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Joerg

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Joerg last won the day on April 23

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About Joerg

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    www.sartar.de

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  • RPG Biography
    Former president of Deutsche RuneQuest-Gesellschaft aka Chaos Society, Glorantha know-it-all (almost), some mentions in Glorantha publications
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    Occasional HQG, RQ and Cthulhu
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    Kiel
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    Into rpgs since1984, into world building since the 70ies, into RQ since 1989, active on RQ-Daily and successors since 1993

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  1. Joerg

    The Trauma of the Dragonkill War

    Dragon Pass is the Bikini Atoll of draconic power discharge... the crosses just marked the extent of it for centuries. That dragon skull across the pass road at the foot of Kerofin Mountain is a good reason for caravans to choose Orstan's pass or the Falling Ruins pass instead, or the wider gap at Too Far. The Heortlings of the Kingdom of Night got the message of the Inhuman King that no humans would be tolerated via the Kitori (whose not quite human nature meant they were still tolerated across the line), although I guess the Kitori made a point of crossing the line only in troll shape in order not to trigger the curse. As for the life expectance of trauma: when did the phrase "save us from the furor of the northmen" fall out of use in medieval England, and did Bonnie Prince Charlie's invasion trigger it again? Revanchism doesn't count generations, either. I wonder how the sentiment of Irish Americans is towards the potato famine and the loss of their land of green. Or the relationship of confederate America to the civil war that is now more than 150 years ago? Ressentiments based on the battle of Amselfeld/Kosovo field a couple of centuries ago led to war and genocide less than 25 years ago. Fear Dragons was part of the Heortlling psyche already before the Dragonrise, e.g. in The Coming Storm and Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes.
  2. Being born into a family with a refugee background and with one grandfather left missing in the aftermath of the war, I can relate to both these forms of trauma and hardship that result. The force that destroyed the homeland objectively was the True Golden Horde, and it had done so for about 20 years. The Orlanthi of southern Saird (aka northern Orlanthland/EWF) experienced years of more vicious occupation than the Lunar occupation of Sartar at the hands of the Pelorian invaders. Even though they were able to reclaim their territory north of the Death Line after the Dragonkill, what they reclaimed was devastated for a generation or two. The fact that they were able to reclaim their territory was thanks to the destruction of the True Golden Horde by the dragons. The 20th century parallel would be the fear of atomic cataclysm, something my generation managed to unlearn slowly, only to have it return in the last year thanks to a certain election. But still, even though the southern neighbors disappeared and the land was declared a fall-out area, the southern Pelorian Orlanthi know about their neighbors' fate under the invading True Golden Horde, and not a few would see the fiery end of those scourge of the hill folk as divine justice. They would still fear the might of the dragons, but with an element of admiration, too. The refugees to Kethaela who had managed to stay ahead of the avenging horde and who may have sent a good portion of those 40k participants as a rearguard to allow the escape of non-combatant refugees would suffer more mixed feelings. They wouldn't know to what causes their rearguard defenders have fallen, but there would be a sense that they had heroically bought time for the non-combatants to reach the lands south of the Crossline, even if they perished in the dragonfire devastation that they assumed hit the entirety of the Pass. (The systematic burn of parts that lie in modern Tarsh would have been visible from Kethaela, though hard to localize.) Maybe the best example of inherited trauma of the invaders was in the description of Balazar history for the Yelmalian citadel dwellers who had lost the entire generation of fathers and uncles to the Dragonkill in Griffin Mountain. The Praxians have a different situation, surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where Chaos still lurks. Confrontation with annihilation is their daily experience, and dragons are a lot more distant than Chaos, which means that their slot for existential horror is held by the Devil. Still, the scale of loss they suffered in the Dragonkill was unparalleled in their history. IMO it took Jaldon's great raid in the time of the Twin Dynasty of Tarsh to overcome the notion that Dragon Pass was more deadly than the Devil's Marsh, the Krjalki Bog, or the Tunneled Hills, and more lucrative to boot. Hadn't Dragon Pass eaten up the remnants of the Pure Horse Folk, never to be seen again after Alavan Argay? The Dragonkill raid will have destroyed entire clans of the Beast Riders, those who had committed more wholly to the raid. Without enough warriors to protect the herds, the surviving females would have little means to protect their herds, losing significantly more than half their herds to those clans who still had more raiders. Without the ability to dominate an oasis, a significant portion of their annual food balance was lost, too, and clans returning from more distant wanderings in the Wastes found easy prey and unoccupied oases. BTW, I think that the Pure Horse Folk were part of that raid into the Dragonkill, possibly even leading the venture.
  3. Joerg

