Bell Digest v940521p2

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 21 May 1994, part 2
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From: (David Dunham)
Subject: East Ralios Orlanthi
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 May 94 02:24:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4092

Devin Cutler said
>Except for David
>Dunham's posting on various dictionaries, and my recent posting of two magic
>items, there hasn't been much exchange of "gaming" type info on this net for
>quite some time.

That was MOB, not me. But here's a bit of background from my new campaign.
It's a bit abbreviated because it's intended to fit one side of a piece of
paper. Also, note that the campaign takes place before the "present" of

        Orlanth, the God of Storm, challenged Yelm, the Sun Emperor, for
rulership of the gods. He killed Yelm, and plunged the world into the
Lesser Darkness.
        The Greater Darkness began when chaos entered the world. Many gods
died in the ensuing struggles, including Genert, the god of the land. Urox
the Storm Bull led the defenders and managed to defeat the Devil.
        Meanwhile, Orlanth and his companions set out on the Lightbringer's
Quest to rescue Yelm from Hell. After many trials, they succeeded, and Yelm
returned to the sky in the first dawn.

        During the First Age, a god was created in Dorastor. His worshipers
called him Nysalor the Bright One. Harmast Barefoot, a farmer from
Corolaland, was the first human to enact the Lightbringer's Quest,
returning with a knight named Arkat to combat Nysalor's empire. Arkat
unmasked Nysalor as Gbaji the Deceiver, and used all possible means to
defeat him, performing many heroquests and even becoming a troll. Ralios
was the theatre for much of Arkat's 75-year campaign against Gbaji, which
culminated in the destruction of both the god and his homeland. Arkat then
retired to Ralios and with his troll allies founded the Empire of Peace.
        The Second Age was dominated by the Jrusteli God Learners from the
west, and the Empire of the Wyrms Friends to the east. The Jrusteli
conquered and plundered Arkat's Empire, and by reckless heroquesting were
able to twist the world. They were overthrown by many people who allied
with the gods to restore the cosmos. Part of their demise was a mighty
spell which closed the oceans to travel.
        The Empire of the Wyrms Friends enjoyed a close relationship with
dragons and their kin. Ingolf Dragonfriend from the Garanazar clan was one
of their heroes. When the EWF became corrupt, Alakoring Dragonbreaker of
the Dobuni clan fought them. Finally, the dragonewts rose and crushed the
        The most noteworthy event so far in the Third Age was the rising of
the Red Moon to the northeast. An empire was founded by the worshipers of
the Red Goddess, but they have had little contact with Ralios.
        In 1413 King Bailifes the Hammer took most of Safelster, driving
refugees into Vesmonstran and East Ralios.
        In 1499, all communication with Fronela to the north was
mysteriously cut off. Travelers over High Llama Pass find only a trackless

