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Jon Hunter

Elmal Yelmalio thing

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I think protecting people from Chaos - not being protected from it - is more accurate. And that certainly is important, or all the stuggles of Urox, and Orlanth, and Zorak Zoran, would have been pointless. Some of the people have to survive.

It's also inaccurate to describe Yelmalio as a fighter of chaos. He fights disorder, darkness, and death, and while these are not infrequently the tools of chaos, they are not chaos. They can even be enemies of chaos. It is the sky/sun pantheon's inability to see the difference that blinds them to Gbaji. Yelmalio served Gbaji; Elmal never did.

I see your points, but well Elmal's story in the Gods war is that he's the one who stayed at home and kept the safety. Which goes both ways. Your points about the survivors are ones I've argued myself, but they're bloody difficult in the nitty-gritty. The only unscathed survivor AFAIK is Voriof. Uleria too in a sense, I suppose, but she's *weird*.

Yelmalio isn't an anti-Chaos fighter, but at the same time all who fought in the Great Darkness ended up fighting it. I might have overstated that point.

Edited by Julian Lord

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43 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

He fights disorder, darkness, and death, and while these are not infrequently the tools of chaos, they are not chaos.

At the Hill of Gold, Yelmalio fights Storm (Orlanth), Darkness/Death (Zorak Zoran), and Ice/Stasis (Inora).  And then he faces and survives Chaos.  The Hill of Gold Quest does not end with Inora.  Either she leaves him frozen to face Chaos alone, or just wounded and he still must crawl up through the Chaos parasites to reach the peak.  And he does.  As noted in Arcane Lore p.75 "The forces of Chaos were ever-present at the time when Yelmalio climbed the Hill of Gold, and his lack of complete defeat at their hands proved his ultimate ability to survive the world of the Great Darkness. Almost any foe could be used here, although creatures such as broo and scorpion-men are easily "found" to participate in the quest."

The fight against Chaos is similarly noted in the original Yelmalio writeup in Cults of Prax: "During the Darkness Yelmalio’s wounds did not deter his struggle. He joined with the Lord Elf and others to fight against the relentless approach of Chaos."

 

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

At the Hill of Gold, Yelmalio fights Storm (Orlanth), Darkness/Death (Zorak Zoran), and Ice/Stasis (Inora).  And then he faces and survives Chaos.  The Hill of Gold Quest does not end with Inora.  Either she leaves him frozen to face Chaos alone, or just wounded and he still must crawl up through the Chaos parasites to reach the peak.  And he does.  As noted in Arcane Lore p.75 "The forces of Chaos were ever-present at the time when Yelmalio climbed the Hill of Gold, and his lack of complete defeat at their hands proved his ultimate ability to survive the world of the Great Darkness. Almost any foe could be used here, although creatures such as broo and scorpion-men are easily "found" to participate in the quest."

The fight against Chaos is similarly noted in the original Yelmalio writeup in Cults of Prax: "During the Darkness Yelmalio’s wounds did not deter his struggle. He joined with the Lord Elf and others to fight against the relentless approach of Chaos."

 

Fair enough. Yelmalio joins with the battle against Chaos. Though the Elf mythology tends to see things in terms of Grower and Eater/Taker, which is not quite the same. In a sense, I suppose, that everyone fights Chaos to protect what is good about the world as it is: Yelmalio and Elmal disagree a little about what that "good" is, but it hardly matters when they both fight chaos.

I feel, however, that both faring out and fighting chaos and protecting the survivors are both worthy.

I also think that the Nysalor-Gbaji problem arises out of a misunderstanding of what is and what is not an existential threat, a problem the Sky pantheon (and probably the Elf pantheon and Dwarf pantheon) has: it doesn't really comprehend the world after the Golden Age as being also worthy of protection, even in its imperfection.

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1 hour ago, Julian Lord said:

I see your points, but well Elmal's story in the Gods war is that he's the one who stayed at home and kept the safety. Which goes both ways. Your points about the survivors are ones I've argued myself, but they're bloody difficult in the nitty-gritty. The only unscathed survivor AFAIK is Voriof. Uleria too in a sense, I suppose, but she's *weird*.

