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Leingod

The Lore of Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

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It's interesting that Gamari has no relationship here with Kargzant, the Sun Horse, who emerged as a god on the far side of the Imther Mountains.

 

Edit: there is also Galgarange, the Gryphon, who is from that region as well. One would think there's some story about Hippogriff and Griffon (griffons eat horses, note), but we don't know it... So far as I recall.

 

Note: if Yamsur was a chariot driver he probably had two horses: a mare and stallion. Possibly Kargzant was also wounded and was not tamed by Hyalor, but went into the east.

Edited by jeffjerwin

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Note: if Yamsur was a chariot driver he probably had two horses: a mare and stallion.

In the real world that would be a very bad idea...

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13 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

In the real world that would be a very bad idea...

yes, true. Two mares or two stallions. In the mythological world, even our own - viz. Thor's two goats, etc., maybe not.

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The next-to-last myth regards the closest thing the Hyalorings have to the worship of Eurmal: They venerate the spirit known as Raven as "Elmal's Shadow," and those shamans chosen by this spirit are a bit like bonded tricksters among the Orlanthi (though seemingly not abused nearly as much).

Quote

Hyalor and his company were out in the far wilds when one of the Swords saw a black bird circling. “An ill omen,” he said.

“We shall see,” replied Hyalor.

Just then ill-tuned horns began blowing, and with screeching howls, a group of Rams came flying over the hillside and descended towards them. Hyalor called on his patron Elmal, but as soon as he did, the Ram magicians summoned dark, roiling clouds to blot out the sun. Hyalor ordered his Bows to fire. In no more time than it took to open their bowcases, the Ram magicians called down a torrential downpour.

The Rams were an undisciplined mob, but they outnumbered the Riders and had so much bronze that they wore it as armor. It took all of Hyalor’s battle tactics to drive them off. “We won!” said one of the Swords.

“For now,” replied Hyalor. For while more than half his warriors were wounded, the Rams had suffered little. He looked up and saw the black bird with its gaze riveted hungrily on the most grievously wounded Rider. “Bird,” he called. “You look like a clever sort. But can you count? There are more of the Storm Rams than sons and daughters of the Sun. If you defeat them, the spoils will be larger.”

So Raven flew to where the Rams had camped and were sitting around a fire. He crept up behind the ugliest Ram and called to the leader, “What a coward! We would have won if you had not called the retreat.” He flew behind another and yelled, “Blueface speaks truth, but he is still an oathbreaker, for he slew no City Men today.’ Raven could mimic the Rams perfectly, and he had soon stirred up sworn companions against each other until an armed brawl had broken out. When it looked like it was over, Raven goaded the Rams into restarting it. Then he flew back to Hyalor, who led his force to them, finishing them off.

Raven hopped around bragging how he had tricked the Rams. Hyalor thanked Raven, and said, “I know you are a divine being, but I don’t know who you are.”

“I am Raven.”

When he returned to the main camp, Hyalor instructed his people to sacrifice to Raven. Raven gorged himself on the offerings, and came back for more. Always pious, Hyalor obliged.

Hyalor and his company again traveled to the far wilds, when the air grew chill and there was a deep booming of drums. A horde of massive trolls came loping towards them.

“Raven, cover us with your inky cloak, that even the Night Men cannot see through.” But Raven did not answer. It was with great difficulty and loss of life that Hyalor and his warriors defeated the trolls.

Back in the main camp, he again sacrificed to Raven. Raven at the sacrificial cattle, but only laughed when Hyalor called him faithless.

Yanade was a young Rider who had suffered greatly during the exodus. He came to Hyalor and said, “Raven is not a god, but a spirit. He is not reliable like a god, but capricious and erratic.”

“I do not understand spirits,” said Hyalor. “But in these times, we need all the allies we can.”

“Then I will talk to Raven,” said Yanade.

Yanade went to his tent, and burned sweet herbs and bitter herbs. He beat his horsehide drum, and found himself by a great black bird. It did not answer, so he kept going. He came to another black bird with hungry eyes. It did not answer, so he kept going. Finally he came to where Raven was making images of himself from smoke. Raven answered, “Have you brought more food of the gods?”

“You are not a god, and we will no longer feed you.”

