For centuries, Belintar was able to coordinate magical activity to everyone’s benefit in the Holy Country. The gods were often manifest – so you didn’t need tribal rites to have that contact. Belintar (or his stand-in) would invite the god to his palace, and everyone would enjoy the blessings. In Sea Season, big rites in Seapolis; in Fire Season, big rites at the High Temple in Caladraland; in Earth season, big rites in Ezel; in Darkness season, big rites atop the Shadow Plateau; and in Storm Season, big rites in Bullflood or whatever temple complex is below Stormwalk. Then the City of Wonders would tie it all together in Sacred Time – in fact, it always was like Sacred Time there. Crossing between the worlds was easy as long as Belintar was there to facilitate it.
The Sixths were able to specialize in their elemental resources and work in coordination with the others to create a harmonious magical whole. It was a Golden Age returned to the world. The main gods got identified with their Runes: Ernalda-Gata, Lodril-Aether, Choralinthor-Zaramaka, Kyger Litor-Nakala, and of course Orlanth-Umath. I think when Belintar was around, the Holy Country was like Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls – six lands, each with their own strong identity, landscape, and even light and weather!
Of course this had social changes.Tribal entities atrophied and disappeared. Having a God-King rule for three centuries of peace and prosperity added him to everyone’s pantheon. Belintar was responsible for such phenomena as the harvest, the weather, defense against the enemy, for good luck with trade, and more.
When Belintar disappeared, the Gods War came crashing back. Wolf Pirates, Western Barbarians, civil strife, Lunar invasions, and Chaos. Without Belintar, there are no established methods to handle these crises. Everything is ad hoc, and up for grabs. For twelve years, this continues, until finally many leaders decide to invite Argrath to be king – if he will protect them.
The five elements are represented in the Holy Country by five of the sixths. What mythical/ magical place does the last sixth of God Forgot hold? Reason, logic, and Luck and Fate. It is the Empty Sixth, whose god is dead and forgotten.
The Holy Country is more than just a name – it really was a proximate realm, very close to the Gods World. Now for most people, they still went along their ordinary lives, but the gods were close to them. Barntar laboured along with them in the fields, Issaries was present in the marketplace, Ernalda was pregnant with life and gave birth to new bounties, etc. Everyone had a blessed station in the world, and for those who could not fit into a station, there was blessed adventure and exploration both spiritually and in the world.
In short, for three centuries, the Holy Country was truly blessed. It Opened the seas (gaining commerce with the rest of the world), was protected from the Lunar Empire, Praxian nomads, and Western Barbarians. The Holy Country’s brief foray with overseas dominion was quickly abandoned – they did not go the path of the Middle Sea Empire or the Empire of the Wyrms Friends, and generally stayed within their sacred precincts.
And everyone knows that blessing came from Belintar. Now he is gone and the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death have failed over and over again to bring him back.
One more aside, it is worth remembering how the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death worked:
When Belintar’s mortal body expires, the next day select individuals, chosen by a means known only to the God-King, awake between dawn and day in a thoroughly magical Holy Country with the awareness that they are part of the Masters of Luck and Death. These individuals on the Other Side compete for magical powers and mystical insight.
The rulers of the six lands of the Holy Country and Belintar’s close companions are usually qualified to participate in the Masters of Luck and Death. Others are as well—people wake up knowing they are a candidate for the Masters of Luck and Death, but never why.
The Tournament is extremely dangerous. Most losers die during the contests or are magically crippled, although a few are known to have not only survived but strengthened by their participation.
The winner of the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death unites with the divine essence of Belintar and his body is overtaken by this immortal element, which flows through his whole being and dwells in it.
The winner becomes a living god—Belintar the God-King. The great magical energy inexorably overtakes the mortal body, and after several years the God-King requires a new body. Upon death, the winner’s soul is liberated with consciousness and full powers to a blessed existence. The participants in the Tournament never speak of their contests and it is widely believed that powerful magical guardians protect the secrets of the Masters of Luck and Death.
In the three centuries between the apotheosis of Belintar and his final disappearance, the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death had been held 21 times. It did not always produce an immediate winner. On one occasion, the contests took a full year to complete. Nonetheless, until 1616, the Tournament always eventually produced a winner.
Now with the City of Wonders destroyed, even the most optimistic in the Holy Country doubt that there even be another Tournament.
The destruction of the City of Wonders was very sad. That ended the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death, and keep in mind that Broyan made the destruction of the City of Wonders possible.
Could a heroquest bring Belintar back? No, the Tournament is that heroquest.