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Sun County Templars' and militiamen's cult ranks

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Templars - All of them

Militiamen - Not sure, maybe the same proportion as are initiates across the board, maybe 20% or 30%

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There have been reports of Templar (!) regiments containing Humakti, and probably other cultists, too. Whether these are included in your question about the presence of Yelmalio initiates is another issue.

As a rule, the Yelmalio temple communities have initiation rates like the Heortlings. That makes the cult Theyalan in culture.

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19 hours ago, Joerg said:

There have been reports of Templar (!) regiments containing Humakti, and probably other cultists, too. Whether these are included in your question about the presence of Yelmalio initiates is another issue.

As a rule, the Yelmalio temple communities have initiation rates like the Heortlings. That makes the cult Theyalan in culture.

What would those rates be in your Glorantha? Or has there been any official stuff?

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20 hours ago, soltakss said:

Templars - All of them

Militiamen - Not sure, maybe the same proportion as are initiates across the board, maybe 20% or 30%

Yeah, I had been thinking about the same kind of rates.

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9 hours ago, Brootse said:

What would those rates be in your Glorantha? Or has there been any official stuff?

I don't think it's been 'officially' decided what the frequency of Initiation-with-a-capital-I is in the new age of RQG, and I'll make my own judgement for my Glorantha when it's published in the Gamemaster book. The best recent stuff prior to the fragmentary material we currently have specifically published under the RQG umbrella is the Red Cow Saga, and that supposes a large majority of Sartarite adults would be Initiates of one or another Cult. Personally, I like this interpretation, because Glorantha is a magical world, where magic makes life both safer and, because your enemies have it, more dangerous. Also, the benefits of becoming Initiated massively outweigh the costs, the hurdles to getting Initiated in your home culture's dominant Cults are set very low and the very nature of the world means that it's existentially relevant to have a concrete connection to your very concrete Gods.

For my Glorantha, the ranks of the UnInitiated will be filled only by the very lowliest of society: stickpickers and backwoods recluses whose lives will largely be short and difficult given the multitude of magical threats that really need the backing of a Cult and society to overcome consistently.

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10 hours ago, Brootse said:

What would those rates be in your Glorantha? Or has there been any official stuff?

Thunder Rebels gave an approximate of 80%, a value which still holds mostly true iirc.

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10 hours ago, womble said:

I don't think it's been 'officially' decided what the frequency of Initiation-with-a-capital-I is in the new age of RQG, and I'll make my own judgement for my Glorantha when it's published in the Gamemaster book. The best recent stuff prior to the fragmentary material we currently have specifically published under the RQG umbrella is the Red Cow Saga, and that supposes a large majority of Sartarite adults would be Initiates of one or another Cult. Personally, I like this interpretation, because Glorantha is a magical world, where magic makes life both safer and, because your enemies have it, more dangerous. Also, the benefits of becoming Initiated massively outweigh the costs, the hurdles to getting Initiated in your home culture's dominant Cults are set very low and the very nature of the world means that it's existentially relevant to have a concrete connection to your very concrete Gods.

For my Glorantha, the ranks of the UnInitiated will be filled only by the very lowliest of society: stickpickers and backwoods recluses whose lives will largely be short and difficult given the multitude of magical threats that really need the backing of a Cult and society to overcome consistently.

There are spirit cults and general pantheism/ancestor worship. How do you rank Ancestor worshippers or general animists in your scheme of things?

In my Glorantha, a significant portion of the lowest level of Orlanthi society is highly involved in magical pursuits - it is them who initiate into niche deities, which gives them a few days in the year when they are dressed up to step into the spotlight, get feasted, and get to be important. Sure, the stickpicker crone widow who knows the rites for Ana Gor isn't going to be popular, but she is an important magical member of the clan, and that will keep her fed and warm when the worst times come.

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11 hours ago, womble said:

...Glorantha is a magical world, where magic makes life both safer and, because your enemies have it, more dangerous. Also, the benefits of becoming Initiated massively outweigh the costs, the hurdles to getting Initiated in your home culture's dominant Cults are set very low and the very nature of the world means that it's existentially relevant to have a concrete connection to your very concrete Gods.

