Bell Digest v940527p3

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, Fri, 27 May 1994, part 3
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From: (David Dunham)
Subject: Tales of Ralios, etc.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 May 94 17:39:01 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4193

Sandy said
>fact that most acolytes and storm priests are casting Cloud Call  
>all the time is what gives the Orlanthi culture its strength. Why  
>have the Orlanthi displaced other folks from the hill country? Cloud  
>Call is a big part of it. The Orlanthi get plenty of rainfall, and  
>their crops grow well even in the comparatively poor upland area, and  
>so they are a force to be reckoned with. 

But, but, I thought the Orlanthi are herders because they live in
comparatively poor upland areas... At least in the Easy Wilds, which seems
hillier than Dragon Pass according to the map in Glorantha. Still, Cloud
Call gives them lush grass their cows grow fat on.

>Is there cotton in western Genertela? I thought it was a more  
>modern discovery

Ancient Egypt, India, and China had cotton, and it dates way back in Mexico
as well.

Loren Miller said
>Humakt, since he cut off all his ties and so his cult is
>qualitatively different from other cults---it has no associate or

True on the associates, but Humakt very much has subcults. Ask the
Feathered Horse Queen's bodyguard, they'll tell you they worship Hiia

Devin Cutler asks
>Would the Daily be an appropriate place for people to tell us about there

What a leading question!

Due to popular demand (well, one of my players thought I should post this),
I present the first installment of Tales of Ralios. I'm starting a new
campaign using PenDragon Pass rules, set in the East Wilds. For various
reasons, I started everyone out as members of the same clan, all 15-19
years old and being initiated.

Both the background and this scenario borrow heavily from the material of
Jonas Schiott, Sten Ahrman, and Dag Olausson. I take some responsibility,

