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Jon Hunter

Elmal Yelmalio thing

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6 hours ago, JonL said:

I also figure that while Monrogh's followers magically supporting his HeroQuest formed a core of Elmali converts by default as new truth he returned with became their new reality as well thanks to their connection to his quest, many of the later initiates will have come from free men around Vaantar who are drawn to the Sun Dome as a bulwark against the Kitori & Uz in northern Kethalia. 

 

The Kitori, as far as we know, are basically inert after Tarkalor's war. There's more danger of a slave revolt among the Sun Domers than then Uz and Kitori taking revenge...

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52 minutes ago, David Scott said:

If on the web in some form, it's likely part of a discussion and info from copyright work can be quoted for those purposes. If based on published works, it's derivative and so therefore can't be published without the permission of the owner, or in another way by licence. Being on the web, doesn't make it free or in most cases even legal. Just look at scribd and 4chan. 

Yes; this is why the availability of my 'book' is extremely limited. David has a hardback copy of v4.0 (which is full of typos, and now significantly expanded, and the weights and measures have been changed to metric in v4.9). I had five copies printed, of which another is with another Chaosium staffer, one is severely marked up, and the other two are in a box. Later PDFs are with two licensees, with whom the document was shared at the request of Chaosium staff.

There should not be any other copies in the 'wild'.

The current version is v4.9.

I attempt to be very careful with what I share publicly.

Edited by M Helsdon
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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

From Cults of Prax I alway though that the Kuschile Horse archery skill gave it away, and that everyone else was mounted.

Interesting, being mostly a HQ man, my RQ library is shallow. Looking in the RQG Previiew from last Gen Con, the Yelmalio cult has no riding related skills, though one gift & geas each relate to horses - communication with them and sparing them from cruelty, respectively.

Reading between the lines of the skill list isn't how important setting info ought to be conveyed though. 
 

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The Praxian Sun Dome militiamen and farmers probably are quite typical for sedentary, non-riding Yelmalians, despite the foreign influences of the Teshnans and the nomad overlordship.

The huge number of Praxian Yelmalians excel as mounted archers. I would have preferred it if the Pavis Survivors would have been portrayed as followers of Golden Bow rather than the Little Sun/the Sun Dome, instead.

The Vanntar temple at least has cavalry, although it doesn't come as a mercenary unit. The Tarsh temples appear to be very integrated with the normal population, less mercenary but quite a bit like standing garrison.

I said my pieces about tribal Sartarite Yelmalians years ago. Little if any of this hoplite stuff. Horse riders and skirmishers, experts with all manner of spears - thrown, cocked from horseback, etc.

Not that horse-crazy as those who remained Elmali, upholding the Hyalor traditions that had merged with the Vingkotlings and been prominent with the Heortlings.

 

The concept of the Sun Dome is a mystery to everyone who hasn't visited the early Golden Age, when people were feathered as much as fair-haired. Lorion's rise brought the sheen of the primal sky back, and hid the Sun Dome, and Xentha covered even that.

The Sun Dome is a weird mystery, a promise with not that much base in everyday life, but an immortal quality. That immortal quality might be the main difference between Elemal and Yelmalio. Elmal is the last Heat of the sun. Yelmalio is the beyond heat.

 

 

 

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The Praxian Yelmalio cult is unusual for an obvious reason - it has been isolated for many centuries and is still geographically isolated. As a result, its social culture is going to differ from that of Dragon Pass and Peloria. 

Horses are revered by the cult, even if the cult itself is not necessarily a "riding cult". Sows and snakes are revered by Ernalda, but last I checked, Earth Priestesses do not ride snake or sow. Hyalor is the "rider's cult".

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7 hours ago, Jeff said:

The Praxian Yelmalio cult is unusual for an obvious reason - it has been isolated for many centuries and is still geographically isolated. As a result, its social culture is going to differ from that of Dragon Pass and Peloria. 

That certainly makes sense. What qualities then are unique to the Domers along the Zola Fel? What things do you find in Vantar or Alda-Chur that you would not in the East? How do these compare to what one would find in Saird or Vanch?

The biggest difference I could find among the regional instances in the Moon Design era texts is mention in the Guide of the Yelmalio of Nochet being one of the Husbands of the Goddess.

Edited by JonL

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8 hours ago, JonL said:

What qualities then are unique to the Domers along the Zola Fel?

Perhaps friendship with the Sun Dragon?

9 hours ago, JonL said:

How do these compare to what one would find in Saird or Vanch?

Most of the Sun Domes in Saird claim various distinctions about being the "First" temple to do this or that for Yelmalio.  Kareiston's Temple in Imther is built upon an ancient site founded in the First Age when Emperor Mahzanelm conquered the region.  I think most of them carry on traditions based on local myths about the Little Sun when Yelmalio was known by other names (e.g. Lightfore, Heliakal, etc.), including aspects such as choosing the leader, the temple regalia, the wyter's magic, etc.

