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Cults and Gender

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I'm confused by the various approaches to gender in RQG.

On the one hand, the book clearly states that gender is rather fluid, and that Orlanthi (for example) recognize 4 sexes and 6 genders.  This doesn' timply that there are social or cultural restrictions not otherwise mentioned ie I expect that a female in a male role is REALLY treated like a male in all respects.

But then there are many cults that express gender restrictions (Ernalda, Maran Gor, Babeester Gor, Yelm, etc) - are these then in reality open to any sex, if it expresses itself truly as a different gender?  Could an unmarried, male-sexed individual that expressed them selves as female gender then freely join Maran Gor?  Doesn't the Ernaldan Priest(ess) requirement of having a healthy baby sort of disable this gender expression flexibility in a sort of binary way?  Ie it'd be like a cult requiring having an actual penis.

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, styopa said:

I'm confused by the various approaches to gender in RQG.

On the one hand, the book clearly states that gender is rather fluid, and that Orlanthi (for example) recognize 4 sexes and 6 genders.  This doesn' timply that there are social or cultural restrictions not otherwise mentioned ie I expect that a female in a male role is REALLY treated like a male in all respects.

But then there are many cults that express gender restrictions (Ernalda, Maran Gor, Babeester Gor, Yelm, etc) - are these then in reality open to any sex, if it expresses itself truly as a different gender?  Could an unmarried, male-sexed individual that expressed them selves as female gender then freely join Maran Gor?  Doesn't the Ernaldan Priest(ess) requirement of having a healthy baby sort of disable this gender expression flexibility in a sort of binary way?  Ie it'd be like a cult requiring having an actual penis.

There are magical ways to change sex, and IIRC there is also a XU spell to transfer a pregnancy.

Yes, upper cult ranks of Maran and Ernalda demand motherhood, which makes the rank of priestess impossible for non-sexed or male characters who don't undergo that sex change. But then, one of the duties of an Ernalda priestess and/or queen can and will be to give birth to heroical children.

An extraordinary male-sexed character might overcome this conundrum the Durev way, creating a healthy baby from carving the human out of a tree or a similar fantastic method, possibly something similar to the artificial womb used to finish the pregnancy with Llew Llaw Gyddes in the Mabinogion. But it would really be easier to swith the body to female or hermaphrodite if becoming a priestess and acting as such is the goal.

I expect that a Green Age heroquest might be able to explain such a sex change - Count Moralatap of the Anger experienced this in the past, possibly through Jernotian mysteries (the Guide doesn't tell how it happened, only that it happened).

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Some cults are gender-restrictive.

Yelorna only allows women, likewise for Babeester Gor. Yelm and Waha only allow men. Personally, I see nothing wrong with that.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes, upper cult ranks of Maran and Ernalda demand motherhood, which makes the rank of priestess impossible for non-sexed or male characters who don't undergo that sex change. But then, one of the duties of an Ernalda priestess and/or queen can and will be to give birth to heroical children.

 An extraordinary male-sexed character might overcome this conundrum the Durev way, creating a healthy baby from carving the human out of a tree or a similar fantastic method, possibly something similar to the artificial womb used to finish the pregnancy with Llew Llaw Gyddes in the Mabinogion. But it would really be easier to swith the body to female or hermaphrodite if becoming a priestess and acting as such is the goal.

 

Awesome and very Gloranthan!

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Yelorna only allows women, likewise for Babeester Gor. Yelm and Waha only allow men. Personally, I see nothing wrong with that.

Usually agree 100% with you but this time I will have to say have a look at the munchkinnery (egregious, I don't think so) above. That removes at least 5% of my usual agreement!

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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Having had a lot of questions related to this, I think now that this is quite related to the pantheon. Orlanth and other Storm gods let an open door to those rebellious with their sex; for example, Vingans. Fire and Earth gods /goddesses are more restrictives about that; for example, Ernalda accept Nandans as initiates (perhaps through her conection with Orlanth?), but the condition to achieve the status of priestess is still there. Water seems to be really flexible about sex; Helerites seem to been able to even change it. No idea about Darkness gods atm, my knowledge about them ir really limited.

