Bell Digest v940904p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sun, 04 Sep 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: (John Strauss)
Subject: eating marsh mallows
Message-ID: <199409031352.JAA16595@Hopper.itc.Virginia.EDU>
Date: 3 Sep 94 05:52:21 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6024

Paul Reilly gives his view on how Morokanth compensate for the lack
of missile cavalry.

Good stuff, Paul. I am filing this stuff away along with a couple
fo other comments on this thread. But I have reservations about one
factor you proposed:

>5. They like marshy ground and wetland plants, and go down near
>the coastal flats, the Fever Trees, the Devil's Marsh, the Krjalki
>Bog, etc.  They are immune to several human diseases (Yellow fever
>equivalent?) that make such places distinctly unhealthy for
>humans, and they like to eat some plants that humans can't live
>on.  In short, they have a different niche from Praxian humans.

Number one: There are more than one models of gloranthan disease
running around right now and I won't go into it here. But no matter
what model you use, either the Morokanth or their herd and slaves
will be subject to the same diseases as their opponents.

Number two: A central mythical theme of the Waha tribes states that
the Morokanth are in the SAME subsistance niche as humans. If a
human can eat it, so can a Morokanth and vice versa. They are
competing for herd grazing and meat, the same niche, and that is
why the issue of combat comes up in the first place.

Maybe this can be fudged a bit. Maybe they are different from a
terrain perspective. As you pointed out, they have good night
vision, can dig quickly, we might add swimming or marsh wading to
that. But be careful about the food business.

If you have already established in your game that the Morokanth eat
marsh foods or some such, you might shift that to the idea that the
Morokanth have some secret knowledge about foods that the other
tribes THINK are poisonous. The terrestrial example would be the
tomato, which was considered poisonous by europeans for some time.
(My wife STILL thinks so. ;>  )

This leads me to a second food issue. Does anyone know if the
*herds* can subsist in those marshes? Is there fodder suitable for
herdmen or bison?

>Our Morokanth Khans keep prize fighting bulls and when two
>Morokanth tribes meet there is often a boxing match.

That gives me a subplot idea. Thanks.

John Strauss


Subject: potshots, not contributions
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Sep 94 15:55:40 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6025

Alex fumbles his Animal Lore roll in reply to Joerg's statement--
>> What I mean is that the beasts of Ygg's isles are the 
>>subarctic species of large deer with spoon-like antlers a
>>sub-average-sized man can walk under. 
>Is this plausible for a bunch of small, isolated islands?  Not
>many Alces alces on the shetlands, are there? 

Gigantism is common on islands.  Dunno anything about the
Shetlands--maybe the first settlers wiped out any gigantic fauna,
as the Maori did to the Moa.  

Paul Heinz: thanks for the Varmandi story.  More, please. 
(Players in my game should be warned that if combat does occur,
it's likely to be as nasty as in Paul's game.)

T.J. Minas (do your friends call you Tirith?), in an otherwise
commonsensical bit about thieves, talked about Thieves' Guilds. 
This phrase always causes me to scream.  Lhankmar is a bizarre,
ancient place, where even the thieves are organized.  Elsewhere,
you could have dens, gangs, or families of thieves, but the use
of the word "guild" could only be ironic, and even then it's only
appropriate in places with proper guilds, such as, say, Seshnela. 
Elsewhere, there might be primitive trade organizations (for
above ground trades), but guild doesn't have those connotations. 
"Thieves' Guild" makes me think "Local 1104, AFL-CIO."  

Alex moans:
>Bryan J. Maloney asserts: 
>> First, Bless Earth is necessary to merely get a "normal" crop
>>in Genertela. 
>Does anyone have a source for the "Truth" of this?  

At the Gloranthan lore auction, Greg and Sandy said something
pretty close to this.  Check page 60 of the RuneQuest-Con
Compendium.  I thought there was something specifically on Bless
Crops, but couldn't find it.

>> In Pameltela, since the Father of the Land still lives, things
>>are naturally fertile, and Bless Earth gives you an excessive
>This would seem more likely if either: Pameltela actually _was_
>more fertile than Genertela; ...

It is.  See same citation, above.

Was there a part 2 to Friday's Daily?  Part 1 was fairly late in
coming, and it's not-unheard-of for parts to be two or three days
late, but I thought I'd ask, as it's also not-unheard-of for
parts not to show up at all.  



