There are roughly 100,000 initiates of the Knowing God in Central Genertela. This includes those that call the god Lhankor Mhy (probably about 60%), and those that call him Buserian (maybe 40%). That’s a linguistic-organizational distinction, and not two separate gods.
A scribe in Raibanth is fully aware that a scribe in Nochet is initiated into the mysteries of the same Knowing God. Furthermore, an initiate of the Knowing God from Raibanth is accorded full rights if they travel to the Knowledge Temple in Nochet. Of course that initiate needs to present themself to the high priest, accept the rules of the temple, and so on. But think of this somewhat like recognition of university graduate degree.
As a result of this, literate knowledge is disseminated broadly thoughout Central Genertela, and even to Ralios (where there are another 45,000 or so scribes) and Fronela. Records tend to be disseminated in written Theyalan, although many conservative temples in the Lunar Heartlands still use written Dara Happan (their Yelm cult patrons insists on it) and others use New Pelorian (for general use). Written Theyalan is useful, as it is the same, regardless of whether the writer is from Talastar, Esrolia, or Vesmonstran.
This network of sages favors the Lightbringers cults over all others in a quarrel. However, they are doctrinally neutral towards the Lunar Empire. As a result, the Lunar Empire strongly promotes the Irrippi Ontor cult. Now within the Lunar Heartlands, this creates a strange phenomenon of extremely conservative Dara Happan scholars who obsess about the early Dawn Age history of the Yelm cult, but are largely cut out of administrative responsibilities by the Irrippi Ontor cult (which numbers somewhere around 20,000 to 40,000 scribes).
The relationship between the Knowledge Temples and Irrippi Ontor is competitive but basically neutral. They are known to share the same temples in an uneasy condominium.
Is the identity between Lhankor Mhy and Buserian an “interpretatio græca” kind of thing, or is it like calling the exact same deity by two different names? If a Dara Happan Knowing God initiate goes to Nochet, he can participate in the same rites, draw on the same magic, etc., as the rest. That’s the same god.
There’s a tendency for our secular/atheist/monotheist modern mindset to insist that just because a deity is called something else in a different language it MUST be a different entity. Get past it. A Schmetterling is a butterfly regardless of language used.
So are you saying a Buserian cultist from Yuthuppa favours Orlanth over Dayzatar? Potentially. But tell me – when was the last time the Dayzatar cult in Yuthuppa had anything to do with Orlanth at all? At the end of the day, Buserian is subject to the Lightbringers Summon. I bet that proved a bit embarrassing at some point.
Isn’t Buserian the 3rd son of Yelm? Lhankor Mhy is sometimes said to be a son of Acos and Orenoar, sometimes of Yelm. Doesn’t really matter, as both genealogies convey truths.
Remember, there is no planet called Buserian in the sky. Which is raises some big questions about Plentonius’ genealogies, doesn’t it.
Is Buserian = Lhankor Mhy a retcon or a hidden truth that’s always been there? Always there if you knew where to look. Irrippi Ontor was said to have been a priest of LM from Yuthuppa way back in Cults of Prax – as they would have called him Buserian this was always the case.
This also gives an idea how big the literate intelligentsia is. It is small enough that a respected scholar in Nochet is going to be known of in Mirin’s Cross or Yuthuppa, and vice versa. Initiates might travel long distances to learn from a respected sage.
But it is big enough to support writing for its own sake. This literature includes wisdom literature, poetry, tales, epics, lists of things, and the like. The last two generations has no doubt been a Silver Age of Gloranthan writing, as the Lunar Empire makes it easy for scribes in the Lunar Provinces to correspond with scribes in the Heartlands, and the Opening means that scribes in the Holy Country are exposed to a wide world of tales, texts, and other knowledge. This is probably the best time to be a scribe since …. the late Second Age.
So remember, your sage character is part of a much wider world of scholars and literacy. You might be advising some tribal ring in the hill country of Sartar, but you were trained by a master in Boldhome or Jonstown who corresponded with scribes in Nochet, Furthest, and beyond. Perhaps you entertained yourself with a translation of the Fortunate Succession or Hepherones?
Also remember, the Princes of Sartar heavily patronised the Knowing Temples, building temples in each of their cities, purchasing them texts, providing stipends for scholars, and so on. All of the Princes of Sartar were literate. Because the roads across Dragon Pass led through Sartar, the Knowing Temples in Sartar were important for scholarly communication between Peloria and the Holy Country. High Sartarite culture is from the Holy Country. As was the Sartar Dynasty, if you think about it. In fact this whole subthread is extremely important in understanding the modern Kingdom of Sartar.
Is Buserian also the go-to god for star lore and “reading the sky?” or is that more Dayzatar’s purview?The Knowing God records stuff. In Yuthuppa, the most important stuff to record has always been the movement of the skies – careful watching of where things rise and set, odd movements, changes in the brightness of stars, what passes what, and most importantly, anything out of the routine. So you can get a pretty good gig in Yuthuppa sitting in one of the towers, with your grid in front of you, recording when and where a particular stellar phenomenon appears.
But if I want to commune with the Pure Sky beyond the stars, then Dayzatar is the god for me. The Knowing God records all these facts, but Dayzatar is beyond that still.
If I interpret your last paragraph correctly, Irripi Ontor is a separate god from LM and Buserian? Yes. Irrippi Ontor was a mortal born in Time. I know people who met him. He obviously is NOT Lhankor Mhy, but he did belong to his cult.
Cults like Lhankor Mhy and Issaries are impossible to really understand if you think about them only at the local or tribal level.