Bell Digest v940518p1

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 18 May 1994, part 1
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk

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: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Stygian Platonists
Message-ID: <940517072422_100270.337_BHL50-3@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 17 May 94 07:24:22 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4039

I'm glad Martin Crim enjoyed the Stygian Platonists. A couple of related 
chunks of imagery for a more *civilised* view of Ralios crossed my mind:

(i)	the Nocturnal Council from Plato's Republic; or
(ii)	the story of the Troglodytes and Shadows, ditto;

can be great fun for describing the functioning of Arkat's Dark Empire.

(i) is simple: I can't remember his warped reasoning, but Plato thought the 
ideal state would have judicial or legislative meetings held after dark, by 
shadowy figures. In a state run in cooperation with Trolls, this seems more 
likely than not; the fact there's a real-world "justification" for this (in 
human terms) makes me inordinately happy.

(ii) is my favourite. The normal story tells that there's a bunch of cave- 
dwelling people who only see shadows moving upon the wall of their caverns 
and think this is Real Life (the hoi polloi). Some of them guess there's 
something creating the shadows, but don't do anything about it (religious 
types?). Some of them step outside their cave, but are blinded by the light 
(students of mathematics). And then there's the Philosophers, who walk 
around in bright sunshine in the land of True Forms and see the world as it 
Really Is.

(Astonishingly, this was written before the invention of television ).

Now, sez Nick, why not turn this on its head? Start with the hoi polloi 
walking about above ground and thinking THAT'S real life, and turn the 
philosophical search for Truth into a descent into the Primal Darkness. 
(Some ask, what is my shadow? -- but do nothing. A few descend into the 
Realms Below, and wander blindly, lost. And few, very few, can perceive the 
True Forms hidden within Mother Subere's illimitable bosom.)

Illuminates as Philosopher-Kings seems to work rather well, too. Any takers 
for Arkat the Autarch, and his Archons (rulers of the city states) -- which 
also mesh well with Gnostic gnomenclature?

The thing is, while Safelstran culture is plainly based on the Italian 
Renaissance ("Is it?" - G.S.), all the great Renaissance thinkers thought 
they were living in a reborn Golden Age of Greece. So, using loony ideas 
from Greek philosophers as their cultural heritage from Arkat's Dark Empire 
(the thing many modern Safelstrans are striving to bring back) makes loads 
of sense to me. Again, by taking a hybrid of two cultures, we avoid strict 
definition of Gloranthan "equivalents" to Earthly models. Which is, of 
course, a Good Thing.



From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Unitarian Malkioni and meritocratic Hrestoli
Date: 17 May 94 08:04:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4040

Martin Crim is "Declaring victory, moving on" in X-RQ-ID: 4014

> Re: Sandy's comments on the Trinity
>      Now I can declare victory. 

Said Yelm, and went to hell.

Ok, no trinity for the majority of Malkioni sects. Not yet, or not 
any more? Is the issue of other deities positively laid to rest, or 
still subject to debate between the sects? I know the question was 
open in 1st Age Seshnela, I think that the losers (supporters of the 
Serpent King dynasty) were shipped off to Jrustela, I know that on 
Jrustela two spiritual movements originated, one meddlesome (the God 
Learners) and one over-righteous, and often associated or even equated 
with the former, the Return to Rightness Crusade. I know that the 
Rightness crusaders smashed most Arkati worship on their rampage 
through western Genertela, in whose wake the Empire of the Middle Seas 
arose, I know that they didn't win over the Shadowlands, and thus didn't 
"right" the memory of Arkat there. I know that after their rampage, the 
Invisible God was worshipped in the West. I know that Malkion was 
worshipped in the West at the Dawn.

I don't know how the Malkioni creed looked at the Dawn, or after the 
revelations of Hrestol. I can only make educated guesses. Little more 
can you, except direct divination from Greg.

>      Thus, if you did get a trinity in some off-brand Stygianism,
> it'd be more like the Hindu model than the Christian.  "OK, we
> worship Malkion, you guys worship Orlanth, and those guys worship
> Mralot.  Well, I had a vision last night that explained how
> Orlanth and Mralot are really Malkion's sons, and incidentally it
> explains why we get to be kings over you guys..."

Nice idea for Wenelia. I'll use that. My Aeolian version is different.

I chose to use a trinity concept for Malkionism because it fits nicely 
with medieval numerical symbolism _and_ Gloranthan Runes - the 
three-sided Law Rune and the four-sided Earth Rune nicely parallel 
the medieval symbol of three for spiritual (trivial) matters and the 
four for mundane, earthly (quadrivial) matters. Plus that in sum they 
give the number seven, which seems to have some importance in Glorantha.

