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I love the idea of playing a group of adventurers holed up in Exile Stead, post apocalyptic style, scavenging and fighting undead, trying to locate other survivors. The ex sheriff, his wife and son, the crossbow wielding hunter....Hang on!

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I've been looking for a way to get rid of the Block for a while, as the Devil waking up will be part of the Hero Wars for me. I hadn't thought of an underground war, even though it is now blindingly obvious. Time to summon a Krarsht army to fight those pesky Stormbullers.

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On 5/21/2018 at 7:57 PM, Evilroddy said:

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer this lost Gloranthan traveller as he attempts to cobble together a post-Fimbulwinter River of Cradles campaign that is at least close to canon in its progression above the character level. I fear I may just kill them all through starvation or strife unless I get a better handle on this period.

You've deftly described all sorts of horrible goings-on across Prax, here's what happened in Sun County when the Great Winter hit (from The Great Winter & Time of Two Counts document):

Horrors of the Windstop

With the Windstop came other terrors. Fertility blessings failed as animals and children began to die in the womb, gravely endangering their mothers as well. Out of the Great Bog came swarms of locusts, both normal-sized and giant. With them came gangs of ravenous wild trollkin, some even riding the huge flying insects. They swept through the farmlands, stripping all the vegetation in their path. In their wake came a plague of famished traskars and cliff toads, driven from their usual lairs by hunger.

Even more disturbingly, chaos horrors emerged from a great eruption of sinkholes that appeared around the abandoned village of Rabbit Hat, formerly a center of the illicit hazia trade. As the fields dried up, more such holes began to appear all across Sun County. Investigating parties sent in by Vega Goldbreath found themselves in a dangerous and confusing network of excavated tubes, suggesting a widespread subterranean infiltration of the land by Krarsht, the Devouring Mother.

Meanwhile, on the river a strange sea-monster, its breath like a poisonous cold mist, wreaked havoc. To the Count’s vexation, the Great Ballista at Harpoon was useless, lacking arrows to slay it. Even Sor Eel’s soldiers couldn’t kill the monster and eventually it made its way upriver to the Rubble, where it is said to have disappeared into the Puzzle Canal.

The leaders of Sun County were sorely pressed dealing with these calamities, but the real crisis lay in the dwindling supply of food. As even harsher measures were enacted against hoarding, people began to accuse their neighbours of being in league with Krarsht.

Terrors at Sacred Time

Worse was to come.  During Sacred Time, the customary rituals to renew the world utterly failed. Perimides the Chaste, the aged high priest, collapsed at the High Altar, spilling the sacred libation. He was carried away, raving about a red-clad seductress. As the shocked celebrants went to symbolically awaken the high earth priestess, Penta Goldbreath, they found she could not be roused. Meanwhile, a creeping rot spread from the spilled libations to the sacrificial food offerings (and was later found to have spread to the granaries). Evil spirits began to assail the assembled worshippers, and in horror they realized some in the crowd were actually the undead of Nontraya, those who had already died of hunger. In the confusion, the sleeping Penta vanished; some said she was carried off in the jaws of a great horned wolf.

(and it only gets worse for everyone from here...)

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3 hours ago, MOB said:

(and it only gets worse for everyone from here...)

Only the heroic Melo Yelo can bring salvation to the Land of the Sun...

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On 5/26/2018 at 9:14 PM, Evilroddy said:

The communities I am interested in are Horngate, Biggle Stone, The Paps and its Sacred Ground, Tourney Altar, The Block and the Devil's Swamp, Exile Stead/Barbarian Town, Pimber's Block, Moonbroth and finally Adari.

Horn Gate. This is the centre of the Chalana Arroy cult for the Praxians. The oasis folk here retreat into the “haunted” tunnels as they normally do. Many refugees converge here and the White lady does her best to save all those who come. Many who are not Praxian or oasis folk go into the tunnels and never return, story hook. Waha himself (a khan) closes the horn gate. Story hook.

