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Elmal Yelmalio thing

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The problem with having many Sun Gods is that people tend to think they are just the Sun and get confused because there are more than one of them.

  • Yelm is the fiery disc as well as Yelm the Emperor.
  • Yelmalio is the Mountain Sun, or Winter Sun, or the Halo around Yelm's head, the weak sun without heat.
  • Kargzant is the Sun Horse, possibly Yelm's Mount, or Yelm as a Horse.
  • Elmal is the Storm Sun, the Friendly Sun, the Sun who helps them.

They are all manifestations of different aspects of the Sun.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

The problem with having many Sun Gods is that people tend to think they are just the Sun and get confused because there are more than one of them.

A bit like the real world, where there were numerous sun-gods and goddesses - a subset of just the European ones: Alaunus, Albina, Alectrona, Apollo, Aurora, Belenos, Dažbog, Eos, Helios, Hors, Neaera, Neto, Saulė, Sól, Sunna, Thesan, Usil.

8-)

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1 hour ago, daskindt said:

As to who still worships Elmal, as his mythology is rooted firmly in the Heortling traditions, wouldn’t his cult still exist in Heortland? As Monrough was a Sartarite Elmali, I would expect Sartar was most dramatically affected by his Yelmalio revelations. I would expect that outside of Sartar, it has been a much slower process for Elmali to convert to the new Yelmalio cult. What am I missing?

The Yelmalio cult is primarily native to the region just north of Dragon Pass - the portion of southern Peloria called Saird. For centuries, Saird has been the scene of both conflict and synthesis between the Storm and Solar cultures, so in that region except in the purely Orlanthi territories (and many kingdoms are mixed) Yelmalio is the Sun God of the uplands. The conversion in the Far Place and then Sartar was driven by Elmal worshippers going north to find help in fighting trolls (they came back with the Golden Spearman) and then a schism aided by Lunar interference, was instrumental in the reintroduction of Yelmalio into Sartar.

In other regions beyond Saird and Monrogh's influence, there hasn't been a schism and the Elmal cult retains its original position, and no conversion.

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2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

In other regions beyond Saird and Monrogh's influence, there hasn't been a schism and the Elmal cult retains its original position, and no conversion.

Now I need to find out whether, for example, Fronelan storm cultures like Jonatela even have an Elmal and what he's like. Maybe he has a sister or cousin who's familiar with unicorns.

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7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

A bit like the real world, where there were numerous sun-gods and goddesses - a subset of just the European ones: Alaunus, Albina, Alectrona, Apollo, Aurora, Belenos, Dažbog, Eos, Helios, Hors, Neaera, Neto, Saulė, Sól, Sunna, Thesan, Usil.

8-)

Well yes, but it's not a great comparison, since all of those are literally just the sun, whereas Glorantha has a crazy history with everything going haywire and various stellar bodies filling in or moving about.


A random aside: this confusion around the Orlanthi view of the (literal) sun reminded me of how Norse people treated the sun and moon largely with disinterest. True, Sol og Måni feature in a myth of how they're chased by wolves and will die at Ragnarok, but there's no evidence of them receiving sacrifices or doing much of anything else. A few girls received Sol as a name element, but not nothing of tremendous cultic value beyond some prestige knick-knack in graves, iirc.

Most mainstream Orlanthi seem not too dissimilar in this, seeing the sun perhaps mostly as "just one of those things that goes about", whatever it's name.

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18 hours ago, soltakss said:

The problem with having many Sun Gods is that people tend to think they are just the Sun and get confused because there are more than one of them.

  • Yelm is the fiery disc as well as Yelm the Emperor.
  • Yelmalio is the Mountain Sun, or Winter Sun, or the Halo around Yelm's head, the weak sun without heat.
  • Kargzant is the Sun Horse, possibly Yelm's Mount, or Yelm as a Horse.
  • Elmal is the Storm Sun, the Friendly Sun, the Sun who helps them.

They are all manifestations of different aspects of the Sun.

That's not quite the case as three of those are actually the sun and one of them is a separate planet.

17 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

A bit like the real world, where there were numerous sun-gods and goddesses

Not quite, in our world we have the sun and planets in the sky, our multiple suns are all the same physical star. In glorantha we have a separate planet involved.

