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Rebuilding the Eleven Lights (OGMV)


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My current (RQG) campaign started off using the GM book material around Apple Lane to establish the characters. Half of the PCs are Orlmarth, children, brothers/sisters, or cousins of our HeroQuest Orlmarth (who are still alive and "important" NPCs now). These are my "old" players. We also have an Esrolian (Babeester Gor) and a Vaantar Sun Dome Templar (Yelmalio) - these are my "new" players. The PCs have established one of themselves as the Thane of Apple Lane and sworn loyalty to the Ballista Queen to rebuild and fortify the settlement. The new thane and the Yelmalion have moved into the thane's house (the Yelmalion has a very high Manage Household score and has decided to become the thane's loyal majordomo). The Arroyan was invited by Aileena to move into the Succor House at the Temple of Uleria, bolstering the temple's magic and providing the town with a powerful healer. The Destor and Babeestor Gor initiates decided to take-over the care of the Weaponmaster's Guildhall from Squinch. In the last session, the Arroyan saved the life of a wandering giant, who had eaten all of Rastolfstead's pigs, making the thane angry, and gotten a pig rib wedged in his teeth, making the giant unreasonable. The giant, after presenting the White Woman with a bouquet of apple trees (to the chagrin of production-yield-focused Yelmalion) has promised to search the world for a suitable present to bring back to her, and marry her in a year or so. She has earned the nickname "The Tiny Giant's Bride", even though it is unclear whether or not she intends to marry the giant if and when he returns.

We are sitting right at Dark Season 1625, and I don't want to events of the world to rush them by entirely out of view. I had toyed with sending them to Dangerford to witness the battle, but they really have no connection to Kallyr apart from memories of her from the Heroquest campaign a few years ago, and canonically the Colymar don't participate. It feels a little forced and "too soon". However, they are building a good relationship with Queen Leika and I am thinking I would like them to be present at the Battle of the Queens in a few seasons.

While reading about Dangerford in The Eleven Lights, I began to wish I had run The Eleven Lights campaign just to have done the Three New Stars Heroquest, which really stood out to me. However, of course, "that time has past, those deeds are done" canonically. The Eleven Lights are in the sky. I have even pointed up to them and made a big deal about them to the players. And...yet...

I pondered this thought, in fact it kept me up last night. I have about a week before the next session. I would like to propose a solution...

In Our Glorantha, at the Battle of Dangerford, the current and original (Cinsina) Eleven Lights will fail. Jagrekriand - foreshadowing the failure of Kallyr's upcoming Stationery Light Bringer's Quest (and perhaps giving her impetus to attempt it) and also conveniently being the Our Orlmarth's Ancient Enemy - will come lose in the sky and invade Orlanth's Ring at a critical moment during the battle. One by one, it will pass next to the Three New Stars, wounding them severely. Orlanth's Ring will teeter from the Pole Star. On the ground at Dangerford, a company of Alkoth Hell Men will swarm across the icy Creek, which is too cold for other men but doesn't harm the Hell Men (much), and flank and attack the Eleven Lights in the middle of their ceremony, disrupting the Starfire ritual that would rout the Lunar Army. The Hell Men will wound or kill the wyter of the Eleven Lights and probably kill the high priest. Bereft of the Eleven Lights, Kallyr is forced to beat back the Hell Men and rally the troops using her own powers and (formidable) charisma. She wins the day, though at great cost, eventually driving the Lunars from the field but losing half her army and the Eleven Lights to do so - a Pyrrhic Victory, indeed.

