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Sorting through an old box of papers from my old Imther/Amber Fort Campaign, I came across two small decks of 'cards': one of spirits common to the region south and west of the Elf (Amber) Sea, and one of events.  Figured I'd share some of these in the event that someone might find them of use.

This first bit is a set of some spirits.  It includes their name, common associations (their rune, plus an abstract association); positive and negative associations (whether these are spirit places or something else, I don't recall); primary skill/power indicating some type of skill or magic granted; their primary traits (drawn from Pendragon at the time); other spirits they variously loved, feared, were loyal to (i.e. friendly), or hated; their home in the Spirit World; and other places in the Spirit World that they could readily access (or show others how to access).

Spirit Name

Primary Association



Primary Skill/Power

Primary Traits






Passage to…

Sky River Boatman

Fire, "the boat"

Sky River

The Eddy

Sail Sky Boat, Strength

Brave, Lazy

Silent Sky, Silver Star, Star Guide

Ravenous Mouth, Dark Maw, Water's Edge

Azar, Mistress Morande

The Walker

Sky River

Ancestor's Place, Bright Glades

Greybelly Hare

Beast, The Great Dash

The Footing

The Hunters

Dodge, Hide

Energetic, Cowardly

Tender Shoot, Low Runner

Twilight Owl, Blood Claw Hawk, Winter Wolf

Summer Wind

Red Fox, Silver Fox, Ravenous Mouth

The Root Hole

Green Wood, Ancestor's Place

King Beaver

Beast, The Living Heart

The Home

The Disorder

Craft: Wood, Swim

Energetic, Prudent

Tender Shoot, The Willow

Fast Current

Summer Wind, Still Waters

Mistress Morande, Lady of the Long Tresses

The Dam

Long Bog, Ancestor's Place

Black Speckled Lady

Water, The Source

The Home

Rushing Waters

Control Insect, Control Disease

Cruel, Prudent

Black Speckled Frog

Azar, Wide Mouth Turtle, Bog Snake


Green Skinned Lady, Amber Clam, Marsh Rat

Badwater Swamp

Shadow Wood, Stagnant Pool

Lady of the Long Tresses

Water, The Source

The Friend

The Kings

Dance, Sing

Energetic, Chaste

Mistress Morande, Singing Rocks

Azar, Golden Eyed Youth, Winter King

Morakin, River Children, Summer Wind

Crumbling Rock, King Beaver

Amber Mouth

Green Wood, Rising Sea

The Old Bleeding King (aka Dying Sun)

Fire, The Blood

The Everlasting

The Danger

Lawspeaking, Silence

Proud, Just

Golden Eyed Youth, Glowing Ember

Hunter of the Beacon, The Rager

Horned Owl, Old Flint, Master of the Beacon

Black Crow, Winter King


Bright Glades, Storm's Rage

Horned Owl

Truth, The Wisdom

The Place of Watching

The Fools

Celestial Lore, Scan

Worldly, Prudent

Silent Sky, Still Grasses

Hunter of the Beacon

Twilight Owl, The Old Bleeding King,

Red Fox, Silver Fox, Drummer of Logs

Overarching Elm

Shadow Wood, Ancestor's Place

The Walker

Man, Movement,The Traveler

The Paths

The Ending

Track, Pathmaking

Energetic, Arbitrary

Rigtaina, Votank

Bad Man, Two-faced Man, Winter King

Brother Dog, Long West Gale

Azar, River Children, Sky River Boatman


Shadow Wood, Ancestor's Place

Father Bear

Beast, The Ancestor

The Home

The Shadow

Wrestling, Track

Indulgent, Suspicious

Mistress Morande, Song Warbler, Berry Girl, Singing Rocks

Hand of Ice, Shadow Taker

Gathering Squirrel, Upriver Salmon

Masked Bandit, Black Speckled Lady

The Old Den

Storm's Rage, Ancestor's Place

Long West Gale

Storm, The Gale

The Movement

The Stagnation

Wind Call, Increase Wind

Brave, Arbitrary

Thundering Bull, Dancing Leaves

Master of the Beacon, Bind of Knots

The Twisting Hand, The Walker

Summer Wind, Sky King

Circling Winds

Storm's Rage, Shadow Wood

The Burner

Fire, The Rage

The Dance

The Ending

Firemaking, Consume Plants

Indulgent, Arbitrary

Sky King

Binder of Knots, Mistress Morande, Azar, Thundering Rains

Morakin, The Old Bleeding King, Old Flint

Black Speckled Lady, Lady of the Long Tresses


Bright Glades, Burning Plain

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And the original Amber Fort map as it appeared in NLG #2.  In context to the Argan Argar Atlas, this is the coast at the mouth of the Morande River - further into Balazar than you might expect for an Etyries sponsored project.  If developing now as a campaign setting, I'd probably move it west to the mouth of the Gap River (i.e. the West River from a Balazaring perspective).



