support: The Book of Heortling Mythology page 148 - "Durev does not go in for fancy stuff, for violence or trade goods or fancy legal talk, or for anything that will send someone away. He works hard for his family, cares for his herd, repairs the houses and makes the household sacrifices." I've been plowing through the electronic copies of my sources looking for a half remembered source linking the peoples of Danmalastan with the wood people (other myths in BoHM link the Durevings with the wood people) - I suspect that what I'm looking for is in paper form only.

Similarly, the Helerings originated as Waertagi. And, possibly, (some of) the Vingkotlings originated as Hsunchen (shapechanging was practiced by the Hidden Kings of the line of Vingkot during the Greater Darkness/Chaos Age).

Back to my theories. Likely there were very few Talars or Zzaburi among the enslaved Kachisti, as they do not make good workers, and possibly no Horali as they are good only for fighting. The Zzaburi became part of the Lankhor Mhy cult (likely mixed with refugee Buseri from Dara Happa and possibly more). The Talars became part of the Issaries cult and maybe also influenced the Dar subcult of Orlanth. This infusion of some basic Malkioni culture and mythology was why the God Learners found it so easy to work with the cults of Lankhor Mhy and Issaries. This does not mean that I believe that the source of these two particular cults is only or purely Malkioni.

 

End-note: I'm always very careful with origin myths, they tell very important deep truths about people, but they may not be as others around them observe their origins. Another way of saying this is that some older truths may be deliberately forgotten to help preserve the current truth and strengthen people. And, of course, the post-apocalyptic landscape of the Chaos Age meant that many people could not afford to remember much of their origins beyond that necessary for basic survival.

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Kachasti or Kachisti? To me the second version feels like bad spell checking...

The Helerings are one of several Storm Age arrivals of warlike demigods whose descendants became mortal humans. According to Revealed Mythologies, the Helerians fought the Waertagi during the Vadeli Wars. They came from the rainclouds, were good with ships, allied with the Banthites and enslaved some Vadeli dragonships and their Triolini attendants.

Before they attacked the Waertagi, the Helerians share the blame for destroying the Tadeniti. However, if they were taking slaves (as the example with the Waertagi shows), they may have done so with the Tadeniti earlier on, too. And while I hesitate to make any suggestion of making light of Vadeli enslavement, I wonder whether the Helerians didn't rather absorb their "slaves" into their own culture, making them disappear as Logicians. Still, this may be the entry point for Lhankor Mhy into the Theyalan myths.

So the original Helerians were shape-changing cloud folk with cloud ships that also worked on the sea surface, who entered recorded history from the southwest and fought the Tadeniti and Waertagi successfully. Whether as allies of the Vadeli or whether the Vadeli simply profited from their expansion by striking at a second front is another question. Neither Valind nor Solkathi are named as allies of the Vadeli, but that might have been an oversight by Zzabur.

After the defeat of the Banthites and the Vadeli in the south, the Helerians disappear from Western history. Enter the Helerings in Heortling Mythology from the lands of Andal which they share with Hykimi folk, in the southwest.

There, the Helerings ally with the seas surrounding Ernaldela to summon Worcha. After Worcha was defeated, the Helerings and the followers of Orlanth meet for battle, but instead Orlanth and Heler become friends (or lovers), and the Helerings become the third Great Tribe of the Orlanthi, along the Vingkotlings and the Durevings.

 

My personal theory for the Durevings is that they are the Golden Age Earth Folk that preceded the Storm Age. All those handmaidens of Ernalda, all those serpent temples of which two survived into the Dawn (Old Seshnela and Estali), and all those Lowfire husbands and tamed Wild Man giants like Entru or Tada. The people who the Kachasti met on their eastward Speaking Tour. Those who accepted the Beast People protectors to survive the Storm Age and Darkness, like the Enjoreli, Enerali or Pendali - note: not the Tawari, Galanini or Basmoli Hykimi, but the husbandized (or rather shared son) version of these Hykimi folk. Building cities.

Did the Kachasti go native here during enslavement by the Vadeli (or escaping from that)? I think so.

But note how the Speaking Folk and the Book Folk of Danmalastan disappears from the protection of Zzabur, and how we find a Speaking God and a Knowing God joining forces with a certain Storm God.

Edited by Joerg
mis-spellings
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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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19 minutes ago, Joerg said:

But note how the Speaking Folk and the Book Folk of Danmalastan disappears from the protection of Zzabur, and how we find a Speaking God and a Knowing God joining forces with a certain Storm God.

Woah.

What really happened?  The only way to discover that is to experience it yourself.

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32 minutes ago, Roko Joko said:

Woah.

 

53 minutes ago, Joerg said:

But note how the Speaking Folk and the Book Folk of Danmalastan disappears from the protection of Zzabur, and how we find a Speaking God and a Knowing God joining forces with a certain Storm God.

I think someone just got a point towards Illumination. 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

But note how the Speaking Folk and the Book Folk of Danmalastan disappears from the protection of Zzabur, and how we find a Speaking God and a Knowing God joining forces with a certain Storm God.

The origins (and usage?) of Tradetalk by the Theyalans and the Malkioni (via Jrustelan influence?) is an interesting aspect as well.

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I would top up: WOAH!

This is a breakthrough in Gloranthan studies, leading to countless possibilities; and I see it as the final nail in the coffin of the HW/HQ1 Godlearnerish theory of the "separated realms".

 

First off: what we are saying is: "Many previously enslaved Kachasti & Tadeniti (especially the Zzaburi among them) joined Storm-worshipping proto-Orlanthi in the Storm Age, and influenced/created the cults of Issaries and Lhankor Mhy, respectively." (stop me if I misunderstood something)

And I heartily subscribed to this hypothesis, which fits all we know about the period (and mythic elements, e.g. the fact that Orlanth meets Issaries & LM during the Westfaring in the LBQ).

