The primary atmospheric deity in the Lunar Heartlands is Entekos, whose cult is largely contained to Karasal, Oronin, and the Silver Shadow). Her cult is closely associated with Dendara, and is associated with Yelm. She gives both cults her spell of Decrease Wind.
Entekos is the goddess of still, quiet air. Unlike her brothers, she calmly joined Yelm’s dominion. She is called upon to restrain the gods of thunder, rain, and winter. She is also called the Goddess of Calm, the White Planet, Lady of the Summer Air, the Goddess of the Middle Air, and Mother of Moons.
Interestingly, the Orlanthi identify her as Molanni. Now just as it is never a good idea to assume you know more about Fire/Sky gods than the Dara Happans or Moon gods than the Lunars, never assume you know more about Air gods than the Orlanthi! So let’s take that association as correct. Molanni is the mother of Daga, Drought. So what does that mean about weather in the Pelorian bowl?
The Heartlands are dry – annual rainfall is around 40-50 cm in most of the Heartlands (Alkoth is wetter, but it is in a convergence zone with the Peloria hill country). That puts it in semi-arid country. Prax actually receives about the same or even more precipitation (but the harsh soils and stones just let the water rush off in the form of flash floods)! Things get worse as you go further east into Pent. The West Reaches receive more precipitation, but the Brass Mountains act as a rain shadow, as does Mount Jernotius. Think a cold dry steppe, like Montana, Kazakhstan, Idaho, central Turkey, etc.
Farming of course is prosperous – the Pelorian bowl has excellent soils. But farming largely requires irrigation – that’s a big part of the reason Lodril is so important, and why the Oslira is the mother of life! The Oslira gets its waters from the snows in Dragon Pass and the Rockwoods, not from local rainfall. Water is diverted from the Oslira (and other rivers), grasslands flooded to make wetlands (that are dependent on the river, not rainfall).
Drought definitely happens – probably most years you get drought conditions in some parts of Silver Shadow, Oronin, and Karasal satrapies. The grasslands dry up, the air has dust and smoke (from fires). Irrigation however means you can still farm – assuming of course you are good with Lodril and his sons! This reinforces the importance of the emperor and his bureaucrats, who can marshal resources to build existing irrigation ditches and maintain existing networks.
And Molanni/Entekos reinforces this. She generally chases away the storm clouds, and lets Yelm rule over the weather in the Pelorian Bowl. No wonder the Orlanthi understand her as the mother of drought!
The Kalikos Expedition has actually made drought more common and more extensive. Fortunately the Lunar Empire has plenty of resources for irrigation.
However if I lived in Karasal, the weather there sucks! Even with the Kalikos Expedition, Elz Ast gets 56 cm of precipitation a year (most of that is snow, at about 10 cm of snow for 1 cm of precipitation). Elz Ast is on the White Sea. Elz Ast is an awful place – the Pelorian version of Quebec City. Cold and miserable in winter even with the Kalikos Expedition. Elz Ast (which yes I know is actually in First Blessed) and Joranit win all the “Worst Places to Live in the Lunar Empire” contests. One more reason that Erigia sucks – its weather is even worse than Karasal’s.
Entekos in Cults of Glorantha as an associated cult. She provides the Yelm cult with Decrease Wind.
Does she have many worshippers in Dragon Pass? Why would you devote yourself to Molanni? If you are pro-Lunar, just join the Seven Mothers.
Is she useful against the Orlanthi? it would be a really bad idea for the Lunars to try to take on the premier Air cult with their minor local Air cult. They might well find the Entekos priestesses obeying the enemy Storm Voices!
Entekos is really good at keeping away tornadoes and other wind systems from the Pelorian grasslands. I imagine that without her, you’d get a lot more windstorms rushing across those dry grasslands. Instead the tornado belt is further south. I’d avoid having a trailer park in Saird.
So did the Great Winter cause drought in the empire and then flooding after it’s thaw? The Great Winter resulted in droughts throughout the Heartlands in summer 1622, which ended with floods that fall. This may have been a cause of the White Moon revolts.
Mother of Moons and the Goddess of the Middle Air? So is it through Entekos that the Red Moon claims dominion over the Middle Air? No. It is from being right there looming in the Middle Air. Point at the moon – that’s her claim.
Remember that the Red Goddess told off Valare Addi for thinking she was an incarnation of Entekos. She’s not – the Red Goddess is the Red Moon Goddess, and her mothers are the Seven Mothers. A few scholars find dabbling around in ancient Pelandan cults fascinating, but you aren’t going to get very far that way. And the Examiners aren’t particularly impressed by that.
Gerra and Natha get revered because they are harbingers of the Red Goddess – they are ancient cults that now it is clear that they were pointing at the Red Goddess. But reaching the Red Goddess is the goal. And in truth for most folk the Seven Mothers is the best path. Or Hon-eel. Or even Yelm.
Hopefully that also helps us better imagine the Lunar Heartlands. Think Montana grasslands:
Montana has wild rice similar to Peloria. Admittedly, the plains of Minnesota might be a better comparison there.
Remember that the rice grown in Peloria is more like the northern wild rice of North America (which is commercially grown despite the name) than the standard white rice we usually think about.