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Joerg

Cosmology musings (was Elmal/Yelmalio)

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5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I wonder who in Glorantha originally worshipped Aether and claimed mythic priority over both the Emperor and "Rebellus Terminus."

The elements of the Celestial Court never received direct worship.

As to the color blue - that's the hottest part of the flame, the well aerated part. The yellow/golden glow really is the struggle with the fuel turning into soot.

This is of course the real world chemistry and physics of a candle or oil lamp flame, but I don't see any pressing need for surface world Glorantha to deviate from this. Let's meditate on the nature of the candle flame...

Note that the Nargan Sea was also called Blue Fire Sea. Possibly even before the Skyspill.

The golden Sky Dome could be nothing but the atmospheric effect of dust scattering light. The process of burning up the impure remnants of fuel, never succeeding without air, the doomed struggle for purity.

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It's hard to have it both ways unless you've found a way to mitigate the sun/storm rivalry . . . if you're invested in solar purity there's no compelling reason to proclaim Primal Fire got low and down with earth and woman at all, and on the storm side I don't see a lot of incentive to tell the tale either.

Fire always was something to be stolen.

The descent of Lodril may be a cognate of the theft of fire.

And of course, Lodril's descent into the Earth was nothing but the insemination of Gata, leading to the birth of Umath. Lodril is the fiery semen poured into the Earth Mother.

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Since Yelm already has a disorderly little brother it's interesting to contemplate how they might've told it once among the Lodrilites back when there was a Lodrilela. They might actually be the ones who preserve the Dayzatar story where older brother abstracts himself right out of the big picture and leaves us down here with all the good things the world has to offer.

I see shades of Lodrilela in the brothers of Mahome, husbands of Ernalda's handmaidens, as per the boxed text in Thunder Rebels p.190.

Also note that in Entekosiad, the log walkers who finally encounter the women's tribe are the dysfunctional sons of the original earthfire god, who has a nice little core family with his wife and the one functional son of theirs. This fire tribe are the rebels and outcasts, until Brightface usurps the reign of the White Queens.

The Yelmic world order can be seen as a hypocritical ruse, or it can be seen as the honest attempt to shed themselves of their impure former rebellious selves.

The Yelmic Golden Age world order appears to coincide with the construction plans of the Mostali, who welcomed Lodril's insertion into the Earth without realizing that this was the next act of growth. Whoever was in charge with designing the Made World erroneously considered the rise of Aether through the Spike the last great act of Creation, of stuff from the outside brought into the world of Being, not considering Growth. This made the Mostali plan a willing accessory to back up the legitimiacy of the lie that brought Brightface onto the Celestial Emperor's throne.

If you are willing to step into Tolkien's construct of angelic servants and the children of the Creator, then the Yelmic Golden Age is when the angels took upon themselves the role rightfully reserved to the progeny of the Creator. It is like all the Valar but the eldest rebelled. Like a civilized reign of titans was overthrown by the no-good offspring of one of them who did not manage to save the world from his faults by swallowing them, to put the Greek mythos on its head.

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But I'm not remembering a story of how Lodril successfully revolted against older brother or a culture who would tell it.

If you look at the log tribe, that's because the revolt was against the way Lodril had established. Lodril had established the perfect way, but the imperfections that were his lesser sons couldn't cope with that, and in the end overthrew the world order of Lodrilela.

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The Umath story comes closest and in that one he never gets his bride. All his sons are bastards and all her daughters are nebulous. Call him Lodril or Turim or Turos or whoever, little brother who knows his place gets a (V)oria. 

How about this: Lodril is the Third (made) Son, the one who gets the thing done where the two elder brothers fail spectacularly. Umath is the real heir, spurned by the stepbrothers.

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If I didn't know to avoid saying crazy things I'd consider whether Umath is another name for what turned the gold sky blue.

In my materialist myth of the development of the world as the Mostali-created whole, the cube of Glorantha used to stick out halfway out of the surrounding river of Sramake, pierced by the Spike and then by the semen of Aether. When Umath was born, he pushed the earth cube down until its edges were about level with Sramak's River. It was from this push that Lorion gathered the energy to flow into the heavens, and Hudaro and Togaro onto their respective corners of the surface world, sending out their advance forces Sshorg and Neliom.

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Call him a dragon or primal water (mysteriously absent from the oedipal drama) or the crippled (castrated) Mastakos, his lust cracked the world. Little Brother Blue conquers the sky and pushes Oldest Brother beyond the world. Sometimes he wins and sometimes he loses. Little Brother Lo falls from heaven and is found by trolls and other riff raff. 

All of that is true to some extent, as causality as in my materialist approach above doesn't cover all of the other implications.

One of the least "causality-obeying" yet most intriguing myths in Glorantha is the one of the three curious spirits, identified as Zorak Zoran, Argan Argar (a son or grandson of the sky) and Xiola Umbar chancing upon unborn Aether (the sky) deep in the womb of Darkness.

It helps to remember that deities have multiple manifestations, which may even predate their birth if going their through the cycles of Godtime. Stuff like this allows a presence of Kodig "long before the birth of Vingkot", for instance.

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In the generations and cultures where Little Brother Blue wins he kills the sun. 

