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AlHazred's HW/HQ1 Bits Dump Thread


AlHazred

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So, many Moons ago, when I got the Hero Wars box set that had just come out and I was still gaming with my college buddies, I put together the shell of a campaign for it. I got Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe, and I was sad we had never had this kind of Sartarite resource when I was running the same group through RQ3 in the 90s. We played AD&D and Champions and RoleMaster, and the group just liked crunchier systems. I thought it would be a nice change of pace to run something more narrative.

The glorantha.com site had a clan generator, and I went through the questionnaire to set up a "base setting" where I could design stuff for -- the Tarkali clan. For religious locations, it gave me a primary Orlanth site (cool), a secondary Ernalda site (cool, cool), a Lhankor Mhy shrine (FANTASTIC! Cool, cool, cool...) and... an Argan Argar shrine.

Thrown for a loop, I got on the message boards back then and asked about it. Did a lot of research. One thing led to another, and I might have constructed quite a nice campaign, but... most of the group didn't want to go for it. They really liked the crunchy systems. Some people were willing to try it, but I couldn't get a group to come together, as sometimes happens. Sadly, I shelved the bits I'd worked up.

About fifteen years ago, I was running a once-a-year birthday game for a friend of mine, and he asked me if we could increase the frequency. We agreed to get together once a month. The games I'd been running for him were Call of Cthulhu, but I'm always leery of doing CoC campaigns -- one-off scenarios are great, but the odds of characters surviving enough to develop a campaign is tricky. I convinced them to try a more narrative game.

Since HeroQuest had come out in the interim, I cracked it open and just loved it. Complexity didn't phase me (see the list of games in the first paragraph) and it was so flavorful. Perfect for Gloranthan play. I dusted off my HW material and started to do some conversions. Since there weren't a lot of published adventures for it yet, I thought it would be great to establish the group, then branch off into Griffin Mountain -- IMO one of the best published campaigns of all time. I had Hero Wars conversions for some of the GM stuff, so I had to do some more conversions. And now there was more complexity in the religions, so I had to do more work on it.

Anyway, long story short, I ran my first session and decided to go with a cattle raid. The PCs would find that accompanying the Lunar-loving Orleving raiders was a Lunar who was stealing stuff from the shrines! My thought was to manipulate things in such a way that there would be some sort of legal incident with the Lunar. If they killed him, that would be politically problematic. If they caught him and ransomed him back, they could have an enemy for life! In time, things would get hot for them, and the clan chief would solve his problems by tasking them with finding and bringing back the Windsword...

But that first session didn't work. One of the players couldn't get past the idea of cows being important. ("Where are the gold pieces? How is this fantasy?") And the rest weren't thrilled at presentation, since I hadn't finished all of my prep work. And so, all the material got shelved again.

So, instead of starting threads talking about this and that, all about this older edition of the game, I thought I'd make one thread, and post stuff that I'd worked up for my defunct campaigns. If anybody has suggestions or ideas, that would be great. And if people don't like the older system or my ideas, they don't have to see my stuff clogging up the board. And if someone can use any of it for their own campaigns or gaming, well, then it'll all have been worthwhile.

Happy Gaming!

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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So, the first thing I worked up was the Tarkali clan.

I have to find my notes on it, but the highest rating for the clan was Magic. That suited me fine -- I wanted to introduce my players to the idea of high-magic mythic level gaming, and having some clan treasures would work well that way.

I also thought that would make the Lhankor Mhy shrine more interesting. Lhankor Mhy's only real presence in the boonies of Sartar is in the Lawspeaker/Lawthane role, and most Orlanthi would follow one of the Orlanth Lawgiver aspects, like Andrin. With a shrine on the tula, I thought it would give me an excuse to add in a scribe or two. Maybe the shrine had a few items in it that came from Elder ruins on the clan's lands, and occasionally a sage would come through to look at them. I also thought it would work well if somebody wanted to play an Alchemist. I could give the shrine a grimoire, one of the Torvald Fragments, that dealt with some of the old RuneQuest alchemy stuff -- maybe a formula for Blade Venom and another one for Magic Point Restoration. The Blade Venom would be easy to adjudicate (probably as an augment for the first round or so of the next fight, then it would have wiped off the blade) but the Magic Point Restoring potion would be trickier. I thought it could work like one of the Humakti geases, the one that regenerates Advantage Points during a Combat contest, except this one would work that way during a Magic contest.

The Argan Argar shrine was a little trickier. While the first group I had planned this campaign for were well-versed in Glorantha and loved trolls, the second one would have been Glorantha newbies. I thought Argan Argar troll encounters would be a good way to ease them into Uz Weirdness, but I wasn't happy about the name.

Orlanthi follow Orlanthi gods. They don't call Orlanth Aeol, or call Humakt Humath, they call the gods by their customary Orlanthi names in their native tongue. Argan Argar is the Uz name for the god, but what was the Orlanthi one? In King of Sartar, I found a reference to Orlanth's Evil Uncles who try to kill the young gods. One is Dojor the Black and another is Vestkarthen of the Deep. A different thread had clued me in to the fact that Vestkarthen was the Orlanthi name used for the Orlanthi parts of the Lodril myth. And Lodril had had a big scrum with Argan Argar that he lost. Could Dojor the Black be AA's Orlanthi name? A post to the message boards (circa 2001) confirmed that this was the case. So I had a name. But what about powers.

A short time later, Unspoken Word #3 came out, and it had an Argan Argar cult in it. Some of the interpretations in that book are a little weird, and it's for Hero Wars, but the AA material was later revised and reprinted in the HeroQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha book, so it turned out to be okay. Of course, at the time I didn't know that would be the case, but I liked the writeup for the most part. He has three affinities in that interpretation: Exchange with Others, Son of Night, and Ruler of Komor. That last one is obviously from the Only Old One, and I wasn't sure it was super-appropriate for Dojor the Black. UW#3 had another subcult, but it was a "Spearkin" subcult for trollkin. But I thought a "Dojor the Spearman" subcult would be more useful for the Tarkali. The myth has Argan Argar defeating Lodril and chaining him, and taking his spear; the Spearman affinity could then give Bond Unit ritual, Gut-Stab, Hurled Spear, Lava Spear, Stand Together. That would be something useful to the clan.

But I also wanted a Simon Bray style image for the cult, if it was going to be that important, so I made one myself.

Dojor the Black.png

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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I also had a friend in the first prospective group who expressed interest in exploring Donandar as an entertainer. Donandar wasn't terribly understandable in Storm Tribe; he was kind of a weird half-cult instead of a full religion. But I liked the idea. This group actually had read some of the material, and this guy suggested he'd be interested in playing a devotee of Skoveri the Entertainer. He's the Orlanth-equivalent of Skovara, who got a brief writeup in Thunder Rebels.

Doing it up as Skoveri was also pretty straightforward. I took Skovara's Low Entertainment affinity, and left that intact. I decided Skoveri made most sense as a subcult of Orlanth Allfather, so I gave him two more Allfather feats: Make Children Shriek and Talk Over Everyone, which seemed appropriate but distinct. I don't think Skovara's woodcut appears in any of the books, but Simon Bray's woodcut of her eventually appeared in a gallery on glorantha.com. (They're now on Simon's DeviantArt gallery, for those, like me, who think they're wonderfully evocative.) So, I used my crappy rudimentary art skills and did a Skoveri to go along with Skovara.

Skovari the Entertainer.png

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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I originally intended to make a subcult for the clan founder, Tarkal Swordspinner. It's not super-common, but the clan virtues were Generous, Courage, and Shrewd, and I didn't think "Shrewd" was terribly well represented in the available options for Orlanth. But there's also the idea of minimalism, to try to keep the extraneous details to a minimum so that you can run just off of what the books have in them. It alleviates load on the gamemaster, and makes it feasible for players to do research away from the table if they're so inclined. It's one of the strengths of running modern-day material, and there a wealth of Glorantha material available online and in-print.

The one extra I did that I thought worked fairly well was the "windmill god." I know there have been discussions on this forum about "why develop a water screw if you can enslave a water elemental to do it for you?" My response is, maybe the water screw is how you enslave the water elemental to do it for you. Does the seed grow because I chanted when I sowed it? Or does it grow because of natural biological processes inherent in the seed? Why not have both be equally true?

Quote

Orlanth made his Promise of the Future, and said it would be like the past. “Which past?” demanded Yelm. Orlanth replied, “Like all of them.”

So the windmill subcult provides the means by which a miller can convince the wind daimones to help him turn the grain into flour, and the means by which he convinces them is by hanging flags on the arms of the mill to show them where to help.

I haven't found my writeup for the "windmill god" yet, but I never did a woodcut for him. I think if I had, it might have been a simple windmill instead.

Edited by AlHazred
Corrected recollection.
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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I found the questionnaire answers I'd done on the website. This is the result of an older version of the questionnaire, and I thought people might want to see what a slightly different set of answers looked like.

----------------------------------------

Tarkali Clan History

Before history, there was the Godtime, when gods and people walked the world together, and it wasn’t always possible to tell who was who. We remember this time, back to the Green Age, when Ernalda gathered the women to share in the abundance of the Earth.

The Green Age ended when hunger first came into the world. Ernalda stopped the hunger by finding her fertile sister Esrola, who had been trapped behind a terrible mask. The women of our clan helped her do this, by joining her in the ritual of the Sacrifice Dance.

The Emperor called Ernalda and her sisters to attend him at his Celestial Court. Ernalda was to be separated from us, and we were sad. But she said, “Do not mourn too much, for this is the way things must be.”

Orlanth was regarded as an upstart god at first, with only a few crazy and dangerous brothers at his side. Gradually he gathered gods and men to his side, and with their help, reshaped the world. We knew he would be great right from the start.

When, at Ernalda’s urging, Orlanth made the Storm Tribe, he divided the people into clans, each led by a god. We joined the Snow Top Clan, led by Orlanth’s mother, Kero Fin.

Led by Orlanth, the Storm Tribe fought many other tribes. Our ancestors won their most telling battles against the Fire Tribe, heirs to the slain Emperor.

The Great Darkness came, and with it the creatures of Chaos who set about destroying the world. Ernalda died, and Orlanth had to go away to try and rescue her from the land of the dead. He left his son, Vingkot, to protect the Storm People. Vingkot did so by reorganizing the devastated clans and making distinctions between people. He said that we should shelter the people of a ruined clan, but let us choose what status to give them. We gave them the same rights we expected ourselves. The farmers became carls, and the warriors were made weaponthanes.

It was King Heort, a descendant of Vingkot, who finally guided our people out of the Great Darkness. In his honor, we became Heortlings. He made many new laws, and taught the clans how to orient themselves toward war or peace, or to find a balance between the two principles. We became a balanced clan.

After the Dawn, there came a time of peace and cooperation, where the various peoples of Glorantha worked together. During this time our ancestors made many unexpected allies. The allies most important to us were the trolls, who wanted us to call them Uz.

The peaceful Dawn Time did not last forever. A priest called Lokamayadon took upon himself the powers of High Storm, and tried to choke Orlanth’s worship, by killing all who were initiated into it. Many people went along with Lokamayadon, because he was powerful, but most of the followers of King Heort rebelled against him, even though it cost them greatly. We fought Lokamayadon ceaselessly, no matter how many of us were killed.

Lokamayadon helped create a new god, one that brought chaos back into the world. That foe was called Gbaji, and it was destroyed by a foreigner named Arkat, who had liberated many lands from its grip. Arkat came to us when a great Heortling hero, Harmast, went into the realm of the gods and did what Orlanth had done when the world was dead. Arkat was aided by the troll race, which was also an enemy of our oppressive foe. We raised all our forces to fight.

During the Second Age, a dragon approached us, in either its own form or that of a human with a dragon’s soul inside it. It proposed making a new empire with dragon knowledge. The dragons had always been hostile, or at the very best, utterly uncaring. Orlanth has always been the dragon-slayer, but many priests of other clans embraced these new ways. We joined into their dragon knowledge.

The Dragon followers got their comeuppance when the dragonmen killed all of their leaders. Great armies came into Dragon Pass from the north and south. The great dragons themselves appeared, some of them as big as the sky, and ate all but ten of the humans. It was lucky that we lived in Heortland at the time.

Heortland was ruled for centuries by an immortal troll called the Only Old One. In 1313, a usurper who called himself the Pharaoh came to Heortland and started a civil war. At about the same time, we heard that the land of Dragon Pass, empty of human life for centuries, was once again open for Orlanthi settlement. We decided to settle Dragon Pass because it was a new place, and we wanted to explore it.

When we got to Dragon Pass, we settled in the shadow of the Quivin Mountains. In this new land, the Heortling clans found new enemies. The enemy that was the worst threat to us was the undead creatures of the Upland Marsh, who were jealous of our lives.

After clans got settled, we began to fight with one another. Soon we banded into tribes. We chose to join our tribe-mates because their magic was strong.

About a hundred and fifty years ago, a man named Sartar came to our land of warring tribes. His ways were new and strange, but his magic was powerful. He made this place into the kingdom that now bears his name. We most admire that he performed many miracles.

It was during the time of Sartar that the great Lunar Empire to the north began sending its devotees of the Red Goddess to Dragon Pass, seeking converts to its ways. Some accused them of trafficking in Chaos, but they said this was too simple a way of looking at things. We drove their missionaries off.

For many years the heirs of Sartar fought with the forces of the Lunar Empire, who meant to conquer all Orlanthi lands. We fought honorably, but not insanely.

Twenty years ago, the Lunars won the war, and occupied Sartar. They closed down the temples of Orlanth, levied taxes, and enslaved those they deemed criminals or rebels. We chose to bide our time until a good day for rebellion came.

With no Orlanthi king on the throne of Sartar, many of our countrymen took advantage of the opportunity to settle old grudges or steal land from neighbors. The tribes fell to fighting one another. The Telmori wolfmen were attacked by a number of clans, for example. Our chieftain stepped in and settled disputes, giving away cattle when necessary.

----------------------------------

I was going to have Starbrow's Rebellion take place right at the start of the campaign, but somewhere else. My idea was, this gives the players time to do some adventuring elsewhere (namely Balazar), get some experience under their belt. and then they could get back to the clan with some skill; my one worry is that they'd have little relationship with their own clan. Despite having succeeded, would they want to reintegrate, and bring their weird foreign habits and ideas into the conservative society of right-thinking Orlanthi? I wasn't sure.

Anyway, the questionnaire required me to answer a few more questions, so here were the answers. I had figured there would be no issue with having members of the neighboring clan worship the Seven Mothers -- it's the proselytizing arm of the Lunar Way, and penetrates foreign lands well before the Lunars are ready to conquer it.

----------------------------------

Seven years ago, many clan chieftains and tribal kings, led by the Vingan warrior Kallyr Starbrow, took part in a massive uprising against the Lunars. We said it was not the time for rebellion.

Since the rebellion’s end, life has been comparatively peaceful. Still, we have trouble with a neighboring clan. They have converted to the Lunar religion.

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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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And here were the results:

Tarkali Clan Data (Tribe: Cinsina)

Economic Specialty: Magic. (Clan members gain a +1 task roll modifier on all activities related to this specialty, so long as they in some way benefit the entire clan.)
Temple: Orlanth.
Shrine: Lhankor Mhy.
Shrine: Any.
Other Popular Gods: Argan Argar, Ernalda, Humakt, Issaries, Kero Fin and Vingkot.
Tula Size: 190 hides. (A hide is about 120 acres. The average Sartarite tula is about 240 hides big. A Pro-Lunar or Shrewd clan will have a larger tula than an Anti-Lunar or Rebellious one.)
Land Use
    Grain:
20% (38 hides).
    Livestock: 60% (114 hides).
    Hunting: 20% (38 hides).
Population: 1036. (The median population is determined by land use: cattle production supports 4 people per hide, cultivation 8 people, and hunting 2 people per hide.)
Weaponthanes: 6. (This is the number of full-time, professional mounted warriors your clan maintains.)
Fyrd: 414. (The fyrd is the group of able-bodied farmers – mostly men, with perhaps a few Vingan, Maran Gor or Babeester Gor warriors for good measure – able to support the weaponthanes in combat, as foot soldiers. They are lightly equipped and armored.)
Goals: Peace (4) Learning (3) Anti-Lunar (2)
    [Glory (2) Rebellion (2) Prosperity (1)]. (Note that it is possible for a clan to have seemingly contradictory goals. This indicates that the clan is divided into opposing factions.)
Values: Shrewdness [“You can win more with a silver tongue than a bronze sword. Think before you act.”] (5); Generosity [“An Orlanthi measures his greatness by what he can give away.”] (3); Courage [“It is better to die as a hero than live as a coward.”] (3).
Community Ratings (If a player character does something to increase one of these clan ratings during a game session, he can spend 1 plot point to improve its value, just as if he were improving one of his own abilities.)
    Wealth Rating: 13. (This rating measures your vulnerability to an economic crisis.)
    Threat Rating: 8. (This rating tells you how potential enemies see your clan. A high target number means that you are an inviting target for attack. A low target number means that enemies are afraid to deal with you.)
    Morale Rating: 12. (The morale rating measures the general mood of clan members.)
    Magic Rating: 4W. (The significance of the clan magic rating is explained in the Magic chapter of Thunder Rebels.)
Thralls: No.
Clan Type: Balanced.
Lunar Relations: 5.
Ancient Allies: Uz.
Dragons: Positive.
Enemies
    Ancient:
Solars.
    Recent: Undead.
Neighbors: Lunar Converts

Edited by AlHazred
Formatting.
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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I mentioned I'd wanted a subcult for a more subtle warrior. I made this one for Orlstand the Spearthane. It's not great, and I eventually decided not to use it, but here it is.

