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Jon Hunter

Elmal Yelmalio thing

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1 hour ago, daskindt said:

I don’t get why the Heortling Orlanthi would find Monrogh’s revelation that Elmal is but a mask of Yelmalio at all interesting, useful, or relevant. Sure. Maybe Elmal and Yelmalio are the same god. But the Orlanthi got the better version already. Elmal is the wiser and nobler version of Yelmalio after he grows up. So why would the Orlanthi find the new Yelmalio cult at all appealing? The Yelmalio cult that rejects Orlanth?

Does the Yelmalio cult reject Orlanth, or does it simply not let him go unchallenged? Ok, unlike with Heler, Orlanth and Yelmalio have actually come to blows with one another at the Hill of Gold. But Orlanth has fought and overcome several of his allies, like his taming of Storm Bull with nothing but a stick and a lariat, or the epic duel with Humakt.

The Aramites at the Dawn didn't worship Orlanth any more, either, but that didn't mean that they rejected him entirely.

1 hour ago, daskindt said:

I get why the Elmali that were already rebelling against Orlanth in Sartar would find Yelmalio compelling. They got to refigure their myths and embrace the haughty and arrogant Yelmalio and reject the myths about the Loyal Thane. They got to stick it to Orlanth, make their own decisions, rule their own clans, and borrow some magic from Yelm.

This was useful to Tarkalor. He was able to turn these previous enemies of Sartar into a military force to defeat the Kitori, but then he shipped them out of Sartar and gave them Sun County. It worked because they were leaving proper Orlanthi society where they were previously expected to show respect and deference to Orlanth. They had embraced a foreign god and mythology and although they were useful militarily, they were a toxic poison culturally.

The Elmali weren't enemies of Sartar. They were a subculture that had become alienated of the tribal culture in the kingdom, and things had come close to kinstrife.

I have no idea why Tarkalor was so set on removing the Kitori from the southern fringes of his father's kingdom. I think he was too young to have been a friend of Darlanth, the Hendriki governor-king of Heortland who lost his office (and possibly, but not definitely) his life in 1544. 

The beef between Yelmalians and Orlanthi is less than that between Lunarized Orlanhi and traditionalist ones. Acceptance of the Seven Mothers questions the cosmic role of the Storm God, even while maintaining his cultural role.

1 hour ago, daskindt said:

The idea that the remaining Elmali believe that Monrogh’s revelation is a product of the Teller of Lies seems way more plausible. Yelmalio’s cult has not been a friend to the Orlanthi. It was used to drive a wedge in the Orlanthi tribes by the Lunars and weakened the Orlanthi kingdoms. Now that the poison has been largely removed and focused in Sun County and Tarsh, the Heortling Orlanthi have every reason to continue to honor the myths of Elmal that have served them since before the Dawn.

The Sun Dome Temples have alternatingly allied with the traditionalist and the progressive Orlanthi. Right now the Lunars may be seen as the progressives, at least until Argrath transforms his traditionalist allies into the new progressives. The royal house of Tarsh is both Lunar and Orlanthi, and heavily involved in the dynastic tangle of the houses of Sartar's children.

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2 hours ago, Grievous said:

BTW, do we know why the Elmali were rebelling vs. Orlanth followers in Sartar (pre-Monrogh/Yelmalio) in the first place? In a cultic sense this sounds like a strange situation, perhaps suggesting a primary political dimension. Were the rebels mostly certain clans/tribes led by the Elmali (frex. the Runegate clans or the Dinacoli) that were rebelling? 

If so, that could easily make it a have a more political/clan/tribal dimension, where it was about their ambitions first (as opposed by more traditionally Orlanthi led clans/tribes). Their Elmali affiliation tags along and maybe even eventually becomes the main issue. This allows them to find widescale support from among the Elmali in general, not restricted to the clans/tribes that were initially rebellious. This of course makes the situation that much worse as troubles spread. 

What could have been the driving force of the rebellion? Do we have any canon knowledge or old ideas/speculation concerning this or has the attention been solely on what followed? In one sense, it does sound like some Gbaji/Chaos stuff happening in Sartar...

