Monday, September 24, 2012

Supplement to The Metal Gods, Part 2

The day after I finished the last Metal Gods post, I realized that I had left something very important out of the Part 2 post: how to handle clerics who choose to follow one specific Metal God, rather than the pantheon in general.

Pantheism & Deific Patronage

Most other faiths encourage the exclusive worship of one deity by its clergy and most clerics of these other faiths hold one god above all others in their hearts and devotions, if they even recognize the existence of gods other than their patron. The Metal Gods, however, share no such concern for their individual worship but understand that the nature of their divinity relies upon their unity as a pantheon. As a result, the Metal Gods encourage their clerics to venerate the entire pantheon as well as the spirits of those Metal Gods who have passed from Man's knowledge and beyond the veils of obscurity. From time to time, a cleric gets the idea to choose as a special patron one particular Metal God above the rest of the pantheon; among devotees of the Metal Gods, this specialized form of devotion is poor form at best and terrible heresy at worst. In ages past, a terrible schism shook the faithful of the Metal Gods when a popular movement that favored the god Tallic drew new attention to the pantheon but ultimately attempted to supplant it with a form of worship centered around veneration of Tallic to the exclusion of all other Metal Gods. As the long and bloody schism wore on, the Tallicite movement drew some clerics of the Metal Gods to their cause, but these eventually found themselves unable to channel divine magic; in short, for their crimes against the pantheon, the Metal Gods (even Tallic) turned their collective backs on the Tallicite movement and it collapsed in upon itself, its disenfranchised priests now shamed by their own hubris. Today, the lessons of the Tallicite Heresy are recounted widely among the ritual chants of the faithful and any young acolyte who shows a particular interest in one God over the others is encouraged to research other Metal Gods, in particular gods that inspired the favored God or those who have been inspired by him, Gods who are often connected to him and so on.

While I can easily understand folks who have a favorite band, the slavish devotion to one particular band or another just doesn't sit well with my conception of what the Metal Gods mean. Back in the 90's, far, far too many people would never have listened to any metal if it wasn't for the Black album and the single-minded, cult-like promotion of one particular band (who shall remain nameless). These folks quickly went back to listening to boy bands and filth like Dave Matthews once the craze had passed, taking no notice of anything that happened in the metalosphere that didn't have anything that band. So, the pantheon of the Metal Gods requires devotion to the entire pantheon and no single-minded fanboyism of any god is tolerated. Because I wrote it and the fair-weather fandom sucks up the place for everyone.