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Quackatoa

FAMOUS DUCKS OF THE HERO WARS!

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3 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

On the mean, muddy streets of Duck Point...

"What's Sartar ever done for us?"  Indeed!  I hear the rallying cry reverberating through the streets of Duck Point, and even on to Quackford and its bridge (which put so many good ferry-ducks out of business).  Now is the time for the Ducks to draw upon the power which Sartar had to put into Duck Point to complete his ritual.  They, not the Colymar, hold the power (and city) of the West, and the magic waits for them to take it!

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

"What's Sartar ever done for us?"  Indeed!  I hear the rallying cry reverberating through the streets of Duck Point, and even on to Quackford and its bridge (which put so many good ferry-ducks out of business).  Now is the time for the Ducks to draw upon the power which Sartar had to put into Duck Point to complete his ritual.  They, not the Colymar, hold the power (and city) of the West, and the magic waits for them to take it!

Ha, yes!

My current focus on Duck Point started as I was developing the Duck Tribe's ring in a fashion a little similar to the Sartar High Council freeform. As well as a variety of fixed agendas, I also sketched out variable agendas that could be assigned randomly (or not) to the participants. One of those was to finish the job and try and form the tribal confederation. But I hadn't thought of it in quite this way – I shall have to go back and have a tinker! 😃

(I'm still trying to make my mind up about how I'm going to handle the city wyter. I've a few ideas, but it's still in the threshing-out stage.)

Incidentally, this is the current provisional make-up of my ring. A few old faces! (Some names are provisional. I tend to spend a lot of time on names, to get them just so. I'm still not sure on some of them.)

DuckRing.jpg.657c7e15b4b64c2decca9b17ab7537e0.jpg

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Shouldn't the term be 'Spirit-squawker'?

The rune attribution are amusing. Presumably chosen for look rather than meaning?

These names - very 18th century English -  reminds me of Tolkien's hobbits. Is the Duck Tribe an Earth tribe, with queens, then?

Edited by jeffjerwin

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6 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Shouldn't the term be 'Spirit-squawker'?

Quite possibly, yes! (I tend to alternate between the lighter-hearted and more po-faced stuff. I find I have to dial back on the quirkier stuff when I'm writing many thousands of words, for fear of overload...)

6 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

The rune attribution are amusing. Presumably chosen for look rather than meaning?

I thought I'd played the runes pretty straight in this scheme – which ones do you think are funny?

6 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

These names - very 18th century English -  reminds me of Tolkien's hobbits. Is the Duck Tribe an Earth tribe, with queens, then?

The perils of being an early modern historian! 😃

Duck names have always been a strange thing—different authors and supplements have often adopted jarringly different approaches—but I've ultimately focused on adhering to the slightly whimsical approach Greg (and Charlie, I suspect) adopted in his campaign, with Joseph Greenface, Alexander Yellowbelly, Newcastle Bluebill and the like.

The ducks of Dragon Pass have been accounted as more or less Orlanthi in culture since Borderlands. (The RQG Bestiary takes this to a new level with the Air rune comment.) They're not an Earth tribe in that sense, but will have a fair few queens. (For what it's worth, I've never been entirely happy with how official and unofficial Glorantha alike have portrayed ducks' relationship with the Water rune. In my Glorantha there's something approaching a three-way split between Air, Earth and Water in ducks.)

There is passing mention of a pre-revolt king in 1613 (in the Sartar High Council freeform), but Barbarian Adventures introduced 'Skalfara Wild-Wheat' into the c. 1620 Hero Wars/HeroQuest timeline... and she was promptly never mentioned again. I get the suspicion that she was a Robin addition, though I could be wrong.

I've kept her for my RQG timeline because official publications have been a bit naff with female ducks over the years.

 

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Well, different clans might have different runic associations and social organisations. So Skalfara may have been the chieftain of a Earth clan. The tests or rules for the Duck tribe need only be not gender specific to work.

The Umath rune (which also looks a bit like a sea shell) for the Shell Ducks, for instance, on the amusing associations. The Slapfoots also have a rune that resembles a foot.

The names do have a certain dissonance with the new somewhat more serious Glorantha... Aleksandros might fit better than Alexander (the revival of classical names in the 17th-18th centuries, of course, is where all this comes from). But Ducks in general have a certain dissonance with epic adventuring, bringing it, err, down to earth, as it were.

Have you seen Jannell Jaquays' new system-less scenario Quack Keep? (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/247210/Quack-Keep). I am considering stealing from it if my group ever gets to the Marsh.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

The perils of being an early modern historian! 😃

Yes, that is a dangerous thing to be! 😉

 

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4 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Well, different clans might have different runic associations and social organisations. So Skalfara may have been the chieftain of a Earth clan. The tests or rules for the Duck tribe need only be not gender specific to work.

