many replies

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Sat 18 May 1996 - 16:13:10 EEST

Aden Steinke:

>If however, you take the view that the gods are more than somewhat
>constrained/ defined by their worshippers (and particularly hero
>questers) then ethos / ideology / and cultic obligations would
>have sufficient consistency across Glorantha [...]. The need for
>the worshipper to be to at least some extent an avatar of their god
>would compel this, [...] but the cult in Glorantha is tied to the
>relevant God in a manner without historical RW parallel in terms of

When the object of worship is merely that of a big spirit, yes, the
spirit can impose feedback on his worshippers. However he is too
weak and/or too localised for widespread worship.

The problem starts when the God is a primal power. The Amazons of
Trowjang and the Citizenry of Alkoth both worship the same god, but
their cults to such a diety are far from similar. Similar arguments
apply for Cults revering Death (Humakt and Urnbudud), the Sun (Yelm,
Somash, Yu-Kargzant and Ehilm) and the Earth Goddess (Ernalda, Oria,
Ralia and so on). It is my belief that such a God or Goddess is so
powerful that multiple 'avatars' can exist. The Praxians have a
different impression of What the Sun is than the Malkioni for example.

The points of similarity would between two cults revering the same
concept would be in their basic nature. If I looked at two different
cultures, then I would expect any 'Humakt' Cults to be exactly the
same only in that the worshippers a) worship Death and b) carry Big
Swords. The Spell lists for the two cults would be similar but I
would expect that each know a couple of spells not known by the other.
Also the ethos/ideology and cultic obligations are social constructs
first and foremost. A Cult in which Humakt is worshipped as an
executioner would have vastly different E/I&COs than one in which
Humakt is revered as a Soldier, frex.

Ian Gorlick:

>An elemental is a mass of some element animated by a spirit of that
>element. It is a little hard to see how a conventional weapon could
>damage that mass or the spirit, unless the presence of the spirit
>imposes some order on the mass which can be disrupted by the impact
>of a weapon. However I can't remember seeing it explicitly stated
>anywhere that conventional weapons were not effective against

Simple. Most gloranthans view the body as a flesh animated by a
spirit. They would view the elementals control over its body in
similar terms leaving them no apparent contradiction to observe
when elementals are damaged by conventional weapons. Bits of
dirt fall of gnomes when they are hit, contrary vortices are set
off inside sylphs, the Undine loses water from the splashes made
as the weapon hits and comes out and so forth.

Nick Effingham:

>Does the KoW include Eastern war gods, or chaos?

No. It certainly wouldn't include Vangono. I am highly doubtful
about whether they would worship Yanafal Tarnils although they
would in any case have a cult that worshipped the Red Moon in a
destructive aspect (The Red Madmen).

David Dunham:

>To Peter Metcalfe's list of decisive battles I'd add Arkat's defeat at
>Kartolin. This was essentially the only time Arkat's forces were stopped,
>and he would have never had to invade through the Holy Country and Dragon
>Pass otherwise.

D'oh. And also add in the Battle of D'ohbury and the Castle Blue.

Hasni Mubarak:

>HUMAKT: Ok, when a death-boy becomes a Sword, he can get another gift
>and geas. In fact, that's purty much the ONLY way to get additional
>gifts. However, how can a sword give 180% of his income? (By taking
>multiple enhance stat gifts...?)

Ritualized blood loss or other archaic ritual (which causes 1 general
HP loss per 10% of income tithe) performed at a holy day. Thus a Sword
who previously had to tithe 30% of his income would tithe 90% and lose
2 general HPs).

>Yanarfal Tarnils: (How do you spell that name, anyhow?) How do these
>guys justify their existence? I mean, they have to KNOW that they are
>worshiping a mere shadow of the REAL death god, right? Or are they
>really worshiping the Seven Mothers, and that's just a "Hero" cult for

pfah. Yanafal Tarnils is a *war* god or more properly the Red Moon
wearing her War Mask. His Scimitars probably scoff at Humakt's claim
to be *the* First Murderer (although not within the hearing of
Carmanian hazars).

>Any ideas on differences between Jonatelan Humakti and Sartarite

As the Jonatings lie between the KoW and Carmania, I imagine that the
Humakti there are more crueller than the Sartarites. I also think
them to be rather Carmanized as they would ape the Hazars but some
might take after the KoW.

>Carse: Who runs Carse? Is it a Lunar appointment? Does Carse consider
>itself to be "Free", "Occupied", or "incorporated [into the Lunar

Before 1617, it was part of Heortland although I am unsure about the
exact relationship between it and King Owain. I think it became
'independant' when King Richard took over Heortland and Brian the
Vosaxli lands. In 1619, it was occupied by the Lunars and I imagine
it is pretty much an occupied city as it is one of the major ports
of Genertelan Coast.

Steve Barnes:

>"Selfish" heroes: some claim that "selfish" heroes such as Harrek
>will be forgotten, because they do not share the power gained from
>their quests with their people. If that were true, why do humans
>still remember Arkat? (He did teach sorcery to the Trolls, but
>presumably, he didn't lose personal use of Sorcery because of this)

Harrek is not a Selfish Hero as he rains benefits aplenty upon his
Wolf Pirates. What has been said was that Harrek became a Has-Been
(like Jason) after he has killed Jar-Eel. People remember Arkat
because he set up the Dark Empire, the last true Ralian Empire. He
also teaches the Malkioni how to worship False Gods without losing
Solace. None of this is the mark of a Selfish Hero. A better
example of a Selfish Hero would be Lokaymadon.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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