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Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 9 - Deep Discussion


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4 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

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 minutes ago, David Scott said:

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.

The land, i.e. top surface of the Earth cube, certainly existed.  So by the cube coming into existence, so too the manifestation of the land.  But I do think these divide and sub-divide.  One surface may give way to four quarters to some additional set (and likely not the nice numerical ordering that Yelm or Zzabur or Mostal would prefer).  There's no real death in this period, so the land goddesses exist and multiply, but the Dividing Familyland story from the Esrolia book strongly suggests that competing claims over the land increased.  Kero Fin created a mountain and the land around was hers.  Ketha walked her land and that was hers.  Etc.  We don't know Envora (Envorela) or Mavora (Mavorela) but those became drowned lands.  Were they land goddesses who took Sea lovers, or who were taken and destroyed by the ravaging Sea gods, or who invited chaos to marry and cross their land to the Spike?  Other or all? 

I think it goes to the stories you want to tell. 

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

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.

The Land Goddesses are old.  I think devolutions of Gata is correct.  As Genert and the other Earth father's name them, they become aware of their potential and come into existence.  They don't become another, though they might give rise to a daughter who is some part/piece of them and they retire.  But otherwise they either continue to exist (e.g. Ketha, Kero Fin), are lost/destroyed (e.g. Envora, Mavora), or in one known instance move (Kylera and her floating land).

As for the Goddess Switch, it seems likely that the sorcerers would try to prove that two daughters of an original land goddess both devolve from that land goddess, hence can be swapped for each other.  And then things snapped back into place, and one rolled over.

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18 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

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.

Something else to consider is the ancient war of the Giants and the Dragons, which we know almost nothing about.  Was the eastern male Earth actually a dragon???  Was the western male Earth hidden within the Earth or in the Black Camp, or was he dismembered by dragons and 'stitched' back together in a new form by Mostal,...?  All entirely speculative, of course.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

When did Tada become a trickster?

When he hid Eiritha from Death. He tricked Death.

All ruling gods have a Trickster element to their myths. It is a necessary component. Here are a few examples:

Yelm tricked the White Queen when he "solved her problem", ending up as the new ruler of the world.

Orlanth went to become the surrogate husband of Ernalda during his exile under another name.

Orlanth used Death in the contest of weapons rather than demonstrating prowess.

Tada raised the Eiritha Hills to send Death away without bothering to check on Eiritha. And he didn't join Genert when Genert summoned all the forces of his Garden to fight the advancing Chaos Horde.

Genert himself had his slain body eaten by Hyena, depriving Chaos of horribly mutating and subverting it.

Pamalt created the Necklace in order to escape Vovisibor's power by cheating.

 

At times, being a Trickster is necessary to maintain the world, or to move it to the next (st)age. And at times it doesn't do to give all of this to one of the professional trickstes (such as hyena, raven, the carrot god, or Eurmal).

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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9 minutes ago, Joerg said:

All ruling gods have a Trickster element to their myths. It is a necessary component. Here are a few examples:

One trick doesn't make you a trickster or even give you a trickster aspect (unless you are a one trick pony). Why do you believe it's a necessary component?

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

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

I see a silhouette of a divine-sized earth cow. And I couldn't say whether the earth that forms the hills is not Eiritha's body but some random soil piled up upon her. (Soil of her body, the land, after all.)

While wielding a spade is a surprisingly recurring theme in Praxian myth (Waha digging the Good Canal - an irrigation feat directly inherited from the Tada-shi), this myth works just as well with Tada just telling Eiritha where and how to lay down, and what to present to the approaching Death.

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

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

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.

She had distanced herself. Her daughters, the protectresses, were bridging this distance, and kept providing.

But then I still need to be shown that the Beast Riders were the Praxian civilization that Tada defended. I still see them as roaming the entirety of the Garden in the wake of Storm Bull, rather than having any permanent ties to the lands where they happened to enter the Grey Age, which are now on the record as their ancestral grazings. When Tada buried Eiritha, the plains of Prax were a Redwood savannah - a lot more open than an elf forest, but teeming with all kinds of vegetation. The ancestors of the beast riders must have maneuvered a flora that was man high. (Having to cross a maize field today in order to get to a pond where I had to draw water for the lab makes me appreciate the enormous change the beast riders have undergone after the loss of that kind of ecosystem).

Someone - possibly the Tada-shi - summoned Oakfed in the Great Darkness, whether as a weapon to burn away invading Chaos, or whether just as a desperate way to create warmth. The vegetation burned by this event may have been not so verdant any more.