“But I am hungry!”

“You are always hungry, but never reciprocate. We don’t need your ability to eat. We need your ability to see the shadows that Bright Elmal cannot. In exchange, we will give you a chance to be clever. But you must be an outsider.”

“No. I will sit on your circle as an advisor!”

Yanade agreed to this bargain, which had been his plan all along. And this is why Raven sits with the gods and advises the chieftain. And even though Raven is often untrustworthy, we listen to his advice even if we do not always want to hear it.

Raven followers will often do something either helpful or harmful during Sacred Time, giving you more or less Magic; they might bully or trick spirits into handing you more magic, for instance, or they might give magic away or cost some of it by doing something like perching on top of your shrine/temple to Elmal. They can also impact your clan's harmony by entertaining the clan (like by dressing up in a ridiculous costume and yelling "I'm Orlanth!" while breaking wind) or pissing people off (like revealing peoples' secrets to each other).

Sometimes they'll also either steal or give away cattle, or trick two clans into giving you cattle, etc.

And sometimes things get dark. When a bunch of ravens congregate, it's a sign that Raven wants you to perform a certain ritual that involves the ill-treatment of a captive. The clan ultimately chooses how bad this ill-treatment gets - you can, for instance, just volley insults, force them to denigrate their own clan and smear them in bird poop - or you can straight-up ritually torture and maim/kill them, which is what your Raven follower will always argue for. "Those who do not act cruelly will be acted cruelly upon."

And sometimes you'll just find them out in the woods doing the whole ritual torture and murder thing on a captured Samnali that they used their magic to lure to them, which is what the image below shows.

2 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

It's interesting that Gamari has no relationship here with Kargzant, the Sun Horse, who emerged as a god on the far side of the Imther Mountains.

In-game, there actually is a local clan who call themselves the Pure Horse Clan who eschew the herding of all animals except horses, believing themselves holy for doing so. I wonder if Kargzant is a sort of synthesis of Elmal/Hyalor that emerged out of an increased emphasis on horses and horsemanship in clans like these?

 

SixAges-Head.jpg

Edited by Leingod

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4 hours ago, Leingod said:

In-game, there actually is a local clan who call themselves the Pure Horse Clan who eschew the herding of all animals except horses, believing themselves holy for doing so. I wonder if Kargzant is a sort of synthesis of Elmal/Hyalor that emerged out of an increased emphasis on horses and horsemanship in clans like these?

The Pure Horse Clan, or Pure Horse Folk, is the ancestors, if not directly then in lifestyle, of the Grazers, and many Pentan clans as well (who have Pure Horse Clans as a kind of hereditary priestly caste). In fact, these guys you mention in the game might basically be Proto-Pentans.


I wonder why we haven't heard anything about the Gamatae in the game, since they are often mentioned alongside the Hyalorong as ruling Peloria in the Gray Age. Is Gamatae a different name for someone mentioned here?

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22 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The Pure Horse Clan, or Pure Horse Folk, is the ancestors, if not directly then in lifestyle, of the Grazers, and many Pentan clans as well (who have Pure Horse Clans as a kind of hereditary priestly caste). In fact, these guys you mention in the game might basically be Proto-Pentans.


I wonder why we haven't heard anything about the Gamatae in the game, since they are often mentioned alongside the Hyalorong as ruling Peloria in the Gray Age. Is Gamatae a different name for someone mentioned here?

The Gamatae are descended from the horse people among the Starlight Ancestor (Londrili) groups - not the Votanki, but the part ruled by the invading Pentans (apparently Storm-worshipping), who switched to worshipping Kargzant. The Six Ages full map seems to exclude most of their area, as they are clustered before the retreat of the Glacier north of the Elf Sea and the Arcos River, and they appear to be the Naztavlan or Northern Wheels. Has anyone contacted them in-game? 

six ages full map.png

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10 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

The Gamatae are descended from the horse people among the Starlight Ancestor (Londrili) groups - not the Votanki, but the part ruled by the invading Pentans (apparently Storm-worshipping), who switched to worshipping Kargzant. The Six Ages full map seems to exclude most of their area, as they are clustered before the retreat of the Glacier north of the Elf Sea and the Arcos River, and they appear to be the Naztavlan or Northern Wheels. Has anyone contacted them in-game? 

