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jajagappa

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    Glorantha since 1982; ran RQ2/RQ3 campaign in Imther for ~10years; actively running HQG & RQG campaigns; published fanzine New Lolon Gospel; contributor to Tales of the Reaching Moon, Enclosure, Codex; advisor/reviewer for multiple RQG books.
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    GM: HeroQuest Glorantha - PbF Colymar campaign. RuneQuest Glorantha - PbF Dragon Pass campaign
    Player: RQG - PbF Borderlands
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    aka Harald.

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  1. John Hughes wrote a lot of Heortling skaldic poetry for his Far Place material. You can find it here: https://myth-o-logic.org/glorantha/gloranthan-fiction/heortling-skaldic-poetry/
  2. Yes, that would work well.
  3. From Jeff's recent FB post on the topic: One of the more beloved minor cultures among many players are the Aeolians - sorcery-using Orlanthi or Orlanth-worshiping Malkioni that live in the south of Heortland. Now it is worth keeping in mind that there are somewhere around 50k Aeolians in total, maybe more, maybe less. That puts the total number of Aeolians at around the size of five Sartarite tribes. Now that puts some big limitations on them - the other is that they are in contact with the God Forgot "atheists", who also number about 50k. These two are separate communities and religions, even if they are often conflated together by other Kethaelans. > If we assume that less than 5% of the adult population have learned sorcery, there might be 1500 people with sorcery skills among the Aeolians. For comparison, there might be 1000 Lhankor Mhy initiates with some sorcery skills in all of Sartar. But Nochet might have twice that many Lhankor Mhy initiates that know sorcery, probably more. > I tend to think of the Aeolians as being roughly analogous to the Druze or Yazidi. They are an ethnoreligious group that are always a minority outside of their strongholds. > As an aside, I do not believe that the Aeolians try to convert anyone. I am not sure they even accept converts!
  4. Part 2 on the Heortland invasion posted by Jeff on FB plus some of his additional notes. The invasion of 1619, part 2 By the end of Sea Season, the Lunar invasion of the Holy Country had stalled outside the walls of Karse. After being nearly destroyed in a Lunar assault, Smithstone had been retaken by Esrolian and Malkonwal forces. Whitewall remained free; worse yet, control over the Crimson Bat was lost and the Bat was last seen flying over the Mirrorsea Bay. The Lunar Army's Sartarite and Sun Dome Templar mercenaries had fled or even switched sides. Fazzur took direct oversight to correct the situation. First, he rallied disorganized Lunar units near Smithstone that had old from the Bat, and pulled much of the Lunar Army outside of Karse back towards Smithstone. The Cavalry Screen was used to clear the Marzeel north of Smithstone. With some 8000 soldiers, Fazzur retook Smithstone from its Esrolian and Malkonwal defenders and fortified the position against Malkonwal counter attacks. Then the Red Moon turned and the fortunes of the Lunar Army began to wax again. A Wolf Pirate fleet was spotted in the Mirrorsea Bay, and Caladraland agents reported that the Ditali were preparing for war. The Caladraland mercenaries in Karse made private arrangements to flee by boat while they still could and did so. The Wolf Pirates brought with them Lunar soldiers from Prax - the Granite Phalanx and Silver Shields - and the Lunars made a two-prong assault on Karse. Losses were high on both sides, but in the end, Karse fell (although most of the Esrolian army escaped and returned to Nochet). Fazzur ordered Karse to be spared pillaging. The Wolf Pirates, feeling betrayed, withdrew from the Mirrorsea Bay. Lunar agents reached out to the Queendom of Jab and encouraged the scorpion people to attack Malkonwal. The Warlord Rikard was forced to withdraw from the conflict around Smithstone to confront the Chaos threat. Lunar agents also encouraged internal dissension within Malkonwal. By the end of the campaign season of 1619, Karse fully under Lunar control, Malkonwal was rent with internal dissension and a serious chaos threat from the Queendom of Jab, and the Esrolia and Caladraland armies were back in their homelands as insurance against the Western Barbarians. Only Whitewall held out in northern