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  • #10414
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    I like the story “Lodril Paints the Animals” in Anaxial’s Roster. Oria probably maintains her prerogatives as mother of all, but in places where they recognize husbands and/or fathers I like the zoology the Lodril version sets forth: breeders, game, predators, tricksters.

    The birds evidently have a separate heritage…

    #10320
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Edan Jones says:

    I wouldn’t have been surprised to discover that Ashara was merely a local name for Issaries

    Love it. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that “Is[h]ar[e]” isn’t merely a euhemerized echo of Ashara from the days when his practices took root among the barbarians in the form of a literal “cargo” cult. Even the caravan god has to come from somewhere!

    #8089
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    [blue people relegated to ‘nations of Teleos’ territory, although I like the direction]

    Quote:
    What travels are you talking about? I do not see any reference to Orlanth travelling to Castle Blue.

    Once again, I don’t see any reference to Orlanth getting his people from foreign lands. Your position (and also interpretations of my position) seems to rest on unspoken assumptions that you take for granted but are a mystery to me. It would help immensely if you spelled out what you are thinking.

    First Orlanth went to her with contests . . . and he summoned his council and family to war. They brought their brave followers, who sought adventure upon the reaches of the mythic worlds, and they circled around the whole battlefield three times, looking at it and preparing, drawing closer. They saw the army of the Red Lunar Empress attacking Castle Blue, whose valiant defenders were in danger of falling before the furious assault. They landed, from the north.

    Going to her. Bringing. Seeking adventure upon the reaches [a heroquest image?]. Drawing closer. Landing. In my lexicon these are traveling words indicating going from one place to another. Perhaps they also add up to some allegory to which only you have the key. Believe it or not, I like to try the texts for their exoteric meaning first and only get creative if they defy that reading. Perhaps my thought is too crude for you. I do not have access to the minds of the gods. I only have the texts.

    Also the Orlanthi are either “foreigners” or they are a nation of Teleos, yes or no?

    Now it is possible that Castle Blue is not “a center of power in the Oronin Lake” as well as “a gateway,” (FS) and it is possible that the fight might not have been “about Lake Oronin” (WH), but at this point, once again, our signifiers start growing disparate. It is also possible that references to specific phenomena on “the islands” and “above the Castle” are really about the hero plane. And it is even possible that the Orlanthi reference to the waves rising like cliff walls higher than a bowshot around the Oronin Lake is about the hero plane. And it is even possible that the Bat won semi-permanent reality on the physical plane (WH) through a wholly spiritual conflict.

    But the accumulation of concrete geographical detail tests my tolerance for the entirely spiritual interpretation. Yes, Hidden Castles are strange and paradoxical places, but are they strange and paradoxical in the sense that they encourage chroniclers to describe mystic experiences in concrete terms? How strange and paradoxical that is!

    Quote:
    If it is your position (I’m taking a stab in the dark here) that the tripartite army led by Orlanth, Elmal and Vyran in Orlanth and Red Shepelkirt is actually a mortal army assembled from Brolians, Blue People and what-have-you, then I disagree. I see it as an army of the Storm Tribe and the battle takes place wholly within the Gods World. Who’s right? I really don’t know. It depends on how far the Great Compromise broke down and that’s something we haven’t been told.

    That is actually my position, obscure though it may appear. Remember, FS and the Orlanth story agree that the goddess is still mortal in the early stages of the conflict. After the early stages, in order to participate as a nominal deity, she was at Castle Blue, the weird place in that lake on the map of the inner world. (Which means that if Orlanth “went to her,” he traveled.)

    As for the armies, either the texts are clear on their mortality or again, only you have the key to the allegory behind the apparent simplicity:

    “Gods and mortals met and died. “(WH)

    “Many good men and women died there.” (FS)

    Quote:
    Orlanth is not home there among the Carmanian ancestor deities

    Uncle Peter, you have spent how much time today trying to browbeat me that Orlanth is not a “foreigner” here?

    If he is not at home at Castle Blue, is he not a “native” of the site?

    Does that differ in some functional way from being a “foreigner” in the workings of Castle Blue?

