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jeffjerwin

Sword and Helm

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I've been meditating on the Sword and Helm saga, as a result of my campaign taking place in the 1610s in Volsaxiland (Broyan is a major NPC). I've been a lurker for years.

First thing to get out of the way: MGDV (My Glorantha Does Vary). I'm OK with that.

My initial thought, from being very well read in mythology, is that Broyan's doom is connected to the Sword and Helm possibly being cursed. I also suspected that the reason no one took up the mantle of Vingkot was because it was also dangerous.

Now a ways back I read theories about it being connected to the Westfaring. However, we know from the account on Heort in the Book of Heortling Mythology (BoHM forthwith) that Heort's grandfather Darntor witnessed Orlanth leaving the World - by which I suspect he was "at" Luathela and saw Orlanth enter the Gates of Dusk. (By "at" I mean he may have been in a supportive hero quest, which is how I imagine pre-Time questing worked - one was drawn into one's Gods struggles on a spiritual level by being a devotee in the moment, roughly, that they happened, though "happened" is an approximate term before Arachne Solara birthed Time). Now the Sword and Helm War is specifically placed in that account in the previous generation, which tends to suggest that if Rastagar summoned the fyrd for his god it was in support of one of the battles en route, not in Luathela. Two specific battles stand out: Orlanth's loss of Mastakos his chariot in battle with Shargash/Jargekriand, and his alliance with the Uz in Ralios, an event I suspect that lines up (despite the chronological problems with this) with Hate Kills Everything, a battle between Uz and Kajabor near Hrelar Amali... which is called out in Mastakos' scouting report to Orlanth as a station on the route to the West. The former seems marginally more likely if the deuterocanonical In Wintertop's Shadow is any guide: there the Maranite sacrificial regime dates to the destruction of the Vingkotlings in a raid and counter-raid against the Fire Tribe/Dara Happans. There is another reason, which is that I think that Lastralgor and Rastagar are simply variants of the same legend. (Compare the phonetic similarity of L- and R-).

It's also interesting to note that the use of the term Orlanth Desertus for Orlanth Victorious in Heort's story for the spot where the Quest began suggests that only devotees, like poor Darntor, believed that Orlanth still existed before the time of I Fought We Won.

OK... deep breath...

My inspiration, given the account in the Esrolia book that states that Rastagar was ritually sacrificed (apparently along with Irillo) by the Grandmothers, is that Rastagar was not merely post-facto redefined as a sacral king, but that he was in fact really one, but that the Earth Cult substituted a Earth sacrifice (either in blood or by being buried alive) for the traditional Vingkotling sacrificial death: being burned alive (viz. the fate of Vingkot himself... his immolation while still alive seems to be a straightforward mythic justification for such a rite). This was a rectification of a nasty trick (in my Glorantha at least) that Rastagar played on his "warlord" and "wife". Now, the "wife" or "queen" I take to be Orane/Orana/Ana Gor, or her mortal representative, and the rationale for all this is the starvation of the people and the mass death of their menfolk. Rastagar and his Trickster (Eurmal/Elmal [1]) arranged things so the warlord stole the sword and helm, the manhood/Air Rune/Death & sovereignty/intellect/Mastery Rune, along with the wife/queen, whose mate was the target for the Immolation rite, so that he, rather than Rastagar, would be burned alive to release the life-giving royal essence.

These were cloaked in ritual: after all Orlanth too stole both Sword and Sovereignty - one from his older brother (whose rights and connection to Air were thus violated, and who was made thereby sterile) and from the Evil Emperor. From the last he took willing Ernalda, or Oranedela, the Green Queen, too. So this warlord was acting as Orlanth, perhaps even as a proxy for Rastagar...

In effect, Rastagar wanted to cheat death. But something else happened...

That something contributed to two evident effects: the guardians of the chiefs/kings being those slain in the Shield and Helm conflict - an effect specifically paralleled by the Noble Brothers/year-kings of Nochet - and in at least one case, that of Darntor, the dead becoming hungry ghosts, inimical undead. Moreover the Garanvuli have barrows near Iliabervor and the Dekko Crevice, where one can walk all the way to Hell - which tends to speak to a Earth/Darkness death rite taking over when the Vingkotlings proper became extinct. As we can see from the wyter of the Red Bull, these spirits remain in the world rather than reaching Orlanth's stead, which serves to protect their literal or metaphorical descendants but also binds them in servitude.

[1] Eurmal and Elmal are seemingly each other's Others; they seem to be quite similar to Kazkurtum and Antirius (viz. Elmal's by-name of Anatyr). Eurmal has the fire/disorder function while Elmal has the light/order function. By substituting Eurmal for Elmal, Rastagar could rework the rite as he wished...

In my version of things, Orane, as the consort of Durev, the man of wood, that is, the natural object of an Immolation Rite and the counterpart of Flamal, whom, we may note, Eurmal murdered and burned at Hrelar Amali before he was rescued by Orlanth - at seeming the same "time" as all this was going on, was repossessed by the Burnt Man, the undead Durev in the form of Nontraya [Traya, Drya, Durev, etc. = tree, wood] who had been reanimated by Chaos and the absence of any separation between the Living and the Dead. After all, the God of Undeath believes he has some claim on Queen Earth... He is, of course, a perversion of the dormancy of vegetation in winter.

It's my belief that the Orane/Earth Queen cult salvaged the profanation of the Immolation Rite by substituting a perhaps older chthonic ghost cult. This could protect the Living against the Pre-dark, given that Rastagar's actions strengthened Chaos and destroyed the Vingkotling succession.

We can't know, of course, whether Irillo was the "warlord" (it's certainly possible) but I believe Broyan stepped into the "warlord's" role (note he's even described as a "warlord" of the Hendriki), so he could possess the lost Sword and Helm. This of course doomed him to a ritual death, but also vastly empowered him to defeat the Bat, since he was now effectively the ritual heir of Vingkot. It is that sacrificial role that would have allowed him to make peace between Esrolia and the Vingkotlings, because he was "stepping up to the plate" and rectifying things.

I do think that Heort's Laws all were created to circumscribe practices common before the Silver Age. Human Sacrifice is a major part of the strictly delineated no-nos for Orlanth worship, so, somewhat perversely, I actually suspect it played a role in Vingkotling ritual. The fragments that persist, of course, are the funeral by cremation and the Flame of Sartar. The alteration of the Green Age interchangeability of mortals and beasts is of course a continuum that still has deviations after Time. The Law states only beasts may be burned for Orlanth, but what if one cannot tell the difference?

Now, from Orlanth's "desertion" of his people the chief god was Elmal, not Orlanth. Elmal's material presence was as a steady light at the peak of Kero Fin. Interestingly, that light flared when Heort put his grandfather (who had become Ice, the fusion of Hunger/Darkness/Air) to rest. If Elmal, Cold Fire, is in fact the consuming, cold fire that burns away the sacred kings and returns them to Vingkot, this might make sense (as a Light which burns/Sunspear he is the inner Fire/Sky that exists beyond Air/Storm, much as Darkness/Hunger resides in the center of Earth). This would make sense also if Orlanth and Vingkot are essentially identical, for the absent God is also the dead, burned, ashen king, smoke in the breeze, and his surrender of rulership to Elmal is also the surrender of sovereignty back to Aether, even in a broken state.