Orlstand the Spearthane

When the Pharaoh took over the Holy Country, Orlstand’s clan was riven by strife. He knew that his cautious kin supported the Pharaoh, but the better men in the clan would not back down from the fight that was brewing so he sought another way to prevent kinstrife. He spoke passionately at the moot and described the wondrous new land of Dragon Pass, and called for the bravest to go there, form a new clan, and see what there was to see. Orlstand’s more cautious kin would not go, and so kinstrife was avoided.

When the Tarkali arrived in Dragon Pass, they selected a new chieftain, who sent agents to his neighbors to make peace. But many of the nearby clans were full of bullies, who would only negotiate with those who were stronger than they. Orlstand’s new clan was full of brave men and women strong in magic, but it was also very small. When the Tarkali sent emissaries, their neighbors raided them instead, stealing cattle and killing the new chieftain. What was worse was the damage they caused the Iron Unity Ring, a treasure that had been brought from Heortland; it was the center of the clan’s magic, and if it was lost, the clan would cease to be.

At the moot, some spoke of going back, but Orlstand knew that it was not the right thing to do. He said that the clan needed a chieftain who was strong in magic and wise in the ways of Orlanth, who could cow their neighbors into submission. Someone said that they needed a man like Tarkal, the great hero of old. Orlstand said that this was the right idea, and he knew how to make it work, even though Tarkal was not there to lead them. Some protested, but Orlstand had a clever plan. He quested for many days and nights. When he returned, he caused an effigy of Tarkal to be made, sitting tall on his great chair and with the Iron Unity Ring clasped on his neck, and had the effigy put under a canopy with curtains in the chieftain’s hall. Then he sent messengers to the clans with the most magic to try to make alliances.

When they sent negotiators, Orlstand had them brought into the hall. They wanted to talk to the chieftain, but Orlstand said, “He dreams, but he is awake. One of his feet is in Karulinoran; the other one is here. Make your representations to the clan ring, and he will give us a sign to guide us.” The messengers were awed that such a great man was chieftain here, and made agreements beneficial to the Tarkali. After the negotiations were complete, the curtains around the effigy blew out in a great gust of wind, so everyone knew that Tarkal was in favor of it. In this way was our magic made even stronger.

With the new alliances in place, Orlstand could work to defend his clan. When raiders approached again, they found the way blocked – bridges mysteriously disappeared, holes opened up under their feet, and trails they thought they knew led off of cliffs or into lakes. These strategies and tricks gave the clan the time they needed to grow in strength. When the year came that raiders made it past these deterrents, the clan was large enough to repel them on its own.

The people wanted to make Orlstand the chieftain, but he refused. “Never draw attention to the hand that does the trick,” he said to them. In his later years, Orlstand left the politics of the clan ring. Whenever people came to talk to him, he would always give them his best advice. Although he was never the chieftain, wise elders and canny weaponthanes continue to honor him to this day.

Entry Requirements: Be a thane; typically, cult members eventually become members of the clan ring, if they weren’t already.

Abilities: Defensive Tactics, Negotiation.

Virtues: Shrewd, Wise.

Affinities:
[Illusion]   Subtlety (Conceal Motive, Conceal Weakness, Devious Plan, Discern Motive, Masterful Negotiation)
[Allfather] Allfather feats: Protect Tula, Understand Wyter.

Secret: Restore Wyter ritual (Otherworld magic. The use of this secret requires the devotee to journey to the Other Side in a heroquest to reenact the heropath of the wyter. Upon his return, he may reconstruct the wyter, healing it of any damage it has suffered, or repairing its housing object.)

EDIT: I liked the idea of a wyter-restoring god. The Lunars are doing what they can to disrupt the magic of Sartar, breaking medicine bundles, smashing idols, and so on. These sorts of powers would go a long way toward giving players another option for seeking peace with neighbors -- "Hey, join us in this one thing, and we can try to restore Old Man Niskorl, whose tree the Lunars chopped down." Ultimately, I realized that this was something players could do anyway, with any of numerous restoration myths in the Heortling mythology. And he was too much a rip-off of Sherlock Holmes, and not enough his own unique thing. I still think there's a place for a "Shrewd" Hero, but this isn't the best fit for that.

 

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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Posted (edited)

Finally for now, I also worked up the clan wyter.

Tarkal Swordspinner

Tarkal was a member of the Snow Top Clan before the Dawn. His father was Finovan the Raider, a member of the Discovery Band. Finovan went over a new hill one day and found a new people. He raided them and came back with cows for his family. Tarkal went over the new hill one day and found a new people as well. He talked to them and came back with a new story for his family. He knew he had to provide for his family, but they already had enough cows; instead, he got them something new that they could not make themselves. And although no one had a use for it yet, everyone agreed that it was a fine story.

After that first successful raid, the Discovery Band decided to go into the new land to see what they could find, and Tarkal went with them. Tatouth went before them. He explored and came back with a route that avoided all the pitfalls and traps of the region. Tarkal went before them as well. He explored and came back with the Spinning Sword with its strange powers. It had been mentioned in the story he brought back earlier; the first new thing he had found in the new land brought him the second new thing. And although he had no use for it yet, everyone agreed that it was a fine weapon.

While they were in the new land, the Discovery Band found a fiery monster that ruled a band of raiders that kept many people as slaves. Destor journeyed into the monster’s lair, fought the guards, defeated the traps, and then rescued a woman of great beauty who brought great fertility to his clan. Tarkal journeyed into the monster’s lair as well, fought the monster with his Spinning Sword and scared the guards away when he killed it, and then released all the slaves. The freed slaves wanted him to be their chief, and gave him the monster’s lair, which was a large stead with good land. And although he had no use for it yet, everyone agreed that it was a fine stead.

After the Discovery Band came back from their journey, some of the Tribe wanted to settle in the new lands, Tarkal among them. He brought his family to the stead he had won. The freed slaves joined his new clan, and brought a few new ways with them. In this way, bit by bit, the new clan became mighty with Tarkal as its chief.

Tarkal was a great hero because he always kept one eye on the horizon; although he won things that no one needed at the time, time would always show their value.

Manifestation: An effigy of Tarkal, sitting on a chair with the Iron Unity Ring clasped on his neck, covered by a curtained canopy in the Great Hall.

Communication: A breeze makes the curtains around the effigy blow in and out. Called Tarkal’s Second Wind, elders and members of the Orlstand cult can understand the wyter by studying these movements.

Powers:

Awareness Find New Things 19W2

Defense Spinning Sword Defense 16W

Blessing Make a New Way Work 5W2, Use a New Thing Right 12W

 

Edited by AlHazred
Copy-and-paste error.
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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I found the writeups I'd done for the Dojor the Black (Argan Argar) variants. They were a little different than I remembered, but I modified my ideas heavily once I got to see Esrolia: Land of 10,000 Goddesses around 2008 I guess.

[Argan Argar Rune] Dojor the Black
Speaker in Darkness and the Lord of the Middle World

Dojor the Black is the god who communicates for humans with trolls. He was born on the surface world after the trolls arrived from Hell. In the Darkness Age, Dojor fought and conquered Vestkarthan the Deep and forced the fire god to build the great Black Glass Hall on the Shadow Plateau as a bride-price for Esrola. From here, Kimantor, Dojor’s son, ruled the Shadowlands and brought unity to the diverse creatures and nations of that region. When Chaos came, he he led the forces he’d assembled to fight and defeat it.
Entry Requirements: Must have an open mind in dealing with others. He can be from any non-troll race as long as he is not a Chaos creature (trolls worship Dojor the Black, whom they call Argan Argar, differently than described here).
Abilities: Bargain, Gauge Value, Know Customs of [Homeland], Know Geography of [Homeland], Mythology of Dojor the Black, Soul Vision, Speak Darktongue, Speak Tradetalk, Speak [Other Language].
Virtues: Open-Minded, Outgoing.
Affinities:
[Exchange] Exchange with Others (Bless Transaction, Command Messenger Daimon, Convince Buyer, Convince Seller, Interpret Other’s Meaning, Safeguard Item).
[Darkness] Son of Night (Command Darkness Daimon, Create Shadow, Enchant Lead, Preserve Darkness, Sense Lead, Stop Anything Born of the Underworld, Take Darkness Form, Walk Unseen and Unheard in Shadows).
Other Side: Dojor’s Black Glass Hall has two doors. One exits into the Turning Darkness. From there, worshippers join with the Veil of Night as it travels across the sky each night. The other door leads to the Earth Realm, where Dojor's Hall sits among the other halls of the Husband-Protectors.
Disadvantages: Other humans look suspiciously at the alien troll mannerisms and habits that a worshipper may adopt.

[Argan Argar Rune] [Death] Deresagar the Spearthane
When Dojor the Black won the Lava Spear from Vestkarthan the Deep, he did not know what to do with this new power. His followers feared the fires it could make and were more comfortable with the mace, the traditional weapon of the Dark Tribe. He gave it to his son Deresagar.

Deresagar studied this weapon and saw that, where the maces of the Dark Tribe required wide swings, the Spear thrust straight and true. And with his shield slung over one shoulder he could deflect the blows of his enemies.

He taught his techniques to his friends, and they learned to fight as a group. When raiders came from the Sea, they formed a tight unit that thrust their spears as one, destroying an enemy with each thrust and sending the raiders into a panic. They won the day, and the respect of their allies.
Abilities: Command Warriors, Mass Spearman Combat, Rally Companions, Spear and Shield Fighting.
Virtues: Loyal, Trustworthy.
Affinities:
[Death] Spearthane (Bond Unit ritual, Gut-Stab, Hurled Spear, Magic Spear,Shield Bash, Stand Together)
[Darkness] Son of Night feats: Choking Shadows, Wrestle Fire.
Secret: Lava Spear (Acts as an affinity with the following feats: Chains of Rock, Earth Burst, Searing Spear, and Warm Embrace. The hero can use the secret to augment his Exchange with Others, Son of Night, and Spearthane affinities).

[Argan Argar Rune] [Mastery] Kimantor Nightbrother
Lord Victory Nightbrother and the Only Old One

Kimantor was the son of Dojor the Black, and as his father had married Esrola, he married Norinel, Queen of Esrolia. He always kept his oaths, and when the lands were invaded by Chaos in the Darkness, he summoned all of his forces and led them to the defense.

After the Dawn, Kimantor ruled the Kingdom of Night, which lasted until the coming of the Pharaoh. Although Kimantor and the Palace of Black Glass both met their demise, the cult was not suppressed. Today it is still a force that promotes trade and friendship with Darkness among humans as one of Ernalda’s Husband-Protectors.
Abilities: Negotiation, Orate.
Virtues: Fair, Just.
Affinities:
[Darkness] Husband-Protector (Armor of Night, Befriend Trolls, Create Ward Against Fire and Light ritual, Hide Wealth, Kimantor’s Orders, Overcome Rival, Protect Earth, Resist Fire, Sheltering Shade).
[Darkness] Son of Night feats: Cure Wound Caused by Iron, Take Darkness Form.
Secret: Transcend Perspective (Gives an automatic augment of ¼ the secret’s rating to any ability used to peacefully interact with a Darkness creature).

In looking them over, I notice that Kimantor's subcult doesn't really do what I want it to do -- I wanted the Darkness equivalent of an Anatyr the Chieftain, Orendana the Queen, or Dar the Leader. If I ever end up running the campaign, I'd probably try to more tightly set up Kimantor as a "Rulership" subcult. It can then function to create more tension with Elmali chieftains, or Sun Dome Templars. I'll also probably try to do more of my crappy interpretations of Simon Bray's woodcuts.

Edited by AlHazred
Left out word.
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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My primary prod for the beginning of the campaign was this Lunar thief. I had thought I could use him early on to goad the PCs into reactions regarding the Lunars, either pro or con. They'd come across this guy on the tula during a cattle raid, using the raid as a distraction to rifle through the clan's lesser-known treasures in its Lhankor Mhy shrine.

I hadn't done a lot of work personalizing him, because I wanted to craft him more in response to the PCs' biases and personality traits. At the beginning, he'd be a Seven Mothers worshipper, basically a lay member of the Lunar religion. He's been hanging around with those darned Orlevings (or Iskalli, as I see I'd decided to name the "hated rivals") and talked them into the raid. I hadn't even gotten so far as to name him; in my notes, I call him "Flatulus Minimus" because at that time, we thought of the Lunars as a Greco-Roman model.

My idea was, this guy is extremely self-interested. He sees the ancient treasures of these "primitives" as ripe for the picking. If he can pick up one or two priceless treasures and bring them back to the British Museum City of Glamour where civilized folk of consequence can appreciate them, then he can jumpstart a career in a choice Lunar institution.

In my notes, I'd decided his brother, on the other hand, was a real danger, to the players and everybody else. I figured there was an even chance the Lunar gets killed in the first session, keeping in mind he's unfamiliar with how Orlanthi raid and liable to break any number of rules through ignorance. If he did survive, he'd almost certainly be embarrassed by the PCs, which would make him a decent, if low-level, prod.

More dangerous is his brother. I'd decided his brother would be a fallen rich kid. He used to "have it all" but was outmaneuvered. In his desperation, he turned to Thanatar. One of the great things about the Thanatar cult (from a gamesmastering perspective) is that you can use it to justify any number of kooky powers for your antagonist without resorting to a flat "Chaos did it." I mean, the cult is chaotic, but any specific member might not be tainted yet. And if you have an NPC who gets lost in the shuffle or feels betrayed by the party at some point, you can have them lose their head and suddenly a more dangerous antagonist knows all their secrets: passwords, secret hiding spots, what really happened to the Lunar tax collector, etc.

However, the Thantar cult is a little bit of a mess, mechanically. I mean, it was a mess in RQ2, and then more of a mess in RQ3, but back then we had one way to do things so it still kind of worked. Under Hero Wars rules, it's a little weird as a straight theistic cult. I liked some elements of Nikk Effingham's Hero Wars implementation, but the Secrets were weirdly implemented.

I went back to my RQ2 sources for the cult. In Cults of Terror, it mentions the cult of Atyar, the Horned Skull, as a secret society of occult thieves. In HeroQuest 1E terms, that sounds a lot like the description of Sorcery Schools in the book. A sorcery school would work really well in context -- there's a lot more thieving you can do if you're copying grimoires, which is very difficult per the Wizardry rules. Most sorcery schools and wizardry groups don't get Secrets (I mean, the wizards at least are supposed to be seeking a high place in Heaven, not mundane glory or spoils...) but the Consume Mind ritual described in CoT sounds perfect for a Secret. Nikk's implementation seemed a little wonky to me, so I did my own.

For the First Age+ cult of Than, the Headhunting God, there was a lot of discussion on the old message boards about how it kind of resembles the Irish tathlum, which by some accounts is a enemy's head hardened in lime, and in another a concrete sling bullet made by mixing enemy brains with lime and forming the resulting concoction into a ball. Lugh shot a tathlum at Balor and struck him directly in his deadly eye, which was pushed right out the back of his head by the bullet and continued to wreak destruction on the Fomorian hordes. It also obviously resembles the "shrunken head" fetishes that used to be popular back in the Colonialist days. I waffle in my thoughts about whether this more strongly resembles a spiritual practice or a theistic cult. It could go either way, really.

The combined Thanatar cult seems like it should be more interesting. It's an artifact from after the Dawn. According to the RQ3 Lords of Terror book, "Thanatar is one of the most complicated chaos cults known, formed in the Gbaji Wars of the First Age when two cults, Than and Atyar, were combined into a more powerful whole." Later on is the note, "The special spell of Darklight was developed in the Second Age by a cult hero, and is only available at [full temples to Thanatar.]" In CoT, there's also a note that Atyari scholars helped the Than cultists improve their Create Head ritual. So the Thanatar cult is a syncretism of two earlier cults, and magical experimentation went on well into the Second Age. It's all very God Learnerish, but makes sense: when they produced Thanatar they were getting ready to put together Osentalka, and experimented with putting together other cults. The result must not have been as successful (not like Caladra & Aurelion) so there's been further tinkering since then.

One part of the LoT description says, "The cult of Thanatar known in Dorastor is different, with a tripartite system of Doom Lords of Than, Doomn Priests of Atyar, and Doom Shamans of Thanatar sharing equal roles in the cult." This implies treating Thanatar as a spiritual practice, but that seems weird for the God Learners. Then again, maybe not. It definitely points to shamans having a role in the cult organization, which works for my idea that the "cult of Thanatar" is a combination of a sorcery shool, spiritual practice, and theistic cult.

So, I redid the whole thing in HeroQuest 1E terms. I took a few liberties, but I wanted to get the "feel" of this weird religion that's been tinkered with by God Learners. I wanted to get all of the magic from the RQ2 and RQ3 writeups in the descriptions in some form, maybe in two or three of the subgroups. I'm still not fully happy with the results: I kind of like what I came up with for the sorcery school of Atyar and the spiritual practice of Than, but the combined cult (which I'm calling "Tien" to avoid even more confusion) still feels a little off. Maybe that's appropriate for the result of an ill-advised magical experiment.

I'll post my writeup once I've removed some parts that are basically copies of Nikk Effingham's stuff and sections copied from Cults of Terror. For your fluff text needs, I highly recommend Nikk's religious chant (which is excellent) and picking up the following books: Cults of Terror (RQ2, 1981), Shadows on the Borderland (RQ3, 1993), and Lords of Terror: The Cults of Dorastor (RQ3, 1994). The CoT material is available in the Cult Compendium (RQ2, 2002) reprint book, in a format somewhat expanded with a few additions from the LoT version. An additional historical note: I just now realized that the original cult was written by Jennell Jaquays, who seems to have produced some of my favorite RQ2 material, as well as my favorite AD&D 1E material.

