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Rojo

Vingans: marriage and childbirth

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In the beginning, I visualized Vingans as men inside women jackets, but after I tried to learn more about them (damn my players) my vision is changing. At the moment, and knowing that Vingan is a gender, I´m having a few problems:

- I´m supposing that a Vingan can marry both men (Nandan or not) and women (Vingan too?) alike. Not having found anything canon about that (in my limited knowledge of the setting), I´m not totally sure.

- What kind of Ortlanthi marriage would they use? I don´t see Vingans subordinating themselves to men, for example. Any canon response about that?

- Are Vingans able to get pregnant? I´m inclined to think that they can, as they aren´t men but a different gender. Dedicating themselves to childcare is a different matter (that´s women or Nandan stuff).

- My final question: any idea if Vinga would be included in the new Gods of Glorantha, or Vingans in general in another book? It would be really useful to have a better (and canon) idea about them.

Thanks a lot. My players and me are new to the "true Glorantha", and we have a lot of questions (and I have two Vingans to be players).

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48 minutes ago, Rojo said:

In the beginning, I visualized Vingans as men inside women jackets, but after I tried to learn more about them (damn my players) my vision is changing. At the moment, and knowing that Vingan is a gender, I´m having a few problems:

- I´m supposing that a Vingan can marry both men (Nandan or not) and women (Vingan too?) alike. Not having found anything canon about that (in my limited knowledge of the setting), I´m not totally sure.

- What kind of Ortlanthi marriage would they use? I don´t see Vingans subordinating themselves to men, for example. Any canon response about that?

- Are Vingans able to get pregnant? I´m inclined to think that they can, as they aren´t men but a different gender. Dedicating themselves to childcare is a different matter (that´s women or Nandan stuff).

- My final question: any idea if Vinga would be included in the new Gods of Glorantha, or Vingans in general in another book? It would be really useful to have a better (and canon) idea about them.

Thanks a lot. My players and me are new to the "true Glorantha", and we have a lot of questions (and I have two Vingans to be players).

Anyone of any gender can partner up, though marriage is usually between males and females, and formal marriage is a clan and bloodline-based affair, not a private thing - quite different from how we might do it; there's usually payments, contractual oaths, and even a duration negotiated. If a Vingan married they probably would do so as equals or with a bedhusband or bedwife, but Vingans often are less oriented towards settling down and having families than other Heortlings. Vinga did bear a child according to at least one myth, but she wasn't necessarily married. I suspect their brothers and sisters may raise any children they have. Now temporary initiation to Vinga is described in several HQ documents for purposes of vengeance or survival, to gain combat magic, and these types of initiations usually preclude any settled life: in fact, it's sometimes done by young widows and bereaved mothers to take part in ritual feuds.

Generally speaking Vinga operates very similarly to Orlanth Adventurous. Orlanth Adventurous is the unsettled, bachelor, Orlanth, not the stead-father, chieftain, or protector: he is the thief, the raider, the explorer, and the befriender of strangers. These are also aspects of Vinga. A Vingan can become a king or chieftain, but I suspect the fertility aspect of Orlanth is there undertaken by a proxy, such as a brother or bedhusband.

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In my Glorantha, Sartarite culture thinks in terms of souls as determining gender more than bodies. A female body with an Air rune soul means the person is a man (the particular subset of men we call 'Vingan'). A male body with an Earth rune soul means the person is female (the particular subset of female we call Nandani). Sartarite culture prefers to have Air rune souls marry Earth rune souls. So Vingan women would most readily marry Nandani or Ernaldans. If they marry someone with an Air rune, they're setting themselves up for a very stormy marriage (pun intended). The marriage is unlikely to be fertile (no Earth fertility involved). Fire runes can be fertile with Earth runes and other Fire runes, but not with Air runes. Water runes, of course, can go either way as they choose. 

Edited by Bohemond
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On 5/20/2019 at 11:22 PM, Rojo said:

In the beginning, I visualized Vingans as men inside women jackets, but after I tried to learn more about them (damn my players) my vision is changing. At the moment, and knowing that Vingan is a gender, I´m having a few problems:

Vingans are female adventurers, or Adventuresses, they worship a female version of Orlanth Adventurous.

