Welcome to a new issue of the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.

God Learner Sorcery

We are now occupying a nice little tower with a long history of previous occupants who have left behind documents, tablets, artifacts, and other kinds of junk. As we clean up and archive these things, we share the most interesting ones with you.

Initiation Series Episode 1: Ludovic, The Dark Eye, the Guide, and Maps

We released the inaugural episode of the “Gloranthan Initiation Series”, where we talk to people who came into contact with Glorantha and/or RuneQuest rather recently, and ask them about their experience and previous experience. In this episode, our own Ludovic (hey that’s me!) acted a guinea pig for our questionnaire, since he qualifies as a “newbie”.

We want to say thank you to all the newbies who volunteered to be interviewed for this series. Their interviews will start airing next month, on a roughly monthly basis in between “regular” God Learners episodes. We think these interviews are interesting: we learn where people are coming from, how they approach an old and complicated setting like Glorantha, and what their struggles and joys are. Hopefully this will also remind a few “old hands” what it was like to be a newcomer in Glorantha! 😝

Chaosium News

Here are this week’s Chaosium news!

Weapons & Equipment Is Coming Next Month

Art by Ossi Hiekkala © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

I’m still waiting for my Starter Set to arrive, and we’re already getting a notice that the next RuneQuest sourcebook, the Weapons & Equipment Guide, is coming on December 10th! I really like these covers by Ossi Hiekkala…

Play the Starter Set SoloQuest in your Browser

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The Battle of Dangerford solo adventure from the RuneQuest Starter Set is now playable for free in your browser! This is a great way to get a taste of the world of Glorantha and the RuneQuest rules, and it’s easy to send the link to a friend. It’s also of course great if you are in a very boring online work meeting…

The RuneQuest Wiki is Online

It’s not really a wiki per se since only Chaosium people can edit it or see pages’ history, but hey, that’s what’s it’s called… anyway, it’s online!

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The website is meant to be an easy reference for newcomers to Glorantha and RuneQuest, so there won’t be much for those of you who have all the core books, except for a couple surprises (see below). It will serve as a handy reference for players who don’t have the books, or are on the go.

Right now, the wiki has the Starter Set version of the rules, some setting information, equipment and weapons, a short version of the bestiary, and some quick links to buy the main products. Of note, there are some quick character creation rules, which is very welcome since the Starter Set doesn’t have any, and since they are quicker than the core rulebook’s. They even include random homeland and occupations if you don’t want to choose!

Magic in RuneQuest

This was released shortly before the last issue of the Journal and therefore slipped away… it’s a short interview of Jeff Richard by James Coquillat about the difference between the three magic systems of Glorantha, which is bound to slightly confuse players coming from other fantasy games where there’s only one system.

As always with these videos, there is nothing revelatory for Gloranthaphiles, but it’s a very handy resource to send to any new or prospective players.

Jonstown Compendium

The Jonstown Compendium is Chaosium’s community content program for all Gloranthan games, hosted on DriveThruRPG. Disclaimer: all the relevant links are affiliate links that hopefully will let us cover some of the hosting and maintenance costs for the website and podcast! Thanks for using them!

Anaxial’s Manifest

© 2021 Jamie Revell & Chaosium Inc.

Jamie Revell released Anaxial’s Manifest, a bestiary sourcebook for RuneQuest Glorantha. It contains “a compilation of 46 Gloranthan creatures and embodied spirits not previously described in RuneQuest“.

I assume that the name of the book is a nod to the HeroWars sourcebook Anaxial’s Roster, which did something similar for the HeroWars system. Anaxial is a flood-myth figure of Glorantha, so this is sort of appropriate.

The Duel at Dangerford, in Japanese

© 2021 Nick Brooke & Chaosium Inc.

Nick Brooke’s early Jonstown Compendium entry has now been translated in Japanese! It features some extra art and… that’s about all I can tell you about it because my Japanese isn’t nearly good enough!

Jeff’s Notes

Jeff Richard, the current mastermind on everything Gloranthan at Chaosium, is often posting notes and thoughts on the RuneQuest Facebook group. Here’s our curated list from the past week. A partial archive of these sources is compiled on the Well of Daliath.

The Maruts and the Thunder Brothers

Jeff points us to Vedic mythology (late bronze age northwest India) as a source of inspiration for the Thunder Brothers, the sons and daughters of Orlanth who are typically worshiped as part of his broader cult. He points us to the Maruts in particular, who are the sons of storm god Rudra.

A good real world comparison is the Maruts who follow Indra and serve as his followers and companions. Socially they are a model for the companions of the Prince, to whom their deeds are often attributed.

So Indra is another storm god, but what’s more interesting to me is the second part.

First, the Thunder Brothers are models for “companions of the Prince”, which I assume is the Prince of Sartar. This means that if you’re followers of Kallyr or later Argrath (or whoever gets the throne in your timeline), you could try and “get in a role” of a particular Thunder Brother to add some roleplaying opportunities and some questing or sacred regalia ideas to your GM.

Second, the deeds of the Thunder Brother companions are “often attributed” to their leader, which means the Prince and/or Orlanth. The way I see it, when your PCs are companions of the Prince, they might do some really cool stuff but need the… ahem… politeness of letting their boss take credit for it. I hope the PCs have some high Honor and Loyalty Passions! But I understand it also as applicable to Orlanth himself. So one can imagine variations of myths attributed to Orlanth where it’s one of the Thunder Brothers doing the cool stuff. These variations might be taught in some parts of Sartar based on regional traditions, and when heroquesting, you may not have to identify with the big blue guy, you could instead identify to one of his children. It might not provide as big a boon as when heroquesting as Orlanth, but it might also be safer…

The Bad Rain

We already discussed before how Orlanth sometimes summons monstrosities and enemies out of his own bad moods. This is the “Bad Rain”, which is summoned in order to start a heroquest of the Lightbringers Quest.

The Bad Rain is the Shadow of Orlanth – the brooding, repressed darkness within Orlanth such as kinstrife, murder, and wanton destruction – and terrible consequences of Orlanth’s deeds. Orlanth conquered the world, but in doing so he let Darkness and Chaos into the world. As the Greater Darkness approaches, Orlanth broods and the Bad Rain comes.

In many stories this is linked with the emergence of trolls in the Middle World. When Harmast summoned the Bad Rains in 424, it was easy because “every rain we made was a Bad Rain then.” Angorsk Ig, a son of the Only Old One, was summoned, along with the “red trolls, the ones that came with heat” (Zorak Zoran cultists).

The Bad Rain and its monsters attack the ceremony, and it is not uncommon for participants to be killed. Harmast himself killed Angorsk Ig with the Manthi Flints by accident, out of desperation.

Orlanth isn’t the only one with a shadow, by the way:

This recognition of the Shadow is key to the Orlanth cults heroquesting and a source of power. This approach was rejected by the Fire/Sky cults until the Red Goddess herself embraced her Shadow as part of her Goddess Quest.

Jeff muses (but does not confirm) that Ragnaglar may be Storm Bull’s shadow.

Urain, a personification of the Bad Rain in some story, is not Chaotic, despite what might have slipped into some past publications. Jeff shares that some of Greg Stafford’s notes make it clear.

There is also some information about Kallyr’s failed Lightbringers Quest:

When Kallyr began her Lightbringers Quest, she also summoned the Bad Rain, which made manifest all of her subconscious fears and guilt. Many were killed, but the Bad Rain was driven off, and the ritual became a heroquest.

[…]

Kallyr’s guilts, failures, and fears were great as well and she found it easy to summon the Bad Rain. Her fears of what she was bringing into the world – Darkness, Disorder, and Chaos – were made manifest and needed to be beat off at great price.

Two decades later Argrath barely had to twitch to summon the Bad Rain and his heroquest took him deeper than the Underworld.

The Orlanthi often say that a hero is made out of their failures, guilt, and fears. Without those, there is nothing to overcome and thus no hero.

This is a key to Greg’s storytelling. His protagonists – Harmast, Argrath, Arkat, the Red Goddess, Sartar, Tarkalor, etc., – all had failures, fears, and regrets that they needed to confront in order to be a hero. And that unconscious Shadow did not cease to exist as a result of the experience, but the hero could coexist with it and was no longer in danger of being destroyed by their own Shadow.

In some cases, like Arkat, the confrontation with the Shadow was quite literal – Arkat embraced his own Shadow and became a troll in order to defeat Nysalor.

So Jeff wants us to figure out what was Kallyr’s Shadow, and what was Argrath’s. The short discussion that follows points at Kallyr being too “literal and unwavering” about this, whereas Argrath, with his draconic connection, is better able to “embrace contradictions”.

Community Roundup

The community roundup is our highlight of interesting things being mentioned in the Glorantha-related Facebook groups, sub-Reddits, and other similar online places.

Awesome Custom RuneQuest Miniature

Photo by Scornado

On the BRP forums, Scornado shared this picture of an awesome custom RuneQuest miniature.

It uses a modified Victrix chariot with Wargames Factory and Zvezda skeleton parts.

The miniature is designed for use in a published adventure (also available here) that I won’t name here to avoid spoiling it.

Down a Rabbit Hole with Milk

I love this: Varanis from Beer With Teeth went down a rabbit hole about Praxian mounts and the nutritional value of their milk. And it comes with graphs! Check it out, it’s awesome.

SkullDixon on the Disorder Rune

As promised, SkullDixon has written an article about what the Disorder Rune, and what it means for creating stories in Glorantha.

I feel that a lot of gamemasters and players see the Disorder Rune as just a source and cause for Misfortune. But I think it has a lot more to offer us other than being the source of ill luck and I want to try to explore that fully here.

Besides outlining his many thoughts about the nature of the Disorder Rune, SkullDixon also offers four adventure seeds with Disorder as the common theme.

Unprofessional Unboxing of the Starter Set

Hey this is not a judgement on my part, but merely the title of Scott’s video series!

Unboxings of the RuneQuest Starter are getting extremely common these days (everybody is getting theirs!) but that’s all I have until I can receive mine… especially since the recent floods in British Columbia are making shipping even more complicated!

