Bell Digest v941007p2

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Fri, 07 Oct 1994, part 2
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From: (Nick Eden)
Subject: Return of Geas
Date: 6 Oct 94 18:50:52 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6507

In-Reply-To: <9410050816.AA07245@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>

> From: (Peter J. Whitelaw)

> Nick aired some grievances about the 'geas' mechanism as it stands.  I
> have toconfess that I had not given this subject much thought before
> now.  Onreflection, however, I tend to agree with much of Nick's post. 
> The mostpersuasive arguement being:
> >I just can't help thinking of RQ OT characters in the Cult of Yahweh
> being >allowed to pick and choose (or rolling 1D10 to discover?) which
> of the Ten >Commandments they'll have to follow...
> I expect that a good Yelmalion, or Humakti, is going to try damn hard to
> abideby all the 'geasa' listed.  I rather suspect that these represent
> just the tipof the iceberg though, particularly in the Yelmalion cult. 
> It would notsurprise me to learn that there are all manner of
> restrictions, customs,traditions and etiquette that ought to be adhered
> to.  Many of course havingbeen drawn from myth and legend.  Along the
> lines of, 
> 'It is said that, during the Solitude of Testing,  X did Y.  Therefore,
> all good Yelmalions also do Y.'
> 'Since Z does Y, he is a good Yelmalion.  QED.'

If we look at the nature of the Geases laid down by each cult I think 
it's obvious that they will behave differently. Humakti Geases can all be 
obeyed by the samer person, and from this I conclude that a good Humakti 
will at least try to do so. one of his vows he will have dedicated 
himself to obeying in particular, and from this he will derive some 
benefits, but the rest are always there.
Yelmalions (and for that matter Thanatari) have a different set of geases 
and a different approach to them. No-one could expect a Yelmalion to obey 
all the geases out there, even if (and I think there will be) good 
spiritual reasons for doing them all. Apart from anything else an entire 
culture that thought that total celibacy was an ideal everyone should 
aspire to will die out pretty fast - look at the shakers. And thats 
before we encounter the dietry requirements - they'd end up fasting to 
death.Yelamlion geases are generally less to do with what makes Yelmalio 
Yelmalio than are their humakti equivanlts. 'Never attack from ambush' 
has a lot more to do with Humakt's role as God of death and honour than 
'Never eat the meat of a bird' has to do with Yelmalio.
My feeling is that in humakti society  one aspires to be truely Humakt - 
avoiding ambush, poison, weapons that are not swords, magic gained before 
the embraced the Lord of Death and generally not being as pro healing as 
the rest of us are. 
A Yelmalion on the other hand doesn't do that. He can't follow all those 
contradictory geases. A Yelmalion. IMHO, beleives that the important 
thing is not simply to live by Yelmlio's code, but to swear an oath that 
he will forever emulate Yelmalio in one specific way. The way may be 
rather trivial - never eat the felsh of bird, or quite important - total 
celibacy, though there's nothing in there as major as Hunakt's 'never 
accept healing of any kind'. I feel that the obeying a rule is the 
important thing for a Yelmalion, rather than the rule itself.
Oh yes - the armour geases. These are of course a personal version of the 
Hill of Gold. Yelamlio teaches that you can survive anything, no matter 
what the odds are. Going without armour just increases the odds. It may 
not be very helpful, but it is consistant with what we know of Yelmalio.


From: (Andrew J. Weill)
Subject: Re: Volume 11, no 04, part 1 of 2: Lesser Faiths of Prax
Date: 6 Oct 94 05:34:56 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6509

On Wed, 5 Oct 1994, Bryan J. Maloney wrote:

> --------------------
> From: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
> Subject: Editorial....
> Brian and Sandy each sent a huge submission to the Daily
> this week.  I'm sending them as issue four today.
> And for those on the west coast: I'll be visiting colleagues
> in the States, in the Bay area.   I suppose I'll have a couple
> of nights of my own to visit and meet people from the Digest.
> Hey, if someone's willing to host a 'meet the digest' party
> as we had at Convulsion, I'd enjoy that.
> Send me mail...
> Henk

Henk, I live in the Bay Area and would love to meet you.  When are you 

---Andy Weill


From: (Sven *Erik Sievrin)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 06 Oct 1994, part 2
Date: 7 Oct 94 02:02:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6510

