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Those Red Planet deities

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22 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

A bit of a side-note, but I always just assumed that "Shadzor" was a garbled pronounciation of "Shargash", and that the Shadzorings were Shargashi berserkers risen to some kind of rulership position, and by extension gone kinda nuts, with the lack of an emperor, or just due to the insanely hostile conditions of the Greater Darkness in general. I considered whether the Greater Darkness-era cult of Shargash's berserkers might've also allowed the induction of trolls, both for practical concerns and due to some kind of realization of Shargash's partly darkness- aligned nature/parentage. Later Dara Happa would obviously have covered up any troll presence if there actually was one, much as they tried retconning the identity of the Hyalorings. I didn't actually think the Shadzorings were a different race of beings until I read threads about it here.
Still not sure how I feel about that. Somehow the idea of humans (or humans-and-trolls) gone so bloodthirsty that even the Vingkotlings saw them as demons seem more interesting to me than another race of literal demons. Eh, oh well.

Devoted followers of Shargash can in fact be reborn as demons after death, was the impression I had. Similar to how Orlanthi heroes can become Thunder Brothers...

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6 hours ago, Darius West said:

Sorry, you'd have to reference that with the post in question before I knew what you were talking about metcalph, and the question wasn't snarky but rhetorical.

I did refer to the post in question.  As for your confusion about what i was referring to, now you understand how I felt when I received your supposedly rhetorical question.  

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Unless my memory of GRoY is incorrect, and Oslira invaded before Umath existed... but that seems very wrong to me.

No, look at the Plentonic dating in the introduction. Umath born in 40k YS, Murharzarm crowned in 50k YS, Umath clashing with the planets 70k YS.

4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The bias of the myths authors should also be taken into account. Plentonius might've had some motivation to present Shargash in the way he did - possibly to ridicule him and show the superiority of Murahrzam - but also possibly to show him as civilized? I don't know.

The Shadzorings of the Greater Darkness failed to show around the Anarchy Year, and the inhabitants of Alkoth appeared all human afterwards, IIRC.

4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

A bit of a side-note, but I always just assumed that "Shadzor" was a garbled pronounciation of "Shargash", and that the Shadzorings were Shargashi berserkers risen to some kind of rulership position, and by extension gone kinda nuts, with the lack of an emperor, or just due to the insanely hostile conditions of the Greater Darkness in general. I considered whether the Greater Darkness-era cult of Shargash's berserkers might've also allowed the induction of trolls, both for practical concerns and due to some kind of realization of Shargash's partly darkness- aligned nature/parentage. Later Dara Happa would obviously have covered up any troll presence if there actually was one, much as they tried retconning the identity of the Hyalorings. I didn't actually think the Shadzorings were a different race of beings until I read threads about it here.
Still not sure how I feel about that. Somehow the idea of humans (or humans-and-trolls) gone so bloodthirsty that even the Vingkotlings saw them as demons seem more interesting to me than another race of literal demons. Eh, oh well.

Interesting take. I'll need some time considering this.

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Well, it was just my personal impression - a connection to the Andins make some sense too (although I'll freely admit I thought THEY were a group of trolls initially too. I guess I had a tendency to associate most warlike humanoid "demons" with trolls in some sense.).

Now, one thing I noticed while reading through this thread is that there is a great deal of argument on whether Shargash and Tolat can be comfortably conflated. That is to say, they do appear to conceptually be based on some common core, but are presented very differently in terms of imagery and worship. One major element is that Tolat seemingly has no connection to the underworld (unless you see his erotic aspects as a kind of cthonic male virility... Not of the Earth, but rather deeper, from the Underworld. A kind of Osiris-phallus kind of deal, which only spring to mind since I mentioned it in another thread the other day). Shargash, on his side, doesn't seem to have any explicit tie to the moons aside from being a fellow celestial deity (afaik).

All that aside (and if this forum has taught me anything, it's that I've missed a ton of points), how do you guys feel about Shargash EXPLICITLY being named Tolat in the Glorantha Sourcebook? It made my eyes widen a bit, since it was so... syncretic. On the one hand Tolat is definitely an outlier name in that otherwise heavily Pelorian version of the Sky panteon, on the other, Tolat is the more widely known figure. More to the point: does it make sense to make them explicitly synonymous like this? It reminds me of the older material, where Balumbasta and Veskarthen/Caladra are just straight up called Lodril.

I realize it's not a huge deal, but just thought it was interesting, and kind of a bold move on the part of the writers.

