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David Scott

Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 15 - Maniria Deep Discussion

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P352 -The mysterious Vathmai appear again.  They are described as Theyalan but are not one of the known Theyalan tribes.  Moreover making new tribes doesn't appear to be the done thing around 115 ST

P361 - I think the 100 Lakes near Swarz are the same as the High Pools first mentioned in the History of My Black Horse Troop.

Edited by metcalph

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14 hours ago, metcalph said:

P361 - I think the 100 Lakes near Swarz are the same as the High Pools first mentioned in the History of My Black Horse Troop.

Possible.  But based on the map on p.359, there's a series of small lakes just north of the Mislari Mountains below Ramor(?) Mountain.  Those would be much higher elevation than the 100 Lakes near Swarz and might have a better claim as the High Pools.   

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We don't get a Dawn Survival site for the Vathmai, but they aren't exactly unique in that regard. The Esvulari appear by the time of Aventus, but the only Dawn Survival site we get south of Whitewall/Ililbervor is Jon Barat/Talar Hold of the Ingareens.

The westernmost survival sites we get are the Ditali and the Harandings, the Harandings strangely as clients of the aldryami (where the local elf forest is mostly brown elves, and their former well-documented earlier relationship to the trolls - presumably of Halikiv - forgotten.

By the time the Vathmai wander west into Entruli lands, the Theyalan missionaries have been around for about a century, giving them ample time to be included in the quite inclusive term of Theyalans even if they were contacted only after the Dawn.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

We don't get a Dawn Survival site for the Vathmai, but they aren't exactly unique in that regard. The Esvulari appear by the time of Aventus, but the only Dawn Survival site we get south of Whitewall/Ililbervor is Jon Barat/Talar Hold of the Ingareens.

The Esvulari are descended from the Ingareens of Jon Barat obviously (whether through the Gansafvuli or the Denavuli is interesting but not relevant to the matter at hand).  What I find unusual about the Vathmai is that the tribe appears to have been created since the Dawn and are the only new Theyalan tribe known in that time.  There is a big difference between the Esvulari (who are first mentioned 400 plus years after the Dawn) and the Vathmai who a described as a tribe just over 100 years afterwards.  If the Vathmai were described as a clan or an Esrolian house *then* it wouldn't seem so strange.  But they are described as a Theyalan tribe.

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Possible.  But based on the map on p.359, there's a series of small lakes just north of the Mislari Mountains below Ramor(?) Mountain.  Those would be much higher elevation than the 100 Lakes near Swarz and might have a better claim as the High Pools.   

Except that Sir Ethilrist mentions the High Pools as a battle already fought while he was traversing the Mislari Mountains in a northwards direction (The actual text says to the Arrolian Properties but Greg was probably using an old map at the time)

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The Esvulari are descended from the Ingareens of Jon Barat obviously (whether through the Gansafvuli or the Denavuli is interesting but not relevant to the matter at hand). 

Not the current topic, but apart from a potential of this being true, we don't have solid evidence.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

What I find unusual about the Vathmai is that the tribe appears to have been created since the Dawn and are the only new Theyalan tribe known in that time.  There is a big difference between the Esvulari (who are first mentioned 400 plus years after the Dawn) and the Vathmai who a described as a tribe just over 100 years afterwards.  If the Vathmai were described as a clan or an Esrolian house *then* it wouldn't seem so strange.  But they are described as a Theyalan tribe.

A tribe can be as small as a triaty of three clans. I agree that there is little potential for the 500 non-Esrolian survivors on the Kethaelan border to spawn a tribe of 900-1200 people migrating westwards, especially since we have to assume that a significant (one digit) percentage of the Theyalans went off as missionaries, reducing the reproductive pool at a critical time.

That's why I think that they are a foundling tribe, composed of people awakened shortly after the Dawn, rather than already in the Silver Age. With three or four such foundling groups, a tribe could be formed. And with the zeal of recent converts, could migrate westward to spread the good news.

Any such foundling groups were "seeded" with Theyalans - Heortlings, mostly, perhaps a few Esvulari, Pelaskites or Aramites mixed in. These missionaries adopted the group into the Theyalan family while being adopted into the clans (and taking prominent roles in the emerging clans). Swelling a population of say 50 benighted cavemen with half a dozen missionaries could lead to a population explosion resulting in a 300 people clan by 100 S.T., possibly building a triaty relationship with two more such groups.

Apparently the Serpent Beast Society tribes kept slave populations, at least shortly after the Dawn, but quite likely already in the Grey Age, and possibly since the lesser Darkness. Looking at Fronela, Seshnela, and Ralios, I get the impression that the population there wasn't remaining as benighted as the Talastari were upon first Theyalan contact. But even so, with some of them the Theyalan missionaries of the late first and the second century found fertile ground to spread their theist ways, while others resisted them, especially in Ralios.