Biggle stone is at the centre of the Morokanth ancestral grazing, Its name translates a “Close to the Goddess”. We know from the Guide that it’s a piece of dagori Inkarth accidentally brought by Waha during his reweaving of the Wastelands. The kygerlith at the centre acts as a rallying point for the Morokanth who summon Dark Eater herself to protect them once again in the darkness. Chaos spilling out from the devils marsh heading to the sacred ground is once again buffered by the Morokanth. Although this is their role, many perish in the fight, the air that is gone is replaced by darkness and darkness spirits. When the air returns, dark Eater is fed and banished once more.

Tourney altar. This is the centre of the Humakt cult for the Praxians. I haven't specified what the Humakti do here, they should go where best needed. The Block is certainly an option. As you can see, the oasis's actually with the chaos zones defined in Greg's Praxian Sense of Space article in Tales.

The Sounders river freezes unable to deal with the cold, but the Marsh doesn’t. The marsh denizens pour out and head towards the Paps (as usual). the Morokanth take the brunt as usual, summoning Dark Eater. The Block is a rallying point for those that oppose the chaos but not normally the target of the chaos.

129135445_ScreenShot2018-05-29at14_12_39.png.89755a8b0e503278e6c8dfdbba2f5a41.png

Moonbroth is a rallying point for the sables, they call on their Founders to ride out the Windstop and are largely unscathed, using Moon and Sky powers.The sables also savagely raid the Pol-joni.

 

Edited by David Scott
Annotated map
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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Horn Gate. This is the centre of the Chalana Arroy cult for the Praxians. The oasis folk here retreat into the “haunted” tunnels as they normally do. Many refugees converge here and the White lady does her best to save all those who come. Many who are not Praxian or oasis folk go into the tunnels and never return, story hook. Waha himself (a khan) closes the horn gate. Story hook.

Biggle stone is at the centre of the Morokanth ancestral grazing, Its name translates a “Close to the Goddess”. We know from the Guide that it’s a piece of dagori Inkarth accidentally brought by Waha during his reweaving of the Wastelands. The kygerlith at the centre acts as a rallying point for the Morokanth who summon Dark Eater herself to protect them once again in the darkness. Chaos spilling out from the devils marsh heading to the sacred ground is once again buffered by the Morokanth. Although this is their role, many perish in the fight, the air that is gone is replaced by darkness and darkness spirits. When the air returns, dark Eater is fed and banished once more.

Tourney altar. This is the centre of the Humakt cult for the Praxians. I haven't specified what the Humakti do here, they should go where best needed. The Block is certainly an option. As you can see, the oasis's actually with the chaos zones defined in Greg's Praxian Sense of Space article in Tales.

The Sounders river freezes unable to deal with the cold, but the Marsh doesn’t. The marsh denizens pour out and head towards the Paps (as usual). the Morokanth take the brunt as usual, summoning Dark Eater. The Block is a rallying point for those that oppose the chaos but not normally the target of the chaos.

23220991_ScreenShot2018-05-29at14_12_39.png.4c3ed87e8be8ff12b719d0fc9ba0d9c7.png

Yellow is Sacred Ground, brown, the morokanth ancestral grazing and Biggle Stone. Dark green is Prax, lighter green is the Eiritha Hills, green at the top is the long Dry. Moonbroth is in the brown area at the top, the sable ancestral grazing,

Moonbroth is a rallying point for the sables, they call on their Founders to ride out the Windstop and are largely unscathed, using Moon and Sky powers.The sables also savagely raid the Pol-joni.

 

David Scott:

Thank you for your input. It is much appreciated. A couple of points confuse me however. You say that the Oasis folk and healers at Horn Gate retreat through the gates and into the tunnels for refuge from the disaster, but what do they eat in order to survive the year-plus long disaster? Also many of the healers at Horn Gate are Pavic exiles and not local Oasis folk. Do they succumb to the dreadful spirits which lurk behind and below Horn Gate?

