Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
davecake

Gunda the Guilty

Recommended Posts

24 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Given that the Brithini are sorcerers with the ability to dominate spirits and have a whole range of sorcerous abilities available, it is entirely feasible that there was no physical interaction involved. The Brithini may have dominated an "unborn" spirit or perhaps one of his own "thoughts", then combined it with the mother through the Life rune to eventually give it birth (not unlike the birth of Athene from Zeus' head).

I wonder why they would bother with the biological process at all when e.g. the Pinocchio method (Durev) yields perfectly human/divine individuals. Or a Pygmalion method.

The conception and birth of Llew Llaw Gyffes did have a sexual act (it wouldn't be a Celtic story without it, would it?) but has otherwise all the trappings of sorcerous reproduction. Maybe Gunda resulted from a similar approach?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Unless they had parthenogenetic modes of reproduction, the Zzaburi of Brithos weren't that celibate. Zzabur himself had a (exactly) one son.

Oh neat? I'd not remembered reading that before but have followed up. That does change things, although I still think even the Brithini would believe Gunda's father was an abomination.

Unless it was some kind of sorcerous ritual to produce another Arkat, due to being part Brithini and part Humakti.

  • Like 2

Share this post


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

Malkioni history starts swarming with monks in the Jrusteli period, possibly earlier with those Damolsten guys (who may have been something like a sacred band or the Jomsvikings). Judging from Meriatan's description in the Guide, such sacred bands appear to be a Malkioni thing.

Yeah, all talk of sorcerer celibacy looks like a historical reform, possibly supported by the way the wives of the line of zzabur were never recorded or have since been deliberately expunged. Early on an estranged son of Hoalar has one of Kaldes' "sons" in court and assigns another to a special project, so it's possible for them to replicate their knowledge more than once per generation. (A "third action," as it were.)

I forget about Damolsten because my eyes are watching Damol /  Damiliol. Whatever they got up to in Damolsten was probably nothing that dutiful lover of sheep would recognize or endorse. 

From Horal to Holar with maybe Hoalar somewhere in between. My "real world development" guess is that Holar and Heler got in each other's way (not to mention Hoolar) and so the consonants flipped. Something similar happens when Dormal emerges and someone starts typing "Dromal" wrong, forcing Dronar to take its place. IMG of course all of these are traces of how the caste system evolved differently in various dawn colonies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could be wrong, but isn't the zzaburi celibacy requirement worded less along the lines of precluding intercourse and more along the lines of never spilling one's seed? (Also making masturbation taboo). This is purely from reading some debates online prior to joining this forum, and I admit they might've been joking around (or just plain wrong).

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


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

That is Vadeli philosophy, basically. But it’s been my theory for a long time that the rules that the Vadeli follow for immortality are actually much the same as the Brithini ones, it’s just their attitude that is different - the Brithini conservatively try to follow the spirit of the law, the Vadeli treat the laws as specific requirements free of moral value. 

Which is why the Brithini can’t logically prove the Vadeli wrong (which drives them crazy), and why the Vadeli are moral evil incarnate to the Brithini. 

I strongly suspect the same. It's also thematically quite satisfying. The Vadeli aren't some horrific exception/alien to the Western mindset: they're its logic taken to its end. And the Brithini really don't want anyone to know that.

(It also fits with the general RW observation that closely related, but schismatic groups tend to be the most despised).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Vadeli realized that Law 0 is, "THOSE WHO DO NOT FOLLOW THE LAW MUST GROW OLD AND DIE." 

By systematically breaking ALL of the Law, they can also break Law 0.

Edited by JonL
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gunda as a daughter of a Valkyrie/as one of Humakts Choosers of the Slain gives us me some interesting ideas, both about Gunda and about Humakt in Fronela.

It has always been part of Humakts mythos that Ghosts are not considered undead, and in fact are part of Humakts traditional powers. But it doesn't get talked about much. The valkyries choose the souls of the slain to be part of the Einherjar. The main reference to Humakts einherjar was in older accounts of the Four Arrows of Light - Humakts Einherjar chose off the Young Elementals, but as a result when Yanafals faces Humakt Yanafals has allies but Humakt is alone. Humakti in Carmania are very likely to be Fronelan influenced (well, certainly more from the West than the East or South or North). Coincidentally, the same battle features an Altinae demigod (which could be taken as evidence of Loskalmi influence). 