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And the key to the map, also included in NLG #2.

Highlights of Amber Coast:

Amber Fort:  The military post lies some five keymiles up the Morande River at a highly defensible position atop Long Bluff.  A winding path leads down from the fort to the river.

Bulverius Building:  The outpost of the merchant Bulverius is now the centerpoint of the Imtherian village of Amber Mouth.  Though exposed and swampy, the Imtherians hope to forge alliances of protection with the native spirits.

The Sunspike:  this small mount emerges from the green canopy of the Elmwood to point toward the sky.  The golden rocks at its summit give the mount its name.  Balazarings shun the spot, claiming it to be holy to the elves.

The Thunder Path:  A hunter’s trail, it is said to be favored by spirits of the storm and is best avoided when the winds blow and the lightning cracks.

The Rumbling Rocks:  A spirit shrine at which local shamans can contact both the Sky Drummer and the Great Black Bear.  The shrine is noted for a pair of rocks which lean against each other and echo the sound of thunder. 

The Whispering Trees:  In this grove, the trees constantly whisper to each other, speaking sacred knowledge of the Elmwood.  Elves consider this grove holy and pilgrimage here to learn of their ancestors. 

The Running Path:  A clear trail used by Balazaring natives to quickly travel from the Morande River to the Elf Sea coast.  It passes beneath the plateau known as the Frog Table.

Frog Table:  This plateau is well known by both Balazarings and newtlings for its dark and mysterious caves.  Shamans say that an ancient son of the Elf Sea lies trapped beneath this table, waiting for the day when his father frees him. 

Green Toad Creek:  The songs of the green toad are heard along here for two weeks each Seaseason before the toads turn secretive and silent. 

Striped Toad Creek:  The Balazaring women come here each Fireseason to await the day when the Striped Toads rise up from the drying creekbed to dash for the woods so they can catch them for their medicines. 

Frog Mouth Island:  Despite its name, frogs are not usually found on this wooded isle.  Instead, the native hunters paddle here to collect the flotsam that washes ashore each Stormseason. 

Badwater Creek:  This swampy creek is noted for its prolific swarms of flies and the disease spirits that frequently arise.  The natives avoid it, but the newtlings use it as their main route up to the Frog Table. 

The Lunar Trail: The initial settlers, several small military units plus Bulverius’ amber hunters, cut the first trail east from Soldier Ferry.  This trail is wide enough to allow wagons to pass, though very slowly and with exceptional difficulty.  The trail tends to overgrow quickly unless ongoing efforts are made to cut back the rising vegetation.  It is the only good overland route to Amber Fort. 

Morande River:  Mistress Morande is the most beautiful daughter of the Elf Sea and is known for her wild and untamed ways.  She loves the great beasts which frolic in the sea and calls to them when the rains come to dance with her.  Many respond for this part of the river is quite deep. 

Morande’s Bath:  Here, according to native legend, the Salmon King surprised the bathing Morande.  For his audacity she bound his legs together and sent him back to the sea.  His love for her was too strong, however, and he returned, despite Morande’s command to her children to fight him off. 

Elm Creek:  this watercourse is a popular route for the Balazarings to take to reach Morande.  The fishing is quite good along here. 

Cloud Rock:  This bare hill is sacred to the Summer Wind and is known to be safe from lightning strikes. 

Serpent’s Shore:  Amidst the brown sands of this stretch of shore can be found the bleached bones of mighty serpents slain by the storm spirits and occasional chunks of amber.

Sunset Shore:  This ancient shoreline was once home to many elves according to the Balazarings, but they sailed away upon mighty boats, never to return.  They left only amber.

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23 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Amber Fort:  The military post lies some five keymiles up the Morande River at a highly defensible position atop Long Bluff.  A winding path leads down from the fort to the river.

Kastok apparently built a fort further inland around 556 west of the Elf Sea, but it doesn't appear on modern maps. I wonder if it survived in any form?

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13 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Kastok apparently built a fort further inland around 556 west of the Elf Sea, but it doesn't appear on modern maps. I wonder if it survived in any form?

Do you recall the reference?  I wouldn't expect the fort to have survived, but might make for some interesting ruins hidden among the Imtherian woods.

