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Esrolia, Grandmothers and Imarja

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I don’t believe that the Grandmothers’ behaviour in Esrolia really has anything to do with Imarja. Ernalda is known for being manipulative. In fact, like Orlanth’s violence, it is not only admired but celebrated among the Orlanthi (Esrolia is still part of Orlanthi culture, even though they reject Orlanth as a ruler).

I’ll have to look up the events and dates in E:LoTTG (later) for the exemplar of this. It was only when a Grandmother took her manipulations to such extremes that she started destroying the land, that the Priestesses and Ernalda took action to stop her. Not because of her treatment of her relatives but because she burned the crops and fields and thus rejected an even more core value of Ernalda.

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It may have been me who extrapolated Genert's Copper Sand magic (which turned his followers into that copper sand blocking the path for Chaos) to the Building Wall, but @jajagappa picked that up with his Nochet campaign background where one clan event was participation in the Lysos dyke project where the House lost a lot of its men who became integral part of that dam, and I think that's pretty much an acceptable decision when you ask Grandmothers. Imagine something like this among the Orlanthi - not a desperate rearguard action which earns much glory regardless of survival or outcome, but a rather dull sacrifice, sorry, transformation, of the men. Not human sacrifice, no... The men "were volunteered", which is why I thought it was on topic under the slavery thread.

And the Grandmothers do interact directly with Imarja while Ernalda is sleeping - probably during the Windstop, too. Imarja has aspects that don't quite require exposure to the Ultimate, and she has given the attention of these to the Grandmothers.

 

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 10:04 AM, Joerg said:

to the Building Wall, but @jajagappa picked that up with his Nochet campaign background where one clan event was participation in the Lysos dyke project where the House lost a lot of its men who became integral part of that dam, and I think that's pretty much an acceptable decision when you ask Grandmothers.

The sacrifice of bodies/souls to save/aid the culture is common.  Orlanthi kings do this whenever they go to war.  That Ernaldan queens would do so to help maintain the land seems quite natural as well, and doesn't necessarily suggest slavery any more so than the spirits called upon and set to ward the temples.  Tarkalor "volunteered" many men at Grizzly Peak too.  

On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 10:04 AM, Joerg said:

And the Grandmothers do interact directly with Imarja while Ernalda is sleeping - probably during the Windstop, too. Imarja has aspects that don't quite require exposure to the Ultimate, and she has given the attention of these to the Grandmothers.

If, as I think Jeff has suggested elsewhere, that Imarja as the divine feminine is just another name for Glorantha, then there may be a number of paths of access and interaction, though likely none through the standard mechanism of the cult and divine magic (except perhaps when channeled through Ernalda or other goddess who did interact).  There's certainly a mystic path.  Can one reach Imarja through the Spirit World?  I'm sure in some way, but not likely one where she provides direct spirit allies.  Perhaps through the Earth Witch following the flight of the Goose Girl in the Spirit World, one can reach her.  Or perhaps Imarja is one who infuses herself into the mortal world through a chosen mortal vessel or the cryptic stone messages found upon Kena Hill.  What I don't see is the Grandmothers directly interacting with Imarja as is she were a goddess via a cult.  Imarja might be amused by such attempts, and might lure such 'believers' into a false belief, but I really don't see the Grandmothers directing any of this.

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23 hours ago, jajagappa said:

The sacrifice of bodies/souls to save/aid the culture is common. 

Yes, although there is a difference between asking for volunteer individuals and between being put forward by lot (if you're lucky) or by bad will (as in "being the most inconvenient person to have around").

The Crimson Bat episode in Sartar Companion makes it very clear how sacrificing the souls of the victims is deemed wrong.

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Orlanthi kings do this whenever they go to war. 

Although this is a case of "Follow Chosen Leaders" rather than being commanded out of the blue to go and get sacrificed. Any lost hope rearguard comes with some amount of immortal glory.

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That Ernaldan queens would do so to help maintain the land seems quite natural as well, and doesn't necessarily suggest slavery any more so than the spirits called upon and set to ward the temples.  Tarkalor "volunteered" many men at Grizzly Peak too.  

