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Jolt

Plant Rune in Sartar?

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How common is the Plant Rune in Sartar?

I'm making a character for a HQ:G game and I wanted to pick Runes that I normally don't play.  In this case, the Runes that I picked (admittedly rather quickly) were Darkness, Life, and Plant.  But when I looked at them, I was having a hard time imaging what cult (if any) he might belong to.  I know that Flamal is known in Sartar (mainly as Seed Man, one of Ernalda's hubbies) but I couldn't fine any info on whether there were any cults to him or whether any cult gave any importance to the Plant Rune at all.  I suppose I could just replace Darkness with Earth and initiate through Ernalda but I really wanted to go with Runes that I never personally used much.  Thoughts?

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2 hours ago, Jolt said:

How common is the Plant Rune in Sartar?

Usually this is associated with the grain goddesses or with the forests. Thunder Rebels with its myriad of subcults has several Esrola subcults for the various grains, and Urdraya, the wife of Orstan the Carpenter, as the Orlanthi goddess of the forests - a cognate or daughter of Aldrya. All of this is regarded more as color than as actual cults to join in current canon, but sort of still exist as names for incantations and myths.

2 hours ago, Jolt said:

I'm making a character for a HQ:G game and I wanted to pick Runes that I normally don't play.  In this case, the Runes that I picked (admittedly rather quickly) were Darkness, Life, and Plant.  But when I looked at them, I was having a hard time imaging what cult (if any) he might belong to. 

Seeing that combination, my first idea was Mee Vorala, goddess of dark plants aka mushrooms and molds. This isn''t an Orlanthi deity, though, but Minlister, the Orlanthi god of brewing and fermentation, is considered some kind of associate of her.

Examples of the combination darkness and life/fertility are troll deities like Korasting and possibly Xiola Umbar.

2 hours ago, Jolt said:

I know that Flamal is known in Sartar (mainly as Seed Man, one of Ernalda's hubbies) but I couldn't fine any info on whether there were any cults to him or whether any cult gave any importance to the Plant Rune at all.  I suppose I could just replace Darkness with Earth and initiate through Ernalda but I really wanted to go with Runes that I never personally used much.  Thoughts?

The combination is definitely unusual for an Orlanthi male, but might be less strange for some clans or tribes which have Argan Argar leanings, like the Torkani, or someone with Kitori/Only Old One leanings.

On the other hand, this is an excellent combination for survival in bad times, whether as farmer or as gatherer. 

It will be hard to find a normal Orlanthi deity with more than one rune overlap.

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Darkness is tricky for a Sartar game, unless as Joerg points out you go with one of the troll-friendly clans and pick Argan Argar (SC p.245). Now that doesn't help you with the plant rune unless you somehow have access to Mee Vorala which seems unlikely. But if you did ...

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Another interpretation for Darkness, Life, and Plant is Flamal.  He is the Seed Father, that is the life of the plant, yet hidden in the dark within the shell of the seed.

As such, the character might find he/she is of great interest to Earth cults, elves, trolls, ...

GtG p.150 notes him in the Elf Pantheon:  Flamal: Father of seeds. Runes: Plant, Infinity, Plant [i.e. he is the manifestation/bearer of the Plant Rune]

p.162: For the Aldryami, the Underworld is the home of Flamal the Father of Seeds and source of the Primal Plasma that animates all Life. [That certainly says Darkness to me!]

22 hours ago, Jolt said:

 I know that Flamal is known in Sartar (mainly as Seed Man, one of Ernalda's hubbies) but I couldn't fine any info on whether there were any cults to him

Typically Flamal is subsumed into cults such as Aldrya or Ernalda.  However, there are scattered sites where he is worshipped.
Notable sites include:

GtG p.182: Clearwine in Sartar (Colymar land): Clearwine is noted for its large temple to Ernalda and Flamal, and for the sublime purity of the wine produced from its magical vineyards. [Note that Sartar:Kingdom of Heroes has a whole celebration, the Feast of Beasts, that is dedicated to Flamal at Clearwine.]

p.259: Vinavale between Esrolia and Caladraland: The inhabitants offer their tithes and sacrifices to the Volcano Priests of the Vent, but also to Ernalda, Barntar, and Flamal.

p.321: Riyestan, in Sylila (Lunar Empire): These ruins are still a sacred place to the Earth cults of Terarir and Saird. They are the home of Riyesta Earth Mother and Kemar Seed Father, commonly associated with Ernalda and Flamal.

p.384: Hrelar Amali in Ralios: this is the most important site of Flamal.  The City of the Gods is located on the Crimson Plains between Ralios and Seshnela. It is the spot where Flamal was murdered in the Gods War. For this reason, it is one of the most sacred spots in all Genertela. Hrelar Amali served as a temple to the Nine Great Gods. At Flamal’s death, the Enerali people built a temple to him, and added a temple to Ernalda and one to Xentha, who carried off Flamal’s body, to appease the Nine.

