Antiquarian Find From The Ruins of the Healer's Temple of Kars From Luse Earpuller by Darius West

aka A Gloranthan Medical Research Article

Note from the Celerida True Spoken, High Censor of Lhankor Mhy in Nochet.

The document you are about to read has been classified for use by only high priests of the Lightbringers and must not be distributed to those without the wisdom to use the information properly.

The author of the commentary known as Karla the Younger while a fine healer was prone to consider heretical theories which brush dangerously close to the evil of the Godlearners. It is of small matter for Karla the Younger ventured into Snakepipe Hollow on a Heroquest in 1622 and was never seen again.

If there is any wisdom of note in this document it lies in the fact that misinterpretation of holy scripture by the ignorant can lead to grave catastrophe. The gods in their wisdom allow deviationists to mete out their own punishment. Karla the Younger for her part was of a shrewish disposition and of noteable ugliness whatever her merit as a healer.

On Curative Measures for the Spirits Incarnate and Discorpate and the Blessings of ouf Lady Chalana Arroy

Excerpt from the Chalansaga

... having crossed the mighty Rockwoods in the chariot of Mastakos the party alighted nigh unto the lands of lost Seshna for she too slumbered in the Earth-Womb for fear of the Krjalki. The souls here too wandered lost to their prayers and their eyes were hollow and limbs scrawny for their gods were dead. Issaries chose and blessed the campsite that the Lightseekers might receive the prayers and hopes of their followers and they retired to do so.

The silence was broken by the freakish wails of Flesh Man gibbering with fear about his visions of the trail of the great army of the Wakbothi despoiling land and kin. Chalana sang him the song of comfort to ease his troubles but his restlessness grew the closer they came to the Gates of Dusk. Orlanth brooded with dark brow and even Issaries and Lhankor Mhy grew quiet and grim as the Flesh Man began to utter the obscenities he witnessed. Eurmal, ever the lover of trouble disliked having his worship disturbed by the vile ravings of the Flesh Man drew up his worst visage and mocked him. Look on me Meat Man and know silence for I am Wakboth stealing your flesh through your vision ! quoth the Trickster with an ominous laugh. There was an audible snap as the mind of the Flesh Man broke under the fear and he fled into the dying woods like a mad ghost.

The All-Compassionate Chalana had ceased her surprise at Eurmal s heartless idiocy and bade Orlanth see to his discipline while she fled into the blackness in search of her companion. With care and trepidation she followed the noise of the ravings though she herself was in danger of becoming lost and fearful. Twice Chalana thought she saw her foe the Zorak Zoran moving in the woods and once an apparition of Wakboth himself appeared. Then there was silence and Chalana could follow no longer it seemed. She feared to call to her companion as her cry might summon any kind of monster, indeed perhaps his silence indicated death ! Then Chalana realised that fear and madness were akin and that courage was her only way forwards to save her comrade. So Chalana called out to Flesh Man and he answered with a wail of fear.

Chalana Arroy ran towards the screaming and found Flesh Man in the oils of a creature of contradiction. A half woman half snake wound around a dead tree and with a face as serene as a sleeping babe, the entity could well have been Krjalki. While her lower half disempowered and paralysed Flesh Man her upper half offered succor and comforting words to her fevered charge. As Chalana approached, it looked up and demanded to know who she was. Chalana Arroy identified herself and with calm and determined tone told the creature to release Flesh Man back to her care. The creature mocked the healer saying I was told that the Chalana Arroy was a great healer and could even charm away Malia, yet she cannot even look after one man ! You are not the Chalana Arroy ! .

Chalana Arroy paused, for the creature spoke truth and showed her error and weakness. But that was ridiculous ! Chalana was there specifically to care for Flesh Man. Becoming more stern Chalana then demanded that the creature identify herself. It said its name was Serpent Girdle and that Flesh Man was now hers to heal. Chalana spake that she could not allow that but the Serpent Girdle bade her consider that he was now calm and at ease and to move him would be foolish.

Serpent Girdle assured Chalana Arroy that she was a good and worthy servant of life and that no harm would come to Flesh Man . Looking deep into Flesh Man s ebbing mind and soul Chalana could see his vision was as if he were in a pit of serpents, twisting, choking and poisoning him. When she looked into the eyes of the serpents however she diagnosed that the cause of Fleshman s growing insanity was Serpent Girdle. At the same moment both goddesses realised that they knew the intention of the other and Serpent Girdle prepared to strike. As the blow came Chalana called upon her serenity to transcend her adversary and the poison and pain of insanity washed over her soothing prescence without effect. Then with a touch Chalana reached out and touched the cruel heart of Serpent Girdle, calming her.

Then the other Lightseekers burst into the clearing for Issaries had followed Chalana and Flesh Man s trail. Issaries struck first at her fingers, then Lhankor Mhy at her ear; finally Orlanth with six swift and mighty cuts severed her limbs until she lay in seven parts and hurled them clear over the Rockwoods. Chalana Arroy wept and her comrades asked her why for they had saved both she and Fleshman from the clutches of Serpent Girdle. To this Chalana told them that Serpent Girdle posed them no threat and that with her magic she Chalana Arroy had overcome their foe but they had done great woe to have slain Serpent Girdle. Orlanth quoth that for his part he saw no harm in slaying chaos when it overran the world. Chalana spake that she took an oath that none who were powerless would come to harm under her care, and that she feared the consequences of what had transpired. Orlanth spoke again saying that Chalana swore no oath to protect Krjalki but Chalana was uncertain whether Serpent Girdle was Krjalki as she was unable to diagnose what indeed she was. Orlanth squalled and blustered maintaining his opinion but Lhankor Mhy and Issaries looked worried. Eurmal, (who had been chased up a tree by Orlanth) taunted them and bared his buttocks at them. Flesh Man rested less fitfully and Chalana Arroy and Lhankor Mhy discussed what they had learned and the the skeins of possibility their actions would bring...

