Tradetalk,Yelmalio/Lightfore,Watchdogs,Umath,Runepower,Cloud Cal

From: Simon Phipp (
Date: Thu 09 Jan 1997 - 01:06:37 EET

Hiya All


Peter Metcalfe and Stephen Martin talk claim that the words for the
Sun and Storm are either "Yelm/Orlanth" or the names of the False
Gods "Ehilim/Worlath" and so on.

Firstly, I disagree. The idea of a common tongue or Tradetalk is that
all cultures should understand it. Therefore using the names of
deities would alienate those who worshipped others. Trolls speaking
Tradetalk would not want to refer to the Sun as "Yelm", for instance,
or rather worhippers of other Sun Gods would prefer to use their own
God's name rather than Yelm.

In my opinion, Tradetalk was invented by issaries as a magically-easy
to learn language which could be understood by any culture or group.
It was spread in the First age by the Issaries Cult as the First
Council's influence grew.

Admittedly, the Jrusteli used the cult of Issaries for their own ends
and spread the cult and Tradetalk a great deal further than it had
been before, but they were merely continuing the process, not
inventing it.

The fact that Tradetalk is spoken in many places, even after the God
Learner's downfall, speaks volumes - it must have had a stronger root
than some people think.

Yes, there are dialects of Tradetalk - people use their own words when
necessary, particlularly where Tradetalk does not have the correct
word (local flora and fauna, for instance). However, a Tradetalk
speaker from Sartar would be able to speak quite happily with a
Tradetalk speaker from Pamaltela easier than a Yorkshireman would
speak to a Californian. (When I was at University, there were two
people, one from Bristol the other from Sheffield who could not
understand each other for the first month, both from the same
country, both speaking English.)

In any case, we do not have a form of Tradetalk - leave that for
Klingon or Tolkein's elven tongues. The importance is that Tradetalk
IS, not the grammar or vocabulary - these things are irrelevant.


Is Yelmalio Lightfore? Is Yellow Red? They are both part of the
Visible Spectrum of EM Radiation, so are the same. This seems to be
the argument that many poeple take. Both gods are Sun Gods, therefore
they are the same.

In Glorantha, there are many Sun Gods (or rather Solar Gods) and they
are not all the same. In my opinion, Yelmalio is not Lightfore nor
any other Sun God. Mythically they are separate. Culturally they are
separate. They are separate. (I am not being dogmatic, merely stating

the truth :-))

Watchdog of Corflu

Thomas Doniol-Valcroze asks:
> I don't think I quite understand the Watchdog of Corflu...
> The only thing I could find about it was in RoC, and it was pretty unclear to me.
> Would anyone be nice enough to explain it to me?

The Watchdog of Corflu, as far as I can tell, was originally a
Jrusteli Sentinel Statue which guarded Feroda. When that great city
was destoyed, the Sentinel was also destoyed, smashed to pieces by
the Oceans/Giants or whoever else was engaged in the attack.

When the Lunars started to settle in the Zola fel delta, they poked
around the ruins and found various pieces of the Statue. As far as I
am aware, they found an arm, a leg and a head. Being meddlers, they
wondered what would happen if they put the pieces together and, being
about as competent at DIY as I am, decided that the arm, leg and head
actually fitted together.

The result is the Watchdog, a misshapen beastie of magical stone. It
was reanimated by whatever means were used and guarded the city of
Corflu from all-comers. In the Cradle RQ scenario, the Watchdog stood
astride the Zola fel and allowed soldiers to run up its arms to
attack the Cradle while the Head tried to take huge bites out of the
structure. (I like the idea of Lunar troops abseiling down from the
Watchdog while the defenders pick them off with bows).

When Corflu was sacked (I think by the Wolf Pirates or Argrath), the
watchdog was fred and ran insanely into Prax where it is merely a
wandering monster in the best traditions of roleplaying games.

There was a scenario, published in Tales, I think, set on the Oceans.
The party landed on an island and met a full Sentinel Statue, part of
the same series as the one at Ferods. I cannot remember what happens
in the scenario, except that the stats were pretty unbelievable - but
who accepts stats in published scenarios anyway?

Hope this helps.


Alain Saraja asks
> What happened to Umath ?

He blew away. All the members of the Celestial Court (and I count
Umath here as an Elemental member) were broken during the Gods War
and devolved into their various descendants. Umath is no more, except

as the concept of Air/Storm. Where he is worshipped (by mad Kolati)
the worshippers tap into the Elemental nature of the god, not the
living deity.


When I saw the Runepower rules, I discounted them as being far too
powerful to be meaningful. Even if you hedge them around with
arbitrary restrictions, they are unplayable in my campaign. This is
because we like to powergame and anything as wishy-washy would be
abused to beyond breaking point. Give me Rune Magic any time - if you
want more flexible magic, join other cults or sacrifice for more
spells - after all that's what POW gain rolls are for.

