Bell Digest v940628p5

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To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 28 Jun 1994, part 5
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From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: I "err on Loskalm"
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 09:06:08 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4846

Joerg pounces on the following (though not alone):
> > I disagree with this, if only because we haven't heard of the Hrestoli
> > "Ecclesiarch".

> Genertela Book, p.20, Southpoint: [...]

Gregged Again.  Imagine My Disgust.

> Next to the king there are the 8 princes of the provinces, assisted by 
> a standardized staff of noblemen.

> Since there is no nobility but through 
> meritocratic ascension, one can assume these are the ruler class of 
> the Hrestoli system.

What, and Archbishops aren't?

> > Rulership is, after all, the special duty of of "Talar"
> > class, though they continue to exercise religious powers and duties.  The
> > King may be seen as the embodiment of Hrestol himself, if the hints about
> > his Sacred Kingship are anything to go by. 

> Hrestol never was king.

Eh, that's the King's Sacred Kingship, not Hrestol's.  I've no idea whether
Hrestol ever became king, but that's no argument against the king beinf seen
as his embodiment.  (This would imply a glorious/sacrificial/martyr's death
for Hrsetol, though.)

> The sarificial component reminds me strongly of 
> Tarshite earth kings, an inheritance from the Serpent King dynasty.

Not me.  I think it's very unlikely Loskalmi kings are sacrificed on a
regular basis, for fertility purposes.  If the practice originated as
this, which I doubt, it's been about as heavily modified as the Christian
take on the same subject.

> > I suspect the Loskalmi high council has two or three Archbishops 
> > on it, though.

> Why? Either all of them, plus the commanders of the eleven battles, or 
> a set number of elected ones (smacks of Orlanthi rings...), or none.

Which is why all the High Priests of Orlanth are on the Sartarite High
Council, doubtless.  There are all sorts of reasons why only some of
the ArchBs might sit on the council, such as varying temporal authority,
having rotating seats, there being too many of the bleeders to fit, or
Just Tradition.  If memory serves, some, but not all, CoE Bishops sit in
the House of Lords, for a comparison.

> > Graeme Lindsell:
> >>  But we do know that Loskalm is one of the best organised nations on
> >> Glorantha.

> Best organized wrt supply, equipment, lines of command. The effective 
> take-over of the Junoran counties was a triumph of Loskalmi organisation, 
> not so much military action, as you yourself point out.

This is a bit like saying the Anschluss of Austria proved that Blitzkrieg
was an effective military strategy.  (Clearly it _was_ (and might be), but
strolling into Austria/Junora didn't/doesn't prove it.)

> If the kingdom of war excels 
> at chess, exchanging unit for unit, the Loskalmi play go and expand their 
> teerritory by clever deployment of their forces.

For the last century, chess is about all Loskalm _has_ been playing.

> Note they have a head start of 30 years before their opponents.

Head start at what?  Sitting on their bums?  You mean in annexing Junora?

At the moment, I doubt that either side has a sufficient advantage to go
rampaging into the territory of the other.  Indeed, if either is stupid
enough to try this, they make it straight to the top of my "likely to
lose" list.  If they both are, I'm spoiled for choice...

> > Provenly effective thugs, unlike Loskalm.  There's a lot to be said for
> > a bit of diversity in an army.

> Which is why the Persians won over Alexander?

Seemingly, you've deleted the context which made it clear I was speaking of
_magical_ diversity.  Apart from the fact that Darius had significantly
more missile troops (an undeniable advantage), I can't think of a big
difference in the "diversity" of the Persian and Macedonian armies.

Now, if anyone can explain why either Loskalm or the KoW is remotely
comparible to either, I might see the point in the comparison.  Obviously,
since Loskalm outnumbers the KoW, they're to be cast as Persia, and hence
are going to lose, or some such equally spurious logic.

> >> Honour to all men, whatever his place? This sounds more like Rokari 
> >> doctrine to keep the serfs in their allotted places than like "let's 
> >> suppress our pagan farmers" Jonatela.

> > It amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?

> No, it doesn't. The Rokari suppress co-religious serfs, the Hrestoli 
> suppress pagans.

