shargash and other stuff

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Sat 25 Jan 1997 - 10:34:14 EET

Stephen P Martin:

[On whether the Temple of the Reaching Storm was dedicated to
Yara Aranis]

>1) Argrath's founding of his temple could have "summoned" her. But I
>don't think she would be described as "The Six-Armed Goddess of Saird".

All the references to her as the six-armed goddess of Saird
are _after_ the Temple is built. Also note that the reference
comes from Argrath's Saga which was composed many years after
the events at the time and Yara Aranis may have been known as
the Six-armed Goddess of Saird.

>But, the GodsWall sort of makes it clear
>that the West is Hell (description of Yelm, where the one ray of light
>blessing the "Low 25" is the ray blessing the deities of the South). So
>this idea may not work.

The Low 25 are the dieties of the West? I don't think so. FWIW
the rays from the eyes of Yelm are alighting upon the first god
in each row. Four rays strike Murharzarm, his son. Three rays
strike Entekos, his wife. Two strike Gerendetho, who may be a
most favoured ally (shades of Ekus and Enkidu) and One strikes
his chief servant Oslira.

[Malkioni Astronomy]

[Suggestions of malkioni names for stars]

>This is excellent for the Malkioni who also believe in these gods, but
>what about the har-liner Malkioni, who don't? Or do we count these two
>deities as now "worshiped" as lesser saints? I coudl buy that.

I don't see why the parentage of the names should really matter.
Medieval Christian had no problem in calling the planets
by the names of Roman Gods nor even naming the days of the week by

Saxon gods.

Stephen Lucek:

>But this does not mean that [priests] do not have authority. If
>my boss asks for something unreasonable I would refuse him. That does not
>detract from his authority at work. I think that it would be very Orlanthi
>for someone to blood feud with a priest. I also think that it is part of
>Orlanthi tradition to struggle against the universe, and so I find it not
>implausable that Orlanth should make life tough for this individual.

We seem to be arguing about different things. I chose the example
of an Orlanthi Priest slain in a feud to illustrate that IMO it
is not the status of a Priest that matters but his relationship
to you. Authority in Orlanthi society is mostly within your own
social group. People of other clans are not automatically
entitled to have their authority recognized be me.
To clarify with a better example, if I secretly murdered my clan
godi then I will have committed an act obscene to Orlanth because
I have violated mores that are sacred to him. Thus I can expect
to be cursed by him. However if I killed a foreign orlanthi
priest who was stealing my cattle then I have acted without blame
according to Orlanth's Laws and do not expect to be punished by

By saying that the Orlanthi who kills a foreign priest will be
cursed seems to me to be wrong as it does not mesh with what we
know of Orlanthi society. There's no injunction against killing
a Foreign Priest in KoS. Yet if killing an Orlanthi Priest
(whatever his origins) was wrong, I would expect to see evidence
of such injunctions.

>> If one priest hates your guts and you need a divination from Orlanth,
>> then the solution is simple. Find another priest who is more friendly.

>In theory yes. But a recurring problem with a self policing body (like
>doctors, or academics) is that if you complain about 1 member of the
>body, the rest tend to be suspicious of you.

But the Orlanthi priesthood is split along clan and tribal lines.
It only behoves you to be nice to to the priests in your immediate
social group.

Martin Laurie:

Me>>However I think that most people in Alkoth worship Shargash
>>through the Yelm Cult as waffled about above.

>Shargash worshipped through Yelm?!? This is not true at all - they
>are entirely different dieties and Yelm is purely a noble cult when
>worshipped at initiate or higher level whereas Shargash is _the_
>cult in Alkoth.

Firstly I should make it my opinion plain that Alkor is considered
by many to be Shargash in his civic capacity (or protector dance
to use your terminology). Thus when an Alkothian is initiated into
'Yelm the Youth', he has also become a soccer hooligan of the
Shargash Cult.

I don't consider the fact that Shargash and Yelm are 'separate
dieties' to be relevant in terms of cults. The cult of Yelm
has maintained its position in Peloria by literally incorporating
whatever local gods it can into its mythology. Look at the
cult of BernEel Arashagern in Darsen. If you were to tell a
God Learner that it is a Sun Cult, he would consider you stark
raving mad. Yet it quite happily is part of the Yelm Cult.

To many in Alkoth, Shargash is an Aspect or Mask of Yelm (like
Krishna is considered an avatar of Vishnu) and so there is no
conflict between worshipping Shargash and worshipping Yelm (like
there is no conflict between the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ).

The People of Raibanth also worship Yelm but they do not
worship a Mask of Yelm as well as Yelm himself. Thus they
have nothing to guide their own hearts and are prey to foolish
notions at best or the Kazkurtum at worst. The Masks known
by other cities are not Proper Masks...

Lastly I don't consider Yelm 'initiate' status to be solely noble
as it applies to citizens who join the Army. Methinks however that
a distinction is made between commoners and nobles in these stages
(much like senatorial classes in the Roman Army).

>They DON'T get berserk as they are never Berserk in that sense. Instead
>they gain the ability to dance the path of Shargash that they follow.

If it looks like a berserk, foams at the mouth like a beserk, and
fights like a berserk then it should be treated as a berserk. I
don't consider the philosophy behind why he howls to be important
for distinguishing a Shargashite from a Uroxi.


- --Peter 'Hail Shargash!' Metcalfe


End of Glorantha Digest V4 #122

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