 

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17 hours ago, metcalph said:
23 hours ago, Darius West said:

Sorry, you'd have to reference that with the post in question before I knew what you were talking about metcalph, and the question wasn't snarky but rhetorical.

I did refer to the post in question.  As for your confusion about what i was referring to, now you understand how I felt when I received your supposedly rhetorical question.  

Oh dear, here we go again ...

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35 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:



I realize it's not a huge deal, but just thought it was interesting, and kind of a bold move on the part of the writers.

 

I have a sense from my reading that the Sourcebook is more-or-less a Kethaelan/Manirian document (in fact, a lot of the art is Esrolian), and the scribes of Nochet are more likely to be familiar more with the well known Teshnan deity Tolat than with Shargash, whose cult is limited to weird Pelorian traditionalists who are deeply insular. There is a Teshnan community _in_ Nochet, but there really isn't an Alkothi one.

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Tolat is the name of the god as he was introduced to the Gloranthan body of lore, both in the unpublished western stories (notably Avalor's story) and in published material. Shargash is a weird afterthought in the first of a series of unfinished works outlining certain hitherto under-explored cultures.

Genertela Box gave us Alkor as the god of Alkoth, alongside Raiba for Raibanth (later amended to Raibamus to fulfil rules about Dara Happan name suffixes). Tolat was there in the Star Lore (Elder Secrets) and in Teshnos (Genertela Box), but the story of Umath's fight in the sky was yet untold. Published details about the Loper People were always vague.

16 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

how do you guys feel about Shargash EXPLICITLY being named Tolat in the Glorantha Sourcebook? It made my eyes widen a bit, since it was so... syncretic

To be honest, I fail to see a problem. The essay lists celestial deities by the name they are best known for. The Orlanthi don't know much about Shargash, but they hate Jagrekriand with a passion, a red god with a red blade occupying the biggest of the Southpath planets.

In Western star lore, the planet has always been named Tolat. It was the twin of Annilla, goddess of the Blue Moon, a fragment of which crashed down in Loskalm. Both these twins were born in the Underworld and fought their way into the sky.

For some reason, Zaranistangi and Artmali, who worshipped this deity as their war god, agreed with the naming. There is of course a possibility of the Vadeli channeling that name over to them, but the Zaranistangi don't appear to have been in contact with those slavers.

 

For me, the much bigger problem in the Sourcebook text on Tolat is the myth of Tolat defeating Umath with the help of Artmal to avenge his father, the dead sun. The Dara Happan chronology presented by Plentonius (without knowing the Orlanthi perspective) agrees with the Orlanthi disappearance of Umath well before the Sun Emperor was slain by Orlanth. (And Jar-eel's narrative of the sunslayer rebels includes Tolat in that group of rebels... not Dara Happan Shargash, though, a god of clubs rather than a red sword. In Orlanthi myth, Jagrekriand comes without accoutrements other than his red skin. The Orlanthi cult of Vorthan in Fronela depicts the lord of the Red Planet as black-skinned demon with a red jewel in his brow rather than red-skinned - not that dissimilar from Zorak Zoran or Shadzor, or Arkat.)

In the Orlanthi myth, it was the crippling of Umath which led Orlanth to challenge the Sun Emperor, and ultimately slay him.

This Tolat and Artmal myth apparently dealt with the other Umath, locally known as Desero's deity Baraku. (Who may identify as Vadrus. We have another case of unclear distinction between Vadrus and Umath WRT the slaying of Faralinthor.)

 

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Well, I didn't mean it as a problem - but as someone who've entered Glorantha within the last few years, it's been a lot more clear to me who Shargash is than Tolat, and the impression's been that Tolat is primarily a Eastern/Southern deity, whereas Shargash is the one relevant for Central Genertelan issues. To see them conflated like that in print seemed to me to be surprising.

In fact, I had no idea that Shargash was a newer character than Tolat... and of course, for other newcomers, it won't be relevant to the same degree either. Who knows, things might be different now with the Sourcebook out there.

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3 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Well, I didn't mean it as a problem - but as someone who've entered Glorantha within the last few years, it's been a lot more clear to me who Shargash is than Tolat, and the impression's been that Tolat is primarily a Eastern/Southern deity, whereas Shargash is the one relevant for Central Genertelan issues. To see them conflated like that in print seemed to me to be surprising.

I can see that. To me, the introduction of Shargash was as disturbing when I had known about Tolat previously.

