From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Tue 28 Jan 1997 - 10:38:14 EET

Martin Laurie:

>[Yelm and Shargash] 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.

Yes, but the Shargashi also knows that Shargash is the Son of
Yelm (Evil Karsdevanic Clarifiers be damned!). Hence he knows
that they are not seperate entities but related to each other
in some way that is not apparent to the naked eye.

>Tell me, what would be the point of worshipping several
>gods if they were all merely masks of another?

I suppose that a philosopher would answer your question like

        Shargash is the War Aspect of Yelm. He was originally
        within Yelm. But when the Dragon threatened the stability
        of the Cosmos, Yelm sent Shargash without him. If Yelm
        had not done so, then the War aspect would have been less
        apparent to us and we would not be able to defend ourselves
        against the Dragon. But because Shargash is now out of Yelm,
        the worshippers of Yelm cannot make war so well.

>Does this mean that Humakt is a "mask" of Orlanth in his worshippers
>eyes or is Urox?

I think the relationship between Orlanth and Lhankor Mhy
is better. In some Orlanthi clans, they have a position
on the clan ring called Orlanth Lawspeaker. In other
Orlanthi clans, the position is replaced by Lhankor the
Sage. Obviously Orlanth Lawspeaker and Lkankor are
related are related. A similar reasoning would hold for
Yelm and Shargash IMO.

>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?

Because the Imperial Aspect of Yelm (which is not part of
Shargash but remains within Yelm) has said that the time
is not yet right.

>>The commoners in the lower ranks [of the Yelm Cult] 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

I note that the Orlanthi have no such problem with Voriof being their
boy's god. Nor do the Esrolians have problems with their six female
gods being all the faces of the same earth goddess. The concept is
one of Pantheon initiation. Yelm the Archer is also known as Sagittus.
Yelm the Hawkmaster is also known as Tholm. So why shouldn't those
people who worship the cults of Tholm or Sagittus see themselves as
Yelm worshippers?

>because Yelm is the diety of rule this role can only be fulfilled
>mythically by those who _do_ rule, not the common man.

There are other roles for worshipping Yelm than merely being the
ruler. Why do Christians worship Christ the Ruler of the Universe
when less than 1 in 20 has any pretensions to some sort of ruler?
Why do Orlanthi worship the King of Gods? Why do the Doraddi worship
Pamalt, the God of Chieftains? Gods are ruling gods because they are
worshipped by the people (even if the relationship is that of

Also, Yelm is not *only* the God of Rule. He is also the Sun
God, the Psychopomp, the God of Bows, harps, healing, fertility
bringing, hawks, horses and many other things besides.

>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.

Which is not how the Fortunate Succession depicts it. Remember
Avivath? A one-armed bandit who came from a lineage of nobodies.
Several times in Dara Happa's history, commoners have been given
massed promotions when the Emperor shook up society. The Ancient
and Noble Houses are far too weak to have done anything since the
Denesiod Dynasty. IMO most of the DH nobles today are 'new men',
ie elevated to the nobility since Khordavu's time. Some of them
are probably old enough to look down on the lunar nobility as they
can lay claim to having an ancestor who was a senator in Ordanestyu's

To claim that old respectable families and noble houses only get
a chance at power in Dara Happan Society is a delusion which only
exists within the minds of 'old respectable families and noble
houses'. Wanzanelm, Ordanestyu, Denesiod, Karvanyar, Dragon Sun,
Khorvirimakradda, Bisoshan, Endarkus Bullslayer and a few others
were originally rank commoners, disgraced nobles, exotic foreigners
and alien inhumans. Yet they managed to get to the very top without
even a pipsqueak from Yelm. So I don't see why a capable careerist
could not, with some determination and effort, have his 'ancient
and noble lineage' rediscovered, making him eligible for some
important Yelmic position.

>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!

Nor was Richard III all that enthused with the Woodvilles. Nor
were the Optimates happy with the Populares. But these things
happen in _every_ society and I don't see why Dara Happa is
any different. If the bumpkin is too offensive, they could
always misthrow a dart or ensure that the bumpkin chokes to death
on a surfeit of eels...

Michael O'Brien:

>What is this _Girl's Life_? Roleplaying at St Trinians, perhaps? (Hmm,
>the trusty 'Hockey Stick' would make a decent clubbing weapon at the
>school sports, 1d8 damage to the shins of the fat wheezy girls with a note
>from matron, standing on the sidelines.)

How much protection would the stockings give? All that denier must
count for something...

- --Peter 'Shargash doesn't kill people! _People_ kill people' Metcalfe


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