Journal of Runic Studies #43


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.

This issue is shorter than usual because a lot of people (including myself) where at ChaosiumCon from Thursday to Sunday. Expect an article about it this week!

Chaosium News

Here are this week’s Chaosium news!

Mad Knight’s New Kickstarter

Mad Knight has been churning out officially licensed Kickstarters for many lines of Gloranthan miniatures for a few years now, and the new one is up and running! You have 12 days from the time of writing this.

The new models include Bolgar Stomping Bull riding a Skybull, some Thunder Rebel Flyers, Lunar Sable Lancers, Lunar archers from the “Blessed Daughter” unit, some Newtlings warriors, and a troll spider rider hero.

If you back the Kickstarter, the pledge manager will offer some limited options (as stock allows) for also ordering some of the previous models.

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!

Jonstown Compendium Reviews

Here’s your reminder that if you’re unsure about a Jonstown Compendium item, there are reviews out there! For instance, Pookie from Reviews From R’lyeh has many Jonstown Compendium articles, and Sean Hillman has reviewed A Rough Guide to Glamour on

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 Legend of Greg

David Bell found this 1994 article about Greg Stafford while moving houses. It’s from the UK Sunday Express Magazine:

The second picture should be good enough for you to read it:

With his earrings, pale skin and Caribbean shirt, Stafford seems like an ageing rock star. His fans are often professionals in their twenties or thirties, and produce an array of magazines and books about his works. Using the Internet, which links computers by phone, they swap ideas worldwide.

Nick Ryan, the journalist who wrote the piece, commented on the Facebook post:

I’m the author of said piece and tbf, I also smile at some of the text now 😉. I was a long-time RPer who, as Daniel Barker was saying, was hanging out with the Tales of the Reaching Moon Crew at the time. I wouldn’t over-analyse it (I don’t): it was simply a fun piece in between other commissions, some of which involved going out to war zones. Everyone laughed at the sub-editor adding the line about riches. And I think they did charge me £66! 😁

Wheel of the Year

Here’s another great illustration from previously-featured Lee O’Connor:

I drew this to go in the background of something and then got carried away. Had to colour it too, it was only right.

So it’s a Gloranthan Wheel of the Year with the seasons on; Sea, Fire, Earth, Darkness and Storm. The deities for each one are; Heler, Yelmalio/Elmal, Ernalda, Argan Argar and Vinga / Orlanth Adventurous.

I also stuck in a Maran Gor and Eurmal too, since I have players who are initiates of them. And Umath. And a god who I’m going to leave you to guess. There’s even a really small and wobbly Kallyr Starbrow too. Oh and I realised I missed out Sacred Time, so I crowbarred that in as well.

Humakti Tattoo

Here’s a great Humakti tattoo on Danny Bourne’s arm:

This is as good a time as any for a round-up of Gloranthan tattoos, such as Wesley Samsal’s Rune Magic tattoo, and Ian Brumby’s (of Fenris Games) Runes tattoos:

Gloranthan Miniatures Pinterest Board

Torbjorn Andersson is maintaining this Pinterest board about Gloranthan miniatures… so if you need colour choices and suggestions, real-world non-marketing pictures or models you’re considering buying, or links to non-Gloranthan models that work in Glorantha, this is a good starting point.

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.

The Urra=hubullu

Yeah apparently, that’s the official name. It’s basically a 24-tablets-long dictionary which translates between Sumerian and Akkadian. It’s organized by topics, so for instance one tablet lists naval vehicles while another lists plants.

Creative Commons picture

There are many other similar tablets.

Historians and linguists might yell at me for my ignorance (preferably in written form so I can publish their comments in a later Journal issue), but here’s the little I understand about this.

Cuneiform can be used both as a syllabogram (a character represents a syllable, like the Japanese hiragana and katakana) and a logogram (a character represents a word or a morpheme, which is basically a “bit of a word”, like the Egyptian hieroglyphs). As a syllabogram, you can technically use cuneiform to write whatever language you want (give or take some approximation of that language’s sounds). This is how services like Dumb Cuneiform can print you a custom tablet without actually translating your text to Akkadian or whatever. This also means that if I had known about it as a kid, I would totally have used cuneiform as a secret language instead of inventing my own.

Anyway, as far as I understand, the tablet in the photo above has Sumerian words on one side and their corresponding Akkadian on the other side. The photo features the 16th tablet of the lexicon which is about “stones”.

Orlanth Going After Yelm

Picture by Ilkgul Menzil

Even though this picture is most likely a digital manipulation, it’s a great bit of flavour to add to, say, your Sacred Time ceremonies when your tribal nobles re-enact the Lightbringers’ Quest.

Greek & Roman Mythology in Movies (Part 2)

I had enjoyed the first video on the topic (featured in issue #37), so of course I checked out the second part which Vanity Fair published a couple weeks ago and which is just as interesting. It even features Jason and the Argonauts and Xena: Warrior Princess, with an absolutely spot-on commentary on both.

Plus, my new English word of the day: “etiological“.

The World’s Oldest Pants

I recently had to put on pants for the first time in ages to take a plane to ChaosiumCon, so let’s talk pants! These are from between 1200 and 1000 BCE in Western China. It was interestingly designed for horseback riding.

Photo by Wagner et al.

The world’s oldest-known pants were part of the burial outfit of a warrior now called Turfan Man. He wore the woven wool pants with a poncho that belted around the waist, ankle-high boots, and a wool headband adorned with seashells and bronze discs. The pants’ basic design is strikingly similar to the pants most of us wear today, but closer inspection reveals the level of engineering that went into designing them.

Exploring Hattusa

If you want to see what the capital of the Hittite empire looks like today, Irena and the Ancient Sites channel has a pretty seemingly complete walk-through of the site and its surroundings, with some historical commentary on top.

Thank you for reading

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

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