In my game, they aren't men-as-women or women-as-men. They are women who Adventure.

Now, you might say "Ah, but in Orlanthi society, women stay at home and men adventure", to which I'd say "Phooey!". 

On 5/20/2019 at 11:22 PM, Rojo said:

- I´m supposing that a Vingan can marry both men (Nandan or not) and women (Vingan too?) alike. Not having found anything canon about that (in my limited knowledge of the setting), I´m not totally sure.

Sure, Vingans are women and can marry whoever women can marry.

You could say Vingans are men, as they follow Orlanth through Vinga, in which case, sure, why not, Vingans can marry women.

On 5/20/2019 at 11:22 PM, Rojo said:

- What kind of Ortlanthi marriage would they use? I don´t see Vingans subordinating themselves to men, for example. Any canon response about that?

Orlanth Marries Ernalda is the model of most Orlanthi marriages, but there are others.

Vingans are women, even though they haven't gone down the Ernaldan route, so they can still use the Orlanth/Ernaldan marriage.

You could have a Vingan marrying a Nandan, I suppose, but that would also use Orlanth and Ernalda.

 

On 5/20/2019 at 11:22 PM, Rojo said:

- Are Vingans able to get pregnant? I´m inclined to think that they can, as they aren´t men but a different gender. 

Sure they can.

If Humakti can get pregnant, with their strong Death rune ties, then Vingans can. There was a Humakti PC in the Temple of the Wooden Sword who gave birth during a battle.

Vingans are women, so, unless they are infertile, they can get pregnant.

 

On 5/20/2019 at 11:22 PM, Rojo said:

Dedicating themselves to childcare is a different matter (that´s women or Nandan stuff).

Not necessarily. If they have a boy, they could raise him as an Adventurer, if they have a girl they could raise her as a Vingan Adventuress. 

On 5/20/2019 at 11:22 PM, Rojo said:

- My final question: any idea if Vinga would be included in the new Gods of Glorantha, or Vingans in general in another book? It would be really useful to have a better (and canon) idea about them.

I think it is there as a subcult of Orlanth Adventurous, rather than a cult on its own.

 

On 5/20/2019 at 11:22 PM, Rojo said:

My players and me are new to the "true Glorantha", and we have a lot of questions (and I have two Vingans to be players).

Don't bother about True Glorantha. 

Whatever makes sense in your games makes Glorantha True.

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28 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Vingans are female adventurers, or Adventuresses, they worship a female version of Orlanth Adventurous.

In my game, they aren't men-as-women or women-as-men. They are women who Adventure.

...

Don't bother about True Glorantha. 

Whatever makes sense in your games makes Glorantha True.

Just so we're clear on canon, word of Greg (RQ:G, p.81) is: "Heort’s Laws (an ancient document stating the laws and customs of the Heortling people) recognize four sexes (female, male, neuter, and hermaphrodite) and at least six genders (female, male, vingan, nandan, helering, and none). Unmarried sex between adults is not frowned upon, regardless of the sex or gender of the parties."

Sex = ability and role in reproduction

Gender = culturally based behavior

Hence, vingans presumably can have children, as they are usually female by sex but vingan by gender. But because they aren't 'female' by gender they aren't expected to...

Edited by jeffjerwin
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So here's a question:

Are all Vingans (cult) vingans (gender?).

I'd assume, knowing Glorantha, that the two would be inseparable, as one provides the raison d'etre for the other, as it were, but just wanted to make sure.

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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

So here's a question:

Are all Vingans (cult) vingans (gender?).

I'd assume, knowing Glorantha, that the two would be inseparable, as one provides the raison d'etre for the other, as it were, but just wanted to make sure.

At least in the case of widows dyeing their hair red, I would think that they take on vingan behavior, but that is temporary. There are surely other cults that take in vingans, like e.g. Redaylda, Lhankor Mhy, Issaries. I wouldn't speculate on gender in Eurmali characters - there probably is a story how Eurmal got pregnant.

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9 hours ago, soltakss said:

If Humakti can get pregnant, with their strong Death rune ties, then Vingans can. There was a Humakti PC in the Temple of the Wooden Sword who gave birth during a battle.

Vingans are women, so, unless they are infertile, they can get pregnant.

