Bell Digest v940223p3

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From: ANDERSJC@howdy.Princeton.EDU
Subject: Comments, comments, and more comments
Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 Feb 94 22:01:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3165

This is being posted for Paul Anderson, on Janet Anderson's account:


On Elves

Nick Brooke says:
>Why not take these for *seasonally variable* Aldryami personalities? [and 
>lists the effects for the first four seasons]
    Yes! First idea I've heard that gives Aldryami more personality than 
houseplants. What would happen in Storm Season? [Yes, there are PCs dumb enough 
to enter an elvenwoods in Storm Season.]  This should be a chance to reflect 
the mythological link between the alfar/Guid Folk/bean sidhe and the spirits of 
the dead, as the Aldryami retreat and gather their strength for spring.

    Janet concurs that the type of plant-totem should matter as much as or more 
than the season. Beware Holly-elves!

On Lunar Phases

James Polk says:
> I suggest that one of the effects of the Glowline  is to make the timing of 
>the lunar phases  within the Glowline  the same [everywhere]. 
    This is, of course, only possible as a mere appearance, which ties in 
nicely with the recurrent hints that the Lunar Rune is linked with Illusion.
The Lunar mystics say that this reveals a truth about the universe; the 
Theyalans reply that it says much about the Lunar Empire.
    This suggestion also has textual support: _Dorastor_  says that "In the 
Empire, the Full Moon falls on Wildday"; which would mean that the Goddess's 
chosen internal face is the one she shows to Dragon Pass (the magical center of 
the Universe) and the Homeward Ocean (the physical center of the Universe).

    I at first disliked the suggestion that the Moon phase depends on where you 
are, outside the Empire, for this reason: If the Full Moon is always on 
Wildday, the Lunar theologues will claim that this day is, _and always has 
been_, dedicated to the Lunar Element; the unHealled Lankhor Mhy just never 
allowed Himself to realize this. Therefore extremist Lunars will speak of 
"Moonday" in Theyalan languages, etc.,etc. But I now have a speculation: 
   The elemental association of the days of the week is only valid locally, 
where ritually supported by the worship of Lankhor Mhy as Calendar-Maker. Most 
of these places are South of the Empire, and the Full Moon is on Wildday. This 
association is not true elsewhere, but this merely demonstrates [to Lunars] 
that the Lunar Way is a higher and more inclusive synthesis.   
    By analogy, the binding nature, and finite length, of Time is only valid 
for those who use the ST calendar. Everyone saw the Sun rise, but not everyone 
experienced a *metaphysical change in the nature of the Universe.

    btw, none of these theories of the moon have yet explained the _name_ 
Silver Shadow. Why Silver (as opposed to Scarlet, which is also Lunar)? Does 
the White Moon already shine on Glamour? Shadow of what? the walls of the 

On Lankhor Mhy:

Gerald Bosch:
> I have someone playing a Lankhor Mhy initiate and he and I agreed 
>that the cult write-up seems to be a parody of what's wrong with the
>academy.... To make the cult into a better avenue for adventure role-play,
> I wrote up a hero subcult that embodies what I think ought to change
>in intellectual life. 
please send this; my LM player agrees there should be changes.
>sub-cultists are sort of a mix of Stephen Hawking, Socrates, and Indiana Jones 
Interesting choices. IMO Sartari would see Socrates as a G-- L--rn-r, if not a 
Illuminate Riddler.  Engelbert Eszterhazy, perhaps?

    Please note that there are already two, if not three, LM subcults implied 
by published materials. There is LM Sage, the whole  Absent-Minded 
Professor schtick; and there is LM Lawspeaker, Orlanth's lawspeaker and 
councillor (but not Wise Man; that's Kolat). These reflect very different 
institutions.  Lawspeaking (as the Icelandic parallel shows) does not even 
require literacy, whereas LM Sage is so specialized that a pure Orlanthi 
barbarian society probably cannot afford to maintain it.  Note that the LM 
temples in Dragon Pass are in the Cities founded by Sartar, and were presumably 
introduced by him, with other civilized appurtenances The Sages were developed 
out of the Lawspeakers by a largely Orlanthi State (I should think the First 
Council) in order to make literacy and learning available  to its servants; 
their grasping nature probably derives from their economic problems without 
such a State to support them.  

    The third sub-cult is that worshipped by Wild Sage, which permits them to 
renew their spells in the wilderness; this would be your hero-cult.

