From: Peter Larsen <plarsen_at_mail.utexas.edu>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 05:51:02 -0700

John Hughes says:

> While Peter M is quite right about the *cult* of Elmal weakening in
> Sartar, that says nothing about the *mythology* of Elmal, which is basic to
> Heortling life. The sun is Elmal - just look up and you can see his
> streaming hair, watch his golden spears penetrate the haze. Elmal,
> strengthened and purified by Orlanth at the Dawn. Ideas of the Evil Emperor
> being the sun are Lunar ideas, gaining new currency since the invasion.

        This has been bothering me as well. Who is the sun seems to be such a basic thing, I find it difficult to imagine that people could get confused about it, especially since the sun can be, in effect, theistically emailed for a ruling.

        Is it possible that Elmal is only associated with the sun and not the sun itself? In the myth, as I recall, Elmal receives the solar torch from Orlanth at the Dawn, so he isn't the solar torch himself. Perhaps he's more like Phoebes, the charioteer who drove the sun in some Greek myth (I may be spelling this name wrong, and I'm working from an extremely fuzzy memory, so I could be mistaken). If Elmal is the sun's driver (or its light), the sun can be something else. Maybe Elmal gets credit for using justice to keep the sun in line, preventing excessively hot weather and all that....

        In a related point, was the Emperor the sun before the 1st Council? Did Orlanth kill the sun in early myth, or did he kill the Emperor which resulted in the sun going out? How close are the pre-fusion Heortling and Pelorian myths? I realize that I could do a bunch of reading and find out for myself; I was wondering if anyone had information/opinions on this.

Peter Larsen

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