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jeffjerwin

The Starkindler: notes on Orogeria, Yelorna, and Ulurda

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These notes relate to my attempt to create a mythos for my own game. As such I make a few leaps that out of creative necessity. 

Yelorna is Sky Huntress and sister of Lightfore and Yamsur. Enemy of Zorak Zoran [Orak]. She is the starbringer, which was also an action of Ulurda the Blue Fox, aka Orogeria, the Moon/Sky Huntress. Her mother is said to be Ernalda (who is the Pelorian Erlanda). She is in fact a synthetic deity of the Nysalorian period.

Yelorna has a relationship or connection to Ourania, who, however, is a more pacifistic deity, though they share a celestial portfolio. Ourania is the daughter of Dayzatar, and has no mother. The associations of Yelorna with Earth are significant enough to question whether they are properly identical. However we may compare the repeating generations of goddesses who are also partly identical in the Earth tribe.

She witnessed the death of Yamsur at the hands of Zorak Zoran.

Her riding affinity suggests a connection to Kargzant or to Gamara, the steed of Yamsur/Lightfore.

= Verithurusa, Sight-portion of Sedenya? White Moon. Rausa is another ‘daughter of Yelm’, daughter of Yelm and the Styx.

Compare Redaylda, ‘red-haired horse-loving daughter of Orlanth and Ernalda’.

As the virgin daughter of Ernalda, she overlaps with the pacifistic Voria, but she has Babeester Gor’s labrys axe. Her other weapon is the Meteor Bow, which corresponds to the bow and name of Orogeria.

The unicorn women insist that Yelorna is a daughter of Ernalda, the primary Earth goddess of the region (hence her rebellion), though Verithurusa, who may be her Pelorian counterpart, is the child of Entekos or Dendara.

Like the various Lightfores at the Hill of Gold, Yelorna fights Zorak Zoran [alias Orak, the Hell-wind, etc.]. During Arkat’s Stygian Empire her cult was suppressed; ‘exterminated everywhere west of the Rockwoods’. [Drastic: Prax, p.48]

I suspect the hostility (though not usually violent) of the Praxian Yelornans to the Lunar syncretic pantheon is partly rooted in the attempt of the missionaries to merge Yelorna with Orogeria (which was stymied by the virginity dogma among the unicorn riders). Ironically, of course, Yelorna is herself a Nysalorian innovation.

The phoneme Yel- corresponds to Yelm, Yelem, or Ehilm, meaning ‘bright, sun’. –Orna may be connected to the Theyalan [V]Oria, which signifies a girl, or a fertile land. The name means Sun Daughter (see below).

Compare Denegeria, the daughter (of Dendara), who is similar to Voria. She was kidnapped by the Dark God and rescued by Idojartus the Lightbringer = ~ the Imtherian Lagavar, who is the son of Pole Star and the Dancer.

The phenomenon of worshipping a youth/girl aspect of a larger divinity corresponds to the worship of Orlanth Adventurous among the Heortlings; it does not invalidate the later history of this goddess. The Ritual of Purity, in addition, would not exist without a mythical basis: i.e., Yelorna’s antecedent Orogeria’s lover.

Presumably the intent is to sever the Yelorna/Orogeria cult from the male consort figure. If this is Orlantio or Lodril there are probably sociopolitical reasons for this. I also suspect that the assignment of martial aspects to the hunting goddess derives from the desire to create elite military formations. The later obliteration of Yelorna from southern Peloria was probably mythically aided by altering the heroquest of her confrontation with ZZ and recovery of her brother’s weapons, by introducing a modification where she is herself slain by ZZ.

 

*Khelnorian might be the Imtherian name for Yelorna (which would have existed only during the First Age). See Norian, below.

In modern Imther, it is Khelmal who recovers the torch and shield of Heliakal, not a Yelorna figure.

 

The Vanchite Yelorna figure may be a daughter of Heliakal/Reladivus (the Sun of Nivorah, who may be = Kargzant) and Reladiva. (Reladiva, in fact may be the prototype of the Earth-mother of Yelorna). Her rebellion against her dead father is in becoming a warrior, and against her (remarried) mother is in remaining a virgin. [At Elampur, the Sun-god was Elmal]

Note that Terarir [including the site of Nivorah and what became Vanch] was ruled by the promiscuous queen Erilindia in the First Age, who appears to have been the sometime consort of Lokomayadon. Her name is clearly connected to Erlendia, ‘the sexual monster of the south’. This was in the First Age the core territory of the Earth cult where it overlapped into Dara Happa.