On the left hand, however, we have Eurmal, the other, who "steals" Fire, burns the wooden man, and shows the ordinary people how to eat (satisfy the Hunger he embodies) and stay warm. He is the gift that the profanation of the sacred flame provides: the cooking fire. His fire is not the fire of utter and pure dissolution, like Aether, or the Immolation Rite, but the fire that scorches away disease and preserves. It is interesting, of course, that Orlanth "finds" Eurmal at the same time that the Vingkotlings destroy themselves, but perhaps Heort's way is best: no king but elective kings. We best remember that the last of the Vingkotlings, Jardfor and Kogal, were cannibalistic shapeshifters. That, of course, is the ogre way.

---

Now, speaking outside MG (My Glorantha) I admit I was thinking of course in part of Arthur, Lancelot/Mordred, and Guinevere, with whom this story has a lot in common. Thus the magic sword, thrust into the Rock/Earth, the "burning ritual" (I see the catastrophe around the Elmal-fire being equivalent to Lancelot's massacre of the defenders at Guinevere's own threatened burning), the step/foster son becoming the lover of the Queen with the uncertain blindness/tacit permission of the childless king, whose army has been destroyed fighting the Emperor of the World and seeking to restore the fertility of the Wasted Universe... This, at least, permits Rastagar/Lastralgor to have a certain noble tragedy. Perhaps his trick was sanctified by some earlier precedent, and Irillo/the warlord knew what was up, or the queen did. But if one did, the other may not have.

Phew. Thoughts? I have a dozen or so pages of detailed notes if anyone's interested.

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Interesting stuff, thanks. I am not really familiar with the myth, but it shows how different myths can be connected and many myths have echoes in others.

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21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

My initial thought, from being very well read in mythology, is that Broyan's doom is connected to the Sword and Helm possibly being cursed. I also suspected that the reason no one took up the mantle of Vingkot was because it was also dangerous.

Given the practice of sacrificial year- or seven-year-kings among some Orlanthi, adding the powers of Vingkot to this health hazard doesn't change much. It may be a coincidence that Broyan is killed in the seventh year after his coronation as King of Whitewall.

 

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Now a ways back I read theories about it being connected to the Westfaring.

I guess that was me speculating about the "distant battle" that Rastagar and Irillo were drawn to as followers of Orlanth. When Orlanth met the army of the Luatha on the shores of Luathela, he summoned the Ring of the Vingkotlings. Battling Luatha is quite heroic if you look at their description in the Seshnela section of the Guide, so the battle will have been bloody on both sides.

 

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

However, we know from the account on Heort in the Book of Heortling Mythology (BoHM forthwith) that Heort's grandfather Darntor witnessed Orlanth leaving the World - by which I suspect he was "at" Luathela and saw Orlanth enter the Gates of Dusk. (By "at" I mean he may have been in a supportive hero quest, which is how I imagine pre-Time questing worked - one was drawn into one's Gods struggles on a spiritual level by being a devotee in the moment, roughly, that they happened, though "happened" is an approximate term before Arachne Solara birthed Time). Now the Sword and Helm War is specifically placed in that account in the previous generation, which tends to suggest that if Rastagar summoned the fyrd for his god it was in support of one of the battles en route, not in Luathela.

Godtime chronology isn't always reliable. Parts of the Westfaring visited places that should not have been present that late in the Vingkotling Age. But on the other hand, we know that the Westfaring used by Harmast was a reconstructed myth, grabbing stories from all over the Heortling tribes, so maybe the mis-dated stations that modern questers following Harmast's path visit are actually from earlier myths.

It is possible that Parntor founding the Deer Tribe occurred during the reign of Rastagar. After Rastagar, there was no king they could have been messengers for. In that case, his (presumed) son Darntor (irritatingly named a son of Andarn) could very well have been a young participant of the Ring of the Vingkotlings battle.

The flexibility of Godtime or Godtime sequence is also visible in the "50 generations of Deer Folk" remembered by the Speakers of the Deer Folk. That list possibly bears a strong similarity to the temporal sequence of the list of Sacred Kings recited by Dag in King of Sartar.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Two specific battles stand out: Orlanth's loss of Mastakos his chariot in battle with Shargash/Jargekriand, and his alliance with the Uz in Ralios, an event I suspect that lines up (despite the chronological problems with this) with Hate Kills Everything, a battle between Uz and Kajabor near Hrelar Amali... which is called out in Mastakos' scouting report to Orlanth as a station on the route to the West.

The opponents of the Ralian battle are called the Lesser Kajabori, so they might be a remnant force of that earlier conflict.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

The former seems marginally more likely if the deuterocanonical In Wintertop's Shadow is any guide: there the Maranite sacrificial regime dates to the destruction of the Vingkotlings in a raid and counter-raid against the Fire Tribe/Dara Happans. There is another reason, which is that I think that Lastralgor and Rastagar are simply variants of the same legend. (Compare the phonetic similarity of L- and R-).

I prefer to have all the nine Vingkotling tribes to predate Rastagar inheriting the kingship over Nochet and the Vingkotlings as a whole. Lastralgor was the older brother of Jorganos, and the remnants of his tribe were the kernels of the first two star tribes (through marriages with the daughters of Lastralgor's half-nieces from the Winter Tribe kings).

In a way, all Godtime battles can be reduced to the One Battle, happening again and again and again, where faces and names may vary, but the fact that people step up and kill (or just dismember) one another remains.

 

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

It's also interesting to note that the use of the term Orlanth Desertus for Orlanth Victorious in Heort's story for the spot where the Quest began suggests that only devotees, like poor Darntor, believed that Orlanth still existed before the time of I Fought We Won.

Calling it the Hill of Orlanth Victorious before the victory has been achieved would be presumptious, wouldn't it?

 

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

OK... deep breath...

My inspiration, given the account in the Esrolia book that states that Rastagar was ritually sacrificed (apparently along with Irillo) by the Grandmothers, is that Rastagar was not merely post-facto redefined as a sacral king, but that he was in fact really one, but that the Earth Cult substituted a Earth sacrifice (either in blood or by being buried alive) for the traditional Vingkotling sacrificial death: being burned alive (viz. the fate of Vingkot himself... his immolation while still alive seems to be a straightforward mythic justification for such a rite). This was a rectification of a nasty trick (in my Glorantha at least) that Rastagar played on his "warlord" and "wife". Now, the "wife" or "queen" I take to be Orane/Orana/Ana Gor, or her mortal representative, and the rationale for all this is the starvation of the people and the mass death of their menfolk. Rastagar and his Trickster (Eurmal/Elmal [1]) arranged things so the warlord stole the sword and helm, the manhood/Air Rune/Death & sovereignty/intellect/Mastery Rune, along with the wife/queen, whose mate was the target for the Immolation rite, so that he, rather than Rastagar, would be burned alive to release the life-giving royal essence.

YGDV, at least from mine.

