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MHanretty

Real-World Chronology of Glorantha Concepts

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15 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

In-universe, isn't Argrath explained as just the Thayalanized version of Arkat - sort of like Greek Timotheos and English Timothy? It would make sense for other cultures to refer to Argrath with whatever is their local version of Arkat, then.

Yes, that’s exactly what I was getting at. In the same way that Kaiser and Czar are Germanised and Russified versions of Caesar, and turned what started as a name into a title.

Edited by simonh
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I’m aware that there’s at least a couple of threads on the front page discussing Elmal/Yelmalio but I’d like a bit of real-world context for this (perennial?) topic.

Am I correct in saying that Elmal was introduced fairly late in the day, in the early 90s? More subjectively, is it fair to suggest this was done to inject some ambiguity into Gloranthan mythology? By knowingly creating a similar deity to the already established Yelmalio - with the polar opposite loyalties, politically speaking - does this force the audience to look outside of the God Learner mentality, with their neat, tidy and discrete gods and goddesses?

Of couse, this naturally leads me to the following question: when were the God Learners introduced and in what book? They’re a great concept but seem very on-the-nose for a setting used chiefly by roleplayers. 

Alternatively, maybe I should take Greg’s The Birth of Elmal more literally and just accept Elmal as a logical and necessary myth for the Orlanthi? After all, what culture, historical or fictitious, has ever truly hated a life-giving sun?

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3 minutes ago, MHanretty said:

After all, what culture, historical or fictitious, has ever truly hated a life-giving sun?

The Uz... though it is far from life-giving in their case.  So, yeah, your point still stands.

The Mostali might be a bit upset that it keeps rolling around instead of sitting atop the spike like it ought to. But given that the spike itself is still a looooong way from being repaired, a slightly over-mobile sun is not likely to be anywhere near the top of their must-fix list.

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1 hour ago, MHanretty said:

Am I correct in saying that Elmal was introduced fairly late in the day, in the early 90s?

Yes.  Tied in with the original release of King of Sartar ~1992.

1 hour ago, MHanretty said:

More subjectively, is it fair to suggest this was done to inject some ambiguity into Gloranthan mythology?

I believe Greg did so in attempting to answer the question as to who the Orlanthi thought of as the Sun.  See: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/the-birth-of-elmal/

1 hour ago, MHanretty said:

By knowingly creating a similar deity to the already established Yelmalio - with the polar opposite loyalties, politically speaking - does this force the audience to look outside of the God Learner mentality, with their neat, tidy and discrete gods and goddesses?

Starting with King of Sartar, but more specifically with the subsequent Glorious ReAscent of Yelm and Entekosiad, all of these helped raise the consideration that the God Learner view is not everything, that there are multiple facets to the myths.  However, they don't (and shouldn't) create two deities that are similar but polar opposites.  That is part of the consideration of Elmal/Yelmalio now.

1 hour ago, MHanretty said:

 when were the God Learners introduced and in what book?

First real view into their thoughts is with Cults of Terror, so a long time ago.  However, Greg's earliest writings were of the far west and I believe included the Middle Sea Empire from which the God Learners came.

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1 minute ago, jajagappa said:

Starting with King of Sartar, but more specifically with the subsequent Glorious ReAscent of Yelm and Entekosiad, all of these helped raise the consideration that the God Learner view is not everything, that there are multiple facets to the myths.  However, they don't (and shouldn't) create two deities that are similar but polar opposites.  That is part of the consideration of Elmal/Yelmalio now.

Can I get some clarification on the bolded? I don’t think Elmal and Yelmalio are polar opposites but they do owe their loyalties to opposing camps which potentially makes for a stumbling block in their common identification. Not an insurmountable stumbling block but the lack of explicit mythological connective tissue between loyalty to Yelm and loyalty to Orlanth (seemingly in that order) made me wonder if Greg wanted to keep things fuzzy.