The absence of any mention of Moskalf for the 31 day planet elsewhere known as Dendara or Entekos makes me wonder what the context of that name was in Elder Secrets.

I have said it elsewhere, but the Sourcebook does provide an update to the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha series published in Wyrm's Footnotes, a fairly early document quite rich in God Learner syncretism.

3 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

In fact, I had no idea that Shargash was a newer character than Tolat... and of course, for other newcomers, it won't be relevant to the same degree either. Who knows, things might be different now with the Sourcebook out there.

This look back doesn't contribute much to the current perception of Glorantha, agreed. The Yelmalio - Elmal confusion was expanded with Antirius as a god of the Hill of Gold, and Kargzant and Shargash added to the solar confusion. The weirdness of coexistence of Ehilm and Yelm in the Lightbringers' Quest was there even before King of Sartar, and never properly resolved.

 

The Umath story has been revealed only slowly. We knew Thunder Delta as the place where Umath crashed down before disappearing from Golden Age myth but we didn't know his foe. Jagrekriand was just a foe of Orlanth and Mastakos on the earliest Lightbringers' Quest.

 

Umath's invasion into the sky precipitated sky gods (and storm gods) in the Underworld. The eight planetary sons mostly disappear, and only a few rise again from Hell. The concept of Underworld planets starts here IMO.

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So still haven't answered a very important question IMO.  Who is Tolat's mother?

And this puzzles me:

Quote

“If I wait too long, I will be gone,” said the river. And Kendathalus laughed again. Oslira knew then what his will was. He would kill her. And now she laughed, not in a great roar but in a bitter ironic knowing way.

So Tolat kills Umath, Kendathalus kills Oslira and all this happens before Humakt gains death?  Huh?  I must be missing something.

Edited by Pentallion

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29 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

So still haven't answered a very important question IMO.  Who is Tolat's mother?

And this puzzles me:

So Tolat kills Umath, Kendathalus kills Oslira and all this happens before Humakt gains death?  Huh?  I must be missing something.

Nope, just stop expecting myth to be logical!  Timeflow is subjective, and relative timing (especially before Time) doubly so....

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19 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Nope, just stop expecting myth to be logical!  Timeflow is subjective, and relative timing (especially before Time) doubly so....

No, that's too blatant a flaw.  Points to the entire Orlanthi mythology being one huge God Learner conspiracy. 

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5 hours ago, Pentallion said:

So Tolat kills Umath, Kendathalus kills Oslira and all this happens before Humakt gains death?  Huh?  I must be missing something.

Aside from @Ali the Helering’s excellent answer, there are many other options. Westerners might say that Tolat’s action on Umath caused him to devolve. One of his devolved parts is called Orlanth. Also Death has been around longer than Humakt, it just wasn’t named or personified. It’s actions were shattering, devolution, breaking apart, bursting, etc. Humakt/Death is the same thing and was recognised when life became another important force. We don’t doubt that Umath was alive before Life was recognised. 

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5 hours ago, Pentallion said:

So still haven't answered a very important question IMO.  Who is Tolat's mother?

Tolat is Artmal's Uncle. Artmal's mother is Anehlla (a planet) and his father is Zrethus [sky] Senalfe (the blue of the sky). Anehlla's parents are Ehilm [Shamal, Yelm] and Nakala [tide and darkness]. So Tolat's mother is Nakala.

This is according to the the Artmali (from a GTA document once available to Heroes by GS).

 

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

Tolat is Artmal's Uncle. Artmal's mother is Anehlla (a planet) and his father is Zrethus [sky] Senalfe (the blue of the sky). Anehlla's parents are Ehilm [Shamal, Yelm] and Nakala [tide and darkness]. So Tolat's mother is Nakala.

So the westerners equate Enjata Mo with Nakala rather than with "Black Dendara"? (Or vice versa, the Doraddi equated Nakala with Enjata Mo?)

And when and how did Nakala acquire the power over tides?

2 hours ago, David Scott said:

This is according to the the Artmali (from a GTA document once available to Heroes by GS).

Do the Artmali know this, or only selected heroes?

 

There is a problem with this style of documents, however valuable they are in showing the development of Gloranthan myth - they usually come in context with a set of stories.

The names used in the direct quote are used by the Dawn Age Seshnegi, except for Ehilm who is at times named Yelm, and hence have been used in Jrusteli myth exploration (I can't recall having seen "Senalfe" before.). It is similar to learning that in hyperborean Thule, Jove was a son of Mercury, who was their chief god, and that Apollo was maimed by Cerberus.

