Bell Digest v940608p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 08 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: (David Dunham)
Subject: initiation scenario; New Pelorian
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Jun 94 08:16:58 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4402

Mike Dawson said
>About David Dunham's Campaign write-up
>REally good, even though it was about...initiation.

While I can take credit for the writeup and being GM, Jonas Schiott sent me
the actual scenario. Readers of this Daily may note that the characters
ended up as both initiates of Orlanth and adults; whether there was a time
when they were one but not the other doesn't matter.

David Gadbois suggested
>New Pelorian should break all the linguistic rules we
>know of.  [weird example deleted]

Why? New Pelorians are humans. They should form languages in the way that
humans do. And if it's related to Dara Happan and all the Farmer Languages,
it should be grammatically simpler, so that all subjects can learn it more

Sam wonders
>they *do* grow grapes is a mystery - A secret pact with Yelmic types?.."you
>supply the sun - we'll supply cheap wine. Oh, I forgot - you don't drink"

Maybe this is an advantage of Elmal over Yelmalio -- they'll help out with
the grapes? Plus, the Grazers are "Yelmic types" who are very much into
drinking, if they're anything at all like Scythians or Mongols.

>White Dwarf ... published
>Stats'n'info on different kinds of horses - including Wingana and Rockwood
>Mountain pony - We used this a lot. I could dig it up if you fancy.

I fancy!

Sam and Harald both asked about campaign writeups. Having perpetrated mine
on y'all, how could I protest? I do try to use the terse Icelandic saga
style to keep them from boring people with excessive length.

Jonas said
>I'm not up on all these weird solar deity names (haven't had time to
>look into GRoY yet)

Yu-kargzant and Jardan are both in King of Sartar; the family relation is
my invention.


From: (Graeme Lindsell)
Subject: Newspeak Pelorian
Message-ID: <9406070857.AA19328@Sun.COM>
Date: 7 Jun 94 23:56:16 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4403

Sandy replies:
>Don't confuse the quality of the metal used with the cultural
>sophistication of a society.

 But I can use it to determine the technical sophistication of the
society - like lack of the printing press, universal literacy and other
things needed to get a standardised language.

 [Of course, the standardized Lunar forms given in Pavis and the Big Rubble
imply they do have the printing press, but I think they're an anachronism.
Not that documents and forms weren't needed in the past, just that they
weren't that stadardised]

>Certainly evil enough to withhold the knowledge of Solace from the Brithini 
>for his own ends.

 Yes, quite possibly. One question about Zzabur and the Brithini - would
Zzabur actually take _orders_ from his Talar? Excepting the possibility
that Zzabur's "Talar" is a remote controlled simulacrum.

 But if we accept Zzabur lying and changing the past the scenario can become
completely paranoic ie Malkion never existed but was a propaganda device
created by Zzabur, that Hrestol's revelation was an attempt to reduce the
number of Brithini sorcerers who could threaten Zzabur's position etc.
Rather similar to the various "the God Learners completely changed that,
it used to be like xxx" a bit futile in the end.

 James Wadsley writes:
>but everything I read seems to put all the cards in the Lunar hand.

 Have you read "King of Sartar" yet? While the Lunars still have the edge,
they lose an awful lot when they ran into technical difficulties setting
up the Temple of the Reaching Moon in Sartar.

 "We apologize for the inconvenience. Normal transmission of the Glowline
will be restored as soon as possible"

>While I'm here, I might as well put in my vote for the Crimson Bat being 

 Seconded. It's stats are totally pointless IMO.

 Nick re Newspeak Pelorian
>Reread the appendix to 1984. The same applied to Ingsoc Newspeak.

 Another thing in favour of your idea is that like Newspeak New Pelorian is 
the language of a new ruling class. I suspect that only bureaucrats and 
nobles can speak New Pelorian "properly"; the peasants version can be 
understood, but doesn't show real understanding...

>Loyal to the Group of Seventeen's story from "Citadel of the Autarch"

 One of my favourites, and I'm kicking myself for not suggesting it, since
I reread the Book of the New Sun last month.

>The Lunar Empire is merely the first of these; its final
>"destruction" by Argrath (inter alia) is the prelude to rebirth in a 
>wholly different form. This has *always* been Lunar doctrine.

