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The Identity and Qualities of (a) pre-Dawn Earth People(s)


Sir_Godspeed

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This is something I've thought about quite a bit, but never quite been able to look into. I suspect Esrolia: Land of 10k Goddesses might shed some light on it, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Pardon the following mess of questions, it's just that so many things seem related/interconnected.

So basically, one of the things I noticed once I started getting into Glorantha was the ubiquity of "earth goddesses", which very, very often feature as partners in other-element-dominated pantheons or even histories. f.ex. Oria in Pelorian mythology, Erlanda in Orlanthi mythology, or even Seshna as a dynastic mother of the early Seshnegi Serpent Kings. There are tons of more stuff, of course. They are also paired with at least earth-related deities as well, like Flamal and Lodril, but neither are purely cthonic it seems.

We're also seemingly confronted with an array of regional goddesses (called land or grain goddesses, I believe) that very conveniently not only apply to named geographic regions, but even seem to alter as geography changes. Some of these goddesses however also seem to be "a-regional/global", like Erlanda herself (or is she?? There used to be a place called Erlandela, after all) and so on. Many of these feature in relations with whoever are the local male deity bigwigs, but rarely rule in their own stead, or even maintain their own kind of people. That doesn't seem to have been the case forever though, as very early Pelanda/Wendaria seems to indicate, and so on. Complex stuff.

Layered above these regional godesses we also have the cardinal-direction gods, or continental gods, like Genert and Pamalt, and arguably Malkion/Zzabur and Vith as well (which also parallel Pelorian cardinal administrators, and Orlanthi "camps", but that's neither here nor there, really). Out of these, Genert is the one most clearly defined as an earth-entity (even if it's likely he would've had his own unique proprietary rune as Pamalt has), to the point where he, apart from being called a giant, is also called an Earth Titan or Earth King (a great title that should be used more, imho), and ruled a garden-realm where everything grew aplenty. With his death central Genertela not only became a wasteland, but Genertela in general supposedly has become less fertile and more conflict-filled than Pamaltela in the south.

Now comes the God-Learnerism: do we have any good sources, or examples of whether there were independent Earth-folk (like Time's Solar folk, Storm folk, etc.) were extant, and if so, what their social practices were and other aspects of their lives? Given that most genealogies involving earth goddesses tend to be woven into other pantheons, do we have any good "earth-centric" genealogies perhaps including the Earth Kings/Directional Lords, the regional/featural land goddesses, the more general mother goddesses, and the primal earth? Do we have any indication what beliefs in other pantheons might have been appropriated into other belief systems from hypothetical Earth Folk? Or indeed what happened to them, physically? (The Durevings joining the Vingkotlings and becoming the Esrolians come to mind, as do the Praxians and Pentans forming from the survivors of Genert's Garden, or patriarchal urbanized Pelanda forming from pre-urban matrriarchal Wendaria). And lastly, is it even possible to talk about an "Earth people" in the first place, and not just various groups who were focused on chthonic powers unrelated to each other?

Pardon for the multitude of questions - I of course fully acknowledge that most of these things probably don't have one canonical answer, or were ever intended to be answered, but I find them interesting to think about. 

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

is it even possible to talk about an "Earth people" in the first place, and not just various groups who were focused on chthonic powers unrelated to each other?

This is evolving fast as people explore that part of the mythic landscape. The simplest answer right now is to "try it" and see what happens. If an immigrant initiated in one place can participate in a foreign earth rite (whether as a female initiate or being accepted as a husband or other male role) and receive access to its fertility, you can say those goddesses are closely enough related that they recognize each other's rites. In the RQ3 era we would have said those land and grain goddess cults allowed the initiation to "transfer." Of course if you can't feed yourself or have children, something is not working. 

In the West particularly there's a tendency to equate being "Earth people" with being "women," so we can approach it sideways by exploring who if anyone Earth "men" are and see if that helps us compare and contrast across regions. After all, if all the women more or less worship the same goddess, then chasing goddesses is ultimately just going to bring us (or God Learner monks) back up against the Robert Graves generational cycle that fascinated Greg. You're always going to fixate on finding an old lady, a girl and a woman in the middle. When they found a society where that goddess complex was relatively central and the men were relatively peripheral (compared to Western expectations), that was an "Earth people."

That usually meant Esrolia and to a more limited extent the Pelandan highlands (relatively shielded from mythological manipulation, I think Valare Addi or one of her editors says in the Entekosiad) and the Pamaltelan veldt. In modern Esrolia, of course, you actually have a more intricate hierogamous system where a storm father shares more or less in the mothers' ritual authority, while in Pelanda the low hot god of the mountain spear plays a vaguely similar role. Pamalt is also a spear god and so it goes. 

They also posited an extinct "Earth people" in what's now the wastes where the husband didn't come from outside but was an actual Earth Man, the fourth corner of the lozenge. (For the monks this would be Genner in the "north.") This is of course Genert who is dead now. In their time the Genertites might have been the purest expression of Earth across both genders. There might be echoes of this in the oldest Pelandan materials where the native god followed a different trajectory and sometimes becomes part of what we now call Lodril in the cities. 

Now there was another "Earth people" that also worshipped a dying green god and that is of course Flamal, who seems to have been centered in the relative southwest, closer to Esrolia. As we know Flamal is an acceptable husband-protector there when the usual suspects are unavailable. Like Genert, he really isn't from any other elemental pantheon come looking for wives. He's as Earth as it gets. But unlike Genert, they found a way to put Flamal back together again. Maybe it took elf help and elf insight. Maybe his "ur-Earth" people simply became elves or if they were already the elves stayed that way while the rest of us exited that green world.

