Bell Digest v940226p1

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 26 Feb 1994, part 1
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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: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Nick's out of sequence
Date: 25 Feb 94 14:44:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3181

Nick Brooke in X-RQ-ID: 3171

> Alex said, replying to me:

>>> Yes. Elemental/evolutionary sequence. Five elements plus law and chaos
>>> to make up Time. Law as the first (Creation) and last (Compromise) steps
>>> in the mythological development of Glorantha.

>> Don't know if I buy this... creation resulted in Darkness first, and Law,
>> in the form of the Spike, much later.  I'd say Chaos was the `zeroth'
>> `element', myself, and law was the `sixth'.  Note that the days weren't
>> in the right order in any case...

> OK: the Elemental Sequence Argument. This is another heresy of my own.

> What nobody now accepts is that the First Element was chaos. Let's consider 
> the evidence (briefly).

> Before anything there was Primal Chaos. Storm Bulls say "Any Chaos is All 
> Chaos," thus assigning unity to Chaos. That makes ONE.

Before anything, there was the Void. The Void is different from Chaos, if 
you listen to those Kralori or EWF guys. Chaos is the last of the elements, 
the interaction of the Void with the elements.

> The first "real element" was Darkness. In Darkness, duality between male 
> and female first manifests itself (the Father of Demons / the Mother of 
> Space). There's your TWO.

My zero. To quote a certain Nick Brooke, Darkness is no element, but an 
absence. Originally the absence of the Void, later also the absence of 
Light. (Does this make Light chaotic?)

> The next element is Water, which has the triple division into Mind, Body, 
> and Spirit (Daliath, Sramak(e), Framanthe).  How's that for THREE.

In my reckoning the first element, the linear flow: One dimension.

> Then there's the Earth, with its FOUR corners (the Mother, the Daughter, 
> the Ghost, and the Father [not one of the Trinity]).

As nice as the four corners are, Earth introduces the second dimension, 
which first allows the square.

> Then we have Storm (in the current, revised sequence), whose first gods 
> were the FIVE sons of Umath.

> Then there's Fire / Sky: three High Fires (Dayzatar / Yelm / Lodril) and 
> three Low Fires (Oakfed / Gustbran / Mahome) making SIX.

Fire is the third, defining the up (and, as Orlanthi like to add, the down) 

Air is the fourth, but because Yelm denied the world its further progress, 
no new direction was introduced. So Air conquered them all...

> 	(yes, I agree those last two examples are rather dubious...)

> What's seventh? I'd say Law, not the Moon. Look at the seven days of the 
> week (Freezeday, Waterday, Clayday, Windsday, Fireday, then Wildday 
> [chaotic invasion] and Godday [the Compromise]. In barbarian lands, Law is 
> identified as the Compromise (look at LhM's runes from GoG: he is the 
> keeper of the Stone Scrolls).

After Air came Chaos, the intrusion of negative Creation into the world. 
In unison with Dragon Pass boardgame Chaos is the Minus One.

Illumination proved to be negative, too, and Red Moon followed suit.

> Where does that leave the Lunars? The Red Goddess is unique as she can 
> embrace the Compromise and Chaos (cf. Castle Blue), but she needs to find a 
> place in the world for her "bastard element." The Red Moon hangs in the 
> Middle Air: the Lunar Empire strives to defeat and destroy Orlanth, the 
> ruling god of the Storm Rune. I think I know how they're trying to change 
> the world...

> Does that work for you?

Lunar Light is no light, but only a weak shadow thereof, more an absence 
of darkness than real light. They are the opposite of Carmanian "Light 
and Darkness"; they are neither. We know that what the Lunars do to Pelora 
leads to an ecological catastrophe, so they make Earth to a weak diminutive 
of what it was. They almost annihilated Water in their wars against the 
Oslir dwellers, and what remained is a hollow shade. Now they try 
themselves on Air.

I don't blame the Lunar worshippers, they are just Deceived. (Now does this 
sound like First Age?)

>> And chaos most definitely not the same thing as disorder: though the
>> person doing the graphic design for _CoT_ was famously confused on this
>> point.

> I had assumed that "mistake" to be a result of Lunar censorship: Disorder 
> is perhaps the politically-correct word for Chaos, in the Empire. 

You don't believe that yourself, do you? Lodril, Zorak Zoran, Storm Bull...

I think the Lunars regard Chaos as the law.
--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (charles gregory fried)
Subject: Que pasa?
Date: 25 Feb 94 08:07:45 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3182


Wazzup with the Daily?!

-- GF


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Dragon Pass Cat Hsunchen
Date: 25 Feb 94 15:42:19 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3183

Paul Anderson in X-RQ-ID: 3165

> _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) 

KoS mentions the reawakening of one type of Cat Hsunchen through Enjeem the 
Leopard. She appears to be a Tarshite heroine from around Kero Fin who 
helped throw out Moirades' son Phargentes, and she (re?) introduced 
leopards into Dragon Pass.