Elmal = Yelamalio

Therefore

Yelm = Lightfore

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10 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

reminded me of how Norse people treated the sun and moon largely with disinterest

Best veer away from that, considering the Sun was the sister of the Moon 🙂

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23 hours ago, daskindt said:

This is one of the reasons I’m confused. We’re explicitly told that the Heortling Orlanthi associate Elmal with the sun. We’re also told that they specifically call Lightfore Yelmalio.

As to who still worships Elmal, as his mythology is rooted firmly in the Heortling traditions, wouldn’t his cult still exist in Heortland? As Monrough was a Sartarite Elmali, I would expect Sartar was most dramatically affected by his Yelmalio revelations. I would expect that outside of Sartar, it has been a much slower process for Elmali to convert to the new Yelmalio cult. What am I missing?

So when Orlanth 'kills' the Sun he splits it into two parts. 'Bijif' which descends into the Underworld and 'Antirius' which does not. We call the 'little sun' Anitirius, Lightfore (and Elmal, Yelmalio and Kargzant). At the Dawn, Orlanth resurrects Bijif who becomes the sun. But Lightfore also still exists. This duality is doubtless due to the Great Compromise. Elmal is Antirius, the part of the Sun broken off when Orlanth killed Bijif. Mythically, Orlanth kills the unjust part and reveals the loyal thane. That whole wrestling at the crossing is probably the myth explaining that.

So Elmal, Yelmalio, Antirius are all part of the Golden Age Sun, but now a separate light in the sky

I tend to agree that Yelmalio is the 'foreigner' cult.

Edited by Ian Cooper
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21 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

The Yelmalio cult is primarily native to the region just north of Dragon Pass - the portion of southern Peloria called Saird. For centuries, Saird has been the scene of both conflict and synthesis between the Storm and Solar cultures, so in that region except in the purely Orlanthi territories (and many kingdoms are mixed) Yelmalio is the Sun God of the uplands. The conversion in the Far Place and then Sartar was driven by Elmal worshippers going north to find help in fighting trolls (they came back with the Golden Spearman) and then a schism aided by Lunar interference, was instrumental in the reintroduction of Yelmalio into Sartar.

In other regions beyond Saird and Monrogh's influence, there hasn't been a schism and the Elmal cult retains its original position, and no conversion.

This is the position that makes most sense to me.

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4 hours ago, David Scott said:
23 hours ago, soltakss said:

The problem with having many Sun Gods is that people tend to think they are just the Sun and get confused because there are more than one of them.

  • Yelm is the fiery disc as well as Yelm the Emperor.
  • Yelmalio is the Mountain Sun, or Winter Sun, or the Halo around Yelm's head, the weak sun without heat.
  • Kargzant is the Sun Horse, possibly Yelm's Mount, or Yelm as a Horse.
  • Elmal is the Storm Sun, the Friendly Sun, the Sun who helps them.

They are all manifestations of different aspects of the Sun.

That's not quite the case as three of those are actually the sun and one of them is a separate planet.

Note that "planet" doesn't necessarily mean "a ball of rock or gas orbiting", but rather "a celestial body giving off light that is not affixed to the rotating sky dome populated by the stars".

In the story of Umath invading the Sky, the northeastern planet Makestina ceases to be an entity separate from Yelm. Two flames become one.

in the Sun Swirl, two small suns circle one another, and leave one separate planet (Lightfore) and the sun. Both have the same essence, only different amounts of that. A bit like the prehistory of our real world Earth and Moon formed by the collision of two rocky bodies.

It is possible (though undocumented) that Elmal's Cold Sun resting on (or above) Mt. Kerofin rose to join the Sun at the day of the first Dawn.

Lightfore is (or has become) the antipode of the Sun. It is the most sun-like of the planets. Unlike the sun, the rising and setting of Lightfore are not accompanied by the two jumpers of the gates of the Sunpath.

I suppose that Lightfore is about as bright as Venus, the morning star, which is still visible when (in RQ higher latitudes) the dark of the night gives way to the blue of the dusk.

In terms of dusk and dawn, Glorantha is a tropical world. The sunpath goes more or less directly overhead, and not in the "southpath" people in the northern hemisphere are used to follow the sun. Theya and Rausa cause a diffuse reddish or orange glow around sunrise or sunset. The sun itself adopts and intensifies that glow when rising and setting. Possibly the Sun and the Jumper merge for the transition.

