Bell Digest v940616p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 16 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: doraddi myth
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Jun 94 05:03:08 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4603

re: Loskalm vs. KoW.
First off, there is NO evidence that the Loskalmi army is "better  
organized" in any realistic way. I hold that the stagnation of  
Loskalm during the Ban led to its army probably being much less  
efficient than the KoW, who presumably honed their skills on each  
other during the Ban and have since had years of hot war to prove  
their talents. I myself see NO evidence that the KoW are Gaul-like  
disorganized individualists, and rather suspect they're highly  
regimented disciplinarians. 

	I admit that if the war takes a long time, Loskalm's greater  
population base will eventually tell on the KoW's warriors, but if  
the KoW's blitzkrieg is violent enough, I see no reason why they  
couldn't conquer Loskalm, Tap the rulers and wizards, and take over. 


In fact, in  my own campaign I plan to have the KoW overrun Loskalm,  
and the Loskalm army prove ineffective, too rigid to defend itself.  
The PCS may well get involved in the ensuing "bandit" war, as  
ex-knights and lords turn to raiding and guerrilla warfar a la  
Corsica to survive and keep the fight going. 

I said I wasn't sure how hostile the Loskalmi were towards the  
Rokari. Alex said that he felt they were quite hostile. 

	I'm not so sure, based solely on the fact that the Rokari are  
a real long ways away from the Loskalmi, and pose no real threat,  
either spiritually or physically. From a distance, the Rokari may  
look appealingly like "Good" Malkioni, especially with the loathsome  
Brithini and Safelster heretics in the same neighborhood -- much as  
during the American Civil War some British mistook the Southern  
"aristocracy" for some sort of equivalent to their own class system  
and agitated on their behalf.

Cullen sez: 

>I had always imagined the Oasis dwellers as living in something
>resembling Catal Huyuk.  Or the houses of the Zuni? Indians in  
>Arizona.  IE: no streets, all the 'houses are rooms in one big
>building, and to get to your house you might have to climb a
>ladder or two and walk across somebody's roof.

Both Zuni and Hopi have these type of dwellings, I believe. I concur  
with this belief, and with your reasons why. In general, my own Oasis  
folk will live in such adobe structures from now on, with a few  
exceptions: the folk at Agape live in caves; the people at Horngate  
all live inside a single gigantic Godtime building; etc. 

	But the norm shall henceforth be as you suggest, not only  
because it makes it more alien, but also (importantly) because it  
makes it inconvenient for the animal nomads to sequester _all_ the  
homes for their own use -- obviously the nomads want to stay as close  
to their beasts as possible, so they'll only take the houses on the  
outside edge, where they can just hop out the door and into the  
corrall. In this manner, the Oasis folk are able to at least retain  
the interior houses for their own use during occupations. 

Lewis Jardine sez:
>S. Jones commented that the Greeks were not a Good model for Lunars, 

>especially with regard to what their soldiers wore and their  
>fighting style. I second this opinion and support the *well known*  
>view that a Greek would rather fight with the but spike of his spear  
>if iw was broken than use his sword. 

	I thought this latter view only applied to Macedonian  
phalangites. Even they are known to fight with swords -- Alexander  
the Great's dictum that his soldiers shave, lest foes in hand-to-hand  
combat seize 'em by the beard, would appear to imply the acceptance  
of closer hand-to-hand combat than a pike normally permits. 

	I see the Lunars as like the pre-Alexander Greek city-states.  
Spears not so dreadfully long, more willing to engage in sword  
combat. I don't think it's reasonable to dismiss the Greek-Lunar  
connection, especially in view of the fact that they call their  
troops hoplites and the units phalanxes. 

>I am unconvinced about the ubiquity of the scimitar in the Lunar  
>army.  Sure all the Officers wear them, but can you imagine close  
>order infantry using them? 

