The Marriage of Pavis … to Ernalda?

Submitted by m_hunger on Sun, 19/08/2012 – 16:53

In my Pavis campaign, the River Voices are working to marry Pavis to Ernalda, for two purposes:

1) forging a great anti-Lunar alliance

2) preempting the planned marriage of Pavis to the Red Goddess.

Ernalda’s High Priestess Daralanda obviously is on board with this for political reasons; the Pavis cult is receptive, because the river Voices brought back Balastor’s Axe and his spirit (currently residing in the body of a follower of Babeester Gor).

I think it is weird and not at all as easy as the players make it sound. What are the theological implications when Ernalda marries a mere city god (even though he is distantly related to her established husband Flamal)? How will the Lunars react when they hear about it, how the cult of Orlanth (favorably or hostile)?

The players think that a heroquest/heroforming with Balastor as Pavis and their Enalda priestess as Ernalda will work for the ceremony, but I’m more inclined to have her face Pavis himself in The Room without Doors.

So, what do you think what could/should happen?

Submitted by soltakss on Thu, 23/08/2012 – 10:34.

If Balastor is currently residing in a Babeester Gori, that might cause a few raised eyebrows. I cannot think of any Wife-Protectors of Ernalda.

I agree that the power difference is not important. In Pavis and the Bug Rubble, Pavis is the prime deity. If the Red Goddess thinks him worthy of marriage then why shouldn’t Ernalda?

Simon Phipp

Very good point by Simon 🙂

Submitted by Herve on Thu, 23/08/2012 – 12:39.

Yes, having an Ernalda Priestess marrying… a babeester gori warrioress is indeed going to, hem, break tradition. Thank you to Simon to have picked this slight detail. These people are more inclusive than lunars! Do try to get Balastor’ sould inside a man. Though that also sounds weird. That’s what happens when you do Experimental Heroquesting!

Unexpected outcome

Submitted by GianniVacca on Wed, 22/08/2012 – 06:24.

If Ernalda and Pavis marry, they may have a son called… Elvis! I’m not sure if it’d be a good idea, what with the limited amount of food in Pavis.


it’s a HeroQuest…
Submitted by Charles on Mon, 20/08/2012 – 08:52.

Make it clear to the players that they are performing a HeroQuest to change the world. So in game, you can have NPCs discuss with them who is the potential opposition to changing the world and what they might do about it. They might also discuss how long the marriage will last and what might be done to lengthen the duration.

I would imagine that the priestess will have to discuss the proceedings with the local Ernalda temple(s). They might suggest that the wedding might take place in the name of a subcult, such as Orane (the Orane feat is particularly relevant).

I can’t imagine the Orlanth cult in general objecting, though some priests (Faltikus?) and other cultists may be at odds. For the Orlanthi, anything that might throw off Lunar rule would be welcomed and they all know that, eventually, Ernalda and Orlanth will come back together.

Submitted by soltakss on Sun, 19/08/2012 – 18:06.

It’s an interesting idea, but probably not as easy as they think.

Ernalda cultists would just see Pavis as another Husband-Protector, useful when Orlanth is busy and very useful in Pavis and the Big Rubble.

Lunars wouldn’t like the idea as they have plans for Pavis. They would perform counter-Quests to weaken the link between Ernalda and Pavis. They might even try and get Orlanth jealous, using Orlanthi to oppose the HeroQuest.

Don’t forget that a HeroQuest such as Pavis-Ernalds, or even Pavis-Red Goddess, is not just a single HeroQuest. It will have several preparatory HeroQuests to set the scene and make things easier. Pavis might have a task that must be performed before he will accept marraige. Ernalda might have tasks of her own that pavis, or his flunkies, needs to perform. In this case, the Lunars might intervene and make the tasks harder, or might set new and different tasks, playing the part of Ernalda (Queen Deezola cultists might be able to do this).

The Lunars might be able to interfere in these sub-Quests and might even gatecrash the major Marriage Ritual.

What happens if the HeroQuestors actually manage to get to Pavis himself and get stuck in the Green Age? Would Ernalda be able to get back from there? If not, the marriage might have happened, but the participants might be lost.

Simon Phipp

Submitted by keith on Mon, 20/08/2012 – 08:13.

If I were a Lunar Priestess I’d get myself inside the rites and go all Hon Eel on them – proving that the Lunar Priestess represents the Earth and was who was getting married to Pavis all along.

I love the way your players think!
Submitted by Herve on Mon, 20/08/2012 – 13:49.

This is an ambitious, ballsy plan, worthy of the Hero Wars. Off the top of my head :

– Ernalda is more a Grandmother to Pavis (the half-elf, half – Gods-know-what-else); perhaps he’d be better off marrying one of her many granddaugthers, even a local one nobody heard of elsewhere

– Nobody ever said Marriage is monogamous and certainly NOT Ernalda, who had plenty of husbands ; so perhaps Pavis could marry several Goddesses and the reds would still push for marriage, and corrupt Ernalda from within her household?

– One little, piddling Quest is possibly not enough to Change The World so it has be REAL BIG, with total support from thousands of people. Convincing the Garhounds and other scritha Clans, the women of Pavis, the Star Witches, whoever else would make a few very intense scenarii.

– Finally, the BIGGEST ENNEMY in the Quest could be totally unexpected : it’s STRIFE between husband and wife. Good luck roleplaying that; accept only married players


serial monogamist
Submitted by RoM on Fri, 24/08/2012 – 09:34.
As a small side note, I do think marriages are monogamous. I believe in Orlanthi and Pavic culture adultery is punishable by law. However, what is possible is to have different husbands and lovers after one another. So that basically makes Ernaldans serial monogamists.

