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Harrek

Wyter of Pavis?

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I have a stupid question after 30 years of Glorantha-hobby: what or who is the wyter of Pavis city itself? There are of course dozens of wyters in Pavis (temples, New Pavis, Old Pavis families, trolls & aldryami In Rubble, other organizations like guilds etc). Pavis is the city god. Does the city itself have a wyter? Is Pavis that wyter? 

What is the importance of Real City in this context? 

Glorantha wiki says: 

  • "He apotheosized as the city god of Pavis, retired to his own temple in 860 ST." 

-->meaning Real City temple

Did establishing of New Pavis change this somehow? 

If Pavis is the wyter, what kind of powers he has as a wyter (not as a city god or cult)? I mean you could still benefit from the wyter without beeing a lay member in the Pavis cult?

Edited by Harrek

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The answer to this question seemed obvious first, but suddenly I wasn't so sure anymore... 

Edited by Harrek

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I personally think the wyter of Pavis is Pavis, but he is a special case - generally uninterested in leaving his temple, not subservient to anyone including his chief priest, more powerful than his limited number of worshippers now would imply. Acts more like a Temple Guardian than a city god most of the time, but has a pile of interesting sorcery to make up for it. Pavis is already an exception in multiple ways. 

 

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9 hours ago, Harrek said:

I have a stupid question after 30 years of Glorantha-hobby: what or who is the wyter of Pavis city itself? There are of course dozens of wyters in Pavis (temples, New Pavis, Old Pavis families, trolls & aldryami In Rubble, other organizations like guilds etc). Pavis is the city god. Does the city itself have a wyter? Is Pavis that wyter? 

I would say yes, a city god is the wyter of its city. And usually, the chief priest of the wyter would be the mayor (or, in case of Pavis, the King of the city - the mayor of Pavis really is the mayor of New Pavis).

Pavis is a special case, as he also has a cult with a priesthood and on occasion a champion rune lord. I don't think that his cult has any ability to invoke Pavis as one would a tribal wyter, the cult uses some little understood way of theist worship and sorcery in the name of Pavis.

 

Quote

What is the importance of Real City in this context? 

The Real City is where Pavis apotheosized and has his physical representation. This is similar to Sartar's brazier in Boldhome.

The walled part of the Real City is just the center of survival during the Nomad incursions and the troll occupation - in the lifetime of Pavis this was the administrative center of the city, and the most densely populated part, with other parts given to pasture or gardening.

 

Quote

Glorantha wiki says: 

  • "He apotheosized as the city god of Pavis, retired to his own temple in 860 ST." 

-->meaning Real City temple

Did establishing of New Pavis change this somehow? 

Dorasar did invite Pavis into the newly walled section to the north of the city, and did so by creating the replica temple leaning onto the giants' wall. In the end, what Dorasar did was to extend the walled area of the city by the area of New Pavis. The new temple offers access to the cult without any of the dangers that may emerge from the ruins around the Real City, and has become the main cultic center for all those new immigrants to Pavis.

 

Quote

If Pavis is the wyter, what kind of powers he has as a wyter (not as a city god or cult)? I mean you could still benefit from the wyter without beeing a lay member in the Pavis cult?

I don't think his direct powers as a wyter have been invoked before 1624, with his city god capacities mainly carried by the cult and the priesthood. IMO it takes a King of Pavis, or at least a champion who exerts rule over the majority of the city, to be able to access the wyter functions. The Arrowsmith kings would have had access to the wyter.

With the establishment of the walled refuges, I don't think that Pavis as the wyter of the whole city could be invoked any more. Argrath might succeed if he manages to get the loyalty of Javis Gan and other troll leaders of the Rubble, in addition to those of the human settlements.

It is a bit ironic that the first kingship that falls into his hands is of Solar origin... the Arrowsmith dynasty established a horse nomad city rulership rather than the king of an Orlanthi ring.

Edited by Joerg
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Thanks for your ideas. I'll adopt King of Pavis concept in my campaign, I haven't thought it like that before. 

Edited by Harrek
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I think the 'priest' of Pavis as wyter is also the High Priest, aka the Son of Pavis. I think the Champion of Pavis is not that important - Pavis was a sorcerer and magician, not a warrior, and the Champion is subservient to the priesthood. The Son of Pavis magically represents Pavis in various important rituals. 

