Bell Digest v941111p1

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, 11 Nov 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

6877: grendel = (John Castellucci)
 - RQAdventures Fanzine Issue 4
6878: David.Burtin = (David Burtin)
 - Re: Questions - Urox, Gagarth, Babeester Gor, GoG runes, Grain Goddesses
6879: jonas.schiott = (Jonas Schiott)
 - A Watery Light; the Esoteric Earth.
6880: joe = (Joerg Baumgartner)
 - Re: Settlers
6881: jonas.schiott = (Jonas Schiott)
 - Re: Questions.
6882: sandyp = (Sandy Petersen)
 - Re: stuff
6883: alex = (Alex Ferguson)
 - Re: The Nature of Gods, Myths and Heroquests
6884: yfcw29 =
 - Spirits and German visit.
6885: CHEN190 = (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
 - An Important Announcement about Chargg
6886: alex = (Alex Ferguson)
 - Population of Sartar
6887: 100270.337 = (Nick Brooke)
 - Mark's Answers
6888: M.Hitchens = (Michael Hitchens)
 - Clans and Bloodlines
6889: rowe = (Eric Rowe)
 - Runequest Adventures Fanzine 4 is out.


From: (John Castellucci)
Subject: RQAdventures Fanzine Issue 4
Date: 9 Nov 94 02:29:03 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6877

Issue 4 of RQ Adventures is hot off the press and now availble in North
America.  Subscribers will have their issues mailed out this week.
Check with your local distributer for availability in your part of the

Issue 4 is 36 pages + cover and features:
Background on the city of Whitewall; Scenario during the fall of
Whitewall; Sartar plants; After Taxes scenario by John E. Boyle;
Orlanthi cameos; Player characters & more!

RQ Adventures 
2006 22nd Ave
San Francisco CA 94116

RQA is published 2-3 times a year and 36+ pages plus cover.
Subject matter is Gloranthan RQ with a special emphasis on adventures.

Single issues $5.00US for North America
              $7.00US foreign(please see distributer list before order)
Checks/money orders payable to John Castellucci
Orders shipped via US Airmail

#1 Escape from Duckland, et. al.  --- Only a few left in U.S.
#2 Dreams Dragons Bring, et. al.  --- OUT OF PRINT IN U.S.!!! 
#3 The Block, Devil's Swamp, et. al.  --- Only a few left in U.S. 
#4 The Fall of Whitewall, et. al. 

Coming soon...
Best of RQA vol 1 -- highlights of the first 3 issues, dec 94
#5 Dorastor       -- winter 94/95

Foreign Distribution Inquiries
Joerg Baumgartner, Europe (
Andrew Bean, Down Under (


From: (David Burtin)
Subject: Re: Questions - Urox, Gagarth, Babeester Gor, GoG runes, Grain Goddesses
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Nov 94 13:05:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6878

Mark Hansen writes :

> Who is Urox?  He sounds a lot like Storm Bull (or an aspect thereof) but
> I can't find him in GoG or my Storm Bull cult description from RoC.  Dorastor
> mentions the Mad Dog Templars but doesn't go into much detail.  How is Urox's
> myth history different than Storm Bull?

Urox IS Storm Bull.

> Why are some of the runes shown twice in the GoG cult descriptions?  For
> example, Orlanth shows the movement, air, air, and mastery runes.  Air is shown
> twice.

It means this god is the current owner of this rune. 


From: (Jonas Schiott)
Subject: A Watery Light; the Esoteric Earth.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Nov 94 16:09:07 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6879

Harald and Alex have been discussing the peculiarities of the map in Codex
#2, here's another one:
Have you noticed that the path of the sun passes through a heck of a lot of
ocean? I thought Yelm had to pass through _hell_ every night? Then again,
what could be more hellish for a great ball of fire than to be submerged
under water. :-)


David Dunham (BTW, I _have_ to use _your_ last name, but how many guys
named Jonas are there on this list:-)?) responds to my Ernaldan quip:

>Ernalda is indeed present in East Ralios, but not nearly as important as
>Orlanth's main wife, Ralia.

