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Joerg last won the day on November 5

Joerg had the most liked content!

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About Joerg

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    Gloranthan studies
  • Birthday 01/03/1965

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  • RPG Biography
    Former president of Deutsche RuneQuest-Gesellschaft aka Chaos Society, Glorantha know-it-all (almost), some mentions in Glorantha publications
  • Current games
    Occasional HQG, RQ and Cthulhu
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    Into rpgs since1984, into world building since the 70ies, into RQ since 1989, active on RQ-Daily and successors since 1993

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  1. Joerg

    Casting Spirit / Rune Magic

    That was me going grognard about how I am used to handle magic in combat rather than addressing old-hand RQ2ers. Good thing if there is a significant number of ancients among the roleplayers returning to Glorantha, but even though that is a financially interesting portion of the roleplayer population, I would think that drawing people acculturated to other forms of roleplaying (not necessarily limited to pen-and-paper) to RQG. I am used to magic being somewhat fickle, rather than guaranteed, and requiring the occasional re-try to get it off, which does affect the strike rank or even melee round the spell goes off. Automatic spell success is similar to automatic skill success - acceptable in certain situations, unacceptable in others. I always read that RQ2 battle magic had to be rolled, too, although only a result of 96-100 would indicate a failure.
  2. Joerg

    Casting Spirit / Rune Magic

    When I encountered RQ in its 3rd edition, these rolls were already firmly part of the rules, so I am quite bemused to encounter such arguments now. Rolling rather low rolls for rune magic is new to me, too but then so is readily available (because renewable) rune magic. Rolling slightly above average rolls for spirit magic is just enough to make it less sure-fire. As staunch RQ2 players, do they mourn the absence of the 1-point Divine Intervention spell for priests, too? When you are outside of a stressful situation, there is hardly any need to roll. At the end of the combat, with one of the comrades softly bleeding to death, I would rule that as somewhat stressful and time-relevant. Same if the party just takes a short breather in a chase scene, so normal rolls apply. Yes, I do think that removing the casting success roll will change combat much. I don't know how consequently I will enforce the "spell or strike" rule, taking an entire melee round out of the spell-caster's attack portfolio. I treated the RQ3 strike ranks almost like a pulse system, with spell-and-strike swashbuckling possible.
  3. Joerg

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    We have Gloranthan names for the elf types: Vronkali, Mreli, Embyli. A bit unwieldy and not that easy to pronounce, though. Quite often when we talk about the aldryami we include the upper ranks of the Aldrya cult tied to specific trees, too - dryads and sentient trees. Whether this includes the semi-sentient runners or the sprites or other animated plants often is left open. We might say "elf plans" when those are really the forests' plans. Durev was carved by Orstan the Elder (one of the few cases where a name has been reused in a Gloranthan lineage). Orstan the Carpenter is a son of Durev (or Orlanth, or both). Green Age origin myths may have people growing as fruit on trees, emerging from flower buds, or similar, as alternatives to childbirth by a nymph/mother goddess (which includes beast-shaped mothers). Humans made from clay or similar substance are something like a rival concept, and generally a lot more hostile to the forest. The rivalry Grower and Maker, through delegation. I am not that great a fan of terms like "stone people" or "tree people". Talking about "the Stone Tribe" rather than Mostali offers a bit of Thesaurus functionality when writing about them, and does leave re-interpretation backdoors for heroquesters, but any kenning for an opponent or protagonist will allow such backdoors.
  4. Joerg


    We have Storm Bull, son of Umath and Mikyh. We don't hear about any daughters from that union, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. One possible distinction put forward by a Jrusteli scholar might be paternal vs. maternal descent from the beast storm. I am not quite sure how many Hsunchen of western Genertela had been Hsunchen to begin with, or whether they used to be something else. Hsunchen don't farm - and that may even include paleolithic fire-farming of huntlands as has been practiced e.g. by the aboriginees of Australia since 50,000 years ago. Finding the distinction between herd animal Hsunchen and Praxians is fairly elusive if you are a newcomer to Glorantha. "There are Eiritha and Waha" doesn't really answer this, especially since Waha was only active in the Greater Darkness and Gray Age, whereas the Beast Rider people had been around since the middle Golden Age. "Praxians don't shapeshift into their herd beasts" describes a symptom, not the cause. Looking at the Lofak Yak people of the western Shan Shan, I don't get the impression of much of that shape-shifting going on. Much unlike the Uncolings where I don't see much alternative to most humans spending most of their time on hooves. Let's re-visit Eiritha. How is she different from the Green Goddess powering the Serpent Brotherhood of Hykimi shamans? And how are the Enerali different from the Galanini? Are the Pendali of Seshnela Hsunchen, or are they only a small ruling clan for their Basmoli Hsunchen and Likiti farmer/city-dweller subjects? What about the Enjoreli bull people of Loskalm, as "Orlanthi" a group as you can hope for? As a Hsunchen, you don't change your environment beyond what your totem beast does to the land (so beaver hsunchen still flood land by building dams, and gopher hsunchen still undermine the plains they inhabit). You still express your gratitude to the land goddess, but you don't change her. Storm Bull and his beast-headed sons came from the Spike, and the Founders married Eiritha's daughters. Through maternal descent, the Beast Riders and their herds are part of the land. I think that they would have practiced some "dairy plus gathering" life-style before, with the four-legs sharing some of their milk with the two-legs. There is the pastoralist theme of the magical beast(s) that you slaughter in the evening and which is alive the next morning - common in the Aesir mythology. Not dissimilar from the painted hunter culture of Wendaria, where the beast selected as dinner would be painted back to life for the next morning. (It isn't clear whether there is actual hunting involved, or rather an approach like asking politely "will you be my dinner tonight?") Entekos may be the space created by Umath's birth, or separated from the Celestial Realm when he pushed the sky upwards. Not the matter of the Middle Air/Sky, but the volume. As such she would be a sister of Umath, Dayzatar, Yelm and Lodril, a daughter of the Sky. Originally a body of light, then filled with air. Compare the tripartite identities of the seas - body, current, spirit/deity/ruler.
  5. Joerg

