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Why is sea water salty while most lakes are not?


David Scott

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@scott-martin asked an interesting questing during the @metcalph & @Joerg exchanges in the Pent thread about Hot Lake (page 372):

Given that elemental Water isn't salty - what is salt water in Glorantha? Why are the seas salty? Is actually any water salty other than that specifically stated? are the seas actually not salty?

The Sean Pantheon section on page 151 says:

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Merman philosophers teach that the world was once a single current owing through the cosmos. For some reason the current divided into fresh and salt water, then hot and cold, and in other ways, eventually forming the present generation of sea deities in the world.

Perhaps @Jeff can help

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So, here's my point of view. I would like to say in advance that I am a chemist whose job includes the analytical control of water. There is little about water chemistry or physical behavior in our world that you might need to explain to me.

And I want to say in advance that Gloranthan matter doesn't quite reflect terrestrial chemistry. Which is why I have an issue with this:

37 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Given that elemental Water isn't salty

I don't think that elemental water is distilled water. Distilled water is lacking a significant component of what makes the bodies of seas, oceans and even lakes. It is dead, a liquid dust, rather than vibrantly alive.

I have come to the conclusion that pure elemental water is isotonic - it has about the same salinity as blood. Saltiness is a quality of elemental water, and crystalline salt is the dead body of a water entity. Each of the other elements is able to draw the water away from the salt - fire and wind by evaporation, earth by feeding on the liquid, leaving the minerals behind, and darkness by freezing the liquid out, leaving a brine that will crystallize. Fire is highly effective in evaporating the water, but needs to be shielded from the water, or it will be overcome.

 

Heler's water is divorced from the Sea, the result of his self-sacrifice in the fights when the waters invaded the skies. (Lorion, on the other hand, remained intact, and in contact with the Seas. In The Eleven Lights you can visit the place where the contact remains.)

Molten snow or ice, rainwater or distilled (condensed) water is hungry. Where it can, it will leech "stuff" out of soil or rock, and then run downwards, hoping to rejoin a river and in the end the All Waters of the Oceans.

Rivers used to be  living tendrils emerging from the living seas, crawling inland to carry back as much "food" or "stuff" from the dry side into the ocean. They weren't reliant on Heler's rains at all, being fed water (and hunger) by their parent seas, but they collected any of Heler's water (and whatever "stuff" that water had been able to collect) back into the fold of the ocean, of course.

 

The cube of the earth includes and surrounds huge amounts of isolated or evaporated water, possibly captured and condensed when it was birthed. When the earth broke, some of these amounts of evaporated water (salt) was returned to the oceans, increasing their salinity beyond what can be drunk without adverse effects.

I live on the Baltic Sea, and where I live, the salinity of the Baltic is about isotonic. Up in Bottnic Bay, the water has the salinity of a mineral water. Closer to the Kattegat or Skagerak, drinking the water of the Baltic will make you thirstier than you were before, but in my region it's a zero sum game. (Other stuff in the water - both alive (organic) or inorganic - may cause other problems, but that's not relevant here.)

 

The invading Godtime rivers were able to divide themselves into a hungrier outside (replenished by the hunger of their parent seas) and a more satiated inside giving back some of this plenty to their parents, while using the energy to carve new paths uphill as well. Where their load exceeded their energy, the rivers would dump first larger rocks, then rough sediment, at last finer sediments, after having taken their nourishment from the stuff.

Magasta's Call stopped the seas from feeding their hunger to the rivers. Ever since, they have been diminished to collecting what waters are released from their capture with the earth, or what water is collected from Heler's rains. Heler's rains are pure hunger, the waters released from the earth may be quite satiated (saline) in some cases.

Edited by Joerg
added "living"
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p.17 of the Guide (3rd column, 1st para) confirms that Glorantha has "Salt seas", and p.460 tells us that "seas are large saltwater bodies".

p.460 also tells us how everywhere was water at first, then the surface world was pushed up from the depths, and rivers crept across the land. Was the initial water salty and the rivers somehow lost their salt, or was the original water non-salty and somehow became salty later? Or something else? The former seems more likely to me, but we obviously need a mythic explanation for this.

 

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I don't think that elemental water is distilled water. Distilled water is lacking a significant component of what makes the bodies of seas, oceans and even lakes. It is dead, a liquid dust, rather than vibrantly alive.

