Bell Digest v941021p1

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, 21 Oct 1994, part 1
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X-RQ-ID: Intro

This is the RuneQuest Daily Bulletin, a mailing list on
the subjects of Avalon Hill's RPG and Greg Stafford's 
world of Glorantha.  It is sent out once per day in digest

More details on the RuneQuest Daily and Digest can be found
after the last message in this digest.

X-RQ-ID: index

6670: lipscomb =
 - Field Guide to Spirits
6671: SMITHH = (Harald Smith 617 724-9843)
 - trickster note
6672: alex = (Alex Ferguson)
 - Greg on the Kitori: authorised leak.
6673: igorlick = (ian i. gorlick)
 - how many spirits can danse on the edge of a broadsword?
6674: igorlick = (ian i. gorlick)
 - Oriflam en Canada
6675: marcelja =
 - subscribe to runequest mailing list ???
6676: watson = (Colin Watson)
 - Re: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 20 Oct 1994, part 1
6677: alex = (Alex Ferguson)
 - Some thoughts on presence/vessel
6678: R.A.Nicholls = (R.A.Nicholls)
 - Orlanth reprisals and retributions
6679: alex = (Alex Ferguson)
 - Mostali traits
6680: CHEN190 = (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
 - Splenid Fools.
6681: CHEN190 = (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
 - Pumice, Dwaves and Solace
6682: Mike.Dickison =
 - Porthomeka; Karse; Screeds on Esrolia
6683: CHEN190 = (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
 - Tenochtilan, Fonrit, Ice Hockey and Pharoahs.
6685: Mike.Dickison =
 - Esrolia
6686: 100326.446 = (Hugh Foster)
 - Shamen and Divine Magic
6687: CHEN190 = (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
 - Exigers and Yelmalion Dress Sense.
6688: Mike.Dickison =
 - Help needed on Esrolia and Karse
6689: ddunham = (David Dunham)
 - Pamaltela vs Genertela
6690: alex = (Alex Ferguson)
 - HQ's and Bless Crops.
6691: ddunham = (David Dunham)
 - Spirit Magic; Trickster, Goons
6692: baj = (baj)
 - Presense of the dodgy mail systems
6693: henkl = (Henk Langeveld - Sun Nederland)
 - messages fwdd...


Subject: Field Guide to Spirits
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 13:04:19 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6670

David Dunham's comment in Wednesday's daily about the ill-definition of 
"Cult Spirits" inpsired me to compose the following. I apologise if it's
been done before, or if the tone seems a bit God-learnerish for some tastes.

Field Guide to Spirits
 First off, if I'm going to look at the denizens of the spirit plane, it 
makes sense to examine how the spirit plane / breath world etc. actually
functions. As we all know, it exists next-to, and coterminous with the 
Inner world. IMO, it touches the Inner World only lightly, except in 
certain spots such as shamanic groves and other Axis Mundi, where the spirit
world becomes the dominant reality. I'm tempted to think that everything
that has POW has a "shadow" in the spirit plane, and actual spatial 
dimensions are the same (eg. a man standing 3m away from an enchanted item
will be seen as a large aura 3m away from a small aura on the spirit plane).
Things that do not have auras (eg. walls, or rather _most_ walls) are 
invisible from the spirit plane. This is using some of the ideas for the 
Astral Plane from Shadowrun. Others amongst you may see the spirit plane as
a formless place with no Inner World echoes, which is, I think, more how the 
"official" version is.

Primordial Spirits

 These are those spirits described in the Monsters Book under "Spirits". I 
see them as the amoeba or plankton of the spirit world. Most of these entities
possess only POW, although some have limited INT. These spirits are bits of 
psychic phenomena possessing an independent existence, much like a virus is 
a piece of RNA with attitude. They are not intelligent, and behave via tropism.

POW spirits
 These are merely clumps of the stuff of life and vitality (ie POW). These 
might bud off from POW generating situations such as worship ceremonies, or 
be life force that never combined with anything else. They do not seek out
bodies or markers , they just _are_.

