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Jeff

The Little Suns

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Here's a few notes on the Many Suns:
 
1. The Little Sun cult survived the Great Darkness and was present at the Dawn. There were Little Sun cults throughout South Peloria, Dragon Pass, and Kethaela. Outside of a few places like Lolon, these cults were NOT political or religiously prominent, but they certainly existed. Most were likely family groups that tended the shrines to the Little Sun. 
 
2. The Little Sun cults received magical and spiritual patronage from the Broken Council and learned new insights from Dara Happa as well.  That's when the Little Yelm sobriquet became widespread (aka Yelmalio). After Night and Day, Nysalor reveals Daysenerus (think of him as a Buddhist bodhisattva god) as the Illuminated Protector of the Little Yelm cult (also called the Cold Sun). The Cold Sun temples are built through the troubled lands of the Bright Empire and their cultists are heavily relied upon to keep the various Orlanthi rebels pacified. The Little Yelm temples obeyed the holder of the Orb of Sovereignty (aka the Dara Happan Emperor).
 
3. Arkat and his army of trolls and Heortlings destroy most of the temples. Daysenerus vanishes completely (he was a product of Nysalor's magic). However, the Little Sun is invoked against against the troll dominance of South Peloria and the temples rebuilt.
 
4. Although the Little Sun cults initially resist the Kingdom of Dragon Pass, they are defeated and end up receiving magical and spiritual patronage from the EWF. The Cold Sun is not a dragon, but he serves the dragons. When the EWF collapses, the Little Sun temples become autonomous and ally with former enemies. Most join the Invincible Golden Horde. With the Dragonkill, the Little Sun cults in South Peloria are completely cut off from those in Prax and Kethaela (Sartar's is destroyed by the Dragons).
 
5. The Little Sun cults initially resist the rise of the Lunar Empire, aiding Jannisor in the Dara Happan revolt. They are later defeated by Hwarin Dalthippa but receive patronage from the Lunar Empire. Once again, they are used to keep the various Orlanthi rebels pacified and to fight trolls. However, the Little Sun is not "Lunarized" and is generally considered arrogant and aloof.
 
There is no overall central organization between Sun Dome temples. They are all religiously autonomous. In the Lunar Provinces, the Provincial Overseer resolves disputes between the temples when asked (while in Sylila that is done by the satrap). 
 
All of the temples have been rebuilt at least once, and most several times. The cultists tend to gloss that over. 
 
6. Yelm can only be contacted by those who can claim a line of descent to the old Dara Happan nobility established by Murharzarm (which btw includes the Pure Horse People). Basically you have to belong to a specific group of families - like being a priest in the Temple. That's why in the Lunar Empire, the Yelm priests are all of the highest nobility (and likely very interbred into the imperial family).
 
But anyone can worship the Little Sun. You don't need to be descended from the nobility of the Solar Empire. Your ancestors can be from outside the Dome during the Great Darkness - in other words, you can be a Theyalan (which is what they all are). 
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A little more -

The collection of Third Age Elmal myths presented in KoDP and Heortling Mythology are those popular with the Elmal cultists of Heortland. The collection of Third Age Yelmalio myths presented in Sun County are those popular with the Yelmalio cultists of Prax.

But of course there are lots of variations here. Here's the commonalities:
1. All the Little Sun cults claim their god is the son of Emperor Sun.
2. All the Little Sun cults claim their god survived the Lesser Darkness and was the Last Light in the Darkness.
3. All the Little Sun cults dislike trolls.
4. All the Little Sun cults have at least some horse connection (even Yelmalio does if you read it carefully).
 
Here's some variants:
1. Some Little Sun cults dislike Orlanth, others are allied with him.
2. Some Little Sun cults demand to rule, others do not.
3. Some Little Sun cults claim to be the consort of Ernalda, others do not.
 
Edited by Jeff
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Cool!

Are all Little Suns Cold Suns (Light-only), or do different Little Suns have flavours of Fire, Sky, Heat, Sun, or Light? I can well imagine a Little Sun descending to earth in the Darkness to protect people, perhaps losing its Light in the struggle but still keeping people warm with the remaining embers of its fire.  

