2021-04 RuneQuest on Facebook April Highlights

Jeff Richard is one of the regular posters in the RuneQuest Facebook Group. here’s some of his recent RuneQuest posts, only Jeff’s replies are included where relevant. Facebook membership is required to access the originals.

As an aside, I often post notes or things that I am working on that I think people will find interesting or useful. But I am posting this material without edits or revisions – they are all notes or works in progress. If people really expect me to edit or revise such ephemera before I post it, I am probably not going to post such things.

Jeff Richard, 2021

Newest at top, oldest at bottom.

So in order to do the street map of Boldhome we had to get a better feel for the Quivin Mountains. And we kind of went overboard on information – but here’s a WiP of the results that will be in the Sartar boxed set:

For people trying to imagine the landscape of Sartar, here are some good pictures of eastern Sartar:

Picture Credit Jeff Richard. Ghost birches near the Woods of the Dead

Damn those woods are scary!

Picture Credit Jeff Richard. The Woods of the Dead in winter.

Avoid!!!!

Picture Credit Jeff Richard. A bighorn sheep sacred to Orlanth.
Picture Credit Jeff Richard. Any of the many streams flowing off the Quivin Mountains. Might also be in the Storm Mountains.
Picture Credit Jeff Richard. The Quivin River in early Sea Season, with a little remaining winter snow.
Picture Credit Jeff Richard. The Quail or Forloss Hills looking east towards the Quivin Mountains.
Picture Credit Jeff Richard. The Killard Vale or Toena Vale looking towards the Quivin Mountains.
Picture Credit Jeff Richard. The Killard Vale or Toena. Possibly the area around Wilmskirk.
Picture Credit Jeff Richard. The foothills of the Quivin Mountains. See the “ghost birches”?

Now western Sartar gets more rain and has more trees – this is in the rain shadow of the Quivin Mountains and as we get closer to Prax.

Here is an official character turn of Kallyr Starbrow as Prince of Sartar by the amazing Anna Orlova. This is a good take on how a noble leader of the Sartarites might appear.

Kallyr’s tenure as Prince is pretty short-lived – which is important for future events. She has been a major figure for the past generation, and her death so soon after the liberation is a key event that triggers a lot of big things.

Many Sartarites have very good reasons to hate her.

If you want a good feel for the eastern slopes of Sartar, I took pictures today. You can even see Prax in some of these shots!

This is at about 2260 meters
Idyllic summer landscape in Rocky Mountain National Park, colorado, with green mountain pastures and mountain range in the background.
or this

Remember the base elevation of Clearwine is about 850 meters or 2785 feet, which is already near the highest elevation in England. And of course, Dragon Pass just goes up from there.

Just read the Routledge Companion to Women and Monarchy in the Ancient World. Loads of fantastic ideas very compatible with Glorantha – but one section particularly struck me was about brother-sister marriages among some of the Hellenistic dynasties (as well as among the pharaohs and Persian great kings). Everybody recognised those marriages as both incestuous and consanguineous – forbidden to mortals. But they were permitted – sometimes even required – for the basilleus precisely because the basilleus was “more-than mortal”. In short the violation of taboo was not because of the royal pair’s exalted status but was the sign of it. Gloranthan heroes routinely violate taboos or perform terrible deeds – we often think this is a case of the powerful getting away with what is forbidden to others, a sign of hypocrisy. But perhaps we have that backwards – the taboo violation (and surviving despite that) might well be one of the markers of being a Hero.Anyways, food for thought at least.

But let’s look at the Big Daddy of Greek heroes – Heracles. The man was a taboo breaking machine! Sure he suffered each time – and his 12 Labors of course were punishment for murdering his wife and children in a mad rage – but those transgressions are a large part of what marked him as a Demi-god.

Helen largely skates free of personal consequences – another sign of her status.

One of the odd cognitive dissonances I often see when people discuss RuneQuest cults is the interplay between these two ideas:

1. Game mechanics define things consistently throughout the setting, and all exceptions must be spelled out. Mechanics as dogma.

2. Cults vary from location to location, with a different collection of stories, sometimes contradicting generally accepted cult myths. We all know Hera is the consort of Zeus, but at Dodona the consort of Zeus is Dione and everyone accepts that elsewhere Hera is the consort, just not here. Here’s where we celebrate something else.Gloranthan cults work along the lines of Case 2. Minlister is some places the god of mead, in others wine, and still others of beer or ale. And any Minlister initiate is going to be fine with that. They all see the god and experience him {or even sometimes her}.Now the God Learners tried hard to reconcile stories and make things work more along the lines of Case 1, but beyond some big picture things, they barely scratched the surface.

Now personally I don’t subscribe to Case 1 even for game rules, but I understand that is a bridge too far for a lot of gaming groups!

An initiate of a cult sacrifices POW for Rune Points that can be used to cast any Rune spell the initiate knows. An initiate can replenish their Rune Points at any site sacred to the god, although she might not be able to learn the spell at that site.

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