From: Peter J. Whitelaw (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 13 Sep 1994 - 02:07:43 EEST
OK, We reached three votes since my last message.
So, for those who asked for it and for those who didn't...
What My Rather Told Me - A Personal View Of Sun County Life
Who Are You?
I am Oralion of Chomoro, son of Boragenes. Greetings, and may Mighty Yelm bless you.
Who Are We?
We are Sun County folk and loyal servants of our Count, Solanthos Ironpike. We revere Mighty Yelm and worship His Son, Yelmalio. We are a proud and strong people, tilling the fertile flood-plains of our homeland with the honest toil and steadfast beliefs that befits a heritage so noble as our own.
What Makes Us Great?
That after the Peaceful Era, a Golden Age when the bounty of this land was as great as the glory of Yelm, we endured and survived the Solitude of Testing with grace and nobility. When we were beset by enemies at every quarter we did not fail but grew in strength from the faith that we have in Yelmalio. This makes us the envy of those who look upon all that we have achieved and who, with covetous glances seek to steal from us that which they are too weak to provide for themselves.
Where Do We Live?
We live in Chomoro, second largest town in Sun County after the Sun Dome temple itself. Our town is nestled at the confluence of the Bitter Stream and the Zola Fel, on the western flood plain. The fields around Chomoro are laced with the irrigation canals that the first Count, Arinsor Clearmind, showed us how to make when he joined with the Zola Fel's daughter in re-enacting the union of Yelm with the Oslir, a great river far to the north-west in a land called Peloria, the home of Yelm.
Chomoro is the bastion of Sun County against the incursions and depredations of nomads and other pagan people from the south. Recently, Lunars from Peloria have settled there and, despite their strange customs, some of them revere Yelm as we do.
To the west are the cliffs that separate us from the high chaparral of Prax where nomads roam. They often bicker and fight amongst themselves and, when they tire of this, they steal from us and drive their herds through our barleyfields.
Beyond Sun County to the north is Pavis County. The people there are farmers like ourselves but they are of Sartarite stock. Sartarites worship the rebellious Gods who attacked Yelm and brought about the end to the Golden Age; they are not a trustworthy lot.
How Do We Live?
We farm the flood plains and terraces of the Zola Fel valley. We irrigate these in the fashion taught us by Arinsor Clearmind, as I told you before. Our staple is Barley and Yelmalio's wife, Ernalda, blesses our land that our harvest may be bountiful. We have many talents though, and we grow tomatoes, olives, grapes and flax on the fields apportioned to us by lot each year. This is a true and just custom. That our neighbours do not do likewise speaks of their lack of virtue. Our fields are square in honour of the Earth rune held by Ernalda, Yelamlio's wife.
Besides the crops that feed us we tend herds of sable and impala that provide us with meat and milk, leather, wool and bone. Come the harvest time we have produce aplenty to barter for fish, pottery and bronze goods from the local fisherfolk and the artisans that live in Chomoro all the time. Although they do not tend the Earth, we respect the contribution that they make to our way of life.
Also at harvest time, old Istarchos the Grey comes round with his sons and collects a portion of our crop as tithe to the Sun Dome temple that those who have not been blessed as ourselves may be supported in time of need. We clothe ourselves without fuss or unnecessary frippery and with practicality in mind. Men and women wear tunics of linen or wool although modesty dictates that the women, of course, carry their hem below the knee. In Fire season, when Yelm is at his most magnificent, we wear just these tunics and leather sandals upon our feet. When the storms come, however, we will often put on woollen trousers which we tuck into long, laced leather overshoes that we wear over our sandals and which come up to our calves. At such times we also don a woollen or felt mantle over our tunics. When needs must we cover our heads with a wide-brimmed felt hat. Our women are never without a light scarf with which to veil their faces in the company of men
What Is Important In My Life?
When a young boy wins at the Bearding festival during Harvest time he has proven himself a man and is blessed into the church of Yelmalio. At his first communion as an adult there is a bond forged by Lodril between him and Yelmalio, this can never be broken and when he opens his eyes he sees with the sight of a man. He may grow a beard and take a wife that he may bless the community with fine, strong sons to carry on our traditions and swell our number against those who would do us down.
The first summer after his Bearding, a man enters service with the Sun Dome Militia with whom he will be taught how to wield the spear of light and shield of truth in defence of our lands and our folk. If a young man shows aptitude for militia service then he may be called upon to join the ranks of the glorious Sun Dome Templars - the fearless heroes who spend their lives in service to the Temple, protecting us.
A man should hold dear all that Yelmalio has taught us to respect and revere and, by so doing, emulate Him. He should be just and truthful in all his dealings with others and conscious of the qualities that set us above others.
Who Rules Us?
We are ruled by Count Solanthos Ironpike, forty second in an unbroken line of honoured Light Sons stretching back to Arinsor Clearmind who came from Dragon Pass and liked to kill giants. Every person in Sun County can name the Counts who have led us through good times and bad to become the people that we are today. It is the Count who treats with outsiders on behalf of us all and who administers justice in accordance with Yelmalio's law. The Count carries the Globe of authority and Sceptre of Order as symbols of his station and his power.
