Bell Digest v940921p2

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 21 Sep 1994, part 2
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From: (Michelle Ringo)
Subject: Chalana Arroy, Resurrection, and Vinga
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 20:26:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6293

          Whew.  I returned from 17 funfilled camping days at the
          Pennsic Wars and then spent nearly 30 arduous days
          catching up on all the dailies.  Here are a few comments:

          Vinga --
          I found the idea that Vinga is Orlanth's older sister was
          quite attractive.  If Orlanth is actually Vinga's father, it
          could be that Ernalda is not her mother at all, but that
          someone else is.  Perhaps prior to Orlanth's marriage to
          Ernalda.  Any ideas who that might be?

          Chalana Arroy/Resurrection/The Evolving World of Divine

          A.  Doves are cool.  They are symbolically attractive.
          Maybe if my butterfly ever croaks, I could once again
          advocate a bird.

          B.  CA trolls, if the troll chooses to follow the
          vegetarian/avoid sentient being approach.  I am amused at
          the prospect of a troll feast -- "No, no I'll just sit over
          here and eat dirt."  No wonder there are very few (if any)
          CA trolls.

          C.  With regards to the practical issues of gaming with
          relationship to Resurrection.  What is the big deal?  If
          Sandy's system were generally adopted and all resurrections
          were regained on holy days, then wouldn't it be a
          matter of the PC's death and chance of resurrection being a
          roll based on how close to the holy day (pre/post), status
          of PC with CA temple, number of CA, etc.  I could easily
          predict this number to be something less than a 20% chance.
          Slightly better than a DI without the loss of power points,
          but really not that common.

          My experiences with party members dying has also been that
          we are usually tremendously far away from any place where a
          CA would even be that resurrection is rarely an option.

          Finally, if a CA is in the party.  My experience when the CA
          priestess had resurrection and it was renewable (aside: I do
          not feel that CA initiates should have renewable divine
          magic) ran into about 3 scenarios.  1)  Resurrection was
          first come first serve, 2) Preference went to associated
          cults generally, and 3) a clutzy group of adventurers
          quickly used up all the resurrection available.  Finally,
          here is a experience that made it clear to me that CA's
          can not just "hang out" with any old party, even if it is a
          lightbringer party.

          My CA had just become a priestess and had received her first
          assignment.  She was on her way to the primitive wilds of
          Balazar and choose to travel with a group of Lightbringers,
          a Storm bull and a Zorak Zoran for companionship and
          protection (from Chaos creatures who would not respect her
          status).  She had traveled with the lightbringers and the
          Storm Bull before but the ZZ troll was new.  She was not
          very comfortable with the ZZ but not many parties depart
          from Pavis to Balazar on a regular basis so . . . .  As the
          party crossed the mountains into Balazar they came upon a
          dwarven guard post, look out, or ambush (this never had a
          chance to become clear).  The ZZ saw the dwarves and
          immediately leapt in and began to attack them.  My CA tried
          to sleep the ZZ in the interests of peace.  The other
          members of the party joined into the melee, up until the
          dwarves (the first dwarves we had ever met) pulled out guns
          and hand grenades.  One member of the party was exploded by
          hand grenade, so the CA started to try and sleep the
          dwarves.  As a result the rune lord with the explosives was
          knocked out.  The Orlanthi (and obstensible party leader)
          apparently lost his head and tried to get the Rune Lord to
          offer Ransom, before the CA could across the wooded area to
          offer direct physical protection.  As a result the Rune Lord
          Dwarf was extremely unhappy with the CA.  The CA was
          extremely unhappy with the party.  The ZZ was extremely
          unhappy with the CA as well.  So the CA choose to
          stay behind and resurrect the two dwarves in the dwarven
          party who were killed.   The party member who died stayed
          dead and the dwarves appreciated the CA's reparations and
          escorted her to Balazar.  She has not adventured with a
          party without a specific peace mission since.  She has a
          group of Balazarian hunters who escorted her around Balazar
          on her healing missions.


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: The Ice Lorry Cometh.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 21:35:21 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6294

Nick anecdotises, in response to my proddings about ex-Lismelder Humakti:
> Afterwards, he went off to join the tribe's Humakti, and they sent him back 
> to serve as a Sword-thane under our Chieftain. So now there's this foreign 
> guy, called Corwen, who still hangs around with us, joins us on our distant 
> journeys, and has a place in the weapontakes and clan moots, but he's not 
> one of us any more. Our brother/cousin/friend Corwen is Truly Dead.