Let's now consider the question or the nature of the in-bringing of these sorcerers to Godly cults: influenced, or created?

1/ If we say "influenced":

We may have a good case for LM, as the Tadeniti could have created the "Alien Combination Machine" and brought the various Grimoires known to the Lhankor Mhy cult. In that case, we'd see LM as a pre-existing Storm Tribe cult, that received additional knowledge from external populations/new members.

In the case of Issaries, however, the situation looks less promising: Issaries priests and temples have no access to sorcery (AFAIK, and at least until the Second Age when Godlearners may interfere). How would the cult of Issaries benefit from sorcerous magic bringers, without resorting to any sorcery? Did they find another form of "conversion" of spells into runic affinities and feats? Or did the poor Kachasti sorcerers only manage to "emulate" Issaries via their Rune knowledge, but without any sorcery usage, which was lost?

And here we also find an oddity worth mentioning: the "Church of Ishara" (I presume we'd now rather call it a School), to which Trader Princes of Maniria belong. In other words: some of the Kachasti knowledge was preserved outside of the Storm Tribe (and maybe even some of the Kachasti zzaburi survived outside the Theyalan domination), and re-discovered or re-brought to historical attention by Caselain...
Which means we get not only the well-know LM hybridation/juxtaposition of theism and sorcery, but also a co-existence of Issaries/Ishara "ways" providing essentially the same powers under two different realms of magic: theism, and sorcery.

Could it be that the cult of Issaries really "converted" sorcerous abilities from the Kachasti into good, sound theistic powers? Something similar to what used to be called "misapplied worship"? OK, but how does it work...?

 

2/ If we say "created":

In that hypothesis, we'd go straightforwardly for something like: proto-Orlanthi started to worship previously existing sorcerous entities, presumably Ascended Masters.
There is almost a solution of continuity with the "influence" discussed above for Issaries (Ishara would be an Ascended Master, who is now worshiped as Issaries).

Further more, we get an interesting parallel with:

- the chain of veneration:

The sorcerous cults can channel magical energy to the leading practicioner(s).

In this case, either the Ascended Master or his new High Priest would use this energy to become a "God".

The option of the High Priest "taking the place" of the Ascended Master cannot be fully excluded; it sounds pretty much like what Lokmaydon tried to do to Orlanth in the First Age... Which further nurtures the idea that the chain of veneration is, in nature, not very different from the theistic worship channeling.

- Zzabur's view on the nature of the Gods:

Gods are powerful "Beings" (Human or other, e.g. Eransachulan...) who accepted worship, and thus became "trapped" in paganism.

Again, we get an Ascended Master (presumably a Human Kachasti or Tadeniti, in the origins) who receives sacrifices, "accepts" to grant his magic to these followers, and consequently turns (Zzabur would probably say "falls") to Godhood.

 

So, whatever option we favour ("influence/create"), we reach more or less the same conclusion: there are gateways between sorcery and theism, and these forms of magic are not as different as they seem at first glance...

Does that make sense?

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I don't think these insights negate the Four World theory - quite the opposite in fact.   From the Book of Heortling Mythology, from the story "The Rival Worlds"

“They have a different sea, and a different emperor, a different sky and they look in a different direction from the Spike. They are as different as the Predark is from us. They have their own Orlanth somewhere in there, and their own Ernalda, Barntar, and Lhankor Mhy too. Different customs, rules and laws, even though they at first seem to be like ours.”

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Are the Four Otherworlds separate? They are. The realm of energies and matter differs greatly from the Godworld or the Spirit Plane. There is no mystical Otherworld, btw.

All the four ways of magic address the Ultimate, and apart from the mystics the energies acquire runic flavors through the transcendent runes - and here it matters little if it is the materialist (or rather energetic) view of the sorcerers, the theist view of Great Gods, or the animist view of Great Spirits, holders of the runes. The magic encountered by the mortals of the Inner World is mediated through lesser manifestations of essences, deities or spirits.

Is it possible to worship an essence, interact animistically with a deity or sorcerously with a spirit? Yes. Does the entity mind being approached by a let's say variant method? Probably it is not the best mode of approaching the entity, but expect results.

Are magical modes miscible?

Evidently yes - the Easterners don't seem to have any problems combining worship of the Parondpara with sorcerous spells for everyday magics.

Does this mean that the Cults of Orlanth offer sorcery? No. Do they offer animist magic? Some might, others not. Do the Aeolians contact Orlanth? Sure, if strangely. Do they derive sorcerous spells from Orlanth? Not quite. Do they have sorcerous spells for the realm of air? You bet.

Do the Warlocks mix modes of magic? Sure. They all are "crazed" by magical insights beyond the normal scope of Orlanthi magics. The easterners probably are living in a daze of enlightenment pouring down on them. The Lunars are insane illuminates, or at least one of the two.

The old HQ1 orthodoxy had it that until the Hero Wars, there was no mixing of magical modes - unless you were one of the defiant entities like Storm Bull, Eurmal, the troll gods, Chaos, the Lunars... the list grows long enough to ask why to make exceptions for the few "misapplied" modes.

I do endorse Charles' theory. Humans from Danmalastan turn out to be just mortal humans when exposed to the rest of the world without the protection of their magic and their ancestral lifestyle. If they turn to gods to help them through their plight, can they expect to maintain their immortality? No, why should they.

So, do I have a problem that we find no sorcerous magic in the cult of Issaries? Not really. He probably traded it away.

