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Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 9 - Deep Discussion


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This is the Deep Discussion thread for Week 9 - Feel free to speculate, move away from the Guide section under discussion and into other related areas.

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/6664-guide-to-glorantha-group-read-week-9/

 

Edited by David Scott

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Taking this here because we're starting to draw on the rest of the Guide here:

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

As much as the other gods and goddesses of the Earth. He was a part of the Earth. Likely he had a huge palace in Hrelar Amali as befitted the primary Earth god of the continent. 

Ok. Define "continent" in the Golden Age, before Neliom invaded. Do we have a north/south divide only, or do we have a quartering of the world into the four magical principles?

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Seshna is one of the land Goddesses so a daughter of Gata and Genert.

She is one of the land goddesses, so she is a daughter of Gata and the Earth King. I was asking whether that Earth King was Genert, or whether this was a similar case to Britha, who has no recognizable relation to either Genert or Pamalt.

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

All of the Earth came from Gata. So likely is Britha.

No disagreement here. And Britha likely is a daughter of the Earth King Erasanchula. The question is whether either Bamat or Genner are recognized as such, or whether some other deitiy might be pushed into a (possibly optional) father role, such as Flamal or Ladaral.

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Remember, other people's may have different origin stories for something, so britha may have a different origin for them. All mythology is correct, even the conflicting stuff. 

Yes - that's why I think your argumentation is the interpretation of the Paps, maybe of Ezel, but not necessarily of the Temple in Old Seshnela.

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Genert's fertility is applicable to the whole northern continent up until his death,

Again - what are the boundaries of that continent? I did allow the Gerendetho identification, with Gerendetho a non-Lodrilic deity.

Turos is a Lodrilic deity. Probably a most refined one, minus much of the sloth, rebellion and lack of self-control. (Much, but far from all.)

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Tada is the personification of that power, he lived adjacent to Genert's palace, but his power was not limited to his personification.

You managed to confuse me about Tada rather than clarify his role.

I tend to see Tada as the (slightly) human avatar of the Earth King.

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Tada likely had as many palaces as Genert across the land. Genert clearly devolved (had children) his power into other forms and likely so did Tada. Don't confuse the personification with the power.

Ok. Please get your point across in some better structure.

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

The Earth's mythology is much more extensive and far reaching than what we see in the third age. Much of it has been lost due to its destruction through chaos, so you've got to think bigger.  The Earth's mythology is very straightforward, all of the Earth is gata and her daughters, regardless of what others say. 

There is an extensive Earth period that was disrupted by the usurpation of the Sky.

Earth probably was the first element that produced a definitely male expression, the Earth Son/Earth King. While both Darkness and Sea produce sexual offspring, for Darkness Fatherhood is a new-fangled invention that entered their perception only after leaving Wonderhome, and the Seas have gender fluidity. The Earth Son is the first male only elemental deity.

Still, the Earth Son appears to be less apart (separated) than Ganesatarus in the equivalent First Male story opposing Uleria. (Ganesatarus = Kargan Tor?), never quite leaving the embrace of the mother/wife. (Is that the role of Tada - activity outside of that embrace?)

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Turos's origins are clear on the gods wall. III-1. Gerendetho Lord of the Earth, is clearly one of Gata and Genert's sons.

Another word for "an aspect of Genert".

The Earth Walkers haven't left much of their myth, and too much of that has been transferred to Lodril-type deities.

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Gethendetho is one of the gods that the Sables on the hungry plateau worship for his connection to Tada and Genert. 

Gerendetho, I assume - or did they introduce an aspect of the goat-herding Earth Walker?

 

The Earth King effect on fertility appears to be somewhat contradictory, too. If I look to Pamaltela, I find that the Veldt fails to support immigrant fauna worse than the dead ecology of Prax. The combination of dead Genert and hostile Eiritha is less harmful to horses than the lush vegetation of Pamaltela (I assume in addition to imported grain fodder).

 

Genert died, but the area affected was limited to the area between the Shan Shan and the Rockwoods. Gerendetho's lands are fine, except for the plateau exposed when he beheaded the mountain that towered above the stump of the Hungry Plateau, creating a surface that had never had aspects of fertile earth but of solid stone. So basically Gerendethlia and the lands beyond never experienced the death of Genert.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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50 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Genert died, but the area affected was limited to the area between the Shan Shan and the Rockwoods.

This is a great point. I wonder if it bears a tiny tweak:

When Genert died and was not replaced in the great rite of the year husbands, the "waste land" that resulted was such and such.

