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Some observations and theories on Zolan Zubar


jeffjerwin

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Zolan Zubar ‘Lord Demon of Death’, the Hellwind, was an ancient cave bear spirit connected to Sky Bear and Odayla. He is a spirit of the Cave Bear; the wind that howls out of the deep earth. Runes = Air Darkness Death.

reasoning:

Sky Bear is later tamed and ridden by the Red Goddess. The same entity seems to have been killed by Vingkot at Grizzly Peak. In Sylila/Talastar the paramount god and storm god was Sky Bear before the Unity Council/Lightbringers brought Heortling culture to southern Peloria.

It is of course possible that the Ur-rebel of the pre-Council Pelorian mythos, the killer of Yelm, was in fact Sky-bear, son of Umat. Darkness = the element brought to the surface by the bear, and Death = the murder of the sun. Thus the Red Goddess has already subdued and mastered one aspect of the killer of Yelm. It is interesting that the Kitori slew Broyan, because of this, and the enmity of Vingkot and Sky Bear.

‘At that time there lived in the sky a great monster that was called the Sky Bear. It thumped to the ground right in the middle of the ceremonies, and it challenged Vingkot to the rights that Orlanth gave to it.

Vingkot said, “This is a place of peace. We have agreed to speak here first.” But the Sky Bear growled back. “I am not one of you.” And it attacked.

However, Vingkot was a doughty warrior, and he drew his sword and fell to against the bear. It was a fierce struggle, but Vingkot was more fearsome and so he finally slew it. Its body was so huge that it lay like a great hill upon the earth. Vingkot claimed that spot as his own sacred land. Orlanth was pleased with this resolution.’

-The Book of Heortling Mythology

Note there is no equation of Sky Bear here with Orlanth or Odayla. Still, the dead bear becomes a totemic spirit to the northern Vingkotlings, the Summer Tribes.

The Kitori resisted Gbaji and supported Arkat, much like the Hendriki. Varzor Kitor learned the secrets of Darkness from the Only Old One.

Varzor Kitor bore Ironbreaker as Warlord of the Second Council. Similarly, ‘[t]hey then appointed a warlord, a son of Gwalynkus who bore Ironbreaker, and declared war.’ [in 180] The early warlords (a mixture of species like Pavis; viz VK’s mixture of human and troll) were from Lakrene, and thus were of Sylilan/Talastari associated tribes – the Sky Bear peoples.

The proto-Kitori are thus likely a clan/tribe/band of bear-worshipping Orlanthi [not necessarily Heortlings], originally from near Dorastor, and perhaps were in fact Varzor Kitor’s hero-band. Zolan Zubar would have been their wyter. They found refuge in the Shadowlands after the Darkness peoples left the Council (prior to the 340s). If so, the weirdness of the Troll Woods as a Uz habitat may have much to do with the proto-Kitori connection to a forest/mountain/cave spirit.

This suggests that the absorption of Zolan Zubar by Zorak Zoran was an Arkati innovation, made to develop the Kitori into a weapon against the Light of Illumination. By merging Sky Bear into Zorak Zoran (or his prototype, Fear/Hell/Darkness) he would be even more effective against the Little Sun/Yelmalio/Palangio. Note the doubling of ZZ and Orlanth as opponents of Yelmalio at the Hill of Gold. Zolan Zubar as ‘bearpaw’ indeed still survives as a Kolating spirit - though not as a theistic source of magic.

It is my belief that trolls and bears, as can be seen below, have certain similarities...

Below: the skull of a dark troll (Trollpak); the skull of a cave bear (wikimedia)

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 3.51.21 PM.png

Skull_of_cave_bear,_World_Museum_Liverpool.jpg

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An interesting take on the dark men.

11 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Zolan Zubar ‘Lord Demon of Death’, the Hellwind, was an ancient cave bear spirit connected to Sky Bear and Odayla. He is a spirit of the Cave Bear; the wind that howls out of the deep earth. Runes = Air Darkness Death.

All of that from the Bear Paw? 

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reasoning:

Sky Bear is later tamed and ridden by the Red Goddess. The same entity seems to have been killed by Vingkot at Grizzly Peak. In Sylila/Talastar the paramount god and storm god was Sky Bear before the Unity Council/Lightbringers brought Heortling culture to southern Peloria.

The Sky Bear is the moving constellation also known as Orlanth's Ring. The Entekosiad has a somewhat cryptic mention of Sedenya following the Spiral Path, too.

An alternative theory about the Sky Bear follows below.

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It is of course possible that the Ur-rebel of the pre-Council Pelorian mythos, the killer of Yelm, was in fact Sky-bear, son of Umat. Darkness = the element brought to the surface by the bear, and Death = the murder of the sun. Thus the Red Goddess has already subdued and mastered one aspect of the killer of Yelm. It is interesting that the Kitori slew Broyan, because of this, and the enmity of Vingkot and Sky Bear.

According to Jar-eel's teachings of Liberation to Aelwrin, the Red Goddess (as Verithurusa) herself was an active part of the killing or rather dismembering of Yelm. (The Dara Happans maintain that it was Murharzarm, the Divine Emperor, who was slain by Rebellus Terminus, not Yelm himself. And the Orlanthi agree that their god slew the Evil Emperor.)

Rufelza's victory over the Sky Bear is a big thing, but then there is a story how Verithurusa descended into the Underworld upon her tumbling encounter with Umath, and mated with a god newly arrived there (Umath?).

From The Life of Sedenya:

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In the Creation Age, She was a celestial being, immobile and unchanging, as was everything in the world. She was radiant white, pure in her Zayteneric dress of innocence. One day She saw a new god, and She moved from Her place to follow and watch it. She followed it about the Sky. When the new god dipped below the horizon, Zaytenera, now curious beyond thoughts of safety, followed. There She met Him Below, a powerful god to whom She was forcefully attracted, and who She took as Her first lover. She left Her white dress behind, and rose again a vital, bright red. She called Herself Verithurusa, which means either the Wondrous Wanderer or the Changing Truth, or both.

It is quite possibly a "I am your mother, Luke" moment.

http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1152.html

 

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Note there is no equation of Sky Bear here with Orlanth or Odayla. Still, the dead bear becomes a totemic spirit to the northern Vingkotlings, the Summer Tribes.

This is where I sort of stomp a foot and say no. And - as a rule - the northern tribes are the Winter Tribes, with the Jorganostelli sort of breaking the pattern.