More seriously, the power of communication is less of what you know (knowing other languages doesn't make you a conversationalist in those languages) but what you do. It is about accepting what your opposite does and says, and replying in a like manner. Having lost their distinctions of caste, the adoption of the theist ways or even Hykimi ways is a logical way out. So, yes, they trade their sorcerous ways for survival.

As I said above, the magic outside of the mystic system is channeled through the runes. The Kachasti connection to the Communication rune may well remain.

And, if there is an entity of another realm that stands for this rune, contact and communication will be made. Sooner or later.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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9 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So, do I have a problem that we find no sorcerous magic in the cult of Issaries? Not really. He probably traded it away.

I wouldn't be too surprised if some special Issaries magic was originally sorcerous in nature: Lock, Spell Trading, Path Watch, Create Market all seem likely candidates, but especially Spell Trading.

The Trade Rune certainly might embody the Combine/Separate aspects of sorcery.

Edited by M Helsdon
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Following the tangent, see page 161 of the Guide. I worked with Jeff on the first draft of this picture. It shows a scene of a highly magical area of Glorantha, with views of how different styles of magicians would magically envision the same scene.

I believe that this is the canonical approach to the magical worlds for theists, spiritists and sorcerers, that they are views and interpretations of the magical realms. The separate worlds are The Underworld, the Mundane World and the Gods War / Magical World / Hero Plane (3 of the many different names for the one place, Gods War being the most used in Glorantha during the Hero Wars period). And the borders do blur between the worlds in the Sky, the Outer edges of Glorantha, etc.

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4 hours ago, Patrick said:

We may have a good case for LM, as the Tadeniti could have created the "Alien Combination Machine" and brought the various Grimoires known to the Lhankor Mhy cult. In that case, we'd see LM as a pre-existing Storm Tribe cult, that received additional knowledge from external populations/new members.

I think the Alien Combination Machine stems from the Machine City.  An early myth about Lhankor Mhy have him being gifted the Marking Bones o it would be kind of odd if he was carrying advanced tech at the time.

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4 hours ago, Patrick said:

And here we also find an oddity worth mentioning: the "Church of Ishara" (I presume we'd now rather call it a School), to which Trader Princes of Maniria belong. In other words: some of the Kachasti knowledge was preserved outside of the Storm Tribe (and maybe even some of the Kachasti zzaburi survived outside the Theyalan domination), and re-discovered or re-brought to historical attention by Caselain...

I don't think the Church of Ishara actually exists anymore.  It's not mentioned in the Guide and doesn't fit with the Trader Princes as they are currently depicted.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Evidently yes - the Easterners don't seem to have any problems combining worship of the Parondpara with sorcerous spells for everyday magics.

I hardly think what was written for RQ3 Gods of Glorantha over twenty years ago is relevant to the Eastern Isles today.  All it may have been meant to indicate was that they had exotic magic not otherwise described.

The Eastern Islanders do have sorcery but it is hardly combined with the Island Gods.  There are three groups 1) the Sages, 2) the Valkaraians and 3) the low Sorcerors after Martalak.

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

The old HQ1 orthodoxy had it that until the Hero Wars, there was no mixing of magical modes - unless you were one of the defiant entities like Storm Bull, Eurmal, the troll gods, Chaos, the Lunars... the list grows long enough to ask why to make exceptions for the few "misapplied" modes.

Not to mention that it was originally the God Learners who first classified magic into one of three types (latest version Guide p135).  So what did Gloranthans think about magic before?

 

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I hardly think what was written for RQ3 Gods of Glorantha over twenty years ago is relevant to the Eastern Isles today.  All it may have been meant to indicate was that they had exotic magic not otherwise described.

The Eastern Islanders do have sorcery but it is hardly combined with the Island Gods.  There are three groups 1) the Sages, 2) the Valkaraians and 3) the low Sorcerors after Martalak.

Do the sages really qualify as "having sorcery"?

Under the strict three worlds model, a lot of the "mystical martial arts" stuff was considered to be sorcerous in nature.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Not to mention that it was originally the God Learners who first classified magic into one of three types (latest version Guide p135).  So what did Gloranthans think about magic before?

Let's take a look at the Dawn Age domain of what would become the Hendriki, then, where we have Ingareen sorcerers alongside Esvulari blenders, Esrolvuli and other Heortling theism, and Kolating, Odaylan, Kyger Litor, Gorakiki and Praxian animism. What we find first and foremost is a division of magics into the elemental tribes or (in case of the Ingareens) exclusion of the elemental tribes (moon? what are you talking about?). There are mystical or transcendent religions, like Imarja or Velhara, that are subsumed in the Earth sovereignty.

People may have realized in dealing with nature or otherworld entities that some of these are better suited to shamans dealing with them, others better suited for godtalkers, and yet others exhibiting strange properties similar to the workings of the sorcerers. That said, shamans are spirit worshippers trained to deal with non-spirits using the shamanic mode of magic, and sorcerers are trained to dominate godlings or spirits, Holy men of Orlanth know how to fight just about anything, and holy women of Ernalda know how to woo just about anything, or how to have ceremonies to banish things. They all concentrate on the individual powers exhibited by an entity rather than a classification.

The Theyalan missionaries who came from this culture were inclusive - they didn't stress differences with Hykimi practices when they encountered them, but sought similarities in their stories and the approach to the elemental forces while introducing their mode of sacrifice as a way of dealing with the changed rules of Time. Things like a clear distinction between the Living and the Dead were much closer to the problems of the magicians of the Dawn Age than a distinction of worship modes.

