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Ian Cooper

The Many and the One, or has there always been a Yelm?

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So let's talk about Yelm and whence he comes from. This conversation is about Greg's King of Sartar and Stafford Library material, so its deep in textual argument and probably pulls from sources that are no longer of ‘clear’ authority. So be it. It is a brain dump and probably riddled with errors, but let’s talk about it.
 
It's not, for now, mostly, about Yelmalio. He can come later. First we need to talk about Yelm.
 
I'll give you the proposition first, then talk about where it comes from: Yelm is not the god of the sun at the Dawn for Dara Happa, or anywhere else. The major cultures central Genertela all have their own god of the sun at the Dawn. Yelm is a synthesis whose consequence is Nysalorian illumination and the Sunstop. Although he predates the God Learners, you can think of Yelm as a monomyth creation (although it's really Nysalorian illumination at the root of all this, including God Learnerism). Anyway, at the dawn, in central Genertela, the sun is Elmal, and Antirius, and Kargzant, (and others, all cultures have a sun god, even Ehilim in the west). Orlanth kills the Emperor, not Yelm. Rebellus Terminus is the enemy of the Dara Happan gods, not Orlanth. Orlanth goes on the Lifebringer's Quest to bring back Ernalda, not the Lightbriner's Quest to bring back the sun.
 
The Red Goddess was not the first divinity to be created inside Time in Peloria. That crown goes to Yelm. In many ways the birth of the Red Goddess is an echo of the birth of Yelm.
 
So how do I get to this conclusion?
 
First off, when Greg wrote King of Sartar (KoS), he looked in detail at Orlanthi culture. One aspect of that was to look at their religion. Up to this point we had tended to think about their being a single Gloranthan religion oriented around the monomyth. More than that, the cultures all worshipped an elemental pantheon. The Sartarites worshiped the Storm Gods, the Dara Happans the Sky Gods etc. This changed with King of Sartar. Greg started to think about the Orlanthi as worshiping a pantheon of deities instead. The cultures of the Dawn were isolated and complete. The Heortlings knew of the sun, they could see it in the sky, but they called it Elmal, not Yelm. To be a complete pantheon, there had to be a native god of the sun, among others, that had previously been only represented as foreign gods. But no foreign gods were known at the Dawn. Thus Greg's introduction of Elmal, a sun god for the Orlanthi.
 
"This time I looked at things anew, as always. Importantly, while wandering throughout the Stormtime and Nowtime, I looked up and wondered, for the first time, “Who is the Orlanthi sun god?” I realized that the place of the Sun in Orlanthi myth, as revealed so far, was that of the enemy and foe, the Emperor. Nonetheless, there was the Sun of Life which anyone can see and feel when they go out on a sunny day. Without that then the Dark Tribe would rule again. The Orlanthi knew it and surely acknowledged the Friendly Sun. I knew that, but even as Storyteller I did not know where this might be."  - The Birth of Elmal, Greg Stafford.
 
KoS acknowledged that the religion of the Heortlings at the Dawn included sun gods, darkness gods, water gods etc. Any real reasoning about this had already needed to break the elemental correspondence anyway, the Heortlings had an earth goddess already in Ernalda, so they were never pure storm. Elmal was the name of the Orlanthi sun god. It was new to KoS, many of the names there were new to us. And it caused controversy because it changed how we thought about Glorantha, from one world pantheon, to multiple pantheons,  originating in a different Dawn Age culture.
 
Inspired by this revelation, Greg went on to write Glorious Reascent of Yelm (GRoY) to examine Dara Happan religion, the Entekosiad to look at Pelandan religion etc. Gone was the vision of 'one Gloranthan religion' with different regions favoring different elements that had graced the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha articles in Wyrm's Footnotes. Now we had many religions that met, and tried to reconcile their different perspectives of the Godtime, sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently.
 
"Third, my new status has freed me to explore other aspects of Glorantha which had previously been prohibited by the rules and laws of the RuneQuest tribe. As a result I have been delving deeply into the Solar Way (thanks to the entryway provided by the Many Lesser Suns) and, as a natural consequence, the Lunar Way." The Birth of Elmal, Greg Stafford
 
For Greg the touch point of this conflict was the identity of the sun. He refers to this in both KoS, GRoY, and Fortunate Succession (FS) as the conflict of the Many and the One. 
 
Consider, that when two cultures meet, we can rationalize most differences between our pantheons by creating regional earth, river, city or storm deities.  "Esrola is your land goddess down there, and Pela is our land goddess up here," folks say. "Orlanth is the great storm that blows down in Dragon Pass,  but Entekos is the calm air of our region." The two cultures can share stories and agree that their gods are the gods of their region. Sometimes they share stories and tales, and people wonder: "Is your goddess also our goddess?" And when people meet in peace, as they did in the Unity council, this can create a synthesis that is greater than the sum of the parts.
 
But there is only one sun. So how can we reconcile competing sun gods?
 
Now, if you hear Greg speak at cons it is clear that Glorantha is a platonic universe. The 'All' of the 'Green Age' is unknowable except to the mystic and likely to drive anyone who experiences it mad without preparation. Most religions see the 'shadows on the wall of the cave' of that reality, a projection of their culture over the fundamental truths of the runes to create something approachable for worship. It is a 'soft' polytheism not a 'hard' one.
 
"In the Beginning, before there were people, before there was a sky, an earth or an ocean, before there were gods, before there was a Before, was Vezkarvez. Vezkarvez is not something which can be thought about, remembered, felt, or even imagined. Do not bother to try, for to try to do so is only to fall into the trap of the Other. Vezkarvez, pure and undivided, can be touched only by the highest gods who know secrets which you can never know." GRoY, p.6
 
Now someone might object to soft polytheism: "But in Glorantha you can heroquest and check the details!" But it is clear that heroquesting is still a projection of the mortal mind onto the cosmic "all", you can heroquest to cement your version of the truth and if enough people agree to it, then that is a truth for them. Harmast learns this and does this. But so does the Red Goddess, and (spoilers) so does Yelmgatha.
 
So, as we stated earlier, there is just one sun in the sky, so rationalizing that becomes a little trickier. Here is the problem of the Many and the One. We can't pull the region trick. How can the sun be your sun god, and my sun god? We have some options, which mostly boil down to: they are both names for the same god or you are wrong. Synthesis or conflict. The sun becomes the touch point for the conflict of the Many vs. the One. Either we accept that we don't have truth, just a "shadow on the walls of the cave" or we declare you a heretic.
 
