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3rd Age Malkionism


jajagappa

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Jeff posted over on FB, and it's a really useful perspective on 3rd Age Malkionism:

"So let's talk a little about some of the Third Age Malkioni movements. The Second Age broke Malkionism. Let's say that again - the Second Age broke Malkionism. Most of the intellectual centers of Malkionism - Jrustela, Seshnela, and Brithos - were sunk, broken, or disappeared. The Oceans - long the highways of the Malkioni were closed to humanity.

Hrestolism - the mainstream of Malkionism since the early Dawn - had been delivered a catastrophic blow. Not just in numbers, but in self-confidence. The Invisible God had struck against the God Learners and the Middle Sea Empire.
That is not the rallying cries of the enemies of Hrestolism - that is what mainstream establishment Hrestoli agreed. Something had gone terribly wrong in Malkionism - and mainstream Hrestolism was to blame.
And so the Third Age opened with Malkioni intellectuals - especially among the zzaburi and talars - trying to figure out how things went wrong. In Loskalm, the Irensavalists said it was because the so-called Hrestoli worshiped Makan the Demiurge instead of the Invisible God. They deeply inspected Hrestoli's life and deeds and the New Idealists came up with a radical form of Hrestolism that Hrestoli himself would not have recognized.
In the ruins of Seshnela and Tanisor came another answer - the problem was Hrestol himself. He twisted Malkionism so that he could murder the daughter of Seshna Likita and conquer the Pendali (who happened to be claimed as ancestors of the Tanisor talars). Hrestol betrayed Malkionism and if the Malkioni were to survive they were to try to figure out how to adapt Malkionism to the world of Time without going down Hrestol's path. This is the origin of Rokarism.
In Ralios, many concluded that Arkat was likely not the villain the God Learners claimed he was, and a myriad of sects claiming to know the secrets of the Dark Empire sprouted up."
 
and following comment:
"This is the context in which Malkionism developed in the Third Age. In Tanisor (which now claims the ancient Serpent Crown of Seshnela), the Rokari movement is backed by the talars and nearly all Zzaburi publicly ascribe to it. They have excised the errors and corruption of Hrestol, Arkat, and the God Learners from Malkionism - the proof has been a strong and powerful kingdom, the Opening, and the defeat of their foes."
 
 
Edited by jajagappa
added follow-on comment by Jeff
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"Malkioni intellectuals- especially among the zzaburi and talars-"

An interesting line, one fruitful with possibilities. 

And of course, there are non-Irensavalist Hrestolists still hanging around at the fringes of Malkioni culture. The Rokari haven't seemed to take aim at the Castle Coast yet, nor at the henotheistic types along the Manirian road. Perhaps the power of castles/Castelain is one they dare not tempt, but I have no idea what a better answer would be- yet. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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Already mentioned it over on Facebook, but other than the Rokari movement, the newly dominant strains of Malkionism had been helped out of suppression by Halwal, the God Learner dissident sorcerer who left in a huff when the rest of wizard-dom would not choose him as a leader.

And Rokar's use of the Sharp Abiding Book sounds like he used the example of the Malkioneranist Sharp Abiding Grimoire if any of the things mentioned in Middle Sea Empire are salvagable for the new canon.

BTW, I agree with the Ralian statement. When doddering King Nralar demanded tribute from the clearly more powerful and more sovereign autarchy, the syncretism of the Autarchy was the dominating form of reformed Hrestolism.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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The broad brushstrokes make a lot more sense to me than the statements in the Middle Sea Empire about how the God Learners weren't worshipping Makan but Malioneran or mistaking the protective spells of the Abiding Book for the Book itself.

My own thinking in trying to make sense of the big picture is that the God Learners were heavily tainted by the error of Pilif is that they viewed Wizards should be a source of legal authority, having the ability to make something a crime, as opposed to law originating from the Gods acting through their Talar descendants.  The Age of the God Learners was the Age of the Big Legal Codes that regulated Everything.  The Rokari have retreated from this position in that they see it as a source of corruption (which usually ends up with a massacre of defenceless wizards by iron-wielding thugs) and will only permit themselves to act in legal matters which they have already involved themselves.

For example: two farmers have a dispute about the land.  The Zzaburi is not interested and the Talar sorts out the matter himself.  But if the land had been in a trust set up by the Zzaburi then they would get involved.  The primary duty of the Rokari Wizards is to encourage the Rightness* of the other castes, rather than regulate their behaviour ten commandments style.  They could see if somebody is falling behind, some might foam at the mouth at the lapses but others prefer to let the Talars sort it out.  

