A fresco depicting the contest between Orlanth and Yelm. Late Third Age, Sartar. Another great piece by the amazing Loïc Muzy!
Reason for Continued Existence
Orlanth symbolizes and forms the elemental Air; he is a foundation of the cosmic order. He is King of the Gods by right of his strength and deeds, and his virtues maintain the world. He is responsible for maintaining the cosmos. His cult provides guidelines for its members to follow in determining their activities about themselves, their society, the cosmos, and the great mystery of being. Participation in the cult of Orlanth makes a person a full citizen of the universe.
The unpredictability of Orlanth’s universe consistently led him into challenges and quests to prove himself worthy of his position of authority. He fought Yelm, the Cosmic Emperor who claimed to rule by right of birth and needed no other authority; he fought his brothers and kinsmen, even though it pained his heart to engage in kinstrife; he fought elemental enemies, such as Daliath, god of Wisdom; and he fought Chaos.
This studied unpredictability is an earmark of his cult. The gods and his worshipers are often considered unreliable and changeable, much like the storms that mark his presence. However, along with this unpredictability is a passionate devotion to righting wrongs and upholding the social good. These traits are preeminent in the Lightbringers Quest wherein Orlanth was responsible for the Lesser Darkness, but also for the superhuman efforts necessary to correct the errors and maintain the universe.
As both the murderer of Yelm who plunged the world into darkness and the leader of the Lightbringers who revived the world, Orlanth is the God of Heroes, an untamed destroyer who nonetheless protects life and aids civilization. He destroys not to end the world but to make way for the new. Orlanth made the world what it is through his deeds and his cult is destined to play a central role in the Hero Wars.