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Old Pavis - Ogre Island [spoilers]

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Hi! I was checking for info about Ogre Island in Old Pavis. Planning an excursion to it for my group.

It seems the island was active with Cacodemon worship around 1500 (HQ Pavis page 40). The troll occupation is between 1237–1539 (HQ Pavis p45). How come the ogres were active during the troll occupation? I read somewhere that ogres appeared magically on the island, which could be the explanation. But ogres are not active on the island during in recent Glorantha times, even though there are rumours of it. It seems the island is a target for troll and human raids (HQ Pavis p276), but without finding any Cacodemon activity (HQ Pavis p128).

Seems there are plenty of troll raids there. And it is also likely to meet human adventure parties. Then again, how can you be sure they are human? Even with a Storm Bull in the party there are rumors that ogres have been able to hide their chaos taint with sorcery magic (HQ Pavis p128). It is probably also a high risk encountering other chaos creatures like Broos, due to the nature of the ruins and surroundings. Probably a highly dangerous place.

Any input on Ogre Island in modern Glorantha times?

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Ogres might have shown up with the Sartarites. They tend to hide amongst humans, and resettling in the new city (c.1550) is an excellent way to escape 'rumours' and 'Uroxi' back in their original homes... But this means bumping things towards c.1539+.

Uggh. What if some of the original leading settlers of New Pavis were ogres...?

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In my Pavis, the Pavisites who remained after the trolls invaded hid underground. Some of them called on various powers to help them and one group, based on the island, called on Cacodemon. They turned into Ogres and have held Ogre Island since.

The Trolls hate Chaos and hate Ogres, but Ogres are a bit harder to kill than normal humans. Also, they are on an island that is hard to get to and full of heavily guarded tunnels. So, they periodically raid Ogre Island and then leave it alone. The Ogres withdraw into their blockaded tunnels and sit out the raids.

After the Lunars leave, the Ogres of Ogre island are probably in a similar situation to before. Argrath and the humans of Pavis want to get rid of them, but Argrath goes off to Sartar to attack the Lunar Empire and the Pavisites have other things to worry about. I would guess that the Ogres of Ogre Island remain in their stronghold, waiting to be attacked and to withdraw to their tunnels. In the meantime, those Lunar agents who remained are actively trying to ally with the Ogres and with the other Chaos of the Big Rubble.

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3 hours ago, Dragonsnail said:

It seems the island was active with Cacodemon worship around 1500 (HQ Pavis page 40). The troll occupation is between 1237–1539 (HQ Pavis p45). How come the ogres were active during the troll occupation? I read somewhere that ogres appeared magically on the island, which could be the explanation. But ogres are not active on the island during in recent Glorantha times, even though there are rumours of it. It seems the island is a target for troll and human raids (HQ Pavis p276), but without finding any Cacodemon activity (HQ Pavis p128).

Circa 920 ST (Pavis gateway to Adventure p35) there was a God Learner settlement which was known as Sorceror Town.  In 1200 ST (Map p38), the place is now known as Sorceror's Island of which the description is 

Quote

This fortified settlement is home to
the Jrusteli descendants. They are feared by the other
inhabitants of the city and have turned to evil demons
to defend themselves against the nomads.

Circa 1500 ST (Map p40), the Cacodemon temple appears.  The description is:

Quote

A tribe of ogres
reside here and summon Chaos
demons in unholy rituals at this temple.
At times they extract tribute from all the
residents of Pavis

So the Ogres are descended from God Learners (perhaps Barbelo the Stone who is mentioned in the Middle Sea Empire).  During the Troll Occupation, they turned to chaos and became Ogres.  As to why they are no longer apparently there, they probably took advantage of some magical act (the Dragonewt's Dream, the breaking of the Troll seal around the Rubble) to occult themselves so their stronghold cannot be magically visited.

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Outlining a partial history of Ogre Island.

Circa 920 ST, it is a refuge for God Learner heretics fleeing persecution elsewhere.  They were tolerated by the Pavisites and the EWF in that they could be relied upon to spill God Learner Secrets for safety.  An example of such a God Learner is Barbelo the Stone (Middle Sea Empire p45) who fled from Jrustela.  Barbelo is reportedly killed by a Storm Bully which is probably Jaldon's sacking of the city in 927 ST as he is unlikely to have arrived after the Closing.

Now the settlement survives the fall of the God Learners elsewhere.  I think although they knew the Forbidden Secret they due to their circumstances were not active practitioners of it (ie they didn't have the resources to warp myths) and this saved them from extinction.

Stepping forward to the Seventeen Foes period.  Although they would be one of the stronger groups arouund, they seem to provide very few of the Seventeen Foes.  The most likely candidate is Kagtang Four-magic who is a mightly spell-caster and the four magics reflects the God Learner view of the cosmos.  At this time, they are probably intensely disliked even by other Pavisites.

By 1200 ST, they have taken to evil demons for protection.  They are probably behind the creation of the Chaos Market (what later became the Devil's Playground).  Barbelo the Stone was accused of Atyar worship although that may have been a defamation.  

By 1500 ST, they have become Ogres.  They are probably the origin of the statement in the Guide p108 that "Ogres hold a dark and evil view of the universe, claiming that their god Cacodemon is the Creator, temporarily taking refuge in this world to reform it to its original image" which is unusually philosophical for psychopathic cannibals but understandable as being adapted from Malkioni philosophy.  The change probably came about due to their continued reliance on the Chaos Market/Devil's Playground.

 

Edited by metcalph
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Thanks for all information and suggestions! I have some ideas for my campaign which involves more chaos. Ogres are great for a subversive opponent, while other chaos creatures are more in your face.

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Also bear in mind it was originally Cradlecatch Island, so any treatment of it that doesn't include weird, hyper-powerful giant magical devices robbed from various cradles just isn't trying. Maybe that's how they avoided the fate of the rest of the God Learners, and the Chaos Market might have been based on/powered by one or more Giant artefacts? There might be one or more entire cradles on the island, possibly buried or in huge dry docks, or turned over. They might have defences for the island based on the magical defences of cradles. Lots of possibilities. Probably best not to over-play that angle but I think it should be there, particularly for artefacts that are too big to easily move and so never got taken off the island.

Edited by simonh

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11 Lights also shows us that Ogres can born from otherwise human bloodlines that carry the curse. Cacodemon waits in God Time to draw promising  initiands to Ragnalar's hall instead of Orlanth's and teach them the Ogre secrets.

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On 9/10/2018 at 10:57 AM, JonL said:

11 Lights also shows us that Ogres can born from otherwise human bloodlines that carry the curse. Cacodemon waits in God Time to draw promising  initiands to Ragnalar's hall instead of Orlanth's and teach them the Ogre secrets.

Cacodemon is Son of the Devil, son of Ragnaglar, brother of Orlanth.

I like the idea of Ragnaglar's Hall being a place where bad Orlanthi are drawn, something I've never really thought about before. Thanks.

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In my (Red Cow) game, Ragnaglar, though no longer surviving as a separate cult, is a sort of secret sub-cult of Orlanth, a hidden Thunder Brother, able to receive magic from Orlanth worship because the kinship cannot be denied. This may only be the case for those clans, like the Red Cow, in which occasionally ogres are born to human bloodlines. The ogres in the clan go through a sort of perverse initiation that starts out resembling Orlanth initiation until, they are driven from his hall. 

I admit this is largely for play reasons, so ogres aren’t immediately obvious as that one guy who has no obvious magic of Orlanth or other public deities, 

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On 9/10/2018 at 2:20 AM, jeffjerwin said:

Uggh. What if some of the original leading settlers of New Pavis were ogres...?