The northernmost Winter  Vingkotlings were the Berennethtelli - notorious cat people. 

If you look at the Dawn Settlement map in the Guide, you will see that the bear-worshipping Odaylings are centered around Cafol, quite a distance from the former Vingkotling, then Heortling tribes. You can make a very small point about the arrow people of Berthestead, an offshoot of the Jorganostelli whose dedication to archery leads them to worship of Odayla.

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The Kitori resisted Gbaji and supported Arkat, much like the Hendriki. Varzor Kitor learned the secrets of Darkness from the Only Old One.

Or rather: the Kitori became the adopted children of the Only Old One (his son having been slain by Eurmal during the Lightbringers' Quest), turning them into something more than just humans (or trolls, or dehori) and able to take the body shape of any of these three.

For the early Second Age, the History of the Heortling Peoples confuses this Kitori ability with Arkat's rebirth as a troll, e.g. for Daramhy. While the Kitori (the Only Old One-enabled shapeshifters) remained true to their allegiance to Arkat and his teachings of sorcery, and could reasonable be included under the term of the Arkatings, the troll shape-shifting power that Daramhy used in his personal feud against other Kitori shadowlords did not originate from Arkat.

To my knowledge, Arkat never was taught by the Only Old One. Ezkankekko aka Kimantor was a great defender against Chaos, but only a defender, never the attacker Arkat needed to be.

Arkat's Command - to re-introduce the ancient Kitori tribute - basically only undid its suspension under Palangio's occupation of Maniria (and no doubt claiming at least as much as taxation for the Bright Empire). Arkat did not institute a new tribute, he only re-instituted the mutual exchange agreements that created the Silver Age and the Unity Council. But with two generations under the fists of Palangio and Lokamayadon, many Heortlings had forgotten that exchange, and the benefits that that had brought. They had shaken off Palangio's yoke, and claimed that result for their own effort, disregarding the crucial aid the Only Old One and Dagori Inkarth had given them, or the fact that they had gone on to harrass Dara Happa while Arkat and his troll allies bore the brunt of the Chaos Fighting marching on Dorastor.

 

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Varzor Kitor bore Ironbreaker as Warlord of the Second Council. Similarly, ‘[t]hey then appointed a warlord, a son of Gwalynkus who bore Ironbreaker, and declared war.’ [in 180]

There is nothing to support a further breeding of Gwalynkus producing offspring with other Elder Races than the Gold Wheel Dancer he married.

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The early warlords (a mixture of species like Pavis; viz VK’s mixture of human and troll) were from Lakrene, and thus were of Sylilan/Talastari associated tribes – the Sky Bear peoples.

That's an unexpected leap into the direction of the Tusk Riders (who IMO really are an admixture of boars to the humans, rather than trolls - check a boar skull next to your two examples).

The Kitori followed the superhero trope of never revealing their true identities while on duty, wearing a lead face mask (like the Kimantoring guards of Nochet), a gray goose-feather cloak, and a spear as insignia of their office, regardless whether they chose to take human, troll or dehori shape. (The dehori shape can of course de-materialize, dropping those insignia for that time.)

To my knowledge, they never displayed any hybrid body-shape (unless you count the troll shape as a hybrid of human and dehori).

The shape you describe is paralleled only in the hybrid shape the Telmori werewolves were gifted by Nysalor and cursed to take on wilddays by Talor. That is a modification of wolf-walking, and so your shape might be a modification of bear-walking.

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The proto-Kitori are thus likely a clan/tribe/band of bear-worshipping Orlanthi [not necessarily Heortlings], originally from near Dorastor, and perhaps were in fact Varzor Kitor’s hero-band.

The Kitori originated in the neighborhood of Shadow Plateau in the Gray Age, with neighborhood possibly extending far enough to include Harandings and Aramites. Near Dorastor stretches things a bit. They were the messengers who brought news from other groups of the Unity forces, brought some sustenance from others, and collected some to distribute elsewhere. This was the Shadow Tribute, and it has all the trappings of a scheme to avoid malnutrition by exchanging products with other groups that couldn't be grown locally.

These messengers appeared in Kimantoring uniform, as described above. On their travels, they braved the chasms in reality and the unspeakable things that might have emanated from those while the Ritual of the Net was under way in the Underworld. Those chasms slowly closed up, but the Kitori messengers were heroquesters in a broken world when the shadow tribute started, gifted with the powers of Ezkankekko to be able to make it through those dangers. And, while mostly successful, we must assume that there were parties of Kitori who did not make it through to the groups under their care, and it is entirely possible that groups cut off by the failure of a Kitori tribute party succumbed to the depredations of the remainders of the Chaos Age and perished.

I wonder whether this time is available for heroquesting. This post-apocalyptic Dark, then Gray, should be worth a rpg of its own, or at least a setting book for one or more of the three Gloranthan games.

 

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Zolan Zubar would have been their wyter.

Tribal deity probably is a better description than just a wyter, but the origin might go back to that.

Varzor Kitor's group evidently found or inherited a way to feed Zolan Zubar, and might even have loved him, but they were in all likelihood not of Vingkotling descent. My guess is that they stemmed from the same non-Vingkotling population as the Aramites and the Harandings, worshippers of Darkness, Earth and Storm.

The Vingkotlings included many of the older, indigenous groups in their tribes and clans, which is alluded to in the clan questionnaire where names that don't have much meaning or story behind them (yet, or rather any more) are offered for inclusion in the clan, and where the decision is made how to include them (as carls, cottars, or thralls). The Kodigvari tried to swallow the biggest lump, but were overturned and dissolved instead. Both Aramites and Harandings survived apart. The Kitori joined Akez Loradak, the Obsidian Palace and might be subsumed under the "approximately 6,000 trolls", where it is said a sentence earlier "The inhabitants were mainly trolls" clearly suggesting that there were others, too.

The Kitori tribe grew through adoption and recruitment. There were Heortlings among the Kitori, like Daramhy, who turned upon the Kitori leadership when they didn't support him in his feud against another of the Kitori.

And in a larger sense, all the humans who received the shelter, provision and protection of the Kingdom of Night would be Kitori, but that doesn't address the warlord and shape-shifter discussion we are having right now.

 

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They found refuge in the Shadowlands after the Darkness peoples left the Council (prior to the 340s).

