Re: East Ralios deities

From: David Dunham (
Date: Thu 01 Feb 1996 - 09:43:43 EET

Peter Michaels wrote:

>One of the RQ/Glorantha websites that I looked over again
>recently was David Dunham's East Ralios site. ...
>However, I always leave just a tad disappointed
>with the pantheon as described.

Same here...

(BTW, the URL is <>)

>All this got me wondering about the "cult" of Eurmal in the
>East Wilds of Ralios. Eurmal, whose powers can create or
>destroy. Eurmal, who alters those who listen to him; he can
>make people happy, or sad, or angry, or crazy. Eurmal, who
>(paradoxically) gives people stolen and forbidden gifts; he
>provides things people need to survive. Eurmal, who is not
>bound by (or breaks, or "breaks," or whatever) the Cosmic

I don't see why Eurmal isn't bound by the Compromise. He breaks society's
laws, but the Compromise is a physical law in Glorantha. And why anyone
would ask the Liar for a divination is beyond me.

According to the official Trickster writeup in Questlines, the Trickster
aspects found in Ralios are Dismembered (since East Ralios is now a
Theyalan culture); Firebringer; Fool; Fright; Imp; Shapechanger (a shrine
in Naskorion has Become Dirty Shirt); Thief.

>In the East
>Wilds Eurmal is the Prophet, the Poet, the Lawbreaker.

East Ralios is Orlanthi, and I don't think there's a "good" role for him. I
think Lankoring is a far better deity for figuring geases.

If you want a "good" role for Eurmal, the bard described in Pagan Shore is
better than fili: "A poet and musician with the special function of
praising good nobles and lampooning bad ones." Perhaps this is why Orlanthi
chieftains keep a resident Eurmali -- they receive poetic praise.

>I think Lankoring is more like the Pagan Shore deity Midir
>(the God of Lawyers); his worshippers are like the
>Breitheamn, who arbitrate disputes based on their
>knowledge of Irish Law. I agree with David that Lankoring
>is the God of Lawspeaking, but I don't think he's the god of
>ALL knowledge the way the Manarian Lankor Mhy is/tries to
>be. I think Lankoring's knowledge is focused solely on the
>Truth as it relates to the Law and has little to do with
>knowing about history, geography, or the "natural" world
>(minerals, plants, etc...) as areas of study. In the East Wilds
>Lankoring is the Lawspeaker, the Lord of Wisdom, the

Right, that's what I believe. Perhaps I shouldn't allow Lore as a cult
skill (though I added several cultural skills which aren't standard).
Although I believe that Lankoring priests (who, BTW, don't have to have
beards) would frequently learn more about the natural world in order to
better interpret some oracles.

>I think I disagree the most with David about Issaries in the
>East Wilds. Looking at David's spell list, it appears the cult
>is of the Trader Prince variety. I believe he is more akin to
>the Pagan Shore deity Ogham (the God of Eloquence). His
>worshippers are similar to the Eachlach, who travel about
>the land loyally serving their chief as messenger, scout, and
>spy. Note that this is a very different role from that of the
>"neutral" Harald Goodword subcult described in the RoC cult
>write-up; these people are the eyes, ears, and spokesperson
>for their chief and aren't neutral at all. (I think he's also
>worshipped by anyone who wants good bargaining and
>oratory skills, but the majority of his worshippers are the
>messengers.) I also don't believe the East Wilds Issaries
>has the spells Lock or Passage; he's no merchant to be
>concerned with protecting goods. In the East Wilds Issaries
>is the God of Eloquence, the Chieftain's Talker, the

This is exactly what I believe (except possibly for the spy bit; I believe
Issaries worshippers do act as neutral heralds, and are the glue that keeps
the region culturally cohesive), so obviously the spell list needs
revising. Any suggestions?

Note that Doskior is the trade god in East Ralios, since most serious trade
is by boat.

Peter later suggests spells:

>Off the cuff, my version of the cult would probably provide
>spells such as Pathwatch, Retell (David lists it as a spell for
>Issaries, and I assume it allows the caster to be able to repeat
>something word-for-word including inflections, etc. and maybe
>even in the other person's voice), and Hie Horse (similar to Hie
>Wagon, but just for unhitched horses).

Retell is essentially the herald spell you describe; Hie Horse is
irrelevant since most Orlanthi don't ride.

>On second thought, forget about Hie Horse as a spell for
>Issaries in East Ralios. (I was still woosy from the attempted
>GPS! That's it!) On reconsideration, I now think the East Wilds
>Issaries provides Pathwatch, Retell, Precision Orate, and

"Precision Orate" is a clunky name which should be "Eloquence." The spell
you use that name for should be called "Fluency," since it increases
language skill. I am hereby adding those two spells to East Ralios Issaries
(shrines teach one or the other, usually Eloquence), and dropping Lock and

Create Moot is an Issaries spell because moots are talking events.

I think we're still lacking some spells for the Speaking God, but this is
an improvement.

Yes, Issaries travellers report back to their thanes (just as the Aztec
pochteca class of traders spied for their kings). But if they didn't have a
certain degree of neutrality, they wouldn't be welcomed at other clans, and
wouldn't be able to perform the herald role which is important. I do see
Issarians as diplomats as well, which is hardly a neutral role, tho they're
still considered neutral noncombatants.

Keep in mind I'm not trying to force East Ralios into the Irish mold -- the
Lightbringers should have some resemblance to the cults imported less than
1500 years ago (of course, it would be nice if we know what those were

David Pearton added:

>Another difference is that Urox is not the smelly, drunken chaos killing
>cult that it is in Dragon Pass and Prax (although drink is still
>appreciated ;). Rather he is the god of beserks in general (the divine
>rage) and his worshipers are (often) well respected warriors. Urox is
>respected as the slayer of the devil, but due to the general lack of
>chaos this is not a huge part of the cult. That said old rune lords do
>sometimes make a pilgramige over high Llama pass and never come back.

This isn't exactly how I envisioned it, but it's better. The Storm Bull
cult may also be connected to the old god Bemur (though it's more likely
Orlanth took most of his aspects). Initiation into Urox probably involves
swearing the geas Always Attack Chaos (but tossing a sling stone would be
sufficient should you meet something truly horrible you then want to run
away from). And as you know, some clans (like your own Karbaring) have a
Wind Ring, where an Uroxi holds the Beast Wind position.

You've got your passes confused. High Llama Pass cannot be pilgrimmaged
over because the Ban is in effect. At least the Uroxi do cross Kartolin
Pass on occasion; Orlanthi Wind Lords have the habit of flying there,
shouting challenges to chaos, then leaving when nothing answers right away.

Peter Metcalfe wondered

>On the subject of God Learner Switches:
>Anybody know what happened when David Dunham and David Cake met up
>at the Con? David Cake has not been heard off since and David
>Dunham has been avoiding people. I find this _very_ suspicious ;-)

Since I'm the owner of the David rune (note my greater stature), nothing
serious happened to me. I haven't been avoiding people, but consciously

chose to avoid most technology while on vacation. Somehow bringing a
PowerBook to Uluru (Ayers Rock) would have been sacrilegious.

A con report should follow in my next posting.

David Dunham Pensee Corporation
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