Bell Digest vol11p04-1.txt

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To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
From: (Bryan J. Maloney)
Subject: Volume 11, no 04, part 1 of 2: Lesser Faiths of Prax
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From: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Subject: Editorial....

Brian and Sandy each sent a huge submission to the Daily
this week.  I'm sending them as issue four today.

And for those on the west coast: I'll be visiting colleagues
in the States, in the Bay area.   I suppose I'll have a couple
of nights of my own to visit and meet people from the Digest.
Hey, if someone's willing to host a 'meet the digest' party
as we had at Convulsion, I'd enjoy that.

Send me mail...



                           Lesser Faiths of Prax
				by Brian

   Prax and the Wastes hosted a bewildering variety of worships during the 
15th-17th centuries ST.  Many of these greater spirits have been mentioned 
by the Gloranthan scholar GS.  My work at the Pavis site excavations have 
uncovered several others.  I have divided these cults among three groups:  
"Praxian Cults" were mainly worshipped by members of the Praxian Animal 
Rider tribes.  "Aboriginal Cults" were favored by River and Oasis peoples.  
Finally, "Outsider Cults" were usually found among Orlanthi or Yelmali 
living along the Zola Fel.  Caveat: these spirits and minor deities do not 
fit neatly into the Jrusteli-derived religious system.  (However, for those 
of us who play RQ, appropriate RuneQuest Sight notes have been included in 
parentheses throughout.)

                               Praxian Cults

Little Brother
   Little Brother was the youngest of Storm Bull's many brothers.  Some 
farmers called him "Orlanth" and paid altogether too much attention to him.  
Little Brother caused many problems in the old times.  He tilted the sky 
dome to see what was under it and let chaos in.  He had a tantrum and made 
the sun leave for a while.  He tried to fight the Devil and only managed to 
enrage it.  Storm Bull was constantly having to clean up Little Brother's 
messes.  Finally, he realized that Little Brother was so much trouble 
because he didn't have any jobs to do.
   After Storm Bull killed the Devil and pinned him under the Block, he went 
to find Little Brother.  First, he cuffed Little Brother in the ears for 
letting the Devil into the world in the first place.  Then he gave Little 
Brother a job so that he wouldn't make so much trouble anymore.  Little 
Brother was put in charge of making it rain and making sure that plants 
could grow.  Of course, Little Brother often shirks his duties to play with 
the farmers, so there is not as much rain in Prax or the Wastes as there 
should have been.
   Shamans can contact Little Brother at any Storm Bull holy site or during 
any rainstorm (a POW X 3 roll is necessary).  The shaman can then establish 
a link (expend 1 POW to do so).
   Little Brother teaches the divine spells of Cloud Call and Rain (as per 
the Heler Associate spell for Orlanth in River of Cradles) to shamans who 
know him.  Little Brother's Rain spell will only work in Storm and Sea 
Seasons, since he's usually off shirking any other time of the year.
   Little Brother requires a worshipper to make a moderate sacrifice (all 
MP) on Wind Day, Mobility Week during Storm Season.

Sun Hawk
   When Genert lived, Sun Hawk, the Sun of Prax was his scout and as his 
skirmisher.  Now that Genert is dead, Sun Hawk protects Genert's children.  
Some say that Sun Hawk now roosts upon the top of Yelmalio's dome.
   Shamans can contact Sun Hawk by performing the Sun Dance.  This ritual 
requires the shaman to coat himself in gold dust and feathers (20 wheels 
worth of gold dust) and must be undertaken in Fire Season under a clear sky.  
The Shaman must dance until he collapses from heat and thirst.  (Use the 
fatigue and thirst rules--remember to apply any appropriate physical 
damage.)  After he has lost consciousness, the shaman's spirit flies up to 
the Sun Hawk where he must make an attempt to impress the spirit (can be 
abstracted as an Orate roll with Ceremony as a complementary skill).  
Failure means that the shaman is sent back and cannot try again for a year.  
Success permits the shaman to establish a link (sacrifice 1 POW).
   Non-shamans must be initiated to Yelmalio.  They may only attempt the Sun 
Dance on Yelmalio's High Holy Day.  Among non-Praxian Yelmalio worshippers 
(i.e., Sun Dome farmers) this requires permission of the priests.  
Permission is usually not forthcoming.
   Darkness creatures who attempt to contact Sun Hawk are spiritually burned 
(they lose 1D3 POW) and are hurled back to their bodies, which demoralizes 
them (as per the spell) for a full week.
   Sun Hawk requires a minor sacrifice (one MP) every Fireday at dawn.