 

 

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I Love the explaination about Little Sun cults.

  1. This clarify some things but could we have not "Little Sun cults" But  "Little Suns cult".
  2. Despite the different reading of Little Sun, (Yelmalio : Yelm-alio. YELMALIO : Elmal(i) God of Truth  Light YO ) I still think Little Sun may be some Collective God of 12 Sons of Yelm. One God, Many Body ... As master, this spare me some neurons (I did think the same for Issaries despite canon !). XD
  3. Little Sun = Yelmalio : Yelm-alio so could we say that alio mean Little in Fire Tongue ?

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1 hour ago, mikkling said:

Cool!

Are all Little Suns Cold Suns (Light-only), or do different Little Suns have flavours of Fire, Sky, Heat, Sun, or Light? I can well imagine a Little Sun descending to earth in the Darkness to protect people, perhaps losing its Light in the struggle but still keeping people warm with the remaining embers of its fire.  

 

 

Elmal isn't cold.

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Increasingly, I think all the Little Suns were Cold. They appear after the murder of the Blazing Sun by Orlanth. The Blazing Sun flew screaming down into the Underworld, and what was left was cold and pale. Elmal, Yelmalio, Kargzant, Antirius, etc., all are cold compared to the Golden Age Sun. But they survived through Lesser Darkness and the Greater. More or less.

With the Dawn, the nomads claimed that Kargzant (who had already returned) had donned his imperial garments and was Yu-Kargzant. The Orlanth say that Orlanthi returned his murdered foe to the Sky Dome, but that Elmal alone was worthy of worship. The Dara Happans claim that once Khordavu restored Dara Happa, Yelm was truly returned. And Yelm is the Source of Warm, the Father of Fire, and Bringer of Fire. And most definitely not the Cold Sun.

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55 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Elmal, Yelmalio, Kargzant, Antirius, etc., all are cold compared to the Golden Age Sun. 

I think this is a very salient point: "not as Hot/Sunny/Fiery as Yelm in his prime". This means only that they are weaker Suns, not that they necessarily have NO Fire/Heat at all. Even if Elmal has only a tenth of Yelm's Fire/Heat, it should still be enough to at least e.g. summon small salamanders, keep the frost off the crops, and singe a few trolls. 

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Increasingly I do not believe that is the case. Each of the Little Suns got their powers stripped from them. Horses no longer have wings, teeth, and claws. Elmal retreated atop Kero Fin to provide the last light in the Darkness. Yelmalio got his fire powers stripped from him at the Hill of Gold. And so on. All variations of the same.

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2 hours ago, Iskallor said:

Alio could mean cold.

It appears to be a diminutive: c.f. Yanafalio: The ‘little brother’ of Yanafal Tarnils, worshipped as one of the Little Sisters by those not fully initiated into the Lunar Way.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Increasingly I do not believe that is the case. Each of the Little Suns got their powers stripped from them. Horses no longer have wings, teeth, and claws. Elmal retreated atop Kero Fin to provide the last light in the Darkness. Yelmalio got his fire powers stripped from him at the Hill of Gold. And so on. All variations of the same.

I think this effort overall is some high-quality God Learning, but let's not go stripping Elmal and Kargzant of their Fire. Such not only lessens them but robs Yelmalio of his distinctiveness (Hasn't he suffered enough? ;) ). It replaces one rough ret-con with yet another. I could see a recurring pattern in the tales where something is sacrificed though, which you kind of suggested.

I'm quite happy to consider that whatever the Little Sun might have initially been like in God Time, over many centuries of Theyleans (mostly) performing Hill of Gold HeroQuests where Orlanth and Elmal team-up to defeat Zorak Zoran and Peloreans (mostly) performing it as Yelmalio losing to them both in turn (and learning deeper secrets still through enduring such suffering and loss)  - and this is the key part - the results of those quests became the new truth to the communities that were supporting the questers. When an entire Heortling Tribe backs their great Elmali quester and he succeeds, the Yelmalio myth is false and foreign to them thereafter by virtue of the contradictions. Reinforce this enough over time and the very cultural trappings in the myths become mutually incompatible.

