Bell Digest v940216p1

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, Wed, 16 Feb 1994, part 1
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk

X-RQ-ID: Intro

This is the RuneQuest Daily Bulletin, a mailing list on
the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's 
world of Glorantha.  It is sent out once per day in digest

More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found
after the last message in this digest.


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Honigmann & Petersen's Elves
Message-ID: <940215070134_100270.337_BHB42-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 15 Feb 94 07:01:34 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3101

Brief plug:

Paul Honigmann's very good material on elves should be available on the 
RuneQuest Digest: Volume 10, no 5 (19th December 93?). Worth rereading, 

Sandy said:

> I submit that each individual archetype of elf has its own personality,
> and that this personality in addition is modified by the season.

I like this submission a LOT, and think it's 100% compatible with my 
original seasonal theory. After all, Green Elves don't have seasonal 
personalities because of their tree type being evergreen. Et cetera.

This is another neat twist to take the men in green pyjamas another few 
steps away from the sub-Tolkien mishmash of other RPGs' species.



From: (Kirsten K. Niemann)
Subject: Babeester Going to the daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Feb 94 04:01:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: rq-playtest/1642

Mike Dawson (not Kirsten Niemann) here.

My goodness, I really didn't expect this to be wo heavily commented

The spell is open to abuse, if the ref thinks of his cults as nothing
more than a collection of rune spells, as well put by another

I think most people think very hard before they even talk to a BG.
They are scarier than Humakti, even if you don't know what their rune
magic does. 

I believe that David Dunham said:
Given that Babeester Gor
is probably a cult that cuts you off from normal stuff like raising a
family and possibly even sex,

The first part of this is true--BG initiation does set you apart from
normal society. Those ritual scars and male genetalia on your belt
make you less than popular at Gimpy's. BUT, I recall (don't recall
the source, but it is a published one) that BG "had many lovers,
becasue her acts were to terrible to do alone."

Just this past week in my game, I explained to the player of a BG
that it is a "cult secret" that there are men who LIKE their women
with ritual scarification and tattoos of skulls on their stomach....

As pointed out by the fellow who noticed that 2 points of Dispel
Magic knocks down your MP investment in Axe Trance, there are better
things, and more pressing things, to do with all the temple's stored
MP than raise one warrior's Slash and Crit chances beyond the point
of diminishing returns. 

This debate has moved well beyond matters of balance into a
discussion of the nature and interpretation of Glorantha. I think it
belongs on the Daily Digest, not the RAG digest.

Mike Dawson

Gloranthophiles need to contact me at
to find out about my magazine "Codex"
"Inquiries into the nature and secrets of Glorantha" .
--------------------------------------------------- /_\


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Prax and Sartar
Date: 15 Feb 94 12:43:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3102

Paul Anderson in X-RQ-ID: 3097

>On  Prax

>Joerg says:
>>What other Rune Lords need to know Peaceful Cut?
>The Balazarings in GM, are required to be masters of five out of seven or eight 
>things, and Peaceful Cut is one of these. They are also Great Hunters, although 
>they are _not_, or at least no longer Hsunchen. Their dogs are partners, not 
>kin. Messrs. Reilly and Baumgartner seem to base their thesis largely on traits 
>common to many hunter/gatherer 'primitive' cultures, (but not all; cf. 
>Turnbull: The_Forest_People, on Pygmies).  

Neither did I say the Praxians were Hsunchen any more.

Meanwhile I have learned that the Covenant of Waha made men and morokanth 
more intelligent than they had been before. I don't know what happened to 
the Hsunchen, but they seem to have changed, too - see First Age Basmoli 
or Galanini.

>On the Hellenes:

>    I see four major differences between Sartar and the Heroic Age of Greece:
>In no particular order, the Sartarites:

>        1. field armies of metal-clad fighters.

Yes, Sartarites are not very likely to bless woad.

>        2. use coined money.

There are some gripes about this. City dwellers do, rurals probably rarely 
do so.

>        3. are frequently literate.

A real difference.

>        4. are 'dualists'. Chalana Arroy heals disease; Mallia spreads it. 
>Apollo, however, is 'ambidextrous'. If he is propitious towards you, he heals; 
>if he is wroth, or wants your attention, he sends a plague or sudden death. 
>These are, of course, the presence and absence of the same function.

>    These diffences (except literacy) distinguish Sartar, and most of 
>Genertela, from almost all Terran Bronze Age cultures, not just Greece. 

