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Everything posted by Joerg

  1. And the Seven Mothers as well. Possibly one of the few things these two cults/cult complexes may have in common.
  2. My source is a local history on Lødingen and Tysfjord Kommune, covering the entire span from the Neolithicum to the 17th century for this rather uninhabited area. About 400 pages in Norwegian, well researched as far as I can make out. It wouldn't be sustainable without the (extremely rich) cod, haddock and herring fishery up there. But apparently even these bad returns from sowing beat storing the grain as is, due to losses to vermin, mould etc. There were years when they didn't bother sowing the grain, though. Mainly rye. Now the area I am talking about is on the edge of the subarctic, with climatic conditions an Ygg's Islander would be familiar with. But the source references mediaeval sources indicating that getting thrice the amount of the sowed grain was considered a good harvest.
  3. A "Wind Words guide to cattle raiding" maybe? I think that the episode reflects the different conceptions of cattle raiding of the three of us, and I have little doubt that anybody here on the forum has other points they might wish to emphasize or just to be made known. So if you disagree with some of the points we made, or even worse if you think we missed some of those points which are essential to your conception, please share them here. We put quite a bit of preparation into this episode to find at least some common ground to stand on, going as far as to run an audio-only session of the second scenario from the GM Screen Adventure Book in the wee hours between me coming home from work and falling asleep. And we're not done with cattle, yet..
  4. Our intrepid explorers are moving stealthily through the hills. Well, as stealthy as you can move with two dozen lowing cattle taking exception to being led away from the rest of their herd, and a perfectly fine pasture they had been grazing on. Our explorers have a slightly haunted look – they scan about to anticipate any trouble that fate, the entity with the two runes G and M, might throw at them, now that they have managed to first discourage and then mislead their pursuers, the former (they hope) owners of this bunch of four-legged items of wealth and renown that insist to mark their trail with the unmistakable round and squelchy droppings of theirs. How could it come to this? To learn more, tune in to windwords.fm, and enjoy yet another look at the possibly most played martial experience for young characters in Orlanthi society.
  5. For initial data on the ships reconstructed, visit https://www.ostia-foundation.org/ostia-and-the-harbour-of-claudius-part-2/ I would love to see more boats from the neolithicum or the actual Bronze Age in Gloranthan art - like the double beams of the Hjortspring boat which resembles the rock-drawings of the Megalith-builders of the Atlantic in the same way that the Nydam boat (contemporary to the boats above) resembles Viking ships and Hanseatic cogs. The merhant vessel differs only little from any Baltic Sea vessels after the Hjortspring Boat in the finished shape.
  6. Given that madness is a sacred state of mind in Lunar religion, wouldn't it be more perjorative to call them "hopelessly sane"?
  7. Joerg


    If we go to Jeff's recent comments on the LBQ re: that it is not about bringing a person back, but restoring the Cosmic Order, then I think it allow us to reframe this question. The question is not about bringing back Talor vs. Arkat. The question becomes: what was necessary to restore the Cosmic Order in each case. First, it was Darkness to counter the excessive shift to Light brought on by Nysalor's birth. In the second case, I think it must be either Life or Harmony to counter the excess of Death and Disorder (or perhaps Laughter to overcome Fear and Hatred?). One thing that Nick Brooke's character Garundyer had to endure during the first run of Rise of Ralios was going on the Lightbringers' Quest twice during the first run of Rise of Ralios. I think Greg's thinking at the time was that you could undergo the real godworld heroquest only once in a given role, but as he had come disguised, his first participation had been as the Flesh Man rather than Orlanth. No idea if that is still anywhere close to the canon, but if so, it might have handicapped Harmast's second endeavor, as his first one quite likely saw him in the role of Orlanth. One thing that Harmast needed to right the world again was a capital H hero who could unite Orlanthi and Westerner forces behind him, now that Arkat had become a troll and worse. Talor was that rallying point. Whether Talor was a character of light I can''t say. Gerlant with his flamesword may have had some Enerali claim to Ehilm. Talor appears to be more of a mystic than Gerlant. In the end, Talor left a powerful chaos curse behind himself, much like Arkat did. I can only assume that Harmast was not amused at either. Argrath Saga makes it look like the quester can ask for a specific boon which the assembled gods of the compromise will grant if it is in their power. Talor may have been the manifestation of that boon rather than the object of Harmast's desire. Another reason why his second attempt was more hardship may have been that Harmast's own "shadow" or HQ rival may have grown in power as an effect of the first LBQ. Jajamokki, right? Sounds like a Bad Dog or something like that to me. Possibly with a dose of Jagrekriand mixed in, as the breaking of the chariot wheel suggests.