The Orlanthi have a very bad habit to slander heroes with unlucky outcomes posthumously. Arkat or Rastagar got demonized by surviving political enemies.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

These were cloaked in ritual: after all Orlanth too stole both Sword and Sovereignty - one from his older brother (whose rights and connection to Air were thus violated, and who was made thereby sterile) and from the Evil Emperor. From the last he took willing Ernalda, or Oranedela, the Green Queen, too. So this warlord was acting as Orlanth, perhaps even as a proxy for Rastagar...

It is far from rare that both sides in a conflict among Orlanthi act as proxies for Orlanth. The Lawstaff quest is an example for a situation where two Orlanthi need to decide which one of them is more Orlanth (and thereby just) than the other.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

In effect, Rastagar wanted to cheat death. But something else happened...

That something contributed to two evident effects: the guardians of the chiefs/kings being those slain in the Shield and Helm conflict - an effect specifically paralleled by the Noble Brothers/year-kings of Nochet - and in at least one case, that of Darntor, the dead becoming hungry ghosts, inimical undead. Moreover the Garanvuli have barrows near Iliabervor and the Dekko Crevice, where one can walk all the way to Hell - which tends to speak to a Earth/Darkness death rite taking over when the Vingkotlings proper became extinct. As we can see from the wyter of the Red Bull, these spirits remain in the world rather than reaching Orlanth's stead, which serves to protect their literal or metaphorical descendants but also binds them in servitude.

That Esrolia year king/sacrificial king business is connected to the Silver Age hero Kalops, significantly after Rastagar's demise. And it is not like the Imarkans appear to believe that males can act as vessels of sovereignty anyway.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

[1] Eurmal and Elmal are seemingly each other's Others; they seem to be quite similar to Kazkurtum and Antirius (viz. Elmal's by-name of Anatyr). Eurmal has the fire/disorder function while Elmal has the light/order function. By substituting Eurmal for Elmal, Rastagar could rework the rite as he wished...

The runic opposite of Disorder is Harmony, not order.

Combining the notions of fire and Trickster is a concept I like, though.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

In my version of things, Orane, as the consort of Durev, the man of wood, that is, the natural object of an Immolation Rite and the counterpart of Flamal, whom, we may note, Eurmal murdered and burned at Hrelar Amali before he was rescued by Orlanth - at seeming the same "time" as all this was going on, was repossessed by the Burnt Man, the undead Durev in the form of Nontraya [Traya, Drya, Durev, etc. = tree, wood] who had been reanimated by Chaos and the absence of any separation between the Living and the Dead. After all, the God of Undeath believes he has some claim on Queen Earth... He is, of course, a perversion of the dormancy of vegetation in winter.

Whoah. Nice God-Learning.

Everybody has a claim on Queen Earth - that's her role in the Cosmos.

 

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

It's my belief that the Orane/Earth Queen cult salvaged the profanation of the Immolation Rite by substituting a perhaps older chthonic ghost cult. This could protect the Living against the Pre-dark, given that Rastagar's actions strengthened Chaos and destroyed the Vingkotling succession.

Older chthonic ghost cult - the cosmos still is in its downward spiral, things are getting worse and worse. Some few local improvements were brought early in the Storm Age, like Orlanth beating back the invading seas, liberating much of Esrolia and Arstola. So, yes, there might have been a worse period in the story of Ezel, with the Earth Queen absent in servitude to the Emperor, and an opportunity for a darker expression of the Earth, but that was before the second application of Death (and separation of body and spirit).

 

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

We can't know, of course, whether Irillo was the "warlord" (it's certainly possible) but I believe Broyan stepped into the "warlord's" role (note he's even described as a "warlord" of the Hendriki), so he could possess the lost Sword and Helm. This of course doomed him to a ritual death, but also vastly empowered him to defeat the Bat, since he was now effectively the ritual heir of Vingkot. It is that sacrificial role that would have allowed him to make peace between Esrolia and the Vingkotlings, because he was "stepping up to the plate" and rectifying things.

I disagree strongly. Irillo is about not being a Vingkot ruler, but the good underhusband/champion, leaving the rulership to the queen where the Imarjans say it belongs. Stepping up as a Vingkotling king had Hendira in hives (see her scene in Samastina's chapter in Prince of Sartar). Samastina cooperating with the Vingkotling over-king is an affront to the Imarjans of Nochet and Esrolia, and a risky gamble on Samastina's part, a ride on a blade.

IMO the concept of Vingkotling kingship is contrary to the sacrificial kingship. Compare the upset Yarandros of Tarsh caused when he claimed Vingkotling kingship rather than the Sacred Marriage sovereignty.

The concept probably grew after Rastagar's demise. But MGMV, and it definitely varies from yours.

The entire concept of sacrifice (at least among the Heortlings) was introduced by Hantrafal, who appears to be a contemporary of Heort. (Dara Happan Buserian - literally "sacrificer of cows/bulls" - may have preceded that, but we're talking Heortlings here.)

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

I do think that Heort's Laws all were created to circumscribe practices common before the Silver Age. Human Sacrifice is a major part of the strictly delineated no-nos for Orlanth worship, so, somewhat perversely, I actually suspect it played a role in Vingkotling ritual.

Huh? Are you talking about human sacrifice here?

There is another problem about killing folk during the Greater Darkness - they stayed around, despite being dead. It took the Silver Age heroes to separate the Dead from the Living and to designate them to Underworld places.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

The fragments that persist, of course, are the funeral by cremation and the Flame of Sartar. The alteration of the Green Age interchangeability of mortals and beasts is of course a continuum that still has deviations after Time. The Law states only beasts may be burned for Orlanth, but what if one cannot tell the difference?

Immolation like Sartar's is a means of trans-substantiating rather than preparing a dead body for the afterlife as in cremation.

Involuntary immolation like Brolarulf Burnt-Poet's is different, and that special instance had no component of sacrifice, not even to call down a death-curse on Lokamayadon.

Heort's Laws confirm the practices introduced by Hantrafal, free from the Ana Gor practices that are maintained by the Dark Earth cults of Imarja and Maran.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Now, from Orlanth's "desertion" of his people the chief god was Elmal, not Orlanth. Elmal's material presence was as a steady light at the peak of Kero Fin. Interestingly, that light flared when Heort put his grandfather (who had become Ice, the fusion of Hunger/Darkness/Air) to rest. If Elmal, Cold Fire, is in fact the consuming, cold fire that burns away the sacred kings and returns them to Vingkot, this might make sense (as a Light which burns/Sunspear he is the inner Fire/Sky that exists beyond Air/Storm, much as Darkness/Hunger resides in the center of Earth). This would make sense also if Orlanth and Vingkot are essentially identical, for the absent God is also the dead, burned, ashen king, smoke in the breeze, and his surrender of rulership to Elmal is also the surrender of sovereignty back to Aether, even in a broken state.

Vingkot was immortal, which made his suffering from the Chaos Wound so unbearable. Vingkot chose to leave the world of the living, following Yelm on the Path of the Dead. There is a problem with the timing of the battle in which Vingkot received that wound if you try to force the Gods War into a coherent timeline. I stopped trying.

Of course Storm is the Merger of Earth and Fire, unlike all the other elements before it. But I don't think that postulating an inner other element for each element is helpful. If you look at the cosmology, the Earth Cube is surrounded by Darkness, separated through water, on all sides but the surface, where this is only true in the night.

