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Do Lhankor Mhy and Irrippi Ontor cultist burn important scrolls and books as offerings to their gods?

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Some earlier books said that they do, but I would have thought that that runs contrary to them collecting large libraries. Why not just then have book barbeques if their gods like that?

Edited by Brootse
typo in the title
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The cult of Lhankor Mhy seems to do it, as sacrifices are exempted from the general proscription against destroying books and knowledge. I don't think it's considered a problem because, most likely, they just use redundant copies for that kind of thing.

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14 minutes ago, Leingod said:

The cult of Lhankor Mhy seems to do it, as sacrifices are exempted from the general proscription against destroying books and knowledge. I don't think it's considered a problem because, most likely, they just use redundant copies for that kind of thing.

They might even specifically make copies for sacrifices. To make sure the copy is clean/ritually pure, or whatever (and, conveniently, redundant, as you said.)

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The writing down of knowledge is itself a sacred act to Lhankor Mhy, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's more the point than the actual knowledge itself that's being offered up, or at least a major part of the sacrifice's significance.

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4 minutes ago, Leingod said:

The writing down of knowledge is itself a sacred act to Lhankor Mhy, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's more the point than the actual knowledge itself that's being offered up, or at least a major part of the sacrifice's significance.

That's a nice explanation.

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I'm sure Orlanth has the greatest herds of cattle a Storm Worshipper could ever conceive of, yet here they are burning offerings to him. It's more about continuously reaffirming the relationship of devotee-deity rather than material gain (or rather, the material gain lies in the relationship, not necessarily in what is being exchanged - if that makes any sense).

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I could imagine inks and parchments and vellums and what-have-you's made specifically to be used to create sacrificial tomes.

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25 minutes ago, g33k said:

I could imagine inks and parchments and vellums and what-have-you's made specifically to be used to create sacrificial tomes.

Seems likely. As written in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes...

Quote

Cult Rules for Writing Documents

Writing is an act of worship by the initiates of Lhankor Mhy and initiates writing in temple scriptoria must:

1. Only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.

2. Make each column of writing with no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.

3. Use only black ink, of the proper recipe.

4. Verbalize each word aloud while writing.

5. Store documents only in sacred places (temple libraries, etc.).

6. Never destroy a document written in the Sacred Script (sacrifice to Lhankor Mhy is not counted).

 

Edited by Leingod
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18 minutes ago, Leingod said:

4. Verbalize each word aloud while writing.

Well, clearly! Imagine reading or writing without speaking the words out loud. Such a thing is unimaginable!

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Using smoke to send prayers to the gods has long been part of human history. What is burnt clearly varies as well. I’m not sure what we call books actually exist in Glorantha, but certainly all kinds of Bronze Age media exist, some may be vellum or plant fibre “pages” with a protective cover, some might be loose bound leaves in boxes, like some sutras. Book burning likely takes a different form for knowledge sages. Kindling made to look like a rolled scroll case, small clay tablets that are inscribed and when burnt become blank. Magic writings on slips of “paper” burnt for magic. We know that there are factions within the cult, Completionists might be the ones that burn only simulated media, Ivalists, will be burning second age documents like there’s no tomorrow. See Sartar KoH page 163:

Quote

The modern Lhankor Mhy cult is deeply suspicious of all things foreign. Completionists (called by others “forbidden temples”) still collect foreign writings and allow the sages to study them. At the other extreme, Ivalists destroy all sorcerous writings. Others destroy the most dangerous sorcery but study that which is not tainted by Gbaji.

 

Edited by David Scott
added forgotten name
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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

They might even specifically make copies for sacrifices. To make sure the copy is clean/ritually pure, or whatever (and, conveniently, redundant, as you said.)

Probably embellishing with much more scrollwork and illustrations/illumination. The copy has to be fit for their god after all!

