Lunar Conquest

From: Saravan Peacock (saravan@perth.DIALix.oz.au)
Date: Mon 14 Oct 1996 - 05:20:59 EEST


How exactly does the Lunar ban on worship of Orlanth work, in Sartar and
elsewhere?

I still can't get a clear picture of this in my own head. In Pavis, the
Lunars sanction a puppet priest and his temple, and outlaw and hunt down
anyone who follows the anti-Lunar priest or who doesn't worship at the
right temple. Is this how it works in Sartar?

I have the idea that it is a little more harsh - that they actually outlaw
all worship of Orlanth. But they can't actually suppress _all_ open worship
of Orlanth due to limitations of resources. At the tribal level the Lunars
make sure there are no worship ceremonies. If the whole tribe tries one, it
constitutes an act of mass rebellion and the Lunars send in troops and
priests to slaughter everyone linked to the rebels. Tribal leaders have
learned that this is a _really_ dangerous thing to do, so mostly they
submit in the open and don't conduct open worship ceremonies. It is more
difficult to police at the clan level, at least in areas that are more
difficult to access. Here, maybe it goes along the lines of the Pavis
situation. As long as the clan keeps quiet, pays its taxes and bows to the
Lunars in public, they don't really care. If they start causing trouble the
troops move in and the first thing they target is the priest and the holy
places. A lot of this happened already in 1602-3 and later.

I just don't think that they have enough resources to entirely root out
open worship - and I think it would be pretty hard to conceal a gathering
of several hundred people at clan level (especially when everyone -
including the Lunars - knows when it's going to be - High Holy Day). So
they suppress outward signs of rebellion and crush the troublemakers, and
then use 'peaceful' persuasion to help. This is the bit about encouraging
Sartarites to join the Seven Mothers and so on. That is, if you worship at
this temple you'll pay less tax and have more privileges than your
neighbours. This is also a political thing. Clans whose chieftains side
with the Lunars (even if they don't join the Seven Mothers Cult) get
special benefits like troops to keep them in power against the chance of a
revolt by their own people, and leniency when they go and raid their
enemies, and help when their enemies come to raid them back.

Of course throughout all this, worship of Orlanth is still banned, so the
Lunars can walk in any time and slaughter all the worshippers at a ceremony
(if they can manage it), or people who are known to have been at a
ceremony, without any other provocation. On the secrecy bit - of course
anyone who worships in secret is a rebel. Otherwise why would they need to
worship in secret? They are the Cold Wind types and are automatically
marked for death if the Lunars know who they are.

Does this sound like a reasonable interpretation? Are they actually more
harsh or more lenient (very unlikely IMO) on the outward signs of worship?

Pax

Saravan.

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