Second century Maniria was in contact with both Seshnela (starting at latest with Boltror the traveler, traveling on Waertagi vessels, bringing back his wife Pamala) and Kethaela, and quite certainly even earlier with the Waertagi. This may have reduced the "awakening" function of the Theyalan missionaries and have made their progress more like a religious missionary activity.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

A tribe can be as small as a triaty of three clans.

Merely forming a triaty would have been Big News in the first two centuries after the Dawn as there sign of the Theyalans making new tribes.  The only other example are the Yoke Clan which is settling Dorastor and the Skanthi.  Yet three clans decide to break with the social order that Heort left us and form a brand new tribe?

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

That's why I think that they are a foundling tribe, composed of people awakened shortly after the Dawn, rather than already in the Silver Age. With three or four such foundling groups, a tribe could be formed. And with the zeal of recent converts, could migrate westward to spread the good news.

Where's these people coming from?  The tribe is specified as Theyalan which means Heortlings.  Otherwise they would have been noted as Esrolians or Ditalings or whatever.  And there's a big leap between the lightbringer missionaries as described as a whole tribe being created to propogate the lightbringer way.  I don't think they went west to spread the good news but were in it for less ideal motives (land, fame, fortune etc).

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Any such foundling groups were "seeded" with Theyalans - Heortlings, mostly, perhaps a few Esvulari, Pelaskites or Aramites mixed in.

This and what follows smacks far too much of social engineering to my eyes to be at all a plausible account for the formation for the formation of the Vathmai.  

 

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Merely forming a triaty would have been Big News in the first two centuries after the Dawn as there sign of the Theyalans making new tribes. 

The big news is such a triaty leaving one of the established Heortling (or Ditaling) tribes. Having triaties as subtribes of former Vingkotling now Heortling area tribes isn't exactly an innovation, and may have gone on already before the Greater Darkness.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The only other example are the Yoke Clan which is settling Dorastor and the Skanthi.  Yet three clans decide to break with the social order that Heort left us and form a brand new tribe?

The huge area tribes are inherited from Vingkot rather than Heort, mythically if not prehistorically (not willing to discuss crackpot ideas about Winter Tribes or daughter tribes originating only in the Greater Darkness here).

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Where's these people coming from?  The tribe is specified as Theyalan which means Heortlings. 

Hantrafalings rather than Heortlings - practitioners of Hantrafal-style Theyalan sacrifice (which may or may not be significantly different from Pelorian sacrificial methods). The Pelaskites and the Esrolvuli are Theyalans, but neither are Heortlings. The Caladrans, Aramites, Nogatendings and other folk further north are Hantrafaling Theyalans, too, without being Heortlings. And Heort himself was a shaman rather than a devotee of Orlanth.

What's the difference? The Star Heart secret, for instance - common to all Heortlings, but not common to Theyalans. The Esrolvuli I Fought We Won experience comes through Kimantor rather than Heort.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Otherwise they would have been noted as Esrolians or Ditalings or whatever. 

Why? The former Vingkotling tribes - summer, winter and star - became the Heortlings, with the exception of the Esrolvuli. Possibly (but not certainly) including the Deleskarings.

^1234567/he Vathmai could have been related to the Harandings and Aramites (Aram led his people into Dragon Pass from somewhere around Ezel, which may point to Entruliland or the Harandings whose pig-connections are canonical). The Dawn Age Aramite origin is left in the dark. The Kitori are another such tribe of humans appearing among the Heortlings, including some Heortling recruits like Daramhy (irritatingly named an "Arkating" when Kitori properties are displayed), but just as likely recruits from Esrolia or the Harandings.

Jogo Zaramzil of the Lawstaff myth may have been an early Kitori rather than a troll.

 

There are humans that are unaccounted for the Dawn Survival sites, but communities of fifty or less survivors( especially catatonic ones) aren't listed in that summary. There is room in canon for smaller such communities that remain unobserved from the perspective of the Guide. I suspect that Praxian oases may have had some hidden Oasis folk, too, eking out a life similar to that of the community of Orani Tor in the Rubble during the troll occupation. Too few to register as a core of a civilization, and neither sufficiently awakened. (It is possible that some of the Oasis Folk still are under that survival trauma... contact with the beast riders wouldn't have helped awakening them any more than contact with the Shadzorings of Alkoth helped civilize Dara Happa before Jenarong.)

 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

And there's a big leap between the lightbringer missionaries as described as a whole tribe being created to propogate the lightbringer way. 

The formation of tribes from catatonic communities happened elsewhere as well, and the Vathmai are mentioned as special by doing this migration into lands formerly free of Theyalan folk. So are the early Dorastans. What's your complaint here? That the Dorastans did not find humans to convert (only the Poisonthorn elves to awaken)?

 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I don't think they went west to spread the good news but were in it for less ideal motives (land, fame, fortune etc).

