From henkl@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM Sat Sep 24 16:56 EDT 1994 Received: from Sun.COM by hops.wharton.upenn.edu with SMTP (126.96.36.199/16.2) id AA254250189; Sat, 24 Sep 1994 16:56:29 -0400 Return-Path:
Received: from snail.Sun.COM (snail.Corp.Sun.COM) by Sun.COM (sun-barr.Sun.COM) id AA09840; Sat, 24 Sep 94 13:55:46 PDT Received: from Holland.Sun.COM (isunnl) by snail.Sun.COM (4.1/SMI-4.1) id AA02505; Sat, 24 Sep 94 13:55:07 PDT Received: from glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM by Holland.Sun.COM (4.1/SMI-4.1e) id AA29867; Sat, 24 Sep 94 22:54:50 +0200 Received: by glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (4.1/SMI-4.1) id AA27063; Sat, 24 Sep 94 22:53:39 +0200 Date: Sat, 24 Sep 94 22:53:39 +0200 Message-Id: <9409242053.AA27063@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM> To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jonas Schiott) Subject: Volume 11, no 3, part 1 of 02: Light of Subere, pt 1 Reply-To: RuneQuest-Digest-Editor@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM Content-Return: Prohibited Precedence: bulk Status: RO THE LIGHT OF SUBERE A storytelling scenario about Life, Glorantha and Everything By Dag Olausson and Jonas Schiott Introduction This scenario is intended to enlighten both the players and their characters (and perhaps the Game Master as well) about the nature of Nysalor's worldview. First, a series of encounters will encourage them to consider moral and philosophical issues. Then, they will meet an NPC who argues eloquently for an illuminated point of view. If the GM can convince the players, we recommend that their characters should also start leaning towards illumination. The scenario is suitable for almost any group of PCs, but works best with a party of native Lightbringers. It takes place in Ralios; specifically Delela and the desolated land of Vustria, and the PCs should for some reason be ready to follow instructions from the Orlanth high priest of the Niltelmor tribe. This is easily accomplished if they are members of the tribe or orlanthi passing through the area. If neither of these conditions are met, the GM must think of some other catch that will make the PCs willing to take the priest's orders. Our inspiration for this scenario comes from a book by Joseph Conrad and a film by Francis Ford Coppola. Synopsis The player characters, who are considered expendable by the High Storm Voice (because they are foreigners or troublemakers or both), are chosen for a (suicidal) mission. They are to eliminate a renegade Wind Lord by the name of Stein. The reasoning behind this mission is unclear, as is the exact nature of Stein's crimes, but off they go anyway. In fact, Stein has been Illuminated. During their journey the party will be exposed to events that are designed to make them unsure of some previously unquestioned beliefs (like "Orlanth represents everything that is good and true", "Chaos is bad, wipe it right out" and so on), and more amenable to Stein's argumentation later on. When they reach their destination they will be taken prisoner, Stein will engage them in philosophical debate for a while and finally let them go. They are then free to take whatever course of action they please. If they have been persuaded to adopt Nysalor's outlook they can either carry out their mission anyway (since nothing really matters, why not?), or run off to become hermits somewhere, or anything in between these extremes. If they have proved to be exceptionally resistant to argument, they will quite naturally rub out Stein and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. That's OK, too. In keeping with the subject matter of this scenario, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to finish it. With the Niltelmor It is near the end of Sea Season. The weather is warm, with plenty of rain. Delela has just recently erupted with greenery again after the barren winter; the whole world seems new and fresh. There is, however, dirty work afoot. The Niltelmor tribe is renowned for its harsh policy towards the wolf-hsunchen, the Telmori. Not only do they defend their own territory and shepherds, they also "engage the enemy offensively". To most people in Delela and the rest of the East Wilds, Telmori are a nuisance and the Niltelmor are vaguely admired for their fight against the werewolves. Of course, very few have any idea of how the war is fought. The party is summoned to meet the high priest in his private quarters, a very large and fine tent outside the Orlanth temple. His name is Beorlak and he asks some brief questions about the character's backgrounds. He then starts to tell them about Stein. "Stein was the perfect Wind Lord before he went mad. He was on a special mission deep inside Vustria, he and his troops were assigned to help stop the Telmori attacks on our settlements in the border areas. But Stein killed the other Orlanthi and started operating on his own, using decidedly unsound methods. He took control over a tribe of feral broos and uses them in a very brutal, but also very effective campaign against the raiding wolfmen. He has also made himself a god to his own 