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Chiarina

Faking a contagious desease

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Hello,

the characters of my players want to prevent a lunar recruitment troop to conscript 50 warriors of the Frithan Clan.

Their idea is to fake a contagious desease.

They have the advice of the Frithan healer Minarika the Lark and one day to travel to Jonstown (only a few miles), get the right ingredients and/or aid and travel back to Frithan.

How would you convince a Lunar captain of an illness spreading in a village without being real?

Is it a case for rune magic? shamans? herbalists?

I´d appreciate your ideas.

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Isn't this right job for the clan trickster? Or someone with a strong Illusion rune. Of course the ingredients would be one part of the act. Prepare yourself for the awful setback in the case of a failure. Maybe the disease becomes real...

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Probably you´re right.

The Sartar Sourcebook doesn´t mention someone with an illusion rune.

The Red Cow Clan (we´re playing "the eleven lights") doesn´t have a trickster.

The Frithan don´t have a trickster (at least no one is mentioned).

Anyhow... the household of Queen Ivartha has Janara the swarthy... maybe this is the right contact person.

 

And then, there is one more possibility: One of the characters is a shaman... he lived some years with the Telmori. Some of his abilities and spirit contacts are more Telmori spirit society based than Kolating. So far he keeps his past a secret. One Telmori spirit is called "Raven the Trickster"... it is mentioned once only in "The Coming Storm". Does anybody know more about him?

 

Of course I could invent some trickster... but first of all I want to see how far I can get with published material.

Edited by Chiarina

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You can probably fake a disease by applying makeup or by eating some mild poisons to produce the symptoms.

Using the illusion rune might work, as you create the illusion of the disease.

Using a Trickster is a good idea, as the Trickster could use Lie to convince the squad commander that they are ill.

2 hours ago, Chiarina said:

The Red Cow Clan (we´re playing "the eleven lights") doesn´t have a trickster.

The Frithan don´t have a trickster (at least no one is mentioned).

They probably do, as most clans have a Trickster on the ring. If not,. have a wandering trickster pass by and get them in on the action.

2 hours ago, Chiarina said:

And then, there is one more possibility: One of the characters is a shaman... he lived some years with the Telmori. Some of his abilities and spirit contacts are more Telmori spirit society based than Kolating. So far he keeps his past a secret. One Telmori spirit is called "Raven the Trickster"... it is mentioned once only in "The Coming Storm". Does anybody know more about him?

It might be the same Raven as in Prax, who is also a Trickster, or another Raven. 

2 hours ago, Chiarina said:

Of course I could invent some trickster... but first of all I want to see how far I can get with published material.

HeroQuest is all about inventing things, so don;t be afraid of doing that. The writeups do not detail every single member of a clan, so you can always invent someone and use them.

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7 hours ago, Chiarina said:

the household of Queen Ivartha has Janara the swarthy... maybe this is the right contact person.

She's a trickster and can readily be found doing whatever amongst any of the clans.  Since Queen Ivartha regularly comes to many of the villages, so will Janara.

7 hours ago, Chiarina said:

One Telmori spirit is called "Raven the Trickster"... it is mentioned once only in "The Coming Storm". Does anybody know more about him?

It's Raven.  Raven is always a trickster.  Raven often leads Telmor to where the food is so that Raven can get the leftovers.  Or will follow Telmor (or Death) to find food.  And Raven always likes to steal shiny and magical objects. See the Jonstown Compendium heroquest Humakt, Raven, and Wolf for an example engagement with Raven.  (And there's plenty of real-world Raven stories to draw upon too.)

Also there's the text from Nomad Gods:

image.png.f3db8784834c3e02f1a7a85e9a18b0f2.png

Edited by jajagappa
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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Also there's the text from Nomad Gods:

 

Thanks for this! It just gave me a great idea for something to include in the next Jaldonkillers book.

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6 hours ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

It just gave me a great idea for something to include in the next Jaldonkillers book

👍 Be interested to see!

Raven is by far my favorite trickster, as my players know all too well. 😈 Poor Teron, the Yelmalion from Balazar, is often plagued by Raven.  He made the mistake of keeping Raven from feeding on a spirit and got cursed by Raven instead.  "Theft! Kra-aa! Ur-urk! Foul Lightkin steals! Robs the children! Kra-urk! A curse! A curse! Three times stumble. Sight to fail, spear to shatter, feet to fumble! Cursed now, kur-uu, kur-ku!"

And the RuneQuest dice favored the curse as well cooperating with three timely and relevant fumbles that completely fit with Raven's stated curse.

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I´ve read something about Eurmal and his followers and want you to tell about my current ideas. Maybe you can tell me, if you´d be o.k. with my planning.

Let´s say, Janara the Swarthy is the only tangible trickster far and wide.

The characters of my players should know her whereabouts: Queen Ivartha the Skinner and her household stay at the Red Cow Fort this season. Janara is with her.