I never quite saw the immediate death of the sun when Orlanth slew the Emperor. I am weirdly comfortable with the idea that what Orlanth slew was the pillar of the sun, the emperor who upheld the static cosmos, allowing great change and also significant struggle into the world. Yes, the Second True Death (after Grandpa Mortal) did send an irresistible undead fire entity into Wonderhome. But it didn't extinguish the sun, it only weakened its absolute stranglehold on the world.

I have the suspicion that there used to be a day-night cycle before the rebellion of Brightface and his ascension onto  the Cosmic Mountain. Much of Yelm's Golden Age may have been nothing but an extended Sunstop, aided and abetted by the servants of the Maker.

(I think that it is possible that this stage was only another stop in the Making of the world, with a quality control team let loose to make sure everything was in place. They had not finished their job when Creation went on in an unexpected place, and then struggled to stop that progress and turn it back to the point where they would finish their quality control.)

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Was it Tolat who's sometimes red and sometimes blue? 

IMO if Tolat ever was blue, that blue must have been so dark that it was indistinguishable from black. If anything, Shargash may have replaced green Alkor as the southern planetary son.

Tolat and Annilla/Veldara were twins, one red, one blue (when not black due to their Underworld origin).

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EDIT FOR YOUR EDIT: Personally I still don't know much about how non-Lightbringer religions account for the irruption of chaos. In Dara Happa it seems to be about insubordination, possibly motivated in part by lust but generally a symptom of cosmic degeneration -- perfection is unsustainable, stick around things will get worse. For the people where Little Brother Blue won, lust is the root cause. Other Brother refused to take no for an answer and that was sin. Maybe the archaic Elmaloids focus on the violence as ultimate transgression and you ultimately get rites like Hill of Gold where everybody takes their best shot. Among the Malkionites, their story is suppressed.

The Lightbringer religions externalized Chaos.

Non-Lightbringers have different approaches. The Solar religions sort of internalize the concept of the Distant Void with their mystic upper Light, cal it Dayzatar or Zitro Argon. The upper hemisphere of the cosmic bubble is not a clear separation from the disruptive omnipotence of the Void like the lower hemisphere of Darkness, but a sort of both destructive and inclusive interaction with it, the upper and outer glow of Aether, the cosmic (hemspherical) Firewall into the omnipotential (yes, I know this is not a real word) nothing. Everything can form or happen in the vacuum energy of the Void, and can (and will) be destroyed again by its antipart, unless separated from that.

The Malkioni cosmology suffers from the collision of their impeccable devolutionary logic with their tribal history which tells a completely different set of stories, often incompatible. The Brithini and the Vadeli are the result of this jarring inconsistency, and that may be their cause of Chaos. It may be the irreconcilable inner conflict that necessitates Chaos.

The Primal Plasma of the Animists appears to permeate the Spirit World. There are unstable regions in the Spirit World where even the weak subjective order of the entity experiencing it gets dissolved, and from which the Chaos spirits separate and intrude the more stable parts.

(I guess that for a long time I failed to grasp the meaning of the exposure to the Bad Man, counterpart of the Horned God, for a long time. It is experiencing the helplessness in the face of invincible evil, and making that experience a part of themselves. The Star Heart of the Second Son experience, an acknowledged impotence made into a pillar of strength and resolve. The shamanic equivalent to the Kobayashi Maru experience of Star Trek star fleet aspirants.)

The Spirit World doesn't separate the impossible from the proven.

 

There are things about the Gloranthan East that I don't get. I am fine with Vith as the progenitor and yet primary target of the Antigods - the Titan who failed to resorb his destructive offspring isn't that far from this concept, and I cannot really say whether Gebkeran's offspring aren't really the ones who get it right by challenging the perceived authority again and again, or whether the mystics who either shed or accept all have it right.

Oorduren is the first mystic, the mystic of the High Gods, the teacher of Vith, and of the primal mystics of the East.

Venforn is often overlooked in the Eastern myths which focus on Mashunasan. Oorduren teaches both inclusion of everything (Venforn) or separation from everything (Mashunasan, possibly also Nenduren and Larn Hasamador).

Whether it is integration of Being and Not-Being or refutation of both, Chaos is treated almost the same way that non-Chaos is treated.

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

And of course, Lodril's descent into the Earth was nothing but the insemination of Gata, leading to the birth of Umath. Lodril is the fiery semen poured into the Earth Mother.

My first thought was "Hah, rubbish, Lodril was the Sky Spear who plunged into the Earth to kill Krarsht", but thinking about it, this does make sense. It reflects Lodril's earhy, sexual nature, fits lava streams beneath the earth and lava eruptions.

So, Lodril probably penetrated the Earth several times, once as the Fiery Semen and once as the Sky Spear. Anyone got any ideas about other times Lodril has prenetrated the earth?

 

How about this: Lodril is the Third (made) Son, the one who gets the thing done where the two elder brothers fail spectacularly. Umath is the real heir, spurned by the stepbrothers.

That makes sense, as Lodril is the Worker, his descendants are peasants, his sons are Builders and he is The Slave. Dayzatar is too busy being aloof and Yelm is too busy bathing in his reflected Glory.

 

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

The elements of the Celestial Court never received direct worship.

I used to believe that but the density of Power entities in that "Ginijji civilization" reopened the file. Do we see that anywhere else? Should we see that in future pre-Dawn ruins now that the high-resolution "dungeon" style is ascendent again, or is this indeed something relatively limited to this arc of Genertela? In the former scenario, OK. The Celestial Court living abstractly in their Spike at the axis of the world is a universal but largely inaccessible myth. 

