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Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 8 - Major Pantheons


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p150  Vase illustration.  Ty Kora Tek has snakes for hair which is news to me (suggests Pelorian influence via Annara Gor).  Lhankor Mhy does not have his hands raised which seems quite rude in the context.

p151.  Teleos is called the Pirate Isle.  Well, it was before the Closing but there's a distinct lack of pirates there today.  Nor is there much mention of any sea worship.  

Anecdote: In the original Gods of Glorantha from whence the text comes, the "their" in the statement "Their religion urges a struggle of life against Darkness, but accepts a final unity with the mystical currents of the world" had a rare double typo which left me wanting to know more about the Tehri.  

p153.  Vith's Runes (Fire, Infinity, Fire) made me understand that the identification of Vith with Aether was still current which was a huge help for me in understanding the Vithelan mythos.  Vayobi has a motion rune which is unusual for the Dragon of War.

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Just a deep dive compare and contrast into changing Runic associations of deities, so we can not what has changed:

Kygor Litor gains the Spirit Rune. 

Argan Argar in RQ3 was described as having Communications and Darkness runes, with Mastery and Harmony as secondary. Here the Mastery association is promoted to primary status, the Harmony association lost. 

The Guide doesn't use the Malign Earth rune, so Babeestor Gor and Maran Gor are given the normal Earth Rune. 

Old Man and Old Woman has the same Runes as Daka Fal, I think we can assume that we have multiple names for animist ancestor worship that is pretty much the same. The same runes, Man and Spirit, since RQ2 era, the only change being the clarification in the RQ3 era that this is the source of the Man Rune. 

Sedenya was referred to as the Red Goddess in Gods of Glorantha (wow, we didn't even know her real name then), same Runes though. 

Etyries is no longer given the Movement Rune. 

Mostal gains the Law Rune.

Pamalt gains the Earth rune. Quite surprising to me now that he didn't have it in GoG. 

Waha has changed quite a bit - Beast Man Death in RQ2 and GoG, Mastery Death in the Guide. David, any comments?

Storm Bull/Urox -  another that has change a bit, but even more notable because they created a Rune to do so, Eternal Battle. Its interesting how the 'special rune for everybody' trend came and went with HW, but Storm Bull is one of the few that kept his (apart from the variant animal runes). He has Beast Storm Death in RQ2 and RQ3 GoG, and Eternal Battle and Storm in the Guide. 

Yelm another notable change - in Gods of Glorantha, Yelm had Life and Death and Fire. Now he has Stasis and Mastery and Fire. I think this is interesting - both that the contradictory nature of life and death was given to Yelm as well as the Sedenya back then, and contradictory runes is something we now associate with mysticism/Illumination. 

And that we might now associate the Life and Death powers of Yelm with other, minor, deities that might be regarded as sub-cults of associated cults. The vastly greater knowledge of Yelm we have now (post GRoY) has significantly changed the understanding of the God. 

Yelmalio - note the Light Rune hadn't been invented yet for Cults of Prax. But his runes have remained unchanged since it was. 

Dendara has changed from Earth and Light to Harmony and Light. Again, our understanding has changed significantly since GoG, and Dendara is now much more explicitiy a celestial deity. The various spells dealing with not just gnomes, but also domestic animals, now seem quite inappropriate (probably moved to Oria). 

Lodril had Disorder and Heat in GoG, and has Disorder, Fire and Life in the Guide. The runic attributions in the Guide seem to have thoroughly embraced Light, but use no other sub-elemental runes. I'm not quite sure of the implications of this, and to be honest don't see much sense in using one but not the others. The addition of Life makes Lodrils fertility role vital. I'll add that, as I've just been rereading the Entekosiad, that the Disorder rune makes it very clear how Lodril and Turos differ, as Turos, despite the many similarities with Lodril, is quite clearly a god of civic order. 

Odayla - interesting that he is given slightly different runes here than in the writeup in the Sartar Companion - Air and Beast, rather than Air and Bear. I tend to take this as tacit admission that the runic attributions in the Guide may conceal important detail, rather than a change in the cult. 

Ty Kora Tek - again, not the Malign Earth but the plain Earth in the Guide, a change from GoG. 

Zorak Zoran - he gained his Disorder Rune back in the RQ3 era, but had only Death and Darkness in RQ2

Black Sun - Shadow and Illusion becomes Darkness and Illusion, another case of removing a sub-elemental rune. 

Bagog loses the Man rune, retaining Beast and Chaos. Back in the RQ2 era, had the Darkness rune as well. 

Krarsht changes significantly, going from the Chaos plus Hunger/Unlife to Chaos plus Stasis. This may in part be a change in association of the Unlife Rune to no longer be associated with Hunger generally? Stasis is an interesting choice, presumably because Krarsht is a parasite on, but a preserver of, social order? Her association with a range of Runes, including Movement, Stasis, Death and Disorder was mentioned in Lords of Terror. 

Mallia - in RQ2, the association of Mallia with Chaos wasn't 100% - it associated her with Chaos only 'when worshipped by broos'. She seems stuck with it now. 

