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Ian Cooper

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

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12 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

As a corollary, the fact that the mythic pre-murder Yelm is static and never reaches the ground, yet the pre-Yelmic Red King did plunge into the western horizon in Naverian myth suggests to me that the static-Suns-stoppish Yelm at the apex of the universe is the aberration, not the cycling Sun that enters the Underworld.

I suppose it all depends on when Yelm was static. Was he static before Umath ripped Sky and Earth asunder, or was he static afterwards?

If he was static before, then Umath's act might have forced Yelm to move, perhaps moving towards the torn Earth.

If he was static afterwards, then he might have moved when Orlanth killed him.

However, my feeling is that Yelm did not stay in the same place for the whole of his existence. Maybe Yelm the Emperor did, but Yelm the Sun Disc may well have moved.

After all, one of his myths is the Burning of Mallia, before Mallia became part of the Unholy Trinity, so did that happen in Yelm's Palace, or was Yelm moving around at that point?

12 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Indeed, the interpolation of an eternal day into the old cycle of day and night (Xentha already existed at the time of Yelm's murder, after all) may be the first 'breaking' of the Cosmos, the source of the friction and wrongness that led to everything else.

Xentha already existed, but not in the Sky. Before Yelm was killed, she was a Goddess of Night in the Underworld, probably one of the many deities keeping the Underworld dark. Only after Yelm was killed and the darkness Spirits were forced from Wonderhome did Xentha slide up the Sky. After Yelm was killed, there was no Night and Day, there was Night. Night and day happened after time began.

Now, some can argue that the other Solar deities might have caused some Day, but there would have been battles between Night and Day at that point, so it would not have been a regular thing. As Xentha travelled through the Sky and the Solar Deities were slowly destroyed, Night became more and more powerful. This was the Lesser Darkness, after all.

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10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I suppose it all depends on when Yelm was static. Was he static before Umath ripped Sky and Earth asunder, or was he static afterwards?

That's an interesting idea - Yelm might have been on a clockwork track on the Sunpath (and so may have been other light objects which was broken when Umath lifted up the sky. But then, why did he choose noon for his birth? Any other time, and the sun may have ended up much lower on its path. (Unless the clockwork managed to bring the object up before losing its expected grip, or the transfer to the other half beyond the Spike, or whatever.)

10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

If he was static before, then Umath's act might have forced Yelm to move, perhaps moving towards the torn Earth.

The Dara Happans tell us otherwise. Yelm rose higher into the Sky after Umath was born and the rivers invaded the topside of the world which had come into their reach again as Umath had pushed down the earth onto the Spike (creating its foothills?) and down into the sea.

 

10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

If he was static afterwards, then he might have moved when Orlanth killed him.

That is a known fact - the only witnessed Godtime move of Yelm on the Sunpath was down to the Gates of Dusk and into Wonderhome.

 

10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

However, my feeling is that Yelm did not stay in the same place for the whole of his existence. Maybe Yelm the Emperor did, but Yelm the Sun Disc may well have moved.

Another convert... 

10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

After all, one of his myths is the Burning of Mallia, before Mallia became part of the Unholy Trinity, so did that happen in Yelm's Palace, or was Yelm moving around at that point?

Pluripresence. Any greater deity can handle more than a handful of presences at a time. Even heroes can - Ralzakark has at least three.

 

10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Xentha already existed, but not in the Sky. Before Yelm was killed, she was a Goddess of Night in the Underworld, probably one of the many deities keeping the Underworld dark. Only after Yelm was killed and the darkness Spirits were forced from Wonderhome did Xentha slide up the Sky. After Yelm was killed, there was no Night and Day, there was Night. Night and day happened after time began.

There may have been a night, but on the surface, it may have been illuminated by other bodies - e.g. the White Queens'. Pre-Godtime-Sunstop Golden Age surface nights could have been against a non- or less golden sky, with plenty of other bodies providing light - e.g. the lesser orbs above the cities.

10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Now, some can argue that the other Solar deities might have caused some Day, but there would have been battles between Night and Day at that point, so it would not have been a regular thing. As Xentha travelled through the Sky and the Solar Deities were slowly destroyed, Night became more and more powerful. This was the Lesser Darkness, after all.

The Storm Age started with the (daytime?) sky turning blue (again. although now a different blue, not the blue flame of Aether, but the watery blue of Lorion - or did that start with the biirth of Umath?). Darkness followed, too. Returning to a day-night-cycle would have been a lesser darkness, too, right?

There had been stars in the sky since Umath was repelled from entering the Celestial City, and quite a few original city orbs / Planetary sons (and daughters) of Yelm less.

