Bell Digest v940609p5

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 09 Jun 1994, part 5
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From: (Nils Weinander)
Subject: Some philosophy by Red Tiger
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Jun 94 21:02:47 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4446

Nils Weinander writing

The story about Red Tiger's journey to the East Isles is going to
be long, so it will have to wait. Here is another fragment where
he analyzes why the Kralorelan way is superior.

In my duties as a mandarin I have been forced to leave the Empire and
travel to less fortunate lands. I am fortunate enough to spend my last
days in a monastery with a large library. I have thus been able to
compare other travelers' notes of the Outside {untranslatable word
meaning the world outside Kralorela} with my own observations. I have
thus understood why Kralorela is the only state {another difficult
which implies both the physical land, its inhabitants and the magical
energies which support it/them} to live through all difficulties in
unscathed splendour.

Look at the Outside: in the far west of Genertela and on the islands
beyond live the people of Malkion. They have no Dragon Emperor to
guide and support the state and they have renounced hte gods. Their
myths speak of the Cosmic Dragon, under the name the Invisible God,
but they cannot see the power of dragons. They make false divisions
in all things: castes of people, birth-life-death-afterlife, even
their magic is artificially divided in schools and inflexible spells.
This is because they have never known the concept of the void. In
place of real understanding through revelation they have reached
false conclusions through thought and speculation. Of the western
peoples the most fanatic, the people of lost Brithos claim to be the
oldest people on Glorantha, the only men not descended from beasts.
The rock carvings in sunken Goropheng say against this theory. The
people of Brithos were rebels who left the Empire before the time
of Shavaya, thus they have never known dragon magic or the revelation
of the Void. {I might have my references wrong here, I never
remember if it was Shavaya or Daruda who brought dragon magic to
Kralorela. Anyway, Red Tiger is obviously a mite annoyed at the
Brithini. His reference to the rock carvings in Goropheng are less
then reliable as he knows nothing of their actual age.}

East of the followers of Malkion live a large number of people who
worship the gods and many lesser spirits. They have no Dragon Emperor
so they are divided and the states are weak. By putting the gods
above the state, not knowing of the Power of Dragons they live in
constant strife, and many nations have disappeared in the wars. In
the age of empires they made two attempts to emulate the greatness
of our empire, but both failed. In the first attempt no one knew the
secrets of the Void or the power or dragons, so they vainly tried to
create a new god instead of seeking to see through the illusion. The
turned into an abomination and the result was only the empty attempt
at wisdom called illumination. In the second attempt the dragons were
petitioned for help and the leaders knew of dragon power, but they never
understood the Void. When they could have found the revelation and
instituted a new dragon empire the leaders instead sought personal
gain and lost the favour of the dragons.
The failure of putting the gods above the state is easily seen:
before time the Rebel Storm killed Yang Long, the Sun Dragon because
the storm gods were not part of the Whole which stems from the Void.
Now, the Rebel Storm is assaulted by the Red Moon for the same reason.
In the first war the world almost perished. What will come of the war
of Storm and Moon no one knows.

In contrast, Kralorela has lived through all disasters brought upon the
world by the lack of knowledge on the Outside. In the age of darkness
the peoples Outside struggled alone to survive, while we lived securely
under the guidance of the Dragon Emperor. When the false dragons invaded
our state emperor Yanoor called on the Silent Swordsman before his
alotted time to save the souls of the Waiting from being sucked up in
the usurpers' unholy magic. {Yanoor committed suicide, according to
Red Tiger the spirits of dead Kralorelans waiting in Vithela for the
emperor would have been used to fuel god learner magic otherwise}. The
Exarchs could then retreat to Ignorance and work to awaken the dragons.
So wise is the Kralorelan way that the power not flows through the
emperor only, but his Exarchs could through long diligent work wake
the dragons of the land, so they repelled the usurpers upwards, where
they were destroyed by the dragons of the sky.
Now when the war of heroes is approaching the emperor Godunya will
protect us.

Well, Red Tiger isn't completely unbiased... There might be
contradictions and stupidities above, since this is written straight
off my head, without previous notes.

/Nils W


Subject: Tanian & WD
Message-ID: <9406081730.AA10559@Sun.COM>
Date: 8 Jun 94 15:55:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4448

Hi All
	Someone mentioned another myth about Tanian.
	Well I seem to remember something about Firebergs which might be 
	connected to him.  BUT also I would like to point out that Tanian 
	(or his effect) is still alive and well and living in PAVIS!

	Well the Old City (Big Rubble) to be exact.  In the centre of the 
	Puzzle Canal is a stange grotto where the water burns.  This can 
	be a problem if you are in a wooden boat.  However, when the water 
	is placed in a container it burns away leaving a thin residue, 
	Water Ash.  This is fully burnt-out water and useful for resisting 
	fire.  This would be the result for ALL the water in the seas if 
	Tanian got loose and out of control!


