Over his centuries of rule, Belintar attracted and patronised many visionary and unorthodox thinkers. Aggressive reincarnation, philosophies of Luck and Fate (“our Lady giveth and she taketh away”), God Learner apologists, monomyth mythic synthesis, elemental progression theories, harmonic numbers (especially 2, 3, and 6), and so much more.
Now Belintar no doubt strongly influenced these thinkers. How could he not? The presence of a powerful, immortal heroquester who could communicate with gods and Silver Age heroes alike, who knew Heort and Arkat, familiar with the theories of the mythic synthesis movement, and who defeated the Only Old One in hand to hand combat and reshaped the geography of the land – how could such presence not shape the thinkers of his kingdom?
And yet, Belintar was a surprisingly tolerant God-King, who laughingly acknowledged his non-worship by the atheists of God Forgot, but took their tribute in other ways. He ruled lightly, “less than a feather, as heavy as Dawn’s early light,” but also without any real threat or challenge until the Lunar Empire entered Dragon Pass.
This intellectual fermentation might have only been confined to a small percentage of the population, but it strongly influenced Sartar and his dynasty, who might even be claimed as Belintar’s truest heirs (which is deeply ironic given the Hendriki settled Dragon Pass to get away from Belintar’s innovations).
But think of what intellectual and artistic gems must have shone in his court at the City of Wonders!
Belintar of course ruled for three centuries as a living god. Sacrifices were offered to him by temples throughout the Holy Country, and his cult was associated with most every god of the Holy Country. Belintar’s cult had many thousands of lay members, but only two initiates – himself and the winner of the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death.
So when you think about the various libraries around the Mirrorsea Bay, the Boldhome Library, and the Jonstown Library, remember that they have copies of these musings from the City of Wonder in their collections. And the Lhankor Mhy cult of Sartar and the Holy Country has a lot of philosophical pretensions – hence the reason Philosopher is an occupation independent of Scribe!
Many of the members of the Sartar dynasty had a strong connection to the Holy Country, and the City of Wonders. Sartar himself is thought to have participated in one of the Tournaments of the Masters of Luck and Death, and as already mentioned, Tarkalor traveled to the City of Wonders and became acquainted with several philosophers, and likely Terasarin did as well. Argrath simply follows true to that tradition, with his circumnavigation and his time spent in Nochet.
Unlike Sartar, Belintar’s ascent to power involved an awful lot of conflict and destruction. With the Black Tower coming down, the Shadow Plateau being covered with pulverised obsidian shards and dust, the Lead Hills being formed, and so on.
One of those great ironies of history that with two centuries the descendants of those Hendriki who settled Dragon Pass are ruled by one of the most innovative Orlanthi dynasties, and one with close ties to Belintar.
I suspect most present-day Sartarites view Belintar as a benevolent and magical ruler. And get all puzzled as to why their ancestors found him so bad that they needed to leave. And then move on.
But then again, most Sartarites would be puzzled by the King of Dragon Pass game. Like how it doesn’t have Sartar. Or his roads. Or his cities. Or regular caravan traffic. Or big libraries and markets.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that insight was something Sartar experienced in the MoLaD and explains his refusal to ever draw his sword (letting others fight for him was fine, but Sartar never did).
Aggressive reincarnation, as postulated by Mister Bondaru, is a technique of forcing incarnation of a powerful spiritual entity through ceremony, ritual, and sacrifice, as with the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death.
The theories of the physical body and its ethereal components has parallels to the five, six, or seven souls of Dara Happan and Lunar thought. Subtle bodies can be developed through meditation, ritual, and deed, aiding the person in their spiritual development and their daily life.In game, this means in the Holy Country there are lots of pretty wild traditions and practices about how to maximise augments, Rune development, and how all that ties in to spell-casting and POW rolls.
And of course the RQG book hints at this:
And this theories of course are common in Sartar. It is probably easier to name which members of the Sartar Dynasty were not steeped in Holy Country esotericism (Salinarg). And given how much of the leadership of newly liberated Sartar were exiled in or otherwise fought in the Holy Country, it is probably safe to say that influence is greater now than ever before.Now this stuff is not particularly Nysalorean or Arkati, but it certainly has echoes and reverbs of some doctrines of the God Learnerism and the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. All meshed nicely together and with Belintar and the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death as a great source of data and information.