[Glorantha]Rufelza as Weapon (was Tarsh Old Religion, on the HW RPG List)

From: Groovelord <coridan_at_optonline.net>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 21:58:56 -0400

> Whoops, moving this over to the right list. :)
>
> On 26 May 2004 at 16:38, Andrew Solovay wrote:
>
> > As I understand it, Tarsh was Orlanthi/Ernaldi, but not Heortling--it
came
> > from a different, but related, tradition.
>
> Huh. OK, close enough for government work, I guess.
>
> > And (again AIUI) the Ernaldan side of the religion has persisted, more
or
> > less intact (though Ernalda has been identified with She Who Waits, and
> > Maran Gor has been exiled). So have the cults of some other male
deities,
> > who are seen as husbands of Ernalda (like Odayla, I believe). But
Orlanth
> > has been stomped out.

I moved this over here, since this seemed more like a Digest thing that anything else.

For now(1620's era Tarsh.) From my understanding, when Argrath drives the Lunars from Dragon Pass, Orlanth worship literally comes roaring back into Tarsh with a vengeance, doesn't it? Tarsh has very old and strong Orlanthi roots. Lunar religion seems more of an outside imposition and subversion of Ernalda mysteries than anything.

> OK, that's probably enough that I can run someone who wants to come from
there.
>
> > I don't think that's *precisely* because of his Middle Air rivalry with
the
> > Moon. The Moon has reached an accommodation with Yelm, even though
they're
> > both sky gods. *If* Orlanth were of the right frame of mind, I think he
> > could do the same--he and Sedenya could marry and be the King and Queen
of
> > the Middle Air or somesuch.
> >
> > It's just that Orlanth is too ornery to do that. He doesn't like
empires,
> > and he doesn't want to be an emperor--still less the tame consort of an
> > empress. The Lunars would be happy to incorporate him if he allowed
it--but
> > he won't.

This also shows how much worshippers shape their gods. The reason there is no place for Orlanth in Lunar mythology - which, strangely, stubbornly resists the rights of freedom that Orlanthi culture claims - is because the Lunar *Empire* can not abide subjects who can opt to defy imperial power. The Red Goddess, construct that she is, was IMO created, amongst other things, to be a weapon against the damnable barbarians who have shamed and refuted solar culture and law again and again. Further, it seems as if Sedenya was designed specifically to be a weapon against the Orlanthi peoples - the 7 Mothers were not interested in any kind of accomodation with the southern barbarian peoples, only conquest and subjugation, along with theft of some of their secrets.

From Gencon 99 and my short conversation with Greg, I also gather that the Orlanth/Rufelza conflict also has much deeper mythological roots. Entekos, one of the predecessor goddesses to Rufelza/Sedenya who is often identified with her, is a Green Age goddess amongst other things. Entekos, the "Good Wind",is a peaceful air goddess, the 'air that should have been', perhaps, as opposed to Umath, who's very first act was seperation and rebellion. Sedenya/Rufelza seems to be an attempt to return to the simplicity and peace of the Green Age as expressed in Pelandan mythology and feminine rule, as opposed to the rebellion of the Storm Age which eventually leads to the Greater Darkness. Orlanthi culture at large resolves this issue through the joint rule of Ernalda and Orlanth - "There is always another way" which works side by side with "Violence is always an option." IMO, Orlanth and Sedenya/Rufelza are almost like brother and sister, in some weird ways.Also, the Orlanth/Sedenya conflict in it's Storm Age vs Green Age conflict seems to be a battle of seperation (Orlanth/Humakt) vs unity and harmony (Pelandan Green Age myth.) Obviously, to a degree, Dak, the thief and robber god from Pelandan myth, may well be a cognate of Orlanth/Rebellus Terminus.

From reading the description of the Yellow Peony society in Masters of Luck and Death, I get the feeling that there are those within the Empire who understand that the use of Chaos as a weapon will destroy the Empire and the Goddess' message of salvation, balance and unity, and that Chaos should be no part of the Red Goddess. Perhaps these secret, underground forces in the Empire assist Argrath and those who work with him in the Red Goddess' Utuma sacrifice, where she finally repudiates and rejects Chaos in a rather Gerran self sacrifice, as described in King of Sartar. It also seems to be that the Lunars simply don't have the gut understanding of the danger of Chaos that Heortlings and Praxians do - the peoples of the Oslir basin were spared the effects of Chaos, and did not need to fight it in the same ways that the Praxian and Heortling peoples did. Heortlings and Praxians understand that Chaos can in no way be bargained with, integrated, or balanced - it is the howling void, which through either subtle lies, selfish hearts, or manifest horror seeks to consume the world. No doubt there is an aspect of the Red Goddess that is purely Wakboth-Lunar doctrine would demand this understanding. Orlanthi hate the Red Goddess because they've fought her tribe and barely survived - the Chaos Tribe - in all of their myths. It's almost as if the Red Goddess were designed to be an Antigod to Orlanth.

I, for one, would love to see what Glorantha looks like after the fall of the Red Moon. Would it still be a gameable place?

Merely speculating,

CB

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End of Glorantha Digest Received on Thu 27 May 2004 - 00:02:32 EEST

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