That was kinda my point, wasn't it? ;-)

>Ernalda is still the typical access to the Six Earths

Which means?
That she's an obscure mythical figure thought of as very powerful, but not
actually worshipped by normal people?
Again, that was my complaint.

Isn't it sort of strange that _Orlanth_ is found in more-or-less the same
shapes and flavors all over Genertela, while poor Ernalda has to see
herself supplanted by various local bimbos? Whatever happened to the "Cult
of Orlanth and Ernalda"? ;-)

(      Jonas Schiott                                   )
(      Institutionen for Ide- och lardomshistoria      )
(      Goteborgs Universitet                           )


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Re: Settlers
Date: 10 Nov 94 14:40:26 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6880

Nick Brooke in X-RQ-ID: 6872

>> Those of the settlers who came for religious or political reasons came
>> because they wanted to change their life from that accepted at home.

> Cart before horse. They came because the way of life previously accepted 
> at home (their accustomed way of life) was now being changed.

That's very relative, IMO. You stated the official Sartarite version, 
which is accepted as the truth among the Quivini. Yet this is the truth 
of today c. 120,000 Quivini tribesmen vs the truth of c. 500,000 
Heortlanders, who remained in their country.

>> I believe most fled because they resisted the dominance of the city-
>> dwellers, and to escape the taxes introduced by the Pharaoh.

> Que? I believe most "fled" to maintain their traditional way of life and
> religion.

"I believe" is the core of the issue. I view the Quivini Immigrants as 
similar to the early US settlers, partly people persecuted for their 
believes or political views, partly ambitious younger sons looking for a 
chance for a new beginning.

To traditional Orlanthi, paying taxes is a violation of their way of 
life, IMO. Taxes aren't an Orlanthi institution, they are regarded as a 
shameful tribute to be paid to an oppressor.
(Paying a land rent for land owned by another (clan, lord) or for 
services like ferries or bridge and road upkeep is a different matter. 
To pay for military duty, another early tax source, is contrary to the 
Orlanthi way, in which a man has to fight for himself, or his friends 
and family.)

I suppose a number of Heortland city-dwellers took the opportunity to 
change their lot and followed the disgruntled clan chiefs across the 

Do you think the remaining people in Heortland did change their ways to 
an extent that they became unrecognisable as Orlanthi? IMO they rather 
adapted a bit, and remained as they were before. If you were right that 
their traditional ways had changed completely, David Hall's assumptions 
for the Aeolians resembling the Heortlings that much seem strange. If 
things did not change that much, well, the reasons must have been 

IMO the most likely scenario is that several clan chiefs (like 
Mad-blood Malan, ancestor of both the Malani and Lismelder tribes) were 
exiled for their continued resistance against the changes, and rather 
than becoming mercenaries at foreign courts, they chose to settle with 
their families and friends in the recently opened Quivini lands. Thus 
at least some of the immigrants to the Quivin valleys were politically 
motivated, rather than religiously. The introduction of a general tax 
in Kethaela could have upset people enough that some rather sold their 
immobile property and emigrated, if it wasn't confiscated.

If current reading among Sartarite historians makes the Quivini 
settlers fighters for their creed, that's fine with me. Their cousins 
in Heortland are likely to have a different view on this chapter of 
history. Both views will be true...

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Jonas Schiott)
Subject: Re: Questions.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Nov 94 17:43:26 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6881

Mark Hansen:

>How is Urox's
>myth history different than Storm Bull?

Beats me. I think Greg just threw in something with a norse sound to it
while writing KoS, to counter all the celtic stuff. ;-)

>What's the story on Gagarth, the Wild Hunter? [...] Why isn't he mentioned
>that much?

'Cause it's the bad guys' cult. Not quite chaotic, but bad news all the
same. And with none of the Storm Bullies' socially redeeming features.