    Quote:
    Castle Blue has not said to be a binary Orlanth/Goddess dispute. What I pointed out was that Orlanth was opposed to the Goddess from the very beginning (as opposed to a recent policy decision by the Lunar Empire) and pointed out to Castle Blue, among other factors, in support of that. Other Gods fought at Castle Blue.

    Thanks. Let’s keep finding out who they were now.

    Quote:
    To the extent to which Yelmgatha was the prophet and emperor, that’s what Yelm thought of the whole affair.

    Yelmgatha is not Yelm. Nobody seriously suggests that what the Red Emperor thinks is the same as what the Red Goddess thinks (especially when the Great Sister says otherwise). So Yelmgatha’s view is not Yelm’s view. And Yelm can have a view because at this time, the Great Compromise was broken.

    “Prophet” and emperor. One of the things I like about Yelmgatha is the way he reforms the Yelmic faith once again. For our purposes here, that means that unless Yelm had something to say about it, yes, the two views are one in the eyes of the temples and the state and the diviners and everybody. Besides, if Yelm is voicing strong opinions during the abrogation of the Compromise, I would expect the first thing He would do is to correct an emperor enthroned in His name and thwarting His will.

    Emperor and Prophet Yelmgatha sent his son to fight on the goddess’s side. If this would have run counter to the god’s interests, would Yelmgatha have reigned quite so long? Or was losing an heir chastisement enough?

    Either way, after the moonrise Yelmgatha makes that interesting separate compromise on behalf of the Dara Happan way so Yelm tacitly swears “acceptance” if not “allegiance” here. (He must not abase Himself.)

    Quote:
    As for the other gods, I would expect to see: Lodril, Idovanus/Invisible God, Humakt, Ganesataurus, Zorak Zoran, High King Elf, Gorgorma, Storm Bull. Pamalt is too far away

    Distance kind of gets at the “foreigner” question.

    So which swore acceptance, which swore allegiance and which abased themselves?

    #8086
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Peter Metcalfe on June 3, 2014, 04:18
    As for Castle Blue, the people who label the Orlanthi and other people “foreigners” are the Lunars and they are referring to people who did not come from Castle Blue and Lake Oronin. I strongly doubt that the people of Castle Blue considered the Blue People of the Sweet Sea to be foreigners.

    That last bit asked and answered, actually. Looks like a surprisingly long way from sea to sea even if you take the equivalent of shell horses on the river route. But if you would rather minimize the ranks of mortal “foreigners” who showed up, we can go back to “nations of Teleos.”

    As for the Lunars misinterpreting events, that actually opens up an even more interesting angle. I thought their goddess was a central combatant in this so I was treating their account with the same mythic kid gloves as the Orlanth story and the unattributed Wane History. But it’s just a story from time and can be wrong. Still, while it may be wrong in some respects (despite Divination), the specific way it is wrong (despite Divination) is revealing.

    Quote:
    The Fortunate Succession does not make a statement about the relationship of Castle Blue with any Gods (other than the three worshipped), let alone whether they are foreign gods or native.

    Luckily “Orlanth and Red Shepelkirt” describes his travels — sometimes alone, true, but at the end accompanied with his mortals — to get there. Or is this version mistaken or metaphorical and he was always already at Castle Blue? Either way, this story dates from no earlier than the 1240s. It’s not a myth from ancient pre-times. Maybe it’s divined revelation and so is subject to those guidelines. It does not appear in the History of the Heortling Peoples because those particular tribes would have had to cross the kill lines or fly en masse (perhaps with the god in that triple spiral) to get there. I am lingering on these points of provenance to forestall arguments to “mythology is set in the template of Glorantha thus infallible.” This is a story of historical times, like the Fortunate Succession is a document compiled by humans during time.

    Either way, the mysterious Wane History is silent except for the ambiguous notion that the Old Gods “entered into” the fight, perhaps figurative language. So let’s surrender this point and say they were always already there and the Orlanthi version lapses into metaphorical terms for drama or some esoteric purpose. The follow-up question of course is obvious: why the song and dance concealed as him traveling?