There is some confusion about that. For a while, there was a thesis that some darkness-worshipping humans stepped in to keep the presence of all elements in balance.

The Kitori in the sense of the messengers were active much earlier. It is quite possible that the majority of the earliest converts to the Kitori state were trolls from Akez Loradak, but I am quite convinced that there were humans among Ezkankekko's recruits from the beginning. He might have started his adoption of others as soon as he overcame his grief about his blood lineage being cut down by Eurmal. That son might have been the (or a) child of Norinel, destined to sire a dynasty and lineage of great Shadowland leaders.

According to the Nochet history, Akez Loradak was home to about 3,000 humans during the Greater Darkness, but they returned to Nochet in the Silver Age. They may have left a part of their population behind.

The Nochet refugees would have been mostly Earth worshippers, but some Vingkotling descendants and some fisherfolk may have joined in in that protection, and possibly other indigenous Nochet traditions, too. While some families of Nochet found refuge in the Blackmaw, other Darkness-friendly ones may have joined Kimantor and Norinel on their move to Akez Loradak.

 

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If so, the weirdness of the Troll Woods as a Uz habitat may have much to do with the proto-Kitori connection to a forest/mountain/cave spirit.

Or it might be due to a much smaller number of trollkin among the Kitori - it is even possible that the trollkin they have were purchased from the Shadow Plateau population. Kitori breed true in their shapes when mating with a member of the species of that shape, but the offspring might lose the connection to Kyger Litor (shifting to Ezkankekko instead), which might be worse to the trolls than having trollkin offspring who at least maintain that Kyger Litor connection (as do cave trolls). Something like that, or an adoption into the ranks of the Kitori, might have been the secret behind Vamargic Eye-Necklace's great competence for a Great Troll. But then deviant doesn't begin to describe Vamargic... (I played him in a freeform, so he has grown on me.)

From the presence of the Ergeshi in Sun Dome County we know that the full Kitori keep mates and offspring who are only part-way into their secrets. The Ergeshi are the human-shape kin, while the trolls of Troll Wood are the troll-shape kin. It is quite likely that there are Dehori-shape kin in the troll woods, too, and some of them might have taken residence in the trees (or rather, the shadows of these trees), making them immune to their troll kin (two words intended).

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This suggests that the absorption of Zolan Zubar by Zorak Zoran was an Arkati innovation, made to develop the Kitori into a weapon against the Light of Illumination.

That is possible. There might have been such a trend already since the second century, though, when the Unity Council became more warlike upon contact with the Horse Warlords. Their war took almost 100 years until the Battle of Argentium Thri'ile, only to exchange one fire tribe nuisance with another one.

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By merging Sky Bear into Zorak Zoran (or his prototype, Fear/Hell/Darkness) he would be even more effective against the Little Sun/Yelmalio/Palangio.

Um, no? You don't bring Hell Darkness to fight the sun unless you intend to lose. The Second Council learned that the hard way, and it took Galanini and Praxian riders to counter the Horse Warlords successfully at Argentium Thri'ile. The Battle of Night and Day continued that trend.

Sending the Storm Worshippers to deal with the Sun Worshippers was how to bring that interference down. The foes waiting for Arkat's host were Chaos and the non-Fire brightness of Illumination.

Zolan Zubar's six foes don't include Chaos directly, but address many of the secondary horrors presented in Cults of Terror. (Curses sent by women is an interesting sixth foe here...)

 

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Note the doubling of ZZ and Orlanth as opponents of Yelmalio at the Hill of Gold.

The Dara Happan Hill of Gold monikers of the Cruel God and the Selfish God may extend to other participants, including Shargash instead of ZZ. And instead of Inora, Sedenya might crop up with her power of Reflection. That quest is loaded with tons of weird possible associations.

 

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Zolan Zubar as ‘bearpaw’ indeed still survives as a Kolating spirit - though not as a theistic source of magic.

Basically, this is the relationship King Heort had with Zolan Zubar.

 

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It is my belief that trolls and bears, as can be seen below, have certain similarities...

Below: the skull of a dark troll (Trollpak); the skull of a cave bear (wikimedia)

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 3.51.21 PM.png

Skull_of_cave_bear,_World_Museum_Liverpool.jpg

I had a closer look at bear skull anatomy when discussing Kalin's choices for the Harrek depiction in Prince of Sartar, and again for Eric Vanel's Harrek and Jar-eel statue project.

A major difference between the troll skull and the bear skull is the attachment of the vertebra. The bear neck comes in from behind, whereas the troll neck comes in from below (allowing the much enlarged brain case).

 

The dentition should have similarities - both are opportunist omnivores, in case of the trolls extending even to lignin plant matter and minerals. The tusks may be mainly for digging, as with the Aardwolf dentition (which I found under the insectivore entry in wikipedia, insects being the staple diet for the majority of the uz).

 

Edited by Joerg
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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Tell me about Vamargic, Joerg...

 

In the end, the bear = Zolan Zubar notion I have derives from the name "bear paw" and the resemblance between trolls and bears; I simply imagined the Arkati managing to blend bear with troll as part of their meddling.

Essentially, my thesis is still possible: the connection to Lakrene/Dorastor is weaker. But the idea that Zolan Zubar was (originally) an ursine spirit does track with its association with wind and darkness. WE can't say for sure where Varzor Kitor emerged - it could be anywhere under the Second Council (including Sylila).

Varzor Kitor was selected as warlord to fight Shargash (Hellwind versus Fire Hatred.... blow the fire out?)

Varzor Kitor was called Lord Demon of Death, for he was able to incarnate the powers of Zolan Zubar, a powerful war god who had fought against the Shadzorings in the Darkness. The great sword, Ironbreaker, was given to him as sign of his office. Orders and invitations were sent to all who would join in the war to destroy the demons.- History of the Heortling Peoples, p.16

This means Zolan Zubar would have been involved in some sort of Pelorian pre-Dawn struggle, which further suggests a Sylilan connection. Note that Palangio manifests both Shargash and Yelmalio. From a later Arkati perspective, by heightening the Other-ness of Zolan Zubar against Shargash (and Chaos),  ZZ becomes more potent and effective. Thus the vague trollishness of the bear-cult could have been made into overt trollishness by Zorak Zoran "eating" the bear.

Now VK need not be a physical troll to manifest trollishness, and by transforming himself into a woman, he proves to the troll his access to the greatest magics (motherhood).

