Bell Digest v940828p2

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Sun, 28 Aug 1994, part 2
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From: (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
Subject: Things amonst other things
Message-ID: <>
Date: 28 Aug 94 09:32:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5904

Personal Attacks and Invective:

What really irked me about Nick's posting was not that he disagreed with me but
chose to treat my posting in a dismissive matter.  When I pressed him for a
clarification, he disliked my work because I do not follow his preconcieved
notions of how myths should be interpreted rather then offer any constructive
criticsm or alternative opinion like Pam Carlson does in X 5903.  I fear that
we will no longer have to worry about our vision of glorantha being gregged but
worry instead about our freedom to interpret glorantha being 'nicked'.  In 
future, Nick, instead of quibbling about mistypings, divining 'true colours', 
deriding other peoples work as tedious/tetendious and then have the audacity to
try and have the invective removed from the post, I would suggest you take off
your blinkers and prosper thereby.

Entenkos and Annilla:  A Mother's story

>I can't pretend to follow PHM's argument:  He says that Entekos is not the
>Mother of Moons, and that Annilla is not a moon, and that therefore... at this
>point I become lost.

I shall explain again.

Entekos is the Mother of Moons.

This is what was written by Pletonius on the Gods Wall between the acension of
Khordavu (say) and the Writing of the manuscript of the GRAoY which is between
220 ST and 244 ST.  The question is:  By what did the Dara Happans mean or
understand when they say the word 'Moon'.

We, in this day of 1621 ST, know of two moons: the Red Moon and the Blue Moon. 
(I shall not deal with the white moon as it has not come yet).  The Red Moon
rose in 1247 ST.  Thus the Dara Happans cannot have been referring to her.

This leaves Annilla as the Blue Moon.  Perhaps the Dara Happans are refering
to her?  This seems a plausible hypothesis until we look at Gods Wall IV-15
which appears the Goddess 'Annilha'.  She is described by Pletonius as "Goddess
of Death.  She is the assasin of Murharzarm.  She has bats ears and wings." 
What Mr P. DOES NOT SAY is that she is the Blue Moon nor does he associate any
explicit lunar powers with her.  

As confirmation of this in the Annilla cult writeup and in Elder Secrets,
Annilla is stated as a prominent heavenly body during the Gods War.  Yet
neither the Dara Happan Copper Ledgers nor the commentator's footnotes to the
prologue give *any* mention of annilla or the blue moon.

Thus the Dara Happans when they spoke of Entekos as the Mother of Moons cannot
have been thinking of Annilla.  (unless Nick, perhaps, refuses to believe in my
identification of 'Annilha' as Annilla in which case Sandy should hand over the
crown of most obnoxious pendant.)  What I believe the Dara Happans meant at
the time of the wrting of the GRAY by 'moon' is some of the celestial sons of
Yelm. (I must state that this is IMO).  Do you understand now, Nick?


>>I challenge him to produce one example where [Godtime] was otherwise

>Voria.  Firstborn and lastborn of the Gods.

The tales of Voria are contradictory.  In the prosopaedia GoG, she is referred 
to as the daughter of Yelm and Ernalda whereas in KoS, she is referred to the
daughter of Orlanth and Ernalda.  The Elves are closer to the truth I suspect
when Voria dances the rites of spring with High King Elf which (to my mind)
implies a pre-existing ritual.

This leaves us with two answers.

1) there were many goddesses of spring and the God Learners unified them into
one in order to comprehend the many earths better.  That is why Voria has
different birthdates within Godtime.

2) The myths of Yelm and Orlanth is this respect are bunk.  The theogony of the
Earth as cited in the RQ companion is an attempt by Esrolian priest to place
the six goddess in respect to Gata.  IMO the real cycle goes something like this

	1)  Voria:  Born when the earth first peaked her head abover the
	2)  Babeester:  Agonies of Puberty.  This makes the ale myth an
			interesting commentaries of what Orlanthi and Esrolians 
			view as usual behaviour for teenage girls.
	3)  Maran:	The chaste goddess.  (not gor yet)
	4)  Ernalda:	The prosperous mother.
	5)  Asrelia:	The even more prosperous grandmother.
	6)  Ty Kora Tek:The Crone.

Of course the Gods War transmuted the aspects of Barbeester, Maran and Ty Kora
Tek to the earth goddess we fear and respect today.  This is the version I


>>[I identified Gods Wall II-2 through to II-5 as being stages in life of the
>>Dendara and names for her cult stations.]

>In the Entekosiad, Arrira, Naveria/Sedenya, Lesilla and Koveria are the
>daughters of MaElsor, not of Dendara.

This mention of MaElsor as the father of Ariria, Naveria/Sedenya, Lesilla and
Koveria is news to me as is also the identification that Sedenya is Naveria. 
According to tidbits from the DHBE that Joerg has told me about, MoElsor was
some type of Creator God (although he did protest furiously at speculations I 
made to link it up with Lunar Tribe of Choas/Tribe of Law myths).  We can 
synthesize this information by MaElsor being the male father of Dandara and/or 
her children.  How MaElsor gets involved in this, IMO, seems to be a desire by 
the Pelandrans to fit a male role into their society which had been missing 
since Genert was killed.  I know more when I read the Entekosiad.