Spirit Magic:  Detect Enemy, Farsee, Firearrow

Divine Magic
Hawk's Wings   6 points
temporal, nonstackable, reusable
   This spell transforms the caster's arms into strong wings and greatly 
strengthens his chest and arm muscles to permit flight.  It also transforms 
the caster's feet into clawed talons that can be used to attack.  The caster 
can fly at a speed of twice his running speed.  The caster's STR is also 
doubled.  The caster may attack with talons at a normal kick percentage.  
Damage is 1d6 plus DB (figured for the new STR).  This spell supersedes and 
is not compatible with any other STR-enhancing spells.
   The wings are not able to hold any item.  The talons are very clumsy and 
are not suitable for manipulation.
   This spell will only work in Prax and the Wastes.

                              Aboriginal Cults

   Gorakiki is worshipped as a spirit by the Oasis and river peoples and 
propitiated by Sun Domers and Orlanthi farmers along the Zola Fel.  This 
form of worship is apparently not related to Trollish cults.
   Anyone can contact Gorakiki for propitiatory worship by finding a large 
swarm of insects and entering its center (taking the appropriate amount of 
sting damage).  If the subject is worthy (abstracted as a POW X 3 roll with 
Insect Lore as a complement), a bit of the caster's soul (1 point of POW) is 
then sacrificed to establish a link.
   This version of her worship teaches the following spells:

Divine Magic:
Speak With Insects   1 point
voice range, temporal, non-stackable, reusable
   This spell permits the caster to talk to any type of insect for the 
duration of the spell.  It does not alter the basic disposition or 
intelligence of the insect.

Insect Fence   2 points
ritual ceremony, nonstackable, reusable
   This spell must be boosted with MP when cast.  The number of MP used is 
divided by the area of land protected in hectares to determine the strength 
of the spell.  Any insect that attempts to walk into, burrow into, or light 
on areas protected by this spell must overcome the MP protecting the 
location with its POW or be unable to do so.  The area protected must be 
contiguous and a relatively simple geometric shape (the caster has to walk 
the perimeter of the area while performing the rite).  The spell lasts for 
one year and must be cast on Gorakiki's High Holy Day 
   If the caster sacrifices a point of POW upon casting the spell, he may 
specify one type of insect that can cross the fence unhindered.  Most people 
prefer to contact a Beekeeper (see Gorakiki Honey-Mother below) to cast Bee 
Gate for them instead.

Mistress Clam:
   Also known as Monalli, this is a grumpy spirit who easily takes offense.  
During the Greater Darkness, she taught some people how to protect 
themselves from danger.
   Shamans and any initiates to a River cult may contact Mistress Clam by 
going to a riverbank and settling into the mud, submerged under the water 
for an entire day and night.  It is recommended that the applicant figure 
out a way to breathe for that time since drowning entails immediate 
   Mistress Clam will come to the applicant after a full day and a full 
night underwater.  The applicant may then establish a link (by sacrificing 1 
POW).  The applicant must engage Mistress Clam in conversation for at least 
one hour.  If the applicant offends her (best if roleplayed, but could be 
abstracted as a fumble on an Orate or Fast Talk roll), she will snap her 
jaws shut, severing and devouring a random appendage.  Any magical attempts 
to Regrow the severed limb must first get Mistress Clam's permission to 
work.  Worshippers are required to immerse themselves completely in water 
and make a minor sacrifice (1 MP) at least twice a season.
   She teaches her worshippers the divine spell Breathe Water plus her own 
special spell:

Monalli's Shell   1 pt
caster, temporal, nonstackable, reusable
   The caster must boost this spell with MP when it is cast.  Every MP spent 
gives the caster 2 AP in all locations.  However, every MP spent also 
reduces the caster's movement rate by 1 and all perception skills by 10%.  
This spell is incompatible with Mobility, Flight, Teleport, and all other 
movement-enhancing spells.