It may well be the Pavis has his power as wyter of the Real City reduced. I don't think he performs many regular wyter functions any more, perhaps his failure to leave his temple is because of the lack of rulership of the Real city 

"The Pavis Temple of the Real City (in the Big Rubble) is the home of Lord Pavis. Within that magical Room Without Doors, the priests speak directly to Pavis."

So the priests have regular contact with him. Quite possibly instead of moving around as an active wyter, his main magical support of the city is assisting his priests in casting powerful sorcerous rituals of various kinds. 

 

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Thought you folks might find this of interest....

Quote

The council’s most important religious function is making sacrifices to the wyter of the city, Hauberk Jon.

Sartar Companion Page 10

The council the quote refers to is the Jonstown City Council and Hauberk Jon is the city's founder and I believe City God. The tome is HQ but the authors are Greg Stafford and Jeff Richard and its only 7 years old.

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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Yes, for me the wyter of a City is its City God, or Founder, if it has one. So, the City of Pavis would have the Demigod/Deity Pavis as its wyter. In this case, as a worshipped entity, Pavis also grants magic, of various kinds, to worshippers, which wyters don't always do.

HeroQuests's hero band guardians also gave some abilities or magical powers to their followers, but I am not sure if this translates into RQG.

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5 hours ago, davecake said:

I think the 'priest' of Pavis as wyter is also the High Priest, aka the Son of Pavis. I think the Champion of Pavis is not that important - Pavis was a sorcerer and magician, not a warrior, and the Champion is subservient to the priesthood. The Son of Pavis magically represents Pavis in various important rituals. 

Magical representation normally is the realm of the rune lords, whereas the priests are more the mediators. I agree that the Champion is not the usual representative for Pavis - mainly because he used to be absent since the Troll Occupation.

The job of a priest is to mediate between the deity and the worshipers, but not to become the deity - that's the job description of a rune lord.

 

Quote

It may well be the Pavis has his power as wyter of the Real City reduced. I don't think he performs many regular wyter functions any more, perhaps his failure to leave his temple is because of the lack of rulership of the Real city 

The domain Pavis is the wyter for is the entire rubble, and by Dorasar's extension probably New Pavis, too. The Real City is the remaining settled part of the largest urban area inside the giant wall, but it wasn't a separate entity in Pavis' lifetime or at his apotheosis.

Quote

"The Pavis Temple of the Real City (in the Big Rubble) is the home of Lord Pavis. Within that magical Room Without Doors, the priests speak directly to Pavis."

So the priests have regular contact with him. Quite possibly instead of moving around as an active wyter, his main magical support of the city is assisting his priests in casting powerful sorcerous rituals of various kinds.

The plural in "priests" speaks against this as the wyter function, though.

Yes, it is possible that the city wyter does not communicate with the ruler, but with the Son of Pavis. Pavis is by all means an unusual entity.

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On 6/7/2019 at 7:48 PM, Joerg said:

Magical representation normally is the realm of the rune lords, whereas the priests are more the mediators.

I think almost no City Gods have Rune Lords (and Pavis barely does - it is more of a holdover from the RQ2 era when every cult had rune lords that they have them at all). And the status of connection to the wyter is referred to as the 'priest' - admittedly it is a different role in theory to a normal Rune priest, but I think it is a priestly role for every cult except those martial cults were the Rune Lord role has replaced Rune Priest entirely. Also, Pavis is extra weird in that it's (now) more like a small city cult with a sorcery school and a lot of 'heroquest benefits' tacked on.

On 6/7/2019 at 7:48 PM, Joerg said:

I agree that the Champion is not the usual representative for Pavis - mainly because he used to be absent since the Troll Occupation.

Its not the usual representative because almost all city gods have no rune lord equivalent at all. Pavis is a weird exception to many rules - for both Gloranthan and publication historical reasons - and we shouldn't use it as a precedent for anything, but try to make it behave more normally where we can. 

On 6/7/2019 at 7:48 PM, Joerg said:

Yes, it is possible that the city wyter does not communicate with the ruler, but with the Son of Pavis. Pavis is by all means an unusual entity.

