Volume 11, no 4, part 2 of 2: Primarily Pamalt + a Myth

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idcube.idsoftware.com)
Date: Thu 06 Oct 1994 - 01:46:49 EET

>I have always taken the 10/50/90% of income donated to cult to mean
>exactly that. Income is the amount of new money you get.

        In support of this theory (at least, for _most_ cults), I actually happen to belong to a church that encourages its members to tithe, and hence I pay 10% of my income to the church. This is new income _only_. If you join the church and have $1,000,000 in the bank, you do NOT pay $100,000 off the top to join. But you WOULD pay on the interest you made.

        Now, 'tis my belief that Humakti figure it differently, and simply pay 10% of whatever they have on hand each holy day. In addition, I suspect that many Orlanth areas are less than strict about the 10%, and leave it up to the individual's donations. Of course, a wealthy man is expected to pay more than 10%, to show off and support his community standing.

Michelle Ringo:
>Chris has now killed both of the Yelornans 3 times total and of the
>six Yelmalians only 1 has been killed.

        The Yelornans have more to prove, and hence may be behaving more rambunctiously.

Dave Cordes:
>What I want to know is if it is possible for a shaman to ressurect a
>dead character.

        Yes, but it is hard. Harder than you represent in your easy 10 steps. Let's look at 'em:

>2. Enter the spirit plain and find the spirit.

        Even a non-divine worshiper's spirit may be nowhere in sight at this moment. All men go to be judged of Daka Fal, say most people, including many shamans. And only ghosts (which are notoriously hard to resurrect) haunt the site of their death. In addition, even a ghost or wraith takes some time to form. Where is the spirit in that meantime? No one knows, but he's almost certainly NOT by the body.

>9. Force the spirit back into the body, thus bringing the person
>back to life.

        Step 9 is a tough one. Note that the body is "dead". Hence, a spirit can't possess it, anymore than it could possess a rock or a dead stick. A _ghoul_ spirit could possess and animate it. If you turned the corpse into a zombie, maybe the ghost could take it over. But I see no reaspon to suppose that just putting a spirit into a corpse would make the corpse be alive again, even if it happened to be the corpse's own former spirit. If your arm is cut off, just holding it onto your stump won't make it grow back like new.

>What is the difference between what I detailed here and the
>resurrection spell?

  1. You're sure to be able to find the corpse's spirit.
  2. The divine power of the spell prepares the body and spirit so that they can once more be joined together.

> What's the point of disagreeing with Sandy Petersen?

        I'm starting to like Martin quite a lot .... ;)

Joerg, one of my most noted "disagreers" (it's something like a Mouseketeer, but shaped more like a stick insect -- those who've seen Joerg and Alex side-by-side know what I mean)
>Pamalt has little magic "of his own", those spells he has are Earth
>magic. "Earth"touch could as well be called "Gain Elfsense". All his
>most useful spells are associate magics.

        Earthtouch is better than Elfsense, but in any case the magic is still earth-oriented, elves being among the noted Keepers of the Earth. Pamalt's best spells are DEFINITELY his associate magics -- that's part of Pamalt's secret to power -- he himself isn't so great, but his associate deities each give him their best spell, and he's all-around terrific to worship on that account. You know the type -- second-best at fighting, second-best at magic, second-best at hunting, second-best at romance, but no one else is second-best at so many different things.

>Earth and Fire spells keep their balance, there, with Cronisper,
>Vangono and Lodril among the givers. Pamalt adopted the Agimori, men
>made by the fire deities. Such an adoption mostly works two ways...

        While Cronisper isn't strongly fire-related, admittedly Pamalt likes the various fire gods heaps. HOWEVER, in Pamaltela, I'm not sure that they make the distinction between Earth Powers and Fire Powers that is made in Genertela. Lodril, even in Genertela, is sort of an adopted Earth power. The lowfires are sort of Earthy, too. I believe that if you were to walk up to a Pamalt worshiper and ask him to classify his pantheon's gods into Earth gods and Fire gods he'd think you were crazy. It would be like asking an Orlanthi to divvy up his own pantheon into Wind Gods and Air Gods.

        The Agimori were made by fire gods, but they have an equal amount of Earth in them. 50-50.

re: Sandy

        Hmm. Sandy was feeling very cranky when he posted his previous missive. Anyone he may have unwittingly grumped at is hereby asked to forgive him. I was having a tough week at work.

>> Orlanth takes the place of the ruling Earth god of that minor
>>fraction of Genertela in which he is recognized King of the Gods.

>i.e. Genertela outside Tanisor, Loskalm, Teshnos, Kralorela and the

>Lunar Heartlands. Not that King of Gods must have much meaning in

>all of these areas...