But the latter scenario is also interesting because it resolves other questions. Why do the Powers interact directly with certain elemental tribes (separating Asrelia from Umath or fathering mountains) and not others (no group of eight on the Wall but sometimes an octad )? Why is the formation of the Court in two distinct phases, with the Powers already set up in their binaries before Dame Darkness is introduced and in the most archaic versions we have ("from Tarsh," WF 7) taking an active role midwiving the elemental sequence? To me this suggests a slightly imperfect fusion of initially separated texts. Somebody's oldest memories capture a time when not even Darkness received direct worship and then their world changed. At Hrelar Amali, for example, the temples to Earth and Darkness (at least) needed to be added to the existing complex. Maybe other people started out within the elemental system and were introduced to the Powers at a specific moment that we can triangulate from the stories.

And we know that for the people of the southern Genertelan coast the Court lived to the south, in a land that no longer exists and maybe never did in a normal sense. (Probably not within History.) Where did they look from Hrelar Amali to see the ghost of the sacred mountain? (Did they even have a sacred mountain? is this "Top of the World?") Did the Genertites look west to the Tumulus and mysterious Kerofinela looming in the distance, or elsewhere? Did the people who built the Wall dream of mountains or did they build towers and think they were at the center of the world all along?

Was the original Emperor actually some lord of prehistoric Esrolia lost under the tides or preserved in fragmentary glory in the Ty Kora catacombs? 

[a whole lot more, just wedging the first crampon up the cliff]

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Fire always was something to be stolen.

Yelmalio, Lodril. Savage "trolls" are the ones who quest for fire and only achieve it at specific moments. On the other hand the stealable gift of darkness is death.

Zorak steals fire. Argan steals fire. Xiola, as I recall, is relevant in the early Council of Friends but recedes to make way for other cults.

For a long time I've been fascinated by the (perhaps accidental) implication in the Broken Council Guidebook that the reason the Council Broke and the trolls rejected the project was because Dara Happa insisted that the new god would be a bright god that the dark could not accept. This is the central conflict in that place at that phase: not so much sky versus storm or anything else, but simple Day and Night. 

Elves have no darkness except for the mushroom people. Early Peloria had forests but the "civilized" IFWW trolls left it alone. The death of Flamal is when Ernalda and Xentha (Umbar?) come to Mrelar Amali. Eurmal kills Flamal, standing in for death who comes out of darkness. Is Eurmal a dark god? Is [H]uma[k]t[h]?

Lo-metal. Lo-dwarves. What happened to the Lodrilites? Did southern Lodril vanish (or get deported) except in volcanic strongholds? Was his other name Umath? Did northern Lodril vanish into the mountains and undifferentiated urban mob? Why are there so few records of vanished "dwarf" cultures? Who taught humanity the secrets of metal? Why is the third eye Blue, really?

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Sramak's River

Why is Sea so estranged from the elemental cycle that consumes central Genertelan masculinity in particular? Who is Heler, really? Who is Mastakos, really? Is the watery Husband Protector still "Magasta?"

Malkion was a blue god like his most infamous son. Remember them in their origins, on the verge of an endless sea, tutored by triolini who were their cousins. 

"Sramak" was entrenched at Hrelar Amali before the Seshnegi arrived. Blue people in their glacier lakes, dreaming of reunion with the sea.

Air as child of land and sky. Moon as child of dark and sea. The lunar obsession with achieving a warm water port.

8 hours ago, Joerg said:

the rebellion of Brightface

Does a Monster Man ever win and it's just that the records are unspeakable? Is that Yelm's secret, that he was just a Lodril once on the rise to Dayzatar? No shame there, but he thinks it is.

What is the difference between Yelmalio the Youth and Yelmalio the Father? Do they even recognize a differentiation between the two family roles? (Not as easy a question as it might initially appear.) Was there ever a Yelmalio Rex? Now do Elmal.

8 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Lightbringer religions externalized Chaos.


I'm no longer sure. I know I Fought and We Won and I know the sun is alive again. Harmast and Arkat acting together write a hard stop on that era, whatever Loko  and company left behind. But like the visible seam in the Court between an eight- (or nine-) member Power pantheon and the separate elemental cycle, the weird insistence on "two devils, one moral and one not" never really added up to me. It reads like a syncretic situation, one civilization's memory of the Greater Darkness (again, dark even though the trolls all loudly insist that they are big chaos fighters, you betcha) reconciled with another that doesn't quite fit. 

What we know is that Arkat didn't bring the Thed story when he landed. He found it here. He might've had other strange stories about Malkion betrayed by his on begotten son but those stories didn't really translate and were soon left behind when he went native . . . and at home those stories of Why There Is Evil and How The World Fell have been effaced as profoundly unflattering to someone. 


 

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37 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I used to believe that but the density of Power entities in that "Ginijji civilization" reopened the file. Do we see that anywhere else? Should we see that in future pre-Dawn ruins now that the high-resolution "dungeon" style is ascendent again, or is this indeed something relatively limited to this arc of Genertela? In the former scenario, OK. The Celestial Court living abstractly in their Spike at the axis of the world is a universal but largely inaccessible myth.