 

Sun Daughter is the Praxian Lightfore and overlaps with both Yelorna and the Pelorian Little Suns. She survived the death of Yamsur (who, as Alaramsur was the enemy of the Holayan Orlanthi at the Hill of Gold).

Sun Daughter is worshipped by Praxians, who also reject the Pentan Kargzant or Yu-Kargzant as the sun, in part because of his horse-nature.

She is the sun that rose when [Yelm] died. She was once the Pole Star and made Polaris her successor to take her circular path. The composite Sun Daughter-Yelornan cult was one of the syncretic creations of the Nysalorian Bright Empire. [see Drastic: Prax] 

Her path from the Pole Star is similar to the plunge of Verithurusa/Zaytenera across the sky dome after Umath invades the heavens, though this is much earlier, and corresponds to the movement of Yamsur into Genert’s Garden. This may indicate an earlier expulsion of the feminine soul from the six-souled Dara Happan Brightface.

We may reconstruct Sun Daughter retrieving the fallen weapons of Yamsur from his Grave (the Hill of Gold/Earthfall).

 

Verithurusa is the Celestial Wanderer, the White Planet, Jernedeus, Jernotia, and the Full Half Moon. She was reincarnated [via Lesilla, ‘descending blue moon’, Gerra, Rashorana] as Orogeria/Ulurda after she died/lost her virginity and passed into the Underworld. Compare ‘–Rausa’ who is also a daughter of the Sun.

She founded Mernita, which was destroyed by the Emperor Lukarius, son of Lesilla, her next incarnation. This land was not drowned during the Flood and is taken to be the Blue Moon Plateau and its surrounds.

She was a rebel against her father, because of her curiosity. Her first lover, who transformed her into Lesilla, the first Blue Moon, is unnamed, but has certain similarities to the Imtherian Orlantio and the Pelorian Lodril. The child of Verithurusa is ‘Little Jewel’, a star god, and the child of Orlantio and Chalana is said to be the Dawn.

The Verithurusa to come is the daughter and transformation of Zaytenara.

The panoply of Verithurusa consists of a (curved) dagger and a mirror.

Verithurusa as Zaytenera is associated with Jarst and Garsting, where the Yelorna cult survived the downfall of the Bright Empire. [Drastic: Prax]

Verithurusa is the moon passing into the West where it enters the Underworld at Mount Jernotius (the Dara Happan boundary of the western horizon); she emerges after her full cycle as Zaytenera in Jarsting or the mountains beyond.

 

Orogeriais the tamer of the Sky Bear [note that Odayla is the son of Velhara, the Lady of the Wild, in Dragon Pass rather than her companion]. ‘She released the stars’ (GS, p.148), an action essentially identical with Yelorna’s. She lived upon the Earth and is the Lady of the Wilds, the Keeper of Life and Death. She is the Crescent-Come Moon. She protected Ulurda, the vixen, when her lover stalked and cornered her, but could not protect Ulurdum. Ulurda is in fact part of her, her beast soul.

She rose into the sky after the destruction of Kazkurtum, the Shadow of the Sun, who is the embodiment of the Greater Darkness.

Orogeria is best known from Arir and Darsen, where she remains the hunting goddess and is separate from Lunar ritual. Some thereabouts have a similar anger at the Lunars for ‘taking her’ as the Yelornans do concerning ‘silver’.

Orogeria becomes Natha, the Half-Moon, after she enters the Underworld.

Orogeria and Ulurda belong to the Pre-Dawn, the ebb of the Darkness before the Rising of the Lesser Sun.

The panoply of Orogeria is the self-bow.

The name Orogeria is obviously related to the (male) divinity Urengerum, the Archer or bow god, found on the Gods Wall. This indicates her name probably simply means ‘archer’ and may be an epithet (compare the shape of a crescent moon).

