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What would a new character know? Any resources outlining what a new character might know?

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I'm gearing up to start a new game with a few RQ/Glorantha neophytes. As players they know very little about the game world and i don't necessarily want to overwhelm them. That said there's some stuff they should know. I was wondering if there are any good outlines along the lines of "What the shaman told you..." Maybe it's right there in the books already and I missed it. Any suggestions?

I was thinking about:

In the fields of Geography, Recent events & History, 

  • Locally. What do characters know about the local area, recent events & history.
  • Wider zone. Again - how much geography, current events and history should characters know about Dragon Pass and the nearby areas.
  • Glorantha in general. Again - Geography and history - presumably in very general details. Probably not a lot of recent events.

Most of the geographical details I can roll out assuming a good knowledge of the local area and getting increasingly more vague as you go out. But, outside of cult histories, how much cosmology and god-time history would an initiate know? but more importantly - how much do characters know about current and recent events? What military campaigns are currently being waged? What magical and mystical events have happened recently (dragonrise etc). I mean I (as GM) know these things happened and the characters probably do too. But is there a good written outline that I could hand to my players?

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I'm going to second this request. I'm not lazy. Far from it. I spend a lot of time prepping for my games. Glorantha is just so big that I just don't even know what I don't know. I DID purchase the Guide to Glorantha and am slowly slogging through it! But even by doing that, I still have no idea what the difference is between NEED to know and NICE to know.

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https://www.glorantha.com/docs/heroquest-voices/

 

This is my favorite example to use to explain to prospective players how the different cultures see themselves and their place in the world. I think some things are technically no longer canonical but, I am not nearly Grognard enough to tell you what's what on that front.

Edited by HreshtIronBorne
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While I have Heroquest voices at home (I think I have almost about every RQ/Glor product available) I haven't referred to it in a while.

I don't recall it referring to the great winter and resulting famine that would have recently occurred in characters timelines. Nor do I recall it referring to the Dragonrise. I might have just forgotten it though. I'm going to re-read it tonight. It may be that I just have to take that resource and add in some of the events from the Character Gen timeline. Characters should CERTAINLY know about those events. Some of the more important need to be highlighted.

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36 minutes ago, klecser said:

I'm going to second this request. I'm not lazy. Far from it. I spend a lot of time prepping for my games. Glorantha is just so big that I just don't even know what I don't know. I DID purchase the Guide to Glorantha and am slowly slogging through it! But even by doing that, I still have no idea what the difference is between NEED to know and NICE to know.

I'm in a slightly different boat in that I know a LOT about Glorantha and what has and what is happening. But so much so that I lose perspective on what locals might - and more importantly, might NOT know. Drowning players in the details of Malkioni society or the mysteries of Nysalor are just not really appropriate.

I'm thinking about world shattering events that may be obvious to all the characters but that we forget about. The Re-opening of the seas. Dragonrise. The rise of Harrak and the Wolf pirates.

Native Gloranthan oddities too. Things we (as round world inhabitents) wouldn't ordinarily  think about. Like the way water flows - uphill even, as long as it's going toward the sea. The movement of celestial bodies (I'm looking at you red moon) and the bodies that inhabit it. There are others. I think I started a thread about it a while back..

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21 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

This is my favorite example to use to explain to prospective players how the different cultures see themselves and their place in the world. I think some things are technically no longer canonical but, I am not nearly Grognard enough to tell you what's what on that front.

Nice, HreshtIronBorne. Sounds like a win!
cheers

10 minutes ago, Nevun said:

While I have Heroquest voices at home (I think I have almost about every RQ/Glor product available) I haven't referred to it in a while.

 

I have been putting together a pack  for my players and have thought a few times of how to intricate HQ voices and have yet to do so The elder speaking to a child is a bit clunky to cut it into relevant passages. Of course one could always make the relevant voice a preamble to the players package as it was meant to be used originally. Your idea seems to be a good one: to personalize them.

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11 minutes ago, Nevun said:

I'm in a slightly different boat in that I know a LOT about Glorantha and what has and what is happening. But so much so that I lose perspective on what locals might - and more importantly, might NOT know. Drowning players in the details of Malkioni society or the mysteries of Nysalor are just not really appropriate.

 I'm thinking about world shattering events that may be obvious to all the characters but that we forget about. The Re-opening of the seas. Dragonrise. The rise of Harrak and the Wolf pirates.

I have noticed that a few threads are beginning to explore this, not necessarily the big things and, if not directly at least tangentially, The curvature thread comes to mind, the one with the incredible Vingan warrior, the cuisine thread, my thread of Dragon Pass pastimes. It is beginning to happen. 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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I found the thread I referred to. A Reddit post.

