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Western Sorcery in RQ:G


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Could anyone summarise the current understanding of how Western Sorcery fits into the current RQ universe. I seem to remember some discussion about only the Wizard caste actually using sorcery. The other castes were able to use spirit magic and somehow have access to rune magic. I know someone is going to say wait for the Sorcery/Malkion supplement. I'm just after some general hints as to the direction of travel. Is it towards the henotheism of Ralios? Are the lower castes, in their ignorance, allowed to indulge in spirit or cult worship. Otherwise how do they acquire spirit and rune magic?

 

Edited by kr0p0s
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I believe that all of that is subject for another sourcebook. Jeff did post some hits on the caste system here (or perhaps on FB and some whippersnapper copied here for us grognards) I'll see if I can find the post...

this was from Jeff:

Nearly all Malkioni accept the Law of Malkion as the keystone to the faith. Sadly, the ease with which this law can be misinterpreted has led to many different sects of Malkionism. The law is summarized below:

1.      The Invisible God is the God beyond the gods.

2.      Follow the righteous path of your caste. (This is usually defined as imposing different rules for each caste.)

3.      Love that which the Invisible God has created.

4.      Do not ruin that which you love. (This is usually defined as including a proscription against use of the Tap Technique.)

I recall a more in-depth post but my google-fu is failing at the moment 

 

Edited by Psullie
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38 minutes ago, Psullie said:

I recall a more in-depth post but my google-fu is failing at the moment

Same here, that's why I have put out this request 😁.

There was quite a detailed debate thread about the general concepts called School me on the Changes to the Malkioni in which Jeff mentioned  " But I don't think things have changed much since the Guide. Except now I am able to make things work using the RQ rules."

And I remembered reading somewhere that the lower castes make use of spirit magic, and something about access to rune magic through heroquesting? 

So there is a lot of though going into the Western magic system. I was just wondering if someone 'in the know' *cough* would be able to provide a broad framework of progress so far?

I know that it doesn't have much relevance to the campaign in Sartar being developed, but it is quite relevant to the broader world view.

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1 hour ago, kr0p0s said:

Could anyone summarise the current understanding of how Western Sorcery fits into the current RQ universe. I seem to remember some discussion about only the Wizard caste actually using sorcery. The other castes were able to use spirit magic and somehow have access to rune magic. I know someone is going to say wait for the Sorcery/Malkion supplement. I'm just after some general hints as to the direction of travel. Is it towards the henotheism of Ralios? Are the lower castes, in their ignorance, allowed to indulge in spirit or cult worship. Otherwise how do they acquire spirit and rune magic?

I believe the current understanding is that non-wizards do worship local gods and spirits and their ancestors in exchange for spirit and rune magic, like pretty much anywhere else in Glorantha, though they also worship the Invisible God and sacrifice MP for the wizards to use and send up the chain of veneration. The warrior societies are the biggest example of this, as they're basically just thinly disguised Hsunchen cults. The wizards oversee all of this, though, and to an extent control who is worshiped and how. They, of course, use pure sorcery, and know that the beings worshiped by the lower castes are merely imperfect manifestations of the pure runes.

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If you are planning on attending Impromptu Con on Saturday, that would be a great question to ask!

Here's the link - unlimited people, never expires (although we will be deleting the server after the event). Same link for all of us.
Open the gates! Unleash the hounds!
And here's the preliminary schedule:
Event start 8pm CET/7pm GMT/2pm EST/11am PST/6am Sun AEST (Also, to avoid having to list five time zones, I will list these times as only CET/EST and you can convert from there in your heads.)
8:30pm/2:30pm RQ Starter Set with Jason and Jeff
8:30pm/2:30pm Stealing Ideas from Crime Dramas with Lynne
9:30pm/3:30pm Even more RuneQuest with Jeff
9:45pm/3:45pm Everyone Dies and Goes Insane with Mike Mason
10pm/4pm 7th Sea: Updating the Colonies with John and Derek (and maybe David Larkins)
11pm/4pm Lords of the Middle Sea with Jeff and Jason
11pm/5pm Book Recommends for CoC scenarios with Mike and Lynne
11pm/5pm QuestWorlds with Ian
12am/6pm Genre Packs with Ian
12am/6pm RPG Monster Garage! with John
1am/7pm The Princess Bride Watch Along with John (2 hours)
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4 hours ago, kr0p0s said:

Could anyone summarise the current understanding of how Western Sorcery fits into the current RQ universe. I seem to remember some discussion about only the Wizard caste actually using sorcery. 

