Bell Digest v940329p2

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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, Tue, 29 Mar 1994, part 2
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From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Plentonius
Message-ID: <940328195024_100270.337_BHL91-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 28 Mar 94 19:50:25 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3432

Mark S. wrote:

> I might quibble with with ["Nick's"] description of Plentonius as an
> "arch-conservative".  I see him acting more creatively, he's trying to
> put together a sort of mythic ideology for the Khordavu dynasty.

Absolutely! I didn't call Plentonius an arch-conservative: I applied that 
name to those contemporary Dara Happans who take him as gospel. Plentonius 
was a revolutionary religious thinker and a creative literary artist of the 
highest order.

> Also - don't tease us Nick - which Gods Wall identifications do you
> think are incorrect? 

I can't go on about this -- I'm the Man Who Knows Too Much. But try Yelm, 
Murharzarm and Arraz for starters. Just my opinions, nothing official.



From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: more GRoY
Date: 28 Mar 94 20:07:16 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3433

Minor suns

Elmal appears as king of the Vingkotlings during the Greater Darkness, 
as could have been expected. What is interesting is that the only 
incident the Dara Happans deign to remember is that Shargash fought a 
victory in repelling Vingkotling raiders during their reigns.

Interesting WRT Yelmalio, since there are rumours that his is a 
composite cult of one priestly cult of the Cold Sun and one of the 
Solar Warrior, the latter possibly Shargash.

Shargash is the most intriguing of the "new" Solar deities - a warrior 
called "the Thunderer". Almost like Orlanth adopted into the sky 
pantheon. He is almost as rebellious as the Rebel gods, yet remains the 
Lord of Alkoth. He cooperates with foreign forces like Kargzant. But he 
is blamed to have destroyed the world (taking Plentonius' rather 
short-sighted perception into account, probaby Peloria, maybe only the 
Oslir River valley), almost like Zorak Zoran. His "Rune", a circle 
inscribed with the flanks of an "A", doesn't tell too much about his 

Kargzant is almost as enigmatic. Plentonius makes him the Solar ruler 
who reigned before the Dawn. He says that Kargzant summoned his peoples 
to fight "monster gods which had escaped the Underworld" led by a 
certain giant named Oralanatus, armed with an iron sword. He was 
chained and bridled by the giant.
This is quite strange, because the tribe already called itself 
Hyalorings, i.e. Hippoi had already been broken and chained by the Sun 
people. Plentonius puts it that way that the Hyaloring monopoly on 
horse riding was lost. But then, other sources (e.g. MOB's Garhound 
Contest) say that Orlanthi style riding didn't involve saddles or 
bridles, let alone bits.
(BTW, noone ever mentioned which beasts Mastakos used to draw Orlanth's 
chariot. Water horses he brought from his former home?)

Now a bit of comparative God Learning: Plentonius' text and the Grazer 
pantheon. The Grazer deities could have been polluted by their long 
interaction (as Golden Horse People) with the EWF Theyalans and the 
Praxians, and later Ironhoof's Ritual of Rebirth, but on the other hand 
the tribe that came to Prax was the most conservative of all.

So let's look at the Grazers' gods list (KoS p.108f) and look for 

Most glaring, of course, are Yu-kargzant and Kargzant. David Dunham 
wrote an excellent Yu-kargzant write-up, which says a lot.

The sons of Yu-kargzant and those of Yelm don't relate too well in 
name, only in function, and that only with problems:
Josad - Buserian
Jardan (Golden Bow) - Shargash
Dastal and Henird are too alien to sedentary life to relate well.
Arandayla is the Grazer name for the Horse Goddess, Plentonius mentions 
Hippoi as Horse Goddess of the Hyalorings.

Hyalor is said to be the King of the Horse People at the Dawning; 
Plentonius already talks of his dynasty, and has Jenarong's descendant 
Vuranostrum as Dawn Emperor (although dethroned by the returning 
Lightbringers?). He associates the Horse Riders with the lost people of 
Nivorah, which separated from Dara Happa in the reign of Manalarvus, 
and calls them Hyalorings. Since he seems to have lived in the second 
century ST, this mght be a backwards association, but from the 
description of Nivorah's secession, it seems that the Horse-Breaking 
falls into the Storm Age, not the Greater Darkness. However, the Grazer 
myth is likely to be even less exact than Plentonius' outsider 
observations. What do the Solar Pentans say?