The Umath rune (which also looks a bit like a sea shell) for the Shell Ducks, for instance, on the amusing associations. The Slapfoots also have a rune that resembles a foot.

The names do have a certain dissonance with the new somewhat more serious Glorantha... Aleksandros might fit better than Alexander (the revival of classical names in the 17th-18th centuries, of course, is where all this comes from). But Ducks in general have a certain dissonance with epic adventuring, bringing it, err, down to earth, as it were.

Have you seen Jannell Jaquays' new system-less scenario Quack Keep? (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/247210/Quack-Keep). I am considering stealing from it if my group ever gets to the Marsh.

Ah, yes, I suspected it might be that one! I'm not 100% sold on it, truth be told. The 'Umath' rune had also been used for a few more general strength-related associations over the years – not quite as dissociatedly as the 'Lodril' rune being used for Vinga and Elmal, for example, but on similar terms. Some of those runes got around a bit! (Partly, no doubt, on account of considering their semiotics differently  at different times.)

I'm aware of Quack Keep, though haven't picked it up yet. I might keep it that way for a bit, just to let me develop my own stuff more naturally, without fear of comparison!

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6 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

I thought I'd played the runes pretty straight in this scheme – which ones do you think are funny?

I had to re-acquaint myself to those HQ1 era runes first. A few interesting choices.

 

Magic Rune for the Rune Ducks - a clan of magicians?

Perception Rune for the Spire Ducks - the watch-ducks of the tribe?

Pella the Potter for the Beaker Ducks - logical.

Skovara for the Slapfoot Ducks - an entire clan dedicated to entertainment?

Umath for the Shell Ducks - victory of the primal storm over water?

Velhara, Lady of the Wild, for the Marsh Ducks - indicating a hunter-gatherer existence?

Barntar for the Cabbage Ducks appears to be quite unsuitable, given that the ducks don't appear to plow, don't have oxen, etc., but then the Orlanthi don't really have the equivalent of a stick farmer in their pantheon. The human culture is more or less defined by using the plow. Gardener groups that don't, like the Dawn Age Balurgans, are outliers of the Theyalans, and Orlanthi that don't plow like possibly the Skanthi are hunter-gatherers and raiders.

Ohorlanth for the Thunder Ducks - no question here.

Fate for the Old Ducks - tradition keepers privy to the ancient secrets and curses on the durulz?

 

I miss something like the Reed Ducks for the boating activities.

 

Was the double mention of Joseph Greenface as shaman and River Priest intentional?

 

Duck names: I suppose that part of those early publication names may have been handed down to us from character names.

6 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

The ducks of Dragon Pass have been accounted as more or less Orlanthi in culture since Borderlands. (The RQG Bestiary takes this to a new level with the Air rune comment.) They're not an Earth tribe in that sense, but will have a fair few queens.

Less Orlanthi in not having herds of any kind, but quite Theyalan otherwise.

 

I tried to trace the ducks in the scholarly documents of Glorantha.

Interpreing their description in the RQ2 rules, the ducks failed to participate in the Unity Battle:

Quote

This is a race cursed by the gods during the Great Darkness for not joining them versus the forces of Chaos.

They still seem to have accepted the Lightbringer missionaries at some later point, and may have had a role to play in the conflict with Nontraya.

 

Leaving the pre-history of the keets in the East aside, the origin of the ducks appears to lie with them and the Solkathi flood (an offspring of the Sshorg/Oslir flood).

The presence of ducks on the western shore of Kethaela and Kerofinela is attested for the Hancheros Sea (Heortling Mythology p.75):

Quote

Hancheros Sea. The “quite sea,” perhaps because it gave all its power to Worcha. A tribe of humanoid ducks, flightless but great swimmers, lives here.

We don't have a Dawn survival site for them, unless they are included in the "many others" of Serid Yarkassa, the city of Amphibos in the Rightarm Isles (modern Seapolis?). No mention of them for Sedenorshill (the Star Tribe located next to Wild Temple).

 

The first historical mention of the durulz is for the Inhuman Occupation in King of Sartar (p.86). Otherwise, ducks are mentioned in King of Sartar only in connection to the Beastmen Wars of the Lismelder and Colymar, the founding of Duck Point by Sartar, and the duck population of Boldhome, and as one of the Elder Races.

History of the Heortling Peoples mentions them only in connection to the Lismelder.

Esrolia, Land of Ten Thousand Goddesses mentions the land of the Gander, Bokumarade, but afterwards only has the geese of Imarja.

Arcane Lore offers this tidbit (p.61😞

Quote

Ganderland – The peculiar and cursed creatures called Durulz, or more commonly, ducks, claim that they inhabited this whole quarter and oversaw it in great peace. They call it the Mighty Duck Empire. (DC)

Another, more cryptic mention is on p.62:

Quote

The Slorifing Marsh is there because of the immense age of Slorifi, which is corroborated by the homelands of the Herons and Ducks

This is possibly also credited to DC, or otherwise uncredited.