IMO Greg was pretty clear what the scenario was at the Dawn in KoS and GRoY. The Heortlings have a sun god called Elmal, the Dara Happans have one called Antirius and the Horse Nomads have one called Kargzant. 
 
"Elmal is the Orlanthi god of the Sun, a trusted thane of the Chief God who is charged with defending the homestead when Orlanth and his companions depart upon the Lightbringers’ Quest. His priests participate in the great festivals and important Sacred Time annual rituals, and have parts in many of the most widely known stories. ... The deity gave its initiates blessings upon the earth, good barley crops, healthy horses, and winter protection" King of Sartar, p.188
 
Now, as KoS instructs us, the horse nomads were driven off, and so the Heortlings and Pentans never exchanged their mythologies in a peaceful fashion. But the Dara Happans and the Heortlings did. And they wrestled with the problem? How can your sun god and our sun god both be the sun. Either we are hard or soft polytheists.
 
"During the Dawn Age there was a clash of cultures as the Elmal magic impacted with the fierce Sun God who was worshipped by the nomads of Peloria. The beliefs of the two cultures in their own Sun Gods [Elmal and Kargzant] were challenged for the first time. Each held true, but the fierce nomads were weaker and unable to withstand the shock. The war ended with their defeat, and they retreated to places where no people had ever lived before. The withdrawal of the nomads revealed a greater threat: the native Dara Happan Solar religion which covered all the regions previously occupied by the nomads. The impact upon the Theyalans is recorded, but the crushing splendor of the great golden towers of the Dara Happan Sun God was especially strong upon the Elmali. The Theyalans recognized that Yelm, the Dara Happan Great God, was the manifestation of their own Emperor, an enemy of Orlanth. The Orlanthi also realized that Yelm was also the Sun God." King of Sartar, p.188
 
and then later in GRoY
 
"Eventually these two cultures fused into a single entity called the Golden Empire of Nysalor, but that did not begin until the reign of Emperor Khorzanelm (c. 111,368 to 111,405), a century and a half after the era covered in this book. During the friendly century of this era occurred a fusion of the two mythologies of Dara Happan Yelm and Theyalan Orlanth. For instance, the part of Rebellus Terminus was taken by Orlanth, and he was associated with the Disruptor constellation by other peoples. Likewise, it was an easy step for the Orlanthi Emperor to become the god Yelm. The harmonious duality of Nature was thereby shown, especially in a myth of their competition for the hand of Ernalda, a Sairdite manifestation of the earth goddess. " From GRoY, 'Where is Orlanth' p.73
 
Fortunate Succession tells us more about this merging, which GRoY refers to as 'after this book' which occurs at the Sunstop:
 
"Khorzanelm was the emperor who supported, blessed, sanctioned, and oversaw the incorporation of the World Council of Friends within Dara Happa. With imperial support, the project was prepared with the best of everything. It was located in the south, because everyone wished to heal that direction first because it harmed everyone the most and was itself the most damaged. 
 
In 111,375 Khorzanelm assembled all the best people of the Empire, and they spoke the Prayer to Yelm, and this time were answered by the appearance of the One God Himself. It was not just Antirius, the ever-reliable bright Disk, but instead this time was truly Yelm Overlord who rose.
 
Yelm wished to honor and praise the mighty Emperor who had tamed the world and provided the security for him to rise. Thus Yelm stood motionless in the sky and the Heavenly Choir rained praise upon all the faithful whose lives were enriched until their deaths as wise elders.
 
Such a unique opportunity was possible only because Nysalor had been born, the incarnation of the Many, born among mortals to bring the divine light to us." Fortunate Succession, p.32, emphasis mine 
 
FS later moves events so that Yelm appears prior to the Sunstop, the result of debates about who the sun is, but gives birth to Nysalorian illumination because recognition that both Elmal and Antirius are the sun requires such insight.
 
"The time spent for Yelm to re-manifest the world was from 110,666 until 111,111 when he became manifest as the Real Sun. Yelm's insight into the secrets of the cosmos was originally the province of only himself and, perhaps, a few of the other immortals. But in 111,375 Illumination was delivered to mortals as well. This occurred when Nysalor was born. The burden of bearing the Impossible was beyond the power of even the One. Yelm paused in the sky, and he separated the Illumination from himself, and placed One among us mortals to keep our awareness of the First Being alive. Thereafter it was possible for the Many to be the One as well. A further benefit was that Yelm was purified. The Sun had purged itself completely from the Many when he gave this great gift to humankind. Thereafter, too, Yelm was less of a god and more of a Sun." Fortunate Succession, p. 74
 
Nysalor is the 'incarnation of the Many' and also 'seperated the Illumination from himself, and placed One among us." What does that mean? 
 
IMO it means that Nysalor is 'soft polytheism' the idea that many gods could be associated with a phenomena because they are all 'shadows on the wall of the cave' not the all. If the sun is not Elmal, or Antirius, but something essential which we project these ideas onto, a Fire Rune perhaps, then we can create a new projection, synthesized from existing ideas: Yelm.
 
Greg reiterated this a number of times. From the WoG list:
 
"The unification of the Orlanthi and the Solar religions, under the council that created Nysalor, was a fusion of two different religions under a mystically oriented demigod. A truly unique event for the times. And one that did not last under its own internal pressure."  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/WorldofGlorantha/conversations/messages/2130
 
and discussing the emergence of illumination in the First Age:
 
In Dorastor, the Amalgam Deities were imported and incorporated. It is probably the origin of the Monomyth, in which Yelm and Orlanth play such significant parts in each others' myths. After this period the Dara Happan role of Rebellus Terminus is permanently grafted to Orlanth, while the Orlanthi role of Emperor is immutably assigned to Yelm. Fortunate Succession, p.72
 
Wait, you may say, GRoY has Yelm in its mythic history. Of course, because it is a document that post-dates this syncretic deity. But Greg left a lot of hints as to the ‘puzzle’ he was creating for us. GRoY itself reveals the contemporary debates about Yelm. The most significant is the absence of Antirius on the God’s Wall. Why is Antirius absent?
 
The Plentonic Debates began within a century after the author first circulated copies of his document. Debate started with worshippers of Doburdun, the Darsenite Thunderer, who pointed out that figure I-18 was precisely their deity, icono-graphically. They did not know Antirius, who was not associated with Doburdun at all. Attributes, powers, and myths were all different. Apparently many learned people had also been quietly wondering what I-18 had to do with Antirius. The priests’ questions thus began debates about the nature of the Plentonic Truth which, in turn, led to debates about the nature of Truth.
 