I've seen very little on the Pent & Grazer Kargzant tales. Where can those be found?

Edited by JonL
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With apologies, an updated version of my non-canonical Sun Dome temple essay....

Sun Dome Temples

Throughout the entire region of central Genertela, including the Lunar provinces, there are no more than fifteen major temples during the Hero Wars period. There are Little Sun cults popular throughout south Peloria and Dragon Pass. Most commonly associated with Yelmalio, the Sun Dome Temple god, the god’s myths are diverse and contradictory.

All the Little Sun cults claim their god is the son of Emperor Sun; that their god survived the Lesser Darkness and was the Last Light in the Darkness; all dislike trolls; all have at least some connection with horses. However, some Little Sun cults dislike Orlanth, others are allied with him; some believe the cult has a right to rule, others do not; some cults claim the Little Sun has Ernalda as consort,  others do not. Sometimes the Little Sun God is a foe of Orlanth, sometimes he is a friend of Orlanth; sometimes he is the husband of the Earth Goddess, sometimes not. A God Learner would say, perhaps accurately, perhaps not, that Yelmalio and Elmal are just variations of the same god.

It is apparent that the Yelmalio cult is not as unified as it seems, and it is difficult to ascertain whether there is a single Little Sun, with regional variations, or many related Little Sun gods.

In Imther, the Yelmalio cult of Kareiston’s Temple preserves local variations in myth from the Yelmalio cults of Dragon Pass and the Mirin’s Cross network of temples. The name Khelmal is given to the god there. The locals call him the God of Kareiston’s Temple, and give him many epithets including ‘Little Sun’, ‘Son of the Sun’, ‘God of the Sky Dome’ and the ‘Cold Sun’.

In other places, Yelmalio is also known as ‘God of the Winter Sun’, ‘Preserver of the Light’ and the ‘Golden Spearman’.

He has many other titles.

In New Lolon his worshippers claim it is the site of his Seat of Judgment, where the Light Protector Heliacal lived with his wife, the Green Woman.

Yelmalio is not alone in this diversity. Orlanth has very diverse aspects (so much so that Thunderous, Adventurous, and Rex are effectively separate cults).

Throughout its history, the cults of Yelmalio have sometimes almost been extinguished, but as the light that does not go out, though diminished, the cult of the Cold Sun always reignites. Despite severe reverses, and a variety of names, the cult has a strong continuity, and although distant temples may vary in their rites and theology, strong similarities in ritual and tradition are apparent.

The Sun Dome Temples have never been unified. Even in Saird, where there are close ties between the scattered Sun Domes, each temple is under its own religious and secular authorities. When two or more temples exist within the borders of a wider state, each owes fealty and service to the ruler, but not through a cult hierarchy.

 

The First Age

There were Little Sun cults scattered throughout South Peloria, Dragon Pass, and Kethaela at the Dawn. It should be noted that at this time, these cults were not associated with the architecture that now characterizes the cults.

In the First Age, the God of the Sun Dome Temple was sometimes identified with Hastatus, God of the Spear (sometimes equated with Avivorus) or Antirius, the Dara Happan God of Order.

Golden domes are now a defining feature of the Sun Dome temples. The temple-fortress to Manimat and Antirius at Haranshold originally built in the First Age also boasts several gold domes. The city of Kesium is now best known for its golden-domed temple to Antirius, built by the Bright Eagle Lords of Rinliddi in the Dawn Age of Peloria.

The first temple complex in the style of the later Sun Dome Temples was built by Kestingatha of Kesium, one of the Bright Eagle Lords. His temple of Antirius, a golden dome set atop a square base, was completed sometime between 145 and 155.

Mahzanelm, an Emperor of the Khordavu Dynasty, conquered Rinliddi and Vanch around 345-350. The Dara Happans sought to ensure that the barbarian lands could be kept under their control. The Emperor commissioned the construction of a grand structure that would be both temple and a military enclave for his troops. This temple was in the form of a dome within a walled compound entered via a stepped walkway.

