The Cult in the Game
Mythos and History
Cult ecology, the cult in the world
Special magic
Associated cults
Gifts and Geases
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Vinga: GodLearner Quibbles

The answer to any either/or question is "yes"

Various questions people have asked me, the answers to which require convoluted God-learner type reasoning that doesn't belong in the main write-up.

Is she the daughter or the sister of Orlanth?

I've always thought of Vinga as being the daughter of Orlanth, but other people have her as his elder sister. So here's a rationalisation.

Vinga is the daughter of Storm and Earth. Originally this meant being the daughter of Umath, owner of the Storm rune. When this passed to Orlanth Thunderous, the relationship transferred with it. So Vinga is the daughter of Orlanth Thunderous.

However, as a daughter of Umath, she is a sister of Orlanth. Orlanth is defined as being the youngest of Umath's sons, which gives a hint that he's the youngest child. So Vinga is the elder sister of Orlanth (Adventurous and Lightbringer).

Thus, both relationships are true. Most Orlanthi, being in a male-dominated society of which Orlanth is King, relegate her to the daughter position. Vinga has very little importance in non-Orlanthi society, so few places acknowledge her as his elder sister. (Esrolia might). As Orlanth's influence weakened under the Lunar occupation, the sister role might become stronger in Sartar. Maybe that's why Bryan's Vinga (in the same location as mine, but 20 years later) has her as the elder sister.

(Also, a quote in an old Digest that suggested the daughter role is Greg's view as well).

I suspect the "original" (Dawn Age) relationship was different again: but that's another story.

In the myth, events are taking place in the wrong order

For instance, Vinga remembers Babeester Gor renouncing fertility, and then goes to see Ernalda: but if Ernalda was still awake, Babeester Gor can't have been born yet! There's a wonderful reason (all right, a cop-out) for this sort of thing. All these events happened before the Dawn, and therefore before the invention of Time. So saying that something occured "after" or "before" something else just doesn't make sense. This makes it very difficult for our poor time-dependant minds to follow, but it makes myths a lot easier to write.

What's all this about camphire?

As described in "Drastic: Prax", though Steve carefully missed out the Vingan associations, and the fact that camphire is another name for henna. The official write-ups for the other cults (Eiritha, Ernalda, Uleria) don't actually mention camphire, but then the details of rites are rarely put into write-ups.

I got most of it from descriptions of Sumerian religion, with a few hints from Jean M. Auel's "Clan of the Cave Bear" series. It makes sense to me that if a herb has a specific association in one cult, it would have similar associations in related cults. Incidentally, herb books tell me that henna also acts as an antiseptic, so all those red-haired Vingans have an advantage when it comes to First Aid.

Why so many spirit magic spells?

Two reasons here.

1) For game play, I like a PC cult to be useful to PCs. Most PCs are initiates, not Rune level, so for the cult magic to be any use to them, they need spirit magic, not divine magic. I think this is a needed change in quite a few other cults, too, otherwise the unusual ones stay unusual, as there just isn't any game reason to join them.

2) Vinga started in many places, but always as a sub-cult of Orlanth. What do sub-cults have to distinguish them from the main cult? That's right, a special spirit magic spell. So when all the sub-cults merged into one full cult, all their spirit magic became available. Of course, not every spell will be available at every temple.

That spell's too powerful!

This has been suggested about quite a few of my spells, and I still think it's untrue. As a general rule, look at how you might get the same effect with existing common spells. "Reflexes" is the obvious example: to drop your DEX SR by 1, you would normally cast a few points of Coordination. Two points, on average. And that would also affect skill modifiers and everything else. My spell doesn't have the extra effects, and is a bit cheaper: easier game-play and slightly better than the "common" spell.

Why's she got gifts and geases? Only Truth Rune cults have them!

Well, that's a matter of opinion. Of the official full write-ups, only Humakt and Yelmalio have geases as such. But Orlanthi have abilities and requirements, Chalana Arroy has cult vows, and unofficial write-ups all over the place have them. I suspect in fact all cults have their own set of gifts and geases, but most aren't relevant to the old monster-bashing style of adventuring, so never got written up.

If you see Orlanthi as Celtic, as I do, have a look at the Red Branch sagas. Everyone's got geases, and most of them make far less sense than anything in Glorantha. But they add atmosphere and plot, and that's what we want, isn't it?