I am particularly pleased with the Earth Goddesses cults book, which is available later this week.
This book is dedicated to the powers of Earth – the source of Life for most mortals, but also the place of Death. Ernalda, Aldrya, Asrelia, Eiritha, the Grain Goddesses, Uleria, and Voria are all goddesses of Life; Maran Gor, Babeester Gor, and Ty Kora Tek are all goddesses of Death. These deities are all tied into agriculture and animal husbandry, the cycle of the seasons, and of life and death. Many Gloranthan cultures (e.g., the Orlanthi and Pelorians) view these powers as feminine, and the book forms a counterbalance to the Lightbringers and Solar books.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Claudia Loroff and Skylar Mannen for their work in shaping these cults. Compared to the Lightbringers book, I had less to work off from Greg – and so we made a lot of discoveries during the writing of this book! Things that were always there but never noticed before are now front and center.
There’s also plenty of cults beyond the above – some aren’t goddesses and some aren’t even associated with Earth. For example, this book includes Pamalt, Caladra & Aurelion, Donandar, Flamal, Mostal, and the Bloody Tusk. But all of these tie into the themes of the book.
There are two cults that I could have put in this book but that I instead chose for thematic reasons to put in the Solar book – Dendara and Gorgorma. But even without them, I think you’ll find this book covers a lot of new territory.
One thing I really want to call out is the art of Loïc Muzy, Antonia Doncheva, Katrin Dirim and Agathe Pitié. They really made this book what it is – and with Simeon Cogswell made the visual aspect as important as the text. There’s also a wonderful piece depicting different types of grains from Ossi Hiekkala – I really love that we have red maize, and I have learned so much about historical grains from Claudia Loroff’s projects.
One way of thinking about the Earth goddesses is that they are the foundation of both the Lightbringers and Solar cultures. In Sartar, some 36% of the adult population are directly initiated to one of these deities, and in Esrolia and Old Tarsh that number is even higher. Even in the Lunar Heartlands, some 15-25% of the population are directly initiated to them (assuming you say Dendara is one of them).
And when we think about how these Cult books fit together, almost all of them have strong tie-ins to the Earth Goddesses. Lightbringer, Solar, Darkness, even Water and Horned God.