From: Bryan J. Maloney, if I feel like it (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat 10 Jun 1995 - 18:01:14 EEST
I've got a rule of thumb: The further south you go, the less you hear about Elmal. By the time you get to Prax, you only hear "Elmal" in the context of an Orlanthi explaining to his children that "Elmal" is "Yelmalio's" proper name, back before he became an uppity twit.
Elmal is not worshipped as Elmal until you get into Tarsh, proper. However, the Lunar authorities are doing their darn best to convert these tribes to Yelmalio worship, since this will ally them more closely with Solar interests and estrange them from Storm.
In general, about 50-75 years ago, Monrogh Cult-Mender (who has now been conflated with Monrogh Cult-Founder), managed to either discover or establish an identity between the Aldryami Yelmalio and the Orlanthi Elmal. This Yelmalio granted a great deal more prestige an religious autonomy to his followers than did Elmal, so there was a good deal of incentive for Elmali tribes to listen to Monrogh.
Furthermore, the Elmali were not of the same stock as other Orlanthi, being added later to the two-culture fusion that made up Orlanthi societies. (Orlanthi are obviously a fusion of two major cultural models, especially in light of _King of Sartar_.) This meant that they had not yet fully integrated into the more general Orlanthi political and religious framework.
Given the possibility of social discrimination (and having to play the part of the "Emperor" every year), the autonomy and greater mythic importance granted by Yelmalism would be quite attractive.
So far as I can tell, Yelmalism among humans began in southern Sartar or perhaps a little further south, and is now slowly spreading north. Conversion of the Tarshite Elmali tribes is encountering unexpected resistance, since an unknown number of Tarshite Orlanth-worshippers now camoflage themselves as "Elmali", and Elmal's status as "loyal thane" is, thus, given more importance than it was further south. (Orlanth has to "go away", so Elmal suddenly becomes more important to mainstream Orlanthi.)
Of course, Yelmalions will tell you that they've been worshipping Yelmalio for at least a thousand years, and that the latest Monrogh was just a devout man who returned the Church to its primitive, fundamental state, as practiced by the Early Fathers. Thus, Yelmalio worship was ALWAYS Yelmalio worship, it had just been laden with error and sin by the vile Whore of Babylon and her Papist lackeys.
Anything else would be an unthought, doubleplusungood.
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