Greg Sez: Who are the Dog Fathers? (May 1999)

Question from OLIVER D BERNEUTZ. Answers by Greg Stafford. Published Apr 1999, revised May 1999.

Q: Who were the dog fathers and what was the dog standard mentioned in last month’s Q&As.

A: Dogs are pervasive in Glorantha, much as they are on Earth. Different regions have different myths about how they got dogs. In Fronela, for instance, the Rathori remember when Rathor defeated Telmor in a fight, and the latter gave one of his litters to Rathor to serve ever afterwards. Those were the ancestors of the Rathori hunting dogs.

Saird, the wide region between Dragon Pass and Dara Happa, has always had a special relationship with canines, kept alive through the peasant’s worship of Jajagappa, often in defiance of their overlords. King Verenemars organized Saird against the dragons. He began great sacrifices to strengthen Jajagappa and raised the dog peoples against the EWF, and one of his actions was to raise a prehistoric war banner to rally them. Upon that banner was the great war hound.

Here are the relevant entries on canines from the unpublished Gloranthan Dictionary:

Ensoval. Dog God, worshipped in Saird. Ensoval is the god of ordinary dogs which help humankind in domestic duties, including hunting. He is a pup of Rowdril’s, who is a much more wild god.

Erindamus. Dog God of Dara Happa; also their invisible South Jumper. Erindamus is little worshipped, but serves various Dara Happan gods in several myths, especially those of hunting. Erindamus is little-known to any except the Buserian Star Seers. Erindamus was set into the southern sky by Dayzatar. Myths say when dogs were tamed by Yelm or Lodril the star disappeared. However, the Star Seers can see stars in the daytime and know that Eridamus only rises in daylight, and is invisible. If they spoke of such, they would tell that it was originally a green star-like body, but it is now red.

Grodrulf. Dog God of Balazar. The hunters of Balazar offer sacrifice to Grodrulf, whom they call “brother dog.” Grodrulf taught men to hunt, and agreed to mutual help. A borderland sport between Saird and Balazar is to pit a son of Growdrulf against a son of Ensoval.

Jajagappa. Death God, shunned by most but worshipped by the Jajalarings of Saird; and God of the Lost Rocks. Jajagappa fought against the evil in the sky, wandering about and destroying all foes. Jajagappa appears on the Gods Wall (IV-12), dog-headed and carrying the net he uses to catch any souls that go astray after death, or which have no divine protection, or otherwise are prey. They are hunted down and shredded, devoured and reshaped to be another hound in the pack. Since evil beings are, by definition, astray, Jajagappa is also viewed as the enforcer of morality. He is the sire of Rowdril.

Rowdril. Dog God, worshipped in Saird. Rowdril is “Father Dog,” Leader of the Pack, a son of Jajagappa, father of Ensoval and some other specialty breed dogs, for which Saird is famous. Rowdril himself is the father of the war hounds, and appears on the Verenemar’s Coat of Arms.


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