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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 15 May 1993, part 2
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From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Jottings
Message-ID: <930514230112_100270.337_BHB34-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 14 May 93 23:01:12 GMT

Oliver Jovanovic:

Yup, I have been won over to the idea that the Lunars can't *break* their 
oaths; they can just avoid the bad consequences of doing so by 
Resurrection.  Same effect, with less explanation / mechanics required.

But I still think Humakt could take a crack at Yanafal's errant cultists.  
After all, Yanafal doesn't really offer that much that is new.  In a very 
real sense, he is the "Lunar Humakt", as Etyries is "Lunar Issaries" and 
Irrippi Ontor "Lunar Lankhor Mhy" (Goddess knows who the others were taking 
their lead from!).  Those cult founders were worshippers of the gods named 
who found new and disapproved-of ways to use their deities' powers.

Yanafal's cult secrets are those of Humakt; he leads people along what is 
essentially Humakt's path; it seems reasonable to me that his cultists 
should be vulnerable to Humakt's vengeance if they blatantly abandon it.  
I'd extrapolate this to Irrippi, Etyries, or anyone else that gets worked 
out, giving a way for the divine "nature" to reassert itself when the 
Lunars upset the world.  Think of it as like the backlash against the God 
Learners: another bunch of people who thought they could abuse the powers 
of the elder gods by using them as they thought fit, without stopping to 
consider whether or not it was *right* to do so.

So: Yanafali swords breaking.  Etyries merchants consumed by raw greed.  
Irrippi Ontor sages coming down with brain fevers.  All sounds plausible to 

(Suggestions only.  I'm not sure the idea should be expanded this far.  
Feedback and criticism welcomed, but I'll stick by my guns on Yanafal).

Tom Zunder:

> "Oh Gods what a wonderful Digest this is!"
You took the words right out of my mouth!

Jeff Okamoto:

"Humquack"?  Whatever happened to the three brother-gods, Hueymakt, 
Deweymakt and Louiemakt?  Not to mention Storm Bill the Chaos-Killer?  And 
all their friends from "Famous Duck Deities" in Digest II.1?  You'll be 
forgetting your own name, next .

As I don't take Ducks seriously, I love this stuff!

Paul Reilly:
Thanks *loads* for the guidance to Musk Ox Land.  I shall be wrapping 
myself in furs and heading north as soon as possible to re-forge an old 
acquaintanceship.  On a less personal note, they looks like a Good Thing to 
put in one of the more neglected corners of the map.

According to Greg, the Wenelians can be seen as "half-converted Hsunchen".  
I've done some thinking about what this means, and will send it in to the 
Daily one of these weeks...

Oh, I liked Finula's two propaganda pieces, "Bad Worship" and "Orlanthi 
Deception".  Very typical of Irrippi Ontor, I thought.  Nothing in them 
that would show up on a "Detect Written Lie" from the Veratus sub-cult...

Greg Fried:
Y'know, Lodril is the chief male god of the matriarchal Pelorian peoples.  
The women there treat him as a figure of fun ("typical man!").  The men 
think he's wonderful, of course.

Joerg Baumgartner:

> Orlanth had an older brother (let's call him Humakt) who wielded
> the first sword, and who got it back after the slaying of Yelm
> (who earned his death rune that way...).
> In the west, a sword entity (let's call him Humct) dealt in death.
> Later, Arkat Humctson entered the cult of Humakt, polluted it with
> western ways, and severed Humakt from his family.

That looks weird to me.  The Sword would seem to be the most common 
Orlanthi image of Humakt, and was wielded by Orlanth, whereas the 
Westerners are always trying to make Things into People as part of their 
de-mythologising Euhemerising "rationalisation" of the universe.  I'd have 
thought "Humct the Soldier" (*not* as horrible as described in the 
Prosopaedia: this is his followers' version) was the cult brought East by 
Arkat, who found there that he could wield the Sword of Orlanth (which may 
or may not have been called Humakt before his arrival).  Some clever bugger 
(probably a God Learner) then hypothesised that Humakt was Orlanth's 
long-lost brother -- and heroquested to make it so.