SDLeary

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7 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Using smoke to send prayers to the gods has long been part of human history. What is burnt clearly varies as well. I’m not sure what we call books actually exist in Glorantha, but certainly all kinds of Bronze Age media exist, some may be vellum or plant fibre “pages” with a protective cover, some might be loose bound leaves in boxes, like some sutras.

I would also think something along the lines of ancient Chinese bamboo scrolls as well. Small flat staves bound top and bottom. This also provides a somewhat uniform "lined" surface to write upon... Ancient filler paper!

SDLeary

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21 hours ago, Brootse said:

Some earlier books said that they do, but I would have thought that that runs contrary to them collecting large libraries.

Their offerings are donations to the libraries. No burning needed.

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9 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Their offerings are donations to the libraries. No burning needed.

Thanks Jajagappa, I would have thought so.  The notion of burning books is a bit...wrong.  The notion of paying for the comissioning of a new book to be scribed as a "sacrifice" of the funds involved towards the binding and scribing of a new work seems infinitely prefereable.

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18 hours ago, SDLeary said:

I would also think something along the lines of ancient Chinese bamboo scrolls as well. Small flat staves bound top and bottom. This also provides a somewhat uniform "lined" surface to write upon... Ancient filler paper!

SDLeary

Birch bark is also useful in temperate/subarctic/high-altitude areas.

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A sacrificial burning of a book may be the way to dispose of a book that is deteriorating, assuming a proper copy has been made. They can’t dispose books otherwise, but a rotting book can be a danger to a library. The analogy would be the scribal destruction of old copies of the Hebrew Bible as new copies were made, also the ceremonial disposal of flags. 

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About burning a whole library, it might not work if you do it impiously.  But it might work at first.  Another thing that might not make it work so well is if you don't understand what you're burning.  Like if you haven't read it at all, or stole it from some foreigners and can't read it - well, maybe that sacrifice will not yield anything.

A scroll you copied yourself, devotionally, is probably the best sacrifice.

But I think scrolls from rival scholars will work, too.

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On 1/29/2019 at 10:53 AM, Brootse said:

Some earlier books said that they do, but I would have thought that that runs contrary to them collecting large libraries. Why not just then have book barbeques if their gods like that?

Giving a text to the god under the right ritual circumstances can keep it out of enemy Knowledge cult hands or preserve the information if its destruction looks inevitable anyway. However once that happens, you need to source secondary copies or else burn Divination points to borrow it back from god. 

At seven words per point Divination gets slow and expensive. 

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Our RQ2 Lhankor Mhy Sage could famously never burn a book, nor could he let a book be burned.

However, if sacrificing the book or scroll means that the sacrificed material travels to Lhankor Mhy's Library, then that might be acceptable.

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They sacrifice books and scrolls because the burnt part goes direct to Lhankor Mhy. When you burn an animal sacrifice, you are offering the god food directly. When you burn a scroll, you are offering Lhankor Mhy reading material. 

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I wonder if there is a tradition, that allows for the creation of knowledge scribed onto clay tablets, which when 'burnt' bakes the tablet into a ceramic, thus fixing the knowledge onto the tablet 'permanently'?

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On 1/31/2019 at 7:42 AM, davecake said:

When you burn a scroll, you are offering Lhankor Mhy reading material. 

In the same way that Thanatari can consume a book to pass the knowledge to a thanatar cultist, I assume that this also goes to Thanatar himself.

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17 hours ago, soltakss said:

In the same way that Thanatari can consume a book to pass the knowledge to a thanatar cultist, I assume that this also goes to Thanatar himself.

This was part of my thought on why Lhankor Mhy would not willingly burn scrolls - it would be like offering an offering to Thanatar or Oakfed.

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Lhankor Mhy is a Lightbringer, so I could imagine scholars burning books tainted by chaos, such as a book of Atyar knowledge consuming skill, or a book which teaches mastery of the lunar magic system. To study such a thing would be to risk your sanity.

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