Theyalan Exegesis

From: Joerg Baumgartner <>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 13:58:23 CET

I defined Theyalan as meaning "from the Dawn Council", not "Orlanthi". Peter takes an exception, claiming that I mean "Orlanthi" when I say Theyalan. To repeat, I don't mean Orlanthi.

>>>You are wrong in your use of Theyalan, both in meaning and

>>Not at all. I would have said Heortling or Orlanthi
>>if I meant those. Give me a good one word adjective
>>for members of the culture the Unity Council created
>>at the Dawn, and I'll use that, otherwise that's "Theyalan".

>The Unity Council created no culture. It was an alliance of
>several cultures. An elf or dwarf or troll cannot be a theyalan
>or even have the same culture as the humans.

The Dara Happan metropoleis Yuthuppa, Raibanth and Alkoth share the Dara Happan culture, no? Each of the cities had its own peculiarities, but things like artistic style, methods of agriculture, roofbuilding, Lodrili sacrifices, Dendaran dances did not vary too much between cities. Ok, Alkoth has its share of clubs, skull symbols (and the actual things) you won't find at any corner in Raibanth or Yuthuppa, but you can't claim that Alkoth culture has nothing to do with Raibanth culture.

The Theyalan Dawn culture is much the same. Less urban, but with a whole lot more of common traits than differences. Cultivation of these differences within the common truth was part of this culture, or the Aramites would have been assimilated within 20 years of Aram's death.

And if my use of Theyalan for Caladralanders, Rightarm Islanders and Esrolians is wrong, then Genertela Book p.45 is wrong in this case. Maniria as a total (with Dragon Pass treated separately) is described as having Theyalan culture, not Orlanthi. The Lunar provinces are named Orlanthi, except for the eastern provinces. I find a consistent use of both terms here. But that may be hobgoblins to you...

>>Human Theyalan culture includes Esrolia (not any more Heortling),
>>Islanders, and Caladrans. To call all of these "Orlanthi" is more
>>than to call them Dawn People...

>Why not simply bite the bullet and admit that the Esrolians and
>Caladranders are no longer Orlanthi?

They still are members of the Theyalan culture, though. They have the same religious background as the Orlanthi to their admittedly very variant main deities. Esrolian notions of Aldrya or Issaries don't differ much from Heortlander notions.

>I believe the Aramites are still Orlanthi worshippers in
>the first age but have ceased to do so when they interbred
>with Uz to become the Tusk Riders.

I believe that their earth worship was predominant, and made them distinctly non-Heortling. Their manhood rituals may have invoked Orlanth, but wouldn't necessarily make Orlanth the main model for manhood.

This means that the Orlanthi had no representative out of their own ranks on the Dawn Council (I doubt Aram was descended from the Vingkotlings, and I find the Haranding claims to descent from the same Orlanth Vingkot claims as his father rather weak - by this definition the Slontoli are Orlanht-descended as well). When they finally had a representative, that ended up to be Lokamayadon.

>>>'Theyalan' has consistently been used to refer to the ancient
>>>culture in whatever sources we have whether in KoS or G:CotHW.

>>Check it, please. Especially Genertela Book p.45 (Culture) and
>>Players Book p.15 which applies "Orlanthi" to Esrolia and Caladraland.
>>Not all Theyalans are Orlanthi, let alone Heortlings.

>The Orlanthi themselves have a consistent usage for Theyalans
>to wit:

: 'After the first sunrise the whole world lived in harmony.
: The People who were present at the first Dawn were so overjoyed
: at the success of their gods that they joined together into
: the Theyalan Council, named after Theya, Goddess of the Dawn.
: For many years they spread throughout the mortal world,
: bringing news of their gods to people who were still in hiding.

: After many years they had discovered many peoples, and
: especially one whch claimed they did not owe friendship
: to Orlanth, or to his people.'
: KoS p91.

Thanks for typing in the quote. I feel that it supports my position perfectly. The first paragraph doesn't even mention Orlanth. The second paragraph deals with the effects of the Lightbringers' Quest on all of the Theyalan peoples, human and nonhuman, Orlanthi and others, or rather the lack of it in one of the peoples they encountered - to wit, the Dara Happan horse lords.