The Valkyries are traditionally depicted as riding mounts through the air, which is a Ygg power, among others. Quite possible that Humakts choosers of the slain in Fronela have acquired the same power? It was originally a Gagarth power (another Vadrudi) - and Gagarth notably also chases down and captures the spirits of the dead. 

So I'm going to assume the Choosers of the Slain power allows gathering of spirits of the dead - and probably either allows the Chooser to command spirits of the recently dead, or summon the einherjar. Mythically they may have obtained the Windwalk power in order to get the souls of the righteous Humakti before Ygg/Gagarth can get to them. This group of the loyal dead I am speculatively a major motif/power of Humakt in local custom. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps this derives from some pre-Time/pre-Lightbringer Missionary mythology where Humakt swore fealty to Vadrus instead of Orlant. By his association with the Vadrudi gods, Fronelan Humakt gains Vadrudi-aligned abilities.

Then, the Lightbringer missionaries comes, mostly convert the remaining Vadrudi to Orlanthism, but for whatever reason, Humakt keeps his Vadrudi-aligned abilities in Fronela and Fronelan-influenced areas.

Purely conjecture. I have no idea if this is even possible with how spells and abilities are structure in Glorantha. Just seems mythically and historically possible to me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I would prefer to see the Choosers of the Slain as opposed to the Vadrudi. They gather only those souls who gave themselves to Humakt as true warriors, while the Vadrudi gather any lost souls they can. I think Humakt, though the Choosers of the Slain, is effectively working against the threat of the Vadrudi to the souls of the worthy. There may be a heroquest where the oppose Ygg/the Vadrudi in his attempts to steal the souls of the worshippers of Humakt, and win the Windwalking power from them in battle? 

Modern day, the various war gods of the Jonatings - including Orlanth, and Humakt - seem to be all allied, more so than in other areas (see, for example, the joint priesthood traditions in Gunda's home town of Ayos). The Invisible God adds advice for how to improve oneself spiritually in this life (including by learning sorcery if you wish/are able), Jonat acts as high priest of all the war gods and the aspirational example of leadership and sovereignty acknowledged by all the war gods. In addition to war, the war gods offer differ roles regarding the underworld and the next life (noting that Vorthan (Tolat/Shargash) is another major war god, Babeestor Gor also known) - all the war gods of Jonatela are either underworld or wind gods. Add a little grim Viking themed ideas about the afterlife by way of Wagnerian opera aesthetics. (this is the warriors and nobles, the peasantry of course are different, Earth and a lot of animal and fertility gods, boars and bears)

Gunda's personal magic includes plenty of sorcery (learned either as a Jonating youth or from the Brithini at Sog City, nothing Irensavalist) as well as Humakti magic IMO - including much equipment of Brithini manufacture, mostly enchanted iron armour and weapons. 

It is interesting to that the idea of a bunch of grim allied war gods working together tends to make the Jonatings resemble the Kingdom of War far more than they resemble Loskalm. Which doesn't bode well for which side Jonatela will take in the Loskalm/Kingdom of War conflict, despite the nominal Malkioni/Seshnelan ideals of the nobility of the Jonatings.

Random Fronelan side note: I think the Three Weapons of Talor are not used by Talor himself (but by his companions), but because they each correspond to a particular War god and were used by devotees of those gods. Greatsword for Humakt, Axe probably Babeestor Gor, Flail for Vorthan. 

Edited by davecake
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


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

Is there any more info other than what is in the Guide on good old Jonat Bigbear and his career?

The man gets his own Saga that runs about 110-120 pages in some versions. I think the salient points are that he works with our friend Halwal to drive out the last vestiges of "Seshnegite" occupation (whatever that means in the terminal second age) and that he achieves a kind of totemic epiphany among what is by that point a relatively settled Rathorite nation. (Apparently a different branch from Harrek's people, although given the Ban it's hard to say which bears end up where.)