Right. I see Glorantha more as an iron-age world using a strange metal.

>    Sartar's cities appear to be centers of trade and civilization, added to 
>hill-barbarian culture. Homer's cities (Troy perhaps excepted) are simply holy 
>places and strongholds, more like Runegate Fort than Boldhome.  

I agree with Nick Brooke's comparison of Dragon Pass Orlanthi cities with 
Celtish oppidae, which originated between late Bronze Age and Early Iron 

>    I like Joerg's speculation about the wise Giants sending their children to 
>Magasta's Pool to commune with Annilla. (I presume the details on her are from 
>Troll Gods?)

And Gods of Glorantha, p.7.

>I would add:
>    Sa Mita and Hen Cik are not particularly wise, apart from the influence of 
>Gonn Orta. Her child would not be wise either, if it were not not sent down 
>river. In fact, the differnce between Wise Giants and others is not so much 
>racial as ritual and educational. The Old Lady raises [and, if the Lunars are 
>right, Heals] those Giant-babies who make it to her so they can control 
>themselves to wisdom. They then return, as young Giants, on a Blue-moon Night 
>to their homelands.

My impression, too.

>Sandy says [roughly, can't find refernce at the moment.]
>"Wise Giants haven't been able to breed since the Golden Wheel Dancers died 
>out. Anyone who remembers Urggh the Ugly will understand what I mean."
>I don't. Can you explain the explanation?

Read Alebard's Quest, Tales otRM 5, and onetime electronically available, 

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Brandon Brylawski)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 15 Feb 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Feb 94 15:05:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3103

Regarding the Pureshot spell, here is my writeup. 


This spell must be cast upon an arrow, crossbow bolt, or thrown missile weapon.
When the missile is fired, it ignores worn armor and magical protection. To-hit,
special, and critical percentages are not affected by this spell. This spell may
be stacked with Sureshot and Speedart. It may be stacked with Multimissile,
but only the first, real missile is affected. If the missile fails to hit its 
target or is not fired before the duration of the spell ends, the enchantment 

The cults that have this are the Solar hunter cults : some of the Pent gods,
Yu-kargzant of the Grazers, and the hero cult Kuschile, among others.

The analogue of this spell for melee weapons is the trickster spell Strike, also
a two point spell.


From: (Brandon Brylawski)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 15 Feb 1994, part 2
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Feb 94 15:17:39 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3104

Regarding Lankhor Mhy :

I have always held, in the way of Phil Davis, that there is a subcult of 
Lankhor Mhy known as the Seekers. These folks are scholars that got fed up with
trying to sift through the incomplete and often contradictory information
brought in by travelers and adventurers and decided that the only way to secure
reliable knowledge was to find out first-hand. In addition to the normal Lankhor
Mhy runes of Truth and Stasis, they also have Law. I always thought of them
as bookish Indiana Joneses, intrepid archaeologists and such.
"That belongs in a _museum_ !" (Lankhor Mhy temple, same difference)



Subject: Elf Stuff
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Feb 94 16:31:33 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3105

Dave Hall (thank you very much!) recommended Paul Honigmann's Daily
discussion of Elf Psychology from October (?). I only have Dailies archived
back to -- guess? -- November. Can someone -- maybe you Paul -- help me out
by emailing me the piece in question?

And Brian Mahoney... puuuhlease email me the Wild Rose Sprites article. I'm
extremely interested, and I'll tell YOU the secret why.

Please send all Weed Friend email to:

Now... Sandy. Was David too harsh in his assessment of the Elf Pak
manuscript? Would it be sinister to suggest you excerpt a few choice bits for
the Daily's delectation?

BTW, Sandy, Doom is Evil.

Uncle Ken, Weed Friend and Pine Coner


Subject: Illumination
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Feb 94 16:57:08 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3106

[Looks like this did not get through when I attempted to post it last Friday.
 I'm reposting it, and I apologize to all and sundry if it turns up twice.]

