Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Bohemond

Getting the Mastery Rune

Recommended Posts

It seems established (I think) that tribal kings and queens need the Mastery rune, and clan chieftains would probably benefit from it too. But only Orlanth has the Mastery rune as one of his normal runes. Orlanthi who lack it can do the Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe quest to acquire it, but how to other cults acquire it? I suppose Elmal Guards the Stead might be used that way. But what quest do Ernaldans perform to get it? What do Yelmalions do for it, given that they obviously can't do Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe and they probably don't do Elmal Guards the Stead (although perhaps there is a Yelmalion version of that myth)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bohemond said:

It seems established (I think) that tribal kings and queens need the Mastery rune, and clan chieftains would probably benefit from it too. But only Orlanth has the Mastery rune as one of his normal runes. Orlanthi who lack it can do the Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe quest to acquire it, but how to other cults acquire it? I suppose Elmal Guards the Stead might be used that way. But what quest do Ernaldans perform to get it? What do Yelmalions do for it, given that they obviously can't do Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe and they probably don't do Elmal Guards the Stead (although perhaps there is a Yelmalion version of that myth)?

Ernalda is as much the active component in the Making of the Storm Tribe as is Orlanth, and can use the same myth to assert authority over an unruly and diverse bunch of subjects.

There are exclusively Earth myths about Orendana the Earth Queen, too, the queen who gets wooed for her command over sovereignty. One way to re-enact this is to become the object of a marriage contest, and then assert her dominant or at the very least equal partner in that marriage.

Elmal has the myth how Orlanth going away entrusts the tribe to Elmal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this a game mechanic question or a general Gloranthan question? The answer depends greatly on that - and if this is a game mechanic question, for which game system?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Is this a game mechanic question or a general Gloranthan question? The answer depends greatly on that - and if this is a game mechanic question, for which game system?

I began writing a response, then I realized it was too simplistic.  So I backburner'ed it to come to later... and Jeff seems to have read my mind, written my response, edited it to be more succinct and pithy.   Eerie, that.

TYVM, Jeff!

Is the going rate for gamers' writing still 5c per word?  I'll send $1.45 to your Patreon, shall I?

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing about getting the mastery rune it's its a more manifest form of proving your kingship or sovereignty, like pulling the sword out of the stone. Essentially, you do something that proves that you should be the Master, which is probably the thing your god did to prove he should be the head of your pantheon. In gloranthan terms, You do a heroquest that imbues you with the Mastery rune by echoing your society's patron and then proving your place alongside their legacy. There's always another way to blaze new trails and grow your own innate Mastery, something more ritualistic or bizarre Combine-Mastery-with-Man sorceries, of course, but that's the general principle.

 

It's standard narrative logic, but it's a bit more explicit since Mastery is a fundamental force in glorantha that's equivalent to fire, luck or animalness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Jeff said:

Is this a game mechanic question or a general Gloranthan question? The answer depends greatly on that - and if this is a game mechanic question, for which game system?

Well, obviously it gets into mechanics, but I'm more asking about which quests exists for the Mastery rune beyond Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe. 

 

9 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ernalda is as much the active component in the Making of the Storm Tribe as is Orlanth, and can use the same myth to assert authority over an unruly and diverse bunch of subjects.

There are exclusively Earth myths about Orendana the Earth Queen, too, the queen who gets wooed for her command over sovereignty. One way to re-enact this is to become the object of a marriage contest, and then assert her dominant or at the very least equal partner in that marriage.

Elmal has the myth how Orlanth going away entrusts the tribe to Elmal.

I'd love to see the Ernalda side of MofST. We get a glimpse of it in Six Ages when Ernalda sends the questers to get material to make a torc, but that's just a snippet. Is there more from Ernalda's perspective that I don't about? It seems obvious that at some point she orchestrates the Night Tribe's attack, but how?

As far as "becoming the object of a marriage contest" goes, that's a pretty passive scenario for a player to deal with, and passive generally means 'Minimum Game Fun' for the player involved. So what does Orendana actually DO in the myth? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Bohemond said:

Well, obviously it gets into mechanics, but I'm more asking about which quests exists for the Mastery rune beyond Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe. 

 

I'd love to see the Ernalda side of MofST. We get a glimpse of it in Six Ages when Ernalda sends the questers to get material to make a torc, but that's just a snippet. Is there more from Ernalda's perspective that I don't about? It seems obvious that at some point she orchestrates the Night Tribe's attack, but how?