I think that much of the dispute in the Sorcerors War (Halwal versus Yomili etc) can be seen as analogous to the dispute between Augustine and Pelagius (Faith and Good Works).  Halwal believes in the pursuit of Rightness above everything else but is held back by his enemies who legitimately quote verses in the Abiding Book.  So Halwal goes "screw you guys, I'll teach Rightness to our enemies and if they should kick your sorry asses win then I was right".  In the next age, Rokar vindicates Halwal by using his arguments to clean up the Abiding Book.

*Not just an arcane concept but a source of magic.

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Some further notes by Jeff on FB on Malkionism:

"A few notes about things to keep in mind when thinking about the Malkioni:

PARTICULAR LIKES AND DISLIKES
The Malkioni distrust gods in general. There is a strong current of ancestor worship in Malkionism, and at times the Malkioni have made their ancestors surpass the gods in power, or else reduced the gods into mere superhuman heroes or multinational ancestors. Some sects reject all worship of the gods, others make exceptions for specific deities. For example, in the Second Age, the God Learners spread the Lightbringer cults of Chalana Arroy, Issaries, and Lhankor Mhy throughout the Middle Sea Empire. Even those sects that do not worship the gods rarely oppress worship of the gods by non-Malkioni.
Most cults of other gods despise and fear members of the zzaburi caste. The zzaburi consider the gods to be individuals who mastered themselves, as the zzaburi strives to do. They consider the gods to be peers. Those who worship the gods are lesser men, those who couldn't make it. Naturally, these attitudes cause considerable friction between the worshipers of the gods and zzaburi.
The Malkioni distrust and dislike the Elder Races in general, although again exceptions are often made by specific sects. The Malkioni lump all the Elder Races together with the Orlanthi hill barbarians and even Chaos monsters until the category of “krjalk.”
The Malkioni recognize the force of evil and call it the Devil. The Devil is the god of Chaos. The Devil is the worst of all the beings who forgot the Invisible God, for he turned the wondrous forces of life against himself and tried to destroy the world in the process
------
The talars are directly descended from the first-born son of Malkion, They venerate their ancestors – kings, heroes, and even gods – as a means of connection to the supreme power of the Invisible God. The earliest ancestors were the children of gods, and can intercede with the Elemental gods and the Powers on behalf of their descendants. As a result, Talars must carefully learn their lineage, and act as links between past generations of leaders and the present time.
Upon death, the remains of a talar are buried beneath the earth. Mounds, shrines, or other structures are typically built atop the grave. Cults to specific ancestors are common among their descendants. In the First Age, the royal burial mounds of the Seshnegi Serpent Kings were sacred complexes and the center of much religious activity. Other such cults, such as those of Xemela, Hrestol, Gerlant, and Talor, are now worshiped by members of all Malkioni castes."
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Additional comments and notes from Jeff on the topic:

"The only remnant of old school Hrestolism I can think of offhand is the Castle Coast. Which we often romanticise, but let's think about what it is - the dwarf made fortress of Rhis, and the ruins of Frowal and Laurmal, plus a few heavily fortified strongholds. I kind of imagine it like the later Crusader states, after the loss of Jerusalem.

By and large, I don't think the Castle Coast Hrestoli are filled with optimistic self-confidence. They are at best like the inhabitants of Gormenghast, performing rituals they no longer know the purpose of. At worst, they are the Vadraigh, hiding away in castles, wilfully oblivious to the changes over the last six hundred years."

"There also just are not all that many folk in the Castle Coast - maybe 50,000, which is about the population of The Far Place (the area around Alda-Chur plus Alone)."

"In short, the Castle Coast is a melancholic place, dreaming about a past it no longer believes in, but rejecting a future it cannot be a part of."

------------

"Slontos, once the gem of the Middle Sea Empire, was also sunk. The rulers of Ramalia are wracked with fear - and the cruel lords grasp onto power with the aid of amoral sorcerers, who Tap all who oppose the rulers. It is a police state of lords and sorcerers, backed by sadistic soldiers."

------------

"Groups like the Manirian Merchant Princes or the Aeolians are not particularly influential on the development of mainstream Malkionism. They are too far removed, too influenced by the Orlanthi (heck, many consider them to be just Orlanthi with some sorcerers - which is not entirely wrong)."

