Bell Digest v940128p1

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 28 Jan 1994, part 1
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X-RQ-ID: Intro

This is the RuneQuest Daily Bulletin, a mailing list on
the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's 
world of Glorantha.  It is sent out once per day in digest

More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found
after the last message in this digest.


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jan 94 06:40:01 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2915

johnjmedway asks:

>Do they have stirrups? Who does have stirrups?

Greg and I both concur that stirrups are available everywhere in  
Genertela in the Third Age. My own belief is that stirrups were  
available in both Pent and Prax in the First Age (anything that  
either nomad culture would own, the other would rapidly adopt), and  
that the use was spread almost everywhere in Glorantha by the God  
Learners during the Second Age. I also believe that the Six-Legged  
Empire in Pamaltela used stirrups (they were God Learner-influenced,  
of course). 

	I suspect that the Impala Riders don't bother with Stirrups  
(though this doesn't mean they don't KNOW about them). 

joerg baumgarter asks: (re Yara Aranis)
>How many illuminated Redlander phalangists do you expect to have in  
>the file? Illumination is a prerequisitive for getting Lunar Magic  
>(joining the Red Goddess directly), and we are told as well that the  
>most Lunar citizens don't.

Not many -- but we know that standard Redlander phalangists get their  
butts kicked by the Pent nomads. My point is that the Yara Aranis  
cult leaders, who can easily be illuminated, can use Lunar Magic to  
do plenty of damage to oncoming foes. 

	For example, a priestess with a couple of bound spirits could  
have 15 Free INT, using it to cast a Distance 5 (range 300 meters,  
outranging all bows), Combine 4 (firing off 5 spells at once) Ignite  
for 15 mps a whack. That's not so bad -- temporarily taking out five  
attacking archers a melee round until you run out of magic points. 

Joerg Baumgartner is still going on about the Praxian\Hsunchen  
connection: I'll make one last stab at it, then give it up. To save  
space, I'm paraphrasing some of Joerg's cts.

>>1) No Hsunchen eat their cult animals. They are kin, not prey.

>The Praxians wouldn't either, if they didn't have to. 

This isn't exactly so -- the Praxians generally claim that their own  
herd animals taste the best -- it's greed for wealth that keeps them  
from eating their own beasts when foreign animals are available. 

>2) Hsunchen magic turns you into your animal. No Praxian magic even  

>remotely resembles this. 

>Fix/Release INT does the trick, don't you think?

No. Fix/Release INT doesn't turn you into a Sable. You don't get  
horns, you don't get hooves, you don't get increased endurance. The  
Hsunchen magic very clearly alters you physically to resemble your  
ancestral beast. The Praxian does not -- not even a trace of such  
magic exists. They don't even have myths about were-beasts of their  
herd animals or similar shapeshifter types. 

>Eiritha is listed as daughter of Hykim.

The Praxians don't descend from Eiritha. Their beasts do.

>But horses can subside and thrive in Prax. Commonly spread  
>theory/propaganda suggests they can't.

So? Obviously the propaganda is (a) wrong, or (b) based on more  
subtle factors than the obvious ones -- such as constant opposition  
and oppression from the Waha cultists. 

> The Hsunchen worship the Hunter as main source of meat.
> Praxians worship Waha for slain herd beasts, Hunter for slain game.

Worship of Hunter is not a sign of Hsunchen membership -- it is a  
recognition that their ancestors cannot provide for all needs. Hunter  
is ultimately a foreign cult, a sign of growing  
sophistication/apostasy, and a departure from the ancient ways. If  
you look at the Hsunchen myths, you can see that they don't really  
have a myth of "learning to worship the beasts", but they always did  
it. But they do have a "meeting with Hunter" myth -- he was a later  
encounter, usually during the Gods War. 

The fact that both Praxians and Hsunchen worship a Hunter is a sign  
of the ubiquity of Hunter, no more. The trolls worship a Hunter, too.

>>  Everyone except the Brithini and their ilk worships local nature

>Do the Easterners? How does that look like?

Yes. It looks just fine. The complex of Dragon Magic designed by  
Daruda is partially for the purpose of suppressing monsoons and  
earthquakes. The Kralori have enough control over nature to have  
maintained their bay against the Closing for centuries. 

