More on Lunar Sorcery

From: peter metcalfe (
Date: Mon 05 Jan 1998 - 06:37:50 EET

John Constable:

>Reading this, then, what's the difference between a minor and Major
>class magician? Magus status as a sorcerer? Rule Lord/Priest level as

The Major Class magicians are taught Carmanian mounted combat
according to Tarsh War and are more experienced in their magic.

>>Another point is that the magician would be illuminated
>>as a result of his training to allow him to master the tasks
>>expected of him.

>Would all of them be illuminated? I got the impression from what I
>had read that Illumination was an unusual thing, even in the Lunar
>Empire, that it changes ones perception of the world fundamentally.

Gods of Glorantha gives the worship of the Red Goddess as being
1-2% of the population. Enclosure (which omits the Lunar Provinces)
gives 100,000 people and states that the proportion is slightly
higher in Dara Happa and is the largest in First Blessed.

I treat the social effect of Illumination in the Lunar Empire as
equivalent to communist ideology in say the soviet union. At one
hand, there is a ruling orthodoxy of which most of the state
functionaries subscribe to. Then there are dissident beliefs
propogated by street riff-raff which are ruthlessly suppressed
by the various organs of the Lunar Empire. Any other historical
model will work just as well: one could use Commonwealth England
for example.

So to return to your question, although illumination does change
people's viewpoints radically, this is the cornerstone of the
Lunar Empire. Virtually all high-ranking state officials are
illuminated and a sizable proportion of the Lunar buracracy is

>Also, would most Lunar sorcerers take the Illusionist specialty - it
>would seem appropriate, with the theme suggested by mindblast,
>glamour and so on

Some would. Others are traditional sorcerers (cf Carmanian Vizers)
and some are summon elementals and other spirits (Jakaleel).

>Would all of the [theists], if illuminated (see above) be at least
>initiates of the Red Goddess?

IMO they would. It would be very unusual of them _not_ to be!

>Any ideas on the rune magic spells for combining with others, or to be
>used in conjunction with others - would the skyburn count as this? or
>do people reckon that would be sorcery?

The Skyburn is a good example although that took several years
of rituals to do. Most combined rune magics in Dragon Pass have
extended range and are used to destroy the army's formation and
integrity rather than toast everyone.

>>3) The Ascetic would have a whole raft of geases which confer
>>upon him abilities that should be freaky. The more important
>>the gift, the more severe the geas.

>This seems to cry out for a write up, assorted geases, gifts an so on,

One could shamelessly rip off the Yelmalion and Humakti Geases
and/or change them around slightly.

>>The Spell Archers are, according to Tarsh War, illuminated Dara
>>Happan Priests. I think their attack is a massive Sunspear [...]

>I thought that only Yelm had sunspear. Due to the Dara Happan
>Yelmalio connection (he says tentatively) or are they actual
>Yelm/Yelmalio priests serving in the Lunar Army? if i understand what
>has been debated on the list and what i have read so far, there are
>still worshipers of Yelm in Dara Happar, which makes this possible,
>but I would have though they would have been less than encouraged,
>like Orlanth..

They are actually Yelm priests serving in the Lunar Army. For
instance, Tatius the Bright is the highest ranking Yelm Priest.
The Yelm Cult is still powerful in Dara Happa although the
relationship between the Dara Happans and the Lunar Empire is
complicated. The only relevant fact here is that the Yelm
Cult and Dara Happans are now undergoing a wave of resurgence with
increasing political authority and prestige within the Lunar
Empire as a whole.

>>The Comet Seers, IMO, are Yuthuppan Starseers with a talent
>>for sending stellar spirits against their foes. =20

>Yulthuppan Starseers? Is there any info/mention no them anywhere, it
>doesn't ring a bell..

Most of the information is given in the latest material about
Peloria (Fortunate Succession and the Glorious ReAscent) and
none of it in rules terms. The only indication of what they
can do (other than watch the stars) comes from a Yuthuppan
tale in the Glorious ReAscent about the arrival of the
Starseers to Yuthuppa during the Great Darkness.

        "That," said the Stargazer, pointing to the _Teat_of_Oropum_,
        [a star - phm] "is the porridge star. You should begin with
        that." And they taught the people how to sing, and how to
        pray, and how to address the stars and their spirits in the
        right ways. And when they were done, the people had simple
        food to eat, and to them it was like ambrosia.

        When they were fed, the survivors saud, "You also appear
        to be well dressed, and perhaps even well-armed. These are
` things foreign to us, and we would like to know if you can
        teach of these things too."

        "You have shown me that you are of us," said Stargazer,
        "by the intensity of your prayer and your success at this
        task, so I will teach you more, Before I leave from your
        camp I will teach you the Protection Star, and the Goat
        Star, and the Bread Star, which you must pray to all year."
                                Glorious ReAscent p84.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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