Edited by AlHazred

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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Thanatar
Tripartite Worship of a Chaos Entity
The Thanatar cult is an oddity in modern Glorantha. An attempt to revere a Chaos entity lost in the Gods War, it is a syncretism of different magical groups. Some blame its resurgence on the sort of magical meddling that backfired on the God Learners; others say the Lunars, Shamans, or Sorcerers are to blame. As the Thanatari are extraordinarily secretive and their works are routinely burned when found, the truth may never be known.
    What is clear, however, is that the combination of groups provided complementary abilities and services that have created a greater threat than the individual parts were before. Scholars of the Horned Society are reputed to have helped Than practitioners perfect their gruesome head-creation rituals. Than assassins have been found to be using Tien feats in their attacks, and so on. Truly, three separate nightmares have combined to form a looming disaster. The threat is great enough that even normally-hostile groups, such as Sartarites and Lunars, sometimes team up when a temple is discovered to eradicate all traces of Thanatari.

Entry Requirements: Prospective members must convince an existing member of their worthiness and sincerity. Many require bribes of lore or money before they will admit new members. Since the whole organization is persecuted and hunted, even finding someone to admit them is a challenge for non-chaotics.
Abilities: Chaos Lore, Worship Thanatar.
Virtues: Secretive.
Core Elements: The organization consists of three subgroups: the Horned Society (which reveres Atyar as the Devourer of Knowledge), the Than Practice (which worships Than as the Headless Spirit), and the cult of Tien the Severed God.
Magic: Members receive their magic from their subgroup. Despite being members of either a wizardry school, a spiritual practice, or a theistic cult, Thanatari can read grimoires from the Horned Society as if they were students, gain charms from the Than Practice as if they were spiritists, or learn affinities from Thanatar as if they were initiates without penalty. Such is the nature of Chaos.
Great Secret: None.
Other Side: Thanatar’s worshippers go to the Place of Waiting, which has connections to the God World, the Spirit World, and Essence Planes. The Place of Waiting is reputed to be that part of the Underworld where Tien was beheaded. Chaos brings marvels and terrors alike.
Disadvantages: Worshippers may never use fire or light abilities, even if those powers are stolen. Their propensity for attacking members of other groups and stealing their secrets has left the group hated and feared by all others.
        The Thanatar religion is rife with internal politics. Adherents constantly labor under the threat of assassination for posing a threat to a rival, suffering censure for being allied to someone who poses a political threat to an elite, being sent on a suicide mission to aid the cause of other Thanatari, being manipulated into becoming a scapegoat for a rival, and so on. Many of the Secrets of the religion benefit from ritual support but little support can be gathered. Why aid someone who will later become a roadblock on your own path to power? Loyalty is rare among the Thanatari.

The Horned Society
School of the Horned Skull
The Horned Society is a scourge that has operated in secret for centuries. Established by a rogue priest of Lhankor Mhy named Treack Markhor, this sorcery school is dedicated to the theft of magical secrets. The sage discovered a horned skull worshipped as a spirit of death on an unnamed island. Intrigued by the power he sensed within he took the skull with him, keeping it secret from his brother sages. Through decades of study he unlocked its secrets, naming the skull Atyar, Devourer of Knowledge. He drew a number of like-minded individuals into his service, and they formed a secret society.
    The group began stealing magic from other groups, first targeting small, outsider cults and other secret societies. Eventually their hunger for knowledge grew too powerful and more prominent religions and churches were plundered. The authorities moved to purge the group. The senior members of the Horned Society met one more time in its secret underground sanctum and secured the skull of Atyar in a vault protected by the most powerful magics they had—their own powers and those stolen from others. Then the Society broke up and went out into the world.
    The Horned Society operates in cells, usually composed of two to four adepts, supported by about two to three times as many apprentices. Individual members hoard their stolen knowledge, loathe to trade even the simplest magic except for a greater power. Members steal from each other as well as others. The Portal of Power created by adepts of the Horned Society is the Entropic Equation.

Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Focused Will, Read [Language], Rule of Treack Markhor, Symbolic Sight, Write [Language].
Relationships: Member of [Horned Society Cell].
Virtues: Hate Truth Gods, Paranoid.
Grimoires:
[Truth] Feast of Forgotten Lore (Confuse Foe, Decode Grimoire, Devour Book, Frighten Mortal, Ingest Scroll, Recognize Secrets, Sense Learning, Transfer Thoughts [D+20 to steal mundane secrets])
[Chaos] Gospel of Atyar (Absorb Feat, Dismay Victim, Dissect Spell, Inspire Zealotry, Prophetic Voice of Atyar [D+20], Summon Essence of Teaching, Unravel Charm)
School Secret Requirements: Chaos Lore 1W2, Use Feast of Forgotten Lore 1W2, Use Gospel of Atyar 1W2.
Secret: Consume Mind ritual (Chaos magic. The adept attempts to consume the mind of a helpless individual, in a ritual held over the course of Truth week in any season. It does not work on devotees or disciples of Lhankor Mhy. The ritual is dangerous and risky, and most Atyari only conduct it in their most secret of sanctums. Use of the ritual results in you receiving a chaos feature.)

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Contest: Consume Mind
Appropriate Ability: Consume Mind ritual Secret.
Typical Modifiers and Augments: Focused Will; ritual magic.
Resistance: The target’s best ability, even if it does not seem appropriate.
Any Victory: The victim is dead. You may spend 1 hero point to start a Memories of [Victim] ability at 13, +1 per additional hero point spent. This ability may be used to augment relevant abilities, and you may also learn any of the victim’s mundane abilities that you do not currently possess to the level of the victim, spending hero points as usual. You are also Impaired.
        If the victim was a theist, you may pay 6 hero points to gain one of the victim’s affinities at 13, +2 for each mastery the victim possessed in that affinity. If the victim had learned feats in that affinity, you also gain one of them for free; other feats from that affinity that were known to the victim may be acquired at the cost of 2 hero points each.
        If the victim was an animist, you may pay 2 hero points each to gain the target’s Friendship with [Spirit] abilities at 13, +2 for each mastery the victim possessed in that ability. You may create charms and fetishes for spirits possessed by the victim by using your Rule of Treack Markhor ability in place of Follower of [Majestic Spirit] or Worship [Great Spirit]; you always pay the “Not Concentrated” cost in hero points (see HeroQuest page 141).
        If the victim used wizardry, you may spend 6 hero points to gain one Use [Scripture], Use [Formulary], or Use [Grimoire] ability known to the victim; the ability begins at a rating of 13, +2 for each mastery the victim possessed in that ability. You may spend 2 hero points to learn any spell known to the victim, starting the ability at 13; you may link these spells to the appropriate talismans possessed by the victim. If you are concentrated in sorcery, you may pay half of these costs.
        If the victim was in a common religion, you may learn any of their talents, charms, feats, or spells for 2 hero points each.
        Any magical abilities you steal from the victim may be improved over time, but you always pay the “Not Concentrated” cost for improvements. For those abilities where there is no “Not Concentrated” cost, you must spend twice the “Concentrated” cost instead. Any abilities gained from Lunar entities are subject to the Lunar cycle.
Tie or Marginal, Minor, or Major Defeat: The victim is dead. You are Impaired (on a Tie or Marginal Defeat) or  Injured (on a Minor or Major Defeat) and require a week to recover. You gain no memories or abilities.
Complete Defeat: Your memories and abilities are lost and replaced by those of the victim. In effect, you have become the victim.

Talismans: Atyari typically make talismans in the shape of small horned skull pendants formed of tarnished silver.
Other Benefits: Apprentices may roll for a random Thanatar gift; upon promotion to adept status, you may roll for another gift and may take another every High Holy Day.
Other Side: Treack Markhor established a node on the Founder Plane. Known as the Athenaeum of Dark Truths, it is constructed out of parts stolen from other nodes. The Athenaeum has secret, hidden connections to other Founder nodes (unbeknownst to those Founders!), and also connects to the Place of Waiting.
Disadvantages: Atyari must still adhere to taboos of spirit relationships they have stolen, or else the spirit will become hostile as normal.

Than
The Headless Spirit
Even diminished, Than had power. When contacted by shamans searching the periphery of well-known myths for new power, he had a new outlet in the world. And as the son of the Devil, Than drew followers—rapacious Orlanthi headhunters who stalked the dark places in the Dawn Age, stealing the heads and powers of rivals and enemies. The Thanics formed a secret group of religious assassins, ritually strangling sacrifices with their garrotes to keep their patron strong and bring closer the day when Than would be made whole again. 
    Reviled and hunted, Thanics remained a persecuted minority on the fringes of the Empire. They learned to operate in secrecy; many found security only in communities of chaotic-tainted folk. Their sign of the coiled garrote became feared, evoking dread from the people of the frontiers. Many times, authorities hunted down the shamans and their circles of followers, but they proved persistent and fanatical. Eventually, the strongholds of Than worship were eliminated. But still, Than waits in the wild places of the Spirit World for mortals to contact him again.

Abilities: Endure Wounds, Garrotte Attack, Than Practice Knowledge, Sense Way when Blind, Spirit Face.
Relationships: Follower of [Than Practitioner].
Virtues: Hate Anti-Chaos Gods, Zealous.
Practice Spirits:
[Chaos] Chaos spirits—Spirits of Tien’s horde (Destroy Daimon 15 to 10W, Extinguish Essence 20, 10 to 5W, Sever Spirit 18 to 12W, ).
[Darkness] Gloom spirits—Spirits of the darkness (Animate Skeleton ritual 20, Create Zombie ritual 10 to 5W, Extinguish Flame 18 to 8W, Smother Sound 16 to 6W, Summon Dehori 17, Wall of Shadows 8 to 7W).
[Death] Guardian spirits—Spirits of dead worshippers (Usually any two abilities like Crushing Grip, Wiresharp Garrote, Disrupt Foe, or Repair Tool: 14 to 1W).
[Spirit] Sacrifice spirits—Spirits of beheaded victims (Abilities specific to the victim, usually at 13 to 1W2. These are always hostile and the practitioner does not have to be related to them to bind them to his service.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Chaos Lore 1W2, Spirit Face 1W2, Than Practice Knowledge 1W2.
Secret: Create Major Head ritual (Chaos magic. The practitioner attempts to bind the spirit, soul, or essence of a helpless individual into their own severed head as a form of gruesome fetish, in a ritual held over the course of Death week in any season.)

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Contest: Create Head
Appropriate Ability: Create Major Head ritual Secret.
Typical Modifiers and Augments: Than Practice Knowledge; ritual magic.
Resistance: The victim’s best ability, even if it does not seem appropriate.
Any Victory: The victim is bound into their own severed, animated head. You must spend 1 hero point to begin a Master of [Victim]’s Head ability at 13; this rating can be raised at a cost of 1 hero point per +1. The head becomes a fetish, with its previous ability ratings intact. You may use the head’s abilities as automatic augments for your own rolls. If you wish to use a head’s magical abilities actively, you may do so by releasing the head as if it were a practice spirit (see HeroQuest page 137); your relevant ability is your Master of [Victim]’s Head ability, and the head is treated as Hostile and resists with its best magical ability. Head entities released in this way do not go to their appropriate Otherworld but remain trapped in the Natural World until they again find their way into their fetish.
        Such heads can last for a while, from about a century (Complete Victory) to a few decades (Major Victory) to only a few years (Minor Victory). Heads which decay or are destroyed release the entities contained within as special Thanatari head ghosts. These insane creatures wander the world, unable to find their way to the Underworld. They usually congregate at Than spirit places and are used as guards. They do not attack anyone with a Worship Thanatar ability, or who possess Than charms or fetishes or Atyari talismans.
        The heads of Than practitioners retain their Master abilities if they are turned into bound heads themselves. Some long-established groups have generations of heads bound to living practitioners through chains of control.
Tie or Marginal, Minor, or Major Defeat: The victim is not bound. Roll your Than Practice Knowledge ability against a resistance of 14; on a tie or any failure, you receive a chaos feature.
Complete Defeat: The victim is not bound. You receive a chaos feature.

Spirit Ally: Members of the Than Practice may receive a Guardian spirit as spirit ally in exchange for a random geas.
Charms and Fetishes: Than charms and fetishes are usually made of the bones of victims chased with tarnished silver. Sacrifice spirits are bound into charms and fetishes made from the victim’s own severed, animated heads; these lesser magic items are called “minor heads” by Thanics and are held in lesser esteem than the full heads created by the Secret, but all ritually severed heads are sacred objects to followers.
Other Connections: Spiritists may roll for a random Thanatar gift; upon promotion to practitioner status, you may roll for another gift and may take another every High Holy Day.
Other Side: Followers of Than go to the Blasted Void, a gloomy mire in the Spirit World that remains where the Spike exploded. Hidden paths lead to the Place of Waiting. Or, using enslaved spirits as guides, followers may journey beyond the edge of the Blasted Void to other parts of the Spirit World, such as the Vale of Four Winds or the Wild Wolf Forest.

Tien
The Severed God
It is clear the Chaos god Tien, son of the Devil, was severed in the God Time. Nevertheless, since Time began, a group was able to recreate the entity to an extent. The combined god is typically called Thanatar, although that name is also used for the entire organization consisting of the three factions: the Horned Society, the Than Practice, and the theistic Cult. To avoid confusion, we will use “Tien” for the theistic cult, and “Thanatar” for the entire religion. 
    Mystery surrounds the origin of the cult. Some say the broo Hero Greegrog retrieved the Skull of Atyar and reconnected it to the Majestic Spirit of Than, recreating the god Tien and being made immortal for his pains. Others say that the Horned Skull still resides in a vault under a ruined city, and that the Broken Council recreated the god as an experiment preliminary to the creation of Osentalka. Due to the organization’s characteristic secrecy, the truth may remain forever unknown.

Abilities: Devotee of Tien or Initiate of Tien, Mythology of Thanatar, Shortsword and Shield Fighting, Soul Vision.
Relationships: Member of [Tien Temple].
Virtues: Fatalistic, Manipulative.
Affinities and Feats:
[Death] Severing (Command Ghost, Sever Soul, Summon Daimon of Reprisal ritual, Survive Beheading [D+20], True Garrote)
[Truth] Knowledge (Find Hidden Knowledge, Sense Weakness, Summon Teaching Daimon ritual)
[Darkness] Shadows (Command Darkness Daimon, Darklight, Replenishing Sleep, Summon Darkness Daimon ritual)
Secret: Summon Specific Guardian ritual (Otherworld magic. The Tien worshipper must travel to the Otherworld to bring back a Thanatari they are trying to resurrect. The quest is difficult, but the Thanatari need not be resurrected into their original body; the only requirement is that seven days cannot have elapsed since death. If the Tien worshipper fails, the Thanatari immediately goes to the Place of Waiting, even if the full seven days have not yet elapsed.)
Other Connections: Initiates may roll for a random Thanatar gift; upon promotion to devotee status, you may roll for another gift and may take another every High Holy Day.
Other Side: Tien worshippers who die are escorted to the Place of Waiting by a cult entity called the Gatherer of Souls. From the Place of Waiting theists may journey to the Darkness Age, or they may follow hidden ways to the Blasted Void or the Athenaeum of Dark Truths.

A Note on Thanatari Magic
Thanatar is a religion for those who wish to possess lore or mastery of skills or magic, but do not wish to do the work to gain such themselves; rather, they steal this power from others. They are greedy and miserly and do not give up magical power that they have stolen.
    Thanatari magic possesses features of all other magical methods. The magic itself is inherently chaotic, and dabbling in Thanatar’s powers is a certain way to acquire a taint or even turn into a chaos horror. Nevertheless, their studies and activities give the Thanatari many advantages.
    Anyone who can convince a current member to sponsor them and can sway the examiners can join the religion. They can treat the Horned Society as just another sorcery school, the Than Practice as just another practice, or the Than cult as just another cult. For these members, the elements function as normal magical groups, and are subject to concentration as normal. It is worth keeping in mind that the Thanatari religion is an enemy to most other religions, and any follower discovering a cell of Thanatari in their neighborhood is likely to turn them in to the authorities. This fact contributes to the Thanatari virtue of extreme secrecy.
    It is also possible for a follower to concentrate their Thanatari magic. Such followers join the ranks of favored lower-level members in the organization, a group called “The Doomed.” In this case, they may pay the concentrated hero point costs for any Thanatari magic, but must pay double costs for any other kind of magic they wish to learn, even common magic.
    A follower who has concentrated their Thanatari magic can learn abilities from other branches of the religion. An apprentice of the Horned Society can receive charms for Than spirits or learn affinities from Tien; a spiritist of the Than practice can learn spells from the Horned Society or affinities from Tien; and, an initiate of Tien can learn spells from the Horned Society or receive charms for Than spirits, all paying the concentrated cost for these magics.
    Adepts of the Horned Society can use Than fetishes, using their Worship Thanatar ability [D+10] in place of Than Practice Knowledge when releasing the spirits, or learn feats from Tien. Practitioners of Than can learn Use [Grimoire] abilities and learn spells from those grimoires, or learn feats from Tien. Devotees of Tien can learn Use [Grimoire] abilities, or use Than fetishes, using their Worship Thanatar ability [D+10] in place of Than Practice Knowledge when releasing the spirits.
    The one magic that cannot so easily be stolen is the Cult and Practice Secrets of gods and spirits. Thanatar elite must heroquest mightily for even a fraction of these powers, and the discipline to succeed with such an exertion is foreign to most Thanatari━━this is why they joined a knowledge-stealing religion in the first place!