In Pamaltela green politics obviously evolved very differently and you don't have friendly grain goddesses. This bewildered the monks. Are they an "Earth people?" Sometimes, if you're looking for exogamous elemental fathers and can't find any of the usual suspects. Do they have a living "Earth King?" It works at least superficially. Does that mean the southern directional lord is also an Earth King? Hard to say. Is Vith an Earth King? We don't know. Is the blue man in his western tower an Earth King? I would say no, he is the willful and doomed opposite of that.

Might there have been another primeval King in the West before the blue man? Now that's something to conjure with.

Edited by scott-martin
twilight zone style stinger
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Peloria clearly had white queens in Naveria's days before Brighteye usurped rulership and instituted a strict patriarchy. The Jonstown Compendium in RQ Companion mentions Molandro as Yelm's second opponent on becoming Emperor, IMO the previous Earth King of Peloria. All of this makes it rather clear to me that the Golden Age of Yelm started with rebellion and strife, and wasn't all that harmonious as the God Learner maps or Dara Happan texts on the Godtime want us make believe, and neither was what went on before all "Green Age".

Entekosiad is full of chthonic ancient humans - descended from trees, made by deities, descended from deities (goddesses), etc.

If you look at the earliest God Learner maps, the "four tribes of Mountain People" migrating into the cardinal directions may all be regarded as Earth people.

Take for instance the Malkioni tribes. While the forefathers of the Malkioni tribes trace their descent to the Citadel of Logic, most of them (with the exception of Waertag, who turned to the Sea aka Sramak's River) took goddesses of the land or of Fertility as wives to propagate their peoples. So did Malkion when he fathered the five castes. Likewise, the Vadeli as aboriginal people of Brithos are an Earth- or at least Land-descended people.

Early Ralios was quite similar to Genert's Garden, though without a strong presence of Genert. Instead, Flamal at Hrelar Amali towered over the land.

The Likiti are the autochthonic people of Sesnhela. The Pendali are the hybrid descendants of the Basmoli and the Likiti, IMO, with Likiti providing the majority of the urban population of Seshnela in the Gray Age, under Pendali protection against the lingering after-effects of the Greater Darkness. We don't have much information on the earlier population of Seshnela. It may have been on the southern outskirts of the Kachisti-and-autochthonic culture of western Genertela prior to the Nidan orogenesis and the Vadeli rebellion. While not the city builders of Danmalastan, the Kachisti probably communicated the concept of cities, and together with old chthonic groups may have been instrumental in the formation of all those (Serpent Brotherhood) Beast Folk temple cities dotting the Greatwood of Ralios and adjacent territories.

Ernaldela was the name for the lands north of the Spike. The Solkathi flood drowned much of it, but when it dried away, the sea bottom became land again. Orlanth's Downland Migration may have been only the latest to pass through if you look at all those beast herd invasions in the early Vingkotling Age. The Durevings are a combination of Spike humans following Orlanth and autochthonic (woman)folk already present in the region, and apparently also already in contact with Veskarthan and his lowfire offspring.

Thunder Rebels names oodles of Ernalda's handmaidens, all of them with lowfire husbands, who were brought into the Storm Tribe, too, along with Mahome. Elmal established the uxorilocal outsider marriage, and was the first non-Storm kin to marry into the Storm Tribe. Prior to Orlanth liberating Ernalda from servitude with the Bad Emperor, lots of outsiders married into the earth tribe of Ernaldela.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I suspect Esrolia: Land of 10k Goddesses might shed some light on it, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Maybe or maybe not.  That really focuses on myths of Esrolia, not of broader Earth deity relations.  Best starting point is the Glorantha Sourcebook as it gives a broad view of the whole pantheon.  

6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

one of the things I noticed once I started getting into Glorantha was the ubiquity of "earth goddesses", which very, very often feature as partners in other-element-dominated pantheons or even histories.

Given that the land/earth is everywhere (unless you are running a merman campaign), you will almost always have earth goddesses (or remnants thereof in the case of the Wastes).

The continuity of the major land masses suggest that certain goddesses (e.g. the land/grain goddesses) are both distinct entities yet part of something greater (e.g. Gata/Asrelia/Ernalda).  The Earth goddesses also have their own mythic cycles of maid/mother/crone.  Asrelia is both the crone, yet she was once maid and then mother, so in her mother aspect she is also mother of Ernalda the maid and equivalent of Ernalda the mother.  (And the same can be said of Gata the primal earth, though she is much less accessible.)  This is part of the way of myth.

6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Now comes the God-Learnerism: do we have any good sources, or examples of whether there were independent Earth-folk (like Time's Solar folk, Storm folk, etc.) were extant, and if so, what their social practices were and other aspects of their lives? Given that most genealogies involving earth goddesses tend to be woven into other pantheons, do we have any good "earth-centric" genealogies perhaps including the Earth Kings/Directional Lords, the regional/featural land goddesses, the more general mother goddesses, and the primal earth?

Glorantha Sourcebook p.88 is your basic Earth-centric genealogy and descent.  The remnants of the earth culture in the Wastes (at the Paps) is probably the best example with its varied spirits of the Earth or memories of them (e.g. Genert, Tada, Ronance, the Serpent Mothers, etc.).  Generally the varied Earth guardians were killed, turned into mountains, fell asleep, etc.  Joerg noted the Molandro reference as Yelm's second foe (and there may well have been a Mol..... culture somewhere in Peloria including the traitorous air goddess Molanni).  The Esrolia book notes Ernalda as part of the six sisters, two of whom are Del..... goddesses:  Delaeo and Delaina.  Likely they were part of some other old earth culture that was absorbed.  

