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dumuzid

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Everything posted by dumuzid

  1. dumuzid

    Illumination

    My RQ:G character illuminated towards the end of my group's last session. He'd had several brushes with dragonewts, a dream dragon, Argrath, and it all culminated in achieving Draconic enlightenment in a Storm Age dragonewt meditation chamber, during the Sacred Time of 1627-28. The same character underwent initiation to the direct cult of Arachne Solara during the same Sacred Time. How does Illumination change this character on a moral and interpersonal level? Before Illumination their personality was built around the interplay of the Darkness, Harmony and Movement runes, driven by devotion to Argan Argar, their family and their community in roughly that order. None of that went away with illumination. Realizing that all the world is a dream has so far simply meant that the character has a more profound respect for others, dissasociated elements of the one dreamer, sharing the one dream. He was an inveterate foe of Chaos before Illumination, not out of hate so much as pity and revulsion for what Chaos does to those it corrupts. Illumination would seem to have only intensified that pity, while lessening the revulsion, as the character comprehends how unnecessary the suffering of the Chaos-tainted is. Illumination has fundamentally changed the character's relationship with the gods. Now that he better understands the limitations their current mode of existence places on the gods, he is more willing to transgress strictures and taboos in order to succeed at higher-order goals. Those goals all revolve around advancing the health and prosperity of their community though, the character was not psychologically defined by a revenge quest before illumination, so the stripping away of cultural relativism has not, so far, resulted in their descending into sociopathy. Robert Caro once wrote that power itself doesn't corrupt, it simply reveals who a person was all along. If simply being freed from cultural taboos and divine retribution made Argrath, Sheng Seleris and other similar illuminates into monsters, that is probably a reflection of something in their personal characters rather than a quality intrinsic to illumination.
  2. depends on the kind of spirit. some have their full CHA worth of spirit magic, some have only limited selections. what sort of being is it?
  3. The thing I like least about the 'expected' shape of the fourth age, even more than the end of magic and the severing of people from the gods, is that the elder races seemingly die out by the time the Harshax are re-inventing the written word and trying to understand the Hero Wars. My favorite development in the RQ:G game in which I'm a player is the player characters' creation of a new Earth+Darkness complex in southern Dragon Pass, a place founded on Earth magic and protected by Darkness, which harmonizes and regulates the other elements in defense of the Earth. It's a community deliberately patterned on Silver Age Esrolia, home to a bewilderingly varied array of people (humans from several cultures, dark trolls and free trollkin, green elves, beastmen, the occasional duck) and dominated by the spiritual presences of Ernalda and Argan Argar. It unites powers and approaches that haven't been harmonized in quite this way since the First Age, before Nysalor and the Bright Empire. I've grown convinced that one of the reasons the Hero Wars go so badly out of control, and result in what seems to me such a terrible outcome (the end of magic and non-human sentience) is that Argrath takes on more roles from the Greater Darkness than he should, while lacking a few crucial ones entirely. In 1626 he's well-positioned to embody Storm Bull in the Darkness, the power that faces the Devil personally in the ultimate battle, but after kings Broyan and Kallyr each die while attempting to embody Orlanth he takes on their role too, and tries to be both the Storm King who cements the Compromise and the Storm Bull who meets the Devil horn to horn. Even if he weren't mythically straining himself already by trying to be both Orlanth Lightbringer and Storm Bull of the Eternal Battle, this formula for re-enacting the Greater Darkness and defeating the Devil lacks a key ingredient: the Unity Battle. The victory of Glorantha over Chaos in the Greater Darkness hung on at least three points: Orlanth's quest into the Underworld, Storm Bull's battle with the Devil in Prax, and the Unity Battle where the last remains of the mortal world gathered together against the last Chaos horde, fought it, and won. From what we know of the later Hero Wars, Argrath tries to add the Unity hero to his roles, bringing together an empire of Prax, Esrolia and Sartar to fight the Lunars over Tarsh and the southern provinces, but ultimately fails. The Red Emperor raises a victory stele in Boldhome, Argrath is forced to flee with his companions to Broyan's Hall in the Otherworld, and the only way he gets the Empire's boot off Sartar is by bringing Sheng Seleris back into the world. Sheng eats the Red Emperor, replaces him, and is replaced in turn by the apocalyptic Monster