        The many tribes of East Ralios share a common culture, called
Orlanthi after their chief god.
        The Orlanthi live by herding and farming. Cattle provide milk and
meat, and sheep provide wool. Growing wheat is seen as a sign that you
can't afford a herd, but it's important for brewing beer.
        Families live in round buildings with conical thatched roofs. These
can be quite large, and are sometimes found in ringforts or hillforts, huge
earth and wood structures large enough to hold the herds in times of
        The clan is the most important social organization, owning all
land, and their own unique magic. Clans frequently form into tribes to
further common goals. Tribes occasionally join into temporary kingdoms,
usually to deal with an external threat. The clan thane and tribal king are
each assisted by a council, or Ring.
        People are ranked as thanes, carls, cottars, or thralls. There is
much mobility between classes, and the clan thane is elected from a large
group of eligible kin.
        Men are feisty, unpredictable, and passionate while women are calm,
calculating and possessed. Although each gender has their own roles, there
are no firm rules, and women often become housecarls or kings.
        Marriage is a partnership, with husband and wife sharing in
property. Children are part of the husband's clan. They're frequently
fostered, and are initiated into adulthood with various tests.
        The Orlanthi believe in spirits and gods which guide everything,
and interpret events as being of divine origin. People are protected from
the supernatural and harmful fates by geases, which prohibit dangerous
        The major deities worshipped are:
Orlanth: King of the World, storm god, culture hero, men's god.
Ralia: Cow Mother, Wheat Goddess, Land Goddess, women's goddess.
Issaries: The Talking God, god of travel and heralds
Lhankor Mhy: The Knowing God, lawspeaker
        Minor deities include:
Humakt, god of swords, death and endings; Mastakos, Orlanth's charioteer;
Chalana Arroy the Healer; Heler the Rain Bringer; Voriof the Shepherd, god
of boys; Odayla the Hunter; Gustbran the Smith; Drogarsi the Dancer; Urox
the Storm Bull, chaos killer; Vinga the Adventuress; Eurmal the Trickster.
Most clans worship their own heroes or local deities, and have Kolating, or
spirit masters.
        Orlanthi law is usually settled in a court, though occasionally
there are judicial duels. Judgments include fines and penalties, perhaps
including outlawry.
        It's said that the Orlanthi spend as much time tending themselves
as their cows. Common adornments include bracelets, necklaces, torcs,
elaborate buckles, dyed linens, and mirrors.
        All adult males are warriors. Housecarls are full time fighters in
the service of chiefs, and may fight from chariots. Given the choice of
armor or a sword, an Orlanthi would choose the blade without hesitating.
Many warriors fight clad only in magic. Most battles are small, and
preceded by boasting, threats, and challenges. Heads are a popular trophy.

        Trolls live in Halikiv and Guhan, and send caravans of giant
insects between the two kingdoms. Dragonewts control Ormsland. There are
elves in Ballid and Tarinwood. Dwarfs live in the Nidan Mountains, and
trade at Bad Deal.
        Safelster is a swirling kaleidoscope of city-states and variants of
the Malkioni religion. All practice sorcery, though some worship Orlanth,
Arkat, or other gods.
        Other Orlanthi tribes live in Vesmonstran, but they are mainly farmers.
        The hsunchen live in Telmoria, Vustria, Basim, and Pralorela, as
well as within East Ralios. They're hunter-gatherers, and can turn into
their totem animals. (The wolf tribes involuntarily become werewolves every
        Incredible beasts can be hunted in Wonderwood.

Devin also said
>I would rather see more deities as opposed to more cults. Rather
>than having various areas worship different aspects of Humakt, simply have
>them worship a different death god

Sorry, I've decided that people in East Ralios worship the Orlanth pantheon
in ways that might be hard for folks from Dragon Pass to swallow. In East
Ralios, Issaries is the Talking God, but not the God of Trade. It's pretty
obvious he's the same god -- he guided Orlanth on the Lightbringer's Quest
-- but trade is simply not a big part of the East Wilds, and they can
worship Doskior (the river god) for that.

I see this as preferable, because a traveller from Dragon Pass can be made
welcome in Delela. He'd have quaint foreign ways, but his strange way of
worshipping Orlanth would be no more strange than the fact that he'd build
a rectangular house instead of a circular one.

Don't forget, East Ralios is cut off from Dragon Pass by great distance and
impassable mountains. It's easy for me to imagine divergent development.


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Hate Heretics <> Hate Pagans
Message-ID: <940521045836_100270.337_BHL27-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 21 May 94 04:58:37 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4093

Sandy wrote, re: world-spanning campaigns and Western unity:

> But having hostile locals covering as huge a swath of the world as
> all the West is too much for me.

