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Running 'I Fought We Won'


PAD the MAD

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Hi all,

Looking to work this into a campaign at some point soon, and would be really helpful if anyone has done this previously and is willing to share some ideas, whether done as a HeroQuest or Runequest scenario. If not, then I'll be able to put a good scenario together - it would be better if it were an Epic one for my players...

Anyone out there able to help out?

:)

Paul

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Do you want to run this as an initiation scenario (initiation of the characters, or initiation of (former) dependents of the characters), or do you want your players to run the quest as a problem-solving approach?

Casting the characters in supporting roles of an initiation quest might put them through the events of I Fought We Won in a non-Heort perspective (e.g. depending on which Bad Uncle they represented during the initiation rite of someone else).

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Hi Joerg

I'm looking more for a problem solving approach from my players, all of whom are relatively new to Glorantha. They've been dragged into this by an external influence, with two of the six characters to be getting a 'bigger role' in shaping how things go as a result.

I've not come across reference to the Bad Uncles, so obviously need more research too...

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Regarding the Bad Uncles, and the Orlanthi initiation rite, see the Prince of Sartar web comic.  http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/introduction-chapter-1/

Read through the first 6 pages of chapter 1, particularly pages 4 and 5 as these are the story of I Fought We Won.

http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/4-meeting-the-second-son/

http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/5-argrath-faces-evil/

You can also get the gist of it from the story of Hengall the Second Son in Heortling Mythology, p. 90.

"Hengall gathered his weapons and followed in his father’s path. He left his kin to fight the Predark, alone. He was not heard from again until six generations had passed. There, at the edge of the world and within sight of its doom, the Second Son met with Heort the Swift and told him of his great and terrible battle - I Fought, We Won. He showed Heort his wounds. He told Heort about the secret of the Star Heart and the secret of I Fought We Won battle. Every man relives Hengall’s lonely battle during his initiation rites. As a result, there are few sagas that tell of Hengall’s quest, for his secrets are words of power and cannot be passed on lightly."

And p.121 "Heort remembered that fight, and went on past the Second Son, and to the edge of the world. There he met the evil of his world, and won."

Also in the story of Heort and the Unity Battle in Heortling Mythology, p.104

"But the world did not end because of the great heroism of Heort. Heort was a Vingkotling who lived in the Ice Lands. To combat the evils of chaos he searched through broken places and forbidden powers to survive, or to know why he should not. He underwent the I Fought We Won Battle wherein he personally resisted Wakboth. When he returned to the world it was warmer, less broken and Elmal was quite brighter. This began the Grey Ages. Heort saw that Wakboth was not dead from the Spike imploding. He was marching to destroy them all, the last survivors, in Dragon Pass. Heort went among the other creatures of the area, and he made peace and plans with them. They too, it seemed, were blessed by their own inspirations to resist chaos. Men, trolls, elves, dwarves, beasts and the feeble spirits and lesser gods all joined to fight Wakboth. They destroyed his army, sent the god reeling into Prax. This is the famous Unity Battle, and they chose their strongest leader, named Ezkankekko, to lead them."

There's also a good essay by Greg in that work on p.122.

"The martial struggle of Heort is appropriate to his role as warrior and culture hero. It is the manifestation of some raw masculine powers of violence, destruction, and general active, energetic role. In the IFWW these prove ineffective, the individual is destroyed, yet some part struggles on and, surprised, the chaos opposition is destroyed, runs away or dissipates. The subsequent reconstruction of the Hero is based on an acknowledgment of the essential masculine role (I Fought), but it encloses the Secret just learned (We Won). He rearms, then goes forth and rescues his wife from the Ice Palace, and teaches the secret to the men of his tribe."

Also see Greg's article on Orlanthi initiation here which pretty well outlines the steps: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/orlanthi-initiation-rites/

  • They travel into the world of myth, into the broken world that is the Great Darkness
  • Whatever gods are there, depart and the heroes are on their own
  • They must find and follow the path of the Second Son and reach the edge of the world

"The idea is to get as close to the Great Secret as possible. This is revealed through the myths of the voyage of Heort and Harmast, who walked on the trail of Second Son. Its shallow stages include:

  • Confrontation with Ancestors
  • Confrontation with Ancestral Enemies
  • Confrontation with Mirror Self
  • Confrontation with the Devouring Monster

Almost everyone experiences and learns something at these. These are the external and superficial things that make the men to be members of their bloodline and clan. Then it goes deeper:

  • Meeting with Second Son
  • Meeting with Star Heart
  • Confrontation with the Devil’s Face
  • Confrontation with the Void

These are the things that people experience differently. Most people get to the Second Son, who explains to them the things that lie beyond. Most people are content with that.

