Orlanth, Hermes and Elmal

From: Jeff Richard (jrichard@cnw.com)
Date: Tue 20 May 1997 - 16:24:51 EEST


Howdy again,

>One point I'd like to make though. If Orlanth is really this horrible
>Godlearner construction, an amalgam of three different gods or
>something, then there would be a much greater chance that different
>temples will celebrate in different ways, and have different paths
>mapped out for gaining divine magic. A cult like Y.T., which was pretty
>much built from ground zero might be more consistant. (Unless,
>different temples stole different quests from dissimilar Humakti
>temples, etc.)

As one of the proponents of the cults of Orlanth theory, I would like to
emphasize that in no way do I consider Orlanth to be a God Learner
construction. IMO, the amalgamation of cults resulting in the Orlanth we
all know and love was accomplished primarily by that great hero Heort, the
Khordavu of the South, and his followers. As the missionaries of the First
Council encountered other Theyalan "nations", they identified the local
storm gods, ruling gods and culture gods with Orlanth and the
Lightbringers. Later, in the Second Council, the era of Lokamayadon and
Harmast was a defining period for the cults of Orlanth.

Note that all of this predates the God Learners by a considerable length of
time.

Joseph Troxell wrote:
>What I don't like is stuff like, "Are Elmal and Yelmalio the same diety?"
>Either they are, or they're not. I don't care if the Orlanthi call
Yelmalio
>"Bob". It's either the same diety, or it's not. A rose is a rose, so to
>speak.

Here is the principle issue - is Orlanth the Thunderer the "same diety" as
the West Storm King? Ultimately I would say that this is a SEMANTIC issue,
and bringing in my favorite twentieth century philosopher, Ludwig
Wittgenstein, I would have to say that it is an irresolvable question akin
to the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin. It is also an
irrelevant question. Was the Latin god Mercury the same god as the Greek
god Hermes who was the same god as the Norse god Odin? If a Germanic Woden
worshipper showed up at a Mercury shrine in Mediolanum - would he be
worshipping the same god? Is this a meaningless question? I think so.

>Invariably, the campaigns I've been involved with solve this issue by
throwing Elmal out the door.

Personally, I have taken the exact opposite approach and tried, whenever
possible, to throw Yelmalio out the door. Elmal lovers unite - we saw at
the battles of Glorantha Con IV that the Colymar Elmali stomped the Sun
Dome Templars, let us throw the foreign priests out of our tribal shrines
and replace their foreign Sun God with our beloved Elmal!

Jeff

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