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Valley of Cradles Situation Circa 1626? (for use in RQG)


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One of the reasons people are so upset about the Valley of Cradles timeline is that it seemed to make an interesting, adventuring hook rich area into "Praxians come in and stomp on Lunar faces, they are so cool".

However, I have been looking through all the material and it's a lot more interesting than people think. The area has no real significant control as of 1626. Argrath has been defeated, most of his forces lost with him. New Pavis is a boiling mixing pot filled with people who very likely hate each other (and offers players the ability to be from basically anywhere).

The rest of the Valley of Cradles is in a bad situation. The Praxian tribes are still treating it as their watering hole while broo (and other chaos beasts) run wild up and down the valley.

As far as I can tell (after scouring near endless material).

Geographically:

  • New Pavis
    • Conquered by Argrath Whitebull
    • Argrath Whitebull is possibly dead, possibly not, army destroyed by a Dara Happan demon
    • Who is in control?
    • Likely some (controlled) fighting between Old Pavisites, Lunar dissidents, Praxian tribes-men and Sartarite refugees
  • Big Rubble
    • Pretty much use as-is from Big Rubble
  • Corflu
    • New ruin
    • Undoubtedly filled with magical goodies
  • The Grantlands
    • New ruin
    • Overrun by broo?
  • Sun Dome / Mo Baustra
    • Probably still an independent fortified state
  • Zola River
    • Plenty of Riverfolk on it after the destruction of Corflu

Religions:

  • Lord Pavis
    • Some retconning suggests he had babies with every race possible to give a balance of elements
    • Partially limited Rune Cult, partially Sorcerous?
  • Flintnail
    • Sub-cult of Lord Pavis IMO
  • Zola Fel
    • Standard river cult
    • Probably has sub-cults of River Horse, Frog Woman, Cleansed One and Diros the Boatman
    • Possibly Lunar identification of the Cleansed One as an Illuminated broo?
  • Lanbril
    • Minor cult but a cool one

Does anyone have any ideas of what is missing from the current lore?

If I write up anything good, I might try putting it as a Jonstown Compendium.

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  I'm about to run a game there, too., and while I remember some of the outlines from Robin Laws' and Jeff Richard's panel at the 2019 Kraken, I will have to make do with the info I can put together from Pavis: Gateway to Adventure, the classical Pavis and Big Rubble boxes, and possibly some info from the Rivers of Cradles scenario.

My players wanted to play in Pavis, and so we used the Prax family background for the rolls on the table. Now I will need to explain the place to them, and somehow merge the P:GtA additional info into their character backgrounds.

I'll lean on MOB's Sun County thread to give them an idea of the post-Sor-eel situation, and the upheavals caused by the White Bull society takeover and defeat at Moonbroth.

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
    • Argrath Whitebull is possibly dead, possibly not, army destroyed by a Dara Happan demon

Army routed, enough can be rallied to maintain the White Bull as king of Pavis.

One or two of my players rolled first-hand experience for that battle. A few more joined the White Bull or at least rode with them enough to have an idea.

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
    • Likely some (controlled) fighting between Old Pavisites, Lunar dissidents, Praxian tribes-men and Sartarite refugees

In my upcoming game there will be politicking among therse groups, possibly some limited physical interaction about assets, but with a bunch of Wolf Pirates looking out to increase their wealth, open fighting with another local group over some asset may well result in neither getting it.

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
  • Big Rubble
    • Pretty much use as-is from Big Rubble

I expect quite a few changes in Zebra Fort. Will Hargran the Dirty still be in command of the Pavis Royal Guard, or will some less venal Pavis loyalist take them over and make them into one of the elite personal warbands following Agrath?

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
  • Corflu
    • New ruin
    • Undoubtedly filled with magical goodies

After a visit by Wolf Pirates, would you really expect magical or other goodies remaining? Unless you know where a Lunar symp deposited a hoard when learning about Argrath's arrival, not a big chance, IMO.

