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Jeff

Notes on the Many Suns and the Sun Gods of Prax

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24 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

I'm doubtless a heretic, but have suspected for some time that the Yelmalio cult, and the way it fights, isn't as monolithic as might be supposed.

The Sairdite/Prax/Sartar temples may specialize in fighting as phalangites (though their auxiliaries who defend the flanks of the phalanx doubtless differ) but further afield things are not exactly the same. I have a suspicion that, for example, Serene Victory in Jarst tends more to horse archers (the Pentans being neighbors and both revering the Yellow City) whilst North Dona may also employ Western-style cataphracts in league with their phalanx...

For now, the setting just needs Peloria, Dragon Pass, the Holy Country and Prax to be addressed, but it's a large world out there.

The unit description of the Praxian Sun Dome does mention their forces using archers and places units of them on the same importance as their phalangites.

It's likely that bows are far more common among Yelmalians than the tokens and such portrayed.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Greg did a number of categorical statements which have since been softened up, like the "three strictly separate worlds until your activities in the Hero Wars change that" dogma which we have left behind us (without too much mourning for this dogma, I believe).

Yes, I do think that Elmal represents the Sun for the Heortlings - the ripening sun disk of the day, and the heroic survivor and night guardian at night.

This gives ample ground to claim truthfully that Elmal is the same god as Yelmalio, and that Elmal is the same sun as Yelm, and that Elmal and Yelmalio are Lightfore, as are Kargzant and Antirius and various others.

 

I think we are at the risk of just restating positions here. I don't have anything much to add outside what I have already offered. YGWV and all that.

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Yet another way to try to explain the many local sun gods referring to the same celestial body. And once more not an attempt at finding the truth/solution but just an idea to develop cultures, cults and philosophies in Glorantha:

the ancient Greek optical science hesitated between two explanation for sight. Was the image we see the result of something entering the eye from the exterior or was there something sent from the eye to "touch/probe" the exterior reality (in which case sight would be a little bit like touch, or even a sonar)?

Some people in Glorantha could have accepted this last idea and consider that there is indeed only one sun but every man (and, collectively, culture) sees something different in the sky, explaining the various sun gods and their adaptation to local realities. In a way the real sun god would be a mirror-like being and this would be its Great Mystery. Maybe it would be "defined" by these people as linked to  Fire and Harmony runes?

Edited by Minlister
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Anybody talked about Pamaltela ?

1- Kendamalar is the Sun God of the Ancient Gods period, one of the Esiti. During the Demon Period, "five powerful and evil shamans get together to concoct an evil plan. They captured Kendamalar, the Pure One, and killed him and made a drink of his blood." (Revealed Mythologies (RM) p51)

2- In the Now Period, there is a New Sun, Varama. RM says p53 : "Varama (i.e.- “Yelm”), it is still the essence of Kendamalar", and p66 : "Varama. Sun Spirit of the Now Period. After the Demon Period, Pamalt called Noruma to rekindle the ancient fires. Kendamalar was reborn, and was called Varama."

3- But... it would be too easy. 🙂 RM adds (p53) : "The Doraddi say that the current Sun fell because of pride, for he thought that he could live without the help of everyone else in the world. He lost his powers, and is now a slave (...) The Doraddi can always depend on him, because he has no choice. During the Artmali Period [i.e. before Kendamalar was killed during the Demon Period], Varama-by-another-name acted out that pride and fell. He was likely held prisoner by Vovisibor. Note that the five evil shamans were only able to kill a God due to his own wrong actions, which weakened him and made him vulnerable to their powers." Hmm... Who was killed by the five shamans ? Kendamalar (see point 1) or "Varama-by-another-name" who is not Kendamalar since, as says a footnote p53, "Despite the obvious assumptions, [Varama-by-another-name] is not Kendamalar, but a different, lesser sun god who inherited his role after his murder."

Many Suns in Pamaltela, too.

Edited by Gregory M
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17 hours ago, Gregory M said:

 

Many Suns in Pamaltela, too.