Probably I’m wrong, but at least it makes sense to me.

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5 hours ago, Rojo said:

Having had a lot of questions related to this, I think now that this is quite related to the pantheon. Orlanth and other Storm gods let an open door to those rebellious with their sex; for example, Vingans. Fire and Earth gods /goddesses are more restrictives about that; for example, Ernalda accept Nandans as initiates (perhaps through her conection with Orlanth?), but the condition to achieve the status of priestess is still there. Water seems to be really flexible about sex; Helerites seem to been able to even change it. No idea about Darkness gods atm, my knowledge about them ir really limited.

Probably I’m wrong, but at least it makes sense to me.

@Jeff has stated that males will be allowed to initiate into Ernalda, but not progress further.

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7 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Awesome and very Gloranthan!

Usually agree 100% with you but this time I will have to say have a look at the munchkinnery (egregious, I don't think so) above. That removes at least 5% of my usual agreement!

Sure, there are always ways around things and that provides good roleplaying opportunities. If you can prove that you have passed the requirements then you should be able to get in. A yucky example might be a male who has suffered a broo-birth and survived, he could claim to have given birth and so be eligible for Ernaldan Priesthood, although I am not sure if that would fly, as I always say "You can try, but it had better be a good roll".

Not gender-based, but one of the PCs in our old RQ2/RQ3 Campaign was a Yelmalian who became King of Balazar by the expected route of becoming a mercenary in Dykene, becoming head of the mercenaries, overthrowing the king of Dykene, then the kin of Trilius and finally coming to an arrangement with the Lunars, whereby he became a Lunar puppet in exchange for ruling Elkoi as well. Now, he wanted to ensure that he was a Yelmic king, but joining Yelm the Elder as a Yelmalian Priest would mean that he couldn't join Yelm the Emperor and, as we all know, Yelm the Emperor is reserved to those people descended from Yelm in the patriarchal line, so you can only be in the Yelm the Emperor cult if your father was in the cult. He had already HeroQuested to prove that he was descended from Balazar in the male line, by using Firshala's ancestor-worshipping powers, so he decided to prove that Balazar was, in fact, a member of the Yelm the Emperor and not just Yelmalio. That would mean that, as a descendant of Balazar through the male line, all his male ancestors up to Balazar could have joined Yelm the emperor and so he could join. It was a good idea and nicely circumvented cult membership rules.

32 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

@Jeff has stated that males will be allowed to initiate into Ernalda, but not progress further.

That is still a cult gender restriction, though, as membership of the higher orders of the cult is restricted.

 

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

That is still a cult gender restriction, though, as membership of the higher orders of the cult is restricted.

True. I was just clarifying the situation.

Personally, I don't have a problem with cult restrictions... They all have them!

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2 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

True. I was just clarifying the situation.

Personally, I don't have a problem with cult restrictions... They all have them!

Then are the gender flexibilities really meaningful ?  Or is gender flexibility as asserted in the rules more like "you can say you're a different gender and we'll all play along, but it doesn't matter when it actually matters"?

That seems trite at the best, disingenuous at the worst.

How is "real" gender even determinable?    Is it simple physiognomy, meaning a (magically relatively common) shape change ACTUALLY changes the individuals gender, or is there some secret magical "setting" that knows what gender they really are?  What if they've been shifted most of their lives and live entirely as another gender?  Are there chromosomes or tests for such in Glorantha?

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Just because one culture has a particular view doesn't mean that it applies universally. Gender views are far more fluid in Glorantha than in our world, but that also means that there are more gender restrictions. This is part of the complexity of Gloranthan culture, multiple gender types are accepted but also strong feelings about gender appropriate roles. Yelmalio is very masculine, Ernalda is female dominate,  Trolls are fiercely matriarchal but there are always exceptions!

How would gender be determined? Beyond what the individual feels, when it comes to initiation rites its the God's that decide. If a supplicant is accepted then they meet whatever criteria is necessary. And if a player wants their character to join a gender restricted cult, it would be up to the GM to rationalise exceptions.

Its myth, men give birth and women father children!

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2 hours ago, styopa said:

... knows what gender they really are?  ...