It's also interesting to me that the Shargashi demons, the Shadzorings, are somehow a part of the two Monster Empires at the end of the Darkness and after the fall of the Lunar Empire; they don't seem to have any problem with coexisting with Chaos at all. It's also interesting that the most significant divergence between the two ZZs is undeath. Zolan Zubar is the enemy of undeath. But we find that Shargash is another cult that deploys undead...

Edited by jeffjerwin
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16 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

The proto-Kitori are thus likely a clan/tribe/band of bear-worshipping Orlanthi [not necessarily Heortlings], originally from near Dorastor,

This definitely sheds new light on the archaic mystery of the Wolf "Bear" secreted in the Cleft. In that case, the mystery would migrate toward tracking the "wolf" survivals of the cult. I wonder what the "uncursed" Telmorites of Talastar remember.

ZZ as the prototypical Cave Bear also raises the prospect that slight adjustments to the uz model can produce fossil evidence for what we would call a neanderthal today. Probably in some sites (maybe the Cleft) the skulls are intermingled with cave bear relics in arrangements that perplex the paleontologists but really just reflected religious / kinship relationships that cross our easy species distinctions. In this model "ZZ" is one of the more successful attempts to adapt the original and ideal Wonderhome type to surface realities. Future researchers may postulate parallel evolutions "AA," "XU," "Moorgaki," "Cragspider," etc.

Other than XU, these cults have unusual relationships with fire or at least heat. AA conquers southern Lodril, ZZ often wins the Hill of Gold narrative, Moorgaki's spear encounter negotiating "cold" affinity, Cragspider and her unrevealed "quest for fire." 

Now I officially wonder whether there's documentary evidence that AA was sometimes called "Aram" Argar and that was the line that seeded the pig-like "snout orc" type that promulgated across the southern earth belt in primeval times. Of course OOO defies species classification but it's interesting that true uz are absent from Maniria west of the Plateau. Instead we have the various pig peoples and "swine earth" cults.

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49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Tell me about Vamargic, Joerg...

There isn't much more to tell about him than is in King of Sartar. Now, being Vamargic is a different issue - a looming 2 m person with grey face paint wearing a necklace of ping pong balls with pupils and a deep growl do a lot to intimidate people. Never mind that I remained quite the talkative person furthering the aims of the Kingdom of Night (alas somewhat better than my own ones - the impromptu Hill of Gold quest was turned into a lottery rather than a series of six exchanges, so I didn't get the fire rune I meant to get out of that, a bit of a shame).

 

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

In the end, the bear = Zolan Zubar notion I have derives from the name "bear paw" and the resemblance between trolls and bears; I simply imagined the Arkati managing to blend bear with troll as part of their meddling.

I seriously doubt that the Arkati would meddle that way - they set themselves up as guardians against indiscriminate meddling.

 

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Essentially, my thesis is still possible: the connection to Lakrene/Dorastor is weaker.

I just don't see the happily married one half human one quarter dwarf one quarter elf Gwalynkus take a troll mistress besides his trophy wife from the nearly extinct Gold Wheel Dancers. And I admire his grandmother managing to get a dwarf to reproduce...

 

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

But the idea that Zolan Zubar was (originally) an ursine spirit does track with its association with wind and darkness. WE can't say for sure where Varzor Kitor emerged - it could be anywhere under the Second Council (including Sylila).

Varzor Kitor could also be a title (warlord of the Kitori) rather than a single person. It is pretty clear that the individual who became the warlord was born in the first century, otherwise his extraordinary age would have been mentioned like it was for Aram ya Udram.

I see great evidence that the lead-masked, cloak-wearing spearmen of Ezkankekko were on and about possibly even prior to I Fought We Won, braving the terrors of the Chaos Age keeping the precious few shards of life as it was known earlier in contact and healthier than they could have been on their own.

The conflict with the Shadzorings could be part of that.

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Varzor Kitor was selected as warlord to fight Shargash (Hellwind versus Fire Hatred.... blow the fire out?)

Hellspawn versus Hellspawn, but one backed by Unity while the other still on a rampage of hatred.

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Varzor Kitor was called Lord Demon of Death, for he was able to incarnate the powers of Zolan Zubar, a powerful war god who had fought against the Shadzorings in the Darkness. The great sword, Ironbreaker, was given to him as sign of his office. Orders and invitations were sent to all who would join in the war to destroy the demons.- History of the Heortling Peoples, p.16

It is interesting that the inhabitants of Alkoth are consistently described as the same Shadzorings that had terrorized central Genertela since before the Chaos Age.

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

This means Zolan Zubar would have been involved in some sort of Pelorian pre-Dawn struggle, which further suggests a Sylilan connection.

Or a Sairdite connection. Prior to the Dawn, the Kitori messengers were active all over that Dawn Sites map, and so were the Shadzorings in the northern half.

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Note that Palangio manifests both Shargash and Yelmalio.

Does he? Palangio is from Rinliddi, and he manifests Daysenerus, a fragment or son of Antirius. Antirius and Alkoth don't exactly look back on a flawless partnership. In fact I suspect that Shadzor was the Cruel God at Manarlarvus' fateful Hill of Gold expedition.

 

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

From a later Arkati perspective, by heightening the Other-ness of Zolan Zubar against Shargash (and Chaos),  ZZ becomes more potent and effective. Thus the vague trollishness of the bear-cult could have been made into overt trollishness by Zorak Zoran "eating" the bear.

 

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Now VK need not be a physical troll to manifest trollishness, and by transforming himself into a woman, he proves to the troll his access to the greatest magics (motherhood).

No - if he was indeed a disciple of the Only Old One, he could choose to appear as troll or dehori rather than as man. And if he wore the lead mask and the cloak of his office, it would be hard to tell which shape he wore, surrounded by the darkness of his incarnated deity.

Where do you get the "transforming himself into a woman" from?

 

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

It's also interesting to me that the Shargashi demons, the Shadzorings, are somehow a part of the two Monster Empires at the end of the Darkness and after the fall of the Lunar Empire; they don't seem to have any problem with coexisting with Chaos at all.

Just another thing to hate and destroy, really. It might be similar to the uz and their tolerance of the chaos-polluted cave trolls.

 

I am wondering if the Shadzorings are sort of an anti-parallel to the Kitori. Hellspawn demons who supposedly have a demonic appearance, but who may appear human for all purposes.