No, I haven't. I'll have to try that next time; in-game it's a lot harder to explore different places than it was in King of Dragon Pass.

Anyway, the last myth in the game is one that you receive (at least in this form) only in-game through play, and only if you accept the Cenala Revelation. What is the Cenala Revelation? It's right here, in "Hyalor's Long Ride:"

Quote

Hyalor died from three wounds.

The first came during the first decades of exodus, when Yenfar the Capturer stole Hyalor’s eighth wife, Vashya. (Your story tent probably tells you that he and Vashya founded the last of his lineages, but I stand before you as proof that this was not so.) The sorcerer struck young Vashya with a howling emanation as Hyalor, Gamari and Ostalar the First Chieftain fought to rescue her. Though the son in her womb was coaxed out alive, Vashya herself died. This tragedy was the First Wound. It aged Hyalor, who had always remained as young and virile as any warrior. After the ash from Vashya’s cremation mixed with his tears, he looked like a doughty man of middle years.

The Second Wound came after the great split, when the chieftains of the new clans went to war with one another. Hyalor had always declined the role of king, and so could not command them to make peace. Riders, he said, were meant to make their own way. But when he saw them start to fight and kill one another, a rent opened n his heart. His golden hair turned white, his skin loosened and dried, and blue veins became visible through his pallid flesh. Hyalor now looked like an elder, and a feeble one at that. Two of the chieftains, Zenangar and your ancestor, Basikan, rode to the Gods War to restore him, but it would have taken all four. It was fear that stopped Nameforgot and brutality that prevented Stelfor: he meant to conquer the other three and knew it would never happen with Hyalor still around.

It was not he who dealt the third and final blow, however. This was struck by Aroka the dragon, who filled his lungs with salt water.

He staggered to Gamari’s side. Hating to see her old friend in this state, she gave him part of the flame he had once used to heal her. Gamari tried to give more, but Hyalor would not let her sacrifice her life for his.

Still he had a blessing left to bestow. He rode to all the Rider lands.

He went first to the East Clan, where he told Zenangar to teach his people the difference between cleverness and wisdom.

At the South Clan, he told Basikan that curiosity meant nothing if it did not extend to the ways of other peoples – even enemies, even the forces of Water, who had killed him.

When he went to the North Clan, he told Nameforgot that his failures would one day be redeemed, even if he himself would not. Everyone, Hyalor told him, needs someone to blame.

Finally, he rode to Stelfor Westclan, who he expected to finish him off. But Stelfor knelt before him, and wept, and asked for forgiveness. Embracing him, Hyalor said he should not seek forgiveness, but grant it to others.

Surprised that he was still breathing, Hyalor then rode to the places he thought the Riders might one day live. He left behind treasures and secrets and blessings.

In this journey he came upon a plateau. As the light of a dying day struck it, it lit up, and appeared to him as a golden tablet.

He bid Gamari farewell. After much persuasion she agreed to go.

Hyalor climbed to the top of the plateau, expecting to expire on the way up. But the roots and vines that covered its surface lifted him, granting him nourishment.

Atop the plateau he found my mother, goddess of the wildlands. He told her of his life, all eight generations of it, and of the revelations of the ride that had brought him to her. She enveloped him in a green nimbus. Through it she spoke without speaking, saying:

DEPRIVATION

COMBINATION

DESOLARIZATION

EXTIRPATION

GERMINATION

FERTILIZATION

RECOMPOSITION

RESOLARIZATION

RESTORATION

Hyalor understood these loving ideas in their entire implication.

But I have given myself to too many women

Sired too many sons

Have mourned too many

Aldrya sang him two songs: one of his people dying out completely in a land without light or plants. Another of a new sun rising one day, born from a seed dependent upon it for its own future generations.

And Hyalor succumbed to her bounty, and the two of them joined.

Upon consummation, Hyalor divided his essence into the seed I was born from, and in a sunburst that rose not from the heavens to the earth but the other way around.

Then he ceased to be half-divine (or a mere man as he had often claimed) and ascended as a god to the throne room of the Sky Court.