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This was one of my cult write-ups from my RQ3 submission Imther: Edge of Empire.  A hunter's cult, it's an appropriate archive piece for the wilds between Imther and Balazar.  As with most of my original Imther material, the names are all 'localized' vs. the more common 'God-learner' renderings.  It's got a very RQ3 feel to it, and some of the spells reflect aspects that I'd replace or modify (e.g. I like the idea of the Exhaust spell, but I rarely ended up using Fatigue Points - I'd probably render that as a penalty to certain skill categories now).  I still like the concept of the different knots though.


Mythos and History

Gordaval is the Hunter, an acknowledged figure in every clan, but his mythos differs in each. The most common tales say that Gordaval (also called Gordio) was a child god saved from the darkness by Khelmal. Khelmal taught Gordaval how to hunt and trap and live by his wiles during the Darkness. Another common tale says that Gordaval was the grandchild of Imthus and Aidea who went amongst the eastern clans to bind them to the kingdom. The clans of the north (as well as the Wilktar and Zarkon clans) say that Gordaval was a star captain sent by Arahar and Teliska to hunt the chaos which stalked the mountainous wilds. It was he who finally lured the scorpion goddess Bagog into a pit and drove her from the earth. In the southlands, they say Gordaval was the child of Basmal, Lion King of the Lightning Claw. This Gordaval is noted for ruling the wild beasts of the land and for the horrible cuts he can give to any other creature. The Laramite tribe states that Gordaval is actually Lagavar returned to the world to battle against the darkness forever.

            The Dara Happans called him the first spouse of Queen Balurga, an evil figure who ate flesh raw and drank blood from earthen goblets.  On occasions they claimed that Gordaval was either the child of Jajagappa, catcher of souls, or Sakkar, hunter of men. Any Imtherian will laugh at these lies.

            Legends of the Wilktar marl say that Jannisor was an incarnation of Gordaval, sent to hunt and slay the evil Red Emperor. This incarnation was a master of knots and traps unknown to mere mortals.

            The runes of Gordaval are Fate and Death.


Cult Ecology

Gordaval is the Imtherian god of hunting. He ensures that any animal can find and catch food. He also ensures that the spirits of slain animals are released so that they may travel along Yelem’s path to the Underworld. Gordaval is sometimes called the guardian of youth.

            Gordaval is an eternal foe of the numbing darkness and brutal storm. He tries to ensure that these creatures are sent to Yelem for their proper judgment.


The Cult in the World

Gordaval's worship is found in the kingdom of Imther and surrounding lands. Subcults of Gordaval exist within the cults of Arahar, Khelmal, and Imthus and Aidea.  These subcults are actually the paths to the true Gordaval, a secretive god who is always hard to find.  There are no major or minor temples whatsoever.  The half dozen shrines provide the divine spell Spellteaching so that hunters can learn Gordaval’s Prayer.

            There are no formal priests in the cult as Gordaval prefers to deal with each individual alone.

            The cult holy days are each Wildday of Death Weeks, with the high holy day falling in Darkseason.


Master Hunters

Initiation is open to anyone in the Imtherian community who is part of a Gordaval subcult within the temple of Arahar, Khelmal, or Imthus and Aidea.  A potential candidate receives a vision of the Sacred Grove of Gordaval and of a special prey beast on the holy day during Earthseason.  If the potential candidate desires to find the Sacred Grove, he or she must hunt and kill that special prey beast and bring that beast to the Sacred Grove before the high holy day in Darkseason.

            This hunt is a test of the candidate’s skills and requires success in each of the following skills:  Ceremony, Craft: Butchery, Devise, Missile Attack, Search, Sneak, and Track.  The candidate may wear no armor and must hunt alone.

            Each candidate then spends a night alone within the Sacred Grove.  During this night, the candidate is assailed by dream visions and a spirit of darkness or storm.  The spirit has a POW of 2D6+6 and attacks the candidate.  If the spirit wins, the candidate is possessed and fails the final test. The darkness spirit is usually a fear spirit but may be a shade or even a hag. The storm spirit is usually a berserk spirit but may be a sylph or wind demon.  If the candidate wins, he is immediately accepted as a Master Hunter. If he fails but survives, he may try again the following year.

            The Master Hunter must sacrifice a point of POW to Gordaval to establish his or her link to the god. He or she must sever ties to any deity other than Arahar, Khelmal, Imthus and Aidea, or Ralaska.  Note that Khalana initiates will never take the path of Gordaval.

            Master Hunters must slay a prey beast for each holy day and offer it to Gordaval.  Master Hunters must hunt and kill at least one prey beast per season to donate to their people.  Master Hunters must continue to use Gordaval’s Prayer when butchering an animal killed for food.