1 hour ago, David Scott said:

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.

Yes, an iteration of the same myth, enough so that creative heroquesters could step over from the Ernalda version vs. Nontraya to the Eiritha version. But at the same time, a distinctly different myth, with different stakes, and a different antagonist. Possibly Basmol.

I wonder whether any more specific memory about this Death remains in Beast Rider or Oasis Folk lore. Tada still being active precludes this story occurring in the Greater Darkness. This seems like a Lesser Darkness event to me. Definitely prior to Earthfall, and possibly another factor that weakened Genert.

 

Land goddesses not remaining the same: Things change through the ages. Especially the beasts, but also the flora changes with the ages. All the bird-derived fauna of the Golden Age which replaced the reptilian fauna of the preceding Earth rulership mostly gave way to the mammalian storm fauna, and the accompanying plants changed with these elemental eras, too. Not all birds died out, but many did. Not all Sky Era plants died out, but many were replaced by Storm Era plants. And those were replaced or complemented with Darkness flora.

Grain is a fairly new concept. Possibly introduced when Sky covered Earth. The Land goddesses we know for Genertela are associated with grain. Their precedessors, now covered by more recent soil and geological activity, may have been associated with completely different plants, possibly going back to early ones being associated with mosses, ferns and horsetails, or even earlier ones of sedentary submerged flora when earth was still rising up through the primal ocean.

Godtime is Cyclical Time. Things are introduced, rule for a while, and fade out, or persist into the next cycle when the spotlight is stolen by a newly introduced theme. I don't see why Land Goddesses would be completely exempt from such developments.

Of course you could argue that Seshna of the mosses is identical to Seshna of the grains. Or she could be a new generation of land goddess, a daughter of Ernalda rather than of Gata, and whichever Earth King (which doesn't necessarily have to mean earth god) fathering her. Regions could be joined togher by other developments, or split into new ones, e.g. when Larnste planted the Rockwood mountains, or when the embyli encroached Pamalt's Veldt and he stopped them with the Fensi mountain chain (Tarmo, Mari). When the Storm Mountains separated Prax from Kethaela. When the flood released the lands in possibly new borders.

The topsoil changed, too. Eruptions spread volcanic ash. The advancing glacier produced loess. Tectonic quakes, whether through Maran's agency or through True Giants, may have tumbled through the upside of the land, and may have established a different face or goddess for roughly the same tract of land we have seen before. Dragons taking up substance from the land, or putting it down again when going to meditative sleep, is another source for sedimentary action in earlier cycles of the land.

The Golden Age cycle of Yelm's Emperorship is only the latest such cycle. There were other Golden Age cycles before, interspersed with Green Age transitions. We discussed this a bit for Week 7 and 8, but with this Land Goddess business the topic comes up again.

 

2 hours ago, David Scott said:

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.

Pelora and Mani and Ralia were one land before Larnste seeded the Rockwoods. There was an east-west conflict that got solved by creating a north/south separation, doubling the conflict parties, which may have been Elder Races like Aldryami and Mostali conflicting, or even Eldest Races like dragons/dragonewts and Elder Giants.

These changes may be seen as new generations of Land Goddesses or Earth Queens. The mother may be no longer identified with Ga/Gata but possibly with Asrelia or Ernalda, and the Earth King doesn't necessarily have to be Genert. Vestkarthen will do for Asrelia for parenting that cycle's replacement land goddesses. Not necessarily replacing all goddesses in any given cycle.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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39 minutes ago, David Scott said:

One trick doesn't make you a trickster or even give you a trickster aspect (unless you are a one trick pony).

A lot of trickster faces are one trick ponies.

And Yelm instituting his court rituals may have been a trick to impose this brand of stagnation.

39 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Why do you believe it's a necessary component?

There is no change without the Trickster, that's an old adage for Glorantha. And Larnste certainly is regarded as a Trickster by stagnation-lovers, and he has a set of myths which tell how he brought change as solution to a problem in a completely un-anticipated way - like the separation of Genertela through the Rockwoods - plus he has a myth when his intervention backfires badly (the footprint myth).

A ruler taking rule is a change. Since history is written by the victors, all these changes were changes to the better.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There is no change without the Trickster, that's an old adage for Glorantha.

And for heroic quests and myths in general.  Sometimes the trickster is the foe to overcome (trick the Trickster), sometimes the trickster is externalized (Orlanth bringing Eurmal on the LBQ), but in many cases it is the hero who must learn of and perform the deed. 