For my Glorantha, the ranks of the UnInitiated will be filled only by the very lowliest of society: stickpickers and backwoods recluses whose lives will largely be short and difficult given the multitude of magical threats that really need the backing of a Cult and society to overcome consistently.

Would that imply lower rates of "I" initiation in Peloria as the state makes daily life safer?

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3 hours ago, Rob Darvall said:

Would that imply lower rates of "I" initiation in Peloria as the state makes daily life safer?

I think so. I remember reading somewhere, perhaps Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, that initiation is far more common in Orlanthi lands than anywhere else in Genertela. Elsewhere, people are content with being lay members.

Edited by Runeblogger

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10 hours ago, Rob Darvall said:

Would that imply lower rates of "I" initiation in Peloria as the state makes daily life safer?

Not only that, but to some degree the benefits of Initiation are somewhat reduced: Seven Mothers doesn't, IIRC, offer much in the way of 'making your life better' spells in the same way that Ernalda does (unless your life is better when everyone around you is stark staring mad :) ). I'm no expert on Peloria, but get the impression that Yelm worship is somewhat socially restricted, and the commoners' lives much more straitly organised in Dara Happa than in Sartar. There's Lodril, but that's only 'protection from cold' rather than 'the easy way to get a plough team': good on the fringes of the glacier, less so further south. 

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

There are spirit cults and general pantheism/ancestor worship. How do you rank Ancestor worshippers or general animists in your scheme of things?

In terms of "what proportion of the population?" type questions, I'd rank serious participants in that sort of activity as Initiates: they'll tend to have a CHA full of spirit magic, and the covenant of the Shaman (whose material needs they contribute to supporting) to look after their magical well being. Shaman are obviously, and have explicitly been asserted to be by the designers, Rune Master-level entities. Such practitioners are a very small minority in the Quivin Mountains though.

I'm sure you'd agree that some superstitious flea-bitten waster with Spirit Screen-1 and Second Sight (as their sole magical resources) doesn't count as an Initiate level, though, even if they "claim" to be worshipping their Ancestors. The mechanics of RQG make it relatively easy to gauge whether someone's 'Initiate grade' (a pretty broad brush, after all).

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

In my Glorantha, a significant portion of the lowest level of Orlanthi society is highly involved in magical pursuits - it is them who initiate into niche deities, which gives them a few days in the year when they are dressed up to step into the spotlight, get feasted, and get to be important. Sure, the stickpicker crone widow who knows the rites for Ana Gor isn't going to be popular, but she is an important magical member of the clan, and that will keep her fed and warm when the worst times come.

I like this idea. Even Stickpickers have their uses. Some of them, anyway. Given that it's generally 'easy' for the progeny of an Initiate to Initiate into their parent's Cult, such 'niche' roles will tend to run in families, and if the 'incumbent' should die, fail or even [gasp] move on up in the world, the search for a replacement from outside the traditional family-who-does-that-thing could be a story.

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14 minutes ago, womble said:

There's Lodril, but that's only 'protection from cold' rather than 'the easy way to get a plough team': good on the fringes of the glacier, less so further south. 

IIRC, Lodril gives lots of farming magic too and is one of the most popular men's god in Peloria, though his non-fertility aspects (fire and rebellion) are suppressed by the Yelm priesthood. He's much more than just protection against the cold.

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On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 11:27 AM, Brootse said:

How large percentage of the Templars and militiamen would be initiates?

The usual answer is - it depends.

Yelmalion Templar/mercenary regiments will be composed almost entirely of initiates, with non-initiates who have served for less than two years being lay members of the cult. So it depends upon how many 'outsiders' have been recruited, and how long they've served. Cults of Prax and Sun County are still the best sources, and they don't stipulate the percentage, but it is going to be relatively high.

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1 hour ago, Richard S. said:

IIRC, Lodril gives lots of farming magic too and is one of the most popular men's god in Peloria, though his non-fertility aspects (fire and rebellion) are suppressed by the Yelm priesthood. He's much more than just protection against the cold.