One of the settlements the Emperor destroyed during his southern campaign was Lolon, inhabited since the Dawn. This was the home of the Tunoraling hunter-gatherers who worshipped Heliacal the Sun and his wife Negalla the Green Woman.

After the First Theyalan War (366-368), more of the Dara Happan-style Sun Dome Temples were built – one was even built atop the ruins of Urar Baar (a troll trading place at the confluence of the Oslir and the Black Eel rivers). These were similar to the earlier temple built by Kestingatha, being set on a square base, which was now consecrated to Hastatus, the spear god. In all, five Sun Dome Temples served as Dara Happan military anchors to keep the rebellious Theyalans under the control of the High Council.

The Little Sun cults received magical and spiritual patronage from the Broken Council and learned new insights from Dara Happa as well.  The Little Yelm sobriquet, Yelmalio, became widespread.

It was at the Battle of Day and Night in 379 that the constructed god Nysalor revealed Daysenerus - an aspect of Antirius who brings Antirius’ Justice to the barbarians - to be the deity of the Sun Dome Temples. Daysenerus’ first deed when invoked was to crush the army of Kyger Litor and his first new temple was built upon the site of that victory. The name translates as First Herald God, apparently relating to the appearance of the planet Lightfore, prior to the Dawn. Daysenerus became the Illuminated Protector of the Little Yelm cult. The Little Yelm temples obeyed the Holder of the Orb of Sovereignty – the Dara Happan Emperor – and the form of the temple became firmly associated with that of the Dara Happan military outposts.

During the years that followed, new Sun Dome Temples dedicated to Daysenerus were built throughout the lands occupied by the Bright Empire. The Daysenerus cult was given good lands confiscated from rebellious Heortlings after the Theyalan Wars. The military might of these enclaves supported the rule of the Bright Empire. However, their association with Nysalor proved to be their downfall. When Arkat raised the Heortlings in their final successful rebellion, vengeful Orlanthi and their troll allies destroyed every Sun Dome Temple they encountered and eradicated the name Daysenerus from Peloria.

According to Monrogh of Sartar, Sereventh in Sylila was the only temple to Daysenerus to survive the destruction of the Bright Empire. Other sources claim it was used by Ordanestyu in his Cold Light Fires Uprising and to revive the culture of Dara Happa after the fall of the Bright Empire.

During the ensuing period of troll and Heortling domination of southern Peloria, the other Sun Dome Temples were relit by the prophet Severinalus the Rekindler. Severinalus named the god Tharkantus, the Empty Saving Hearth, prepared for the darkness to come.  

Only initiates knew the god’s name as Tharkantus. Only the priests knew that relics of Daysenerus were used to bless their temples, or that the largest temples rose upon the ruins of former Daysenerus sites.

Severinalus settled many temples, for many places prepared once again for the time that the fires all went out. Tharkantus was later recognized to be the same entity as the Elvish Sun god, later known as Halamalao, and in many places the two races shared worship for centuries.

Whilst the cult had its origins in the Solar cultures to the north, its presence on the borderlands with the Storm cultures to the south resulted in an increasing intermingling of the two traditions. What began as a title gradually supplanted the northern name.

 

The Second Age

In 562 a Sun Dome Temple was founded in Holay. Trolls resisted the construction but met with disaster when a trollkin lieutenant betrayed the attack because the White Women among the Sun Domers had treated him kindly.

Circa 640 another was established at Domanand (modern Mirin’s Cross) in Saird within the boundaries of Orlanthland, and was later strengthened as a stronghold against the dragons and their followers.

It boasted unique enclosed domes with anti-dragon runes upon their surface, and despite its Solar nature provided a center of resistance for the Orlanthi Traditionalists against the Draconic Orlanthi to the south for a long time. The city of Lolon was also rebuilt.

Orlanthland was, as the name denotes, the land of the Orlanthi, extending south into Dragon Pass. Initially, the cult of Yelmalio fiercely aided the traditionalist Orlanthi and spearheaded armies invading the upland regions to fight the draconic heretics.

