Arkat in Ralios

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Wed 18 Feb 1998 - 23:11:22 EET

Joerg Baumgartner

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

>No, I _meant_ Stygian (Greek for "relating to the dark") above. Remember
>that, whether Arkat is illuminated or something else, he had this knack
>of combining seeming opposites.

Did he? I'm not convinced that the Stygians worshipped Ehilm
seeing that Arkat slaughtered the Yelornans.

>>>>Arkat when he ruled over Ralios

>I didn't regard Arkat's occupation of Ralios 410-425 as him ruling it,
>whereas Peter from the term "Malkioni fanatic" seems to have meant this
>period rather than the time of the Stygian Empire. Hence some

To clarify matters, Arkat's involvement in Ralios had two phases.
One as the Malkioni fanatic and the second as the Emperor of
Darkness. He cleansed Ralios of the Deceiver in the first phase
and ruled Ralios from the farmstead in the second.

Me>>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.

>Jeff has stepped in here,and gave some explanation.

See rebuttal which argues that Nysaloran influences would have been
intermixed with Theyalan influences in lowland Safelster/

>I'd like to add that
>Arkat defeated the Nysaloran cities also by cutting them from their
>support by inciting rural rebellions. Now the rurals (if we accept that
>the rural people of Safelster had some Theyalan traits - if not, there
>would have been no Theyalan cultural aspects to distinguish between)
>were sharing much of the culture of the cities.

I dislike the cookie-cutter model of pro-arkati rurals against
pro-nysaloran cities presented here. This presumes that the
Enerali have somehow acquired marxist class-conciousness. IMO

the dynamics of the revolt were far more complex and more akin
to RW revolts. There would have been pro-nysalorans in the
country and pro-arkati in the cities for a start.

And I fail to see why the rurals should have 'some Theyalan
traits'. Perhaps you could elucidate?

>>>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.

Me>>And some Theyalans including the Dorastans were still
>>in contact with the Dari Alliance. The Heortlings OTOH
>>are seperated by the Mislari Mountains.

>I suppose the Dari mercenaries would have taken some part in these
>conflicts. It cannot have remained unknown that the Council fought major
>wars against a rebellious south (as Jeff put it, a revival of the Unity

That's true but are who are the Dari most likely to be fighting for?
The World Council are the closest whereas the Heortlings/Unity
Council are behind the Mislari Mountains. The way through Slontos
is blocked ever since the fall of Ramalia.

>It's not like the Seshnegi were totally ignorant of the Lightbringers'
>message - after all, Slontos had been turned to the Lightbringer way
>before the Seshnegi took root there. The Lightbringers cannot have been
>utterly demonised in Seshnela IMO.

Why not? They demonize everybody else! And the Western army is
composed of Arkat's sons rather than being Seshnegi and Brithini.

>And since Arkat learned from them (in
>an accelerated course, I grant), he needn't have remained entirely
>ignorant. It would be out of his character to remain ignorant of nuances
>in the neighbouring circles, that's something the elves of Brithos
>(another Theyalan influence, I believe, since the Theyalan Awakeners
>were among the missionaries ranging the farthest west - Theyalan meaning
>"from the Dawn Council", not "Orlanthi" or even "Heortling").

You are wrong in your use of Theyalan, both in meaning and application.
'Theyalan' has consistently been used to refer to the ancient heortling
culture in whatever sources we have whether in KoS or G:CotHW. To

expand this definition to include allied people can only be a recipe
for confusion and headaches.

Secondly the Awakeners were not from the World Council but from
the Winterwood in _Fronela_ where Yelmalio's last stand was.

>>>Arkat built upon the
>>>foundations laid by the Theyalan missionaries that long ago.

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

>You seem to forget that Arkat had been a Child of the Forest at least.

Which doesn't give any special insights and/or mysteries!

>His attitude towards different believes would not have to be
>narrowminded, even when he acted as an exemplary member of his current
>creed. He never forgot his knowledge and previous experiences, which
>made him so formidable on his heroquests.

He would have only become aware the usefulness of past experiences
when he met Harmast and was initiated into Humakt IMO.

>>>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.

