From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_bigfoot.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 22:42:51 +1200

Alex Ferguson:

> > He is more than the god presented in Storm Tribe but he
> > cannot replace Orlanth.

>Again, aside from your Lego blocks, what basis do you have for this

         The Runes

         Runes are the building blocks of Glorantha.  They are
         the symbols, archetypes, embodiments, and actual matter
         or energy of the mundane world. [...]

         The powers of the Great Runes are universally acknowledged.
         The deities who command those runes are the Greater Gods.
         Those deities cannot be changed without altering the very
         fabric of the Cosmos.
                         RQ3 Book 5 p12.

Since the great deities cannot be changed, it follows that they cannot be replaced. Of course, if this is felt to be outdated because, it's _shock_ *horror!* RQ3, then there is:

         The High Runes are usually claimed as the ultimate reality
         of all glorantha.  They are the building blocks of glorantha;
         all beings or things that have reached a certain level of
         psychic development are runic beings in and of themselves.
         For example, all men are the living representatives of the
         man rune.
                         HW:RiG p110

The same basic idea of the Runes as the building blocks of glorantha is there. Thus I make no apologies for relying on basic gloranthan cosmology to infer statements about Great Gods.

Some practical examples:

  1. Yelmalio is the God of Sun County and is worshipped by virtually all men (plus a few women and baboons) there. One would think then that his cult would be a prime example of slippage of theistic worship into a Great God of Fire if Alex's theory of mutable FoHD is true. But Yelmalio is still the same old god as he always has been and is even weaker than Elmal.
  2. Elmal in the Heortlings. Since the Heortlings have no rival god to Elmal's element, what's to prevent his worshippers from engaging in divine slippage and identifying Elmal with the FoHD otherwise known as Yelm and thus producing a great god cult? Since this doesn't happen, not even in the Elmali clans, divine slippage and mutability of worship does not happen.
  3. Heler among the Heortlings. A similar argument for Elmal applies. Why haven't the Orlanthi managed to produce a great god cult from Heler to rival Magastan cult among the merfolk? Nothing's stopping them and there are Helering clans (mostly on the Wenelian Coast).

> > Furthermore the Sylilans are not Odaylings, they also worship the
> > Iron Ram and a number of other gods.

>I believe I'm not asserting that "the Sylilans are Odaylings", but
>rather, "some Sylilans at some historical epoch have been Odaylings",
>in the cultural god sense.

It should have read the Sylilans are not "just" Odaylings.

> > Orlanth worship in the Lunar Empire? I doubt it very much. I
> > don't think the Lunars are stupid enough to allow the worship
> > of Orlanth-as-Odayla within the Empire and I do know from the
> > example of shared cults, that gloranthans have a pretty good
> > idea of who they are worshipping.

>It's clear, surely, that I did not say "Orlanth-as-Odayla".

You did say "part-identified" with Orlanth himself in an attempt to suggest that Odayla could be a Great God by way of the Sylilans worshipping him as a mask for the FoHD otherwise known as Orlanth, thereby disputing my contention that Odayla cannot be a great god. Hence I feel "Orlanth-as - -Odayla" is an apt summation of your position. If you actually had a different model in mind, then it behoves you to explain it clearly.

>He's a different god, whom one might regard as stemming from
>a similar/"the same" transcendent power.

Since when does Odayla have storm powers (the transcendent power in question)? Merely because he is Orlanth's son does not mean that he stems from the same power. Otherwise Umath would be a fire god by your reckoning.

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