Gods and Truth

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_bigfoot.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2000 19:23:20 +1300

Peter Larsen:

>The gods speak in parables, riddles, dreams, etc., but they do
>speak directly to the diviner. It kind of smashes heresy because
>you can always ask, and one assumes that the god is going to care
>enough to give a fairly direct answer to "Is Anaximader the Stygian
>really following the true path of Yelm with his "Yelm is the Husband
>of Kygor Litor sermons?"

Gods do not know such things. In RQ3, they do not know what a priest of initiate is thinking and cannot deduce motivations. They cannot invade anybody's mind, though they will know what a worshipper tells them and whether a worshipper has lost faith.

As for detecting heresy, they can't. If a god could detect heresy, then surely they would have been able to withhold their blessings from a heretic? Gloranthan history is riddled with theological debates and schisms that should have been able to be cleared up with a divination. But since gods are worshipped in diverse forms (Storm Bull-Urox-Taurox or Rufelza-Taraltara- Natha-Rashorana), such human obsessions with correct ritual or dogma are for the most part far beneath their attention.

As for your hypothetical example, Spolitism or Umbarism (presumably so called because of Xiola Umbar's Friendship with Yelm in the Darkness) was a real doctrine with similar tenets that dominated the Dara Happan Empire in the Early Imperial Age. How can you tell whether it is heretical or not? If it wasn't, then surely Yelm would have smote it?

>I can see how Yelm and Kargzant
>can be the Sun (Theist vs Animist), or whoever/whatever the sun is in
>Pamaltela or Vithia (different Solar tribes, I suppose, or radically
>different understandings), but I'm still having trouble with Yelm and
>Elmal, especially since Elmal is from the Solar tribe originally -
>doesn't he know about Yelm?

You just stated that you can understand how Yelm and Kargzant could be different because of different Solar tribes. Yet when you discuss Elmal and Yelm, why do you assume that they must belong to *the* Solar Tribe (as if there were only one)?

I can't really give you the correct answer simply because there are many such theories (Malkioni, God Learner, Lunar, Belintar etc) in glorantha and the validity of each is a matter of intense debate. But when you assume something (e.g. that Gods can detect heresy) and find that it causes problems, mightn't dropping the offending assumption be the way to go?

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