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Found 18 results

  1. I haven't wrote one of these in a while. So, I am returning with what I hope will be a fun discussion of Maniria: CHAOS! Usually, I start with a general background post or two, and then go into some specifics. I'm not going to do that this time for a few reasons. First, there is almost no discussion of Manirian Chaos in the Guide, so it is harder for me to summarize the "canon" position. I suppose that could mean Maniria is an extremely low Chaos region, but (1) where's the fun in that, and (2) that seems extraordinarily unlikely given its history. So, instead, this post will start with a quote from Jeff, and then I'm going to babble about Manirian Ogres who I argue are distinct, because I'd imagine Ogre culture varies by region as much as human culture does. So, over in the thread on the Holy Country, Jajagappa quoted Jeff: So, two things catch my eye in this quote: As most would expect, a massive catastrophe like the Sinking of Slontos creates fertile ground for Chaos to flourish. I'd also imagine the Devastation of the Vent created a similar Chaos bloom in eastern Maniria also. Less expected, however, is the phrase, "a small ogre kingdom tried to gain ascendancy along the Vankthi River." I want to make sense of that Lets acknowledge that Ogres aren't "Chaotic Stupid": they aren't so blindly committed to Chaos that they aren't able to plan or coordinate action. That said, they don't tend to take over or rule. Partly, this is because of their magical resources: Cacodemon doesn't really give people the resources to become rulers. Also, it's a matter of context: a small network of Ogres on the margins of human society will likely try to erode that society rather than foment revolution. However, this second point is false in Maniria after the Sinking. An Ogre in Highwater could be forgiven for looking at the destruction, shrugging and going, "Well. Mission accomplished I guess? ...Now what?" What comes next, it appears, is an interim state of affairs where Ogres create and rule a state-level society with the intent of collecting the resources necessary create a stable flow of humans to eat, and to conduct a large number of Cacodemon rituals. Yes, the eventual goal is still complete ruin of everything (ALL HAIL THE CACODEMON), but compromises must be made in the meantime. And now I get to the weird bit: to help build their Kingdom of Ogres, Manirian Ogres worship another Chaos deity that will help maintain & centralize political power. This Chaos deity is rarely worshipped in Genertela by anyone, but the Ogres of Slontos would likely know about him: Ompalam, the God of Slavery and degenerate centralization. Ompalam would be a perfect secondary deity to Ogres with dreams of creating a kingdom that would export Cacodemon cults into the rest of Genertela. Manirian Ogres whisper dreams of centralization into the ears of the Trader Princes, Greymayne, and the Takers of Ramalia. Order today for lawlessness and destruction tomorrow. There will, of course, be purist Ogres who oppose Ompalam's worship by Ogres at any level, and there will be zealots who think Ogres should really give up on Cacodemon and prioritize worship of Ompalam in the name of tasty tasty humans. ....Does this work?
  2. Ok… here we go. This is my scratchpad on Kaxtorplose. The City that Does Not Fall. As is My Way, the first post in this thread will most be lit review, identifying what we know from various canonical and canonically-adjacent sources on Glorantha. A second post will be a few mild interpretations. EDIT: Oh, I forgot to answer a question: WHY DO I CARE? My answer is simple: Kaxtor is a demigod who resisted Palangio and the Bright Empire for 3 solid years before Arkat shows up, but who disappeared without a trace. Meanwhile, his temple-city has survived with continuous occupation for about 1,200 years. In that time, not only did it survive the Iron Vrok, but it also survived the Lopers, getting absorbed by the Middle Sea Empire, the sinking of the Middle Sea Empire, and the opening. It is a glorious enigma. Also, here are some abbreviations: BoG: Blood over Gold GtG: Guide to Glorantha HotHP: History of the Heortling People MSE: The Middle Sea Empire So what is known about Kaxtorplose in the Third Age? Kaxtorplose is a small city organized around a temple to Kaxtor, a hero worshipped here since the 1st Age (GtG: 361). The Kaxtori view him as “an avatar of the original and supreme God beyond the world of illusion” (GtG: 361), and it is a pilgrimage site for Malkioni. It also has maintains an ancient library, with texts going back at least to the Flood, if not earlier (MSE: 44). Its identity