Keeping in mind that all of this is paracanonical at best, the Rathorites at the time (actual 1967, Greg is 18-19 years old) are depicted as worshipping what we today would consider an interesting transitional Dangan (Hrelar Amali) / Hsunchen elemental pantheon. Hykim is Lord of the Hunt and ancestor through Rathor but they also have Gada, Nakala, Humakt as storm, Genert as ceremonial chieftain, etc. Weirdly or funnily, "Tol" the red moon shows up in a variant list as war god so he'd theoretically be available for KOW and/or choosers. (Suddenly I love the idea of Tolat Amazons up here brandishing spear and magic helmet, who wants to live forever.) "Resant" shows up as variant storm god, bumping Humakt. "Ava" appears as white moon death goddess so she would be available too.

There are also unusual "Seshnegite" war / death gods in the mix in this decadent era, including "Erta," their lunar death goddess only red (!), "Setum," a sky / death god, and "Humak" moved over to their side. My suspicion is that these aren't really the "Seshnegi" we know now but some backwater client state or buffer seizing their chance to expand while the real imperial powers recede.

I would love it if Gunda's line was conversant with many of these now-faded entities, because what else is a hero war for? Probably a lot of them flap like "Vadrudi" now.

Edited by scott-martin
casual inaccuracies
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, scott-martin said:

The man gets his own Saga that runs about 110-120 pages in some versions.

I knew he had his own saga, I didn't know it was that long. But little more than a paragraph summary seems to have ever made it into public material, which is all I have ever seen about Tolat. I so wish a lot of this early material was more available (and same goes for First Age material related to Hrestols saga, material related to Snodal, Arkat, Harmast etc)

It appears Tol the red moon war god from that era is probably Vorhan in the Guide - still Shargash/Tolat, though other than that unconnected to the Amazons of Trowjwang, seems more resembling Shargash in Alkoth (underworld connections, etc). Resant seems to just be replaced with Orlanth in the Guides 'god learner view from 40,000 feet' fashion. 

There is still some Moon worship in the Guides version of Fronela - the City of Croesia is supposed to be where a portion of the Moon Goddess fell in the God Time. We are never told what name they use - could be Ava? 

The Seshnegi of Jonat's saga seem to have been retconned as Malkioni now, with the Jonatelan nobility acknowledging the Invisible God. Hard to say how their various gods would be considered now. 

I do love the idea that Gunda's line may know some of the old secrets. I think there is another whole set of secrets around Talor in the late First Age, too - what role did these cults play in the wars against the Bright Empire etc? 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


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

I so wish a lot of this early material was more available

I hear you. I'd excerpt more but the book curses on these are severe. I hope one day it can all be available in handsome and annotated Unfinished Tales trade dress. What I can do here is synopsize the Talor side as well since he gets a few pages in the Book of Gbaji.

The moons up in the far northwest probably factor into Arrolian occultism and maybe even spawned pilgrimages from the Heartland back in the day. Still a lot we don't know about their way. Might be part of why they were so eager to get the Janube open. Always happy to meet another Tolat.

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


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

I think there is another whole set of secrets around Talor in the late First Age, too - what role did these cults play in the wars against the Bright Empire etc? 

I haven't collected a lot of Talor apocrypha because even the surviving "Argat" material (a lot has evidently truly been lost or at least misfiled) tends to turn right beyond Kartolin and so Akem stays on the periphery until much later. This means much of their Old Religion is sadly unknown to me at least, especially because Talor's marital dealings with the earth priestesses and "Oracle of Ehilm" seem to be focused down in Ralios.

However what we see is that the Gbajites take over Nenanduft and a city called Alorket and introduce "new gods." The only one I can recall seeing is "Volkas," lord of a special hell for warriors. Good people in this time and place stick with the ancestral deities Tawar and Enjorel. These people ride bulls and call themselves the Losk-Alim. They plunder everything, including Ise[l]fwal. It's a confusing time. Mostalites (a/k/a "Grey Ones") are shooting at everybody, some rogue Telmorites switch sides and fight the krjalki from Srvuela. "Kolati" get involved. (Worshipped as "Coalot" in the south.)

For fans of island lore Talor is interesting because some people insist that he's literally Argat's son and Gerlant's little brother, come over with dad to raise ruckus on the mainland. Their mother is an elf. Grandpa is still some shadowy god of war. Talor does laugh all the time.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...