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

On the left hand, however, we have Eurmal, the other, who "steals" Fire, burns the wooden man, and shows the ordinary people how to eat (satisfy the Hunger he embodies) and stay warm. He is the gift that the profanation of the sacred flame provides: the cooking fire. His fire is not the fire of utter and pure dissolution, like Aether, or the Immolation Rite, but the fire that scorches away disease and preserves. It is interesting, of course, that Orlanth "finds" Eurmal at the same time that the Vingkotlings destroy themselves, but perhaps Heort's way is best: no king but elective kings. We best remember that the last of the Vingkotlings, Jardfor and Kogal, were cannibalistic shapeshifters. That, of course, is the ogre way.

What a great heterodox story. Really. And there should be magic availabe from following this path, even though I regard it as Alternate Facts, and therefore exremely hard to perform as a heroquest.

Eurmal is the thief of fire, never its owner. A lot less so than his all-too strong connection to Death, much to the regret of pretty much everybody.

Orlanth finding Eurmal, saving him from the persecution of thecity on the Black Isle of Introspection, is the least sequential station of the Westfaring. I find it quite possible that this is a much earlier myth that was inserted here by Harmast for lack of knowledge of a better timed myth (that would actually propel him further westward).

The atrocities of the Hidden Kings aren't much different from other survival efforts in the Greater Darkness. Is the ritual bear hunt of the bear shapeshifting worshippers (of Rathor or Odayla, to name just two such cults) cannibalism?

The nature of the beasts that the Hidden Kings shifted to may have been more controversial than the fact that they took carnivorous shape. IIRC there were wolves involved, a no-go for Orlanthi (with the exception of Humakt). (This may have been a factor in hindering the ascension of Salinarg for his choice of wife, repeating the sin of Onelisin with a desendant of hers and Ostling.)

21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Now, speaking outside MG (My Glorantha) I admit I was thinking of course in part of Arthur, Lancelot/Mordred, and Guinevere, with whom this story has a lot in common. Thus the magic sword, thrust into the Rock/Earth, the "burning ritual" (I see the catastrophe around the Elmal-fire being equivalent to Lancelot's massacre of the defenders at Guinevere's own threatened burning), the step/foster son becoming the lover of the Queen with the uncertain blindness/tacit permission of the childless king, whose army has been destroyed fighting the Emperor of the World and seeking to restore the fertility of the Wasted Universe... This, at least, permits Rastagar/Lastralgor to have a certain noble tragedy. Perhaps his trick was sanctified by some earlier precedent, and Irillo/the warlord knew what was up, or the queen did. But if one did, the other may not have.

Phew. Thoughts? I have a dozen or so pages of detailed notes if anyone's interested.

A lot of your assumptions are really long shots. Nonetheless, the entire story is fascinating. I just cannot get far enough out of my bubble to buy it for my Glorantha.

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Joerg, your comments are very helpful. I'm starting with a fairly outré position because I don't want to assume that anything before Heort is necessarily recognisable - that the Heortlings impose their values backwards onto their non-Heortling ancestors.

You wrote: "IMO the concept of Vingkotling kingship is contrary to the sacrificial kingship. Compare the upset Yarandros of Tarsh caused when he claimed Vingkotling kingship rather than the Sacred Marriage sovereignty." 

This may be very significant. Though I'd argue that Vingkot's necessary immolation may be a post-facto, Heortling-derived, interpretation of the facts. After all, the RW analogue, the cremation of Herakles, as we can see in Euripedes, is not just to release him from pain, but a crucial part of his apotheosis. The Romans, of course made their emperors into gods in the same way, though they waited until they were physically (if not spiritually) dead. Ultimately if Broyan is a devotee of Vingkot the same fate ought to be a part of his adherence to the cult. But then, falling on the Rastagar as villain possibility, I like the idea that the "warlord" is burned alive as a act of mockery by Rastagar, perhaps in his stead - viz. the "stead burning" part of bloodfeud.

I may dial back the cosmic meaning of things a bit when things see play.

Well, I do think Broyan took on the "warlord" role in gaining the Vingkotling weapons - rather than the status of heir of Rastagar. I supposed one wants the pieces to fit together, but it's a little like a extremely scattered jigsaw, and 80% is lost. Stepping back a bit:

1. Rastagar screwed up and Orlanthi storytellers will make this both inevitable and hubristic, altering details to make it fit. The implication on the one hand is that he summoned the fyrd to fight Chaos, but the betrayal of so many of his thanes would have to have some sort of justification.

2. The Queen is Orana/Orendela, or her manifestation. I am still inclined to see the sacrificial aspect of Ana Gor as somehow connected to her. Of course - if death was no great barrier to access to the World, human sacrifice, particularly willing sacrifice, might be seen as a transformation rite rather than a grave and disturbing tradition.

3. The warlord is not Irillo. I'm going with him being the figure adapted by Broyan. Broyan finesses the "lover" aspect to help him win Samastina's aid, though this is seen through by most of the Grandmothers. However, the warlord probably dies somehow in the story and Broyan can't fully sidestep this.

3. The Irillo role is someone else. He would naturally appear as a proxy for the Esrolians, drawn in accidentally or deliberately. Perhaps it's our hapless Governor, Orngerin?

 

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37 minutes ago, Joerg said:

A lot of your assumptions are really long shots. Nonetheless, the entire story is fascinating. I just cannot get far enough out of my bubble to buy it for my Glorantha.

Yeah, my way of writing games is to take on the story from an unexpected place if at all possible, and use dreaming and meditation to do so. Thinking about Glorantha intensifies this.

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10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

I'm starting with a fairly outré position because I don't want to assume that anything before Heort is necessarily recognisable - that the Heortlings impose their values backwards onto their non-Heortling ancestors.

A very valid assumption. Now, which period Heortlings do you mean? (Sorry...)

Pre-Lokamayadon/Harmast we have the Dawn survivors, who join forces with all the other Unity Council folk, then split over the God Project.

Then we have the Harmast successors, freshly aware of the composite Lightbringers Quest re-created by Harmast, to complement their world-reaffirmation through the I Fought We Won mystery, taken over by the Old Day traditionalist opponents of the dragon ways (although non-militant as far as the Hendriki tribe and their subjects were concerned, much different from the southern Pelorians). They have their Larnstings establishing new rules.

Post-Dragonkill adaptation of Alakoring's Rex cult brings another new perspective, possibly overriding the Larnsting sensibilities that linger in the Hendriki.

Then the Taliban fanatics rather risking annihilation in Dragon Pass than doctrinal pollution under Belintar's governor-kings.

And finally we have the Lunar occupation era resistance fighters taking their very own anti-Chaos spin.

Each of these groups would project a different life reality on their myths, and discover new interpretations of old stories.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

You wrote: "IMO the concept of Vingkotling kingship is contrary to the sacrificial kingship. Compare the upset Yarandros of Tarsh caused when he claimed Vingkotling kingship rather than the Sacred Marriage sovereignty." 

This may be very significant. Though I'd argue that Vingkot's necessary immolation may be a post-facto, Heortling-derived, interpretation of the facts. After all, the RW analogue, the cremation of Herakles, as we can see in Euripedes, is not just to release him from pain, but a crucial part of his apotheosis.