Eusibus aka Emperor Upon Hilltops would have to be a Shadzoring, yet not a single mention about deviant looks or behavior is made in the Dara Happan chronicles. As a son of Shargash he probably was nobility among the Shadzorings.

We never get any description of the Shadzoring appearance. I would guess that they have divine Dara Happan ancestry from Alkor when he merged with an Underworld entity that afterwards dismembered Umath, but that's pet theory territory and likely to summon the wrath of other scholars.

After Eusibus submits to Khordavu, there are apparently no more sightings of Shadzorings outside the green walls of Hellgate.

 

Plentonius maddeningly fails to mention the Battle of Argentium Thri'ile, except as part of Khordavu ordering the world. Khordavu (in Raibanth) summoned the armies of the horse nomads and the storm rebels and their monster allies to fight each other near Alkoth, the way Plentonius describes these things. It is clear that urban Dara Happa remained uninvolved in that conflict. It is not clear whether the horse warlord army was led by an emperor, as the last Jenarong emperor Kills for Life is described as killed when he confronted the Ten Princes and their conducting the imperial rites, and not in battle against the southern army.

Plentonius describes the campaign of the ten princes as if they had big armies and were able to fight prolonged battles. From reading the History of the Heortling Peoples, I get the impression that the fifty years Siege of Alkoth meant that there was a constant watch on the lands surrounding the city. It isn't clear whether the Council army devastated the rice paddies. They were unable to stop the river access to the city.

 

The struggle between Khordavu and Eusibus for the right to wear the Ten Accoutrements of the Emperor and the noteworthy tilting of the Green Wall could not have happened without being observed by the Council forces. The fact that Eusibus could claim the title of the Emperor using the Ovosto rites when there still were horse warlords about reinforcing the Jenarong rites indicates that the struggle against the council had weakened the horse warlords, and that that also allowed the Ten Princes to gather some fighting force and campaign for their Accoutrements.

Eusibus is the only emperor who came from Alkoth, and thus the only Shadzoring emperor within history (until the Hero Wars). Plentonius doesn't exactly name the factions or tribes among the horse warlords, but he does trace different lineages, including a Rinliddi one started with Kerunebbe (by his name a horse warlord), but succeeded by a son and a grandson bearing names starting with Kestin, in the ancient Rinliddi/Kestinliddi tradition which dates back to the Anaxial dynasty or even further. A similar "going native" effect can be seen with the Bull Shahs who took the Ten Tests just before the Rinliddi rebellion which brought out the Crimson Bat and a living goddess.

 

Peter Metcalfe gives an interesting description for Dawn Age Alkoth in the Wikia: http://glorantha.wikia.com/wiki/Shadzoring

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Inhabitants of the Hell City

  • Most residents of Alkoth are Shadzorings
  • Few humans live permanently within the green walls.
  • Without an Emperor, the Shadzorings run amok.

So what about Eusibus? The Wikia lists him under the category "Shadzoring Emperors".

How do the Shadzorings disappear from outside of the Green City Wall?

Judging from the Wikia entries, Peter appears to agree that there are still a lot of uncertainties in the events that led up to the Battle of Argentium Thri'ile and the battle itself. And IMO the Shadzorings and their fate are a big part of that uncertainty.

 

49 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

It's also interesting that the most significant divergence between the two ZZs is undeath. Zolan Zubar is the enemy of undeath. But we find that Shargash is another cult that deploys undead...

One might indeed theorize that Shargash was an undead when he fought and dismembered Umath. I am not quite convinced that the demon which rose from the dust next to Umath really was the original planetary son of the south.

 

In many ways, Zolan Zubar embodies the virtues of Humakt. (Still wondering about that "curses sent by women" thing in the Kolating description of the spirit friend from Below...)

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13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

 

No - if he was indeed a disciple of the Only Old One, he could choose to appear as troll or dehori rather than as man. And if he wore the lead mask and the cloak of his office, it would be hard to tell which shape he wore, surrounded by the darkness of his incarnated deity.

Where do you get the "transforming himself into a woman" from?

 

Glorantha Sourcebook, p.130: "Varzor Kitor was taught the deepest secrets of the Darkness by the Only Old One, and in turn taught other humans how to pray, make sacri- fices, and learn the secrets of the Darkness. He fathered many sons, then became a woman and bore many daughters."

 

One could argue that Varzor Kitor was a mask/title like the Emperor's and therefore a later Varzor Kitor - mythically and magically the same as her predecessor - was a woman. But Darkness is a very mutable rune.

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Just now, jeffjerwin said:

Glorantha Sourcebook, p.130: "Varzor Kitor was taught the deepest secrets of the Darkness by the Only Old One, and in turn taught other humans how to pray, make sacri- fices, and learn the secrets of the Darkness. He fathered many sons, then became a woman and bore many daughters."

Ah. The Kickstarter I missed, and a way too costly failure of my central heating last month which prevented me from acquiring those pdfs yet. As much as I live and breathe Glorantha, I still prioritize eating regularly over getting those pdfs.

I suppose that this "became a woman" woud have followed his giving up the post of warlord and the ability to incarnate Zolan Zubar.

I still suspect that the Varzor Kitor mentioned in the text above is a Gray Age or even Chaos Age character who may have been reborn into the Shadzoring wars. Possibly a follower of Queen Norinel.

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

That's an unexpected leap into the direction of the Tusk Riders (who IMO really are an admixture of boars to the humans, rather than trolls - check a boar skull next to your two examples).

Unless it's been Gregged on the level of Morokanth vegetarianism, Tusk Riders have been a troll offshoot going back to WB&RM.

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9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

This definitely sheds new light on the archaic mystery of the Wolf "Bear" secreted in the Cleft. In that case, the mystery would migrate toward tracking the "wolf" survivals of the cult. I wonder what the "uncursed" Telmorites of Talastar remember.

Et tu, Brute?

If the trolls had any aspiration to enter Dorastor, they could have done so at any time since before the Dawn. The impenetrable range of the Rockwood Mountains was (and remains) quite penetrable for the Halikiv trolls, and unlike the Arstola forest south of the Mislari mountains, there is no densely settled enemy territory north of the Rockwoods. Neither are there big hindrances between the Yolp troll stronglands and Dorastor. This makes me doubt any trollish presence near the Cleft of Dorasta prior to Arkat's invasion. The original settlers were Heortlings, some of whom underwent a strange Unity interbreeding program, but documented only with the foes of uzkind (at least prior to Gwalinkus' Gold Wheel Dancer marriage).

