Arkat in Ralios

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@voyager.co.nz)
Date: Tue 17 Feb 1998 - 21:40:10 EET


Joerg Baumgartner:

>From a few hints in Genertela Book about
>Helby and Galin and friendly support by people who possess Greg's
>unpublished "Jonat's Saga" I tried to construct a variation of the
>Stygian church which worshipped the forces of Light.

The phrase that 'Stygian church which worshipped ... Light' is the
major reason why I prefer to describe the churches as henotheist

(small h to distinguish them from the Henotheistic church!)

Me>>Arkat when he ruled over Ralios had an uz-centred
>>religion which is a tad incompatible with the
>>Lightbringing Orlanth religion.
>
>Funny, then, that the Kingdom of Night under the Only Old One fully
>embraced the Lightbringers' message, and _spread the creed_! I doubt
>that Arkat had more problems than the OOO with tolerating the (original,
>non-Osentalka) Theyalan world-view.

And Arkat is not the Only Old One. When he cleansed Ralios, He was a
fanatic and had no grounds for distinguishing between the good aspects
of Theyalan Culture and the bad.

>>Now I can't actually speak about what Arkat changes
>>made as we only have polemic tracts about the
>>Kingdom of Darkness and all that. However given
>>that the Lowlanders exposure to the Lightbringers
>>is tied in with Nysalor (they come from the same
>>source), it would have been seen as _bad_ when

>>he cleared Ralios of the deceiver.

>That's a non-sequitur. Nysalor comes over 200 years after the first
>exposure to Lightbringer ideas, and after a good part of the Theyalans
>breaks off the council.

And some Theyalans including the Dorastans were still in contact
with the Dari Alliance. The Heortlings OTOH are seperated by the
Mislari Mountains. Nysaloran influences would have been spread
through the secrets of Lightbringing and so I repeat Arkat the
Knight would have seen Theyalan influences as Gbajite and would
have no reason to suspect (until Harmast) that one could distinguish
between Lightbringing and Illumination.

>The Ralians who embraced Arkat as their
>liberator from Gbaji (fewer than in Maniria though, where there was an
>oppressive regime installed by the Bright Empire). Arkat built upon the
>foundations laid by the Theyalan missionaries that long ago.

Rubbish. Arkat was a Malkioni fanatic at the time. Why would he
willingly co-opt suspect pagan elements into the New Ralios?

>While it is dangerous to compare Arkat to Mohammed, I think there is a
>certain parallel here to Mohammed's treatment of the Jewish Arabs of
>Medina during his ascension (he forced them out of Medina) and after his
>successors had been established - a time when Christian and Jewish Arabs

>continued to play a part in the affairs of Arabia.

The parallel does not hold for Mohammad treated the Medina Jews badly
because they had been collaborating with the enemy! His attitude towards
Jews (and Christians) was the same whether before his flight, at Medina or
after his return to Mecca: They were people of the Book to be treated
nicely (unless they misbehaved) as second class citizens.

>Mohammed's
>revelations accepted the Jewish and Christian creeds as kindred creeds,
>though inferior in their perception of the truth as revealed to himself.

To address the parallel, Arkat could have tolerated lightbringing
influences _after_ the Empire was established. But he had no
special reason to transplant Theyalan Secrets there as he had his
own mysteries.

>>Now I know Arkat betrayed the Malkioni to join
>>Humakt to fight with Harmast. But he had betrayed
>>the Malkioni (who now controlled Lowland Ralios)
>>in doing so and thus any message of Lightbringing
>>being good would have fallen among deaf ears in
>>the lowlands and receptive ears among the Vustrians
>>et al.

>I don't really think that Arkat left all the Safelstran lowlands to
>Malkioni lords.

He left them to his 'sons' (possibly a cult explaining why Gerlant
is said to be a Son of Arkat) which is mentioned in Lords of Terror.

>On his time among the Kethaelans Arkat installed
>friendly local leaders (Only Old One, King of the Hendriki) to act as
>his gouvernors.

But then by that time Arkat was no longer a Malkioni.

>I think it is said that he usually did so (I'm at work
>now, away from my sources), so I see no reason why he should have left
>all the land to foreign oppressors when he had friendly natives to
>continue his policy (like Maklaman, or the leaders who joined his forces
>during the rural rebellions).

Maklamann is remaining loyal to Arkat even after Arkat betrays the
Malkioni and the Orlanthi. Thus I don't think he can be left in
Ralios as a suitable satrap. He is unusual in doing so which is
why he is renowned hero.

>>But I strongly doubt that Orlanth have had a
>>greater influence than Humath. My criterion
>>for assuming that a tribe or peoples had been
>>Theyalanized is the adoption of Orlanth as the
>>men's god.

>Which would exclude the Rightarm Islanders, the Esrolites, the
>Caladrans, the Kitori, the Boar Riders of Stinking Forest and possibly
>even the Dorastans from Theyalan culture. A bit narrowminded, compared
>to the definition of "Orlanthi" in the Genertela Players Book.

And they are not Orlanthi but related peoples. There the criterion
is one who speaks a related language to Stormspeech. I am talking
about foreign cultures becoming Orlanthi.

>>Now the Galanini would have still been worshipping
>>Eneral, Galin or even Humath (I don't know enough
>>about the Galanini to say which one) as their men's
>>god and not Orlanth. Even then I feel that Humath
>>had a greater influence in Galanini society than Orlanth.

>Well, the Dinacoli tribe in (3rd Age) Sartar doesn't exactly worship
>Orlanth as their mens' god, but Yelmalio (at least last time I asked
>Greg). Are they something else than Orlanthi?

Orlanthi all, Joerg.

>IMO the middle 1st Age Enerali "knew the Greeting" as well, and shared
>most of the other broader culture of the Theyalans.

You are wrong IMO as they had their own greetings and retained their
own culture.

- --Peter Metcalfe

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