Aeolians

From: Nick Brooke (Nick_Brooke@compuserve.com)
Date: Thu 09 Oct 1997 - 22:29:58 EEST


____________
Ben Sunstrom asks:

> Who/what are the Aeolians in Heortland? (They're mentioned on the
> side in many sources but I haven't got any idea.)

The Aeolians are a hybrid of Orlanthi and Malkioni practices, found
in Heortland and some parts of Seshnela. Mainstream Malkioni would
consider their faith a "Stygian Heresy", because it combines worship
of the Western Invisible God with that of other gods, in this case
the religion of Orlanth, Ernalda and the Lightbringers. Theologians
might consider it a form of "Henotheism" (i.e. a polytheism which
acknowledges the Invisible God as superior to all the other gods).
But mainstream Malkioni wouldn't like it much, whatever happens.

The Aeolian Sect (or Heresy, take your pick) holds that Orlanth is
either the Invisible God himself, or the Invisible God's chief agent
in the world. They believe that the world was saved when Holy Orlanth
led the seven Lightbringer Saints on a world-redeeming Quest. Their
"cult" includes a combination of Western sorcery with Orlanthi cults:
their Saints include recognisable Orlanthi deities, who are in fact
acknowledged to be of divine origin (and not euhemerised mortals, cf.
Worlath, Humct and the other "False Gods" of the Western mainstream).

In Heortland, this used to be the dominant faith in the cities of =

the river valleys and lowland ports; the upland regions still held to
"traditional" (cultic) Orlanth etc. worship, without these Western
influences (often attributed to Arkat the Liberator, a convert from
the Western religion to the barbarian cult of Humakt, who came through
Heortland in the fifth century S.T.).

However, the Aeolian Church was ruthlessly persecuted by the Seshnegi
who seized control of Heortland recently; its priests and bishops have
been slain or driven into hiding, while the Seshnelan Rokari imported
their "pure, true faith: the Malkionism of Rokar" into their Crusader
state of Malkonwal, in South Heortland. The Rokari Inquisition is
notorious; their "carpetbagger" mentality can best be compared to the
mediaeval Crusaders or the Norman Conquest of England. (I always see
them as French-speaking Normans, the Aeolians as "late" Anglo-Saxons,
circa the tenth or eleventh century, and the Orlanthi old-timers as
typical Orlanthi -- they are, after all, the root-stock of Sartar).

Just what the relations between the exiled Aeolians, incumbent Rokari
and invading Lunars might be (not forgetting the old-timer Orlanthi up
in Whitewall) is left as an exercise to the aspiring campaign writer.
Rules mechanics for how Aeolian worshippers learn their spirit magic,
sorcery, rune spells, etc. are debatable: probably we need a good set
of "socialised" sorcery rules before it's worth the effort trying to
define this instance.

David Hall's "Legend of Saint Aeol" was printed in Questlines #1, and
some more information on the Aeolian Heresy can be found in Tales #13,
our Western Special. There is also a sect writeup from "How the West
was One", available on Loren Miller's web page (or via a link from my
own: <http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Nick_Brooke/sects.htm>.
I know Joerg Baumgartner has devoted a lot of time and effort to work
on the Aeolians and Heortland in general, and he can probably answer
detailed questions better than anyone else -- though watch out for his
own theories slipping quietly into the mix!

::::
Nick
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