Journey of the Blue Wizard

From: Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty (
Date: Sun 04 Sep 1994 - 12:17:40 EEST

Hedderley writes

>All this cult discussion (eg the Vinga thread) seems a bit too PRECISE for my
>taste. We're talking about myths and symbols here, and all this highfalutin'
>theology takes the magic and mystery away.

Hear, hear. This is one of the major reasons that I attempt to identify Antirius as Yelmalio as Elmal (but not Khelmal - after all that's Harald's perogative) or Entekos as Molanni. If we accept that Elmal is a different god from Antirius or Yelmalio, then we have severe problems (IMO) in trying to sort out what happened to the Elmali tribes in the time of King Tarkalor. They 'wished to be able to bring a sunspear from their god'. Since Elmal does not teach fire magics (and is probably not assoicated with Yelm to get the Sun Spear), then what the dissidents are trying to do is to change to another god. To me, this smacks of concious God Learnerism.

What I attempt to do when proposing these (admittedly sometimes convoluted) histories of Antirius/Yelmalio/Elmal is to make them the same god so that struggle was about determining the best way to worship their god. Since this can be still very acrimonious (for example: Martin Luther and Jan Huss's differences with the Catholic church rather than Muhammad's fight with the Unbelievers and Hypocrites of Mecca), the same amount of blood can be shed (or more often exceeded).

IMO, the Elmali dispute was settled by bringing in an Elvish version of the cult that allowed some cult members to cast sun spear (ie High Priest and Light Son) rather than a totally hardline solar cult that allows sun spear to be know by everybody (from Yelm). I suppose the reason why the lunars liked Yelmalio to introduce it into their lands was that they were afraid that the extreme dogmaticism of the Antirius cult would allow for a resurgence in Dara Happan nationalism

>Detailed delineations of the subcults
>and lesser gods in a pantheon might be appropriate for the more regulated/
>sophisticated cultures, but out in Dragon Pass/Prax I wouldn't be surprised
>if I rode into a village and found they were interpreting Vinga or the Garzeen
>aspect of Issaries completely differently

Some aspects of this are noticable on a larger scale in G:CotHW. The cult of the Invisible Orlanth in Carmania and the Cult of Orlanth Victorious in Pavis are part of the Orlanth body of worship but they are quite different. I expect Yelm to be worshipped in some respect in Kralorela but I would not expect it to be worshipped in the same way as in Dara Happa, or even to find a Yelm Imperator there.

>I don't know
>how you'd fit this in with the RULES

My idea would be a liberal helping of subcult. In the Kyger Litor cult writeup (the one in Elder Secrets - the best version <g>) the troll subcults all vary from place to place. Gerak kag is worshipped only in Pavis and Dagori Inkarth. Extending this example to the cult of Orlanth (I have not been speaking about Vinga as I know too little about her to play around with - I prefer lots of contradictory stuff) I could imagine, say, a certain spot where Orlanth gained the sword Death. A shrine there would teach the one-use spell of sever spirit or the strike spell taught by Eurmal the murderer.

Depending on how convienient this Orlanth Deathbringer subcult is, a Wind voice or wind lord might decide to import it back home. Eventually it may spread in which case it could concievably become part of the lexicon of standard Orlanthi spells. On the other hand, CoP implies that the aerial aspect of Orlanth in Prax is minimized in favour of Storm Bull and that Orlanth is primarily known in his adventerous aspect. I would not be surprised if there were some khans in prax who if asked to list the Storm Gods would reply 'Gargrath, Urox and Mistress Calm' and be surprised if told that Orlanth was a more powerful storm god than any in his list.

>Maybe I'm on entirely the wrong track here; maybe in a world like Glorantha
>priests CAN just pray to one of their pantheon and get the inside story on
>whether Vinga is Orlanth's sister (older or younger) or daughter, and whether
>it's more appropriate that you throw great parties or gather in the harvest
>to honour her

Not at all. The only way you find anything out from the gods about the truth in their rituals is thruogh divination. If you have divination 10, that's about 70 words for an answer about the deeper metaphysics of why Orlanth felt it Just to bring back Yelm from the dead. The primary reason would be to make the world a better place and any hint that Yelm's death was unjust would propbaly be the last reason on the list. As for rituals, they're designed to explain certain points about the god to the masses. If Vinga was fond of throwing wild parties and also had a harvest legend about her, then what rituals of her would be played up would depend on the needs of the tribe. If they were fond of drinking at every opportunity, the party aspect would obviously be played up.

Bob writes

>[full description of Horse's descent from Hippogriff deleted]

What really puzzles me is that the Hyalorings are a seperate tribe from the Jenarong Horsefolk. I can understand that the Hyalorings were the closest to the first council and that their myths of the origin of horses would be taken as gospell.

The Dara happan myth is entirely different, given that the Jenarong called the Warlords Gamatae suggests that they were descended from the Nivorahings (Gamatae <-- Gamaratae). Also Jenerong gets the Sandals of Protection from Nivorah which suggests that the Dara happans are correct.

In many ways this begins to parallel all the stories of the creation of man I have seen. The Galanin are descended from Lofak, the Jenarong are from Dara Happa whereas the Hyalorings are from Genert's wasted land. Are there any other sources of horse that we don't know about?


--Peter Metcalfe
From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer) To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest) Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily) Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sun, 04 Sep 1994, part 3 Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 10 Oct 2003 - 01:36:45 EEST