Bell Digest v940414p2

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, Thu, 14 Apr 1994, part 2
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: various
Message-ID: <>
Date: 13 Apr 94 04:43:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3626

I said:
> Vithela is where the spirits wait. When the Emperor Passes  

> On, the spirits go to the next stage of existence. This place is  

> unattainable and unvisitable by normal Gloranthan abilities,  

> including Heroquesting. Perhaps it is Solace in Glory?

Joerg B. replies:
>You write that Vithela is unattainable and unvisitable. What hapens  
>if a ship is approaching the place where Vithela is supposed to be?  
>Another effect like the Syndics' Ban, or Brithos disappearance?
	No no, Joerg, you misunderstood my previous statement.  
VITHELA is not unattainable. The NEXT STAGE OF EXISTENCE is  
unattainable. To clarify: if the Kralori are right, when one dies,  
his spirit goes to Vithela. Then, many years later, when the Emperor  
dies, both the Emperor, and the spirits in Vithela pack their bags  
and travel on to the Next Stage, whatever that is. I'm sure that next  
stage has a name to the Kralori, but it might be too sacred to  

	It's perfectly possible to approach Vithela, and even land on  
the shores. However, no one does it, because "no one" who does so  
ever leaves again. I'm sure there's heroes, etc. who are able to  

	The East Islanders say that the reason no one ever leaves  
Vithela once they go there is because it is so utterly pleasant that  
you can't stand to leave. So why don't they all sail there at once?  
Two reasons: 

	Reason Numba One: fear. What if the going belief is wrong?  
Are you sure enough about the afterlife to go to Vithela?
	Reason Numba Two: It is widely known that you can only ever  
go to Vithela once. Even the heroes who go there and return can't go  
back again (maybe a superhero or god could, tho). Some priests say  
that if you go to Vithela when you're still alive, then when you die  
(still living in Vithela, supposedly), you've got to go somewhere  
else, and don't get to be in Vithela anymore. Heaven only knows where  
that somewhere else is, but it might be somewhere terrible, like the  
dreadful under-earth Earth Heaven, or Yelm's ever-wandering entourage  
that goes to Hell EVERY NIGHT! Or Orlanth's sordid never-ending orgy  
and feast. Better to wait for Vithela. 

Speaking about Cult exclusivity:
>[protestants] _are_ exclusive even against similar faiths, like  
>Jehova's witnesses, certain other sects wearing the label christian,  
>and generally avoid contact with the other major christian faiths,  
>Roman Catholics or Orthodox. 

	Yes, but to carry the parallel further than is accurate for  
Glorantha, think of "Protestantism" as "Theyalan", think of the  
Jehova's Witnesses as fringe sects like Eurmal or Molanni. Then think  
of the Catholics as Lunars or other non-Theyalans. 

Alex Ferguson says, in reference to the cult network of Pamaltela:
>This doesn't sound different from say, Yelm or Orlanth.  Do other  
>cults tend to have associates that their Genertelan analogues  
	It's more like the Eiritha cult network which is only  
available at the Paps -- all sorts of little bitty "associates" or  
subcults who have no real worshipers (except as Horned God worship)  
but provide magic to the various important cults.

>Cronisper has always sounded Dayzatarish to me.  Did the God  
>Learners make this correspondance?
	The Six Legged Empire found a parallel between Cronisper and  
Dayzatar (and Ty Kora Tek, and Drospoly), but he is not a  
Dayzatar-equivalent. For one thing, he is not a solar cult, which  
would have mattered a lot to the God Learners. 

Why is Duala = Voria, you ask? Because the God Learners made the  

>Perhaps [Babeester Gor/Hondori Mal] isn't female-only in Pamaltela. 

	Perhaps so. But I bet male worshipers have to become  
Contraries or something else dreadful. 

>I don't think Mastakos is `obscure', he just happens to be a de  
>facto Orlanth subcult. 

	Point taken. Still, Jmijie is more-worshiped than Mastakos.  
Not only is Jmijie an associate of the King of the Gods (like  
Mastakos), but he also has his own strong and healthy cult (unlike  
Mastakos). This assumes, of course, that Jmijie isn't just Mastakos  
in disguise, a plausible tenet. 