The Five Sons of Umath were: Kolat, Urox, Ragnaglar, Vadrus, Humakt, and 
Orlanth (count'em)??  Once Ragnaglar is cut from polite society (after the 
horror of the Chaos Wars?), Humakt is grafted on to make up the numbers 
(which are still important for ritual purposes?).  So we don't *have* to 
admit that the Broos are our distant cousins (well, closer than that for 
the Poss clan, I hear!)...

That's speculation.  I have no idea of the mechanics involved in this 
dissemination of cultural imagery.  Seem plausible to anyone out there?

"The Star Spangled Banner" is surely more appropriate for Sartar.  Not only 
do you have the same Colonial lifestyle (backward barbarism, rebellion 
against their rightful rulers, etc.) and rustic love of independence 
(humble log cabins, local sherrufs keeping Laura Norder, kiddies running 
down from the hills shouting "the Redcloaks are coming"); you've also got 
several of the lines of Argrath's anthem:

	"Oh, say can you see, by the Theyalan Light,
	What so proudly we hailed at Rausa's last grieving?"
		... I'm open to suggestions ...
	"And the Red Lunar glare, meteors bursting in Air,
	Gave proof through the Night that our flag was still there.
	Oh, say, does that Wyrm-Tangled Banner unfold,
	O'er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Bold?"

Beats "Sartar the Brave" or "Men of Wilmskirk" any day !

Adam from Aberystwyth:

> Darkness was the first element and is called the creator.
> From this element all the other elements were created,
> except for Moon. This was ripped from the child of Darkness,
> Earth. Anyway, that is our excuse for having Darkness
> opposite Moon. Any comments?

You're mad!

So were the God Learners, so maybe some of them believed this tosh .  
I'll run through the "orthodox" belief in case you're missing any of it 
(through lack of time, or source materials, or whatever):

Darkness is traditionally the first element.  (I'd say it was second, after 
Chaos, but that's as may be).  Out of the last drop of Darkness ("Styx") 
pours the Water.  Floating atop the Water comes the Earth.  Rising above 
the Earth comes the Fiery Sky.  Father Sky lies atop Mother Earth, and 
their child is Baby Storm (Umath the Destroyer), who make so much noise 
that his parents split up.  We've now got the five elements we all know and 

OK so far.  But the origins of the Moon are very obscure: deliberately so, 
in fact.  We have two different genealogies in Troll Gods: either she's the 
child of Nakala and Zaramaka (Primal Darkness and Primal Water), or else 
the daughter engendered when stricken Yelm's blood mingled with that of 
Styx.  (These myths are both for the Blue Moon, which I'd suggest was in 
fact White in Godtime, only later shattering into Red and Blue aspects.  
Still, no other Moon has known parents -- as David Hall delights in 
pointing out -- so these are the only myths you're likely to have been 
working with).

So in both versions of the Moon's origin, her mother is one of the most 
potent Darkness thingies around.  Nobody associates her with the Earth.  
Her other parent is given either as the Sun (explaining why she's a 
heavenly body?) or the Sea (explaining her power over tides?).  Me, I'm 
more convinced by the Yelm / Styx version, but that's as may be.

Anyway, in the Second Age, why would the God Learners have any time at all 
for the Moon?  The only one they'd have known about would be the Blue Moon, 
as a peripheral, sea-related heavenly body which could not be questioned or 
comprehended by them.  Anathema to a God Learner, in fact: "the Blue Moon 
had no intellect" ... "while she still knows the secrets of the universe, 
she does not dispense them coherently".

Have another go.  Working out a Rune based sorcery system sounds like a 
neat idea, and I'd love to see the results, *especially* if they looked 
Gloranthan.  Though I still think we should get away from manipulative 
sorcery and back towards pious wizardry as the basic magical method of the 


"A nod's as good as a wink to the Crimson Bat."


From: (Rob Mace)
Subject: Ducks
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 May 93 09:10:28 GMT

I thought I would expand on why I choose to handle ducks in a serious way.
Here are a few ways I have seen them handled and the drawbacks I think
they have.