Heortland, besieged by a Lunar screen. Q: So it was Wolf Pirates, not Lunar-crafted ships, that enabled to convey from Corflu! Either Harrek’s hate of the Empire bows to his business interests, or was it independent captains? A: yes Greg revealed to me that it was Wolf Pirates not Lunar-crafted ships that enabled the convoy from Corflu. Harrek already hated the Lunar Empire (and hated their leaders, priestesses, and goddess), but the offer was too great for him to turn down - the right to sack and pillage Karse (a rich trading city) and mastery over the Mirrorsea Bay. Instead, Fazzur decreed that Karse would not be pillaged (he had goals of his own) and the Wolf Pirates were left empty-handed. After that Harrek rejected any offer from any Lunar or that would aid the Empire. And harming the Lunar Empire became a treasure for him as valuable as gold or silver. Q: So the crimson bat attacks whitewall in 1619? not 1620 as stated in the Sartar Companion ? A: correct. When I wrote the Sartar Companion materials, Greg no longer had access to his detailed information about the Whitewall campaign (it went missing around 1991 or so) so we had to rely on summaries and notes. However a few years ago, a box filled with Greg's most important notes on Dragon Pass - thought long lost - showed up at Greg's place shortly before his death, courtesy of an act of great kindness. Greg sent the contents to me to incorporate into RQ. So you'll be seeing lots of that stuff in the Sartar Book, Cults Book, and everything else. Those pictures on this post is from the series of military campaign maps Greg made of the campaign, probably around 1979 or so.
  5. Jeff on the Invasion of Heortland with maps. The Invasion of 1619, part 1 The Lunar Empire had never stopped eyeing the richer lands of the Holy Country to the south. But their failure at the Building Wall Battle in 1605 had made them cautious, so when they moved southward they went after great preparations. Wilmskirk, a city subject to the Empire, was the primary storage area, and it collected grain reserves for years. The army also moved there over the winter of 1618. The initial army numbered more than 25,000 troops, including Sartarite and Tarshite mercenaries, and dragonewts who had been obtained at incredible price. The army was divided into four sections, each with objectives and duties: The Cavalry Screen, commanded by Sor-eel the Short The Vanguard, commanded by Jomes Wulf The Advance Foot, commanded by Jorad Sideburn The Main Army, commanded by Fazzur Wideread The army first units departed Roadend and Wilmskirk in Sea Season 1619. The Vanguard cavalary reached Whitewall, and discovered that Broyan was already prepared, with the local militia mustered and gathered in Whitewall, which was well stocked and supplied. An attempt to take Whitewall by assault failed, and after losing some 1500 soldiers, Fazzur realized that Broyan had concentrated everything he has on the defense of the ancient fortress. Fazzur leaves a detachment of mercenaries, magicians, hoplites, and cavalry to stay and besiege Whitewall, and the rest of the army headed south. Upriver of Smithstone, the Lunar Army needed to cross the raging the Marzeel River. However, the initial assault on Smithstone failed, and the Lunars lost another 700 soldiers. The main army assaulted Smithstone at high cost, but was successful. Karse was another matter. The defense of the city was fanatical and Fazzur ordered several assaults, but despite terrible losses to the dragonewts, the city held. Fazzur realized that the city was being reinforced by Esrolians using every boat that the Holy Country could muster. The Lunars reinforced their siege of Whitewall with Sun Dome and Sartarite mercenaries, but the reinforcements were attacked by Esrolians with troll aid. The Sartarites were defeated and routed and the Sun Dome Templars surrendered after a long fight. Their surrender and ransom was arranged. The Crimson Bat was later seen approaching the city of Whitewall. The Sun Dome Templars aggred to help defend the city with the Whitewall garrison and Esrolians. King Broyan and his household thanes and rune masters (including Kallyr Starbrow and Leika Blackspear) all launch an attack by teleporting themselves atop the Bat and slaughtering the priests there. They suffered terrible losses and Broyan was incapacitated by a Mind Blast, but his right-hand companion killed the High Priest of the Crimson Bat. The Bat lost control and did not attack Whitewall