    The following myth may serve for LM the Sage:

    Issaries was suprised at Lhankor Mhy's knowledge during the LBQ, and asked 
him afterwards how he had become so wise.  After he was paid, LM replied "The 
Wise Goose had put an affront on me, and I demanded of her recompense, as was 
my right. But she refused me, and waged battle. In that battle, I pulled her 
feathers out, and with them her Wisdom, writing, which I have sold you. She 
yielded to me, and offered me her great gold and shining egg for my protection;
for she had lost her wisdom. I accepted, and from that egg came my love, the 
Light of Knowledge. When my Lord Orlanth went raging about against Yelm's 
creatures, I preserved her by cutting her wings, so that she was no longer a 
Sky creature, but a simple air-breather and his clanswoman, though her children
still fly free. I then persuaded him, as the proverb records, not to kill her."

On Initiation:

    I like Boris's ideas on initiation. Where comments do not follow, I agree 
and praise: 
>I will use "Theyalan" when referring to the culture or the pantheon, and 
>Orlanthi when referring to just the cults of Orlanth...
     Good, should be standardized; but there is at least one more meaning of 
"Orlanthi": Theyalans who view Orlanth (rather than Yelmalio, etc..) as ruler.
>"Low Initiates"
     Why not (permanent) Lay Members, as in CoP
>not an initiation into any of the cults of the pantheon, but into the pantheon
    It might be clearer and more accurate to speak of initiation into the clan 
(or the household). For example, in the Badger Clan of the Malani, one of the 
effects of initiation is to confirm the initiates as Orlanthi as against Dara 
Happans, Sartarites as against Heortlanders, Malani  as against Colymar, 
members of the Badger Clan as against Two Farms clan, and so on. The Badger 
clan worships Orlanth, Chalanna Arroy, and so forth, as well as the local 
worship of its founder, Old Brock; initiation gives the clan-members the right 
and duty of participating in the cults of the clan, or its parts (for example, 
the ceremonies conducted only by married women in honor of Ernalda); the tribe 
would also have its several cults, which the members of all its clans may 
    But this only makes the initiate free of the cults of the groups to which 
he belongs; he would not be free to join in the Orlanth worship of some other 
Orlanthi clan (except as a guest, a temporary lay mamber) unless he went to 
live among them and was accepted as a member of the new clan. This   would be 
relatively easy for another clan in the same tribe, harder for a clan elsewhere 
in Sartar. Joining an Esrolian/ite clan might well be effectively another 
complete adolescent initiation.  

    There may be one decision you _have_ to make at 15: whether to take a 
normally male role or a normally female one, in essence a warrior or a 
housekeeper. See Glorantha Book III for details. I do not think it likely that 
cooks, seamstresses, and other nurturers are simply not initiated. They can 
vote on clan decisions; and I'd hate to lose the story that Geo was offered a 
clan chieftainship so their neighbors wouldn't kill them but come to dinner. 
(He refused, but opened a restaurant halfway between.) 

    It seems reasonable that a young man who winds up as a "Full Orlanthi 
Initiate" should only have to amke one POW sacrifice. Before reading Boris, I 
would have ruled that the clan initiation is free, the Orlanthi costs. This 
seems more congruent with the view that special initiates are "dangerous 
Fanatics". It needs thought.

    Crafts would work like this: A smith, frex, would become an apprentice 
after his "Low Initiation"/ "Clan initiation"/whatever, and would then be a lay 
member of Gustbran. He would be initiated when he knew something useful and 
could be a journeyman. Priests of Gustbran would be master smiths, and 
conversely; Chief Priests (the majority) would have their own forge.  Other 
cults would tend to follow this ancient analogy.


Thanks for the story of Urrgh. I _like_ it.

Hans van Halteren says:
>all of you are welcome to join me in Namequest
Arkat =? Ark [of the Covenant] + ??cat??
Nysalor is?  an anagram of 'Rosalyn'
Surely you mean NameQuest?

David Cake asks:
>what do Orlanthi do in the Sacred Time?
A ritual version of the Lightbringer's Quest, which re-establishes the 
Universe. There is an outline of a 14-day version in KoS. If your Champion 
does well enough in the lead role, his priest may lighten up on whatever his 
problem is. Of course, the opponents will be Lunars, and very motivated, ... 

[Me]>>[Sartarites] use coined money.
[Joerg]> There are some gripes about this. City dwellers do, rurals probably 
>rarely do so.
Makes sense.  Has it been [re-]introduced to them within this Age? If so, is 
there an analogy to _Archaic_ Greece, where the possibility of money loans 
gave the town more power over the countryside, since concessions could be 
demanded at each default? 