On The Origins of Ducks

Jajagappa has some funny Eurmal-infused take on the origin of ducks over at BRP Central.

Eurmal, of course, thought this was all very funny. He had the bird folk perform all sorts of silly rituals. He had them hop on one leg across a river – without ever getting wet. He had them fly upside down so that the Sun would illuminate their bellies and the shadows would darken their backs (that’s why all the Ducks have white bellies, even now). He had them dive deep into the Sea to return with the seven Sea Snails – which Eurmal ate, of course, because he was hungry. And he had them perform even sillier rituals. At last, the bird folk grew tired of these tasks and demanded that Eurmal reveal the truth of the leaves.

Read the whole thing, especially if you have ducks in your campaign and you want to throw in yet another possible myth for them… that’s always fun!

Thank you for reading

That’s it for this week! Please contact us with any feedback, question, or news item we’ve missed!

This is the inaugural episode of the Glorantha Initiation series, where we talk to members of the tribe who recently joined the God Learner studies. The God Learner Podcast wants to investigate how people comparatively new to Glorantha experience the world, what are the rewards, what are the hurdles when approaching this setting.

To test the concept and the questionnaire we plan to use on our volunteers, Joerg interviews Ludovic, who actually only discovered Glorantha around the time the new RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha was released.

© Schmidt International

Ludovic’s first roleplaying game was The Dark Eye, also known as L’Oeil Noir in France.

The Havena city box also had a big early influence on him. For more nostalgia, see Ludovic’s “RPG DNA” article.

The French HeroWars and Glorantha books whose covers Ludovic talks about are visible above.

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The Broken Tower RuneQuest Quickstart is available in print and POD here. It’s also available for free in PDF here.

You can find Ludovic all around the interwebs. For more information, see his God Learner wizard profile.

Welcome to a new issue of the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.

God Learner Sorcery

We are now occupying a nice little tower with a long history of previous occupants who have left behind documents, tablets, artifacts, and other kinds of junk. As we clean up and archive these things, we share the most interesting ones with you.

Observations on the Chalana Arroy Infirmary of REDACTED

We continue to take writing prompts from the Chaosium Discord, and this week the topic was “Chalana Arroy”. I wrote some cautionary tale about what happens when you apply the Laws of Robotics to the pacifism of healers…

I didn’t share my concerns with the High Healer but I sometimes wonder about how we choose who receives the help of spirits and gods, and who receives simple bandages and herbs. Surely the most equitable way is to do everything we can for the first people who wander into the inner yard? Sister […] said I was extremely naive. That we needed to manage our resources “like managing our grain to last the winter“. I pointed out that nobles get more bread than stick-pickers, and that surely Chalana Arroy wouldn’t want such inequality. We pondered this for a while, but Sister […] only replied that the High Healer surely knew this.

You can read the whole short story here!

Chaosium News

Here are this week’s Chaosium news!

Interlude: Unrelated to Glorantha but related to Chaosium, this month and week was the 40th Anniversary of Ludo’s favourite game, Call of Cthulhu! So if you want a break from swords and sandals, go check it out!

Out Now! The RuneQuest Starter Set!

Art by Ossi Hiekkala © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Yep, finally, after several months of dramatic shipping hurdles, the RuneQuest Starter Set is here! You can order it from here and receive the PDFs right away. However, you’re also encouraged to support your local friendly game store, especially if they are part of the Bits & Mortar program, which also gives you access to the PDFs when you buy in-store. Ask them! And if they’re not part of the program, tell them it’s easy to sign up for it!

Warning: As of this writing, please note that demand for the Starter Set already outnumbered supply in the United Kingdom distribution center! I blame the vast amount of RuneQuest grognards in the UK… you know who you are! Will we be able to empty the other warehouses, too?

Starter Set Marketing Round-Up

Art by Mark Smylie © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Artist Mark Smylie had a few nice things to say about Glorantha, RuneQuest, and the Starter Set (all of which he’s been involved in). Artist Ossi Hiekkala also previously had his own take.

There is also the official “Chaosium Unveiled” video that shows off all the amazing contents of this ridiculously low-priced box:

There was a release party at the Otherland Bookshop in Berlin that Chaosium’s Jason Durall and Jeff Richard attended. You can find several videos of the event on their Twitter feed:

And finally, there’s blog post with recommendations about what to do after you’re done with the Starter Set. I like that Chaosium gives a slight preference to the Gamemaster Screen Pack, with its many resources and adventures.

Jeff’s Notes

Jeff Richard, the current mastermind on everything Gloranthan at Chaosium, is often posting notes and thoughts on the RuneQuest Facebook group. Here’s our curated list from the past week. A partial archive of these sources is compiled on the Well of Daliath.

Myth and History

Jeff wants us to know that myth isn’t magick’ed up distant history.

Rather it is a way of understanding how the archetypes and symbols of meaning fit together into a greater whole. The Runes, the Twins, Ouroborous, the Rival Brothers, the Mother and Child, and other archetypes are combined together in stories and make patterns, some eternal, some subject to change or reinterpretation.

One can learn and study myths but as their sources arise beneath the rational the best is to experience them yourself and assembly these symbols personally.

Horse Riders

A common motif in parts of Western Sartar (particularly around Runegate and Chormsland) is the Horse Rider and the Goddess. Most stories associate them with King Yarandros or Derik Pol-Joni and Sorana Tor or Kero Fin, or else with the Feathered Horse Queen and one of her suitor-husbands (Sartar or Tarkalor most commonly), although many of these images likely predate the Dragonkill War. The Yelmalio cultists claim that this represents Yelmalio and Ernalda (or sometimes another goddess). Many correct interpretations are possible, as this motif exists on many mythic substrata.

Some of these motifs, I suppose, go even further west and into Tarsh, or maybe originate from there. Yarandros was a King of Tarsh in the early 15th century, and the reason he might fit the “Horse Rider” archetype is that he stole a sacred stallion from the Grazelanders (which provoked a war).

Sorana Tor is a recurring Earth Goddess of sorts, and actually participated in the founding of the Kingdom of Tarsh. Sometimes she’s considered an avatar of Kero Fin, and some Feathered Horse Queens have been known to identify strongly to either of those figures.

A mistake that often happens is that people assume that there is a single correct interpretation of a mythic motif (and that usually whichever came first chronologically – which is obvious nonsense when dealing with the God Time) – but these symbols can be placed next to many others and still have power.

I think this is potentially important when Heroquesting, especially when I recall Jeff’s comments about identification being based on mythic motifs and archetypes, not on any actual names of deities. So I think you can see a tale or painting or bas-relief of a mounted fighter wooing a woman and say that this is “obviously”, say, Yarandros and Sorana Tor. But it could be interpreted differently, or told differently, and the magical mythical potential therein wielded for, say, some hero worship of King Sartar and Feathered Horse Queen Eneera Tor.

Same thing happened about four generations ago with Elmal. The old trappings failed but he gained new power as Yelmalio.

Community Roundup

The community roundup is our highlight of interesting things being mentioned in the Glorantha-related Facebook groups, sub-Reddits, and other similar online places.

The Gaming Gang Unboxes the RuneQuest Starter Set

You can already order the Starter Set for yourself by now, but maybe you’re on the fence about the it, and maybe all of the previous unboxing videos we’ve linked to weren’t enough? Well, here’s another one! It starts around about 33 minutes into the video, and it last for almost an hour of in-depth look.

Pixel Art Paper Miniatures

Art by Dipster

Over on Discord, Dipster has shared this awesome collection of character portraits and paper standees for their RuneQuest game… a game that looks quite fun, if the weird and diverse collection of adventurers is any indication!

RQStaffan Playing the Starter Set SoloQuest Adventure

If you’re available at next Friday evening, you can watch RQStaffan go through the Starter Set SoloQuest adventure on Twitch! The Twitch stream is here, and it will happen at 20:30 EST. I’m sure there will be a recording on Twitch or YouTube later.

Far Flung Duck Minitatures

Far Flung Figures is currently sculpting some models for producing duck miniatures. In case, you know, you didn’t have enough duck miniatures. Which seems unlikely.

Most of these miniatures are spread across various fantasy styles and historical periods, though, so you’ll have to pick and choose. You can see their progress on their Facebook page.

Elsewhere on Arachne Solara’s Web

Not everything is about Glorantha, although most things are! Here are loosely relevant things that we found on the interwebs.

Virtual Visit of Hattusa

Here’s a pretty in-depth visit of Hattusa, capital of the bronze age Hittite Kingdom. The gates, the big temple to the Hittite Storm God, and some general stuff about urban architecture and development will surely come in handy to add some flavour and details to your Gloranthan games!

This is What Moonfire Looks Like

Photo by Eric Houck

Don’t mess with Lunar sorcerers because that’s how you get Moonfire all over your house.

Arnold Friberg’s Book of Mormon

Arnold Friberg did these paintings inspired by the Book of Mormon. I think there are lots of cool visuals to steal for Glorantha in there!

How Bronze Age Horses Conquered the Old World

(…and eventually the new world, too)

The First Horse Warriors is a video about the introduction of horse riding into warfare. Dan Davis, an author of novels set in the Bronze Age, keeps putting out videos based on his background research that give good information on a period of history your school learning probably hasn’t mentioned.

One weird take-away from this are the Mesopotamian war wagons (I hesitate to call them chariots) drawn by donkey-onager half-breeds. Chariots like this are mentioned in connection with Gilgamesh.

Gloranthan horsemanship has moved past such initial experiments, though. The earliest mounted forces in Gloranthan myth may have been the Ratite Empire avilry riding augner war-birds, from a time when riverine Dara Happa still used fluffy-downed gazzam dinosaurs as their animal muscle.

Thank you for reading

That’s it for this week! Please contact us with any feedback, question, or news item we’ve missed!

