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  1. [I posted this years ago on another site, which I recently noticed had disappeared into the vortex. I recovered it from the Wayback Machine and thought I might as well post it here. It's not exactly a Glorantha post, nor exactly RQ3 but it concerns adapting the River of Cradles/Zola Fel setting.] (Originally published July 24, 2011) In the latest of my Nehwon Campaigns, I used an adventure campaign called ‘Troubled Waters’ from the Runequest ‘River of Cradles’ supplement. In this post, I’ll talk about how I adapted this adventure for Nehwon. Glorantha Glorantha is the main game world setting for the game Runequest. I am no expert on it but it is quite a different place from Nehwon. Magic is commonplace; most people know a few spells. The influence of the gods is powerful, and forces from mythology have shaped (and continue to shape) the world. Everyone believes. As in Nehwon there are many gods and none is all-powerful; each commands a relatively limited sphere. Glorantha has all sorts of non-humans and a powerful, Chaos-worshipping empire of humans, which comes into conflict with barbarian cultures at its fringes. So far so un-Nehwonian. The River of Cradles This is a campaign setting from the times when RPG supplements were made with real love, which is one reason I wanted to use it. The Runequest game system is not so different from the Elric! rules I use in Nehwon, so no problems there. The River is in a fertile valley between arid grasslands and wasteland. There are many detailed human and non-human cultures in the area, including river folk, farmers, various barbarian tribes, newtlings (small lizard-like bipeds), and city folk and garrisons of the conquering Empire army at the top of the river. The maps are gorgeous and the detail is great. The campaign itself is interesting, if a bit linear (you travel up the river, so it couldn’t really be otherwise). I played it over ten sessions with two players who ran an exiled Quarmallian and an outcast from Klesh. Where in Nehwon? Because I knew this setting would be quite different from the norm, I wanted to place it carefully. I put it in the south of the Lankhmar Continent, draining from the southern Mountains of Hunger to the Sea of Stars. To the east are the Jungles of Klesh and to the west are the Quarmall Barrens. Leiber doesn’t really describe this area (perfect!). Fafhrd and the Mouser passed it to the south in Trapped in the Sea of Stars. Other questions to resolve What about all this magic and gods? The campaign did assume a lot more magic in the hands of characters and opponents, and more ‘godly’ powers. I toned both down but left the essentials. For example, a river god plays an important role in the adventure. I allowed it as a local effect (local to the river) and justified the extra magic because the area was closer to Godsland. It helped that the characters were both sorcerers of different traditions(1) and from areas considered quite outlandish for a mainstream Nehwon campaign. I took a similar attitude to the various intelligent non-humans around. Leiber after all had mermaids, Ice Gnomes, and invisible princesses. How about the ‘evil empire’? How come Fafrhd and the Mouser never heard of it? No problem. It’s a recent development, and not really a huge empire, founded by a band of fanatical ex-slaves of Quarmall, confined mostly to the Mountains of Hunger between the Jungle of Klesh and the Great Southern Swamp. That works for my geography. Think of the Incas, who controlled a huge narrow empire from Ecuador to northern Chile in the late 15th century. Only not so huge. Something like that anyway. In any case, though the Empire’s military presence was visible in the campaign, it was not a major factor. How did it work out? Pretty well. The setting is a long way from Lankhmar, though even a typical Lankhmart rogue could have been used there. The only real changes I made while running it was the magic reduction and some setting adjustment as described above. Was it still Nehwonian? Yes, I think so. My campaign is a hodgepodge in any case, but what I love about Nehwon is that it is a land made for adventure and strange happenings. It is consistent in the broad view but sketchy on the specifics. This little corner fits nicely into my campaign. My players also gave it an interesting subplot of faith vs. skepticism, which Leiber might have appreciated. Having said that, I don’t think all Gloranthan RPG settings would transplant so well. Some things just don’t translate that well to a Nehwonian setting. 1) In my campaign, Quarmallian sorcery is a combination of sneaky mind control powers and dark wizardry. Kleshite sorcery is more nature-focused.
  2. This thread is for collection of errata in the RuneQuest Quickstart Rules and Adventure booklet; my hope is that some of these can be corrected or clarified for the 1 July 2017 PDF and print-on-demand releases. p. 7, Strike Rank Modifiers table and Magical Attacks and Strike Rank section: These sections both say that the first Magic Point in a spirit-magic spell does not add to the strike rank of the casting, conflicting with the Spell Strike Rank section on p. 20. p. 18, Spirit Magic section: Says that spirit magic spells usually have duration of two minutes, conflicting with Duration section on p. 20. p. 20, Spell Strike Rank section: This section says that all Magic Points in a spirit-magic spell add to the strike rank of the casting, conflicting with the Strike Rank Modifiers table and the Magical Attacks and Strike Rank section on p. 7. p. 20, Duration section: Says that all temporal spirit-magic spells last five minutes (25 rounds), conflicting with Spirit Magic section on p. 18. Back cover (bottom centre): In the "For more information about Chaosium..." text, "seeour" should be "see our".
  3. I'm creating new Glorantha maps. They will be available on dtrpg. First one is already out. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/381871/Elf-Sea--Glorantha-Area-Maps?affiliate_id=2270495 To follow the process and see updates, feel free to follow me on my facebook page. mikaels fantasy maps. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2198307846888743
  4. So as I learn about Glorantha from the tribe, I began to do an exercise and began building a clan. This folder contains the ramblings of my feverish mind, I present the piecemeal forming of The Glimmerstone Clan. Everything is a work in progress and I'd love advice. They've got a few unique things to them: The Koza/Koska (?) - They're Sheep, they act more like Goats(intelligent, curious, but have a strong sheep like herding instinct and are unique) The original group of Women were from clans broken or destoryed in Starbrow's Rebellion ins 1613. As a result the Women turned to Vinga and became Red Women, for nearly 3 years. in 1615 the Aranwyth granted them a small section of undesirable Tula, and the group made a small shanty-town. It was then the women began to realize that they were a clan, forged by their experiences. Some men, old and young come to work with the women. Pure Horse, folk, Lunar castaways, and Orlanthi all leaving together because survival outweighs their cultural grudges. Heler is invoked to hold the group together. 1618 - The Koza/Koska are Quested for by priestess of Nevala the Ewe, who had been with the women. 1625 - The land the people have been living on can no longer support their growing number of people, animals and land. The Earth Priestess Umeka calls on the Gods, to show them way. One of the girl's who has now reached Ten years old is used as a living conduit in an attempt to find Voria's Garden- a hopeful place for a new Tula, even if it is outside Dragon Pass. It's me mostly musing, but also wanting to try and do something distinctly differently. I am considering making their Tula outside Dragon Pass (I know strange), but a clan this small would stand no chance of holding their own or taking land from a bigger clan. In my head I see their Tula as 'Hidden', it's distinctly a place that has never seen humans before (or it's been a long long time). It's visually a cross between a alpine Austrian valley maybe. Rivers and lakes should feed it.. Or does one just literally make such a place up, and how does one find a place to put it in on the map? Are there Heroquests for Wyters and making Clans? (Its something I wanted to write about, but I think most of the things I have read only reference it.) I do want to write about hte Heroquest for the Koza- which in of itself would be New Quest Anyone want to point me in the right direction or guide me in coming up with how these things should be written?
  5. Song of the Forests In the beginning was the One. Boundless and, yet, constrained, it contained the limitless All. All that was, and All that was Not. Being and non-being. This paradox, the Paradox of Self, fragmented the One, and it became Two: Grower and Taker. The Grower contained within it all potential. This potential took the form of the Seed. This was the beginning of the First Plantings, the Age of the Grower. From within the One, the fluid parts separated, and thus came the soothing waters, Eron. The waters were changing and fluid, containing within her nature almost all potential. Eron encircled the Seed of the Grower to provide nourishment. Next, the heavy parts of the One accreted together, forming the solid earth, Gata. The earth was dependable and stolid, locking her potential within in security for the future. Gata supported the Seed of the Grower to provide sanctuary. Next, the light parts of the One arose together, rising to form the warming sun, Halamalao. The sun was generous and wise, and gave of his energy to all who would see. Halamalao provided the Seed of the Grower with life. The Seed of the Grower sprouted, and this was the Great Tree, Falamal. Nourished by Eron, he sank his roots deep in Gata and received the lifegiving rays of Halamalao to grow mighty at the center of the Universe. Falamal is the father of all, the bearer of the life force, the unifier of spirit. Falamal produced, in turn, seeds of his own. The first seed fell upon loving Gata, and produced Aldrya. She is the mother of all plants grown upon the land, and is also the all-encompassing mind which includes all born upon Gata, both those growing and those taken. The Brown Elves, the Green Elves and the Yellow Elves are all part of Aldrya. The second seed fell upon nurturing Eron, and produced Murthdrya. Murthdrya is the mother of all plants grown in the sea, and is also their communal consciousness. The Blue Elves are a part of Murthdrya. The third seed was borne aloft to benevolent Halamalao, and produced Halamdrya. Halamdrya is the mother of all plants grown upon the Sun, as well as their collective soul. The White Elves are still a part of Halamdrya, though they are now gone from the world. All grew until Glorantha, the Universe, was covered with Life. As a tree’s roots will crack stone, so, too, did the overabundance of Life push at the boundaries of the Universe. A crack formed and something came in. The elves were the first to recognize this intrusion. They called this Oblivion. While Grower and Taker are parts of the One, both necessary parts of Life, Oblivion is from outside. Things taken by Oblivion disappear from the Universe and are never seen again. The arrival of Oblivion broke some of the elves who found it. They were severed from connection to the One, the All, and became lost. Some elves, still, are born without this connection. We call them Rootless elves. They are to be pitied, for they do not experience the boundless of Joy of Belonging. With the arrival of Oblivion, Taker stirred into consciousness. It had hibernated throughout the Age of Growing, for before anything Grew, there was nothing to Take. The Taker contained within it all endings. These endings also took the form of a Seed. This was the beginning of the Second Plantings, the Age of the Taker. Halamalao rejected the Seed of the Taker. He turned his face from it, creating Darkness. The Darkness provided the Seed of the Taker with cold. Gata rejected the Seed of the Taker. She buried it in the cold, dead parts of herself, called Akem, or Stone. The Stone provided the Seed of the Taker with distance. Eron rejected the Seed of the Taker. It took away its healing waters, leaving only the burning waters of spite, called Harakakara. Harakakara provided the Seed of the Taker with pain. The Seed of the Taker sprouted, and this was the Zazakzor, the Hater. Zazakzor moved across the Universe, taking all he could see. He took Halamalao, the generous sun, leaving everything in Darkness. He took gentle Gata, who could not protect herself, leaving only cold, unfeeling Stone. He turned on nurturing Eron, taking the life-giving parts and leaving only Harakakara. All good things became bad. Water turned to fire, earth turned to stone and light turned to darkness. In the Darkness, Taker spread his own seeds, and these became a race of Takers, called the trolls. First among them was Kygor, and she and her children ate everything they could find. Akem, the Stone, tried to make new life, but without the nurturing part of Gata these were sterile and lifeless creatures, called dwarves. First among them was Mostal, and he and his kin did not understand the powers of Growth and tried only to work with what was dead and cold. Harakakara burned everything it touched, but even it tried to make new life to replace the old. Promalt was the first of these, a race of flame men who strode the cold, dead world, conquering the ruins to spread the power of flame. The burning men must have succeeded in spreading their destruction, for there are none of them left. In its unchecked excesses, Taker was as bad as Grower. Its relentless Taking allowed even more Oblivion to seep into the Universe. The entire world was dying, but not the good death of the Taker, rather the bad death of Oblivion. If Oblivion killed a thing would never be reborn again. Many heroes arose in the Age of the Taker: High King Elf, Elder Sister, Chalaneron, Vronkal, and many others who are now lost to the world. But all eventually fell. All the product of the Age of Growing was dead, and with nothing left the children of the Taker began to Take themselves. Deep within the ruins of the Universe, two Seeds that no one had known existed until then began to sprout. These were the Seeds of Grower and Taker reborn. This was the beginning of the Third Plantings, the Age of Cycles, the Age of Time. The reborn Grower and Taker sprouted together. This time Grower and Taker would work in harmony. Taker was reborn as Bebester. She was changed now, containing some Growth. She accepted this, taking that which was unrecoverable so that new Growth could occur. Bebester destroyed all that was left of the old world. Grower