P.S. Correction: White Dwarf dies the Death of Fourty Thousand Warhammers.  
	Far worse and still continuing...


From: 100102.3001@CompuServe.COM (Peter J. Whitelaw)
Subject: Sam's campaign
Message-ID: <940608181034_100102.3001_BHJ52-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 8 Jun 94 18:10:35 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4449


You said:
>"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 would love a copy please!  I even tried to e-mail you direct yesterday to tell
you as much but my e-mail got bounced.

Good luck with your exams.


Lots of great stuff in the Daily 8/6.  Many thanks to the contributors.

All the best,

Peter :-%


From: (Bryan J. Maloney)
Subject: Troll "marriage"
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Jun 94 08:19:38 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4450

The way I've always handled Uzko "marriage" is a variation on the mating and
rearing habits of lions.  The core of Uz society are the females.  They 
handle all the lawmaking, the bulk of important religious decisions, daily
administration, child-rearing, etc.  Males are considered to be pretty much
expendible.  Uz females keep males around as warriors and entertainment, but
they're not actually considered to be important for most functions (except
war and breeding).  They certainly are hardly important enough to "marry"
(this is why the Uz marriage ceremony is little known, even among Uzko).

I generally presume that any male Uz out "adventuring" has been told to "go
make a hero of yourself" by an important female just to get him out of the
way.  I generally see Uz males living in all-male bands on the periphery of
true Uz society.

Now, when these Uz men talk to Untermenschen, like humans, they paint a 
different picture.  According to tales gathered by humans from Uz male bands,
the Uz men rule the roost.  They are not required to slave all day over "boring"
things but can run around, get drunk, and be free-willed warriors all the time.
What they don't say is that Uz society, by and large, doesn't have any other
roles for Uz men to have.  They're pretty much marginalized, for the most

Argan Argar worshippers and important individual Uz men are different, but they
are certainly not the rule for Uzko.


Subject: Re: Responses
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Jun 94 18:24:51 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4451

Paul Reilly here.

Graeme writes:

[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]

  We have thought about this  alot around here.  The forms do seem to imply a
sort of printing press, along with several other hints about the Lunar's
extensive bureacracy.  However, there seems to be no mention of printed _books_.
What Gives?

  Our hypothesis: the Lunars do have printing of a sort.  (For a while I thought
they were using similarity magic, with one scribe writing and hundreds of
pens scribbling along with him, but now I have changed my opinion.  Save that
one for the Western scriptoria...)

  Ok, is a sort of printing press feasible?

0.  A text is prepared.

1.  Someone prepares a nice flat wax or linoleum tablet.  (Linoleum is made with
linseed oil, old technology.)

2.  A skilled scribe carves away everything but the syllables of the text.
(New Pelorian is syllabary, I claim.  About 600 characters in common use plus
a number of special symbols.  Like Tibetan or the old Hindi script.)

3.  A sorcerer (probably trained in Carmania, Oronin, Doblian or Glamour) 
prepares a bronze tablet the same shape as the wax, either directly through
similarity magic or through a two-step molding process.

4.  This is used as the plate in a printing press.  Mostali of the Brass Mtns.
or Jord Mtns. could supply the screw.  Or get a trained mammoth to step on it...

  Paper is used, I think it is largely supplanting papyrus and vellum.

  The sorcerers are specialists who work for a government bureaucracy. 
Their training is probably the most expensive component in the system,
followed by the Mostali parts for the press.  Without an assured market 
and a capitalist structure in place it might be a long time before 
commercial printed books come into vogue - especially if the Lunars, like
the Japanese or many other cultures, value the calligraphy in a book as
much as they do the contents.  Good calligraphy might be seen as a waste
on 'forms' and in fact the wide use of inelegant 'forms' might depress the
market for printed books, by making people subconsciously associate printing
with tedious paperwork and impersonal bureacracies.  Aren't we annoyed by form
letters?  If these had come before printed books they might have diminished
their marketability.

  So, I think Lunar magic-assisted printing is OK.

>many of the Lunars circa 1620 believe the empire will rule the whole 
>world within a few generations

  Probably popular within the Imperial cult.  Lon-Eel believes this (she is
a local creation) and she has a strange book about how everything will be
wonderful once the Empire rules the world.  For example, the Crimson Bat would
not be considered particularly Chaotic if it flew around the outer boundaries
of the Universe, where reality is floppy.  Once the borders of the Empire and
the Universe are the same, the Crimson Bat will no longer be Chaotic - it
will just fly around the edge of the Universe, protecting us from the REALLY
BAD stuff outside, scooping up chaos forms as they sneak in and eating them.
This book was fairly widely circulated as it served the purposes of the
Society for the Propagation of the Lunar Faith.  Sadly her _next_ book was
even wackier, describing how Broo and Scorpion Men and the like were really
quite nice, if you gave them a chance.  (She of course lives in GLamour and 
has never met one of these creatures).

