A few thoughts on the Chariot of Lightning sect or Henotheism

The Chariot of Lightning sect was founded in 1605 by Surantyr the Non-heretic after he made a pilgrimage to Top of the World Mountain. Within three years, he made himself master of the city of Valantia and by 1611 he conquered Fiesive with his Lankstite allies. In 1619, the sect destroyed the armies of Sentanos, triggering another round of Safelstran alliances and opportunistic wars. As of 1621, the sect is one of the most widespread and powerful religious movements in Safelster.

The Chariot of Lightning sect is often described as Henotheistic Malkionism (including in the Guide), but it might be even more accurately described as Henotheistic Orlanthism. The sect holds that Orlanth is the Supreme Being, the Hypistos, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer, and concealer of all that is. Other deities are important and deserve worship, BUT they are names, manifestations, symbols, limbs, consorts, and so on, of the Supreme Orlanth. Orlanth is the Supreme Cosmic Breath (soul) of the World. Humakt is his weapon, Issaries his tongue, Lhankor Mhy his eyes, Chalana Arroy his healing touch, and so on and so forth.

The Chariot of Lightning claim that this Supreme God is the same abstract entity that the Malkioni know as the Invisible God, but the Supreme God has revealed his identity and true nature to Surantyr and he is Orlanth. Many, perhaps most, of those who follow the Chariot of Lightning teachings still initiate to Orlanth in the traditional way and use his Rune magic. However, its core followers also practice sorcery (since all the Runes serve the Supreme Orlanth). The Lightbringers have been “demoted” to being manifestations of Orlanth: Orlanth Goodvoice, Orlanth Lawspeaker, Orlanth the Healer, Orlanth the Tricksters, etc (although these “demoted” cults are popular and can be socially prestigious).

For a real world analogy to this, look at how these divinities are identified with Marduk in the Enuma Eliash:
Ninarta is Marduk of the hoe,
Nergal is Marduk of the attack,
Zabada is Marduk of the hand-to-hand fight,
Enlil is Marduk of lordship and counsel,
Nabium is Marduk of accounting,
Sin is Marduk, the illuminator of the night,
Shamash is Marduk of justice,
Adad is Marduk or rains.

Or this Egyptian text:
All gods are three:
AMUN, RE, and PTAH, whom none equals.
He who hide his name as Amun,
he appears to the face as Re,
his body is PTAH.

Join the Forum discussion on this post