This seems to parallel th reintroduction of aurochs into the region, 
mentioned e.g. in Minaryth Blue's intentionally misleading account of 
his (Minaryth Purple's?) life, written possibly in a time when Argrath's 
rule was not so strong, and subterfuge was necessary.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Re: Sorana Tor
Date: 25 Feb 94 15:45:55 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3184

Malcolm in X-RQ-ID: 3173

> Has anyone figured out what goddess Sorana Tor is a priestess of? She can't
> be a priestess of Maran Gor as I'd assumed due to the fact that she marries
> and has children. This is forbidden to priestesses of Maran Gor according to
> the full cult description that appeared in Tales number 6. My guess would be
> that she is a priestess of Kero Fin, the goddess of Dragon Pass. If this is
> true, it would certainly alter my perception of the political structure of
> the Earthshaker Temple at Wintertop as it is clear that on at least one
> occasion after the Temple has been dedicated to Maran Gor, Sorana Tor is the
> chief priestess there. This implies that the chief priestess of the Shaker
> Temple need not always a priestess of Maran Gor.

KoS p.122:
"In 1455 the temple of Maran Gor completed the Prayer to Sorana Tor. The 
daughter of the goddess came forth and occupied the body of the High 

Daughter of the Goddess: this might mean daughter of Ernalda (whose statue 
was reinstalled shortly after), of Kero Fin, of Maran Gor, or of Gata or an 
even more primal Earth Goddess.

> On a related topic, I've been wondering why marrying the Feathered Horse
> Queen would make a King of Sartar or Tarsh, King of Dragon Pass. On page 127
> of KoS it states that Moriardes becomes King of Dragon Pass by marrying the
> "Feathered Queen of the Kerofin Temple." Although she is not called the
> Feathered Horse Queen I think that perhaps the title confers a similar office
> as marriage to her imparts Kingship. This connects the Feathered Horse Queen
> to Wintertop which could mean that she is a priestess of Kero Fin. It makes
> sense that marriage to the priestess of the land could make one King of the
> land.

As I read the Composite History of Dragon Pass, to become King of Dragon 
Pass, one has to master the Lady of the Wild through her representative. 
Ironhoof perceived her as a mare, Arim the Pauper as an Oread, and after 
the first Feathered Horse Queen had finished her heroquest, she and the 
later Horse Queens took the role.

The Lady of the Wild is Untamed Earth, neither benevolent nor malign. To 
become King one has to subdue her without breaking her.

I think it is possible that Maran Gor represents the malign aspect of 
subduing the Wild, finally turned back upon the prospective husband.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (David Cheng)
Subject: More on Babeester Gor
Date: 25 Feb 94 15:25:11 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3185

Another carry-over from the RQ:AiG discussion on Babeester Gor.

David Cake says:
# 	When I complained about Axe Trance the last thing I expected was 
# hordes of people telling me that Babeestor Gor was supposed to be more 
# dangerous than all the other fighting cults by a mile, and play balance was
# a stupid idea.

To summarize my views:

This is not a _play_ balance issue, it is a _cultural_ balance issue.

1) My best guess is that there are not more than 200 Babeester Gor
   worshippers in all of Dragon Pass.  Probably not more than 100 if
   you discount the Tarsh Exile lands.

2) Babeester Gor worshippers make terrible sacrifices in order to get
   the power they have.  This has not been made explicitly clear 
   only because BG has never enjoyed a complete cult write-up, as far
   as I can remember.  My interpretation is that the "ritual scarring"
   referred to previously only _begins_ with the face.  It is obvious
   (to me at least) that a BG worshipper savages her reproductive 
   organs as part of her initiation.  This act symbolizes a refutation
   of the strength of the 'feminine' way: "Society says we should act
   like women.  We did, and look what happened.  Well, if femininity 
   doesn't work, let's show society what _other_ strengths a woman can 
   draw upon to see that justice is done..."

   Resultingly, BGs, to a degree far greater than Storm Bulls or
   Humakti, distance themselves from society.  * They're not women
   any more; they're not even people.  They sacrifice themselves up
   to become monsters. *

   Now, who wants to associate with a monster?  Certainly not most
   average folk.  The Earth priestesses (Ernalda, most prominently)
   shelter and support the handful of BGs, but only because it is
   part of their role.  As women who embody fertility, they mourn 
   the pain of their protectors/avengers more than anyone else. 
   (Well, I'm sure the parents of the BG savage would feel pretty 
   bad too.  "Where did we go wrong?...")

   Babeester Gor is not just a religion, it is an entire way of life.
   There is no 'normal' life for these women, cursed with the rage.

