Yanafali Stuff

From: Nick Brooke (Nick_Brooke@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed 30 Apr 1997 - 15:20:24 EEST

Joseph writes:

> Whoops! Sorry if I offended anyone with my blatant mis-spellings...
> I'm just glad that I didn't try something hard like Lankhor...
> Lhanckor... you know, the guy with the big grey beard! :)

Any "Knowledge God" whose name was misspelt in his original cult write-up
has got serious problems. Mind you, it's always easy to accidentally take
the P out of Irrippi Ontor... who can also be a pain in the R's at times.

> It seems that I was certainly being too Humakt-centric on my Gloranthan
> perspective.

An occupational hazard of *using* a world with multiple "acceptable" POVs.
Your Humakti player characters can continue to mock and deride Yanafali as
"turncoats" and "traitors" and "oathbreakers" (and almost certainly would):
that doesn't mean that their version is the Whole Truth.

> So, as of right now, this is how I understand that cult (please feel
> free to correct me):

I'll walk through this point by point.

> YT was a Carmanian.

Yep, per my version (some folk say he was a Yuthuppan Humakti Nobleman, but
I *really* can't see that working). He leant towards old-style Carmanian
Nobility, rather than the brutish might-makes-right barbarian usurpers. As
his father is said to be the Bull Shah's brother in my writeup, I'd assume
that his mother was one of the Carmanian noblewomen who had been forcibly
married to the usurpers to "legitimise" their claim, and that his father
was one of the more "civilised" of the barbarian usurpers, learning from
the Carmanians and appreciating their lessons and inheritance, rather than
just nicking their neat stuff for use in warmaking.

> He was also a Humakti, as was his warlord.

Yep: "Humakt" is as good a name for the wargod of Carmania as any. (I am
sure Loren Miller has coined a Carmanian 'take' on this, but can't find it
right this minute). "His warlord" would be the Bull Shah of Carmania, an
oppressive and brutal conqueror, descended from barbarian usurpers and
currently lording it over the subjugated cities of Pelanda and Dara Happa.

> His warlord and the warlord's toadies were pretty much an unpleasant
> lot and heavy into oppression.

Definitely. I use the Assyrians as a stylistic template for late-period
Carmanian atrocities under the Bull Shahs. The "toadies" would include
corrupt court viziers, eunuchs, informers, etc. as well as the oppressive
generals and governors ("The Shah's Hand"; "The Shah's Foot"; etc.).

> YT said, "No, this is wrong," and rebelled against his warlord.

In my version, the Shah had his own brother -- Yanafal's father -- arrested
and mutilated and tortured to death, because a false charge of treason was
brought against him by enemies at court. If Yanafal had hung around, the
same would have happened to him, no doubt (it's likely the rest of the
family suffered horribly, including no doubt his noble, refined and
oh-so-civilised mother).

> Then, YT goes on to join the Seven Mothers in reforming the Red Goddess.

He flees the Carmanian Empire to the little town of Torang, on the fringe
of the Steppes, and there joins in a magical conspiracy. (Irrippi Ontor is
his companion and friend, a loyal old retainer from his father's

> Somewhere in here some serious, heavy-duty bad-ass Heroquesting goes on,
> and YT and the other six Mothers all ascend to godhood.

This happens in the period from 1220 (rebirth of the Red Goddess) to 1247
(rise of the Red Moon), not all in some one-shot Heroquest as part of the
Ritual of the Seven Mothers. My "Mythos and History" has Yanafal's divinity
revealed at the Battle of Four Arrows of Light, in 1244 or so. At least one
of the Mothers was still in walking around thirty years after the Moonrise,
but IMHO YT was "out of it" following his battle with the Big H... and his
(deceased) mortal body was probably laid in its Mausoleum almost
immediately thereafter. ("Though Yanafal's Divine Self now resides
eternally on the Red Moon, sending blessings to his followers and curses
against their foes").

> YT ends up facing off against Humakt and the fight ends in a draw. Also,
> somewhere in here, YT gets resurrected. I'm guessing that is in the
> heavy-duty Heroquesting stage.

Yep, describing the whole twenty-seven year History of the Zero Wane of the
Lunar Empire as "the serious, heavy-duty, bad-ass Heroquesting stage" seems
appropriate to me! The precise sequence of events when "Yanafal Tarnils
fought Humakt and won" is deliberately blurred, as neither side can come up
with a clear and definitive statement of what happened and what went wrong:
this is a deliberately mythic encounter, not a question of POW points and
Rune spells and critical hits. :-)

Other stuff:

> I was looking over the Yelmalio cult write up. One geas is, "Do not speak
> or help an Orlanthi." However, Yelmalio is supposed to be the only fire/
> sky/light god/dess that the Orlanthi worship. Has anyone dealt with this
> in their campaign?

Not in my campaign, but you'll note that *most* Yelmalions *don't* have
this geas, and can get along just fine with Orlanthi (if they want to).
Only a few have taken on this religious duty of refraining from helping
Orlanthi *even if* they would otherwise want to do so, out of loyalty to
their Fiery origins.

Follow-on question: if a Light Son orders his hundred troops to help an
Orlanthi village, and one of them has this geas, how does he reconcile the
military need to obey orders with the divine prohibition? Would you expect
him to go immediately to the commander and say why he can't help? And what

would the commander's reaction most likely be? (Especially if in a
stressful situatuon)? I don't think a Templar would "quietly disobey" (do

nothing, in defiance of orders), but I'd be interested to hear how other
GMs and players would resolve this situation. Is "Sorry, Sir, but I can't
do that: I have a geas!" something you'd often hear from the ranks of the
Sun Dome Templars?



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