As far as "becoming the object of a marriage contest" goes, that's a pretty passive scenario for a player to deal with, and passive generally means 'Minimum Game Fun' for the player involved. So what does Orendana actually DO in the myth? 

I'm not sure that Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe is even what I would consider a "Mastery Rune" quest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jeff said:

I'm not sure that Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe is even what I would consider a "Mastery Rune" quest. 

Fair enough, but it's close enough given the absence of anything more obvious. The Mastery rune is needed to rule a tribe and MofST involves Orlanth becoming a ruler of a tribe, so it's not a huge leap to see the quest as being used to get the Mastery rune, especially given that there needs to be a way to acquire the Mastery rune for those who have political ambitions but don't have the Mastery rune (which would be everyone except a subset of Orlanthi and the small number of people who just naturally have the Mastery rune as their third rune). Otherwise the Heortling ruling class would be a tiny elite. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

Fair enough, but it's close enough given the absence of anything more obvious. The Mastery rune is needed to rule a tribe and MofST involves Orlanth becoming a ruler of a tribe, so it's not a huge leap to see the quest as being used to get the Mastery rune, especially given that there needs to be a way to acquire the Mastery rune for those who have political ambitions but don't have the Mastery rune (which would be everyone except a subset of Orlanthi and the small number of people who just naturally have the Mastery rune as their third rune). Otherwise the Heortling ruling class would be a tiny elite. 

In RQG terms, the Mastery Rune denotes Herodom, not political leadership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Jeff said:

In RQG terms, the Mastery Rune denotes Herodom, not political leadership.

But in HQ terms, the Mastery rune explicitly denotes leadership. Indeed, S:KoH (p.123) says "Orlanth is associated with the Mastery Rune but is not its source. This Rune is the source of leadership and self-mastery."  Obviously this is a problem caused by a game world that supports two quite different systems (three, really). But we just have to work around that. 

Hence my question: how do people acquire the Mastery rune if it's required for political leadership of a tribe/kingdom? Orlanthi have what I would say is a reasonably obvious way to acquire it if they don't have it, but an Ernaldan can't do MotST as we currently know the myth because in that version she's a supporting character whose actions are largely invisible and merely hinted at. Joerg has suggested that there's a myth of Orendana that works for Ernaldans to get the Mastery rune, but so far as I know we don't have any info about what that myth looks like (unless there's an explanation in material I don't have with me at the moment). What about Yelmalions? They obviously can't do MotSTAnd is there anything for any of the less obvious cults, like Lhankor Mhy or Issaries--gods who probably wouldn't have engaged in brawling to help establish their claim? 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Bohemond said:

Fair enough, but it's close enough given the absence of anything more obvious.

The absence of anything more obvious makes the need for the mastery rune to rule a tribe rather weak, actually.

1 minute ago, Bohemond said:

The Mastery rune is needed to rule a tribe

The mastery as per the Orlanth Rex cult is mainly connected to the spell/feat "Command Priests", which is in turn a reaction to the all-too-powerful Council of Orlanthland that abandoned the post of the High King. Instead the most powerful cult leaders took the lead.

1 minute ago, Bohemond said:

and MofST involves Orlanth becoming a ruler of a tribe, so it's not a huge leap to see the quest as being used to get the Mastery rune, especially given that there needs to be a way to acquire the Mastery rune for those who have political ambitions but don't have the Mastery rune (which would be everyone except a subset of Orlanthi and the small number of people who just naturally have the Mastery rune as their third rune). Otherwise the Heortling ruling class would be a tiny elite. 

Thoughts like that appear to have been behind the formation of the Council of Orlanthland. Alakoring's Rex cult was introduced to return tribal kingship.

 

The Making of the Storm Tribe quest is one about diplomacy rather than mastery, in my opinion. There is no Ernaldan version of this - it is a quest of the couple. In King of Dragon Pass, the Ernaldan tribal queen (that became Queen of Dragon Pass) performed it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

But in HQ terms, the Mastery rune explicitly denotes leadership. Indeed, S:KoH (p.123) says "Orlanth is associated with the Mastery Rune but is not its source. This Rune is the source of leadership and self-mastery."  Obviously this is a problem caused by a game world that supports two quite different systems (three, really). But we just have to work around that.

HQG uses Mastery for certain types of feats, less so than Thunder Rebels, and ties these uses to Orlanth Rex.