Trout Dancer:
   Trout Dancer was a shaman of the River People in the Dawn Age.  He could 
call forth bounty from the river when the people were hungry.  Fishermen 
along the Zola Fel still call upon him.
   Anyone who has mastered fishing (skill of 90% or more) may call upon 
Trout Dancer while fishing.  He will appear as a talking fish, who will 
promise bounty.  The worshipper may establish a link (sacrifice a point of 
POW).  Members of the Zola Fel cult may worship Trout Dancer as a Zola Fel 
subcult, thus not needing to make a sacrifice upon contact.
   Trout Dancer teaches the following spells, which will only work on the 
Zola Fel or its tributaries:

Divine Magic
Fish Dance   1 point
ritual ceremony, temporal, nonstackable, reusable
   This spell is cast upon the equipment of fishermen, not upon fish.  It 
guarantees that the fishermen will have at least an average haul from the 
river.  This spell is cumulative to Fish Song:  Every MP expended on that 
spell adds 10% to the "average" take for that fisherman, so those who know 
Fish Song can have quite a catch.  Fish Dance can only be cast on Waterday 
of every week and lasts for three days.  (The three-day duration of the 
spell plus its limited day of casting is part of what leads non Riverfolk to 
believe that River-dwellers are "lazy", since it's only really worth their 
while to fish three days a week.)

Fish Song   1 point
ritual ceremony, instant, nonstackable, reusable
   This spell must be boost with personal MP calls fish to come and listen 
to him, 1 ENC of fish per MP expended.  The caster may then begin fishing.  
It does not guarantee that the caster will catch anything, but it does make 
sure that there are fish around to catch.

                               Outsider Cults

Gorakiki Honey-Mother:
   A version of Gorakiki Bee is known to the agriculturalists of the Zola 
Fel valley.  To worship Gorakiki Honey-Mother, a prospective initiate must 
find a Beekeeper and convince him of worthiness (abstracted as success in 
Bee Care and POW X 3 rolls).  If successful, the applicant can establish a 
link (by sacrificing a point of POW).  Initiates receive free training in 
Bee Breeding and may learn Gorakiki Honey Mother divine magic on a one-use 
basis.  Initiates may call upon Gorakiki Honey-Mother with a 1d100 divine 
intervention roll, but only to aid a swarm or hive of bees.
   Beekeepers lead the local cult in the same way that a mastercraft leads 
others who practice his art.  The candidate must have mastered (90% skill 
rating) Bee Care and Bee Breeding.  He must also know "the right magics" 
(Disrupt, Heal 2, and Repair 3).  The candidate must also have set up 
beehives for at least two queens and successfully maintained them for a year 
simultaneously.  Finally, he has to pass a test of worthiness (abstracted as 
a special success in either Bee Care or Bee Breeding).  Failure meant that 
the applicant has to wait another year to try again.
   Beekeepers are required to test applicants for initiation.  They are 
required to teach the basics of Bee Care (up to 30%) free of charge to any 
who wish to know it.  They are also required to teach basic Bee Breeding (up 
to 30%) free of charge to any Gorakiki Honey-Mother initiate.  Fortunately, 
few people wanted to know Bee Care or Bee Breeding, since Beekeepers also 
have to care for their hives.
   Beekeepers can learn Gorakiki Honey-Mother divine spells reusably.  They 
may use 1d10 for Divine Intervention from Gorakiki Honey-Mother, but only to 
help a hive or swarm of bees.
Spirit Magic:  Disrupt, Heal, Repair
Divine Magic:  Divination (only for questions pertaining to bees, of 
course), Excommunication, Initiation, Sanctify, Worship Gorakiki Honey-
Mother.  Gorakiki Honey-Mother does not teach the spells known to Bee 

Bee Balm   1 point
instant, stackable, reusable
   This spell calms a small swarm or hive of bees that has been disturbed.  
Each stacking of the spell adds another "hive size"--see "Insect Swarm" in 
the RQ Creatures book/chapter--to the calming influence.  The hive must be 
within line of sight of the caster.  Note that this spell is of "instant", 
not "temporal" duration.  It calms a hive, but it doesn't keep it calm in 
the face of further irritation.