  Thanks to Lewis for the description of the punishment of parricides.  It
has been a long time since I read the book of Cicero's trials; someone whose
name began with R  (i think) was defended by CIcero against a charge of 
parricide.  He reminds the jury of the punishment, which I vaguely remembered.



Subject: Xerox - the god of copying
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 Jun 94 19:39:24 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4453

G'day everyone,

David Gabois amused me very much with ideas about Lunar printing

>The printing technology is actually xerographic, using a bound fire
>elemental as the fuser.  Arbitrary patterns can be "programmed" into the
>elemental with a sufficiently hairy Command spell.  Or perhaps they
>teach the critter to speak something like PostScript first in order to
>simplify page descriptions.

>The Lunars use Form/Set Bronze as a sort of linotype machine.  Come to
>think of it, why isn't Gloranthan art considerably more sophisticated
>than it is usually portrayed?  The implications of having arbitrary long
>duration Form/Set Stone spells in sculpting are pretty profound.

I was working on the assumption that the Lunars *didn't* have any
printing technology, but were working on it.  In Strangers in Prax
my character Maculus was originally going to be an amateur technologist/
inventor, but this got scuppered by the time of the final product.

Here's Mac's not-entirely-successful attempt to revolutionise printing
technology, the first Gloranthan photocopier:

"Maculus has invented a primitive box camera, using a special 
light-sensitive mineral, Glow spells and lots of patience.  The 
images obtained form on a glass plate coated in the black powder, 
which is imported at great expense from the troll city of Blackwell 
in the Holy Country).  They can only be viewed in a darkened room, 
as bright light would turn the whole plate white.  Maculus has not yet 
come up with a way of fixing the tones on the plate so they can be 
shown in the light of day.  So far, Maculus has only  reproduced 
images of inanimate shapes and objects.  He has not thought of taking 
portraits of people at all.  Instead, he is working with the idea that 
one day multiple images could be taken of important documents, rather 
than getting a copyist to laboriously scribble single copies at a time 
by hand.  Maculus feels that his invention could revolutionise the Lunar
bureaucracy and improve literacy."

(Note this could be the real reason why all the windows in his residence
above the Magic Shoppe are blacked out!)




From: (David Cake)
Subject: Re: the Hrestoli
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 Jun 94 01:51:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4454

> From:
> Subject: Re: Hrestoli
> Message-ID: <>
> Date: 8 Jun 94 04:01:11 GMT
> X-RQ-ID: 4432
> While I'm not going to defend a Mr. Hrestol Happy Face position, I think the
> above account of Hrestoli idealism may be somewhat, well, idealised.  First,
> note the Farmer table of occupation in G:G.  Squire, hrm?  Guess whose son
> gets _that_ job.  Similarly, I'll wager there are similar "niches" in the
> Knightly and Priestly classes for persons clearly in the process of Rising
> to Their Natural Position.  The extent to which this occurs probably varies
> rather widely.
Actually, according to the rules, squires, acolythists, etc. are the big
LOSERS of the system, because they are officially farmer caste, and never
develop their skills at farming, so can never leave it. I guess either such
folkscan be raised to the next caste by special dispensation (perhaps they
need to show lots of progress at rising to the caste above that one?), or
perhaps these people lose the social mobility in return for starting out at
a higher level? Or perhaps they are the big winners.
	How does a squire become a knight? Anyone want to speculate? This is
a pretty important question for Hrestoli society.
> If one examines GoG, one finds that the "Wizards" may be lesser nobles,
> and doubtless some "Knights" are in fact low-ranking clerics (deacons,
> curates, vergers and the like).
Absolutely. I am of the opinion that when you become a knight, you take 
service (either with a particular noble, or an institution such as a knightly
order), and must rise up through the ranks of that institution to attain a 
full noble ranking position. Also some nobles are in fact bishops or other
high church officials. It is possible to change institutions, but it 
usually means taking a cut in rank. Thus the admirals, generals, etc. are
people who have risen up through the ranks. 
	There are several very big questions about Hrestoli society left
unanswered. The most important one is what degree of separation of Church and
state is there? The answer is quite possibly none. Are the two hierarchies 
separate, or intertwined?
	I would like to produce a write up of the Hrestoli soon (anyone
interested let me know), and questions like this are making it very difficult.
> > but I suspect 
> > there are more than a few who are 'defenders of the faith' in the style of
> > a good fanatic Islamic mullah, or maybe a good Christian soldier like 
> > the famous Vlad V of Wallachia (ever seen the woodcut of him breakfasting
> > among the impaled heretics?).
> This isn't a comment which does any favours to the "fanatic Islamic mullah",
> a stereotype which seems to trip rather readily off the modern western
> tongue.  Of course, it might be debated whether tolerance for unbelievers
> is even a supposed virtue of Malkionism, as it is of Islams and Christianity.
My reference to Islamic mullahs was a reference not so much to the modern 
stereotype, but the tendency, especially in early Islam, to have no 
distinction between Church and State, and to spread the true word by
conquest rather than conversion. Of course, the Christians tried to do the
same thing with the Crusades, but with less success.
	And note that while tolerance of SOME unbelievers is sometimes
considered a Christian virtue (it was not always), tolerance for heretics
is much less. And to the Hrestoli most Malkioni are heretics. The Rathori
or Uncolings are primitives who have nt heard the word of the Prophet, and
we pity them, but the  have heard the words
of the Prophet, and twist his words and mix them with lies, and they are 
truly wicked.

