Bell Digest v940920p2

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From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Gloranthan Geology
Date: 19 Sep 94 09:32:19 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6269

After long discussions about mooses, suns and other high-flying stuff 
now down to the ground, and right into it.

These ideas have been derived from the published Glorantha info on 
Gloranthan geology and have been expanded by me, partly for use as 
background info for my Heortland campaign. With an alchemist and an as 
yet landless knight looking for opportunities among the player 
characters, an essay on geology of the land can become essential.

All this copyrighted by Joerg Baumgartner, September 1994.

General assumptions:

[Sources: RQC-16f, KoS-53, 55, 57, RoC-177, SPH-14f, TG-17f, WF13-5]

The Glorantha Book from G:CotHW gives a very short statement on the 
geology and physics of Glorantha on p.8. The magical geology is 
detailed in Elder Secrets. More detail facts on Gloranthan geology are 
given in Snake Pipe Hollow, River of Cradles and the projected "Beneath 
the Salt" by MOB.

A fact that is a bit hard to explain is the abundance of massive layers 
limestone and other sediment on the surface of Glorantha. The best 
explanation I can give is that the Earth rose through the sea, and 
pushed a part of the water upwards which left its (in that phase of the 
creation low) mineral content on its surface when it slowly evaporated. 
Later actions of geology and climate resulted in partial resurfacing of 
the primal cold earth.

The prime shapers of the surface of the earth were Larnste, God of 
Change, Lodril, god of volcanoes, and his children, Maran Gor, the 
Earth Shaker, Valind and Inora, gods of glaciers, and the Storm, Sea 
and Chaos gods with their (mostly erosive) activities. Minor influences 
were falling stars and moons, plus the dead or sleeping bodies of gods, 
dragons and giants. Actual geology was initiated when Umath pushed 
Earth and Sky apart - the ensuing deformation of the Earth, and the 
invasion of Togaro and his followers and their fights with the sons of 
Umath during the Golden Age initiated somewhat conventional geology. 
Really conventional became the geology of Glorantha only with the 
reversal of the river flow and the start of rainfall, variously dated, 
but generally occurring when the Spike imploded and the remaining earth 
was broken in three separate parts (see Tales 10 for maps of the 

To illustrate a sophisticated Gloranthan view of the geology I provide 
an excerpt from:

An Analysis of the origin and nature of the Storm Mountains.

Duchamp Collectanea DC:1615.JSq.12-5

Duchamp, Truth/Stasis/Dark 1615

My Liege, King Owain of Heortland, and my esteemed colleague, Flindil 
Lambscraper, Royal Librarian,

I humbly submit these results of my research on the mountains your 
majesty's ancestor Hendrik made famous in his fight against the minions 
of Gbaji. This analysis combines research in written accounts, 
transcripts of oral tradition of the native populace, and reports on 
field work.

May St. Lhankor Mhy, Patron of Sages, bless this document with his 
Light of Truth, and shrivel those who profane it!

Jereginos Steelquill, Senior Teacher at the Aeolian College of Duchamp

[I might publish other excerpts of Jereginos' comments and quotes on 
this and other topics later.]