However, the point could be moot and I could be reading too much into things here. My only reticence for adopting the explanation offered in The Birth of Elmal is that (despite coming from the horse’s mouth) it was written in an in-universe style. Still, Occam’s razor and all that - making the sun too much of a bad guy might be a hard sell when sea season and fire season roll around.

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Pardon for maybe appearing ignorant again, but is Yelmalio even that particularly "loyal" to Yelm? It seems that in areas away from Peloria, he's very much his own god, doing his own thing, as it were. I mean, the Yelmic underworld and resurrection cycle is obviously going on in the background, but from what I've seen in my brief time in Glorantha, Yelm seems more like context than anything else. With Elmal, Orlanth seems much more of an active part of his narrative and identity.

EDIT: I guess what I'm saying is that the "watchman" function of Elmal seems more to be taken up by Antirius or Polaris, the former of which is at least partially analogous to Yelmalio, but "cultically" distinct.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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7 hours ago, MHanretty said:

I’m aware that there’s at least a couple of threads on the front page discussing Elmal/Yelmalio but I’d like a bit of real-world context for this (perennial?) topic.

 

7 hours ago, MHanretty said:

Am I correct in saying that Elmal was introduced fairly late in the day, in the early 90s? More subjectively, is it fair to suggest this was done to inject some ambiguity into Gloranthan mythology? By knowingly creating a similar deity to the already established Yelmalio - with the polar opposite loyalties, politically speaking - does this force the audience to look outside of the God Learner mentality, with their neat, tidy and discrete gods and goddesses?

King of Sartar (1992) marked the first new Glorantha publication by Greg after a hiatus of at least five years, with Elder Secrets probably being the last Glorantha project Greg had worked on earlier. From what I learned, it may have been an encounter at Conjunction 1990 that re-kindled Greg's interest in his world again.

The God Learner monomyth was presented as suspect already with RQ3 Gods of Glorantha, and the Genertela Box provided us with a glimpse of the Teshnan pantheon which presented the Solar pantheon in quite different trappings, with somewhat recognizable similarities and quite deep differences at the same time. Solf and Dara Happan Lodril are about as different as Elmal and Yelmalio.

 

7 hours ago, MHanretty said:

Of couse, this naturally leads me to the following question: when were the God Learners introduced and in what book? They’re a great concept but seem very on-the-nose for a setting used chiefly by roleplayers. 

You have to keep in mind that (like the Lord of the Rings' Middle Earth) the published parts of Glorantha was just the tip of the iceberg, with most of its lore a lot deeper and never published. That's what makes a fantasy setting appealing, the presence of lore beyond the mere words you are reading or being told.

I think that the God Learners got their first mentions quite early. The story about the thirteen city states of Jrustela probably was written before Cults of Prax was published. The story about the Sword of Tolat and of Avalor carrying it back to Fronela appears to be about as old.

Greg's huge set of transparent paper master maps for Glorantha include all of western and central Genertela up to the Shan Shan mountains.

In Greg's stories, the Battle of Tanian's Victory and the rise of the Middle Sea Empire must have been present already when he published Nomad Gods, and possibly even before White Bear and Red Moon was published. The first part of the list of the Kings of Seshnela which details the history of the God Learners was attached to the copy of Hrestol's Saga, which would have been written before White Bear and Red Moon by a few years.

The first public mention of the God Learners might be the designer's notes for Cults of Prax that Greg published as a reaction to MAR Barker's review of that supplement. You will find that in Cults Compendium (the Moon Design reprint of Cults of Prax, Cults of Terror and a number of cults published in Different Worlds) on p.330.

Then there is the one (or originally maybe two) page essay on the God Learners from Wyrm's Footprints, reprinted in Wyrm's Footnotes, and they receive mention in the first instalment of the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha series in the same magazine, mentioned in issue 5's part two of Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha. That predates the publication of Cults of Prax.

 

7 hours ago, MHanretty said:

Alternatively, maybe I should take Greg’s The Birth of Elmal more literally and just accept Elmal as a logical and necessary myth for the Orlanthi? After all, what culture, historical or fictitious, has ever truly hated a life-giving sun?

