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Posts posted by dumuzid

  1. 43 minutes ago, metcalph said:

    I think that's confusing the monster with the Night Dragon Society (which maintained comms between the Shadow Plateau and Dagori Inkarth during the Gbaji Wars). 

    Funny you mention that.  Here's the quote from Tradetalk #06 p.6, from the third and final installment of Shannon Appel's series on the Kingdom of Night, emphasis mine:

    "Ezkankekko fought fiercely.  He even called up the Great Night Dragon but none of this was enough.  Belintar scattered the Only Old One's remaining allies and even slew the Great Night Dragon, destroying its society forever: its body diverts the course of the Creekstream River to this day."

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  2. 2 hours ago, Snugz said:

    I think that's a name for the Black Dragon in the West; e.g. Malkioni? So maybe this was just an aspect of the Black Dragon via one myth, not the Dragon Pass one?

    The source I'm referring to is a series of old, old Tradetalk Magazine articles, written from the in-universe perspective of an Argan Argar priest from the Shadow Plateau.

  3. I've read that the monster Belintar slew late in his conquest of the Holy Country, whose back now forms the Lead Hills north of the Shadow Plateau, was called the 'Night Dragon.'  So Cragspider's dragon may not be the only Darkness-associated dragon still around.

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  4. The Blue Bat is probably Mahaquata, the troll version of the Blue Moon, otherwise known as Anilla and Veldara:  Boztakang led the first trolls to settle the Blue Moon Plateau, it was their prayers and ceremonies that revived and reshaped the fallen Anilla into their bat goddess.

    The Black Sun is also called Basko, the shadow of Yelm, the darkness that always rests in the one corner Yelm isn't looking.  He had almost ceased to exist, like Anilla/Mahaquata, by the time the trolls emerged from the Underworld in the Storm Age, but a troll host found Basko soon after emerging and with worship and sacrifice strengthened him into a formidable god still worshiped in the Kingdom of Ignorance north of Kralorela.  He's famous for fighting the battle called Glory of the Black Sun, where his trolls defeated elements of the horde that'd brought ruin to Genert's Garden.

  5. The sequence that begins on p. 123 of Heortling Mythology, where Heort is confronted by a troll party who conduct him to Only Old One's citadel, is the Orlanthi perspective on Ezkankekko 'summoning his chiefs' as jajagappa describes.

    Only Old One = Ezkankkeko = Kimantor (which means "the man you cannot see") = Lord Victory Nightbrother

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  6. 40 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:


    which book can I read more about this?

    The most complete version I'm aware of is in Esrolia: Land of 10,000 Goddesses, where it's also called the Battle of Nochet, but I seem to recall there's a version from the Orlanthi perspective in the Book of Heortling Mythology.  


    42 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

    and how fo I invovle all the PCs in the quest?

    It's built in.  The Unity Battle is in essence the story of how the Only Old One gathered the surviving peoples of Dragon Pass into an alliance to battle the invasion of the final Chaos horde.  Every society that made it to the Dawn in central Genertela tells a part of the story.  The Orlanthi sing of Heort, the hero who led them to hold out in the holy fortress Whitewall--and of how Heort made pacts of friendship with the Only Old One, and led the surviving post-Vingkotling Orlanthi to fight in the Unity Battle.  The Esrolians sing of Norinel, the queen of Nochet, who made a marriage alliance with the Only Old One that blossomed into genuine love, and led the poeple of Nochet through frightful sieges, a fighting retreat up onto the Shadow Plateau, and a glorious return after the Unity Battle to refound and purify their city.  The Unity Army included dwarfs, dragonewts, aldryami, trolls, humans, windchildren, even extinct sorts of being like the Sun Wheel Dancers.  They all remember the Unity Battle, and most of them were part of the Unity Council founded after it.