Given the recent discussions about both illumination and Hans' bringing up
names of illuminants (Nysalor/Nice Lord, Gbaji/Bad Guy, Arkat/Our Cat-
NOT!-),  I thought I'd share the below.  It was written in response to
someone saying that they disliked the idea of enlightenment and illumination
being related, stating that "they just aren't (similar)."  I disagre
ed, and came up with the below to explain why I felt the two were in some way
Part of this connection is the similarity of language, and the way in which
one gains the illuminated or enlightened state.  Both states are gained
through the use of questions being asked and answered.  The words
"enlightened" (the state resulting from the study and practice of Zen
Buddhist beliefs) and "illuminated" (the state resulting from the exposure to
Nysalor/Gbaji beliefs) are certainly synonyms.  
In Therevadist Buddhism, the ideal is the Arhat, who is one who has
emancipated his or her sel
f from desire, specifically tanha, (see below) through self-effort and the
virtue of his wisdom.  This tradition is one of individualism, where each
self can only be enlightened through their own efforts.  In spelling, the
leap from Arhat to Arkat is not great.  Therevadist Buddhism is less wide
spread th
an Mahayana Buddhism, in which the ideal is the Bodhisatva,  who is one who
has reached salvation through grace and the virtue of his or her compassion. 
(One wonders if one of the Ralios Arkat Hero War incarnations prefers to be
called Bohkisatva ;-)   ?)  Zen is considered to be one school of Mahayana
belief.  The Mahayana tradition is one of unity, where one self can aid
another self to become enlightened.  But, I digress...   I feel the
connection is more than a similarity of words, but is a similarit
y of belief about the condition of the world and the effects of this belief.
   The First Noble Truth of Buddah that life is dukkha , that life is
suffering or pain, is certainly one that most unilluminated Gloranthan Chaos
would agree with.  Houston Smith translates the exact meaning of this truth
to be that: "Life in the condition it has got itself into is dislocated. 
Something has gone wrong.  It has slipped out of joint.  As it's pivot is no
longer true, it's condition involves excessive friction (interpersonal
conflict), impeded motion (blocked creativity), and pain." (p. 112, The
Religion of Man.
)  The Second Noble Truth is that life's dislocation is caused by tanha ,
which is "a specific kind of desire, the desire to pull apart from the rest
of life and seek fulfilment through these bottle
d-up segments we call our selves."  Tanha  is the desire to ignore that all
life is one, that all individual parts are extensions, aspects, or facets of
the whole reality.  The Third Noble Truth is that the dislocation of life can
be cured by releasing the individual from the "narrow limits of self-interest
into the vast expanse of universal life."  The Fourth Noble Truth is that
this release can be accomplished by following the Eightfold Path of right
knowledge, right aspiration, right speech, right behavior, right livelihood,
right effort, right mindfulness, and right absorption.  Following this path
leads to
 salvation or enlightenment.
 To return to Glorantha, it would appear to me that the forces of Law as a
whole are trapped in a pattern of "blocked creativity," while the forces of
Chaos as a whole are trapped in a pattern of both personal and "interpersonal
conflict."  The majority of the gods of Law were caught in the dichotymous
struggles of the runes by which their existance and powers are defined, which
is what I understand the Godswar was about.  These struggles intensified to
the point of bringing Chaos into the world, which began the even greater
conflict of the Greater Darkness.  The original dichotymous struggles between
the gods of Law were ameliorated by the Cosmic Compact, when the various gods
of Law agreed to acknowledge one another's right to exist as a part of the
greater whole, and to focus
 on supporting one another in keeping the universe together.  However, this
Compact did not include the gods of chaos, as noted in Cults of Terror, page

:  One of the clear distinctions made in the Compromise is 
: that Chaos is not of the world.  The deities and powers of 
: the world had touched it, and were still afraid of it, and 
: their continued existence required that they must remain 
: apart from chaos.  Chaos became the enemy which must be 
: fought and suppressed.  With one enemy recog
nized by 
: everyone, the squabbling deities found a common theme for 
: unity.

 Thus, during the Godswar the gods havetanha  and fail to accept other gods
of opposing runes;  air and sky, light and dark, etc. . . , and all try to
distroy their opposite.  This creates further unbalance in the wor
ld, and chaos results.  After the Cosmic Compact, the gods of law still
havetanha  and fail to accept the gods of chaos out of fear.  It seems to me
that the power of Nysalor is one that allows a wa
y around thetanha  of the Cosmic Compact, and that the way of the Illuminated
Arkati is a Gloranthized Eightfold Path.
I'm not sure the degree to which I think this anymore.  I think the
temptation to view Illumination as similar to Enlightenment is a natural one,
especially for those of us who are neither.  I think the above argument is
probably most useful as an illustration of how we on Earth try to make sense
of Glorantha.  I'm sure there are those in the Lunar Empire who use arguments
similar to that above to explain the Truth of Illumination, but who really
knows?  I'm now thinking about thinking about how Earth post-modern beliefs
might have certain things in common with Illumination, particularly
deconstructionism and social constructivism.  Thoughts?
Lastly, on the question of Pavis having Dragon magic:
Soooo... using Dragon magic affects the personality of the user.... and in
_Codex_, Martin Crim describes seven Pavis cult masks that affect the
personality of the wearer.... Hmmmmmmm.  Something to think about....