This document has been heavily redacted. The author’s name, the location of the Chalana Arroy temple, and any identifying elements about the people involved have been erased in the most invasive ways possible, sometimes by directly punching holes through the scroll. All we can say is that these are notes from a literate initiate of Chalana Arroy who maintained some kind of personal journal of sorts. The paper, ink, and writing point to Esrolia as the source of this document. We estimate that its author wrote it between 1622 and 1624. It was recovered just recently from the ruins of a Lunar intellectual’s mansion.

The following texts1 are relevant excerpts from the 26 pages that survived and that we were able to analyze.

Sea Season

The initiation ritual was everything I expected. To bask in Her generosity and compassion was a transforming experience that healed every part of my soul except one. She said that there would always be the unhealable wound. It’s in the world, and it’s in every one of us. I wanted to heal it, for I wanted to be pure and whole. It filled me with a great desire I couldn’t fulfill. It transformed into frustration. She smiled knowingly, and I returned to the sacred grounds.

After this, I made my vows to the Goddess, to the Infirmary, and to High Healer […] who was officiating. There was much happiness at the feast, and I can still hear it going as I write these lines. But I admit I still feel this burning frustration inside me that the Goddess seemed to know about.

Fire Season

Work at the Infirmary has been rewarding. My apprenticeship had prepared me well but the affairs of a town like […] are vastly different to those of the small village I came from.

Some cases are very similar, such as easing difficult births and dismissing evil spirits. Others are new, such as when I assisted with my first search for a recently departed soul, which we successfully returned to the body. Yet, most cases are just of a bigger scale than what I was used to. At the beginning of the season we saw an unfortunate plague go through […] and it took many of us to keep it contained.

The High Healer said that we just didn’t have the capacity to fight so many poisonous spirits. Most of us still had the strength to continue but she wanted us to keep our magic for raiding season. And indeed she was right, for only a week later we had many kinsfolk to take care of, as they came back from the battlefield.

I thought of the unhealable wound during these past few weeks. Is it the wound that comes when your magic is gone? Is it the wound you leave to nature, for you expect a graver one tomorrow?

Earth Season

I talked to a man yesterday in the sick ward. I took pity on him and spent one of my last divine favors of the season on him. The High Healer wasn’t pleased with this, as she wanted my powers the following day for another patient.

I didn’t share my concerns with the High Healer but I sometimes wonder about how we choose who receives the help of spirits and gods, and who receives simple bandages and herbs. Surely the most equitable way is to do everything we can for the first people who wander into the inner yard? Sister […] said I was extremely naive. That we needed to manage our resources “like managing our grain to last the winter“. I pointed out that nobles get more bread than stick-pickers, and that surely Chalana Arroy wouldn’t want such inequality. We pondered this for a while, but Sister […] only replied that the High Healer surely knew this.

Darkness Season

The High Healer wanted me to attend a meeting of the tribal ring as an observer. I was surprised by this but understood soon enough, for the man I had healed in Earth Season was here, defending his clan’s right to raise a blood feud against former allies of the tribe. Many arguments were put forward and the debate became heated. I did not pay too much attention, for healers should not take sides. High Healer […] glanced at me in a way that have trouble putting out of my mind.

Storm Season

The Chieftain I healed two seasons earlier has mustered his militia, as authorized by the tribal ring. As I write these words they are marching towards […] and I fear many lives will be wasted.

Earlier today I went to see the High Healer about this, but interrupted some of her meditation. My eyes might have deceived me but I thought I saw a large spider spirit conversing with her. I blinked and it disappeared. The High Healer invited me in. Our chat was brief, and she just said that maybe the tribe would have been better off if the Chieftain had not recovered fully. My heart is still racing as I recall her words.

Maybe that’s what the unhealable wound is. The destinies of mortals, with their inevitable tragedies and violent ends. Surely the Goddess wants us to help anybody, regardless of their past, present, and future? I feel the frustration mounting again. I dare not think of what the High Healer truly meant.

Sea Season

The raids led by Chieftain […] were disastrous. They found a secret temple to […] and the entire […here most of the text has been lost…]. The tribe lost many good men to these disease spirits and other creatures of evil.

I talked to Sister […], mentioning that this might not have happened had I followed the High Healer’s instructions and not healed Chieftain […] as he was wasting away. She nodded and told me that only the utmost trust would earn me a place in the High Healer’s inner ring. I’m starting to see more clearly what goes on here.

Fire Season

I was visiting a sick child in […] this morning. As I was fetching clean water outside the home, the clan’s Earth Priestess approached me and whispered that the decisions of the clan ring “would go as planned“. She wanted to know if her son would be taken care of. I didn’t know what to say, so I just replied that, of course, her son would receive all the care he needs, for that’s what Chalana Arroy promises.

It only occurred to me later what she really meant. I confided in Sister […] and she said it was probably just the Earth Priestess keeping the High Healer informed of recent developments, for our cult often helps settle disagreements.

Earth Season

Yesterday I fought a spirit of disease that was leeching off of the tribal Lawspeaker’s mother. I am sure I had seen this spirit before, among Chieftain […] men two seasons ago. I will track down who is summoning this pestilence into our midst.

Darkness Season

I am still shaken as I write these pages. I went into the caves with a few thanes I trust, intent on destroying the Mallia nest I uncovered. But as we were ready to ambush the Disease Master, I smelled a perfume I knew too well, fleeting away under the putrescence of the place. I ran down a tunnel alone and found her about to escape.

The High Healer turned to face me. “You never really understood who our Goddess is!” she screamed at me. “She is older than their gods! She has seen it all happen! While they bickered and went to war, the Goddess knew that to truly heal the world was to bring balance! She has a…. perspective… that all other gods lack” The High Healer smiled. “What do you think seeps through the unhealable wound of the world? What do you think gives us free will and purpose and happiness and despair and all the glorious fucking range of mortal experiences?

She was shaking, and the paint on her face dripped down onto her teeth. This sweet smile that once welcomed me was now the blackened rage of blasphemy. I couldn’t move. “There is a higher purpose for us! Can’t you see?! Aren’t you tired of just healing wounds after the fact?!” She chuckled. “Men are stupid aren’t they, with their little games? But I see the big picture, and I can save them from themselves. I know what True Harmony is, dear.” She stepped right up to my face. “It’s when there’s someone with the courage to keep the fucking world going!” She wiped the paint off her face and splattered the tunnel with it. “We are the guardians of the Compromise, the daughters of the Web, and you’re too… small-minded… to understand what that means. It’s a Compromise! We need to infect as much as we heal! This is the only way we get to go on!

She laughed as she put her hand on my cheek, but she looked incredibly sad. Her hand was cold. I don’t know what would have happened if the entire cave complex had not collapsed at this moment. I barely made it alive. I think it took me hours to dig my way out of the rubble. As I write these lines, I’m camping near […] and I want to leave it all behind. But I need to know if the High Healer survived. I fear that I will find her at the Infirmary, walking down the sick ward as if nothing happened. What then?

I will wrap this journal and hide it here in the […]. Nobody visits these ruins but the birds and the deer. If I don’t come back to collect it, you can assume the worst about my fate.

Safe travels, stranger.

1 This is another article that comes from a writing prompt mentioned in the Chaosium Discord server. KungFuFenris is the one who suggested this topic. You can read Diana Probst’s own thoughts on Chalana Arroy, too.

Welcome to a new issue of the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.

God Learner Sorcery

We are now occupying a nice little tower with a long history of previous occupants who have left behind documents, tablets, artifacts, and other kinds of junk. As we clean up and archive these things, we share the most interesting ones with you.

The Travels of Biturian Varosh (Part 3)

Episode 5 of our podcast is now out! Joerg and Ludo are joined by guest Drew Baker, author of Rubble Runners and the QAD series on the Jonstown Compendium.

After an announcement on the upcoming Glorantha Initiation Series, and the usual ramblings on the past month’s news, Drew expertly guides his hosts through Prax. Picking up where the previous Wind Words podcast had left off, we follow the travels of Biturian Varosh from Pavis to Corflu, as told from the sidebars of the RuneQuest supplement Cults of Prax. Drew and Joerg provide many insights into what’s going on, while Ludo tries to keep up…

Found Documents: Collection of Spirits

We have started cataloguing and translating this collection of spirit encounters from the travelogues of Saranioth The Wanderer.

The particular stack of documents at hand collects his notes on the topic of spirits, with dates ranging from 1609 to 1616. These are all parts of Saranioth’s travelogue, but someone apparently grabbed any passage relevant to local spirits for some personal project. That individual also started what looks like an attempt at a geolocalized cross-referenced index of the spirits of Dragon Pass, but we don’t know yet which way is up and which way is down so we’ll translate and copy it later when we’ve figured it out.

We hope we enjoy these short stories, and maybe you’ll even feature some of these spirits in your own games!

Chaosium News

Here are this week’s Chaosium news!

Meint’s Index to Glorantha Returns?

We had previousy heard that Rick Meint’s “Index to Glorantha” (often known as “MiG”) would come back eventually with a 3rd edition, but I didn’t expect it so soon! According to a recent article on Chaosium’s blog, we can expect the PDF for this new edition “this month”.

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The back cover shown above gives some classic RuneQuest 2 vibes which are pretty cool.

The 256 page new edition of the MiG covers what was published (and not published) for RuneQuest and Glorantha from 1975 to 2015. We hope to have the PDF of the book for sale on the Chaosium website this month! It will be out physical print early next year: we might even do an official launch at Chaosium Con.

All the rare Gloranthabilia that you will never be able to find or afford, listed in one handy book!

ChaosiumCon Tickets On Sale Next Week

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Early next week Chaosium will open up sales of tickets for the first CHAOSIUM CON, and they have a special mailing list for that if you want to be informed as soon as possible.

Ossi Hiekkala on the RuneQuest Starter Set

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Ossi Hiekkala, who painted the absolutely gorgeous front cover for the RuneQuest Starter Set, has a few words to share after having received his physical copy. Well done Ossi!

Authentic Thaumaturgy with Rick Meints

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Master Chaosium collector Rick Meints really knows the obscure bits of the company’s history. He delivers once again with some background on “Authentic Thaumaturgy“, a book published in the late 1970s by Greg Stafford.

Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits described himself as “the world’s only academically accredited occultist”, with a B.A. in Magic from the University of California, Berkeley. Bonewits also was an Archdruid of the Berkeley Grove of the New Reformed Druids of North America. I can easily imagine that Stafford’s shamanic interests overlapped with Bonewits’ druidic ones because that’s just how San Francisco in the 1970s worked. On November 7th, 1977 they signed a contract wherein Chaosium would publish Authentic Thaumaturgy in early 1978. It would be Chaosium’s third RPG-related product, after the first two volumes of All the World’s Monsters.

I’ll let you read the rest on Chaosium’s blog, it’s pretty wild. I guess that’s the 1970s for you.

Jonstown Compendium

The Jonstown Compendium is Chaosium’s community content program for all Gloranthan games, hosted on DriveThruRPG. Disclaimer: all the relevant links are affiliate links that hopefully will let us cover some of the hosting and maintenance costs for the website and podcast! Thanks for using them!

Corallo’s Zenith Counters: Prax Pack #1

© 2021 Dario Corallo and Chaosium Inc.

Unstoppable Gloranthan artist Dario Corallo has another Zenith Counters pack out focused on everything Praxian: bisons and impalas and sable antelopes and impalas, with or without mounted warriors, plus Morokanths and herdmen. These are all top-down views for use with a VTT.

Dorastor Map

© 2021 Anders Tonnberg and Chaosium Inc.

Anders Tonnberg has another high-resolution Wonderdraft map that makes the Argan Argar Atlas maps pretty and bigger, this time detailing everybody’s favourite romantic holiday getaway, Dorastor. He also used Dorastor: Land of Doom and Secrets of Dorastor to complement the map with more landmarks.

Sandheart Series Sale

© 2021 Webb of Intrigue and Chaosium Inc.

Amazing alliteration, Batman! Jon Webb’s fabulous Praxian police procedural series Sandheart is on sale, with small discounts across all first three volumes (Tales of the Sun County Militia, The Corn Dolls & Fortunate Sun, and Tradition). Disclaimer: I did a few illustrations a maps in there.

Community Roundup

The community roundup is our highlight of interesting things being mentioned in the Glorantha-related Facebook groups, sub-Reddits, and other similar online places.

GROGNARDIA on the RuneQuest Companion

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The ever wonderful GROGNARDIA blog posted a retrospective of the RuneQuest Companion, this somewhat weird sourcebook from 1983 that basically collects a bunch of articles, similar to how Wyrms Footnotes did in fanzine form, until its demise in 1982.

The Companion, then, was intended to fill this particular gap, with the promise – unfulfilled, as it turned out, but then that’s nothing new in the history of RuneQuest – of a new volume of the Companion “whenever we have accumulated 64–96 pages of top-notch articles.”

James Maliszewski concludes:

Indeed, looking back on it now, what really strikes me about the RuneQuest Companion is how few of its pages are devoted to new rules. Chaosium clearly understood the main draw of RQ was its setting of Glorantha. That’s probably why I look on this book so favorably even now.

Indeed, Chaosium clearly understood this, even though it took them a few decades to be in a good position to do something about it. They won the 2015 Diana Jones “Excellence in Gaming” Award for the giant setting-only bible that is the Guide to Glorantha, and the 2019 Gold Ennie for Best Supplement with the (also setting-only) Glorantha Sourcebook.

Inspirational or mythically appropriate music shared on Facebook

There is a thread on the RuneQuest Facebook group for mythically or inspirational music for Glorantha.

Elsewhere on Arachne Solara’s Web

Not everything is about Glorantha, although most things are! Here are loosely relevant things that we found on the interwebs.

Powerful Women and Magical Vaginas

And now for something completely different: folk legends of magical vaginas in 19th century. In case, you know, you wanted to really lean into “fertility magic”.

The väki of the vittu could be used to cast many different kinds of spells, but most commonly it was used for protection. One example of the power of vittu is the protection it offers from the forest beasts. In order to keep her cattle safe on the fields, the matron of the family would stand on the field with her lower body naked. When she bend over with her vittu facing the forest the beasts would run away from power much stronger than them.

Read more here.

The Everyday Role Women in Viking Society

In a more “safe for work” category, here is an article about the work done by Prof. Alexandra Sanmark on the everyday role of women in Viking society.

Prof Sanmark said: “Viking age research has to a great extent focused on men, the familiar raiding and pillage story and women’s lives have been side-lined.

“This is beginning to be redressed but we still have a long way to go. Women in the Viking age had crucial roles to play in society but this has not been stressed enough. We are talking about people who – to a great extent – were subsistence farmers. That is not an easy life.”

Prof. Sanmark notes that research on Viking women has focused too much on the exceptional individuals who became warriors and “ritual specialists”, and not enough on the crucial role of the average housewife — whose very denomination can already bring a lot of bias into historical research.

Prof. Sanmark did an online lecture on this topic available on YouTube:

Thank you for reading

That’s it for this week! Please contact us with any feedback, question, or news item we’ve missed!

Our guest for this episode is Drew Baker, author of a series of products on the Jonstown Compendium, including the QAD (Quick and Dirty) series (available as the omnibus edition “Pimper’s Block“), the Rubble Redux scenarios Insula of the Waning Moon and Insula of the Rising Sun, and Alogo’s Caravan – Riding Animals of Dragon Pass..

Announcement: The Gloranthan Initiation Interviews

Announcing a series of interviews with people comparatively new to Glorantha, sharing their experiences and their perspectives on the setting and the games surrounding it. We’ll be posting these between our main episodes.

News

Jörg boasts of his recent visit to the Kraken Convention, a gaming retreat held annually at Schloss Neuhausen, a chateau in the German state of Brandenburg,

The What is New About RuneQuest panel video is mentioned, as well as the fact that some copies of the Starter Set were available, something Jason Durall blogged about, too.

Jörg mentions a game he played – coincidentally with our Finnish fellow Dayzatarin Tähtien Alla podcaster Juha Rutila (Finnish language only). That game was Turning Point, by Phil Vecchione and Senda Linaugh. It is still in quickstart phase, but totally playable.

The release date of the Starter Set was announced – it is the 10th of November 21, or 11-10-21 which add up to a significant number.

Katrin Dirim received the 2021 Award.

Drew tells how Jeff putting out the definitive map both screwed up and bettered his Glorantha game, and gives a huge shout-out to Jeff’s preview notes.

Drew puts forward an idea how the changes in the Sartar Map may be blamed on the rise of “an eight kilometer long reptile” “swallowing half of the east part of Sartar”.

The Black Spear campaign by Nick Brooke, lavishly illustrated by Mike O’Connor, takes you on a highly mythical road trip into Prax towards Pavis.

Main Topic: The Travels of Biturian Varosh

Pavis (Pavis Cult)

We start with Ludo summarizing the sidebar stories in Cults of Prax and the previous travels of Biturian.

We start off with a theory why there are universal names for spirit magic spells – Ludo blames the God Learners, Drew blames mercantile standardization at the hands of the Issaries Cult, while Jörg points out that the God Learners promoted the cult of Issaries in the Second Age.

Drew turns our attention to the phases of the moon for Biturian’s interactions with the lunars at Moonbroth.

The perennial debate about pronunciation of the city of Pavis, and we get into the history of the place, including the mecha-battle between the Faceless Statue and Waha and the giants.

Drew points out that Biturian spends the Winter Solstice on fhe road, possibly in the neighborhood of Tada’s High Tumulus.

We talk about the best travel times in the Wastes, and how that assessment may vary between Praxians following their herds and travelers from Dragon Pass. Jörg sows confusion about Praxian seasons (checking this afterwards, yes, there are rains in winter, but summer fertility lasts into Fire Season, while Winter doesn’t provide for the herds yet.

We discuss raiders dropping down from bridges on boats going underneath, and we wonder about the falling damage for 25 meters in RuneQuest. Jörg suggests bungee jumping (Vanuatu style).

Drew is wondering about Biturian’s motivation for researching into Morak’s nature.

Biturian is getting a couple of apparently profitable opportunities in Sun County and Corflu, but with hindsight wisdom we speculate whether those were planted sabotage.

We get into almost a Clue situation about who ambushed who in that neighborhood ritual headed by a priest of Pavis.

We speculate about where exactly in Pavis this ambush would take place, and why it would be an auspicious day.

We also talk about the ale economy in Pavis, and how curfew could spoil a festival aftermath.

Sun County (Yelmalio Cult)

Biturian arrives at Sun County and gets coerced into the role of the Lightbringer for a deadly Yelmalio ritual, the Three Blows of Anger.

Drew badmouths the Yelmalio cult as petty for the non-marriage rules of the Yelmalio priesthood.

We discuss how this “this world” heroquest is set up, mention mythic identification, and we discuss how the preparation for that myth could have been done better, ignoring the HeroQuest Surprise element of such an undertaking.

We’re discussing the fate of Rurik, from his bad run as boxed text example character in RuneQuest first.

We discuss the problems of divine intervention landing a character at very low power, and how that can retire character.

Then we high-tail out of Sun County to the newest marketplace in Prax, the recently built port of Corflu.

Corflu (Issaries Cult)

The Corflu Issaries market is actually run by the Etyries cult, but still serves as the example of the Issaries cult.

We discuss the origin of the name Corflu and why Biturian had to sit out the entire season at that dismal market.

The arrival of a Wolf Pirate ship scares the entire port, and we speculate on the female pirate’s motivations and mode of transport, and how poor traders the Etyries priests are to shun away from her.

A gang of Baboons gets rich from removing the carcasses of the beasts of burden dying from that plague, and Jörg speculates whether these could be the same baboons showing up nearby at the start of the River Voices scenario in River of Cradles.

We discuss the (impossible?) task given to Garzeen to re-assemble Genert by the sister of Prince Hrestol, and how it is obeyed even by the Etyries priests.

We speculate about the red glow warnng off Kethaelan ships from the port of Corflu, and whether it may have had to do with the re.animation of the Watchdog of Corflu.

