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lokamayadon

Masks of the goddess

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Recently I have started a new campaign with my players after a first and very long “high level”
campaign that is just paused, and after a try of a campaign “from the beginning” based on the new
stuff published but without any success with my “old” players for whom playing at the clan level is no
more interesting, even for a short time.


So, after several adventures in dragon pass and Pavis, they had an original idea : know more about
lunar magic, in order to try to better fight it
And they have decided to start with the 7 masks of the goddess. So I am looking for all pieces of
information I have on this topic and realize the lack of stuff we have about the lunar “mythology”
(not right because based on old gods/goddesses but we have more or less nothing on those old gods
too…), and quite nothing very deep about the lunar magic : how it works, how it was build, etc… Only
some rules, mainly based on the 7 mothers


Exception is the description of the 7 mothers cults, which is a good start


As I have heard nothing about lunars in the next publications, I propose to share some of my ideas
with you and hope we can have a discussion to imagine some original and fun stuff to be included in
our campaigns ! Clearly here = YGMV


1) About Sedenya :
I admit I have never clearly understood the explanations I have read about “what is the goddess”.
There is the official explanation given by the lunars but I prefer to think that there is something
behind. So one of my idea is to say that sedenya is a construct, a merge of several old goddesses
known in the region, for obvious reasons if you want to convince as much people as possible to
follow you.

And to succeed to build her, the 7 mothers have used a part of Tylenea (conscientiously
or not), so most of the lunar magic is powered by illusion. It is why they can create temporary reality
that mimic existing magic. May be Tylenea was deceiving the 7 mothers ? fun but why ?
Based on that, I have some difficulties to explain exactly how they did it and all ideas are welcomed !


And some links between old goddesses are not obvious to me
2) Gerra and natha
Gerra is presented (in the guide for example) as the goddess of the pyramids and as a cult of
suffering (at least in Spol). But why building pyramids to a goddess of suffering ? Sometimes I
associate her with Asrelia as a goddess of secrets and as a kind of archetype of the “old woman”, but
a weird and scaring one. Have sense ?

Is Gerra was an important goddess during the spolite empire and before ?


Natha is presented as an old goddess of sacrifices.
The 2 seems linked (refer to the natha’s well in the guide). But how and why ? What are their
common story ?
Natha seems to come from Pelanda where she was near/following Jernothius. What kind of influence
she could have bring with her in the northern part of the region (naveria, darsen, spol ) ?
On this particular topic I have the idea to introduce Androgeus as the son of Natha and Jernothius,
which could explain his passion for balance and the fact that he has came out of the second hell, the
one of natha

But I didn’t find the fate of jernothius after he was established at the top of his mountain ? Some
ideas ?


3) Blue moons
Of course….
I like the idea from Sandy Petersen that the blue moon of the troll is not the blue moon of the lunar
even if we can find some common point like the link between Lesilla, the blue moon and with birth
powers (not sure of this one but refer to the guide “history of the lunar allies”)
We could find some interesting common point with Darsenite goddess of fertility. Again Darsen, a
fascinating place with naveria ! So, can we imagine some links with natha and gerra ?


I like the sandy’s idea of a kind of undead blue moon, even if I don’t know what to do with that for
now


But what about Orogeria the goddess of hunters in Arir ? I found quite nothing about the possible
links with the other goddesses chosen (?) by the 7 mothers. But her story is so dramatic…


4) Black moon
Again, I like the sandy’s idea of the black moon. For me, the black moon could be the incarnation of
the chaos powers of the goddess or her chaotic part
And for me, she uses it to power her magic or maybe it is used to maintain the construct she is. And
to use chaos without being a chaotic entity by yourself, you should be illuminated, so the link
between black moon and Rashonara

Sorry for this long and confuse post but my imagination needs more fuel and you are welcomed to propose what you want !

thanks

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3 hours ago, lokamayadon said:

2) Gerra and natha
Gerra is presented (in the guide for example) as the goddess of the pyramids and as a cult of
suffering (at least in Spol). But why building pyramids to a goddess of suffering ?

Gerra is not the Goddess of Pyramids.  The inverted pyramid was a originally hole in the ground and called so to contrast it with the Ziggurats of Yelm (Yelm's reached into Heaven, Gerra's reached into the Underworld).  Later someone came along and built a real pyramid for others to see.

 

3 hours ago, lokamayadon said:

Is Gerra was an important goddess during the spolite empire and before ?

I would say influential myself.

 

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The idea that the Red Goddess is a kind of Frankenstein's Monster of a goddess seems to me to be a fairly common perspective for the Empire's enemies, at least from the more learned ones. It also highlights the idea that her very existance is a breach of the Cosmic Compromise, far moreso than lifting up a ball of dirt, as it were.