 

Norian is the Imtherian Lady of the Wild. The name element –Oria- is here present. She was the foster mother of Gordio/Gordaval, that is, Foundchild.

 

Ulurda,the blue vixen (Ul- = ‘blue’, -urda, ‘mover’ (fem.)). Mate of Ulurdum. Associated, possibly erroneously, with Uleria, the blue goddess of love. Curiously the Praxian Lodril is called Baba Ulodra. This name is very suggestive of Ulurdum, the earth-digging male fox god, as being a form of Lodril, but may be a coincidence – Baba Ulodra was brought to Prax by the Agamori. However we may also note that the ‘Big Guy’ who mated with Veruthurusa might be Lodril, who is a cult of sexual initiation throughout Peloria. Lodril, moreover, is the god of hearthfires and furnaces and thus corresponds to the fire-bringing Trickster, which is clearly linked to the fox-god with his burning tail. Compare the Teshnan Calyz the Firebringer. Tunoral the raccoon is the masked follower of Heliakal who takes the sacred mask from the dead Sun, though Khelmal takes the shield and torch. The similarities between raccoon gods (particularly before they are masked) and foxes are probably meaningful. 

In Vanch, the fox Yotelap is Heliakal [Lightfore’s] shadow/other and betrays him, but he cannot be really distinguished from the beast soul as well. This corresponds to the Imtherian Yurmalio, who is the betrayer of Khelmal [Lightfore]. I believe that here the original beast-servant god has been differentiated so that the unmasked proto-Tunoral is excused from his misdeed so that he is excused (being the savior of Vanch). In other words, the dog, fox, raccoon god is a single being, wearing different guises.

(Compare Kazkurtum, the Shadow of Yelm, who may be identical to the Black Sun, and/or Shargash and/or Zorak Zoran). The red fox Yotelep/Yurmalio, unlike the blue fox, however, signifies the burning and fire powers of the Little Sun that betrayed him against Zorak Zoran, and were consumed by the troll god.

The white planet is said to have Mahaqata, the Bat, as her shadow, which flew into the face of the Sun so that the Rebel could slay him. There may be a mythical connection between the fox goddess and the bat (viz. flying foxes).

The blue fox, however, is chromatically similar to the White Fox which serves Inora, also a participant in the Hill of Gold story. From a shamanistic standpoint, the fox may be the untrustworthy fetch.

Note the pairing of Orogeria with her beast-shadow, Ulurda, the ‘blue mover’, a quasi-Lunar celestial great spirit.

It was Ulurda who entered the body of Teelo Norri so the goddess could be born. After all, the shadow is the seventh part of a soul which is the hardest to destroy or kill, and often lingers on the surface. Hence when the dead goddesses were drawn out of the Underworld by the Seven Mothers, they were aided by locating her Shadow.

 

In the synthetic Sun Daughter myth I think [as developed in the Bright Empire], Orogeria/Yelorna retrieves the bow, spear, and shield, confronting or converting the shadow of her brother that guards his grave = the Zorak Zoran of the Yelorna myth. The resurrected body of the brother becomes Tharkantus, the corpse-god of the Cold Sun.

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4 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Pelorian Erlanda

Everything after this is great but this early note is what brought my seat to full upright position. Could this be pronounced something like Orlanda, Orolanta or Eurlanta in the right corner of Saird, I wonder? A mother goddess of the sky or at the lowest Middle Air, a woman with her own portfolio that overlaps the god of Heortland. 

Did they ever find a father for Yelorna? Might he have been the masculine earth to combine with feminine air (again, inverting the elemental hierogamy we see in the south), for example? 

I wonder if you ever see esoteric representations of Orolanta in a fake beard. Obviously nobody wears pants in the low country or she'd have that going on too.

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3 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Everything after this is great but this early note is what brought my seat to full upright position. Could this be pronounced something like Orlanda, Orolanta or Eurlanta in the right corner of Saird, I wonder? A mother goddess of the sky or at the lowest Middle Air, a woman with her own portfolio that overlaps the god of Heortland. 

Did they ever find a father for Yelorna? Might he have been the masculine earth to combine with feminine air (again, inverting the elemental hierogamy we see in the south), for example? 

I wonder if you ever see esoteric representations of Orolanta in a fake beard. Obviously nobody wears pants in the low country or she'd have that going on too.