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

The Land Goddesses are old.  I think devolutions of Gata is correct.  As Genert and the other Earth father's name them, they become aware of their potential and come into existence.  They don't become another, though they might give rise to a daughter who is some part/piece of them and they retire.  But otherwise they either continue to exist (e.g. Ketha, Kero Fin), are lost/destroyed (e.g. Envora, Mavora), or in one known instance move (Kylera and her floating land).

A land that becomes sea bottom will still have something like a land goddess, but calling such a deity a grain goddess would be ludicrous.

Yes, older or completely non-grain land goddesses persist, like Ketha, Kero Fin(Tara/Velhara or Eiritha. They may be overlaid by other grain or land goddesses, of different maternity, as Earth cycles through its generations. (There are, after all, myths of Asrelia that have her as the young child or the fertile mother.)

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:
3 hours ago, David Scott said:

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.

Gata manifests physically as a giant block of Earth, and as a female goddess of the Celestial Court. These Celestial Court deities manifest as the prevalent life form. I can easily see an Early Sky Age when the deities in the palace atop the Spike manifested as avian deities.

We are talking pre-Death shifts of Cycles here, so there won't be Death. There may be fragmentation, or transformation, of the deity of a land without much change to the extent of that land.

We know that the lands changed through the cycles. The earliest surface manifestations of Gata were as sea bottom feeding the Ocean from within, with the Earth slowly rising up until it floated in a way that kept the upper face out of the water. These manifestations certainly are much different from the regional goddesses we are presented (Frona, Ralia, Pelora etc,)

Imagining Gata just as a giant block of Earth is just touching one leg of the elephant. There is a whole lot more to the primal earth, before the differentiation. And there are different expressions of the Land Goddesses, and there are Grain Goddesses that double as Land Goddesses, and those that don't, and Land Goddesses without the slightest Grain association. Everything else are God Learner dogmatic schematics - true for certain, carefully defined parameters, and all bets are off when a real system rather than this idealized construct is encountered.

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

As for the Goddess Switch, it seems likely that the sorcerers would try to prove that two daughters of an original land goddess both devolve from that land goddess, hence can be swapped for each other.  And then things snapped back into place, and one rolled over.

This is the perfect example for a truth while remaining within certain parameters, and utter bollocks when it comes to other aspects. Yes, one can impose a certain identity, and one can work magic from that, but that identity has to be limited. I don't think the experiment would have been that much of a disaster later on if the two goddesses hadn't been switched but their territories each expanded to also include that of the other goddess. There are examples of hierarchical land goddesses contained in one or several over-lands like the major regions, but also like ancient, no longer current polities/cultures). Ketha is such a case.

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:
1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

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.

Something else to consider is the ancient war of the Giants and the Dragons, which we know almost nothing about. 

This is an example of an earliest cycle, maybe not the earliest cycle, but definitely ancient. At least part of the time, the Earth must have left the Ocean, although there may have been numerous "bobbins" with the Ocean flooding all over the cube and the cube shaking this off again and again. These bobbings disappeared when Sky stepped forth from its womb deep below Gata and claimed the universe above both Ocean and Land. 

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Was the eastern male Earth actually a dragon??? 

Daruda is the bringer of dragonhood to Kralorelan history. Or Sekever, or Korgatsu. Neither Metsylä nor Shavayah were expressing themselves as dragons. Daruda did, confronting Sekever (and possibly Korgatsu( who did, too.

The eastern Male Earth God/Earth King could be one of their high gods, gods identified as dragons only in Kralorela.

 

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Was the western male Earth hidden within the Earth or in the Black Camp, or was he dismembered by dragons and 'stitched' back together in a new form by Mostal,...?  All entirely speculative, of course.

Ladaral sits slap-dash in the correct position to have assimilated that earth male.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

calling such a deity a grain goddess

I often wonder where our contacts with blue elves come from. More generally there seem to be multiple earth goddess systems at play here, some of which have a closer track to Aldrya -- the "grain" goddesses like Pela, the Rice Mother, etc. -- and some like the likita complex that don't. I don't know if Aldrya has a mother.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

A land that becomes sea bottom will still have something like a land goddess, but calling such a deity a grain goddess would be ludicrous.

And generally why the land goddesses are distinct (and older) than the grain goddesses who manifest the Plant Rune upon the Earth.

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Imagining Gata just as a giant block of Earth is just touching one leg of the elephant. There is a whole lot more to the primal earth, before the differentiation. And there are different expressions of the Land Goddesses, and there are Grain Goddesses that double as Land Goddesses, and those that don't, and Land Goddesses without the slightest Grain association. Everything else are God Learner dogmatic schematics - true for certain, carefully defined parameters, and all bets are off when a real system rather than this idealized construct is encountered.

