Re: Yolanela; Esrolites; Guilds; Prisons

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Mon 23 Feb 1998 - 15:11:36 EET

David D. continues the thread...

> She remembers *someone* named Saranesh, who is more likely her
> husband, the former count. (Nick could no doubt confirm this.)

Nick will do no such thing. She remembers what happened to Sarenesh,
Emperor of Dara Happa, father of the Three Brothers who Divided the
World. If I were ever about to invade my homeland, I'd remember what
happened when Caesar crossed the Rubicon. It doesn't mean I was there!

> I'm quite certain that not all immortals are Brithini.

Me too. I think this is part of the rhetorical exuberance of the recent,
unlamented Joerg vs. Peter Rule-3-Violation-fest. Which is where Peter's
contention that Yolanela is immortal (or very, very old indeed) came

> Long life or immortality is frequently associated with Gloranthan heroe=

I would suggets that this is sometimes erroneous. A hero today acts like
someone from our legendary past? "Argrath/Arkat/Alakoring has returned!"
Very galling, if it happens to be you...

Peter writes:

> Would you believe he was saying something completely different in =

> an off-line conservation nearly two or so years back? I just hate =

> it when I'm stabbed in the back...

IIRC, I was responding to Peter's suggestion that Yolanela be immortal,
or immortally-replicating-in-her-descendents, by saying that we had
enough examples of this in Glorantha anyway. Having her be heir to the
traditions of Spolite Witchery was IMO more fun. Sadly, I cannot find
the meaty parts of the discussion in my software-scragged archives...
save for this:

: I don't think Yolanela is "eternally old," unless you live in the
: eternal present. She may be older than she has any right to be, but
: that's not the same thing at all.

IMO, a reference to Immortality spells (etc.).

____ _______
Jeff "insert nickname here" Richard writes that the Esrolites:

> Hold Orlanth as their storm god;

Agreed, up to a point. A male deity the Orlanthi would recognise as an
emasculated and enfeebled version of their own proud warrior-stormgod
is worshipped in Esrolia. He is not a sovereign deity, and the Esrolites
proffer equal amounts of worship to gods of the rivers, the darkness,
and the sun. Outlanders think of these as "River God/Magasta", "Argan
Argar" and "Yelm/Yelmalio/Elmal" cults, respectively. But the cult write-=

ups are all wrong...

> Acknowledge Orlanth & his six companions as the Lightbringers;

In my subversive way, I would rephrase this: "acknowledge the Seven
Lightbringers". I am not sure the Esrolites would agree that Orlanth
was the "leader" of the LBQ. I am not sure they think he is present
for any other reason than that, as the "typical bloke" who slew the
Sun God in his jealous and possessive desire for Esrola, his presence
in Hell is required to heal the world and bring back the Springtime.

I agree, of course, that the Esrolites are familiar with the LBQ myth.
I do not think it is overwhelmingly important to them, such as to propel
the local "Orlanth" cult into a superior position vis a vis the other
Husband-Cults of Esrolia. (Because that would be boring). Rather, the

Esrolites IMG would look at the whole Orlanth vs. Yelm rivalry as an
example of how "typical" male behaviour (violence, aggression, jealousy)
screwed up the Perfect World, and how, when the Earth Goddess Herself
called them to Hell to make things better, the world today was reborn.

The main action of the Esrolite end-of-Godtime myth, IMO, would be the
descent of Esrola into the Underworld to retrieve her daughter-goddess,
abducted by the King of Night; in the course of which she does a deal
with her shadow-self, the Queen of Hell (TKT), and creates the modern
Cycle of Seasons. In payment for the deal, her own first husband is left
permanently dead in Hell, as TKT's consort. Inspirations: Inanna, Eresh-
kigal and Dumuzi; Demeter, Persephone and Hades.

Yes, the Lightbringers journeyed long and hard to be in Hell for the
Mending of the World -- but that's not the important part of what's
going on. For the Esrolites, of course, Esrola saved the world. She is
why they are. IYSWIM.

BTW, I am happy with the Orlanthi/Heortling/antiquarian use of the word
"Esrolvuli", but truly hope it doesn't catch on!

