August 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm #16910
Greetings, sages. May the Light of Knowledge shine on you – and me.
Forgive me, I’ve been very much on the fringes of Glorantha fandom for years. One of those quiet purchasers of product, lurkers on mailing lists, infrequent visitors of forums. Now I find I have need of advice. I’ve searched the forum, but find my search skills lacking or my idea unexplored (which, frankly, I can’t believe – it seems pretty obvious).
The specific question I’d like you to bear in mind is, “What if they go to Whitewall?” I’m happy to receive criticism (hopefully constructive) on the rest of the idea, but my central concern with this is Whitewall. WTF happens there, aside from Heroes gathering in exile until the final push?
I have in mind to run my group through the Colymar campaign. I haven’t yet decided on a rule set.
But reading through the Colymar campaign in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, and glancing at the Gloranthan materials I’ve been amassing since 1982, it struck me that it is not enough. I want more. I want my players to have more.
Don’t get me wrong. I think the Colymar Campaign is superb. It’s the culmination of decades of changes in the way we approach Glorantha; I’ve been waiting for it since it was announced in the back of RQII, and I’m damned glad that it didn’t appear until after Dave Dunham unleashed PenDragon Pass and KODP. It’s also a fine introduction for players.
But it is really tightly focussed on its 1618+ Sartarite plot. Feuds, the evil of the Marsh, a specific HeroQuest… All the while defining the Sartarite worldview brilliantly. And I have all this earlier campaign material sitting around. I want to use it. And I want to run the Colymar Campaign as well.
Yet despite its phenomenal use of Orlanthi verses, no one ever says, “Broos have bruised me, the Hand has pawed me.”
So I’ve hit on the idea of a prequel to the Colymar campaign. Phase Zero, if you will. I want to keep the focus on the Ormarlth clan. I’m happy to ditch PCs between phases. Even rules systems. The clan is the focus (unless the players give me the Pavis chance, in which case I’m taking it).
COLYMAR CAMPAIGN PHASE ZERO
My plan is to begin with ‘timeless’ material shortly before Starbrow’s rebellion: Apple Lane, the kite festival, chasing sheep… anything that’s routine. Apple Lane is certainly not routine (guard another clan’s pawnshop? Meet Trolls and Trollkin?) and this is in some ways a gateway to adventure.
Then Starbrow’s Rebellion. The decision to heed or ignore the call to arms and participate or hear about Hofstaring’s Flood. The same for Larnste’s Table (in my head, Larnste’s Table is a combination of Caesar’s description of Gergovia and Gus Hasford’s description of Khe Sanh in ‘The Phantom Blooper’).
What about King Leila’s trip to Snakepipe Hollow? Beats the hell out of the “reasons to go to Snakepipe Hollow” in that module. And if the PCs die, well, we start of the Colymar Campaign as presented in Kingdom of Heroes with new characters.
And if they don’t, we have the Kinslaying. And Leila loses… Exile beckons, in which case I’m fairly sure I can get them to Pavis and the Big Rubble. Or maybe they back Khangarl – which begins the Colymar Campaign with a whole new backstory twist.
Now, if they go to Pavis, I’m prepared not run the Colymar Campaign with this group of PCs (we can run it with the same players at another time). I’ll run Pavis, with touches of River of Cradles and Sun Country too. Eventually, the Cradle will come and they’ll meet Garrath and… we enter the Hero Wars that way.
SO PHASE ONE IS…
Either the Colymar Campaign, pretty much as presented, the old school Pavis/Prax Campaign, pretty much as presented or…
Whitewall. WTF happens at Whitewall that would get PCs involved?
(NOTE: The Balazar/Elder Wilds campaign I regard as entirely separate. I’d love to include Trollpak, but I think that’s better suited to an Aldachur Confederation campaign.)August 8, 2015 at 2:13 am #16912
If you want to bring your PC’s to Whitewall, you want to get the Book of Heortling Mythology and History of the Heortling People as well as the revised King of Sartar. Those will tell you a lot about the place and why it is important. But here are a few important snippets.