Empire, probably led by Ralzakark. As we know, Argrath's final moves in the Hero Wars are to complete Orlanth's Lightbringers Quest in a way that ends with garroting all the gods save possibly Eurmal, before he calls several True Dragons to rend the moon apart. The post-apocalyptic world is left to recover sans gods, sans magic, and apparently sans elder races, until the Devil comes swinging through in another 600 years. When you look at the state of the world now, I reckon the Devil probably, finally wins at the end of the 4th age. I think the first step towards thwarting that outcome is lightening Argrath's load. Obviously having his coterie of hero-companions wasn't enough, even when he delegates responsibilities to them they're still his responsibilities that he's delegating. There needs to be a Storm King, separate from Argrath, who'll abandon the mundane struggles of the Hero Wars to venture out on the Lightbringer's Quest with a few companions, as Orlanth did. There needs to be a Unity Hero to assemble and coordinate the Middle World struggle long after the Storm King departs on their quest. There needs to be a Storm Bull stomping the bounds of Prax, keeping the powers of the desert alive and in readiness to face the Devil himself in the final battle, after the Unity Army vanquishes his horde. For the Glorantha in which my group's game takes place the player characters have created a seat for the Unity struggle to begin again in earnest: a citadel founded on Earth and Darkness like the Only Old One's Palace of Black Glass, harmonizing the other elements around that foundation. That community's influence has helped Leika Black Spear of the Colymar ascend as the Prince of Sartar. In that Glorantha Argrath arrived in Boldhome to find the Sartar brazier already lit, and became the new Prince Leika's lover, then consort. We're still in the early stages of the Hero Wars in my group's Glorantha, and the big events of 1628 have yet to unfold, but that version of the setting seems to be on its way towards a very different formulation of the end of the age than what is assumed in King of Sartar. Hopefully this version results in a less drearily pessimistic Fourth Age, with trolls and elfs and dwarfs still running around because Aldrya, Kyger Litor and Mostal aren't lying strangled in Hell.
  4. The only house rule in the game I run regards passions. At the end of each session players can select 2 different passions rated less than 80 to shift up or down 1d6. on the player side I've found that middling passions don't tend to move much, and I wanted to give my players a way to sculpt their characters' inner life a bit outside of using their passions for augments.
  5. I'm not sure it's a given that animals have the same lifespans in Glorantha as on Earth, particularly not animals who've undergone some sort of initiation rite, as Telmori wolf-siblings presumably do. i like the recursive reincarnation idea though
  6. We fall because the Chaosium that lies beneath Nakala, the Primal Darkness, calls us back towards nothingness. The womb of Nakala birthed other elements to put buoying Water and solid Earth between us and the maw of Chaos, so that there are things to keep us from falling through formless Darkness into oblivion.
  7. He knows that just as Sedenya's emergence returned Arkat as Argrath to oppose the new god within Time, his full emergence would trigger the return in some form of his own ancient foe: the Only Old One, or possibly Kwaratch Kang.
  8. Speaking only for myself, but since Spirit Magic rolls are simple pass/fail, with the only downside being forced to try again, and no new effects for a special or critical (or fumble), in my group we only actually roll for it when timing is a factor. we always roll for Rune Magic though, since its fumbles and criticals matter even outside of timing considerations.
  9. There was a way, not to recreate the Golden Age, but a bright part of the Storm Age, that might've succeeded. According to old, old Tradetalk articles by Shannon Appel "with help from Greg Stafford," the goal at first was not to incarnate a new bright god, but an old, dark, good one: Argan Argar. In the context of the middle Unity Council, locked into wars with the sun-worshipers of the north, it makes a lot of sense. Argan Argar and Esrola together ruled a realm in what became Kethaela that was like the Kingdom of Night but moreso, a powerfully Harmonious and friendly neighbor to the south of Orlanth and Ernalda's domain that united a wide array of different peoples and cultures. The Kingdom of Night that Only Old One and Queen Norinel of Nochet founded in the Greater Darkness can be understood as a successor to Argan Argar and Esrola's domain, re-uniting the surviving fragments of the Storm Age Kethaelan Darkness-Earth kingdom after the departure of the gods and a long, desperate siege of the Palace of Black Glass by chaos monsters cut its constituent parts off from each other. The same articles that describe this mythic tangent, little known by the Third Age, also talk about the breaking of the Unity Council from the Shadow Plateau perspective. They describe Only Old One, the dragonewts, the Dragon Pass storm worshipers, and the others elements