Re: Divine identities: Balumbasta/Lodril

From: Chris Lemens <>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 15:00:48 -0700 (PDT)

From: Peter Metcalfe replies to Joerg Baumgartner:

> >Balumbasta/Lodril/<the almost-quenched origin for
> >the walls of Sog City I forgot>/<whatever husband
> >for Ashgortek the trolls have>
> Balumbasta is not Lodril as they have different
> runes (rather than the dot, Balumbasta has an
> inverted V which he shares with Shargash). Also
> Balumbasta is a great spirit whereas Lodril is
> a god. Ladaral and Lodril are the same AFAIK.

Hmm. Pre-HW sources clearly use the names interchangeably.

I think what we really have here is simply a Gregging.  At one point, the answer was that they were the same entity. Missing Lands revised the received wisdom that the fiery earth/spear god of the south was called Lodril. Drastic Prax used both names. Although this implies that they are the same, we did not have the stark division between animism and theism then that is a feature of Glorantha now. This prevents us from using the admirable fudge that Drastic Prax wisely used. Retro-fitting this into HW requires some thought though, beyond simply asserting that Balumbasta and Lodril are different based on runes defined by cultures that have never been in contact. We have to decide whether Balumbasta is Lodril and, if so, how one entity can be both spirit and god.

Reluctantly, I think that they are different entities.  My main reson is that I cannot see anyway to equate a god with a spirit. Several arguments are frequently used in this situation and I don't like any of them.

One argument is that someone engages in misapplied worship. I don't think this works because both entities are quite powerful.

Another argument is that they are a defiant entity, like Storm Bull. I don't like this argument, because the label seems to indicate that the entity, out of its own power, decides to defy the rules. This does not really describe either Balumbasta or Lodril.

Another argument is that Lodril and Balumbasta could both be seen as having underworld connections, where the difference between gods and spirits is apparently less significant. I shy away from that qualification, though, because it could easily have way too much application if applied here. Would every god with a remote underworld connection be able to corss the line? Is there a Ty Kora Tek spirit out there somewhere? Maybe, but I'd not rush to embrace that position.

So, I think we are stuck with the Balumbasta and Lodril being different entities. Thsi does not mean that we have to disentangle them. In earlier ages, when the different entities were strolling around the lozenge, people might be confused about which they encountered, especially when the god or spirit was foreign to them. The hot dude from underground with the spear may sufficiently describe both Lodril and Balumbasta to cultures that do not worship them that those cultures end up confusing them. In any case, the prior identification of the two gods lets us share some of their myths and to know more about Balumbasta than we would otherwise.

So, for example, was the Lodril that the trollss captured really Lodril, Balumbasta, or other? And do we have to decide?

Chris Lemens

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