The ‘problem’ of Antirius is only a problem if he is not the figure on the wall now identified as Yelm. Replace Yelm with Antirius on the wall, and recognise Yelm as a deity created in time, and he can take his rightful place on the wall again, as can Doburdun the Darsenite thunder god. The ‘Plentonic Debates’ on ‘Truth’ are ultimately a debate about the identity of the sun and the revelation of Yelm inside time — Antirius is only absent because we must have one sun that takes aspects of Antirius, Elmal, Kargzant, the Emperor etc.
 
That is why the sun becomes ‘the one’ split of from the many for the Nysalorians. Because we feel the need for their to be ‘one sun’ we divorce the ‘sun’ from the many deities that can represent him
 
It seems that the early Yelm cult, like the modern lunar cult, is a state religion whose purpose is worship of the Emperor and the organisation of the Empire. It seems little worshipped outside of this role:
 
Emperor Khordavu, as well as his household and certain office holders, were considered to be divinities. They were a part in the natural hierarchy of life, along with spirits, demigods, and other deities. Fortunate Succession,  p.65
 
Parallels with the lunar cult of the Red Emperor seem reasonable, at this stage the Yelm cult is essentially worship of the divine emperor over the sun.
 
So that is how we can say: “ Thereafter it was possible for the Many to be the One as well. A further benefit was that Yelm was purified. The Sun had purged itself completely from the Many when he gave this great gift to humankind. Thereafter, too, Yelm was less of a god and more of a Sun” Yelm is the sun, separate from the cults of the sun, Antirius, Elmal, Kargzant et al. but also from the cult of the divine emperor that bears his name.
 
But what happens after the break up of the Bright Empire?
 
"When the Nysalorite Empire broke apart and the barbarians invaded, the unified belief continued, although unified religion was broken. Differences were encouraged by politics taking a turn for the worse, and the natural differences between deities being emphasized. Working harmony was gone again, leaving only the Ideal." From GRoY, 'Where is Orlanth' p.73
 
In other words though the belief in Yem vs Orlanth continued, the imperial cult was no longer the sun cult worshipped by both Heortlings and Dara Happans after that event.
 
But of course this creates a difficult moment. Who is the sun for Heortlings now? Yelm or Elmal? I suspect that the answer is 'both' but that this is problematic, because it contains within it traces of Nysalorian thinking, the acceptance of the One and the Many. Yelm is the sun god, Elmal is the sun cult.
 
Our only real evidence about what folks may believe in this age is compounded by the dominance in subsequent ages of the EWF in Orlanthi areas. 
 
However, it is clear that in Dara Happa, at least, the cult of Yelm runs into trouble post-Nysalor.
 
"After Nysalor, the commoners' backlash resulted in extensive anti-Yelm feeling and activity. The anti-Yelmic passions were increased when the occupiers offered their own seasonal rituals to their storm gods, and many commoners joined. This, of course, is the way of the Many." Fortunate Succession, p.66
 
I believe by ’storm gods’ we should imply ‘Elmal’. Re-read this as: “After Nysalor, the commoners' backlash resulted in extensive anti-Yelm feeling and activity. The anti-Yelmic passions were increased when the occupiers offered their own seasonal rituals to [Elmal], and many commoners joined. This, of course, is the way of the Many."
 
Of course this is likely the cult of the divine emperors, who intercede with the sun, over the sun himself. The implication is that identification does not collapse.
 
It seems likely then that whilst the unified mythology was known to the Heortlings, worship of Elmal predominated among the Heortlings after the collapse of the Bright Empire, due to the association of the cult of Yelm with Nysalor and the divine emperors of Dara Happa. Yelm might be the sun, certainly, but Elmal was their sun cult.
 
Indeed, it’s unclear if Yelm’s cult really spread to the Orlanthi much outside Dorastor and Saird:
 
Incorporation of Yelmic Rites into Dorastan Rites: avidly welcomed, and incorporated. Nysaloran Rites (especially in Saird) combine multiple cultures. These combined ceremonies are well-attended in Dorastor and Saird, but much less elsewhere, and poorly through most of Dara Happa. The popularity in Saird and Darani must be modified by remembering that both were thinly populated. Fortunate Succession, p.71
 
So it is in Saird that the most-significant ‘mixing’ occurred. but it seems not to have spread. Saird lacked the population to spread its support for the Bright Empire's celestial beliefs. There is no implication of spread or persistence of these ideas in Ralios or the Shadowlands.
 
So if Orlanthi were worshipping Yelm, it seems to have been in Saird. But what were they worshipping, if Yelm was a cult of the divine emperor?
 
Under the Ordanestyan Reforms in Dara Happa there was an attempt to re-assert the Imperial cult and thus the divine emperors, but shorn of Nysalorian mystery. Worship instead seems to have focused on the twenty celestial deities. At this point, Anitirus is no longer one of the twenty (or wider eighty) but a part of the cult of Yelm Imperator, that is he is not distinguished from the sun. The ‘mystery’ of the Many and the One cannot withstand the lack of Nysalorian insight, it must be reconciled by eliminating Antirius.
 
So it is possible the Sairdites were worshipping deities from amongst the twenty (or eighty), which makes more sense than the cult of the divine emperor. So it is the spread of solar cults, over the cult of the divine emperor I suspect.
 
But even this cult waxes and wanes and seems unlikely to have impacted areas outside Saird. Why? Well, look at what happens next. 
 
The cult of Yelm disappears under the pressure of first to the Golden Dragon and later to the Carmanians. Fortunate Succession is clear on this, there really is no Yelm cult during these periods. The cult, because it is really the cult of the divine emperor of Dara Happa is underground when foreigners rule Dara Happa.
 
An ‘underground' Imperial cult is an unlikely point of gravitation for second of third age Elmali. Why gravitate to an imperial cult in hiding? In fact, it seems likely that the Yelm known to the Orlanthi, is unrelated to the Dara Happen cult, existing mostly as ‘the Emperor’ the enemy god, over a genuine understanding of the Imperial cult of earlier ages. If the Yelm cult itself was constantly shifting, being driven underground, how could the Heortlings look to it for their solar identity? Indeed, the alternative for the Heortlings is draconic mysticism or Carmanian dualism.

