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Vingans: marriage and childbirth


Rojo

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10 hours ago, soltakss said:

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

That sounds more like a Gor than Vinga to me. It's getting into the territory of ritual cannibalism and wanton destruction. My take on Vingans is that while they're aggressive and combative they're not actually bloodthirsty. Vengeance is undertaken for reasons other than simply the glory of killing, unlike the Gors for whom killing is an end not a means. (It may serve other purposes, but it's worth doing of itself). Vingans may well glory in the fighting, but the killing is a side effect in that case. 

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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?

Too lazy to look up the full list right now, but most forms aren't about either party being "subordinate", they're just tidying up the contractual details concerning the prospective kiddiwinks, and any property involved.  If the woman is a hardcore active Vingan, then the patrilineal, patrilocal form might suit them rather well.  "OK, I've done the 'hard labour', it's over to you and his 'aunties', pops!  Back at the end of the currently prevailing emergency conditions.  Bye-ee!"

If they're less active as Vingans -- taking a break from taking a break from the traditional female/Earth path, as it were -- matters might be a little different.  Taking us back to "treat as entirely normal marriage", really.

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On 5/24/2019 at 5:39 PM, Joerg said:

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

That'd be sequential hermaphrodism, then (a la many species of fish), rather than simultaneous (divers gastropods, most notoriously).

Or gender- and sex-fluidity at John Varley tech levels, if you will.

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On 5/28/2019 at 5:57 PM, Alex said:

 If the woman is a hardcore active Vingan, then the patrilineal, patrilocal form might suit them rather well.  "OK, I've done the 'hard labour', it's over to you and his 'aunties', pops!  Back at the end of the currently prevailing emergency conditions.  Bye-ee!"

I suspect in that case, for the child to be considered entirely mythically legitimate, ideally you'd be using Nandan rune magic to have the wife do that labour.

Having the foresight and resources to employ magical specialists to meet those ritual preconditions is what separates the nobility from the stickpickers. Which is largely why tribal kingships tend to end up in the hands of the same few bloodlines...

 

 

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On 5/23/2019 at 7:55 PM, 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.

Yep, All of them, roughly six out of seven.

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3 hours ago, radmonger said:

I suspect in that case, for the child to be considered entirely mythically legitimate, ideally you'd be using Nandan rune magic to have the wife do that labour.

I'm not sure what 'legitimacy' means for the Orlanthi, much less 'mythically' so.  What's the practical or magical downside of not doing so?  Limited, I'd think, if anything.

The main benefit of marriages is social.  Both the upside of cementing alliances, and the offset of the downside of quarreling with your neighbours in an unregulated manner if an inter-clan informal relationship goes a bit Pete Tong, when it comes to property, living circumstances, raising the kids, etc.

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7 minutes ago, radmonger said:

The usual thing; speaking eloquently, winning battles, ruling well.

Not entirely sure I'm following your thread here.  You're saying that if a child is born outside of marriage, or inside the wrong type of marriage, they won't be able to do any of those things?

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18 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Orlanthi society does seem to invest quite a bit of prestige in descent (imaginary or not), but I'm not entirely sure why Vingans or Nandans or the like would influence that either.

Yus.  Sex is easy, marriage is hard;  the gods bless the sworn bond.  Or however that one goes.  But I don't think they see "out-of-wedlock" kids as "illegitimate", much less kids from slightly-less-gender-role-conforming actual (or de facto) marriages.

OTOH it must be said that this is an area with a lot of modern RW baggage (and recent-modern in my current location, at that), so I don't claim to be a studiedly detached anthropologist on this.  Or on anything else, come to that!

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2 hours ago, Alex said:

Yus.  Sex is easy, marriage is hard;  the gods bless the sworn bond.  Or however that one goes.  But I don't think they see "out-of-wedlock" kids as "illegitimate", much less kids from slightly-less-gender-role-conforming actual (or de facto) marriages.