    The real question is: what roles do your players take on?  And that's where the myth really gets fun.  You see, Only Old One was a shapeshifter.  His father was Argan Argar, and his mother was Esrola, Ernalda's sister.  He was both a troll a man, and as an adult he could take many more forms.  As he went to each of the member peoples of the Unity Army, he appeared to them as a particularly tall, dark example of whatever they were.  When he visited humans he was a dark, lordly man; he became aldryami to meet the elves, mostali to meet mostali, dragonewt to speak with the dragonewts, etc. etc.  He's also called the Unity Hero because of his role in gathering the Unity Army.  This shapeshifting gives you the opportunity to let all your players take on the role of the Unity Hero, with each assuming the mantle to face the element of the quest best suited to them.

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  7. When my group was dealing with the same situation we didn't use a heroquest to unite the whole valley: we used Argan Argar Arms the Trollkin to crash-train the valley's swarm into competent spear-trolls.  Obviously that would require some Darkness power on the part of the players.

    6 minutes ago, Joerg said:

    There is the Unity Battle myth to unite a very disparate bunch of peoples into a common defense, but I don't think that the mercenaries warrant comparison with Wakboth's horde.

    I'm not so sure that the Unity Battle wouldn't be applicable to the situation though.  If memory serves, the Company of the Manticore is in Lost Valley because they were granted it as a fief by the Red Emperor, for their retirement, which puts them in the service of Chaos even if the Company's personnel aren't (yet) Chaotic themselves.  In that light, I think the Unity Battle could be just what's needed to pull the residents of the valley together against the threat.

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  8. 1 hour ago, coffeemancer said:

    Hm, ok. which other situations would increase someones illumination? I think our sorcerer might slowly get on the path

    A character I played added a bit to their Illumination score by having a conversation with Argrath White Bull

    he also received directed training towards Illumination at the House of Black Arkat

    a few magically charged encounters between them and powerful draconic manifestations (negotiating Argan Argar Equal Exchanges with dragonewt priests and dream dragons) advanced their progress toward Illumination even further.

    That same character actually accomplished their illumination through contemplation in a refurbished Storm Age dragonewt meditation chamber during Sacred Time.  i would describe their approach as 'draconic mysticism with Black Arkati characteristics,' which is a very particular path to the One

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  9. 5 hours ago, EricW said:

    Remember trolls actually are evil, except for the occasional individual.

    This is a terrible thing to say of the people without whom Glorantha quite simply would not have survived the Greater Darkness, or probably the First Age either.  Xiola Umbar weeps at the base prejudice and ingratitude of the fathers of Gbaji.

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  10. Oh, I am delighted to hear of successful Argan Argar adventurers making unexpected friends!

    To speak directly to the original question, regarding potential tokens or signs of friendship: there is a historical precedent for pacts between elves and trolls, connected to Argan Argar.

    How much do you know about the Kingdom of Night, and Ezkankekko?

    The Shanasee Tree of Tarndisi's Grove has stood there since before the Dawn, and before the Dawn the peoples of Dragon Pass and Esrolia were united by the rule of Ezkankekko, the Only Old One, the demigod son of Argan Argar and Esrola, Ernalda's sister, the goddess of the physical earth.  Ezkankekko was both a troll and a human, and could take the form of any other kind of person he met--aldryami, mostali, dragonewt, whatever, he could become a tall, dark example of whatever species he encountered.  He inherited his father's gift for diplomacy, and in the depths of the Greater Darkness, when the cosmos itself was on the verge of death, he traveled the ruined world making pacts of material exchange, then mutual defense, between the surviving outposts of life and his own strongholds: ancient Nochet, the city of his human wife the heroine Queen Norinel; and the Shadow Plateau, upon which stood the Palace of Black Glass, the divine obsidian city of Argan Argar and Esrola. 