My second question refers to your description of the map which you included in your above post. You write, "...brown, the morokanth ancestral grazing...". Isn't the brown region the Dead Place and given the Morokanths' heavy reliance on magic in order to survive in the Prax, is the Dead Place a sensible region to frequent for them if they can avoid it. Also given that the Winter Ruins are located there it might be one of the coldest and least hospitable places in Prax during and immediately after the Fimbulwinter. Do you perhaps mean the "rusty/burnt-orange" or "red" regions on the map or are the colours on the map as they appear to you not the same as on my I-pad, I wonder?

Anways thanks for your good counsel and I am looking forward to the revised Prax book when you finish such a mammoth task.

Cheers.

Evilroddy.

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51 minutes ago, Evilroddy said:

You say that the Oasis folk and healers at Horn Gate retreat through the gates and into the tunnels for refuge from the disaster, but what do they eat in order to survive the year-plus long disaster? Also many of the healers at Horn Gate are Pavic exiles and not local Oasis folk. Do they succumb to the dreadful spirits which lurk behind and below Horn Gate?

Good question, what do they eat? Do they enter into the otherworld or Eiritha’s tomb and not need to eat, is that their secret? I suspect CA healers of any culture would be fine. Don’t forget that many of the healers at horn gate are Praxians, not oasis folk, who tend to be Ernalda followers. It’s other refugees that would be the problem. Going into the other side of a major Praxian deity is the problem, the dreadful spirits are likely ancestors.

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5 hours ago, David Scott said:

Good question, what do they eat? Do they enter into the otherworld or Eiritha’s tomb and not need to eat, is that their secret? I suspect CA healers of any culture would be fine. Don’t forget that many of the healers at horn gate are Praxians, not oasis folk, who tend to be Ernalda followers. It’s other refugees that would be the problem. Going into the other side of a major Praxian deity is the problem, the dreadful spirits are likely ancestors.

If there was an Asrelia presence, they may have long-term hidden caches of food.  Or perhaps there are fungal gardens within that the healers normally use for healing potions, but are turned into food sources.

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17 hours ago, Evilroddy said:

My second question refers to your description of the map which you included in your above post.

I've now annotated the map to avoid confusion.

17 hours ago, Evilroddy said:

given the Morokanths' heavy reliance on magic in order to survive in the Prax,

The morokanth have the same level of reliance on magic as any other great tribe of Prax. It's the smaller independent tribes that need the help.

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15 hours ago, David Scott said:

Good question, what do they eat? Do they enter into the otherworld or Eiritha’s tomb and not need to eat, is that their secret? I suspect CA healers of any culture would be fine. Don’t forget that many of the healers at horn gate are Praxians, not oasis folk, who tend to be Ernalda followers. It’s other refugees that would be the problem. Going into the other side of a major Praxian deity is the problem, the dreadful spirits are likely ancestors.

While Eiritha is the herd goddess for the Beast Riders, herself and her magic place predate the Covenant, and the Other Side will be something like a piece of Genert's Garden. That means the period to which you exit decides what you find there.

The Eiritha Hills were raised when Death Stalked the Land, so that's some time in Storm or Dark Age. The lands still were plentiful.

I wonder how much Eiritha's support to the Storm Bull recovering from the Devil's near death blow would have reduced those Other Side options. Did she use up the Green and Golden Age potential?

IMO the devastation of Prax is different from the one around the Krjalki Bog. The fertility of the land in the Wastes was taken by the Chaos invaders, although Genert managed to prevent the worst by allowing himself to be eaten by Hyena(s). The Chaos horde ravaged the lands afterwards.

In case of Prax, the magic of the land was freely given by Eiritha to the Bull. The Dead Place gave up all of its magic, but I think the lands around it were affected in the way that made the Covenant of Waha a necessity. Expanding that magic to the Wastes took time and effort, and the retrieved Hidden Greens still are much less sustainable than the holy land of Prax.