Passion Spirits
 I see these as disembodied emotions waiting to happen. Although only a few
negative ones are listed in the Monsters Book, I feel that there must be 
positive passion spirits out there, although just as debilitating as they 
overhwlem the possessee. Examples are Euphoria (those inexplicable fits of
the giggles explained at last), Ecstasy (a strong desire to dance to 
repetitive music all night :) and I'm sure the Uleria cult has a few Orgasm
spirits in tow.

INT spirits
 These are raw memory, as evidenced by their use as add-on RAM by magicians.
This implies that as well as storing spells, one could store the knowledge of
a skill, perhaps 5% per point or something, and one might also encounter 
INT spirits that have all ready been "filled", although I suspect that a free
INT spirit would empty itself.

Spell Spirits
 There were some interesting comments on the Thursday daily by someone whose 
name I forget (sorry) about Spell spirits appearing and serving the caster 
whent he spell is cast. I see the Spell Spirits as simply a raw, unlearned 
spell, or perhaps one the "full" INT spirits mentioned above, but I like the 
idea that the spirit manifests itself with each casting. Perhaps there are
two different types.

Disease and Healing Spirits
 Disease spirits could be seen as a chaotic version of healing spirits.
A posting a while back described how disease spirits home in on markers, such
as broo filth and this fits in nicely with the blind tropism of these POW 
only spirits. Healing spirits are a sort of manifestation of good health.

Other Types
 Plant spirits are mentioned under Aldrya somewhere (GoG or Elder Secrets, I 
don't recall) and I expect that these could function like some of the above
types, especially POW spirits. 

 Primordial Spirits, as I have termed them, are essentially fragments of 
identity, and most are manifestations of abstract, spiritual (obviously) 
concepts. One might expect Honesty, Loyalty, Motivation, Jealousy etc. 

 The origins of Primordial spirits could be any of several options. They 
may be the building blocks of the soul, as yet unformed. They may, conversely
be the result of breakdown of a soul, perhaps even bits chipped off gods 
during the gods war (this would especially be the case with cult aligned
spirits). Alternatively they are psychic overflow, produced because there
is not enough temporal matter to contain them. For example, the site of a
mass murder may spawn Fear Spirits, an intense religious ceremony might 
generate so much life force that POW spirits are formed and so on.

I'll leave it at that for the moment. I have comments on Intelligent
Spirits, but I'll post them next time.

Simon Lipscomb


From: SMITHH@A1.MGH.HARVARD.EDU (Harald Smith 617 724-9843)
Subject: trickster note
Date: 20 Oct 94 03:29:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6671

Peter Michaels has some good comments on the Trickster aspects.

To his bibliography I would add "The Romance of Reynard the Fox", a classic 
set of tales of the great French trickster.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Greg on the Kitori: authorised leak.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 16:19:26 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6672

I wickedly hounded Greg for some answers to the Kitori musings that've been
going on here; here's what he said (I think it makes sense minus my
questions, most of which he neatly sidestepped in any case. )  Sandy,
can you add anything with respect to the intent behind the HoBA mention
(or otherwise)?


Included messages:

>From: Greg Stafford
>To: (alexferguson)
>Subject: Re: Kitori

>Everything about the Kitori is shadowy. Are they trolls, men, some of both,
>something new? 
>I am not sure what the "House of Black Arkat" is. Is this from something I
>wrote? Help me focus here.
>The Kitori are an old tribe, have been strong and weak at various times. 
>However, I can guarantee that Arkat is big among the Kitori, and that they
>are the main worshippers among the Holy Country for Black Arkat or Arkat the
>Troll. Maybe the Kitori were among his sponsors to trolldom. 
>The Dark Empire of Arkat never reached to Dragon Pass. Arkat just put the OOO
>back into power there. 
>- g

