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Vinga RQ3 cult: Mythos and History
Mythos(This is, of course, the mythos as it is known in the 1600s: and, therefore, the mythos as it has always been, just as the present Yelmalio mythos is the same as it has always been).
Vinga is the daughter of Orlanth and Ernalda, and is close to all her brothers and sisters. She grew up in the Gods War, a time of strife, and this shows in her nature: ever ready to protect the weaker members of her family. Many of her battles are against chaos, protecting non-combatants, especially women. Her adventures generally show her using speed, courage and wits, rather than strength, and helping others to help themselves is a common theme.
Vinga's only notable action before the Darkness was to turn aside Ragnaglar when he came to Orlanth's stead with his perverted lusts upon him. Far from fearing his mighty weapons, she laughed at him so hard that he slunk away, ashamed, and vented his frustrations upon Thed instead.
Yet when the Lightbringers had left, and the Eternal Ring was formed to guard Orlanth's stead, Vinga was not permitted to take her place with the male warriors.
Staunch Heler stepped forward, Heler who brings the rain that brings life. "Because you are a woman, Vinga, and are precious to us", he said. "You can bear sons, who will grow up to be warriors. Better to have many more warriors in the future than one more now."
Her brother Barntar came to her then. "Truly, Vinga", he said, "you are a good fighter, as good as any here. But the rest of our warriors are men. They have been taught from childhood to protect women, even at the risk of their own lives. If you fight alongside them, they will fear for you, and will fight less well in their efforts to protect you."
As is told elsewhere, Vinga and Elmal became good friends later on. Vinga helped Elmal at the Hill of Gold, and after that, though he still feared for her safety, he did not try to prevent her from fighting Chaos. Indeed, when Vinga asked him for the use of the Horse that she might reach the enemy more quickly, he did not deny it to her. Some say that he hoped it would bear her from battle even more quickly than it took her to it, others say that he would not trust the care of his beautiful wife to any of the male warriors. Vinga does not comment on the matter.
Most Orlanthi goddesses are non-violent in nature, and many of Vinga's stories are about how she encourages them to use their gifts to defend the group as a whole. (The same stories within those other cults may be rather different!)
Vinga fought Chaos throughout the Darkness, and was there at the Dawn to welcome her parents back to the world.
She is known to have fought at Castle Blue, at one point facing the Red Goddess alone and forcing her back for a time, though she was injured herself in doing so.
HistoryThe cult of Vinga has never been large, but becomes popular whenever Orlanthi women have to fight to defend themselves or their homes and families. Perhaps because this only happens in times of deep trouble, the cult is associated with last-ditch battles and pulling victory from the jaws of defeat. It has a stronger following in Sartar and Heortland than in more scattered areas of the Barbarian Belt, and is particularly popular in Pavis. The cult history mirrors that of Orlanth, though on a smaller scale. Some scholars have suggested that the cult only came into being in the second Age, but since Heort himself was the son of a Vingan, this is clearly not the case. The cult history in the first and second ages is certainly confusing, made worse by references to some groups of warrior-women as Vingans when their use of star powers make it quite clear that they are in fact Yelornans (a totally different cult), despite their being part of an Orlanthi society. It seems likely that in fact the cult started in several places and merged at a later date: at one point it seems to have been a warrior school rather than a cult as such, and at least one of the heroines whose deeds were attributed to Vinga the goddess seems to have become a warrior to avenge her husband. Any Daughter of Vinga, if asked, will of course deny most of this.
Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 Jane Williams
Most recent revision April 1998