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Renewing Rune Spells
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Sep 94 18:35:58 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6026

Tim Minas:
> On Alex Ferguson's point re the ability to get a spell from a
> temple if you conduct some unknown locally ceremony to regain (eg)
> a Sever Spirit from a Shrine. Two points: a) It should be at a
> pretty big penalty;

Two days of having to make INTx3% rolls per melee round would qualify,
I should think, in the instance Greg cited, of doing it where the locals
were of a totally different aspect, and were hostile to the process.

I don't see there being a _huge_ problem where it's simply a case of
which spells a particular temple "stocks", for example, if an Orlanth
Thunderous Priest wants to renew Cloud Call at an Orlanth Adventurous
temple that doesn't provide it, if you have the manpower and knowhow to
do the appropriate ritual.  (Big if.)  I think it's wrong to think of
spells being "hardwired" into particular sites.  Whether temple _size_
as such is a particular handicap over and above this I'm not sure.
It's somewhat hard to assess a specific penalty under the current
rules, which abstract the process so much that there's not even a
ceremony roll involved.

> and b) Subcult/Associate deity spells should
> NEVER be available from a shrine that doesn't actually provide
> the spell.

I fail to see why ever not.  Assuming that by "available", you mean
"possible to renew by some means", and not just "renewed while you wait".

Of course, to renew an associate's spell, you at least need a shrine or
temple _to that god_...  If you're an Orlanthi wanting to renew Lock, you'll
need an Issaries shrine or temple, not an Orlanth temple with no Issaries

This is all somewhat hypothetical in regards actual play, I think, unless
your PCs constitute some sizeable chunk of a temple contingent.



From: (Nick Eden)
Subject: Here comes the rain again
Date: 3 Sep 94 19:57:25 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6027

In-Reply-To: <9409030715.AA24642@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>
Alex Writes:
"If there's a problem with the flood myth, it might be that the Terran
analogue is very familiar, if not overly so, to all us (lapsed or 
otherwise) Judeo-Christian tradition types."
And its worth remembering that the flood myth turns up everywhere. Its 
there in the Judeo-Christian bible, but it also appears in Babylonian 
myths (runic source?) Greek myths and even the Viking mythology. Of 
course by the time the Viking myths were written down they were all 
Christians, but the idea of the Earth being covered by the sea is very 
widespread. it's probably there in Egyptian as well, but they have some 
different ideas about floods (live giving instead of destroying).

Now if I was a Cambell or Jung actolyte I would start saying that there 
is something fundemental about the idea of a world destroying flood that 
resonates with a part of the human psyche, which would explain why they'd 
appear in all those ancient cultures and in Glorantha as well, since 
Glorantha is still human mythology, just mythology that no-one beleived 
in until 1966. Fortuneately I'm not a Jung or Cambell acolyte. but I know 
a man who is....


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Vinga and cult write-ups
Date: 3 Sep 94 22:02:50 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6029

Duncan Hedderley in X-RQ-ID: 6007

> First, a disclaimer: I'm coming back to RQ after about 10 years away (or at
> least only in infrequent contact), so my opinions might be tinged with nostalgia
> or convenient forgetfulness. However...

Doesn't look like that. In fact, your views about diversity might be too 
modern for some of the later initiates to RQ.

>   All this cult discussion (eg the Vinga thread) seems a bit too PRECISE for my
> taste.

I don't know whether to agree or not. With the myths, I always want a 
one true version for myself, and a malleable basic set to adapt for all 
the local variations.

> We're talking about myths and symbols here, and all this highfalutin'
> theology takes the magic and mystery away. Detailed delineations of the subcults
> and lesser gods in a pantheon might be appropriate for the more regulated/
> sophisticated cultures, but out in Dragon Pass/Prax I wouldn't be surprised
> if I rode into a village and found they were interpreting Vinga or the Garzeen
> aspect of Issaries completely differently

This is our inheritance from Cults of Prax, I'm afraid. CoP did the 
marvelous job of explaining both the local phenomena and some world-wide 
effects of the cults, in much more detail than we do now for Vinga, but 
it failed to say which bits were open to variation.

Also (Alex, reply in private, if at all!) the apparent fixation to one 
deity per cult seems to stem from this supplement. This parallel 
monotheism which resulted already contradicted Nomad Gods, with all 
the documented incidental worship and exchange of magic with whatever 
deity was available.

The tendency to blame the fixed and uniform cult structure of CoP (and 
even RQ3) on the God Learners is just an attempt to incorporate this 
rules construct into the world. IMO it is misplaced for Prax, a God 
Learner forgotten place if there are any.