 

 

A few highlights:

  • The tides (tied to the Blue Moon) creep in slowly about twice a week but ebb dramatically fast. (Tidal waves exist, they are closer to small tsunamis.) Tides are stronger wherever one is closer to the constellation "River" in the sky.
  • There are no months, the Red Moon phases over a weekly cycle. (The Blue Moon isn't visible for long enough to discern whether it phases, it climbs the sky outside of the Sky Dome.)
  • Rivers and at times even seas don't necessarily stay flat in their banks, but may resemble a jellyfish tendril of flowing and eddying water. The Syphon River in Heortland which flows uphill is such a river for most of its length.
  • Ernalda/Ularia is Love, and wants to keep things close - Hence, Gravity.
  • There's also the Syphon River in Heortland, which flows uphill because it ignored it's father, Magasta's call to leap into the void left by the destruction of the spike at the center of the world.
  • Tidal waves and such are spirits of the sea.
  • Diseases are not caused by infection, but by curses and evil spirits. (Personally I also like the idea that disease spirits are attracted to dead bodies and open wounds).
  • Bronze can be found in the ground and mined, as well as being made from tin and copper. Bronze is also strong enough to make a usable sword much longer than terrestrial bronze can.
  • Iron can only be made by dwarves, though it can be worked by humans like the Third Eye Blue cult.
  • Tin (air) and Copper (earth) can be alloyed to make Bronze because of the marriage between Orlanth and Ernalda.
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One thing I'd consider is to have rumours - including false ones - that have been spread about. 

We have the facts and canon from the material (i.e., the books), but the people on the ground would get their information by word of mouth... And that's a terrible source of information!

Such rumour and misinformation can also be a great spur to the players to get out and do things...

ETA - don't forget intentional fake news to help stir the pot. Divide and conquer, and all. And planting false rumours are a great way to divide a people.

Edited by Shiningbrow

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3 hours ago, Nevun said:

While I have Heroquest voices at home (I think I have almost about every RQ/Glor product available) I haven't referred to it in a while.

I don't recall it referring to the great winter and resulting famine that would have recently occurred in characters timelines. Nor do I recall it referring to the Dragonrise. I might have just forgotten it though. I'm going to re-read it tonight. It may be that I just have to take that resource and add in some of the events from the Character Gen timeline. Characters should CERTAINLY know about those events. Some of the more important need to be highlighted.

Well if you're using the generate personal history portion of the character creation process it will briefly cover or mention all the recent major events. If you use it in tandem with HQV you should be able to get general cultural info along with recent major world events. 

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7 hours ago, Nevun said:

While I have Heroquest voices at home (I think I have almost about every RQ/Glor product available) I haven't referred to it in a while.

I don't recall it referring to the great winter and resulting famine that would have recently occurred in characters timelines. Nor do I recall it referring to the Dragonrise. I might have just forgotten it though.

Those were events that HeroQuest adventurers played through, so they would not have been mentioned as they were set before those events.

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As @HreshtIronBorne noted, the HeroQuest Voices are a very good set of background pieces that are well suited to most of the starting cultures.  They were written when the timeline was still around 1618 ST, so before the Great Winter and the Dragonrise.

Here's some examples of what I've provided to the players in my RQG game.

The Ernaldori
"The Sacred Clan"
Chief: Baranthos Estavasson

Blessed by the Goddess, the Ernaldori are the most populous clan of the Colymar tribe and the richest in harvest and trade. The Ernaldori are one of the Five Old Clans of the Colymar founded by Kagradus Colymarsson, the first king of the Colymar. The royal clan once held these lands, the first clan chief being the son of Colymar. But that bloodline is now extinct, and has been for years. The clan traditionally dominates the Clearwine Earth Temple and most priestesses come from the clan. The clan lands include the junction of the Nymie River with the Stream. The lowlands of the Nymie Vale have good farmlands, and much of the better farm land is claimed by the Ernaldori clan. Ancient standing stones can be found throughout the valley.
The clan’s agricultural specialty is farming; they have the best and most farmland in Nymie vale, growing barley, oats, wheat, and cattle. Most of the 1200 clan members live within the walls of Clearwine Fort, although there are several large farming steads outside the walls. In good years, the clan produces a significant grain surplus. In bad years, the clan looks to the Clearwine Earth Temple for succor.
During the Great Winter, but 3+ years ago, when the great gods Orlanth and Ernalda were killed and held in the Underworld and the blessings of Storm and Earth were taken from the world, the clan retreated to Clearwine and drew upon the grain stores there to survive even while many others, more remote, starved or froze or fell prey to the savage beasts that came with the cold. With the great gods liberated and their blessings returned to the world, the clan has quickly restored its bountiful lands to health. However, mighty forces are tearing at the world's fabric - most reckon now that the Hero Wars have begun and the fate of each and every clan is at risk.

