Giants, Malkioni Astronomy and Orlanthi

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Wed 22 Jan 1997 - 01:48:13 EET

Stephen P Martin:

JB>>I'd rather say that the Giants became humanoid when the Man Rune came

>Yeah, that's what I meant. Yeah.

I disagree simply because there's no evidence for the Giants
changing their shape. This sort of handwaving to preserve the
integrity of the conventional wisdom I find to be rather misguided.
Once we start making statements like 'the Elder Giants weren't
really Giants' (and likewise with the Elder Dragons) we are rapidly
moving away from what most people understand by the War between
Giants and Dragons. Merely altering the date at which it occurred
and playing down the hype (yes, it was a big war but it was not
the First War) seems to be the lesser of the two evils.

If you want to posit a primal battle between two opposed forces
when Glorantha was *really* young, that's find by me but I deny
that the two sides were giants and dragons. The Elves and Dwarves
have a similar concept of a First War but strangely the participants
are the Elves and the Dwarves. Was it the same battle? Probably
in the light of the Cosmic Duality occuring in other mythoi.

And no, I don't know where Darktongue speaking Giants come from...

>The Jonstown Compendium
>entry states that Dayzatar's Eye and Pole Star are the same star.

Given that no Star in the Dara Happan mythos is called Dayzatar's
Eye, I assumed that the writer was misled by some hack author.

>I wonder which
>Elder Secrets or GRoY stars are the ones known in the West as Malkion,
>Snodal, Jonat, Talor, and Dromal (is that supposed to be Dormal,
>perhaps?)? Arkat we already know, from ES.

If I had a list of constellation appearances over time, I could
answer the question with more sagacity. Malkion would be one
of the circumpolar stars and probably Arraz. I wonder if they
view the Arraz-Polaris-Ourania as the Law Rune?

I suppose that Arkat's constellation is actually the three heroes
who fought against Gbaji. The Brightest One is called Talor in
Loskalm and Gerlant in Seshnela. The Second Brightest One is
called Gerlant in Loskalm and Talor in Seshnela. The third as
every Malkioni knows is Arkat who starts of with such bright
promise and ends up in darkness.

Stephen Lucek:

>I have a real problem with the vast majority of Orlanthi being initiates.
>My main qualm about it is that this would be a very strong force towards a
>theocratic society.

Not really. Orlanth says that your duty is to follow the clan
rather than a High Priest of a faraway temple which you know
little about. Merely being an initiate does not bind him to
undying loyalty to an Orlanthi Temple, it merely makes you closer
to Orlanth. For most people, the immediate cult official that
he obeys is his clan chief.

>Since everyone
>has to do a little of everything, they are probably lay members of a general
>Orlanthi cult, worshipping the members of the whole pantheon. For the Task in
>hand, they pray to the appropriate member of that pantheon for a blessing.

It's actually been said in past digests that when you are initiated
to Orlanth (or Ernalda if you are a woman) that you are initiated
to the whole Pantheon. But Orlanth is the primary diety for all
Orlanthi (ie 85% of the male population).

>Priests still have complete authority. Should the great priest of the
>city come then he must be obeyed, or the gods will be displeased.

Orlanthi can and do disobey him. The most the Priest can send
against anybody who tells him to piss up a rope is an impest IMO.
Because of this People will respect him but obediance is not
automatic and must be earned.

 [because the bloodties in the city are weak...]
>The city is run by a theocratic council made up of the representatives
>of the cults.

I disagree - I think the city blood ties are as strong in the country
and the Temples will be split along family or clan lines. They are
just as religious in the country as in the city save that the people
in the city are more richer and have heaps to spend on temples and
such like.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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