Say, isn't it odd how the god Pavis settled his city with a major chaos nest right in the very middle of it?  He never stopped robbing the giant cradles either.  Plus he actually wrote a whole series of books on sorcery, and good orlanthi don't dabble in sorcery.  Apparently those ogres on Ogre Island were Jrusteli and already settled there when Pavis arrived and he didn't even kick them out for being chaos worshipers, let alone doing the honorable thing and going crazy ape bonkers with a great axe all over them.  Then there is all the weirdness to do with Pavis and the Man rune.  Hmm... aren't ogres sort of chaos with a man rune?  And ogres are very charismatic too, able to talk people into things, like setting up a huge city in the middle of a desert full of homicidal antelope f***ers.   Now I'm not suggesting Pavis was an ogre, no never, for a start he wasn't very tall, and all ogres are tall... but then Pavis was related to elves, and elves are short.  Nobody has ever accused Pavis of eating anyone either, but he was an initiate in Draconic magic too, and they do know how to transform their heads into dragon heads and bite people with them, which isn't the same as cannibalism, but it shares some similarities.  Then there is the whole Puzzle Canal thing, and how it seems to tie into illumination and Pavis used it to travel into the Underworld to get free food for his city.  What sort of food do you find in the Land of the Dead?  And why was Pavis offering major architectural projects to illuminates?  And how come there are so many vampires in the Big Rubble these days?  A pretty odd thing for a vampire to do really.  Weren't Pavis and Delecti both big hero types at the end of the Second Age together?  Both allies of the EWF before the dragons ate everyone?  Nobody is saying that Pavis managed to trick thousands of people into wandering into the desert to set up a city to create the infrastructure for a new major chaos heroquest that would bring the Devil back into the world to destroy all the gods, but then, how did KoDP end again?

Edited by Darius West
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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Say, isn't it odd how the god Pavis settled his city with a major chaos nest right in the very middle of it? 

Was the Chaos nest pre-existing?

Or maybe the layout of the City of Pavis resembles the Spiral Map in Arcane Lore (p.47), with the Void an integral (or missing) part connecting the extreme ends of the spiral?

 

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

He never stopped robbing the giant cradles either. 

From within his temple?

He allied with the same Pure Horse Folk leaders who had previously been allied to Robcradle. As much as I am a fan of Joraz Kyrem, he is a product of his culture of Pure Horse folk, and would have neglected to protect the Cradles that Pavis himself had bridges built to let them pass.

 

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Plus he actually wrote a whole series of books on sorcery, and good orlanthi don't dabble in sorcery. 

That's an excellent point. Pavis was not an Orlanthi, at least not a standard Heortling. Apart from his parentage, he also was the product of a weird pan-Theyalan sect that may have resembled that Man Rune hero band in the HeroQuest1 supplement "Masters of Luck and Death".

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Apparently those ogres on Ogre Island were Jrusteli and already settled there when Pavis arrived and he didn't even kick them out for being chaos worshipers, let alone doing the honorable thing and going crazy ape bonkers with a great axe all over them. 

That's a rumor. I have little doubt that there were Jrusteli in the city, and that they were involved in trading the treasures robbed from those cradles. I am far from convinced that the cradle robbers were chaotic when there were still cradles floating down the Zola Fel. The ogre population is as likely to have seeped in after the main income source of the cradle robbers had dried up.

 

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Then there is all the weirdness to do with Pavis and the Man rune.  Hmm... aren't ogres sort of chaos with a man rune?  And ogres are very charismatic too, able to talk people into things, like setting up a huge city in the middle of a desert full of homicidal antelope f***ers.   Now I'm not suggesting Pavis was an ogre, no never, for a start he wasn't very tall, and all ogres are tall... but then Pavis was related to elves, and elves are short.  Nobody has ever accused Pavis of eating anyone either, but he was an initiate in Draconic magic too, and they do know how to transform their heads into dragon heads and bite people with them, which isn't the same as cannibalism, but it shares some similarities.  Then there is the whole Puzzle Canal thing, and how it seems to tie into illumination and Pavis used it to travel into the Underworld to get free food for his city.  What sort of food do you find in the Land of the Dead?  And why was Pavis offering major architectural projects to illuminates?  And how come there are so many vampires in the Big Rubble these days?  A pretty odd thing for a vampire to do really.  Weren't Pavis and Delecti both big hero types at the end of the Second Age together?  Both allies of the EWF before the dragons ate everyone?  Nobody is saying that Pavis managed to trick thousands of people into wandering into the desert to set up a city to create the infrastructure for a new major chaos heroquest that would bring the Devil back into the world to destroy all the gods, but then, how did KoDP end again?

Whoah. I lost track of those conspiracies within cabals within machinations within prophecies within ... (add or re-loop as required). Is this the Bannon school of rhetoric and faulty logic?

No, Pavis was not an Orlanthi, nor was he anything an Old Day Traditionalist would have defended.

Pavis and the Peaceniks possibly were ideal prey for both vampires and ogres, once his Gundam Faceless Statue had been transformed into city wall and sewer piping and the man himself entered his crystal palace, leaving the city to his daughters and sons-in-law.

 

Pavis (both hero and city) was strange and weird, City-of-Wonders-style strange and weird. He had some very dubious bedfellows - Kyrem's horse folk and their Jrusteli allies, Flintnail's mostali, Labrygon's draconics, elves and dragonewts. Would he have brought in Chaotics in a place teeming with Storm Bull cultists?

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4 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Was the Chaos nest pre-existing? Or maybe the layout of the City of Pavis resembles the Spiral Map in Arcane Lore (p.47), with the Void an integral (or missing) part connecting the extreme ends of the spiral?

Isn't that interesting?  Why its almost as if he built it so that a terrible sucking void would appear in just that place.  Feng Shui?

6 minutes ago, Joerg said:

From within his temple?

  Perhaps Pavis only went to sleep because the Cradles stopped coming?  I checked some time ago in the RQ2 New Pavis Players history, and is says that Pavis robbed cradles btw.  I was surprised too.  As to the bridges, well, if the Basher won't stop a cradle, you don't want it ploughing into your bridges, do you?

9 minutes ago, Joerg said:

That's an excellent point. Pavis was not an Orlanthi, at least not a standard Heortling. Apart from his parentage, he also was the product of a weird pan-Theyalan sect that may have resembled that Man Rune hero band in the HeroQuest1 supplement "Masters of Luck and Death".

BTW, is Belintar actually Harshax?

10 minutes ago, Joerg said:

That's a rumor. I have little doubt that there were Jrusteli in the city, and that they were involved in trading the treasures robbed from those cradles. I am far from convinced that the cradle robbers were chaotic when there were still cradles floating down the Zola Fel. The ogre population is as likely to have seeped in after the main income source of the cradle robbers had dried up.

The write up I read most recently suggests that they were Jrusteli who turned to evil gods when faced with annihilation by Praxians.  The Jrusteli stayed put and Pavis did nothing about them.  As you rightly suggest, what were a band of chaotics doing in the middle of Stormbull turf? Well, they dug in and hid, and called up Cacodemon fiends to protect them I suppose.  Whatever the case, they were there before the founding of Pavis and nothing was done to remove them. Odd no?

15 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Pavis and the Peaceniks possibly were ideal prey for both vampires and ogres, once his Gundam Faceless Statue had been transformed into city wall and sewer piping and the man himself entered his crystal palace, leaving the city to his daughters and sons-in-law.

I am not suggesting that the vampires show up until Rubble days, but remember that Delecti is the only person still around from those times, and Pavis needed to learn sorcery from someone...  So why not the very best Jrusteli defector sorcerer that is available?  Doesn't he sound like a valuable intellectual resource to draw upon?  Of course he will probably need secrets worth trading to accept that commission, but then anything can happen.  I would also point out that the Big Rubble doesn't have a few vampires, it has a huge number by population.  Why are they there?  It isn't because, as you allege, that Pavis was full of peacenicks.  No city gets built without the muscle to defend itself, especially not in Prax, and the history clearly demonstrates that Pavis had plenty of fighting power to call upon.  I also don't quite understand why so many vampires would be in a place which has access to the River Styx every Sacred Time.  I think I would avoid it like Malia's underpants if I were a vampire, so clearly they are there for a reason.  I think it is more than just a coincidence.

27 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Kyrem's horse folk and their Jrusteli allies

Some of those Jrusteli allies may well have known about what became of the Robcradle survivors on Ogre Island.  Did they say nothing?

28 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Labrygon's draconics, elves and dragonewts. 

I am not saying that they were all chaos loving illuminates, no, but Labrygon was at very least an illuminate.  Draconic Illunination is not Nysalor Illumination, and Puzzle Canal is clearly the latter, not the former.  Of course if you use all that draconic symbolism to confuse the audience, they'll all be illuminated before they properly understand what happened.  Lets face facts, if you want to cobble a lot of diverse and hostile magic together, and look peaceful doing it, illumination is just great.  It also hides the fact that you are an Ogre.

24 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Would he have brought in Chaotics in a place teeming with Storm Bull cultists?