And what has this to do with the attitude of the lord to their peasants,
likely missionary sound-bites, and possible Loskalmi attitude thereto,
which is what I was talking about?

> The Rokari are more likely to kill infidels or force-
> convert them than the Hrestoli, who might allow their pagan subjects 
> to qualify for their farmer caste, but won't proselytize except by 
> example, in the 3rd Age.

The Hrestoli don't _have_ Orlanthi subjects, even in Junora, so far as
I'm aware.  The pagans and assorted Malkioni sects seem to be (for the
moment) independant (of each other, as well as of Loskalm).  If they did,
I hardly thing that peaceful coexistance would be the order of the day.

> (Just to tease you: the Farmer Caste with the Jonatings 
> might be comparable to Yelm the Youth or Voriof membership in Dara Happa 
> or among the Theyalans.)

Yeah, Joerg, right, of course.  

> The Jonatings suppress the non-believers quite brutally. They don't 
> proselytize among their human-shaped cattle, and when they stampede, 
> they are routed. The Loskalmi trade post on Ygg's Isles worked after 
> the same principles. Should Loskalm conquer Gharkor permanently, they'd 
> treat the Hsunchen natives there the same.

I see what you mean (at last), but I disagree.  Suppressing and brutalising
peasants is obviously all well and good, but the Loskalmi are clearly going
to disapprove of having a static "Farmer" class, even if there is class
mobility for the upper tiers.  I'm taken with Nick's suggestion that all
the frothing at the mouth in G:G about the Jonatings is Loskalmi

> Alex:
> > Persumably all Princes are Talar, but I doubt all Talar are Princes...

> Prince is a little defined title, mainly denoting a class membership if 
> used in a late medieval feudal sense: male people belonging to the 
> families of the higher nobility rulers, be they kings, dukes or princes 
> themselves.

Rulers, not in the sense of "ruling nobility", but of _royalty_.  Use of
the term for the "Talar" class in Loskalm only makes sense if only about
nine people are Talars.  This sounds a tad on the low side to me.

> > I'd don't think "Prince" is a modification of "Talar", since he's variously
> > referred to as both.  But one or both could pertain only to the caste
> > system as (however) it existed _before_ his own reforms.  Or whatever.

> I find it logical that the title the Brithini still cling to is the one 
> used before, and the other one is the title used thereafter.

So all Hrestoli Talars are "Princes?"  Even the ones who're Kings or
Archbishop?  I doubt it.



From: henkl@aft-ms (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
Subject: Re: volunteers wanted
Message-ID: <9406270917.AA15989@yelm.Holland.Sun.COM>
Date: 27 Jun 94 10:17:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4847

	Last weekend saw a fire in the catacombs of the
	place of learning where HVH resides.  As a result,
	our esteemed contributor to the Daily may not be
	able to establish contact for some time...

>Greetings, prospective members!

>All of you have shown interest in becoming fully initiated in the activities 
>of the God Learner Exculpation Movement (GoLEM). So far we have had to 
>disappoint you, since obviously we have to be extremely careful as to who we 
>let in on our secrets. Now, however, we will give all of you the chance to 
>prove your commitment and, after you have shown your worth, the possibility of 
>joining our exalted circle.

>    ...

>On behalf of the GoLEM,
>Hasueros the Unveiler

Henk	|	Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM - Disclaimer: I don't speak for Sun.
oK[]	|	Single Point of Change, Multiple Points of Reference


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Decline "geas".
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 09:59:57 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4848

David Dunham:
> Geases

"Geasa", surely. ;-)

>         The only real advantage in having geases is that you know five or
> ten sure ways to kill yourself.

This is All Good Stuff, and very much in keeping with "traditional" geasa;
but one should not neglect the possibility of magically efficacious geasa,
such as the ones alluded to in KoS.  I've always been a bit leery of the
de facto "only Truth Rune cults grant gifts and geases" thing: free-fire

> Paul picks on Alex's typo
> >Did the shepherds with dugs [...]

Typo, schmypo.  (Another 1% Yiddish roll fumbled.)  "Dug" is Colourfully
Ethnic pronunciation and spelling of the Modern Scots (of which an obscure
dialect is English) word for canine.  (Also Correct Pronunciation of the
contraction of Douglas, heathens.  ("Doog", indeed...))