We then take an inventory of Biturian’s assets, and wonder why he wouldn’t sell off the slave bracelets on Norayeep which probably surpass the value of a slave by a magnitude.

Conclusions?

We discuss the impact of the example character stories, and how many of the episodes have an undercurrent of heroquests happening to Biturian – a heroquest magnet.

Credits

The intro music is “The Warbird” by Try-Tachion. Other music includes “Cinder and Smoke” and “Skyspeak“, along with audio from the FreeSound library.

This is a translation of the first few documents from a large stack belonging to Saranioth The Wanderer. According to our cross-referencing, Saranioth was a traveling sage originally from Alda-Chur. He left the Lhankor Mhy temple there in 1603 and started walking across Dragon Pass for some as-of-yet unknown reason, although we assume he just wanted to gain knowledge in general. As far as we can tell, Saranioth disappeared in 1623 after being caught in an avalanche in the Northern Dragonspine Ridge, but his body was never found. Thankfully, he had stashed all of his personal diaries up to about early 1622 with a colleague in Quackford at this time.

The particular stack of documents at hand collects his notes on the topic of spirits, with dates ranging from 1609 to 1616. These are all parts of Saranioth’s travelogue, but someone apparently grabbed any passage relevant to local spirits for some personal project. That individual also started what looks like an attempt at a geolocalized cross-referenced index of the spirits of Dragon Pass, but we don’t know yet which way is up and which way is down so we’ll translate and copy it later when we’ve figured it out.

The Dirty Stream

I talked to a young boy on the way to Two-Sisters. He was carrying a basket full of dirty clothes, and was on his way to wash them in a stream uphill. At this time we were standing near a lake, and I could see the boy’s small village near the shore in the distance. I asked him about washing the clothes in the lake, and he said that the spirit of the lake didn’t want that.

Curious about this affair, I asked for hospitality at the village, which I learned was called Eilian’s Landing, after the naiad of the lake. I was able to talk to Eilian rather easily, although she refused to face me during our conversation. She said that she was once a great spirit of the Water Tribe, and that she was stranded here in Stael’s Hills a long time ago. She wanted mortals to give her the respect she deserved, and indeed the local population seems to propitiate her every season with small offerings sent on leaves over the water. Eilian wants her waters to be pure, and nothing dirty is allowed to go on the lake. She requires the people of Eilian’s Landing to do any “dirty business” down at the “Dirty Stream”, which flows down from her lake. Still, Eilian confessed, she sees dirty waters coming in all the time, and this irritates her.

I got the impression that, if not for the gifts the receives every season, the lake naiad might flood the entire valley in anger. The youth of the village told me they can’t swim in the lake until they have washed themselves clean at home, so they usually prefer to play in the Dirty Stream, which has many pools and waterfalls and play areas.

I later went to this so-called Dirty Stream. I camped there for less than a day when the stream’s naiad responded to my calls. She was a playful and quirky naiad called Eilior, and she was Eilian’s younger sister. When I asked if her sister was always so demanding, she laughed and splashed, saying: “this is what makes it all the more funny!” I wondered what she meant by this, so she put a finger to her lips, and told me to follow her stream, starting from her bigger sister’s lake. I would understand, she said.

So indeed I walked from the lake shore down the Dirty Stream. I walked past the boy, who was back there washing more clothes, and I saw the dirt flow down the current. I followed Eilior’s twists and turns and ups and downs. I was getting a bit lost, to be honest, for this was one of the most crooked streams I had ever walked along. And as I was trying to find my bearings, I came upon the lake again. I smiled and I laughed. The stream splashed and I heard a laugh echo mine. I turned around and left the lake alone, still smiling.

Jaleria Umda

While walking past a hamlet near Fox Hollow one evening, I saw woman engage in a strange little ritual around her infant’s cradle. The baby’s face was covered with dark makeup, making it look like it had facial hair. The woman did a little dance and, from what I can recollect, spoke these words:

Go to sleep now, dear child, you had a busy day!
Working so hard, herding the sheep, picking much hay!
Almost a man, yet look like one, in bed you snore
Go to sleep now, dear child, tomorrow work some more

Then she took the child inside, presumably for it to go asleep.

When the woman came back out, I asked her what this was all about, and she told me about the local stories of Jaleria Umda.

Jaleria was a member of the Culbri clan several generations ago. She was having trouble conceiving, and had gone to many Earth priestesses and Uleria temples in the hope of a good blessing. But the blessing never came, and her husband left her, for they had gone many years without a child, and she was becoming bitter and jealous of the other women. Some people think that she then turned to evil blessings, for she hadn’t been seen at the good Orlanthi worships in quite a while, and yet she was now pregnant with child even though no man was sharing her bed anymore. But tragedy struck near the time that she would have delivered the baby. She died of some unknown ailment, and yet when the clan performed the funeral rites she was not with child anymore. People say that she gave birth after death, and that the child was now living a cursed half life, although that is a different story.

People in the area say that Jaleria is still looking for her newborn. There are stories about a woman coming to steal infants from their home at sunset. Her feet and hands are backwards and her hair covers her face, so the parents think she is walking away and let their guards down. To protect their infants from Jaleria, before they put their babies to sleep, the locals draw facial hair on the baby’s face and say a poem that makes Jaleria think that the baby is all grown up, and thus not hers. Parents typically do this during the first two seasons of their child’s life, although more superstitious families do the rituals for up to a full year.

I wasn’t able to confirm that any newborn abductions had indeed been attributed to Jaleria Umda based on witness accounts, although the local scribes weren’t very helpful. When I looked into their poorly maintained population records, I did note disturbing rates of infant mortality, but with little complementary information. Further research is needed.

The Mole Bat

I met the Mole Bat about an hour’s walk Northwest of Hidden Valley, after being told by some local kids that this was a popular spirit with them. As far as I could tell from their increasingly outlandish stories, the spirit had giant claws to dig through the dirt, and could see through walls and rocks.

I camped near the Mole Bat’s cave for three nights. The local kids who pointed me to it told me to not go inside, for the Mole Bat didn’t like that. Indeed, it seemed to me like this was a pretty shy spirit. Luckily enough, on the fourth day, the spirit came out to accept my offerings, in exchange for its story. It didn’t say much, but I gathered that it was a spirit of Darkness who had been summoned, bound, released, and so on by several trolls from a local Indigo Mountain tribe. Its mistresses were killed during a fight against “evil wolves”, after which it was free to roam the area. It settled in this cave when humans took all the lands, which I assume would set the date of his freedom to the late 1570s.

The Mole Bat had mostly stayed hidden in this cave until some children found it in the early 1610s. They sacrificed small things to it every season. When one of these children got trapped in an underground cave a couple years later, the Mole Bat somehow came out of its cave and saved it. Ever since, children of the Bachad tribe give it offerings during Dark Season. A local shaman told me that she keeps a cordial and seasonal relationship with the Mole Bat in case its services are needed again.

Welcome to a new issue of the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.

God Learner Sorcery

We are now occupying a nice little tower with a long history of previous occupants who have left behind documents, tablets, artifacts, and other kinds of junk. As we clean up and archive these things, we share the most interesting ones with you.

Found Documents: Small Story Collection

Diana/Berra got the prompt for her wonderful “Small Stories” blog post (also featured later in this issue) from the Chaosium Discord, so I think it’s fair if we also grab it and run with it? We have our own first micro-fiction here. Here’s an example:

A brick in the back of the temple caught my attention. It featured the unmistakable prints of an alynx’s paws and buttocks, with a surprisingly well defined anus. I asked the builder about it and he said that one of the city’s felines was indeed responsible for this. The animal sat on a brick one morning while the brick (and many others like it) was drying in the sun. He did admit using his chisel to enhance the print, so he couldn’t really blame it all on the alynx. I asked him why he did that. He told me that the temple’s priest was “a bit of an asshole”, and that therefore his temple should have one too.

Excerpt from the travelogue of Olerian Marania

Chaosium News

Here are this week’s Chaosium news!

The RuneQuest Starter Set Gets a Date

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Looks like we finally have a date for the release of the RuneQuest Starter Set! It will be available for order on November 10th. Tell your friends! Tell your FLGS!

Jason Durall even wrote a short blog post with some anecdotes and pictures from the Kraken and the Polish warehouse of Black Monk Games (which is now officially in partnership with Chaosium’s more-or-less “parent company” Moon Design Publications, by the way).

Katrin Dirim Gets a Well Deserved Award

Art by Katrin Dirim, duh © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Fabulously mythical artist Katrin Dirim, whose work graces many pages of both official and non-official Glorantha material, is the 2021 recipient of the Greg Stafford Memorial Award for Gloranthan Fandom! Congratulations Katrin!

The Chaosium blog has a short biography of Katrin, along with her acceptance speech.

Previous winners of the award include Lev Lafayette, Martin Helsdon, and Nick Brooke.

What’s New With RuneQuest?

This is not really official Chaosium news, but it involves Chaosium employees talking about Chaosium products, so it goes here!

The Kraken convention, which took place two weeks ago (Joerg was in attendance!) has put out their first panel video, which features Jason Durall, and Neil Robinson talking about RuneQuest.

It starts with the RuneQuest Starter Set, which we already know pretty much everything about by now. Later in the video, however, Neil points at the several pandemic-related problems that have affected production and shipping, such as shortages in paper and cardboard, delays at borders, and so on, not even counting the VAT headaches between boxed products and game books. We also later learn that the SoloQuest adventure in the Starter Set will be published online so that people can try it for free in their browser! That’s a very cool idea.

Jason follows quickly with what’s in the pipeline:

  • The Weapons & Equipment Guide seems to be the next release.
  • The Sartar Homeland Set is well advanced, and a bunch of other Homeland Sets (Esrolia, Lunar Tarsh, Grazelands, Prax, Heortland) are still in writing.
  • The cults book is a slipcase set, about the size of the core rulebook one. The main two books are illustrated by Loic Muzy and Agathe Pitie. The third book is the prosopaedia and is apparently about 130 pages, which is longer than expected originally. As such, it has gained Katrin Dirim as not only the illustrator but also graphic designer.

