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Vinga: Cult ecology
Relationships with other cults and races
While Vinga was not of course a Lightbringer herself she is on friendly terms with all the Lightbringers through her father. In particular she is on good terms with Chalana Arroy, and Vingans are often preferred as bodyguards by healers.
The cult is mildly hostile towards most solar cults due to their treatment of women as second-class citizens. This feeling is, of course, mutual. The main exception is the cult of Yelorna: while most Vingans find the Yelornans' insistence on chastity amusing rather than admirable the two cults often find themselves on the same side in arguments and will generally come to each others' defence if needed. Contact between them is slight, however, other than in the city of Pavis.
Vingans dislike Lunars for much the same reasons as other Orlanthi. However, there are times when an individual Vingan's desire to protect women from men will override her desire to protect Orlanthi from Lunars. This is very much a question of individual attitude, but a group of Orlanthi men attacking a Lunar healer might well find themselves facing Vingan defenders. For the most part, though, Vingans are vigorously anti-Lunar. Kallyr is, as in most things, an extreme case.
The cult attitude towards trolls varies widely from place to place. For various reasons, Vingans are more likely to be friendly to trolls than is the average Orlanthi, and it is rumoured that in Whitewall in particular the alliance between them is such that the Vingan shrine is protected by trollish magic. But the idea of a woman needing protection from attacks by men, and giving up her fertility to get it, is so alien to trollish culture that trolls generally shun Vingans. Female trollkin are of course another matter, and can in theory join the cult, though few do.
Other Orlanthi warrior cults
Joint membership of Vinga and another combat cult is common, though such initiates do not generally rise far within the cult. In particular Vingans also join Humakt, Babeester Gor, and Storm Bull. Usually these are the women who have been forced to leave their clan, or who are seeking vengeance.
There are important differences in attitude between the cults, though individual initiates may express them differently. Vingans fight, in general, to protect themselves and their clan. Babeester Gori are more interested in vengeance than survival (and are much more likely than Vingans to fly into berserk rages). Humakti have already accepted their own death, whereas Vingans are still tied to life. (And Humakti may regard some of Vinga's more cunning strategems as dishonourable). Uroxi share Vinga's interest in fighting chaos, but fight it for its own sake, not necessarily out of a need to defend their people. And, again, they are much more likely to go for a straight attack than are Vingans.
The differences in attitude between Vingans and female warriors of other cults may be seen in how they would approach the following situation: an injured woman approaches the temple complaining that her husband has been beating her.
The date of Vingan holy days depends on which of the various myths of Vinga's first battle the local priestess follows. Clay Day of Movement Week is common, with Storm Season being the High Holy Day.
Burial rites are those of followers of either Orlanth or Ernalda in that area, or possibly a mixture of both. Cultists expect to go to the Red Headed Lodge after death.
Vinga has the runes of Movement, Air, and Earth. Movement is her main rune, and her worshippers' fighting style shows this clearly, with the emphasis on trying new things and on the use of Dodge rather than shields. Her connection to Air and Earth is through her parents, and while she does not have the same level of elemental powers as they do, use of small elementals is common. The cult is often compared to Orlanth Adventurous, and the Air links are obvious. The Earth links are perhaps not quite so clear. However it is worth remembering that in an Orlanthi area, where Vinga is strong, most women joining as warriors will already be Ernalda initiates, simply as members of an Orlanthi clan. Joining Vinga does not, for them, increase their Earth rune connection.
In Orlanthi society
The cult of Vinga has influence only within Orlanthi areas. Vingan initiates are accepted as warriors on a equal basis with the men. One (optional) place on the clan ring is held by a Vingan. (See description from "King of Sartar").
Orlanthi society is based around the clan, not around city temples, and therefore, so is the cult of Vinga. Most Vingans have become warriors primarily in order to defend their clan, and time spent in active defence counts as "cult duties". Of course, the average clan cannot support very many full-time warriors, and a Vingan at home will, apart from fighting, spend much of her time in the normal work of any clan, just as a male warrior will spend more time farming than he does fighting. Vingans are often used as clan weapons instructors, as by necessity they rely more on technique than on brute strength. In some clans this extends to teaching the young men of the clan things besides fighting: as Vingans are usually unmarried and are protected against unwanted pregancy, they can teach the youths how to relate to women without the disruption to clan life that another woman in the same role might cause.
Of course, Vingans often spend time away from home, travelling or working as mercenaries to improve their skills. A few are actually separated from their clans for one reason or another (revenge in which their clan does not wish to join is the most common), and tend to congregate at the temples as a result. While these are the women most often seen by visitors to a Vingan temple, they are a minority within the cult as a whole.
Most temples are minor, and are headed by a single priestess. Shrines may be attached to an Orlanth temple (if used primarily by warriors) or within an Ernaldan temple (if used primarily as a refuge). In either case, they will teach Droop.
All temples, even the smallest shrine, will offer refuge to any woman who asks it, including any children under the age of puberty. Such refugees are expected to work for the temple during their stay, and during troubled times some Vingan temples can come to be villages in their own right due to this influx.
The greatest Vingan temple is that of Tarthcaer, ("Fort of Mists"), based around an ancient hillfort in the Quivin Hills, and reputedly dating back to before the Dawn. Certainly the mists placed around it by Huraya have been there at least that long. There is a small temple in Pavis, fitting in the gap between the Orlanth and Ernalda temples and dependant on both of them for facilities. And there is a temple in Boldhome, on the edge of the West Pocket. Other temples and shrines are at the GM's discretion.