But some will have to go farther, and they will see, perhaps touch or (more rarely) even get their own Star Heart and place it into their breasts.

A rare individual sees the place where the Devil’s Face appears and most of them then retreat.

Some confront the Face and survive, emboldened and empowered far beyond normal humanity.

Survivors of the Void are rare, for it dissolves the soul of most who dare to look on it."

Essentially, you have up to 8 stages in the quest.  You probably need to reach the Confrontation with the Devil's Face to complete I Fought, We Won as a quest.

Hope that helps.

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6 hours ago, PAD the MAD said:

Hi Joerg

I'm looking more for a problem solving approach from my players, all of whom are relatively new to Glorantha. They've been dragged into this by an external influence, with two of the six characters to be getting a 'bigger role' in shaping how things go as a result.

I've not come across reference to the Bad Uncles, so obviously need more research too...

Harald (aka @jajagappa) gave you the full set of relevant research finds.

I have forced the I Fought We Won myth to only one group of desperate lightbringers in the course of the first crazy run of Rise of Ralios - basically they faced a situation where all the world had gone badly wrong. Arkat had returned five times, and all of them far from the solution to their problems that they had envisioned, even the one they themselves had brought back. So they went onto a Lightbringers Quest another time,  and received Nysalor for their troubles, and were pleased with that outcome of a slightly shortened Red Goddess Quest as they had a light to counter the encroaching forces of Darkness. Then the Arkats gathered to meet Argin Terror and the Chaos he brought, and the world of the lightbringers threatened to break apart, so they went on the I Fought We Won quest, and found the strength to face Chaos and avert the destruction.

The main reward of the I Fought We Won quest is an unshakeable resolve to save what you value from utter destruction. The most corrosive effects of Chaos are dampened - you still suffer in body and soul, but that won't stop your efforts to stand up to it and fight it back.

This is almost a mystical power of refutation, but not from exclusion of the trappings of the world, but from inclusion of all of Creation. This can be paired with the practice of illumination which lets you step back a bit from involvement with the world, a most powerful combination if you are ready to meddle with powerful magics better left alone - this is what Argrath and his warlocks are doing.

 

There is another aspect to I Fought We Won - you find unexpected allies fighting the same foe as you do, independent from you and your own community, and there is a chance that you can join forces with them afterwards, leading to the benefits that allowed the victory of the Unity Battle where mortals and demigods managed to defeat the Chaos Horde that had won several battles against the great gods. In facing the big evil alone, they will make contact with other foes of that big evil, and they will recognize fellow absolvents of that quest, and be able to ally with them.

One trouble with making this a group experience is the personal nature of the I Fought We Won experience as per the initiation experience described by Harald, which is why I suggested to land the players in roles alien to their culture - basically making them cultural heroes for other peoples of Glorantha (like mostali, aldryami, very different humans) and giving them access to (at least one use) of those peoples' magics. A character cast in a mostali version of I Fought We Won might receive gifts from Isidilian like giant jolanti or the loan of the Cannon Cult for a battle. A character finding himself as protector of the forests may receive aldryami growth magics. A character perceiving the I Fought We Won through the Zzabur perspective might get access to sorcery.

All of these are just vague ideas - about as vague as the (highly chaotic, from a referee point of view) outcome of the 1995 Rise of Ralios freeform.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Jajagappa / Joerg,

Thanks massively for the compiled research and commentary. I'd found some of that - and actually just started reading the webcomic today. With the group I have set up, only two of them are set to be major players (most likely mirroring Hengall and Heort and so they'll be separate for most of the time) and there will definitely be the opportunity for external perspectives / influence in my vague plans so far to include the other players in conflicting / supporting roles (one PC is Eurmali...).

Once I have something coherent, and have run it for my group I will see if I can get it into a shareable form.

Paul

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As Joerg noted, the particular challenge with I Fought We Won, is that most of the quest is 'I Fought' - it is intensely, and really completely personal.  When your hero, alone, meets the Face of the Devil, and possibly the Void, your hero must be able to stand against the forces that would dissolve the hero into nothingness and say 'I AM' and 'I EXIST' and 'THIS IS WHAT I AM'.  It is the ultimate existential test.  And at that exact point, you discover that every other hero has said and achieved the same.  The Void is driven back and 'WE WON'.  Your heroes have reaffirmed that the world exists.  They have brought order out of chaos. 

Because this is an existential test, it also makes those first four steps of the quest very critical. 

For instance, your ancestors may demand that you do this fight for them or for your clan, etc.  And you may take the quest on for them.  But they will not be there when you face the Devil.  And if you try to draw on your loyalty, or your duty, you'll find it's not there!