	Sure I can. If Swiss pikemen could have guys in the middle of  
their unit who were wielding poleaxes, a scimitar is nothing by  

	The Dara Happans had plenty of experience with Cavalry. In  
the First Age, they were entirely occupied by a cavalry-using foe. In  
the Second Age they faced the Carmanians. In the Third Age they faced  
Sheng Seleris again. I can't imagine the Dara Happans not knowing  
about cavalry and using it heaps. 

>> I don't think the Wagon, or  

>> Tolat, or the Jugger ever cause eclipses in the classic sense. 

Alex ponders:
>Too small, or "above" the Sun in the Sky Dome?
	Dunno. What do you think? Which would lead to the more  
interesting result?

>>Presumably if you lived in the right place, the Red Moon  

>> could cause an eclipse. 

>If big enough.  It bothers me how _regular_ these eclipses would be.
	In the foist place, since the moon is so far north of the sun  
(which tends towards the southern half of the sky), to get the  
eclipse you've got to go up on Valind's Glacier. Already the results  
are getting more interesting. 

	And maybe the moon acts as a Lens rather than a blocking  
object. Or maybe the effects of the blocking vary with the phase of  
the moon, a little like the Sunbane in Steve Donaldson's books. 

Kevin wonders:
>>Maybe I'm confused here, but if the sun fell out of the sky how did  

>>it get back there from the ocean?
A wiseacre responds:
>>It took a Lightbringers' Quest to restore the Sun.
Alex points out: 

>And in the Doraddi myth?
	Most of the Doraddi have heard garbled versions of the  
Lightbringers' Quest, about the Seven (or Nine, or Thirty) Brave Folk  
who went to Hell after the Sun. One version of the basic Doraddi myth  
(which varies greatly with different regions, of course), follows:

"Okay. First you have to know that in the Old Old Days, when the  
Perfect Land was here, and the White Tree grew, there was only One  
Day for all the people. Pamalt was not important then, but he knew  
that if there was One Day, there would have to be One Night, too. But  
the Perfect Land said it knew better and did not get ready for the  
night. When the Night did come after all, and the Sun came down, the  
Perfect Land was not ready, and everyone screamed and ran around.
	"It was very scary then, because it was the first night ever,  
and nobody knew what would happen. And all the Night Monsters came  
out, because they had had to wait so long long time during the One  
Day. This was their first time out, and so they played and murdered  
everywhere. In those days, no one knew what was supposed to happen  
after the One Night. Pamalt said that the One Day was really just the  
First Day, and that the One Night was really just the First Night,  
and that after the Night the Day would come back again. Do not be  
afraid, he said. 

	"But Filth-Which-Walks came and he said that after the First  
Night, another thing would come, worse than Night. and then another,  
and then another, and then another, and then another, and then  
another, until everything was worse than you could possibly believe.  
We don't say the names of the things he said would come. Only the bad  
people talk about them. Filth-Which-Walks said he was the First Token  
of the thing to come after the First Night, and that once he had  
proved he was the new Chieftain the first new thing would come. 

	"But everyone has heard the story of the meeting of Pamalt  
and Vovisibor. I will tell it tomorrow, not today.
	"Pamalt proved he was right, and Filth-Which-Walks was wrong.  
Some people gave up, and became bad things, or were killed, or ran  
into the swamps or the jungle to get away. But Pamalt told us that  
stayed behind that if we waited and lived on, the Night would end.  
Just watch, he said. And he was right.
	"The sun came back, and it was the Second Day again, and then  
it was the Second Night, and then it was day again. Now the Night  
Monsters know that they'll have another night to play in after this  
one, so they don't get so carried away. Only the people and creatures  
that followed Filth-Which-Walks still want the new thing to come  
after the night."

NOTE: The Perfect Land is probably the Artmali Empire. The White Tree  
is probably the Spike. It is unclear who the Night Monsters are. 