 

Lots of possibilities that somehow don't get to be experienced by the questers firmly bound into the syncretic myths that emerged from the Bright Empire.

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17 hours ago, Joerg said:

And that's the stagnant age that Umath rebelled against, to re-instate the cyclic nature of Godtime...

But then, maybe it is the conflation of the Emperor (who always is present above, in his city and/or palace high up) and the sun which causes these problems.

Could 'Yelm' or his antecedent have actually sought the identification with the Emperor as part of an attempt, Nysalorean or God-time, to obtain sovereignty over the Cosmos?

The GL myth has it that the Emperor (not explicitly Yelm) is created by the Cosmic Court as part of their ordering against the threat of the Predark. This god-creation has similar properties to the making of Nysalor himself.

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On 1/15/2019 at 8:47 PM, jeffjerwin said:

I think Yelm/the Emperor's basic mythic role is as a male god of sovereignty and glory, and his subordination of Ernalda and Dendara is a direct repudiation of the rule-bestowing nature of the Earth: it is he that claims land not by mingling and mating with the ground, but by hovering cleanly above her. His sons/kinsmen are not so arrogant (even Kargzant has his mare-goddess, who clearly hid sovereignty powers).

Agreed, that is kind of the topic of the next thread I was thinking of posting. For the Orlanthi the Sun and the Emperor are two distinct things I think, until the Bright Empire where he becomes associated with Yelm, the sun disk.

I do not think that the essential Gloranthan conflict is sun vs. storm, but tyrant vs. rebel. The cycle seems to repeat in every age: Empire emerges, promises good new life for all at the price of allowing the leadership to become gods; rebel emerges to free people from the tyranny of these new gods. Nysalor/Arkat; EWF/Alakoring; Red Moon/Argrath

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4 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Agreed, that is kind of the topic of the next thread I was thinking of posting. For the Orlanthi the Sun and the Emperor are two distinct things I think, until the Bright Empire where he becomes associated with Yelm, the sun disk.

I do not think that the essential Gloranthan conflict is sun vs. storm, but tyrant vs. rebel. The cycle seems to repeat in every age: Empire emerges, promises good new life for all at the price of allowing the leadership to become gods; rebel emerges to free people from the tyranny of these new gods. Nysalor/Arkat; EWF/Alakoring; Red Moon/Argrath

and Harshax... and ?

It's always followed, however, by a irruption of Chaos.

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On 1/16/2019 at 10:55 AM, soltakss said:

I suppose it all depends on when Yelm was static. Was he static before Umath ripped Sky and Earth asunder, or was he static afterwards?

My assumption is that a sun disk which crosses the sky on a track between Dawn and Dusk only exists post-Time, where it reflects both the fact that the sun-disk must spend time in the underworld and surface world as part of the Compromise and also because it marks the passage of time. At the dawn, myths seem to see the local cultures favourite sun god as bearer, shepherd, carrier etc. of this sun disk. Later, this sun disk becomes identified in the Bright Empire with Yelm. Of course, as we post the event, it is tough to know if the 'bearer' was a re-write to account for the identification of Yelm later, or the belief at the dawn. I think it is clear though that post the Compromise, the sun is a different sun to that known before. [There is a complexity with the impliction that the people don't know the Dawn has happened until the Theyaleans tell them that, but I am less sure what that means, yet]

Prior to the Compromise I would expect the situation in all of the heavens was static in the Golden Age, and then constantly changing, but with no long-lasting 'pattern' in the Storm Age and darkness.

Another question of course is 'who is Lightfore?' I think that is more problematic than who is the sun-disk, because, as @Joerg, I think, points out, Lightfore is identified as a 'title' a lot. I'm not sure that I buy the identification of Elmal with Lightfore, because Elmal is the bearer of the Sun Disk, not a Little Sun. I'm not actually sure I buy Antirius or Kargzant as Lightfore either.

 

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13 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

and Harshax... and ?

It's always followed, however, by a irruption of Chaos.

The cosmos is ossifying under the tyrants and the Chaos is necessary to break that. Of course, some Chaos in excess of that needed for a healthy cosmos tends to spill over and cause a little too much ruckus.

However, I'm not sure if the Red Goddess is actually a tyrant purely in that mold, because she is also offering the cure. Hmm.

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1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

Another question of course is 'who is Lightfore?' I think that is more problematic than who is the sun-disk, because, as @Joerg, I think, points out, Lightfore is identified as a 'title' a lot. I'm not sure that I buy the identification of Elmal with Lightfore, because Elmal is the bearer of the Sun Disk, not a Little Sun. I'm not actually sure I buy Antirius or Kargzant as Lightfore either.

