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BalazarLightson

Ronance as god of underground streams.

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Lets look at Ronance. 

He's a God who once had great fertility powers. Where his chariot traveled the earth was more fertile. His chariot left invisible tracks that linked the great water sources across Generts Garden.  

Traditionally he's seen as a God of Earth and Fertility, as reflected in his ancient powers, and the Granting of Twins to women who fall pregnant as this well at certain times. 

Kalidor makes argument for him to be a god of trade (and intermediary who merely acted as carrier to other gods powers). I really like this.


However, since he lives in a Well/Oasis, and travels from Oasis to Oasis in his Chariot leaving invisible trails of fertile, I kinda get the hint he has strong links to an underground watercourses and the aquifer in real world terms, and wondering if there are Myths linking him to a River or Naiad as a lover or something along those lines. 

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Ronance's roads are the power lines between the altars of Prax, most of which coincide with the oases, but judging from the map of Praxian catchment areas provided by @David Scott, oases have separate aquifers independent from these power lines.

Ronance is after all an Earth Spirit, so his power should be Earth magic rather than water magic.

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There are three major references to Romance:

Nomad Gods (1977), where is one of the Earth Spirits, page 51:

Quote

Ronance is the god of fertility who was once the mainstay of the people of the Golden Age. His mere presence is inspirational to normal humans, and though his immortal chariot never touches the Earth, the ground beneath him is always rich in growing edible things . It is said that an ancient magical road system, now lost, was made by the runnels of his wheels .

Cults of Prax (1978), where is an associated cult of Eiritha at the Paps, page 30 Classic edition.

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Ronance is a son of Ernalda who taught men the secrets of plants and the mystical pathways of the cult. He is still useful in finding the way across the seeming trackless wastes, for his secret paths have their manifestations upon the desert. He has one skill known to the whole cult (Find Fodder) and one spell [Pathway]

and in the Guide page 456:

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Ronance Well (oasis): Ronance and his water spirit wife lived here. The Great Darkness greatly weakened his fertility powers, and now he is only able to live at the Paps with his mother. When occasionally he visits, it is said that any woman present at the oasis can choose to bear twins that year.

and that's basically it. His spell points you in the direction of the nearest oasis and will be the same in GaGoG. He's a tiny spirit cult now. Clearly he's an earth god, but we don't know his father (if he had one).

3 hours ago, BalazarLightson said:

His chariot left invisible tracks that linked the great water sources across Generts Garden.  

We don't actually know that. He had a magical road system that is now lost. We don't know what it connected.

3 hours ago, BalazarLightson said:

Traditionally he's seen as a God of Earth and Fertility, as reflected in his ancient powers, and the Granting of Twins to women who fall pregnant as this well at certain times. 

I'm not sure it's his ancient power, it's just an occasional power he now has with his wife (I did write that entry).

The basic idea of surviving spirits in the Wastes is that they helped people survive in the Great Darkness. In this case it was Romance and his oasis spirit wife that survived. Pathway helps his worshippers find their way home, find fodder helps feed their animals. Other than his occasional twins ability, he has a special effect much like Voria's flower magic that leaves flower trails, but little else.

3 hours ago, BalazarLightson said:

However, since he lives in a Well/Oasis, and travels from Oasis to Oasis in his Chariot leaving invisible trails of fertile,

He is mostly at the Paps with his mother, perhaps appearing at his oasis once every few years at an auspicious time (likely hoards of fertile women waiting to conceive).

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I kinda get the hint he has strong links to an underground watercourses and the aquifer in real world terms, and wondering if there are Myths linking him to a River or Naiad as a lover or something along those lines.

Only to his wife's catchment, Ronance Well is the middle of the three oases marked by a dot.

1961905232_Screenshot2019-05-12at16_54_19.png.ef1b5462ba388b9eca448d42e29645cf.png

These three demesnes are interesting as they are not fed by serpents (some are some aren't). It's important to note that these three are fed from the mountains, and it's this connection that keep them alive in the Great Darkness. The mountains held on to them and stopped them drifting off when the Wastes were shattered (Zola Fel stopped Prax from separating).

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Ronance's roads are the power lines between the altars of Prax

As I said we don't really know this, but you can certainly imagine it in your Glorantha. If you are referring to the altars of Prax in Nomad God's remember they were invented by Jaldon.

