From: Pam Carlson (
Date: Tue 21 Sep 1999 - 09:12:10 EEST

Paul Anderson has some good ideas on Earth-based adventurers, with wandering
Baarntari and Babeester Gori(tes?)

But - (here's where I get on my "farmer" soapbox!)

"young Theyalans choose between the Way of
>Orlanth and the Way of Ernalda, between male-stereotype and
>female-stereotype careers. Roughly half of them choose each way; 85% or so
>in accordance with their sex, but not all. Most of the exceptions follow a
>special talent, like Geo's cooking or Griselda's theft and manslaying. This
>choice must be substantially free ("No-one can make me do anything!"); so
>the attractions, the day-dreams, must be about equal on either side.

I don't think that many Gloranthans hang around and wonder "wwhat their
career paths will be". That choice seems to be a product of modern (mostly
Western) life. People in Glorantha, much like people throughout history,
probably expect to do whatever their parents do. I doubt many people

think:"gosh - I'll be a thief, I think, so I'd better worship Lanbril"...
More likely, a normal person falls on desperate times, turns to thievry, and
Lanbril finds the adventurer. I'll bet Griselda started life as a farmgirl
on a nice stead someplace, and suffered a series of events that led her to
her unusual skills. Or possibly she grew up as an urban waif.

The 15% of people who follow unusual deities are all those that follow
anyone but Orlanth and Ernalda. Thus, that 15% consisits of all the
Humakti, Issaries types (many of which are women), Lankhor Mhy sages,
Babeester Gori, etc.

>Now the Way of Orlanth offers, as possible prizes, Orlanth's crown,
>Issaries' wealth, LM's knowledge, Humakt's renown, Lambril's booty.
>(Eurmal's fun??)

Ermal is a complex deity. Eurmali are feared and despised because they
live outside the law, but they are often needed as literal scapegoats.

Ermali can publically serve as sin eaters or as court jesters. All other
aspects usually are very hidden.

>The Way of Ernalda offers the honors of Chalana Arroy, the matronly dignity
>of Ernalda, the pleasures of Uleria. Is this list equal? If not, what else
>is there?

Ernalda is the spiritual earth, the source of life, the mystery of
womanhood. ALL woman initiate to Ernalda (or their local equivalent) -
that's what makes them adult women. (They may also initiate to other
deities - like Issaries.) This is what ties the fabric of society together.

Sure, the men wave their little spears and bellow importantly, summoning
storms, fire, or other trifles. But in the end it's the Ernaldans who run
the agrarian economies and power the magics that feed everyone. Woman also
represent a powerful political force in most Gloranthan cultures -
particularly among the Orlanthi.

Think of the words of a chief of the Six Nations in the NE US & SE Canada:
(Really - I saw it on a documentary!). He said - "A couple (from one of the
Six Nations tribes) is happy if they have a boy OR a girl. If they have a
boy, the family gains a lacrosse player. It they have a girl, the family
gains a politician."

As adventurers, Ernaldans aren't great at hacking and slashing. But they
can see spirits, support fighters, heal people, figure things out, gain the
trust of others, etc. Most importantly, they can often see things from a
different point of view from the men.

All IMO.



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