That appears to be the reasoning that led to Elmal's discovery.

Elmal appears to have inherited Hyalor from Yamsur, the sun god of Genert's Garden, as does Yelmalio with the Kuschile archery skill.

The story of Beren the Rider as founder of the Berennethtelli appears in the background of Harmast Barefoot, whose Lightbringer's Quest is part of the Arkat Saga Greg drew upon when he created White Bear and Red Moon as the first professional Glorantha publication. Beren's deity or ancestor was Hyalor, which made him a Hyaloring. No idea whether that solar ancestry had been pursued much farther - the boat people all over the coasts of Glorantha were the Diroti, the folk of Diros the Boat Builder/Founder.

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On 9/13/2018 at 12:13 PM, Joerg said:

The God Learner monomyth was presented as suspect already with RQ3 Gods of Glorantha

The God Learners were always presented as tragic hubris, at least from Cults of Terror. 

On Elmal/Yelmalio - the existence of Elmal is of course the controversial point that everyone focusses on, but there are quite a few other significant points of development. Early on Yelmalio was identified as being an elf god as well, but it took a long time for how that happened and what it meant for the nature of Yelmalio to get thought about. There was also at some point an explicit identification of the martial sun god (but NOT Yelm) to become associated with Nysalor as Daysenarus, and so identified with Illumination and mysticism (then still thought as mostly separate, the idea that Mysticism is largely Illumination is very late) - I think this was explicitly done (and named) quite late in the piece, but was a firming up on ideas that were very old. And King of Sartar was after Glorious Re-Ascent of Yelm, which was a huge shock at the time. Among many many revelations, GROY had this deity called Antirius, who was obviously how ancient Dara Happans conceived Yelmalio (he got the crap kicked out of him at the Hill of Gold) but was actually not a Son of Yelm, but a part of Yelm. The idea that the Yelm cult themselves didn't really know who this Yelmalio guy was was just as big a revelation about the cult as Elmal, really. Yelmalio became the centre of a spectrum of variations, not really any more 'true' than Elmal. 

GROY was the official publication that really showed us what the God Learner monomyth was, by showing us just how unfamiliar pre-God Learner (and pre-First Council) mythology was, not just in the names and identity but huge mythic events (like putting a ceiling over Dara Happa!) that we'd never heard about. It was a real shock to a lot of us. That, and the Entekosiad, really kind of divided Glorantha fandom, in a way that I think is still largely present, into fans of the familiar RQ2 playable world, and fans who loved the depth of deep, confusing  background that invited endless speculation but that seldom had much effect on actual play. 

FWIW, I certainly wouldn't describe Elmal and Yelmalio as opposites. They share many attributes with just differences of degree (both are into horses, for example), and a lot of the differences are clearly cultural (like phalanxes). The two really big differences are closely related - loyalty to Yelm vs Orlanth, and loss of Fire powers. Because Yelmalio hasn't really lost his connection to Fire, he just gets it via Yelm rather than directly (as Jeff never tires of pointing out, Sunspear is the best Fire spell in the game, and Yelmalio has some access to and Elmal does not, so from a certain perspective Yelmalios Fire magic is actually stronger). While the normal myth blames Zorak Zoran, it also makes sense that Yelmalio doesn't have Fire power because he acknowledges that he is only a part of Yelm (and not that part), and he could have hung on his Fire power by denying his inferiority to Yelm (and instead treating that Orlanth vagabond as an equal). 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, davecake said:

The God Learners were always presented as tragic hubris, at least from Cults of Terror. 

Valastos of the Seven Pens and the changes they inflicted to the Gods Plane: tragic hubris. But the sentiment was that the Monomyth was more correct than we think nowadays. (Although the intermediate Four Worlds model has been recognized as too far on the opposite swing of the pendulum.)