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    And there you have the rub for at least 70% of the aldryami - they have dryads for mothers. While green elves generally don't, brown elves do mate with dryads even though they have elf females. Yellow elves are all male, and all have dryads for mothers. Dryads are of course a subset of nymphs, but nymphs are the combination of Ulerian (or Tilntae) "mother" and "local or elemental aspect" magic. Even green elves have dryads and gardeners as their foster parents. There is something like a parental bond between elves, but it appears to be a subset of the general bond between the elves and their overarching identity, the forest, a responsibility of the parent to make sure that the offspring will contribute. The father (and, if an elf, the mother) of the sapling elf going mobile might be involved in the immediate training of their offspring, as far as other duties to the forest allow. This "forest first, individual family second, self third" approach of elven mentality combined with an utter ruthlessness towards parasitic or symbiotic species can make aldryami quite alien. Elf-friends need to be a lot more fatalistic than dark-friends. I have read a few pieces of fiction written from such a perspective, and it may be a lot less alien than you might imagine. People are connected to a multitude of other people and virtual people through their medial interaction, and in that context they aren't that mobile, either. Plus there are games like "Civilization" which put the player into a similar role, overseeing the antics of their instances. While I am no great fan of the Star Trek Vulcan comparison, either, there are other Star Trek species that might serve as an inspiration - the servants of the Dominion in the Deep Space Nine series. Both Jem'Hadar and Vorta are dedicated to their greater whole in a way quite alien to humanity. Elves are somewhere halfway between mass-produced r-selection and carefully nurtured K-selection. Elf units can reach quite impressive ages, depending on the subspecies, which would suggest a K-selection. At the same time, they are able to delay the planting of elf seeds in accordance with the greater plans of the forests. This suggests that they start valuing an individual when it begins to have merit, rather than after conception. There have been speculations (in ancient digests) about female elves being able to nurture young elves through gifts of nectar from their rudimentary mammaries (or imitations thereof, by virtue of the morphic demands of the Man rune). If so, this might be a way to impart lessons as well as to vector magic to the recipients, and might be extended to grownup aldryami, too. Possibly even elf-friends in need of such a power-up. Elves and runners feed on plants (mainly fruit or leaves, but probably also some barch or resin, and possibly some mulch) for energy and growth nutrients. They appear to leave general nectar harvest to the pixies. They may be able to do limited photosynthesis ("lightfeeding"), but that will only delay their need for energy consumption somewhat, and doesn't suffice to support frantic activity. This places them (and the runners) in a group of parasitic or symbiotic plant growths. Herbivorous beasts are some kind of rivals for food, but also somewhat useful recyclers of nutrients. Carnivorous beasts are nature's way to keep the herbivores in check without elf intervention. Both sorts of beasts probably would ingest elves if given the opportunity, making the elves less than sympathetic to their intruding uncontrolled into their own breeding and sleeping grounds. Hsunchen beasts may actually be a little more acceptable in this regard as their human-shaped entities are highly unlikely to hunt elves for food, and their beasts probably held in check somewhat by the human prohibition on feeding on humanoids. No idea where that leaves runners, though. Does the RQG bestiary have images of runners? The only depiction I recall from RQ3 days was a very unsatisfactory one of a chimp or gibbon with garlands.
  6. Joerg