        The morning of Windsday, Death week of Sea season, was cloudy and
windy, an auspicious sign for the six members of the Belovaking clan who
were to undergo the final tests of initiation.
        Konall was the youngest brother of the clan thane, Ekel
Field-Destroyer. He could play any musical instrument he set his hands to.
He had been fostered to Hruktuk, shaman of the Ochre Top clan of the Aleci,
or moose tribe.
        Ekel Field-Destroyer's two daughters were also being initiated.
Minara had inherited her mother Ornai's stunning beauty, as well as a
chariot with bronze scythes, inlaid with lapis lazuli and shell. She had
been fostered to Orlmand, Lawspeaker of the Galdring clan in the Nardain
tribe. Una was Lina's daughter, and was noted for her fine style of
dressing. People said she had the healer's gift. The sisters shared their
father's love of horses, and both planned to follow Vinga's path and seek
        Jornast was the son of Ekel Field-Destroyer's brother, Harstov the
Saddle Maker. He had been fostered to Amagorri the Smith of the Taskenth
clan, and seemed to dislike his own kinsmen.
        Harmast Dailgusson was a great-grandson of Ingkel Hundred-Fighter,
who had been thane when the White Horse Troop passed through. He was a
large man, well-trained in the ways of war and seemed destined to become a
gifted orator.
        Aidin was the daughter of Dathen the Poet, and a
great-granddaughter of Inkel Hundred-Fighter. She was blessed with an
excellent memory. She too planned to cut her hair and wash it with lime as
a Vingan.
        The first six days of the initiation were full of instruction,
memorizing the seemingly endless poems that Orlanth worshipers were
expected to know, hearing again how Orlanth almost destroyed the world, but
then made it right, learning the rules of law that would soon apply to
them. The most unusual lesson was when Halvar Stormeye, the clan's priest
of Orlanth, summoned a sylph so they could learn Stormspeech.
        On Windsday, all seven members of the Clan Ring were there, though
Artri Madcap looked like he had just been dragged out of bed. Led by Methe
the Traveler, the procession headed south into the Barren Hills, a bleak
region which acted as a buffer between the Belovaking and Kortling clans,
which had several active feuds. They spiraled in a counterclockwise
direction, ending on a hilltop with an old three-sided standing stone. Each
face had a crude figure carved in it, and one of Orlanth's runes freshly
painted in yellow ochre.
        Ekel raised his voice: "We are the Belovaking clan. We came here
long ago, when there was famine throughout Delela, and we met Left-Stone
Shouter, who helped us drive out the Naskori sorcerers so we could graze
our cattle here. Our distant grandfather Aranast Hill-Poet placed this
stone here so we would never forget Left-Stone Shouter. 
        "We are not as many as the Kortling clan, but we are braver, wiser
and above all more honorable than them. This makes us a greater and
stronger people. But we must not make too much of our superiority:
Orlanth's virtues of generosity and justice apply equally toward the
Kortling clan. Even if they are devious and shifty.
        "As this will be your most important test, I cannot tell you what
to expect. But I can tell you what is expected of you. An Orlanthi must
always take action, even if it is not always the right one. Seeing to it
that something happens is the main thing; mistakes are made to be
corrected, and also to learn from. You will probably make many mistakes -
this is no cause for concern as long as you maintain the virtues of Orlanth
and set things right in the end. Orlanth himself grew by admitting his
errors and correcting them."
        As Halvar Stormeye raised his hands, a powerful whirlwind rose
around them, blurring their vision. They were swept into the air, finally
coming back down in a valley that looked much like their own, but greener
and brighter, with taller hills and a fast-flowing river in place of the
        Between them in the spot the stone had been was an odd person with
legs as long as a man is tall. Aidin recognized him as a Flint Slinger, a
spirit which often punishes initiates who break their vows. They gave the
Orlanthi Greeting. He answered and introduced himself as Left-Stone
Shouter, and said he would be their guide.
        The valley contained no steads, but Left-Stone Shouter pointed them
towards some trees. Sitting in them were two winged men, arguing about who
had first spotted a bag of sand. Konall suggested splitting the sand, but
they told him it was the bag that was magic. Minara proposed taking turns
using the bag, and drawing lots to see who would have it during Sacred
Time. They agreed to this, then brought them to their tree-top stead where
they were greeted by the thane and given meat and water. The thane, who had
magnificently dyed feathers, asked them to entertain the assembly. Konall
played his flute, Harmast and Jornast told stories, and Una made whirligigs
for the children. The thane was well pleased, and gave them each a feather
        Left-Stone Shouter leaped into the air to the height of 20 men, and
described the green-skinned lady he saw. When they got to her, she asked
them to rescue her herd, which had been stolen by men of darkness.
        They followed the tracks into what would be Kortling territory if
the land truly corresponded. Six large alynxes claimed they were
trespassing, and heaped insults on them. Minara challenged one to single
combat, but was laid out by a vicious slash to the head. Una challenged him
to avenge her sister. She allowed the alynx to stand up after he fell down,
then defeated him. Jornast defeated his opponent and skinned him. Aidin
fought honorably, but was seriously wounded in the stomach. Harmast avenged
her, and took his opponent's head. Left-Stone Shouter healed their wounds.
The remaining alynxes let them pass.
        They lost the trail, but spotted a coyote, who offered to get them
the cattle if one of the women slept with him. Minara scratched behind his
ears and flirted with him, and managed to trick him into revealing the
direction of the herd.
        They set out at a trot, and soon found a cave. They fashioned
torches and entered. The cows were being guarded by five trollkin and one
dark troll. The trollkin were defeated easily, but the dark troll cracked
Harmast's ribs before he killed it. They found lead coins with a troll head
on one side and a boat on the other.
        On the way back, they met a woman dressed in white. She healed
Harmast, and touched the wounds of Aidin and Minara. When Konall asked her
name, she replied, "You can call me Chalana Arroy."
        They returned to the Green Lady, who thanked them and gave them
milk. As she drove her cattle away, they found themselves lying on the
ground on the hilltop, with their elders just having finished tattooing
them. They each had a feather bracelet tattooed on one arm, a stylized
design for defeating an alynx or troll, and a small circle for each troll
coin they found.
        Halvar congratulated them, and explained each event. The number of
tests was more than anyone else had gone through, and Ainmir Sloweye said
this meant they were chosen by Orlanth for some great fate.
        After the celebratory feast, Ekel offered to take the new adults on
a cattle raid. They decided to raid Naskorion rather than the Ilmoshi clan.
        Ekel and three of his housecarls, Niul, Ingolf, and Dandern, came
along as guides. They stayed the first night in Wolnarhi lands. The next
night they were in Naskorion. Ekel's alynx went out scouting, and reported
a herd nearby. Jornast and Aidin tried to sneak up, but were spotted, and
one of the guards started sounding a horn. They killed both guards, and
started driving the cattle back to Delela.
        Konall, who had the fastest horse, rode back and saw a group of
spearmen and a rider answering the horn. The horseman, who bore a white
shield with two blue circles, was riding ahead of the footmen, so they set
up an ambush in some trees. The Naskori rider threw a javelin at Konall,
and charged Harmast with his lance. Although he was a good rider, he
couldn't manage to avoid being double-teamed, and was eventually taken down
before he could ride back to his men.
        Ekel distributed the plunder, and distributed the 30 cows to the
two bloodlines.


Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 May 94 10:44:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4194

Guy Hoyle here (not to be confused with Guy Robinson)
well, I've finally managed to figure out how to use the soda archives via
FPmail, and I've downloaded several useful things (the cults writeups, some
other stuff). But I haven't had any luck with downloading the dailies nd
digests. I get back a reply saying that everything was successful, that my
requests are on their way, but they never show up.
     I notice that these files have a .Z extension, which differs from the
other files I've downloaded. Is this some kind of special compression
     Anyone who can shed some Light on the subject is thanked profusely
aka Valgrim Bull-Answers-Twice


From: (boris)
Subject: Dark Wind, Initiation, and Hero Cults
Message-ID: <>
Date: 26 May 94 19:11:36 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4195

  Boris here, once again.
  In X-RQ-ID: 4175, David Dunham comments:
>Boris presented the Temple of the Black Wind. It seems awfully _organized_
>for an Orlanthi organization (or are Heortlanders far more densely
>populated than I picture?). It appears to be somewhat pyramidal in nature,
>how many people are members? If there are only two people per member at 6th
>Circle and below, that gives the organization 442 members. If the pyramid
>is 1:7 all the way down, then there are over 137000 members!

  Uh, that's much more organized than I had pictured it.  There are as many
  5th Circle members as have progressed that far; same for 4th, etc.  I
  suspect there are more people in the second circle than the first, as once
  someone has been sized up regarding their feeling toward Lunars, they
  would either be advanced ASAP or quietly eased out.  It is not a "cell"
  type of organization as in _The_Moon_Is_A_Harsh_Mistress_ (great name for
  a Danfive Xaron adventure, no?), as I believe that *is* too organized.

  There are seven 6th Circle members, as well as seven circles, simply
  because seven is a magically potent number in Glorantha (7 Lightbringers,
  7 Sacred Ancestors, 7 Mothers, etc.).  Thinking on it some more, I will
  probably change the number to five; these plus the grandmaster and
  Dehumbrol make up seven, keeping to the magic number better.

  In X-RQ-ID: 4181, Cullen O'Neill comments:
  (Cullen's quotes of myself defending multi-deity initiation deleted for
  sanity's sake)
>The examples cited are not good ones.

  Okay, how about these: Ancestor Worship, Chalandra and Aurelion.

>...  but if a peson is effective as a worshipper when they're
>an initiate of a friendly diety, then why is there a need for
>pantheon initiation?  Like you said from a guest initiate sees the
>ritual from a different perspective!  That of his diety.

  If there were some manner given for the necessary progression through cults
  (i.e. maiden inits Voria, when older inits Ernalda, when old inits Asrelia)
  as well as changing cults due to changing circumstances (a youth inits
  Orlanth because that's what everybody does; when he get's his growth he
  decides he's better suited to Urox) then much of the need would be
  eliminated.  If someone is initiated to the gods of one's ancestors, then
  this is easy.

  And, as a low initiate, one would take the perspective of Vingkot, or
  Flesh Man, or Grandfather Mortal, etc., in the reenactments.
>When one is initiated to a diety one becomes dedicated to that diety's
>viewpoint, and begins trying to become like that diety to the extent
>possible.  In some way the Initiation must be at base a transformative
>experience (otherwise why the big change in afterlife/Divine magic?).
>This gets lost with pantheon initiation.  The hero ceases trying to
>become like his/her god(dess) and becomes, well... kinda generic.  I
>think this is way to high a price to pay.