The Storm Mountains comprise actually several chains of mountains of 
different origin. The oldest parts come from the seeds Larnste 
scattered around Dragon Pass when he met the dragons at their nesting 
ground, just off the slope of the Spike. They were made of the cold 
earth of the earliest age of the Earth. The rock from this period is of 
a light grey with occasional spots and inclusions of darker material, 
and viewed thoroughly will show small crystallites intergrated with 
each other. Estimated period of origin is the Earth Age, still before 
the Green Age.
The next oldest rock found here comes from Lodril's invasion to the 
earth, which rose the Vent and the other volcanoes along the south of 
the Holy Country. Lodril's children spread into the east as far as the 
Wens of Corflu, and into the north as far as the Quivin Mountains. Some 
say that the Three Step Isles in the farther south were raised as 
mountains in this time. In the centre of this rising stood the Vent in 
Caladraland, and like the Vent these mountains show obsidian, 
basalteous rock, and layered ash and lava deposits. These rocks were 
scorched by the deep fire and generally have a darker colour than the 
rest. Estimated period of origin is the late Green Age, when this son 
of Aether invaded Earth.
However, most of the mountains were raised in the later Golden Age. 
When Umath was born and pushed apart Earth and Sky, the Waters invaded 
the surface of Earth. Raging Sea had separated Genertela from the 
Spike, and Faralinthor covered large parts of Esrola's land and 
neighbouring territory. After Umath had chanced upon the lovers and had 
slain Faralinthor, the waters in this region retreated to what now is 
Mirrorsea Bay, then hiding-place of Choralinthor. However, the intimate 
relationship between Esrola and Faralinthor had left its traces on the 
surface now again in contact with Air: chalky sediments, the ground 
bones of the children of Molakka, covered wide parts of the land. These 
sediments formed a white rock, sometimes permeated with darker bands of 
red, black or green, which Tarban the Plow showed to be remnants of 
conflicts between various deities in his treatise on the White Cliffs 
of Heortland (Lylket Knowledge Temple #103.573.A, copied as Duchamp 
Collectanea DC:878.Lyl:TtP.35-3).
The rising of the Storm Mountains occured in two steps. The first was 
the famous incident when Larnste had left the Spike to oversee Yelm's 
stewardship of the world, and found it wanting, for a chaos thing had 
wormed its way into the world and nested there. In his anger, Larnste 
stamped on it with his foot, which caused the depression known as the 
Footprint. Even though the thing bit the Greater God of the Celestial 
Court, its underground lair was smashed and its tunnels collapsed. From 
the force of the stamping the earth folded up. However, the thing 
remained, and only by the force of Lodril's spear, found left lying 
where Lodril had entered the Earth in the huge Obsidian mountain 
southeast of the tip of the Skyreach Mountains, which later was 
flattened by Argan Argar and made into the Shadow Plateau, and pierced 
the thing writhing inside the debris. Lodril had been tricked by Eurmal 
into his favourite weapon, the mighty spear of deep fire, in a drunken 
wager, and was trapped therein, unable to escape until returning to his 
chosen home. Exultantly, Lodril burst forth from his underground home, 
spewing out molten earth, rocks, and a huge pall of ash and dust. Kolat 
was angered at this pollution of his realm and summoned Bingista, the 
Good Wind, who blew this cloud back to where it originated, and covered 
the slime of chaos. As a result, the forest there was petrified. 
However, part of the dust still fell on the ground, and is found by 
miners just above the chalk layers left by Faralinthor.
The folds made by the stamp of Larnste now are the two outer chains of 
mountains, creases of chalky limestone, light grey on the surface, but 
white in the interior. Sometimes the petrified bones of dragonkind can 
be found there, buried before this incident, and highly priced by the 
Inhuman King who is said even to have taught draconic magic in exchange 
for good specimen of these. Other findings can include giant seashells 
and even the occasional giant pearl, like the six used for the 
councillors' thrones in the City of Wonders.
The final raising of the Storm Mountains was effected at Orlanth's 
commands by his half brothers, sons of of Kero Fin and Lodril, in 
gratitude for the aid Orlanth had given to Quivin, one of their number, 
against the rage of Vadrus. Orlanth wanted to please his mountain 
mother by reestablishing her connections towards the Spike, and the 
mountains reached far into the Raging Sea. The sons of Lodril, always 
the workers, brought up all the buried rock in praise of their and 
Orlanth's mother, so that all kinds of rock can be found in this 
middle, and highest, range of the mountains. However, their handicraft 
was no mettle against the occasional rage of the storm gods. Once Storm 
Bull wrestled with the chief of them, and twisted off his head. The 
twisted remains of his body form Stormwalk Mountain, in the southern 
part of the range.
During the Storm Age and Darkness these peaks were battered by battles, 
and the debris rolled off to form the foothills. Large boulders dot 
this region, and treacherously smooth grassy slopes reveal themselves 
as piles of rubble gliding of the real slope, sometimes causing 
rockslides if trespassed. Another large amount of these peaks was 
carried onto the plains when Inora commanded her icy minions to fight 
the chaos oozing from the hole the imploding Spike had left. Their 
glaciers carried or pushed down finely ground material which forms the 
clay hills of the flat plateau. The scraping of the ice tongues still 
marks the upper valleys, and they retreated only in a series of 
battles, still discernible by the morraine ridges they left in the 
landscape. The vast amounts of water melting off the beaten glaciers 
cut the deep gorges of the five rivers into the plateau, and spread 
wide fans of muddy soil into Choralinthor's hiding place, still visible 
when the Blue Streak has plunged downwards. The upper riverbeds 
sometimes have ore deposits inside their gravel: silvery remains of the 
love between Esrola and Faralinthor, coppery fragments of the bones of 
the earth, mixtures of tin and lead from Argan Argar's attempts to 
conquer these mountains, where he lost several sons, minuscule 
fragments of crystallized gods' blood, splattered up there in unceasing 
fights, mostly too small to hold powers except as component for 
alchemists' potions. In some places deep wells yield pitch and tar, 
remnants of Murthdryas children covered by shells of Molakka's 
offspring, used for lighting and building. A few sulfurous and mineral 
springs give witness of the ongoing fight of Faralinthor's scattered 
fragments with Lodril and his children who imprisoned the dismembered 
The interior of these mountains has remained largely untouched by the 
children of Mostal. In the Age of Gbaji once they invaded circular 
tunnels opening from these mountains, and found them unoccupied, until 
they were ambushed by either minions of Krarsht from the Footprint or 
troll guards from the Troll Woods, and were either eaten or forced to 
flee. The Iron Vrok did not repeat this attempt. For this reason the 
treasures of the earth supposedly still are there to be found by 
enterprising miners. The royal silver mines, founded during King 
Hendrik's Exile among the mountain tribes, give ample proof for this. 
Further to the north, the Kitori run mines crewed by hordes of worker 
and food trollkin which literally eat their way into the mountains. 
Their ore can sometimes be traded from Argan Argar traders, but a 
considerable part of the yield is used to outfit the Silver Spears, an 
elite unit of dark troll and trollkin spearmen trained to fight the 
magical monsters of the Foulblood Woods. The tarnishing powers of Tien 
require constant replacement of this metal, which has proven its 
effectivity against some chaotic features.