(The color lore of the Gloranthans is likely better developed than that of Homer (whose writings show an intriguing lack of the concept of blue as a color). Without the linguistic concept of blue-ness, apparently there is no conception of blue-ness, either, as has been shown with color comparison tests performed with people of the Himba tribe (whose language has three different terms for green, which gives them a very acute ability to discern between shades of green, but hardly any ability to discern sky blue from certain shades of green). The Lunar color scheme includes blue, and the Malkioni caste colors do include blue, too. Thus, the colors of the celestial body and the sky background should be similar to mainstream modern human perception.)

 

Planets are known as balls of rocky or even watery surface in Glorantha, at least the modern ones. Mastakos and Veldara were inhabited by blue-skinned humans who sailed (or teleported) down to the Surface World. The Boat Planet may manifest as the keel wave of the archetypal boat.

I don't know whether anybody quested to visit Lightfore, and what exactly to expect. Conditions similar to Umiliath, the Fireberg, or Mt. Enmal deep south in Pamaltela? A forest of Fire Elves, formerly found around and below the Celestial Palace of the Spile?

 

Which brings me to the role of Yelmalio that is overlooked when asking just about the human perspective of the cult. Green elf worship of the sun acknowledges Yelmalio. Brown elves and yellow elves share in his worship.

Green elves don't get to see much of Lightfore, or any stars. Their circadian cycle is stronger than in humans, and nighttime is the time for resting. Brown elves on the other hand are awake for the entire growing seasons, day and night, and Yellow elves don't ever sleep.

The Lightbringer missionaries were also called (or accompanied by) the Awakeners who returned the Brown Elves to Time.

The Brown Elves are children of the Storm Age. They  participated in the Gods War, led by Genert and Yelmalio (or Yamsur?) when Gore and Gash led their portion of the Uz refuges across the Surface World to Dagori Inkarth, but fell asleep collectively after Ernalda did in the Greater Darkness.

I doubt that this elf-Sun God cooperation was limited to the western border of Genert's Garden. The expansion of the Yellow Elf forest into northern Pamaltela and attempts to expand further into the Veldt must have been spearheaded by a Halamalao, too (and pretty definitely not by Kendamalar, the sun god of the Veldt).
 

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The elven acknowledgement of Yelmalio is something several people have mentioned here, but from stuff I've seen on them, they don't actually seem to have "deities" in the common human sense. Rather they acknowledge different agents or actors within the greater cosmic whole, it seems. To them the difference between an Elmal, a Yelm, an Yelmalio, etc. might be trivial, fluid, or otherwise fundamentally different from a human theistic perspective. I'm reminded of a in-universe article written from the perspective of Belintar, where he claimed to once having been an elf (not sure when... maybe one of the winners of the Tournament?) but no longer being able to explain how and why they see things so differently.

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56 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The elven acknowledgement of Yelmalio is something several people have mentioned here, but from stuff I've seen on them, they don't actually seem to have "deities" in the common human sense. Rather they acknowledge different agents or actors within the greater cosmic whole, it seems. To them the difference between an Elmal, a Yelm, an Yelmalio, etc. might be trivial, fluid, or otherwise fundamentally different from a human theistic perspective. I'm reminded of a in-universe article written from the perspective of Belintar, where he claimed to once having been an elf (not sure when... maybe one of the winners of the Tournament?) but no longer being able to explain how and why they see things so differently.

Note that Lightfore/Elmal/Yelmalio is preferable to the Aldryami to the 'scorching sun' capability (not necessarily primary identity mind you) of the unified Sun. Light and Warmth, not Fiery Blazing... (though the Sun Aldryami might disagree). I have a pet theory that even Argan Argar (shadow/coolness) has a role in the Elvish notion of paradise, but his Plant cult is unrecognisable to trolls or humans. 

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32 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Lightfore/Elmal/Yelmalio is preferable to the Aldryami to the 'scorching sun' capability

We might've been able to learn more from the Pelorian forests.

Before they burned.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

I suppose that Lightfore is about as bright as Venus, the morning star

I had the impression that it was substantially larger and maybe the brightness of our moon.  It's not as large as Shargash (whose round shape is discernable in the Sky per the Guide) though.

