This is a spin-off from another thread, (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12769
). In that thread, pokep had suggested that the myth of Halea, Naveh & Dekejis could have originated as a political allegory about Dalkeshian expansion into Karejian territory in the second century TR. I noted that a potential challenge to this idea was the fact that the Halean Church wasn't established until the 4th century TR. pokep, in turn, suggested that while the pontificate was established in 4th century, the church was much older.
This is not such a simple question, I think. I'm splitting off this discussion because it really deserves a topic of its own, IMHO:
As for Halea and history - the pontificate was established in the 4th Century, but the faith is obviously older than that. The founding stories of the church imply that the faith was already well established. .
I'm not so sure that's true, although I suppose it depends what you mean by 'the faith' and 'well-established'... and whether you accept what is published in canon.
Gods of Harn tells us that, while there were various "hedonistic cults" that existed from time immemorial, which may have been linked to Halea (or maybe Peoni), they lacked many of the features now considered essential components of Haleanism. They also weren't organized, had little contact with each other, and made no attempts to proselytize. GOH tells us these cults lacked many of the features of modern Halean belief and practice as well. It wasn't until Merodyne the Pale (in the 3rd century TR) that Halea, in her modern form, appears to have been proclaimed, and that her worship was spread throughout SW Lythia, that Helas became a well-known center of Halean worship. And it wasn't until the 4th century, when there was an actual church structure established with a pontiff. This is pretty much echoed in HMR and Venarive (although HMR actually places Merodyne a century later).
So per canon, some early hedonism cults existed prior to the 4th century-- and they were related to Halea (probably), but they weren't organized in any way, there was no church with its head in Helas, or the like. So yeah, sure, I accept pokep's claim that Haleanism existed before then. And... to bring this back to his interpretation of the myth, it seems very unlikely that given such a state of pre-Merodyne "Haleanism", it seems to be unlikely that Halea would have been picked as a symbol of Karejia in some 2nd century political allegory of Karejian/Dalkesh conflict-- because there would have been no particular sense in having her serve as symbol for Karejia-- something that would make sense only after the 4th century once her church gets established and Lythia-wide recognition as a powerful Karejian-based institution. Or that's how I'd see it.... when viewed through the lens of canon.
That said, canon is highly problematic on this particular point, and contains seeming contradictions. Specifically, if the Gods of Harn account is taken to be basically true, then it seems very hard to imagine how if Halea could be one of the gods mentioned in the Libram of the Pantheon, which was written on Hârn at the beginning of the 2nd century TR. This suggests to me that the account of the Halean church in canon dramatically under-reports the widespread nature and influence of pre-Merodyne Halean hedonism cults. Or, perhaps, it suggests that the Libram of the Pantheon's text as been dramatically expanded over the years, and that when the worship of new gods (such as Halea and Sarajin) came to the Harn, the "Libram" was altered to describe them.