Here’s an interesting late Second Age document that I find deep in the Library of Nochet. Although it was written in Theyalan, I suspect it is of Jrusteli origin, given its materialist nature.
- All was Darkness and Water. Then came Earth and Aether.
- Earth formed a perfect lozenge floated atop the water, rooted or pillared to the ancient base of Darkness. At first there were only gods, but later came life – algae, prokaryotes, arthropods, and fish.
- Earth became irregular as it grew faster in some areas than in others. Flamal was born and plants grew atop the earth, followed by arthropods, and then by the first amphibians.
- The Spike grew in the center and the first River flows uphill onto land. General mixing on surface world of elements. Other mountains are grown or made at this period. Reptiles rule the land, and True Dragons nest.
- Intense light begins above the Spike and grows in brightness. The first birds appear.
- Sky encircles all the earth. Yelm rules the north, Lodril the south. Flowering plants appear, and insects flourish. Giant reptiles dominant.
- Ratites and other great birds proliferate. Growing conflict among gods. Age ends with Yelm slain by Orlanth.
- Storm gods dominate, Seas drop, many clouds, and more rivers. Mammals become dominant land animal. Conifers proliferate. First trolls appear on surface.
- A predatory age. Valind conquers much of the world. Daga, Mallia, and Ragnaglar are big leaders. Trolls are very powerful. Brithos persists.
- First Chaos gods appear. Age ends with the destruction of the Spike and departure of the Lightbringers.
- Age of Chaos. Mortal revival and resurgence. Increased victories against Chaos, including I Fought, We Won.
- Age of Time. The Dawn. History begins.
We could also label this as:
- Green Age (early)
- Green Age (late)
- Golden Age (early)
- Golden Age (middle).
- Golden Age (late)
- Lesser Darkness (early)
- Lesser Darkness (middle)
- Lesser Darkness (late)
- Greater Darkness
Now according to the New Dragon Ring, this can be dated as:
- Creation 100,000,000 BT
- Water 50,000,000 BT
- Green Age (early) 10,000,000 BT
- Green Age (late) 1,000,000 BT
- Golden Age (early)100,000 BT
- Golden Age (middle) 50,000 BT
- Golden Age (late) 30,000 BT
- Lesser Darkness (early) 8500 BT
- Lesser Darkness (middle) 3500 BT
- Lesser Darkness (late) 1500 BT
- Greater Darkness, 1000 BT
- Dawn, 0 ST
But this is all crazy talk. No way the world is 100 million years old, regardless of what the Kralorelans say.
As aside, although the document does not mention it, Grandfather Mortal likely appears in step 5 or 6.
Which of course raises the interesting idea that the Mortal Races appeared before mammals. Because of course they did. There is a God Learner theory that humans did not appear until Yelm is slain by Orlanth. And that the inhabitants of the Yelm’s Golden Empire were birds or sky people, and not mucky humans. And that the oldest Brithini might not be recognisable as “men”.
Nobody uses the term “Storm Tribe”. And educated Orlanthi know that there was a lot of stuff going on before Orlanth slew Yelm. Like most of creation.
And rather than a pro-Sky bias, that document shows a strong Lightbringer bias.
Storm Tribe appears quite a bit in King of Sartar, although that is just that writers attempt to cluster gods as if they were just mortal tribes. Lightbringer Gods is far more common. They are the gods that were present when Orlanth and the Lightbringers rescued the world.
But Umath less a cult figure than a genealogical figure, like Kronos. The defining feature for the popularity of the Orlanthi gods is the Lightbringers Quest. After that is Orlanth and Ernalda themselves.
I don’t think that is nearly as core to the worshipers of these gods in the Third Age. These myths aren’t experienced in “chronological” order after all.
I find the Lightbringers myths, the conflict with the other gods, and of course the murder of Yelm to be far more complex and less white-washed than the presentation in Thunder Rebels or other HW-era sources. I still find this to be the best summary of his role in Gloranthan cosmology: Orlanth symbolizes and forms the elemental Air; he is a foundation of the cosmic order. He is King of the Gods by right of his strength and deeds, and his virtues maintain the world. He is responsible for maintaining the cosmos. His cult provides guidelines for its members to follow in determining their activities about themselves, their society, the cosmos, and the great mystery of being. Participation in the cult of Orlanth makes a person a full citizen of the universe.As both the murderer of Yelm who plunged the world into darkness and the leader of the Lightbringers who revived the world, Orlanth is the God of Heroes, an untamed destroyer who nonetheless protects life and aids civilization. He destroys not to end the world but to make way for the new.
Orlanth has no thralls. In fact, the cult forbids Rune Masters from owning slaves.