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Ian Cooper

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

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52 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

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!

Ok, gotcha.

I suppose I am softish.

I think of deities as manifestations, not of an object or ideal, but of aspects of an object or ideal.

So, rather than having the Sun God, there is the Sun Disk, Sun's Heat, Sun Emperor, Winter Sun, Mountain Sun, Forest Sun, Sun Horse, Sun's Healing Rays and so on.

In that case, Elmal would be the Winter Sun, Yelmalio would be the Mountain Sun and Elvish Yelmalio is the Forest Sun, all have powers of Light Without Heat and all can be identified to a certain extent. Similarly, Yelm is the Sun Disk, Sun as Emperor and controls the Sun's Healing Rays. 

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23 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

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. 

That's a solid assessment of what's described in GRoY, even as seen through the writing of a later Yelm-ist scribe.

23 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

(Quoting TFS) "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."

 TFS's 111,111 date for the return of Yelm the Real Sun matches TGRoY's dates for Avivath's revelation in 111,110 and the 111,111 rise of Antirius as "stronger and brighter than that old sun [Kargzant]." This strognly supports your thesis.

 

23 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

(again quoteing TFS) "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."

What conflicts somewhat with your No-Yelm in until the Bright Empire theory is that while this account from TFS places Yelm's restoration in lieu of Antirius at 111,375, TGRoY describes that as the culmination of Khordavu's ascendancy circa 111,211.  While both support Antirius as the Dawn-era Dara Happan Sun God in opposition to the Nomads' Kargzant, TGRoY suggests to us that at the very least  Plentonius & Khordavu were attempting to sell the idea of a mythic restoration of the Yelmic Imperial Sun Cult in their day.

Whether or not they succeeded is another question. The FS's differing account suggests they perhaps they did not, or at the very least the author of the FS account was trying to sell the idea that they did not.

Edited by JonL
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6 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

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.

The Red Moon seems to be composed of one or more broken goddesses to make a whole new entity; I am not convinced that the sun, being so central, even in Glorantha's 'geocentric' universe is a similar entity because no other cultures than the Dara Happans, believe the true sun arose much later in Time. So instead of being created from different and possibly  disparate parts, the sun seems to be a single entity.

Different cultures project different identities upon the sun, and whilst Elmal is a sun-god, he didn't disappear to reappear with the Dawn. You might, of course, argue, that Elmal is a part of the sun which didn't descend to the Underworld. Hmm, isn't that perhaps the explanation for Yelmalio and Antirius?

There are two distinct tendancies in Gloranthan mythology: one into many, and many into one. Some deities seem to be one, others the other.

Is there only one bull god for example? Probably not, but there is definitely a correlation between Storm Bull and Urox, but also probably Bisos and perhaps Tawar, Tafer, Tavar, and KefTavar, according to different traditions.

And there we have it: different traditions, different subjective perspectives. There is no in-world objective viewpoint; the problem arises when rules and background which are by their nature not Gloranthan documents, give an objective approach - in part for simplicity, and in part, because any discussion like the one we have here would send new players running for the hills. Players want either hard facts, or well defined uncertainty, they don't want complexity until they are familiar with the basics of the world.

Edited by M Helsdon
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One snippet from the Fortunate Succession may make matters clearer

Quote

Khordavu was "Maker of Life and Death,"
simultaneously fulfilling the roles of Emperor, the political
leader; as High Priest to Yelm, his father; and as the Bearer
of Antirius[1], recipient of worship.

Fortunate Succession p65

Khordavu does not incarnate Yelm but Antirius.  He worships Yelm and is perhaps the only person that can sacrifice to him.  He can cast Antirian magics including magics that Yelm gives to Antirius (ie the Sunspear) and so can most of his followers.  Yelm at that point is not a manifest god in the way that Orlanth or Antirius is but a God beyond the Gods like Vith or Irensavel.

