Re: [Glorantha] Heortling initiation

From: Jennifer Geard <>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 23:06:00 +1200

Hi All,

Yes, Thunder Rebels p.58ff was what I was looking for [1]. Thanks to=20 David and Donald.

Now for the next question. The New Adult goes through two year-long=20 stints of learning about the worship of a particular deity, usually=20 focusing on a particular subcult. The first year the deity/subcult is=20 chosen by the New Adult and is "the deity that they think (or hope) has=20 chosen them". The second year the deity/subcult is assigned by the=20 elders.

Do you think you need to spend a year in preparation before being=20 accepted into a subcult? If you realise your calling part-way through=20 your first year, but the elders think you should try something=20 different for your second year, do you become one of the people who has=20 to spend a third year learning about the deity you will actually follow=20 before you can become an initiate?

[I think some sort of preparation period is usually required before=20
becoming an initiate of a subcult, so in most cases that'd mean three=20 years for the person who figured it out part-way through year one.]

The subcults of Ernalda are related to stages of life and fertility. To=20 some degree the subcults of Orlanth are stages too. Do you think it=20 would be expected that the New Adult would study only subcults which=20 were immediately open to them, or would there be the possibility of=20 getting a taste for where you're heading in life. Might the child of a=20 chiefly family who shows potential as a leader spend a year learning=20 about Orendana or Dar, even though they'll probably go through other=20 subcults before they're in a position to become an inititate of the=20 queen/leader? Might a likely girl be shown the ways of Roitina the=20 Ceremonialist, even though everyone expects her to spend her=20 child-bearing years following Orane?=20

[I can see reasons for this happening, and benefits if it creates=20
stronger ties and understanding between the generations. I can also see=20 situations where there's not much that can be taught that's not Special=20 Secret Stuff, so i guess it depends.]

If the New Adult gets it right the first time around, what sorts of=20 things might the elders look for in the second placement? Yes, he's=20 going to be a Humakti: what do we do with him for year two?=20

[The Humakti case is tricky for me. He's going to cut ties with the=20
clan, so I'm not even sure that it makes sense to equip him with an=20 understanding of raiding or something Orlanthi and spiky. Maybe trying=20 to teach him to teach, in case he comes home and re-sheathes in future=20 years?]

Does anything of what the New Adult learns during the year of "study"=20 stay with them if they end up with another cult? Is a stint with Eninta=20 a good grounding for any other Allmother Ernaldan? Might Beren and=20 Redalda provide good background knowledge for horse-breeding Orlanthi=20 and Ernaldans?

[I don't expect non-initiates to get initiate "magics", but I do think=20
that whatever practical knowledge the New Adult has picked up might=20 stay. Someone who spent a year learning about Beren the Rider, for=20 instance, might pick up knowledge about evaluating horses, learn to=20 ride better, know how to identify major horse illnesses, and feel=20 really guilty on forced rides. Or not. I don't think it works to be=20 untouched by the experience.]

Vingans must first initiate to Ernalda. Once it becomes clear that the=20 candidate is heading towards Vinga, what sorts of placements would make=20 sense? And I'd be interested in ideas about picking an Ernaldan subcult=20 when it's basically a necessary strategic step towards Vinga.

[Can you throw a young wannabe Vingan at an Orlanthi subcult for one of=20
her years? I think not, because Vinga is the gateway to those subcults=20 for women, but sometimes it feels like the standard path involves a lot=20 of incidental stuff for someone who's sure that Vinga is her goddess.=20 Then again, part of the test for a Vingan is to get there despite the=20 obstacles. I'm currently considering stints with Orane (tradition),=20 Mahome (family tradition), Eninta (fits backstory about how she came to=20 Vinga), or even Humakt (clan has a special fondness for Humakt for some=20 reason, and someone into headology might think it's an innoculation).]

Is there a recognised theory about how fostering fits into Heortling=20 society? At what age might a child be fostered, and what sort of=20 relationship does fostering form between the fostered child and the=20 foster-hearth?

[I've heard only little bits about fostering among Heortlings, and not=20
as many references to foster-kin as I'd expect if fostering were a=20
major part of the social fabric. This one's mainly curiosity.]


[1] The comment on that page that "[g]irls are initiated after they=20
begin menstruation" has led to discussion in our household about age of=20 menarche being affected by body fat, which is in turn affected by diet=20 (carbo boost for agriculturalists over hunter/gatherers, sugar boost=20 for the modern developed world). Then there was someone we've known who=20 at 12 years old you could probably have stuck in charge of a longship=20 with full war gear and a crew to command, while other 12-year-olds=20 would struggle to lift a shield. Then there was the length of the=20 Gloranthan year. All good stuff.

PS: I'm thinking about the indexing project. Does anyone know if=20 electronic copies of core works are available, even if only for=20 fixed-term project work?=20

--__--__-- Received on Mon 24 May 2004 - 17:33:02 EEST

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