was reborn as Sanarana. She was changed now, containing some Taking. She accepted this, knowing that some Taking would bring better life. Once Bebester had cleared the remnants, she recreated the Universe. Grower and Taker worked in balance. In the cycle of the seasons, the Universe remains in harmony. For five centuries, it was so. In one place, the elves were very friendly with the other races. They thought that they were working with the forces of Growing and Taking. When Oblivion threatened, they joined with the others to fight the Unity Battle. Their trust seemed to work, for they joined with others in the Unity Council. Despite the fact that it was guided by a grandchild of Kygor, the Unity Council grew and grew. Some elves thought that they could initiate a Fourth Planting. The Council formed plans to form a balance between the All and Oblivion, in the same way that the Third Plantings brought a balance between Growing and Taking. This was the Grafting Experiment. The effort failed. Most elves at the time thought that it was misguided, and most elves today still think so. Since then, the Aldryami have continued replanting and defending the forests. Entry Requirements: Aldryami such as pixies and runners join as soon as they can speak. Almost all elves do, too, but some are born without Elfsense; these elves cannot form the bond necessary to join. Dryads are members from birth. Beastmen, dragonewts, ducks, and humans must petition a Gardener to let them join the Tradition. Other races are never allowed to join. Core Practices: The Children of the Forest Practice is the core practice of the tradition. Other important practices include Elder Sister, High King Elf, and Seyotel. Bebester, Eron, Gata, and Halamalao are among the many helper practices known. Many practices are regional; others are secret, known only to a few. Abilities: Aldrya Tradition Knowledge, Elfsense, Worship Aldrya. Virtues: Cautious, Patient. Tradition Spirits (members usually start with 5 charms): [Plant] Plant spirits—Bear Fruit 6 to 5W, Change Paths 14, Deflect Weapon 7 to 15, Ever Green 9 to 16, Flexible 18, Remain Unseen 12 to 5W, Shade from Sun 10 to 20, Tall 15. Great Secret: Part of the One. Charms and Fetishes: Aldrya charms and fetishes are grown rather than made. While they may not be rooted in the ground, they remain alive and in bloom so long as they touch a spirit of Aldrya. Manifestations: Humans often think of Aldrya as the goddess of the forest. Her worshippers know this is not true, and that Aldrya is the forest herself; without her worship, the trees themselves would sicken and die. Amongst elves, Aldrya is represented by a tree bearing many different kinds of leaves and fruits. Humans instead depict her as a dryad of some local tree. Holy Days: Aldrya has three High Holy Days over the course of the year. The first falls on Water Day of Fertility Week in Water Season, which is a joyous time celebrating the awakening of the forests. The second High Holy Day is on Clay Day of Fertility Week in Earth Season. An ecstatic celebration just before the Green Elves and dryads must sleep for winter, by the end of the day only Green and Yellow Elves remain awake. The last Holy Day occurs on Wild Day of Truth Week in Storm Season; only the Yellow and Green Elves are awake to perform these rituals. They march around the forest, performing the dances and songs to begin the awakening of the forest while fending off attacks by their enemies, especially trolls. Other Side: In the Spirit World, Aldrya is present in every forest and tree. Her primary domain there is Aldrya's Forest, located on and around the First Mountain. In Aldrya’s Forest are both Shanasse, her lover, and Aldrya’s own tree. Other Connections: Earth cults, such as Ernalda, and earth-related spirit practices, such as Eiritha, are usually friendly to Aldrya spiritists. They also have friends among Yelmalio worshippers, and are usually on neutral to friendly terms with sea gods. Disadvantages: A few rare elves are unable to initiate into the Aldrya Tradition. These rootless elves do not have the Elfsense which allows communion with nature and so are outcasts, even when they have not left their communities. Rootless elves sometimes join allied practices or cults, fulfilling some role that other Elves find taboo. Others leave the forests, becoming wanderers and vagabonds. Notes: Instead of providing the Spirit Face ability, the Aldrya Tradition provides the Elfsense ability, which as well as allowing you to hear, see and communicate with spirits, also allows you to sense the health and emotions of plants, including Elves. Non-Aldryami heroes cannot improve Elfsense as a standalone ability. Core Practices The Children of the Forest The Children of the Forest is the core practice of the Aldrya Tradition; most members belong to it before joining any other spirit society. The Children of the Forest deals with the spirits of trees and other residents of the forests. This practice is not very demanding of adherents. They must try to live in harmony with the forests and the cycles of life and death. The Plant Brother spirits provide small benefits, and in return spiritists must sing the Food Song over every plant they harvest, which guarantees the spirit will find its way back to the bosom of Aldrya. The various Animal Brother spirits generally provide their charms to those who promise not to take the lives of their type of animal. Entry Requirements: Aldryami who are part of the tradition may join automatically. All stationary plants, sentient and non-sentient, are also automatically a part of this practice. Non-Aldryami must have an Aldrya Tradition Knowledge of 17 or higher. Abilities: Children of the Forest Practice Knowledge, Find Water, Food Song ceremony, Know Direction, Open Spirit World, Plant Lore. Virtues: Joyful. Practice Spirits: [Beast] Animal Brother spirits—Ancestor spirits of small forest creatures (Bite Hard 15, Command [Woodland Animal] 11 to 3W, Hide in Undergrowth 16 to 4W, Scamper Through Undergrowth 12 to 2W). [Plant] Plant Brother spirits—Progenitor spirits of the various forest plants (Appear Nonthreatening 12 to 2W, Send Alarm Through Forest 12 to 18, Remain Motionless 16 to 6W, Speak with [Plant] 11 to 3W) Spirit Ally: None usually. Occasionally, a particular plant or animal spirit that befriends a runner or pixie will become a spirit ally after many years of friendship. Secret: None. Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are living plants, which remain alive and in bloom so long as they touch a spirit of Aldrya. Other Side: The Children of the Forest are the most basic part of Aldrya and in the Spirit World inhabit many of the Forests there, including the Forest of Four Winds and the Wild Wolf Forest. Elder Sister Elder Sister spiritists bind themselves more tightly to the spirit of Aldrya. This has an immense effect on the individuals by linking them directly to their goddess’ subconscious urges, and their daily lives are in unity with nature. This spiritual contact also forces the deciduous tree dryads into the same seasonal cycle as Aldrya. They will sleep all winter, wake in the spring for a full summer life, and fall asleep again in the autumn so their souls can rest in the Underworld. Non-dryads of this practice have several options open to them. They may occasionally inherit a tree from a dryad who died in some way or another, thereby preserving the tree’s life. More often, though, they form a group of wandering spiritual guides which move through the woods as the Spirit of Aldrya moves them. They go where they feel needed, and are called Wandering Dryads. Entry Requirements: Elder Sister membership requires a special connection to plants inherent in dryads. This empathy is also often found in female elves, occasionally in male elves, beastmen, and dragonewts, but rarely in any human. Non-dryads must also have an Aldrya Tradition Knowledge of 11W or higher. Abilities: Elder Sister Practice Knowledge, Find Healing Materials, Follower of Elder Sister, Food Song ceremony, Plant Lore, Read Aldryami, Write Aldryami. Virtues: Nurturing, Protective. Practice Spirits: [Plant] Healing Tree spirits—Tree spirits that despise the White Lady (Drive Out [Disease] 18 to 1W2). [Plant] Warrior of Wood spirits—Tree spirits that defend the forests (Fight [Specific Enemy] 20 to 2W2, Tanglethicket 12 to 8W). Spirit Ally: Dryad Elder Sisters always have their bound tree as their spirit ally. If a dryad dies, it is possible for an Elder Sister practitioner to attempt to bind her life force with the tree; those who succeed immediately receive that tree as a spirit ally. Secret: Aldrya’s Sleep (A follower who dies of injuries can attempt to heal herself and return to life, if her tree remains intact. In the wilderness, normal animals will not disturb an Elder Sister corpse, for they know it is not food. If she succeeds, over a few days to many weeks [depending on the body’s condition] the corpse heals completely, at which time the follower awakens. Until her body recovers, her spirit sleeps in Aldrya’s Forest in the Otherworld. Some followers know to begin certain heroquests with Aldrya’s Sleep, dying and then continuing the quest on the Otherworld before returning to their bodies. They must be cautious, for anything that happens to the quester may affect her body’s ability to heal and thus cause true death.) Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Elder Sister 1W2, Plant Lore 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Fetishes are fashioned from natural plant materials, freely given to the dryad. Many remain alive so long as they remain in the dryad’s possession. Other Side: The Elder Sisters tend the trees in Aldrya’s Forest. High King Elf The liberation of Falamal is sometimes called the “Secret Quest” of the Lightbringers, or the Greater Bonus by some. However, even his return to life would have had far less meaning without the long struggle of the Protectors on earth to save the sleeping form of their wards. The Protectors were led by High King Elf, the leader of his race from among the undying Green Elves. He led a beleaguered band of elves through the whole of the Age of Taking, ever struggling to protect the empty bodies of the forest from their foes. In this he was aided by the spirits Eron and Halamalao, another wounded survivor, but he hated the great spirit Harakakara who devoured the once-magnificent forests of Prax and slew almost all there. High King Elf was among those beings present in Dragon Pass for the I Fought We Won Battle where chaos was turned back upon itself. Entry Requirements: Must have an Aldrya Tradition Knowledge of 1W or higher. Abilities: Archery, Camouflage Self in Trees, Food Song ceremony, High King Elf Practice Knowledge, Read Aldryami, Shortsword Fighting, Spear Fighting, Write Aldryami. Virtues: Dutiful. Practice Spirits: [Death] Arrow spirits—Special spirit seeds which grow into living arrows (Growth In Flight 15, Heartseeker Arrow 20, Many Arrows From One 18 to 12W). [Defense] Bark spirits—Special spirit seeds which grow into a barklike covering that can be worn (Absorb Charm 15 to 8W, Absorb Feat 12 to 2W, Absorb Spell 15, Deflect Missile 12 to 3W, Deflect Weapon 16 to 4W) Spirit Ally: Followers of High King Elf can receive a Bow Seed. Planted on the High Holy Day, it takes a year to grow into an Elf Bow, a living weapon. A spirit ally for its bonded elf, it functions only as a normal bow for any other member of the Aldrya tradition. If a non-Aldryami takes it, it withers and appears lifeless and dead; however, if the husk is replanted in an Elf forest in any season except Dark Season and tended for a season, it springs to life once more refreshed and new. The taboo of this ally is Use No Other Bow. Secret: Arrow Trance (The practitioner enters a state in which he merges with his bow, and receives an automatic augment of ¼ the secret’s rating to any ability used during the combat. While in this state, the only things that exist for him are the bow and his targets. This ability can also be used to augment spirit combat, if it is initiated while he is in the Arrow Trace.) Practice Secret Requirements: Archery 1W2, Elfsense 1W2, Follower of High King Elf 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: High King Elf chaarms and fetishes are usually copper axes and shields, or bows and quivers. Other Side: High King Elf can be found patrolling Aldrya’s Forest on the First Mountain. Followers can join his band in defense of the Grower until it is time to be reborn. Seyotel (Shamanic Practice) Seyotel is the Song that binds the Aldryami together. She is the source of Elfsense, and the universal subconscious that all followers of the Aldrya tradition share. She arose during the Age of Growing, but did not truly awaken until the arrival of Oblivion caused all of the plants of the Universe to cry out as one in fear and horror; this was the awakening shout that brought Seyotel to consciousness. The potential shaman is taken to a celebration in a secret magical grove. They must then sing a complex song that harmonizes flawlessly with the Aldrya’s Song, which is the song of the forest’s life. The shaman must sing complex arpeggios, interval leaps and scales to weave together the different living songs, while leading the chorus to its conclusion. Typically, the shaman is assaulted in this task by the forces of Oblivion: the White Lady introduces discordant sections, while the Zazakzor’s wild passions threaten to take control of the song and turn it into a death chant. If the shaman is successful in dealing with these issues, they will find a counterpoint song, equal but complementary to their own, buried in the harmonies of the forest. When they follow it to its source, they will find a magnificent tree that is their counterpart in Aldrya’s Forest, the part of themselves that was with Aldrya all along. They will enter the tree, and emerge in the Mortal World. Forever after, their fetch will be there, with them, changing the song of their life into a duet. These shamans are important to the Aldrya Tradition, as they form the backbone of a forest’s song and are frequently found on the Council of Gardeners. A key component of this is their Song of the Spirit, which lets them weave their magic to affect large groups of willing participants. Entry Requirements: Must be a member of the Aldrya Tradition and have the capacity to become a shaman. Abilities: Follower of Seyotel, Food Song ceremony, Open Spirit World, Seyotel Practice Knowledge, Sing, Spirit Face. Virtues: Mysterious, Spontaneous Singing. Special Spirits: Seyotel shamans are the only ones who can contact the many specialized spirits of the Forest; for examples see HeroQuest, specifically “Great Trees” on page 149 and “Tree Spirits” on page 150. While a member of those helper practices, they often have exotic spirits serving them. Secret: Song of Life (When visible, the shaman’s fetch appears as an enormous magical tree, encased in glowing bark and surrounded by exotic plants, that emits a song that conveys the emotion the shaman is feeling.) Shamanic Abilities: Shamanic Escape, Song of the Spirit, Spirit World Travel. Charms and Fetishes: As with the rest of the tradition’s practices, Seyotel fetishes are made of living plants, surviving despite being kept in dark places away from the earth. Other Side: Seyotel is everywhere where the song of Aldrya exists. From the depths of the Spirit World to the far reaches of Glorantha, wherever the Song of Aldrya can be found, there Seyotel exists. Helper Practices Bebester Bebester is the Taker reborn, but as a part of Life. She clears away the debris of previous life so that new life can grow in its place; this keeps the cycle of renewal functioning. As death-in-the-service-of-life, she terrifies most Aldryami, but she is needed to keep the Universe going and avoid the destruction of the All by Oblivion. As such, some few Aldryami feel themselves drawn to her practices. Such followers as she has usually live apart from their fellows; they are a part of the community, but more of a necessary evil than a welcome part. Nevertheless, when the forests are threatened, they can be found on the forefront, Taking those who would Take from Aldrya. Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. Followers must take an oath to leave no injustice unavenged. Abilities: Axe and Shield Fighting, Bebester Practice Knowledge, Follower of Bebester, Throw Axe, Track. Virtues: Ruthless. Practice Spirits: [Babeester] Blood Vengeance spirits—Bloody spirits, each of which remembers some hurt done to the Grower (Follow Taker Anywhere 2W2, Sense Taker Nearby 12 to 2W, Sleepless Vengeance 15 to 2W). [Death] Taking spirits—Cold spirits of death in the service of life (Death Song 18, Enchant Copper ritual 12 to 18, Unbreakable Shield 18 to 8W, Wild Axe Swing 15 to 20). Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed herself solely to Bebester can gain a spirit ally from her. Secret: Death In the Service of Life (Gives an automatic augment of 1/4 the secret’s ability rating to any ability used to protect the forest or a follower of any Aldrya Tradition spirit.) Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Bebester 1W2, Ruthless 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are usually in the follower’s axe or shield. Other Side: Bebester’s Glade is at the edge of Aldrya’s Forest, near the Screaming Valley at the top of the Knife Ridge. Other Connections: Bebester is thought by many to be an aspect of the Earth goddess Babeester Gor. Eron Eron was the first of the ancient Protectors of the Elves, said to be the Spirit of Falamal, a spirit of the soothing waters. As befits a water spirit, it was sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes both or neither. Eron took Falamal’s second seed and produced the Murthoi, the many species of Sea Elf. During the Age of Taking, Eron suffered a Thousand Wounds, all taken in defense of someone else. As Eron’s wounds grew, their blood and tears fell freely to the seas and turned them salty. Finally, they suffered their thousandth wound from the Taker in defense of Falamal, and flowed into the Underworld. When the Third Plantings happened, Eron did not return to the Mortal World, but can still be found on the Spirit World. Eron's spirits are those of the cool water, providing succour and healing to those who need it. They also teach the art of finding healing plants and remedies to the other practices. Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. Followers must take an oath to harm no living thing. Abilities: Brew Healing Potion, Eron Practice Knowledge, Find Healing Materials, Follower of Eron, Treat Disease, Treat Poison. Virtues: Self-Sacrificing. Practice Spirits: [Arroin] Harmony Song spirits—Helper spirits who bind things together (Don’t Hurt Them 2W to 2W2, Feel Another’s Pain 14 to 4W, Feel My Pain 18). [Water] Healing Water spirits—Water spirits made from the tears of Eron (Drive Out [Disease] 2W to 5W2, Heal Wounds 20 to 10W, Wash Away Pain 8 to 2W). [Rain] Soothing Rain spirits—Rain spirits that sing a relaxing song (Quench Burn 16, Sleep Away the Pain 18 to 8W, Soothe Aches15 to 2W). Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed themselves solely to Eron can gain a spirit ally from them. Secret: The Thousand Wounds (Automatically succeed at a single final action during any contest in which the hero is attempting to protect someone else, even if they normally would not be allowed a final action. The attack must be directed at a being on whom they have successfully used any charm or fetish.) Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Eron 1W2, Self-Sacrificing 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are typically placed into tattoos on the spiritist’s body. Other Side: Eron wanders the Spirit World, going wherever there is pain and suffering, in order to alleviate it. Sometimes they stop in Aldrya’s Forest, where the residents provide them with any support they can, before Eron moves on. Other Connections: Eron is thought by some to be the same as Arroin, a god connected to Chalana Arroy in the Orlanthi Pantheon. Gata Gata was the second of the ancient Protectors of the Elves, said to be the Body of Falamal. She formed from Eron, as resin forms from sap, to provide stability to the world. When Falamal rose to the heavens, his seeds fell upon Gata's body, producing the Green Elves and their goddess Aldrya. Later, the Green Elves were divided into the Green, the Brown and the Yellow Elves. But all revere their ancestor Gata. Gata's Spirits are those of the soft Earth, providing food and strength for all who want it. During the Age of the Taker, she showed those who sought her help how to hide, and when the Taker came she hid herself. It was not enough, and she was finally Taken, rendering the world cold and barren. She joyfully returns to the world every Spring but hides again the Underworld every Fall, to maintain the balance of Grower and Taker. Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. Abilities: Dodge Blow, Gata Practice Knowledge, Follower of Gata, Hide in Cover, Survive Hardship, Tend Plants. Virtues: Cautious. Practice Spirits: [Earth] Earth Power spirits—Earth spirits bear the greatest of burdens (Endless Endurance 14 to 4W, Strength of Earth 18 to 8W2). [Plant] Plant Blessing spirits—Earth spirits who nurture life (Protect Plants from Birds 18 to 8W, Protect Plants from Cold 12 to 18, Protect Plants from Disease 15 to 5W, Protect Plants from Heat 16 to 6W, Protect Plants from Insects 12 to 2W, Protect Plants from Storms 12 to 8W). [Earth Harmony] Healing Loam spirits—Healing spirits that reside in the earth (Find Medicinal Spring 18 to 2W, Healing Mud 15 to 5W). Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed herself solely to Gata can gain a spirit ally from her. Secret: Bless Forest ritual (Allows the follower to ignore distance and area effect penalties when blessing a forest with her Plant Blessing spirits. It can also be used to augment any charms or fetishes used on trees.) Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Gata 1W2, Tend Plants 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are typically placed into tattoos on the spiritists body. Other Side: Gata was torn asunder, and so she may be found in many places in the Spirit World. Other Connections: Gata is considered part of the Earth Pantheon. Halamalao Halamalao was the third of the ancient Protectors of the Elves, said to be the Mind of Falamal. He formed from Gata, rising as light sparkles off amber, to provide hope to the world. When Falamal rose to the heavens, his seeds ascended into Halamalao's heart, producing the White Elves and their goddess Haladrya. The White Elves and their goddess were lost in the Great Darkness, as was Halamalao himself. The other Elves worshipped him still throughout the Darkness, and were rewarded at the Dawn when he returned. They hold out hope for the White Elves to return eventually as well. Halamalao's spirits are those of warm Light, providing protection and joy to all who ask for it. He must journey between the World and the Underworld every day, to maintain the balance of Grower and Taker. Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. Abilities: Archery, Endure Pain, Halamalao Practice Knowledge, Follower of Halamalao, See Far, Spear and Shield Fighting. Virtues: Brave. Practice Spirits: [Light] Light Child spirits—Light spirits of bravery and courage (Blind Foe 18 to 6W, Distracting Glitter 16 to 6W, Unwavering Light 2W2). [Death] Sun Spear spirits—Light spirits that took some of the power of Taking (Burning Arrow 18 to 8W, Light Beam 14 to 4W, Sunrise Glow 12 to 2W). [Light] Sun Follower spirits—Light spirits that always look to their father (Protect Plant from Cold 13 to 3W, Ripen Plant 12 to 18). Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed himself solely to Halamalao can gain a spirit ally from him. Secret: Survive Defeat (When critically wounded during a combat in which he has used his Light Child or Sun Spear spirits, the follower can use this secret to change his condition from Dying to merely Injured. The secret must overcome the standard resistance for healing injuries or the rating of the magical ability that rendered the warrior Dying, whichever is higher. If successful, the follower appears to be dead to all forms of physical or magical inquiry, but awakens from false death when immediate enemies are gone.) Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Endure Pain 1W2, Follower of Halamalao 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are usually in the follower’s bow, spear, or shield. Other Side: Halamalao spends part of each day in the Spirit World, in a great procession across the Sky, then spends the next part of the day in the Underworld. Other Connections: Halamalao is thought by many to be an aspect of Yelmalio.
  6. In the first age, the region now called Balazar was part of what everyone called the Elder Wilds. The indigenous people call their traditions the Elder Wilds Tradition, and it dominates the area. The people live by hunting and gathering. The primary female practice is Hearth-Mother. The primary male practice is Foundchild the Hunter, although some woman become hunters and join this practice instead of Hearth-Mother. Your hero is probably a spiritist of the tradition, and so gains the benefit of the Elder Wilds Tradition keyword, below. Most adults are practitioners of the Hearth-Mother Practice (if women) or Foundchild Practice. Since the arrival of Balazar, there have been additions to the magic of the region, namely the inclusion of the theistic cult of Yelmalio and the hero cult of Balazar. Due to Balazar’s marriage to Rigtaina the hunting nymph, following these specific cults does not impose any penalties to a follower of this tradition. Elder Wilds Tradition Keyword Abilities: Elder Wilds Tradition Knowledge, Worship Foundchild and Hearth-Mother. Virtues: Conservative, Tough. Relationships: to Spirits; to Shaman. Tradition Spirits (spiritists members usually start with 5 charms): [Life] Survival spirits—Spirits of those who survived the Long Night (Endure Elements 7 to 15, Find Shelter 6 to 5W, Resist Enemy Magic 9 to 2W, Sense Elder Races 2W, Sense Spirits 19, Withstand Damage 9 to 16.) Core Practices: The Foundchild and Hearth-Mother Practices the most common core practices for men and women, respectively. The tradition’s shamanic practice is Horned Man. Many other helper practices also exist, such as Brother Dog and Rigtaina the Hunting Nymph. Great Secret: None Charms and Fetishes: Balazarings usually produce fetishes out of wood, woven grass, and hide. Some may incorporate chips of stone or other strange materials from places of power. Other Side: Between lives, Votanki rest in the land of the wondrous dead called the Green Place with Hearth-Mother and Foundchild. The bodies of Hearth-Mother’s worshippers are buried in unmarked sites, whilst those of Foundchild’s followers are left on high platforms to be consumed by animals. Without proper rites the dead become hostile ghosts. Hearth-Mother Grandmother Sky During the Great Darkness, a band of survivors prayed for help from any who would listen. That night, a grandmother left her home in the Sky World and came to the people, giving them her gifts of hope and magic to keep them alive when the world died. Her name is Hearth-Mother, and is an ancient and venerated figure in Balazar myth and religion. The tribes strengthened under her guidance and leadership. Once, she found a young mewling foundling alone in the wastes and raised him to be a great warrior with her three famous meals. This was Foundchild, also called simply the Hunter. They had one child here, named Votank, who populated this region with the tribespeople. Hearth-Mother’s practice is restricted to the women of the tribes. She is the source of the crafts of cooking and sewing, and taught them the lore of plants, and the treatment of wounds and diseases. In general each clan has a single leading elder, called Grandmother. Magic knowledge is passed on in group ceremonies each autumn which are part of the women’s’ secret rites. Elder women form a band of teachers and officials for women and are always treated with care and respect. However, when an elder feels herself to be too much of a burden to her family, she will often go off into the grasslands to die. It should be noted that the Grandmother also sits on the clan council. The women usually gather about 60% of the daily food, except in Fire season when it is about 45%, and Dark season when it is about 15%. They also care for orphans and whelps Entry Requirements: Must be a woman who has come of age in the tradition. Abilities: Cook Meal, Follower of Hearth-Mother, Hearth-Mother Practice Knowledge, Open Spirit World, Sew, Spirit Face, Treat Disease, Treat Wounds, Weave Grass. Virtues: Caring, Prudent. Practice Spirits: [Harmony] Healing spirits—Healing spirits who show how to help people (Bless Mother 12 to 1W, Find Healing Plant 8 to 6W, Heal Child 14 to 1W, Heal Mother 9 to 4W, Heal Warrior 19, Restore Courage 17.) [Hearth] Hearth spirits—Fire spirits who show how to help people (Cause Spark 13 to 2W, Protect Hearth 12 to 18, Sense Invader 1W, Shielding Haze 7 to 8W, Sleeping Spark 14 to 4W, Summon Fire Spirit ritual 20.) [Life] Nourishment spirits—Life spirits who show how to help people (Enhance Food 12 to 4W, Feed the Hearth 16W, One Last Bte 18 to 5W, Preserve Food 19, Save the Children 16W.) Spirit Ally: A few practitioners awaken a spirit ally in the family’s hearth. Secret: Three Famous Meals ritual (Otherworld magic. This