Bell Digest v940519p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 19 May 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.


Subject: re: Henotheist sorcery
Message-ID: <>
Date: 18 May 94 07:49:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4053

Hi Everyone, and thanks for your replies...

Argrath ( mentioned something I haven't heard of before (not
too difficult to do, if the truth be known... ) - High and Low Sorcery.

I'm running / working on a Safelster-based campaign, currently set mostly in
the Estali / Tiskos region, and of course it's crawling with Henotheists.
I noticed in the Genertela book of G - CotHW that Ernalda / The Great Green
Lady is also worshipped in Estali. Also, I figured that with all those wild
and barbarous Orlanthi skulking around the borders, Henotheism, particularly
in western Safelster, might have more than a small dose of Orlanth influence.
The following is what I came up with (sort of a la Joerg's Aeolians, I 
s'pose. Solidarity, Joerg! m(^v^)m  ):

"In the beginning, God created the world. He created every living thing, 
every tree and every bird, every cloud and every stone. And when He had 
created the world, He breathed His life into it. And His Breath moved over 
the world, breathing life into everything it touched. And from His Breath
God created the Host of Angels to help Him tend His creation, and He assigned
to them their proper duties and places in the world. That is why our priests
speak of the Trinity of the Creator, Host, and Breath of God, and that is
why there are three corners to the First Rune made by the Lord."

Incidentally, I've worked up three of this "Angelic Host" for the Church in
Estali, the so-called Angelic Orders. These are; the Lord of Swords
(essentially Humakt); the Great Green Lady (Ernalda - see above); and the
White Lady (aka Chalana Arroy).

Now, the Friars / Reverend Mothers of these Angelic Orders certainly have
access to Divine Magic, _but_ (and here's where I get vague...) do I just
stick to Sorcery for the "Prayers" of the Orders (same as the Prayers of
the mainstream Church itself - Henotheist IG with a touch of Orlanth), or
do I attempt to tackle Spirit Magic too? ...Heeeelllp... * pathetic flailing 
of arms and much tearing out of hair *...

Comments? Flames? Schwarzenegger-style God Learner analyses? 

Cheers from the Land of the Rising Sun,

Gary (Gary Newton :


From: (The Lawnmower Man)
Subject: Saints and magic
Message-ID: <>
Date: 18 May 94 02:39:58 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4054

>> 	I don't agree. Here's why. Unlike Earthly saints, Malkioni  
>> saints give actual magic powers to their devotees.

>Dangerous territory, I know, but most Earthly Saints are credited 
>with miracles, which are nothing else but magic. The devout 
>worshippers which make pilgrimages to for instance Lourdes do so to 
>benefit from the divine magical powers available there.

>I am sufficiently scientist and sceptic not to believe in such 
>"reliable" miracles myself, but then my creed has no Saint worship. 
>Yet in these peoples' mythical reality the magic is there. The 
>Saints _are_ worshipped for the magical powers they convey. They 
>were more so in medieval times, before the age of scepticism.

I'm not sure I follow the logic on this one, Joerg--nothing you 
stated above seems to support your assertion that the saints convey 
powers to worshippers.   (It may be that you and I don't use the word 
"convey" in the same way here.)  

Earthly saints certainly performed miracles (after all, a miracle or 
three is required for canonization nowadays), but I don't recall any 
case of a saint granting a miraculous power or ability to someone 
else, particularly after that saint's death.  People pray to saints 
for *intercession*, but to me this is not the same as having that 
saint grant or convey some magical power.  It's more a case of 
(minor) divine intervention rather than a granting of rune magic, to 
put it in game terms.

Of course, there are places like Lourdes, but again, that's not a 
saint granting powers *to* a worshipper, but rather using powers *on* 
a worshipper.  (And Lourdes itself is more like a big ritual 
enchantment done by the further action required by other 



From: (Jonas Schiott)
Subject: Spells, Smiths, Thanes, Picking nits...
Message-ID: <>
Date: 18 May 94 15:12:37 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4055


>> The idea of splitting the cult into priests and initiates seems less
>> repulsive after Joerg informed me of the the RQ4 suggestion that initiates
>> should regain their divine spells once a year.
>Is this the variant where you may roll to regain use of a spell cast
>_during_ the HHD ceremony, or something different?

Hmm. I think the idea was that you _regain_ spells on the HHD, regardless
of when they were _cast_. Is that what you were asking?

[double take] Wait a sec... you mean there are even _more_ variants? :-)


>While I'm at the subject of metals: What treatment would Gloranthan 
>"bronze" require to be crafted? Would you need a vented furnace to 
>get the material into a ductile state that it could be hammered, or 
>would cold hammering suffice, like for Earth's bronze? Can it be 
>melted and cast directly into tools and armour pieces, or does it 
>require quenching and tempering to work out? How does a Gloranthan 
>smithy look like?