The Brithini emigrants of Frowal were faced with the Pendali Hykimi (what we now call hsunchen beast folk) and Likiti (serpent earth temple) magics. There was no notion that combination of Hykimi and Likiti ways would render the hsunchen mode of magic invalid even though the Likiti magic was rather similar to the Ralian Green Lady or Esrolian Ernalda. The Serpent Kings combined the earth magics and the Brithini sorcery without any hesitation but were hostile to the Hykimi beast magics - their magical efforts may have been behind the incompatibility we observe in modern Glorantha.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Just now, Joerg said:

Do the sages really qualify as "having sorcery"?

Under the strict three worlds model, a lot of the "mystical martial arts" stuff was considered to be sorcerous in nature.

The Sages use sorcery as an aid to their meditations.  The Monk's exposition of the Gods War (Mashunasan Tells Us - Revealed Mythologies p70-71) is little different in scope from the Malkioni studying the Gods to do sorcery.

The mystical martial arts was mystical in nature according to the only rules treatment (Hero Wars). Greg's great revelation about classifying magic according to type came much later (A spell is something that you know etc).

 

Just now, Joerg said:

Let's take a look at the Dawn Age domain of what would become the Hendriki, then, where we have Ingareen sorcerers alongside Esvulari blenders, Esrolvuli and other Heortling theism, and Kolating, Odaylan, Kyger Litor, Gorakiki and Praxian animism. What we find first and foremost is a division of magics into the elemental tribes or (in case of the Ingareens) exclusion of the elemental tribes (moon? what are you talking about?). There are mystical or transcendent religions, like Imarja or Velhara, that are subsumed in the Earth sovereignty.

Personally I would drop any mention about theism and animism in such analysis as it's reliant on outdated materials.  In particular:

The Kolatings aren't what you call a distinct culture but rather part of the Heortlings.  

The Odaylans are in Peloria in the Dawn Age.  Individual Odaylings will have ranged far and wide even to Kethaela but I think it a mistake to think of Odayla hunters as being an actual cultural presence in Kethaela.  Yinkin maybe but not Odayla.

Gorakiki would not be distinct from Kyger Litor and the main troll influence on nearby societies would by Argan Argar who gives rune magic.

I'm dubious as to whether Praxians could be analysed solely as animists considering that of the two described for HQ2/Glorantha, both Waha and Storm Bull have Rune Magic as well as spirits.

I don't recall any reference to Elemental Tribes among the Hendriki.  The Five Foreigner Tribes (History of the Heortling Peoples p65) may be elementally divided but since one of them is the Durevings, I feel the theory needs a wee bit more development before it can be regarded as fact.

For Imarja, I would prefer to describe her as a heroic bringer and teacher of Vithelan Wisdom rather than a mystical religion.  I doubt that Velhara the Lady of the Wild is worshipped as a mystical religion, instead she's a spirit representing that which cannot be tamed.

 

Just now, Joerg said:

The Theyalan missionaries who came from this culture were inclusive - they didn't stress differences with Hykimi practices when they encountered them, but sought similarities in their stories and the approach to the elemental forces while introducing their mode of sacrifice as a way of dealing with the changed rules of Time. Things like a clear distinction between the Living and the Dead were much closer to the problems of the magicians of the Dawn Age than a distinction of worship modes.

Assuming that you have shifted from the Hendriki to the Eleven Beasts Alliance of Fronela, I wouldn't describe the Theyalan missionaries as inclusive.  That would mean they were intending to incorporate Hykimi rituals into their own practices which doesn't sound right.  The Theyalan missionaries were teaching their own mysteries and I doubt there were any similar stories between them and the Hykimi (the Talastari who did have similar stories which the missionaries used had been Orlanthi in the Storm Age).

As to the wisdom that the Theyalan missionaries taught, I think it not about element forces but 1) Sacrifice to the Gods, 2) the I Fought We Won Secret and 3) Theyalan farming and other practices.  The distinctions between the Living and the Dead was, I think, a Gray Age concern (ie Daka Fal) rather than a Dawn Age One.

 

Just now, Joerg said:

The Brithini emigrants of Frowal were faced with the Pendali Hykimi (what we now call hsunchen beast folk) and Likiti (serpent earth temple) magics. There was no notion that combination of Hykimi and Likiti ways would render the hsunchen mode of magic invalid even though the Likiti magic was rather similar to the Ralian Green Lady or Esrolian Ernalda. The Serpent Kings combined the earth magics and the Brithini sorcery without any hesitation but were hostile to the Hykimi beast magics - their magical efforts may have been behind the incompatibility we observe in modern Glorantha.

I would prefer to describe the Pendali as a fusion of Basmoli (who were Fiwan from Pamaltela rather than Hykimi) and Likiti cultures.  Yes, they could worship the earth without harming their Basmoli lion-worship traditions but a slight wrinkle to all this is that Basmol is Dead.

The Serpent Kings did not IMO combine worship of the Earth with Brithini sorcery as their Malkioni magic was Hrestoli in scope.  What they would have had was a majority of people worshipping Likita and related gods while the Hrestoli and wizards viewed themselves as having withdrawn from worship of these Gods to proper union with the Invisible God.  Only after the demise of the Serpent Kings were the actual Malkioni numerous enough to argue that everybody should be Malkioni.

I wouldn't describe the war with the Pendali as being rooted in hostility to Hykimi beast magics.  The Serpent Kings were hostile to the Pendali as they resisted their rule.  The Lion Society of Seshnela may have had its origins in friendly Basmoli willing to fight alongside the Seshnegi and their shape-changing practices evolved over the subsequent centuries to whatever they have now (both Rindland and Tanisor are described as semi-barbarian Guide p405 which sounds like something Rokari wizards approach by looking in the opposite direction).