At that point, the cult of Yelm is pretty much the priesthood of Antirius who have Sun Dome Temples (Glorious ReAscent p63).  When Anirdavu names the Ten Priesthoods (Fortunate Succession p17), Antirius is number 2 behind Dayzatar, not Yelm.  It's my opinion that a Priest of Yelm as of 1621 would have been recognized as a Priest of Antirius in Khordavu's time.

Later on, we get the curious case of Yelm have two Rune Lords - Sun Lord and Imperator.  The Imperators were created by Khorzanelm but do not otherwise appear.  It's my thinking that the station was forgotten after the Gbaji Wars but brought back in a de-illuminated context by Denesiod in the New Light Reforms - he calls them the New Officers (Fortunate Succession p68)

The Sun Lords, I think, are originally the White Sun Lords of Karvanyar (FS p73) and relied on illumination even more than the Imperators did.  They were heavily suppressed and rendered impotent by Karvanyar's successors but still survive although the name has spread even to the Grzaerlands (RQG p307)

 

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23 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Is there only one bull god for example? Probably not, but there is definitely a correlation between Storm Bull and Urox, but also probably Bisos and perhaps Tawar, Tafer, Tavar, and KefTavar, according to different traditions.

Any differences between the two would have been long forgotten.  In the Dawn Age, Praxians settled what is now Charg (Talsardia) and the Storm Bullmen there were effective at dealing with whatever hellhole the Bleak Land is supposed to be.  

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On 1/7/2019 at 4:48 PM, soltakss said:

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.

Not even that secret.

On page 725 of the guide, the current belief on Illumination (by the Order of the Day) is that Osentalka was a manifestation of a part of Yelm's conciousness.

 

On 1/7/2019 at 2:01 PM, 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 Fortunate Succession contains a section on the Cult and Worship of Yelm through the ages. (Page 65)

The section on the Khordavu stage, before the Nysalorian Interlude may provide some ideas.

 

On 1/7/2019 at 3:27 PM, JonL said:

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.

As you bring up Urvairinus, I would like to point out the interesting connection between him, Brightface, and Murharzarm:

One of Urvairinus' first actions is to fight against the King of Naveria, Lord of Seven (GRoY 25), while Brightface slays the DerOrian champion Protector Among Seven (Entekosiad 31.) It's worth noting as well that Urvairinus sets out to do this using golden masks and weapons, a more golden age approach to warfare. Brightface also sees off the enemies of the four directions, just as Urvairinus did, just with the change of the Naverians not being the enemy of the west.

The connection to Murharzarm comes from Alkoth's myth of the First Muster (GRoY 85) where Murharzarm performs a ritual preparing for war, which includes the four directional enemies. It's commented in the notes that only Alkoth sees this as the actions of Murharzarm, and instead most other places in Dara Happa tell the tale about Urvairinus. The Alkothi say this is what Murharzarm did when he came to their city. Although it's also useful to note that one of Urvairinus' first acts is to visit Alkoth (GRoY 25.)

I've seen some suggestion that Brightface is a story about how Yelm seized control of the land. Certainly, there's some bits that suggest Murharzarm's creation of the Dara Happan Empire wasn't as peaceful as is claimed. (The God Learner maps in the Guide describing how conflict between Dara Happa and the Ratite Empire is solved when Murharzarm grants some birds the power of flight (GtG 683) This is one of his tests to become Emperor (GRoY 13.))

It's possible that Urvairinus and Murharzarm are two sides of the same figure. The great warlord and the great ruler.

 

Edited by Tindalos
Messed up Protector Among Seven's name.
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58 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

On page 725 of the guide, the current belief on Illumination (by the Order of the Day) is that Osentalka was a manifestation of a part of Yelm's conciousness.

 

So we should really say Nysalor was Yelmically Illuminated? However, the Red Goddess (in Life of Sedenya a subsequent incarnation of Nysalor) presumably took a different path.

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36 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

Nysalor was Yelmically Illuminated

He is definitely a bright god. 

Which is the kind of thing that Breaks Councils when you think about it.

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31 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

It's a good thing none of the central Genertelan religions have an inquisition, given the various heresies expressed here!