 

According to the rules, no Sorcery spell skill can be higher than the character's Read/Write. Considering that most people are illiterates, then by definition sorcery is the realm of the high castes. 

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4 hours ago, Godlearner said:

According to the rules, no Sorcery spell skill can be higher than the character's Read/Write. Considering that most people are illiterates, then by definition sorcery is the realm of the high castes. 

And highly intelligent.  You have to have a minimum INT of 13 to learn Runes and Techniques. You can be as erudite as you like, but without the raw smarts, you will find using your spell knowledge very draining.

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33 minutes ago, kr0p0s said:

And highly intelligent.  You have to have a minimum INT of 13 to learn Runes and Techniques. You can be as erudite as you like, but without the raw smarts, you will find using your spell knowledge very draining.

… and at least 5 points of POW, and source of magic points (the more the better) to get you started.

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In the GtG, p.53 it says "Sorcery is the type of magic which is most acceptable and most used. Most Malkioni consider any magic which is more useful than kitchen or plow charms to be too powerful and dangerous for normal people to try. Only specialized wizards ought to attempt greater magic, and then only carefully."

This implies that the bulk of the population only has access to low strength, utility spirit magic,Ignite,  Heal, Repair etc, no Fireblade for them. How is this access controlled? What punishments are meted out for transgressional individuals? I imagine the warrior class can access more potent magic, both spirit and possibility  rune magic. What gods, spirits or pathways do they use to access this? You don't want your warrior class "trapped in the worship of runes as petty gods", especially when that god is Orlanth or his rebellious kin.

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29 minutes ago, kr0p0s said:

."

This implies that the bulk of the population only has access to low strength, utility spirit magic,Ignite,  Heal, Repair etc, no Fireblade for them. How is this access controlled? 

 

Is it controlled by the Zzabari caste. It has been said they have access to potent magic for the control of otherworld entities. Are the Dronars rewarded for service or given appropriate spirit magic by the a Zzaburi summoning specific spirits to teach them?

Edit:

Further, each rune spell has affinities. Would Talars and Horali  caste members be able to use their own rune affinities to obtain suitable rune magic?

Edited by kr0p0s
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As I understand it from Jeff’s clarifications last night, for the Rokari:

Zzaburi are specialist sorcery users. The general citizenry are expected to donate magic points at regular community rituals, which the Zzaburs can use for powerful community rituals. 
The Talars worship their ancestors. And their genealogies may include some beings that other cultures would treat as not only heroes, but gods. In particular, Issaries is an ancestor of many Western noble families (this story about Garzeen is in Cults of Prax), including the Trader Princes of the Manirian Coast. And of course the old Seshnelan Serpent Kings were descended from Seshna Likita. But also famous ancestors would be hero cults etc. Presumably they don’t practice Ancestor Worship in a very shamanic way. 
Horali Warriors typically get magic from war gods and the War societies. This is tolerated as long as they remain subservient to the Talars, and effective at fighting. 
I personally don’t think the War societies are practically very hsunchen like these days - I don’t think there is a big emphasis on shape changing, unarmed warfare, I don’t think they consider themselves animals in human form, etc and they are still very civilised in lifestyle - rather, they were hsunchen spirit cults ~1500 years ago and are now quite different - but they are not really Malkioni magic either. 
And the Dronars quietly worship the same sort of deities as farmers and workers elsewhere - largely Earth worship, crafter gods and gods associated with professions, but a few wilder religions as well - and as long as they continue turning up to the weekly community rituals, and obeying the Talars, no one really pays that much attention. 