Prax IMO isn't what the GLs called "theist" anyway, it verges between 
naturalism and theism, in their nomenclature. So does most of the rural 
theist populace, to a lesser extent - the presence of hags or shaman 
hedge-wizards all over Sartar, and the acknowledgement of local spirits 
like the Lady of the Wild or Tarndisi in Dragon Pass isn't really theist. 
The theist society as described by the GLs was perhaps the Holy Country, 
especially Caladraland and Esrolia, and (although they never really 
visited it) Dara Happa, although the latter (and a lot of Peloria) has 
mystic tendencies - Nysalor, Red Goddess and Dayzatar, plus the surge 
of mysticism during the EWF.

> Niche
> cults like Lanbril seem a bit unlikely (especially since RQ 3 tightened up
> the requirements for recovering runemagic - somehow the idea of a Lanbril
> temple, and high holy days seems dafter than moose to me)

Niche cults survive by using niche cult mechanics. Eurmal is exempted 
from any temple size strictures, Chalana Arroy, Malia, Thanatar and 
Krarsht cheat by including cult spirits (as does Daka Fal), other cults 
like Black Fang simply ignore the word "theist" and do it the shamanic 
way only, taking the (Genertelan, or Theyalan-influenced) naturalist way.

One of the most sensible changes the RQ4:AiG draft made was to soften up 
the temple size rules and make them dependant on fervour as well (and 
reducing the minimum numbers to about half of the RQ3 rules).

>   Maybe I'm on entirely the wrong track here; maybe in a world like Glorantha
> priests CAN just pray to one of their pantheon and get the inside story on
> whether Vinga is Orlanth's sister (older or younger) or daughter,

I think this is not the case. IMO Divination will yield only the personal 
(and thereby cultural) opinion of the caster, the deity seems to operate 
on the basis "if you feel you're in the right, so be it". (Don't howl, 

> and whether
> it's more appropriate that you throw great parties or gather in the harvest
> to honour her

Once again, what feels right probably is, although in this case the reply 
is easier: do what the deity does in the myths you know.

As to Vinga's identity: If you try to apply linguistics, Vinga seems 
to be a likely candidate to be the (twin?) sister of Vingkot, and thereby 
a daughter of Orlanth (but not necessarily of Ernalda, although for sake 
of a peaceful hearth most myths assume she is).

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Ygg's Isles and antlered beasts
Date: 3 Sep 94 22:02:37 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6030

and another things Alex aims at me:

Re: Thaw of Jonatela
X-RQ-ID: 6018

J>> Something along that line. Eastpoint was the first city to have outside 
J>> contact (the Lunar moon-boat expedition of 1589, see Jar-eel, p.34). 
J>> [...]

A> Yeah, but there seems no direct Lunar agency in the thawing of Timms.  I'm
A> not quite sure if you having reason to suppose there is, or you're just
A> blaming them indirectly.

Not exactly blaming, rather applauding. The Thaw seems to spread from 
places which have reestablished contact to the outside, like Loskalm 
(Dormal) and Eastpoint (the Lunars). The boat-people started to spread 
it further, but the Lunars started the whole thing in the east. If the 
Thaw had been induced from Loskalm only, I estimate that the Arrolian 
territories would thaw by about 1627, not 1589.

Re: Red-shifted deer.
X-RQ-ID: 6019

> Joerg:
>> If this (and your cthulhuid story) is the case, I don't think we have 
>> this beast over here in Germany. True, the red deer does something 
>> which is described (in German) as "roehren", which seems to be somewhat 
>> diminutive for "to roar", but while looking somewhat royal, the red deer 
>> is too skittish to be considered majestic.

> I knew Joerg and I had agreed too long on this thread:

Look forward to our next meeting - this time archery. You had your 
chance in the contest of swords (well, clubs).

> the Monarch of the Glen, not majestic?

Most of all, we lack the scenery here on the Cimbrian peninsula to 
make him look majestic. Routinely entering the woods with bow and arrow 
(for archery tournaments only, hunting must be done with firearms in 
Germany) makes one think of it as prey rather than as a monarch, too.

> Maybe the Teutonic types have some other species too,
> C. scitticus. ;-)  Granted, they don't go around charging emplaced artillery
> positions, but maybe that just makes them non-stupid.  Well, not all _that_
> stupid.

While the antlers may look impressive, around here the poor beasts live 
off cultural land rather than wilderness. As a result, they look (and 
probably feel) out of place. And a Dachshound is enough to send them 

>> What I mean is that the beasts of Ygg's isles are the subarctic species 
>> of large deer with spoon-like antlers a sub-average-sized man can walk 
>> under.