My first information about Lightfore was something along the line of "Dayzatar Adventurous", the agent of the upper brother sent into the world when the middle brother (Yelm) was gone after failing to recognize Orlanth earlier. This rhymes very well with Zaytenaras, the other planet in the constellation when Umath enters (not one of the eight). The low, tangible part of the Light Above. (GRoY also mentions Deshlotralas, the planet/little sun of Lodril/Turos, but that goes unmentioned in the Copper Tablets.)

Whatever its origin, Lightfore became the rallying point for the forces of Light after the disintegration of the Imperial Sun (conflation). Any such rallying force like Antirius Yelmalio, Kargzant and even Elmal would find themselves associated with this.

I do like my recent idea that Lightfore is (or carries) the immortal part of Yelm that does not go through the Underworld but reappears at the Gates of Dawn the moment Yelm passes through the Gates of Dusk, much like the Dara Happans describe the mechanism for Uleria in their description of Mastakos, but that is something that would have been established with the first sunset within Time, and did not necessarily happen this way in the Godtime.

Unless you have the twin pair of Benign Yelm and Evil Yelm taking turns on the Sunpath, with only one personality up in the sky at any given time, and not always in the highest place of the dome (where it would have obscured Pole Star for good).

 

(And a bit of Dawn Age Seshnegi star lore trivia, possibly or even probably no longer canon: Trying to impress his love interest, the middle daughter of the Duke of Horalwal, bride of the heir of Talar of Brithos by royal decree, and sister-in-law of Hrestol (and elder sister of the wife-to-be of Ylream), Sir Faralz identifies the Pole Star as the celestial representation of Eurmal the Firebringer and Friend of Men, with a corona of differently textured sky dome where once the Spike had pierced through. Faralz and his contemporaries refer to the sun as Yelm, not Ehilm.)

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

I do like my recent idea that Lightfore is (or carries) the immortal part of Yelm that does not go through the Underworld but reappears at the Gates of Dawn the moment Yelm passes through the Gates of Dusk

That is also stated in the Glorantha Sourcebook. The book is a bit vague about who holds what beliefs though, and I don't have it with me right now, so I can't tell whether it's specifically a Pelorian belief or otherwise. I believe it just says "some believe" and that's it.

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OK so let's look at who Lightfore is:
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110,800 to 110,900 Reign of Emperor Jenarong. (101 yrs): Copper Ledgers. Lokarnos and Lightfore rise in this era. GRoY p.5

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 He said, “The World is changed. Even the sky is now touched with putrescence. The Pure Light is not. Now is the time when I must fulfill my own prophecy and seek Lightfore, who has been gone since he departed from here. Thus, said again, I must step down from this throne and depart from this realm.”” GRoY p.17 

This is post the ‘death of Yelm’ and destruction of the Spik. The implication is that Lightfore is ‘missing’ during the God’s War.
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The Dawn: “ Thus was signaled the end of the Darkness, for the realms of Day and Night switched places.115 Kargzant was defeated, ridden by Lightfore. Antirius, stronger and brighter than that old sun, rose. The horns announced the rise of the first new day.” GRoY, p. 36 

Now this statement is somewhat confusing, but it partially refers to the star Antirius replacing Kargzant, or being renamed. But that star is Lightfore right? Well, perhaps not, Lightfore ’rides’ Kargzant  and does not replace him. This surely refers to the earlier myth of the ’Sons of Vuranostum.
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Kargzant did not hesitate before a fight, and charged into the melee. But the giant cheated, and it tripped the horse god, and tied it with steel ropes, then licked a cruel bit into its mouth, and a bridle upon its head. That way Kargzant was bound, and the horses of the world were trained, and the sons of Vuranostum and all the people of Kargzant were doomed to fall before the people of Oralanatus.” GRoY, p.34 so in this context Lightfore looks to be a Storm Tribe deity who overcomes horses.
Orlanatus bore Antirius as a Weapon, and bore Justice into heaven so that Lightfore overcame Vettebbe. This way the evil was ended”, FS, p 14 

 

