Re: Re: mixed worship in Umathela

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_...>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 16:05:19 +1300

David Dunham:

>Me> However it is published as a society where people worship both
> > gods and the Invisible God (cf the descriptions of both Henotheism
> > and Stygianism on page 53 of the Glorantha: Intro). That makes
> > it a society which Misapplied worship is at the very least "heavily"
> > used and it was in discussing the Safelstrans that Greg first started
> > talking about misapplied worship.

>I often wonder if they actually venerate gods, or simply sacrifice to

If they sacrifice to gods and venerate the Invisible God at the same time then they are still doing misapplied worship or should suffer an equivalent penalty because they are trying to approach magic from two different ways. Not actually covered in the rules, but what prevents the worshippers of the Tarshite Flamebringer Temple from simply venerating him and avoiding all those misapplied worship penalties? Or the worshippers of Saint Dormal furtively conducting sacrifices to his divine aspect deep within their temples while openly venerating him for the Open Seas spell?

In any case, the Trader Princes (from Ralios) noted in the Glorantha: Intro p150 for their "willingness to worship the pagan gods in their own unusual manner". This was a reflection of my notions about Ralian henotheism at the time being:

         What scandalizes foreign Malkioni when they visit a Stygian
         Church are the shrines to False Gods.  The Stygians protest
         that they venerate Saints, and this is true, but the presence
         of such saints as Quicksilver, the Patron Saint of Alchemy,
         casts a decidedly heterodox atmosphere.  Analogues of the
         Orlanthi Gods are the most common of Stygian Saints, but the
         Gods of Trolls, Dwarves and even Elves can all be found
         disguised as Saints.

What is now written in the Glorantha: Intro is different. As well as restricting the range of worship (to Galanini, Hsunchen and Orlanthi), it implies that the majority of pagan worship takes place according to traditional rituals.

>I seem to recall that this practice was popular until the
>Return to Rightness movement.

We should really be clear about what we are arguing about. There are a number of different ways in which Malkionism and Theism can co-exist within the same society.

  1. A select group worships Malkion while everybody else are pagans.
    • Before the Return to Rightness, I imagine that most Malkioni societies tolerated the "innocent" peasants indulging in pagan worship while such worship forbidden to everybody else. IMO the Return to Rightness showed prohibiting the peasants from pagan worship made the Malkioni community much stronger as a whole.
    • The Galvosti society was a relic of this pre-Rightness organization save that the Malkioni buttressed their authority by tapping the pagan peasants. It's been turned upside down by Surantyr, who IMO taught the peasants how to sacrifice to god so they couldn't be tapped by the Galvosti.
    • In more turbulent societies (still before the Return to Rightness), pagan fighters might be tolerated on the grounds of military necessity. Pious churchmen will be offended by this, but it's simply a sign of the weakness of the rulers. Only Jonatela now resembles anything like this.
    • Carmania as a result of their lost duel with the Logicians confines the Malkioni to the Vizier caste and everybody else is Pagan. There is a further Truth/Lie division in society that's probably a relic of the old Malkioni/Pagan divide.

In the above places (save for the Carmanians) there are no overt temples to the pagan gods for it is a Malkioni tenet that they are false. A peasant might worship at a simple shrine, but anything more ornate is liable for demolition by the Malkioni. One could treat Safelster as another Carmania but I'm not a great fan of this.

2. The Pagans and Malkioni are mixed throughout all levels of society,

     but pagans do not participate in Malkioni rites and vice versa.

         My preference is for a range of possible behaviour depending on
         the city's particular interpretation of the Arkat myth.  I expect
         however that the society which has a most thorough fusion of
         Malkioni and Pagan beliefs is the (non-Arkati) Henotheist Church.

> > There are also the Malkioni of Umathela of whom the majority also
> > worship pagan gods.

>I'm not sure I agree with "majority," but it's certainly common.

I've been informed (by both Greg and Sandy on separate occasions) that the Sedalpists are in a minority (perhaps as little as 2-10%), although this is largely masked by the spiritual intensity of the Sedalpists. Of the remainder only a few are Vadeli (45,000 compared to 800,000 Malkioni from ToTRM#10). The number of loons like the Cult of Silence and Ebbeshal are not known, but they are unlikely to make up the majority.

--Peter Metcalfe

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