The Colymar Tribe
The "Proud Tribe"
Queen: Leika "Beti" Orlkensorsdotter

Chief Colymar led the Black Spear Clan into Dragon Pass around 1315 when Belintar the God-king split the Hendriking tribe in civil war. He settled his people in the Nymie Vale and founded a town and several hamlets. He was the first to settle Dragon Pass after the Dragonkill and when word of his success got out, a multitude sought to follow in his path. The Colymar clan flourished and grew strong. They did not balk at adopting newcomers who were fleeing from the south.

The Colymar are the most traditionalist tribe in Sartar, proud reactionaries who inflexibly adhere to their ancient ways. They are called the "Proud Tribe" by friends and foe alike. The Colymar are the oldest and most famous Sartarite tribe - the "Heart of the Sartarites" - as they were the first clan to move into Dragon Pass after the Dragonkill emptied it, and established themselves before any other people entered. They were also the first tribe of the land, uniting many clans. They have maintained their prestige and power since then, even refusing to join any of the confederations established by Sartar. After Starbrow’s Rebellion, the Lunars forced the Colymar to relinquish clans to the Malani and Locaem tribes and even imposed a Lunarized king. Even so, the Colymar stubbornly resisted Lunar influences and Lunar soldiers avoided most of Colymar territory unless travelling in force.

Relations with the other Sartarite tribes are largely driven by the personality of the Colymar king. Historically, the Colymar strive to remain aloof and above inter-tribal alliances and feuds, but always demanding respect and deference based on their size, importance, and status as the first tribe of Sartar. The tribe often gets dragged into the inter-tribal disputes of various clans, especially as a result of certain clan dispositions (e.g. the hatred between the Colymar Orlmarthi clan and the Lismelder Greydog clan across the Starfire Ridges).

The Colymar have ancient rivalries with the Malani and Kheldon tribes. After the failure of Starbrow’s Rebellion, General Fazzur forced the Lysang and Namolding clans to switch allegiance to the Malani tribe, and ordered the Zethnoring clan to transfer its loyalty to the Locaem tribe. As a result, Colymar relations with both the Malani and Locaem tribes were at best extremely poor and at worst downright hostile. With the collapse of the Lunar army and their various tribal allies, many of the clans and tribes are in disarray. The return of Queen Leika "Ballista" to lead the Colymar is sure to give an advantage to the Colymar over their neighbors.

Where in the World?

Dragon Pass is probably the most important place in Glorantha, sitting at the crossroads of the continent of Genertela. The actual Dragon Pass is a narrow valley near Mount Kero Fin that crosses the continental divide, but over the centuries the name has come to be applied to the whole 140-mile gap in the Rockwood Mountains and to the region around
this gap. The Dragon Pass region is large, perhaps 40,000 square miles in total area, even bigger if its boundaries are determined liberally.

Dragon Pass is one of the most militarily significant regions in Genertela. It offers the only passage suitable for large, heavily encumbered armies through the Rockwood Mountains, which extend unbroken for roughly a thousand miles to the west and about 625 miles to the northeast. The region contains much easily defended terrain, such as forests, hills, and mountains. Most importantly, its warlike population and many magical entities make it a daunting region for any army to pacify or conquer. For more than a century, two Orlanthi kingdoms have divided Dragon Pass: Tarsh in the north and Sartar in the south.

Your Ernaldori clan and larger Colymar tribe are part of the kingdom of Sartar. 

[Map of Dragon Pass shown here]

Your clan lives at and around Clearwine, a small but ancient hill fort with stout walls situated in the Streamvale.

To the east are the Thunder Hills where the Storm God Orlanth again is free to bring his thunder and rain. And beyond the Thunder Hills are the high peaks of the Quivin Mountains where the city of Boldhome, capital of the Kingdom of Sartar, sits.

To the north, the Colymar Wilds cover part of the Thunder Hills, a wild and untamed land. Only the Black Spear clan, one of your neighbors, know the secrets to traversing that land. Beyond that are other clans of the Colymar situated around Runegate and the neighboring Swanvale. From there you reach the lands of the hated Malani tribe around Two-Fort. Beyond the Creek are the strange lands of the dragonewts, an inhuman race that few understand.

