The Esrolvuli

From: Jeff Richard (jrichard@cnw.com)
Date: Sat 21 Feb 1998 - 05:02:45 EET


I am sad to acknowledge that once again I think I disagree with the
extraordinarily learned Killer Kiwi, who wrote:
>>Why not simply bite the bullet and admit that the Esrolians and
>>Caladranders are no longer Orlanthi?

I agree that the Caladralanders are not Orlanthi - but to reprise Shannon,
I don't think they ever were. However, the Esrolvuli cannot help but to
acknowledge Orlanth in two very important roles. First, he is the
Esrolvuli storm god. Second, the Esrolvuli fully acknowledge that Orlanth
and the Lightbringers saved the world by traveling into Hell and returning
with the Sun. This means that the Esrolians are "Orlanthi".

On the other hand, I do not believe that the Esrolvuli are not initiated
into the mysteries of the Second Son, the do not have the Ring of Orlanth
as taught by King Heort, they hold the Earth goddesses to be of more
practical importance than Orlanth & co., and they have a host of OOO
influences. This means that other Orlanthi might not consider the
Esrolvuli to be "proper" Orlanthi or even "Orlanthi".

My English alter-ego, the esteemed Nick Brooke, wrote:
>I would suggest that extrapolating from "stock Orlanthi" to try to
>understand Esrolite society is absurd. My own preferred model for
>the Esrolians would be something nice and archaic: Mesopotamia before
>Kings, Minoan Crete without Minos, the pre-Hellenic Pelasgians, and
>dashes of Egypt for extra flavour. Naturally, other "Land of Women"
>ideas will creep in -- from stock Celtic "Tribes of the Goddess" (I
>suppose this would be the "Orlanthi" view of Esrolia, though it
>doesn't square well with urbanisation) through Maria Gimbutas' fine
>collection of thunder-thighed Venuses of Willendorf (etc.).

I second Nick's suggestions. Esrolia is a matriarchy in the sense that its
rulers are the priestess-queens and their supporters - who IMO have much
more power over the ruled than their Heortling royal counterparts. BTW, an
example of an Esrolian male hero cult is Big Man - an incredibly strong,
hard-working peasant-fellow who was not particularly bright, but didn't
need to be 'cause he was so damn strong. Unlike Heortling heroes, Big Man
was weaponless - his favorite tool was a stone mason's hammer. He wasn't a
great warrior - but boy was he strong.

Finally, I believe that the Esrolians have more-or-less the same sexual
stereotypes as the Heortlings. Woman are the calculating, rational and
long-sighted gender, men are the emotional, passionate and rash gender.
 Following the destruction of the Royal House of the Kodigvari, the
Esrolian Grandmothers sensibly seized power for their own protection. To
the great credit of the Esrolian Grandmothers, although Esrolia may have
been occupied by foreign conquerors, it has been spared the sort of
internecine strife that is the hallmark of the Heortlings.

For what it is worth, Enclosure does have cultural modifiers and starting
skills for Esrolian characters.

Jeff

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