OTOH it must be said that this is an area with a lot of modern RW baggage (and recent-modern in my current location, at that), so I don't claim to be a studiedly detached anthropologist on this.  Or on anything else, come to that!

I think there's an interesting realm to explore here given how marriages and clan membership seem to work, and one where children produced via adulterous (that is, sexual activity that violates the bounds of marriage(s), not all sexual activity by people in marriages with people or entities outside those marriages) relationships are a problem for the clan as a community, but I think it would need/deserve its own space. 

The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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4 minutes ago, Eff said:

I think there's an interesting realm to explore here given how marriages and clan membership seem to work, and one where children produced via adulterous (that is, sexual activity that violates the bounds of marriage(s), not all sexual activity by people in marriages with people or entities outside those marriages) relationships are a problem for the clan as a community, but I think it would need/deserve its own space. 

Oh, that'd be a whole legal drama/soap opera!  But just to be clear, I was thinking of the rather more boring "neither party is married at all" case.

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Yeah, it's always seemed clear to me from my readings that, generally speaking, Heortlings don't much care what unmarried people get up to with each other, even if it results in a child. There are obvious exceptions, of course, but it's all obvious stuff, the usual suspects. People your clan hates, close relatives, bandits, Tricksters, etc. There isn't some strict, patriarchal inheritance law that makes it super important that you be the "legitimate" son of a given man to decide where all the property goes, after all.

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On 5/24/2019 at 3:31 PM, Bohemond said:

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.

NIMG, or more accurately, NCUIMG(*), but sounds like a very viable take to me.  Orlanthi obviously have something of a Conservative Republican streak to them -- a rural independent Fianna Fáil TD and a Kinahan  OCG ones too, but I digress -- so it's entirely possible this could be regarded as ritually 'wrong'.  "No one can make you do anything, but duuuuude, that totally weakens your, ya know, 'air rune', if ya get what I mean!"  Also, your co-religionists are your neighbours, and your neighbours are your relatives, and your relatives are judgy as All Five Hells.

(*) Never Come Up...

On 5/24/2019 at 3:31 PM, Bohemond said:

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.

Or else Queen Ernalda's take is much like Queen Victoria's on that...  No sperm, no foul!

On 5/24/2019 at 7:21 AM, Grievous said:

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

I think they mainly have the "are terrible company and worse dates" contraception magic.  Procreation is backsliding in your dedication to death, but equally so to a lesser degree is sex generally.

I don't think your fertility insta-drops from 100% to 0% when you Initiate.  (Or indeed from whatever it'd potentially dropped to after you became a lay member, if that's a key part of your take.)  But I'm absolutely certain that there are Humakti Geases (or Gifts!) that cover that.  Or otherwise cover it in 'sufficiently advanced Humakti' sorta ways.

Bear in mind there's generally reckoned to be a couple of Humakt-as-primary-deity clans in Sartar (and presumably far more in total elsewhere).  Unless the other cultists are really picking up the slack, or they're very big on adopting-in, I don't think they have insuperable...  problems in that area.

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9 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Yeah, it's always seemed clear to me from my readings that, generally speaking, Heortlings don't much care what unmarried people get up to with each other, even if it results in a child. There are obvious exceptions, of course, but it's all obvious stuff, the usual suspects. People your clan hates, close relatives, bandits, Tricksters, etc. There isn't some strict, patriarchal inheritance law that makes it super important that you be the "legitimate" son of a given man to decide where all the property goes, after all.

Yeah, this has been much-discussed in the past, in threads on clan exogamy with such content as "wait, having sex with my tenth cousin -- or tenth 'cousin-in-law' of no known blood relation at all -- is incest, and I'll get the the full 'you're festering chaos and will now be put solemnly to death' treatment?!"  But there are inheritance and property laws in play, albeit not quite the stuff of eurofeudalism.  So if there's two clans, a kid and no marriage involved, you have a potential dispute as to whose inheritance and property practices apply.  (You might have a dispute even in endogamous 'irregular union', but more in the 'scolding from your relatives' range, and 'swift decision by the clan ring' at worst.)