    Pavis County, Prax and the Zola Fel 1622-1627?

    I would have thought it was the other way around - for the Dragonkill War some 40,000 Orlanthi came from the south, with the sources unclear whether to plunder or to fight the True Golden Horde which consisted of northern Orlanthi, Dara Happans and Carmanians, and another 40,000 strong force consisting of Praxians with maybe 10% Sun Domers came from the East. The relative loss of life to the home population was unproportionally higher to the Praxians than to the southern Orlanthi. The vast majority of Orlanthi of Dragon Pass were not killed by the dragons -- many had fled to the south when the True Golden Horde came to their doorsteps, many of the rest had been killed by the True Golden Horde, or by those Praxians. When the dragons arrived at Dragon Pass, the True Golden Horde had come as far as Vanntar. I would be very astonished if by that time more than 10% of the original population of Dragon Pass Orlanthi were still alive in the region, and those still alive were most likely enslaved. 40,000 Praxian warriors killed basically cut down the Praxian population by a quarter or so. Most Orlanthi whose descendants can remember were happy not to have been there.
  4. Joerg

    Any good chaos heroquests out there?

    I am curious about your use of "Viking" for Hrothmir, the Horned Hero. Is this for avoiding that norse-like pronunciation?
  5. The feel of Hrestol's Saga doesn't really give any pointers to a real world culture. There is this caste-structured society with hereditary rulers following something like primogeniture (rather than elected rulers from eligible candidates within the caste). But then, the entire concept of people inheriting positions of power is relatively new in Frowal at the Dawn. Froalar is the son of Talar of Brithos, and together with his twin Hoalar presumably the first-born. Other Talar caste folk are addressed as cousins, but so are a few wizards, and, on the visit to Brithos, "Duke" Horal. All of the titles are standard modern English terms for nobility, as is the honorific "Sir" for knights. But this doesn't point to any specific point in European or non-European history, and could be applied to e.g. a pseudo-Japanese setting without all the few Japanese terms we have become familiar with through various media. So yes, knights hold vigils. Much like Samurai meditate, and initiands undergo other such preparations when abduction isn't part of the initiation rite (as per Orlanth's Uncles). There isn't anything there that cries high medieval culture. That's what led me already more than 20 years ago to suggest heavy cavalry parallels for knights that are found in the time of the late (West) Roman Empire, in the migration era, with examples from the Fertile Crescent as well. Armor like depicted on the Bayeux tapestry would have been the absolute high end of armoring technology, and Renaissance era armor like shown for the Loskalmi knight in Genertela Box... bad art direction and too low art budget, really. In a way it is a pity that Games Workshop never did any editions of the Gloranthan RQ3 material. It would have been interesting to see what kind of art they would have applied to these chapters. But outside of the Rokari influence, the knight is a magical warrior with basic education as a noble, too, which makes even a knight born to another caste (like Sir Faraalz, Hrestol's Horali-born sidekick) eligible as low level ruling Talar of a settlement in Froalar's/Ylream's expanding kingdom. Much of the Gregging is in the skewed reception of the data rather than in the data itself. I learned that if I say “Celtic” this is interpreted as “Irish”, not even Welsh, let alone Hallstatt or Heuneburg. When people see a longhouse, they instantly assume Viking, even though houses in that style had been in use for three millennia when the first Viking raids reached Northumbria (where people had just the same style of housing…).People lived in longhouses before they had copper for tools. let alone bronze or iron. Greek or even Minoan or Mycenean style equipment for Orlanthi is as unfortunate as Viking or Saxon, or Phoenician. A naval culture without ships is just a silly parallel for foothill dwellers. You could as well take a nomad culture like the Huns or the Mongols without mounts or wandering herds, made sedentary – see how useless this gets? Nick Brooke nailed it: “Parallels aren’t.” In this Malkioni case, cookie-cutter medieval culture won’t get you to any meaningful conclusion. And even then, what is medieval culture? Childerich’s Franks, or the Visigoth kingdoms? Charlemagne’s companions? Muslim Spain? Otto the Great’s heavy lancers overcoming the Magyars at Lechfeld? The Bayeux Tapestry? Provencal chivalry with its troubadours? Richard Lionheart? Edward I? Henry V? Henry VIII? The defense of Vienna against the Turks? Or fantasy stuff, like Mallory’s Morte D’Arthur, T.H. White’s Once and Future King? The Nibelung Song? Blackadder?
  6. Joerg

