Bell Digest v940513p3

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 13 May 1994, part 3
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From: (Aden Steinke)
Subject: God Learners
Message-ID: <>
Date: 13 May 94 22:14:59 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3998

Greg Fried said.

> Someone (sorry!) said that the God Learners serve as --
> "a lesson for what happens if you try to manipulate myths scientistically
> rather than from an involved cultural perspective."
> I realize as well as anyone that G-L-bashing has become de rigeur since GS's
> "turning", and, in general, I am in sympathy with this trend of "no
> experimentation without humility and respect." However, I do also think that,
> as reprehensible as it may be, the G-L way -- in of itself -- is ALSO "an
> involved cultural perspective"! As such, the G-L way is/was as integral to
> Glorantha as any other mythical/historical/cultural phenomenon. Sometimes, I
> detect an attitude that, were it possible, we would expel the memory of
> G-Lism as a residue of naive RQ2 barbarism. Ah, for a good memory eradication
> ritual! 

Despite current thought on the matter G-L'ism was a good and positive thing,
making it easier for players to imerse themselves quickly into Glorantha and
its' complex web of interlocking belief structures and cultures.  It may have
been naive barbarism, but for its' ease of use by beginers we still use RQ2
religious materials as our main source, modified occasionally by  the more
recent RQ3 materials, and anything of interest found in the soda archives on
RQ3 or RQ4 - even if 2.4 megabytes for the latest rq4 file took a bit of effort
:-), mostly as local detail.

Aden Steinke


Subject: Mostly trinities again 
Message-ID: <>
Date: 13 May 94 03:22:36 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3999

The Orlanth Rex cult appears in the long write-up in Heroes Vol.
I, #4.  Those who serve on tribal councils in Maniria, Ralios,
and Peloria are temporary members, and tribal kings or chieftains
get to be permanent members.  Rex status requires unanimous
acceptance by the tribal Storm Voices in addition to council
membership.  Rexes get to order SV's around, and can get the
divine spells of Command Priests, Command Worshippers, and Detect
Honor (one-use for temporary members, reusable for kings).  

Hm.  Annilla has Moon, Darkness, and Sea.  Perhaps she should
teach all three appropriate Enchant Metals, but with only one
available to a given area, depending on who's worshiping, viz:
Trolls    :    Lead
Mermen    :    Seametal
Lunars    :    Selenium
or some such.

The argument for LM having Enchant Iron proves too much.  If he
has Iron because he collects knowledge, he should have all.  But
he's not a smith's cult.  Also, Mostali view the statement that
LM is Mostal's son as a blasphemous obscenity, as well as an
impossibility.  Machines don't have sons.  I prefer to view the
myth of LM's parentage as a way of saying he's a product of the
union of Law and Truth.

I liked Guy Hoyle's explanation of why the Lunars want to take
silver over, as a mythic statement.  It's as good as we're likely
to get.

Is anyone else bothered by the way that Terran metal effects have
been carried over into Gloranthan without any Gloranthan
rationale?  I refer to silver's ability to injure creatures only
injurable through magic.  I think the ability should be limited
to enchanted rune metals, but be given to all of them.  Iron
could possibly work even unenchanted, since it is the Bearer of

Re: Trinity
     I discussed this in a side-post with Joerg, but apparently I
wasn't clear enough in my initial post.  Stay with me here, I'm
going to try to persuade you with reasoning.
     Nothing in published works so much as hints at a Trinity in
Malkionism.  (Joerg pointed me to CoT, where the unnamed god of
Malkionism is described as different from the Prime Mover and as
having died in the Great Darkness.  I believed he said that was
two-thirds of a trinity right there, all we needed was the
spirit.  This is shoehorning of the worst sort.  We know from the
RQ Companion that the God Forgot people's god died, but there is
no mention of this dead god in more recent publications.  Check
the copyright date on CoT--it's 1981.  Lots has changed since
then in Glorantha.  For one thing, elves don't worship Pamalt;
they're hostile to him.  (See page 17 of CoT.)  So CoT's
usefulness is even more in question now than when it first came
out.  More recent works talk about the IG and saints, and say
nothing about humanism or the Prime Mover.)
     If a Trinity were important in a mainstream sect of
Malkionism, it would have been mentioned in a published source,
such as GoG or G:CHW.  (Try writing a summary of Christianity
without mentioning the Trinity, while discussing the Great
Schism, the multiplicity of eastern rites, and offshoots like the
Latter-Day Saints.  It wouldn't be a very good summary.  So the
Pelagian heresy and the date of Easter in England aren't really
relevant to the point I'm making.  We have a summary of the
Malkioni faith's various sects in GoG, with some more stuff in
G:CHW and in the unpublished Invisible God write-up.  No trinity
     Thus, the Trinity is not important in any mainstream sect of
Malkionism.  Q.E.D.
     I leave open the possibility of all sorts of Errors and
Heresies amongst the Stygians (in which category I lump Aeolians
and even the Southbankers--if they don't like it, they can stop
practicing heresy).  But when we're talking about Rokari,
Hrestoli, and even the Galvosti and Henotheists, we're talking
about people who don't disagree, for gosh sakes, about the saint
list, much less the persons of the high god (one).  Not something
you can say about Catholics and Episcopalians, these days (the
saint list, that is).  The Malkioni sects disagree about the
things GoG says they disagree about: class mobility, the use of
the Tap spell, and whether to worship the visible gods.  There
might be some interesting theology behind, frex, the argument
over Tap, and I've seen some interesting explanations of this. 
But you're just kidding yourself if you see a Trinity here.

In amazement this actually required being spelled out,
I remain,

P.S. I'll consider any flames and/or quibbling about side issues
to signify agreement with the main point unless otherwise
explicitly stated, OK?