Re: Malkioni Matters

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Sun 10 May 1998 - 15:45:33 EEST

Jose writes:

> Hey, I've got a name (and I am not cited often).

I was responding to Julian's question, which was raised by a passing mention
in a post of yours. I did not think I was initiating a debate with you (or
anyone), and thought it was more worthwhile to answer Julian's question
speedily than to re-read the preceding 'N' digests to find out precisely
whose post had prompted it. Especially with a wriggling baby on my lap, with
her own ideas about my priorities.

I am delighted to say that Jose's posts on the West and Malkionism are among
the most congruent with my own, and usually cause me great delight and
happiness. This, alas, means that I don't feel any urge to engage in a
Baumgartner/Metcalfe-fest of citation and counter-citation. I am deeply
sorry if this has made Jose feel neglected.

> Most Malkioni would not understand [Nick's] explanation.

I agree completely that many Malkioni, hearing my "mainstream" explanation,
would yawn and ignore it, happily continuing to believe that everyone else
worships other, lesser gods while they worship the original and best God
(whose loyal followers regularly smite the ungodly heathen). But I was
trying to give an educated Malkioni explanation, not a fumbling mishmash of
confused notions and misunderstandings.

> And that leaves the whole henotheist cultures to explain vis a vis
> their gods.

A mainstream Malkioni explanation (Rokari and Hrestoli) is, by definition,
not a Henotheist one. The Rokari and Hrestoli would happily agree that the
Henotheists (and all other forms of Stygian) have lapsed into monstrous
pagan heresies, worship False Gods and Demons and the Devil Himself, and
deserve whatever sticky end they come to as a result.

> As for the False Gods, I always thought they were a GL propaganda tool,
> that remains among certain scholars as fact.

I'm happy to believe this, too.

Nils and Simon raise the Buddhist parallel (seeing Malkioni Saints as
Bodhisattvas reaching back from Solace to help poor old us). This is very
apposite, and I am delighted to embrace it.

(I note from the most recent Digest that Peter is grumbling about this
self-same notion. I am unsure whether this is an additional recommendation
for it :-)

His quibble does seem better addressed to Buddhists than Malkioni, in any

Jose goes on (later) to write:

> Hrestolism did not catch up as a religion (and Hrestol became widely
> until his bodily ascension confirmed the righteousness of Hrestol's Joy of
> the Heart.

I think we have to distinguish two "Hrestolisms", here.

Hrestol instituted Knighthood (that special, sacrificial role which stands
outside the caste structure and includes skills and arts from all four of
the Malkioni castes), and this was practiced in the kingdom of Seshneg after
his banishment. The Serpent Kings had Hrestoli Knights among their
followers, and Prince Hrestol was widely known and acclaimed as saviour of
the Kingdom of Seshneg, even while he was in exile on Brithos, the Vadeli
Isles and finally Sogolotha Mambrola.

Hrestol also gave us the Joy of the Heart, through his martyrdom -- the
proven certainty that sins can be forgiven if committed in a good cause,
that transgressing the written Law of Malkionism does not irrevocably lead
to loss of Solace. In a nutshell, adding compassion to the Wizards'
legalism. (And refuting the notion of Brithini intellectual supremacy, to
boot!) This notion took off in Akem (with Hrestol's glorious ascension into
Solace), and later spread back to Seshnela as the True Hrestol Way.

> Before his death the only followers he had were the few knights he had
> instaured in Seshnela.

Again, I believe that Knights continued to be made in Seshnela after
Hrestol's exile, IMO -- but would they have called themselves his
"followers"? I don't know. They are servants of the Serpent King, and the
Kingdom of Seshneg, and the great goddess Seshna Likita, etc... not devoted
worshippers of holy Prince Hrestol (or tragic Prince Hrestol, or any such

> A man who is working as a judge among the Vadeli would have trouble
> finding the time to be a charismatic religious leader.

What makes you assume that "Judge of the Vadeli" is not the title of a
charismatic religious leader? I am sure the "work" done was moral and
religious in nature, not a 9-to-5 job at the Vadeli Courthouse!

> All the sects but the brithini and the god forgoti have Hrestol in a
> place almost as important as Malkion. So Joy of the Heart went uncontested
> by anyone in the West.

Other, of course, than the Brithini, who are *extremely* important in any
examination of First Age Malkionism. (And, indeed, subsequent Malkionism).

BTW, "god forgoti" -- yeuch!!!

> That's the greatness of Hrestol.

He is praised for different reasons by different sects, IMO. The Castle
Coast sect of Old Seshnelan Chivalry remembers him as the First Knight; the
Loskalmi Idealists affect to see his life as a moral example of
upwardly-mobile progression (!?!); the Perfecti of Loskalm see him as a
Complete Human Being; the Sedalpists see him as a tragic figure, damned for
taking up murderous arts; many other "takes" are possible. It is the
variousness of interpretations of Hrestol's significance that endears him to

(But then, I did enjoy James Branch Cabell's "The Silver Stallion" rather
too much, and happily recommend it to any Digesters interested in the
confusing growth of messianic redemptive cults).

Julian Lord writes:

> Yelm has, I believe, a stable orbit?


Your move.

(Or is this another theory that ignores Godtime and mythology?)

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