The flame is the separating agent, releasing the immortal portion to godhead. This is not really different from Orlanth undergoing the Flames of Ehilm in the court of Maggotliege in the Underworld, a purification of those things that hold his divinity back.

Returning to anthropology influenced by a recent meeting with an Archaeology professor with ties to Hedeby and the Roman Iron Age for the Cimbrian peninsula, I wonder how common cremation was over the various phases of the Orlanthi, and what role body burials play in those cultural phases. Vingkot avoided body burial, but he was immolated alive rather than cremated. Brolarulf's Immolation may have changed the Orlanthi view of immolations.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

The Romans, of course made their emperors into gods in the same way, though they waited until they were physically (if not spiritually) dead.

To be fair, the imperial godhead was granted to them while alive, the burial cremations sort of promoted them to Elder Statesman status among the divinities.

Our western mind-set might be a bit at a loss to accept that a human like you and me can be a divine being at the same time, or at least when divinity is called for. I guess that my polytheistic Germanic ancestor had no problems with such a superposition, and I get the impression that the Japanese concept of a living deity (e.g. residing in the Tenno) is pretty much the same thing.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Ultimately if Broyan is a devotee of Vingkot the same fate ought to be a part of his adherence to the cult. But then, falling on the Rastagar as villain possibility, I like the idea that the "warlord" is burned alive as a act of mockery by Rastagar, perhaps in his stead - viz. the "stead burning" part of bloodfeud.

That may be a projection of the Brolarulf immolation on the descendance of Vingkot.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Well, I do think Broyan took on the "warlord" role in gaining the Vingkotling weapons - rather than the status of heir of Rastagar. I supposed one wants the pieces to fit together, but it's a little like a extremely scattered jigsaw, and 80% is lost.

You have a point in Irillo being a part of the Nochet side of the story, and may be rather an unknown in the Heortling perspective of this myth.

However, the warlord role doesn't really matter much in the Heortling perspective - they would be concerned with Rastagar and his Queen of Nochet, and post-Finelvanth that story may be loaded differently than before the Adjustment Wars.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Stepping back a bit:

1. Rastagar screwed up and Orlanthi storytellers will make this both inevitable and hubristic, altering details to make it fit. The implication on the one hand is that he summoned the fyrd to fight Chaos, but the betrayal of so many of his thanes would have to have some sort of justification.

I feel that Rastagar gets plenty undeserved flak due to his queen consorting with Chaos. The side of Imarja that nobody likes to acknowledge, but which is definitely an integral part of her.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

2. The Queen is Orana/Orendela, or her manifestation. I am still inclined to see the sacrificial aspect of Ana Gor as somehow connected to her. Of course - if death was no great barrier to access to the World, human sacrifice, particularly willing sacrifice, might be seen as a transformation rite rather than a grave and disturbing tradition.

Oh, I am with you there. Imarja expresses Ana Gor on a regular basis.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

3. The warlord is not Irillo. I'm going with him being the figure adapted by Broyan. Broyan finesses the "lover" aspect to help him win Samastina's aid, though this is seen through by most of the Grandmothers. However, the warlord probably dies somehow in the story and Broyan can't fully sidestep this.

The story as told in Esrolia Land of 10k Goddesses has Irillo return from Rastagar's last battle post-mortem, which is not necessarily a problem at this stage of the Greater Darkness.

10 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

3. The Irillo role is someone else. He would naturally appear as a proxy for the Esrolians, drawn in accidentally or deliberately. Perhaps it's our hapless Governor, Orngerin?

Might be a possibility.

 

My main problem with this interpretation is the lack of reported disagreement or disrespect between Broyan and his Queen of Nochet Samastina. Broyan's fault is his sacrifice of the City of Wonders - something few Heortlings would grieve for - but what got him was a breach of the Kitori Tribute, not even his fault but that of his predecessors.

Vingkotling kings play at the highest stakes, but a tragic ending is far from guaranteed, just look at Yarandros of Tarsh or Sartar of Dragon Pass.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

However, the warlord role doesn't really matter much in the Heortling perspective - they would be concerned with Rastagar and his Queen of Nochet, and post-Finelvanth that story may be loaded differently than before the Adjustment Wars.

I feel that Rastagar gets plenty undeserved flak due to his queen consorting with Chaos. The side of Imarja that nobody likes to acknowledge, but which is definitely an integral part of her.

 

1. I may have been thinking too much like a God Learner - obviously the warlord and the queen's theft/borrowing/receiving the sword and helm is the mythically ideal spot to end up with them in a HQ. (And for a moment I said - ah ha - an obscure character is much easier to adapt to one's needs... but Broyan would want the "best" role - not the Trickster role, and not the supporting character role... I supposed also that if he were not Rastagar it would be a tiny bit easier to sell his actions to Samastina, who isn't a fool).

2. I've noticed that you've argued that Imarja is Chaotic, or that she represents Illumination. But is that true? Isn't she a Mystic entity, and that doesn't mean Chaos or Not-Chaos... Not disagreeing but trying to figure out the reason you came to that conclusion. I probably missed it.

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3 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

2. I've noticed that you've argued that Imarja is Chaotic, or that she represents Illumination. But is that true? Isn't she a Mystic entity, and that doesn't mean Chaos or Not-Chaos... Not disagreeing but trying to figure out the reason you came to that conclusion. I probably missed it.

All illumination means some rapport with Chaos. As for Imarja, she is almost all-encompassing (stopping only at Kodig and his kin, it seems), and would have wed the Earth Queen to anyone. Possibly Nontraya as well, but definitely to Chaos if Chaos had come.

I think that the cotery of Imarjan Grandmothers and the Earth cult at Ezel aren't always pulling in the same direction, and the same might be true for the relationship between Great Ernalda and Imarja. There is a great deal of overlap, but the Venn diagram shows exclusive areas for either. Nontraya doesn't show up in connection to Imarja, for instance.

(And there is still that funky conspiracy theory that Imarja is a re-incarnating keet sage hiding out in the durulz population of the region, leading the biggest city and most populous land of the region by the no(o)se. A possibly fallen sage.)

 

Nontraya is still a bit puzzling. In some sense he is Vivamort, the deity who preferred Undeath to Annihilation, but there is no evidence that he fulfills any of the classical vampire tropes. Not that drinking human blood would be raising much of an eyebrow in Esrolia, after all Babeester Gor does encourage this.

Nontraya is quite similar to the Death that came to Prax and got tricked by Tada burying Eiritha.

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

All illumination means some rapport with Chaos. As for Imarja, she is almost all-encompassing (stopping only at Kodig and his kin, it seems), and would have wed the Earth Queen to anyone. Possibly Nontraya as well, but definitely to Chaos if Chaos had come.

I think that the cotery of Imarjan Grandmothers and the Earth cult at Ezel aren't always pulling in the same direction, and the same might be true for the relationship between Great Ernalda and Imarja. There is a great deal of overlap, but the Venn diagram shows exclusive areas for either. Nontraya doesn't show up in connection to Imarja, for instance.

(And there is still that funky conspiracy theory that Imarja is a re-incarnating keet sage hiding out in the durulz population of the region, leading the biggest city and most populous land of the region by the no(o)se. A possibly fallen sage.)