You will have to face your mirror self.  This could be exactly you, or a you gone 'wrong' emphasizing 'evil' traits.  I ran something of this recently with one character in a 'dream' sequence where a Lhankor Mhy sage was confronted by his 'evil' Dara Happan sage self - a self that was devoted to order, ambition, pure truth, etc (and of course well-oiled and styled black beard vs. free-flowing greybeard of LM).  There's lots of ways to go here, but this is a confrontation with those parts and reflections of your self that are unsavory.  But if you don't succeed here, these are 'tools' that the Devil can use and destroy you with.

Anyway, lots of ways to potentially play this, but I do think it's critical to keep each person's actions distinct and completely separate at certain stages such as the mirror self, the meeting with the Devil, the confrontation with the Void.  From a session PoV, you might find it interesting where each hero can see the others confronting that stage, but they cannot speak or say anything or give any clues to each other.  And you withhold the outcomes until each has gone through that stage - heightening the tension, and hopefully the fear for what each of the others is doing.

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The thing about "I Fought, We won" is that it is a battle for survival after everything else has failed.

Your clan has failed, you family has failed, your friends have failed, you have failed. There is nothing left, you are about to die a horrible death, eaten by Chaos.

But you don't. Instead you survive, you fight, just one fight, one thing and you win.

But, everyone else fights, but each fights/does one thing and each wins.

In doing so, everyone fights their own little battle in their own little corner of the world and together they win and survive, beating the great unbeatable evil.

 

So, how to run it?

Not as a party, as the party should be defeated beforehand. In fact, I Fought, We Won is the culmination of a series of defeats, when the PCs are at their lowest ebb. It is the final roll of the dice, because losing means you die, dead, finished.

It is about individuals, so I would split the group up and run each player through a short scenario of how they fight and what happens. When they all come together, they find that each person has defeated a particular part of the enemy and, in so doing, the enemy has been defeated.

You probably will find that some other people, possibly including enemies of the PCs, have also been involved and have helped in the fight. That binds them to the PCs in a way, making them allies of a kind.

 

 

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

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Paraphrasing Nick Brooke, there are three most difficult heroquests in Glorantha - the Lightbringers' Quest, the Red Goddess Quest, and I Fought We Won. All of them have a stage of utter defeat, with the LBQ's "Lost in Hell" stage maybe the least abject (and still utmost desperation).

The quester has to face this defeat, his destruction, and then to go on.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 20/12/2015 at 2:47 PM, jajagappa said:

Regarding the Bad Uncles, and the Orlanthi initiation rite, see the Prince of Sartar web comic.  http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/introduction-chapter-1/

Read through the first 6 pages of chapter 1, particularly pages 4 and 5 as these are the story of I Fought We Won.

http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/4-meeting-the-second-son/

http://www.princeofsartar.com/comic/5-argrath-faces-evil/

You can also get the gist of it from the story of Hengall the Second Son in Heortling Mythology, p. 90.

"Hengall gathered his weapons and followed in his father’s path. He left his kin to fight the Predark, alone. He was not heard from again until six generations had passed. There, at the edge of the world and within sight of its doom, the Second Son met with Heort the Swift and told him of his great and terrible battle - I Fought, We Won. He showed Heort his wounds. He told Heort about the secret of the Star Heart and the secret of I Fought We Won battle. Every man relives Hengall’s lonely battle during his initiation rites. As a result, there are few sagas that tell of Hengall’s quest, for his secrets are words of power and cannot be passed on lightly."

And p.121 "Heort remembered that fight, and went on past the Second Son, and to the edge of the world. There he met the evil of his world, and won."

Also in the story of Heort and the Unity Battle in Heortling Mythology, p.104

"But the world did not end because of the great heroism of Heort. Heort was a Vingkotling who lived in the Ice Lands. To combat the evils of chaos he searched through broken places and forbidden powers to survive, or to know why he should not. He underwent the I Fought We Won Battle wherein he personally resisted Wakboth. When he returned to the world it was warmer, less broken and Elmal was quite brighter. This began the Grey Ages. Heort saw that Wakboth was not dead from the Spike imploding. He was marching to destroy them all, the last survivors, in Dragon Pass. Heort went among the other creatures of the area, and he made peace and plans with them. They too, it seemed, were blessed by their own inspirations to resist chaos. Men, trolls, elves, dwarves, beasts and the feeble spirits and lesser gods all joined to fight Wakboth. They destroyed his army, sent the god reeling into Prax. This is the famous Unity Battle, and they chose their strongest leader, named Ezkankekko, to lead them."