13 minutes ago, davecake said:

On Elmal/Yelmalio - the existence of Elmal is of course the controversial point that everyone focusses on, but there are quite a few other significant points of development. Early on Yelmalio was identified as being an elf god as well, but it took a long time for how that happened and what it meant for the nature of Yelmalio to get thought about.

There had always been at least one other sun god around, Ehilm (as in "tested by Ehilm's Flame"), who interestingly fills the role of the sun god of the Ralian elves and horse folk quite nicely. And we know about lost Yamsur and his son Hyalor, from Genert's Garden. Think of it: Yamsur perished at Earthfall, which postdates the killing of Yelm significantly.

 

13 minutes ago, davecake said:

There was also at some point an explicit identification of the martial sun god (but NOT Yelm) to become associated with Nysalor as Daysenarus, and so identified with Illumination and mysticism (then still thought as mostly separate, the idea that Mysticism is largely Illumination is very late) - I think this was explicitly done (and named) quite late in the piece, but was a firming up on ideas that were very old.

When did we first learn about Daysenarus? The Uz Lore history offers just Palangio and no elf god name.

13 minutes ago, davecake said:

And King of Sartar was after Glorious Re-Ascent of Yelm, which was a huge shock at the time.

Nope. King of Sartar came first, in 1992, and we were all a little miffed that the follow-up book wasn't about the Red Goddess but about weird names of sun and planetary gods nobody had ever heard from, and the book ending in the Dawn Age. The Fortunate Succession did almost deliver, but that just left us with more gaps in the history and development of the Heartlands, and only fragments of Carmanian history. Which is still very much the case.

13 minutes ago, davecake said:

Among many many revelations, GROY had this deity called Antirius, who was obviously how ancient Dara Happans conceived Yelmalio (he got the crap kicked out of him at the Hill of Gold) but was actually not a Son of Yelm, but a part of Yelm. The idea that the Yelm cult themselves didn't really know who this Yelmalio guy was was just as big a revelation about the cult as Elmal, really. Yelmalio became the centre of a spectrum of variations, not really any more 'true' than Elmal. 

That was when Harald Smith aka @jajagappa almost single-handedly saved the day with his presentation of the Khelmal myths...

13 minutes ago, davecake said:

GROY was the official publication that really showed us what the God Learner monomyth was, by showing us just how unfamiliar pre-God Learner (and pre-First Council) mythology was, not just in the names and identity but huge mythic events (like putting a ceiling over Dara Happa!) that we'd never heard about. It was a real shock to a lot of us. That, and the Entekosiad, really kind of divided Glorantha fandom, in a way that I think is still largely present, into fans of the familiar RQ2 playable world, and fans who loved the depth of deep, confusing  background that invited endless speculation but that seldom had much effect on actual play. 

I wouldn't say that no actual play resulted from this, although I'll admit that Hero Wars ILH1 didn't invite much actual play. The Alkoth material (in Enclosure) which resulted from the two Dara Happan books was the first Heartlands material that saw actual play.

The rift between gamers and geeks (who named themselves scholars) may be exaggerated, as most "scholars" do provide the occasional ready to play stuff. The amount of discussion that makes pure gamers yawn probably is quite high, but then nobody is forced to read that.

 

I have revisited the Malkioni sources that were put out for both MRQ and for HeroQuest 1, which gave us the full treatment of churches, saints and other such terminology, and I wonder how to rephrase those sources in a way that corresponds to the terminology used in the Guide. Neither HQ1, MRQ or Ttrotsky's Book of Glorious Joy have the terminology of the west as used in the Guide, nor the details aligned with the Guide.

 

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The Monomyth is a good representation of what happened in God Time.

Other things happened in God Time that aren't part of the Monomyth.

Some things happened that contradict the Monomyth, maybe because the Monomyth is incomplete, the Myths are inconsistent or have been interpreted differently.

Where the God Learners didn;t make much of an impact, the deities and their Myths are far less organised, but would probably intersect the Monomyth fairly often.

