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Bohemond

Odayla in the Underworld

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On 8/2/2018 at 7:00 PM, soltakss said:

We simply played that swimming in the Styx would kill you, unless you had very, very strong powers of Darkness or Death. 

Hmm. Since you are already in the Underworld when you come up to the Styx, you have already died. You might play that card to receive some immunity.

On the other hand, the Styx is likely to have similar purifying powers as Daliath's Well of Wisdom (the two may be adjoined).

If you take the Greek mythology back to Glorantha, the bath won't destroy your body, but dissolve your identity - memories, passions, ...

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23 hours ago, Joerg said:

If you take the Greek mythology back to Glorantha, the bath won't destroy your body, but dissolve your identity - memories, passions, ...

That was the river Lethe, another one of the five rivers of the Underworld.

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9 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

That was the river Lethe, another one of the five rivers of the Underworld.

And in fact, it was by dipping Achilles in the Styx, with the exception of the heel his mother was holding, that he became nigh invulnerable...

The Styx is definitely lawful in Greek myth. The Gloranthan Styx is more elemental darkness/water than law.

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And you're not already dead when you come to the river Styx.  You're dead on the other side, as the Styx is the border between the land of the living and the land of the dead.  I could see the Gloranthan Styx wiping your passions away from you as you swam across.  But I'm pretty sure some publication has it drain your power, I may be wrong about that.

If it drained your passions, however, that would be so fitting from a dragonewt perspective as they don't cross the Styx, they get reborn in their egg so they have to go through that entire process of erasing their own passions to evolve.  I like that.

Edited by Pentallion

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7 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

And you're not already dead when you come to the river Styx.  You're dead on the other side, as the Styx is the border between the land of the living and the land of the dead.

I thought the Gates of Dusk, going down Magasta's Pool past Last Stop Island or a couple of other such passages mark that border.

The Styx permeates the Underworld, but doesn't really form the border to the Surface World.

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Maybe I'm wrong, that's what I always thought.  Seems like too much work to research it on a fine sunny day however :)

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

I thought the Gates of Dusk, going down Magasta's Pool past Last Stop Island or a couple of other such passages mark that border.

The Styx permeates the Underworld, but doesn't really form the border to the Surface World.

The Gates of Dusk are the entrance into the Underworld.

Styz is the entrance into Hell.

In Glorantha, the Underworld and Hell are different, or, rather, Hell is part if the Underworld, but not all the Underworld is Hell.

 

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The Lightbringers  - regardless which batch - are reckoned dead as soon as they pass the Gates of Dusk. The path down to the Hall of Judgement may be just a pre-Hell, but as soon as you've passed Sinjota and Kaldar, you're dead, wouldn't boom if someone put four thousand volts through you, you're bleeding demised, you're not pining and you_re passed on, you are no more, you have ceased to be, you've expired and gone to meet your maker,  you''re a stiff, if you hadn't gone down those stairs you'd be pushing up daisies, your metabolic processes are now history...

 

Edited by Joerg
found a transcript
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On 8/12/2018 at 12:07 AM, Joerg said:

The Lightbringers  - regardless which batch - are reckoned dead as soon as they pass the Gates of Dusk. The path down to the Hall of Judgement may be just a pre-Hell, but as soon as you've passed Sinjota and Kaldar, you're dead, wouldn't boom if someone put four thousand volts through you, you're bleeding demised, you're not pining and you_re passed on, you are no more, you have ceased to be, you've expired and gone to meet your maker,  you''re a stiff, if you hadn't gone down those stairs you'd be pushing up daisies, your metabolic processes are now history...

 

But you can get better again!

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You can go through the entire destruction and reconstruction of the universe, and emerge at a New Dawn with a chosen resurrectee. The universe you emerge to is different from the one you left, as undertaking this quest will alter reality.

 

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I know this one is too late, but it was fun to read people's suggestions. The hibernating bear symbolism became pretty obvious as soon as someone pointed it out, so when thinking about something myself, I had this idea: A dead person has no heartbeat, which a sleeping (hibernating) person has. While in the underworld, Odayla could come across or trade for (perhaps with the aforementioned Hedgehog) a drum. Odayla proves that he is alive by playing the drum (simulating/representing his heartbeat) faster and faster until he wakes up (ie. achieves a normal heartbeat. Bonus points for some good old mythic trickery). Alternatively, you could have Odayla stoke a dormant fire, to show that a) he has breath, and b) he can generate heat against the cold of death/winter. You could even add these together plus one more to get that fine mythical pattern of threes, which is always satisfying.

A consequence of this Heroquest should definitely be an uncontrollable hunger or losing a lot of weight or something like that when one wakes up.

I chuckled at the birthing side of things. Good stuff. ^^

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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I don't think that breathing would be related to fire, at least in Heortling culture, since breathing is Air and fire is, well, Fire. But I like the drumming option. The nice thing about that last station is that there can easily be multiple ways to prove that one is alive. 

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Yup, the multiple choice is a good thing for play, I would think.

Anyway, I was thinking less about stoking the fire in its elemental terms, and more in the terms of symbolical allegory. The hearth would represent the body-heat of a dormant creature. In a dead creature, the hearth is out cold. In a hibernating or sleeping one, there are still embers. Making the hearth light up is evidence of innate life-energy. If one wanted to grasp for mythical parallels, I suppose maybe a vague allusion to Elmal and his watchman-in-the-dark role could be made, although I suspect there are more apt comparisons to the mythical role of whoever the Orlanthi hearth-goddess is (Barntar's wife? Durev's? I'm not too goo on the nitty-gritty) during the Greater Darkness. 