How Elmal greeted him I cannot say.

But that is the act of cosmic love in which I, Cenala, daughter of sun god and plant goddess, came into this world.

I have been waiting for you, to grant you blessing.

Cenala is a demigoddess, the daughter of Hyalor and Adrya. She lives on the same plateau her parents met on (she seems tied to it in some way; she claims that being away from it too long would make her mortal), and the revelation of Hyalor's last child often causes a religious schism among Rider clans in the valley, with some accepting Cenala's parentage and others rejecting the idea that Hyalor has an elf daughter of all things. If you're persuasive and during certain events you can get the valley to either accept each others' opinions or have them all accept one or the other interpretation.

I haven't really tried to play through as someone who rejects the Cenala Revelation, admittedly; there just doesn't seem much reason for me to. If you accept the Cenala Revelation, vines grow on your shrine to Hyalor as a sign of her blessing, and you can use your relationship with her to ward off or make peace with elves. In addition, after a piece of the sky falls and utterly devastates the valley clans you can send a mission to plead for her assistance, which she comes and grants by restoring the bounty of the area after it gets scorched.

And my favorite part: you can have her officiate the marriage between Beren and Redalda as another show of the divine favor for the marriage.

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9 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Not much else to say than: wow, that's pretty damn cool!

Is Cenala known from anything else? What's the plateau she is on, does it have a modern equivalent?

I haven't seen any reference to her outside of this game, and I don't remember the plateau being given a name or location, though that could very well just be poor memory on my part.

I have a suspicion that we'll learn more about Cenala in the sequel, Six Ages: Lights Going Out. She might have been one of the many divinities killed during the Great Darkness who weren't restored with the Dawn, for example.

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On 10/5/2018 at 8:27 PM, jeffjerwin said:

The Gamatae are descended from the horse people among the Starlight Ancestor (Londrili) groups - not the Votanki, but the part ruled by the invading Pentans (apparently Storm-worshipping), who switched to worshipping Kargzant. The Six Ages full map seems to exclude most of their area, as they are clustered before the retreat of the Glacier north of the Elf Sea and the Arcos River, and they appear to be the Naztavlan or Northern Wheels. Has anyone contacted them in-game? 

six ages full map.png

Speaking of this map, there's some interesting stuff to talk about here, too.

To start with, there's that little circular cut-out that's always near your clan lands, where the valley meets the forests surrounding the Imther Mountains. There's an interesting encounter that fires if you explore that location:

Quote

[Explorer’s] exploratory mission enters a wooded area strewn with large stones. For this reason [Explorer] decided to call this place the Boulderwood. The group nears a gaping pit in the earth, where the soil is cracked and dry. Stone pillars teeter around it. A powerful but unfamiliar divine presence emanates from the pit. He suddenly understands that an outlawed son of Oria, widow to the Emperor Yelm, dwells here. This is Uldak, the Thirsty Earth. Uldak throws thoughts into [Explorer’s] mind: “I am parched and must drink the life of a human to revive myself. In exchange for this sacrifice I will produce 100 cows.”

I'd never heard of Uldak and can't seem to find reference to him anywhere. It raises the question of whether or not the Dara Happans are familiar with Daga, because Uldak seems to be a god of drought as well, and like Daga is the son of Yelm (but by an Earth mother instead of an Air one).

Also, this seems to lead credence to @Sir_Godspeed's speculation that more archaic myths had Yelm married to an Earth goddess (specifically Oria) rather than Dendara.

Also, tip for when you play, don't trust Uldak; I've never done it myself, but I have taken the option of warning everyone about it, and I got a message that another clan tried to do the offering and suffered for it (I don't remember how exactly).

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2 hours ago, Leingod said:

Also, tip for when you play, don't trust Uldak; I've never done it myself, but I have taken the option of warning everyone about it, and I got a message that another clan tried to do the offering and suffered for it (I don't remember how exactly).

I found him in one game and went for it for it. The act completely ruined my clan magic seemingly forever and Uldak's bounty of a 100 weird, gutturally mooing cows drops to 99 when you go back for more, and decreases by one ever after. So, I'm crossing out human sacrifice from my list of good ideas (duh), although I regret never staying around to see the end of that rabbit hole.