    Orlanth was always already at Castle Blue. He’s no foreigner. OK. Uncle. He went out to get his people from foreign lands and he came back. So what’s so special about Castle Blue that he’s home there among the Carmanian ancestor deities so far from his normal mountains, and who else has a lake house there — a lake house that, just for the record, the texts we have don’t mention but we’re taking it on faith?

    Quote:
    As for the Old Gods, your focus on Orlanth ignores other great gods who are prominent in Peloria – for example, what did Yelm think of the whole affair?

    Sorry to disappoint you but since this spun out of the question of whether Castle Blue was necessarily a binary Orlanth/Goddess dispute with other players on the fringes or else a more multi-polar conflict, trying to nail down Orlanth’s role came first.

    But it’s a damn good question. Interesting point: according to the Lunar version, Yelmgatha stayed home because Moonson, uh, “went” [presumably esoteric allegory] to him afterward and introduced himself. But he sent a son who was killed “to support the claims of the Red Goddess.” To the extent to which Yelmgatha was the prophet and emperor, that’s what Yelm thought of the whole affair. Vinyargatha [funny word] emerges too late to pose an independent solar challenge at Castle Blue.

    What other Old Gods were present? There must have been lots because the texts agree that there were “many” gods and “many” peoples and presumably this sort of ritual would require a cosmic plenum of sorts in order to be truly binding. Unfortunately that FS account has the best list, whether prevaricated or not, so let’s start there. Aldrya(mi) showed up, I want to say in another of those awful premonitions of Rist. There were stone and metal men, possibly Silver Caste working hard behind the scenes or just there to thwart Aldrya. None of these kowtow at the end. The fire men are mysterious, although it would be nice for Pamalt to find his way here. (Surely Pamalt is a “native” to Castle Blue?)

    Elmal appears to lead the “others” in the Orlanth story. Another native of the Pelorian bowl, sure. If we dig below the surface, this may be a non-Yelmic sky cult relatively unknown to us or one of the likely suspects. Also the gods of Carmania were present (FS) and surely had at least as large a vested interest in this as that storm god with the lake house!

    If not for the mandate to observe eternal Orlanth/Goddess antagonism I would actually think the Carmanian pantheon — archetypal “natives” — were the key “Old Gods” here and that Orlanth’s people, strangers in that land a nation of Teleos, eventually got a garbled version. I would suspect that this part of the Wane History was compiled from Carmanian sources, who dare not speak the names of the vanquished. I would note that until things escalated and uh “foreigners” found “excuses” to get involved, it was a struggle between the lake gods and the red queen and the Wane History preserves a Carmanian spin on the struggle.

    Many of these gods are lost to history. Others survive, probably among those who “swore allegiance.” Some may have been further rehabilitated by Lunar heroquesters as the Pelandan goddesses were integrated — more or less fitfully — into lunar religion. We could look for some of them in the obscure places on the Wall. Losers rarely get more than a footnote in the Prosopaedia.

    Now here’s where “it all comes together at Castle Blue.” If Orlanth is a native, then he figures somehow into the Carmanian pantheon. Ditto Storm Bull or whatever chaos-hating cult the Warlord worshipped over in Charg. (Or is the god of Charg a foreign god?) Do we want this? Fine with me. But that takes us back to why they had to go fetch worshippers from elsewhere. No local followers on call?

    #8082
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Excellent. Thanks. Since his own myth repeatedly emphasizes that he himself “went” to attend various events and then famously performed a triple spiral trajectory before landing, I have no idea why I didn’t assume he was always already on site, no traveling involved.

    But your painstaking distinction between Orlanth and Orlanthi is interesting within time. We know from the ancient Divination guidelines that there are spots on Glorantha where some gods know nothing, notably the lands and sacred places of foreign peoples who worship strange gods. The god and the people often but not always travel together.

    So if Castle Blue is not foreign to Orlanth and his people are foreign to it, presumably he has some special relationship with the site — located in the lake and so not normally his territory — if not its people.

    So as always, I surrender. What is that relationship? Are other gods native as well? All the “Old Gods?”

    Since they’re natives, can they see in there now and tell me what’s going on in there, or are they foreigners “now?” I would hope their relationship with the place doesn’t change within time!

