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Scenario ideas for Dwarf Knoll?

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So I want to prepare a scenario set in or around the oasis Dwarf Knoll.

ToRM#14 includes some informations concerning this area. I guess it isn't mentioned elsewhere in extensive detail?

What strange scenario can I run in Dwarf Knoll and its environment? My ambition is to portray the bizarre and weird peculiarities of Glorantha and to surprise especially Glorantha-newbies.

May someone help me with brainstorming?

 

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It is often fun to have a number of political factions involved in the same scenario simultaneously.  Likely suspects include a Sable tribe, the Flintnail cult, the Oasis people, and potentially a merchant train on the Pavis Road.  Of course the Merchant train is comprised of Etyries, Issaries and Lokarnos merchants, possibly Argan Argar too.  Naturally the mercants are all bitchy and politically at odds with each other, even when placed on the same side.  Now suppose the High Llama tribe is trying to wrest control of the oasis from the Sables?  But how can they dare challenge the Sables when they have Lunar support?  Well, the Lunars are off chasing delinquent impala pygmies, and recently the High Llamas have come across a powerful magical Macguffin that has tipped things in their favor.  Now the merchants want to get to the oasis to water their beasts, but they also want to leave again.  Needless to day the High Llamas don't want Lunar caravan guards reinforcing their enemies, so while the caravan is able to fight its way into the Oasis with relative ease, the High Llamas will be ready if they try to leave.  Now the Flintnail dwarves have business in the ruins under the hill, and will hire anyone who is prepared to act as extra muscle to help them.  But what peril awaits?  Trolls? Chaos?  The dwarves also have a bit of an interest in keeping the caravan running because trade caravans are the lifeblood of Pavis but they are small in number and in little position to intervene, but if their mission is successful they might have something to break the deadlock.  It might also turn out that the High Llamas are less interested in the capture of the oasis, and more in the return of some of their captives whom the Sables want to sell into slavery, but the Sables are not telling anyone about that, and instead paint the High Llamas as entirely belligerent and unreasonable.  Of course the wily Sables are quite prepared to offer "these fine slaves" for sale to the merchants, thus drawing their enemies away.  Chuck in a romcom element and a surly curmudgeon of a morokanth who keeps threatening to eat the slaves, and it's a wrap I think.

 

Edited by Darius West
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Last thing I heard about Dwarf Knob is that while it is an interesting feature in the Chaparral, it is not an oasis (as in a spot of preserved fertility in the otherwise barren land), but as barren as the area next to it. If there is anything magically different there, it might be mostali in origin, but that doesn't usually promote fertility.

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The Guide entry Dwarf Knoll and the Copper Caves tells us it was a former Dwarf city in the God time full of Mostali Ghosts. It's not marked as an oasis (but YGMV). Flintnail met Pavis there and there may still be Dwarves within. Otherwise its a 5 mile wide rise on the plains of Prax. Looking at my master Prax map reveals one oddity about the place:

5a848a941c024_DwarfKnoll.png.51bed3f37d028249352c06b3d6a436d7.png

This map overlays the water demesnes (yes spelled wrong on the map!) of Prax on to the grazings. The water demesnes are the hidden extent of various water spirits in Prax (we'd call them catchments). Every water demesne in Prax but one has an associated oasis or serpent. There are four grazing colours on the map. Light green (The Long Dry & East Zola Fel) these provide Grazing 1 in 2 Years, Green (Eiritha Hills) Best grazing all year round, Darker Green (Prax) and Brown (Dead Place, Zola Fel Bogs) None or Poor Grazing.

The Dwarf Knoll demesne is the only one that has no oasis or serpent. Also the land above is drier - The Long Dry! an anomaly in Prax. So where does the water go? It's my belief that the Copper Caves being an old Mostali Mine drain the water into some unnatural fracture in the land below. Countless shifts of dwarves have perished trying to patch the problem. Their deaths in this unnatural situation cause their ghosts to populate the complex rather than enter the recycling phase. The crack likely originates in the Great Darkness and could go to an Underworld or the Chaos Void. It's deep enough that it's Dwarves fight alone. Although a normal water demesne in Prax isn't a large amount of water, once you get deep enough, you are on the otherside. The flood is a huge Maelstrom whirling into a giant sinkhole. Dwarves in specialist equipment hang from the ceiling in iron roped rigs lowering enchanted structures into the void to form the basis for a plug. Every so often a monster rises up from the sinkhole and smashes the work. Exterminator crews scramble to save the structure, diving in with specialist underwater combat gear. Many never return from this endless battle. (Think Das Boot, A Perfect Storm, meets Pacific Rim). They are so deep underground that no one can hear them scream.

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My pcs found a mostali mechanical map of the copper caves and a mostali water breathing device recently. I had no idea at the time about the what and the why of the breather. Now I Know!

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Print.slasar:

A prominent dwarven business owner named Agbardixitle Blackchert is acting as a frontman for a group of Pavic merchants who are interested in reopening the mines at Dwarf Knoll if the ore body is rich and sustainable enough. He hires and sends the party plus a few other mercenaries to guard and protect a couple of dwarven mining experts from Pavis. One is Ojadarr Veinsusser a curmudgeonly old Mostali who knows mining but is also a disreputable alcoholic and is down on his luck. The other is Porbeen Pluton a younger and more responsible dwarf who is acting as the assistant to Odajar and as his minder. 

The party traverses the Long Dry, encountering a vicious and xenophobic shaman named Ikogie Spiritleaper of the Twistbone Sable Clan, who harasses the party with spirit sendings over the course of a day and a night before losing interest. Ikogie is accompanied by her assistant and by a sable warrior named Ulhanhi Strongbow (he uses a captured composte bow with some skill instead of the more usual self bow).

