[Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

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[Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:32 pm

Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide contains a sidebar on page 114, in the Gnomes section of Chapter 3: Races of the Realms:
Ladies of the Golden Hills

A curious bit of gnomish lore is that the pantheon counts not a single female within it's ranks. Legend has it the mysterious Ladies of the Golden Hills went away together on some task in the most ancient days, and have not yet returned. The stories differ as to the Ladies' task, from seeking to gather examples of all of the beauty and riches of Toril, to a secret plan to thwart the evils of the world using their anonymity as a shield, causing the world to forget even their names and identities for a time. Gnomes who wander far from home are said to have "gone looking for the Ladies".
I've never noticed this before.

Is there any mention of "Ladies of the Golden Hills" in previous editions of Forgotten Realms?

Were they around in any of the Arcane Age products?

Is there any other D&D campaign setting that has one or more gnome deities that are female?

Do any other settings swap the sex of some of the existing Lords of the Golden Hills, to make some of them into Ladies?
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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:18 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:32 pm
Is there any mention of "Ladies of the Golden Hills" in previous editions of Forgotten Realms?
I think the only mention was in Demihuman Deities, page 166:
Little in the way of familial relations has ever been ascribed to the Lords of the Golden Hills, although some legends refer to gods of the pantheon as brothers. Some myths claim that there were once female gnome deities, but their fate, assuming they ever existed, has long been forgotten. Members of the all-male pantheon have nothing to say on the matter except to betray a hint of ancient sadness. Notwithstanding, it is an ancient tradition of the Forgotten Folk that when a young gnome wishes to leave the close bonds of his or her community, even for a short period of time, that she or he avoid engendering a feeling of rejection in family and friends by attributing his or her wanderlust to a divine vision to search for the missing sister gods.
It looks like Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide was expanding on that, giving the sisters more agency.
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:32 pm
Do any other settings swap the sex of some of the existing Lords of the Golden Hills, to make some of them into Ladies?
No, but 3rd edition's Races of Stone added a gnome goddess named Sheyanna Flaxenstrand, a goddess of love. Sheyanna was also listed as part of the gnome pantheon in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.

In the World of Greyhawk setting, gnomes often worship the goddesses Ulaa (who is described as having a combination of dwarven and gnomish features) and Ehlonna.

Zeitgeist Games' Dave Arneson's Blackmoor included a gnome goddess called Kela the Wanderer.

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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by timemrick » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:10 pm

Shades of the Entwives... :D
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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:49 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:18 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:32 pm
Is there any mention of "Ladies of the Golden Hills" in previous editions of Forgotten Realms?
I think the only mention was in Demihuman Deities, page 166:
Little in the way of familial relations has ever been ascribed to the Lords of the Golden Hills, although some legends refer to gods of the pantheon as brothers. Some myths claim that there were once female gnome deities, but their fate, assuming they ever existed, has long been forgotten. Members of the all-male pantheon have nothing to say on the matter except to betray a hint of ancient sadness. Notwithstanding, it is an ancient tradition of the Forgotten Folk that when a young gnome wishes to leave the close bonds of his or her community, even for a short period of time, that she or he avoid engendering a feeling of rejection in family and friends by attributing his or her wanderlust to a divine vision to search for the missing sister gods.
It looks like Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide was expanding on that, giving the sisters more agency.
Thanks for finding that.

The SCAG version does sound a lot better, but it's nice to know that this was an older idea given a makeover.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:18 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:32 pm
Do any other settings swap the sex of some of the existing Lords of the Golden Hills, to make some of them into Ladies?
No, but 3rd edition's Races of Stone added a gnome goddess named Sheyanna Flaxenstrand, a goddess of love. Sheyanna was also listed as part of the gnome pantheon in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.
I've heard AuldDragon mention those books having new deities a couple of times. I don't think they worked so well for what he wants to do, but I think that a new gnome deity could be an easy way to make a Spelljammer crystal sphere have a sense of "otherness" that makes it feel different to the home sphere of a gnome PC, where the Ladies of the Golden Hills are all legendary.