 

Going to the Green Age for farming is something that Opili Wallmaker of Old Pavis may have instituted during the lull of Praxian activity following the Dragonkill. However, given that his name appears to be of Horse Folk origin (the Pentan cattle breeding tribe Derik stole his magical bull from bore the same name), I don't think that he was of pure Oasis Folk origin. Possibly the result of intermarriage with those, though.

 

Anyway, there is a good chance that all the healers present at Horn Gate are somehow descended from Genert's folk. Ezel, Estali and even distant Old Seshnela all were part of Genert's kingdom, if not necessarily of his garden, so everybody with Genertelan ancestry should qualify. Agimori might be acceptable through acknowledging the Covenant and their direct descent from Pamalt (through making rather than blood ties, however). Eastern-descended healers might have a harder time, but with the temporary success of the Teshnan settlements in the Grantlands region even that may have been rationalized in. (Even more so if Peter was right with his Goddess Switch theory making Eest the land with the divorce rate.) Through this Genert and/or Ernalda connection, hardly anyone would be entirely unsuitable for entering the underground.

Judging from Yanioth's behavior in the Runes excerpt of the RQG rules, the deeper parts of the Paps are sacred to Ernalda rather than Eiritha.

 

There is another possibility that obviates food: Those who enter below the Eiritha Hills could be subject to the same "She is not dead, just sleeping" stasis that Eiritha and Ernalda went through in the Greater Darkness. That's what Tada raised them for. Attaining that Stasis might be automatic, or there might be a ritual or quest required.

 

If Lunar magics were effective against the Windstop for the Lunar Sable phratries, why were both Colymar (with their Lunar King) and Wulfsland hit by the consequences? IMO it takes the Glowline to neutralize the Windstop, taking the lands enveloped by it into another reality. Can the very localized tides of Moonbroth really do that much? Even the Temple construction site was experiencing the full effect of the Windstop, wasn't it?

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

If Lunar magics were effective against the Windstop for the Lunar Sable phratries, why were both Colymar (with their Lunar King) and Wulfsland hit by the consequences? IMO it takes the Glowline to neutralize the Windstop, taking the lands enveloped by it into another reality. Can the very localized tides of Moonbroth really do that much? Even the Temple construction site was experiencing the full effect of the Windstop, wasn't it?

I actually said:

Quote

The pro-lunar sables phratries turn to foreign magics to survive in their ancestral grazing around moonbroth

The foreign magic isn't lunar. The Hungry Plateau sables have access to different spirits from their homeland to help their cousins. The Praxian sables also use moon magic to survive as well, but not Lunar moon magic. Their ancestors, the Twinstars came down and helped them survive in the Great Darkness. This why the moon rune in Prax predates the Lunars. Moonbroth as one of the surviving oasis spirits also helped people survive, but it's more likely that it's the oasis folk who relied on Moonbroth, not the Sables. 

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

The foreign magic isn't lunar. The Hungry Plateau sables have access to different spirits from their homeland to help their cousins. The Praxian sables also use moon magic to survive as well, but not Lunar moon magic. Their ancestors, the Twinstars came down and helped them survive in the Great Darkness. This why the moon rune in Prax predates the Lunars. Moonbroth as one of the surviving oasis spirits also helped people survive, but it's more likely that it's the oasis folk who relied on Moonbroth, not the Sables. 

I fail to see how Hungry Plateau or Kostaddic spirits generate fodder for the herds or prevent still-born calves, but then the sable antelope is able to survive on dead plant matter for quite a while, giving it an advantage over e.g. the bison or high llama herds. Not so much the Impala herds, which graze on brown grass (i.e. dead or hibernating vegetation), too, but their riders may be more stricken by the cold.