    Ezkankekko made alliances with dwarves and elves, dragonewts and humans, windchildren and Gold Wheel Dancers, any folk who weren't of Chaos that he and his companions could find toiling to exist in the ruined world of the Greater Darkness.  When Wakboth the Devil finished killing off the last of his fellow Chaos Gods in the very nadir of the Darkness, he gathered most of the surviving monsters of Chaos into a single horde and directed it at the last, greatest gathering of life within his reach: the little collection of societies kept alive through their cooperation with each other and the Only Old One.  Ezkankekko coordinated his allies into the Unity Army that faced the last Chaos horde near the blasted ruins of Nochet, in the shadow of Esrola's empty throne atop the Shadow Plateau.  After the Unity Battle and I Fought, We Won, which saw the last Chaos horde defeated and Wakboth crushed under the Block in Prax, Ezkankekko led his allies and family to refound Nochet and begin the long, arduous, rewarding task of healing the world and reconnecting it and its people to the gods.  History calls the association he and his allies created to defend each other and coordinate their healing work the Unity Council, or the World Council of Friends.  There is a long, sad story of how those high ideals and fair foundations were slowly undone over the course of the First Age, but that's matter for another post.

    As a creature older than the Dawn, the great sentient redwood at the heart of Tarndisi's Grove stood within the Kingdom of Night, the old name for the communities who owed their survival in the Greater Darkness to Ezkankekko, and continued to offer him tribute and acknowledgement in exchange for friendship and protection after the Dawn.  The elves may not like to speak of it in modern times, they and the mostali were the first of Ezkankekko's friends to find ways to repudiate the old pacts after Time began and they felt they needed troll friendship less, but the dryad and her tree may have a very specific and well-rehearsed method for thanking an Argan Argar troll for a good deed nonetheless.

    Ezkankekko's agreements were based on his father Argan Argar's concept of 'Equal Exchange.'  Exchanges of equal value between the otherwise isolated, impoverished settlements of the Greater Darkness circulated new and different kinds of food and goods between them, preventing malnutrition and providing materials for crafts and magic where they would've otherwise been unavailable.  The goal of each exchange is to leave both parties effectively richer than they began.  This Argan Argar warrior has slain a giant boar mucking up the woods?  Maybe they give him a token from the old Kingdom of Night that other Aldryami would recognize, entitling him to graze the elf-woods (within reason) in exchange for making them safer to cultivate?

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  11. As established earlier in the thread, there's only ever been a little Blue Moon-affiliated rune magic in official publications.  That little is in Troll Gods, which has rules for the Blue Moon cult of the trolls in the Blue Moon Plateau, and it includes a spell provided to Annilla's cult by Artmal: Vesper.  I workshopped that spell with one of my players, who gm's a game of their own, and this is what we came up with:



    1 point
    Self, temporal, stackable

    This spell causes the caster to glow with a dull bloody red color.  This glow covers an area 3 yards in radius.  All friends of the caster within the glow may add 1 to their effective POW for calculating spirit combat damage and resistance tests.   It vanishes immediately if the friend leaves the area affected by the spell.  The first time the caster or a friend within the area are reduced to 0 magic points they instantly gain a number of MP equal to the effective POW points bestowed by the spell.
    Each additional point in the spell can either increase the radius affected by 3 yards or add 1 to the effective POW increase.



  12. A Lunar slave, but which moon?  There's a whole mess of slaves tied to the Blue Moon in Fonrit, and in addition to Seseine they provide a less, ah, malevolent option for a put-upon goddess.

    Afidisa was the goddess, demigoddess or heroine of the Artmali, aka Veldang, the people of the Blue Moon, who went before Pamalt Earth King of the south to petition for a place in Pamaltela for the Artmali to settle in the God Time.  After she proved her power to heal and restore by rebuilding the long-ruined Camp of Innocence with just her presence and magic, Pamalt recognized the good in the Artmali and granted them a homeland in Pamaltela.