and flew off to the south. The defenders were triumphant. In the south, a massive build-up in Karse by both Lunars and Esrolians. At Smithstone, the Esrolians made a desperate assault on the Lunar forces in Smithstone. They managed to breach the already shattered walls and some of them entered the city, but it was too late, for the Crimson Bat appeared and dropped on the them and devoured hungrily. Most of the Esrolians were slain or scattered in all directions. Even the Lunars were devoured by the Bat whose hunger knew no national differences. In the evening, Malkonwall troops arrived outside of Smithstone, and they saw the Crimson Bat flying away southward. The city was held only by a few Esrolians, and their scouts also saw an enemy column fleeing southward. But the Malkonwal cavalry cannot catch them before nightfall stops pursuit. >You can see there was some coordination or at least cooperation between the Volsaxi, Malkonwal, and Esrolia. >As is clear, the Sea Season campaign was a bloody mess at the start. But some interesting alliances going on. >Some say it was Starbrow who cut down the High Priest; others claim it was the Black Spear. Q: Did Queen Hendira send volunteers or mercenaries to aid Broyan and were there Esrolians (and trolls?) inside Whitewall or out in the countryside? A: both. But the main Esrolian focus was Karse. Some 8000 soldiers defended the city, most were Esrolians and Caladralanders. Q: So Queen Hendira, leader of the Red Earth Alliance, supported Broyan against the Lunars…Any hint as to why she did so? A: because she was the ruler of one of the Sixths. once the Lunars won, Hendira pragmatically allied with the Lunars. After all they won.
  6. Some of Jeff's FB notes on events in Holy Country, particularly Heortland, post-Belintar. Post-Belintar When Belintar died and did not return in 1616, the Holy Country quickly fell apart as a unified kingdom. As not one but two Tournaments of the Masters of Luck and Death failed to produce a successor, the local rulers of the Sixths quickly spun off and charted their own course, although they remained in contact with each other. In most of the Sixths, the local rulers managed to hold onto their authority - for example, Hendira managed to rule Esrolia from Nochet, the talars kept control of the God Forgot Islands from Talar Hold, etc. However, in Heortland, the ruler of the semi-autonomous Volsaxi tribe (Broyan of Whitewall) proclaimed himself the ruler of the new Hendriki tribe, which encompassed all of northern Heortland. Meanwhile, in Durengard, Rikard the Tiger-hearted, a Malkioni adventurer from the Castle Coast and his mercenaries proclaimed the existence of the Kingdom of New Malkonwal. This was a largely peaceful coup (imagine something like Baldwin of Boulogne's takeover of Edessa), and Rikard had the support of the Aeolings. Because his retinue was small, Rikard needed to use diplomatic skills to maintain that support, and married the daughter of a leading Aeolian noble family, and encouraged his retainers to do the same. Rikard managed to procure the service of bands of Malkioni mercenaries fleeing from the growing power of Tanisor. Rikard and Broyan indecisively skirmished over control of central Heortland, but this became quickly irrelevant when the Lunar Army invaded Heortland in 1619. Northern Heortland was quickly overrun (with only Whitewall holding out), and Rikard was defeated in 1620. A thousand romantic tales have come out of the short-lived Kingdom of Malkonwal, spread by both Orlanthi and Malkioni poets. Ironically, it seems Rikard the Tiger-hearted was more far successful as poetic figure than he was as an adventurer. > Broyan, Hendira, and Rikard all cooperated against the Lunar invasion. But they also viewed each other as rivals. > After the Building Wall Battle, they [the Lunars] knew the Holy Country had a lot of power. First they spent a decade plotting to eliminate Belintar as a spirit. They brought the Field College of Magic, the Crimson Bat, Praxian mercenaries, Sartarite mercenaries, Sun Dome mercenaries, and even Dragonewt mercenaries, as well as Provincial and Heartland troops. They attacked at the weak point of post-Belintar Kethaela - Heortland, which was torn into two, instead of attacking Esrolia like in 1605. And they managed to secure Wolf Pirate assistance. Even then, the invasion of 1619 was a very near run thing until the end. > Maybe they should have expected the local gods would be a little more involved.
