The Birth of Chaos

In The Beginning

The RuneQuest Society was founded in 1990 in Germany by twelve fans of RQ and Glorantha. Its main goal was to produce a German magazine for RQ, Glorantha and related games (Call of Cthulhu, Elric!, Nephilim, Hawkmoon, and ElfQuest). The new magazine wasnamed Free INT, and the first issue was published in 1991. Since that time 16 issues of Free INT have been published. Over the past seven years the RuneQuest Society also organised eight RQ Cons in Germany. The eigth one was held at beautiful Castle Stahleck in Bachrarch, Germnany on the weekend of May 16-19, 1997.

Growing Support

The need of strong fan in Germany was strong. RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu and Elric! have not been promoted in Germany by the respective licensees when theyÕve had full licenses at all. As a result, those systems nearly disappeared among role-players in Germany. The RuneQuest Society's work on Free INT and the RQ Cons have helped mainatin and strengthen RQs presence on the German roleplaying scene. Since our founding weÕve enlisted 160 new members from around the world.

The success of the RuneQuest Society got us thinking about exporting our set-up to other countries. After all, there are a lot of gamers out there. But far too many of us are isolated unable to get support material for our favourite games in any quantity. We realised that a worldwide organisation for all RuneQuest/Gloranthan fans could be a great thing for all of us, allowing gamers to communicate with each other, share new material, and pool ideas.

It soon became clear, however, that it wouldnÕt be practical to run an international RuneQuest Society from a single headquaters in Germany. The task is just too big, and the result would be too unwieldy. The solution was obvious. If a single world-wide RQ Society was too big to handle, we'd start sister organisations throughout the world, administered locally, but co-operating internationally.

Our Friends Overseas

And so we searched for and found committed fans in the USA and Australia to organise local RQ Societies (renamed the Chaos Society in those areas). Scott Knowles is the co-ordinator of the Chaos Society in the USA, and in Australia Andrew Bean recently passed the torch to Hugh McVicker and Peter Tracey who are jointly running the Australian organisation. Each is responsible for running the Chaos Society in their respective regions. TheyÕll handle the distribution of products we have produced so far and plan to publish in the future.

As our firststep towards an international RuneQuest Society, we published the English-language magazine Tradetalk. The first issue was made up of articles translated from German originals in Free INT magazine,; however this and future issues will draw upon the huge volume of fan-created material from all around the world, most of which are originally written in English. Since Tradetalk is an English-language magazine, that makes our job much easier. Incidentally, Free INT will continue to published in German and has been renamed Schattenklinge.

Our Time Has Come

An international fan society for RuneQuest and Glorantha is definately an idea whose time has come. Most new material for RuneQuest overthe last decade has been created and published by fans of the game and of Glorantha. Look at the things that fans have been creating;

  • The RuneQuest conventions around the world (Convulsion, RQ DownUnder, RQ Con USA, and the German RQ Con)
  • An enormous variety of outstanding fanzines and magazines (Tales of the Reaching Moon, Codex, RuneQuest Adventures, New Lolon Gospel, Free INT, TradeTalk and others).
  • A huge quantity of in-line discussion and info published by fans on the RQ Digest, Glorantha Digest, and RQ Rules Digest.
  • Over 1,000 World Wide Web home pages offering cult write-ups, scenrios, campaign write-ups, art, and new material of all sorts for RQ and Glorantha.

Mind you, that list is hardly complete! There;s for more activity out there than we could catalogue. The Chaos Society will help bring all RQ/Glorantha fans together in one club, enabling us all to give better support to RuneQuest, Glorantha and the related Chaosium products we play. Our first steps are magazines - Schattenklinge and TradeTalk - but we're always looking for ways to expand and improve. WeÕre supported in this effor by Chaosium and the discoverer of Glorantha, Greg Stafford )who is one of our members, as are Sandy Petersen and Ken Rolston).

The membership fee is 30.- DM per year, UK 12lbs, US $20 or AUS $30 in the respective regions - the latter prices subject to change depending on the future of the Chaos Societies overseas - the latter prices subject to change depending on future plans of the Chaos Societies overseas.

All members receive:

A subscription to that year's TradeTalk (probably three issues a year), access to all material produced in the past (The Jonstown Guide and The World's Greatest Tournament), all material published in the future, and the membership list of 170 RQ fans around the world.

With support from our Australian and American branches we hope to get enough submissions to produce TradeTalk four times per year (and things are looking good). The physical quality of Tradetalk wonÕt be quite as high as that of Tales of the Reaching Moon (for example),but our main goal is to make as much high-qualiyt material as possible available to players. First and foremost, TradeTalk is a magazine made by fans for fans.

RuneQuest Gesellschaft
c/o Ingo Tschinke
Schevemoorer Lanstr 33
28325 Bremen

+49 421 40 26 34

Chaos Society USA
c/o Scott Knowles
PO Box 1658
Jacksonville, OR 97530

Chaos Society Australia
c/o Hugh McVicker
37 Walker St
Northcote VIC 3070
ph 61 3 9481 5564