Peace,   Peter


From: SYS_RSH%PV0A@HOBBES.CCA.CR.ROCKWELL.COM (No sign of bunnies or peoples)
Subject: Hsunchen, Solar and Lunar Gods.
Date: 15 Feb 94 15:56:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3107

>Coming up with a systematic classification of the Gloranthan human 
>subraces seems somewhat problematic, given the number of wholely 
>contradictory origin myths, not to say the whole of pre-Dawn 
>`history' being a shakey proposition at best.  Are these races
>each of a common `real' origin, or are they classified according to 
>their appearance only?

This is a fine question.  I'm not an expert on the Vadeli or 
Warewererans (hows that for vascillation?) or Brithini, but it seems 
to me that the answer is most likely "a bit of both."

It's human nature to classify things (particularly by pointing out 
differences), and the human races of Glorantha seem to be no 
exception.  In game terms, I play that there are many races/species 
of humans that are normally perceived to be different by PCs and 
NPCs, but really are the same species.  Frinstance, people will tend 
to consider blue-skinned humans to be a different race from 
green-skinned humans, even if they are really the same species.

For a while, I had a system whereby I could track which races were 
really different and which weren't, but it was this huge, complicated 
thing that only a truly demented gamemaster (to wit, yours truly) 
could care about.  It arose from one of my more obnoxious players 
demanding a 'reasonable genetic explanation' as to why lycanthropes 
couldn't breed true.  (This was back in RQ I days!)  I didn't give a 
fig about waht the player thought of my reasons, but I worked it out 
as a probability project and applied it to other races besides 
shapechangers.  (For those interested, I had it set up such that 
lycanthropes bred true only 2% of the time, and half-breeds never 
produced lycanthropes.)

But it's still not as confusing as Elves. :)



From: (Roderick Robertson, SC1-5, x52936)
Subject: Yelmalio and the Hill of Gold
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Feb 94 16:57:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3108

Paul Anderson asks:

>    I must thank those who have written to answer my questions; you are all 
>most interesting. Particular comments:

>    I seem to have been ambiguous. I said:
>>    1. On CoP p.77 it says that Orlanth "led a strong army of immortals with 
>>many allies.  The gods of light continued to fight back, led especially by 
>                                                          ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^ ^^
>>[Yelmalio] in Peloria...." and continues with Yelmalio's wounding. Since the  
> ^^^^^^^^^^
>>discovery of the Elmal\Yelmalio (or is that Yelmal\Elmalio? :-))  schism:
>    a} [answered]
>    b} who tells it?
>    c} what is the name in brackets?
>    I meant to ask about [Yelmalio] as Captain-General of the armies of light, 
>      ^^^^^
>not about the Hill of Gold, which is, I agree, a local aitiology from the 
>Vanch (the border between the hills and the Pelorian plain) which has been 
>extended by [proto]-Yelamalions.
>    I don't yet have GRAY, but I don't believe Yelmalio is Captain of Light 
>anywhere in Peloria, for example.

   In discussion with Greg, I brought up the idea that Yelmalio *as a 
name* was a Theyalan invention. Here is Orlanth storming around and 
ending up at the Hill of Gold. There he meets a Solar god whom he does 
not know (In GRoY, Antirus is a part of Yelm left behind after Yelm
leaves this world). Orlanth knows a thane called Elmal, He knows of
the (now dead) Yelm. He does not know who the heck this is, and calls
him by a combination of the two names, with some sort of diminutive
attached Y(elmal)-io. (-alio may be the diminutive here, with no 
thought of Elmal). In the Dara Happan Empire, the God at the hill of 
Gold was Antirus. Polaris is the General/Captain of the Solar Armies. 
Shargash is a Hungry god (he eats as much as he can, until there is 
nothing left to eat, sort of like Oakfed), as well as a Chaos fighter. 
Kargzant is a nomad, and acts sort of like Storm Bull (rushes in 
before thinking). The 'Author' of GRoY dislikes Kargzant, and Shargash 
doesn't get too much good press. One wierdness I noticed (greg hasn't 
got back to me on this yet) Kargzant does not appear on the Gods Wall 
(which lists all the gods known to the Dara Happans, good or bad).