You've been into Glorantha for how long now?

And you still bold the word "really" and ask for absolutes?

 

If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if you were trolling us...

 

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There's two things to remember: what does your table want and will be comfortable with, and what does your table want to talk about.

I'd like to just preface what I'm saying with this because one table might want a lot of flexibility in gender for play (i.e. the old hack that Lhankor Mhy women wear beards) but not really want to play games exploring it. They just want to fight or fuck uz and assassinate the Lunar governor, not discuss the issue. Another table might want to actually heroquest to prove Vinga is not Orlanth's daughter but the face She shows to Her women initiates and spread that truth to fight the Lunars amongst the disaffected youth. Be sure what your table wants to do.

So... ideas about gender in prehistory and in modernity are not identical nor are they static, and certainly not over the last fifty years when Glorantha was being written and played. We've seen a massive amount of scholarship and cultural change. Like, where's my gays at in Glorantha? In my brain, I'm never going to ever think compulsory heterosexuality is a thing, because unless you are a Yelmalion jerk who hates all kind of love and sex anyway there's no cause for it.

In my brain? Since Heler and Elmal's friendly rivalry over who gets to be husband for a year is a lot friendlier than most people's.

But more seriously, I think flexibility is built-in for those of us with discomfort in all directions. If your table wants Vinga to be Orlanth, fine. The lore says she is either Orlanth as a woman or his daughter. You can pick. Multiple genders is openly stated, although it's not really clear the author knows or can define what that means.

And if you want men and women to be inviolate categories in Glorantha, well, you can do that, too (although the game does provide some outlet for gender-bending, such as Vingans and the male White Ladies, the bone-setter guys).

These statements about genders and sexes mean maybe we can question what it means when we talk about initiation. Vingans are adolescents who initiated as women. Maybe the four genders include - as in many societies - persons who initiate unexpectedly? This is something that people did in prehistory, that they did in history, that they did in the modern era, and that we do right now. The Scythian nomads figured out that drinking pregnant mare's urine induced abortions in women and feminised men and the Greeks reported they had amazons (women-men) and women who were born as men (we've found their graves). This is the origin of the drug pre-ma-rin.

The Lunar societies are particularly ripe for this kind of interesting thing. Dara Happan women were slaves, not citizens. The Lunar Way (initially) freed all slaves and established a Darsenian-Spolite matriarchal tension, where women are primarily cultural and religious leaders and warriors while men are social and territorial leaders and warriors. Women and men work in a weird kind of parallel harmony: the Good Daughter and her Masks and her assassins and magical army versus Monsoon the Red Emperor and his Masks and his massive armies. There's even a parallel bureaucracy. But people cross the lines all the time: the infamous Seven Mothers include three actual men - a warlord, a criminal (perhaps an Orlanthi), and a big bearded ex-Buserian ex-Lhankorian scholar.

So I think the answer is as always that your Glorantha may vary, and in ways that we know people in the past and right now actually do.

Sorry this is messy; I'm mixing up a lot of things like uhhh Gloranthan theologies, gender 101, YGMV, game ideas, and so forth, and it's Sunday morning.;

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11 minutes ago, g33k said:
2 hours ago, styopa said:

... knows what gender they really are?  ...

You've been into Glorantha for how long now?

Careful there. If you have been into Glorantha for more than 35 years, you come from a world where absolute truths were the norm. RQG and the previous Classic edition have brought quite a few pre-internet Glorantha grognards back into the fold.

From then on it was possible to be actively into RQ without following Glorantha developments. Late 1992 was the turning point for authoritative truth with King of Sartar bringing up non-absolutes into the complex environment of Glorantha which had been rather free of contradictory statements. But then there was Elmal, there were contradictory year numbers even in what was considered the most reliable portion of the history.

And it was possible to remain active in RuneQuest without listening too much to Glorantha debates even in the shared mailing list.

 

11 minutes ago, g33k said:

If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if you were trolling us...

Speaking of trolling in Gloranthan context, I wonder whether that comes in as many flavors as there are troll types and genders.