Martin Crim auto-pedanticises:
> In my comment on "qua," the correct quotation is as follows:
> Humblest apologies for the error.

Vigorously rejected.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: An "eclectic" post.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 12:21:19 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4849

> Alex: had to mention that your postings in the daily for Friday made  
> me laugh and laugh.

  You're too kind.

> Alex goes on to say:
> >"Storm" is a proper, *manly* Element that I'd be proud to run &  
> >shout for.

Hey, did not!    Watch your recoil: We Are (to ape John Ford).

Paul Reilly, on why Rune magic appears to work in wrongly-sanctified areas:
>   I think it's because the priest is doing the Rune Magic, not the god.

Now, I don't necessarily disagree with, nor do I necessarily not disagree
with this.  But why would DI be different, in principle?  This is Greg's
argument: "(the POW for) DI comes from within."  And how does this fit in
with the removal of the restriction on Divining into an enemy temple?  Who's
providing the oomph _in_ the temple in that case?

>   I'm not sure "we" know that the ever-reincarnating Red Emperor, whose
> appearance never changes and who is said to descend again from the Moon if
> his body is killed, is selected this way.  In fact we've seen references
> that differ.  Reference on this?  Or does "We know" mean "around here we think"?

It means I've seen a reference that implies this, and forgotten the details.
_Tales..._ take on the RE?  I gotta go beat up Sam for my Talesies.  But to
paraphrase, it says that he looks different every time, is "not always
immediately apparent it's really him" until he's installed.

>   Um.  I've seen this story soomewhere else too, and it seems consistent
> to me.  Humakt IS the sword.  He kills Grandfather Mortal.  In another
> story Eurmal USES Humakt to kill Grandfather Mortal.  Fine by me - as
> long as we know Humakt IS the Sword as well as the Warrior.  (BTW this
> is important in Carmania - more on that later.)

But it's not consistent, from the POV of the typical worshipper.  The
stereotypical Orlanthi warrior will think: "_I'm_ a swordsman, not a sword,
hence, Humakt's a swordsman, and not a sword."  More deathocentric Humakt
guys will take the opposite view.  As may the typical Orlanth guy: "Humakt
is _my_ sword."

Besides, in The Sword Story, Humakt isn't even _present_ when Eurmal kills
Gramps (I think, no books).

Nick Brooke takes the sacred word of Alex, and heretically reinterprets them:
> > Clearly, but they don't say "Yelm rises, time starts" at _any_ point
> > (other than 0YS).

> You mean, they *never* say "Time starts," while they *only* say "Yelm 
> rises" at 0 YS and 111,221 YS. (From memory, so sue me).

Nope, they say Yelm rises at those (or thereabouts) dates, yup, but before
that (the first, that is), there _are_ no dates.  It's The Moment.  Timeless
reigns.  Afterwards, it isn't, and doesn't.  Does that sound like the start
of time to you?  Let me rephrase that: doesn't that sound like the start
of time to everyone else?

> > But given that Arkat has previously managed to appear as several people,
> > and given that (at least) four of them are (going to be) probably lying,
> > this is not the stuff of great inconsistency.

> Only four out of five lying? Who was Arkat ever honest with??

I should have underlined the "at least", I suppose.

Ed Wallman:
> It does appear that paths of worship and heroquesting can be derailed or
> even forged anew (e.g. Gold Wheel Dancers, Arkat, God Learners).  However,
> it only seems possible with a superhuman effort.  Joe Schmoe who wanders in 
> his religion is visited by nasty spirits.  Joe Hero who wanders in his 
> religion becomes a subcult.

Them's the breaks.  Bummer.  Of course, "Hero" is retroactively defined
to mean "the guy who got it to work, not the guy who got eaten trying."
I think that most significant-change type HQs occur through the action of
_both_ "Big guys" and "Little guys".

> Here is an idea.  Instead of a single heroic individual forging a new path, 
> what if many many unheroic people kept throwing themselves at it.  Sure, 
> most would be snuffed out, but eventually the path would be trodden enough.
> This sounds so familiar as I write it, I think it must have happened in 
> some form in Gloranthan history.  