To me the most unsatisfying aspect about the myth of Dendara was that how she
got to be worshipped in both Dara Happa and Kralorela.  If she was born in
Kralorela and if she is not a God Learner composite diety, we have two
disparate versions of her myth.  In Dara Happa she becomes the role of wifely
fidelity and remains loyal to departed Yelm.  She thus appears in the myth of
Dara Happa in YS 25,000 which is when she was married to Yelm.  

In Kralorelan myth, she enjoys congress with Shavaya.  Now Shavaya we know is
the fourth ruler of splendor after Metsyla and Yelm.  Metsyla seems to be a
contempory of Murharzarm in that both are rulers after Yelm.  (others I would
speculatively place in this are Ehilm, Victorious Zenith and perhaps Valzain). 
Murhazarm we knows passes on about YS 100,000 but we know he was important 
enough to be chosen by Yelm to establish Dara Happa in YS 60,000 when Umath
tore apart heaven and earth.  Metsyla could have passed away at either of these
two dates (ie he is dismembered when Umath makes room, or he dies when Yelm
passes on).  This means that Dendara, the model of wifely fidelity in Dara
Happa after 60,000 YS (when Yelm is no longer near the earth) enjoys a
different reputation in Kralorela!



From: (ian i. gorlick)
Subject: Alison Place on Diverse Topics....
Message-ID: <>
Date: 27 Aug 94 08:45:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 5909

(Alison Place here, not Ian Gorlick.)

Now that I've finished reading 10 days backlog of dailies, which is not 
a quick task, there are a few things that I would like to stick in my 
tuppenceworth on.

1.  Arkat's father:  So, the Brithini are sure that he was only Brithini 
on his mother's side.  Sounds like they're trying to shift the blame for 
this one.  One of theirs as long as he was heading for Brithini herodom, 
but tainted by barbarian genes and influences as soon as he takes off!

2.  In David Cake's message (5655, a long time ago), he mentions the 
need for initiates to get back to their temple for holy days.  I have no 
doubt that when you live near one, you are damn well expected to show 
up.  An initiate who lives far, far away (OK, I admit this applies to my 
own guy Marcus, who lives at Ronegarth), e.g. at least a week's travel 
from the nearest shrine, much less temple, may not have the same 
restrictions.  A farmer who is away for two out of every eight weeks 
won't get all their farming done.  It could be that this is just one of 
the prices of being an initiate in many cults; you are truly expected to 
be there, and no excuses are accepted.  However, allowances may be made 
for decent reasons, and I would think that the Lunar Empire is 
particularly flexible in this regard, as an expanding organization 
wanting everyone to become a convert.  Comments?

3.  Bless Crops, iron in the earth, and how large is an acre?  

     To answer the former first, it seems that on Earth, the original 
definition of an acre was the area of land that a man and a yoke (that 
is, two) of oxen could plow in a day.  This was tremendously variable, 
and could have different measurements even on the same domain.  Various 
English kings (Henry VIII included, though he wasn't the first) 
standardised it as any area of land measuring 4840 square yards.  

     If there are any who would like to read an excellent description of 
the progressive abilities of medieval European farmers, I recommend The 
Medieval Machine:  The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages, by Jean 
Gimpel.  In it he describes the effects of better climate, three-field 
versus two-field rotations, horses vs. oxen, shoeing one's animals, 
using a proper horse collar, using more than one animal to pull, and 
different types of plows, to name a few variables.  Any discussion of 
what is a normal yield, or how long it took a farmer to plow, needs to 
define all of these.  For instance, "in the twelfth century in the 
Slavic lands, east of Germany, the unit of labor was what one horse or 
two oxen could plow in a day."  He describes yields for wheat varying 
from 2.5 times the amount of grain sown to an amazing high of 15 times.  
He mentions that the horse is generally more expensive to keep than an 
ox, and where population pressure was not so great that utmost 
productivity was not needed, the adoption of horses lagged greatly.  My 
local seer tells me that the Sun Domers in Prax have had great 
difficulty in raising good quality horses, so they are probably stuck 
with oxen unless they buy some good new imports.

     Neil Smith mentions that he feels that an iron plowshare would 
counter any fertility in the earth (5619).  I don't think so, as it was 
invented to annoy elves and trolls, not the earth.  Of course, who can 
afford one?

     For Bless Crops, I still feel that it is a personal spell, that any 
farmer could cast on himself or herself.  Whether changing the animals 
during the day would affect the spell, I don't know, and wouldn't worry 
about.  Since most farmers have to plow more than one acre every year, I 
can see the logistics of priestesses getting all their Bless Crops 
correctly cast when and where there will be no lost time to be rather 
formidable.  The idea that the ritual augments all yields, as in Tim 
Minas' message (5851), doesn't really sit well with me.  I would prefer 
to use Bless Crops to make sure that an acceptable yield would always 
occur, but spectacular yields were not due to that, but just to the 
great weather we had that year.  It seems more meant to be a safeguard 
against starvation than an assurance of permanent bonuses.  Neither do I 
think that it can be used to concentrated effect on smaller plots.