            Master Hunters may gain the cult’s spirit magic and also gain divine magic reusably.


Spirit Magic:  Disrupt, Exhaust, Gordaval’s Prayer, Grievous Shot, Silence, Slow, Speedart, Weakness.

Common Divine Magic:  Heal Wound, Sanctify, Spellteaching, Worship (Gordaval).

Special Divine Magic:  Catseye, Sureshot.


Gordaval Spirit Magic

Exhaust                                                                                                                                   variable

ranged, instant

If the caster overcomes the target’s MPs, the target immediately loses 5 fatigue points per point of the spell.  If the target reaches its negative maximum, it falls unconscious from Exhaustion.


Gordaval’s Prayer                                                                                                                    1 point

ritual Ceremony

This is a special ritual which members of the subcult of Gordaval perform to ensure that the soul of a slain beast returns to the wild spirits of Imther, to be reborn properly.  It includes a short prayer and ritual of thanksgiving.  The spell must be performed in conjunction with the Craft: Butchery skill.  The user makes a single skill roll, attempting to roll under both his Ceremony skill and his Craft: Butchery skill.  A failure in the prayer means that the initiate may be haunted by the spirit of the beast.  For each such haunting, reduce the skills to Track, Sneak, and Attack any related beast by 1%. To eliminate the haunting, the initiate must propitiate both Gordaval and the dead beast by sacrifice of an appropriate foodstuff while successfully using Gordaval’s prayer.


Grievous Shot                                                                                                                         variable

ranged, temporal

This spell is cast on a bow.  While the spell lasts, every shot from that bow which hits causes intense pain, reducing all skills (including spirit magic and sorcery) by 10% per point of spell. This spell has no affect on Berserks nor against wild boars.


Weakness                                                                                                                               variable

ranged, temporal

If the caster overcomes the target’s MPs, the target’s STR is reduced by 2 points per point of spell.



Spirit of Reprisal:  The Tree of Pain

Those Master Hunters who fail in their vows will see the Tree of Pain each day until they purify themselves.  The tree does not appear at a specific time, but usually at a time of stress for a period of 1d6 hours.  The effect of the tree is to distract the Master Hunter from their task at hand.  Whatever skills are needed will automatically fail while the tree is visible.  If the Master Hunter flees from the tree, the tree follows. It is a spiritual entity.

            To become purified, a Master Hunter must embrace the Tree of Pain after it appears.  The Master Hunter cannot disengage from the embrace once it begins, and the embrace lasts for 1d6 days.  The Master Hunter experiences excruciating pain during this time and is vulnerable to any foe who chances upon him or her.  For each day embracing the tree, the Master Hunter loses 1 point of CON and 1 point of spirit magic chosen randomly.  If CON falls to 0 or if the Master Hunter is attacked and killed by a foe while embracing the tree, then the Master Hunter dies and travels to the judgment of Yelem.  Gordaval will vouch for the Master Hunter before the supreme judge as one who died in the attempt to become purified.  Those who survive the Tree of Pain gain one benefit chosen randomly from the table below.



Gordaval’s Gifts (roll 1d6):

01        Immunity to Pain Spirits

02        Never tire (no Fatigue Point loss)

03        Immunity to Befuddle spells

04        Ability to automatically act heroically once per season (CON x 1 roll not required)

05        Raise Ceremony skill by 10%

06        Raise Listen skill by 10%

[End Table]


Associated Cults: Gordaval is friendly to all other Imtherian cults, but he gains no benefits from them.


Miscellaneous Notes

The Secret Knots: Master Hunters who have a Devise skill of 90% or higher can learn the secret knots of both Gordaval and Jannisor by sacrificing 1 point of POW during a holy day within the Sacred Grove of Gordaval.  Most of these knots, unless otherwise noted, require a successful Devise roll to create. 

The Strangle Knot: This knot automatically strangles the target if it hits a head location, doing 1d8 points of damage each round.  Use Lariat skill (base 5%) to hit in combat circumstances.  The maker can release the knot easily, but anyone else may only remove it with a critical Devise roll. 

The Stasis Hitch: This knot is placed around a rock or tree.  It will not slide or release from that rock or tree except by a voice command known only to the knot maker. 

The Blood Nip: This knot automatically stops the bleeding from any wound it is placed around.  It requires a Ceremony roll to release. 

The Knot of the Maelstrom: This knot is placed on a coil of rope around an individual.  While the knot is in place, that individual is unaffected by the magics of storm worshippers, including rain, hail, snow, wind, and sylphs.  A critical Devise roll is needed to break the knot. 

