We start this episode with a minor existential crisis on Ludo’s identity, followed by Ludo being protective of our usual guests by volunteering to take the brunt of Jörg’s incoming obscurantism and pedantry. Ludo accuses rather than praises Jörg of being a bright guy…
The Second Council and its God Project
Jörg wants to go to the beginning of that God Project, which was in his opinion the discovery of the Pseudocosmic Egg in the ruins of Dorastor. He mentions the Dawn Age appendix in the Guide, p.712 if you want to take a deeper read into this. (If you own the old RQ3 Dorastor Book, it has this text, too.)
Ludo asks whether the Pseudocosmic egg, that rare artifact which was instrumental in creating the perfect god, was just lying around in those ruins, and Jörg name-drops the Feldichi builders of those ruins, suggesting that the artifact would have been sitting in a Feldichi laboratory.
The ruins were first discovered by the early settlers, in the 120ies. Ludo paints this time (prior to hostile contact with the Horse Warlords in Dara Happa) as a time of peace and plenty.
We talk about the nature of the Pseudocosmic Egg, an artifact which Jörg describes as something that spoke to its investigators, awakening creative urges that ultimately led to the decision to breed a perfect deity.
Its origin isn’t clear, although Jörg wouldn’t be Jörg if he did not have a theory about that.
A rather weird theory, describing the Egg as an unborn child of Mostal, the World Machine, which would be a von Neumann probe in this theory – a self-replicating mechanism establishing a universe and then spawning daughter universes, more places like Glorantha. Only Mostal was damaged by the birth of Umath, and the hatching of the egg (in Jörg’s theory one of eight) was interrupted.
This gives the entire Dorastor civilization (both the Feldichi and the Second Council) a certain science-fantasy vibe, which is fine with Jörg.
Anyway, the people investigating the egg start the God Project.
Ludo expounds on their possible motivations: having the gods around again. (An effect which is called “Proximate Holy Realm” by Jeff Richard, describing the vicinity of deities in Belintar’s City of Wonders, but which also seems to have been the goal of the EWF Third Council.)
People of the God Project
Jörg briefly introduces Lokamayadon as the new Orlanthi member of the Second Council, a Pelorian, non-Heortling Orlanthi, and his personal feud against the family of the Vanak Spear heroes in the Berennethtelli tribe (who were Heortlings), foreshadowing Harmast Barefoot who was one of their descendants.
Being forced back onto the God Project, Jörg drops another name of the participants, Holy Estorex, a Dara Happan mystic who becomes one of the chief contributors to the new deity.
Ludo mishears the name as Asterix, the cartoon hero by Goscinni and Uderzo whose adventures in and from Roman occupied Gaul are a great inspiration for the Sartarites despite being very non-Sartarite.
Leaving that aside, we talk about what the Dara Happans want from this.
For context: up to 221, since before the Dawn, the Dara Happans and other Pelorian lowlanders were ruled by horse warlords who immigrated from the Arcos Valley and established a semblance of order in the Gray Age while remaining quite barbaric themselves. These horse-warlords slaughtered any Lightbringer Missionaries entering their territory, which earned them the enmity of the Council in Dorastor, and led to its first war, culminating in the Battle of Argentium Thri’ile in 221 (a name wisely – or cowardly – not pronounced by Jörg).
Jörg talks about the effect of having Holy Estorex on the God Project, which led to new advances, and a grwoing unease of the trolls, the Heortlings and the Dragonewts, all of whom ultimately break off from the project and their participation in the Second Council, which is called the Broken Council afterwards.
Ludo describes the Dara Happan representative as the Yoko Ono of the Second Council.
(A pop culture reference as old as the older part of our audience: this is about the break-up of the Beatles, one of the most infliential bands of the late sixties and early seventies of the last century. As if “pop” in pop culture stands for “dad” or “granddad”…)
We talk about how this representation of all elements is an ongoing theme, like with Belintar’s Holy Country, and a reflection of the universe. Which gets Jörg to drop in the Young Elementals, source of the non-moon elemental magic of the Seven Mothers Cult, who were the spawn of the Pseudocosmic Egg alongside Osentalka.
