Bell Digest v940607p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 07 Jun 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.


From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: gibberish
Message-ID: <>
Date: 6 Jun 94 04:27:39 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4394

Devin Cutler asks:
>I would like to know what pre-GL Jrustela was like 

	As I recall, Jrustela was uninhabited by humans at the Dawn,  
and was colonized during the First Age. As I recall, most of the  
colonists came from Seshnela or Ralios. The fact that the God  
Learners had plenty of Theyalan worshipers may be an additional brick  
in the ediface supporting the theory that First-Age Malkioni were not  
so iconoclastic as those in the modern age. 

	I seem to vaguely remember some early reference to the fact  
that the original Jrusteli were refugees of some sort. 

>what mechanism was present that stopped the Pelorians, the Seshnegi,  
>the Kralorelans, etc. from becoming the GL and allowed the Jursteli  
>to do so instead?
	Figuring out the Monomyth was a non-trivial task. There was  
no "mechanism" preventing anyone else from doing it -- it was simply  
a different way of looking at the world, which also required a great  
deal of skill, magic power, and wealth to perfect. 

	A lot has been said in these pages about the different  
world-views held in Glorantha, contrasting the Western wizards' view  
with the Kralori mystics with the Lunarian mode of thinking, etc.  
IMO, the God Learners represented yet another style of thought, one  
now extinct (ditto for the Empire of the Wyrm's Friends). In essence,  
the God Learners looked at the world as do minimaxers -- like it was  
all just a big winnable game. But in the same way that a Malkioni  
Wizard, a Lunar examiner, and a Doraddi shaman have contrasting  
world-views that cannot easily be reconciled, so did the Jrusteli,  
the EWF, and the Kralori. In the case of the Kralori, the Jrusteli  
magics proved more powerful, and they were able to conquer them. The  
EWF magic proved at least as strong (maybe stronger), and they  
resisted the God Learner blandishments. As one EWF spokesman said,  
"They have breadth, while we have depth." 

	I myself believe that the EWF and GL thinking patterns were  
as near to opposite poles as it's possible to get and still be human. 

Alex Ferguson mentions:
>Western Saints have haloes.
	Western Saints have haloes?

>> I bet the High Holy Day prayer for Storm Bull includes lengthy 

>> mentions and evocations of Ernalda, Eiritha, Zorak Zoran, etc. 

>Wouldn't that involve having initiates with an actual attention  
	I suspect the evocations of Ernalda and Eiritha are highly  
popular among the Storm Bulls. And since being drunk tends to  
heighten desire while decreasing ability, I'm sure the "evocation"  
takes a plenty long time. Admittedly, the Zorak Zoran part of the  
ceremony may be no more than an extended series of toasts. "Here's to  
ZZ" while everyone hefts mugs of kvass. 

>Actually, I think the Hrestol maintain the one-female-caste  
>situation.  Or else they have very funny rules for promotion among  
>women.  What happens when one of a married couple is promoted?   
>Spouse is bumped up too?  Society is shocked by a mixed-caste  
>marriage?  Divorce?  Of course, for all real purposes, a wife is  
>going to be measured by her husband's status (or her father's;  
>moral: don't be an unmarried female orphan), so this is a minor
>matter, pragmatically.
	On the other hand, I have convinced myself that the Hrestoli  
follow the full four-caste system for women. Since everyone is  
supposed to move up in caste (or at least, is allowed to), I don't  
think there's any stigma whatsoever in a mixed-caste marriage. This  
may not hold true for the Rokari, if their women are also part of the  
Big Four castes. I think that a Hrestoli woman is whatever caste she  
is, regardless of her husband's rank. 

	Most women probably stay "farmers" all their life. But any  
woman who wants to rise through the ranks I'm sure can become a  
female warrior, wizard, and even lord. 

>I'm not sure if Jonatela has a Hrestoli-type sect, or a heresy
>of its own
	The Jonatings are a heresy all their own. Among other unique  
features, they have hardly any Farmer Caste members. In fact, the  
"Farmer" castelings are actually Ernalda worshipers, who have nothing  
to do with the Invisible God. 