focuses in part of being the rightful seat of whatever remains of the Church of Slontos (BoG: 121). However it is also relatively isolationist, with most of its trade ties coming through Handra (BoG: 119). What is known about Kaxtorplose in the Second Age? Almost nothing, other than it was part of Slontos, and its temple to Kaxtor remained (GtG: 351). It managed to survive the flooding of Slontos, something no other city outside of Ramalia did (with the possible exception of Bemelor, as Jubal is in the same location). What is known of Kaxtorplose and its founding hero in the First Age? Fodalor & Herolal Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Herolal. Herolal rose from the ashes of the Herlaning kingdoms created by the Theyalan Vathmai who came to Maniria. Despite Herolal being Entruli, it remained in contact with Dragon Pass. By 200 ST, it was the dominant polity in Maniria (GtG: 352). All was not well in Herolal, however. In 315, its greatest champion, Fodalor, was sent into exile after a feud with the Herolali King. By 320, Dragon Pass no longer had communication with Herolal. The Birth & Life of Kaxtor There is little canonical detail on Kaxtor. We know he is the son of Fodalor and Esrola. Esrola, as many know, is the Goddess of Good Earth, and she has many protector-husbands. They include Heler, Elmal, Argan Argar, and Faralinthor. (SKoH: 153, GtG: 687) Fodalor, on the other hand, was the great champion of the First Age city of Herolal. We know that there was a Temple of Kaxtor that existed by 429, and that it was roughly 40 miles west of Herolal. Finally, as mentioned above, at some point, Kaxtor came to be viewed as an avatar of the Invisible God. I will be getting to my thoughts on Kaxtor in a few posts. Palangio Conquers the Entruli In 370, the Entruli Fodluth, son of Arigor became king of Herolal. (HotHP: 79). It is implied that he was a capable ruler, but his reign was hardly peaceful. In 378, a plague came to Maniria (HotHP: 97). As with Ralios, Nysaloran missionaries soon came after the plague with promises of a cure. In 387, Pro-Nysloran forces create a rebellion on the Wenelian Peninsula against Herolal. In 401, the Bright Empire conquers Slontos under command of Palangio the Iron Vrok (GtG 352). In 408, the territory controlled by Herolal, is consquered by “Krjalki” who came down the Tigrionor River (HotHP: 97). King Fodluth is killed. [I am aware these dates are a mess, and that the Guide's dates take priority.] It does not appear Maniria was completely pacified, however. In 411, Iridwin the Diver leads a revolt against the Bright Empire, wielding items of power he brought back from Erenplose (HotHP: 97). Palangio returns to the region in 413 with an army of Krjalki. By 417, the entire region has been re-pacified, and Iridwin is killed by Palangio. Kaxtorplose, Palangio, & Arkat In 429, another rebellion begins, this time in Lukae (HotHP: 98). The rebels quickly flee Lukae to the North, taking refuge in the Temple of Kaxtorplose. Palangio and an army of Krjalki lay siege to Kaxtorplose (HotHP: 98, GtG: 352). Kaxtorplose survives the siege for three long years. In 431, Arkat (now an Orlanthi) lands in western Slontos. In the Battle of Sardrandos, he defeats all of western Slontos, and in the battle of Stenentos, Slontans kill each other (HotHP: 35). This all comes to a head in 432, at the Battle of Kaxtorplose. Arkat defeated Palangio and liberated Kaxtorplose, with the help of Hendrik who made a Great Leap. (HotHP: 35) That is, as far as I can tell, the full literature on Kaxtor and Kaxtorplose. If I missed something or misrepresented something, as always: please let me know Next post: some basic interpretations
  3. After a long hiatus, I'm trying to get back in the groove of writing about Maniria. So, to do that, I have a lot of strange questions, mostly related to me trying to map out the mythical and cosmological geography of Maniria. In that vein: here is my first question: Am I correct in thinking that if someone is a literal, non-metaphorical child of a god or goddess in Glorantha, this means they were likely born before the Dawn? Who are the exceptions to this rule, if any? Reason I am asking: A central figure in 1st Age Maniria is Kaxtor, who is stated to be the son of the hero Fodalor and Esrolia. It appears that this is framed as a factual statement, rather than an honourific. Assuming that is true, it is important to know if this means Kaxtor was born before time, since it would mean that both he and his father were both borderline immortal when the Bright Empire arrived. I don't actually have much of a preference on this issue, but I'd like clarification so I can continue to construct my history.
