a lenghty post

From: Peter Metcalfe (P.Metcalfe@student.canterbury.ac.nz)
Date: Wed 29 Jan 1997 - 02:15:20 EET

Simon Phipp:

Me>> Perhaps you could try reading the Dragon-slaying myths which
>> written down and find out that Orlanth simply did a variation
>> of being swallowed and cutting his way out when he fought Aroka?

>Maybe I did read it, maybe (strange idea, I know) I do put some
>thought into my arguments and don't just make up the facts as I need
>them, maybe you should credit people with more judgement than you do.

Excuse me, but all you did was say that the idea being swallowed
and cutting themselves out (ie Sir Ethilrist, Argrath) was silly
and then said that the Orlanthi would use the dragonslaying myths
whilst apparently ignorant that the Orlanthi myths *do* have this
sort of thing. If there was an indication of having understood

what I wrote or any sign of some thought having gone into your
remark, then it was not apparent to me. I can only credit people
with judgement on the basis of what they have written.

>Anyway, back to the point. Orlanth "strode into its mouth ... and
>with a shout of victory tore the dragon asunder". Doesn't sound like
>someone being eaten. Maybe it is poetic licence, but I would prefer to
>think not.

As I said above, Orlanth used a _variation_ of being eaten ie he has
placed himself in *danger* by being in the Dragon's mouth. I even
pointed out another motif where the Hero is wrapped around by the
serpent before killing it. These are _hazards_ that the Hero has
to undergo before killing the monster.

>> Naturally as they are lefthanded and have a tail, unlike say
>> dwarves, elves, trolls, humans etc.

>Ducks have tails, ogres are left handed - which of these are not
>linked to the Man Rune?

Ogres are right-handed (Dragonewts are sinster) and are clearly
related to the man rune. Or perhaps you have some hidden gnosis
that transcends rationality?

David Cake:

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

> 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.

Yelm the Youth *is* a laity stage. Also note that being resident in
a city and citizenship (which is a requirement for being a member of
the city cult) are not the same thing as I have pointed out to
David before. Making the local city god the patron of Yelm the Youth
reinforces the concept of Yelm being a City God rather than the
feudal noble that is commonly believed.

>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.

The argument originally was Yelm is a noble's only cult. I disputed
this by saying the Yelm was an Urban Cult and cited evidence. I
get rather tired when people now want to rewrite history and say
that they meant _all_along_ that Yelm is primarily an Upper Class God
(with some poor unfortunates reduced to penury) with the intention
of casting me as some lone extremist. The quote about 'worshipping
Yelm' also mentions in the very same breath that the peasants worship
Lodril. Are we supposed to concluded that they are not members of
the Lodril cult according to your exegesis? And the argument about
Pantheon initiation is but a weak reed: Is an Issaries initiate not
considered Orlanthi by his fellow clan members? So why isn't a citizen
considered an initiate of Yelm?

> Also, I don't think there is such a cult as Yuthu, though it was
>mentioned in some very old sources.

I wouldn't call the Genertela Book very old. Yuthu's not mentioned
very well in the GRAY and the FS because those books are concerned
with *Raibanth*. The lore of other cities is given short shrift.

>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.

Given that Yuthubars is also mentioned in the GRAY leads me to
believe that Yuthu founded the City and that Anaxial was a famous
Sailor-Emperor that ruled from it.

> 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.

If the Orlanthi are happy enough to have Issaries replace Orlanth
Goodvoice and Lhankor Mhy replace Orlanth Lawspeaker, then I
don't see why the Yelmics can't consider that Yelm the Archer *is*
Sagittus and Yelm the Youth *is* the local city god.

This is especially true if it is remembered that Yelm is a
synthetic cult which is modified over the passing years. There
is no divine relevation which automatically set out the stations
of Yelm. People looked among their old cults to see which had
the spark of Yelm within them and used those cults to make up
the Yelm Cult as they thought it should be.

They didn't say:

        'Yelm in the Good Old Days wielded a Bow. Therefore
        we must create a cult status relating to this myth.
        All Bow Gods that we can find must be subcults of
        Yelm the Archer'.

What they said was:

        'The arrows of Sagittus's pierce the enemy like the
        Sun's Rays piece the Clouds. Furthermore on the Gods
        Wall, Sagittus has a Bright and Radiant Face. How can
        Sagittus *not* be a spark of Yelm left to us from the
        Old Days?'

And as for 'customary' rather than 'rigid', well if it was rigid
then I wouldn't have the variation *between* cities. People can
dissent from these choices and do, but we are talking about the

>but I want to make it clear that you can have lots of archers that
>aren't in the Yelm cult.

Which I have not denied. Members of the Army that are not in the
Yelm Cult are 'auxillaries'. If it worked for the Romans, it
can work for Dara Happa.

>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.

Which ignores the fact that what unit the warrior belongs to are
*determined* by the local choices. Alkoth doesn't raise augners,
for example.

> 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.

Moonson founded the City of Glamour *and* is the bearer of Antirius
(he is called the Red Emperor because his glow was reddish compared
to Yelmgatha) and shines like the Sun. What more proof do you need
of his yelmic credentials?

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

*sigh*. I thought we had moved away from nobility cults and merely
to upper crust (which I'm sure lunar apparatchiks are). It look's
like I'll have to renew my tenure as a lone extremist...

Michael O'Brien:

Me >>All that denier must count for something...

>[Wow, I had to actually look up "denier" and discovered that apart from it
>being an old French copper coin worth half a sou, a "denier" is a unit of
>nylon yarn weight. Of course my wife now tells me that this is how you buy
>pantyhose, and while she scoffs at my blokey ignorance, she also wonders
>just what it is I'm doing on the Internet at the moment...]

Oops. Hadn't realized that this was one of the Secrets that Man was
Not Meant to Know. I apologize for loosing forbidden lore upon the
unsuspecting masses. Of course, my sources must remain confidential...

- --Peter Metcalfe


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