I have come to the conclusion that pure elemental water is isotonic - it has about the same salinity as blood. Saltiness is a quality of elemental water, and crystalline salt is the dead body of a water entity. Each of the other elements is able to draw the water away from the salt - fire and wind by evaporation, earth by feeding on the liquid, leaving the minerals behind, and darkness by freezing the liquid out, leaving a brine that will crystallize. Fire is highly effective in evaporating the water, but needs to be shielded from the water, or it will be overcome.

Given that you are a heretical god learner, you could surmise that Water would have two sub-runes - Salt (solid water) and a yet unnamed  sub rune that is liquid water. This would fit with the Merman philosophers and the salt/freshwater split. For some reason one lost most of the salt and the other gained it, so that water is a balance of the two. So

Pure water - no salt sub rune

Fresh water - some salt sub rune

Salt water - most salt sub rune.

If this is the case why did the salt water take on the salt or why did the fresh water give most of it up.

 

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The rivers are not salty because they lost much of their purity.


Salt is the gift of Nelat, god of purification. It is used to cleanse things of evil, such as enemies of the sea, to make them good.

This can be seen when the surface god Orlanth plunged into Nelat's baths of acidic brine that burned him like fire. And even on the surface, salt is used to purify things, and to prevent Chaos from growing in tainted places.

Nelat's gift makes the sea salty so that it would be protected from corruption, but the rivers and most lakes were too far to receive it.

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45 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Given that you are a heretical god learner,

I am not, although: If god learners are bad, and regarded heretics in their own ranks as their enemies, would that make a heretical god learner "good" in the eyes of a traditionalist? Was Halwal regarded as a foe of the traditionalists he supported in Fronela and Ralios, or as one of the good guys? I could enjoy being placed in the same category as Halwal (at least prior to his rise to Ascended Master).

But in my theory I allow for the effects of God Learner presence in Glorantha.

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you could surmise that Water would have two sub-runes - Salt (solid water) and a yet unnamed  sub rune that is liquid water. This would fit with the Merman philosophers and the salt/freshwater split. For some reason one lost most of the salt and the other gained it, so that water is a balance of the two. So

Pure water - no salt sub rune

Fresh water - some salt sub rune

Salt water - most salt sub rune.

Such a tripartite elemental rune is nothing new:

Cold (Dark without Shadow) - Dark - Shadow (Dark without Cold)

Light (Fire without Heat) - Fire - Heat (Fire without Light)

 

In my text above, I postulated "hunger" and "satiation".

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If this is the case why did the salt water take on the salt or why did the fresh water give most of it up.

Magasta's Call to plug the raging rift in Glorantha stopped the upward flow of the hungry waters. This left only the hungry waters of Heler (and Valind) and the waters released from within the earth feeding the rivers.

Most headwaters (springs) produce mostly hungry water. They are like released slaves of the Earth (or the Sky and Air) fighting and plundering their way back to the seas.

Significant bodies of water are separated from the seas, without a current connecting them - Heler's Clouds and the rainfall, water trapped inside the earth, and waters frozen by Valind. Other waters may have lost such properties in the Gods War, whether to Chaos or to other hostile deities like the Easterners or Orlanth. Heler is considered a tragic loss.

 

The "tidal" waves like Sog and Worcha are different from rivers. So were the standing waves like the Madadan Sea (covering Maniria, Halikiv, and Yolp) and the Osliran Sea (which covered much of Prax and western Balazar, and all of Dara Happa).

 

19 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Salt is the gift of Nelat, god of purification. It is used to cleanse things of evil, such as enemies of the sea, to make them good.

Yes! Caustic purification, wisdom, satiation. One of three children of Daliath (the intellect of the waters) and Sramak(e) (the body of the waters).

And the hungry waters obviously are his brother Heler's domain.

Which leaves Triolina as the goddess of the balanced or complete waters.

Checking the genealogy of the water deities, the water spirits and elementals are descended from Heler and Triolina, so they may be on the hungry side of the spectrum.

The Seas (and through Sshorg, the Rivers) are the children of Sramak and Framanthe, whereas the motion and energy of the waters (and the water kings, the Manthi) are the children of Daliath and Framanthe.

