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Jaldonkill Fort in Dundealos lands?


Malin

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Well, I have been roped into running another RQ mini-campaign, and I was wondering if anybody had any information on Jaldonkill Fort? It is in the Dundealos lands, and I know that it was featured in the old Hearts of Glorantha nr 2 fanzine from 2009 (which I am trying to hunt down). Has it been mentioned or detailed in any other official sources? I found nothing in the Guide to Glorantha. I've got a lot of ideas, but I always like to see what kind of information there is from semi-official sources before I go wild.

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Jaldonkill fort is described (page 16) and is an important part of the French campaign Les Enfants de la flamme, which takes place in the Dundealos tribal territory.

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After reading Valley of plenty, I decided to switch the location to another place they mentioned in that book, Moonpride Fort. That will work nicely for the start of the adventure. I sadly do not speak much french, just to the point where I can order beer and apologize for not being able to speak french...

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20 minutes ago, Malin said:

I sadly do not speak much french, just to the point where I can order beer and apologize for not being able to speak french...

C'est un bon début. 😀

 

I would have copied and translated at least part of what's in the book, but it's a bit long and I only have the hard copy, not the pdf.

Edited by Cassius

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If you can just take a picture, I can ask my player to translate it for me if it is not too much to ask. He speaks french! I would be much obliged! 

Edit: NO need, bought the volume!

Edited by Malin
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9 hours ago, Cassius said:

French campaign Les Enfants de la flamme

je ne sais pas non plus lire le français - but using a translation tool for Glorantha would likely turn into some very funny sentences!?

This as well as some of the other non English publications would be nice to see, and to hold printed hard copies.

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Les Enfants de la Flamme is an ambitious campaign which tells a compelling story and does a powerfully evocative job of bringing to life the Dundealos lands and surrounding areas (including Swenstown and the Pol-Joni March) in the aftermath of the Dragonrise. Plus the art is great and the maps are superb.

So why hasn’t Chaosium already put out an English edition?

I think it may be because it is just too hardcore for the audiences RQG is seeking to attract in the Anglosphere. This is a volume that would need a content warning on pretty much every page if it were to be distributed to mainstream UK / US / Canadian / Australian / NZ audiences (I don’t know enough German, Scandinavian, Japanese or other non-Anglosphere gamers to be able to gauge whether they would be more comfortable with the content than the Anglos are likely to be).

We Brits tend to say that the French are ‘sophisticated’, and while we usually mean it as a compliment that is not always the case – it sometimes means that we are uncomfortable with how comfortable they seem to be with stuff from which old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon Protestant sensibilities used to recoil, and which is guaranteed to send today’s sensitivity readers into overdrive.

Spoiler

This includes graphic references to torture and mutilation and explicit references to rape and incest, as well as having slavery as a central political reference and a Chaos sex cult as a central antagonist.

The campaign presents a scarred setting full of traumatised people, who risk falling prey to lurking evil and megalomaniac conspiracies. It is Bronze Age Grimdark with a heavy helping of Cthulhu. Instead of a simple road to reconstruction through honest toil, with perhaps a skirmish or two, the campaign requires the Dundealos survivors and the PCs who want to help them to make a series of brutally harsh moral and political choices while trying to survive the nefarious plots of some genuinely vile enemies.

As a take on the setting it could hardly be more different from the Valley of Plenty series – though of course that series begins well before the full cruelty of the Lunar Occupation has been unleashed, and is likely to have to take a darker turn itself. Even then, I suspect that the grimmest moments of the Carpenters’ version of the Saga of the Jaldonkillers will not come close to what Gianni Vacca, Philippe Auribeau and Pierre Coppet have presented us with in Les Enfants de la Flamme.

TLDR: the French Dundealos campaign is a tour de force, but don’t assume that simply buying the PDF (which you can do here) and running a Google-Translated version will make it an easy option for most Anglo gaming tables – the players are likely to need some serious conversations about lines, veils, triggers and content warnings before plunging into it.

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Augh. Not only does this sound exactly what I want to play. It also sounds very close to some of the things I am planning on touching on myself. I am definitely going to buy it. I do think our table is a bit more french in the regard of difficult materials, and we worked with translating french games before (love Knights!). Thank you so much!

I really need to learn french, if nothing else so I can finally raid his library... 🥲

EDIT: Oh god it's beautiful, thank you for tipping me off about this book.

EDIT: Rough translated and started reading. This is niiiiiice.

Edited by Malin
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On 10/17/2023 at 8:57 AM, Malin said:

EDIT: Rough translated and started reading. This is niiiiiice.

Enjoy ! This was the RQG scenario I enjoyed best to read. But, to be fair, it requires a lot of work for the GM in order to be fully playable.

The Dundealos territory map at the beginning of the book is very pretty, but unfortunately inaccurate. Among other things, Jaldonkill is missing ! There is no such place mentioned where it should be, in the Yellow Hills (Collines Jaunes). Instead of that, there is a Jaldonmount Fort (Fort Mont-de-Jaldon) in the northern part of the Dundealos Vale. It is obviously a mistake and a misreading : Mont (Mount) differs from Mort (Death) by just one letter.