Thanatari Gifts and Geases
As followers of a Chaos entity, Thanatari of any faction receive random gifts. These are slightly adapted and updated from Nikk Effingham's list.

Thanatar's Gifts

1d20

Gift

Required Geases

1-2

+5 to all Atyar or Scholar keyword abilities

3

3-4

+5 to all Than or Thief keyword abilities

2

5-7

+5 to Shortsword and Shield Fighting

1

8-9

+10 to Shortsword and Shield Fighting

3

10-12

+5 to Garrotte Attack

1

13

Begin a Resist Fire/Sky Magic ability at 13 or raise it by +5

2

14-15

+5 to one Knowledge, Lore, or Mythology ability

1

16

Sprout ram's horns, which act as average weapons (HeroQuest page 78)

1

17

Skin/fur turns pitch black, and gives an automatic augment of +10 to hiding

2

18

Skin/fur toughens, and acts as light armor (HeroQuest page 78)

1

19

Receive a guardian as a spirit ally

3

20

Select one gift, and receive random geases.

n/a

 

Thanatar's Geases

1d20

Geas

1

Eat the flesh of sentient creatures at each meal.

2

Always eat the flesh of each victim.

3

Never use minted coins.

4

Never use an edged weapon.

5

Never speak to non-Thanatari.

6

Never ride an animal.

7

Wear no head protection.

8

Never go into sunlight or risk permanent blindness; roll your best defense versus the intensity of the light (usually from 14W2 to 14W3).

9

Never go into non-cult light or risk permanent blindness; roll your best defense versus the intensity of the light (usually from 14 to 14W3).

10

Never use fire in any form, including Darklight.

11

Gain a useful chaos feature at a rating of either 13 or your Worship Thanatar ability minus 20, whichever is higher.

12

Gain a detrimental chaos feature at a rating of either 18 or your Worship Thanatar minus 20, whichever is lower.

13

Always challenge Lhankor Mhy, Urox, or Storm Bull worshippers.

14

Never eat non-sentient plants.

15

Never wear metal other than tarnished silver.

16

Never eat the flesh of any cloven-hoofed creature.

17

Never lie to a fellow Thanatari.

18

Never harm an undead creation.

19

Never attack with a weapon.

20

Roll 1d20. On a roll of 1-10, roll two times and take both geases. On a roll of 11-15, roll three times and take all three geases. On a 16-20, you are favoured by Thanatar this time and receive no geas.

Edited by AlHazred
Typos and formatting.
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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So, I had a basic idea: play around with minor Sartar stuff for a while, then send the group to Balazar. The "minor Sartar stuff" pretty much forced me to use a date range between Starbrow's Rebellion and the later timeframes most of the supplements use -- in 1621-1624 there really isn't room for "minor stuff" as the fertilizer is hitting the fan!

I'm hugely fond of the look and feel of the Balazar stuff. It's got the feel of a location from out of Time. In Dragon Pass, everywhere you go there are remnants of ancient empires. In Balazar and the Elder Wilds, there are a few such remnants but most of the wilderness is still wild. The Elder Races have beaten at each other for more than a thousand years, but they never brought out the "screw you" weapons that devastate friend and foe alike, like they did down south.

Most of the Griffin Mountain book is pretty usable as-is -- it's full of background detail, discussion of the density of wildlife and sentient creatures, and so on. But a big part of what makes it shine are the personalities. In fact, it's quite apt that one of the chapters is titled, "Personalities," and contains all of the core NPCs of the setting. In order to figure out how to represent them in Hero Wars/HeroQuest terms, I needed to know what their cultures and magic looked like.

The Lunars are well-covered in several books. Love them or hate them, The Imperial Lunar Handbook Volume 1 and Volume 2 contain all the cults and cultural keywords you need to stat up Lunars of any stripe. So, I figured I had that covered.

The trolls are complex, but Unspoken Word #4, Uz: The Trolls of Glorantha, had all the details I wanted on those guys. It was written for late Hero Wars, but it's pretty usable with minor changes. The dark troll and trollkin species keywords are in HeroQuest 1E on page 218. So, that's covered.

That leaves elves and dwarves, two of the most common fantasy tropes that are, nevertheless, the least playable in standard Gloranthan play. They are supposed to be completely alien to human thought process, and since I'm human (allegedly) I guess that puts me at a disadvantage. But I thought I'd give it a shot.

Species keywords are easy. They can be found in HeroQuest 1E page 210 (dwarves) and 212 (elf). But that left the cultural stuff. So, first I tried to get a handle on the Way of Mostal.

Edited by AlHazred

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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The Way of Mostal
The World Machine
In the beginning, there was the World Machine. A device of wondrous complexity, It encompassed the entirety of the Universe, somehow becoming something greater than the sum of Its parts. Self-created, it contained all possibilities within itself. It remains beyond the comprehension of lesser beings, but it may be termed Mostal. Three components were of special interest to dwarf lore: Helper, the first tool; Linchpin, the central support; and the Mostali, independent repair and maintenance units.
    The Mostali were of different kinds. Called the Octagony of Ancient Minerals, the types were: Rock Mostali, who mined and built structures; Lead Mostali, who developed methods to control the dynamics of moving substances; the Quicksilver Mostali, who learned the transformation and combination of liquids and gasses; the Copper Mostali, who developed containers and transport mechanisms; the Tin Mostali, who mastered techniques of automaton construction and essence control; the Brass Mostali, who learned the combination and refining of metals; the Silver Mostali, who mastered the methods of magic and enchantment; and the Gold Mostali, who studied and codified the methods and knowledge of the others.
    Helper, the first tool, created more tools itself. These tools, the Mostali used to maintain and refine Linchpin, which some other races call the Spike. A structure constructed of adamant (which is refined truestone), it was a wonder to behold. The Universe functioned flawlessly, all the parts contained within their orbits, fulfilling their functions.
    At some point, Error was introduced into the World Machine and it began to suffer malfunctions. The precise nature and source of Error is still under some investigation, but it seems clear that these were the result of a number of other forces: Growing, typified by the elves, and Taking, typified by the trolls. The Iron Mostali were developed by the Octagony as a response to these threats to the Machine. They developed the tools and methods of warfare to combat these malfunctioning forces.
    The Mostali were of superior construction, but were heavily outnumbered by malfunctioning units. In response, the Octagony met again and created the so-called Clay Mostali—the dwarves. Although somewhat less magical and intelligent than the Mostali, they were much easier to replace and more numerous, and eager to help with maintenance operations.
    Then, at a critical moment in Error repair operations, the Linchpin was destroyed as Entropy swept through the system. Most of the Mostali were destroyed. The Universe plummeted towards oblivion.
    Emergency repair operations began immediately, spearheaded by the dwarves, the most numerous repair units still in existence. Working slavishly, they attempted to repair the World Machine faster than it was being destroyed. Some despaired at what seemed a hopeless task. But the remaining Mostali and dwarves persevered and many outlying factories and outposts were cheered when the Sun rose, indicating that major repair operations were correcting the Errors in the system. They were inspired to iron discipline, working ever harder to complete the Machine’s repair. They know that the Error is not yet fixed, for the perfect universe has not been restored. Yet.

Homelands: Brass Mountains, Curustus, Diamond Mountains, Dwarf Mine, Gemborg, Greatway, Imther, Iron Mountains, Jord Mountains, Mari Mountains, Nidan Mountains, Slon, Von Mountains.
Abilities: Mostali Doctrine, Read Mostali, Worship Mostal, Write Mostali.
    Liturgist only—Venerate Mostal. (“Liturgists” are the foremen and supervisors of the dwarves. Their weekly “services” are called Planning Meetings or Operational Overview Presentations.)
Virtues: Conservative, Hardworking, Implacable, Unyielding.
Scripture: The Way of Mostal
[Law] Common Blessings—Be Content with Life, Bless Community Task, Bless Work Unit, Bless Worker, Clean Work Area, Clear Mind of Distraction, Comprehend Common Purpose, Labor Tirelessly, Maintain Tools and Equipment, Remain Focused, Sense Intruder, Work Hard.
[Blessing] Special Blessings—Bless Stronghold, Conceal Mostali, Feel Unity, Name and Number New Dwarf, Produce Protodwarf Module ritual, Protect from Deterioration, Purify Tool, Resist Divine Magic, Resist Spirit Magic, Resist Wizardry, Sense [Enemy], Sense Traps.
[Curse] Curses—Curse Apostate, Curse Chaos, Curse [Enemy], Curse Thief.
Great Secret: Become One with the World Machine.
Orders: This “church” has ten distinct orders, one for each of the castes. The orders do not have virtues distinct from the Way of Mostal, but their magic is geared towards the functions of their caste. No other schools or orders are compatible with the Way of Mostal. The practice of any other form of wizardry immediately brands the dwarf an apostate. Dwarves that stay with the Way of Mostal, even if heretic, never age nor die naturally. However, apostate dwarves are subject to the unnatural force of death. They begin aging at varying rates that seem to be based on the overall physical and mental characteristics of the individual; this is a powerful incentive for dwarves to remain in the fold.
Other Side: The Mostal node is a complex structure with its apex in the Saint Plane that connects to a base of ten nodes in the Spell Plane.
Disadvantages: Every aspect of dwarf society and magical practice is stratified to a level beyond mortal comprehension. Devout dwarves are mostly incompatible with life outside their cities.

Rock Dwarves
Rock dwarves mine, quarry, dress, and build with stone. They are the architects and sculptors of dwarf society, and build cities and laboratories. They work in cement as well as stone.
    The portal of power created by the Rock Dwarves is called the Petrified Portal.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the rock dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Mining, Rock Lore, Rule of the Rock Mostali, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Rock Dwarf Work Unit].
Grimoires:
[Mineral] Stoneworking Procedure Manual rev. 1023-A/3 (Analyze Stone ritual, Enchant [Mineral] ritual, Enchant Stone ritual, Reinforce Portal, Reinforce Statue, Reinforce Structural Support, Shape Cement, Shape Rock, Stabilize Masonry ritual)
[Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31M-8/12 ver. 118.0 (Activate Stone Door, Determine Precise Direction, Grade Surface with Words, Repair Stone Structure, Measure Exact Distance Underground, Stabilize Reinforcements ritual).
Talismans: All talismans are tools, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The rock dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Rock Bowl, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Repair Stone Structure spell can be used to heal wounded rock dwarves. The Sabilize Masonry ritual enables a section of wall or other stonework to be held up so that work can be done on it; so long as the enchantment lasts, it does not move.

Lead Dwarves
Lead dwarves invented plumbing, and later developed glassblowing. They work closely with the Quicksilver Dwarves. Lead Dwarves also specialize in making seals and wards to prevent entrance or to block off forbidden areas.
    The portal of power created by the Lead Dwarves is called the Vitrified Valve.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the lead dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Hydraulic Engineering, Know Mostal, Lead Lore, Rule of the Lead Mostali, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Lead Dwarf Work Unit].
Grimoires:
[Making] Advanced Hydraulics in Theory and Practice ver. 408 (Analyze Liquid Composition ritual, Determine Precise Rate of Liquid Flow, Enchant Lead ritual, Enchant Glass ritual, Repair Glass Structure, Repair Lead Structure, Stabilize Glass ritual, Stabilize Plumbing ritual)
[Defense] Greatway Security Procedures 21-Alpha (Alarm Against Elves, Alarm Against Trolls, Attach Alarm to Area ritual, Seal Portal ritual, Ward Area Against Essences ritual, Ward Area Against Gods ritual, Ward Area Against Spirits ritual).
Talismans: All talismans are tools or glass devices, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The lead dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Leaden Pot, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Repair Lead Structure spell can be used to heal wounded lead dwarves. The Stabilize rituals armor the affected structure; so long as the enchantment persists, the structure cannot be damaged. The Ward Area rituals allow other spells to be used to protect the area in question, triggered upon intrusion.

Quicksilver Dwarves
Quicksilver dwarves know the art of transmutation and the science of alchemy. They brew terrible compounds in their fuming labs, and know the secrets of gunpowder, medicine, and all forms of vitriol and potions. They also make the dwarf version of food. Although they use magic, they specialize in manipulating physical elements.
    The portal of power created by the Quicksilver Dwarves is called the Bountiful Beaker.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the quicksilver dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Alchemy, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Quicksilver Lore, Rule of the Quicksilver Mostali, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Quicksilver Dwarf Alchemical Union].
Grimoires:
[Stasis] Transmutation Methods Manual MkIIA rev. 22 (Analyze Potion ritual, Combine Matter, Control Material, Purify Solution, Stabilize Potion ritual, Transmute Gas to Liquid ritual, Transmute Gas to Solid ritual, Transmute Liquid to Gas ritual, Transmute Liquid to Solid ritual, Transmutate Solid to Gas ritual, Transmute Solid to Liquid ritual)
[Making] Approved Formulas List, Greatway Division ver. 173 (Brew [Antidote] ritual, Brew Gunpowder ritual, Brew Magic Enhancing Potion ritual, Brew [Poison] ritual, Brew Vitriol ritual, Enchant Aluminum/Quicksilver ritual).
Talismans: All talismans are alchemical glassware or tools, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The quicksilver dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Quicksilver Alembic, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Purify Solution spell can be used to heal poisoned or diseased quicksilver dwarves. All of the Transmute and Brew rituals require specific equipment for different specific materials; the procedure is the same (and time-consuming) but the equipment differs. The Stabilize Potion ritual preserves a potion against deterioration for as long as the enchantment lasts.

Copper Dwarves
Copper dwarves make tools, containers, and some weapons. The original Copper Mostali created the world’s first coinage – clacks. One of their tasks is to manufacture the special magical conduits which purvey energy to all the parts of a dwarf factory.
    The portal of power created by the Copper Dwarves is called the Masterwork Magnum.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the copper dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Copper Lore, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Make Minor Equipment, Redsmithing, Rule of the Copper Mostali, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Copper Dwarf Craft Guild].
Grimoires:
[Forge] Methods of Redsmithing M381-X (Beat Metal Tirelessly, Enchant Copper ritual, Handle Hot Metal, Harden [Metal] Item ritual, Repair [Metal] Item, Soften [Metal] Item, Strengthen [Metal], Unbreakable Hammer, Unyielding Anvil)
[Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31B21-10/X ver. 9.6 (Analyze Magical Energy ritual, Increase Container Storage ritual, Prepare Magical Energy Conduit ritual, Prepare Magical Energy Storage Container ritual, Stabilize Magical Energy Conduit ritual, Transfer Magical Energy).
Talismans: All talismans are tools, containers, or weapons, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The copper dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Copper Kettle, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Repair Metal Item spell can be used to heal wounded copper dwarves. The Stabilize Magic Energy Conduit ritual will cause the conduit to generate magical energy as if it were a living creature for the duration of the enchantment.

Tin Dwarves
Tin Dwarves summon and control those useful creatures, gnomes. They create the semi-living constructs, such as Jolanti, Gobblers, and Nilmergs, which work for the dwarves in specialized tasks, hard labor, or harsh environments. They also manufacture replacement limbs and organs for crippled dwarves, and the cans which store dwarf food.
    The portal of power created by the Tin Dwarves is called the Chained Chamber.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the tin dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Craft Mechanism, Craft Mechanism, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Repair Mechanism, Rule of the Tin Mostali, Symbolic Sight, Tin Lore.
Relationships: Member of [Tin Dwarf Craft Guild].
Grimoires: 
[Sorcery] Automaton Directive Methods Part 1 (Control Earth Essence, Coommand [Automaton], Forge [Automaton] ritual, Deactivate Automaton, Dismiss Earth Essence, Summon Earth Essence ritual)
[Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31X ver. 3.0 (Assess Automaton Needs ritual, Enchant Tin ritual, Manufacture Tin [Limb/Organ], Repair Tin Mechanism, Stabilize Life ritual, Tin Food ritual).
Talismans: All talismans are tools or replacement limbs or organs, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The tin dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Tin Dipper, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Repair Tin Mechanism spell can be used to heal wounded tin dwarves. The Stabilize Life ritual prevents the subject creature from actually dying in combat; so long as the enchantment lasts, the subject creature remains in a Dying state. The Tin Food ritual preserves food for years. Earth Essences are typically termed gnomes.

Brass Dwarves
Brass dwarves are alloyists and metallurgists. They create new metals from combinations of old ones. They are also in charge of heating the forges and keeping the necessary heat channeled to appropriate spots and at the correct temperature for the job at hand. 
    The portal of power created by the Brass Dwarves is called the Polymorphic Pod.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the brass dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Brass Lore, Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Metal Lore, Rule of the Brass Mostali, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Brass Dwarf Forge Guild].
Grimoires:
[Forge] Metallurgical Procedures Greatway-B13 (Alloy [Metal] and [Metal], Analyze Metal ritual, Enchant [Metal] ritual, Produce Flame, Purify [Metal], Reform Alloy, Stabilize Heat ritual)
[Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31B25-4/G ver. 21.2 (Analyze Heat Requirements ritual, Increase Heat Produced, Prepare Heat Source ritual, Stabilize Heat Conduit ritual, Transfer Heat).
Talismans: All talismans are tools or mechanisms, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The brass dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Brass Cauldron, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Reform Alloy spell can be used to heal wounded brass dwarves, and the Purify [Metal] spell can be used to cure poisoned or diseased brass dwarves. The Stabilize Heat ritual prevents the enchanted fire from going out for the duration, even if the fuel source is exhausted.