In reference to a previous topic, is it just me or do the raven worshippers seem somewhat decent compared to eurmali in KoDP? Maybe I'm just playing the game differently, but it seems you can actually send a raven worshipper on a mission and expect a proper result instead of a trickster catastrophe (not so with the eurmali I think). I have not yet tried having a raven chief, although that is on my to-do list.

 

six ages full map.png

Btw, what's the rune stone on the top right corner of the map? I've never managed to find it myself.

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10 minutes ago, Shimozakura said:

I found him in one game and went for it for it. The act completely ruined my clan magic seemingly forever and Uldak's bounty of a 100 weird, gutturally mooing cows drops to 99 when you go back for more, and decreases by one ever after. So, I'm crossing out human sacrifice from my list of good ideas (duh), although I regret never staying around to see the end of that rabbit hole.

I imagine your clan would disband before you'd sacrificed the necessary 100 of them to the Thirsty Earth.

11 minutes ago, Shimozakura said:

In reference to a previous topic, is it just me or do the raven worshippers seem somewhat decent compared to eurmali in KoDP? Maybe I'm just playing the game differently, but it seems you can actually send a raven worshipper on a mission and expect a proper result instead of a trickster catastrophe (not so with the eurmali I think). I have not yet tried having a raven chief, although that is on my to-do list.

It's an achievement if you make a Raven worshiper your chief, just like in KoDP, so there's that. And I'm not sure I can really say that Raven worshipers seem overall more reliable than Tricksters, though the in-game text (and their advice) gives me the impression that they're less loony than the average Eurmali, and their more "out there" stuff usually seems less malicious (until Raven starts demanding human sacrifice).

It's interesting to think about the differences (which I went into a bit earlier). It might just be the difference between Raven and Eurmal; Raven was lazy and gluttonous, but never went out of his way to betray Hyalor in "Raven & Hyalor" the way Eurmal betrays... well, everyone he can at some point, including himself.

Perhaps part of it is the outlet provided by the ritual ill-treatment of a captive (up to torture, mutilation and murder) whenever Raven is feeling cruel? After all, whenever that event comes up, your follower of Raven will always say, "Those who do not act cruelly will be acted cruelly upon."

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13 hours ago, Leingod said:

Also, this seems to lead credence to @Sir_Godspeed's speculation that more archaic myths had Yelm married to an Earth goddess (specifically Oria) rather than Dendara.

There's also a possibility it's a kind of mythic echo back to Aether and Gata interacting, or even Lodril and Oria - but yeah, another reason to always be suspect of "official" Dara Happan genealogies, which are beginning to look more and more like blatant "retconned" propaganda at this point.

Not that the other cultural groups on Glorantha don't do propaganda, of course, the DH's just seem more staunch about it. Them and the Kralorelans, maybe.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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34 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

There's also a possibility it's a kind of mythic echo back to Aether and Gata interacting, or even Lodril and Oria - but yeah, another reason to always be suspect of "official" Dara Happan genealogies, which are beginning to look more and more like blatant "retconned" propaganda at this point.

Not that the other cultural groups on Glorantha do propaganda, of course, the DH's just seem more blatant about it. Them and the Kralorelans, maybe.

There's that odd story about the willing sacrifice of the Red King of Karantos by Naveria, the mother-goddess, gustiest of Dara Happa... That is, the reddening sun, setting behind Mount Jernotius, dying...

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2 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

There's that odd story about the willing sacrifice of the Red King of Karantos by Naveria, the mother-goddess, gustiest of Dara Happa... That is, the reddening sun, setting behind Mount Jernotius, dying...

And all of that preceding the Sunstop Empire of Brighteye. Quite likely a time when the Sunpath or something like it was used by the White Goddess, possibly going through a dark phase when passing through the Underworld.

Oria is an aspect of Ernalda, and probably was a concubine like many other goddesses that showed up in the marriage contest.

Genertela Box had this intriguing passage mentioning the three orbs glowing above the metropolises of Dara Happa. This is an arrangement similar to how the eight planets are depicted on the Copper Tablets (which show an interestingly winding Oslir managing to place Nivorah northeast of Alkoth), and probably what the Red King was about, too.

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