The Esiti and the Enerali Nine Great Gods are/were their culture's equivalent of the cosmic court are also worshipped. (Or were in much of the Nine Great Gods case)

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17 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

The Esiti and the Enerali Nine Great Gods are/were their culture's equivalent of the cosmic court are also worshipped. (Or were in much of the Nine Great Gods case)

GREAT point! (All out of reacts.)

The extinct Feldichi culture is another hot prospect. The Dorastor book opens with the story I'd forgotten about how Pela and Genert were married, which suggests a previously under-examined interaction between the Entekosiad people and those who mourn the Earth King in the wastes or at least a migration. 

It's an interesting story because it's built around another of those stutters or "rhymes" that in our world tend to preserve multiple fragmentary versions of a text side by side. Pela marries. We know from elsewhere that her husband dies. A mythic generation later, Dorasta marries. He dies. Nobody will tell us who he was. History repeating? Or the same story with the names shuffled? There are a lot of taboos around Dorasta. Mysteries.

And Dorasta's son was another of those poisoned giants like Engizi. Are they found everywhere or only around certain types of sites? What do we know about the Korang culture ("city of slaves") and the relationship between Engizi and his spear-wielding earth champion lover? Does this help move anything forward?

 

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I stated that the Elemental Rulers of the Celestial Court never received direct worship. (By mortals, that is - ancestor worship by their offspring is something else.)

There are of course people who equate TarnGatHa/Vith with Aether, but his reign predates any form of worship.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I used to believe that but the density of Power entities in that "Ginijji civilization" reopened the file. Do we see that anywhere else?

To be honest, the full panoply of the core runes is only present in the Celestial Court of the (Theyalan and Jrusteli) Monomyth, and that's highly syncretic. The Jernotians make do with seven High Gods, the Vithelans with 9 + 1(Atrilith).

The party of the Duke of Disorder yields the harp (Harmony) returned by Leika Ballista - a quite unexpected encounter and outcome.

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Should we see that in future pre-Dawn ruins now that the high-resolution "dungeon" style is ascendent again, or is this indeed something relatively limited to this arc of Genertela? In the former scenario, OK. The Celestial Court living abstractly in their Spike at the axis of the world is a universal but largely inaccessible myth. 

Is the Spike myth universal, or is it a syncretic myth formed from the manifold of Sacred Mountains at the core of the world of the various cultures?

Hrelar Amali has the tree of Flamal as their Axis Mundi. Kerofinela has Kero Fin, Dara Happa has the Footstool, Pelanda has Mt. Jernotius, etc.

Yes, there are myths about the migrations of the Mountain People. The Downland Migration of Orlanth and the parallel myth of Storm Bull and his Founder sons into Genert's Garden suggests the presence of another mountain at or south of Threestep Isles.

Peter Metcalfe managed to convince me that the bad mountain of Pamaltela was a lot closer to the modern coast than Magasta's Pool is.

And Mt. Thakarn aka Piparovor may have been the body of Stone, brother of Mostal, who collapsed (at multiple attacks, including Zzabur's Blast and the axe wielded by High King Elf) onto Curustus.

 

Yes, everywhere there was a mountain with powerful entities living on the top. At times benevolent, often neutral, only rarely hostile. And quite often it collapsed in the course of the Gods War, or was invaded, etc.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

But the latter scenario is also interesting because it resolves other questions. Why do the Powers interact directly with certain elemental tribes (separating Asrelia from Umath or fathering mountains) and not others (no group of eight on the Wall but sometimes an octad )?

Heortling Mythology speaks of the Old Gods rather than the Powers - that would be the entities mentioned in King of Sartar p.46:

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The Elder Gods were attributes and attitudes. They included Maker and Grower, the Great Mother, and the Eternal Witness. Some say there are other Pairs, such as Rasdandar, the Deity of Being; and Urgarndar, Deity of Not. Some say there are ancient powers and elements, lost forever to memory or being, and broken bits of them are still here.

These entities may predate the surviving Core Runes. (Yes, this text does imply that core concepts of Glorantha may have been lost in the Greater Darkness.)

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Why is the formation of the Court in two distinct phases, with the Powers already set up in their binaries before Dame Darkness is introduced and in the most archaic versions we have ("from Tarsh," WF 7) taking an active role midwiving the elemental sequence? To me this suggests a slightly imperfect fusion of initially separated texts. Somebody's oldest memories capture a time when not even Darkness received direct worship and then their world changed.

Are you sure about there being a fixed sequence to these emergences? IMO this was a convergence of events along different cosmological dimensions. Each facilitated the other.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

At Hrelar Amali, for example, the temples to Earth and Darkness (at least) needed to be added to the existing complex. 

Hrelar Amali had a temple to Earth, Flamal's Tree, but that was felled, causing the Greater Darkness. Yes, it doubled as Axis Mundi, but the forest heart also served as the most holy Earth site in Hrelar Amali.

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

And we know that for the people of the southern Genertelan coast the Court lived to the south, in a land that no longer exists and maybe never did in a normal sense. (Probably not within History.)

There are myths about downland migrations everywhere. The God Learner Maps in the Guide have the Four directional Camps settled by "Mountain people". The Camp of Innocence is mentioned when a later "downland" migration (from Veldara) returns it (briefly) to its former state.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Where did they look from Hrelar Amali to see the ghost of the sacred mountain? (Did they even have a sacred mountain? is this "Top of the World?")