 

This doesn't take the motion of rivers, waves, seas and ocean currents into account, though.

Edited by Joerg
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This is a very thought provoking topic. I feel that I agree with Joerg, that fresh water is water that was separated from the ocean, and therefore hungry, and ocean water is satiated and filled with salt. Of course, this gives us another elemental triplet, though the uses of the subrunes are up to debate.

This raises another question for me, are the other elements a "triplet" as well?

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

In my text above, I postulated "hunger" and "satiation".

except Hunger is typically a Darkness thing... though I quite like the association of salt with satiation, which explains why we so often have trolls monopolizing or associated with salt gathering.

I suppose there is no particular problem with elements sharing certain traits, like Darkness and Air share Sound.

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23 minutes ago, boztakang said:

except Hunger is typically a Darkness thing... though I quite like the association of salt with satiation, which explains why we so often have trolls monopolizing or associated with salt gathering.

True, hunger is a Darkness thing. On the other hand, the Seas philosophy was described as focussed on food, with Bab (the Earth Cube) being the object of desire.

Hunger is a good shorthand for "let's gather food/nourishment", but I'll happily adopt some other term for this behavior that doesn't borrow from my professional jargon (hypotonic, solvent, demineralized) and would be part of an everyday vocabulary. "Insipid" or "vapid" would be accurate, but sort of insulting to the bounty of Heler.

On the other hand, to the seas, Heler is the Lost One. While he is instrumental in returning the stolen waters to the seas through his rain, he remains cut off from the unity of the waters. But to some extent the same is true for those waters that feed inland basins like the Hot Lake, the Hellcrack, or those that disappear in Prax.

 

Maybe "desire" is a good description for Heler and his waters. It certainly reflects his social role.

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I suppose there is no particular problem with elements sharing certain traits, like Darkness and Air share Sound.

As long as you don't make Darksense a sonar working through air, I am fine with Darkness (or at least uz) sharing sound.

 

I wonder whether the elemental languages each are designed for their respective elements as media, with transmission via air only a secondary property.

Edited by Joerg
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Some great alchemy here. I suspect vanishingly rare Nelat cultists -- did they once inhabit what's now the Neleomi coast, a lost tribe like turtle people? -- would work with caustic salts as "waters that don't wet the hands." Not a lot of data on Gloranthan soaps but they would have them.

I went to the darkness ownership of hunger too but wonder if there's a strain of dark/sea esotericism -- a "stygian heresy," as it were -- that considers hunger as dark unsettled in itself and _rising_ toward something to consume. Early in the theogony this was the origin of Styx and the seed of Zaramaka, remaining unsatisfied through the evolution until the hungry oceans rose to conquer first earth then sky. Once they reach their utmost, they descend. It's a drastic oversimplification, but brisk and leaping Heler wants to soar. Burst and bleeding Sky River Titan needs to fall. 

Of course this really sets up sea and sky as a dyad in itself, which is probably the secret of why lo- and sra-metal are the same substance in different phases. The substance that falls is heavy and liquid, bearing its load back to Magasta for processing before rising again (behind the scenes, like the blue moon) to rejoin the sky, pure again and ready to drop. We don't see the heleric principle reascend to heaven any more except as steam on humid days -- the flood age is over (for now). But the sky is blue and not gold. We generally only see water falling now. When it rises we call it "fire" and its metal floats. 

Maybe we call the portion that rises beyond the lo- phase "zre-metal," the part that rejects the cycle of rise and fall. Sra liquid on the bottom phase, zre bright at the top, lo in between . . . a different Tale of Three Brothers.

Mountain people have a different relationship to the water cycle than river valley people and both are alien to the sea. Triolini are going to be biased because I don't see any native to fresh water -- only one murthoi species is mentioned as fitting that bill -- but they're probably the best experts in the field. I wouldn't be surprised if Wachaza conceals alchemical mysteries behind the violations of surface tension in naval warfare though. He's related to Magasta's dark half, the hungry part. Magasta's airy wife is her own thing.

EDIT for all I know Magasta's stunted, ugly, clever, beautiful children with feet call him "Malkion" but this is probably a blasphemy to just about everyone else.

EDIT AGAIN sra-metal aspires to the condition of na-metal on the way through the Pool. many puffers have tried to coerce ga-metal from both na- and lo-metal via the salts of Nelat and other formulations, but if they succeed they do not say for fear of little men . . . there are no lo-metal dwarves listed under that name.

