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Scorpionmen & Spirit of Law


Erol of Backford

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We are looking at a Storm Khan of St. Urox sending the PC's into the Jab Hills to subdue a scorpionman for several purposes.

Help the characters learn how to fight a scorpionman, chain them up, disable the stinger somehow, use them as a gladiator of sorts to practice on.

Have them teach the characters chaos speech (if there still is such a thing) bribe them with food, something so the characters may not only speak but also learn to read/write it and or be able to understand it during covert activities, spy.

Is there chaos speech (I thought I read there was a long time ago but cannot recall where that was written) and how would one go about learning it from chaos-spawn?

What percentage of scorpionmen read/write chaos speech? Maybe they need to make dozens of trips into the hills to get a scorpionman that is able to read/write chaos speech?

Eventually have a spirit of law possess the scorpionman so it could infiltrate scorpionmen camps/settlements and do recon for the Heortlander cities and towns near Jab Hills.

Would a Storm Khan simply command the law spirit to possess the scorpion man to make this happen? Maybe the spirit of law learned chaos speech before possessing the scorpionman?

Would the scorpionman still detect as chaos if possessed by a spirit of law? What if the scorpionman had been illuminated before being possessed by the law spirit?

I thought it might make some interesting role playing near Jab Hill in the early 1600's.

Who doesn't love Mogo and wouldn't he be able to help avert the citizens of Backford being overrun when the Jab Hills erupt?

Thought and input appreciated.

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17 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Is there chaos speech (I thought I read there was a long time ago but cannot recall where that was written) and how would one go about learning it from chaos-spawn?

I don't believe there is at this point.  In the RQ Bestiary, broos use the local human tongue (if any) and scorpionmen are listed with Languages: Speak Tradetalk.

17 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

What percentage of scorpionmen read/write chaos speech? Maybe they need to make dozens of trips into the hills to get a scorpionman that is able to read/write chaos speech?

I'd say 0% (assuming there is no Chaos speech).  As for a % that have any R/W ability, it will only be those scorpionmen who went through the Ritual of Rebirth (1st generation spawn of the Queen, if you will) who have retained some knowledge/ability of prior life.  A scorpionman-sage (formerly of LM) could have quite extensive R/W skills, now used in the service of Gagix (after 1616) or other scorpion queens.

17 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Would a Storm Khan simply command the law spirit to possess the scorpion man to make this happen? Maybe the spirit of law learned chaos speech before possessing the scorpionman?

Potentially they could, but I'd argue that the Spirit of Law is so contrary to the nature of Chaos (and chaotic beings), that the possession would either destroy the chaos creature or drive it insane (i.e. lead it to effectively kill itself).  Maybe 1% of the time some synthesis could occur that would "order" the chaos into something stable.  

17 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Would the scorpionman still detect as chaos if possessed by a spirit of law?

Yes, it's just been possessed - its inherent Chaotic nature has not been changed unless some sort of synthesis (as noted above) occurs.

18 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

I thought it might make some interesting role playing near Jab Hill in the early 1600's.

At that point, there should still be isolated communities and steads in the Jab Hills (with stout defenses of course), and likely overlooking the Footprint to keep a watch out for Chaos.  The Sounder scenario from 13th Age Glorantha would work well here.

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50 minutes ago, Erol of Backford said:

Curious as to what the title of the book the Sounder Scenario is in? Thank you!

Just what I said:  "13th Age Glorantha" - it uses the 13th Age system, but any of the scenarios and myths could be readily transported into RQG.

13th Age Glorantha - Chaosium | RuneQuest Classic | DriveThruRPG.com

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14 hours ago, Frp said:

Has what happens when a spirit of law wins in spirit combat been detailed in RQG, or RQ2 for that matter? In RQ3 it would eat their POW, and soul, if I remember correctly. Great result in most cases. 

RQG: As per Summon Spirit of Law in Core Rules / The Red Book of Magic, it enters spirit combat with the chaos creature (at on average 65%), if it wins the target will fall unconscious (zero mps). Spirits of Law are excellent in combat as the victim is likely fighting physically as well as with spirit combat, which is really difficult.

RQ2:Cults of Prax has exactly the same wording as RQG, except with RQ2 spirit combat uses POW, and if their POW was reduced to zero, they cease to exist.

RQ3's Gods of Glorantha, says Any chaotic being which is reduced to 0 magic points by a spirit of law is immediately and permanently destroyed.

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On 9/17/2022 at 8:35 PM, Erol of Backford said:

Have them teach the characters chaos speech (if there still is such a thing) bribe them with food, something so the characters may not only speak but also learn to read/write it and or be able to understand it during covert activities, spy.

Is there chaos speech (I thought I read there was a long time ago but cannot recall where that was written) and how would one go about learning it from chaos-spawn?

Yes, there is Chaos Speech.

It is how some chaos creatures communicate.

On 9/17/2022 at 8:35 PM, Erol of Backford said:

What percentage of scorpionmen read/write chaos speech? Maybe they need to make dozens of trips into the hills to get a scorpionman that is able to read/write chaos speech?

Very few, but Priests might have a chance to speak it.

Bagog is more tied to Darkness, so the cult language, I think, is Darktongue.

 

On 9/17/2022 at 8:35 PM, Erol of Backford said:

Eventually have a spirit of law possess the scorpionman so it could infiltrate scorpionmen camps/settlements and do recon for the Heortlander cities and towns near Jab Hills.

Would a Storm Khan simply command the law spirit to possess the scorpion man to make this happen? Maybe the spirit of law learned chaos speech before possessing the scorpionman?

