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M Helsdon

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M Helsdon last won the day on October 11

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About M Helsdon

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    RQ2, AD&D
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    Proofreader.... on Guide to Glorantha, King of Sartar, HeoQuest: Glorantha. Contributor to The Coming Storm. Etc.

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  1. Sun Dome Temples

    And it's 'finished' at 288 pages. Two draft hardbacks (with much marking up as it was my first opportunity to read it on paper) with two Chaosium staffers; my copy marked up; two draft copies in a box. Bits and pieces may appear in the future. The entire thing? I suspect it wouldn't be commercially viable.
  2. True. When bug hunting, often finding one bug means you overlook those in proximity - a common psychological 'blindness' when reviewing material. This is one of the reasons no one reviewer ever catches everything.
  3. Page 48: earth priestess - should be - Earth priestess Page 48: hell mothers - might be - Hell Mothers Page 54: in a couple examples - should be - in a couple of examples Page 56: Wind children - should be - Wind Children Page 56: dehori (spirits) - debateable, but should probably be shade (elemental) or dehori (elemental) Page 58: storm voices - might be - Storm Voices Page 58: hell mothers - might be - Hell Mothers Page 61: hell mothers - might be - Hell Mothers Page 61: Superior creatures that take their turns like any other creature - should be - Superior creatures that take their turns like any other creature Page 62: (twice) hell mothers - might be - Hell Mothers Page 63: earth priestess - should be - Earth priestess (usage is inconsistent) Page 63: deathlord - should be - Death Lord Page 65: death & heroic returns - this section should probably mention that if a PC is eaten by a Chaos monster then there is no return. They are annihilated from the cosmos. Page 67: your spirit is manifest in the wind, earth, or darkness - should be - your spirit is manifest in the wind, earth, light, water or darkness (might be fair to mention Moon as well). [Edit made] Page 68: heroic return examples - surprising that Fire/Sky is missing. Last page: 13th Age in Glorantha is published by Moon Design Publications - might now be - 13th Age in Glorantha is published by Chaosium (affects subsequent text as well)
  4. Slow read through... Page 44: storm bull berserkers - should be - Storm Bull berserkers Page 46: He says, “It was just as I concluded my speech as said, ‘Together we shall win, by Orlanth!’” - doesn't read well. Perhaps it might read - He says, “It was just as I concluded my speech and said, ‘Together we shall win, by Orlanth!’” Page 47: “Are you ready to change your character forever?” she asks Guy. - should be - “Are you ready to change your character forever?” she asks Guy. Page 47: to faint to be discerned - should be - too faint to be discerned Page 47: The sword attacks, attacking MD - might be - The sword attacks, assaults MD Page 47: who is MD? Page 47: *It’s also worth - should the asterisk be there? Page 48: Lhankhor My - should be - Lhankor Mhy Page 48: (twice) Lhankhor Mhy - should be - Lhankor Mhy Page 49: storm bull berserker - should be - Storm Bull berserker Page 49: (twice) wind lord - should be - Wind Lord Page 50: storm bull berserker - should be - Storm Bull berserker Page 51: (twice) storm bull berserker - should be - Storm Bull berserker Page 51: The second options for the - should be - The second option for the Page 53: impala tribe should be - Impala Tribe Page 53: Lhankhor Mhy - should be - Lhankor Mhy Page 53: sword sage - should be - Sword Sage Page 55: Lhankhor Mhy - should be - Lhankor Mhy Page 57: Storm bull berserkers - should be - Storm Bull berserkers Page 57: Lhankhor Mhy - should be - Lhankor Mhy Page 61: wind lord - should be - Wind Lord Resume Page 54
  5. Results of a quick scan through... General: aldryami/Aldryami - usage varies. Page 47: carry the sword along.”* - asterisk shouldn't be there? Page 48: could a hoard of music-loving - should be - could a horde of music-loving Page 50: For a more subtle complication - might be - For a subtler complication Page 53: headlocked - not a real word. Page 64: (twice) Aldrayami - should be - Aldryami (see comment above). page 80: Godtime - should be - God Time.
  6. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    My information is three or four years old, so it is entirely possible that Sanuel has changed from a personal name to a place name (in Tanisor?) King Rikard the Tiger-Hearted was also an heretical Hrestoli exile from Tanisor, though Mularik met Argrath among Harrek's Wolf Pirates. The regiment of Mularik’s Men consists of iron-clad cataphracti heavy cavalry equipped with kontos and broadsword, supported by sorcerers. Mularik, although a mercenary, is unlikely to have supported the Lunars.
  7. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    I've checked through some Army Lists Jeff authored a few years ago: Sanuel appears in the earliest draft but is later replaced by Mularik.