 

Hellmother (Kyger Litor, perhaps Subere) trolling? (Authoritative, ancient power)

Vaneekara or Hombobobom trolling? (Authoritative, active, but when needs be submissive)

Karrg (or Zong, Kogag) trolling? (Aggressive, but easy to reign in)

Zorak Zoran trolling? (Aggressive, berserk)

Argan Argar trolling? (Authoritative, considered, independent)

Cave trolling? (Chaotic, regenerating)

Enlo trolling? (obnoxious, way too numerous)

 

Possibly more flavors and adjectives (Gorakiki: fluttery, Aranea: creepy)...

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48 minutes ago, styopa said:

Then are the gender flexibilities really meaningful ?  Or is gender flexibility as asserted in the rules more like "you can say you're a different gender and we'll all play along, but it doesn't matter when it actually matters"?

Do a few individuals joining the upper echelons of a cult "really matter" more than many more individuals taking whichever gender roles they identify with in an entire society?

 

48 minutes ago, styopa said:

That seems trite at the best, disingenuous at the worst.

Do you think that giving birth is trite and meaningless in a cult position that is about giving birth?

..

48 minutes ago, styopa said:

How is "real" gender even determinable?   

In Orlanth context, "gender" describes the cultural role an individual is taking. A male Ernalda cultist can be a surrogate mother, a female Orlanth cultist can be a surrogate father. With proper Eurmali aid she might even equip a fully functional penis (though not her own), without need for (much) Extension magic. For the male Ernalda cultist equipping a fully functional womb at the very least requires a lot more duration.

 

48 minutes ago, styopa said:

Is it simple physiognomy, meaning a (magically relatively common) shape change ACTUALLY changes the individuals gender, or is there some secret magical "setting" that knows what gender they really are?  What if they've been shifted most of their lives and live entirely as another gender?  Are there chromosomes or tests for such in Glorantha

I guess there are pretty standard magical determinations of sex and gender - in case of doubt, divination.

Sex:

What biological sex a person has pretty much follows from anatomy and function of primary sexual characteristics. Positive identification through key functionality is clear. Negative identification is no proof. Functionality might be temporary. A sexually fluid individual might default in asexual biology with one or either functional sex awakening only through triggers. An asexual individual might be equipped for intercourse either way but not for becoming a parent either way. Illusion magic may equip an individual for intercourse.

There will be magical rites that require intercourse only, but most magical rites require (and to some extent bestow) fertility (which is why an Ernaldan priestess or queen must have given birth). The Niskis rites in "Ten Women Well Loved" might be satisfied with intercourse, although the sheer number of Harmastsons are proof that fertility isn't negated.

 

Sexual orientation is not a gender issue in Orlanthi society. Probably a non-issue at all, purely based on individual attraction and performance.

 

Gender:

What gender a person will live with may be the subject of reading the signs. As long as what a person does and identifies with (or is identified with) is sex-neutral, sex doesn't play a role.

Perhaps the most important gender issue is the role of the individual in a marriage, and the nature and projected duration of said marriage.

 

 

There are a few unshakeable sex issues. A unicorn won't care about Orlanthi gender identification and will simply go for the magical biology, rejecting anything with a functional male reproductive organ and without an virginal female reproductive organ, with probably its own magical criterion of virginal which needn't mean untouched if purified. Other non-humans (including deities) may be similar.

The Not-B-sexed but B-gendered: genders (vingan, nandan) apparently require absence of sexual functionality of B. A hermaphrodite couldn't be either. But then, does an asexual person have to choose vingan or nandan (or helering) to perform in male or female gender roles?

The other question is how much of this applies prior to maturity. Can a girl be brought up as a Vingan but become standard female upon adulthood, and does that upbringing cover the most basic female knowledge? Do non-binary candidates undergo both male and female role upbringing?

And what about adjoined differently sexed multiplets? (Other than Cwim...) One pair of these occupies a Lunar satrapy. Skant and Skath of Dorastor appear to be progenitors of a (mildly?) chaotic species with this feature.

 

Yelmalian society in Orlanthi environments and in isolation appear to follow Heortling gendering despite being quite obnoxiously patriarchal and misogynic, as embodied by the two Light Ladies of Sun County and Dykene. But then, the deity appears to be sexually fluid - mostly asexual, occasionally or optionally male sexed. Likewise Humakt, whose geases don't obsess about that.