Silver Dwarves
Silver dwarves are enchanters and sorcerers. All dwarves learn sorcery appropriate to their subtype, but these specialize in working with magic power. Some silver dwarves construct great enchantments taking centuries to complete. They say they made the Red Moon.
    The portal of power created by the Silver Dwarves is called the Devised Diagram.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the silver dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Know Mostal, Rule of the Silver Mostali, Silver Lore, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Silver Dwarf Magical Unit].
Grimoires: 
[Magic] Arcane Operations Manual 7M11-21 (Analyze Enchantment ritual, Block Ritual [D+5 to D+30], Coordinate Magic, Dismiss Feat, Dismiss Spirit, Divert Spell, Reflect Magic, Store Spell ritual, Understand Ritual [D+5 to D+30])
[Making] Greatway Maintenance Manual 31S+X (Control Essence, Dismiss Essence, Enchant Silver ritual, Identify Essence, Repair Enchantment, Stabilize Magic ritual).
Talismans: All talismans are tools, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The silver dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Silver Pan, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Repair Enchantment spell can be used to heal wounded silver dwarves. The Stabilize Magic ritual causes the affected magic to remain in effect for as long as the spell lasts. The Store Spell ritual allows the storage of any other sorcery, which may be released by the wielder at will. Most silver dwarves have one or more unique enchantments whose purpose (and even effects) are unfathomable to non-dwarves.

Gold Dwarves
Gold dwarves represent the mind of Mostal. They are teachers, and maintain the continuity of dwarf society through correct education and indoctrination. They keep the lore of the dwarves.
    The portal of power created by the Gold Dwarves is called the Consecrated Concourse.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the gold dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Gold Lore, Identify Heresy, Instructor, Know Mostal, Know Mostali Culture, Mathematics, Rule of the Gold Mostali, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Gold Dwarf Council].
Grimoires: 
[Law] Instructional Primer and Conditioning Manual 37W (Cast Out Daimon, Cast Out Spirit, Draw Clear Diagrams, Give Clear Instructions, Inspire Dwarf, Perfect Recall, Reach Consensus, Restore Memory, Stop Argument)
[Making] Great Plan Assessment and Continuation Strategy Alpha-36/R (Enchant Gold ritual, Find Error in Mathematics, Heal Injury, Heal Dying, Predict Possibilities ritual, Stabilize Mind ritual).
[Communication] Openhandist Circular Cycle 1612/303 (Communicate with Anyone, Dispel Suspicion, Find Compromise, Perceive Meaning, Prepare Body for Challenges Ahead, Prepare Mind for Challenges Ahead)
Talismans: All talismans are tools or books, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The gold dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Gold Ewer, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Stabilize Mind ritual causes the enchanted individual to learn and process information twice as fast as normal.

Iron Dwarves
Iron dwarves, the blacksmiths, are devoted to the science of war. They forge iron armor and weapons, and are assisted by a variety of weird artifacts created to help them on the battlefield. Their special magic is dedicated only to maintaining and improving their arms and armor, or effecting the use of special tools of battle.
    The portal of power created by the Iron Dwarves is called the Incised Inscription.
Entry Requirements: Be a member of the iron dwarf caste.
Churches: Mostal.
Abilities: Create Portal of Power, Iron Lore, Know Mostal, Rule of the Iron Mostali, Symbolic Sight.
Relationships: Member of [Iron Dwarf Military Unit].
Grimoires:
[Death] Tactical Guidelines Primer Greatway-313A (Chop Trees, Coordinate Unit, Discern Foe’s Tactics, Incandescent Hammer, Multishot Firearm, No Retreat, See Enemy Weakness, Shred Darkness, Stand Against Many, Steady Battleline, Strike [Otherworld Being], Unavoidable Volley, Unstoppable Advance)
[Defense] Greatway Security Manual 18R3-12/42 ver. 314.2 (Bond Unit ritual, Enchant Iron ritual, Fend Blow ritual, Immovable Body, Mold Iron, Repair Armor, Repair Weapon, Stabilize [Weapon] ritual).
Talismans: All talismans are weapons or armor pieces, each specially crafted to match the spell.
Other Side: The iron dwarf grimoires draw power from a node known as the Iron Crucible, constructed on the Magic Plane. It is connected only to the other Mostali nodes.
Notes: The Mold Iron spell can be used to heal wounded iron dwarves. The Stabilize [Weapon] ritual enchants the weapon so that it cannot break so long as the enchantment lasts. The Fend Blow ritual magically reinforces a piece of armor.

Quote

Diamonddwarves
Diamonddwarves are not a caste. Rather, they are an attempt to replace the lost True Mostali who were destroyed during the Catastrophe. A dwarf of any caste may attempt to achieve diamonddwarf status; in fact, most do so when they have achieved the minimum necessary qualifications for Examination.
    Player dwarves who wish to turn their character towards diamonddwarf status may only do so with their narrator’s approval. He must have at least nine appropriate abilities at 1W2. Appropriate abilities are those listed in his order keyword or occupational keyword. He must have two Mostali Virtues at 1W2 or greater. Finally, he must have a relationship of 10W with his supporters. The Examination was standardized at the beginning of Time and has a resistance of 10W3 or more.
    The Otherworld will intrude on the hero, who will undergo voluntary and involuntary heroquests. He will also face challenges from ritual enemies during his ascension. This is Error attempting to stop the repair of the World Machine. A successful hero’s final quest brings him to the realization of his diamonddwarf status.
    The character pays 3 hero points to gain the relationship Diamonddwarf of [Stronghold] at the same rating as his current Worship Mostal. The new diamonddwarf  loses all other relationship abilities except for his relationship to his supporters.

 

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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So, that was the mechanical bits of Dwarven magic sorted. In Sartar, the Dwarf there is an Openhandist; same for the Dwarven stronghold of Greatway in Balazar. Openhandist dwarves think non-dwarves have a part to play in repairing the World Machine. So, there's a reason to see them out and about in both regions. My thinking had been to save the weirder Gloranthan elements until the party reached Balazar, but I liked to think about how I would keep my options open if I cared to.

One of the things about the Griffin Mountain book is that each of the major Elder Races you encounter (trolls, elves, and dwarves) include at least one member who's ready and raring to go out and explore with a bunch of random murderhobos the group might encounter, assuming the groups don't instantly attack each other. (In Glorantha, that's a big "if" -- it's quite possible that geases PCs get will make them particularly eager to kill off anyone of a particular race.) The first time I read through the book, I thought it was cute and interesting.

Later on, it dawned on me what a smart thing that is to do. As time goes by, adventurers acquire history. You might encounter any of the Elder Race groups during the course of doing something else, maybe a quest for somebody local or in pursuit of some other goal. What happens when a player character dies and doesn't come back? Some groups have "follower" characters who tag along behind the group, and when somebody dies they step up and assume full PChood (I assume in some comic-booky "ascension" style, with light beams and angels singing in the background.)

By including somebody in most of the groups you encounter who wants to see the world, you make it possible for players to try something new. Non-human Gloranthan races are weird, and frequently don't work well with members of other races -- dragonewts are just inscrutable to everybody else, newtlings are kind of mild, ducks are difficult for many people to take seriously, etc. So, what do people go with? Elves, dwarves, trolls. And those are the strangest ones. After giving it much thought, I think it's a good idea. If any of my PCs died and didn't come back, I would absolutely let the player play one of these guys. But at the beginning of the campaign? Absolutely not.

Anyway, in case it's not obvious, my Mostali had little to do with the Mongoose Dwarves book, which I don't own. I always wanted the Elves, Dwarves, and Troll books they mentioned in the other Hero Wars publications. Unspoken Word did the Uz book I mentioned previously, and I thought that was pretty good.

As far as Elves go, Mr. Stafford posted something from his notes online, and that formed the basis of my Aldrya tradition but it didn't get developed much. Then, by the time I picked this campaign up again, @ShannonA's fantastic Elves: A Guide to the Aldryami came out for Mongoose's Glorantha: The Second Age line. My understanding is that this contained what was going to be the Hero Wars/HeroQuest "ElfPack." It's got a lot of great background material, but the cults are closer in style to the RuneQuest books and the timeframe is Second Age, so some of the material is definitely no longer relevant in the same way. I used a lot of the ideas, though. The material still isn't even as finished as my unfinished Mostali stuff above, but I'm going to give it another pass and post what I have.

EDIT: Also, I found @Tindalos' post about Aldrya to be extremely interesting, and it's definitely informed my current ideas.

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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This is the roughest one yet but hey, the thread is a "Bits Dump" thread, not a "Completed Final Work" thread...

The Aldrya Tradition
In the beginning was the One. Boundless and, yet, constrained, it contained the limitless All. All that was, and All that was Not. Being and non-being. This paradox, the Paradox of Self, fragmented the One, and it became Two: Grower and Taker.
    The Grower contained within it all potential. This potential took the form of the Seed. This was the beginning of the First Plantings, the Age of the Grower.
    From within the One, the fluid parts separated, and thus came the soothing waters, Eron. The waters were changing and fluid, containing within her nature almost all potential. Eron encircled the Seed of the Grower to provide nourishment.
    Next, the heavy parts of the One accreted together, forming the solid earth, Gata. The earth was dependable and stolid, locking her potential within in security for the future. Gata supported the Seed of the Grower to provide sanctuary.
    Next, the light parts of the One arose together, rising to form the warming sun, Halamalao. The sun was generous and wise, and gave of his energy to all who would see. Halamalao provided the Seed of the Grower with life.
    The Seed of the Grower sprouted, and this was the Great Tree, Falamal. Nourished by Eron, he sank his roots deep in Gata and received the lifegiving rays of Halamalao to grow mighty at the center of the Universe. Falamal is the father of all, the bearer of the life force, the unifier of spirit.
    Falamal produced, in turn, seeds of his own.
    The first seed fell upon loving Gata, and produced Aldrya. She is the mother of all plants grown upon the land, and is also the all-encompassing mind which includes all born upon Gata, both those growing and those taken. The Brown Elves, the Green Elves and the Yellow Elves are all part of Aldrya.
    The second seed fell upon nurturing Eron, and produced Murthdrya. Murthdrya is the mother of all plants grown in the sea, and is also their communal consciousness. The Blue Elves are a part of Murthdrya.
    The third seed was borne aloft to benevolent Halamalao, and produced Halamdrya. Halamdrya is the mother of all plants grown upon the Sun, as well as their collective soul. The White Elves are still a part of Halamdrya, though they are now gone from the world.
    All grew until Glorantha, the Universe, was covered with Life. As a tree’s roots will crack stone, so, too, did the overabundance of Life push at the boundaries of the Universe. A crack formed and something came in.
    The elves were the first to recognize this intrusion. They called this Oblivion. While Grower and Taker are parts of the One, both necessary parts of Life, Oblivion is from outside. Things taken by Oblivion disappear from the Universe and are never seen again.
    The arrival of Oblivion broke some of the elves who found it. They were severed from connection to the One, the All, and became lost. Some elves, still, are born without this connection. We call them Rootless elves. They are to be pitied, for they do not experience the boundless of Joy of Belonging.
    With the arrival of Oblivion, Taker stirred into consciousness. It had hibernated throughout the Age of Growing, for before anything Grew, there was nothing to Take.
    The Taker contained within it all endings. These endings also took the form of a Seed. This was the beginning of the Second Plantings, the Age of the Taker.
    Halamalao rejected the Seed of the Taker. He turned his face from it, creating Darkness. The Darkness provided the Seed of the Taker with cold.
    Gata rejected the Seed of the Taker. She buried it in the cold, dead parts of herself, called Akem, or Stone. The Stone provided the Seed of the Taker with distance.
    Eron rejected the Seed of the Taker. It took away its healing waters, leaving only the burning waters of spite, called Harakakara. Harakakara provided the Seed of the Taker with pain.
    The Seed of the Taker sprouted, and this was the Zazakzor, the Hater. Zazakzor moved across the Universe, taking all he could see. He took Halamalao, the generous sun, leaving everything in Darkness. He took gentle Gata, who could not protect herself, leaving only cold, unfeeling Stone. He turned on nurturing Eron, taking the life-giving parts and leaving only Harakakara. All good things became bad. Water turned to fire, earth turned to stone and light turned to darkness.
    In the Darkness, Taker spread his own seeds, and these became a race of Takers, called the trolls. First among them was Kygor, and she and her children ate everything they could find.
    Akem, the Stone, tried to make new life, but without the nurturing part of Gata these were sterile and lifeless creatures, called dwarves. First among them was Mostal, and he and his kin did not understand the powers of Growth and tried only to work with what was dead and cold.
    Harakakara burned everything it touched, but even it tried to make new life to replace the old. Promalt was the first of these, a race of flame men who strode the cold, dead world, conquering the ruins to spread the power of flame. The burning men must have succeeded in spreading their destruction, for there are none of them left.
    In its unchecked excesses, Taker was as bad as Grower. Its relentless Taking allowed even more Oblivion to seep into the Universe. The entire world was dying, but not the good death of the Taker, rather the bad death of Oblivion. If Oblivion killed a thing would never be reborn again.
    Many heroes arose in the Age of the Taker: High King Elf, Elder Sister, Chalaneron, Vronkal, and many others who are now lost to the world. But all eventually fell. All the product of the Age of Growing was dead, and with nothing left the children of the Taker began to Take themselves.
    Deep within the ruins of the Universe, two Seeds that no one had known existed until then began to sprout. These were the Seeds of Grower and Taker reborn. This was the beginning of the Third Plantings, the Age of Cycles, the Age of Time.
    The reborn Grower and Taker sprouted together. This time Grower and Taker would work in harmony. 
    Taker was reborn as Bebester. She was changed now, containing some Growth. She accepted this, taking that which was unrecoverable so that new Growth could occur. Bebester destroyed all that was left of the old world.
    Grower was reborn as Sanarana. She was changed now, containing some Taking. She accepted this, knowing that some Taking would bring better life. Once Bebester had cleared the remnants, she recreated the Universe.
    Grower and Taker worked in balance. In the cycle of the seasons, the Universe remains in harmony. For five centuries, it was so.
    In one place, the elves were very friendly with the other races. They thought that they were working with the forces of Growing and Taking. When Oblivion threatened, they joined with the others to fight the Unity Battle. Their trust seemed to work, for they joined with others in the Unity Council. Despite the fact that it was guided by a grandchild of Kygor, the Unity Council grew and grew. Some elves thought that they could initiate a Fourth Planting. The Council formed plans to form a balance between the All and Oblivion, in the same way that the Third Plantings brought a balance between Growing and Taking. This was the Grafting Experiment. 
    The effort failed. Most elves at the time thought that it was misguided, and most elves today still think so. Since then, the Aldryami have continued replanting and defending the forests.

Entry Requirements: Aldryami such as pixies and runners join as soon as they can speak. Almost all elves do, too, but some are born without Elfsense; these elves cannot form the bond necessary to join. Dryads are members from birth. Beastmen, dragonewts, ducks, and humans must petition a Gardener to let them join the Tradition. Other races are never allowed to join.
Core Practices: The Children of the Forest Practice is the core practice of the tradition. Other important practices include Elder Sister, High King Elf, and Seyotel. Bebester, Eron, Gata, and Halamalao are among the many helper practices known. Many practices are regional; others are secret, known only to a few.
Abilities: Aldrya Tradition Knowledge, Elfsense, Worship Aldrya.
Virtues: Cautious, Patient.
Tradition Spirits (members usually start with 5 charms):
[Plant] Plant spirits—Bear Fruit 6 to 5W, Change Paths 14, Deflect Weapon 7 to 15, Ever Green 9 to 16, Flexible 18, Remain Unseen 12 to 5W, Shade from Sun 10 to 20, Tall 15.
Great Secret: Part of the One.
Charms and Fetishes: Aldrya charms and fetishes are grown rather than made. While they may not be rooted in the ground, they remain alive and in bloom so long as they touch a spirit of Aldrya.
Manifestations: Humans often think of Aldrya as the goddess of the forest. Her worshippers know this is not true, and that Aldrya is the forest herself; without her worship, the trees themselves would sicken and die. Amongst elves, Aldrya is represented by a tree bearing many different kinds of leaves and fruits. Humans instead depict her as a dryad of some local tree.
Holy Days: Aldrya has three High Holy Days over the course of the year. The first falls on Water Day of Fertility Week in Water Season, which is a joyous time celebrating the awakening of the forests. The second High Holy Day is on Clay Day of Fertility Week in Earth Season. An ecstatic celebration just before the Green Elves and dryads must sleep for winter, by the end of the day only Green and Yellow Elves remain awake. The last Holy Day occurs on Wild Day of Truth Week in Storm Season; only the Yellow and Green Elves are awake to perform these rituals. They march around the forest, performing the dances and songs to begin the awakening of the forest while fending off attacks by their enemies, especially trolls.
Other Side: In the Spirit World, Aldrya is present in every forest and tree. Her primary domain there is Aldrya's Forest, located on and around the First Mountain. In Aldrya’s Forest are both Shanasse, her lover, and Aldrya’s own tree.
Other Connections: Earth cults, such as Ernalda, and earth-related spirit practices, such as Eiritha, are usually friendly to Aldrya spiritists. They also have friends among Yelmalio worshippers, and are usually on neutral to friendly terms with sea gods.
Disadvantages: A few rare elves are unable to initiate into the Aldrya Tradition. These rootless elves do not have the Elfsense which allows communion with nature and so are outcasts, even when they have not left their communities. Rootless elves sometimes join allied practices or cults, fulfilling some role that other Elves find taboo. Others leave the forests, becoming wanderers and vagabonds.
Notes: Instead of providing the Spirit Face ability, the Aldrya Tradition provides the Elfsense ability, which as well as allowing you to hear, see and communicate with spirits, also allows you to sense the health and emotions of plants, including Elves. Non-Aldryami heroes cannot improve Elfsense as a standalone ability.