In essence the same story, Orlanth and Lightfore overcome Kargzant. I suspect that this is a Hyaloring myth, but it would seem to be an important moment for any Orlanthi rider cults, such as Elmal. In essence Lightfore seems to conquer Kargzant and then ride him, and the horse and rider cannot be told apart any more.
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Lightfore The planet called Lightfore appears here, out of the temporal sequence used for the other 51 later stars. The spot was originally filled by Kargzant, which had been prominent, but was no longer visible by Plentonius’ time.  51. Lightfore The bright god rose and went to War against the destructivegod Kargzant. At first Lightfore was timed so that he appeared exactly opposite to Kargzant, so that one rose when the other set. But slowly Lightfore drew Kargzant to him, so that his erratic movements had to come to time with Lightfore’s. Thus, in 111,111 Kargzant disappeared as a separate entity, chained to be  Lightfore’s slave” and “ Kargzant. Here is a comment about this disappearance from a later astronomical manual: “Kargzant was the greatest of the early Outlaw Planets. It was originally accompanied by several lesser nomads who have disappeared over the years since he rose in 110,666. Kargzant eventually defined the sky route now called the Sunpath. His early appearances were very erratic in both duration and intensity at first, but increased both ways as more stars appeared. At last, however (111,111), Kargzant was defeated by Lightfore and chained into constancy, and so is no longer visible.’"  GRoY, p. 47 

Again we see the myth of Lightfore as a horsebreaker who chains Kargzant into submission. and then the two stars cannot be told apart. That would explain how the planet Lightfore could be both Lightfore and Kargzant, it is horse and rider!!
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The story of what the Young God did is recorded by the planet Lightfore. Parts of the story are discernable from the constellation where Lightfore rises (and sets), and by its passage through variously important celestial bodies. The planet Lightfore has always held some enigma. Its Gloranthan name is always a title, like Lightfore, and its secret name remains a secret (if it was ever known or agreed upon!) Furthermore, the story of the Young God may be told about other deities as well. It was told about Kargzant before the Anarchy Year turned everything around, and its influence is still seen in many nomad customs. (see Wyrms Footnotes  article)
The story of the Young God is now the story of Yelm, and is told as such here. Lightfore is now recognized by the Dara Happans to be Antirius, the “Little Sun” which remained in the darkness. They remind us that Yelm’s own consciousness was in Antirius, as well as in Bijiif, the Descender. As Bijiif descended into Hell, Antirius also descended into the Land of the Dead. These are, they say, both elements  of the same Yelmic secrets.” GRoY, p.69 

 

 
 
So Lighfore’s movement through the constellations records the mythology of Yelm and via that the seasons. In a sense this is the annual time in contrast to daily time. Daily time is Light and Dark but annual time is perhaps more important to the Compromise as Life waxes and wanes in Summer and Winter. 
 
Now GRoY notes this as Antirius the “Little Sun”, but also offers that Antirius is Yelm’s consciousness i.e. is a part of Yelm. It also somewhat confusingly suggests that Antirius descended into hell, just as Bijif did.
 
I won’t repeat the whole myth of the Young God here but it appears he
 
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"During the Spring Season Yelm walks “across fields, through the Marsh to Erkonus, and on to the Forest.” During the summer, he delves “into the Forest, the Hunter’s realm.” … At  last, he ends up on the shores of the River. Yelm must confront the serpentine River (which is often called the Styx, Lorion, or even Oslira). But, as always, Water bears the weakness of fire, and the Young God is overwhelmed by the serpent. He is vomited out by the monster on the far side of the River and enters into the realm of Death. This is the start of Autumn. … Only at the Oasis does he find any sustenance, and his entry there marks the start of Winter. ... then makes his way back to the River. Once submerged, his wounds and pains are taken away, and he is renewed. He emerges as the Young God again, and takes his Throne, which stands upon a rock in the center of the River.” GRoY, p 69


 

[So this Sun God falls to the Dragon/River that invades the heavens, not the Rebel, and resurrects himself, rather than being resurrected by Orlanth. So is this the original mythology of Kargzant? It is worth perhaps noting that Greg put Elmal and Orlanth’s confrontation at a river. Is this the point at which the mythologies were tied - the sun god falling into the river? Of course if the river is Styx, this can be a metaphorical crossing into death, but no Orlanth killing the Emperor here.

This one is an outlier and a hole in the theory though:
 
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The Twelve were called the Executors, and they were the beings responsible for bringing out the Primoltian and Ulerian energies in the created world, via human action.This included the Two Created by Dayzatar, who are Ourania and Arraz/Lightfore; the Three Sons of Yelm (and Dendara), Shargash, Lokarnos, and Raibamus; the Five Children of Lodril (and Oria), the three daughters Oslira, Entekos, and Denegeria; and the sons Mohenjarus and Gerendetho; and the two Outsiders, Naveria and Oroypsus.” FS, 14 [This seems confusing because it suggests that Arraz and Lightfore are one. yet Arraz has his own sun in the sky, yet it suggests that Lightfore was a son of Dayzatar]

Arraz/Lightfore? Is Lightfore simply a title for the current dominant sun. Was that once Arraz? Was Arraz the Emperor before Yelm?
 