Edited by scott-martin
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51 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Some great alchemy here. I suspect vanishingly rare Nelat cultists -- did they once inhabit what's now the Neleomi coast, a lost tribe like turtle people? -- would work with caustic salts as "waters that don't wet the hands." Not a lot of data on Gloranthan soaps but they would have them.

Tanners are well-acquainted with caustic substances for curing their hides, and they are present in almost all cultures (excepting maybe the weeders of Dara Happa).

I don't think that the land-locked cultures will acknowledge Nelat much.

Caustic substances in our world include naturally occurring brines, calcified chalk or soda, ashes, and mined minerals. The stuff wrestled from the earth will be attributed to Asrelia, and the stuff made more caustic by calcification will be attributed to the interaction of fire with the sedimentary rock. And then there are volcanic exhausts, like the one creating the Stone Wood of the Footprint (as a cooperation of Veskarthan and Orlanth).

 

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Maybe we call the portion that rises beyond the lo- phase "zre-metal," the part that rejects the cycle of rise and fall. Mountain people have a different relationship to the water cycle than river valley people and both are alien to the sea.

Interesting theory on the subject of sea-metal. Personally, I see the Lo-Metal referring to Lorian, not Lodril.  Lodril alloyed his own existence with earth, creating the template for brass (the copper-tin (or something like tin, possibly zinc) alloy (the sky plus earth metal) that the Mostali use for their caste metal rather than bronze).

Sky and fire are over-represented in the array of rune metals, anyway - we got fire rune metal (gold), moon rune metal (silver), and sky rune metal (tin). Poor air gets bronze, an alloy rather than a rune metal, and one that is another term for an already established alloy (e.g. by the Brithini of Sogolotha Mambrola, who sit inside a brass fortress rather than a bronze one).

But then, we were discussing salinity, not ore mineral content of water.

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Triolini are going to be biased because I don't see any native to fresh water

Triolini are descendants of Nelat and Triolina, so if the salty / unsatiated dichotomy is to be applied, they come from the salty, caustic side of those three siblings.

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-- only one murthoi species is mentioned as fitting that bill --

Murthoi are a whole different thing. They combine the runes of man, plant and water, but their ancestor Murthdrya doesn't seem to be descended from Triolina. There is some Flamal and possibly some Grandfather Mortal involved.

 

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but they're probably the best experts in the field. I wouldn't be surprised if Wachaza conceals mysteries behind the violations of surface tension in naval warfare though. He's related to Magasta's dark half, the hungry part. Magasta's airy wife is her own thing.

Wachaza's mother Sapana (aka Robber) was involved in the first conflict with the keets which started Togaro's invasion of the lands. While Magasta was basically unknown that early, with his siblings Manthi and Natea ruling the Depths, Wachaza's mother learned about fighting the dry folk who don't belong to the seas.

 

34 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Salt is the bones of tiny sea creatures slain during the Gods War.  It is analogous to metal being the bones of the earth. 

Nope, you don't use that stuff for drying or flavouring your meat or fish. Tiny sea creatures leave behind chalk. And maybe flint (compressed opal, which is silica algae sinking down as sediment). Treated (calcified) chalk gets caustic, so there are salt properties hidden in this stuff, but neither herd beasts nor humans would confuse these minerals.

 

Nautiloids have become a fact in Gloranthan scholarship, thanks to a pamphlet distributed by Andreas Pittelkow, spanning a link to dragonsnails (which might be debatable as it leaves out the innocent pond snail precursors of this specific part of the Devil).

 

34 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Magasta is important because his death magic helps the merfolk survive in the presence of death.  

Magasta is the recipient of all the motion the connected waters can channel to him, maintaining an unescapable vortex surrounding but not touching the chaos void that replaced the Spike. Magasta is about motion and separation.

Magasta is important because he embodies the apex of the Food chain. All other connected waters and water beings are just conductors.

 

We know that water - and specifically river water - can be caustic to chaotic manifestations. Sounder's River was redirected by Waha to wash the Devil away. I don't see any indication that Sounder's River has highly caustic water, nor does the land that Waha cut his canal through display any indication of salt, soda or other caustic stuff that could be taken up before abluting the devil and diluting its remains.