 

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4 hours ago, Charles said:

Following the tangent, see page 161 of the Guide. I worked with Jeff on the first draft of this picture. It shows a scene of a highly magical area of Glorantha, with views of how different styles of magicians would magically envision the same scene.

I believe that this is the canonical approach to the magical worlds for theists, spiritists and sorcerers, that they are views and interpretations of the magical realms. The separate worlds are The Underworld, the Mundane World and the Gods War / Magical World / Hero Plane (3 of the many different names for the one place, Gods War being the most used in Glorantha during the Hero Wars period). And the borders do blur between the worlds in the Sky, the Outer edges of Glorantha, etc.

Note how you very properly explained it - how different styles of magicians would magically envision the same space. Or perhaps more properly how to understand the same underlying God Time. Sometimes this gets called "different magical realms" because what the sorcerers describe is quite different from what the theists experience which in turn is different from what the shamans talk to. But in the end, it is three different ways of approaching the Mystery.

And I think most Gloranthans view the Underworld, the Sky World, the place of one group of gods, the place of other groups of gods, the place of enemy gods, the place of another groups of enemy gods, the place the shamans go to talk to spirits, our world, etc - all as other "worlds". And maybe they try to keep them separate in their rites, minds, and stories. But the hero knows those boundaries don't really exist....

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Personally I would drop any mention about theism and animism in such analysis as it's reliant on outdated materials.

I used the terms for the three systems recognized by the God Learners.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The Kolatings aren't what you call a distinct culture but rather part of the Heortlings.  

Yes. They are the spirit talkers among the Heortlings, and members of the spirit societies are not separated by clans from cult members performing sacrifices. They do recognize that spirit talkers and rune cultists use different forms of magic.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The Odaylans are in Peloria in the Dawn Age.  Individual Odaylings will have ranged far and wide even to Kethaela but I think it a mistake to think of Odayla hunters as being an actual cultural presence in Kethaela.  Yinkin maybe but not Odayla.

Unless we want to replay the subcultitis of Thunder Rebels and dig out Ormalaya, there is Odayla as the default cult for the bow and trap hunter.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I'm dubious as to whether Praxians could be analysed solely as animists considering that of the two described for HQ2/Glorantha, both Waha and Storm Bull have Rune Magic as well as spirits.

I didn't suggest that the Praxians are solely spirit worshippers, only that they are a group of spirit worshippers.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I don't recall any reference to Elemental Tribes among the Hendriki.  The Five Foreigner Tribes (History of the Heortling Peoples p65) may be elementally divided but since one of them is the Durevings, I feel the theory needs a wee bit more development before it can be regarded as fact.

The Hendriki see themselves as Storm folk (including Earth). They might see the Fisherfolk at their coast as Sea Tribe folk, and the Caladralanders across the bay as Fire Tribe. The Kitori (including human followers not partial to the deeper secrets) are of course of the Dark Tribe.

True, Orlanth possesses conquered magics from the other tribes - the four magic weapons subcult.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

For Imarja, I would prefer to describe her as a heroic bringer and teacher of Vithelan Wisdom rather than a mystical religion.  

Apart from a possible keet connection which I really don't want to see, I have come to see the goose as Ernalda's (or rather Greater Earth's) celestial aspect with transcendental insight. A state of illumination.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I doubt that Velhara the Lady of the Wild is worshipped as a mystical religion, instead she's a spirit representing that which cannot be tamed.

I named Velhara rather than Arachne Solara as the transcendental link for Dragon Pass. At this time we still have the Necklace of Kero Fin, and the Aramites as a human tribe among the Heortlings. There is no Beast Valley yet, but there is the ancient megalithic structure of Wild Temple, and there are certain spirits and creatures of nature going there for their wild magics. Probably no centaurs, yet, at least not in significant numbers. Sentient beasts, nymphs and the like.

 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Assuming that you have shifted from the Hendriki to the Eleven Beasts Alliance of Fronela, I wouldn't describe the Theyalan missionaries as inclusive.  That would mean they were intending to incorporate Hykimi rituals into their own practices which doesn't sound right.  The Theyalan missionaries were teaching their own mysteries and I doubt there were any similar stories between them and the Hykimi (the Talastari who did have similar stories which the missionaries used had been Orlanthi in the Storm Age).

As to the wisdom that the Theyalan missionaries taught, I think it not about element forces but 1) Sacrifice to the Gods, 2) the I Fought We Won Secret and 3) Theyalan farming and other practices.  The distinctions between the Living and the Dead was, I think, a Gray Age concern (ie Daka Fal) rather than a Dawn Age One.

Actually King Heort, and yes, a Gray Age concern among the Theyalans. A Dawn Age concern for those who received their missionaries in a state of continuing Darkness. I think that the Lightbringers actually separated the Underworld from the Inner World where they spread their news to peoples who had no other pre-Dawn activities.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I would prefer to describe the Pendali as a fusion of Basmoli (who were Fiwan from Pamaltela rather than Hykimi) and Likiti cultures.  Yes, they could worship the earth without harming their Basmoli lion-worship traditions but a slight wrinkle to all this is that Basmol is Dead.

