Bell Digest v940629p1

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 29 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: Re: RuneQuest Daily
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 Jun 94 07:43:46 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4899

First, a public service message: I accidentally deleted Joe Lannom's  
e-mailing to me before I had a chance to read more than the very  
first bit. You may want to send it again, Joe. 

Joerg wonders:
>Nolosian sailors and traders will encounter non-Rokari and  
>non-Malkioni on a regular basis, and the need to tolerate the Cult  
>of Dormal. (Do they view it as a Saint cult?)
	St. Dormal is a recognized saint among both the Loskalmi and  
the Rokari, in both Pamaltela and Genertela. (He didn't visit  
Pamaltela, but his knowledge was spread, nonetheless.)

>Maybe only rather the helpless beneficial deities ought to be able  
>to curse.
	This especially makes sense in light of the Spirits of  
Retribution, for instance. Chalana Arroy and Lhankor Mhy, both  
pacifistic cults, have horrifying SoR; ditto for Eiritha. On the  
other hand, Waha's SoR isn't particularly terrifying. ZZ doesn't  
really have one; yeah, I know, Hell Roar -- but all he really does is  
lead a band of Death Lords and initiates to beat on you. Grim enough,  
certainly, but  _any_ cult could send a band of baddies to getcha --  
all Hell Roar does is make it easy for them to find you.
	Another, even likelier, interpretation is that the beneficial  
deities rely on other, specialized "vengeance" deities to protect  
them. Thus, we have Gorgorma, Maran Gor, Babeester Gor -- all of whom  
make sense only if there is a larger, benign cult for them to draw  
their strength from and to protect. Even Orlanth functions for  
Ernalda as a protector. Basically, the "Curse of Voria" consists of  
the priestess giving your home address to a batch o' Babeester Gor  
cannibal bitch-berserks. Probably most folks would beg for a healthy  
dose of Waste Loins instead. 

Andre Fernandes
>What might happen if someone doesn't show up at a High Holy Day? 

	Depending upon the reason he was absent, and the viciousness  
of his cult, I would instigate one or more the following penalties:
	1) he doesn't get his POW gain roll for the year. (I'd always  
inflict this, regardless of what else happens to him.)
	2) a minor spirit of retribution is inflicted on him.
	3) a more serious spirit of retribution visits. 

	4) he is excommunicated. 

>All those spiders at SpiderWood (sp?), do they have any religion?
	They probably worship Aranea, if anything. If they have no  
religion (possible), then they'll still know about Aranea and be  
friendlier to a member of that cult. Which is not to say they won't  
kill and eat him if they have a good chance to do so.

>What about a Gateway deep inside the SpiderWoods leading to that
>Spider Island at Griffin Island? 

	Up To Your Campaign. I don't think of the spiders in the  
Spider Woods as being particularly anti-chaotic, myself, however.

>If the spiders at Doreastor worship aranea, could a troll use their  
>temple, or would it take a lot of spider diplomacy to achieve >it.
	Whichever's more fun for your campaign. If I were running it,  
I'd make the troll do all sorts of things to get the spiders to  
approve of him. 

>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.
	I guess it's not a secret anymore, since Greg mentioned it  
openly at the last RQ-Con, so yes, this is how the Emperor's new  
persona is chosen -- lying, backstabbing, and chicanery. Various  
folks compete for the "honor" of being the Emperor, and once they  
rise to the status, the Emperor Goes On. However, the Emperor's soul  
(or something) is apparently in control of the new guy, whose spirit  
either goes to Glamour, or sticks around to advise the Emperor (not  
clear which). 

Pol Joni: I think these are primarily Orlanth & co. There is no doubt  
some Eiritha, but these guys are certainly no longer Waha worshipers.  
Probably retain plenty of shamanism. 

>> Compare the other Praxian outlaw groups: Amazons (Yelorna),  
>>Gagarthi, and Cannibal Cult.
>But they're not an outlaw group,\
	But they are, really. They're the "bastard" tribe. They're as  
much outlaws as the Gagarthi -- both are exiles from their home  
tribe. At least the Waste Gagarthi don't ride *choke* horsies *gasp*.  
The Bastard Tribe openly touches and rides horses, and enslaves the  
Eiritha cult to tend for their monstrous cattle, which are not beasts  
of the plains -- the cursed things can barely survive on thornbush.  
True, there's lots of meat on 'em, tho. 

	On the other hand, probably no man is an "outlaw" in the  
Orlanthi sense to the Praxians. In the Wastes, where times are tough,  
who can tell the difference between a band of raiding Sable Riders  
and a band of marauding Gagarthi? The effects are the same. 

