Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Khelbiros

Advice for HeroQuest: Glorantha Mini-Campaign

Recommended Posts

Steve    372
19 hours ago, Tindalos said:

The actual reason behind this is it's not actually bronze as we know it. It's just a red metal, created by alloying together the brown metal (an analogue to earthly copper) and the white metal (roughly similar to earthly tin.) It's more useful than it's parent metals, so it's used as a basic metal for everyone. Because it's akin to bronze, we call it that for simplicity's sake.

This isn't right, is it? According to the Guide to Glorantha, and HeroQuest: Glorantha, Gloranthan "bronze" is mined directly from the ground and comes from the bones of Air gods. It's not an alloy of brown and white Gloranthan metals, though it does need purifying before it can be fully useful.

To the OP - I think there might be some misunderstanding going on here. You can't just dig in the ground anywhere and find some bronze, it's not that easy to come by the bones of Air gods. And only a relative few (redsmiths) know how to work it. So there's plenty of scope for trading raw bronze and worked bronze items.

 

 

Edited by Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jajagappa    771
47 minutes ago, Steve said:

This isn't right, is it?

Both are correct.  Bronze does come from the bones of dead Air Gods. Where such gods died, deposits can be found and mined.

But, you also have to remember that Umath was the son of Aether the Sky God and Gata the Earth Goddess.  Their metals are the sky metal (tin) and earth metal (copper), so bronze can also be produced by a mixture of those two metals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tindalos    120
1 hour ago, Steve said:

This isn't right, is it? According to the Guide to Glorantha, and HeroQuest: Glorantha, Gloranthan "bronze" is mined directly from the ground and comes from the bones of Air gods. It's not an alloy of brown and white Gloranthan metals, though it does need purifying before it can be fully useful.

As Jajagappa notes, it's a case of both. You can find seams of bronze, but you can also mix the two parent metals. (HeroQuest: Glorantha 48)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve    372

Thanks for the correction, guys. I even did a search in the HQG PDF to check for that. Clearly I didn't do a very good job. Though I did think that Tindalos's post was implying that you could *only* get bronze via alloying copper and tin.

 

Edited by Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tindalos    120

Ah, sorry to give that impression. I was intending to try and show the similarities to Earthly bronze, as to why it shares the name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
davecake    212
On 26/05/2017 at 8:35 AM, Khelbiros said:

]]

  • After picking runes and everything, another player was frustrated that none of his runes (Death, Law, Darkness) were encapsulated by a single god on the list. His preference would have been to start with a god and work backwards to get a collection of runes that could have all been activated for spells.  (He likes reading a book and understanding the entire ruleset before making up a character, so I've given him the HQG book for the week.) Is there are Death/Law/Darkness cult?
  •  

 

Explain to them that it is very rare for a character to use all three Runes for magic - and that its not necessarily what they want, as makes them unfocussed. And I think of it as a feature, not a bug - if every god got magic from three runes and everyone chose all three of them, every worshipper would have the same personality more or less. 

But I do find that experienced Gloranthan players start with a god and work backwards from there most of the time (they just don't expect that this means they get good magic from all their runes necessarily). I have a PC with Death and Darkness, but they are a Humakti who is just miserable and moody. 

I would suggest that they get some chance to change a rune if they are unhappy. But Argan Argar for Darkness or Humakt for Death are good choice - and while Law is very unusual for most Orlanthi, as others have suggested the Black Arkat sorcery school has links to both, if you want to add the Law Rune. Arkat is a fairly challenging choice for a beginning player, though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
soltakss    1,020

I just assume that Bronze is the "normal" metal and leave it at that.

Other metals are strange/magical, Iron is a military metal for Rune Lords (and Dwarves or Sorcerers but they aren't normal anyway), Lead is for trolls, Copper for elves and earthy folk, aluminium for water folk (and quicksilver if you want to be flashy), gold for Sky folk, Tin for Storm folk and Wind Children and Silver for Lunars. 

Players might want to think of them as their earthly analogues, in fact I often do. But, they are in essence magical metals.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joerg    861

The main metal can be mined from nuggets or refined from ores. It melts comparably low, and can be hammered when cold. It also occurs as gods bones - called bronze when from storm gods, called brass when from volcano gods or mostali.

Specially durable long blades can be hammered from gods bones (of any metal, really, but within the limitations of the basic nature of that metal) because these have a layered structure similar to timber or folded steel - growth rings. Basically, you get damascened bronze, a laminate that adds stability and flexibility.

Apart from the Copper Sands that resulted from Earthfall, I cannot name a major source for earth metal anywhere on Glorantha. Sources for sky metal (tin) might come associated with star metal (silver), but I don't see a major trade for alloying the stuff with earth metal in order to create bronze or brass.

Speaking of alloys, I wonder what Gloranthans make of pewter, if they know about an alloy of sky and darkness metal.

I do wonder about sea metal, though. I doubt that Worcha even manifested bones when it was slain, but its allies at Thrinbarri should have left some - but these may have ended up as puddles rather than as solid bones.

