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Everything posted by Jeff

  1. If people assume that the alliances in the Hero Wars are straight-forward and easy, that is their problem.
  2. Similar dynamics can be seen within the Lunar Empire, where several of the Seven Mothers really don't care one way or another about the Orlanthi or about conquests in Dragon Pass or even about the Lunar Empire except in an abstract Obey the Red Emperor level.
  3. People seem to forget that Issaries, Lhankor Mhy, and Chalana Arroy largely try to stay out of the fight between Orlanth and the Red Goddess except when Chaos gets brought in or Orlanth uses the Lightbringer's Summons.
  4. BTW, this should make it obvious that a loincloth is the normal underwear for Sartarites. In warm weather, it might be the sole item of clothing.
  5. Etyries is sometimes treated as an associated cult, sometimes as a subculture of Issaries. She is acknowledged as Issaries' daughter. Note that the cult's famed neutrality tends to keep it neutral in conflicts between Sartar and the Lunar Empire. PARTICULAR LIKES AND DISLIKES The cult generally attempts to maintain a stance of neutrality between contending parties, preferring to profit from both if possible. They generally shun war. However, they are skilled at fighting, and once decided will keep to their way. Many among the Goldentongue cult are especially adroit at neutrality, and for this are trusted by many otherwise untrusting peoples. They are also sought after by others because they believe that the presence of an Issaries priest will ease the transmission of any communication—especially magical ones such as rituals or spells. Some cults also hire Issaries to protect their sacred ceremonial grounds and offer great gifts for this service. Like all Lightbringers they hate Chaos and dislike Darkness. While they can be neutral towards the races of Darkness, they cannot be neutral about Chaos. The cult has a particular dislike of hyenas, which are parts of the body of dead Genert and, if found alive, will cause a Middleman merchant to go on the trek to the desert unless a Desert Tracker can be persuaded to take upon the quest instead. Thus, the other brothers of Middleman will kill them on sight, if possible. They have a friendly rivalry with the Lhankor Mhy cult. Both cults have many desires in common, and therefore support each other. But whereas the Issaries cult collects items and knowledge to pass on to others, the Lhankor Mhy people keep it for themselves. ETYRIES There was also a daughter of Issaries, named Etyries. After a thousand years she grew tired of tending pots and counting stones and decided to travel a great distance to hear the words of a young goddess of the far north. She left her family and went to listen. The goddess was the Red Goddess, still on earth and in mortal form. The daughter of Issaries learned that she could use her great innate powers and still enjoy other pursuits. The Red Goddess taught Etyries that she was the guide upon the threads of the Lunar pantheon.
  6. And of course, the knights (or "Men-of-All") are suppressed by Rokarism, as they view Hrestol as having made a series of errors that ultimately resulted in the God Learners and the corruption of the Middle Sea Empire.
  7. A quick snapshot? The West is the realm of the humanists, who view the world as a natural process understandable, conquerable, and usable by conscious manipulation by mortals. That conscious manipulation is sorcery, which does not rely on god or spirit for its effectiveness. A part of that world-view is that human society itself should be logically organised (think Plato's "Republic" or "Laws" or the discussions of what the castes are supposed to do in the Mahabharata) - most Westerners have concluded that a system of castes is the only rational means to organize human society. The so-called "knights" are people who lead/guide/protect the community because they are capable of understanding the needs of all the castes. They follow a strict moral code (often translated as "chivalry") and counter-balance the ethical solipsism so common among the magic-using caste. They are traditionally mounted, hence they get called "knights", but that kind of is backwards. They have a code that could be roughly summarised as: 1. Be a good follower of Malkion's laws. 2. Defend the entire community of Malkioni followers. 3. Respect and defend those weaker than you. 4. Love your homeland and obey its rulers. 5. Do not show fear before your enemy. 6. Do not lie and remain faithful to your word. 7. Be generous and give largess to everyone. 8. Always be the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. How does that translate into costume and gear? Well the Westerners are basically a Bronze Age people - although Seshnela and Loskalm both have access to iron thanks to the dwarves (whom they don't trust and do fear - so just because they have access doesn't mean that iron is particularly common). Most folk are farmers, but they have a significant urban population of crafters, labourers, and so on, with smaller groups of professional warriors, and even smaller groups of nobles and wizards at the top.
  8. What does that mean? Of course they acknowledge the existence of that cult among the Pure Horse People. Do they participate in it? It is a weird Horse Barbarian thing - like drinking mare's milk or herding horses. Not appropriate for civilised people, any more than civilised people worship Ares as a sword or castrate themselves in the name of Artemis.
