Lhankor Mhy

From: Michael Raaterova (michael.raaterova.7033@student.uu.se)
Date: Mon 20 May 1996 - 20:45:21 EEST

OK, here're the main ideas of the Lhankor Mhy cults. I'm working on the
Mhysticism practiced by the cults and the various subcults.

Unfortunately my studies had and have to be given higher priority than
Glorantha so i haven't written or explained as much as i wanted to.

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"My god is true to wisdom, for he is the wise elder - advisor to kings and
singer of memory.
My god is true to honour, for he is the lawspeaker - judge of disputes and
witness to oaths.
My god is true to knowledge, for he is the sage - diviner of secrets and
father of letters.
My god is true to himself, for he is truth - light in shadows and calmness
of mind"

- - traditional

There are many cults of the Knowing God, all different yet all the same,
because truth is always the same. The make-up of the cult varies wildly
from region to region. I will present some examples of how the cult works
in certain cultures.


In rural, isolated clans that have little or no contact with outsiders, the
functions of the Lhankor Mhy initiates are pretty limited.

The initiate of the knowing god is an elder or has the status of an elder
and is the constant knowing companion of the chieftain. The secrets of the
knowing god is for the old ones who have enough years to be wise. These
wise elders keep and sing the traditions and memory of the clan. They teach
the youth about the gods and the world. They interpret the intentions of
the gods and advise the chieftain, especially at moots.

A younger member of the clan with an interest for knowledge are apprenticed
to the Elder if he deems them suitable. During the Years of Silence he must
listen and learn. If has learned well, the elder sends him away to a temple
to be initiated into the mysteries of Truth, or, if there are no temples,
he sends him away on a Wanderyear to learn the mysteries of Truth for
himself (a vision quest or shamanic initiation). Usually, there are no
accessible temples in the area.

When the new initiate comes back he will become the son and companion of
the Elder and learn the ways of wisdom from him, until the time has come
for him to take the Ring of Knowledge from the Elder and become the new

The cult of the knowing god is more like a spirit cult, and the deity
worshipped is likely to be an Angel of Truth. In many cases the wise elder
is also a half or full shaman. The rune magic available is limited to
Memory Trance and, possibly, Lore Trance.


Most tribes has a temple dedicated to the knowing god, usually situated in
the chief god's temple. The clan chieftains have their knowing companions,
but there is also a tribal lawspeaker who is master of the moots. The
tribal leader has his own knowing companion, who is an expert diviner and
the wisest elder of the tribe. In a war tribe, the knowing companions serve
as strategists and curse the enemies with spirits of confusion.

The functions of the lawspeaker include judging disputes, enforcing honour
and witnessing oaths. The lawspeaker is chosen from among the knowing
companions. He is often accompanied by a humakti sword, who act as
executioner and oathbinder.

The lawspeaker, who has the highest rank, has access to all special rune
magic except the Scrying Ritual, the Ritual of Tongues and True Sight. The
knowing companions, who are lesser priests, do not have access to
Truespeak. Of course, what spells are available where varies.

Usually the temple is not big enough to support subcults. There is but one
school of thought practiced at the temple. Unorthodox initiates are sent
away on Wanderyears until they see the errors of their ways. The secret of
letters may be known at the temple if the tribe is a backwater province to
an urban culture.

Most Lhankor Mhy temples belong to variations of this category. If the
temple is situated relatively near urban centres, it propably has some of
the trappings of an urban temple.


These temples are almost all situated in towns or cities. It is a
repository of knowledge and sports a library of some sort. The wisdom of
sages may be lacking, as they are professional collectors of lore and don't
suffer the hard knocks of rural life. Some of them become quite
disconnected from the ordinary reality, pondering the abstractions of their
own imagination. But most of them are the wisest people in Glorantha.

The urban temple and its members provide many services for society, though
most initiates think of it as a necessary evil, interrupting their quest
for truth. They witness contracts and oaths, hire out as scribes and teach
lettercraft. They judge disputes and enforce honesty for the officials of
the city god. They hire out their powers of divination. They bring justice
and truth to treachery and illusion. Individuals may become knowing
companions, diviners and advisors to the powerful.