 I would prefer "it's always been the doctrine of _some_ of the Lunar
philosophers". I doubt even the Lunars have a single doctrine about this,
and many of the Lunars circa 1620 believe the empire will rule the whole 
world within a few generations, not 100+. In fact there might be areas 
where expressing that attitude is considered un-Lunar.

>Of course, the Lunar state language is far less rigid/barren than those of

 I can't recall: was New Pelorian a deliberate construction, or was it
adopted? In your theory, the relation of New to Old Pelorian would
be the same as Newspeak to English ie a deliberate contraction of Old
Pelorian constructs. 

Graeme Lindsell a.k.a
Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University, Canberra.
"I was 17 miles from Greybridge before I was caught by the school leopard"
Ripping Yarns - Tomkinson's Schooldays.


Subject: Execution of Parricides
Message-ID: <9406070900.AA19652@Sun.COM>
Date: 7 Jun 94 09:01:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4404

Ref: Paul Reilly

	In Rome parricides were executed by being brutally whipped ALL over 
while being forced to stand with their legs spread wide appart on two stone 
blocks.  Then they are forced (to crawl) into a large leather sack and a 
dog (most craven of creatures), a monkey (parody of a man), a viper and a 
cock (with sharpened beak and claws) are forced in too.  The sack is then 
sealed and put into the Tiber.  It is allowed to float down the river and 
out to sea.  Special watchers are posiitoned beside the river to push to 
sack off if it becomes grounded.  The idea is a kind of negative birth.  
The romans thought this crime was so abhorent that they thought it would 
be better if the parricide had never been born.  

	This features in Roman Blood by Steven Saylor (previously advertised 
here by Nick) which I have just finished reading and can heartily recommend.  
It is a nice mix of decadence, cruelty and scheming...



From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: The Emperor who had No Clothes
Message-ID: <940607092716_100270.337_BHL55-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 7 Jun 94 09:27:17 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4405

OK. You asked for it.

This is the story I *won't* be telling at Convulsion...

	This is the Tale of the Emperor who had no Clothes
	    and the Shadow who took them in his stead
	               and what came of it

   Long ago, before the Moon, there was an Emperor in the Rich Land who 
wanted to know how his people fared -- for new laws were proposed to him, 
yet he could learn nothing of their merits. He asked the wise men of his 
Senate, but though they tried they could not tell him, for they were all 
nobles and unaware of how things went among the common folk. He asked his 
loyal servants, but they could not tell him either, for they did not know 
what words they might use to speak with him. So he resolved to learn for 

   One evening, as the orb left him, the Emperor put off his golden robes, 
laid down his golden sceptre, and set aside his golden crown. He dressed in 
the kilt of a common labourer, and left the palace to go unrecognised 
through the streets of the city. And that night he learned many things. He 
discovered much of what the people of the Rich Land thought of their lives, 
and of their ruler and his nobles, and of how the new laws that were urged 
upon him by the Senate and the Priests would please or displease them. He 
formed a new resolve as to how he should rule, and as dawn broke he left 
the low dwellings of the people and returned to his splendid palace.

   But when he had left the palace, his Shadow (which had dwelt with him 
all his life) had stayed behind, unnoticed in the darkness. And in the 
blackest part of the night it stood, and clad itself in the royal robes of 
gold, and circled its head with the crown, and lifted the sceptre in what 
passed for its hand. The Shadow called for the Senate to meet, though it 
was past midnight, and the servants carried its message. The old men were 
brought from their homes through the dark streets to join him, wagging 
their heads and tugging their beards at the strangeness of this novelty.

   Then the Emperor's Shadow began to rule. It gave the strangest commands 
that had ever been heard in the Rich Land: that the holy fires should be 
extinguished, that women should be permitted on the streets, that a banquet 
of filth should be provided for the people, that their children should be 
sent away into the lands of Death. These things and many others it asked. 
And the Senate could but wonder at its intent.

   The old men looked at the figure they took to be their ruler, but they 
did not see that it was but a Shadow of a man cloaked in the golden robes 
of rule. Their eyes were dazzled by the splendour of its robes; none saw 
that there was but a dried and empty husk where a man's face should be. 
"Aha," they said, "our Emperor is testing us. He wishes to discover if 
there is anything we would not do for him. But our loyalty to him is 
unconditional, and we will do these absurd things, if he wills it. It will 
not take long for us to prove ourselves, and then this unheard-of folly 
will cease."