 

And could we please reserve ZZ for Zorak Zoran, the burnt three-eyed brother of Xiola Umbar and imprisoner of Lodril?

Apart from his third eye (which might be an indication of his unwilling and hurtful illumination upon his contact with yet unborn Aether), Zorak Zoran is the prototype of the Dark Troll - marred by too close contact with fire. After Bijiif Yelm invaded Wonderhome, many of his victims were diminished to Zorak Zoran's kind rather than remaining the proud Uzuz of Kyger Litor. The Hellmother extended her motherhood to her burnt mutant offspring, and sort of adopted Zorak Zoran like a stepson.

 

9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

ZZ as the prototypical Cave Bear also raises the prospect that slight adjustments to the uz model can produce fossil evidence for what we would call a neanderthal today.

More robust bones, stronger muscular attachments?

The Neanderthals have been much maligned since their discovery and the insight that they were cavemen, leading to the ape-like images of them that may still be found in some dustier museums of Natural History. Recent studies showed that the earliest cave paintings in Europe were made before the arrival of the African cousins (a novel method that can date extremely thin chalk deposits which covered the cave paint).

 

9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Probably in some sites (maybe the Cleft) the skulls are intermingled with cave bear relics in arrangements that perplex the paleontologists but really just reflected religious / kinship relationships that cross our easy species distinctions. In this model "ZZ" is one of the more successful attempts to adapt the original and ideal Wonderhome type to surface realities. Future researchers may postulate parallel evolutions "AA," "XU," "Moorgaki," "Cragspider," etc.

Argan Argar never was a troll, and while his son by Esrola could prove to be like a troll, it was just one of three documented shapes Ezkankekko (and his disciples) could take.

The Three Curious Spirits myth in Uz Lore, while highly anachronistic with the presence of Argan Argar prior to the birth of his grandfather (the Sky), does create the Hurt Troll (uzko) prototype. Unless it is a projection of the fact of the burnt trolls back into the blissful Darkness of their origins.

 

9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Other than XU, these cults have unusual relationships with fire or at least heat. AA conquers southern Lodril, ZZ often wins the Hill of Gold narrative, Moorgaki's spear encounter negotiating "cold" affinity, Cragspider and her unrevealed "quest for fire." 

XU is said to have taken "Friendship from afar" from her encounter in the Three Curious Spirits myth. A form of enlightenment which made her lessen the pain of Bijiif in Hell.

 

9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Now I officially wonder whether there's documentary evidence that AA was sometimes called "Aram" Argar and that was the line that seeded the pig-like "snout orc" type that promulgated across the southern earth belt in primeval times. 

Aram ya Udram aka Yu-Adariam (in older sources, but with a delightful dose of the Sun God's first name portion in it, compare Yu-Kargzant or YuEhilm with the silent u and the silent hi) was in all likelihood a Manirian pig Orlanthi and kin of the Harandings who followed Gouger after that pig had been released by a vengeful earth mother. (The sources never explicitely blame Ernalda, so it may have been one of her sisters, too.)

 

9 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Of course OOO defies species classification but it's interesting that true uz are absent from Maniria west of the Plateau. Instead we have the various pig peoples and "swine earth" cults.

The westernmost troll population in Glorantha are the Uzhim and Boztakang's queendom under the Glacier. Prior to the settlement of Guhan under the Dark Empire, the westernmost uz populations south of the Glacier were Halikiv and Yolp. (And possibly a Fronelan population from which Xem came, but that could have been a group of migrants from Boztakang's trolls). The rest of the west were nasty blue-skinne Helerings, nasty Greatwood in league with aldryami and even nastier sorcerers in league with mostali.

Orlanth does encounter a troll army in Ralios which he aids against the lesser Kajabori. (One of only three reported fights between Orlanth and Chaos, including the defeat at Stormbreak and the victory over Sky Terror. Ironically, Orlanth failed to save the Surface World, but did save the celestial sphere from Chaos - a deed which remains unacknowledged among the Sky worshippers.)

There are three groups of trolls in Pamaltela, two clinging to the cold mountains separating the Veldt from the north, and Moorgarkis right in the jungle. I would assume that the two mountain populations parted way from Moorgarki before her encounter with Pamalt, and that she led her cold-less followers back north into the jungle.

The Jrustela population was founded in the Modern Age, but may have found some debris from the mythical Spike troll civilization of the Storm Age - after all Jrustela is where much of the debris from the collapsing Spike came to rest.

 

There appears to be no contact between Kyger Litor's Hellspawn and the Hellspawn of Sortum, except in Ignorance. The Shadzoring Hellspawn and Kyger Litor's Hellspawn did have contact in Genertela, and from the description of Hellgate and the Characteristics of the Great Darkness in the Mythic Maps section of the Guide (p.695) it looks like the Shadzorings managed to lord over the uz when they encountered one another.

It is never quite clear whether Hellspawn is chaotic or not. Many of the Adpara peoples in the East are chaotic, or use Chaos as allies. The Shadzorings don't appear hell-bent to destroy Chaos, although Shargash has a special hatred for the Lunar chaos ties. (Or maybe just her dalliance with the Underworld presence of Umath.) Tolat on the other hand was allied to the Blue Moon before the Artmali allied with Chaos.

The Demon Horses of Ethilrist and his Hound also tread a thin line between Hellspawn and Chaotic Hellspawn, apparently on the non-Chaotic side. (At least there are no reports of Storm Bull bands finding their doom storming against Muse Roost.) The Black Cloak goblins are another type of Hellspawn, with only a temporary presence on the surface.

And I wonder whether the Deshkorgos demon race from the last scenario in the Hero Wars Narrator's Book still are remotely canonical.

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When did Zorak Zoran manifest the third eye? Before or after Arkat initiated to the cult? I do think Arkat created eddies of change in the God-time with his actions - the Arkati resistance to God-learning-style alterations may have as much to do with retrospective guilt/responsibility as it does with protecting the "past".

The Black Arkati are called out specifically as connected to the Kitori. This lends some support to the idea that Arkat meddled with Zorak Zoran, which, note, displaces Zolan Zubar as a Kitori war-god.

We can theorize a bit about etymologies here: Zolan Zubar may contain a variant on Subere. L- and R- are very similar sounds, so Zolan and Zoran are near enough the same word. Zo[r]- or Sar- is perhaps a basic root word to Hell.