In my opinion, the biggest contributors to what we know as the Monomyth were the First Council. They did the Yelm=Evil Emperor identification, gathered together myth fragments and stitched them together into complete myths rather than fragments of partially forgotten myths.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

The Monomyth is a good representation of what happened in God Time.

Other things happened in God Time that aren't part of the Monomyth.

Some things happened that contradict the Monomyth, maybe because the Monomyth is incomplete, the Myths are inconsistent or have been interpreted differently.

Where the God Learners didn;t make much of an impact, the deities and their Myths are far less organised, but would probably intersect the Monomyth fairly often.

Much sense in short sentences.

However:

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

In my opinion, the biggest contributors to what we know as the Monomyth were the First Council. 

The First Council reconciled all its member peoples' myths with one another. They provided a unified set of myths that accounted for all humans of the Shadowlands. Integration of the Elder Races was spotty, though, or the God Learners failed to learn what the First Council knew.

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

They did the Yelm=Evil Emperor identification, gathered together myth fragments and stitched them together into complete myths rather than fragments of partially forgotten myths.

Lacking contact with Yelmic Dara Happa, I doubt they could have made the Yelm=Evil Emperor connection, unless they knew Esrolian Harono by the name Yelm (and not e.g. Ehilm, Elmal or - gasp - Harono).

The Second Council did have contact with the Yelmic peoples of Dara Happa as servants of the Horse Warlords that the council fought. On occasion they managed to liberate some of the Dara Happans from horse warlord enslavement, and that would present the earliest occasions to learn about their sun emperor god and his disintegration.

The final and full merger would have emanated from Dorastor throughout the Bright Empire. And Arkat's cult may very well have stood ready to defend this original truth to their repeated deaths.

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I've been thinking about the mythic "integration" project of the early Theyalans of the Shadowlands more and more recently, and how it affected the Elder Races. As far as I understand, we know basically zilch about how it affected the dwarves (except perhaps motivating them towards Openhandism and possibly Individualism), very little about how it influenced the elves (Except that apparently the elves seem to have identified their sun god with the "Golden Spearman/Cold Sun/Little Sun" archetype that existed in Dragon Pass (or was this a later innovation, post-Bright Empire and Nysalor inviting Sun Dome temples? The history of Yelmalio always does my head in).

What I think we know the most of is the trolls. I've noticed how well their idea of gods fits with the Orlanthi view (as a family unit with internal differences as opposed to the near-mystic emanationist theism of Dara Happa), as well as with cultic practices (individuals initiate to various patron deities). There's also the issue of how well many of their myths fit together in some regards, and how often uz (or uz-equivalent) feature in Orlanthi myths. Veskarthan being crippled and bound by Argan Argar is a notable example of mythic crossover, as is the following love affair with Esrolia.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I'd like to know if for example the Theyalan Elder Races share the Orlanthi views of the Unholy Trio (The Dara Happans never mentions anything like them, for example, whereas the Orlanthi seem them as former tribe members), or their view of the Spike and the Cosmic Court (The DHs certainly do not see a mountain as the centre of the world, instead focusing on Yelm's Footstool in a seemingly impossible geographic misattribution, unless you consider that Yuthubars wasn't located where modern Yuthuppa is at all... although the DHs do have an equivalent of the Cosmic Court in the Glorantay).

Lately I've been looking at how most "baseline" texts (ie. texts not from any obvious in-universe perspective) explain the universe, and I'm wondering if the "default" perspective on Glorantha could best be described as a mostly Theyalan one, which mythically incorporates several races, albeit with a smattering of Dara Happan terms and ideas thrown in for completion.

It would be interesting to see if trollish myths from outside the old Shadowland sphere differs significantly in structure and focus. And whether elves simply choose to express their religious/spiritual beliefs in whatever terms their neighbors would understand the best.

Sorry, bit of a mixed post this one. Though the "how do we best explain the inner working of a setting where the inhabitants can't agree on its inner workings to newcomers" is certainly relevant to the thread topic.

