Orlanth and Yelm

From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Tue 28 Jan 1997 - 11:52:25 EET


> So most clan chiefs would
>try and be wind lords rather than priests. Some are merely
>initiates.

        Clan Chiefs get their own magic as the 'priests' of the Orlanth Rex
cult. This is related not to war, or to weather, but to leading.

        Orlanthi society may indeed have once been more of a centralised
theocracy. I think one of the reasons for the founding of the Orlanth Rex
cult was to empower the clan chiefs with their own magic so that they were
able to overrule the priests (note the Orlanth Rex spell, Command Priest).

>My Sartarite
>character is on the road to becoming a Wind Lord, but as soon as he does
>he'll have to start chanting poetry to practically everything he meets --
>including "Foul Chaos..." to Lunars, I suspect

        Lunars are tolerant of Chaos, not necessarily chaotic. He only
needs to chant to Lunars who are recognisably chaotic in some way (ie
detect as chaos, worship the Bat or other chaos cults, he knows to have
used chaotic magic like Chaos Gift). Unless he is a crazed fanatic, in
which case he will be shot down like a rabid dog.

Yelm

Nick Effingham says
>The problem with the Dara Happan Yelmic cult is that I
>don't think people know how Dara Happan Magic works, it appears that it
>certainly origanted around Tribal Ceremony etc...

        I think that Dara Happan divine magic works much the same as
anyones, we just underestimate how much tribal ceremony etc. is involved in
most Gloranthan magic. Remember, Gregs ideas of how much magic there is,
how easy it is, etc. are very different to what you might assume from the
RuneQuest rules - if we read Orlanthi fiction we might be thinking their
magic worked differently too.

Peter thoughts on Yelm
>In particular, I think that it varies between City to City.
>For the second yelmic stage, some cities might not have a
>stage of Yelm the Archer (ie Sagittus) and replace it with
>Yelm the Rider (Hyalor). Others might use Hastatus instead.

        I agree. As we have mentioned before, Yelm Sun Lords particularly
get very little magic from the Yelm cult as written up. Assume that almost
all Yelmites are also members of whatever associated cults are encouraged
locally.

>I think that the Yelm the Youth stage is the same as joining
>your local city cult (ie Raiba, Alkor, Yuthu).

        though Peter is well aware that this opinion is controversial....
        Quite a few people disagree, myself included, think that Yelm
membership is restricted to a minority of city dwellers, basically only
upper classes, and different to membership in the city cults. Everyone
worships Yelm, but they do it as members of associated cults or as laity.

You'll note that everyone agrees that most Pelorians worship Yelm in some
way, its just that Peter thinks that 'worshipping Yelm' translates in rules
terms to 'cult membership', whereas I think that being initiated into an
associated cult counts as 'pantheon initiation', but membership in the Yelm
cult directly is an upper class privelege.

        Also, I don't think there is such a cult as Yuthu, though it was
mentioned in some very old sources. Yuthuppa means Gods Ship, and is where
Anaxial the Sailor landed his boat according to GRoY, and the city god of
Yuthuppa is probably Anaxial (and his wife). Though I guess they might
sometimes refer to him as Yuthu (meaning the God or Our God or similar) if
you really want to rationalise this very old name into current ideas.

        Peters ideas on what dominates where are pretty good, but I don't
think we are talking about the subcults actually taking the place of the
Yelmic status, but simply being associated with it - and the association in
many places is customary rather than rigid. By which I mean to make clear

a) there are many members of the associated cults that are not also members
of the cult of Yelm. Peter thinks most people are in the Yelm cult, I think
only the upper crust. So for him, its a non-issue - but I want to make it
clear that you can have lots of archers that aren't in the Yelm cult.

b) I think a Yelm the Warrior initiate may have some freedom to choose
between which associated cult he is also associated with, rather than being
constrained to whatever is the local choice. A member of Yelm the Warrior
is expected to also be initiated into an associated warrior cult - but
while Sagittus is the prefered god in Raibanth, Hastatus is a valid choice,
particularly if you are serving in a Phalanx unit.

        What form the Yelm cult takes in Glamour is an interesting one. I'm
not sure I agree with Peter, but I'm not entirely sure I don't. I don't
think we know enough about the relationship of Moonson to the Yelm cult to
really say. He does have a cult that is worshipped in many places, though I

thought of it as being less a cult of the nobility and more a cult of Lunar
apparatchiks.

        (hmmm - Sayings of Emperor Moonson in Little Red Books, anyone?)

Carmanian Humakti

        Well, I'm going to yield to Lorens greater authority - and the
incidental fact that I happen to agree with him has nothing to do with it
;-)

        Cheers

                David

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