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Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha

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The beauty of the cult of Nysalor is that it is adaptable.

Want a god of the mob, of the people, where all you have is a bunch of tricksters spreading Illumination everywhere and not caring about the consequences? That's Nysalor.

Want an esoteric subcult of Yelm where secret knowledge is passed down to the worthy? That's Nysalor.

Want someone to Illuminate the Red Goddess and pass knowledge down among her followers? That's Nysalor.

Lunar Illumination is essentially Nysaloran Illumination with a lot of extra philosophy and, perhaps, an extra step taking them to a further stage.

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There is an archetype in Glorantha of the Light God who descends to the world to shine through the Greater Darkness and greets the Dawn. He is not the distant Light, too pure for the world, but one that suffers through pollution and strife, and yet remains bright. This archetype has many names - at the Dawn, he was called Kargzant or Antirius in Peloria, Elmal in Dragon Pass. He is known to the elves as well. They were all held to be separate gods until Nysalor revealed that they were all the same - the Little Sun or the Cold Sun. Which is Yelm-alio (little Yelm). In the late Third Age, most of the Yelmalio temples recognise each other, even if there is no over-arching organization to the cult. The last to do so was the Elmal cult in Sartar, which had the Revelation of the Many Suns around 1560 or so. Now even the Light Temple of Sartar is recognised as one of the grandest of the Sun Dome Temple of Yelmalio.

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55 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Now even the Light Temple of Sartar is recognised as one of the grandest of the Sun Dome Temple of Yelmalio.

I stumbled a bit reading this, thinking first of the temple in Boldhome that was built under Sartar the founder.

Sun Dome County centered on Vanntar has this inside/outside of Sartar switch, but I suppose that Monrogh's construction on the site of Palangio's Bright Empire temple is what Jeff is referring to here.

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18 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Little Yelm (which is what "Yelmalio" means) existed

Elmal, Antirius are identified with the planet called after Lightfore, and with that deity.

I know it's not canonical, but we see him in Six Ages in both forms: Elmal Sun Chieftain, son of Yelm, chief of the Pantheon to both the Chariot-riders and the Horse-Riders, and Little Yelm, the Pretender Sun who keeps the cities of the Dara Happans lit under the glaciers.

 

So here is what I think Greg was getting at.

In the GodTime there are Many Suns. We know many of them: Dayzatar, Lodril, Antirius, Shargash, Kargzant, Reladvius, Buserian, Dayzatar, etc. At times 10 of  the Many Suns  (a sacred number that of the Celesital Court, of Glorantha, and it holds the secret of Many acting as One, GRoY p.6) enjoyed authority over various cities of Dara Happa. Elmal seems to have been one of the Many Suns who defected to the Vingkotlings, perhaps as 6A has it, Reladivus.

Yelm and Lightfore are titles. GRoY ins an in-world document and has been re-edited by Plentonius to hide this. But in the same way the Bible was edited to remove the Caananite gods, but references to El and Baal still creep through, so do references to the fact that these were just titles.

Here is p.7

"The Three Brothers
Four brothers could have been equal in light of the staff. They were called Dayzatar, Arraz, Yelm, and Lodril."

How many brothers is it? 3 or 4?

It's 3, Yelm is a title of one of the brothers (Arraz) at this point. But Plentonius did not edit the chapter title. [Greg was clear that GRoY was complete, this is not a typo].

GRoY helpfully tells us what GRoY means: "Yelm. Literally “Shining Overhead,” commonly “Emperor.” Gods Wall I."

Once you understand this, GRoY is much clearer. It's a succession of deities who take the title Yelm, and after Orlanth kills Murharzarm, Lightfore (which just means "First among the Suns"). Arraz loses the title of Yelm when the Cosmic Dragon enters the Sky and he does not stop it for example.

"It slowly pushed forward toward the City of God, and slowly forced Yelm to withdraw from the polluted world and up into the sky, to keep himself from being quenched by its passions. Innate Justice did this. Yelm rose into the sky. This change brought about a great fear in the gods, for the Pillar was now empty. The roiling, undisciplined waves of Nestentos lapped at the pillar.
People cried out because they did not know what to do. At last Murharzarm, the son of Yelm and Dendara, strode forward and stood upon the Footstool."