Praxians and Grazelanders appear to have a special category for sexually non-conforming individuals - shamans (and their assistants). Although vanilla sexed shamans appear to be as common. Riders appear to be open for either sex in Grazer society, possibly extending to Golden Bow.

Pelorians (other than Yelm Imperator folk and sycophantic wannabes) appear to be rather unconcerned by sex and gender. Lodrili are a very sexualized culture, and just because Lodril is a phallic deity doesn't necessarily mean that he won't be on the receiving end of a phallus.

 

Western cultures have a choice of gender precedents. The Erasanchula are presented as something like asexual male gendered parthenogenic antecessors, including Zzabur. Earliest generation Malkioni myths have a lot of wife-taking, but then there is Menena, and her heavily outnumbered descendants/avatars. Normal gender balance appears to have come about in the fourth generation since Malkion the Founder (Hrestol's and Fenela's generation).

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23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

There's two things to remember: what does your table want and will be comfortable with, and what does your table want to talk about.

Also extend table to discussion environment, with public or semi-public internet based discussion also potentially subject to service pruning.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

So... ideas about gender in prehistory and in modernity are not identical nor are they static, and certainly not over the last fifty years when Glorantha was being written and played. We've seen a massive amount of scholarship and cultural change.

The amount of perceived scholarship is certainly different depending on from where you are, as is cultural change/openness. Where I live (comparably liberal Germany, central Europe) the concept of "gender studies" as a valid subject contributing to an aimless minimal college degree is basically non-existent. If an individual wants to be intolerant, said individual is expected to do so discretely and non-offending, with offending behavior (hopefully) called out. Freedom of speech is a lesser good here than human dignity, but freedom of thought is part and parcel of human dignity.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Like, where's my gays at in Glorantha?

As in exclusively gay, mandatorily gay, or as in optionally homosexual? Depending on what table you choose to sit on, you may turn your gaydar on or off.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

In my brain, I'm never going to ever think compulsory heterosexuality is a thing, because unless you are a Yelmalion jerk who hates all kind of love and sex anyway there's no cause for it.

Funny. In my Glorantha, Yelmalian templars and probably Yelmalian militiamen are prone to Sacred Band-like bonds and "avuncular" sugar-daddying.

The Guide mentions this as solid fact for the uppermost crust of Loskalm (Meriatan - former lover and disciple of the King, now married to the King's niece).

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

In my brain? Since Heler and Elmal's friendly rivalry over who gets to be husband for a year is a lot friendlier than most people's.

"There's always another way" is as true for Heler (who mothered a whole lot of deities, nearly as many as she fathered) as for Ernalda. But then, Heler is also in a rather firm relationship with his king. (I wonder how this is reckoned in terms of marital fidelity - possibly requires a secondary marriage when Heler participates as female, and possibly ignored when he participates as male or fluid.)

 

Orlanth (and all those bearded guys and probably beardless vingans emulating him) is extremely huggy and sentimental, and might have little concept of personal borders or privacy. Expect a display of friendship between somewhat equal leaders or comrades to end up in a french kiss and a bucket of water being readied... possibly by the other sidekick, unless the affair becomes an even sloppier group-hug/kiss free for all. If your table can take such a scene, that is.

Ernaldans are cool and controlled, yet ecstatic and sensual. Possibly throwing a switch to alter between those states.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

But more seriously, I think flexibility is built-in for those of us with discomfort in all directions. If your table wants Vinga to be Orlanth, fine. The lore says she is either Orlanth as a woman or his daughter. You can pick.

Taking a minor exception to "either". There is also "both" as a supported option.

In this case, your table's taste for objective truth may be more of a limiting factor than sexual liberation.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

And if you want men and women to be inviolate categories in Glorantha, well, you can do that, too (although the game does provide some outlet for gender-bending, such as Vingans and the male White Ladies, the bone-setter guys).

There is also confirmation by contradiction, e.g. where all Lunar magicians carry the title "priestess", regardless of virility and facial hair.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

These statements about genders and sexes mean maybe we can question wTherhat it means when we talk about initiation. Vingans are adolescents who initiated as women.