Erlenda is the consort of Erlendus, who is identified as the seducer aspect of Orlanth, the 'Handsome Grinner' of the HQ book for Pavis. But Yelorna/Sun Daughter would seem to be the daughter of the Emperor Sun. This Emperor Sun, however, could easily be Reladivus/?Kargzant (a horse god) of Nivorah rather than the more distant Yuthuppan Sun.

Note also that Alaramsur/Yamsur is a riding god; her 'brother'. He is slain in very early legend by Orlanth, so it's apparent that he was avenging to elopement of Ernalda/Erlenda with the Ram God. The Ram God in the same Pavic ritual is closely connected with Valind, who is the original 'cruel god' of the Hill of Gold.

This leads to the possibility that Vadrus/Valind/Ram's 'covering' of Reladiva/Erlanda, the fertile earth is the act that also slays the Sun, and leads to his son's death seeking her rescue... which proto-Yelorna witnesses. Inora would thus be snow-covered Earth, the child of Erlenda and the Ram-god... She even has the -oria, -ora suffix of Yelor[n]a, who might be her sister.

Not sure.

 

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OK, some further notes (which alter some details):

The map of Dara Happa from 100,201 to 103,215 in the Fortunate Succession (p.7) reveals that the land around Elempur was called Urengeri. This, again, refers to the bow god(dess) which means that Orogeria derives from a land goddess of the region surrounding it - presently Holay. Holy, notably, is part of the Ernalda-worshipping portion of Peloria, though this is probably a consequence of the appearance of the Rams (pre-Vingkotlings) in the Lesser Darkness.

This is the environment of Six Ages, and Orogeria/Urengeri[a] would have been a goddess of the ancestors of the Hyalorings. As such we may identify the proto-Yelorna as a daughter of Nyalda, the Hyaloring Earth goddess, and probably a daughter of Elmal, their Sun god (rather than Yelm directly). This means she is almost certainly identical to Osara (in part), the Flame sister, goddess of female warriors and daughter of Elmal. She was the innovator who introduces female leadership and fighters to the tribe, after the destruction of Elempur. Her siblings are Verlaro the Fool, Samnal the Wheel, and Zarlen the Bright Tailed, who is her half-brother on her father's side. Zarlen is clearly connected to the fox and raccoon gods of the tribes to the north, & he also befriended a bear. Note that unlike Yotelap or Yurmalio, Zarlen is not (yet) a traitor.

Unlike Yelorna, Osara offers 'Firearrow' (making her an archer goddess) but Yelorna's star-magic that supplants this is rooted in the yet to come Greater Darkness and the Pre-dawn. She is also notable for not having descendants, from which we can infer that Yelorna's virginity came from Osara.

 

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On 4/16/2019 at 5:23 PM, jeffjerwin said:

Verithurusa is the Celestial Wanderer, the White Planet, Jernedeus, Jernotia, and the Full Half Moon. She was reincarnated [via Lesilla, ‘descending blue moon’, Gerra, Rashorana] as Orogeria/Ulurda after she died/lost her virginity and passed into the Underworld. Compare ‘–Rausa’ who is also a daughter of the Sun.

Hmm. Verithurusa is supposed to be the descending red moon, the phase between the innocent white and the returned from the dead Lesilla. That's different from the innocent white one before.

Jernedeus remains the overseer of Mernita after the Flood, with Lesilla as its nurturer. While it isn't unknown for a deity to participate in certain events in several incarnations, this is the first time that I see a suggestion that the two incarnations got into wedlock.

 

IMO a likelier scenario is that she followed Yelm into the Underworld after the rebellion was successful, and became (or was reborn) blue in that process. In Prince of Sartar, she is shown as red-skinned rebel alongside Tolat (aka Shargash with the Red Sword), Artia (or whatever the Rinliddi death goddess was called) and blue-skinned Orlanth. To me this indicates that  Verithurusa became Red upon contact (possibly repeated contact) with Umath, both in the Sky and shortly in the Underworld. For her to participate in the Rebellion that ended the Golden Age, she must have returned from the Underworld after her Umath encounter.

