Bell Digest v930916p2

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 16 Sep 1993, part 2
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Sender: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
Precedence: junk

The RuneQuest Daily and RuneQuest Digest deal with the subjects of
Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's world of Glorantha.

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RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Henk Langeveld)


From: henkl@glorantha (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Nomad use of...
Message-ID: <9309151504.AA16918@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 15 Sep 93 19:04:24 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1693

Forwarded message:
> 	Subject header missing.
> Date: Wed, 15 Sep 93 10:32:12 EDT
> From: (Brandon Brylawski)
> Message-Id: <>
> To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
> Content-Length: 1758

Charlie Domino writes:

>       All veggie fanaticism aside, meat contains certain protiens and
>nutrients needed by the human body (as do vegetables & fruits).  Our
>technological society can produce most if not all of these in "pill" form,
>making meat unnecessary, but Glorantha cannot. Our more sedentary lifestyle
>and higher medical abilities can cope with nutrition deficiencies, whereas
>the harsh, demanding, nomadic lifestyle of the Praxians cannot.

I believe that many  nomads on Earth get/got most of their protein from yogurt
and yogurt cheese, both of which are very simple to make : To make
yogurt, put milk in a skin and add a little bit of yogurt from the previous 
batch , then wait for a day or so. yogurt keeps for a few days, even without
refrigeration, and milk doesn't, so this is advantageous.
To make yogurt cheese, make yogurt, add a bit of vinegar or other acid to
help it curdle, then strain through cloth and squeeze out the whey. Drink the 
whey; save the cheese (it has the consistency of cottage cheese) for later.
Yogurt also dries fairly well, although I suspect dried yogurt is an acquired
taste, and the chhecse preserves well if you add salt.
> (It's said that nothing is left of a
>slaughtered animal, all is consumed/used.  To what uses are the hooves &
>teeth put?  What of the bones?  The cartalige and inedible

>From what I have read, the bones are split for marow and then used in soup.
The hooves are either used in soup or boiled together with the cartilage to
make gelatin. The tendons and ligaments are dried and used to tie things 
together, for instance to haft spear points and arrow points.
sinew makes very strong and tough cord.
The teeth, I expect, are used for jewelry.



Subject: Portraying spirits, nomad food, etc
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 15:06:41 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1694

>From: (Colin Watson)
>Subject: Exorcising Spirits
>I'd like to hear more about the "spiritual weapons" idea. Would they be like
>ritual spells? Or like skills (a la Sorcery skills)? I considered introducing
>a spell called Exorcise (Ritual, Ceremony) which simply allowed the caster
>to engage in spirit combat (without actually discorporating per se). It would
>be available as a Divine or Sorcery spell (not Spirit Magic). Being a
>ritual spell it could not be used in a combat situation.  (Nasty cults might
>use it to possess prisoners though>:->). Does this seem fair, or does it make
>life too easy?

A spell similar to this already exists. It is called 'Attack Soul' and it is
only available to shaman priestesses of the Subere cult. It allows the caster
to enter into spirit combat with the target of the spell. It is the only
method I know which allows a corporeal spirit to initiate spirit combat. My
shaman character would give his right arm and left eye for the chance to
sacrifice for this spell. Whatever you do, NEVER antagonise a Subere priestess.

>Another idea: Is there a qualitative difference between a discorporate shaman
>and any run-of-the-mill magic spirit? Call me a God Learner sympathiser, but
>I kinda like the idea of nasty Lunar sorcerors Summoning & Dominating shamans.
>Heh, and of course Binding them for use at a later date...>:->
>['scuse me while I cackle insanely...]

I think discorporate shamans are prety much like any other spirit. (none of this
'silvery cord leading back to the body' crap. If I were a Lunar sorcerer after
some shaman's ass I would dispatch some bound spirits to ambush her on the
spirit plane next time she discorporates. Uh oh, I hope my GM never reads this.

As for being able to summon shaman spirits :
I doubt it. It depends on what summoning rituals actualy do. I think they are
probably too hit and miss. The target shaman would have to be discorporate
at the time anyway.

RE : The 'What do nomads eat?' debate.

Are there no wild animals in prax? Surely there must be some wild herd and non
herd animals roaming the plains. Even animals like rabbits and gophers could
provide enough meat to comprise a ballanced diet. Not forgetting wild fowl, and
fish from lakes and streams. (I know the maps do not show these, but there must
be some in the wastes, otherwise the animals would die of thirst.)

