Bell Digest v940825p2

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From: (T.J.Minas)
Subject: Issaries/Etyries, etc
Message-ID: <>
Date: 24 Aug 94 14:15:09 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5851

Issaries/Etyries etc

   A first comment: I thought the 4th subcult was the Heralds (emphasising the
Communication, not trade aspect).

   Etyries, therefore, may have been a very neglected subcult not mentioned in
the CoP writeup (as a subcult that is), due to a number of reasons: a) She's
a Lunar deity now, and would YOU, as a Lightbringer and friend of Orlanth, tell
your new worshipper's that your God's daughter defected to the enemy?; b) She's
a rival trading cult; c) Her status got really flattened by the God Learner's
imposition of the low status of women into the 2nd Age cult structure.

   Remember, the stuff in CoP is not 100% absolutely accurate and concrete
information. It presents a view of those cults defined (at the time) by a world
view that tended to be very centred on DP/Prax etc. For proof that this view
is not always correct, I think I need merely mention the write-up of Yelmalio,
and the subsequent Elmal revelations! (PS does this mean that Elmal/Yelmalio
is Illuminated?)

   Nick Brooke's point re the Priest at Corflu: I think that the priest had no
need to play up the similarities to get accepted at Corflu. Remember, the
Lunars and the River folk jointly establish Corflu! The River folk aren't
Orlanthi, so the priest has no need to play up any such similarities, as they
(River folk) will accept any trader I guess. Also, this chap was the High
priest of the market, ie its founder probably, as Trade rights revert to the
Ingilli after he fails to return. 
   The other explanations for the Etyries being stuck with the curse seem more
likely to me.


   Moon over Pavis

        I'm damn sure you can see it in Pavis for 3 reasons:
   1) How did the Lunars win at Moonbroth if you can't see it? (No moon = No
Lunar magic!)
   2) How do they stay in control of Pavis/Prax, have a temple of the 7 mothers
there, etc if you can't see it? (Same as above)
   3) No visible moon= no moonboat to come and visit. 

   As a heavenly body, I suspect that the Red Moon is visible all over
Gloarantha, its just that in Pamaltela (say) they have never heard of her
cults, etc


   Sever Spirit/Resurrection

        I think you are just normally dead from a Sever Spirit, ie resurrectable
as ever. Of course, as a Humakti, if you are dead, you are DEAD, remember?

   Also, there is a Humakti subcult that has a Divine SPell (2pt, I think)
called "Stop Resurrection", that prevents the target from being resurrected in
any way, via Resurrection, or being made into a Zombie or Vampire. If Sever
Spirit killed you outright, I don't think you'd need this.

   Humakt's Einherjar (Spirit Legion of Warriors) is open only to those Humakti
who have served him faithfully in life, as far as I can see. So Sever Spirit
certainly wouldn't send you there, unless, of course, you were a Humakti!


   DP Magic

        Joerg: The counters in the game are for convenience, mainly. They
represent the ability of the unit to project it's magical power somewhere. The
Sylphs are indeed unique as a physical agent with a different name to their
"parent" unit.
   When I said MgF is Pow, stored mps, availability of spells like Shield,
Countermagic etc, I was talking about MgF of NON-magician units, or those with
DSM only.
   Preparedness. Of course the Lunar units are prepared, they have been in
existence and training for years just to fight battles and refine their
techniques. Once you've summoned your spirits/elementals/etc, and placed them
in the bindings, they are ready. And as for having enough bindings, matrices
etc, the Lunar units probably have more than most, having been able to inherit
all those produced by their predecessors in the units.
   Sartar magical units are indeed weird. Everyone was surprised by how Argrath
managed to get whole heaps of strange people to cooperate.
   Incidentally, Joerg, apparently Sartar's Priests have access to Discorporate
(according to a letter I have from Sandy several years ago, in which he also
outlined the Tarsh unit the MoonHater's, and a tribal magician unit. See E-
mail to you)


   Bless Crops

        Perhaps the fields in Sun County are real small (N. Smith) because the
place is such a crap place to grow stuff (Alex Ferguson). Therefore, maybe
Bless Crops allows an increase in fertility per area. Eg, it will raise one
acre from "poor" fertility to "average". But, in Sun County, the soil is really
crap, so one Bless Crops spell (in order to get to "average" fertility) only
covers the small fields there. Of course, what this means is, you could cast
say 10 pts of the spell over all the fields of your village, generally helping
all the land, but not by much. Or, you could cast it on a smaller area,
boosting those areas by rather more. In really fertile places, casting Bless
crops would produce super duper crops! 
   Incidentally, if the areas that require Bless Crops most are kind of like
Northern Europe, and thus leave a third of the land fallow, you are only having
to cast the spell on 2/3 rds the land anyway! Doesn't anyone grow leguminous
crops in Glorantha? I want my Mushy peas and chips! (A speciality, I'm sure,
but there must be at least ONE decent "Chippie" in Pavis' Riverside!)



