Various Cults, Kresh, Vithela

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Tue 12 Apr 1994 - 22:44:18 EEST

Guy Robinson in X-RQ-ID: 3593

> First off I would not, and did not, claim that Orlanth was a
> scam. The religion I was accussing to be state-bearing was
> those of that focus on the Invisible God.

What is interesting: The Malkioni claim that Yelm, Orlanth and Humakt are scams set up by powerful sorcerers (bad guys, not wizards) who became trapped in their own preconceptions: Ehilm, Worlath, and Humct. They even added another, imaginary, one, Jogrampur, or so.

(BTW: Their choice of these three seems to indicate they thought them to be the most powerful of theistic cults. Another point against later development of the Cult of Humakt. If one accepts the theistic "truth".)

> I suggest this as Sorcerers construct and learn their spells
> while the Cult members receieve their spells from their more
> Visible dieties. Pehaps the Sorcerers built their God too
> and crusaded to dominate enough people to power it.

So it's "receptionist" for divine magic?

And the God Learners demonstrated that it is possibe to build "visible deities", to the extent that the Umathelan False God Revolt had real priests of the previously unknown/non-existant god Jogrampur.

> However a Wizard has only one source of spells, the MPs
> that he has to hand. As all his spells use this source
> he might refrain from using them to allow him to hoard
> them to aid his defense against the craven attacks of
> fellow 'Good' Wizards or to root out any dissidents
> within his supposed Utopia :-)

There are those little gimmicks called crystals or MP matrices, or in Gloranthan terms maybe "life vessels", which contain all the MP a wizard or sorcerer could spare at any time. These are the ones used for communal obligations first.

I have the strong suspicion that the churches of the Invisible god use the scattered magic emanation (not the main stream of energy) in their worship services to fuel or load their life vessels. Guy seems to suspect the same, by calling it a scam.

> The Priest however can cast his peacefull, society
> strengthening spells and still have powerfull Battle
> and Divine Magic to hand at a moment's notice.

He lowers his POW twice, the same way as the wizeard lowers his MP. MP regenerate...

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 3596

>> Somehow the Kresh seem to suffer from a mutated Jmijie virus. Could  
>> the end of the Six-legged Empire have been the starting point for  
>> the Kresh?

> I like the idea of the mutant Jmijie virus. The Kresh no
> doubt consider themselves a useful hybrid between Jmijie (always
> moving) and the permanency and security of the Oasis -- essentially a
> Kresh wagon is a nomad oasis.

> The Kresh of course think they have nothing to do with the
> Six-Legged Empire, but they'd think that even if they were direct
> descendants. More tellingly (maybe), their homeland in eastern Kothar
> is outside the boundaries of the old Six-Leggers. I suppose fugitive
> Six Leggers could have fled there during the destruction, but the
> general course of destruction for the SLE was from east to west, and
> most refugees ended up in Western Jolar for the final catastrophes.
> Eastern Jolar/Western Kothar was the site of a large-scale struggle
> at the same time, in which the nomads burnt back the invasions of the
> jungle, which had been encroaching ever since Errinoru's advent.

The Kresh are a similar 3rd Age development as the Pharaoh - a powerful, heroquesting individual (Ivy Kange/Belintar) benevolently (?) takes advantage of existing structures, adapts them to their own preferred mode and builds an empire.

In both cases there was a God Learner Empire close by which was destroyed in the tumults ending the Second Age, which might have spawned a few heroquesters locked in their Hero Paths until they could break free.

To spread a bit paranoia: Also the most recent heroes of doubtful origin might be such remaining God Learners. Most of us know the legend about one or the other king/emperor/hero sleeping somewhere, waiting to come out of his hiding place when the time has come (Arthur, Charlemagne, Friedrich Barbarossa, Holger Danske). Looking at Dragon Pass, there are at least two characters of doubtful origin: King Sartar, founder of the Kingdom, and Prince Argrath. If there is truth in this speculation, Argrath might be a truer heir of Sartar than Sartar's descendants. (But this is of course God Learning nonsense, isn't it?)

> Nils W. asks:

>> On the subject of Vithela I have a question: Sandy has in two
>> postings mentioned Vithela as a kind of paradise for dead people
>> from Kralorela. The Genertela book says only that the dead of  
>> Kralorela wait as spirits until the current emperor dies, and then  
>> follow him to Someplace Else. Is Vithela this Someplace Else? 

>> So, could Sandy... enlighten me?

> Vithela is where the spirits wait. When the Emperor Passes
> On, the spirits go to the next stage of existence. This place is
> unattainable and unvisitable by normal Gloranthan abilities,

> including Heroquesting. Perhaps it is Solace in Glory?

You write that Vithela is unattainable and unvisitable. What hapens if a ship is approaching the place where Vithela is supposed to be? Another effect like the Syndics' Ban, or Brithos disappearance?

And I would think there is a couple of well known hero paths that should bring a person to Vithela, among these the Lightbringers' Quest and Hon-eel's quest into Hell, both of which reemerge at the Gates of Dawn which are said to be in Vithela.

>> Also, would other easterners, like the inhabitants of the East Isles >> share this belief?

> The Vormain folks know about Vithela, but I don't know if
> they think they go there.

Maybe the more buddhistic ones (if Land of Ninja really is meant to describe Gloranthan Vormain to some degree) wait there to be reborn?

> Martin sez:

>> I don't think joining an Orlanthi (say) cult other than one`s  
>> parents' is really any kind of `conversion' in our modern sense.   
>> After all, the cults are non-exclusive, unlike most earthly and all  
>> monotheistic religions

> Surely you jest. Modern monotheism is not particularly
> exclusive within the various groupings. The various Protestant faiths
> are non-exclusive. Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans,
> Anglican/Episcopalians, etc. are tolerant of one another.

Jumping at the Protestant example because it's the only one I have first-hand experience in:

The Cults are not exclusive at all. It's the same religion, the same deity. In Glorantha terms they are different forms of worship, like Malkioni sects, or different subcults, like Garzeen or Goldentongue Issaries worshippers.

In my experience it is impossible (or useless) to belong to more than one Protestant faith. If you're Lutheran, you are more than associated in Baptist faith. If you want e.g. to be married under their rites, either they label it Oecumenical (=associate initiate), or you have to "convert".

They _are_ exclusive even against similar faiths, like Jehova's witnesses, certain other sects wearing the label christian, and generally avoid contact with the other major christian faiths, Roman Catholics or Orthodox. The other world religions with partly the same tradition, Judaism and Islam, are excluded more.

They certainly are exclusive against other faiths with other deities, such as Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Hinduists, Taoists, or Shintoists.

>> Another possible fudge would be to say that if one has a parent in a
>> "closely enough" (see previous hand-waving on this subject)  
>> associated cult, then this is good enough for a `free' initiation. 

> Or if your uncle or aunt or cousin was an initiate in the
> proper cult, perhaps they could be your sponsor instead of your
> parents.

This takes me to another problem I have encountered in my campaign start-up. I have a Hendriki boy, son of a family of crafters, wanting to become a sailor. I told him to do so, he would have to go with his uncle who does the trading of his family's products, and via Issaries initiation (at home) and Dormal initiation (on board) he'd become a Holy Country sailor.

I still don't know what deity his parents worship. We said they were in the textile business, probably weaving the large amounts of excess wool the Hendriki produce for export. But a male Orlanthi, even if he is a town dweller, couldn't really be expected to worship a handmaiden of Ernalda (one of these would be the weaver) as primary deity.

So would his father and brother be Orlanth initiates (or Aeolian Malkioni), and as well initiates of this handmaiden, or what?

-- Joerg Baumgartner

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