So at this point the Heortlings have two, almost irreconcilable notions of the sun: Yelm whom they have projected the characteristics of the Emperor on to, as befitting an imperial cult, and Elmal the loyal thane. But the implications of the Yelm cult's association with divine emperors leads me to suspect that Yelm remains the Emperor for most Heortlings at this point, his identity as the sun a 'mystery'. 
 
Now this mystery is difficult, for it implies the Many and the One. And it must be a source of questions for the priests of the cult, much as the textual legacies of the Caananite religion provide interesting questions in the Christian bible. But I suspect they continue to worship Elmal as the sun cult, with Yelm both celestial Emperor and sun. After all, the cult they have encountered up to now is an imperial cult, whose purpose is to empower the divine emperors. Not one they would gravitate to.
 
In fact, the cult of Yelm does not really resurface in Dara Happa until Yelmgatha, who uses the return of Nysalorian thinking and heroquesting to bring back a ‘fogotten' Yelm cult, centred around Dara Happen sovereignty following centuries of EWF and Carmanian rule:
 
The suppression and destruction of the ancient Yelmic religion drove worship underground…   Yelmgatha was a minor nobleman with a short temper who drove the Carmanians out of his land. When they sent armies to destroy him, the leader went to the Red Goddess nearby to ask for help.   Thus Yelmgatha became one of the first Dara Happan Heroquesters. Heroquesting differed from previous forms of worship in being experimental and conscious. In fact, it was a return to Nysalorism in many ways, and openly acknowledged as such. Yelmgatha went several times into the Other Side, and emerged with the tools and powers he needed to complete the Ten Tests to make himself Emperor, which he did in 112,235. Then he cast out the Carmanians, and Yelmgatha became the new Emperor of Dara Happa. The event was called the Sunburst... During this whole time he was friends with the Red Goddess, who was performing similar quests. Their tasks were often intertwined, and strengthened each thereby. Sun and Moon became a pair of travelers in the Hero Plane. 
 
In other words, the cult of Yelm returns with the spiritual liberation of the Red Goddess. And the parallels between the two ‘created’ gods, synthesised from older religions via ‘Nysalorian illumination’ is drawn clearly here. These gods are made!
 
I believe Greg was trying to draw direct parallels between the First Age emergence of Yelm, synthesised from existing sun cults and the Sunstop, and the emergence of the Red Moon, synthesised from existing lunar deities and the Sunburst.
 
We associate Yelm with older religion in Dara Happa, but it seems that it co-exists in modern form with the Empire.
 
Remember, it is the cult of the divine emperor! Now that emperor is the Red Emperor. In many ways the cult of Yelm and the cult of the Red Emperor are one and the same.
 
The association of Yelm with the Red Goddess of course makes it any influence of the cult on modern part of the missionary work of the Lunar Empire. The promotion of “Yelm” as the sun and the elimination of Elmal, as Antirius was once eliminated, is in essence a Lunar project, driven by heroquesters.
 
So, when we learn that in Saronil’s reign
 
"Once the Eyetooth Clan brought in the antesmia  statue. They did it because they were rebelling against their king, and they wanted to be able to bring a Sunspear down from their god, and were willing to pay eternal worship and tribute to a foreign deity in order to succeed.”, King of Sartar, p. 169
 
it is the missionary work of the Lunar Empire, that is also a renewed Bright Empire that is at the heart of this struggle IMO. This is worship of the imperial cult, and by implication worship of the Red Emperor, not just ‘Yelm’ the sun as opposed to Elmal. But this sweeping change must be dated to the emergence of the Lunar Empire, not earlier, because the Yelm cult was underground before that.
 
The implication of this is that Elmal is the sun during the reign of Tarkalor for the Sartarites, not Yelm, otherwise this act of rebellion means nothing. We have to see this in the context of Lunar celestial theology overwhelming the Heortlings in a way that could not have happened under the EWF or Carmania. There was no dominant solar cult to export post Nysalor and prior to Yelmgatha.
 
But what is true for the Sartarites would seem to be true of everyone, for until the Lunar Empire, after the Bright Empire, there is no Yelm cult to gravitate to, and the sun cult remains Elmal (or Kargzant).
 
Now, we risk getting into Yelmalio territory — remember his temples are in Saird and they seem to revitalise alongside the Empire, but let’s park where that leads us for now.
 
But Monro’s vision is surely one of illumination. His talk of the Many Suns echoes talk of the Many and the One. What Monro sees is one sun, many sun cults. His vision is not an objection to Elmal, but a reinforcement of the Bright Empire doctrine that there is one sun, and many sun cults (and we may well call that sun Yelm, because the cult worships the Emperor). But no sun cult is more ‘true’ than the others. But of course the implication is that Yelmalio is the sun too. Another sun cult. One amidst the Many.
 
But it is a dangerous vision, for it is a vision of the Nysalorians and their Bright Empire. All those priests in their retirement towers contemplating the sun. Sure sounds like a journey into illumination.
 
But it is clear that there is no cult of Yelm at the Dawn. Yelm is the name given to sun in the Nysalorian insight that there is one sun and many sun cults. It is also the name of the source of power for the cult of divine emperors that ruled during the Bright Empire, and now rule again in the Lunar Empire.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Interesting - and given that our sources are God Learner Monomyth (and the God Learners never penetrated Pelorian myth to any degree) or in-world documents - it's a mythological tangle we will never resolve.

If we accept that there was a Golden Age, and Yelm was its emperor, then we may have his rise to earlier prominence recorded as the upstart male god Brightface. When Yelm was emperor and what are now the planets were unmoving about the celestial sun, given that these planets were stationary, and bright, they were in effect a multitude of lesser suns surrounding the sun at the centre of the 'perfect' sky. Umath's rise disrupted that sky and ultimately let to Yelm's descent to the Underworld at the hands of Umath's vengeful son. By this time, several of the planets were gone, or were now in motion, and with Yelm's demise the age of Darkness on the surface world began, with only the moving planets offering any light.

I do wonder if 'planet' is used intentionally, because the Greek simply means wanderer, and in the Perfect Sky there was no wandering, until Umath rose.

Now, if Elmal, Yelmalio, Kargzart, Khemal etc. were the big sun, then there would have been no reduction in the brightness of the surface world, no Lesser or Greater Darkness, but they certainly were sun-gods, just perhaps not ones providing the bright illumination and warmth of earlier eras of the God Time.

