<< No. It's the unnecessary attempts to turn an ordinary religion into something radically different.>>
I don't see how Yelmalio worship in Votankiland is an ordinary religion. The radical difference is that the hunters are worshipping him using the methods available to them - which I think is ecstatic worship.
>I really cannot see how the citadels would be able to maintain a
>separate culture from the animist Balazaring hunters.
<< IMO they do so with the same difficulty that the Theistic Orlanthi maintain animist Kolati. The key thing is the Votanki traditions are no good for living in a city while the Theistic traditions are useless for living in the wilds. Turning Yelmalio into a misapplied religion does nothing to alter this. >>
But Shamanistic Traditions are described as surviving within theist cultures due to their specialisation (p205 HW). This is justifiable in that Shamans are unusual characters, outside the normal society because of their fetches and their calling. Theists are not described as survivng amidst Animist cultures, although there is the Spirit Cult phenomema.
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