Bell Digest vol11p04-1.txt
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Date: Wed, 5 Oct 1994 22:46:37 --100
From: email@example.com (Bryan J. Maloney)
Subject: Volume 11, no 04, part 1 of 2: Lesser Faiths of Prax
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
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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.