 

I have a hard time imagining that the horticulturalist oasis dwellers would be able to grow or harvest anything during the Windstop other than root crops that were close to harvesting, or stuff like onions which were supposed to multiply through growth but now rest inactive in the gardens. Given the more or less constant nomad occupation, the oasis dwellers most likely don't store any seed grain (pulses, whatever) but have elaborately "sloppy harvesting" methods to plant their seeds already during the harvest, to prevent the nomads from taking the seeds, too.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

I fail to see

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

I have a hard time imagining

The first step in moving through this is that it’s all happened before.

The windstop is bad, but not as bad as the Great Darkness.

All of the tribes of Prax survived the Great Darkness by some intervention of a spirit or god, this includes the Oasis and River folk.

The Windstop is not a total wipe out of everyone in its area.

The Praxians there have the mythology and helpers to get through this.

This is what kicks in for those who don’t or can’t leave. So all of the tribes in the area do what they know they did in the past. The great tribes rely on their founders and protectresses. Khans repeat Waha’s tasks, he finds those that need saving and bands them together. Each oasis does its trick and helps its followers survive, every spirit returns to Prax to help its followers. Dark Eater reappears, Pole Star touches down, Zola Fel gathers the River folk together and holds the land fast once again. This is repeated with major every spirit. Even oakfed is released to keep some warm.

Some tribes have new tricks and situations. The Sables have awakened moon magics and access to new land spirits to help them survive. The Pol-Joni don’t fare so well, they are newcomers with no Praxian mythology of the great darkness.

Numbers in the area are much reduced, as the tribes move out. Numbers are likely similar to the dawn numbers. Some groups stay to protect their ancestral grazings: bison, high llama, Morokanth, Sables, baboons, bolo folk, oasis folk, river folk. 

There has to be food and grazing, not as much, but certainly some. Foundchild teaches people (and Waha) to hunt, Hearthmother makes her famous soup to feed people. The whole event for those within Prax is an otherside experience. The Praxians are uniquely prepared for this. Those that survive this are stronger than before.

if you are unable to imagine or see this, I’d like to know how you believe that the tribes and people’s survive, those that don’t migrate that is. What do they eat? Given that about 80% survive (averaged out). Worst hit are the Pol-Joni. Badly hit are the River folk, Pavis County and the Grantlands, but like sun county, a lot of this is the great deluge after the Windstop.

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How do people and beasts who choose to or must remain in Prax over the Windstop and the Fimbulwinter survive? Some guesses on my part.

The Praxians who remain west of the Zola Fel probably slaughter most if not all of their herd and they consume and preserve meat initially by smoke, then by salt and finally by magic. Entire clans are reduced to land-bound ground-walkers with very few if any riding beasts left to them. These they will replace from stocks east of the Zola Fel in due time either by theft or trade. Many become enslaved. Some are hired to protect others who cannot protect themselves but have resources to support a small surplus population.

River Folk may migrate south to the Corflu Delta and Rozgali Sea shore where sea food and plants/algae can feed them and vast frozen reed swamps can provide fuel for some warmth for a time. The insects not only provide food and are culled but many die or hibernate during the extended winter, making littoral life a little more bearable. However they also have to deal with migrating Praxians, hordes of chaos and tides of undead erupting from places like Sog Ruins and the Devil's Marsh so life is still dangerous and precarious at best.

For the Oasis Folk of Prax the story is grimmer. One groups send small numbers east to escape the Fimbulwinter and drought/famine. Some rely on stores of food, hunting (badly - it's not their thing). Some find sustenance in ancient refuges or by magic and mystical means. Many migrate themselves into bondage under Lunar or Praxian masters. Some are converted into herdsmen by Morokanth and meet a bad end sustaining this nation. Some desperate few turn cannibal and shamefully eat their own or strangers. This triggers some cases of ogre-ism (is that a word?) in their midsts but many more simply die out and will be replaced by post-famine populations from the east plus the returning nuclear-seed-populations sent eastward in the diaspora as the disaster began. 