ritual uses three meals to heal any physical wound. On a complete victory it will even call a Votanki spirit back from recent death to inhabit its body again.) Practice Secret Requirements: Cooking 1W2, Follower of Hearth-Mother 1W2, Spirit Face 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Fetishes are woven grass pouches, filled with ritual objects or items of personal significance. Other Side: Hearth-Mother lives with Foundchild and their son Votank in Grandmother’s Hearth in the Green Place. From there, practitioners can go to the Sky World or out into the Long Night. Other Connections: Generally received favorably by Earth worshippers. Foundchild The Hunter Foundchild was first discovered by Hearth-Mother during the Great Darkness, at a site in the Dog Hills. Though an infant when found, he rapidly grew to manhood. Upon reaching adulthood, he taught them the use of death as a tool to bring life. He also taught the songs to send slain beasts' spirits back to their ancestors. His practice has developed into a fraternal society in which the strong are respected, and the weak protected. His followers believe they will go to his Happy Hunting Ground in the Green Place after death. They will stay there for a time before again entering the cycle of rebirth. Foundchild's practitioners follow the burial customs of their tribe, or else place their dead on raised platforms. The greatest hunter of the clan is traditionally the head of the society. All others defer to him and show respect. He cannot command obedience, but he can request it. Each year, during the three weeks just prior to Sacred Time, there is a Great Hunt and all followers of Foundchild participate, attempting to bring in the most magnificent creature while hunting alone and unarmored. The winner is designated the First Hunter, those who bring in significant prey animals alive are designated Great Hunters, and the rest are accepted as Hunters. Hunters who bring in prey animals during the Great Hunt three years running are elevated to Great Hunter status. Entry Requirements: Must be a member of the Elder Wilds Tradition who has brought in a suitable prey animal during a Great Hunt. Abilities: Follower of Foundchild, Foundchild Practice Knowledge, Open Spirit World, Peaceful Cut ceremony, Spear Fighting, Spirit Face, Throw Javelin. Virtues: Aloof, Brave, Proud. Practice Spirits: [Beast] Beast spirits—Beast spirits of prey animals (Command [Prey Animal] 6 to 4W, Mimic Animal Sounds 7 to 19, Put Animal to Sleep 18.) [Hunting] Hunting spirits—Ancestor spirits of skilled hunters (Find Trail 12 to 4W, Javelin Help 12 to 19, Move Stealthily 19, Multiply Javelin 18, Sleep Safely 10 to 5W, Sure Javelin Strike 12 to 18, Winged Javelin 12 to 9W.) [Life] Survival spirits—Hard-bitten spirits of the wilderness (Call Spirit to Ward Camp 6 to 4W, Endure Pain 12 to 3W, Hurt Enemy 6 to 17, Hurt Otherworld Enemy 12 to 9W, Hurt Prey Animal 18 to 8W2.) Spirit Ally: A Great Hunter may gain as a spirit ally the spirit of an ancient hunter, who inhabits a favored javelin or spear. Secret: Take Prey's Seeming (This is Foundchild's ultimate tool for hunting. This secret allows hunters to adopt the appearance and mannerisms of a specific prey animal so completely that it will fool even the animals in question). Practice Secret Requirements: Follower of Foundchild 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2, Peaceful Cut ceremony 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Fetishes are typically either small medicine pouches of woven grass that are sewn shut and filled with prey animal parts, or are wooden masks depicting characters and creatures from Foundchild’s many myths. Other Side: Foundchild lives with Hearth-Mother and their son Votank in Grandmother’s Hearth in the Green Place, but spends most of his time out in his Happy Hunting Grounds, seeking prey animals to feed the people. From Grandmother’s Hearth, practitioners can visit the Sky World, or the Darkness Age. Growdrulf Brother Dog The loyal dog is an old friend of the hunters. It is said that Brother Dog approached Foundchild during the Darkness and said he’d prefer to be a friend than food. The two became brothers and have served each other ever since. One time, King Bear, tired of the people killing the animals in his hunting grounds, took the clan's children and hid them in his Cave. He hoped that with no more people, there would be more to eat. Foundchild and Brother Dog tracked him to his lair. While Foundchild distracted King Bear, Brother Dog sniffed out where the children were hidden and took them to freedom. Then he came back, and helped Foundchild defeat King Bear and made him promise to leave the people alone. The practice is open to men or women. The ceremonies are usually performed during the Fire season, which is sometimes called Dog-month, and is attended by young people and young animals both. During the ceremony the spirit of Brother Dog appears and after practitioners sing a magical song everyone can speak one language for a while, whether it is dog-speech or people-speech. This song can be led by any council elder or holy person and so there are actually many Brother Dogs which appear on this holy day. Even within a clan there are often more than one Brother Dog. At the yearly ceremony the practitioners bring some meat to feed the Brother Dog spirit visiting them. After the ceremony is over the participants eat the remainder of the sacrifice. Entry Requirements: Must promise to treat your own dogs as brothers (i.e., feed and heal them), to never willfully harm a domestic dog, and to attend the ceremonies once every two years. Abilities: Breed Dog, Brother Dog Practice Knowledge, Follower of Brother Dog, Hunting, Keep Up with Pack, Open Spirit World, Smell Prey, Spirit Face, Train Dog. Virtues: Honest, Playful. Practice Spirits: [Man] Brother spirits—People spirits who are like dogs (Keep Each Other Warm 4 to 4W, Lick Wounds 8 to 18, Speak with Dog 12 to 8W, Speak with Human 10 to 5W.) [Beast] Dog spirits—Dog spirits who are like people (Dog-Napping 12 to 2W, Find Sustenance 12 to 1W, Hunting 15 to 5W, Sniff Out Intruder 18 to 12W2.) Spirit Ally: Practitioners may receive a spirit ally in the body of a hunting or guarding dog. Secret: Unerring Stalker (Automatically succeed at a single final action during any contest in which the character has tracked a target and has used the powers of Brother Dog, even if he normally would not be allowed a final action.) Practice Secret Requirements: Follower of Brother Dog 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2, Smell Prey 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Brother Dog fetishes are made from the skins of prey animals, wrapped around bones. Other Side: Brother Dog hunts with his friend Foundchild in the Happy Hunting Grounds in the Green Place, but always has a warm spot reserved by Grandmother’s Hearth. From there, practitioners can go out into the Long Night. Disadvantages: Brother Dog followers smell like dogs so animals respond to them the same way they would respond to dogs. Votank The First Person Basically the same as the Daka Fal practice (HeroQuest page 145) with slightly different charms from the Ancestors. Mralota The Sow Mother In the Before Time, many spirits threatened others in their search for power. One of those was the Bad Wolf, who brought Death to the Sow Mother’s kin. When he killed one of her children, she found him standing over one of her children, red in tooth and claw, she felt rage fill her. She chased him, and his fear gave him speed so that he outran her. But still she raged and still she gave chase. To try to hide from her, Bad Wolf ate the Sun, plunging everything into the Great Darkness, but still she would not relent. Finally, Bad Wolf begged a Dragon to hide him. The Dragon agreed. “Run into my mouth, she will not be able to chase you there,” he said. Bad Wolf ran into the Dragon’s mouth and was eaten. When Mralota came, she asked Dragon where Bad Wolf had gone. “He is hiding in my mouth. You should pursue him,” he said. She agreed, and went into the Dragon’s mouth and was eaten. And there she remained, lost to the people, until Balazar stole her back from the Dragon. He brought her to the Citadels, and since then the spirit has allowed the people of the Citadels to raise those animals safely. Entry Requirements: Be a Citadel pig herder. Abilities: Follower of Mralota, Mralota Practice Knowledge, Open Spirit World, Spirit Face, Swineherding. Virtues: Stubborn, Tough. Practice Spirits: [Beast] Boar spirits—Beast spirits of power (Boar's Strength 12 to 18, Charge Like Pig 1W, Grow Tusks 12 to 4W, Ignore Pain 19, Intimidating Display 17W, Thick Skin 17, Throw Off Exhaustion 15 to 6W, Virility 12 to 4W.) [Beast] Sow spirits—Beast spirits of kinship (Enhance Sense of Smell 11 to 3W, Pig Friend 15 to 6W, Resist Persuasion 16, Scent Predators 15, Talk With Pigs 12 to 2W.) Spirit Ally: A practitioner can get a porcine spirit awakened in one of their pigs. Secret: Carry On (Gain an additional final action in any contest in which the character is striving against difficult odds and has used the powers of Mralota, even if he would not normally be permitted a final action.) Practice Secret Requirements: Follower of Mralota 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2, Tough 1W2. Charms and Fetishes: Mralota shamans make fetishes from bone and wood, and medicine bundles from pig hide. Other Side: Mralota dwells in Balazar's Citadel in the Green Place in the Spirit World. Here, the spirits of wild pigs and human Mraloti are as one and can take on either form as it suits them, and rapacious carnivores and wicked outsiders only threaten them at the very fringes of the realm. Disadvantages: Practitioners of Mralota are looked down on by other Citadel people as uncouth and lower status. Horned Man (Shamanic Practice) Father of Shamans I was puzzled by what the shamanic practice for Balazar would be, until it occurred to me, following the old RuneQuest "feel," that it would be the Horned Man (HeroQuest page 146). That guy gets around. Yelmalio The Brightness of Yelm, God of Light and War For Yelmalio, I used the cult as given in Sartar Rising 2: Orlanth is Dead! page 32. It's too simple a version (IMO) of the cult for Sun County in Prax or the Sun Dome in Dragon pass, but it's perfect for the three citadels of Balazar. Balazar The Founder The cult of Balazar is a hero cult. A foreigner, Balazar came to the region in the Second Age and made the kingdom his own. He built the citadels and left his children to care for them when he marched off with the True Golden Horde to plunder Dragon Pass. Like most participants in the Dragonkill War of 1100, Balazar was killed, but not until he had performed noteworthy deeds. Balazar stole the sacred image Mralota the Sow Mother from dragons, and since then the spirit has allowed the citadels to raise those animals safely. Balazar married Rigtaina, the hunting nymph daughter of the Wild Mother, and founded the dynasties which rule the three citadels, and so the nobles there and many common people, trace their lineage to Balazar instead of to Votank. Since Balazar worshipped Yelmalio, his followers do also. The cult of Yelmalio is strong at the citadels (though stronger at the two uncontrolled by the Lunars). Balazar is a hero cult of Yelmalio. Abilities: Horsemanship, Mythology of Balazar, Spear Fighting. Virtues: Ambitious, Proud. Affinities: [Mastery] feats: Aura of Righteousness, Lead Clan, Lead Tribe. Other Side: Balazar’s Citadel is between Sky Place and the Green Place, warding them both against invaders. From the Citadel, worshippers may exit to the Long Night or follow other doorways into the Sky Realm in the God World. Other Connections: Balazar is a part of the Elder Wilds Tradition as well as (distantly) the Celestial Pantheon. Disadvantages: The Balazar cult is only worshipped in the three citadels of Balazar. The Wild Mother The Untamable The Wild Mother is the Great Spirit of the untamed wilderness. She is unknowable and untamable. As a result, she is not directly worshipped but is propitiated and receives worship in almost all the important rites in the tradition. She does not respond to shaman attempts to contact her directly as she must remain untamed; it is unclear what powers such worship would provide. Rigtaina The Huntress The daughter of the Wild Mother and Genert, she is also the mother of Balazar’s children. She is the One Who Can be Caught and also the One Who Escapes. Balazar’s sacred marriage to Rigtaina provided him rulership of the lands, but when he died Rigtaina left once more; a child of her mother, she was never truly a part of the clans or citadels. She is the source of all the wild prey animals and nourishing plants the Balazaring clans depend upon for survival. She receives some worship at Foundchild ceremonies, and at the beginning of every Great Hunt the shamans call on her to bless the hunters. Entry Requirements: Membership in a tradition that knows the ways of contacting Rigtaina. Any Balazaring who follows Rigtaina must, a year after joining the practice, sever all ties with clan and family and live in the wilderness alone. The one exception is female followers who have children—they must sever all ties once their children have come of age. Abilities: Escape Restraints, Follower of Rigtaina, Open Spirit World, Rigtaina Practice Knowledge, Spirit Face. Virtues: Independent, Restless. Practice Spirits: [Hunting] Predator spirits—Beast spirits of predator animals (Sense Prey 18 to 8W, Sharp [Hand Weapon] 15 to 12W, True [Ranged Weapon] 18 to 8W2) [Wilderness] Prey spirits—Beast spirits of prey animals (Dodge Grasp 12 to 16W, Escape Trap 12 to 20, Fleetfoot 18 to 8W2, Undetectable While Motionless 16 to 6W) Secret: Never Tamed (Automatically succeed at a single final action in any contest in which the character has used her Prey spirits, even if a final action would not normally be allowed.) Practice Secret Requirements: Escape Restraints 1W2, Follower of Rigtaina 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2. Other Side: Rigtaina spends most of her time in the wilderness surrounding the Green Place, but occasionally briefly visits Balazar’s Citadel on important occasions. Common Magic Survival Tricks During the Long Night, Foundchild and Hearth-Mother taught the people many small tricks to help them survive. These have passed beyond the Elder Wilds Tradition into the realm of common lore, and many people who have found themselves in Balazar have picked up a few. Not many people specialize in this religion, for its precepts are very simple. [Magic] Talents: Cure [Minor Disease], Fight Predator, Find Prey, Find Water, Hide Trail, Keep Fire Lit, Kill Bear, Kill Mosquitos, Kill Wolf, Listen Hard, Protect My Dog, Running, Smell Danger, Stop Bleeding.
