Bell Digest v931115p3

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Mon, 15 Nov 1993, part 3
Precedence: junk


Subject: RQ-Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 14 Nov 93 04:17:37 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2307

Greetings!  Please excuse me if some of this is from a while back...

>From: (charles gregory fried)
>X-RQ-ID: 2172
>Greg Fried here.
>Peter Michaels:
>That was me with an island campaign, complete with shark worshipers. 
>Thanks for the reference!

Greg, I remembered it was your campaign I was thinking about approx. five
minutes after I shut my computer off.  Hope you enjoy the books.  If you
can't find them, let me know.  I believe I've even seen them in a used book
store, so I could probably get 'em pretty cheep.  If you decide to
encorporate elements of those stories into your campaign, I'd love to hear
about it. 

>From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
>X-RQ-ID: 2176
> ....
>Peter Michaels:
>I enjoyed your view of Storm Bulls in Prax as following the old, pre-Waha
>ways. This is a neat use of existing material which explains how they can
>violate all those Waha-imposed tribal taboos. I had been using something
>similar to explain why the Bullies are tolerated at all ('cos they used to
run >the whole show, and Waha is a loyal son), but this is even better. 
Though >I'd not call them "contraries", as:
>i)  They do have a "code" of their own, which does make sense in itself.
>ii) That always makes me think of transvestite shamans, and those idiotic
>    islanders you meet in Logic Problems who always tell lies (*note) -- 
>    neither of which really fits my ideas of the Storm Bull. Bolongo, yes.
>But "behaving in a way contrary to common sense" seems an accurate
>description, so we can let that stand.

I agree that part of the Praxian toleration of the followers of Storm Bull is
because he is the father of Waha, and so the grandfather of the Tribal
Founders.  I just think the Praxians would need some sort of greater social
context for them to keep from throwing such breakers of tribal tradition and
taboo out into the Wastes.  Also, I don't think the Praxians would call them
"contraries" either;  I think the Praxians call them Storm Bull Warriors.   I
think that the Storm Bull cult fits the same cultural niche for Praxians that
the contrary warrior societies did for the native American Indians, and I
call these societies "contraries" because that is what the native American
Indians called them.  An interesting description of contrary behavior is
given in the book _Little Big Man_ by Thomas Berger.  (The book has also been
made into a movie, starring Dustin Hoffman.  I just happen to have the book
handy, and not the movie.)  To quote the book (p. 185):

     ... You know the ordinary Cheyenne is a warrior the peer of which is
     hard to find.  But a Contrary carries it even farther.  He is so much
     of a warrior that all of life apart from fighting, he does backwards.
     He don't walk on the trails, but rather through the bushes.  He 
     washes with earth and dries off in the water.  If you ask him one
     thing, he does the opposite.  He sleeps on the bare ground, preferably
     an uncomfortable bit of terrain and never on a bed.  He cannot marry.
     He lives off some distance by himself from the camp; and when he
     fights, he fights alone, not with the main body of Cheyenne.  He
     carries the Thunder Bow into battle, which has a lance affixed to one
     end.  When it is in his right hand, he may not retreat.
          Well, there is a million other rules to it, I expect, and because
     is so special you'll only find one or two Contraries around any camp.

Please realize that I have no idea how well researched this book may or may
not have been, and so can't say how accurate it is in describing actual
contrary societies, Cheyenne or otherwise. For accuracy I would refer back to
the generalized quotes from Thomas E. Mails' book _The Mystic Warriors of the
Plains_ given in my last posting .  How this all relates to Storm Bull
behavior depends on what you want for your Glorantha.  Personally, the only
part I would not directly incorporate is the "cannot marry."  I would
consider the "Thunder Bow" equivalent to any personal weapon of the SB
warrior, and keep the idea that he/she will not retreat while the weapon is
in their right hand.  I would also definitely confine the majority of this
extreme behavior to the Praxian Storm Khans, with just one or two such
contrary "quirks" evident in any given Praxian SB initiates.

regarding my:
> ... if Humakt was Orlanth's Sword, was Urox Orlanth's Shield?

