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Orlanth's Hall


Godlearner

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In my game, the party is fleeing some undead and stumble upon a Godlearner construct (a series of small hills laid out as an air ruin) which was used by those same Godlearners to access Orlanth's Hall on the Hero Plane and steal and gain abilities and items. The players will have an opportunity to use it as well.

I am looking to set up some interesting scenes for the game. One will definitely include a possibility of catching some Godlearners in the act (since time does not exist on the Hero Plane) and interfere with their actions. Would like to get some other ideas of what is happening in the Hall and how the players could interact with the activities. 

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1 hour ago, Godlearner said:

Would like to get some other ideas of what is happening in the Hall and how the players could interact with the activities. 

I usually base it on "when" characters visit.  Normally it is a feasting place as Jeff notes, but if it's during the Great Darkness, then it is an abandoned and broken place within the Underworld where the Bad Dogs lie about eating the bones of the gods.

If it's during a normal feast, any of the other Storm Gods, or members of the Storm Tribe, might be there.  Eurmal is bound to be there too, hopefully bound by Orlanth, but you never know.  

Perhaps Storm Bull is wrestling all comers to see who can win the Horn of Mead.

Perhaps Humakt is testing all in their sword skills.  

Vadrus or Valind want to recruit folks for a raid against the Sea folk, or others.  Or are boasting of their deeds and challenge the characters to prove their worth.

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21 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Hmm, excellent stuff. I guess I can let them choose in what activities they wish to participate. 

Now, how do they leave? 

I would have them use their Runes. Death, Disorder, Stasis, Fire, Moon, and Darkness seem like good ones to try and throw off the spell of good company and make oneself spiritually out of tune. Alternately, getting some kind of guidance from someone in the hall could pull them into a myth that leads out...

The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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Ok, here is a little wrinkle to the thing, one of the group is a Broo who is a Humakti and had severed her association to Chaos. Since they are in the Hero Plane and time, as I understand it, does not apply, there should not be a specially hostile reaction to that character. Is that correct? Or am I wrong?

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58 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Now, how do they leave?

SKoH p.195 notes: When heroes leave Karulinoran by one of the Nine Doors, they find themselves outside Orlanth’s Hall in the appropriate age. They can re-enter the Hall, whose appearance changes based on the door they use.

The doors correspond to:  Umath's Age, Storm Tribe Age, Early Vingkotling Age, Late Vingkotling Age, Early Chaos Age, Late Chaos Age, Orlanth's Ring (which is either the Sky Bear in the Heavens, or in Hell), and the secret door to Orlanth's Inner Sanctum.

Of course, there should also be the entry/exit to the Hall that allows them to return to the mortal world.  When they are done with their quest, they walk out the way they entered.  Perhaps they are in the clouds, perhaps flying through the air, and assuming part of a worship service, they will spiral down back into their temple grounds.

 

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2 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Ok, here is a little wrinkle to the thing, one of the group is a Broo who is a Humakti and had severed her association to Chaos. Since they are in the Hero Plane and time, as I understand it, does not apply, there should not be a specially hostile reaction to that character. Is that correct? Or am I wrong?

Maybe they take on the roll of Ragnaglar but before he went mad.  But if so, they may naturally be pulled towards the events that led Ragnaglar to become mad...

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10 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Maybe they take on the roll of Ragnaglar but before he went mad.  But if so, they may naturally be pulled towards the events that led Ragnaglar to become mad...

Interesting. I will let that character make their Death rune check. If they succeed than they are Humakt, but if they fail then Ragnaglar it is.

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6 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Will leave it up to the character and see which way they want to go.  Now where can I find some material on "the events that led Ragnaglar to become mad" ?

"The Initiation of Orlanth" starts on p. 34 of the Book of Heortling Mythology.  The "Other Brother" referred to there is Ragnaglar.

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12 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

"the events that led Ragnaglar to become mad" ?

In his "initiation" by the Elder Gods, he was tossed into the Sex Pit.  He emerged warped, angry, violent...

As opposed to just being a pit, one could interpret this as a path to Addiction, etc. and what steps/events leads one past the point of no return.

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1 hour ago, Godlearner said:

Will leave it up to the character and see which way they want to go.  Now where can I find some material on "the events that led Ragnaglar to become mad" ?