	Anyway, while I think the Pol Joni are quite close to the  
Praxians in tribal and social structure, and philosophy, I suspect  
many of their tribal deities are different (not their shamanic ones,  
tho). I also imagine that the Praxians distance themselves  
psychologically from the bastards ("Just one step above the  
Morocanth!" as the saying goes). 

Scott: re: absence of incest
>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 required.
	No doubt, but surely you see this is a similar example to the  
Egyptian sister marriages -- (A) keeps the bloodline pure. (B) sign  
of being a king. and (C) _forbidden_ to the common folk.
	The Polynesian sister marriages are being done for the same  
reason as the Pharaonic ones -- _because_ incest is so unusual. 

re: RQ Miniatures
	I was about to write a long commentary about where to get  
Glorantha-like figures and which pieces were best, but Roderick  
Robertson's listing in yesterday's daily surpasses anything I'd have  
done, save for minor nitpicks. Recommended to all.

Captain Button: 

>Assuming that Gloranthan allosaurs are like RW allosaurs
>and that allosaur behavior hasn't been rethought since I was
>in school (though it may well have), an allosaur gorges on
>a kill and then sleeps for a week or two.
	Allosaur behavior has been rethought since you were in  
school. Still, the broos could possibly find an allosaur and keep out  
of sight long enough for their shaman to complete his ritual. Risky,  
but possible. In any case, the big risk is the death of the  
allosaur's "child" seconds after birth, which must occur in 99% of  
the cases. Since there aren't all that many allosaur/broo hybrids  
born in the first place, that leaves few of them to harass PCs. Just  
enough for one to show up in my campaign. 

> Is one of the very high level Heroquests to go and fight Wakboth
>(alone, yet along with everyone else) in I Fought We Won? 

	This is more probably the _end_ of a whole lot of other  
heroquests. The grand finale of the Hill of Gold Yelmalio/Elmal  
heroquest, for instance, closes with him fighting off hordes of chaos  
before he can greet the Dawn. I think this is probably the case with  
many if not most Greater Darkness quests. 

Ecological Thinking And Glorantha
(biology majors may find points to pick at in this essay, but it's  
intended for non-majors, you nits; _I_ know I'm oversimplifying.)

There are two factors determining how numerous a species is,  
ecologically. Ecologists call these the "r"  and the "K" factors. "r"  
represents a species reproductive rate, while "K" represents its  
longevity and survival. Species are often broadly classified as "r"  
or "K" type species. 

	In general, "K" species breed slowly, sacrificing quantity  
for quality. They tend to take care of their young, ensuring that as  
many as possible survive. They are long-lived, too. Many "K" species  
are associated with stable, unchanging environments, like a climax  
jungle. Some "K" species are rare, but this isn't necessarily the  
case. It is true, however, that a "K" species takes a long time to  
replace itself once it's been knocked out of an area. 

	"r" species, on the other hand, generally breed very quickly,  
with little parental care. They have short childhoods (or,  
alternatively, short adult lives). They don't live too long, and  
frequently  breed only once before death. Many "r" species are native  
to disturbed environments. Despite their breeding potential, "r"  
species may not be particularly numerous most of the time. An "r"  
species is usually pretty easy to wipe out in a given area, but it  
lays lurking in the wings, waiting a chance to explode back onto the  
	Humans, for instance, are a "K" species -- we breed  
incredibly slowly; we don't reach breeding age until 15 years or  
more, and a typical female rarely gives birth to more than 10  
surviving children. Elephants, eagles, and whales are also all "K"  
species -- slow breeding, emphasizing survival of children and even  
adults. Even in the good old days, half of our children survived to  
adulthood. An amazingly successful rate. 

	Rabbits are a fine example of an "r" species. They breed  
quite fast, don't live too long, and a typical doe will give birth to  
dozens of kits in her lifetime. Most will die, of course, but what  
the heck. A _few_ will survive. Another "r" strategist is the  
housefly, which doesn't even have a technique to survive the winter!  
In winter, pretty much all the houseflies in a given area die. No  
more than one or two out of millions can possibly survive the cold  
and ice. But those one or two lucky survivors are all it takes to  
repopulate your entire county with the teeming masses by late spring.
	Glorantha: broos are "r" strategists. I don't think broos  
live particularly long, and certainly most of their young don't. They  
rely on constant breeding to maintain their numbers, and probably  
mature quickly (I've always believed that a broo reaches full size in  
2-3 years). On the other hand, broos are not necessarily numerous.  
BUT, when humanity is disturbed, and conditions are right, the broos  
can appear in enormous numbers in only a few years. 