I'd like to correct myself.  Clearly, Babeester Gor provided the Shield of
Arran to Orlanth during the Great Darkness, which is where Wind Lords get the
Great Parry rune spell.  Maybe Urox was Orlanth's codpiece?  ;-)

>From: (Sandy Petersen)
>X-RQ-ID: 2283
>I have enjoyed the opportunity to insert some of my Pamaltela essays into
>the Digest, but am curious as to how useful/interesting this is to you guys.
>Especially given that I have done some significant work on the
probably->not-going-to-be-published Praxpack. 
>For my next magical trick, should I give some more Pamaltela data, or  
>some of my information on the Wastes? 
>Sandy Petersen

I've quit ranting and raving like a madman and feel I can now attempt to
organize my thoughts in a somewhat rational fashion.  First, my vote is for
more information about the Wastes.  Although I definitely do find the
Pamaltela essays interesting, I think the information about the Wastes would
be more directly applicable to my Gloranthan understanding at this time. 
(O.K. ... easy part over... keep calm... deep breaths....)  Second, please do
tell why Praxpack is "probably-not-going-to-be-published."  I feel this is
important to know so that I can respond in an appropriate fashion.  I find it
difficult to understand why, when Dragon Pass and Prax are two of the oldest
Gloranthan lands known to RQ gamers, these areas aren't better documented.  I
find it even harder to understand why, when "significant work" has been done
to gather such information, there is difficulty in it getting published. 
(Whew!  Reread it... doesn't sound too irrationally upset... hope folks will
understand my initial reaction... hope even more there is something that can
be done to help more on Glorantha get published...)

Thanks, and peace,
     Peter Michaels


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Malkion
Date: 14 Nov 93 08:59:56 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2308

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 2282

>(in reference to my statement of: The other Malkioni didn't appear  
>until after the Dawn. 

So you regard only the Hrestoli (or later) sects/heresies as Malkioni? 
I was using the term for those Brithini who had accepted Malkion's 
message of Solace.

Nick Brooke in X-RQ-ID: 2285
>Subject: One Prophet

>Joerg and Graeme:

>OK, I'll come quietly. Your new consensus on Malkion, where the Brithini 
>reject the second spurt of teachings by their original Lawgiver, looks to 
>be far more entertaining and less confusing than my original "solution" to 
>the inconsistent roles apparently played by the same character. In fact, 
>you can get loads of fun out of this. Well done, guys. It's also 
>interesting that Malkion's sons Zzabur, Horal, Talar, presumably connived 
>at and agreed to banish their father: like the first Brutus in reverse, and 
>very much unlike what you get in traditional patriarchies...

Finally converted. Puh.

>We now need to sort out the Trial scene, the Exodus myth, and the ultimate 
>fate of Malkion: presumably he was bodily assumed into Solace in Glory at 
>some point...

Brithini Domini Canes? In my version the Exodus from Brithos occured 
when the ice swallowed the land, nad when the Malkioni-Brithini Schisma 
occured, it was the main body of the Brithini that returned, using the 
Waertagi Dragon ships. This is my imagination only...

>> The Seven Mothers as a grouping of associate cults: are the Light-
>> bringers worshipped in a similar way? I notice that there is a temple
>> to the Lightbringers in Riskland.

>I think this is extremely possible, 
>and perhaps common outside of more "civilised" Orlanthi regions: remember 
>that the spread of Theyalan Lightbringer culture was originally a 
>civilising missionary movement (in the First Age), still suited to that 

The Biturian Varosh story about Yelmalion justice (CoP, reprinted in 
Sun County) seemed to equalize all Lightbringers. Why else should an 
Issaries trader pose as a Storm enemy in a minor Yelmalio heroquest?

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: various replies
Date: 14 Nov 93 09:00:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2309

Colin Watson in X-RQ-ID: 2279
>Subject: Re: creation

>[ lengthy explanation of how creation spells might work...]
>>Then I'd call it "Summon (substance)". The substance provided would be 
>>taken away somewhere else along the fibre.