  9. Also Tin (Sky) plus Copper (Earth) makes Bronze (Air). The connection is obvious.
  10. She is a merciless and cruel Death goddess. And has been since she first appeared. The Prosopaedia entry is largely unchanged since 1985 and is consistent with Greg's edited version of Sandy and Steve's original descriptions of the cult.
  11. Although I am sure everyone knows this, Storm Tribe is not particularly canonical or even influential on the RuneQuest line. It was not a source for the Cults Book (in fact, I deliberately did not even look at it, preferring to rely directly on Greg's notes and our discussions), and I do not encourage it as a reference for those writing for us. You can do with it as you want, but I want to be clear that it is not a foundation for any new published material going forward.
  12. And here's her Prosopaedia entry: BABEESTER GOR EARTH DEATH (BAH-bees-ter GORE) Elf and Orlanth pantheons – ­the avenging daughter and sacred guardian When the Gods War perverted the world, Earnalda brought forth her own grim defender. Babeester Gor was born from Ernalda's corpse, axes in hand, body ritually scarred to carry deadly magic. She destroyed all kin-slayers, all oath-breakers who swore by her mother, and everything which desecrated the sacred places of the earth. She was merciless and cruel. Once she slew so many defenseless residents of Healing Valley that she waded breast-deep in the gore, drinking the blood of victory and slaughter. Eurmal saved some of the healers when he turned the blood to beer, which Babeester Gor drank to blissful oblivion. Every important temple to the Earth deities is guarded by Babeester Gor's initiates and includes a shrine to her. Babeester Gor is depicted as a ferocious woman whose eyes are red with intoxication and rage. Her hair is disheveled and her blood-red tongue lolls drunkenly. Her skin is black, but her hands and feet are painted red with blood. She is naked except for her garlands of grisly trophies – scalps, hands, and male genitals. She carries a double-headed copper axe that is also decorated with her grisly trophies.
  13. The Cults Book will provide additional details on all of the cults. You can say a lot more when you have 1500 to 10,000 words to describe a cult than when you have 750.
  14. Here's what will be appearing in the Cults Book: REQUIREMENTS TO BELONG Initiates of Babeester Gor have all normal requirements and restrictions and receive all the usual benefits. Initiates are sworn to slay despoilers of the earth whenever met, and aid Axe Maidens in whatever is required. Initiates may not marry and must give any offspring to their local Earth Temple.
  15. Aha, so now we have the classic problem of what is permitted within the sacred boundaries is not permitted outside of it. Sex with another clan member is perfectly fine within the sanctified place where the Divine World meets the mundane, but it is frowned on or even forbidden outside of it. What might result in blessings and divine favour within the temple can result in retribution and divine anger outside. And because this takes place within the clan, you run the risk of being outlawed or at least exiled.
  16. Who knows who is actually present during a fertility festival? Are they spirits or gods? Mortals? Kinfolk? These are things that happen while in the Hero Plane - and normal social rules likely do not apply.
  17. Well in that case, the kid has a mother, right? He's Onorfol, son of his mother. His biological father has no legal role except for being a member of the same clan. These sorts of "fatherless" births happen reasonably often, usually the result of fertility festivals where women are encouraged to take lovers. Sometimes these children end up being given to one of the temples to be raised or even end up serving in the household of the chieftain.
  18. If I recall, I posted quite a bit of info on it here.
  19. Of course the Orlanthi have dogs. But they are worker animals, and considered less desirable than having an alynx. Goats are like pigs in many Muslim countries - religiously unclean.
  20. Its not a Spirit of Reprisal issue, any more than the incongruity between sorcery and spirit magic is.
  21. That being said, I am not sure that knowledge of sorcery is block for Orlanth. In fact, I am pretty sure it is not.
  22. Yes. Sorcery is hyper-rational, hyper-logical. Imagine it as a grand materialist memory palace. It is incompatible with some of the more ecstatic cult secrets which are irrational by nature. It is also the reason spirit magic screws up your ability to manipulate sorcery.
  23. Actually if you have learned sorcerous techniques EVEN AS AN INITIATE OF LHANKOR MHY, you are going to have trouble initiating into other cults. You still get them as Associated Deities but you are just too damn logically oriented to get the mysteries.
  24. The definition of a sorcerer is someone who knows sorcerous Runes or Techniques. Open Seas can be cast without knowing any. Most initiates of Dormal know just this one spell and are not sorcerers.
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