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Pentallion

Any good chaos heroquests out there?

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On 5/10/2018 at 8:36 PM, Pentallion said:

I'm getting way, way ahead of my group here, but probably late next year we should go back to our Lunar campaign and the crazy, dysfunctional party I detailed in "Lunar Diaries".  I intend to send them on some horrifying chaos heroquests. 

We do have an outline of a chaotic initiation in The Coming Storm on p.14. It describes how the Orlanthi initiation ceremony is experienced by those in the Red Cow carrying the ogre taint. Obviously the Red Cow kill most children who emerge from their initiation with this mark, but some do survive and plague the clan.

Now that may not be the specific quest you are after, but here are some ideas on how I wrote that.

Chaos came into the world because of the actions of the gods in the world. Gods like Ragnaglar. Generally they acted in ways that are now taboo. So secret murder, rape, sacrifice of sentient creatures, spreading disease, regicide, kinstrife etc. They are taboo partially because they help bring chaos into the world, but when they first occur they lead to chaos because they are acts against the social order. Breaking the social order has negative connotations in Glorantha, it weakens the world and lets chaos in.

So, I believe many chaotic myths are about how someone broke the social order. Now in their minds I suspect they felt they had 'just' reasons for doing so. Perhaps they felt they had been treated unjustly, not got their fair share. In the Bible 'Cain and Abel' is a great example of what I would think as a chaos myth, for example. For a chaotic cult Cain's actions are justified and he is the 'victim'.

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1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

In the Bible 'Cain and Abel' is a great example of what I would think as a chaos myth, for example. For a chaotic cult Cain's actions are justified and he is the 'victim'.

Of course, from the Solar perspective, Rebellus Terminus' slaying of his uncle destroys order and allows darkness and subsequently chaos into the world, all because of his selfish desires.  Very easy to translate this into a chaos heroquest.

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Restoration of Tien - either return Atyar (Tien's head) to hell, so Thanatar can be rejoined, or prevent Viking from severing Tien's head in the first place.

Preventing Viking from severing Tien's head would likely result in a hero cult with access to utterly terrifying knowledge stealing magics - and would likely attract a lot of attention from Tien's old adversary Lhankor Mhy.

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29 minutes ago, EricW said:

Restoration of Tien - either return Atyar (Tien's head) to hell, so Thanatar can be rejoined, or prevent Viking from severing Tien's head in the first place.

Preventing Viking from severing Tien's head would likely result in a hero cult with access to utterly terrifying knowledge stealing magics - and would likely attract a lot of attention from Tien's old adversary Lhankor Mhy.

I am curious about your use of "Viking" for Hrothmir, the Horned Hero. Is this for avoiding that norse-like pronunciation?

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On 5/21/2018 at 3:11 AM, Ian Cooper said:

We do have an outline of a chaotic initiation in The Coming Storm on p.14. It describes how the Orlanthi initiation ceremony is experienced by those in the Red Cow carrying the ogre taint.

I have a PC who is an ogre who was initiated this way. It is interesting, because it invites initiation to Cacodemon, but doesn't insist on it (and actually having no Storm magic would make it quite obvious who was suspect in many cases). For this purposes I'm saying Ragnaglar may be dead as an independent deity, but still functions as a sort of 'stealth Thunder Brother', able to get basic Storm magic as a member of Orlanths household. In this way my PC is able to use some Storm magic and avoid suspicion as an obvious chaos plant -- but he has no magical defence against discovery by Uroxi, unlike Cacodemon, and no outlet for his cannibalistic urges, which are becoming more intense. 

I think a few Chaos heroquests are like this - ooops, take a very wrong turn at an important cultural heroquest, and suddenly you are cast in the enemy role and become chaotic. Similarly, take a very wrong turn in some other major cultural quests, and you find you are Chaotic now - eg do a quest about Orlanth being the chief, but lose your temper and slaughter someone who petitions the chief for justice, and suddenly you are an Urain cultist now. Or if you can't get the right allies to support Yelm's justice, but you accept the aid of un-Just allies against a more Just opponent, even if you win you might find yourself as Kazkurtum not Yelm. And in this manner Chaos doesn't always depend on maintaining an external cult for cool chaos powers to be available to the corrupt and villainous - the potential is hidden there in the fears and hatreds of the community. 

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On 5/29/2018 at 4:41 AM, davecake said:

I think a few Chaos heroquests are like this - ooops, take a very wrong turn at an important cultural heroquest, and suddenly you are cast in the enemy role and become chaotic. Similarly, take a very wrong turn in some other major cultural quests, and you find you are Chaotic now - eg do a quest about Orlanth being the chief, but lose your temper and slaughter someone who petitions the chief for justice, and suddenly you are an Urain cultist now. Or if you can't get the right allies to support Yelm's justice, but you accept the aid of un-Just allies against a more Just opponent, even if you win you might find yourself as Kazkurtum not Yelm. And in this manner Chaos doesn't always depend on maintaining an external cult for cool chaos powers to be available to the corrupt and villainous - the potential is hidden there in the fears and hatreds of the community. 

Yes, good, that seems like one of the risks of free heroquesting --- tainting the quest by doing it wrong at some important point. I have been theorizing about diffuse chaos coming from this, but associating the process with Gods is clearly superior.

Another good reason for Arkati to guide naive seekers to the proper path, by the way, even if their saint managed to muddle through.

Also, we God Learners did well by using a best-practices based six-stigma process.

Edited by The God Learner

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On 5/29/2018 at 12:41 PM, davecake said:

I have a PC who is an ogre who was initiated this way. It is interesting, because it invites initiation to Cacodemon, but doesn't insist on it (and actually having no Storm magic would make it quite obvious who was suspect in many cases). For this purposes I'm saying Ragnaglar may be dead as an independent deity, but still functions as a sort of 'stealth Thunder Brother', able to get basic Storm magic as a member of Orlanths household. In this way my PC is able to use some Storm magic and avoid suspicion as an obvious chaos plant -- but he has no magical defence against discovery by Uroxi, unlike Cacodemon, and no outlet for his cannibalistic urges, which are becoming more intense. 

I think a few Chaos heroquests are like this - ooops, take a very wrong turn at an important cultural heroquest, and suddenly you are cast in the enemy role and become chaotic. Similarly, take a very wrong turn in some other major cultural quests, and you find you are Chaotic now - eg do a quest about Orlanth being the chief, but lose your temper and slaughter someone who petitions the chief for justice, and suddenly you are an Urain cultist now. Or if you can't get the right allies to support Yelm's justice, but you accept the aid of un-Just allies against a more Just opponent, even if you win you might find yourself as Kazkurtum not Yelm. And in this manner Chaos doesn't always depend on maintaining an external cult for cool chaos powers to be available to the corrupt and villainous - the potential is hidden there in the fears and hatreds of the community. 

Wouldn't the cultist become chaotic Orlanth, Orlanth the Destroyer, rather than becoming a straight out Urain cultist? Access to many of Orlanth's powers, without the restraint of Orlanth's honour? 

Or maybe hero quests which upset a chain of events which leads to victory over the Devil causes the utter destruction of the heroquestor. After all, in their version of the myth which they corrupted Wakboth succeeds in his attempt to destroy the world - so how can they return to a world which they helped to destroy? Perhaps this is what protects Glorantha from the consequences of truly devastating chaotic hero quests.

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