  8. Mistress race and dark trolls are evolving into the Grey Ones (the Asgard of Stargate) via . Neotenic features, receding jaw-line, big eyes...
  9. Well, Orlanth is a dolt. And yes, what you describe (male authority without having to listen to the wife, or wives) is an emperor. Slaughtering millions of chaos-worshipers offers a space in a very special Otherworld, methinks. Argrath apotheosizes.
  10. Well, there is Vampire....
  11. Joerg


    Unless it is technology beyond their ken (like giving metal to mesolithic hunters or neolithic farmers), I'd agree on that under normal circumstances. When faced with unfamiliar circumstances (like first exposure to salty sea spray), I might give them a little grief - not enough to de-value the item, but enough to make them spend some effort or resource. I certainly don't game out letting an item in soil corrode away... not any more than having an Eirithan watch the grass grow in a pasture she may have blessed for an extended stay of her herd. Exactly. My comments were directed at giving the GM arguments against detail-obsessed wise-ass players like yours truly. For other ideas, I refer you to Andrew Eldridge's subcult of Chalana Arroy.
  12. That sounds like a limiter ability similar to Ride (for mounted activities) or Martial Arts. Centaurs should have this for their own version of the Parthian Shot. I was going to chime in about how Paris's efforts as archer are described on the raid on the Greek ships, and on how my experience with somewhat strong longbows differs from my experience with the weaker precision sports bow and the "rubber band" LARP "bows" some people may have experience with. I decided to bow out of the debate. How Strike Ranks work in RQG is hard to reconcile with experiences from mock blade combat or archery. The system is not designed to measure the time an action takes or how footwork or movement affect your position in a melee.
  13. Joerg


    My reply would be "yes, but a lot slower". Enchant Metal strengthens the "metal" quality and should make a decay of that harder. This doesn't make them immune from stuff like gorp corrosive liquid (acid only in the sense of "sharp corrosive", not in any Brønstedt or Lewis sense), but gives them more points to wear off, too. Likewise, hammered (as opposed to melted and re-cast) godsbone should retain some of the divine quality of that piece, making it harder to corrode, too. But then, mythic considerations come in here, too. If the corroding force caused the dismembering or death of the previous owner of this bone, it may be just as effective, or even more so.
  14. Joerg


    The patina on bronze is a carbonate/hydroxide in the real world, which means that it can be whittled away by even slightly acid humidity. If you have perfectly dry barrow, bronze objects are going to last quite a long time, but when you dig out remnants of bronze or copper items, you find them through the halo of greenish or blueish corrosion permeating the soil around them unless there is active rot there which will turn the dissolved copper black (sulphides). It is true that iron artefacts are way more prone to rusting away than bronze artefacts. But then, in our world, the oldest copper artefacts are about 10,000 years old, the oldest bronze artefacts about 5,000 years. If you believe Dara Happan calendars, Umath was dismembered about 42,000 years ago. Early Vingkotling artefacts are from about 8,000 years ago. Nochet claims continuity from way before the Lesser Darkness (12,000 years ago). Brass (alloyed bronze from molten bones) would have been available for more than 100,000 years (Lodril's wrestling match), according to the Dara Happans. The bronze items that have been found in digs aren't usually in usable shape - they require painstaking reconstruction to be made look good again, and if you want to do any experiments on strength or durability, you create replicas (the best you can) and test those. I can't think of a single occurrance of grave robbers picking up a bronze weapon from a find to disembowel their unlucky helpers to keep the preciousssss all to their own. Rusted to uselessness doesn't mean that they couldn't be restored, at the very least for ceremonial use (creating a magical link to the original owner and their prowess and possibly magical powers used with these). And however brittle they may be in the mundane world, bringing an authentic weapon to the Other Side may gift you with the weapon at its prime if you enter the right period in the Gods War. And the heroquest reward might be that the weapon retains those properties as you return.