  8. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    I believe that the name 'Sanuel' is no longer canon, but after the disintegration of King Rikard the Tiger-Hearted's short-lived kingdom following his defeat by Fazzur Wideread in 1620, Hendrikiland and Malkonwal were reorganized by the Lunars into four military districts (Volsaxar, Hendrikar, Gardufar, and Esvular), and the larger cities given Lunar garrisons. At that point various adventurers (in the old meaning, not PCs) would have taken advantage of the opportunities and taken mercenary service with the Lunars. Most such mercenary companies, if Western in origin, would have a sorcerer or two among their number. However, disease spirits are rarely useful in battle, though they can infect troops in camp, weakening units with infection and disease. As they have a tendency to propagate, they are liable to affect besiegers as well, so unless your sorcerer has very effective Control spells, using them is a risk, and may not go down well with allied forces. Tarshite mercenaries are also possible, and as likely as members of the Tarsh Provincial Army. The only light infantry in that would be the 1st Tarshite Light Foot, equipped with javelins, small shield, and kopis swords; this regiment is recruited from around Slavewall and is very similar to Sartarite mercenaries and worship their own tribal gods. They are skilled at suppressing guerilla fighters. Earth elementals. They can shape the earth (but not rock or sand) in almost any way: in warfare they can create pits or ramps, dig tunnels, fill tunnels, or undermine walls. Defenders can use them to topple or bury siege engines. However, as they are so useful, any significant fortifications will employ countermeasures in the form of guardian spirits and spells to strengthen walls against them. Stone walls on stone foundations will counter earth elementals, but depending on the terrain, it isn't always possible to dig down far enough to reach the bedrock, but in this case, (big) earth elementals can be used to form large ramps to allow attackers to storm the walls.
  9. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    In our Ancient World, even in the Bronze Age, logistics was fairly well understood by the more complex military (Egyptian, Hittite, Mycenaean (if Homer is given any credence - a siege, even if not lasting ten years but a campaigning season requires considerable organization) etc.), with relatively long distance campaigns. Command and control, however, remained rudimentary, up until the Modern Era, because the transmission of orders once units (warbands etc.) were engaged was limited to signals from a standard, and trumpet and horns. A general either led from at or near the front, and if not, could only decide when to send the reserves (if any) into the fray. Lunar silver trumpets are mentioned in the boardgame Dragon Pass, though it is likely that they are actually more resilient and cheaper brass trumpets washed with tin, which look silvery. Battle Communication The limitations of communication, by standards, runners, or trumpeters, means that the commands of the general and their staff officers are mostly restricted to directing unengaged units and the reserve. Battlefield communication is rudimentary even in the most disciplined armies. Before battle, orders can also be sent by the passing of verbal messages through the ranks, though this is prone to error and being interrupted, or by heralds. In battle, trumpets can be used to send various signals, but the most important, to be obeyed without hesitation are – to charge, halt, pursue, and to retire. These instruments can be used to transmit information back to the general – such as the sighting of enemy forces. Each regiment has its own specific calls, so that a general, or its own commander, can convey specific instructions. The notes of war horns and trumpets are recognizable across wide distances on the battlefield. The Standard Standards are held in awe as potent symbols of the honor of the unit. A regimental standard is inhabited by the guardian spirit, wyter or genius of the regiment. Each company (or equivalent) of a regiment usually has a lesser standard which carries a lesser spirit. The assembled company wyters or genii are celebrated and worshipped, in addition to the regimental spirit. The standard is important as a recognition symbol and rallying point, and a means of communication in battle. A trumpet or horn blast is often used to draw the attention of the troops to the standard which then directs the action to be taken. The standard-bearer lowers, raises, waves, or make some other motion with the standard to indicate or direct the movement, tactic or formation to be employed. Bits and pieces about Heroes, derived from the article in WF#15: Heroes Heroes have a particular impact on warfare. Some are demigods; their fighting prowess is considerable, enhanced by their band of personal followers, and the magical weapons with which they are armed. Some Heroes are great war-leaders, others are great warriors and some are both. They provide inspirational leadership to their own troops, and bring terror to their enemies. Often Heroes will cross the battlefield, regardless of the situation, to confront and fight against opposing Heroes. Their victory or defeat will have a major impact upon the outcome of the entire battle. A Hero is often accompanied by their own warband, personal followers of whom some are almost Heroes themselves. Heroes often acquire powerful magical items, especially weapons, to augment their mortal strength and abilities. The impact of such an individual and their followers on a battlefield is enormous. Their fighting prowess is immense, especially considering that they are armed with magical weapons (a rarity in the world) and fighting against ordinary men. Many regiments will give way when confronted with a Hero, even those famed for discipline and experience. Those who hold are in danger of being cut to ribbons. The Hero and their band more than equal any normal opponent, and their seeming lack of fatigue allows them to cut their way through their foes at their leisure. More important than any of this is the simple presence and aura of the Heroes. This, their individual souls, is what makes them worth regiments.