Each region may well have its equivalents centered on some prominent earth feature (e.g. Gerendetho and the Hungry Plateau/Jord Mountains; or Kero Fin).  

There's not a lot else described that I recall, so it's really a matter of building the myths you want into whatever story you are telling.

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5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Is Vith an Earth King?

No, Vith = Aether.  But were his wives Earth Queens?  Likely yes (or they are Dendara/Gorgorma, who may or may not be Earth deities).  Was there a primordial Earth figure before Vith?  Durapdur the Three Measures perhaps, or Majadan (Iste) the Father God together with Erdires (Yothenara) the Mother Goddess, or later among the High Gods there is Yothbedta the Gardener or Herevens the god of mountains and heights.

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15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Pamaltela green politics obviously evolved very differently and you don't have friendly grain goddesses.

Pamaltela has grain goddesses (though the plants are not cereals). Curu is the grain goddess of squaa, the main grain in Tarien. Nomiama is the grain goddess of bloodbean, the main grain in Jolar. Sedaia is the grain goddess of lagniappe, common in Kothar (and I think somewhat like a lentil maybe? Made into patties, anyway). And Mwara is the grain goddess of sweetgrass, a plant from Zamokil (that is not, in fact, a grass). 

They are friendly, just their role is different because Pamalt is still around. And Pamaltelan religion cares a lot less about trying to construct consistent genealogies of their deities, which must have confused both the theyalans and the Westerners. 

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5 minutes ago, davecake said:
15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Pamaltela green politics obviously evolved very differently and you don't have friendly grain goddesses.

Pamaltela has grain goddesses (though the plants are not cereals).

They are friendly, just their role is different because Pamalt is still around. And Pamaltelan religion cares a lot less about trying to construct consistent genealogies of their deities, which must have confused both the theyalans and the Westerners. 

I don't see much contact between Theyalans and the Doraddi. Fonrit yes, but Fonritian deities are a grab-bag of whichever deity happened to come through, often conflated with a few others of similar expertise or placed in weird family relationships like the Death Twins (who are said to be the equivalent of Humakt and ZZ).

The westerners actually tried to conquer Jolar, and held it for a couple of decades before suffering the same fate as Desero's horde.  But then maybe they just would have  had to climb the other Kilimanjaro.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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19 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

earth goddesses

For me the starting point in all this is that they are actually the physical land as @jajagappa says. If we look first at the overall land masses the north and south continent had/have a dominant single male component Genert and Pamalt. Looking only at the northern continent. There is a predominant female component making the whole in a kind of animus/anima jungian whole. Each is personified as a being, with the land being devolved into smaller parts that not only retain their overall personification but have their own smaller being. This leads to the whole continent being Ernalda, as well as the smaller parts being land goddesses. They are both things at the same time. Small regions of land may be devolved into daughters of the land, leading to the land being not only the daughters, but the land goddess and ernalda as a whole as well. This one being the many and being the one is a normal mythological theme. Many people look too closely at the many not realising that it's still the one. In some parts there is no many and ernalda is the land goddess.

Have a look at the marvellous picture on page 88 of the Glorantha Sourcebook. Generally, the devolved parts are the Earth and where the devolved parts married non-earth deities, their children although of the Earth aren't actually the Earth. Genert and his many sons died, so the northern continent has no male component, but the many husbands of the earth make up for this. His personal land, the Wastes is odd in that it has no land goddess and is as a result dysfunctional. One will be along soon.

 

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Joerg - the Pamalt pantheon are known in other parts of Pamaltela, not just the southern plains, even if they are not the primary deities, including Fonrit. And while the Theyalans never tried to conquer Pamaltela as the Middle Sea Empire did, they had trade contact, etc. Admittedly there was never the same level of contact as the Six Legged Empire trying to conquer them etc. The God Learners certainly tried to interpret the Doraddi deities analogously to the Theyalan Earth pantheon. 

David

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3 hours ago, davecake said:

Joerg - the Pamalt pantheon are known in other parts of Pamaltela, not just the southern plains, even if they are not the primary deities, including Fonrit. And while the Theyalans never tried to conquer Pamaltela as the Middle Sea Empire did, they had trade contact, etc. Admittedly there was never the same level of contact as the Six Legged Empire trying to conquer them etc. The God Learners certainly tried to interpret the Doraddi deities analogously to the Theyalan Earth pantheon. 

I doubt that they are well known to the Masloi, and I don't really see their importance for the Umathelans. Gods of the place can be contacted by Godtalkers, but Pamalt, Aleshmara and their happy family in a hut are deities of humans and possibly of pelmre. Yet how would the Umathelans get into contact with deities of the Lascerdans?

Myth is transported by people (human or otherwise). Pamalt and the Bomonoi are ancient opponents of the aldryami, enemy gods. They have never figured as enemy gods of the Slontan Orlanthi or the Seshnegi Malkioni who settled the Umathelan coast.

Pamalt doesn't really "exist" in Fonrit - his role was overwritten with Ompalam by Garangordos. The rest of Aleshmara's family might be remotely recognizable, but contact would have been about as weak as the impression Jernotia, Bentus and Turos have made in occupied Sartar.

Banamba is probably the most "Doraddi" and least Garangordan portion of Fonrit and northern Pamaltela.