Never fear.  The Inquisition will come for them... but not when they expect it!

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5 hours ago, g33k said:

Never fear.  The Inquisition will come for them... but not when they expect it!

They never do!

SDLeary

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I always like to refer to the RW in cases like this. In the treaty between Ramses II and Hattusulis, 12 different gods named Seth are invoked in the Egyptian version.

In that of Mursulis and Duppi-Tessub, there are 19 separately defined 'The Storm God's, 3 Telepinus, 4 Ishtar etc.

The idea of a hard polytheism is alien to the ancient Near East.

As for a hard monotheism, that is another matter entirely.....

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20 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

It's a good thing none of the central Genertelan religions have an inquisition, given the various heresies expressed here!

Derak the Dark Troll, one of our RQ2 PCs, was an Illuminated Dark Troll, best friends with Cragspider and a right pain in the backside. As he was a Death lord with some unusual friends, the Lord General of Death called him in for a meeting and produced a Matrix of Sense Chaos and and a Matrix of Sense law and said he was going to test Derak and kill him if things went badly. He rolled for Sense Chaos - 100 and a fizzle, then rolled for Sense Law - 100 and a fizzle, as both Matrices were proven to be faulty, he decided that Derak had passed the test and made him Lord Inquisitor of Death, heading up investigations into suspected illuminates in Zorak Zoran. Needless to say, all his enemies were found to be Illuminated and none of his friends.

On a related point, one of the PCs always secretly wanted to be Illuminated, but could never make the roll, no matter what he did. After years and years of gaming, he succeeded and went to brag to the other PCs, only to find that every single one of them had been Illuminated for years.

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19 hours ago, soltakss said:

Derak the Dark Troll, one of our RQ2 PCs, was an Illuminated Dark Troll, best friends with Cragspider and a right pain in the backside. As he was a Death lord with some unusual friends, the Lord General of Death called him in for a meeting and produced a Matrix of Sense Chaos and and a Matrix of Sense law and said he was going to test Derak and kill him if things went badly. He rolled for Sense Chaos - 100 and a fizzle, then rolled for Sense Law - 100 and a fizzle, as both Matrices were proven to be faulty, he decided that Derak had passed the test and made him Lord Inquisitor of Death, heading up investigations into suspected illuminates in Zorak Zoran. Needless to say, all his enemies were found to be Illuminated and none of his friends.

On a related point, one of the PCs always secretly wanted to be Illuminated, but could never make the roll, no matter what he did. After years and years of gaming, he succeeded and went to brag to the other PCs, only to find that every single one of them had been Illuminated for years.

ZZ in recent imagery is interestingly always three-eyed...

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

ZZ in recent imagery is interestingly always three-eyed...

I blame Arkat.

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15 hours ago, JonL said:

I blame Arkat.

Generally speaking, a fair call. 

16 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

ZZ in recent imagery is interestingly always three-eyed...

Not just recent. Goes back at least as far as the RQ3 Prosopaedia

Quote

He is illustrated as an old three-eyed man or troll. In one of his hands he holds a mace and with the other makes a magical gesture.

 

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On 1/7/2019 at 7:16 PM, JonL said:

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

I think this is an important point. We're so used to the Theyalan perspective that we can easily forget that Chaos-as-a-thing is much less of an issue in many other places, like how Dara Happans seem much more concerned with what is Just or not, and how Westerners bunch chaos monsters in with other (that we would call non-Chaotic) creatures they mislike as "Krjalki". It's just not the big distinguishing line we're used to from Heortlings and Praxians.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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Really cool thread, and big ups to @Ian Cooper for the very impressive OP.