No, he didn't.  My point was that the chaotics were already there on Ogre Island back from when it was Robcradle, and Pavis never fought them.  I suspect that before the walls went up there was probably interest from Storm Bulls and ZZs, but that all stopped with the Land within a Wall didn't it?  Now tell me the story about how Argrath did the net ritual and all the Gods died again?

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2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Isn't that interesting?  Why its almost as if he built it so that a terrible sucking void would appear in just that place.  Feng Shui?

The real shape of the world?

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

  Perhaps Pavis only went to sleep because the Cradles stopped coming?  I checked some time ago in the RQ2 New Pavis Players history, and is says that Pavis robbed cradles btw.  I was surprised too. 

I know that the player information text says that Pavis built the cradle-snatching devices. I am quite certain that the Arrowsmith kings used Pavis' building magics to devise this, with the aid of Jrusteli advisors boated in from Feroda, the thriving small port at the mouth of Zola Fel, a bit west of modern Corflu.

The Pure Horse Folk and the giants are connected by mutual hatred. In the wars against Paragua and Thog, it was Arrowsmith magic which overcame the giants. Pavis' gundam Faceless Statue dealt with (giant shape) Waha while Joraz Kyrem overcame Paragua and his boys (who had eaten whatever Jrusteli remained at Robcradle).

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

As to the bridges, well, if the Basher won't stop a cradle, you don't want it ploughing into your bridges, do you?

If I wanted to make sure that no cradle escapes, I would design bridges on multiple, narrow pillars that act like a sideway slip dock, whatever the river may have to say about it.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

BTW, is Belintar actually Harshax?

Good question.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

The write up I read most recently suggests that they were Jrusteli who turned to evil gods when faced with annihilation by Praxians. 

The Praxians only gained access to the Jrusteli after the Arrowsmith dynasty had failed to keep Jaldon or Jorbal Rhino Khan out of the city. 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

The Jrusteli stayed put and Pavis did nothing about them.

The Robcradle Jrusteli either were absent when Paragua attacked or did not survive that experience. Elder Giants don't usually eat humans, but systematic slayers of their babies wouldn't have any sorts of moral high point to dissuade them.

The city of Pavis was a composition of all the magics of its time. It was one of the trading outlets of the EWF with the Middle Sea Empire, made possible by the Issaries magics of the Arrowsmith kings. (Yes, they had quite the arsenal of magics - their native solar deities, Issaries, adopted Eiritha.)

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

 As you rightly suggest, what were a band of chaotics doing in the middle of Stormbull turf? Well, they dug in and hid, and called up Cacodemon fiends to protect them I suppose. 

I would rather say what were a band of homeless sorcerers doing in the middle of a formerly civilized city turned into something less civilized than Bartertown in Mad Max 3? The Seas were closed, their homelands sunk, their forbidden knowledge forgotten. They still had the magics with which to summon and dominate deities, but what deities were there in the region? The Praxian pantheon wasn't likely to help them against these deities' beast rider kin, and there was no Hrestol among them to sever the kinship of the Beast Riders to the land through their Ancestresses. But there was another pantheon around, the Chaos that seeps from under the Block into the Devil's Marsh, and so they found Cacodemon just about the right size of entity to summon and dominate, and that may have brought them onto a path similar to that of the Artmali in the Gods War.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Whatever the case, they were there before the founding of Pavis

The very existence of Robcradle testifies that there were Jrusteli in the place before the city of Pavis was founded.

There is no hint that Robcradle was in any way a den of chaos. It was a cruel, exploitative outpost that slaughtered helpless babies for their magical trinkets and gifts, jointly founded by Pure Horse merchants (who may have received the Issaries magics from their God Learner friends) and God Learner adventurers.

But not during the founding of Pavis.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

and nothing was done to remove them. Odd no?

Pavis had trusted the rulership over the city to his ally Joraz Kyrem. Joraz in turn was still an ally to the Jrusteli in Feroda, and would have invited some of those back in.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I am not suggesting that the vampires show up until Rubble days, but remember that Delecti is the only person still around from those times, and Pavis needed to learn sorcery from someone...  So why not the very best Jrusteli defector sorcerer that is available?  Doesn't he sound like a valuable intellectual resource to draw upon?  Of course he will probably need secrets worth trading to accept that commission, but then anything can happen. 

I don't think that Delecti was that high grade as a sorcerer. There were numerous others - Akgarbash of Laurmal would be a good Brithini (possibly apostate, but what does that matter) zzaburi with an excellent portfolio of magic to learn from.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I would also point out that the Big Rubble doesn't have a few vampires, it has a huge number by population.  Why are they there? 

Let me point out that the Vampires accumulate where Earth Cult graves accumulate. Look at the Antones Estates of Nochet, and how they lured Nontraya to the Surface World through the Blackmaw. I have no idea how many such lich/revenant/vampires might hide out in the Sleeping City at the foot of Tada's Tumulus, but a few centuries of habitation in Pavis with its own form of Earth worship may have created conditions to lure such entities from the Sleeping City there.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

It isn't because, as you allege, that Pavis was full of peacenicks.  No city gets built without the muscle to defend itself, especially not in Prax, and the history clearly demonstrates that Pavis had plenty of fighting power to call upon. 

- a gundam Jolanti which he directed to wrestle with Pavis, and whose exhausted (probably crippled) body was made part of the passive defense of the city

- the giant-killing Pure Horse Folk

- EWF-trained Sun Dome templars

- some draconic forces from Dragon Pass (after some delay to muster them).

The Zebra riders were the military arm of the Pavisites. The farmers like Mani or the Ingilli were not effective military assets, at best providing militia or homeguards.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I also don't quite understand why so many vampires would be in a place which has access to the River Styx every Sacred Time.  I think I would avoid it like Malia's underpants if I were a vampire, so clearly they are there for a reason.  I think it is more than just a coincidence.

A surprisingly good food supply.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Some of those Jrusteli allies may well have known about what became of the Robcradle survivors on Ogre Island.  Did they say nothing?

IMO what became of the Robcradle Jrusteli (and resident Pure Horse Folk) people was empanadas after being stomped flat into the ground by angry giant feet. If there were survivors, they tried to flee, and there is a remote chance that some made it alive to Feroda.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I am not saying that they were all chaos loving illuminates, no,

"... some of my best friends are chaos loving illuminates..."

Whatever God Learners remained in Pavis were cut off from their homes by the EWF and the Closing. The same applies to the God Learners of Eest. Avalor, last Middle Sea Empire king of Teshnos, left those lands wielding the Red Sword of Tolat chasing the abductors of his wife, and may actually have been powerful enough that noone in the EWF would have stopped him from traveling through.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

but Labrygon was at very least an illuminate. 

Labrigon apparently is another name or kenning for Lorenkargatan the Mile, one of the draconic Third Council leaders and one of very few recipients of all that pyramid scheme magic channeled from the EWF population to their leaders.

He was as far advanced as any Third Council member, possibly further than Isgangdrang or the Dragon Sun Emperor of Dara Happa.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Draconic Illunination is not Nysalor Illumination, and Puzzle Canal is clearly the latter, not the former. 

Lorenkargatan had traveled draconic Dara Happa, and probably picked up their few and cryptic literature references to Illuminaton. It is possible that he constructed the Puzzle Canal to aid himself gain whichever such insights may have been granted.

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Of course if you use all that draconic symbolism to confuse the audience, they'll all be illuminated before they properly understand what happened.  Lets face facts, if you want to cobble a lot of diverse and hostile magic together, and look peaceful doing it, illumination is just great.  It also hides the fact that you are an Ogre.

So all ogres are illuminated? yawn.

I seriously doubt that the ogre clan on Cradlesnatch Island has many illuminates.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

My point was that the chaotics were already there on Ogre Island back from when it was Robcradle,

A point that I debate. Robcradle was populated by God Learners, western (i.e. rather small, or when tall gaunt and weak) humans who weren't known to spout tentacles or similar blatant Chaos stuff, but who were feared because they could invade your myths, cripple your gods, and tap you and your sources of magic.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

and Pavis never fought them. 

True. While he may have blamed them to have attracted that fatal attack on Adari the year Robcradle fell, there were no Jrusteli living in Paragua's Wall. Dead and squashed or dead and eaten, sure. Alive and hiding - definitely not. If a young Gonn Orta could split Nida Mountain, then a more adult Paragua and his friends surely could have flattened any structure or cave accessible to human refugees.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I suspect that before the walls went up there was probably interest from Storm Bulls and ZZs, but that all stopped with the Land within a Wall didn't it? 