DC stands for "Draconic Secrets" as the source of that information:

Quote

A manuscript purporting to be a spy's report of the Shadowlands. Except for inconsistently referring to gods and goddesses as Kings and Queens, Sorcerers or Demons, it is a mishmash of the mythologies of the Only Old One's many subject peoples.

This makes this text the oldest historical Gloranthan reference to the durulz, and the first after reporting the Beakies riding the Solkathi wave that smashed into Danmalastan in the Storm Age.

I have no idea whether the term Ganderland was derived from the Bokumarade story (or - in real world timeline - the other way around).

Duckfoot island in the marsh off southeastern Nochet appears to have retained its shape since the Grey Age. No idea whether it is home to durulz, or whether there were durulz plying their boating trade on the Lyksos prior to Belintar digging the New River.

 

6 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

(For what it's worth, I've never been entirely happy with how official and unofficial Glorantha alike have portrayed ducks' relationship with the Water rune. In my Glorantha there's something approaching a three-way split between Air, Earth and Water in ducks.)

Cursed by Sky, and an uneasy truce with Water, at least if you take the durulz as a portion of the keet population carried off by Solkathi and other irate kin of Endaralath from that early conflict in Keetela.

We know the ducks to be excellent swimmers (Hancheros coast) during the Flood Age. They don't appear to do anything for or against Orlanth's (and Vingkot's) conquest of the lands drowned by Hancheros after the victory over Worcha, except (evidently) stay around mostly unnoticed.

All keets have webbed feet, which indicates some swamp or water affiliation. The God Learners group ducks and herons together and with the red elves. 

 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Barntar for the Cabbage Ducks appears to be quite unsuitable, given that the ducks don't appear to plow, don't have oxen, etc., but then the Orlanthi don't really have the equivalent of a stick farmer in their pantheon. The human culture is more or less defined by using the plow. Gardener groups that don't, like the Dawn Age Balurgans, are outliers of the Theyalans, and Orlanthi that don't plow like possibly the Skanthi are hunter-gatherers and raiders.

The Caladralanders come to mind too - but their reason for not plowing is quite different from that of the ducks, I imagine. But still, maybe they've got some horticulturalist god? They have an ancestor hero, after all. Probably not the easiest to transplant across vast distances, I don't quite know.

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Thanks for the comments, Joerg! Well, here goes the afternoon... ;)

But seriously, I'll pull out some of the main comments/queries and give my own thoughts, albeit separately, as the forum software isn't the easiest for that.

1. Ducks & Runes: I was going to illustrate the ring on a diagram, and runes were one way of communicating information in a different way/at a different level. Some of the choices were trickier than others, though my thoughts were near-exactly in line with yours. Some were meant to be slightly mysterious, or not necessarily literal.

The 'Barntar' rune is probably a hangover from when runes like that were also used in a general sense for things associated with the god (i.e. the rune is often marked as 'Farming', and not just in the sense of Barntar's affinity). Ducks will obviously turn over the soil, but not in the full Barntar way, so I did almost change it to Plant (though that can bring up other complaints, depending on how you read it; you buggers will always find a way! ;)) and IMG the Cabbage Ducks live fairly close to the Old Elf Ruins. Still might, I think.

OR COME UP WITH MY OWN RUNE FOR THE CABBAGE GODDESS!

If I can find a variant rune for the Marsh Ducks—something more in tune with Martin et al.'s write-up in Tales—I likely will; that's the most stop-gappy one.

I know what you mean about, say, 'Reed Ducks'. I took all the names bar one—the Shell Ducks, representing my own penchant for ducks wearing snailshell hats—from KoDP. I know those clans are from the Resettlement Period, but it meshes with people's previous knowledge and the numbers match up fairly well with population figures.

2. Joseph Greenface: Yep! It was intentional. (In my original draft he actually had three seats on the ring, but I dialled it back a bit.)

3. Ducks & Water/Myth: My main issue is this:

If we think about real-world ducks for a moment, we know that, as waterfowl, they're good in both the air and the water. That's their dual schtick. But if we anthropomorphize them and place them into Glorantha, taking away their wings and power of flight, they lose a fundamental part of that.

People will understandably dig into that and seek the reasons and stories behind it. It's fun. I get that. But why are they still good at the other bit? It's created a situation wherein Gloranthan ducks have tended to be defined more by what they're not, than what they are.

I like ambiguity. I'm OK with stuff not being explained. But this case has always struck me as being a bit off-balance in the degree to which definition and ambiguity have been applied over the years.

So I suppose what I tend to do is: (a) dial back on the flight-myth stuff, perhaps pushing it back into RQ2 (rulebook) territory; and (b) big-up the Water connection a bit more.