Regarding what Richard Ohlson wrote yesterday:
IMO, no Humakti could be a Trickster, especially of the "Murderer" aspect. 
Humakti kill,but they do not _murder_ per se -at least not the Manirian 
Humakti we all know and love. The Trickster has to control himself not to 
lie and is amoralistic, having no honour whatsoever, while Humakti consider 
Truth and Honour extremely important.
In other places, it may be different. I have always loved the 
perhaps somewhat weird idea that several gods of Central Genertela have 
got secret cults among the Western Monotheistic areas which are just as 
wicked as the Western Church says they are -eg a "Humct" cult who act in 
approximately the same way as the thuggee of India - killing people in 
the honour of their god,and just as an aside robbing them as well.
Of course, you could argue that it was Trickster who got Humakt the Sword 
in the first place. However, as I remember it, it was also Trickster who 
started fooling around with the Sword so that people who perhaps did not 
really ought to have it got it - guys like Raglagnar, for 
instance, not to mention Orlanth himself, whose actions upset Humakt so 
that he severed himself from his kin forever. This is actually a point 
which Humakt and the Trickster have in common - they are both kinless, 
the Trickster because he was kicked out of whatever family he belonged to 
due to his obnoxious behaviour, Humakt because he chose to do so. IMO, 
Humakt worshipers would sever themselves from their kin in the same way, 
choosing what conflicts they want to participate. On the whole I consider 
Humakti to be cool, detached guys, thinking before they act as not to act 
in the wrong way, something that separates them from other warrior 
cultists like (obviously) Storm Bulls and Orlanthi.

Tricster showing up when you fumble a DI: I like the idea of it. Just 
like Richard, I would also be interested in Trickster material. I think 
Tricksters are being shortchanged. They are usually seen only as 
something funny, to be played only for laughs. The Trickster figures of 
our world are clowns, sure, but they can also be frightening, being 
associated among other things with murder, rape and incest. The Fright 
and Murder aspects that already exists is a typical example. It would be
interesting if there was a myth behind every Trickster shrine and the spell
it gives, and if the Trickster who wished to have the spell had to go on 
a quest 
(not necessaily heroic) to get it like committing a murder to obtain 
Strike, or commit acts of vandalism to obtain Shatter, or steal fire (or 
something valuable from a noble, preferrably solar-worshiping) to obtain 
Hide Fire. I also see Trickster as the god for madmen, so a Trickster of 
the Murderer aspect would more likely to be a psychopath than a warrior 
or assassin, and one of the Thief aspect would commit thefts more out of 
kleptomania or just for the thrill rather than for the money. (I don't 
know why I suddenly come to think of the villains of the old Batman 
serials....Did I phrase this the wrong way?)

Richard's article set me thinking. I may return later with some ideas on 
Tricksters, like trying to create one of those shrine-myths.

And by the way, I loved your spirit cults, Bryan. Especially Turnip Boy, 
which got me thinking what sort of cult would be the result if certain 
characters from our campaign became gods after death....


From: (David Dunham)
Subject: Orlanth subcults; Aztec swamps; Esrolia
Message-ID: <>
Date: 6 Oct 94 22:45:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6511

Richard Ohlson wondered
>Various supplements refer to the subcults of Orlanth Rex, Adventurous,
>and Thunderous, but I have no idea where write ups of these are.  Where
>can I find them?  Is there a big difference between each one, or is it 
>more like the difference between Catholic, Episcapalion, and Lutheren?

The most detailed writeup of Orlanth is in Heroes vol. 1 no. 4. River of
Cradles doesn't have O Rex (probably because there aren't a lot of Orlanthi
clan chieftains in Prax). It's all one religion, the difference is more
whether you're an altar boy or in the choir. O Rex is for leaders (clan
thanes, tribal kings), O Adventurous leads to rune lord, and O Thunderous
leads to priest.

>I was reading the write-up on Orlanth and I noticed something odd.  Orlanth
>and Ernalda aren't associate cults.  

Not true; Ernalda provides Restore Strength to Orlanth priests. And
double-check book 5, where Orlanth gives Cloudcall to Ernalda initiates.

>I arbitrarily decided that all my male players would start initiated to 
>Orlanth, and all the female's would be initiated to Ernalda. (And then they
>could join a second cult or whatever later, after they learned the world 
>more.)  Am I wrong in believing that Orlanth is a male only cult?  Or is
>Vinghe Jar (or whatever the red-head's name is) a hero in the Orlanth cult?

What happened in my East Ralios game is all the males decided to initiate
to Orlanth, and the females to Vinga. Not surprising, since the women all
wanted a life of adventure. Or maybe they all wanted to wash their hair
with lime and make it all spiky (the Ralian variant, far superior to mere

I don't think Orlanth is a male-only cult, but almost all women who belong
end up in the Vinga subcult. (Unless they're thanes or kings, in which case
they're in the Orlanth Rex subcult.) I treat them as normal members of
Orlanth, but they end up as rune ladies.

(BTW, it's Ginna Jar you're confusing Vinga with.)

Peter Metcalfe says
>Although Tenochtilan probably was 
>swampy to start of with, the heavy irrigation eradictaed the former habitat.

I think you mean cultivation, not irrigation, but the point remains that
the Mexicans thought it was perfectly swell to put their cities around
marshy areas. (I believe Lake Texcoco disappeared due to geological causes
and more modern draining, not the practice of chinampa agriculture.)