Edited by scott-martin
the tweak tweaked
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Genert didn't just die, he was mauled by Chaos before disappearing himself. We can consider ourselves lucky that we know as much about Genert as we do (which is a lot more than we have about Yamsur or Seolinthur).

Rebirth in the great rite - the ritual of the net?

Genert of the Garden hid his remains so that they couldn't be tampered with - not by Wakboth, not by Arachne Solara, not while hyena hides his parts.

 

What do we have to make out of the absence of Tada from the Battle of Earthfall? Especially if Tada is an integral manifestation of Genert's major power?

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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10 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Genert didn't just die, he was mauled by Chaos . . .  lucky that we know as much about Genert as we do . . . hid his remains . . . hyena.

What do we have to make out of the absence of Tada from the Battle of Earthfall? Especially if Tada is an integral manifestation of Genert's major power?

Undoubtedly swimming out too far from shore here but again reversing the causal relationships (myth allows us to do that in ways history doesn't) a different story plays out in which the absence of Tada triggers the disintegration of the golden age. The king of the north corner fails "because" fire season always gives way to the harvest and then the dark. When the northern kings are separated from Tada the land requires a sacrifice and the king must die. Normally the land takes a new husband. This time, the cycle failed. 

Perhaps another way to tell this story is to name Genert's queen and who her husband is now.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ok. Define "continent" in the Golden Age, before Neliom invaded. Do we have a north/south divide only, or do we have a quartering of the world into the four magical principles?

Guide page 681, Golden Age Map. Draw a line from the Black Camp of Introspection to the Yellow Camp of Enlightenment. The Earth above this line is predominantly the Genertelan Land Goddesses, Below this Pamaltan. Things moved around later, so it wasn't so clear cut. Generts Garden and Pamalt's fields mark the "home turf" of the Male Earth Gods. Pamela got the pool, while Genert got the pointy up bits.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

She is one of the land goddesses, so she is a daughter of Gata and the Earth King. I was asking whether that Earth King was Genert, or whether this was a similar case to Britha, who has no recognizable relation to either Genert or Pamalt.

Any male Earth aspect is the Earth King / Genert / Pamalt. It is possible that other later land goddesses had different fathers, but not at the moment.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes - that's why I think your argumentation is the interpretation of the Paps, maybe of Ezel, but not necessarily of the Temple in Old Seshnela.

At this point in time the three Great Earth Temples were all pretty much the same, just emphasising different aspects of Gata and her children. There was no real separation at this point. The Paps wasn't called the Paps but some older name likely translatable as "Home of the Great Earth Mother and her King" and was at the site of Genert's Palace. When Eiritha was buried, her grave was like a necropolis outside the gates of the main complex. Only when the Palace was destroyed did the Paps take over. It's only really an annexe. The separation between Hrelar, Ezel and the Garden Temple only came later in the Great Darkness (and with the souther centres). All now have pieces of the story. 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Tada is the personification of that power, he lived adjacent to Genert's palace, but his power was not limited to his personification.

You managed to confuse me about Tada rather than clarify his role.

I tend to see Tada as the (slightly) human avatar of the Earth King.

Tada is Generts fertility/son. In terms of the Godlearners he is the anthpromorphic form of Genert's fertility and his son. He is both Genert's genitals and his son/fertility, he is young Genert with the Earth goddesses making the Earth Fertile while Genert is the wise old man (see the Waha counter in Nomad Gods).. 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Genert died, but the area affected was limited to the area between the Shan Shan and the Rockwoods.

That's because it was his personal demesne, there was no land goddess of his lands. At least no acknowledged one. Other gods took over his fertility role at the dawn.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Tada likely had as many palaces as Genert across the land. Genert clearly devolved (had children) his power into other forms and likely so did Tada. Don't confuse the personification with the power.

Ok. Please get your point across in some better structure.

Tada was acknowledged across all of Genertela. He was Genert's fertility. All aspects of Male Earth Power and Fertility at this time were Tada or Genert himself. 

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2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Perhaps another way to tell this story is to name Genert's queen and who her husband is now.

That's the problem. The queen was Gata, he is arthur and tada is launcelot. There is no daughter in Prax. That's a major plot hook for Samastina arriving at the Paps with Argrath - she has the story of the daughter who was sent away - and knows who the real father is.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

What do we have to make out of the absence of Tada from the Battle of Earthfall? Especially if Tada is an integral manifestation of Genert's major power?

