Jump to content
Beoferret

Shrinking the Upland Marsh?

Recommended Posts

I've been considering drawing up an RQG adventure/string of adventures that would involve trying to rollback the Upland Marsh, if only by a few inches. Do you all even think that this is even theoretically possible (if sticking to current Glorantha canon)? 

In my newbie RQG GM vision, this effort would entail trying to kill a black thorn tree (or several) and then destroying the magic rods that Delecti's servants had buried in the ground to act as markers of a marsh's new borders. All as part of an effort to begin a reclamation of parts of the marsh. Or, perhaps, the PCs are hired/convinced to try this, in order (unbeknownst to them) to draw Delecti's attention to the adventurers and away from some group making an attempt to infiltrate deep into the marsh for something.

Thoughts?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

I've been considering drawing up an RQG adventure/string of adventures that would involve trying to rollback the Upland Marsh, if only by a few inches. Do you all even think that this is even theoretically possible (if sticking to current Glorantha canon)? 

Yes, of course this is possible! 

29 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

this effort would entail trying to kill a black thorn tree (or several) and then destroying the magic rods that Delecti's servants had buried in the ground to act as markers of a marsh's new borders.

Sounds like the correct starting point. 

Delecti, or more likely his minions the Dancers of Darkness, will of course respond. And likely you'll need help from the Ducks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have come to see Delecti as in part a hero of Nontraya (sort of Vivamort) who has actually usurped dominion over the Earth (Ernalda). To reverse things in a grand manner, one needs to find and resurrect the undead land goddess he keeps imprisoned in the Swamp.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

I have come to see Delecti as in part a hero of Nontraya (sort of Vivamort) who has actually usurped dominion over the Earth (Ernalda). To reverse things in a grand manner, one needs to find and resurrect the undead land goddess he keeps imprisoned in the Swamp.

Check the box for a spoiler about Dorastor: Land Of Doom" 

Dorastor: Land Of Doom might be of assistance here. It seems that the land suffers a similar fate, but with chaos being the agency of the local earth goddess' fall. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delicti welcomes any and all such challenges to his realm. Those zombies, ghouls and other undead aren't going to replenish their ranks without your help!

  • Like 6
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Beoferret said:

I've been considering drawing up an RQG adventure/string of adventures that would involve trying to rollback the Upland Marsh, if only by a few inches. Do you all even think that this is even theoretically possible (if sticking to current Glorantha canon)? 

 

It seemed to obvious to mention but i have not seen anyone mentioning 

Sartar Kingdom of Heroes. You have read it to come up with the initial idea, yes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

It seemed to obvious to mention but i have not seen anyone mentioning 

.......

Actually, I haven't read that. I did go over (quickly, admittedly) the article about the Upland Marsh in Wyrm's Footnotes #15.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any thoughts on what and how strong Delecti's response would be? I'm imagining that taking on one or a couple of trees and/or uprooting a few boundary rods would lead to several dancers in the dark eventually showing up (along with a contingent of zombies and skeletons) to reestablish their preferred boundary. But at what point (if ever) does Delecti decide to cut his losses for a few yards of land? And at what point do adventurers provoke retaliation against entire communities near where they're operating? 

4 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

Delicti welcomes any and all such challenges to his realm. Those zombies, ghouls and other undead aren't going to replenish their ranks without your help!

This is definite encouragement!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delecti has been defending and expanding his marshy realm for centuries. He has mastered the art of luring in his victims through all manner of enticements. Here's some of what Greg and I wrote for Tales 19:
 

Upland Marsh Encounters

This article is designed as a set of general guidelines on what intruders will encounter when they enter Delecti’s domain. The Marsh is an ever-changing physical environment. Islands drift, ruins slowly sink, undead shamble around. Maps are notoriously unreliable. 

