[Glorantha]Invisible Orlanthi

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_quicksilver.net.nz>
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2004 13:04:41 +1200

Victor Lane:

>I found an interesting note in the ILH, vol 1 today. It mentions that in
>the Bindle satrapy there is a temple to Invisible Orlanth. Is anything
>known about this Invisible Orlanth? Is he related to the Sartar Orlanth?
>A Lunar friendly version? I think it would be rather interesting to have
>some Invisible Orlanth worshipers sent down to Sartar to try and convert
>people to a more Lunar friendly version of Orlanth.

My conception of IO ties in with Carmanian mythology as well as a dash of Tarumathi.

In Carmania, there are Magi who look to the movement and appearance of the Sun to interpret God's Will. For lesser magic, they use wands with glowing tips which they call _ersoons_ (Glorantha: Intro p120). The symbolism is important because the Magi believe the Sun is the glowing tip of the Creator's wand. The Hierophant has actually seen this because he flies up through the Sun to speak to the Creator.

The Invisible Orlanthi are the aerial variations of the Magi tradition. Instead of using glowing wands, they use swords and instead of divining using the Sun, they divine the Creator's Will from the weather.

I'm less certain on what they call themselves as the Carmanians don't believe in the Invisible God. Or to be more accurate, they believe that the Invisible God is a false God Learner interpretation of the One True God. Since it's actually a dubious creed, some IO may actually call themselves that but I think it more probable that they are known within Carmania as the Orlanthi Magi while Invisible Orlanthi is a foreign appelation for them.

As you can see, the IO cult is a very radical interpretation of the core truths of the Carmanian faith. Even cults which have deviated from the Truth by a tenth as much have been condemned as heresies to be terminated with extreme prejudice. Yet the IO cult has not been so identified. Why?

The answer lies in Carmanian politics. The Hierophant, Brostangian Archmoor, and the head of the IO cult, Saranko, are both sons of the infamous Taloned Countess. Now the Hierophant as a Magi never really knew his mother as the Magi snatched him from the cradle when he was newborn to raise them up as one of their own. So the Hierophant has a weakness - psychic longing for his mother.

It's my belief (and I should point out that the Life of Moonson freeform has another interpretation) that Yolanela through twisted sorceries has found her son again through their dreams and corrupted him. Since she is a servant of the Lie, she has an agenda to destroy the Carmanian faith. So the IO cult survives because it is a heresy.

As for relations with the Sartarite Orlanth, there is nothing known. If the Sartarites were to become aware of the linkages, they would be hostile but as it is, it's just strange and weird magic. The link is this - IO has its origins in the Tarumathi cult, a form of storm worship practiced by the infamous Lokayamadon who served Nysalor's Empire of Light. When Lokayamadon was killed and the Empire disappeared, the Tarumathic cult survived as an oddball practice among the Pelorian Orlanthi - the Brolians and the Talastari. In obscure circumstances, the practice has migrated to Carmania where it has become popular through the efforts of Saranko.

As for the attitude of the Lunars towards IO, they are at a loss. They have their own friendly storm cult, Doburdon the Thunderer, whom they are trying to persuade the Sartarites to join. The Tarumathi religion is connected elsewhere with a Heroband called the Storm Sons of Umatum which is opposed to Doburdon. But I doubt that holds true in Carmania because of the differing agenda.

--Peter Metcalfe

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Received on Sun 05 Sep 2004 - 06:56:42 EEST

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