Enter the Antagonists Nysalor and Arkat
Fast-forward to the Sunstop, with Jörg listing other culprits like the Kralori emperor meditating, Western wizards fighting shamans in Fronela, a new bloom in the Yellow Elf forests in Pamaltela.
Ludo observes that these pivotal moments in Gloranthan myth or history always have multiple causes and participants.
Jörg adds that he is pretty sure Zzabur had something to do with the cause of the Sunstop, too.
Ludo asks whether the Sunstop was a bad thing, and Jörg forwards the Dara Happan notion that this would be the ideal state of the world, re-creating the ideal of Godtime. The trolls on the other hand might think this is the worst idea possible – at least those who were condemned to a life on the Surface World.
Jörg tries to convey that while (normal) Time stopped, lives went on. Hence “the Sunstop lasted for an unknowable amount of time” doesn’t mean that everybody was frozen in their movements (as that would mean they wouldn’t even notice the Sunstop).
Necessarily, Jörg mentions the birth of Arkat in the distant forests of Brithos, probably as the result of a tryst with a deity (these things happen in the Malkioni west all the time in that age), a deity who leaves his mortal offspring the Unbreakable Sword.
Looking back at Dorastor, Ludo asks whether Nysalor was born with a cool magical item like his counterpart, or whether Arkat gets preferential treatment by the GM. Jörg points out that Nysalor is born with a partially restored magical city to his name, while Arkat starts out in the wilderness.
Jörg clarifies that he meant the magical buildings left behind by the Feldichi and brought into a semblance of function by the Second Council. With the possibility that Osentalka’s birth awakens the ruins more than before.
Ludo asks whether the two antagonists were born as infants. Jörg opines that Arkat was indeed born the biological way as a baby, whereas Nysalor probably came into the world as a fully grown adolescent, a shape he retained trhoughout the rest of his life.
Coming to the end of the Sunstop, Ludo asks how this ended. Jörg first gives the observations that were passed on through the generations: dark strands forming around the sun, dragging it back onto its Sunpath procession. Some people call that the Web of Arachne Solara, and Ludo imagines a “pissed-off” Arachne Solara. Jörg suggests that the Sun Spider (Arachne Solara) and her son Time pull the sun back onto its cycle,
The perfect god Osentalka (who could only exist under the perfect conditions of the Sunstop) becomes revered as Nysalor, the Bright Lord.
Ludo asks whether this demand for perfection is part of an in-world sage’s agenda, or whether this is an objective observation. Jörg evades the question, re-stating that there was Osentalka who was perfect while Time had stopped, but when it re-started again, the deity now named Nysalor had imperfections.
Ludo tries to play that down as excuses. Jörg argues that Nysalor doesn’t do or need excuses, since he is illuminated. We discuss who might have apologized, but other than some humans on the council (illuminated by the time they could be interviewed) we don’t find who might have apologized. Certainly not the Mostali who were involved.
Ludo summarizes what we said about the Bright Empire in our last episode – a Solar-themed empire that took over vast chunks of Central and even Western Genertela.
Heroes of the Bright Empire
Jörg brings up the Battle of Night and Day, where the friends and foes of Nysalor met three years after the Sunstop. While the battle is described in quite a lot of detail in the Stafford Library offering History of the Heortling People (from the perspective of Lokamayadon), Jörg attempts to give an elevator pitch of those details.
Ludo asks how the battle went. It started with conventional warfare (other than Lokamayadon riding his flying ram while the King of the Heortlings is riding a cloud, which Ludo agrees is fairly conventional for Gloranthan warfare).
The Dara Happan forces facing the trolls are faring badly, and the Dara Happan general asks his Vanchite (hill barbarian aka Orlanthi) charioteer whether he had any hidden trump card. The charioteer replies, “Try my god, Daysenerus, the planet Lightfore.”
Ludo asks whether we are talking about Yelmalio, which is of course another name for this sort of divine presence.
Ludo also wonders whether the charioteer god should be Lokarnos, but Jörg insists that Lokarnos is the wagon(eer) god rather than the chariot(eer) god. What’s the difference? “You wouldn’t use a Lamborghini to move furniture, would you?”
The general does, calling the deity into himself, whereupon the deity itself manifests on the battlefield with a divine presence above and beyond what was agreed on in the Great Compromise. (Note that it was the humans summoning the deity this way who broke the compromise, not the deity out of its own volition – up to that point.)