>Telmori consider their wolves as full members of their tribe.  
>Praxians don't do so, since Waha's covenant made the herd beasts  

Wow, I can't see how I missed this before. Waha's covenant didn't  
make the herd beasts unintelligent -- it made the humans intelligent.  
The humans were promoted; made superior to the beasts. 

>  *Everyone* was an active participant in the Gods War.  Haven't you
>been intiated into the I Fought We Won mystery?

>I meant battles preceding I Fought We Won, like the one in which  
>Storm Bull slew the Devil, which rages on as the Eternal Battle.

Just about everyone participated in these, too. Pamalt killed  
Vovisibor in the battle of Pamalt's Necklace. The Kralori had a  
campaign and victory in Kralorela. The Brithini had their own  
victories. The Hsunchen are about the only folks that DIDN'T have a  
major presence recorded for the Gods War (though they were, of  
course, there at I Fought We Won). The Praxians, who did have such a  
presence, have this as yet another difference 'tween them and the  

> >The Praxians have a solid holy place in the Paps. (They inherited  
> >it from the Golden Age people). The Basmoli erected Hrelar Amali.  
> >(They ... built it themselves.)

>  Everyone including the baboons had a big city during the God Time.

>Did the Telmori, Pralori, Damali, Sofali, Uncolings, Kivitti etc.? 

>The Doraddi? (To Sandy: were they part of the Artmali Empire?)

How does the absence of other Hsunchen giant holy places make the  
Praxians more like them? The Doraddi were not part of the Artmali  
Empire -- they were oppressed by it.  

> >the Hsunchen acknowledge the local earth powers (proto-Grain 

> >goddesses, like Balazar Vyrope, or the goddess' aspects
> >in Rathorela, Ramalia, etc

>  Everyone acknowledges local earth powers except deliberate  
>atheists like the Brithini.  So?

> >So this doesn't make Praxian Earth worship special. 1 point to me.

Ah, but the Hsunchen earth worship is crude and vestigial. (Balazar  
Vyrope doesn't count, because the Balazarings aren't Hsunchen,  
whether or not they used to be.) In addition, the earth worship of  
the Hsunchen is clearly something that they gradually accumulate over  
time, like their worship of Hunter etc. The Praxians had a highly  
organized pantheon, and only traces of it remain -- it's clear that  
it was once a much bigger deal, which has degenerated because of the  
ruin wrought by the Gods War. A very different deal than the usual  
Hsunchen menu. So we're taking back that point from you. 

The Praxians are the only major human culture in Genertela to be  
earth-based, unless you count Esrolia. In every other case, the Earth  
undertones are overshadowed by a dominant religion of a different  
type. Pamaltela, of course, has a large earth culture left in the  
Doraddi and Kresh. 

>>  Are all primitives Hsunchen?

>On Glorantha, I'm inclined to say yes for humans. 

Ah, there's the rub, then. I don't think this is so. And you do. No  
wonder you believe the Praxians must have derived from Hsunchen  
descent. Apparently you feel that all humans did.

Me, I believe the Doraddi claim that the oldest folk were highly  

DORADDI BELIEFS (lots of Doraddi don't know these things, and are  
quite ignorant about outside cultures, but if you ask around at  
enough oases, you'll eventually learn the facts)

Everyone used to be civilized. The Chaos Wastes and Prax was once the  
home of the Golden Folk. Kralorela has always been an empire, once  
ruled by the Sun itself. The oldest human culture with a recorded  
history are the Brithini, who were civilized from the start, and are  
still more sophisticated/decadent than the Malkioni or other humans.  
Pamaltela started out ruled by the Artmali Empire. 

The world's history is an epic of progress from its ancestral urban  
roots to the more advanced and superior so-called "primitive" or  
"nomad" ways. 

The Hsunchen are the only humans that are actually primitive  
(remember, I'm quoting Doraddi beliefs here). This is because they do  
not descend from the same (four) sources as everyone else. Instead,  
they descend from animal ancestresses who decided to try to emulate  
the great successes that other descendants of Grandfather Mortal had  
achieved. So the animals bred for themselves human children. This is  
where the Hsunchen come from. 