  7. Tripartite Worship of a Chaos Entity The Thanatar cult is an oddity in modern Glorantha. An attempt to revere a Chaos entity lost in the Gods War, it is a syncretism of different magical groups. Some blame its resurgence on the sort of magical meddling that backfired on the God Learners; others say the Lunars, Shamans, or Sorcerers are to blame. As the Thanatari are extraordinarily secretive and their works are routinely burned when found, the truth may never be known. What is clear, however, is that the combination of groups provided complementary abilities and services that have created a greater threat than the individual parts were before. Scholars of the Horned Society are reputed to have helped Than practitioners perfect their gruesome head-creation rituals. Than assassins have been found to be using Tien feats in their attacks, and so on. Truly, three separate nightmares have combined to form a looming disaster. The threat is great enough that even normally-hostile groups, such as Sartarites and Lunars, sometimes team up when a temple is discovered to eradicate all traces of Thanatari. Entry Requirements: Prospective members must convince an existing member of their worthiness and sincerity. Many require bribes of lore or money before they will admit new members. Since the whole organization is persecuted and hunted, even finding someone to admit them is a challenge for non-chaotics. Abilities: Chaos Lore, Worship Thanatar. Virtues: Secretive. Core Elements: The organization consists of three subgroups: the Horned Society (which reveres Atyar as the Devourer of Knowledge), the Than Practice (which worships Than as the Headless Spirit), and the cult of Tien the Severed God. Magic: Members receive their magic from their subgroup. Despite being members of either a wizardry school, a spiritual practice, or a theistic cult, Thanatari can read grimoires from the Horned Society as if they were students, gain charms from the Than Practice as if they were spiritists, or learn affinities from Thanatar as if they were initiates without penalty. Such is the nature of Chaos. Great Secret: None. Other Side: Thanatar’s worshippers go to the Place of Waiting, which has connections to the God World, the Spirit World, and Essence Planes. The Place of Waiting is reputed to be that part of the Underworld where Tien was beheaded. Chaos brings marvels and terrors alike. Disadvantages: Worshippers may never use fire or light abilities, even if those powers are stolen. Their propensity for attacking members of other groups and stealing their secrets has left the group hated and feared by all others. The Thanatar religion is rife with internal politics. Adherents constantly labor under the threat of assassination for posing a threat to a rival, suffering censure for being allied to someone who poses a political threat to an elite, being sent on a suicide mission to aid the cause of other Thanatari, being manipulated into becoming a scapegoat for a rival, and so on. Many of the Secrets of the religion benefit from ritual support but little support can be gathered. Why aid someone who will later become a roadblock on your own path to power? Loyalty is rare among the Thanatari. The Horned Society School of the Horned Skull The Horned Society is a scourge that has operated in secret for centuries. Established by a rogue priest of Lhankor Mhy named Treack Markhor, this sorcery school is dedicated to the theft of magical secrets. The sage discovered a horned skull worshipped as a spirit of death on an unnamed island. Intrigued by the power he sensed within he took the skull with him, keeping it secret from his brother sages. Through decades of study he unlocked its secrets, naming the skull Atyar, Devourer of Knowledge. He drew a number of like-minded individuals into his service, and they formed a secret society. The group began stealing magic from other groups, first targeting small, outsider cults and other secret societies. Eventually their hunger for knowledge grew too powerful and more prominent religions and churches were plundered. The authorities moved to purge the group. The senior members of the Horned Society met one more time in its secret underground sanctum and secured the skull of Atyar in a vault protected by the most powerful magics they had—their own powers and those stolen from others. Then the Society broke up and went out into the world. The Horned Society operates in cells, usually composed of two to four adepts, supported by about two to three times as many apprentices. Individual members hoard their stolen knowledge, loathe to trade even the simplest magic except for a greater power. Members steal from each other as well as others. The Portal of Power created by adepts of the Horned Society is the Entropic Equation. Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Focused Will, Read [Language], Rule of Treack Markhor, Symbolic Sight, Write [Language]. Relationships: Member of [Horned Society Cell]. Virtues: Hate Truth Gods, Paranoid. Grimoires: [Truth] Feast of Forgotten Lore (Confuse Foe, Decode Grimoire, Devour Book, Frighten Mortal, Ingest Scroll, Recognize Secrets, Sense Learning, Transfer Thoughts [D+20 to steal mundane secrets]) [Chaos] Gospel of Atyar (Absorb Feat, Dismay Victim, Dissect Spell, Inspire Zealotry, Prophetic Voice of Atyar [D+20], Summon Essence of Teaching, Unravel Charm) School Secret Requirements: Chaos Lore 1W2, Use Feast of Forgotten Lore 1W2, Use Gospel of Atyar 1W2. Secret: Consume Mind ritual (Chaos magic. The adept attempts to consume the mind of a helpless individual, in a ritual held over the course of Truth week in any season. It does not work on devotees or disciples of Lhankor Mhy. The ritual is dangerous and risky, and most Atyari only conduct it in their most secret of sanctums. Use of the ritual results in you receiving a chaos feature.) Talismans: Atyari typically make talismans in the shape of small horned skull pendants formed of tarnished silver. Other Benefits: Apprentices may roll for a random Thanatar gift; upon promotion to adept status, you may roll for another gift and may take another every High Holy Day. Other Side: Treack Markhor established a node on the Founder Plane. Known as the Athenaeum of Dark Truths, it is constructed out of parts stolen from other nodes. The Athenaeum has secret, hidden connections to other Founder nodes (unbeknownst to those Founders!), and also connects to the Place of Waiting. Disadvantages: Atyari must still adhere to taboos of spirit relationships they have stolen, or else the spirit will become hostile as normal. Than The Headless Spirit Even diminished, Than had power. When contacted by shamans searching the periphery of well-known myths for new power, he had a new outlet in the world. And as the son of the Devil, Than drew followers—rapacious Orlanthi headhunters who stalked the dark places in the Dawn Age, stealing the heads and powers of rivals and enemies. The Thanics formed a secret group of religious assassins, ritually strangling sacrifices with their garrotes to keep their patron strong and bring closer the day when Than would be made whole again. Reviled and hunted, Thanics remained a persecuted minority on the fringes of the Empire. They learned to operate in secrecy; many found security only in communities of chaotic-tainted folk. Their sign of the coiled garrote became feared, evoking dread from the people of the frontiers. Many times, authorities hunted down the shamans and their circles of followers, but they proved persistent and fanatical. Eventually, the strongholds of Than worship were eliminated. But still, Than waits in the wild places of the Spirit World for mortals to contact him again. Abilities: Endure Wounds, Garrotte Attack, Than Practice Knowledge, Sense Way when Blind, Spirit Face. Relationships: Follower of [Than Practitioner]. Virtues: Hate Anti-Chaos Gods, Zealous. Practice Spirits: [Chaos] Chaos spirits—Spirits of Tien’s horde (Destroy Daimon 15 to 10W, Extinguish Essence 20, 10 to 5W, Sever Spirit 18 to 12W, ). [Darkness] Gloom spirits—Spirits of the darkness (Animate Skeleton ritual 20, Create Zombie ritual 10 to 5W, Extinguish Flame 18 to 8W, Smother Sound 16 to 6W, Summon Dehori 17, Wall of Shadows 8 to 7W). [Death] Guardian spirits—Spirits of dead worshippers (Usually any two abilities like Crushing Grip, Wiresharp Garrote, Disrupt Foe, or Repair Tool: 14 to 1W). [Spirit] Sacrifice spirits—Spirits of beheaded victims (Abilities specific to the victim, usually at 13 to 1W2. These are always hostile and the practitioner does not have to be related to them to bind them to his service.) Practice Secret Requirements: Chaos Lore 1W2, Spirit Face 1W2, Than Practice Knowledge 1W2. Secret: Create Major Head ritual (Chaos magic. The practitioner attempts to bind the spirit, soul, or essence of a helpless individual into their own severed head as a form of gruesome fetish, in a ritual held over the course of Death week in any season.) Spirit Ally: Members of the Than Practice may receive a Guardian spirit as spirit ally in exchange for a random geas. Charms and Fetishes: Than charms and fetishes are usually made of the bones of victims chased with tarnished silver. Sacrifice spirits are bound into charms and fetishes made from the victim’s own severed, animated heads; these lesser magic items are called “minor heads” by Thanics and are held in lesser esteem than the full heads created by the Secret, but all ritually severed heads are sacred objects to followers. Other Connections: Spiritists may roll for a random Thanatar gift; upon promotion to practitioner status, you may roll for another gift and may take another every High Holy Day. Other Side: Followers of Than go to the Blasted Void, a gloomy mire in the Spirit World that remains where the Spike exploded. Hidden paths lead to the Place of Waiting. Or, using enslaved spirits as guides, followers may journey beyond the edge of the Blasted Void to other parts of the Spirit World, such as the Vale of Four Winds or the Wild Wolf Forest. Tien The Severed God It is clear the Chaos god Tien, son of the Devil, was severed in the God Time. Nevertheless, since Time began, a group was able to recreate the entity to an extent. The combined god is typically called Thanatar, although that name is also used for the entire organization consisting of the three factions: the Horned Society, the Than Practice, and the theistic Cult. To avoid confusion, we will use “Tien” for the theistic cult, and “Thanatar” for the entire religion. Mystery surrounds the origin of the cult. Some say the broo Hero Greegrog retrieved the Skull of Atyar and reconnected it to the Majestic Spirit of Than, recreating the god Tien and being made immortal for his pains. Others say that the Horned Skull still resides in a vault under a ruined city, and that the Broken Council recreated the god as an experiment preliminary to the creation of Osentalka. Due to the organization’s characteristic secrecy, the truth may remain forever unknown. Abilities: Devotee of Tien or Initiate of Tien, Mythology of Thanatar, Shortsword and Shield Fighting, Soul Vision. Relationships: Member of [Tien Temple]. Virtues: Fatalistic, Manipulative. Affinities and Feats: [Death] Severing (Command Ghost, Sever Soul, Summon Daimon of Reprisal ritual, Survive Beheading [D+20], True Garrote) [Truth] Knowledge (Find Hidden Knowledge, Sense Weakness, Summon Teaching Daimon ritual) [Darkness] Shadows (Command Darkness Daimon, Darklight, Replenishing Sleep, Summon Darkness Daimon ritual) Secret: Summon Specific Guardian ritual (Otherworld magic. The Tien worshipper must travel to the Otherworld to bring back a Thanatari they are trying to resurrect. The quest is difficult, but the Thanatari need not be resurrected into their original body; the only requirement is that seven days cannot have elapsed since death. If the Tien worshipper fails, the Thanatari immediately goes to the Place of Waiting, even if the full seven days have not yet elapsed.) Other Connections: Initiates may roll for a random Thanatar gift; upon promotion to devotee status, you may roll for another gift and may take another every High Holy Day. Other Side: Tien worshippers who die are escorted to the Place of Waiting by a cult entity called the Gatherer of Souls. From the Place of Waiting theists may journey to the Darkness Age, or they may follow hidden ways to the Blasted Void or the Athenaeum of Dark Truths. A Note on Thanatari Magic Thanatar is a religion for those who wish to possess lore or mastery of skills or magic, but do not wish to do the work to gain such themselves; rather, they steal this power from others. They are greedy and miserly and do not give up magical power that they have stolen. Thanatari magic possesses features of all other magical methods. The magic itself is inherently chaotic, and dabbling in Thanatar’s powers is a certain way to acquire a taint or even turn into a chaos horror. Nevertheless, their studies and activities give the Thanatari many advantages. Anyone who can convince a current member to sponsor them and can sway the examiners can join the religion. They can treat the Horned Society as just another sorcery school, the Than Practice as just another practice, or the Tien cult as just another cult. For these members, the elements function as normal magical groups, and are subject to concentration as normal. It is worth keeping in mind that the Thanatari religion is an enemy to most other religions, and any follower discovering a cell of Thanatari in their neighborhood is likely to turn them in to the authorities. This fact contributes to the Thanatari virtue of extreme secrecy. It is also possible for a follower to concentrate their Thanatari magic. Such followers join the ranks of favored lower-level members in the organization, a group called “The Doomed.” In this case, they may pay the concentrated hero point costs for any Thanatari magic, but must pay double costs for any other kind of magic they wish to learn. A follower who has concentrated their Thanatari magic can learn abilities from other branches of the religion. An apprentice of the Horned Society can receive charms for Than spirits or learn affinities from Tien; a spiritist of the Than practice can learn spells from the Horned Society or affinities from Tien; and, an initiate of Tien can learn spells from the Horned Society or receive charms for Than spirits, all paying the concentrated cost for these magics. Adepts of the Horned Society can use Than fetishes, using their Worship Thanatar ability [D+10] in place of Than Practice Knowledge when releasing the spirits, or learn feats from Tien. Practitioners of Than can learn Use [Grimoire] abilities and learn spells from those grimoires, or learn feats from Tien. Devotees of Tien can learn Use [Grimoire] abilities, or use Than fetishes, using their Worship Thanatar ability [D+10] in place of Than Practice Knowledge when releasing the spirits. The one magic that cannot so easily be stolen is the Cult and Practice Secrets of gods and spirits. Thanatar elite must heroquest mightily for even a fraction of these powers, and the discipline to succeed with such an exertion is foreign to most Thanatari━━this is why they joined a knowledge-stealing religion in the first place! Thanatari Gifts and Geases As followers of a Chaos entity, Thanatari of any faction receive random gifts. These are slightly adapted and updated from Nikk Effingham's list. Thanatar's Gifts d20 Gift Required Geases 1-2 +5 to all Atyar or Scholar keyword abilities 3 3-4 +5 to all Than or Thief keyword abilities 2 5-7 +5 to Shortsword and Shield Fighting 1 8-9 +10 to Shortsword and Shield Fighting 3 10-12 +5 to Garrotte Attack 1 13 Begin a Resist Fire/Sky Magic ability at 13 or raise it by +5 2 14-15 +5 to one Knowledge, Lore, or Mythology ability 1 16 Sprout ram's horns, which act as average weapons (HeroQuest page 78) 1 17 Skin/fur turns pitch black, and gives an automatic augment of +10 to hiding 2 18 Skin/fur toughens, and acts as light armor (HeroQuest page 78) 1 19 Receive a guardian as a spirit ally 3 20 Select one gift, and receive random geases. n/a Thanatar's Geases d20 Geas 1 Eat the flesh of sentient creatures at each meal. 2 Always eat the flesh of each victim. 3 Never use minted coins. 4 Never use an edged weapon. 5 Never speak to non-Thanatari. 6 Never ride an animal. 7 Wear no head protection. 8 Never go into sunlight or risk permanent blindness; roll your best defense versus the intensity of the light (usually from 14W2 to 14W3). 9 Never go into non-cult light or risk permanent blindness; roll your best defense versus the intensity of the light (usually from 14 to 14W3). 10 Never use fire in any form, including Darklight. 11 Gain a useful chaos feature at a rating of either 13 or your Worship Thanatar ability minus 20, whichever is higher. 12 Gain a detrimental chaos feature at a rating of either 18 or your Worship Thanatar minus 20, whichever is lower. 13 Always challenge Lhankor Mhy, Urox, or Storm Bull worshippers. 14 Never eat non-sentient plants. 15 Never wear metal other than tarnished silver. 16 Never eat the flesh of any cloven-hoofed creature. 17 Never lie to a fellow Thanatari. 18 Never harm an undead creation. 19 Never attack with a weapon. 20 Roll 1d20. On a roll of 1-10, roll two times and take both geases. On a roll of 11-15, roll three times and take all three geases. On a 16-20, you are favoured by Thanatar this time and receive no geas.