That being said, if elemental imagery overrides allegorical functions in the way Heroquest or Glorantha for that matter is stylistically designed, feel free to ignore it, it's just fun to brainstorm. :)

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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So I finally got to run this Heroquest last night. The PC, Veslmus, performed a ritual battle which ended with him 'being killed', after which they conducted him and the chieftain he was trying to heal to a sacred cave and 'buried' them. As they were performing the ritual, a cold wind blew out of the cave, and the Ty Kora Tek priestess declared that the wind of the Underworld was blowing and would keep blowing until the quest was completed. That meant that dead things could come back. That detail meant that while Veslmus was on the quest, the other PCs had things to keep them busy, including a sacred Lunar bearskin that reanimated and tried to regrow its body, and an attack by two Dancers of Darkness hoping to steal the power coming out from the cave.

The quest itself ran mostly as written. Veslmus crossed the Plains of Dust without forgetting his humanity (if he had, he would have turned into a bear for the duration of the quest). He paid Jeset to ferry him across the Styx. He rescued Hedgehog from a skeletal fox-thing and learned the words to say to the Judge of the Dead to get a chance to prove he wasn't dead. The Dead Earth Witch captured him and dragged him back to her stead. He found the Dead Ember and escaped her net, and tried to climb out of the stead through the smoke hole.

Here there was a nice digression. The stead was festooned with all sorts of dead animals, including some that no longer exist in Glorantha. He decided to make off with a strange bird with a long tail, and decided that while he was climbing he tucked the ember into his armpit along with the bird. The result was that the bird came back to life and helped him escape from the Dead Earth Witch by flying him out through the smoke hole. He released the bird. (After he returned, he discovered that this bird was beginning to populate his clan's tula.)

He found that path to Haran Vor, and then had to confront all the prey animals that were trying to convince him that he was now prey too. Veslmus has a Fox Charm, so it was the Fox that confronted him. He used his "Eat Anything" ability to swallow it whole and intimidate the other animals into fleeing. Then he hit the Heroquest surprise. Krarsht's mouth appeared and tried to swallow him. He avoided that and fought off a krarshtkid. 

When he got to Haran Vor, he wanted to see if he could find his ancestors' banquet table. The PCs who stayed behind had decided that they wanted to conduct a sacrifice to their ancestors to make sure their ancestors were feasting well, and that gave him a bonus to finding the ancestors. They gave him a blessing and a prophecy that opportunities for great deeds and a chance at a great marriage were coming (that's setting things up for the Colymar Campaign). 

Then he met with the Judge of the Dead and said the words Hedgehog had taught him. To prove he wasn't dead, he showed that he could still dream. That woke him up back in the Mundane world. The chieftain was mostly healed, but Veslmus discovered that he had become a woman, having birthed someone else back to life. The player took that in good stride, although he asked that he get a chance to change his sex back again eventually. So I'll have to see what I can come up with for that. 

He decided to spend a HP to acquire the Dead Ember as an Ability. He said "what can I do with this?" and I said "We'll have to see."

Thanks again for all the helpful advice! When I write gaming stuff, I often find it helpful to just have people to bounce ideas off, so this thread was great. Actually, I'm going to post another thread about Heroquesting, for a Chalanan heroquest I'm not satisfied with.

Edited by Bohemond
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21 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

So I finally got to run this Heroquest last night.

Sounds like a lot of fun, and that it worked well!  I like that he took the strange bird and flew out through the smoke hole - should have some interesting consequences.

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One of the other players kept urging him to kill the bird and take an Animal Charm from it, but Veslmus' player thought that would be ungrateful. So I need to decide what consequences this extinct bird coming back might have. The Odaylans might wind up making a pact of some sort with it or something like that. 

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2 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

So I need to decide what consequences this extinct bird coming back might have.

Enemies... 😉  

Who killed it off, and why?  What powers does it have, and who would have wanted those? 

Of course the Earth Witch won't be happy that a bear stole one of her treasures, and will seek to regain it (or demand recompense).

Also, what powers does it bring to the clan/tribe?  And what rival clan now wants that benefit?

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Yeah, those were all things I thought about. The bird was really just a toss-off bit of descriptive flavor that the player seized on. I put no thought into it at the time beyond 'what's an odd combination of animal traits I can put together?' 

This is one of the things I rather like about Glorantha. When players start taking the material and trying to add their own spin to it, it really pushes the GM to come up with new things. 

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Sounds like a good HeroQuest. The Hero achieved the desired result, gained something unexpected on the way, avoided being eaten and it sounds nicely dreamlike.

I'd leave the bird alone for the time being, to bed in. It might prove useful, or a mixed blessing. Maybe the bird is sacred to another clan and having it forges a new bond between the clans. Maybe the bird figures incidentally in another myth and the clan can now access a HeroQuest associated with that myth. Maybe clan Orlanthi can give the bird to Ernalda in the Courtship Ritual. Maybe the bird is taboo to another clan and causes offence. Maybe the Lunars want to find this bird, perhaps for its plumage. All sorts of opportunities.

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Well, his act was a kind one (if seemingly accidental) so it would be nice for it have some positive consequence as well. Maybe it's a tasty game bird, if nothing else? Maybe from now on the Odaylans of his clan will be warned by its cry if someone is trying to sneak up on them or something?

It was fun to read about the session. Great stuff. :D

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24 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

so it would be nice for it have some positive consequence as well

Maybe it longs for its mate!  And if they can find it, the bird can again lay magical eggs.

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