>I'm not sure what the Official Rokari situation might be, but I'll  
>bet that even if all women are notionally of a single caste, they  
>are de facto members of their parents' caste, and people are  
>scandalised if a wizard's daughter marries a knight.
	I concur, but once the knight has done the scandalous thing  
and outmarried, I bet the wizard's daughter is considered to be a  
knight. Remember that technically, the Official Rokari line is that  
All Castes Are Equal. This is their big propaganda point against the  
Hrestoli, among whom it's clear that (since they're a meritocracy)  
the lower castes are supposedly inferior. 

>> The king formed the Order of the Swallow to combat the Kingdom of  
>> War. It is hard to tell who is more eager for the fight.
Nick murmurs:
>absolutely chilling. I mean: the Kingdom of War exists only to fight  
>wars. And maybe some Loskalmi are *even keener* than they are to  
>fight?! Sheesh!
	The Loskalmi Knights Caste exists only to fight wars, too,  
y'know. And the text indicates that they're eager for "the fight"  
meaning the fight between KoW and Loskalm, not just for any random  
massacre. But it's clear the Loskalmi are a warlike folk. 

	On the other hand, there're few pacifistic Gloranthan  
cultures. The Orlanthi? The Pelorians? The Praxians? The closest  
thing to non-violent folk we got are the Elamle peninsula folk, the  
Doraddi, and the East Isles. And the Doraddi can fight in a pinch. 

MOB opines:
>I think if you're looking for an example of an "enormous  
>...thinly-populated" country, the United States does not readily  
>come to mind.  Consider: The continental United States is  
>approximately the same SIZ as Australia, yet has almost FOURTEEN  
>TIMES the population!
	Now see here. In the First Place, I was contrasting the U.S.  
to Europe, which is clearly way overpopulated and due for another war  
or Black Death. In the second place, your Aussie interior IS, as you  
say, exceedingly underpopped. The result is that I suspect (without  
personal experience, so far) that your populated areas are as dense  
as or denser than the populated areas of the United States. Seeing as  
all of you live in only 5 cities, whereas if you took the five  
most-populous cities of the U.S., you wouldn't even reach 20%, so  
clearly Australia has a much denser group for purposes of RQing. 

	So there. Nyeahh. 

David D.
>> the East Wilds, parts of which you describe as "near-desert" in
>>Gloranthan Bestiary).
Jonas Schiott:
>I would assume these near-desert areas are Vustria and Karia, which  
>are technically part of the East Wilds. The Bestiary does say  
>"north-east", doesn't it?
	The Bestiary says northeast of Safelster. Only the "driest"  
of the hill country are near-desert. You'll find the near-desert in  
Corolaland and Ormsland, I believe. Vustria isn't so bad. That is,  
it's drier than Sartar, but it's not desert by any stretch of the  
imagination. Brown grass in summer, tho. (Like in Italy).

>Making every centaur in Glorantha a EWF hybrid on the basis of one
>vague comment in KoS is a bit much. 

	There's more to it than that, I believe. All the beast-men in  
Dragon Pass are supposedly an EWF experiment. The beast-men in  
Seshnela are supposedly a GL experiment, or some of them may be  
descendents of the GL, transformed during the final disaster. The  
beast-men in Pamaltela are remnants of the Six-Legged Empire. On the  
other hand, the Kivitti and certain other beastly hybrids are  
probably the result of degenerate Hsunchen. Whereas Wind Children and  
mermen are the spawn of unholy Godtime unions.  

	In general, beast-men (including centaurs) in Glorantha are  
the result of Frankenstein-type experiments, but the various  
different groups of them all have different root sources, of course.  
This doesn't mean that there aren't other possible beast-men origins  
out there. For that matter, the centaurs, minotaurs, and so forth may  
each have a different origin. The ducks were classified with the  
beast-men for a long time, and they manifestly have a completely  
different origin. And where do "satyrs" fit in? 

	I don't even think that the Wonderwood centaurs and the  
Seshnegi centaurs come from a common source. I suspect Seshnegi are a  
GL remnant, while Wonderwood are Something Else. 

>BTW, do you _have_ to have dogs to herd sheep? Can't you just have a  
>lot of young boys running around (gives 'em some exercise...)?
	In Utah today, most sheepherders don't use dogs. They just  
ride their horses alongside the sheep and keep 'em together. It's  
probably not as cost-effective as using dogs, though. No doubt it's  
hard to use dogs when the herdsmen are mounted, or something. (And  
they HAVE to be mounted in the terrain they traverse.)
	Maybe Mastakos, with fine Mobility spells, is the god of  
choice for young boy sheepherders in the Eastern Wilds? 