>Ok, ok, what's in a name? To the punter on the ground it's gonna *look* like
>a genuine creation. Even a sorcerer is unlikely to understand fully where
>the stuff actually comes from and where it goes to. IMO Sorcerers would call
>these "Summon (substance)" spells Creations, it sounds a lot more impressive
>and who's gonna question it?

I do see a difference. Summoning a substance is little more than a 
guided teleport and can be done for a few magic points. Might be an 
instant effect, called and staying, or a temporal transition, which 
expires, and the substance returns to its source. Creating a substance 
out of energy takes a lot.

>BTW I think a generic Summon(substance) spell is a potential can-of-worms;
>Summon(Gold) Summon(Diamond) etc. you can see the problem...
>I'd restrict it to creating pure elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water etc.

Summon Element is easier because there are vast elemental pools or even 
springs to draw upon in the outer planes. Gold or diamond don't exist 
in pools one can tap.

>I wonder how other people treat active spells. If you cast an active spell,
>say Fly, you can fly for as long as you concentrate on the spell. If you
>stop concentrating then you stop flying, but does the spell actually end?
>I thought it did, but other people are of the opinion that the spell
>runs for its full duration so you can "re-start" your concentration and take-
>off again as many times as you like for the duration of the spell. How do
>you play active spells?

I find the "reconcentrate" method attractive. A real sorcerer ought to 
have certain passages in his tower which have a long-term Form/Set or 
Animate upon them, through which they can pass in case of emergency. 
Woe to them if this is dispelled while they're inside, but it certainly 
makes plundering a sorcerer's den a REAL challenge. And PC sorcerers 
have enspelled items handy to impress less educated primitives, which 
gives them the possibility to play the great Zampano, without draining 
their valuable magic points.

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 2283

>For my next magical trick, should I give some more Pamaltela data, or  
>some of my information on the Wastes? 

I'd prefer the Wastes, but any original and official material is 
desperately wanted.

Colin Watson in X-RQ-ID: 2284

>Ok, but I think one or two context-free scenarios would be nice amongst the
>heavy Gloranthan stuff. These scenarios could still have a Gloranthan flavour,
>cults etc. just with fewer constraints of setting and (player) characters.

How far would you go to call a scenario context-free? You allow the 
opponents' cults to be defined. If you want to avoid the (almost 
stereotypical) chaos- or God Learner-bash, you either have to provide 
introductions for all kinds of characters (a way we try to follow in 
the Free INT scenarios), or keep the cult business out of the story.

There's noting wrong with scenarios which need one special PC to get 
the party involved, if nothing else helps, introduce a fitting NPC into 
the party, e.g. a comrade in arms. Do so sufficiently long before you 
need that character's motivation.

Gaumata's vision:
A village of Sun-worshipers amid a desolate, barren land. The village 
might as well be a Redland settlement, a stead on the border to Balazar 
or in Garsting, or in Sartar Sun Dome County bordering on Beast Valley, 
in North Sartar (where Tarshite-speaking, Elmal-worshipping Orlanthi 
seem to teem), somewhere on the Dara Happan border... If you play 
somewhere in theistic Genertela, sometime in the Third Age, you can 
place this scenario almost everywhere within three days of travel.

>you can ignore this and run it anywhere, but one feels obliged to make use
>of all the info provided (having paid for it).

Take the info on Sun County and Prax as un-asked for extra, if you play 
somewhere else. If you make up the background yourself for a less 
fleshed out scenario, you can as well replace this one. Ok, you paid 
for that information. I am one of the people who buy the Gloranthan 
scenarios not for use in play, but as inspiration and source for 
Gloranthan info.

>Given the choice between 3
>padded scenarios and half a dozen lean, stripped-down scenarios I would
>rather fork out my cash for the latter. I have my own ideas about my campaign
>which can be used to flesh them out myself.

Given the choice between three padded scenarios with unique ideas and 
six non-descript bashs, I'll go for the three. Nondescript scenes I can 
do only too "well" myself.

"The Magnificent Seven"
>Likewise, in a Gloranthan version we don't need to be given the details
>of where & when & why. We just need to know that it's a village somewhere
>in or near Prax (or wherever); the farmers are persecuted by bad-guys; the
>PCs sort it out.