Quite true.  I think in the case of Grain Goddesses doubling as Land Goddess it is likely that something has happened with the original Land Goddess.

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11 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Ernalda in some references with Flamal as her consort.

Good point. It's a delight to be alive in an era when the goddess complex is coming to life and so many hero(ine)quest revelations are in play, as though we were walking with Monrogh and Harmast into a deeper understanding of the world.

All of which gets me reopening the parallel narratives built into Fertility and modern Earth as well as my ongoing extended "travel and journey" through Plant. Fitting the "grain" goddesses into the the classic earth cycle pushes them into the Maiden Voria position when Ernalda already occupies Mother. That's fine. Most crops only take a year from plow to scythe, so we literally keep getting older while the girls stay the same age. But the field is not the forest. The Rivals who fight over Aldrya may not be the Rivals we tend to acknowledge in places like Garhound. Falamal may dominate a more archaic generation of the cycle than Genner, even though we now remember the story backward. 

In the bright light of day I'm facing the Frazerian enigma that Pela probably wasn't the original land goddess of Pelanda/Peloria. She's a grain goddess. Or if she is the reason we call that country Pelanda/Peloria, then Plant plays a deeper role in land goddess succession than we may have initially suspected. But if we follow the Plant side of the story then the "grower" mythos dominates. Where in Glorantha does that myth come from? In that version, Aldrya's mother travels under the sign of the hourglass instead of the square. Maybe in Peloria she was Oo-eria, who appears all over the Wall in various phases. But the forests were exterminated up there so it's hard to say.

[Aldrya and the Rivals, Arroin, Zorak Zoran, the Hill of Gold, "Falamalio," the Two Brothers cult, where is "Genner" in all of this? -- cut for sanity]



 

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15 hours ago, jajagappa said:
15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I don't know if Aldrya has a mother.

Ernalda in some references with Flamal as her consort.

Cults of Prax, Aldrya cult:

Quote

Flamal was a god of bright potentials bursting within him. He is called by many names, and known by many races, but for the beings who rule in the forests he is the Father of Seeds. Among those he knew his most beloved was Ernalda, who was turned bountiful by the meeting with him. They had a child, and her name was Aldrya.

 

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9 hours ago, scott-martin said:

the Frazerian enigma that Pela probably wasn't the original land goddess of Pelanda/Peloria

Don't forget Pelora, who may not be the same as Pela. ;-)

And then in the Saird region, there was Riyesta who you'll find noted on p.335 (one of my contributions) an Earth Mother who married Kemar the Seed Father (and noted as commonly associated with Ernalda and Flamal, though may be part of something older).  Or a bit further east bordering Balazar there was Balurga, a local earth goddess, with her husband/son Verhil as noted on p.711.  (I had a whole varied Sairdic myth cycle built up for my Verenmars Saga)

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Warning God Learner Project ahead!

It shouldn't be to difficult to plot these on an overal map of the north and south continents. There are maps available on Glorantha.com that are open to use.

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On 8/22/2017 at 11:37 PM, 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.

In my Genertela, the Land Goddesses are daughters of Genert and another Earth Goddess. So, the major ones are daughters of Gata and Genert, minor ones are daughters of the major ones and Genert, very minor ones are the daughters of minor ones and Genert. So, Pela, goddess of Peloria, is a daughter of Genert and Gata, Dorasta is a daughter of Genert and Pela, but Dorasta has no smaller land goddesses.

One of the differences in the Earth Goddess, I think, is the divide between the Land Goddesses, daughters of a Goddess and Genert, and the Earth Mothers, daughters of other Goddesses parthogenically. So, Asrelia, Ty Kora Tek, Ernalda, Maran Gor, , Voria and Babeester Gor are descended from Gata in one way and Kralora, Penta, Pela, Seshnela and Esrola are daughters of Gata and Genert. The Land Goddesses have inherited Genert's physical body, of the land beneath our feet. The Earth Mothers have inherited the life and death powers of the Earth.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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5 hours ago, soltakss said:

One of the differences in the Earth Goddess, I think, is the divide between the Land Goddesses, daughters of a Goddess and Genert, and the Earth Mothers, daughters of other Goddesses parthogenically.

That's a reasonable approach.  I'd probably allow for sons of Genert and Land Goddesses to also be consorts of the lesser Land Goddesses - and such descent should lead to the varied nymphs of meadows, hills, vales, etc.

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