> Is this plausible for a bunch of small, isolated islands?  Not many Alces
> alces on the shetlands, are there?

Ygg's Isles aren't that isolated. Think of the hebrides (inner and outer), 
or rather of Tromsoe and Lofoten. The Norwegian isles have regular visits 
from continental elks (sic), which wouldn't cross the Westfjord, but 
have no problems the minor sunds or fjords. I wouldn't put it past an 
elk to cross the Ofot-Fjord (near Narvik).

--  Joerg Baumgartner


Subject: campaign with Kallyr Starbrow
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Sep 94 23:06:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6031

I'm starting a Fantasy Hero campaign (my gaming group isn't
interested in RQ) in Glorantha.  Since most of the players
have never heard of Glorantha I'm forcing them to be young
Orlanthi humans from the same village near Boldhome.
I thought of making them childhood friends and companions 
of Kallyr Starbrow , who I will run as a NPC.  Is there any
other information about Kallyr in other books besides KoS?
Where did she get the name of Starbrow?   When was she born?
I was thinking of starting when she is 14-16 years old.
    Needless to say (but I'm saying it anyway), I hope my
campaign doesn't come to a bad ending.  Then again, page 212
of KoS has her living until 1630 instead of getting killed
in 1626.  Any ideas on what is most likely correct in the
"official" timeline?



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: More on the Lands of the clans of the Colymar.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 3 Sep 94 23:39:06 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6032

You may recall I was trying to locate the territories of the various
clans of the Colmar tribe some time ago.  Due to the kind offices of Greg,
Nick, and Sam (the One True's, in each case, natch), I've been able to
find 'em all, so here are all the answers that you lot had better not know,
after failing to tell me last time. ;-)


Talar -- this seems to be a destroyed village, and/or a battlesite, and is
about two miles up the Swan from Runegate, south of the river.

Arfritha Vale -- the Arfritha is _not_ a tributary of the Swan, but the
southernmost one of the Creek, running through the Thunder Hills, from
Fairjowl, and past Redbird.

Now the actual clans:

Narri lands: region north of and round Stael's Hills, up to the Creek.
The reference in KoS to the Stream, regarding the "fish marriage", is
seemingly mistaken, and should refer to the Creek.

Lonisi/Taraling: region east of Runegate, north of the Swan River, and south
of Stael's Hills, and a smaller area south of the Swan.

Enhyl: lies round Ostor Colymar, from the Upland Marsh, to the back of the
Upper Starfire ridge.

Varmandi:  Tarkalor's keep, south to the Swan, east to the Rainbow Mounds.

Hiording lands: south of the upper Swan River round about Swan, between
the Starfire Ridges and the Thunder Hills.

Orlmarth:  Starfire Ridges, and the area back to the road south of the Upper

Arnoring:  Old Tower, and the "corner" between the road and the Stream.

Ernaldor: North of the Stream, including Clearwine, and the lower Nymie

Anmangarn: area around Tarndisi's Grove, between the Starfire Ridges and
the Thunder Hills.

Konthasos: The valley to the northeast of Clearwine.

Enjossi: From the Seven Falls (the rapids between Clearwine and Richberry(?) Vale), to the area round the north-eastern limb of the Stream.

The Thunder Hills were reoccuppied after the exterminations by the Tree
Triarty: the Antorling, the Lysang, and the Namolding.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Put the Moose topic in the Red Data Book.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 4 Sep 94 02:21:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6033

> Alex:
> >Joerg and I can both claim to have cohabited, country-wise, with  
> >_Alces alces_
> 	really? What country? I know there's none in Scotland or  
> mainland Germany. 

Sweden.  (In my case, at least.)  Not that downtown Go:teborg is a major
migration route, exactly.

> >But _Cervus canadensis_ isn't _that_ much bigger, is it?  

> 	1) it's not universally agreed to be a separate species from  
> C. elaphus.

I've only seen one source that says any different (though others mention
the same-species as an Opposing Theory).  At any rate, referring to
wapiti as C. elaphus, without (sub)species distinction, when speaking
_exclusively_ about them (e.g. how little we europeans evidently know
about them) is non-useful.

I've also seen a reference which claims moose are a distinct species
from the (eurasian) elk, come to that, which I feel I should mention in
case this raises any qualms about relabelling them all en moose masse.

> Unless stimulated to further action by needling beyond endurance, I  
> plan to cease posting about the great Elk controversy. 

No, no, Great Elk are something _completely_ different, aren't they?