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Akhôrahil

Whole slew of Talastar/Risklands questions

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

 

1.1. 300 members (size given in D:LoD for the Renekoti) is tiny for an Orlanthi clan, maybe less than is even feasible given that it has to support a basic clan structure! Should this be interpreted as correct and motivated by the fact that this is a “starter” clan that must fill out quickly in order to survive, or should we imagine that the number  doesn’t include children and maybe double it (still a tiny clan even then, but perhaps no longer an infeasible one)? 

The clan is a new settlement. It needs to grow rapidly, have children, etc. It is comparable to the clans that formed during the Settlement of Dragon Pass.

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.2. The broadsheet in D:LoD says that immigrants will receive a plow and an ox (just the one), while we now know that the Barntar plow uses a pair of oxen. This could just be the product showing its age and that you really receive two oxen, but it’s also conceivable that the poorer soil of Talastar has resulted in different plowing technology (you could certainly plow with just one ox, even though most cultures seem to prefer two). I suppose another possibility is that they’re being cheap and only create half-carls.

That's a hat-tip to the old Forty Acres and a Mule. A plow and ox and a hide of land is what I expect new settlers get.

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.3. How would you treat the Orlanthi naming standards in Dorastor: Land of Doom? Here, unlike in more modern publications, people have a first name and a family name, like the Burisons and Soderfalls - should this merely be considered as obsolete, or as a quirk of the place? Such last names could serve a purpose when the new clan is a hodgepodge of disparate people - it will tell you which immigrant group someone belongs to (“Oh, you’re a Burison”). It could be interpreted as the name of the “mini bloodline” a set of immigrants forms.

I suspect those sorts of names are pretty common everywhere. Your proper name might be Vargast son of Vanganth of the Orlmarth, but everyone knows you as one of the Varani (descendents of Old Maran) or as Vargast Old Man (because of your village), or Vargast etc. 

 

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.4. D:LoD makes it clear that marriage within the clan is accepted, even as this is emphatically non-standard in later Orlanthi descriptions. Perhaps this should be interpreted as traditional marriage customs being relaxed due to the immigrant nature of the clan? It’s not like there’s any risk of inbreeding at this stage. 

That's clan by clan. Most clans are exogenous, but this is a new clan, where the fictional kinship is obviously more fictional. The communities in Sartar are several centuries old. The Risklands are a few years old.

 

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

2. Religion

2.1. What is Orlanthi initiation like in non-Heortling Talastar? I'm assuming that it doesn't contain the Heort/Second Son parts? So what replaces them? Do the Talastari have their own I Fought We Won myth?

I think too much is made of Heortling/non-Heortling on these forums. Especially when you are talking about the end of the Third Age. These distinctions were stark in the First Age, blurred in the Second Age (for example were the eastern Dragon Pass Orlanthi even Heortlings in the later Second Age?), and become completely muddled in the Third.

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.2. You fly to Top of the World rather than Kero Fin on High Holy Days. This is neat. Do we have any myths or other information about that mountain (apart from the ones listed in the Wiki)? 

Top of the World is the Great Mountain. Massive and high, it and Queen's Peak loom above Talastar like Nanda Devu and Mount Everest. It is the home of Orlanth, raised by Mortal (like the Spike).

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.3. What are the differences in cults? Any cults or subcults that would be unknown in the south, or southern cults that would be less common or even unknown here (apart from the obvious ones)? With Talastar being close to the Bull Belt (and with Dorastor close by), Storm Bull could be unusually strong, for instance? (I’m thinking Urox is the main war god, not Humakt.) Is Tarumath worship something that still exists? 

I didn't put Talastar in the Cult Distribution chart for the Cults book, but clearly I should have. Erinflarth is a bigger deal, the Grain Goddesses are more important, Storm Bull is more important than Humakt and his cult is closely associated with Orlanth. Heler is only an accoutrement of Orlanth. 

Tarumath is long gone. As pertinent in Third Age Talastar as Akhen was to the Ptolemies.

5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.4. I imagine the Earth cult influences are weaker in the north due to distance from Esrolia - perhaps longhouses rather than the square Earth Rune houses we now see a lot of in Sartar? Possibly Water (few to no Helerings) and Darkness (further from troll strongholds) influences would also be reduced? More sun worship might be expected, but I also gather that Elmal is not a thing this far north (it’s a Heortland and Sartar phenomenon)? Would the Sun worship (where it happens) occur in the form of “integrated” Yelmalio (Yelmalio seen as part of the Storm Tribe, unlike isolationist Yelmalio as in Sun Dome culture)?

Yelmalio is well known in Talastar. His Sun Domes dominate their environs. Yelmalio and Orlanth are their usual "frenemy" selves.