The Doraddi Lightbringers Myth:
	"Some people who live way far off tell an amazing story about  
the First Night. I'll tell it to you, too. Then you'll know it. When  
the Sun set after the First Day, some gods who lived far away were  
afraid that Filth-Which-Walks was right, and that the Sun would never  
come back. So they went after the Sun, and found it, and worshiped  
it, and asked it to return. And of course it did.
	"One thing is true for certain. If Pamalt had not made  
Filth-Which-Walks into a liar, then the Sun could never have come  
back --  because the new thing would have happened after the First  
Night, and there would have been no Sun, no Night. So Pamalt really  
saved us all. 

The Doraddi Secret Wise Man Lightbringers Myth (not for everybody,  
just special initiates)
	"The gods who saved the Sun were trapped, just like the Sun,  
because they had to keep following the Sun every night into Hell, so  
that they can bring it back. If they don't keep bringing it back, it  
might stay there. So we are glad that those gods are still chasing  
the Sun around and around. If they stopped doing it, then the Sun  
would stop, too, and then someone else would have to go into Hell and  
start pushing the Sun again. 

	"But here is a big secret -- the Sun stopped once, because  
the gods who fetched it back in the First Night were all killed by  
Gbaji. The Sun stopped for a long long time, but it finally started  
again, when the Spiderweb got it moving. Now, the Sun is moving, and  
there are a pack of gods who say they are pushing it, and they are.  
But they are a DIFFERENT group of gods than the ones who were doing  
it before the Sunstop. Don't tell the people from up North who  
believe in those gods, because it just makes them angry and there is  
nothing they can do about it. But it is true, anyway. Gbaji killed  
their gods, and now they have a bunch of new ones."

>Isn't it possible to quit an HQ at more or less any time, as one can  
>with a VisionQuest?
	Yes, after any conflict or at certain stations. In fact,  
sometimes you're _forced_ to quit a HQ. This doesn't mean you can  
pick up the heroquest again right where you left off, of course.

Graeme Lindsell asks:
> How sophisticated are the Orlanthi of Pameltela?
	Not too much. There's the calming influence of the local  
elves to tone them down a bit, but they're still pretty much wild  
guys like in Wenelia. They have metalworking, though, and big steads,  
and an occasional town in which both Orlanthi and Malkioni from  
downriver live and trade. 

> A question about the Ban - what happened if a "community" split up  
>in an region under the Ban frex a group in Jonatela spits off from  
>the rest of the Kingdom? Did the Ban come down between them and  
>divide them up, or were the borders of the Ban fixed in place in  

	I say the latter. 


From: (Dave Pearton)
Subject: Campaign help & Imboyngis
Date: 15 Jun 94 11:38:09 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4590

Hi all,

Ah well, after a long absence I've finally caught up with the
backlog of dailies and digests that I've missed - A full-time
task and one I feel should well be worthy of hero status!


In addition I have finally rounded up enough time and players
to start a campaign.  I have no scenario packs - just the
rules, the glorantha pack, elder secrets, Dragon Pass and
vague memories of the RQII Pavis pack (at least I know now
what that damned gold spinning hoop was :) and last, but
definitely not least, the RQ daily (thanks Henk!).

I have turned to the renowned scholars here for advise and
information.  I am setting the scenario beginning in Sartar
with the pc's as young members of the tribe, who because of
the decimation of the tribe's menfolk in the first Lunar
invasion, are having the burdens of adulthood thrust upon them
prematurely.  This includes early initiation (for some - there
is a fairly wide range of ages and abilities across the
characters) and a more active part in the tribe's life than
would normally be expected.  The scope of the campaign is
fairly microcosmic - low powered pc's and they'll be tied up
with community duties - but they will have a chance to get
involved with the struggle in a small way such as perhaps
aiding fugitives from lunar "justice", etc.  I am planning to
start them off with an "initiation-quest" similar to one
posted here a few weeks ago, and then take it from there.

Ok, that's the background, now comes the begging part - A
remember a while back someone posted a list of the tribes and
clans in Sartar, could that person or someone who has it
please email it to me?  In addition I believe that someone
made a time-line of the third age which I would dearly love to
have as well as any information of the tribes and clans around
Alone.  I know this is a lot to ask, but I would greatly
appreciate the help and if anyone has anything else that they
think might help, please feel free to contact me.