>From: Greg Stafford
>To: (alexferguson)
>Subject: Re: Kitori

>I think that the Kitori are, mostly, some of both in a very unusual
>relationship. On "higher than RQ levels" there also some
>not-trolls-and-not-men Kitori too.
>The Kitori live around Troll Woods, as you suspected. Their territory  has
>varied over history (as is common). It once included the whole Volsaxi, Wilms
>Church and Sun Dome areas. 
>If the House of Black Arkat exists as is stated there (tjhanks for the
>reference) then it is a very minor thing, and its inclusion there is as an
>oddity. It sounds like it could be a "refiened and cleaned up" version of the
>Kitori Arkat religion, isolated as a school of sorcery. It is more likely to
>be in Notchet than in Heortland. 
>Wakboth never *makes* me do anything.
>Because I always volunteer as quickly as possible when it just *asks* me. 
>Depending upon how it is handled, I think it is quite possible that a number
>of combinetheist and Arkati religions/faiths/cults exist. They are both a bit
>unorthodox, and likely to attract troubled spiritual dissidents. 
>I am working on the historical changes of Dara Happan religion now. Like,
>when did DH philosophers start discussing the "Nature of Truth" and when
>mystery cults became popular, and unpopular, and how all this relates to
>The Holy Country is a transitional area between cultures, and I would expect
>to find many of this sort of confused/mixed cult/belief systems. So such
>developments are not *incorrect.*
>However, I do think that Ralios is a much better place for this type of
>thing. The population base is much larger, and can support larger cults, etc.
>If you wish, you can just post this letter intact as my latest quotes on the
>Kitori, etc.

And finally:

> Yes, It could easily be a muddled reference to the Kitori, and nothing else.


From: (ian i. gorlick)
Subject: how many spirits can danse on the edge of a broadsword?
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 08:13:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6673

RE: Paul snow in RQ-ID: 6660
I like your image of the spirit dansing up and down the blade of a bladesharped 
weapon or cleaning up a wound. However I see some potential logical 

What happens when one person casts bladesharp on two weapons? Does the spirit 
jump back and forth between them? Or does it exist simultaneously in two places?

To make it work your way, one either has to keep the spirit bound and in one's 
possession so it can be released or you have to summon it when you want to cast 
the spell. Summoning is a very distinct procedure so I can't accept that. If you 
are keeping the spirit bound, then nobody else has access to it. So the cults 
and shamans have to provide a different spirit to each person who wants to learn 
the spell. I am accustomed to think that the priests/shamans have certain 
spirits that they know well which they summon when a candidate wants to learn a 

I do like your image though and would like to keep some of it. Maybe what you 
describe is what the spirit would do if it were present. What a person learns 
from the spirit is how to cast out a bit of mana that will act in that fashion 
for a short time. So anyone looking with magical sight will see much what you 
have described.


From: (ian i. gorlick)
Subject: Oriflam en Canada
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 08:14:00 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6674

David Hall in RQ-ID: 6666
>I wonder, does anybody know if Oriflam stuff gets over to shops in 
>French-speaking Canada? 

I have managed to find one games shop in Montreal that carries Oriflam products, 
I'll have to search for their business card. When I was in Quebec City, I was 
unable to find anyplace that carried their stuff. 

My own local shop in Ottawa, Fandom II, does carry some Oriflam products, but 
not many. They find that the prices are too high so the francophones prefer to 
struggle with the English versions of games rather than pay the premium prices 
for the French language product. Once "Les Dieux Nomades" is released, I will 
try to get them to order it in. If that doesn't work then I may be appealing to 
one of you Euro-Questers to ship me a copy.


