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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

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From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: I'm baack
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 Apr 94 09:27:28 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3840

Lewis said, long ago:
>Broo; impregnate or parasitize?  I am not sure that the marking  
>theory  For the marking theory take the example of the rumoured  
>allosaurus broo. I can't believe that this broo's mother was very  
>frightened by the broo. 

	No, but maybe the broo was frightened by the allosaur.

Jim DeGon asks:
>Who killed Tien? Was it Hrothmir, son of Storm Bull or was it the  
>Black Sun?
	My money's on the Black Sun killing Tien and sending him to  
Hell, then on Hrothmir chasing him to Hell and being slain there by  
Tien's headless corpse. 

>It seems that there are two versions of the story of Tien's
>severing and the defeat of his chaos army after they devoured  
	Welcome to Glorantha.

>Also, why would either of these forces be stronger than Genert and  
>his followers?
	They aren't. Remember, that Genert had to fight the Devil  
himself, while the Black Sun only combatted Tien, a MUCH weaker foe. 

In my opinion, the cult of Thanatar is primarily an Eastern  
phenomenon, and the (exceedingly) rare occurrences of his cultists  
outside Kralorela or Teshnos are generally either far-traveling  
hunters or transplants. I don't think there's a Thanatar temple in  
Dorastor, for instance. I know that there IS a great big temple in  
the Tunneled Hills. I see the pre-Union cult of Atyar being popular  
among the the civilized areas of Kralorela, with Than being known  
among the monsters of the mountains and also probably in the  
wilderness of the KoI. I submit that the special Kralori chaos  
monsters, the Huan To, have some connection with the cult of  
Thanatar. Maybe they originated the sect of Atyar. 

	This leads to the question of why Thanatar is specially  
anti-Lhankor Mhy. IMO, he's not -- he's anti-all knowledge gods,  
Lhankor Mhy being the best known such god among the Orlanthi. 

MOB: in April 22, what a GREAT Pamaltela publication list. Thanx.

Jim DeGon:
>How is Bliss in Ignorance affected by Godunya's empire?  It is a  
>hardship post for one of the Exarches, who supposedly receives  
>benefits from community worship like in other places.
	Note that the exarchs generally are drawn from the local  
population. Also note that the exarch of the KoI is mad as a hatter.  
From GLORANTHA: Can Shu the Glory of Ignorance: the current reigning  
exarch of the KoI, Can Shu reportedly believes that he will conquer  
the world by exporting black lotus dust and eventually selling a  
large dose to the Sun God.
	I think that Godunya figures it's better to have a madman in  
charge there -- he might actually be able to understand the  
population. Plus sending one of his GOOD exarchs there would probably  
result in his going mad -- I suspect the exarchs are not unaffected  
by their acceptance of life-force from their community. 

Alex Ferguson asks re: going to the Place Beyond Vithela in the  
Kralori afterlife:
>What, not even a Become-the-Emperor-and-Die HQ?
	I suppose that would work. But I bet you can't get back. Also  
it would probably cause all the spirits in Vithela to Pass On with  
you, so the Emperor and his exarchs would doubtless strive to prevent  
the successful completion of your quest. Might be cool to try. 

>>Broos aren't primates.
>I'm not sure `primate' is a useful concept in Glorantha, but note  
>that most Broo have binocular vision and grasping forelimbs.(Indeed,  
>most have an opposible thumb.)
	"Primate" is still a useful term -- I'm not talking  
evolutionary relationship here, you understand. Remember that when  
Linneus invented the taxonomic system, HE didn't believe in  
evolution, he was just showing physical resemblances between  
creatures -- showing the Mind of God, as it were. I think that  
taxonomic differences can still be useful classifications in  
Glorantha, even if the creatures aren't always related by descent. 