To the south, across the Stream, are other tribal lands. The Locaem tribe were there, but the Great Winter and their loyalty to the Lunar Empire saw the tribe torn apart. Now the surviving clans try to reassemble what they can. Further to the southwest are the lands of the Sun Dome Temple. These sun worshipers are feared and hardened mercenaries. Beyond them is Beast Valley where the legendary Ironhoof the centaur rules over centaurs, manticores, minotaurs, satyrs, and other obscure races. They are often hostile to humans.

Finally, to the west, are the Starfire Ridges that mark the border between the Colymar and Lismelder tribes. Though good herding land, the Starfire Ridges are a dangerous place for those uninitiated to their mysteries; haunted by fiery demons of divine vengeance and by ghosts of murder and betrayal. In the Gods Age, the Earth folk tried to raise a great city here, even reaching into the Sky. But the Sky folk were hostile and sent demons down to destroy the city. The Earth folk called for aid, the Storm God Orlanth answered and trapped the fire demons in the area called the Cinder Pits. More recently, the Vostangi clan of the Colymar had settled the ridges. But they were betrayed and destroyed by the Lismelder. Their ghosts can still be found seeking those to help them carry out their vengeance on those who destroyed them.

The Lismelder tribal lands sit between the Starfire Ridges and the Upland Marsh. Despite the many hostile actions of the Lismelder, particularly the Greydog clan, the tribe helps keep the undead hordes of the Upland Marsh at bay, with the help of the Ducks, a cursed race who live mostly in the waterways.

Flashback: Earthseason 1625

Since the Great Winter 3+ years ago when mighty Orlanth, King of the Gods and Lord of Storms, and blessed Ernalda, his Queen and Mother of the Earth, were killed by Lunar magicians and imprisoned in Hell, you all have fought in the wars of liberation. Your efforts were rewarded. Ernalda was freed first, and her blessings returned to the lands (at least those who did not succumb to the temptations of the Lunar Empire). At the Battle of Pennel Ford in 1624, Orlanth was fully freed as well and the Lunar Empire suffered a major defeat. But the Lunar Empire is never far away and their forces are legion.

Late last year, the Lunar Empire attempted a great ritual to complete their conquest of the kingdom of Sartar. It is said that their ritual would have completed a great Lunar temple that would bring the light of the Red Moon fully across the land of Dragon Pass and imprison Orlanth and Ernalda once again.

Rumors are many about what happened and who participated, but a band loyal to Kallyr Starbrow, heir to the Kingdom of Sartar, took mythic paths to enter into the Lunar ritual. They summoned a Dragon to the ritual. Not some small dragon that some sages name Dream Dragons, but one of the ones that are called True Dragons.

It is said by many that the dragon was unknown. The mouth was not small. The first bite swallowed the choreographer, most of the Lunar sorcerers, most of a regiment of hoplites, and a large portion of the onlookers. The dragon sank back underground as if the earth were water, and then rose again and swallowed the most powerful Lunar magicians who led the ceremony; another regiment and a half, and a smaller part of the panicked mob. A third bite got the last of the priests and a good part of the new buildings. With a fourth bite, it swallowed the part of the building which had held the sacred Moonstone. Then it turned over once, knocking down everyone for twenty miles around, and left above itself a crack in the earth which stretched for ten miles. In one moment, half the Empire’s military might was destroyed. Many of the Empire’s greatest leaders, including Appius Luxius, Tatius the Bright, and Enerian Scarlet, were lost forever. That's what the rumors said.

What you, and all in Dragon Pass saw, was the dragon rising up into the sky, revealing its impossible size – it was several miles long. It flew up high into the Middle Air towards the Red Moon. You and others saw the great dragon fly north to obscure the Red Moon. It turned aside, though, and then the True Dragon spiraled around Dragon Pass, circled Mount Kero Fin and then returned to the huge crevice it had made where once stood the New Lunar Temple. You, and all those you were with, felt Fear. Fear that the True Dragons were awake again and active in the world. Across Dragon Pass, ancient draconic powers and associations quiescent since the Empire of Wyrms Friends fell centuries ago were awakened.

In light of these omens, you have returned home to your clan and tribe. The Hero Wars begin.

 

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9 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

As @HreshtIronBorne noted, the HeroQuest Voices are a very good set of background pieces that are well suited to most of the starting cultures.  They were written when the timeline was still around 1618 ST, so before the Great Winter and the Dragonrise.

Here's some examples of what I've provided to the players in my RQG game.

(snip)

 

That is a perfect example of what I was asking about. If you're ok with it, I'll grab that for my own use later on.

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For something that's a little more Lunar oriented, this is some of my introductory material about the world for players in my old Imther campaign. There was a map that went with this - think I posted that in another thread recently.