'tribe' - they worship him devoutly. As Stein still prays to Orlanth occasionally, we have picked up some of his statements through Divination. All of them prove him to be absolutely mad. It must be tempting for a lone human among these inferior creatures to become a god. You must terminate his activities, using any means necessary. To help you in your task we will loan you this: it is a Thunderbolt matrix with three charges, they all activate at the same time and strike the same target. Of course, officially this mission doesn't exist." This is mainly true information, with some qualifications: most of Stein's party were killed by Telmori, he only killed the last two himself (arguably in self-defense, they attacked him when he tried to Illuminate them about the need for recruiting broos), and his madness is debatable. The matrix is only usable by someone who as been initiated into the Orlanth cult. When the party agrees to take on the mission, he continues. "Stein is two metres tall and completely bald. He was noted for his mastery of Oratory and the Javelin. For the first part of your journey you will accompany a group of warriors from our tribe, led by a Wind Lord named Slaymor." If the party doesn't come up with any questions quickly, they are led off to meet Slaymor. Beorlak answers any queries in as few words as possible and will under no circumstances whatsoever admit his suspicion that Stein has gone Riddler. He is still trying to find out who is responsible for this turn of events, assuming that the Lord was Illuminated before leaving on his mission. What he doesn't know is that Stein gained his basic insight years ago: the change of worldview since then has been a gradual process. Slaymor will greet them and explain that he and his warriors leave for Vustria tomorrow morning. The PCs are given some rations and a place to sleep in a longhouse. On the way! Slaymor's troop consists of around 30 warriors, all dressed in bronze ringmail. Slaymor himself is protected by a suit of iron chainmail. He knows of the PCs' mission, but his men do not. After three days of marching the party reaches Outmark, the last of the Niltelmor tribe's settlements. They are given some provisions and told of the big happening tonight. There will be a fight between two bulls and a werewolf in the stockade! That night all of the party, the residents of Outmark and some people from the surrounding area gather around the stockade. It is a circular wall of wood poles, approximately 15 metres in diameter, with a gate and a walkboard on the outside. Inside the stockade, a naked human sits with his head between his knees. Then the moon comes out, and it's full. The naked man raises his head and moans - then he howls and starts to change shape into a wolf. The gate is opened and two bulls with Fanaticism and powerful Protection spells cast on them storm in. The audience cheers and the fight is on. Since all of the combatants have excellent defenses, not much blood is spilt. But the audience shouts with joy each time the werewolf is bashed around by the bulls. When the fight starts to wind down because of exhaustion, all spectators who know the Ignite spell (mainly housewifes) are allowed to use it on the wolf. Since there are so many spells and no way to put out the fire (and some undisciplined orlanthi throw in a few Disruptions for good measure), the werewolf dies an agonizing death. After this spectacle, the celebrations last long into the night. Into Vustria Next day, the expedition continues into the wastelands of Vustria. There is not much vegetation here, mostly shrubberies and a kind of short, very tough grass. The landscape is rugged and filled with ravines, small streams and steep hills. The only wildlife the adventurers can see are some big white birds and a kind of earthdigging rodent. The next two days are hard travelling without much distance being covered. Slaymor explains that all of Vustria is like this ever since Arkat - "curse his name" - was here. At times the PCs can feel the earth rumble beneath them and once they witness, off in the distance, a whole hill tumble down. On the evening of the second day, scouts report that they have found some human and wolf tracks further ahead. The tracks led to a cave in a hillside and to avoid detection by the Telmori, the scouts did not investigate any closer. Slaymor declares that an attack will be made at dawn tomorrow, and that the PCs are welcome to take part in it (if they do not, they will be regarded as cowards). The attack begins with 10 warriors circling around the hill to catch anyone trying to escape by some secondary entrance to the cave. The rest of the troop gathers at the foot of the hill, some 500 metres from the cave. Slaymor orders the bagpipers to start playing: "It scares the shit out of them". As the orlanthi march up the slope, the defenders try to organize themselves but have little time to do so. These Telmori are not werewolves, they are "Pure Ones". As there are only four adult humans and five wolves present, and they lack any sort of armour, the fight turns into a massacre. Just as the PCs reach the fighting they see a small girl, maybe 8 years