Me>>The parallel does not hold for Mohammad treated the
>>Medina Jews badly because they had been collaborating
>>with the enemy!

>And what are the people - especially the urbans of the Dari Alliance -
>doing? They are allied to The Enemy (in capitals).

Not from their PoV - Nysalor is a good guy. Besides Mohammed
expelled two clans of jews (and massacred a third) for the actions
of what some people in the clans did.

Me>>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.

>His own mysteries, learned from the Brithos elves, who learned from the
>Theyalan Awakeners... The Lightbringers cannot have been anathema to

Arkat did not learn of Lightbringing in Brithos. I've already
corrected the 'Theyalan Awakeners'.

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

>>He left them to his 'sons'

>Someone had to oversee them. There is no mention who his sons were in
>detail, is there? They could have included non-Malkioni followers as
>well, no? Sir Palomides at Arthur's court if you take the high chivalric
>version, or the mix of Saxon and pagan knights proposed in Pendragon...

They would have included rural Enerali who have distinguished
themselves. However because he was a Malkioni at the time, I
feel the Sons cult would have also been Malkioni - there's
something in the Glorantha book about the Tripart Triangle of
the Invisible God which leads me to believe that Arkat's crusaders
were composed of three segments: the Brithini, the Seshnegi and
the Ralian Sons.

>>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.
>And do you think that Maklamann was the only noble Ralian who took the
>side of Arkat?

Well he seems to have made a hero for it.

>Don't you think that enemies (= neighbours) of the
>Telmori would gladly ally even with demonized troops to get even?

And the Telmori in Ralios were Pure Ones who were not supporters
of Nysalor. I said before the City of Wolves was a Old One enclave
that lay in East Ralios.

>And (3rd Age) Safelstran (at least) is related to Stormspeech, i.e. is
>related to the Theyalan language.

No it isn't. It's actually a western tongue!

>>I am talking about foreign cultures becoming Orlanthi.

>Well, I am talking about foreign cultures adopting the worshipping
>techniques the Theyalans aka members of the Dawn Council spread - to
>humans, aldryami, trolls, and in some strange form even to the dwarfs of
>Greatway, Gemborg and Dragon Pass.

This is off-base IMO. The Lightbringing secrets would have been
useless to the Elder Races. What they did have was shared secrets
in the Unity Battle and even that failed in time (cf the Gemborg
revolt, the splits in the world council etc).

>Foreign cultures (foreign to the Vingkotling ethnic group of Heortling
>culture, in itself a conglomerate of original Vingkotling peoples and
>"husband" peoples) becoming Orlanthi include the Talastari, Brolians,
>Vustrians, Tawari, Sankenites (?), Wenelians and Slontoli, so why not
>the Enerali.

Because it is not stated that the Enerali became Orlanthi (as opposed
to the Vustrians etc)

>>>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.

>That covers the Enerali for me as well. YGMV.

No it doesn't. You've yet to prove that the Enerali initiated
their men into the cult of Orlanth. Which is what I consider
the test of being Orlanthi to be.

>>You are wrong IMO as [the Galanini] had their own greetings
>>and retained their own culture.

>Heck, the Stravuli have a different greetings from the Orgorvaltes. But
>they all have the Greeting, rites to address and (hopefully) welcome
>strangers approaching them or their lands. The Greeting is the basis for
>peaceful interaction between different cultures.

No, it's not. It's an artifact of Godtime Orlanthi Culture and
would not have been known among non-orlanthi people (such as
the Pentans, the Praxians, the Dara Happans etc).

>The Caladrans know how
>to respond to the Greeting, and even the Praxians learned it for a

Do the Caladralanders know the Greeting? And what's the source
for Praxians knowing the Greeting?

>Or, to give the ball back to you, you are wrong IMO. As Jeff helped
>explain, you can both retain your own culture and be included in the
>Theyalan circles. The Theyalan missionaries did not displace local
>creeds, but expanded them. Hence Galanin next to Orlanth, Humath, Ehilm,
>and whatnot.

And Jeff agreed that the Galanini did not become copies of Heortlings
which was what you were originally arguing.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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