That's one kind of Vingans. There may be Vingans who initiated into adulthood along with the boys (in case of late onset of half-seasonal cycles), and there are temporary Vingan defenders/protectors/avengers who leave their fully Ernaldan role for a prolonged crisis or a mission.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Lunar societies are particularly ripe for this kind of interesting thing. Dara Happan women were slaves, not citizens.

That distinction goes mainly for the wives of Yelm Imperator families not derived from the Red Emperor.

Other Dara Happan strata have lessened gender status stratification. Lodril's Ten Sons and Servants on the Gods Wall include two females, and that is without any Darsenite, Suvarian or Lunar influence.

Deezola appears to have been the ruling queen of Torang in addition to being a high priestess in Carmanian-occupied Dara Happan-accultured Rinliddi.

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Lunar Way (initially) freed all slaves

That's a fairly optimistic statement. I suppose that the Lunar Way accepted slaves like stratified citizens without (much) regard for their vertical position in the stratum, but I don't see any signs for manumission. Probably a lot like early Christianity in the Roman Empire.

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

and established a Darsenian-Spolite matriarchal tension, where women are primarily cultural and religious leaders and warriors while men are social and territorial leaders and warriors.

Natha and Gorgorma have been a reality in Dara Happa already prior to the coming of the Lunars. Shah Nadar the Avenger was a devotee of Natha shortly after the apex of the EWF, and his daughter mothered the Three Brothers who divided Carmania, Dara Happa and Saird among themselves.

The lesser Yelmic priesthood (the Witnesses or Enverinus Priesthood, Guide p.42) still oversees all (but the Lunar?) sacrifices in civilized Peloria (possibly the Lunar priesthood has Witness rank?). (In Carmania the Idovanic priesthood probably has a similar role.)

The Spolite heresy probably was gender-neutral, and possibly derived from a gender-neutral form of Jernotia/us (Dara Happan Jernedeus(a)), a post-/pre-/a-Lunar crone Gerra, and an asexual/male YarGan.

 

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Women and men work in a weird kind of parallel harmony: the Good Daughter

Do you mean the Great Sister? Quite a difference in perceived authority, IMO.)

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

and her Masks and her assassins and magical army versus Monsoon the Red Emperor and his Masks and his massive armies. There's even a parallel bureaucracy.

There are various parallel bureaucracies, also stratified as Imperial, Satrapial, urban or district.

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

But people cross the lines all the time: the infamous Seven Mothers include three actual men - a warlord, a criminal (perhaps an Orlanthi), and a big bearded ex-Buserian ex-Lhankorian scholar.

 

The beardedness of Buserian priests (all male sexed?) and Irrippi Ontor Priestesses (of any sex or gender) may be open to debate. Post Sheng Seleris conquest in the Third Wane, the Buserium has inherited quite a lot of Kralori blood and methodology, too.

The Lunar immortals are roughly balanced.

23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Sorry this is messy; I'm mixing up a lot of things like uhhh Gloranthan theologies, gender 101, YGMV, game ideas, and so forth, and it's Sunday morning.;

It is fairly impossible to keep all of that apart. The perspectives on gender have a lot to do with national, religious and doctrinal (liberal vs. conservative) origin, too, as much as personal Kinsey ratings and body/social identification.

"Sunday Morning" sounds like American west coast.

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26 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I suppose that the Lunar Way accepted slaves like stratified citizens

I take what you were saying about the complexities of Dara Happa and Dara Happan women, although to be fair, at the time, it was ruled by Carmania and thus royal women seem to have benefitted. The Good Daughter confusion was my bad - that was her name in the Green Age and then the Dawn according to a bunch of things including the Entekosiad and I slept badly.

No, I mean literally the initial Lunar Way freed all slaves who joined and this was followed by the First Manumission of the Imperium, which was still technically separate at the time. It was during the riots caused by the First Manumission that Valare, the author of the Entekosiad, was discovered by the agents seeking Natural Illuminates, which is why I know this little tidbit at all!