Someone said that it would be difficult for pedestrians like the morokanth
to migrate nomadicaly. What about the american indians? They lived a nomadic
life for thousands of years with no riding animals. Horses were introduced to North America by the spaniards.

RE : The Spirit World.

The discussions of spirit combat are all very interesting, but the RQIV rules
on this seem to work ok in practice. I would like to get back to the subject
of what the spirit world is actualy like. I agree with sentiments that the
standard spirits are too rules mechanical, though some of the non-standard
passion spirits I have encountered have been a lot of fun!

Spirits should not be just abstract meaningless entities. Spell spirits and such
should have a reason for existing. Afterall, what purpose does an ignite spell
serve on the spirit plane? An eagle spirit might know farsee; a mouse spirit
might know the silence spell; the ignite spell may come form a hearth spirit,
or a spirit of forest fires (wildfire), etc.

Simon Hibbs


Subject: Round and Flat.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 06:01:55 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1695

Urrr...  All this arguing about the "true shape of the world" sounds like
God Learners talking to me.  Who are these Mercator and Longhair guys?
Do we know that they're reliable.  Maybe we ought to subject them to a few
divine Ordeals to test their spiritual purity.  I suggest a dunking chair
to be followed by branding.  Then they should be tossed into the air, encased
in lead after they land, and finally buried.  This will test them against all
of the basic elements.  I leave it to my Humakti colleagues to suggest how
the other basic Universal traits should be tested upon them.

                               Anbjorn Ragnarsson, Storm Voice of Orlanth


From: (Tim Westlake)
Subject: Scribblings from the edge ....
Date: 15 Sep 93 16:08:19 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1696

Well, two weeks after coming back from holiday, I have now got up to 
date with the digest, busy lot arnt you! Anyway, on with the points.

In the Friday 10th September issue :

Jarec sent in some notes on selling RQ (posters, re-launch etc). I agree 
totally. Both RQ and Glorantha have agreat deal to offer, but most 
people have past by due to boring cover art and costlyness. A re-launch 
could be what the game needs, it certainly helped role-master/MERP when 
ICE did it.


Rob Mace commented on Steve Maurers Heroquest system. Why not upload it 
to soda? I dont know the procedure, but this would appear a good place 
to put it!

also he writes

> I will have to write an article some time on hero plane physics and 
> how hero plane actions relate to Time.

Yes please!

In the Tuesday the 14th issue

Tom Zunder writes
> Glorantha is patriarchal

Try telling that to Kygor Litor!

Now a question for the sages :

  If a god is created during time are they then considered outside of 
the cosmic compromise? Some gods that have been created are 
re-manifestations of god-time spirits (like the Red Goddess?) and so 
werent available to be part of the compromise at the begining of time. 
Does this therefore mean that they could time travel? Could they use 
prophesy? Or does the compromise mean that they may be able to jump back 
to god-time (sort of HeroQuesting) and then only back into the spot that 
they came from (a sort of "only one exit" control mechanism)?


| | "The reason God was able to create  |
|       |  the world in 7 days was that he    |
|-------------------------------|  didnt have to worry about the      | 
| I am not a free man, I am a   |       installed base."              | 
|          Resource!            |          - Enzo Torresi             |


Subject: Tyram and Card Games
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 13:41:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1697

David Dunham, RE: Soulwaste, the initiate of Tyram in DORASTOR encounters.

I have no idea who Tyram is. Ask Sandy. It was on a list of a jillion
questions I intended to ask him, and never got resolved. I kept the reference
rather perversely just for its complete obscurity. In fact, I kind of hope
that Sandy doesn't even know the answer.

To all, a good idea:

Stephen Martin just mentioned a swell idea over the phone. Seen Magic:The
Gathering, a new card game from the Wizards of the Coast? Wouldn't that be a
fine model for a Gloranthan card game?



Subject: Praxian diets
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 06:24:45 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1698

Well, the following is pure speculation on my part, and not in any way
connected to any official Staffordian view of Glorantha, but this only means
that it is 100% as valid as anything Greg comes up with, anyway, just harder
to publish.

Okay, I get the impression that the Wastes are pretty darn hard to live on if
you are used to loamy soil and regular rains.  So far as any northerner or
river valley person would think, the entire Wastes are incapable of supporting
life.  I see them as follows, moving east from the Zola Fel:

River Valley:  This area is pretty wet and fertile.  Somewhat regular flooding
replenishes the soil, and irrigation programs extend agriculture beyond the
narrow confines of the riverbanks.  I tend to see the Zola Fel as more of a
Mississippi in the middle of dry country than as a Nile, by the way.