	Trolls are in an interesting state of flux. They seem to be  
evolving from "K" strategists into "r" strategists, if you consider  
the trend from uzuz to uzko to enlo. 

	Dwarfs are probably the supreme "K" strategists in Glorantha.  
Even the Brithini are pikers compared to them. Note also that the  
dwarfs recover incredibly slowly from disaster. They still haven't  
bounced back from their near-extinction of the Gods War (but they  
weren't hit any harder than most other groups). 

	Elves are probably outside this system. The numbers of elves  
is determined by the status of the forest and its ecology, not by the  
longevity or breeding speed of the elves themselves. In other words,  
the elves have a different limiting factor. 



From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Mystical Toe Chopping
Message-ID: <940628072416_100270.337_BHL59-2@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 28 Jun 94 07:24:16 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4880

In Paul's piece on Toe Chopping, he wrote:

> I am not sure about the Easterners; instead of entering the Otherworld
> they may just gradually realize the unity of things - this world may
> _be_ their Otherworld.  Not sure, leave them out for now.

I've just come up with a couple of quick suggestions for integrating them. 
Maybe Nils can comment: he handles the Eastern material better than I ever 

> So, who are the people with a presence on the Other Side?

Add: Mystics (including the Draconic, Kralori and Illuminated varieties).

> The shaman jumps into the pool of water.
> The priestess cautious sticks her toe in, with a lifeguard handy.
> The sorcerer cuts off his toe and throws it in the pool - "That's not
> me, it's something else that I can reach into the Otherworld with"

The mystic says, "What pool?" Or perhaps the mystic is a fish, or water.
He does not "jump into" anything: he becomes a part of it, and it of him. 
The two are indistinguishable.

> Things that were once part of you are always part of you, in a magical
> world.

And so the Kralori strive to eliminate the self? Different, less limited 
kinds of magic would become possible for the one who Is Not. You have no 
"handles" any more: the world cannot affect you, because you are not part 
of it. Or, perhaps, because you *are* it. (Not a part: the whole). (The 
whole which is the hole: as all is nothing).

Does this work for you? Or does it need more Taoism? You might be able to 
squeeze out some more detail from examining Cults of Terror cosmology and 
the Path of Illumination writeup. I think it's fair to lump those three 
"types" of mystics together: there are distinct similarities. (UnGodLearn- 
able, for a start).



From: (Eric Rowe)
Subject: Secrets
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 18:32:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4881

To continue the work of our fellow scientists, some who have mysteriously
disappeared recently, we need to take an analytic approach to the missing
secret of the god learners. As all we know is that it can be explained in
three words it is a simple enough matter to collect all gloranthan words
with a high probability of being pertinent and using powerful computer
technology to generate random permutations until the desired secret is
obtained. The first step is to create a database of likely words.

A sample of the process is contained below. Choosing which permutation
of words is the actual secret is the most difficult part. For this
phase each participant will study a small subset of the generated
phrases. An identical set will be sent to two additional scientists,
who will not view those phrases. When terrible calamity befalls one of
us we can be assured that the correct secret resides in the subset of
phrases read by our unfortunate comrade. The whole process can then be
redone on the smaller phrase sample until at last one phrase is left,
and then it can be spread throughout the world without anyone alive
having even read it. Worldwide simultaneous relevation at an appointed
readind time will surely free the secret once and for all. Good luck


Broken Mythological Landscape
Ancestors Equal Gods

Remember, do not read the phrases until all are processed. This will not
be your only warning.


ps Mandatory aaahhhhhrrrggghhh.........


Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Jun 94 23:20:16 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4882

I had a thought recently, about a possible Morocanth Hero. He is bent on
re-creating the Golden Age of Prax, and todo this he is releasing the INT of
herd beasts of various tribes, initiating them into the cult of Waha, and
teaching them the ways of intelligent beins. Does this fire anyone's
GUY HOYLE formerly Valgrim Bull-Answers-Twice


Subject: RE: Misc Stuff.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 Jun 94 10:51:09 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4883

Jonas Schiott in X-RQ-ID: 4767
J> All we can do is take the assumptions we like best and see where they
J> lead us. Then we can ponder whether or not we like the results.