        I certainly don't picture this spell continuing for ever. I guess that,
unless either the caster, or a worshipped altar, remains in the area of effect,
the Sanctify drops. Thus, the Praxian temples are OK.
   For permanent temples, I don't think it's a Sanctify spell, as a) this has
a really awkward Spherical shape; and b) All spells stop when you are dead,
realistically (A 15min Shield will keep going if you die after 2 mins, but I
don't think a long term ritual would). So, I propose that a temple gains its
Sanctity by the continuing acts of worship there. A temple that has no
Successful Worship (X) spell cast in it at a Holy Day loses its Sanctified
status until such is performed again on the next Holy Day. (If you are really
unkind, a failed ceremony on a HHD could mean that it is out for a YEAR!)


   That's about it for this time. Just one final comment, as we are discussing
the great David experiment, and commenting on similar abilities for similar
names, I propose that I am the holder of the Benign "Tim" rune, and the Tim
Leask holds the Malighn "Tim" rune! 

                  That's it for now

                                           Tim Minas


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Re: Sandy on traders and antlers
Date: 24 Aug 94 18:44:34 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5856

Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 5833


finally provides me something to fire at again.

> 	FIRST AGE: Etyries was one of the Four Sacred Subcults of  
> Issaries. I'm not sure exactly what her role was, but it might have  
> been Enhancer of Value, in which she'd take some item, fancy it up,  
> and then it would be worth more when Garzeen took it to sell. 

Not at all my picture.

Dragon Pass: Here we have Harst, god of local trade and inventor of 
the Theyalan language, and Issaries, messenger god, pathfinder and 
Lightbringer. Issaries and the troll hunter god Zong are instrumental 
in spreading the Theyalan message of the Compromise and the methods 
of theistic worship. Trade isn't as much Issaries' province as is 

Seshnela: Here the trade god Garzeen becomes enamoured of Fenela, 
and pledges himself to the (usual) impossible groom-task. IMO this 
doesnt preclude a marriage, but is more like a built-in clause to 
allow later separation again - after all, this part hasn't been 
fulfilled. As long as steps are taken, the marriage takes place. 
For an example, Greg's story about the Pelandan girl in his upcoming 
Lunar book, read at the lecture at Convulsions, had her marry the 
Emperor of Dara Happa even though he had not yet found her father - 
he only promised to look for him, and sent out his servants.

I have no idea where Goldentongue hails from, or Herald.

Etyries: needn't have existed in the 1st Age. If she existed, I'd locate 
her in southern Peloria (Vanch or Sylila) among the earth cultists.

> 	SECOND AGE: The God-Learners settled on Issaries as a highly  
> useful cult for their purposes, and proceeded to edit said cult to  
> perfect it.

I agree with this, however from my starting point.

The God Learners realized that they had a lot of trade and 
communication deities to work upon to get one trade god for their 
expanding trade empire (not yet political). So they took the most 
widespread deity, Issaries the Lightbringer path-finder, and made 
all the local (and somewhat incompatible) trade gods into subcults.

In the 3rd Age the GL-tampered cult remained. A woman called (being 
the avatar of) Etyries joined the Lunar pantheon, and made ties between 
the Issaries cult and the Lunar religion.

Horned Tradetalk, or divided by a common (?) language:

> Alex Ferguson
>>[elk are] Not like what kind of deer, exactly?  They're in the deer  
>>family, last time I checked.  Maybe I've lost the thread of this  
>>thread, but doesn't it blithely state in G:G that there are Elk  
>>hsunchen in Pralorela?
> 	When an American (the bulk of native English speakers in the  
> world), such as Greg S. or Sandy P. uses the word "elk" he is not  
> referring to the beastie with palmate antlers, a swollen nose, and  
> huge size -- the largest of all deer. Instead, he is referring to  
> Cervus elaphus, which is large and potentially dangerous, and a  
> small, puny, variety of which is known in England as the "red deer". 

Not being a native speaker, I might be considered impartial in this 
matter. Fact is that while there might be more native speakers of 
Tradetalk in the US, there are far more users of Tradetalk over here 
in Europe. Elk to Europeans is the swamp-dwelling thing; cervus elaphus 
is non-European and unexpected in Europeanish context.

