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Heroquest to unite the lost valley


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My players are currently going through the lost valley storyline and it looks like they are going to be trying to unite all the various groups in the area to fight the mercenaries.

And knowing those clever buggers they will want to unite them all in peace afterwards too. Now this is an ideal point to have them do the heroquest "The making of the storm tribe" I think. 

But there are some issues that bother me and I hope you can assist me in finding a mythologically sound way of solving this.

First, we have a trickster(possibly going to multi into donandar), an elmalite and a Lhankor my sorceror.

second, the humans in the valley seem to not care all that much about Orlanth, mainly worshipping Ernalda instead. 

Third, the myth culminates with the dark tribe attacking. in this case, we want the trolls to be on the PC side (provoking an attack from the chaos monsters of the sinkhole instead) but how can the players change the myth without being illuminates or hero-level badasses?

 

Maybe there is another usable myth I am unaware of? 

 

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

It looks like Ironhoof the Centaur (the mythical ancestor of the Dragon Pass centaurs), while being a son of the sun, is also an avatar of Orlanth, so there isn't really a myth about enmity between the beastfolk and Orlanth and his people.

There is the ancient "this is our home" call to arms that should work, but as a heroquest, that's kind of weak. Basically a wyter-quest, possibly aiming for the genius loci.

If it is against the centaur leader, maybe a variant of Hyalor's Horse-Breaking might give a magical advantage.

A challenger for the herd of females could be another way to make this a personal duel between the centaur leader and the player  characters' champion. Provided they can find or make a suitably powerful centaur to overcome the mercenary alpha stallion. Perhaps temporarily, if the Eurmali/Donandari can work up an illusion to transform the champion?

It would be nice if one could make the centaur leader follow Ironhoof's challenge to capture Tara, the Lady of the Wild, but that's not an obligatory quest for a centaur chieftain IMO.

 

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

6 minutes ago, Joerg said:

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

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

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I was thinking of a quest after the battle to unite them all as one people but you are selling me on this unity battle quest as a way of dealing with the company.

which book can I read more about this?

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

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22 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

which book can I read more about this?

It gets about a page in Heortling Mythology from the Stafford Library.  From (my admittedly very poor) memory, Heort gets the Only Old One's help to fight chaos in the I fought we won.

1 hour ago, dumuzid said:

which puts them in the service of Chaos even if the Company's personnel aren't (yet) Chaotic themselves

If I was the GM, I wouldn't balk at making them Chaotic.  Throwing in a few chaotic features always liven things up!

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40 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

 

which book can I read more about this?

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

 

42 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

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

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

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

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18 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

My players are currently going through the lost valley storyline and it looks like they are going to be trying to unite all the various groups in the area to fight the mercenaries.

And knowing those clever buggers they will want to unite them all in peace afterwards too. Now this is an ideal point to have them do the heroquest "The making of the storm tribe" I think. 

That sounds like a good reason for a HeroQuest.

18 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

But there are some issues that bother me and I hope you can assist me in finding a mythologically sound way of solving this.

The beauty of HeroQuesting is that you can take a myth and bend it a bot to fit the situation. So, you don't necessarily need a myth that fits completely.

Have a look at my Secrets of HeroQuesting for more ideas on HeroQuesting.

18 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

First, we have a trickster(possibly going to multi into donandar), an elmalite and a Lhankor my sorceror.

Donandar is all about Harmony, so would be a good way of getting a HeroQuest about peace. You could even use some Stations from Donandar HeroQuests to substitute for Stations on the main HeroQuest, or to add some new stations to force the peace somehow.

Tricksters can be useful, as they can use outlandish devices on HeroQuests to get what they want. Tricking someone into accepting peace might be a short-term solution, but it is still a solution. The targets would then have to break the peace agreement, which has consequences.

18 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

second, the humans in the valley seem to not care all that much about Orlanth, mainly worshipping Ernalda instead. 

Ernalda has some peace-making HeroQuests, I seem to remember. There is one that has involves Ernalda as a Weaver, using a Peace Rug.

They might be useful when building Peace.

18 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

Third, the myth culminates with the dark tribe attacking. in this case, we want the trolls to be on the PC side (provoking an attack from the chaos monsters of the sinkhole instead) but how can the players change the myth without being illuminates or hero-level badasses?

This is something that happens quite a lot on HeroQuests.

There is a concept in HeroQuesting that I call Identification, but Chaosium might use a different term. You can use this to Identify two groups, so they can stand in for each other.

It is quite possible to use Identification to Identify another group with the Dark Tribe, or to have different clans of Trolls, one as defenders in the peace and one as attackers.

You might want to use Tusk Riders as the attackers, as they are darkness-oriented. Alternatively, you could use chaos from a chaos nest, as you have suggested, in this case the chaos is Identified as Enemies Who Attack. Have you played using the Hero Wars or HeroQuest games? They have an idea for chargen where you write a 100 word essay and underline or bold key sections that then defines your character. You can do the same thing with Myths, so in the Myth you use, it might say "After the People agreed on Peace, the Dark Tribe attacked them, but they all fought together and drove the attackers off", if you bold certain sections, you could get "After the People agreed on Peace, the Dark Tribe attacked them, but they all fought together and drove the attackers off", so you emphasise what is important to you on the HeroQuest.

19 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

Maybe there is another usable myth I am unaware of? 

There are probably many Myths that could be used.

Skilled HeroQuestors use several Myths at once, overlaying them in certain ways, so you take bits from one and bits from another, to get a better result.

18 hours ago, Joerg said:

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

But, that is the point of HeroQuesting, you Identify different people with the mythical roles. Otherwise you could never use the Unity Battle, as you are not fighting Wakboth.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

snip

very illuminating. Thanks. I specially liked that boldening words techniqe.