Keith the newbie says:
>On this subject, I'm trying to get a grasp of dwarves.  Their god  
>(and only god) is the Maker, who is signified with 2 statis runes.   
>Are their any other Gods that possess this rune? 

	Hmm. There DOES seem to be quite a shortage of  
stasis-oriented gods around. Off-hand, the only two I can think of  
are Lhankor Mhy (who's sometimes given the Law rune instead) and the  
turtle god. Most city gods have the stasis rune, too. 

	My suspicions are that during the turmoil of the God Time,  
most stasis gods were unable to adapt to changing circumstances, and  
so were weeded out. 

Alex says:
> I'm assuming that Malkioni have a text... maybe they DON'T if its 

> all oral then distortion is very easy!
	The only root texts they have I imagine to be the writings of  
Hrestol. If Malkion wrote anything down (likely), it may have been  
lost over the ages, or distorted by the Brithini, who kept the  
records. Zzabur, of course, wrote down plenty of stuff, but it's  
hardly "sacred writings". 

	Other saints probably wrote stuff, too, and it is probably  
canonized, though not as highly-rated as Hrestol's texts, or whatever  
debased version of Malkion everyone uses. 

	In any case, Hrestol's writings, being written for the use of  
folks who didn't have any heresies yet, is probably easily  
misinterpreted hundreds of exciting ways. I bet Hrestol's stuff isn't  
NEARLY as clear as the Bible ;)

Dave Gadbois:
>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 GL never claimed to have "invented" Tanian. They made  
very few gods out of whole cloth (and were remarkably proud of their  
attempts to do so). Tanian was, however, an incredibly obscure  
entity. What the GL did with him (besides make him a worshipable  
god), was to define him in a useful way -- the question was, is  
Tanian a God of Fire who influences Water? Or is he a God of Water  
with attributes of Fire? They defined him as the former, so that he  
could burn water. Presumably if they'd defined him as the latter,  
he'd produce water that wouldn't extinguish Fire, or wouldn't boil  
away, or something else useless for their purposes. 

	Tanian is little-mentioned in modern Gloranthan texts because  
he was Forbidden after the GL demise. Of all Gods, it is clear that  
widespread use of Tanian is potentially disastrous -- sort of a  
thermonuclear kind of threat. If the waters of the world caught on  
fire, how would the blaze be extinguished? It would be as big a  
catastrophe as the destruction of the Artmali Empire. Or worse.  
Tanian became Forbidden because he was too scary to have around. Now  
the heroquest paths leading to him are all blocked and secret, so  
anyone wanting to re-establish his faith has a big job cut out. 

>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.
	Yes, but certainly the God Learners had nothing to do with  
this particular big of Monomythizing -- it was obviously the result  
of the First Council's activities way back when. So not all the  
Monomyth are the result of GL "lies and propaganda".

>> 	The God Learners didn't destroy any continents, and would  

>> have prevented the damage if they could. Let's not blame the  

>Okay, "necessitated the destruction of a continent or so".
	That's better. Now I'm happy. ;)

Isaac from Japan:
>>If the former, then the draining of the Fens must have been Second

	Almost certainly. There was no one around in the First Age  
with the time or resources to do it that I can think of. They were  
all otherwise engaged, either in awakening folks to the new reality  
or (later on) in hugely destructive wars. 

Paul Reilly: 

>Subere is, IMO, one of those deities NOT dependent on mortal  

	You bet. She's also one of the Source Gods, like Orlanth,  
Mastakos, and Magasta. Of course, Orlanth is a little more beneficial  
to potential followers, but I regard this as his friendly nature --  
desire to help others, not as a need for worship, which I don't  
believe he has any more than Subere. 

Graeme Lindsell mentions:
> While I like this idea, are the Lunars that sophisticated? Even  
>with the magic,they are Bronze age culture. 

	Don't confuse the quality of the metal used with the cultural  
sophistication of a society. As I read more and more history, I  
become more and more amazed with the political and mercantile  
expertise of the "ancients". Read Themistocles to see what I mean --  
it'll give you a whole new look at the Cold War. 