  8. The World Machine In the beginning, there was the World Machine. A device of wondrous complexity, It encompassed the entirety of the Universe, somehow becoming something greater than the sum of Its parts. Self-created, it contained all possibilities within itself. It remains beyond the comprehension of lesser beings, but it may be termed Mostal. Three components were of special interest to dwarf lore: Helper, the first tool; Linchpin, the central support; and the Mostali, independent repair and maintenance units. The Mostali were of different kinds. Called the Octagony of Ancient Minerals, the types were: Rock Mostali, who mined and built structures; Lead Mostali, who developed methods to control the dynamics of moving substances; the Quicksilver Mostali, who learned the transformation and combination of liquids and gasses; the Copper Mostali, who developed containers and transport mechanisms; the Tin Mostali, who mastered techniques of automaton construction and essence control; the Brass Mostali, who learned the combination and refining of metals; the Silver Mostali, who mastered the methods of magic and enchantment; and the Gold Mostali, who studied and codified the methods and knowledge of the others. Helper, the first tool, created more tools itself. These tools, the Mostali used to maintain and refine Linchpin, which some other races call the Spike. A structure constructed of adamant (which is refined truestone), it was a wonder to behold. The Universe functioned flawlessly, all the parts contained within their orbits, fulfilling their functions. At some point, Error was introduced into the World Machine and it began to suffer malfunctions. The precise nature and source of Error is still under some investigation, but it seems clear that these were the result of a number of other forces: Growing, typified by the elves, and Taking, typified by the trolls. The Iron Mostali were developed by the Octagony as a response to these threats to the Machine. They developed the tools and methods of warfare to combat these malfunctioning forces. The Mostali were of superior construction, but were heavily outnumbered by malfunctioning units. In response, the Octagony met again and created the so-called Clay Mostali—the dwarves. Although somewhat less magical and intelligent than the Mostali, they were much easier to replace and more numerous, and eager to help with maintenance operations. Then, at a critical moment in Error repair operations, the Linchpin was destroyed as Entropy swept through the system. Most of the Mostali were destroyed. The Universe plummeted towards oblivion. Emergency repair operations began immediately, spearheaded by the dwarves, the most numerous repair units still in existence. Working slavishly, they attempted to repair the World Machine faster than it was being destroyed. Some despaired at what seemed a hopeless task. But the remaining Mostali and dwarves persevered and many outlying factories and outposts were cheered when the Sun rose, indicating that major repair operations were correcting the Errors in the system. They were inspired to iron discipline, working ever harder to complete the Machine’s repair. They know that the Error is not yet fixed, for the perfect universe has not been restored. Yet. Homelands: Brass Mountains, Curustus, Diamond Mountains, Dwarf Mine, Gemborg, Greatway, Imther, Iron Mountains, Jord Mountains, Mari Mountains, Nidan Mountains, Slon, Von Mountains. Abilities: Mostali Doctrine, Read Mostali, Worship Mostal, Write Mostali. Liturgist only—Venerate Mostal. (“Liturgists” are the foremen and supervisors of the dwarves. Their weekly “services” are called Planning Meetings or Operational Overview Presentations.) Virtues: Conservative, Hardworking, Implacable, Unyielding. Scripture: The Way of Mostal [Law] Common Blessings—Be Content with Life, Bless Community Task, Bless Work Unit, Bless Worker, Clean Work Area, Clear Mind of Distraction, Comprehend Common Purpose, Labor Tirelessly, Maintain Tools and Equipment, Remain Focused, Sense Intruder, Work Hard. [Blessing] Special Blessings—Bless Stronghold, Conceal Mostali, Feel Unity, Name and Number New Dwarf, Produce Protodwarf Module ritual, Protect from Deterioration, Purify Tool, Resist Divine Magic, Resist Spirit Magic, Resist Wizardry, Sense [Enemy], Sense Traps. [Curse] Curses—Curse Apostate, Curse Chaos, Curse [Enemy], Curse Thief. Great Secret: Become One with the World Machine. Orders: This “church” has ten distinct orders, one for each of the castes. The orders do not have virtues distinct from the Way of Mostal, but their magic is geared towards the functions of their caste. No other schools or orders are compatible with the Way of Mostal. The practice of any other form of wizardry immediately brands the dwarf an apostate. Dwarves that stay with the Way of Mostal, even if heretic, never age nor die naturally. However, apostate dwarves are subject to the unnatural force of death. They begin aging at varying rates that seem to be based on the overall physical and mental characteristics of the individual; this is a powerful incentive for dwarves to remain in the fold. Other Side: The Mostal node is a complex structure with its apex in the Saint Plane that connects to a base of ten nodes in the Spell Plane. Disadvantages: Every aspect of dwarf society and magical practice is stratified to a level beyond mortal comprehension. Devout dwarves are mostly incompatible with life outside their cities. Rock Dwarves Rock dwarves mine, quarry, dress, and build with stone. They are the architects and sculptors of dwarf society, and build cities and laboratories. They work in cement as well as stone. The portal of power created by the Rock Dwarves is called the Petrified Portal. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the rock dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Mining, Rock Lore, Rule of the Rock Mostali, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Rock Dwarf Work Unit]. Grimoires: [Mineral] Stoneworking Procedure Manual rev. 1023-A/3 (Analyze Stone ritual, Enchant [Mineral] ritual, Enchant Stone ritual, Reinforce Portal, Reinforce Statue, Reinforce Structural Support, Shape Cement, Shape Rock, Stabilize Masonry ritual) [Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31M-8/12 ver. 118.0 (Activate Stone Door, Determine Precise Direction, Grade Surface with Words, Repair Stone Structure, Measure Exact Distance Underground, Stabilize Reinforcements ritual). Talismans: All talismans are tools, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The rock dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Rock Bowl, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Repair Stone Structure spell can be used to heal wounded rock dwarves. The Sabilize Masonry ritual enables a section of wall or other stonework to be held up so that work can be done on it; so long as the enchantment lasts, it does not move. Lead Dwarves Lead dwarves invented plumbing, and later developed glassblowing. They work closely with the Quicksilver Dwarves. Lead Dwarves also specialize in making seals and wards to prevent entrance or to block off forbidden areas. The portal of power created by the Lead Dwarves is called the Vitrified Valve. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the lead dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Hydraulic Engineering, Know Mostal, Lead Lore, Rule of the Lead Mostali, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Lead Dwarf Work Unit]. Grimoires: [Making] Advanced Hydraulics in Theory and Practice ver. 408 (Analyze Liquid Composition ritual, Determine Precise Rate of Liquid Flow, Enchant Lead ritual, Enchant Glass ritual, Repair Glass Structure, Repair Lead Structure, Stabilize Glass ritual, Stabilize Plumbing ritual) [Defense] Greatway Security Procedures 21-Alpha (Alarm Against Elves, Alarm Against Trolls, Attach Alarm to Area ritual, Seal Portal ritual, Ward Area Against Essences ritual, Ward Area Against Gods ritual, Ward Area Against Spirits ritual). Talismans: All talismans are tools or glass devices, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The lead dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Leaden Pot, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Repair Lead Structure spell can be used to heal wounded lead dwarves. The Stabilize rituals armor the affected structure; so long as the enchantment persists, the structure cannot be damaged. The Ward Area rituals allow other spells to be used to protect the area in question, triggered upon intrusion. Quicksilver Dwarves Quicksilver dwarves know the art of transmutation and the science of alchemy. They brew terrible compounds in their fuming labs, and know the secrets of gunpowder, medicine, and all forms of vitriol and potions. They also make the dwarf version of food. Although they use magic, they specialize in manipulating physical elements. The portal of power created by the Quicksilver Dwarves is called the Bountiful Beaker. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the quicksilver dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Alchemy, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Quicksilver Lore, Rule of the Quicksilver Mostali, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Quicksilver Dwarf Alchemical Union]. Grimoires: [Stasis] Transmutation Methods Manual MkIIA rev. 22 (Analyze Potion ritual, Combine Matter, Control Material, Purify Solution, Stabilize Potion ritual, Transmute Gas to Liquid ritual, Transmute Gas to Solid ritual, Transmute Liquid to Gas ritual, Transmute Liquid to Solid ritual, Transmutate Solid to Gas ritual, Transmute Solid to Liquid ritual) [Making] Approved Formulas List, Greatway Division ver. 173 (Brew [Antidote] ritual, Brew Gunpowder ritual, Brew Magic Enhancing Potion ritual, Brew [Poison] ritual, Brew Vitriol ritual, Enchant Aluminum/Quicksilver ritual). Talismans: All talismans are alchemical glassware or tools, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The quicksilver dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Quicksilver Alembic, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Purify Solution spell can be used to heal poisoned or diseased quicksilver dwarves. All of the Transmute and Brew rituals require specific equipment for different specific materials; the procedure is the same (and time-consuming) but the equipment differs. The Stabilize Potion ritual preserves a potion against deterioration for as long as the enchantment lasts. Copper Dwarves Copper dwarves make tools, containers, and some weapons. The original Copper Mostali created the world’s first coinage – clacks. One of their tasks is to manufacture the special magical conduits which purvey energy to all the parts of a dwarf factory. The portal of power created by the Copper Dwarves is called the Masterwork Magnum. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the copper dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Copper Lore, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Make Minor Equipment, Redsmithing, Rule of the Copper Mostali, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Copper Dwarf Craft Guild]. Grimoires: [Forge] Methods of Redsmithing M381-X (Beat Metal Tirelessly, Enchant Copper ritual, Handle Hot Metal, Harden [Metal] Item ritual, Repair [Metal] Item, Soften [Metal] Item, Strengthen [Metal], Unbreakable Hammer, Unyielding Anvil) [Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31B21-10/X ver. 9.6 (Analyze Magical Energy ritual, Increase Container Storage ritual, Prepare Magical Energy Conduit ritual, Prepare Magical Energy Storage Container ritual, Stabilize Magical Energy Conduit ritual, Transfer Magical Energy). Talismans: All talismans are tools, containers, or weapons, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The copper dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Copper Kettle, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Repair Metal Item spell can be used to heal wounded copper dwarves. The Stabilize Magic Energy Conduit ritual will cause the conduit to generate magical energy as if it were a living creature for the duration of the enchantment. Tin Dwarves Tin Dwarves summon and control those useful creatures, gnomes. They create the semi-living constructs, such as Jolanti, Gobblers, and Nilmergs, which work for the dwarves in specialized tasks, hard labor, or harsh environments. They also manufacture replacement limbs and organs for crippled dwarves, and the cans which store dwarf food. The portal of power created by the Tin Dwarves is called the Chained Chamber. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the tin dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Craft Mechanism, Craft Mechanism, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Repair Mechanism, Rule of the Tin Mostali, Symbolic Sight, Tin Lore. Relationships: Member of [Tin Dwarf Craft Guild]. Grimoires: [Sorcery] Automaton Directive Methods Part 1 (Control Earth Essence, Coommand [Automaton], Forge [Automaton] ritual, Deactivate Automaton, Dismiss Earth Essence, Summon Earth Essence ritual) [Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31X ver. 3.0 (Assess Automaton Needs ritual, Enchant Tin ritual, Manufacture Tin [Limb/Organ], Repair Tin Mechanism, Stabilize Life ritual, Tin Food ritual). Talismans: All talismans are tools or replacement limbs or organs, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The tin dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Tin Dipper, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Repair Tin Mechanism spell can be used to heal wounded tin dwarves. The Stabilize Life ritual prevents the subject creature from actually dying in combat; so long as the enchantment lasts, the subject creature remains in a Dying state. The Tin Food ritual preserves food for years. Earth Essences are typically termed gnomes. Brass Dwarves Brass dwarves are alloyists and metallurgists. They create new metals from combinations of old ones. They are also in charge of heating the forges and keeping the necessary heat channeled to appropriate spots and at the correct temperature for the job at hand. The portal of power created by the Brass Dwarves is called the Polymorphic Pod. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the brass dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Brass Lore, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Metal Lore, Rule of the Brass Mostali, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Brass Dwarf Forge Guild]. Grimoires: [Forge] Metallurgical Procedures Greatway-B13 (Alloy [Metal] and [Metal], Analyze Metal ritual, Enchant [Metal] ritual, Produce Flame, Purify [Metal], Reform Alloy, Stabilize Heat ritual) [Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31B25-4/G ver. 21.2 (Analyze Heat Requirements ritual, Increase Heat Produced, Prepare Heat Source ritual, Stabilize Heat Conduit ritual, Transfer Heat). Talismans: All talismans are tools or mechanisms, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The brass dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Brass Cauldron, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Reform Alloy spell can be used to heal wounded brass dwarves, and the Purify [Metal] spell can be used to cure poisoned or diseased brass dwarves. The Stabilize Heat ritual prevents the enchanted fire from going out for the duration, even if the fuel source is exhausted. Silver Dwarves Silver dwarves are enchanters and sorcerers. All dwarves learn sorcery appropriate to their subtype, but these specialize in working with magic power. Some silver dwarves construct great enchantments taking centuries to complete. They say they made the Red Moon. The portal of power created by the Silver Dwarves is called the Devised Diagram. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the silver dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Rule of the Silver Mostali, Silver Lore, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Silver Dwarf Magical Unit]. Grimoires: [Magic] Arcane Operations Manual 7M11-21 (Analyze Enchantment ritual, Block Ritual [D+5 to D+30], Coordinate Magic, Dismiss Feat, Dismiss Spirit, Divert Spell, Reflect Magic, Store Spell ritual, Understand Ritual [D+5 to D+30]) [Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31S+X (Control Essence, Dismiss Essence, Enchant Silver ritual, Identify Essence, Repair Enchantment, Stabilize Magic ritual). Talismans: All talismans are tools, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The silver dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Silver Pan, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Repair Enchantment spell can be used to heal wounded silver dwarves. The Stabilize Magic ritual causes the affected magic to remain in effect for as long as the spell lasts. The Store Spell ritual allows the storage of any other sorcery, which may be released by the wielder at will. Most silver dwarves have one or more unique enchantments whose purpose (and even effects) are unfathomable to non-dwarves. Gold Dwarves Gold dwarves represent the mind of Mostal. They are teachers, and maintain the continuity of dwarf society through correct education and indoctrination. They keep the lore of the dwarves. The portal of power created by the Gold Dwarves is called the Consecrated Concourse. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the gold dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Gold Lore, Identify Heresy, Instructor, Know Mostal, Know Mostali Culture, Mathematics, Rule of the Gold Mostali, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Gold Dwarf Council]. Grimoires: [Law] Instructional Primer and Conditioning Manual 37W (Cast Out Daimon, Cast Out Spirit, Draw Clear Diagrams, Give Clear Instructions, Inspire Dwarf, Perfect Recall, Reach Consensus, Restore Memory, Stop Argument) [Making] Great Plan Assessment and Continuation Strategy Alpha-36/R (Enchant Gold ritual, Find Error in Mathematics, Heal Injury, Heal Dying, Predict Possibilities ritual, Stabilize Mind ritual). [Communication] Openhandist Circular Cycle 1612/303 (Communicate with Anyone, Dispel Suspicion, Find Compromise, Perceive Meaning, Prepare Body for Challenges Ahead, Prepare Mind for Challenges Ahead) Talismans: All talismans are tools or books, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The gold dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Gold Ewer, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Stabilize Mind ritual causes the enchanted individual to learn and process information twice as fast as normal. Iron Dwarves Iron dwarves, the blacksmiths, are devoted to the science of war. They forge iron armor and weapons, and are assisted by a variety of weird artifacts created to help them on the battlefield. Their special magic is dedicated only to maintaining and improving their arms and armor, or effecting the use of special tools of battle. The portal of power created by the Iron Dwarves is called the Incised Inscription. Entry Requirements: Be a member of the iron dwarf caste. Churches: Mostal. Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Iron Lore, Know Mostal, Rule of the Iron Mostali, Symbolic Sight. Relationships: Member of [Iron Dwarf Military Unit]. Grimoires: [Death] Tactical Guidelines Primer Greatway-313A (Chop Trees, Coordinate Unit, Discern Foe’s Tactics, Incandescent Hammer, Multishot Firearm, No Retreat, See Enemy Weakness, Shred Darkness, Stand Against Many, Steady Battleline, Strike [Otherworld Being], Unavoidable Volley, Unstoppable Advance) [Defense] Greatway Security Manual 18R3-12/42 ver. 314.2 (Bond Unit ritual, Enchant Iron ritual, Fend Blow ritual, Immovable Body, Mold Iron, Repair Armor, Repair Weapon, Stabilize [Weapon] ritual). Talismans: All talismans are weapons or armor pieces, each specially crafted to match the spell. Other Side: The iron dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Iron Crucible, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes. Notes: The Mold Iron spell can be used to heal wounded iron dwarves. The Stabilize [Weapon] ritual enchants the weapon so that it cannot break so long as the enchantment lasts. The Fend Blow ritual magically reinforces a piece of armor.