There is also the subject of previous generations of the Silver Age gods (Zeus, his five siblings, and their children) or the Aesir, both with a descent from elemental giants. I haven't seen anything like this in the Roman pantheon which appears to be mostly a reflection of the Greek one otherwise, and I have a feeling that both the Titanomachy and the "three brothers" motif for Odin may have been later, intellectually deducted additions to the pantheon.

Glorantha came with the concept of a Celestial Court early on, but diversified greatly between different stories written by Greg, usually with some parallels and lots of differences.

 

All this "native names" stuff like having numerous names supposedly from an in-culture mythic cycle becomes a bit burdensome at times. The Pamaltelan section offers the names of Veldara and Serartmale for the blue moon goddess. Veldara obviously shares the root with Veldang, the blue-skinned human race that appeared in the Storm Age in the southern continent descending from blue planets. Serartmale might be little more than "mother of Artmal". Is either an Artmali term, or is this a Doraddi term? Do the trolls really know Annilla, or do they have a different name for the goddess of the Blue Moon, and what about the Pelorian Lesilla?

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11 hours ago, Pentallion said:

Who is Tolat's mother?

The goddess of Night (aka Xentha).  (GS p.102): "He is son of the Sun God and the goddess of the Night, and conceived in the Underworld. His sister is the Blue Moon goddess (typically Annilla or Veldara)."

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39 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

The goddess of Night (aka Xentha).  (GS p.102): "He is son of the Sun God and the goddess of the Night, and conceived in the Underworld. His sister is the Blue Moon goddess (typically Annilla or Veldara)."

Shargash is a son of Yelm. Various goddesses are claimed as his mother. The heirs to the Artmali claim she was the goddess of the Night, was conceived in the Underworld with his sister the Blue Moon goddess. Most Pelorians instead claim that Dendara is his mother, although the Alkothi agree with the Artmali. All agree that Shargash is the war god of the celestial realm.

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2 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Shargash is a son of Yelm. Various goddesses are claimed as his mother. The heirs to the Artmali claim she was the goddess of the Night, was conceived in the Underworld with his sister the Blue Moon goddess. Most Pelorians instead claim that Dendara is his mother, although the Alkothi agree with the Artmali. All agree that Shargash is the war god of the celestial realm.

To me, they can both be true. Borne by Night but raised by Dendara, both are effectively mothers.

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What I find interesting is that when we hear about the Three Sky Witches, we get Black Dendara (KataMoripi/Enjata Mo) and her children Veldara/Serartmale(/Annilla?) and Chermata/Lokarnos, but not Tolat/Shargash rising from Hell. Black Dendara mated with Bijiif (dead Yelm/Kendamalar, down in Hell/Wonderhome) before bearing her children.

I wonder whether Chermata has been mis-identified, or whether that was the resurgence of the fertile parts of the wargod of the sky.

 

But then I am not that convinced that the southern Planetary Son has been red from the beginning, or whether his green origins have been forgotten. Whether red or green, the southern son did cause Umath to tumble down and crash into the White Pillar, with the southern son wrestling him all the way into the Underworld.

None of the planetary sons re-emerged from the Underworld unchanged. The Green City became Hellgate, home of the Red God.

Plentonius knew only the deeds of Shargash, and he fails to mention Alkor. Plentonius is likewise ignorant of anything preceding Brighteye except the mystical One. While his accounts are a millennium closer to what happened in the Storm Age, his ignorance is greater than that of subsequent explorers having the benefits of 1200 years of syncretic myths.

All Dara Happans Know that Shargash has been the Red God of the South since memory begins, just as they Know that Yelm has been the one and only Emperor since Creation. It is part of their exceptionalism and hence the only Truth they will ever be prepared to face without Illumination allowing them to have other truths besides that Truth.

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

And when and how did Nakala acquire the power over tides?

Not sure if this is relevant, but the Sourcebook goes into a bit of detail of how Saramake (or wichever spelling refers to the primordial sea) was born from Nakala, ie. the primordial dark.

No idea on how that translates to tidal control beyond general parentage.

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On 11/24/2018 at 10:50 AM, Joerg said:

when and how did Nakala acquire the power over tides?

If she's the Dame Darkness originally venerated at Hrelar Amali then this may be a later syncretism, a pregnant idea in itself . . . "adopting" the twins into the pantheon establishes a bond with the lopers among others.

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