Jason mentioned that the cults books are pushing the “standard” RuneQuest graphic design to the next level, which means that future books will get more pretty and more ambitious in terms of layout.

Chaosium is considering releasing smaller products (possibly PDF-only) in between the big book releases, such as a collection of non-human adventurers for use with the Starter Set. They’re also looking at releasing card decks for RuneQuest (Rune and Spirit Magic, monsters, encounters, etc.), similar to the Call of Cthulhu Keeper Decks.

Eventually there will be updates to Elder Races. For example we know Shannon Appelcline is working on an “Elfpak”, but there will be books for Trolls and Dwarves and so on obviously. Maybe even Dragonewts, as Jason and Neil were hinting that just because these races are “strange and unknowable” doesn’t mean RuneQuest players can’t handle them correctly for their own Gloranthas.

Jason has more than a dozen adventures that have gathered up on his desk and will probably see the light in a new scenario collection similar to the two that are available right now.

Jonathan Tweet’s RuneQuest book, “The Dragon’s Eye“, is still in progress. However, it looks like the “Glorantha May Vary” aspect that was originally pitched (where various locations and figures would have several possible backgrounds and gaming avenues for gamemasters to pick) has been dialed down. This is now a collection of detailed adventure sites with just sidebars for possible “variations”, which was deemed a more practical and usable approach.

The Gamemaster Guide is still ongoing, with one of the hold ups being ironing out the Battle rules (these were previewed in Jeff’s game on YouTube and I extensively annotated them in a previous Journal issue). The chassis is Pendragon’s Battle system, but it needed some changes to work with Earth-elemental-summoning priestesses and Flying warriors sending Lightning Bolts onto enemies. Jason’s goal is to make this Gamemaster Guide fit in the core rulebook slipcase where the Gamemaster Screen Pack currently is, but of course he has to deal with too much cool stuff that makes the page count balloon up.

The heroquesting rules have been delayed due to the pandemic, as the principal writer Chris Klug had shifting priorities with his day job. Jason sounds pretty excited about the mechanics, which include a way to assemble a heroquest using some kind of building blocks. Because of that, Jason is aiming for a boxed set where these building blocks would take the form of cards we can use at the table. The aforementioned Gamemaster Guide will most probably have a very lightweight form of these rules — it was supposed to have the full rules, but Jeff delivered too much material to fit in there.

Robin Laws’ Pavis & Big Rubble manuscript has moved to editing.

On the digital side, in addition to the online SoloQuest adventure, Chaosium is working on a small Glorantha wiki that is targeted at new players and game support. Keep in mind here that it won’t have the “openness” of traditional wikis (only Chaosium people will be able to edit pages), and that it’s meant to be minimal rather than exhaustive. It will include basic lore information, “fast” character creation “packages” to more quickly create RuneQuest characters, spell references, and so on. It sounds like this new infrastructure will be used for other Chaosium settings besides Glorantha, too, and that it’s a key part of Chaosium trying to catch up to the wonderful online support you can find in other game systems (Neil mentioned Pathfinder here).

Finally, now that Chaosium has acquired the Dhole’s House, a very popular character creation website for Call of Cthulhu, they’re looking at offering similar tools for RuneQuest in the long term.

That’s it! Phew! Gianni Vacca has his own comments on the panel over at his blog.

QuestWorlds Update

Art by Lionel Marty © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The Chaosium blog has a short update on the new QuestWorlds book! It features a bit of art and some excerpt from the rules. This is the system that first appeared as HeroWars and later HeroQuest, for Glorantha, but the new edition will be generic, featuring only some custom “example” settings such as super-heroes and science-fiction.

The blog mentions that the mechanics “remain unchanged” from HeroQuest, but last time I checked the SRD, there were enough changes that I would describe QuestWorlds as HeroQuest 2.5. Pretty much all of those changes are great in my opinion, as they strive to simplify and unify parts of the system that were previously unclear or fiddly — Ian Cooper ran many open design discussions online and it was always very interesting.

Jonstown Compendium

The Jonstown Compendium is Chaosium’s community content program for all Gloranthan games, hosted on DriveThruRPG. Disclaimer: all the relevant links are affiliate links that hopefully will let us cover some of the hosting and maintenance costs for the website and podcast! Thanks for using them!

Sandheart Volume 4: The God Skin & Mad Prax

© 2021 Jon Webb and Chaosium Inc

The fourth and last volume of the Sandheart series is now out! It contains two scenarios, one by the main series writer Jon Webb, and one by Michael O’Brien. Many other people contributed (disclaimer: I did a tiny little bit, as with the other Sandheart volumes) so there are many names to credit but hey, the best way is to go buy and read it!

The Salt Man

© 2021 Akhelas and Chaosium Inc

This month’s Monster of the Month entry has been released and it’s The Salt Man! A Praxian abomination that shouldn’t exist! Learn about it, worship it, fight it, propitiate it, deal with it!

Corallo’s Artpack #3: The Seventeen Foes of Waha

Art by Dario Corallo © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

WAHAAAAA!

This is another one of Dario Corallo’s “artpacks” for use by Jonstown Compendium authors or, I guess, gamemasters with free time to make fancy handouts. This one contains all the titular foes of Waha, plus a few extras. Besides the other artpacks, Dario also has a whole bunch of stuff such as VTT counters for use in online gaming.

Jeff’s Notes

Jeff Richard, the current mastermind on everything Gloranthan at Chaosium, is often posting notes and thoughts on the RuneQuest Facebook group. Here’s our curated list from the past week. A partial archive of these sources is compiled on the Well of Daliath.

Orlanthi Marriages

A question on the RuneQuest facebook group prompted Jeff to give quite a few interesting answers about marriage and children in Sartar.

First, when two people of different clans and tribes get married, they stay members of their respective clans. As they live together, one might of course be outside their clan’s territory, but their belonging to their original clan creates very important ties between these clans. These ties might even be more important when these two clans end up on the verge of a feud.

[…] remember that you know these people. You are related to them. Sure you belong to the Jereni Bird clan, but dad is from the Duroli clan, and so are your uncles and favourite cousins. And if you have a problem, you might also go to the Duroli clan for assistance.

Clans are not hermetically sealed like they were presented in Thunder Rebels!

Figuring out who goes where and what clan the children will belong to depends on the type of marriage. This is all explained in RQG p427, but these are just guidelines. Personal experiences and practical matters add a lot of deviation:

[…] I think there is a larger communal role in child-rearing than we commonly would assume in Western culture. So ambitious Ernalda initiates might have their first child quite young, and that child is reared by the extended family more than by the initiate.

Joining a Clan

Speaking of clans, there were also a few questions about joining or “being adopted” into one, which Jeff addressed:

Although every clan traces its origin to a common founding event, spirit, or other occasion which forged the clan, outsiders can and often do join a clan. This is so common that many clans only have a minority of members with biological kinship to that original founding. A new member must be “adopted” by another member (often a clan leader) and swear loyalty to the clan ring, placing themselves under its protection and promising to support the clan against all others. The new member is brought into the clan cult and becomes at least a lay member of the local cult of Orlanth and Ernalda, and pledge themselves to the clan patron deities and spirits. This places the member within the magical protection of the clan spirit, but also opens them to retribution if they betray their oaths. If the outsider merits it, they might be given land or other rights. If not, they are expected to be the tenant of someone else.

It’s an interesting that the clan wyter effectively operates like a cult in that leaving your clan leaves you open to a spirit of reprisal. In fact, Jeff gives some extra information on it:

Leaving a clan and renouncing those ties has consequences similar to leaving a cult. The clan spirits become hostile and may attack or curse those who have renounced the ties of kinship. Such spirits will especially go after former members of the clan ring that abandon their clan. It is possible for members of a clan to leave with the permission of the clan council. Such commonly happens when there is widespread disagreement within a clan and the clan splits to avoid bloodshed. The terms of disassociation are usually agreed upon and the former clan members may leave with no ill-will from the old clan or its spirits.

Going back to adoption into a cult, there is not really standard way to do it:

This process is very flexible and can be deceptively informal, until the pledges and oaths take place. These are watched by spirits and gods, and it is obvious to all present that it is an event of importance and even danger.

Boldhome Pockets Again

We’ve featured notes on Boldhome “pockets” in the past: those are the parts of the city that are built into the cliffs of the surrounding mountains. Jeff was nice enough to share some new illustration on those!

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

You can check back on previous issues of the Journal for more information on these pockets.

There are some additional notes about Boldhome. Unsurprisingly, Orlanth’s is the main cult in the city, with the Prince being the High Priest of Orlanth Rex for all of Sartar, with the commanding magic that brings.

The cult of Sartar himself is a sub-cult of Orlanth Rex, whose priesthood is traditionally restricted to members of the Royal House.

Back to Orlanth:

Boldhome is famed for its great temple to Orlanth, the largest in Dragon Pass. The temple has several buildings and holy locations, each dedicated to a specific subcult. The heart of the cult is the Flame of Sartar and Thunder Ridge, but the temples to Orlanth Adventurous and the various deities of Air are among the grandest Orlanth temples in the world. Most of the Orlanth temples were closed during the Lunar Occupation but were reopened when the city was liberated after the Dragonrise. Within the Pockets, Orlanth worship continued under the Occupation as the Breather Sisters, daughters of Orlanth whose dance circulates the sacred breath to deep within the earth.

So the Breather Sisters are worshiped – one at the East Pocket, the other at the West Pocket, and they circulate fresh air throughout the maze of rock-carved warrens that make up the Pockets. Their cult was hidden in plain sight during the Lunar Occupation, and as a result, even though the outer temples were closed by the Lunars, the Breather Within continued to be offered worship and sacrifice even during the evil year of 1621-1622.

Who Guards the Stead?