Core Practices

The Children of the Forest
The Children of the Forest is the core practice of the Aldrya Tradition; most members belong to it before joining any other spirit society. The Children of the Forest deals with the spirits of trees and other residents of the forests.
    This practice is not very demanding of adherents. They must try to live in harmony with the forests and the cycles of life and death. The Plant Brother spirits provide small benefits, and in return spiritists must sing the Food Song over every plant they harvest, which guarantees the spirit will find its way back to the bosom of Aldrya. The various Animal Brother spirits generally provide their charms to those who promise not to take the lives of their type of animal.

Entry Requirements: Aldryami who are part of the tradition may join automatically. All stationary plants, sentient and non-sentient, are also automatically a part of this practice. Non-Aldryami must have an Aldrya Tradition Knowledge of 17 or higher.
Abilities: Children of the Forest Practice Knowledge, Find Water, Food Song ceremony, Know Direction, Open Spirit World, Plant Lore.
Virtues: Joyful.
Practice Spirits:
[Beast] Animal Brother spirits—Ancestor spirits of small forest creatures (Bite Hard 15, Command [Woodland Animal] 11 to 3W, Hide in Undergrowth 16 to 4W, Scamper Through Undergrowth 12 to 2W).
[Plant] Plant Brother spirits—Progenitor spirits of the various forest plants (Appear Nonthreatening 12 to 2W, Send Alarm Through Forest 12 to 18, Remain Motionless 16 to 6W, Speak with [Plant] 11 to 3W)
Spirit Ally: None usually. Occasionally, a particular plant or animal spirit that befriends a runner or pixie will become a spirit ally after many years of friendship.
Secret: None.
Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are living plants, which remain alive and in bloom so long as they touch a spirit of Aldrya.
Other Side: The Children of the Forest are the most basic part of Aldrya and in the Spirit World inhabit many of the Forests there, including the Forest of Four Winds and the Wild Wolf Forest.

Elder Sister
Elder Sister spiritists bind themselves more tightly to the spirit of Aldrya. This has an immense effect on the individuals by linking them directly to their goddess’ subconscious urges, and their daily lives are in unity with nature.
    This spiritual contact also forces the deciduous tree dryads into the same seasonal cycle as Aldrya. They will sleep all winter, wake in the spring for a full summer life, and fall asleep again in the autumn so their souls can rest in the Underworld.
    Non-dryads of this practice have several options open to them. They may occasionally inherit a tree from a dryad who died in some way or another, thereby preserving the tree’s life. More often, though, they form a group of wandering spiritual guides which move through the woods as the Spirit of Aldrya moves them. They go where they feel needed, and are called Wandering Dryads.

Entry Requirements: Elder Sister membership requires a special connection to plants inherent in dryads. This empathy is also often found in female elves, occasionally in male elves, beastmen, and dragonewts, but rarely in any human. Non-dryads must also have an Aldrya Tradition Knowledge of 11W or higher. 
Abilities: Elder Sister Practice Knowledge, Find Healing Materials, Follower of Elder Sister, Food Song ceremony, Plant Lore, Read Aldryami, Write Aldryami.
Virtues: Nurturing, Protective.
Practice Spirits:
[Plant] Healing Tree spirits—Tree spirits that despise the White Lady (Drive Out [Disease] 18 to 1W2).
[Plant] Warrior of Wood spirits—Tree spirits that defend the forests (Fight [Specific Enemy] 20 to 2W2, Tanglethicket 12 to 8W).
Spirit Ally: Dryad Elder Sisters always have their bound tree as their spirit ally. If a dryad dies, it is possible for an Elder Sister practitioner to attempt to bind her life force with the tree; those who succeed immediately receive that tree as a spirit ally.
Secret: Aldrya’s Sleep (A follower who dies of injuries can attempt to heal herself and return to life, if her tree remains intact. In the wilderness, normal animals will not disturb an Elder Sister corpse, for they know it is not food. If she succeeds, over a few days to many weeks [depending on the body’s condition] the corpse heals completely, at which time the follower awakens. Until her body recovers, her spirit sleeps in Aldrya’s Forest in the Otherworld. Some followers know to begin certain heroquests with Aldrya’s Sleep, dying and then continuing the quest on the Otherworld before returning to their bodies. They must be cautious, for anything that happens to the quester may affect her body’s ability to heal and thus cause true death.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Elder Sister 1W2, Plant Lore 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Fetishes are fashioned from natural plant materials, freely given to the dryad. Many remain alive so long as they remain in the dryad’s possession.
Other Side: The Elder Sisters tend the trees in Aldrya’s Forest.

High King Elf
The liberation of Falamal is sometimes called the “Secret Quest” of the Lightbringers, or the Greater Bonus by some. However, even his return to life would have had far less meaning without the long struggle of the Protectors on earth to save the sleeping form of their wards.
    The Protectors were led by High King Elf, the leader of his race from among the undying Green Elves. He led a beleaguered band of elves through the whole of the Age of Taking, ever struggling to protect the empty bodies of the forest from their foes. In this he was aided by the spirits Eron and Halamalao, another wounded survivor, but he hated the great spirit Harakakara who devoured the once-magnificent forests of Prax and slew almost all there.
    High King Elf was among those beings present in Dragon Pass for the I Fought We Won Battle where chaos was turned back upon itself.

Entry Requirements: Must have an Aldrya Tradition Knowledge of 1W or higher.
Abilities: Archery, Camouflage Self in Trees, Food Song ceremony, High King Elf Practice Knowledge, Read Aldryami, Shortsword Fighting, Spear Fighting, Write Aldryami.
Virtues: Dutiful.
Practice Spirits:
[Death] Arrow spirits—Special spirit seeds which grow into living arrows (Growth In Flight 15, Heartseeker Arrow 20, Many Arrows From One 18 to 12W).
[Defense] Bark spirits—Special spirit seeds which grow into a barklike covering that can be worn (Absorb Charm 15 to 8W, Absorb Feat 12 to 2W, Absorb Spell 15, Deflect Missile 12 to 3W, Deflect Weapon 16 to 4W)
Spirit Ally: Followers of High King Elf can receive a Bow Seed. Planted on the High Holy Day, it takes a year to grow into an Elf Bow, a living weapon. A spirit ally for its bonded elf, it functions only as a normal bow for any other member of the Aldrya tradition. If a non-Aldryami takes it, it withers and appears lifeless and dead; however, if the husk is replanted in an Elf forest in any season except Dark Season and tended for a season, it springs to life once more refreshed and new. The taboo of this ally is Use No Other Bow.
Secret: Arrow Trance (The practitioner enters a state in which he merges with his bow, and receives an automatic augment of ¼ the secret’s rating to any ability used during the combat. While in this state, the only things that exist for him are the bow and his targets. This ability can also be used to augment spirit combat, if it is initiated while he is in the Arrow Trace.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Archery 1W2, Elfsense 1W2, Follower of High King Elf 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: High King Elf chaarms and fetishes are usually copper axes and shields, or bows and quivers.
Other Side: High King Elf can be found patrolling Aldrya’s Forest on the First Mountain. Followers can join his band in defense of the Grower until it is time to be reborn.

Seyotel (Shamanic Practice)
Seyotel is the Song that binds the Aldryami together. She is the source of Elfsense, and the universal subconscious that all followers of the Aldrya tradition share. She arose during the Age of Growing, but did not truly awaken until the arrival of Oblivion caused all of the plants of the Universe to cry out as one in fear and horror; this was the awakening shout that brought Seyotel to consciousness.
    The potential shaman is taken to a celebration in a secret magical grove. They must then sing a complex song that harmonizes flawlessly with the Aldrya’s Song, which is the song of the forest’s life. The shaman must sing complex arpeggios, interval leaps and scales to weave together the different living songs, while leading the chorus to its conclusion. Typically, the shaman is assaulted in this task by the forces of Oblivion: the White Lady introduces discordant sections, while the Zazakzor’s wild passions threaten to take control of the song and turn it into a death chant. 
    If the shaman is successful in dealing with these issues, they will find a counterpoint song, equal but complementary to their own, buried in the harmonies of the forest. When they follow it to its source, they will find a magnificent tree that is their counterpart in Aldrya’s Forest, the part of themselves that was with Aldrya all along. They will enter the tree, and emerge in the Mortal World. Forever after, their fetch will be there, with them, changing the song of their life into a duet.
    These shamans are important to the Aldrya Tradition, as they form the backbone of a forest’s song and are frequently found on the Council of Gardeners. A key component of this is their Song of the Spirit, which lets them weave their magic to affect large groups of willing participants.

Entry Requirements: Must be a member of the Aldrya Tradition  and have the capacity to become a shaman.
Abilities: Follower of Seyotel, Food Song ceremony, Open Spirit World, Seyotel Practice Knowledge, Sing, Spirit Face.
Virtues: Mysterious, Spontaneous Singing.
Special Spirits: Seyotel shamans are the only ones who can contact the many specialized spirits of the Forest; for examples see HeroQuest, specifically “Great Trees” on page 149 and  “Tree Spirits” on page 150. While a member of those helper practices, they often have exotic spirits serving them.
Secret: Song of Life (When visible, the shaman’s fetch appears as an enormous magical tree, encased in glowing bark and surrounded by exotic plants, that emits a song that conveys the emotion the shaman is feeling.)
Shamanic Abilities: Shamanic Escape, Song of the Spirit, Spirit World Travel.
Charms and Fetishes: As with the rest of the tradition’s practices, Seyotel fetishes are made of living plants, surviving despite being kept in dark places away from the earth.
Other Side: Seyotel is everywhere where the song of Aldrya exists. From the depths of the Spirit World to the far reaches of Glorantha, wherever the Song of Aldrya can be found, there Seyotel exists.

Helper Practices

Bebester
Bebester is the Taker reborn, but as a part of Life. She clears away the debris of previous life so that new life can grow in its place; this keeps the cycle of renewal functioning. As death-in-the-service-of-life, she terrifies most Aldryami, but she is needed to keep the Universe going and avoid the destruction of the All by Oblivion. 
    As such, some few Aldryami feel themselves drawn to her practices. Such followers as she has usually live apart from their fellows; they are a part of the community, but more of a necessary evil than a welcome part. Nevertheless, when the forests are threatened, they can be found on the forefront, Taking those who would Take from Aldrya.

Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. Followers must take an oath to leave no injustice unavenged.
Abilities: Axe and Shield Fighting, Bebester Practice Knowledge, Follower of Bebester, Throw Axe, Track.
Virtues: Ruthless.
Practice Spirits:
[Babeester] Blood Vengeance spirits—Bloody spirits, each of which remembers some hurt done to the Grower (Follow Taker Anywhere 2W2, Sense Taker Nearby 12 to 2W, Sleepless Vengeance 15 to 2W).
[Death] Taking spirits—Cold spirits of death in the service of life (Death Song 18, Enchant Copper ritual 12 to 18, Unbreakable Shield 18 to 8W, Wild Axe Swing 15 to 20).
Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed herself solely to Bebester can gain a spirit ally from her.
Secret: Death In the Service of Life (Gives an automatic augment of 1/4 the secret’s ability rating to any ability used to protect the forest or a follower of any Aldrya Tradition spirit.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Bebester 1W2, Ruthless 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are usually in the follower’s axe or shield.
Other Side: Bebester’s Glade is at the edge of Aldrya’s Forest, near the Screaming Valley at the top of the Knife Ridge.
Other Connections: Bebester is thought by many to be an aspect of the Earth goddess Babeester Gor.

Eron
Eron was the first of the ancient Protectors of the Elves, said to be the Spirit of Falamal, a spirit of the soothing waters. As befits a water spirit, it was sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes both or neither. Eron took Falamal’s second seed and produced the Murthoi, the many species of Sea Elf.
    During the Age of Taking, Eron suffered a Thousand Wounds, all taken in defense of someone else. As Eron’s wounds grew, their blood and tears fell freely to the seas and turned them salty. Finally, they suffered their thousandth wound from the Taker in defense of Falamal, and flowed into the Underworld. When the Third Plantings happened, Eron did not return to the Mortal World, but can still be found on the Spirit World.
    Eron's spirits are those of the cool water, providing succour and healing to those who need it. They also teach the art of finding healing plants and remedies to the other practices.

Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. Followers must take an oath to harm no living thing.
Abilities: Brew Healing Potion, Eron Practice Knowledge, Find Healing Materials, Follower of Eron, Treat Disease, Treat Poison.
Virtues: Self-Sacrificing.
Practice Spirits:
[Arroin] Harmony Song spirits—Helper spirits who bind things together (Don’t Hurt Them 2W to 2W2, Feel Another’s Pain 14 to 4W, Feel My Pain 18).
[Water] Healing Water spirits—Water spirits made from the tears of Eron (Drive Out [Disease] 2W to 5W2, Heal Wounds 20 to 10W, Wash Away Pain 8 to 2W).
[Rain] Soothing Rain spirits—Rain spirits that sing a relaxing song (Quench Burn 16, Sleep Away the Pain 18 to 8W, Soothe Aches15 to 2W).
Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed themselves solely to Eron can gain a spirit ally from them.
Secret: The Thousand Wounds (Automatically succeed at a single final action during any contest in which the hero is attempting to protect someone else, even if they normally would not be allowed a final action. The attack must be directed at a being on whom they have successfully used any charm or fetish.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Eron 1W2, Self-Sacrificing 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are typically placed into tattoos on the spiritist’s body.
Other Side: Eron wanders the Spirit World, going wherever there is pain and suffering, in order to alleviate it. Sometimes they stop in Aldrya’s Forest, where the residents provide them with any support they can, before Eron moves on.
Other Connections: Eron is thought by some to be the same as Arroin, a god connected to Chalana Arroy in the Orlanthi Pantheon.

Gata
Gata was the second of the ancient Protectors of the Elves, said to be the Body of Falamal. She formed from Eron, as resin forms from sap, to provide stability to the world. When Falamal rose to the heavens, his seeds fell upon Gata's body, producing the Green Elves and their goddess Aldrya. Later, the Green Elves were divided into the Green, the Brown and the Yellow Elves. But all revere their ancestor Gata.
    Gata's Spirits are those of the soft Earth, providing food and strength for all who want it. During the Age of the Taker, she showed those who sought her help how to hide, and when the Taker came she hid herself. It was not enough, and she was finally Taken, rendering the world cold and barren. She joyfully returns to the world every Spring but hides again the Underworld every Fall, to maintain the balance of Grower and Taker.

Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. 
Abilities: Dodge Blow, Gata Practice Knowledge, Follower of Gata, Hide in Cover, Survive Hardship, Tend Plants.
Virtues: Cautious.
Practice Spirits:
[Earth] Earth Power spirits—Earth spirits bear the greatest of burdens (Endless Endurance 14 to 4W, Strength of Earth 18 to 8W2).
[Plant] Plant Blessing spirits—Earth spirits who nurture life (Protect Plants from Birds 18 to 8W, Protect Plants from Cold 12 to 18, Protect Plants from Disease 15 to 5W, Protect Plants from Heat 16 to 6W, Protect Plants from Insects 12 to 2W, Protect Plants from Storms 12 to 8W).
[Earth Harmony] Healing Loam spirits—Healing spirits that reside in the earth (Find Medicinal Spring 18 to 2W, Healing Mud 15 to 5W).
Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed herself solely to Gata can gain a spirit ally from her.
Secret: Bless Forest ritual (Allows the follower to ignore distance and area effect penalties when blessing a forest with her Plant Blessing spirits. It can also be used to augment any charms or fetishes used on trees.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Follower of Gata 1W2, Tend Plants 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are typically placed into tattoos on the spiritists body.
Other Side: Gata was torn asunder, and so she may be found in many places in the Spirit World.
Other Connections: Gata is considered part of the Earth Pantheon.

Halamalao
Halamalao was the third of the ancient Protectors of the Elves, said to be the Mind of Falamal. He formed from Gata, rising as light sparkles off amber, to provide hope to the world. When Falamal rose to the heavens, his seeds ascended into Halamalao's heart, producing the White Elves and their goddess Haladrya. The White Elves and their goddess were lost in the Great Darkness, as was Halamalao himself. The other Elves worshipped him still throughout the Darkness, and were rewarded at the Dawn when he returned. They hold out hope for the White Elves to return eventually as well.
    Halamalao's spirits are those of warm Light, providing protection and joy to all who ask for it. He must journey between the World and the Underworld every day, to maintain the balance of Grower and Taker.

Entry Requirements: Membership in the Aldrya Tradition. 
Abilities: Archery, Endure Pain, Halamalao Practice Knowledge, Follower of Halamalao, See Far, Spear and Shield Fighting.
Virtues: Brave.
Practice Spirits:
[Light] Light Child spirits—Light spirits of bravery and courage (Blind Foe 18 to 6W, Distracting Glitter 16 to 6W, Unwavering Light 2W2).
[Death] Sun Spear spirits—Light spirits that took some of the power of Taking (Burning Arrow 18 to 8W, Light Beam 14 to 4W, Sunrise Glow 12 to 2W).
[Light] Sun Follower spirits—Light spirits that always look to their father (Protect Plant from Cold 13 to 3W, Ripen Plant 12 to 18).
Spirit Ally: Only a practitioner who gave up membership in other practices and committed himself solely to Halamalao can gain a spirit ally from him.
Secret: Survive Defeat (When critically wounded during a combat in which he has used his Light Child or Sun Spear spirits, the follower can use this secret to change his condition from Dying to merely Injured. The secret must overcome the standard resistance for healing injuries or the rating of the magical ability that rendered the warrior Dying, whichever is higher. If successful, the follower appears to be dead to all forms of physical or magical inquiry, but awakens from false death when immediate enemies are gone.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Elfsense 1W2, Endure Pain 1W2, Follower of Halamalao 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Charms and fetishes are usually in the follower’s bow, spear, or shield.
Other Side: Halamalao spends part of each day in the Spirit World, in a great procession across the Sky, then spends the next part of the day in the Underworld.
Other Connections: Halamalao is thought by many to be an aspect of Yelmalio.
 