Commentary by Chirugeon Sage Karla the Younger of Nochet. ST 1618.

In these troubled times when war seems imminent yet again, I and many Lightbringer Worshippers have found comfort in the legends of our Goddess and the Grey Lord. Having read these words many times in passing in the holy Chalanasaga I had never been struck by the possible interpretation which I offer here.

Within the holy scripture I posit lies a cure for the growing incidence of crippling madness with which we find ourselves increasingly beset. While it is true that most of the afflicted have been savaged in battle with the forces controlled by the Red Moon s magicians, others have been driven to insanity though clashes with Chaos, the loss of loved ones to war, and other aetiologies.

While we all understand fear and grief (are we not all children of the Flesh Man ?), it seems a hard fate that while we who minister to the wounded can bring the very dead back to life yet when a mind is broken the best we seem able to offer is a song of comfort. Indeed what good is it to send a lune-shocked warrior back into battle with her body intact when her ability to fight effectively is shattered ?

Not to mention the painful plight of the hundreds of refugees who daily beg for food while carrying who knows what terrible cycle of woe in their minds.

It is my contention that within this passage of the Chalanasaga there is food for thought such that only one with the unique insight of both the Blessed Lady and the Grey Lord such as myself could truly fathom for I believe it is the key to overcoming madness. This I do equally for the sake of both my gods as the pursuit of knowledge and healing go hand in hand here. I place my thesis at the seat of knowledge for approval and offer 12 scribed copies to the libraries of my gods.

Posit: That madness is not a disease as we have been taught, and that while the prayer of restoration are effective in rehabilitating victims of Malia, that often wild passion and madness remain after a healing spirit has done its work against disease.

Posit: That observation of those crippled by lune madness and mindblasting often have much in common with victims of the deadly fear of shades. It is unsurprising perhaps given the nature of the goddess.

Jakaleel the Witch of the Seven Mothers who is rumoured to have had shades at her beck-and-call when mortal. This fact is alluded to in the text in that Our Lady believes she observes the form of Zorak Zoran following her. A clear reference to this proximity between madness and fear. Clearly high emotion untouched by wisdom is the state of madness. Does this mean that the berserk fury of the Stormbull indicates madness ? No, for madness must impair one's ability to live life as one should. We respect the power of the Stormbull and his followers fight chaos most efficiently, but their surly humour outside such is not appreciated. Madness seems to jumble one's mind and spirit such that divine truth is unobtainable.

Posit: That Chalana Arroy pursues the Flesh Man not only into the dead forest of Shanasse, but indeed into a place in Flesh Man where the madness of the Serpent Girdle can be seen and is palpable such as a healing spirit would do. The difference being that while a healing spirit is able to repair the body and sometimes reduce a fit of passion, it is wisdom and compassion tempered with a truth the victim has lost and a courage which comes from facing fears which (while often terrifying) are not one's own which will triumph over madness. Most important however is that the healer never be seen to waver in courage or compassion in the eyes of the victim for this will not aid them.

Posit: That madness threatens the Life and Truth aspects of the Man rune and it is the force of these contradictions to the natural order which attack the virtuous humours made present through the free expression of these aspects. Thus madness must incorporate death and illusion, possibly disorder and often Chaos. The other possibility however is that madness has no effect on any of these areas and is instead a wound of the spirit, affecting neither the mind nor power of the victim but their memories and perhaps something more subtle again.

Thesis: That the above being true I plan to journey to the town of Alone in the Far Point wherein dwell many hundred victims of lunar madness magics. It is said that a full gamut of mandess insanities can be found there, compounded according to Lycondris Wyrmreader by the unusual effects of certain Dragonewt magics from their community in hidden valley. There I plan to conduct studies into a new method of treatment of the effects of madnesses. I will dedicate myself while there to the service of Arroin and attempt to develop a new healing art which can serve all living things by removing the taint of madness from them.

Scenario Idea

How many times have dedicated RQ players wanted to play with a Sanity Point System ? This article can be used as a plot hook for GMs who want to develop the cult of Chalana Arroy such that the PCs might begin to develop something like a Call of Cthulhu Psychoanalysis skill.

The scenario would involve players finding this document in Nochet City and allowing a Chalana Arroy character to read it. If they think about it (with perhaps a little GM propmting) they will realise that they might be able to develop a skill which will treat insanity in much the same way that poisons and diseases are treated. This creates the interesting possibilities of running a sanitorium in Sartar. How will the Lunar Empire respond ? Perhaps the High Censor of Nochet is a Lunar Agent trying to outlaw this knowledge.

Will Karla the Younger have completed her research by the time the characters arrive ? Helping the insane provides many interesting opportunities for role-play, after all, what drove them insane; trauma or a Thanatari Consume Mind spell ? There are few enough ideas for Chalana Arroy HeroQuests. Perhaps bringing this skill into Glorantha will require one ?