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9 hours ago, JonL said:

The biggest difference I could find among the regional instances in the Moon Design era texts is mention in the Guide of the Yelmalio of Nochet being one of the Husbands of the Goddess.

Here are several examples from my Saird material:

White Rock Temple (Sun Dome)

This is one of the Sun Dome Temples of the Yelmalio cult and it sits at a key site along the Daughter’s Road.  Many consider this to be the greatest of the existing Yelmalio temples, and it certainly dominates the land south of the Jader and east of the Oslir, particularly along the Daughter’s Road which the Templars help guard.   Nearby is the famed White Rock and below it, the great Salt Quarry where the Sun of the Son defeated and burned away a fearsome water god that advanced against the Empire of the Sun. 

The temple bustles with activity, preparing for the trials their Count Yugathus and the Sun Lord Herkanthos see coming in the days and years ahead.  The Queen of White Rock is chosen by the Count from three candidates selected by the Queen of Holay from within the Bell Temple.  The candidates bear the Three Sacred Fruits to the ceremony.  Whichever is chosen by the Count, her fruit is blessed within the surrounding lands until her passing.

True Sky Sun Dome (aka Sky City)

GtG p322

This Yelmalio Sun Dome temple in the hills between Little Cafol and Thubana defends Sylila from the Orlanthi barbarians. The cult supplies the satrap with disciplined pikemen.

The Count of this Sun Dome cannot be married, and must sever his bonds with his wife if he is married upon his ascension.  The Counts must maintain a ritual purity ever after, aided by a Priest of Enverinus who represents the lost power of Fire.

Zalan’s Sun Dome

GtG p337

The farmlands between the Zalador Hills and the Oslir River are defended against trolls, bandits, and raiders by this Sun Dome Temple. It fiercely defends its independence, until the right price comes along, at which point the inhabitants of military age become dedicated mercenaries.

When an old Count dies, a new Count is chosen from the unmarried leaders and departs for Filichet at the end of his first Seaseason.  There, the Queen of Filichet selects a Queen for the new Count and the two are married within the Bell Temple on the first day of Fireseason.  The path taken upon their return to Zalan’s Dome is marked by beautiful sunflowers which rise in their wake.

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20 hours ago, JonL said:

That certainly makes sense. What qualities then are unique to the Domers along the Zola Fel? What things do you find in Vantar or Alda-Chur that you would not in the East? How do these compare to what one would find in Saird or Vanch?

The biggest difference I could find among the regional instances in the Moon Design era texts is mention in the Guide of the Yelmalio of Nochet being one of the Husbands of the Goddess.

The biggest difference is the xenophobia and hostility shown by the Praxian Sun Domers to all outsiders. Most Yelmalians are aloof and distrustful of those outside the cult, but the Praxian Sun Dome takes that to extremes.

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1 minute ago, Jeff said:

Praxian Sun Dome

I just want to flag that the Praxian Sun Dome is not full of Praxians, The Praxian Yelmalio cult is based out in the Wastes and is much larger than the sun dome itself. It’s interesting that both cultures dislike foreigners, which may be due in part to an uptake of Praxians historically and their occasional rule. Perhaps @MOB could speculate.

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

I just want to flag that the Praxian Sun Dome is not full of Praxians, The Praxian Yelmalio cult is based out in the Wastes and is much larger than the sun dome itself. It’s interesting that both cultures dislike foreigners, which may be due in part to an uptake of Praxians historically and their occasional rule. Perhaps @MOB could speculate.

Long, long ago in the early heyday the Sun Domers along the Zola Fel sent missionaries out in the Praxian tribes and made converts, cultural and religious. A decision they later came to regret.

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On 7/12/2018 at 6:23 AM, Jeff said:

Horses are revered by the cult, even if the cult itself is not necessarily a "riding cult". Sows and snakes are revered by Ernalda, but last I checked, Earth Priestesses do not ride snake or sow. Hyalor is the "rider's cult".

Sure, but since WB&RM they have been pikemen not cavalry.

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The significant problem for Yelmalio is that IMO he doesn't work well 'within the clan'. The clan chieftain is the high priest of Orlanth, a clan member has to 'obey chosen leaders' and that means that within a normal clan (one without some sort of Solar rites) Yelmalio is subservient to Orlanth. That does not seem to be in-keeping with the perspective of the cult that it sees itself as a rival to Orlanth (and for Ernalda's hand in marriage). It's conservatism on gender roles also seems problematic within normal Orlanthi society.  The  Elmal cult is similar to Heler, in that it has a mythology that allows his worshipers to be 'loyal' to Orlanth and thus work within the clan. Even the Humakti have their re-sheathing rituals to exist within the clan.