So if the Doraddi think swamps are fine, it's because of cultural
differences, not because they have black skins. Swamps really can be fine.
Sandy reiterates my view that we don't like them because we're

BTW, I agree with Ian Gorlick that chinampas (floating gardens) would be
fine for ducks.

Mike Dickison wonders about Esrolia. I haven't given it much thought (other
than as a place to raid :-), but I imagine not only are they matriarchal,
but also matrilineal, which no doubt confuses and annoys other Orlanthi.
The "women rule" bit is probably in many ways a stereotype -- I suspect men
would still be in charge of armies, for example.


Subject: Ohlson's questions; disease
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Oct 94 01:41:05 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6512

Richard Ohlson asks:
subject:  High Holy Days
>could somebody please look up Ernalda and 
>Challana Arroy's High Holy Days?
     The calendar says Ernalda's are the entire week of Fertility
in Earth Season; I limit this for game effect to only Clayday (if
you miss that day's ceremonies, you become inactive).  CA's are
similarly the entire second week of Sacred Time; I eliminate this
entirely, because CA has seasonal holy days, and I think I'll
make the HHD Wildday/Fertility/Dark Season, commemorating CA's
decision to get off her duff and help people.

>Subject: Dorastor and Eurmal
>In Dorastor, does anybody know what aspect of Eurmal would be 
>appropriate for old Lomi?  
     I vote for Fool as being the most fun, and a more-tolerated-
than-most aspect.  Other Theyalan aspects are Lightbringer and
Dismembered.  Pelorian aspects are Destroyer, Seducer, Fright,
and (in the lowlands) Murderer.  Shapechanger is universal.

>How many other tricksters could we expect to be in town? 
     As many as you need for the story?  I expect no more than
three, though.

>Would they all be of the same aspect, would they all worship at 
>Lomi's shrine, or would each one be different and independent? 
     They all can and probably do worship at Lomi's shrine; I
strongly doubt that Hazard Fort can support a whole shrine, much
less more than one.

>[I have a player that is interested in becoming a trickster.  
>Will they have to drop their other cults to join?]  
     No, but the PC's associates might be bothered if they find
out that their old friend now worships the Murderer or even one
of the less objectionable aspects of the Trickster.

>I had a nasty thought, ever hear of a Humakti Trickster?  With 
>the trickster's murderer aspect, Strike, BS5, and Truesword 
>would be nasty...but would it be possible...?
     Possible, yes, but unlikely.  More likely to have a Yanafal
Tarnils/Murderer, both because of the geographic overlap and
because YT's aren't necessarily hung up on things like

>I arbitrarily decided that all my male players would start 
>initiated to Orlanth, and all the female's would be initiated to
>Ernalda. (And then they could join a second cult or whatever 
>later, after they learned the world more.)  Am I wrong in 
>believing that Orlanth is a male only cult?  Or is Vinghe Jar 
>(or whatever the red-head's name is) a hero in the Orlanth cult?
     At Convulsion (or at least on the tape of the Lore Auction),
Greg clarified that Orlanth is male only, and that Vinga is a
subcult for women warriors.  (Parenthetically, I see Barntar as
the male parallel in Ernalda: a subcult for men who want to
worship the earth.)

Peter Metcalfe, bringing something useful out of the discussion
of "Swamps: Bane or Pestilence?":
>This I suppose highlights the need for slightly more realistic 
>disease rules.
     Not really, except in one respect (although the infamous
flesh-eating bacteria could be good to scare PCs with).  That one
respect is that many RW diseases leave the victim able to make a
full recovery, assuming he or she doesn't croak.  Gloranthan
diseases make one spend lots of time, money, and/or POW to get
the lost stat points back.

     Barron Chubb, are you out there?  I want to talk about Rune
Paths some more, particularly in combination with Rune Power.



From: (David Cake)
Subject: Kitori and stuff
Message-ID: <>
Date: 7 Oct 94 05:10:15 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6497

>From: (Alex Ferguson)

>David Cake on the origins of the Kitori:
>> I think that they started as two separate tribes allied, and the first
>> ceremonial marriage made them a single tribe "officially".
>I think merger between tribes is quite unusual, even among all-same-species

        I never said that they weren't unusual! In fact, I think that they
are probably the only tribe like that in Glorantha.

>  I suspect that the Kitori started
>off as an all troll grouping, perhaps a single clan, and has grown into a
>tribe by "adopting" human clans.
The Sacred marriage implies that the leaders of the clan are both human and
troll, which is unlikely to happen if one central clan adopts other smaller
clans. I think that the sacred marriage idea, evolving from an alliance
that had been reliable for some time, is both reasonable and interesting.