The official Lunar line, of course, is that they were merely putting together a goddess that had existed before Time and had been dismantled during the Gods War, thus bringing the universe back to its rightful state. This is also supported by the dwarves - so even if the Lunars aren't quite right, it's clear that there is *something* going on here that echoes back to the Gods Time.

She might still be a kind of Frankenstein's Monster, but one that is essentially a simulacrum of something that *did* exist before. It's a highly complex question without a canonical answer, a far as I know.

The point about Illusion is well made, however illusions also seem to be a general aspect of moons in Glorantha, as far as I can tell.

Her seven sides also ties into the traditional idea of Six Parts of a person/soul in Yelmic ontology, with the seventh added as a seemingly novel innovation. It's certainly built upon preexisting ideas, even if you don't think she was a literal preexisting goddess, I guess is what I'm saying. Then there's the Nysalorean aspect, with respect to the breach of the Compromise, another aspect Lunars and anti-Lunars have very opposing views on. Another case of Lunars building upon preexisting ideas, at least in a historical sense (although a Lunar might say Nysalor was kind of an inbetweener between the Gods Time Sedenya and the restored Sedenya in Time, I don't know).

You might argue, if you're a observationistic anthro-fan like myself, that the Red Goddess appears to be a succesful combination of Yelmic self-ontology, Nysalorean Illumination ideas/mysticism, and a range of disparate pre-Patriarchal Green Age/early Golden Age mother goddess and moon goddess cults and remnants from across Peloria. The closest real life equivalent I can think of is something like Sikhism or Baha'i, except neither of these managed to take over a massive empire. Perhaps Christianity, with its mix of Judaic messianism and Neoplatonic cosmology/ontology is a better comparison.

Regardless, the Lunars did not come out of nowhere, and there is a precedent for the concepts they use, which also explains why they've resonated not just with magical rites and cults, but with the general imagination and passion of ordinary people. Now, whether their claims are *true* is a bit of a different matter.

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I  think we have to discern between the Red Goddess as the current (nathic) incarnation of the Lunar Goddess, and Sedenya herself as the principle from which the Lunar Goddess in all her incarnations emanates. The White Goddess, celestial ruler before Brighteye, predates the five planetary sons of Yelm that all are some form of emanation of Sedenya (Verithurus/Jernedeus, Deumalos, Zator/Zaytenaras/Buserian, Derdurnus, Falsoretus/Zayteneras, probably not Ghevengus/Makestina, likely not Reladiva/us/Kargzant, definitely not Shargash/Tolat/Jagrekriand). So are non-planetary ones like Rashoran(a)/Nysalor/Gbaji.

I disagree with the notion that Sedenya did in some way inherit Illusion. The Lunar Glamour appears to be something else, a reality formed under the influence of the moonlight and having some form of permanence within the Silver Shadow and its extensions (the Glowline). Solidified moonglow, so to say.

Veldara and the Artmali descending from her had a similar selenic power in the Storm Age.

 

The undead blue moon is part and parcel of the Annilla cult in RQ3 Troll Gods, tied to her Elder Giants connections.

Both her blue moon and the Mernitan blue moon and the Artmali Veldara/Serartamal blue moon appear to have been the same celestial body.

 

The westerners know Annilla and Tolat (i.e. Verithurus(a) and Shargash) as twins, as celestial as underworld deities.

 

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46 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I  think we have to discern between the Red Goddess as the current (nathic) incarnation of the Lunar Goddess, and Sedenya herself as the principle from which the Lunar Goddess in all her incarnations emanates. The White Goddess, celestial ruler before Brighteye, predates the five planetary sons of Yelm that all are some form of emanation of Sedenya (Verithurus/Jernedeus, Deumalos, Zator/Zaytenaras/Buserian, Derdurnus, Falsoretus/Zayteneras, probably not Ghevengus/Makestina, likely not Reladiva/us/Kargzant, definitely not Shargash/Tolat/Jagrekriand). So are non-planetary ones like Rashoran(a)/Nysalor/Gbaji.

I disagree with the notion that Sedenya did in some way inherit Illusion. The Lunar Glamour appears to be something else, a reality formed under the influence of the moonlight and having some form of permanence within the Silver Shadow and its extensions (the Glowline). Solidified moonglow, so to say.

Veldara and the Artmali descending from her had a similar selenic power in the Storm Age.

 

The undead blue moon is part and parcel of the Annilla cult in RQ3 Troll Gods, tied to her Elder Giants connections.

Both her blue moon and the Mernitan blue moon and the Artmali Veldara/Serartamal blue moon appear to have been the same celestial body.

 

The westerners know Annilla and Tolat (i.e. Verithurus(a) and Shargash) as twins, as celestial as underworld deities.

 

Is it possible that the cognate sons of Yelm represent figures intruded into the same portfolio/office as the daughters of the White Goddess?