What are the Lands and Features of the World?
Aggar:  A hilly land of storm worshippers who often rebel from the empire.
Arcos River:  This river flows from the Sea of Elves to the Ice Sea.  Once elves sailed this river.  Now it marks the border between civilized lands and the hostile nomads.
Balazar: An empty land ruled by trolls. In ancient times, it was called Zarkos or Ozarkos, or the Land of the Votanki. (Balazar is a blank land, for the Gamemaster to develop.)
Black Eel River: A tributary of the Oslir River, into which the Imaron and Isildon flow.  It is known for its river delicacies.
Carmania: An ancient kingdom of wizards long ago defeated by the Lunar Empire.
Dorastor: Destroyed in the Gbaji Wars, this land now harbors evil chaos.  Only the foolish and the mad go there.
Elf Sea:  An ancient sea inhabited by elves.  It forms the eastern boundary of Imther.  Only brave hunters can reach it.
Garsting:  A barbarian land north of the Sea of Elves.  Their treacherous leaders constantly find excuses to attack our land. They do not acknowledge the rule of the Lunar Empire. 
Heavens:  The Storm gods and the Red Moon fight for control of the air.  The Red Goddess prevails.  Above is the sky dome traveled by fiery Yelm and his son Khelmal, as well as their foe, Xentha the night.  Watching us from the south is Arahar the Polestar, around whom all the stars dance.
Ice Lands: At the far north of the Lunar Empire is a land of ice, said to be home to the evil god Valind.  Only ice demons live there.
Jarst:  Another barbarian land which does not accept the Red Moon.  They are devious, sometimes allying with us against Garsting, sometimes fighting against us. 
Land of Dragons: To the south of Tarsh is a land ruled by dragons and their spawn.  Before the Red Moon rose, a mighty horde of Sun-worshippers sought to conquer it, but the dragons ate them all.  Now the Red Emperor prevails there.
Lunar Empire: The most powerful empire ever.  They conquered all the old Dara Happan lands and more.  Notable features of the empire are: the Blue Moon Mountains, haunted by hideous illusions and trolls; the Crater, left when the moon rose to the sky; the Jord Mountains, home to the dwarfs allied to the moon; the Oslir River; the Sable Plateau, where the slayers of Jannisor live; and the Yolp Mountains which rise near the dreaded Syndic's Ban.  The Red Emperor rules over a host of satrapies and a myriad priests who wield all magics. The capital of the Empire is the holy city of Glamour, under the Red Moon.
Oslir River: The mightiest of all rivers.  Once she aided Yelm in the Gods Age.  Now she links the great Lunar Empire together and fertilizes the vast land of Peloria with rich silt.  Her children and allies are the many rivers of the land, including the Black Eel of Holay and the Black Eel's sons Isildon and Imaron, who water our land.
Redlands: The east is unending plains ruled by the fierce Sun-worshipping horsemen.  We hear of settlers and veterans going there for free land, but no true man would live in such a flat and treeless place.
Saird: This is the part of Holay around the Oslir river, and they worship mostly Dara Happan gods there: Biselenslib the Long Legged Goddess, Buserian of the stars, DarOria the Indestructible Goddess, Dendara the Goddess of Virtue, Idovanus the Good God, Jajagappa Lord of Dogs and Death, Lodril the Earth God, Ernalda the Earth Mother, Shargash the War Fire, Barntar the Farmer, and Yelm the Sun.  The land of Saird was named by the Dara Happans for the great quantities of rock and stone found here.  The natives claim various origins for the stone: the broken remnants of the Pillar of Kemar (whose crown is the wall of Alkoth), the dreams of Reladiva raised from her sleep to halt the Ice, the remnants of the true Dara Happan empire, pushed there by the Ice, or the broken remains of gods and heroes who died fighting in the Gods War. The Sairdites themselves prefer to speak of their land as the Heart (of the world).  It is where Life formed and the Beat was first heard.  Out of this place came the Gods to battle the demons and dragons which assailed the world.
Sartar: A kingdom of storm worshippers recently conquered by the Lunar Empire.  It lies within the Land of Dragons.
Southern Sea: At the southern edge of the world is this great sea inhabited by violent gods, great monsters, and men who breathe water.  Only heroes can cross it.
Tarsh: A Lunar province ruled by weak kings.  A cult worshipping the dreaded Earthshaker dominates the land.  Half the men are eunuchs.
Tork: Also called the Wild Sultanate, it is the home of madmen bound to their land by Jannisor the hero.  It lies north of our kingdom.  You can see the magical boundary, wavering in the air, if you approach it.  Do not cross it!  If you do, the madmen will destroy you and may escape into the world, as has happened before. None return who enter that kingdom, and we know little of what is there now.  Before Jannisor Chaosbinder made the net of magic and earth which bound the Wildmen, Tork was a part of Imther, with fair cities, healthy orchards, and a famous fountain with singing naiads.
Underworld: Demons and trolls live deep under the earth hunting the spirits cursed to dwell there.  At the very center are Yelm's halls.
Wastes: Beyond the mountains and east of the Dragon Lands lie the Wastes.  Once Genert, god of the land, lived there, but the Devil slew him and made his garden a desert.  This land is uninhabited except by fierce nomads who ride strange beasts.