  This is a valid point; I could say that they try to be like Vingkot, etc.,
  but these in turn were emulating Orlanth their Lord.  So it becomes a
  once removed emulation, and as such is watered down, and perhaps too high
  a price.

>  I think that initiates of one
>god therefor serve to help the Ernalda service by being representatives
>of their gods at the holy day services (which might be put on by the
>whole community, but each initiate is participating as a representative
>of his god).  Does this work for you?

  I can live with this if, as I said above, there were some means of moving
  from cult to cult without penalizing the initiate.  For me, this makes
  more sense if there is some overarching framework to move within.  I
  certainly think that if one turns from the "gods of one's ancestors" to
  a deity of another pantheon, then one must pony up the POW (and be subject
  to spirits of reprisal, etc); but as long as one is loyal to a pantheon,
  intercult mobility should be possible.  The youths and maidens would then
  all be initiated to Orlanth or Ernalda, and can change if desired as they
  go through life changes.  If another piece of one's soul needs to be cast
  off whenever one does this, it doesn't work for me.

>Well... I suppose it does help in the way you speak.  But couldn't you
>have just as rich experiences with everybody participating in all the
>rituals as lay members/guest initiates and when there is a lack of a
>_____(fill in blank) worshipper the community must seek out a priestess
>(or initiate any way) to fill in that role at the ritual to make the
>land fertile or whatever.  I see alot of interaction between the cults
>without any need for multiple initiation.

  Unfortunately, some number (seven times seven times two, by KOS) of
  *initiate* level worshippers are needed to recover magics.  Since there
  are barely 100 survivors of the Cosstak clan of the Torkani tribe after
  the Telmori massacre of 1616, they need as many as possible to be
  initiates of one of the clan's gods, just for the major cults.  They still
  need to seek out priest(esse)s for any of the lesser cults.  But I saw
  no hope of clan survival without at least magical self suffiency for the
  major cult.  Playing the slow decline of a clan into extinction is not
  something either my players or myself would enjoy; I hope to play through
  their recovery and return them to really put the hurt on the Telmori, just
  in time for Argrath to come and force a truce.

  (BTW, this history is just my world; I claim no hidden knowledge).

>Thanks, it was very thought provoking and changed my mind on at least
>one issue.

  I have to say that I also am brought to a point of compromise.  Is my
  proviso acceptable?  (Even if not, I think I've said enough on this

>Martin in X-RQ-ID: 4121
>M>     LBQ: Leg Before Quicket?  Lyndon Baines Quonset?  Litterarum
>M>Baccalaureus something-beginning-with-Q?
>Well seriously... I couldn't figure out what it meant.  I really
>mean it, no humour involved.

  LightBringers Quest.

  In X-RQ-ID: 4183, Greg Fried asks:
>A question for anyone:
>Needless to say, the PCs
>have been treated like heroes.  Now they will leave the area, but the
>Bathurians have set up a shrine near the base of the glacier to mark
>the victory. They have asked each PC to leave something for the people
>to remember them and their victory by. 
>Now, my question is this: if the local people actually worship at this
>shrine, what benefit might the PCs derive?

  Quick and easy answer: estimate how many total MPs are donated by the
  Bathurians to the victory shrine per week, and divide some fraction of
  that among the PCs as a form of recovering, focusless MP storage.  If
  there are 500 worshippers each giving one MP a week, then maybe 100 MPs
  a week would be accessable to the PCs.  The amount available would
  fluctuate somewhat randomly (due to other festivals, crises occurring,
  etc.)  This could be a single pool that they all draw on as wished, or
  each could have an individual pool.  The first would, IMO, be more fun
  ("Gunther, you dog, you cast Fireblade ten times this week; there wasn't
  enough left for my Heal spell!").

  Not so quick or easy answer: if there was some particular feat that any
  of the PCs did while on this quest, then give them something similar as
  a heroic ability they could perform once a week or so.  Say if one of
  them had had fought a great troll and won, he could call on the troll's
  strength once a week; another could do something else based on their
  particular feat.  In this case, the items left should somehow represent
  the feat performed.