Runes, Sea Dragons and Lunar Book

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Wed 21 Jun 1995 - 03:34:53 EEST

Sandy Petersen:

I had written:

>>The RQ II rulebook says [Chaos is opposed to all Runes] but doesn't
>>give the Law Rune. Since you can have Gods with runes of Chaos and
>>Air for example (Ragnaglar), this is plainly absurd and so the God
>>Learners spout out that Nothing is safe from the taint of chaos.
>>All vacuous nonsense, if you ask me.

Snady interjects...

> Why can't you have opposed Runes in a given cult? Even the
>God Learners thought this was possible with Chaotic deities.

I am taking issue with the idea of _opposed_ runes. This reeks of Cultural Materialism of the worse kind[1]. Everybody who has read RQII will automatically come up with Life and Death being a Prime Example of opposed runes and only held together by Cults of Dubious Standing (Yelm, the Seven Mothers etc). Yet the Orlanthi see Humakt, Death, as being in the Service of Life and do not really comprehend the point of 'opposing' runes in this context.

What I am saying is that the Runes are really only opposed from ones PoV if they have been lead to believe they are. The God Learners 'knew' from their Malkioni heritage that certain runes were automatically opposed and this was one of the things that screwed up the Heroplane and why they get such a bad press. Look at the Celestial Court for instance. The God Learners have them composed of opposed powers, whereas the Dara Happans have nothing of the sort in their myths.

>didn't like it with other gods, though. I suspect if they'd had
>their way with Yelm, there would be two suns in modern Glorantha --
>a "Life" one, and a "Death" one.

Anybody who mentions Bijiif, the Ashen Yelm as an example will be roundly set upon. Bijjif seems to be a cult of Dead Fire Worship (ie ashes) based in Darjiin. The fact that he is sometimes called the rival merely reflects the numerous scraps Darjiin and Alkoth have had over the many years.

[1] 'Cultural Materialism'. The concept I'm railing against here is the tendency to simplistically ascribe an culutral practice to an environmental effect. The best example of it I can give is the Aztecs supposedly practicing Human Sacrifice to ward of protein deficiency. The Rich were the only ones who regularly partook in such feasts and the poor could get their protein from other sources...

David Cake:

> There is a documented Sea Dragon in Kralorela, I believe (named
>something like Hrunthin Da? Its in Elder Secrets) who founded the Cult of
>the Orca to fight the Zabdamar mermen.

Given that the Orca is a killer whale, I have a difficult time believing that Trunhin Da (sp?), the Blue Dragon of the Deep is actually reptilian in appearance. I think that he looks more like a Colossal Sperm Whale. I think that when the Kralori say that he is a True Dragon they are actually saying he has a spiritual status to a Saint akin to saint or hero. Certainly Godunya's not reptilian in appearance.

The Sea Dragons are native to the Sea of Neleomi, IMO and found only around the adjacent seas, IMO.

Nick Brooke:

>Greg is still writing his
>long-awaited Lunar Book, and the latest manuscripts I received the other day
>contain some startling new stuff: Peter Metcalfe will be pleased with Sheng
>Seleris' steppe-spanning career.

Oh? <BG> Any chance this was connected to the minor dispute about Dendara/Den Xi we had? If so, I will refrain from gloating until I have seen the actual article...

>Chaos is Fertility!

I really thought of the Red Goddess's Runes as using the raw power of chaos to heal the wounds of the Earth incurred during the Gods War. Equivalent to, say, growing a tentacle to replace a severed arm...

End of Glorantha Digest V1 #324

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