I'll try to answer the rest of the questions later.

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42 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Isn't Hedkoranth associated with a ram? Maybe he plays a bigger role in Risk/Talastar than in Kerofinela given Vorios and the preference of the Talastarings for sheepherding.

He is, and adds further fodder to the old ram cult hypothesis. Also associated with Heler.

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13 hours ago, davecake said:

The Kolatings I don’t think provide a back door method of Orlanth worship, but they do provide access to non-Orlanthi magic (Oakfed, Chalk Man, etc), giving Orlanth some options (mentioned in the Eleven Lights campaign).

But Serdrodosa does give access to Ernalda, or so I understand.  Normal temple-centric / holy-day worship (via priest & priestess) of both Orlanth and Ernalda fails during the Windstop event...

But Ernalda CAN be reached via Serdrodosa's methods.

AFAIK, Orlanth during the Windstop cannot, by any methods.

Edited by g33k
clarity

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Guide to Glorantha (p.339) paints this very differently

Yes. The material in the Glorantha Sourcebook on this is from the Redline History of the Lunar Empire, after all.

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On 7/24/2019 at 7:21 PM, Joerg said:

Overall, don't underestimate Sairdite culture. Way more civilized than the Talastari, Earth-centered, with occasional non-Orlanthi rule like that of Verenmars' Jajalarin dog people tribes prior to the Dragonkill. Prior to the Moonburn, Rist would have been another buffer for Pelorian influences.

 

I seem to remember someone here saying that "Ernalda" might even originally be a Sairdite Dawn Age name for the Earth Queen Goddess that got spread and mainstreamed within Council lands?

I wonder how name varieities like Ir, etc. fare against that. Whether they represent name differences (ie. "Dieu" vs. "God"), or are kennings of the god in the same language ("Ancient of Days" vs. "The Allmighty") or might even represent slight cultic variety over the same general theme.

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On 7/24/2019 at 4:34 PM, Akhôrahil said:

3. Culture
What are the significant cultural differences between "Northern"/Alakoring Orlanthi (like Talastarings), and Heortlings? 

The Heortlings of Dragon Pass look to Esrolia for their material culture, and Esrolians and Heortlings largely look the same. The Talastar look to lowland Peloria for their luxury goods. It is frankly hard for an outsider to distinguish a Talastari from a Sylillan from a Dara-nite or Henjarlite.

That being said, the Talastari have brown or reddish hair, and olive skin. Men and women grow their hair long and men wear beards. Rich men often affect long and oiled beards, which are frequently curled with tongs to create hanging curls. Men commonly wear a fringed wool skirt and cloak. The wealthy wear a tunic over the wool skirt. When possible, clothes are brightly coloured and patterned.

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3.1. Language, of course. I'm assuming there's a specific Talastari language? 1/5th of Heortling sounds right for Talastari when it comes to base percentage? 

1/5th or 1/10th. I'd need to look at it more carefully.

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4. Clans
How does it work when you form a new clan, like the Renekoti, and especially when it's not just a break-away part but one formed from very disparate new peoples? 

Same as always. You need a guardian spirit - but gaining that is part of the ritual to call the new clan into existence.

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4.6. The Bilini tribe seems to be a very dominant “super tribe” within Talastar, even more so (considerably more so!) than the Colymar tribe is in Sartar, and to the extent that there doesn’t seem to be a ton of difference between being King of Talastar and tribal King of the Bilini these days. How many clans do you think it has? Talastar has a population of 125,000 (Guide), and looking at the map the Bilini look like they make up somewhere between half and a fourth of Talastar. This is one giant tribe! I could easily see 25+ clans, which is bound to make tribal politics a mess

They are an Orlanth Rex people and their tribal politics are far more tumultuous than those in Sartar. The King of the Bilini is the Orlanth Rex of the various Bilini groups; however, those that refuse to acknowledge a new Rex have more options, such as Oxhead, forming their own rival group, etc. Proclaiming yourself King of Talastar means you have gotten several other tribes or confederations or cities to acknowledge you as the highest Rex.

4.7. How do we think the Hold of the Bilini (pop. 3000) is run? Tribal seat ruled more directly either by the king or by some “city ring” style thing? I’m thinking Boldhome might be the best model?  

The king resides in the Hold and that is where the main tribal assemblies take place. Regardless of who is king, there are crafters, labourers, traders and whatever who reside there. They probably largely govern their own activities by kinship, cult, or guild - when there are disputes they go to the king. That's the normal Orlanthi way.