Ludo sensibly asks how this is different from casting awesome amounts of Rune Magic “as the deity”.
Jörg replies that there is a vast difference in scale between spending a whole lot of rune points and calling forth this much of a divine presence. In fact, this over-taxes the life force of the Dara Happan general, who dies of this experience – in RQ terms possibly because he blew all of his personal POW in the process. The deity does stick around long enough for the commander of the Nysaloran center, a certain Palangio, to synchronize with the newly arrived deity, which bears a certain resemblance to his own (Lightfore?) deity from Rinliddi.
The trolls don’t take this standing still, they huddle together forming a great black thing, the Black Eater.
There is a big Lightfore deity on one side and the huge Darkness monster, the Black Eater, on the other side.
Jörg claims that this is well beyond conventional Gloranthan warfare, while Ludo tries to blame this on “heroquesting powers and what not”.
So we get this towering figure of a bright spearman facing the trolls, who shrink back from the brightness.
Jörg claims that what happens here is more apocalyptic, as hundreds of trolls dissolve into the Black Eater whose great maw proceeds to eat up the Dara Happans, hindered by Daysenerus.
And that’s when Nysalor, thar androgynous youth of a god, steps onto the battlefield, and right into the maw of the Black Eater.
Ludo: “And he dies, end of the story.” “All of his friends fear that is the case.”
Instead, the black blob starts convulsing and shrieking, falling apart into thousands of trolls, all of whom suffered terrible wounds to their wombs (if they had them, or comparable internal damage if they did not). This wounding affects all trolls, up to Korasting, Mother of Many, the fecund daughter of Kyger Litor and second most important ancestral deities of the trolls.
Ludo points to the RuneQuest Bestiary as the currently best available source on the Trollkin Curse.
Ludo asks whether this is where the troll expression “don’t put all your trolls into the same Black Eater” comes from, an expression Jörg had not heard before.
That’s also how the trolls gave Nysalor the name “Womb-Biter”, or D’Wargon.
All trolls are injured, and instead of getting normal dark troll births, which also are diminished compared to the original Mistress Race, they get these runts.
Ludo goes on a tangent fabulating about a great ball of all the trollkin in the hero wars, getting even worse offspring, and observes that the (dark) trolls keep getting worse and worse reproductive deals.
So Nysalor wins the Battle of Night and Day – a resounding victory. On the Storm flank, the king of the Heortlings falls to Lokamayadon, Palangio mops up the field with his awesome Daysenerus powers, and the dragonewts were supposed to suffer from a similar curse, but a dragon intercedes and negates it. The Heortlings are conquered by the forces of Palangio in the afteermath of the battle.
Ludo asks whether this is limited to the Pelorian Heortlings, but no, all the Heortlings all the way to Kethaela are subject to Palangio’s overlordship. He conquers Esrolia, too, but the region nowadays known as Heortland in the Holy Country remains unconquered – it is a forested, thinly settled land at this time, inhabited by the followers of Hendrik the Free.
Ludo asks the usual question:Why do we care about all that shit that happened in a distant past?
Jörg mentions that this resulted in the founding of the Sun Dome Temple at Vanntar by Palangio, as a means to control the conquered Orlanthi.
Ludo complains that that is all good and fine, but why would it be relevant in the Gloranthan now of 1625. While it is cool and adds a bit of flavor, since then a lot of other things have happened which influenced history as much or more.
Jörg evades by talking about Lokamayadon’s endeavors after the Battle of Night and Day. Lokamayadon’s heroquesting (what about Harmast or Arkat starting the business of Orlanthi exploratory heroquesting in the Dawn Age?) leads him to TarUmath, the High Storm, the Storm beyond the Storm.
(Actually, Tarumath started out as the Harmony Storm, already present at the Battle of Night and Day, where Lokamayadon’s Orlanthi from Lakrene are interchangeably called Tarumathings. History of the Heortling People, p.18 onwards for the account of the Battle of Night and Day. This also tells how Lokamayadon calling upon his god steals the breath of all weaker Orlanthi, and how only Hendrik the Larnsti could keep a free breath in his cloak.)