Edited by AlHazred
Rewrote awkward phraseology.

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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So, with the Elder Races squared away (or, at least, in a usable state from the point of view of the Narrator), I could focus on the more interesting parts of Griffin Mountain. I referred a lot to Oliver Bernuetz' Balazar page, and he had a pdf of Balazar keywords which I used as a starting point. I liked a lot of it, but I went slightly more mainstream than he did with my cults since I was going to for the old RQ "feel."

The setting is extremely primitive, with a vast amount of undeveloped territory and only three "points of light" (in the modern gamer parlance) for the PCs to fall back on -- the three citadels of Lunar-dominated Elkoi, the elf-friendly Trilus, and the dwarf-friendly Dykene. The trolls have no friends in the area, which is probably par for the course and a wise move on the part of the Balazarings.

Balazaring clans function in a similar fashion to the Orlanthi clans of Sartar, but they are wilder and less bound by ancient laws. For the most part, many of the occupations in the  HeroQuest book function just fine for Balazarings: Healer, Hunter, Warrior and Spirit-Talker cover most of them. From Thunder Rebels, I'd take Herder, Steadwife, and possibly Fisher. I figure any horses around are descendants of the horses Balazar brought to the region in the the Second Age with his troops. The stats in GM give about 80% of PC Balazarings coming from the nomadic clans, and only 20% coming from the citadels. I'd allow citadel dwellers to also be Craftspersons, Entertainers or Merchants.

More complex in game terms is the religion of the Balazarings. Griffin Mountain says, "The Balazarings worship several deities. Notable among them are Yelmalio (the patron to the tribal nobility who dwell in their massive citadels of cyclopean stone), Balazar (the Founder god of the nation), Rigtaina the hunting nymph (wife of Balazar and daughter to Foundchild), the Hearth Mother (preserving the sacred fire so necessary to life), and Foundchild the Hunting God (who blesses his grandchildren as they direct their lives in that pursuit)." Later on, the Religion section includes Hearth-Mother, Brother Dog, Votanki, Balazar, and Found-Child as indigenous human cults; Aldrya, Kyger Litor, Zorak Zoran, and Cacodemon as indigenous non-human cults; and, Yelmalio, the Seven Mothers, and the Lightbringers as imported cults. There's also mention of Balazar stealing the sacred image of Mralota the Sow Mother so they could raise pigs in the citadels. 

I have the citadel-dwellers supporting the cult of Yelmalio, as per Griffin Mountain. There is a brief form of that cult given in Orlanth is Dead, but the version there doesn't really do much for farmers -- it's much more the version worshipped by the mercenary units. There was a Hero Wars version worked up in a previous publication, the Pavis & Big Rubble Companion 2: Masks of Pavis. I don't see where this can be bought as a PDF, but I own the print copy and it is fantastic. You can get a sense of the contents from this hero cults extra, that was published on the Tradetalk website. I'd use that one, without most of the subcults listed -- they're appropriate for Pavis, but nobody in Balazar has heard of these people. They've got one subcult (a Warrior cult) or, just possibly, two (a Warrior and a Leader subcult). Some days I favor the first one, and would put Balazar as the only subcult they have. Other days I reread the material looking for any possible second guy to make a subcult around. There's been a bit written about the Balazar Sun Dome (founded by a Tharkantus worshipper unaffiliated with any modern Sun Dome religion) but not enough to really sink teeth into.

Most of the rest are animist practices. They fit really well with style of the Praxian Tradition. In fact, Found-Child and Hearth-Mother were exported to Prax in RQ3, with Hearth-Mother being renamed "Helpwoman." I feel like they detract a little from Waha and Eiritha, which should be the most important practices in Prax. I'll have this tradition and practices done "soon." Mralota the Sow Mother is the majestic spirit pig mother; Entra is the equivalent god for the theists.

Aldrya I covered already, the Seven Mothers are given exhaustive treatment in The Imperial Lunar Handbook 2, and the troll gods are covered in the Unspoken Word #3, Uz: The Trolls of Glorantha. That leaves Cacodemon, who should be represented somehow since he's part of one of the more interesting subplots in Griffin Mountain. A few ogres show up in Barbarian Adventures, where we learn that Cacodemon is a cult, with the affinities of Anarchy and Deception. I don't believe it ever got more detail than that, which is a shame. @Tindalos did an animist version which can be found here. I'm honestly not sure which way this should go. In HQ1 and HW, cults are just easier to do. And Cacodemon has the easiest secret, since it's just Incarnate Cacodemon, which fits for either animist or theist versions; admittedly, Tindalos' take on this for his animist version is fantastic.

Anyway, more later.

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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The Elder Wilds Tradition
In the first age, the region now called Balazar was part of what everyone called the Elder Wilds. The indigenous people call their traditions the Elder Wilds Tradition, and it dominates the area. The people live by hunting and gathering. The primary female practice is Hearth-Mother. The primary male practice is Foundchild the Hunter, although some woman become hunters and join this practice instead of Hearth-Mother. Your hero is probably a spiritist of the tradition, and so gains the benefit of the Elder Wilds Tradition keyword, below. Most adults are practitioners of the Hearth-Mother Practice (if women) or Foundchild Practice.
    Since the arrival of Balazar, there have been additions to the magic of the region, namely the inclusion of the theistic cult of Yelmalio and the hero cult of Balazar. Due to Balazar’s marriage to Rigtaina the hunting nymph, following these specific cults does not impose any penalties to a follower of this tradition.

Elder Wilds Tradition Keyword
Abilities: Elder Wilds Tradition Knowledge, Worship Foundchild and Hearth-Mother.
Virtues: Conservative, Tough.
Relationships: to Spirits; to Shaman.
Tradition Spirits (spiritists members usually start with 5 charms):
[Life] Survival spirits—Spirits of those who survived the Long Night (Endure Elements 7 to 15, Find Shelter 6 to 5W, Resist Enemy Magic 9 to 2W, Sense Elder Races 2W, Sense Spirits 19, Withstand Damage 9 to 16.)
Core Practices: The Foundchild and Hearth-Mother Practices the most common core practices for men and women, respectively. The tradition’s shamanic practice is Horned Man. Many other helper practices also exist, such as Brother Dog and Rigtaina the Hunting Nymph.
Great Secret: None
Charms and Fetishes: Balazarings usually produce fetishes out of wood, woven grass, and hide. Some may incorporate chips of stone or other strange materials from places of power.
Other Side: Between lives, Votanki rest in the land of the wondrous dead called the Green Place with Hearth-Mother and Foundchild. The bodies of Hearth-Mother’s worshippers are buried in unmarked sites, whilst those of Foundchild’s followers are left on high platforms to be consumed by animals. Without proper rites the dead become hostile ghosts.

Hearth-Mother
Grandmother Sky
During the Great Darkness, a band of survivors prayed for help from any who would listen. That night, a grandmother left her home in the Sky World and came to the people, giving them her gifts of hope and magic to keep them alive when the world died. Her name is Hearth-Mother, and is an ancient and venerated figure in Balazar myth and religion. The tribes strengthened under her guidance and leadership.
    Once, she found a young mewling foundling alone in the wastes and raised him to be a great warrior with her three famous meals. This was Foundchild, also called simply the Hunter. They had one child here, named Votank, who populated this region with the tribespeople.
    Hearth-Mother’s practice is restricted to the women of the tribes. She is the source of the crafts of cooking and sewing, and taught them the lore of plants, and the treatment of wounds and diseases.
    In general each clan has a single leading elder, called Grandmother. Magic knowledge is passed on in group ceremonies each autumn which are part of the women’s’ secret rites. Elder women form a band of teachers and officials for women and are always treated with care and respect. However, when an elder feels herself to be too much of a burden to her family, she will often go off into the grasslands to die. It should be noted that the Grandmother also sits on the clan council.
    The women usually gather about 60% of the daily food, except in Fire season when it is about 45%, and Dark season when it is about 15%. They also care for orphans and whelps

Entry Requirements: Must be a woman who has come of age in the tradition.
Abilities: Cook Meal, Follower of Hearth-Mother, Hearth-Mother Practice Knowledge, Open Spirit World, Sew, Spirit Face, Treat Disease, Treat Wounds, Weave Grass.
Virtues: Caring, Prudent.
Practice Spirits:
[Harmony] Healing spirits—Healing spirits who show how to help people (Bless Mother 12 to 1W, Find Healing Plant 8 to 6W, Heal Child 14 to 1W, Heal Mother 9 to 4W, Heal Warrior 19, Restore Courage 17.)
[Hearth] Hearth spirits—Fire spirits who show how to help people (Cause Spark 13 to 2W, Protect Hearth 12 to 18, Sense Invader 1W, Shielding Haze 7 to 8W, Sleeping Spark 14 to 4W, Summon Fire Spirit ritual 20.)
[Life] Nourishment spirits—Life spirits who show how to help people (Enhance Food 12 to 4W, Feed the Hearth 16W, One Last Bte 18 to 5W, Preserve Food 19, Save the Children 16W.)
Spirit Ally: A few practitioners awaken a spirit ally in the family’s hearth.
Secret: Three Famous Meals ritual (Otherworld magic. This ritual uses three meals to heal any physical wound. On a complete victory it will even call a Votanki spirit back from recent death to inhabit its body again.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Cooking 1W2, Follower of Hearth-Mother 1W2, Spirit Face 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Fetishes are woven grass pouches, filled with ritual objects or items of personal significance.
Other Side: Hearth-Mother lives with Foundchild and their son Votank in Grandmother’s Hearth in the Green Place. From there, practitioners can go to the Sky World or out into the Long Night.
Other Connections: Generally received favorably by Earth worshippers.

Foundchild
The Hunter
Foundchild was first discovered by Hearth-Mother during the Great Darkness, at a site in the Dog Hills. Though an infant when found, he rapidly grew to manhood. Upon reaching adulthood, he taught them the use of death as a tool to bring life. He also taught the songs to send slain beasts' spirits back to their ancestors.
    His practice has developed into a fraternal society in which the strong are respected, and the weak protected. His followers believe they will go to his Happy Hunting Ground in the Green Place after death. They will stay there for a time before again entering the cycle of rebirth. Foundchild's practitioners follow the burial customs of their tribe, or else place their dead on raised platforms.
    The greatest hunter of the clan is traditionally the head of the society. All others defer to him and show respect. He cannot command obedience, but he can request it. Each year, during the three weeks just prior to Sacred Time, there is a Great Hunt and all followers of Foundchild participate, attempting to bring in the most magnificent creature while hunting alone and unarmored. The winner is designated the First Hunter, those who bring in significant prey animals alive are designated Great Hunters, and the rest are accepted as Hunters. Hunters who bring in prey animals during the Great Hunt three years running are elevated to Great Hunter status.

Entry Requirements: Must be a member of the Elder Wilds Tradition who has brought in a suitable prey animal during a Great Hunt.
Abilities: Follower of Foundchild, Foundchild Practice Knowledge, Open Spirit World, Peaceful Cut ceremony, Spear Fighting, Spirit Face, Throw Javelin.
Virtues: Aloof, Brave, Proud.
Practice Spirits:
[Beast] Beast spirits—Beast spirits of prey animals (Command [Prey Animal] 6 to 4W, Mimic Animal Sounds 7 to 19, Put Animal to Sleep 18.)
[Hunting] Hunting spirits—Ancestor spirits of skilled hunters (Find Trail 12 to 4W, Javelin Help 12 to 19, Move Stealthily 19, Multiply Javelin 18, Sleep Safely 10 to 5W, Sure Javelin Strike 12 to 18, Winged Javelin 12 to 9W.)
[Life] Survival spirits—Hard-bitten spirits of the wilderness (Call Spirit to Ward Camp 6 to 4W, Endure Pain 12 to 3W, Hurt Enemy 6 to 17, Hurt Otherworld Enemy 12 to 9W, Hurt Prey Animal 18 to 8W2.)
Spirit Ally: A Great Hunter may gain as a spirit ally the spirit of an ancient hunter, who inhabits a favored javelin or spear.
Secret: Take Prey's Seeming (This is Foundchild's ultimate tool for hunting. This secret allows hunters to adopt the appearance and mannerisms of a specific prey animal so completely that it will fool even the animals in question).
Practice Secret Requirements: Follower of Foundchild 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2, Peaceful Cut ceremony 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Fetishes are typically either small medicine pouches of woven grass that are sewn shut and filled with prey animal parts, or are wooden masks depicting characters and creatures from Foundchild’s many myths.
Other Side: Foundchild lives with Hearth-Mother and their son Votank in Grandmother’s Hearth in the Green Place, but spends most of his time out in his Happy Hunting Grounds, seeking prey animals to feed the people. From Grandmother’s Hearth, practitioners can visit the Sky World, or the Darkness Age.

Growdrulf
Brother Dog
The loyal dog is an old friend of the hunters. It is said that Brother Dog approached Foundchild during the Darkness and said he’d prefer to be a friend than food. The two became brothers and have served each other ever since.
    One time, King Bear, tired of the people killing the animals in his hunting grounds, took the clan's children and hid them in his Cave. He hoped that with no more people, there would be more to eat. Foundchild and Brother Dog tracked him to his lair. While Foundchild distracted King Bear, Brother Dog sniffed out where the children were hidden and took them to freedom. Then he came back, and helped Foundchild defeat King Bear and made him promise to leave the people alone.
    The practice is open to men or women. The ceremonies are usually performed during the Fire season, which is sometimes called Dog-month, and is attended by young people and young animals both. During the ceremony the spirit of Brother Dog appears and after practitioners sing a magical song everyone can speak one language for a while, whether it is dog-speech or people-speech. This song can be led by any council elder or holy person and so there are actually many Brother Dogs which appear on this holy day. Even within a clan there are often more than one Brother Dog.
    At the yearly ceremony the practitioners bring some meat to feed the Brother Dog spirit visiting them. After the ceremony is over the participants eat the remainder of the sacrifice. 

Entry Requirements: Must promise to treat your own dogs as brothers (i.e., feed and heal them), to never willfully harm a domestic dog, and to attend the ceremonies once every two years.
Abilities: Breed Dog, Brother Dog Practice Knowledge, Follower of Brother Dog, Hunting, Keep Up with Pack, Open Spirit World, Smell Prey, Spirit Face, Train Dog.
Virtues: Honest, Playful.
Practice Spirits: 
[Man] Brother spirits—People spirits who are like dogs (Keep Each Other Warm 4 to 4W, Lick Wounds 8 to 18, Speak with Dog 12 to 8W, Speak with Human 10 to 5W.)
[Beast] Dog spirits—Dog spirits who are like people (Dog-Napping 12 to 2W, Find Sustenance 12 to 1W, Hunting 15 to 5W, Sniff Out Intruder 18 to 12W2.)
Spirit Ally: Practitioners may receive a spirit ally in the body of a hunting or guarding dog.
Secret: Unerring Stalker (Automatically succeed at a single final action during any contest in which the character has tracked a target and has used the powers of Brother Dog, even if he normally would not be allowed a final action.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Follower of Brother Dog 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2, Smell Prey 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Brother Dog fetishes are made from the skins of prey animals, wrapped around bones.
Other Side: Brother Dog hunts with his friend Foundchild in the Happy Hunting Grounds in the Green Place, but always has a warm spot reserved by Grandmother’s Hearth. From there, practitioners can go out into the Long Night.
Disadvantages: Brother Dog followers smell like dogs so animals respond to them the same way they would respond to dogs.

Votank
The First Person
Basically the same as the Daka Fal practice (HeroQuest page 145) with slightly different charms from the Ancestors.

Mralota
The Sow Mother
In the Before Time, many spirits threatened others in their search for power. One of those was the Bad Wolf, who brought Death to the Sow Mother’s kin. When he killed one of her children, she found him standing over one of her children, red in tooth and claw, she felt rage fill her. She chased him, and his fear gave him speed so that he outran her. But still she raged and still she gave chase. To try to hide from her, Bad Wolf ate the Sun, plunging everything into the Great Darkness, but still she would not relent.
    Finally, Bad Wolf begged a Dragon to hide him. The Dragon agreed. “Run into my mouth, she will not be able to chase you there,” he said. Bad Wolf ran into the Dragon’s mouth and was eaten. When Mralota came, she asked Dragon where Bad Wolf had gone. “He is hiding in my mouth. You should pursue him,” he said. She agreed, and went into the Dragon’s mouth and was eaten.
    And there she remained, lost to the people, until Balazar stole her back from the Dragon. He brought her to the Citadels, and since then the spirit has allowed the people of the Citadels to raise those animals safely.