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18 hours ago, Joerg said:

Hmm. Verithurusa is supposed to be the descending red moon, the phase between the innocent white and the returned from the dead Lesilla. That's different from the innocent white one before.

Jernedeus remains the overseer of Mernita after the Flood, with Lesilla as its nurturer. While it isn't unknown for a deity to participate in certain events in several incarnations, this is the first time that I see a suggestion that the two incarnations got into wedlock.

 

IMO a likelier scenario is that she followed Yelm into the Underworld after the rebellion was successful, and became (or was reborn) blue in that process. In Prince of Sartar, she is shown as red-skinned rebel alongside Tolat (aka Shargash with the Red Sword), Artia (or whatever the Rinliddi death goddess was called) and blue-skinned Orlanth. To me this indicates that  Verithurusa became Red upon contact (possibly repeated contact) with Umath, both in the Sky and shortly in the Underworld. For her to participate in the Rebellion that ended the Golden Age, she must have returned from the Underworld after her Umath encounter.

Didn't she, though? That's where the Blue Moon comes from. Of course, the trouble with Moon goddesses is that they appear to be different entities, but it seems they are cyclical aspects of a single one instead (and in the art in the Sourcebook we see the White Planet depicted as a daughter of Yelm, the first Moon, but having already shed her modesty). Though multiple moons can exist at the same time too (like the many little Suns). In any case, the white moon is a daughter of Yelm, at least in DH, and in fact is the primary depiction of a singular daughter, which kinda makes me wonder if Yelorna's relationship is to one of the Little Suns (as a star goddess, rather than a moon). The DHs seem to have tried to identify her with Ourania, but the dutiful star daughter and Yelorna are hardly a good match.

Still, the Nysalorean equation is presumably = Norian [Orengaria] + Osara + Ourania = Yelorna. I think the locale for this god making must be the same as that of Yelmalio, that is Imther, Saird, and Holay. As I brought up before, that with Yelmalio being a regimental god, that she was planned as a sister and counterpart to face the Earth Magic of Kerofinela, which cannot be faced by men. Osara's Vinga-like rebelliousness was replaced with austerity and militarization; Ourania's pacifism with militancy, and Orengaria-Norian's feral vagrancy with discipline and group ethos. Before this synthesis none of these gods had the Death Rune, but that's the consequence of adding it, I suppose.

On the question of Yelorna in Ralios, I think it likely she was found in Karia, which is now a wasteland. We may note also the connection of unicorns to that fellow in Dorastor.

Also, the Aggari region of Orenair is the linguistic descendant of Urengeri.

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On the topic of the whole Moon business, keep in mind that some DH texts refer to the White Moon as the "sun" of Mernita (or is that only in Six Ages?). The whole deal with planets, suns and moons is a tad fluid in Pelorian myths, imho, perhaps as much based on mytho-political competition as observation of celestial movement (or rather, they probably go hand-in-hand somehow).

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On 4/16/2019 at 5:01 PM, scott-martin said:

Did they ever find a father for Yelorna?

Have heard a rumor that much as Yelmalio is an emanation of the dying Sun, and so not born in the typical manner, Yelorna is similarly an emanation of another deity, possibly born from her tears. 

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For me, Yelorna is clearly a hunting goddess, with Tracking and Missile skills. The Unicorn Riders of Prax use her hunting abilities instead of Foundchild in my Glorantha.

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11 hours ago, soltakss said:

For me, Yelorna is clearly a hunting goddess, with Tracking and Missile skills. The Unicorn Riders of Prax use her hunting abilities instead of Foundchild in my Glorantha.

This is one of the primary reason why I think she was rooted in a transformation of Orogeria-Norian, rather than being from the start a martial deity.

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To me, that hunting sounds more like an afterthought to her core competences as a means to get some food onto the fire. Her cult write up is that of a stellar avenger.

And her role as Starbringer sounds more like she called those star officers down into the world or at least a lot closer than the distant sky, rather than helping populate the sky with stars. (According to the Yuthuppan Copper Tablets, the stars populated the visible sky after one of the planetary suns went to upper heaven through Stormgate. And yes, I know that those texts talk about planetary sons rather than suns.)