According to the Glorantha Sourcebook:

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The Elmal cult in Dragon Pass came under tremendous influence from the solar religion of Dara Happa, until Monrogh Lantern revealed their god to be another name for Yelmalio. The Yelmalio cult has now eclipsed the native Elmal cult.

Wyrm's Footnotes #15 apparently expands upon this, something about the Elmali of the Far Place worshiping a "Golden Spearman" and Lunar sorcerers revealing something that caused a schism that Monrogh settled by revealing that Elmal is Yelmalio. Does anyone have that?

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Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes sets the time of Monrogh’s vision pre-1550 as that is around when Tarkalor challenges Monrogh Lantern’s new Yelmalio cultists to defeat the Kitori.

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Tarkalor was the youngest son of Prince Saronil. Around 1550, he was in a noble feud with the Kitori clans, and he promised the new Yelmalio cultists that they could have their own lands and the chance to make their own rules, if they would defeat the darkness. Monrogh Lantern accepted the challenge, and with his new god's powers bypassed defenses and looked into places that had been hidden before. Archers won his day, protected by spear men. The Kitori were smashed and their survivors ran away into the Troll Woods. The conquered lands and the defeated peoples were divided among the victors. In 1579, King Tarkalor recognized that the Yelmalio cult was legal possessor of the lands of the Amber Fields and Forthanland and the cult erected a new Sun Dome Temple at Vaantar. As a military leader Monrogh took the Kethaelan title of "Count" and its rites; his successors have succeeded to that title.

The Glorantha Sourcebook sets the date later, in 1569, after Tarkalor became Prince:

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Upon becoming Prince in 1569, Tarkalor brought peace with the Sun worshipers at last. Tarkalor had befriended Monrogh Lantern, who had Heroquested to the Sun God and returned with Yelmalio, a god known to the elves and to the Sun Dome Temples of the Second Age; a god neither Yelm nor Elmal, but with a rich mythology of his own. Monrogh swore loyalty to Tarkalor, who had been dragged into a feud with the Darkness-worshiping Kitori of the Troll Woods. Tarkalor gratified the new Yelmalio cult by seizing new territory from the Kitori, and then granting it to the Yelmalions for their own rule. In this way, a new tribe was founded at the borders of Sartar, between the trolls and the Beast Men. They called themselves the Sun Dome Temple.

I suppose he could have issued the challenge to defeat the Kitori to the Monrogh’s Yelmalio cult before he became Prince. Interestingly, this passage in the GS uses the phrase “a god neither Yelm nor Elmal” to describe Yelmalio, which is often used in many of the sources. Only a couple places use the idea that Elmal was just a mask or another name for Yelmalio. It certainly doesn’t seem to be an agreed upon point that Elmal is just another name for Yelmalio.

 

 

 

 

 

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If the Sun Dome Temples in Saird were still active, it would be pretty strange that the knowledge about Yelmalion was lost, so that points to the fact they've been shut pre-Monrogh. However, that in itself feels a bit off. All those Yelmalions just started worshipping Elmal at some point? GS also seems to suggest the Sun Dome Temples are a Second Age thing, but earlier we had some comments pointing to Nysalor's era. So, as at least one mostly non-canonical source (which I don't have at hand) out in the Internet suggested, maybe there have been several Yelmalion/Sun Dome Temple resurgences, with Monrogh being the last. But that again begs the question that what happened to all the Yelmalions and where did they go. So, ugh, I'm still having some issues piecing all this together.

 

Edited by Grievous

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1 hour ago, Grievous said:

If the Sun Dome Temples in Saird were still active, it would be pretty strange that the knowledge about Yelmalion was lost, so that points to the fact they've been shut pre-Monrogh.

Saird is the heartland of the Yelmalio cults (the plural is intentional) and all were active prior to Monrogh, fighting against and for the Lunar Empire.

