From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_bigfoot.com>
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 23:14:54 +1200

Peter Larsen:

> >It merely means that the solar
> >worshippers must recognize a solar deity greater than
> >their own as being the Great God, _if_ their own god
> >is not Yelm under another name.

>I really doubt this. More likely the vast majority of people see
>their god as being just fine, thank you, and if that other god over there
>seems to have more power, it's some filthy trick. Elmal is a second
>stringer in the Heortling pantheon, but he has a noble and distinguished
>place; that's something a worshipper can hold his head up about. If it's
>common knowledge that Elmal is just a cheap Yelm impersonator, well,
>where's the honor in that?

But it's not common knowledge that Elmal is just a cheap Yelm impersonator, it's common knowledge that he was once in the Fire Tribe and Yelm is the head of the Fire Tribe. You are confusing the issue between the recognition of Yelm as the Great Fire God and how Elmali come to terms with Yelmic Sun worship.

> >Where in the Storm tribe writeup do you find that Elmal has
> >never partaken of Yelm?

>If Yelm is not the Evil Emperor, Elmal has nothing to do with him.

But Yelm is the Evil Emperor and head of the Fire tribe. No Heortling can deny this identity although they can deny that he is the Sun

> >Worshipping
> >Yelm leads to greater solar powers than any other god simply
> >because Yelm is the theistic sun.

>Not necessarily. It's pretty clear that worshipper's understand of
>the god has an impact on the powers a worshipper can get.

But whether these powers are greater than other solar powers is the issue here. Yelm's solar powers are better than the solar powers of Yelmalio or Elmal.

>People weren't chucking Sunspears around until someone (Avivath?)
>used it to smite a bad emperor; surely Yelm did not suddenly decide
>to start handing them out.

Sun Spears have long been part of Solar myth before Avivath smote Emperor Huradabba with them. But Sun Spears are only available to worshippers of Yelm. They are not available to worshippers of Yelmalio or Elmal. Therefore Yelm's solar powers are greater than those of lesser sun gods.

> >That many cultures do worship
> >lesser sun gods is not because they have an inferior method of
> >worshipping Yelm but because they are actually worshipping a
> >lesser sun god with an independent existence from Yelm.

>Exactly, but you seem to think they realize they are worshipping a
>lesser god, where I think they would find some reason to believe
>that their god did the job better (and therefore was neither lesser
>nor inferior).

Let me spell this out. Although the Elmali know that Yelm is greater in power than Elmal, they do not worship him because he is _evil_. Thus far the Elmali have a perfectly good reason to acknowledge Elmal's inferiority yet remain faithful to Elmal.

> >I do not believe that the Dara Happans have a better cult of
> >Yelm is contingent upon their thinking about Solar truths.
> >Orlanthi hardly think about such things at all yet they
> >worship the Great Storm God nevertheless.

>But the Orlanthi do spend most of their religious time
>thinking about the mysteries and rituals of the Storm.

Do they? From the descriptions of the ceremonies, it looks like they just simply participate. I don't see how this can be compared to Dara Happan sages engaging in heavy philosophizing in their day-job.

> >It depends on what you mean by deeper Solar understanding.
> >Greater Solar powers? There's no way they can improve upon
> >Elmal (either by Amazing Theistic Revelations or Kick-arse
> >Heroquesting) simply because Elmal is as great as he ever
> >will be.

>Surely it's possible to discover new myths about Elmal? There could
>be whole Aspects left undiscovered.

No. As Elmal is not a great god, he has only _one_ aspect. One might discover a new subcult for him but they would be no greater in power than existing subcults. Adding a new subcult isn't what I consider deeper solar understanding.

End of The Glorantha Digest V8 #512

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