I don't really have too much to say on the specifics of the premise. What I will say is that it was exciting to read textual confirmation from Greg himself for the belief I've formed  (based on info from members here as well) during my stay on this forum that something fundamentally transformative happened during the early stages of the First Age during the interaction between the Theyalans and the Dara Happans, that effectively retconned the God Time according to the then-contemporary needs of people, and thus also casts doubt on the idea that the God Time can ever be known in any manner approaching "objective". The greatest flaw of the God Learners therefore was perhaps not that they tried to alter the deities of Glorantha to their liking, but rather that the failed to realize that others had already done this before, far more succesfully, and others could do it again, breaking their carefully-researched, but ultimately static models. The God Learners were trying to build a house of cards on top of a layer of play-dough.

What I will add is that I believe we also have some evidence that Yelm is a syncretic deity from a different angle. This thread has mostly discussed Yelm as an attempty to reconcile the different sun deities around, however I think it's also pertinent to direct attention to the so-called "Portions of Yelm" (Ian Cooper did briefly mention it in a post, but it didn't get taken further, and Tindalos did touch on it as well, indirectly).

To put the idea forward very simply: it seems to me as if the various portions of Yelm existed prior to Yelm being a deity, as opposed to the orthodox perspective of them being products of him disintegrating. It's tempting to therefore see Yelm as the ultimate representation of Imperial Unity: a deity formed from the various deities of the (conquered or otherwise subdued) Pelorian basin, much like the Empire itself. Yelm is the Empire, or at least symbolic of it. The evidence we have for this is scant and uneven, but we do for example have the presence of a Golden Age country with bird gods and avilry in modern Rinliddi, that appears to have functioned autonomously or even fully independently, long prior to Yelm's disintegration. In this perspective, it's possible that Vrimak, possibly a regional sun god and/or otherwise the patron deity of this region of bird-worshippers, was integrated into the concept of Yelm along with its country when it was integrated into the Empire.

However, there are some issues with this perspective. For example, the portions of Yelm are of different provenances that can't simply be classified neatly together. It would have been very convenient if they were all city/region-patron gods, for example, but only some of them can be considered that. As far as I can tell, there is no specific region that has, purely as example, Bijiif as its main deity, either in modern times or from any reference to the Golden or Green Ages. It's possible to argue that Kazkurtum was "integrated" into Yelm after the Dawn, as a way of explaining Chaos and/or the various enemies of the Dara Happan Empire of the First Age (nomads, traitors, storm barbarians, etc.) and their predations on the empire in its weakened state only a little over a century ago. But I'm not sure if trying to explain each of the Portions of Yelm from purely idiosyncratic perspectives gives us any insight as to how Yelm was formed (if indeed he was), rather than just make us invent interesting backstories that make sense apart from each other. To summarize, when looking at how and why the Portions of Yelm could have been taken together to form Yelm, I am looking at commonalities that would have made them useful for this purpose. Maybe this is too narrow, but it feels more... "elegant" that way, with regards to worldbuilding if not exactly realistic religious syncretization. The questions we are left with, though are something along the lines of: If the portions of Yelm preceded Yelm as real, individual deities, 1) what were they like back then, and 2) why were they specifically chosen to make up him, 3) and how? 4) And was this done for the first time in Time as Khordavu unified Dara Happa, or Khorzanelm oversaw the Nysalor project, or was it a repetition of something that had been previously done as well?

Secondly, there is the issue of the various Lodril-analogues in the Entekosiad. I don't want to too far into this, but based on that text, it seems very much like the Hot Earth existed before the Celestial Fire - or at the very least, long before there was a Sun Disk, and certainly before the Sun Disk was stationary. I'm not going to go too far into the story of Brightface, since it was covered earlier, but, well, I think the orthodox Dara Happan story of three (technically four, I guess) brothers - one of whom debased himself in the Earth and therefore lost all right to rule, while another brother stayed in perfect distance between aloofness and grossness to rule - is seriously suspect. In fact, not only that, but I'm seriously questioning whether some facet of the Hot Earth preceded Aether, or the Sky Dome in its entirety to begin with. Fire may have originally risen up rather than fall down. Lodril may be The One that Stayed Behind. But for political and religious reasons, the Dara Happans couldn't accept that. Too conspiratorial and out there? Maybe, but it's a notion worth considering, at least, imho. The God Learners seemed to believe that Sky/Fire came into being after Earth, although this might be them taking a Theyalan myth too literally, or applying alchemical principles to cosmology. (As a minor sidenote, a few people here have mentioned that Yelm become the second Emperor of the Universe/gloranthay/Cosmic Court after Aether (Primolt) - but do we know that? It seems a bit like we're taking the idea that Chief Sky God=Emperor for granted. As far as I can tell, none of Yelm's antecedents, were actually Emperors. There might be a difference in Theyalan and Pelorian viewpoints, though.) 