Thog was the first giant to bring trolls to the dance. Any previous presence of ZZ would more likely have been caused by Morokanth presence.

Storm Bull khans will have visited Paragua's enclosure, and would have sniffed out chaos creatures or chaos cultists, and mountain-high giants make an excellent assault team.

 

2 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Now tell me the story about how Argrath did the net ritual and all the Gods died again?

The Trickster story? Eurmal dropped his portion of the Web already during the original Ritual of the Net. No Chaos involvement required at all.

 

There is more to Glorantha than fighting Chaos, but YGMV.

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There is precedent for the God Learners mutating into chaos monsters - the twisted beings working to resurrect Zistor. And we know Delecti who had some God Learner heritage turned to chaos when all else failed.

As for what Pavis knew, perhaps Pavis underestimated the Ogre threat. Some arrogant bull might have assured him they were all killed off in some purge. After all, ogres are very good at concealing their presence, and survivors of a major storm bull incursion would be better than average at concealment, even for ogres. 

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1 minute ago, EricW said:

There is precedent for the God Learners mutating into chaos monsters - the twisted beings working to resurrect Zistor.

Eldritch "cyborgs" implementing similar machinery to their raw flesh as Great Zistor had?

It is easy to name everything you don't understand chaotic - that's how the Seshnegi applied the term Krjalki to the Guhan uz of the Dark Empire.

There is this "plot twist" that "there is no Purification Rune", and that it may have stood for Chaos all along. But that doesn't make mechamen any more chaotic than nilmerg or clockwork jolanti.

1 minute ago, EricW said:

And we know Delecti who had some God Learner heritage turned to chaos when all else failed.

His rumored Vivamort connection? The Dragon Pass boardgame has two chaotic units - the Bat and the Hydra. Neither Delecti nor his zombies are chaotic.

Ernalda's foe Nontraya (the Death that came for the Earth Goddess somehow never is named Humakt) is an Underworld deity who leads a huge host of the dead to spread his power of Death. His followers later were confined or removed from the Surface World by heroes like Heort.

 

Look, if having ogres as a legacy of Pavis' rule enriches your games, go for it with all your might. From my personal exposure to the Pavis cult and the history of his city, Pavis himself has spread his unusual ancestry via his daughters to the various population groups of his city and then retired to enable the further exploration of a return to the Green Age. An ogre presence would hinder rather than aid such an ongoing project, at least IMG.

 

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20 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Robcradle Jrusteli either were absent when Paragua attacked or did not survive that experience. Elder Giants don't usually eat humans, but systematic slayers of their babies wouldn't have any sorts of moral high point to dissuade them.

I would rather say what were a band of homeless sorcerers doing in the middle of a formerly civilized city turned into something less civilized than Bartertown in Mad Max 3? The Seas were closed, their homelands sunk, their forbidden knowledge forgotten. They still had the magics with which to summon and dominate deities, but what deities were there in the region? The Praxian pantheon wasn't likely to help them against these deities' beast rider kin, and there was no Hrestol among them to sever the kinship of the Beast Riders to the land through their Ancestresses. But there was another pantheon around, the Chaos that seeps from under the Block into the Devil's Marsh, and so they found Cacodemon just about the right size of entity to summon and dominate, and that may have brought them onto a path similar to that of the Artmali in the Gods War.

The very existence of Robcradle testifies that there were Jrusteli in the place before the city of Pavis was founded.

There is no hint that Robcradle was in any way a den of chaos. It was a cruel, exploitative outpost that slaughtered helpless babies for their magical trinkets and gifts, jointly founded by Pure Horse merchants (who may have received the Issaries magics from their God Learner friends) and God Learner adventurers.

A point that I debate. Robcradle was populated by God Learners, western (i.e. rather small, or when tall gaunt and weak) humans who weren't known to spout tentacles or similar blatant Chaos stuff, but who were feared because they could invade your myths, cripple your gods, and tap you and your sources of magic.

To draw on metcalph's quote:

This fortified settlement is home to
the Jrusteli descendants. They are feared by the other
inhabitants of the city and have turned to evil demons
to defend themselves against the nomads.

In answer to this, it is pretty obvious that there are copious tunnels under the ruins of Robcradle, and the Jrusteli survivors of the Paragua attack likely scurried underground and did their best to reinforce their barricades against the assault.  The giants do their worst, and some refugees on the surface manage to get to Adari, and maybe some intrepid souls even manage to travel down the Zola Fel and get to safety, while most get killed or enslaved by Praxians.

Now the Jrusteli who have dug in are placed in an invidious position.  They have limited supplies and no friends or allies that they are aware of.  In all likelihood they are not particularly military.  So what do they do?  They can't farm or hang about on the surface as there are Praxians up there, and night operations are risky, and their range of operations is limited.  Then there is the discovery of that piece of the Devil.  So... a piece of chaos and no food.  Difficult decisions must be made, and some of the Jrusteli decide they will do whatever they can to survive, even if it means turning to chaos.  The weak get eaten (perhaps even some chaos critters get eaten), and the power of chaos is called upon, and the survivors become ogres over the course of time.  The point is that when Pavis arrives, the survivors of this nasty little episode are still dug in.

Personally I love the idea of a degenerate enclave of Jrusteli ogres under the Big Rubble.  It gives them context, and makes them something more interesting than "just another chaos encounter".

Now we know that Flintnail and his team would have done a complete survey of the whole site of Pavis, as Mostali are meticulous, and they had an enormous city to build.  Are we meant to seriously believe that the Flintnail Mostali weren't able to discover what had happened and find the survivors?  Especially given that they had "turned into evil demons", and hence weren't exactly hiding their chaotic natures.  Lord Pavis in his wisdom hears about this and merely shrugs.  No hit squad of killers is on record as having been sent in to cleanse the area, in fact Ogre Island is resettled by the new residents of Pavis and no mention is made of "what lies beneath".  But hey, you say it isn't suspicious Joerg.  I ask again, how can they sleep when the broos are birthing?

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3 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I ask again, how can they sleep when the broos are birthing?

Out of reactions already today but the time has come, a fact's a fact. It belongs to them. Let's get it back!

  • Haha 1

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22 hours ago, Darius West said:

To draw on metcalph's quote:

This fortified settlement is home to
the Jrusteli descendants. They are feared by the other
inhabitants of the city and have turned to evil demons
to defend themselves against the nomads.

Yes. IMO this refers to the Jrusteli traders who entered the city during the reign of Joraz Kyrem and took up their role in the artifact trade again.

The map describes the situation of 1200, and officially, all God Learners are dead. Logically, the inhabitants cannot be God Learners, but must be Jrusteli descendants.

 

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

In answer to this, it is pretty obvious that there are copious tunnels under the ruins of Robcradle, and the Jrusteli survivors of the Paragua attack likely scurried underground and did their best to reinforce their barricades against the assault. 

That would make them excellent leaders to follow both during the nomad occupation (17 foes of Waha) and during the troll occupation afterwards, having survived 

800 Paragua destroys Robcradle, sets up his wall.

Quote

In 800 S.T., the giant Paragua and many friends came out of the north from the Rockwood Mountains to attack the city of Robcradle. Waha raised his armies in support; all the tribes of Prax rode to assault the city. Resistance was crushed. The majority of the Pure Horse People escaped by fleeing, leaving their befooted allies to be surrounded and slaughtered to a man.

809 Praxians destroy Adari, young Pavis flees to Dragon Pass.

In 830, Pavis rides the Faceless Statue to Paragua's enclosure and engages Waha with it and his EWF buddies (including Sun Domers) engaging the beast riders, while his Pure Horse allies overcome the giants.

If there were any Jrusteli hiding out in tunnels (civilians and defectors from that battle), they survived 30 years of hostile occupation without being noticed. This kind of magic would become common knowledge to the Pavisites after the nomads had breached the wall, and probably included into Pavis's grimoire by his priesthood.

 

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

The giants do their worst, and some refugees on the surface manage to get to Adari, and maybe some intrepid souls even manage to travel down the Zola Fel and get to safety, while most get killed or enslaved by Praxians.

The giants do their worst and the surrounded Jrusteli get slaughtered to a man. Civilians and a small guard might have remained hidden, but what follows are giants systematically stomping down all edifices in the Robcradle enclosure, pounding the rubble into the ground. The equivalent of a strength 10 earthquake during carpet bombing with house busters.