In RQG, leadership is expressed through the CHArisma stat rather than through a rune ability.

I think that the Mastery rune could be some form of quest reward. Tribal and confederation kings usually are required to prove their mettle in such a quest, so that's where I would give it to them in RQG. Clan chiefs don't quite have these royal attributes.

 

The list of attributes under Mastery in HQG reads similar to those for Truth when looking at Humakt or Yelmalio. Orlanth's (and already Umath's) honor, hospitality and a number of other cultural traits really was an expression of Storm, as I don't see Umath as anything but Storm. Harmony and Disorder in equal measure, likewise Conflict and Fertility. Sure, Mobility over Stasis, though I can't really vouch for Truth over Illusion.

 

17 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

Hence my question: how do people acquire the Mastery rune if it's required for political leadership of a tribe/kingdom?

Is it required as a separate ability?

For kingship, there is the Orlanthi institution of the Crown Test.

17 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

Orlanthi have what I would say is a reasonably obvious way to acquire it if they don't have it, but an Ernaldan can't do MotST as we currently know the myth because in that version she's a supporting character whose actions are largely invisible and merely hinted at. Joerg has suggested that there's a myth of Orendana that works for Ernaldans to get the Mastery rune, but so far as I know we don't have any info about what that myth looks like (unless there's an explanation in material I don't have with me at the moment).

Spelled Orendara rather than Orendana, in Esrolia: Land of 10,000 Goddesses, p.24. Basically it is spreading the word of "There is always another way".

I'll repeat, The Making of the Storm Tribe is ideally a husband and wife quest.

Quote

“There is always another way,’ she said, “And I will tell you what they are.”

Even  the  men  were  impressed  and  listened,  and afterwards they also agreed that Orendara was not only as good a leader as Orlanth, but that she also had more right to rule than he did, for she was pure sovereignty, born pure of the goddess of Creation, while Orlanth was only Her bed-husband. 

The second of the paragraphs I quoted is obviously an Esrolian interpretation and not a Heortling one.

(Heortling Mythology uses the spelling Orendana for one of the names of Ernalda, but doesn't give a myth.)

17 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

What about Yelmalions? They obviously can't do MotSTAnd is there anything for any of the less obvious cults, like Lhankor Mhy or Issaries--gods who probably wouldn't have engaged in brawling to help establish their claim?

When setting up business, Yelmalians don't form tribes, but temple regiments. As tribal kings, they can do a Crown Test just like any other prospective or elected king. For the original Crown Test myth, check Vingkot and his victory that created Grizzley Peak.

The Runegate Triaty is the only Elmali-dominated tribe that may have been so from the beginning. While the Princeros have a high proportion of Yelmalions, I don't think they have a tradition of predominantly Yelmalian kings. It just happens that Harvar Ironfist is one. I think that all tribes were formed by Orlanthi questers. The election of a heroic king could end up with a cultist of just about any cult. One of my more successful tribes in King of Dragon Pass thrived under its wise Storm Bull king (who wasn't clan chief for half of the time.. proof of wisdom).

The formation of a tribe is a rather rare event, except for the wave of tribal formation in the wake of the Colymar transformation in Quiviniland, and possibly a similar wave on the Tarshite side of the Pass. The Lismelder, Cinsina and the Enstalos are the more recent tribes that formed in Sartar, each under special circumstances.

IMO The Making of the Storm Tribe is a myth for the formation of a tribe, and its repeat performances can help to stabilize tribal cohesion. It doesn't necessarily make the king a better king, but it makes the tribe less troublesome to hold together.

Neither did sponsoring and questing for the formation of the tribe automatically make your candidate for kingship the first king in the long game of King of Dragon Pass. Quite often the resources of the clan were quite stretched after recruiting enough local clans into your tribe with generous gifts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Bohemond said:

As far as "becoming the object of a marriage contest" goes, that's a pretty passive scenario for a player to deal with, and passive generally means 'Minimum Game Fun' for the player involved. So what does Orendana actually DO in the myth? 

That really depends on how active she is in the proceedings. After all, in Six Ages Nyalda's quest is essentially just that, but she's very active in dealing with the unworthy suitors: she traps Yelmalio under a hill with a troll, then summons Shargash's previous wife to attack him, and so on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For an Orlanthi King, or Queen, you do a Crown Test. If the game system you are in needs a Mastery Rune to get that status and magic (as HQG does but RQG and 13AiG do not), that gets you the Mastery rune. Otherwise, it just gets you the Magic and Status. 

