The Secret Masters of Glorantha, part 1

From: Erik Sieurin (
Date: Tue 08 Jul 1997 - 20:32:08 EEST

A WARNING FROM THE SCHOLAR-GENERAL: This stuff is only believed in by
deluded, xenophobic and downright weird people in Glorantha. That
doesn't mean it might not be actually correct. However, taking this
letter too seriously has led to constipation, tooth loss and
athlete's foot.


"One lozengally widespread idea is that there is a vast conspiracy
which controls most or all parts of politics, economy or other
matters of state. This conspiracy is to blame for most or all
problems of current life. These conspiracy theories all share certain ideas,
so widespread they boggle the mind. There is some comfort, however, since
there is one area where none of the theories agree: Who is ultimately
behind this conspiracy? This comfort is too small for the
well-travelled conpiracy theorist, for isn't it horrible that the
True Secret Masters of Glorantha has succeeded in concealing their
true identity to EVERYONE?"

>From the prologue of Karl the Quick's commented collection "Secret Masters of

or, the Esrolian cult of the Goddes of Earth's Wealth, The Autumn

"It has long been known that Esrolia is the breadbasket of Maniria,as
well as most lands in central Genertela. Even if most of the lands
and people are not dependent on the avid surplus of the Land of
Women, they depend on it in times on famine. Grain, olive oil and
wine are mass exported from this cthonic Part of the so-called Holy
Country, and vast amounts of goods and money converge on Nochet, the
capital of Esrolia.

Since times immemorial this wealth has been in the hands of the Old
Women's cult of Esrolia. The Esrolians follow a practice similar to
their barbarian and patriarchal fellow Theyalans: Most
resource-producing property is _odal_, that is, owned in common, and
each person who works the land, cattle, mines etc is given a share of
its wealth each year, the share being dependent on his or her status,
privileges and how much he or she worked with these resources.
Among the Esrolians, the fruits of this labour is stored in large
houses of brick and stone holy to the cult of the Earth Crone. A part
of all wares stored is given to the cult, who can use it as it
wishes. The cult not only protects the wares from spoil and thieves,
but also manages the fair distribution of it.

Originally, this part was used in times of famine to feed the
starving, or in times of plenty to throw big feasts. Furthermore, it
was lent without interest to those in need of it. All these
practices increased the power and influence of the Earth Crones. However, as
Esrolia grew to the nave of Central Genertelan economics, the cult
kept investing their wealth into trade. They also began to invest
wealth which they stored for other members of their town or
village. These craftswomen and farmers did not have enough surplus on
their own to invest, but combined, it could be of importance. Of
course, a part of the profits was given to the Crones as a Gift of

Not only native Esrolians, but foreigners as well began to invest
through the auspices of the Crones. In the large vaults of the
Esrolian cities, protected by mighty magic of Earth and Darkness, was
held gold, silver and gems. The Gift of Gratitude was of course
larger for the Barbarians, especially those without the Holy Country,
but they kept coming anyway, since they knew as fact that:
1. Wealth invested into the ventures of the Crones always gave a
large profit. These ventures were always successfull.
2. No-one has succeeded in stealing from an important storage vault
of the Crones. Thieves just disappear, or they simply never succeed
in entering the Inner Sancti. Or if they do, the public is never
3. The Crones will take ANYONE's money. Anyone's. According to their
philosophy, all wealth has belonged to the Earth anyway, and no-one
should be stopped from giving part of it back, irrespective of who
they are.

This might be frightening enough, that so much power is held in the
hand of so few people. For to enter and progress within the Cult,
fees must be payed, gifts to the Goddess. The only one who can afford
these fees are someone who already is in the Cult's favor... or has
inherited the wealth from ancestors which were Cult members. But
there are more frightening things told about the "Gnomes of Nochet",
as these women, generally old but never crippled with old age, are

That they control so much capital that they control economics with
Central Genertela and beyond, and thus can control not only merchant princes,
but other princes as well, and the politics they decide upon. Many
say they created the Lunar Empire, to make women strong within the
Dara Happan lands, but as it now grows to strong and competetive,
they mean to topple it. Other say they increase the oppression and
contempt for women in foreign lands, so that the women of Esrolia
will never give rule to men.

That they mystically control not only the fertility of the land and
peoples of Esrolia, but of other lands as well, and that any tribe or
country which displeases them will be struck with famine and that
it's people and cattle will become barren. Furthermore that the
enormous wealth and luck of Esrolia come about since they steal it
from other lands, perhaps miles away.

That they have a mystical control over Wealth and Luck itself, and
that they can strike their enemies with poverty and unluck as well.

That they store valuable artifacts of the God Learners, EWF, Arkati
and even the God's Age with their vaults, hidden there by unrightful
owners or by the Crones themselves, who have gained them by mobilsing
their power and vast wealth. These powerful relics and magic items
are regularily stated to be either: unlawful and generally horrible,
giving the Crones even more power, or both.

That any one of them who tries to reveal their secrets is killed,
generally by earth-related accidents, extremely bad luck, or are just
found torn to pieces, as if by enormous dogs or hounds."

- --------------
Next: The Men (and Trolls) in Blue - the Cult of Anilla.

"The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a beautiful pea-green boat..."
>From "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear

Erik Sieurin
Bodagatan 39, 2 tr
50742 Boras


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 18:57:22 EEST