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Esrolian Queen Job Description?


Rob Helm

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What's the job description of an Esrolian queen? I'm specifically wondering about the queens listed here:

http://www.glorantha.com/esrolian-queens-list/

Is there some kind of Esrolia-level queendom? If so, what are her powers, and how is she chosen??

I ask because of something I read:

"Cities are  ruled by Queens, who are selected from among the
traditional resident clans. Thus 'Queen' is the title of the
temporary ruler of an Esrolian city"
(_ESROLIA:The Land of The Land of Ten Thousand Goddesses_, PDF page 5)

In general, this book makes an Esrolian queen sound something like a Doge of Venice -- an important official chosen by the notables of a city.

Just curious -- I have some vague ideas for scenarios set in Esrolia. It was interesting to see several Runequest Quickstart characters have background experience there.

Rob

 

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Posting here as well as in the G+ thread with some of the current thinking on the Esrolian Queens:

The queen of an Esrolian city is the high priestess of Ernalda for that city. That is her most important function, and it is equally true for the Queen of Nochet. There is no distinction between her role as queen and her role as high priestess - they are the same (just as an Orlanthi king is the high priest of Orlanth Rex).

The queen is a sacral figure and most of her time is dedicated to ritual and ceremony. The queen communicates between Ernalda and the city: she performs the sacrifices, stands in as Ernalda in the important ceremonies, participates in the rituals with the Otherworld, and enacts the deeds of Ernalda in the Sacred Time. Even her pregnancies are ritual events celebrating the life-bearing powers of Ernalda and the blessings of birth, nourishment, and sustenance.

It is also a duty of the queen to preside over disputes between her “children”, her “husbands”, her guests, and others within the city, although justice is less important than harmony. To do so, she has an army of scribes to help administer the palace and temple estates, manage correspondence, oversee projects, and record the annual deeds, decisions, and events. She also has bodyguards to protect her person, husbands to lead armies, other priestesses to assist her in a thousand ways, and servants to attend to her daily needs.

The Queenship is not hereditary, however, as the Queens must be magically powerful, they are chosen by the consensus of the noble Grandmothers of that city, which means they effectively come from among the Enfranchised (noble) Houses, and all have lineages dating back to important queens (e.g. all Queens of Nochet since Bruvala descend from her).

Hendira was both Queen of Nochet and Queen of Esrolia, and between 1613 and 1616 was also Governor of Esrolia. Queen of Esrolia and Governor of Esrolia are not synonymous. Generally, when there was a Reverend Grandmother of Nochet, it was she who served as Belintar’s Governor (Valinyr did so from 1585 to 1613).

Samastina is Queen of Nochet, but not yet Queen of Esrolia. There is another contender for that title: the Demivierge, who is Queen of Rhigos. Effectively, post 1624 there is a two-way struggle for dominance with Samastina dominating the North March and North Esrolia and the Demivierge dominating South Esrolia. 

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4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Hendira was both Queen of Nochet and Queen of Esrolia, and between 1613 and 1616 was also Governor of Esrolia. Queen of Esrolia and Governor of Esrolia are not synonymous. Generally, when there was a Reverend Grandmother of Nochet, it was she who served as Belintar’s Governor (Valinyr did so from 1585 to 1613).

Samastina is Queen of Nochet, but not yet Queen of Esrolia. There is another contender for that title: the Demivierge, who is Queen of Rhigos. Effectively, post 1624 there is a two-way struggle for dominance with Samastina dominating the North March and North Esrolia and the Demivierge dominating South Esrolia. 

Trying to make sense of all this but where does the Queen-Priestess of Sacred Ezel fit into all this?  Surely they would be more likely to be Queen of Esrolia rather than the Queen of Nochet?  And how does the Queen of Esrolia title even get started?  Was it created by Belintar?  A possibility might be that when the position of Queen of Ezel fell vacant, Belintar used his authority to appoint Bruvula to the position to buttress his rule.  

