Thursday, 28 July 2011

Commoner Cults of Jonatela

So, in my last post I discussed the reasoning behind the rule mechanics I used for Jonating commoner caste magic in the recent piece at my home page. As I said then, I can think of two other questions the piece might have raised in the minds of readers, and I'll discuss them now.

To begin with, if the Elmoi are supposed to represent a denuded form of Ernalda worship, and they really are theistic, which gods are we talking about here? I see no reason to stay being mysterious about that, and people might wonder, so that's something I can quickly deal with. It should be said, though, that I think it's more important that the cults are distinct, than whether or not the beings behind them are, so I don't think it really matters much. Which means that anyone else's interpretation is as good as mine - if I thought it was important, and made a meaningful difference, I'd have put it in the article, not here.

At any rate, Frona is, I think, fairly clearly some sort of aspect of Ernalda the Great Goddess. She's mentioned as a grain goddess in RQ3, and Thunder Rebels reinforces that the grain goddess cults are different ways of worshipping the great earth mother. Frona, clearly, is the mother goddess and land goddess for Fronela as a whole, and will have her own, regular, theistic cult elsewhere.

Uryana and Vilecha are also aspects of Ernalda, and remember, we're told in Genertela: CotHW that the Jonating commoners worship Ernalda as their main goddess, so it makes sense that she gets the key roles. I don't think of Vilecha as a Chalana Arroy, incidentally, because she's just not powerful enough.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Magic of Malkioni Commoners

Yes, it's been several months since I've posted here. Not that I haven't been busy writing in the meantime, of course. For one, I have managed to write weekly posts at my mammalogical blog, Synapsida - and those do require quite a lot of preparation. There have been many other bits of writing besides, some of which may eventually appear somewhere for public perusal. But, on the Gloranthan front, I have also continued to write some fan material on Jonatela - what would have been LotW4, had the series not been cancelled.

The latest instalment has taken a while to appear, because its quite a big one - ten new cults, in fact. The next will focus on the wizardry schools and that, too, may take a while because of its complexity (I predict early September). But I think the latest one will likely raise a few questions that I think its worth answering here, rather than in the more formal outlet of the web page itself. The questions are:
  1. Why did I treat the commoner caste cults as I did?
  2. What, if anything, is their relationship to the Orlanth cults?
  3. Why did I even bother?
Taking the first question first, we have to go all the way back to the days of RuneQuest 3. That was the first rules edition to address Malkioni magic in general, or Jonating magic in particular. The RQ3 publication Genertela: Crucible of the Hero Wars says, in the Players Book, that about 75% of Jonatings follow the Orlanth pantheon and gain "the benefits of a barbarian initiate", while the remainder follow the Malkioni religion and receive, unless they are professional wizardry adepts, some limited sorcery magic. There is no indication that - priests and adepts aside - this is anything other than random. That is, parts of Jonatela are Orlanthi, with all the magic that implies, and parts are Malkioni, with all the implications of that.