    RQG PC's Preview - Spirit Magic

    They store about a day's worth of unused mana. As long as the magician does the re-filling all himself, this is a limited advantage in a fast pace scenario. RQ3 did however provide POW spirits which would refuel such crystals, and that was something like a game-changer. But then a shaman with a 20 POW fetch regenerates MP at immense speed, too, so there are other over-the-top ways available as well. As far as I remember the RQ3 rules (Elder Secrets), only live crystals need attuning. Dead crystals (i.e. MP vessels) are usable without attuning. Besides, the RQ3 rules had a MP matrix enchantment which allowed you to spend some POW to create a "dead crystal"-like item without access to any blood of the gods. This enchantment or surplus dead crystals would be used in enchanted items like e.g. spell matrices. Your average professional spellcaster will have about 15 MP at any time, and probably a somewhat higher MP maximum. (Human species maximum was 21, leaving some room for successful POW gain rolls even at POW 18, and RQ2 increased that POW maximum by a few points for Rune Levels.) With some slight house-ruling of the previous experience rules, we managed to get one adept sorcerer in my non-Gloranthan RQ game. He had a rather weak familiar and no enchantments to speak of after half a year of regular gaming.
  7. Joerg

    Pavis County, Prax and the Zola Fel 1622-1627?

    I interprete this as a return of the Gray Age. Like I said, the covenant remains in place, so it isn't the new start at the start of the (Praxian) Gray Age. It is about finding survivable grazing grounds (though not the original ones) or alternative sources of fodder and food (with fodder probably the priority). Did anyone release Oakfed? What can be made of the White Lady's blessing? The beast rider clans outside of Prax don't suffer a bit from the Windstop unless they bet their herds' provision by entering grazings covered by it from the east or the north. I wonder whether clans inside the windstop all gravitate towards the Paps, or whether they go to the Hidden Greens instead.
  8. Joerg

    Pavis County, Prax and the Zola Fel 1622-1627?