The Sypon river, another intrepid dissolver of Chaos, carries brackish water up into the Footprint. It isn't clear whether his cleansing attempts rely on dilution or caustic interaction.

The Erinflarth performs the miracle of cleansing itself from the pollution of the Sludgestream upon leaving Dorastor. (Orlanthi polemics might claim that enough chaos remains dissolved, polluting the Lunar Heartlands, but that's unsubstantiated slander.)

 

The only known maritime Chaos monster is the Mother of Monsters of Maslo and her high-tide offspring. There are plenty dreadful and deadly monsters of the watery deeps, excretions of Varchulanga, but those aren't chaotic. The River of Cradles campaign added a gorp variant that would withstand Zola Fel's cleansing powers.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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5 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Nope, you don't use that stuff for drying or flavouring your meat or fish. Tiny sea creatures leave behind chalk.

There you go again, using real world science in a place where it doesn't belong.  Chalk comes from a different type of microscopic creature obviously.

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Just now, metcalph said:

There you go again, using real world science in a place where it doesn't belong.  Chalk comes from a different type of microscopic creature obviously.

I don't see any evidence for microscopic creatures, but I do see lots of evidence for very small chalk exoskeletons (never bones) both in sediment and in rocks.

I was thinking of marine fossils, which come petrified either in chalk or in flint. Silicaceous algae actually are observable with the naked eye when alive.

Tiny invisible (read: microscopic) creatures are bollocks, whether as source for salt or as the cause of diseases or fermentation. A drop of water is alive because it is water, not because of invisible critters. Stop dragging real world science into this.

 

IMO salt does not need to be formed from tiny creatures, but is formed from organs of watery bodies (seas, Godtime rivers) which are (collective) entities in themselves. No need to invent microorganisms.

Show me any Gloranthan creature with bones of salt. Or exoskeletons. Or teeth.

 

I am fairly convinced that the "bones of the gods" metals are left only when the gods have taken on vertebrate shapes. Slain divine/demonic beetles or lobsters won't leave leaden or sea metal carapaces behind. Neither will slain divine molluscs leave leaden shells.

I could live with sea metal octopus beaks. But then - are there any "gods' teeth" around, other than the Ivory Plinthe and the EWF dragontooth warriors that can be summoned by Argrath? Do they behave in any way like metals?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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43 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I don't see any evidence for microscopic creatures,

That's nice but I intentionally didn't offer any evidence for such creatures but conjectured their existence as a simple gloranthan explanation for salt in glorantha.  It works for me.  It may work for others.  I offered it solely in that spirit.

43 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Show me any Gloranthan creature with bones of salt. Or exoskeletons. Or teeth.

I merely gave my opinion and can see no value in giving further detail merely to satisfy your tart demands, considering that you've already decried it as bollocks.  The whole question has too little information to settle matters either way so it's not worth the bother of thrashing it out point-by-point or offering evidence which you won't accept.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

IMO salt does not need to be formed from tiny creatures, but is formed from organs of watery bodies (seas, Godtime rivers) which are (collective) entities in themselves. No need to invent microorganisms.

This is supported by Saltcastle in Maniria; built over the grave of a Gods Age army of the sea, who were defeated by Veskarthan. The salt is their remains.

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Fresh water is associated with healing and cleansing, if not purification as such. Heler has significant healing powers, Arroin is healing water (at least to the elves, and creating healing liquids has always been part of his experise). A mythic explanation of the salt/fresh split needs to take that into account. 

Also, of course, why fresh water satisfies thirst but salt does not (for land life, sea creatures of course are different). 

I love the idea of Nelat as purifier as a significant part of (at least Western) alchemy. 

The whole discussion of the metals is interesting in that the Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury that are the three alchemical principles of terrestrial western alchemy have all shown up in one way or another (if we tie sulfur to Lodrils volcanic nature). Grand inspiration for Gloranthan alchemy! 

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11 hours ago, Tindalos said:

This is supported by Saltcastle in Maniria; built over the grave of a Gods Age army of the sea, who were defeated by Veskarthan. The salt is their remains.

