GRoY, Orlanthi

From: Carlson, Pam (
Date: Tue 21 Jan 1997 - 21:28:00 EET

First, some GROY fluff, then I'll get to Stephen Leuck's Orlanthi
religious hierarchy questions - succinctly, I hope.

Stephen Martin:
> But according to this other info, GRoY was found or brought out of Alkoth
after Sheng Seleris was slain and the nomads finally driven out. It may
be that Yelmgatha used GRoY to write FS, but that it was not made
generally public until the Fifth Wane.

Whoa! I thought FS was written LONG AFTER Yelmgatha died, that is, in
1500 something. Yelmgatha supposedly found GRoY in Alkoth, which makes
sense because it was one of the few places in DH that had NOT been
conquered by the Carmanians. One could presume that Alkoth had been
cut off from the rest of DH by the Carmanians, so GRoY may have been new
to Yelmgatha, but maybe not to the Alkothi.

Yelmgatha: "I have braved the Spolite hordes to travel here, for the
Almighty Godfather has given me a Golden Vision. In your ancient vaults
is a Tome of Truth, which illuminates the creation of the Rich Land by
the Emperor of the Universe!

Alkothi Librarian: "Ah. Our Shargash collection is in these six

YG: "No! The Emperor! Yelm! I'm looking for the 'Glorious Re-Ascent
of Yelm'".

AL: "That old thing? You want that? It's full of the squeamish
rantings of some boot-licker from Raibanth. Doesn't even have any of
the IMPORTANT events in it - the Tearing of Kazkurtem, the Triumph of
the Dead. In fact, the noble decendants of Eusibus have been clamouring
for centuries to have it burned..."

YG: "No! I must have it to restore the Justice of the Emperor! Then we
can unite our ancient lands and drive the foul Spolites from our land!"

AL, (muttering): "All you need up there are some decent warriors and a
little spine. You Northerners spend too much time wringing your hands
and begging the sky for stuff. You want inspiration? Go a few rounds
with the spirits in the War Enclosure. They'll put you right..."

YG: "Er, no, thank you. I think the book will do just fine for now..."

But I think you are right that Alkoth would also be a source of
information in the restoration after Sheng.

Stephen L asks why, with so much ofthe population being initiates, the
Orlanthi are not a theocracy.
The briefest answer lies in two themes largely explored only at
RQ/Gloranthan cons and on the digest:

 1) magic = physics in Glorantha
2) pantheon initiation

1) Initiates have expended point of POW to join the entire pantheon -
Ernalda, Orlanth, Bartar, Issaries, etc. The POW is their link to the
magic powers of their world, a prerequisite to funtion as a member of
society in an inherently magical world. They must be initiates to
participate in clan fertility rituals, sacred time rituals, harvest
rituals, etc. Don't think of "initiates" as an elite few, steeped in
powerful and arcane knowledge. Inititates are farmers, shepherds,
warriors, traders, mothers, healers, etc.

Furthermore, Sartarite Orlanthi do not form tight religious or secuar
hierarchies. If a priest from outside the clan or town shows up, they
will get repect and hospitality, but never blind obedience. Remember -
"No one can make you do anything." Loyalty is usually directed only to
kin and clan members. Also, acolytes and priests are often "ordained"
by their own clans. Therefore, little concept of external religious
authority exists.

Other Orlanthi have a more hierarchical secular structure, the Aolean
Heortlings and the Naskori in the West, for example. These may also
have a more hierarchical religious structure, but you can bet that it's
closely tied to the secular hierarchy. Joerg Baumgartner has done a
lot of work on the Heortlings - he can give you more info.

The closest thing to "lay members", are members of a pantheon who
participate in rituals that are lead by priests or acolytes of gods the
worshippers do not call on often. For examples, if a clan decided they
were in really desperate straits and needed to help some wandering Storm
Bull specialists perform a big ceremony to smite choas better, they
would act as players in the ritual, taking minor roles (perhaps playing
the endangered children of Storm Bull, while the Bullies took the active
roles), and providing MP to the god. These folk may otherwise never
directly worship SB, as they don't know his specific rituals very well.




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