Edited by jajagappa
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6 minutes ago, Nevun said:

That is a perfect example of what I was asking about. If you're ok with it, I'll grab that for my own use later on.

Yes, of course! 

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5 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Where is that Eurmali spell book anyways?

Hidden in the Jonstown Compendium where unscrupulous characters are unlikely to find it...

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6 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

where unscrupulous characters are unlikely to find it...

There such here abouts, why thank ye for the warning good and kindly stranger.

ETA Jonstown Compendium, eh?

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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Here's a few additional flashbacks that might be useful in a Colymar campaign.

FLASHBACK: The Dragonewt's Dream 85+ years ago
In the time of your great-grandparents, in the reign of Colymar King Dangmet Jostharlsson, back when the peaceful potters of the Arnoring clan were dominant in the tribe, there occurred a strange event called the Dragonewt's Dream. According to Aren's father, this was shortly after Aren's great-grandfather Rigslanth had passed the rites of Elmal. A huge number of phantom dragonewts appeared going about mysterious tasks, particularly to the south down by the Blue Mound at Clearwine Fort and to the northwest by the plinth atop the Upper Starfire Ridge. These phantoms could not be touched by living people or by magic, yet their works affected the real world.
People avoided these phantoms just like they avoid real dragonewts. Some folk claimed these were parts of a dragon's dream. Other claimed that they were dragonewt ghosts performing ancient tasks again. Still others believed they were an attempt to rebuild the Empire Without Friends, but without humans involved. And a few thought they were special hunters, sent out by the dragonewts to cleanse the world of spirits and magic.
Ever since the Dragonewts Dream, dragonewts occasionally visit the Blue Mound at Clearwine without comment or explanation, but all worry now that something may sinister may happen now that the Dragon has risen...

FLASHBACK: Starbrow's Rebellion 1613 ST
You all know this event - it occurred just twelve years ago when you were still a child.
Twelve years ago in 1613 ST, the Colymar tribe mustered under the leadership of King Kallai Rockbuster and joined King Hofstaring Treeleaper of the Culbrea tribe, Queen Kallyr Starbrow of the Kheldon tribe, and the Urox cult in armed rebellion against the Lunar Governor of Dragon Pass, General Euglyptus the Fat. King Kallai was a rich and mighty king and joined the rebellion reluctantly, but ultimately agreed to fight the Lunars rather than allow them to desecrate the Hill of Orlanth Victorious.
At first, the Sartarites achieved a surprising victory at the Battle of Hofstaring's Flood. King Kallai and his kinsman Kangharl Kagradusson led the Colymar against the disorganized Lunar soldiers. They were joined by the Kheldon tribe, led by their Vingan queen Kallyr; on the other side of the river, the Culbrea led by King Hofstaring Treeleaper attacked those Lunars who managed to cross the river. This was not a battle – it was a massacre. For the Lunars, the battle was a complete disaster as the core of the Lunar Army in Sartar was shattered beyond repair.
Sartar was proclaimed free and Queen Kallyr Starbrow revealed her lineage proving she is an heir of the Royal House of Sartar. Soon after, the Colymar warriors returned to their clans, leaving the kings and priests to argue about when Queen Kallyr would relight the Flame of Sartar.
shake
The Lunar Empire’s retaliation for Starbrow’s Rebellion was swift and terrible. In Fire Season, General Fazzur Wideread of Tarsh arrived in Alda-Chur with a new Lunar Army and took command. His first published directive was ordering the execution of General Euglyptus for his mishandling of the rebellion. The Sartar High Council once again sent out emissaries to the tribes. Once again, King Kallai reluctantly mustered the Colymar tribe for war.
The army of Sartar mustered at Larnste's Table, a place sacred to Larnste, god of movement. But the Lunars surrounded them there and every day more Lunar soldiers arrived. Each day, the Sartarite kings debated and decided to refuse to come down from the stone plateau. The Lunars began constructing lines of circumvallation (fortifications encircling Larnste’s Table) and prevented the Sartarites from slipping away. The Sartarites appeared doomed, as more and more Lunar soldiers arrived, blocking off every avenue of retreat.
Finally, on Fire Day of Illusion Week, heralds came from General Fazzur, their safety guaranteed by Issaries. The heralds brought news that another heir of the Royal House of Sartar, Temertain the Librarian, had arrived in Boldhome. General Fazzur summoned the Sartarite kings to meet with him on neutral ground. There Fazzur revealed that he had agreed to a treaty proposed by Temertain’s advisor Redbird.
King Hofstaring of the Culbrea refused, tried to escape, but Fazzur’s Lunar demons captured him and condemned him to suffer eternally in the Lunar Hell. The other Sartarite kings – King Kallai and Queen Kallyr – agreed to exile. Those folk who joined the rebellion atop Larnste’s Table swore to the Terms of the Lunar Peace. The Sartarite army disbanded and returned to their farms and herds. The rebellion failed.
cry