Gagarthi, Cannibal Cultists, Ogres and other very marginal populations manage the way they always have although clothing and fuel are big challenges for them. Baboons likewise cling on and depend on their ancestors and skills to eke out a living. Agimori and Basmoli migrate with the game and herd beasts so probably largely leave Prax for a time.

Uz-kind mostly flourish despite some belt tightening as competition for wider hunting grounds diminishes, for the most part. Feral Trollkin do not fair well, however. Aldryami manically hire capable humans, Agimori and Baboons to help them protect their groves and forests (while most of their kind sleep), from flesh-wood/red-sap hunters, fuel hunters, treasure raiders and troll raiders.

Of those who stay in Prax throughout the Windstop, the Fimbulwinter and subsequent drought/famine, I would guesstimate about 40-50% death rates, about 10-15% successful migration (mostly into slavery) and about 35-50% survival rates, depending on the group and their skills, resources and magic/mythic capacities.

Grim and hard times for all, me thinks.

Cheers?

Evilroddy.

Edited by Evilroddy

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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

The first step in moving through this is that it’s all happened before.

Has it? Godtime cycles of consumption would have been a lot less stringent than the strict demands of Time. Going to the long sleep would have been easier.

 

Quote

The windstop is bad, but not as bad as the Great Darkness.

The Great Darkness wasn't that cold any more - Cold had lost against Chaos, much like all other powers.

And the survivors of the Great Darkness numbered at best four digit numbers. This time you have five or six digit numbers of people to feed.

 

Quote

All of the tribes of Prax survived the Great Darkness by some intervention of a spirit or god, this includes the Oasis and River folk.

Zola Fel will be able to feed the river folk even when there is no regular flow any more. There will be a few pools or vortices remaining liquid.

If you really stop the rivers, then cracks from the Void in the center of the world will move up the dead strands of the rivers that reach into Magasta's Pool.

 

Quote

The Windstop is not a total wipe out of everyone in its area.

No, it is a four Season period of less Fertility than Hell. And it has a border, which will be crossed by everyone mobile enough - the majority of the Beast Riders.

 

Quote

The Praxians there have the mythology and helpers to get through this.

They can leave, and will do so.

Quote

This is what kicks in for those who don’t or can’t leave. So all of the tribes in the area do what they know they did in the past. The great tribes rely on their founders and protectresses.

The protectresses need to be freed to help - intense and time pressure scenario stuff. By definition, in this kind of Great Winter they are unavailable. The Founders may slay enemies and offer their carcasses, but that doesn't help the herds.

Waha stepped up after the Spider's Net had been cast over the shards of the world, and he did what the Founders had been unable to do - he liberated the Protectresses, led them to water, then to the badly diminished remnants of their tribes. Waha is Gray Age, not Great Winter. His myths are irrelevant to return the grazings to activity.

 

Quote

Khans repeat Waha’s tasks, he finds those that need saving and bands them together. Each oasis does its trick and helps its followers survive, every spirit returns to Prax to help its followers. Dark Eater reappears, Pole Star touches down, Zola Fel gathers the River folk together and holds the land fast once again. This is repeated with major every spirit. Even oakfed is released to keep some warm.

Some tribes have new tricks and situations. The Sables have awakened moon magics and access to new land spirits to help them survive. The Pol-Joni don’t fare so well, they are newcomers with no Praxian mythology of the great darkness.

Numbers in the area are much reduced, as the tribes move out. Numbers are likely similar to the dawn numbers. Some groups stay to protect their ancestral grazings: bison, high llama, Morokanth, Sables, baboons, bolo folk, oasis folk, river folk. 

The ancestral grazings may be sacred, but they are dead, too. They cannot support even the herds of the small ritual rearguard, unless the beasts can live of dead vegetation, but only Impala and Sables can. The Protectresses are powerless before Ernalda stirs in her sleep (Ritual of the Net).