Hmm, I had thought Humakti would in fact be infertile, at least in most cases.

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

At least in the case of widows dyeing their hair red, I would think that they take on vingan behavior, but that is temporary. There are surely other cults that take in vingans, like e.g. Redaylda, Lhankor Mhy, Issaries. I wouldn't speculate on gender in Eurmali characters - there probably is a story how Eurmal got pregnant.

Gender probably stays immutable for most - an 'Orlanthi all' - of course. The red-headed widows are the exception.

 

PS. There has been a helering or more likely nandan king - Tarkalor. He was the lover of a Telmor bodyguard and I suspect of Monrogh as well.

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17 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Just so we're clear on canon, word of Greg (RQ:G, p.81) is: "Heort’s Laws (an ancient document stating the laws and customs of the Heortling people) recognize four sexes (female, male, neuter, and hermaphrodite) and at least six genders (female, male, vingan, nandan, helering, and none). Unmarried sex between adults is not frowned upon, regardless of the sex or gender of the parties."

Sex = ability and role in reproduction

Gender = culturally based behavior

Hence, vingans presumably can have children, as they are usually female by sex but vingan by gender. But because they aren't 'female' by gender they aren't expected to...

I guess I've never found the idea that Heortling society recognizes neuter and hermaphrodite sexes to make much sense. Perhaps I've missed something, but there aren't any neuter or hermaphrodite deities in the Heortling pantheon (Eurmal might be exception, as he usually is, but I haven't seen any myths that explicitly reference him that way). The only hermaphrodite I know of in Glorantha is Androgeus, and everyone seems to regard Androgeus as a freak. Given the powerful concern with fertility in Heortling religion and the deep xenophobia it has, neuter people seem like they would be seen as highly problematic, even potentially chaotic. 

Shifting gears somewhat, and speaking as a gay man, I've always found it fascinating that same-sex desire can be expressed in certain ways in a culture but not in others. (For example in the 70s, there was a somewhat greater acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality among entertainers--those theater people, you know...) So in my Glorantha, same-sex desire in Heortling culture has to get expressed through cult. Some cults, like Vinga, Nandan, and Heler can acceptably engage in same-sex activity, while other cults can't, unless their partner belongs to one of those cults. So a Vingan can have a lesbian relationship with an Ernaldan or another Vingan, because Vingans function like men. Nandani can have a gay relationship with an Orlanthi because Nandani function like women. But two Orlanthi cannot acceptably have a gay relationship and two Ernaldans can't have a lesbian relationship because that doesn't work in terms of fertility. Vingans can reproduce with Ernaldans because it creates the proper marriage of Air and Earth, and Orlanthi can reproduce with Nandani for the same reason. So these aren't exactly homosexual relationships in the modern sense, because one partner's gender role doesn't match their physical sex. Two Orlanthi warriors having a sexual relationship would be taboo (although no one can make you do anything) while an Orlanthi and a Nandani would be seen as falling into an acceptable divine pattern. 

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15 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

I guess I've never found the idea that Heortling society recognizes neuter and hermaphrodite sexes to make much sense. Perhaps I've missed something, but there aren't any neuter or hermaphrodite deities in the Heortling pantheon (Eurmal might be exception, as he usually is, but I haven't seen any myths that explicitly reference him that way). The only hermaphrodite I know of in Glorantha is Androgeus, and everyone seems to regard Androgeus as a freak. Given the powerful concern with fertility in Heortling religion and the deep xenophobia it has, neuter people seem like they would be seen as highly problematic, even potentially chaotic. 

Given that there are probably neuter and hermaphroditic spirits, however, Heort (or his unnamed revisers) felt that it was a natural thing to be, and better to include as acceptable than rule out. Note also that a 'person' in Heort's Laws includes nonhuman persons (and there are several sentient peoples in Glorantha with these genders naturally) so long as they belong to Heortling culture and religion. Also, 1620s Heortling society is very different from the Dawn Age, when the Laws were supposedly written.

Androgeus definitely was present in Heortling myth in history as well, but s/he belongs to as yet unwritten set of stories.

 

Edit: remember that Heortling society can be quite xenophobic (because of Chaos and Meldeks etc.) so inclusiveness is important and needs to be spelled out, or the law won't protect the strange person.