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16 minutes ago, Alex said:

Yeah, this has been much-discussed in the past, in threads on clan exogamy with such content as "wait, having sex with my tenth cousin -- or tenth 'cousin-in-law' of no known blood relation at all -- is incest, and I'll get the the full 'you're festering chaos and will now be put solemnly to death' treatment?!"  But there are inheritance and property laws in play, albeit not quite the stuff of eurofeudalism.  So if there's two clans, a kid and no marriage involved, you have a potential dispute as to whose inheritance and property practices apply.  (You might have a dispute even in endogamous 'irregular union', but more in the 'scolding from your relatives' range, and 'swift decision by the clan ring' at worst.)

I feel reasonably confident that in most cases, the default assumption is that the child is first and foremost the child of their mother, and will be raised as part of the mother's family. If the father wants to bring the child into his own clan, or bequeath things to him,  or if other circumstances put pressure on him, then it might get more complicated, but otherwise that's likely the go-to solution. Ernalda herself has many children whose fathers are either unknown or just don't matter enough to be mentioned (or just outright don't have a father).

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On 5/23/2019 at 9:39 PM, 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.

 

As has been pointed out, 'adventuring' in the gameable sense isn't necessarily the same thing as the Orlanth the Warrior ritual role.  But that overlap is the most common use case, sure.

But if you're a Sartarite woman chaffing at any given gender restriction or norm, then Vinga is the go-to route to challenge it.  "Men are chiefs!"  "I'm a Vingan."  "... fair point."  "Woman are the earth!  Men are the rain and the storm!"  "I'm a devotee of Vinga Thunderous."  "OK, Boomer."

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25 minutes ago, Leingod said:

I feel reasonably confident that in most cases, the default assumption is that the child is first and foremost the child of their mother, and will be raised as part of the mother's family. If the father wants to bring the child into his own clan, or bequeath things to him,  or if other circumstances put pressure on him, then it might get more complicated, but otherwise that's likely the go-to solution. Ernalda herself has many children whose fathers are either unknown or just don't matter enough to be mentioned (or just outright don't have a father).

Yes, I agree, possession is six (out of seven!) parts of the law, and this is rarely a problem in practice.  But there are possible plot hooks if the 'default' doesn't quite align with the wishes of either parent -- or of either parent's clan, indeed, as regards to the status of the relationship, of patri-/matri-lineal/-local issues, and so on.

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

At the moment, and knowing that Vingan is a gender, I´m having a few problems:

 

I'm not sure if this is more likely to help or hinder, but I'd take the flat statement that 'vingan is a gender' with a pinch of salt.  IIRC El Jeff as said he's not sure Theyalan is even a gendered language.  Which could in any case mean a few different things:  is there a vingan pronoun?  A vingan agreement of adjectives, articles and verbs?

I suspect that's what's meant here is that vingan is a normative social/gender role.  In practice meaning, with as many of the male (and contrawise female) social role norms as locally expected or successfully personally insisted on.  Which isn't to say very much, of course, which gets us right back to the weeds of it!

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 doubt we'll get much on that in CoG, beyond "Vinga:  see Orlanth."  Magically the two are either identical, or "within the normal range of variation, see local cult for details".  Cultically they pretty much always -- not just Orlanthi-always, closer to always-always! -- caucus with the vanilla, testicular Orlanth-worshippers.  There's some references to Red Hair Lodges and so forth, implying intermittent occurrences of all-female -- OK, all-vingan! -- shrines and rites, and some sort of Otherworldly possible distinction if you're a heroquester, but that's very much going to be a minority sport.

The outstanding issues are more social ones, as we've been discussing.  Hopefully later publications will give us chewy and maximum-fun (and minimum angst and grief) detail on this.

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

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).

As this turned into quite the thread-zombie, I assume we're a bit late to help with that, but I hope it worked out -- is working out? -- well!