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53 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

Unless it's been Gregged on the level of Morokanth vegetarianism, Tusk Riders have been a troll offshoot going back to WB&RM.

No - Tusk Riders are rumored to have troll ancestry. It is undoubted that they are darkness worshippers, and as such have a higher eligibility for the Uz Ritual of Rebirth (which quite a few scholars of Glorantha regard as a huge troll scam that hasn't worked once since the Rebirth of the Seven Arkats but provides a delicious pickle from failed candidates).

There is an alternative story involving Varankol the Mangler, a Living Hero of the Empire of the Wyrm's Friends (meaning a hero receiving worship, boosting himself easily past Demigod levels - Renvald Meldekbane was another such munchkin's wet dream). At one point his personal boar was slain, and he implanted the beast's tusks into his own jaw, and then passed this appearance on to his Aramite worshippers through a heroquest.

At least the description in History of the Heortling Peoples p.54 would be consistent with that origin:

Quote

Varankol the Mangler
A Great Living Hero of the EWF, Varankolwas the famed warleader of the Aramites – a tribe of savage warriors from Tuskwood who served the Dragon Ring as ferocious boar-riding mercenaries – and was worshipped as a Living Hero by his tribe. He rode Gouger– the darkness demon guardian of the Aramites, which took the form of a terrible black-tusked demonic pig. He killed foes by the score with his axes, Hewer and Scraper, and enemy blows bounced harmless off his helm, Terrifier, and his armor of golden scales. Varankol had tusks like a boar, drank the blood of his slain foes, and was known to savagely mutilate and torture selected captives – his foes preferred to die beneath Hewer and Scraper than be taken alive by Varankol.
Varankolfought and hated the many enemies of the Dragon Ring, but saved a particular savage hatred for the God Learners. He is had a curious respect for the Hendriking king.

It isn't clear whether Karastand Half-Troll (to my knowledge the only Tusk Rider ever to have claimed some troll ancestry, i.e. ancestry from Kyger Litor) really had troll ancestors. My bet would be against it, and apparently so was Kajak-ab Brain-eater's.

 

But, to be fair, there is also a different account of the origin of the Tusk Riders, in Borderlands (and Borderlands and Beyond, p.46):

Quote

Introduction
Tusk riders are the offspring of trolls and men who allied together during the Great Darkness. They are somewhat larger and stronger than ordinary men, and their features combine some of the worst features of both man and troll, including diminutive versions of the normal troll tusk.

Quote

Since the beginning of time, the tusk riders have been distrusted by both men and trolls for their half-blood. In response, the tusk riders are defiant and proud, flaunting their bloody ways and openly assigning all other races and religions of the earth as their legitimate prey.

There is a problem with this, however. The Aramites are humans at the dawn, no strange man-troll half-breeds. (This goes back to Wyrm's Footnotes 3, which also has the Ivory Plinth poem which was reproduced in Wyrm's Footprints.)

And the same source paddles back a bit later on in the bestiary entry for the Tusk Riders (p.55):

Quote

Tusk Riders (Half Trolls)
The actual origins of the tusk riders are unclear. That they have human ancestry is obvious, but the mark of the trolls is also upon them. Their Cult of the Bloody Tusk demands blood drinking and further abominations. The tusk riders ride tuskers.

You may of course stick to the page 46 description as your canon, but the Guide indicates otherwise, confirming the version of Wyrm's Footnotes 3 (while re-assigning Aram's "EWF" affiliation to the World Council of Friends).

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1 hour ago, Yelm's Light said:

Unless it's been Gregged on the level of Morokanth vegetarianism, Tusk Riders have been a troll offshoot going back to WB&RM.

According to Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, the Tusk Riders themselves believe otherwise. ("Others say that our race was created by the Empire of Wyrms Friends and is a hybrid of humans and Uz. We know this is a lie; we were created from the vital fluids of the God of the Bloody Tusk, who said to us, “Life is simple. There are hunters and prey. You are the hunters.”")

Now, interestingly, but only tangentially related: Karastrand Halftroll (listed in The History of the Race of Trolls) is mentioned in the new Glorantha Sourcebook as leading the "giant boar-trolls of the ivory plinth, who formed the nobility of trolls north of the Stinking Forest." Now, regardless of their heritage, the aramites would hardly qualify as giant, even by human standards. Their position of nobility is also interesting.

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3 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

According to Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, the Tusk Riders themselves believe otherwise. ("Others say that our race was created by the Empire of Wyrms Friends and is a hybrid of humans and Uz. We know this is a lie; we were created from the vital fluids of the God of the Bloody Tusk, who said to us, “Life is simple. There are hunters and prey. You are the hunters.”")

Now, interestingly, but only tangentially related: Karastrand Halftroll (listed in The History of the Race of Trolls) is mentioned in the new Glorantha Sourcebook as leading the "giant boar-trolls of the ivory plinth, who formed the nobility of trolls north of the Stinking Forest." Now, regardless of their heritage, the aramites would hardly qualify as giant, even by human standards. Their position of nobility is also interesting.

The closest thing to nobility among trolls are the Hellmothers/matriarchs among the Uzko or the Uzuz, I think. Curious.

There is a statement I read (somewhere) that some of the troll-kind "devolved" into humans... (I might have dreamt it though).

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

When did Zorak Zoran manifest the third eye? Before or after Arkat initiated to the cult?

This might be a Dara Happan influence, and the identification with Deshkorgos. Zorak Zoran is a known enemy god in many cultures - the slayer of Flamal and destroyer of Godtime Hrelar Amali, the monster god of the Hill of Gold, and bad news for mostali, too.  There is no recorded hostile interaction with the Vingkotlings, though. But then both ZZ and the Vingkotlings fought just about everybody else, so why not each other?

Arkat is shown bearing a third eye already as avatar of Humakt in 13G, and consistently so in Orlanthi depictions of the hero. The 13G picture makes me wonder whether he had black skin, or whether he rather had black tattoos all over his ruddy Horali or whitish mixed Westerner skin resulting in his depictions being all black.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

I do think Arkat created eddies of change in the God-time with his actions - the Arkati resistance to God-learning-style alterations may have as much to do with retrospective guilt/responsibility as it does with protecting the "past".