It is quite likely that Earthmaker had an island somewhere in the center of Ralios where the northwestern version of the Hsunchen (or in this case, Hykimi) witnessed Creation.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Did the Genertites look west to the Tumulus and mysterious Kerofinela looming in the distance, or elsewhere?

The Genertites of the Garden (east of Kerofinela and Kethaela) had Genert's Palace to look at, undoubtedly a monumental edifice.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Did the people who built the Wall dream of mountains or did they build towers and think they were at the center of the world all along?

For a great many cultures, I think this was the case.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Was the original Emperor actually some lord of prehistoric Esrolia lost under the tides or preserved in fragmentary glory in the Ty Kora catacombs? 

That's a version that I have been pursuing for quite a while.

 

Fire was stolen - e.g. by Eurmal. Friend of Men, and all that.

Not necessarily taken away from the original owner, but shared, or replaced with a mostly functional if no longer original copy.

 

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

For a long time I've been fascinated by the (perhaps accidental) implication in the Broken Council Guidebook that the reason the Council Broke and the trolls rejected the project was because Dara Happa insisted that the new god would be a bright god that the dark could not accept. This is the central conflict in that place at that phase: not so much sky versus storm or anything else, but simple Day and Night. 

I think that the Dara Happans worked hard to exclude the impurity of Darkness from the Perfect One, which would necessarily create a bright deity. To the Dara Happans, the Sunstop state of Brightface's empire was perfection.

There was little indication that the birth of the Bright One might have weakened the unbearable brightness in former Wonderhome - no healing of the womb (undoing the Dark Troll curse that had befallen the Mistress Race) was in sight. The Battle of Night and Day added even more injury, creating the Trollkin curse.

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Elves have no darkness except for the mushroom people. Early Peloria had forests but the "civilized" IFWW trolls left it alone. The death of Flamal is when Ernalda and Xentha (Umbar?) come to Mrelar Amali. Eurmal kills Flamal, standing in for death who comes out of darkness. Is Eurmal a dark god? Is [H]uma[k]t[h]?

Sometimes it is Zorak Zoran who kills Flamal, wielding the Death in the form of the axe that Eurmal had taken from Iron Mostali after having given him the Sword. Eurmal may as well be the blade that switches/spreads out to numerous wielders.

Eurmal and Humakt both went into the next to deepest Underworld, and brought the power of Death back from the lowest edge of the Cosmos. Neither remained unchanged, both embraced Death in different ways. It isn't clear whether some form of Eurmal ever had a tribe he belonged to from which this experience would have severed him. The Fronelan West seems to have the most positive view of Eurmal anywhere in Glorantha - Firebringer and Friend of Men, who took the power of the (emperor?) god and shared it with the lowly to-become-mortals, and Ralios names Yomat, a son of Eurmal and bearer of that title Friend of Men in a positive way.

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Lo-metal. Lo-dwarves. What happened to the Lodrilites? Did southern Lodril vanish (or get deported) except in volcanic strongholds?

What do you mean by "southern"? Doraddi "Lodril" is the big Everyman cult where Pamalt is the wily chieftain. Aurelion, the pre-eminent volcano god of Jrustela?

Ernaldelan Lodril was married, or retreated as Veskarthan. The Shadow Plateau used to be the base of his highest peak. Its destruction may be part of the Footprint Myth.

The "Lo" in Sea Metal should be Lorion rather than Lodril, IMO.

"Lo-dwarves" - do you mean the Brass caste of alloyists? I have mentioned my theory about brass preceding bronze a couple of times here.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Was his other name Umath?

Buried and reborn as Burta? Part of him - sure. The other part, Veskarthan, is the recipient of the First Hospitality.

The Gods Wall presents Umath/Rebellus Terminus/Vogmaradan as a phallic deity. While Umath is lusty with his concubines, he is much less a dick than Lodril himself.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Did northern Lodril vanish into the mountains and undifferentiated urban mob? Why are there so few records of vanished "dwarf" cultures? Who taught humanity the secrets of metal? Why is the third eye Blue, really?

The westerners did know the secret of metal early on - presumably the Kadeniti, the technicians among the six (plus one) tribes of Danmalastan. They seemed to have shared that with the Kachasti, who permeated the western world all the way to the Poralistor and Delela.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Why is Sea so estranged from the elemental cycle that consumes central Genertelan masculinity in particular? Who is Heler, really?

Heler is the ancestral deity separated from the All Waters, the tragical loss of the Sea Tribe.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Who is Mastakos, really?

Another piece of / aspect of Larnste. (And/or Orlanth). The energy of the Waters.

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Is the watery Husband Protector still "Magasta?"

Was he ever? He took Sapana Robber for his wife.

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Malkion was a blue god like his most infamous son. Remember them in their origins, on the verge of an endless sea, tutored by triolini who were their cousins. 

Malkion was the son of two blue deities - Aerlit and Warera Triolina.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

"Sramak" was entrenched at Hrelar Amali before the Seshnegi arrived. Blue people in their glacier lakes, dreaming of reunion with the sea.

The body of waters. There used to be two major lakes near Hrelar Amali, with Lake Bakeel badly reduced to a marsh, and Lake Felster still at large.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Air as child of land and sky. Moon as child of dark and sea. The lunar obsession with achieving a warm water port.

I don't think that the sea-port was their main magical target. Their presence in Corflu, Karse and Nochet was little more than a by-play. If this obsession had been a thing in the Heartlands, all the power of the Assiday wouldn't have stopped another association to keep channeling resources and agents to the places conquered by Fazzur for his lunarized Orlanthi reasons.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Does a Monster Man ever win and it's just that the records are unspeakable?