GRoY, p.11

It says 'Yelm' but this is Arraz, Plentonius has been at work.

We know the Polaris and Ourania are at times 'Lightfore', in other words, leader of the Sky Gods.

BUT AT THE DAWN THERE WERE ONLY TWO LIGHTS ON THE SUNPATH: One in the day, and one in the night.

At the Great Compromise we didn't get a world of many suns: just a sun, a night sun, and then a lot of planets etc.

And this caused a problem, for folks whose gods effectively 'dissappeared' with the Great Compromise. Their god was not a planet, so it must be associated with that sun disk. But their magic clearly tells them: your god is NOT ** the**  Sun or **the** Lightfore, although you get some power from it. So they all explain this as their god "carrying the sun". Elmal's Torch, Kargzant bearing the Sun Disk on his back.

When these cultures meet they discover: hey your sun magic works to do this, when ours does not, but ours works to do that. We all seem to have **parts** of the sun.

So the Bright Empire tries to figure it out. They had the revelation that their many gods had become one: Kargzant, Elmal, Antirius, Murharzarm - they were all **the** Sun Disk! But the Sun Disk was not just another name for their god, but something new, a compromise of different visions of the ruler of the Sky. And that revelation, a vision of unity, led them to become illuminated and create Nysalor at the Sunstop. The Sunstop is the moment these folks appreciate that their gods are all part of the Sun, who they decide to call Yelm, the Emperor. Of course, not everyone wants to accept this. They could still travel back to the God Time on holy days and be Elmal etc. Lacking illumination, they found it difficult to comprehend. And that was the root of 1st Age Conflict.

Later, Nysalor revealed that not **all** of their gods parts had merged to become Yelm, some 'leftover' parts had became Daysenarus who we now call Yelmalio.

So in a sense part of your god is Yelm, part of your god is Yelmalio. You could follow either. Arguably, more parts of Elmal are Yelmalio than Yelm, but KoS tells us that many Elmal worshippers converted to Yelm.

And their magic worked better! Because they were worshipping the post-Dawn entity, not the echoes of the former entity contained within it.

Now, of course, if I go to the hero plane I can quest as Elmal, and still get magic from his rites. But I can do some (not all) of his stories as Yelmalio, and my magic works better. (His other stories may be part of Yelm, or just not part of the conjoined gods).

So who is right? Is Elmal Yelmalio? Yes, since the Dawn, no Before. But can a Yelmalio worshipper do Elmal heroquests? Yes some? And some Antirius ones too, and some Kargzant ones. Is Elmal Yelm? Yes, also since the Dawn, no Before. But less of him became Yelm than Yelmalio 

Echoes of those Nysalorian associations still exist but the cults were shorn of much of that in the Second Age. The cult of Yelm was in 'hiding' in the Second and early Third Age and was revived by the Red Goddess, that is one of the story lines in Fortunate Succession. Yelm's return with the Red Goddess implies to me that Illumination may be part of his cult once again. I would not be surprised to see Illumination being a goal for those Yelmalio priests in their retirement towers, going blind from staring at the sun, though most may no longer know that is what they do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ian Cooper
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3 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Yelm and Lightfore are titles. GRoY ins an in-world document and has been re-edited by Plentonius to hide this. But in the same way the Bible was edited to remove the Caananite gods, but references to El and Baal still creep through, so do references to the fact that these were just titles.

 

 

 

BTW, I don't think most Gloranthans know this. I am sure that some sages have it figured out, but I suspect it is a secret.

Most Gloranthans believe the Bright Empire's truth: Yelm is the Sun and always has been. Yelmalio is the part of him that survived the darkness. The steadfast Elmal worshipers of the Sartar and the Holy Country may believe that Elmal carries the sun-torch for Orlanth and that Yelm and Yelmalio are deceits of the "Teller of Lies", Gbaji and his Bright Empire. [Ironically, the Elmali seem to have survived the prosecution of the Bright Empire under the protection of the Kingdom of Night]

They are both wrong, in their own way.

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6 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

Ironically, the Elmali seem to have survived the prosecution of the Bright Empire under the protection of the Kingdom of Night

Well, to be fair, names aren't everything! The Kingdom of Night was a banner of tolerance, like the original Unity Council, providing safety and protection to those who joined. It was voluntary and fought Chaos.