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3 hours ago, Leingod said:

I feel reasonably confident that in most cases, the default assumption is that the child is first and foremost the child of their mother, and will be raised as part of the mother's family. If the father wants to bring the child into his own clan, or bequeath things to him,  or if other circumstances put pressure on him, then it might get more complicated, but otherwise that's likely the go-to solution. Ernalda herself has many children whose fathers are either unknown or just don't matter enough to be mentioned (or just outright don't have a father).

Of course, there are multiple situations in which a child could have no mother in a Sartarite context.

Firstly, there are the fertility festivals, where people take on the roles of assorted spirits, daimones, demigods, etc. and there are sexual interactions between these people and people participating in the ritual as themselves, which can result in pregnancy, and the resulting child would have one human parent and one nameless, spirit/minor divine parent. Now, as far as these have been detailed, people of any gender could be ridden by the fertility spirits, and as such, a child could have a father but no mortal mother as such, though the person carrying said child would probably be important to said child's life.

Even if the fertility spirits are only riding men (as one gender of six), the way that sex and gender are distinguished by Sartarites indicates that at least some men will have a set of plumbing for carrying children, and even if we further assume that the sexual interactions only take place between men and women (which is an even greater assumption) there will still be some women with a set of plumbing for making donations to the temple of the body, as it were, and sometimes they will come into contact unless we presume some even more baroque rules for who can do what at festivals to Uleria's wild abandon or Ernalda's overflowing fertility.

And presumably there are other instances where a child will have one parent, or even no parents, because the bodies involved were being used by gods, spirits, or even demons at the time.

And secondly, of course, "mother" is a twisty term in this context- if we define it as "parent who carries the child", then we have a useful definition that syncs with statements that Theyalan languages mark gender non-grammatically. But of course, the conventional definition is "parent who's a woman", and neither parent may be a woman. Depending on how we read those body sexes of "both" and "none", it may be the case that neither parent is sexed female, either. (Historical ways of sexing the body are a fascinating topic, and they frequently have been a matter of relative definitions rather than absolute ones, producing various intermediate categories. If Glorantha is like Earth in this regard, even one person with only an organ of donation and one with only an organ of gestation might well be sexed in the same category, or two separate categories that are not "male" and "female".) Thank goodness that we read in Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha that lineality and locality in Sartar are a matter of which parent is higher status, as rather than speculate about this topic I can simply have my players compare ransoms, Reputation levels, and, if I'm really feeling tasteful, a "which Rune is bigger?" contest to determine what clan they'll be living in after nuptials and which clan their little children will belong to.

But now that we are well deep in the weeds, waiting for that fly ball to descend, there is a way to resolve at least some of this, using a RW model: in the majority of circumstances, it will be known that the person who carried a child is that child's parent, which for the sake of being direct I'll refer to as their mother. We can also assume that when people are married they are part of the same clan. So in circumstances where a child has a definite mortal mother, they would be members of the current clan of their mother, and presumably of the bloodline of their higher-status parent in that clan as well. We can also presume that children without a mother are by default the responsibility of the Earth temple of the clan. Possibly, the wyter or Ernalda is formally and legally their mother. Some of these children might be the responsibility of other temples as well. (In instances where a child has a father but not a mother, they may have the option of being their father's child as well.)

One area where this situation does break down is adultery, because it does damage the basic assumptions here. Presumably, extramartial sex as part of an open relationship accounts for this (the child may legally be of only one parent, or may be acknowledged as being a child of the marriage) but children of secret sexual relationships are in a thorny place, because their membership in the clan is uncertain. So there is pressure on people to be faithful (if perhaps polyamorous) which feels natural and helps keep Uleria and Ulerian Free Love and Zoria strange and unusual.

 

Edited by Eff
corrected an inadvertent reference to the legendary track and field roleplaying game, Runquest
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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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On 9/22/2021 at 6:56 PM, Alex said:

Not entirely sure I'm following your thread here.  You're saying that if a child is born outside of marriage, or inside the wrong type of marriage, they won't be able to do any of those things?