The farmers also are a bunch of non-combatants which have to be whipped 
into action. Feasible with Esrolites and Yelmic peasants, but hardly 
with Orlanthi, not even pure Barntar worshipping peasants. Certainly 
not Sartar. The bad guys could be anything - trolls, tusk riders, 
outlaws, invaders. The Good Guys would include the PCs, but would also 
need some NPCs to provide extra tension.

>Who publishes non-Gloranthan stuff for RQ these days?

E.g. Free INT magazine. I am still looking for material about Vikings 
for issue 7. But Gloranthan stuff about Ygg's islands or the Manirian 
Wolf Pirates would be welcome, too - I want to show that one can 
combine Glorantha and non-Glorantha in one breath.

We might also try to persuade other game mags to take non-Gloranthan 
material in, but someone would have to write that, and give it away for 
little mony (the honour).

>>I am dead set against the de-Gloranthification of RuneQuest materials:
>>there are any number of non-Gloranthan games, books, movies, etc. out there,
>>if that's what you want to play or convert. But leave the real thing alone!

>Ah well, I think we'll just have to agree to differ on this one... :-)

I want to avoid this split Glo vs. non-Glo. There's not enough of us 
RuneQuesters that we can split up into warring factions.

David Dunham in X-RQ-ID: 2286

>>Sandy Petersen
>>> how far can you see the Block?

>>Hmm. I always assumed you couldn't see it from Sartar, but I never  
>>really considered it before. It seems to me that, since the Block  
>>produces no light of its own, and is (I think) over 100 miles from  
>>Boldhome, the haze in the air must block it from view except maybe  
>>from high mountains on a very clear day.

Most of Sartar lies west of the mountains in between, and in valleys, 
so the Block wouldn't be visible unless one climbed a mountain. From 
there... Paul Reilly came up with an interesting model about bending 
light rays, so that a horizon effect would be there in spite of 
Glorantha being a flat world.

>The Block is only about 120 km from Boldhome (300 km from the Temple of the
>Reaching Moon in Tarsh). I think if it's tall enough, it could be seen from
>Tarsh, given good cloud conditions, and the Quivin mountains not being in
>the way. So the question is, how tall is the Block? Hard to tell from the
>cover of Pavis (which is also around 120 km away, though with fewer
>mountains in between).

Careful with distances given from detail map scales in the Genertela 
Book. A friend managed to xerox the various maps to one size WRT 
geographic features, and to glue those fragments together into one map. 
The result is a map that has several scales varying by more than 200%.

I'm inclined to use the colour map from the Genertela Box as binding 
reference, since it shows all the area from the detail maps. Using that 
scale, I get a bit over 200 km distance between Boldhome and the Block.

Graeme Lindsell in X-RQ-ID: 2289

>"what (earthly) empires have easily conquered an area only 
>to be expelled and the conquered themselves by that area within 50 years?"
>The collapsing empires you mention seem to be those which collapsed 
>of their own accord, with perhaps some outside pressure. 

Still Theoderichs Ostrogoths in Italy, although that seems more like the 
fall of Argrath's (or Arkat's) empire, i.e. Barbarian overlords.

> Is this what really happened in Peloria? We know about the White Moonies,
>that the Pentans are beginning to raid the Redlands, that there are
>prophecies of invasion when Charg is released from the Ban. In my
>view what happened to the Empire was that it was attacked from all
>sides, and that a large proportion of it's citizens were not interested
>in fighting: 

This is a situation that the Empire had to face earlier as well. The 
outlying parts of the Empire (Carmania, Pelorian Barbarian Belt, 
Redlands) always had their own interest in mind. The Dara Happans did 
so, too, so they were fooled that the Emperor was the rightful Solar 
Emperor. And what did Yelm? The Emperor turned more and more from the 
Lunar (voluntary cyclical) way to the static way of Yelmite society.
Another Trickster story with the Trickster as the butt of the joke.