Edited by jeffjerwin
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18 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

Shifting gears somewhat, and speaking as a gay man, I've always found it fascinating that same-sex desire can be expressed in certain ways in a culture but not in others. (For example in the 70s, there was a somewhat greater acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality among entertainers--those theater people, you know...) 

Donandar seems to have a fluid gender like Heler, which makes sense too.

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2 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

PS. There has been a helering or more likely nandan king - Tarkalor. He was the lover of a Telmor bodyguard and I suspect of Monrogh as well.

That's an unfortunate misprint in the genealogy. Goram Whitefang was the husband of Tarkala, Terasarin's younger daughter (granddaughter of Tarkalor).

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Given that there are probably neuter and hermaphroditic spirits, however, Heort (or his unnamed revisers) felt that it was a natural thing to be, and better to include as acceptable than rule out. Note also that a 'person' in Heort's Laws includes nonhuman persons (and there are several sentient peoples in Glorantha with these genders naturally) so long as they belong to Heortling culture and religion. Also, 1620s Heortling society is very different from the Dawn Age, when the Laws were supposedly written.

Heler is gender-fluid and sex-fluid, but not necessarily hermaphroditic (as in both sexes at the same time).

What non-humans would have been subject to Heort's Laws? We have no idea when the durulz adopted them. I doubt the Wind Children adopted them. The Kitori might, but I guess it is more correct to say that there were Heortlings who became Kitori (changed their species through Darkness adoption), and others who never were Heortlings. The Aramites were part of the First Council (indeed they provided the human speaker), but they were not Heortlings.

The problem of a married person wanting to have sex with someone one is not married to can be solved easily - conduct a bed-marriage. It isn't quite clear how exclusive Heortling marriages are. There have been leaders with multiple wives, and there will have been priestesses with multiple husbands. In fact, the marriage of Orlanth and Ernalda appears to have worked under this premise, at least for Ernalda, but Orlanth siring Vingkot on Janerra Alone may have been sanctioned by an additional marriage, too.

 

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Androgeus definitely was present in Heortling myth in history as well, but s/he belongs to as yet unwritten set of stories.

Androgeus is a case on herself, and he is not a Heortling, nor has she ever been.

1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Edit: remember that Heortling society can be quite xenophobic (because of Chaos and Meldeks etc.) so inclusiveness is important and needs to be spelled out, or the law won't protect the strange person.

Yeah. Display signs of draconic powers, and you'll be killed the day you have been born, except for the EWF era and few exceptions (like Obduran before and Orlaront after the EWF).

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On 5/24/2019 at 10:46 AM, jeffjerwin said:

a 'person' in Heort's Laws includes nonhuman persons (and there are several sentient peoples in Glorantha with these genders naturally) so long as they belong to Heortling culture and religion.

I always figured this made a space for the dragonewts as either simultaneous or serial hermaphrodites. A case can also be made for "bachelor" newtlings as neutrals if they had a prominent role within IFWW at the Dawn Age. Gold Wheel Dancers may never have been important numerically but I can think of ritual contexts where their "gender" classification would need to be spelled out within a mostly mammal society. "Mostalite" might also have functioned as a gender and/or sex at various points, especially early on when the world was new. They might've been the archetypal "neutrals" before their embarrassing secret got out.

In terms of desire and how it's expressed this is where things like extrapolating from Best Friend rules in WBRM can become super interesting. 

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I don't think that Theyalan gender considerations are anywhere except within their own marriage range. Cross-species marriages do occur for ritual reasons, and in exceptional cases may have offspring, but that more or less requires these separate species to participate in the same system of social reference.

There are rather few "pick from all species" rings or organisations (read: few if any Fellowships of the Ring). The Unity Council was the great exception. (It just dawned on me what great influence the Heortlings had on the Theyalans despite not being represented on that ring: the Unity Council is an Orlanthi ring, and while it may have given itself a different internal structure (like not having a chieftain but seven co-equal ring members, except in matters of certain expertise, like war) than the usual Orlanthi ring, it seems to adhered to its rites. The kingless ruling ring of Orlanthland appears to have used the same structure.)