While it is likely true that the early Arkat heroquests were ignorant and ruthless, he changed his ways after giving himself the Unhealable Wound.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

The Black Arkati are called out specifically as connected to the Kitori. This lends some support to the idea that Arkat meddled with Zorak Zoran, which, note, displaces Zolan Zubar as a Kitori war-god.

Zolan Zubar appears only in the History of the Heortling Peoples. Troll Pak simply states that Zorak Zoran took over from his peaceful sister Xiola Umbar (at least as far as the troll representative on the council is concerned). And ZZ trolls are the best raiders against sun people, whether horse or chariot riding or not.

Black Arkat worship was fairly common among the Kitori, enough so that the Heortlings who had lived through two generations without Kitori visits would make little distinction between the disciples of Ezkankekko and the worshippers and sorcerers of Arkat. (Reminds me of seven year old me, after the 1972 Olympic games, when I didn't know the differences between the phrases "Palestinian" and "terrorist".)

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

We can theorize a bit about etymologies here: Zolan Zubar may contain a variant on Subere. L- and R- are very similar sounds, so Zolan and Zoran are near enough the same word. Zo[r]- or Sar- is perhaps a basic root word to Hell.

Zubar - Subere - Zor-Bear ?

Death was a power that escaped imprisonment by Subere, or that was released by Subere when the illicit visit of Eurmal and Humakt offered the opportunity. Undeath followed soon as Vivamort (aka Nontraya in Esrolian/Ernaldan myths), a former guardian of Subere's treasures, fled his post. I am not quite convinced that the deal with the Devil was necessary to make the Undead. Nontraya is a lot more flexible in his forms of Undeath than Vivamort, covering a whole sleuth of advanced D&D undead in the powers of his minions and himself. Lich, Revenant, Vampire, whatever...

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

No - Tusk Riders are rumored to have troll ancestry. It is undoubted that they are darkness worshippers, and as such have a higher eligibility for the Uz Ritual of Rebirth (which quite a few scholars of Glorantha regard as a huge troll scam that hasn't worked once since the Rebirth of the Seven Arkats but provides a delicious pickle from failed candidates).

I don't have a copy of WB&RM anymore, but Dragon Pass is unequivocal:

Quote

Dragon Pass rule [16.17], p. 24

The Tusk Riders were the remnants of the first civilization of Dragon Pass.  They were corrupted by breeding with trolls; eventually they were destroyed by the dragonewts.  Some managed to flee into the mountains where they lived among their troll friends, consorting in practices both evil and corrupt.  Their steeds were great battle-pigs, as large as buffalo, well-suited to crossing hills and forests without trouble.

That's the gods-eye view, not what their tales say.

Edited by Yelm's Light
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  • 2 years later...

I have a question, or at least would like to solicit the tribal opinion, on 'modern' usage of Zolan Zubar.

What form do you think the Zolan Zubar position took in RQG mechanical terms?  Priest of the wyter of the Unity Council's armies as a whole?  Head of a spirit cult?  Zorak Zoran runelord-exclusive subcult?

And does anyone have an opinion on the prospect of reviving the position in the Hero Wars?  What it would take, and what the chief obstacles would likely be?

For instance, how certain are we that Zolan Zubar and the Sky Bear now mastered by the Red Goddess are the same entity?  Would reviving the Unity Council's death-wind-bear require rescuing him from Sedenyic conversion?

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45 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

I have a question, or at least would like to solicit the tribal opinion, on 'modern' usage of Zolan Zubar.

Sartar Companion p273 has him as one of the spirits of Kolat.  

45 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

What form do you think the Zolan Zubar position took in RQG mechanical terms?  Priest of the wyter of the Unity Council's armies as a whole?  Head of a spirit cult?  Zorak Zoran runelord-exclusive subcult?

Being called a "Powerful War God" (History of the Heortling Peoples p16) sought of precludes his being the head of a spirit cult or a wyter.  Since the bearer of Zolan Zubar is the Lord Demon of Death, I like to think he's the same as the Lord General of Death (Cults of Prax p94, Trollpak Classic p99, Troll Gods p74)

45 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

And does anyone have an opinion on the prospect of reviving the position in the Hero Wars?  What it would take, and what the chief obstacles would likely be?

I think the position is in active use, maybe in Guhan, maybe in Halikiv.  

45 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

For instance, how certain are we that Zolan Zubar and the Sky Bear now mastered by the Red Goddess are the same entity? 

I'm not at all certain they are the same.

 

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8 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Zolan is an old name for Shargash, Tol, Tolat, Vorthan.

May or may not be related to Zolan Zubar.

I am firmly convinced that the Cruel God that Antirius was fighting at the Hill of Gold was Shadzor or possibly Deshkorgos, the lord of the fourth Underworld, or Shargash proper. That makes Zolan Zubar a valid candidate for a Red Planet deity, possibly separate from Jagrekriand in Orlanthi myth.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really like this, especially when we consider connections to Odayla. There is a certain dualism here - both gods are hunters, but with opposite aspects. Odayla is the hunter, the provider, the pillar of neolithic community,  while Zolan Zubar is also a hunter, but he is the beast that stalks the wilderness to end you. The apex predator, the monster in the dark, the fear itself. They are almost antagonistic, or even two different sides of a single entity.

If Zolan Zubar is Odaylas Brother and Sky Bear, then Odaylas hunt was kinslaying. Chaos being introduced into the world by a curse cast on deaths door by a giant bear made out of pure terror is fun concept.

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8 minutes ago, Borygon said:

If Zolan Zubar is Odaylas Brother and Sky Bear, then Odaylas hunt was kinslaying. Chaos being introduced into the world by a curse cast on deaths door by a giant bear made out of pure terror is fun concept.

The point of the bear hunt is the identification of the hunter with the hunted. In the end, the successful bear hunter slays himself, that's the mystery.

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Yeah, the mystery of Odayla's Bear Hunt is that the hunter and the hunted are united and connected by the hunt, and understand that they are in fact one being, not two. Odayla is the bear-hunter and the bear, so there's no "kinslaying" or anything of the sort going on.

Now that I think of it, this facet of Odayla might by why the Odaylings of Sylila seemingly accepted Lunar sovereignty much more easily than other Orlanthi have elsewhere, even though they still reject much of the Lunar Empire's "civilizing" influence by retreating to the marginal lands to keep their old ways. The Odaylan mystery of "I am the hunter and the hunted" isn't all that hard to reconcile with "We are all us."

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