 

Neither Sikkanos nor Nyanka have any role to play in Umathela. There is no place for Jmijie or Vangono.

 

Balumbasta/Lodril raised the mountains eons ago, but that happened far south of the human-inhabited places, beyond forbidden elf forests and in dangerous troll territory. How important are the Good Giants of the Eastern Rockwoods to the populations of Esrolia or Caladraland? That's the distance we are discussing.

Do any Manirian Orlanthi wander physically into the Mislari peaks, through Arstola Forest? Their souls may fly to Doktados Mountain, but to get there, it is easier to wander the hero planes than to do a pilgrimage in the mundane world.

Do you think that the deep forests of Vralos or Enkloso would let burners into the still pristine parts of their forests? If you want to go from Sulayz to Umath's Throne, the best route would be through Fonrit into the Exiger lands, and then westward into troll lands.

The Malkioni of Umathela learned about the Doraddi pantheon through the Six-legged Empire, and they stored that knowledge mainly in their universities. It is possible that some sources might still be found in the parts that eerily glow in the night, haunted by evil spirits, guarded by killer plants and roaming monsters. And the Knowledge Assassins might lie there in waiting, too.

Knowledge about the Pamalt pantheon may have been useful for God Learner sorceries, but few of those were still applicable by the time the Closing struck. The Umathelan (and Fonritian) God Learners were among the first to be wiped out, and possibly with the greatest vengeance. Gods they may have manipulated will have been forgotten unless they managed to replicate working cults like those of Worlath, Humct and Jogrampur. I think that in that case someone would have mentioned that.

 

What do the Loskalmi know about Genert or Tada? Have any Pentans other than the Pure Horse Folk of Prax ever had contact with the God Learner Empire and its invisible deity?

Yes, there is a living Earth King for the southern continent, where he isn't chained by chaotic magics or completely reversed in nature in Aldryami forests. I have doubts about Faranar, Aleshmara etc. any being better known in coastal Pamaltela than Oria is known in Maniria. There is a general awareness of Pamaltela, but hardly any myths that have any meaning to the coast dwellers other than the Artmali myths.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

I doubt that they are well known to the Masloi

To the extent that the Masloi are a sea-going foreign culture, the local land gods are of limited relevance. They are, however, no longer a sea-going foreign culture. Pamalt is about as relevant to them as, say, Genert was to Fronela - a significant mythic figure that mostly appears as a foreign power. Only Pamalt isn't dead. 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

and I don't really see their importance for the Umathelans.

Likewise. The historical connection is much more recent - but the Pamalt pantheon are still related to some nearby peoples and geography. 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Pamalt doesn't really "exist" in Fonrit - his role was overwritten with Ompalam by Garangordos. The rest of Aleshmara's family might be remotely recognizable, but contact would have been about as weak as the impression Jernotia, Bentus and Turos have made in occupied Sartar.

No, his role was explicitly overridden in a way that requires explanatory reference - the myths of the Garangordites are explained in terms of the Pamalt cycle. In other words, its much more like the role of Jernotia, Orogeria, Lesilla, Antirius, etc in the Lunar heartland. Or saying the Kodigvari are unknown in Esrolia. That the Garangordites felt it necessary to explicitly recreate the divine structure of the Pamalt cycle makes it clear that the Pamalt pantheon was known in Fonrit prior to Garangordos, and regarded as vitally important - and that the Garangordites reference Pamalt myth to explain why certain acts were taken ensures it is remembered. And since we discussing earth and land deities, the most significant deity outside the Glorious Ones and Ompalam is probably the millet goddess (others are locally more powerful, but less widespread). 

It is also worth noting, in modern Pamaltela, the existence of the Pure Doctrine Freedomists who worship the Pamalt pantheon and explicitly acknowledge them as the ancestors of the modern Fonritian peoples. 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

I have doubts about Faranar, Aleshmara etc. any being better known in coastal Pamaltela than Oria is known in Maniria. 

So there are literally purist worshippers of the whole Pamalt pantheon in Kareeshtu. It is certainly true that Fonrit was ruled by the Vadeli or Artmali, but it also contains many dark-skinned people who mostly believe themselves to be descended from the Doraddi. 

It is true that in Maslo and Umathela the Pamalt pantheon are mostly known as enemy pantheons - but they are still the original earth gods of the region (the gods of Umathela and Maslo are explicitly not native as part of their mythology), and known at least partly for that. They acknowledge the local earth goddesses just as the Seshnelans acknowledge Seshna Likita and the Lunars acknowledge Oria. Not worshipped, but known. 

Remember, in the Tishamto era the Doraddi pantheon was a lot more civilised, and included contact with the coast. The Artmali were far more sea focussed, but there are still Tishamto era coastal travel (think about why one of the Esiti is the sea deity, even though the modern Doraddi have almost no contact with the coast). And also that the Artmali and Vadeli empires included huge numbers of Doraddi slaves, who retained their own worship - particularly of Balumbasta. 

Anyway, this is all a relatively ridiculous aside because you wanted to quibble with one offhand comment about how some aspects of Doraddi myth must have confused the theyalans. The Doraddi pantheon were very clearly known to the Fonritians, and both the Theyalans and Westerners had contact with the Fonritians (as did, not that matter, the Masloi and the Umathelans). 

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59 minutes ago, davecake said:

To the extent that the Masloi are a sea-going foreign culture, the local land gods are of limited relevance. They are, however, no longer a sea-going foreign culture. Pamalt is about as relevant to them as, say, Genert was to Fronela - a significant mythic figure that mostly appears as a foreign power. Only Pamalt isn't dead. 

