Bell Digest v940809p6

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 09 Aug 1994, part 6
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From: (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Sat, 06 Aug 1994
Message-ID: <>
Date: 8 Aug 94 08:03:04 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5551

Henk mentions:
>I noticed that the modifications would fit David Cheng's Rune Power  
>system; instead of regenerating specific spells, people would have  
>different rates of renegerating Rune Points.
	True enough. I'm still unconvinced (but willing to be  
convinced) as to the virtue of Dave Cheng's concept. I'm not yet sure  
whether it's more fun for a player to know he has the mighty Sunspear  
or to have a shapeless pool of points. (Though my proclivities are  
obvious from my choice of words.)

>Now that I've raised the subject I [Henk] will again plug my own  
>variant of Rune Power: As I'm more inclined to a gradual learning of  
>the "cult mysteries", I proposed to have people aquire the knowledge  
>of a specific spell each time they sacrifice POW for Rune Points.
	So, they would have to learn the spells in order? A Humakti  
would learn Truesword first, say, then Detect Truth, then Shield, and  
so forth?

Alex continues quibbling:
>Greg favours the disestablishment of the Established Church of  
	Hmm. My dictionary states that establishmentarianism refers  
to the Roman Catholic Faith, with a secondary definition referring it  
to any state-established church. You clearly are of the opinion that  
it refers only to the state church of the region in which the speaker  
himself lives. By either definition, Greg is  
disestablishmentarianism. I myself am such only by the second  
definition (i.e., I have nothing against the RC faith, so long as  
it's not the state church). 

	Hence, by at least one dictionary, if not by yours, our  
definitions fit us fine. So there. By the way, if you want to be Most  
Obnoxious Pedant that badly, I'll be happy to relinquish any vestige  
of a crown to you. You may have to fight off Joerg ... and Lewis, and  
MOB, and a few others. But if ANYONE views this title as highly  
desirable, they're definitively qualified for it, and I abdicate at  

Henk maunders on (this daily had the most I've seen from him in ages)
>What was the origin of the God Learners?   I feel uncomfortable
>about them being sorcerors (a.k.a. non-polytheists).
	The God Learners seem to have had both theistic and Malkioni  
elements. Everyone says they practiced "sorcery", and we know that  
they did most of their experimentation upon theistic, even Theyalan,  
cults. Probably no one now remembers what they started out as. 

	My own belief is that the original Jrusteli colonists  
abandoned any previous faiths, and became a Theyalan culture.  
However, some sorcerers were still living amongst them, and they  
maintained contact with Seshnela. 

re: Animal Cruelty
Klaus mentions
>St. Francis is famous because he was unusual.
	Yes, but he is also regarded as holy, not just unusual. His  
contemporaries clearly believed that his kindness to animals  
displayed great nobility and holiness. 

	If you look at the beliefs of the Jain sect in India, and  
most Buddhists, and teachings of ancient Judaism (even), you'll see  
plenty of exhortations to treat animals kindly. Obvious, not everyone  
did. You don't need to convince me that monstrous cruelty to animals  
was and is very common. But saying that such cruelty is common and  
saying that it is considered desirable is a different matter.

speaking on insects:
	Firstly, it's about the norm that the larval stage of the  
vast majority of insects lasts longer than the adult stage. All the  
insect's growing happens in larval form, after all -- the adult  
doesn't grow in size once it gets its wings (though it might put on a  
little internal mass). Despite Stephen Gould, entomologists are  
likely to keep considering the adults the "definitive" form for two  
excellent reasons -- (1) the adults are generally easier to spot and  
catch (larvae often hiding underwater, under bark, etc. while adults  
go flying around), and (2) it's MUCH easier to tell apart two adults  
of different species than a pair of larvae. Many larvae are almost  
featureless lumps of flesh, plus they keep changing as they grow.  
Much easier to use the adult stage, which doesn't do any more  
changing, and has some clearly-recognizable features (like sex  

>My idea is that tinimits might be a larval form of the species which  
>hatch into a spiritual imagoe before dying. This would account for  
>the lack of observable priests among the tinimits.
	I have to admit that in all my tinimit adventures, no one has  
ever sighted a priest. For some reason, an insect religious caste  
rings badly wrong to me. I HAVE had occasional insectoids with  
remarkable magic powers, but it's not the same thing at all. Hence,  
I'll buy your argument about the larval/spiritual progression, and  
suspect that at least the more sophisticated types of timinits  
(arachans, ephemerae) hold to this philosophy. 

>The only ancestors floating around Kralorela in my view are
>the unfortunates who committed suicide after the untimely passing on  
>of the Saintly Yanoor.  Since Shang Hsa did not give a whit for  
>these miserables they floated off unhappily terrorizing Kralorela  
>instead of waiting at the palace of excellent reward. 

	I agree with your argument here except that I believe that  
Shang Hsa preceded Yanoor by an emperor or two. I do NOT believe  
Shang Hsa was part of the False Dragon Ring, though they may have  
resurrected some of his powers.
	Before Yanoor's death, the East's hungry ghosts were  
doubtless mainly from the Kingdom of Ignorance. 

Joerg re: Kralori ancestor worship
>What about shades of the deceased, not their true spirits, but some 

>form of awareness?
	The Kralori have plenty of ghosts around. But I don't think  
that (most) Kralori worship or honor them in the way that the ancient  
Chinese did. I can see a Kralori village remembering to leave rice in  
the old haunted temple each Wildday because Grandpop's ghost flits  
around there, but I don't think they have special shrines to their  
ancestors in each home. etc. 

>What about the Buddha-like spirits who abstain from the perfection 

>they've attained to stay around and help?
	These are draconic entities, like the Inhuman King. There may  
be human versions, too, but in any case they aren't your ancestors. 