Zaytenera is the goddess of curiosity and Zaytenerus/Buserian the god of cataloging. The latter seems to be a static interpretation of Zaytenera's ambit, which is closely tied to movement.

Of course, as the White Goddess was supplanted by her consort the Red King (dying Sun), they may share some children.

If Annilla is connected to the Giants, could she be connected to the titanic entities that appear to 'utuma' the moon, including Too Big to Be Seen?

There seems also to be a link between the Wanes and the Moon goddess' aspect in that Wane.

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11 hours ago, lokamayadon said:

So I am looking for all pieces of
information I have on this topic and realize the lack of stuff we have about the lunar “mythology”
(not right because based on old gods/goddesses but we have more or less nothing on those old gods
too…), and quite nothing very deep about the lunar magic : how it works, how it was build, etc… Only
some rules, mainly based on the 7 mothers

Unfortunately some of the relevant material never was published by Greg, even in the Stafford Library series.  Of the content that was published there, Glorious ReAscent of Yelm and Entekosiad both have useful background where you can see how some of the mix of ideas from DH and Pelanda came together.  Fortunate Succession has a whole section on the Lunar Empire and Red Emperor which is useful as it gives a very different view on some of the events from the Redline History in the Glorantha Sourcebook.

Do you have the Glorantha Sourcebook?  I'd start with the background material on the Lunar gods there.

Also go through Greg's Lives of Sedenya in the Rule One material online:  http://ruleonemagazine.com/Iss5/Myth_LifeSedenya.php  That provides some of the key myths to the Red Goddess (Teelo Estara) and includes important references to the 7 Mothers.

 

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12 hours ago, lokamayadon said:

And to succeed to build her, the 7 mothers have used a part of Tylenea (conscientiously
or not), so most of the lunar magic is powered by illusion. It is why they can create temporary reality
that mimic existing magic. May be Tylenea was deceiving the 7 mothers ? fun but why ?

I would avoid hypotheses to the effect that the Lunar Way is a lie.  In Glorantha, Illusion is temporary reality not deceit.

12 hours ago, lokamayadon said:

Natha is presented as an old goddess of sacrifices.

Natha is the Balancer.  She supported sacrifices in the myths because banning them disturbed the natural order.  

12 hours ago, lokamayadon said:


The 2 seems linked (refer to the natha’s well in the guide). But how and why ?

The linkage may have been created by the Lunars.  

12 hours ago, lokamayadon said:

But I didn’t find the fate of jernothius after he was established at the top of his mountain ? Some
ideas ?

He was still there when Daxadrius made himself one of the High Gods.  Afterward that event:

Quote

Jernotia departed, and went into hiding under the
mountain which bears her name. The Yaranaths2 only
contacted her, and fed her with secret honey.

2 Yaranaths. A family/tribe of the area which alone conducts mountain
sacrifices to Jernotia

Entekosiad p37

 

12 hours ago, lokamayadon said:

But what about Orogeria the goddess of hunters in Arir ? I found quite nothing about the possible
links with the other goddesses chosen (?) by the 7 mothers. But her story is so dramatic…

Orogeria is the Huntress.  She is hunting the lost portions of herself that had been scattered by the Gods War.

12 hours ago, lokamayadon said:


Black moon

The better Black Moon is Black Dendara, the White Planet turned Black during the Great Darkness.  Identified by the Doraddi as one of the Three Sky Witches (the other two were Lokarnos and Annilla) and by the Heortlings as the Unholy Trio.

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8 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Is it possible that the cognate sons of Yelm represent figures intruded into the same portfolio/office as the daughters of the White Goddess?

There is bound to be a whole lot of overlap or identity of these. Of course the daughter of the White Goddess would be the White Goddess for the next cycle (and I am fairly convinced that the Sunstop status of Yelm's reign was introduced only with Brigheye's rebellion, and that there was day and night prior to that massive betrayal and putsch.

8 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Zaytenera is the goddess of curiosity and Zaytenerus/Buserian the god of cataloging. The latter seems to be a static interpretation of Zaytenera's ambit, which is closely tied to movement.

Zator identified with Zayteneras is in a way my proposal.

I made a list of the Copper Tablets sources and the planetary sons.

There are four lists of the planetary sons:

The Gods Wall first row, including Zayteneras (as a manifestation of Dayzatar) and Ghelotralas (as a manifestation of Lodril).

The Copper Tablets list (identified by their runes, replacing Buserian with Zator)

Glorious ReAscent of Yelm has a list which has Zator(a) for Zator/Buserian, Kargzant for Reladivus, Zaytenera instead of Falsoretus, Jernedeus instead of Verithurus and Makestina instead of Ghevengus. 

Lastly, Heortling Mythology has its own version of this, agreeing with the GRoY version except for Jagrekriand rather than Shargash and Therados rather than Zayteneras/Falsoretus.