  15. I rather mean to say that each heroquested change will bring a number of collaterals that will affect the world in addition to the change you've wrought. Think of a Rubik's cube - it is impossible to change just one segment of the cube, but you can change two or three by a series of operations. Orlanth's claim to kingship of the universe is based in his ongoing marriage to Ernalda, as far as I understand Glorantha. When Orlanth sent himself into exile, no longer was he king, and his marriage suspended, too. Enough so that he himself became one of the many suitors for Ernalda's temporary favours. (And - unlike Penelope - each of these suitors left her with child, because that's what wooing Ernalda is about. No idea how Penelope avoided pregnancy.)
  16. There is no way that Orlanth can abandon his marriage to Ernalda. Without her, he is no king, not the principal heir of Umath. Maybe you need to find a way for Sedenya to become both husband of Ernalda and wife of Orlanth, in a menage a trois similar to that of Daliath, Framanthe and Sramak(e). Sedenya should have the altering sex down pat. Heler has that role, but not the cosmic importance. Maybe you need to prove Valare Addi's original thesis right?
  17. Oh no, it wouldn't be fun that way. You absolutely need the straight, pious and virtuous Yelm worshiper in that environment. A bit like the minister at the start of Yes, Minister. But then, Sir Humphrey is an administrator, too. Probably somewhat illuminated. Yelmgatha (the Yelmic emperor who was allied with the Goddess while she still walked the Earth) was the epitome of Yelmic achievement. He was one of the most successful emperors in Dara Happan history.
  18. For ducks, breathing is a cheap and quick version of "Summons of Evil" as whatever they do, someone is out there to get at them. There is not that much of a distance between "plucky duck adventurer" and "plucked duck adventurer".
  19. Thanks. Heortland has been my home turf since I started playing in Glorantha, and it is nice to see what of my conclusions of the previously published material remains within the official line. Do I read the first of your map and your description of the origins of the Colymar clan correctly? It appears like the group of Colymar split from the Orshanti following the ascendance of the Red Moon, way before Belintar swam up, and moved to lands just south of the Crossline by 1300. What would the split have been about, how long did it take for the splinter group to move away from the Footprint marches? There wasn't much anyone south of the Crossline could realistically do about the moon, or even to know about what happened underneath it. The discontents of the Black Spear could have left the "business as usual" faction behind, but for a motivation that is quite vague. Leaving in disgust for the rest of the clan deciding to keep to business as usual after Belintar's victory over King Andrin, or then accepting the returned Andrin as the rightful ruler, now that makes immediate sense. It also aligns well with the claim of the second king of the Colymar tribe's grandmother having fought hand to hand with Belintar and the hidden clan, then tribe, knowing about that indicates that the clan cannot have left Kethaela prior to Belintar's arrival. (That's the only argument I can field which requires the Colymar clan to sit and wait until Belintar takes over to cross the line.) Vandarland is a new name. Thunder Rebels gave us the Jondalar Tribe and Jondalings for that region. The two names don't need to contradict one another. How old are these maps? I haven't seen the spelling "Hendreiki" being used since the days of Hero Wars and HQ1. It was introduced in Genertela Book, if I recall correctly, and was favored in "Introduction to the Hero Wars" over the RQ Companion spelling which Greg used in History of the Heortling Peoples and Jeff used in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes. I wonder why the migratory groups failed to support the Volsaxi and migrated onward into Quiviniland. By the time the Kultain and Locaem arrived, the Kingdom of Tarsh was (becoming) the overlord of the Quivini tribes. Is the troll/Kitoi sortie against Whitewall in any way related to he Dragonewts Dream event? It does fall into Sarotar's diplomatic mission(s) to Esrolia, which started a year earlier, but postdated his possible first visit to the Big Rubble.. It looks like this development received Tarkalor's opposition from the outset. Belintar's governor king of Heortland was a Hendriki tribesman in these years, possibly to soothe over the mismanagement of Doragrestol the Lisper. Is it coincidence or meaningful that the last governor king of Heortland died (almost?) exactly 300 years after the last independent Hendriki king of Heortland died (the first time)?