I am inexplicably reminded of a real turkey of a film, I think it was
called "Iron Masters" or something along those lines, were _iron_ was cast
into swords. To be precise, I think it was melted by a stroke of lightning
and just happened to pour into a convenient crack in the mountain face. My
memory is a bit fuzzy - has anyone else seen this?

The reason I bring it up is that Gloranthan metals, we are reminded now and
again, are _not_ exact equivalents of Earth metals. Thus there is really no
reason why we _have_ to have cast bronze and worked iron. Though it does
provide an additional explanation for the scarcity of Iron objects - they
require a whole new Craft skill.

>Or does 
>even a theist priest's or a shaman's power ultimately derive from 
>the Invisible God, according to Malkioni doctrine? In this case 
>there are no false gods, only gods pretending to be Saints.

You mean "saints pretending to be gods", don't you? If not, I don't
understand your concept of "god" in this context.


>The RQ:Adventures in Glorantha rule is that initiates can regain one point
>of divine magic every year.

Right. Alex: this is what I was talking about.

>My interpretation is that "thane" is an Orlanthi title which is probably
>best translated as "noble." In an East Wilds tribe, only the clan
>chieftains are considered to be thanes (though I suspect Aruzban Ironarm
>has named the members of his Ring as thanes). In more-civilized Sartar, not
>only members of a tribal Ring, but other leading individuals are granted
>the title of thane.
>Don't forget that many of the thanes mentioned are weaponthanes (these are
>called housecarls in the East Wilds). This is a term of respect for their
>combat ability [probably 90% skill if not Rune Lord], but they don't have
>the privileges of true thanes.

Well, yeah... but the EW stuff is really only relevant to our private
discussions, David, and what's more was originally just a patch to cover up
the discrepancy that I'm trying to reopen (to see if anyone else has
something better to suggest). Anyway, your interpretation is purely on the
level of orlanthi society, that is you award the title "thane" on the basis
of functions within a clan and/or tribe, not on the basis of Orlanth Rex
membership. I know, you can say that anyone who qualifies by the social
criteria will also be initiated into O.R. (and this is, in practice, the
way we play it), but are really all of the thanes in "Report..." thanes in
this sense? Whether or not we call them something else in EW has no
relevance to the head-on collision between KoS and the Rex write-up.


> Earlier, Sandy wrote there must be some green
>elves in brown elf areas, presumably to ward the forests in winter.
>Therefore, there would have to be some conifers in every forest.
>I don't see such a compelling need.  I imagine the brown elves
>locate defensive plants around the edge of the forest to protect it
>during winter.

And don't forget the dryads, who are often very powerful magically.



Subject: My Wife heard the Secret, but she doesn't care...
Message-ID: <>
Date: 19 May 94 09:42:54 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4056

G'day all,

Lightbringer Secret

Sandy writes:
>Nick Brooke sez:
>someone else who claimed to officially know it [God Learner secret]  
>said that he could explain it in 5 words, but was rather put out  
>when I told him Greg said he could explain it in three!  He demanded  
>to know if that included words like "the" or "and"!

Actually, it was me who wrote this, not Nick.  However, Nick was also 
there at the time, though I must stress that Nick ISN'T the person who said 
he could explain the GL secret in 5 words.  In fact (like me), Nick stressed
that he neither knew the secret nor wanted to hear the "five word"

While I'm Nicking, sorry Nick I got confused about your views on the cult of
Moonson.  I plead a late night's debauchery followed by early-morning
earth-moving equipment over the back fence for fuddling my brain.


David Dunham asked some questions about Mindspeech:
>A question came up in my last game about Mindspeech. If A casts Mindspeech
>on B, it's real clear that A (the caster) can transmit whispered messages
>to B. Can B transmit messages back to A? I think as the spell is written,
>the answer is no -- "It will transmit only the thoughts intended for
>transmission *by the caster*." (In RQ2, the spell was two-way, and the
>statement about "open link" seems to be a holdover from this.)
>One answer might be to make a 2-way link cost 2 points (since the spell is
>How do others play this?

We have always played it as 2-way, I guess 'cos we're ex-RQ2ers.  

**Minor Spoiler for Strangers in Prax - Lunar Coders**

While I'm on the topic of Mindspeech, those of you who've got Strangers in
Prax will note that in the Orlanth temple Krogar Wolfhelm uses Mindspeech
to send a secret message to the PCs and the other Orlanthi.  Originally,
this was actually passed by another, more typically "Orlanthi" spell:
yes, you guessed it, WIND WORDS!!  After 15 years of RQ I thought I had finally
come up with a legitimate use for this pretty much useless and costly spell,
only to have it axed in the editing stage so as not to offend the rules
lawyers!  Well, I guess if a Orlanth Wind Lord ain't gonna use Wind Words
on a holy day in his temple, then I guess he'll *never* use it.

