Yelmalio - The Forest Sun

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Created On 21 June 1999
Last Updated On 21 June 1999
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1999

See Also
The History Of Yelmalio
The Evolution of Yelmalio
The Mountain Sun
The Ostrich Rider
The Rider
Yelmalio Jokes

Cult Ecology

A. Mythos

Yelmalio was the sun of Yelm and Ernalda, born before Orlanth stole Ernalda from the Emperor and before the Emperor disowned both his wife and his children. A Son of the Earth and of the Sky, Yelmalio was the Forest Sun, the Golden Canopy. Brother to Aldrya, he was always a friend of the Aldryami and fathered several dynasties upon willing dryads and elves. He also created new flowering plants, following his father's lead.

Once, Yelmalio found Arroin travelling through the Forests and helped him find some special plants. This led to a friendship which lasted through the Evils that followed.

When Orlanth dishonoured his mother and stole her from Yelm, Yelmalio was banished from the lands of the sun and returned to the Forests which were his love. He remained there throughout the Darkness, guarding and protecting them alongside the other Protectors, his nephew High King Elf, his sisters Yelorna and Babeester Gor, his friend Arroin and the rest. He even became a Protector of his mother, Ernalda, when all others had forsaken her.

Once he had to leave the forests to help his kin. Oakfed, a wild fire god, came to Prax and devoured the forests there, despite all who opposed him. When Yelmalio returned, he drove Oakfed away from the tattered remnants and vowed to give up his own Fiery nature. From that day onwards, Yelmalio has never been able to wield the power of Fire.

He taught High King Elf how to use the Bow and Spear, weapons of the Sun. He also taught the elves how to see in the Darkness and how to fight in organised armies rather than as talented individuals.

B. Since Time

The cult has remained strong in the Aldryami Forests, especially with the Marching Aldryami. Worship has failed to spread beyond the forests.

The cult's strength and influence has followed the fortunes of the Forests. When they were expanding the cult was strong, when contracting the cult was weak. The cult bore the brunt of the fighting in the Gbaji Wars, leading the elven forces in their conquests and defending the Empire at the end. It did not take part in the True Golden Horde as the elves remained within their forests. The cult opposed the Sky Burn and Moon Burn events and was distrusted within Dara Happa for this.

Amongst the Marching Aldryami, the cult teaches bow and spear, training the armies of the elves to fight as soldiers rather than merely good bowmen.

C. Life After Death

Worshippers of the Forest Sun descend into the Underworld and sit in the Realms of Yelm and Aldrya. Those in Yelm's Realm will remain there, those in Aldrya's realm will be reborn into the Forest. Generally, Aldryami will return to Aldrya's Halls and humans will return to Yelm's Halls. Members of the Forest Sun are affected by the Recover Spirit spell. and cultists may be brought back from death.

D. Runic Associations

The Forest Sun is associated with the Runes of Light and Truth.

II. Nature of the Cult

A. Reason for Continued Existence

Yelmalio is the Forest Sun. When one wanders through a Great Forest and looks up into the canopy, one sees a golden light suffusing through the leaves above. This Golden Dome is the Forest Sun, Yelmalio.

Although the canopy is golden, the forest floor is very dark. To enable his followers to see better, The Forest Sun gives a spell Catseye which allows them to see in the dark using the light coming through from the canopy, even though this light does not illuminate the forest floor.

Every so often, there is a break in the canopy and a beam of light shines through. This beam illuminates a spot on the ground. Yelmalio gives his followers the spell of Sunbeam to allow them the same power.

When one walks into a clearing from the dark forest floor, on is hit by an enormous area of bright sunlight. In remembrance if this, the Forest Sun grants his worshippers the spell of Sunbright.

B. Social/Political Position and Power

Yelmalio sits on the Aldryami Council and leads the Marching Aldryami. In times of war, his voice is very strong. In times of peace he is merely another advisor.

Outside the Forests, the Forest Sun wields little influence and no power.

C. Particular Likes and Dislikes

The cult is hostile to trolls and dwarves in general and the cults of Zorak Zoran and Argan Argar in particular for wrongs performed in God Time.

Oakfed is hated and detested for destroying the Forests of Prax.

The cult is friendly towards elves and the cult of Yelorna and Arroin.

III Organisation

A. Inter-Cult Organisation

The cult is organised into temple communities which are based around the Marching Aldryami. Each temple reports to the Council of Gardeners of the Forest. In theory, the Yelmalio representative on the Great Council may command any Yelmalio Temple within the forest, but this seldom happens.

B. Intra-Temple Organisation

Temples are led by Light Sons who are the priests of the cult. Other Light Sons lead regiments of the Marching Aldryami. Promotion occurs when a new regiment is formed or when a Light Son retires or joins the Gardeners. Light Sons are assisted by Light Servants who fill the lower levels of command.

C. Centre of Power, Holy Places

There are few Holy Places of the Forest Sun. The Forest Canopy is holy as a manifestation of the God. Foreigners say that the Hill of Gold is holy, but most elves deny this or ask where it is.

D. Holy Days and High Holy Days

Fireday is the holy day of the cult, with Fireday of Truth Week being the seasonal holy day. The High Holy Day is Fireday, Truth Week, Fire Season.

IV Lay Membership

A. Requirements to Join

Lay Membership is open to humans, aldryami and beast folk who do not belong to Darkness or Chaos Cults. Trolls and dwarves are not allowed to join the cult. Members of the Marching Aldryami may automatically join the cult as can members of Aldrya and Yelm.

