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Initiation rites for RQG


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I'm prepping for running 6SiS on Roll20. I've run the women's clan initiation rituals already, the boy's rites will be the 1st session in the NY. The clan initiations are pretty full on and I didn't want to dive straight into more 90 minute one on one sessions for the cult initiations as well, so decided to create handouts which can be individually tailored to each player. For the Babeester Gor player, I nicked an initiation pretty much wholesale from a post on here by Wrestlepig. For the Issaries player, I cobbled this together, basing it primarily on Issaries the Conciliator. I thought I'd post it in case it's of any use. I'm hoping that if anyone else has anything similar they have come up with for various cults, they might post them here. You never know, collected together they might make for a useful JC release one day.

Ardessa's Initiation

You travel to Boldhome on Waterday, Movement week, in the company of your father. Jorgunath Bladesong and Rosonil of High Water, one of the thanes, accompany you as guards. You help lead the 6 mules with what saleable goods the clan created over Dark and Storm seasons. The journey takes most of the day, under constant rain, appropriate since it is Lord Heler’s holy day. When you reach the capital you marvel at the grand temples, Sartar’s palace and the squalor of the City in the Clouds, your first ever visit to Boldhome.

You stay at the Colymar tribal Manor, and meet two other prospective initiates. The next morning, before dawn, you dress in your best peplos and are escorted to the North Market. There, standing within the huge columned temple of Issaries, you join a small crowd of young men and women, their tattoos marking them as Culbrea, Lismelder, Sambari, Malani, all the tribes of Sartar seem to be represented. You spend the next 3 days in lessons with your fellows in various catachisms:  Accounting Apocrypha, Ecumenical Economics, Holy Mass Marketing, Sacred Stock Taking, Blessed Bartering, Spreading the Good Tradetalk.

Get experience checks in Bargain, Influence, Orate, Speak Tradetalk, Cult Lore Issaries, Manage Household, Read/Write Tradetalk, Worship Issaries and Insight.

On the morning of Wildday, Issaries holy day, you are led to the Cella, a windowless room at the centre of the temple. You stand before a great bronze statue of the God, a barely bearded youth, one hand outstretched in friendship, the other held behind his back. A mule is led before you and sacrificed. Its blood collected in bronze dishes and poured onto a brazier. The resulting smoke and steam takes the offering to Issaries’ Trading Hall. The room fills with the scent of incense and copper from the mule’s blood.

As you begin to recite the invocation with the other potential supplicants, the smoke from the brazier fills your nose. Your vision swims, you feel lightheaded….

Everything shatters.

The world is in Darkness, the Great Darkness.

You stand in Orlanth’s stead, outside your Trading Hall. In a troubled mood you pull on your short beard. For trade has stopped, you must sort this out. So, you set out along your Very Long Trade Route to find out what the problem is.

You convince the Know-It-All God to come with you, because it is a confused time and things are often mixed up, and you want Mhy’s advice.

Make an Orate roll.

You convince Urox to come along, because there are many bad things that might attack you, and the Storm Bull is good at beating things up.

Make an Influence roll.

You search for a long time to find the problem.

Roll on your Movement Rune.

Finally, you find a place where the people are suffering greatly. You visit a clan called the Digging Stick People. Their Tula is the battleground for the Long-Noses and the Big-Teeth, two peoples who are fighting each other. Whenever they fight, they trample the Digging Stick Pastures. Hungry soldiers steal and eat their cows. The armies also capture and ransom the carls to get money for weapons. The armies even press the weapon-thanes into service, so that they have to risk their lives for no reward. Because of this, they do not have the time to talk to anyone or the resources to trade.

Storm Bull says “It is good to see fighting. There’s another battle coming up, the biggest battle of all. Everyone should practice.”

Know-It-All says “These people are not the same as our people. Legally, we are not obligated to help them.”

Make an Insight roll.

But you say “Storm Bull, if a big important battle is coming up, all peoples must learn to fight only their real foes. Know-It-All, the things we have in common with these people are more important that the things that separate us. I must help them.”

Know-It-All has never been generous, so he refuses to help. So you go to talk to the Long Noses with Storm Bull to protect you.

Make a Speak Tradetalk roll.

You speak to their priestess, who is troublesome. “We have no cause to make peace with the Big-Teeth. They have always attacked and killed us. They take our leaders, our priests, our healers and our thanes.” Then she lowers her voice and, through her enormous nose, whispers a shameful secret. “Then, the Big-Teeth devour our flesh and prevent our bones from being interred in my holy, secret place. We can never make peace with them so long as they eat us.”