Harvar is a true son of Yelm...

Joerg B. quotes someone:
> I don't think this method works in general, else (pre-Lunar) Dara Happa
> would be hip-deep in Yelm worshippes.  In the unlikely event of Yelm
> the Sage members being allowed and able to procreate, I suspect their
> children "don't count" as Yelm candidates.

Joerg then asks:
>>I think this was how Harvar Ironfist was admitted into the Yelm cult 
>>during Home of the Bold (RQ-Con session). Could any of the involved 
>>confirm or correct this?

Gordius Silverus, former Lunar provost of Boldhome (current whereabouts
uncertain) saw it as imperative that Harvar be admitted into the cult of
Yelm - and, more importantly, therefore, the cult of Moonson Imperator!  
He requested that the Royal Librarian Montague Goodcandle (whose 
magnificent spotted beard dropped almost to the ground) scour the countless
scrolls and tomes in the Library for proof of Harvar's lineage.  Gordius
added that he was sending his architects to the Library to see if
Montague's plan for a new reading room (with central heating and jacuzzi)
was feasible.  Montague stated that he was sure that proof of Harvar's
worthiness could be, er, located - Gordius stated that in this case he was
certain his architects would approve the plans for the hot tub.

The evidence was forthcoming - though it interested Gordius not one jot as to
whether this meant Ironfists's ancestors had kids before or after they became
member of Yelm the Sage.  For that you'd have to ask the Librarian, who
unfortunately was assassinated shortly after the rebellion broke out on the 
day of the Black Moon.  (He was killed fleeing the city with 
Temertain - assassins jumped out, ignored the fleeing Prince, and stabbed
the Librarian, much to his surprise.  His last words were, "Me? You're
killing me???".  The identity of the assassins and who hired them has been
sified "Blue" (secret) by the Lunar authorities and buried in the vault 
of the Annilla Temple marked "not to be opened for 54 years".

Pavis Personalities List

Thanks for adding in poor Jaxie, Eric (sorted this out in private mail).
Eric left Jaxarte off the list because he thought he was only staying in
Pavis for a short visit in 1617 - in fact, Jaxarte spends over five years
in Pavis, from his arrival in 1617 until his return to the Heartlands
in the entourage of his disgraced uncle Sor Eel, following the Cradle

Another missing personality, Eric: Niall of the Real City, a priest of the
tiny hero cult of Revenant.  Mentioned in "Stony Bones" Tales #8 and 
"Niall's Revenge", Tales #9.

Come on baby light my fire    

My old mate gary James writes:

>Alex asked whether there were any pure broadleaf forests in Glorantha.
>Sandy responded he didn't know of any.  He wrote all the forests he
>has seen in North America were a mix of evergreens and conifers.

>In Australia, we have few native conifers.  Almost all the native
>trees are angiosperms.  They keep their leaves all year round whether
>they live in the tropics or the more temperate south.  I'm no
>botanist, but the only native conifers in Australia I know live in
>tiny isolated pockets, usually in mountainous areas.  All the
>natural forests I have ever seen are made up of native "evergreen"
>angiosperms and a few exotic conifers, chiefly the ubiquitous pinus
>radiata.  I can certainly imagine the mixed forests Sandy talks about,
>but I've never seen one.

Me neither.  Of course, the elves who live in these "native angiosperm"
forests are the Eucalyptus Elves!  These elves are rather volatile - being
so full of oil they tend to explode in bush fires (as apparently happens
to koalas who totally subsist on eucalyptus leaves).  However, just as many
eucalypts require fire to germinate, I posit that so do the Eucalyptus 
Elves!  Gives the lyrics of that Doors song a whole new, literal meaning!

Malkioni Saints - All or Some?

Nick says: 
>I find the idea that all Malkioni saints are recognised and
>worshipped by all of the sects ludicrous, and will not countenance  

Sandy, Martin and others disagree, and stand by the statement 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."

I side firmly with Nick, and agree with many of the reasons he has given
throughout this fiery debate.

However, the main reason why I side with Nick is because having the 
Malkioni as a bunch of squabbling heretic haters is ***LOTS MORE FUN*** than
the wimpy eucumenicalism promoted by the other view.  Now trying to reach
that state of mutual recognition is a lot of fun too (can't wait for the
the 7th Ecclesiastical Council), but I seriously doubt that all the sects
and factions will ever reach it, and if they, stay that way for long.
After all Credo fans, how long did the Nicean Council hold the whole 
Church together for?