Gloranthan Sorcery

Date: Thu 10 Jun 1993 - 15:13:19 EEST

I too don't agree with the claim that Malkioni comprise the majority of the sorcery users in Glorantha.

A look at the Glorantha book shows that if you add up all of the sorcery users in the Janube, Jonatela, Loskalm, Safelster, Seshnela and Umathela, you get about as many sorcery users as there are in Kralorela alone. I also doubt that all the sorcery users in those western countries are true Malkoni - a number will be Arkati, Brithini, heretics or independent sorcerers. Add in Arolint, Carmania, Dara Happa, the East Isles, Esrolia, Fonrit, the Kingdom of Ignorance, Maslo, Peloria, Orathorn and the Vadeli Isles - all non Malkioni sorcery using cultures (only one island out of the thousands that comprise the East Isles follows the way of Malkion), and it seems pretty clear that the Malkioni do not exactly dominate Glorantha, or even comprise the majority of sorcery users. I'm not even including the Mostali or the Trolls, which make up a decent size group of non Malkioni sorcery users.

The East is a far larger and more homogenous sorcery using culture than the West. I could see arguing that the Kralori Empire and the Kingdom of Ignorance use essentially the same system of sorcery. I'm not sure that the various Malkioni schools (Rokari, Hrestoli, Rokari, Galvosti, etc.) use a system that is as unified. I actually think that each is fairly unique in one way or another.

There has been as little official material published on the West as there has been on the East Isles, Kralorela or Pamaltela. And frankly, Kralorela and the East Isles strike me as being as least as interesting as the West, if not more so.

I'm afraid I'm far more in agreement with Ken Rolston's attitude here - the only regions of Glorantha that have been developed in any detail are Dragon Pass, Pavis and Prax, secondarily the Lunar Empire, Holy Country, Balazar, Elder Wilds and the Wastes. Until the other regions are developed, the sorcery rules should deal with the sorcerers one will meet in the developed regions. In order of likelihood, that would appear to be:

  1. Carmanians (occupying forces, settlers in Prax, Lunar Empire, Carmania)
  2. Arkati (Muse Roost, Dagori Inkarth trolls, Shadowlands trolls, Holy Country)
  3. Unaligned sorcerers (occupying forces, Lunar Empire, Carmania)
  4. Atheists (God Forgot, Orathorn in the Wastes)
  5. Kralori (Pavis, Kralorela)
  6. Brithini (Sir Ethelrist and the Black Horse troop at Muse Roost)
  7. Mostali (Pavis, Dwarf Run, Greatway, Lunar Empire)
  8. Invisible Orlanth (Carmania, Lunar Empire)

Kralori traders visit Pavis regularly, and on occasion reach Sartar and the Lunar Empire.

Malkioni seem to have very little to do with this region. About the only Malkioni in the area might be the Trader Princes of the Holy Country, and they seem to come across more as Arkati than traditional Malkioni - at least that's how I've always run them or seen them run.

Nick, out of curiousity, what makes you think Malkioni sorcerers are so common in most peoples games? I think this is an interesting question, but frankly, I've only seen one Malkioni sorcerer run by a player in any of the RQ games I've ever played or run in. The other sorcerers I've seen run by players include: a God Forgot sorcerer, two Carmanian sorcerers, an Arkati sorcerer, a Kingdom of Ignorance sorcerer, a Kralori sorcerer, an East Isles sorcerer (not a Malkioni), and an unaligned sorcerer from the Lunar Empire. Eight non-Malkioni compared to one Malkioni. Likewise, I've seen far more non-Malkioni sorcerers as NPCs than Malkioni sorcerers. What sort of numbers have you experienced?

I think this would be a great question for a survey of some sort - where do people run and what regions of Glorantha have they run or played in, and what sort of magic systems were used.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you regarding Kralori - one must become a priest of Godunya and expend quite a bit of POW to use Godunya magic effectively - the vast majority of the Kralori use common sorcery, at least according to the published Glorantha material (91% by the book). Priests of Godunya are a minority, and even so, I doubt most theists would classify them as anything but sorcerers.

Please note that none of this is meant to say that sorcerers should not be as fleshed out and developed as are the other magicians of Glorantha, rather that developing only the Malkioni strikes me as the wrong approach to take.


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