3) Arguments like "Well, what if some Issaries guy does Spelltrading 
   to get Axe Trance  . . ?" just smack of power-gaming-munchkinism.
   See my Rune Power material for possible confounds.

   Worshipper: "Hey, Babeester Gor.  I want my use of Axe Trance

   BG: "Well daughter, how did you use the last one to rend the
defilers of the sacred earth?"

   Worshipper: "Well, I didn't really, this time.  I traded it to some
Goldentongue for this neat Sunlight spell..."

   BG: "You dare 'barter' with the divine fury I have helped you

Get the picture?

I will cross list this to the Daily.

* David Cheng  /
  Ask Appel & Rowe about RuneQuest-Con   (212) 472-7752 [before midnight]


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ Dailiy
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Feb 94 04:49:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3186

I defined a jihad as a war intended to convert unbelievers to the  
true faith; and a crusade as a war intended to punish unbelievers  

for their false doctrines or evil practices.

Joerg B. responds
>Think of the crusades of the Swedish in Finland and the Germanic  
>knights in the baltic countries, 10th and 11th century. These were  
>wars intended to convert unbelievers to the true faith.
I was actually thinking of these at the time, as well as of the  
Byzantine "crusades" against the pagan Bulgurs. My impression from  
reading about the Teutonic knights is that they mostly just killed  
pagans and stole their land, and I know little about the Swedish  
crusades against the Finns. In any case, the distinction between  
jihad and crusade is still a useful one, even if some "crusades" turn  
out to actually be jihads under a different name. 

>I like to compare Heortland to Anglosaxon England, where monasteries 

>and abbeys played an all-important role
I know that abbeys were real important in England at that time, but  
have no data on how important they were in France or Spain at that  
same time. I suspect they were at least as plentiful, if not more. I  
guess I think of Heortland as having fewer abbeys because it has just  
recently been conquered -- few of the population have as yet made a  
switch to Malkionism.

>Certainly not all [Rokari wizards are celibate], since caste 

>membership is hereditary.
Certainly not -- that's why I said that it might only apply once a  
wizard reaches Adept status.

I then propagated a theory that the Rokari abbeys were intended to  
absorb excess Wizard caste members. Joerg then stated,
>I'll adopt this theory, although this excludes the deposition of 

>unliked family members into cloisters unless the lower ranks of the 

>wizard caste are open.
Ah, but don't the cloisters need lay members who are just as devoted  
and out of society as the wizards? Especially in such a caste-ridden  
society. I see no reason why unwanted knights, farmers, and rulers  
can't all be locked away for good as semi-monks in these joints. 

For some reason, you, Joerg, do not think that the Yelm rule is  
benign to the Pelorian Lodril/Dendara worshipers, and I can't imagine  
why. Certainly the horse nomad rulers were bad, but the native Dara  
Happan rule has been perfectly reasonable -- the Lodril worshipers  
didn't welcome Theyalan liberation from them, only from the horse  
nomads. Feel free to define Yelm as a cruel and oppressive master all  
you want, but I cannot agree.

>Orlanthi accept good men for their merits.
At least if they're related to them. Every Orlanthi clan is in a  
constant state of war with some other Orlanthi clan regardless of  
their relative merits. They're always stealing sheep and waging blood  
feuds. Where's the "merit" in that?


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: seigniorage
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Feb 94 19:33:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3187

Mike Dawson said
>Can anyone show any evidence that any culture anywhere has ever
>followed this economic boondoggle? The "tradition" that 
>coins are worth 2x their weight means that a government (or anyone
>with the proper tools and thumbs) can turn about a 90% profit on a
>bit of hammering.

While I don't know the actual numbers, the word "seigniorage" (which
describes the practice) derives from Middle English, so it probably dates
way back.


From: (Bob Luckin)
Subject: What's in a name ?
Message-ID: <>
Date: 25 Feb 94 19:44:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3188

I can resist playing the name game no longer...

How about :

Malkion is a corruption of either "Mal kin" or "Mal scion"; and "Mal" is
obviously a degraded form of "Mallia".  This of course *proves* that Malkion
is descended from Mallia, no matter what any worshippers of the Invisible God
may tell you...  :-)

Lets see what the 7th Malkioni Ecclesiastical Congress has to say about that
one !

Cheers, Bob
Bob Luckin      "A man, a plan, a canal, Puzzle !"


From: henkl@yelm (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: Que pasa?
Message-ID: <9402252247.AA16051@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 26 Feb 94 00:47:43 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3189 (charles gregory fried):


>Wazzup with the Daily?!

>-- GF

It may be possible that thursday's issue arrived late,
or not at all.   I performed a major upgrade on one of
our servers on Wednesday night (left the office after
11pm),  and overlooked one single significant detail.

				Signature time again...

All should be fine now.

Henk	|	Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM - Disclaimer: I don't speak for Sun.
oK[]	|	My first law of computing: "NEVER make assumptions"