Shargash, Yelm, Berserking

From: Martin Laurie (102541.3423@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Mon 27 Jan 1997 - 20:41:02 EET

>I disagree, in Alkoth Shargash is _real_, he's really there and
>felt by all.

Peter Metcalfe:
>I'm not denying the _reality_ of Shargash. I'm just denying that
>they see Yelm and Shargash as being seperate. A 'Mask' is a
>Lunarism for this type of thing. Shargash is a manifestation of
>Yelm just as much as Alkor is a manifestation of Shargash is all
>that I meant to say.

Its pretty simple to an Alkothi. Yelm is the big yellow thing in the sky and
Shargash is the Red planet (Tolat to some). Obviously different no matter what
those wacky lunar philosopher folk say. How can Yelm be a manifestation of
Shargash? They are plainly two seperate entities - see you can watch them
moving all over the place without bing the same thing. This is how a common

Shargashi would see it. Tell me, what would be the point of worshipping several
gods if they were all merely masks of another? Does this mean that Humakt is a
"mask" of Orlanth in his worshippers eyes or is Urox? If all Alkothi recognised
that Yelm and Shargash were one and the same then mythically they would have
been unleashed years ago because if they were Yelm there would be no-one to
order them not to go nuts and destroy the world?

>>Also remember that to the Shargashi they obey Yelm but they also ruled
>>themselves too. Many times Alkoth has been without an Emperor in Raibanth
>>and they just keep going, making their own Kings or Emperors (Eusibus
>>being the classic example).

>Yelm does not equal Raibanth in the Alkothian or anybody's PoV.
>Yelm is just as much their God as he is the God of the Raibanthi.
>When Alkoth has ruled by itself or in an alliance with Terarir,
>the Alkothian Emperor/Tyrant/Green King will have ruled in the
>name of Yelm as well as Shargash IMO. The Emperor is in Raibanth
>for the same reason that the Pope is in Rome. The Alkothian will
>view the location of the Emperor in the same light as the Medieval
>French viewed the Papal seat: It is far better to have him in
>Avignon/Alkoth whenever possible.

Here I agree with you. The various Emperors of Alkoth (not recognised in
Raibanth of course) were Yelm Rune masters for sure, though like Palangio they
worshipped Shargash too in a big way but the difference between the Emperors of
Alkoth and the Red King who _rules_ Alkoth is huge. The Emperor of Alkoth will
rule the lands and control the city much as the Emperor of Dara Happa does but
the city is and always will be ruled by the Red & Green Kings, each symbolising
and performing the actions of their aspects of Shargash.

For interaction outside of Alkoth then the Emperor is the man and he is the
fellow who ultimately says "no - you can't go and blow up the world" and thus
must be relatively seperate from the actual central destructive nature of
Shargash himself.

>>>Lastly I don't consider Yelm 'initiate' status to be solely noble
>>>as it applies to citizens who join the Army.

>>Uurk, but Yelm is a noble cult and a very small one at that (the last
>>figures I saw were maybe 10-15,000 in the whole Empire - though these
>>may be changed by Greg, they were fairly recent).

>Yelm _Imperator_ is restricted to nobles and has always been. A
>large segment of Yelm the Elder are non-nobles and there is no
>prohibition for the lower ranks against accepting commoners. The
>commoners in the lower ranks are seen however as initiates of
>Hastatus, Sagittus or even Hyalor.

Then they aren't in Yelm! Initiates of another god don't worship their god and
say "yeah I worship him but I know he's really just a mask of Yelm"! They
worship thier god because he fills a mythic place within society that they
follow and because Yelm is the diety of rule this role can only be fulfilled
mythically by those who _do_ rule, not the common man. Yelm the Elder can be
common man its true but this is pretty darn rare IMO because the social
framewoks and religious structures of Dara Happan society would mean that no one
gains that chance as its strictly the preserve of old, respectable families and
noble Houses. If a nobles scion cannot become an Imperator and instead ages in
the service of the House, its common for them to enter Yelm the elder in their
final years to help bring forward a new generation. I can't see the Imperators
beng too keen on some ex-lodrili bumpkin leading their ceremonies with some hay

sticking out of his ear!

>FWIW I don't feel the GOG/WW picture of the subcult of Yelm
>Imperator as a joint Runelord/Priest is correct anymore in that
>membership of the Imperator cult should be a mark of nobility.
>Methinks the Imperator is the Rune Level of the subcult but such
>is the scarcity of openings for Rune Level, most nobles pursue
>other paths (like joining the army, becoming a healer etc).

I think its the other way round. An Imperator gains the magic he does _because_
of his postion and its ritual significance rather than he gains his position and
becomes a noble. Agreed that many nobles join the army and this is the Yelm
warrior path. A large Yelmic House may only have a dozen Imperators ruling its
several factors but of course there will be a ranking system among them too.

>[On beserking]

>>Well it is of course because the appearances are totally different.
>>Shargashi don't foam, they are in control, actually they are also
>>possessed by Shargash and their movements are fluid, powerful and
>>look like a dance.

>Interestingly they are described by outsiders as beserks. The
>Shargashi may see their trances as fluid, powerful dances but
>the outsider sees things differently. Furthermore Orlanth is
>thought by many to be a degenerate form of Shargash and the
>fighting styles of the Orlanthi have been described as beserking.

By outsiders? Okay - what is a berserk? Historically this seems to indicate a
warrior who has no fear of death and plunges into the fray regardelss of their
own safety and yes the Shargashi do this and yes, by this definition, they are
berserks. However, I don't hink they foam at the mouth or bang their shields or
chew the edges or do any of the normal psyching up on the battlefield that an
Uroxi does. Instead they charge into battle singing a war dirge to the beat of
the battle drums, dancing the Path of Shargash through their foes.

>>Well it is of course because the appearances are totally different.
>>Shargashi don't foam, they are in control, actually they are also possessed by
>>Shargash and their movements are fluid, powerful and look like a dance.

Stephen Martin:
>In RQ game terms, however, I think it would boil down to Shargash
>providing the Berserk Divine spell. Is that what you meant Peter?

It doesn't feel right though. They should be able to parry and have a different
effect to the berserk spell. Using the same spell over an over for different
gods and cultural views is and always has been wrong IMO. I prefer the idea of
using the Shargashi warriors dance skill in addition to their attack as the
dance has a ritual & martial meaning over and above the normal skill definition.

Martin Laurie


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