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Backford Aeolian Campaign


Erol of Backford

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I tried to visualize the eastern half of the Mirrorsea Bay in Sketchup, and this is what came out for the Bullflood (Uxeler) estuary:

image.png.49b5b61dd1c7f14280934a1d1856e63b.png

Leskos is that settlement on the inlet of the side arm, fed by a minor creek falling down from the plateau above, at the end of the coastal road towards Durengard.

We know about dunes along the coast, but at least IMG the fortress sits on a rocky outcrop. I haven't quite decided yet whether it is a basalt plume peeking slightly above the surrounding lowland or whether it is a remnant of the limestone bedrock broken off by Worcha or some other such event.There were no more such assaults under Faralinthor, or after he died, although the Breaking of the World brought a huge rush of water into the region, which together with the SKy River waters awakened Choralinthor and improved the Greater Darkness for the boat people for a while.

Darshaval's report tells about an abandoned fortress filled with decomposed corpses - doubtlessly one of the tricks of Stevalis the Trickster, using an existing settlement that was evacuated. Since most Hendriki live on top of the Plateau, these were most likely poeple subject to the Foreigner Laws -  fisherfolk, Esvulari or Esrolians who had settled here after the Gbaji Wars. No idea where Stevalis got the corpses.

Anyway, the founding of Leskos by the Slontans sounds like a previous major village being turned into a garrison for a while, then abandoned as the Esrolians struck back. The position on the estuary may have been settled since the Second Council.

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On 4/18/2021 at 12:55 PM, Erol of Backford said:

Scorpionman Meat - So based on the Tradetalk 12 Saronil Whiteteeth in Chaoswood "It squirmed and struggled as huge chunks of fluffy white meat were removed from its tail, dipped in the butter and served to the matriarchs." Trolls like scorpionman tail... maybe an interesting trade opportunity here? Evidently the trolls digestive track keeps them from being tainted with chaos? The silk trade to larger Holy Country cities from the troll spiders along with salt and fish from the river to Sundome are really developable for Backford to me.

Are there any references to a player character developing an immunity to scorpionman poison? I know its a stretch but if they will be fighting them a lot over the course of the campaign it may come up.

Also, Stonewood would be for very high level PC's if and when I could develop that further, besides a quick dash and grab for novelties which would be perilous of course to hinder regular moves in that direction for trade.

Backford Wharf - Regarding Backford (I don't know enough about the magical bridges but will read up more) I am curious about a wharf. If there was one there, what form would it take? Pretend maybe the Erol deepened the riverbed and slightly constricted its flow with maybe a crude spillway? I need more research here for sure... but wanted your thoughts on an appropriate wharf, maybe just beach the merchant craft?

Thanks again in advance for any input ~ thoughts.

Jajagappa would be the authority here.  But my revollection is that the Kitori and Uz in Trollwood are a relatively small popuation. See Guide to Glorantha for numbers.. AA merchants may also handle Uz trade from the Shadow Plateau which has a much larger populace.  Search for my topic on Argan Arar or Troll  trade goods if you want ideas about those.

No references to developing immunity to poison in this game.  IMHO several stings are likely to lead to death on the principle of "the pot that goes to the well too often."

Backford wharf?  As for the ferry in high water season?  I'd think small piles, wood stringers and a board floor.  Stone would be a much more expensive construction.  YGMV.  Remember the name, the river is folrdable here at least in season so no ocean going ships go as far as the ford.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leskos is a shabby little Esvularing settlement that lies across Choralinthor Bay.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

the fortress sits on a rocky outcrop

I am thinking the same and the SketchUp Map helps the scaling.

Any sketch map out there for Leskos?

So the Count of the Isles and the Admiral are different? Assuming the Admiral comes after Belintar's is in power and is based in Seapolis (from Fanzine) whereas the Count was based in Leskos. Are either of these notions canonical?

Also did Leskos only become a pirate lair after the Holy Country fleet was destroyed?

Maybe Rollo the merchant captain is based here?