Subject: subscribe to runequest mailing list ???
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 02:45:53 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6675

	anyone out there ?
	is this the RuneQuest mailing list??

nick marcelja


From: (Colin Watson)
Subject: Re: RuneQuest Daily, Thu, 20 Oct 1994, part 1
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 18:45:34 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6676

Thomas Moffatt:

> I disagree with you here Colin because I believe spirits only possess INT
> and POW. The characteristics of STR CON and DEX are inherently physical
> attributes of the body

Ghosts only have INT and POW. But wraiths have INT and CON as do ghoul spirits
(IMO). Spirits of elementals have STR and POW (no INT). It seems "normal" for
human spirits to lose their STR, CON and DEX; but it is not mandatory - some
elect (or are forced) to lose their POW and retain their CON; they become

Most spirits have no need of STR CON & DEX because these characteristics
are generally useless in the spirit world. However, many of the spirits
which choose to interact with the physical world (eg. undead who wish to prey
upon the world; elementals which are strongly tied to the mundane world)
do posess these characteristics.

IMO the only "inherently physical" attribute is SIZ.

> and therefore are left behind when the spirit leaves.

As I've said previously, if a corpse had STR CON and DEX after death it could
still wander around mindlessly. RQ does not require that a creature have
INT and POW to move about; anything with DEX and(or) STR can do it. The fact
that all ability to move and breathe is suddenly lost upon death suggests to me
that these characteristics depart with the spirit.

And I think they return with the spirit if Resurrection is used. That's why
I reckon 5 POW should be used to enchant the corpse in order to bind the spirit
back into the body. If you don't like the idea of using a "new" binding
enchantment you can consider that the POW is expended to repair the "natural
enchantment" of the body.

Each characteristic could be bound to a separate body part. INT bound to the
head; STR bound to the heart etc (Or whatever Local Custom decrees). Without
a minimum set of vital organs Resurrection becomes (nigh on) impossible.



From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Some thoughts on presence/vessel
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 17:46:51 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6677

I feel that the purported advantage of the vessel system(s), of
explaining sorcery in similar terms to divine magic and shamanism is
probably a weakness: one of the major crocks of the RQ3 sorcery fiasco
is the lack of a cultural viewpoint, which I'd rather have, personally,
than a theory of (somebody's) One True Glorantha.  That being said, it
does admittedly help rationalise the difficulty in combining sorcery and
other modes of magic.

More particularly, it invokes the rationale that sorcerers sacrifice or
enslave their "souls" or "hidden selves", when I'm sure most would claim
they do no such thing.  (I tend to think they're right, also, but that's
rather a OTW view in itself.)  A typical Westerner would say, I think,
that the soul wasn't involved (he might put it as "at risk") at all, and
the study of sorcery was purely intellectual.

Paul Reilly's explanation of Presence Vampires is partly appealing, and
I'm sure he's correct in saying a piece of the void is invoked, and the
sorcerer's soul is sacrified to it.  Vampires seems to become only the
incidental results of becoming a hitherto unknown form of void/vampiric
sorcerer, though, and the explanation of "reverse flow" of magical
energies seemed a tad woolly.  I'd tend to suppose the powers (or spells)
were wrought from the magical "backwash" energy from sacrifice to the Void,
somewhat like the Chaos Spawn spell.  (Hawking radiation? ;-/)

Bruce Mason's use of opposed rolls seemed a tad baroque to me: other
than proselytising for a particular die-roll convention, what's the
rationale for, or advantage in, effectively having the spell roll to
try and make the magician fail in his casting attempt?  A success test
seems more straightforward and adequate to the purpose.

There are also a lot of tweaks and modifications, some of dubious-looking
play balance (1km of range for 1mp/1Pre, and the intensity escalation in
particular).  These also seem orthogonal to the basic idea, which could
simply, at least as a first stab, substitute Vessel for Free INT as it



From: (R.A.Nicholls)
Subject: Orlanth reprisals and retributions
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 19:41:25 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6678

Being relatively new to the Daily (I arrived during the 
Yelmalio/Elmal debate) I don't know if this sort of thing has already 
been thrashed out.

Concerning Orlanth and the Red Goddess having set themselves against 
each other for the Middle Air (CoP). Say I have a hypothetical 
Orlanthi clan in Sartar who enlist the help of the Lunars in pressing 
a land claim (or something more substantial) with threats, force of 
arms or whatever against an enemy clan. 
Can this clan still profess to be good Orlanth worshippers? Do they 
all become inactive? Do Orlanth's Wind Fists etc give them a good 
seeing to? What would happen during Orlanth worship ceremonies 
(especially at Sacred Time given the current interest in the Sacred 
Time and Chaos)?