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28 minutes ago, davecake said:

I don’t think they consider themselves animals in human form, etc and they are still very civilised in lifestyle

They probably don't regard themselves as hsunchen and may be rather quite unhsunchen but I think that the Talars and the Zzaburi will habitually think of them as hsunchen.

 

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

As I understand it from Jeff’s clarifications last night, for the Rokari:

Zzaburi are specialist sorcery users. The general citizenry are expected to donate magic points at regular community rituals, which the Zzaburs can use for powerful community rituals. 
The Talars worship their ancestors. And their genealogies may include some beings that other cultures would treat as not only heroes, but gods. In particular, Issaries is an ancestor of many Western noble families (this story about Garzeen is in Cults of Prax), including the Trader Princes of the Manirian Coast. And of course the old Seshnelan Serpent Kings were descended from Seshna Likita. But also famous ancestors would be hero cults etc. Presumably they don’t practice Ancestor Worship in a very shamanic way. 
Horali Warriors typically get magic from war gods and the War societies. This is tolerated as long as they remain subservient to the Talars, and effective at fighting. 
I personally don’t think the War societies are practically very hsunchen like these days - I don’t think there is a big emphasis on shape changing, unarmed warfare, I don’t think they consider themselves animals in human form, etc and they are still very civilised in lifestyle - rather, they were hsunchen spirit cults ~1500 years ago and are now quite different - but they are not really Malkioni magic either. 
And the Dronars quietly worship the same sort of deities as farmers and workers elsewhere - largely Earth worship, crafter gods and gods associated with professions, but a few wilder religions as well - and as long as they continue turning up to the weekly community rituals, and obeying the Talars, no one really pays that much attention. 

This is a good summary, but I also think that Jeff mentioned that only spirit magic was generally available to the Hrolari and Dronar. This implies that their interaction with their deities were limited. Maybe initiation to the cults of the Burtae is seen as a step too far away from Malkionism. There is a sorcery spell introduced in Smoking Ruins call See Rune Magic. You could imagine some inquisitorial body, in more orthodox regions, dedicated to checking up on the lower castes to purge unorthodox rune powers.

The Talar worship of powerful ancestors may alow them to bypass these restrictions and obtain rune magic?

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It is typical how the names of the lower castes vary...

Holar and Horal both are names that appear in the early Malkioni writings. One was used for the warrior caste, the other for a noble caste brother of Malkion who married his sister Menena.

The Brithini call their warriors Horali. The unpublished fragmentary Hrestol's Saga has Horal as the grandfather of Hrestol's wife (from Brithos, during his exile there) and Holar as the Sword-bearer.

Likewise there are two variants for the worker caste ancestor, Dromal and Dronar. With a King Drona in the Fronelan background, an earth king, I have come to the theory that there were twin brothers of the earth-born worker caste leaders, one of them settling for the Fourth Caste rule under the advice (never reign, no, sir) of Zzabur on Brithos, the other emigrating with his divine companions (Bakan the Boar, and Eurmal Friend of Men) to Fronela even before the Kachasti got there. But that's just an unsubstantiated theory, picking up the "twin sons sending one into a self-imposed exile" mythic motive of the west which may very well have repeated itself a number of times, as mythic motives tend to do. (The Storm Hero slays the dragon has at least three incarnations - Vadrus vs. Enkoshons, Orlanth vs. Aroka, Barntar vs. an unnamed version of Aroka.)

For "original humans", the Malkioni (or at least their mythical leaders) have a pristine (if very mixed) divine ancestry.

Malkion the Founder is the son of Aerlit Kolating, a storm god who flew with the Vadrudi host, inheriting from Sky and Earth, and Warera Triolina, a (grand?) daughter of King Wartain, a triolini mer-king of the Neliomi sea descended from one of the ten Tritons. Warera and Ludocha were abducted and married in the same mythic event, which makes the statement that Warera was a Ludoch a bit dubious, but not impossible. I personally see her as a niiad, the demigod ancestral race that made up the Triolini prior to the Vadrudi raid.