That difference doesn't impact their lives, or their own mythology, very deeply, does it? Apart from the land goddess, they brought their own gods with them, and kept them alive. The God Learners meddled, and might have tried to use the knowledge won in Fonrit and Jolar to plug some of the Pamalt Pantheon into their believes, but all of that experienced extreme and harsh backlash.

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

Likewise. The historical connection is much more recent - but the Pamalt pantheon are still related to some nearby peoples and geography. 

The only nearby peoples with some connection to Pamalt are the black Fonritians. The Fonritian Veldang were aware of the Pamalt pantheon the way that the Heortlings are aware of Buserian, Antirius, Biselenslib etc. - associates of enemy gods that had been conquered. The Thinokans frankly didn't have any awareness of the Pamalt pantheon before the Garangordites inflicted their version of it on them. Outside of Banamba and the gap between Tarmo and Mari or the Vralos forest and the yellow elf jungle, there was no awareness of the Pamalt pantheon north of the dividing mountains. (Ok, there were the Men-and-a-Half in the ruins of Genert's Garden.)

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

No, his role was explicitly overridden in a way that requires explanatory reference - the myths of the Garangordites are explained in terms of the Pamalt cycle.

Internally, yes. To their subjects and their neighbors, little of that shines through. The Vadeli inheritance might be more apparent to the Blues.

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

In other words, its much more like the role of Jernotia, Orogeria, Lesilla, Antirius, etc in the Lunar heartland. 

We're bound to disagree, here. For these myths to matter to the people, there have to be people interacting with these myths, and there is nothing to suggest that e.g. the meeting contest is even known north of the Fense mountains, let alone practiced.

 

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

Or saying the Kodigvari are unknown in Esrolia.

That's a non-sequitur. The people of Esrolia trace their ancestry to the grandmothers' betrayal of the Vingkotlings. There is no such event in the past of the immigrants to Umathela, Thinokos, Kimos or Maslo. Blue pre-Garangordite Fonrit had broken with the deities that were worshipped in the Gods War, and had reverted to a wretched existence which almost feels like a continuation of Greater Darkness survival until the arrival of the Banamban Garangordites.

Banamba, or black Fonrit, was the only place with a Pamalt tradition anywhere near the coast, and Garangordos and his folk acted like Darkbringers to the Blues of Fonrit, also destroying the Thinokan culture which appears to have emerged a lot less traumatized from the Gods War than the Blues, with already Gray Age return to awareness and civilization.

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

That the Garangordites felt it necessary to explicitly recreate the divine structure of the Pamalt cycle makes it clear that the Pamalt pantheon was known in Fonrit prior to Garangordos, and regarded as vitally important - and that the Garangordites reference Pamalt myth to explain why certain acts were taken ensures it is remembered. And since we discussing earth and land deities, the most significant deity outside the Glorious Ones and Ompalam is probably the millet goddess (others are locally more powerful, but less widespread). 

Fonrit was the place where Pamalt went to follow Vovisibor back to his homeland after having used the Necklace to defeat it on his own turf. That mainly refers to western Banamba and the river valley emptying into Koraru Bay.

All the Doraddi-descended Agimori in that region (starting with the Exigers) are deviant from the Pamalt culture, by retaining the urban culture, by emphasizing a warlike culture, etc. etc. - they are seen as the victims of Bolongo by the majority of the Doraddi south of the Fense.

That is of course a very negative way to describe their pre-Garangordite culture.

I used to date the Garangordite take-over in Fonrit to around 500, but I have come to think that date is more likely to mark the completion of instituting the Garangordite travesty, and that the development of that travesty may have started with the Sunstop, at first finding resistance in Garangordos' homeland, later conquest of said homeland after neighboring lands had been converted by the expelled Garangordites. If you will, a bit of a parallel of the Hijrah/Hegira. (My conjecture, no sources to back this up.)

Pre-Sunstop Banamba appears to have been a rather nice place of city states surrounded by not too unfriendly jungle, with free people following a variant of the Pamalt pantheon which supported city life etc. as used to be practiced in Tishamto. Whatever reason the southern Doraddi may have had for their abandoning the civilized, urban ways of Tishamto, those don't appear to have applied to the Agimori of this region.

Yet, a massive turn to evil like that of Garangordos doesn't happen out of the blue, just because of the Sunstop. There must have been something to have stirred up problems in the region. And looking at modern Banamba, why not something related to the Pujaleg? The God Learners may have been just an intermezzo for their influence on the region.

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

It is also worth noting, in modern Pamaltela, the existence of the Pure Doctrine Freedomists who worship the Pamalt pantheon and explicitly acknowledge them as the ancestors of the modern Fonritian peoples. 

Yes - this rather small movement harkens back to the pre-Sunstop civilization, trying to reconstruct it from the infected memories carried over by the Gargangites. They may have imported Veldt Doraddi teachings to get there.

But none of that really got into contact with the theist worshippers of Umathela or with the Masloi. The Malkioni may have had contact with this during the Middle Sea Empire overlordship in Fonrit, but they are the least likely to adopt any of that. On the whole, the Pamalt pantheon is as well known outside of Banamba and black Fonrit as the Lunar pantheon is in Safelster and Seshnela. There is a manifest living deity that does exert some influence, one from the land, the other one in the sky. but that's as far as the influence on myths and culture go in these places. 