In the never-ending “Yelmalio vs Elmal” debates, on question was recently raised: who guards the stead? This is in relation to Elmal’s myth of guarding the Storm Tribe’s home while Orlanth goes out to be a hero. In my opinion, this kind of question tends to forget that deities are highly composite entities — Yelmalio isn’t necessarily becoming the guardian as much as someone is the guardian and that makes that person Elmal (or whatever name someone gives you when telling the story). If that makes any sense.

Either way, Jeff gave his answer, which boils down to “whoever you want!”: the Orlanthi don’t have a universal myth on the topic, as even the Lightbringers’ story has many versions where that is left unspecified.

In [other versions], he named a chieftain (not necessarily Yelmalio or Elmal – could be a grandson of Vingkot, could be Tada or someone else) to command while he was gone, and his people swore to remember and support him, and made the Eternal Ring, and set armed men to defend it all around.

Sounds like different clans and tribes will have different versions of the story, with some of them having Orlanth specifically naming someone because that’s somehow important for their traditions or claim of kingship or whatever. Others may not care.

On the more general and contemporary topic of guarding a village:

Who guards a Sartarite village when the militia leaves? It depends! Sometimes, some men and women are left behind to guard the village. Sometimes, the village gets defended by those too old or too young to go. Sometimes half the militia is left behind, and only the warrior society leaves. It just depends.

The Orlanthi are flexible about such matters. They don’t have a universal cult position whose responsibility is to Defend the Village When Most of the Men Are Gone to War.

Jogrampur, the Made Up Deity

I love this, because it matches my understanding of deities in Glorantha and, frankly, in the real world too:

We all know about the Machine God, that strange Saviour Machine experiment of the God Learners, but as part of an experiment with the University of Yoranday, the God Learners also created an imaginary deity Jogrampur, worshiped alongside other anthropomorphized sorcerer-deities such as Worlath, Ehilm, and Humct. In 901, the priests of these artificial cults displayed effective Rune Magic and destroyed the University of Yoranday, proving at great cost that any path to magical truth can result in real power – even that completely made up.

And while there is power in gods that are made up whole-cloth by “worshippers”, there is also powers in gods that are not (yet) known:

There are gods even without worship or belief. And they have power even if we do not know who or what they are

This all reminds me of Glycon, an “ancient snake god” that became popular for a while in the 2nd century Roman Empire. The main information we have on this deity is from a contemporary satirist who claims it was invented from scratch by a “prophet”, but that the god was really just a hand puppet. Contemporary worshippers of Glycon include legendary comicbook writer Alan Moore, which shouldn’t surprise you if you are familiar with his views on magic and religion.

Third Age Malkioni

Jeff Richard and Nick Brooke have some notes about the contemporary Malkioni of Seshnela and Fronela. Sometimes depicted in old material as some emerging medieval society with knights and everything, this is definitely not what Chaosium has in mind anymore (or ever).

The Malkioni are emphastically not medieval – but Moorcockian or Vancean sword and sorcery. Core to the Malkioni is conflict between the rationalists and the savages. Malkionism is obsessed with imposing reason on the world – non-Malkioni are barbarian irrational savages, even if they rule vast empires. Malkioni are always hyper-civilized, assisted perhaps by half-barbarians, but they themselves are always rational, reflective men (and women) of action. Their foes are always savage, irrational, superstitious, ruled by fear and ignorance.

This conflict between civilized reason and savage irrationality is core to the Malkioni self-image. Discarding the medieval paradigm lets the West be more Moorcockian and more sword and sorcery, with mendek wizards manipulating Moorcockian talars, aided by half-savage holari, and with all the work done by vast throngs of dronars that all get ignored by everyone else.

If you want to know more about these terms (talars, holars, dronars, and so on), the Guide to Glorantha is a good place to look. Very quickly, talars are the nobles who rule and adjudicate between these different castes, zzaburi are the wizards and philosophers, horali are the soldiers, and dronars (which form the vast majority of western culture) are the workers, laborers, crafters, and so on.

The archetypical hero of the Malkioni is a reflective hero who acts AND questions the rightness of his or her deeds (that whole Hrestoli chivalry thing) until realizing that these doubts are self-defeating.

I’m not super up to date on western culture but as far as I remember from the Guide, Hrestol is a hero from the Dawn and First Age who established the order of the “Men-of-All”, who have a certain code of conduct and can move between these castes. These were called “knights” at some point but I’m sure this term has been retired because it gives the wrong idea.

And then BOY DOES OUR HERO ACT! Meanwhile, our hero is aided (and frustrated) by the zzaburi who follow wherever their logic leads them to its conclusion. Together they face hordes of nearly mindless savages, ecstatic temptresses, and dark monsters.

Meanwhile, Nick Brooke suggests that the relationship between a typical Hrestoli and Zzaburi would be similar to that between Captain Kirk and Spock, which I think is a great analogy! He also shared a quote from Greg Stafford:

The West is my Gloranthan version of the Medieval paradigm of mythic reality. It is the root cellar of our modern way of thinking. It is where the mythological flaws and strengths of our Western way of being can be played with.

Community Roundup

The community roundup is our highlight of interesting things being mentioned in the Glorantha-related Facebook groups, sub-Reddits, and other similar online places.

Matt Ryan is Painting Genertela

Photo by Matt Ryan © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Chaosium’s cartographer is apparently painting a small Genertelan overview for the upcoming cults book, using some good old traditional media! (“watercolour wash, and then gouache for details”) While listening to punk music!

Small Stories

The Beer With Teeth has a great little treat this week, as Diana “Berra” Probst gets a prompt to write “small stories”. They’re absolutely delightful, and I absolutely love the 3rd, 4th, and last ones!

The Runes the Govern and Shape All Things

SkullDixon muses on his blog about the role of Runes in Glorantha and how they can be used to help create stories around the table. The first Rune to look at is Disorder, and it sounds like this is the beginning of a series, with more to come in the near future…

Conduct of Non-Injury

Over at the Eight Arms And The Mask blog, Effy has the story of how Chalana Arroy came to be in the universe, in parallel with a slice of a healer’s life. This might give you ideas for playing initiates of this cult!

Thank you for reading

That’s it for this week! Please contact us with any feedback, question, or news item we’ve missed!

This document is a collection of folk stories, travel anecdotes, and miscellaneous items compiled by a scribe named Kothenia Blackfingers, who may have lived in Western Esrolia in the late 16th or early 17th century. As far as we can tell, Kothenia used a variety of sources for her work, including other scribes’ documents, travelogues of merchants and philosophers, and her personal notes. This is a large collection but a lot of it suffered water damage. Here are the few stories we were able to recover so far1.

Allied Regrets

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really honoured to be a Voice of the Storm, but… you know, I remember seeing two spirits sent for me during the ritual. I think I… picked the wrong one. He really gets on my nerves. Have you ever seen a Priest of Orlanth change their… shit, wait, I see him coming back. Let’s continue later.

Interview with a new Storm Voice

Tenant Instructions

Do NOT forget to feed the crack in the basement floor once a week.

Instructions for house-sitting thane Meleros Toothgap’s estate in Belernos

Patrol Report

We got some complaints from the hamlet of Downstream-On-The-Left, where several people reported sights of some “evil spirit”. When we arrived to investigate, they pointed us to a large rock near the main trail, a couple hundred paces south of the last field. I asked what the problem was and the farmers told us that the rock “looks at them funny” when they walk past it. None of them could tell us if the rock had always been there. Molekarl jokingly hit the rock with his heavy mace and yelled: “Stop looking at people funny! Or I’ll split you in half!” We had other more important matters to attend so we left it at that, but when we came back a week later, the rock was gone. When I asked the locals about it, they said: “What rock now?

Interview with a thane of the Yellowstone tribes

Ad From The Kosh Market

For sale: left greave. Worn once.

Author unknown

Brick In The Corner

A brick in the back of the temple caught my attention. It featured the unmistakable prints of an alynx’s paws and buttocks, with a surprisingly well defined anus. I asked the builder about it and he said that one of the city’s felines was indeed responsible for this. The animal sat on a brick one morning while the brick (and many others like it) was drying in the sun. He did admit using his chisel to enhance the print, so he couldn’t really blame it all on the alynx. I asked him why he did that. He told me that the temple’s priest was “a bit of an asshole”, and that therefore his temple should have one too.

Excerpt from the travelogue of Olerian Marania

Love Is A Battlefield

He was a Storm Bull boy. She was a Humakt girl. It was love at first fight.

Discarded note, Nochet Dorandar theatre

Incident Report In Skase

Incident 3 (Clay/Fertility). Skase (two hours north of Alone). Building was found crushed. Nearby buildings intact. Locals tell us this is because other buildings have a spike in their roof, so Giants can’t stomp on them. Asked if Giant was spotted, locals said Giants come at night, they only heard the crash. Pointed me to a Giant’s footprint northeast of the town, saying they always leap from there onto village buildings. Footprint inspection: the heel shows marks of adze use in my opinion. The representative from the Alone Confederation Roof Builders’ Guild recommended to go back to the city before dark. Case closed. The owner contracted the Guild at premium level to rebuild the tenement with a spike.

Excerpt from Bakusun Ubarra’s “exceptional incidents” log of the Alone Confederation

1 Ok so what really happened is that Diana/Berra asked for blogging prompts on the Chaosium discord, and Mirza suggested “why small stories matter”. I’m not sure what that meant but Diana ran with it and wrote a few absolutely wonderful sort-of micro-fictions. So I’m doing the same here!

Welcome to a new issue of the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.

God Learner Sorcery

We are now occupying a nice little tower with a long history of previous occupants who have left behind documents, tablets, artifacts, and other kinds of junk. As we clean up and archive these things, we share the most interesting ones with you.

Runic Rants: Experience Checks (Parts 2 and 3)

I got a bit too enthusiastic about this topic so instead of a two-part series it became a three-part series.. . The good news is that part 2 and part 3 have been published this week, so you can bask in the glory of my fancy graphs!

Chaosium News

Here are this week’s Chaosium news!