>What is the darkened square rune for Babeester Gor shown in GoG? 

Why, Dark Earth, of course. :-) It represents the more aggressive and
destructive aspects of the Earth, as opposed to all that
fertility-and-flowers stuff.

>I get the
>feeling that there's more runes than are shown in the Deluxe rules

You got that right.

>Why are some of the runes shown twice in the GoG cult descriptions? 

It denotes ownership of the rune. To be precise, the idea seems to have
been that it should show _current_ ownership, as opposed to _original_
ownership (which gets the rune in question + Infinity), but this wasn't
carried out with 100% consistency.
Besides, you're gonna get a lot of answers along the lines of "The Runes
are just an evil God Learner ploy! Ignore them!" ;-)

>In other words, do Ernalda initiates stick with the Grain Goddess
>they originally worshipped?  Or, do they change grain goddesses when they move
>to a new region?

I would say the later: if your PCs are primarily Ernalda, then the grain
goddesses will be regarded as faceless hangers-on rather than powers in
their own rights.

(      Jonas Schiott                                   )
(      Institutionen for Ide- och lardomshistoria      )
(      Goteborgs Universitet                           )


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Re: The Nature of Gods, Myths and Heroquests
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Nov 94 18:01:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6883

Michael Hitchens:
>     Conservative Dara Happans seem to be trying to deny that Yelmalio is
>     the son of Yelm.  Does the fact that Yelmalio gets a sunspear from
>     Yelm (as per associate cults in his description in Sun County)
>     indicate that they have little chance of proving their point?

It is fairly strong indication that Yelmalio worshippers grovel in front
of antesmia statues, and Yelm, or some reasonable facimile humours them
to the extent of the occassional spell.  Hence they do acknowledge there
is some ("perverted") Yelm worship going on.  That doesn't mean they
have to buy their dogmatic spoutings, like their god being Yelm's son.

David Gadbois (one of Tarski's biggest fans):
> Myths
> can be false (and fall more in the category of urban legend, I suppose)
> if there is no correspondence between the mythic statement and the
> Godplane.

I don't think this is true.  If a significant number of people believe
believe something to be true, it is reflected in the Godplane.  This
could still be an "urban legend" in the sense of not corresponding to a
historical truth, but I tink you can still get magic'n'stuff from such
things.  Though if a myth isn't generally believed by some large wodge of
population, it'll only have local and minor power (whether "true" or not,
come to that).

> There is also the not inconsiderable twist that changing the Godplane
> can change the mundane one, too.  For example, one could heroquest to
> prevent Grandfather Mortal from getting the first taste of Death; if you
> were successful, no one would die anymore.

Obviously, you'd need to do this quest at a "very high level" in order
to achieve this affect. A more modest effect might be achieving personal,
familial, or racial immortality...

>     Glorantha's myths are continually being acted out on the Godplane.
>     (YES/NO)

> No.  To be pedantic:  The Godplane is the events and their
> interconnections that the myths talk about.  I guess you could say that
> the events are being continually acted out, in the sense that they are
> just there and don't change by themselves.

And they are also being acted out in the sense that Heroquestors keep
going there and dashed well doing it.  And furthermore, this is how the
worshippers tend to think of the Godplane, as the place where the Gods
sit around (re)doing stuff, rather than the neatly graph-theoretic terms
we God Learners like to model it as.

> Remember Dunham's (one of the many false Davids) famous quote:
> "Don't believe all that Dara Happan propoganda.  After all, it was
> written down, and thus can't change with reality."

Also a problem with good comedy, sadly.

>     As I understand it, there seem to be two vitally different forms of
>     heroquesting, one where the participant simply re-enacts the actions
>     of the god, thereby reinforcing the current state.  The other form
>     is a conscious attempt to *change* the state of the godplane.  The
>     second form is much harder.  Am I correct on these two points?