Actually bothering to consult the only source I have on Lodril for game mechanics (RQ3's Gods of Glorantha) suggests we're both wrong: he doesn't provide farming magic, but his Lowfire magic would be marginally useful (they'd still need to provide all the fuel; it'd mostly save effort on the bellows, or time for the fire to warm up) for crafters who rely on heat (potters and smiths, masons, launderers and bakers). There might be more authoritative sources, of course... And there's no doubting his social function.

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6 minutes ago, womble said:

Actually bothering to consult the only source I have on Lodril for game mechanics (RQ3's Gods of Glorantha) suggests we're both wrong: he doesn't provide farming magic, but his Lowfire magic would be marginally useful (they'd still need to provide all the fuel; it'd mostly save effort on the bellows, or time for the fire to warm up) for crafters who rely on heat (potters and smiths, masons, launderers and bakers). There might be more authoritative sources, of course... And there's no doubting his social function.

Hm. Every source I've read says that he's the primary god for Pelorian peasant men to initiate into. In HQG his affinities were fire/fertility/disorder, the second of which especially led me to believe he was partially a farming god.

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17 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Hm. Every source I've read says that he's the primary god for Pelorian peasant men to initiate into. In HQG his affinities were fire/fertility/disorder, the second of which especially led me to believe he was partially a farming god.

Aye. He does have the Fertility Rune, but he doesn't, AFAICT, have any direct magic to benefit actual agriculture that you couldn't get just by Augmenting your Farm with your own Fertility rune. I read the 'primary god for peasants' function as being tied more to his social function as the catalyst for rising up against an overly-oppressive big brother. However, it's not like Orlanth does, either. He gets Tame Bull from Barntar, and can increase the chance of it raining with Cloud Call, and the chance of getting the hay in, dry, with Cloud Clear, which is probably why farmers are more likely to go Thunderous than Adventurous. The Really Good Spells for farmers come from Ernalda. Orlanthi do tend to get into more rucks than compliant Pelorian peasantry, so the other bits of Orlanth are more useful (on the cattle raid, or blood feud).

Do the distaff Pelorians worship Ernalda, or do they go for the more specific Grain Goddess of their region instead? They seem to get Bless Crops, but not Bless Pregnancy or Reproduce or Bless Animals, and being lesser Goddesses, might not have access to all the useful Common spells either.

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There was an excellent Lodril writeup in a Zine somewhere, which gave him a lot of magic. Caladra & Aurelion, specifically Aurelion, grants Fertility magic to enrich the soil.

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12 minutes ago, soltakss said:

There was an excellent Lodril writeup in a Zine somewhere, which gave him a lot of magic. Caladra & Aurelion, specifically Aurelion, grants Fertility magic to enrich the soil.

In a way Lodril does provide fertility magic. You just have to erupt a volcano every now and then.

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The Lodril writeup in the zine (also in Cult Compendium) was partly crap.  The cult in the world bits were good but the magic was just plain fire-magics which had very little use for the average Lodrili worshipper.   

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On 1/17/2019 at 3:52 AM, Joerg said:

There have been reports of Templar (!) regiments containing Humakti, and probably other cultists, too. Whether these are included in your question about the presence of Yelmalio initiates is another issue.

Yes, if they'll have you, you can sign up for the Sun Dome Templars and can serve for two years before being required to apply to be an initiate of Yelmalio, or leaving. That would explain assorted foreigners (including Humatki etc) in the ranks. A bit like joining the French Foreign Legion. This is in fact the career path Rurik the Restless followed.

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On 1/19/2019 at 12:46 PM, metcalph said:

The Lodril writeup in the zine (also in Cult Compendium) was partly crap.  The cult in the world bits were good but the magic was just plain fire-magics which had very little use for the average Lodrili worshipper.   

Lodril's not a fertility deity in that sense (although he certainly was fecund). His best farmer's aid spells are Earthwarm, Control Flood, and Stabilize Earth (for irrigation). Bless Crops comes from Dendara or Oria or whatever other Grain Goddess is locally worshiped. The average farmer calls on Lodril to protect fields and orchards against frost (which is still an issue in Peloria despite the Kalikos Expedition), to cremate the dead, and so on. And the fact that Lodril is loved by the Earth Goddesses means that by worshiping Lodril, you keep them happy. 