The Flail Knot: This knot is placed upon a short piece of rope and transforms that rope into a magic flail.  Every hit by this flail automatically destroys one point of magical armor. 

The Chaos Bond (requires the sacrifice of 3 points of POW): This knot requires both a critical Devise roll and a critical Craft: Netmaking or Weaving roll. A chaos creature struck by this knot cannot use one chaos feature until the bond is removed.  Removal requires a critical Devise roll.



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This is the version of the Gordaval cult from when I redrafted the book for Hero Wars/HQ1 (minus the assorted subcults - a feature too common in those days).  

Gordaval, Lord of the Chase

Lord of hounds          runs prey down

Lord of knots             ties them taut

Lord of game              gains great fame

Lord of beasts             brings our feast



Gordaval is the Hunter, an acknowledged figure in every clan, but his myths vary widely between clans. The most common tales say that Gordaval (also called Gordio) was a child god saved from the Darkness by Khelmal. Khelmal taught Gordaval how to hunt and trap and live by his wiles during the Darkness. Another common tale says that Gordaval was the grandchild of Imthus and Aidea who went amongst the southern clans to bind them to the kingdom. The marls of the central mountains say that Gordaval was a star captain sent by Arahar and Teliska.  Vanchites claim that Gordaval learned his craft from Tunoral, not Khelmal.

Gordaval saved the Fine-toothed Hound from a pit and won the friendship of Norián.  Thereafter, the hound aided him in the chase. 



Gordaval is present in every hunt, but most especially in the chase with hounds. 


Icons and Images

His worshipers never depict Gordaval for they have no need to do so, being one with him in the chase.  Worshipers of other gods may depict Gordaval as a boy armed with bow and arrow and accompanied by hounds.


Otherworld Home and Life after Death

Goradaval’s Hunting Camp is in the Forest of the Solar Realm, not far from Khelmal’s Palace.  There the souls of his worshipers enjoy the chase and feast on abundant game.  From the Hunting Camp, worshipers may exit to the Golden Age, Storm Age, or Chaos Age.


Nature of the Cult

Gordaval's worship is found in the kingdom of Imther and surrounding lands, where he is the god of hunting. He ensures that any hunter can find and catch food. He also ensures that the spirits of slain animals are released so that they may travel to their ancestors in the Celestial Forest, there to be reborn.

Gordaval’s specialty is wearing prey down through the chase or by inflicting wounds, but he also catches prey in traps and nets.


Attitudes and Relationships

Gordaval hunts with hounds, which puts him at odds with Jajagappans (who claim an exclusive relationship with dogs), Odaylans (a rival hunting god from Sylila) and Balazarings (who include Brother Dog in their shamanic tradition).  Gordaval teaches the training of both blood hounds and sight hounds.  Gordaval has a strong hatred of Yotelap the Fox, the betrayer, and Gordaval hunters never wear fox fur.


Mode of Worship and Sacrifices

Every hunt is an act of worship, and Gordaval demands the breath and tail of every kill as sacrifices to ensure the return of the animal’s soul to its mother goddess, from whence it comes again in the form of prey.  Special hunts occur on Gordaval’s holy days.


Holy Days

The Sacred Hunts of Gordaval occur during his week (Death Week) of each season.  The Sacred Hunt usually culminates on Wildman’s Day (Wild Day).  The Sacred Hunt of The Flowering (Sea Season) is The Hook, or in some places The Lure.  The holy dance of Khelmal’s Fires (Fire Season) is The Bow or The Raid, of Fruitseason (Earth Season) is The Snare or The Knot, of Ashseason is The Pit, and of Return Time is The Chase or The Lost Hunt.  In the Sacred Time each hunter also undertakes a special hunt during which he can try to divine what Gordaval has in store for him in the coming year. 



Each marl (clan) has its own hierarchy based on skill and reputation.  Higher-ranking hunters direct lower-ranking ones during cooperative hunts, and may also reserve hunting grounds.  Between clans, reputation may settle some disputes, but generally hunters of different clans avoid each other unless allied. 


Holy Places and Temples

Every clan has its holy place, generally deep in the woods, where Gordaval made his kill or trapped a special prey or foe.  Temples are simple and often portable, used for a week or a season and then abandoned. 


Membership Requirements

Anyone in Imther who makes his living by hunting will worship Gordaval or one of his many brothers or sons.  Almost all hunters are male, but there is one subcult which accepts female hunters, Kirthal the Trapper.  Women typically participate as communal worshipers, gaining the ability to clean furs and hides, make needles from wild animal bones, and the like. 