old, push over a large boulder that lands on an orlanthi's head. He dies immediately. If they do nothing about it, she is killed by one of the other warriors. After the battle is over it turns out that this was the only orlanthi casualty. All of the Telmori (including 7 children) were slaughtered. The Niltelmor warrior is burnt and his ashes spread to the winds. Slaymor can explain that this is what is meant by "engaging the enemy offensively", and that the only good Telmori is a dead Telmori. If the PCs protest about having the children killed, Slaymor argues that it saves the trouble of killing them when they have grown up - it is much easier to do it now. Besides, all Telmori are Chaos, haven't their priests taught them that? The journey continues on the following day. Before midday, three humans in rags are spotted, fleeing from the party. They are on the other side of a ravine and the orlanthi's bows are unstrung. Slaymor raises his spear and casts three Lightning spells in quick succession. The fleeing men all fall down and are taken prisoner. Sniffing the air, Slaymor exclaims "I love the smell of ozone in the morning! Now we will make our little expedition a profitable one." After another two hour's march, a very high and smooth standing stone is reached. Slaymor places his hands on the stone and concentrates for a while, then he proclaims that the party will rest here for some time. As evening starts to fall, a group of twelve dragonewts approaches. They stop 200 metres off and send a small one forward. Slaymor speaks to it, whereupon they go over to the prisoners and the dragonewt starts feeling their legs and arms. Now the PCs can hear it say "Good flesssh, good flesssh". The dragonewt gives some dragonbone to Slaymor and departs with the prisoners. Next morning the PCs are taken up on a hilltop by Slaymor, where he shows them the land towards the north. They can see fog or smoke rising from the ground, covering a vast area. "Stein has his base somewhere north of the Fogland. This is as far as we were ordered to escort you. We will head eastward now, so our paths must divide. I wish you good luck with your task. You will need it to succeed where Colban could not." If asked who Colban is, Slaymor will start to explain that he was a rune lord sent to kill Stein - then he stops and thinks that if Beorlak didn't tell the PCs about Colban, he probably shouldn't either. He and his men leave after giving the PCs some food and goodbyes. Slaymor's parting remark is somewhat cryptic: "You will notice when you are near Stein". Into the fog The Fogland consists of stony ground with many cracks in it. Through these cracks white fog rises and reduces vision range to about 10 metres. The sun is still visible, which makes it easy to find the way northwards. The farther north the party travels, the stronger a strange feeling grows that they are closing in on Stein. There is some unknown, somewhat offensive smell in the air and sometimes the earth groans. After three or four hours, the adventurers spot a couple of crucified Telmori and some wolves hung by their necks. They have been dead for several days. At their feet, piles of skulls can be dimly seen through the fog. The skulls are mainly human, but numerous other species are represented as well: wolf, troll, broo, dragonewt, horse etc. Out of the fog? One hour after this, the foul smell increases in strength. Then the streams of fog abruptly stop and it is possible to see clearly again. The party is confronted with a large, ancient temple ground that has fallen into ruins (a Lhankor Mhy scholar could after some study decide that it belongs to the period of Osentalka's Golden Empire). Most of the buildings are reduced to rubble, but a few are surprisingly intact. At a distance of 200 metres a wide ring of maybe 100 armed broos surround the party. Their attitude is not threatening, just watchful. Two male humans stand beside some ruins just 50 metres away, one of them obviously a Wind Lord (but not 2 metres tall and bald), the other dressed as a Grey Sage. The later is waving cheerfully to the PCs - he seems to be beckoning them closer. Two courses of action are open to the players: they can approach the humans or flee. If they flee or fight they will be captured (use nets, grappling broos, magic, whatever it takes). The only difference will be that they get to hear Khoff's soliloquy after being captured, instead of before. Captured "Khoff, at your service. You are here to see Stein, of course. He is a remarkable man. He fights this war. He accomplishes more out here in a single day than the others do in an entire season. He has a voice! Stein is not a man you talk with - you listen to him. All that have met him agree. I am immensely grateful that I have had the honour of meeting this man. Oh, he has enlarged my mind." etc etc. Colban stands completely silent, he never speaks. Khoff explains that after hearing Stein speak, Colban doesn't feel that anything he could say would be of importance. When the party has walked further inland, the broos will surround them and they will be told to surrender their arms and magic items, "Just for the sake of