The Yelmalions in Dragon Pass were all killed in the Dragonkill War, when the temple in Prax became isolated. As a result, as neither the Sairdite or Praxian temples recolonized Dragon Pass after it was reopened to humans, the cult did not reappear until the Elmalites of the Far Place went north to obtain help against trolls, and returned with the Golden Spearman who was lodged in a shrine in their temple to Elmal (that there was no divine displeasure at this is perhaps significant). Later the Lunars interfered and convinced the Light worshippers in the Far Place that the Golden Spearman was Yelmalio, an enemy of Orlanth (probably not entirely true - rivals, yes, and perhaps some Yelmalio cults see Orlanth as an adversary), and the schism began. Monrogh then had his visions, and the Elman worshippers in Sartar/Far Place split.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

The Elmali weren't enemies of Sartar. They were a subculture that had become alienated of the tribal culture in the kingdom, and things had come close to kinstrife.

I was referring specifically to the feud between the Elmali and the Jarosar. From the latest edition of King of Sartar:

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Jarosar
Jarosar Longarrow, also called Hothead, was easy prey for the wiles of the Lunar king. Treachery among the tribes came to the fore when the Elmali clans refused to help him. He reigned only four years, from 1565 to 1569. Yet even in this short time he followed dynastic tradition by building a permanent road from Jonstown to Isle Dangerous.

This betrayal by the Elmali clans, which were most likely those Elmali that had fallen in with Monrogh and his New Elmal, would make them enemies of the Prince of Sartar. But the seeds of this betrayal were planted during the reign of Jarolar, Jarosar’s father, from 1550 to 1565, who fought the Lunar Empire when they invaded Tarsh. This seems to be the period that the Lunars were most actively seeking to promote the sun worshipping Elmali clans of Tarsh and then Sartar by driving a wedge between their apparent desire to worship Yelm vs Orlanth.

Monrogh must have had his vision sometime during this period and been working to convert the traditional Elmali over to the cult of Yelmalio.

Tarkalor made peace with the Elmali during his rule, sometime between 1569 and 1579 when he officially award Vanntar to Monrogh and the Yelmalio cult.

Again from King of Sartar:

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Tarkalor brought peace with the Sun worshipers at last. He gratified the Elmal worshipers by seizing new territory, and then granting it to them for their own rule. In this way a new tribe was founded at the borders of Sartar, between the trolls and the Beastfolk. They called themselves the Sun Dome Temple.

If he forged peace with the Sun worshippers, that implies they were “enemies” of Sartar, at least for a time.

Jalk’s Book, also in King of Sartar, has another version of the account, again with the Elmali/Yelmalians/Sun Worshippers as enemies of the Prince of Sartar (Jarosar?):

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Once the Eyetooth Clan brought in the antesmia statue. They did it because they were rebelling against their king, and they wanted to be able to bring a Sunspear down from their god, and were willing to pay eternal worship and tribute to a foreign deity in order to succeed.

Tarkalor was the youngest son of Prince Saronil, who was very old or already dead at this event. He was looking for a way to make a name for himself, and had been dragged into a feud with Kitori clans. He sought allies among the enemies of his father, and promised the disgruntled Elmali that they could have their own lands, and the chance to make their own rules, if they would help him in his task against Darkness. They did, and as a result of their powers the Kitori were smashed, and their survivors ran away into the waste places. The conquered lands were divided among the victors. The best were given back to the beastmen, and the rest to humans. The Volsaxi Tribe was begun, and the Sun Dome Temple too. Monrogh, the first Son of Yelmalio, swore loyalty to Tarkalor when he became king, but no other count has.

The Eyetooth Clan brought the statue because they were “rebelling against their king” and willing to “pay eternal worship and tribute to a foreign deity.” Tarkalor “sought allies among the enemies of his father,” but that would place the Elmali rebellion earlier than Jarosar and all the way back to Saronil who died in 1550.

Again, the years and exacts details of the conflict are all a bit slippery. The accounts of Monrogh’s vision all seem to differ at least slightly, but often in significant ways.

Once more though, Monrogh’s vision is described as bringing back a god other than Elmal:

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Monrogh did not know the name of the god for whom he searched, but when he returned to this world he brought back Yelmalio.

This doesn’t sound like him revealing that Elmal is actually a mask for Yelmalio, but instead he’s discovering a new god.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

I have no idea why Tarkalor was so set on removing the Kitori from the southern fringes of his father's kingdom. I think he was too young to have been a friend of Darlanth, the Hendriki governor-king of Heortland who lost his office (and possibly, but not definitely) his life in 1544. 

