Re: [Glorantha] Heortling initiation

From: Donald R. Oddy <>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 14:12:43 GMT

In message <> Jennifer Geard writes:

>Jane and Donald have been talking about a distinctly unusual initiation
>history. I'm not entirely sure how to separate out the superhero
>exceptions and "we've been writing this since RQ days and some of the
>stories don't gel/translate well" from the Heortling default, so I'm
>afraid I have more questions.

I guess Jane and I have both been a bit lax about references. Basically the only definitive writing on the Orlanthi pre-HW was KoS. That is not 100% reliable but which bits are right, biased or wrong is a matter of intense debate. So publications such as TR and ST are more authoratitve and being more recent reflect current opinions better.

>> >Initiation to adulthood at age 14.
>> Bit late for a girl.
>It's probably late according the theory in Thunder Rebels. It's early
>according to the description of initiation in King of Sartar, which was
>the state-of-play when this story began.

I'd say TR is more representative of the normal than KoS.

>By the way, I thought I'd read somewhere that she initiated to Ernalda
>at 14. Is that a mis-reading of the standard Heortling and communal
>Storm pantheon initiation, or is it a missing link? Sorry, can't recall
>the source.

Vinga is also be a sub-cult of Ernalda so yes it was the communal initiation.

>This is a special case, but it's where the lack of apparent Ernaldan
>initiation becomes a concern. Is the idea of having to go through
>Ernalda to reach Vinga a later addition to the corpus?

But she did initiate into Ernalda, the communal inititation you refer to earlier.

>Was this when Rigsdal was a standalone god rather than a subcult of
>Humakt or Elmal? Is this an exception for the men-only-except-Redalda
>Elmali subcult, or is she Humakti?

I think this is using the cult of Vinga to access aspects of Orlanth as explained in ST pg.174. Rigsdal is also a subcult of Orlanth Allfather (see ST pg. 231).

>If this is Vanganth as a subcult of Orlanth -- rather than as a
>standalone deity -- it might be evidence that initiation to a deity
>generally takes the equivalent of a year of study, but once you're done
>that you can pick up other sub-cults relatively quickly and easily.
>She's a Vingan already, and Vinga is the path to Orlanth for women, so
>she's effectively picking up another Vingan subcult.

Yes Vangarth is a subcult of Orlanth (TR pg.227) but I'm very dubious about using a major hero as evidence of normal practice. I'd put that down to "hero exception" until there's some more to go on.

>Um, maybe not as much as a few typical case studies would help. :-)

Bear in mind, if it isn't in the Issaries publications the best it can be is our extrapolation of that information and YGWV. While many of us have been immersing ourselves in Glorantha for decades that doesn't mean we have authoritive answers any more than you do.

Donald Oddy

Received on Thu 27 May 2004 - 00:02:32 EEST

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