    Within Time, ~500 ST, the wicked Pamaltelan hero Garangordos and his companions, the Glorious Ones, set about a twisted re-enactment of the Necklace of Pamalt, the Earth King's quest to save existence from Chaos in the Great Darkness.  Garangordos's corruption of the Necklace established the system of magical slavery that still undergirds Fonritian society, with the conquered Artmali forming the brutalized base of the new social pyramid.  During the Glorious Ones' quest they were approached by a beautiful blue woman who asked to be allowed to take part, but Garangordos rejected her from their company and later claimed she was a guise of Afidisa.  'Rejecting Afidisa' in their magical re-enacment of saving and regenerating the world gave the Glorious Ones a theological justification for enslaving all the blues in kingdoms they raised in northern Pamaltela, and powerful magic to back up the new arrangement.

  13. slightly further in this vein, does anyone know where potatoes come from/are widely cultivated in Glorantha?  It came up in-session this weekend, and I just sort of assumed that tubers were a set of children Aldrya had with Lodril, so they probably come from Peloria. and of course potatoes of all kinds are up there with maize as quintessential Western Hemisphere produce, specifically the Andes Mountains.

  14. Another general question: does anyone have interesting ideas for places Artmal's bones might've come to rest in the Middle World after being defeated by 'the god of Desero' in the Gods War?

    I've already pointed out Fralos in Seshnela, and I think the Blue Sable Altar northeast of Pavis will be another in the campaign I'm running.  Do any other sites of Blue Moon relevance stand out to the tribe as good places where the Moonson's bones might have come to rest?

  15. 1 hour ago, Jape_Vicho said:

    can't see how glorantha was perfecty happy before chaos when the own (ill) actions of the gods broke the world

    Yeah, go ask Entekos and the Hundred Goddesses of Pelanda just how sweet life was under Emperor Brightface, once he finished killing their sons, enslaving their daughters, stripping them of their temporal power and imprisoning them, with power they originally gave him to keep everyone safe.

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  16. 8 hours ago, Darius West said:

    Glorantha existed perfectly happily before chaos,

    When did Glorantha exist before, or without, Chaos?  The Chaosium is the source of primal creative power, Chaos is the infinite from which form itself arose.  The trolls understand this: Bozkatang, the first true Chaos Fighter, faced and defeated the first demons born from the Chaosium long before Yelm drove the trolls aboveground.  Chaos cannot be allowed to win, but it is a necessary component of the Gloranthan cosmos.  Always has been.

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  17. Clover, huh?  I would've expected ferns.

    There's a lot of clover where I live, but that's pretty warm and humid generally.  Get as far south as places like Zamokil though, and and I'd expect the clover to mostly be a dry yellow turf that blooms with green and blossoms when rains do eventually come, the way the real world Atacama Desert transforms into streamside meadows for a little while when it's properly watered.

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  18. I don't suppose there's any description somewhere of what the Melibite and/or Teshnite contributions to raising the Boat Planet might have been?

    Okay.  Now, since no one's ever heard of an official version of the life of Gebel, here's my taking a shot at it.

    For my Glorantha's purposes Gebel was born some time in the 1580s, not in Melib, but in Atarpur in central Teshnos.  He was the illegitimate son of a noble-priest of Calyz high in the hierarchy of the city's temple complex to the Council of Five, and a Hsunchen slave woman of the Pujaleg people.  Gebel was not acknowledged by his biological father, but the terms of his mother's servitude did not legally enslave him, so he was trained for martially-inclined middle officialdom in his father's household and the Somash temple from a young age.  This training gave him the capacity to read elements of the famous Avalor Cube that rests in Atarpur, the marble sides of which chronicle the deeds of the half-Jrusteli High King in Tenshan, Old Melib (i.e. Zaranistangi) and Western script with golden characters as tall as a man.  He saw enough of himself in what he read of the story of Avalor, who was himself a Hsunchen half-caste, that he was inspired to plan flight from his father's house into a life of adventure.  Before his initiation to Somash and adult responsibilities he fled his father's house in the night, carrying only a small bag and his mother's well-wishes.  After several misadventures he found his way to Dosakayo on Melib, where he underwent initiation to Dormal and began an eventful career as a sailor.