Entry Requirements: Be a Citadel pig herder.
Abilities: Follower of Mralota, Mralota Practice Knowledge, Open Spirit World, Spirit Face, Swineherding.
Virtues: Stubborn, Tough.
Practice Spirits: 
[Beast] Boar spirits—Beast spirits of power (Boar's Strength 12 to 18, Charge Like Pig 1W, Grow Tusks 12 to 4W, Ignore Pain 19, Intimidating Display 17W, Thick Skin 17, Throw Off Exhaustion 15 to 6W, Virility 12 to 4W.)
[Beast] Sow spirits—Beast spirits of kinship (Enhance Sense of Smell 11 to 3W, Pig Friend 15 to 6W, Resist Persuasion 16, Scent Predators 15, Talk With Pigs 12 to 2W.)
Spirit Ally: A practitioner can get a porcine spirit awakened in one of their pigs.
Secret: Carry On (Gain an additional final action in any contest in which the character is striving against difficult odds and has used the powers of Mralota, even if he would not normally be permitted a final action.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Follower of Mralota 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2, Tough 1W2.
Charms and Fetishes: Mralota shamans make fetishes from bone and wood, and medicine bundles from pig hide.
Other Side: Mralota dwells in Balazar's Citadel in the Green Place in the Spirit World. Here, the spirits of wild pigs and human Mraloti are as one and can take on either form as it suits them, and rapacious carnivores and wicked outsiders only threaten them at the very fringes of the realm.
Disadvantages: Practitioners of Mralota are looked down on by other Citadel people as uncouth and lower status.

Horned Man (Shamanic Practice)
Father of Shamans
I was puzzled by what the shamanic practice for Balazar would be, until it occurred to me, following the old RuneQuest "feel," that it would be the Horned Man (HeroQuest page 146). That guy gets around.

Yelmalio
The Brightness of Yelm, God of Light and War
For Yelmalio, I used the cult as given in Sartar Rising 2: Orlanth is Dead! page 32. It's too simple a version (IMO) of the cult for Sun County in Prax or the Sun Dome in Dragon pass, but it's perfect for the three citadels of Balazar.

Balazar
The Founder
The cult of Balazar is a hero cult. A foreigner, Balazar came to the region in the Second Age and made the kingdom his own. He built the citadels and left his children to care for them when he marched off with the True Golden Horde to plunder Dragon Pass. Like most participants in the Dragonkill War of 1100, Balazar was killed, but not until he had performed noteworthy deeds.
    Balazar stole the sacred image Mralota the Sow Mother from dragons, and since then the spirit has allowed the citadels to raise those animals safely.
    Balazar married Rigtaina, the hunting nymph daughter of the Wild Mother, and founded the dynasties which rule the three citadels, and so the nobles there and many common people, trace their lineage to Balazar instead of to Votank. Since Balazar worshipped Yelmalio, his followers do also. The cult of Yelmalio is strong at the citadels (though stronger at the two uncontrolled by the Lunars). Balazar is a hero cult of Yelmalio.

Abilities: Horsemanship, Mythology of Balazar, Spear Fighting.
Virtues: Ambitious, Proud.
Affinities:
[Mastery] feats: Aura of Righteousness, Lead Clan, Lead Tribe.
Other Side: Balazar’s Citadel is between Sky Place and the Green Place, warding them both against invaders. From the Citadel, worshippers may exit to the Long Night or follow other doorways into the Sky Realm in the God World.
Other Connections: Balazar is a part of the Elder Wilds Tradition as well as (distantly) the Celestial Pantheon.
Disadvantages: The Balazar cult is only worshipped in the three citadels of Balazar.

The Wild Mother
The Untamable
The Wild Mother is the Great Spirit of the untamed wilderness. She is unknowable and untamable. As a result, she is not directly worshipped but is propitiated and receives worship in almost all the important rites in the tradition. She does not respond to shaman attempts to contact her directly as she must remain untamed; it is unclear what powers such worship would provide.

Rigtaina
The Huntress
The daughter of the Wild Mother and Genert, she is also the mother of Balazar’s children. She is the One Who Can be Caught and also the One Who Escapes. Balazar’s sacred marriage to Rigtaina provided him rulership of the lands, but when he died Rigtaina left once more; a child of her mother, she was never truly a part of the clans or citadels.
    She is the source of all the wild prey animals and nourishing plants the Balazaring clans depend upon for survival. She receives some worship at Foundchild ceremonies, and at the beginning of every Great Hunt the shamans call on her to bless the hunters.

Entry Requirements: Membership in a tradition that knows the ways of contacting Rigtaina. Any Balazaring who follows Rigtaina must, a year after joining the practice, sever all ties with clan and family and live in the wilderness alone. The one exception is female followers who have children—they must sever all ties once their children have come of age.
Abilities: Escape Restraints, Follower of Rigtaina, Open Spirit World, Rigtaina Practice Knowledge, Spirit Face.
Virtues: Independent, Restless.
Practice Spirits: 
[Hunting] Predator spirits—Beast spirits of predator animals (Sense Prey 18 to 8W, Sharp [Hand Weapon] 15 to 12W, True [Ranged Weapon] 18 to 8W2)
[Wilderness] Prey spirits—Beast spirits of prey animals (Dodge Grasp 12 to 16W, Escape Trap 12 to 20, Fleetfoot 18 to 8W2, Undetectable While Motionless 16 to 6W)
Secret: Never Tamed (Automatically succeed at a single final action in any contest in which the character has used her Prey spirits, even if a final action would not normally be allowed.)
Practice Secret Requirements: Escape Restraints 1W2, Follower of Rigtaina 1W2, Open Spirit World 1W2.
Other Side: Rigtaina spends most of her time in the wilderness surrounding the Green Place, but occasionally briefly visits Balazar’s Citadel on important occasions.

Common Magic

Survival Tricks
During the Long Night, Foundchild and Hearth-Mother taught the people many small tricks to help them survive. These have passed beyond the Elder Wilds Tradition into the realm of common lore, and many people who have found themselves in Balazar have picked up a few. Not many people specialize in this religion, for its precepts are very simple.

[Magic] Talents: Cure [Minor Disease], Fight Predator, Find Prey, Find Water, Hide Trail, Keep Fire Lit, Kill Bear, Kill Mosquitos, Kill Wolf, Listen Hard, Protect My Dog, Running, Smell Danger, Stop Bleeding.

Edited by AlHazred
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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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And it looks like my laptop died. I'm glad I put all this online; there's a chance the rest of my campaign files are gone forever. 😞

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ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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Me: "I think the laptop is dead."

My Wife: "Are you sure? Oh! I actually unplugged your charger at the other end the other day! Could that be it?"

Me: "..." *slaps own face for not checking under the desk*

----------------------------------------

So, I better backup my files, and get to posting as much stuff as I've got ASAP. That was Glorantha reminding me that Time is a limited resource for those descended from Grandfather Mortal.

Edited by AlHazred

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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Posted (edited)

So, after the laptop scare, let me put the few remaining bits in here.

First off, I made a list of characters from Griffin Mountain. Descriptions have been deliberately left pretty vague. Characters with an asterisk (*) have stats in either Griffin Mountain (RQ2) or Griffin Island (RQ3). Note that some material that had originally been cut from Griffin Mountain for space made it into Griffin Island. I have ignored some additions from Griffin Island, such as the orcs and the insane powerup for Halcyon Var Enkorth. Halcyon is supposed to be a second banana from the Lunar Empire, assigned to this backwater; the Halcyon in Griffin Island isn't anybody's second banana, since he's the most powerful RQ3 sorcerer ever published (I think).

Soldier Port in Griffin Island is, I think, the location listed as Soldier Ferry in Griffin Mountain. Soldier Ferry received absolutely no detail in Griffin Mountain, so I'm happy to have some. I treat the location like Alone in Dragon Pass; Greg Stafford said, Alone was a crappy little town of a few hundred, where the current ruler is usually the most recent adventurer-type to have offed the previous despot. Sounds perfect for the Elder Wilds region!

BALAZAR
    Average Balazaring Hunter*
    Excellent Balazaring Hunter*
    Balazaring Hunter Rune Lord/Priest*
    Balazaring Hunter Rune Lord*
    Citadel Warrior*
    Sergeant of the Citadel Guard*
    Pig Herder
    Blueface the Shaman, legend*
    Granny Keeneye, ancient horror*
PERSONALITIES
    Waddle Greenbeak, duck wanderer*
    Errap Barbacon, travelling player*
    Markhor Mhelm, potential gang boss*
    Eagle-Eye G’jorni, crazy prospector*
    Cracktwig, renegade elf*
TRILUS
    King Yalaring Monsterslayer, energetic king*
    Queen Vania, stay-at-home housequeen
    Yalvann, heir
    Melisseria, princess
    Gandogandaring, prince
    Djimm Mith, proprietor of the Stuck Pig (Lightbringer)*
    Rhegus Whitehair, proprietor of the Red Bear Lodge (Lunar)*
    Ogolorph Windshaper, potential Master Hunter
    Willarnia Oakbow, potential Master Hunter
    Stenn the Strong, potential Master Hunter
    Zogrosh Runechest, potential Master Hunter*
ELKOI
    King Glyptus II, Lunar puppet*
    Queen Jocestis, ambitious Lunar puppet
    Sylveius, heir
    Hecis the Poisoner, princess
    Halcyon Var Enkorth, Lunar ambassador*
    Cyriel Endelkar, Etyries trader*
    Taklong Woodheart, Yelmalio High Priest*
    Marusa the Shrew, junior Lunar priestess*
    Elecora Kindtongue, senior Lunar priestess*
    Euryptus the Bold, Lunar garrison commander*
    Moraring Broom, proprietor of the Kings Inn*
    Arskus Gree, antiques dealer*
    Shervad Goren, merchant’s factotum*
DYKENE
    King Skilfil Heart-Piercer, aging hero*
    Praxenia, concubine (Lunar)
    Calamene, concubine
    Chana Greeneyes, concubine
    Karazar, heir*
    Ostakker Three-Scar, proprietor of the Stabbing Cat Lodging House and Tavern (Lightbringer)*
    Sylvanthi Brighteyes, Yelmalio priest*
    Bodoni Brightface, Citadel warrior commander*
LIGHTBRINGERS
    Torath Manover, Orlanth Adventurous Rune Lord*
    Pay Surney, Orlanth Adventurous Rune Priest*
    Dushi Sone, Chalana Arroy Rune Priest*
    Bluebird, Lhankor Mhy Rune Priest*
JOH MITH’S CARAVAN
    Joh Mith, Issaries Rune Priest*
    Zix Porub, Issaries Rune Lord*
    Xigxag, dark troll bearer*
    Ruidhy, caravan guard*
RANDOM ENCOUNTERS
    Gareeki Chaz, baboon Daka Fal Rune Priest*
    Gargudd Halfhorn, broo leader*
    Starnia Stormrender, Yelmalio Rune Lord*
    Skyler Warhawk, Yelmalio initiate*
    Wurluring Brighteyes, Yelmalio initiate*
    Gastazar, Yelmalio initiate*
    Inoi Sessela, dragonewt tailed priest*
    Rershi Tetelsa, dragonewt tailed priest*
    Rokheart Veinseeker, dwarf Mostal Rune Priest*
    Harc Skybraver, dwarf guard*
    Shellstone Grim, dwarf guard*
    Runi Darkwind, dwarf guard*
    Strongbark, elf Aldrya Rune Priest*
    Greenshrub, elf guard*
    Silver Running, elf guard*
    Shrubfeeder, elf guard*
    Rivertree, elf guard*
    Silvan Growth, elf guard*
    Pine Daughter, elf guard*
    Blossom Yellow, elf guard*
    Greenwood, elf guard*
    Woodfriend, elf guard*
    Bunscotto the Kind Giant*
    Warren’s Favorite Giant*
    Red Rockhammer, Slugger Gang boss*
    Karl the Midget, Slugger Gang giant*
    Tiny Treekicker, Slugger Gang giant*
    Foree Susser, Lunar patrol leader*
    Lyson of Swenston, Orlanth initiate*
    Throggar Giant-Baiter, Orlanth Adventurous Rune Priest*
    Eucleia Stormfollower, Orlanth initiate*
    Raveena, Orlanth initiate*
    Frettrick Vonvest of Sartar, Orlanth initiate*
    Andretta Wolfhelm, Orlanth initiate*
    Dalfar Skyseeker, Orlanth initiate*
    Harkenseye, Orlanth/Storm Bull initiate*
    Quarga Zar, Kyger Litor Rune Priestess*
    Garage Midem, Zorak Zoran Rune Lady*
    Kag Taba, Zorak Zoran Rune Priest*
    Degla Wat, dark troll*
    Heka Iwog, dark troll*
    Anta Varda, dark troll*
    Tasta Magig, dark troll*
    Gosh Dasw, dark troll*
    Yilke Pand, dark troll*
    Darkflower, dryad Aldrya Rune Priestess*
    Gonn Orta, giant Hero
    Boshbisil the Merchant, giant Issaries Rune Priest*
    Hen Cik, giant handyman*
    Sa Mita, young giantess*
    Paneye, trollkin work boss*
    Glockmoor, trollkin policeman*
    Mr. Greatness, morokanth proprietor of Greatness Hall*
    Slang, blue bear*
    Scree, enlightened chimpanzee*
    Hrill, roc*
    Gondo Holst, honest trader*
    Valka Runewolf, Lhankor Mhy initiate*
    Gorki Grinlips, trollkin veteran*
    Shep, Elkoini peasant*
    Gork Trag, mistress race troll mummy Zorak Zoran Rune Priest*
SOLDIER FERRY
    Maugre, town boss*
    Gladstone, town wizard*
    Manscher Boldbuster, mercenary captain*

Edited by AlHazred
Added a few details.

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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Well, thank you for the praise, but this is hardly "fleshed out." Part of the "too many competing cool ideas" problem is that, the players should definitely inform the world. They're Heroes -- they should have at least some influence to start with, and then as they grow in power their influence should snowball until they are facing epic challenges. More so than any other setting/game, really. That's why I haven't done things like super-develop NPCs or locales -- I wanted to wait until I had player character backgrounds that the NPCs would fit like a jigsaw puzzle.

The Griffin Mountain material is a little different. I see it as a house of cards that the PCs are going to go to and upset, whether they care to or not. They're Lightbringers? Going to come under scrutiny from the Yelmalion natives and Lunar contingent. They're Lunar converts? Going to have trouble with suspicious Yelmalion natives and Orlanthi visitors. They're Yelmalions from a different Sun Dome? Going to be an issue for the Yelmalion natives, Lunar contingent, and Orlanthi visitors. ("Dang foreign Yelmalions! They ruined Yelmalionism!")

Anyway, there's still material to post from old files. Everything else is in really rough shape, so I'm polishing as I can. Even the stuff above will probably get modified at some point. That's why this is a "Dump Thread." 🙂

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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I put a bit of thought into the Balazarings, since they were probably going to be a big part of the early campaign. Oliver Bernuetz did a fine writeup of Balazar material for Hero Wars; that material can be found here. Based on that and the homeland keywords in HeroQuest, page 38-57, I came up with this:

Abilities: Balazar Geography, Balazaring Customs, Balazaring Myths, Sneak Through Wilderness, Speak Balazaring, Train Dog, Wilderness Survival, Work Stone and Wood.
Men only—Long-Distance Running, Spear Fighting.
Women only—Sewing and Weaving.

Typical Personality Traits: Conservative, Fear [Elder Race] or Hate [Elder Race].

Typical Relationships: to Hearth; to Clan; to Tribe/Citadel.

Magic: Common magic, Elder Wilds Tradition (animism).

It's not much, but this way you can just put "Balazaring homeland 13" in a stat block and know what's up with that character. In RQ3, we weren't too concerned when stat blocks took up a page or two; in HQ that's just unlikely to ever happen. The Crimson Bat's stat block only takes up a paragraph!

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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This part is going to be slower, since I never got very far in my conversions the first time. My initial instinct was to convert directly -- give a RQ3 stat block, turn the numbers into HW/HQ1 numbers directly. This is a time-consuming process and the end result is not great. They don't feel like characters at that point, just a set of stats. So, there was a second step: massage the numbers and abilities to come up with something that "feels" like the original; and eliminate elements that don't make sense in the new rules. For instance, if a character needs access to a Secret, they need to have certain levels in certain abilities. Generally, skills of 95% should probably translate to a 1W2 ability or thereabouts. If you don't have the book, the following is a version of a character from Griffin Mountain. I'm not yet sure what to do about magic items from RQ, so this is still a work in progress.

Bluebird
Mysterious Esrolian Lhankor Mhy devotee
Other keywords: Esrolian citizen 2W, Devotee of Lhankor Mhy the Seeker 20
Skills: Balazar Customs 15, Close Combat (Shield Block 17, Staff Fighting) 12W, Deductive 10W, Evaluate Treasure 10W, Haggle 20, Hear Equivocation 18, Map Making 10W, Quick-Witted 7W, Passionate Argument 10W, Ranged Combat (Self Bow) 17, Read Old Pavic 2W, Read Darktongue 15, Read Tradetalk 12W, Ride Horse 12W, Spot Inconsistency 12W, Speak Old Pavic 3W, Speak Darktongue 18, Speak Tradetalk 8W, Swim 8W, Write Old Pavic 17, Write Darktongue 2W, Write Tradetalk 12W.
Magic: Learned Gentlemen Society [Common Religion] (Confuse Enemy feat, Deflect Blow feat, Fix Hurt feat, Meet in the Middle feat, Run Away feat) 5W, Exploration affinity 18W, Knowledge affinity 15W, Literacy affinity 3W.

Blood
Divine Ally in Staff
Abilities: Bat Away Charm 8W2, Bat Away Feat 12W2, Bat Away Spell 15W, Hit Hard 5W2, Thought Bridge 12W,

Palau
Divine Ally in Crystal
Abilities: Coordinated 18, Sense Spell 19, Strong 15

ROLAND VOLZ

Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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