It depends how you interpret this. One possibility is if the gods of the sea were made out of salt water and when they died, the water disappeared (for whatever reason) and only the salt remained. Or whether there was something differerent about the way the gods of the sea were made, e.g. bones of salt, and their bones (salt) were left behind. I don't think we're given enough here to be specific.

12 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Salt water is a relic of the blood of dead ocean gods. Rivers now depend upon water raining from the Sky, and Heler did not die, and so his waters are not tainted by his blood.

We're told (Guide p.460) that after the Surface World appeared from the depths, "rivers crept across the face of the land". These don't sound like they were dependent on the rain from Heler, and originated from the ocean. So were the original rivers salty and this only changed when their direction changed? Is the Syphon river salty? Or did the rivers originating from the ocean leave their salt behind once they hit the land?

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14 hours ago, Joerg said:

I don't think that the land-locked cultures will acknowledge Nelat much.

This was an interesting stepping stone for me as I only remember Nelat as being part of the the whole Orlanth and baths thing, so after some research found a whole load of info:

http://www.glorantha.com/docs/nelat/

http://www.glorantha.com/docs/merman-pantheon/

He's one of the Enemy Gods of Orlanth By Greg Stafford:

http://www.glorantha.com/docs/enemy-gods-of-the-orlanthi/

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Nelat: God of Purification of the Water Tribe.

but also and interestingly in a Myth of the Month:

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ERNALDA'S HOLY DAYS 1998 Greg Stafford:

Sea Season. Voriaravand (Voria's Holy Day) Harmony week, Water day start of Spring. also called Shearing Day, Flower Day

...

This Sea Season celebration is also called the Shearing Celebration. In the blessed and wonderful Storm Age our goddess Ernalda first sheared the sheep of Nelat to relieve them of their uncomfortable wool. When she came forth from the underworld at the Dawn she again sheared Nelat of his shaggy wool. This caused the overcast sky to clear, and the stars and sky to become visible.

on moondesignpublications.com as part of the drinking Giant's Cauldron myth in 2013:

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All stories agree that Orlanth took the Cauldron from the Sea Gods and it gave the gods the life renewing powers of water. It also caused a permanent weakening of the Sea Gods for they lost their renewal powers. Many hold that Nelat's Bath, which "dissolved the last of Orlanth" (his bones) was revenge for this theft. The stories agree that Orlanth gave the cauldron to "the king of the nemiwi (ie-a being not woman or man, genderless), those men of stone, the haters of dwarfs, inside the Great Stone."

Could it be that Nelat was once a storm God who became a sea god?

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

sheared Nelat of his shaggy wool. This caused the overcast sky to clear

There it is in plain sight! A lot in there, much of it crazy so I'll keep it to myself . . . but one reason earthly alchemists venerate the "golden" fleece is that the brighter the color, the dirtier it is, which means it yields more potassium carbonate after careful washing. It's starting to sound like we would call the purifying water a lye bath. For people living far upland, this is what "salt water" looks like.

But more practically, who are the sources of Cloud Clear types of magic right now? This is meaningful to cultures that recognize clouds as water phenomena on high, so sheering those "sheep" means banishing high water. Sky can do it. It's the core spell for the Gods of Glorantha version of Yelm, taught in every shrine. Yelmalio has it in Cults of Prax, with notes that while sky and storm can both do weather magic, the storm versions are stronger. I recall Sandy promising something similar for Dayzatar (zre) but that layer of the digests seems to be broken. Storm can do it. Orlanth has it as ultimate commander of the air and I wouldn't be surprised if some people think he stole the sheep (ownership of high water) as well as the cauldron.  

Brastalos, presumably. Still a lot I don't know about how Magasta (sra) got his wife. 

Cloud is also the aspect of air that "contaminates" sky and needs to be cleared to restore harmony. I wonder how Nelat and company contributed to with the rivalry between storm and sky back in the day -- Uleria is a blue planet, after all. 

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19 hours ago, Joerg said:

We know that water - and specifically river water - can be caustic to chaotic manifestations.

While many first-generation game systems treat alkali and acid interchangeably for damage purposes (in RQ2 "household lye" is POT 2 "acid"), chaos seems to operate on what we call acidic lines. Spit snake spit is "acid." Gorp are effectively mobile acid pools. Krarsht cult chemistry is probably acid-based. And the River of the Damned back in Balazar (just to add to your list) is also POT 2 "acid," which is really pretty nasty to swim through.