5 hours ago, Joerg said:

I don't know whether anybody quested to visit Lightfore, and what exactly to expect.

I suspect the horse tribes would find a blindingly bright yellow horse.

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6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I had the impression that it was substantially larger and maybe the brightness of our moon.  It's not as large as Shargash (whose round shape is discernable in the Sky per the Guide) though.

That would mean that a clear Gloranthan night would be at least as well-lit as any RW night even without the glow of the Red Moon in the sky.

I recall to have read that the rise of the Red Moon was a major issue for the uz because it made their night considerably brighter. If Lightfore already has that much strength, the Red Moon wouldn't matter much.

MRQ Glorantha book stated that the night would be significantly darker, like new moon nights. Not a canonical source, but there is a logic to that.

 

6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I suspect the horse tribes would find a blindingly bright yellow horse.

In its "Planet and Deity" aspect, yes, much like Zaranistangi see Tolat as the red-bladed warrior, and Mastakos as the mother of their folk (while at the same time they know it as the homeland of their distant ancestors, where Loper beasts roam). It isn't just the Red Moon that is perceived in a number of different ways. The Red Moon is special because (IMO) it is immaterial beyond the Crown Mountains.

 

The Sunburn used by the Char-un to clear Erigia from trees and aldryami may have come from Kargzant or from Yelm.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

That would mean that a clear Gloranthan night would be at least as well-lit as any RW night even without the glow of the Red Moon in the sky.

I recall to have read that the rise of the Red Moon was a major issue for the uz because it made their night considerably brighter. If Lightfore already has that much strength, the Red Moon wouldn't matter much.

My assumption, without any evidence, is that Lightfore, Shargash etc. were brighter in the Storm Age so that even after the death of Yelm there was something approaching day, but dimmed during the Darkness, going from Twilight to a bright moonlit night all the way to a starlit night in the end. We know the myths of Elmal and Yelmalio have them continually battered, which may be a mythical explanation for them losing brightness.

Now, I suspect Lightfore is a bright star that does provide more illumination than most terrestrial planets, but not as much as our moon.

Looking at this table I would assume that it is closer to a quarter moon than Venus.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight#Intensity_in_different_conditions

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

My assumption, without any evidence, is that Lightfore, Shargash etc. were brighter in the Storm Age so that even after the death of Yelm there was something approaching day, but dimmed during the Darkness, going from Twilight to a bright moonlit night all the way to a starlit night in the end. We know the myths of Elmal and Yelmalio have them continually battered, which may be a mythical explanation for them losing brightness.

Like I said earlier, I think that the Sun Swirl may have redistributed power from the smaller to the bigger one, shrinking the smaller sun(s). The Darkness suns may well have been twice to four times as bright each.

Quote

Now, I suspect Lightfore is a bright star that does provide more illumination than most terrestrial planets, but not as much as our moon.

I think that this is true for the majority of the Gloranthan planets - brighter and a lot more colorful than the ones we see in our night sky (when we have the rare chance to see one free of light pollution).

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11 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

My assumption, without any evidence, is that Lightfore, Shargash etc. were brighter in the Storm Age so that even after the death of Yelm there was something approaching day, but dimmed during the Darkness, going from Twilight to a bright moonlit night all the way to a starlit night in the end. We know the myths of Elmal and Yelmalio have them continually battered, which may be a mythical explanation for them losing brightness.

Now, I suspect Lightfore is a bright star that does provide more illumination than most terrestrial planets, but not as much as our moon. 

Looking at this table I would assume that it is closer to a quarter moon than Venus.

That seems reasonable to me.

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I figure that the Storm Age was dark as an overcast day or similar heavy cloud cover. 

The sky itself was brighter until the successive invasions by the Water Tribe and Chaos wore away what light survived Yelm's departure. 

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On 8/25/2018 at 12:17 PM, M Helsdon said:

The Yelmalio cult is primarily native to the region just north of Dragon Pass - the portion of southern Peloria called Saird. For centuries, Saird has been the scene of both conflict and synthesis between the Storm and Solar cultures, so in that region except in the purely Orlanthi territories (and many kingdoms are mixed) Yelmalio is the Sun God of the uplands. The conversion in the Far Place and then Sartar was driven by Elmal worshippers going north to find help in fighting trolls (they came back with the Golden Spearman) and then a schism aided by Lunar interference, was instrumental in the reintroduction of Yelmalio into Sartar.

