Bell Digest v940604p5

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, Sat, 04 Jun 1994, part 5
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Malkioni Myths, Magical Ecology, and Those Pesky Kids.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 4 Jun 94 01:58:37 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4365

Cullen O'Neill:
> Alex in X-RQ-ID: 4160
> A> I think Joerg's model, in seeking to liberalize worship in
> A> broadly laudable ways, does serious damage to the established
> A> significance and importance of cultic initiation.
> Happily, my presence in this debate becomes superfluous...

Don't say that, I'm trying to bow out ((dis)gracefully) of this one myself.
;-/  Perhaps a natural death of this discussion is in order.

> A> "What magical benefits should accrue to a person not an initiate of
> A> any cult, or to a person belonging to a different cult in the
> A> pantheon?"

> As I see it, what is needed is a broadening of the concept of associate
> (or whatever term anti-GL'ers would prefer), I think maybe anybody who
> is an initiate and participates in the rituals of a god can get the
> spell that god gives to associate cults... as single use only.

As I've pointed out before (to others), this isn't a uniquely defined spell.
Does he get Restore CON, Restore INT, or Regrow Limb from CA?  (Not that
this is a big problem, just pick the locally most needed one.)

> What about the story of Hrestol's mother for instance, does anybody know
> anything more than is in "What the Priest said:"?  This entry says to me
> that there is a legend of Hrestol at least, probably a whole
> mythologized history of the Malkioni we don't know about...  we could be
> waiting a while to hear more about them, too!

> Maybe'll try to make up a Malkioni Mythology using what is available and
> my own ideas...  I'll keep you posted if I make any progress, which
> probably won't be much.  The knowlege that you're going to be Gregged
> is sure enervating...

There are some Malkioni parts of the Monomyth in GoG, but many of them
are just standard God Learner nonsense like Taxonomic Genealogy.  I'm
sure there are appropriately rip-roaring tales of the Creation, the
foundation of the Kingdom of Logic, the Ice Age and coming of Malkion,
the Vadeli Wars and the Life of Hrestol.

While I'm not going to predict a non-Greg if these myths are fleshed out
by anyone else, note that GRAY didn't introduce that much in the way of
actual new mythic events beyond what was mentioned in GoG, but mainly just
put a variety of new slants on what we basically already knew.

> G> And I know this isn't a heresy, but I'll mention it anyway, just in
> G> case... The society of the Malkioni is obsessed (to varying
> G> degrees...) with the idea of caste. Especially the society of the
> G> Rokari- who are historically fairly recent,

> Although they would claim otherwise... (IMHO)

Well, they admit to being recent, but say they have rediscovered ancient
truths.  Maybe they're right: our idea of post-Malkion, pre-Hrestol Malkioni
is fairly vague, and corresponds in no obvious way to any current sect.
(Unlike pre-Malkion and post-Hrestol.)

> G> The Henotheists interpolating a semi-feudal
> G> relationship between God and His Angelic Host... Ritualized social
> G> activity becoming empty religious ritual..?  More expensive clothing

> Yes this sounds good, I wonder if the text could be so obscure as
> to allow a no 'angels' at all interpretaion...  The bible is
> almost this obscure, I think...  I'm assuming that Malkioni have
> a text... maybe they DON'T if its all oral then distortion is
> very easy!  (Pardon my thinking outloud)

I think what's more likely is that there are a number of different of
texts, which different sects collate and stress differently.  For the
Brithini, if it's not in the Blue Book, it's low-grade toilet tissue.
For the Rokari, the most important text is the Malkion's Book of the Law,
to which they append their own gospels of St. Rokar.  The Loskalmi are
great fans of the collected sayings of Hrestol.  Then again, think of
all the assorted creeds, doctrines, prayers, hymns and stuff earthly
religions have thought up without ostensible addition to or modification
of the recognised Holy Texts.

> Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 4169
> S>    In the end, you have LOTS of extra rain over any Orlanthi
> S> territory. Magic ecology at its finest. Of course, PC
> S> adventurer-types probably won't get Cloud Call too often, but the
> This (along with Bless Crops) answers the question (in part) of why
> Sartar is so very different from Prax in climate.  In WF4 Greg says that
> Prax and Sartar have different climates due to different magical
> ecologies (or words to that effect), is this what he meant?  Or are the
> effects of Genert's death also more strongly felt on Prax, as I seem to
> recall...

This is the major effect, I think.  The Garden was effectively Genert's
"demense", there being no Land Goddess for the area.  Hence, Bless Crops
is buggered, and the soil quality and things like that depended directly
on Genert, and his worship.

>  But since cloud call is to the horizon shouldn't the areas on
> the east of Sartar also become lush (as they are), making them desirable
> as farmland?