While the runic opposition of "Law" is controversial I've had the Zistor rune of "purification" preying on me for a few months now. Acid plus base yields water and salt, of course. Chaos plus cosmos may yield water and salt also, the grand magasta process at work. I wonder if zre and sra are esoteric brothers somewhere, with lo bridging the gap.

(Also even if first-age Seshnegi sorcerer-prince didn't know about Lorion and mistakenly attributes "lo" to Lodril, what language is he failing to fit into his own elemental system? Mostalite? "Urtiamite?" Some lost and primal "Acosian" system of stability and stone? Tojarinor the commentator lets the Lodril attributions go, either because he finds nothing wrong with this passage or doesn't have enough information. An enigma. Will do a fresh thread later.)

But down to, uh, earth, I'm told wool dye processes here on earth are primarily acidic whereas the linen chemistry is very different. Metals are mordants. Who owns the Gloranthan rainbow?

 

Edited by scott-martin
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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

While many first-generation game systems treat alkali and acid interchangeably for damage purposes (in RQ2 "household lye" is POT 2 "acid"),

And with good reason. "Acid" means "sharp" or "pointed", and doesn't really correspond to "sour" or "bitter". Acid in a narrower sense is any corrosive liquid that etches or dissolves metal. Although I would like to get my hands on an acid that is half as effective acid in the lab as the fantasy acids seen in cinema (e.g. Alien blood)

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

chaos seems to operate on what we call acidic lines. Spit snake spit is "acid." Gorp are effectively mobile acid pools. Krarsht cult chemistry is probably acid-based. And the River of the Damned back in Balazar (just to add to your list) is also POT 2 "acid," which is really pretty nasty to swim through.

 

The acrid effect of Chaos doesn't form solutions like e.g. vinegar or vitriol do in alchemy. Stuff dissolved in an acid can be reclaimed by a trained alchemist. Stuff dissolved in Gorp cannot be restituted, it is exposed directly to entropy, and loses whichever material properties it may have had.

Gorp "acid" destroys metals as much as it destroys glass, pottery, wood, waxed surfaces or other containers that can be used to store vitriol or vinegar.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

While the runic opposition of "Law" is controversial I've had the Zistor rune of "purification" preying on me for a few months now. Acid plus base yields water and salt, of course.

Vitriols, vinegars and similar non-chaotic etching liquids may react with alkaline brines to form the respective salts, which then can be crystallized by evaporating or freezing out the liquid.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Chaos plus cosmos may yield water and salt also, the grand magasta process at work. I wonder if zre and sra are esoteric brothers somewhere, with lo bridging the gap.

 

I am not convinced of this. IMO the antithesis of Chaos is Creation, which is transformed (unconnected) Void, whereas Chaos is Void leaking into the Cosmos. The only way Magasta can avoid bleeding off substance to the Void his Maelstrom encapsules is through the motion, He is using energy rather than matter to deflect and limit the expansion of the enclosed entropy.

 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

But down to, uh, earth, I'm told wool dye processes here on earth are primarily acidic whereas the linen chemistry is very different.

True. Real world wool and silk can use recombinant dyes, forming a chemical attachment to functional groups of the proteins, whereas linen and cotton only have hydroxide groups to offer, and often have adhesive rather than chemically bonded dyes.

Gloranthan fabric may have different rules, although the distinction may be as simple as plant-based or beast-based fibres which require different bonding agents. And then there are mineral pigments which aren't of much use for dyeing fabrics, but may be of use for illuminating manuscripts or be used in frescoes, glazing or staining wood or leather.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Metals are mordants.

Real world metal salts are mordants, as a rule the metallic forms aren't. The old chestnut "why isn't the iron in blood not magnetic" and similar half-knowledge.

Metal salts in combination with tanners' lyes and humin components e.g. from leaves and similar natural resources.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Who owns the Gloranthan rainbow?

Good question. Sight, and thereby color, is the sense of the Fire element. The rainbow itself is a combination of Light, Water and Air (to suspend the water). The substances that receive the dye all have an earth origin. Darkness is out of this game, although the various dyes might be appreciated as condiments by the uz. Moon is -  for all its crimson and blue intermediate states - a monochrome element, unable to illuminate colors.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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