Saird became a battleground between Domanand and southern Orlanthland, which was transforming into the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. But by 750 the EWF conquered Saird; the gold domes of Domanand were shattered - their ruins are still apparent in the modern city. The Lament of Domeland, composed by several poets who survived the catastrophe, recalls the fall of the city.

The EWF revealed the Draconic Sun to the survivors. The Sun Dome Temples subsequently became a major military arm of the empire with their soldier-cultists used as mercenaries. Many new temples to Yelmalio were established on the frontiers of the EWF in Fronela, Ralios, and near Pent and in its core lands in Dragon Pass. Another was built at Hesterneo in Esrolia, later destroyed by Queen Orenda.

Dara Happa was occupied by the EWF in 850 after its Emperor was killed by elite members of the Golden Dragon Society.

In 877 the first Arrowsmith king of the city of Pavis in Prax requested aid from the Sun Dome Temple in Dragon Pass against the trolls and giants. The mercenaries were granted lands to the south of the city. A new Sun Dome Temple was built on the edge of the Wastelands.

Karvanyar slew the imperial Golden Dragon in 910, leading a rebellion that drove the EWF from Dara Happa within seven years.

The same year Alakoring Dragonbreaker flew into Aggar. He defeated Sun Dome armies and other EWF forces.

Between the years 910-925, after freeing itself from EWF control Dara Happan armies marched south. In the Three Armies Battle in 920 the armies of Alakoring Dragonbreaker and a Carmanian adventurer fought the EWF. Alakoring fought Drang the Diamond Storm Dragon and killed it.

Over the next fifteen years, Alakoring led the people of Saird, including the freed Sun Dome Temples, in rebellion. The soldier-cult purged itself of all draconic influence. Around this time, ruined Domanand was resettled, and named Mirin’s Cross for a lieutenant of Alakoring who learned the secret of where to cross the Black Eel River and where he crucified a EWF leader subdued in battle. Mirin subsequently claimed the site for his own and after the cross was removed, built an impressive monument to commemorate the duel. Reliefs on each side, now almost worn away, depicted Mirin’s four great deeds.

Dara Happa retook all of its lands from the EWF and expanded southwards. A great army marched through Sylila to the Battle of Zelfield where the dragons were defeated. The EWF counterattacked, reaching as far north as Alkoth in 947 but was unable to regain control of the north.

In 960, on the abdication of Sarenesh, (an Emperor of Dara Happa of the Karvanyar Dynasty) to prevent war between his three sons, the priests enacted the Great Division of the World. The High Priest of Dayzatar awarded Dayzatar’s portion, Saird, to Verenmars. King Verenemars rallied all Saird against the dragons. He began great sacrifices to strengthen Jajagappa and raised the Jajalarings Dog Peoples against the EWF. Many Dara Happan colonists followed in the wake of Verenmars’ heroic wars against the EWF. Verenmars and his heirs ruled the Kingdom of Saird until 1120.

The Saird Sun Dome Temples initially fought against and then supported Verenmars and his kingdom. As a result they survived the fall of the EWF in 1042 when the leaders of Empire of the Wyrms Friends were exterminated overnight.

In 1082, the hero Balazar introduced the cult of Yelmalio to the Votanki to the east. He met and wed a local hunting nymph and they had three sons (or two sons and one daughter).

The Sun Domes of Saird contributed much of the manpower of the Invincible Golden Horde. The destruction and devouring of those armies in the Dragonkill of 1120 severely wounded the Temples for generations, and extinguished Verenmars’ dynasty. After the Dragonkill, the weakened Sairdite culture was mostly absorbed by the neighboring Orlanthi.

Far to the southeast, the now isolated temple in Prax erected the Great Ballista to protect their rebuilt temple complex from draconic retribution.

Jannisor’s Rebellion (1271-1275) against the rising Lunar Empire included the Sun Dome Temples of Saird, allied with the Sable Tribes, and the many Orlanthi tribes surrounding Saird. Some of the Sun Dome Temples were also part of the Kynnelfing Alliance that resisted but ultimately was defeated by the Conquering Daughter in 1347. The queen of Filichet was acclaimed as Queen of Holay, as a Lunar tributary ruler.