What Makes A Man Great?
A Great Man is he who dedicates his life to the service of the Count and, thereby, the people of Sun County that he rules and Yelmalio whom he represents. There are many ways to achieve this end. Diligent and chaste service in the ranks of the Sun Dome Templars, or ceaseless toil to draw fruits from the earth and the siring of many strong sons and daughters to carry on his work. He who seeks ever greater guidance from the temple in how to conduct himself in the service of Yelmalio and who succeeds in doing so is a Great Man and one whom we can be honoured to count amongst our number.
What Is The Difference Between Man and Woman? Men are in the image of Yelm and women of Dendara, His wife. Dendara serves her husband well, caring for the land and the home that her husband rules over. Yelmalio is a leader, a soldier, strong and true; his wife Ernalda an Earth mother. So it is with Man and Woman.
What is Evil?
There are many kinds of Evil and Chaos is the worst of them. When Orlanth and his lackeys so cravenly assassinated Yelm and the Golden age was ended, Chaos leaked into the world from without. Every manifestation of this running sore must be hunted down and eliminated without question or quarter. The truth of Yelmalio and of the Fiery Father himself is that we must adhere to what is right in order to set for others a righteous example that acts as a beacon to guide them from evil. The telling of untruths is evil and is not the proper behaviour of a Yelmalion, by doing so one risks losing all that is important in one's life and being cast out from the community. The adoption of pagan or sorcerous customs and rites is evil for, again, to do so leads one away from the true path. To act unjustly or without respect for the wisdom and counsel of one's elders, to covet and to shirk one's duties; all these things are evil.
What Is My Lot In Life?
It is your lot that you shall reap as you have sewn. As you have conducted yourself in the service of the Count and of Yelmalio so you shall be rewarded in life and beyond, when you travel to the Halls of Yelm in Hell. There you shall find the opportunity to serve again and so you shall. As the quality of your life improves so does the chance that you shall find eternal contentment in Yelm's court.
So, you will ever strive to emulate those set above you and to bear the burdens placed upon you with good grace and fortitude that you may, one day, have the opportunity to set a noble example for the generations after you. Do these things and you will receive land to work and the arms to defend it; you shall receive succour in time of want and the support of the temple in time of danger. Fail, and the we shall reject you as you have rejected us.
How Do We Deal With Others?
Respect and obey your father whose name you bear, he is a man long in the service of Yelmalio and has many wise things to tell you. Similarly, you should heed the advice of your elders; those such as Istarchos who leads us in prayer each week at the temple.
Support your brothers and your peers, let them have no cause to doubt your virtue. Cherish and protect your mother and your sisters, it is they who have borne and will bear sons to the community and will tend the homes and bless the fields of decent folk.
Be a lord to your children that they may know right from wrong and grow up emulating Yelmalio as you have done.
When dealing with foreigners know that they cannot aspire to the qualities that we possess and that they are the lesser for it. Be wary of their deceits and their immoral and pagan customs. Do not permit yourself to become tainted by your contact with them; do what must be done and be away from them.
Who Are Our Enemies?
Many are set about our lands and seek to steal our riches from us by trickery or by force. These peoples, Lunars, nomads, Agimori, Morocanth, are often our enemies but needs must that they are sometimes our allies. Quite simply, any who seeks to force their customs upon us and to take from us we may count as an enemy.
Often our warriors find service in the pay of others, so renowned and feared are our Sun Dome Templars. On these occasions we have new enemies, but these are not enemies of the Truth of our Way but of circumstance. Our only perpetual enemies other than Chaos, are Darkness and Deceit in any manifestation that they may be encountered. Creatures of the Darkness, such as Trolls, who call themselves Uz, are our enemies; their gods robbed Yelmalio of the Heat Rune when he lay unarmed upon the Hill of Gold. What's more, the Uz gods fought against Yelm before Chaos came. We can never forgive them their malice.
Who Are My Gods.
Our God is Yelmalio, son of Yelm the Fiery Father. Our women worship his wife Ernalda and other good goddesses of the land and of the home such as Dendara, wife of Yelm, and Chalana Arroy, the healer. Yelmalio stands tall over all other gods and fought mightily for his father during the Dark times. Yelmalio is a leader, a torch of truth and light burning in the wilderness that surrounds us.
Some of our people, artisans and merchants, worship Lokarnos, the wagon god. We respect such people because they shoulder much of the burden of dealing with foreigners in order to trade, with minted golden coin, for goods that we need.
What Is There To Do Around Here?
Work in the fields, and practise with your spear and shield of course. Isn't that enough? But, if you seek more than the rewards of such honest toil, then you can try for a place with the Chomoro Hawks Shield Push team or spend some time attending to old Istarchos; he is sure to have many wise things to teach you. If you are lucky, a Light Son might teach some of you a little hawking. And you can always do with practising your dance-steps for the harvest festival.
All the best,
[The rules of the game]
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