The Pinks (Wererans) all originally come from the Brithini, who are  
also pink-skinned, though paler than most. At one time there was a  
whole color-scale of ancient humans, all descended from the storm  
gods' rape of the sea gods. The Brithini, palest of the pale, and the  
red, brown, and blue Vadeli are remnants of these. 

The Blues descend from the Blue Moon, which has become more hidden  
and mystical since the Darkness. So have the Blues. 

The Agimori are the 3rd attempt at creating life by Lodril the  
Creator, as egged on by Trickster. The first two attempts were  
failures: the Jelmre and Hoolar. The original Agimori were quite  
primeval entities, big crude things made of dirt and lava, who fought  
chaos and the encroaching jungle, but kept getting killed, until  
there were fewer and fewer left. Then Pamalt told them the Secret --  
and they drank Water. This made them mortal, but able to breed more  
versions of themselves. Basically, it turned them into the modern  
Agimori. Supposedly some selfish Agimori didn't drink the Water, so  
they could remain deathless forever, and they remained unchanged --  
the Old Men. A few are still around, but they're even rarer than  
Promalti. Does everyone know about the Promalti?

My great-great-grandfather saw an Old Man in the Mari Mountains once.  
He told my grandfather, who told me. The Old Man howled and mourned.  
"How can I be so old!", he wailed. "I knew the Mari Mountains when  
they were only an inch high! I knew the oceans when they were a  
mountain! How can I be so old!" And in his despair, he kneeled down  
and ate some snow and became human. He's probably dead now. 

[Note to readers: the statement that he knew the "oceans when they  
were a mountain" is probably a reference to the Spike.]



I was caught on this point by both Paul Reilly and Joerg Baumgartner.  
Bad Sandy! No biscuit!

I wickedly said:
>1) No Hsunchen eat their cult animals. They are kin, not prey.

I was wrong wrong wrong. Of course the Hsunchen eat their cult  
animals, depending on the type of Hsunchen we're talking about. The  
Pralori and Uncolings do it all the time, though they have a special  
ceremony (NOT the same as Peaceful Cut -- more like Food Song), as do  
other herd-type Hsunchen. Pig Hsunchen, like the ancestors of the  
Ramalians may or may not eat their kin. 

There's nothing wrong with Paul's "Invite the Bear to his own feast"  
idea -- I suggest that the Rathori have a similar ceremony in which a  
person must go and get eaten by bears, too. 

Paul Reilly (who appears to be siding with Joerg) sez:

>5) Hsunchen is a religion, not a racial type.

> I thought the vast majority of Hsunchen were races as well as  
>X-worshippers.(X = Telmor, Sofal, etc.)  Are many people converted  
>to Hsunchen religions outside of those born into Hsunchen clans?

You're right to an extent, but remember that few Gloranthan religions  
are missionary-oriented. Hardly anyone joins a Hsunchen religion  
(there are rituals for adoption in case a Hsunchen marries outside  
his people, or wants to adopt a child), but you can leave the  
Hsunchen religion and no longer be a Hsunchen (it might take a  
generation or two). It's kind of like Judaism -- there are few  
converts, but it's not really a race. 

	Also, let's not forget that the Hsunchen of western Genertela  
are clearly Wereran racially, though they have specialized features.  
Similarly the Hsunchen of Kralorela are Kralori racially, and the  
Hsunchen of Pamaltela are Agimori. There are no Veldang Hsunchen, at  
least not in any sort of major group. 

Oh yeah -- the Promalti are fire demons -- they're 


From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Stirrups
Message-ID: <9401271059.AA00630@condor>
Date: 27 Jan 94 10:59:28 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2910

>Do they have stirrups? Who does have stirrups?
>This only really matters for those using swinging weapons, as stirrups did
>little for the lancer ( especially light ones ) and bowmen.

I'd heard that stirrups were important for lancers. Wasn't it the inroduction
of stirrups which caused the ascendance of the lance in medieval combat? (And
indirectly caused the introduction of full plate armour etc.)
I've even heard a tale that Arthur and his cronies were the first to use
stirrups in Britain and that this was the root of his success.

I don't allow mounted warriors to use their mount's damage modifier unless
they have stirrups and a decent saddle (else they're very likely to get knocked
off their horse[/bison/triceratops/Bat]).