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

So there are literally purist worshippers of the whole Pamalt pantheon in Kareeshtu. It is certainly true that Fonrit was ruled by the Vadeli or Artmali, but it also contains many dark-skinned people who mostly believe themselves to be descended from the Doraddi. 

As immigrants who entered about the same time as Umathela was first settled by humans since the Gods War. Kareeshtu lies beyond Thinokos, which means it did not have any Pamalt pantheon presence except as enemy of the old Artmali. Northern Fonrit (Kareeshtu and Afadjann, and the mountains south of these) used to be blue homelands.

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

It is true that in Maslo and Umathela the Pamalt pantheon are mostly known as enemy pantheons - but they are still the original earth gods of the region (the gods of Umathela and Maslo are explicitly not native as part of their mythology), and known at least partly for that.

The earth of the entire coastal region was Aldryami controlled. The Vadeli. Artmali. Thinobutans and the Antigods carved out niches for themselves from that Aldryami presence east of Somelz (which had deleted any Pamalt links in its area of effect IMO). This makes Umathelan earth a blank slate, with only local spirits of broken ancestry remaining to be contacted.

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

They acknowledge the local earth goddesses just as the Seshnelans acknowledge Seshna Likita and the Lunars acknowledge Oria. Not worshipped, but known. 

RQG reads like Seshna worship is back among the non-sorcerers (p.389)

Quote

Most Malkioni do not use Rune spells, although many use spirit magic.

Most Pelorians don't initiate to a single deity. They still have rune priests casting the divine spells of the pantheon for them. Rokari Tanisor might be very similar, if operating from hiding rather than with official approval, and priesthood of Seshna and related deities teaching the spirit magic known by these folk which doesn't come through Daka Fal..

 

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

Remember, in the Tishamto era the Doraddi pantheon was a lot more civilised, and included contact with the coast. The Artmali were far more sea focussed, but there are still Tishamto era coastal travel (think about why one of the Esiti is the sea deity, even though the modern Doraddi have almost no contact with the coast). And also that the Artmali and Vadeli empires included huge numbers of Doraddi slaves, who retained their own worship - particularly of Balumbasta. 

The Vadeli-controlled lands were lost to the uniformity of Somelz. I think that Pamalt is at best very weak, possibly effectively dead in the extent of Somelz.

Maslo may be diffeent, but it would be the Aldryami interaction with Pamalt, not the Agimori one. (And yes, the Thinobutans are of Agimori racial type, but they aren't of Agitorani descent, but had their own Maker.)

59 minutes ago, davecake said:

Anyway, this is all a relatively ridiculous aside because you wanted to quibble with one offhand comment about how some aspects of Doraddi myth must have confused the theyalans. The Doraddi pantheon were very clearly known to the Fonritians, and both the Theyalans and Westerners had contact with the Fonritians (as did, not that matter, the Masloi and the Umathelans). 

 

It is a continuation of the problem I have with the use of Baraku and Desero in Umathela. WIthout a culture preserving these deities, how did they enter the myths of the people who brought their own sets of mythic reality with them?

And that in a place that was effectively a clean slate during much of the Gods War, Somelz.

I have no idea when and how the Enkloso forest grew out into Somelz. Now, with the Somelz repair project (pulling the Jrustelan shard back into the position it swiveled out of), it is the clash of mythic realities between Enkloso Aldryami and Somelz Mostali, both sides aided by their own human lackeys. The Umathelan Aldryami wouldn't have much interest in involving Pamalt, and to the Slon Mostali Pamalt is just a directional power without much jurisdiction about their world repair plan.

 

I withdraw my impression that the Lascerdans may have been a relation of the Pelmre: their description in the Guide makes this rather unlikely (p.621):

Quote

They were a race of quadrupeds with a body shaped like a cross between a crocodile and a seal, with a strange head common to neither, involving a protruding forehead, horns, and an alligator-like jaw.

Without the Pelmre origin, that's one less possible tie to the Pamalt pantheon.

 

The Umathelan settlers had their own knowledge of the deeper earth, and despite the Earch Cube being shattered into at least four major shards (two of them being in the process of being re-united by the Mostali, undoing the damage Zzabur did to the Earth), their deep earth deities continued to work in both Jrustela and Umathela. Local land goddesses were contacted through the Seshnan or Kethaan/Ernaldan rites. The Umathelan God Learners don't seem to have had any inclinations to repeat the "success" of the Goddess Switch in their own domain. Their expectations of the Pamalt mythology when entering Jolar as the Six-legged Empire may have been colored by what they learned in Fonrit, without  any idea how different the oasis culture was from the urban culture of Banamba.

 

 

On 8/29/2018 at 12:32 AM, jajagappa said:

Given that the land/earth is everywhere (unless you are running a merman campaign), you will almost always have earth goddesses (or remnants thereof in the case of the Wastes).

Actually, I have a number of ideas for merman campaigns which are very reliant on Earth and its goddesses.

The Mostali are quite likely about to destroy an entire culture of aquatic and/or chthonic rift-dwellers on the flanks of the Pamaltelan and the Jrustelan shard that they are pulling together. These two immense vertical reefs will have been colonized by Sea entities unknown to surface dwellers, possibly colonized from the faces of the Earth cube shown to Sramak's River. These depths may even be less dim than expected, with glow from exposed lava or possibly even ashen brilliance of Biiiif (or whatever the Pamaltelan name for Veldara's father is) escaping up the rifts from the surrounding Hell Darkness. There is also the underworld section of the Southpath somewhere roughly in this region.