I m not sure it is a safe idea to explore all torture and sexual activities able to drive a god to madness and perversion.

Of course it depends on people involved (gm and players) but from my perspective (and my taste) I would play it quickly (no detail, few rolls, keyword, that's all)  and with only one conclusion your broo will join again the chaos side (except if the pc succeed to leave the quest before the end (but how dramatic would be the new chaotic broo conclusion).

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2 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I m not sure it is a safe idea to explore all torture and sexual activities able to drive a god to madness and perversion.

Of course it depends on people involved (gm and players) but from my perspective (and my taste) I would play it quickly (no detail, few rolls, keyword, that's all)  and with only one conclusion your broo will join again the chaos side (except if the pc succeed to leave the quest before the end (but how dramatic would be the new chaotic broo conclusion).

Well, as I said before SHE severed HER ties to Chaos. I doubt things will go that far, or even that way.

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4 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Well, as I said before SHE severed HER ties to Chaos. I doubt things will go that far, or even that way.

Ragnaglar was not chaotic before "the events that led Ragnaglar to become mad". If you want to play these events, what should be the conclusion ? that was my point, and I understood she severed her ties before, that is why I said again, after the events.

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Quote

If you want to play these events, what should be the conclusion ?

I was wondering what they were, not play them out. 

Quote

Ragnaglar was a son of Umath, a warrior, and defender. At his initiation, he was cast into the Sex Pit in the hope that the demons would drive him mad. Instead, he mastered the demons and when he climbed out of the pit, he was subsumed by seduction, rape, and violence.

Ok, so why did "they hope" that the demons would drive him mad? It seems that he was not being punished as the rape of Thed occurred later, afterwards?

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21 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Ok, so why did "they hope" that the demons would drive him mad? It seems that he was not being punished as the rape of Thed occurred later, afterwards?

Well, there's no time in the Gods Realm, so in a sense he was already corrupted when he was thrown in, but let's impose a little Time anyway for the sake of our mortal sensibilities.  The 'they' in that sentence are elder gods of the non-Storm elements, Orlanth's 'uncles' if you consider Umath a sibling to Yelm, Gata and the other elder elemental deities.  No, they were not punishing Ragnaglar directly for his later crimes; the implication is that Ragnaglar later forces himself on Thed because of his time in the Sex pit.

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5 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

Well, there's no time in the Gods Realm, so in a sense he was already corrupted when he was thrown in, but let's impose a little Time anyway for the sake of our mortal sensibilities.  The 'they' in that sentence are elder gods of the non-Storm elements, Orlanth's 'uncles' if you consider Umath a sibling to Yelm, Gata and the other elder elemental deities.  No, they were not punishing Ragnaglar directly for his later crimes; the implication is that Ragnaglar later forces himself on Thed because of his time in the Sex pit.

Ok, following this line of reasoning, Ragnaglar was thrown in as an attempt to temper him to such desires to make him a champion perhaps even one they could control, but his corruption either made him fail the test, or hyper succeed (depending on whom you choose to believe) and lead to the well known consequences. 

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1 hour ago, Godlearner said:

I was wondering what they were, not play them out. 

Ok, so why did "they hope" that the demons would drive him mad? It seems that he was not being punished as the rape of Thed occurred later, afterwards?

To clarify, the "Evil Uncles" (who seem to be Lodril, Magasta, Flamal, etc.) cast the sons of Umath into different pits, hoping the trials in there will take care of the young godlings before they could come into their own and become as powerful and threatening as Umath. The other four (Orlanth, Humakt, Vadrus, and Urox) all managed to overcome the dangers of their respective pits (and, in so doing, each came into his own as a full-fledged god, exactly as the uncles had feared), but "the other brother" fails in the Sex Pit. Orlanth leads his brothers in getting him out of there and do their best to heal him of the damage.

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21 minutes ago, Leingod said:

To clarify, the "Evil Uncles" (who seem to be Lodril, Magasta, Flamal, etc.) cast the sons of Umath into different pits, hoping the trials in there will take care of the young godlings before they could come into their own and become as powerful and threatening as Umath. The other four (Orlanth, Humakt, Vadrus, and Urox) all managed to overcome the dangers of their respective pits (and, in so doing, each came into his own as a full-fledged god, exactly as the uncles had feared), but "the other brother" fails in the Sex Pit. Orlanth leads his brothers in getting him out of there and do their best to heal him of the damage.