  20. Right, forgot about that. But then, a well-prepared sorcerer could have cast the Dominate spell weeks ago with good duration, and just need to utter the command. Still takes until the end of that melee round for the elemental to attack. I'd still appreciate opinions, house rules or an official ruling on where exactly such a bound and released elemental would form. Does the binding object need to touch the bunch of element? And do your summoned cult spirits require the command rune spell to do what the cultist wants them to do after summoning them?
  21. The Heortland tribes (remember the "Four Large Tribes" mentioned in Genertela Book) don't follow the Orlanth Rex model, but that doesn't mean that they aren't tribes. Both clan and tribe sizes may be on the unusual side, if one looks at the Orshanti clan which appears to have a population easily that of a city confederation in Sartar, or two. Volsaxiland probably inherited this from the invitation King Androrfin established to Alakoringite magicians by 920, and Andrin the Mover who establishes the Dragonbreaker cult among the Hendriki a few years later. No mention of the Rex cult, though. (History of the Heortling Peoples p.75) The Hendriki retain their weird Larnsting kingship. They are something that you would call a tribe nonetheless. But then, the Sartarites used to be called a tribe, too, despite being made up of up to two dozen smaller tribes. And the Colymar tribe included the former triaties/triarchies of Runegate and the Tree Brothers, demonstrating a tribe within a tribe possibility on a much smaller scale. The Adjustment Wars continue the Hendriki kingship and force it upon about half the Esrolians, too. King Finelvanth marks both the height and the end of Adjusted Esrolia and the rulership of the Hendriki tribe. While smaller remnants of Adjustment remain in a number of Esrolian territories and cities, they no longer follow a single king. Rex kingship becomes the norm in the Quivini lands. The first migratory groups after the Colymar (Balmyr, Torkani) and the second wavers (Dundealos, Malani, probably Sambari) appear to come as tribes, too. What kind of tribes is not specified - the Torkani bringing some weird model possibly based on Kitori ways. The Dundealos push the Torkani out of Sambari pass, but migrate on eastward. The Sambari take up the now vacant lands beyond the Balmyr. The Colymar become a tribe in 1335, according to Jalk's Book, which may have set a model for further tribes. By that time, the Malani migratory group has already passed through, in all likelihood including the Tree Brother triaty. Whether they came as a tribe with Mad Blood Malan as their king (as per "Fall of the House of Malan") I will leave open to questioning. There is no date given for the arrival of the Runegate triaty, or what form of kingship they may have had. Possibly Elmali. I always speculated that the split into five clans was a move to make marriage meaningful again among the Colymar - possibly inspired by observing the Runegate and Tree Brother triaties with their marriage rules, and choosing a five-way split to do better than those. The Annmagarn are formed soon afterwards. For a side note, the presentation in the Colymar Adventure Book makes it look like the Varmandi arrived in Ormthane Valley significantly before the Malani migratory group, and it was them who revived the Greenstone Temple (it looks like the great Earth Temples of Sartar all existed prior to the Dragonkill). They may have been a peace clan before being routed from their valley and temple by the Orlevings, but then Old Man Varmand (as I encountered him in Fall of the House of Malan wearing the role of Namold Tree Brother) was portrayed as a tenacious fighter and grudge-holder. But then, he may have taken over and reformed the clan after the Orlevings forced most of them into diaspora, possibly making those unwilling to leave the temple their tenants. On the other hand, the Adventure Book states that the loss of Greenstone temple happened under Varmand's son. This may benefit from some investigation.