What does all this even imply? Answers on a Gloranthan postcard... A theory
 
Lightfore’s mythology is given by Lightfore’s passage through the constellations. Now that mythology is wrapped around Yelm, the god of the sun disk, but it appears to belong to a different god.
 
Lightfore is said to chain Kargzant when the star becomes Lightfore. Most likely this is the myth of the domestication of the Horse. Kargzant, the nomad sun god is here symbolic of the horse and Lightfore's chaining of him, probably of gaining the horse.  But if Kargzant is the nomad horse god, then this is a story told from the Hyaloring point of view, perhaps. The Hyalorings 'conquer' the nomad's horses. Lightfore becomes one with Kargzant, the rider and the horse. But it seems more than this, the rider cult's mythologies merge here too, Kargzant and Lightfore.
 
A structuralist reading could also have this as the ‘foreigner’s wedding', we welcome Elmal into the house by marriage to the Horse Loving Daughter (Redaylda, or is she Beren's wife, or is that much the same, marriage of hero over god). 
 
Maybe Lightfore is the old sun, gone from the world, before the sun disk of the dawn, of time, rises. This might make sense as the sunpath is created by Lightfore. So that might imply why the sun gods Anitirus, Kargant etc. become associated with him and Yelm with the sun disk. 
 
Now, as we understand it, the horse conquering sun fits Elmal better than Antirius, but we don't know enough of Antirius's myths, and Orlanth is said to bear Antirius as a weapon when he conquers the horse.
 
But having conquered the nomad sun, the sun horse, Kargzant. the mythology of the rider and horse seem to merge. So whoever Elmal and Antirius were, becoming a rider does seem to change them. 
 
And what of Yelm, how does he acquire Kargzant's mythology. He gains it when folks begin to worship the sun disk and not the sun bearer at the dawn (who was the old sun) in the First age.
 
But this would definitely back the idea that Yelm comes into existence with time, and the sun disk does not exist before that, Yelm’s mythology a composite of Kargzant, Antirius and others
 
Is this Yelmalio? An opinion goes that Yelmalio is Lightfore. Well Yelmalio is the god of the winter sun, and the testing that Lightfore receives could be the testing that the Young God bears in the desert. But he does not face the serpent/dragon and he is the sun in winter, not a sun for all seasons. And the cult of the spearmen of the Golden Dome does not seem to a rider's cult, the cult of those that tamed the horse and brought horse warfare (over chariot?)
 
So is Yelmalio just  a truncated portion of the cult, the god just in Winter, a part of the sun, but not all of it, less than Elmal, Kargzant or Antirius who are the whole?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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I am a Glorantha novice, but I feel like something in the first post and later posts by the OP doesn't mesh with my feeling of how Glorantha works. It seems too much like the real world - "there is a sun, and each culture interprets it as a different god, and then there's cultural exchange that leads to new entities ascribed to the same celestial phenomenon". I prefer to think that it's less about names and stories being ascribed to abstract phenomena and more about different facets, aspects and faces of entities so complex and vast and beyond understanding that each culture only sees a part of them, a 2D crossection of a 3D or even 4D being. So, it's not that Yelm is later identified with the Emperor - The Sun has always (in part, in one of its facets, seen from a perspective of one layer of its interaction with The Storm) been an Evil Emperor, just as it has always been the Good Emperor and a myriad other things.

 

...if that makes any sense.

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2 hours ago, Ufnal said:

I am a Glorantha novice, but I feel like something in the first post and later posts by the OP doesn't mesh with my feeling of how Glorantha works. It seems too much like the real world - "there is a sun, and each culture interprets it as a different god, and then there's cultural exchange that leads to new entities ascribed to the same celestial phenomenon". I prefer to think that it's less about names and stories being ascribed to abstract phenomena and more about different facets, aspects and faces of entities so complex and vast and beyond understanding that each culture only sees a part of them, a 2D crossection of a 3D or even 4D being. So, it's not that Yelm is later identified with the Emperor - The Sun has always (in part, in one of its facets, seen from a perspective of one layer of its interaction with The Storm) been an Evil Emperor, just as it has always been the Good Emperor and a myriad other things.

"Has alwas been" is a somewhat relative truth as people have the ability to enter the myths and re-interprete and in extreme cases even change them.

Human understanding of a deity is bound to be limited, in Glorantha as much as in the real world. When we debate how things were in the Gods Age, we pretend we're able to undo the damage that has been done to the world (and its body of myth) by the Greater Darkness (if we accept the Gods War as the necessary feature of the direction the myths went, otherwise the damage the Gods War did to the Golden Age comes into this, too).