The RuneQuest Starter is Really Really Coming Out Soon We Promise

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

The Chaosium marketing machine is currently busy with a Call of Cthulhu-filled Halloween season, since this year marks this amazing game’s 40th anniversary, but they took some time to update us on the much awaited RuneQuest Starter Set box:

The RuneQuest Starter Set is now in four of our five Chaosium fulfilment warehouses (US, EU, AUS, CAN) but we’re still waiting to get it into the last – UK. The shipment to the UK is on the way, but the latest advice is it may take another 5-14 days to arrive, depending on UK customs and truck driver availability at the destination.

Thanks, Brexiters!

RuneQuest en Francais

Not quite Chaosium news, but Chaosium-adjacent: Studio Deadcrows, the French licensee for RuneQuest, has received the first physical copies of their RuneQuest translations and extra contents (besides the rulebook and bestiary, that is, which are already out there).

Top left are some handouts and reference sheets. Middle top is a magic spells reference book which is not the Red Book of Magic — instead it’s just a reference booklet for spells found in the rulebook and bestiary, and in fact it was announced before we even knew about the Red Book of Magic.

Bottom left is the Glorantha Sourcebook, of course.

Top right and bottom right are the Dundealos-centered campaign called “Enfants de la Flamme” (“Children of the Flame”). This book (whose PDF is available to backers) contains a history of the Dundealos tribe, an in-depth description and map of Swentown, and six scenarios set in 1625 and 1626 that take adventurers from Swenville to Prax to the reconquest of ancestral Dundealos lands, and to a meetup with Argrath.

Jonstown Compendium

The Jonstown Compendium is Chaosium’s community content program for all Gloranthan games, hosted on DriveThruRPG. Disclaimer: all the relevant links are affiliate links that hopefully will let us cover some of the hosting and maintenance costs for the website and podcast! Thanks for using them!

The Black Spear in Hardcover

© 2021 Nick Brooke, Mike O’Connor, and Chaosium Inc.

Well that was quick! Nick Brooke’s latest RuneQuest adventure is now available in both standard and premium print hardcover from DriveThruRPG.

The Howling Tower and Stone and Bone on Sale

© 2021 Devin Cutler, Nick Brooke, Dario Corallo, Gianni Vacca, and Chaosium Inc.

The Howling Tower is one sale for Halloween!

© 2021 Beer With Teeth and Chaosium Inc.

Also, Beer With Teeth have lowered the price of their Praxian encounter adventure Stone and Bone!

Coming Soon: Sandheart Volume 4

© 2021 Jon Webb and Chaosium Inc.

Jon Webb, author of the excellent Sandheart series of adventures, is showing us the cover of the imminent fourth volume, The God Skin & Mad Prax. It contains two adventures, one by Jon Webb and one by Michael O’Brien. You can grab Volume One, Volume Two, and Volume Three through these affiliate links!

Jeff’s Notes

Jeff Richard, the current mastermind on everything Gloranthan at Chaosium, is often posting notes and thoughts on the RuneQuest Facebook group. Here’s our curated list from the past week. A partial archive of these sources is compiled on the Well of Daliath.

Lunar Tarsh Notes

Tarsh is a historically Orlanthi kingdom located northwest of Dragon Pass, but it fell under Lunar rule many generations ago — it’s now a Lunar province.

Cartography by Matt Ryan © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Jeff tells us about the people living there:

About 35% of the population of Lunar Tarsh are members of Lunar cults and a little less than 20% of the population of Lunar Tarsh came from or are descended from settlers from the Lunar Heartlands. Now that is a big number – about 60,000 people – and is mostly concentrated in Furthest (where they make up the majority of the population) and along the Oslir River between Kordros Island and Talfort, with a few colonies on the Kordros Island and around Stopover. This is sometimes called the “Maize Belt” – at least by Matt Ryan and I!

Jeff recommends looking at Ancient Greek colonies in Persia, Syria, and Bactria as a model for Furthest and its surroundings — an island of Lunar Heartland culture in an otherwise Theyelan land. More specifically, Alexandria Eschate (“Furthest Alexandria”) sounds like a direct inspiration for Glorantha’s Furthest: an Imperial outpost in conquered lands, meant to radiate its owning Empire’s language and culture in a semi-independent way.

This worked to some degree: the people in this Maize Belt abandoned Orlanthi clan structures and are using “Pelorian kinship organization”, where networks of kin and associates are maintained through the kingdom. Lands are granted by the (Lunar) King, not by the Earth temples like in Sartar. In Furthest proper, 70% of people are members of Lunar cults, “which is higher than pretty much anywhere outside of Glamour.” Most interestingly: “unlike Glamour, in Furthest Lunar authority is not filtered through the Yelm cult but is there directly.”

Outside of this area, however, Orlanthi traditions continue, including lands divided by clan. But officials appointed by the provincial authorities in Furthest are responsible for managing disputes and local affairs, instead of some Orlanth Rex representative like in Sartar.

MOAR CLAN MAPS

This is wonderful: Jeff has shared the full map of Sartarite tribes and clans. We already featured a similar map last week but this one contains The Far Place too, among other things… and this is actually throwing a big wrench in the world-building I did for my ongoing Alone Confederation campaign! But hey, this was bound to happen!1

Sketch by Jeff © 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Clans south of the Creek speak Sartarite, while those in the northern Far Place speak Tarshite. Jeff warns us that there might be errors here and there until Matt Ryan, Chaosium’s cartographer, makes this correct and pretty. Also, remember that this map only shows the terroritories “alloted to each clan by the major Earth temples”. In practice, “many clan members live in cities and settlements outside of their territories”, and herding can cross these lines. Of course, that’s not even counting contested territorial claims.

Among the top dozen or so most powerful and influential clans in Sartar would have be the Black Rock, Blue Jay, Heran, Ernaldoring, Orlmarth, Taraling, Orleving, Goodhaven, Red Cow, Danstarl, Jereni Bird, Vari, White Quartz, and Sigtani Clans. Some new clans with a lot of clout would have to include the Red Hands and the Sharp Knives. Prior to 1613, the Lorthing Clan would have been on that list, but not any more.

1 It’s not too bad, I can adjust a few things if I need to (such as if I want to publish something on the Jonstown Compendium that is compatible with Chaosium’s Glorantha).

Cults Memberships

Jeff has confirmed that the still-in-progress Cults Book for RuneQuest will contain a break-down of cult memberships by homelands and elder races. These homelands seem to stretch across Peloria, Dragon Pass, and the Wastes. This includes of course the Homelands of the rulebook’s character creation chapters, but also various Lunar provinces, different Praxian tribes, and Holy Country regions. For the Elder Races, different sub-types of Aldryami are mentioned, a split between Dagori Inkarth and the Shadow Plateau for the Uz, and more. See the full list here.

Community Roundup

The community roundup is our highlight of interesting things being mentioned in the Glorantha-related Facebook groups, sub-Reddits, and other similar online places.

Pookie Reviews the Red Book of Magic

© 2021 Chaosium Inc.

Prolific reviewer and editor Pookie, from Reviews From R’lyeh, gives us another one of his RuneQuest reviews with the Red Book of Magic:

[…] The Red Book of Magic is a resource in game and out, and thus any character–and thus his player or her Game Master—could consult its pages (barring technicalities such as literacy of course). Most of all though, with descriptions of hundreds of spells, The Red Book of Magic is a simple and accessible resource to have at the table, its size making it a lot easier to reference than the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha rulebook.

Drowning Rules from Beer With Teeth

Diana “Berra” Probst has been on a blogging roll lately, and one of her latest articles tweaks the RuneQuest rules to make drowning slower and more realistic. And also mostly to prevent you from total-party-knock-outs!

All three times I recall drowning rules going into action in my games, it’s been three instant knock-outs to the chest. That’s not really how it works – drowning is slow IRL and pretty horrible. Magical healing also takes the punch out of the damage to a particular location, if you get there in time. So I have an alternative, which I use in games where I want to be nice to my players.

Sex and Gender in the Orlanthi

Andrew Logan Montgomery blogged about the (mostly solo) introduction adventures to Six Seasons in Sartar (which he wrote and is a best-seller on the Jonstown Compendium).

© 2021 Andrew Logan Montgomery and Chaosium Inc.

These mini-adventures introduce players to Sartarite society via their adulthood rituals, which are separated between Orlanth’s “Rite of Passage” and Ernalda’s “Riddle”. Andrew wrote these adventures by heavily drawing from Greg Stafford’s pre-existing write-ups (available here and here from the Well of Daliath’s archives). This division of children in two camps obviously opens up many questions regarding sex and gender, and Andrew makes a good effort to answer them in this article.

In the Orlanthi mind, then, “biological” sex is simply about procreation. Humans and animals are born male and female simply for there to be an orderly continuation of the species. It has nothing to do with gender. In fact sex has little to do with the essential nature or being of a person. […]

“Gender” is something deeper. Unlike “shape,” it determines the inner nature of the individual, their role in society, and most importantly which gods they are called to.

It’s one possible way to think about sex and gender in Orlanthi society, but it’s mostly a very good designer’s note for any gamemaster planning to run Six Seasons in Sartar.

Sweet 3D-Printed Props

Over on Discord, Pig_Soldier showed us some really cool props any Glorantha gamemaster would love to have around the table, setting the mood!

Gloranthan Armor

Let’s continue the awesomeness with Sardonicus over on Twitter, showing off some really cool Sartarite armor!

Elsewhere on Arachne Solara’s Web

Not everything is about Glorantha, although most things are! Here are loosely relevant things that we found on the interwebs.

Rytma by Ali Eser

Turkish artist Ali Eser is working on some project called Rytma, “set on an island inspired by mediterranean enironments“. Where in Glorantha could this be?

Alexander’s People by J.F. Oliveras

Another artist, this time from Spain! J.F. Oliveras is working on a project about Alexander the Great and his successors, and you can get a good look of that on his ArtStation.

Thank you for reading

That’s it for this week! Please contact us with any feedback, question, or news item we’ve missed!

Updates: a previous version of this article misattributed the Red Book of Magic review to SkullDixon instead of Pookie.