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Ronance is after all an Earth Spirit, so his power should be Earth magic rather than water magic.

Ronance is grouped under the Earth spirits as his mother is Ernalda, but he's a fertility spirit and his father likely was a water god, I favour Seolinthur or one of his now lost sons.

Edited by David Scott
fixed quote formatting
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Power lines in Prax:

6 minutes ago, David Scott said:

As I said we don't really know this, but you can certainly imagine it in your Glorantha.

These power lines were an aspect of the Nomad Gods Map (and the Dragon Pass map) that was also known as the HeroQuest Roads, like the one from Cliffhome to Stormwalk Mountain taken by the Redbird expedition that brought Temertain to Sartar.

This came up in discussions about a possible third boardgame (Masters of Luck and Death) in the WBRM-Nomad Gods series for the complete magical game. The project faltered before there was anything to playtest, and my role was little more than providing opinions about some ideas.

So, quite likely not anywhere in published canon.

 

6 minutes ago, David Scott said:

If you are referring to the altars of Prax in Nomad God's remember they were invented by Jaldon.

What's your reference for Jaldon inventing the altars?

Jaldon was born around 890 in the Wastes. The oases and the ancient (Golden Age) buildings which house (or are) the altars certainly predate that - I would credit Tada rather than Jaldon.

 

6 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Ronance is grouped under the Earth spirits as his mother is Ernalda, but he's a fertility spirit and his father likely was a water god, I favour Seolinthur or one of his now lost sons.

Given his mobility rune and the chariot, I would favor Mastakos if it has to be a water deity.

The Eirithan Genealogy in Cults of Prax that names Ernalda as his mother gives Tada as his father.

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38 minutes ago, Joerg said:

What's your reference for Jaldon inventing the altars?

Jaldon was born around 890 in the Wastes. The oases and the ancient (Golden Age) buildings which house (or are) the altars certainly predate that - I would credit Tada rather than Jaldon.

Nomad God, Scenario 4, page 33

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This scenario imparts a false sense of territoriality to the Tribes in that they are tempted to remain tied to their home Altars. This alien objective finds its origin in the ancient wargames instituted by Jaldon Toothmaker. To train his contemporary warriors something of the tactics and thought-mode of their enemies who lived in more fertile and pennanent territory, Jaldon instituted this manoeuvre.

 

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45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Eirithan Genealogy in Cults of Prax that names Ernalda as his mother gives Tada as his father.

Good point, so his water connection is through his wife. (Earth connection through his mother, fertility through his father)

Edited by David Scott
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51 minutes ago, Joerg said:

What's your reference for Jaldon inventing the altars?

Apologies, Jaldon invented the tribal altars not the altars themselves.

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6 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Apologies, Jaldon invented the tribal altars not the altars themselves.

Yep, that's how I read that scenario. Jaldon used the existing altars for this type of conflict. There is no indication that he erected the altars, all he did was to set up the manoevre that would assign one of these altars to each faction.

In the French remake Les Dieux Nomades there are Great Spirits for all the elements associated with the five great tribes. Are those tribal altars identical to the altars where the Great Spirits can be allied in that version? IIRC Malia got moved out to Malia's Stool.

Monkey Ruins is the starting place of the Bisons in the original, though, and the altar for Oakfed, so that's not a direct fit unless those places where the Great Spirits can be contacted or the assigned territories have been changed accordingly.

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Interestingly Ronance is mentioned as one of the Namers in the Eleven Lights (p129), suggesting that he's not a mere spirit but a Greater God now small (like the Twin Stars).

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When reading some of the descriptions David provided about him giving people the secrets of plants in the Golden Age, and leaving trails of plants in his wake, I couldn't help think of some of the theories of how early nomadic agriculture is thought to have started: hunter-gatherers would walk along tracks at semi-regular times, and while doing so, they would plant certain seeds, remove vines from fruit-bearing saplings and in general promote plants they found beneficial. This is still done in some areas.

It sort of seems like the kind of thing some of the denizen's of Genert's Garden would've lived, and from a Gloranthan perspective, it sort of makes sense for those tracks to have been established by a god or spirit.

The main thing that sticks out is the chariot, which seems a lot less primeval than this proto-agri/horticultural practice, but that's a matter of interpretation, I suppose.