> Yes.  There are also the unintentional heroquests that sadistic GMs like
> to inflict upon their players.

I don't think these two are fundamentally different.  I don't think David's
is different at all.  (Well, funnier, maybe. }B->)  I think that the current
state is so fluid, not to say unknowable, that it's impossible to say
whether it will be changed by a particular act, and I don't think intent
is critically relevant.



Subject: Spirits and German visit.
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Nov 94 16:09:48 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6884 (Colin Watson) says:

>The current rules imply that the use of MP/INT/spells is a peculiar quirk of
>the spirit itself which only manifests when the spirit is bound. That's what I
>don't like. It's too contrived. 

I don't see it as contrived at all. It seems perfectly natural to me that
certain spirits will have certain specific spells, powers or attributes
dependent on their nature. Intelect spirits are splintered fragments of
conciounsess; Power spirits are shreds of psychic energy; spell spirits
may have more naturalistic orrigins. Eg an Ignite spirit may be a minor
league relation of a salamander. Many shamans may think of spirit spells
as being minor summonings, or invocations of spirits or spirit powers. That
is perfectly in line with animistic belief.

To those who say 'I can disprove that by watching what happens with mystic
vission', it is in the nature of magic that the observer will see what he
expects. If there was a prefered magical reality in Glorantha that could be
determined using magical analysis, then how come there is so much magical
diversity? ...  RQSight excepted.      ;)

I can imagine another way to achieve what Colin wants. If Intelect and
Power spirits are fragments of spirit conciousness and energy, where
did they come from? Is it possible to perform psychic surgery on a
captive spirit, ripping out the bits you want and bending them to a
desired purpose? Such powers or techniques may be available via spirit
cults. I don't see such activities as being chaotic at all, just
darned unpleasant. Perhaps those who follow the horned man follow a
naturalistic path, conserving the spiritual environment, while those
who follow the bad man are psychic exploiters and polluters.

It am sure Colin and I can find some common ground here.

 I think Joerg said:

>There must be a couple of gods in Glorantha unknown to anyone,
>but still there...

You mean like the one in Snakepipe Hollow, old barleyhead whateverhisnamewas.

German RQers : I will be visiting a friend in Regensberg in
December. I arrive in Munich during the evening of Friday 2nd and will
travell on to Regensberg that evening. At least, that is the plan so far.
I will be staying in Regensberg for a week, I am going with another English
frind and we will probably hire a car while we are out there. Do any of
you live in that area?

Simon Hibbs


From: (Peter Metcalfe, CAPE Canty)
Subject: An Important Announcement about Chargg
Message-ID: <>
Date: 11 Nov 94 03:27:37 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6885

An Important Announcement on Chargg:

In an attempt by Joerg and me to ascertain what lies within the hidden 
borders of Chargg, we have uncovered a possibility so horrific that it Must
Be True...  Do not read any further if you value your sanity...

We believe that Chargg contains a horde of Daily scholars!

Imagine the consequences!

A wave of strange alien beings come out of Chargg.  They are lead by the
mysterious Greg who somehow can change natural laws and history by merely 
thinking about it.  His demented followers agree that this is a virtue
something which nobody sane can contemplate.  Widely feared, is his chief 
lieutenant, Sandy, who has a horde of alien monstrosities following his every 
whim.  These enormities are vunerable only to the Six Weapons of Doom (which 
is lost to Glorantha).  The other beings are too horrible to contemplate.