Treat them as a joke:
    Although a lot of fun can be had this way I think it is self defeating
    if you want the rest of your game to be serious.  I have noticed that
    if you treat part of your world as a joke that people tend to take the
    rest of it less seriously.  Several times when trying to introduce
    people to RQ and Glorantha I have heard the statement "Oh that's that
    game with ducks." followed by a laugh.  I think treating ducks as a
    joke has turned a number of people off of Glorantha.

Declare they don't exist:
    Simply state that there is no such thing as an intelligent duck.  That
    they do not exist in your Glorantha.  This is fine except that they
    keep showing up in the published Gloranthan material.

Kill and eat all ducks in sight.
    If you are going to do this why have them in the first place.

Ignore them:
    Basically the approach of putting your head in the sand.  Again the
    problem is that they still show up every now and then.

Take them seriously:
    Treat them as any other race in Glorantha.  And don't use them for
    easy jokes.  Develop them as you would any other race.  They are
    the underdog race of Glorantha.  They have been oppressed repeatedly
    through history and if some legends are correct they have been cursed
    by the gods.  There are lots of interesting motivation to be found in
    playing ducks.
I think in the long run ducks have hurt the popularity of Glorantha.  But
since they do exist(at least in the published Glorantha), I think that
dealing with them seriously works best.  Of course your mileage may vary.

Rob Mace


From: (Rob Mace)
Subject: Dha-Naald and Dha-Fhee
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 May 93 10:09:06 GMT

john j medway writes:
> >> Brian Hebert writes:
> >> > The Cult of Dha-Naald and Dha-Fhee
> >> 
> >> Except for the name I liked this cult writeup a lot.  However I don't see
> >> these heros as achieving full cult status.  I think that I might use it
> >> as a sort of hero sub-cult of both Humakt and Eurmal open only to ducks.
> Ditto, but there are _many_ small local godlets/cults worshipped on
> Glorantha.  They'd definitely be allied with Humakt & Eurmal, but not
> would not necessarily be a subset of the same.

I know that there are _many_ small local godlets/cults.  I just did not
see a good explanation of how Dha-Naald and Dha-Fhee reached apotheosis.
In the write up their history lists what they did before they founded the
cult.  But then sort of said that they just went back and founded a cult.
I think that more needed to be said about this period.  I don't see what
they did before as leading to being worshiped.

I guess I am also somewhat biased against the idea of the ducks having
a cult of their own.  I see it as part of their curse to not have a god.

All that said I still liked the cult writeup a lot.  I think the idea
of having the Humakt and Eurmal linked in this way by the ducks is really
good.  I always saw Humakti as holding a grudge against Eurmal for having
stolen Death from Humakt and given it to Orlanth.  In the Humakti view
this led to the corruption of death.  I also don't think they believe the
bit about Eurmal giving Death to Humakt in the first place.  They view
that as Orlanthi / Eurmal propaganda.  To the Humakti Humakt was born with
Death and it did not exist before him.  Kargan Tor was the God of Endings
not the god of Death.

Well that ended somewhat off the subject.

Rob Mace


From: (Rob Mace)
Subject: Gods
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 May 93 08:38:38 GMT

Paul Reilly / Michael W. Timpanaro / Finula ? writes about:
>       On Bad Worship and How it Corrupt the Gods
>                       or
>               how the gods went wrong

Good stuff.  We have been doing a lot of hero questing recently and
have been playing with the concept of how worshipers influence and
change gods.  This is especially true of the heros of a god.  Gods
need worshipers and heros to exist.  But heros often no longer need
the gods they worship.  So the gods will often let a hero get away with
more then they will a regular follower.  Arkat is a good example of
this.  Even though Arkat in many ways abandoned Humakt there is no
indication that Humakt ever rejected Arkat.  There is also no indication
that Arkat ever really stopped being a Humakti.  He just became other
things also and emphasized those more.

Back to the idea of gods being changed by their worshipers I think
that Yelmalio/Elmal is a good example.  I would say that both gods
now exist.  Elmal has faded since the number of worshipers he has
has declined but he still exists.  On the other hand given the way
god time works Yelmalio has always existed.