Bee Gate   1 point
ritual ceremony, stackable, reusable
   This rite must be performed simultaneously with Insect Fence (cf, 
Gorakiki above).  It creates an opening in the Insect Fence through which 
bees may enter.  Many crops would fail without a Bee Gate in their Insect 
Fence.  Every stacked point of this spell creates another gate.

Bee Rage   1 point
temporal, nonstackable, reusable
   This spell enrages a hive or swarm of bees.  The hive cannot be "aimed" 
but it will not attack the caster unless the caster takes an act that the 
bees would interpret as hostile.

Turnip Boy
   In the fields of Sun County, on the banks of Zola Fel, a young man 
labored.  He cut the soil under the blazing Fire Season sun.  His hoe 
chopped away at the weeds that threatened the precious crop.  He was a 
dedicated young man who loved to toil upon Ernalda for the glory of 
     He was so dedicated that he worked without resting.  He was so 
dedicated that he worked without drinking.  He was so dedicated that he 
worked without a hat.
   Under the blazing Fire Season sun he toiled until he was confronted by a 
vision.  Where the sun had been in the sky was an enormous Presence, a huge 
Entity, an imposing Being, a really big Turnip!  The Turnip spoke to the 
young man and revealed that Turnip was the true son of Yelmalio and Ernalda.
   The peoples of the world had wallowed in sin too long, and it was 
Turnip's time to purify the world so that Yelmalio might walk upon it.  
Turnip Boy was commanded to go forth and preach.  He went north and 
performed many wonders.
   In the land of Sartar he slew a Dream Dragon with nothing more than a 
turnip as a weapon.  In the land of Tarsh he converted an entire tribe to 
Yelmalio worship.  In the city of Boldhome he slew a warrior Dragonewt with 
his bare hands and dragged it through the city streets.  Then he called fire 
from the sky to dispose of the corpse.  (For the curious, Turnip Boy was an 
actual player character in a campaign I ran.  He became post-mortem deified 
in spite of himself.  Nearly all of the attributes of his cult are due to 
events in the mortal Turnip BoyUs life.)
   Those who wish to partake of the gifts of Turnip Boy must be initiated to 
Yelmalio, Yelm, Ernalda or Babeester Gor.  Darkness creatures are not 
eligible, except Trollkin, who must be initiated to one of the four above 
cults or to Argan Argar.  Applicants must have never partaken of hazia.  
Tricksters are also permitted to worship Turnip Boy, for it is known that 
Turnip Boy smiles upon those who take these poor, benighted idiots under 
their wing and teach them the Truth of Yelmalio.  However, they are still 
bound by the restrictions of the cult should they wish to partake of its 
   The character must plant a field of turnips and tend it carefully.  
During the height of Fire Season, the applicant must work from dawn to dusk 
without pausing, drinking, or wearing a hat.  The applicant must work until 
he passes out.  Trollkin can substitute stuffing themselves with turnips 
until they pass out during Fire Season.
   Once the applicant has lost consciousness, he will be visited by Turnip 
Boy, who will quiz him on the Law of Yelmalio.  The applicant must pass the 
quiz (abstracted as a successful Yelmalio Lore or special Yelm or Ernalda 
Lore roll unless the applicant is a Trollkin, in which case he must fail an 
Argan Argar Lore roll).  If the test is passed, the applicant may establish 
a link (expend 1 POW).
   A worshipper must remain absolutely true to the laws of Yelmalio, attack 
hazia and its use, practice complete chastity (not celibacy--chastity), and 
must preach to the masses about the virtues of the Turnip at least two hours 
every day.  The worshipper must also keep himself stocked with turnips at 
all times and must expend 1 MP every Fireday.  Turnips must make up a major 
part of the worshipperUs diet.  Furthermore, the worshipper is required to 
wear headgear shaped like a turnip, even if that headgear is a helmet.  
(Turnip-shaped helmets are special order items that cost 2-3 times normal to 
purchase.)  Finally, a Turnip Boy worshipper must spend one day during 
Fireseason completely naked under the light of the sun.
   Turnip Boy teaches the spirit spells of Detect Turnip, Endurance (up to 
Endurance 4) and Protection (up to Protection 4, will only function if the 
recipient wears a helmet shaped like a turnip).  He also teaches the divine 
spell Truespear (which will only function if the spearhead is shaped like a 
turnip) and two unique spells.  Turnip Boy's divine magic can be renewed at 
a Sun Dome Temple or any Major or larger Solar temple or at a Great Ernalda 
temple.  Turnip Boy's Truespear spell can also be renewed at a small shrine 
in Apple Lane in Sartar.