  22. The established sequence for releasing a bound spirit and then commanding it back is to use the Command, Control or Dominate spell on the creature in the binding. That way it has no resistance against the spell, and for the duration of the spell the caster of said spell can change the command, including a last minute "return to your binding". If you release your spirit first and then cast your spell to return it, you need to overcome its POW with your own. For the Control Spirit Magic, that requires you to beat it down to zero MP in spirit combat, which requires you to discorporate or otherwise initiate and maintain spirit combat. Rune Magic and sorcery need to overcome the POW of the spirit, Rune Magic with the POW of the caster, sorcery with the MP in the Dominate spell. While the Rune Magic command can earn you a POW check, you risk to lose hold over your spirit (elemental, whatever). One thing that came up (again) in a game this week is how to call your cult spirit elemental into action using the rules as written. (There are ways to house-rule a precedent quite easily, but you'll need to communicate that house rule every time you play with a new set of players. And it won't be the only one.) Summon Cult Spirit can call it in from the other side, allowing you to place it anywhere within sight/150 meters (whichever is less). Only that leaves it without any command what to do (like who to attack), and you may already have spent up to 3 rune points calling it forth. To give it combat instructions requires a Command Cult Spirit rune spell (or some other such magic applicable to the type of the spirit), to overcome its POW with yours (why not your CHA?), for another 2 rune points. And as you can only cast a single rune spell in a melee round, you can't really trap a moving adversary in your Large Earth Elemental unless you have a very good idea where the adversary will be at the end of the next melee round. What you can do with the rules as written is have one character summon the entity and another character of the same cult commanding it in the same melee round. The Earth elemental may start to manifest at SR1, but it can attack only at SR 12, meaning you'll have to predict the trajectory of an unengaged adversary for that melee round. It isn't quite clear where an elemental that you release from a binding object like a crystal will manifest. Does it have to manifest in the location of the binding object, or can it reach out to a sufficient amount of element within (what?) reach? Sorcerers releasing an elemental from a binding can do so easily as fast as rune or spirit magicians. A single intensity is sufficient to affect the entity inside the binding, and additional points can be put into duration if you think it will last long enough to be of service later on. With a spell SR of 2 or 3 the sorcerer can use up to 5 MP and still have the elemental attacking on SR 12. Oh, and one clarification, please: are cult spirit elementals bound to that cult only, or could a Yelmalian use his Yelmalian Command Cult Spirit to control a fire elemental summoned by a Seven Mothers cultist? Does this spell have authority over spirits provided by this cult, or does it give you the ability to command any spirit of that type regardless of its cultic affiliation?
  23. From the look of it, non-tribal Orlanthi are (currently a minority, as many are organized in kingdoms. There is no clear border between (oversized) tribes and kingdoms. A case might be made for the (many!) Orlanthi n Esrolia defying tribal organisation, as they follow the Houses paradigm (sort of autocratic clans rather than tribes, with a hierarchy of client houses etc.). Urban guilds are another possibility for Orlanthi avoiding a direct tribal membership. On the other hands, a guild can be something between a clan or a tribe. There is nothing in Orlanthi society that requires tribes, except external pressure. To be honest, I am quite surprised by the large impact tribal membership has on the self-determination of clans. The clan is the measure of Orlanthi society. It owns (or at least claims) the land, it owns the herds (except for a fraction of personal property), and it owns most means of production. Taken to the extreme, it probably even owns the rags you clad yourself in and the food you consume. Giving the tribal kings some land claim to house tenants on and some pasture and herds to take their income from is fine, and may have been pooled up upon forming (or belatedly joining) the tribe. But I would have expected the clans only to grant usage of land to the tribe. "The tribe" is the king, the tribal temple(s), and the officials (thanes, priests, bodyguard companions) supporting the king and supported by tenants. The tenants supporting these folk by tending to their land are members of their respective clans. I have no idea whether being a tenant of a clan official/temple or a tribal official/temple has any differentiation in status, wealth, or freedom, or in tax burden. And there is a possibility that the kingdom temple may have land or herds with tenants, too. It looks like Apple Lane is a tribal holding (if not a royal Sartarite one). While the campaign is not yet quite there, it will be interesting to see how Argrath is planning to fund his Magical Union warlock-bands in the long term.