There are lots of different positions and responsibilities in the temple.
Copying, translating and repairing of books are overseen by the Librarian.
The Mystagogue teaches initiates and acolytes the secrets of the knowing
god's magic. The Provost takes care of ground service and payment. The
Treasurer is responsible for all the artifacts and enchanted items held in
the temple.

There are different kinds of initiates and acolytes who know the magic
appropriate for their tasks. The two standard kinds are those stay in the
temple and those who go on expeditions. Most sages prefer to stay in the
temple and contemplate their experiences and the trigrammaton.

Many systems of divination and models of truth have been formulated over
the years, collectively called the Mhysticism. Every temple has its own

interpretation of the Mhysticism. Think of it as Gloranthan qabbalah with
heavy sprinkling of greek philosophy and orphic overtones.


Common Obsessions and Passions:
Hoard Secrets, Hoard Books, Curiosity; Hate Thanatari, Fear Thanatari, Honour

Never Lie. Never tell a Secret. Poverty. Always keep your word. Celibacy.
Ascetism. Abstain from [a pleasure of life] for a season every year.

Abstain from [a pleasure of life] always. Contemplate the Trigrammaton all
Godsday. Answer truthfully any question asked. Remain silent for a day
every week. Communicate only in writing. Be blindfolded every Wildday.

Breaking a geas means that the culprit gets a special visit from the Mind
Eater free of charge.

Personality Traits:
HONEST, TEMPERATE (ASCETIC), just, energetic (curious) and suspicious
(sceptic). Most Carnalists are Lustful instead of Temperate. Some
Immersionists are Indulgent instead of Temperate. Different schools of
thought have different virtues, but usually incorporate some of the above.

A Lhankor Mhy temple is always protected by cult spirits, and the entrance
doors are guarded by spirits of confusion, and there is always an Angel of
Truth in the sanctum. Shrines teach one of the following: Command [Cult
Spirit] (except Angel of Truth), Lore Trance, Memory Trance, Shield Mind or

The Lhankor Mhy cult do not teach Evaluate or revere Dilfar the
deepsighted. Issaries does.

Lhankor Mhy does not intervene in the affairs of mortals. He cannot grant
Truth. Everyone must find it on their own. So no DI for LMs.


All Detection Charms, Clear Mind, Destroy Thanatari Head, Farsee, Mindspeech

CLEAR MIND (self, temp)
Lets the caster have full control of his mental faculties for the duration
of the spell. This means that the caster is mentally unaffacted by
intoxication and painful wounds, and is not inspired by passions. Spirit
charms that affect the caster's mind like Demoralize, Fanaticism and
Befuddle must overcome the resistance of the Clear Mind. Rune magic like
Fear or Mindblast affect its target normally, dismissing the Clear Mind.


All Common, Call Angel of Truth, Command [Cult Spirit], Confuse, Lore
Trance, Memory Trance, Ritual of Tongues, Scrying Ritual, Shield Mind, True
Sight, Truespeak

CONFUSE (1pt, LOS, temp, nonstack, reusable)
Befuddles the target. The duration of the confusion can be extended.
Lhankor Mhy once tricked Trickster with Truth, for Truth can seem
paradoxical and confusing, and can harm those unprepared for it.

LORE TRANCE (2pts, ritual, nonstack, reusable)
This is a ritual for gaining knowledge about anything. The caster must have
some connection with the target queried about to act as a focus for the
ritual. It is a dangerous ritual, as the caster may ask for forbidden
knowledge and catch the attention of Gift Carriers, or attract Spirits of

Roll ceremony every hour. A success lets the character gain the answer to
one question or at least a true statement about the target of the magic. A
special means two answered questions and a critical means three. Failure
means that the character has catched the attention of a Gift Carrier and
that the trance ends. Fumble means that the caster is attacked by several

Gift Carriers. Also, if the caster fails his luck roll (once every hour) he
is attacked by Spirits of Confusion. If the caster performs the ritual with
the target queried about present everything becomes easier. If the caster
performs the ritual in a Truth temple, the Spirits of Confusion and the
Gift Carriers will trigger temple defenses.