Limited ruin, too. Wolf Pirates don't usually burn down whorehouses upon first contact. Same with other establishments providing comfort or entertainment. Re-distribution of wealth, yeah, surely.
 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:

Zola River

  • Plenty of Riverfolk on it after the destruction of Corflu

Color me surprised to learn about the destruction of Corflu.

As far as I know, Argrath and other Wolf Pirate friends descended on the place in 1624 in a naval assault (I assume) and killed or more likely captured any Lunar-related folk, to ransom them or to sell them off into slavery. There may have been a few pleasure-killings, but I don't see many cases of revenge-killings, the people of Corflu are too insignificant to warrant that. Afterwards, Corflu became their base for a while - you don't destroy a place if you want to use it for a base.

Some of those Wolf Pirate buddies may have gone on to capture Grantland settlers for cash or workforce while Argrath summoned the White Bull brotherhood and coordinated the march upon Pavis, or they may have continued some coastal or commerce raiding from the port facilities (which are decent, and fairly well known to them). Sure, there are more pleasant places to have a pirate lair, but not in this region. The dragonfly priestess hired by Tolkazzi certainly would have received enough incentive to go on doing what she was doing while the Wolf Pirates were there.

When Argrath and the vast majority of his followers left for Pavis, would they have burned their ships and the place behind them, or would they have left an anchor watch in the relative comfort of the place?

 

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:

Religions:

  • Lord Pavis
    • Some retconning suggests he had babies with every race possible to give a balance of elements

No known troll connections, in fact a lingering dislike of trolls for what they did to his family in Adari. The troll support for Thog didn't help change his mind, either.

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
  • Flintnail
    • Sub-cult of Lord Pavis IMO

Other than in Dwarfside, yes. Probably allied to Argrath.

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
  • Zola Fel
    • Standard river cult

Rather the one river cult we have a write-up for, with all other river cults copying from that write-up much like many city cults are derived from what we know about Pavis.

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
    • Probably has sub-cults of River Horse, Frog Woman, Cleansed One and Diros the Boatman
    • Possibly Lunar identification of the Cleansed One as an Illuminated broo?

The list you have are friendly spirit cults (River Horse, Frog Woman) or allied cults (Diros). One subcult is known, Kinope.

The Cleansed One is mostly over-hyped IMO. If a treatment like the Baths of Nelat provides an illuminated state, what does this say about Orlanth?

 

 

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:
  • Lanbril
    • Minor cult but a cool one

IIRC, one independent master thief and two rival gangs in New Pavis, occasionally operating in the Rubble, too. Plus freelancers like Griselda and Wolfhead. Griselda apparently left Pavis on the Cradle, but left the Cradle at Corflu, and did not return to New Pavis, avoiding that Halcyon period.

You didn't mention the Black Fang - probably the kernel for Argrath's Assassin unit in the Dragon Pass boardgame. Any rumors about connection to the Krarsht cult will be silenced, and the spirits captured. There is no proof about that? Yeah, they are good at what they do.

 

The trolls of the Rubble may have seen some re-organisation after the Yelmalio/Garden conflict. I assume that Yavis Gan returned to the Rubble from Corflu.

 

The mercenaries who had taken Sor-eel's silver and failed to receive enough from Halcyon Var Enkorth may still be around, hoping for some jobs from the new government.  Given the nature of Argrath's followers, I think that he might be inclined to accept their services as a policing force away from the city.

 

The trollkin night guards and the constable might still be in office, although on probation. Jotoran Longsword certainly has no longer any official position other than prisoner.

The legitimate business of the Patroma family probably has been taken over by Argrath, their wealth confiscated. Some of their underground network agents might still remain, possibly working for Argrath.

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:

Does anyone have any ideas of what is missing from the current lore?

 

 

Edited by Joerg

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

MOB has been sharing the history of Sun County after the Cradle here:

 

Some really good stuff there.