Imarja is clearly from before when the Gods were cursed and lost their beaks and feathers. Her illumination protected her luxuriant quills and her gleaming bill. I find it interesting that Orlanthi Wind Lords were asked to eat eggs, as a metaphor for the sun, that the sun is a goose egg in the Ezel cult, and that Durev and Orane's twin too-smart and too-stupid children lost - along with the dish and spoon - the golden goose - to a handsome stranger from far away. I think Imarja is from the Dureving/Orenaeo strata of the people's mythology, long, long ago. Perhaps Durev was carved from wood, but maybe Orane was born in a nest... 

After all, won't it be a little fitting if the Durulz were telling the truth?

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

Nontraya is still a bit puzzling. In some sense he is Vivamort, the deity who preferred Undeath to Annihilation, but there is no evidence that he fulfills any of the classical vampire tropes. Not that drinking human blood would be raising much of an eyebrow in Esrolia, after all Babeester Gor does encourage this.

Nontraya is quite similar to the Death that came to Prax and got tricked by Tada burying Eiritha.

Speaking of things that might be right under our beaks...

I had a gut feeling that Vingkot's stead was not actually restricted to Grizzly Peak - after all, he "inherited" Orlanth's hall. And the various crude maps we have of the Storm Age show Vingkot's run below Kero Fin, not above it. So I considered the mountains, the aunts and mother of Orlanth: now the map we have of the God Time stead shows the mountains in a different order, and as space and time flow differently in that way of looking, and the map I came up with is no great leap.

In the deuterocanonical TotRM 19 we are given two older names for Delecti's Ruin: Orin Jistil in the EWF and Wingkoland also. Wingkoland, the seat of the necromancer himself, is the Summer nest of Vingkot and of his divine father! When we were Wing-goes we could fly. But now all the Wing-goes are gone.

But it gets worse, of course, as it always does. In WF #15, p.17, we see Ernalda's Undead Grotto. This, I believe, was the Loom House (or, as we call it, the Loon House).

The hill people may not understand this, but the Durulz do. In Time, Nontraya has won. The seat of the Vingkotlings is profaned, the dead queen dwells with the dead Burnt Man (or "Cooked Goose"), and we have all lost our power of flight. Even the other egg of Imarja.... I mean Grandmother Loon... has gone wrong, spicy and red: it is indeed the Devil's Egg, which when things are scrambled, will birth the End.

Delecti feeds off the divine tula to strengthen his unholy life; makes the fertile earth into drowning quicksand, fills the sweet breeze with foetid decay. He is the rot at the very heart of the Earth. Quack for Hueymakt!

Dragon Pass Wind Rune.png

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Imarja is clearly from before when the Gods were cursed and lost their beaks and feathers. Her illumination protected her luxuriant quills and her gleaming bill.

You know, the bad news is that there are plenty indications that you might be right about people being bird-like early on.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I find it interesting that Orlanthi Wind Lords were asked to eat eggs, as a metaphor for the sun, that the sun is a goose egg in the Ezel cult, and that Durev and Orane's twin too-smart and too-stupid children lost - along with the dish and spoon - the golden goose - to a handsome stranger from far away.

Birds are of course creatures from the sky, much like horses and Pelorian gazzam.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I think Imarja is from the Dureving/Orenaeo strata of the people's mythology, long, long ago. Perhaps Durev was carved from wood, but maybe Orane was born in a nest... 

Being born in a nest or from an egg doesn't mean that you will emerge as a bird. Poor Leda laid two swan eggs after Zeus had added Castor and Helen to her already growing twins (by her husband) Polydeukos and Klytemnaestra. The Suvarians and the Alkothi peasantry both emerge from nests and clutches.

The Orlanthi come way too late to participate in this, however, and if any old earth cults have had peope hatched in eggs, those eggs would have been laid by serpents.

The Dureving roots might be argued to be the first humans that made Orlanth their protector, but I wouldn't grant them early Golden Age or Green Age heroquesting privileges. The Storm Tribe has Gustbran and his cousins/brothers who are married to various of Ernalda's handmaidens, and this ancient Fire and Earth tribe (IMO indigeneous from Kethaela) makes up much of the basic rank and file of the early Vingkotling tribes. They are part of Ernalda's dowry.

Vingkot himself is the spawn of the On Jorri, a Sairdite people we know but little about. They appear to have been quite numerous before the troubles came, and proud enough to stand against Orlanth and the Storm Tribe for a while. When they learnt what opposing Orlanth meant for their health and wealth, Janeera Alone approached Orlanth, and the result was Vingkot, son of Orlanth, but not of Ernalda.

The On Jorri might have been a disavowed Earth people - once of the kin of the Earthmother, but sent away for some unknown misdeed. There might be a weak echo of this in the term "Holaya's Bastard Daughters" in modern Saird. (@jajagappa?)

This might of course have created a bit of a Hera-Herakles relationship between Ernalda and the Vingkot lineage. However, the Vingkotling wives generally have a flawless earth genealogy behind them - Vingkot himself married twin princesses of the Tada-shi, and his son Kodig married the Queen of Nochet. Rastagar has had avatars of the Earth Queen as female ancestors for four generations.

(I wonder how much tribal intermarriage happened between the normal Vingkotling tribes, excluding the Kodigvari with their over-proportional numbers of pre-Orlanthi Manirian folk.)

Kodig may have been not only Vingkot's eldest son, but also a re-incarnation of one of the ancient Bad Men of Nochet myths, part of their Green Age defining moments. Both Vingkot and Kodig are demigods powerful enough to be born or around several times in Godtime. A similar pluripresence might be behind the two Orstans of Heortling mythology.

I don't see Vingkot ever at odds with Ezel or the Paps (or whichever holy place was there before Eiritha went into hiding). Also Kodig's problems are with Nochet, not with the Earth Mother.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

After all, won't it be a little fitting if the Durulz were telling the truth?

The Durulz are almost as badly cut off from their Golden Age roots as the Oasis Folk of Prax and the Wastes. It isn't quite clear what else they suffered after having been carried out of their ancestral lands by Solkathi. They may have a hidden caste of true memory bearers among them, but that knowledge (if it exists) is more strongly guarded than the sang real in the modern versions of the grail myth.

So basically, what the Durulz tell is what they have picked up from their environment, naively re-interpreted to match their extremely mangled snippets of ancestral memory. There may be truth to be found, but you might have to give them a bag of letter-carved sticks to unlock that truth, and it might be the (wrong) answer to "what is six multiplied by eight".

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On 12/17/2017 at 1:07 PM, Joerg said:

The atrocities of the Hidden Kings aren't much different from other survival efforts in the Greater Darkness. Is the ritual bear hunt of the bear shapeshifting worshippers (of Rathor or Odayla, to name just two such cults) cannibalism?

The nature of the beasts that the Hidden Kings shifted to may have been more controversial than the fact that they took carnivorous shape. IIRC there were wolves involved, a no-go for Orlanthi (with the exception of Humakt). (This may have been a factor in hindering the ascension of Salinarg for his choice of wife, repeating the sin of Onelisin with a desendant of hers and Ostling.)