    #8078
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Love all of this — expansive stuff that I want to come back to after I vent my endless spleen. Sorry to be so persistent on the foreigners but every word in these stories matters to me because it contains information we can use. Every time we are forced to say “Oh, that’s just Greg being dumb” and don’t come up with an MGF explanation a Gold Wheel Dancer stops spinning and turns back into a coin. Sad face.

    So a very simple semantic proof came to me. Take the evil word and replace it:

    Even THE NATIONS OF TELEOS found excuses to become engaged. The barbarian Orlanthi claimed that the Goddess was evil, the Warlord of Charg said it was his duty to fight chaos, and even the blue men worshipping YarGan the Abominable came up from underneath the Sweet Sea to fight.

    Now I may be wrong but I suspect the typical crazed fan English speaker looks at that passage and says “no way in the belling hell are these nations of Teleos” or maybe the especially crazed one says “how interesting, I guess the blue people make sense but I had no idea them in Charg were maybe bright purple.”

    So the simplest way to read the unmodified text is that the people listed are among the “foreigners” fighting at Castle Blue. If those foreigners were not the Orlanthi in particular — as first in the list — and also not the Warlord’s people and also not the blue folk from the Sweet Sea, then why is the word even there? It’s easier to just say “PEOPLE” found excuses. You have to go out of your way to tell us there were foreigners, people who traveled from far away and carried their gods with them.

    Now I am harping on this because I want to know who those foreigners were, from a Fortunate Succession POV. I’m happy to hear that Greg said somewhere that he was thinking of Men-and-a-Half (*), the people of Bija and my aunt Dorothy. If it should happen that the best answer we have is that the foreigners were the Orlanthi, the Chargites and the Sweet Sea people, then that will have implications elsewhere on the web of Arachne Solara. That’s okay. Truth rune burns bright and at least in D&D spider silk is far from immune.

    (*) This bit is actually not 100% facetious given army of fire showing up to fight at Sacred Time.

    #8074
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Peter Metcalfe on June 2, 2014, 23:39

    [many good things and some worth a quibble down the road but…]

    Quote:
    Even foreigners found excuses to become engaged. The barbarian Orlanthi claimed that the Goddess was evil, the Warlord of Charg said it was his duty to fight chaos, and even the blue men worshipping YarGan the Abominable came up from underneath the Sweet Sea to fight.
    Quote:
    Quote from Peter Metcalfe on June 2, 2014, 23:39
    Nothing about Orlanth fighting as a foreigner. The barbarian Orlanthi (Brolia?) get involved in the conflict because the Goddess was evil. They are distinguished from the people (Warlord) of Charg who evinces anti-chaotic motivations. And if those two are foreigners, then it’s a bit odd that the Blue People of the Sweet Sea are so described.

    I surrender to your close reading: Who are the foreigners in that paragraph then, and if none of the listed groups are the foreigners, which foreigners got engaged? What is the most natural way to construct a text: to mention a class of combatants and then immediately list several groups who explicitly don’t belong to that class, or to mention the class and then list examples? If the former applies here, why is this particular text so obscure? What is it hiding?

    Or maybe where I am wrong is in Orlanth versus Orlanthi. Do gods perhaps not travel with their worshippers within Time?

    And I would think that the “even” intensifying the blue man group’s involvement refers to the surprise of direct contact between the Oronin and Sweet Sea cultures at that point in history — no matter how closely related they may have been once, I count about 30 hexes of high country portage there as qualifying them as a “foreign” tribe of combatants. Or they could go around to the Poralister, I guess, but that’s much longer haul.

    [love the silver dwarves]

    #8064
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from michaelh on June 2, 2014, 12:42
    Greg’s answer: “Yes”

    Love mining the ’90s sources for insight into how truth has evolved.

    There’s always that anonymous postscript to the Annotated Argrath’s Saga after he changes the world, “shapes his god” and kills the moon: So they say. But it’s still here! And now it’s invisible instead! So while the goddess may win or lose by her own lights, the outcomes are controversial by the time we approach far-flung Hobby Year 1800.

    #8062
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Nicely stated. It’s a tricky proposition because canonical statements of her intent are scattered (unless I’m forgetting them, which is always a strong risk) and I don’t know her mind. All I can really see is the evolution of imperial policy under the aegis of Moonson, which the FS account very interestingly refers to as the “tanist” left behind to live in the world and pursue her agenda once she was gone.

