Orlanth Rex

From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Wed 22 Jan 1997 - 05:30:25 EET

>I have a real problem with the vast majority of Orlanthi being initiates.
>My main qualm about it is that this would be a very strong force towards a
>theocratic society.

        In general, I think you are right - a society where 90% of members
are initiates is likely to have theocratic tendencies.

        The Orlanth cult, though, is an exception - but unfortunately it
doesn't really come across unless you have the complete writeup (the one in
River of Cradles is incomplete, and the full version can be found only in
an obscure magazine - same old story). The important factor is the Rex
sub-cult. Tribal leaders are invested in religious rituals, and have
religious responsibilities and spells - but they are not drawn from the
priests, but popularly elected and so on. Whats more, they have spells that
can be used to keep the priests under control, and enforce their commands.
The spell Command Priests means that priests cannot cast Orlanthi magic
unless the Chief gives explicit permission, for example.

        I'm not sure if I agree with calls to return to lay membership
rather than initiateship as the norm, but our ideas about initiate status
are certainly pretty unformed at the moment. Though pantheon initiation has
been discussed many times, I'm still not sure exactly what it means.




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