Invasions by savage barbarians from Pent led by Sheng Seleris disrupted the Lunar Empire from 1375 to 1460. Much of the south was lost to the empire during this time as it struggled to survive. The Sun Dome temples endured this period, hiring out as mercenaries.

Holay became a battleground between Tarsh and Sylila, and was finally reduced to Lunar dependency in 1458. Saird was regained around 1480 though Lunar rule in the Provinces was not secure until 1545, when the Provincial Government was formed.

The Sun Dome Temples fought on all sides of these wars during Third and Fourth Wanes (1355-1462), but have been mostly allied with the Lunar Provincial Government since the Sixth Wane (1517 onwards).

 

The Third Age

The Sun Dome Temples of Saird have, over the centuries endured and enjoyed the patronage of overlords from the Broken Council, EWF, Sairdite, Tarsh and most recently the Lunar Empire. Throughout history Saird has been a significant battleground between Storm and Solar cultures fighting over Earth as in the myth of Orlanth and Yelm competing for the hand of Ernalda.

Outside of Saird, there are only four great temples. These temples are almost entirely autonomous and independent of their cousins in South Peloria.

Ever-New-Glory in Tarsh was founded after the Lunar conquest of Saird.

At some time after this, Elmal cultists from Alda-Chur, beset by Darkness and Chaos went north to find allies against the trolls. They returned with the Golden Spearman and took him with them to their next battle. A brilliant Sunspear destroyed the trolls. The jubilant Alda-Churi gave the Golden Spearman a shrine in their temple to Elmal, the Orlanthi Sun God, and offered him regular sacrifices as one of the defenders of their people.

In the mid-1500s, Lunar missionaries proved to the priests that the Golden Spearman was the enemy of Orlanth, as part of a campaign to divide and weaken the southern tribes. The allegiance of some worshippers of Elmal was compromised and they rebelled against their traditional leaders, weakening resistance to Lunar encroachment.

In Sartar, the sage Monrogh Lantern revealed that the Golden Spearman was neither Yelm nor Elmal, but the Son of the Sun, Yelmalio. In 1579 Monrogh was given leave to re-consecrate the temple of Yelmalio at Vanntar, to end the strife. During the Resettlement Period of Dragon Pass and the early decades of the kingdom of Sartar, Vanntar had been an important temple of Elmal, belonging to no tribe and defended against the Kitori by determined members of the cult of Elmal.

With the fervor of new converts, the Vanntari insist Monrogh founded the cult of Yelmalio and that Vanntar was the first temple. The presence of more ancient temples in Saird and elsewhere contradict their claims.

 

With many major temples, Saird is still the center of the cult which is not a unified religious bloc. In addition to the Sun Dome Temples Saird boasts important sites associated with the god, in many of the forms of the Little Sun, such as the Hill of Gold and New Lolon in Vanch. The Hill is where Yelmalio was sorely wounded, lost his weapons, and bled his power upon the earth before he rose again in Cold Light. Lolon was the place of Yelmalio’s Seat of Judgment, and where the Light Protector lived with his wife the Green Woman.

The modern farmers and cities of Saird, are a mixture of lowland Pelorians and Orlanthi. There are some vestigial remnants of earlier cultures (especially the Red-Haired Goddess, a title of Redaylda), but mostly submerged beneath many centuries of later settlement. 

The extant temples of southern Peloria are the military anchor of the “Sairdite” Solar culture. They are all strategically located to defend the lowland farmers. Yelmalio is the main soldier cult of the river cities of Saird, coexisting with the military cults of Humakt, Hwarin Dalthippa, and Yanafal Tarnils.

Yelm can only be contacted by those who can claim a line of descent to the old Dara Happan nobility established by Murharzarm (including the Pure Horse People).

Yelmalio has been the divine defender of Mirin’s Cross, ancient Domanand, since the Second Age.

 

 

Great Temples

Location

1.