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Robin D. Laws is making a Pavis & Big Rubble supplement that will bring them up to the current day. I have very high hopes about it.

Would love to see it.

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Color me surprised to learn about the destruction of Corflu.

As far as I know, Argrath and other Wolf Pirate friends descended on the place in 1624 in a naval assault (I assume) and killed or more likely captured any Lunar-related folk, to ransom them or to sell them off into slavery. There may have been a few pleasure-killings, but I don't see many cases of revenge-killings, the people of Corflu are too insignificant to warrant that. Afterwards, Corflu became their base for a while - you don't destroy a place if you want to use it for a base.

Some of those Wolf Pirate buddies may have gone on to capture Grantland settlers for cash or workforce while Argrath summoned the White Bull brotherhood and coordinated the march upon Pavis, or they may have continued some coastal or commerce raiding from the port facilities (which are decent, and fairly well known to them). Sure, there are more pleasant places to have a pirate lair, but not in this region. The dragonfly priestess hired by Tolkazzi certainly would have received enough incentive to go on doing what she was doing while the Wolf Pirates were there.

When Argrath and the vast majority of his followers left for Pavis, would they have burned their ships and the place behind them, or would they have left an anchor watch in the relative comfort of the place?

I may have read "seized" as "razed". If I was a tribal ruler and I was planning to travel inland... I would definitely burn my ships.

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1 minute ago, Prince of Cinders said:

I may have read "seized" as "razed". If I was a tribal ruler and I was planning to travel inland... I would definitely burn my ships.

Except those aren't Argrath's ships, but ships of Wolf Pirate captains who chose to follow Argrath for now.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Prince of Cinders said:

New Pavis

  • Conquered by Argrath Whitebull
  • Argrath Whitebull is possibly dead, possibly not, army destroyed by a Dara Happan demon
  • Who is in control?
  • Likely some (controlled) fighting between Old Pavisites, Lunar dissidents, Praxian tribes-men and Sartarite refugees

 

You can get a feel for the 1626 era from the Chaosium house campaign:

Argrath Whitebull, King of Pavis, is very much alive, though a sizable portion of his army was defeated at Hender's Ruins by Cwim (a Chaos terror, not a DH demon).

While the nomads were allowed to sack Pavis, Argrath is also very much in control, but coming to accommodations with locals.  Bits and pieces of Robin Laws' updated setting have been hinted at in various interviews, but we do not have any references yet as to where/when that is in the release cycle, but likely that Argrath is rewarding loyal followers with treasures, buildings, or even locations to "rule" in the Big Rubble.

As you note, the Big Rubble has not changed to any great degree (though MOB's Sun County history noted above has several significant events occur there).

 

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24 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

likely that Argrath is rewarding loyal followers with treasures, buildings, or even locations to "rule" in the Big Rubble.

Specifically, he’s had to lay off some of his people for the moment, and is granting them ”fiefs” within the Rubble as an alternative to paying them. Weirdly, the people who already live there might not be overjoyed.

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22 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

You can get a feel for the 1626 era from the Chaosium house campaign:

Argrath Whitebull, King of Pavis, is very much alive, though a sizable portion of his army was defeated at Hender's Ruins by Cwim (a Chaos terror, not a DH demon).

While the nomads were allowed to sack Pavis, Argrath is also very much in control, but coming to accommodations with locals.  Bits and pieces of Robin Laws' updated setting have been hinted at in various interviews, but we do not have any references yet as to where/when that is in the release cycle, but likely that Argrath is rewarding loyal followers with treasures, buildings, or even locations to "rule" in the Big Rubble.

As you note, the Big Rubble has not changed to any great degree (though MOB's Sun County history noted above has several significant events occur there).

 

Cheers for the campaign link!

I have a sneaking suspicion this is a "YGWV" sort of deal.