In a way, the toxic effect of Gloranthan Iron on aldryami can be compared to the terrestrial effect of copper on plants (and female fertility). I doubt that Gloranthan earth-metal has such effects.

The toxic effect of Iron or Death Metal on the animist Elder Races might be a side effect on its separation effect - dividing the living from the spirit world.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jajagappa    771
11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Apart from the Copper Sands that resulted from Earthfall, I cannot name a major source for earth metal anywhere on Glorantha.

Per GtG p13: "metals from the various dwarf strongholds (the only source of iron in Glorantha), bronze from Dragon Pass or Peloria, copper from Esrolia or Tarsh, or lead from the troll lands"

Some examples:

p216: Fronela, Copper Man Valley: It is rich with many deep copper mines, each one blessed by a different earth goddess revered by the miners

p383: Ralios, Hida: The hills above this city are rich in metals, especially bronze, silver, and copper, and around the city are rich cultivated fields.

22 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I do wonder about sea metal, though. I doubt that Worcha even manifested bones when it was slain, but its allies at Thrinbarri should have left some - but these may have ended up as puddles rather than as solid bones.

Probably under the Mirrorsea where Faralinthor was slain.  Possibly deposits along the Caladraland coast.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian Cooper    278
On 03/06/2017 at 0:05 PM, jajagappa said:

Both are correct.  Bronze does come from the bones of dead Air Gods. Where such gods died, deposits can be found and mined.

But, you also have to remember that Umath was the son of Aether the Sky God and Gata the Earth Goddess.  Their metals are the sky metal (tin) and earth metal (copper), so bronze can also be produced by a mixture of those two metals.

So I suspect your player was referring to the issue that the 'palace economy' states of the Bronze Age held power because of their control of the trade connections necessary to obtain copper and bronze, whereas in the Iron Age you had more chieftaincies because you could just dig it out of the ground (or bog) in one place.

@Jeff and I have talked about this in the past. It is worth noting that the area with the most chieftaincies is of course Dragon Pass, where we have the highest concentration of dead air gods, or lands immediately surrounding that. As we get further away, for example Dara Happa, we are likely seeing bronze from local copper and tin sources, controlled by those city states, imported bronze, or bronze from the smaller number of sites where there are dead air gods.

It's worth noting that we do describe Glorantha as a Bronze Age, early Iron Age world, and part of the reason is that Glorantha is not Earth and so some of these little inconsistencies in how the economics of our own Bronze Age or Iron Age worked, mean we can't map exactly to terrestial 'ages' (and I suspect that the archaelogists in the group would say terms like Bronze Age and Iron Age are suspect anyway).

But, it is a good shorthand for newbies to give them the idea that this is an 'ancient world setting, not dark ages or medieval.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joerg    861

I'd like to toss in that "Bronze Age" is anything but limited to the Aegaeis. The Danubian Bronze Age transitioned to Iron Age in the Hallstatt culture (which extended pretty far west, even into Gaul). The Inca culture was Bronze Age, too.

It looks like the term "Bronze Age" is about as culturally poisoned in anglophone circles as is the term "Celts", fixating on one single aspect of a much broader reference. Irish culture is among the last things I think of when talking about Celts, and Bronze Age refers to any material culture where bronze was the main material for tools and weapons rather than flint or iron.

 

I am curious why you expect a high concentration of dead air gods around Ernaldela. The Orlanthi held their ground there, and managed to bury their fallen rather than leaving them on the battleground, unlike failed Vadrudi raids (everywhere), Stormfall (far away in the north), the Sword and Helm battle (far away in the north), the fall of the Lastralgortelli or the Jorganostelli (again in the north). Several slain sons of Storm Bull are accounted for in Prax. I can name only two sons of Orlanth as slain in the Gods War - Barntar and Vingkot.

Come to think of it, a few scions of Vadrus might be rotting in the area. Ragnaglar, too. Then there is Grizzly Mountain.

In and around Sartar we have myths about fire demigods invading and being overcome. If these were descendants of Lodril, their bones would have been of brass. Descendants of Tolat/Shargash would have been somewhat mixed, too - no idea what elemental connection is accurate for Enekos or Dendara, but the planetary sons of Yelm would have been Burtae too if Dendara was Fuel rather than Fire.

Thunder Delta may very well have bronze from Umath smashing down there. Orlanth may have left significant amounts of bone at Stormfall.

We do have eight unnamed deaths among the companions of Sky River Titan, with Hard Earth not a source of bronze but probably copper. Only: there are no know copper mines near Cliffhome, unless you count Greatway.

We have a wealth of dead giants and dragons in Ernaldela.

It is true that at the Greater Darkness, few if any of the Storm Brothers were active, but we have no stories about them dying in defense of Ernaldela. We know of a great last stand on the shores of Luathela, as part of the Lightbringers' Quest. Rastagar and Irillo might have been among the participants - this certainly qualifies as a battle no queen of Nochet would want to see her husband to participate in.

 

Saird and Henjarl should have lots of bronze deposits, as should the lowlands north of the Barbarian Belt, where numerous pastoral hordes were entering, then overcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×