Swapping women ?!?

From: Oliver Bernuetz <oliver_bernuetz_at_hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2001 21:37:07 -0600

Jane Williams wonders about the introduction of Yemalio to Balazar. According to Griffin Mountain the cult of Yemalio was introduced to the region then known as the Elder Wilds or Votankiland by the hero Balazar who arrived there in 1082 ST. He's supposed to have come from Vanch originally.   Interesting enough the EWF was active in the region as far back as 721 so their missionaries could have been spreading solar/draconic worship in the area. The Votanki were part of the EWF from this date until the EWF was finally destroyed. They weren't always a keen part but they were part. The timeline on my web site confirms to the official line for that period.


There's no indication that the Votanki picked up any religon from them though and Griffin Mountain is pretty clear that it wasn't until Balazar arrived 40 years after their eradication that they worshipped Yemalio.

John Hughes wonders about swapping women. (Thanks for the nice words).

>>Fear of gender - They recognize three genders actually. Men,
>> women and shamans.

>I'm intrigued.:) What's a swapping woman? Are there non-swapping women?

Oops that was supposed to be on a separate line to indicate that the Balazarings don't have any gender swapping fears or prohibitions. Just the three genders, men, women and shamans:->

Peter Metcalfe in response to my assertion that Tharkantus is offered improper worship in Balazar.

>I think he would be worshipped theistically in Balazar. The
>citadel inhabitants are theists.

I don't agree that they're theists. I have a number of reasons why I disagree :

  1. Balazar was in charge for such a brief time (32 years and really he only became leader in 1087) that I don't think he could install wholesale change. (Not that introducing swine agriculture, citadels, and one foreign god wasn't impressive enough).
  2. Again, I believe that all able bodied followers of Tharkantus were in the True Golden Horde and no one was left to keep the religion going in it's original fashion. According to Griffin Mountain (or at least the write-up from the website) :

"The hunter chiefs who tended the children of Balazar raised each according to their own tribal interests, so the three sons were quarrelsome rather than cooperative."

This indicates to me that there weren't many Tharkanti left. It strikes me that Balazar left parenthood a long time to have them still minors in 1120. He already had a history as a great leader in Dara Happan empire so was probably in his early twenties at least (say 21) when he arrived in Votankiland. He was completely in charge by 1089 when he would have been 28. Say his oldest was 10 in 1120, that means he hand't started having kids until he was 39. Kind of old even if it took years for him to court Rigtaina the nymph who was the mother of his children. (I've got a theory for why he took so long but that's completely a figment of my imagination).

3) Tharkantus isn't enough to base a society on. He's only a warrior/light/leadership god and there's no indication in any writings that the other entities the Balazarings worship are theistic in nature. Nor did they adopt any of the standard light pantheon, an earth goddess, etc. Thus I believe that he was changed into a animistic spirit and is offered improper worship. The trappings are certainly still theisic looking but it's pure animism. If every other deity is animistic why would one deity receive theistic worship? It's possible I suppose but the other Balazaring deities are too important to have been discarded and I think it unlikely that they were all converted to theistic gods.

Now I think that Balazar always intended to introduce theism to Votankiland (present day Balazar) but like a lot of things he tried this attempt was thwarted by circumstances beyond his control.

I don't think any of this contradicts any published material and it makes more sense to me this way. But as always YGMV.

Oliver D. Bernuetz

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