...and he, foul Osboropo, tool of Wakboth, was driven back into the Hollow whence he came, seated backwards on an ass, his severed hands tied round his neck and his privy member in his mouth.
[XXIX.12-24:] A Paper by Theodopolus Pandarus, Initiate of
Lhankor Mhy, on the Sensibilities and Vulnerability of Troll "Darksense".
A perennial problem in the destruction of trolls has always been their ability to see at night through use of their so-called "Darksense". This gives them a great advantage over humans. Having consulted with Lucien the Diviner, master of natural philosophy at this temple, I have found a way to confound the Darksense of a troll. According to Lucien, trolls emit ultrasonic noises that propagate through the air and bounce off obstacles. The speed of propagation is dependent upon the medium traversed. Trolls measure the distance to a target by the time it takes through the air to reach the object, and measure time in heartbeats. This means that when they become excited in battle, they all may think their enemies are further away than they really are. Thus they can sometimes be set upon and annihilated in ambushes. More subtly however, their sense can be distorted by altering the density of the air. This can be achieved by summoning an air elemental and ordering it to compress itself down in area. To be effective, the elemental must either be summoned up either around the target or around the troll. I had occasion to test this theory upon a trollball player, and the results were quite outstanding. The troll was unable to accurately strike a target enshrouded by the air elemental. The troll's Darksense enabled it to sense there was some sort of disturbance around the target, and it took heed of the pressure difference when making its shots; nevertheless, a smaller sized sylph was enough to cause inaccuracy, a larger one was sufficient to make the troll miss all missile shots and some melee blows. I intended to continue the experiment further, but the troll refused to let the wind voice assisting me wrap the elemental around it. I understand the Orlanth priest involved later received an invitation from the trollball player's team manager to help them in their next match for a fee. Given that sylphs (like all elementals) act solely on the basis of physical tropisms, only the most expert summoner would be able to consistently perform the feats I have described. Lucien the Diviner, who is an expert in such spiritual matters, considers that a more satisfactory arrangement would be for him to summon an obliging cult spirit, discuss with it what is required, and then command it to possess the sylph. Given his superior mathematical knowledge and intelligence, the instructions given to the summoned spirit would enable it to pattern the density function of the sylph such that it would be discrete and continuous, thus hiding completely the form of the target within. In my opinion, this seems to be a rather fanciful theory, and Lucien has not yet troubled to put his mathematics to the test. A complete account of his calculations can be found elsewhere in this library. Note that even when the technique I have described works, almost invariably it is the elemental which gets hit.
[XXIX.12-25] The Cave of Cats on Kree Mountain is a place sacred
to Yinkin the Cat-God.
A marginal note by a Grey Sage of Jonstown: If it is like the sacred cave on Kero Fin, then its mouth hides wicked teeth, and can close to swallow intruders; and each year a litter is born from a fold in the cold rocks. The shadow cats thus-born are the ones used by heroes as familiars.
[XXIX.12-26] Twice the size of my purebreds they were, and the riders louse-ridden savages whose bows felled poor Edruf at crossbow range. I only survived their tortures with Issaries' blessing, minus these two fingers of course. Tortdred Silktongue, a Goldentongue merchant, describing a trading expedition to the Redlands.
[XXIX.12-27] Obscenity protects against demons: I once paid a Riddler to explain why; he took my money, viley insulted me, and vanished.
[XXIX.12-28] Quoted by a follower of Tomas the Seer, sometimes known as Rhymer, 1609. "Thufir Twosword, though that be not your name/ You shall be known by it all the same; / And on whatever journeys you do fare/ Your fate shall be linked to a shaggy mare!" This visitor was charged double admission. Theo.P.
[XXIX.12-29] Shall my beard grow to my navel while I ponder this question?: What does it mean when a man, unearthing an ancient urn, buries his drinking flask?
[XXIX.12-30] The foul Thanatari are obliged upon initiation take on a new name of a single word.