Soon after, of course, the Empire was fused with the Lunar bureaucracy when Taken Egi was enthroned as the Red Emperor and slavery once again began to happen. By the current era, slavery is rampant.

(It seems like the big turning point in the Lunar Empire was when Taken Egi's souls were damaged in 1449 during what I believe was a battle with the Mad Sultanate of Tork. Once He lost real souls, that's when the Lunar Empire really started losing its way to corruption and madness.)

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if you were trolling us...

 

He is, does not change that with a good audience the trolling can lead to good things

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Careful there. If you have been into Glorantha for more than 35 years, you come from a world where absolute truths were the norm. RQG and the previous Classic edition have brought quite a few pre-internet Glorantha grognards back into the fold.

Oh sure, Joerg bring in a bit of realithy there. 

 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Speaking of trolling in Gloranthan context, I wonder whether that comes in as many flavors as there are troll types and genders.

I was pondering in a similar vein.

3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

There's two things to remember: what does your table want and will be comfortable with, and what does your table want to talk about.

Good to see others taking up the cry of let the table decide! Not on the rules but the ambiguities and moral decisions... Players have the right to a say of course, and a stupid GM ignores this. And arguing a point to the degree that friendships are impacted can't be that much fun. Nice arguments , Qizilbashwoman

 

Hmmm much more to comment on (so much more, I am looking at you, oh great verbose Joerg) ,  but life intrudes so perhaps later.

 

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

That's one kind of Vingans. There may be Vingans who initiated into adulthood along with the boys (in case of late onset of half-seasonal cycles), and there are temporary Vingan defenders/protectors/avengers who leave their fully Ernaldan role for a prolonged crisis or a mission.

One thing I've not liked/agreed with about the Vingan discussion is that the idea of protecting kith and kin, home and hearth, is seen as a "male" role.

The idea that a woman has to be a different kind of woman (whether sexed, gendered, or other) to take up the fight... And not just the Ernaldan turned temporary Orlanthi... I find off-putting.

It somewhat borders on early Europe and America, where being a nurse was a woman's job, and running a company a man's. I thought we could get past this stereotyping *without* it saying anything about gender, sexuality, etc.

 

Secondly, I note Babeester Gor is there for the women who have suffered badly at the hands of men -- particularly enduring rape; and the getting of revenge. Where do men go to for a similar experience?

 

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59 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

One thing I've not liked/agreed with about the Vingan discussion is that the idea of protecting kith and kin, home and hearth, is seen as a "male" role.

Protecting kin while at home doesn't require the red hair switch. Proactively questing, leaving your family etc to your sisters (in law) creates this temporary separation.

 

59 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

The idea that a woman has to be a different kind of woman (whether sexed, gendered, or other) to take up the fight... And not just the Ernaldan turned temporary Orlanthi... I find off-putting.

Basically it is the decision whether to keep your baby at your breast when going on a quest or whether to leave it at home. Going away with your infant at your hip is an option, too, but it doesn't go well with the role of a melee fighter.

 

59 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

It somewhat borders on early Europe and America, where being a nurse was a woman's job, and running a company a man's. I thought we could get past this stereotyping *without* it saying anything about gender, sexuality, etc.

What is your notion of "early Europe"? Ahrensburg reindeer hunters, or Industrial Revolution?

The red-haired way basically is about giving up child-care and breast-feeding, leaving it to kinswomen. At least that's how my look at women in Orlanthi society made me see. If a female goes adventuring as a bearer of fertility, having an infant with her will aid her in her magic. If she goes as a fighter, the infant will be at unnecessary risk. And while Orlanthi culture is pastoralist, with some access to dairy, a lot of the herd is away on its summer pasture.

 

59 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Secondly, I note Babeester Gor is there for the women who have suffered badly at the hands of men -- particularly enduring rape; and the getting of revenge. Where do men go to for a similar experience?

Babs, or suffer the madness of the sex pit. The initiation of Orlanth is also a documentation of the helplessness of male Orlanthi rape victims. Sucks to o the Ragnaglar way.

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24 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The red-haired way basically is about giving up child-care and breast-feeding, leaving it to kinswomen

This is my point... Why does it have to be? 