_Dorastor_ traces the lasting emnity between the Telmori and "the cat-people of 
Dragon Pass" to fights between Telmor and Yinkin. I don't see Orlanthi (in the 
strict sense)minding this too much: Orlanth fought with him too. Is it possible 
that some clans among the Vingkotlings were once Cat-hsunchen, and that the 
myths of Orlanth and Yinkin were the Godtime equivalent of their acceptance. 
(If so, the Hsunchen connexion should not be now evident, except to 
anthropologists or mythographers) 
What justice would be given/demanded for fatalities in a tavern brawl in town 
between chance opponents, like Rurik's in RQII? (I assume that the corpse has 
some friends elsewhere)


Subject: Vampires in RQ3 (RQ AiG)
Message-ID: <>
Date: 23 Feb 94 07:39:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3166

Devin Cutler here.

The arch villain in my RQ Campaign (or are we now using the word Story) is a
vampire of rather awesome capability who lives in the Tower of Lead in

The problem is that RQ3 vampires frankly suck (no pun intended)! I do not
like the idea of taking the very powerful and dread Runelords and Rune
Priests if Vivamort ala RQ2 and downscaling them into fairly wimpy specimens
who can only cast sorcery, especially since the vampires in Prax and Sartar
would not have had the chance to learn su
ch magics. 

Now, I'm hoping that whenever the new writeup of Vivamort comes along, these
problems will be rectified. Sun County hinted at such things, and I list
these discrepencies below:

1) Sp
irit Magic use by Vampires:
     * RQ3 says "No"
     * Sun County says that the Vampire there has forgotten its     
        spirit magic (this implies that, had it not forgotten it, it  
        could still cast it, otherwise, why bring it up in the first     

2) Divine Magic use by Va
     * RQ3 says "No"
     * Sun County says yes, both to Vivamort special Divine    
        Magic (Ecstatic Communion and Divination are given), and 
        to stealing Divine Magic from others.

Fine, I can understand that RQ3 Alternate Earth vampires are different from
Gloranthan Vampires (perhaps Gloranthan vampires unaligned to Vivamort [such
as mentioned in Dorastor Land of Doom] are the wimpy ones from RQ3). But how
exactly do Gloranthan Vivamorti vampires work now?


A) How do they sacrifice for Vivamort Divine Magic? Is it like RQ2 where they
must drain as many MP from victims per week for an entire year and sacrifice
these to Vivamort. Then they learn the spell? This is workable.

B) How do they steal Divine magic from others? Again, is it like the old RQ2
method, where if they drain a victim below 3 MP they gain a Divine Magic
spell from that victim? Again, this is workable. Perhaps, instead now it is a
Ceremony spell.

C) If they can cast spirit magic (or Life Magic), how is it done without POW?
Do they roll current MP x5% for success? Any ideas?

D) What are the Vivamort Divine Spells? A probable list would include:
    Ecstatic Communion (worship Vivamort) - by the way, if    
    this is Worship Vivamort, what does a vampire get from 
    leading a worship ceremony? Certainly not a POW gain roll!

    Divination - workable

    Command/Summon/Bind Shade - I assume Vivamort is still  
    tied to the Darkness Rune

    Create Zombie/Skeleton/Ghost - these seem natural

    Raise Ghoul - again, seems natural

    Cause Creeping Chills - does Mallia still confer this ability?

    Create Basilisk - presumably, similar to the Sorcery Spell

    Create Vampire - if sorcerors can do it, so should Vivamorti

Assuming the above list is correct, then some questions still arise:

a) With the Create spells and Raise Ghoul, which are ritual enchantments, the
vampire has no POW to expend on these to effect the enchantments. Is there
some other method to create the enchantments? If so, what?

b) What is the cost of Raise Ghoul and Create Basilisk? I assume 3 pts, since
in Cults of Terror, Raise Ghoul and Create Zombie were both 2 pt spells, and
in RQ3 Zorak Zoran, Create Zombie was raised 3 pts.

Other questions come to mind:

1) Revised stats for Swordbiters are needed.
2) Do Vivamorti gain Allied Spirits?
3) What is involved in the Ritual Rebirth into Vampirehood?
4) Can vampires create other vampires without the Create Vampire spell?
Traditionally, in Earth mythology, they can, and this would explain all of t
hose "wild" vampires out there.
5) Can non vampires be initiates of Vivamort?
6) Are there Runelords and Priests and Acolytes of Vivamort?
7) How does Vivamort Di work now that Vampires have n
o POW?

Well, that's enough for now. Anyone out there with official knowledge or
unofficial bright ideas would sure help me out. Also, if anyone has a writeup
of the Vivamort cult modified for RQ3, please post it.

I really cannot believe that this excellent cult and this classic eveil
villain of a monster h
as not been written up and dealt with previously in RQ3. Why hasn't there
been a huge clamour.

I want my...I want my.....I want my Vivamort!

Devin Cutler