I have also included a temple to Flamal in Nochet (Tershis district):  T127.  Flamal’s Temple.  Here dwells the First Husband of Ernalda, and his temple is ever lush and green.  Occasionally, one of the aldryami is seen here, though how they arrive or depart is usually a mystery.

One approach to have a character follow Flamal would be to have some tie with the Earth Witch, who can hear the whispers within the Earth, in this case the Whispering Seeds who call for a hero to find them.  

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On 5/29/2018 at 2:47 AM, Jolt said:

I'm making a character for a HQ:G game and I wanted to pick Runes that I normally don't play.  In this case, the Runes that I picked (admittedly rather quickly) were Darkness, Life, and Plant.  ... Thoughts?

The approach seems a bit too high concept to me, but whatever floats your Ark. Using it in practice will probably lead you to exuberantly odd adventuring parties. Not that the hobby hasn't seen those before.

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On 5/29/2018 at 2:47 AM, Jolt said:

How common is the Plant Rune in Sartar?

Very! After all, it is not as if Sartar were devoid of vegetation now, right?!! (Sorry, I couldn't resist... )

To come back to your character, as Ian said, according to the published cults that we have as of right now, he could become an initiate of Argan Argar & with some nifty Breakout Ability from the Plant Rune & maybe also from the Life Rune would be all set for a life of unorthodoxy.

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Not at all canonical, but  might 'hazia' have its  own sect?  'The plant that brings life from the darkness'. If you wanted to go a little silly you could introduce 'haziafarianism' to Glorantha.

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On 5/29/2018 at 2:47 AM, Jolt said:

How common is the Plant Rune in Sartar?

I'm making a character for a HQ:G game and I wanted to pick Runes that I normally don't play.  In this case, the Runes that I picked (admittedly rather quickly) were Darkness, Life, and Plant.  But when I looked at them, I was having a hard time imaging what cult (if any) he might belong to.  I know that Flamal is known in Sartar (mainly as Seed Man, one of Ernalda's hubbies) but I couldn't fine any info on whether there were any cults to him or whether any cult gave any importance to the Plant Rune at all.  I suppose I could just replace Darkness with Earth and initiate through Ernalda but I really wanted to go with Runes that I never personally used much.  Thoughts?

Not all Runes have cults in Sartar or even among the Orlanthi as a whole and some combinations of Runes and gender will leave you without anything. (Like Sartar Kingdom of Heroes warns the reader)

In-universe, most people are born with appropriate runes (even if not all men are perfect Air Movement Mastery Orlanth initiates) and ancestry tends to cause a lot of the normal variations like having the Water or Fire Rune so I don't think that Darkness Stasis Magic people are a thing in a troll-hating Orlanthi clan.

The Sartar book (page 92) also says that the GM is free to create minor local divine cults with a single Rune, either for flavor or for player characters with unusual runes. 

Quote

You may want to create a minor cult for your game that is unique to a clan or location. Do it! Assign the cult a rune and give it a name. Define what the cult members can use the rune to do.

For example, Ian decides he wants his players to have access to a local Darkness cult and creates the Cult of  the Hungry Women that worships darkness entities fed by the clan during the Gods Age. He says worshippers can use the Darkness Rune to devour things and summon a protective shade. Claudia, who gave her character Yrsa the Darkness at 1W, jumps at the opportunity and says Yrsa is an initiate of  the Hungry Women.

Such unique minor cults likely have no more than a handful of  worshipers; perhaps only a single family. It is extremely unlikely they have priests or devotees and their use of  the rune should be limited – obviously the Hungry Women is not as powerful with Darkness Rune as Elmal is with the Fire Rune! However, they add to the diversity of  Sartar and give heroes that chose uncommon runes the chance to use their magic actively.

I think that's probably the best option for playing characters with unusual runes for their culture and can give them a stronger connection to their local communauty. (They are the worshippers of a minor deity only worshipped by their clan, members of a family with a strange but ancestral cult,etc...) instead of making them people with out of place powers.

Earth, Life and Plant are good IMO, maybe a Nandan man if you really want him to be a man + initiate of a local plant cult? two magical abilities for the latter is a bit weak but you could add a few Talents to boost it as you are not going to be a devotee anyway. (Having a Form Rune generally means that you can shapeshift into it)

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