Surviving isn't a matter of being innocent or unmarred, nor does being scarred or damaged reduce one's worth. Every entity that wasn't indelibly eaten by Entropy or warped by chaos survived and is worthy of protection.

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2 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

I feel, however, that both faring out and fighting chaos and protecting the survivors are both worthy.

Yes, definitely agree.  And assuming as has been noted elsewhere that these are just two facets/faces of the same deity, then it really depends on which you find most critical to your own survival.  We may find that when the Red Tide comes again and Argrath has vanished on his own LBQ that the clans will discover Elmal again.

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1 minute ago, jeffjerwin said:

The only unscathed survivor AFAIK is Voriof.

I think you'll find that Voriof likely died too.

Uleria survived in her original form.  Dayzatar is probably the other, but he retreated from the world.

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1 minute ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, definitely agree.  And assuming as has been noted elsewhere that these are just two facets/faces of the same deity, then it really depends on which you find most critical to your own survival.  We may find that when the Red Tide comes again and Argrath has vanished on his own LBQ that the clans will discover Elmal again.

They may have to.

As a personal aside, I identify pretty strongly with Elmal - we all have our favorite facets of Glorantha. I like guarding the camp and riding horses and the morning sun and campfires.

 

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5 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

I identify pretty strongly with Elmal - we all have our favorite facets of Glorantha. I like guarding the camp and riding horses and the morning sun and campfires.

I loved the old split between Yelmalio and Elmal - gave me the chance to create Khelmal, who was central to my Imther campaign, and Heliakal, who fell at the Hill of Gold, but survived to become part of Glorantha canon!

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5 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

I also think that the Nysalor-Gbaji problem arises out of a misunderstanding of what is and what is not an existential threat, a problem the Sky pantheon (and probably the Elf pantheon and Dwarf pantheon) has: it doesn't really comprehend the world after the Golden Age as being also worthy of protection, even in its imperfection.

That's an interesting viewpoint, which makes a bunch of sense!

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19 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I think you'll find that Voriof likely died too.

Uleria survived in her original form.  Dayzatar is probably the other, but he retreated from the world.

No, I really don't think Voriof died -- he's the emblematic god of those Orlanthi who somehow managed to survive through the horrors of the Darkness to witness the Dawn.

Dayzatar died. He did so in the most abstract intellectual manner possible of course, so the whole thing is ontologically doubtful in principle, but that's the bottom line of it, and he was probably surprised out of an incomplete contemplation of the philosophical differentiation (if any) of continued existence versus death by Arachne Solara handing him his strand of the web.

Uleria did not survive in her original form, she survived by endless unstoppable self-reproduction into constantly new ones, including the chaos ones. She survived because Life itself did.

Edited by Julian Lord
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7 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Dayzatar died.

Death implies going to the Underworld.  No evidence that he ever did so.  That he shed his mundane aspects, yes, but that does not equal Death.

Glorantha Sourcebook p. 97 notes:  "Dayzatar invented and discovered rituals and a way of life that would maintain his purity and aloof strength. He shunned contact with lesser beings except to teach them, and his armies of celestial luxites turned their hearts as hard as steel with his disciplines. This way, the sky realm was stoutly protected against the ravages of the Gods War and is said to have suffered the least for it, and to have gained the least by their tactics than any of the other survivors.... During the period of his isolation and discipline, Dayzatar managed to shed most of his own mundane aspects to purify himself."

7 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

No, I really don't think Voriof died -- he's the emblematic god of those Orlanthi who somehow managed to survive through the horrors of the Darkness to witness the Dawn.

I didn't remember, but definitely a reference in SKoH p.360 to your point: "Sacrifice Day asks for the protection of Voriof the Shepherd from the forces of winter. Animals selected the previous day are named for the gods. As the god-talkers slaughter each animal for the winter, they sacrifice it to Voriof. As each animal dies, so to do the gods. Ernalda and Orlanth are the last two sacrificed; with their deaths, winter truly begins. Finally, only Voriof remains to lead the few remaining beasts to protection from the forces of darkness."

7 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Uleria did not survive in her original form

I think that would be a difficult one to prove either way - perhaps it is one of the Nysaloran debates!