So wherever Yelmalio appears in the clan, I think it will lead to conflict between the Orlanthi leadership and the Yelmalians. For both the Orlanthi and the Yelmalians 'exiling' them to their temple-fortresses, with their helots working in the fields, makes more sense as a social structure.

To my mind Yelmalio is Antirius/Lighfore 'outside the clan', part of Orlanthi society but separate from it. Elmal is Antirius/Lighfore within the clan, the 'loyal thane' who is able to accept Orlanth's leadership. And yes, he even has rites to rule if Orlanth is absent.

So those 1000 Elmali in Sartar are the sun-worshipers you meet in the clan, those possessed of the Fire rune (http://www.glorantha.com/forums/topic/the-many-suns-and-the-nature-of-polytheism/). it's probably a few clans with significant bloodlines of Elmali (say ten or so clans with 50-100 worshipers) and the others scattered Elmali households. I doubt even the Runegate triaty has 'full Elmal' clans, just significant bloodlines. I suspect that many of them see Monrogh as the 'Teller of Lies' who tempted Elmal into believing he could rule in Orlanth's Stead in the darkness, and those that have converted to Yelmalio as having failed the test of steadfastness. Perhaps they can be saved.

Whereas by numbers the Yelmalio worshippers are pretty much in the Sun Dome Temple (unlike Pavis none of the Sartarite cities we have seen so far have a Sun-Dome temple). I suspect they see the Elmali as having been 'colonized' by the Orlanthi religion, and 'rule takers not rule makers' to coin a phrase.

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I imagine one of the signs of horse reverence amongst Yelmalians is the helmet seen on the cover of Sun County: the Corinthian style one with twin plumes, designed after the mane and ears of horses.

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27 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

I suspect that many of them see Monrogh as the 'Teller of Lies' who tempted Elmal into believing he could rule in Orlanth's Stead in the darkness, and those that have converted to Yelmalio as having failed the test of steadfastness. Perhaps they can be saved.

I like this line a lot.  And it forces an individual to decide between Loyalty to the clan, or more powerful magic.  Perfect dilemma for a PC.

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2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Sure, but since WB&RM they have been pikemen not cavalry.

I suspect that whilst that's true for the mercenary regiments serving with the Provincial Armies, the forces available to the Temples are more varied, with archers, mounted and afoot, and others.

My reasoning is that given the terrain in southern Peloria, a phalanx on its own is going to be in serious trouble because its flanks will be very vulnerable (and even formations such as the marching square used by the Macedonians aren't an answer). A pike phalanx operates best in conjunction with combined arms: light infantry and/or cavalry, whether those cavalry are riding horses or Praxian beasts as a Hammer and Anvil. The pike phalanx can hold and roll into the enemy in place whilst more mobile units hammer them.

In the Provincial Army, other regiments provide that cover, and I suspect those Temples with cavalry keep them close to home.

In our history, the ratio of phalanx to cavalry changed significantly over time, because effective cavalry are more expensive in terms of training and support. By the time the pike phalanx encountered the Roman Legion, the ratio was very high, with too great a reliance upon the phalanx alone. Some states attempted to raise supporting troops equipped in the Roman fashion, but it wasn't sufficient.

Edited by M Helsdon
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Idea: The Yelmalio little sun tradition has its God Time roots among those who dwelt in the dome ark beneath the glacier where the Emperor summoned Antirius. The Elmal little sun tradition partakes of the experiences of the Hyalorings who rode out from Nivorah rather than enter the God Time Sun Dome.

The Little Sun of those that lay beneath the glacier is the cold one, bearing Pelorian trappings and phalanx magic, giving respect to authority, etc. 

The Little Sun of those that rode out turned its back on those things, and learned to vest authority in those who earn respect.

Edited by JonL
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On 7/13/2018 at 8:23 PM, Ian Cooper said:

Sure, but since WB&RM they have been pikemen not cavalry.

The units on the gameboard were phalanxes, whether with pike or whether with long spear wasn't exactly specified. The description of the templars always included horsemen and archers in those rules, and that's where I drew my observations on tribal Yelmalians from.

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17 hours ago, JonL said:

Idea: The Yelmalio little sun tradition has its God Time roots among those who dwelt in the dome ark beneath the glacier where the Emperor summoned Antirius. The Elmal little sun tradition partakes of the experiences of the Hyalorings who rode out from Nivorah rather than enter the God Time Sun Dome.

The Little Sun of those that lay beneath the glacier is the cold one, bearing Pelorian trappings and phalanx magic, giving respect to authority, etc. 