  4. Because I was stressed today, I took a break from reality and made this: a diagram of the cultural evolution of Maniria. This is based almost exclusively on The Guide, using the maps in the Time chapter, as well as the chapters on Maniria, Holy Country, and Ralios. Explanation of colours: Pink is early Dawn Age White is Second Council Gray is right after the Arkat / Nysalor wars Orange is Imperial Age Blue is immediately after Slontos sank Gold is late 3rd age Explanation of shapes: Square: the Entruli - Manirian complex of cultures Ovals: Hsunchen cultures Diamond: Esrolian, and eventually Holy Country Parallelagram: Ralios Trapezoid: Malkioni Inverted Trapezoid: Caratan and Handra Triangle: "Veskarthan" peoples who are culturally & religiously similar to Caladraland, but politically independent.
  5. To avoid spamming the board, I'm going to keep all my actual play posts in a single thread per scenario, rather than 1 per session. Also... is this a worthwhile thing to post, or are actual play threads not really a thing here? I don't want to be "that guy" who constantly puts threads on a forum that are meh or not really what the forum is for. Anyways, the intro scenario, a murder mystery on a caravan, ended with the players fully invested in their characters, which is awesome. Now the PCs are heading to Selgos. Lady Featherjoy is a noble of Selgos owes them favours for "saving her" from joining a cacodemon cult, and they intend to extract those favours from her to improve the caravan's business. Additionally, Dara possesses a strange magic item that she wishes to research more: an intelligent, musical axe that feeds off the psychic energy of crowds. She hopes one of the temples in Selgos has some information. Here is a quick "community sheet" for the caravan: Selgos, meanwhile, is going to be an awesome viper pit despite its small size (about 2,000 people). Here are some things I'm planning on simmering there: The year is 1623, and emissaries of Greymane are in the city trying to recruit Nimistori and mercenaries for their next glorious campaign into Esrolia. the PC Kullen, now a healer, is a disgraced Ditali warrior labelled as a coward and cursed for refusing to kill a fire priestess in Thonble on his first raid. The Cacodemon Cult is still active in Selgos. The Ogres are working toward trying to unleash a summoned cacodemon in the city. Featherjoy's family, is also in trouble. They turned to the cacodemon cult because they were getting pushed out of the market by another family (who maybe were also in league with the Ogres. Will the PCs try to save her family, or let them fall and spend their effort elsewhere? King Volusus of Jaraz plots to centralize his power over the Nimistori, and dreams of annexing Fay Jee and taking over Handra's sea trade <<Something Something 52 Tombs of Castelein Something>> The main thing I need to decide by Wednesday is a "bang" (to use Ron Edwards' terminology) that the players need to react to. I think it's something like, "The PCs arrive at the Featherjoy estate the same time as Greymane's recruiters, who are renting the place for their recruitment drive." The PCs will then be forced to decide if they're ok with Featherjoy getting in bed with the Solanthi.
  6. This is a thread for me to work through some of my ideas about Maniria in public so people can tell me when I'm going about things horribly. Why Maniria? I like Maniria for several reasons. First (and foremost, if I'm honest), I got into Glorantha right before Blood over Gold came out. As a result, Maniria is "my" Glorantha in a way other people may feel a fondness for Prax, Dragon Pass, or other places. Beyond that, there's a few other things that make Maniria fascinating to me. First, it is layers and layers of ruins from extremely disparate civilizations. The doomed Trader Princes, the Maniran Tribes, the Slontans, the Zaranistangi, The Bright Empire & Arkati, the Wenelians, the Entruli, the Pralori, the Helerings.... This is the antithesis of, say, Seshnela, Esrolia, or Dara Happa. Second, if the past is a mess, the future is too: Maniria is a Hero Wars Blind-Spot. To the east, Esrolia is involved in all the Agrath vs the Moon wars. To the west, the greater Safelster region gets sucked into the turmoil of the Five Arkats. But what happens to Maniria during the Hero Wars? Maniria is the antithesis of Sartar in this regard. The written material is relatively scant compared to a lot of Genertela: We know, most immediately, that Greymane manages to throw eastern Maniria into war... and then dies. We know the Elven Reforestation is a big deal in Maniria. We know that in about 2 generations the great flood comes. ...And that's it. We could plug Magasta's Pool with what we don't know about the future of Maniria. We don't know... ...who are what fills the power vacuum left by Greymane among the Solanthi, and Maniria more generally ...when the Reforestation occurs, and which humans survive, how. ...what happens to Handra though its talked about in somewhat heroic tones in The Guide. ... how Maniria, a land DEFINED BY FLOODS, reacts to another great flood. In a region with Elven magic, Helering magic, remnants of Blue Moon cults, and hidden Godlearner wisdom, it is reasonable to expect Heroes will try to respond to the flood. But how... who knows. ...how the Trader Princes try to survive without the Manirian road. ...what the Weartagi or the Wolf Pirates do to the coast, beyond "probably something bad." The Result is that Maniria is a massive and confusing pile of lego places, for gaming groups to assemble as they see fit. That's why I like it.