You mean, like the participants of the first crusade? Why not like the Jesuit reductions in southern America?

Sure, settling new land will have been an attraction, but given the population levels in the second century, arable land could be carved out of many a wilderness.

On the other hand, the Vathmai are credited with liberating enslaved populations from the overlordship of the stag warlords of the Pralori. A situation not entirely dissimilar from the liberation of Peloria from horse warlord enslavement by Khordavu and his cotery, the Ten Princes. And possibly similar to the conquest of the Pendali cities in Seshnela and Enjoreli lands in Fronela.

 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

This and what follows smacks far too much of social engineering to my eyes to be at all a plausible account for the formation of the Vathmai.  

Aram did a similar stunt before the Dawn, presumably in the Silver Age, creating his tribe of humans from out of nowhere, too. And the Kitori are nothing if not social engineered.

 

So, what's different to the rest of the Theyalan migrations? The northern expansion of the First Council was carried by the Argan Argar trolls, while other directions were covered by humans and elves, such as Dorastor, Rist and Arstola. (Further west, the Elf Awakening was done by High King Elf from Winterwood.) After the Talastari, the Anadikki and the Brolians were contacted, then the bull people of Charg and eastern Fronela and southern Carmania.

It isn't clear who contacted the Sylilings or the Vanchites. Quite likely already Silver Age Argan Argar scouts.

 

I don't think that just the population numbers of the Dawn Sites would be sufficient to populate Genertela enough to reach the population levels of Orlanthland in the sixth century. Unaccounted small groups doubling the initial pool would make a difference worth two or three generations at least.

 

For me this Vathmai appearance is just one visible symptom of the greater Dawn Age repopulation problem. Where did the population to found the town of Jansholm come from, all of a sudden? Likewise Durengard. The Aventus Foreigner laws tell about immigration by Dragon Pass residents, Esrolians, Pelaskites and Esvulari into the lands controlled by the Hendriki, but there are quite a lot of those in addition to the rather small core tribe of the Hendriki (who started as just a small fraction of the already small Garanvuli tribe that disappeared as a consequence of Palangio's conquest).

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17 hours ago, metcalph said:

Except that Sir Ethilrist mentions the High Pools as a battle already fought while he was traversing the Mislari Mountains in a northwards direction (The actual text says to the Arrolian Properties but Greg was probably using an old map at the time)

But that text also says that Ethilrist was crossing the Rockwoods, not the Mislari, to get to the Arrolian Properties.  So the High Pools could be in Ralios, or Maniria.  I won't discount the location, but don't think we have enough evidence to support it.

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A little gem I overlooked in the Second Age Slontos box on p.351:

Quote

Lavar Isle was largely inhabited by birds and sentient waterfowl. 

God Learner ducks, just south of the Trickster Temple. And their neighbors on Herilia to the west worshipped the Blue Moon, though apparently not in connection to the Lopers.

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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

They don’t have to be ducks, there’s lots of types of waterfowl. Just south of the trickster temple suggests loons, even hell divers to me

https://hotcakencyclopedia.com/ho.TrickstersAnusGuardsDucks.html

perhaps @Quackatoa would care to comment 

Heh, don't ask me - I honestly have no idea what I'm doing most of the time! 😃

Years ago, I was getting a bit bored with the standard Upland Marsh-centric ducks, and wanted to explore the tens of thousands of ducks down in southern Maniria. Then I decided that was—as per most of my thoughts—a stupid idea, and stopped. But the mischievous snippets of conversations that have come up on this forum about Imarja etc.—i.e. that she was a keet fleeing/navigating the drowning currents who managed to get the stupid and gullible humans to worship her—have convinced me to resurrect some stuff, mostly as horrific ruins hinting at washed-up keet overlords and colonies in ages past. And giant duck heads are ace.

The Lavar stuff is thus quite interesting. And if any survived the sinking, where did they go?

DrulzeksTemp2b.jpg.f7fbdbf3b2a06e2f71d480095e094bd9.jpg

  

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On 8/9/2018 at 1:46 PM, Joerg said:

A little gem I overlooked in the Second Age Slontos box on p.351:

God Learner ducks, just south of the Trickster Temple. And their neighbors on Herilia to the west worshipped the Blue Moon, though apparently not in connection to the Lopers.

Are there massive stone heads of giant ducks staring out towards the sea?

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On ‎8‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 1:56 PM, Quackatoa said:

Then I decided that was—as per most of my thoughts—a stupid idea, and stopped. But the mischievous snippets of conversations that have come up on this forum about Imarja etc.—i.e. that she was a keet fleeing/navigating the drowning currents who managed to get the stupid and gullible humans to worship her—have convinced me to resurrect some stuff, mostly as horrific ruins hinting at washed-up keet overlords and colonies in ages past. And giant duck heads are ace.

Love, love, love the giant duck head!  That will definitely make it into one of my games. 😀

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