David Cheng says that "no right-thinking adventurer ever has the spare POW
to sacrifice for Wind Words" - absolute rubbish. The spell only costs
2 POW and has a multitude of uses - eavesdropping on NPC enemies,
eavesdropping on NPC rivals, eavesdropping on secret ceremonies,
listening to people at Confession (for the Yelmic cults), stitching
up fellow PCs, informing PCs of events via a friendly Orlanthi and so
on. I would much prefer it to Woad or Bless Thunderstone (which are
also worth sacrificing for, by the way).

Cloud Call
Pam Carlson:
>Also, we finally found a use for the "cloud call" spell.

You can use the Repair spell to fix your weapons/tools when they
break, as well. I'm sorry, but this has to be one of the least
unexpected of revelations.

In our campaign, Cloud Call has been used to spoil the weather at a
PC's wedding, to spoil the harvest on a PC's farm (with a few Rain
spells) and to protect against the sun in a desert. Having said that,
we do play that each point increases cloud cover by 1D10 + 1, but
allow for greater than 100 Cloud Cover, and have sevral Storm Priests
with Cloud Call matrices/artifacts.


In my opinion, elves and trolls have several trickster cults each,
(possibly in the form of Spirit Cults as they are both Shamanic
cultures) some corresponding to the normal modes, or combinations of modes,
others being truly bizarre.

The following ideas are spell-based simply because I do not have the
time to make up loads of myths for local Spirit Cults. If I did, I
would gladly do so.

Elves could have a Wildweed spell which promotes the spread of weeds
very quickly; spells to foster uncontrolled growth - good when cast
at a Wood Lord's hair, for instance; Animate Plant, Detach Branch and Detach Vine
are also handy spells for elven trickster deities; Blight Plant can
be used for an elven Destroyer; Spread Pollen or Sneeze can be used
by Tricksters against hay-fever sufferers; Become Bush, Become Tree,
Become Grass, Sprout Leaves, Sprout Blossom are all available.

Trolls have a Boo! spell; an "I'm Going to eat You and There's Nothing
You Can Do About It" spell which normally results in the caster
exploding from Indigestion; insect spells - Insect Swarm, Glow in the
Dark, Summon (Insect); Dark Walk; Fear - not as good as Boo! but
slightly more powerful; Alter (Drink) can be useful at parties.

I do like the idea of stern troll Matriachs hitting Death Lords in
the face with custard pies - a High Priestess of Kyger Litor with a
splapstick/practical joke bent is a wonderful idea.

The Aspects which grant these spells can be left up to individual
GMs - I do not like the Eurmal/Trickster writeups for RQ as they are
too general and bland. Anyone can make up myths about Tricksters -
just steal from Folk/Fairy Tales or jokes and you have a great store of
information. The more gross/disgusting or even useless the spell, the
more amusing the myth can be - I much prefer funny myths which give
rise to silly spells for the Tricksters of Glorantha.

Mostali do not have Trickster deities as Mostali do not have Deities.
I do not like the idea of the Mostali worshipping the Foreman,
Ironman, Quicksilver or any of the other Primal Mostali and I
especially do not like the idea of Trickster worship.

However, the Trickster's effects are found in Mostali lands -
Gremlins are the prime example but there are others. Gobblers can
become unctontrollable and eat their way through Mostali goods as
well as those of outsiders, jolanti can become self-willed or at
least unpredictable. These are some effects of Trickster spirits
which affect the Mostali. However, they are never worshipped and
always fought against.


This is an Issaries Cult Skill in the same way that Sword Attack is a
Humakti Cult Skill, anyone can learn to Bargain, but Issaries will
teach it and use it the best. It should be available from Etyries and
probably from Argan Argar and Lokarnos, perhaps even from Dormal. By
the way, who is the Earth Trader God?

The fact that Bargain is not in the Trader templates just shows how
much use the RQ3 character generation rules are.

Heroes Campaign

This sounds good, but the best way to play Heroic Characters/Heroes
is not to roll up very powerful Rune Levels and start there. The best
way, by far, is to take a series of PCs from lay member/beginning
characters, through the whole set of initiate/Rune
Level/HeroQuestor/Hero levels. This gives you a full understanding of
the character and his/her motivation, sets the stats up as a
well-rounded set, gives years of interesting play and does not give
you the feeling of being plonked into a world where you do not fit

Anyway, the more High Level campaigns around the better - not for me
the running around playing farmers and peasants doing nothing - give
me heroic sessions with the feeling of actually achieving something
any day.

Perhaps you could publish some of the HeroQuests/encounters/ideas for
the rest of us to use?

(In any case, killing Harrek is not difficult, getting him to stay
dead is the hard bit. Ditto for any Hero/HeroQuestor. The only way to
do it is to HeroQuest or to get extremely lucky).

Well, the Gift Seekers have eaten my Web Page and the Outer Atomic
Explorers have destroyed the paths to get it back, so I am trying to
find another compnay which I can access from Ireland. If there are
any Irish gamers out there could they drop me a line to let me know
what the situation is for getting on-line in Ireland? As I am going
to play in a campaign with Mr Happy at some stage, perhaps they could
give me some ideas.

Sorry for rambling on for so long.


Well, Pegasus Mail certainly gives you a good Subject Field in the
mail - how's that for a meaningful Subject Header! (Hope it all fits

HeroQuesting for a new Web-Site.


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