The Upland Marsh is a mishmash of mucky islands and rocky outcroppings surrounded by a slow moving murky sludge. Technically, the Creek and the River both run through it, but their routes are a deadly series of small lakes connected by rivers of crud. Think of the Cypress swamps and bayous of Louisiana. Picture moss covered trees. You are there. Now leave. 

Traveling through the Marsh

Ground movement within the Marsh is half speed at best. Normal beasts of burden and all but the best trained mounts refuse to set even a single hoof into it. Riding such a mount would be impossible, regardless. Only the Lismelder with their clodhopping skills, and the ducks with their natural affinity to the terrain can move at close to normal speed.

Delecti’s corrupted servant Rihalya protects her master with her perpetual cloak of mist. Thus, visibility is limited to roughly 30 meters or so during the day and perhaps as little as 1-5 meters at night. She rises to her thickest as part of the preparations for expanding the Marsh. She precedes the foul dance of the Daughters of Darkness whenever they choose to venture out of the Marsh as well. Troll Darksense is basically useless, as are most forms of extended vision, unless magically enhanced.

The air is filled with all manner of spooky sounds and odd odors. At times, the stench of decay can be choking. Few beings that enter the Marsh ever forget its distinct smell. Most flying creatures also avoid the airspace over the Marsh, but trained flying mounts could be ridden. All but intelligent mounts would never dare to fly down into the mist let alone attempt to land in the Marsh unless forced.

A Few General Notes on Delecti’s Undead

Delecti's undead follow a largely automated defensive scheme, unless Delecti focuses on a specific battle and takes direct control of his forces. He occasionally prefers to have his undead capture powerful people by subduing them. Everyone else is lethally dealt with. Drowning is a favorite attack because it insures a much more intact corpse.

There are a number of powerful undead beings that rule over small regions of the Marsh. While they have sworn an oath of servitude to Delecti, they are given a relatively free hand to do what they want in their own little realms. 

The undead minions of Delecti decay at a very slow rate, possibly over centuries. It has been observed that the zombies decay at an accelerated rate while outside of the Marsh. Most of the zombies that have rotted away have continued their unbroken record of service as skeletons.

In the end, no one other than Delecti is confidently sure what he is up to. Some outsiders believe that nothing escapes his eye inside his Marsh. Others believe he takes little interest in intruders unless they are extremely powerful and/or pose a threat directly to him or his realm. Attacking his Blackthorn trees, major Humakti assaults, or entering his ruin always get his undivided attention. The forces he can muster if needed are considerable.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My PCs found a heroquest that enables an Ernaldan to get the ability to purify something of chaos. They're building a plan to invade the Marsh, located the corrupted dryad who produces the Blackthorn trees, purify her of Delecti's corruption, and then kill her so that Delecti cannot produce any more of the blackthorn trees. Then they can attack the trees one at a time to shrink the Marsh. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I never thought of Delecti as using much Chaos to corrupt the dryad, your story is great and I think it will be a lot of fun, which is all that matters.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another snippet on Blackthorn trees:

A legend tells of a troll, seeking revenge for Delecti turning his companions into zombies, performing an amazing feat some 150 years ago. The troll completed a tree chopping heroquest before entering the marsh and managed to hack through two consecutive Blackthorn trees before finally falling victim to the marsh’s defenders. The peninsula extending into the marsh is now known as Darkwalk. Legend also tells of his ghost still protecting it from Delecti’s rituals. Every few years during Storm Season, a band of Zorak Zorani have been seen performing some type of ritual near the entrance onto the Darkwalk peninsula. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Beoferret said:

Actually, I haven't read that. I did go over (quickly, admittedly) the article about the Upland Marsh in Wyrm's Footnotes #15.

Not sure about that one, the adventure I was referring to under the spoiler is great for atmosphere and details daughters of darkness, and a bit about the trees and some on the denizens of the area as well as a myth. Sounds like you got a good bit more than just the gist of the swamp in any case.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember well Delecti draws a good part of his power from reenacting the myth of Korang the Slayer. So in order to make the land of the marsh "dry" your PC could try a Heroquest linked to the Earth God Hard Earth (who died figthing Korang), whose manifestation could, well, make the land hard again, or a heroquest of Engizi to wash away Delecti's minion, like Korang was washed away by the Skyfall.  