>How close is [Noruma] to Horned Man?
	The Doraddi know all about the Horned Man. The Horned Man  
creates shamans. Noruma trains and teaches them. He has spells and  
skills useful to shamans and other magic-type people. The Doraddi  
consider Noruma and the Horned Man to be entirely different entities.  
Horned Man is more important cosmically, but Noruma is often of  
immediate value. 

Paul Reilly sez: 

>I hate to take issue with Sandy, but:  Have you checked out a prison
>lately?  I have friends in prison, and intra-group rape DOES seem to
>be a way to express dominance among human males
	I have had friends in prison myself, and I disagree with this  
statement. I think that rape among humans expresses hostility, not  
dominance. Among animals that perform dominance "rape" (at least  
mounting), the animals are able to maintain a friendly relationship  
with one another. The lower-ranked animal sometimes even invites the  
superior to mount, to demonstrate friendliness and subservience. This  
is NOT the case among humans. 

Sandy said: 

>Most faiths on Earth proclaim similar acts as "good", from Muslim to  

Paul retorts:
>Like when Yahweh orders the Jews to kill all the Canaanites in a  
>town, sparing neither the women and children nor the domestic  
>Or when the Moslems exploded across the world, killing any (apart, 

>theoretically, from Peoples of the Book) who would not convert?

Let's not start a pro/anti-religion thread in the Daily, huh?
	In any case, your examples are pitifully bad. When's the last  
time the Jews killed all the population of a town? And though lots of  
guys were killed by the Moslems, they did not kill everyone who  
failed to convert, though non-Moslems had to pay extra taxes. 

	The same Yahweh ordered "Thou Shalt Not Kill", with  
absolutely no weasel words restricting such murder to within the  
group. The Koran has similar rulings, as do other groups. 

	In both cases, the orders to "kill all of 'em" came direct  
from God. Obviously you've got to do what God orders you to do, on  
Earth or in Glorantha. 

	Pointing out lapses and horrors in various religions does not  
remove the fact that everyone who believes in the Bible believes that  
murder, theft, adultery, lying, and cheating are Wrong. Nobody  
rational who believes in it, whether or not they approve of the  
hard-to-explain-away Canaanite massacre, thinks this gives them carte  
blanche to wipe out cities full of unbelievers. Similar arguments can  
be made for other religions. 

	I consider this thread closed unless you can find me an  
example of a large-scale religion that thinks it's good to rob and  
kill on an everyday basis, w/o special permission from God. 

>Sorry to disagree with Sandy on a couple of points, makes me suspect
>I'm doing something wrong
Darn right. Get with the program here. ;)

Pam Carlson sensibly comments:
>It strikes me that people mainly fear sorcerers  because they  
>represent frightening power with no discernable alliegence or  
	I think this is very true, especially for theists. Also let's  
consider that the average sorcerers found living near theists are the  
rejects and outcasts of the Malkioni community. Wizards who are  
integrated into society aren't out in the hinterlands lurking in  
spooky Dark Towers.
	I suppose there are Wizards who ARE part of Malkioni society,  
but whose job is to subjugate or combat the theists. These guys are  
clearly no more acceptable than the guy in the spooky tower. 

	In any case, the majority of sorcerers that would be met by a  
theist would be weirdos or hired thugs. Not a comforting crew. 

	To continue along this line of reasoning, I do NOT think it  
applies to Lunar sorcerers, whom I believe are mostly Bad Guys (this  
despite the fact that I am, in general, a Lunar simp). First off, the  
basic culture of Peloria is a theistic one. Hence, someone who  
becomes a sorcerer and thus abandons his Solar roots is almost  
certainly doing so for selfish, power-gaining reasons, rather than to  
Serve The Invisible God, as among the Malkioni. Second, the  
exceptions to this, wizards from the sorcery-using culture of the  
Carmanians, are Bad Guys anyway, because the Carmanians in general  
are not very nice people. Third, Lunar sorcerers tend to be dabblers  
in Chaos. And yes, Examiner, I know it's possible to deal with Chaos  
safely if you're a Trained Professional. But even so, these sorcerers  
must go rotten with some frequency. The end result: the stereotypic  
Lunar sorcerer is a friendless, cold-blooded, sociopath using  
unnatural chaos powers. I suspect most Lunars dislike these guys, let  
alone Theyalans. 