While I know that the Doraddi are not clones of African
tribes, there does seem to be a slight amount of similarity,
sufficiently so that I think that they might have something
similar to the bantu "Imboyngi" or praise-singer.  The praise-
singer in African culture is there to praise and honour the
chief/king whenever he appears in public.  (As an aside in
South Africa we are seeing this in our new parliament with the
president having his own Imboyngi at most public gatherings.) 
The imboyngi has an important role in the society as he
honours not only his chief, but also his ancestors and through
this the tribe.  He instills a sense of pride and belonging
and can be a very powerful manipulator of emotions through his
oratory.  While other cultures also have orators whose duty it
is to praise the king, such as european court bards and the
celtic bards, I don't believe that they were ever quite as
ubiquitous or had a similar function to the imboyngi
(certainly they seemed to have as much of a entertainment
function an anything else, whereas an imboyngi's sole function
is to praise the chief).  

To hear an imboyngi speak about it seems to them almost a
_divine_ compulsion to speak the words of praise, so I can see
them fitting in quite well in the doraddi culture.  Can you
imagine a great chief like Pamalt _not_ having anyone to sing
his praises and make his deeds known to the world? 
Particularly the aspect of praising the ancestors might be
quite important in Glorantha - it is all very well having the
shamans to intercede with and contact the ancestors, but how
better to keep their memory and honour alive to the tribe in
general that by having their deeds praised and linked to the
present day existence of the tribe through the current chief?

Just an idea that struck me, any feedback, flames, etc

ps.  The imboyngi can also function as a social conscience for
the chief, either by pointing out shortcomings publicly, or by
emphasising the deeds of his ancestors that highlight what the
imboyngi thinks he's doing wrong.

Oops, that was longer than I thought - thanks for bearing with
me :).



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Loskalm, and other stuff.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 15 Jun 94 07:59:43 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4591

David Dunham:
> Alex said
> >It's demonstrable that some form of
> >spirit survives death (at least in such cults), and is contactable a la
> >Daka Fal worship, but this doesn't seem like a cast iron guarantee of
> >survival of the individual soul, or personality, to me.

> You can concoct weird theories if you like, but I use Ockham's Razor.
> Survival of the spirit w/o change is the simplest explanation.

Occam, schmoccam.  Friar William would have us dispose of lots of juicy
Gloranthan ideas.  If I were a skeptical Gloranthan, or one from a non-
Daka Fal tradition, would I be convinced by a gibbering travesty of a
ghost that the spirit survives death without any change?

Graeme Lindsell:
>  However, official tolerance of Jews was usually a result of those secular 
> authorities wanting their cash. When those authorities decided they
> didn't need or want them anymore, the Jews were often killed or expelled
> quite rapidly.

Or in at least one case in England, when the knights they'd lent money
to couldn't afford to repay them.  Talk about a Bad Debt.

>  Loskalm has a standing _peacetime_ army of 55 000 (11 armies of 5000 each).

That's a _current_ army of 55,000, that one which intends, according to
G:G, to go trounce the KoW.  Doubtless there are provincial armies too,
but I doubt they'll be invading anywhere.

>  The requirement to enter knighthood is rather easy: I wouldn't be surprised
> if most of the adult male peasants haven't already reached it. Also, we've
> just been hearing about how the Hrestoli system bends to allows the sons
> of knights and wizards an easy time - under threat I don't doubt they'll
> be able to recruit a lot more soldiers. 

But training them to Knightly standards isn't quite so easy, when they've
been forbidden the use of weapons while of Farmer class.  (Even squires
get pitiful weapon skills.)

>  In war this is a lot less relevant than size of the armies and discipline.

To wit, the KoW's being larger, and already tested (though hardly lots,
it's to be admitted) in battle?  The only exercise the Loskalmi army seems
to have gotten recently is (perhaps) reoccuppying a doubtless rather cowed
portion of Junora.