  7. I've held off getting into this, but I feel it is time to deal with arguably the great power of Maniria in the Third Age: The Arstola Aldryami. A massive old growth forest with 230,000 Aldryami living within it. Compared to many other regions of Genertela, their lands and authority have gone relatively unchallenged. Similar to other Scratchpad thread, I'm going to list off various things that we know are true (mostly from the Guide), and then I'll add a little commentary. There are three Elven Forests relatively close to Arstola: Tarinwood, the Old Woods, and Wonderwood. I don't know much about Tarinwood other than its Aldryami population is huge, and it is aloof. I assume that they're going to eventually get into conflict with Tanisor, which will lead to an increased interest in the Reforestation. The Old Woods "should" be part of Arstola but it appears to be a distinct forest. I'm not sure what to do with this. Wonderwood is cut off from Arstola by the Mislari Mountains. They will be reconnected when the Reforestation. One of the big differences between the Wonderwood and Arstola Aldryami is that while the Arstola have normalized relations with several human settlements, while Wonderwood is directly hostile. The Aldryami of Wonderwood will likely promote a stronger anti-human stance after the Reforestation.
  8. And it's time for more of my babblings about Maniria. This time, I'm turning my attention to the mysterious, the weird... the Dragonewts of Ryzel. What we know about them is... pretty limited: They have been there since they marched with Palangio the Iron Vrok into Maniria (History of the heortling people) It appears they remained after Palangio left There are approximately 8,000 Dragonewts in Ryzel (I forgot to add this before) They have their own Inhuman King (many sources) They hunt humans in Ryzel, but nowhere else (Guide) They have absorbed a few Slontan ruins into their territory since the flood, such as Gualal and Hermat (Guide) They trade insects used to make a brilliant red dye to the Trader Princes of Jubal in exchange for something that humans find eccentric or even humiliating (Guide) They use Newtlings as slaves (Guide) There is a famous tailed priest named New Wyrmish who is rather disgraced among the Dragonewts, but is very open to humans There MIGHT be communication to Dragon Pass newts ....And that's it. Literally, that's it. That's... not a lot. If a game was set in Jubal or Kaxtorplose (or anywhere in Nimistor, or in Handra), there would need to be a lot added. I was planning on writing some interpretation and filling gaps, but I'll do that tomorrow. Night.
  9. kr0p0s


    It is said in the Book of Heortling Mythology: "Dalarok Redsail, the famous merchant captain of Slontos, was the most famous proselytizer of the Zistori faith. His crews, slaves, and admirers all accepted it, and their success encouraged more to join as well. Soon there were thousands of people throughout Maniria who embraced Zistorism, and worked hard to fit into the system. The pernicious thought had not taken root in the Shadowlands, where the old gods fed daily with their worshipers, unpolluted by such ideas. Already, many times, the people of Kethaela had thrown off invasions by their ancient foes of Slontos. For this Dalarok Redsail wished them ill. But wherever humans live there will be both reason and treason, and the Only Old One could not prevent its taking root. And some of the “New Knews” came ashore, and lived among the cities of Kethaela, and built up cells of believers. One day Zistor the Destroyer showed up, in person, to help during the invasion of Esrolia. It was a huge monster, made of gleaming metal and wires, which tore down the walls of cities. Across Maniria the Zistori people had dreamed of this, and were glad for it. They liked it." This implies that the movement was very important, if not centred, in the Duchy of Slontos, and that it was an deadly contribution to the the Middlesea Empires struggle against the Empire of Wyrms Friends. This all ended with the destruction of the Zistorites in and their Machine City in the Iron War. But what of Zistorite belief, sorcery and artifacts, especially in Maniria. May some of this have survived in the cities of Highwall and Vision, especially in the Slontan relics there in the Low Temple. May unholy machine creations lurk in the ruins on the shores of Maniria?
  10. The Glorantha wiki says that the Nimistor River is the main river in Nimistor, but cryptically mentions that it may have been subsumed by its tributaries. In the italicised intro to Maniria in the GtG (p350) it is not mentioned as one of the four main rivers. This is honour is given to the Tigronior River. Was the Nimistor destroyed or replaced by the Tigronior at some point, perhaps during the Storm Age Flood? Even the Second Age map of Slontos depicts the Tigronior River going up what is generally called the Nimistor valley. What is the river? The Tigronior or the Nimistor, or both? Any while I have got you here, what's with the Traxlera Valley in north Nimistor. It appears to be an important feature, but oddly nothing is written in the Guide, or elsewhere, about it.