From the BoHM, p. 91: "She [Serias] was the most beautiful woman of the Vingkotlings, seven generations descended from the Archer, but her clan had been scattered, and she had been left behind when they fled from the snow wolves. Garan dashed below, streaking to her side and destroying the entire pack."

Is this what you mean? In this case the rescue of the Garanvuli happens twice or from two perspectives: once when the Low Star arrived and once when Heort was threatened with being eaten (he was presumably caught in the form of a deer). That would make the last Kodigvari identical to the snow wolves, who preyed on their human cousins. Interesting. Of all things my 7 year old daughter was helping me name the hills around Volsaxiland for my campaign (I strongly endorse listening to children for the real raw stuff of storytelling) and she pointed to the ridge opposite Whitewall, near the barrows of the kings, and said: "That's Wolf Ridge".

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21 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

I've noticed that you've argued that Imarja is Chaotic, or that she represents Illumination. But is that true? Isn't she a Mystic entity, and that doesn't mean Chaos or Not-Chaos... Not disagreeing but trying to figure out the reason you came to that conclusion. I probably missed it.

Catching up on this thread, so some of these comments will be out-of-sequence.

Imarja is the principle of the Divine Feminine (or Feminine All perhaps).  She is not a queen, and not married to Rastagar.  Nor is she Chaos.  The stories of her strongly suggest Illumination, though.

17 hours ago, Joerg said:

All illumination means some rapport with Chaos. As for Imarja, she is almost all-encompassing (stopping only at Kodig and his kin, it seems), and would have wed the Earth Queen to anyone. Possibly Nontraya as well, but definitely to Chaos if Chaos had come.

It certainly means an understanding of Chaos.  Doesn't necessarily mean rapport or use of Chaos.  In fact, can mean an ability to discern why not to use Chaos.  I think you're conflating Imarja with the Grandmothers here.

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 4:43 PM, jeffjerwin said:

Well, I do think Broyan took on the "warlord" role in gaining the Vingkotling weapons - rather than the status of heir of Rastagar.

Broyan does not take on the status of "heir of Rastagar".  He takes on the status/role of Vingkot himself, and of the divine blood/lineage of Vingkot.  Verenmars in Saird towards the end of the Second Age did so as well.  The role is the "son of Orlanth" and the "divine king".  The only way to gain and wield the Helm and Sword are to prove the divine blood (and conversely the only way to prove he has the divine blood is to find and wield the Helm and Sword).

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 4:43 PM, jeffjerwin said:

1. Rastagar screwed up and Orlanthi storytellers will make this both inevitable and hubristic, altering details to make it fit. The implication on the one hand is that he summoned the fyrd to fight Chaos, but the betrayal of so many of his thanes would have to have some sort of justification.

2. The Queen is Orana/Orendela, or her manifestation. I am still inclined to see the sacrificial aspect of Ana Gor as somehow connected to her. Of course - if death was no great barrier to access to the World, human sacrifice, particularly willing sacrifice, might be seen as a transformation rite rather than a grave and disturbing tradition.

3. The warlord is not Irillo. I'm going with him being the figure adapted by Broyan. Broyan finesses the "lover" aspect to help him win Samastina's aid, though this is seen through by most of the Grandmothers. However, the warlord probably dies somehow in the story and Broyan can't fully sidestep this.

3. The Irillo role is someone else. He would naturally appear as a proxy for the Esrolians, drawn in accidentally or deliberately. Perhaps it's our hapless Governor, Orngerin?

Yes, Rastagar screwed up.  The Orlanthi will tell it one way - he was betrayed.  The Esrolians another - in his overweening pride he led his men into disaster.

His spouse is the Queen of Nochet/Esrolia.  She is Ernalda's manifestation.  And Ernalda can curse as well as bless.  Rastagar failed in his duty to protect his queen.

On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 4:43 PM, jeffjerwin said:

In my version of things, Orane, as the consort of Durev, the man of wood, that is, the natural object of an Immolation Rite and the counterpart of Flamal, whom, we may note, Eurmal murdered and burned at Hrelar Amali before he was rescued by Orlanth - at seeming the same "time" as all this was going on, was repossessed by the Burnt Man, the undead Durev in the form of Nontraya [Traya, Drya, Durev, etc. = tree, wood] who had been reanimated by Chaos and the absence of any separation between the Living and the Dead. After all, the God of Undeath believes he has some claim on Queen Earth... He is, of course, a perversion of the dormancy of vegetation in winter.

Interesting.  I wouldn't read too much into the naming (the Heortling names are nowhere near as developed as the DH names) as many things that sound similar, just sound similar, but don't relate.  The idea is quite workable as an alternate myth, though.

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 4:07 PM, Joerg said:

Combining the notions of fire and Trickster is a concept I like, though.

Yes, I like that aspect too.

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 4:07 PM, Joerg said:

I disagree strongly. Irillo is about not being a Vingkot ruler, but the good underhusband/champion, leaving the rulership to the queen where the Imarjans say it belongs. Stepping up as a Vingkotling king had Hendira in hives (see her scene in Samastina's chapter in Prince of Sartar). Samastina cooperating with the Vingkotling over-king is an affront to the Imarjans of Nochet and Esrolia, and a risky gamble on Samastina's part, a ride on a blade.

Agree.  Irillo is the Good Defender.  He does not take up kingship, but clearly is and remains the champion and defender of Nochet.

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 4:07 PM, Joerg said:

Eurmal is the thief of fire, never its owner. A lot less so than his all-too strong connection to Death, much to the regret of pretty much everybody.

And the distributor of fire (in some ways very Promethean, but more likely to see what damage it does).

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 5:36 PM, Joerg said:

You have a point in Irillo being a part of the Nochet side of the story, and may be rather an unknown in the Heortling perspective of this myth.

Considering that the Irillo Defenders are the militia of Nochet, i.e. equivalent to the fyrd, Rastagar calling upon these folk to fight doesn't make Irillo the warlord or champion for Rastagar.  But Irillo may eventually take that role when he finds his way back to Nochet after Rastagar's disaster.  One reason the Grandmothers/Ernalda would curse Rastagar is that he drew too deeply upon these folk rather than simply taking the thanes to fight.

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 5:36 PM, Joerg said:

Imarja expresses Ana Gor on a regular basis.

Agree that there is a sacrificial aspect to Imarja, but often as not it is self-sacrifice of Imarja, not the expression of Ana Gor.  I'm not convinced of this association.  And Orana is the opposite of Ana Gor.  Orana is the embodiment of Life.  The Necklace of Enlivenment that she wears represents that (it is not a symbol of queenship or sovereignty) and makes Orana closer to Uleria in concept among the Esrolians.

On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 5:36 PM, Joerg said:

the lack of reported disagreement or disrespect between Broyan and his Queen of Nochet Samastina

This is not Rastagar and his queen.  This might be more equivalent to Vingkot and the Summer Wife.  But it also only appears to have been a Year Marriage with the one set of children.  Samastina is off with Argrath the next year, so she's playing her own game and not continuing the dalliance with Broyan.  

10 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

maybe Orane was born in a nest

Probably conflating too many things here.  Orana as one of the Six Sisters (in that line of thought), suggests an Earth Goddess daughter of Asrelia that is sometimes distinct from Ernalda, and sometimes separate, but not of any line from Imarja (other than being female).