The Trance is usually performed with lots of techniques for gaining
knowledge: sky-gazing; bone-throwing; rune-casting; reading of blood,
livers, the flight of birds, patterns of clouds, river waves, smoke swirls.
Other methods are numerology, gematria, cabala and the permutations of the
sacred trigrammaton of truth.

MEMORY TRANCE (1pt, self, temp, nonstack, reusable)
The caster can retell the memory of any incident he has witnessed with the
amount of detail he wishes, for the duration of the ceremony. The caster
can not retell things he didn't perceive.

RITUAL OF TONGUES (2pts, ceremony, self, spec dur, nonstack, reusable)
This ritual summons the Spirit of Tongues, and it can only be summoned at
daybreak and it always leaves with Yelm, no matter what. When summoned it
possesses the summoner, who can then understand what people say, regardless
of what language they are talking, or a written text. Languages that use
senses or organs that the summoner does not possess can not be understood

If Commanded the Spirit of Tongues can teach the summoner one language
instead. The summoner gets one experience check per point of Extension
stacked with the Command, which is also the duration of the teaching. If
the ritual was used to learn a language the magic is one-use and the POW
sacrificed is gone.

SCRYING RITUAL (1pt, 1km, spec dur, nonstack, reusable)
Works mostly like Clairvoyance, but the caster needs a reflective surface
(preferably a water mirror) through which he can see the target, and he
needs a connection to the target scryed. Each extension doubles the range.
Roll ceremony every minute to see if the caster can keep the connection up.
Failure ends the spell. Fumble leaves the caster temporaily blinded.

SHIELD MIND (1pt, self, temp, stack, reusable)
All mind magic cast against a Shielded Mind must overcome the equivalent of
a countermagic 6. Each stacking increases the strength of the resistance by

TRUE SIGHT (2pts, self, temp, nonstack, reusable)
The caster and any person in mindlink with him can automatically sense and
usually see through any glamour and illusion within sight and can sense a
disguise. If the illusion is on a person (such as Enhanced App, the Glamour
charm, An ogre's False Form), roll MP vs MP to see through.


In addition to cult power, spell and magic spirits there are at least the

The Brain Flayer destroys the mind of culprit as usual and the Mind Worm
drives him temporarily or permanently insane. The results of losing spirit
combat with the mind worm can vary according to the whim of the storyteller
and the seriousness of the offense - the culprit may gain unwanted
Obsessions and Fears (passions) or lose ordinary passions, or gain
derangements (a la vampire/ mage), or temporarily (days, weeks, seasons,
years) be Confused as per the Rune Magic, or be blinded for a season.

Usually lesser transgressions are reprised by the Mind Worm, and major ones
by the Brain Flayer. The spirits of reprisal can also be summoned and bound
by Sages and sent against enemies of the cult (like Thanatari and thieves).
Sometimes the Mhy sends a spirit of reprisal as an ally to a Sage.

These Spirits of Truth have retained their status within the cult and thus
their magic. If persuaded they can initiate spirit combat or cast spells
for the summoner. They can also be persuaded to share their knowledge with
the sumoner. When manifested or incarnated (when they possess the summoner)
they dispel all illusions within their POW in metres, and all who look upon
them must match MP vs MP or be forced to speak nothing but Truth as long as
they are in the presence of the Angel.

These spirits can initiate spirit combat. If they win, they Confuse the
victim until they are Commanded to leave or exorcised.


Chalana: Restore Intelligence
Issaries: Create Neutral Ground
Trickster: Clever Tongue
Orlanth: Wind Words

Lhankor Mhy provides Shield Mind to his associates, and/ or teaches them
the spirit charm Clear Mind.

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I hope this was a bit of food for thought. I hope i can finalize the
Mhysticism and the subcults sometime soon.

Comments and critique welcome. And if you have ideas for some new schools
of thought, please mail or post them.


- -------
Michael Raaterova <Sig omitted on legal advise>


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