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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6 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

portions of Yelm

This might be the richest angle on Gloranthan alchemy in years. Their metallurgy (what little we've learned about it) would naturally aspire toward gold or a "sun."

As for suspect stories, I never trust a bright god's Truth . . . always too brittle to take an edge.

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5 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Secondly, there is the issue of the various Lodril-analogues in the Entekosiad. I don't want to too far into this, but based on that text, it seems very much like the Hot Earth existed before the Celestial Fire - or at the very least, long before there was a Sun Disk, and certainly before the Sun Disk was stationary. I'm not going to go too far into the story of Brightface, since it was covered earlier, but, well, I think the orthodox Dara Happan story of three (technically four, I guess) brothers - one of whom debased himself in the Earth and therefore lost all right to rule, while another brother stayed in perfect distance between aloofness and grossness to rule - is seriously suspect.

There is a theory going around that Lodril is Aether Primolt's penis and that lava is his fiery seed. So similarly Lodril becomes Genert's penis and lava is his fiery seed.

The split between brothers originally had Lodril owning the surface and Yelm being given the lands below, but Yelm didn't like that and asked to be given something else. It ended up with Yelm being in the Underworld anyway, possibly because of the original division. Lodril burst forth into the Surface World.

 

5 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

In fact, not only that, but I'm seriously questioning whether some facet of the Hot Earth preceded Aether, or the Sky Dome in its entirety to begin with. Fire may have originally risen up rather than fall down.

Now, according to the God Learners, Fire/Sky is on top of the Earth. Presumably, Aether Primolt's fiery essence came from within the Earth (Ga) and rose to cover her. So, that mimics the Fire Within the Earth appearing on the surface.

5 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Lodril may be The One that Stayed Behind. But for political and religious reasons, the Dara Happans couldn't accept that. Too conspiratorial and out there? Maybe, but it's a notion worth considering, at least, imho. The God Learners seemed to believe that Sky/Fire came into being after Earth, although this might be them taking a Theyalan myth too literally, or applying alchemical principles to cosmology. (As a minor sidenote, a few people here have mentioned that Yelm become the second Emperor of the Universe/gloranthay/Cosmic Court after Aether (Primolt) - but do we know that? It seems a bit like we're taking the idea that Chief Sky God=Emperor for granted. As far as I can tell, none of Yelm's antecedents, were actually Emperors. There might be a difference in Theyalan and Pelorian viewpoints, though.) 

I think that Lodril has a place in the earth because of several things:

  • Aether Primolt originally came from the Earth, so there is a concept of Fire Within the Earth anyway
  • Lodril was given the Underworld as his realm, so belongs there as part of the division of the Cosmos
  • Lodril, as the Sky Spear, thrust himself into the Earth and released his fiery lava against Krarsht
  • Krarsht trapped Lodril within the Earth, in her web of lies

 

 

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I forgot to mention this, but I'm inclined to see the whole "Nysalor-is-an-aspect-of-Yelm"-thing as being the inspiration of the Lunar process of Sevening. Nysalorean mystics might've propagated a sevening-form of illumination before they were repressed and persecuted, arguing that Nysalor was Yelm's Seventh Portion, and when the Seven Mothers came around, they utilized this info for their own purposes, somehow.

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29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I forgot to mention this, but I'm inclined to see the whole "Nysalor-is-an-aspect-of-Yelm"-thing as being the inspiration of the Lunar process of Sevening. Nysalorean mystics might've propagated a sevening-form of illumination before they were repressed and persecuted, arguing that Nysalor was Yelm's Seventh Portion, and when the Seven Mothers came around, they utilized this info for their own purposes, somehow.