Anybody care to enlighten me?


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Mostali traits
Message-ID: <>
Date: 20 Oct 94 18:59:12 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6679

Joerg muses:
> I wonder how this would be expressed in PDP personality traits. Do all 
> non-individualist dwarfs have the ideal traits of their caste (as they 
> sart out, later remain within say 15% of these traits? Or do they start 
> out with an undeveloped personality, like dragonewts?

This makes a good deal _more_ sense for dwarfs than 'newts, I reckon.
Though their personalities should be somewhat formed, in suitably
stereotyped ways.  Perhaps they come out the vat with all zeroes, and
after suitable Indoctrination, they have 12-15 in Appropriate stats, and
still have all others at 0.



From: (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
Subject: Splenid Fools.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 21 Oct 94 11:47:23 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6680


Spurred on by Peter Michaels Trickster description, I had recently 
given thought as to how the Wonderous Land of Splendor (that's 
Kralorela to you benighted heathen) fits the trickster archetype 
in the glorious civilization created by Aptanace the Sage.

There exists by the Emperors Command, an state institution of fools. To 
be admitted to their ranks, one is generally tested by the Sages for the 
lack of moral sense that marks a Fool.  There is no truth in the rumour 
that the fools are conscripted solely from the ranks of common criminals.  
Circus Jugglers are known to have been recruited.  After a period of 
training and discipline, people whom are admitted to these ranks are 
attached to a Circuit Sage [1] as they go about in their travels.  The 
Circuit Sage has the duty of patiently explaining the virtues of wisdom 
to the Fool in the admittedly futile hope that it may catch. 

In order to ascertain if a fool has been sufficently enlightened, a 
circuit sage periodically sets some task to test the fool.  This may
be, say, 'Bring me the account book of the Tax Collector Hsin-Wu'.  The 
fool rushes of in a spirit of enthusiasm to comply.  The Circuit Sage 
merely expects the fool to run to Hsin-Wu and ask him for the book as 
anybody of fit and proper moral charcter would do.  But no!  The Fool 
has forgetten the twelveth lesson of Righteous Conduct, that relating 
to Respect for the Property of Others.  The Fool breaks into the house 
of Hsin-Wu while he is out and ransacks his room until he finds the 
Account Book hidden under the floorboards and brings it to his master.

The Master is saddened by the relapse of foolishness in an otherwise 
promising fellow.  But as he begins to correct the Fool, he looks 
through the Account Book and finds that Hsin-Wu has siphoned money 
to pay a local tong for his Green Lotus habit.  This was takes 
the lash out of the fools correction as the Tax Collector is removed of 
his post and Heaven's will is done.

[1]  Strictly speaking, the Order of the Travellers of the Wheel of Life.  
They travel around the Land of Splendor seeking to see all is done 
according to Heavens plan. Other such orders include Keepers of the Whole, 
Masters of Enlightenment, Epitomes of Perfect Rule and so forth.  Rumours 
persist of hidden orders such as the Burners of Books and the Buriers of 
Scholars who supposedly root out damnable utterances and the Cursed Liars 
and Pus-ridden Devils who are claimed to have oversight over the land of 
Wanzow.  These baseless rumours are not given credence by any right 
thinking Sage.

>I don't think Trickster has a chaotic aspect which is 
>worshipped by chaotic beings.  Trickster understands that 
>Chaos rains on his parade, poops on his party, and otherwise 
>spoils his fun.  He is no supporter of Chaos.  

Hmm.  In many myths, Trickster is the butt of fun.  Cf Trickster 
and Hroolars pantry in GB, and Ratslaff's last joke in the 
Prosopaedia in GoG.  Trickster doesn't necessary have to 
have all the fun.

--Peter Metcalfe