 

The House Norinel in Nochet that murdered Sarotar is descended from the legendary sacred marriage of Norinel and Kimantor - that is - the origin of the Kitori mystery. They are 'wife' and 'husband'.

It's a feud.

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5 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

 

The Yelmalions in Dragon Pass were all killed in the Dragonkill War, when the temple in Prax became isolated. As a result, as neither the Sairdite or Praxian temples recolonized Dragon Pass after it was reopened to humans, the cult did not reappear until the Elmalites of the Far Place went north to obtain help against trolls, and returned with the Golden Spearman who was lodged in a shrine in their temple to Elmal (that there was no divine displeasure at this is perhaps significant).

That would mean that Goldedge (city and Sun Dome Temple) would only have been founded around 1569?

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

That would mean that Goldedge (city and Sun Dome Temple) would only have been founded around 1569?

The kingdom of Tarsh was founded around 1340, and Goldedge would probably date to within a few decades of that. Whilst within the old Deathline, Goldedge is on the periphery of Dragon Pass proper.

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The GenCon Preview Edition of RuneQuest: Gods of Glorantha doesn’t help with the exact dates or the details of Monrogh’s vision and actions, but it does shove the Elmal/Yelmalio distinction off to the side in favor of Yelmalio’s cult.

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In the Third Age, settlers from Kethaela brought Elmal, their sun god, with them to Dragon Pass, but when contact with the [sic] Peoria was renewed, many of the sun worshipers embraced the lowland ways. The Elmal-worshiping clans of Dragon Pass turned on each other, some seeking to worship Yelm, others seeking to worship in the old ways. The Lunar Empire exacerbated the conflict, and it seemed civil strife would break the new kingdom of Sartar.

Conflict and turmoil seemed inevitable until Monrogh the Founder experienced the Vision of the Many Suns; that the many sun deities were but masks of Yelm and Yelmalio. Monrogh realized Elmal was not Yelm, but a mask of Yelmalio the Little Sun. He entered contact with the other Sun Dome temples and helped them see Yelmalio clearly through grime of centuries of isolation. As a result of these heroic deeds, Monrogh is now worshipped as the founder of the cult.

The Yelmalio cult was invited back into Dragon Pass at the request of the House of Sartar. There it restored some of the cosmic balance of the area and stabilized the kingdom for the ruling house. Both the Dragon Pass and Prax temples have proved relatively minor, though they have always been well-supported by their worshippers.

 

This account greatly simplifies the story and completely subsumes Elmal’s history and mythology as well as the complexities of Tarkalor’s machinations and political games with the Yelmalio cult.

Elmal is given two more paragraphs at the very end of Yelmalio’s entry under MISCELLANEOUS NOTES.

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ELMAL

Elmal was a son of Yelm who became Orlanth’s loyal steward. When Orlanth departed on his Lightbringers Quest, he named Elmal to rule the world while he was gone. Elmal defended the last flickering lights of the world against Chaos and was wounded, battered, and weakened many time [sic]. Yet Elmal never faltered, and he survived as a last light in the Darkness until Orlanth and the other gods returned with the Dawn.

In the late Third Age, the Sartarite hero Monrogh the Founder revealed that Elmal was a mask of Yelmalo [sic], and Elmal’s cult has since been largely subsumed within other Sun cults such as Yelm or Yelmalio. However, some communities in Dragon Pass still worship Elmal as the sun god. Elmal’s cult resembles Yelmalio’s cult in most respects and is viewed by outsiders as a regional variant of the Yelmalio cult.

 

Not sure what happened to Elmal’s Fire rune or the many differences in the manner in which he is worshipped. Nor is it clear to me still why Yelmalio would completely displace Elmal outside Sartar. At the very least, Elmal is a Heortling sun god and I would expect his cult would continue to show up among Heortling Orlanthi, wherever they are. We have many documents that go to great lengths to describe the mythology and cultural relevance of Elmal to the Orlanthi, beyond direct worship through his cult, so I’m not sure how Yelmalio’s cult (and Yelm’s for that matter) have subsumed Elmal.

