Runes yet again

From: David Cake (
Date: Thu 21 Nov 1991 - 09:56:33 EET

In an earlier RuneQuest digest (37?) (Carl Fink) referred to an article that appeared on an earlier RQ digest, about Runes.

He takes issue with two of my naming of runes, both appearing in Gods of Glorantha, but not in the Rune list in the Introduction to Glorantha book.

He first says that the rune that appears above the cults of Godunya and the Path of Immanent Mastery, which I called the `Godunya' rune, is actually the Dragon rune. He is correct, mea culpa, I misremembered from a letter that I had not read for some time. Both Greg Stafford and Sandy Peterson confirm this, though Sandy notes that this rune and the Pamalt rune (which is the `up-arrow' above Pamalt) were assigned by the God Learners, and that the Doraddi and the Kralorelans actually have their own system of Runes, which they use in preference (thought they are probably familiar with the conventional ones, from the God Learners).

My apologies for posting incorrect information to this group, I should have checked.

However, on the second Rune, the Rune of Shadow (which appears above Gorgorma, and looks like a circle with a line through it) I stand by my words. I have the original letters from Greg and Sandy, with both explicitly state this, so I can say this with some confidence!

Carls reasoning is wrong on a few points. He refers to it as a unique Rune. It also appears in the cult of Moorgarki, were it is again named as Shadow.

Carl also notes the very exact duality in the Earth Goddesses Runes, each in a pair of opposites. Gorgorma is the opposite of Dendara, which has the Runes of Light Earth and Light, so he theorises that Gorgorma should have the runes of Dark Earth and Darkness. But Dendara has Light, which is Fire/Sky without heat, so the exact opposite Rune is not Darkness, but Shadow, which is Darkness without Cold. The Shadow Rune symbolises fear and ignorance (says Sandy). It also implies ordinary shadow (says Greg), and this appears to be why Moorgarki has it. There is another cult somewhere which also has it, but memory fails me.

I have also checked that the Undead Rune is know called the Hunger rune which explains why non-undead-using Krarsht now has it.

Thanks to Carl for making me check these things.

                                        David Cake

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