The good thing about the Greater Darkness is its timeless nature, and even the Gray Age profited from that. No such luck in the Fimbulwinter.

 

Quote

There has to be food and grazing, not as much, but certainly some.

Nothing grows. That which has grown before is available for eating and grazing, but once it is used up, it is used up.

You can dig up the roots - that will keep the herds alive, but ruin the grazing for years to come. Still, it will be done, but Prax will come out of this able to sustain maybe a fraction of the population of what it could before.

Quote

Foundchild teaches people (and Waha) to hunt,

The beasts of prey are starving, too, and their dead can be collected without any skill. They won't spoil in the cold, but they are hardly worth the effort of gathering up, unless your soup turns bones and hides into food.

 

Quote

Hearthmother makes her famous soup to feed people. The whole event for those within Prax is an otherside experience. The Praxians are uniquely prepared for this. Those that survive this are stronger than before.

Ah, the Other Side cheat, evading Time. And you pay for this by way worse chaos foes.

 

Quote

if you are unable to imagine or see this, I’d like to know how you believe that the tribes and people’s survive, those that don’t migrate that is. What do they eat? Given that about 80% survive (averaged out). Worst hit are the Pol-Joni. Badly hit are the River folk, Pavis County and the Grantlands, but like sun county, a lot of this is the great deluge after the Windstop.

Nothing grows. Nothing at all.

On the whole, 80% survivors means that there is no Fimbulwinter in all of its consequences, or that there is mass emigration. 

To be honest, the description of the Windstop is full of plot holes, way more than mythology can sustain before it collapses, making entire regions disappear like in the Greater Darkness.

There are no myths of the deeds of the Founders or the martyrium of the Protectresses in the Greater Darkness - there is a blank, a memory block. Not even the spirits have any memories of this. We have Storm Bull calling the Block, then a blackout. Then Waha is born after the Spider has cast her net. There are no myths of survival when the world was broken, because everyone was effectively taking a time-out from being alive.

The survival myths define the Gray Age. All of them. All the Greater Darkness has in myths are the last desperate and often futile acts of resistance against final obliteration.

Calling in Oakfed? Late Lesser Darkness. Waha? Gray Age. Founders? out of the picture until the Covenant.

At the Windstop, Time goes on, and can't be cheated. It can be evaded by linking to the Underworld or the Other Side, but both these options call up threats on a terror scale similar to the Dragonrise viewed from afar. The Gray Age myths have a remedy for that kind of trauma, though, but administering that takes time, and will start only after the Windstop ends. Orlanth and Ernalda are still in Hell, but the world stirs again.

All the rest is extremely sloppy. And yes, myths tend to be, so Cain can go somewhere else and find a wife not born of Adam and Eve. Nothing grows, but harvests are brought in. There is no night, but days pass in Godtime, as do seasons.

All fine for Godtime. And all unsuitable under the reign of Arachne Solara's and Kajabor's love-child, Time.

 

That's my problem. I would be fine if it had been stated that the area of effect of the Windstop pulls the region out of Time - but it doesn't.

Survival means cheating Time. Survival means this is the beginning of the Gray Age, and not the Greater Darkness. The Greater Darkness is only about Destruction and Annihilation, unless you are involved in he I Fought We Won event, or avoiding the entire Age (which the majority of the survivors had done).

 

That's my mythic understanding of the Greater Darkness - Arachne Solara casts out the net from which she had devoured the Devil.. The heirs of the Unity Battle all are the last man/whatever standing in the face of Annihilation, and then recognize their one-ness with others whose existence wasn't even known to them. Only the simultaneous action of the last spark of Life and the result of the joint action of the Dead Gods keeps the Dream of Glorantha from disappearing.

 

The Windstop has nothing of this. Either it reflects Orlanth passing the Gates of Dusk and Storm Bull calling down the fragment of the Spike, or it reflects the return from I Fought We Won and the start of the Survival myths. Conflating these is misapplied.