   So they acquiesced, and the orders were made. But now it was that the 
true Emperor returned to the palace. As he moved through his inner chambers 
to return to the place where he had left his regalia, he was seen by a 
slave, who cried out at the sight of an intruder (so he thought) in the 
heart of the palace. The guard came running, and seized the man, and 
dragged him before the Shadow where it sat in council.

   "This man is a common thief and a murderer," the Shadow decreed. "At 
high noon tomorrow, he shall be impaled for the pleasure of mighty Yelm." 
And the Senate applauded his wisdom and justice, for this was ever the way 
of things in the Rich Land. You see, just as they could not tell the Shadow 
for his rich robes, so they did not recognise the Emperor when the outward 
signs of his glory had been stripped from him.

   So the Emperor passed a miserable morning in the Pits under sentence of 
death, while in the city streets the proclamation of his Shadow's decrees 
proceeded apace. And at high noon he was taken from that dreadful place and 
led to where an impaling stake had been made ready for him, outside the 
palace. Priests, Senate and People crowded round to see the justice of this 
punishment; the Shadow itself was there, to gloat over the discomfiture of 
its former owner.

   But as the executioners were seizing their rightful lord and lifting him 
to his place atop the pole, there came a cry from the crowd. For a young 
boy who was there had looked at the real Emperor, and this child was young 
enough that he saw things as they were, and not as they seemed to be. And 
he cried out, "That's the Emperor they're killing; it IS him, even though 
he has no clothes!"

   And with that recognition of his power and right, the mighty imperial 
orb descended again to the Emperor and hovered above him. All things were 
set to rights.

   The Shadow fell discomfited to beg for mercy at his feet. And since that 
day, the shadows of good men have ever lain at the feet of their masters 
and not done evil as they willed it, not even after nightfall.

   The Emperor knew from his experiences that he should not have gone 
secretly among the people, abandoning his rightful place. Instead, he 
commanded the people to send a delegation to him, whenever there were 
matters afoot that concerned them. And this is why we have the Tribunes to 
speak for us in the councils of the mighty.

   The eyes of the people were opened and they swore that they must never 
make this mistake again. And this is why every Emperor shows himself bare 
even to the loincloth before his investiture, so that his servants will 
recognise him even without his regalia.

   The Senate, too, saw their folly, and vowed never again to be taken in 
by such frauds. And so it happened; for when in later years another Emperor 
proposed such blasphemous decrees, the Senate knew at once that he was no 
true Emperor, but the evil Shadow of what an Emperor should be. They 
straightaway put him to death. And sure enough, when they had done so, the 
real Emperor returned to them. Though he was dressed in commoner's clothes, 
the Senate could recognise him at once, and girt him about with the robes 
and regalia that were rightly his. And the Emperor ruled wisely and fairly, 
as they had known that he would once restored to the highest dignity.

   Thus it was, in the days before the Moon.



From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Fishing Cats
Message-ID: <940607092729_100270.337_BHL55-2@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 7 Jun 94 09:27:29 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4406

Sam wrote:

> I am also looking for ideas about; the Cinder Pits, Tarndisi's Grove,
> Larnste's Table etc..

RQ Adventures Fanzine #1 has a lot of neat details about this part of the 
world. Tom Zunder used to distribute it in the UK (are you still out there, 
Tom?), and I know the German RQers print a European edition. RQA is a good 
thing, IMHO; there have been plenty of worthwhile ideas in every issue so 
far -- and the latest one doesn't even have any Ducks! (Hurrah!)

> I have been writing up my Sartar Campaign. Anyone want a copy? A fair bit
> of the background has been filched but the characters and adventures are
> all original (well, with a few apoligies to Goscini & Uderzo).

I'd love to see anything from your game!

Agree about the lakes. Nice things. Fishing cats, too.

Sandy: doesn't Dayzatar have the Stasis rune? The Sky Dome is shaped like 
one, after all. In my games, Yelmalio has a strong Stasis association, for 
contrast with the Orlanthi way of war. The Stasis rune's shape can be used 
to represent a hoplite's curved shield, and phalanx tactics depend on a 
static formation retaining its strength and cohesion in the face of the 
enemy. Not like those mobs of screaming, skirling barbarians...



From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Joerg rambling
Date: 7 Jun 94 11:44:11 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4407

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 4394

> 	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. 