I believe that Borists raise and breed chaotics for Tap fodder.  
Probably cooperate with them, too. 


Subject: Female Broos & Hyenas ?
Message-ID: <9404130345.AA14529@itgmsm>
Date: 13 Apr 94 03:42:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3627

I thought I'd add a final bit of obscure but perhaps crucial trivia
to the female broo discussion.

Perhaps female broos are like hyenas.

Dominant female hyenas (they live in packs led by a matriarch) have
elevated levels of male sex hormones, with peculiar results.

The first is that their offspring, inheriting these high hormone
levels, are extremely aggressive and will attempt to kill thier
siblings within minutes of birth.

The more pertinent factoid is that such female hyenas have huge
clitorises that cannot be distinguished except at very close range
from penises.

I kid you not. Most people would think a hyena matriarch was male.

A similar explanation may explain why people think there are no
broo females.

Jeff Johnson


From: SMITHH@A1.MGH.HARVARD.EDU (Harald Smith 617 726-2172)
Subject: games
Date: 13 Apr 94 13:02:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3628

          Hello Everyone--
          It's been a busy week out on the daily and I'm now half a week 
          behind.  Have to catch up this weekend.  In the interim, since 
          there have been a number of comments on games (and also feeling 
          that I should offer up something after suggesting we build games 
          from a Gloranthan base), I'm offering up the Imtherian game of 
          Truetoss comes from the Southlands of Imther, an area heavily 
          dominated by apple orchards (for those who like to picture areas 
          based on earth equivalents, think of the rolling hills of Vermont 
          or the hilly areas of western Wisconsin).  The game originated 
          with children trying to toss gathered apples into baskets from a 
          Truetoss is played with two teams of 2-5 players on each side (5 
          is preferred, though rare in the country except at festival time, 
          as it produces 10 individuals participating--mythologically 
          significant as much of the culture is solar-derived, though most 
          children playing would not tell you that).
          Truetoss uses a hand-sized ball.  The ball is stitched leather 
          and filled with grass, leaves, or twine, often weighted with a 
          small stone.  It is not uncommon for the ball to break apart 
          during play (or at least lose some of its stuffing).  Note that 
          feathers are not used as a rule as they are considered valuable 
          by families.  The ball is called the Orb (natural for a Yelmalian 
          Each player uses a one-handed forked stick called a Truthstick.  
          It is basically Y-shaped (also appropriate for a Yelmalian 
          culture) though the area between the Y is laced with gut string.  
          Often the Truthstick is a crude branch, though some people spend 
          time carving more effective sticks.
          The game is played upon any field that the contestants agree to.  
          It might be bounded by four trees (or in the city of Hortugarth 
          where they play in city alleys, it is bounded by the alley walls) 
          or by field stones, etc.  There are two ends and two sides.  At 
          the center of each end sits a tilted basket, called Home.  The 
          goal is to toss the Orb into the basket and have it stay there.  
          This has led to the rise of the slang expression "Bringing the 
          Orb Home"--equivalent to saying that someone made a good point 
          (or scored a solid hit with their weapon, etc.).
          If someone tosses the Orb at the basket and it goes past the 
          basket or bounces back out, the other team gains control of the 
          Orb.  A slang expression "Throwing the Orb Away/Afield" has come 
          from this event--equivalent to saying that someone tossed away an 
          One Kingstep (the Imtherian equivalent of a meter) to either side 
          of the basket are two posts called Kingsposts.  When one team has 
          thrown the Orb away and the other brings it back in, it does so 
          between the Kingsposts.
          The Orb is moved in one of two ways.  It may be tossed by hand 
          from one person to another.  A person cannot move when the Orb is 
          in their bare hand--they can only toss it.  It may be tossed and 
          caught in a Truthstick.  Depending on the community, a person 
          with the Orb in a Truthstick may either move 5 or 10 paces before 
          they must toss the Orb or they may move constantly (though they 
          may not come within a Kingstep of the basket).  (This is 
          reflective of the local beliefs in Yelmalio's flight from pursuit 
          after the battles at the Hill of Gold--note that in my version of 
          Imther, Yelmalio is not frozen atop the Hill of Gold, but flees 
          eastward into the Imtherian hills to escape the dark and rally 
          the local populace.)  Players cannot touch each other though they 
          may hit another person's Truthstick with their own to dislodge 
          the Orb.
          Local communities may add on additional rules, but that is the 
          core of the game.  It derives from a common local event (apple 
          picking), utilizes available resources (leather, some sort of 
          soft filling for the ball, branches, and gut string), and aspects 
          of the rules reflect childhood understanding of mythological 
          Now how similar is this to earth games.  Not knowing the rules of 
          lacrosse, I realize there is similarity of equipment.  There are 
          certainly similarities with basketball or American football.  And 
          I suppose there are any number of other games it has similarities 
          to.  But it's an attempt to generate something from a Gloranthan 
          --Harald Smith