    Shouldn't that be 1621, the Fall of Whitewall? Your date makes it look like there is an entire year between the Fall of Whitewall and the onset of the WIndstop. And the Windstop should be weakened by the New Breathers from the Battle of the Aurochs Hills. IMO it doesn't. The Covenant still is in place, only the growth seasons are out of order. The world doesn't dissolve, with gaps appearing between shards of reality. What we get instead is the last stage of the Lesser Darkness. The winds have departed into the Underworld. So has Ernalda's fertility. Valind, though broken by Chaos, rules. The dissolution of reality which really defined the Great Darkness, and which was turned among others by the I Fought We Won event, has no part in the Windstop. Neither has the Ritual of the Net, or the use of the fertility of Prax to imprison the Devil. All of the main events of the Great Darkness are skipped. Instead, we jump straight into the Gray Age. All of this still IMO. The sun is not in the Underworld. It's presence doesn't alter anything in the affected area, however, only the light affects the region under the spell, not the heat. Apart from their loss of Ernaldan fertility, the Sun Domers have all the light they ever had. Given the start of the Windstop in late 1621, shouldn't this event be in 1622?
  9. I think people would be surprised how short that list is when you apply it to Greg himself contradicting officially published Glorantha. Fairly often the reason for Greg giving a different idea for some place in Glorantha may have been because he had not really studied that source where some other author slipped an assumption or three into published works. Quite a lot of perceived Gregging is Greg or someone near to Greg stating "no, your idea doesn't mesh with Greg's idea of Glorantha", like e.g. Soviet Lunars, Egyptian Esrolians or any other 1:1 parallel assumptions. @David ScottThe map of the Empire in White Bear and Red Moon isn't a retcon. It simply has a gliding scale and isn't true in the presentation of angles. Most of the topology is accurate. A few of these flaws are evident even by comparing that map to the map represented by the game board. Confusing the EWF with the (kingless) kingdom of Orlanthland or even the Unity Council in the history section of the game might be seen as a better example of this, or alternatively be read as some in-world text with a less than accurate knowledge of history older than the Hero Wars. Elmal and Yelmalio... I don't recall any statement that the deities in Cults of Prax, or those mentioned in the Wyrm's Footnotes series Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha, were the complete set, even for a single culture. There is no Esrola in either of these sources either - she appears first in the Holy Country article in Chaosium's RuneQuest Companion. Some of the minor changes were e.g. from mis-spellings (pharoah, saggitus) to better spellings (and pharaoh being dropped when it turned out that it didn't have the meaning it was supposed to have). The concept of knights has been returned to the original concept in Hrestol's Saga (which tells us about the creation of this not-quite caste). This has reduced the medieval concepts that were suggested for Rokari Seshnela in Genertela Book, and has led to the Gregging of Jamie "Ttrotsky" Revell's work on the western culture. I think this is the heaviest case of all. But then my early work on Heortland leaned heavily on the throwaway mention of knights in the RQ Companion piece, too, so this may be personal bias. My ideas weren't Gregged, however - they simply started in a number of irrelevant directions. The introduction of Elmal made defining the history of Yelmalio interesting, but not impossible. Its timing was unfortunate. It shattered the illusion of many a player that there was One True World where each Gloranthan deity was the same wherever it was encountered, but that was something never explicitely stated anywhere, more an assumption from people whose other source for deities in rpgs was AD&D's Deities and Demigods. Lax control over the Hero Wars/Heroquest 1st ed publications during Greg's Mexican exile led to apparent "canonisation" of a number of assumptions, sometimes by single authors, sometimes by group collaborations. Greg's agonizing about how to bring the cool story concept of heroquesting into gameable rules is a long process of attempting to combine all the various aspects he saw in this. I have yet to see a game mechanic that captures all of the prerequisites that are supposed to go into this activity (but then I haven't studied either 13G nor RQG in that respect, yet). I doubt that the "resource allocation game" like groups giving specific support (that Greg at one time felt would be best solved as a boardgame) is properly included. But that isn't really contradicting an earlier statement, but rather pointing out where certain rules constructs don't quite conform with the concept. Much china ware has been broken over the "Vingans are transgender people with predominantlly male sexuality" upset, possibly a few years before the non-standard gender/sexuality abbreviation had more than three letters. A number of perceived Greggings which alienated former active contributors didn't originate with Greg.
  10. Joerg

    Pavis County, Prax and the Zola Fel 1622-1627?