There have always been individuals who took a step back and looked at greater connections beyond "I know what god you are talking about, we have this story" or an ad-hoc adoption of a neighbor's story with their own tools of description. Taking this step backwards and distancing oneself from the absolute trust in one's own network of truths may be necessary at times, but takes away the innocent complete trust, and starts the path to enlightenment.

It is a form of a Green Age moment, really, a fundamental experience that cannot be undone.

2 hours ago, Ufnal said:

...if that makes any sense.

As much as any discussion here.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

"Has alwas been" is a somewhat relative truth as people have the ability to enter the myths and re-interprete and in extreme cases even change them.

Question is, whether we ever change them, or just find new interpretations. (Although this way of thinking falls apart when heroes start acquiring their own presence in the world of Gods)

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1 hour ago, Ufnal said:

Question is, whether we ever change them, or just find new interpretations. (Although this way of thinking falls apart when heroes start acquiring their own presence in the world of Gods)

One of the God Learner Secrets (capital S) was that they knew how to change myths. Not a secret from the public, really, but the know how was a secret that required you to join them. (No idea how they dealt with dissidents who left them - the most famous dissident, Halwal, used God Learner methods (but it isn't sure which brand) to support rebellions against the establishment of the Empire, leading to the liberation of Akem and Ralios from the God Learner state.

A lot of access to the myths that once were there has been lost. The myths might still be there, and might be responsible for strange and largely unaccountable encounters in the hero plane that have been re-interpreted with actors from other myths or other cycles.

As far as I understand Godtime, the same events happened again and again, or simultaneously in different places/contexts,  leaving a lot of individual actors filling the same roles as others. The sun is no exception.

The more universal a deity is becoming (or is regarded as such), the more strange other stuff may accumulate in its name. The Dragon Sun may be one such thing.

 

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On ‎1‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 2:18 AM, Ufnal said:

I am a Glorantha novice, but I feel like something in the first post and later posts by the OP doesn't mesh with my feeling of how Glorantha works. It seems too much like the real world - "there is a sun, and each culture interprets it as a different god, and then there's cultural exchange that leads to new entities ascribed to the same celestial phenomenon". I prefer to think that it's less about names and stories being ascribed to abstract phenomena and more about different facets, aspects and faces of entities so complex and vast and beyond understanding that each culture only sees a part of them, a 2D crossection of a 3D or even 4D being. So, it's not that Yelm is later identified with the Emperor - The Sun has always (in part, in one of its facets, seen from a perspective of one layer of its interaction with The Storm) been an Evil Emperor, just as it has always been the Good Emperor and a myriad other things.

 

...if that makes any sense.

It does.

We (and the imaginary Gloranthans) see the gods through the lens of mythology, and just as Xenophanes viewed that the Greeks portrayed their gods with human characteristics, because the Greeks are human, there's likely to be a very great deal of projection by Gloranthans, when their gods are imagined to have human characteristics. Instead, different cultures and cults latch onto a particular view of a deity, but like the blind men trying to describe an elephant by touch, they are only perceiving a limited and truncated version of the deity. Greg once said, I believe, that there aren't as many gods in Glorantha as people assume, and I suspect its because the gods, like the nature of God Time are beyond the understanding of mortals.

The God Learners manipulated myths, but because they were working from invalid assumptions, eventually their attempt to order and control reality sprang back and... no more God Learners. The EWF were similarly working from an incomplete apprehension of draconic forces, and eventually they all died. The Lunars seem to be doing something similar, recreating a new goddess from incomplete fragments of old ones, and the first indication that their project was having unintended consequences was when their construct returned, tainted with Chaos - it won't end well...

Edited by M Helsdon

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OK, some more thoughts from digging at The God's Wall, on the Lightfore question, with Elmal and Yelmalio thrown in.
 
It's the only God's War document, from the ascension of Murharzam. It's important to note when it was made as I think this denotes the most significant figure. So I think we need to see the most important figure there as Murhazam (as there is no Yelm :-))
 