Subject: Me and not-me
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 Apr 94 00:56:33 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3629

Joerg attributes comments about conversion to me.  I don't recall
who said them, but it weren't me.  Nice try, pal--tried to pull
one over on me, eh? 

Joerg also says, apropos Humakt in Prax:
"...If the army stayed there, so would have the cult, ..."
     If a frog had wings...
     I dug out the reference I was thinking of, and find that it
refers to the Pol Joni (although they are not named), not the
Pure Horse People.  Mea culpa.  The reference is the Pavis Common
Knowledge book, page 12, where it states "They carried battle
magics, and their magicians worshiped Rune gods, unlike the
shamans of Prax."  This was in the 1420's.
     Of course, this is late Third Age, and the reference is
copyright 1983, so make of it what you will.  I prefer to believe
that the nomad cults developed in complexity from shaman-based to
mobile-temple-based during the Second and Third Age.  

>I don't see the Paps populace as the same nation as the Oasis
people.  >To me they always had been close relatives of the beast
riders, especially  >since the Waha Khans regularly marry Eiritha
priestesses, both of the  >own herd, and of the Paps. Am I
     Well, heck, don't ask me, I'm not official.  I see the Paps
residents as descended from common ancestors with the Oasis
people (and Weis people), speaking much the same language, but
much better off in material and spiritual wealth.  Why?  Because
the nomads' ability to use violence against them is limited. 
There has been some cultural and literal intermarriage between
the Paps residents and Oasis folk, as when Oasis slaves have been
kidnapped at one place and allowed to settle down elsewhere.  A
nomad Khan might ritually marry an Eiritha priestess, thus
confirming her status in the eyes of the nomads--although it's
something I hadn't given any thought to--but he would never
settle down, and she would never leave her home.  So the cultural
gap remains.
     Your point on the trolls gives a REASON for learning cult
magic, but not much of a METHOD.  

Alex `Maybe single quotes work?' Ferguson asks:
>Anyone have good guesses as to which aspects are associated with Bolongo? >
(Or come to that, with Eurmal, or with Rakenveg.  I hereby bet my house >
Firebringer is (most usually) a Eurmal
     Chaosium has an unpublished Eurmal/Trickster write-up that
gives the distributions of the various aspects.  When they said
"well-travelled" in GoG, they meant _really_well_travelled_. 
Some of the aspects are only worshiped in two regions of
Glorantha.  I don't want to get into trouble by saying more, but
maybe Someone In Charge will publish this in some magazine ...
Codex, maybe?
     BTW, all those Pamaltelan cults also exist, though

Re: Population density
     Scientific American had an article some years ago about
population densities in north European cultures before
agriculture, and they were pretty close to the density achieved
in agricultural societies.  That's my model for the Rathori. 
Unfortunately, I don't remember the population/square mile from
the article.  I worked out the density for Heortland and Sartar
once, and recall that Heortland's was about twice that of Sartar,
but don't recall the exact figures.  

David Dunham asks:
>    What's the difference between the Stygian Heresy and the
Henotheistic >Church in Ralios? They're the same thing, depending
on who's doing the >naming, right? 
     Well, you might get a different answer from Nick or someone
else, but my answer appears in the Church History in Codex #2. 
Subscribe today!