I find no hard evidence for the Basmoli migration from Pamaltela to Seshnela, and I regard the Pendali, Enerali and Enjoreli as home-grown Hykimi cultures who managed to have a Gray Age history. We find several types of Hsunchen in different human racial types - the Damali of Kralorela/Teshnos vs. those of western Genertela, the bat folk of Teshnos vs. Pamaltela, etc., without being given a migration story as explanation.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The Serpent Kings did not IMO combine worship of the Earth with Brithini sorcery as their Malkioni magic was Hrestoli in scope.  What they would have had was a majority of people worshipping Likita and related gods while the Hrestoli and wizards viewed themselves as having withdrawn from worship of these Gods to proper union with the Invisible God.  Only after the demise of the Serpent Kings were the actual Malkioni numerous enough to argue that everybody should be Malkioni.

I don't think that Hrestol changed the magic of the wizards of Frowal or Neleoswal significantly. The knights may have tapped somewhat into the pool of magic channeled by the wizards from their congregations by building up congregations of their own, but the wizards remained as caretakers of the magical needs of Frowal and Neleoswal. They lost some magic to Seshna Likita, but this was more than compensated by the conversion of Pendali cities, bringing the Likiti portion of those cities into the fold of their wizardry.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I wouldn't describe the war with the Pendali as being rooted in hostility to Hykimi beast magics.  The Serpent Kings were hostile to the Pendali as they resisted their rule.

Looking at the occupations of Seshnela, we find a consistent association of invaders and hostile beast magics. The colonies Frowal and Neleoswal faced extinction by the Pendali, and later invasions were seen as the same kind of bad. The Vampire Kings of Tanisor were about the only non-beast shaped enemy that faced Seshnela.

Earth magics are viewed as beneficient or neutral, while beast magics are seen as aggressive. True, the Seshnegi may have exploited that aggression themselves:

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The Lion Society of Seshnela may have had its origins in friendly Basmoli willing to fight alongside the Seshnegi and their shape-changing practices evolved over the subsequent centuries to whatever they have now (both Rindland and Tanisor are described as semi-barbarian Guide p405 which sounds like something Rokari wizards approach by looking in the opposite direction).

I am undecided whether the lion society was emulating the shape changers or whether it was similar to the wolf skin-bearing followers of Argrath in Argrath Saga who had destroyed the Telmori and conquered some of their magic. Do they have beast brothers fighting alongside them (which would be the Basmoli practice, with the humans taking whichever shape is best suited for a situation), or are all their lions shape-changed humans?

I see some evidence for lion-slaying hunts as kingship rite among (old) Hrestoli Malkioni, which may have made it into Carmania. This could be a hsunchen- or Odaylan-like self hunt, or it could be the re-enactment of overcoming the Pendali threat as a crown test.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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48 minutes ago, Joerg said:

 

I used the terms for the three systems recognized by the God Learners.

Yes, but you use it to identify cultures when it properly should be restricted to types of magic.  Describing the Praxian's magic as a mixture of rune and spirit magic is good.  Describing the Praxians as spirit worshippers is too broad a brush to be useful and perpetuates the worst of the Hero Wars/HeroQuest 1.0 schemata.

The Basmoli migration to Genertela is amply mentioned in the Guide.  Hence I don't see the need to dispute it considering that other Pamaltelan groups (Men and a Half, Zaranistangi) have also made the journey.  Your point about different racial stocks can be easily be resolved by having the groups learn how to take human form _after_ their geographical separations.

The Enerali are not Hsunchen but Orlanthi.  The Enjoreli/Tawari are native born.

.

Edited by metcalph
edited from earlier as the original post was too cut and paste for my liking
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Straying into the bad old days of 'tis/'taint here...

Hunter god of the Dawn Age Heortlings:

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Odayla is the default subcult now.  He wasn't necessarily so in Dawn Age Kethaela.  And another hunter among the Orlanthi is Siqwend/Siwend as per book of Heortling Mythology.

Siwend looks like another name for Ormalaya, albeit a distinct point is made for archery.

We know that Vingkot slew the Grizzley of Grizzley Peak, thereby proving his domination over the storm bear kings of the north. Does this mean that there was no-one following Odayla's ways afterwards among the Vingkotlings or Gray Age Heortlings? I don't think so. I don't see any ursine recovery anytime in the Imperial Age.

 

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

If Eiritha is similar to Waha and Storm Bull in terms of provided magic then the majority of praxians would know some rune magic in addition to spirits.  They will have more spirits than the typical Heortling but I still think it an error to view the Praxians as spirit worshippers.

The Praxians are a culture with a strong proportion of spirit worshippers (besides the Founders/Protectresses and Ancestors). Storm Bull isn't an example for anything but non-conformity, but the point that Waha offers rune magic is telling. I think that Eiritha offers rune magic, too, possibly even more so if worshipped at the Paps. That's what Great Spirits can do (again, as in the times of RQ3 Gods of Glorantha). Someone with RuneQuest Sight might be able to tell whether this is divine rune magic or powerful spirit magic using modes similar to divine magic while being shot down with that magic for being a God Learner. An ability like Spirit Block wouldn't be too useful against such magic, but that's similar to approaching the sun with nothing but weak sun blocker as protection.

Ok, so we who were trained to say Great Spirit maybe aren't supposed to do that any more. I am happy referring to the great gods/spirits of the Praxians as giants (excluding Storm Bull, including Genert and his followers), treating them as a separate group of entities from the Storm Tribe fusion of Ernalda's peoples and the Downland Migration and subsequent adoptions of Orlanth or from the Earth Walkers of Peloria carrying that fire component within their earhy giantness. Ultimately all earth points back to the one earth of the Creation Age to Green Age, so there are links of kinship.

There is a wealth of Praxian spirit societies that outshines the few ones found among the Heortlings. I have little to no idea what and how exactly the Aramites worshipped in the Dawn Age. All I know is that pigs were involved, and that their heroic leader was the lover of Kero Fin. I know that there were humans that followed the Kitori leadership in worshipping entities of Darkness without getting the conversion into the likes of Ezkankekko, and one remnant of those could be the Torkani of Sartar, a fringe Heortling tribe much like the (lesser) Kitori themselves.