I feel "Gods of Glorantha" sadly misrepresented the uniqueness of the
Esrolite Earth Pantheon, showing it as an incorporated part of the
Orlanthi Pantheon rather than a distinctive tradition in its own right.
(do I mean rite?). While I agree with the outline of what Jeff is saying,=

I feel obliged to quibble with the details. If Esrolia turns into "an
Orlanthi country except with the women and goddesses on top", why bother?=

Richard asks:

> RQ2 had a section on Alchemists Guild, Free Sages, Thieve's Guild,
> Horsemasters Guild, and so on. RQ3 doesn't.

The guilds in RQ2 were a mechanism for buying skill training, but
their role was largely subsumed by cults after CoP came out, and
rendered unnecessary by RQ3's skill increase rules (where you can
teach a skill to someone who's worse at it than you, no guilds
required). At that point, guilds drop out of the rules and into
the world background, where they should always have been.

> What is the situation with guilds in Glorantha?

Guilds can be found in more civilised, urbanised regions, including
the city of Pavis, the cities of Sartar (perhaps "Old Sartar", i.e.
not including Alda-Chur), presumably Heortland, and the more advanced
parts of the West (outside Seshnela, where they are frequently squished:
upstart peasants!). In Safelster, the guilds can be very powerful. In
Jonatela, trying to set up a guild is extremely dangerous. And so on.

There are unlikely to be any "world-wide" guilds, because it's a silly

Alchemists -- nice if you can find one. Unusual, though: much rarer
than in RQ2 (Blade Venom everywhere!). Try a Sorcerer, Mostali, or
Lhankor Mhy. Don't expect to be taught how to do the things that are
their livelihood!

Free Sages -- try Lhankor Mhy or a Sorcerer.

Thieves' Guild -- scrapped (too silly for words). Join Lanbril, if
you can find his cult, and if they don't rob you blind.

Horsemasters Guild -- talk to someone who's good with horses. Elmal
cult, too, wherever you can find it these days.

> In particular, I'm interested in Alchemists, since I seem to remember
> from my RQ2 days that carrying a few antidotes around was a pretty
> good idea. Also, I've seen some stuff about Herbalism, and I'm
> wondering how that might tie up with the Alchemists.

I recommend you use specific herbs rather than alchemical recipies for
your handy antidotes. Best thing about herbs is that PCs can't complain

when they can't find them -- and they can go off, too. I dislike "one
vial Scorpion Antidote POT 10, one vial Spider Antidote POT 10" lists
of carried items: far from interesting! Rather, if you're about to go
up against Scorpion Men, look for a yellowberry bush...

> I've also just read in a couple of places about a Sun County prison.
> I must admit this was a new idea for me - I didn't think the concept
> of incarcerating criminals existed in Glorantha.

The Sun County prison is the salt mine at Pent Ridge. If you go there,
you've effectively been made into a mining slave, and your life expec-
tancy and creature comforts are slim. You don't get time off for good
behaviour. This is hardly "incarceration" -- it's forced enslavement
and a lifetime of hard labour.

The cult of Danfive Xaron opens the doors of its temples, known as
Penitentiaries, to anyone who wishes to atone for their crimes. Nobody
can make you enter (though the alternatives, usually including creative
use of edged, pointed and heated implements, are commonly worse); they
offer sanctuary and rebirth to criminals who repent of their wrongdoing
and are willing to learn the Sevenfold Path to the Righteous Life. See
the full cult writeup in Tales #16 for more details. This is a bizarre
and unusual thing to Gloranthans -- the Lunars actually believe in the
reformative, redemptive power of imprisonment.

> Why do people end up in prison rather than strangled, mutilated,
> executed, or whatever?

In Sun County, because the Count makes money out of the salt mines, and
no sane person would want to work there, so he has to get slaves to do
it -- and criminals will do as well as anybody, and cheaper than most.

In the Lunar Empire, because the Lunar Way is to Heal the World, mending
all its defective parts (e.g. criminals, barbarians, naughty storm gods).=

In her infinite mercy and compassion, our beloved Red Goddess has opened
a path to salvation and redemption for even the most abject sinners. And
Danfive Xaron, the Bridge for the Seeker, is the master of that route.
(And if you don't like it, you can always be strangled, mutilated, execu-=

ted, or whatever, under old Dara Happan, Carmanian, Pelandan, etc. laws).=

Yes, Danfive Xaron is a "Thieves' Cult" -- there are lots of thieves in
the Empire's Penitentiaries, and more are always welcome to join!



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