“Heort went to Seriasdora, (later called Ililbervor or Whitewall) a great stone fort that is a bastion against all things chaotic.” From here Heort met the Only Old One and gathered the forces for the Unity Battle (I Fought We Won).
“Ililbervor, the sacred fortress of the Hendriki kings. According to the Hendrikings it was atop Ililbervor that their ancient god Vingkot fought the monster called Worcha Rage and, though defeated, with his last breath he invoked Orlanth who came to defeat the Seas.”
“It is in the throne room of Ililbervor that the leaders of the tribe acclaim their kings and confer upon them the sacred regalia of the Hendriki. These consist of a sword, the staff and the diadem given to them by the gods of old. The king rarely stays in Ililbervor for long, for the Hendriking kings spend most of their time traveling amongst the lands of that tribe, normally returning to it in Storm Season to offer sacrifices to the guardians of the tribe and preside over their obscene pagan new year rites.”
“[Orngerin, Belintar’s Governor of Heortland] certainly had no idea what to do with that “pagan religious fanatic” at Whitewall – King Broyan of the Volsaxi. When Belintar disappeared in 1616, the multiple weaknesses of his wisdom overwhelmed the respect he had once had. Orngerin’s death was a byproduct of Broyan of Whitewall’s successful quest to be acclaimed king of the Hendrikings (early 1617). Armed with the Sword and Helm of Vingkot, Broyan defeated the guardians of the Sixth and destroyed them. He was then acclaimed High King of the Hendrikings at Whitewall, the first man in three centuries to successfully do so.”
“But Whitewall fell, and the priests killed gods. The powerful priestess Enerian Scarlet, called “beloved of Sedenya,” found the heart of Orlanth that was hidden in the bedrock under the citadel. She crushed it in her hands, and there was a great roar of agony that was so loud it knocked everyone to the ground, and it deafened most hearers permanently. But it ended in a whimper, and the wind stopped. In the Ernalda temple a sleeping goddess was discovered, and the Alkothite named Garoshargash, a Hell priest, strangled it to death. The priests heard a distant wail and great mourning.”
So, to your question: what happens at Whitewall to get PC’s involved?
1) Broyan has to complete the quest to prove he is of the blood of Vingkot and must return with the Sword and the Helm.
2) Broyan must overcome the guardians of Belintar and free the Hendriki and the Larnstings (i.e. the powers of Movement).
3) Broyan must escape from the trap of the Lunars and reappear to let folk know that the Great Darkness has returned.
Why else would the PC’s get involved?
1) Think about where the Colymar came from, i.e. Hendrikiland (they Hate the God-King). But not all kin left. Some stayed behind in Hendrikiland, and they may even maintain periodic marriage alliances (this is the case in my ongoing Orlmarth campaign).
2) Depending on the clan background, there may be other close ties to the Hendriki. From the Clan Questionnaire, question 15 in S:KoH choose the Garanvuli. “We joined the Garanvuli, named for Garan, star lover of Serias, who defeated the Chaos Army and saved his lover at Whitewall. We lived in the lands now called Heortland.” There is then a natural link to the fate of Whitewall and the fate of the Orlmarth.
Hope those thoughts/comments help.August 8, 2015 at 7:12 am #16914
Nice – those three quest lists should provide all the backbone a Whitewall campaign needs.
I have HotHP, BoHM and both editions of KoS. Those page references help me sort or and parse the information therein.
Thank you. I feel mentally ready to handle the three main choices they’ll face after phase zero. Of course, players being players, they’ll likely go for option 4. 😉August 8, 2015 at 12:22 pm #16916
Glad that helped and good luck on your campaign!
I started my own Orlmarth campaign with a prequel, though only a few seasons back in 1617 ST. I’ve enjoyed being able to bring in some old material as well (the Harvest Bride/Garhound Contest from Sun County can be transposed into the Colymar setting quite readily if you want other scenarios to draw on).
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.