With the beginning of Time something bright and hot arose, and this might or might not have been Yelm. The sources potentially contain in-world bias, as at the Dawn the urban Dara Happan culture was subservient to the chariot-riding Sons of the Sun, and so they might have good reason to declare that the sun at the Dawn was Antirius, not Yelm, who only took his place after the horse-lords had been expelled. However, the Sons of the Sun (probably) distinguished between Yu-Kargzant, the ruling sun, and Kargzant, the moving 'sun', so there was a Yelm cult at the Dawn in Peloria, but for the Dara Happans, it was the cult of nomad upstarts, so couldn't possibly be their sun, not until there was a legitimate Dara Happan dynasty ruling the land.

So we have a multitude of sun-gods, one sun, and the possibility that of the planets one the Sun Path is the celestial expression of the sun-god Elmal/Yelmalio/Antirius. We also have the Dara Happan belief that Lightfore chased and chained (eclipsed) Kargzant, which may simply be propaganda to get the nomad son of the sun-god out of their sky.

The one thing that isn't debatable is that Lightfore seems to be a lesser sun.

The Guide says (and this seems to be objective, not the subjective Monomyth or in-world myths) that it 'travels nightly from east to west exactly on Yelm's path. It rises when Yelm sets and sets when Yelm rises, and is often called the Little Sun. Because of the different night lengths throughout the year, it moves fastest in summer (when it is also brightest) and slower during the long winter nights. Its path always crosses over the Pole Star, and so it travels north and south of the center of the sky throughout the course of the year. On the first day of the year it rises in the star called Youth, and the Dara Happans mark many events of the year (and God Time) by this god's path through the heavens. 

'The planet Lightfore has always been something of an enigma. Lightfore is the object of a hero cult worshiped by people who fear the night. He is also known as Antirius by the Dara Happans, Yelmalio by the Orlanthi, Kargzant by the Pentans, Sun Daughter to the Praxians, and the home of the Emperor Daruda to the Kralori.'

 

Is Lightfore an expression of Elmal/Yelmalio/Antirius?

 

Perhaps.

 

So we have one sun in the day, another dimmer one in the night, with the latter probably associated with the dim sun of the Darkness, variously given as Elmal and Yelmalio.

 

[And this is a Gordion knot not intended to be unknotted or cut, because it lends a good dose of 'well defined doubt and uncertainty' to Glorantha, and such schisms drive cultural and mythological plots.]

 

 

 

Edited by M Helsdon
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Looking at this another way.  

In mythical Peloria, there was an Empire who worshipped the Sun and associated him with the Fire Rune.

At the Dawn there were seventeen noble families who claimed priestly traditions that derived from that Empire (and which now form part of the cult of Yelm).  There was sufficient information about the rites needed to become Emperor such that Jenarong became one in the Gray Age.  

The rule of the Horse Nomads had one main problem - they were too brutal.  And their brutality struck against Justice so much that he reawakened the worship of Antirius in the form of Avivath (Glorious ReAscent p36).  

In the Dawn Age as a reaction against the brutality of the Horse Nomads, Dara Happans (led by one Khormesha) reconstructed the various strands of mythology to provide a coherent mythology that supported the City against the Nomad.

Khormesha was a wise and good man, who obtained
great understanding during his exile and travels. He was the
first person who explained the Parable [...] of The First King.
Furthermore, in his travels in this world and that he
rediscovered the tales of the Anaxial dynasty, and the
people thereby learned the causes of their plight

                      Fortunate Succession p39

Now what is not done is the re-establishment of the Empire with Antirius as the ruling god.  Instead the Ten Princes undergo an epic to restore the worship of Yelm.    So it seems to me that Antirius's own mythology recognized that he was not the original sun god or the source of Justice and that  the revival of the Empire required more than institutional worship of Antirius - it required the Emperor conducting successful worship to Yelm as the source of Justice, a gloranthan Manhatten Project

As for the name Yelm, it seems to me that it survives in the Tower of Yelm or Yelm's Footstool, the biggest relic tot he ruling god and one which is not associated with any other god.  This doesn't mean that Yelm was the name of the Sun God of the Golden Age Empire of Murharzarm.  The name of the Footstool could have originally been the Footstool to the One Shining Overhead (to avoid piously mentioning the sacred name) with subsequent generations corrupting this into a proper name.  

So I'm happy with the proposition that the modern cult of Yelm is synthetic or suggestions that Yelm was not worshipped by that name in the Golden Age - the name and other sundry details may have changed but the core did not.

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13 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

The one thing that isn't debatable is that Lightfore seems to be a lesser sun.
 

The identification of the stars does seem to be the object of some debate in the sources we have. Interestingly, the stars, like the sun, suffer from the problem of the Many and the One. A given star may have many gods associated with it. it's interesting to note that Orlanth only becomes associated with the constellation in the sky, the Disruptor, during the Bright Empire, according to GRoY.

I think that Glorantha's cosmology is a lot more 'mutable' than we think. The insights of illumination, coupled with heroquesting seem capable of re-interpreting the world. I believe that this is important to understand the Hero Wars and its consequences. Heroes can literally change the world IMO, as they have done before.

My gut is that if you look at where Greg was heading, it was to draw strong parallels between the Lunar and Solar cults, both 'created' in time from illuminated heroquesters fashioning new beliefs out of the fragments they could find on the hero plane.

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5 hours ago, metcalph said:

So I'm happy with the proposition that the modern cult of Yelm is synthetic or suggestions that Yelm was not worshipped by that name in the Golden Age - the name and other sundry details may have changed but the core did not.

I think the bits, as with the Red Goddess have to have existed, but their assembly as Yelm was new. Indeed Yelm would by Greg's suggestion be a composite of other figures: Antirius, Elmal, Kargzant, the Emperor etc. My point is not that is was created fresh, but the name Yelm is applied to a synthesis of these elements.

When Harmast does the Lightbringer's Quest, I think that he literally creates the mythology of the Lightbringers from the fragments in Orlanthi culture and the synthesis of the Bright Empire. It is an unpublished source (boo!) but his Ten-Women Well Loved cleary has the Sacred Time rituals that Harmast participates in as the Lifebringer's Quest where Orlanth rescues Ernalda from the Undeworld. The implication of that, to me, is that the Lightbringer's Quest has not been 'discovered', in other words no one has assembled that mythology yet. After Harmast we have the story of how Orlanth goes to the Underworld to liberate Yelm, but it is not recognized before him.

And I think this is important to understand, because Greg seems to be implying that mythology is not fixed but created by its most powerful worshippers. Of course there is an underlying abstract truth, but it is so abstract, and so removed, that Many intepretations can be placed on that One.

