Ernalda, childbirth

From: Jane Williams (
Date: Tue 06 Jan 1998 - 01:29:47 EET

Last post on this for a bit: I'm off on holiday.

Jon Thorvaldson said:
> I was more after things like:
- - -What sort of rituals or suchlike does a woman do when she wants a
- - -What is done to ensure a healthy child?
- - -What is done to ensure that she/they survives the birth?
I like to think that in Glorantha the ritual and the mundane go very
closely together. So, for Sartarite Orlanthi and similar:

1) Reenact the mating of Orlanth and Ernalda. Or at least, someone and
2) Rituals carried out each day of the pregnancy to ensure the child is
associated with Ernalda's bounty: the right foods, that sort of thing.
Which foods are the right ones is determined by the mother, in prayer to
Ernalda. And no arguments with whatever she and Ernalda decide, no matter
how odd it may be: perhaps the stranger requirements are seen as a test
of the man's ability to provide. Do they determine the child's geases at
Lee, in a private email, suggested that my "healing of defects" should be
the result of care throughout the pregnancy. This would fit in at this
point, though I'm not too sure of the rituals required. Something to say
"look, kid, this is what you should be like", effectively.

3) As with any other HQ being undertaken by an initiate, the presence of
a priestess to guide and support the quester, especially at critical
points. Quite what form this takes I'm not sure, apart from the obvious
medical precautions. Some sort of warding against malign influences, of
course. RW practices have included making sure nothing in the same room

as the mother is knotted or held together: all laces undone, all belts
undone, hair unbraided. Apparently knots make labour last longer.

Any more use?

On trollkin, TRotsky said:
> Trollkin are IMO handicapped trolls (premature births, actually) so far as
Uz are concerned.
Premature births? That could explain a lot. So the problem isn't the form
of the child at all but its state of development: it might be fine if it
could just stay put a bit longer. Is this the case, though? I thought
trollkin were more likely to be multiple births than trolls, as well as
being smaller? That would seem to indicate something more seriously wrong
than an inability to carry to term.
A thought: that sounds rather similiar to the effects of modern fertility
drugs. Sextuplets, all undersized, that sort of thing. Has KL been cursed
with too much fertility, rather than too little?

James Frusetta said:
> If Gloranthans see birth defects as the result of Bad Doings on the
> spirit plane, then Ernaldan Eugenics would work fine -- as long as the
> spirits responsible aren't too tough.
Thanks: of course that's where the problem comes from! What else could
it be? Yet another reason to ensure proper spiritual care during
pregnancy. (You know those female PCs who run around dungeons until about
10 min. before giving birth? They're really asking for trouble!)

Now, why in that case should a handicapped child be regarded as
"special"? Perhaps if it actually beat a spirit by itself and captured
the spirit's "gift"? So the kid may have a club foot, but he also has high
POW, and, should he choose to develop it, the ability to make other
people lame. Special, but slightly feared, too. And the first
scapegoat if things go wrong.

Again, this takes things away from the RW: perhaps this is merely what
some Gloranthans believe rather than what really happens. Depends on how
magical/mythical you want your Glorantha, really.

Danny Bourne:
> .. the three owners of Gimpy's are all missing parts of their legs,
> okay so it's not a birth defect, but it's still a handicap.
But a tad difficult to cure at birth, which is what we were discussing.

> There's also an NPC in the Grazepak ....
What is a "Grazepak"? Where do I get one?

> ... an 85 year old NPC with alzheimers & senile dementia borders on the
> tasteless.
Does it? It sounds merely realistic to me: well, if you think Gloranthans
living to 85 in any state of health is realistic. You don't have to go
into details about their personal hygiene problems, after all. Now, that
*would* be tasteless.

Jane Williams


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