	IMO an ancient Roman rabble-rouser, once he learned the  
language, would eat American politicos alive for breakfast. 

>by the dawn Zzabur was the only person who would actually have known  

	Unless he spoke to Mostali or Mistress Trolls or something,  
which is doubtful. And let's not forget that Zzabur is evil enough to  
lie. Certainly evil enough to withhold the knowledge of Solace from  
the Brithini for his own ends. Perhaps 'tis the Brithini who  
represent the massive God Scam of Glorantha, not the other Malkioni. 

Hal Mangold mentions:
>I seem to also remember a whole bunch of RQ article from White Dwarf 

>that also were not included. The one that comes most readily to mind  
>was one dealing with Gloranthan demons.
	I remember those articles. Citadel even put out a set of  
miniature figures for the RQ demons. I remember thinking that the  
stats listed for the demons were pretty stinky, but that the figures  
themselves were real neat (I have a set). One of them is a fleshy  
blob all covered with eyes and mouths. I use it regularly for Call of  

>Did evrybody check out the new issue of Dragon magazine? Sandy 

>has an article in there on a rather unique Draconic entity.
	Thanks for mentioning it. 

Nils W: 

>If you people liked it I might return with more from the scrolls
>of Red Tiger.
I'm game. 


From: (Mike Dickison)
Subject: Trader Prince stuff (to forward please)
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Jun 94 01:46:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4388

I've been following the Aeolian Church debate with one eye. My campaign is
in Wenelia, and I find the tension between the hairy barbarians and the
aristocracy an interesting one. Here's my interpretation of the effects,
from the noble point of view, taken from my character generation rules.
Note that it's JUST MY OPINION, but since there's a dearth of published
material on this I though I might as well post it and see what people

Also note that:
1) There are only a few members of royal lineage amongst the Wenelian
barbarians, who are insular and have no real power since the Opening took
away their trade routes. There is little social contact between them and
their "subjects", and the barbarians most certainly don't attend Invisible
God services or learn sorcery. The "Kings" (actually Warlords, like
Greymane) of the tribes are a whole 'nother ballgame, and work much like
2) I hate the words sorceror and wizard. The procurators here act as sages,
advisors and lawspeakers, and formerly traders. The traditional educational
quadrivium amongst the Henotheists is Speech, Script (including lores),
Trade, and Faith (including a little sorcery).
3) No cathedrals, just family shrines. The scriptoria in the coastal cities
are churches/libraries/knowledge temples/monasteries, attended by inland
nobility only on high holy days. The Ralians who started the inland trade
routes never expected to stay, and still consider themselves very much a
part of Western society, though most Westerners would consider them
ludicrously provincial.
4) I felt a bit Nicked by his recent posting on Wenelian gods, though I
like the array he presents. I think Wenelians (which is what I call the
barbarians; Orlanthi seems misleading, since they don't call their storm
god Orlanth) are much more superstitious and violent than Sartarites, and
generally uncivilised, something like the Roman sterotype of the Germanic

Henotheist Nobles

The Trader Prince nobility of the Wenelian tribes, an inbred remnant of the
original Ralian explorers.


NOBLE: All the Trader Princes are noble by birth, but spend little time
with their supposed subjects, preferring the company of their own order.
SKILLS: As Civilised Noble, plus Speak Ralian x 3, Vernacular x 2,
Read/Write Western x 3, Intensity x 2, Ceremony x 2.

APPRENTICE: At age 21, many  nobles spend a year or two studying at the
city scriptoria before taking on lordly  responsibilities. Applicants must
roll one of Intensity, Ceremony, Write Western, or World Lore. Sometimes
younger sons and daughters become apprentices permanently, intending one
day to be procurators. This requires a POW x 3 and at least a 10% Magic
Bonus as well. SKILLS: Orate x 2, Bargain x 2, Sing x 2, Speak Ralian x 1,
Speak Coastal x 1, Any Lore x 2, Any Other Lore x 1, Read/Write Western x
3, Devise x 1, Ceremony x 3, Intensity x 2, Spells x 9.