The Little Sun of those that rode out turned its back on those things, and learned to vest authority in those who earn respect.

The conjecture and speculation below has been shared before, but this is the latest version (an appendix of 'the book')...

Sun Dome Temples

Throughout the entire region of central Genertela, including the Lunar provinces, there are no more than fifteen major temples during the Hero Wars period.

There are Little Sun cults popular throughout south Peloria and Dragon Pass. Most commonly associated with Yelmalio, the Sun Dome Temple god, the god’s myths are diverse and contradictory.

All the Little Sun cults claim their god is the son of Emperor Sun; that their god survived the Lesser Darkness and was the Last Light in the Darkness; all dislike trolls; all have at least some connection with horses. However, some Little Sun cults dislike Orlanth, others are allied with Him; some believe the cult has a right to rule, others do not; some cults claim the Little Sun has Ernalda as consort, others do not. A God Learner would say, perhaps accurately, perhaps not, that Yelmalio and Elmal are just variations of the same god.

It is apparent that the Yelmalio cult is not as unified as it seems, and it is difficult to ascertain whether there is a single Little Sun, with regional variations, or many related Little Sun Gods.

In Imther, the Yelmalio cult of Kareiston’s Temple preserves local variations in myth from the Yelmalio cults of Dragon Pass and the Mirin’s Cross network of temples. The name Khelmal is given to the god there. The locals call him the God of Kareiston’s Temple, and give him many epithets including ‘Little Sun’, ‘Son of the Sun’, ‘God of the Sky Dome’ and the ‘Cold Sun’.

In other places, Yelmalio is also known as ‘God of the Winter Sun’, ‘Preserver of the Light’ and the ‘Golden Spearman’.

He has many other titles.

In New Lolon his worshippers there claim it as the site of his Seat of Judgment, where the Light Protector Heliacal lived with his wife, the Green Woman.

Yelmalio is not alone in this diversity. Orlanth has very diverse aspects (so much so that Thunderous, Adventurous, and Rex are effectively separate cults).

Throughout its history, the cults of Yelmalio have sometimes almost been extinguished, but as the light that does not go out, though diminished, the cult of the Cold Sun always reignites. Despite severe reverses, and a variety of names, the cult has a strong continuity, and although distant temples may vary in their rites and theology, strong similarities in ritual and tradition are apparent.

The Sun Dome Temples have never been unified. Even in Saird, where there are close ties between the scattered Sun Domes, each temple is under its own religious and secular authorities. When two or more temples exist within the borders of a wider state, each owes fealty and service to the ruler, but not through a cult hierarchy.

 

The First Age

There were Little Sun cults scattered throughout South Peloria, Dragon Pass, and Kethaela at the Dawn. It should be noted that at that time, these cults were not associated with the architecture that now characterizes the cults.

In the First Age, the God of the Sun Dome Temple was sometimes identified with Hastatus, God of the Spear (sometimes equated with Avivorus) or Antirius, the Dara Happan God of Order.

Golden domes are now a defining feature of the Sun Dome temples. The temple-fortress to Manimat and Antirius at Haranshold originally built in the First Age also boasts several gold domes. The city of Kesium is now best known for its golden-domed temple to Antirius, built by the Bright Eagle Lords of Rinliddi in the Dawn Age of Peloria.

The first temple complex in the style of the later Sun Dome Temples was built by Kestingatha of Kesium, one of the Bright Eagle Lords. His temple of Antirius, a golden dome set atop a square base, was completed sometime between 145 and 155.

Mahzanelm, an Emperor of the Khordavu Dynasty, conquered Rinliddi and Vanch around 345-350. The Dara Happans sought to ensure that the barbarian lands could be kept under their control. The Emperor commissioned the construction of a grand structure that would be both temple and a military enclave for his troops. This temple was in the form of a dome within a walled compound entered via a stepped walkway.

One of the settlements the Emperor destroyed during his southern campaign was Lolon, which had been inhabited since the Dawn. This was the home of the Tunoraling hunter-gatherers who worshipped Heliacal the Sun and his wife Negalla the Green Woman.

After the First Theyalan War (366-368), more of the Dara Happan-style Sun Dome Temples were built – one was even built atop the ruins of Urar Baar (a troll trading place at the confluence of the Oslir and the Black Eel rivers). These were similar to the earlier temple built by Kestingatha, being set on a square base, which was now consecrated to Hastatus, the spear god. In all, five Sun Dome Temples served as Dara Happan military anchors to keep the rebellious Theyalans under the control of the High Council.

The Little Sun cults received magical and spiritual patronage from the Broken Council and learned new insights from Dara Happa as well. The Little Yelm sobriquet, Yelmalio, became widespread.