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

During the period of his isolation and discipline, Dayzatar managed to shed most of his own mundane aspects to purify himself.

Hence my point about the ontology and intellectual abstraction of the whole thing.

It's similar to asking "is Humakt dead ?"

And cosmologically, I seem to remember that the pure solar place of the dead is a Sky realm ?

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13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Death implies going to the Underworld.  No evidence that he ever did so.  That he shed his mundane aspects, yes, but that does not equal Death.

Glorantha Sourcebook p. 97 notes:  "Dayzatar invented and discovered rituals and a way of life that would maintain his purity and aloof strength. He shunned contact with lesser beings except to teach them, and his armies of celestial luxites turned their hearts as hard as steel with his disciplines. This way, the sky realm was stoutly protected against the ravages of the Gods War and is said to have suffered the least for it, and to have gained the least by their tactics than any of the other survivors.... During the period of his isolation and discipline, Dayzatar managed to shed most of his own mundane aspects to purify himself."

 

8 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Hence my point about the ontology and intellectual abstraction of the whole thing.

It's similar to asking "is Humakt dead ?"

It strikes me that Dayzatar may have avoided being killed by transitioning to an abstract state of being wherein death was not conceptually applicable. If Dayzatar came to exist only as the idea (Eidolon?) of Dayzatar, there is neither form nor consciousness to separate via Death. Some Chaos gods can destroy ideas, but they'd have to somehow find him first.

Would entering a state or quasi-existance where "alive" and "dead" are equally inapplicable be death in the more common sense of not being a living thing anymore? Ask Buddha after you kill him on the road.

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6 hours ago, JonL said:

It strikes me that Dayzatar may have avoided being killed by transitioning to an abstract state of being wherein death was not conceptually applicable. If Dayzatar came to exist only as the idea (Eidolon?) of Dayzatar, there is neither form nor consciousness to separate via Death. Some Chaos gods can destroy ideas, but they'd have to somehow find him first.

Would entering a state or quasi-existance where "alive" and "dead" are equally inapplicable be death in the more common sense of not being a living thing anymore? Ask Buddha after you kill him on the road.

That's really quite exactly what I wanted to imply, but from the common man's perspective, so probably what the Lodrili use to make fun of those snobbish Dayzatari, "transitioning to an abstract state of being wherein death was not conceptually applicable" would very likely be rendered as "Monsieur had his head stuck so far up his **** that he didn't even realise he'd been killed along with the rest of us plebs".

Edited by Julian Lord

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I think this episode of Gregging is fascinating and I'm loving reading all the discussion. As for references, these are always handy:

Greg Stafford, 1993: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/the-birth-of-elmal/

Nick Brooke: http://etyries.albionsoft.com/etyries.com/journeys/elmal.html

By the way, I played the Elmal guards the Sunpath ritual in the Six Ages videogame... 
and it was cool to see Elmal talk with Little Yelm, and then face the Cold Sun in the ritual. 

Are Little Yelm and the Cold Sun different names for Yelmalio or is Little Yelm the emperor Murharzam?

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On 7/17/2018 at 6:18 AM, Julian Lord said:

IIRC Elmal is actually weaker from having survived the Gods War -- Elmal diminished into being basically a hearth deity, whereas Yelmalio was the Last Light. Yelmalio fought the Chaos, Elmal was protected against it.

Yes, I do not think you recall correctly. Elmal guards the hearth puts Elmal in a defensive role, but also is entirely about Chaos fighting, and makes Elmal a significant Chaos fighting deity.

And I do not know of any major Yelmalio myth where he defeats Chaos (at the Hill of Gold, he merely barely survives it). 

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Generally speaking, Death can be understood as permanent exile to the Underworld, entirely cut off from the physical world. 

Dayzatar is totally different. He is permanently exiled to the Overworld, entirely cut off from the physical world. Not at all the same, obviously. 

Ok, that’s a pithy dismissal. But to the Orlanthi, Westerners, etc gone is gone - he survives more as an abstraction than a living accessible deity, but his ‘Death’ avoids oblivion, and so is significant. To the Orlanthi, Down is just one of the Seven Directions, but to the Dara Happans, Up instead of Down is a very big deal. 