  11. My previous Manirian Scratchpad thread focused primarily on the Trader Princes, especially their potential Malkioni influences. This thread will be about the Pralori, the Elk Hsunchen that mark the boundary between Ralios and Maniria. This first post is going to basically be a "lit review" where I summarize what I know or can find about the Pralori in Glorantha products. While interpretation is inevitable, the amount of extrapolation in this post will be minimal. Commentary beyond pure attempts at summary will be italicized. Here is what I know from the Guide to Glorantha and Blood Over Gold. Is there anything else from Glorantha I should make sure I read / know. I don't pretend to have a comprehensive uderstanding of the Hsunchen. The Guide to Glorantha (I am treating this as the hard parameters to work within) General Hsunchen Culture Chapter All Hsunchen are hunter gatherers Many Hsunchen believe they were once animals or have animal souls A core shamanic responsibility is help people reconnect with that spiritual heritage Hsunchen have no hereditary status; at least in principle, one's success in life is about their personal actions. Matrilineal extended family networks are the primary form of social structure Social structure mirrors their animal Law has not been formalized Raiding is common, full scale war is very rare. Religion focuses on great spirits, local spirits ,and ancestor spirits Maniria Chapter The Pralori conquered the Entruli that survived the sea's sinking of The Sweet City I THINK this occurred before the Dawn? The Vathmai / Theyalans "liberated" the Entruli in 115. They sell their services as elite cavalry to the Trader Princes During the Second Age, they ruled Gualal and they were allied with the Lopers They are viewed as proud, arrogant, vicious, and fearsome. Both their warriors and shamans have a reputation for being powerful. This chapter tends to frame the Pralori as villains. The Pralori collect a toll from the Trader Princes at Highwater, and Highwater is the primary place to find & hire Pralori mercenaries The Pralori have grown wealthy off caravan tolls While they are nomadic hunter-gatherers, they use bronze and other goods from "civilized" societies much more than most Hsunchen. A Praloran Serpent Dancer (Shaman?) kidnapped Castelein's half-elven daughter, who was then rescued by Stephon. The motivations here will be fun to unpack The (human) Pralori ride their elk Other Chapters Time chapter Maps suggest Aldryami controlled what is now Pralorela at the Dawn, with the Pralori being in control of what is now Ryzel and sunken lands. There was a brief period of time where the Middle Sea Empire controlled Pralorela, creating a continuous overland route from Ralios to Maniria within the GL Empire. Ralios Chapter Pralori are confused with the Alekki Moos People, Cuz Big Mammals with Antlers? Pralori are less secretive than most Hsunchen Blood Over Gold (potentially useful non-canon) Pralorela also has a Damali Deer People population Elk totems among Wenelians suggest virility, dignity, and sensing danger Their shamanic tradition comes from Desdoval Antlerman Rites of passage involve awakening the Elk within, and symbolically integrating hunter and pray into the one, human Pralori I have NO idea: Is the hunter-hunted unification a common trope among other Hsunchen? Pralori can become elk. The unit is the herd gender egalitarian, until there's a formal meeting, and then the dominant male stag has final say Each herd has a bachelor herd of unmarried, young, male warriors Goal: win acceptance into the herd proper, or capture enough women to start their own herd Pralori mercenaries and bandits are usually bachelors Each herd has its own territory Pralori wander well beyond Pralorela Saint Caselein originally set out across Maniria to acquire a "Falangian Diamond" as a ritual tribute to "The Iron Elk." This doesn't really make sense given what is in the Guide regarding Castelein and the Pralori The Pralori supported Palangio / The Bright Empire / Nysalor / Gbaji Bastis is presented as being allied to the Pralori The Pralori conquered the Entrulings during the Silver Age Castelein was a master of ritual gifting / trade, and this is how he got through Pralorela