It was at the Battle of Day and Night in 379 that the constructed god Nysalor revealed Daysenerus - an aspect of Antirius who brings Antirius’ Justice to the barbarians - to be the deity of the Sun Dome Temples. Daysenerus’ first deed when invoked was to crush the army of Kyger Litor and his first new temple was built upon the site of that victory. The name Daysenerus translates as First Herald God, apparently relating to the appearance of the planet Lightfore, prior to the Dawn. Daysenerus became the Illuminated Protector of the Little Yelm cult. The Little Yelm temples obeyed the Holder of the Orb of Sovereignty – the Dara Happan Emperor – and the form of the temple became firmly associated with that of the Dara Happan military outposts.

During the years that followed, new Sun Dome Temples dedicated to Daysenerus were built throughout the lands occupied by the Bright Empire. The Daysenerus cult was given good lands confiscated from rebellious Heortlings after the Theyalan Wars. The military might of these enclaves supported the rule of the Bright Empire. However, their association with Nysalor proved to be their downfall. When Arkat raised the Heortlings in their final successful rebellion, vengeful Orlanthi and their troll allies destroyed every Sun Dome Temple they encountered and eradicated the name Daysenerus from Peloria.

According to Monrogh of Sartar, Sereventh in Sylila was the only temple to Daysenerus to survive the destruction of the Bright Empire. Other sources claim it was used by Ordanestyu in his Cold Light Fires Uprising and to revive the culture of Dara Happa after the fall of the Bright Empire.

During the ensuing period of troll and Heortling domination of southern Peloria, the other Sun Dome Temples were relit by the prophet Severinalus the Rekindler. Severinalus named the god Tharkantus, the Empty Saving Hearth, prepared for the darkness to come.

Only initiates knew the god’s name as Tharkantus. Only the priests knew that relics of Daysenerus were used to bless their temples, or that the largest temples rose upon the ruins of former Daysenerus sites.

Severinalus settled many temples, for many places prepared once again for the time that the fires all went out. Tharkantus was later recognized to be the same entity as the Elvish Sun God, later known as Halamalao, and in many places the two races shared worship for centuries.

Whilst the cult had its origins in the Solar cultures to the north, its presence on the borderlands with the Storm cultures to the south resulted in an increasing intermingling of the two traditions. What began as a title gradually supplanted the northern name.

 

The Second Age

In 562 a Sun Dome Temple was founded in Holay. Trolls resisted the construction but met with disaster when a trollkin lieutenant betrayed the attack because the White Women among the Sun Domers had treated him kindly.

Circa 640 another was established at Domanand (modern Mirin’s Cross) in Saird within the boundaries of Orlanthland, and was later strengthened as a stronghold against the dragons and their followers.

It boasted unique enclosed domes with anti-dragon runes upon their surface, and despite its Solar nature provided a center of resistance for the Orlanthi Traditionalists against the Draconic Orlanthi to the south for a long time. The city of Lolon was also rebuilt.

Orlanthland was, as the name denotes, the land of the Orlanthi, extending south into Dragon Pass. Initially, the cult of Yelmalio fiercely aided the traditionalist Orlanthi and spearheaded armies invading the upland regions to fight the draconic heretics.

Saird became a battleground between Domanand and southern Orlanthland, which was transforming into the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. But by 750 the EWF conquered Saird; the gold domes of Domanand were shattered - their ruins are still apparent in the modern city. The Lament of Domeland, composed by several poets who survived the catastrophe, recalls the fall of the city.

The EWF revealed the Draconic Sun to the survivors. The Sun Dome Temples subsequently became a major military arm of the empire with their soldier-cultists used as mercenaries. Many new temples to Yelmalio were established on the frontiers of the EWF in Fronela, Ralios, and near Pent and in its core lands in Dragon Pass. Another was built at Hesterneo in Esrolia, later destroyed by Queen Orenda.

Dara Happa was occupied by the EWF in 850 after its Emperor was killed by elite members of the Golden Dragon Society.

At some point, the distant Sun Dome Temple of North Dona on the Janube River in Fronela was founded as a frontier garrison of the Carmanian Empire.

In 877 the first Arrowsmith king of the city of Pavis in Prax requested aid from the Sun Dome Temple in Dragon Pass against the trolls and giants. The mercenaries were granted lands to the south of the city. A new Sun Dome Temple was built on the edge of the Wastelands.

Karvanyar slew the imperial Golden Dragon in 910, leading a rebellion that drove the EWF from Dara Happa within seven years.

The same year Alakoring Dragonbreaker flew into Aggar. He defeated Sun Dome armies and other EWF forces.

Between the years 910-925, after freeing itself from EWF control Dara Happan armies marched south. In the Three Armies Battle in 920 the armies of Alakoring Dragonbreaker and a Carmanian adventurer fought the EWF. Alakoring fought Drang the Diamond Storm Dragon and killed it.