Edited by davecake
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As someone who was first introduced to Glorantha through King of Dragon Pass, I actually had the impression that Elmal was the 3rd most important god in the entire Orlanthi pantheon (behind only Orlanth and Ernalda themselves) and Orlanth's de facto #2. More to the point, I was a big fan of Elmal: his Heroquest was the hardest in the game, but that fit very well for what it required of Elmal and just made it even more epic when you pulled it off, and becoming the king even though you were Elmali and thus looked down on by followers of Orlanth felt very satisfying. Basically, Elmal was The Man, as far as I was concerned.

So it was pretty disheartening when I got into Glorantha as a setting outside of that game and the canon story is that Elmal is just some minor deity who barely gets any attention or respect and is being muscled out by Yelmalio, who he's regarded as some inferior aspect of (who, honestly, just doesn't strike the chord with me that Elmal does, for all he sorta-kinda tackles similar themes in his myths) and is the source of some big thing with older fans who see him as an unnecessary add-on. His name appears exactly once in Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

Personally, I think Elmal serves a very important role in both the mythology and the societal structure of the Orlanthi, and I think him getting pushed to the side in favor of Yelmalio is not only kind of a disservice to him, but also something that would probably weaken them in the long run, because Elmal provides a perspective and skills that Orlanth needs and isn't going to get even from Yelmalians who are friendly to Orlanthi.

Also, I can't wait until Six Ages is ported to Windows and I can see Elmal as the Hyalorings view him.

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2 hours ago, Leingod said:

Personally, I think Elmal serves a very important role in both the mythology and the societal structure of the Orlanthi, and I think him getting pushed to the side in favor of Yelmalio is not only kind of a disservice to him, but also something that would probably weaken them in the long run, because Elmal provides a perspective and skills that Orlanth needs and isn't going to get even from Yelmalians who are friendly to Orlanthi.

They are probably avatars of the same entity, viewed through different cultural perspectives. The tension between the Elmal/Yelmalio cults is the sort of religious dynamic that was common in the real ancient world, where the syncretism of different gods was common.

Yelmalio and Elmal are examples of the many different 'Little Sun Gods' in southern Peloria, of which there are many, and most seem to have gradually amalgamated into Yelmalio. It's an aspect of the cultural and social interaction of Solar and Storm cultures in Saird. For that matter, the Dara Happans don't recognize Yelmalio as a son of Yelm...

In terms of the rulebook, this is probably a factor of page count and relative importance. The forthcoming Gods of Glorantha book may cover this in more detail - I haven't seen the Yelmalio chapter.

For that matter, the Solar Polaris and the Storm Rigsdal are the same god, but expressed very differently in the two cultures.

Edited by M Helsdon

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4 hours ago, Leingod said:

As someone who was first introduced to Glorantha through King of Dragon Pass, I actually had the impression that Elmal was the 3rd most important god in the entire Orlanthi pantheon (behind only Orlanth and Ernalda themselves) and Orlanth's de facto #2. More to the point, I was a big fan of Elmal: his Heroquest was the hardest in the game, but that fit very well for what it required of Elmal and just made it even more epic when you pulled it off, and becoming the king even though you were Elmali and thus looked down on by followers of Orlanth felt very satisfying. Basically, Elmal was The Man, as far as I was concerned.

So it was pretty disheartening when I got into Glorantha as a setting outside of that game and the canon story is that Elmal is just some minor deity who barely gets any attention or respect and is being muscled out by Yelmalio, who he's regarded as some inferior aspect of (who, honestly, just doesn't strike the chord with me that Elmal does, for all he sorta-kinda tackles similar themes in his myths) and is the source of some big thing with older fans who see him as an unnecessary add-on. His name appears exactly once in Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

He's still mentioned as important in other sources.

He's mentioned as the primary sun god of the Orlanthi (Gloranthan Sourcebook 100; Guide to Glorantha 37, 152, 646)

According to SKoH (although that's a few years previous to RQ:G), Yelmalio's worship in Dragon Pass can be found amongst the Far Place and Sun County (with two thirds in the latter), most of Sartar itself likely still sees the sun as Elmal.

If you want to run a game about an Elmali clan/hero band trying to return Dragon Pass to the worship of the Loyal Thane, then that's an awesome plotline that I'm in favour of.