security, I promise that you will get them back.", whereupon they will be bound and led onwards. They should realize that they can't fight against odds of this magnitude. (If you think your players are the type to resist at any cost, and you don't want to kill their characters, our suggestion is that you disable them in stages. In playtesting, we've discovered that many players cheerfully hand over their weapons: "Haha, I've still got the matrix hidden up my sleeve". Then you can demand their magical goodies a little later, and finally they are without means to resist being bound.) Rain starts to fall; only a drizzle at first, but from now on till the scenario's end, it rains constantly, gradually building up to full gale strength. The prisoners are taken to one of the best preserved temple buildings, where Stein awaits. The room smells of slow death and is only lit by a few torches. Stein, dressed in a simple white robe, looks much too weak and emaciated to be a powerful Rune Lord - he is obviously very sick, yet his eyes are as discerning and his voice as grave, profound and vibrating as ever. His lips barely seem to move, which is in keeping with his appearance, but he still emits an amazing volume of tone, which is not. He will begin by asking the PCs where they come from, what clan they belong to. If he gets any reply that places the person in question somewhere in Ralios, he will reminisce for a while about how lovely the flowers there smell at this time of year or some such trivia. He will then get started on the concept of freedom: "Real freedom, that is to be free of your beliefs. Think carefully upon this. You cannot call yourself free until your beliefs and opinions no longer burden you." After this, he starts to pay attention to what the adventurers are saying. "You are just errand boys, and expendable ones at that. You realize that, do you not?" "Did they tell you why you were to kill me?" "What did you expect of your journey?" The PCs will be held captive for the next few days. Stein will visit them with food and water. He will also ply them with Illuminating debate. Some examples are given in an appendix, but don't feel restricted by these. For the purpose of this encounter, any information you (the GM) have about how your players are best convinced is also known to Stein. Try to adapt your arguments to what your players know about Glorantha and how they've reacted to the previous encounters. Your goal is to make them realize that Law and Chaos are not evaluative terms, just descriptions of the two sides there must always be to existence, and that if they wish to choose sides they should do so for their own reasons, not because of their childhood indoctrination by some priest. Stein, for instance, has chosen to be true to his original assignment, but in his own way. To simulate the game effects of this, each time a player concedes an argument to Stein, his/her character should gain a point of Illumination skill. If you can't convince them, so be it. The universe still doesn't care. This Is The End On the night of Freezeday, Truth Week, the party will be released: some broos will cut their ropes and leave their equipment in a pile outside the door. No explanation will be offered (even if some PC knows the broo language). There is a storm raging; not much can be heard over the peals of thunder, but all the inhabitants seem to be gathered in the main temple. Stein is presiding over some kind of religious ceremony. The main event is the sacrifice of a large snake. If the players decide to kill Stein (for whatever reason) they should succeed - time it so that the snake's head is cut off in the same instant. Stein's last words will be "The horror! The horror!" - anyone looking at his eyes in that moment can see that they are staring far beyond Death. It is a stare wide enough to encompass the entire universe, looking straight into the heart of an immense Darkness. The storm subsides, and the PCs are now free to do as they please. The broos are too perplexed by the death of their god to take any action; they don't even defend themselves if attacked. If the adventurers start slaughtering broos, make them roll for disease resistance. That will probably dampen their enthusiasm for genocide. If they don't return the matrix to Beorlak, he will send bands of Niltelmor warriors to find them and try to get them excommunicated. From henkl@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM Sat Sep 24 16:56 EDT 1994 Received: from Sun.COM by hops.wharton.upenn.edu with SMTP (188.8.131.52/16.2) id AA254210186; Sat, 24 Sep 1994 16:56:26 -0400 Return-Path: Received: from snail.Sun.COM (snail.Corp.Sun.COM) by Sun.COM (sun-barr.Sun.COM) id AA09824; Sat, 24 Sep 94 13:55:41 PDT Received: from Holland.Sun.COM (isunnl) by snail.Sun.COM (4.1/SMI-4.1) id AA02508; Sat, 24 Sep 94 13:55:11 PDT Received: from glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM by Holland.Sun.COM (4.1/SMI-4.1e) id AA29874; Sat, 24 Sep 94 22:54:55 +0200 Received: by glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (4.1/SMI-4.1) id AA27064; Sat, 24 Sep 94 22:53:45 +0200 Date: Sat, 24 Sep 94 22:53:45 +0200 Message-Id: <9409242053.AA27064@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM> To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM From: email@example.com (Jonas Schiott) Subject: Volume 11, no 3, part 2 of 2: Light of Subere, pt 2 Reply-To: RuneQuest-Digest-Editor@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM Content-Return: Prohibited Precedence: junk Status: RO Stein Philosophizes "You have the right to kill me, but not the right to judge me. Who can say what is right and what is wrong? Can you?" "Will the gods tell you what is right or wrong? But the gods do not care about human morality! All they want is your Power." "Just look at the many different ways one god can be worshipped: are the Orlanth cultists in Delela and Naskorion in agreement about what their deity considers just?" "There is no such thing as right or wrong. There is no objective good or objective evil. What is evil? Tell me that!" "Why is for instance Chaos evil?" "Is death evil? Death is needed to let the living live. If nothing died there would soon be no room for life." "Destruction is necessary so that new things will have a place to grow. Without destruction, the world would soon stagnate. Is this wrong?" "Chaos stands for destruction and Law for construction. Both are needed in the cosmos. In their inner being they are actually alike. What makes one more good than the other?" "Take light and darkness, same thing there. At heart, they are one and the same. What do you see if you look into absolute Darkness? Nothing. What do you see if you look into absolute Light? Nothing." "You must be rid of your fright and your hatred. If you do not befriend them, they become mighty enemies that will dominate your life. Why are you afraid of Chaos?" "To lose one's hatred is to become free. How can you be free when you let hatred rule over you?" "You kill for money or for your god or lord. Chaos kills because it is forbidden. What is good or evil about any of these things?" "If there is no good or evil, there is nothing that can be called sin either. What is sin?" "If there is no sin, then there is no guilt. They tell you that you should not feel guilt unless you have sinned. So why should anyone feel guilt?" "Chaos hates laws because it wants to feel free. But as no one can break all laws at once, creatures of Chaos are constantly frustrated and feel an abiding hatred of the laws they do not break. This hatred binds them as much as those who follow Law. Therefore even they have to realize the necessity of laws, or they can never be free of their all-consuming hatred. Can anything be freer than a being with no hate, fear, guilt or prejudice?" "Just as Law and Chaos must exist side by side, so must all other 'opposites'. If there were no grief, how could we distinguish joy? If there were no pain, how would we notice pleasure?" "Would you have anything worth saying as your last words?" "You must let fear and moral terror be your friends, or they will devour you. In a human village I visited, some of the children had been playing in the woods, even though it was forbidden. There they had met some Telmori children and befriended them. When this became known, the entire village gathered together and the children were killed by their fathers. I cried when I saw the little pile of decapitated heads. But then realization hit me like a diamond hammerblow to the head: what genius, what will, what strength it took to do this. That men filled with love could do such a thing. They were moral, but with the strength to kill without judgement. They knew that if they did not do this, humans could never be free of the Telmori." "What a world we live in... We train our young boys to chop people into tiny bits, but the priests will not allow them to say 'fuck', because it is indecent!" "Regarding the broo here I only have one thing to say: let them go on fighting Telmori. This way we get rid of both groups. Exterminate all the brutes!" Notes for the GM: about Illumination The more tangible effects of Illumination are immunity to all manner of Detect Chaos/Law spells or skills, as well as cult Spirits of Reprisal. The former is easily explained - since a Riddler in fact is not aligned with either side, there is no reason for him/her to register as chaotic or lawful - but the later is somewhat trickier. Stein provides the key in his argument about guilt: when normal (unenlightened) cultists break a rule, they are so deeply conditioned as to feel at least a subliminal twinge of guilt, no matter how unrepentant they claim to be. This feeling, this awareness of having done something wrong, is what the Spirits of Reprisal home in on and in some way 'feed' on, generally being more effective against those with low self-confidence (POW). As an Illuminate knows that nothing you can do is really wrong in any metaphysical sense, the Spirits are simply unable to find him/her. [This was written before the pulication of "Dorastor", with its somewhat modified description of Illumination. Pg 125 says that "The Illuminate is not _automatically_ attacked by any spirit of reprisal" (my emphasis) and also that "Divination is effective on an Illuminated individual". This implies