 

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Jeff's comments on Maniria and Malkionism:

"So as part of our Third Age Malkioni discussion, lets get to the Manirian Road and the Trader Princes. Remember what this is - it is a trade route between Safelster and Esrolia, dating back some 400 years. During the Closing this was the only way to get goods and people between Ralios (and from there to Seshnela) and the Holy Country.

The route was founded around 1170 by a talar named Castelain, who was descended from the god Issaries and worshipped by his kinship group as an ancestor (which is permitted by talars even under orthodox Malkionism). This was common among those talar clans that handled long-distance trade under the Silver Empire and later under the Middle Sea Empire, and many lesser talar families traced their descent to Issaries. This would have been around the time when the Kingdom of Jorstland dominated Ralios.

Castelain got spectacularly wealthy - imagine the markup of kafl, spices, iron, and other Western goods in an Esrolia cut off from trade. Of course he got his kin - his immediate family, cousins, and other clan members - in on the act. They made pacts with the local Orlanthi tribes, established settlements and caravanserai, and as talars, quickly fit into the role of judges in disputes between the tribes. They took Orlanthi and Esrolian wives and became part of the local network of alliances and kinship, but preserved their ancient role as talars, and invited zzaburi to aid them. Peace was maintained so that goods and people could be traded between Ralios and Kethaela - and when Belintar unified Kethaela into the Holy Country, that trade boomed!

They brought the Invisible God with them as well, although the locals continued to worship the Lightbringers. Eventually there was a degree of syncretism, although it was mostly one-sided. The Invisible God became a distant creator, and the Lightbringers were worshiped by everyone. Issaries was the favorite of the Trader Princes - their ancestor and patron. Some smatterings of Arkat stuff from Safelster likely got passed along as well, and zzaburi from Safelster or Tanisor could get good money working for a Trader Prince family.

If this sounds familiar, it is basically the Silk Road story."

--------------

"But the Malkionism of the Trader Princes is pretty much worship of Issaries (as an ancestor, so it is ok!). With imported zzaburi to give respectability (not enough locals to keep the numbers up - besides the imported sorcerers are better trained). This manages to keep the Trader Princes from going completely native. Although I expect the zzaburi are well paid for this gig."

---------------

"And so the Trader Princes have a curious "dominion"- the local tribes work with them because 1. they are good neutral judges, and 2. they give the local tribes a cut of their profits. The local Storm Voices get gifts, the Earth Priestesses are consulted (and the Trader Princes do not claim the land), and warriors get hired as mercenaries and guards. Win win for everyone!

At least it is until the Opening. And suddenly it becomes cheaper to send a ship laden with goods to Handra than to send it overland across Maniria."

"And if this sounds familiar, it is basically Barry Cunliffe's theory on the collapse of the Hallstatt Fürstensitze and the rise of the La Tene warrior migrations."

 

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20 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Jeff's comments on Maniria and Malkionism:

"So as part of our Third Age Malkioni discussion, lets get to the Manirian Road and the Trader Princes. Remember what this is - it is a trade route between Safelster and Esrolia, dating back some 400 years. During the Closing this was the only way to get goods and people between Ralios (and from there to Seshnela) and the Holy Country.

The route was founded around 1170 by a talar named Castelain, who was descended from the god Issaries and worshipped by his kinship group as an ancestor (which is permitted by talars even under orthodox Malkionism). This was common among those talar clans that handled long-distance trade under the Silver Empire and later under the Middle Sea Empire, and many lesser talar families traced their descent to Issaries. This would have been around the time when the Kingdom of Jorstland dominated Ralios.

Castelain got spectacularly wealthy - imagine the markup of kafl, spices, iron, and other Western goods in an Esrolia cut off from trade. Of course he got his kin - his immediate family, cousins, and other clan members - in on the act. They made pacts with the local Orlanthi tribes, established settlements and caravanserai, and as talars, quickly fit into the role of judges in disputes between the tribes. They took Orlanthi and Esrolian wives and became part of the local network of alliances and kinship, but preserved their ancient role as talars, and invited zzaburi to aid them. Peace was maintained so that goods and people could be traded between Ralios and Kethaela - and when Belintar unified Kethaela into the Holy Country, that trade boomed!

They brought the Invisible God with them as well, although the locals continued to worship the Lightbringers. Eventually there was a degree of syncretism, although it was mostly one-sided. The Invisible God became a distant creator, and the Lightbringers were worshiped by everyone. Issaries was the favorite of the Trader Princes - their ancestor and patron. Some smatterings of Arkat stuff from Safelster likely got passed along as well, and zzaburi from Safelster or Tanisor could get good money working for a Trader Prince family.