>>         I definately disagree that humans are allowed to join KL, except in
>> the normal (excruciating) way.
>I'm not sure either way, but I feel that having all the trolls in a troll-
>only cult would defeat the purpose of (attempted) tribal unity.  
        There are inumerable societies that have male only or female only
cults, and nobody claims that that is going to defeat tribal unity. 

>  Maybe Sandy's closer when he says they're all (both
>troll and human) Argan Argar nutters.

        I think that Argan Argar is the main god, the one worshipped by
both sides (a perfectly acceptable troll god, and a husband of Ernalda). I
think that the trolls worship KL as well, and that they are quite liberal
about human lay members. But for initiation, the big painful process is
still the norm.

> Or maybe we should just (cop out by)
>say(ing) that they all worship Kitor, a ancestral/founder deity with lots
>of AA-like surface darkness magic.
        Much too dull. There are enough founder deities around (though a
married pair if founder deities is bearable).

>> I think that blurring the species
>> distinction like that would be heresy to the KL cult, and that is not a
>> pleasant thing to contemplate.
>Of course it is.  Whatever else the Kitori are, I'm sure they're heretics.
>(A faint Eric Idle-like voice, off: "Burn 'em!")
        Dognatic purity is not something I think that trolls are really
worried about ('when in Rome' attitudes prevail, I think. Or at least 'if
its OK by the big guy, its OK by me'). As long as you don't mess with the
fundamentals of the cult - and I think that racial purity is one thing that
is not going to be skipped over lightly. If they won't let most trollkin
in, they are hardly going to accept humans. 
        They might stretch the point as far as allowing Kitori humans to be
considered 'part troll', though, I guess (perhaps on the pretext of some
mythical common Kitori ancestor). Even that I am not keen on.
        And note that the clans do not intermix that much - a clan is
either human or troll - so as long as AA is calling the shots as far as
tribal decisions, not a problem.

>>         I think that the House of Black Arkat is not within Kitori lands
>> (because if it was trolls would be admitted).
>I'm inclined to take the opposite view that the note of BA is confused, and
>meant to say "mainly" humans.  Shameless, I know.
        I wish that there was some semi-official word on the damn temple of
Black Arkat, because everybody seems to disagree on what it is. I do not
think that I have seen two people agree.

On to Doraddi (still Alex though)
>David Cake replying to innumerable people:
>> First, a little cultural specifics - family means different things to the
>> Doraddi than to the Orlanthi. To the Orlanthi, 'marrying into the family'
>> is a weak concept - the children are not necessarily of that tribe, you may
>> share no property, etc. To the Doraddi it is a strong concept - all that is
>> yours is theirs, you always change tribes if you marry into it, etc.
>The Orlanthi
>situation is complicated by the different forms of marriage, but in the vast
>majority of cases, where a person of either sex "marries into" a clan, their
>children (of that marriage) are members of it.
I hold by what I said - to the Orlanthi, marriage into a clan means pretty
much what you want it to mean. The marriage bond is primarily a bond
between two people, the clan is not necessarily involved at all. To the
Doraddi, it is more serious, and definately implies that your property is
now the clans, and that you are now part of the clan.
        To an Orlanthi, merely living with someone, and remaining
monogamous, and not joining their clan, is not that unusual. To the
Doraddi, it is unthinkable to marry someone but not become part of their
>> Kinship is a more important and more complicated concept in Pamaltela.
>I think you just argued that "kithship" was more important, not kinship
>per se.  (Which you later disagree with, to boot.)
        I do not think that the Doraddi even accept that dualism. For
example they often use words that are translated as 'cousin', or 'uncle' to
describe people that they have no blood relationship to. The Orlanth, on
the other hand, do have that dualism. So will Orlanth has Earth kith, he is
of a storm bloodline (with some Earth ancestry, admitted). But Pamalt is
part of the Earth tribe, even if he wasn't by birth.
        Also - to an Orlanthi kinship is bloodline. To a Doraddi, instead
they have the much stranger concept of lineage, which may not reflect blood

>[Orlanth is:]
>> Son of a minor Earth goddess, and one of the many husbands of Ernalda.
>For most of the Barbarian Belt, he's _the_ husband of Ernalda.  Esrolia
>is exceptional, if not unique.
Ernaldans everywhere seem to grudgingly admit the other husbands, even if
they would find themselves acceptable. Esrolia is the only place where
Orlanth is not the dominant husband (except the Kitori :-) and a few others
we don't know about), but the others are acknowledged if not encouraged.

Guy Hoyle tantalises

>Just in case anybody's interested, Sandy's got some GREAT ideas about 
>Kralorelan magic (NOT sorcery), and also about the East Isles. We're 
>currently in Kralorela in his campaign, and he's tantalized us with 
>tidbits.  Pester him so's he'll post it here.
        Sandy, consider yourself pestered! 

        Dave Cake

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