My personal stab would be that this would be the kind of rationale used
by most Sartarite clans who have Humakti among them.  (They may just say
Severed from clan/bloodline/family, rather than Dead.)  But in the Lismelder,
I'd imagine that Humakti weren't excluded from becoming heads of a stead, or
chieftains, so I'd think it'd be possible for them to remain in the clan,
formally.  (Unless your brother had just killed someone tied to the Fire
rune, obviously.)  This might make one a Wimpy Semi-Socialised Humakti,
rather than the Pure Unfettered Well-'Ard kind, but those are the breaks.

> Anyway, we don't want people who wave big swords and embody Death to take 
> part in the Spawning Pools Ritual of the Great Newt. Might hurt somebody.

I suspect that for this very reason, tribes (or clans) Into Humakt In A Big
Way have sharper Male/Female Life/Death distinctions.

> Re: "Argrath's Saga" -- I meant "Arkat's Saga".

My, you are getting carried away with this Identification, Nick, you
closet GLish type, you.

> FYI, I've learned from Greg that in his view, 
> Feminine cycles =/= Moon cycles; pregnancy and menstruation etc. are not 
> connected to the Moon, except insofar as the Moon is perceived as female.

I'm almost tempted to flame Greg for his lack (for once) of an Earth
parallel.  However, it's a bit too late to do anything about it, unless
Gloranthan menses happen in quadruple time, or are keyed to some moon
other than the obvious one, which would be more than a tad unsettling.

(BTW, Old Moon = Oria wasn't what I had in mind, in case anyone is still
following the Great GRAY Identification Debate.)

> Everyone who worships, HeroQuests.

And vice versa, I presume.  The only non-example I can think of are the
dragonewts, who do neither (it says here).

Paul Honigmann wunners about Kalikos Icebreaker:
> has anyone got any ideas about it,
> particularly why and how this cult is so good at dealing with ice
> demons .... that is, why they are better than other cults which have
> fire magic for example.

Cartloads of salt and grit, obviously.  I can picture the subcult (spirit
of reprisal?) of Slush.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: A fertile line of discussion.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 21:10:16 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6295

Martin Crim points out that I point out, re: the question "are Yelmalio
and Elmal the same god?", and others of that ilk:
> >This is a false dichotomy, of course, one we might entitle God
> >Learners' Choice.  Asked: "Are these two gods the same", one
> >should respond [...]

> Let's not forget the also-popular "Why do you want to know?"

Good one.  If he's shaky on that one, we follow up with the classic:
"You aren't a... God Learner, are you?"

> I'll be repeating this ad nauseam until Alex eats too much haggis
> and dies.

You'll all be pleased to hear that I only eat haggis if the alternatives
are Craigie College tagliatelli, death, or bashed neeps, in increasing
order of desperation, so this means of expiration cannot be shown to make
finite progress.

> >>>This would seem more likely if either: Pameltela actually
> >>>_was_ more fertile than Genertela; ... 
> >>It is.  See same citation, above. 
> >I don't think this makes much sense.  If Pamaltela had twice the
> >population of Genertela, rather than half, this might be
> >marginally more convincing. 

> I think the error in your logic above is the unspoken assumption
> that land fertility correlates directly with population.  Once
> you look at it that way, you can draw your own counter-example.

Unspoken, as unassumed.  Fertility does put an upper bound on the
population density of a (sufficiently large) area though, and if the
population if depressed below this for some other reason, it would
similarly put the kibosh on the Pameltela Good, Genertela Bad.

The basis of the Death of Genert myth is the whole Nasty Chaos Incident.
We know this is an important part of (most) Genertelan mythology, less
so in Pameltela.  However, only the Praxians believe that this seriously
buggered things up, fertility-wise, unless one wishes to employ The-Gods
Speak-Tradetalk arguments.

Those of us wheeling out Genert and Pamalt as parallel equal brothers
agruments, and concluding that as a result, everything in Genertela is
Broken, and everything in Pamaltela is Fixed seem to be viewing the
continents through spectacles with oddly-coloured lenses.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Pelandans, not dead, just forgotten.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 21:51:02 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6296

Loren Miller wanders into the crossfire:
> (Alex Ferguson) replies to Joerg replying to him:
> > > > Pelandan culture is pretty much extinct [...]