Over the next fifteen years, Alakoring led the people of Saird, including the freed Sun Dome Temples, in rebellion. The soldier-cult purged itself of all draconic influence. Around this time, ruined Domanand was resettled, and named Mirin’s Cross for a lieutenant of Alakoring who had learned the secret of where to cross the Black Eel River and where he crucified a EWF leader subdued in battle. Mirin subsequently claimed the site for his own and after the cross was removed, built an impressive monument to commemorate the duel. Reliefs on each side, now almost worn away, depicted Mirin’s four great deeds.

Dara Happa retook all of its lands from the EWF and expanded southwards. A great army marched through Sylila to the Battle of Zelfield where the dragons were defeated. The EWF counterattacked, reaching as far north as Alkoth in 947 but was unable to regain control of the north.

In 960, on the abdication of Sarenesh, (an Emperor of Dara Happa of the Karvanyar Dynasty) to prevent war between his three sons, the priests enacted the Great Division of the World. The High Priest of Dayzatar awarded Dayzatar’s portion, Saird, to Verenmars. King Verenmars rallied all Saird against the dragons. He began great sacrifices to strengthen Jajagappa and raised the Jajalarings Dog Peoples against the EWF. Many Dara Happan colonists followed in the wake of Verenmars’ heroic wars against the EWF. Verenmars and his heirs ruled the Kingdom of Saird until 1120.

The Saird Sun Dome Temples had initially fought against and then supported Verenmars and his kingdom. As a result they survived the fall of the EWF in 1042 when the leaders of Empire of the Wyrms Friends were exterminated overnight.

In 1082, the Hero Balazar introduced the cult of Yelmalio to the Votanki to the east. He met and wed a local hunting nymph and they had three sons (or two sons and one daughter).

The Sun Domes of Saird contributed much of the manpower of the Invincible Golden Horde. The destruction and devouring of those armies in the Dragonkill of 1120 severely wounded the Temples for generations, and extinguished Verenmars’ dynasty.

 

The Third Age

After the Dragonkill, the weakened Sairdite culture was mostly absorbed by the neighboring Orlanthi.

Far to the southeast, the now isolated temple in Prax erected the Great Ballista to protect their rebuilt temple complex from draconic retribution.

Jannisor’s Rebellion (1271-1275) against the rising Lunar Empire included the Sun Dome Temples of Saird, allied with the Sable Tribes, and the many Orlanthi tribes surrounding Saird. Some of the Sun Dome Temples were also part of the Kynnelfing Alliance that resisted but ultimately was defeated by the Conquering Daughter in 1347. The queen of Filichet was acclaimed as Queen of Holay, as a Lunar tributary ruler.

Invasions by savage barbarians from Pent led by Sheng Seleris disrupted the Lunar Empire from 1375 to 1460. Much of the south was lost to the empire during this time as it struggled to survive. The Sun Dome temples endured this period, hiring out as mercenaries.

Holay became a battleground between Tarsh and Sylila, and was finally reduced to Lunar dependency in 1458. Saird was regained around 1480 though Lunar rule in the Provinces was not secure until 1545, when the Provincial Government was formed.

The Sun Dome Temples fought on all sides of these wars during Third and Fourth Wanes (1355-1462), but have been mostly allied with the Lunar Provincial Government since the Sixth Wane (1517 onwards).

 

The Sun Dome Temples of Saird

The Sun Dome Temples of Saird have, over the centuries endured and enjoyed the patronage of overlords from the Broken Council, EWF, Saird, Tarsh and most recently the Lunar Empire. Throughout history Saird has been a significant battleground between Storm and Solar cultures fighting over Earth as in the myth of Orlanth and Yelm competing for the hand of Ernalda.

Outside of Saird, there are only four great temples. These temples are almost entirely autonomous and independent of their cousins in South Peloria.

Ever-New-Glory in Tarsh was founded after the Lunar conquest of Saird.

At some time after this, Elmal cultists from Alda-Chur, beset by Darkness and Chaos went north to find allies against the trolls. They returned with the Golden Spearman and took him with them to their next battle. A brilliant Sun Spear destroyed the trolls. The jubilant Alda-Churi gave the Golden Spearman a shrine in their temple to Elmal, the Orlanthi Sun God, and offered him regular sacrifices as one of the defenders of their people.

In the mid-1500s, Lunar missionaries ‘proved’ to the priests that the Golden Spearman was the enemy of Orlanth, as part of a campaign to divide and weaken the southern tribes. The allegiance of some worshippers of Elmal was compromised and they rebelled against their traditional leaders, weakening resistance to Lunar encroachment.