Personally, I think that the Red Goddess is another Aspect of Illumination, so Rashoran, Nysalor and Red Goddess are equal in their effect and transformation. The Red Goddess was freed by Nysalor when she met him on a HeroQuest, however, she has since moved Lunar Illumination along by quite a bit. In my opinion, Lunar Illuminates are Nysalor Illuminates but also have a lot more that they can do or have experienced.

I think that Nysalor did not teach that he was the Seventh Portion of Yelm's Soul, but the Lunars have recognised/discovered this and this has led to new facets of Illumination.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I forgot to mention this, but I'm inclined to see the whole "Nysalor-is-an-aspect-of-Yelm"-thing as being the inspiration of the Lunar process of Sevening. Nysalorean mystics might've propagated a sevening-form of illumination before they were repressed and persecuted, arguing that Nysalor was Yelm's Seventh Portion, and when the Seven Mothers came around, they utilized this info for their own purposes, somehow.

It's the same sort of Illumination either way. The Lunars tout the Sevening regimen as a better way of preparing the seeker for their new outlook than just the riddles, aiming for more saints and less occlusion.

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This all confirms that the myths are not true and in my opinion, the God Learners retconned it all.  Yes, Yelm is a syncretic diety.  Isn't Yelms rise supposed to herald the coming of Time?  And yet, the Dara Happans already had Time.  Their calendar goes back over 100,000 "years".  And don't the Brithini count time back to Danmalastan?

Is Time a hard or a soft polytheism?

I prefer to think the reason the God "Time" doesn't have any cause and effect or is chrono"ill"ogical is because it's a construct.  Started before the God Learners, but exploited and completed by them.  The western sorcerers have it right:  the "gods" are just powerful sorcerers.  I believe Argrath and Harrek began to suspect as much after the visit to Teleos and something they learned there or else just from comparing notes.  That's why they went to Jrustela and raised a sunken temple and wrenched answers out of the ghosts of God Learners.  They learned that the secret the Gift Givers were wiping out was the truth that Glorantha's God Plane is in essence the Matrix and that all the worlds worshippers are nothing more than Duracell batteries.

Yelm being a syncretic diety seems to confirm this as a very real possibility.

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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I think this is an important point. We're so used to the Theyalan perspective that we can easily forget that Chaos-as-a-thing is much less of an issue in many other places, like how Dara Happans seem much more concerned with what is Just or not, and how Westerners bunch chaos monsters in with other (that we would call non-Chaotic) creatures they mislike as "Krjalki". It's just not the big distinguishing line we're used to from Heortlings and Praxians.

In most cultures (even Heortlings/Praxians) Chaos is one of the Bad Things. Heortlings and Praxians take it to the extremes with their anti-Chaos stance. The Theyalan-influenced Elder Races agree that Chaos is mostly a bad thing, and have specialists to deal with it (especially the trolls), but are somewhat more relaxed in toleration of lesser forms of chaotic taint (e.g. cave trolls in troll society).

Naming all the Bad Things as Chaos is a not so lovable trait of the Heortlings and some of the Praxians.

Kinstrife is Chaos. Really? It leads to disruption and dissolution of the society the Heortlings cling to, but that's not Chaos.

 

 

1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

To put the idea forward very simply: it seems to me as if the various portions of Yelm existed prior to Yelm being a deity, as opposed to the orthodox perspective of them being products of him disintegrating. It's tempting to therefore see Yelm as the ultimate representation of Imperial Unity: a deity formed from the various deities of the (conquered or otherwise subdued) Pelorian basin, much like the Empire itself. Yelm is the Empire, or at least symbolic of it.

This is an interesting approach, but I think there are several ways to aggregate Solar powers into the ultimate Sun God Yelm Brightface.