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2 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

Thanks for the comments, Joerg! Well, here goes the afternoon... ;)

Glad to be of service!

2 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

1. Ducks & Runes: 

The 'Barntar' rune is probably a hangover from when runes like that were also used in a general sense for things associated with the god (i.e. the rune is often marked as 'Farming', and not just in the sense of Barntar's affinity). Ducks will obviously turn over the soil, but not in the full Barntar way, so I did almost change it to Plant (though that can bring up other complaints, depending on how you read it; you buggers will always find a way! ;)) and IMG the Cabbage Ducks live fairly close to the Old Elf Ruins. Still might, I think.

No idea how much the rune is meant to imply the deity or how much it is to imply a lesser principle in your scheme. I objected to Barntar because apart from his Daga myth and his death at the hands of Vadrus all his feats have to do with cattle (or some other ungulant able to draw a plow - I think that water buffalo would work, too, maybe even Sylilan bisons). Plowing is about harnessing draft animals to do your work for you.

But then, there is another possible source of traction - harnessing your community. Maybe the Cabbage Ducks do use plows, and have teams of draft-ducks pulling them across their plots, Wolga-shipper style (now there's a picture waiting to be anatomorphized...). It helps that cabbages prefer light sandy soil (though somewhat rich in organics and nutrients).

 

2 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

I know what you mean about, say, 'Reed Ducks'. I took all the names bar one—the Shell Ducks, representing my own penchant for ducks wearing snailshell hats—from KoDP. I know those clans are from the Resettlement Period, but it meshes with people's previous knowledge and the numbers match up fairly well with population figures.

Yep, I noticed and appreciated that.

When exactly would this ring be active? Joseph had to go to exile in 1613, and at a guess, the rest of the beaked personnel on the ring, too, at least retreat into the Marsh or Beast Valley.

 

2 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

3. Ducks & Water/Myth: My main issue is this:

If we think about real-world ducks for a moment, we know that, as waterfowl, they're good in both the air and the water. That's their dual schtick. But if we anthropomorphize them and place them into Glorantha, taking away their wings and power of flight, they lose a fundamental part of that.

People will understandably dig into that and seek the reasons and stories behind it. It's fun. I get that. But why are they still good at the other bit? It's created a situation wherein Gloranthan ducks have tended to be defined more by what they're not, than what they are.

I like ambiguity. I'm OK with stuff not being explained. But this case has always struck me as being a bit off-balance in the degree to which definition and ambiguity have been applied over the years.

So I suppose what I tend to do is: (a) dial back on the flight-myth stuff, perhaps pushing it back into RQ2 (rulebook) territory; and (b) big-up the Water connection a bit more.

I feel you. The entire concept of the keets is one of amphibious/ambiguous lifestyle. Keets are either water fowl, sea birds, or wading birds.

When they still could fly, keets were creatures of all elements (although Darkness wasn't really expressed except by choice of grubs as diet). Feathered (sky-descended) flyers (air) on aquatic (sea) and dry land (earth). Air is actually the characteristic the keets lost, keeping all the rest.

I don't quite know which kind of water connection to give the keets (and by deduction, the ducks). Tholaina and a sky deity produced the sea birds from which about half the keets derive their head shapes. The wading and duck-like birds probably are related, although sweetwater dwellers are somewhat remote from sea deities.

Heler - who was separated from the Water tribe - would be a good choice. Although I cannot avoid the suspicion that the sea god unable to return to the sea after being blessed with lightness by the keet sage is none other than Heler, so there would be a certain grudge there.

River gods are fine, though. At least in Dragon Pass Lorion/Engizi and his siblings. Choralinthor is probably friendly, too, and all of its tributaries. The Keets in the East Isles are likely less happy to deal with currents, but probably are fine with standing bodies of water. There are few significant rivers in the East Isles.

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IMG the Dragon Pass ducks say that Orlanth, Heler, and Engizi are the same god - who obviously has the form of a duck and not a hairless monkey - and that they voluntarily sacrificed flying when they came down from the sky world with Engizi, but can still do it with magic.

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7 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

I took all the names bar one—the Shell Ducks, representing my own penchant for ducks wearing snailshell hats—from KoDP.

If we think about real-world ducks for a moment, we know that, as waterfowl, they're good in both the air and the water. That's their dual schtick. But if we anthropomorphize them and place them into Glorantha, taking away their wings and power of flight, they lose a fundamental part of that.

Well, let's not forget the Shelduck.

shel1.jpg

Notice how this one (with a high Beast rune) has mastered not just Air and Water but also dominates Earth with her webbed feet. 

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Perhaps among the Durulz, the hoe or spade is blessed by Barntar's cult as a ritual representation of the plow, much like the spear can be a lightning bolt.

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