From: Stephen P Martin (
Date: Sun 25 May 1997 - 22:43:50 EEST

To All:

Carl Fink
>Come on, Andrew. Received wisdom on the Digest is that Issaries
>didn't even *exist* until the God Learners created him (and wrote the
>Lightbringers Journey) in the Second Age.

>Despite Greg's comment that most memories of Godtime events are

Since Greg has always denied _my_ theory that Issaries was a God Learner
creation, I would have to say that this objection (depsite its
accumulated wisdom from being on the Digest) is not a good one.

GloranthaconDownUnder II
I think it would be very useful to have people make their suggestions for
Seminars on the Digest. The resulting would then give an idea of which
interesting ideas really were. As long as people could refrain from
discussing the actual subjects themselves, of course, since that would
eliminate the need for the pie fight, as it were.

Peter Metcalf on the primacy of Dara Happan Magic in #421
Peter -- your examples all use _Lunar_ Magic, not _Dara Happan_ Magic.
Dara Happan magic is no better than anyone else's I agree, but Lunar
magic is another story altogether.

Animals Casting Spells

Way back in the good old days, '82 or so, a question in the Wyrms
Footnotes Q&A column was answered by saying that Chaosium was considering
giving most normal, unintelligent (or fixed INT, now) creatures a spell
or two -- wolves would have Toothsharp, rabbits Mobility, etc., which
they would cast instinctively at need. This was never explored further,
obviously, but I would suggest from it that an animal which somehow
_knew_ a spell, would be able to cast it in what was, to them, an
appropriate situation. Now, if you taught a rabbit bladesharp for some
reason, driving its Mobility spell out of its mind, its instincts would
still compel it to cast the spell when it was being chased by a wolf.
With somewhat ineffective results

My suggestion -- make sure the spell you teach the animal is one the
animal will use in its normal Fight or Flight situation, and then only on
itself. Because the animal _will_ cast it in the Fight or Flight
situation, whether the spell is appropriate or useful, or not.

Now teaching them the wrong spell could be useful if you are interested
in experimenting on animals, but I won't go into details here.

Lesser Nations of Prax

I have always assumed/gotten the impression that one reason the smaller
tribes survived was that they sometimes banded together for self-defense.
As I am the one who wrote this into the revised edition of Nomad Gods, I
won't cite that as evidence. I also think they sometimes run into the
Wastes to hide.

However, a few of them are so strongly tied to Prax itself, that I don't
think they leave too often. However, their animals eat different foods
than those of the Great Tribes, in some cases -- ostriches can eat almost
anything, and are well-adapted to their "homeland" around Viskoz
Mountain. I think when they are being put upon, the Ostrich Clan flees up
into the more difficult parts of the Eiritha Hills in that area, where
the average Bison or Sable would have trouble moving around.

Newtlings can just dive into the river, hide in underwater caves, etc.
That kind of thing. Not all of the Lesser Nations have these options, but
each of them obviously has some way to survive.

Also, the idea that the Lesser Tribes often ally with one of the Great
Tribes is central to the conception of Nomad Gods, originally, and that
is where the BoP and politics come in. Sables are hitting on the Unicorn
Maidens? No problem -- offer to aid the local High Llama clan in poking
holes in the treacherous Sables! Instant defense against a much larger
clan, as well as the chance to get some payback for those three promising
initiates who will now never be able to ride unicorns....

Please, everyone, lay off of Michael -- I understood what he meant, and
took no offense at it whatever. In fact, I got a very good laugh out of
his reaction (sorry for that, Michael), and out of the reply about being
more specific in his designation. I have always preferred M-203's to
M-79's, but then I never had a chance to fire off a '79, it is true. I
did so hate being a grunt.

And thanks for the compliment, Michael -- it _was_ much-appreciated.

>Stephen's opinion (that we should wait and see and not write anything
>Greg gets his shit together, or at least until Stephen himself stops
>confused about the extant lunar material) might well influence other
>to not write or publish "incorrect" material. The consequences of that
>pretty ugly and self-destructive.

This is NOT my opinion, not by a longshot. I have no complaints about the
Tales team publishing a cult of Danfive Xaron, of whom little is known. I
would not have objected to or even made a comment on a cult of Yanafal
Ta'arnils, though I might have snidely noted how I didn't like it being
so close to Humakt, if that is how it had turned out.

I merely wanted to suggest that, when Greg IS actively working on a
subject, as he has been working on Lunar material for the last two years,
it is a waste of everyone's time to publish something of such major
importance, when it is bound to be contradicted soon.

And before anyone comments, Greg does NOT automatically "greg" anything
which is written. He has accepted lots of the fan stuff, from almost
everyone. But when you mess with the Lunars, I don't think it is any good
for you to spend a lot of time on something which you _know_ is going to
be gregged. Notes or adaptations of the cult for personal use are fine,
but I just think it is foolish to spend all the time on a full write-up
of the Seven Mothers or Red Goddess, until more info is available. Which
I have no doubt it will be, before _too_ long.

>If Stephen doesn't see the error of his way, i WILL wish him harm. If
>person can stymie the growth of Gloranthan knowledge because he feels
>things are too confusing right now to be written up, THAT is like living
>a dictatorial state.

Now it is _you_ who are being silly, Michael. People are not going to
stop writing what they want, just on my say so. Puhlease! Especially on
my say so, if the questionnaire from Gloranthacon Down Under is any

I had no problem with Nick's Great Sister thing for a number of reasons
- -- she is, really, a rather minor player in the whole ballgame. And while
Greg has been thinking about her recently, because of her appearance in
Life of Moonson, _nothing_ is in print about her except a one-liner in
Genertela. I don't think Greg has actually written anything about her.
And I don't suppose that Greg has very strong opinions about her. She may
or may not have a cult, but Nick's effort is likely to make people think
and talk about what she is. His is a good pre-Greg write-up (I assume so,
anyways -- haven't had time to read it). But trying to rewrite Seven
Mothers is NOT pre-Greg, nor is it a subject about which Greg does not

That's my quarter's worth, anyways. (Michael Cule)

I loved your choices for the wanna-be atheist! As for option two, rather
than waiting until the poor fool dies, have Orlanth (or maybe Chalana,
she's a bit kinder) send him a _dream_ of what will happen when he dies
and goes to see Great...great...great grandaddy Daka Fal. Have wake
screaming in horror at the endless torment of wandering the spirit plane.
Have him live ten years as a Magic Spirit, trapped in a wand for some
true atheist from the West to get magic power for his spells. and have
all of this happen the night before the initiation, so that he shows up
(to the relief of his whole clan) to join Orlanth, the most zealous of
all the boys there!

Why waste such a good opportunity for roleplaying, even if it is only
with one player?

Peter Metcalfe <>
Lunar superiority

>The picture I have of the Dara Happan is a little more complicated
>than this. Rather than simply muster 1000 people and cast a joint
>spell, the Dara Happan society was organised so that the magic
>potential of the masses was concentrated in select officials, nobles
>and/or leaders.

This fits well both with Fortunate Succession, and with comments Greg
made when Broken Council was being written, about how Dara Happan magic
is more ritualistic, less like RQ cults, than the Orlanthi deities.

I'm not sure I would take it as far as Peter does, but the idea is one I
agree with.

Well, that's it. For now.

I remain,

Stephen Martin
- -----------------------------------------------
The Book of Drastic Resolutions


End of Glorantha Digest V4 #428

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