Severe damage will be done to the Red Moon as people try to prove whether
it can be seen all other the world or not.  A massive famine will strike 
the west as somebody proves that you can't grow crops in Genertela without 
Bless Crops.  The Hills of Gold will be the site of a massive Thermonuclear 
explosion as someone proves there was only One Sun at the Hills of Gold.  The 
Vadeli nation becomes the strongest nation on earth after somebody mishears 
somebody else and proves the Veldang are the Blue Vadeli.  Civil War breaks 
out among the Kitori Tribe about its origins as the humans turn into trolls 
and sacrifices the uz clans in Grim Rites to Black Arkat.  A Wave of political
violence sweeps Esrolia as the Queens debate on how a matriachy should be 
run.  A mysterious plague of Hyena multilations sweep the land.  The Pralori 
of Ralios mutate into horrible chaos things with huge anthers who crack awful 
puns and follow the lead of the sinster Baron von Moosehsunchen.  Zzabur 
says 'Eat my Shorts' to the Ruling Talar as he realizes after listening to 
one of the Scholars that he is the Son of Malkion the Founder while the 
others only follow Malkion the Law Giver.  The Divine Thought Police make 
their first Arrest and turn all the Thiests into Mindless Automatons fearful 
of Rebellion.  The No Wind becomes a Great Clam which then splashes into the 
Sea creating the Flood.  The Coastline of Pamaltela turns into a mirror image
of Genertela while the Inland Doraddi are stricken by mysterious plagues that
radiate from the swamps...

Hope this Helps :)

--Peter Metcalfe


From: (Alex Ferguson)
Subject: Population of Sartar
Message-ID: <>
Date: 10 Nov 94 20:47:16 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6886

Michael Hitchens predicts:
> I know I have propably been Gregged all over the place, but at least they
> are something.

> Balmyr
> Population:  3,500
> Number of Clans:  3

Thou art hereby Gregged:  KoS, p202 gives them as having ten clans.
Mind you, that was 300 years ago.

While 1000-member clans may be the norm, I'd be surprised if things
work out very neatly like that in practice.  After all, the Colymar
went from being a single clan to five, with (presumably) the same total

> I don't think the population of Clearwine (~1500) as given in KoS and the 
> population of Sartar in the Genertela book (180,000) can both be correct.

That's a bit of a leap, to say the least.  That Clearwine has 1500
residents hardly means all stockades do; after all, by your own figures,
the Colymar are one of the largest tribes, and the town also adjoins
Balmyr territory.  Nor is it an insuperable problem that this could
make it bigger than some of the "cities", since this status may have
more to do with their founding by Sartar, their fortification, amenities,
socioeconomic importance and/or political status, rather than mere

I'm skeptical whether the populations of Boldhome and Alda-Chur are as
high as are quoted here (8000 and 4000), since this would have them
accounting for 2/3 of the urban population, which seems a tad steep.

Nick Eden:
> I'm not very convinced by clans that are 1500 people big either. Surely 
> with 1500 people about you don't need to worry too much about inbreeding? 

Probably not much, no.  (Depending on _who_ they marry, obviously.)  But
clans are social constructs, not minimaxed breeding programmes, so customs
will persist even as clans get larger.  (Note that Volsaxi clans seem to
be even larger, and perhaps Hendriki, too, though for them clans are less
important, I think.)



From: (Michael Hitchens)
Subject: Clans and Bloodlines
Date: 11 Nov 94 23:45:14 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 6888

More questions, but on a totally different topic....
KoS, p. 250
"Bloodlines are exogamous"
further down that page
"The clan is also responsible for overseeing marriages within its bloodlines"

KoS, p.254
"Clans are exogamous"

Now I think the second quote should have "between" where it has "within", 
but that still leaves the first two quotes contradicting the third.  (Or 
at least the second contradicting the third and th first unnecesry if the 
third is true.)  I know KoS has many deliberate contradictions in it, but 
given that these quotes all come from the same document (Report on the 
Orlanthi), I do not think this one is intentional.  So can you marry 
someone of your clan who is not of your bloodline?
Has Greg ever clarified this?  Sandy?

On the subject of blood lines, we know clans are 500-2000 people, average 
1200.  What is the typical size of a bloodline?  How many are there 
typically in a single clan?



Michael Hitchens
Lecturer, Dept. of Computing
University of Western Sydney Nepean
PO BOX 10 Kingswood NSW 2747
All that we do or seem
Is but a dream within a dream