"Friendship to Orlanth" - this can be found in Esrolia, and (to a lesser extent) in Caladraland as well. Even the Praxians profess tolerance towards Orlanth, some even worship him.

>It seems the Theyalan council is not the World Council but a
>subsidary council composed of the Heortling tribes.

Peter, you seem to be blind to the fact that only half of the human nations (or rather tribes, back then) belonging to the Council in the first century were Orlanthi, and since Esrolia belonged to the other half, less than half their number.

The settlers of Dorastor display lots of traits I wouldn't expect from traditional Heortlings, and I think that at least some of them were surplus population from Esrolia.

: 'In ancient times, approximately from 575 to 1042 lived a
: people who were friends with dragons and draconic kin.  No
: one before them had done this (except the Theyalans who
: were friends with everyone and so did not last too long).'
: KoS p180

The quote above distances the Orlanthi from the populace of the EWF. Which would make me wonder where the Orlanthi lived during EWF times if I didn't know that the Orlanthi became part of the EWF (though not the only one, once again...).

Speaking of the EWF, it appears that Greatway was at least an EWF ally, and the elves started out as members as well. The local trolls proved some opposition on the outset, but towards the end they seem to have been close allies, if not members. (How else could the Aramite EWF members become half-trolls?)

Transracial cultures are not unknown in and around Dragon Pass. They aren't too stable, but the Theyalan culture took 375 years to fall apart, and can be regarded as the most successful example.

: 'The Theyalans recognized that Yelm, the Dara Happan Great
: God, was the manifestation of their own Emperor, an enemy
: of Orlanth.  The Orlanthi also realized that Yelm was also
: the sun god.'
: KoS p196

Meaning that this Orlanthi myth had insinuated itself into the religions of the other Theyalan peoples, like the Caladralanders.

>Thus Theyalans = Dawn Age Heortlings from the viewpoint
>of a lot of modern Orlanthi.

And that's the wisdom of the world? The truth for the Safelstrans?

I don't know how to type the logical symbol for "subtotal of", but that's what these texts _really_ say. Esrolite, even Islander sources would use "we" for the Theyalan civilisation as well.

The Kitori are, and have always been (when they were around) a Theyalan tribe. I wouldn't call them Heortlings, and Orlanthi only with some difficulty, but they clearly are Theyalans.

>Looking at the Genertela: Players Book:

: 'The barbarians of Glorantha are mostly of the _Theyalan_ : culture.

"are mostly of the Theyalan culture", not "comprise the entirety of Theyalan culture" or any weaker form of that.

: The name was given by the God Learners and was
: taken from the native name for the Goddess of the Dawn,
: Theya, because the SEMINAL (My Caps - PHM) culture was
: important in the Dawn Age.'
: Genertela Player's Book p13.

>The God Learners acknowledge that there was a specific
>culture in the first age

Which is the time we were discussing when you argued against my use of the term, right?

>and use the term to refer to a _class_ of related cultures.

Like Yuthuppa, Alkoth and Raibanth, a class of related cultures making up the Dara Happan culture. Doh.

>>And that's only 3rd Age use, when the original
>>meaning has been largely forgotten.

>And you were using it to refer to Elves in the First Age! Thus
>you were using it _wrongly_ in _meaning_.

You seem to choose to forget that in the lands of the Council of World Friends the various races and nations interchanged a lot of their culture. Zorak Zoran became the chief wargod of the council when it began to change its character, but this chief wargod was followed by human warriors not just of the Kitori tribe, but by Heortlings involved in fighting the Dara Happan horselords as well.

The Aldryami were big into the fertility rites of the worshippers of Esrola/Ernalda, and vice versa. They still keep this connection, allowing even Praxian cow-mother initiates as associates into their vegetarian ceremonies. The female culture shares _much_ of the aldryami mysteries and insights, and the reverse can be said as well. So, I can differentiate between Theyalan elves - who have had intimate contact with these human cults and cultures, or have been contacted by Theyalan elves - and non-Theyalan elves, like those of Kralorela.

I do admit that in the context with elves, Theyalan doesn't mean "a human belonging to the Dawn Age culture of Maniria and Kerofinela, or later expansions".

Joerg Baumgartner (via Hotmail)

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