Still, this all necessarily happens off-stage, but I am thinking that in late Dark Season, someone important arrives in Apple Lane driven by a divination or vision. The Thane and companions will have been dealing with Lunar stragglers fleeing across the countryside from Dangerford and Jonstown, including some that will have taken refuge at the Temple of Uleria and the Succor House. They will be alert to strangers arriving in Apple Lane's environs and will come across this person struggling in a snowstorm while on patrol. This person will be carrying a charred and scarred box and within the box are the still warm but no longer lit sacred coals that had been the Three New Stars. I am thinking this person will be Minaryth Blue, his clothes still charred and tattered from being near the Hell Men at Dangerford. Minaryth will have carried the bodies of the Three New Stars away from Dangerford to hide them from Jagrekriand (who he believes is hunting the stars) and he will be looking for "The Tiny Giant's Bride", who a divination has revealed to him as the person to pass the box of coals to for safe-keeping, hidden from the Alkothi, until the time is right. I plan to have Minaryth relate the story of the Battle of Dangerford, but leave out some important details (either deliberately or just because he doesn't know), but not really tell the players what's so important about the box of three warm coals (If they connect the dots, so be it). Minaryth will leave the box under their protection (perhaps they will hide it in the Storehouse) and they won't see him again until the Battle of the Queens.

We will then get back on track with the Colymar and the Thane of Apple Lane, ignoring the Three Wounded Stars for the time being. We will deal with the dream dragon in Storm Season 1625. We will pass through Sacred Time and involve ourselves tangentially with Kallyr's failed heroquest, trying to support her and suffering some minor consequence of that. We will probably go to the Smoking Ruin and learn secrets there in early Sea Season 1626. Then, at the end of Sea Season (after our return from the Smoking Ruin, presumably with honors), I will set the players on a modified Three New Stars quest to restore the Three Wounded Stars with Queen Leika (and her retinue) replacing Kallyr (and her retinue) in the details. Assuming they return from the quest successfully with the Three Wounded Stars restored, at the beginning of Fire Season, they will meet Argrath, who is their kinsman (and one of the Orlmarth PCs also has the Sartar Rune), who will help them reform the magical union in time for the Battle of the Queens. The (new) Eleven Lights will then be swept into the current of events with Queen Leika.

OK, I have spit-balled enough. I would really appreciate some feedback and other ideas. Does it sound reasonable? Does it sound fun? I feel like I have a decent outline, but I would love to hear ideas for more detail and detours, even red-herrings, to throw along the way. More spitballs! I have a week to prepare.

Edited by claycle
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6 minutes ago, claycle said:

Does it sound reasonable? Does it sound fun?

Yes, and yes.

Something to think about - perhaps the Eleven Lights have not yet been created at all?

Since you're playing among the Colymar, not the Cinsina, you could just work with the idea that yes, Orlanth's Ring is back and has Eleven Stars.  Among the Cinsina, they have supported the Three New Stars, and they still remain but they never went through the full ritual with Argrath.  They were at Dangerford, but were attacked as you outline.  Now the Three New Stars seem to have paled (been wounded), and some wonder whether they will go out again.  Perhaps the Cinsina worshippers have fallen, or have been unable to convince the Cinsina tribe to continue worshipping them now that Orlanth's Ring is back.  Fearful that the Three New Stars will go out again, Queen Leika ordered Minaryth Blue to steal them from the Cinsina.  Now you need to heal the wounded stars, but this time fashion them as part of the whole, new ring: the Eleven Lights.

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1 hour ago, DrGoth said:

Sounds fine and reasonable to me.  I've been toying around with how to move the whole eleven lights to Colymar PCs.


You could have the Lunars who took over Apple Lane be trying to make it (and probably several other nearby hamlets and villages) into the next Wulfsland. And I think the Black Oak Clan aren't canon anymore, but as a clan made up of collective Lunar sellouts, which may include kin, they could make a good stand-in for the Moon Winds or the Dolutha in terms of their role in the story. Alternatively, the latter could be filled by one of the Runegate clans (probably the Enhyl, since they share a common border with more Colymar clans than the Narri), though I think the likes of Selelmal the True would be a very different kind of antagonist than Ivar Quick-Step.

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7 hours ago, Leingod said:

And I think the Black Oak Clan aren't canon anymore, but as a clan made up of collective Lunar sellouts

Just make them one of the bloodlines among the Taralings - those who supported Kangharl vs. Leika.  And now they are bitter and depressed with Leika's return.

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