Orest might be connected with Oria (GW III-5), and Tara, Lady of the 
Wild, might be related to Thilla (GW III-12).
Tamar seems to be a generic "Father of Beasts", possibly an adaption of 
GL/EWF-inspired Hykim, alien to Dara Happa.
Polestar poses no problem at all.

Of the Enemies, Enkreva has certain similarities with Annilha, and 
Wingkoalad sounds like a mixture of Vingkot and Kolat, and Vingkotlings 
take part in Plentonius' description.

Unnek the Buzzard sounds similar to the (western) legend of Vulture, as 
related in the Golden Book of Sun County.

And now another thing my prehistorian self likes to speculate on: Early 
Pre-Theyalan (how does one call tribal nations which formed the later 
hill barbarians which were the primary targets of Theyalan 
missionaries) migrations.

The first hill tribe recorded by Plentonius' sources were the Ram 
People, sheep herding hill barbarians. A God Learner (like me) might 
classify them as follows (and the species discussion shows what good 
classifications do):
Ram Hsunchen, who extended their worship to the clouds' god Heler, and 
later were included in the Orlanthi kingdom of Hill Barbarians, see the 
myths how Orlanth freed Heler, and how Barntar led him home to 
Orlanth's stead (presumably in Kerofinela).

Other sources speak of the Cat People of Dragon Pass (Telmor write-up 
in Dorastor - Land of Doom), ex-Hsunchen whose ties to the Orlanth 
pantheon were formed via Yinkin.

The cattle people could have been Urox' Hsunchen followers, their 
inclusion into Orlanth's kingdom seems logical. Swine are mentioned in 
KoS in the myth about Orlanth the Justice-Bringer. But pigs and cattle 
are mentioned as Dara Happan beasts as well, although among the Finger 
Goddesses, apparently deities which were erased from Gods Wall. Why? 
Because the Orlanthi stole them?

Back to my animal relation theory of Orlanthi partial nations:
Kolat                   - (what husbandry do Wind Children sport?)
Urox/Barntar            Cattle, Oxen
Vadrus/Ragnaglar        Goats (guess based on the standard broo 
Humakt                  -
Orlanth/Yinkin          Cats
Voriof/Heler            Sheep
Elmal/Hyalor            Horses
Ernalda                 Pigs

These deities might well have been worshipped by people classified as 
Hsunchen, although maybe not as extreme as the Telmori in their 
interbreeding habits. (There are bad rumours about lonely shepherds, 

This brings me quite off the thread and to a remark dropped in the 
species debate about Telmori-wolf interbreeding. How are the other 
Hsunchen in this regard? Do Pralori, Damali, Rathori, (extinct?) 
Galanini, Basmoli interbreed with their totem animals? Do Sofali turtle 
people mate with turtles? If so, do their women lay eggs?

Enough for now.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


Subject: Constructivist Glorantha
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 Mar 94 20:07:03 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3434

Martin ( says:
>My personal opinion is that Greg Stafford is consciously making 
>Glorantha a constructivist universe, where reality depends entirely or 
>almost entirely on the viewer,
 and it is unknown and possibly 
>unknowable whether there is an underlying God's-Eye Truth.

m curious.  What makes you think it's a conscious decision?

Martin also says:
>I think a subjectivist universe is much more interesting.

I agree.  Having one (or even several) ultimate knowable T
ruth(s) is just too modern for me, even if the GM is the only one who knows
'em.  That's why 
I don't run/play an AD&D universe, or Tekumel for that matter.

Peace,     Peter


Subject: Not another addictive drug!?
Message-ID: <>
Date: 29 Mar 94 01:44:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3435

Guy Robinson has a bit in his otherwise fine write-up of North Prax about
Sallow Root, an addictive substance which aids oratory and has shaken the
foundations of Arkat's Dark Empire.  (ADE died out centuries ago in most of
our worlds, but that's OK.)
     This, with the hazia of Sun County and subsequent releases, makes two
addictive magical drugs in Glorantha.  IMHO, this is two too many for a
fantasy RPG world.  Actually, it's not the drugs themselves that I object to
(although an argument could be made there), but the fact that they are
outlawed and persecuted much as drugs are in the 20th century West.  
     I'd like to know of just one historic parallel, just one drug that was
outlawed anywhere in the world before the Opium Wars.  And don't tell me that
the witches of Europe had a drug that the Church outlawed--that's just
speculation, and in any case never a drug in common use.  
     Drug laws are as much a part of 19th and 20th century Western
civilization as the secret ballot or the six-gun.  Any world that has any of
those things is mixing genres.
     Just Say No.