Peralam

Vanch

2.

Daughter’s Road (White Rock)

Holay

3.

Domanand (Mirin’s Cross)

Holay

4.

Vanntar (Sun County)

Sartar

5.

Little Cafol (True Sky)

Sylila

6.

Laramite Hills (Kareiston’s Temple)

Imther

7.

Linstingland (Lingsting Sun Dome/Last Light)

Talastar

8.

Zalador Hills (Zalan Sun Dome)

Holay

9.

Orenair Sun Dome (Cold Sun)

Aggar

10.

Upper Forantin Sun Dome (Crystal Dome)

Aggar

11.

Ever-New-Glory

Tarsh

12.

Goldedge

Tarsh

13.

Karia March

Delela in Ralios

14.

North Dona (Northbank)

Janube River in Fronela

15.

Mo Baustra (Sun Dome County)

Prax

 

There are many lesser temples including:

 

 

Sun Dome Temples

Location

A

Alda-Chur

Far Place

B

Dykene

Balazar

C

Elkoi

Balazar

D

Garhound

Prax

E

Pavis

Prax

F

Salantor

Aggar

G

Serene Victory

Jarst

H

Southbank

Janube River in Fronela

 

Extinguished temples include:

 

 

Sun Dome Temples

Location

x

Billiz

Aggar

y

Hesterneo

Esrolia

z

Masassakar

Aggar

?

Sereventh

Sylila

sun dome temples.png

Edited by M Helsdon
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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

Increasingly I do not believe that is the case. Each of the Little Suns got their powers stripped from them. Horses no longer have wings, teeth, and claws. Elmal retreated atop Kero Fin to provide the last light in the Darkness. Yelmalio got his fire powers stripped from him at the Hill of Gold. And so on. All variations of the same.

What was the Mythical Account of the Darkness(es) in other, disconnected pantheons?  Orlanth-kills-Yelm is all well and good, but ... what sayeth the folk of Pamaltela... the islands of Vithela... even distant reaches of Genertela?  Do they all tell the same basic tale, all hold it in similar regard (sacred or profane, according to the views of the cult viewing the tale)?

And if all the Little Sun mythologies throughout Glorantha tell variations on the "son of The Sun loses his power of Fire/Heat during the Darkness (but nevertheless survives and/or Returns from Death)," that surely speaks either to the (as noted by JonL, GodLearner-ish) idea of "they are the same being"... or to some deeper cosmological principle linking the fates of all "similar" Gods to the same conjoint destinies (and at that point, I become somewhat unclear how different this is from the account wherein "they are all the same being").

Illuminate me, O thou Masters of the Deeper Mysteries!

 

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17 minutes ago, g33k said:

What was the Mythical Account of the Darkness(es) in other, disconnected pantheons?  Orlanth-kills-Yelm is all well and good, but ... what sayeth the folk of Pamaltela... the islands of Vithela... even distant reaches of Genertela?  Do they all tell the same basic tale, all hold it in similar regard (sacred or profane, according to the views of the cult viewing the tale)?

And if all the Little Sun mythologies throughout Glorantha tell variations on the "son of The Sun loses his power of Fire/Heat during the Darkness (but nevertheless survives and/or Returns from Death)," that surely speaks either to the (as noted by JonL, GodLearner-ish) idea of "they are the same being"... or to some deeper cosmological principle linking the fates of all "similar" Gods to the same conjoint destinies (and at that point, I become somewhat unclear how different this is from the account wherein "they are all the same being").

Illuminate me, O thou Masters of the Deeper Mysteries!

 

Indeed, since Kralorela doesn't acknowledge the Darkness, presumably none of the deities of the East are Cold Suns.  This is highly significant in understanding the Chen Duel sequence of suns.

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A Pamaltelan version is mentioned briefly in Revealed Mythologies: "During the Artmali Period, Varama-by-another-name acted out of pride and fell." Which is noted to be a lesser sun god, who inherited Kendalamar(the original Sun God of the Doraddi)'s position after he died. The Artmali Period is around the same time sequence as the Storm Age or Lesser Darkness.