Well, the Storm Mountains will tend to screen off the bulk of the climatic
effects, and Cloud Call is local in its effect anyway.  Thus you get a
more dramatic "rain shadow" effect than on earth.

> Since it was the Sartars (Sartari?) who made it lush some
> of them might claim it was theirs...  This might help to explain the Pol
> Joni??  But they're not farmers...  so why is it that they aren't?

The Praxian marches are indeed more lush than the rest of Prax, enough
so to support horses.  Not enough rain or good enough soil for actual
farming, though.

Ed Wallman:
> On the back of the pink Gloranthan Player (?) Book is a picture of a 
> village dwarfed by a dragon's head.  I heard the name of the village 
> somehwere, but I do not remember it.

> My question is what kind of village is this?

A village of fatalists, obviously...

> Do all kinds of people
> live next to dragon's like that?  The books all say true dragons sit
> around sleeping, but they seem to almost intentionally leave out any
> specific consequences of this.  Kind of like, "And here is where a dragon 
> the size of a mountain sits.  And over here..."  

Not unlike living next to a dormant volcano.  Possibily even with similar
effects on fertility, if dragon's intestinal processes continue in their

> If kids grow up in that village, I would imagine they play a game
> called "Poke the Dragon with a Stick" because kids are notoriously
> stupid (apologies to any former or current kids).

Accepted.  I love this idea, but it's only possible to tell where the
dragon actually starts with the very small ones, I'd think.  Otherwise,
what you have is really a dragon-shaped hill, the lower slopes of which
have oodles of soil and rock piled up against/on top of the crittur, so
that close up you can't even tell there's one there.  This suggests the
Advanced(ly Stupid) sport of Shooting the Dragon in the Eye, or Up His
Nostril, or whatever anatomical detail is readily apparent.

> I cannot imagine there 
> NOT being a cult dedicated to a thing laying a 100 m away with one foot in 
> the infinity.  Seers would probably prophesy based on its breathing 
> patterns and digestion noises.  Etc. Etc. Etc.

Probably.  Unfortunately, as a matter of Gregged Gloranthan Fact, dragons
are too alien to receive worship from humans (nor do 'newts worship them,
as anyone else understand the concept).  I personally favour a Summon Dream
Dragon spell with the "material component" of a house-size well-sweated
lump of ricotta.



From: (David Gadbois)
Subject: More God Learning
Message-ID: <19940604023541.6.GADBOIS@CLIO.MCC.COM>
Date: 3 Jun 94 16:35:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4366

    From: (Sandy Petersen)
    Date: 2 Jun 94 03:37:34 GMT
    X-RQ-ID: 4325

    The Jrusteli could not easily beat [the Waertagi] at sea. So some
    researchers looked through the myths, and discovered the god Tanian,
    the child of both Fire and Water. They sent a team of heroquesters
    to contact this deity, and to create a cult for him.  [...]  At the
    height of the battle, they invoked the powers of Tanian -- The God
    of Burning Water.  [...]  The Waertagi and their ships were
    destroyed in the holocaust. A classic success story for both
    intelligent heroquesting and careful book-learning.

I'm glad you brought Tanian up.  It seems to be the most clear example
of what the GLs were up to.

I have a notion of the RuneQuest Sight attributed the the GLs as viewing
the Godtime events as the areas formed by the intersection of strands in
Arachne Solara's web.  The ends are held down by the runes (not
necessary by some particular god), and the portions of strands between
the events are the heroquest paths.  Heroquesting consists of moving the
strands and so reshaping the events.  (Explaining away some of the
combinations we know of pretty much requires making the strands be
n-planes in some high-dimensional space, but, hey, we know the GLs were
big on simplifying assumptions and the 3D model works OK for most

Under this model, we see that the industrious and ecologically minded
God Learners were busy pulling frayed strands back together and
tightening up the intersections in order to avoid a complete unravelling
of the whole ball of yarn.  For as the web becomes undone, the gods,
mythology, magic, all the things that make life in Glorantha worth
living, become unconnected and disappear completely.

Back to Tanian:  it is clear that something should be there right where
Fire and Water meet, assuming there is such an intersection.  The
problem I have is that the is no other mention of Tanian except at the
Battle of the Burning Sea, and one would expect him to appear in some
other myths purely on the basis of his position (the Dara Happans and
Oslira, frex.)  The conclusion I draw from this is that Fire and Water
did not meet before the GLs did their thing; they somehow managed to
"reach outside" the web [*] and bring the strands together.  I.e., the
GLs created rather than discovered Tanian.  If so, it would qualify for
the Bad Thing that the GLs were doing, in that the web could some
stability conventions that such activites could violate.