I'm assuming that Races of Stone's deities would count as a "Greyhawk-lite) thing and that Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes would locate them on Toril, as well as Oerth.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:18 pm
In the World of Greyhawk setting, gnomes often worship the goddesses Ulaa (who is described as having a combination of dwarven and gnomish features) and Ehlonna.
Hmm. I wonder if Ulaa could be the daughter or a gnome deity and a dwarf deity. Maybe I should start a topic about her. :)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:18 pm
Zeitgeist Games' Dave Arneson's Blackmoor included a gnome goddess called Kela the Wanderer.
I should have a more detailed look through the Blackmoor deities, at some point.

Thanks for all your help.
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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:51 pm

timemrick wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:10 pm
Shades of the Entwives... :D
You mean like this?:
Image
:cool: :lol:
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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:03 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:49 pm
I've heard AuldDragon mention those books having new deities a couple of times. I don't think they worked so well for what he wants to do, but I think that a new gnome deity could be an easy way to make a Spelljammer crystal sphere have a sense of "otherness" that makes it feel different to the home sphere of a gnome PC, where the Ladies of the Golden Hills are all legendary.

I'm assuming that Races of Stone's deities would count as a "Greyhawk-lite) thing and that Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes would locate them on Toril, as well as Oerth.
I think Mordenkainen's Tome was trying to be as comprehensive as possible by listing all the demihuman gods the designers could find on Wikipedia, just because it's inevitable someone would complain if their favorite deity was left out, while people can easily ignore deities they prefer not to use. Sheyanna's name and portfolio was included there, but she didn't get a full description like the gnome deities from Monster Mythology did. She's an official 5e deity now, known somewhere in the D&D multiverse, but I would say the myth of the Ladies implies that most gnomes of Toril don't know her current whereabouts.

WotC had abandoned the notion that Oerth was the default D&D world by the time Races of Stone came out. There's nothing Greyhawk specific in that book and the pantheons there contradict the older versions to some degree. That said, much of it can be easily used in a Greyhawk campaign, and there's no reason different groups of dwarves and gnomes couldn't have different pantheons on the same world, or you could combine the two versions. Edmund Scott on the Canonfire boards used Sheyanna extensively and it doesn't contradict any Greyhawk lore to add her.
Hmm. I wonder if Ulaa could be the daughter or a gnome deity and a dwarf deity. Maybe I should start a topic about her. :)
She could be, though I'm inclined to think she was the patron of an older race that both dwarves and gnomes are descended from. I think of her as the mother of both Moradin and Garl Glittergold. I also use her as a replacement for the mountain goddess Othea, who was a former bride of the giant god Annam in Forgotten Realms lore, and thus also the mother of many races of giants. Humans worship her too (and halflings) and she's currently married to a human god, Bleredd.

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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by BlackBat242 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:50 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:51 pm
timemrick wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:10 pm
Shades of the Entwives... :D
You mean like this?:
Image
:cool: :lol:
Image
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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by AuldDragon » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:06 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:03 pm
I think Mordenkainen's Tome was trying to be as comprehensive as possible by listing all the demihuman gods the designers could find on Wikipedia, just because it's inevitable someone would complain if their favorite deity was left out, while people can easily ignore deities they prefer not to use.
So much so that they didn't realize Muamman Duathal and Marthammor Duin are the same deity, and listed them separately.

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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:24 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:03 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:49 pm
I've heard AuldDragon mention those books having new deities a couple of times. I don't think they worked so well for what he wants to do, but I think that a new gnome deity could be an easy way to make a Spelljammer crystal sphere have a sense of "otherness" that makes it feel different to the home sphere of a gnome PC, where the Ladies of the Golden Hills are all legendary.

I'm assuming that Races of Stone's deities would count as a "Greyhawk-lite) thing and that Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes would locate them on Toril, as well as Oerth.
I think Mordenkainen's Tome was trying to be as comprehensive as possible by listing all the demihuman gods the designers could find on Wikipedia, just because it's inevitable someone would complain if their favorite deity was left out, while people can easily ignore deities they prefer not to use. Sheyanna's name and portfolio was included there, but she didn't get a full description like the gnome deities from Monster Mythology did. She's an official 5e deity now, known somewhere in the D&D multiverse, but I would say the myth of the Ladies implies that most gnomes of Toril don't know her current whereabouts.