	Binocular vision/grasping hands/opposable thumb are not the  
textbook definition of primate. Non-primate characteristics include  
(in the classic goat-headed, hooved broo), no opposable toes,  
non-primate dentition (very important, this), lack of a complete bony  
ring around the eye socket, possess horns or antlers, IMO a fibrous,  
rather than vascular male organ, and I suspect other differences. I  
just don't think they're primates. I think that a Malkioni Linneus  
would categorize them as aberrant ungulates. 

>Personally I think Aether smacks very suspiciously of being a  
>construct to `explain' the relationship of Yelm and Lodril, which  
>show every sign of having arisen separately.  (This doesn't seem to  
>be true of Dayzatar, which sounds a lot like a Yelmic mythic add-on.   
>Perhaps why Sandy and I come to blows about his cult now and then.)
	Your argument here makes sense to me. Promise to keep coming  
to blows over Dayzatar at your leisure, but I concur that he is from  
the Yelm side of the family. ;)

[I said]
>> I like gritty, hungry, violent trolls that make no apologies for 

>>the fact that they ENJOY eating sentient life.

[Alex said]
>I don't think this is the case for most trolls, though I'd grant it  
>in the case of Zorak Zorani and some of the Fun Chaps hanging out in  
>the KoI.  But most, I reckon, as simply indifferent to the sentience  
>of their food
	I wholly agree, and slightly misspake my case -- what I meant  
was not so much that Sentients are Fun Food, but that Certain  
Sentients Taste Good. I.e., a troll really likes dwarf and elf, frex.

>Trolls are likely to find humans willingness to slaughter sentients  
>in droves, then fussily refuse to eat them as morally questionable.
	Concur. If a troll ethical philosopher exists (???), I'm sure  
he'd argue this way, and probably make a good point. "You should eat  
what you kill, or you're just a murderer."

	You make a good point on April 22 about Malkionism being as  
much like Islam as Christianity. At one point you're unsure about  
Malkioni dietary prohibitions. I think there should be some. The only  
one I'm sure of at this moment is that Rokari Wizard castelings are  
supposed to be vegetarian. Maybe they can eat fish? Maybe not. 

Martin says:
>Initiates have contact with the divine, and this undeniable  
>religious experience anchors their belief in the rightness of their  
>beliefs.  Malkioni only have the second-hand revelation of the Law  
>and the New Rites, except when they participate in the veneration of  
>the saints and/or visible gods.  That's why the Brithini and Vadeli,  
>without any religious experiences, are amoral.
	A good summary, on which I will  now expound. I suggest that  
the Malkioni have close contact with their deity's immanence. The  
Mystic Fervor tendency among many Christians (q.v. St. Francis or St.  
Anthony) and Muslims (q.v. Dervishes) is, of course, opposed by the  
anti-mystic Logicians such as Augustine or Thomas Aquinas, but the  
tendency is a hard one to stamp out. I suggest that the Malkioni have  
similar battling currents in their religion, but that many of them,  
especially the common folk, feel as close to their deity, or one of  
the saints, as any theist. At least, in the less statist regions of  
their sect. 

	The Brithini and Vadeli are amoral, as you state, and in the  
end, selfish to the point of solipsism. 

Martin makes some comments about the biology of monogamy. As a  
biologist, I'd like to comment.
>Individuals in all kinds of animal species (including our own)
>practice monogamy for its economic benefit. 


>However, both partners can improve their reproductive success by
>a little judicious adultery with a partner who is more desirable
>than their mate.
	This is true on occasion. For instance, a female goose who  
has failed to find a mate, will often try to "seduce" a gander  
wandering near her area. Though the gander usually won't switch mates  
to the new female, he may well mate with her, and father a batch of  
eggs. Obviously the single mother has a low reproductive chance with  
its eggs, because she has no mate to assist her. But she has a better  
chance than if she'd forgone mating entirely! Still, this act of  
"infidelity" is clearly a major threat to the gander's real spouse,  
for if the gander ends up leaving her, she loses a LOT of  
reproductive success. 