(1) Solar Court 1 is Murhazam the Emperor. He sits on the Throne (Burbustus) which rests atop the Footstool. In front of him stand his four sons who are in charge of the directions. 
(2) Anything with a planet symbol is one of the Many Suns. They may well be sun gods for individual cities along the Oslir. The Emperor is simply Raibanth's son.
(3l The largest sun symbol is over the Emperor, because Raibanth rules the other cities.
(4) Arguably the sun gods could be said to 'bear' their sun over be their sun. This is important because at the dawn various gods bear the sun disk.
(5) Where is Antirius? He is at I-1, he and Murharzam are swapped by Plentonius in error, because Murharzam is the divine Emperor at the time the wall is carved. Antirius doesn't 'rule' until later. 
(6) Who is Lightfore? He was the Emperor, but only because he is the first light! The story of the Emperor is the movement of Lightfore in the heavens. The symbol above the Emperor on the God's Wall is Lightfore. The identity of Lightfore in the sky changes, as the God's War develops, and suns fall, new suns become the ‘first sun’ and Lightfore. Murharzam is Lightfore first, Antirius is Lightfore at the Dawn.
(7) What is the cult of Lightfore now? The Great Compromise fixed roles. The star called Lightfore is such because is Antirius, who was Lightfore at the Dawn. He rides Kargzant, so Kargzant is Lightfore too, and he bears the sun, which can be seen on the Sunpath in the day. No one worships the sun at the Dawn because there is no Yelm before the Bright Empire. It is just the sun disk.
(8) Where is Elmal? He is not on the God's Wall as he shines from atop Keep Fin, not a DH city. He is one of the Many Suns, but no one in Peloria worships him, not, unlike Orlanth does he come into DH as an aggressor, and can be identified as Rebellus Terminus. Is he Antirius? It is possible, but mythically Antirius is present in DH, so it is also possible to see them as different suns with Elmal not mentioned. Elmal shines from atop Kero Fin. At the Dawn he is the sun disk's bearer (the torchbearer), not the sun.  
(9) Is Elmal/Redayla also the planet Lightfore? Lightfore gets associated with Antirius, as the premier sun god at the dawn, other than the sun disk. Kargzant is Antirius’s steed, so they are one planet in the sky. This seems to be part of the Great Compromise. So do all the 'sun bearers' become associated with the horse and rider planet Antirius/Kargzant called Lightfore. Is Elmal/Redayla also Lightfore? Maybe. The other explanation is the Elmal is visible as the sun - he bears it, but is not it, but cannot be seen carrying it. This seems possible as the Orlanthi claim him as the sun, and not the Great Darkness Lightfore, who shines from Kero Fin, not Raibanth. I would guess that the synthesis with Antirius/Kargzant comes as part of the Bright Empire, where Murharzam and Antirius/Kargant become merged, alongside Elmal, into Yelm. Yelm is the Murharzam sun, and Lightfore the Antirius/Kargzant planet on the sun path.  A kind of correlation by the Bright Empire might then make Anitirus/Kargzant = Elmal/Redaylda = Lightfore. It isn’t necessarily that Elmal is that planet on the sunpath, but the Bright Empire tries to associate him with it.
(10) Where is Yelmalio? He is also Not here. He is created by the Bright Empire and is not a Dara Happan god. He is not one of the Godtime Many Suns. Is he a Bright Empire version of Antirius? It's possible that when the Bright Empire creates him, they shift some of the beliefs of Antirius/Kargazant to Yelmalio, because Antirius does not seem to be directly worshipped, but only as part of the Yelm cult. In that sense Yelmalio could be associated with Elmal, to the extent that Elmal gets associated with Antirius. 
(11) But that seems to overload the whole Antirius/Kargzant = Elmal/Redaylda piece. Alternatively Yelmalio might also be a mask of Dayzatar, the sky dome,  who sets out to find the missing Emperor (Lightfore). After all, he is the god of bright sky without Yelm in it i.e. Dayzatar. Dayzatar also holds the Truth rune. He also seems a little bit like Polaris, the marshal of heaven, and the defender of the Sky Dome when Dayzatar left. After all, the martial sun domers move to order, just like the troops of Polaris. As an Bright Empire creation he might synthesise those. In that case Halamalo the elven sun god, could be Dayzatar or Polaris. He could be mystical view of Dayzatar/Polaris once, but shorn of Nysalorian trappings after the First Age. 
(10) Who is Yelm? He is a synthesized god, created by the Bright Empire. He is worship of the sun disk, not it's bearer, which only appeared in  its current form in time.  Much of his mythology is of Lightfore, the leading sun of any given time, so the Emperor but other parts are Kargzant, the nomad conquerors of DH, Antirius the foremost sun defending Dara Happa after the Emperor dies, and other parts come from Elmal the barbarian sun god. 
 
 
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2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Who is Lightfore?

There are some other old references to keep in mind, specifically the original writeups on the Gods of Fire and Light from WF, subsequently reprinted in Wyrms Footprints (which I'll use for the page references).

p.54: Dayzatar was forced to leave his perch at least one time during his isolation. This was to rescue Lightfore, a favorite worshipper whose story is told below. [although I don't think the full story was actually ever 'told below']

p.55: Ourania was created straight for the mind of Dayzatar to sit in the throne while he was gone to rescue Lightfore.

p.56: During the Darkness, Pole Star's home was high atop the Spike - sitting near its tip where the mighty mountain pierced the sky.... Some of Pole Star's children were less stable or more adventuresome than the other Star Captains... Many of these demigods were slain, but one in particular, Lightfore, set a clear HeroQuest path which later gods also followed. Lightfore was the first successful Wanderer, called Planet, to pass through the sky.