     In our game, there is a great spring ceremony on Aldrya's Day, when 
everyone plows their heart out from dawn to dusk, and then revels at 
night.  There is also the ceremonial copulation in the fields between a 
man and a woman to ensure everyone's fertility, and much private and 
promiscuous celebrating after the plowing.  It's one of those worship 
ceremonies that no-one minds attending.

4.  Disease Spirits.

     Thanks to John Strauss (5671) for the idea about every disease 
spirit having Summon Disease Spirit.  I like that one.  David Baur's 
idea of them being all around, but not obvious since they have less than 
1 POW (5668) doesn't work for me, as the usual rules state that one's 
CON must be overcome before one is infected, and that takes a good, 
obvious POW.  Are you using a modification of this rule?

     I was starting to think along the lines of a disease spirit 
actually breeding in situ, by using the parts of one's abilities or 
souls that it is destroying.  In this case, it is stealing them for the 
creation of new spirits.  In fact, I even had the heretical notion that 
it might be skimming unused magic points to do this.  I realise that 
this would be unique and need much explaining, but it does have several 
virtues.  Firstly, disease is contagious, unlike other forms of spirit 
possession, and this is what initially annoyed me about them.  Also, it 
would make a longterm chronic disease much more beneficial from the 
spirit's point of view, by increasing the chances of breeding more 
spirits, while being much harder to detect.  (We play that possession is 
covert, unlike John, and thus a chronic case is hard to spot, and can do 
a lot of damage before it is detected.  We spend a lot of money at 
Chalana Arroy being diagnosed, let me tell you!)  This is frequently the 
case among Terran diseases, which infect many more people if they are 
not virulently lethal.  Not only would the disease have fewer contacts 
with likely victims before killing their present host, but said host is 
frequently expelled from contact with most other potential hosts when 
their disease is so dangerous.  Refinements, anyone?  I look forward to 
the new Lords of Terror, and thank you for the notice, Eric.

5.  Vinga = Orlanth Adventurous for women.

     I don't like this one at all, for several reasons.  Since Orlanth 
is open to women, as well as men, why stick women in a special cult, 
unless there is something very distinctive about it, such as emphasising 
a dual heritage from both Ernalda and Orlanth?  Also, why identify them 
to all and sundry (not, presumably, that they aren't proud of it) by 
making them spend tons of money on hair dye?  The last thing that  
occurs to me is that everyone then thinks of Vinga only as Orlanth's 
daughter.  Special abilities gained from her powerful mother, or 
behaviour influenced strongly by her, are more likely to be ignored.

6.  Hyaenas, and other Praxian carnivores

     The recent discussion about Hyaena prompted me to think about what 
their position is in Prax.  The list of large carnivores is very short, 
and consists of Allosauri (huge!), cliff toads (restricted habitat?), 
Deinonychi (sight hunters, therefore daytime only) and very occasional 
tigers and Smilodons in the Zola Fel Valley, plus the hyaenas.  

     Hyaenas must be a dominant carnivore, and the true hunter of the 
night on the plains.  Hear the hyaenas laugh, and look to your herds!  I 
am sure that all native Praxians have much more respect for the hunting 
abilities of these animals than the discussion of them as carrion-eaters 
would indicate, though their position as domestic animals of the 
Morokanthi probably doesn't recommend them to many.  Mind you, their 
ability to gulp down huge chunks of meat at a sitting must certainly 
have given Genert confidence.  Is it possible that Hyaena has only had 
that and his bonecrunching abilities since that time?

     If you don't like hyaenas to be one of the most effective predators 
on the plains, what about the running bears of the earlier Cenozoic, who 
could run like wolves, and hunted in packs?  Bet they could stampede a 
herd just fine!  Or dire wolves, a lovely Pleistocene import.

7.  Sylila, as in, what does anyone know about it?  My former main 
character comes from there, but there is darn little information around.  
What is the societal structure, the original pantheon before the Lunar 
period, and any other quirks that might be known?  I know that Hon-eel 
is worshipped there as the maize goddess, that Sylila is probably a 
Heartlands wannabe, but little else.


     By the way, RQ-Con Compendium plus many pages of dailies can be a 
dangerous thing to read late at night.  I had the most peculiar dream in 
which three Orlanthi or Khelmali (can't remember which now) were 
retrieving some ancient (pre-Gondwanaland) Barsoomian gems from a site 
in South Africa.  On the way out of the old palace, which was now part 
of Kralorela, one of them got lost.  He ended up in the Queen Mother's 
apartments, who was extremely interested to talk to a real barbarian, as 
she had been studying their religions and languages as a hobby.  
Unfortunately, the alarm then woke me.

     Bye for now, Alison