To respond to Ali the Helering's mention of the Chen Durelite suns, the Solar Storm's enlightenment and disappearance, and the appearance of the Blood Sun, could also be an example of this basic myth structure.

 

To play a different type of God Learner, these little suns seem much like ways of describing/justifying the limited powers of fire and sun in the darkness. "Our Sun is remote/hurt/the son of the old sun/with us/a monstrous being fed with blood."

Edited by Tindalos
I confused two of the Chen Durelite suns. In my defence, they've got a bunch of them.

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Nice. I'd even suspect that modern Ehilm is a synthetic restoration of Fire to a Sky that lacked heat once Lodi below and DaYzatar above became estranged -- what happens when one particular Elmal somehow succeeds in regaining his birthright.

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I do wonder how much the proliferation of Little Suns and the combination of some into Yelmalio is more a product of human actions, and less a reflection of whatever the underlying reality is. There's certainly some syncretism in one direction, much as the Romans made their Jupiter and Mars equivalent to Zeus and Ares; whilst there were similarities there were also significant differences, and those were more pronounced when attempted against other pantheons. Both Yelmalio and Elmal seem to have indications of syncretism, and like other deities are useful labels for an entity (or entities) that are far more complex than their worshippers mostly realise. Certainly, Elmal worshippers seem to be able to convert to Yelmalio with little difficulty, though there might be elements of physical culture there: in Orlanthi culture Elmal is a relatively minor figure, compared with the importance of Yelmalio (and Yelm) to the Saidite cultures.

I am also minded that the planet Lightfore is associated, by different cultures, with 'different' deities: Antirius by the Dara Happans, Yelmalio by the Orlanthi, Kargzant by the Pentans, Sun Daughter to the Praxians, and the home of the Emperor Daruda to the Kralori. Perhaps as there's definitely one planet called Lightfore, all the deities associated with it are in reality avatars of one deity?

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But we are not only talking about the Last Lights in the Darkness. From the Birth of Elmal:

"I realized that the place of the Sun in Orlanthi myth, as revealed so far, was that of the enemy and foe, the Emperor. Nonetheless, there was the Sun of Life which anyone can see and feel when they go out on a sunny day. Without that then the Dark Tribe would rule again. The Orlanthi knew it and surely acknowledged the Friendly Sun."

If Elmal is a Cold Sun, associated with Lightfore, who, then, is the warm and fiery Friendly Sun of the Orlanthi? 

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Just follow the Lightbringer's Myth. He is the dead Emperor, returned to the sky by the Lightbringers - and NO LONGER an enemy. Yelm and Orlanth made peace with the Compromise. 

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Ahh Glorantha... where truth and reality is never objective nor static! It adds so much to the authenticity of a mythic setting.

Love these tidbits that just turn up intermittently in these forums, it really makes it worthwhile to cast an eye here as part of the daily routine

 

Edited by Mankcam

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40 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Just follow the Lightbringer's Myth. He is the dead Emperor, returned to the sky by the Lightbringers - and NO LONGER an enemy. Yelm and Orlanth made peace with the Compromise. 

If I'm getting this correctly, the Many Suns are just two. The Big One and the Cold One, each having different names. Greg never screwed up our Glorantha with the Birth of Elmal; it was never a big deal, because Elmal was always Yelmalio. 

I find this entirely unsatisfying.

Are you saying that the few worshippers of the Sun of Life/the Good Sun/the Friendly Sun in the Sartarite Orlanth clans acknowledge and worship Yelm, the Tyrant Emperor -- the same one that the Red Emperor incarnates? 

 

What's actually the problem with Elmal being his own god? He never went to Hell, and when Orlanth returned, Elmal got the sacred torch and rose up in the sky as the Sun of Life. A weaker Sun than Yelm was, but a warm, fiery Sun nonetheless. 

EDIT: the guide specifically states that the Orlanthi make a specific distinction between Elmal being associated with the Sun and Yelmalio with Lightfore. So, Elmal should not be a Cold Sun. 

 

 

Edited by mikkling

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