of the Unity Council that ultimately sided with Arkat in the Gbaji Wars, assenting to a project centered in Dorastor to summon Argan Argar into Time. If that had occurred, the known effects would've been a drastic increase in the ability of the Unity Council to harmonize and relate across cultural and species lines. Especially important, considering that the Council's main opposition by this point were the solar emperors of Dara Happa, was Argan Argar's unique ability among Darkness gods to endure and rebuke Sky powers without being burned himself. The Unity Council's ability to resist and overpower the sun magic of Dara Happa would've been greatly reinforced by all the mythic occasions when Argan Argar bested or negated the sky gods, along with their ability to coordinate the many and varied powers of the Unity Council's other elements. The unknown effects of incarnating a god into Time are another matter. Would bringing Argan Argar into the middle world have brought about a sort of Solar Arkat in the east, a First Age Sheng Seleris with the light of the Sun Dragon in his eyes, to counter a Darkness god walking Genertela? Would the Argan Argar thus summoned have been an Illuminated god, ultimately corrupted by Chaos like Nysalor and the Red Goddess? Who knows, it didn't happen that way. Things turned around in the north. The Dara Happan emperor made peace, even entered the Council, and the project already at work in Dorastor changed. I don't know whether the change came before or after the northern peace, but we know what it was a change to: the Argan Argar project radically re-oriented its emphasis, from bringing back the old shadow king to incarnating a new, bright god instead. Then, as we also all know, the Unity Council fractured into Light and Dark factions, and the Light threw down the Dark in the Battle of Night and Day, when the sun stopped and Nysalor was born at last. A lot of the how's and why's of the change are uncertain, at least in the sources available to me. I would speculate that the Dara Happans brought information or techniques to the Unity Council that were then integrated into the project and changed its course. I would also speculate further than the submission of Dara Happa might have been informed by omens of a rising Darkness power to the south, in order to defeat by co-optation what the solar emperors could not defeat through war and open magical opposition. I don't know enough about mid-late First Age Dara Happa to speculate on any finer details, but I agree with @Sir_Godspeed emphatically that an attempt to recreate the Golden Age, far more agreeable to the Dara Happans than a return to the Storm Age, could by definition only result in the breaking of the Unity Council, for the simple reason that in the age they were trying to bring back the trolls whose influence founded and sustained the Council were all still underground. My main question is who or what convinced the Dorastans to embrace the Solar approach despite their history of friendship with the Shadow Plateau and Dagori Inkarth. That's the root of the schism that broke the Council.
  10. That was specific to "Harmast's Time," i.e. the era of the Gbaji Wars, when Argan Argar (embodied by Ezkankekko) was still the preeminent husband-protector of Ernalda in Esrolia. They were still calling Only Old One by his Greater Darkness name, Lord Victory Nightbrother, in the text. I would expect the public position of Orlanth to wax and wane with his acceptability as a husband-protector, which has increased drastically since then.
  11. The Nightcult subcult of Argan Argar worship allows humans to take on troll form, and vice versa. In places where the Kingdom of Night was strong and people took Only Old One up on his offer to teach the inner secrets of Darkness, it's not unheard-of for human and troll genealogies to intersect.
  12. Okay, what about another less than accessible goddess: Arachne Solara. Firewitch worships her, the Beast Valley folk worship her: what do they get from it?
  13. Then, rather, a subcult of a more accessible god based around an Imarjan intervention in that god(dess)'s myths might offer Summon Geese?
  14. Surely she offers the Summon Geese rune magic spell?
  15. They're probably referring to these lines from p. 39 of the Sourcebook, which I wouldn't mind some explication on myself: "Among the Kitori, a little bright light was snuffed out, and a demon that had many sharp mouths was let out of its skin. It sought vengeance, and fell upon the army of King Broyan while they slept. The king could not keep it away, because he had betrayed the City of Wonders, and the Great King was killed there, with his army." I took this to mean that someone (probably Lunar agents) snuffed out a warding light keeping a Darkness-based spirit of vengeance from Belintar's reign quiescent, which sought out and killed Broyan on pre-set orders to pursue anyone attempting to usurp Belintar the way he deposed Ezkankekko. Is there an intended interpretation?
  16. You'd need quite the heroquest to retrieve him after the ending of Beneath the...
  17. in-game, my Argan Argar troll usually communicates peaceful intent by making the Harmony rune with three fingers
  18. dumuzid

