From: Joerg Baumgartner <jorganos_at_hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 12:07:48 +0200

Off for the weekend, and the thread continues.

>The existence of Mraloti hsunchen is canonical (see e.g. the hsunchen
>article on the Issaries website), as is the existence of Malkioni
>worshipping Mraloti.

Yes. And it is as canonical that the people of Slontos worshipped or at least followed the Lifebringers before the Slontos city states accepted Malkionism.

I wanted to point out that the natives of Maniria turned to Lifebringer ways at the same time, and that the western Manirians including the Mraloti were subject to the Lifebringer (i.e. theist) methods during the Dawn Age. The Ramali are mentioned as one of the Entruli tribes.

The hinterland Wenelians and the Mraloti both were subject to Pralori ravages and received First Council aid and influences. Somehow I am astonished that the idea of a similarity between Orlanth the Boar and Mralot due to the conversion efforts of the Lifebringer missionaries should cause so much headache.

>Technically, this doesn't rule out the existence of theist Mraloti, too,
>but I agree with Peter that there's no reason to postulate such.

I don't postulate any extant theist Mraloti. I do postulate that whatever theist Mraloti there were now are called Wenelians, and were known as those Entruli the Lifebringers of the early second century contacted.

Julian Lord give a nice solution to this entire discussion:

>I myself think that the lion subcult must be a son of Orlanth and Hara, but
>this idea of taking extra lion oomf from the old Wenelian Basmoli is great!

>The myth sort of writes itself, so it just has to be true.

>Basmol hurts Orlanth ; Orlanth unhappy and can't do anything about it.

Velhara, Lady of the Wild? Could also have been Basmola, the Lioness goddess (spirit, ?) known further west, if we want a solid spirit-deity mix.

>comes to darling Orlanth in lioness form and says don't worry dear.
>Copulation. Son appears : the Storm Lion, who goes to fight Basmol.
>Succeeds, kills/drives away Basmoli, and steals cool lion powers for the
>Storm Tribe.

>The blue lions of Wenelia appear at the same time. [...]

>The Basmoli themselves tell that the Blue Lion god (Bruhu ?) is a son of
>Basmol and Hara who betrayed his father, joining the enemy Orlanth.

This is close to Peter's proposal of a Yinkin solution.

>>>The [Basmoli] came from Pamaltela, not Seshnela.

>>I'm aware of that. Note that the Pamaltelan Basmoli were last seen in
>>the western Pamaltelan veldt.

>That doesn't indicate anything about whether the Pendali came
>from Prax or vice versa. Migrational routes are often radically
>different from the shortest route and the simple fact that every
>other Pamaltelan came via the east indicates that route was the

I tend to see the Basmoli migration across the sunken lands beneath the Solkathi Sea, and once using that route why not the more direct approach. The eastern route always makes me wonder where the Agimori of Prax bypassed the Jungle or the Green Elf forests of northwestern Pamaltela (including northern Jolar).

Anyway, the Hsunchen migrations predate other migrations by an age, if I recall an evening of looking at Greg's godtime maps at Tentacles '99 correctly (Nils, Erik, Jane - you were there as well IIRC). Different geography, different routes.

All eastern migration had to face considerable obstacles - first the jungle, then Sshorg and/or Raging Sea, then aldryami forest again. The obstacles on the western route may have been as difficult, but different groups may have had different solutions. IIRC the hydrophobe men-and-a-half had a floating island to bridge the gulf, whereas the Blue People of Pamaltela who reached Teshnos, Prax and Slontos were sailors.

>I do not believe that Basmol left Prax for Seshnela and then
>returned. IMO Basmol was killed in Seshnela by Hrestol, in
>Prax by Tada and by other heroes in other places.

It seems like we might be able to agree on an immigration from the south for Prax (much like the Beast Riders are attributed to).

Hrestol did not kill Basmol, but Ifftala, mother of Pendal (by Basmol) and daughter of Seshna Likita.

Unless Greg has revised this, at least the Pendali and the Enerali are the human children of a beast god by a different mother than the beast children in his early western writings. Both Enerali and Pendali claimed ancestry of the land (goddess? spirit?). IMO several other "Hsunchen" peoples of Ralios were similar in this regard.

I read this "second children of X" as the mythic explanation how these peoples shed some of their Hsunchen ways. In the case of the Pendali this apparently was reversible, and the Galanini horse hsunchen of eastern Ralios possibly are a similar example. Modern Safelstran attempts (loons) in this direction aren't to be taken that serious since more ties have been lost, but who knows whether there will be an extraordinary quester in the Hero Wars to make this possible.

>>>Durbaddath then as he is a theistic deity and he does
>>>have a mythic history of rebellion against the Dara Happans
>>>(AR p86) [...].

>>Quite a fun idea. Though Durbaddath is the sun lion, and rumored to be
>>related to the dog gods/spirits of Peloria.

>He rebelled against the Emperor after Urvairinus. One could
>argue that he acquires the Sun affinity in service to the Emperor
>and has other affinities (Storm, Rebel, Wild) in his other roles.