With the fervor of new converts, the Vanntari insist Monrogh founded the cult of Yelmalio and that Vanntar was the first temple. The presence of more ancient temples in Saird and elsewhere contradict their claims.

With many major temples, Saird is still the center of the cult which is not a unified religious bloc. In addition to the Sun Dome Temples, Saird boasts important sites associated with the god, in many of the forms of the Little Sun, such as the Hill of Gold and New Lolon in Vanch. The Hill is where Yelmalio was sorely wounded, lost his weapons, and bled his power upon the earth before he rose again in Cold Light. Lolon was the place of Yelmalio’s Seat of Judgment, and where the Light Protector lived with his wife.

The modern farmers and cities of Saird, are a mixture of lowland Pelorians and upland Orlanthi. There are some vestigial remnants of earlier cultures (especially the Red-Haired Goddess, a title of Redaylda), but mostly submerged beneath many centuries of later settlement.

The extant temples of southern Peloria are the military anchor of the “Sairdite” Solar culture. They are all strategically located to defend the lowland farmers. Yelmalio is the main soldier cult of the river cities of Saird, coexisting with the military cults of Humakt, Hwarin Dalthippa, and Yanafal Tarnils.

Yelm can only be contacted by those who can claim a line of descent to the old Dara Happan nobility established by Murharzarm (including the Pure Horse People).

Yelmalio has been the divine defender of Mirin’s Cross, ancient Domanand, since the Second Age.

 

 

Great Temples

Location

1.

Peralam

Vanch

2.

Daughter’s Road (White Rock)

Holay

3.

Domanand (Mirin’s Cross)

Holay

4.

Vanntar (Sun County)

Sartar

5.

Little Cafol (True Sky)

Sylila

6.

Laramite Hills (Kareiston’s Temple)

Imther

7.

Linstingland (Lingsting Sun Dome/Last Light)

Talastar

8.

Zalador Hills (Zalan Sun Dome)

Holay

9.

Orenair Sun Dome (Cold Sun)

Aggar

10.

Upper Forantin Sun Dome (Crystal Dome)

Aggar

11.

Ever-New-Glory

Tarsh

12.

Goldedge

Tarsh

13.

Karia March

Delela in Ralios

14.

North Dona (Northbank)

Janube River in Fronela

15.

Mo Baustra (Sun Dome County)

Prax

 

There are many lesser temples including:

 

 

Sun Dome Temples

Location

A

Alda-Chur

Far Place

B

Dykene

Balazar

C

Elkoi

Balazar

D

Garhound

Prax

E

Pavis

Prax

F

Salantor

Aggar

G

Serene Victory

Jarst

H

Southbank

Janube River in Fronela

I

Little Vanntar (Nochet)

Esrolia

Extinguished temples include:

 

 

Sun Dome Temples

Location

x

Billiz

Aggar

y

Hesterneo

Esrolia

z

Masassakar

Aggar

?

Sereventh

Sylila

 

 

Sundome temples.png

Edited by M Helsdon
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7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Circa 640 another was established at Domanand (modern Mirin’s Cross) in Saird within the boundaries of Orlanthland, and was later strengthened as a stronghold against the dragons and their followers.

It boasted unique enclosed domes with anti-dragon runes upon their surface, and despite its Solar nature provided a center of resistance for the Orlanthi Traditionalists against the Draconic Orlanthi to the south for a long time.

While the fact about the anti-dragon aerial defense domes is undisputable, I wonder when these were devised and added. By 640 the draconic mysticism movement was about 65 years old, in all likelihood not yet enough for the draconic mystics out in the woods to develop an aerial threat through wyrms or manifest dragonewt wings like e.g. Balarzak Leatherwing, whose 824 expedition to Dorastor shows that such folk existed.

Aerial defense against Orlanthi flyers may have made sense from the beginning, and the anti-dragon runes may have been a later addition. 

7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Orlanthland was, as the name denotes, the land of the Orlanthi, extending south into Dragon Pass. Initially, the cult of Yelmalio fiercely aided the traditionalist Orlanthi and spearheaded armies invading the upland regions to fight the draconic heretics.

This could be a little clearer. "When draconic Orlanthi were accepted into the ruling ring of Orlanthland, traditionalist Orlanthi rose in open rebellion in many places, and the Cult of Yelmalio aided these traditionalist Orlanthi and spearheaded ..."

This conflict would have started about 650, when Obduran proved that it was possible to worship both Orlanth and proceed on the draconic path. At first, the traditionalist were in firm control over all the resources but the weird communes in the outback, but when clans and cities saw the opportunity to access the draconic powers as allies, traditionalists who rejected this got moved out of power, resented that, and began attacking the rings that had "disowned" them. There may have been genuine religious concern mixed into this.

