Magical challenges to prove a truth are well accepted in Glorantha. This goes back to the Gods Age, when contests of the arts were popular among the gods – the most famous being the Contests of Yelm and Orlanth. When the Feathered Horse Queen emerged from the Earth’s Womb and proclaimed that the sovereign Earth Goddess was more than Dendara, she was opposed by the Grazer King. She defeated him in a thaumaturgical contest after which he, and the Yelm cult of Dragon Pass, submitted to her authority.
Hon-eel the Artess was an expert at such contests, having had to prove her claims starting with the first time she appeared in Glamour. Her most famous contest was against the Most Reverend Mother of Horses (which incidentally may have had a synchronicitous connection with the Feathered Horse Queen’s triumph). And of course the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death are well established in the Holy Country. Some think the pathways the contestants follow are somehow connected with the claims of the Arkat Cult concerning the Secret Pathways through the Hero Plane.
A post from another thread is appropriate here:
A few basic ground rules of these tests – the person has to be able to participate in the inner rites of the cult (in this case Humakt). That’s the place only those initiated can perceive. That gets witnessed. They need to be able stay within the rites, without being forced out by guardian spirits and so on. And within the inner rites, you need to display your power and either be accepted by the spirits present (that’s the preferred route) or be able to defeat those spirits and entities that come to force you out (not preferred). But if you can do that, you are not an imposter. Unless later on it is shown you used trickery – Eurmal magic or Lunar deceptions. But that is always a danger.
But by these contests, new truths and powers can be recognised.
Hon-Eel also entered the spring Ernalda cult rites on Kordros Island and proved that the Ernalda was ‘She Who Waits’ – a key identification for the Red Earth movement. it would appear she was less successful at that than her hagiography claims. There’s a hint in the Red Line History as to why that was a failure.