Orlanth in Vithela

From: Nils Weinander <nils_w_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 13:17:18 +0100

Chris Bell:
> > That said, I think it would be more difficult for a
> > band of shipwrecked Orlanthi to heroquest from a
> > Vithelan island than from back home (no familiar
> > world mountain nearby etc.).
> I would say more difficult, but I'd like to think that
> one would appear in a corresponding area
> in the God World, that corresponds to *how your
> mythology views it.* For example, say an Orlanth
> Adventurous warband dedicated to the Destor
> the Explorer subcult (I got Thunder Rebels, yeah!)
> is stranded on an island with no way home, but their
> Godi has his cart. They decided to try to make their
> way across the quavering realms of myth. If they cross
> over on said Island, they'll appear in the local mythic
> geography of the Island, but they'll appear as Orlanth
> and his warband, with roles chosen as part of their
> crossing over ceremony.

I think this depends on what ceremony they use. If they do a normal ceremony of a well known hero quest I think will find themselves in Orlanth's realm, as usual for that quest, after a higher difficulty getting through.

However, if they improvise a new ceremony, incorporating the local setting, what you suggest above could happen. (And this is of course a mighty cool scenario idea for powerful heroes).

> They may either land smack
> in the middle of some freaky, unremembered mythic event
> about the adventures of young Orlanth and his companions
> in Vithela, or be creating their own new myth -
> essentially, experimental Heroquesting - very dangerous
> and very profitable.

Probably the former. I don't think you can accidentally create new myths.

> The most stupendous success of this is most likely
> the creation of the Red Goddess, a composite being
> which incorporates mythic entities from many cultures

One could argue that the Red Goddess herself isn't the composite, it's her cult(s) that is/are.

> > Absolutely, and the more foreign the culture/mythology
> > (Orlanthi-Vithelan), the more difficult and dangerous
> > it is.
> Yup, and the more impressive the results. Imagine the Orlanth priest
> who dispels Lunar Magic with a mystic counter? "The Wise Man
> of the Islands taught me the secret of the 8th Silence Wind!"

Another very enticing idea!

> > That last part indicates a problem both with building
> > an Orlanthi temple in the East Isles and with travelling
> > from Orlanth's realm in the Otherworld to Vith's realm:
> > in the East Isles/Vith's realm, Orlanth is not known as
> > Orlanth, the king of the gods, but as Serakaru, the nasty
> > typhoon antigod.
> I don't think that Gloranthan mythology is that objective. Orlanth
> worship is known world wide in Glorantha - he's worshipped not only
> across Genertela, but also in Jrustela and Pamaltela (Umathela and other
> nations, although not nearly as dominantly as in Genertela.)

> That said, if, say, a group of Orlanthi colonists were to migrate to the
> East Isles,
> they would take their Lightrbringer mythology with them, but as generations
> would pass their mythology would change somewhat to adapt to the myths of
> the
> peoples around them. Serakaru would either maintain his own identity in the
> myths of the expatriates, being seen as a child of Magasta and Brastalos, or
> perhaps be seen as a cognate of Vadrus. In the course of heroquesting
> and worship, the core Lightbringer myths would be seen with local eyes.
> Local Orlanthi would no doubt also honor the local gods and myths, while
> continuing to
> honor Orlanth as King of the Gods and ruler of the world. Probably a new
> cycle of local
> myths would emerge that detail Orlanth's adventures in the east isles,
> including many
> battles with local sea deities.

> Of course, this doesn't mean that native to the area have to acknowledge
> the mythology of the new settlers at all. As the Praxian nomads regard
> Yelmalio as a foreign interloper spirit, and call Orlanth "Little Brother"
> to
> the mighty Storm Bull, I'm sure that native East Islanders would regard the
> Storm Gods as merely foreign interloper gods (or perhaps new friends.)
> But they wouldn't change their own myths to accomodate them, but may find
> explanations for the new deities in their own myths.

That is actually what I meant with "problem": that it is difficult to establish your mythology in a foreign environment. I think it works like you describe it, the foreigners create their own mythic enclave. There will likely be more seepage from the local mythology (Vithelan) into the foreign one (Orlanthi), but if the colonists are successful, the natives will reinterpret some of their myths to make place for the foreign gods.

Nils Weinander
The world is a beautiful place and it's worth fighting for

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