Initiates must survive their initiation ordeal, which typically involves being chased by the pack and ends with a treed candidate having to convince the pack to let him live.  This reenacts the story of How Gordaval Made Friends.


Magic Keyword:

Physical Abilities: Endure Weather, Run Long Distance, Harry Prey, Ranged Combat (Archery), Close Combat (Spear)

Mental Abilities: Direct Pack of Hounds, Read Spoor, Care for Hounds, Tie Knots

Virtues: Dogged

Affinities: Chase, Binding



Anyone can become a devotee if he has been a hunter all his life, ritually disowns all living ancestors (since Gordaval was an orphan), is unmarried (because Gordaval was a child), and undergoes an ordeal representing Gordaval’s first kill and his realization of oneness with the prey. 


Affinities and Feats:

Chase (Find Hidden Prey, Long Breath, Run Over Brambles, See Invisible Tracks, Call Hounds, Steal Prey’s Breath, Butcher Without Waste)

Binding (Bind Hounds’ Baying, Tie Unbreakable Knot, Tie Command Word Knot, Untie Knot at Distance [D + 10], Dispatch Prey’s Soul, Conceal Net, Unbreakable Net)

Secret: Go Where Game Is (Without seeming effort, the worshiper can avoid areas of little game and find areas where the hunting is relatively good)


Hero Cult


The hero Onstheus was a companion of Jannisor, but escaped from the disaster at Glamour and did not share Jannisor’s capture, death, and imprisonment in a Lunar Hell.  Instead, he returned to Imther with the shattered remains of Jannisor’s army.  He provides one feat derived from his association with Jannisor.


Binding feat: Make Chaos Net ritual

Disadvantage: Considered a danger by Lunars and Lunar sympathizers. 


Divine Retribution

Spirit of Reprisal: The Tree of Pain

Those hunters who fail in their vows will see the Tree of Pain each day until they purify themselves. The tree does not appear at a specific time, but usually at a time of stress for a period of several hours. The effect of the tree is to distract the hunter from their task at hand. The hunter suffers a loss of one success level with any skills or feats used while the tree is visible. If the hunter flees from the tree, the tree follows. It is a spiritual entity.

To become purified, a hunter must embrace the Tree of Pain after it appears. The hunter cannot disengage from the embrace once it begins, and the embrace lasts for several days. The hunter experiences excruciating pain during this time and is vulnerable to any foe who chances upon him.  The pain can be abstracted as an extended contest pitting the hunter’s Initiate or Devotee rating against the Tree’s Might, which varies depending on the magnitude of the hunter’s misdeed(s), but is typically between 20 and 10W3.  The hunter can augment his skill as normal.  

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22 hours ago, jajagappa said:

And the original Amber Fort map as it appeared in NLG #2.

It's odd looking back on this material done some 25 years ago.  All the old Imther maps were pencil-and-paper - seem very crude in comparison to the maps that can be done today, even those in tools like Powerpoint.

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Another map from the Archives.  This is the Southlands of Imther which was home to my original campaign.  It's one of the maps submitted as part of my Imther: Edge of Empire RQ3 pack.  I'm happy that quite a few of these places found their way into Gloranthan canon:  Hortugarth, Sidherius (aka Sidara in the Dawn Age maps), the Plain of Stones, the Silverstone and Isildon Rivers.  A few things got moved around a bit:  Kareiston's Sun Dome Temple  ended up northeast of Hortugarth (or Hortugarth ended up further south, and you'd need to extend the Imaron River further south as well so it junctions with the Isildon appropriately at Hortugarth), the Plain of Stones a bit further south, more elongated, and less delineated; and you'd likely need to check the distances.  But it could certainly go for a map found in the Nochet archives drawn by some scholar who didn't know the lands well.

Those with a good memory of the original RQ3 material may recall Greenbrass and see where I integrated that village into Imther. 

Imther HW Maps 003.jpg

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I like having maps from in-game perspectives.  This map is ostensibly from that of an Imtherian native - basically their view of the Known World.  The axis denoted by the 2nd Daughter's Road from Cafol-Jillaro-Hilltown (and to a lesser extent the Daughter's Road from Jillaro-Filichet) was central to my original campaign while Dragon Pass was but a remote land of primitive barbarians.


Imther HW Maps 002-v2.jpg

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And I also have a fondness for in-game texts.  Problematic letters often turned up in scenarios/sessions.  This one wasn't specifically problematic, but given the amount of commentary, is probably from the collection of the King of Vanch at Bikhy.