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On 8/5/2018 at 11:32 AM, Leingod said:

As someone who was first introduced to Glorantha through King of Dragon Pass, I actually had the impression that Elmal was the 3rd most important god in the entire Orlanthi pantheon (behind only Orlanth and Ernalda themselves) and Orlanth's de facto #2. More to the point, I was a big fan of Elmal: his Heroquest was the hardest in the game, but that fit very well for what it required of Elmal and just made it even more epic when you pulled it off, and becoming the king even though you were Elmali and thus looked down on by followers of Orlanth felt very satisfying. Basically, Elmal was The Man, as far as I was concerned.

Elmal is the warrior path for those who more than anything else fight because they feel at at their core that the lives of those around them are worth fighting for - and that is awesome.

On 8/5/2018 at 11:32 AM, Leingod said:

His name appears exactly once in Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

He's quite well represented in the Sartar books for HeroQuest, with the cult write up in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and Runegate detailed in the Sartar Companion.

On 8/5/2018 at 11:32 AM, Leingod said:

Personally, I think Elmal serves a very important role in both the mythology and the societal structure of the Orlanthi, and I think him getting pushed to the side in favor of Yelmalio is not only kind of a disservice to him, but also something that would probably weaken them in the long run, because Elmal provides a perspective and skills that Orlanth needs and isn't going to get even from Yelmalians who are friendly to Orlanthi.

Agreed.
 

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On 8/5/2018 at 6:32 PM, Leingod said:

As someone who was first introduced to Glorantha through King of Dragon Pass, I actually had the impression that Elmal was the 3rd most important god in the entire Orlanthi pantheon (behind only Orlanth and Ernalda themselves) and Orlanth's de facto #2.

Yes on the de facto #2 among nobility, no to the 3rd most important god - that would be missing out on Barntar, the god of Orlanthi farmsteading, who regularly eclipses Orlanth himself when Orlanth is a deity non grata.

Or at least that used to be the case among the Heortlings. Pelorian Orlanthi have been exposed to a variety of other sun deities and are much less impressed by a cold sun sitting atop Wintertop Mountain, or another horse-friend sun god.

 

On 8/5/2018 at 6:32 PM, Leingod said:

More to the point, I was a big fan of Elmal: his Heroquest was the hardest in the game, but that fit very well for what it required of Elmal and just made it even more epic when you pulled it off, and becoming the king even though you were Elmali and thus looked down on by followers of Orlanth felt very satisfying. Basically, Elmal was The Man, as far as I was concerned.

So it was pretty disheartening when I got into Glorantha as a setting outside of that game and the canon story is that Elmal is just some minor deity who barely gets any attention or respect and is being muscled out by Yelmalio, who he's regarded as some inferior aspect of (who, honestly, just doesn't strike the chord with me that Elmal does, for all he sorta-kinda tackles similar themes in his myths) and is the source of some big thing with older fans who see him as an unnecessary add-on. His name appears exactly once in Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

To be fair, Heler isn't much better represented - mentioned as worshipped in Longsi Land, as an associate cult of Orlanth, and giving the name to the fluid gender. Barntar amasses a whooping six mentions.

There is the Monrogh/Yelmalio effect which has bled away a vast number of Elmal worshippers, at least as much as Sartar is concerned. Esrolia knows Yelmalio too and isn't too fond of him, but has an ancient sun cult (Harono) and Heortling Elmal, too. On the other hand they are so cosmopolitan that they even acknowledge Yelm in places.

 

On 8/5/2018 at 6:32 PM, Leingod said:

Personally, I think Elmal serves a very important role in both the mythology and the societal structure of the Orlanthi, and I think him getting pushed to the side in favor of Yelmalio is not only kind of a disservice to him, but also something that would probably weaken them in the long run, because Elmal provides a perspective and skills that Orlanth needs and isn't going to get even from Yelmalians who are friendly to Orlanthi.

Tribal Yelmalians aren't really that different from Elmal worshippers IMO. They will be horse breeders and riders, practicing the same Kuschile mounted archery the Elmal folk do, using the same sort of spears and armor. They usually aren't full-time warriors but mounted herders, horse breeders, farmers, or nobles.

