Bell Digest v940629p4

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 29 Jun 1994, part 4
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From: (Graeme Lindsell)
Subject: Fun Times in Glorantha
Message-ID: <9406290402.AA28192@Sun.COM>
Date: 29 Jun 94 18:59:25 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4905

 This is part of a discussion I had with David Dunham concerning 
calendars in Glorantha. The discussion started with references to David's
East Ralios Pendragon Pass game, which I've deleted as there is at least
one player in this campaign on the Daily. David suggested that I take this
to the Daily, and I agreed, since I think there are people here who know
a lot more about Earth calendars than I do.

 The paragraphs starting DD> are David's, and the ones starting GL> mine

DD>I don't tell players the S.T. year -- they're now in Year 19 of Ekel 

GL> Damn fine idea. I suspect that some of the local sages may have heard
>of Solar Time, but use it? Makes no sense at all, they're not sun
>worshippers.  ST seems mainly a GL idea, we know both the Dara Happans and 
>the Lunars use their own, while the West date from around Hrestol ie ST 1.
> To make it even more confusing for the players, make the Ralians
>date time from some date in Arkat's life, probably the founding
>of the Dark Empire or his apotheosis. 

DD> S.T. stands for "Since Time," doesn't it? I suspect a decent Seer could
> tell you that date, but it's not terribly important (except probably for
> determining geases, especially if you go by the Nick Brooke cyclical
> approach).

GL> Solar Tempora was what I thought it was, since the rising of the
>sun (though I don't know any latin, so it's probably crap). I'm not
>sure a seer would be able to tell you that: the only thing he'd know was
>that it did rise.

GL> Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a whole lot more different dating
>systems in Glorantha. We may even have people using different calendars
>and different lengths of the year. Those in different climates would
>certainly have different seasons. The West may not even agree on what
>date ST it is: I could see the Loskalmi saying it's 1621, the Rokari
>saying it's 1630 (say), and the Brithini asking "since which rising of the

DD>This could be fun. I think the length of the year is constant, aren't there
>phenomena that repeat on a yearly basis?

GL> There are on Earth, but that didn't stop many earthly cultures having
>inaccurate calendars. I believe the extra 1/4 day was a bit of a mystery 
>up until relatively modern times .

GL> In an historical novel on Rome I read that in late Republican times
>it was one of the duties of the Censor to add extra days (I think as
>religious holidays) into the calendar in order to make the real year
>as long as the official year. The Roman's official year was quite a bit
>shorter than the real year, and by the late republic they knew it. This
>is assuming the author wasn't making it up, but I don't think she was.

GL> Now in Glorantha the year may not be as stable as Earth's: the year may
>have changed in historical times (I suspect it did at the Sunstop, and
>perhaps during the reign of the God Learners as well). Many cultures
>may be using a calendar that's out of date. I fact, you could give the
>Brithini almost any year length you want, since they're probably using
>something from before the Dawn.

 Just a few more thoughts I've had on the subject:

 - I don't think asking Yelm "what is the date" by Divination would work,
given the timeless nature of the gods.

 - an advantage of using more confusing calendars is that players who know
a lot of Glorantha knowledge are less sure of exactly what time your 
campaign is set in. This was David's idea in setting his Ralian campaign
in 19 EFD: the players can't look up the Genertela book and find out
everything that's going on right now.

 - What the 1621 date commonly used in Glorathan products probably means
is "1621 by the calendar used in Dragon Pass". The Lunars use the
same date when changing their dates to ST; I assume the Dara Happans
date to Yelm rather than the rising of the Sun, or by Emperors.

 - A bit of Brithini trivia: A proclamation by Talar Phillipe of
Arolanit, penned and duplicated by Asthen the Eighth Scribe, and
translated from the Brithini by Shilkren Almonidias of Dunstop:

 "Date 1400122, i93783. To be proclaimed to all.

  It has been brought to my attention that those members of the
Central Colonies (1) who are obliged deal with the impure have been 
adopting the the so-called "Solar" calendar that these creatures have 
managed to concoct. This may make communicating with these vile specimens
easier but my Zzaburi have assured me that this practice will certainly
cause the degradation of those contaminated by improper thoughts. This
practice will cease at once, and all dating within the Colonies will
retain the Standard Brithini Complex Calendar (2).

 The iniquitous argument that this calendar is no longer useful to describe 
the current chronological state of the Colonies is hereby declared heretical.
Such an argument logically implies that radical changes have taken place
in the environment of the Colonies.

 Shilkren's notes:

 1) The Brithini of Arolanit still refer to their lands as the Central 
Colonies (and in fact the Western name Arolanit is a corruption of this
phrase). The Northern Colonies were based around Sog, the Southern were
thought to be in now-sunken regions of Old Seshnela.

 2) The Brithini calendar uses the peculiar Western concept of imaginary 
numbers. Thaminios of Glamour has written an excellent description
of this odd concept, which would appear to be the height of pointless
Western numerological speculation, with no application to reality.

 What the imaginary part of the Standard Calendar does is unknown, but 
examination of other Brithini dates shows that the imaginary number does 
not always increase. The highest values were reached in the year 955. It is 
also known that the other value does not measure years, but a period of time 
equal to perhaps 7 seasons. The "time" 0, i0 corresponds to the creation of 
the universe in the Brithini cosmology.

 Lastly, this document does not appear to have stopped the willingness
of Brithini merchants to use more useful calendars, according to those
who have dealt with them. There is no record of the Brithini having
used the True Calendar of the Goddess, though this may be through 
ignorance rather than the childish rejection common amoung our southern
provinces. I am preparing a tretise in Brithini on the True Calendar for 
our next trade mission to Ralios, so that they might know how the 
world now correctly dates time, and I have high hopes that these ancient 
people may learn more about the Truth of the current world from this.

 To this translation Shilkren the Scribe places her name in the
year 6/48"

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.


From: (Mikko Halttunen)
Subject: Ralzakark
Message-ID: <>
Date: 29 Jun 94 12:32:34 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 4906

In Dorastor, we saw that Ralzakark wasn't quite the big chaotic broo-king we 
had expected. So, if he's not that, what is he? I mean, what does he do
with all his broos? I would have liked to see more background in Dorastor.