B. Requirements to Belong

Lay members must worship on each Fireday. They may never befriend trolls, dwarves or members of darkness cults. They must always defend the forest.

C. Mundane Benefits

Lay Members are taught combat skills by the cult and may join the Marching Aldryami.

Lay Members may learn cult skills and spirit magic at half price.

D. Restrictions

Lay members may not know Darkness or Fire based spells and must forget them if known.

They may not betray the forest or the Marching Aldryami.

V. Initiate Membership

A. Requirements for Initiation

Permanent members of the Marching Aldryami may become initiates of the Forest Sun. There is no further test to be taken but a point of POW must be sacrificed.

Those not in the Marching Aldryami must pass a test of Spear, Bow, Shield, Sneak and Scan and sacrifice a point of POW.

B. Requirements to Remain Initiated

Initiates must accept a Gift and Geas. They must tithe 10% of income and 10% of time to the cult. Most are members of the Marching Aldryami and are given cult duties as part of their military service.

C. Benefits

Initiates are given a suit of armour consisting of scale hauberk, cuirboilli limbs and a chain helm. Sometimes the armour is of wood but is usually of bronze. A spear, large shield, self bow and arrows are also given.

Cult skills are taught for free.

Initiates may learn the spells of Co-ordination, Light, Lightwall, Farsee and Food Song.

All initiates may sacrifice for one use of cult and associated cult divine magic.

VI Light Servants

A. Requirements

These are the acolytes of the cult. They must have 75% in the cult skills and must take a gift and its geases.

B. Duties

Light Servants are the minor officers of the cult. They assist the Light Sons and often command files of the Marching Aldryami.

C. Benefits

Light Servants may sacrifice for cult divine magic reusably and for associate cult divine magic on a one-use basis.

VII Light Sons

A. General Statement

These are the heads of the cult and are warrior-priests. They specialise in the bow and spear and are leaders of men.

B. Requirements for Acceptance

They must have 90% in Spear, Bow, Scan, Shield and one of Firespeech, Listen, or Sneak and must know the spell of Farsee or have it as a gift.

They must take a gift and geas upon becoming a Light Son.

C. Restrictions of the Status

Light Sons may never eat potatoes as they represent the buried earth. They are generally vegetarians but may eat meat if they are not aldryami.

Light Sons may only marry earth priestesses or acolytes. If they are already married to one who is not an earth priestess, they may remain married for a year after which they must be divorced if the spouse is not an earth priestess.

Light Sons may never show mercy to trolls or dwarves, nor may they torture any creature.

They must give 90% of time and income to the cult.

D. Benefits of the Status

Light Sons gain a full suit of enchanted copper or gold armour. They also gain a quiver full of aldryami arrows which incur no range penalty in forests and ignore cover given by vegetation.

They gain three initiates as personal guards and these remain until they themselves become Light Sons.

A Light Son may take one gift and its geases on the High Holy Day of the cult each year.

VIII Divine Magic

Light Sons and Light Servants gain access to the following spells:

Common Divine: All Special Divine Magic: Catseye, Sunbright, Sun Beam, Enchant Gold, Enchant Copper.

A.Special Divine Magic

Catseye (1 point, touch, duration 12 hours, nonstackable, reusable)

For 12 hours this spell affects the target's eyes so he can see by any amount of light no matter how small. If there is no available light, the person cannot see otherwise he sees as if it were a normal day.

Sunbright (2 points, ranged, temporal, nonstackable, reusable)

This spell puts a 50 metre radius circle of light around the recipient of the spell. This acts as daylight in all respects. It demoralises vampires, ghouls and intelligent undead and gives the recipient a 2 point Shimmer effect.

Sun Beam (1 point, reusable, stackable, ranged, temporal)

This causes a 3 metre diameter beam of light to come from the sun and shine on the recipient. This may only be cast during the day and may not be cast while underground or within a building.

IX Subservient Cults

A. Cult Spirit of Reprisal

Those leaving the cult will be afflicted by a curse. Anyone who they lie to will know they are lying.

X. Associate Cults

A. Aldrya

Yelmalio protected the Forests during the Darkness and in return Aldrya grants Light Sons the Heal Body spell.

B. Vrimak

The Forest Canopy, or Golden Dome, is home to many birds. Vrimak, god of birds, gives the Speak to Birds spell to Yelmalio cultists.

C. Yelm

The father of Yelmalio, Yelm grants his Son the spell of Sunripen to help strengthen the Forest.

XI Miscellaneous Notes

A. The Forest Sun and Mountain Sun

The cult of the Forest Sun has much in common with the cult of Yelmalio as worshipped in Dara Happa. For instance it commands soldiers and is a cult of light. It does, however have differences. There are no Sun Dome Temples, Monrogh is not honoured, the Hill of Gold is unknown and the cult is military in nature, without the farming aspects.

Few humans outside the Forests know of the Forest Sun and assume that Yelmalio is worshipped in the standard way by elves. Most elves who leave the Forest try not to show the differences between their Yelmalio and the Mountain Sun.

B. Gifts and Geases

All Gifts and Geases given by Yelmalio are random and must be rolled.

Use the normal Yelmalio gifts and geases, except replace Javelin attack increases with Shield Parry, replace Communication with Horses with a Food Song ability. Replace all celibacy geases, all geases dealing with horses and all meat-eating restrictions with appropriate elven geases.