I'll have to question your statement that Hendira is Governor of Esrolia.  She sits on the Council of Six  (http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/29-the-city-of-wonders/ which would make them hexarchs?) but only two members of the Council are described as Governors. The remaining four are on the Council because they are important enough despite not being governor (for example I think Carvak Zirian would actually die of old age if he were to take a Talar title).

Although Belintar did appoint governors to the Sixths of Kethaela as per the reference material, I think it clear that the God Learner framework didn't work out.  For example, the governors are supposed to handle the civil governance of Kethaela while military matters are handled by the Duke.  Yet the list of the Governors of Heortland in History of the Heortling Peoples has many fighting battles left, right and centre with no mention of any Duke of Heortland who would be expected to do the fighting.  Since Belintar's authority derives from himself rather than any God Learner bureacracy, it seems to me that he started out with a bureacracy first and was content to let things evolve.

The Governors have been prominent in Heortland because it was a useful device to gain the allegiance of the Esvulari.  Later some Governors have also become Kings in order to gain allegiance from the non-Esvulari.  The Governor of God Forgot is probably the Talar.  Governors exist in Esrolia, the Rightarm Isles and the Shadow Plateau but the post is largely ceremonial.  Why the ruler of Caladraland feels the need to proclaim himself King and Governor is an interesting question (Before the Guide, I would have thought to obtain the respect of the cult of Caladra and Aurelion but they don't seem to be quite so prominent as previously assumed). 

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5 hours ago, metcalph said:

Trying to make sense of all this but where does the Queen-Priestess of Sacred Ezel fit into all this?  Surely they would be more likely to be Queen of Esrolia rather than the Queen of Nochet?  And how does the Queen of Esrolia title even get started?  Was it created by Belintar?  A possibility might be that when the position of Queen of Ezel fell vacant, Belintar used his authority to appoint Bruvula to the position to buttress his rule.

What makes you think that the authority of the Queen-Priestess of Ezel is limited to Esrolia?

At Ezel there has to reside a queen-priestess of Kethaa, subservient to that of Ernalda-of-Ezel, whose cult embodies the whole of Kethaela, whether within the  borders of the Holy Country or currently outside (e.g. the Ditali lands).

As of 1621-1624, there are four earth factions whose leaders have claims on the title. Hendira of the Red Earth faction maintains the title as Queen of Nochet and former hexarch of Belintar, but her authority is eroded away by the other three factions.

Traditionally the Queen of Nochet - the survival site for the majority of the Esrolians into the Grey/Silver Age, at least after their return from the Obsidian Palace - is also Queen of Esrolia, Ezkankekko Kimantor was the guarantor for this in male circles, until Belintar challenged that and overthrew the Only Old One (toppling the Obsidian Palace in the conflict). Whichever queen of Nochet was there in 1318 or so accepted Belintar taking over as guarantor (possibly having ousted a previous queen relying on Kimantor), and mind your own business, thank you.

We know that Belintar visited Ezel, but his miracle there remained minor.

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

I'll have to question your statement that Hendira is Governor of Esrolia.  She sits on the Council of Six  (http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/29-the-city-of-wonders/ which would make them hexarchs?) but only two members of the Council are described as Governors.

I agree - the other four (including Hendira) aren't appointed by Belintar, but confirmed after being nominated by their respective Sixths.

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

The remaining four are on the Council because they are important enough despite not being governor (for example I think Carvak Zirian would actually die of old age if he were to take a Talar title).

They might be better described as plenipotentiary representatives of their Sixths.

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

Although Belintar did appoint governors to the Sixths of Kethaela as per the reference material, I think it clear that the God Learner framework didn't work out.  For example, the governors are supposed to handle the civil governance of Kethaela while military matters are handled by the Duke.  Yet the list of the Governors of Heortland in History of the Heortling Peoples has many fighting battles left, right and centre with no mention of any Duke of Heortland who would be expected to do the fighting.  Since Belintar's authority derives from himself rather than any God Learner bureacracy, it seems to me that he started out with a bureacracy first and was content to let things evolve.