Or what changes adoption as a subcult of the storm god made. This entire subject of foreign deities appearing as subcults of other gods (Mastakos, Yavor Lightning) will reappear, I suppose.

The best test for the various lion hypotheses will be an examination of the lions (extant or historical) found in Maniria. A separate race will point to Julian's thesis, otherwise we will get Basmoli or Durbaddath lions (possibly somewhat changed).

>But Greymane's people are not "right next" to Basim as has been
>pointed out before.

Close enough, especially since the original refuge of the Basmoli was out of the plains and high in the mountains (the Enerali didn't love them any more than the Seshnegi), their hunting grounds will have been on both sides of the Mislari mountains. Hence my opinion that Bastis had to do with lions and Basmol, hence my (unchanged) opinion that Basmoli lions are far closer than Peter will put them.

>Nevertheless we are told in several sources (Glorantha: Intro
>p150, Genertela Book p52, Players Book: Genertela p31, and
>Elder Secrets Book p6) about the Mraloti Hsunchen there with
>nary a hint about their worship of Orlanth Wenelian style.

I never said there were no Mraloti Hsunchen in Maniria. And of course any description of Hsunchen will concentrate on their Hsunchen ways, and not on the renegade peoples which left Hsunchen ways (like their malkionized brethren who receive as nary a hint regarding their religious practices).

Are there Mraloti Hsunchen in Wenelia?

How is the rivalry between Boar Orlanth and the Mraloti deity where Mraloti and Wenelian Orlanthi have contact?

>>There are former Bemuri who now are cattle-herding Orlanthi in Keanos.

>Since they do not worship Bemur theistically, they do not
>engage in theistic worship of the Hsunchen totem. They
>find it much easier to worship Uralda for cattle magics.

Herd increasing fertility usually runs through the female streak, and logically a subcult of Ernalda gets the attention formerly held by their female main spirit, quite probably elevated to a cult in its own right.

The male fertility role will retain bullish traits. Orlanth is sufficiently versatile to embody these IMO. See below Peter's suggestion of a Boar aspect of Orlanth. Much as Peter is uncomfortable in having un-boarish chiefs or lawspeakers among the Wenelians, this is how I feel about un-bullish chiefs or herders among East Ralian cattle-herders. A separate stress on the bull god is fine, but doesn't fill all the roles I'd expect.

>>their totem has become subsumed in their perception of Orlanth.

>It's far more probable that their worship of
>Bemur was transferred to Urox/Storm Bull rather than

IMO it is important such for a conversion to retain significant parts of the initiatory routine to the main deity. Former Bemuri Orlanthi should experience part of their initiation in the bull role. Lion Orlanthi should have a "mandatory" lion experience even when their personal subcult has nothing to do with lions. Sylilans should experience to be the Star Bear.

If this "shove the totem function to a fitting speciality deity" would be the norm, all Enerali-descended Orlanthi of Ralios ought to be Elmali by analogy, since Elmal is the horse-related god.

>>I contend that this totem became their perception of (a subcult of)
>>Orlanth, with a set of affinities duplicating the totem beast's

>A worshipped entity is a real distinct entity in its own right
>and not a matter of perception. When changing pantheons, the
>people do not "create a perception" of their old spirits as a
>god for that is really beyond their powers (the God Learners
>only did it once IIRC).

Maybe that's where we're not talking about the same thing. I'm trying to investigate what happened when the Lifebringer missionaries established the methods of sacrifice among the peoples of the Barbarian Belt. During the Godtime, sacrifice was different, or Hantrafal's discovery during the Darkness and/or Silver Age would have been trivial. The Lifebringers went about the survivors of the Darkness who had made do by whatever magical procedures they had retained or worked up during the bad time, and they sought the similarities and shared secrets (not in the HW mechanistic meaning) between their ways.

In Maniria and Ralios the worship mode appears to have been extremely malleable. I'm rather convinced that whatever the Lifebringer missionaries found when they came here, a lot of the practices were misapplied. To survive the Darkness, people did anything which helped. Lifebringer methods improved their magic, but so did Malkionism.

IMO several Dureving peoples survived by using Hsunchen methods, retaining only a shred of their Orlanthi ways. Their Hsunchen magic may have been more difficult but one does what one must to survive. The Fronelan Orlanthi turning into beasts to avoid the Logician invasion must have appeared as Hsunchen to the invaders.

We don't know the exact background of Pendal, Eneral and a number of other western, Hsunchen-like founders. Is Galanin a horse spirit or a horse god? Is Bemur(ox) a cattle deity or a cattle spirit, regardless what his followers did during the Greater Darkness? The surprising ease with which some of the Ralians were converted to Lifebringer Ways indicates to me that there were some hidden common roots, be they theist entities included in animist practices, or vice versa. Founders of a mixed origin wouldn't make things easier in this discussion.

I like to think that the great western forest had a lot of mixed phenomena. And that this led the Jrusteli to draw some misapplied conclusions in their greater monomyth for all of Glorantha.

