[XXIX.777.49.e/2.3] "It was with some trepidation I approached the Great Temple of Peace. The austere columned facade seemed designed to over-awe by its sheer inhuman scale. Its steps, walls and pillars, of highly polished white marble, were distinctively flecked and veined with red. Long red banners hung between its columns. Each one was emblazoned with the White Moon of Peace, charged with a black Death Rune made of Sickles. With a rapturous eye, Auntie informed me they represented the scimitars which would be beaten into sickles when the Moon shines white across Glorantha. It was an emblem, she said, designed by the High Priest, Bellex Maximus, himself."
- An excerpt from Dus Hanari's Travails with my Aunt, a young Tarshite curate's account of his often perilous journey down the Oslir as assistant to his relative, the Lady Dushan, a priestess of the Seven Mothers.
[Lest it confuse the reader, note that throughout the work Dus Hanari continously refers to Dushan as his 'Auntie', using the Lunar custom of feminizing all members of the priesthood, whether they be woman or, as is definitely in the hirsute and in all other ways chauvanistic Dushan's case, man. Theo.P]
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.3a] "The more I ponder on it, the more I feel that this passes beyond coincidence. Consider: the goddess was dismembered by her foes in Godtime; she appears as a gaping wound in the world, from which all evils flow; her favoured sons are secretly notified of their status and can attain elevation only at the cost of fratricidal war. Yes, the parallels between Thed Broos-Mother and the Red Moon Goddess will certainly bear further investigation." Baldrus the Black Learner.
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.4] The Ophet Festival - More from Dus Hanari's Travails with my Aunt:
"I was lucky enough to arrive in Yuthuppa in time for the annual Opet festival. Our seats were booked on the ramp by the new Pylon, which gave us a fine view over the heads of the crowds thronging the public court. Everyone was in their best clothes (Auntie had even oiled her beard), and the court reverberated with happy shouts.
"The main focus of attention was the barque shrine. Its bas reliefs, gaily painted against the golden sandstone, showed, Auntie informed me, the Heroquest of the first Sultan to establish his Yelmic pedigree. Young boys played excitedly round the feet of the colossi which guarded the central gateway.
The crowd hushed as the yellow curtain twitched. Then, with a clash of cymbals, the drapery was flung aside and the god's barque emerged. Borne on the shoulders of bearded priests, the electrum-plated boat lurched into the sunlight. The prow was shaped like Hippogryph and above it the falcon-headed image of Yuthu menaced evil-doers with his javelin. At once the crowd shouted the name of Yelm, cheering and clapping. Temple musicians strummed their harps or struck their cymbals while acolytes cast gold-dust over the crowd and the barque. The priests, sweating under their full robes, shuffled beneath the god's image. Covered with gold, the majestic statue of Yelm sat enthroned under a domed canopy. Youths beat feathered fans around him, while those nearest pressed closer to touch the carrying poles.
The shouting increased as the Oslir priestesses ran to meet the barque. Singing, turning cart-wheels and shaking aluminium sistra, they praised and enticed the god. The crowd cheered their performance excitedly, especially when the River Adoratrices cast libations of purified water over all and sundry, as these are supposed to cure all manner of illness and bad luck. The Sultan himself stepped from one of the side chapels, looking faintly ridiculous in his ceremonial winged triple crown. We gave the Lunar salute, hailing him as Yelm's representative. He burnt incense in a small golden bowl before the god, invoking him and blessing his union, before taking out the golden ring to be used in the symbolic wedding."
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.3a/dervish] I asked Her, and She told me that the Lunar Dervishes dance in a wildly whirling spiral. This is the path on which the Goddess Herself trod when She "danced her last dream upon the face of the earth". When they finish spinning around and inwards, they're in a state of Balance or Lunar Consciousness (it only looks like frothing insanity), and you can get oracular answers from them. If you're ever in the marketplace and see the spiral-dancers starting inwards, make sure you're not caught in the middle: it can get pretty confusing and frightening.
But it's worth hanging around to hear what they say when the frenzy is on them at the end... You're still most likely to find dervishes in the East, out towards Torang where the old ways of Lunar Mysticism are still strongest. It's known that the Emperor's servants dislike giving oracular accesses to the people: just think about the way the Moonbroth Whispers have been sealed away! But it's in their nature to travel, and I hear groups and individuals have been seen as far away as Prax and Carmania. In the Redlands, the dervishes are one of the main sacred traditions to be found: they easily survive without the state-cult support that most Lunar religion requires within the Empire... In Karasal, I saw a dervish at the centre of her spin sink down to the ground, then levitate ten feet into the air, before starting to prophesy in a quite serene manner. She was speaking about how the Lunar Way is the New Way of Revolution: that the Storm Way was the Old Rebellion, whose time had passed. She talked about the Empire as an eggshell, protecting the people. It all made perfect sense when she spoke to us. That was the day I learned to stop worrying, and love the Bat. Of course, she died when the fit was over...
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.5\29.21-011] Lunar Battalia #17: The University Guards are notorious for their inhuman savagery. The regiment originated from those followers who guarded Raibanth University when Irripi Ontor was awarded his honorary degree.
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.6] The ancient Dara Happan Empire had separate courts for property, personal, civil, and religious offences. But whatever your legal needs in Notchet City, contact Espius the Pleader.
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.6a] My learned friend fails to note that Dara Happan law is still in effect for non-citizens within the Lunar Heartlands. All offences are judged by social class: persons of inferior social class are usually found guilty, unless able to prove their innocence. I understand my colleague's sensitivity in this regard. Belburo of the Golden Writs.
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.6b] "A little learning is a dangerous thing", as Irrippi Ontor tells us. Our sublime Red Emperor has abolished automatic adjudications based on wealth and class for all Lunar Citizens, and guilt or innocence in the lower courts is nowadays established not by Dara Happan magistrates but by juries of seven good free persons, all Citizens and honourable. Lunar Citizens have also been granted the right of appeal, through a series of increasingly powerful (and expensive) courts. Rumpilius of the Bay-Leaves
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.6c] Addendum by Petro Chelli, temple jurist: Note that in Red Fish and a number of other Dara Happan cities, traditionalists have subverted this practise by instituting 'professional jurors', typically men of the highest caste, whose verdicts almost invariably mirror the ways of old.
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.6d] Rumpilius replies: And in some West Pelorian cities, the whole populace can sit on any jury, and cast their pebbles for guilt or innocence. Moonson, in his Perfection of Balance, has taken the middle path between these extremes.
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.7] The viziers of Carmania work to perfect our interpretation of Holy Law, and arrive at the point where 'Everything not Forbidden is Compulsory.' There are no 'grey areas' in Paradise. Master Kishan.
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.7a] A Carmanian vizier would argue that Black is White, if it suited his patron's interest. Belgor Bolg-Broke - and I should know!
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.8] Confine your legal wranglings to the courts! This is a Work of True Knowledge, and special pleading will not be entertained. Not all Truth spells are advantageous to lawyers... Theo. P., Collator
[XXIX.777.49.e/2.8a] The statement above is tantamount to libel.
However, at the request of the Notchet Bar, we shall refrain from further
comment, if Pandarus will do likewise. Espius of Notchet, Belburo of
Sun Dome, Rumpilius, Chelli, Kishan of Kitor.
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