What’s even more troubling is that Elmal is not even given a mention as part of the Orlanthi pantheon, the GODS OF STORM, even though similar lists in the Book of Heortling Mythology, King of Sartar, the Guide to Glorantha, the Glorantha Sourcebook, and more all make mention of Elmal’s importance as the Orlanthi Sun god. Somehow, Yelmalio is included in the list though:

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YELMALIO, THE COLD SUN

Yelmalio is the bright sun that brings light but not heat. He is a son of Yelm and sometimes friend and sometimes foe of Orlanth. He is best known for his martial Sun Dome Temples who provide mercenaries to both the Orlanthi and their enemies.

 

Compare that with:

King of Sartar

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Elmal: God of the Sun, he was rescued by Orlanth and married into the Storm Tribe.
He is a loyal thane, and guarded the homestead when the Lightbringers departed.

Yelmalio: A foreign God of the Winter Sun, Preserver of the Light. When Yelm traveled
to the Underworld, Yelmalio preserved the dim, cold light until he returned. He also
fought against Orlanth in the Gods War.

 

The Book of Heortling Mythology

Quote

 

Elmal: God of the Sun, he was rescued by Orlanth and married into the Storm Tribe. He is a loyal thane, and guarded the homestead when the Lightbringers departed. Worshipped on Victorious Sun Day. Fire Season, Fertility Week, Fire Day.

[Yelmalio: A foreign God of the Winter Sun, Preserver of the Light. When Yelm traveled to the Underworld, Yelmalio preserved the dim, cold light until he returned. He also fought against Orlanth in the Gods War.]

 

Also in the ENEMY GODS OF ORLANTH list in BoHM:

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Yelmalio: God of the Winter Sun, Preserver of the Light. When Yelm traveled to the Underworld, Yelmalio preserved the dim, cold light until he returned. He also fought against Orlanth at the Hill of Gold, and even stole fire from Elmal one time. He is now worshipped by some Orlanthi who have abandoned Elmal.

I really hope that significant revisions to the Gods of Glorantha keep a place for Elmal, at the very least list Elmal as the Orlanthi God of the Sun, and the entire Elmal vs Yelmalio struggle in RQG.

My Glorantha will certainly vary to better include the complexities of this thread and the many existing sources should the new edition continue to subsume Elmal out of existence.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, daskindt said:

 Nor is it clear to me still why Yelmalio would completely displace Elmal outside Sartar. At the very least, Elmal is a Heortling sun god and I would expect his cult would continue to show up among Heortling Orlanthi, wherever they are.

I very much doubt that Yelmalio would displace Elmal everywhere: Yelmalio is primarily native to southern Peloria, with outliers far to the north west and to the south east. The Second Age expansion of the cult into the south didn't end well, and so Elmal is still the primary Orlanthi Sun God where the schism hasn't occurred: Maniria, most of Ralios, most of the western 'Barbarian Belt'. In Saird, Balazar, Tarsh and Sartar, things are probably different, with the Elmal cult either split, diminished or absent. The schism in Sartar provides dynamic tension (for the setting, and scenarios).

Regarding GoG: I suspect the description is primarily valid for the homelands covered in RQ:G; to do a continent-wide treatment would require many more pages? The distributed cults in Glorantha are unlikely to be as monolithic, or as unified as presented. For that matter, historical cults, even major ones such as Zeus varied by location. The most extreme example in our Ancient World might well be Mithras: in Zoroastrianism he's a god of contracts, who by the time he was adopted by the Romans is a righteous warrior god. There are numerous other variations in Bactria and Armenia. With his solar connotations, warrior aspect, and associations with justice and truth, Mithra/Mithras isn't totally unlike Yelmalio, and it would be interesting to see how Yelmalio off in South/Northbank relates to Carmanian/Western traditions...especially given the influence of Zoroastrianism on Carmanian religion. Probably the only deity who was more travelled in our Ancient World was Heracles, with a cult or presence stretching from Spain to Japan (as the guardian Kongorikishi) - though not in forms that the cultists of one area would necessarily recognize...