The monomyth tries to find that One, but I think that it ultimately fails because it becomes a new mask over the abstract forces, just another shadow on the wall, rather than a catalogue of the abstraction.

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21 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

The identification of the stars does seem to be the object of some debate in the sources we have. Interestingly, the stars, like the sun, suffer from the problem of the Many and the One. A given star may have many gods associated with it. it's interesting to note that Orlanth only becomes associated with the constellation in the sky, the Disruptor, during the Bright Empire, according to GRoY.

How does that gel with is one cosmologically relevant victory over Chaos when he liberated the Sky (or rather the Middle and Upper Air) of Sky Terror?

 

The Dara Happan records may have a gap, given the domed period of the later Lesser Darkness, but this event should have fallen into the time after the dome had been broken open.

They may also not have bothered to discern between father and son. ("I thought the Red God had chained him?" "Apparently too much escaped.")

 

According to the Copper Tablets, the stars could be seen as the lesser siblings of Umath or the planetary son who exited the visible sky through that opening. All stars, even Pole Star or constellations like Stella Draconis or Lorion, emerged from Stormgate, according to the Copper Tablets. All of that with Yelm still high in the sky, only the extant lesser suns (and moons) in disarray and motion.

Shargash is clearly exempted from the role of a lesser sun, but Kargzant/Reladivus(/a)  is the main planetary god roaming the sky without going to Hell.

 

When Orlanth slew Sh'Hakarzeel (sp?), the constellation had clearly arrived in the celestial river, and the green star had been joined to the orange stars of the intruder. The Dara Happans may not have witnessed the dragon-slaying directly (probably hidden by a huge cloud of dust), but they witnessed the celestial event. Shargash, Kargzant and probably Verithurusa would have been in the sky, as would Yelm and Dendara/Entekos.

21 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

I think that Glorantha's cosmology is a lot more 'mutable' than we think. The insights of illumination, coupled with heroquesting seem capable of re-interpreting the world. I believe that this is important to understand the Hero Wars and its consequences. Heroes can literally change the world IMO, as they have done before.

My gut is that if you look at where Greg was heading, it was to draw strong parallels between the Lunar and Solar cults, both 'created' in time from illuminated heroquesters fashioning new beliefs out of the fragments they could find on the hero plane.

The main difference being that the first went to explain what had been going on in the Sky since the Dawn (although only after disrupting the normal service for an unknowable while) while the later one brought a new object into the post-Dawn sky.

The sky as we know it, with the stars behind the big sun (at noon), is the result of how Umath's approach to the Emperor went. There wasn't yet a celestial river, although Lorion's ascent into the sky may have started with Umath's birth, and only later greatly aided by the Flood. The stellar dragon was in the sky when Orlanth slew the Mover of Heaven in Dragon Pass, leaving the spine (but not the head, unless the one above The Dragon Pass (across the Dragonspine) was it, but it doesn't seem to fit the vertebra (unless we are talking Stegosaurus proportions here), and helped define the River outside of the City.

 

But when we talk about the little sun, are we always talking about the southeastern planetary son, the orb above Saird?

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2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

The identification of the stars does seem to be the object of some debate in the sources we have. Interestingly, the stars, like the sun, suffer from the problem of the Many and the One. A given star may have many gods associated with it. it's interesting to note that Orlanth only becomes associated with the constellation in the sky, the Disruptor, during the Bright Empire, according to GRoY.

That's because each star is individual; cultures associating deities with stars are multiple.

1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

And I think this is important to understand, because Greg seems to be implying that mythology is not fixed but created by its most powerful worshippers. Of course there is an underlying abstract truth, but it is so abstract, and so removed, that Many intepretations can be placed on that One.

Probably true, but when determining whether the original sun rose at the Dawn, the binary choice of Orlanthi versus Dara Happan is insufficient; the views of other cultures, be they Pentan, Kralorelan or Teshnan have to be considered. Both the Orlanthi and the Dara Happans have major axes to grind regarding the nature of the Sun. I suspect they are both wrong to some extent. Objective truth is rare, especially as the Goddess of Truth died in the invasion of Chaos.

This compares with terrestrial sun deities, some of which were male, others female, some were purely sky gods, some had an aspect in the underworld.

Edited by M Helsdon
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2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

I think the bits, as with the Red Goddess have to have existed, but their assembly as Yelm was new. Indeed Yelm would by Greg's suggestion be a composite of other figures: Antirius, Elmal, Kargzant, the Emperor etc. My point is not that is was created fresh, but the name Yelm is applied to a synthesis of these elements.

OK, well - when you say

2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Yelm is not the god of the sun at the Dawn for Dara Happa [Antirius is].

... how do you think Yelm is different from dawn age Antirius?  Concretely.  How were his myths different?  Likewise how do you think the current Antirius is different from the dawn age one?

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1 hour ago, M Helsdon said:

That's because each star is individual; cultures associating deities with stars are multiple.

Right and that is my point. The conflict of the Many and the One, which lies at the heart of GRoY and the Many Suns revelation of Monrogh. The appreciation that Many deities can be the sun leads to an illuminated perspective -- all we see are the shadows on the wall of the cave. The celestial bodies by virtue of being individual, but experienced by many cultures are the flashpoint for mythological conflict in the First Age. Ilumination, the monomyth, all are reactions to this.

Yelm and later the Red Moon are I believe in Greg's cosmogeny syncretic artefacts of attempts to reconcile the Many into One, as opposed to accepting the Many.

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I'm not sure (to which extent) I buy the premise of this thread, but I am definitely enjoying it and this perspective into the myths. Mind-if-not-blown-then-sufficiently-expanded!

Also, I find myself suddenly thinking that it's odd that the Red Goddess often gets described as a sort of Frankenstein deity (ie. lesser in a sense), instead of being a greater truth revealed by her many constituent parts. If the premise of this thread is in the right, it's interesting to note that nobody is saying that about Yelm - at least not anymore, so one wonders if such resistance and bad press were initially thrown around.

Maybe it's because it is easy to see a constructed Yelm as necessary (I mean, look at the sun and the myriad explanations that could easily accommodate a grander narrative) , whereas the Red Goddess was hardly necessary on a grand cosmic level (and the physical moon followed rather than predated her appearance). There's elements of reversal there. Yelm picks up Many strands and gives a mythological grounding for them being One, while the Red Goddess does.. well, something different, almost contrary.