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13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

There are some other old references to keep in mind, specifically the original writeups on the Gods of Fire and Light from WF, subsequently reprinted in Wyrms Footprints (which I'll use for the page references).

The Glorantha Sourcebook would be a more accesible text to quote from, considering that the Theogony is reprinted therein.

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17 hours ago, metcalph said:

The Glorantha Sourcebook would be a more accesible text to quote from, considering that the Theogony is reprinted therein.

I chose the earlier because it provides context as to how far back those views/comments of Lightfore came from.

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On 2/4/2019 at 7:59 AM, metcalph said:

The Glorantha Sourcebook would be a more accesible text to quote from, considering that the Theogony is reprinted therein.

True, but by the Sourcebook we have already begun to interpret Yelmalio as Lightfore. I'm trying to look prior to that to see if it holds water with what we had in GRoY and KoS.

For my part if we see Lightfore in the God's War as a title, it really belongs to the ruling 'sun' in DH. But at the Compromise it gets fixed on a planet which I believe is best described as 'horse and rider'. It's Antirius atop Kargzant or Elmal atop Redaylda. My problem with Yelmalio is he doesn't really have that myth i.e. he does not have the association with horses that seems fairly essential to Lightfore now, as a key idea is that Lightfore tames Kargzant with the bit and bridle.

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Regarding the premise of this thread, I guess Six Ages lore is pretty much at odds with it. Of course, we're not at Time yet there (and thus we could be in a re-jiggered Godtime), but I don't think there's not going to be a Yelm by the Dawn rolls around. I guess we could still be surprised, though.

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2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

My problem with Yelmalio is he doesn't really have that myth i.e. he does not have the association with horses that seems fairly essential to Lightfore now, as a key idea is that Lightfore tames Kargzant with the bit and bridle.

Much of that is perhaps due to most of the available information on Yelmalio being filtered through the Praxian Sun Dome, whose horses have been extinct for centuries due to the hostility of the Animal Nomads. Even so, Yelmalio has retained geases related to horses.

In the Guide,  in Saird, Yelmalio seems to have a relationship with Redaylda and her husband Hyalor at Mirin's Cross.

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15 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Much of that is perhaps due to most of the available information on Yelmalio being filtered through the Praxian Sun Dome, whose horses have been extinct for centuries due to the hostility of the Animal Nomads. Even so, Yelmalio has retained geases related to horses.

In the Guide,  in Saird, Yelmalio seems to have a relationship with Redaylda and her husband Hyalor at Mirin's Cross.

First, we don't have cavalry units for the Sun Dome Temples in the DP boardgame either. They are pikemen. Second, it's not about whether there are cavalry units, it is about the god's mythology having a strong association with the taming of horses. We have those myths for Elmal, not for Yelmalio. Six Ages tells the story of the Hyalorings and tends to imply that Elmal arrives with them among the Vingkotlings and marries in. As above, so below. But Elmal is a horsebreaker, Yelmalio is not. Runegate and Toena Fort have long been associated with horse markets for the Orlanthi, particularly because of the strength of the cult of Elmal at Runegate and Toena Fort.

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17 hours ago, Grievous said:

Regarding the premise of this thread, I guess Six Ages lore is pretty much at odds with it. Of course, we're not at Time yet there (and thus we could be in a re-jiggered Godtime), but I don't think there's not going to be a Yelm by the Dawn rolls around. I guess we could still be surprised, though.

In what way is Six Ages lore at odds with it?

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1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

First, we don't have cavalry units for the Sun Dome Temples in the DP boardgame either. They are pikemen.

We don't have separate counters for them, but they are in the unit description.

I am starting to wonder whether the Bush Children and similar mounted cavalry units in the game are (possibly apostate) Templar or Sun Dome Militia units.

 

1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

Second, it's not about whether there are cavalry units, it is about the god's mythology having a strong association with the taming of horses. We have those myths for Elmal, not for Yelmalio. Six Ages tells the story of the Hyalorings and tends to imply that Elmal arrives with them among the Vingkotlings and marries in. As above, so below. But Elmal is a horsebreaker, Yelmalio is not. Runegate and Toena Fort have long been associated with horse markets for the Orlanthi, particularly because of the strength of the cult of Elmal at Runegate and Toena Fort.

True. All Yelmalio has (left) are the geasa against letting horses suffer, which are right alongside the ones for elves.

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