Alternatively, they could also discover that the "magic rods" used by  Delecti are made from slivers from the Ironspike in Tovtaros, alledgedly a fragment of Korang's Poison spear. In this case, they could fight Delecti's agents who smuggle such slivers from the Far Place. It would be a nice prelude to actually attacking the marsh. And maybe in the process, they could learn from a Engizi-themed heroquest how to "wash out" the poison from the spear/rod through the blood of the Sky Titan, a secret which could then be used in the actual attack on the marsh.   

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Minlister said:

... or a heroquest of Engizi to wash away Delecti's minion, like Korang was washed away by the Skyfall. 

One element surrounding this is that Engizi's fatal wound considerably weakens The River, and it's only with the aid of his kin in The Creek and The Stream that he is borne onwards to the Sea. But The Stream only joins its kin after they sluggishly exit the Upland Marsh. A proper assault on Delecti may require them to join their forces earlier, which would involve convincing The Stream to try and change its course (with fairly profound consequences).

I'm not sure the ducks would be impressed with this, and their curiously symbiotic relationship with the Necromancer might kick in...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Quackatoa said:

One element surrounding this is that Engizi's fatal wound considerably weakens The River, and it's only with the aid of his kin in The Creek and The Stream that he is borne onwards to the Sea. But The Stream only joins its kin after they sluggishly exit the Upland Marsh. A proper assault on Delecti may require them to join their forces earlier, which would involve convincing The Stream to try and change its course (with fairly profound consequences).

You could try and create a bypass of the joint Creek and River around the Marsh, and then roll it up from the southeast - but that means defending the canal against the Daughters of Darkness. Canals like this are just within the abilities of demigods or irrigation cultures, look e.g. at Belintar's New River.

 

1 hour ago, Quackatoa said:

I'm not sure the ducks would be impressed with this, and their curiously symbiotic relationship with the Necromancer might kick in...

This depends on how much support you get from the river cults, I suppose. About half the durulz are river cultists or depend on the river trade for their luxuries and livelihood. Their hold on the river trade to Nochet relies on their free passage through Beast Valley way more than their relationship to Delecti, and I like to think that a good portion of them still prefers the post-1613 diaspora to their symbiosis with Delecti.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Joerg said:

You could try and create a bypass of the joint Creek and River around the Marsh, and then roll it up from the southeast - but that means defending the canal against the Daughters of Darkness. Canals like this are just within the abilities of demigods or irrigation cultures, look e.g. at Belintar's New River.

What we need is a powerful populist leader with a catchy slogan like "Drain the swamp!"

Edited by PhilHibbs
  • Like 1
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

What we need is a powerful populist lead with a catchy slogan like "Drain the swamp!"

We're lucky that orange is a valid skin color for Storm worshipers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

What we need is a powerful populist leader with a catchy slogan like "Drain the swamp!"

Ha - but Delecti’s agents would produce fake evidence, accuse the leader of collusion with the Lunar Empire or worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

What we need is a powerful populist leader with a catchy slogan like "Drain the swamp!"

Oh mein gotts, are you suggesting:

*

 

*

 

*
Trump vs Delecti in 2020!

Edited by Bill the barbarian
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect defeating Delecti would be as difficult as getting rid of Ralzakark or the Red Emperor. 

Delecti has withstood centuries of attacks by Humakt heroes and others. His swamp was created very rapidly using god learner like skills to twist local myths. His swamp was designed to protect Delecti from multiple dragons.

Is your PC someone who could take on a horde of dragons and survive? Delecti did.

I’m sure Delecti is fine with heroes reclaiming a few yards of swamp. It just encourages them to be more ambitious, return with more followers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...