There are a few Heortling rings that may have the occasional or permanent non-human on them - the priesthood of Pavis has the (half-)dwarf Ginkizzie, Sartar High Council of 1613 had the durulz Jonathan Greenbeak.

The Daughters of Pavis are (or have become) completely ungendered, with the (finally complete again) 1613-1621 complement having a single female among them (plus whatever Ginkizzie is).

There aren't that many places where different species co-exist. Some of the Holy Country ports have a more or less permanent Ludoch presence (Seapolis, Nochet, City of Wonders), a small number of cities has full troll communities (Nochet, Boldhome, greater Pavis, possibly some more Esrolian cities) rather than a few individual resident traders/resident mercenary agents/bodyguards/transient mercenaries, and a few cities have more than a handful of duck families or individuals alongside humans. The continued duck presence in Apple Lane is quite exceptional for a place of that size. (They might have a "monkeys on Gibraltar" problem there...)

Newtlings don't really share many communities with humans, other than river or sea cults like Zola Fel or Choralinthor, or possibly human (Pelaskite) worshipers of Amphibos the Wanderer.

Other than the Unity Council and the Kralori empire, I have no example for an organisation where the dragonewts are part of a community with other (non-draconic) species. Even in the EWF they appear to have remained mostly apart from the human antics.

Dragonewt sex may be quite different from the binary (ok, four stages, yes or no for both male and female in all combinations) choices for humans, but then the contribution of the various stages may be spiritual rather than bodily to engender the new clutch of eggs. Propagation among neuters, except for the dragon-form participant laying the eggs. There's even the possibility that the eggs of all the unfinished newts are used up in the process to create a (much higher) number of new eggs.

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12 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The continued duck presence in Apple Lane is quite exceptional for a place of that size. (They might have a "monkeys on Gibraltar" problem there...)

Baited! My working hypothesis remains in place: old Gringle runs "Apple Lane" less as a working trading post (obviously) and more of a demonstration of a certain esoteric Weltanschauung, a microcosmic Pavis or other grand project. As such every monkey is curated or at least magically significant and every duck may be the one Gonn Orta wants.

On the other hand half the time I think Gringle and Quackjohn are at least de facto life partners so what do I know. That's between them. But may be relevant to this thread . . . on the original topic I think if a Vingan wants a baby there are ways. If she doesn't, there are ways.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Unity Council was the great exception. (It just dawned on me what great influence the Heortlings had on the Theyalans despite not being represented on that ring:

Wasn't literally Heort in the Unity council initially?

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1 minute ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Wasn't literally Heort in the Unity council initially?

Did they even have any formal structure back then? Their common experience was "I Fought, We Won", discovering the sum of something greater than themselves on their own and alone (and greater than their people's previous success over Wakboth's invasion that had failed to open the Dara Happan dome roof before meeting their joint forces, and which let itself be deflected eastward, to face Genert and his host).

After I Fought We Won, there were other, important things to be done, like unfreezing his (future) wife, separating the dead from the living, and sending them to their rest (or at least sufficiently strong holding pens). Neither the Only Old One nor Heort himself were given as council delegates.

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On 5/23/2019 at 10:39 PM, soltakss said:

Sure, Vingans are women and can marry whoever women can marry.

I would add that they can most likely make ritual marriages in the same way as Orlanthi men can, like in the many traditions about ritual year-marriages to nymphs.

I agree with all your basics, though - the point of Vinga is that it makes you cultically (is that a word?) and ritually male.

Quote

Vingans are women, so, unless they are infertile, they can get pregnant.

I can't remember where I read it, but I liked the suggestion that adventuring Vingans have two options - they can deposit their fertility at an Ernalda temple (as a contraceptive), or they can carry children and then let them be raised at an Earth temple. (If settled down, they can do whatever they like, obv. - no-one could make them do anything.)  

 

Edited by Akhôrahil

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46 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I can't remember where I read it, but I liked the suggestion that adventuring Vingans have two options - they can deposit their fertility at an Ernalda temple (as a contraceptive), or they can carry children and then let them be raised at an Earth temple. (If settled down, they can do whatever they like, obv. - no-one could make them do anything.) 