Could someone with a firmer grasp of medieval numerical symbolism 
provide me/us with more details?

The use of the trinity (as I intended it) thus is more Pythagorean than 
Christian in nature, and I still think it goes along with the numerical 
succession concept provided by the God Learners.

>      A bit of trivia: many so-called primitive religions have an
> otiose high god.

Which was exploited by religious philosophers (not necessarily God 
Learners) to impose a monotheist religion on them.

> Joerg threatens: "Nothing hinted at Elmal, Rakenveg, Kargzant..."
>      Sorry, I'm not ready to be Joerged, and probably never will
> get to the point where I would accept being Joerged.  But I guess
> if you can't defend your position from within published material,
> you'll have to invent it.  

I didn't propose you'd be Joerged. Neither would I like to be ed.

I have taken a lot of published material to form my views on the 
Aeolians. Some of my main sources (like CoT) have been disgraced by 
you as outmoded. I disagree.

I opposed the habit of "If it wasn't there twenty years ago when Greg 
first wrote about G-world, it isn't there now" attitude which has 
evolved in reaction to KoS. Since RQ came out first, a couple of people 
have managed to sneak their personal favourite bit into G-world, as 
becomes evident when you read the author list of CoT. I think the 
attitude to Glorantha back then was a lot healthier than now, now 
Acos has suppressed Larnste almost totally. Back then others filled 
in their concepts into the world. From this we got two of the best 
RQ supplements to date: CoT and Griffin Mountain.

I'd like to see the same again now.

>      I meant to comment on someone else's statement a few days
> ago that one of two positions would turn out to be True, if Greg
> Stafford ever focuses his attention on it.  My comment was "No,
> at least one of you will be wrong, and both of you could be." 
> That applies with equal force here, but we can only go on what we
> have.

Me again. Seems I shouldn't have started to GM on Glorantha...

We have nothing. I have used the same sources as you have, but 
took different conclusions. I believe that Malkionism hasn't been 
the same ever since the Return to Rightness Crusade landed in 
Seshnela. The only definite account on 1st Age Malkionism (CoT) was 
(too) highhandedly dismissed by you. The other stuff you cite (see 
below) is propaganda to the populace, and subject to political 
interpretation. I side with Nick: if we cannot argue about the 
teachings of a Saint, Malkionism is too dull.

I go a step further and cannot see how teachings leading to damnation 
(according to my sect) can be considered to earn divinity

Ok, most Saints didn't teach. Did they? Their disciples (read: followers)
certainly did, otherwise they wouldn't have been recognized as Saints.

> Re: Joerg's desperate rear-guard action (calling Marshall Ney...)

Let's stay Gloranthan: like Syranthir Forefront. And look where it 
led him to...

>      "Catch a non-Stygian venerating St. Paslac, or St. Arkat.
> St. Rokar certainly is _not_ worshipped in Loskalm, and even less
> at the Castle Coast."
>      I don't even need unpublished materials to refute this one. 
> From "What the Wizard Says" in GoG: "We Malkioni belong to many
> different castes and sects, but all of us recognize the divinity
> of a saint, no matter what sect he attained his sainthood
> through." 

Just another case of "In 948, Sir Henrag Vandervasse became Supreme 
Advisor to the Ecclesiarch of the Rokari Church" (Genertela Players 
Book p.20)

According to Genertela Book, the Rokari movement started in the 
Third Age.

Picking nits, to recognize the divinity of Wakboth doesn't make 
a Storm Khan a worshipper.

> Malkionism just refuses to be warmed-over
> Christianity, no matter how hard you try, Joerg.

Did you get this impression? I don't try to make Malkionism 
warmed-over Christianity. I just used the parallels between 
Malkionism and certain real life religions which went together 
at some stage of history, and picked my choice.

The Aeolian Church of Heortland is Manichaean rather than Christian, 
as it combines two pre-existing, within its immanent doctrine related 
creeds into one. Catch Christianity do so so blatantly.

Paul Reilly in X-RQ-ID: 4015

>>  : the Malkioni Trinity.
>>	I do not believe that the Malkioni have any equivalent to the  
>>conventional Christian Trinity

>   I agree.  I view their religion as more like the competing philosophies
> of late antiquity than any 'religion' per se.  There might be a God and
> a _logos_, an intermediary spirit of some kind, doubt any basis for a Trinity.

We have an example of ity in Malkionism: Duality for Carmanians. 
Their duality between Light and Darkness has some earthly precedent.

>   How far back does the Hrestoli meritocracy go?  I tend to view its
> full and rigid form as a product of Loskalm under the Ban.  Any ideas?