Such a setting might be too alien to interact with, but it sure would be exotic and fairly unique.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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If I might make a few comments>

Pamalt is not the God of the Doraddi but the God of the entire southern continent.  For any Pamaltelan society not to worship him would make as much sense as not worshipping the sun, storm or earth.

People seem to arguing on the basis that the Doraddi (and also Katele) cult of Pamalt is the only possible version of Pamalt.  Considering that the Orlanth cope with two sun god and, the Malkioni at least four Invisible Gods, I find this hard to believe.  If the Doraddi version of Pamalt has no usefulness in Umathela, Fonrit (Katelites notwithstanding) and Maslo, then the people of those land will worship a version that does.  His name and myths will still be different but he will be recognizably Pamalt  I think it more productive to think about how such cults of Pamalt would function in those places, rather than waste time with tedious source-arguments

As an aside, there are Men-and-a-half in Laskal (Oron and the Zuama Valley Guide p569 and p573).  We all know that Pamalt made them.  Yet they are not Doraddi.

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

If I might make a few comments>

Pamalt is not the God of the Doraddi but the God of the entire southern continent.  For any Pamaltelan society not to worship him would make as much sense as not worshipping the sun, storm or earth.

People seem to arguing on the basis that the Doraddi (and also Katele) cult of Pamalt is the only possible version of Pamalt.  Considering that the Orlanth cope with two sun god and, the Malkioni at least four Invisible Gods, I find this hard to believe.  If the Doraddi version of Pamalt has no usefulness in Umathela, Fonrit (Katelites notwithstanding) and Maslo, then the people of those land will worship a version that does.  His name and myths will still be different but he will be recognizably Pamalt  I think it more productive to think about how such cults of Pamalt would function in those places, rather than waste time with tedious source-arguments

In Fonrit, the "Earth King" could be a slave of Ompalam.  The Guide lists him as a minor god, unlike Ernamola.

Pamalt of the Jungle - what would be his characteristics? The humans of Maslo would know the same entity as the Embyli around them.

The former lands of Somelz may have been re-structured away from Pamalt. 

 

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

As an aside, there are Men-and-a-half in Laskal (Oron and the Zuama Valley Guide p569 and p573).  We all know that Pamalt made them.  Yet they are not Doraddi.

IMO they are the same kind of descendants of the (limited number) Agitorani who chose drinking over childlessness as are the Doraddi of the Veldt or the Men-and-a-half of Prax. The main difference is that they held on to their urban culture when the southern Doraddi abandoned it along with their cities - possibly as a consequence of the Skyspill. No such catastrophe here up north.

Banamba is what I call "Black Fonrit" - hardly any torabs here, let alone blues or Thinokans. The Pujaleg threat keeps them occupied.

For the record: I do think that Garangordos and his siblings were the product of a Doraddi lineage, too. In the lush forest north of the Fense that distinction may have been lost over the many generations, however, and urban roles or necessities may have replaced that element of Doraddi culture to some extent even before the dictate of slavery overwrote it all. Apart from a few Masarin families, there are few if any forms of marriage, and I wonder whether the Fonritians have some kind of family structure or whether all children born into Kaddam slavery are separated from their mothers as soon as they are weaned, to be prepared for the toils of their future roles. Yad slaves might have a semblance of clan life, and Masarin children probably are reared by the harem as an organisation. Still, it is the Mother of the Family (head?) whose allegiance decides about tsanyano or bolgaddi stance. But overall, I cannot imagine a society more different from the Doraddi than the Fonritians.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 8/28/2018 at 4:53 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

Pardon for the multitude of questions - I of course fully acknowledge that most of these things probably don't have one canonical answer, or were ever intended to be answered, but I find them interesting to think about. 

Indeed they are.

For me, the different types of Earth Deities can be broadly categorised as follows:

  • Primal Deities - Raw, unspecified deities with all the powers of the earth, Ga, Gata, Genert, Earth Witch
  • Land Goddesses - Deities of the lands, providing fertility and rulership to the land, sometimes associated with a plant crop and sometimes associated with hunting, Pela, Frona, Ralia and so on
  • Grain Goddesses - Providers of a single type of Grain or Crop, some Land Goddesses are also Grain Goddesses, some are not, most Grain Goddesses are not Land Goddesses, Pela, Hon Eel, etc
  • Pair Goddesses - Descended from Gata without the need of Gods, these are found in Pairs, Death/Life, Ty Kora Tek/Asrelia, Maran Gor/Ernalda and Babeester Gor/Voria

There are lots of overlaps. Not all Land Goddesses were daughters of Gata, for example Esrola is a daughter of Asrelia and Kylera is a daughter of Ernalda.

Ernalda herself had the land of Ernaldala, long drowned, so she was also a Land Goddess as well as a Pair Goddess.

Genert had the distinction of being Earth King and also coupling with all of his daughters and granddaughters, producing a whole family of goddesses.

If you look at local goddesses, they don;t all fit into that model and there are lots of messy relationships.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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  • 4 weeks later...

Apologies for the thread necromancy - been meaning to get around to commenting for weeks. 