Maybe Greg intended differently for the use of elk, but like famous 
slips as "Not Yet", the metropolis of Esrolia, this might have developed 
alife of its own.

> 	Elk are behaviorally and genetically not similar to American  
> whitetail or mule deer. I can't speak for fallow deer. Elk are in the  
> same family as mule deer, but so are moose, so your argument that  
> Pralori should be moose "to make them more different than the Damali"  
> holds little water. 

Hmm. Fallow deer lives quite hapily in the culture wastes of Central 
Europe, outside the forests. It would even be encountered in Esrolia. 
Elk (in the European meaning) would be right at home in the forested, 
river-cut hilland of Wenelia and Pralorela since it was so in the 
core region of the Slavs - roughly on the same latitude as London 
or Paris.

> 	Yes, there are elk Hsunchen in Pralorela. They are Cervus  
> elaphus. There are also moose Hsunchen in Pralorela, and Fronela, and  
> anywhere else that has cold swamplands for them to enjoy. But they  
> are less numerous than the Pralori, who are proper elks.

The swamps needn't be that cold - temperate Europe like Poland or 
Belorussland makes perfect habitat for the moose definition of elk, 
not just an overgrown variant of the red deer.

Does this definition cover the (presumed extinct) plains elk of the 
Praxian history? Prax and the Wastes with all their bogs and marshes, 
even though chaos infested, make an elk of the European variety as 
likely as just another big antelope.

> 	Damali = [small] deer (I'm not sure what type, but I don't  
> picture them as fallow deer). 

I picture a tribe of woodland hunters, averaging around 1.45 metres, 
dressed in pseudo-Slavic leather clothing.

> 	Pralori = Cervus elaphus, a member of the deer family. 

Should this be true, I deny to use any Pralori in my piece about 
Ygg's Isles. I want sinister elk people, who can make a shield of 
the antler by cutting off the toothy bits, who can swim between the 
islands, etc. People tall enough to tower even over Ygglinga.

> 	Bullwinklings = moose, also members of the deer family. 

Who is this Bullwinkle? What's so funny about a beast likely to crush 
the upper half of your car when you crash into it, including the 
upper half of the passengers? A beast able to look Alex and me in the 
eyes when it lowers its head? A beast able to scare the heck out of 
today's overgrown cattle, not to speak about the smaller (about Merino 
sheep-sized, or Galloway) cattle the Gloranthans have? And yet able to 
hide mere 20 paces from you, right within sight?

Sorry, this escapes me. You could as well call horses ridiculous because 
of Jolly Jumper or Mr Ed.

And you forgot the Uncolings, the reindeer people of the tundra, who 
subsisted even against constant concurrence by trolls. I take these deer 
people (all of the above) as tough, and very unpleasant if aroused. 
Avoid them in mating season!

> 	I wouldn't be surprised if Trowjang had Hsunchen of the mouse  
> deer tribe. Itty bitty antlerless deer with huge fangs.

The men, or the beasts?

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Nick Brooke)
Subject: Misc.
Message-ID: <940824211311_100270.337_BHL36-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 24 Aug 94 21:13:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5859


I liked the Speculative History of Issaries & Etyries, especially the God 
Learners shaping the cult to mimic Western social classes, and the parallel 
with the Seven Mothers' development.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre:

"Lords of Terror" will be an expanded and rveised "Cults of Terror," 
including some new full-form cult writeups and many new Chaos deities 
(presented with their key rune spells, like the Troll Spirit Cults). Each 
major cult is followed by an NPC rune level native to Dorastor, and several 
scenario hooks. Thanatar (in "Shadows on the Borderlands") and Vivamort 
(planned for inclusion in a forthcoming scenario pack called "Tower of 
Night") are absent; there are LOTS of additional details on Nysalor/Gbaji 
and the Path of Illumination to supplement the writeup in "Dorastor: Land 
of Doom". And, of course, an expansion for the cult of Kyger Litor. 

Other Recent Releases: Tales of the Reaching Moon #12, Codex #2, and (I 
believe) RuneQuest Adventures #4 all came out in recent months. Greg's 
"Dara Happan Book of Emperors" is probably available from Wizard's Attic as 
I write -- details of how to order by phone are in the back of most recent 
Chaosium products.


[re: Sultans/Satraps]

> Isn't that just the translator who has changed his mind about what the
> best word is?

No. We know Carmanians had Satraps and Pentans had Sultans. Two separate 
titles. I was trying to reconcile the dilemma so anyone, anywhere, could 
"correctly" use either title for those rulers of bits of the Heartlands.

(Your real-world argument, though correct, would ignore the Gloranthan 
situations Greg's original usage and partial justification of "Sultans" 
created. We cannot all be gaming within one translator's mind, surely!)