Flashback: The Colymar King Strife of 1615
Since Starbrow’s Rebellion, the Colymar have been torn apart by kinstrife between two claimants to the tribal kingship, both from the same clan – Queen Leika and King Kangarl.
Leika “Beti” Orlkensorsdotter, one of the Red-Haired Women of Vinga, was the leader of the “Ballistan” warband, an independent band of warriors and adventurers bound together as her personal companions. She allied with Redbird the Sorcerer during Starbrow’s Rebellion and went with him to Nochet to find the heir to house of Sartar: Temertain. The Ballistans snuck Temertain into Boldhome where he managed to cause the Flame of Sartar to flicker to life. However, under Redbird’s influence Temertain made peace with the Empire and the Ballistans returned to Colymar lands. rock.gif
King Kallai had been king of the Colymar during Starbrow’s Rebellion, but was exiled by Fazzur in the wake of his victory over the Sartarite rebels. Leika presented herself as a candidate for king and undertook a brave and harrowing journey into haunted Snake Pipe Hollow to destroy Chaos in its own lair. She succeeded and was acclaimed Queen by her joyous people, without any preliminary legal preparation, despite the other rivals. Her triumph lasted barely a year.
One rival was her own kinsman Kangharl Kagradusson, formerly the Colymar war leader during Starbrow’s Rebellion and who led the fight against the Lunars at the Hill of Orlanth Victorious. A proud and bold thane of his kinsman Kallai Rockbuster, Kangharl was a leading figure in Starbrow’s Rebellion and none could stand against him in battle. Yet two years later, after years of fighting against the Lunars he finally succumbed to Lunar sorcery and embraced the Lunar Way to further his ambitions. He seized the leadership of the Colymar tribe from his kinswoman Leika Orlkensorsdottir with Lunar aid. surprise

At the tribal assembly of 1615, the tribal Goodvoice, Henkist Coin-in-the-Hand challenged Leika to produce the Ring of Command (a great golden torc woven from seven strands of gold twisted together and part of the tribal regalia) but she could not do so. Leika confessed that it had been stolen from her. Snorri Farsighted, the tribal lawspeaker, reluctantly declared that according to clan law, she had harmed the tribe, was no longer an acceptable ruler, and would have to go into exile. In the ensuing uproar, Kangharl Kagradusson had the assembly exile Leika and proclaim him tribal king. He revealed that he had negotiated with the Lunar governor for a reduction of the tribal taxes which won over many allies.
Several days later, at an Orlmarth clan moot, Chief Gordanger explained that a hurried meeting of various tribal leaders had agreed to not oppose Kangharl, for the following reasons:

1) Kangharl was one of the most powerful warriors in the tribe, and he and his clan were willing to fight for his claim to the throne. In particular, the Varmandi and the Konthasos refused to oppose Kangharl because it would lead to war.
2) Several clans, include the Arnorings, the Enhyli, and the Konthasos, supported Kangharl because of the promise of lower taxes.
3) The Hiordings supported him because their clan was closely allied with the Taralings.
4) The Narri refused to commit to either side.
5) Only the Black Spears were willing to explicitly oppose him, while the Ernaldori and Gordanger discretely opposed him. Gordanger and the Orlmarth clan leaders agreed that in such a situation, prudence dictated that they not openly provoke violence. yuk

