LBQ, Vinga and stuff

From: Jeff Richard (jrichard@cnw.com)
Date: Thu 01 May 1997 - 05:31:50 EEST


Howdy all,

I thought I'd make a handful of comments on a variety of subjects, before I
run back to reading my exciting legal tomes.

Lightbringers Quest.

The best source, as several have commented, for the LBQ is KoS. Greg
presents two variations of the myth. The first is a mythic narrative from
apparently 18th Century Sartar (yes, fully a century later than most
Gloranthan campaigns and a good three or four centuries after my own Taming
of Dragon Pass campaign). The second is actually more interesting to me -
it is a structural outline of the Short Lightbringers Pilgrimage - a grand
fourteen day ceremony. The date given for it is also in the 18th century.

Argrath's Saga refers to the LBQ as requiring "sixteen successful magical
ceremonies, each of which requires all 7 participants to perform
flawlessly, and each of which includes at least one portion where the
participants invoke their enemies to come inside their protective circle."
However, the structural outline provides the 14 stages of the LBQ. For
those of you who don't have KoS, I've given the short title of the stage:
1. Preparation
2. Departure
3. Westfaring
4. The Descent
5. The Obsidian Palace
6. Alone in Hell
7. Rest
8. Three Challenges
9. Presentation
10. Atonement
11. The Proof
12. Gift-Giving
13. Procession
14. Celebration

I suspect that within the Heortling Cultures (Heortland, Sartar, Tarsh,
Aggar, Holay and Saird), there is remarkable variation within these
fourteen categories. It is entirely possible that different gods are
associated with different sections. Amongst the non-Heortling Orlanthi
(Esrolia, Ralios, Talastar, Sylilla, Fronela, and Wenelia) there is
probably much more variety.

Without a doubt, the LBQ is the Gloranthan myth that most resembles Joseph
Campbell's "Hero of a Thousand Faces" and IMO it is Greg's best myth to
date. The complexity of the myth - and its messianic message of
hard-earned atonement and world-redemption betrays characterization of the
Orlanthi as "ignorant barbarians".

As for Gina Jar and Flesh Man, I think the analysis of Nick Brooke and
others was great. I'd only like to add that in clan rituals, anyone can be
Flesh Man (something that Nick apparently used to great effect in the Rise
of Ralios) and Gina Jar is the embodiment of the clan-as-a-whole (something
Martin Laurie used to great perversity in the trial-run of the Fall of the
House of Malan).

Babeester Gor and Vinga

Babeester Gor IS NOT the female warrior cult in Sartar IMO. Indeed the
list of exotic dieties worshipped by the Orlanthi in KoS mentions Boneman
the Smith and Kolating but not Babeestor Gor. I'm sure Pam Carlson has
some strong opinions about the role of BG amongst Quivini women (her
character sure does).

Vinga, on the other hand, IS Orlanth for women. IMO, outside of the
protection provided by Vinga, women cannot participate in the men's rites
(Orlanth). The cult of Vinga allows women to participate in direct Orlanth
worship. I personally am uncertain whether women can directly initiate into
the cult of Orlanth the Thunderer.

Yelmalio and geasa

Just one more reason why I hate the cult of Yelmalio outside of Vanch,
Balazar and Sun County. Long live Elmal (with which I've pretty much
replaced Yelmalio)!

Yours truly,

Jeff Richard

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