There are somewhere in the vicinity of 8 million people that follow the teachings of Malkion and derivatives thereof. That’s a lot of people.
Malkionism is often hard to get a handle on because they are viewing the cosmos through a different lens. They see the monomyth, the Runes, the Gods War, and all that jazz as archetypes for understanding the cosmos.
Imagine a world where hermeticism is the state religion, upheld by powerful hermetic wizards. There is an Invisible God, a self-created god that is the All. The Invisible God creates the cosmos, establishes its structure and rules, creates the elements, powers, etc., and hands creation over to creation. Creation degenerates, the elements and powers get seized by degenerate beings, and creation fails its Creator. Malkion, a mortal being, received revelations from the Invisible God and mortal beings are given authority over creation, to be exercised through sorcery.
That’s a very oversimplified Malkionism, but it works.
But once we start diving into the details, we get all sorts of disagreements. Unlike being an initiate of Orlanth or the Red Goddess, being a good Malkioni is rooted in reason and logic, rather than initiatory experience. And wherever truth is derived from reason and logic, we get disagreements – and those disagreements matter.
So right now Malkionism has two big schools. About 2/5ths of all Malkioni follow something based on the teachings of Rokar. That’s the Rokari – lets call them conservative Malkionism. About 2/5ths of all Malkioni follow what is called New Hrestolism – that is the state doctrine in Loskalm. Let’s call them radical Malkionism.
About 1/5th of all Malkioni follow something else. That something else can be pretty wild, like the Stygian heresies, Brithinism, Vadelism, Sedalpism, Galvosti, or Boristi, or it can simply be a surviving older mainstream philosophy like Castle Coast Hrestolism.
So among the Malkioni, the main magic systems are the following:
- Sorcery. This is the speciality of the wizard caste.
- Spirit Magic. Used by everyone except the wizards.
- Rune Magic. Available through ancestor worship, hero cults, and approved (and not approved) cults.
This by the way is perhaps key to actually playing Malkioni who are not wizards, and is the key to understanding how the Invisible God cult works in practice (as opposed to zzaburi theory).
Can Malkioni sorcerers or for that matter any of the castes become illuminated? In the First Age, plenty of Malkioni were illuminated by Nysalor. They went on and did some horrid things, like the vampire kings of Tanisor or the Atyar knowledge eaters.
I figure the use of the word “initiatory experiences” may cause trouble:
What I meant there is that if I am an initiate of Orlanth, I participate in Orlanth’s actions. Through Rune magic I wield some of Orlanth’s power and manifest him in the mundane world. Wow!
But if I am a Malkioni, I look at that as so limiting. It’s Plato’s Cave – all you are seeing is just Orlanth’s shadow on the wall. If I can just turn around and see the universal structure of the cosmos, I can see that this is just one principle within a complex system of universal rules. Which if I spend enough time studying, I can master and command.
Are there any nonhumans that observe Malkionism and practice Malkioni sorcery? A few trolls practice Malkioni sorcery through the Arkat Kingtroll cult. But they do not practice Malkionism.
What’s stopped these guys from going full God Learner? And there in a nutshell is the overriding concern of the Rokari – how to keep the wizards from going full God Learner again.