I think that the whole idea behind knighthood and chivalrous ceremonies 
is that of merit. To become a knight, one has to earn ones spurs.

From CoT follows that Hrestol's concept of Chivalry conflicted with the 
more rigid caste structure of the wizards (of Arolanit?). I think that 
in Dawn Age Seshnela there were five Malkioni classes: Farmer, warrior, 
wizard, lord, and knight. The warriors lost their importance against the 
more effective knights quickly, and were absorbed by the knight and farmer 

I doubt that a Hrestoli king had to undergo all castes before the Loskalmi 
threw out the God Learners. This might have been one opportunity to 
redefine the ruler: no apparent heir to the deposed God Learner Emperor 
was at hand, so they decided to introduce a new way of defining kingship. 
(This is paralleled to Pepin the Short's crowning, which used the biblical 
rite of salving, and kings of divine grace, rather than kings of divine 
descent, as the Merowings had been. Funnily, the Hebrew king rites for 
King Saul later taken by the Franks had been applied the first time for 
Davids precedessor as well, and possibly also out of lack of divine 
descent of their king, contrary to their neighbours.)

The rigidity of the Loskalmi meritocrats might have started then; I don't 
doubt the Ban refined it to current state.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (S.Phillips)
Subject: Hot food, instinctive darktounge & anything else I can think of..
Message-ID: <>
Date: 17 May 94 15:07:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4041

Hello from Sam Phillips

I have decided to skip the last few weeks dailies (a hugh backlog) and
try to catch up with the latest stuff..

Alex on ?? (sorry ?? :-)
>>  I don't think it's just a climate thing (I've heard it opined  
>> that "hot food is from hot lands")
>Not simply that, but since hot food tends to make one sweat, it's not a
>great idea when the temperature is sub-zero.  Wasn't Peloria rather cold,
>bbefore the Rusk--  Lunars started fiddling with the climate?

> At least one book I've read states that spicy-hot dishes  
>appear in areas where there is a large peasant population with but a  
>single staple foodstuff. In an attempt to make their bland, dull diet  
>palatable,         ...,      In Europe, where peasants might  
>well starve, but would generally do so on a varied diet, composed of  
>fish, wheat, rye, millet, barley, cabbage, pork, etc. such spicy  
>dishes never evolved. Ditto for Japan.

I disagree. 
I thought the idea behind eating hot and spicy food was to cover up the taste of
rancid meat. More neccessary in hot countries where the food goes off quicker.
Medieval European food was by all accounts incredibly hot and spicy. Cloves, 
nutmeg, mace etc being especially popular - hence their use today in the 
reinactment of ancient festivals - especially Yule.

?? quoted by Alex:
> I imagine many Sartarites find Pelorian food physically  
> difficult to eat, in the same way that many Americans cannot handle  
> spicy Mexican. 

What does a Mexican taste like? Are they better spicy? ;-)

I'm not sure I go for this. In my opinion bland food is more a product of 
modern food hygine and the refridgerator. Nearly all cultures would spice their
food to cover up the rancid meat or just to add spice to life. Even Scotland
- noted (nay celebrated) for it's generally poor, bland food has many an ancient
and tasty hot'n'spicy dish. The most famous being haggis. Mmm, yum!

I challange anyone to tell me the sheep-lovin' Sartarites don't eat Haggis.
(And I do mean challenge - Claymores at dawn! >;-)  

Someone else:
> Where does paprika come from?

Why, it is powdered dried, red peppers. I believe, from the Americas. But I'm 
willing to be proven wrong.

Instinctive darktongue, my 2p:
If a troll says it's instinctive - I'm not going to argue.


> >I find it difficult to imagine _all_ of Darktongue being instinctive.
>  That's only because you're human, and very little of your  
> language is instinctive.

Of course, human language itself *is* instinctive. It is inbuilt in us to form
sentences and it is inbuilt in children to form grammars. Put two children in 
isolation from birth and they will form their own language. Put two cultures
together and they will form a pidgin (sp?). Their children will add a grammar
with the next generation. A few generations down the line a seperate language,
very different from the ones that went before, is around. All languages *must*
have been formed in using these three simple rules. The new language formed
is no less of a language than the ones that spawned it. A good example is
English - a very quirky, odd, simplistic language. Formed from a pidgin.
All short words being germanic, dutch, norse etc. All the long words being
french, spanish, italian etc. But very different from both sets of creators,
and a very expressive language. Poetic, musical etc. Good for rhyming anyway.
Hmm.. seemed to have lost the point somewhere ;-)

Oh, yeh.. Just to confuse matters and disagree with waht I have just said.

Allyoop, up onto soapbox..

