Clunky Balazar

From: Oliver Bernuetz <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 15:03:07 -0600

Keith Nellist

>>I really cannot see how the citadels would be able to maintain a
>>separate culture from the animist Balazaring hunters.

Peter Metcalfe

>IMO they do so with the same difficulty that the Theistic Orlanthi
>maintain animist Kolati. The key thing is the Votanki traditions
>are no good for living in a city while the Theistic traditions are
>useless for living in the wilds. Turning Yelmalio into a misapplied
>religion does nothing to alter this.

Hmm, true to a point but the difference is that Kolat is a cult for marginalized outsiders while the Votanki traditions were the dominant belief system in Balazar at the time and still are.


>>A valid point however in the Balazaring case the body of followers
>>drawn from was only a small percentage of the Votankiland population
>>rather than a big part of the main culture like in Prax so the >>impact
>>could have been much more severe.

>It could have been. OTOH I just don't see Balazar as having the
>infrastructure to take away most of his able bodied men with him
>even if they wanted to.

If it was seen as a last chance to get back at the remnants/causes of the EWF the Votanki and Balazar's followers might have seen it as cause big enough to take pretty much every able bodied fighter especially since he had pacified the region.

>The Pelorian swine goddess is VergEnari. However there's some
>weird pelandan connection about her and it might have been
>unacceptable to Balazar. Goats would have been more practical
>as there's a goat goddess, Uryarda, who is worshipped by the
>Kostaddi, a related people to the Votanki. Why they weren't
>taken is a good question and one I don't have an answer for.

Interesting. Maybe that suggests that Balazar did steal/obtain the Votanki swine god/spirit.

>Mereran is a goddess (she's mentioned in Anaxial's Roster p33)
>and be found on the god plane, not the spirit plane.

Doesn't mean there isn't a great hawk spirit as well though.

Me again
>>I agree that it creates headaches however I think your colonization
>> >>approach creates the following problems instead.

>>1) Instead of having the citadel dwellers being an offshoot of the
>> >>Votanki, sharing common beliefs, forms of worship, etc. they're now
>> >>aliens living in Balazar.

>The same could be said for Balazar yet the locals accepted him. In
>any case, the Votanki do have a mythology of contacts with and
>acceptance of city-dwelling sun worshippers. They provided the
>zarkosite troops (savage slingers) for the Emperors of Dara Happa.
>Balazar's presence is a particularly benign form as he doesn't
>enslave them as the Dara Happans did.

There's some evidence in GM that Balazar went out of his way to be accepted.   He did end up fathering his children on a local nature spirit. I didn't know the other information though it seems odd since they don't use slings.

>If you really want the Votanki to be the same "culture" as the
>Balazarings, then a solution might be to make the Votanki
>theists instead of animists and interpret any reference to
>'spirits' as daimones (although there still would be shamans
>among them as there are among the Orlanthi). Some support for
>this is in the sources as their leonine patron, Durbaddath,
>(now worshipped only in Carmania) is a god. But this kind of
>reeks of the same clunkiness that I was gripping about before
>in the misapplied worship solution so I'm iffy about it.

The biggest problem I see is that for the Votanki to give up their traditional beliefs and becoming theists they are severing their connections to their ancestors. A pretty serious thing to do. That's why I think the agreed clunkiness of making Tharkantus misapplied worship is clunky in the right direction. The Votanki can accept him easier, Balazar can join their family and teach the people the skills needed to live in citadels. In fact when I was writing up my HW keywords for Balazar I said that Balazar was the one who taught the Votanki to live in citadels. It's through his worship and memory that the necessary skills are passed down.

I just can't see one of the two groups being theists and one animists. It would result in such a different dynamic than you get from GM. Changing the Votanki to theists strikes me as being way more clunky than making Tharkantus the subject of misapplied worship.

>Since Balazar's unification vanished with him, I really don't see
>him as a uniter. And colonization need not come about as a result
>of conquest - Balazar was there to fight trolls and the Votanki
>would have appreciated him for that.

True, he failed at quite a few things but I think that he really became a key part of their culture. he taught them how to live in the citadels and the arts of war that helped them against the trolls.

Oliver Bernuetz

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