In other regions beyond Saird and Monrogh's influence, there hasn't been a schism and the Elmal cult retains its original position, and no conversion.

This is certainly the version that makes the most sense to me based upon the previously published material I’ve read.

The importance of the Elmal cult in Heortling culture and mythology makes me think that the Yelmalio cult shouldn’t have had much success in displacing it as you leave those Elmali that were directly under Monrogh’s influence.

However, the current draft of Gods of Glorantha does not seem to support this interpretation. It relegates the worship of Elmal to just a handful of communities in Sartar, which doesn’t make much sense to me based upon all the previously published materials.

Is there published material on Heortland and any other Orlanthi communities comprised of Heortlings, other than Sartar, where we get a better sense of how the various Orlanthi cults have been surviving? Circumstances that explain why the Heortlings in places other than Sartar would have abandoned the traditional Elmal cult?

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On 8/26/2018 at 9:33 AM, Ian Cooper said:

So when Orlanth 'kills' the Sun he splits it into two parts. 'Bijif' which descends into the Underworld and 'Antirius' which does not. We call the 'little sun' Anitirius, Lightfore (and Elmal, Yelmalio and Kargzant). At the Dawn, Orlanth resurrects Bijif who becomes the sun. But Lightfore also still exists. This duality is doubtless due to the Great Compromise. Elmal is Antirius, the part of the Sun broken off when Orlanth killed Bijif. Mythically, Orlanth kills the unjust part and reveals the loyal thane. That whole wrestling at the crossing is probably the myth explaining that.

So Elmal, Yelmalio, Antirius are all part of the Golden Age Sun, but now a separate light in the sky

I tend to agree that Yelmalio is the 'foreigner' cult.

The question I have again here though is why do we still see the Orlanthi calling Elmal the sun in various sources while they label Lightfore Yelmalio?

It seems like while the sun was extinguished, Elmal was the light in the sky that is now associated with Lightfore, but I get the impression that the sun at the Dawning became Elmal again for the Heortlings. Is this inaccurate?

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I've been playing Six Ages, and it's quite noticeable that 'Little Sun' and 'Elmal' are different gods, though they are brothers...

Also Bijif is the 'shadow soul' of the Sun - he's the Sun turned inside out: tyranny, arbitrary rule, and hunger (mindless fire).

There's also Nysalor, who has part of Yelm's soul, as well. [not in Six Ages [yet]]

1 hour ago, daskindt said:

The question I have again here though is why do we still see the Orlanthi calling Elmal the sun in various sources while they label Lightfore Yelmalio?

It seems like while the sun was extinguished, Elmal was the light in the sky that is now associated with Lightfore, but I get the impression that the sun at the Dawning became Elmal again for the Heortlings. Is this inaccurate?

The Heortlings believe that - as far as I interpret it - that Elmal is the Friend-Sun as opposed to the Tyrant-Sun. When Orlanth stretched out his hand in friendship, this allowed the part of Elmal that had joined the Storm Tribe and become their brother to also be a part of the Sun. The Sun that rose at the Dawn united in part with his scattered kin and shares with them (in a sense the Sun may be said to be the circling fiery steading of the Fire Tribe); of course, Elmal is only a part of the Sun and there are still some hostile aspects, but the Sun of the mountains is basically a friend of the Heortlings, and so is, essentially, Elmal. That is the part of the Sun that looks towards the highlands and answers their prayers. The lowland sun and waste sun have other directions they look in and are not so friendly, but Elmal can intercede with them. [This is very much my own reading]

Edited by jeffjerwin
typos

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4 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Also Bijif is the 'shadow soul' of the Sun - he's the Sun turned inside out: tyranny, arbitrary rule, and hunger (mindless fire).

The soul and the shadow are different things. It is the lower soul, yes, the part that goes into the underworld - but it is different to Kazkurtum, the shadow. Bijiif isn't particularly tyrannical or arbitrary - just impotent and dead. Kazkurtum, the shadow, is the absense of rule. 

 

4 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

There's also Nysalor, who has part of Yelm's soul, as well

In Lunar parlance, the Nysalor part would be the Seventh part, the greater consciousness. 

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