that a priest could ferret out an Illuminate's activities and sicc a spirit on him. Does that falsify our interpretation? Not really. Divination just tells you what a person has done (at best), not how he feels about it. And a cult spirit acting under specific instructions ("attack that guy") doesn't need any further incentives - proper identification of targets is the commanding priest's responsibility in this case.] It is often claimed that the 'cult' of Nysalor has a Dark Side and a Light Side. The Dark Illuminates are those who use their knowledge as an excuse to satisfy their base desires without regard for the consequences, while those who follow the Light realize that if the structure of the world doesn't provide a grounding for any ethics, then people will have to provide it for themselves - morality is still necessary for human (or other sentient) life, even if it can never be objectively 'true' or 'real'. This description is accurate as far as it goes, but it's not the whole picture. The widespread acceptance of these definitions is partly due to the efforts of the Arkat cult (who regard themselves as the only genuine Light Siders, any other Riddler must be Dark), partly the result of an inclination among Gloranthans to fall back on dualism whenever in doubt. But in fact, many Illuminates don't fit either mold: some seem to act entirely at random (being barely distinguishable from Tricksters), some refuse to involve themselves with the world at all, many choose a goal in life that can hardly be described as either Light or Dark (Stein is one of these), and a few are just insane - though whether insanity is a result or cause of Illumination is moot (as is the question if Stein belongs in this category as well). As any Riddler will tell you, there just aren't any simple answers. Telmori The two varieties of Telmori, "pure" and "cursed", both exist in Ralios. In Telmoria, the wolf peoples' ancestral home, the overwhelming majority are Pure Ones, descended from those who refused to obey Nysalor. Unfortunately, orlanthi in the Wilds get their picture of Telmori from the packs of Cursed Ones that roam Vustria, making forays into Delela as well as Naskorion and Otkorion. This is especially unfortunate for the Pure Ones who, ranging far afield during the summer seasons, are mistaken for their tainted cousins. To Delelans, Telmori are werewolves, chaotic and evil monsters. People in Saug and Keanos regard them more as legendary beings, the basis of horrifying tales told around the campfire. The Niltelmor Tribe (from the "Delela" chapter of the Encyclopedica East Wildica) This is a new tribe, resulting from a split in the Halgol tribe 50 years ago. The reason for this dispute was the Halgolela policy of appeasing the Telmori. Niltelmori have an entirely different relation to these hsunchen: they are mercilessly put to death whenever found. In order to accomplish this efficiently, all clans in the tribe cooperate in tracking down wolf-people. As a result, Telmori tend to avoid the area nowadays. Even the werewolf packs choose another route. The cooperation also reduces the frequency of conflict among the clans. Leader of the Niltelmor tribe is Soggaler Redear, grandson of Ontar Greykiller, the man who engineered the break with Halgol. Soggaler wears a magical cap, inherited from his grandfather, that renders him immune to biting and clawing attacks. The wearer can never remove it, however, and is also unable to enter any building. All the Niltelmor clans despise the Halgol tribe, but spend no more energy raiding it than usual. Soggaler is trying to convince more of the Halgol clans to join Niltelmor, so an exaggerated conflict with them would not be a good idea. NOTES FOR THE READERS OF THE DAILY/DIGEST (by Jonas Schiott, don't blame my friends for this part...) This was originally written as a tournament (played at GothCon XVI, in 1992), and has now been revised considerably. The former version mostly took place along a river, and tended somewhat towards being a spoof of the movie (from the con brochure blurb: "Kilwin. Shit, we're still only in Kilwin!"). We've cleaned most of that stuff out in an attempt to bring the serious issues of the scenario into focus. Our interpretation of Illumination, as presented in the scenario, was at least partly conceived as a polemic against the printed version of the Nysalor 'cult' (in CoT). Of course, since we wrote it, "The Path of Illumination" has seen print. This new improved version deals with many of our complaints, mostly through opening up the field for a large number of possible interpretations. The 'skill riddle' mechanism is still grating, though, especially since the example given of a riddle (the first _good_ example of a Nysalor Riddle I have ever seen) has no apparent connection to it. "The designers despair of capturing the flavour of a revolutionary mystical philosophy in game mechanics." (Dorastor, pg 127) And with good reason. We decided to not even try... Obviously, there are still a lot of things open for debate, but even if I think I can anticipate some of your reactions, I could never anticipate them all. So let's leave that to the daily.