  9. Another review for Secrets of Dorastor. Don't forget that it is part of the DTRPG Sale. [5 Stars] I bought this book because I had discovered the authors website for Glorantha and because I was fascinated by his view of high power, no holds barred RuneQuest, I was not dissappointed! Secrets of Dorastor is deeply bonkers and shot through with pure gold! There is just so much great stuff in here with each baddie more deranged than the last but all making complete sense within the context of the living hell that is Dorastor! If you want to challenge (or just punish ;)) your players send them into Dorastor, they won't know what hit them, honorable broo Humakiti?! 150m tall giants! Evil Demi Gods! Micro Broo! (Not the drink) The magic items are great the organisations are excellent, there are really nice scenario hooks, on average 3 or 4 PER PAGE and there is even stuff for loads of areas surrounding Dorastor! Buy it ! [WARNING CONTAINS ADULT THEMES ;)]
  10. Secrets of Dorastor is out and can be found at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/318512/Secrets-of-Dorastor?affiliate_id=66807. A snip at $25.00 for 259 pages, it comes out as a Bargain on the Brooke Scale. There is a Table of Contents at http://www.soltakss.com/JC/StormSpearia-SecretsOfDorastor-TOC.pdf. From Nick's Scenarios: "Complexity: medium to high – a massive collection of material compiled from many years spent running RuneQuest games in Dorastor, including many self-consciously gross old-school elements – tips sadistic gamemasters can use to upset munchkin players, rules for “hyper-critical” hits, and a boyish enthusiasm for violated orifices, succubi and acid damage. The author writes with oblivious relish about this disturbing material." Secrets of Dorastor is a campaign pack set in the fabled land of Dorastor, in Greg Stafford's Glorantha. Inside you will find: A gazetteer of over one hundred places, with a map of Dorastor and nearby areas and maps of key places in Dorastor Descriptions of forty personalities, both of Dorastor and the surrounding Borderlands 25 types of Monster, of animal, vegetable and mineral types Write-ups of 9 Organizations RuneQuest write-ups of 8 Cults, including adapting the cult of Humakt to Dorastor New abilities for Illuminates and a description of Illumination and its various Schools 15 Magic Items Encounter Tables of all the important areas of Dorastor Sample Campaign and Scenario Hooks Extended RuneQuest rules for High Level Adventurers Tips for playing High Level Adventurers and NPCs Based on the write-up of our Dorastor Campaign, with a great deal of extra material, this covers the land and people of Dorastor and its Borderlands. WARNING: Dorastor is the most horrible part of Glorantha, a cursed land full of terrors. Secrets of Dorastor deals with extreme horror, with topics including violence, cannibalism, seduction, forced matings, ritual sacrifice and the liberal use of acid. Please do not purchase this if these themes might cause offense.
  11. Enter a podcast of wonder A grizzled old man with a poorly constructed box under his arm limps into the centre of the dusty square, coughs and wipes phlegm speckled lips, scratches his butt and spits. None of the busy merchants or their eager clients spare more than a suspicious glance in his direction. He places the box in the centre of the square and steps shakily on to it and it immediately falls apart with a crash spilling him bodily into the dust, with many loud and profane curses.. A couple of urchins run out and help him to his feet, fleeing after finding his purse as empty as it looked—the old man’s boots flailing on empty air instead of their butts as they disappear into the now gathering throng. The entire square begins to chortle, and then laughs begin to ring out, first one then another as he proudly brushes himself off while eyeing his now gathered audience. Figuring it to be as ready as it can be, he clears his throat and begins. “I am sure you have many questions” he begins in a surprisingly loud and sonorous voice… “yes, you over there. Speak up, hmm. Will it be dangerous, you ask,” “Will what be dangerous, you old fool”. retorts the surprised and befuddled merchant. Another demands to know, “What have you been smoking, old man. Make sense!" Ignoring these retorts, he continues his nonsensical speech to the confused throng, “Why yes, extremely dangerous. You ma’am, your question... am I qualified and is your safety assured, no and no.” he responds to a bemused woman holding a casaba melon in one hand whilst she shakes her bejeweled and braided hair, which dances about in a fetching way, gems sparkling as they catch the morning sun. “And you in the back, the timid one... excuse me, can you speak up, man, Ah yes I see, you ask has this been tested?” a small nebbishy looking chap with a scraggly beard and turban peers over the shoulder of a large woman. “Yes, that is exactly what, I ...” begins the startled and bewildered little man only to be shushed in mid-sentence by the large woman and then hurried away, feet scrambling to find firm ground to the amusement of all. “Great question, NO! Which is why I have assembled you all here: the bravest of the brave, true heroes all! Hear me now! “Our maiden voyage (and again louder) I SAY OUR MAIDEN VOYAGE on the good ship https://windwords.fm to the lands of Glorantha, will sail upon the roiling, bubbling and extremely dangerous waters of imagination and will depart as soon as you launch your browser and point it to, I SAY AGAIN, https://windwords.fm. and hit play or click on one of the many other fine choices of vehicles offered there such as the SS Spotify or your choice of Apple or Google Podcast, as well as a goodly selection of other podcasting services. Let them take you to a world of wonder as you voyage on the adventure filled seas of the Internet!” So come, leave the mundane behind! Enjoy your exercise routine for a change, forget your commuting hassles, make cooking an adventure and join @Joerg, @Bill the barbarian and @lordabdul as we explore the exotic and yet familiar world of Glorantha in a monthly podcast, discover the news and rumours of the adventure filled green lozenge, hear sages discourse on subjects divers and fascinating! In other words, let us entertain you by choosing your subscription of choice at @ https://windwords.fm. Give us your comments here, or at Tribe@windwords.fm
  12. Hi Glorantha community! I and my friend J-M started a little video series about Glorantha, our favorite fantasy game world a few months ago and released through he and his friends little organization Iconic Production (https://iconicproduction.wordpress.com/). We just did our fourth episode (we record live on YouTube for Patreon patrons on a Saturday) and it will go live for public consumption this coming weekend. The episodes can be found on YouTube (playlist link added below). We hope to spread our love of Glorantha, which, if you are here reading this, you probably already have. We look to bring in new fans and provide thoughtful discussion for old time fans. If you have someone who is wondering what it is all about, I hope we can help. We discuss Glorantha in the context of all the official systems currently supported as well: RuneQuest, Questworlds and 13th Age Glorantha. We do this because we love Glorantha and Greg Stafford's vision, Chaosium for carrying on that vision with so many amazing authors, artists and contributors, and the wider Glorantha community which has kept Glorantha growing with Fanzines, Cons, Freeforms, homebrew rules, websites and now the Jonstown Compendium. This is our modest contribution, and if we can bring in a few more people to love the world like we do, then we think that is a job well done. Check it out and tell a friend! I try to be very responsive in the YouTube Comments section too, which has attracted a lot of awesome interaction (very much the exception to the rule of "never read the comments"). Keep gaming. #WeAreAllUs )
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  14. With the release of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha on PDF, this thread is to catch any typos or errors spotted. Please note them here, quoting the page number, the error, and the suggested correction. Many thanks.
  15. (Note: Bold text refers to a Trait, Ability, or Rune that a character in question has). DRAMATIS PERSONAE Androgenus, a genderfluid Esrolian Eurmali trickster with the Illuminated Illusion, Earth, and Luck runes. They're out for blood vengeance against anyone who's ever victimized their family, their clan, and their homeland. in that order. Recently illuminated as part of a Heroquest that gave them temporary use of the Infinity Rune. Being hunted like a beagle puppy in an Orlanthi tula for whatever remnants of that power they might possess. Iris, an Esrolian Earth Priestess in service to Takakia, the Goddess of Moss (we finally came up with a name for the Moss Goddess! She’s named after a genera of rather unusual mosses first found in the Himalayas). She's got the Earth, Movement, and Spirit runes. Iris, having wanted power and prestige amongst the Esrolians for her entire life, now finds herself being given very little of the first and a lot of the second—she’s Queen of the Three Step Isles now. That and a few pounds of silver’ll buy you a cow, though... Waddlestomp the Bloodybeaked, a Hueymakti Duck thane with the Water, Death, and Truth runes. He has sworn a dread oath that he will personally slay one human for every Duck that is or has ever been killed or otherwise victimized by human hands. His plans of war and conquest are being put on temporary hold by the journey to the Three Step Isles, and boy is he unhappy about it! Played by the oldest in our group, and the most experienced with Glorantha. He wields an enchanted shield originally crafted by the Square Circle Temple. K'dud (pronounced Ka-Dude, named after the persona of a Knight in our local chapter of the SCA). K'dud is a Caladralander priest of Vestkarthan, God of Volcanoes, and also an initiate into the cults of Gustbran and Kalvan as well. He holds the Fire, Truth, and Mastery runes. He is a master of the Bronze Arms and Sharp Soul schools of unarmed combat, and seeks to help his people navigate the uncertain future after Belintar's death. To this end, he's following Iris and her band of misfits to the Three Step Isles. We last left our heroes aboard the She’s One Of Ours, Sir, a sardonically named smuggler bireme heading across the sea to the three most Godsforsaken islands in the world outside of God Forgot. The captain (a burly Caladralander who’s always a little pissed off about having been press-ganged into this mission by the Queens on pain of pain) We rejoin them a week into their journey across open sea. In the middle of a storm. The crew had brought in oars and reefed sail, hoping against hope that the sea-gods would be merciful. The phalanx of Esrolian pikemen assigned to Iris’s quest to retake the Three Step Isles were grumbling in their makeshift camp in the cramped hold, losing at a game of liars’ dice with Androgenus (making liberal use of their Luck rune’s breakout ability Supreme Gambler) and Waddlestomp (using his Unexpectedly Terrifying ability to put the soldiers off their game). Meanwhile, K’dud was busy being heartily sick out on the rain-swept deck (“I’m a Fire priest! Being surrounded by this much water is...unnatural!” He cried, in between bouts of pouring chum into the churning waves). Iris was in her cabin, conversing with the captain. Apparently, the plan was that the She’s One Of Ours, Sir would drop her and her soldiers off on the Three Steps, then leave. Immediately. Eventually, Esrolia was supposed to send reinforcements and supplies with another expedition in a few seasons. If they were successful, of course. In the meantime, Iris just had to reconquer three of the most pirate-haunted, sheep-infested islands in the Sea. Three islands crawling with weird spirits and strange, forgotten gods. A place where ruins from the God Time still stood, beckoning foolhardy adventurers to plumb their secret depths. A place where, hopefully, the first ever grand temple to Takakia would stand, and she would be hailed as Queen. Not much of a place to build a grand saga of glorious renown, to be true, but it was a start. First, though, they had to survive the storm. It seemed like Orlanth Himself was throwing everything he had at the little galley, tossing the poor craft around like a bit of soap in a toddler’s bath. Suddenly, there was an almighty thump, a horrid scraping noise, and the sound like a fist of an angry Godling punching through the bottom of the ship! It had struck a rock, running into an uncharted oyster bed. ”I’ve made this run a hundred times!” Bellowed the Captain over the howling winds, “This reef shouldn’t exist!” The PCs immediately got to work trying to save the She’s One Of Ours, Sir. Iris Called Up Local Spirits to bargain with spirits of wind, wave, and oyster, trying to calm the waters. She got a minor success, making K’dud’s effort to Fix Anything (a breakout ability from his Volcano Cultist Trait) a tad easier—K’dud moved in a blazing blur, the heat of his body turning storm-spray into steam around him. He patched the ragged hole knocked in the hull and set to work bailing. Meanwhile, Androgenus and Waddlestomp were left to deal with the boarders. While the other two PCs were distracted trying to keep the boat from falling apart and sinking after running aground, most of the other passengers had been fending off an attack from marauding Merfolk! Crawling up out of the waves, a school of sharklike merfolk had clambered aboard the deck with the crashing waves and were busy cutting down the crew who had rushed to meet them in battle. Waddlestomp put his Enchanted Shield to use immediately; with an expert throw, he knocked three merfolk off the deck railing, skulls crushed by good Esrolian bronze. Androgenus used their Luck rune’s breakout ability Curse of Misfortune to make some of the marauding merfolk get knocked off the ship by the very waves being ridden by more of their own boarding parties. Between the two of them, they kept the actual number of merfolk being fought by the ship’s crew down to a handful at a time...but more kept on coming. The next round of combat, the merfolk leader—a big, shark-finned brute with all sorts of nasty runic ritual scars flopped on deck; he wielded a trident (shaped like a Mastery Rune) and a barbed whip of kelp (signifying an Air/Storm Rune); as soon as the merfolk leader came on deck, the storm got so much worse. Waddlestomp leapt into the fray, matching magically-hardened coral with his Truesword, and barely holding his own (the player just started cursing up a storm with a pair of bare successes against the merfolk leader). Androgenus critically fumbled against their Trickster flaw and decided it would be a great time to just go hide (“You got this, Waddlestomp! I’m rootin’ for ya!”) in the hold. Iris and K’dud rushed on deck to assist. K’dud used his Bronze Arms Style to parry punishing blows from the merman storm priest’s trident, but soon became entangled in the biting whip. Waddlestomp, taking the opportunity to retreat, used Vengeance-Seeking Swordsduck to push through the terrible wounds inflicted by the merfolk (“If I die before I get to kill that godsdamned trickster, I’ll take every one of you useless mammals with me!”) and assist the crew in repelling additional boarders. Then Iris got a critical success on her Call Up Spirits ability to awaken the ship’s own Spirit! Incarnating as a wild-haired woman made of wood and sailcloth, the She’s One Of Ours, Sir caused the ship’s deck to roil and buck like the sea itself, knocking the attackers to their feet while lifting the spirits (so to speak) of her defenders. The merfolk leader—doubtless a Hero in his own right, at this point!—threw his trident at the spirit, hoping to capture or kill her. Waddlestomp (again, barely; the dice were definitely against the PCs tonight!) deflected the hurled weapon with his thrown shield, but both trident and enchanted shield bounced away from each other, falling into the churning water below. Thus distracted, K’dud used that opportunity to use his Sharp Soul Style to deliver a punch through the merfolk leader’s chest, splattering the deck with blood, saltwater, and a pile of fishy viscera. The rest of the merfolk retreated, carrying the still-twitching, vengeance-swearing body of their leader back with them beneath the waves. The heroes had won! The storm passed quickly thereafter. The relative silence was almost deafening. A red sun dawned over the waves, revealing a tropical island that the Captain (much like before) swore up and down hadn’t been there the last time he sailed in these waters. An island that shouldn’t have been there. The She’s One Of Ours, Sir was stranded on a reef in the middle of the sea, unable to move without more serious repairs, many of her crew wounded or dead. Despite the victory, the PCs weren’t going anywhere. Except, perhaps, ashore.....