The three aspects of Orlanth are another example of the fragmentation
of a god.  On the God plane all three Orlanths exist.  On a hero
quest you could go to the place/when of each one and meet them.  Each
aspect would be quite different to meet and each now evolves from the
effect of those who worship them.  In some ways you might say that
there exists an Orlanth that is distinct to every worshiper.  But
generally only that individual Orlanthi would be able to find their
particular Orlanth.  Those that others might find are an amalgamation
of the beliefs of a larger group of worshipers.

When my Humakti duck hero met Humakt he saw Humakt as a titan sized
duck.  This is despite the fact that he knows Humakt is not a duck.
The fact of his hero status was molding Humakt to be more like him.

So why does this remolding happen and were the gods always molded in
this way?

It happens because of the compromise.  Before the compromise the gods
had free will.  To save the world from destruction they agreed to be
bound by time, and bound out of time.  Time is basically linear evolution/
change.  The gods being locked out of time are bound to evolve as
their worshipers evolve.  And since they are locked out of time their
evolution is non-linear.

I have no idea if this is what Greg intended, but it has worked for us
and provides a decent explanation to a number of aspects of both gods
and heros.

Rob Mace


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Devil Worship in Pictures
Message-ID: <930515070008_100270.337_BHB22-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 15 May 93 07:00:08 GMT

Have a look at this one in a fixed-width font, or it'll look about as good 
as those adverts you see when people use the office e-mail...

                   __Illusion Death_
                __/        /\       \__
             __/          |  |         \__
          __/            /    \           \__
         /              |      |             \
     Disorder          /        \        Harmony
    STORM  ----------+----------+------------ WATER
     Motion \_        |          |        _/ Luck |
     |        \__    /   CENTRAL  \    __/        |
     |           \_ |     RUNE     | _/           |
     |             +     (up to     +             |
     |            / \__   you!)  __/ \            |
     |           |     \_      _/     |           |
     |          /        \____/        \          |
     |         |        __/  \__        |         |
     |        /      __/        \__      \        |
     |       |    __/              \__    |       |
     |      /  __/                    \__  \      |
     Truth |__/                          \__| Life|
     |      Fate                      Stasis      |
     FIRE ------------------------------------ EARTH

That's in case you couldn't understand my earlier description.  Now, the 
important missing thing is the direction of each line or arrows: around the 
outside (the circle arcs* of Evolution), Darkness points to Water, points 
to Earth, points to Fire, points to Storm, points to Darkness.  Across the 
inside (the star lines of superiority, which the Power Runes are attached 
to), Darkness points to Earth, points to Storm, points to Water, points to 
Fire, points to Darkness.  Use a different kind of line or arrowhead for 
each relationship, or the demons will get out...

DON'T try summoning anything using a print-out of this diagram: there are 
too many holes in the lines for you to do it safely.  If you get any 
results, let me know...

Comments welcome.  Remember, I don't think this is quite right either.

* not on this diagram they aren't!

A Modest Proposal:

A speculation on how those Power Runes should have been divided up (but 

	STORM = Disorder + Luck
	WATER = Fate + Motion
	FIRE = Stasis + Truth
	DARKNESS = Illusion + Death
	EARTH = Life + Harmony

I prefer these associations to the other set, which were:

	STORM = Motion + Disorder
	WATER = Harmony + Luck
	FIRE = Fate + Truth
	DARKNESS = Illusion + Death
	EARTH = Life + Stasis

I found those Water associations a little too odd, though they do fit the 
Water Rune characteristic very well...

Note that either method gives Storm two "positive" traits and Fire two 
"negative" traits (cf. diagram, Tales 7, p.35, or consult your own soul, to 
see what I mean), which might go a long way to explain why the battle 
between Orlanth and Yelm is the primary opposition of the world.


Out Of The Depths


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: RQ4 mailing list
Date: 15 May 93 07:28:27 GMT

I seem to have missed this. Loren, can you specify this again?

BTW, rules talk belongs into the digest, too, especially when it comes to 
rules not being intented for Glorantha.
Joerg Baumgartner
2300 Kiel
				Free INT - Das RuneQuest-Magazin