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The Aeolian Church

The Red Moon
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Malkioni Scriptures

The Aeolians are a hybrid of Orlanthi and Malkioni practices, found in Heortland and some parts of Seshnela. Mainstream Malkioni would consider their faith a "Stygian Heresy", because it combines worship of the Western Invisible God with that of other gods, in this case the religion of Orlanth, Ernalda and the Lightbringers. Theologians might consider it a form of "Henotheism" (i.e. a polytheism which acknowledges the Invisible God as superior to all the other gods). But mainstream Malkioni wouldn't like it much, whatever happens.

The Aeolian Sect (or Heresy, take your pick) holds that Orlanth is either the Invisible God himself, or the Invisible God's chief agent in the world. They believe that the world was saved when Holy Orlanth led the seven Lightbringer Saints on a world-redeeming Quest. Their " cult" includes a combination of Western sorcery with Orlanthi cults: their Saints include recognisable Orlanthi deities, who are in fact acknowledged to be of divine origin (and not euhemerised mortals, cf. Worlath, Humct and the other "False Gods" of the Western mainstream).

In Heortland, this used to be the dominant faith in the cities of the river valleys and lowland ports; the upland regions still held to" traditional" (cultic) Orlanth etc. worship, without these Western influences (often attributed to Arkat the Liberator, a convert from the Western religion to the barbarian cult of Humakt, who came through Heortland in the fifth century S.T.).

However, the Aeolian Church was ruthlessly persecuted by the Seshnegi who seized control of Heortland recently; its priests and bishops have been slain or driven into hiding, while the Seshnelan Rokari imported their "pure, true faith: the Malkionism of Rokar" into their Crusader state of Malkonwal, in South Heortland. The Rokari Inquisition is notorious; their "carpetbagger" mentality can best be compared to the mediaeval Crusaders or the Norman Conquest of England. (I always see them as French-speaking Normans, the Aeolians as "late" Anglo-Saxons, circa the tenth or eleventh century, and the Orlanthi old-timers as typical Orlanthi -- they are, after all, the root-stock of Sartar).

Just what the relations between the exiled Aeolians, incumbent Rokari and invading Lunars might be (not forgetting the old-timer Orlanthi up in Whitewall) is left as an exercise to the aspiring campaign writer. Rules mechanics for how Aeolian worshippers learn their spirit magic, sorcery, rune spells, etc. are debatable: probably we need a good set of "socialised" sorcery rules before it's worth the effort trying to define this instance.

David Hall's "Legend of Saint Aeol" was printed in Questlines #1, and some more information on the Aeolian Heresy can be found in Tales #13, our Western Special. There is also a sect writeup from How the West was One, available here. I know Joerg Baumgartner has devoted a lot of time and effort to work on the Aeolians and Heortland in general, and he can probably answer detailed questions better than anyone else -- though watch out for his own theories slipping quietly into the mix!

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