> > The Pelandans had already gone by the time the Lunars
> > got there [...]

> Ahem. The Pelandans are not gone. They are still around, serving as a
> peasant underclass in Carmania proper.

Gone as an (intact) culture, I certainly didn't mean exterminated.  Fairly
clear from earlier context, I thought.

> Most of their old secret powers
> may be gone, and if they ever held the secrets of writing their own
> characters they have lost them by now, but there are plenty of
> ethnically pure Pelandans running around in Bindle and Worion and
> Jhor, even in Spol.

Ah, ethnicity, that schwah-concept which switches between "race" and
"culture" faster than a monostable gate on uppers.  Racially, yes,
culturally, no.  If their culture is preserved anywhere to any extent,
it's in the Generic Pelorian Farmer Culture, not the especially-stepped-on
Oppressed Carmanian Peasants, I think.

> There's even still a
> grain goddess or whatever called Pela and I bet that her cult holds
> some secrets from the old days if you care to ferret them out.

Well yes, and indeed the Lunars appear to have thought of this a century
or two ago.  Or at least I think so, I'm having trouble keeping track of
the Entekosiad players without the proverbial programme.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: The Sinking of Sandy.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 21:12:18 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6297

Sandy "Bite me, Sending Gods" Petersen dares:
> When the God Learners got too  
> close to the _real_ reality in Glorantha, it stepped up and bit them. 

Who thinks Sandy is about to be squished by a Gift Carrier?  I'm glad to
say I think he's cold enough to be pretty safe.

> Alex doesn't think that Pamaltela is _really_ more fertile than  
> Genertela.
> >I don't think this makes much sense.  If Pamaltela had twice the  
> >population of Genertela, rather than half, this might be marginally  
> >more convincing.
> 	More Fertile doesn't mean More People, Alex. The Most Fertile  
> places on the face of the earth (measured by biologic productivity)  
> are swamps and jungles. Pamaltela has plenty of swamps and jungles.  
> But these aren't environments in which large numbers of humans  
> thrive. 

I wasn't counting humans, though, I was counting sentients.  Of course,
the non-humans infesting said areas don't worship Pamalt, so by rights I
_should_ have excluded them, unless Pamalt goes out of his way to aid
his enemies.

> 	The strongest evidence for Pamaltela's fertility is not only  
> the swamps & jungles, but the interior plains of Jolar, Kothar, etc.,  
> In any rational land, such interior areas, cut off from the sea by  
> mountains, flat, and with few rivers (and those that exist draining  
> into a dry dead sea) would be a horrifying desert, as bad as the  
> Sahara or the Empty Quarter of Arabia. 

Or like central southern Africa, for which much the same can be said.  I
don't have enough data on the P. plains to argue either case in detail,
but however his benign influence is manifest, I bet it's equally possible
to them explain by secular, or other religious, means.

> 	It's not -- in fact, it supports a reasonably prosperous  
> group of nomads. The only possible reason is because Pamalt's  
> influence POWERFULLY mitigates the disaster. 

I have no objection to how one rationalises the fertility that's present,
I just don't want to have to try to struggle to believe a handful of grain
dropped in the middle of the veldt grows better than in an unblessed field
in Esrolia.  (Assuming one can _find_ an unblessed field in Esrorlia in
a non-statistically-skewed way.)

> 	Finally, one of the major population sources of Genertela is  
> Kralorela, which IMO does not suffer much from Genert's death,  
> because he has been replaced by the Emperor, who now holds  
> responsibility for all such matters. 

An argument of great hokeyness.  The Kralori Emperors don't claim to be
Genert's successors, but Yelm's.  Nor did they seem big on the big guy in
the first place.

> 	I think that Praxians, like Orlanthi, regard Trickster and  
> his deeds as absolutely essential to the nature of the cosmos.

But more grudingly, I think.  Less printably, too, as I discovered when
I contacted one of my Reliable Sources for a quote.

> 	After all, it's not like Trickster is an endangered species.

How true.  After all, he personifies one of the two most common elements
in the Gloranthiverse.  ("Chaos and Stupidity."  -- Barlan Elision,
Noted Slavewall Futurist.)