"And then I write
By morning, night,
And afternoon,
And pretty soon
My name in Dnepropretrovsk is cursed,
When he finds out I publish first!"
     --Tom Lehrer, "Lobachevsky"



Subject: Two NPC's
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 Apr 94 00:57:33 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3630

Beaver and Butthead
     These are two young broos of an age which corresponds to 14
years in humans.  They are an inseparable pair, despite not
getting along with each other very well.  They are obsessed with
sex, like all broos, but not very experienced or daring (unlike
most broos).  Mention anything vaguely sexual around them, and
they start laughing a peculiar "Heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh-
heh-heh-heh," and saying things like "He said to GET OFF his
horse, get it?"
     Their second favorite thing, after talking about sex, is
watching other broos perform what passes for broo entertainment. 
Although they do not participate, lacking any skill in those
areas, they freely comment upon the performances by saying, "This
sucks," or "Cool."  
     They are also pyromaniacs.
     Their low language skills are due to their feral origin.
Malia initiate
The offspring of a broo-beaver mating, Beaver has a generally
beaveroid body, except for the hands, horns, and (barely) bipedal
posture.  He attacks by biting with his pronounced incisors and
(3 SR later) slapping with his tail.  However, he never fights
unless forced into it, either by being cornered or by being
coerced by a stronger broo.  He carries a spear because stronger
broos make him, but he will drop it and run if he can.
STR  11             Move 4, Swim 3
CON  14             Hit Points 15
SIZ  16             Fatigue 25
INT  9
POW  8
DEX  10
APP  4
Weapon    SR   A%   Damage         P%   Pts
Bite       7   40   1D8  
Tail Slap 10   35   1D4+1
1H Spear   6   25   1D8+1+1D4      19   10
Beaver delivers the tail slap either by turning or by swinging it
up between his legs.  Either way, if it hits, roll 1D10 for hit
Skills: Swim 90%, Speak Chaosspeech 20, Firemaking 75%.
Armor: 1 pt. fur on body, 3 point head.
Spirit Magic (40%): Ignite.
Disease: Carries Blotches and White Eye.  If his bite does
damage, he exposes his victim to both diseases.
Possessions: fire-making equipment, including flint with focus
for Ignite.
Malia initiate
Butthead has a unique chaotic feature, "Reversed Alimentary
Canal, with Complications."  The gods of chaos reversed the
placement of his mouth parts and his hind end.  He eats by
sitting on his food, and his anus is where his mouth should be. 
Where broos normally have cheeks, he has buttocks, and vice
versa.  He attacks by spewing forth excrement in front of him or
by casting spells.  As a last resort, he can head butt, hoping to
impale someone on his forward-pointing horns.  Like Beaver, he is
likely to run away from a fight.  Like Beaver, he carries a spear
for show.
STR  9              Move 4
CON  13             Hit Points 13
SIZ  13             Fatigue 22
INT  8
POW  13
DEX  10
APP  2
Weapon    SR   A%   Damage    P%   Pts       Notes
Spray     3    *    Special                  See below
Head Butt 8    37   1D6                      Can impale
Spear     7    22   1D8       21   10
*The spray of filth goes out 6 meters, and Butthead turns as he
sprays, so as to get everyone in a 90 degree arc.  The filth hits
everyone in range in that arc.  If Butthead successfully casts
his Speedart, the spray does 3 points of damage to a random
location.  The foul stench subtracts 5% from all of a victim's
skills until he or she bathes.  The filth also exposes the person
to The Blotches and Sniffles.  Everyone hit should make a luck
roll (POW x5) where failure indicates Something Worse.  Roll a
missile hit location to find out what the Something is.  Head:
temporarily blinded (1D6 melee rounds); arms: lose grip of
anything held with that arm; chest or abdomen: anything carried
on the body is befouled; legs: slip and fall.
Skills: Speak Chaosspeech 20, Firemaking 75%.
Armor: 3 point head, 1 point soft leather on body.
Spirit Magic (65%): Disruption, Heal 1, Ignite, Speedart.
Disease: Carries Blotches and Sniffles.
Possessions: firemaking equipment (flint has focus for ignite).