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24 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

And whether elves simply choose to express their religious/spiritual beliefs in whatever terms their neighbors would understand the best.

Love the mixed post. Lately I tend to find it uh illuminating or at least uh fruitful to go the other direction with the elves in particular, looking at how the human cults we have now tend to reflect survivals of the great archaic vegetation cult that once covered the land like forest. But as you hint at here, the trolls come first in Kethaela at least, where Ezkankekko leads the Unity coalition to victory. The Dawn Council was a troll friend culture.

I'm still not convinced elves or elf friend cultures have "chaos" as distinct from death, winter and old night, which they either resist heroically through the bleakest phases of the cycle or negotiate renewal with the year. And there are at least hypothetically dwarf friend cultures, definitely triolini friend cultures.

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 4:46 AM, Joerg said:

When did we first learn about Daysenarus? The Uz Lore history offers just Palangio and no elf god name.

Greg's Battle of Night and Day writeup.

On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 4:46 AM, Joerg said:

That was when Harald Smith aka @jajagappa almost single-handedly saved the day with his presentation of the Khelmal myths...

I don't know about saving any day, but I did take advantage of it, and really enjoyed doing so.  I thought it really allowed a GM to explore what a myth might mean, and how it could be interpreted from any number of viewpoints.

On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 4:46 AM, Joerg said:

I wouldn't say that no actual play resulted from this

Got built into my entire Imther campaign!  Unfortunately only bits and pieces made it public via the various fanzines.

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2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I'm still not convinced elves or elf friend cultures have "chaos" as distinct from death, winter and old night, which they either resist heroically through the bleakest phases of the cycle or negotiate renewal with the year. And there are at least hypothetically dwarf friend cultures, definitely triolini friend cultures.

The various dichotomies offered in the Glorantha site write-up of Aldryami myth is a bit confusing at times (the one where Belintar is the narrator, as he lived a life as an elf at some point, apparently). Certainly there's an emphasis on the various forces as impersonal rather than personal, but with a sense of will to some degree. Maker and Grower are an important pair, but in the context of Chaos and the Darkness, Grower and Taker are probably the more important dichotomous pair. The Darkness seems to have been caused by Taker going amok and ruining the balance, although I think there's some reference to Grower being imbalanced before that again. No explicit mention of Chaos, if I recall correctly, and yes, there seems to be more of a focus on barrenness and lack of necessary elements for growth over, for example, personal acts of evil, or social relations breaking down (as is important in both Orlanthi and DH myth). The Earth is emphasized as hard, the sky as dark and cold, and so on. The absence of the sun is a big sticking point in particular. Interestingly, that text, if I recall correctly, seems to hold the opinion that post-Time is a more balanced existence than the God Time, which is a curiously positive attitude for the often future-pessimist Elder Races, imho (especially considering how much the elves get screwed over by basically everyone, the poor guys).

It's my general impression that the elven perspective defies the "Four Worlds" notion to a large degree, making the distinction between materialism and theism or spiritualism in particular kind of meaningless to them, as the material is inherently spiritual and vice versa, although that's purely my impression.

I'm also tempted to associate High King Elf with Yelmalio/Elmal, but aside from being a watcher in the dark, I don't know how much that holds water. High King Elf doesn't seem to hold any solar or fire associations, and his ability to stay active in the Darkness can just be seen as being due to him being a Green elf, for example (is his type ever mentioned explicitly?)

Man, I wish we had an elf or dwarf equivalent of the Troll Pak.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Man, I wish we had an elf or dwarf equivalent of the Troll Pak.

That's an opportunity. There was a pretty good elf pak in the works but it didn't really go in this direction. My multi-volume frazerian opus ("I Am Curious Arroin") will probably be revealed posthumously. And until someone breaks through the prejudice that all dwarves have always been assholes, the question of dwarf influences will stay hypothetical.