    There is usually a second third generation elemental pantheon ancestor of elementals - Umbrol for the winds, King Undine for the waters, probably Lux/Arraz for fire, Dehore for darkness, and (judging from Anaxial's Roster p.201/203) Likita for earth. A band of loyal officers of the camp, at least. The King of Sartar story of the First Ring names a whole bunch of Golden Age dissidents in the plot for the Imperial Gazellet. However, Umath was in a weight class of his own - the elemental deity of the Celestial Court (King Storm, which may or may not have been just an aspect) and yet the adventuring Burta gathering or breeding his supporters. His activity in the cosmos was more or less unheard of, if you believe Yelmic teachings. Previous Elemental Rulers had shown little activity but specification into (usually a triplet of) aspects. The interaction of Earth and Sky was as new as the way Storm was born. The God Learners do claim a correspondence of Vith/TarnGatHa with Aether, and there are a bunch of Eastern myths involving Vith.
  7. Joerg


    The Dara Happans beg to differ. According to their calendar, Umath was born 40,000 YS and invaded the sky 70,000 YS. By that reckoning, Storm Gods had been present for three fifths of Yelm's reign. By that same calendar, Young Orlanth had at least 30,000 Yelmic years under his belt when he liberated Ernalda. Not that many. We know five brothers of Orlanth, plus a fair number of other storm gods not known as (half-)brothers of Orlanth who might be his offspring, and the Downland Migration myth which has Orlanth and his people inhabit Dini on the slopes of the Spike mentions Orlanth's sisters, presumably paternal half-siblings. Again, when compared to the 30,000 Yelmic years Umath was around, he appears to have been either quite chaste or not that fertile. Of course he spent quite some time pining for Asrelia, defeating Predark, stealing the Imperial Gazellet, making his camp. It has become difficult to attribute deeds (and offspring) clearly to Umath or Vadrus. The earliest account of the death of Faralinthor had Umath as his slayer (RQ2 Companion). The version in the Guide (p.691) blames Vadrus, allowing a continuity in which the Faralinthor Sea follows the Flood. She is clearly a child of Hykim and/or Mikyh, and the archetype of the nurturing mother giving milk from her own body to her offspring, though not the archetype for nest care and child feeding - that probably goes to the bird mother or her even less defined sky beast predecessor. The Sea Pantheon has the very convenient Tholaina, daughter of Triolina and Hykim, as ancestress of all beasts of the seas (though not all of the monsters, that's the domain of Varchulanga). The Sky Pantheon offers Avarnia as mother of birds, but not gazzam or horses.
  8. Joerg

    Who were Sartar's Companions?

    Apart from Wilms and Geo, we know about the man who became Ostling Four Wolves, the replacement chief (king) for the Telmori tribe. It isn't clear whether that son of Derik Pol Joni who won the riding match against the Feathered Horse Queen's best horse and rider was one of his companions already or whether he became one through this feat. I doubt that his companions were limited to his clan or even country of origin. In the case of Ostling, a Jajalaring origin has been speculated. Sartar being a non-martial hero, his companions may have been of a lot less martial background, too.
  9. Joerg

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    The 40 year old cherry tree right next to my house has spread its roots all around the house. I have found apparently new trees growing from its root systems as far as 20 meters away. We used to cut down most of these, but it has been a few years since I last pulled out these growths, and some of these are now of a size where I could splice twigs from the canopy or from other cherry varieties to it. A warrior of wood made from that tree would have quite the reach...
  10. Joerg

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    The Aldryami don't expand their territory invading with armies, but by expanding the forest, then defending the newly overgrown land. They probably wouldn't even consider expanding any other way. You can read about elf warfare against humans in the description of eastern Maslo in the Guide. Those are sleepless, all-male yellow elves with blowdarts rather than elf bows, and their special dryads who they mate with and who give birth to everything their tribe has to throw into the war.
  11. Joerg

    Human worshipping Aldrya

    Yes - they have stockpiled elf nuts for quite a while, and are ready to plant them along with the Reforestation. The elf nuts respond to the accelerated growth magic just like the trees do. In order to raise a massive elf army, you need to raise a massive forest. Elves don't work without a forest to support them. When you destroy that forest, they get unhinged, even if they find a surrogate forest (like the Rist survivors adopted Hellwood). They could raise armies of rootless elves, but unlike the reduced concern over the welfare of an individual (that will be mercifully culled from the crop when it shows bad deviations) they do value the seeds of their bodies too much to separate them from their common over-self. Luckily these "elves" (or better "entlings") don't resemble humans with pointed ears very much. They probably do have green blood and copper in it, but unlike in the pointy-eared humanoids from the planet Vulcan it shows in their skin coloration. Not to mention their completely different eyes, their foliation rather than hair or feathers, and their pre-mobile stage as a nut growing into a sessile humanoid before getting up and around.
  12. Joerg