[XXIX.12-31 - XXIX.12-39]
[There is a lacuna (blank) here; possibly the result of a Thanatari Ingest Scroll spell]
[XXIX.12-40] The dedicated orthographer abroad cannot afford
to miss the spectacle afforded in the western turret of the Filichet Minster
Church of the Reaching Moon, Holay. Written in a cunning spiral, upwards,
in uncial characters ever-increasing in size, such that when viewed from
below the entire text appears to be of equal proportion, a Lunar Invocation:
The cycles of the Moon are nigh the circles of our lives
The Crimson Goddess holds her court amidst her Seven Wives
Jalakeel: priestess of the Black Moon, source of Lunar Magic
Teelo Norri: young life of the Crescent, aid to need that's tragic
Deezola: healer of the wounded, Empty Half that binds within
The Goddess: Mistress of the Heavens, to her glory softly sing
Yanafal Tarnils: Full Half that wields the Sword that swiftly strikes the blow for honour
Irripi Ontor: teacher of the Words, with the Crescent comes the learned
Danfive Xaron: Keeper of the Gate, the Dying Moon that watches over
Seven Gods for Seven Ways
Hear the Voices, Feel the Power
Lift your Hearts and Sing the Praise!
Be wary of the zealous temple canons, who seek to to convert the spectator to their erroneous Lunar ways.
[XXIX.12-42] Who was Gallegos? He was a hero who was granted immortality and omnipotence so long as he did nothing. Such is the reason that the declination of his star, seen since his apotheosis in the western heavens, remains fixed, and neither twinkles nor fades, not even in the full light of day. Might it ever change? Only Gallegos could tell us, and he cannot answer.
[XXIX.12-43] A snick of an old Sartarite campfire song: "It's
lonesome away from your kindred and all/ By the campfire at night, where
the wild dingoes* call/ But there's nothing so lonesome, so morbid or drear/
Than to stand in the bar of the pub with no beer" (So true! So true!)
*Consulting Everseer, I note that the dingo is a wild hunting dog of the Praxian wastes, now thought to be extinct, Theo. P.
[XXIX.12-45] An old Kralori proverb: "The enemy is more compassionate than the tax-gatherer."
[XXIX.12-46] Trollball is of course played by night, and I decided not to test the reaction of my trollish escorts to the comfort of magical illumination. I was surprised to find however that the playing field (an uneven stretch of turf littered with boulders, rubbish and other detritus) was dimly lit, presumably for the benefit of the giant referees. One of these behemoths was as ugly as I had ever seen: his huge head, face and hands were swollen and puffy. As promised, the trolls had cut the giants a huge pile of vegetation for their services, including, I noticed as I passed, the very expensive sugar-cane I had brought as a gift for the troll queen! The game was underway as I arrived, and a huge crowd, fully double the number of troll-kind I had estimated to live in the area, had gathered to watch. My guide explained that it was some sort of grudge match, between the teams of the local Karrg's Son and his Zorak Zorani rival. Barely five minutes of the game had passed, yet they were already up to their third troll-ball! Another dozen of the wretched creatures were strung up next to the Xiola Umbar priestess. The artful priestess had even provided a newtling-ball "in case of wet weather". The crowd were thrilled with the innovation and despite the clear skies it got a run before the first half was out. I cannot tell you the end result of the game, as play only resumed for a few minutes after the interval. During the break the uglier of the giant referees began to dig a deep trench around the Zorak Zorani goals. Now giants are known to be naturally contrary but it didn't take even the unsophisticated mind of a troll to work out that some cheating had been going on. I could see a mighty brawl in the making, and wisely left as the affray began. This account, all true, by Theodopolus Pandarus, Temple Collator, initiate of Lhankor Mhy and master of Darktongue.
[XXIX.12-47] More on Trollball: Later found out that the Death Lord had bribed the giant with a sack full of bee hives to dig the ditch. Either way that crazy Zorak Zoran figured he'd come out on top: if the other side protested, there'd be a bloody riot; if not, his pack of berserks were certain to win. On the morrow, in the full light of Yelm, I plan to return to Blacktop to see if my sugar cane escaped the fray.
[XXIX.12-48] Know that if you haul split firewood up to his platform,
the shaman Plethon Stylites will teach you the "Point", a trite but canny
spirit magic. Speak the spell and point at the flames, and the smoke of
the campfire will never blow your way or sting your eyes. A useful spell,
unless all your travelling companions know it too. Plethon's pillar of
solitude you may find a day's journey up-river from Karse.