He's not integral, he is a part of Genert but separate. Genert had many parts. Hyena is one of them.

 

Edited by David Scott

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Do we have a north/south divide only, or do we have a quartering of the world into the four magical principles?

We know very little about the division of the surface Earth other than the two continents Genertela and Pamaltela (and their respective male Earth deities Genert and Pamalt), and the fragmentary continents Luathela and Vithela.  Vith is Aether, so can't count as an Earth deity of the Green Age, though perhaps that area is where Light first arose and separated from the Earth?

Did the rise of male Earth figures in each quarter correspond to a separation of four approaches to the Earth?

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Given the Glorantha Sourcebook, I'm pretty much of the opinion that Genert's influence extended right across the continent and that Brilliantia (from the Eleven Lights) and Genert's Garden are much reduced forms of it in the Golden and Storm Ages respectively.   A productive exercise would be to go through the mythologies and see who is most like Genert.  In the Entekosiad this might be KoCharal while among the Ralians, he could be Utriam (Guide p373).  In many places Genert has been replaced (by Yelm, Orlanth, the Dragons and the Malkioni) and and eventually forgotten

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9 hours ago, David Scott said:

Guide page 681, Golden Age Map. Draw a line from the Black Camp of Introspection to the Yellow Camp of Enlightenment. The Earth above this line is predominantly the Genertelan Land Goddesses, Below this Pamaltan. Things moved around later, so it wasn't so clear cut. Generts Garden and Pamalt's fields mark the "home turf" of the Male Earth Gods. Pamela got the pool, while Genert got the pointy up bits.

Good point about that pool - it never gets explained, and then disappears.

In a way, I trust that Golden Age map the least. It shows the height of the Solar Empire, corresponding to tablet five in the Copper Tablets. Male Earth has already been corrupted by Lodril's fire.

18 hours ago, David Scott said:

Any male Earth aspect is the Earth King / Genert / Pamalt. It is possible that other later land goddesses had different fathers, but not at the moment.

So basically you say that the land goddesses precede the Brighteye putsch, and have remained stable until the Goddess Switch, and that all land goddesses north of the Spike are daughters of Genert.

18 hours ago, David Scott said:

At this point in time the three Great Earth Temples were all pretty much the same, just emphasising different aspects of Gata and her children. There was no real separation at this point.

Which point in Godtime are we talking about - Yelm's reign? 

18 hours ago, David Scott said:

The Paps wasn't called the Paps but some older name likely translatable as "Home of the Great Earth Mother and her King" and was at the site of Genert's Palace.

So basically the Paps was a place of exile after Tada had hidden Eiritha from the invading Death early in the Storm Age.

18 hours ago, David Scott said:

When Eiritha was buried, her grave was like a necropolis outside the gates of the main complex.

I used to understand the formation of the Eiritha Hills as Eiritha retreating underground, providing her fertility blessings from hiding rather than from striding the Garden. Not a total loss of fertility, only a blessing at much greater distance. Talking about her grave makes this a yawn-inducing minor aspect of the "She is not dead, she is sleeping" Ernalda myth (which has a burial ceremony rather than hiding her away from Nontraya).

I think this belittles Tada's role as good trickster.

18 hours ago, David Scott said:

Only when the Palace was destroyed did the Paps take over. It's only really an annexe. The separation between Hrelar, Ezel and the Garden Temple only came later in the Great Darkness (and with the souther centres). All now have pieces of the story. 

So basically all these temples were mere surface exits of Ernalda's (or her grandmother's) palace in the deep but living earth, analogous to the Castles of Lead?

I know that the Age before the usurpation of Brightface wasn't exactly an age where individuality was important, but I prefer cycles of repeating myths with individual, identifiable deities over a gloopy porridge of divine principles establishing other principles.

That's my problem with a near-universal Tada as well.

BTW, Tada's actions are rather similar to Pamalt's activities. Is Pamalt Genert's equal, or is he the Tada (the good trickster) of the South?

 

8 hours ago, jajagappa said:

We know very little about the division of the surface Earth other than the two continents Genertela and Pamaltela (and their respective male Earth deities Genert and Pamalt), and the fragmentary continents Luathela and Vithela.  Vith is Aether, so can't count as an Earth deity of the Green Age, though perhaps that area is where Light first arose and separated from the Earth?