The Black Spears declared that he was King Blackmor (an ancient insult against those traitor kings who sold their people out to Arkat and the trolls; and meaning that he had behaved without honor), and left the tribal hall, taking the sacred Black Spear with them, saying that he should come take it if he could.
The new king did successfully persuade the Lunars to reduce their tribute on the Colymar. But the price was high: Lunar demons were allowed in the sacred tribal lands, many of the magical guardians removed, and a Lunar slave fort was permitted in the Nymie Vale! yuk
The fierce warriors of the Anmangarn clan have continuously refused to present Kangharl with the Black Spear – the sacred wyter of the Colymar tribe – and have retreated into the wilds. Rival warbands fight and pillage; King Kangharl’s Black Oak Brotherhood harry those who still support Queen Leika, and in distant Whitewall, Queen Leika and her companions enjoy the support of High King Broyan. Many fear it is only a matter of time before civil war tears the Colymar tribe apart.
soblue

Flashback:  The Great Winter 1621-22

Just four years ago, you all experienced this event, an event that shattered families and broke clans. For some, you were initiated just before the Great Winter came. For others, your initiation was delayed until it passed. If your family survived unscathed, know that you were one of the few, the lucky ones.

During the Great Winter, the ground was frozen solid and covered with a sheen of ice, hence much of Dragon Pass was called Iceland, but particularly the battleground in the Auroch Hills.
When Whitewall fell, the god Orlanth was fettered in the Underworld. Everywhere within a radius of 250 miles the wind stopped and went to dead air, the same area that the New Lunar Temple would defend. This area included all of Dragon Pass, Prax, Heortland, and Esrolia, and parts of Aggar and Holay (and Elkoi in Balazar). Outside of that circle, all the nearby air moved to restore the dead air of Dragon Pass. However, rushing air just disappeared at the edge of the magical effect.
A secondary, and perhaps even more significant, effect occurred, unanticipated by the Lunars. The Earth Goddess Ernalda was killed, and did not awaken. Children were not born, seeds did not sprout, fruit did not grow, and, within the radius of dead air, the winter would not end. Indeed, the winter simply got colder as the seasons changed. Countless people starved, and in Dragon Pass even the Lunar Army suffered terribly.

And yet there were those who found the words, and the courage to act. From Bullflood in Heortland, King Broyan sent the words forth: "This is the Great Darkness. Prepare for the fight."

So those who could, did. They went to the Auroch Hills, and they made the Summons of Evil, and the Evil came. The Lunar army came, and Chaos arose, but King Broyan and his allies fought, even though they had no breath, and no breath magics. Yet they fought, and despite all they won. Brastalos the No Wind turned everyone's breath inside out, and all could breath again. And in the Sky, the Three New Stars awoke and sent their magics to aid King Broyan. The Lunars were defeated, Chaos was defeated, and even the Sun Dome mercenaries turned on the unscrupulous Lunars.

The Great Winter broke there. Voria came, and in her wake the Earth woke. And the Seeds of Rebellion grew.

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I have the Glorantha Sourcebook, and I can't seem to wrap my head around this:

What is the difference between The Lunar Empire, Lunar Tarsh, Tarsh and Old Tarsh?

I've seen those terms thrown around and I'm not sure how to reconcile them. Is Lunar Tarsh just the land of Tarsh when controlled by the Lunar Empire?

Edited by klecser

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"Tarsh" was a kingdom founded as humans began to repopulate the Dragon Pass region, in the "Resettlement" after the Dragonkill & inhuman-only era.  It was founded by the first Human who survived crossing the Dragon-imposed Deathline.

HonEel, third inspiration of Moonson, seduced & married the Tashite king Pyjeemsab, and converted (most of) Tarsh to the Lunar Way.  The Tarshite king did not survive his wedding night to HonEel the Artess, but she retained rulership.

Tarsh is now a key Lunar province, rich and powerful.  In addition to the Lunar Way, they worship most of the Lightbringer deities except Orlanth himself.

"Old Tarsh" is the bits of... well, "old Tarsh"... that refused to adopt the Lunar Way.  The center of Tarshite resistance is the Shaker Temple, near mount Kero Fin.

http://3zw0tn2csmas1gxg5k1aagl5up3-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/KingSartar_SartarTarsh.jpg

Edited by g33k
typo
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1 hour ago, klecser said:

The Lunar Empire, Lunar Tarsh, Tarsh and Old Tarsh?

The Lunar Empire is sprawling & multi-partite...

The "Heartlands" (mostly Dara Happa, a very-ancient patriarchal/Solar empire)

The "Western Reaches" (mostly Carmania (n.b. some prior work had Carmania in the model of feudal/medieval society / knightly warriors / etc; this treatment is no longer canonical).)

The "Lunar Provinces" (of which Tarsh is one of several), each more-or-less a kingdom (now ruled by a Lunar, or Lunar-sponsored local puppet).

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