  12. This was the final session of my murder mystery. At the end of last session, two key things happened: The party discovered the murderer of the caravan boss - a scholar who the boss was blackmailing into translating some ancient texts. The scholar poisoned the boss, demanding his freedom in exchange for the antidote. The Caravan Boss died rather than admit defeat, which shocked the scholar. The party discovered there is ogre trouble on the caravan! Well.... it's actually more complicated than that: A rich noblewoman was trying to join a cacodemon cult to save her family's fortune. An ogre, masquerading as a hunter hired by the caravan, has made contact with her The noblewoman's assistant witnessed the murder, and was killed by the murderer scholar. The ogre and desperate noble had nothing to do with the murder, but they also were aware things were going bad for them, so they fled into the woods. The party, deciding ogres MUST BE INVOLVED IN THE MURDER, grabbed the NPC Pralori warrior who is the head of caravan security, and they went to hunt the ogre down. The hunter NPC was tougher than any of the PCs. She's an ogre, afterall, and the big bad. But I didn't really expect things to go the way they did. So, 3 non combat PCs and a warrior NPC marched into the woods to find an ogre and human collaborator. I rolled this as a simple contested group challenge - the image I had in my mind is they're walking through the woods and a stream of arrows terrifies them and sends them scattering. ... However, they all rolled amazingly, and my poor ogre rolled horribly, resulting in a major victory for the PCs. Now, since they all took defensive moves, I didn't rule this as physical injury for the ogre. Rather, the ogre was now stuck up a tree in plain sight, and any attempts at moving or getting out of the tree would result in her having massive penalties. If she tried to get out of the tree, she was toast. And she knew it. The PCs, on the other hand, were aware she still had plenty of arrows. So... they decided to parlay. The ogre made an offer: She had nothing to do with the murder, but she'd happily give them the human noblewoman collaborator, in exchange for letting her go. At this point, the players, who are all new to Glorantha, stopped and asked me about Ogres, and then asked me about Chaos. After my explanation, which was very much an Orlanthi perspective (2 PCs are Wenelians, and 1 is a Trader Princess), they agreed to agree to the ogres deal, and then double cross her, cuz "Screw Chaos." 😵😅 Long story short, they set the tree on fire while throwing javelins at her. She rolled badly, and the NPC warrior rolled well, and she was squashed. They then bound the ogre, collected the human collaborator, and marched back to camp. And this is where things got rather special: the PCs gave all humans second chances: they acknowledged the caravan boss was a total bastard, so they let him go in exchange for the texts he was translating (they were treatises about water magic of all sorts). They also exacted many promises from the noblewoman to help them move into the trade networks around her city of Selgos, and she agreed. As for the ogre, well, they decided to have the caravan execute her as a public execution of sorts.
  13. What the title says: due to current circumstances, I've volunteered to run a game online for some friends. I'm a little nervous because I haven't run anything real time in forever (like 16 years or so). Anyhow, here's a short summary on how things are going to go down: I'musing Heroquest rules because I know them better and I feel they will go smoother in online play with some less experienced players The game is set in Maniria, the hook is that a caravan has a murder, and the PCs need to solve it. The structure of the game is loosely based on the movie version of Clue. So... I'm making pre-gen characters that are Manirian equivalents of Mrs Peacock, Colonel Mustard, etc. The nice thing about this is that the characters are all relatively different. The "helpful" NPC is the main assistant to the trader prince master of the caravan (Tim Curry's character) The caravan head is Mr. Body. Mr Body was found dead, floating in a pond, with bite marks on him. If a PC rolls well enough, they will see they were an attempt to fake bite marks. A poor roll will make them think it was an ogre attack Mr Body was an elf friend, and he has a charm that tells elf allies that his death must be avenged. Thus, we have a motivation for the PCs: they need to figure out who killed Mr Body, where, and how before the Elves show up. If they don't have the killer caught, the Elves are likely to just turn the entire caravan into mulch. I will decide who the murderer is after the players choose their characters. But generally, Mr Body was blackmailing everyone, and had a spy / information network throughout Maniria. He was killed either to be free of the network, or to take it over. As for ogres, to butcher a line from the Clue movie, chaos was always a red herring. I'm unsure if actual play treads should go here, the Heroquest forum, or nowhere. I'm using Roll20 and Disord. I'm excited and nervous and I hope I don't suck as a GM (it's happened before) So, yeah, wish me luck!