The Argrath Whitebull Gloranthapedia page (https://glorantha.fandom.com/wiki/Argrath_Whitebull) says:

  • He suffered defeat in 1625 ST by a demon sent by Tatius but it is not known whether he was killed then.

The Army of the Bull page (https://glorantha.fandom.com/wiki/Army_of_the_Bull) says:

I need to read King of Sartar and check the accuracy of these.

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4 minutes ago, Prince of Cinders said:

I have a sneaking suspicion this is a "YGWV" sort of deal.

Canon is that he survived and went on to do the other Argrath stuff in King of Sartar, but you don’t have to go with that, and the increased volatility of having AWB dead (with room for a PC to replace, perhaps) could be fun for your game. Or maybe even more interesting if no-one knows what happened yet.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Canon is that he survived and went on to do the other Argrath stuff in King of Sartar, but you don’t have to go with that, and the increased volatility of having AWB dead (with room for a PC to replace, perhaps) could be fun for your game. Or maybe even more interesting if no-one knows what happened yet.

I think one of the things about Argrath is:

  • There's obviously meant to be potentially more than one of him and either accounts have got it all mixed up or the past Argrath was intentionally taking hold of the achievements of the other Argraths. (A suggestion made about Jesus of Nazareth in the Bible etc.)
  • King of Sartar seems to deliberately confuse him with Arkat. His "wolf tribe" turns on him and gets cursed for it is one example.

I think leaving AWB possibly-dead, possibly-captured, possibly-alive and free would be the best place to do it (especially with reports of him coming as dead).

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

The demon turns out to be Cwim.  (And since Jeff is running that campaign, I think we can pretty much take that as what will be the canonical line.)

Until it's in a published book, I don't treat it as canon. 😄

And even then...

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16 minutes ago, Prince of Cinders said:

I think leaving AWB possibly-dead, possibly-captured, possibly-alive and free would be the best place to do it (especially with reports of him coming as dead).

One fun thing about this is that everyone needs to consider that it’s possible he might return, and so may not instantly go for all-out internicine war to determine his successor. Have to consider how far they dare to reach.

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1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:

I think one of the things about Argrath is:

  • There's obviously meant to be potentially more than one of him and either accounts have got it all mixed up or the past Argrath was intentionally taking hold of the achievements of the other Argraths. (A suggestion made about Jesus of Nazareth in the Bible etc.)
  • King of Sartar seems to deliberately confuse him with Arkat. His "wolf tribe" turns on him and gets cursed for it is one example.

I think leaving AWB possibly-dead, possibly-captured, possibly-alive and free would be the best place to do it (especially with reports of him coming as dead).

I expect that the book in development for the Hero Wars campaign will likely provide this as an option for GM's to choose while keeping the single Argrath as the main story line.  GM's will vary according to their needs.

1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:

Until it's in a published book, I don't treat it as canon.

The pluses I see with Cwim are: 1) Praxians know Cwim very well and are appropriately terrified of Cwim; 2) that the Lunars can summon Cwim to the battle is really terrifying; 3) Cwim is fully capable of destroying much of an army; and 4) that the Lunars engage Cwim shows just how Chaotic the Lunars are.

We know the Crimson Bat is not yet back from the Otherworld, so that's not an option, but I'm sure there are other demons that could work - they just might not have the same terror aspect for an entire army.

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17 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

We know the Crimson Bat is not yet back from the Otherworld, so that's not an option, but I'm sure there are other demons that could work - they just might not have the same terror aspect for an entire army.

What is the timeline of the Crimson Bat, here? It's killed by Broyan (1621?), then it's seen near Talastar (by Oddi and Paulis - I imagine it's in the Lakrene area) in what must I think must be early 1625... did it have time to get itself killed again in between? Or just not arrive in time?

That said, I'm sure it's not the Bat - it would have been recognized and mentioned (and plus, this probably looks like small fry for the Lunars so far). I think I may prefer some Lunar demon, though.