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This reminds me that I liked how Hero Wars had a lot of 'The Hero Wars are between....' box outs that described conflicts at the heart of the Hero Wars with the implication that you could shape the Fourth Age by deciding who won.

"The Hero Wars are between the Many and the One," could be an interesting campaign pitching those who want to return to the Many Suns of the God Time against those who accept the Compromise and One Sun. Bringing back the Many Suns would break the Compromise and end the Age forging a new one. And given that the 'Moon Goddesses" were once "Suns", that the Artmali want their 'sun' back, your Elmali hero, determined to right the wrongs of the Compromise might be part of an interesting party 😄

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Another thought. We know that Elmal carries the torch, Kargzant has the Sun Disk on his back, in the Dawn explanations of the Sun. But what of Lightfore? I would guess that the early explanation is that Elmal or Kargzant carries the Sun across the Sky during the day, hands it over at the gates of Dusk, so that the Sun can enter the Underworld, proceeds across the Sky without the Sun i.e. the light is just Elmal or Kargzant, and then picks up the torch or Sun Disk again at the Gates of Dawn.

That would explain why cultists associated Elmal and Kargzant more with Lightfore than the Solar Disk. At night, it's just them, so they ARE Lightfore, but during the day they are bearing the disk, they are not the disk itself.

But a lot of Lightfore myths get merged into Yelm, not just Yelmalio. The whole Young God part of Yelm is just Kargzant. (BTW you can see the Young God in the Sky, it may happen in 11L and that is probably Lightfore)

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Ian Coope wrote: 
>Once you understand this, GRoY is much clearer. It's a succession of deities who take the title Yelm,
>and after Orlanth kills Murharzarm, Lightfore (which just means "First among the Suns"). Arraz loses
>the title of Yelm when the Cosmic Dragon enters the Sky and he does not stop it for example.

Which God is behind the 3rd Age YELM cult?
Which one of the ancient pre time gods answers the calls for divine intervention asked from Yelm today?

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24 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

Another thought. We know that Elmal carries the torch, Kargzant has the Sun Disk on his back, in the Dawn explanations of the Sun. But what of Lightfore? I would guess that the early explanation is that Elmal or Kargzant carries the Sun across the Sky during the day, hands it over at the gates of Dusk, so that the Sun can enter the Underworld, proceeds across the Sky without the Sun i.e. the light is just Elmal or Kargzant, and then picks up the torch or Sun Disk again at the Gates of Dawn.

There's a slight flaw in this - it would presume a teleport from the Gate of Dusk to the Gate of Dawn (like Mastakos/Uleria/Emilla), as Lightfore exists through the western gate as Yelm enters from the east, and vice versa.

Otherwise, nice idea.

24 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

That would explain why cultists associated Elmal and Kargzant more with Lightfore than the Solar Disk. At night, it's just them, so they ARE Lightfore, but during the day they are bearing the disk, they are not the disk itself.

Does any of this "bearing the solar disk" require to make a night-time appearance in the sky?

24 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

But a lot of Lightfore myths get merged into Yelm, not just Yelmalio. The whole Young God part of Yelm is just Kargzant. (BTW you can see the Young God in the Sky, it may happen in 11L and that is probably Lightfore)

Kargzant is Reladivus is Elmal among the Eight Planetary Sons which are known to the Theyalans, too.

Shargash and Verithurus(a) have their own stellar bodies in the sky. They both returned from the Underworld after the invasion of Umath. (I am unclear when, and in what shape, though.) The other five (and the two additional planets, plus Entekos/Dendara) probably aren't associated with Lightfore, either. But both the southeastern and the central orb (Reladivus/Kargzant and Antirius) are Lightfore - though possibly only as the result of the Sun Swirl which merged and separated out their identities.

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2 minutes ago, AndreJarosch said:

Ian Coope wrote: 
>Once you understand this, GRoY is much clearer. It's a succession of deities who take the title Yelm,
>and after Orlanth kills Murharzarm, Lightfore (which just means "First among the Suns"). Arraz loses
>the title of Yelm when the Cosmic Dragon enters the Sky and he does not stop it for example.