 

8 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Of course, as the White Goddess was supplanted by her consort the Red King (dying Sun), they may share some children.

I am not sure that the sons of Yelm did involve man-rune like reproduction.

 

8 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

If Annilla is connected to the Giants, could she be connected to the titanic entities that appear to 'utuma' the moon, including Too Big to Be Seen?

I take those entities at the moon utuma to be draconic rather than elder giants. The giants make their appearance at Fyllich Kwan, significantly earlier in Argrath's Saga.

 

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3 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There is bound to be a whole lot of overlap or identity of these. Of course the daughter of the White Goddess would be the White Goddess for the next cycle (and I am fairly convinced that the Sunstop status of Yelm's reign was introduced only with Brigheye's rebellion, and that there was day and night prior to that massive betrayal and putsch.

There is night-time - perhaps not so dim as the later Night/Xentha - in the prehistoric portions of the Entekosiad myths. There are, for instance, day and night in the stories about the first appearance of people and the differentiation of men and women. So I think I agree with you.

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Yara Natha, Yara Aranis

Yara(ch)Na Haranis, great and terrible spider woman hear our prayer.

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

There is bound to be a whole lot of overlap or identity of these. Of course the daughter of the White Goddess would be the White Goddess for the next cycle (and I am fairly convinced that the Sunstop status of Yelm's reign was introduced only with Brigheye's rebellion, and that there was day and night prior to that massive betrayal and putsch.

One of my favorite paragraphs ever on this site. 

The female origin of the knowing god in this part of the world is deeply satisfying, I wonder if that's where the women in Lhankor got their beards.

It's also a little heartbreaking to position Dayzatar's self-exile beyond the Sky Dome as a lunar mystery. We know one moon that lives outside the sky and occasionally drops in a flash. Maybe Upper Brother gets "his" revenge after all when the Bat comes home.

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As far as I am concerned, the Knowing God is the masculine outlet for Esrolian males to a position of influence and some limited power, and may have been since the founding days of Nochet before the Sun Emperor took over. The Knowing God is the required witness, the Other who seals the contract of that city, between the six tribes.

The beard requirement was to set this acceptable Other apart from the female elite. And when females started to creep into this role, they were made to wear silly beard-lookalikes.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

As far as I am concerned, the Knowing God is the masculine outlet for Esrolian males to a position of influence and some limited power, and may have been since the founding days of Nochet before the Sun Emperor took over. The Knowing God is the required witness, the Other who seals the contract of that city, between the six tribes.

The beard requirement was to set this acceptable Other apart from the female elite. And when females started to creep into this role, they were made to wear silly beard-lookalikes.

Any idea how this might coexist with the Kachasti-Zzaburite influence idea?

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10 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Any idea how this might coexist with the Kachasti-Zzaburite influence idea?

Sort of. When I look at the raising of the Nidan Mountains during the Vadeli uprising, the surprised Kachisti get slaughtered or enslaved by the Vadeli, except for those who make it to the old holy places of Earth. That's how the western lore-person gets adopted by the earth tribe.

Usually, there are demigod or mortal protagonists acting in the stead of the deity - aspects or avatars.

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Makes sense, and is also a really interesting story worth looking into. The patriarchal remnants of western migrants incorporating into a more matriarchal (although not necessarily completely so, cf. Genert) society, finding a niche (possibly more than one, cf. Issaries) and integrating before the proverbial crap hits the fan in the shape of the rising Celestial ambitions.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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13 hours ago, metcalph said:

The better Black Moon is Black Dendara, the White Planet turned Black during the Great Darkness.  Identified by the Doraddi as one of the Three Sky Witches (the other two were Lokarnos and Annilla) and by the Heortlings as the Unholy Trio.

Dendara is innocent sheep girl turned goddess of rape?  That makes Lokarnos the mad god Ragnaglar and Annilla become Malia.  Pretty extreme changes.  Are you sure of those connections?

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16 hours ago, Joerg said:

the Knowing God is the masculine outlet for Esrolian males to a position of influence and some limited power, and may have been since the founding days of Nochet before the Sun Emperor took over. The Knowing God is the required witness, the Other who seals the contract of that city, between the six tribes.

One of them.  Issaries is another. The Nobles Brothers and Irillo are others.

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

One of them.  Issaries is another. The Nobles Brothers and Irillo are others.

Lhankor Mhy is the official chronicler of the compact, and the only one who has the beard fetish. The Noble Brothers are subservient husbands and sons. Issaries is more or less without defined gender (except for that Garzeen-Fenela romance).

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On 10/30/2018 at 12:50 AM, lokamayadon said:

2) Gerra
Gerra is presented (in the guide for example) as the goddess of the pyramids and as a cult of suffering (at least in Spol). But why building pyramids to a goddess of suffering ?

To answer your question, try building one yourself.  The answer rapidly becomes apparent, if not Sisyphean.

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