  7. Jeff's recent post on FB regarding: the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death: In the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death, participants traveled the secret pathways of the Hero Plane that tied the Holy Country together. They defined and named the powers of each Sixth, and allied with such powers as they could and obtained magical weapons and treasures. Thus armed, they engaged in magical (and physical) contests with the other contestants and with the contestant's own Shadow. This replicates the magical battles of Belintar, with each contestant magically identifying with and experiencing Belintar's experiences, and with the final victor invoking Belintar as an additional subtle body (as Mister Bondaru wrote about). In the end, the victor of the tournament IS Belintar, but also still themself. Although there are analogies to the Red Emperor, this is a very different process than how a new Red Emperor is recognized. The Tournament replicates in the Hero Plane the key mythic moments of the original contests and struggles of Belintar - which the contestants experience but IN THEIR OWN manner. This is not a rote repetition of Belintar's thamauturgical battles, but a re-experiencing of them, with the same lack of knowledge, lack of script, and creative possibilities. And it should also be remembered that both Sartar and Tarkalor participated in these contests, as did several other members of the Sartar Dynasty, and other notables (such as Broyan of Whitewall if I recall). This magical experimentation and experience had a significant influence on the Orlanthi of Sartar, and may constitute one of the key reasons (along with Argrath's incredibly diverse personal magical experiences culminating in the circumnavigation of the world) why they were able to contest with the Lunar Empire on equal terms in the Hero Wars. > One of the really amazing magical things about the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death is that each time it is held, the Holy Country is magically remade through its contests. Gods and spirits are again named, and perhaps with more relevant and pertinent titles, old alliances reforged and new alliances made. Each time Belintar is invoked by the winner and the Holy Country's magic and proximity to the divine realm restored. > One more important thought - if the tournament kicks you out, you lose but you still gain insight and experiences which you can carry with you. So you didn’t become the incarnation of the Holy Country, but there are consolation prizes. Q: Did Belintar create entirely new rituals, or rely (at least in part) on existing hero paths? A: Belintar did not recycle. He created. > Belintar is a very enigmatic figure and there are many misconceptions around him. Perhaps the best way to get an idea about Belintar is to participate in the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death and to try to understand what takes place and what the goal is. Without cheap cynicism or Procopius style secret histories.
  8. That event occurs in a scenario, Return to Apple Lane, in the HQG book Sartar Companion. Those playing the above-mentioned scenario could have helped Gringle escape - in which case he could have gone anywhere. Based on the Adventure Seed in the Adventurer's Book, it suggests he made it to Nochet. But he was already old, so if he did escape, does he still live? Unless someone develops a scenario with him as a character, he will likely remain a loose end for GM's to do with as they please.
  9. Generally yes as it ties to the finale of Borderlands which occurs in 1616. You could readily adjust for any time between 1613 (all the RQ Classics start after Starbrow's Rebellion) and 1620 though (before the Great Winter).
  10. Just have to pull the lever and try a few buttons, or move the hands on the great clock forward.
  11. Btw, for Balazar events, Wyrms Footnotes #15 has a few noted in the Army Activity tables, specifically: Tusk Rider raids in: 1602, 1611, 1614 Praxian raids in: 1607 Elkoi warriors could have joined Tarsh in the following events: Stinkwood (i.e. Tusk Rider) invasions in: 1606, 1609 Elkoi warriors or Yelmalions from Balazar could have been hired as skirmishers for any Lunar Tarsh campaign. The main date in Griffin Mountain is 1564 when the Lunars take Elkoi and Bykotus becomes King. At some point Glyptus, probably mid- to late-40s as of 1616, became King (perhaps ~1600?). You could probably fit one generation in between him and Bykotus. Yalaring Monsterslayer is 31 in 1616. Presumably conquered Trilus in the period 1610-1615 (I'd suggest pre-1613). Overthrew the Gadaringer dynasty. Let the Lightbringers into Trilus - these are likely refugees/exiles from Starbrow's Rebellion and reach Balazar ~1614 after some time wandering. Skilfil Heartpiercer is 40 in 1616. His wife died 10 years before. His eldest children (Starnia, Eucleia) though are in early 20s. He probably came to the throne in his early 20's, so late 1590's. Probably feasts and celebrations in the citadels when new kings took the thrones.