 

The text which follows works (just as) fine if you place it in the time of the 17 Foes of Waha:

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

Now the Jrusteli who have dug in are placed in an invidious position.  They have limited supplies and no friends or allies that they are aware of.  In all likelihood they are not particularly military.  So what do they do?  They can't farm or hang about on the surface as there are Praxians up there, and night operations are risky, and their range of operations is limited.  Then there is the discovery of that piece of the Devil.  So... a piece of chaos and no food.  Difficult decisions must be made, and some of the Jrusteli decide they will do whatever they can to survive, even if it means turning to chaos.  The weak get eaten (perhaps even some chaos critters get eaten), and the power of chaos is called upon, and the survivors become ogres over the course of time. 

Doing this in the 17 Foes of Waha period also offers them the opportunity to prey on Praxian beasts and riders. Human meat is good for the magical food requirements, but herd beasts provide better calories, as per the 2018 igNobel prize.

 

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

The point is that when Pavis arrives, the survivors of this nasty little episode are still dug in.

30 years in collapsed tunnels... if there were chaotic survivors, my money would be on vampires or other such "noble undead" rather than ogres.

 

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

Personally I love the idea of a degenerate enclave of Jrusteli ogres under the Big Rubble.  It gives them context, and makes them something more interesting than "just another chaos encounter".

I am not going to take this away from you, I just think that postponing that process by 3 centuries or so produces the same Big Rubble.

I'll give you undead.

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

Now we know that Flintnail and his team would have done a complete survey of the whole site of Pavis, as Mostali are meticulous, and they had an enormous city to build.  Are we meant to seriously believe that the Flintnail Mostali weren't able to discover what had happened and find the survivors?  

You are helping me make my point. If there had been survivors of Robcradle, they would have been mentioned, wouldn't they?

Flintnail dwarves are as eligible as ogre snack as are humans, trolls or broos. Ogres who subsided on a diet of trollkin and broo might end up less intelligent and more chaotic than your normal breed, but might recover now, or have a bright master caste and brute muscle to use up.

 

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

Especially given that they had "turned into evil demons", and hence weren't exactly hiding their chaotic natures. 

No such encounter in the temple history for the priests... and believe me, Cyrilius Harmonious would have found any such precedent to support his cause to marry the Lunar pantheon into the city. 

 

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

Lord Pavis in his wisdom hears about this and merely shrugs.  No hit squad of killers is on record as having been sent in to cleanse the area, in fact Ogre Island is resettled by the new residents of Pavis and no mention is made of "what lies beneath". 

Keep telling that story to the tricksters or the Lunars (so that they have expeditions into those rumored tunnels for God Learner secrets and get eaten by their fellow chaos worshippers).

 

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

But hey, you say it isn't suspicious Joerg.  I ask again, how can they sleep when the broos are birthing?

Safe and sound in their fortifications. The broos will prey on the Praxians between the surviving urban population, and be regulated by them, now the zebra riders had to flee the city.

In 830, there were no living Jrusteli citizens of Robcradle to be encountered in semi-collapsed tunnels on Sorcerer's Island. Undead, perhaps, but not yet re-activated.

 

There are broos and ogres in the Rubble. The Jrusteli descendants did turn into monsters, or summoned and dominate them to defend against the Beast Riders. Being located on an island makes them pretty immune to beast rider raids as beast riders cannot swim. Their beasts can, or can wade the river in shallower stretches, but for their riders that is an experience like a passage through the Underworld.

 

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20 hours ago, Joerg said:

The giants do their worst and the surrounded Jrusteli get slaughtered to a man. Civilians and a small guard might have remained hidden, but what follows are giants systematically stomping down all edifices in the Robcradle enclosure, pounding the rubble into the ground. The equivalent of a strength 10 earthquake during carpet bombing with house busters.

I think you are exaggerating the force that the giants would bring to bear.  If they were doing that kind of damage they would have left an immense crater lake instead of a river with an elliptical island.  Zola Fel was their ally, so I doubt they would have been quite so careless.

20 hours ago, Joerg said:

The map describes the situation of 1200, and officially, all God Learners are dead. Logically, the inhabitants cannot be God Learners, but must be Jrusteli descendants.

Well, when the Gift Carriers of the Sending God come for everyone with the runequest sight, it is quite possible that they weren't 100% effective.  I mean, the Dragons killed all the humans in Dragon Pass, well...except for Delecti and his coterie, and the Cannon Cult.  Perhaps they were better than an Orlanthi "all" (85%), but there is every chance that the Vadeli stole the runequest sight, and they didn't get wiped out, so who knows?  On the other hand, there is no specific need for them to be full "god learners", merely being degenerate and inbred Jrusteli sorcerers is fine too.

20 hours ago, Joerg said:

Doing this in the 17 Foes of Waha period also offers them the opportunity to prey on Praxian beasts and riders. Human meat is good for the magical food requirements, but herd beasts provide better calories, as per the 2018 igNobel prize.

I was thinking that they may have actually partaken in a feast of the flesh of the Devil as well.  Tell me that stuff doesn't regenerate?

21 hours ago, Joerg said:

30 years in collapsed tunnels... if there were chaotic survivors, my money would be on vampires or other such "noble undead" rather than ogres.

There are precedents for reasonably well made structures surviving terrible circumstances, especially if they involve arches.  If we want to get properly technical, the real issue would be how the Ogre Island underground ruins can exist in the first place when the water table would be so high?  If they can do that, then there is certainly hefty magic involved.  Now, I agree that vampires would make it a simple matter, but I like the idea of food obsessed-inbred jrusteli ogres with siege mentality conducting foul rites in the darkness.

21 hours ago, Joerg said:

No such encounter in the temple history for the priests... and believe me, Cyrilius Harmonious would have found any such precedent to support his cause to marry the Lunar pantheon into the city. 

I beg to differ.  Again I am drawing from metcalph's quotes.  Now, perhaps the cowardly priests of Pavis never saw the inhabitants of Ogre Island up close, but such creatures were there.

21 hours ago, Joerg said:

Keep telling that story to the tricksters or the Lunars (so that they have expeditions into those rumored tunnels for God Learner secrets and get eaten by their fellow chaos worshippers).

I suspect, given that the place is commonly referred to as "Ogre Island", that the "secret" may not be much of a secret.  As for seeding rumors about God Learner magic, yeah, Robcradle isn't exactly a secret either.  As to the hows and whys of Pavis' decision to do nothing about them, that is curious, because while blundering giants and their Praxian allies might not notice underground survivors, I suspect mostali definitely would.

21 hours ago, Joerg said:

There are broos and ogres in the Rubble. The Jrusteli descendants did turn into monsters, or summoned and dominate them to defend against the Beast Riders. Being located on an island makes them pretty immune to beast rider raids as beast riders cannot swim. Their beasts can, or can wade the river in shallower stretches, but for their riders that is an experience like a passage through the Underworld.

I would suspect that Waha might know a thing or two about constructing a dam or stepping stone out of rubble, but if Praxians get freaked out about taking a bath, so much the better.

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13 hours ago, Darius West said:

I think you are exaggerating the force that the giants would bring to bear.  If they were doing that kind of damage they would have left an immense crater lake instead of a river with an elliptical island.  Zola Fel was their ally, so I doubt they would have been quite so careless.

Paragua doesn't seem to have the same shoe size as Larnste, but the local force under his heel would have been similar.

And what kind of town do you think Robcradle was? From the name, I envision a wild west shanty-town, and not a well-constructed multi-storied architecture with masonry to rival that of Flintnail.

Robcradle wasn't a real city. It was the equivalent of a whalers' outpost where the captured behemoths were taken apart for whatever valuable stuff could be extracted. The lumber of the cradle with its magical carvings would be part of that treasure, too, I would guess.

Now why would there be such tunnels in Robcradle?

Whatever subterranean infrastructure there is on Cradlesnatch Island or anywhere else in the Rubble is very likely built by Flintnail cultists.

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

Well, when the Gift Carriers of the Sending God come for everyone with the runequest sight,

I don't know which secret this Umathelan revenge cult eliminated, but it needn't have been the RuneQuest sight. It may have been some method the Umathelan raiders of the god planes used on the hero plane.

 

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

On the other hand, there is no specific need for them to be full "god learners", merely being degenerate and inbred Jrusteli sorcerers is fine too.

And some of them may have found out about the Chaos buried deep beneath their island when God Learner magics still worked.