Malkion married a number of goddesses to sire the caste founders and the tribal founders.

Malkions sons Talar, Horal, Zzabur and Holar and his daughters Eule and Menena were born to the Tilnta (love nymph, love goddess) Phlia, the caste ancestor Dromal was born to the land or mountain goddess Kala (a mountain range on Brithos), and Waertag was born to a Wartain sea goddess (niiad or ludoch) named Jeleka.

I have no idea what the canonical fate of the Horal-Holar duplicate is under canon. T

(The Yggites are descended from a son of Valind and yet another Wartain sea goddess, making them something like close cousins of Malkion's descendants, but without all that logic etc.)

Not a single descendant of Grandfather Mortal in this array, but then Malkion became (the avatar of) Grandfather Mortal in his Fifth Action.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

 

For "original humans", the Malkioni (or at least their mythical leaders) have a pristine (if very mixed) divine ancestry.

Malkion the Founder is the son of Aerlit Kolating, a storm god who flew with the Vadrudi host, inheriting from Sky and Earth, and Warera Triolina, a (grand?) daughter of King Wartain, a triolini mer-king of the Neliomi sea descended from one of the ten Tritons. Warera and Ludocha were abducted and married in the same mythic event, which makes the statement that Warera was a Ludoch a bit dubious, but not impossible. I personally see her as a niiad, the demigod ancestral race that made up the Triolini prior to the Vadrudi raid.

Malkion married a number of goddesses to sire the caste founders and the tribal founders.

Malkions sons Talar, Horal, Zzabur and Holar and his daughters Eule and Menena were born to the Tilnta (love nymph, love goddess) Phlia, the caste ancestor Dromal was born to the land or mountain goddess Kala (a mountain range on Brithos), and Waertag was born to a Wartain sea goddess (niiad or ludoch) named Jeleka.

 

There's a lot of scope for ancestors worship among the Talar cast there!

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5 hours ago, kr0p0s said:

There is a sorcery spell introduced in Smoking Ruins call See Rune Magic. 

--SPOILER -- Its Arkati magic. Anyone that has access to that spell in an orthodox western church isn't likely to share that they know it. 

There are a couple rune spells in RBM that come from western heroes too. I figure western warriors, and maybe others, will have access to limited rune magic. 

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50 minutes ago, Frp said:

--SPOILER -- Its Arkati magic. Anyone that has access to that spell in an orthodox western church isn't likely to share that they know it. 

There are a couple rune spells in RBM that come from western heroes too. I figure western warriors, and maybe others, will have access to limited rune magic. 

Its a new sorcery spell that is used by the Black Arkati, but its general enough that you would imagine its a useful spell that would be found in  some version of the Abiding Book.

Ooh, I have the RBM, but missed those. Which ones?

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45 minutes ago, kr0p0s said:

Its a new sorcery spell that is used by the Black Arkati, but its general enough that you would imagine its a useful spell that would be found in  some version of the Abiding Book.

It was the (sample?) spell of the Stygian College of Magic in RQ3 Gods of Glorantha, a sect-exclusive spell.

 

Edited by Joerg
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41 minutes ago, kr0p0s said:

Its a new sorcery spell that is used by the Black Arkati, but its general enough that you would imagine its a useful spell that would be found in  some version of the Abiding Book.

Ooh, I have the RBM, but missed those. Which ones?

Humor for Talor and Flamesword for Gerlant. I least I think so. Can't imagine who else they'd be for. 

I see your point about See Rune Magic. It's not like someone couldn't just create it if they thought it would come handy too. 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

It was the (sample?) spell of the Stygian College of Magic in RQ3 Gods of Glorantha, a sect-exclusive spell.

 

Well spotted! However it is not introduced as such in the Smoking Ruins supplement, and is of  such utility that you would imagine that it may be in use in Malkioni cultures .  It may be used by zzaburi tasked with monitoring and chastising the lower castes or interacting with heathens?

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