more yelm

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Thu 30 Jan 1997 - 09:12:30 EET

David Gadbois:

Me>> 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.

>Peter argued in V4 #131 that the existence of emperors who were
>originally from non-Dara Happan nobility invalidates the claim that
>Yelm is a nobles-only cult.

I was referring to a previous incarnation of this debate when the
digest was in Loren's hands. That is what I meant by 'originally'.

>From this argument, it does not follow that there are
>commoners initiated into the cult of Yelm.

One of the chief arguments that I made in the original argument was
the status of Imperator required that the person be a noble which
seemed redundant if Yelm was a nobles-only cult. To be a member
of Yelm the Youth, one merely only had to have one's father a member
of Yelm the Youth. To be a member of Yelm the Sage, one needed to
only to be a Priest of an associated cult ie Lodril(!). Even then
it is said in the WW writeup that the new Member of Yelm the Sage
does not become Noble.

Because of this, it is my belief that the Yelm Cult has *two* tiers,
one a select group consisting of the nobility (ie those who filful
the requirements for becoming an imperator) and the other being the
kind of people who make up most of the urban society ie citizens,
merchants, soldiers, sages, lawyers, healers and landlords.

Not every 'commoner' *qualifies* to be a member of Yelm the Youth
because one still has to have a father who is a member. That is
why the benchmark of extending the Yelmic cult membership to
citizens is a safe one IMO.

>Rather, I see Yelm
>initiation as a sufficient condition for noble status: Getting into
>Yelm makes you a noble. That just isn't going to happen for Joe
>Lodrilite. Carpetbaggers and other Carmanians who weasel their way
>into high society are the exceptions that prove the existence of this

If you want to say that Dara Happan Society is as rigidly stratified
as the Rokari (which denies the existance of progression through
Castes while tacitly permitting it - strange that I don't hear outrage
about this) then I have no problem. But to say that Joe Lodrili has no
chance of becoming a Yelmic is plain wrong. The most honest way is
for him to become a Priest of some god or another before taking the
Yelm the Sage route.

And there are plenty of massed examples of people worming their
way into High Society. The Advisors of Radaidavu, the Toga-men
of Erzanestyu, the New Witnesses of Dismesiod and the Old Families
of Karmexdros are the most obvious examples.

>As for direct evidence of a nobles-only Yelm cult, I can only appeal
>to MGF.

Point of Order: 'a nobles-only Yelm cult' is not the same thing
as 'Yelm is a noble's only cult'. There is a nobles-only cult of
Yelm - Imperator - but it is not the *only* cult of Yelm IMO.

>The half-, quarter, and eighth-citizens of the old days,

The half-people are those who do not owe property and are on
the lowest rung of society in Khordavu's day. I'm only
suggesting that the equivalent of members of the seventeen
families (ie the equivalent of Greek hoplite families or
Roman citizens) are eligible for membership in the Yelm Cult.

>plethora of functionally diverse deities in the pantheon, and the big
>interest in ancestry, and the survival of Dara Happan culture in the
>face of frequent conquest also indicate a rather stratified society in
>which this kind of club makes sense.

I find that the frequent conquests of Dara Happa indicates that the
rigidly stratified society is an illusion. It is far more likely
IMO that those who take control after expelling the latest wave of
invaders have _legitimized_ their rule by claiming links with Old
Dara Happa rather than them being remants of the old rulers that
miracolously survived in secret. If the new leaders have succeeded,
the Dara Happan tradition implies that they are noble irregardless
of whether they have straw between their teeth. Whoever heard of
Commoners taking power in Dara Happa? Hence the 'big interest' in

- --Peter Metcalfe


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