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

I was thinking that they may have actually partaken in a feast of the flesh of the Devil as well.  Tell me that stuff doesn't regenerate?

Yes, it does - beneath the Block. The Eye probably will regenerate the eyeball, too, but it won't regrow the Devil around it. I haven't seen any information on the nutritional value of eyeball tissue...

 

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

There are precedents for reasonably well made structures surviving terrible circumstances, especially if they involve arches. 

Yes. Permanently inhabited places like the Mycenean citadels or the Cretan palaces, where a strong elite lorded over a significant rural population.

That's not what Robcradle was. Dawson City on the Yukon or the whaler outpost on South Georgia are too cold to compare directly to the conditions on the Zola Fel, but the spirit of its inhabitants would have been the same.

But even if Robcradle was the equivalent of a Roman Legion outpost like Segontium at Caernarfon, there is no reason that people whose job it is to take apart magical ships would build a nuclear-proof underground shelter when they feel safe from giant retaliation and the major threat are the beast riders.

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

If we want to get properly technical, the real issue would be how the Ogre Island underground ruins can exist in the first place when the water table would be so high?  If they can do that, then there is certainly hefty magic involved. 

Yes. It takes dwarf technology to build those structures in the first place. Which was available from the Flintnail cult.

The Zistorites had vast underground complexes beneath the Clanking City, using the ambient source of magic of Kostern Island.  Robcradle existed for about 20 years. It is unlikely that they had cordial relationship with the Zola Fel river cultists, their only allies (though not friends) were the Pure Horse folk who welcomed them as  source for metal and other stuff hard to get in Prax.

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

Now, I agree that vampires would make it a simple matter, but I like the idea of food obsessed-inbred jrusteli ogres with siege mentality conducting foul rites in the darkness.

I can tell you have fallen in love with the idea, and it works for the 17 Foes of Waha period and for the Troll Occupation. It has no foundation for the shanty-town of Robcradle.

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

I beg to differ.  Again I am drawing from metcalph's quotes.  Now, perhaps the cowardly priests of Pavis never saw the inhabitants of Ogre Island up close, but such creatures were there.

I call Bull's Itch. Prior to permanent human habitation on the island, there was no way that such a large predator could have survived in this environment with extremely hostile prey.

 

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

I suspect, given that the place is commonly referred to as "Ogre Island", that the "secret" may not be much of a secret.  As for seeding rumors about God Learner magic, yeah, Robcradle isn't exactly a secret either.  As to the hows and whys of Pavis' decision to do nothing about them, that is curious, because while blundering giants and their Praxian allies might not notice underground survivors, I suspect mostali definitely would.

Occam's razor - there wasn't anyone left alive after the Giants had smashed and stomped the Robcradle palisade and huts to bits, and whatever underground storage bins there might have been at a stretch were crushed to bits.

Not even Mount Nida was giant-proof, so why should ramshackle Robcradle's infrastructure have been any better?

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

I would suspect that Waha might know a thing or two about constructing a dam or stepping stone out of rubble,

Waha knows about redirecting a river, but Zola Fel may prove too powerful for Waha's magic.

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

but if Praxians get freaked out about taking a bath, so much the better.

 

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On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

Paragua doesn't seem to have the same shoe size as Larnste, but the local force under his heel would have been similar.

I think that is unlikely.  As evidence I submit that there is still an island, not a crater lake.  If, as you suggest, Paragua had the force of a WW2 carpet bombing, combined with a lvl 10 earthquake, this would not be the case.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

And what kind of town do you think Robcradle was? From the name, I envision a wild west shanty-town, and not a well-constructed multi-storied architecture with masonry to rival that of Flintnail.  Robcradle wasn't a real city. It was the equivalent of a whalers' outpost where the captured behemoths were taken apart for whatever valuable stuff could be extracted. The lumber of the cradle with its magical carvings would be part of that treasure, too, I would guess.

Actually, I recall seeing a portion of a map to Robcradle in the RQII Big Rubble Supplement, and it seemed to be something more akin to a citadel than a city.  It definitely had walls, and quite a few buildings, and they were constructed out of stone.  That is hardly unthinkable given how sorcery works.  If you could build using form/set stone, why wouldn't you build in stone? Very God Learner.  Now while it wasn't a heavily populous settlement, it definitely rated as a town, and a walled town at that.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

Now why would there be such tunnels in Robcradle?

There are loads of reasons for tunnels under Robcradle.  It may be that the Jrusteli liked having underground areas for storage, or to protect civilians, or as reservoirs and sewers, or they may have been excavating to get to a strange source of chaos (the devil) they had detected.  I assume that they form a "Cradle River Trading Company" back in Jrustela and import a sorcerer who does the building over a week or two, according to a pre-agreed settlement design.  In any case, we know the tunnels are there, and the island has been called Ogre Island for a looong time.  I doubt that it was Flintnails doing the building, as the Chaos was already on the island when they started and Flintnail mostali are ill equipped armed by mostali standards, and wouldn't last long against the aforementioned Chaos Demons.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

I don't know which secret this Umathelan revenge cult eliminated, but it needn't have been the RuneQuest sight. It may have been some method the Umathelan raiders of the god planes used on the hero plane.

The God Learners were wiped out by the Gift Carriers of the Sending Gods, if any old raiders could do it, the Jrusteli would never have had an empire in the first place.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

And some of them may have found out about the Chaos buried deep beneath their island when God Learner magics still worked.  Yes, it does - beneath the Block. The Eye probably will regenerate the eyeball, too, but it won't regrow the Devil around it. I haven't seen any information on the nutritional value of eyeball tissue...

Eating a chaos deity in a cannibalistic Cacodemon ritual would be empowering I think, and then the power grows inside you and gives you chaos features etc.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

Yes. Permanently inhabited places like the Mycenean citadels or the Cretan palaces, where a strong elite lorded over a significant rural population.  That's not what Robcradle was. Dawson City on the Yukon or the whaler outpost on South Georgia are too cold to compare directly to the conditions on the Zola Fel, but the spirit of its inhabitants would have been the same.  But even if Robcradle was the equivalent of a Roman Legion outpost like Segontium at Caernarfon, there is no reason that people whose job it is to take apart magical ships would build a nuclear-proof underground shelter when they feel safe from giant retaliation and the major threat are the beast riders.

Robcradle was indeed a citadel, and less a shanty than a company owned citadel erected for a purpose.  As to having nuclear bunkers, remember that it isn't merely giants the Jrusteli were annoying, but the EWF and they have dragons.  And what are dragons if not the Gloranthan equivalent of a nuke?  Hence, why not dig deep? It makes a lot of sense, given the context, and the exposed nature of the settlement. This of course raises the question of the Basher, the single part of Robcradle that survived the Giants.  That's mysterious.  Now don't tell me... the Flintnails built it.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

Yes. It takes dwarf technology to build those structures in the first place. Which was available from the Flintnail cult.

Any sorcerer can use Form/Set stone to make a stone construction that is watertight.  The Jrusteli also stole loads of mostali secrets, so it is well within their abilities.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

I can tell you have fallen in love with the idea, and it works for the 17 Foes of Waha period and for the Troll Occupation. 

Nah, they can last there from well before.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

I call Bull's Itch. Prior to permanent human habitation on the island, there was no way that such a large predator could have survived in this environment with extremely hostile prey.

So lets assume that the Ogres go to ground when obvious Storm Bulls are around, and primarily operate at night, given that they are increasingly used to darkness due to their new abode. There is plenty of wild game in the area to supplement the ogres diet, plus fish.  Even ogres don't live by human flesh alone.  Given that they are on an island, and as you have previously mentioned, the Praxians don't want to go there, as crossing water is scary to them, it is possible that the Ogres might have been able to eventually perform some small scale agriculture.  Add to this, whatever food sources they find below ground, and they can create an adequate diet to survive upon.  Also, even in the early days, the Jrusteli survivors would have had assets that even the Storm Bulls would have been unlikely to want to tangle with, namely Jrusteli sorcery and range, in the form of a river in the way.  Now eventually the Gift Carriers arrive and get rid of any God Learners, but by then the community knows what it needs to survive.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

Occam's razor - there wasn't anyone left alive after the Giants had smashed and stomped the Robcradle palisade and huts to bits, and whatever underground storage bins there might have been at a stretch were crushed to bits.