Which God is behind the 3rd Age YELM cult?
Which one of the ancient pre time gods answers the calls for divine intervention asked from Yelm today?

The one you address through your rites. A sorcerer might tell you that the magical energy comes through that god's runic interface with the Absolute, and the incomplete mastery of that rune may bar you from receiving the full range of that rune's magical expressions.

IMO you can question the identity of the object of your rites only while heroquesting. The worship interface is set by your traditions. Altering the worship by changing the name may alter the response you receive, but there is a high likelihood to (start out to) receive a far weaker response than from your original rite without active heroquesting.

Attending a rite of a god-talker or priest from another tradition will give you that tradition's results from that tradition's source.

Yelm is very much a source of magic merged through countless heroquests. Reducing these to the constituent parts will require lots of heroquest experience along all those paths.

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1 hour ago, AndreJarosch said:

Ian Coope wrote: 
>Once you understand this, GRoY is much clearer. It's a succession of deities who take the title Yelm,
>and after Orlanth kills Murharzarm, Lightfore (which just means "First among the Suns"). Arraz loses
>the title of Yelm when the Cosmic Dragon enters the Sky and he does not stop it for example.

Which God is behind the 3rd Age YELM cult?
Which one of the ancient pre time gods answers the calls for divine intervention asked from Yelm today?

The 3rd Age Yelm cult worships the Sun up in the Sky, that crosses the heavens each day and returns to the Underworld. That Sun provides magic to his followers.

But he cannot be found in the God Time, except as many wearers of the title "Emperor" translated as Yelm or Lightfore.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

There's a slight flaw in this - it would presume a teleport from the Gate of Dusk to the Gate of Dawn (like Mastakos/Uleria/Emilla), as Lightfore exists through the western gate as Yelm enters from the east, and vice versa.

Otherwise, nice idea.

Perhaps. Remember Elmal has a myth about how he resurrects each Dawn without passing into the Underworld.

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3 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

Perhaps. Remember Elmal has a myth about how he resurrects each Dawn without passing into the Underworld.

But why does he teleport at dusk?

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26 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

Perhaps. Remember Elmal has a myth about how he resurrects each Dawn without passing into the Underworld.

That probably fits in well with how he didn't go on the Lightbringer Quest and was the Loyal thane who protected everyone while Big Boss Man was away.

23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

But why does he teleport at dusk?

He wouldn't want to stick around, so he disappears.

He doesn't want to appear before Yelm, as that would be wrong, so he teleports and then stays hidden until Yelm rises.

My Number One Rule for Glorantha is "Don't look too close, otherwise it will start to fall apart".

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>He wouldn't want to stick around, so he disappears.
>
>He doesn't want to appear before Yelm, as that would be wrong, so he teleports and then stays hidden until Yelm rises.

He tavels back from one gate to the other on the surface world during the night!

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3 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

He tavels back from one gate to the other on the surface world during the night!

Since he's allied with Orlanth's Household, He gets a ride from Heler.

Literally. And metaphorically. I stan Eller, the giant cloud enby and the Sun god rival-lovers.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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Somehow I knew this thread was going to turn into another Many Suns discussion.

"Thread: Is rye bread common in Sartar"
15 pages later:
"Yeah, but what about the Hill of Gold and Sunspear though? HUH? CHECKMATE ATHEISTS." :P

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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5 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Somehow I knew this thread was going to turn into another Many Suns discussion.

"Thread: Is rye bread common in Sartar"
15 pages later:
"Yeah, but what about the Hill of Gold and Sunspear though? HUH? CHECKMATE ATHEISTS." :P

one of the greatest things is that some of the first Deep Lore pieces I read was Greg Stafford's semi-non-apology for the Many Suns shenanigans

at the time I was like, this seems ... dramatic

now I'm like, lmao

Weird, I thought I had linked this: https://www.glorantha.com/docs/the-birth-of-elmal/ "The Birth of Elmal; or, “Why I screwed up your Glorantha”

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
Weird
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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Somehow I knew this thread was going to turn into another Many Suns discussion.
...

heh!

Not saying you're wrong, but a Many Suns subthread is hardly a wild tangent from a "God's and Goddesses of Glorantha" thread.