Belintar remembers a lot of crazy stuff, some of which may not translate well. A lot of people push similar levels of experience back to a universal "green age" when we all lived together in the forest, before the trees receded and left us out here and them in there. The parts we keep differ from region to region. Sometimes it's friendly magic plants that stayed with us as our birthright: grains, medicines, divine allies. Sometimes it's nightmares of what kept us awake in the dark. 

Even the plants that came with us carry their own covenants and grudges. Some crops need to take a sacrifice in order to rise again from the underworld. We die so they live. They die so we live. Others are more simply bound to a cycle of flourishing, death and resurrection. Genert the dying god. Flamal the growing god. Phamalt the god who never knows winter. Green elves, brown elves, yellow elves. In historical times green and brown elves fought to the point of genocide over whether Flamal was immortal or cyclical, whether the leaves needed to fall. 

When the forests receded the green sun blazed, no longer fugitive through the leaves. (Nature's first green is gold.) Little suns consolidated or remained apart. Some were dying gods who ruled in their season and then were slaughtered like horses, ebbing day by day as the world recapitulated the darkness after every harvest, bleeding out on their various hills of gold only to be reborn when the year sprouts fresh. That was how we interacted with the green world in those days, through figures like that. Their summer was the bright empire, when all the forests of the north came together and gave birth to a sacred king, a high king elf, a living and essential fourth corner of the earth, the male corner.

But the troll cousins couldn't bear it and the dwarf "friends" couldn't bear it and summer came crashing down like it always does, with an axe. The trees learned to be wary. We remember what they used to say but their law holds no power over us now. 
 

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7 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm also tempted to associate High King Elf with Yelmalio/Elmal, but aside from being a watcher in the dark, I don't know how much that holds water. High King Elf doesn't seem to hold any solar or fire associations, and his ability to stay active in the Darkness can just be seen as being due to him being a Green elf, for example (is his type ever mentioned explicitly?)

High King Elf is an earth defender, axe wielder, avenger. He is credited with destroying the Spike by the Mostali (over contestants to this claim like Zzabur and the Chaos invasion).

No type is mentioned, but with his association with Winterwood, green elf is likely. On the other hand, yellow elf would have been as likely elsewhere. The appearance of brown elves in the Storm Age keeps puzzling me somewhat. The slaying of the Emperor had ended the endless Sunstop which had marked the Golden Age of Yelm/the Stagnant Age. However, even though there appears to have been something like day and night, the concept of winter was yet to imprint itself onto the cycle, so what is it that makes them become deciduous, and how many such cycles would they have gone through, and why?

But anyway, High King Elf is the warleader of the forests, not their normal ruler/administrator.

7 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Man, I wish we had an elf or dwarf equivalent of the Troll Pak.

I am just happy that we have arrived at a point where we have an Orlanthi Pak.

5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

That's an opportunity. There was a pretty good elf pak in the works but it didn't really go in this direction.

 

Shannon's MRQ elf book tried to give something like a history, but its premise of the original leafy tree elves that then diversified 

 

 

5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

My multi-volume frazerian opus ("I Am Curious Arroin") will probably be revealed posthumously. And until someone breaks through the prejudice that all dwarves have always been assholes, the question of dwarf influences will stay hypothetical.

I don't think that dwarves have the capacity to be assholes, or anything but. The original Mostali were somewhat complete individuals, but the clay mostali have been designed for mass production. Creativity or sensitivity wasn't on the drawing board - the absence of Mostal was already notable with the creation of the iron mostali, and their participation didn't do much to improve the design of the clay mostali.

I guess they would make a good builder's game for the computer. A bit like robo-rallye - you set them resources and a task and then get to clean up after that plan has inevitably been derailed.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

I don't think that dwarves have the capacity to be assholes, or anything but. The original Mostali were somewhat complete individuals, but the clay mostali have been designed for mass production. Creativity or sensitivity wasn't on the drawing board - the absence of Mostal was already notable with the creation of the iron mostali, and their participation didn't do much to improve the design of the clay mostali.