I like the fort at Leskos floating above the foggy mist of the bay, as Yelm burns it off, the sheltered sand an planked wharves to the east become visible with the causeway and its cart path headed off up the river gorge to Durenguard. This is likely, again too Medieval but I like how it looks for our Leskos with some minor changes. 

image.png.59cc3565b04e86a8b28b9085b3100856.png image.jpeg.2808e479c26b0b4e32c48199a303a4ca.jpeg

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

remnant of the limestone bedrock

This makes more sense to me based on the river canyons eroded through the plateau. They are mostly sedimentary rather than igneous or metamorphic. There aren't many volcanoes along the Herotland Plateau from what I have discovered over the years? I suppose for Glorantha anything base on real earth isn't likely to be a correlation.

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7 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Leskos is out in the delta from what I see in the map?

Leskos is in a deep, sheltered bay off of the delta.

7 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

The GtG talks of 1000 foot cliffs but those, based on the map are in the background ...

The trail from Leskos winds around the bay and then on roads carved into the lower edge of the cliffs.  If I recall correctly, the trail is 20-some kilometers.  As Durengard is in the valley, not above it, the roads do not have to climb the full 1000 feet - probably only about 50 feet or so elevation change.  Rockfalls are a potential hazard though.

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2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Leskos is a shabby little Esvularing settlement that lies across Choralinthor Bay.

That's from the Durengard scroll, about 700 years ago. There has been an increase in total population of Hendrikiland since, including a huge number of refugees from the Pass region after 1042 up to 1120.

I expect the town to be majority standard Orlanthi(coastal fisherfolk with only a minority Esvularings.

 

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

I am thinking the same and the SketchUp Map helps the scaling.

Any sketch map out there for Leskos?

I don't have any yet, my focus is on the isles.

 

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

So the Count of the Isles and the Admiral are different?

Yes - the Admiral is from the Rightarm Isles, probably operates from Seapolis. The Count is (or used to be) a vassal of the governor king of Heortland.

 

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Assuming the Admiral comes after Belintar's is in power and is based in Seapolis (from Fanzine) whereas the Count was based in Leskos. Are either of these notions canonical?

The admiral being based in Seapolis is fairly logical, although in 1600 the City of Wonders is as possible. According to Martin Helsdon's Periplus, there are three major naval bases around the Choralinthor Bay, with the City of Wonders the magical and possibly administrative center but not really the navy base.

Leskos and the Heortland coastal guard is more or less my interpretation. Heortland doesn't really play a big role in the Choralinthor Bay, with most of the population perched atop those cliffs,. but the inlets and the coastal strip has fisherfolk amd needs some protection from pirate raids. Whether the remaining vessels and crews available to Malkonwal can provide such protection is a different question.

In 1600, the Isles are the backyard of the City of Wonders, a place used by inhabitants of the capital to have a few manorial steads providing them with fresh fruit and wine, plus local fishing hamlets. There is one village big enough to show up on the detail map of the region, on the inner of the two islands off the Minthos estuary, which is the only "port" with some overseas trade other than ships taking in fresh water and possibly fish or fruit from coastal hamlets. In my version the islands are somewhat different in their populations and land use, and in elevation. Two islands may jut a bit above that 300 m / 1000 foot line, but not enough to show on the AAA scale maps.

 

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Also did Leskos only become a pirate lair after the Holy Country fleet was destroyed?

I don't think that Leskos becomes a pirate lair. Bur that doesn't mean that there are no vessels sailing for the wolf pirates in town, carrying ransom or trading plunder for necessities. Mainly civilian vessels, though.

The island becomes home to two pirate crews (a penteconter and an armed merchantman) and occasional hiding place for a few more based off Threestep, for water supply and food. The count has gone into hiding.

 

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Maybe Rollo the merchant captain is based here?

Leskos will be the home port for a few mercantile vessels, and get visited by overseas vessels and local merchantmen despite the piracy risk even after 1616.

IMO most of the piracy consists of coastal raids, on beached vessels and coastal settlements. Catching vessels at sea may be a greater risk for solo vessels, and a fleet of pirates requires quite a bit of support which may exceed the level that coastal foraging or friendly contact with certain places can provide..

 

2 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

I like the fort at Leskos floating above the foggy mist of the bay, as Yelm burns it off, the sheltered sand an planked wharves to the east become visible with the causeway and its cart path headed off up the river gorge to Durenguard. This is likely, again too Medieval but I like how it looks for our Leskos with some minor changes. 

image.png.59cc3565b04e86a8b28b9085b3100856.png image.jpeg.2808e479c26b0b4e32c48199a303a4ca.jpeg

I don't think that Leskos is separated from the mainland at al (except maybe for exceptional floods swamping the entire coastal regionl - the rocky base of the fortress rises from the coastal flats and the dune belt.