Yes. 

I don't think most city gods may not even have a dedicated priesthood - they have ceremonies, but their priests are either part of associated cult ceremonies, or leaders doing occasional ceremonies as part of their role, that amount to just collectively tending a shrine. The effectively large priesthood of Pavis is only sustainable because they are effectively a sorcerous cabal with the additional magical resources gathered by Pavis himself (eg their access to elementals, the Organstones) to draw on, probably including a fair few sorcerous artifacts when needed.

I personally really like the Masks of Pavis (I don't think they are canon though), and there are the various magical defences first mentioned in Strangers In Prax, and presumably a fair stock of useful Mostali artifacts via Flintnail. 

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On 6/7/2019 at 3:10 PM, soltakss said:

HeroQuests's hero band guardians also gave some abilities or magical powers to their followers, but I am not sure if this translates into RQG.

While Pavis is exceptional, the Temple Guardian example in the bestiary implies that a wyter granting access to a spell as a sub-cult/associated cult is something that happens (though not with all wyters).

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9 minutes ago, davecake said:

I think almost no City Gods have Rune Lords (and Pavis barely does - it is more of a holdover from the RQ2 era when every cult had rune lords that they have them at all). And the status of connection to the wyter is referred to as the 'priest' - admittedly it is a different role in theory to a normal Rune priest, but I think it is a priestly role for every cult except those martial cults were the Rune Lord role has replaced Rune Priest entirely. Also, Pavis is extra weird in that it's (now) more like a small city cult with a sorcery school and a lot of 'heroquest benefits' tacked on.

I think we agree that city gods of urban centers the size of Pavis, Jonstown or Wilmskirk don't usually have rune lords, or indeed a hierarchical priesthood. I reserve judgement for really big cities, though - the office of the champion of the city god does have some logic to it, and it may be part of the Dara Happan inheritance that the city of Old Pavis undoubtedly had, given the role of the Arrowsmith dynasty. And yes, Joraz Khyrem was a hero of Issaries. He still was a high ranking rune level of Yelm, too, in his role as king of the Pure Horse tribe that rode striped horses.

The rules of Old Pavis are built on those of ancient Nivorah as much as they are on the emerged urban centers of Orlanthland, which in turn inherited from the Bright Empire and Esrolia, giving another nudge toward Solar urban administration. I assume that Malkioni influences are rather minor. The Pure Horse warlords appreciated having an allied city on the Zola Fel river during the period of Robcradle, but weren't exactly fond of or intermarried with the Middle Sea Empire adventurers and settlers there.

Old Pavis was a fairly large city, and the temporary home to the nomadic Zebra and Pure Horse tribes of the region, too. The cult of Pavis is the city cult, and not the wyter of the surrounding upper Zola Fel valley called Pavis County. The structure of the priesthood suggests that it started out as a manifestation of the Pavis dynasty - not a dynasty of rulers, but a dynasty of spiritual leaders. Pavis left rulership of his city to his main ally, Joraz Khyrem. I would think that he married one of his daughters to the ruler of the city, but I cannot recall any canonical source saying so.

What I am arguing is that Pavis was more than just the city god. One purpose of the cult of Pavis may have been the continuation of the experiment that created Pavis the Hero. That would explain the sorcerous component of the cult.

 

9 minutes ago, davecake said:

Its not the usual representative because almost all city gods have no rune lord equivalent at all. Pavis is a weird exception to many rules - for both Gloranthan and publication historical reasons - and we shouldn't use it as a precedent for anything, but try to make it behave more normally where we can. 

 

I didn't mean to. This thread is about the dual role of the cult of Pavis and Pavis as the city wyter.

On the other hand, the Pavis box still remains the most detailed canonical source for urban government in a Sartarite city. Yes, it suffers from rules artifacts and concepts that may have been overthrown since.

9 minutes ago, davecake said:

I don't think most city gods may not even have a dedicated priesthood - they have ceremonies, but their priests are either part of associated cult ceremonies, or leaders doing occasional ceremonies as part of their role, that amount to just collectively tending a shrine. The effectively large priesthood of Pavis is only sustainable because they are effectively a sorcerous cabal with the additional magical resources gathered by Pavis himself (eg their access to elementals, the Organstones) to draw on, probably including a fair few sorcerous artifacts when needed.