>I can see many Illuminates joining the White Moonies just
>out of self interest, given what we're told of Illumination's solipsistic
>viewpoint. A man with the view "I am the centre of everything, and no
>rules apply to me" doesn't make a good soldier IMO. Especially the 
>psychos that come from accidental illumination. This is probably where
>most of the missing Heartland counters went in Nick's summary.

I think that Nick's 1% military force rather is a result of the 
effortless wealth leading to more and more jaded decadence, financed by 
suppressing the former freeholders. These were actively settled on the 
borders, but make up the backbone of any army. If fewer of these are 
found in the Heartland, and if the remaining transform first into 
hidebound serfs, then into freely transferable slaves, there remains 
only the city populace to draw armed forces from. And the cities saw to 
it that their duties and obligations were kept at minimal level.

Another factor is the dazzling amount of exotics that the Lunar army 
could draw upon - broos, vampires, ogres, ghosts, madmen, criminals 
(Danfive Xaron), fanatics (Yanafal Tarnils) - that made the Heartland 
populace abandon their role as backbone of the Lunar forces.

> Of course, Argrath's Saga isn't going to mention any of these other
>factors in the decline and fall of the Lunar empire; though it's
>obliged to mention the Pentans after Argrath rescues Sheng Seleris,
>we're told their starting to raid now. Also see Nicks point
>about Romes fall a couple of days ago "Our Germans will guard the
>border with the Germans" seems similar to how the Empires Red Haired
>Caravans (whatever their name was) acted.

And the settlers sent into the outer provinces were the malcontents. 
Grudging conquered barbarians intermingled with grudging malcontent 
exiles - how long is this supposed to work, even with the odd veteran's 
steadin between?

>>Final Q: should the Lunar Empire have been expanding in the Seventh Wane?

> I'm not sure it was. I think it was Tarsh that was expanding: perhaps
>the "latifundiae" were starting to have a real impact on Tarsh, perhaps
>just ambition and a desire to match their overlords. When most of Tarsh's 
>army becomes Dragon food, it can no longer defend itself, and the Emperor 
>feels obliged to step in.

Maybe the fact that it still was expanding was a sign for its decadence 
- if the Red Emperor didn't work the will of the cycles, the fall would 
be even deeper.

Could someone (re)post the underlying cyclical scheme for Lunar 
development in wanes, and the reason for the (otherwise arbitrary) 52 
years interval?

John Medway in X-RQ-ID: 2291

[me musing about Celto-Egyptian Esrolites]
>We also have to remember that Dragon pass and Maniria are crossroads for 
>the continent and are somewhat of a melting pot. Hence describing the
>Esrolians and surrounds as being populated with a sort of Egypto-Celtic 
>Minoans works in many ways where any of the three descriptions, by them-
>selves, fail.

Not quite. RQC stated that in spite of the cultural diversity the 
single units of the holy country very much kept their traditions. But 
serving with the other groups in one army certainly gives way for some 

John Medway in X-RQ-ID: 2292

[outsiders only scenario]
>That'd be an especially good way to set up a Lunar scenario. Say a trading
>or research mission by Barbarians who head into the empire. I've gotten a 
>pseudo-"wow" reaction out of one thing I've pulled on the PCs in my current
>campaign, but I guess they're pretty jaded, even for Lunars.

Great idea. I'd like to see that.

>Joerg Baumgartner in X-RQ-ID: 2233

>> I agree that a fully fleshed out encyclopaedia for each and any
>> lexicalic information about Glorantha would be great. Unlikely to
>> happen, though.

>This is a lovely dream. I hope something like it could be done, but the scope
>of the project... ug! Maybe if we each pick a topic...

Maybe not so big, if we go that way. I thought of checking the index of 
the Genertela Book, keeping the page references for full information, 
and giving an abstract of the information. If there occured other 
keywords in the entry (such as the city gods of Dara Happa), these 
would be added. Then other sources would be worked in. Any volunteers? 
What's the legal situation?

I was thinking of abusing nn's mail system which has all the stuff in 
one large ASCII file, allowing references. Advantage: this PD program 
exists as executable on all systems I know of.

Of course I'd prefer a fully fleshed out hypertext system that runs on 
my machine (Atari ST), too.

--  Joerg Baumgartner