Lokamayadon becomes the super-Orlanthi, taking the Breath of all weaker Orlanthi – pretty much like what happened to the worshipers of Orlanth during the Windstop.
Ludo asks why Lokamayadon (who is an Orlanthi) is doing that (stealing everyone’s breath, and magic). Jörg replies that Lokamayadon is becoming Orlanth, or like Orlanth. Worship of the High Storm (which Jörg assumes goes through the person of Lokamayadon) is still possible, which means that his followers are doing fine with magic. This is extremely high stakes.
Jörg talks about Lokamayadon’s downfall, which is tied to his feud with the Berennethtelli clan which ultimately produced Harmast Barefoot, a youth who managed to survive the initiation rites and contact Orlanth despite Lokamayadon holding on to the High Storm.
Harmast Barefoot is of course the Orlanthi who first re-enacted the Full Lightbrigners’ Quest (and even did it twice).
Ludo tells how Harmast returns Arkat from Hell after the hero had been killed by Palangio (in 418, in front of Kartolin Castle, on the Dorastan border of Ralios).
Harmast’s family was hiding out on the edge of Prax, outside of the Bright Empire proper. When Ludo says that there is probably no trace of this in the modern era, Jörg counters that the site of the Battle of the Verge is known as Barbarian Town in the Third Age (again a hide-out against unjust persecution).
What next? After the Battle of Night and Day, Palangio goes on conquering Maniria, on behalf of the Bright Empire, he visits the lost city of Erenplose hiding in a bubble under water, gets a hint to follow a magical item up to a mountain where the a piece of the sky fell down in the Gods War (Selon Mount) and finds the Iron Vrok there, according to Jörg a huge magical beast made of iron which Palangio then can ride – pretty much like the Dykene Hawk Riders in Balazar.
Ludo is slightly disappointed as he expected a smaller sidekick that would be able to land on Palangio’s shoulders.
Ludo asks whether the bird is a Mostali construct, but Jörg pleads for a magical creature in its own right.
Meanwhile in Ralios
Bright Empire visionaries have been active in Ralios, entering across Kartolin Pass. The Dangan Confederacy in the Tanier Valley (pretty much exactly where the modern Kingdom of Seshnela is located) accepts the teachings of Holy Estorex, the Dara Happan mystic mentioned above. This worthy is converting the local Enerali Orlanthi to the cause of the Bright Empire.
Ludo asks whether this is where Arkat will be fighting (of course it is). Jörg states that the Ralian Orlanthi are divided, many join the Bright Empire, but some groups resist it – in typical Orlanthi manner.
Ludo asks whether this is when someone has the bright idea to spread the uncurable disease that only the priests of Nysalor can heal. Ludo is sort of disappointed about how sneaky the Bright Empire operates. Jörg quotes Nysalor: “On the Edge of Light there is always Darkness.”
Bur this method of spreading the cult is successful, and a large number of people in Seshnela and even Arolanit follow the cult that brings the cure, tp the point where Nysalor’s mystical thinking is taking over the land of rationality, Arolanit.
Arolanit used to be the most orthodox and pious of the Brithini colonies, and Zzabur and his Talar rulers won’t have that.
Ludo observes that this is in the extreme west of the continent of Genertela, and that this is when the Brithini army is brought to the continent, including Arkat as a young Horali soldier.
This is where the Brithini army is confronted with the dark minions of the god Kraljid, a demonic entity which had history already in the wars of the Serpent Kings of Seshnela. This entity is controlled by the Bright Empire, a state of affairs that is ended by Arkat when he puts that god to rest (if not for good, then at least for the rest of the Dawn Age). This happened in a little town in westernmost Tanisor (the modern province or rather heartland of the Third Age Kingdom of Seshnela)-.a town named Kaniwal. Jörg jokes that it could be pronounced like cannibal, too, which is possibly one of the cult practices of Kraljid.
Jörg refers to a fragment of Arkat’s Saga that Greg Stafford read at Convulsion 1994, a rather nightmaresh stand against dark enemies strikung out of the shadows, which has been compared to a Vietnam war report.
This Arkat Saga fragment is occasionally offered for quite high sums on Ebay, alongside other fragments of Greg Stafford’s early western stories.
