Arkatism

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Early Malkionism is thought to have been composed of sacrificial rituals, sorceries techniques and spells, legal proscriptions and philosophical speculations. Later Hrestolism preserved the rationalism and philosophical elements of early Malkionism and developed new philosophical schools, the most text being Rokarism and New Hrestolism.

But parallel to this exist uncomfortably Arkatism. With its emphasis on deities, heroquesting, and a respect for traditional practices despite their contradictions, Arkatism is the Shadow of Malkionism’s rationality.

And we can see plenty of traces of Arkatism in Second and Third Age Orlanthi thought – particularly in Ketharla and Dragon Pass.

Arkatism is seeded throughout the Cults book. For the modern “Arkat cults” of Ralios we will wait for a better vehicle. Needless to say the modern Arkat cults are not what influenced other religions.

More than anything it was seeing the same event on several different threads which made Arkatism. After that revelation it became necessary to open the mind to the possibilities- and to use whatever it takes to get it open!

The Orlanthi may well have been the biggest beneficiaries of this approach, an Arkatism without Arkat.

When we think of Arkatism, remember that it consists of many elements:

  • A monomyth with heavy focus on Air and Darkness (think that presented in Cults of Terror and Trollpak)
  • Heroquesting techniques including Ranging, Joining, Identify, Awaken, and Change – all are presented in song and story and are the focus of meditation, prayer, and other approaches to understanding.
  • An acceptance of Darkness and Death as necessary counterparts to Light and Life.
  • Extreme uses of Power Runes often in conjunction with their opposites

You can see many elements of this in the Proximate Holy Realm of the Second Age and with the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death, as well as more rationalised elements with the God Learners.