There is a lot of magic to be had from death rites, and the usual way is to use your enemies' lives, as in the magical mortar of Wolfblood in Ralios.

Hon-eel's corn rites aren't uncontroversial, although Tarsh probably had much less problems with them given the dominant role of the Shaker's Temple which has been making use of blood spilled in battle for fertility purposes since time immemoriable.

What I am saying is that the Esrolian use of males as sacrifices by command of their Grandmothers makes them no different from say special breeds of white/red/black bulls especially kept for sacrifices. Pampered and possibly even slightly honored chattel for the sacrifice, without any regard to the individual.

 

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If, as I think Jeff has suggested elsewhere, that Imarja as the divine feminine is just another name for Glorantha, then there may be a number of paths of access and interaction, though likely none through the standard mechanism of the cult and divine magic (except perhaps when channeled through Ernalda or other goddess who did interact).  There's certainly a mystic path. 

Most commonly, Glorantha is approached through Arachne Solara. Of course, there may be other aspects or avatars of Glorantha about.

Imarja is a very localized phenomenon, basically unknown or unobserved outside of the vicinity of Nochet (i.e. Esrolia).  Her special appearance is extremely uncommon, too. Although we might take a look at Surensliba in Darjiin, and her lesser reflections in Arir and Vonlath.

 

The divine feminine is as often connected to Uleria or her (parthenogenetic) daughters, like Phlia (the wife of Malkion, goddess of love, mother of Talar, Zzabur and Horal, and presumably Menena). In the East, Yothenara or Allgiver fills this role.

 

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Can one reach Imarja through the Spirit World?  I'm sure in some way, but not likely one where she provides direct spirit allies. 

I think it is as possible to enter a mystical path from the Spirit World as it is from the Mundane World. It would likewise lead through destructive/purifying environments that either need to eat away impure parts or otherwise be integrated into the Greater Self to balance those.

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Perhaps through the Earth Witch following the flight of the Goose Girl in the Spirit World, one can reach her.  Or perhaps Imarja is one who infuses herself into the mortal world through a chosen mortal vessel or the cryptic stone messages found upon Kena Hill.  What I don't see is the Grandmothers directly interacting with Imarja as is she were a goddess via a cult.  Imarja might be amused by such attempts, and might lure such 'believers' into a false belief, but I really don't see the Grandmothers directing any of this.

I think that Imarja used to be the local analog of the heron goddess of Darjiin which is of course a (slightly weird) embodiment of the female principle. Similar to Sedenya. Possibly more than just similar.

 

The Grandmothers quite evidently act like a bunch of self-declared steadholders of this principle. If Imarja is the object of a mystical path (and I think that likely to be the case, similar if not identical to Sedenya), then their interpretations of this principle is as flawed as the Third Council path to draconic wisdom.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Crimson Bat episode in Sartar Companion makes it very clear how sacrificing the souls of the victims is deemed wrong.

Sacrificing people to the Crimson bat is wrong because it is Chaotic and devours their souls, never to return.

The Volcano Priests in the Holy Country used to throw unwilling sacrifices into the Volcano to stop it from erupting, make it erupt or because it was a groovy thing to do. Then the Pharoah came along and became the person who was sacrified, he was thrown unto the Volcano, found a way out and reappeared in the Temple at the Vent, to the surprise and horror of the Priests there. He stopped the sacrifice of people by making himself the sacrifice. Until then, it was an acceptable event.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Sacrificing people to the Crimson bat is wrong because it is Chaotic and devours their souls, never to return.

I am far from convinced that the victims of the Corn Rite sacrifices receive the Peaceful Cut treatment, either.

17 minutes ago, soltakss said:

The Volcano Priests in the Holy Country used to throw unwilling sacrifices into the Volcano to stop it from erupting, make it erupt or because it was a groovy thing to do. Then the Pharoah came along and became the person who was sacrified, he was thrown unto the Volcano, found a way out and reappeared in the Temple at the Vent, to the surprise and horror of the Priests there. He stopped the sacrifice of people by making himself the sacrifice. Until then, it was an acceptable event.