Well, I think its not quite that bad.  We can ponder whether the results
are consistent with what the historical record indicates probably
happened.  But, point taken.
ANDOVER(name?) in X-RQ-ID: 4792
A> that people who used the term "magic" in the Middle Ages thought of
A> it as neither irrational nor nonrational but as rational;

Yes, yes.  Medieval magic was very rational among the upper classes,
once you accepted some really strange axioms, and a few odd ways of
reasoning that don't seem very rational to us.  For instance, you have
to accept that demons and God exist before using the Greater Key of
Solomon, and that magic works, but once you do that it is all very
reasonable (excepting gemantria, etc..).
Devin Cutler X-RQ-ID: 4797
D> However, I note that it may be that your death rate for Gloranthans
D> is a bit low...what with the current state of instant Spirit Magic
D> healing and easily curable diseases. I have always imagined that the
D> death rate in a Gloranthan city of 10,000 to be fairly low as
D> compared to a Terran ancient city

D> (Uh Oh, here I go again contrasting Glorantha with Earth. I'd better
D> but on my asbestos jumpsuit!)

Sorry, but I disagree, and point out the intro to the Glorantha Book,
where it says:

"Thus death rates for most of the human communities of Glorantha are
similar to those of ancient or medieval Earth,..." (p. 10)
Barron Chugg in X-RQ-ID: 4798
B> This brings me to a question I have always wondered about.  Gods
B> _have_ come into being since the Compromise (Arkat, Yelmalio, the
B> Seven Mothers, Dormal, Hero cults).  But when the Broken Council
B> tried to create a god all heck broke loose.  Somehow that attempt was
B> "contrary to the laws of nature".  Did the Council use some
B> particulary evil method (aside from the Dragon's Egg and all) or is
B> this just a great example of the winners writing the history books?

I think the difference might be that Nysalor/Gbaji was a major god, and
most of those you mention are minor.  The Red Goddess was also created
since time began, is major and look at the hullabellu surrounding
her creation/ascension.  WRT Yelmalio... where is this from?  GRAoY?
Dave Pearton in X-RQ-ID: 4801
D> I would view this as an extension of the illuminate's solipsism.  The
D> illuminate has a different veiw of the "soul" to others.  It is this
D> cynical attitude that allows him/her to ignore the promptings of that
D> part of him that he has "sacrificed" [which a theist would belive are
D> safe in the keeping of his god].

But what keeps the god from outing him in divinations?  I would more
lean towards the ability to be two-faced (at least).  IE: he can
actually BE a devout worshiper of several gods.  Then he sends the
loyal to Orlanth part of his soul to Orlanth, etc...  Kinda schizo, neh?

D> Btw:  What does an illuminate thing will happen to him after death?

Goooood question.  Maybe they don't believe any of the cults' stories
about an afterlife and so don't go to any?  They are wanting to become
gods and expect to live forever?  Might vary some depending...
Harald Smith in X-RQ-ID: 4805
H> Khalana and Orlantio

Do Khalana worshippers dislike/distrust Orlantio worshippers?  How do
they feel about Orlanthi?  How do they explain Chalana Arroy
Worshipers' attitudes.

The legend is very good (I was especially impressed with how dispicable
Orlantio is in this culture!).  It really has that myth-y feel to it.
Paul Reilly in X-RQ-ID: 4813
P> Some Roman priests were notorious for near-atheist beliefs, Julius
P> Caesar for example.  He was Pontifex and coldly cynical rather than
P> devout, and this was OK as long as he did the rituals right.

But of course by this time the Oriental religions and mystery religions
were the 'real' religions of the people.  Roman religion during this
period was entirely involved with showing loyalty to Rome.
Paul Reilly in X-RQ-ID: 4815
P> more later,

Yes, Yes!  By all means more!  I liked what you had, and it was
frustrating not to see where you were going.  No Comment, yet.
Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 4816
S> I think the ancients are different from us because their
S> cultures were different. I.e., 'tis culture, not technology, that
S> determines your society, your philosophy, and your ethos.

I quite agree.  Thanks for the book suggestion, I'll look for it, and
Thanks for MR. MAN SPEAKS-- it was hilarious!
Martin Crim in X-RQ-ID: 4820
M> Re: historical development of atheism
M>      According to _Without God, Without Creed_, Spinoza (1632-
M> 1677) was the first atheist.  (This is from memory, so go check
M> it if you care.)  Before that, it was unthinkable.  That's just
M> one example, of course, of historical change in mental states.

Well in Europe, maybe (barring the ancients like Lucretius), but what
about say Averroes.  And what about Abelard, William of Occam,
Machiavelli, Bonaventure des Perriers, Rablais, Marlowe, Bruno, etc...
Some of these were, if not quite atheists, close to it.  Admittedly,
before the time of Spinoza nobody could admit they were an atheist (even
then he almost got killed for it), but obviously there was not a sudden
change (revolution), but a slow evolution.