I guess they would make a good builder's game for the computer. A bit like robo-rallye - you set them resources and a task and then get to clean up after that plan has inevitably been derailed.

Love the Robo Rally reference. Such a dwarf game would probably end up with a lot of broken units, walling themselves into their bunks or pouring hot fluids on their feet all the time because nobody told them to build a drain.

I woke up this morning more convinced than ever that WE are the "clay mostali" or at least some human race lost to history, now stunted and stereotyped from generations growing up among the rune metals who can't reproduce on their own. Naturally I suspect this is where the key Lodrilites went, the humans who knew how to work metal. Probably some remnants of the lost tribes of Danmalastan down there in the underground cities too, but they're probably a lost cause now.

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16 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm also tempted to associate High King Elf with Yelmalio/Elmal, but aside from being a watcher in the dark, I don't know how much that holds water. High King Elf doesn't seem to hold any solar or fire associations, and his ability to stay active in the Darkness can just be seen as being due to him being a Green elf, for example (is his type ever mentioned explicitly?)

High King Elf is a friend of Yelmalio, but is a distinct deity.

 

16 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Man, I wish we had an elf or dwarf equivalent of the Troll Pak.

MRQ had an Elf Pack and a Mostali Pack, both were pretty good.

 

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It's interesting that the Arkat-Argrath idea took over, considering this wasn't Greg Stafford's initial concept.

I seem to remember reading that when he was in his late teens he first came up with a story about Prince Snodal of Seshnela, and started world-building from there. 

Given his early fascination with The Illiad and with Arthurian lore, influences from both were bound to meld into what would become Gloranthan canon.

Edited by Mankcam
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On 9/29/2018 at 9:49 PM, Mankcam said:

It's interesting that the Arkat-Argrath idea took over, considering this wasn't Greg Stafford's initial concept.

I seem to remember reading that when he was in his late teens he first came up with a story about Prince Snodal of Seshnela, and started world-building from there. 

Given his early fascination with The Illiad and with Arthurian lore, influences from both were bound to meld into what would become Gloranthan canon.

Yes, earlier posts stated the earliest Glorantha material was set in what is now known (to us) as the west.

Speaking of prose fiction, would anyone be able to explain the development of Harmast’s Saga to me, please? I understand extracts have been read at various cons over the years and that Morden Defends the Camp is or was to be the first chapter.

Do we have any more info? I vaguely remember reading that the title “A Pyre for Gods and Heroes” was being considered?

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2 hours ago, MHanretty said:

Yes, earlier posts stated the earliest Glorantha material was set in what is now known (to us) as the west.

Speaking of prose fiction, would anyone be able to explain the development of Harmast’s Saga to me, please? I understand extracts have been read at various cons over the years and that Morden Defends the Camp is or was to be the first chapter.

Do we have any more info? I vaguely remember reading that the title “A Pyre for Gods and Heroes” was being considered?

A couple of years ago Fabian Küchler (chief organizer of the Tentacles conventions and now the Kraken, and editor of many a fund raiser)  came up with what was essentially a Patreon to get Greg Stafford back on his keyboard to write a Gloranthan novel. The result was (at least) the first part of "Ten Women Well Loved", telling the adventures of Harmast Barefoot from his adoption to the Hendriki tribe until his misadventures in Nochet when the Grandmothers recognized his slightly modified Berennethtelli tattoos as Kodigvari. This was significantly after Morden Defends the Camp.

From what I have seen of other such material, these starts are quite frequent in Greg's unpublished opus, and some of these have since been presented as mood pieces, like e.g. "Aftal the Waertagi" in Missing Lands. I would appreciate seeing a collection of these unfinished texts in print.

Speaking for myself, I found that writing a short mood piece in prose often gives me a better idea of a character, group or setting than giving a gazetteer-like sandbox, for less effort. Most we know about Talastar comes from Paulis Longvale's travelogue, and without Biturian Varosh we would know a lot less about Prax and Praxians. 

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