IIRC there were significantly more than six dukes responsible for the musters of the Holy Country. In case of Heortland with its recalcitrant elements, the positions of duke and governor may have been held in personal union much of the time. Tatius occupies a similar dual position as governor general and Dean of the Field School after axing Fazzur (admittedly in a different hierarchy).

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

The Governors have been prominent in Heortland because it was a useful device to gain the allegiance of the Esvulari.  Later some Governors have also become Kings in order to gain allegiance from the non-Esvulari.  

The first governor ("Zombie King" Andrin) demanded his position as king back from the rebels. I would guess that it was predominantly non-Heortlings who relied on the title of governor rather than on that of King/Queen.

5 hours ago, metcalph said:

The Governor of God Forgot is probably the Talar.  Governors exist in Esrolia, the Rightarm Isles and the Shadow Plateau but the post is largely ceremonial.  Why the ruler of Caladraland feels the need to proclaim himself King and Governor is an interesting question (Before the Guide, I would have thought to obtain the respect of the cult of Caladra and Aurelion but they don't seem to be quite so prominent as previously assumed). 

I would guess that the Vinavale would give greater honor to the governor title while the High Temple has protocols/rites which fit the king (formerly "president") of Calardaland. No political leader can control the High Temple, but the Low Temple might be made to listen.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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16 hours ago, metcalph said:

Governors exist in Esrolia, the Rightarm Isles and the Shadow Plateau but the post is largely ceremonial.

Taking some comments out of order here. 

Yes, Governor of Esrolia is largely ceremonial.  Whatever Belintar initially tried to do in Esrolia got co-opted by the Esrolian Grandmothers.  And once Bruvala became Reverend Grandmother, there was no doubt about who ruled Esrolia (except in those gaps where there wasn't a Reverend Grandmother).

16 hours ago, metcalph said:

Surely they would be more likely to be Queen of Esrolia rather than the Queen of Nochet?

I don't think so, any more than the ranking priest of Orlanth at the Wind Temple is King of Sartar.  Yes, she will rule Ezel as a city with the help of the local and powerful Enfranchised Houses.  But given Ezel's central religious position including Sacred Home, the Queen of Ezel will have even more religious duties to perform including serving in Ernalda's capacity as granting sovereignty over Esrolia to the most capable political Queen (usually that of Nochet).

10 hours ago, Joerg said:

What makes you think that the authority of the Queen-Priestess of Ezel is limited to Esrolia?

And it likely isn't from a religious standpoint.  She is in effect at the top of the Ernalda religious pyramid.

16 hours ago, metcalph said:

I'll have to question your statement that Hendira is Governor of Esrolia.

With Reverend Grandmother Valinyr dead (or, IMO, that she IS Belintar), then Hendira, Queen of Nochet, was the logical choice for the Esrolian Grandmothers to recommend to Belintar to serve in that capacity, along with her capacity as Queen of Esrolia. 

16 hours ago, metcalph said:

I think it clear that the God Learner framework didn't work out.

It really depends on the particular Sixth, but in the Esrolian case, power went back to the Esrolian Grandmothers and their selected representatives.

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

As of 1621-1624, there are four earth factions whose leaders have claims on the title. Hendira of the Red Earth faction maintains the title as Queen of Nochet and former hexarch of Belintar, but her authority is eroded away by the other three factions.

Three factions:  Red Earth, Old Earth, Warm Earth.  Red Earth is weakened by the Great Winter and Samastina's coup, and destroyed in 1624 at the Battle of Pennel.  After that it is Samastina and the Old Earth vs. Demivierge and the Warm Earth.  At least until 1627.

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Traditionally the Queen of Nochet - the survival site for the majority of the Esrolians into the Grey/Silver Age, at least after their return from the Obsidian Palace - is also Queen of Esrolia

Yes, with some exceptions for Rhigos rule in the 3rd Age when Rhigos dominated the western trade and Nochet was weak.

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