I mean, basically you're betting on something with the rough probability of "Sherlock Holmes solves the crime."

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On 8/11/2019 at 10:24 AM, Joerg said:
On 8/11/2019 at 9:47 AM, Ian Cooper said:

Another thought. We know that Elmal carries the torch, Kargzant has the Sun Disk on his back, in the Dawn explanations of the Sun. But what of Lightfore? I would guess that the early explanation is that Elmal or Kargzant carries the Sun across the Sky during the day, hands it over at the gates of Dusk, so that the Sun can enter the Underworld, proceeds across the Sky without the Sun i.e. the light is just Elmal or Kargzant, and then picks up the torch or Sun Disk again at the Gates of Dawn.

There's a slight flaw in this - it would presume a teleport from the Gate of Dusk to the Gate of Dawn (like Mastakos/Uleria/Emilla), as Lightfore exists through the western gate as Yelm enters from the east, and vice versa.

Otherwise, nice idea.

Maybe for the more inclusive-minded sages and philosophers, this is made possible by Elmal and Kargzant alternating in the role of disk bearer? In this way no "teleport" needed?

Or, in an "Orlanthi-centric" vision, this could be a nice mythical task for  Mastakos: bringing back Elmal in a blink of an eye to the Gates of Dawn. Not so many myths about Mastakos, as far as I know, so could be a nice addition. And Speak and Spoke could be linked to dawn (you wake and speak) and dusk (you spoke and slept).

Edited by Minlister
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4 minutes ago, Minlister said:

Or, in an "Orlanthi-centric" vision, this could be a nice mythical task for  Mastakos: bringing back Elmal in a blink of an eye to the Gates of Dawn. Not so much myths about Mastakos, as far as I know, so could be a nice addition. And Speak and Spoke could be linked to dawn (you wake and speak) and dusk (you spoke and slept).

Weirdly, Mastakos grants one of Kallyr's followers a feat "Sunset Leap" when the leap his planet does is from Sunset to Dawn Gate, and the march westwards is a swift but steady amble.

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Thanks Joerg! I am not absolutely clear about what you mean, could you elaborate a little? Sorry for asking, I am completely lost when anything linked to astronomy pops up in the discussion and I don't know this follower of Kallyr you allude to.

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22 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Weirdly, Mastakos grants one of Kallyr's followers a feat "Sunset Leap" when the leap his planet does is from Sunset to Dawn Gate, and the march westwards is a swift but steady amble.

This is a RuneQuest forum, so no that is not correct. One of Kallyr's followers might be a Mastakos initiate who has Guided Teleport to a location in the Sky World. Although the only associate of Kallyr I know who can travel from the Mundane World to a specific place in the Sky World is Kallyr herself.

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26 minutes ago, Jeff said:

This is a RuneQuest forum, so no that is not correct.

And if it was 13G, if that character shows up in a Gloranthan game he should have that magic. Sorry, Jeff, but "This is a RuneQuest forum" doesn't make Hofstaring a tree-climber and abseiler, either.

I chose my words carefully to indicate a single recipient of this feat. IIRC it was won as a reward for the "Seven Steps West" quest (from King of Sartar).

You might not be too fond of the Sartar Rising story line, and to be honest, neither am I, but this shouldn't cut out all the Sartarite detail from it.

Quote

One of Kallyr's followers might be a Mastakos initiate who has Guided Teleport to a location in the Sky World. Although the only associate of Kallyr I know who can travel from the Mundane World to a specific place in the Sky World is Kallyr herself.

The character I was talking about appears in the Sartar Rising! campaign for HW/HQ1: Javern Spithorn, originally the spear companion of Orngerin Thundercape, and the characters' lead to become followers of Kallyr, "Orlanth Is Dead" p.10, and more prominently in "Gathering Thunder" p.5, where the player characters get his help in a combat situation. An image of him is on p.49.

It is a very special feat, probably gained on a heroquest. I recall a short article or story by Greg why Javern couldn't be resurrected because his feat spared him most of the Path of the Dead.

Guided Teleport to a specific Outer World location works as a RQ spell. The Gate of Dusk is on Luathela, not in the Sky World, BTW.

Edited by Joerg
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