Don't horse-archers stand in their stirrups to get decent aim?


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Re: RAG: Loren's Comments (regimental spirits)
Date: 27 Jan 94 13:05:21 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2911

>> Blue Moon Wizardry? I agree with Arkat as source, but where and when 
>> did Annilla steal or trade that secret?

> I can only think of the Blue Moon School from the Dragon Pass game. I 
> would assume that it was something other than Spirit or Divine magic, 
> just because of the range their magic is allowed.

No, regimental magic works different. Somewhere between Dragon Pass, King 
of Sartar and recent illumination from Sandy et al these spirits are 
communal spirits or wyters formed by magically trained groups of persons 
unified in purpose. This wyter feeds from the magic potential of the group 
(regiment) and acts as a large ghost.

I find it ironic that the Lunars were the first to adopt this Lightbringer 
magic for use in mundane battles on a large scale.

And really wonder why the other Lightbringer magic of summoning kin as 
soldiers (the Luathela scene, the Ring of Orlanth) is not included anywhere.

Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Ygglinga (Preview on Free INT 7)
Date: 27 Jan 94 13:12:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2912

I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing, but:

I'm in the later stages of producing Free INT 7, a Vikings issue (and 
I'm thoroughly late), but I've written something more about Ygg's Isles 
and their inhabitants which might contradict some poeople's ideas.

So while I know that there is no One True Way Glorantha, I'd like to 
know whether this finds consensus or vivid abhorrence. Please correct 
me where I'm wrong.

The whole thing is based upon the article about the Wolf Pirates in 
Tales 10.


Ygg's Isles came into Glorantha when the Chaosium house campaign 
playtested the Vikings Box and the Gloranthan characters be kept. 
That's why the Vikings Box gives a lot of ingformation on this part of 

Vice versa one can take over lots of facts about the historical Vikings 
and settle these on Glorantha. My impression of Yggs Isles looks 
something like this:

Life on the Isles is similar to that of Ottar, the north-Norwegian 
chieftain who served with Kig Alfred of Wessex for a winter and whose 
travels are reported in the old English Orosius text [another article 
in Free INT]. In a harsh lanscape people make a living from fishing, 
seal hunting and a bit whaling, and in addition as much agriculture as 
possible under the conditions.

Like the Vikings in northern Norway the Ygglinga [I prefer this to 
"Yggites"] settle mainly along the coasts. The inand is left to the 
wild grazing herds, and the Winterwood Forest in the continental 
hinterland is left to the elves. Apart from these two peoples, there 
are merchants and soldiers from Loskalm present, who behave much like 
the German Hanse did in Bergen, and there are nomadic primitive 
hunters, Hsunchen of the Uncoling and Pralori nations, plus maybe some 
stray Telmori or Rathori.

The Hsunchen migrate following the pattern set out by the herds they 
hunt, and in winter camp close to the coast to hunt and fish, in summer 
treck into the inland after the migrating herds. Quite probably some of 
them (e.g. the Pralori, who like their totemic animal, the elk, ought 
to be capable swimmers, and possibly adept boat builders as well) 
inhabit the inland of the larger of Yggs Isles as well. The Uncolings 
follow the herds of reindeer up to the edge of Valind's glacier into 
the taiga of northern Winterwood and the Tundra beyond, where they have 
to compete with the trolls from the glacier.

As the capable hunters and crafters they are they produce pelts and 
other animal products in excess which they trade withttheir more 
civilized neighbours for metal tools and agricultural produce.

The Ygglinga inhabiting these coasts are the natural trade partners for 
the Hsunchen. Ygg's people are sufficiently adept at metalworking and 
other sedentary trades to be the main suppliers for these hunters. 
Coexistence won't be peaceful all the time, but their mutual interest 
in trade will help to get both sides to cooperate. It is quite possible 
that the Ygglinga of the northernmos islands (with the worst 
agriculture) impose similar taxes on the Hsunchen as Ottar did from the 
Finns, and that they mediate as traders to barter them with the 
Loskalmi for Grain and other goods from civilisation.