Vulture Country (I prefer "Buzzard" because it sounds neater):  This is some
seriously bad desert.  For reasons unknown, there is very little rain here,
even compared with the rest of the Wastes.  This area also has several borax
deposits, salt flats, and other types of "soil" which are incapable of
supporting all but the hardiest (or chaotic) plant life, and, by extension,

The Wastes (excepting the copper sands and Genert's Garden):  This area is the
dry low-grass prarie.  For those of you who don't know what I mean by this 
(and there are a surprising number of people, even in the USA, who have NO
idea what a dry prarie is), I'll explain.  Dry prarie is a special adaptation
of the basic prarie ecosystem to dry conditions.  The major plant is either
blue fescue or red fescue (two species of grass).  Due to lack of moisture,
the grasses rarely get to any real height (no more than a mere meter--compared
to the three+ meter height of normal prarie).  These grasses are usually VERY
silica-laden, which makes them extremely difficult for any mammal to digest.
Furthermore, their seeds are extremely small and not worth the trouble to
harvest.  The other plants, or "berms" which exist can be classified into
legumes (usually short clover), cacti (often prickly pear--which can be found
in Wisconsin in the right dry praries), various flowering herbacious species,
a scattering of woody shrubs (like the creosote bush), and the occasional
tree (oak, usually).

Now, this system is ultimately unstable, and needs to be replenished.
Fortunately, dry prarie is highly flammable, and the occasional wildfire does
the trick very nicely.

Anyway, for a large herd to live on this, it would have to be adapted to eat
and digest high-silica plants with a lot of cellulose and very little moisture.

So, I see the Praxian diet as follows:

Waha altered the animals of the Beastriders to be able to digest the plants
of the Wastes (I conclude this from the fact that "Herd Men" can eat the
tough Waste grasses).  He then told the "people" of the Wastes that they were
to act as partners to their herds.  Okay, that's the mythic setting, what are
the implications:

I hold that Praxians have a very high meat diet simply because that is what
Praxians are supposed to do from a mythic standpoint!  Questions of Terran
nutrition do not accurately apply to them, because they have been altered by
Waha!  Now, can a non-Praxian thrive on a Praxian diet?  Probably not, but
that non-Praxian can BECOME a Praxian by means of initiation into the tribe!

Remember, Glorantha is a mythic landscape as well as a physical one.  

This is not to say that the Praxians eat only meat, but they can survive quite
nicely on an exclusive meat diet because of the deal brokered by Waha.  I 
would say that they also eat milk, koumis (urp), and cheese (which can VERY
easily be made without the use of ANY metal--all you need is the right sort
of container and the luck to get the right conditions).  Yoghurt is also
probable.  As for plant foods, the women probably gather prickly pear, the
fruits of shrubs, fleshy roots, starchy roots, etc.  However, from religious
conviction, NO Praxian would EVER eat something which looked like a leaf or
a blade of grass, that is for the herds, by Divine agreement.

Look at the diets of the Mongols for some ideas of what nomads would eat
(although the Mongols are much closer to the Pentans than to the Praxians).


Subject: Scary GodLearners vs. our world
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 06:42:58 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1699

Okay, a few things about Lewis's post on the Godlearners.  He has some good
ideas vis-a-vis the Godlearners themselves, but he makes some serious errors
when extrapolating them.

First, centralized authoritarian societies are antithetical to any sort of
scientific or technological advance.  (At least according to the archaeology
and history of science that I've read.)  What they DO is disseminate what they
are able to steal from other cultures very well throughout their own, if and
only if the powers that be deem it necessary.  Believe me, Russian science is
playing serious catch-up in nearly every field, not only from lack of funds,
but because the centralized state was dictating research programs to 
researchers from the top.  This doesn't work for shit, let me tell you.
It is the independent researcher-originated program which produces new
knowledge and new technology.  Top-down organization may be more efficient in
the short run, but it stifles all growth.  

