Re: Kolatings

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Tue 27 Jan 1998 - 20:33:35 EET

Patrik asks:

> Is there anyone who has any ideas or theories about how the
> Sartarite kolating (shaman) fits in their tribal society as
> of the 1620's?

Not me, guvnor. But I can tell you what I know about my Uncle
Bofrost, from the Hillhaven clan of the Lismelder Tribe. (This
is my summary of things I've seen and heard from David Hall's
"Greydog Game": it's not "my ideas and theories", it's what I
know about my kin).

For starters, the Hillhaven clan are an odd lot. They lived on
their hills before Queen Lismelder moved with her people into
the lowland valleys below. They follow what we call "the Old
Way" -- hunting for subsistence rather than raising crops the
way we do. And their leader -- who is apparently the chief as
well as the major religious figure, leastways he's the guy we
dealt with when we were trying to "fix" the tribal kingmaking
- -- is my Uncle Bofrost.

We call him a "Breath Shaman of Umath". Probably he'd be called
a Kolating by someone with fancy Jrusteli textbooks (or, indeed,
by anyone whose game started *after* "King of Sartar" had been
published -- but we used the original name for Orlanthi shamans,
and it seems to fit). Like any shaman, his power derives from

personal deals with spirits (including Great Spirits), rather
than from a formalised position in a religious hierarchy. In my
time among the Greydogs, we haven't met enough other Hillhaveners
to know about the internal structure of the clan -- but I get a
feeling in my bones that theirs is a colder, harsher life than
we have down in the valleys. They seem somehow more austere than
us happy-go-lucky modern Orlanthi; they don't join in the politics
of tribal life with the same gusto as the rest of us -- but then
again, they aren't related to the Lismelder ancestors; their being
in the tribe is more a matter of demarcation and convenience than
conviction on their part. After all, they say "We were here first",
and arguably have a better claim to the lands than any of us. And
this, of course, makes dealings with them rather fraught -- nobody
likes *knowing* they're probably in the wrong when arguing over
land-tenancy and traditional rights. So we keep ourselves to our-
selves, and try not to worry about what *they* get up to...

Nils writes:

> The Kralorelan Way _might_ be as perfect as the mandarins claim
> if and only if Kralorela was the only state in the cosmos. As it
> is now, it is surrounded by other states and peoples who do not
> acknowledge the Way, so of course it can't work "perfectly".

But wait a few years, and when the Outside World goes to its final
rest, Kralorela will once again attain its former perfection...



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