Yelm etc.

From: David Cake (
Date: Thu 30 Jan 1997 - 04:57:27 EET

Mostly continueing discussion with Peter about the Yelm cult

>Yelm the Youth *is* a laity stage.

        In rules terms, Yelm the Youth sacrifices POW - so its initiate
status, even if it doesn't get all the customary benefits and obligations.

And Yelm the Youth is strictly hereditary - while moving from Yelm the
Youth to Yelm the Warrior is simple. So the membership restrictions on the
Yelm the Warrior cult is simply Yelm the Youth plus military training -
which means the membership restrictions on Yelm the Youth are very

>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.

        Absolutely - the majority of residents are not citizens, but mere
commoners. And many of the remainder are Half-Citizen, Dekdari, who are
basically Yelmics who are not rich enough to be real Yelmics (but AFAIK

Dekdari can become Citizens just buying property). But Half-Citizenship
probably carries most of the status that Citizenship in other cities
provides, including membership in the city god cult, and Yelm the Youth.

But I think the commoners probably worship the city god as well - at least
I don't think the city cults would be strong if they had only a small
number of worshippers. The cities of Dara Happa do tend to have more than

one god associated with them, so it may be that some are for the nobility
and some for the lower classes. Thats all getting a bit complex though.

>The argument originally was Yelm is a noble's only cult.

        Nah, it was originally about whether the Yelm cult was restricted
to a small elite of the cities, or was worshipped by the bulk of city
dwellers. If you now think that the Yelm cult is worshipped only by a small
urban elite (a definate minority of city dwellers), thats pretty much my
position too. Not a nobles only cult like Orlanth Rex, but joined (as Yelm
the Youth) males of the urban elite from which the nobility and military
leaders are drawn, some of whom are not rich, but all proud. Most of them
(especially later sons) progress no further than Yelm the Youth, because
they do not seek military service - but the hereditary status is still
important, because of their children.

>>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).

>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.

        err... what do you mean? The word Yuthu means god, Yuthubars means
the Gods City, and is a completely separate place to Yuthuppa.
        Its not that the word Yuthu us not mentioned in GRoY because its
Raibanth propaganda, its that the word Yuthu is mentioned, explained, and
is not a proper name.

Stephen contributes a footnote
>As to whether or not "Yuthu" exists, I note that "The Perfect Sky" says
>that the star named Evandal is said to be Yuthuppa's Mother. GRoy
>(Ivory), pg. 54. Now, if Yuthuppa is simply the name of the city, how can
>Evandal be its mother?

        All the cities have nurturers, people are often spoken of as the
father of a city, why not a mother? I mean, really, literal interpretation
of every offhand comment in rather abstract tracts is, errr.... pretty damn
silly. I mean, if you are going to ask how a city can have a mother, why
not ask how a star can be a mother?

>Personally, I prefer thinking of Yuthu as
>Buserian's name as the city god, just as Shargash is called Alkor when he
>is the city protector of Alkoth.

        Why not just assume, quite reasonably, that many Yuthuppans refer
to their god as Yuthu, but its a title not a name and many folks have got
confused? Much like a superficial observer might conclude that Christ was
actually named Lord. Which isn't to say that I disagree with what you say
(actually, I do about Alkor/Shargash, but thats not relelevent), I'm just
offering an explanation.
        For what its worth, Gregs current ideas of what cults are extant in
the Lunar empire do not mention (when last I heard them, anyway) Yuthu and
do mention Anaxial and Herustana (his wife) as significant gods (which is
what I put in the Prosopaedia - did people only notice this now?). It may
have been true that there was a god called Yuthu before Greg started on the
Yelmic myth - but I think its been gregged since then.

Back to this Yelm thing and back to Peter

>>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.

        Not at all, you misinterpret me - Raibanth fields both hoplites and
archers AFAIK, so while customarily most Yelm the Warrior guys might be in
Saggittus, some are in Hastatus - which is sufficient reason for the status
of Yelm the Warrior and Saggittus initiate in Raibanth to be associated,
but not confused. But you don't get a free choice - its just that the
favoured Yelm the Warrior associate cult will vary within a city as well as
by city.

>>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).

        Less a cult of hereditary nobility, and more a cult of
'meritocratic' apparatchiks. Both upper crust, though. But hey, if we are
agreed that its only the upper crust in the Yelm cult (including the Youth)
then we don't have much to disagree on...are we agreed?

        I don't think the Yelm and Red Emperor cults are really going to be
that similar though - for example, would the Red Emperor cult be so
patriarchal? I don't think so. But there will be some similarities - he is
Antirius after all.




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