[*] This fits in nicely with Paul's intriguing ideas about the God
Learners who avoided the Gift Carriers by escaping into pocket universes
outside the web.

--David Gadbois


Subject: First Posting & Riddle Guesses
Message-ID: <>
Date: 4 Jun 94 06:43:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4367


Here is my first posting and my guesses to Devin Cutler's riddles:

1.  Death
2.  Mostali
3.  Fingers on a hand
4.  A Die
5.  A Spider
6.  Yelm

I have no idea what #7 is, perhaps a Rorshach Ink Blot test?

Anyhow, thats my first posting for now except to state that I would love to
see more riddles appear on the digest, I thought Devin's were great!

Jim Catel


From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Artist for Hire
Message-ID: <940604064048_100270.337_BHL26-8@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 4 Jun 94 06:40:49 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4368

A Public Service Announcement:

Joerg recently posted a thingy about the need for good RQ art.

Dan Barker, whose work you may be familiar with (from Tales, other Reaching 
Moon products, Glorious ReAscent of Yelm), is the finest living Gloranthan 
artist (IMHO). If anyone out there would like to commission Gloranthan or 
other artwork from him, he can be contacted via:

Mail:	Dan Barker
	56, Buxton Court
	Thoresby Street
	London N1 7TN

Tel:	(071) 490 5204.

Email:	I will happily forward messages.

Pub:	Guinness.

Rates and the like would be reasonable and negotiable, so I'll leave that 
between you and him. Just remember that if he doesn't make a living out of 
this, he'll starve to death in a garrett...



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Eldritch Wizardry
Message-ID: <>
Date: 4 Jun 94 06:53:53 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4369

> Alex mentions:
> >while I can believe Aeolian wizardry exists, I'm skeptical of it  
> >being practiced en masse.

Sandy rules-lawyers:
> 	I haven't followed all the discussion on Aeolian wizardry,  
> but surely only 9% of the Aeolian believers even _qualify_ for  
> wizardry, no? (That's the percentage of randomly-generated humans who  
> have a 10% magic bonus.)

What we're talking about is "sub-apprentice" use of wizardry (Joerg comes
out in hives if I call it "sorcery" too often), in the main.  As a
"substitute" for cult spirit magic, as it were.  I'm trying to bargain
Joerg down from 75% uptake in Hendreiki cities. ;-/

(Regarding our discussion of this: does anyone know who the "four large
tribes of civilised humans" of Heortland are?  The Hendreiki.  The Volsaxi.
I get stuck there.  I'm skeptical about the Kitori qualifying on any of the
three counts, but that's still leave the missing fourth.  Nor does there
seem to be _room_ for them, since Heortland pretty much equals Hendreikiland
plus Volsaxiland.)

> By the way, I deny being a Hrestoli simp except for the obvious fact  
> that if I lived in Glorantha, I'd rather be a Hrestoli than a Rokari.

Case proven.

> HOWEVER, I'd rather have my PLAYERS be Rokari, when I'm running a RQ  
> game. 

Given Sandy's reputation as The Player's F[r]iend, case doubly proven. ;-)

> >I think the considerable majority of Hrestoli worship saints in this  
> >way, but that many Rokari do not, regarding it as Stygianism by  
> >other means. 

> 	Having helped write the original Invisible God cult, I'd like  
> to believe that the "standard form" saint cult is pretty common  
> throughout Malkionism.

Well, do you accept that this sort of saint cult requires a manifest saint,
and is as near as dammit a "theistic" type of cult?  (Indeed, the distinction
between Saintly Intervention and Divine Magic seems fairly thin, as I was
saying to Joerg, and I actively sneer at this idea of the former not being
dispellable.  Hard to dispell, sure, especially as it's comparable to an
N-point rune spell, stacked with a 1-point one-use rune spell...)  Given this,
I'd be surprised if there is anything like unanimity among the sects that
this is compatible with the worship of One, Invisible, Transcendant God.

Furthermore, the alternative idea of saintly orders teaching special wizardly
spells, and worshipping Invisible Saints is So Obvious it must be... eh, I'm
not sure.  Anyone buying "plausible"?

> However, there is one branch of your argument  
> I'd like to explore much much more -- the possibility that the Rokari  
> tend towards iconoclasm. Presumably, during one of these periodic  
> fits, it's dangerous to even worship the saints in the traditional  
> method.

Well, "traditional" pretty much equals "Hrestoli", after all, so there's
no particular problem here.  The whole Rokar movement might be such a
"periodic fit".  Sandy, meet Rokari lynch mob; mob, meet Sandy.