Turnip Pockets   2 points
ritual ceremony, temporal, nonstackable, reusable
   For the duration of this spell, the caster has turnips.  Whenever he 
reaches into his pocket, into his pack, into his purse, he will pull forth a 
turnip.  The turnips so produced are ordinary, non-magical turnips.  They 
can be used like ordinary turnips in all ways except that they cannot be 
used for the Turnip Healing spell (see below).  This spell lasts from the 
time it is cast until the next sunset.  It cannot be cast at night.  If the 
caster boosts the spell with MP when casting it, his Orate skill is 
increased by 5% per MP used.  Turnip Boy worshippers often use this spell 
when preparing to preach to a large crowd.

Turnip Healing   1 point
ritual enchantment, reusable
   This spell permits the caster to create a Turnip of Healing.  He must 
start with a flawless, naturally grown turnip.  He may then invest POW into 
the turnip via this enchantment.  The turnip will function as the 
appropriate ingredients for any curative or healing potion with a POT equal 
to ten times the POW invested in it.  A worshipper of Turnip Boy also gains 
a +10% to his Craft appropriate potion skill for every POW in the turnip.

   Orlanth's younger half brother was mothered by Kerofin and fathered by 
the Father of Carnivores.  When very young, he tried his hand at thaneship, 
sheep-herding, and metalsmithing and failed miserably at all these and many 
other tasks.  Then one night, when Darkness covered the land, Yinkin's sharp 
eye caught sight of an assassin sent to kill his brother.  His soft foot let 
him sneak up on the would-be murderer.  His sharp claw let the criminal's 
blood feed the earth.  Since that time, Yinkin and his children have been 
the honored guardians and companions of Orlanthi.
   Spirit worship of Yinkin is rare anywhere except among Orlanthi in Prax, 
where it is fairly common (probably as a result of influence by neighboring 
Praxian religions).  Storm-allied shamans, e.g., Kolatings, can contact 
Yinkin at any time and may establish a link by sacrificing a point of POW.  
Other shamans must befriend a Shadowcat for a year and then ask it to call 
Yinkin.  If the Shadowcat feels like it, and Shadowcats can be pretty 
contrary critters, Yinkin will be called.  (The GM can either role-play this 
for the Shadowcat or abstract it as a POW X 3% roll.) The shaman can then 
sacrifice 1 POW to establish a link.
   Non-shamans must be initiated into a Storm cult or a cult allied to a 
Storm cult.  They must then befriend a Shadowcat for a year and may then 
attempt to call upon Yinkin as would a non-Storm shaman.
   Yinkin requires that any who follow him keep at least one Shadowcat as a 
friend and care for it as one's own brother or sister.

Spirit Magic:  Ironhand, Silence.

Divine Magic:  Catseye

Catsclaw   3 points
temporal, nonstackable, reusable
   Both the caster's hands grow retractable claws and do 1d8 damage plus his 
damage bonus.  His chance to hit with his claws is equal to his normal Fist 
attack.  These claws do not interfere with normal hand use.