        Orlanth is NOT recognized as King in much of Pent, the Wastes, the KoI, the northern parts of Fronela (where the Rathori live), most of central Ralios, etc. And his support is even weaker if you go by population figures rather than geographic spread, since all the high-density regions (with the admitted exception of Kethaela) are non-Orlanth fans.

> Cronisper seems to be his father or so (not that that mattered

>too much among the Doraddi), and could be called a sky god.

        While Cronisper is "kind of" a sky god, I don't think he's Pamalt's dad. At least he's not his dad in a number of myths (there's probably myths in which he _is_ Pamalt's dad, tho). In a couple of stories I have hanging around Cronisper is called Great-Uncle by Pamalt.

>The lack of any important Pamalt blood-relative: Any idea what

>caused this? Did his blood-kin perish (Pamaltela has as great a

>share of dead gods as has Genertela, it seems, and the Old Gods are

>specially listed in the Prosopaedia)?

        Before Pamalt's reign, there was a collection of gods who ruled Pamaltela -- the Old Gods. They cheerfully passed the sceptre on to Pamalt partly out of gratitude for his leadership in the Darkness, and partly due to recognition of his skill as a leader, and partly simply because everyone was recognizing him as ruler anyway (sort of like George Washington's first term as president, in which there wasn't really an election, just an acclamation).

        Pamalt's antecedents are unclear. This might be because otherwise he would have kinship ties which would make him no longer the universally-accepted deity. Whatever the reason, Pamalt does seem to suddenly loom out of the darkness like a Western gunfighter-hero -- coming from nowhere to save the day. Suggestions by other Gloranthaphiles as to what happened to Pamalt's folks are welcomed.

>(Yes, I try to figure Pamalt out as an outsider, the Doraddi mindset

>escapes me somewhat.)

        Give it a whirl, Joerg! Plunge into the Doraddi brain for an hour or two. I've found it oddly refreshing, and it lets me look at the old Genertela problems with a whole new POV.

>Orlanth's myths are more complex in that they unite all kind of

>conflicting notions - making friends and making foes, cooperating

>with one's kin and fighting it, etc. If Pamalt, as you say, lacks

>these myths of conflict, is this because he is less a composite
>>deity, because his myth is of recent origin only, or because
>Pamalt's myths were less in the focus of the authors compared to the
>"more interesting" Genertelan myth?

        Pamalt has myths as complex as anything Orlanth has to boast about, and Pamalt, like Orlanth, is frequently torn between conflicting obligations, desires, needs, and loves. However, UNLIKE Orlanth, he doesn't solve most all of these problems by simply prioritizing his obligations (usually with Ernalda on top), and then going out and bashing the guys whom he decides are the Bad Guys in this situation. Pamalt's myths rarely end with Pamalt beating up anybody, which is almost always the Big Scene in an Orlanth story. Orlanth is a lot more comic-book-like -- every issue's gotta have a big fight scene. Pamalt is like a Jane Austen novel -- slow buildup, subtle background activities, etc.

        Of course, I'm oversimplifying Orlanth here, but you were oversimplifying Pamalt before. Pamalt's myths are more recently written in a "real-world" type environment, too, since Greg originally did tons of Genertela stuff and little Pamaltelan.

Time for a myth about Pamalt

In the Days of the Darkness, Pamalt was still new to rule. Vangono and Sikkanos chafed under his rule.

        Vangono said to his followers, "I am better fit to rule than Pamalt. I am mighty. Look at my spear! I can kill the Chaos. I can kill the Dark. I could kill the Bad Man, too, if Pamalt would let me! He is no match for me. If we fought, I would easily kill Pamalt. I should be Chief, not he!" And his followers shouted praise to Vangono and clashed their spears on their shields.

        Sikkanos grumbled quietly and said, "If _I_ were Chief, things would be different. I would sit in the biggest tent in the village, and I would have the best woman for my own. I would make the Old Women listen to _me_, not me to them. At the feasts, nobody would be allowed to eat until I had had my fill." And Sikkanos made secret plans in his tent.

        Pamalt knew about their plots and talked to his wife Faranar. Faranar said, "You must stay Chief, my husband. If Vangono were Chief all men would fight and fight forever and nothing would be done. If Sikkanos were Chief, all men would be oppressed and unhappy forever." So Pamalt made plans to stay Chief.

        One by one, he summoned each of Vangono's warriors to his own tent. When the warrior walked within, there was Pamalt in his majesty, wearing the Necklace, sitting by the Old Women and the Old Men. Noruma in the corner chanted magic rituals to make the world work. Faranar spread a feast. Pamalt said, "Whom should be chief?" The warrior, awed, and ashamed to admit he had been listening to Vangono, said, "You, O Pamalt." Pamalt had the warrior tie a feather to Pamalt's stool. So likewise did every warrior. Some folk say that if all the warriors had come at once, they would have been braver, but they did not, and so they did not.

