Saints, Orlanthi wizards, semantics

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Mon 18 May 1998 - 23:41:00 EEST


Peter Metcalfe and others argue about semantics re: Illumination. I
don't want to enter this point by point process, so just a statement.

I guess we are in a similar situation as are people who interact with
Pratchett's librarian from Unseen University, in this case our "Ook" is
"Illumination" which can mean a couple of different things, from the
Cults of Terror (RQ2) definition (btw, is the cult of Gbaji/Nysalor on
the web?) of a nifty rules instrument for powerful people to the more
differentiated phenomena in more recent publications.

Peter proposes "Illumination in the sense of profound spiritual
insights" to be called another way. Perhaps we should use a descriptive
adjective (Theyalan Illumination for the phenomenon during Nysalor's
lifetime, or Yelmic Illumination for the Dara Happan concept prior to or
during early Nysalor, for instance)?

Nikk Effingham:

> I believe that Saints also do not reside in Solace for the reason
> that I believe Solace to be the unreachable and unprovable.

Well, one of the first canonized saints (Hrestol) showed us that one can
attain Solace even breaking the rules. I guess that he is able to bestow
a blessing even though in Solace is just another case of his breaking
the rules.

However, it isn't necessary that a Saint's blessing resides with the
Saint. IMO a Saint in Solace may well have left behind a teaching to
those devout followers of his way. This teaching may be aquired by
personal questing, perhaps with a vision of the Saint to boot. Malkioni
don't deny that people have spirits, since they know about ghosts (and
how to turn or use them).

Don't say that their spirits aren't going to Solace, but their souls
are? In that case, a Saint's spirit may well be strong enough to resist
dissolution, and be able to bestow the Blessing. Otherwise, it might be
a shadow of the former Saint hovering around the Blessing left to the
faithful.

> Unlike
> most other Gloranthan afterlives, Solace cannot be found anywhere on
> the Spirit Plane or Hero Plane, and never should IMHO. No HeroQuests
> to Solace, no Divine Interventions from the Invisible God (or, at
> least, none that a sceptic could not attribute to pure luck). In
> effect, IMG I never want it to be proven that Solace exists, because
> I feel that Malkioni are the only religion with true "faith".

The Kralori draconic afterlife isn't exactly proven either, but I agree
that Solace should be accessible by a one way trip only - if you get
there, you stay there.

This gives way for a nice heresy spawned by Dormal's failure to locate
Old Brithos - to some religious fanatics, it is obvious that Zzabur
finally duplicated his father's feat. Just like Malkion took the city of
Malkonwal bodily into Solace, so did Zzabur take (most of) Old Brithos
bodily into Solace, never to come again. In the long run, even the
Brithini saw the light. Now it is up to ambitious magi to follow that
path, because the End of the World is Nigh (Hero Wars prophecies).

A possible place for this could be Fronela, where there is a real sense
of doom. Rather than concentrating on how to overcome the troubles of
the world, magical energies are focussed on this transcendant way. Maybe
some will make it in time?

A similar thing helped depopulate Dragon Pass around 1000-1042 ST, when
several draconic subcults/movements managed to attain full dragonhood,
and disappeared from the land (see KoS, Argrath Book).

Mikko Rintasaari
> I know I probably shouldn't post this...

Has been done before. My burn marks weren't that bad for this...

> There seems to have been at least one important orlanthi sorcerer we
> should know about. And that is no other than Sartar, the holy man.

Who came from the Hendriki tribe in Heortland, well known to have
incorporated many Western traits. IMG, there are small communities of
Aeolians also in Wilms Church (IMO Wilms was an Aeolian, too) and of
course in Boldhome (there's nothing in Sartar which cannot be found in
Boldhome as well).

Orlanthi don't like sorcerers. If there are Orlanthi who practice
Western magics, and yet are accepted in their society, obviously they
are no sorcerers, but wizards, or priest-magicians, or watchamacallit.

> Sartar's power has been described in KOS as stemming from his
> "eventual mastery of the motion/change rune"

This is a hero-power similar to (but exceeding in power) Hofstaring
Treeleaper's leaping ability, and has little to do with conventional
Gloranthan magic. But then, Humakti or Yelmalian gifts fall into a
similar category IMO.

David Dunham:
> I believe Sartar was an Issaries hero. I'm pretty sure Greg has come
> out and said so. Even if he hadn't, Change is one of Issaries's runes,
> and the one Sartar had mastery of.