The "fusion" or Greater Truth of the city gods (or Planetary Sons) is a horizontal one, of equals with individual idiosyncracies. The disintegration of Yelm is a vertical one, into various qualities of the Fire Rune.

For Murharzarm (the slain emperor, according to Dara Happan myth) the parts were Sight, Bird, Core, Double, Snake and Corpse - the six souls acknowledged by the Dara Happan humans.

(GRoY p.15:) These vertical qualities of spent fire/ashes (Bijiif), lowfires (collected by Enverinus), soulfire (Antirius), bird (Vrimak), semen (the snake BernEel Arashgern) and shadow (taken care of by Kazkurtum) are quite probably present in each of the planetary sons, or at least the three or four major ones high brilliance (bird), soul, and low part (Bijiif) probably are present in each of the precursor deities (and quite likely in all other creatures as well - compare the Making of humans (GRoY p.10)

Shapes (Dendara) -> Corpse (Bijiif)?

Warmth (Lodril) -> (Core or Sight remain, with Yelm having first choice - see below)

Beast (Oria) -> Snake, seed? (BernEel Arashgern?)

Bird (Dayzatar) -> Vrimak

Shadow (Other Goddess) -> Double (Kazkurtum)

Fire (Yelm) -> Core (or perhaps more appropriately Sight)#

If this applied to Murharzarm, it should apply to the other, planetary, sons, too.

1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The evidence we have for this is scant and uneven, but we do for example have the presence of a Golden Age country with bird gods and avilry in modern Rinliddi, that appears to have functioned autonomously or even fully independently, long prior to Yelm's disintegration.

Or indeed assembly in the form that disintegrated as a reaction to the slaying of the Emperor.

I cannot help suspect that for the first 40,000 years or so that YS applies to the reign of Yelm, birds or birdish humans were the dominant life form in the sun realm, rather than humans, which apparently got made by the DHan gods as an afterthought, but before the ascension of Murharzarm onto the Footstool as the Emperor on Earth (but elevated into the sky, pretty much like the urban orbs of the eight outlying Decapolis sites). This Emperor Light has not the same function as Raiba(mus), the orb of the Footstool (absent from the Copper Tablets for some reason), but possibly the expression of the Higher Truth that we call Yelm.

1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

In this perspective, it's possible that Vrimak, possibly a regional sun god and/or otherwise the patron deity of this region of bird-worshippers, was integrated into the concept of Yelm along with its country when it was integrated into the Empire.

Or Yelm was the Golden Egg laid by Vrimak ('s female companion). Which would make a nice parallel to the Pseudocosmic Egg that gave birth to Osentalka.

 

The Bright One was of course the missing part of Yelm. Nobody knew that it had been missing, but upon arrival it became glaringly obvious that it had. Perhaps the Higgs Boson of solar interaction that gives the One Sun its gravity.

 

 

3 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

This all confirms that the myths are not true and in my opinion, the God Learners retconned it all.

Ah, the unavoidable Occluded perspective. The downside of illuminating insight - doubting it all, losing the picture while studying the frame in detail.

The God Learners had very little input into this whole solar shebang - that stuff had been the result of the God Project and the Bright Empire. While Seshnela had suffered under the Shadow of the Bright Empire with that gruesome plague that the agents of Gbaji spread among the dissidents in the kingdom, they had seen little if anything of the shaping of the joint solar/Emperor truth from the far from complete fragments that had been collected by the solar cultural heroes (like Jenarong, Vuranostum, Avivath, the Star Seers of Yuthuppa, the Ten Princes and especially Khordavu, and his scribe Plentonius, the visionaries joining the Dorastan Council, especially Estorex and Palangio) and all the input of the Theyalan Lightbringers who had done the same, across species.

All the Jrusteli did was plunder the libraries that promoted the synthesis of the Theyalan learning and the Pelorian factors that had merged into a single body of knowledge and perceived Truth in the Bright Empire, whether as the ruling deity or as the evil emperor one had to rebel against. In their enmity, the breakers of the Council participated in building the joint truth with those they fought against.

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