    Gebel had spent more of his life at sea than on land by the time he returned to Atarpur, with his new name and a captain's wealth, to purchase his mother's freedom.  After an eventful transaction he revisited the Cube of Avalor, and read far more of it's characters with the knowledge he'd picked up on the world's oceans.  He even used magic learned from his mother's distant Pamaltelan kin in Fonrit to briefly fly over the 40-foot-tall cube to read its uppermost face, and what he read there committed him to a series of oaths, ambitions and quests that made him a close ally of Harstar of the Sea, the de facto prince of Melib, in that leader's effort to help raise the Boat Planet.

    For a year after the Melibite questers returned from the otherworld Gebel ventured to ruins, oracles and archives across Melib and wider Teshnos, seeking clues to what drove Avalor into the Wastes, and where he might have wound up.  When all signs pointed west past the Wastes, potentially far past, he readied his ship and crew with the blessing of Prince Harstar, to sail to the mouth of the Zola Fel and seek any place along its length where Avalor's path and the ancient river might've intersected, and failing that, to find confirmation of whatever route Avalor used that bypassed the river.  According to Gebel's findings this had been the goal of the fruitless 1250 expedition for the Red Sword led out of Teshnos by Selenteen of Alampish, but fierce opposition from the inland nomads kept their explorers and diviners from penetrating north of the South Bog.

    Gebel hoped that diplomacy with the Lunar presence at Corflu could give his expedition peaceful access to the river, but he had not reckoned on the Liberation of Pavis savaging the northern Grantlands just weeks before he arrived in port.  In my Glorantha the Wolf Pirates left Kethaela without transporting Argrath's White Bull warriors to Corflu; the liberation traveled overland, freed Sun and Pavis counties, and raided deep into the Grantlands before withdrawing to their camps or Pavis for the Sacred Time rites.  By Sea Season 1626, Argrath's khans and captains are jockeying to see who can avoid being tasked with leading a host down the river to storm Corflu and reckon with its magical Watchdog, rather than joining the much-anticipated expedition into Dragon Pass.  Gebel unwittingly sailed into a Corflu that had abruptly become the beleaguered, overcrowded capital of the Lunar imperial rump in Prax, and found his ship summarily impounded by the Silver Shields at the docks, his cargo seized, his crew impressed, imprisoned or on the lamb in the swamps, and himself under house arrest as the 'guest' of the near-panicked Lunar authorities.  If he does not find some way to escape he's likely to remain imprisoned till Fire Season, when the White Bull's warriors follow the Zola Fel south.

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  19. Of whatever aluminum/silver alloy Artmal's bones would be made of, at any rate.

    Addressing another element of the question: does anyone know biographical-level details about Gebel, the Teshnite hero who is forecast by the Guide to recover the Red Sword (or Hes-tur, or both) in cooperation with Gabaryanga?  Thus far I've learned that he is a great sea-voyager, and the fact of his quest and success, but without any of the whys or hows of that story.  Does anyone know of sources on his life before the Red Sword quest?

    Gabaryanga is almost as obscure a figure in the materials I have available, but by rummaging the Guide I've learned this much of his antecedents: he originally came from Benestros, where he led a failed uprising in 1613 and fled to Jokotu, the City of the Free.  With Gebel I can't find even this level of sparse biographical material.


  20. 2 hours ago, scott-martin said:

    keep running the ball until it stops.


    11 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

    Fralari thus could reference the hsa tiger people as @scott-martin notes, but could also represent the Basmoli of Seshnela, which might provide the link to Fralos.  As it notes on Fralos in the Guide p.415 "Efforts by several different Rokari wizards to compel the lion-headed guardian ..."

    I think I'm going to run with the idea of a very obscure link between the Blue Moon and this Seshnelan city, on the theory that Cathora was a high-status Basmoli woman whose family were integrated into the talar aristocracy some time in the First Age.  The city itself may prove to be founded over a site where one or several of Artmal's bones fell to earth after his defeat, drawn by sympathy to his wife's kin; the bone's spirit manifests as the lion-headed entity that demands only an unmarried woman of Cathora's line, the local talars, rule Fralos.

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