I might be stuck in the Collision of Worlds thinking with the four independent realms of Genertela, Danmalastan, Pamaltela and Vithela joining together to form Glorantha. That approach suffered from the "strictly separate Otherworlds" dogma, though. Kralorela could be part of Vithela in this context, like Teshnos and Teleos. Jrustela, Slon and Brithos are the surviving bits of Danmalastan, whereas Luathela is one of the strange outgrowths into Sramak's River, not quite part of the Earth. But then much of Vithalash and the huge islands of Memb and Forng are outside of the Earth Cube surface, too. I think of them as coral-like growth out of the sides of the Earth Cube. The Slorifing Marsh that is shown to have extended into the southern shore of Sramak's River probably never was solid land but an overlay of floating vegetation granting some foothold for humanoid inhabitants.

 

8 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Did the rise of male Earth figures in each quarter correspond to a separation of four approaches to the Earth?

A theist, a sorcerous, an animist and a mystical approach?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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42 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So basically you say that the land goddesses precede the Brighteye putsch,

I don't understand the event you are referring to.

44 minutes ago, Joerg said:

and have remained stable until the Goddess Switch

Maybe, mythology isn't a science with hard facts. If we imagine Gata as a giant block of Earth and move away from her centre she devolves into her daughters at the surface. I can't see how they would be move. There's no plate tectonics here, perhaps land goddess ones. I don't see a large chunk of earth becoming another goddess unless I imagine one dying and a new one's soul/spirit rising up from her mother to fill the spiritual void. What they are called by surface dwellers will vary of course depending on their experience of contact and their personification.

52 minutes ago, Joerg said:

and that all land goddesses north of the Spike are daughters of Genert.

Again maybe. If we have to include a male element in the production of land goddesses, it would make sense that the norther ones are formed with the air of the northern male earth element.

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54 minutes ago, Joerg said:
19 hours ago, David Scott said:

At this point in time the three Great Earth Temples were all pretty much the same, just emphasising different aspects of Gata and her children. There was no real separation at this point.

Which point in Godtime are we talking about - Yelm's reign?

Up until the great Darkness.

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55 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So basically the Paps was a place of exile after Tada had hidden Eiritha from the invading Death early in the Storm Age.

Why a place of exile? who was exiled? The Paps was a temple to Eiritha. It's place where her people could contact her in the Earth.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

I used to understand the formation of the Eiritha Hills as Eiritha retreating underground,

No she was clearly buried and the earth piled up on her. The Nomad Gods map and the RQ2 map clearly show what happened.

599de4ae723ee_Mapeiritha.jpg.1acf6b236a1eef60782748a71c7f6783.jpgERQ2.png.f554f5f4f26d3ed2cada344a51bce666.png

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Not a total loss of fertility, only a blessing at much greater distance.

She was gone. Her daughters, the protectresses are the source of her power. As Cults of Prax shows us in the Earth write up - there are basically two forms of the cult - Paps Eiritha and Herd Eiritha.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Talking about her grave makes this a yawn-inducing minor aspect of the "She is not dead, she is sleeping" Ernalda myth (which has a burial ceremony rather than hiding her away from Nontraya).

Basically the same. When Yelm goes to the Underworld and the goddesses go with him Eiritha leaves the earth and enters the Goddesses Dream with her mother and siblings. She never returns to the surface and at the Dawn her power is through the Paps and her daughters.

Edited by David Scott
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1 hour ago, David Scott said:
2 hours ago, Joerg said:

So basically you say that the land goddesses precede the Brighteye putsch,

I don't understand the event you are referring to.

i.e. Yelm's coup (that is ascension) into position as the Emperor, ending the Green Age and beginning the Golden Age.

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1 minute ago, jajagappa said:

 

1 hour ago, David Scott said:
2 hours ago, Joerg said:

So basically you say that the land goddesses precede the Brighteye putsch,

 

i.e. Yelm's coup (that is ascension) into position as the Emperor, ending the Green Age and beginning the Golden Age.

Thanks.

Maybe, as the Earth preceeded the Sun. May be Gata had birthed all her daughter by then, maybe not. I'm not sure it really matters.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Did the rise of male Earth figures in each quarter correspond to a separation of four approaches to the Earth?

A theist, a sorcerous, an animist and a mystical approach?

Certainly Genert and Pamalt seem to show diffferent approaches to interacting with the world.  Why?  There must be some aspect to Gata generating at least two if not four distinct male Earth entities and perhaps these were born at the camps at the edges of the Earth cube.

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