It is roughly 20 miles from Boldhome to the Hill of Orlanth Victorious – a roughly comparable distance from the Akropolis of Athens to the sanctuary at Eleusis. No trade road connects the two, but countless Sartarites have made the pilgrimage.
During the rule of the Princes of Sartar, the Hill of Orlanth Victorious was where many Sacred Time rites were performed by many tribes and cults, overseen and supported by the Prince, and aided by the Red Vireo. People would travel from Boldhome, Jonstown, or beyond, take lodgings in nearby villages or camp in the fields. Priests and rune lords would offer sacrifices, perform rites and ceremonies, and Orlanth and his Lightbringers would be invoked by all.
Thousands of people, sometimes tens of thousands, would attend these rites. Priests and temples would jostle for priority, but for generations the Hill was under the direct protection of Hofstaring Treeleaper, a close ally to the Sartar Dynasty, and appeal to the Prince was thus rare.
There were of course many lesser celebrations of Sacred Time in Sartar, but the sacrifices at the Hill of Orlanth Victorious was THE celebration. The Prince, his household and companions, the leaders of the Lightbringers cults – all attended.
After Starbrow’s Rebellion, the Hill was guarded by the Yelmalio Cult (instead of by Lunar soldiers), and the celebrations were much smaller (and notorious rebels were turned away from the hill). With the Liberation of Sartar in 1625, arranging the Sacred Time rites at the Hill of Orlanth Victorious were viewed by many to be the single most important and pressing priority of the new Prince.
Like all such ceremonies, the Sacred Time rites at the Hill of Orlanth Victorious would be a combination of sacred mysteries and secular partying and trade.
As a Great Temple, pretty much every associate and local subcult of Orlanth is worshiped here at Sacred Time. Storm Bull berserks, Earth Priestesses and snake dancers, Issaries merchants, Lhankor Mhy scribes, Chalana Arroy healers, Helerite Rain Bringers, Yinkini, and of course bands of Tricksters and their clown societies. Imagine the scene!
And of course folk from every tribe in Sartar. The Sacred Time rites would bring everyone who could make it there. Old rivalries would be put aside to help revive the world.
Of course some tribes are overrepresented – the Culbrea, the Cinsina, the Kheldon, not to mention the urban populations of Boldhome and Jonstown. And other tribes are underrepresented – the Ducks, Lismelder, Locaem, and Kultain are present in only small numbers if at all.
And note that the Yelmalions guarding the Hill is a direct repetition from the Greater Darkness.
So the Yelmalians are guarding the hill on behalf of the Lunar, to prevent Orlanthi from worshipping there because the mythic resonance make them better suited for the task? Because this is where Orlanth began his Lightbringers Quest – and where Harmast Barefoot began his two Lightbringers Quest – this is a place where the boundaries between our world and the Other World are weak and permeable. Steps are taken to make sure the participants do not begin the Lightbringers Quest (as that quest is known to be extremely dangerous and unpredictable). For example, the Bad Rain is not normally summoned and the full ring not gathered.But after the Liberation of Sartar, Prince Kallyr Starbrow begins preparations to perform the Lightbringers Quest (although she makes preparations to limit its dangers and unpredictability). Her quest, ultimately a failure, accelerates the Hero Wars and dissuades any from following in her footsteps for another generation, when Prince Argrath, desperate in the face of renewed Lunar might, performs the quest without any limitations or reservations.