>The second point is that I do not believe the Wenelian Orlanth
>(What Greymane's clan does is something I'll ignore for now)
>is merely a boar subcult as this means that a King or a lawspeaker
>would not worship Orlanth the Boar, which I feel is wrong. His
>boarishness should have an impact far greater than the presence
>of any subcult.

This is something we agree upon. By extension, I want this for all the other beast-related Orlanthi. IMO this should manifest in their initiatory experiences, i.e. in their basic experience of the Other Side.

>I would handle the Wenelians by giving them a boar _aspect_ to
>replace Orlanth Allfather (and perhaps Orlanth Thunderous). The
>feats and affinities of this aspect are not dressed up Mralot's
>talents dressed up but different powers. Most Wenelians worship
>Orlanth the Boar with an ordinary subcult while a few practice
>the worship of Orlanth Adventurous or Orlanth Thunderous.

If the Sacred Time rites involve taking boar shape to save the world, I'd rather make their entire perception of Great Orlanth boarish - this is about as correct as to anthropomorphize Great Orlanth, a limited set of perception. And it works for whichever other shape the worshippers perceive. For the Heortlings it is the human shape, because Vingkot is their shape-giving founder.

>The Sylilans do not worship Orlanth as a bear. They worship
>Odayla instead and are not former bear hsunchen.

The Sylilans worshipped Odayla as their cultural deity when the Lifebringers appeared. The Lifebringers discovered or proved that core secrets of their Odayla worship and of their own Orlanth were identical.

For centuries, the Sylilans maintained some sort of hunter-farmer culture. Their different tribes had other beast totems (or beast-shape walking customs) besides the cultural Star Bear, as is shown in some of the opponents of Hwarin Dalthippa's conquests.

>>Hsunchen-like beast totems are not an exception among the Orlanthi.

>Merely the fact that the Orlanthi worship a beast does not make
>it "Hsunchen-like".

I used the term for Orlanthi who worship a beast or Orlanth in a beast shape and who have myths or even a history of assuming this beast shape.

I'd include the Hidden Kings of Vingkotling history. Assuming beast form for survival during the Greater Darkness.

>Hsunchenism is a specific set of spiritual
>practices and gloranthans can worship beasts without any hsunchen
>background whatsoever.

Yes. The Durbaddathi for instance are theists. They have a set of affinities which parallels typical Hsunchen magics - assuming lion shape, assuming lion abilities. They draw the line at being lions, unlike real Hsunchen do.

This makes them very similar to former Hsunchen who have adopted a non-Hsunchen lifestyle but retain much of their beast identity and a very limited set of shape-changing or ability-loaning magics. I'd call this Hsunchen-like, from a purely observational POV.

Beast worship without any hsunchen background is well documented. The Praxian Beast Riders worship their animal ancestors. They don't have any magic to assume the shape of their tribal animal. They do have magic to assume the beast soul (or human soul). I wouldn't call this Hsunchen-like.

In the case of the western Gloranthan Hsunchen, I cannot shed the impression that a fair number of them adopted a Hsunchen-style survival strategy during the Greater Darkness from different origins, and returned to other (Lifebringer- or Malkioni-influenced) ways of life during the Dawn Age. The first two centuries after the Dawn saw a lot of reorientation, which the Theyalans experienced already during the Silver Age.

Jonas to my:
>>There are former Bemuri who now are cattle-herding Orlanthi in Keanos.

>Delela and Saug, sure. I dunno about Keanos. Yeah, the Genertela Book
>says they live by "hunting and herding" but if the land can't support
>agriculture I doubt they could find pasture for cattle. Sheep seems more

Temperate forest is the natural habitat for the ancestors of our domesticated cattle, which is why I assumed that Keanos would provide suitable if unusual grazing.

>>They don't worship their totems in much of an animist way, but their
>>totem has become subsumed in their perception of Orlanth.

>I don't think so. I think they'd want to forget as much as possible about
>their hsunchen roots. IMG they're aware that their ancestors worshipped
>animal gods, but not which ones or even that they were animists.

I'd prefer a number of odd Orlanthi clans or even tribes with strange traditional magics in addition to more stream-lined Orlanthi. IMG an important Orlanthi concept is that exceptions prove the rule, therefore lots of exceptions exist.

>I have a story about this that I could post if there's interest.

Please do. I only wonder that they should be willing to abandon their ancestors entirely.

Did the Lifebringer missionaries cut their convertees from their ancestors, or did they manage to convert the ancestors (or some manifestation of the ancestors, an embodiment of their memories and their history) to their theist ways as well?

Malkioni conversion is easier in this regard since ancestors gone to Solace aren't contacted in any way.

This was an important theme in the Real World conversion of the barbarians to christianity. There is a report on a viking who believed in the christian teachings but rather chose damnation with his ancestors than heaven without them.

As a final statement: I don't think that the Lifebringer conversions would work in 17th century Glorantha. They worked in a period of unstability after the cataclysms of the Greater Darkness. Something similar might work after the Hero Wars, when the Otherworld is re-ordered again, but for the time being the Otherworld is yet too set in its ways.

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.

End of The Glorantha Digest V8 #322

Powered by hypermail