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by Louise Lawrence
p.54 "What's religion?" asked Eth. "What's worship? What's god? I don't understand the words, Cable."
Cable tried to explain the sense of the numinous and the almighty power of creation. On Arboth it was acknowledged in the universe itself, in the natural landscapes and the for essential elements, in the wind and the weather and the light of the Roth Star, in plants and animals and people. But on Malroth, people believed that all things came from El-Tesh. His words and wishes, interpreted by priests, became laws that no one could question, and rituals were devised to praise and placate him. This was called worship, said Cable, and anyone who questioned the dictates of the priests, who worshipped in a different way or refused to believe El-Tesh ever existed either as a god or as an entity apart from his image, were persecuted--imprisoned, sacrificed, or slaughtered. On Malroth, in the name of El-Tesh, the priests had assumed power over everyone else. Extracted payment from people for their prayers or intercession, anointed kings who had ruled the population on their behalf and gathered armies to quell rebellions, employed scholars to study science and invent new weapons for killing. And women were considered inferior to men because they lacked male genitalia and were not created in the image of El-Tesh. They had no power, no voice, no rights, no social status. And so, unopposed and with the blessings of El-Tesh, men were free to commit all manner of atrocities. They built machines to harness and subjugate the forces of nature, and finally they destroyed themselves and the planet.
p.61 In all there were seven etheric planes, Nemony told her. The physical plane was the lowest, between the so-called living and the so-called dead. Eth could not visit the higher planes, but she could not stay there and waking usually erased the memory, reduced to fragments she experienced there, dreamlike snatches and rainbow hues and gold light shining in an unremembered world, ethereal voices fading from her head. She was not a medium, as most dream-weavers were. No higher being guided her or chose her as an oracle, took over her body whenever she vacated it and used her vocal cords to speak. Once trained she would be like Nemony, an ordinary dream-weaver with no special skills.
NAMES: Sorren, Meera, Kanderin, Eth, Nemony, Yordan, Zella, Malroth, Liadd, Zuke