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

When they learnt what opposing Orlanth meant for their health and wealth, Janeera Alone approached Orlanth, and the result was Vingkot, son of Orlanth, but not of Ernalda.

And so the seeds of Ernalda's jealousy are planted, to emerge as a curse that will strike down the future generation when they grow too proud.

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

The On Jorri might have been a disavowed Earth people - once of the kin of the Earthmother, but sent away for some unknown misdeed. There might be a weak echo of this in the term "Holaya's Bastard Daughters" in modern Saird. (@jajagappa?)

I did not explore the On Jorri in my Saird works.  Whether they come from there, or have an earth lineage is unclear.  The known Earth remnant folk are the Nalda Bin, the “Stick Farmers” and the Aranto Viv, the “Axe People”.  And there are the folk who likely followed Molandro and those who followed Illavan, both destroyed in the rise of the Emperor.  But they are not related to any Holayans per se who are an amalgam of Pure Horse remnants mixed with more modern Orlanthi.

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Kodig may have been not only Vingkot's eldest son, but also a re-incarnation of one of the ancient Bad Men of Nochet myths, part of their Green Age defining moments.

I like this thought.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Of all things my 7 year old daughter was helping me name the hills around Volsaxiland for my campaign (I strongly endorse listening to children for the real raw stuff of storytelling) and she pointed to the ridge opposite Whitewall, near the barrows of the kings, and said: "That's Wolf Ridge".

Love it!  Sounds like I'll have to bring that name into my game as well. :-) 

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Vinga and Vingkot

 

As I’ve mentioned very briefly before the names Vinga and Vingkot are rather obviously related. In terms of mythologies, it would be sensible for Vinga and Vingkot to be twins or siblings, and thus share a mother: Janerra Alone.

(I also think Vingkot is an eroded form of *Wing-kolat, with –kolat being the same root as the name of storm and wind spirits, Kolatings).

If this is inferred or outright believed by Broyan and his Vingkotling Ring it would not merely be good manners and befitting a rebel king to host Vingans in his households, it would be mythically required… We may note that Leika and Kallyr are Vingans and became the chief weaponthanes and allies of Broyan in Whitewall. I imagine therefore a reconstructed/synthetic double recognition rite: ‘Ho! Brother, remember me?’ … ‘I have not forgotten your red hair, sister, and your spear… (list of boasts and features of Vinga)…’ and embrace of such women as trusted kin. This is paired with the Vingan recognising Vingkot as her brother and friend, strengthing the claims of Broyan to be Vingkot. (This also rules out any theories about intimate relationships with either women, however).

 

Worcha Rage and Stormfall: the problem of Vingkot’s death

A bit before this it was commented that I barely touched on Broyan at Whitewall. Well, this is because I was contemplating the problem of Vingkot’s death and the potential trap that existed for Broyan if he hero-formed there against the Bat.

Here’s an excerpt from Sartar:KoH:

 

‘Whitewall is an ancient fortress that was one of the last strongholds during the Darkness. It was atop Whitewall that King Vingkot, the first Orlanthi king, fought the monster called Worcha Rage and, though defeated, with his last breath he invoked Orlanth who came to defeat the Seas. It sits atop a high plateau of white stone, which the builders used to make the city’s walls. The old Hendriking kings lived there, and afterwards the high kings of the Volsaxar ruled from there. It is a place of great magical power and ritual importance. With the Lunar Conquest of Sartar, Whitewall is the last great stronghold of the Orlanth cult.’

 

‘Last breath’ tends to indicate something rather particular – a dying breath. Now Vingkot’s death is elsewhere connected to a fight with a chaos godling at Stormfall. He, of course, is also said to be deathless, and thus, burdened by his wound from chaos, was burned alive to allow his spirit to become a god.

These are very bad things to have to confront if you’ve taken the name Broyan Vingkotling. In fact, one could speculate that the Lunars knew this. A chaos godling is just the thing to strike down ‘Vingkot’. The fact that the Crimson Bat manages to approximate the vastness and implacability of Worcha as well is a bonus. And that Whitewall besides being Broyan’s capital is also the mythically resonant site of a near-death or mortal event for Vingkot, so while Broyan could heroform Vingkot versus Worcha to save Whitewall, it would most likely kill him.

So Broyan, clearly, changed the rules. He was a Hendriki king, so that is what he chose as his strategy: Larnsting retreat and trickery. This was of course the way of Free Hendrik. But Broyan’s juggling of a second kind of hero into his repertoire has certain unavoidable incompatibilities with Vingkot… Vingkot is not a trickster hero; he’s certainly not the sort to escape like a sort of Heortling Brer Rabbit, leaping across the sky, ‘burning’ with his frenzy of liberation and outlawry. Vingkot is of course the archetypical Orlanthi (not just Heortling) king: generous, brave to the point of foolhardiness, potent, a builder of fortresses, a conqueror of peoples, a slayer of shadow men, ice men, waters, and dragons. Hendrik is the outlaw, the wiley thane, the suspicious (compare how he responded to Harmast to how a ‘great king’ might have), the unpredictable, the treacherous (he tricked Palangio into Dekko Crevice), the Uz-friend (at Dekko Crevice the Uz fell upon the Iron Vrok and killed him and all his shining army), the one who knows the owl ways, the alynx ways, and – curiously – also, he is an ancestor of all Hendriki but is never described as anyone’s father. Though as a member of the Gavrening clan, the blood of Yinkin, he probably has a number of bastards. Instead it is Harmast who has many sons, and I suspect Hendrik’s ‘adoptive brothers’ and sisters that carry on his lineage.

These are both Orlanth. But they are diametrically opposed Orlanths. And to be Hendrik in that moment so he could leap on the Bat and slay it by cunning and sleight is Hendrik, not Vingkot. Here, if not before, Broyan was doomed to the manner of his death. Hendrik was never a troll-thrall or a servant of Darkness, but he did know the Shadow Sacrifices and he was allied with the Kitori against the Bright Empire. When one is Vingkot, of course, one is a friend to Elmal, a husband to the ‘Summer Wife’, a father of horse-loving daughters, a slayer of ‘dark men’. But to best the Bat, Broyan needed to be Hendrik in that moment, and by that he bound himself to the oaths of Heort and the Only Old One…

This is, I think, why he failed to make the sacrifices once he returned to Whitewall. Because to do so was to cease to be Vingkot. He chose death – willfully or blindly ? – instead.

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Found this in Wyrm's Footnotes vol.11, no.3 (p.7):

"Vingkot the Victorious

Vingkot was the son of Orlanth's born in the Storm Age. He is often named as one of Orlanth's soldiers, usually as a housecarl. Vingkot married a daughter of Tada, king of a neighboring country, and with many children and followers lived amid the recently raised Stormwalk Mountains. Vingkot then expanded westward along the coast and into forests, and then northward where there were many wars with the (sun-worshipping) Dara Happans.

Vingkot was killed in fighting during the Darkness, but his body was returned and ceremoniously burned so his soul would forever be free and within the call of his descendants and followers."

This is one of the earliest mentions of the fellow in print - if not the earliest. It varies a bit from later canon. There's only one wife. Vingkot's stead is here in the Storm Hills, not in Dragon Pass itself. 

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