Peter M objected to my ejaculation, "useless labels everywhere!"

> I would appreciate it if you gave a fuller account of what you disliked.

Ho hum. What I meant was that, in the absense of any specific cultural and 
temporal context, your musings on Antirius and Elmal were of no practical 
value to me.

RW example: "Zeus was worshipped as a werewolf; Jupiter was not; therefore 
Zeus is not Jupiter, or is not a werewolf." Discuss.

Myth happens inside peoples' heads. It is an outgrowth of culture and 
expectations. Words, values, customs, all change and influence what we 
believe happens among the gods. If something is IMPORTANT in my life, I 
want myths about it. If something is DISGUSTING to my culture, I censor or 
ignore myths about it that I might otherwise have used. Greg's recent work, 
especially poor old Plentonius with his hang-ups, exemplifies this.

Gloranthan example: "How important are horses, elves and trolls to the Sun 
County Yelmalions, given that none of them are found nearby?" Discuss.

Tracing a path through myths without also working out who believes in each 
step and link along it -- or, in many cases, when those links were first 
recognised -- is not a particularly useful pastime.

> Plainspeak: Dendara will not marry Antirius because she mourns for Yelm.
> Ernalda will marry Elmal because Orlanth's away.

Agreed, Dendara is a goddess of wifely fidelity, far more so than Ernalda 
(an Imperial Concubine rescued by mighty-thewed Orlanth the Barbarian, and 
already known for dallying with at least one of his thanes). However, the 
muths that would make Ernalda "marry" Elmal are presumably of Tarkalor's 
vintage. I would have no problem with yet another thane-adultery myth to 
parallel the Heler story (this would of course be the Heler- or Elmal- 
worshipper's let-in to the Spring fertility ceremonies).

When Orlanth's away on the LBQ, Ernalda is asleep (and/or dead). Previous 
absences are unlikely to have been "long enough" (read, "significant 
enough") for any cycle of "marriage myths" to have grown up. Of course, 
it's possible Elmal {takes Yelm's place/originally held Yelm's place} in 
the myths of Orlanth's wooing and winning of Ernalda: a rival, probably in 
myths on a more rustic/clan level than tales of the Emperor and his 
Concubine. And given Orlanthi year-marriages (and the like), I'd not be 
surprised to see a cycle of marriage-myths where Ernalda takes different 
"husbands" (on a trial basis?) and ends by preferring Orlanth (in the usual 
version). Could be fun to write.

> For the simple among you: Antirius does not get Rune Spells from Dendara
> (assumed). Yelmalio does. How can Yelmalio be Antirius?

Hmm. I think even "the simple among us" can see the fallacies in this house 
of cards.

Note that I DO NOT BELIEVE "Antirius is Yelmalio". But I also don't think 
that harping on every perceived (and/or assumed) similarity or difference 
between their mythologies is useful. Likewise Dendara/Ernalda. Try this on, 
and you will (and do) tie yourself up in knots, distory "known" myth, and 
discard useful snippets of cultural information.

We're talking:

"Entekos is Molanni, so Entekos is not the Mother of Moons. Plentonius and 
the Dara Happans were wrong, and I shall ignore their descriptions."


"We don't know much about Molanni, a foreign goddess already known in First 
Age Dara Happa. But she seems similar to a Dara Happan goddess called 
'Entekos', 'Right Air', whose titles in the First Age included 'Mother of 
Moons'. I wonder what this means..."

Incidentally, the collection of pre-Lunar moon myths that Greg read from at 
Convulsion is called the "Entekosiad". Make of that what you will.


I am keen to discover what role is played by the Elmal worshipper(s) within 
a "standard Orlanthi clan". I think this will be a better guide to how the 
god fits into Orlanthi society and mythology than the "Elmal-only" clans 
are; a more generally-useful thing to discover. I agree, whole-heartedly, 
that the idea of One Universal Cult Write-Up applicable to every situation 
is a vile God Learner aberration, and am sorry if our disparate wires 
crossed over this issue.

I was impressed with your suggestion of triatic (or similar) systems where 
the Elmali clan would provide soldiers to guard other clans of their tribe 
in the absence of their warriors. This neatly prefigures the "mercenary" 
ethos which the Sun Dome Temple of Dragon Pass subsequently embodies.

Simon Hibbs:

> The Veldang are akin to the Vadeli, I believe.

Not so, IMHO. Please don't believe this, as if you do it might come true, 
and then the Blue Vadeli would be back in horrible numbers...

> Perhaps every cult has a quest to become a child of the god(dess)?

Agreed, fulsomely.