Shamanism in Sartar

Jesper Wahrner (
29 Apr 96 15:20:10 +0100

I'm very interested in hearing people's views on the role of shamanism
in Orlanthi Sartar. Very little has been written on the subject. There
are a few lines about the Kolating in KoS, and other things can be
deducted from other sources. But very little is written about their role
in society. 

How do they get along with the traditional Orlanthi religion? It seems
that there are very little place for them there. Are they even tolerated?

I have played a Kolating for about a year, and I have always treated
him as part of a dying tradition. He is almost a total outsider. 
His origin is that he was marked for shamanhood as a child by the
local spirits of the otherworld acting through the shaman who later
became his teacher. His parents who didn't want their son to suffer
that horrible fate tried to hide him away, something that led to an
almost fatal disaster when the time came for his initiation into the
Orlanth religion. During the initiation he was possessed by a powerful
spirit, and consequently flunked horribly. But the above-mentioned
shaman saved him and explained to him that his life wasn't his but
belonged to the spiritworld.

Not being initiated into any cult puts him well outside society. Noone
comes to learn magic from him so he is often halfstarving. He is barely
tolerated when he makes an appearance partly because he HAS performed 
services to society in the past (ie exorcised possessed people), and
partly because people fear him and spiritual repercussions if they don't
treat him with some kind of formal respect. 

His job as a shaman is largely concerned with keeping up spiritual 
harmony in the area. This includes seeking out and speaking to certain
spirits at certain times that otherwise might turn against the land,
causing spiritual disorder, making sure that no hostile spirits are
ravaging the area and so on. This spiritual service is largely unknown
by the general populace and he is seriously worried what will happen
when the tradition dies out and noone will be able to carry out these 
vitally important tasks.

Now, while this outlook on shamanism from the point of society makes
my character cool and fun to play, I'm not really sure that this really
IS the way Orlanthi culture treats shamanism. (It might be something
specific to the Culbrea-tribe.) And I would really appreciate other
people's views and experiences in this matter.

... Quodcumque incedis sequitur mors corporis umbra.
- --- Blue Wave/386 v2.21 [NR]

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