The Characters currently are at Frithan. They have two days at most, rather one and a half. Then the captain of the handful imperial soldiers takes 50 Frithan warriors and moves off to the next war clan, continuing his conscription tour. He promised to halve the tribute of the Frithan for the current year, if he could take the 50 warriors with him.

A single rider could gallop back to red cow fort, convince Janara the Swarthy to support the emissaries and hurry back to Frithan together with her.

Time runs short, even if the two are fast, they won´t have much time.

Granted that Janara is successful nonetheless - with the help of Eurmal she convinces the lunar captain, that there is an illness starting to break out among the Frithans and the lunar soldiers leave the village in a hurry... then I´d like to show the players the downside of Eurmals help.

What about Janara, speaking after the successful deception to the Frithan about the tax relief, that slipped through their fingers? Probably at least some of the Frithan will regret the success of the deception. Maybe they are old or young or no warrior... When the characters and Janara set off on their return journey, they leave behind a clan in imbroglio.

What do you think?

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3 hours ago, Chiarina said:

Granted that Janara is successful nonetheless - with the help of Eurmal she convinces the lunar captain, that there is an illness starting to break out among the Frithans and the lunar soldiers leave the village in a hurry...

What is the characters role here? I am just enforcing the idea that the characters (in rpg stories) should be those who resolve the obstacles. Is the obstacle just about getting Janara there? Or should there be another complication at the Frithan? Maybe Janara comes up with some other scheme running the grander vision against Lunars where the fake illness does not match? Or does she need some kind of equipment to fool them. Equipment that isn't actually needed in the end. Maybe someone in Frithan resists using a trickster to solve this and the characters have to deal with it first.

 

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3 hours ago, Chiarina said:

then I´d like to show the players the downside of Eurmals help

Yes, definitely a good idea. Janara should be both a "blessing" and a "curse". 

3 hours ago, Chiarina said:

that slipped through their fingers? Probably at least some of the Frithan will regret the success of the deception

Yes, she'd be the one who talks loudly and says "wasn't that what you wanted me to do?" or "you know the Dolutha just let their men go - and they're getting relief from the Lunar tribute, too!"

3 hours ago, Chiarina said:

When the characters and Janara set off on their return journey, they leave behind a clan in imbroglio

And don't forget in the process of convincing the Lunar captain, she also relieved him of his [lucky dice, magical Moonstone, grandfather's armband, spirit-finding stick, etc.]. As they're on their way back to Red Cow Fort, she happens to flaunt it. "What a laugh! He was so gullible! Didn't even notice that I took this!"

Of course, what's the Lunar captain likely to do when he discovers what is missing?...

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Quote

What is the characters role here?

That´s an important question, I know. First of all I have to consider how Janaras deception works. Perhaps she only provides a tool that the characters have to use. Do you have a proposal? How does trickster magic work?

Quote

And don't forget in the process of convincing the Lunar captain, she also relieved him of his [lucky dice, magical Moonstone, grandfather's armband, spirit-finding stick, etc.]. As they're on their way back to Red Cow Fort, she happens to flaunt it. "What a laugh! He was so gullible! Didn't even notice that I took this!"

Of course, what's the Lunar captain likely to do when he discovers what is missing?...

Great! I´ll use it! Thanks a lot!

(Bye the way: How do you insert the names of the originator in a quotation?)

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1 hour ago, Chiarina said:

(Bye the way: How do you insert the names of the originator in a quotation?)

I select the passage to quote. Then a pop-up appears saying "Quote selection". I click on that pop-up and voila, the above quote appears in my input area.

Or I use the Quote link at the bottom of every post, which creates a quote with the whole post in my input area, which I may or may not edit afterwards ...

Edited by Oracle

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8 hours ago, Chiarina said:

Perhaps she only provides a tool that the characters have to use. Do you have a proposal? How does trickster magic work?

Well, that would leave the final conclusion in to the hands of the heroes. Jarana enchants (or something) a magic item for them as Queen Ivartha does not let her leave Red Cow. It could include a spirit (the Raven?) that requires the wielders to do some crazy stuff. Succeeding in this could be the final contest. You don't have to follow the magic rules from the book when doing this. This isn't an ability of a character but a story device.

And then follows the (very trickstery) instructions how to use the magic item. Coming up with funny trickster stuff might be challenging. You could (if that is suitable for your group's playing style) ask the players. Describe how Jarana makes the item. You can ask the players what item it actually is. Then say that Jarana instructed them leaving out the details. Finally, when they get back to Frithan and they start to activate the item you can do it as a group effort to come up with all the crazy stuff that is involved in the process reflecting what Jarana told them and how they misinterpret her (in case of contest failures) or get them right. As none of these details is crucial for the overall story arc it is ok (and might be even quite fun) to create them with the players during the play.

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Yes, that´s possible, too.

For any reason I´d like Janara to go to Frithan. Maybe it´s, because I like the idea of her stealing from the lunar commander.

Perhaps she could instruct the characters to do the trick, but in addition it is necessary for herself to make the Lunars believe it (typical Eurmal magic, if I understood this correctly)...?

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