    If they don't want to enter famine and desperation, have them make the detour through Balazar and Gonn Orta's Pass, that may allow you to arrive in the Zola Fel valley after the battle of the Aurochs Hills. Post-Windstop Sun County has two factions, with the draconic one under Belvani apparently without as much support as Vega's traditionalist one. @MOB has reported snippets of this several times, try googling for Belvani or Vega Goldbreath to find these. The few survivors from the grantlands might be found in Sun County, Pavis, or Corflu, with a small chance that Raus Fort might have held out by paying tribute to some nomad faction. Others may still survive as slaves of Praxian clans or joining oasis folk e.g. at Horngate. With the severe conditions of the Fimbulwinter, I think that most of them will make a new start under the protection of the Sun Domers rather than going back to contested and unprotected grants. When Argrath takes over in New Pavis, he might accept some of them in depopulated Pavis County, too. I would expect the displaced Lunars to group around Annstad of Dunstop, the leading Lunar follower of Argrath, rather than repair connections to the Heartlands. The River Folk never went away, IMO, and living off the river would be harder but far from impossible - after all, Zola Fel never stopped flowing in the Greater Darkness. Argrath returns only in 1624, after the Battle of Pennel Ford. I have no idea what happens in Prax in the two years in between, other than the ongoing efforts to build the Lunar Temple on its western border. The native Pavisites have gone through the troll occupation with about as bad provision, so I expect them to have good survival policies which they might have shared with the Sartarite and other immigrants to Pavis. Still, a depopulation of 40% seems likely, with a greater proportion of elders and children affected, and possibly worse outside of the city than inside, where the Lunar occupation forces still receive some food support, and possibly some food to share for missionary purposes. Once Argrath installs the White Bull empire, I guess he organizes a regular support with herd beasts. I expect the Pavis Temple and the mayor and magistrates to act as governors for Argrath. Once the White Bull is entrenched in Pavis, it only becomes a center of his activities and rallying point after his epic loss against the Empire (at Yoran, more than 12 years in the future).
  11. Joerg

    Barbarian town

    I guess we need to wait for reports from Eternal Convention, where this information is undoubtedly disseminated today and/or tomorrow.
  12. Joerg

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    IIRC some time in the eighties Moorcock also released an essay or even a book about writing fantasy, IIRC, so I think that Moorcock had read at least the Lord of the Ring including the appendices quite closely. If you replace "fascist" by "feudalist", there is nothing crypto about the position of Tolkien with regard to his romantically idealized past. Tolkien's world is anti-industrialist (think of his treatment of the war factories of Isengard) and about a layered society, with Sam Gamgee personifying the loyal common soldier/servant to the nobility officer. Like most fantasy, the focus is on a lost past rather than looking forward. Aragorn's kingship has long been destined. I guess that comes from his story-teller focus on SF. One can clearly say that Clarke created the concept of satellite communication and laid the groundwork for one of the pillars of the modern communication network. Moorcock's generally dystopian settings do have rather backward-oriented mindset, too - decadent Melnibone, then the end of that universe, although there was also the heroic story of carving out the hinterland of the southern continent from unshaped Chaos by Aubec of Malador, and the necessity to end the world of Melnibone and the young kingdoms to make way for a world of Balance. (Which doesn't really make sense in a multiverse...) Moorcock's one-dimensional axis of Law vs. Chaos probably is too much of a simplification, much like "left" vs. "right" in the political debate. From a story-teller point of view, a flawless utopia has no potential. A struggling utopia beset by interior destabilization and exterior threats is probably the best view of a world we can get, or alternatively a struggle between several not quite mutually compatible utopias. Otherwise a selective utopia for a few chosen few means a dystopia for most others.
  13. Joerg

    Any good chaos heroquests out there?

    Were you thinking of this article by Ron Edwards? http://adept-press.com/ideas-and-discourse/other-essays/goddess-of-rape/
  14. Joerg

    Validating RQ combat

    Bitten ankles can easily trip an adult, and then several small dogs have no problems attacking simultaneously. If the victim manages not to panic and to grab the dogs and smash them against trees or one another, the outcome may be more expected, but shock from being bitten and blind panic can override such a combat. I have recently seen what wounds a single afraid Jack Russel terrier caused...
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