From: boris (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 16 Mar 1993 - 19:38:28 EET
The Cult of Elmal
Now maybe this was all beaten to death the month my system was down and I was on vacation, but maybe not. Anyway, this cult has fascinated me since I first heard of it, I'm not sure why. I guess for this reason, I've been very curious about how widespread it still is, as opposed to that of Yelmalio. Presented below are my conclusions on this, from reading KOS, and finally my thoughts on how the cult of Elmal differs from that of Yelmalio.
All through the _Report On The Orlanthi_ in Jalk's Book, Elmal is shown to be one of the "specialized cults" of Orlanthi culture. Not in the mainstream, their members are looked upon as "eccentric, strange, exotic, or dangerous". But this classification includes *most* cults gamers are familiar with. Most Orlanthi initiate to Orlanth and/or Ernalda. Most of the rest initiate to one of their close associates, the "Household Deities" such as Minlister, Mahome, Eninta, Barntar, Esra, Voria, and Voriof. Only a fraction of the population, too few for anything less than a full tribe to populate a minor temple, initiate to the specialized cults. And the cults listed as such are: Issaries, Chalana Arroy, Lhankor Mhy, Eurmal, Urox (Storm Bull), Odayla, Yinkin, Humakt, and _Elmal_.
(This report was written after the Yelmalio schism also. Referenced as
an example of the "Crown Test" is Leika Ballista, who lived during the Hero Wars, much later than when Monrogh Lantern Heroquested to found the cult of Yelmalio during the reign of Tarkalor.)
So even during the time of the Hero Wars, in Dragon Pass Elmal was an actively worshipped cult, something near the same size as Humakt or Storm Bull. It may have been (and probably was) smaller than average, having lost most of their initiates to the Yelmalio schism 50 years before. It may have few Priests or Runelords, but those left would most likely be very devout, sticking with the old traditions despite great political pressure to defect to the vigorous new cult.
So, then, what would this cult be like? Well, it would likely be much
like the cult of Yelmalio, with some small changes. One, Elmal's Runes
would be Fire and Truth instead of Light and Truth, since Zorak Zoran
never stole his fire powers from him. Thus the cult would have
available the spirit magics of Firearrow, Fireblade, and Ignite, in
addition to the spells listed for Yelmalio. As a Truth Rune cult, it
would retain the use of Gifts and Geasa, though some of the specific
geasa would change, as shown below. Also, some divine spells would be
added, such as Summon and Command Salamander, Command Hawk, and
(perhaps) Truespear. The associated cults would differ; Yelm would be
dropped, and probably Aldrya and Yelorna, but Orlanth would be added, offering either Lightning or Thunderbolt (Orlanth armed Elmal, so one of the attack spells seems appropriate). Chalana Arroy would most likely also be added, offering Heal Body in place of Aldrya.
Finally what are relations like between the two cults of Elmal and Yelmalio. Not too good, most likely. History shows on Earth that the most bitter religious persecution is from religions that agree on all but one minor, but to them critical, point. So Yelmalions and Elmali probably are much like Humakti and Yanafal Tarnils cultists to each other, bitter enemies who give each other no quarter.
34-36 Never seek shelter from the storm would be changed (as Elmal
*did* receive shelter from the Storm) to something like Always stand a double watch (to commemorate Elmal being left to guard Orlanth's home).
80-81 Never speak to or help non-Light worshippers in any way would
be changed to Never flee or surrender to any Chaos creatures.
82-84 Never speak to or help Orlanth worshippers in any way would be
changed to Never refuse a request for aid from Storm or Earth cultists.
And I believe the rest can remain the same. Maybe change 85-86: Never allow an Elf to suffer needlessly; it may be only after Monrogh Lantern's HeroQuest that the cult had close ties to elves. So that should change to something similar with cats, perhaps, and 78-79: Never speak to or help Dwarfs in any way could become Never speak to to help Chaos in any way.
Boris Mikey, aka |"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive Maurice Beyke | for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if firstname.lastname@example.org | you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." Intergraph doesn't want Nietzschemy opinions.
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