Tying Yelm into Nysalor's existence in this way also curiously ties the Red Goddess into the whole thing... and well, it really resonates with what we have in the Gloranthan present day. I've always been interested in how the mythologies of Yelm and the Red Goddess really co-exist and tie into each other on the follower level within the Empire anyway, because it wouldn't be hard to see some profound antagonism there too. 

However, Nysalor and the Red Goddess are associated with Chaos. Yelm, clearly, isn't. 

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15 minutes ago, Grievous said:

I've always been interested in how the mythologies of Yelm and the Red Goddess really co-exist

Verithurusa, the first part of the Frankenstein, was thrown out of Yelm's palace but left behind something batlike that might have been involved in Yelm's death by Orlanth. "Afterwards [Yelm's] wife and his courtiers said it was the wings of Verithurusa that had caused his death." (From Life of Sedenya, part I.)

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4 minutes ago, Grievous said:

However, Nysalor and the Red Goddess are associated with Chaos. Yelm, clearly, isn't. 

Kazkurtum is listed as one of the Portions of Yelm. 

Dara Happan lore also doesn't so much acknowledge Chaos as a discrete thing thing the way that Theyalan cultures do. Rebel Gods, Darkness, and Chaos largely get lumped together in TGRoY (the word "chaos" appearing only once, and not capitalized). 

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37 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

Verithurusa, the first part of the Frankenstein, was thrown out of Yelm's palace but left behind something batlike that might have been involved in Yelm's death by Orlanth. "Afterwards [Yelm's] wife and his courtiers said it was the wings of Verithurusa that had caused his death." (From Life of Sedenya, part I.)

TGRoY lists Sedenya the Changer as one of the Rebel Gods who take part in the coup in which Murharzarm is slain and Yelm falls. 

She appears again later, in opposition to Antirius:

Quote

When the first son of Emperor Lukarius was born, the
city of Mernita did not send their promised gift to the’
emperor. They said that they did not need to follow his lead
anymore, for their own leader had discovered that Antirius
was wrong, and that in fact their goddess, Sedenya was the
true Lord of Rule. They demanded, in fact, that Lukarius
should send a gift of the Imperial Regalia to them instead!
Such effrontery had never been seen before.


Emperor Lukarius prayed and sacrificed to Antirius. He
listened to the god, and then he meditated upon the
meaning of what Antirius said to him. At last he came down
from the tower and declared that the words of the Mernitan
people were all utterly false, and that there was only one
Sun, and that one sun was Antirius. Certainly, he said, the
One Sun would not come and go, as Sedenya did.


This began the War of the Many Suns. Many of the
other cities revolted. Some had their own favored god.
Others admitted to the ascendancy of Antirius, but declared
that Lukarius was a false emperor. Many cities withdrew
their taxes and support and friendship from him.


Emperor Lukarius conferred with his great advisor, the
bright god Antirius, who is the protector of dynasties. He
sacrificed cattle which were all white. After the conference
Emperor Lukarius returned from his stay in the Tower of
the Sky and brought with him the rules and laws which he
called the Antirius Precepts. ‘Emperor Lukarius took these
laws around to all of the lords of the other cities. One by
one, each of them agreed that Lukarius’ Antirius Precepts
were true, and they recognized their part in them.


Only the city of Mernita resisted. They continued to
support Sedenya, a false and inferior sun. This violated the
new will of the established Justice, and so Lukarius called
together the Emperor’s Assembly, and they solemnly
intoned the Law. No representative from the city of Mernita
was there, and thus the goddess were not in that Inclusion,
and so as a result they were outside the Law. Their guilt was
further proved after Lukarius pronounced anathema upon
the city. Their erratic sun, flailing and sputtering, was
dragged from the sky by the Justice of the gods. Sedenya
crashed from the sky upon her own worshippers, destroying
their city entirely.

In that way Lukarius proved that the great god Antirius
was indeed the Keeper of the Mantle of Sovereignty, and
that the Bright and Just God had bestowed its cloak of
blessings upon the dynasty of Anaxial and his heirs.

Because of the perfidy and disunity of the City of
Mernita, Antirius was lower in the sky at the end of the
reign than he had been at the start.

Interestingly, Lukarius's heir, Urvairinus, is said to be the son of Lukarius & Gerra. I expect that connection was useful to the alliance between Yelmgatha and the nascent Lunars. The conceptualization of Sedenya as a false or imperfect sun rather than any seeming concept of "moon" as a celestial object is also interesting in that context. That her changing rather than static (Stasis) nature lies at the heart of their critique is instructive as well.

(If that excerpt is larger than is appropriate, I'll gladly chop it down & summarize.)

Edited by JonL
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1 hour ago, Roko Joko said:

OK, well - when you say

... how do you think Yelm is different from dawn age Antirius?  Concretely.  How were his myths different?  Likewise how do you think the current Antirius is different from the dawn age one?

The second part is easier. Antirius is really worshipped only as part of Yelm now, not separately as one of the twenty, or eighty (AFAIK), whereas as the Dawn he was an independent sun god.

It is harder to tell what Antirius was like at the Dawn, because we don't have any contemporary Gloranthan documents, we kind of have to recreate Antirius from the bits and pieces we have.

It is is possible to say that the following parts of Yelm are not likely to be elements of Antirius: the progression or Youth, Rider, etc. which seems likely to have come from Kargzant instead.

It is likely that a major part of what we think of now as Yelm draws from the six portions: Antirius, Enverinus, Bijiif, Berneel Arashagern, Vrimak and Kazkurtum. The hint is there that Yelm was built from those gods.

The identification with the Emperor seems to not be part of Antirius as well, certainly the emperor as object of worship comes later from Yelm, and may be brought in from the Orlanth cults conflict with the Emperor. It appears that any association with Ernalda is a Sairdite addition.

As Antirius is the bringer of justice through the Antirius Precepts it's possible that was a strong part of his original role. That also implies a rulership role. Don't forget that these were city states, so the individual city gods would likely have dominated.

It would make sense that the Elmal cult picked up the idea of Elmal as the bringer of justice (when Orlanth is already the source of justice) from contact with the cult of Antirius. Certainly Anatyr the Elmal subcult that chieftains use, would seem to be a borrowing from Antirius.

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2 hours ago, Grievous said:

However, Nysalor and the Red Goddess are associated with Chaos. Yelm, clearly, isn't. 

But Yelm is associated with Rashoran, as he was one of the deities who Rashoran taught not to fear.