Elmal and Vingkot (and his heirs) shared the stewardship over the Orlanthi (of Dragon Pass, Saird and Kethaela).

In many ways, Elmal has become a Thunder Brother, as the son in law of Orlanth. Or, if not Elmal, then Beren and Ulanin, the Rider husbands of Vingkot's daughters. But so has Heler in the role of Helamakt. This way, Heler's skills are available in a substratum of the Orlanthi magic.

Elmal as defender against Darkness is a role rather underplayed in King of Dragon Pass, but IMO of greater importance than his role as defender against Chaos.

On the whole, for a culture professing to be so anti-Chaos as the Orlanthi, they are fairly helpless against it. Orlanth had one big victory in the Upper Air (aka Sky), and a joint victory with an uz force over a lesser force on his Westfaring. That's it. He survived other encounters, but didn't emerge victorious. Elmal offers a fairly impressive "thou shalt not pass" where Yelmalio only offers "I'm still standing" against Chaos, but this pales compared with Storm Bull, or the secret of the Star Heart used by Heort.

Elmal is one of several sky companions in Orlanth's hall, and there are companions from other (usually unfriendly) elements, too, like Heler and Mastakos for the seas. The message here is basically no matter who happens to your parents, you can earn your seat at Orlanth's table.

On 8/5/2018 at 6:32 PM, Leingod said:

Also, I can't wait until Six Ages is ported to Windows and I can see Elmal as the Hyalorings view him.

I am quite curious whether Six Ages will have the Foreigner Wedding or rather the escape to the plains and Pent. (Waiting for the Android version...) The location on the Black Eel River is neither Berennethtelli nor Pentan.

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I broke down and bought the game on my phone, incidentally, even though I normally don't like playing games on my phone. Totally worth it.

On 8/5/2018 at 12:03 PM, M Helsdon said:

They are probably avatars of the same entity, viewed through different cultural perspectives. The tension between the Elmal/Yelmalio cults is the sort of religious dynamic that was common in the real ancient world, where the syncretism of different gods was common.

Yelmalio and Elmal are examples of the many different 'Little Sun Gods' in southern Peloria, of which there are many, and most seem to have gradually amalgamated into Yelmalio. It's an aspect of the cultural and social interaction of Solar and Storm cultures in Saird. For that matter, the Dara Happans don't recognize Yelmalio as a son of Yelm...

In terms of the rulebook, this is probably a factor of page count and relative importance. The forthcoming Gods of Glorantha book may cover this in more detail - I haven't seen the Yelmalio chapter.

For that matter, the Solar Polaris and the Storm Rigsdal are the same god, but expressed very differently in the two cultures.

Well, there are definite similarities, but I don't really like the idea of Yelmalio and Elmal as being the same god. It just doesn't... fit, in my head. I just can't really look from one to the other and go, "Yeah, that's just two cultures seeing the same god."

And according to Six Ages the Hyalorings, at least, agree, as Little Yelm is a totally separate god from Elmal there.

On 8/5/2018 at 2:24 PM, Tindalos said:

He's still mentioned as important in other sources.

He's mentioned as the primary sun god of the Orlanthi (Gloranthan Sourcebook 100; Guide to Glorantha 37, 152, 646)

According to SKoH (although that's a few years previous to RQ:G), Yelmalio's worship in Dragon Pass can be found amongst the Far Place and Sun County (with two thirds in the latter), most of Sartar itself likely still sees the sun as Elmal.

If you want to run a game about an Elmali clan/hero band trying to return Dragon Pass to the worship of the Loyal Thane, then that's an awesome plotline that I'm in favour of.

Well, for one I've seen people arguing that the Orlanthi don't even need a "native" sun god and complaining about inserting one. Not that I really give that argument much credence; the sun is way too important for an agricultural society for your only sun god to be a guy you frequently characterize as "the Bad Emperor."

And that would be a cool idea for a character.

6 hours ago, JonL said:

Elmal is the warrior path for those who more than anything else fight because they feel at at their core that the lives of those around them are worth fighting for - and that is awesome.

He's quite well represented in the Sartar books for HeroQuest, with the cult write up in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and Runegate detailed in the Sartar Companion.