PROCURATOR: The holy and chaste adept wizards of Wenelia. Some are advisors
to royalty, others sages in the scriptoria. Procurators dress like other
nobility, but wear an ornamental talis as a symbol of their learning.
Apprentices may become Procurators when they gain 75% in Bargain, Ceremony,
Intensity, and two spells, and roll POW x 2. SKILLS: Fast Talk x 2, Orate x
2, Bargain x 2, Sing x 1, Speak Ralian x 1, Speak Coastal x 1, Read/Write
Western x 2, Speak Other Language x 2, Evaluate x 2, Any Lore x 4, Devise x
2, Any Sorcery Skills x 5, Spells x 7, Staff Attack and Parry x 1.

Cultural Weapons:
As for the appropriate kingdom,
plus: attack only -
        Lance (30)

Equipment: as per Civilised Noble, Apprentice and Adept respectively.

Magic: Sorcery, learnt at the scriptoria at the rate of 1 spell per year.
Preferred (in order) are Worship Invisible God, Open Seas (for the
Dormal-patroned), See Rune Magic, Treat Wounds, Neutralize Magic, Sight

Cults: The Invisible God. All families have St Issa the Golden Tongued as a
patron saint (6 POW, Path Watch), and at least one other from Hrestol,
Malkion, Gerlant, Nomia, Waertag or Dormal (Var., 1 x Predict Weather per
point previously devoted, all cast on successive days). [See Sandy's
recently-posted Saints rules]

Language: Ralian and the local vernacular (Solanthi, Nimistori, Ditali, or
Bastisi). The former is used for all intra-family and religious occasions.
Western is also learned as a written language, for records and poetry.

And this is how I picture the last 40 years of local history.

When Dormal opened the oceans, Handra suddenly became a strategic trading
port. Sea trade between Ralios, Nolos and Esrolia was much faster than
following the inland Trade Paths maintained by the Wenelian kingdoms. Very
quickly, the barbarian towns became a backwater. The procurators, once
highly esteemed as the bringers of wealth to the tribes, lost much of their
power and retreated to the scriptoria. The tribespeople began to pay less
attention to the strictures of their rulers and more to the fighting talk
of charismatic warriors like Greymane. Sometimes aggression and the desire
for plunder was directed against former allies like Esrolia; usually it
fell on the clan across the river.

Handra of course was overjoyed at this reversal. The cities of the New
Coast were not so happy. Although they became the main source of
manufactured goods for the Wenelians, every few years some young hothead
would muster a small confederacy and lead it, thirsting for loot, to the
city gates. Usually these raids ended in a standoff between well-equipped
militia defending the walls and wild young yahoos tired and far from home.
Not always, though - twenty years ago, Fay Jee was sacked by a Nimistori
army, and most of its merchant fleet hijacked.

The Trader Princes, always aloof from the surrounding barbarians, became
positively insular. They retreated to their castles and forts, and
concentrated on religion, poetry and marriage brokery. Although still
respected by the tribespeople, what little authority they had ever
exercised was gone, and they became exotic and charismatic figureheads,
with some force of moral righteousness but no actual power. Most now
reminisce fondly about their grandfather's day, while closing off an extra
wing of the castle.

The Wenelians themselves did not adjust well to the usurption of their
trading rights. They had become accustomed to fine weapons and jewellery,
which now became treasured heirlooms. Tribal alliances began to fragment,
and clan jealousies came to the fore. Periodically warriors would be roused
by a warlord, and would roll across the plains in an ever-increasing
avalanche to break against Esrolia, the most despised of the civilised
nations nearby. In between raiding, clan politics predominated, as each
chieftain sought to increase his influence and secure a source of wealth
for his descendants.

Mike Dickison    \   If an infinite number of rednecks, in an infinite number
Science writer    \      of pickup trucks, fire an infinite number of shotgun
Wellington, N.Z.                rounds at an infinite number of highway signs,     \   they will eventually produce all the world's
(Thanx to J. Banker, Ariz.!)  \               great literary works in


From: (Mr S.W. Jones)
Subject: Line
Message-ID: <>
Date: 6 Jun 94 10:40:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4389

	Not really flavour of the month topic, but I could do with
 some help. Does anyone, or will anyone mail me the locations of the
 tribes of Sartar re. the tribes map from Tales#6 by Walter Moore,
 as I can't get hold of this, and it would prove very useful.
 Simon Jones (