Shadzor, the Underworld aspect of the god of Alkoth? Monster Man appears to be a broad category of underworld rulers, including Lodril, Zorak Zoran, Deshkorgos. And yes, Lodril is his own foe in this myth.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Is that Yelm's secret, that he was just a Lodril once on the rise to Dayzatar? No shame there, but he thinks it is.

IMO Yelm was just a planetary light among many, if  he existed that early. The White Queen was mistress of the celestial light in Naveria's time.

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

What is the difference between Yelmalio the Youth and Yelmalio the Father? Do they even recognize a differentiation between the two family roles? (Not as easy a question as it might initially appear.) Was there ever a Yelmalio Rex? Now do Elmal.

Elmal the Youth was the unyielding lackey of the Yelmic court before his illuminating encounter with Chalana Arroy.

Elmal the Father would have been Elmal the Husband, the steadguard thane.

Elmal Rex is remembered in Dara Happa as the destroyer of Elempur - the city of the archer, named after its destroyer?

 

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I'm no longer sure. I know I Fought and We Won and I know the sun is alive again. Harmast and Arkat acting together write a hard stop on that era, whatever Loko  and company left behind. But like the visible seam in the Court between an eight- (or nine-) member Power pantheon and the separate elemental cycle, the weird insistence on "two devils, one moral and one not" never really added up to me. It reads like a syncretic situation, one civilization's memory of the Greater Darkness (again, dark even though the trolls all loudly insist that they are big chaos fighters, you betcha) reconciled with another that doesn't quite fit. 

The Dimness might be a better name for the Lesser Darkness aka Storm Age. Xentha was a leader of the troll migration, indicating that there was Night at the onset of the Lesser Darkness. Possibly as early as the starspill in the wake of Umath's invasion of the sky (Copper Tablet 9)? 

The duality of Kajabor and Wakboth is fair, IMO. Kajabor is the external force of entropy, while Wakboth is the externalized inner rot. Kajabor is the antithesis of Creation, no longer separate from the world after the implosion of the Axis Mundi, just the alienness of the Void. Wakboth is the distillation of spite, humiliation etc. "blessed" with the power of annihilation (which his three parents, although highly destructive, lack.)

2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

What we know is that Arkat didn't bring the Thed story when he landed. He found it here. He might've had other strange stories about Malkion betrayed by his on begotten son but those stories didn't really translate and were soon left behind when he went native . . . and at home those stories of Why There Is Evil and How The World Fell have been effaced as profoundly unflattering to someone. 

What Vadel is to Wakboth, Zzabur is to Kajabor. Note the very similar name for the second pair.

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10 hours ago, Tindalos said:

The Esiti and the Enerali Nine Great Gods are/were their culture's equivalent of the cosmic court are also worshipped. (Or were in much of the Nine Great Gods case)

The Zzaburite report that the Erasanchula (original runes) of the elements and powers became False Gods who received worship also marks their devolution IMO.  The full runic court atop the Axis Mundi is rarely if anywhere realized in the local variants. The Jernotians made do with seven deities.

IMO all the local variants are aspects. Aspects are instances of the class, if I may lend this from object oriented programming. The Core Runes are the class - the concept with the set of parameters.

The Prosopedia and Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha before it split the elemental runes into two different appellations, names of the deities (Nakala, Zaramaka, Ga, Aether, Umath) and titles of the Celestial offices (Dame Darkness, Father Ocean/Sir Sea, Mother Earth/Empress Earth, Lord Light/Liege Light, King Storm - the Burta doesn't get the alliteration?)

The runic council may be just an abstraction in western philosophy.

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21 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I stated that the Elemental Rulers of the Celestial Court never received direct worship. (By mortals, that is - ancestor worship by their offspring is something else.)

I'm still not sure about that.

Although not explicitly mentioned as worshipped, Nakala is mentioned as having a sanctuary in Tamalior. Elves are known to worship Gata (and are presumably still counted as mortals)

 

4 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Prosopedia and Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha before it split the elemental runes into two different appellations, names of the deities (Nakala, Zaramaka, Ga, Aether, Umath) and titles of the Celestial offices (Dame Darkness, Father Ocean/Sir Sea, Mother Earth/Empress Earth, Lord Light/Liege Light, King Storm - the Burta doesn't get the alliteration?)

The runic council may be just an abstraction in western philosophy.

I think the particular form we have is primarily a God Learner/Theyalan one. With other cultures having their own variants on the celestial court (the Esiti, the Nine Great Gods, the Avanparloth, the Glorantay, the Jernotian Council). Even the Orlanthi have a version where the Old Gods are given titles rather than names, such as Maker of Rules, Deep Wisdom, and Words of Power (in the myth of the Making War, or the First Harp. Where interestingly Harana Ilor postdates Umath.)

 

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12 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Although not explicitly mentioned as worshipped, Nakala is mentioned as having a sanctuary in Tamalior. Elves are known to worship Gata (and are presumably still counted as mortals)

Sometimes the aspect is known by the name of the greater entity?

There is nothing to stop any congregation to direct their powers of worship towards the Greater Gods, but usually such worship doesn't receive reciprocal magic. The only gain from such activity would be as preparation for questing on the Other Side.