>  I think that the KoW will put up a vicious fight, but in the end I think 
> they will lose.

I'm sure that's what I started off saying, to be greeted with cries that
it'd be a Loskalmi walk-over, with Minor Acceptable Junoran casaulties.

>  Do the Loskalmi have the Immortality spell? I ask this because the king
> must be at least 135 years old right now.

Doubtless they claim adherence to the Ideals of Hrestol enhance and extend
the terms of their mortal tenure...

> >By this definition, the Brithini don't have a caste system, which is hokey.

>  More like "true" IMO. By this definition, the Brithini have an extremely
> strict strict class system.

It's a caste system for my money.  I think existing Gloranthan, and most
Earthly, usage concurs...

> >since any other caste terminology couldn't
> >have been invented yet, his own (if any) being the earliest alternative.

>  You mean Malkion's, don't you? These caste/class titles seem to predate
> Hrestol.

I was referring on the one hand to the Brithini, and hence presumably
pre-Malkion (or pre Malkion's revelation, as the case may be), and on the
other, the hypothetical "alternative" introduced by Hrestol.  (Or later,
I suppose.)



From: (Graeme Lindsell)
Subject: Putting up and shutting up
Message-ID: <9406150838.AA20330@Sun.COM>
Date: 15 Jun 94 23:36:53 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4592

Nick Brooke tells me to put up or shut up:
>It doesn't have to work: Ingsoc's Newspeak didn't; Pao's languages didn't;
>even the Ascians' little red book didn't.
>If it upsets or revolts you, please ignore it. (Or, better still: tell us
>something else interesting about New Pelorian).

 Oh, I can accept that it's a _failed_ attempt at that. I just don't think
they have a chance of it working except for a perhaps few years after the 
first heroquest. Languages change so rapidly, especially if the people
have concepts they can transmit in their old languages (which as far as
we know weren't deleted from their minds). New Pelorian would probably
start picking up loan words at an enormous rate.

>Given that the Lunars think strangely/indirectly, plan for the long term,

 I would say "claim to plan for the long term". There's nothing in their
strategy (especially their recent invasion of Prax, their dismissal of
their effective general, Sandy's Stab in the Back etc) that suggests they're
effective at it. I tend to think of the Lunars as being Maciavellian types
who think they're so clever. They have a lot of bright ideas that turn out
to be not so clever.

>Is your problem in accepting that the Lunars could develop and implement
>their philosophical/theological "ideas"/ideals more effectively than any
>real-world Empires?

 Yes, given there's no sign in the history I've seen that they _are_ that
much more effective. Even given they have/had an immortal Emperor. The only
thing that is spreading is Illumination, but I think that's more in the
"contagious" nature of Illumination than in any successful planning of the
Lunars. The only thing they seem to have over real-world empires is a lack
of civil wars, probably due to a lcak of succession crises.

 Since I haven't read Plato yet (I'm in "The Distant Mirror" right now) I'll 
accept what you say about his Republic, and withdraw the 20th century

 Glorantha is a fantasy world, and ideas from speculative fiction can be
introduced, I accept. It's just that these cultures are supposed to be
realistic, and I don't see the NewSpeak Pelorian as realistically working,
given their society. 

 To shamelessly link to my other current obsession, I recall that one of your 
own objections to Loskalm as given in G:GB2 is that you don't believe it 
could realistically work, given how human beings act (correct me if I'm 
misquoting you). To turn your comment back:

"Is your problem in accepting that the Loskalmi could develop and implement
their philosophical/theological "ideas"/ideals more effectively than any
real-world Empires?"

 (I'm sure you're glad to see that I've now agree with you about Loskalm)

 Isn't cut and paste wonderful?

 With what you say about Plato, I concede they may have had yet another 
bright idea. As an idea I accept it's interesting (as I did in my first 
reaction to your proposal) and a good idea to give the Lunars. I just
don't think it ever worked.

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.