RE: Elmal and other dubious identifications.

From: Hughes, John (NAT) <"Hughes,>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 10:20:29 +1100

Heys folks

Mark Galeotti, thanks for that great mini-essay on Sartarite town-building!

> Invoking mythic and henotheistic principles, we have to be careful about
> positing binary yes/no answers for Elmal, or Yelm, or indeed any of the
> Gloranthan gods. Death to top down God Learnerism!

Of course Elmal is the sun. The Loyal Thane hovered above Kero Finn throughout the Greater Darkness. When Orlanth returned, he purified and strengthened his light, and set him free to wander, which Yelm could never do.

However, once we step out of reductionist dogmatism, Elmal is more than the sun, and the sun is more than Elmal. Mythic thinking doesn't have a problem with this. The gods transcend literalism. Metaphor and poetry are the tools of mythic insight, not cathechismic doxis.

Yes the Sartarites know about the Evil Emperor, and have for a long time. They also know about the Praxian sun, the Pentian sun, and the many suns of the Bongo Bongians. So what? Yelm is the sun of the enemy. Elmal is the Loyal Thane. Elmal is *the* sun. Except when he isn't. :)

For the average Sartarite however, Elmal the sun reminds him or her of the triumph of Orlanth when he fixed the world. The loyalty of Elmal is a much needed reminder of tenacity and endurance when all seems lost. It is a living symbol of the hope that Orlanth is not chained, and that he *will* return to right the world and reward those who have remained loyal to the Storm. If/when the sun is Yelm, it reminds them of Orlanth's Justice, and the peacemaking he made with the Evil Emperor, who apologised and accepted Orlanth's forgiveness and mastery.


>Aldachur built on an EWF ruin is a great idea, hope it gets adopted.
>Wait a minute - isn't John Hughes writing stuff for Thunder Rebels?
>Maybe there's more than one JH?

Last time I checked there was only one me, though my internal state of mind is sufficiently fluid that I regularly have to stop and look carefully. :) A quick sacrifice to the current holders of the David Rune (the Many who are One) should maintain this state at least for the time being. I'm no longer regularly accused of making crap teen movies, but yes John Hughes is a fairly common name. (My grandfather's name was John Smith). I do use two accounts to post to the Digest: so we get brief lunchtime bursts from my work (Nat) account, and more meditative Sunday morning posts from home. The fact that I occasionally flame myself is simply evidence that I'm taking advantage of the technology. Other confusions are mine alone. And yes, I have made some small contribution to Thunder Rebels, along with many others.


(currently questing for a small rune, any rune really.)       

Powered by hypermail