Darktongue may be *more* instinctive than human languages, but it it cannot be 
purely instinctive. By definition languages are not static. They must change. 
The whole purpose of language is to express and communicate ideas using a
common framework of signals. A language that cannot express any new idea
would be of no use to anyone and a society as complex as that of the trolls
could not be built from it. It is taken for granted that trolls can make tools
just as humans can. It should also be taken for granted that darktounge is
a full, expressive, changing language. Language is more important to the 
forming of a civilisation than the ability to make tools.

Fallumph! back down off soapbox..

>Sandy Petersen, and his famous stuff:
>> At least elves, in my campaign, are mainly active at night. 
>Gotta soak up 'em rays during the day.
This summons images of rayban-wearing surf-elves in big shorts and specially
grown boards. Hmm.. there may be kids cartoon in this somewhere.

> In addition, I think female trolls have a biting reflex on reaching 

Who told you this? I bet they walked funny.. Don't believe everything you
hear in Pavis bars.  Old Halfdan High-pitched has been spreading this one
for years... The truth is in fact the opposite. Female trolls can reach orgasm
only when exercising their biting reflex. A male troll can never satisfy like a
large meal. Or indeed a small meal. My advice however would be this. Do not
go out of your way to discover the real truth. Those are *not* sausages on the
menu! Perhaps this could be added to the story of Berra Thengan.. ;-)

(boy, the things we discuss)


> The Free Form Game "How the West was One" is now completely and TOTALLY
> FULL.  Actually heavily over subscribed.  PLease do not bother to send 
> in any applications if you have not done so already.

-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! Not fair! Ref! Ref! Mummy! I'll cry! I will stamp my
feet.. I'm sqaushing your head Nnnnnnn! etc..

Do the exeptions count for those who have only just got a place?


Not Scotland but Sartar. x


From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Walking, talking, living Dhole...
Message-ID: <9405171252.AA06861@condor>
Date: 17 May 94 12:52:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4042

Sandy wrote of his campaign:
>	The sphere's power is to transform magic points and/or POW  
>into physical objects. 

This is fascinating. Numerous questions spring to mind: How much magic does
it take for, say, a SIZ 1 object? Does it depend upon the material?
Is it permanent? Can the effect be dispelled?

>The PCs determined that it is a piece of the  
>World Machine, removed from some cosmic mechanism. The players  
>conjecture that there is a companion object somewhere in Frowal which  
>transforms physical objects into magic points, and are considering a  
>search for it. 

Like a big Tap(SIZ) matrix only more efficient, I guess..?



From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: re: RQ and ilk
Message-ID: <>
Date: 17 May 94 04:01:33 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4043

Jardine asks:
>Question; Do dwarfs have to sacrifice 1 POW to become initiates of 

>the *Cult* of Mostal?  After all Mostal is DEAD and offers NO 

>benefits or even an afterlife!   

	I play that any dwarf interested in becoming a PC usually  
does so after decades (maybe centuries) of life in the factory.  
Hence, if he ever had to sack POW to join Mostal, he did it so long  
ago it doesn't matter. I realize this is somewhat begging the  
question, but what the heck. 

	I think that if dwarfs need to sacrifice magic points to  
Mostal, then they need to sack POW to set up a link. 

>What is the Cult of Mostal anyway?
	A human construct formed in an attempt to explain dwarf magic  
and society. Mostal's Way is a matter of behavior, not belief, IMO.  
In theory, a human could become a Mostal follower simply by obeying  
dwarf orders. Of course, the dwarfs would no doubt distrust such a  
human because of past perfidy. This does not mean that a human Mostal  
"worshiper" would receive dwarf magic, prolonged life, or anything at  
all except the warm inner knowledge that he is doing his part towards  
the correction of the World Machine's breakage. 

>Because of their tie to the World Machine which is broken but not 

>destroyed dwarves become immortal, but still subject to breakage.   
>They also gain access to Mostali Magical Mechanics instead of the  
>"primitive sorcery" used by apostates.
	I think that these effects common to mainstream dwarfs are  
not the result of a link to the World Machine, but a natural effect  
of being a properly-living dwarf. Dwarfs are immortal because they're  
in repair. An apostate dwarf dies because he's "broken." Dwarfs,  
after centuries of labor, get special magic abilities (Diamondwarf  
stuff) not because they are granted same by the World Machine, but  
because _any_ dwarf would develop such abilities after working long  
enough at the same job. Of course, to a human, this is simply a  
matter of terminology. 

Klaus sez:
>Bronze is the metal a smith would usually work with. Would a
>typical village orangesmith ever get to work iron?
	They're called "redsmiths" not "orangesmiths".