Much of this plays out as initiation rites - basically, prove you are worthy of godhood.  Each "pit" or path is a test of these young gods against the oldest powers and whether they can find a path through.

In some ways, you can liken the trial of Ragnaglar as similar to that of Darth Sidious' test of Anakin Skywalker.  Does Ragnaglar succumb to the Dark Side of these powers (e.g. Violence is Always an Option to get anything)?  Or from a Jungian perspective, this is a confrontation with the Shadow of your soul - one that encourages you to attack or destroy your Muse/Anima because it is keeping you from getting the "treasure" (whatever that happens to be) or it is a secret "threat" (i.e. the Phantom Menace).  It's a path that tries to get you to embrace hatred, selfishness, narcissism, indulgence, etc. but leading you to always want more, and more of whatever, or to suspect and fear more and more of something until you no longer see reason.

(I'd note as well that the Coming Storm has a section that touches on the Ragnaglar initiation myth as it reflects the clan's susceptibility to Ogres.)  

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1 hour ago, Godlearner said:

Ok, following this line of reasoning, Ragnaglar was thrown in as an attempt to temper him to such desires to make him a champion perhaps even one they could control, but his corruption either made him fail the test, or hyper succeed (depending on whom you choose to believe) and lead to the well known consequences. 

Well. The myth is saying a couple different things.

Firstly, it's explaining what being an adult man is to a Sartarite. When you pass through initiation, you are a fighter (Humakt), you are cunning and powerful (Vadrus), you are a protector (Storm Bull), you are open-minded and open-handed with strangers (Orlanth)... and of course, adults can have sex. But the myth is explaining that sex is not an obligation you must perform. Obligating someone to have sex is cosmically wrong and malevolent.

Secondly, it's a reiteration of the basic theme that runs through a lot of Orlanthi myths: "Why does Chaos exist? Because of kinstrife." Orlanth's uncles attempt to murder their nephews. This results in Chaos. The Chaos is not necessarily direct. But it happens as a consequence of their actions in committing violence against kin.

There are other things it says, some of them pretty troubling, so I won't go into more details of interpretation, but I think you get what I mean, hopefully.

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I usually base it on "when" characters visit.  Normally it is a feasting place as Jeff notes, but if it's during the Great Darkness, then it is an abandoned and broken place within the Underworld where the Bad Dogs lie about eating the bones of the gods.

If it's during a normal feast, any of the other Storm Gods, or members of the Storm Tribe, might be there.  Eurmal is bound to be there too, hopefully bound by Orlanth, but you never know.  

Perhaps Storm Bull is wrestling all comers to see who can win the Horn of Mead.

Perhaps Humakt is testing all in their sword skills.  

Vadrus or Valind want to recruit folks for a raid against the Sea folk, or others.  Or are boasting of their deeds and challenge the characters to prove their worth.

Isn't there any door-ward/"bouncer" of the hall that could offer some kind of challenge/greeting ("Halt, who approaches the Hall of the King of the Middle Air? Make yourself known!*", etc.)

Elmal? Someone else?

(*seems like a nice excuse to have them assume identities or run some minor Rune check or something, but obviously I'm just speculating)

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12 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Isn't there any door-ward/"bouncer" of the hall that could offer some kind of challenge/greeting ("Halt, who approaches the Hall of the King of the Middle Air? Make yourself known!*", etc.)

Elmal? Someone else?

(*seems like a nice excuse to have them assume identities or run some minor Rune check or something, but obviously I'm just speculating)

I don't recall ever reading anything about whoever would be responsible for that, actually, though it certainly makes sense to be a thing. It might be one of those roles in myth that has a different person filling it with each myth (and version thereof), so that you might have to talk your way in past Rigsdal in one Heroquest and Vinga in another. And, if we take that as the case, it's also a pretty natural place to put in a slight deviation from the myth that often crops up in Heroquests, by just changing who's guarding the door, with the easiest or best means of getting past them being different from what they might have planned for.

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