Holy Country replied

From: Joerg Baumgartner <joe_at_toppoint.de>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 97 23:12 MET DST

Peter Metcalfe

>>This might tie in with the weapons contest stuff based on Andrew's
>>suggestion, above...

>Wouldn't that be the Three Challenges you mention below?

Yes. All thrown together...

>I meant in order to resurrect the King, the theory implies that he
>has to do the Full LBQ.

I'm a bit unsure whether that's the Full LBQ or just "all stations, and his special mastery over Death" thingy.

Erik asked
>>>Why do the Trader Princes think of the place as "holy", BTW?

And I tried to provide answers that have some truth at the time they arrived in Heortland, i.e. about 1100.

>>I have a couple of conflicting and co-existing theories, though.

>>The "Plato's Atlantis found in Troy" theory:
>>The Aeolian theory:
>>The Hidden Castle theory:
>>The Fake Artifacts theory:

>I think you've left out one person who could have had the motive
>and the chutzpah: Belintar.

Yes, deliberately. Because I have no idea how Belintar is positioned vs. Malkionism. We know there are Malkioni in the Holy Country, but from what we know none of them claim Belintar as one of their own. He may well have made this identification (Malkonwal) in order to gain their support, but that would mean that he did similar things to court other minorities, say like the newtlings of the Heortland shore.

>Considering that he has presented
>himself as the Year King to the Esrolians, the High King to the
>Heortlanders, the Grand Talar to the People Whom God Forgot and
>more, it does not seem a large step for him to claim that he is
>the Living Saint-King who liberated the land from the Krjalki.

>So why do the Malkioni call his lands the Holy Country? Because
>Belintar is a Prester John personna ruling a Holy Country in a
>region that otherwise succumbed to pagans and krjalki. I'm sure
>the Seshnegi sent embassies to him for aid against Ralios.

Nice one. Through Ralios, I suppose? There is a story in that.

[... stuff I agree with]

>This has the effect of making Richard's conquest of Heortland
>less presumptious. He may have simply thought that he was
>continuing the Good Deeds of Erstwhile Belintar.

While I believe this would have been out of character for him, many of his followers may have believed this.

>Perhaps 'Malkonwal' is the adjective that the westerners use to denote
>a land as being especially holy?

Like Jerusalem, a city which has been abstracted and delocated by thinkers? Yes.

>Namely in the God Learner
>days, the piety of some of the lands was such that one could
>catch a vision of the Holy City of Malkonwal or even enter
>there from the city streets at certain times (ie the Hidden
>Castle theory reworked). Thus the Kingdom of Malkonwal is a
>barbarian misunderstanding of Richard's claim to be King of
>the Malkonwal (ie Holy) Country.

Could be. I suppose many of Richard's followers (by choice of their profession not quite the most religiously educated people) believe the direct connotation as well, and his Rokari chaplains will have taken up this rhetoric as well.

>>(I tend to believe, though, that sea-birds,
>>including the loon, are sacred to Brastalos, who in turn is of some
>>importance to the Islanders.)

>The Rightarm Islanders appear to have a special reverence for
>seabirds because as well as the loon, there are the giant cranes.
>I don't think Loon Island is the site of the City of Wonders but
>that Belintar returned a sacred nesting site of one of the birds
>that had been eaten by the Only Old One.

So where do you think would it be found on the Holy Country map (physical or mythical)?

Nick Brooke

>> The Caladralanders worship a sort of Sky Serpent, which is the sky aspect
>> of Lodril.

>I was keen on this being the Firebird mentioned in Genertela Book,
>something like a Phoenix that rises from the volcano and spreads
>blazing fires across the jungle when there's an eruption. But with
>Simon's phoenix-cult in Fonrit this might be overkill. OTOH, association
>between Fire and Birds is universal. Mind you, association between Earth
>and Snakes likewise, and between Fire and Earth in Volcanoes likewise
>too, so why not, eh? "The Firebird has the wings of an eagle and the body
>of a serpent..."

The feathered serpent, also in the form of the javelin from the atlatl?

>> The people then were not the RQ Caladra and Aurelion, mostly-civilized
>> culture that they are now.

>I would still prefer to shred the RQ cult writeup and replace it with
>shaven-headed feather-cloaked jungle priests of the Volcano God, even
>"today". Just my tuppence.

I am quite a bit wary about the jungle. Temperate impenetrable rainforest yes, tropical jungle no... There are no Yellow Elves in this part of Genertela any more. The southern Central Genertelan coast would be mediterranean, perhaps even like the Persian Gulf in climate, but hardly suitable for real jungle. Maybe Teshnos has a climate comparable to Florida (Fever Trees), but we know that western Genertela is cooled by the Glacier's currents. Olive trees for God Forgot, but not north of the Mirrorsea Bay.

>(And anyone thinking the Caladralanders are
>ruled by an elected President, serving a maximum of two terms, with
>supreme executive powers but reined in by an appointed Supreme Court
>whose members remain in place for life and control all judicial matters,
>with legislative functions... Gah! You see why I hate parts of the
>"quick'n'dirty" Holy Country article in the RQC?)

I agree that a Western Democratic system seems vastly out of place anywhere in Theist Glorantha. There must be some catch to this system...

The appointed Supreme Court sounds like the Chamber of Chieftains to me. Only clan chiefs or their chosen become appointed. If the President is one of their number, there isn't much "democracy" left in this system.

>> Now, Jar-Eel somehow got into the high ritual, probably using the earth
>> connections of her ancestress, Hon-Eel. Because he holds the powers of
>> the Sixths, none of the magical leaders present can harm him during his
>> moment of vulnerability in the ritual. Jar-Eel was not so restricted,
>> being a Lunar agent, and so she was able to slay him. The End.

>Alternatively or additionally, she was *meant* to slay him (as usual), and
>he was *meant* to return from the Underworld, the crop-king returning, the
>dying-and-rising god-king of Esrolia, as he had done for year after year
>since claiming his rule. But when Jar-Eel slew the Pharaoh, she sent his
>soul to one of the Lunar Hells *outside* the normal cosmos - cf. mention in
>"King of Sartar". And Belintar couldn't find his way back from that one (or
>hasn't done so *yet*).

Do we have any proof that Belintar went into a Hell, and does not have the best out-of-time experience of his life in some fancy seraglio on the moon? I mean, if she was meant to slay him, and didn't, what if she failed to slay him in the rite, thereby destroying his hold over Esrolia? What if she kept him entertained in their bridal bed for a long time? Were there any sightings of Jar-eel since 1616?

>I like the participation of representatives from the Sixths in the
>Pharoah's annual (or occasional) renewal of his rule.

I thought it was mandatory, after all there would be a renewal of the oath of fealty or whatever along this line to be made. Once per year and Sixth, in the appropriate season per Sixth (except God Forgot, which I doubt is done in Sacred Season, and isn't a proper oathrenewing either but a payment of interest).

>I certainly think it unlikely that the
>rulers of the Sixths would always see their God-King as an enemy to be
>slain in the ritual if at all possible.

Not in the rites as they are established now, at least. Even the Year King ritual may have degenerated over time, and the visit through High Temple and the fires of the Vent to Low Temple may not be seen as sacrifice any more.

>Though some might -- especially
>if they thought they'd be in a good position for the following Tournament
>of the Masters of Luck and Death.

Hmm. Is it just me who thinks that _any_ inhabitant of the Holy Country may be chosen to participate in the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death, and that it is rare for a ruler of any Sixth to participate? After all, who would want the stomach sores of an accomplished politician for his next body?

End of The Glorantha Digest V5 #49

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