From: (Carl Fink)
Subject: obscure philosophical points that will probably bore you
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 Mar 94 17:05:32 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3436 (Mike Dawson) writes in part:

 >     My personal opinion is that Greg Stafford is consciously
 >making Glorantha a constructivist universe, where reality depends
 >entirely or almost entirely on the viewer, and it is unknown and
 >possibly unknowable whether there is an underlying God's-Eye
 >Truth.  This is not the case in Mike Dawson's Glorantha, however.
 >Mike wants a universe that has a single Truth knowable by the GM.
 >I think a subjectivist universe is much more interesting.

  I agree completely.  Carl Fink's Glorantha has a single Truth which
can be discovered by the GM, and by its inhabitants.  Greg may be a fan
of Bishop Berkely, I am not.

  Looking at the Gods Wall, some of the descriptions really don't make a
lot of sense -- once Nick said it, it became clear to me that Plentonius
was making it up as he went along.  For instance, the Tortured Victims,
who may not be worshipped, include two portions of Yelm.

  Thinking about dismembered Yelm -- with his interests Greg has almost
certainly read some Jung.  Could the Red Goddess be a Yelm's anima,
which was not reintegrated by the Compromise?  After all, in the
Egyptian myth of the returned god, Isis couldn't find one piece, right?



Subject: More on Postmodern Glorantha
Message-ID: <>
Date: 29 Mar 94 03:54:44 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3437

Greeting all!  I'm back, with a bit longer post this time.

Again, I will note that Martin ( says:
>My personal opinion is that Greg Stafford is consciously making Glorantha a
>constructivist universe, where reality depends entirely or almost entirely
on the >viewer, and it is unknown and possibly unknowable whether there is an
underlying >God's-Eye Truth.

Martin, I know I asked you in
 an earlier post what makes you think that Greg was making a conscious
decision.  Now, I'm g
oing to say some about what I think about this before you get a chance to
respond because I've been pondering about it all this evening and want to get
it down before I forget it all.  (*whew*)  Hope you 
don't mind.

I'm don't believe it's  a conscious decision on Greg's part.  Myth h
as it's own form, it's own logic.  The myths of postmodernism are strong
ones, permeating our Western culture more and more, without most people even
recognizing it.  As Anderson points out in _Realit
y Isn't What It Used To Be_, living in a postmodern world exposes people to
both modern and postmodern mythology.  Greg, from what little I know of him
personally, is someone who chose to immerse himself in premodern  myth since
childhood.  California, especially during the time Greg has lived there, is
probably one of the more postmodern places in the US in which to live. 
Fantasy role playing games are a par
ticularly postmodern hobby.  Greg's discovery of Joseph Campbell doubtless
moved him even fu
rther into postmodern territory, whether he's aware of it or not.  I would
imagine that Greg's exposure to this multitude of worldviews has provided him
with a personal experience of the dilemmas o
f the postmodern world.  (An experience most people probably have
now-a-days.)  Greg's becoming a shaman is evidence of the way he has dealt
with those dilemmas, and the considerable transformation his worldview has
undergone.  (I would find it fascinating to chat with Greg about how his
early exploration of Glorantha impacted upon his becoming a shaman, and how
this in turn changed his later explorations of G
lorantha.  I also wonder how many others in the RQ Tribe feel their  "real
world"  beliefs have been impacted by Glorantha.  I know mine certainly have.
 My thinking about Heroquesting is part of what led me to postmodern social
constructionism, which in turn continues to have a tremendous impact
 on both my personal life and my work as a family therapist.)  Anyway, I'm a
little off subject.  Sorry.
     I completely agree with you that Glorantha is a place that, viewed from
here, is constructivist.  If it were not, Heroquesting would not have the
ability to change large scale perceptions (and therefore reality) on the
Gloranthan mundane plane.  The Heroplane would be more like the Outer Planes
 of AD&D.  (This also helps to explain Greg's getting away from SuperRQ as
the chosen vehicl
e for HeroQuesting.)  The fact that support from one's society is important
in Heroquesting points d
irectly to the _social_ construction of reality in Glorantha.  I don't
believe this is conscious on 
Greg's part, it's just how it developed.  I believe it's part of the overall
structure of
 human mythology.  Of human experience and belief systems, really.  It's part
of what Greg was refer
ring to at the RQ-Con 1 HeroQuest Seminar when he said, "I will tell you that
this stuff about mimicking the mythology isn't something I made up.  This is
the way Earth mythology works.  All right?  It is.  You can look at modern
religions.  You can look at science.  Any belief system works in much the
same way."  It's part of the stuff Joseph Campbell talks about.
     Let me be clear.  I do NOT believe that Gloranthan cultures have a
postmodern view.  I think all Gloranthan cultures definitely have a premodern
view of the world.  Except for the Godlearners, who I think had a modern view
and were experimenting to discover the Ultimate Truth of all things.  Well,
maybe Illumination includes some degree of postmodern thinking (I think Arkat
was probably the closest thing to a Gloranthan postmodern thinker), but I
think that the jump from a premodern to a postmodern understanding, combined
with the extra magical impact of such a shift on Glorantha, is too much for
the vast majority of Gloranthans, and their minds and souls snap under the