The connection with Chaos is unclear at best. Rashoran and Nysalor are not associated with Chaos, Gbaji and the Red Goddess are.

In my opinion, Nysalor is a secret part of Yelm.

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My take on Yelm is that Yelm definitely existed in the God Time, so was the Second Emperor, after Aether Primolt, his father.

He was killed by Orlanth and was sent to Hell, but when he was killed, he split into several pieces, including Vrimak, who flew away.

As Yelm the Sun, he burned the Uz and forced them out of Wonderhome. As Yelm Maggotliege, he ruled over the Dead in Hell.

While in Hell, Yelm called out for Justice and brought his killer, Orlanth, to him to beg for forgiveness. When that happened, Yelm was freed and went to the surface.

However, Yelm was incomplete, as the various parts that made him and were broken apart, when he was killed, were not restored, so he was a shadow of his former self.

When Nysalor was born, he somehow pulled together the parts of Yelm that had been lost and a reformed Yelm appeared after the Sun Stop.

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11 minutes ago, soltakss said:

My take on Yelm is that Yelm definitely existed in the God Time, so was the Second Emperor, after Aether Primolt, his father.

He was killed by Orlanth and was sent to Hell, but when he was killed, he split into several pieces, including Vrimak, who flew away.

As Yelm the Sun, he burned the Uz and forced them out of Wonderhome. As Yelm Maggotliege, he ruled over the Dead in Hell.

While in Hell, Yelm called out for Justice and brought his killer, Orlanth, to him to beg for forgiveness. When that happened, Yelm was freed and went to the surface.

However, Yelm was incomplete, as the various parts that made him and were broken apart, when he was killed, were not restored, so he was a shadow of his former self.

When Nysalor was born, he somehow pulled together the parts of Yelm that had been lost and a reformed Yelm appeared after the Sun Stop.

Sure and that is possible.

But, it's just as viable that he didn't 'exist' but was 'found' during the Bright Empire as cultural contact raised the problem of the Many and the One (many gods, one entity).

At the heart of this is soft vs. hard polytheism. Do the gods have absolute identities, or are they our projections onto abstractions. IMO Greg firmly embraced soft polytheism with KoS, GRoY, FS et al. The clue trail such as 'Where is Antirius?' on the God's Wall, the Sunstop and the Sunburst, lead me down that path. And the Lunar religion seems to imply soft polytheism as well, the Red Goddess is a soft polytheist concept as much as Yelm is, both amalgamate earlier deities within themselves.

Why is it important? Because of what it implies for the Hero Wars. That we can make gods. What is the White Moon to come - heroquesters working to create a new moon goddess? What is the Blood Sun - heroquesters working to create a new sun god. These fortthecoming events depend, I think, on the plasticity of religion.

But I think, before we can really talk about who Yelmalio is, we have to understand who Yelm and the Red Goddess are. Perhaps even who Ernalda (a Sairdite earth goddess) is, and who Imarja was...

As a suggestion. Open your mind to the possibility that this is a secret that Greg put into his unfinished works. Now re-read with that principle, even if you are not yet a believer. See where the text takes you once you make that jump.

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BTW, I think you have to accept soft polytheism in order to get God Learnerism. And everything that implies. Not soft poytheism, no monomyth

Edited by Ian Cooper

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By soft polytheism, I assume you mean that we look at the combination of runes rather than the deities involved?

So, a Storm God is a Storm God is a Storm God, essentially, with little real distinction between them. In the same, way, the Praxian Tribal Founders are essentially the same, sons of Storm Bull who founded a tribe, the Crop Goddesses are essentially the same, descendants of the earth who are mothers of one or more crops, and so on?

I am not entirely sure what you mean.

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6 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

But I think, before we can really talk about who Yelmalio is, we have to understand who Yelm and the Red Goddess are.

But this:

--------------------------------------

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/HeroQuest-RPG/conversations/messages/33037

John Machin> This is likely to stir the ashes a bit, but is Elmal the Sun

Greg> Yes.

John Mahin > (Yelm?)

Greg> No.

John Machin> or is he Yelmalio (who is someone like Yelm-Amongst-The-Hills).

Greg> He's not Yelmalio. That's a different god. See http://www.glorantha.com/greg/q-and-a/yelmalio.html

--------------------------------------

Elmal is the Sun, but he is not Yelm. That is the very paradox of the Many and the One

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5 minutes ago, soltakss said:

By soft polytheism, I assume you mean that we look at the combination of runes rather than the deities involved?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytheism#Soft_polytheism_versus_hard_polytheism

In essence: there is a sun but many sun gods. Elmal, Yelm, Antirius, Kargzant, the Blood Sun are all ways of interacting with it. Everyone is right. The sun is both Elmal and Yelm.

In hard polytheism, not everyone is right. The sun is Elmal or Yelm. Die unbeliever!

Edited by Ian Cooper

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

The connection with Chaos is unclear at best. Rashoran and Nysalor are not associated with Chaos, Gbaji and the Red Goddess are.

There's a hair to split there. Nysalor isn't associated with Chaos by the Dara Happans.

Arkat-allied perspectives aside, the Guide includes the Chaos Rune for Nysalor, Ralzakark is right over there, and I recall other in character Broo references to Nysalor as "our old boss" and the like. 

WRT to the Dara Happans though, it again doesn't seem that they previously had a concept of Capital-C-Chaos as a distinct thing the way the Theyalans did. As far as TGRoY describes the Darkness, it is acts of rebellion and injustice themselves that darken and chill the the word, deprive it of the Sun's blessings etc. There's are scant few references to anything we'd identify as Chaos beings as such (though digijelm/Trolls figure prominently), and in their tale the Glorantay (Celestial Court equivalent) are not undone by chaos assault or untenable paradox. They simply hand-off the world to Yelm when he is proclaimed emperor by the departing unity force.

Revisiting that now, I consider a mythic parallel between the Ten Princes who restore the Antirian/Yelmic empire in the person of Kordavu and the Ten Glorantay enthroning Yelm. I've looked at the names/virtues of the Glorantay to see if they are reflected in the nature of Muzarharm's Ten Tests themselves, but they don't all seem to map cleanly.

Further, the ten virtues among the Glorantay don't fully match those of the Theyalan/God learner Celestial Court either. You can maybe squint a bit for things like "Well,  before Death, Kargan Tor could be Athletics rather than War per se." but you'll never find Disorder among the Dara Happan Ten, and their concept of Growth/Change is more one of guided maturation than Larnste's dynamism.

Edited by JonL
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