Western Sects

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Fri 11 Jun 1993 - 01:11:50 EEST

for Joerg Baumgartner:

Sorry to be brief, Joerg. These are the immediate salient points from your posting a couple of days ago, on the different types of Western sorcery:

> Brithini sorcery can be expected to be notably different from Malkionist
> sorcery, especially considering their use of the Immortality spell...

Y'know, this is like that old "Elf Sex" argument: some things we'd *think* were Rune spells, Sorcery, Enchantments etc. can just happen naturally. The Brithini caste system acts like a protracted ritual that keeps everyone who participates fully in it from ageing. It's us non-Brithini that have to resort to Immortality spells ("Not another f***ing oyster!")...

> (Hrestoli) magic obviously builds upon Rokari concepts. I might be
> wrong, but Hrestol appears to me as a Fronelan character, who started
> the Malkionist church as Loskalm knows it.

> The Rokari church must be pre-Dawn, its class system a copy of the
> Brithini caste system.

Cart before the horse. In the beginning, there were the Brithini, who lived forever and had no gods. In the Ice Age (Western name for the Great Darkness), they ran into trouble and started dying. Malkion taught most of the Brithini about God, and they became Malkioni and didn't feel so bad about dying any more -- though some remained stubborn, and these stole Malkioni secrets to form the roots of the modern atheist Brithini culture (NB: this relationship is very speculative, and dubious -- I am currently Divining for a clear statement).

Immediately after the Dawn, the Malkioni religion stopped working. Prince Hrestol of Frowal (in Old Seshnela) had a vision (or went on a HeroQuest), and then taught the Malkioni something new (see my piece on "What Makes the West Tick" for suggestions as to what), making them into Hrestoli. They were still called Malkioni, though -- think, perhaps, of Saint Paul's relationship to Christ and Christianity (esp. in view of Hrestol's "Road to Damascus" vision of the Prophet Malkion?).

History happened for a while... (again, see "WMtWT"). But at the start of the Third Age, Rokar and a bunch of others in Seshnela thought Hrestol had got it wrong, and tried to recreate the pristine form of pre-Hrestoli (i.e: pre-Dawn) Malkionism. That's why it looks so old-fashioned: they *want* it to! Rokarism is an attempt to bring back a dead religion. I don't know if it's achieved what it wants to, though the extended life through piety is perhaps a pointer...

> The Boristi offshoot of the Rokari Church can't be older than the greater

> darkness ... The Galvosti might be older than that ...

I've always thought these two "quibbling" heresies were the result of God Learner meddling in the conquered Stygian Empire in the Second Age. Their geographical spread (areas of Ralios not settled by Malkioni until the mid First Age) seems to weigh against your early dating.

> Belief in the Creator God is shared by the rock-bound Mostali

Westerners who have met the Mostali *think* they believe in the Creator God. The Mostali concept of the World Machine is so alien to human minds that I doubt we are really looking at the confluence of ideas you propose. The division of Dwarf gods is probably the result of other cultures' myths trying to interpret the Dwarfish concepts and structures they interacted with. (Look at the Cult of Magasta in Tales 10 -- when it happens -- for a *fine* example of this kind of thing!).

> The Henotheist Church ... are the homespun version of where the God
> Learners started from.

I'm not sure I follow you. The Henotheists respect and worship their gods.  The God Learners used and abused the ones they discovered and/or created. The connection seems weak.

> Carmania features conventional Malkionism, though nobody (except Nick
> Brooke) tells us which variety...

When did I ever tell you that? What a terrible slip! <g> Give me time to get it right, guys, then I'll tell all!

> In the beginning, (the Jrusteli) were Rokari who were influenced by the
> Stygian way. Other than the Henotheists they looked around and adopted
> long-dropped Brithini practices, probably imported by the Vadeli...

Hmmm... In the beginning, the Jrusteli colonists were Seshnelan Malkioni -cum- Hrestoli (as discussed above). Their God Learners, in alliance with the Seshnegi, conquered the Stygians of Ralios, and *then* stole the Arkat cult's HeroQuesting secrets. I don't think they ever *worshipped* gods themselves -- they made gods for other people to worship, or made themselves into gods, etc. I don't see them falling into this "Henotheistic" way -- it's like a debasement of what their "scientific method" stands for.

But I'm happy to blame God Learning on the filthy, stinking Vadeli! (Along with the weather, the price of shoes, UK corporation tax law, and everything else irritating in the whole of Creation).


--> Read books by James Branch Cabell.
--> "Jurgen" and "Something About Eve"
--> are the best HeroQuest texts out!


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