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Orlanth Slays Aroka - Heroquest Glorantha Session Report


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I posted this over on the Google+ Glorantha page, but I thought I might share it here as well.
I ran a game of Heroquest for a group of Glorantha newbies last week: a quest to drive off Daga and to bring back the rain stolen by the Blue Dragon Aroka. It was a lot of fun for everyone involved, and I thought I'd share the story of our adventure.

After entering the God World through a ritual on the Starfire Ridges, a left-handed Orlanth, Elmal, and Eurmal traveled to Daga's Desert to confront their enemy. Orlanth cast a thunderbolt into the desert sand, melting it into fractured glass. This affront brought forth Daga, who materialized out of the harsh desert sand and wind. Elmal shot arrows of sunfire and Orlanth cast thunderbolts into his enemy, causing droplets of bronze blood to fall and spatter onto the sand. After a sharp fight, and being wary of kinstrife, Orlanth and Elmal pinned Daga to the earth and wrested an agreement from him that he would not cross the Urox Hills so long as they abided by that same stricture. Released under those conditions, he then whirled away into the depths of his desert.

While this was happening, Eurmal had become lost when he accidentally created a quagmire by tripping and spilling his vial of endless water. Caught in it, and unable to escape from the resulting quicksand, Eurmal sunk deep into the earth, where he fell into Ty Kora Tek's underworld. There he quickly fled from the terrible Grandmother, but not before stealing a magical embalming tool used to extract souls.

Eurmal fled through the vast and chthonic tunnels of Hell only to find Humakt, who told him to get the hell out of his Underworld. Eurmal did not hesitate to obey, but told Humakt about Orlanth's quest to slay Aroka, and this Humakt did not wish to miss. Sword and Trickster together left the Underworld and emerged back into the sands to find Elmal and Orlanth standing victorious against Daga.

Reunited, Orlanth and his companions traveled to Heler's Stead, seeking the Rain which would heal the wounds inflicted on the world by Daga. There they found the stead destroyed and Heler missing, consumed by the Blue Dragon, Aroka. Following the river which lead from the stead, carried by Orlanth's chariot of winds, they encountered 7895 Gold, a census dwarf who attempted to catalog them as part of the hectare under his survey. My players, like good Orlanthi, immediately bridled at such presumption, so reminiscent of the days of the Bad Emperor, and refused to participate. Trickster told the dwarf that they were all named Christopher, and Elmal made his heat to melt the wax tablet used to record their part in the census.

This had consequences later, once the dwarf and the group had parted ways: they found themselves unstuck and cast apart as the World Machine itself forgot of their existence. When they reattached, they found themselves each alone and it was at this time that the Uz attacked. Our Humakti and Orlanthi fought them off easily, but the Elmali burnt too brightly and melted off the tip of his own spear. The trolls lunged for him, but he found his inner light and burnt them to dust.

Trickster actually convinced the trolls attacking him to instead accompany him on his quest, and flanked by the two Uz, he made his way to the mountain of Aroka's lair.

On the verge of confronting Aroka, Orlanth found himself faced by a tall man who blocked his path, armored all in silver and glowing with a ruddy light; Shepelkirt waxed full in the sky above him. After a short exchange of names, and the delivery of the Moon Son's challenge, Orlanth attacked with a loud thunderbolt that his opponent was forced to deflect with his mirrored shield, leaving him open for the thrust of Orlanth's sword which finished him easily.

In the distance, as the Red Moon faded, her champion left dead in the dirt, Orlanth saw his companions approach at the foot of Aroka's lair -- all but Trickster.

Trickster and his troll companions had found a secret way into Aroka's lair, and they wormed their way through the crack in the mountain as Orlanth, his Sword and Shield at his side once more, moved to confront the sleeping dragon.

Elmal stepped into the flowing waters of the river leading from Aroka's lair and used his heat to turn it to hot steam. When he did this, Orlanth summoned a phalanx of Rams which charged down on the Wind, passing through the steam so that it caught on their bodies like fur. A scream of pain erupted from Aroka as the Umbroli slammed home into the body of the Blue Dragon, and with its eyes flashing and its mouth agape, Aroka came forward to face his enemies. Orlanth charged to meet him, carrying his Sword and Shield on a chariot of whirling Air. This moment was when Trickster betrayed them.

Using his enchanted embalming tool, Trickster had stolen the Rain from Aroka's soul and taken it into himself. Abandoning Orlanth to his doom, and escaping with his prize secure, Eurmal used his power over Disorder to collapse the cavern on top of everyone -- including his troll companions, who died under falling rocks.

Shattered stone rained down around Orlanth and Aroka as they fought, the Umbroli battering their horns against the body of the Blue Dragon as Sword and Shield fought as one. One great spear of stone broke Orlanth's chariot and sent them all tumbling to the earth. As Aroka pounced on them, tongues aflail, they fought fiercely: Humakt was gravely wounded, but Elmal and Orlanth fought back and together they fled the cavern just as it collapsed on top of Aroka and ended him.

Reunited outside the collapsed entrance, and after some tough questions directed at Eurmal, Orlanth and his companions took stock of their situation and returned to their camp to meet with Ernalda. They realized that although Trickster had the Rain inside of him, they didn't know how to get it out. That was when Trickster had an idea: he had Orlanth use the embalming tool on Eurmal himself, and as Orlanth with his left hand put the screw to Eurmal, all watched in amazement as Heler suddenly appeared where Trickster had been standing.

Thunder rumbled in the distance as heavy clouds rolled in, bringing the life-giving rain.
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Edited by kaydet
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Lovely story.  Very enjoyable, though I must say I thought it was going to go a different way with the Trickster when he was full of Heler's water.  An immediate and very Tricksterish method of relieving himself of the water occurred to me.  But I see your trickster didn't go that way.  Great tale.

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