Well, what about the "fact" that The Emperor is Yelm?  No-one (important)
HQed this (as far as we know), everyone just Realised it.

Martin Crim:
> Re: Alex's Furious(ly) Fighting Factions of KoW
>      Oh, you think they KILLED the trolls, do you?

That's their schtick, innit?  Maybe they're stuck in a darkness box being
tapped of their power and robbed of their magic, I dunno.

> Re: Time, causality, and philosophical dreck like that
>      But how did causality come into existence? 

As part of the "deal" of the compromise, if the Orlanthi are to believed.
Or do do you mean what "caused" the Compromise, and hence causality?
I suppose either The Comp. is either it's own First Cause, or the events
of the Godtime collectively all "cause" it (though not necessarily each

> Re: Several suns

After a plea for fewer quotes, now, a plea for more quotes.  Which part
of this _whole dang post_ is being cited regarding the following followup?:

>      Yeah, but the point I was trying to make is this: was Yelm
> originally the sun to Orlanthi, or was he the Emperor?

That's an easy one.  Originally "the Emperor" was just "the Emperor";
he became Yelm, and the (non-winter) sun at the same time.  Essentially.

> Anyway, it's kind of peripheral to what I was doing in that
> piece.

What is?  Which of the umpteen separate points I made is thusly peripheral?

> Re: Pol Joni Orlanthi
>      There are at least two references more recent than CoP that
> say the tribe worships Orlanthi gods.

What, _all_ of them?  The central worship is going to be Orlanth and co.
But the tribe has so many adoptees, the centre may be getting rather
small.  I'm not claiming that the CoP numbers are Gospel, or anything,

> And that serious a
> transformation for a Praxian animal rider nomad would almost have
> to entail a change of cult, wudnit?

For Wahaists, more likely than not.  Others, by no means necessarily.

> Compare the other Praxian
> outlaw groups: Amazons (Yelorna), Gagarthi, and Cannibal Cult.

But they're not an outlaw group, they are a not-liked group outside
the covanent.  (Ditto Yelorna, too.  And the Unicorn Tribe is by no means
all Yelornans.)



From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: The importance of prayer
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 14:33:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4850

Graeme Lindsell:
>>- Gods have no understanding of mundane events on Glorantha, except for
>>what their followers tell them. This means :
> How much does this allow cult's to communicate through their gods? 

I'd say this kind of communication is crucially important. The cult keeps track
of where its members are and what they are doing, through their prayers.
If you're on a mission and you pray each evening recounting your progress for
that day then your cult will be in a much better position to send aid if
something goes wrong.

At an everyday level, worshippers are going to tell their god of their hopes
and fears; and (perhaps indirectly) about the actions of third-parties toward
them. This allows priests to use divination to help their decision-making
for the good of society. It lets them know who needs help with the harvest;
who needs protection from Chaos; where there is prosperity and where there
is need. Such info allows cults to allocate resources sensibly at a day-to-day

But it only works if you pray. And it helps if the majority pray regularly.
If you, and your neighbours, and their neighbours all pray for rain then
Orlanth is certain (or at least the cult is more likely) to send rainmakers
to your area. Prayer is good for the community.
Would you live next to a non-initiate?

And, of course, this affects PCs' interactions with cults.
If many people have cursed them in their prayers then a Divination is
going to show them in a bad light, whereas if they have been praised then
they can expect a good reaction.

>Does it allow them to use a god as a bulletin board ie leave a message with
>Orlanth to give to Martris if she attempts Divination about me?

Yes. But I don't think the info is tagged "For Martris' Eyes Only". Anyone
doing a Divination to Orlanth could get the message (if they asked the
right question).



From: (Official Heat Sink)
Subject: Fun with Incest
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 04:18:30 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4851

>I can't think of a single  
>culture in which marrying one's siblings was acceptable, save the  
>Egyptian pharoahs, for whom it was probably a duty and a sign that  
>they were different from the common masses.

I believe it was common in some Polynesian cultures (possibly 
Hawaiian, I'm not sure about that one) for the king to marry his 
sister in order to keep the bloodline pure.  Not only acceptable, but