I agree that Sartar probably had strong Issaries ties, perhaps even was
a cultist. (His Grazeland shrines may have been sanctified by friendly
Issaries priests after Sartar had them built - Sartar is renowned as an
architect as well, even though it probably was Wilms who did much of the
planning and work).

It seems that Sartar was fluent in all Lightbringer cults, including
Flesh Man/Daka Fal (his descendants' worship) and Ginna Jar (at least
after his Crown Test). He abstains from direct violence (as if upholding
Chalana Arroy strictures), works to increase trade (his original mission
from the Pharaoh), does the Orlanth quest for King of Dragon Pass, walks
his kingdom in disguise (Trickster ruler), and acted as lawspeaker and
advisor (LM).

I see that Chris Bell has thought along these lines, too, although
within the framework of da Roolz...

I don't see how this diversity would stop him from possessing sorcerous
magics. Especially since the cult of Issaries is as open to sorcery as
is Chalana Arroy. (It would be strange that a cult dealing in exchange
of magics would forbid one kind of magic and deal with the most
different magics of other cults...)

Jose Ramos about Orlanthi sorcerers:
> And who would teach sorcery? Just wondering...

The Aeolian Church of Heortland, perhaps through its less
church-oriented disciples in Karse; the Carmanian cult of Invisible
Orlanth for another corner of Glorantha, and in Orlanthi Ralios
bordering on Safelster there are lots of Stygian or Henotheist churches
willing to allow barbarians to be brought to their truths, especially
Otkorion. In Wenelia the Trader Princes don't exactly forbid their
subjects to participate in their rites either. And then there is Aggar,
with the City of Ten Thousand Magicians, and probably similar EWF places
which were conquered before the Golden Horde formed. An Orlanthi willing
to join a different place's society may well find a way to learn sorcery
as well. An Orlanthi relying on home sources only will have no
opportunity unless the missionaries come into his lands.

Julian Lord asks
> (Are the Aeolians orlanthi, BTW? Many among them would think so,
> wouldn't they?)

Definitely. IMO their church is derived from a strange regional subcult
of Orlanth in Hendrikiland, Orlanth Aeolus or Orlanth the Wizard, which
came to prominence by 1315.

OTOH, the Chalana Arroy sorcerers are nowhere stated to be Orlanthi.
They may as well be Safelstran or Dara Happan/Lunar adherents of the
cult. Arroin sorcerers using healing spells somehow are contrary to the
idea of a spell-less healing, no? (I won't say that Arroin's healing is
unmagical in nature - few things are in Glorantha - but the cult
shouldn't have spells which work pronto.)

Jose on Malkioni Saints
> What miraculous manifestations? They were taken to Solace, which shows
> their piety and holyness.

A stated fact for Hrestol, at least.

> Then you have inspired men and women following their
> steps, but nothing that does not come from inside ourselves,
> following Malkion's teachings.

So the power to set a sword blade to flames whenever drawn comes from
within the follower of St. Gerlant?

BTW, is there an accompanying geas for this gift? I.e. will this
blessing work if the blessed person commits serious breaches against the
laws of chivalry (which is what Gerlant epitomizes, IIRC)?

(And no, this is not intended to better a character's chances for
survival...)

> I thought Solace was created by the IG, so he cannot be in.
> Basic metaphysics.

Depending on which sect you ask, the IG is either aloof and distant, or
ever-present in all of his Creation. IMO most Malkioni will agree that
Solace is closer to the IG than the mundane (or even spiritual) world.

Peter Metcalfe:
>>Malkion founded the Kingdom of Logic IMO.

Jose:
> I think he just gave them laws when Logic stopped being self-evident
> for the inhabitants. But my knowledge of old sources is scarce (being
> optimistic).

I agree with this view. The myth of Aerlit and Warera seems to imply
that the foundling Malkion who survived Umath's rage was carried by
friendly waters across the Neliomi Sea to the Kingdom of Logic, and
raised by the people there. (Quite similar to the myth of Faralinthor
and Esrola, BTW, with Choralinthor the surviving child - was Umath
near-sighted so that he overlooked the children he orphaned, or did he
have a big soft spot despite his rages against lovers?)

Ian Welsh
> However I do wonder if Gloranthan mythology gives
> lions the kingship/leadership qualities the RW myth does.

To the Carmanians, definitely yes. Probably inherited from the Seshnegi
along with chivalry.

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