Edited by M Helsdon
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11 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

I very much doubt that Yelmalio would displace Elmal everywhere: Yelmalio is primarily native to southern Peloria, with outliers far to the north west and to the south east. The Second Age expansion of the cult into the south didn't end well, and so Elmal is still the primary Orlanthi Sun God where the schism hasn't occurred: Maniria, most of Ralios, most of the western 'Barbarian Belt'. In Saird, Balazar, Tarsh and Sartar, things are probably different, with the Elmal cult either split, diminished or absent. The schism in Sartar provides dynamic tension (for the setting, and scenarios).

Regarding GoG: I suspect the description is primarily valid for the homelands covered in RQ:G; to do a continent-wide treatment would require many more pages? The distributed cults in Glorantha are unlikely to be as monolithic, or as unified as presented. For that matter, historical cults, even major ones such as Zeus varied by location. The most extreme example in our Ancient World might well be Mithras: in Zoroastrianism he's a god of contracts, who by the time he was adopted by the Romans is a righteous warrior god. There are numerous other variations in Bactria and Armenia. With his solar connotations, warrior aspect, and associations with justice and truth, Mithra/Mithras isn't totally unlike Yelmalio, and it would be interesting to see how Yelmalio off in South/Northbank relates to Carmanian/Western traditions...especially given the influence of Zoroastrianism on Carmanian religion. Probably the only deity who was more travelled in our Ancient World was Heracles, with a cult or presence stretching from Spain to Japan (as the guardian Kongorikishi) - though not in forms that the cultists of one area would necessarily recognize...

I get that GoG is a specific format with a limited scope. I just think it is currently going way, way, way overboard in reducing the differences between Elmal and Yelmalio. The worst part is probably completely dropping Elmal from the list of Orlanthi deities while including Yelmalio. I’m not expecting a full cult write up (although it would be nice), but the idea that the Elmal cult write up would basically resemble the Yelmalio cult seems absurd based upon the previously published materials.

However weak the organized Elmal cult may currently be amongst the Orlanthi in Sartar and Dragon Pass, there’s absolutely no indication that they’ve ceased to revere Elmal as the Sun amongst their culture. His holy days are still part of the Orlanthi sacred calendar. He’s still prominently featured in many of their most important myths. Yelmalio is still viewed as a foreign god and his worshippers have betrayed Elmal.

Elmal still has a huge cultural presence within the Sartar materials and within Heortling mythology. The GoG entry makes it sound like Sartar is the only place where Elmal is given any attention of any kind, rather than being the center of the conflict between the two cults.

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The Elmal cult write up and Runegate details in the current HQ books are great. When a new to Glorantha person says, "Can I play a Paladin?" I say "Yes, let's talk about Elmal the loyal defender of the clan, God of the Sun, horses, and justice. He's awesome." and they eat it up.

If RQG doesn't get something similarly good, that'll be a shame.

Despite liking the stories and kewl pwerz and phalanxes and all, even in a setting so rich in moral complexities and nuance, I just can't muster up the same enthusiasm for a bunch of oppressive misogynistic mercenaries as I can for the loyal thanes.

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6 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

I very much doubt that Yelmalio would displace Elmal everywhere: Yelmalio is primarily native to southern Peloria, with outliers far to the north west and to the south east. The Second Age expansion of the cult into the south didn't end well, and so Elmal is still the primary Orlanthi Sun God where the schism hasn't occurred: Maniria, most of Ralios, 

I don't think Elmal is worshipped in Ralios.  If anything, Ehilm and Galanin are acknowledged as the Sun Gods there.

 

 

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1 hour ago, JonL said:

The Elmal cult write up and Runegate details in the current HQ books are great. When a new to Glorantha person says, "Can I play a Paladin?" I say "Yes, let's talk about Elmal the loyal defender of the clan, God of the Sun, horses, and justice. He's awesome." and they eat it up.

If RQG doesn't get something similarly good, that'll be a shame.

Despite liking the stories and kewl pwerz and phalanxes and all, even in a setting so rich in moral complexities and nuance, I just can't muster up the same enthusiasm for a bunch of oppressive misogynistic mercenaries as I can for the loyal thanes.

Yeah. I guess that’s why I’ve been so disappointed with how the new RQG materials have treated Elmal.

