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Playing the followers of Estangtang in 13th Age Glorantha.

Joonas Katko

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As a sort of a follow up to my earlier post here are some thoughts about how to use this cult in a campaign set in Pavis, Sun County or otherwise nearby. This is a collection of thoughts based on several sources, including Pavis and the Big Rubble, Pavis: Gateway to Adventure, the Pavis Companion volumes from the early 2000's (by Ian Thomson and others), Sun County and possibly others.

What is the cult about?

The Brothers of Estangtang is a Hero cult, set in the city of Pavis. It was founded by an actual flesh-and-blood brother of Estangtang Griffin Rider sometime while he was still alive, but the original cult did not survive the Troll occupation of the Big Rubble. After the Rubble was opened again some Old City survivors encountered the spirit of Estangtang, discovered the lore of the cult and began to worship him. He was an initiate of the Sun Dragon, a mystic and an archer of fearsome skill. The survivors who met the spirit were able to dig up old lore of the cult from the Pavis temple archives and initiate themselves. The name of the actual brother is not known (untill the players dig it up at least...), but the leader of the cult takes his role in ceremonies. Learning more about the mortal life of Estangtang is of high importance to the cult.

The cult today.

The cult is small and rather secretive, since Dragon mysticism is still rather frowned upon, to put it mildly. Most of the followers are either young hotheads who have a beef with the Lunar occupation and want to learn the secrets of a defender of the city, or nostalgics who seek comfort in the lore of the city during its halcyon times. They maintain a small shrine in the temple of Pavis, but the Pavis priesthood doesn't want to cause trouble with the Lunars (and does not want to be associated with Dragon mysticism) and so allows only small, discreet rituals. The membership mostly seeks to learn more secrets from the Hero, about the city of Pavis and what is was while he was still alive, and to master forgotten powers. None of the members have yet managed to quest for a flaming griffin, but this would be a good adventure hook for player characters.

What does the cult teach?

The teachings of Estangtang the Griffin Rider. Also some form of Imminent Mastery of Dragon mysticism (page 25 of The Legacy of Pavis has an illustration of Estangtang with a slightly clawed hands and scaly skin). In my opinion these teachings would concentrate on defending the grand plan of Pavis, his city and those who follow its laws (this could cause interesting situations with Pavis-initiated trolls or nomads). It's dragonic mysticism is likely rudimentary and might horrify EWF mystics, if any were still alive. More about "how to sprout scales and spit fire at nomads" than "how to dream yourself into a dragon the size of a continent". Estangtang himself might know about the secret of Mani's Fort (and the demigod Mani), but do the followers? There could be an another thing for players to discover.

Since this cult is subordinate to that of Pavis the priesthood tolerates it, but would much rather have its members hide the dragonism in public. Worship of an ancient hero who defended the city? Now that is all fine and dandy. Warriors from the rubble venerating one of it's ancient defenders in ceremonies supervised by a trusted Pavic priest would not seem out of the ordinary in the temple of Pavis.

Playing a member of the cult

Membership in the cult could come in many shapes. The Sun Archer of Estangtang class is my own sorta-approximation of what a worshipper might be like, but don't let that limit you. Offers of ancient secrets, a desire to protect Pavis and an opportunity to hear about its golden times would propably draw all sorts. The Abomination class from Ancient Pacts could make for a player character who tried to speedrun the whole draconic mysteries thing. A ranger, a rogue or fire-wielding sorcerer, or a monk with dragon related powers from Dark Alleys could all well be members of a cult like this. A reincarnation of Estangtang or his brother could make for an interesting One Unique Thing, as would being the first non-human member of this cult. A duck thinking "If I can't fly with my own wings I'll find others!" and joining up would be something to see. In my eyes there hero himself would not really care who worships him (what with being a dragon mystic), but that the worshippers carry out the grand plan of Pavis.

Seeking the flaming griffin, seeking to be granted access to the secret of Mani's people, or simply clearing the chaos monstrosities out of the Rubble (good luck with that!) would all offer many reasons for a member of this cult to get involved. For a GM, the ancient spirit of Estangtang could be a handy dispenser of cryptic advice to get the players to go in certain direction and a reminder that the folks of old Pavis got up to some really weird things. And also a reminder that while the grand plan of Pavis might not have gone like he thought it would it is not entirely dead either...







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  • 2 weeks later...

My unpublished Jonstown Compendium supplement, A New Age, has a Sun Archer Class that is based, partly, on the Griffin Riders of Estangtang.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 


Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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