>Now to polygamy: if a woman is pretty sure that her husband
>won't stop supporting her economically when he takes another
>wife, she won't strongly object to it.
	However, polygamy is clearly not a natural strategy for the  
human male. (Note: before I'm bashed by pro-polygamists, let me state  
that I come from a polygamous culture -- Mormons. Hence know whereof  
I speak. My wife's great-grandfather had three wives.) Even among the  
few cultures that permit polygamy, normally less than 3% of the males  
practice it. Anyway, I believe that polygamy is a cultural, not a  
biological, phenomenon. 

	Note also that EVEN if a husband doesn't stop supporting her  
economically when he takes another wife, her proportion of her  
husband's support is halved! This is a serious reduction, and her  
children are thus compromised. 

	I submit that in a female-dominant culture, polyandry would  
be more common, and would support the females, rather than the normal  
polygamy (a result of male-dominated cultures). 


>But the mirror-image situation rarely occurs.  A man who let
>his wife take another husband, even if there were no societal
>cost to doing so, would lose reproductive success.
	The mirror-image situation does occur, because in the real  
world, reproductive success is measured by live children, not by  
total number of (possibly non-surviving) children. In very difficult  
climates, polyandry is a viable solution. Polyandry thrives in areas  
in which the greater size and strength of the male is needed to  
gather food, and which are very harsh. Usually one of two events  
stimulates the polyandry -- among the Eskimos infanticide (generally  
of females) is practiced -- to enhance total food for the family and  
eliminate excess children that would die anyway. An alternative is  
Tibet, where the problem is based on the fact that inheritance is  
normally divided equally among the heirs -- hence, after a generation  
or two, each heir has too small a piece of property to survive, and  
all are impoverished. 

 	Anyway, the rarity of polyandry is more based on the scarcity  
of humans these marginal lands than it is anti-biology.
	The overall reproductive success of the fathers is HELPED by  
having multiple men in the family raising the comparatively few  
children, because those children have a much better chance of  
surviving to adulthood. In more equable lands, a single dad is plenty  
to ensure survival, so polyandry is not so great. Note also that in  
MOST polyandrous cultures, the most common form of marriage is for a  
group of brothers to marry one wife -- in this way, even if the kid's  
not yours, he's kin, and thus carries your genes.
	To summarize my belief: polygamy is cultural, based on a male  
dominance. Monogamy is biological. Polyandry is biological, unless  
it's culturally based on a female dominance. 

Alex Ferguson, speaks on Astronomy. 

>Perhaps in Glorantha, "planets" are things with follow the route of  
>the sun, and "moons" are other objects with visible disks.  Hence,  
>"Southpath planets" are borderline between being planets, and  
>`not-planets', to wit, moons.
	Actually, Glorantha defines Planet in the pre-Copernicus  
fashion -- a "Planet" is any object that wanders across the sky  
instead of following the Pole Star's dance. The "Moons" are a  
sub-category of Planet, though perhaps only pedants would know this.  
On pre-Copernicus Earth, the Moon was technically a Planet. I think  
the Sun, too, but I'm not sure on this. 

>> 	I think there's no doubt that imaginary cults can be created  

>> with greater facility among theists than new Invisible God
>> heresies can be formed.
Alex F.
>I have to disagree with this.  All a new heresy takes is a crackpot  
>bishop (or an ultra-zealous superior).
	I am convinced. Further arguments are supranumerary.

>Sandy has referred to Secret Powers before, and I was uninformed  
>then too. What are they, apart from things which grant Rune Lords  
>1d10 DI?
	A deity's Secret Power is something that makes it unique and  
irreplacable. It is different for every deity. Sometimes a Secret  
Power can be wrested from one deity and given to another. Deities  
with Secret Powers, no matter how reviled, tend to pop up again and  
again in mythologies -- like Gorgorma. Deities without Secret Powers  
seem to come and go from nowhere, often sinking back into  
well-deserved obscurity -- like Sog. 