  10. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    A short snippet from a longer essay on fortifications. Hill-Forts Large ancient hill-forts are found throughout Dragon Pass. In peacetime, they serve as religious, economic and political centers; in wartime, they provide defensive strongholds. The Vingkotlings were the first people to build these fortifications (though some claim that the entirety of Dragon Pass and its surrounds display the remnants of a huge divine ‘hill-fort’), and several are known from that era. Some are now abandoned but are often visited, since they are the best sites for commencing many Heroquests. Others are now obscured by the settlements of later history. The demigod Vingkotlings raised huge earthworks. Most are made of earth, and even the ones that were made by scooping out a hill instead of raising a mound appear to be man-made. They vary in diameter from Vingkot's Fort, which is over four miles, to twelve that are over a mile wide, and many others that are a quarter to half a mile wide. The latter are most numerous and date to the Storm Age. Traditional Heortling hill-forts combine rude but rugged defensibility with a plan spiraling out in homage to Orlanth. Some are built upon, or within, the remains of the ancient Vingkotling forts. They employ ditch and rampart defenses with a palisade, with the most prestigious having timber-laced stone walls, which may be faced with dry-stone walling. Some boast multivallate earthworks, with several banks and ditches surrounding the innermost walls, intended to hinder and disorder an assault, rendering the attackers vulnerable to missiles and magic cast by the defenders stationed at the inner walls. Many hill-forts make use of terrain to enhance their defenses. Towers similar to a broch in construction are sometimes found on the walls or at the center of a fort. Some feature a stone-built citadel or fortified hall set within an enclosure or sited on a raised platform or natural outcrop. Hill-forts are effective at deterring or holding off attacks by neighbors and nomads who lack sophisticated siege engines or the time to starve the defenders into surrender. As a hill-fort will hold much of the clan or tribal stores, and outlying farms will attempt to drive their livestock within its walls, attackers must bring their supplies with them. As a gateway is the main weakness in any defenses, attackers will concentrate upon attempting to break in by setting it afire or using a makeshift ram. The gateways of a hill-fort are rarely as complex as those of a city. They are often inset in a stone-lined passageway that enables defenders to enfilade the attackers on three sides; in conjunction with earthworks in front of the gateway these also serve to ensure that the assailants are vulnerable for as long as possible before they can attempt to storm the entrance.
  11. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    I suspect it depends very much on the thickness and layers. Experiments of shooting arrows at leather, tend to show that two layers will hinder penetration. Arrows are most effective against unarmoured targets, which is one of the reasons why javelins and throwing spears became more 'popular', as depending on the head they can penetrate armour. Even in medieval times, battering rams were often protected by 'sheds' covered by hides. Suspect it is because the Assyrian artisans had little to no concept of perspective, but as with other scenes wanted to portray a sense of depth. In your first image, the siege engine seems to have a distinct dome atop its turret, suggesting that it was a real feature. Can only suppose that the turret was used to help line up the siege engine, as once it started being rolled forward there was no obvious means of steering it - and being in the turret when the engine was at the wall would be hazardous...
  12. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    Given the source, which provides very little detail, I suspect the dome is hide stretched over a frame. The Assyrians may well have prefabricated some of their siege engines. Having spent several hours over many years wandering the Assyrian galleries at the British Museum, I've always felt that the artisans carved with a fair degree of accuracy things they had seen for themselves (soldiers, chariots, cavalry) but things they hadn't seen for themselves were always a bit 'off'. This siege engine looks like something described to the artists, but which they hadn't seen for themselves. There are similar issues with the warships and ships shown sailing from Tyre... Connolly and McBride were both superb artists, but their reconstructions of the siege engine differ in scale and in detail, which is telling.
  13. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    Angus McBride's version of an Assyrian siege. I doubt anyone would invest a hill-fort using such engines.
  14. Sieging a Heortling Hill-Fort

    Peter Connolly's reconstruction of the Trojan Horse as a Bronze Age ram. His The Legend of Odysseus is a children's book, but something anyone interested in Bronze Age warfare should have.
  15. Towers

    Last week was not good in the real world and I decided to avoid problems in 'social media'.