Vivamort - in RQ2, had an association with Darkness, which he has lost retaining only Chaos and Undeath. So, are there any non-Chaotic uses of the Undeath rune now (yes, I know ZZ has zombies, but not usually associated with the Rune

Lhankor Mhy - interesting that LM has the same runes (Law and Truth) way back in RQ3 era, before the association of Law with Sorcery was explicit and before LM used sorcery. Prior to that it was Truth and Stasis, one of the very few Stasis rune cults in RQ2. Interesting this reflects a mythic change as well - in Cults of Prax, LM was a son of Mostal. 

Other interesting runic assocaitions:

Vith - like Peter, I find the confirmation that Vith is still considered Aether useful (enlightening, even). 

That Yara Aranis is given Earth is interesting. I had no idea. The Glowline seems very much a celestial and middle air phenomenon. 

Dendara and Halisayan both have the same runes, and are both Imperial Wives. 

Metsyla is Nysalor minus the Chaos. 

 

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Faranar is given weather and rain associations in one version of the Naming in Revealed Mythologies. I've gone back and forth on this a bit (because how many earth goddesses does one pantheon need? The Doraddi seem to have even more than the Esrolians), but I think I now see this as incorrect, and the Earth attribution in the Guide as correct. 

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Regarding changes and differences in the way runes are assigned to gods, see an older thread, where I had a similar issue with Flamal and his runes:

On 30.4.2016 at 10:21 AM, Oracle said:

While preparing a new HeroQuest Glorantha character for a new player, who wants to use Flamal as his patron deity I've run into the issue, that the runes given for this god differ depending on the source book you're using:

  • Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, p. 106 - a rune, which could be read as Aldrya but probably should be Plant, Life
  • Guide to Glorantha, Vol. I, p. 150 - Plant, Infinity, Plant
  • HeroQuest Glorantha, p. 141 - Plant, Harmony, Plant

Which rune combination is the correct one to use (in a HeroQuest context)? Although the Guide of Glorantha should be the definite source if in doubt, I tend to use the HeroQuest Glorantha version (besides other reasons because it is the latest publication). But I would like to get some confirmation (from an official source would be greatly appreciated :)).

One of Jeff's answers was:

On 30.4.2016 at 11:56 AM, Jeff said:

The God Learners would say Plant, Harmony, Plant. The cult in Sartar for HQG purposes uses magic based on Plant and Harmony.

and

On 30.4.2016 at 4:49 PM, Jeff said:

Shoot, I typed too fast - Plant, INFINITY, Plant. Don't let me type on four hours sleep.

So it seems, that the view a cult has regarding a respective god may have an influence on the assigned runes ...

Edited by Oracle
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1 hour ago, Oracle said:

So it seems, that the view a cult has regarding a respective god may have an influence on the assigned runes ...

I tend to agree with you on this one, as I loved Terry Pratchett's 'Small Gods', and see similar parallels within Glorantha, as regards worshippers 'shaping' their Deities. 

Consider Monrogh, the Elmali Companion of Duke Dorasar of Sartar/New Pavis who had the Revelation that his God was not Elmal, But Yelmalio. Elmal's runes are Fire/Sky and Truth. Yelmalio's are Light and Truth.

Those Elmali who 'converted' to Yelmalio must have lost access to their Fire magics when they became Yelmalions, losing Fire and 'gaining' Light magics instead.

One way round this might require 'The Hill of Gold' Heroquest to be (re)enacted with success against Zorak Zoran, (I think), in which case the Heroquest 'Challenger' would/could regain access to Yelmalio's lost Fire magics. Invictus of the Praxian Sun Dome Temple, has a Fire Rune in Pavis:GTA, as a consequence of this Heroquest, if I remember correctly.

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1 hour ago, Oracle said:

Solar Pantheon

So Yelmalio is Lightfore? (At least from a God Learner's point of view ... ;))
That's new for me ...

Covered later on page 647. Not a Godlearner POV

-----

Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

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10 hours ago, Brian McReynolds said:

One way round this might require 'The Hill of Gold' Heroquest to be (re)enacted with success against Zorak Zoran, (I think), in which case the Heroquest 'Challenger' would/could regain access to Yelmalio's lost Fire magics. Invictus of the Praxian Sun Dome Temple, has a Fire Rune in Pavis:GTA, as a consequence of this Heroquest, if I remember correctly.

I think Yelmalion communities have a different idea about the Hill of Gold Heroquest. We always think of it as "ooh, wouldn't it be good to regain our lost powers" but I suspect for them it is a necessary sacrifice, and I suspect it forms the center of their Sacred Time rituals: you endure the hardships of the quest to renew the world. It kind of chimes with their Spartan outlook.

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On 19/08/2017 at 0:53 PM, Dogboy said:

I think Yelmalion communities have a different idea about the Hill of Gold Heroquest. We always think of it as "ooh, wouldn't it be good to regain our lost powers" but I suspect for them it is a necessary sacrifice, and I suspect it forms the center of their Sacred Time rituals: you endure the hardships of the quest to renew the world. It kind of chimes with their Spartan outlook.

No disagreement here. I totally agree with your point about it being a necessary sacrifice, however, in the case of Invictus at least, he must've done something differently, as evidenced by his Fire Rune instead of Light. The precedent seems to be there as a possibile end result which was not 'expected'.

Whether it would be seen as a successful Heroquest is another matter

Edited by Brian McReynolds
Failed 'Read/Write English' skill check!
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