 

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

That's contigent on whether the Imarja writeup in Heroquest 1.0 is still active.  It never made much sense to me and viewing the goose as a symbol of transcendental awareness is always going to sit oddly with anybody who has been mugged by one.

Think of the Golden Egg myths/fairy tales rather than the feathered watchdogs. Add a pinch of Swanlake (different white bird, I know, but still). The reality of bird behavior doesn't have to do anything with their projected image, as anyone watching doves at a railway station or city square can attest.

My views of Imarja as an enemy deity of Orlanth and Vingkot have been painted by the destructive ways of the Grandmothers of Nochet, but with the recent re-definitions of Illumination I see Imarja as the Ernaldan path to either illumination or (in case of the Grandmothers) occlusion.

If a wife or mother-in-law cannot handle a dominant husband doing stupid stuff, mariticide is not and has never been the way of Ernalda. Sending him to Hell by other means (to get his stuff straight again) is ok, though. The murders of Rastagar or Finelvanth or even the Bright Lord of Tharkantus all are major failures which made the world much worse places (if only outside of Nochet). Doing so in the name of Imarja is ironically similar to the story of her descendants killing her (Esrplia p.24).

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

There's more to mysticism than just big wild spirits.  For something to be a target of transcental devotion, you have to have a bunch of people sitting around meditating upon it.  Orlanth has that.  Yelmalio has that.  I don't see it for Velhara and Imarja.

I didn't name Velhara (or Arachne Solara) as the object of a sect of mystics, but as a transcendent entity beyond rune magic and ordinary sacrifice. Still, there are rites, and there is magic in these rites.

I do see Imarja as an access to a transcendent entitiy through but beyond primal Earth. As with all illumination, this isn't a good thing to worship paired with ambition or revenge. I have come to think that this is ultimately what the earth sovereignty stuff is about, though.

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Basmoli are mentioned in the Vedlt (Guide p589) and mention that their god went northwards.  If the Zaranistangi can make it from Fonrit to Teshnos and the Men-and-a-half make it from Laskal(?) to Prax, then the Basmoli should be able to make it from the Vadelt to Seshnela and Prax.

Basmoli are mentioned in the Veldt, as are Men-and-a-half. Both end up in Genert's Garden/Prax. Basmol is killed there.

What I don't find is how Basmol invaded Ernaldela.

I do buy a fiwan origin of Praxian Basmol. Occam's razor suggests that the routes of the men-and-a-half and of the Basmoli would have been similar from the veldt to Prax. The first agimori to arrive in Seshnela are the Pithdarans, though. And they don't show a marked similarity to the lion warrior bands, do they?

 

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

The Enerali are not Hsunchen but Orlanthi.

 They are the civilized version of the Galanini of Ralios, and became Orlanthi only long after their first contacts with the Lightbringer missionaries. I see a distinct parallel between Likita/Basmol/Pendal and Green Lady/Galanin/Eneral. All the way down to serpent imagery.

The Enerali maintained their own civlisation of Hrelar Amali as the Gray Age point of civilisatory origin. King Dan's rulership may even have made that period a Silver Age to them.

It is during the Gbaji Wars that we find the Orlanthi of Otkorion (?) as tutors for Arkat. I don't know for certain whether these are Enerali or immigrants from council lands through Kartolin Pass, or a crossbred pool of both groups. (And there is the lingering presence of Kacha/isti that can hide among Hykimi, Enerali, or among the populace of the earth temples. To return at least once to the original thread...)

 

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

If the two communities worship the same god with the same name then they share a common ancestor.  If the human types differ then a possible explanation is that they acquired the human forms _after_ they became geographically separated.

So the Harandings, the Aramites and the Mraloti of Ramalia share Mralot or someone related to Mralot as an ancestor? Bisos and the Enjoreli are related?

We find three distinct groups of beast shape men - the Hykimi of the Great Forest in the West, the Fiwan of Pamaltela, and the Korgatsu Hsunchen of the Shan mountains and beyond. As it happens, the Hykimi share the Wareran type, the Fiwan the Agimori type, and the Korgatsu Hsunchen the Vithelan type.

They do share the same Gods/Great Ancestral Spirits. The Four Original Companions may vary, the extent of draconic manifestation varies (strongly in post-Darudan Kralorela, rather lame in Hykim/Mikyh, and not quite explicit in Amuron). The beast languages spoken by the humans with the same (or very similar) beasts are the same across the continental divides.

(We find the almost the same Earthmaker story as among the Fiwan among the Doraddi and the Thinobutans.)

 

If the appropriation of a proper human racial type is a later development than the original two-leg/four-leg alteration (maybe with a humanoid beast form not unlike the cinematic werewolf), then maybe we have these three distinct groups through different admixture of humans of the appropriate racial types. Humans that were around prior to the Storm Age demigod spawn proliferation. (Or we would see Veldang-shaped Hsunchen?)

For the Hykimi the Kachasti could be a candidate, or the indigenous earth worshipping humans of Seshna, Ralia etc. (also the source for the Dureving element among the Orlanthi). Such an admixture might also explain the peculiarities like Hykimi cities etc. that we don't find in either Pamaltela or beyond the Shan Shan.

For the Korgatsu Hsunchen, we find Allgiver as the shape-defining intervention for the semi-human offspring of Wild Man, with Aptanace defining the proper human appearance. I do wonder how Daruda and the humanoid dragon shape went along with this, though, before we end up with the ancestors of the modern Kralori.