Indeed, the other thread might value your insight too, as how to this relates to who Yelm is.

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Whoooh... After a few days properly sitting down to read through this thread (I had to stop following it after page 3, as it went a bit too fast and a bit too deep for me) I'm finally through, and boy-howdy was it a doozy!

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about the whole thing. Food for thought, I suppose, but I'm positively stuffed. Great job all around, though.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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On 1/13/2019 at 5:40 PM, Jeff said:

I currently have full writeups of:

  • Kyger Litor
  • Annilla
  • Argan Argar
  • Gorakiki
  • Xiola Umbar
  • Zorak Zoran
  • Magasta
  • Dormal
  • Engizi
  • Oslira
  • Choralinthor
  • Ernalda
  • Aldrya
  • Asrelia
  • Babeester Gor
  • Donandar
  • Eiritha
  • Flamal
  • Grain Goddesses
  • Hykim & Mikyh
  • Maran Gor
  • Mostal
  • Ty Kora Tek
  • Uleria
  • Yelm
  • Dayzatar
  • Dendara
  • Gorgorma
  • Lodril
  • Lokarnos
  • Lowfires
  • Polaris
  • Shargash
  • Yelmalio
  • Orlanth 
  • Chalana Arroy
  • Eurmal
  • Issaries
  • Lhankor Mhy
  • Daka Fal
  • Foundchild
  • Heler
  • Humakt
  • Mastakos
  • Odayla
  • Storm Bull
  • Valind
  • Waha
  • Yinkin
  • Seven Mothers
  • Danfive Xaron
  • Deezola
  • Irrippi Ontor
  • Jakaleel the Witch
  • Yanafal Tarnils
  • Etyries
  • Hon-eel
  • Nysalor
  • Red Goddess
  • Primal Chaos
  • Bagog
  • Cacodemon
  • Crimson Bat
  • Krarsht
  • Mallia
  • Thanatar
  • Thed
  • Vivamort

Not all of these will appear in the book (in fact I am certain the Chaos Gods will appear in a separate GM-facing book), but they all exist in complete form. What is missing is:

  • The Invisible God (needs a separate treatment, as it also requires the full sorcery treatment)
  • Pamalt (needs a separate treatment)
  • Lesser troll gods (will appear in Trollpak)
  • Pavis, Flintnail, Lanbril, Yelorna, Zola Fel (will appear in Big Rubble)

 

How about Ygg? The Wolf Pirates will be doing all kinds of interesting and important stuff.

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5 hours ago, Brootse said:

If Zorak Zoran didn't steal Elmal's Fire powers, then why doesn't he have them?

Jeff is apparently changing that now that he and Yelmalio are being treated as essentially the same deity, but that was not the case in the past. Even as recently as Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, Elmal is portrayed as having the Fire Rune, not Light.

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Also in the Elmal-tastic Six Ages, that just came out last year, Elmal is not only fiery, but dunks on "Little Yelm" in a couple of the stories.

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25 minutes ago, JonL said:

Also in the Elmal-tastic Six Ages, that just came out last year, Elmal is not only fiery, but dunks on "Little Yelm" in a couple of the stories.

Little Yelm, incidentally, whose idea of proposing marriage to Nyalda (the Hyaloring name of Ernalda) is to try to trick her into entering his palace so he can trap her there forever with chains of gold and who is defeated by Nyalda (after admonishing him that "A wife is not a slave") calling upon a hill to trap him with an angry troll to get him off her back.

Now wouldn't that be a fun version of the Hill of Gold to discover in a Heroquest? It would make an interesting adventure for a woman cloistered in the Sun Domes. Although the identity of the god who gets Nyalda/Ernalda's hand by approaching her as an equal and properly negotiating the terms of marriage would probably be changed to Orlanth instead of Elmal in that case, or whatever local god would be appropriate.

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1 hour ago, JonL said:

Also in the Elmal-tastic Six Ages, that just came out last year, Elmal is not only fiery, but dunks on "Little Yelm" in a couple of the stories.