Iphara will claim the coastal flats and the tidal flats some of the time, especially during the colder seasons, as the water remains rather warm from the Rozgali/Solkathi currents entering the bay with the rising tide. Iphara may have reigned for much of the WIndstop when the air was close to freezing while the water remained moderately warm. Under normal calm conditions, the mornings would see wind from the mainland pushing any nascent clouds out into the bay if these diurnal cycles of the land cooling more than the sea and the resuling air movements apply. But then, calm conditions are rather rare in the Storm Sixth, and more or less steady winds may drive nascent clouds towards and across the cliffs, providing ample precipitation for Heortland, including rich helpings of dew.

The architecture of the fortifications may be Malkioni, if the stone structure was indeed started by the Slontans who stayed here for a few years. The locals will have re-built the interior using native architecture resembling that of Sartar - after all the majority of the Sartarite ancestors immigrated from Heorltand, as did many of the skilled craftspeople folliwing the recruitment of WIlms. Available buiilding material includes the bigger pieces broken off the limestone cliffs  due to erosion forces (clearig pasture in the aftermath of quarrying), and possibly fired bricks. Adobe with a good chalking may withstand a humid climate, too, but will probably have a significant amount of plant fiber inside, such as reed cuttings or cuttings from ship maintenance. Lumber can be rafted in down the Bullflood, with meager local sources on the coastal flats.

 

The Slontan occupation during the Middle Sea Empire would have retreated to more defensible places, like Lylket on the Creekstream River estuary and Ironfort overlooking the Troll Strait. Without any real power over the  plateau, Leskos would have been another liability with limited strategic importance. The black galleys  of the Shadow Plateau may have preyed on the supply line for Lylket, but much of that may have been shipped in from Nochet rather than overseas via Ironfort.

The Machine Wars saw significant military action along the Heortland coast, with raids by Slontan marines and fireships reported in the Durengard Scroll. There were also poisonous vapors and other sorcerous plagues emanating from Zistorite God Forgot.

The Closing left the Choralinthor Bay navigable, and local trade across the bay would have kept the ports somewhat alive. Seaworthiness would have deteriorated during the centuries of sailing only the calm surface of the Mirrorsea.

With first Seshnela and then Slontos cut off from the sea, Ironfort would have become untenable, although there may have been a number of vessels closed out from their homelands taking refuge there, or in Eest (Teshnos and bexyond).

The Devastation of the Vent caused significant damage all over the Mirrorsea coast, but did not depopulate the coast entirely. Compare the Burchardi floods for the effects on the population - coastal settlements may have been lost, but not necessarily with all inhabitants. Veslarthen has only so much shallow water in the Mirrorsea that he can animate..

The Opening brought about a massive ship-building boom, both for military galleys and for merchant vessels. The Handra and Quinpolic trade allowed for solid profits, and the Dosakayan trade allowed vessels to be paid off after a single trip or two, which will have led to shipping families even in minor costal villages, initially financed with crew profits. The arrival of the Wolf Pirates in 1605 (probably including Gold Gotti) put a damper on those profitable times with coastal attrition, leading to more military navy. The Leskos flotilla would have been upgraded only after that initial shock.

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6 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I don't think that Leskos is separated from the mainland at al (except maybe for exceptional floods swamping the entire coastal regionl - the rocky base of the fortress rises from the coastal flats and the dune belt.

Same, just the rock base of the fort pushes it above the coastal plan somewhat. Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

This makes more sense to me based on the river canyons eroded through the plateau. They are mostly sedimentary rather than igneous or metamorphic. There aren't many volcanoes along the Herotland Plateau from what I have discovered over the years? I suppose for Glorantha anything base on real earth isn't likely to be a correlation.

;Many of the peaks of the Quivin and Storm Mountains are children of Veskarthen/Lodril, which allows for volcanic origin alongside one of the few cases of plate tectonics in Glorantha from the Footprint event.