  14. FInished my 3rd session of my online murder mystery game. Here is a bulleted list of what happened: MURDER SOLVED: The PCs kept circling the mystery of 1+1, so I asked them to make some rolls for help putting pieces together. The players seemed totally ok with it, though I'm not sure that would have been the right move for all groups. Anyhow, because of this, things moved VERY quickly, and they solved the murder! Put simply, the Caravan boss was blackmailing many of the people on the caravan, including the PCs. One of the NPCs, a scholar from Saltcastle, who was being blackmailed did not appreciate the situation: he was given a very slow-acting but lethal poison, and was being forced to translate ancient texts for the caravan boss in exchange for the antidite. The NPC decided to turn the tables on the boss, poisoning him with something that was just as lethal but much quicker. In exchange for his freedom, the NPC would give the boss the antidote to HIS poison. ...The Caravan Boss, seemingly out of a heroic level of spite, decided to die instead. The NPC was not expecting this, and put him into a panic. Weekend at Bernies. One of the things the PCs all agreed to which I did NOT SEE COMING is that they have kept the murder of the boss from the rest of the caravan. Play has been a bit too fast for me to really make this an issue, but it's still hilarious to me. In the 3rd session, they FINALLY informed the caravan's head of the watch, a hulking pralori warrior with a hyper-intelligent elk. They learned how to use Hero Points in their attempts to chill the Pralori out, who was feeling very unhappy about being lied to. Those poor, innocent... Ogres? One of the other NPCs on the caravan is noblewoman and a cacodemon cultist. An actual ogre had infiltrated the caravan as a hunter to make contact with her to set up Cannibalistic Schemes (tm) for the city they were arriving in (Yolanda). Unfortunately, a murder occurred they had no part in. Worse, the noblewoman's personal servant witnessed the poisoning and murder. Worse, there were rumours on the caravan about ogres already. All of this has made the ogres start to panic, and they have fled into the wood. When the PCs realized people had fled the caravan camp, they immediately searched the tents, and found cacodemon ritual items. They are now convinced the ogres had something to do with the caravan boss' death, and they are putting together a posse to go into the deep upper woods of Maniria, chasing after chaotic cultists, cuz PCs gonna PC. It's very easy for me to find things I didn't do well, but the fact remains my players are having a blast. Next session will be the last of our little mini-campaign, and then we'll decide what to do next. At least definitely wants to keep his current PC. It is entirely possible I will spend the entire summer running a relatively light-hearted, social skill-heavy Manirian caravan campaign. And that makes me happy.
  15. Tomorrow night is my second session of my online HQG game, Caravan Calamity. Last session, the PCs discovered the body of their Caravan boss, started collecting evidence at the scene, and also became worried about the social-political consequences of the boss dying. As all three players are new to Glorantha and Heroquest, I am slowly bringing them up to speed. Setting-wise, they are aware they are on a caravan, and they know Elves are humanoid trees. This session they'll be introduced to Chaos, or at least the threat of Chaos, as someone will be starting a panic that there is an Ogre on the caravan! The ACTUAL Ogre on the caravan is rather upset at this rumour, as he's far too smart to kill the head of the caravan in the middle of nowhere.... that's just stupid. In terms of rules, I'm introducing extended contests and using Hero Points. Core things I know: I know who actually killed the caravan boss: a Trader Princess on the caravan, who is trying to taker over his freelance spy network. I know this was witnessed by a scholar from Solung who is on the caravan. The murderer is currently unaware of this, but if the players are sloppy they may inform her. I know which NPCs care, don't care, and are happy the caravan boss (who had a penchant for blackmail) is dead. I'm planning on re-reading the rules on long-term benefits to make sure I know how that works, so there is a mechanic to help them put the pieces together if they don't themselves. So... yeah. Wish me luck. I'll be back over the weekend to let yo uknow how it went.
  16. So, Wednesday night I had my first session of my new mini-campaign. Caravan Calamity is set in Maniria. A trading caravan of wagons and horses is travelling between Jaraz and Yolanda, when one morning the head of the caravan, Road Baron Abbanes, is found dead in a pond. The PCs The PCs all work on the caravan: Kullen is a Ditali Wenelian who is the cook and healer of the caravan. He has been with teh caravan, and with Abbanes, for years. Arlette Scalecoin is a textile merchant from Jubal. She is very likeable, likes creature comforts, and this is her second season with this caravan. Dara is an entertainer with a rough past that has left her suspicious of others. Key NPCs Abbanes, aka "Honest Benny" is a roguish figure who has made and lost several fortunes over the course of his life. He has schemes within schemes, and half the caravan is currently blackmailed into working for him. Lyobun is benny's extremely high strung assistant who knows exactly how much money is invested where. Neurotic and loyal, he is the mirror image of Benny. Bui Six Point is the head of the caravan guard. He is a Pralori, he is tough, and he is mean. I described him as "Jayne from Firefly, on an elk." Mosscalm is a female hunter hired recently as a scout. Very private, and not good at social interactions. She's much better at staying motionless in a tree until game wanders by. Lady Featherjoy is an aristocrat from Selgos travelling with the caravan and constantly complaining about the lack of luxuries. Toff Redscroll is a scholar from Solung who may or may not be a fire mage. The players all started the game knowing this was going to be a murder mystery, that it was going to be "PG-13", and that none of teh PCs were going to be the murderer.