Letter to the Temple of the Suns

Delivered by Harmal the Walker

At the Behest of Urmarnex Nightcrest, Lord of the Temple of Khelmal


                To my brethren in the Temple of the Suns (1) in the city of Bikhy (2), I offer greetings and salutations.  Know that it is my desire to see the rancor that has existed within the walls of the golden temple reach an end and that the blessings of the Founders (3) be extended to all of us in equal share just as the rays of the sun find their way equally to each and every one of us.

                Surely this is the time for us to recognize that Antirius, Khelmal, Yelmalio, and, yes, even Hurril (4), have traditions (5) that incorporate the path to the Hill of Gold. (6)  Shall we not overcome our fears and place our hearts and minds in the hands of the almighty Sun Father, Yelm? (7)  Let us join as sons of the sun and go into battle against the forces of darkness (8) together!  Let us ascend the four steps (9) hand-in-hand and rejoice in the triumph of the son of the Sun in all his glory.  Let us call upon the Davu (10) to shield us with its purity and bathe us with its truth.

                Yes, my brethren in the light and glory of the Sun, let us create a common good amongst us that radiates the truth of our words throughout the world.  Let us meet together in the coming year when Yelm ascends his highest mount and bring our squabbles to an end for these squabbles are surely the path of darkness.




(1) The Temple of the Suns is a temple palace dedicated to those who make the pilgrimage to the most sacred Hill of Gold.  Though originally built as a small shrine, the temple has grown over the years and incorporates several distinct shrines and halls whose worshippers follow the different gods of the Hill of Gold.  Because of rivalries and feuds, the Temple of the Suns is divided into at least five sections and it is a rare pilgrim who enters a rival's section.

                The larger sections are: the Antirian Hall which houses the Scepter of Justice and is open to questers of Antirius; the Yelmalion Barracks which house the Orb of Authority and are open to initiates of Yelmalio; the Khelmali Shrine which houses the Ring of Hope and is open to Imtherians; the Hurrili Grove which houses the Staff of Light and is open to elves and elf-friends; and the Pallanakin Tower which houses the Crystal of the Living Flame and allows worship by those who follow any other sun god. None of these deities (nor any of their lesser associates) actually have a temple near the Hill of Gold. 

It is not uncommon for questers to the Hill of Gold to end up dead before they even reach the Hill, slain by their solar rivals for their magical powers.  Such was the recent case of Tiranirelm the Just, heroquester of Antirius, who came into conflict with Yofrastus Sunhelm, of the Tarshite Sun Dome.  Tiranirelm was slain when he challenged Yofrastus to the Test of Three Solutions and lost. Yofrastus took Tiranirelm's Scepter of Justice to use in his own quest. 

(2) Capital of Vanch.  This is the closest city to the Hill of Gold. 

(3) But whose Founders?  Those of the Temple of the Suns or those of Imther? 

(4) I believe a name or title of the sun god of the elves of Rist and the Elder Wilds.  Nightcrest also ignores Pallanak (a solar figure who defeated the dark deity only to be encased in the grip of the conquering ice as shown in the major friezes of his tower) who is not known to be worshipped by any living people. 

(5) Each cult's traditions require starting some distance away from the Hill of Gold when performing the last phase of the pilgrimage.  The traditional starting place is, of course, the Temple of the Suns in Bikhy. 

(6) Each of the cults has differing paths to and from the Hill of Gold.  Antirius questers must survive the storms only to take grave woundings and have a companion who can carry them back to the Temple of the Suns. Yelmalio questers must strive to reach the pinnacle of the Hill of Gold.  Khelmal questers must battle their foes to a standstill before they sacrifice their fire powers and strive to return to Imther. 

(7) Nightcrest uses the common Dara Happan spelling instead of the traditional Imtherian name of Yelem, presumably as a means to encourage unity. 

(8) There are always plenty of foes for such questers to meet for the Vanchites maintain a temple called the Temple of the Father near the Hill which is sacred to the dark figures who must oppose the sun questers.  The Antirian questers call this figure the Cruel God, the Yelmalions Zorak Zoran, while the Imtherians call him Orak the Hell Wind. 

(9) The Hill of Gold is in fact an isolated and rocky hill whose lower portions are covered in scrubby trees and thorny vines and whose top is bald.  Ruins of an ancient temple (or Footstool as some would have it) can also be found at several points on the hill.  It is these ruins that have led some to portray the Hill of Gold as a great ziggurat of four tiers with the top surmounted by a glittering and golden orb. 

(10) An angelic spirit who also has a shrine within the Temple of the Sun though no one has visited it in ages.