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On 1/21/2019 at 8:44 PM, Jeff said:

Lodril's not a fertility deity in that sense (although he certainly was fecund). His best farmer's aid spells are Earthwarm, Control Flood, and Stabilize Earth (for irrigation). Bless Crops comes from Dendara or Oria or whatever other Grain Goddess is locally worshiped. The average farmer calls on Lodril to protect fields and orchards against frost (which is still an issue in Peloria despite the Kalikos Expedition), to cremate the dead, and so on. And the fact that Lodril is loved by the Earth Goddesses means that by worshiping Lodril, you keep them happy. 

What about his Ten Sons? Are they treated as subcults, or just aspects of the Lodril Cult? They're clearly modeled around the "common man's work", a bit like a combination of Barntar and Durev.

Also, what about the regional equivalencies - Turos and Gerendetho? Gerendetho seems more hunting-focused, while Turos has much less for an elemental Fire-focus in his myths and more of a general power/masculinity focus (there's even KetTuros as a god of urban organization/protection).

I'll admit, from my first readings on Lodril in a specifically Pelorian context, there didn't seem to be much of a Fire-focus at all. It was a lot more written about him working the soil, getting drunk, and being the village headman. With all this explicit elementalism, are we sure we're not letting the God Learners and Caladra/Veskarthan influence Pelorian Lodril here?

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The Ten Sons and Workers (including at least two daughters) are primarily a riverine Dara Happan bunch of subcults, dedicated to various jobs in irrigation and river taming. I doubt that they are mentioned at all in Veskarthan's worship in Caladraland, and if they are known in riverine Esrolia and Porthomeka, their numbers and attributes will be as different as their names.

As subcults one might initiate to, only the Veskarthan worshippers in Kethaela are interesting - the Pelorians (both dry farmers and irrigation farmers) don't usually initiate to any specific cults, although they do turn up as worshippers and offer sacrifices so that the few dedicated priests of these deities may bring the deity's magic to the worshippers.

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Are you sure, you're still talking about "Sun County Templars' and militiamen's cult ranks" (which was the original subject of this thread 😉)?

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Sorry, I realize I followed up on a tangent.

Although I will add something at least somewhat relevant: the thing about Orlanthi individually initiating to specific deities at a higher rate probably doesn't just derive from social functions, but it seems to be a cultural feature of Theyalan-associated cultures in general, including, for example, Trolls. Not sure if it applies to Aldryami though (it obviously doesn't apply to Mostali and Dragonewts, who're largely non-theistic, though the Mostali at least have their caste-based sorceries which might serve roughly analogously).

For whatever reason, the Pelorian family of cultures seem to have less of this trend of individual-entry into cults. Maybe it's the larger, city-state societies, maybe it's the increased degree of social stratification and hierarchy, or maybe it's some other, possibly mythic reason. (There are probably exceptions, for example among women in Darjiin or something, but that's the general trend as far as I know.)
 

48 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Ten Sons and Workers (including at least two daughters) are primarily a riverine Dara Happan bunch of subcults, dedicated to various jobs in irrigation and river taming. I doubt that they are mentioned at all in Veskarthan's worship in Caladraland, and if they are known in riverine Esrolia and Porthomeka, their numbers and attributes will be as different as their names.

As subcults one might initiate to, only the Veskarthan worshippers in Kethaela are interesting - the Pelorians (both dry farmers and irrigation farmers) don't usually initiate to any specific cults, although they do turn up as worshippers and offer sacrifices so that the few dedicated priests of these deities may bring the deity's magic to the worshippers.

 

Just to be clear - I didn't mean to imply that Veskarthan was a subcult of Lodril. Gods runically associated, yes, but clearly completely different as social and cultic phenomena. I would assume the Ten Sons, as you say, are a lowland Pelorian thing, and I'd too be somewhat surprised if Veskarthan has any "sons" in that sense.

I'm still somewhat hesitant to say that all of Lodril and/or Turos' magics must be elementally derived though. Seems somewhat at odds with his daily-life role as the quintessential common man, farmer and/or village headman.

 

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