Next, you go to talk to the Big-Teeth. They are very fierce and say that Storm Bull smells like food to them. When you suggest they make peace with the Long Noses, their warleader laughs. “It has long been decreed that we should eat the Long Noses, for they are large and juicy and flavourful. They can eat the grasses of the plains and the leaves of the forest, but we cannot. We won’t starve just to please others. We could eat your two legs instead, devour the villagers whose land you are so concerned about. But I don’t think you would consider that a good solution. We can’t do as you ask, for how does one make peace with one’s dinner?”

Make a Issaries Lore roll.

You are at a loss, so you ask Know-It-All for answers. Know-It-All tells you that Long Noses are, except for their noses, their fur, and their teeth, just like big cows. Know-It-All also says that the Big Teeth are just very big alynxes, and Issaries should treat them just like pets.

Make a Man Rune roll.

So Storm Bull goes to the Long-Tooth encampment, fights the warleader, and shows him who is boss. Again, you speak. “You must eat, but right now the Long-Noses exact a heavy toll for each one you succeed in taking. If you are willing to lose some of your choices, other things could be made better.”

Make a Bargain roll.

So the two tribes agree to meet. The Priestess accepts the Big-Teeth’s right to eat some of her people. The warleader agrees that his people will only attack the old, the sick and the cottars of the Long-Noses. He also agrees that the Big-Teeth will meet the Long-Noses during Earth season and turn over the bones of the eaten, so that they might be interred in the secret, holy way, and their spirits sent to the right place.

Make a Harmony Rune roll.


It is not long before the two groups start trading things other that the bones of the dead, and the people whose tula was once trampled soon join in the trading as well. Gradually this spreads through the world, as trade leads to talking, talking allows travel, and travel permits trade.

Thus did Issaries repair his trade route.

Gain a Devotion Issaries at 60%

On your return to Lord Orlanth’s stead you come across your three sons arguing about the best way to trade.

“You can’t stand around waiting for a deal to come to you, you’ve got to go out and find it!” says Gultha, his words sweet like golden honey.

“Nonsense” says Harst, his words hard like bronze, “A barn to store your goods, good neighbours to barter with, this is best in life!”

“You’re both idiots!” says Garzeen, his words slippery like quicksilver. “A barter in the hand might be quite fundamental, but coins are a traders best friend.”

Make an Evaluate roll, to decide the worth of their arguments.

Decide which son to support, this will become your subcult:

Goldtongue: traveling traders, from peddlers who sell from a pack on their back, to master caravaneers who traverse the continent.

If you choose Gultha Goldentongue, make a Devotion Issaries roll.

Bronzetongue: clan traders, who specialise in barter for their community, as coin is of limited use in rural communities (your father’s subcult).

If you choose Harst Bronzetongue, make a Loyalty Haraborn roll.

 Silvertongue: intermediaries, factors and shopkeepers who mostly ply their trade in towns and cities.

If you choose Garzeen Silvertongue, make a Loyalty Sartar roll.

You travel the world with your children, teaching Language to disparate groups so that they might aid each other against the Predark.

Gain the Communication Rune at 50%

You lead the souls of the Vingotling dead through the Underworld to Havan Vor for Judgement.

Make an Issaries Lore roll.

One day on the road near the Shadow Plateau, you meet The Dark Son and barter with him, trading secrets.

Make a roll on your Darkness Rune.

Make a Uz Lore roll.

Eventually you leave your sons behind, to act as Guide for Lord Orlanth when he seeks to Right The Wrong He Did. As Psychopomp you guide your Lord as he traverses the Underworld. When you find Yelm in Hell, he won’t listen to Orlanth. You use your power to make him listen and so you make the greatest bargain of all, The Great Compromise.

Make a Worship Issaries roll.

You witness the Emperor travel into the sky on the first Dawn as the Herald of Time. You are blinded briefly by his radiance.

Make a POW increase roll.

Make experience rolls for all checked skills, passions and  runes.

When your vision returns you are once again among the crowd, now made of new initiates to the Messenger of the Gods. You are famished, the entire day has passed, Yelm has already passed the western mountain peaks, the entire city in shade. A feast has been prepared and you spend the evening eating, drinking and making new contacts among your fellow neophytes. Later you are joined by the sponsors, including your father, who lifts you off your feet in a great bear hug. He weeps with pride.

The following day, Godday, your father pays for the best tattoo artist in the city to come out to Colymar Manor on his day off to do your cult tattoos. Smarting from the tattooist’s needle, you travel back to Black Stag Vale on Freezday, your mind full of the events of the last week.


Edited by Duff
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