> Did the Theyalan theist missionaries (I'm not talking >about   
>Aldryami awaskeners) reach Fronela before the Second Council was  
	I think that the folk there were Orlanthi, just like in  
Ralios. They were "sleeping" Orlanthi, not yet awakened by the  
Theyalans, but Orlanthi just the same, no doubt with their own  
primitive version of Issaries. 

Joerg asks where the God Learners spread Issaries to (I think):
	Umathela, as a cult. The entire coast of Pamaltela as an  
accepted foreigner, as well as all through the West (Issaries  
merchants in Noloswal, while not looked up to as wise men, are also  
accepted in the marketplace). Kralorela learned about Issaries at  
this time, as did central Pamaltela (the latter forgot about him  
later on, tho). While only Umathela adopted Issaries worship, the  
other lands knew of him as a harmless and friendly cult, and that's  
all Issaries can ask for. 

>If not Argan Argar, who was the Darkness deity which enslaved Lodril  
>and forced him to build the Palace of Black Glass?
	Gore and Gash? Zorak Zoran? (Who has known ties to Lodril  
anyway). In any case, I think it was probably Argan Argar who built  
the Palace. But that fact doesn't mean the Only Old One was an Argan  
Argar avatar, nor does it mean that his cult was important at all in  
the early First Age. I think that Gore and Gash were as important as  
AA in those days. 

>>Issaries was spread across Genertela during the First Age.
>Into Prax, Pent, northern and western Peloria? Into Seshnela? I  
>doubt it. Into even further away Fronela and Kralorela? Not a real  
>chance, IMO.
	You're so wrong, Joerg. Issaries merchants traveled to all  
those places during the First Age, and were recognized as traders,  
known to be harmless, and permitted to set up shop. THAT's the  
important thing. 

	If you're an Issaries merchant and you visit Kralorela,  
you'll be grudgingly accepted and they'll set up a little corner of  
the plaza somewhere, where you can hawk your vile foreign wares. 

	If you send your caravan into Prax, you'll obviously be at  
risk of attack, but on the other hand, many khans will be willing to  
trade with you (if you're not too weak and vulnerable), getting keen  
civilized gear in return for hides and trade junk. 

	But if you go somewhere that Issaries is NOT heard of, you  
risk destruction -- Vormain or the Kingdom of Ignorance, for  
instance. Issaries has made his mark on Kralorela and Prax, however  
shallow that mark might be, and he has not made such an impact on  
Vormain or KoI, so his merchants cannot go there. THAT is the legacy  
of Issaries -- not a widespread church, but widespread acceptance. 

Ian Gorlick asks an incisive and sensible question:
>How do the Talars maintain their power among the Malkioni? They seem  
>to me to be without any real source of power of their own. I would  
>expect that malkioni society should evolve along the lines of feudal 

>Japan, where the noble caste ended up as powerless figureheads.
	This is a bigger problem in Rokari lands than Hrestoli, of  
course. I personally believe that several of the minor creeds, like  
the Borists, may have lost their noble castes entirely in just such  
the way you describe. (Except that instead of being allowed to carry  
on in impoverished splendor, they just withered away.)
	The Japanese nobles lost their power, but they were replaced  
by the daimyos, who were basically nobles themselves. The nobility of  
classic Europe didn't always go out and fight in person, yet managed  
to control armies. Why did anyone obey Henry II? Not because he  
personally carried a sword and could kill them. But because his  
minions, loyal to him, would do so. 

	Clearly, the nobility need to have wizards and warriors who  
are primarily loyal to them, rather than to the wizard caste as a  
whole. One way of handling this is to have the nobility be the guys  
who appoint new wizards and warriors. The final arbiters, as it were.  
In this way, you'll owe your office directly to a given noble, and no  
doubt he won't appoint you unless you've got political pull or he  
knows for sure you're loyal. 

Steve Harmsworth:
>So what the Shaman wants to do is gather POW spirits.  Having got  
>one, he returns with it (in his Fetch). He can then conduct a Ritual  
>Enchantment to create an MP Matrix using up all the POW of the POW  
>spirit to do so
	I have always played that you cannot force another entity to  
sacrifice his POW. At least not without his willing cooperation. I  
don't think a POW spirit has enough free will to be able to do this. 

	Certainly if you threaten his family, you can get a wizard to  
sack POW for you, but I've always played that a Dominated person  
lacks the free will necessary to give up POW for any reason. 

	That's my rules. It may seem like a bit of a kludge, but it's  
always convinced my players so far, seems to make sense within the  
framework of an essentially non-deterministic world, and the  
alternative is unthinkable (hundreds of cheap magic items at no  
personal risk/cost). 

John Strauass:
>Monarch butterflies, I am pretty sure, live more than a year. They
>migrate annually to Mexico. 

	Yes, that's true, but each butterfly only makes one  
migration. Upon their return, they spawn and die. Still only a year,  
in most cases, though I've read that it's possible that some Monarchs  
might make it to a second year. 

>I think I read once that it is theoretically impossible for two
>species to develop sentience in the same biosphere. One species,
>developing slightly ahead of the other, will wipe out their
	I've read this, but don't buy it. If two carnivores can  
evolve in the same biosphere, or two scavengers, or two types of  
tree, I don't see why two sentients couldn't. Given, of course, that  
they aren't competing for the exact same niche. 

>The reason I was able to do this is not that I am some sort of
>genius, (alas). It is simply that Glorantha is so well conceived
>that it is practical to think of it as a real place.
	This is why I love Glorantha. When you're exploring up some  
new (you think) alley, and suddenly "discover" that some old fact  
you'd half-forgotten has relevance, it's like opening a door and  
seeing the light shrine through.