Orlanth Cult in Sartar

Submitted by Thomas Ufnal Cr… on Mon, 11/03/2013 – 06:56

Maybe I’ve simply not noticed something in the books, but I’m wondering why on the one hand the Orlanth cult is supposed to be choked almost to death by the Lunar Occupation and on the other hand there is no single mention in the big part of the book covering Orlanth cult of how all the Sartarites who worship Orlanth – all the 30.000 of them if I remember correctly – manage to do so without repercussions from the Lunars…

other views…

Submitted by Charles on Mon, 11/03/2013 – 23:55.

Another view is that the Lunars or, more specifically, the Dara Happans mis-understand the nature of Orlanthi worship.
For the Dara Happans, there are hereditary priests who mediate all ‘acceptable’ worship at temples. Only the priests and maybe a few others have a personal relationship with their deities. So, from their point of view, shutting all the city temples and a few more holy sites shuts down all worship of Orlanth.
For the Orlanthi, each worshipper has a personal relationship with their deity. And any place exposed to storms is an acceptable place of worship. So when Lunars are around, they say they are worshipping Barntar the farmer. There are a few Orlanthi who genuinely worship Barntar the farmer as an independant deity. However most worship Barntar the farmer as a subcult of Orlanth. And there are many other similar subcults of Orlanth.
Within the Lunar camp there are many who know and understand how and why the Dara Happans have got it wrong. Fazzur is of Orlanthi stock and likely knows that some of his relatives in the hills of Tarsh still worship in the old ways. While he is nominally in command of the Dragon Pass region, Tatius the Bright bypasses his command and reports direct to the Red Emperor. Why tell Tatius when he will not listen anyway and, if he did, it would only further undermine Fazzur’s power?
Tatius the Bright is among the most senior of Dara Happan priests anywhere. He is preparing the magics to kill Orlanth and bring Dragon Pass under the dominion of the greatest Temple of the Reaching Moon. While he mis-understands the nature of Orlanthi worship, in one sense this does not matter, as he has met the conditions for his magics to succeed (i.e. shut all the city temples to Orlanth).

The 49 Names of Orlanth

Submitted by RoM on Mon, 11/03/2013 – 18:49.

I don’t have the book at hand, so I can’t provide you any page numbers right now. But to give you an answer: The solution for the Orlanthi is rather easy. They simply worship other “more peaceful gods” – who are actually just aspects of Orlanth. So the Sartarites shifted many Orlanth ceremonies mainly to Barntar but probably also to Heler, Niskis and maybe even Mastakos.In the early days of the occupation the Lunars not only banned the Orlanth cult but also tried to destroy or desecrate Orlanthi holy sites. But this stirred Starbrow’s Rebellion. Even though the uprising was quickly surpressed it showed to the Lunar authorities that their peace in Sartar was still very fragile. Since then the Lunars only enforce the ban when it comes to direct Orlanth worship in the cities. They put a blind eye on what happens in clans on the country side, as long as it is not too openly rebellious. Barntar worship is tolerated anywhere.

Submitted by Thomas Ufnal Cr… on Mon, 11/03/2013 – 19:04.

Thank you for a quick and solid reply. 🙂 So this basically means that more rural clans have no problem whatsoever and city-based worship is simply done through subcults? That’s good to know, it would be a shame to loose all the Orlanth cult flavour in Sartar campaigns just because of some stupid Lunar law.

divide and rule

Submitted by RoM on Mon, 11/03/2013 – 20:15.

Well, maybe it’s not that easy. Remember that the Lunars are masters in divide and rule politics and that the Orlanthi are far from being a homogeneous people. After all: Nobody can make you do anything. So what the Lunars do is to install pro-Lunar clan chiefs and tribal kings. Doing so they don’t have to mobilise their army to march against the ‘Oldway Clan’. Instead its clan chief will make sure that his crimson friends will not be offended. On the other hand he would quickly lose the authority among his people if he would ban Orlanth worship entirely. So he would rather use his power to change holy day ceremonies from Orlanth to Barntar. That makes everybody happy.That means that you can find the Orlanth ban even in remote clans where the Lunar Army isn’t around to enforce it. They simply implement a self-censorship among the leading personalities. Summarising I would say in cities you can find almost no Orlanth worship at all (see the Pavis book for examples), while in clans it depends much on the clan’s allegiance and intra-clan politics.So what I am basically saying is that Your Glorantha Will Vary and that you can put up as much Orlanth worship as you deem fit to your series.