Probably not as well as Jar-Eel. 

Mythic legitimacy in the sense I am talking about is not a binary yes/no,  a failing you might lack. But a positive quality that you can never have too much of. At the Sartar Kingdom level,the whole saga of Temertain, Kallyr and Argrath is founded on that kind of legitimacy, demonstrated by success at a magical test; lighting the flame of Sartar.

As a special case, an infant dropped off at the doorstep of a stickpicker by a mysterious stranger has one of the highest degrees of mythic legitimacy. Topped only perhaps by one found floating down a river in a cradle...

 

 

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I’m trying to figure out how to respond to this thread in a way that is useful.

I think my perspective is possibly useful, but not necessarily very gameable.

First of all, I am a trans woman.

There is a complicated interplay between “our imaginary culture has a different perspective on sex and gender than modern western society” and “how do we make a space for gender variant people that doesn’t actually affirm them.”

What do I mean by that?

Presumably, trans people exist in Orlanthi culture.  Are all trans women nandani and all trans men vingan?  Or, likewise, gay men and lesbians?  Do all gender variant people with uteruses fall into the orlanthi category of vingan? Is there a way for a trans woman to be seen as a woman in orlanthi culture?  Can a person with a “male” body sex be of vingan gender?

Adding more genders is awesome. But then generating a gender-essentialist “woman bodies with air runes are vingan” structure gets complicated really fast, and isn’t maybe as affirming as you might want it to be, if you are indeed trying to be affirming and welcoming to trans people.  If you are adding genders and physical sexes and *aren’t* wanting to be affirming and welcoming of trans and gender variant people, what exactly are you trying to do?

Dunno.  Just something to think about, maybe.

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23 minutes ago, UnlikelyLass said:

I’m trying to figure out how to respond to this thread in a way that is useful.

I think my perspective is possibly useful, but not necessarily very gameable.

First of all, I am a trans woman.

There is a complicated interplay between “our imaginary culture has a different perspective on sex and gender than modern western society” and “how do we make a space for gender variant people that doesn’t actually affirm them.”

What do I mean by that?

Presumably, trans people exist in Orlanthi culture.  Are all trans women nandani and all trans men vingan?  Or, likewise, gay men and lesbians?  Do all gender variant people with uteruses fall into the orlanthi category of vingan? Is there a way for a trans woman to be seen as a woman in orlanthi culture?  Can a person with a “male” body sex be of vingan gender?

Adding more genders is awesome. But then generating a gender-essentialist “woman bodies with air runes are vingan” structure gets complicated really fast, and isn’t maybe as affirming as you might want it to be, if you are indeed trying to be affirming and welcoming to trans people.  If you are adding genders and physical sexes and *aren’t* wanting to be affirming and welcoming of trans and gender variant people, what exactly are you trying to do?

Dunno.  Just something to think about, maybe.

The way that I (a fellow trans woman) read/interpret the statements about Orlanthi sex and gender is that it is possible to have any gender role with any body, and that categories like vingan and nandan and helering and null are for people who wish to express a particular kind of nonbinary gender- three sets of people who are in some respects men and others women (two according to complicated ritual reasons, one able to move freely however they please), and one set of people who are in no respect either. I have no idea if there will ever be any explicit rules statements that contradict this or support this, and thus far even statements by the creative people involved with the IP have never said anything directly about which Orlanthi gender corresponds to which trans identities in their understanding, beyond elliptical statements.

Which is good, because if we read vingans as trans men or transmasculine straightforwardly, there's sure some interesting pronoun choices at work, and the same for the infrequent references to Nandan and nandans. But laying them out as nonbinary identities keeps that specter at one remove.

As for sexuality, the only explicit cultic connection is between the cult of Orlanth and bisexuality/pansexuality. I think that based on the indirect statements, that if there were "gay cults" or "lesbian cults" there would also have to be heterosexual cults, because Sartarite culture is intended to be some degree of either binormative or non-normative.

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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