As the party approaches Dwarf Knoll they find the old tailings pit, now a water hole of inferior quality, occupied by fifty or so sable riders of the Twistbone Clan. There are about 14 men, 18 women, and about 14 children and eight slaves in the clan along with 76 sables, two Llamas, a bison and 11 impala, all animals are domesticated. The clan is not hospitable and demands three challenging tests of the party's worth before allowing the party to water mounts and rest at the oasis unmolested. The tests include a skills test of hunting three impala from a nearby wild herd, a magical test (the Peaceful Cut ritual and a butchery skill test, meat to go to the Twistbones) and a martial test vs. a Twistbone champion. If the party succeeds in all three tests then the Twistbones allow them to stay but are stand-offish and aloof. If they fail one test they are humiliated but allowed to water before being sent away. If they fail two tests they are denied water and sent away. If they fail all three tests they are attacked and either killed or captured to be sold into slavery as foreign enemies of Prax.

Whatever the result of the tests, except for total failure, the party proceeds to the nearby mines to conduct their investigation. Happily there is some stagnant water in the mines which, while barely potable, can be used to water mounts and party members alike. Animals will be fine but party members must make Con X 5 rolls or suffer mild illness, the runs and dyspepsia. The mines are right beside and below the artificial knoll where the Mostali miners used to live and process the copper. The mines are occupied by some dwarven creations like nimlergs and gobblers. There is also a pack of 12 feral Trollkin who have fallen under the brutal and unsophisticated sway of a minor Tien priest and fugitive Morokanth named Eejabao Throatrender. The Tien worshipping pack will attempt to ambush or pick off party members as they are fearful and have very poor morale/elan and no real armour to speak of. The pack has amassed a rich hoard of loot from preying upon vulnerable travellers along the Old Pavis Road over the last year or so. The party must deal with the denizens of the mine in order to make their appreciation of the mine's viability.

When they emerge from the mine, which is a taboo place to the sable folk, the Twistbone Clan has been reunited with Ikogie Spiritleaper the shaman, who will turn the clan against the party for un-Praxian behaviour. A harrowing chase will result until the party is either able to escape, is captured/killed or drives off the dozen sable riders out to get them. Ikogie will accompany the sable braves as will her apprentice. There are two veteran sable riders, four warriors and six young novice scouts plus Ikogie and her apprentice. Scouts have self bows and light clubs. Warriors have selfbows lances, shields and either axes or clubs/maces. Veterans have the same as warriors but have scimitars too. Shamans have daggers/sickles and selfbows. Scouts and shamans are unarmoured except for light leather, warriors have hardened leather armour and veterans have light scale shirts and skirts with metal helmets and hardened leather limbs. All are mounted with warriors and veterans on cavalry mounts and scouts on skittish riding beasts. Ikogie and the apprentice will also be mounted on riding beasts unsuited to melee combat.

Cheers.

Evilroddy.

Edited by Evilroddy
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On 2/14/2018 at 7:44 PM, David Scott said:

The flood is a huge Maelstrom whirling into a giant sinkhole. Dwarves in specialist equipment hang from the ceiling in iron roped rigs lowering enchanted structures into the void to form the basis for a plug. Every so often a monster rises up from the sinkhole and smashes the work. Exterminator crews scramble to save the structure, diving in with specialist underwater combat gear. Many never return from this endless battle. (Think Das Boot, A Perfect Storm, meets Pacific Rim). They are so deep underground that no one can hear them scream.

I ran this as an HQG scenario at Glorantha Games 2019 in Birmingham UK yesterday. A team of elite dwarfs in giant faced statues fought a huge chaos intrusion in three 2500m tall Faced Statues, one was made of enchanted iron, one had a dwarf thrower that fired Iron Dwarfs in semi-auto or full auto mode, another a huge harpoon and net (the players were very creative). Eventually they plugged the crack and saved the day.

There was a fourth statue, but a second age sorcerer and a renegade dwarf stole the incomplete construction and destroyed it. The fifth statue is stored safely for future needs...

Make your own, describe your primary and secondary weapons and link them to a rune. Then describe your major defence and link it to a rune. Distribute 75 points between your systems. It's controlled by two dwarfs in the control seats set in the central earth rune which is a window tough as iron. The dwarf crew may attempted to add subsystems related to their abilities (such as a smoke removal unit to stop the dwarf who smokes fogging the control room or a tactical viewing orb usable by gold dwarfs) before you start. The entire rig is controlled through the dwarf earth rune magic (augmented where needed).

statue.png.934573ebcef05d73a5d48757021164ad.png

 

 

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

I ran this as an HQG scenario at Glorantha Games 2019 in Birmingham UK yesterday. A team of elite dwarfs in giant faced statues fought a huge chaos intrusion in three 2500m tall Faced Statues, one was made of enchanted iron, one had a dwarf thrower that fired Iron Dwarfs in semi-auto or full auto mode, another a huge harpoon and net (the players were very creative). Eventually they plugged the crack and saved the day.

...

 

 

Will this scenario become available anywhere?

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Good grief - 2500m of iron.... That has to be be more iron than there is in the rest of Glorantha combined. O.o

Not really, the dwarfs have plenty, they just don’t hand it out. This particular amount was created by transforming the stone statue with specialist QuickSilver transformation magics. We don’t know if the transformation was permanent.

 

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4 hours ago, Bohemond said:

Given the general dearth of Prax-based scenarios (other than Pavis/River of Cradles), please do publish this!

It’s set in 1652, Prax and the RoC are under thousands of feet of water. The herds are causing a serious problem - their bodies are blocking the drainage filters.

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