Re: [Glorantha] Heortling initiation

From: Jennifer Geard <>
Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 10:03:13 +1200

Hi All,

I'm slowly catching up with the way re-writes of the world have=20 retrospectively changed the histories of certain key Gloranthan NPCs,=20 and how official ideas about initiation seem to have changed over time=20 along with official ideas about how women reach Orlanth. (My excuse is=20 that I played an Orlanthi bloke in RQ, mainly to show another player=20 how it should be done, and it's only now that I'm developing female=20 characters and figuring out how the current rules work for them.)

> > Storm Tribe p.173, Vingan membership
> > requirements: "Any Heortling woman who has undergone Ernaldan
> > initiation ... may join Vinga as a permanent member after
> > convincing three sponsors ... of her sincerity and fitness." Or
> > should I read this
> > as "any Heortling woman who's undergone Ernaldan initiation
> > may try for Vinga, and so may some Heortling woman who haven't"?
> If you can define what a Heortling woman who hasn't *is* (either not
> Heortling, or not a woman, I'd say) then maybe.
> Even Heortling Humakti or Tricksters would, I would have thought,
> have undergone Ernaldan initiation, though dropped it later.

This is where I'm trying to clarify the difference between the various=20 types of initiation.

=46rom the current description in Thunder Rebels p. 58ff, the initiation=20 cycle begins with the Heortling initiation. This is where we learn the=20 ways taught to us by Heort and Ivarne: the laws, social=20 responsibilities, greetings, and -- to extrapolate -- probably put the=20 finishing touches on our knowledge of the appropriate ways of handling=20 things like food, waste, and appropriate behaviour. After this two-week=20 initiation we are New Adults. "In game terms, the New Adult is a=20 communal worshipper of the entire Orlanth Pantheon. They do not learn=20 any specific magic until they actually become initiates of Orlanth,=20 Ernalda, or another deity."

The New Adult, therefore, is not an Ernaldan initiate. Instead of=20 automatically becoming a generic Ernaldan as part of the Heortling=20 rites -- which I admit is what I originally thought happened -- she has=20 to make a conscious choice to become an Ernaldan as part of her=20 programme of New Adult study. If becoming a Vingan means she has to=20 have been first initiated as an Ernaldan, a clear early call to Vinga=20 means she'll spend one of her two years of Young Adult study studying=20 Ernalda, and the other studying Vinga. At the end of her two years=20 she'll initiate to Ernalda, then initiate to Vinga as soon after that=20 as she can.

This set of rules suggests that a Humakti or Eurmali could go straight=20 to Humakt or Eurmal without passing Ernalda or Orlanth, except for the=20 year of study that the elders might require to make sure that the New=20 Adult can't be channelled into something that fits the social matrix.

I'm not sure, though, that this works for me. I quite like the idea that=20 we're all grounded in Ernalda and Orlanth, and that as well as the=20 Heortling code we share a basic "religious" background. Still thinking=20 about this one.

> > Normally I'd expect that if she was planning to be a career
> > Vingan she'd
> > have to spend a year studying Ernalda, followed by an Ernaldan
> > initiation.
> This makes her an adult. So yes.

I think the current rules as written allow her to become an adult=20 Humakti or Helering without ever being initiated to Ernalda. Have I=20 missed something?

Anyway, does the bio give an indication of when our=20 Vingan/Vanganthi/Rigsdali spent her year studying Ernalda?

> > Then she'd get to initiate to Vinga.
> After a year studying Vinga, surely? (This being for the career-path
> type)

Indeed. One year for Ernalda + one year for Vinga. As opposed to boys=20 who might spend one year on Destor and another on Durev, initiate to=20 Destor to begin their youthful adventuring phase and keep Durev up=20 their sleeves for whenever they've got the will and wherewithall to=20 settle down. But the assumptions in that sentence would start a whole=20 new thread. ;-)

> > If, instead, she turned to Vinga as a Red Woman -- and I
> > don't have the
> > sources to hand, but I think she avenged a massacre of her kin
> > somewhere in there -- she mightn't need to reach Vinga
> > through Ernalda.
> Let me check... Yes, the "temporary" sub-cult, normally joined for
> vengeance purposes. If she *isn't* an Ernaldan at the time she
> decides Red Woman is the way to go, then why not? What is she?

I could invent scenarios about kin being killed when she was still a New=20 Adult, but they wouldn't explain why she then went on to spend the=20 following year on Rigsdal. Unless she was the cunning type who figured=20 that being able to stay up all night was going to help her wreak her=20 vengeance...

> > In that case, though, it strikes me as a bit strange that she'd
> > first spend a year studying Vinga.
> For this temporary setup, I don't think she does. She joins, then
> gets armed and trained. It's one of those special cases.

Fair enough. See previous note about Rigsdal, though.

> Certainly not by 1621. And she's a bit short of time for that kind of
> thing, so my guess is not any time soon, if at all. As a general
> rule, leaders aren't devotees.

Oh well, both my spear-kin and my spindle-kin are god-blessed, so I=20 probably didn't realise this until after the commitment had been made.

> Add adulthood/Ernalda at the start.

See comments above: I think our main difference is about how Ernalda=20 relates to the Heortling rites and adulthood.=20

In the Ernalda write-up in TR p. 177 it does say "... all women are=20 Ernalda worshippers." I'm guessing this might be an Orlanthi "all",=20 although I'm boggling slightly at the consequences for the fertility of=20 women who initiate to other cults without passing through Ernalda.

> > Vinga - generic, either spearwoman or Red Woman
> No, I'd say direct to Vinga Vanganth.

Fair enough. Must remember that for other characters.

> > It's character backstories that got me started.
> > I'm re-working key parts
> > of said backstories as my ideas about initiation change. It's
> > making for interesting times. <wry grin>
> Good fun, isn't it? And if you're running an Devotee, figuring out
> how they got there can be *very* interesting.

And once I get past writing up the New Adult phase, I'm sure I'll have=20 things to discuss about becoming a devotee.



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End of Glorantha Digest Received on Fri 28 May 2004 - 00:02:29 EEST

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