The Crown Test is not a formal quest with known stations. You go into a place of darkness and return with something showing your worthiness. 

For other cultures it would be different. Yelmic cultures, in general, only allow some leadership positions to be occupied by those from appropriate patriarchal lineages - there is no extra requirement like a crown tests. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, davecake said:

Yelmic cultures, in general, only allow some leadership positions to be occupied by those from appropriate patriarchal lineages - there is no extra requirement like a crown tests. 

The Emperor of Dara Happa has to undergo the Ten (or even eleven) Tests as his crown test, with each test giving access to one of the imperial accoutrements. We have no info whether a similar sort of rite exists for lower positions, or whether appointment by the lawful emperor covers this coming into authority. Patrilineal descent is a prerequisite, but that is similar to saying that tribal membership is a prerequisite for becoming a tribal king.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Emperor of Dara Happa has to undergo the Ten (or even eleven) Tests as his crown test, with each test giving access to one of the imperial accoutrements. We have no info whether a similar sort of rite exists for lower positions, or whether appointment by the lawful emperor covers this coming into authority. Patrilineal descent is a prerequisite, but that is similar to saying that tribal membership is a prerequisite for becoming a tribal king.

The office of Emperor addititionally has (or had?) some restriction on at least four degrees of separation between each emperor, don't they? I remember some references to that in GRoY and some mentions here and there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, davecake said:

Yelmic cultures, in general, only allow some leadership positions to be occupied by those from appropriate patriarchal lineages - there is no extra requirement like a crown tests. 

Initiation into Yelm undoubtedly proves that you descend from the Sun God himself - you have the blood of the Sun within you.

Inheritance of title / leadership of your Yelmic family, must involve investiture with some of the appropriate accoutrements, the symbols of rulership. The ones I'd expect at this level would be: Loincloth of Morality, which covers all and protects the soul from chaffing; Sandals of Protection, which keep the pure from touching the impure; probably the Girdle of Command, to bear the power of the center; a Low Crown of Rule, which encircles the world like a wall; Orb of Authority, which hovers overhead for protection; Scepter of Order.

As you advance in the Cult of Yelm, you have to gain more. The latter three could well have their own tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Inheritance of title / leadership of your Yelmic family, must involve investiture with some of the appropriate accoutrements, the symbols of rulership.

It more or less the other way around in Yelmic culture, you get most of the temporal power first and then seek the full magical authority. Inheritance of the title is automatic. Then you are able to seek entrance into the Yelm Imperator cult, Yelm the Leader. Until you  are a member of the Yelm Imperator cult yourself, you govern with the assistance of a Yelm priest. To become a member of Yelm Imperator, you must have proven you have the Justice of Yelm by being an experienced (5 years) Sun Lord (Rune Lord), and you must be consecrated by the Emperor. Consecration could occur quickly after assumption of power (if the noble is already an experienced Sun Lord, and it is convenient to the Emperor) or it may never happen (if the noble never qualifies for Sun Lord). It is only during this Consecration ceremony that the new Imperator symbolically (and in many families, physically receives a corresponding enchanted item) the Mantle of Leadership, the Crown of Heaven, the Sceptre of Order, the Girdle of Command and the Orb of Authority.  

The Loincloth of Morality and the Sandals of Protection may perhaps be donned earlier, but I think that is more symbolic - they demonstrate worthiness and lack of impurity, not power itself. 

You must be consecrated by the Emperor because in Dara Happan culture, power flows down from above, from Yelm to the Emperor to the Nobility. And in the modern Lunar Empire, the Emperor is not going to consecrate you unless you have also become a member of the Red Goddess cult, which implies Illumination. But there are un-Illuminated, un-Consecrated nobles - they just govern with the assistance of Yelm priest, who may veto their actions.

(a bit of thought about how this system works in practice, noting that some Yelm priests are retired Yelmic nobles while others may be priests of associate cults promoted into the priesthood, should give you some idea how complicated Dara Happan politics is. And for the modern Empire, it gets worse, the Examiners of the Red Goddess cult are directly appointed by the Emperor, and control entry into the Red Goddess cult, so control entry into the Red Goddess cult, so entry into the Imperator role. And if you are inclined to think evil of the Empire, ensuring all Yelm Imperator members are Red Goddess initiates ensures they are all Chaos tainted Illuminates. All praise Moonson and his wisdom!) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Emperor of Dara Happa has to undergo the Ten (or even eleven) Tests as his crown test, with each test giving access to one of the imperial accoutrements.