In today's society, it's increasingly common for a mother to go to work not long after having a kid. This is not seen in any way to be an indicator of gender. 

Thus, I see no reason for why a woman in Orlanthi culture can't have her kids and go adventuring too... Without becoming "Vingan" (as a gender).

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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

This is my point... Why does it have to be? 

In today's society, it's increasingly common for a mother to go to work not long after having a kid. This is not seen in any way to be an indicator of gender. 

Thus, I see no reason for why a woman in Orlanthi culture can't have her kids and go adventuring too... Without becoming "Vingan" (as a gender).

Basically, what comes first to you? Adventuring? In that case hand your baby off to its grandmother, aunt or grand-aunt. Taking care of the baby? Don't become the party's fighter, but take a role as magical support, diplomat, commander, and let others seek out melee while you put down your baby safely before taking up that axe and shield.

I have a short campaign idea based mainly on Sartarite wives setting off on a funerary pilgrimage and ending up in significant magical and political activities, with hostile family ties to Queen Hendira of Nochet and a multi-tribal background. Tracing that other kinship system hidden beneath the clans, maternal lineage in Heortling and Adjusted areas. No Vingans needed unless one of the players insists on worshiping Orlanth directly rather than  through a sidekick/husband.

Orlanth the family wife is about as unimaginable to me as Ernalda the berserk.

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5 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

It somewhat borders on early Europe and America, where being a nurse was a woman's job, and running a company a man's. I thought we could get past this stereotyping *without* it saying anything about gender, sexuality, etc.

We might be past it (with major reservations, there are plenty of people I know who still think that way), but Orlanthi society isn't. I don't want all fantasy societies to be postmodern liberal progressive utopias.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

We might be past it (with major reservations, there are plenty of people I know who still think that way), but Orlanthi society isn't. I don't want all fantasy societies to be postmodern liberal progressive utopias.

Valid point... TBH, I agree anyway for various swathes of Glorantha. 

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4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

We might be past it (with major reservations, there are plenty of people I know who still think that way), but Orlanthi society isn't. I don't want all fantasy societies to be postmodern liberal progressive utopias.

Given extensive archaeological and anthropological evidence for the existence of enormous amounts of gender fluidity and variance throughout history and across the globe, it'd be more accurate to say that the imposition of a strict binary hierarchy upon history/pre-history constitutes a "reactionary conservative utopia" ;)

Anyway what surprises me is, despite the supposed existence of six genders and accepted homosexuality is that none of these things get mentioned outside of the little blurb at the beginning of the book. Going from real world examples, you'd expect to see more cults and cultures with codified roles for gender-variant people, at the very least some eunuch-only priesthoods, things like that; as well as actual named characters in same-gender relationships mentioned in the text. But.... well, "surprising" is the maybe the wrong word. Disappointing and expected, perhaps.

But hey, YGMV; if you want to base your Bronze Age on the self-censored writings of squeamish Victorian archaeologists (who'd regularly destroy/leave out artifacts they deemed "immoral" from their reports), well, nobody's stopping you.

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22 hours ago, g33k said:

And you still bold the word "really" and ask for absolutes?

There's the money quote for the whole thread.  

tenor.gif

And trolling?  I might *partly* raise my hand on that except (personally) I believe trolling as a thing has everything to do with intent - being hurtful, deprecatory, etc. and starting fights.  

I rewrote my comments here a couple of times very specifically to cull out begged questions and assumptions that likely went without saying in 'my' upbringing of the 70s and 80s but are certainly no longer assumable today.  

As much as I admit I'm a hidebound traditionalist, I see the interesting roleplaying and game-world opportunities of gender malleability and the "flexibility of context" intrinsic to the water rune.  OTOH, as Ladygolem adroitly noted, the approach here if anything has been a bit Dumbledore-y.  (For those who don't get the reference, it's where JK Rowling said "oh, of course Dumbledore is gay" without once alluding to it in 7 books or 1.08 million words of prose)?  If that's where we're going, I'd embrace it more than just having one of the characters wear a fake beard.  As motherhood is essential to the nature of the cult, why wouldn't then male god-talkers of Ernalda wear shiny golden faux-breast pectorals as well?

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