No idea where to place the human shapegiver for the Fiwan. From the sixteen types of Thinobutans? From the Agitorani? And what of their cultural inputs?

 

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Except that the original wizards were all Brithini, born and not made.  The only people with the ability to make new wizards in significant numbers the Dawn Age are the Hrestoli.

I dare say that the most wizards the Hrestoli create are by birth from the zzabur caste. I don't have names for wizards of Pendali stock, although evil sorcerers/witches do appear.

Wizards by conversion? Okay, there are the Vampire Lords of Tanisor. An example of how not to do it.

The Jrusteli add Timinit and Pithdaran wizards.

The Hrestoli seem to have something like caste adoption upon conversion. My data for Dawn Age Akem is basically non-existant. The Pendali conversion is at first via the Seshna Likita cult, no idea, whether their priestesses were numbered among the zzabur caste. If so, a widespread breeding potential was added to the zzabur caste. I have the (unfounded?) idea that ancient Brithini/Malkioni society might have had a distinctly non-equal distribution of genders, with the Menena caste not necessarily significantly larger than any of the other castes. Bringing in the Likiti may have altered that to 50-50.

But the role of women in Brithini and Malkioni society is a different topic altogether. Except that we are talking about the addition of two male deities to the Lightbringers, here. It is always "sons of Malkion".

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

The Praxians are a culture with a strong proportion of spirit worshippers (besides the Founders/Protectresses and Ancestors). Storm Bull isn't an example for anything but non-conformity, but the point that Waha offers rune magic is telling. I think that Eiritha offers rune magic, too, possibly even more so if worshipped at the Paps. That's what Great Spirits can do (again, as in the times of RQ3 Gods of Glorantha). Someone with RuneQuest Sight might be able to tell whether this is divine rune magic or powerful spirit magic using modes similar to divine magic while being shot down with that magic for being a God Learner. An ability like Spirit Block wouldn't be too useful against such magic, but that's similar to approaching the sun with nothing but weak sun blocker as protection.

Ok, so we who were trained to say Great Spirit maybe aren't supposed to do that any more. I am happy referring to the great gods/spirits of the Praxians as giants (excluding Storm Bull, including Genert and his followers), treating them as a separate group of entities from the Storm Tribe fusion of Ernalda's peoples and the Downland Migration and subsequent adoptions of Orlanth or from the Earth Walkers of Peloria carrying that fire component within their earhy giantness. Ultimately all earth points back to the one earth of the Creation Age to Green Age, so there are links of kinship.

There is a wealth of Praxian spirit societies that outshines the few ones found among the Heortlings. I have little to no idea what and how exactly the Aramites worshipped in the Dawn Age. All I know is that pigs were involved, and that their heroic leader was the lover of Kero Fin. I know that there were humans that followed the Kitori leadership in worshipping entities of Darkness without getting the conversion into the likes of Ezkankekko, and one remnant of those could be the Torkani of Sartar, a fringe Heortling tribe much like the (lesser) Kitori themselves.

 

 

Another example is Oakfed, the god of Wildfire and the Sacred Fire. He is one of the Lowfires, children of Lodril, grandchildren of Aether Primolt and ranks alongside Barntar, Waha and Yelmalio in terms of descent from the Celestial Court. However, in Prax Oakfed is worshipped in a Spirit Society.

 

Personally, I tend to think that the deities exist and are worshipped by whatever means are available. So, an animist society worships as a Great Spirit, a theist society worships as a god and so on. That is why you can get Orlanth worshipped a a spirit (Little Brother) and a god by people in Prax.

 

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

But the role of women in Brithini and Malkioni society is a different topic altogether. Except that we are talking about the addition of two male deities to the Lightbringers, here. It is always "sons of Malkion".

 

Well, that point may well be closer to the initial topic than expected...

Because there is another interesting Entity that Orlanth meets on the Westfaring, joining the Lightbringers along with Issaries and Lhankor Mhy...

An Entity that also has no Elemental rune connection - a quite uncommon feature, even among the mixed hodgepodge that constituted the Storm & Earth Pantheon...

An Entity that receives no sacrifices, only veneration...

An Entity with unclear ancestry tracing back to the Gloranthan Court, or possibly earlier...

An Entity named in a way strangely resembling that of an Ascended Master, Xemela, whose veneration remained strongly rooted throughout Time among very different and even hostile Malkioni schools...

Please let me introduce... Chalanna Arroy !

 

So we get all these lovely Menena-caste women of Kachasti and Tadeniti origin, who had their own ways and arts to support their communities since the Age of Danmalastan, who count among their rank the mother of Hrestol and most-popular-Saint-of-all-Malkioni-across-Glorantha-after-Mlakion-himself...

And of course, just like their male comrades, many of them in Storm-Age western Genertela are captured, abused, enslaved, faced with the terrible spiritual ordeal of a world turned mad, and in great need of compassion...

And then - Oh Miracle - the powers of Harmony and Life appear to the wandering Orlanth...

And then - Oh Blessing - the cult of Chalanna Arroy grows among the Theyalans...

 

Praise the Knowing God for finding the Law!

Praise the Talking God for telling the Path!

Praise the White Goddess for healing the World!

 

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Getting back to the original topic that I introduced :D Here's some supporting circumstantial evidence regarding Lhankor Mhy and wizards/zzaburi

Guide to Glorantha (GtG) P38 - Lhankor Mhy scholars must wear beards, and both men and women of the cult commonly wear fake beards to make up for any natural lack of facial hair.

GtG (P48) Facial hair is regulated by caste; wizards must grow long beards, whereas nobles must shave their chin.

 

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