Yelmalio and Ram People

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Fri 03 Jan 1997 - 15:17:12 EET

Joerg Baumgartner:

[Yelmalio Temples in Vanch]

>> The cult considers the Hill of Gold, near the town of Bikhy
>> in Vanch, to be especially sacred for it was there that their
>> god was [blah blah blah]. This is a place of pilgrimage and
>> HeroQuest, although no temple exists here.

>As I read this, there is no Sun Dome Temple at the Hill of Gold. Nothing is
>said about Bikhy, and even less about no temple existing in Vanch. If you
>want to spread 15 Sun Dome Temples, counting the two in Prax and northern
>Volsaxi Valley, and one (yet unplaced) in Lunar Tarsh, where do you want to
>put the 12 others, and avoid Vanch?

It would be a very unusual religion that has major temples in Vanch
and none at the Hill of Gold which is their most holy place. This
would be akin methinks to having the nearest muslim mosque to the
Holy Places of Mecca and Medina somewhere in Iraq.

The fact that Yelmalio is not strongly represented at Bikhy seems
to indicate that some other god (like Elmal) holds sway near the
Hill of Gold. If Yelmalio were popular in Vanch then I would
have expected the King or whoever rules Vanch to have established
a major temple at the Hill of Gold.

BTW there's only one Sun Dome Temple in Prax according to CoP so
the Pavis Yelmalio temple is not considered to be one of big 15
Sun Dome Temples.

>Bikhy is bound to have a city temple to Yelmalio, but needn't have the
>mercenary templar attachment which makes that a Sun Dome Temple.

I don't think it's mercenaries that render a temple Sun Dome.
Methinks the shear size counts.

David Dunham:

Me>> According to the GRAY, the Ram People worshipped a huge iron
>> ram which they towed about on wheels.

>> Thus sayeth Plentonius. Personally I think he's making it up
>> here as one is left with the curious question of exactly how
>> a neolithic culture managed to find a great big idol made from
>> _iron_ and invented _wheels_ to cart it around?

>The Andams had their ordeed-drawn chariots, and their invasion of southern
>Pelanda happened during what I'd consider neolithic times.

The Andams also used swords and fought against the first Pelandan
Shield Wall. Given that the Ordeeds are also domesticated, I
think calling the Andams neolithic is stretching it. The Andams
are also later than the Ram People for by the time they invaded,
Mount Arketos (which was raised by the Suvarians against the Ram
People) is noted on the map.

Also the clothing styles of the Pelorians at the time of the Ram
People are rather archaic. The Old Ones who were displaced by the
Ram People are noted in Suvarian Lore as being covered in paint -
a practice which was diminishing in Pelanda by late wendarian times
in favour of clothing and tattoos.

In Dara Happa, Urvairinus equips his people with neither shields
nor armour but 'a stout two-handed spear and a pair of javelins,
or else a short bow. These were the same weapons as even the
enemy had, but none of them had the discipline or training' GRAY
Ivory pages p103.

Hence IMO a considerable period of time has elapsed between
the invasion of the Ram People and the Andam invasion.

>But "wheels" could have been added later; they might have towed
>it rollers, or even on a sledge.

It depends of course how huge the Ram was. If it was merely
life-sized idol then half my objections vanish as they could
have carried it with a train of bearers. Plentonius and
others imply that the idol was considerably larger. I suppose
he's a born fisherman....

>As for ironworking, that mystery is so restricted even today that perhaps
>it was made for them. Or perhaps it was just a lump of iron that looked
>like a ram, the same way cabbage leaves look like Elvis.

One wonders why the Mostali did not relieve the Ram People
of their idol. It would be almost criminal for them to
have that much iron carted about. I think instead that if
the ram idol did exist, it was formed by worship ceremonies
out of some black rock like many Pelandan Statues described
in the Entekosiad.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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