Jump to content

Syphon River and Bullpen


Recommended Posts

I'm doing some research for my next adventure and have a few questions.
Since the Syphon river travels backwards, do storm bullers or other chaos fighters, use the river to travel to the footprint or to get closer anyways, to get to Bullpen? Or what's the river traffic like? Was wondering since i dont think anyone really wants to get closer to the print unless you're looking for trouble. Like would people fish in it? It travels to the print, so the water is from the Mirrorsea, seems okay (or maybe Broo Lurdoch's wait in ambush... pulled from the fish road and well, you know)

 On page 255 of the GtG, under 'Larnste's Footprint' it states there's a Uroxi bullmen camp outside the print, which i think is Bullpen? So in trying to paint a picture of the river to the PCs, i want to describe river traffic. And also have the party interact with said traffic... maybe they even take a skiff, go to far, and end up zooming past the Bullpen, Petrified Woods (as a band of stormbullers wave from the shore), and dumped on the edges of Thumb Lake or smack dab in the middle of the print, and just have to survive and get out. (Tradetalk 12 - Saronil's story in the Chaos Wood gave the idea for this)

Using Google, I found some info on Bullpen and like the idea of the village. It's on the map of the Dragon Pass Gazetter Kerofinela, with a cool depiction of the print. It looks to be the camp where the stormbullers gather. I found some great info on kethaela.fr and Joerg's page ie Warden's company/Stonewood Marches. Anywhere else i can find more info on it? (many thanks in advance).

Edited by 10baseT
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had a few discussions since I last edited those old notes on my website.

I have come to regard the Syphon as an active water, behaving a bit like a jellyfish tentacle on dry ground when it comes to its shape and how it interacts with the river bank. A very flat such tentacle.

Calling the Syphon a chaotic river is correct only if you think about what lies at its headwaters. By the same reasoning, the Sounders River on the other side of the Storm Mountains which feeds the Devil's Marsh is chaotic, too. Yes, y drawing water from the Mirrorsea Bay makes the Syphon brackish. More so than before 1318 when Belintar slew the Darkness monster whose remains (the Lead Hills) blocked off the Creekstream River, redirecting most of its water into the Lyksos river.

I don't think there is much boat traffic up the Syphon. It often behaves like a whitewater even on rather flat ground, and this gets worse when it ascends small slopes in rapids.

From the name "Backford" I deducted that there is no bridge across the Syphon, but that the road traffic manages to wade through an especially flat stretch of the river here. The river ground will be covered in shingle, so that there is little to no risk that cart wheels get stuck. Most of the ford is going to be less than knee deep, except a few deeper portions which may shift over time.

The information about Belintar's Fish Road in the Syphon is rather new, and didn't weigh into my old descriptions. Obviously there has to be a sufficiently deep portion of the river up to the temple (area) which offers the entrance to its underwater portion, so it ought to be downriver of the ford.

Since I think that one can ride the fish road on a horse (or even high llama), this could mean that the Syphon has to be navigable up to Backford even in seagoing vessels. However, the Syphon is an active water, so much of this depth may come in the shape of a bulge on the water, and keeping a boat or ship riding this standing wave will take extraordinary navigation. A similar challenge is found e.g. when crossing or riding one of the doom currents out in the Homeward Sea.

I also doubt that users of the fish road (including Choralinthor Bay Ludoch) would react favorable towards ship keels threatening to collide with their heads.


  • Like 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis


Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Joerg said:

behaving a bit like a jellyfish tentacle on dry ground when it comes to its shape and how it interacts with the river bank

Good description, i like it, thanks. My group is used to playing in Sartar, Balazar and Prax. Going into new areas, for them, with detail has been keeping them on their toes, and has been enlightening for us as players. Just alot of fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did some research on picture material when I discussed the Fish Roads a few months ago, and I found a few images that I planned to use as "art direction":







Edited by Joerg
bad pictures
  • Like 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis


Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my Glorantha, the Syphon is a cursed river and nobody in their right mind would want to use it. Having said that, some people travel up from the Mirrorsea by boat and Storm Bullers from Esrolia would probably take that as a nice short cut to the Footprint.

  • Like 2

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


Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...