There’s so much excellent material that has come out in the past couple of decades on Elmal that it’s a shame to see it handled so poorly in the new material.

Storm Tribe blew my mind when it was released as a coherent book of complex cults for a fictional setting and Elmal was one of the absolute stars. There’s clearly an evolution from there to Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, but that evolution is excellent and complex. Sartar: KoH is so, so good.

I just don’t understand why RQG is casting that aside. I just can’t get behind the viewpoint of “And it came to pass that Monrogh was right and everyone lived happily ever after in Yelmalio’s cold light.”

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1 hour ago, JonL said:

The Elmal cult write up and Runegate details in the current HQ books are great. When a new to Glorantha person says, "Can I play a Paladin?" I say "Yes, let's talk about Elmal the loyal defender of the clan, God of the Sun, horses, and justice. He's awesome." and they eat it up.

If RQG doesn't get something similarly good, that'll be a shame.

Despite liking the stories and kewl pwerz and phalanxes and all, even in a setting so rich in moral complexities and nuance, I just can't muster up the same enthusiasm for a bunch of oppressive misogynistic mercenaries as I can for the loyal thanes.

 

2 minutes ago, daskindt said:

Yeah. I guess that’s why I’ve been so disappointed with how the new RQG materials have treated Elmal.

There’s so much excellent material that has come out in the past couple of decades on Elmal that it’s a shame to see it handled so poorly in the new material.

Storm Tribe blew my mind when it was released as a coherent book of complex cults for a fictional setting and Elmal was one of the absolute stars. There’s clearly an evolution from there to Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, but that evolution is excellent and complex. Sartar: KoH is so, so good.

I just don’t understand why RQG is casting that aside. I just can’t get behind the viewpoint of “And it came to pass that Monrogh was right and everyone lived happily ever after in Yelmalio’s cold light.”

Agreed. I've already said that I first got into the setting through King of Dragon Pass, where Elmal quickly became my favorite of the gods presented. So I was a little put out when I started looking up more on Glorantha and one of the first things I found was a blog complaining about being "Greg'd" and how Elmal was a useless addition who didn't add anything to the Orlanthi pantheon.

On the other hand, it's easy to be loyal and steadfast when everything is going your way and when you're getting showered with praise for it. So I guess you could say that an Elmali PC simply gets the chance to prove his true worth by keeping steadfast and acting as a true Loyal Thane even while being marginalized and taken for granted.

Also, something I've been wondering. If, say, an Elmali from one of the "Hyaloring" clans did some experimental heroquesting and stumbled onto "Elmal Guards the Sunpath" from Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind, how would that affect how Elmal was viewed by any Elmali partaking in the heroquest, and would it have any impact at all on the Elmal vs Yelmalio debate? Or is it basically irrelevant in the Third Age?

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13 hours ago, daskindt said:

 I just think it is currently going way, way, way overboard in reducing the differences between Elmal and Yelmalio. The worst part is probably completely dropping Elmal from the list of Orlanthi deities while including Yelmalio.

It may simply be a result of reductionism to provide an overview of the 'major' cults to stick to a particular page count. Comments here might have an impact on the final version. In Sartar, it is likely that the size of Elmal's cult has dropped significantly in recent decades.

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8 hours ago, metcalph said:

I don't think Elmal is worshipped in Ralios.  If anything, Ehilm and Galanin are acknowledged as the Sun Gods there.

Perhaps Yelmalio is known there as Ehilmalio?

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10 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Perhaps Yelmalio is known there as Ehilmalio?

Or possibly still by a name like Tharkantus or even Daysenerus. While Ralios had its share in fights of the Bright Empire and the EWF, it was quite far from the decisive battles, and from the bad backlashes against the cult.

IMO Ehilm is a very fiery but a lot less imperial and if possible more fiery version of Yelm, without any Dara Happan or Pentan baggage but loads of Ralian baggage. I have no idea how friendly or tense the relation between Ehilm and the local aldryami is, either (and that may vary from elf forest to elf forest, too).

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5 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Wouldn't "Lodik" have more of a corner on Fire in Ralios? I suppose both of them could, it just seems he's more of the primeval fire guy.