Any adventuring female with children would usually leave them with the other women of her (or rather her child's) household, even fertility priestesses. While nursing, she might carry them along on journeys that aren't clearly adventure expeditions, e.g. when visiting the off-household side of the family (could be her own childhood clan or the in-laws if the partner moved into her clan).

While there are households that resemble a modern core family, most Orlanthi households will be multi-generational, and often several couples (siblins, first cousins) sharing a hearth. Childcare of weaned children up to the middle primary school age is the task of the hearth,  not the individual mother. In fact, quiite often it will be the task of a grandmother or grandaunt who may call in the assitance of other women busy around the hearth, or one of the mothers doing the day care for the lot of the stead. Even the sleeping arrangements may put all the children of this age group together onto one big wide piece of bedding. As the children graduate to pre-apprenticehood - accompanying the various workers on and off the stead to assimilate the skills needed for those duty - the mothers may become even less involved in raising the children, and the males take a greater share in tutoring the stead's next generation.

In an urban environment with smaller family units, a female servant of the household may step in if no blood kin is available. Long established families will have a sufficient range of kinswomen to provide at least a kinswoman in an overseer position.

Many young vingan-gendered women (women choosing some typically male life-style which will lead them mostly off-hearth, like warrior, hunter) are fairly likely to remain unwed. Without a husband's or wife's stead to choose, their children will be raised by the women of her birth stead. In case of a married Vingan having given birth to a child, her marriage stead's females are likely to look after the child.

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53 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Any adventuring female with children would usually leave them with the other women of her (or rather her child's) household, even fertility priestesses. While nursing, she might carry them along on journeys that aren't clearly adventure expeditions, e.g. when visiting the off-household side of the family (could be her own childhood clan or the in-laws if the partner moved into her clan).

Wetnurses were very popular in the past. There's no reason for a Vingan to have to nurse her baby herself. Better to drop it off at an Ernalda temple and get a wetnurse to do that. Plenty of time for bonding when she gets back. 

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3 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Wetnurses were very popular in the past. There's no reason for a Vingan to have to nurse her baby herself. Better to drop it off at an Ernalda temple and get a wetnurse to do that. Plenty of time for bonding when she gets back. 

When it comes to fighting women, agreed. A woman strong in the fertility rune will probably be better at wetnursing than a female dedicated to death.

But I also mentioned adventuring fertility priestesses - admittedly not likely to be of vingan gender - who are a lot more likely to take their infants along on a journey.

If a warrior woman has a battle-born child, someone has to do the nursing, and that someone needs to have given birth recently. Not the most likely find while away on adventuring, so even a vingan gender mother might find herself in the situation to tag a nursing infant along.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

If a warrior woman has a battle-born child, someone has to do the nursing, and that someone needs to have given birth recently. Not the most likely find while away on adventuring, so even a vingan gender mother might find herself in the situation to tag a nursing infant along.

Just had an image of a Vingan feeding her baby with bread soaked in blood instead of with milk. Probably not very nutritious, though.

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On 5/21/2019 at 12:22 AM, Rojo said:

In the beginning, I visualized Vingans as men inside women jackets, but after I tried to learn more about them (damn my players) my vision is changing. At the moment, and knowing that Vingan is a gender, I´m having a few problems:

- I´m supposing that a Vingan can marry both men (Nandan or not) and women (Vingan too?) alike. Not having found anything canon about that (in my limited knowledge of the setting), I´m not totally sure.

Yes.

On 5/21/2019 at 12:22 AM, Rojo said:

- What kind of Ortlanthi marriage would they use? I don´t see Vingans subordinating themselves to men, for example. Any canon response about that?

Depends on the status of the spouse, just like with everyone else.

On 5/21/2019 at 12:22 AM, Rojo said:

- Are Vingans able to get pregnant? I´m inclined to think that they can, as they aren´t men but a different gender. Dedicating themselves to childcare is a different matter (that´s women or Nandan stuff).

Yes.

On 5/21/2019 at 12:22 AM, Rojo said:

- My final question: any idea if Vinga would be included in the new Gods of Glorantha, or Vingans in general in another book? It would be really useful to have a better (and canon) idea about them.

Vinga is included as a subcult of Orlanth. She's always worshiped as part of the Orlanth cult.

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