Re: godi

From: Malcolm Cohen (
Date: Fri 31 Jan 1997 - 12:18:49 EET

s.lucek said:
> Orlanthi warrior priest chiefs, not godi

Actually "godi" is IMO an accurate term for "warrior priest chief". If only
we had the "edh" letter to spell it right.

> In the real world, violent cultures (or ones in danger) breed priests for war

Yes, but in RQ rules terms these are better described as Rune Lords rather
than Priests. (A good Christian example is the Knights Templar - rather than
the occasional pope-general etc.).

> Harald
> Finehair in Norway - so called because he vowed never to wash his hair until

Actually "cut his hair" - he was called Shaggy Harold until he became king of

> The chiefs had greatly reduced
> powers, the priest element was removed from them, and given to the godi.

No, a chieftan was a godi - they had religious function and political power.
(The religious function dissipated after 1000AD anyway when Iceland was
christianised. So for most of the time of the Icelandic Commonwealth, a godi
was simply a chieftan.)

> In Glorantha, I envisage that the 'rune levels' are the leaders of the clan

Hmm, I would not put it quite that way. I would expect the clan chieftan to be
an Orlanthi Rex Rune Lord (matches a "godi" pretty well); and further expect
the head Priest to be one of the chieftan's advisors. And I expect that most
of the advisors would be RL's or Priests; but see no reason why there would
not be highly experienced elders (who never made it to rune level) advising
the chieftan, nor why a new (thus relatively inexperienced) RL should be an
advisor or hold much authority.

Actually, the main quibble with "godi" here is that with the real (Icelandic)
godar, the defining characteristic is the "authority" - which could be
inherited/bought/traded - and not the religious function.

> Godi conjures the Icelandic tradition. The Godi represented the gods, but
> were removed from political leadership.

Not in Iceland; in *Norway* the godi were (apparently) removed from political
leadership (there is not all that much written about the godar outside Iceland,
they do not seem to have played nearly as important a political role).

> (the singular for godi is something else isn't it?
> Goda? Or is that a cheese? Is this the real reason I do not like the word?)

godi - singular (nominative), goda singular (dative/genitive/accusative)
godar - plural (nominative/accusative)
gouda - non-viking cheese

I don't like the term "godi" much for Glorantha either, but mostly because
the anglicised spelling is irritating, particularly when heard with a hard "d".
And religion in Glorantha seems to play a bigger role than it did in RW viking

- --
...........................Malcolm Cohen [Melkolfur Alansson],


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