Heler.

From: Simon Bray (101635.32@compuserve.com)
Date: Tue 05 May 1998 - 19:57:20 EEST


Hi All,

 I am really inclined to agree with those people who suggest that Heler is
an minor or insignificant god of the Mermen. It also depends on who you are
talking about when you say 'mermen'. It should be remembered that there are
more than one group of these creatures, and that they have a massive
distribution across Glorantha's oceans.

 1) The Ludoch - These people have the closest relationship with humans.
They may find Heler useful as a go between
deity with human races. I like to think that they perceive rain as the
union of storm and ocean, Heler sends forth
his bounty to assist Magasta in filling the 'Void'. He is
                                also the Father of Undines. However I do
not think that they would worship Heler as a 'War
     God', what power of destruction does rain have when compared to the
power of a tidal wave? I think Wachaza,
Magasta and the local sea deity (eg Choralinthor) provide for the ludoch's
                              military needs.

 2) The Malasp - These are the most commonly encountered 'enemy' merman.
Heler is of no use to them
                              against terrestial foes like humans. I cannot
picture Terthinus the Deep, tyrant of the
              Dasthomo Sea using the power of rain to extort his tributes
from the Umathelans and
Fonritans. I think that Magasta reigns supreme amongst these people.

 3) The Ouori - The freezing waters of the Western and Banthe Oceans
lead me to believe that these people
                              do not have contact with the rain god. In
fact if they did commune with a 'storm' god then it
                              is more likely to be Valind, but I doubt
this. I think gods like King Undine, Triolina and their
                  founder Por Jans have most to offer these people. Heler
may be viewed as the Father of
Undines, but little else. Their isolation and timid nature does not
suggest any warrior leanings.

 4) Zabdamar - Again the environment of these creatures in the Sea of Fog
leads me to believe that Heler
                              has no social position in their mythology.
Iphara is their connection with the air.

 5) Dwerulan - These creatures barely hang onto the calim to be mermen at
all. They worship primitive
                             and slimey deities such as Swems and the Leech
God. Yeeuch!

 6) Ysabbau & Gnydron - These dwellers of the deep worship great and
hideous sea gods, such as Zaramaka
                              Daliath and Magasta. What need have these of
the feeble god of rain, who is entrapped in the
                              sky.

 I have been working for sometime on the Rightarm Archipelago (with Duncan
Rowlands and Martin Hawley). In our mythology Heler does appear as a god of
the Pelaskans, but only a minor one. They too know that he is weak compared
to the ocean gods, but thank him for the life giving water he brings to
their islands. He is not venerated as a martial deity except amongst those
who are to weak willed to worship the war gods of the ocean. However the
unwarlike Pelaskans rarely invoke the sea gods, they are just too
frightening! The Ludoch of Choralinthor Bay worship Magasta as the Father
King , Wachaza as the Warrior, Triolina as the Mother Ocean, Choralinthor
as the Provider and Diendimos as the Founder - If I remember correctly.

 I think that Heler had his greatest moment of martial prowess when he lead
the invasion of Umathela, but Dave Dunham can tell you more about that than
me.

Cheers Simon.

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