 

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On 7/24/2019 at 4:34 PM, Akhôrahil said:

 

2. Religion

 

Here's a rough cult breakdown:

 

Cult                

%

Orlanth         

25

Ernalda          

20

Grain Goddess

10

Maran Gor

Babeester Gor         

1

Chalana Arroy         

2

Eurmal               

1

Issaries                    

2

Lhankor Mhy         

1

Storm Bull             

5

Humakt                

2

Seven Mothers

10

Erinflarth                  

2

Storm Bull         

5

Yelmalio                   

6

Lodril                        

2

Other                        

5

 

100

 

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On 7/24/2019 at 4:34 PM, Akhôrahil said:

5. Local lore
5.1. Benksland and Skalland - what are they? Both are described as only occasionally affected by chaos from Dorastor, and there are some Skanthi living in Skalland. Is Benksland livable? Does anyone actually live there? If so, who? If not, they might be ripe for settlement. The Bestiary indicates that we get trolls from Halikiv here, which is cool and a potential source of trouble.

These are places where tough outlaws, crazed Storm Bulls, and wanna-be heroes might settle. An Aggari Wind Lord who killed a Seven Mothers Rune Lord, a band of Bullmen, etc. It is not a place for the faint-hearted!

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5.2.  What does the future history of the area look like? 1617 is the official campaign date. Hahlgrim slays Hakon the Swimmer in 1622. Hahlgrim's War happens in 1623, with Oddi becoming king during it. What else? What about Ralzakark's future history and endgame (I realize he will be Emperor eventually, but how, and it probably doesn't mean much fun for the people between him and the throne)? And I mean, just how many times does he get “killed” (twice in a day by Oddi!)? How will Talastar get involved in external politics once the HeroWars slam into the Lunar Empire? Has anyone compiled a timeline of the HeroWars?

Yes. A solid history of the Hero Wars is in the RQ Campaign book.

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(To me, a fairy clear plot point would be a shift in power between Traditionalists and Appeasers as the Lunar Empire gets thrown into crisis, and the Lakrene thing is certain to be a sore point. Kings are bound to at least try to re-conquer it, and anyone who does is in a great place to get declared as King of Talastar. It also seems like just the kind of place that Argrath might try to dragoon into his war.)

In 1625, there are rebellions throughout the Lunar Provinces and the main Lunar army is locked in a life and death struggle with the Pentans. The Lunar Empire has barely any resources for places like Dragon Pass and none at all for places like Talastar. The pro-Lunar factions suddenly find themselves on their own. 

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43 minutes ago, Jeff said:

In 1625, there are rebellions throughout the Lunar Provinces and the main Lunar army is locked in a life and death struggle with the Pentans. The Lunar Empire has barely any resources for places like Dragon Pass and none at all for places like Talastar. The pro-Lunar factions suddenly find themselves on their own. 

I would imagine the loss of Lakrene is an open wound to certain Talastarings - it might not be possible to re-take it, but won't stop some people from trying.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Here's a rough cult breakdown:

 

Cult                

%

Orlanth         

25

Ernalda          

20

Grain Goddess

10

Maran Gor

Babeester Gor         

1

Chalana Arroy         

2

Eurmal               

1

Issaries                    

2

Lhankor Mhy         

1

Storm Bull             

5

Humakt                

2

Seven Mothers

10

Erinflarth                  

2

Storm Bull         

5

Yelmalio                   

6

Lodril                        

2

Other                        

5

 

100

 

 

Huh, Storm Bull has two sections here. Is one of those meant to be a separate cult, or are 10% of Talastari Storm Bull worshippers?

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Just now, Tindalos said:

 

Huh, Storm Bull has two sections here. Is one of those meant to be a separate cult, or are 10% of Talastari Storm Bull worshippers?

That's me badly cutting and pasting this from my notes. Swap one of the Storm Bull entires with Other Lunar cults (Etyries, Irrippi Ontor, Hon-eel, Hwarin Dalthippa, etc.).

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4 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Hm. Does this mean they worship Lodril over Barntar? Or does Barntar fall under Orlanth?

Barntar falls into Orlanth. He is usually worshiped as subculture of Orlanth and Ernalda, and only occasionally independently.

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4 hours ago, Jeff said:

Barntar falls into Orlanth. He is usually worshiped as subculture of Orlanth and Ernalda, and only occasionally independently.

The only reason we've seen significant stand-alone Barntar worship elsewhere is because of Lunar repression of the Orlanth cult, one would imagine.

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On 7/26/2019 at 11:13 AM, Jeff said:

That's me badly cutting and pasting this from my notes. Swap one of the Storm Bull entires with Other Lunar cults (Etyries, Irrippi Ontor, Hon-eel, Hwarin Dalthippa, etc.).

That sounds suspiciously God Learnerist! Swapping gods again???? 😇

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On 7/26/2019 at 9:41 AM, Jeff said:

Barntar falls into Orlanth.