And yes, I plan to buy that book as soon as I am off work.

I think I'll introduce a Donandar Runepriest NpC who can initiate a PC and help them start the heroquest but be too old to help them actually battle.

Edited by coffeemancer
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4 hours ago, soltakss said:

But, that is the point of HeroQuesting, you Identify different people with the mythical roles. Otherwise you could never use the Unity Battle, as you are not fighting Wakboth.

If you overshoot your identification immensely, your questers may be prone to what I would call "a crisis of identification", as the Big Man had in "Morden Defends the Camp". Yes, you can draw your opposing side into a heroquest, but they can pull you into their version if yours has only a threadbare shroud of legitimacy.

Any invader can be treated like Worcha, the Raging Sea, at the Battle of the Trembling Shore. Especially if they come at you in a charge. But they can break out of your identification and display abilities that stretch your hold on defining the mythical setting.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

If you overshoot your identification immensely, your questers may be prone to what I would call "a crisis of identification"

"Naming" and "Identification" is a big part of my heroquests.  It's both an important initial step even before venturing into the quest, but likely to get called upon sometime during the quest.  If you "break" from your identification, you lose all the benefits.  But staying with your identification may force specific actions/choices/foes.  It becomes an important balancing act.

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On 9/17/2020 at 6:17 PM, dumuzid said:

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

Having read both "the battle of Nochet"in Esrolia land of lotsa godesses and IFWW in Book of heortling mythology I still dont quite see how The only old one gathers the unity army. The battle of Nochet story don't really mention any details on gathering the various races and the Heort version has Heort gathering them.
EDIT: might have All the PC taking the role of Heort. give some bullshit hippy explanation about "oh you three are spiritual brothers, here you can be as one" but it also kinda fits with I FOUGHT, WE WON.

Edited by coffeemancer
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44 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

Having read both "the battle of Nochet"in Esrolia land of lotsa godesses and IFWW in Book of heortling mythology I still dont quite see how The only old one gathers the unity army.

First is recognizing that Kimantor = Only Old One.

He starts with allying/marrying the Queen of Nochet/Esrolia, and aiding the defense of Nochet.  Eventually that becomes untenable, and he leads many of the citizens of Nochet to the Shadow Plateau where they come together with others to battle the demon/chaos hordes.

Esrolia p.32: "In the fortress Lord Kimantor courageously fought his way into the temple of the missing god. He took the clothes and weapons of the missing god and tried them on. They fit perfectly. He got allies and friends, and after great preparations he led them against the enemy. He was called Lord Victory Nightbrother.
When all was ready Lord Victory Nightbrother summoned his chiefs, and they summoned their armies. Everyone was there: uz, aldryami, humans, dragonewts, mostali, flying people and even the Lord of Gold."

It's a bit glossed over "He summoned his chiefs", but that is the call for the Unity Army.  It has to do with him taking the clothes and weapons of the missing god (i.e. Argan Argar), which means he could call upon all the arrangements and exchanges (i.e. outstanding debts) previously made with these various folk.

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

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

Edited by dumuzid
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Unity is never a problem when trickster is present.

Eurmal’s Harmony: Causes everyone in the meeting to talk over each other and leave with the understanding that everyone else agrees completely with whatever they said.

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On 9/18/2020 at 11:03 AM, coffeemancer said:

very illuminating. Thanks. I specially liked that boldening words techniqe.

I should have included it in Secrets of HeroQuesting.

On 9/18/2020 at 11:03 AM, coffeemancer said:

And yes, I plan to buy that book as soon as I am off work.

Thanks!

On 9/18/2020 at 2:12 PM, Joerg said:

If you overshoot your identification immensely, your questers may be prone to what I would call "a crisis of identification", as the Big Man had in "Morden Defends the Camp". Yes, you can draw your opposing side into a heroquest, but they can pull you into their version if yours has only a threadbare shroud of legitimacy.

That is one of the dangers of HeroQuesting. You can identify with something and, by doing that you open yourself up to being vulnerable to what you have Identified with.

If they are better prepared, you can pull them into your HeroQuest and find that they are better at it than you are and they have pulled you into a Heroquest trap.

On 9/18/2020 at 7:26 PM, coffeemancer said:

Having read both "the battle of Nochet"in Esrolia land of lotsa godesses and IFWW in Book of heortling mythology I still dont quite see how The only old one gathers the unity army. The battle of Nochet story don't really mention any details on gathering the various races and the Heort version has Heort gathering them.

The trick with HeroQuesting is to use the Myth creatively.

In one way, no Myth will ever be good for HeroQuesting, as you are not the Only Old One, or Esrola or any of the other participants, you are not doing what they did and the myth doesn't fit everyone exactly. Any Games Master or Player going in with that attitude might as well not bother with HeroQuesting, as it will never work for them.

Instead, you take a Myth and mould it to your situation. 

You overlay the Myth onto the current situation and participants, which creates a HeroQuest that is unique because it has the combination of Myth, Place and People.

The Myth moulds itself to fit the participants and the participants mould the Myth to fit with what they want.

On 9/18/2020 at 7:26 PM, coffeemancer said:

EDIT: might have All the PC taking the role of Heort. give some bullshit hippy explanation about "oh you three are spiritual brothers, here you can be as one" but it also kinda fits with I FOUGHT, WE WON.

That's the way to do it!

HeroQuesting is all about hippy bullshit and bending the Myth to suit the situation.

The Unity Battle and I Fought We Won are very similar survival myths and can be used for very similar situations. I Fought We Won is more about different groups surviving independently but inadvertently helping each other along the way. The Unity Battle is about enemies coming together to fight a common foe and creating something out of that. 

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