Magic rune Orlanthi Religion

This is an excerpt from Korlar's account of his trip to Ralios, probably during the reign of Terasarin, sixth Prince of Sartar. A more complete excerpt appears in Tradetalk 3.
I shall now describe the worship of the Delelans. Their worship of Orlanth is much the same as ours, though most of the subcults are different. They have our Four Weapons subcults, and of course Alakoring's cult is the same. Rastarn Orlanthsson first brought news of the successful Lightbringer's Quest to Ralios, and he is still worshipped. Retter the Stalker is a popular hero, and the ancestor of the king. He is known for his hatred of trolls. Indrall Adventurous is another warrior subcult. When I heard that the king's tribe was the Nardaini, I had hoped to find some members of the Nardain Society, known to us from the Second Age, but nobody had heard of it. The subcult of Kork Rider-of-Winds seemed to have similar magic, but would let no Nardaini join. I was surprised that the king would suffer such a shrine in his land, but I was assured that Kilwyn was open to all the clans of Ralios, save those which are friendly to trolls.

Lhankor Mhy is known as Lankoring, and is held to be god of seers as well as lawspeaker. Ashart was greatly disappointed to learn that they refuse to write on parchment or vellum, although their Knowledge Lodge did have wands with carved notches recording all their sagas, and drawings of all the rune-stones in the land. Their sages also use the whole skins of bulls to paint the stories of famous battles and sagas. They are also very learned about the movements of the stars, from which they can predict a baby's future when it is born. Ashart was shocked that women initiates do not wear beards, and refused to deal with them.

They worship Issaries only as the Talking God. Instead, Doskior is the god of the market, and also the god of the river. All their boats are carved with his watchful eyes.

Ralia is Orlanth's wife, and worshipped by all the women. She is the cow mother as well as the grain goddess. It is in her honor that the Ralians bury their dead rather than burning them. The dead are wrapped in swaddling clothes like a baby, for it is said that they are returning to their mother. They are also given tools and charms for the afterlife, and their friends and kin include tokens and messages they wish the dead to deliver to Ralia. Ralia's grain is wheat and it is their favorite crop because it is used to brew beer. Some of their better brewers can transform it into a beverage nearly as fine as a good barley beer.

Ernalda is known only as the mother of Vinga, who they do not portray with red hair. Ernalda had no shrine, even in Vinga's temple.

Chalana Arroy is worshipped as Chalana, and it is said that having sex with a Healer brings good luck. Kentrik of course had to try this, and there was much laughter among the men about his bad luck when he was turned down.

They know of Eurmal, and in fact he has his own temple in Kilwyn, where performers reenact popular comical tales. The Ralians greatly enjoy these, though neither Ashart nor I could understand a single word, even though we had gained fluency in the Ralian dialect.

Humakt is called Humath, and is said to be Orlanth's brother and vassal. His bird is the raven, and his priests dress in blue. People try not to let their children be seen by them. One old man cursed us when Darnmet pronounced his name in our fashion, saying that was how Arkat perverted their god. For I have never seen a people who so hate Arkat, whom they call Deceiver and Father of Sorcerers.

The Storm Bull is called Bemurok, and he is said to have battled the Devil at Hrelar Amali, after he rotted the Guardian Forest which had been planted by the Aldryami to protect it. Farmers pray to him to bless their cattle with many calves. Darnmet told of how the Storm Bull battled the Devil where the Spike now stands, but they seemed not to believe this; at any rate a fist-fight broke out before Onelisin calmed them down.

Mastakos is very popular, for the Ralians have only small ponies, and harness them to chariots. All the nobles have young men of good breeding as their chariot drivers. They are required to practice daily until they can drive a chariot up a steep hill and jump ditches as wide as they are tall. The warriors use sword blades mounted on long poles. They will jump out of the car and run along the yoke in order to be closer to their enemies. This is held among them as a sign of great valor.

Odayla is also popular, though they call him Odall. All of the men fancy themselves hunters even if they haven't pledged themselves to Odayla. Odayla is good friends with Yinkin, and uses alynxes to flush out game.

Copyright ©1997 David Dunham. Last updated 2 Aug 98 drd.

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