  12. I don't believe anyone has done anything formal yet for Balazaring background. One of the players in my Colymar Campaign runs a Balazaring Yelmalion though so I had to come up with some background material for him. The following is explicitly for a citadel dweller in Balazar (vs. the nomadic hunter-gatherers). Hopefully it is of some use though it doesn't have much development of explicit background events. Homeland: Balazar (citadel) Starting Passions: Love (family): 60% Loyalty (temple): 60% (e.g. Sun Dome Temple) Loyalty (citadel): 60% (e.g. Elkoi) Rune Modifier: Fire +10% Homeland Skills/Weapons: Skills: Swim +10%, Dance + 5%, Sing +10%, Speak Own (Balazaring) (50), Speak Other (Tradetalk) +10%, Customs (Balazaring) (25), Herd +10%, Track +15%, Survival +10%, Hide +10%, Move Quietly +10%, Spirit Combat +15% Weapons: Dagger +15%, 1H Battle Axe +15%, 1H Spear +15%, Composite Bow +15% or Sling +15%, Javelin +10% Relevant Occupations: Apprentice Shaman, Bandit, Crafter (in citadel), Healer (in citadel), Herder (in citadel), Hunter, Scribe (in citadel), Warrior (light infantry - in citadel) Light Infantry - Balazaring Sun Dome Scan +10%, Battle +30%, First Aid +15%, Listen +10%, Hide +10%, Move Quietly +10%, Survival +10% Unit Weapons: Javelin +25%, 1H Spear +25%, Medium Shield +25% Other Weapon: 2H Spear +25% Dagger: +15% He gets this Equipment Linothorax (3 pt. protection), cuirboilli greaves and vambraces (3 pt. protection), composite helm (3 pt. protection), his weapons, 1D3 notable scars (if desired), sleeping roll, traditional Balazaring clothing, war booty worth 2d100 L Yelmalio Cult Lore (Yelmalio) +15%, Worship (Yelmalio) +20%, Meditate +5%, Area Lore (Balazar) +15%, Speak Other (Tradetalk) +20%, Sing +10%, Devotion (Yelmalio) starting at 60% (or +10%), Honor starting at 60% (or +10%) add +20% to one of the above and +15% to a second. He gets 5 points of Spirit Magic. He can choose from: Coordination (2 pt), Detect Gold (1 pt), Farsee (variable), Lantern (1 pt), Light (1 pt), Lightwall (4 pts), or Repair (variable) He gets 3 Rune Points to start. He can use these to cast Common Rune Spells or to Special Rune Spells that he has specifically sacrificed for. Yelmalio only has two special rune spells: Catseye and Sunbright. You can include both on his list of Rune Magic. He gets a Gift and its corresponding Geas from Yelmalio. Roll 1d10 for the Gift and 1d100 for the Geas to see what Teron has. (and depending on the Gift, he may need a 2nd and/or 3rd Geas) ------------------------------------------------ The player just mapped out a rough background where he was a citadel dweller whose parents were pig-herders, and subsequently Lunar slaves. The character escaped to Dykene, and joined Yelmalio temple there. The citadels with Yelmalio temples are Elkoi (which was ruled by Lunar Empire and where he was a slave) and Dykene in the far east of Balazar. There's an annual caravan between the two temples. The player drafted the following for background: He worked as a slave in Elkoi for five years, developing a deep hatred for Lunars, as well as a fear of aberrant creatures of chaos (due to events that he has repressed from memory). His cleverness gave him better treatment than many slaves, and he learned a fair amount, but he always hated his status. At age 15 (or thereabouts) he managed to escape Elkoi. He lived in the wilds well enough until he found his way to Dykene. There he managed to stay alive by doing odd jobs, hunting, gathering, etc. He hung around the small but disciplined group Sun Dome Temple spearmen, and developed a keen admiration for their candor, honor, and fairness. He’d imitate their training when no one was around, often going out into the woods to do so. At this time he swore his devotion to Yelmalio, Mercenary God of the Winter Sun and Lord of the Last Light. Trouble began brewing in Balazar, and, lured by the promise of fame and fortune, he joined a mercenary unit (little better than a militia), which had been hired to supplement the crown for a war against Elkoi and its diminishing Lunar presence. During this time, he tried creating a variety of tough-sounding nicknames, but none ever stuck, since he was