The difference being that these sacrifices were "not us", whereas the mass sacrifice of Esrolian mandom is sacrifice of "us," significantly less than half a step away from kin-slaying.

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I do not think Imarja and Surensliba are analogous. Imarja is understood as a mystic goddess of the unity of goddesses. Surensliba I think is a goddess of actual herons - though as such also the ruling goddess of the marshlands. I do not think Surensliba is a mystic entity.

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3 minutes ago, davecake said:

I do not think Imarja and Surensliba are analogous. Imarja is understood as a mystic goddess of the unity of goddesses. Surensliba I think is a goddess of actual herons - though as such also the ruling goddess of the marshlands. I do not think Surensliba is a mystic entity.

I think this is badly underselling Surensliba,, the Creatrix. Modern Suvaria may be rather small and unimportant, but once it encompassed all of Creation.

There is a reason why the Red Emperor would participate in the heron rites and risk his existence, and that reason is not simple carnal pleasure.

The modern version of the goddess (used to be Great Spirit) is much diminished, but her myths are more primal than anything the Yelmies have to offer, and rival the oldest women's myths in Entekosiad. Possibly predate them.

I still think that the Heron Hegemony in the God Learner map of the Golden Age is an inference error.

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Yes, there is a reason the Emperor participates in the heron rites beyond simple leasure, it’s because he has to prove his status as ruler in a fully magical way, probably once each incarnation. Surensliba may have roots that go back to the Green age like the rites in the Entekosiad - I’m not sure. But I do not think she is a mystic unity goddess like Imarja - she is a very active, involved, goddess of interaction with the land.

note Imarja is symbolically dead and separated into parts - this is the end of the green age and the end of the unity of consciousness. To meet Imarja, you must journey back to then, otherwise you only meet a part. Surensliba is very much alive - you can meet her in ceremonies. She is still right there now, full of life as the marshes of Darjiin are full of life. 

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15 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The modern version of the goddess (used to be Great Spirit) is much diminished, but her myths are more primal than anything the Yelmies have to offer, and rival the oldest women's myths in Entekosiad. Possibly predate them.

I do think Imarja is special in the role she plays in modern Esrolian religious consciousness but while archaeological evidence elsewhere is scattered it's still suggestive. I think you've seen this.

storkmother.thumb.png.8375fd3ef7ecb8fb66f574b8a96a8390.pngcal
 

Looking back at it now I suspect Rinliddi predates the division between reptiles and birds.

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6 minutes ago, davecake said:

Yes, there is a reason the Emperor participates in the heron rites beyond simple leasure, it’s because he has to prove his status as ruler in a fully magical way, probably once each incarnation.

Except that no Dara Happan emperor ever would have disgraced himself enough to participate in stuff like that (possibly with the exception of Manimat).

6 minutes ago, davecake said:

Surensliba may have roots that go back to the Green age like the rites in the Entekosiad - I’m not sure. But I do not think she is a mystic unity goddess like Imarja - she is a very active, involved, goddess of interaction with the land.

That's an aspect of her. 

6 minutes ago, davecake said:

note Imarja is symbolically dead and separated into parts - this is the end of the green age and the end of the unity of consciousness. To meet Imarja, you must journey back to then, otherwise you only meet a part.

That's true for any deity you meet (heroquesting) while performing a feat.

6 minutes ago, davecake said:

Surensliba is very much alive - you can meet her in ceremonies. She is still right there now, full of life as the marshes of Darjiin are full of life. 

 

Yes, and you can meet the geese sent by Imarja in the correct rites, too, and you can even participate in killing Imarja. Except that is of course only an aspect of Imarja.

 

7 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I do think Imarja is special in the role she plays in modern Esrolian religious consciousness but while archaeological evidence elsewhere is scattered it's still suggestive. I think you've seen this.

storkmother.thumb.png.8375fd3ef7ecb8fb66f574b8a96a8390.pngcal
 

Looking back at it now I suspect Rinliddi predates the division between reptiles and birds.

That map only shows the range where the cult is worshipped now. Entekosiad clearly states how the Yolp Volcanoes rose up in the middle of Suvaria. The wetlands extended further south before those mountains showed up in the Storm Age, and it isn't clear whether the Rockwoods didn't do the same earlier on.

