The sun is the Sun

From: Greg Stafford <>
Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 11:14:02 -0700

I missed this discussion the first time around, and since Carl's assumptions are so way off base that I thought I would intervene briefly.

At 05:52 AM 4/3/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>As long as I'm making my annual posting: a while back I asked what
>would be seen, if a Zzaburite, an Orlanthi, and a shaman flew through
>the Middle Air together to look at the sun from close range.
>Presumably the Zzaburite would expect to see some natural source of
>light and heat (perhaps controlled by the sorceror Ehilm), the
>Orlanthi would expect to see the Evil Emperor, Yelm, bound to his
>path, and the shaman some kind of sky spirit.

This is not right. They would all see exactly the same thing: the sun. The sun exists in its own right.
Where they would differ is in the magic they might get from this sun. To the Zzaburite it is an impersonal fiery orb moving according to impersonal cosmic Law. He can use it as a source for his spells if he knows how to tap that fire. The Orlanthi can sacrifice to it and get Feats from his god, Elmal. The Grazelander would be able to get spirits from his YuKargzant.. If these guys went to any of the three Otherworlds then they would all see the same thing: a fiery ball, a god (Elmal, not Yelm) or the Great Spirit YuKargzant.

>The answer I got was that the *strongest belief* would determine what
>was seen -- that is, if this experiment was repeated, what was seen
>would totally depend on the mental force, the will, of the respective
>priest, shaman, and sorceror.

That is wrong. But see below, where such things will become possible.

>Now I see Peter commenting that Orlanth is always seen as a human
>male because he "is" that.

Orlanth is only perceived as a human by human beings, when they are experiencing his power through human form or in the realm important to humans.

>Couldn't strongly-believing followers
>(by the Berkeleyan argument given previously) simply force Orlanth to
>become a female cow or whatever? Or does the belief-makes-it-so
>effect not apply in this case?

The "belief makes it so" theory doesn't apply. It doesn't work.

>Or is Orlanth qua Orlanth at least
>somewhat defined, but not necessarily the "real" storm god? Or what?
Like the Sun, the Storm is real. Both are in the "real world" of everyday experience, also called the Center World, the Mortal World, the Mixed World etc.

>I mean, a while back someone (MOB?) posted that Shargash was in some
I once said that people in Dara Happa consider the entire religion of Orlanth to be an aberrant, "low" version of a degenerate Shargash subcult (probably of Rebellus Terminus.) They can think what they want, even substitute Orlanth names, icons and power objects into their Shargash rituals. This doesn't make them the same.

>sense also Orlanth --

Shargash is not Orlanth and Orlanth is not Shargash. However, both share many traits (violence, presence in all the worlds of Above, Middle and Below worlds) and, if you listen to the stories, both also share some stories (who was it that killed Yelm? Who is Rebellus Terminus?)
Nonetheless, I am sure that people in Glorantha do believe that they are the same and they probably make sacrifices to Orlanth the Shargash or something. They get, in return, Feats as always. They don't know they are paying "double Hero Points" of course, for this misapplied worship. They carry on the magic of their ancestors, of or whoever started this cult.

FINALLY, the upcoming Hero Wars are going to contain EXACTLY this sort of argument carried to the mythic extreme. The game mechanic of the Heroquest Challenge in which people can pit a portion of themselves against a part of someone else. The loser loses all their ability in whatever they bet. As the Hero Wars progress this very personal challenge will be opened up to allow a group against an individual, then groups against groups, then larger groups against larger ones until you can have, in your campaign, half the world fully backing one party or the other in a contest of cosmic beliefs. Say, Argrath and the Orlanthi Way versus Sedenya and the Lunar Way. The point of this is that you will be able, in your own campaign, to decide whether or not Orlanth = Shargash.

>but Shargash is a deathgod who lives in the
>Underworld, right? He's more like Humakt than Orlanth. Then again,
>another theory bruited about here has been that originally Humakt
>*was* Orlanth before Arkat artificially split the single religion in
>two, but how could he do that if Orlanth "is" anything fixed?
In my Glorantha these kind of theories abound. I am certain that every Sartarite has two dozen versions of such stories. Many are frankly not true, even though people believe them and may even sacrifice to an error.

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