But that isn't comparable to becoming a noble - it is a test for which nobles may ascend to an even greater level. It isn't comparable to a Crown Test, it is comparable to seeking to become King of Dragon Pass, a magical contest between those who are already kings. 

18 hours ago, Joerg said:

We have no info whether a similar sort of rite exists for lower positions, or whether appointment by the lawful emperor covers this coming into authority.

We have all sorts of bits and pieces of knowledge about various lower positions. We know that most positions within the tripolis are based on Yelmic patrilineal descent, we know that temporal authority is a prerequisite for the magical (from the description of the Yelm Imperator sub-cult) rather than the other way around. We know that there are positions that do not require the right lineage only Imperial authority, but that these are different to those that do (and in a minority). We know that the Emperor can raise a lineage up, but that this seldom applies in the same generation. And so on. 

In other words, the Empire is ancient and complex and there are many ways to wield power and authority, but we know that the primary nobility within the core of the Empire is hereditary, and lineage is more important than magical tests for most noble positions. But most nobles will seek both temporal and magical authority. 

19 hours ago, Joerg said:

Patrilineal descent is a prerequisite, but that is similar to saying that tribal membership is a prerequisite for becoming a tribal king.

It's really not in Dara Happa - the right lineages are generally a tiny minority of the societies they rule over, and pattrilineal descent is general enough to inherit nobility. Being initiated into the Yelm cult at all marks you as part of a noble family. 

Within the Pentan tribes, it is practically a bit more like you describe - within some clans, everyone (or a majority) will be of the appropriate lineage, and the actual Chief may be selected on merit from those qualified. But then, as they don't acknowledge the authority of the Emperor, they have no Imperator sub-cult at all, and are cut off from the full power of Yelm. Which I'm sure bothers them not at all, because they also have all that cool shaman stuff. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, davecake said:

But that isn't comparable to becoming a noble - it is a test for which nobles may ascend to an even greater level.

The same has to be said for an Orlanthi to join the ranks of the thanes of his clan.

4 hours ago, davecake said:

It isn't comparable to a Crown Test, it is comparable to seeking to become King of Dragon Pass, a magical contest between those who are already kings. 

Leika's Crown Test was exactly performed as a magical proof that her kingship was better than Blackmoor's (or whatever happened to that bit of lore from Greg's campaign with the revised king list in the Adventure Book of the GM screen package).

There have been contestants for the hand of the Feathered Horse Queen from Esrolia in several cases. None of these would have been a king in his own right (unless he also had qualified as a Kalops sacrificial king).

4 hours ago, davecake said:

In other words, the Empire is ancient and complex and there are many ways to wield power and authority, but we know that the primary nobility within the core of the Empire is hereditary, and lineage is more important than magical tests for most noble positions. But most nobles will seek both temporal and magical authority. 

True. You have to be of a sufficiently noble lineage. Your mother on the other hand does not (looking at Denesia here, but also applies to a number of Lunar heroines whose descendants gain Yelmic descent from the Red Emperor).

 

4 hours ago, davecake said:

It's really not in Dara Happa - the right lineages are generally a tiny minority of the societies they rule over, and pattrilineal descent is general enough to inherit nobility. Being initiated into the Yelm cult at all marks you as part of a noble family. 

With the rise of Lunar imperial nobility, there are candidates to nobility who might lack that yelmic initiation, or who may have to undergo a hasty initiation upon taking on a Yelmic overseer appointment relying on their Red Emperor descent.

 

My "tribal king" comment really pointed towards the Orlanthi practice, but you are right, it applies to horse nomads, too.

4 hours ago, davecake said:

Within the Pentan tribes, it is practically a bit more like you describe - within some clans, everyone (or a majority) will be of the appropriate lineage, and the actual Chief may be selected on merit from those qualified. But then, as they don't acknowledge the authority of the Emperor, they have no Imperator sub-cult at all, and are cut off from the full power of Yelm. Which I'm sure bothers them not at all, because they also have all that cool shaman stuff. 

Indeed, the Pentans will argue that the sedentary Dara Happans are cut off from the full power of Yelm, as they lack any number of horseman qualifications.

The Arrowsmith dynasty of EWF-era Pavis might be exemplary for non-imperial Yelmic rulership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...