WotC had abandoned the notion that Oerth was the default D&D world by the time Races of Stone came out. There's nothing Greyhawk specific in that book and the pantheons there contradict the older versions to some degree. That said, much of it can be easily used in a Greyhawk campaign, and there's no reason different groups of dwarves and gnomes couldn't have different pantheons on the same world, or you could combine the two versions. Edmund Scott on the Canonfire boards used Sheyanna extensively and it doesn't contradict any Greyhawk lore to add her.
I suppose we need an official 5th Edition Greyhawk product (or an official 6th Edition Greyhawk product :P ) to let us know what (if anything) from the 3e core rulebooks is supposed to be Greyhawk canon. :)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:03 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:49 pm
Hmm. I wonder if Ulaa could be the daughter or a gnome deity and a dwarf deity. Maybe I should start a topic about her. :)
She could be, though I'm inclined to think she was the patron of an older race that both dwarves and gnomes are descended from. I think of her as the mother of both Moradin and Garl Glittergold.
Oooh! In Dragonlance, that is the Starfolk! They are supposed to have drifted down to the stars to be come the ancestors of the dwarves (and gnomes) before the other races arrived. :cool:

(I like to think of them as an early Krynnspace spacefaring race, but that's just my own fanon.)
ripvanwormer wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:03 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:49 pm
I also use her as a replacement for the mountain goddess Othea, who was a former bride of the giant god Annam in Forgotten Realms lore, and thus also the mother of many races of giants. Humans worship her too (and halflings) and she's currently married to a human god, Bleredd.
A goddess of little people and giant people? Whatever next? :lol:

Do you tie the disagreements between dwarves and giants into the way you have written her into your game?
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Re: [Forgotten Realms] Ladies of the Golden Hills

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:43 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:24 pm
I suppose we need an official 5th Edition Greyhawk product (or an official 6th Edition Greyhawk product :P ) to let us know what (if anything) from the 3e core rulebooks is supposed to be Greyhawk canon. :)
I'm fine with Greyhawk canon not being nailed down. People should use what they want in their own campaigns and not worry about that sort of thing.
Big Mac wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:24 pm
Do you tie the disagreements between dwarves and giants into the way you have written her into your game?
The acrimonious divorce between Annam and Ulaa might have something to do with it.

In Realmslore, the relationship between Annam and Othea is certainly tumultuous:
Othea was unfaithful to Annam, her husband. Circa -26000 DR, she had an affair with Vaprak, resulting in the ogre race, and then c. -25500 DR she had an affair with Ulutiu, shortly before the end of the giant war against the dragons, resulting in four sons: firbolg, fomorian, verbeeg, and voadkyn. Annam slew Ulutiu and hurled him into the Cold Sea. Othea was so upset by this that she refused to give Annam another child, but Annam tricked her to get her pregnant. They reached a compromise where Annam agreed to leave Abeir-Toril until the child called for him, in return Othea would not terminate the pregnancy.
I'd make this somewhat less violent in Greyhawk, replacing Ulutiu with Bleredd, a human god of metal, mining, and smiths (canonically Ulaa's husband) and still very much alive. But I'd also give Annam more wives. In 2e's Giantcraft, most of the giant gods are the children of Annam and an unnamed wind goddess. Greyhawk has three wind goddesses (Atroa, Wenta, and Sotillion) who are often portrayed as romantic rivals. I imagine Ulaa leaving Annam in retribution for Annam's affairs rather than the other way around. Monster Mythology said "Annam is a polymorphous, libidinous god and he flees the Prime Material to escape the wrath and nagging of his many wives and concubines." More charitably, jealousy over Annam's many affairs resulted in all four of Annam's lovers leaving him to pursue human gods.

[
Big Mac wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:24 pm
]Oooh! In Dragonlance, that is the Starfolk! They are supposed to have drifted down to the stars to be come the ancestors of the dwarves (and gnomes) before the other races arrived.
According to the adventure "Touch of the Abyss" in Dungeon #117, the rituals of Ulaa have been handed down from a civilization extinct more than 10,000 years. So who knows.

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