An interesting snippet from Grainger’s “Kings and Kingship in the Hellenistic World, 350-30 BC”:
“For the ordinary population, the king was akin to a natural force, a power of nature. He was something who remained at a great distance, his actions were unpredictable, often irresponsible, his needs could affect adversely a whole population, his arrival in an area could well be devastating. He thus behaved in much the same way as the gods might. They sent thunder and lightning, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, just as kings might send armies or seize temple treasuries. So if prayer, or fawning, or flattery, could dissuade him from any adverse action of this type – even a visit – it was clearly worth attempting…. Since ordinary people did not really regard the Olympian gods as benevolent deities capable of interfering in people’s lives in any way except capriciously, this attitude inevitably transferred itself to the kings, whose power might be regarded as divine-like, but who were also to be regarded as uncontrolled forces, whose effects on ordinary lives could be as mercurial as those of any god.”
Sounds like Argrath and Moonson? Or Harrek, or even Jar-eel. The ancients, and I include Gloranthans with that, did not have a presumption that kings or emperors would be “like us” or even have our individual best interests at heart. They were akin to natural forces. If I recall, this bit from Plutarch is right on point:Alexander the Great visited the Delphic Oracle wishing to hear a prophecy that he would soon conquer the entire ancient world. To his surprise the oracle refused a direct comment and asked him to come later. Furious, Alexander dragged Pythia by the hair out of the chamber until she screamed “You are invincible, my son!”ἀνίκητος εἶ ὦ παῖ.The moment he heard these words he dropped her, saying, “Now I have my answer”.
The truth is, kings are evil. Anyone who wants to be a god is a monster. The titans were right. And they gave us ripe fruit, and summer storms, and the beauty and deadliness of the sea. But they do not pretend to be human. Praise Prometheus, who only shared what was stolen.
Tribal kings are something much less than these kings and princes.
Ethilrist is not in this same league. He is the Eternal Mercenary, easily bought (if expensive) and once bought he remains loyal to the terms of his contract.
Sheng Seleris is likely still worshiped by the Pentan tribes. He doesn’t provide anything at this time, but I suspect he is still regarded as divine. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he is clandestinely worshiped (in a propitiatory manner) by some in Peloria and Kralorela. Always better to be on the safe side!