Antirius and other little Little Suns were also fiery in the Storm Age.  They have lost that fiery nature as a result of the Gods War.  If it wasn't to Zorak Zoran it was to somebody else (Antirius lost his fiery nature through *six* such events).  

That Elmal is different from Yelmalio, Kargzant, Antirius etc is not really that earth-shattering.  Even as far back as Cults of Terror, Kargan Tor fought himself in battle (Glorantha Sourebook p106).  They are simply facets of the same Sun God - in some myths they can be indistinguiishable from each other, in other myths some sun gods can appear in the myth but others can not while a few myths are particular to a specific Sun God (Elmal is the Sun God that is friends with Orlanth).

Hence I find this passive snark about apparent contradictions in the material over time to be somewhat tedious - they would have existed even if Jeff hadn't changed his mind about Elmal.

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The references to Antirius's diminution all refer to becoming dimmer, but never any indication of being colder. He remains fiery to the end, when his body self-combusts as his spirit departs. Even thereafter Avivath wields Antirius's power to burn his enemies.

None of it matters though, thus the pasive snark. It's the recourse of the hopeless.

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21 minutes ago, JonL said:

The references to Antirius's diminution all refer to becoming dimmer, but never any indication of being colder.

I'm not finding your distinction between luminosity and coldness to be very persuasive to be honest.  The world is getting colder and dimmer  but Antirius is as hot as he always has been?

21 minutes ago, JonL said:

He remains fiery to the end, when his body self-combusts as his spirit departs.

And that was the last of his heat, no?

21 minutes ago, JonL said:

Even thereafter Avivath wields Antirius's power to burn his enemies.

The sunspear is not Antirius's innate power - it something that he wields from Yelm.  

 

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On 1/25/2019 at 4:33 AM, metcalph said:

Hence I find this passive snark about apparent contradictions in the material over time to be somewhat tedious - they would have existed even if Jeff hadn't changed his mind about Elmal.

I think snark is a bit harsh. As far back as Cults of Prax (CoP), Yelmalio was:

* The god of the sun dome - the glowing dome that provides light when neither sun nor night are in the sky. A link between his identity as the 'Son of the Sun' and the Many suns that appear after Yelm/the Emperor disintegrates is possible, and that might hook him into the Kargzant and Lightfore, but his identity as the Sun Dome not one of the  Many Suns makes that hard. In addition, the merger of Kargzant and Lightfore appears to be the story of the taming of the horse in which rider and steed become one, and the identity of the SDTs as pikemen doesn't really fit that.

* Of course, Yelmalio is not really a Dara Happan cult, a Bright Empire creation, so his analogy need not be exact. But he seems to bear more analogy to Dayzatar, the sun dome than to the sun. It is only really with the revelation of Many Suns by Monrogh that we seem to get the suggestion that he is one of the Many suns and could thus **swap** in for worship of the sun, where he seems to become the 'winter sun' due to his lack of heat. We do know from CoP that only the 'hill barbarians' think of him as winter sun over sky dome. So his identification seems very local

* A minor deity, confined to his monastic temples, who spread in the second age to Prax as mercenaries and was invited by the House of Sartar into Dragon Pass in the Third Age.

His sudden transformation into a little sun and not the god of the sun dome, is problematic because it does not fit the mythology we have for him already.

I don't think most of this would be such a burning issue, apart from the decision to see Elmal as a sub-cult of Yelmalio, and thus downgrade Elmal to an old name or historical footnote of that cult. That is the core of what we are struggling with.

I would prefer that Elmal and Yelmalio remained separate cults and if the desire was to downplay Elmal, we suggest that Rurik Runespear, under the support of Argrath, is championing the Yelmalio cult outside of the Sun Dome Temples, and that the cult of Elmal is going into decline as people converted to the ascendant cult of Yelmalio. That leaves existing material intact, and allows for those who want to 'rescue' Elmal to fight back against Rurik.

That change would probably make the issue of whether Yelmalio is one of the Many suns less emotive.

Edited by Ian Cooper
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