My Glorantha has lesser children of the Vent deity showing their heads throughout the Choralintor bay, as well as thermal springs. Some rise up to a few hundred meter, like Sober Rock (the smaller of the two islands at Sober Isle south of Karse). If only to be able to reuse an old RQ3 scenario of mine.

There is little in the way of lava as volcanic activity, but there may be secondary volcanic manifestations, similar to the vapors of the Delphi oracle, or hot mineral springs. Quite a few of these (or tar piits) below the Mirrorsea, too.

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

I don't think that Leskos is separated from the mainland at al (except maybe for exceptional floods swamping the entire coastal regionl - the rocky base of the fortress rises from the coastal flats and the dune belt.

Agree with this.

13 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Also did Leskos only become a pirate lair after the Holy Country fleet was destroyed?

No, but it has been sacked several times by pirates looking for plunder.  Might it become one?  Possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Continuing the discussion on the coastline I am guessing the most probable location of any sea cave would be along the coast south of Sklar possibly? The south side of the Syphon seems to be quite close and may allow for a bandit lair or 2. Come to think of it the old Sea Cave might fit in there as well. 

I understand that the cliff face is many 100's of feet it not 1000' but it may not be a sheer cliff in all locations. Some may step back as the elevation rises in increments.

On 1/15/2023 at 10:28 PM, Joerg said:

Sober Rock

Do tell? Is it printed anywhere?

image.png.40a3bb1b95977af635c93b08b43bab3d.png image.png.0aea68b31d79ee65c654c41f944f8a8e.png image.png.940f9e361f6e0a216ef02eaf9b8507dc.png

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4 minutes ago, Erol of Backford said:

Continuing the discussion on the coastline I am guessing the most probable location of any sea cave would be along the coast south of Sklar possibly? The south side of the Syphon seems to be quite close and may allow for a bandit lair or 2. Come to think of it the old Sea Cave might fit in there as well. 

Yes, either that coast or the north side of Vizel Sound.  

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8 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:
On 1/16/2023 at 5:28 AM, Joerg said:

Sober Rock

Do tell? Is it printed anywhere?

Sober Isle or Sober Island is depicted as a single island at the scale of the AAA or the Holy Country map in the RuneQuest Companion (where it also gets its name). It is the first island you see after leaving the port of Karse, and possibly the first you see sobering up after having been pressed into a crew.

When Jeff re-discovered the more detailed maps of Dragon Pass, Prax, Dagori Inkarth and Kethaela, it turned out that there is a channel between two islands in that location that may have been too unimportant to show up on the larger scale.

Since I am doing some development for those islands, I had to come up with a name and reason for those names, so I decided to make the smaller of the islands into Sober Rock, a seabird colony without any good beaches other than the tidal flats around it, and the larger one still named Sober Island the home for two hamlets of fisherfolk and shepherds whose flocks graze the tidal flats that span from this island all the way to the mainland south of the Syphon River according to Jeff's map of tidal zones on Facebook. The coastal villages and hamlets below the cliffs have a similar economic model, with maybe some gardening but no significant grain agriculture.

You can find it on my "3D"-treatment work in progress that I posted here.

In the nineties I wrote a silly little scenario for the German RQ zine Free INT (#5) about a dormant volcano inhabited mainly by seabirds before the Heortland coast, never giving its exact location, with some grottos including a special one at the summit, inspired by the Crystals of the Gods essay. Sober rock is a good candidate for this location, as long it retains some deeper channels that remain connected to the sea, in order to allow some larger marine animals to use the grottos as their retreat, so hey presto. The main difference to the wet part of the Rainbow Mounds is the absence of embodied sentients or resident Chaos.

 

11 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Continuing the discussion on the coastline I am guessing the most probable location of any sea cave would be along the coast south of Sklar possibly? The south side of the Syphon seems to be quite close and may allow for a bandit lair or 2. Come to think of it the old Sea Cave might fit in there as well. 

Sea caves may occur anywhere along the coast where you define a lesser cliff peeking out of the surrounding tidal flats, with a tidal channel gnawing away at it. Ideally in river estuaries where the river flow will maintain water even at lower tides. Some of these rock faces may only become visible at low tides.

Others may be inside larger lumps of cliff material fallen down into the marshy flats, possibly sunk down a bit. Again, you want a segment of the coast with an abrasive current to prevent the cliff face from sanding up.

 

 

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