As for our capitalist society (which we don't have, ask any Objectivist you
care to meet whether or not US society is "truly" capitalist") being a
centralized thing.  HUH?  Sorry, but although the US may have a strong national
government, it's about as centralized as a Volvox (a colonial organism).
Okay, maybe the UK has a centralized dictatorship of some sort, but the
country is the size of a single STATE in the USA.  Let me put it this way:

The US national government puts up a united, centralized front for the rest of
the world.  But that's mostly propaganda.  The national government is
constantly having to negotiate, argue, etc. with the various state governments.
Furthermore, many state and federal functions overlap and squabble with each
other, thereby preventing any sort of central control.  NOW, the various state
governments have to contend with municipal, county, township, etc. governments,
all of which have their own services, ordinances, and agendas.  Theoretically,
the federal government is over-arching, but the tail often wags the dog in
the USA.  Looking over it, I'm even a little happy that US government is such
a disorganized kludge.  Vigilance isn't the garantor of liberty, governmental
inefficiency and incompetence is!

Anyway, the concept that the US government is a centralized state is absurd.
It's a wonderful disorder, with three, four, or more separate governments 
all playing in the same field at a time.

Somehow, we get it to work.


Subject: TradeTalk
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 06:49:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1700

I treat Tradetalk as a pidgin, which is DIFFERENT from one large region to
another.  For example, there is a Tradetalk of Prax/Wastes, which is based
on Pavic.  This TradeTalk is mostly used to communicate between the various
Praxian tribes (who all speak different languages) and the river valley folk.

There is also a Dragon Pass Trade Talk, based on a mixture of Sartar and
Tarshite, used mostly for trade between those people and some trade to the

However, Trade Talk is very limited in scope.  A conversation (for a Tradetalk
based on English):

A:  Yo-hey, dere!  Howmuch be skins?
B:  Yo-hey, dere!  Dey be fifty per.
A:  Fifty per!?  It be too much, I say forty per.
B   Forty per be too little, mebbe forty-five?
A:  Okay, forty-five.  
B:  Done!  Okay, where be de eat-place?
A:  Eat-place?  Go sundown till see scribble red horse.
B:  What mean?  Scribble red horse?
A:  Horse on wood, hangs up.
B:  Okay, Thanks.

This is what I see Trade-Talk as being.  A shorthand special-purpose tongue.


Subject: RuneQuest Adventures
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 06:54:49 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1701

Okay, I've heard of it, but what is it?  Is it nothing more than a bunch of
damned canned scenarios, or does it publish stuff that is really worthwhile?


From: (Jim Rogers)
Subject: Great Plains = Prax?
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 08:56:24 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1702

Jim Rogers here again

	I've been thinking, thanks to Greg F., Charlie D., and others,
about Praxian nomads.  Being inclined professionally and motivated
personally, I did some brief research on how much Prax shared with the
Great Plains of North America in the mid-19th C.

	The 1819 Long expedition, sponsored by the U.S., gave the Plains
the title "Great American Desert" to those blessed farmers East of the
Mississippi.  The images based on this report seem hauntingly familiar to
the presumed Esrolian / Pelorian descriptions of Prax and the Waste.  Yet,
the Plains Indians had no trouble at all living there, chiefly due to the
buffalo.  And American cattle barons certainly could share their view in a
latter day.

	For some speculation (asbestos armor, on!) on N.A. geography vs.

	River of Cradles = Platte R. or Missouri/Kansas R.
	Prax proper = Central Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Dakotas
	Wastes = New Mexico, West Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana

	I would hope that this might be of some help to those looking for
ecological / sociological fits between the Praxian nomads and some
historical parallels.  Since there's lots of stuff out there on the Great
Plains, have at it!

	Signing off.

			Jim R.


Subject: Bantu
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Sep 93 16:48:03 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1703

Peter van Heusden writes:
>Oh damn, forgot who wrote this:
>> Tradetalk
>> ---------
>> I don't understand why people hate Tradetalk. Earth has many such
>> lingua franca. The most obvious being Swahili and Bantu in Africa.
 >                                                   ^^^^^^^^^
>Bantu? What's Bantu? All I know Bantu as is a generic term for black,
>very out of favour.
Bantu is actually the name of a large family of languages spoken throughout
southern and central Africa.  These languages spread along with the people
and their culture and are by far the dominant languages and cultures in the
southern half of Africa.  However, they really aren't comparable to
Tradetalk.  "Bantu" is rather like "Romance" or "Germanic".  The languages in
the family are certainly closely related but normally not any more mutually
intelligible than French and Spanish or English and German.

Swahili is indeed comparable to Tradetalk in some ways being a language
derived from several others and fostered by trade.  However, it was never as
widespread as Tradetalk is usually portrayed, and eventually it replaced the
indigenous language in some places.



From: (Andy Mears)
Subject: Subscribe
Date: 15 Sep 93 10:51:28 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 1704

Subscribe me please.