  24. Joerg

    Minor holy days

    Given the newly available detail maps for parts of Sartar and for some hamlets, unfortified small settlements seem to dot the landscape. The danger of the place is relative. Like I said above, neighbours of the Telmori are more likely to wall up than neighbours of dragonewts. Wild beasts like the first adversaries in the Varmandi scenario in the Colymar Adventure Book are fairly rare, and a major event The adversaries in the Apple Lane scenario or the inevitable outlaw bands are another problem. But then, out of the way steads make for excellent scenario locations and drama. You find them everywhere - famously e.g. Asborn's stead in Annmagarn/Hiording parts of the Colymar Wilds, or Alebard's Tower, or a certain shamaness' cave southeast of Pegasus Plateau. Isolated steads have economic advantages that balance social disadvantages, and for some families, isolation is a social advantage. Hunter families with a minor farm managed by the non-hunter portion of the family are better located away from the main settlement. Fertile spots too far from the main village can be farmed by a smaller steading or hamlet. The more remote, the less competition for the place inside the clan, allowing a farmer descended from a rather poor family to gain economic liberty it couldn't achieve staying in the tenant's plot. Cat witches don't do too well in the center of a village. Some distance and access to nearby herders may be a better set-up than bearing with all the slander and gossip in town. Bringing in your ancestors is one way to "cheat" the permanent shrine requirements, bringing in local minor divinities and their entourage is another. You might have quite unlikely allies in your earth rites and defense if you live in an isolated clearing of a forest. Pixies and possibly even runners may attend your weekly sacrifices, also for the foodstuff you bring. Orlanth cultists among the herders have the sacred hilltops, yes. Heler cultists can enter the clouds for their rites, or possibly walk on or swim them. Sun worshipers may make use of the horse herds, and involve the stallion or the dominant mare of their herd as participants in their solar rites. And possibly birds. There are other distant pursuits for a clan - resource-gathering panning for metal, digging for gems or high-quality clay, cutting specially-grown branches for purpose carpentry (or barrels, or arrows and javelins, or collecting bast for ropes and seams, or simply for basket-making), collecting truffles, gathering nuts for winter fodder (acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts, hazel), collecting mushrooms, flowers, herbs, roots in the wild for all manner of purposes (medical, flavour, dyeing, scents). It would be interesting to know the exact duties and tithes of tenant farmers. How many side jobs can they get away with?
  25. One recent way of looking at the Gloranthan sky that I have acquired is as an isolating layer from the Ultimate, the Source of all (magic) energy that lies beyond Glorantha. In a way it is part of the Void that surrounds Glorantha, and also its polar opposite. And if you find that illuminating, welcome to the weirdness of the Far Sky realms. Some of the stasis and conservativism of the Sky Gods may be simply a coping mechanism to deal with the insanity that may result from interaction with the Absolute. Illumination... Other entities are drawn here, too. IMO the dragons which left their eggs in Dragon Pass and in Kralorela (and possibly elsewhere in Glorantha) came from here, and left through here. The draconic realms of soul-rendering non-experiences would be adjacent to the Upper Sky, yet further outside than the already remote philosophical realm of Dayzatar. I'll abstain from speculation how much the Lunar way of Illumination extends in this direction. The Red Goddess attempts to maintain an equilibrium hanging low in the Sky, going as far down (and transcendent) as absolute Chaos downward. That leaves all manner of interesting options and operations in that direction, too. Stuff the White Moonies may be about, stuff absolutely lethal to the Yelmic (side of the) Empire. I like the notion that Orlanth's Ring is soaking up these influences on their way back down to Stormgate. It may not be the Underworld, but it can be an even stranger Otherworld. According to old Malkioni sources, Malkion the Prophet and some of his descendants like Yingar the Messenger have a celestial abode and presence, and Malkionism (though not Zzaburism) seeks to link up with this. Outside of the western Sky, there may be some place identifiable as Danmalastan, and beyond that (outward, and closer to the Source) the One World of principles may be found. The Enmal Mountains of Pamaltela and Vithela appear to be transit areas into such an outer world of high energy principles, too. The Kralori combine this with some (rudimentary?) draconic understanding/emoting.
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