Avoid wild trolls on the west bank of the Marzeel. Theo P.
[XXIX.12-49.a] Why the earth is round, by Columbus Mercator, Chief Priest. The shape of the earth must be spherical. For every one of its parts has weight until it reaches the center, and thus when a smaller part is pressed upon by a larger, it cannot surge around it, but each is packed close to, and combines with, the other until the reach the center. If particles are moving from all sides alike to one point, the center, the resulting mass must be similar on all sides for an equal quantity is added all round: the extremity must be at a constant distance from the center. Such a shape is a sphere.
[XXIX.12-49.b] Further proof is obtained from the evidence of our senses: the world must have the shape its own shadow shows; for its perfectly circular outline produces eclipses of the Red Moon. So the world is not flat, as the traditionalists in their ignorance would tell us; nor in the shape of a drum as I have heard the trolls say it is; nor in any way hollow, which is a theory popular popular among the Lunar Sages of Irrippi Ontor. Nor again is it cylindrical, which is what certain Esrolian sages currently say. No! it is of perfect roundness, as I have just proven. Columbus Mercator.
[XXIX.12-50] I, Lucien the Diviner, Full Priest, Master of Lores and Intimate of the Spirit Plane, herein set down the truthful and correct answer to the question that has wracked our temple, "What is the shape of the earth?" It is self-evident to all who have understanding to realise it that the shape of our world can be irrefutably determined by contemplating the Mobility rune. I have not the time to spare from studies to expound any further to the ignorant, so I will leave the words and their meaning to stand alone for all to regard. Those who do not understand should study more the ways of the cosmos, and seek counsel of those who do.
[XXIX.12-51] The Final Resolution to the divisive debate in this temple over the Question of whether the earth is flat, or if not, what shape it actually is. As Ordered by Mutiog, Official Chief Librarian and High Priest. The world, as mythology decrees and the gods remind us, is flat. Glorantha, as seen by Yelm above is a "squarish bulging lozenge, surrounded by Sramak's River, the primal ocean". Those who take opposition to this view are wrong, and their opinions border on the blasphemous. Heed not these people, for to question the divine order of things is to allow chaos to come into the world.
[XXIX.12-52] Arkat's greatest weapon was "God-Cleaver", also known as the Unbreakable Sword.
[XXIX.12-53] Avoid gold and silver Tarshite coinage minted anytime after Sea Season last year: Quinscion the Patient (General of Procurement and Disbursement) has sent his trusted agent Sikundar "the Scissors" to oversee the Royal Mint there. Sikundar, it is said, can clip the equivalent of five coins from every fifty issued.
[XXIX.12.54] My hope is that by this paper, I can explain to my peers why it is that I have come to this temple and how my presence here is necessary to aid my work. At this point I must introduce myself: I am Capybarus the Thinker, late of the Lhankor Mhy temple at Queen's Post in the Grazelands. There I had for ten years studied my subject, the dichotomy of law-chaos. I was well-positioned to hear of the scandalous involvement with chaos of the Nochet temple; first by the intimate association with of a female member of the hierarchy with an ogre; and later, by Zero of Nochet's suspect association with a werewolf.* These subjects are covered in my earlier papers, and are stored at Queen's Post for anyone to go and consult. Know that I do not embrace chaos in any shape or form: indeed I revile it as do all Lightbringers. However, I find myself in the mold of Solonar Tamanskil, seeking to understand as well to destroy. I have come to this temple to study and uncover the chaotics who live here.
*See Alan LaVergne's amusing short story, "The Smell of a Rat" in the RuneQuest Companion, Chaosium 1983.
[XXIX.12-56] There was never an admiral so brave as Lord Raza the Fang of Wachaza, whose Holy Country fleet was sunk by the battle-junks of the Kralori last century. In the final engagement the hero lost both legs to powerful dragon-magic, yet disdained to leave the bridge. Instead he had himself sat in a barrel of chaff, and continued to oversee the closing action until his flagship went down with all hands.
[XXIX.12-57] 768 Positions of Uleria; 1...
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