Journal of Runic Studies #21


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!

Comments are closed.