    Pavis in 1626

    Oh, yes, one of my players is a duck assistant shaman (SIZ 3) studying with Argrath, the first scene with the whole group together was his audience chamber. I've assumed he set up shop in the old Count's Palace in Oldtown after evicting the Lunars who'd been using it as their headquarters.
  19. dumuzid

    Pavis in 1626

    So, I just finished running my first session of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha from the GM's side. The game began in New Pavis, first day of Sea Season 1626. I'm basing the game primarily off materials in the classic Pavis & Big Rubble and the more recent Pavis: Gateway to Adventure, with a last helping from the Jonstown Compendium work Rubble Runners, from which Kars the Prophet and his entourage have already appeared. A challenge I've anticipated in using Pavis as a setting for RQ:G is probably obvious to those familiar with the books I'm using: the old Pavis materials only extend chronologically into the final years of the Lunar Occupation. I've had to develop post-Liberation Pavis from those materials, and honestly it's been pleasant and rewarding. I'm curious: has anyone else here done some work, fan, Jonstown or official, on updating Pavis for the post-Liberation timeline that they'd like to share? I'm happy to open with my own contribution. The first original development in Pavis that my players encountered is my replacement for Moonlighters, the club that catered to Lunar officers in Oldtown during the occupation. I've decided that after the Liberation of Pavis the old management of Moonlighters is either dead or fled, so Argrath granted the establishment to one of his supporters with a background in club promotion: an Argan Argar dark troll from Nochet, Hargro Brightbite, and his crew of scruffy Nochet trolls and trollkin, who now run the Blind Lamp Club in Moonlighters' old building, offering thumping percussive dance music, trollkin gogo dancers of dubious skill but tremendous enthusiasm, and a dining menu catered by the in-house Thunderbreath Gobbleguts franchise. My premise being that Argan Argar invented nightclubs in the Storm Age after observing that "humans do most of the things they like best in the dark, and are happy to pay for the privilege."
  20. Serves them right for thinking of it in terms of the Lightbringers quest, not Lifebringers. Shame on Harmast for forgetting it was no human who gathered the Unity Army to vanquish Wakboth's horde. Shame on his companions for forgetting the debt all humans owe to Ezkankekko and the Darkness people, less than five hundred years since the Dawn.
  21. Argrath has his own setbacks. The Red Emperor takes Boldhome back in the 1640s, according to the TakenEgi Stele. Argrath and his companions spend a stretch hiding in Broyan's otherworld hall. I think he and Harrek have already had their duel by then, after Gunda died in the sack of Boldhome. His fortunes take a few wild swings before he embarks on the quest to free Sheng.
  22. Thank you for all of this. Phew, those stats. Granted, I have no RQ3 experience, so I don't know how exactly those write-ups would translate to RQG, but still. Follow-up question: what are the caste restrictions of the Browns and Reds?
  23. The right move after that was probably for Leika (or a PC) to re-light the Sartar brazier, not Argrath, yeah.
  24. Argrath becoming the King of Dragon Pass is a colossal miscalculation and intimately linked with why his war against the Moon spirals so horribly out of control. To fulfill his correct role in the Hero Wars, Argrath needed to embrace more fully his position as the White Bull, preparatory to embodying Storm Bull, not Orlanth. A healthy transition to 4th Age requires that Orlanth and Yelm make peace in Hell, while Storm Bull and the Unity Hero defeat embodied Chaos in the Middle World. Argrath was supposed to be Storm Bull while Broyan was supposed to be Orlanth, but him dying to that darkness demon in 1624 put paid to that plan. Argrath tried to synthesize the Orlanth and Storm Bull roles in Broyan's unavoidable absence, but ended up with an Orlanth who never fully gives up lordship to venture with his companions into the Underworld etc. He stays in the Middle World for the final battle, like Storm Bull did, then tries to turn the Unity Battle into the Great Compromise...and the results are not pretty. The Unity Hero is one or several PCs in this scheme.
  25. Well I think we can all agree on this one.
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