Fortunately, members of monotheist churches are usually far more concerned 
about heresies (which are often infectious and can spread inside their own 
church) than about paganism per se, which isn't and can't. Best example in 
the real world is the success of the Varangian Guard of Viking mercenaries 
serving the Emperors in Constantinople - an excuse for a party of ignorant 
barbarian player characters at the heart of a Byzantine campaign, if ever 
there was one! Gloranthan parallels to this are plausible. Which is to say, 
a divided West may be more dangerous to its own villagers and neighbouring 
Western states than it is to passing travellers who make no pretence of 
being Malkioni. You're going to have a hard time for being foreigners, but 
that happens wherever you go. You're unlikely to burn for it, unless it 
serves the purposes of the scenario (check Genertela Book for frequency of 
lynch mobs on the Western Regional Activity Table).

I wholly sympathise with the desire for easier long-distance travel; but 
like all those player character parties that sound like a shaggy dog story 
("There was this Orlanthi, a Dwarf, a Troll, a Yelmalion, and a Trickster 
went down the Rubble..."), extrapolating from game-convenience conventions 
("adventurer/hero types are tolerant and much-travelled types who easily 
overcome cultic and racial prejudices") to generalise about their societies 
makes Glorantha less vivid/plausible. To me, anyway.



Subject: Yuck 'n Chuck
Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 May 94 01:58:03 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4094

G'day to all,

Calling on Hughie

Sam quoth me and ponders:

>I plead a late night's debauchery followed by early-morning
>earth-moving equipment over the back fence for fuddling my brain.

Is this some sort of Aussie euphemism for "calling on Hughie",
"Telephoning Dr. Hurl", .. etc?

Sorry to disappoint, I was actually being quite literal!  
The local cemetary is over the back fence, so things are usually pretty quiet
round here on a Sunday morning.
We didn't get home until about 4am on Saturday night, but figured we could 
just sleep in the following morning.  However, for reasons I cannot fathom,
the local council decided to start ripping up the path in the cemetary just
over our back fence at about 8.30 am.  It was so loud our house was shaking!
Then, about an hour later (by which time we had got up)  they packed up and 
went home!  Bastards!

One of the most popular Aussie eumphemisms for vomiting is "to Chunder",
though my favourite is "technicolour yawn"! 
Kim Chi

Sandy writes:
>        In discussions of food ere now, I've used the term "spicy" to  
>mean "hot". By this I do NOT mean the food's actual temperature, but  
>the fierce burning you get from chomping down on a hot chili or  
>spoonful of white pepper. Anyone who's had Korean kim chee can  
>testify that a chilled food can be "hot".

I have kim chi twice - the first time (in Sydney, NSW) I had a perforated 
eardrum and the second time (in New York, NY) I had a bad cold.  Both
conditions deaden the taste buds, so I was able to gobble down vast
quantities of the stuff and earn the respectful admiration of my fellow

PJ O'Rourke in one of his travel books (Holidays in Hell, I think) describes 
a political rally in South Korean, and the overwhelming aroma of 40,000 people,
all breathing and farting kim chi fumes.  Yech!

On the topic of hot or strong flavours, the kids at school have started
a craze for candy called "Warheads" which are supposed to be really powerful.
The flavours included Hot Cherry, Hot Apple, Sour Lemon and Sour Grape (Hot
Cherry's the worst).  If you can suck 'em for 90 seconds you're supposed to
be tough.  I suspect that children's taste buds must be keener than adults,
as the kids have dared me and other teachers to try them and none of us found
them to be unbearably strong, whereas some of the kids have to spit them

Pavis Personalities
Devin Cutler asks:
>Also on the Pavis personality list, what about Riveps, the RIverside Thug
>from the Krang's table adventure. Also, what about Delfron the Butcher from
>that same scenario? 

There you go, Eric: once you decided to put in obscure lowlifes like
Bung and Unkle Kevin, you now gotta put in 'em all!

>Finally, what about the diseased man in Badside from the
>Devil's playground adventure (I forget his name)?

That's my old pal Oakley Gauntest, and he is in Eric's list!

Great thoughts from Devin Cutler and David Hall recently!