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Ahaha oh I had not looked that closely at the map yet. Good to know! I won't be running the scenario itself this time, but since mine takes place at a similar place and time this module was an absolute godsend. And wonderful and inspirational to read.

No finished product is free from typos, I just pushed out my first demo of my game tonight, and oh boy, the bug list just keep ticking up. Proofreaders are so valuable.

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16 hours ago, Cassius said:

The Dundealos territory map at the beginning of the book is very pretty, but unfortunately inaccurate.

This is also true – I loved the maps (particularly the Swenstown one), but the one showing Dundealos clan territories also doesn’t match the Sartar clan distribution map that @Jeff has shared, which may be a problem for GMs wanting to incorporate this material into a Sartar campaign.

Despite the very different graphic style, in the side by side comparison below you can see from the positions of roads, rivers and well-known sites (like the Hill of Poets and the Old Wind Temple) that Thomas Rey (the cartographer for Les Enfants de la Flamme) has used the same base that Jeff has used for the Sartar map on which he has been working with Matt Ryan. However, the clan boundaries are in completely different places, and some clan names have been changed while others have been swapped around.

Dundealosclanlands-JeffversionandThomasReyversion.thumb.jpg.511299c4b82bae6469d5bc0d79fa7586.jpg

Different clan names can be explained away as local variations (there are plenty of examples in RQG canon of clans being known by more than one name), but putting the same named clan in two different places while also drawing the clan boundaries completely differently can be a problem if you’re trying to be as specific about who claims to rule which patch of Sartar as Chaosium seems to be in its current output.

For example, if a party of adventurers is heading towards Jaldonkill Fort from Swenstown, when they enter Dundealos lands along the Ambush Trail are they going to be challenged by Entan Clan warriors who may insist on taking them to Entan Fort instead, or Blue Jay Clan warriors who may escort them directly to Jaldonkill Fort? If the GM is using the clan territories from Les Enfants de la Flamme but also wants to draw on the material from Valley of Plenty they are going to have a headache, because the Thomas Rey map locates the territory of the Blue Jays (Geais Bleus) right down on the edge of the Pol-Joni March whereas both the Carpenters and Jeff locate it at the heart of the Dundealos Valley.

In short, the maps are another example of how Les Enfants de la Flamme is heavily YGWV in a way that simply wouldn’t happen within the English line of RQG products – despite the French Dundealos campaign being an officially licensed Chaosium product.

Which makes me wonder if rather than forcing the Studio Deadcrows team to redo their brilliant work so that it fits better with Anglo sensibilities and current RQG canon, Chaosium might instead encourage them to release an English version via the JC?

 

Edited by AlexS
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@AlexS : You're perfectly right.

I would add that Jaldonkill Fort is well located on the map, in a valley near two rivers. But it is described in the book as a place in the Yellow Hills, which no other map can confirm.

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I am very unhappy with the "isohypses (elevation lines) terrace" style of the maps. We are dealing with hill barbarians, not plateau barbarians.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 10/19/2023 at 2:41 AM, Joerg said:

not plateau barbarians

Heortland Plateau, Shadow Plateau, what are they supposed to be, about 2000' to the bottom of the Syphon River Valley?

Six Seasons, not far from Dundealos clan territories also has steep valleys... if nothing else the map looks really nice!

The Footprint and Snake Pipe Hollow also show a good bit of steep valley sides.

 

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6 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Heortland Plateau, Shadow Plateau, what are they supposed to be, about 2000' to the bottom of the Syphon River Valley?

Six Seasons, not far from Dundealos clan territories also has steep valleys... if nothing else the map looks really nice!

The Footprint and Snake Pipe Hollow also show a good bit of steep valley sides.

Exactly: the Footprint and Snake Pipe Hollow are specifically marked as steep cliffs on the map of the Dragon Pass board game, as do the Heortland cliffs and the Shadow Plateau. All other territories marked as hills don't. The regions that have that steep slopes are marked as mountain hexes rather than hill hexes.

This is a classical misreading of a map, mistaking the isohypses (height lines) for terrain features when they simply show where the rising country passes an arbitrarily chosen level of elevation.

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On 10/21/2023 at 1:35 AM, Joerg said:

This is a classical misreading of a map, mistaking the isohypses (height lines) for terrain features when they simply show where the rising country passes an arbitrarily chosen level of elevation.

We'll send out Dalamides and Hazphar of the Lunar Survey Team. They always sort these sort of cartography mistakes. They adhere to the primary design principles of cartography: legibility, visual contrast, figure-ground organization, hierarchical organization, and balance.

There shouldn't be many mistakes with Glotanthian map making as they have the equivalent or equivalent of Euclidean Geometry, the world is flat and flight is common or relatively so. I would imagine any models of the Glorantha surface and its features would be quite accurate.

Is the basis of measurement meters of feet in Glorantha or does it simply matter which side of the pond you are on?

When I think about the Old Wind Temple, being close to Dundealos lands, the Survey Team is slightly stymied as the clouds and winds hinder their work greatly. They cannot seem to get an accurate depiction of where the Old Wind Temple actually is...

image.png.4c186ed61756a05418e9d7afa2df5e8c.png

Edited by Erol of Backford
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