The relations between Ygglinga and elves is similar, only in this case 
the Ygglinga are the ones who have to pay tribute. This tribute would 
probably consist of metal tools (again), which they can produce more 
conveniently than the fire-hating Aldryami, and of walrus-ivory, 
whalebone and other sea products which might be of interest to the 
Winterwood Aldryami (mother of perl, clam shells, corals...)
The situation reminds to the Icelendic settlers who had to import all 
timber from Norway and later from Vinland and Markland in 
North-America. In quite a lot of sagas settlers from Iceland crossed 
the Atlantic to Norway and entered the service of some king or jarl in 
exchange for lumber rights on his lands. On Ygg's isles, they pay gifts 
to the Aldryami to get lumber rights and other plant products (probably 
hay and leaves as winter forage for the stabled cattle and sheep).
The merchants from Loskalm had entered this latter trade, when their 
growing fleet and building business after the Thaw caused greater 
demand of prime timber. In earlier times the small quantities of excess 
timber the Ygglinga brought from Winterwood was sufficient to fulfil 
their needs, but with the sudden Opening of the Oceans trhey wanted 
more than the Ygglinga were willing to give. Because of that they sent 
their young fleet to the Isles as soon as possible after the Opening, 
to establish their trade post there. When the Ygglinga started to build 
their own fleet the merchant guilds (not dissimilar to the German 
Hanse) succeded in having the kingdom deny them shipping and port 
privileges, and only with help of the pressure the newly reappeared 
Vadeli the Ygglinga received limited privileges. When the main Vadeli 
strength was destroyed at Oenriko Rock and Vadeli influence dwindled, 
these privileges were revoked.
Besides the timber the Loskalmi merchants transported also the pelts 
traded from the Hsunchen hunters, and dried fish for the fasting period 
of the Hrestoli church of Loskalm [a wild guess...]. While the timber 
was important militarily and politically, these other wares were of 
mainly commercial interest, and for the merchants as much an incentive 
to keep a foothold on the Isles as the timber from Winterwood..

The joined uprising of Ygglinga and Aldryami was a severe setback for 
the merchants, bt only a minor incident for the Loskalmi navy. The nvy 
displayed its strength and occupied Vendreog, an Island which held a 
traditional Ygglinga Thing-place where Ygg himself could be consulted 
in trials. They raised a fortress they called Coldfort overlooking a 
bay which traditionally was used as anchorage and landing for boats 
coming to Thing. The merchants followed and built a quay and 
storehouses opposite of the fortress. After some time, a mixed 
settlement gathered between fort and quay.

From the beginning quay and fort were prohibited area to Ygglinga. But 
the Loskalmi stationed here dd not have a convenient life. In the fort 
the presence of women, be they local or Loskalmi, was forbidden, and 
after some excesses between the soldiers and the comparatively 
luxurious living merchants and assistants the quay area was set up 
under similarly monastic rules.

The wisdom in this was revealed after the defeat the Loskalmi navy 
suffered from Orstando before he escaped south. Local Ygglinga who had 
received word of the battle in the Brithos Fog from the sea people 
gathered to take either of the Loskalmi settlements, but were keptout 
without too much effort, and scattered when the tattered remains of the 
navy returned.

After Orstando had led the most rebellious elements of the Ygglinga 
abroad, the relations between Loskalmi merchants and native Ygglinga 
grew somewhat less cool. Trade with Loskalm and the civilised world 
thrived, and some merchants who had learned to cope with the climate 
settled there on a permanent base. A church to the Invisible God 
completed the triangle of official Loskalmi buildings, and even some 
Ygglinga went to service there. Others erected, in reply, a permanent 
temple to Ygg and the other deities of the islands around the old Thing 
rock. This temple grew popular among the Ygglinga and led to increased 
settlement of Ygglinga in the town, too.

Apart from erecting the church and allowing natives into the services, 
teh Hrestoli Church has taken no steps to proslytize among the Ygglinga 
yet, mostly because the merchants did not want to endanger their 
profits in religious warfare. Should the merchants' influence on church 
politics lose its grip, the small Loskami colony faces hard times.


I tried to make Coldfort look a bit like Bergen in Norway. The quay is 
almost directly taken from "Bryggen", the Hanse quay with its 
storehouses and almost monastic cells for the merchants and dock hands. 
The "no women allowed" policy stems from there, too.

Is this still Glorantha, or is this just Alternate Earth?

--  Joerg Baumgartner