I wonder about her Ralian connections to the Galanini queens. Yelorna is a rider goddess, without that steed-breaking of Hyalor, but sharing that mounted archery that Kuschile gave to the Yelmalio cult.

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On 4/18/2019 at 12:02 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

On the topic of the whole Moon business, keep in mind that some DH texts refer to the White Moon as the "sun" of Mernita (or is that only in Six Ages?).

Pretty sure that is not in Six Ages.

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On 4/18/2019 at 12:02 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

On the topic of the whole Moon business, keep in mind that some DH texts refer to the White Moon as the "sun" of Mernita (or is that only in Six Ages?). The whole deal with planets, suns and moons is a tad fluid in Pelorian myths, imho, perhaps as much based on mytho-political competition as observation of celestial movement (or rather, they probably go hand-in-hand somehow).

For Gloranthans, suns, moons, and stars aren't that different. They're all shiny things up in the sky that are bodies/vehicles/mounts of gods. From there, it's just a matter of scale. If you're big enough and hot enough, you're a sun. If you're big but cooler, you're a moon, and if you're small and cool, you're a star. And those conditions can change. Suns, moons, and stars all come and go. They can grow bigger and hotter, or cool and get smaller, or disappear entirely. So it's entirely possible for a god to get big and hot enough to be a sun, or cool and be a moon, or start big and hot (Lightfore maybe) then diminish and cool over time.

I've always thought the Seven Mothers meant to create a new Sun Empress to bring back the ancient paradise of Little Sun Mernita/Lesilla and things didn't entirely work out. Sedenya was supposed to be hotter and brighter, though at least they managed to keep her big and in one place all the time. Probably the rotation that causes her to wax and wane is a magical dissipation of the energy that would otherwise cause her to move.

When the Lunar Empire collapses, Sedenya will lose much of her magical support, cool, turn white, and start to move, just another failed sun. Though she'll manage to stay bigger than most other things in the heavens.

Edited by RHW

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14 hours ago, RHW said:

For Gloranthans, suns, moons, and stars aren't that different. They're all shiny things up in the sky that are bodies/vehicles/mounts of gods. From there, it's just a matter of scale. If you're big enough and hot enough, you're a sun. If you're big but cooler, you're a moon, and if you're small and cool, you're a star. And those conditions can change. Suns, moons, and stars all come and go. They can grow bigger and hotter, or cool and get smaller, or disappear entirely. So it's entirely possible for a god to get big and hot enough to be a sun, or cool and be a moon, or start big and hot (Lightfore maybe) then diminish and cool over time.

I've always thought the Seven Mothers meant to create a new Sun Empress to bring back the ancient paradise of Little Sun Mernita/Lesilla and things didn't entirely work out. Sedenya was supposed to be hotter and brighter, though at least they managed to keep her big and in one place all the time. Probably the rotation that causes her to wax and wane is a magical dissipation of the energy that would otherwise cause her to move.

When the Lunar Empire collapses, Sedenya will lose much of her magical support, cool, turn white, and start to move, just another failed sun. Though she'll manage to stay bigger than most other things in the heavens.

I suspect the Moon = Female; Sun = Male part of things is older than that. Certainly there was both a Moon and a Sun before Yelm. Entekos is the 'Mother of Moons'. She was the consort and maybe sister of the pre-Yelmic/pre-Brightface embodiment of the Sun/Sky heat/light.

Yelmalio is the Cold Sun and is not female, though Yelorna really looks like a female version of him, and sometimes the Sun Daughter takes his place.

However, the 7M ritual was successful enough that Antirius is embodied in part by the Red Emperor and Verithurusa was equated with Sedenya. If they had the courage to drown Yelm in the Western Ocean when they were on their quasi Lightbringers Quest, and resurrect the Sun as the Bright Moon, his daughter, mother, and sister, perhaps they would have triumphed completely.

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I agree. There is something about the moon that appear to be going back to the Green Age. The Seven Mothers, I think, were tapping into a lot of things, but reaching back to that ancient concept rather than simply trying to create rival sun, as it were.

However, that doesn't necessarily prevent the Dara Happans from at one point looking at the sphere hovering above Mernita and calling it a Sun rather than a Moon. Possibly mainly for political reasons, I don't know. Possibly because they identified it as a daughter of Yelm.

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