I append copies of the reports of Tarban the Plow on the White Cliffs, 
DC:878.Lyl:TtP.35-3, Arinstor Yellowbeard the Taxman's evaluation of 
the silver mines of the Martofsaetan, DC:1607.AYb.7-12, a letter from 
Mikhil Baron, private Gray Sage from Alda-Chur, on a dating method 
based on fossiles in and of limestone, archived as DC:L,1614.AC:MB.1-1, 
an excerpt of an alleged partial copy of Zzabur's Blue Book, a gift to 
the Duchamp College by King Hendrik the Fourth after his conquest of 
Refuge, DC:1254.Ref:Zz.22537-1269, an expertise by Scholar Wyrm on some 
fossils found near the Martof Headwaters before trading them to the 
Inhuman King, DC:1492.SW:134-5, interviews Korlmarl the Listener led 
with various inhabitants of the Mountains, DC:1595.KtL:24-13-*22. Not 
included, since ready to your perusal at the Royal Library, were 
Agricola's 13 books on the art of mining and the creatures of the Deep, 
the Flintnail Dialogues by Herendikos of Pavis, "The Junior Alchemists' 
Guide" by the infamous Delecti of Remakerela, Baranwolf's misguided 
treatise on metals and crystals, and Stein Meadcalfe's "Metallurgy" 
quoting an obscure Loskalmi dabbler in metallurgy. The "Annotations to 
Agricola" by Daran Bonehunter will give valuable cross-indexing to 
further treatises on this subject.

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: SMITHH@A1.MGH.HARVARD.EDU (Harald Smith 617 724-9843)
Subject: 2nd hearthmother story
Date: 19 Sep 94 11:34:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6277