The ruling ring of Orlanthland was one of priests, not heroes/rune lords/kings, possibly from urban temples with more hierarchy than common in rural regions. The dragon mystics had become a military force to be reckoned with for quite a while by this time, as proven by the existence of the Domanand anti-dragon runes. That military force may have allowed them to demand a presence in the cities. I don't expect their influence on the rural clans to be able to force them to accept teachers inside the clans, or to undo verdicts of exile against converts from these clans, until Obduran showed the way to remain active in worship to Orlanth while studying draconic ways.

7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

The EWF revealed the Draconic Sun to the survivors. The Sun Dome Temples subsequently became a major military arm of the empire with their soldier-cultists used as mercenaries. Many new temples to Yelmalio were established on the frontiers of the EWF in Fronela, Ralios, and near Pent and in its core lands in Dragon Pass. Another was built at Hesterneo in Esrolia, later destroyed by Queen Orenda.

This revelation of the Draconic Sun needs to have come as something eagerly accepted by at least part of the surviving priesthood. Sun Domer resistance trwas unknown when Isgangdrang crushed the last Traditionalist uprising in 775.

It would be interesting to get an insight to the internal dynamics of the Sun Domes during that era. Was it something like Belvani's presence at the Praxian Sun Dome in reverse, with the hierarchical discipline overriding traditionalist tendencies?

The Sun Domers had experienced quite a lot of "No, your cold sun god really is X" moments by now. Had this become little more than the re-dedication of regimental standards after one of these deities had failed them and a glossy new one promised a better future?

And a reversal of this 150 years later:

7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Karvanyar slew the imperial Golden Dragon in 910, leading a rebellion that drove the EWF from Dara Happa within seven years.

The same year Alakoring Dragonbreaker flew into Aggar. He defeated Sun Dome armies and other EWF forces.

Between the years 910-925, after freeing itself from EWF control Dara Happan armies marched south. In the Three Armies Battle in 920 the armies of Alakoring Dragonbreaker and a Carmanian adventurer fought the EWF. Alakoring fought Drang the Diamond Storm Dragon and killed it.

These battles presumably were fought by Sun Domers following the Draconic Sun. Did the demise of the Dragon Sun emperor of Dara Happa weaken their magics? Did the Golden Wyrm stand-in used by the Golden Dragon society afterwards catch up this?

7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Over the next fifteen years, Alakoring led the people of Saird, including the freed Sun Dome Temples, in rebellion. The soldier-cult purged itself of all draconic influence.

"In the liberated regions, the soldier-cult purged itself of all draconic influence." The Praxian Sun Dome appears to have retained its draconic influences till 1042  the draconic mediators and all the draconic alterations of traditional cults ceased to function, and the priesthoods of the draconized deities had to face a non-draconized Otherworld all of a sudden. Gold Edge and Vanntar would have remained under the Dragon Dream for as long as it lasted, too.

7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Around this time, ruined Domanand was resettled, and named Mirin’s Cross for a lieutenant of Alakoring who had learned the secret of where to cross the Black Eel River and where he crucified a EWF leader subdued in battle. Mirin subsequently claimed the site for his own and after the cross was removed, built an impressive monument to commemorate the duel. Reliefs on each side, now almost worn away, depicted Mirin’s four great deeds.

Does this crucification appear in any official source?

7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

 

The Saird Sun Dome Temples had initially fought against and then supported Verenmars and his kingdom. As a result they survived the fall of the EWF in 1042 when the leaders of Empire of the Wyrms Friends were exterminated overnight.

The 1042 mass utuma eliminated all humans privy to higher draconic insights, up to and including a mastery of Old Wyrmish beyond a certain level. I wouldn't doubt that this affected parts of the priesthood even in Saird, but on the other hand, a lot of the priesthood of the draconized versions of deities were not awakened to draconic wisdom any more than your average Etyries merchant will be illuminated. These folk were left to find out that their draconized rotes failed to produce results, and that their most draconized herds, crops, and even buildings failed after the Dragon's Dream had been lifted from the land.

The people in the core lands of the EWF had been relying most heavily on these effects produced by the Dream, and while they struggled with the implications of the absence of that magical support, Pelorian raiders came in hordes and plundered the lands. Including those of the sun dome temples which just had lost their dragon sun substitution and those of their leadership most attuned to that.

 

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

Does this crucification appear in any official source?

In private communication about the earlier draft when I asked the derivation of the name of Mirin's Cross. As with many Gloranthan place names, there's a pun there: a river crossing and an actual execution cross.

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4 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

In private communication about the earlier draft when I asked the derivation of the name of Mirin's Cross. As with many Gloranthan place names, there's a pun there: a river crossing and an actual execution cross.

The crucifixion spot is also noted on the map of Mirin's Cross posted some time ago: 

 

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