I agree - it should be rare for a city god for a city the size of New Pavis (plus the human population of the Rubble) to have a hierarchical priesthood. That's why I too think that the Cult of Pavis is not just about Pavis as the city god.

When it comes to larger cities or metropolises, the situation may be different. Especially if the city god (like e.g. Raibamus) is also the ruler cult for the surrounding lands. Entities of this scale are likely to have a hierarchical priesthood, possibly a champion (temporary avatar) of the deity (aka Rune Lord), and may well be outside the scope of a wyter, or be the wyter only in a secondary manifestation.

9 minutes ago, davecake said:

I personally really like the Masks of Pavis (I don't think they are canon though), and there are the various magical defences first mentioned in Strangers In Prax, and presumably a fair stock of useful Mostali artifacts via Flintnail. 

There should be significant strangeness in the origins of the Pavis Cult, owning to the magical experiments that were carried out alongside the draconic ones in Orlanthland and the EWF.

The Orlanthi have a history of weird magical experimentation with ancestry. The Second Council produced Seri-phy-Ranor, a magical hybrid similar to Pavis though of Gold Wheel Dancer ancestry rather than aldryami, and it produced the species of the wyrms. The Heortling disagreement with the direction the God Project was taking stifled Heortling experimentation for about a century during the Bright Empire/Gbaji Wars, but afterwards this seems to have re-appeared or just continued. King of Sartar mentions other directions of such experiments, such as longevity, too.

 

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

I think we agree that city gods of urban centers the size of Pavis, Jonstown or Wilmskirk don't usually have rune lords, or indeed a hierarchical priesthood.

I don't think it is simply about size, it is about city gods not generally being active or martial enough to need a role other than priest. And many don't even have any real need for rune lords even then - if your city wyter is, for example, also a sub-cult of a major god that has Rune Lords, what would be the point? Most city gods barely have priests - most have just the City Harmony spell and a handful of common magic (and Pavis is not different because he is more powerful, his divine magic is equally limited -  he just has his priests double as sorcerers for an extra magical boost). I doubt the champion of Pavis has much more magical benefits than the priests - apart from the support of Pavis sorcery, which may be significant. 

There will be a few cities that have Rune Lords, or something like them. There are other cities that are every bit as unusual as Pavis, and far more large and powerful  - Tondiji, maybe Glamour spring to mind, Sog City, etc. And their city gods would be a lot more than just city gods. 

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SPOILER ALERT 

for Strangers in Prax

12 hours ago, davecake said:

I doubt the champion of Pavis has much more magical benefits than the priests - apart from the support of Pavis sorcery, which may be significant. 

Strangers in Prax has an interesting adventure in which the party assists a sorcerer who desires a (very specific tower) that was a part of the sorcerous city spanning magics of Robcradle. 

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46 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Strangers in Prax has an interesting adventure in which the party assists a sorcerer who desires a (very specific tower) that was a part of the sorcerous city spanning magics of Robcradle. 

Yes, I thought I mentioned this earlier in the thread? Also there are the OrganStones and other parts of the Faceless Stone Statue (ultimately, Mostali Maker magic), other Flintnail artifacts, etc. Plus in fan material, there are the Masks of Pavis, a number of enchanted masks worn by certain magical office holders of the city/cult that are heavily enchanted. 

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3 minutes ago, davecake said:

Yes, I thought I mentioned this earlier in the thread? Also there are the OrganStones and other parts of the Faceless Stone Statue (ultimately, Mostali Maker magic), other Flintnail artifacts, etc. Plus in fan material, there are the Masks of Pavis, a number of enchanted masks worn by certain magical office holders of the city/cult that are heavily enchanted. 

You know that is a nasty way to see if I am paying attention...:) and an even nastier way to get me to read your posts again... :)

yeah, there it is... oops.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

Alkoth would probably have Rune Lords, being pretty martial.

Would Alkoth Runelords be Shargashi Runelords, since Alkoth is treated as a subcult of Shargash? (If I remember correctly from the thread on the upcoming Gods of Glorantha thread - I might be wrong).

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