Not to be, uh, that person, but why is Barntar and not the Earth Goddess? Is it the phallicism of the plow? Inanna's "come plow my fields"? I've always been a little confused about why Barntar is Air rune

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41 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Not to be, uh, that person, but why is Barntar and not the Earth Goddess? Is it the phallicism of the plow? Inanna's "come plow my fields"? I've always been a little confused about why Barntar is Air rune

The plowing and seed planting, yes.

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On 7/26/2019 at 1:34 PM, Akhôrahil said:

The only reason we've seen significant stand-alone Barntar worship elsewhere is because of Lunar repression of the Orlanth cult, one would imagine.

It's also a lot of selection bias among PCs. Barntar is going to be more popular among regular joe stay-at-home costars than among  wild adventurers.

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17 minutes ago, JonL said:

It's also a lot of selection bias among PCs. Barntar is going to be more popular among regular joe stay-at-home costars than among  wild adventurers.

I'm not 100% about that (or rather, there is this, but I'm not so sure about even the farmers).

Sure, the Barntar subcult to Orlanth is going to be popular among farmers. But going full, stand-alone Barntar worship is a pretty particular commitment. It's dedicating yourself to being an agriculture specialist and little else. It means giving up on the direct access to Orlanth and one of the most powerful myth cycles and sources of magic about. It means taking a step back from politics and martial virtues. And if you're under Lunar pressure to do just this, it means a kind of surrender. 

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Not to be, uh, that person, but why is Barntar and not the Earth Goddess? Is it the phallicism of the plow? Inanna's "come plow my fields"? I've always been a little confused about why Barntar is Air rune

He's not associated with the Earth itself or its fertility, but rather the activity of working it.

It's a gray area, I agree, but I'd like to think of him as the closest Air gets to Earth, rather than the opposite.

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11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Sure, the Barntar subcult to Orlanth is going to be popular among farmers. But going full, stand-alone Barntar worship is a pretty particular commitment. It's dedicating yourself to being an agriculture specialist and little else.

What else? Strongman, earth defender, dragonslayer, bull tamer, pastoralist/transhumance herder (and by extension cattle raider). Not Lightbringer or shepherd/cottar, neither thane except as ring-member, but carl fyrdman and potentially warband member or sponsor.

 

11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

It means giving up on the direct access to Orlanth and one of the most powerful myth cycles and sources of magic about. 

You step out of the Sword Story, the Three (plus One) Challenges, the Lightbringer Path, and probably the Elemental Weapons. You keep Aroka, the Plundering of Aron. You earn an unvoluntary Underworld experience and becoming eligible for your mythical mother's Underworld quest. And Rex is open to whoever becomes king, regardless of the personal cult. It works in combination with Seven Mothers...

11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

It means taking a step back from politics and martial virtues.

Half a step. You are the voice of the Carls, the true power of the clan, both politically and militarily. That means regular line infantry, not lightly armed skirmisher. And magically, Barntar cultists are best suited for bull sacrifices.

11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

And if you're under Lunar pressure to do just this, it means a kind of surrender. 

It doesn't take Lunar pressure. Even the Hendriki (and even more the non-Hendriki Heortlings of Heortland) worship Barntar, and continue to do so after Jar-eel released the Spirit of Freedom in the dismembering of Belintar. Sure, there was Belintar's pressure before, but the non-Hendriki Heortlings were a lot less antagonistic to the more civilized approach than the overly proud and unruly Hendriki who still imposed the millennium-old Foreigner Laws of Aventus.

Of the clans and tribes that immigrated from Heortland to Sartar, I would estimate that about 60% were of a Hendriki origin. In Heortland proper, the Hendriki may make up somewhere around 33% of the human population. That's quite a selection bias.

Is a preference to follow the Other Way necessarily a surrender? In Ernalda's case, it is the base for her rulership, and Barntar participates in that principle.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

I'm not 100% about that (or rather, there is this, but I'm not so sure about even the farmers).

Sure, the Barntar subcult to Orlanth is going to be popular among farmers. But going full, stand-alone Barntar worship is a pretty particular commitment. It's dedicating yourself to being an agriculture specialist and little else. It means giving up on the direct access to Orlanth and one of the most powerful myth cycles and sources of magic about. It means taking a step back from politics and martial virtues. And if you're under Lunar pressure to do just this, it means a kind of surrender. 

Those are all reasons why hot blooded Thunder Rebels favor Orlanth over Bantar, yes. Some folks dont see farming as the downtime activity between adventures though. They see husbanding the land and feeding the clan as their true calling.

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I've always been a little confused about why Barntar is Air rune

You'll be happy to hear then that Barntar is both Air and Earth (with some Movement thrown in)!

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