  17. Hi all, I am after some information. I am thinking of setting a campaign in Maniria. My Guide to Glorantha tells me that Greymane is considering his options as to whose side to be on in the upcoming Hero Wars (page 355). RQG goes on to say that Queen Samastina is the new queen of Esrolia in 1625, after securing her freedom from various people, including the Western Barbarians (page 110). Can anyone tell me the fate of Greymane, his sons and the rest of the Manirian tribes? Is he still alive? Did he support the new queen or do otherwise? Any information would be gratefully received. Many thanks
  18. Because of when I got into Glorantha, Maniria was "my" setting, even more than Sartar or anywhere else, thanks to Blood Over Gold right after I got into things. I recently got back into Glorantha, bought a PDF of the Guide, and loved it immensely. I have several of questions about Maniria as it stands now. Most are questions about what is canon or what is in print about a particular issue, though there are a few questions that amount to me asking "exactly how idiosyncratic is my Glorantha?" I am of course aware the answer "It's a certain way if you want it to be" is always an option, but I believe firmly in the value of structure as a source of creativity, and I like to know what's been written, and what's the current version of things. Thanks! And now, the long list of questions: I: Orlanthi My first set of questions is about the Orlanthi culture of Maniria. Is there a culturally relevant umbrella term for the Ditali, Solanthi, Nimistori, and Maldros? Manirian? Wenelian? Second, how different are they from Heortling / Sartarite Orlanthi in terms of religion? A straight question here is what is the current state of Entru? Is he affiliated with animals in general now, or specifically pigs/boars? Did he have priests or spirit talkers? As a piece of speculation, what is the possibility that Manirian heritage includes the Helerings, a tribe separate from the Vingkotlings? It has the mountain where Heler surrendered to Orlanth, and its residents ticked off the water gods enough that a beautiful city got sunk and trapped, but not destroyed. And finally, are there still Haranding clans tucked away various places, screaming "freedom!" at irregular intervals? II: Western I also have some questions about the Slontan heritage of Maniria. First, where did the Malkioni kingdoms in SW Maniria come from? I ask because overland routes at that time were blocked by elven forests. I also doubt that they came with Arkat who had already become an Orlanthi before liberating Maniria. Were they colonists from Sheshnela or somewhere else? Any info on why they came? Second, there are polities that are remnants of Slontos: Kaxtorplose, Ramalia, Handra partially, and I'm guessing Khorst. How similar do people think religion is in those places? Are the Slontans of Handra worshipping the same way as the people in Kaxtorplose? Is Ramalia just an "evil and proud of it" version of Slonton style Malkioni? Regarding Handra, I'm just curious what's been published and/or is canon. I own the Tradetalk issue, but I feel a large overhaul of that info is necessary after the GTG. I'm assuming, however, that the religion is an idiosyncratic form of henotheism, and the governmental structure is still some sort of council of guilds and temples. And that brings up my last question: Kaxtorplose survives thanks to pilgrims. Who are these pilgrims and where are they from? III: Geography I have 2 geography questions about Manira, and they both involve the Mislari Mountains. First: what is Ramor Mountain? I ask because it has an illumination rune on the map, and as far as I can tell, it isn't mentioned ANYWHERE. Anybody have info? And Second: other than trolls who want to eat elves, why would anyone want to find the one lost pass through the Mislari Mountains? IV: Hero wars My questions regarding the hero wars in Maniria revolve most around the reforestation plans by the elves, since I didn't know anything about this before I read the GTG. As I look at the map of Maniria, it looks pretty forested overall. But I know there's more here than just planting trees. Am I correct in thinking this is about covering the entire region in dense, (magically created) old growth forest that is all perfectly integrated into Aldrya's song? Also, would I be correct in thinking they want to push humanity into a simple existence that would make them less destructive (hunter-gatherer lifestyle with minimal agriculture or industry, etc.)? V: The Loper People My last set of questions are about the Loper People , aka the Zaranistangi. Was their magic rune or spirit based? What does a loper beast look like? And third, are the blue moon worshipping fisherman leftovers from the Lopers?
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