From: Peter Metcalfe (P.Metcalfe@cantva.canterbury.ac.nz)
Date: Sun 11 Jun 1995 - 03:59:35 EEST
John R. Snead:
>In TOTRM and other sources the only Veldang people mentioned in Pamaltela
>are slaves in the north, and stone-age, band-level, hunter gatherers in
>Zamokil. It that it? Do any barbarian or civilized groups of Veldang
>remain, perhaps some last bit of the Artmali Empire?
That's about it. The prosopaedia in Gods of Glorantha does speak of the City States along the North Coast of the Zamokil protraying Artmal as chained and enslaved but Pamaltela is probably meant. Certainly no cities are to be found in Zamokil from the ToTRM map.
Some fragments of the Empire did survive in Fonrit after the Dawn, but Garangordos took care of them. These were worshipping Jraktal, the Lord of Tap, rather than Artmal as the chief god so the states were far from pleasant. Heroes v1, #6 say they were largely peaceful simple folk, but that is contradicted by the presence of Jraktal and the statement in GoG: Thief God (Selarn) which implies that Afadjann has had harsh governments since before the Dawn. I think the Heroes statement, in God Learner propoganda made out of sympathy for the enslaved Blues and probably largely true only for the Veldang of Garguna. For this reason, I believe that the Fonritan fragments were largely disorganized and were undergoing unification by the Jraktali Cult before Garangordos invaded. Artmal had long been desposed so they probably worshipped all manners of Gods.
I don't think anybody knows much about what the Artmali Empire was like. My impression of its influence in Fonrit is that Cyclopean Magnificent Ruins lie strewn around the place like the Pyramids or the City of the Dead in Egypt. Although they left written inscriptions, nobody can understand them like the Hieroglyptics before the Rosetta stone. All sorts of nonsence is ascribed to them. The Lhankor Mhy translation spell does not work (IMO) because it relies on the collected wisdom of the Lhankor Mhy Sages now dead and no Lhankor Mhy Sage has ever deciphered the script (So there, pbbbbbt!). The style of the ruins _differ_ from place to place, IMO. Some people may have in the past deciphered it in the past and gained terrible power from it (like the Sorcerers of Kalabar) but they're dead now and the secret has been lost again.
Artmal is known and worshipped in Fonrit as a scapegoat diety. The lives of the poor slaves in Fonrit are so miserable, that they have these little idols of Artmal in which they stick pins into so that they feel better and Artmal feels worse. This is only fitting for they see Artmal as the once proud Emperor whose impiety brought ruin upon everyone and is now condemned to eternal punishment. There are some lunatics who kidnap various people and practice horrible tortures on them so that Artmal might be strengthened and break free from his unjust torment (from their point of view). I dunno how the Surarru Lake Veldang (described by Sandy previously) see him.
Zamokil is largely undescribed but as the Cannibal Cult is known to exist there, We can assume it is full of tortured ghosts who are generally too crazed by hunger to communicate. As a result, we can assume there are some Artmali Empire ruins there as well. Perhaps structures can too be found within the depths of Dinal and perhaps Enkloso where the universities once were.
All of the above is IMO!
Blue skinned folk are mentioned in the north with the Loper People and the followers of YarGan the Cannibal. The latter still survives, so I've heard in the Third Eye Blue folk claim to be their descendants (which explains where they got the Blue Third Eye). For obvious reasons, I don't think they worshipped Artmal or were ever part of the Artmali Empire.
>An interesting question is how the cults of Yelmalio and Orlanth Rex
>combine in their chieftains and king - after all, as tribal kings of
>Sartar they perform Orlanth Rex "classified" rituals.
Uh? What 'classified' rituals are these? All the Dinacoli King has to do is to swear loyalty to the Prince of Sartar like Elmal swears to Orlanth to be accepted in the Kingdom. There's enough mythic backing so the Prince doesn't have to make a song and a dance about it.
End of Glorantha Digest V1 #309
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