>It's very confusing to hear these sweeping statements about Carmania
>("Exactly like Persia."  "Nazi-level morality.") on the basis of so
>little published info.
	I'm basing it on the fine discussions re: Carmania here on  
the Net! My own treatment of Carmania in mine own campaign is going  
to be directly taken from the net discussions, in which it's been  
well-argued that the Carmanians represent a foreign oppressor sitting  
atop native peasants with no possibility for advancement. Certainly  
there's plenty of other Gloranthan cultures as unpraiseworthy as the  
Carmanians, but I wasn't talking comparative sociology here, just the  
fact that I believe the average stereotypic Carmanian ruling-type to  
be arrogant and sneering, while the average stereotypic Orlanthi  
(say) might be chauvinistically proud, but considers arrogance a bad  

Sandy said:
>> The Lineages are complicated, but dominate all courting and sexual  

>> relationships.
You replied
>And is matrilineal?
	No. They're NOT matrilineal, but are based on both parents'  
Lineages, though the mother's is sometimes weighted more heavily.  
Each combination of two lineages has one result that comes from it,  
often modified by the exact sex of the parents and location born  
into. For instance, if your Dad was Bluewood, and Mom was Puffberry,  
you are also Puffberry. But if your Dad is Puffberry, and your Mom  
Bluewood, you  must be Sweetgrass instead. This can Sometimes also be  
affected by other relatives. If your Dad is Puffberry, and your Mom  
Bluewood, normally you'd be Sweetgrass, but if your maternal  
grandfather is Strawseed, then you must be Strawseed, too. 

	Hence, the Lineages must be Ranked, to determine which order  
they take effect in. For instance, if your maternal grandfather is  
Strawseed, you are always supposed to be Strawseed. Except that if  
your Mom was Greenberry, then you are always supposed to be  
Greenberry. But if you are born at Marbush Oasis, you are supposed to  
be Marbush. So the oasis wise men long ago agreed that Marbush takes  
precedence over Strawseed which takes precedence over Greenberry in  
this case. When a new case of Lineage intermingling comes up, the  
oasis folk are supposed to determine the result. 

	The Doraddi don't assign outsiders into lineages. This means  
that most outsiders are able to marry any Lineage (most Lineages are  
marriage restrictions, not enforcements), which  makes them popular  
among unpopular Lineages. However, the children of an outsider and a  
Doraddi are assigned specific lineages. 

Alex F. says, IMO correctly:
>The Lunar spoutings about the Creator are clearly intended to make  
>Lunar thinking more acceptable to Malkioni, not less ... Clearly no  
>Malkioni sect is mad keen on _any_ bunch of pagans; but >on the  
>other hand, why should they be ... upset at pagans who >acknowledge  
>the truth of their own beliefs ?
	I think the main objection of the Malkioni to the Lunars is  
the Lunar acceptance of Chaos, which the Malkioni oppose with all the  
vehemence of any Orlanthi. And, of course, the Orlanthi "filter" of  
Lunar beliefs emphasizes Lunar Chaos above the Lunar  
Creator-philosophy. I suspect that there is a caste-difference  
between how different Malkioni would view the Lunar beliefs if  
properly presented to them. I think that the Farmers and Knights  
would dislike the Chaos aspect so strongly that they'd hate the  
lunars, whereas the Wizards and maybe Lords would perceive the  
underlying philosophical similarities and be more friendly and  
willing to ally. 

>If a theist met an "integrated" Wizard, he would still regard him  
>highly suspiciously, though.  Not just because of the bad rep of his  
>renegage pals, but also because he would have no prima facie
>guarantee even that he obeys the commandments of the Invisible God.   
>With a theist priest, one at least (generally) knows where they  
>stand, as it were. 