    We all know Moonson has changed both masks and tactics within Time, so interpreting the deeds of empire may be a sidetrack. The empire may have gotten plenty wrong over the last 3-1/2 centuries because she ultimately wants to lose. OK.

    But when the goddess was alive and making plans like people do, what did she know of Orlanth, up there on the Arcos, and why did she pick him as her . . . “utuma” is the wrong word here because she has little truck with dragon powers, but implement of cosmic self-sacrifice? Is opposition to Orlanth in particular something she learned under the tentacular tutelage of Blaskarth or something she remembers from the Mernita days? Sadly the storm god is not mentioned by name in the translation of “Lives of Sedenya” I have access to.

    #8060
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Peter Metcalfe on June 2, 2014, 06:43

    [interesting stuff as usual]

    Quote:
    by her choice

    Just curious: is this something chosen back in the 1240s — in which case it’s the people on the ground who change — or does she have free will now?

    #8056
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from michaelh on June 2, 2014, 01:32
    If some parts of the Lunar following might co-operate with the Heortlings in destroying the Red Moon (and the Empire) we are already away from black and white.

    Nice. Strikes me that there’s room for three-player scenarios in the Dragon Pass game so the culturally “orlanthi,” religiously “lunarized” and magically ambitious kingdom of Tarsh would be a good place to look for these people. Their “third way” approach may not be any more sympathetic to our Heortlings than the old policy out of Glamour, of course…

    #8046
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Bump to admire all responses (sometimes I got nothing and a simple “thanks” feels like it clutters our historical record) and to note a fourth spider: the entity that presented itself at the Red Goddess’ birth to offer its “protection.”

    What did spiders mean to them up in Torang? I recall occasional speculation about the Deezola Rune being a version of Fate and her patron has been stated as being “Arachne Solara.” Sure. Maybe this is another name for the Glorantay but let’s run with it for a minute.

    We know that the “Solara” mock-latinate form still refers to the sun in Gloranthan etymology (Solara Tempora = Time of the Sun) so if “Arachne” holds up, we are dealing with a sun spider. Cragspider is known for her fire powers, so that connection seems strong enough to hold weight.

    Now maybe these are all scattered survivals of Dorastan religion and maybe not, but the semantic web seems to be drawing a little tighter. And did the spider whisper to Kyger Litor that it was time for darkness to leave the council?

    Who else has fire powers among trolls? Where and when does he come from, within time? What is his secret?

    #8045
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Jeff Richard on May 31, 2014, 22:06
    From the revised Redline History:

    That’s some gorgeous stitching in the uh text.

    Going back to compare to the original, I notice that while the conflict was over in 1246, the moon didn’t rise until 1247, so while the Heortling headache wasn’t a full “eleven generations late,” it’s still a little after the fact of the battle being over.

    I would humbly submit that after Castle Blue, storm and moon are enemies in contention for the Middle Air, but before that point, we have only textual analysis and other heroquest skills to guide us. All sources agree that the elements fluxed in 1245-6. They may flux back when the moon dies if not before that point. Time is big and keeps getting bigger day by day.

    #8041
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator
    Quote:
    Quote from Martin Helsdon on May 31, 2014, 21:25
    Textual sources aren’t required

    My brother, this is the moment we stop talking to each other. See you in the communion of Orlanth. 😐

    #8038
    Profile photo of Scott Martin
    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Found it! Heortling Mythology tells their side of it. “Orlanth and Red Shepelkirt” is a strange tale.

    The beards sometimes equivocate: “Her primary foes were not Orlanth and his tribe, but instead she courted those who were enemies of Orlanth, and who had already allowed Gbaji into the world.”

    Other times they are vague, as when they refer to the right wing of the anti-Lunar array as “the others.”

    Strangely, “Orlanth and his people” approach the fight “from the north,” which to me sounds more like a lost Vadrudi impulse than any army from Heortland.

    But they remember that their god was there and prominent, so who am I to say otherwise? Moving the thread to spare Mr Yellow that sideshow.

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