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

What is the timeline of the Crimson Bat, here? It's killed by Broyan (1621?), then it's seen near Talastar (by Oddi and Paulis - I imagine it's in the Lakrene area) in what must I think must be early 1625... did it have time to get itself killed again in between? Or just not arrive in time?

GS p.189: "In 8/1 (1626), Dranz Goloi suffered his first reversal when the Lunar Army, led by Jar-eel, riding atop the Crimson Bat, routed him outside the walls of Blessed Torang, and revealed herself to be the incarnation of the Red Goddess in the Third Battle of Chaos."

This seems to be the first reference to the Crimson Bat since Broyan drives it off into the Otherworld in 1620 at Whitewall.  And that it occurs during Jar-eel's Goddess Quest strongly suggests it was unavailable before then.  Not sure how that aligns with the Talastar story, but I'd probably put it after Jar-eel's return.

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32 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

This seems to be the first reference to the Crimson Bat since Broyan drives it off into the Otherworld in 1620 at Whitewall.  And that it occurs during Jar-eel's Goddess Quest strongly suggests it was unavailable before then.  Not sure how that aligns with the Talastar story, but I'd probably put it after Jar-eel's return.

Oddi and Paulis seeing it can't reasonably be post-1625 in that story. The war ends in 1625, and this is before that (Oddi hasn't even been crowned yet). We don't get a lot of story, but it does have the Cult on its back and is eating people (but then, when isn't it?). Possibly importantly, though: "Oddi said that it might be going to Dragon Pass, for he knew of fighting there."

Meanwhile the Guide says: "The Cult of the Crimson Bat is currently [currently for the guide] performing long and arduous rituals to resummon the Bat", so that gives us another reference point.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Meanwhile the Guide says: "The Cult of the Crimson Bat is currently [currently for the guide] performing long and arduous rituals to resummon the Bat", so that gives us another reference point.

Bringing this back to the OP, while a GM could decide that Tatius summoned the Crimson Bat (and that was the demon that attacked at Hender's Ruin), we'd be left with the issue of who subsequently dispatched the Bat later in 1625 and forced Jar-eel to then bring it back yet again?

Personally, I'm quite happy with Cwim as the "Lunar" demon.

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On 7/14/2021 at 10:34 AM, Prince of Cinders said:
  • New Pavis
    • Conquered by Argrath Whitebull
    • Argrath Whitebull is possibly dead, possibly not, army destroyed by a Dara Happan demon
    • Who is in control?
    • Likely some (controlled) fighting between Old Pavisites, Lunar dissidents, Praxian tribes-men and Sartarite refugees

I discovered in the RQG Family History section, it mentions that Argrath returns to Pavis.

Unfortunate, as it makes the Praxians in Pavis a stronger power than needed.

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It is a return back to before the eviction of the Beast Riders out of New Pavis.

The White Bull Society still is Argrath's "house power", much like the Kheldon Tribe is for Kallyr. While some of the Pavis County residents will have joined, it is predominantly a beast rider organisation.

The accounts of that battle have nothing to say about Argrath's allies from his Wolf Pirate days. I suppose that those were present, but may have refrained from heroics against Cwim.

 

@Runeblogger gives a pretty detailed summary for the presentation of Robin Laws's Pavis and Big Rubble project at Kraken 2019.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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1 hour ago, Prince of Cinders said:

I discovered in the RQG Family History section, it mentions that Argrath returns to Pavis.

Unfortunate, as it makes the Praxians in Pavis a stronger power than needed.

Not necessarily.  Most of the Praxians could have been eaten by Cwm allowing for a weakened influence in New Pavis.

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On 7/16/2021 at 11:10 AM, metcalph said:

Not necessarily.  Most of the Praxians could have been eaten by Cwm allowing for a weakened influence in New Pavis.

Or even just scattered (Cwim can only eat so many as they flee) and not coming back until things look better. They don't have any huge investment in holding Pavis after conquering and looting it.

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