If this sounds familiar, it is basically the Silk Road story."

--------------

"But the Malkionism of the Trader Princes is pretty much worship of Issaries (as an ancestor, so it is ok!). With imported zzaburi to give respectability (not enough locals to keep the numbers up - besides the imported sorcerers are better trained). This manages to keep the Trader Princes from going completely native. Although I expect the zzaburi are well paid for this gig."

---------------

"And so the Trader Princes have a curious "dominion"- the local tribes work with them because 1. they are good neutral judges, and 2. they give the local tribes a cut of their profits. The local Storm Voices get gifts, the Earth Priestesses are consulted (and the Trader Princes do not claim the land), and warriors get hired as mercenaries and guards. Win win for everyone!

At least it is until the Opening. And suddenly it becomes cheaper to send a ship laden with goods to Handra than to send it overland across Maniria."

"And if this sounds familiar, it is basically Barry Cunliffe's theory on the collapse of the Hallstatt Fürstensitze and the rise of the La Tene warrior migrations."

 

I m hesitating about the reaction I put:

thank you @jajagappa for the effort to share it there

or like what  Jeff wrote

 

To be sure I understand well the gameplay behind the background :

does that mean that malkioni get the same "powers" than any initiate, but not because a god worship but because a "ancestor worship" ? or maybe a reduced choice of spells and they can only be "initiate" of a no-cult if they prove their lineage to this ancestor-no-god ?

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I m hesitating about the reaction I put:

thank you @jajagappa for the effort to share it there

or like what  Jeff wrote

 

To be sure I understand well the gameplay behind the background :

does that mean that malkioni get the same "powers" than any initiate, but not because a god worship but because a "ancestor worship" ? or maybe a reduced choice of spells and they can only be "initiate" of a no-cult if they prove their lineage to this ancestor-no-god ?

My understanding is that only zzaburi have different rules for access to magic. Talars have access to some full cults via ancestor worship, alongside cults of Gerlant, Talor, etc. and Daka Fal. Horali and dronari also have typical (somewhat culturally limited) cults, without even the fig leaf of ancestor worship because they're seen as spiritually irrelevant. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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2 minutes ago, Eff said:

My understanding is that only zzaburi have different rules for access to magic. Talars have access to some full cults via ancestor worship, alongside cults of Gerlant, Talor, etc. and Daka Fal. Horali and dronari also have typical (somewhat culturally limited) cults, without even the fig leaf of ancestor worship because they're seen as spiritually irrelevant. 

Mainly my understanding, too, but I still cannot see Malkioni Daka Fal shamans in Talar households.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Posted (edited)

A few additional notes added by Jeff:

"Under Malkioni humanism, mortals can and should wield the creative power of gods and without needing to worship beings other than themselves. The world can be explained, understood, and mastered through human reason and logic alone."

"Now that is a radical statement in Glorantha. The Theyalans, Lunars, and Praxians view it as insane hubris. The Elder Races view it as a not-so veiled threat."

I also particularly like this point:

"The existence of gods regardless of nomenclature is not doubted by most Malkioni."

Edited by jajagappa
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3 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

To be sure I understand well the gameplay behind the background :

does that mean that malkioni get the same "powers" than any initiate, but not because a god worship but because a "ancestor worship" ? or maybe a reduced choice of spells and they can only be "initiate" of a no-cult if they prove their lineage to this ancestor-no-god ?

It would imply that certain castes (e.g. Talars) follow an Ancestor Worship practice that leads back to the Founder of their lineage.  Likely similar to Daka Fal, but strip away the shamanism, and the Founder (i.e. a Hero/Ascended Master) can provide limited "Rune" magic (a close review of Red Book of Magic can spot some of these).

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4 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

does that mean that malkioni get the same "powers" than any initiate, but not because a god worship but because a "ancestor worship" ? or maybe a reduced choice of spells and they can only be "initiate" of a no-cult if they prove their lineage to this ancestor-no-god ?

In my understanding.

A Talar worships Orlanth as an ancestor (perhaps he does so under the name of Coalot or Aerlet).  He worships by going to the Temple of his ancestor where he is blessed by a Priests and is capable of wielding spirit and rune magics.  The Priest is a fellow member of his noble house and not a shaman.  If the Priest weren't a Seshnegi Noble, he might be indistinguishable from a Ralian or Heortland Priest.  There are sacred offices (Rune Lord positions) within the Temple, such as Sacred Lord, King etc and these are held by the leaders of the House (the reigning Talar, the heir etc).  The Temple is smaller than elsewhere (because there are fewer initiates) but more richly endowed.  The Farmers and Warriors worship at the Temple as lay members.  