   (This story logically follows the story of the original hearthmother's 
   death and is known throughout Imther.)
   The Burden of Ralaska
   by Harald Smith and Peter Michaels
   Ralaska is the daughter of Lahksar, the Celestial Servant and brother 
   of Arahar, and Queliska, daughter of Uleria and poet of love.  She is 
   said to have been a favorite child of the heavens, wandering amidst 
   the celestial hosts.  Even the death of Yelem and the withdrawal of 
   the heavens did little to affect her, though there were fewer to visit 
   than before.
   Eventually, Lagavar the Before Light came to court her.  He sent her 
   gifts of nectar and dewfire.  She sent him gifts of jewelled words and 
   chiming globes.  He offered her a place within the Crystal Hall.  She 
   accepted and asked Lokarma to lend her a cart of glowing alabaster.
   When she arrived at the Crystal Hall, she found Arahar there and not 
   his son.  Arahar told her that Lagavar was sent upon a mighty quest to 
   find and restore Yelem to the world.  But his love for her was strong 
   and would endure the quest.  He left a fiery circlet for her to wear 
   upon her head, symbol of his mighty feelings.
   Ralaska took the circlet and wore it proudly.  She returned to her own 
   hall to await her beloved.  As she composed an epic poem from words of 
   love eternal, Arahar came to her.  Ralaska asked him if Lagavar had 
   returned.  Arahar told her sadly that he had not, announcing that 
   Ratslaff had come to beg an audience with her.  Ralaska refused, 
   saying that she would attend to no business until Lagavar's return.
   Ralaska continued to wait for Lagavar in her hall.  As she sang a 
   wonderous melody from tones of eternal love, Arahar came to her again.  
   This time his spouse Teliska, Mother of Dance, accompanied him.  
   Ralaska asked them if Lagavar had returned.  They told her sadly that 
   he had not, announcing that again Ratslaff had come to beg an audience 
   with her.  Ralaska refused, saying that she would still attend to no 
   business until Lagavar's return.
   Ralaska continued to wait for Lagavar in her hall.  As she burned a 
   brilliant brightness from flames of eternal love, Arahar and Teliska 
   came to her a third time.  For a third time Ralaska asked them if 
   Lagavar had returned.  For a third time they told her sadly that he 
   had not.  Ralaska was about to dismiss them again when she caught 
   sight of a pitiful creature waiting outside her hall.  Ralaska's heart 
   was touched by the way the creature ached to be warmed by her 
   presence.  Ralaska asked Arahar and Teliska who was outside her hall, 
   and was told that the sorry thing was Ratslaff.
   At first, Ralaska could not believe what she was told.  The pitiful 
   creature was nothing like Yelem's Jester, whose jokes and antics could 
   ignite the holy Light of Joy in the heart of gods and men alike!  
   Shocked to her core, she agreed to hear the words of Arahar and 
   They told her of the terrible violence which had befallen the world 
   below since the Storm gods had come to power, which not even the Clown 
   could use humor to prevent.  They told her of the great despair which 
   had befallen the world below since the Earth Mother's slumber, which 
   not even the Clown could bring hope to.  They told her of the numbing 
   cold which gripped the hearts and minds of the world below since 
   Enveria's death, to which not even the Clown could bring the warmth of 
   laughter to.  They told her of the horrifying nothingness which spread 
   across the world below since the Children of the Void had ceased non-existing, which not even the Clown could make fun of.  Lastly, 
   Ratslaff himself told Ralaska of the darkness which covered the world 
   below, which not even Khelmal could bring light to, and that he had 
   been sent by Khelmal to beg audience with her.
   Arahar and Teliska told her of the sleep of the Earth Mother and the 
   death of the Hearth Mother.  They told her that without the warmth of 
   the hearth fire, the men below would surely fall to the powers of the 
   evil Storm gods or even the minions of the mighty Void.  They asked 
   that she descend to the earth below and make a hall there for herself 
   and Lagavar when he returned.
   As a child of the Celestial Servant, Ralaska understood.  She agreed 
   to descend to the earth below and become the Hearth Mother, filling 
   the homes and hearths of the people.  She agreed to this only with the 
   understanding that Lagavar would join her on the earth when he 
   returned from his quest.
   Though she was unsure of this task, she acceeded to it.  Like a great 
   streak, she plunged down from the heavens to the world below.  Khelmal 
   greeted her properly and she offered her aid to him and the people.  
   She gave to them her fiery circlet, her very gift from Lagavar, asking 
   only in return that her name be honored along with that of her love, 
   Lagavar.  The people agreed.  Khelmal showed them how to take up the 
   circlet then, and the people lived.
   But Lagavar could not return to her.  Instead, he was bound by the 
   cycles of time to ever lead the way for Yelem and to guard the sun's 
   path from its foes.  Though they loved each other greatly, they could 
   not meet.  Grieving, the hearth fire dwindled into ash and part of 
   Ralaska fled to find Lagavar, though she could not go entirely without 
   abandoning all the people.  Lagavar then sent the cats to her, a gift 
   to keep that part of her still on earth company, so she would not be 
   lonely and fall entirely to grief.