  16. I was hoping to find a convenient document that listed what each official (old and New) adventure was by name and what themes they included. Since there isn't one that already exists I started a Spreadsheet. Please add to it if you have read or run any of the adventures. Thanks. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DX7MRPvISwrrcOkzSbmK3oHqouMmZA1rcFCcyj-FhqA/edit?usp=sharing
  17. Hey there! I'm still slowly figuring out my plans for an upcoming RQG campaign -- most likely something around the Red Cow/11L campaign books but with some slightly modified Broken Tower and/or Cattle Raid thrown in at the beginning. One of the main concerns I have is the default "seasonal adventures" mode that RQG is modeled around. I know that, based on my player's knack for getting in unnecessary additional trouble, there are always loose ends after an adventure, regardless of how simple and straightforward it was. When you combine that with my GMing style, where I absolutely love exploring the consequences of the characters' actions, you end up with a lot of follow up adventures that pile up one after the other. So I'm wondering: - How incompatible that is with the default "seasonal adventures" assumption in the rulebook? For instance, you run Broken Tower and there's some loose ends about whether any NPC escaped back to the Greydog clan and what they will say or do. How do people deal with that? Do they resolve it only the next season, making that next season's adventure about the consequences? Or do they combine it with the next season's adventure? (it's a new storyline, but it factors in where the Greydogs are based on last season's actions) Or do they resolve it all in a summary/non-played way, like "so here's what's happening during the rest of the season" (with maybe a couple of broad skill rolls to figure out how things go, but without playing it per se as an adventure) and then it's all (mostly) wrapped up? - If I was to go with pseudo-real-time gameplay, what kind of problem would encounter? For instance, say I play a few adventures per season... it's not totally real-time because I would definitely ellipse a few days here or a week there for traveling back, resting, praying, training, talking to clan elders and waiting for them to deliberate, etc... but we might pop back into adventure mode for when the players want or are ordered to go spy on the Greydogs, or when some Greydogs messengers come in with a blood feud declaration or asking for reparations for the death of their members, or whatever, and then that might kickstart a related adventure right away because the players want to play through that themselves. One of the first problem I can think of is the replenishing of Rune Points, since you have to wait for a holy day for that. This means that, compared to a group that sticks to seasonal adventures, a group that does pseudo-real-time adventures can use less Rune Magic per encounters... but on the other hand, that might be pretty cool since (just as in the KoDP game) the players might figure that they have to wait until after this or that holy day to do a raid because they need Orlanth's favours or something. Did anybody do that? Or did anybody tweak Rune Magic grants to make it less hard on the players? Anything else besides Rune Magic that might be a problem with a pseudo-real-time campaign? Thoughts? Feedback from experience? All will be appreciated!
  18. Hello my friends, I am officially the proud owner of the RuneQuest: Role-Playing in Glorantha Slipcase Set! Woohoo!!! What follows is a brief summary of what I like so far from just a quick flip through, and my unboxing and first impressions video (more Gloranthan? content to come). First off, I love the fact that this system is what inspired BRP, and the fast paced and deadly combat system. These two things along make this game better than D&D, which is my main comparison point since it is the only other fantasy game I have played. Next, the magic seems very involved and varied, with far more potential than most other systems I've played for staying unique and engaging with spirits, cults, and runes added to the mix. I found the lack of classes quite interesting and felt it was a step in the right direction for getting the focus off stats and onto creating a fun engaging story. In fact, all character creation seems like it deeply involves PCs in the world, which will make for very interesting role-play. The bestiary seemed a touch frugal to me, but perhaps I will warm up to it in time. It mainly seemed small compared to my collection of 4 books which hold hundreds if not thousands of monsters for D&D 5E, but I enjoy creating monsters and beasts and believe I will be able to convert some of my collection into RuneQuest rules. Please let me know if this line of thought is on the right track or if I'm just not understanding something about the apparent monster manual. The Game Master screen pack was a pleasant surprise as it contained awesome maps, a calendar, and a bunch of scenarios and adventures for any aspiring Game Master to start with. It was a collection of resources which I did not expect, and which filled me with a burning desire to run a game (will be getting my family to play with me so I can hone my GMing craft with this new system). Here is the actual video: All in all, this system looks exciting and innovative and I can't wait to try it out and get deeper into both the system and the lore of Glorantha. I would like to thank Chaosium for making this game, but also the WindWords podcast for getting me interested, and @soltakss for putting the game on my radar. We are all us.
  19. My group tends to put on background music on in our games. For Call of Cthulhu, this is pretty easy, but for Glorantha games less so. Does anyone have any suitable background music suggestions, or even something like a Spotify or YouTube playlist?
  20. Star Trek is 50 years old today. And Greg Stafford also discovered the mythic universe of Glorantha in 1966 too. But did you know that in the intervening half-century Glorantha has found its way into the Star Trek universe? Robert Hewitt Wolfe, RuneQuest fan and one of the producers of Star Trek "Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation", entertainingly slipped in various tweaked Gloranthan references to episodes. The most notable of these is the Klingon who proposes a toast to "Rurik the Damned, conqueror of the Zora Fel, liberator of Vrax" (DS9 S5 Ep1), but there's also Falagian Diamonds, various planets and characters named after Gloranthan gods, and one (admittedly incredibly minor) character that I am particularly chuffed about.... Andre Jarosch has helpfully catalogued all of Star Trek - Gloranthan references here in this German article: Happy half-century Star Trek and Glorantha! http://bit.ly/2cilKFi
  21. Unboxing in the Nook: Valley of Plenty by Shawn and Peggy Carpenter and published by Chaosium, Inc. https://youtu.be/HdT7Fzfk3-4 #reviewsfromrlyeh #rpgreview #rpgreviews #rpg #fantasy #Chaosium #RuneQuest #JonstownCompendium #JonstownJottings #UnboxingInTheNook #HeroQuest #QuestWorlds #Glorantha
  22. Rune Quest: Role-Playing in Glorantha; Dragon of Thunder Hills Chapter 1 (Here be Dragons) Actual play of some completely new players and new Game Master playing (or attempting to play) Rune Quest! Podcast style because some players would not consent to having their cameras recorded, so sit back and take a listen. Through the forests of Sartar and into the spirit of adventure and glory. Welcome to part 1 of Dethstrok9's new Rune Quest: Role-Playing in Glorantha actual play; The Dragon of Thunder Hills. This is chapter 1, entitled: Here be Dragons. In which two poor souls from the opposite spectrum of life and idealism met by chance (or fate) and band together for a common goal. Starting with just two players, but at least one more adventurer will be joining soon. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy seeing the struggle to pronounce Sartar:)
  23. How to get into RUNE QUEST: Role-Playing in Gloratha If you are new to the system, welcome! I recently started playing and running RuneQuest Role-Playing in Glorantha (RQ:G) and decided to create and compile some useful resources for those just entering the gates into this Mystical world of ancient powers, exciting yet lethal combat, and mythical Gods... Be forewarned: adventurer or storyteller, this is a path from which once followed, there is no turning back. Excerpt from Chaosium's website: "Glorantha is a world with a deep and rich setting, drawing influence from the Bronze Age and other ancient world cultures and mythologies, created by Greg Stafford in 1966. From its first appearance in print as a strategy boardgame titled White Bear, Red Moon in 1975 by The Chaosium (as it was then called) to the first edition of the roleplaying game RuneQuest in 1978, Glorantha has been used as the setting for roleplaying games, computer games, boardgames, novels, encyclopedias, comics, and other creative expressions, with a dedicated and global fan base. Now, Glorantha is firmly established as one of the most popular original game settings ever, and the influence of RuneQuest is everywhere in roleplaying and computer game design." The Quick Start Guide If you are completely new to the system and don't know where to start, fear not! For Chaosium has conveniently created a free guide to the important rules, which comes with everything you need to start your gaming in Dragon Pass, as well as a pre-made adventure module. Download the Quick Start from Chaosium's website to begin your journey and to see if you enjoy the system or not. Another thing you should definitely do is watch my currently on-going mini series on YouTube: How to get into RQ:G, and subscribe to the channel to join the Legion! Shameless plug aside, I really do cover a lot of ground and encourage you to check it out. Next is the- The Core Rules The main rulebook to obtain after discovering the power of this system and setting. Unlike some similar fantasy TTRPGs, RQ:G is set in the Bronze age and draws the majority of its inspiration from Mythology. This single book contains everything you need to run incredibly enjoyable games, and create deep, varied characters within the world of Glorantha. Inside you'll find... Fast paced, lethal, and variable combat which is both exciting and tactical. Deep and involved character creation that roots your character in the world and ties them to clan, cult, and family. Unique magic system with rules for spirit combat, sorcery, and shamanistic traditions. One can purchase a physical version of these rules here for $54.94 (at the time of writing). You could also get the PDF from the same site, but if you buy the rules as a physical copy Chaosium will give you the PDF free. Alternatively, if you buy the PDF, Chaosium will take the PDF price off your purchase of the physical. All rather convenient and useful. Next Steps So you love the rules and setting and are wondering how this could get any better? It can:) The next steps to take can include the Glorantha Bestiary, which includes both powerful and ancient monsters and Chaos Beings, but also many different races and rules on how to create characters of different styles. Along with lots of rich history and culture surrounding each entry. The Game Master Screen Pack is a handy and beautiful addition to your collection. Not only does it come with the gorgeous GM screen, but it also has a 100+ page booklet featuring some lore and cool pre-made adventure modules/scenarios, a Gloranthan Calendar, assorted collection of Gloranthan maps (some of which are quite large, and character sheets. Among even more stuff... And that is just the beginning. There is even more, and you can browse the various RQ:G source books and modules at https://www.chaosium.com/runequest-glorantha/ Other Assets and Resources I already mentioned my own channel, but there are even more useful and helpful articles and assets you can utilize as a Game Master of Player. Here are just a few I enjoy... English Gloranthan Podcast Wind Words RuneBlog on getting started on Glorantha RPG Imaginings YouTube Videos on making a RQ:G Character Jonstun Compendium on DriveThruRPG (community content creations) As I find stuff, I will probably add to this list, but currently these are my favorite assets. I hope you found this list of some ways to start RuneQuest useful. For reference, I began with the SlipCase set you can find on Chaosium's site. It comes with the core rules, the bestiary, and the screen pack. After my recent acquisition of the Rune Quest Glorantha Slipcase set, RQ:G has very much impressed me. Thank you to the community members who got me into this system!! And thank you for reading. And also, remember the two most important things (imo) about these Role-Playing games: 1. As they say in RQ:G, MGF. Which means, Maximum Game Fun. That is the end all be all, and very important for each and every game you play. 2. (Just gonna copy and paste this from a different post of mine): No matter if you're a Game Master or an Adventurer, the one thing all role-players need is imagination. At the end of the day, statistics aside, all RPGs are collaborative narrative exercises and you need to understand how a story or character works. One should discover all the richness of storytelling first, then purchase all the rulebooks and supplements. Learn about character arc and the three act story, solid backstory and world building, and anything else you can! Life is short, don't waste it on a sub-par role-playing experience.
  24. I am loving this system, and so felt it was time to go back to my roots and create a new "How to get into" mini series, this time focusing on the unique and awesome system/game/setting RQ:G
  25. Some folks have asked us to share notes from our playtest campaign for Valley of Plenty. If you were one of them, or even if you weren't, you can find Peggy's notes here: https://dscarpenter.wordpress.com/2020/06/11/valley-of-plenty-playtest-notes-1/ Enjoy!
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