Yelmalio and other stuff

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Mon 06 Jan 1997 - 06:34:09 EET

Jane Williams:

>Also, is it possible to be a priest without having the Worship Deity
>spell? I would have though that at least they would have had to get it
>within a few weeks of obtaining the new rank, but it isn't spelt out as
>such in the rule books that I can find.

Well a Priest can get by without a worship diety spell as it merely
confers him the ability to lead at worship ceremonies. But most
priests usually sacrifice for magic early on because if you don't
have it while being high-up in the temple, you tend to get upstaged
at holy days as you will have to defer to some young upstart who
does know it.

Stephen P Martin:

Me>>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.

>Unless ALL Sun Dome Temples were built on the ruins of the older temples,
>as King of Sartar tends to imply. Thus, there was no temple ruin actually
>at the hills, so the revived cult did not have a major temple there.

Which merely raises the question of why such temples were not
constructed at the HoG in the Second Age.

Michael Raaterova:

>Not all traders are initiates of Issaries, and Bargain is a skill special
>to Issaries.

*snort* I find this very difficult to believe. I would ascribe
the lack of a bargain skill in the RQIII trader previous experience
to a simple snafu between RQIII being written up to be generic and
Bargain being a skill than exists in the Gloranthan Universe.

Joerg Baumgartner:

Me>>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.

>It would be a very unusual religion that has major temples in Dragon Pass
>and none atop Wintertop, which is the birthplace of their god (Orlanth)...

And why is this? Because another religion controls the region around
Orlanth's birthplace, namely the Temple of the Shaking Earth. This
is the same reason I have proposed that some other cult controls the
area around the Hills of Gold. If it was important and they had
free access to it, then they would have built a temple nearby cf
the Temple to Storm Bull at the Block.

>>would be akin methinks to having the nearest muslim mosque to the
>>Holy Places of Mecca and Medina somewhere in Iraq.

>AFAIK the Kaaba is not a mosque.

There are mosques _nevertheless_ in Mecca and Medina!

>The comparison is wrong, anyway, since it
>is not an unmoveable natural feature. There is no temple on top (or at the
>foot) of the Ararat or the Sinai, even though these mountains are considered
>sacred to more than one religion.

There is the Monastory of St Catherine founded by Justinian at
Mount Sinai and there are religious buildings at the base of
Mount Ararat (My encyclopaedia mentions a convent being destroyed
in the 1840 earthquake). But these mountains are not sacred in
the same way as Mount Gerizim in the West Bank (where the Samaritans
go) and Mount Fuji in Japan which has masses of pilgrims. These
sacred mountains too have religious structures at the base.

>>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.

>There are numerous gods whose holy place is located on the Hill of Gold. Not
>counting Yelmalio's opponents (Zorak Zoran, Orlanth, Inora), we have
>Antirius, Amanstan, Shargash and a couple of other sun/fire/light related
>deities. I'm not at all convinced that Elmal is one of these; after all his
>combat with Orlanth took place on a "bridge" across some river (the Oslir?).

The Combat in KoS is where Elmal made his _peace_ with Orlanth
and was accepted into Orlanthi Society not where he was disarmed.
This is told from the viewpoint of the Dragon Pass Orlanthi who
do not see the HoG as important.

Zorak Zoran does not have a temple there because the people
who live in Vanch don't like Trolls. The Dara Happans do not
have temples there for the Orb of the Eye was plundered from
the HoG long ago.

Whether Orlanth or Inora have some sort of Holy Place at
the HoG is a good question. IMO they probably do as they
are native dieties.

>>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.

>Bikhy isn't that far from the HoG, and nothing bars that temple from being a
>"major" temple. After all, you don't get mass pilgrimages to the HoG, but
>solitary heroquesters.

There are only solitary _Yelmalio_ Heroquesters to the HoG. Given
the mythic importance of such a place, I find it difficult to believe
that the people of Vanch do not congregate with stilled lanterns
on its lower slopes in the deepest midwinter waiting for the Elmalus
to bring back the Spark of Life from the Mountain Top. Religions are
the opiate of the _masses_, not the preserve of a few.

>As the easiest way to get that [Great Temple], you have two or three
>mercenary regiments attached.

>Well, that's where we disagree. A Sun Dome Temple is a place where
>Sun Dome Templars reside, and can be hired.

What is with the mercenary regiments? Yelmalio doesn't revolve
around mercenaries contracts. He's the god of the people not
mercenaries. A Sun Dome Temple can be Great without its Count
having hired out any of his Templars as mercenaries. Certainly
_Sun_County_ does not mention any hiring halls for sellswords and

quite rightly so IMHO.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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