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My original map of the city of Hortugarth.  The city name is straightforward:  Hortus' garth (i.e. his enclosure or yard).  Not shown on the map, but further out from the walls is the ring of trees which Hortus planted to mark out the greater bounds of his city.  It's an old location though.  Marex Hill in the southwest corner is the site of Tor Vara which you'll find on the GtG Dawn Age map, one of the two ancient Balurgan settlements (the other, Tor Balur, is part of the ruins in the Plain of Stones).

The original design had Hortugarth more populous than what ended up in the Guide (where it is a small city).  My in-game explanation is simply that Imther incurred the anger of the Lunar Provincial Government and was consequently visited by the Crimson Bat.  This map pre-dates that visit.  It's on a convenient trade route from Imther to Holay though where Imtherian stone (marble) from the mountains, as well as cheese and wool and furs from the east, are loaded onto boats on the Isildon River and sent downriver to Mirin's Cross or beyond.

Not unlike Jonstown, it's a center for the clans of the Laramite tribe and those clans (what I locally termed 'marls') maintained nice homes in the city.  Too urbanized really for Imther, but it served as the home base for my original campaign, particularly the Conquering Daughter's temple (the Temple of Hwarin Victorious).


Imther HW Maps 001-v2.jpg

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Never quite know what will turn up when digging through the piles of old notes, but here's my Temple of Hwarin Victorious!  On the Hortugarth map, it is situated on North Street.  From the size of the temple, it is clearly a Major Temple - likely larger than you'd really expect for a city in Imther.  Probably would fit better in Mirin's Cross or Filichet.  It reflects my concept of Hwarin Dalthippa at the time with sections for her warriors, her priests, and her workers (e.g. weavers, stonecutters).  

[And if you look closely you might see that I drew it on the back of an old computer printout - specifically a JCL listing for any old mainframe programmers out there.]



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One more location:  the Inn of Last Light in Hortugarth.  You'll find in on the Hortugarth map along the western riverfront at the end of the wall near where it says "Isildon River".  It is situated on a high bank along the river so there was both a lower common room right on the docks frequented by rivermen and an upper common room frequented by other tradesmen.

It was another popular location in my campaign.  Hawkeye and Vranakion, two of the first Imtherian PC's both lived there.  Appchus was a common source of information and opportunities for the PC's - ostensibly a merchant, but also a Sylilan spy.

A commonality in my campaigns is that most cities have an "Inn of Last Light" - always of course near the western edge of the city.  Yes, there is one in Nochet as well.  They have no connection with each other (unlike Geo's), no common layout, but they seem to regularly pop up.  Even my recent foray into Jonstown in my HQG campaign found an Inn of Last Light there.



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  • 2 years later...

Amazing job! I’m impressed. I was looking for lunar floor plans on Pinterest and ended up here ^^ . I might use them for a home scenario where the characters have to retrieve Gastapakis held captive by the lunar empire (one of my players has a pierce of iron ore as an heirloom and Gatapakis is one of the very few able to enchant it). Am I right in assuming  that Hortugarth is a Second Age city and that the temple might still be active, though now devoted to lunar gods ?

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9 hours ago, jps said:

Amazing job! I’m impressed.

For hand-drawn maps and plans from 25 years ago, they are reasonable.  I'm much happier with my Nochet  and Whitewall maps though. 🙂 

9 hours ago, jps said:

Am I right in assuming  that Hortugarth is a Second Age city and that the temple might still be active, though now devoted to lunar gods ?

Hortugarth is contemporary Third Age city (as you can see in the map from the Guide to Glorantha below). 

This was part of my Imther Campaign and home to my characters.  Mostly built up during the Fifth Wane and after (though the hill in the SW corner with the Necropolis is an ancient Earth site that predates the Dawning - it was called Tor Vara at that time).  My version of the city at the time was closer to 5000 people rather than the 2000 noted.  So it's probably more crowded/larger than it should be.

The temple was the Temple of Hwarin Victorious (i.e. the Conquering Daughter).  It was built explicitly for her and is decidedly a Lunar temple.  The temple itself is really the central area.  To the left are barracks for the soldiers serving the goddess.  To the right are the rooms for skilled initiates serving the temple and learning the crafts the temple teaches.


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2 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

what do you know about "dog brothers?"

Can't say I've seen that picture, but cool!  (Always loved the alchemical transformer and its blind cave oxen!)

Interesting little tidbit on writing fantasy.  I still have that Lin Carter book around - definitely dated to the mid- to late-70s fantasy writing approach.

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