In general, I agree with Peter here. Pamalt isn't just the culture hero of the Doraddi, he is the Earth King for the continent. Joergs assumption that Pamalt would be totally unknown in Umathela and Maslo rests on the assumption that Pamalt is just a culture god, not part of the mythic geography. The elves in the jungles will know of Pamalt as the Earth King, and acknowledge him as such, just as the elves in Genertela know of, and give some worship to, Ernalda. When Earth worshippers arrive in Umathela and attempt to contact the local Earth powers, such as the local land goddess, they will find the Earth King appearing when they heroquest, etc - and in the God Learner era the identity of the Earth King and Pamalt was thoroughly established. I think the idea that the Earth cults determine the mythic landscape, rather than the other way around, is flawed - ultimately the same sort of error as the Goddess Switch - if the Earth King (or Land goddess, etc) is there, the Earth Cults will learn of it. Sure, that version of the Pamalt cult will be different, but we are talking about Pamalt as Earth King - even if he, like Gata or Flamal, sees worship more through the religions of other deities, he will still be significant. And this will be separate to his role as culture god of the Doraddi - but probably not 100% separate. 

And Pamalt is known to the Fiwan, too. There are plenty of myths of Pamalt interacting with the Fiwan known to the Doraddi, and I am pretty sure it goes the other way too. 

Also, the hostility of Pamalt and the elves may be a little overstated, or at least oversimplified - it is true that the Doraddi cult deforested the plains, but this mostly happened in the First Age, and was just as much (or more) a result of the inter-Aldryami wars of that period. The truth may be 

Peter asks what is Pamalt like in other areas. In the jungle, I think he not only is known for his power over Earth spirits, but as a shamanic means to interact with foreign powers (often via shared reverence for the Earth) - eg elf and fiwan and the pygmy humans, all of whom know how to contact the Earth King through shamanic means, may come together as part of Earth ceremonies. He is not much actively worshipped, but interacted with by shamans regularly. There are also many stories of how the animal god interacted with Pamalt, mostly which end in friendship and them doing each other some favour  - in particular, usually the animal gods lend Pamalt some assistance (often by providing him with a tool or weapon) when he fights Vovisibor. And he in turn assists them, usually by settling a dispute or by interceding so a foreign power can solve an animal god problem. 

In Umathela, among humans he is known, but generally worshipped as a major deity that is part of Earth worship, as Flamal or the Land goddesses are in Genertela. He may also provide shamanic secrets like an expanded version of the Earth Witch tradition.  The Aldryami may invoke him in ceremonies about their rulership over the land. 

In Fonrit. as I've argued previously, Pamalt is known widely, and more or less always has been. Amongst the Garangordites, he is acknowledged but mostly only in word - he is considered to have a role as the origin of sovereignty, but his ways are outdated and suitable only for the (rural, uncivilised, and derided) past, and authority has passed to Garangordos - and besides, the very urbanised population have little interest in the pure powers of the elements, but mostly stick with deities of professional specialisation. Among the Pure Doctrine Freedomists of Katele etc, a very rigid formal version of his cult exists - where Pamalt rulership in Jolar etc works mostly through long, involved, talking through decisions until some form of rough consensus is found, and when that cannot be found tensions are often resolved by dissenters simply leaving, in Katele it has become complex, bureaucratic, and a decision may be arrived at as much through adroit manipulation of procedural rules as through real consensus - or a frustrated leader resorts to more direct means, and finds justification later. The magic of Pamalt remains powerful, however, and magicians have rules for the use of a big hierarchy of powerful earth spirits in particular, and may resist Garangordite aggression via invoking powerful Earth spirits in juge ceremonies. And in Fonrit generally, Pamalt as the Earth King is also known as an ancient shamanic tradition, especially among the Agimori population, but seldom rises above the level of folk tradition among the rural poor (and is actively suppressed by the Glorious Ones if it does). There may be occasional places where it rises higher for a community that has thrown off Garangordite rule, and some places where it (like voudou traditions in Haiti) forms the core of a 'secret counter government', which sometimes brings them into alliance with darker powers also worshipped in secret shamanic rites. All of these things can be seen as a corruption or misunderstanding of the true way of Pamalt, but that's Fonrit for you. 

 

 

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On 8/29/2018 at 6:36 PM, davecake said:

Pamaltela has grain goddesses (though the plants are not cereals). Curu is the grain goddess of squaa, the main grain in Tarien. Nomiama is the grain goddess of bloodbean, the main grain in Jolar. Sedaia is the grain goddess of lagniappe, common in Kothar (and I think somewhat like a lentil maybe? Made into patties, anyway). And Mwara is the grain goddess of sweetgrass, a plant from Zamokil (that is not, in fact, a grass). 

I would love to know more about these alternative crops and how they are prepared into meals.  What is known about them and where may I learn more?

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On 9/29/2018 at 3:42 AM, Darius West said:

I would love to know more about these alternative crops and how they are prepared into meals.  What is known about them and where may I learn more?

That is pretty much all I know, and I’ve scoured all the sources I could find. They are all mentioned in the RQ3 Gods of Glorantha Grain Goddess writeup, I think. 

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On 10/2/2018 at 8:23 PM, davecake said:

That is pretty much all I know, and I’ve scoured all the sources I could find. They are all mentioned in the RQ3 Gods of Glorantha Grain Goddess writeup, I think. 

Then we, as a forum, must work together to rectify this issue  using the information available.  No?

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  • 3 years later...
On 9/28/2018 at 9:42 PM, Darius West said:

I would love to know more about these alternative crops and how they are prepared into meals.  What is known about them and where may I learn more?

Squaa is a pseudo cereal grain like amaranth, buckwheat, or quinoa.

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15 hours ago, Jeff said:

Squaa is a pseudo cereal grain like amaranth, buckwheat, or quinoa.

So Squaa is capable of being baked into a bread, and likely looks like a fluffy mini-popcorn like perhaps a bit like cous cous?

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