The Wendarian part of the map has the inverse problem - Lake Oronin was Mount Turos in Wendarian times.

The lands of Surenslib are much reduced now, and the spirit encountered in the rites there presumably is, too.

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14 minutes ago, Joerg said:

That map only shows the range where the cult is worshipped now.

That's a great point. I initially read the absence of the Crater on the generic photocopy as historic but the Wendarian distribution in particular looks like a population that's already in deep decline . . . so this is not how the bird cult looked at the origin or in its prime. Could be now, could be some snapshot of a moment we could probably date.

Either way it's a wider belt than some might suspect. I forget who her husband is, supposedly.

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21 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Except that no Dara Happan emperor ever would have disgraced himself enough to participate in stuff like that (possibly with the exception of Manimat).

Which is why the Red Emperor is the greatest Emperor ever! Duh! 

You are missing the whole point of the Death of Imarja story, and it ushering in the death of the Green Age, IMO. NOT every god or goddess dies and is dismembered, it’s a very specific myth. 

You seem to essentially making the leap that because they are both bird goddesses and both involve sacrifice, that Surenslib must be a goddess of mystic cosmic unity too, and I think that is totally backwards, pretty much making assumptions about the deep nature from the iconography. 

Oh, and while I acknowledge that the theory about the God Learners getting confused about the relative positioning of the Heron Hegemony makes perfect sense, I like the idea there was just a whole ancient heron civilization we knew nothing about over there. 

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26 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Is that a thing in Glorantha?

It is IM mainly because the lizard guys ride a curious raptor that's only "demi" avian. More obscurely, there were apparently Pelorian dragonewts before the council broke, maybe they lived up north of the Hungry Plateau. And in terms of mythological inheritance, we all know birds as sky animals recall the speech of reptiles as surely as Aether evolved from Gata.  

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

. More obscurely, there were apparently Pelorian dragonewts before the council broke, maybe they lived up north of the Hungry Plateau. 

I think from the brief description of Master Herds Allosaurs  in History of the Heortling Peoples as a rebel, they lived in the Elder Wilds having broken away from the Dragon's Eye after the Dawn.  That said there is a race of dog-headed lizards called the Agarzi who could have been Dragonewts.  They were foes of the Darjiinians in the Golden Age and did not survive.

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Is that a thing in Glorantha?

The Gazzam of Murharzarm's Dara Happa are sitting right on this divide. IMO the feathered variant is appropriate to DH.

It is a question of runic association - lizards are of earth, feathered beings are of the sky.

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12 minutes ago, Joerg said:

It is a question of runic association - lizards are of earth, feathered beings are of the sky.

And come to think of it, "pteranodons" are weird dating all the way back.

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14 hours ago, scott-martin said:

It is IM mainly because the lizard guys ride a curious raptor that's only "demi" avian. More obscurely, there were apparently Pelorian dragonewts before the council broke, maybe they lived up north of the Hungry Plateau. And in terms of mythological inheritance, we all know birds as sky animals recall the speech of reptiles as surely as Aether evolved from Gata.  

I must admit I kind of intepreted the "demi" as a roundabout way of saying that they were flightless.

Speaking of demi-birds, if the Dragonewts still have them, why's DH never gotten a hold of anyone to try and revive their avilry? I think there was some talk about Jar-Eel or Hon-eel doing some Heroquesting to bring them back, but would that even be necessary if they're hanging around in Dragon Pass? Is it more of a case that the Dragonewts just won't part with them? Or are the ratites of the Golden Age Peloria different from modern demibirds?

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Speaking of demi-birds, if the Dragonewts still have them, why's DH never gotten a hold of anyone to try and revive their avilry?

In Hero Wars/HeroQuest 1.0, they had revived their avilry and had several regiments.  But this revival is now non-canonical.

6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Or are the ratites of the Golden Age Peloria different from modern demibirds?

The rarities survived into the Storm Age (there was a Bird-Riding Empire then) and were wiped out in the Great Darkness. Anaxial's Roster did say that they were different from the Demibirds for all that's worth. 

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