Agreed.
 

You know, I wonder if a big part of the reason a lot of Sartarite Elmali felt dissatisfied with their status to the point of turning to Yelmalio might not be because of both the Orlanthi and Elmali forgetting an important part of the myth of the two.

After Chalanna Arroy healed Elmal of his blindness (I love the phrasing that Elmal - and the rest of the Fire Tribe - was blinded to the world by his own light, BTW), Elmal didn't just go straight to Orlanth; he was still that crazy rebel who'd killed the Sun, after all. It was only after hearing good things about him that he decided to see for himself if it was true. And when he met Orlanth, he didn't just fall to a knee right there: Orlanth tested Elmal, and Elmal tested Orlanth and the Storm Tribe right back. It was only when Elmal decided that Orlanth deserved his loyalty that he gave it, and Orlanth was impressed by Elmal and so he and Ernalda created the Foreigner's Wedding to make him a member of the Storm Tribe.

Maybe this was just in King of Dragon Pass, and maybe I'm just seeing what isn't there, but whenever Elmali nobles and clans got mad about being treated like second-stringers, the recurring phrase by those who were doing it was, "Elmal must always be subject to Orlanth." And there was never really any option in the game to dispute that saying, the Elmali in question would usually either back down or (more likely) just leave angry. It's like both sides have forgotten that the loyalty and trust between the High King and his Loyal Thane is something earned and mutual, not something to just take for granted. And that mistake was never caught by either side and stewed until eventually a bunch of Elmali are willing to completely uproot themselves, abandon the ties of community that they're supposed to be all about protecting and cherishing, and living as monastic mercenaries who shut their women and children up in a separate barracks, because even that's better than constantly being treated like glorified watchdogs by entitled, blustery windbags.

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

I am quite curious whether Six Ages will have the Foreigner Wedding or rather the escape to the plains and Pent. (Waiting for the Android version...) The location on the Black Eel River is neither Berennethtelli nor Pentan.

Speaking of which, Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind treats Elmal and Yelmalio (who hasn't yet lost his Fire) as different and distinct gods. In fact, the treatment of "Little Yelm" is hilarious. He's basically Elmal's entitled, mouthy little twerp of a brother that he has to smack upside the head every now and then to keep him in line.

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2 hours ago, Leingod said:

Well, for one I've seen people arguing that the Orlanthi don't even need a "native" sun god and complaining about inserting one. Not that I really give that argument much credence; the sun is way too important for an agricultural society for your only sun god to be a guy you frequently characterize as "the Bad Emperor."

And that would be a cool idea for a character.

To be completely fair, the people of Ugarit at the end of the Bronze Age appear to have only worshipped the storm god Ba'al-Hoddu, the father god El, the mother goddess Asherah, and the warrior goddess Anat despite having a full panoply of deities from their surviving myths, including a benevolent sun goddess Shapash. And in a Mediterranean climate during antiquity, the grain fields would lie fallow during the summer and would be planted in the fall to be harvested in the spring, so you could see the Sun as generally hostile. So there's justifications for Elmal to be marginal in Heortling society, or at least less important than Heler, who's already mostly worshipped via Orlanth.

That's not particularly fun, speaking as another KoDP/HQ1-era entrant to Glorantha, but it is worth considering real-world variation on who's deemed worthy of active worship when looking at how to interpret Glorantha.

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6 hours ago, Leingod said:

And according to Six Ages the Hyalorings, at least, agree, as Little Yelm is a totally separate god from Elmal there.

It depends on the definition of seperate god you chose.

At one level, Elmal and Little Yelm (Antirius) are  different gods from different areas.  Elmal is the solar god of the Vingkotlings who defected from the Fire Tribe worshipped by their ancestors.  Little Yelm is the God of the Dara Happans.

Yet at  another level, they are the same god: the Sun God in Winter.  Both nations receive different magics from him depending on their needs and there are similarities between them.  Arkat and Harmast developed the basis of experimental heroquesting in the Gbaji Wars when they saw similar patterns.

According to the second definition, Yelmalio can be seen as Elmal under another name.   This identity is not automatically obvious which is why Elmali can deny that he is Yelmalio with no retirbution from their god.

 

 

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