I suspect that the Giants don't really think overly hard about what smaller peoples get up to.  When dealing with mostali, Giants probably know that they build hives inside mountains, but humans generally don't, hence they did a pretty half arsed job and only kicked over the superficial layer.  Again.  If they used as much force as you suggest, there would be no Ogre Island, there would be Paragua's Foot Lake.

On 10/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, Joerg said:

Waha knows about redirecting a river, but Zola Fel may prove too powerful for Waha's magic.

The fact is, throughout history, tribes from Prax have crossed the Zola Fel from the Wastes to Prax and back again, as their situations changed.  Crossing a river with a herd of animals is tricky, and is not the sort of thing you want to undertake with enemies hampering your efforts,  I suspect that Waha worshippers are pretty canny about how and where to ford rivers, and probably don't hold them in such awe, but rather, they know how to be careful.

Edited by Darius West

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35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I think that is unlikely.  As evidence I submit that there is still an island, not a crater lake.  If, as you suggest, Paragua had the force of a WW2 carpet bombing, combined with a lvl 10 earthquake, this would not be the case.

As counter-proof, I give you the continued presence of Helgoland. That island wasn't just carpet-bombed, it was set up by demolition experts from the inside. There was a big boom. And it still sits out there, in the German Bay of the North Sea, and extends German claims to the bottom of the North Sea considerably.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Actually, I recall seeing a portion of a map to Robcradle in the RQII Big Rubble Supplement, and it seemed to be something more akin to a citadel than a city.  It definitely had walls, and quite a few buildings, and they were constructed out of stone.  That is hardly unthinkable given how sorcery works.  If you could build using form/set stone, why wouldn't you build in stone? Very God Learner.  Now while it wasn't a heavily populous settlement, it definitely rated as a town, and a walled town at that.

So you have a five meter high wall drawn from rock by sorcery (and don't even start calculating the MP cost). Meet an 80m tall giant (and remember, Gonn Orta is a juvenile of his kind, Paragua and Thog were quite likely bigger). Say "crunch."

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

There are loads of reasons for tunnels under Robcradle.  It may be that the Jrusteli liked having underground areas for storage, or to protect civilians, or as reservoirs and sewers, or they may have been excavating to get to a strange source of chaos (the devil) they had detected.  I assume that they form a "Cradle River Trading Company" back in Jrustela and import a sorcerer who does the building over a week or two, according to a pre-agreed settlement design.  In any case, we know the tunnels are there, and the island has been called Ogre Island for a looong time.  I doubt that it was Flintnails doing the building, as the Chaos was already on the island when they started and Flintnail mostali are ill equipped armed by mostali standards, and wouldn't last long against the aforementioned Chaos Demons.

And there are loads of reasons why this didn't happen in the 20 busy years of taking giant cradles apart before Paragua showed up.

You want it for your Glorantha, fine.

But you have a very long way to go to persuade me that this has to be in everybody's Glorantha.

 

What is so wrong about dwarfs digging deeper and deeper until they encounter something demonic? Moria?

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

The God Learners were wiped out by the Gift Carriers of the Sending Gods, if any old raiders could do it, the Jrusteli would never have had an empire in the first place.

I will quote Peter Metcalfe here:

 

I agree with this.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Eating a chaos deity in a cannibalistic Cacodemon ritual would be empowering I think, and then the power grows inside you and gives you chaos features etc.

"Oh mighty Cacodemon, praise me for eating the Devil, of which you are but part of..."

 

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Robcradle was indeed a citadel, and less a shanty than a company owned citadel erected for a purpose.  As to having nuclear bunkers, remember that it isn't merely giants the Jrusteli were annoying, but the EWF and they have dragons.  And what are dragons if not the Gloranthan equivalent of a nuke?  Hence, why not dig deep? It makes a lot of sense, given the context, and the exposed nature of the settlement. This of course raises the question of the Basher, the single part of Robcradle that survived the Giants.  That's mysterious.  Now don't tell me... the Flintnails built it.

The Jrusteli were allies of the EWF-allied Pure Horse Folk. The EWF didn't bother about the Slontan advance in Heortland, left the Clanking City alone for a century, and only went to war over Kotor.

We know of no such dragon proof cellars in Nochet.

Yes, the Basher is not a surviving part of Robcradle. The sources suggest that Pavis may have built it, which means it wasn't there when Paragua left.

And no, most likely it wasn't the Flintnail cult but the Jrusteli sorcerers on the island who built it.

 

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Any sorcerer can use Form/Set stone to make a stone construction that is watertight.  The Jrusteli also stole loads of mostali secrets, so it is well within their abilities.

You're clearly a RQ3 player - I haven't seen this spell in RQG. I have played around with Form/Set <substance> in RQ3, and it costs quite a few MP to affect a piece of armor. Or a Brick in the Wall.

You could of course take a brick and make it the equivalent of silicone. Against the pressure of intruding water. Have you seen "Das Boot", or any other movie showing submarines with sudden leaks?

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Nah, they can last there from well before.

Sure. 30 years underground, while nomads and giants are on the lookout for anything that might harm their precious cradles. With shamans who can send ghosts or worse spirits into the crushed rubble. Sure, their targets were God Learners, so they may have overcome those spirits, but in that case some giant would have started digging to find the reason for the disappearance of those spirits.

The Pavis survivors had their god Pavis to support them in maintaining their defense, magical food, and pushing away the nomad and later troll spirits. The Jrusteli had no such thing.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

So lets assume that the Ogres go to ground when obvious Storm Bulls are around, and primarily operate at night, given that they are increasingly used to darkness due to their new abode.

Poor little beast riders, so helpless in the nights... not. Especially with shamans using Second Sight.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

There is plenty of wild game in the area to supplement the ogres diet, plus fish. 

There are beast rider herds in the area. This doesn't exactly promote plenty of wild game that hasn't been hunted by the beast riders to avoid slaughtering their own herd beasts.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Even ogres don't live by human flesh alone. 

True. They need both standard food and sentient food to satisfy their cravings.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Given that they are on an island, and as you have previously mentioned, the Praxians don't want to go there, as crossing water is scary to them, it is possible that the Ogres might have been able to eventually perform some small scale agriculture. 

The giants on the other side just step across the river, and then you can have a merry game of Stomp!.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Add to this, whatever food sources they find below ground, and they can create an adequate diet to survive upon. 

The fertile underground of Prax?

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Also, even in the early days, the Jrusteli survivors would have had assets that even the Storm Bulls would have been unlikely to want to tangle with, namely Jrusteli sorcery and range, in the form of a river in the way. 

If the bullies were the only problem, you might have a point.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Now eventually the Gift Carriers arrive and get rid of any God Learners, but by then the community knows what it needs to survive.

0Saiing through the Closing from Umathela?

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I suspect that the Giants don't really think overly hard about what smaller peoples get up to.  When dealing with mostali, Giants probably know that they build hives inside mountains, but humans generally don't, hence they did a pretty half arsed job and only kicked over the superficial layer.  Again.  If they used as much force as you suggest, there would be no Ogre Island, there would be Paragua's Foot Lake.

Trilus was giant-bult, and was devastated by a mere 12m tall (or so) giant. Yes, some part of it survived. The rest was trashed.

 

If the God Learners could draw up magical castles in the middle of nowhere and survive on nothing, I wonder why the Six-legged Empire failed.

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On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

As counter-proof, I give you the continued presence of Helgoland. That island wasn't just carpet-bombed, it was set up by demolition experts from the inside. There was a big boom. And it still sits out there, in the German Bay of the North Sea, and extends German claims to the bottom of the North Sea considerably.

Interestingly, Heligoland also has intact bunkers.  They are now a museum you can take a tour through.  https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g198646-d8131769-r311543226-Museum_Helgoland-Helgoland_Schleswig_Holstein.html.   See where I'm going with that?

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

So you have a five meter high wall drawn from rock by sorcery (and don't even start calculating the MP cost). Meet an 80m tall giant (and remember, Gonn Orta is a juvenile of his kind, Paragua and Thog were quite likely bigger). Say "crunch."

I am not arguing in any way that the giants couldn't or didn't destroy Robcradle.  They did.  What they didn't do is destroy what was under Robcradle, as the Heligoland bunkers demonstrate.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

And there are loads of reasons why this didn't happen in the 20 busy years of taking giant cradles apart before Paragua showed up.  You want it for your Glorantha, fine.  But you have a very long way to go to persuade me that this has to be in everybody's Glorantha.

