[Glorantha]Re: Horn of Plenty

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2004 19:30:25 -0800 (PST)

Peter Metcalfe, responding to Joerg Baumgartner:
> [moved from the Heroquest list]

> > The Fourty-Eight Old Ones - the agricultural
> > spirits of the Oasis People - still reside
> > at the Paps.
> The 48 old ones are the shattered fragments
> of the Horn of Plenty.
> > CoP p.30:
> > "These are the remnants of the old
> > agricultural spirits still attached
> > to the cult at the Paps. Each may
> > be gotten as an allied spirit by
> > priestesses of the Paps."
> Which does not have the interpretation that
> you place on them given other Praxian lore.

> >Where does that Horn of Plenty reference stem from?
> Look at Nomad Gods and compare with the
> Eiritha writeup in Cults of Prax. Three
> Bean Circus, the Good Shepherd and
> Ronance are both present as subcults of
> Eiritha and as Spirits of Paps in Nomad Gods.
> The only exception (apart from the serpents)

> is the 48 old ones in Cults of Prax and
> the Horn of Plenty in Nomad Gods.
> The Horn of Plenty was [...] said to be the tip of
> one of Eiritha's horns left on earth when she was
> buried. Ragnaglar shattered the horn but it
> repaired itself, and was full of enough food to
> support many clans.
> Nomad Gods.


I agree with Peter that the 48 Old Ones are not agriculture spirits in the sense of organized grain cultivation. I think they are like the regional female earth spirits found elsewhere, but without the cultural context of tilled land. These grains were never domesticated.

I disagree with Peter in that I do not think the Horn of Plenty and the 48 Old Ones are the same thing. Here are my reasons:

  1. Drastic Prax lists them as separate entities on p.41.
  2. CoP called the 48oo "spirits" (CoP p. 30). NG says that the Horn of Plenty is a treasure (NG english rules p. 30). This says to me that they are different types of things, one immaterial, the other material.
  3. The absence of the 48oo from NG can be explained by the fact that they have zero military utility. NG was a boardgame of warfare.
  4. The absence of the HoP from CoP can be explained by the fact that CoP does not describe any of the treasures of Prax.
  5. Peter notes that the Serpent guardians described in NG's Spirits of the Paps are missing from the CoP Eiritha cult description. He did not note that Aldrya, Mahome, and Ernalda are listed in the CoP description but are missing from the NG description.
  6. Mythically, we know different origins for the horn and the 48oo. The horn was part of Eiritha; the 48oo were the earth fertility spirits of the Greatlands.
  7. Mythically, the 48oo are "shattered"; the Horn was "shattered" but "repaired". Seems different to me.
  8. CoP has a genealogy chart. These are notoriously inaccurate or irrelevant, but it shows the 48 old ones as sisters of Eiritha. If they were shattered parts of her horn, I'd expect them either not to appear or to appear as daughters.

So, while I find it a very interesting hypothesis, I can't really say that it seems supported by the canon.  If you consider Drastic Prax to be canon, then the canon flat contradicts the idea.

Chris Lemens

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End of Glorantha Digest Received on Sun 08 Feb 2004 - 06:56:47 EET

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