If a Sprit of Law defeats a Chaps Creature it destroys the creature, so that plan is unlikely to work using the normal; rules set.

You could use another spirit, though, just fine.

 

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

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19 minutes ago, Erol of Backford said:

What about an ancestral spirit who knows this is going to happen to them before being place into the host? Would they also go insane or could they manage it knowing it were temporary?

In the presence of such a chaotic host, I'd have an increasing chance of the experience driving them mad.  Not quite the Ritual of Rebirth experience, but it would warp them (and I'd also have a chance for any scorpion queen to auto-compel them to undertake tasks - a chance to resist, but the natural inclination of the scorpionman is to submit to the queen's whims and wishes).

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10 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

auto-compel

She must have a hero quest super bowel ring for that? What if it we say the year 1603-5, 10 or more years before she was "all that"?

So how could you infiltrate a scorpionman camp utilizing one of them as a spy, would a regular bound spirit go mad as well as Soltakss may have been suggesting?

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13 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

What if it we say the year 1603-5, 10 or more years before she was "all that"?

Then there were 4 competing scorpion queens, none of which were likely Gagix yet.  But they still command their hordes to go out and bring back food.  Think of them like giant ant colonies led by a queen and you get a better sense of how they work.

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13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

4 competing scorpion queens

So like the boroughs of New York fighting over turf. We can run with that, set up areas of control ruled over by minor queens that get killed/eaten as the years move close to the 1620's until there is only one... maybe the PC's could even end up fighting a minor queen to supplant Gagix's efforts and slightly decrease her power?

Would scorpionmen who had their queen eaten become loyal to the conquering queen? If not are they like samurai who lord is killed and become ronin and hired as mercenaries but likely treated as scum unless some great ability is noted?

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1 hour ago, Erol of Backford said:

Would scorpionmen who had their queen eaten become loyal to the conquering queen?

Yes, that is part of Gagix' success - she eats/devours her competitors and gains all their hordes for her own.  By the time the Evil Year (1616) is done, there is One Queen to Rule them All!  And she takes advantage of the failed Tournament of Luck and Death (perhaps even eating some portion of the slain and dismembered Belintar) to advance as a Chaos Hero.

If you're running in the early 1600's, then any success by your PC's against any of the four competing queens (and they are fighting over small territory mostly confined within the Footprint) should help enable Gagix's eventual rise.

Btw, you could easily use some of the characters from the old RQ2 Scorpion Hall solo scenario to populate this area - it has one Scorpion Queen in it which could be one of the four.

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25 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Btw, you could easily use some of the characters from the old RQ2 Scorpion Hall solo scenario to populate this area - it has one Scorpion Queen in it which could be one of the four.

Exactly what we were thinking, have already set that up to be part of the PC's adulthood initiation as a dream (downscaled so they have better chance) and then a real fight by the whole party against said queen's camp over several seasons with some Storm Bull assistance of course.

I am not liking the idea that Gagix is eating part of Belintar...

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21 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

I am not liking the idea that Gagix is eating part of Belintar...

The failure of the Tournament of Luck and Death in 1616 unleashed magic and there was no new Belintar to gather that in.  Broyan took advantage of this to achieve his quest to gain the Helm and the Sword and prove himself High King of the Vingkotlings.  Obash Broos-smasher in the Shadowlands took advantage to begin his rise to fame.  Clearly Gagix does as well (whether that includes ritually devouring some part of Belintar, or simply gathering in some of his magics/powers, or something else is not likely to be fully defined anywhere) and marks her rise to prominence.

21 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

So Gagix is waiting and watching from up in the Jab Hills for the other three to weaken fighting each other down in the Print...

Remember that scorpionmen mature quickly.  Gagix is probably not in existence in the timeframe you are focused on.  She may have been birthed in 1614, or even in 1616, and rapidly grown into her powers and maturity through the events of the Tournaments in either of those years.

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On 9/18/2022 at 5:35 AM, Erol of Backford said:

We are looking at a Storm Khan of St. Urox sending the PC's into the Jab Hills to subdue a scorpionman for several purposes.

I must say that I don't think this is a plausible plot for a number of reasons.  Stormbulls have a zero tolerance for chaos.  Even using a possessed scorpionman as a spy is not allowed, ignoring the fact that spirits of law don't possess chaos monsters, but destroy them.

It would be plausible for a far less chaos hating cult to try something like this, but not Stormbulls.  I suggest a Lhankor Mhy sorcerer or a shaman.  Apparently merchants sometimes pay for scorpionmen as guards.  I assume they are Etyries merchants.  That would seem like an obvious point to intercept a scorpionman.

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12 hours ago, Darius West said:

It would be plausible for a far less chaos hating cult to try something like this, but not Stormbulls.  I suggest a Lhankor Mhy sorcerer or a shaman.

*sputters* Sir! Lhankor Mhy is vehemently against Chaos, I assure you! *sputter, sputter, tugs false beard*

... On the other hand, imagine what kind of information you could glean if you had a spy go into a scorpionman den... Think of the academic rewards!... No, no, it's still Chaos, and Chaos is Evil!

...I wonder if they have different forms of address... Are there even scorpionman social strata? Hmmm... it would be helpful to know how followers of different Chaos gods would be identified between scorpionmen... Hmmm...

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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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1 hour ago, AlHazred said:

Think of the academic rewards!

There was the article about studying the Print in Tradetalk I think where a Lhankor Mhy initiate was studying and saw trolls eat the scorpionman tails dipped in butter while the thing was still alive? I think his guide ended up trying to eat him and he ended up smashing him with the counterweight of his block and tackle hoisting system? Fun stuff.

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