Sure, Ehilm's father would be pure (or later alloyed, if following the Lodril mythic pattern) fire. With Zrethus a different deity not in the paternal line of Ehilm (as far as I can make that out), Ehilm is a lot more Flame and Fire than Celestial Yelm. Weirdly enough, the Lightbringers' Quest involves both the Ash Emperor and Ehilm's Flames (as Orlanth's test of atonement), making the superposition of Ehilm with Yelm a bit less convincing.

Ehilm is the sun, not a son of the sun, but the son of primal fire/flame.

I suppose that Lodik started out as the pure flame of above, but then succumbed to earthy desire ending up as the fiery mountain father we all know. Still, there appears to be a different father/grandfather for Humat/Erulat, probably Zrethus, the blue sky (passing on the color blue to the storm god).

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

I suppose that Lodik started out as the pure flame of above, but then succumbed to earthy desire ending up as the fiery mountain father we all know. Still, there appears to be a different father/grandfather for Humat/Erulat, probably Zrethus, the blue sky (passing on the color blue to the storm god).

Maybe the Blue Dragon fathered "Humat" during the invasion of the sky. After all, he is a blue god and falling water fertilizes the parched earth.

Your developmental language is extremely interesting here. If the solar god progresses or regresses through initiatory stages (much like the goddess evolves from daughter to grandmother role) the classic Yelm-the-Youth through Yelm-the-Sage trajectory finds a home somewhere in Glorantha, even if that isn't in Hero Wars era Dara Happa. One of the archetypal conflicts for that people would then be whether the natural direction goes "up" from lowest/youngest (Yelm the Youth, maybe a Yelmalio figure or someone we don't know much about yet) through Lodril toward Dayzatar or "down" from highest/purest (Aethyr devolving to dirty old Lo).

You've also opened another of my eyes in terms of the LBQ being a journey across suns in search of the imperial one he killed. Eventually at the edge of the world there's no place left to keep searching except death itself. 

At one point storm and sun may have been brothers. We know they were romantic rivals. In that scenario it's an ur-Elmal who is murdered and restored through guilt . . . and the good news of his return is what the Light Bringers carried, back in the days when the storm brother truly felt sorry and then grateful.

Edited by scott-martin
twilight zone style stinger
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3 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Maybe the Blue Dragon fathered "Humat" during the invasion of the sky. After all, he is a blue god and falling water fertilizes the parched earth.

Your developmental language is extremely interesting here. If the solar god progresses or regresses through initiatory stages (much like the goddess evolves from daughter to grandmother role) the classic Yelm-the-Youth through Yelm-the-Sage trajectory finds a home somewhere in Glorantha, even if that isn't in Hero Wars era Dara Happa. One of the archetypal conflicts for that people would then be whether the natural direction goes "up" from lowest/youngest (Yelm the Youth, maybe a Yelmalio figure or someone we don't know much about yet) through Lodril toward Dayzatar or "down" from highest/purest (Aethyr devolving to dirty old Lo).

You've also opened another of my eyes in terms of the LBQ being a journey across suns in search of the imperial one he killed. Eventually at the edge of the world there's no place left to keep searching except death itself. 

At one point storm and sun may have been brothers. We know they were romantic rivals. In that scenario it's an ur-Elmal who is murdered and restored through guilt . . . and the good news of his return is what the Light Bringers carried, back in the days when the storm brother truly felt sorry and then grateful.

Well, God-Learnerism thought it may be, Umath and Yelm are both supposedly sons of Aether. Yelm possibly by parthenogenesis (ie. Yelmic/DH emanationism) and Umath by interaction with Gata, making them sorta half-brothers. Which makes Yelm the uncle of Orlanth, in absolute genealogical terms, though not necessarily in an acknowledged or socially relevant manner.

EDIT: Although, making the killing of Yelm a kinslaying could be a mythically significant way to explain why the cosmos deteriorated, as it is a chaotic action. Indeed, possibly THE prototypical chaotic action - both in and of it iself on a basic social level, but also possibly reflexively because it was the action that started all this mess. (the other prime candidates possibly being rape, which brought the Unholy Trio together.)

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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