Runequest Thursday #49 - Sorcery of the Blue Moon!

Clint Staples

The Blue Moon is a little known phenomena of Glorantha. Once a significant feature in the night sky, and the sacred home of Annihila, goddess of the Blue Moon was fragmented more than a millenium ago. The largest parts fell on the aptly named Blue Moon Plateau north of the Lunar Empire. But few beyond those of a scholarly bent are aware that a portion of the Blue Moon still rides the sky.

For much of its time in the heavens it is all but invisible, only appearing occasionally as  awink of blue white light, only disinguishable from nearby stars because of its movement, rising from the horizon in the north, coursing overhead, to descend into the Underworld through Magasta's whirlpool in the Southern Sea.

If the Blue Moon survived, what of its goddess? And what of the power of the moon and its runes. And if there is power, and runes associated with the Blue Moon, why wouldn't certain sorcerers seek access to them.


The Cabal of the Blue Moon [which I promise to provide at another time. I am on holiday in Chicago as I write this], would value the runes of the Blue Moon:

Movement [the Blue Moon ever moved across the sky, despite the presence of Storms and the Fire of Yelm; even now it tracel\s its former route]; 

Disorder [for much of its existence, the Blue Moon has been a furtive shadow of its former self];

Water [the Blue Moon was originally responsible for the tides of Gloranthan seas];

Darkness [the Blue Moon is rarely seen, and even more rarely understood for what it truly is];

Spells that partake of these runes would be particular favorites of the Blue Moon Cabal.


Below are a few special spells only available from the Cabal. They would be reticent to teach them to outsiders, but might be convinced if the individual were trusted or wealthy enough. These spells are compatible with 'A New Sorcery' but could be re-worked for standarde versions of RQ sorcery pretty easily.


Blue Moon Sorcery Spells:


Moonbeam [Moon, Disorder]              Range – 60 Yards             POW Check - No           Duration – Instantaneous

This spell immediately creates a beam of blue light directed at a single target. Roll your spell chance, reduced by any defense the target may have. A success is a hit. For each level of effect, the target takes 1D4 damage to its total Hit Points. Anyone struck by the beam also is Dazzled [-20% to all skill attempts, including fighting skills] for a number of round equal to the caster’s Manipulation Limit. Armor in the location will absorb the damage, but the spell cannot be parried. A Protection spell will reduce the damage done. Countermagic will affect Blast, as will Resist Frost.


Moonblade [Moon, Disorder]              Range – self              POW Check - No          Duration – 10 Rounds

The sorcerers creates a deadly and subtle blade from the light of the Blue Moon. This may only be accomplished when the Blue Moon is in the same world as the caster. Every second week, the Blue Moon plunges through Magasta’s Pool into the Underworld. So if the caster is in the Underworld, the Moonblade will function. If the caster is in Glorantha, the Moonblade will function the other week. Note that the strength of the moonblade is also linked to the phase of the Blue Moon, according to its seven-day cycle. The Moonblade does 1d3 damage, +1 points per day of the Blue Moon Cycle [maximum of 7] to a maximum of the number of ranks in the spell. All moonblade damage will ignore armor. Resist Cold, and similar magics will protect, Protection will not. Countermagic, and that component of Runemagic like Shield, will function as Armor Points against a Moonblade.

The Skills ‘dagger’, or ‘one-handed sword’ may be used in conjunction with the Moonblade.

Note: when on the Blue Moon, Moonblades function at full potency.


Moon Touch [Moon, Disorder]              Range – Touch               POW Check - Yes         Duration – 10 Rounds

On a touch, which will require a successful unarmed attack in combat, the target’s POW is attacked. If it is defeated, the target will stop fighting, and follow the caster’s instructions for the duration of the spell. This is not as powerful as a vampire’s domination ability, but moon touched will follow most reasonable instructions without question. If asked to do something counter to their nature, to attack their friends, or something apparently suicidal, the spell is broken. But they will see the caster as a close friend who would not steer them wrong in most circumstances. During the duration of the spell, the caster may issue a number of ‘requests’ equal to the ranks in the spell, which will be attempted to the bes to fher ability by the moon touched, subject to the guidelines provides above. Finally, the moon touched will have no knowledge of their status or their acts until the duration of the spell ends or it is dispelled. This spell is often of use to Blue Moon assassins, infiltrating locations, suborning guards to their aid with Moon Touch, and extending the duration long enough for a clean getaway.



Detect Moon [Moon, Disorder]              Range – 240 Yards                     POW Check - No        Duration – Instantaneous

The caster can refine his Moon Sense, extending its range and sensitivity to the type of emanation and direction to them. See ‘Moon Sense’. Each rank you expend that is not devoted to range, allows you to gain one piece of information about the Blue Moon or anything linked to it [such as a Smoking Mirror: Distance, Direction, rough power level, type of emanation, basic function, operational status, possibly other details if allowed by the GM.

You may not extend the duration of this spell, but you range, double the range for each rank you devote to range.