Re: The Glorantha Digest V5 #582

From: Martin Dick (
Date: Fri 01 May 1998 - 11:35:21 EEST

I hate to reignite the whole Resurrection debate, but after
thinking about the role of Chalana Arroy in a Gloranthan society
(or any equivalent god who provides such healing powers), I am
a bit perplexed why there are not a whole lot more of them around.

My thoughts go as this:

1) Chalana Arroy healers and their ilk, provide healing services which
are clearly comparable to our modern medical practices (in some
ways worse but in others ways surpassing our methods e.g Resurrection)

2) That one's health is generally a major preoccupation with people
regardless of other factors.

3) In a modern Western country, we devote somewhere in the vicinity of
10% of GDP to medicine (a bit less in Australia and England, a bit more in the
USA, no idea about elsewhere)

4) Given the comparison between modern medicine and the healing magics
of Chalana Arroy, why wouldn't a Sartarite clan spend a similar percentage
of their energy (magical and economic) on Healers?

5) Comparisons with medieval times aren't really valid IMO as the magic
of Chalana Arroy works far more effectively than anything that was available

in the real world up until probably the 1940s and the introduction of the
wonder drugs.

6) The presence of groups within society who actively foment disease such
as Malia worshippers and broos make health an even more important issue
than it is in the real world.

7) Overall, my opinion tends towards that a Healer in a clan would more than
adequately pay off for the clan in terms of productivity for the clan, let
alone in emotional terms as another child gets carried off by the Gloranthan
equivalent of diptheria. Australia has a ration of 1 to 800 (figure is

rubbery but in the right ballpark) in terms of doctors to people and that
doesn't cover the other types of health professionals in the community.

Now for possible counter arguments:

1) That despite the potential demand for people to be Healers, the requisite
mindset and discipline to be a successful Healer is very rare in the population.

2) That the average clan has access to a large range of minor magics, via
Ernalda and ancestor worship which cover many of the needs in this area and
Chalana Arroy is only distinguished by the flashy and powerful magics that
while are very impressive for adventurers (e.g Regrow Limb and Resurrection)

3) That the average Chalana Arroy priestess is such a stuck up painful
bitch, that most orlanthi would rather die than suck up to her :-)

4) That the magics of Chalana Arroy are much harder to obtain/use than is
portrayed in the literature to date.

I'm not really happy with any of these except possibly for 3).

Personally, a world where resurrection is difficult and costly and
requires that the recipient is tightly woven into the community and
of value to that community adds a real frisson to playing, on the other
hand, having the intricately woven story of your character chopped short
by the lucky blow of a trollkin doesn't appeal to me either.

Still in terms of Glorantha as she may be, in regards to Healers, I'm a
bit perplexed and would welcome comments



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