> I like the whole idea of Rokari iconoclasts, especially as a  
> reaction on their part to preserve "true" Malkionism against the  
> perceived threat of Stygianism and the Henotheist Church. Plus the  
> many more heresies threatening the Rokari lands. 

Exactly.  If you really want "manifest" Saint worship to be near-universal,
one could always say that it occurs in the state religion of Seshnela,
and only the "front line, hard line" Rokari in the borderlands and Ralios
are of the iconoclastic persuasion.  (I had a notion regarding playing one
of these types at HtWw1, which I trawled in front of Lewis, who didn't
appear to bite...)

(Mind you, this needn't be _literal_ iconoclasm, since the issue is worship
of a manifest entity, not a graven image.  On the other hand, I'd not bet
that they weren't correlated.)

> I believe that the Rokari say that
> >>humans are always committing sins because we are evil by nature.

> >I wonder why the Malkioni would beleive this.
> 	Beats me. Why do most Christian churches believe this?

Original sin.  Or at least, that's the rationale, if not the reason.

> A likely possibility is that humans aren't innately  
> evil -- instead, the World around us is evil, because it was  
> corrupted during the Darkness.

Indeed, one of the reasons I suggested myself.

> >Whatever's wrong with just _starting_ a crusade? [as a penance]
> 	Nothing, if the penitent is a Lord, and the Wizard in charge  
> has someone he thinks needs thwacking. 

And here was me thinking I was joking...

> >But I'm sure many Hrestoli also consider that they'd be "saved by  
> >grace"
> 	Rather than being "saved by grace", I prefer to think of it  
> as "following your star", in which some Malkioni feel that as long as  
> you're true to yourself, it doesn't much matter _what_ you do. Now,  
> if you follow this theory to its logical extreme, you needn't even  
> worship the IG to get to Solace. In fact, eventually it becomes a  
> form of Universalism. 

Well, of course, there are various shades on this: Don't have to worship
the Invisible God, so everyone gets saved; don't have to worship, but do have
to _believe_ (so even wicked or effectively apostate Westerners are okay,
but pagans are still up Afterlife Creek); and of course the never-popular,
have to believe the _right things_ in order to get Solace.  (Hey, they may
be bastards, but they're _our_ (sect's) bastards.)

> >Malkioni don't (apparently) appear to believe in Final Judgement of  
> >any (wholesale) kind, so presumably you go to Solace (or not) as  
> >soon as you die (or via purgatory, perhaps).
> 	Perhaps the purgatory consists of having to spend a time in  
> the spirit world, or some pagan afterlife, or even being a ghost.

Sandy, if you pinch any more of the ideas I suggested in the original post,
a Derivative Work lawsuit will be your reward in heaven. ;-)  Actually, I'm
not so sure any more about the lack of a Final Judgement; after all, Krymon's
Scroll sounds pretty dashed apocalyptic.  On the other hand, if the Saints
haven't already Gone To Solace, it could be said to be rather indecent of
them to be manifesting left, right, and centre, when they should be slightly
dead, and waiting to be Judged.

> >The fact that many different peoples now agree that the
> >same entities appear in their myths is merely a reflection of the  
> >lies and propaganda spread by the GLers
> 	There is absolutely no evidence that the same entities didn't  
> appear in the myths before the GL

Perhaps not before the GLers, per se, but there is evidence that before
the Dara Happans and Theyalans met up in the first age, DH myths didn't
mention Orlanth, by any recognisable name, nor the Theyalans, Yelm.  When
they met up they "realized" each mentioned (and villainised) the other.
Again, this could itself be either invention or discovery.

Given the amount of time that's been spent on this list discussing God
Learner "identifications" of different deities, it seems fairly clear that
the GLers did more of the same.  Presumably it was they who "discovered"
that Yelm = Somash, and all the other Dara Happa/Teshnos parallels, for

> (of course, there wouldn't be, even if Alex is right).

Before I go down in history as blindly asserting the above, please note
that it was one of two diametrically-opposed "theories" which I suggested,
without advocating either (more than the other).  (This is someone's cue
to decry the other theory, so I can Wakbothianly Advocate it, too...)

> But I do have at least one non-trivial bit of data  
> supporting my theory that the Monomyth is a discovery, not an  
> invention: Arkat, in heroquesting, noticed that he was able to go to  
> the same place on different heroquests from different cults.  

This may merely mean that Arkat did some of the inventing.  In the
"invention" theory, everyone is complicit: one lot of people "invent"
the myths, another lot invent a conflation of them, a third believe the
first two, worship them that way, and invent various rationales that that's
how it's always been.

> >Con: destroyed a continent or so.
> 	The God Learners didn't destroy any continents, and would  
> have prevented the damage if they could. Let's not blame the victims. 

Okay, "necessitated the destruction of a continent or so".