One thing that should be becoming clear is how much of a mixed salad Dragon Pass is. If we include Sartar, Tarsh Exiles, Lunar Tarsh, and the Grazelands, here are the three largest cults in Dragon Pass:
- 88 k Ernalda (centered on the Feathered Horse Queen)
- 67 k Orlanth (centered on the Prince of Sartar)
- 50 k Seven Mothers (centered on the Temple of the Reaching Moon)
- 25k Other Lightrbringers (Chalana Arroy, Eurmal, Issaries, Lhankor Mhy)
- 16 k Yelmalio (centered on three autonomous Sun Dome Temples)
- 4k Yelm (centered on the Grazeland Pony Breeders).
What do the Barntar numbers look like in Tarsh (an Orlanth replacement)? That actually knocks Orlanth down to about the same as the Seven Mothers. But I prefer to include Barntar in the Orlanth numbers.
What other cults are included in the Orlanth number?
Humakt is pretty significant, with 9 to 10k followers in Dragon Pass. Eiritha is largely folded in as an associated cult of Ernalda. Odayla and Yinkin have tiny cults, and really are a rounding error. They are all included with the 16k Other category, which includes Odayla, Yinkin, Eiritha, Lodril, Polestar, Waha, Horned Man, etc.
Storm Bull is about 3k in Dragon Pass, but there are another 20k+ in Prax and the Wastelands.
If you think about the Block as a cult center though, that means there are around 25k Storm Bull cultists between Prax and Sartar. Storm Bull serves as the intermediary between Sartar and Prax, and ironically is the most cosmopolitan and least xenophobic of the Praxian cults.
Additionally, half or more of those Seven Mothers numbers are from colonists from the Heartlands and not conversion.
Now in some way this is deceptive. Orlanth is the leading cult within a group of cults that includes the Lightbringers and Ernalda. So we could also look at this as such:
- 92 K – Orlanth and Lightbringers
- 88 K – Ernalda (closely associated with Orlanth)
- 50 K – Seven Mothers
- 16 K – Yelmalio
Or even like this:
- 180 K – Orlanthi Group
- 50 K – Seven Mothers Group
- 16 K – Yelmalio
Lunar Tarsh is in those numbers. Those 7 Mother cultists are mostly in Tarsh and aren’t going anywhere.
Palashee destroyed the Temple of the Reaching Moon when he conquered lower Tarsh, but did not force the Lunars to convert or leave. Same thing when Moirades conquered Bagnot, Dunstop, and Slavewall. Or when the Red Emperor conquered Boldhome.
Same thing when Argrath takes Furthest. Certainly there is looting, plundering, and killing but there is rarely wholesale massacres or removal of populations. The Lunars have done that one a few notable occasions, the Orlanthi even less often. However, massacre of civilians is viewed as deeply dishonourable by the Orlanth and Humakt cults:
“Honor also dictates how warriors were to deal with noncombatants. No one should attack an enemy who has temporarily lost or dropped their weapon. The lives of noncombatants, prisoners of war, and farmers are also sacred. Pillaging the land is forbidden.”
And given that Argrath wants to recruit as many of those 9k to 10k Humakt cultists of Dragon Pass into his army as possible, he’s going to go out of his way to keep them happy.