> Alex.


From: (David Cake)
Subject: Strange Mountain beasts
Message-ID: <>
Date: 9 Jun 94 02:19:33 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4455

>>>the ground's so steep a cow'd roll off
>>-Arf! Thats why haggises have one pair of legs longer than the
> 	Aha. The evolutionary antecedents of the Sidehill Gouger are
>now becoming clear.
	We have a standing joke in my RQ game about Mountain Cooties 
(presumably related to the Sidehill Gouger), and meeting the broo that is 
a descendent of them. There have been several broos appear with one leg
large then the other, but so far none of them have appeared favouring steep
	Note that the evolution of such creatures is complicated by the fact 
that clockwise and anti-clockwise strains develop, that can only mate under
very unusual circumstances, for purely physical reasons.


From: (Graeme Lindsell)
Subject: Mainly Malkionists, and Pelorian Printing
Message-ID: <9406090309.AA25026@Sun.COM>
Date: 9 Jun 94 18:07:45 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4456

David Gadbois writes:
>I thought the Lunars had movable-type printing presses.  That would seem
>to necessitate some blocky script.  There could be several resolutions
>to this quandry:
 If this is true, then I'll retract any objections to a Newspeak New
Pelorian. Where is this mentioned?

>o The Lunars use Form/Set Bronze as a sort of linotype machine.  Come to
>think of it, why isn't Gloranthan art considerably more sophisticated
>than it is usually portrayed?  The implications of having arbitrary long
>duration Form/Set Stone spells in sculpting are pretty profound.

 I think the reason for this is that all the consequences of Form/Set 
weren't considered. That spell will have consequences for all handiworks.

Alex writes
>I think the above account of Hrestoli idealism may be somewhat, well, 

 Very possibly. Hard to believe it isn't, really. But if we accept what's

> Of course, it might be debated whether tolerance for unbelievers
>is even a supposed virtue of Malkionism, as it is of Islams and 

 Has tolerance always been an official part of Christian teachings? I know
that the Islamic nations of Spain were much more tolerant of the Jews than
the Christians who drove them out.

 I would suspect it might be for the Hrestoli but not the Rokari: if you're
born into your caste and stay there forever then those born as initiates
of the false gods are doomed to stay that way. The Hrestoli may accept the
possibility (nay, necessity!) of conversion.

>> Of course, as long as they are fighting
>> the Kingdom of War no one needs to worry...

>Apart from the poor bastards in the middle, of course.

 Until Loskalm smashes the Kingdom of War and then keep going. Nothing like 
outnumbering an enemy 10-to-1, being better organised and more advanced
technically and magically to give you an edge in a war...

>I've no particular axe to grind about which Malkioni are really "bad guys",
>and which are goodies,
 My complaint started because it was suggested that the last group which I 
could have made a bit more tolerant of foreign beliefs - the Salfestrans -
should be evil oppressive types. My feeling is we've already got enough
evil, oppressive Malkionists. Everyone except the Loskalmi, who have other
problems. Certainly the Genertela pack attempts to portray only the Loskalmi
in a "positive" light.

>> I bet Hrestol's stuff isn't
>> NEARLY as clear as the Bible ;)

>Probably not, not having been so extensively editted and rewritten.

 But possibly Hrestol actually wrote that stuff himself, rather than it
being reported by others? Of course, that doesn't stop later Saints
interpreting what he wrote...

>So what's with these Lunar claims to be about to supplant Orlanth entirely
>by nuking his worshippers?

 They're probably what's called "lies" IMO. There are a heck of a lot of
Orlanthi in Ralios, and some more in Fronela, Maniria and Pameltela who
are far from under the Lunar thumb. They may be able to locally supplant
his worship, though.

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.