        Pamalt summoned Sikkanos to his tent. Sikkanos blew in acrid smoke, and stalked around the tent. HE was not abashed by Pamalt's wealth and power. He was envious, instead. Pamalt said nothing at all to Sikkanos, but asked Faranar, "Should Sikkanos be Chief?" "No, O my husband. You are handsome and tall."

        Pamalt asked Aleshmara, and she said, "No, O my son. You are kind to my daughter." Pamalt asked Kuangoa, and she said, "No, O my nephew. You are rich and generous." Pamalt asked Sikasso, and she said, "No, O my nephew. You honor your parents." Pamalt asked Yanmorla, and she said, "No, O my nephew. You give much meat to the oases."

        Pamalt asked Duala, and she said, "No, O my father. I love you." Pamalt asked Hondori Mal, and she said, "No, O my uncle. You are just and righteous." Pamalt asked Keraun, and she said, "No, O my cousin. You burn smoky fires." Pamalt asked Lokomal, and she said, "No, O my cousin. You do not waste meat." Pamalt asked Nyanka, and she said, "No, O my cousin. Your hands are soft and gentle."

        Pamalt asked Cronisper, and he said, "No, O my nephew. Your hearth is warm." Pamalt asked Lodril, and he said, "No, O my grandson." Pamalt asked Noruma, and he said, "No, O my nephew. You freed the spirits." Pamalt asked Rasout, and he said, "No, O my uncle. You hunt not on the sacred days." Pamalt asked Jmijie, and he said, "No, O my cousin. You keep the path-sticks bright." Pamalt asked Bolongo, and he said, "No, O Pamalt." But Pamalt did not let him explain why.

        Sikkanos was abashed in front of all the people. for no one said they would want Sikkanos instead of Pamalt. Sikkanos sat down to his place and wept. Sikkanos cried aloud, "I cannot live here any more. Everyone knows my shame. I must leave and go far away and never come back.".

        Before Sikkanos was done weeping, Pamalt summoned Vangono to his tent. Vangono came in boldly and flourished his spear. Pamalt said to Vangono, "Whom do you hate, of all people?" Vangono glared at Sikkanos, and said, "I hate Sikkanos more than all, for he is without honor." Pamalt said, "Sikkanos is sorrowful, and wishes to leave us forever and forever. Yet I will not let him leave unless YOU say that he should go." And Vangono was glad and danced.

        Pamalt said, "Vangono, do _you_ wish to be Chief?" And Vangono stood and stared. Pamalt said, "Look at my stool." And Vangono saw that all his warriors' feathers were tied to Pamalt's stool. And he knew. Vangono said, "I have more honor than Sikkanos. I, too, am shamed, and I too, will go away forever."

        Pamalt said, "Sikkanos must only leave if YOU say. Should Sikkanos go?" Then Vangono looked at Sikkanos for many hours. Then he spoke aloud, "I wish to stay more than I wish Sikkanos to go."

        So both Sikkanos and Vangono stayed in Pamalt's Necklace, and so Pamalt stayed Chief.

NOTE: The people that call Pamalt "nephew", "cousin", or "uncle" are probably not actually related to him.

> The Promalti are entities composed of living fire. Kind of

> like the Dehore.
>>So, are they minions of Lodril?

        Not particularly. I'm sure Lodril has Promalti in his court. But just as there are living shadows in Dagori Inkarth, who are not particularly beholden to anyone, so there are Promalti in Pamaltela who do whatever they want.

>> Cities are _exactly_ the same in Genertela and Pamaltela. It's
>>just that Genertelans think they are good, and Pamaltelans think
>>they are bad.
>I don't believe that a populous have hold a generally negative view
>about their lifestyle without it becoming self-fulfilling.

        Gimme a break. I meant "Doraddi", not "Pamaltelan", as any Reasonable Citizen would have figgered.  

Gerak Kag:
>Just out of curiousity -- how are other people handling resurrection

>among peoples where Chalanna Arroy is not generally popular?

        In Peloria, the lunar cults have such a spell. Of course, CA is popular there anyway, so what the heck. In Kralorela, Yelm possesses the Resurrect spell. Ancestor worship also has it, as does Eiritha (a piss-poor one, but Seal Spirit just the same). I think most folks rely on Divine Intervention, though.

Nick Eden:
>In the woods there will be those creatures that one expects to find
>in woods - deer, boars etc etc. Very few if any wild goats and
>certainly no tame ones. Probably one or two pheasant as well.

        Bears, deer, alynxes, wolves. boars. Probably no pheasant, since the main pheasant in the U.S. (and I think Europe, too) is actually a Chinese transplant. Grouse & quail, tho.

        More rarely: an occasional sabertooth from the Rockwoods, or a bison from Prax.

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