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Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 11 - Esrolia


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10,000 is a lot of goddesses.

lets assume that it includes many minor earth goddesses, 2 dozen Ernalda sub-cults, 50 troll ancestors, 20 Kralorelan goddesses, a dozen Pamaltelan goddesses, etc and I'm still well over 9,000 goddesses short.....

I'm guessing many of the goddesses are either effectively names on huge lists of deities that aren't worshipped individually meaningfully (e.g. Lists of hundreds of earth elemental that protect specific sites), or notable ancestors declared deities after death (essentially, hero cults, but less dramatic - or like the 48 Old Ones of the Eiritha cult, but many more than 48 of them). Also quite likely that while the grain goddesses and domestic animal goddesses etc get all the press, there are goddesses for practically every species known. E.g. Voria ceremonies include the names of goddesses dedicated to every plant, especially every flower and berry and fruit, in spring. Goddesses for every individual healing herb, for every spice, every lumber tree.  Every species of bird has its goddess. There are goddesses of voles and hedgehogs and weasels. Sub-goddesses under Uralda etc for different breeds of domestic animal. Goddesses for different minerals invoked at Asrelia ceremonies. Goddesses under the land goddesses for different geographical features. 

I think its the Esrolian mode of religion. Ceremonies are long, and mention lots of names, and lots of statues, and show how important their major deities are by showing the big lists of deities that serve them. 

And, of course, its magically real - even if many of these deities are very minor, some no more than a powerful ancestor or an allied spirit level, being able to have hundreds of such beings appear at ceremonies is an advantage. And while huge specific lists of names are going to be used in a very different manner to Western sorcery (mostly), it's still a big magical advantage to be able to invoke deities that are very specific to the task at hand. 

Keeping track of such huge lists of divine beings (and related genealogies, especially  given the Esrolian presence of the dead) may even be one reason why Nochet is a lozenge wide center for the Lhankor Mhy cult. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, davecake said:

I think its the Esrolian mode of religion. Ceremonies are long, and mention lots of names, and lots of statues, and show how important their major deities are by showing the big lists of deities that serve them. 

Ernalda has at least 48 names alone (per Heortling Mythology), and likely more, not to mention other titles, temples, and shrines.  Then all the major earth deities (along with deities of hearth, home, hill and vale), and the land and grain goddesses, and the wild vegetation goddesses, river spirits and nymphs, dryads of the groves, etc.  And then all the 200 noble houses have ancestors who are likely worshipped sufficiently to be included in such lists.

I agree that the ceremonies will be long, lots of names, etc.  And of course by tradition, both exterior and interior walls of temples, palaces, homes, and other buildings are decorated (typically painted) with all the varied images and stories of said goddesses.

6 hours ago, davecake said:

Keeping track of such huge lists of divine beings (and related genealogies, especially  given the Esrolian presence of the dead) may even be one reason why Nochet is a lozenge wide center for the Lhankor Mhy cult. 

Not to mention all the offerings, tribute, etc. that are not only due to each, but have actually been presented to each over the course of 1600+ years (aside from those records lost to fire, flood, and the unmentionable theft).  Keeps the LM temples very busy!  (Not to mention all the sages and scribes who belong to the houses/clans throughout Esrolia.)

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4 hours ago, davecake said:

Noting also that one of reasons why e.g. The Delainen Hills are able to maintain fruits, nuts and spices found nowhere else in the world is likely that they have carefully preserved the worship rites of goddesses associated with them. 

This may be the home (or a remnant of it) of the goddesses Delaeo and Delaina. 

If you look at the map in Heortling Mythology p.62, you'll note both Ancient Dellen and Deleppo Heart.  These may also be connected with the Delainen Hills or the Del(...) goddesses.  They may have been from Ancient Dellen and joined the Downland Migration, bringing/planting their gifts in the Delainan Hills. 

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  • 4 years later...

Every now and then you pick up the Guide, open to a section, and suddenly discover a detail you never noticed before, like this one re: King Broyan on p.250.

"The king has an Air God as his ally and divine guardian. This manifests as the head tied to the king’s side; quiescent for now; when roused, it is a terrible spirit of storm and thunder".

 

BroyansAlly.jpg

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

 

"The king has an Air God as his ally and divine guardian. This manifests as the head tied to the king’s side; quiescent for now; when roused, it is a terrible spirit of storm and thunder".

Why nobody ever slandered Broyan as a Thanatari is beyond me...

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