Notes from Nochet

First published in Tales of the Reaching Moon issue #4
Copyright © 1990 by Michael O'Brien & David Hall

The "Jonstown Compendium" was first introduced to us in the RuneQuest Companion. A fantastic collection of assorted information, gathered and listed without order, meaning or editorial labour, it provides a reader ardent enough to wade through it with tantalizing scraps, oddments and vignettes about the Gloranthan universe.

Similarly, in the pages of Tales of the Reaching Moon, we feature Notes From Nochet, based on a similar work compiled over seven hundred years at the faction-ridden Great Lhankor Mhy temple in Esrolia, The Holy Country.

Known formally as the Collectanea, the original idea behind the books was that at regular intervals the information in them would be sifted, catalogued and examined for its usefulness. Useful items would be cross-referenced and filed in the archives. The clerk given this task is called the Collator. This position is derisively known about the temple as the "Wetfinger", because the successive Collators are often seen frantically licking their index fingers as they furiously flick through the huge volumes searching for obscure information at the demand of their superiors. Definitely not a sinecure, the Wetfinger position is almost always filled by an ambitious junior initiate, eager to prove his mettle before the Librarian. However, almost from the outset, each Collator soon realizes the enormity and futility of trying to catalogue the countless entries in the Collectanea, and simply continues to add more entries below those of his successor.

Actually a series of sturdily-bound volumes, the Collectanea is kept within the reserve collection of the Nochet Lhankor Mhy library. Any visitor to the library's Athenaeum (reading room) can choose to make an entry into the book rather than pay the normal entrance fee. The entry is appraised by the Librarian, who decides whether to charge full, half or no entrance fee. He is also empowered to charge double or triple or even issue a ban on the visitor, or he may offer inducements for more information - on at least one occasion the visitor was initiated on the spot!

While visitor's entries are penned in by the Collator, initiates and higher members of Lhankor Mhy at the temple can write directly in the work without editorial approval. Some choose to add information of their own, whereas others might comment on, query, or refute earlier entries. Such remarks are often written as marginal notes, and are reproduced here under the appropriate entry.

The entries here have been selected from Book XXIX, which has just been placed in the reserve collection. Book XXX has just been started by the incumbent Collator, Theodopolus Pandarus (1621).

Of the other books:


Although we can't claim the compendium idea was original (and we would like to thank Greg Stafford for kindly permitting us to revive the format, looking over the first draft and contributing), we hope you find the material contained herein both entertaining and useful.

From the Notes from Nochet files

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