There's also a good essay by Greg in that work on p.122.

"The martial struggle of Heort is appropriate to his role as warrior and culture hero. It is the manifestation of some raw masculine powers of violence, destruction, and general active, energetic role. In the IFWW these prove ineffective, the individual is destroyed, yet some part struggles on and, surprised, the chaos opposition is destroyed, runs away or dissipates. The subsequent reconstruction of the Hero is based on an acknowledgment of the essential masculine role (I Fought), but it encloses the Secret just learned (We Won). He rearms, then goes forth and rescues his wife from the Ice Palace, and teaches the secret to the men of his tribe."

Also see Greg's article on Orlanthi initiation here which pretty well outlines the steps: http://www.glorantha.com/docs/orlanthi-initiation-rites/

  • They travel into the world of myth, into the broken world that is the Great Darkness
  • Whatever gods are there, depart and the heroes are on their own
  • They must find and follow the path of the Second Son and reach the edge of the world

"The idea is to get as close to the Great Secret as possible. This is revealed through the myths of the voyage of Heort and Harmast, who walked on the trail of Second Son. Its shallow stages include:

  • Confrontation with Ancestors
  • Confrontation with Ancestral Enemies
  • Confrontation with Mirror Self
  • Confrontation with the Devouring Monster

Almost everyone experiences and learns something at these. These are the external and superficial things that make the men to be members of their bloodline and clan. Then it goes deeper:

  • Meeting with Second Son
  • Meeting with Star Heart
  • Confrontation with the Devil’s Face
  • Confrontation with the Void

These are the things that people experience differently. Most people get to the Second Son, who explains to them the things that lie beyond. Most people are content with that.

But some will have to go farther, and they will see, perhaps touch or (more rarely) even get their own Star Heart and place it into their breasts.

A rare individual sees the place where the Devil’s Face appears and most of them then retreat.

Some confront the Face and survive, emboldened and empowered far beyond normal humanity.

Survivors of the Void are rare, for it dissolves the soul of most who dare to look on it."

Essentially, you have up to 8 stages in the quest.  You probably need to reach the Confrontation with the Devil's Face to complete I Fought, We Won as a quest.

Hope that helps.

What power can you get doing this heroquest and resisting the void?

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34 minutes ago, kalidor said:

What power can you get doing this heroquest and resisting the void?

Quote

The first encounter against a Chaos
Horror or other Chaos monster should always
be a simple contest to see whether the player will
stand and fight. Failure means that the player
characters objective in any subsequent contest
will be to flee the horror if possible. In addition
the Consequences of Defeat or Lingering Benefit
from the results carry forward to checks to stand
against future encounters against a horror. A
player character that suffers a Complete
Defeat will always flee Chaos in future.
A Complete Success means no further checks to
stand against Chaos are needed. The Orlanthi say
that such a person has learned ‘the secret of the
Star Heart
’.  

Sartar Companion p105

 

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12 minutes ago, metcalph said:

 

yes, but going beyond that, if you see the void and not destroyed... what do you get? access to the Infinity rune? Time is a synthesis of entropia and existence so... can you refute the power of Time over you? You are not a God so you dont break the compromise you become a powerful mystic then

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8 hours ago, kalidor said:

yes, but going beyond that, if you see the void and not destroyed... what do you get? access to the Infinity rune? Time is a synthesis of entropia and existence so... can you refute the power of Time over you? You are not a God so you dont break the compromise you become a powerful mystic then

If you are going further you are going beyond the myth of the Star Heart and into the realms of experimental heroquesting.

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12 hours ago, kalidor said:

yes, but going beyond that, if you see the void and not destroyed... what do you get?

You get the pleasure of confronting Arrquong, Lord of Despair, the Harbinger and Gatekeeper of Chaos, and guardian of the entry place of Chaos to Hell. 

If you fail, well, no one will ever know as all memory of you will be erased as you are sucked into the Void or transformed by Chaos into something unspeakable.

Only Boztakang is known to have done so and succeeded.  He ripped the secret methods of destroying chaos from Arrquong.

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On 3/23/2017 at 6:29 AM, kalidor said:

what do you get? access to the Infinity rune?

I'd put my Call of Cthulhu hat on at that point.  Most likely the confrontation with chaos will drive you mad if it doesn't warp and destroy you. 

IF you succeed somehow, and that should be a Nearly Impossible IF, you've gained something against chaos.  Perhaps it's the ability to help others stand against it, or as with Boztakang some greater power to destroy it, or some ability to shape it into order, or an ability to refashion yourself if touched by chaos.  You'd most likely determine what that power is based on the runes you have.

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