Bell Digest v941005p3

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Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Wed, 05 Oct 1994, part 3
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From: (David Cake)
Subject: Kitori and Black Arkat
Message-ID: <>
Date: 5 Oct 94 02:23:17 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6467

        It certainly seems like the discussion  of the various Dark
worshipping humans in Kethaela has piqued peoples interest.

Replying to Bernard about the Temple of Black Arkat

>The following deals (to my satisfaction anyway) with several thorny
>questions surrounding the Temple of Black Arkat. In particular, it
>explains (1) why the Temple appears on no map and (2) why it has no Troll 
There are an awful lot of Temples that appear on no map! Most of the maps
of Heortland are pretty large scale and thin on detail, so it is no
surprise to me that it appears on no map. The Arkat write up also says that
Arkat temples are rarely larger than shrines, so even presuming that the
House of Black Arkat is a very large temple by Arkati standards, we are
still talking a minor temple. No wonder it doesn't appear on any maps.

I quote the entire official knowledge on the subject of Temple of Black
Arkat, for reference
        'The Temple of Black Arkat
        In the Holy Country, in the land of Heortland, is the House of
Black Arkat. This is a temple of the cult which teaches sorcery to its
initiates, and is, in every way, just like the troll cult, except that all
its initiates are human.'

>The Temple of Black Arkat is not a place, but a Society of human Sorcerors
>dedicated to the extirpation of Chaos through wholesale adoption of the
>Way of Darkness as revealed to humanity by Arkat Kingtroll.

        I think that it is a place. It may even be that most of its
initiates do not live there, and wander Kethaela, but I do think that it is
a place.

> The Black
>Templars are excessively trollophile: 

I like the term Templars. Joerg and I in private conversation have compared
them to the Knights Templar, a warrior cult with many overtones of religion
and mysticism, sorcery, and conspiracy. OK, so that might be a bit hard on
the historical Templars, but you know what I mean.

> The Troll Adoption Rite (Book of Uz pp
>34-35) is their supreme sacrement. 

A plausible idea, as Arkat himself underwent it, and did particularly well.
(see Jonstown Compendium fragment in Troll Gods). It seems unlikely to be
common in a cult with no troll members, regarded disdainfully by most
trolls, though.

Zorak Arkat the Black Angel of Death,
>divesting themselves of their humanity the better to fight brute Chaos.

There is no requirment to become a troll to join Zorak Zoran, there are many
human worshippers. I think that the combination of the two is a fairly
common manifestation of Arkat worship, judging by all those places called
Zorakarkat scattered round the world.

>. Their mission is to keep the Chaos Nest in Larnste's Footprint
>from seeping through the Stonewood into the surrounding countryside. 

        For reasons I will explain later, near the Footprint is exactly
where I think that they AREN'T.

>Zorak Zorani Death Lord pause. Their extensive use of the sorcery spell
>Animate Dead to fight Chaos makes them very unpopular with Humakti.
        I know where this bit comes from! So that other people can
understand the sub text of our conversation, Bernard is running a human
Arkati sorcerer in my campaign (I want to playtest RQ4 sorcery), and one
that uses Animate Dead.
However, I do agree. I suspect that the use of Animate Dead is only a
symptom, not a cause. Humakti already distrust them quite enough already -
they hang out with ZZ, and they worship troll Arkat, after his Humakti
betrayal. The use of Animate Dead is consistent with Zorak Zorani
associated sorcerers.

> Trolls
>view this Uz-wanna-be society with secret amusement, but respect its
>anti-Chaos zeal. Obviously, no _real_ Uz would dream of becoming a member. 
I have a much simpler answer to why no trolls are involved, which also
neatly answers the question of why there are two separate groups of
Darkness worshipping humans in Heortland. 
        It is simply that I think that the Temple of Black Arkat is not
near the Troll Woods, and not too close to the Shadow Plateau, and thus has
no trolls in it simply because it is not near any trolls. It could well be
a relic of when the Only Old One ruled. 

>NB: reference to Angels above stems from my conviction that the Kitori 
>are Henotheists -- and hence capable of living side by side w/ trolls 
>whose Orlanth-unfriendly gods are conveniently incorporated into the 
>rubric of Malkionism as dutiful servants of the Invisible God.
        Definately disagree here. Apart from the wisdom of adding yet
another group of henotheists to the Kethaela area (as pointed out by
someone else, the number of Westerners is getting out of hand).
        The general concensus (at least Joerg and I and Sandy agree) is
that the two races live side by side due to the sacred marriage of their
leaders. They are divine magic users, and the reason that they can combine
troll unfriendly gods with the Orlanth pantheon is that they do not revere
Orlanth himself that much, but see Argan Argar as the more common deity.
Thus the Troll Kygor Litor Queen has no problem with allying herself to an
Argan Argar King, and the Ernaldans simply revere Argan Argar as foremost
husband protector. No Henotheism necessary, I'm glad to say. 
        There are Arkati among the Kitori, though. They exist in roughly
the same proportions as among the trolls of the area, which is to say a
very small percentage. Of the small number of Arkat worshippers, though, a
large %age are professional sorcerers (Joerg and I disagree on what %age,
but at least 10% or so, I think higher), and another large proportion are
part of the household of a professional sorcerer. Human Arkati are probably
almost as common as troll Arkati among the Kitori (who have had a long time
to get used to the idea). Most of them will be Argan Argar worshippers, at
least among the humans (the trolls are probably mostly just Kygor Litor),
but there is probably a significant minority of Zorak Zorani anti-chaos
fanatics, given the closeness of the Rubble.
        BTW note the great strength of the Argan Argar cult - and
conveniently situated on or near the major trade routes from Sartar to
Heortland. Very convenient. 
        Another thing worth noting is there is one famous troll from the
Hero Wars period, described as being from the south, which presumably means
the troll woods, so probably a Kitori. He is Obash Broos-smasher, a
runelord with an intelligent sylph for an allied spirit! He is an Argan
Argar cultist as well as a KL worshipper, friendly to human Argan Argari,
and his family is described as holding the roads to the south, and as
raiding Sartar (and Lunars in Sartar) often. 

>Bernard Langham . . Perth, Western Australia