Most of the Noble worship is conventional cults.  I like to think that the houses of different flavours of permitted ancestors (like the Bailifids worship Seshneg, the Hadestolids worship Magasta, the Merabids Orlanth etc) to which they are initiated with the members choosing lesser ancestors as patrons (like Gerlant, Hrestol) depending on their inclinations.

So what about the lesser ancestors (as per Daka Fal)?  Or to put it another way, how do the Seshnegi nobility worship their little ancestors alongside the big ancestors (Orlanth, Gerlant) already mentioned?   There's two possible answers.  One is that the Seshnegi have a acolyte only (no shamanism just rune magic) policy with respects to lesser ancestor worship.  This is possible according to earlier writeups of Daka Fal but not in RQ:G and probably not in GaGoG.  My major problem is with this that it's boring.

So alongside the traditional temple priests there are the shaman-priests of the lesser ancestors.  They are not as prominent as the regular priesthoods of the Big Ancestors but they are still an important part in the spiritual life of the Noble Houses.   They may just be the Fredos of the house tapped to look after the tombs and speak to the ancestors.  The Wizards on the whole just ignore them whenever they can.

So what would the name of the Seshnegi Daka Fal be?  My guess Old Man Malkion, which has the bonus of being a common ancestor to all Seshnegi, and somebody whose existence is bound to irritate the Wizards.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, metcalph said:

So alongside the traditional temple priests there are the shaman-priests of the lesser ancestors.  They are not as prominent as the regular priesthoods of the Big Ancestors but they are still an important part in the spiritual life of the Noble Houses.   They may just be the Fredos of the house tapped to look after the tombs and speak to the ancestors. 

I don't think you'd have to go to the level of introducing shamans.  By virtue of worshiping the Founder through the proper ritual ceremonies (and expenditure of magical energy), and reciting the correct lineage (and perhaps including the correct relics of the ancestor), the nobles can Summon their ancestors.  This seems like a logical approach and one the zzaburi would approve of. 

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6 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I don't think you'd have to go to the level of introducing shamans.  By virtue of worshiping the Founder through the proper ritual ceremonies (and expenditure of magical energy), and reciting the correct lineage (and perhaps including the correct relics of the ancestor), the nobles can Summon their ancestors.  This seems like a logical approach and one the zzaburi would approve of. 

It's not whether I have to but whether I want to.  Seshnela is a big and wealthy place where things aren't always going to go the way the Zzaburi want.  Yes, the Zzaburi would prefer the nobility have a cut-down ancestor worship but the Nobles and the Ancestors make the decisions and what would they prefer?  Bigger and better bumped ancestors that rule the world.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Seshnela is a big and wealthy place where things aren't always going to go the way the Zzaburi want.  Yes, the Zzaburi would prefer the nobility have a cut-down ancestor worship but the Nobles and the Ancestors make the decisions and what would they prefer?

Except this is assuming the Talars answer to the Zzaburi.  It may well be the other way around (but still be constraints on what the nobles do or do not do - going in for shamanism seems like it would approach Devil worship).

Jeff posted some further notes on Malkioni re: sorcery and magic which I added to a new thread here:

 

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Mainly my understanding, too, but I still cannot see Malkioni Daka Fal shamans in Talar households.

I think my assumption is that DF shamans come mostly from the dronars and have a position somewhat like that of shamans in contemporary South Korea, especially in terms of how discordant they seem when performing their necessary rites in a talar household.

But every so often talars become ancestor worship shamans, aka player characters. This might even set them on a course of becoming men-of-all.

(It would take a lot more than this to make a zzaburi a player character type, of course!)

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The way I see Talar ancestor worship is that it's mainly worship of heroes and gods in a typical rune cult format, with simple offerings and prayers given to the generic ancestors. If there is actually a Daka Fal presence, it'll be something like a family elder who's been initiated by the ancestor spirits (since spirits can be a part of the cult iirc); no full shaman required, just someone who can talk to them and maintain the family shrine.

Edited by Richard S.
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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Except this is assuming the Talars answer to the Zzaburi.  It may well be the other way around (but still be constraints on what the nobles do or do not do - going in for shamanism seems like it would approach Devil worship).