	I think this is true for most theists, esp. those who don't  
meet many wizards. On the other hand, I think most Malkioni peasants  
know little enough about the theists that upon meeting one of their  
priests he wonders what weird cultic fanaticism lurks in the priest's  
subconscious. "Does he practice human sacrifice every Wild Day? Does  
he summon evil spirits?" Who knows? "Why does that Orlanthi keep  
spouting ritual poetry? Is he mad?" In the same way that many folk  
who have never met a Mormon figure they must be fanatic cultists,  
most Malkioni doubtless think of theists as radicals. And of course,  
because theists are probably VERY defensive in their conversation  
when visiting Malkioni lands, not to mention hostile towards wizards,  
they help confirm these speculations. 

	In my campaign, I play that women have a STR of 2d6+2 and a  
SIZ of 2d6+3. I regard this as justified by sexual dimorphism in the  
human species, in which males generally have more muscle mass both  
absolutely and proportionally. All other differences (higher DEX,  
higher CON, etc.) I regard as unproven. I admit that women live  
marginally longer than men in the 20th-century culture and have a  
lower incidence of inherited disease, but I don't think it's enough  
to be worth a point of CON. Compared to most mammals, the dimorphism  
in humans is EXTREMELY minor. Just the fact that the Best females are  
better than the bulk of the male population indicates a low rate of  
such dimorphism. You don't find any overlap among sea lions, for  
instance, and mighty little among the great apes (except gibbons). 

	HOWEVER, I also play that anyone playing a female character  
who wants to use the same SIZ and STR rolls as a male is permitted to  
do so. It's only a game, after all. Most players choose to accept the  
lessened STR and SIZ, I suspect because the advantages of smaller SIZ  
are far-reaching, if not huge. I'll admit that when playing women  
warriors, they choose the stereotype of the fast, wiry fighter,  
rather than the hulking brawny fighter. 

One more biology note which has mildly rankled. Someone a while ago  
mentioned that the Great Apes are a separate family (Pongidae) from  
the human species (Hominidae), and went on to bewail this because  
humans share 98% of our genes with chimpanzees, so clearly this was  
Species-ism, putting just one species in our family. 

	I'd like to defend the taxonomists responsible. In the first  
place, there's more than one species in the Hominidae -- it's just  
that all but one are extinct. There's even more than one species in  
the genus Homo (three I can think of off the top of my head). 

	Linneus, who invented the Hominidae, lacked genetic typing to  
determine relationships. Humans look real different from the apes --  
no body pelt, large nose, no opposable big toes, walk fully erect,  
jaws and teeth different (important taxonomically!), etc. There's  
heaps of differences that any unprejudiced observer can easily  
detect. I'm not saying that the Pongids deserve to be in a separate  
family from the Hominids, but there are clearly major differences  
that need to be taken into consideration. 

	The 98% genetic similarity is only meaningful when taken in  
context -- a family is not a "natural" division, but is highly  

	Now to relate the above argument to Glorantha. Er, In my  
opinion, The Veldang, Doraddi, Wareran, and Kralori are all the same  
species. It is possible (but I'm not sure) that the Brithini and  
Vadeli are a different species from Homo sapiens. I can't think of  
any other species in the genus Homo in Glorantha. Dwarfs, elves, and  
trolls are not even primates, in my opinion.
	I classify trolls as a separate order within the mammals, the  
Styganthropa (yes, I know they're Things of Darkness, but we're not  
talking evolutionary descent here, but rather taxonomic similarity).  
Trolls give milk, have body hair, etc. They're obviously mammals. I  
think the nearest order to trolls are the shrews (also the nearest  
relatives to the Primata). Shrews are nocturnal, ravenous, mean  
beasties, and it seems to me that the trolls may not have "evolved"  
as far from their roots as have humans. 

	I classify elves as from the Kingdom Plantae. 

	Dwarfs I'm not sure of. I have yet to be convinced that  
dwarfs suckle their young, frex. 

Sandy P.