There were long breaks between cradles.  Years in fact.  Plenty of time for sorcery, which takes days to do what otherwise might take years.  We know tunnels exist under Ogre Island in the Big Rubble supplement, and that means a decent amount of bedrock  if you want to avoid being flooded out.  Any spells that may have been used to avert flooding would long since have failed, but Form/Set Stone keeps on giving.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

What is so wrong about dwarfs digging deeper and deeper until they encounter something demonic? Moria?

 Srsly?  Tolkien in Glorantha?  That's heresy!  Glorantha exists as a fantasy refuge FROM Tolkienism and "the generic fantasy" setting.  We shouldn't even have an idea of "generic fantasy", but the mainstreaming of Tolkien and D&D has given us a stock standard series of tropes that now mean fantasy.  Wakboth is not a Balrog, mostali are not the race of Durin,  and tired tropes are to be avoided, especially when the alternative to a bunch of dwarves is inbred ogres from an extinct sorcerous civilization that was wiped out elsewhere and now exists only in this mutated enclave and a few other ruins. Lets aim more for Weird Fiction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weird_fiction than "generic fantasy", please.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

Yes, the Basher is not a surviving part of Robcradle. The sources suggest that Pavis may have built it, which means it wasn't there when Paragua left.  And no, most likely it wasn't the Flintnail cult but the Jrusteli sorcerers on the island who built it.

The Basher is an interesting piece of evidence.  We both agree that the Jrusteli built it.  Now are you seriously going to suggest it wasn't built using stone sorcery?  Now I am happy to accept the notion that it was knocked down by Paragua, because it was then rebuilt by Pavis and Flintnail.  Now why would they do that?  There is only one feasible reason.  Pavis and Flintnail intended to desecrate the Giant Cradles for cash and prizes.  Otherwise they would have let the Basher lie, or quarried it for building materials.  This sort of destroys the image of Pavis as the harmless city building peacenik you suggest, and turns him into another rapacious predator with an agenda.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

"Oh mighty Cacodemon, praise me for eating the Devil, of which you are but part of..."

 Chaos is all about eating and getting eaten.  What better way of communing with Cacodemon than getting closer to him by cannibalizing part of the Devil? Sounds like a chaos hero quest to me.  The more creepy and taboo breaking the better.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

You're clearly a RQ3 player - I haven't seen this spell in RQG. I have played around with Form/Set <substance> in RQ3, and it costs quite a few MP to affect a piece of armor. Or a Brick in the Wall.

The only extant sorcery rules outside HQ are in RQ3.  As for MPs, well, that is what bound spirits and power storage crystals are for.  Any sorcerer who is worth his salt will have 100+ points of stored MP after a half dozen adventures and some downtime.  Now as for Jrusteli commercial sorcerers, I would imagine that would be even more excessive. 

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

Sure. 30 years underground, while nomads and giants are on the lookout for anything that might harm their precious cradles. With shamans who can send ghosts or worse spirits into the crushed rubble. Sure, their targets were God Learners, so they may have overcome those spirits, but in that case some giant would have started digging to find the reason for the disappearance of those spirits.

We must assume that Robcradle was properly provisioned to withstand a siege, given that it was a citadel built to withstand nomad and EWF attack.  And where better to store those provisions than in watertight underground bunkers?  That is the time honored place to store provision after all.  As for shamans scouting the crushed rubble, well, first they need to get onto the island, and even if they know there is something bad there, that isn't the same as finding a working way down.  Storm Bulls aren't big on week-long excavations after all.  One whiff of chaos elsewhere and they're off chasing it.  Having run a chaos campaign, the preferred method for dealing with Stormbulls is to use their sense chaos ability against them, to lure them into traps and ambushes whenever possible.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

The giants on the other side just step across the river, and then you can have a merry game of Stomp!.

This reply was in response to my comment that they might have been able to obtain fish, meat and some agricultural supplies.  I  didn't suggest that this was done while the giants were hanging around.  The giants didn't in fact hang around all that long, and nor did the nomads.  During the period in question, the Jrusteli would rely on rationing their siege provisions, still hoping against hope that Jrustela would send a rescue mission a la the Khartoum Relief Expedition.  They would have little or no contact with the outside world for a long time, and may well have been buried alive, trying desperately to dig their way out.  Perhaps their dismal fate is a reason why the Shamans didn't see much point in going after them?  It was a hard dig to kill a group of armed survivors who would inevitably starve to death if left to their own devices.  The Praxians may well even have thought that the Jrusteli would suffocate eventually, not knowing that a low intensity long duration Skin of Life spell would solve that problem.  Or perhaps the 3 meter rule applied, as apparently no spell or spirit can see deeper than 3m of rock.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

If the bullies were the only problem, you might have a point.

You are taking a surprisingly short term view of the problem.  The giants left eventually.  At a certain point there are no giants paying any attention to Robcradle, and only rarely will there be any Stormbulls in the area.  For the most part it becomes another abandoned ruin, like Monkey Ruin or the Copper Caves.  There are certainly better places to water your beasts than that stretch of the Zola Fel too.  Given the marshiness of the area, it would probably even be avoided as a ford, as bogged animals are hard to extricate, despite the shallowness.  Stormbulls and Praxians in general may have seen some benefit in camping at Paragua's walls, but only until the grazing thinned out and they had to move on for reasons of supply.  Any agriculture discovered would no doubt be attributed to previous camps, not to the Ogres, as it is often the case with nomads in areas worth camping to leave a small gardened area that will grow back for next time you come.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

The fertile underground of Prax?

No, the fertile soil of the surface of Ogre Island on the Zola Fel river, a year after the obvious threat of the giants and nomads have left.  Though potentially the Jrusteli might have eaten some random glowing fungus that grew near their cesspit, then had weird dreams about being watched by Wakboth.  The real question is, how many of the Jrusteli survived down there, and how many were cannibalized?  It is all so gleefully awful.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

Trilus was giant-bult, and was devastated by a mere 12m tall (or so) giant. Yes, some part of it survived. The rest was trashed.

While Elkoi, Trilus and Dykene were all giant built, only Dykene was damaged by the giants, and it was still subsequently habitable, if reduced in scale.  The giants wandered off and the humans came back.  It doesn't really support your argument.

On 10/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, Joerg said:

If the God Learners could draw up magical castles in the middle of nowhere and survive on nothing, I wonder why the Six-legged Empire failed.

A very good question.  The answer is that while individual Jrusteli God Learner hero types were pretty well unkillable, and they could build fortifications out of raised bedrock and stone outcroppings, they couldn't survive on "nothing" as you put it.  As with everyone else, they need food and water, and sorcery wasn't able to solve every problem.  In fact there is a notable absence of good food producing spells in Sorcery.  No doubt there is probably some agricultural Saint or other, but mostly Zzaburi don't bother themselves with peasant problems.  Now, just because you can build a fort anywhere, doesn't mean that it doesn't take time, and that it will have a reliable water supply.  In the case of Ogre Island, I would imagine that areas of the ruins became flooded by the Zola Fel after the Giants did their thing, thus providing some access to fresh water.

Now in terms of the Six-Legged Empire, it was built on the use of cavalry, however horses require plenty of water and decent grazing, and in a time of even mild drought in Pamaltela that might become a problem.  Now if you have to range your horses out to find food, the foraging parties become vulnerable to all sorts of guerilla tactics.  So the choice becomes whether to send them into the field to become food for the Pamaltelans or keep them in stables and eat the horses yourself before you and they starve.  Add to this the late adoption of phalanx tactics by the Pamaltelans in rare fixed battles, and the answer is that it would fail due to lack of supply. 

The tactical problem with forts is that they become prisons when besieged, and without long term food and water supplies they become uninhabitable.  That is how the Six-Legged Empire fails.  On the other hand, the Jrusteli on Ogre Island don't have much choice.  They run out of food and fall to cannibalism and Chaos worship.  Only those with invaluable skills or notable strength survive.  They turn to eating even lichen from the walls, worms from the mud of their water supply, and bits of Wakboth while trying to dig their way out.  I am assuming that the valuable form/set stone sorcerer departed for the next job after completing the Robcradle complex btw, and was not a survivor in the Ogre Island rubble, otherwise they would have made the place far more inhabitable and provided them with a convenient exit when necessary.  That didn't happen.  I also doubt there would have been more than perhaps 1 or 2 actual God Learners present at most.  They aren't necessary for the story to work.

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