Um, my position is that the Nobles are the source of political authority in Seshnela.  They decide what's the right to worship their ancestoirs rather than the Zzaburi.  The Zzaburi can only influence the Nobles by working for them and providing access to Rightness.  Since the Zzaburi have already allowed the worship of Ancestors in Seshnela, their opportunity for controlling Ancestor worship is limited.  It's like the Hsunchen worship among the warriors - the Zzaburi know about it, the Zzaburi don't like it one bit, the Zzaburi do not have a death wish.

Besides I doubt that the Seshnegi Ancestors are limited in the magic they provide when Cults of Prax says:

Quote

Other distant lands
[such as Seshneg in the Dawn Ages] developed this form of
worship until they made their ancestors surpass the mighty gods
in power, or else reduced the immortals into mere superhuman
heroes or multi-national ancestors.

Cults of Prax p14

 

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2 hours ago, metcalph said:

Um, my position is that the Nobles are the source of political authority in Seshnela.  They decide what's the right to worship their ancestoirs rather than the Zzaburi. 

Yes, sorry, think I misread your comment.

2 hours ago, metcalph said:

Since the Zzaburi have already allowed the worship of Ancestors in Seshnela, their opportunity for controlling Ancestor worship is limited.

But, this is the bit I question - is it really the Zzaburi "allowing" worship of ancestors?  Or the talars rightly honoring their ancestors, and the zzaburi ensuring that the other castes rightly offer obedience to the talars, their energy to the zzaburi, and their work to their own tasks?

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Based off of what Jeff has said, I don't think the Zzaburi have a problem with ancestor worship, including animal societies and things like Issaries-as-an-ancestor. What they and seemingly the Talar have a problem with is worshiping gods as gods, which involves acknowledging them as superior beings to humans. Worshiping your ancestors is acceptable since you're ultimately worshiping humans (though the definition of "human" can seemingly be stretched a good deal).

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54 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, sorry, think I misread your comment.

But, this is the bit I question - is it really the Zzaburi "allowing" worship of ancestors?  Or the talars rightly honoring their ancestors, and the zzaburi ensuring that the other castes rightly offer obedience to the talars, their energy to the zzaburi, and their work to their own tasks?

Allowing in the sense of "Yes, we've already said this is permissible".  Some Zzaburi might dream of a state where nobody worships any gods at all, others think that only gods descended from Malkion should be worshipped but neither can actually make it happen.

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12 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

What they and seemingly the Talar have a problem with is worshiping gods as gods, which involves acknowledging them as superior beings to humans. Worshiping your ancestors is acceptable since you're ultimately worshiping humans (though the definition of "human" can seemingly be stretched a good deal).

There are I think several possibilities in which this could be modelled.

1)  So long has everybody involved acts with rightness and is able to demonstrate that (by performing caste magic or being scanned by a Zzaburi for signs of such) then there is nothing to worry about.  If you are a Talar and you don't act with rightness (like, say, being a shaman to the ancestors) then there is something to worry about but the Talar won't do anything.  If a member of the lower orders doesn't act with rightness, then there's nothing to worry about because the Talar will do something about it.

2)  Regular donation of magical energy to the Zzaburi offsets the doctrinal error you commit in worshipping the Gods (being an initiate might have a periodic cost of 10 magic points for example).  Only applies to lesser castes and not the Talars.

3)  Lower castes permitted to worship "demonized" gods, spirits or wyters.  These are similar to spirit cults but the entities are controlled by the local wizards with some magical enhancements.  A nice idea but probably too much work and there is always the risk of the False Gods Revolt.

4)  Wizards regularly tax the temples of the lower castes for magic points (ie the contribution is borne by the congregation rather than the individual person).  Has the advantage over 2) of not having to waste time keeping track of individual worshippers or monitoring their magic point returns.

 

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20 hours ago, jajagappa said:

But the Malkionism of the Trader Princes is pretty much worship of Issaries (as an ancestor, so it is ok!). With imported zzaburi to give respectability (not enough locals to keep the numbers up - besides the imported sorcerers are better trained). This manages to keep the Trader Princes from going completely native. Although I expect the zzaburi are well paid for this gig."

---------------

Would the Trader Princes still be expected to adher to their caste restrictions as talars, generated Rightness and be encouraged along by the imported zzaburi? Thus they would not go completely native, hopefully. Though you can imagine some members of their House (clan?) running off and creating a scandal by going full Heler or, Malkion forbid, Mralot.

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