    Lunar Hell -Underworld

    Yes, it is rather plain English. A few of the runes stand for interpunctation rather than letters, and capitals may be different from minuscules. It also has a typo in the last line, a missing letter.
  13. Joerg

    best cults for Alchemists

    I had the impression that alchemy is a way to draw magic from materials - a way of creating magic without pouring one's self into the process, controlling magic from the outside. It is neither the alchemist nor the spirit who provides the healing, but it is the processed material going into the potion. This will draw on the inherent magic of mineral material (such as crystals), possibly tied to its history of precipitation in myth, or the life-force of plant or animal matter used in the production. The earliest mention of alchemy in published Glorantha was the Alchemical Transformer, one of the gifts available by making an alliance attempt at the Dwarf Mine of Isidilian. This device was simply a booster of the controlling magician's abilities, doubling e.g. the range over which a magical attack (or defense) could be projected. Its description involved slaves worshipping the apparatus, providing it with some of that power, but from the name there are bound to be some materials involved, too. Mostali alchemy is clearly delineated in the Guide in the description of the Quicksilver Caste: They know the art of transmutation. Transmutation includes the production of metal from ores, which appears to be outside the expertise of both the metal-working castes (copper and brass). Who would you go to to have Truestone transformed into Adamantium? Some sort of analytical chemistry was ancient knowledge of smelters of ores - probing. The 16th century author Georg Agricola dedicated one of his IIRC 13 books on the art of mining on the techniques of probing the ore, and assaying metal contents. The knowledge he describes has been around for centuries, and probably dates back to Roman times, or even back to Cyprus and the Levante with the first copper industries. When I started learning chemistry, I complained about the extensive knowledge about the behavior of compounds one had to master, but I was able to approach the subject within a systematic frame that allows predictions of similar behavior based on other knowledge. This is a huge advantage no ancient alchemist possessed. There might be some general idea how to arrive at vitriols, but each flavor would be different. Gloranthan alchemists are in a somewhat better position as they have the runic correspondences which help determine material and magical properties of substances. But then, I think they (and alloyists) can discern the difference between brass and bronze where a chemical analysis wouldn't. A material scientist probably would be able to point out differences in crystallization inside the metal, demonstrable e.g. at breaks forcibly induced on items of either (Gloranthan) brass or bronze. There are likely to be differences in coloration, too, that are independent of the copper-tin ratio but dependent on the treatment history of the material. But then, a Runic analysis could determine the Powers and Conditions involved in those processes, beyond the mere Elemental make-up. Alchemy and transmutation are clearly aspects of Making, which does point to Mostal. There is knowledge involved, which makes all know-it-all approaches like Malkioni Logic or Lhankor Mhy knowledge repositories a starting point. There is hands-on work experience involved, whether for Orlanthi Woad, healers' herbalism (and use of animal glands and similar exotic body parts, as opposed to muscle meat). There are few crafts that have a truly dedicated deity. Gustbran the Redsmith is possibly the closest, but every other profession has at best some obscure subcult of a more common deity. Jacks of all crafts (and masters of none) are available, e.g. aspects of Lodril.
  14. Joerg

    Lunar Hell -Underworld

    Yes, this is a mystical (Outer Realm) hell rather than the land of the dead. And it is obviously one not previously conquered by Sheng during his Kralori-imposed austerities, or it would have been like handing Sheng the key to his cell. Three places on the Red Goddess' journey come to my mind - her encounter with Gbaji, her Oneness with Blaskarth/the Devil/the (underworld) Ultimate, or the place where she liberated the Bat sent down by Arkat. The Blaskarth encounter is shared with Yanafal Tarnils, which would be well-known to Fazzur, and it makes a suitably awful place to be in. By extension, it also means that Argrath, in order to return to the Surface World, had to undergo the same experiences as either Yanafal (self-sacrifice in exchange for the Goddess, requiring someone else to undergo the Red Goddess Trial) or the Red Goddess herself (another form of self-sacrifice). I think that Argrath would become the Yanafal to Sheng's Red Goddess in this quest, if that is how Argrath continued the quest..
  15. Joerg

    Lunar Hell -Underworld

    The usual seven-day path to the Court of the Dead. Yelm's descent made Grandfather Mortal's path a rule. Whichever regional deity is tasked with this. In Saird and Sylila this is likely Jajagappa. There might be an aspect of Lodril involved somewhere, after all there are a couple of myths with Lodril descending into the otherworld. The Lunar Way has the Red Goddess leading the way into the Underworld, starting with the sacrifice of Teelo Norri. Of the Seven Mothers, only Irrippi Ontor and Deezola are fairly free of obvious Underworld activities (unless you count Deezola's resurrection magic). It is unclear to me whether Etyries inherits the Issaries duties. Down the Sunpath - on the trail of Grandpa Mortal and Yelm. If not Grandfather Mortal, then possibly another appointee of Bijiif.Direct judgement by dead Yelm would be reserved for the select few high in Dara Happan hierarchy.