Usually those political or religious factions not in power are the 
likeliest candidates for emigration. This might also include Theyalans 
migrated forcibly, not unlike the Saxon dispersion practised by 

All the transport had been provided by the Waertagi. What was their 
motivation to aid the enemy of their old-time allies, the Brithini? Did 
they (too) remember Malkion's teachings of Solace Zzabur and his brothers 
(at least Talar and Horal) had forbidden to the Brithini?

(While I'm at it, what made them spread the (brown) Vadeli from their 
island remnants of former greatness across the world's ports?)

Wasn't the northern part of what was to become Jrustela shown on the 
Troll Pak maps as Vadeli colonies in the Golden Age? What became of 
these? (And do you know anything about the Awesome Bridge shown in that 

> 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.  

How big was this catastrophe? What exactly did it consist of? What 
did Filth-Which-Walks and Qualyorni/Moorgarki do to the empire?

Do you have details on this pre-Dawn Lunar Empire, and its fall? Other 
than the tantalizing bits e.g. in Tales 10 (the Kareeshtu Warsail), the 
Annilla write-up in Troll Gods and in general Gloranthan history? More 
like e.g. the myth how Bolongo acting as the Artmali Emperor (whom he 
had disposed of by hiding him in a tea-pot) saved the empire by being 
mistaken for the true emperor and abducte by the Storm Demons (doubtless 
the Vadrudi)?

> Paul Reilly: 

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

> 	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. 

Then how and why does the Red Goddess' progress pull Orlanth from power?

I had the impression that by conquering all the Theyalan peoples which 
had spread from Kerofinela (Dragon Pass) and undercutting their worship 
of Orlanth the Lunar Empire claimed to have overcome the Storm King of 
Gods, and to have replaced him effectively with the Goddess, and the 
Orlanthi propagandists say the same, and that by removing Orlanth from 
power the Lunars endanger the Universe by breaking the Compromise.

All of it just propaganda?

Mike Dickison in X-RQ-ID: 4388

presents his views of the Wenelians. Interesting stuff, more of it, please!

> 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.

Royal lineage amongst the barbarians: Do you mean native barbarian royalty, 
or imported Ralian royalty?

> There is little social contact between them and
> their "subjects", and the barbarians most certainly don't attend Invisible
> God services or learn sorcery.

Not even I would have made them.

> The "Kings" (actually Warlords, like
> Greymane) of the tribes are a whole 'nother ballgame, and work much like
> KoS.

Or even more primitive, like the early Germanic god-descended nobles 
who could claim kingship as soon as they commanded a war-band? (For 
eamples of this, read the Heimskringla, lots of instances of this.)

> 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).

Don't the Trader Princes a) keep up the caravans as a religious duty and b) 
(evil thought) don't they sponsor the Wenelian pirates?

Script: Being the "Issarian heresy" in my discussions, what script do 
they use? Tradetalk? Western? (I think that written Tradetalk is a crude 
form of Western, well suited for traders because there is only one 
written form of Western, even though the spoken languages mostly are 
only distantly related. Such a script, whatever it looks like, seems to 
be the perfect tool for communication. And since Issaries' "son" Garzeen 
roamed Seshnela (where he wed the daughter of King Froalar), I think it 
likely that written Tradetalk could have used this as the base of its 

> 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.

What about the coastal cities: Who are their citizens? Survivors of 
Slontos, mixed with some native elements plus immigrants from Ralios? What 
are the religious practises of the city-dwellers? A henotheist combination 
of Wenelian deities, city gods and the Invisible God?

> 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)

Neither did the old Ralians. Their name for the Storm King survived as 
a Malkioni False God, Worlath, both in Umathela (where Theyalan(ized) 
settlers were shipped in the early 2nd Age) and in cautionary Malkioni 
tales. Vorlan is just another reasonable linguistic variation of this name, 
as are the Dara Happan versions (Oralanatus, Lanatum) in GRoY.

> are much more superstitious and violent than Sartarites, and
> generally uncivilised, something like the Roman sterotype of the Germanic
> marauders.

"Dirty pigs, like the beasts they raise and worship." (From an anonymous 
traveller's log.)

Most of Wenelia could have lived in a Hsunchen bliss, after their initial 
struggles with the Theyalan missionaries until the sinking of Slontos. For 
the God Learners they were useful material for observation and proof of 
their Hykimi theory (i.e. experimentation material), but they were too poor 
and crude to really be bothered. When Slontos (with its civilised roads and 
markets) had sunk, the trade route into the Holy Country had to be moved 
north, through their territory.

More later.
--  Joerg Baumgartner