Submitted by m_hunger on Tue, 21/08/2012 – 18:51.

Thanks for the different views and considerations, I now have some pointers on how to play this tomorrow evening.

Still, I think one of the biggest problems is the difference, of power and status, of Pavis and Ernalda – she is a great godess in the Godtime, he exists limited by Time and space (inside the Room without Doors). I’m not sure how one or more heroquests can fix that.

A happy marriage to Pavis…

Submitted by Herve on Wed, 22/08/2012 – 15:13.

… and, if I may, don’t worry too much about “big power and status difference” between the two beings. First, it doesn’t help the game much : you have good story with huge potential here, so forget the discrepancy.

If it REALLY bothers you marry Pavis to a Daugther/Sister/Cousin/Dentist/Whatever of Ernalda.

Also, Pavis is NOT limited to the Room without Doors. Pavis is in fact a “living” conduit to the Green Age; in his strange way he is as old as, if not older than, Ernalda. There is one Rubble clan that still worships one of Genert’s sons (Gentenak I think) and can access some Hidden Fields. Such Magics would be a great boon even to the Great Green Lady.

And please, do tell us how it played!

relative standing

Submitted by Charles on Tue, 21/08/2012 – 21:21.

In my opinion, the situation is perhaps not quite as clear-cut.

Because she is a great goddess, Ernalda has over 2 million initiates (about 10 million Orlanthi: 50% are children; 25% adult men; some adult women worship other specialist deities). And vice versa, Ernalda is a great goddess because she has over 2 million initates. But these are spread out across Esrolia, Heortland, Sartar, Tarsh, Ralios, Saird, etc. and so they are not all in or even near Pavis. Locally, because of the mix of immigrants, Ernalda is only one of several mother goddesses. Eiritha, Sedenya/Rufelza, Zola Fel (as a river god, she is a goddess too) and perhaps more…

Pavis is the local city god. All of his cult is here. That includes all of the initiates, all of the priests, the high priest and the temple where the god himself resides and is visited by his priests. So while he is negligible in a Glorantha-wide sense, he is locally one of the most influential and can rightfully sponsor his warrior-son Balastor as a husband protector for Ernalda. And Pavis has specific magic to bridge unlikely relationship gaps if he (his priesthood) wishes to marry in his own name.

Additionally, Ernaldans can work around the issue by marrying in the name of Orane instead of Ernalda. Everyone knows that Orane is not Ernalda but a sister or daughter. Everyone also knows that Ernalda is Orane and vice-versa but this can be conveniently overlooked as needed.

How to make the players wriggle more 🙂

Submitted by Charles on Tue, 21/08/2012 – 23:32.

If the players try to marry off Pavis by hero-forming Balastor, then they might win the battle but lose the war! The Lunars can claim to be totally unworried as Balastor is married but Pavis is not. And the Pavis cult may or may not later change their views, depending on political expedience.

Yes, I am suggesting that the will of the cult and more specifically the priests matters more than the will of Pavis. When Pavis apotheosised, he chose to leave the mortal plane and join the God-plane (or Essence-plane, it is not entirely clear which) but tied to a specific location. Part of this “deal” is not so much the loss of will but the loss of the ability to directly express will in the mundane world. This does not mean that I believe the priests can do anything that they please: a breach of cult tenets or the way of Pavis will cause them to lose their access to the magics of Pavis, likely at a publicly inopportune time; Pavis can still withdraw his gifts.

is this confidential?

Submitted by RoM on Fri, 24/08/2012 – 09:24.
I am not sure if I was supposed to read this, as I am playing the Ernaldan priestess. However, it was very interesting to see all your ideas how my plan could actually work 🙂 I am eager to see how it will turn out in our series.

Bad Igor
Submitted by Herve on Fri, 24/08/2012 – 11:28.

Yes, it is confidential. Bad igor, er Robin. If you read secret GM messages you will be struck by Lankhor Mhy’s Curse of Intelligence Drain, and end up like Igor. I must admit I didn’t picture you as a voluptous priestess. Damn, my Glorantha is spoiled again.

Bad Igor
Submitted by RoM on Sat, 25/08/2012 – 06:02.
I confess I was a bad, bad Igor. Master will punish me, yes master.
Just for the record I love being the voluptuous wife. But to spoil your Glorantha even further I am also her Babeester Gori bodyguard with cut-off penises hanging around her axe. These are probably just the two sides of my true inner self.

Submitted by Herve on Sat, 25/08/2012 – 13:05.

Well, I was afraid of something like that. There are two women inside you and one is a murderous, penis-slashing berserker. One really wonders why some people equate role-playing with devil worship and cult activities… Seriously, which other characters are there (and how many players? I never could play more than one character at the same time).

Embrace the dark side!

Submitted by RoM on Mon, 27/08/2012 – 11:02.

Isn’t there a dark side in all of us? I just embrace it. 🙂

We are three. Two gamers play Lanbril cultists (one woman, one man) from Esrolia. Meanwhile the man got three newtling followers. The woman is unattached for now. In the beginning there was a female player who played the Ernaldan who had to leave Sartar and the Greenstone temple for undisclosed reasons. I play two Babeester Gori (one PC, one sidekick) as her bodyguard. Soon the Ernaldan player left the group and I took over the character. That’s the whole story.