> > I favor Hyena as the Praxian trickster, because Coyote is too  
> >similar to the Real World
> 	I kind of think of Raven as the real trickster of Prax. Hyena  
> I see as one of his friends.

I suspect that any shaman with either of these Merry Pranksters as a
totem is "trickster" enough to be going on with.  Tribeszealouts don't
generally stop to debated God Learner Identity in cases concerning chaos,
buffoonery, and people who helped eat the God of the Land.

> 	3) after the Opening, 6 groups of multi-colored folks live [on Teleos]
> who hate one another, but give birth to each other's children.

I like to think of them as being a little like a colour-coded EU.  (That's
EC if you're behind on your acronyms.  (That's EEC if you're _very_ behind
on your acronyms.  (That's the left-hand bit of Europe, if you don't do
acronyms.)))  That was agreement, in case anyone was confused.  You should
hear the arguments they have about what size of banana is best.  I believe
the Purple People are foremost in the Big Banana faction, but Teleos politics
makes my head hurt, so I may be wrong.
> 	5) there's dragonewts. 

Is it Known if these 'newts have an Inhuman King, or are heterodox in some



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: RQ2 taints.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 22:21:42 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6298

Loren Miller:
> There are a lot of leftover casual mentions of
> things as "chaotic taints" in RQ2 and RQ3 products that should be
> ignored. Greg Stafford told me once that Giants and Cave Trolls *do
> NOT* have chaotic taints no matter what the monster listings say, so
> IMHO you should ignore the chaos taint claim for the Mother of Lizards
> too.

Giants were merely confused as being chaos tainted at one point, I don't
think there's any connection.  Cave trolls have chaos invoked in their
origin myth, so there's at least a case here.  Are they Really Tainted?
Their owners will say not, I'm sure, as will most "reasonable" trolls.
Zorak Zoran Racial Purity freaks will doubtless say they are chaotic, kill
'em all.  But then, don't they always?  Humans may vary in their opinion
depending on whether they are troll symps or not (hennnnd: cue Sandy );
unreconstructed enemies really couldn't give a shit, either way.  "Troll,
chaos, hell, kill it anyway."

I find a Strange Ally in Devin:
> Not Chaos, although I suppose any Stormbull who noted strange skin colouring
> and texture on someone might equate it with Chaos, but the Mother of Lizards
> is certainly not Chaos connected.

Absolutely.  Let's not forget that when discussing when something is Really
Is chaos-tainted, that we generally only have some passing Storm Bull's
word for it, whose algorith may often resemble:

if funny_looking(thing) then
   if has_lunar_written_across_forehead(thing) then

Loren on the The River of Cradles scenario:
> I'd think that an ogre would be rejected for this
> particular task, and would probably end up at the bottom of the river
> trying hard to learn how to breathe water.

I thought trying to Breathe Water was the point of the Deus ex Machina



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Vinga and associates.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Sep 94 22:53:51 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6300

Bryan J. Maloney:
> Okay, so Elmal might not give a Sunspear, then how about the Fireblade spirit
> spell?

I suspect they don't have that either, though I don't think there are
actually Forbidden it.  (And nor does KoS imply they don't have it, so this
really just guesswork.)

> As for "Remove Penis"--that's a typical Eurmal gift.  Who is to say that
> all gifts from associate cults have to be "useful" in a gaming context?

Anyone who feels like it, but certainly not me.  But I can't see any
but the wackiest of Vingan temples having such a shrine in one of their

> Also, the Catseye from Yelmalio is justified by Vingans as a grudging gift,
> for which they must pay double.  Yelmalions who have a cult lore of less than
> 90% probably don't believe that Vingans really get the spell.  Those with a
> cult lore of greater than 90% learn a shameful secret of the cult:  Yelmalio
> does have some sort of relationship with Vinga.  

In order to be an "associate" in game-mechanical terms (and associate
is, after all, a game mechanical term), then you either need to have a
shrine to Yelmalio in Vingan temples (or the Orlanth temples they use),
or at least for the Yelmalions to welcome them into _their_ temples.
Neither strikes me as likely (on the evidence of the proposed myth).
One could always use some sort of ZZ-esque (or Orlanthi-like)
captured-magic subcult, though precedent would suggest doing this for
magic actually lost by Yelmalio.