Celestial Courts and Somash

From: Peter Metcalfe (P.Metcalfe@student.canterbury.ac.nz)
Date: Thu 10 Oct 1996 - 11:54:56 EEST

Pam Carlson:

DC>> Do modern Pelorians acknowledge the 'classic' (ie God Learnerish)
>>Celestial Court, or only the one from GRoY?

>GRoY, GRoY, GRoY. Or, maybe even more likely - the Entekosiad.

>Point is - GRoY & Entekosiad match, the God Learners account doesn't.

Why do you think that the God Learner account doesn't match?

The God Learner Celestial Court has the eight court members (Uleria,
Kargan Tor etc), the Empress Glorantha and Yelm the Emperor. The
Pelorian Celestial Court has the Eight Sons or Lights (Shargash,
Deumalos etc), Entekos and Yelm. Yelm is Yelm. Entekos is obviously
the Empress Glorantha. The other members are more tricky to match up
(meaning I can't do it) but Shargash is undoubtedly Kargan Tor.

Of course this is why I think the Pelorians don't use the God Learner
system: they have an indigenous system of their own and it works fine
thank you very much.

Ian Gorlick:

Speaks on my Somash thesis

>However I do not see that we have any reason to assume that the Somashi
>wear women's clothes (or any style of clothing that the Yelmalions might
>consider feminine) or that they smoke large quantities of hazia.

We don't have any reason whatsoever to assume that they do such a thing
but OTOH we have no reason to assume that such a thing is alien to the
Somashi of Teshnos. As Ian Gorlick knows, there is virtually sod-all
in print about the Fire Cults of Teshnos.

The Somashi do not wear women's clothing. Only the Priests do (as the
restriction applies only to Sun Lords) under my proposal. Furthermore
the Teshnans do not consider what they wear to be women's clothing
anymore than the Pope or the Ayatollah consider themselves to be
blatant travestites. The perception that Somashi clothing is feminine
comes from the viewpoint of the Orlanthi of Dragon Pass where the
Chiefs and Kings wear pants.

Now it is known that the Teshnan Army is hopeless. The Praxians know
it as a land of weak warriors, beautiful women and powerful magicians.
A good way to make this army hopeless IMO is to have no officers but
subject to direct orders by the Priests. So when Monrogh originally
brought the cult over, the fighting leaders would have worn Teshnan
robes because that was the way it was done in glorious Teshnos. So
when Varthanis comes over to defend Sun County against the Trolls, the
first thing he sees is that his officers are in dresses! So he bans
it and the prohibition about Sun Lords disguising themselves as women
is born.

The only element of Travestitism actually comes from Varthanis II who
supported the Somash cult *because* he was rebelling against the strict
social mores of his father and he liked dressing in "women's clothing"
which as a warrior, he was prohibited from doing so by his father's

As for the Hazia, I have no problem with Teshnans reaching their
gods by the use of mind-altering substances in a religious context.
It partially explains their famous lethargy.

>Peter seems to have made these up by assuming that the Yelmalion prohibitions
>against men dressing as women and against hazia were written specifically with
>the Somashi in mind. There is no evidence to support this.

There is no evidence in the Pavis Boxed Set to support the following:

        a) Solanthos Ironpike fancies Little Boys.
        b) the banned crop Hazia.
        c) a second abandoned Sun Dome Temple.
        d) a Yelmalio worshipping Baboon

Yet this did not stop de MOB from creating them for Sun County. So
why should I have to *find* non-existant evidence to support my
theory? I'm making it up just like MOB did.

>It seems unreasonable to start defining the cult of Somash based upon some
>prohibitions in Sun County, especially when we are lacking any evidence that
>Somash even exists in Sun County, much less that these prohibitions were
>promulgated with Somash in mind.

I can point out that Monrogh actually visited Teshnos and recieved
the Vision of the Many Suns. Since the Oceans were Closed at the
time, he must have passed through the River of Cradles. So when
he came back from Teshnos to Sartar bearing the vision of the Many
Suns, he must have brought some Teshnan practices with him. What
would have they been like? What was the effect of them in Sun County.
That's what I attempted to explain. If you can show a flaw other than
the lack of evidence, then I'd like to hear it.

>The prohibition is targetted against the traditional enemies of Sun County,
>the nomads. Nomad religion is mostly shamanic. Shamans often practice
>cross-dressing as part of setting themselves outside their societal taboos.

Hsunchen Shaman do this, but we have no evidence that Praxian Shaman
also do this as it conflicts with the Players Book statement that in
Praxian culture:

        'Gender roles are strictly divided with no room for cross-over'
                                        p12 Players Book, Genertela

Also Ian appears to have forgotten that Female Animal Riders would
not wear long flowing skirts as it is inappropiate for their nomadic
lifestyle and I do not believe they ride side-saddle.

Lastly the practice applies to Shamans whereas most nomad rulers
of Sun County would have been Khans who would wear male clothing.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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