 .....well, the above is an interesting tale to consider, neh?  ;
-)  It's one I'm still thinking about and puzzling through, and I probably
forgot part o
f it anyway.  But, I'd love to hear what meaning others make of my ramblings
about Glorantha and pos
tmodern thought.  As my 2 & 1/2  year old son says, "Please, say to me a
story from out of your m
outh."  Tell me about your Glorantha.

Peace,     Peter


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: Yanastan River Laugher's Guide to Esrolia
Message-ID: <>
Date: 29 Mar 94 06:25:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3438

Since the Building Wall was constructed to halt the Lunar advance in 1605,
it's been a lot harder to raid Esrolia, damn the Pharaoh. The Wall has some
holes you could dismount and lead a horse through, but they're not suitable
for returning to the Grazelands, partly because they're hard to find.
Arkat's Hold commands the gap between the Wall and the Skyreach Mountains,
but that gap is nearly 7 km, and it's possible to evade their patrols,
especially if they don't know you're coming. Be warned they use digijelm
guards at night. Another option is to use Azmikor's Pass, but the mountains
are uninhabited and are still home to many spirits.

Small towns along the Lysos River offer the easiest pickings, although of
course there's less to loot. Running downriver as far as I've gone, they're
named Chorn, Blinth, Oblen, and Altosh. I've heard that the Pharaoh, damn
him, will sometimes billet troops in one of these towns, so you could be in
for a nasty surprise.

The typical town is square in shape and surrounded by earthwork berms about
two metres high. There's a single opening which is barred at night, but any
horse except those from the Silkmane clan's herds can easily jump it. You
could just as easily ride over the berm. When you enter the town uninvited,
be prepared to be attacked by ghosts, which Dinalish Mighty Leap suspects
are those of people buried in the earthworks.

Military defenses can vary. Every town has a militia, some of whom are on
watch at any time. Their slingers use Oralant's Thunder, which can stun a
man and leave him helpless. A Spellguard will sometimes prevent this. Most
of the militia fights with swords, although they occasionally use spears.
They tend to have little grasp of tactics, but can sometimes overwhelm a
raiding party with numbers.

The town itself is laid out in the haphazard style preferred by the
vendref. If possible, learn the streets ahead of time or you'll get lost in
the heat of the raid. The towns I've named all have open squares which are
filled with stalls on market day. The largest building is where the
headwoman lives, and will probably have the best plunder. There is always a
temple to the vendref goddess Ernalda, which can also have good plunder,
but the Feathered Horse Queen has asked we not desecrate earth temples.
There are often shrines to Ernalda's husbands, either Oralant or Yelmalio.

Unfortunately, you can't expect to return with many horses, since these
people don't have many, and don't know how to take care of them. You can
find plenty of cows or sheep to slaughter. The people wear gold, silver, or
seashell jewelry, and you can find coins. If you're lucky, you can find
wine in portable containers, or else you'll have to drink it out of the
barrel. They have much fine dyed cloth and embroidery, and down-stuffed
bedding. Many of the kitchens contain large quantities of spice. There
arebottles and sculptures made of glass, and furs, and ivory carvings. Some
of their weapons and armor is of fine craftsmanship. And of course you can
take the people themselves, though this can be more trouble than it's

You can raid most of the farmsteads outside the towns without breaking a
sweat, but this will often alert their neighbors, and there's seldom enough
to bother with.

I don't know a whole lot about New Crystal City, but Taradarin Ten Day Run
led a raid there, and came back with a poppywood runestaff he ransomed back
for fifty red horses with golden bridles.

Since they're only vendref, you don't need to worry about pursuit, but they
do use signal fires to warn the garrison at Arkat's Hold. Try to avoid
them, since they've been known to capture fully laden pack horses with
Hobble spells.

David Dunham * Software Designer * Pensee Corporation
Voice/Fax: 206 783 7404 * AppleLink: DDUNHAM * Internet:
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