 

Or we could shut up about this Greater Darkness nonsense, like we ought to shut up about other parallels that aren't, like Bronze Age. It is just bad story-telling.

In that case, the Windstop is a magical calamity with a number of parameters that bear some similarity to the conditions of the Gray Age and some to the late Lesser Darkness, without any evidence for hope.

Something grows. Something provides. Not true for the Greater Darkness. If true for the Windstop, then these are secret sparks of a better reality that defy that imposed reality, sparks that need to be nurtured. That would be a story worth telling. But it is the story of the Gray Age. The Story of the Deeds of Waha, of Heort and Ivarne, of the Kitori.

The end of the calamity will trigger the next calamities? No problem with that.

The Rivers freeze down to the bottom? No, not all of it, and a few precious strands keep flowing down keeping up the pact with Magasta, even if the vast bulk is hindered. All fodder has stopped growing, but this one weed will remain growing if you sing the right songs, in your ancestral grazings. Not dead yet, but sleeping.

 

Yes, I feels strongly about this, and I have a problem about your way of presenting the problem.

I don't have any problem with the way you provide solutions to the Gray Age problem, and I agree that there are excellent ways to make the Gray Age events meaningful for the survival of the people, and to make the Darkness misdeeds like the release of Oakfed necessary bridging events that make the situation even worse while those Gray Age quests are under way, creating the additional permanent losses to the Fertility of Prax that are the price for this desperate survival. Those stories are worth experiencing.

But the presentation of the premise sucks.

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15 hours ago, David Scott said:

There has to be food and grazing, not as much, but certainly some. Foundchild teaches people (and Waha) to hunt, Hearthmother makes her famous soup to feed people. The whole event for those within Prax is an otherside experience. The Praxians are uniquely prepared for this. Those that survive this are stronger than before.

In Dragon Pass, outside the Glowline, the death rate seems to have been around a sixth of the population: from starvation, cold, and as a result of raids which either kill directly, or indirectly when survivors are left to starve. The death rate will fall heaviest upon the young and the old, with the survivors reliant upon stores of food and firewood.

In Prax, beasts won't bear young, and the herds will struggle to find food, searching for fodder, much as they do in winter, and finding some, but it is not replenished when there is no end to winter, so it's necessary to constantly move searching for more. Tribes will have to cull their herds when things become desperate, but before that they are going to raid settlements for their stores, and then attempt to raid the herds of other tribes: warfare and raiding are likely to become intense and endemic?

With the headwaters of the Zola Fel trapped by ice dams, the flow is going to slow to a trickle and then stop. The river drains to the sea, even as its surface freezes, leaving patches of ice and scattered pools of stagnant water under a layer of ice. The river finally stops flowing. Oasis and settlement wells become critical resources, until they fail. Starving beasts start to die from thirst unless they eat snow.

The living and the dead mingle, and shamans are kept busy identifying and dividing the two. Entire clans die but don't know they are dead.

Given the treacherous conditions under the Windstop, travel is going to be vastly more difficult. Temperatures drop: snow is going to fall in Prax, and it's not going to melt very much, if at all, and is going to make what fodder remains difficult to find. In these conditions, whilst there may not be more than a foot or two of frozen snow on the ground (not very deep compared with the snowfall in Dragon Pass), it is going to make travel difficult and hazardous. Anyone migrating out of the zone of the Windstop is going to take much longer than usual to travel the necessary distance.

Additional: leaving the zone of the Windstop won't be easy: the perimeter is bounded by hurricane strength winds that gradually weaken as you get further away. These winds are going to carry loose grit from the Wastelands, creating a severe stinging wall of sand and grit, which is abruptly dropped as the winds die on the boundary. Animals (and people) will find it hard to get through, as this endures for many miles outside.

Edited by M Helsdon

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