so young. He fought in several skirmishes and one battle before the failed siege of Elkoi. During this siege, his militia captain deliberately led his troops to the slaughter in order to pocket more of the mercenary fees he’d collected from the king of Dykene. Teron escaped this fate as he was off hunting for provisions, but he overheard the mercenary leader gloating about it, and he hated the mistreatment of the soldiers. To Teron’s gratification, shortly afterward the mercenary leader choked on a goose bone and died, which Teron credits to Yelm’s vengeance. After the war and the Lunars’ withdrawal from Balazar, Teron continued as a mercenary. One fateful day, he hired on with a caravan, which made an unexpected side trip to Elkoi. Once he found out, he did not want to back out, because doing so would require him to reveal his status. Instead, he hoped that he would be able to pass his time there unnoticed. Unfortunately, he stumbled into one of his former owners in Elkoi, who demanded his immediate return. He escaped the area before he was forced back into slavery. With word of his status now revealed, he quickly laid a false trail, spreading word of his intent to return to the safety of Dykene, with a possible flight to the wilds around Griffin Mountain if need be. The deception in place, he headed to Dragon Pass, pushing westward deeper into Lunar territory (where no one would expect an escaped slave to run). Finally reaching Sartar (safely outside of Lunar control), he tried to fit in, but Baranthos, the Chieftain of the Ernaldori clan, refused him admittance. Instead, he had to make his living on the fringe of society. He got by as a mercenary... really, not much more than a hard-luck vagrant with a spear. He wanted to go further south to see the massive Sun Dome Temple of which he had heard, but had no funds and no idea of where to go. I noted: Elkoi in Balazar is in Lunar hands from 1563-1622. The Great Winter approaches but does not cover Balazar (would have been strange winds all year though coming down from the north-northeast) Now there certainly could be a failed siege of Elkoi by the Kings of Trilus and Dykene somewhere in the 1617-23 period. Maybe best in 1621-3, roughly 3-4 years ago, possibly coinciding with the Great Winter. If Teron escapes to Dragon Pass, then most likely in 1623 after the Great Winter - perhaps has heard that conditions are better there again. He reaches Clearwine somewhere in 1623. Clearwine is both the center of the Ernaldori clan and the Colymar tribe. He's not granted clan membership as he's not an Orlanthi. But in the wake of the losses of the Great Winter, additional hands are welcomed generally in Clearwine even though the Lunar presence via King Kangharl and the nearby Lunar slave farm is still felt. Why does he stay in Clearwine and not go on to the Sun Dome Temple? As an initiate he would usually want to go there to participate in rituals and services so that he could renew his rune magic (if he has any)? The next closest Yelmalio temple is a good ways to the north in Alda-Chur among the Far Point tribes. One possibility is that he did go there, but was rejected as a backwater primitive by the Lord of the Sun Dome. Clearwine would be the closest town to then settle in. But would he have tried to still go to the Sun Dome Temple to meet at least his annual obligations to his deity?
  13. I agree. It will be far more in the way of long-term priestly rituals meant to support the nobles and the community at large. If there is a place that fits for the lonely Swords and Sorcery style sorcerer, I'm thinking it's the Orathorn mages on the edge of Pent, or perhaps some sort of sorcerous guilds in Fonrit.
  14. As you note, Narangros seems to be a mythological collection of foes (i.e. the Bad Dogs). I don't believe this is ever a "cult", but a set of masks that are worn by enemies during rituals. The mask/role could be taken on by Canis Chaos, Hell Hounds, Gagarth, Jajagappa, Hyena, Kang Rowl the Slinker, or even the neighboring Grey Dog clan.
  15. I'll note that while I put together the base map and background material, this is not my project.
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