12 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

I think the particular form we have is primarily a God Learner/Theyalan one. With other cultures having their own variants on the celestial court (the Esiti, the Nine Great Gods, the Avanparloth, the Glorantay, the Jernotian Council).

The Celestial Court assembled by the God Learners based on their own pre-Brithini notion of the Erasanchula and the Theyalan syncretic collection of entities whose followers contributed to the Unity Battle and later Unity Council consists of the council of runes and the Old Gods. That latter list is fairly anonymous and a convenient "we don't know" label.

12 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Even the Orlanthi have a version where the Old Gods are given titles rather than names, such as Maker of Rules, Deep Wisdom, and Words of Power (in the myth of the Making War, or the First Harp. Where interestingly Harana Ilor postdates Umath.)

In a way similar to how Kargan Tor predates capital-d Death.

 

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13 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Dimness might be a better name for the Lesser Darkness aka Storm Age. Xentha was a leader of the troll migration, indicating that there was Night at the onset of the Lesser Darkness. Possibly as early as the starspill in the wake of Umath's invasion of the sky (Copper Tablet 9)? 

I picture the Lesser Darkness as always clouded during the day, with heavy, roiling, fast moving clouds, signifying the ascendance of Storm over Sky. Occasionally a weak, cold sun breaks through the gloom. At night, the stars can be seen though, but in strange constellations.

Trolls of course enjoy all this immensely. 

Edited by The God Learner
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1 minute ago, The God Learner said:

I picture the Lesser Darkness as always (well, nearly always) clouded during the day, with roiling, fast moving clouds, signifying the ascendance of Storm over Sky. Occasionally a weak, cold sun breaks through the gloom. At night, the stars can be seen though, in strange constellations.

Day and night cycles shouldn't happen before the Dawn if you believe the commentary on the God Learner Maps in the Guide, but either a Sunstop or a permanent night with a moonlight equivalent orb somewhere high.

On the other hand, some form of "day" cycle appears to have existed even in the Golden Age (cf the 294 servants of Yelm, one for each day of the Gloranthan year). And Argan Argar, the son of Night, led his portion of the Wonderhome trolls to the surface (Halikiv, Shadow Plateau) just after Yelm Bijiif had entered and burnt out Wonderhome, which implies a pre-existing concept of night, too, though not necessarily during the reign of Brightface.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Day and night cycles shouldn't happen before the Dawn if you believe the commentary on the God Learner Maps in the Guide, but either a Sunstop or a permanent night with a moonlight equivalent orb somewhere high.

We might, if so inclined, say that day and night in the Lesser Darkness are not cyclic but irregular. Every now and then, there is no sun at all. Then after some time, one returns, or at least there is a light behind the clouds. Then, after some unpredictable passage, it goes away again.

In the Greater Darkness, whatever sun there is gets even more precarious, showing up only as a brighter light in the black, mostly cloudless sky (Lightfore).

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On 9/8/2018 at 10:15 AM, Joerg said:

Fire always was something to be stolen.

The descent of Lodril may be a cognate of the theft of fire.

And of course, Lodril's descent into the Earth was nothing but the insemination of Gata, leading to the birth of Umath. Lodril is the fiery semen poured into the Earth Mother.

Heh, that's a very interesting image, a potent one, if you will. 

On 9/8/2018 at 10:15 AM, Joerg said:

I have the suspicion that there used to be a day-night cycle before the rebellion of Brightface and his ascension onto  the Cosmic Mountain. Much of Yelm's Golden Age may have been nothing but an extended Sunstop, aided and abetted by the servants of the Maker.

Again, interesting. I do like the idea of the Golden Age caused by a kind of "coup d'etat", as it were, though I'm not quite sure what would cause the darkness on the surface before the Gods War. Or maybe I'm thinking about this wrong - if Darkness was the first element, perhaps her presence on the surface in the Green Age was marginalized and subsequently forgotten by the Celestial "coup".

On 9/8/2018 at 10:15 AM, Joerg said:

One of the least "causality-obeying" yet most intriguing myths in Glorantha is the one of the three curious spirits, identified as Zorak Zoran, Argan Argar (a son or grandson of the sky) and Xiola Umbar chancing upon unborn Aether (the sky) deep in the womb of Darkness.

Do you know where I could read this? :)

On 9/8/2018 at 10:15 AM, Joerg said:

(I guess that for a long time I failed to grasp the meaning of the exposure to the Bad Man, counterpart of the Horned God, for a long time. It is experiencing the helplessness in the face of invincible evil, and making that experience a part of themselves. The Star Heart of the Second Son experience, an acknowledged impotence made into a pillar of strength and resolve. The shamanic equivalent to the Kobayashi Maru experience of Star Trek star fleet aspirants.)

That IS a very powerful secret: the ability of how to go on in the face of insurmountable odds. To accept one's own mortality and powerlessness, and yet realize one's own agency.

On 9/8/2018 at 10:15 AM, Joerg said:

There are things about the Gloranthan East that I don't get. I am fine with Vith as the progenitor and yet primary target of the Antigods - the Titan who failed to resorb his destructive offspring isn't that far from this concept, and I cannot really say whether Gebkeran's offspring aren't really the ones who get it right by challenging the perceived authority again and again, or whether the mystics who either shed or accept all have it right.

Oorduren is the first mystic, the mystic of the High Gods, the teacher of Vith, and of the primal mystics of the East.