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14 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The main thing that sticks out is the chariot, which seems a lot less primeval than this proto-agri/horticultural practice, but that's a matter of interpretation, I suppose

Pictures in this thread:

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/4141-prax-and-the-thousand-questions-about-the-place/page/15/?tab=comments#comment-101545

 

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15 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

When reading some of the descriptions David provided about him giving people the secrets of plants in the Golden Age, and leaving trails of plants in his wake, I couldn't help think of some of the theories of how early nomadic agriculture is thought to have started: hunter-gatherers would walk along tracks at semi-regular times, and while doing so, they would plant certain seeds, remove vines from fruit-bearing saplings and in general promote plants they found beneficial. This is still done in some areas.

Firefarming has been practiced in Australia for more than 50,000 years. Encouraging growth of fresh greens and keeping the undergrowth low. It isn't quite clear whether this works in the very reduced ecosystem of Prax - if it does, the Morokanth might be the prime practitioners of this, while the fire-friendly Impala riders with their beasts' preferred diet are the least inclined to practice this, though.

15 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It sort of seems like the kind of thing some of the denizen's of Genert's Garden would've lived, and from a Gloranthan perspective, it sort of makes sense for those tracks to have been established by a god or spirit.

In the Golden Age the Tada-shi built great ziggurat temples like the one in the image of Pimper's Block, and they erected a huge necropolis of mounds around Tada's High Tumulus. Theirs was a thriving society of at least horticulturalists, possibly agriculturalists, amidst a lush savannah. I don't really see them as much of pastoralists, though - the Good Shepherd is also known as the Father of the Independents, which means he is tied to the Beast Nomads descended from Eiritha rather than directly from Ernalda.

15 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The main thing that sticks out is the chariot, which seems a lot less primeval than this proto-agri/horticultural practice, but that's a matter of interpretation, I suppose. 

I doubt that there are any serpent-drawn chariots anywhere besides the one of Ronance. Not even the sea-chariots are drawn by anything other than sea-horses, which admittedly may be serpentine/piscine behind their shoulders (much like the celestial capricorn). Darkness appears to be the only element not sporting chariots - presumably they aren't practical in the Underworld.

I wonder whether there should be actually three serpents rather than two, conjoined at their tails, forming a Mobility Rune. But then, the serpents wouldn't have to slither over the ground if they can make the ground carry them forwards, so maybe the third serpent is the road, lying belly-up to transport the chariot.

 

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I have always imagined that the serpents pulling his chariot are the serpents of Prax, so the rivers and that's how he travelled. On or in the rivers.

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6 hours ago, Iskallor said:

I have always imagined that the serpents pulling his chariot are the serpents of Prax, so the rivers and that's how he travelled. On or in the rivers.

There's some interesting implications there... Of course plants/greenery follow the "paths" of Ronance, if those are river-ways!

But also, it makes him a boatman rather than a charioteer, which doesn't match with the legends/iconography.  And many of the altars/etc (that Ronance's ways connect) have & had nothing to do with river-ways.

So that simplest of riverway ideas doesn't IMHO work ...

HOWEVER... There is also the story of Waha wrestling with the rivers, esp. the Wicked Writher.

Maybe Waha's feat is/was a Survival variant of the earlier acts of Ronance, who "tamed" the rivers to carry him anywhere, not just their normal channels...

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Iconography can have hidden, secret meanings. 

After several days of digging at the rumoured site of Ronance's chariot a spade hits wood...

"Fuck me it's a boat!"

"Well in Praxian their word for chariot is the same as that of boat" says the learned party's sage with an all knowing, annoying smile.

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10 hours ago, Iskallor said:

Iconography can have hidden, secret meanings. 

After several days of digging at the rumoured site of Ronance's chariot a spade hits wood...

"Fuck me it's a boat!"

"Well in Praxian their word for chariot is the same as that of boat" says the learned party's sage with an all knowing, annoying smile.

"Big wheels keep on turnin',
 Big Serpent keeps on churnin'.
Ronance, Ronance, 
Ronance down the river."

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The picture of the chariot could represent movement, the serpents water and fertilty. Its all just stories. Perhaps he had an actual chariot with which he harnessed the river spirits. There's far wierder stuff out there...

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