Venforn is often overlooked in the Eastern myths which focus on Mashunasan. Oorduren teaches both inclusion of everything (Venforn) or separation from everything (Mashunasan, possibly also Nenduren and Larn Hasamador).

Whether it is integration of Being and Not-Being or refutation of both, Chaos is treated almost the same way that non-Chaos is treated.

That Vith is Aether is entirely news to me. I must admit, I did a double-take. Upon further looking around, it seems TarnGatHa/Dogsalu is the one equated with Aether by the God Learners, as he is the father of Govmeranen (who is equated with Yelm, apparently).

All of this strike me as a bit of a forced fit, perhaps mostly because the Eastern/Vithelan mythology is so different and estranged from the north and west. Vith seems a lot more dualistic than a mono-elemental identification would allow for. And his focus of mystics (while at the same time being sacrificed to like a deity by his descendants) might offer some insight into the mystic traditions in Peloria, yet it seems uncharacteristically... "chill" - for how we see the Sky deities behave elsewhere.

On 9/8/2018 at 6:37 PM, scott-martin said:

Does a Monster Man ever win and it's just that the records are unspeakable? Is that Yelm's secret, that he was just a Lodril once on the rise to Dayzatar? No shame there, but he thinks it is.

That is a delicious conspiracy, although it, together with the idea of a Aetheric "coup" does paint the Sky-rune beings in a very conceited and poor light (no pun intended). I'm wondering if there's something more complex to it.

On 9/8/2018 at 6:37 PM, scott-martin said:

 

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12 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I do like the idea of the Golden Age caused by a kind of "coup d'etat", as it were, though I'm not quite sure what would cause the darkness on the surface before the Gods War. Or maybe I'm thinking about this wrong - if Darkness was the first element, perhaps her presence on the surface in the Green Age was marginalized and subsequently forgotten by the Celestial "coup".

Darkness was the space that formed (and expanded) upon separation from the Void, and used to be everywhere before the other elements formed within. The fiery glowing sky dome may have been the afterglow of the conquest of whatever went there before.

There may have been a period when there was only light where light was pointed or carried (by chariot, riding, ....). An earlier sun may have been rotating and directional, like the Red Moon (only white or golden). There is much that has been forgotten about Sedenya.

12 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:
On 9/8/2018 at 10:15 AM, Joerg said:

One of the least "causality-obeying" yet most intriguing myths in Glorantha is the one of the three curious spirits, identified as Zorak Zoran, Argan Argar (a son or grandson of the sky) and Xiola Umbar chancing upon unborn Aether (the sky) deep in the womb of Darkness.

Do you know where I could read this? :)

This encounter is in a sidebar of the Uz Lore book of Troll Pak, both RQ2 and RQ3, ZZ gets badly burned and decides that this is a foe, AA gets close enough to learn the secret that allowed him to chain Veskarthan, and XU decides that this is "friendship from afar".

 

12 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

That Vith is Aether is entirely news to me. I must admit, I did a double-take. Upon further looking around, it seems TarnGatHa/Dogsalu is the one equated with Aether by the God Learners, as he is the father of Govmeranen (who is equated with Yelm, apparently).

The original list of the eastern emperors was one of many as interesting as cryptical few-liners from the Jonstown Compendium in RuneQuest Companion for RQ2. Names like TarnGatHa appeared only with Revealed Mythologies in the Hero Wars era, which is also the first time I have seen Vith without the land moniker Vithela.

A certain sky connection makes all manner of sense for the place which has the Gates of Dawn. On the whole, the better eplanation would be that the God Learners tried to understand Vith as Aether, which got them no further than the westernmost East Isles.7

 

One thing that keeps baffling me is the untouchable continent of Vithalash, empty of humans, keets or antigod races. Seems like a waste to me. Greg's original Pamaltela was similar, the land beyond the elf forests populated by bomonoi rather than humans. Maybe Vithela just never experienced someone like Sandy who placed his campaign there?

 

12 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

All of this strike me as a bit of a forced fit, perhaps mostly because the Eastern/Vithelan mythology is so different and estranged from the north and west. Vith seems a lot more dualistic than a mono-elemental identification would allow for. And his focus of mystics (while at the same time being sacrificed to like a deity by his descendants) might offer some insight into the mystic traditions in Peloria, yet it seems uncharacteristically... "chill" - for how we see the Sky deities behave elsewhere.

Vith is half bright half dark, much like the observable sky within time. So is Sedenya, the turning sun, the one who didn't claim to be the all-seeing eye, but only the turning eye in the sky that holds the balance.

Not even much need for mysticism in this perception of the pre-Yelm sky, really.

13 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:
On 9/8/2018 at 6:37 PM, scott-martin said:

Does a Monster Man ever win and it's just that the records are unspeakable? Is that Yelm's secret, that he was just a Lodril once on the rise to Dayzatar? No shame there, but he thinks it is.

That is a delicious conspiracy, although it, together with the idea of a Aetheric "coup" does paint the Sky-rune beings in a very conceited and poor light (no pun intended). I'm wondering if there's something more complex to it.

Yelm was a Lodril? In the sense of the ground-walking good-for-nothing fire deity/mage, yes. Fond of mountains, too, although not a maker of mountains from his inner heat. Ehilm, son of Lodik.

The static Golden Age with its Sunstop state was just the new status quo that resulted from Brightface's putsch. 

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