Back to the topic: The Nysalor Cult has a priest overseeing things in Seshnela by the name of Gaalth – with two “a”s, according to Ludo a sure sign that this is a bad guy.Jürg offers that he is bound to have a goatee and an evil laugh.
But Gaalth is rather charismatic, and spreads Illumination among those he healed, and once illuminated, the so afflicted and healed understand that the ordeal was a learning experience.
Ludo asks whether this was the first time the Bright Empire is actively teaching illumination, but to Jörg’s knowledge that happened all over the Empire.
Jörg points out that the Dara Happans pursued Illumination as long as they have memories, even the horse warlords did so to some extent. They pursue the enhanced state Yelm obtained when he recognized his Other (or Shadow).
We jest about what happens if you stare into the sun too long,.Jörg adds that the worshipers of Dayzatar look beyond the sun to a higher truth, and what Lokamayadon did with the High Storm was similar.
We briefly return to Lokamayadon when Ludo asks whether he attempted to establish an illuminated Orlanthi culture, Ludo fabulates that we could have an illuminated Orlanthi culture, peaceful and urbanized. Jörg points out that exactly this happened in the next age, although with a different (draconic) form of enlightenment.
Once again. Ludo wants to pull these things into the now, suggesting Lokamayadon as a role model for Illuminated Orlanthi. Jörg insists that mainstream Orlanthi reject what Lokamayadon did, but there is always room for dissidents.
Ludo asks whether that disease might still be around, but it seems to have disappeared without the Nysalor Cult to spread it.
Ludo asks for more information on this disease, and Jörg points to the Seshnelan Kings List on the Well of Daliath.
When asked what cool Third Age adventuring can result from all this information, Jörg points at Lunars searching for such fragments from the Bright Empire. There may also be parts in Ralios where the local Orlanthi think that Nysalor was a good thing, and Arkat a terrible mistake.
Whether Safelstran basements with secret meetings support Powerpoint presentations for indoctrination can be decided by the GM.
The Bright Empire is spreading out, but it is starting to get some opposition (it could not overcome). In Seshnela, it is quite successful, but the ruling dynasty prefers to rule afflicted by the disease rather than succumb to the whisperings of Gaalth and Gbaji (although some of their cousins did).
People fighting on Arkat’s side of the conflict
Jörg describes how the conflict in Seshnela was really a civil war, with the Nysalor cult opposed by the rulers, and how a decisive battle between the friends of Gaalth on one side and Arkat and the king on the other is almost lost for Arkat, when a shiny young hero with a flaming sword and fresh horse troops falls into the rear of the Nysalorans.
Faced with defeat, the opponents show the ugly side of illumination when they start to sprout tentacles and other such abominations, causing grievous losses even in their defeat. The old dynasty is ended on that battlefield, a new one emerges (and gets afflicted by the disease, too).
Maybe not the first time – there was the fight against the Vampire King of Tanisor, too.
Ludo talks about how cool the title “Vampire King of Tanisor” is, and asks whether we have information how that came about, and how vampires join the forces of light which usually are their nemesis.
Jörg brings up Tanisoran history, with Sehsnegi invasions unleashing vile Vadeli magics.
The Vadeli are the anti-Brithini, or as Ludo puts it, even more like Brithini. Rather than obeying the Brithini rules, the Vadeli carefully transgress these in specific wasy, leading to a society using vile magics and slavery.
Jörg points to Nick Brooke’s illuminated History of Malkionism for better information on the Vadeli.
Ludo complains that the Vadeli way is convoluted, going at lengths to make a mockery of the Brithini rules, only to achieve the same result – immortality.
Jörg suspects that the Vampire Kings used magics that were left behind or perhaps recently imported by the Vadeli magics that poisoned the land before. Ludo cuts short Jörg-s attempts to take a closer look at the Vadeli.
Apparently the vampires can tolerate the Brightness of Nysalor without getting burned
Jörg points out that the Tanisoran nobility were people afraid of dying, so they took an alternative route out, achieving escape from death. They also formed a vampire legion – a unit found in the Lunar Empire.
Asked whether there is anything left of these struggles, Jorg names the Vampire King Gracmacaglan, in his royal city of Taniwal, nowadays known as the Red Ruins because the fallout from that battle still glows stronger than Cernobyl.
The Brithini officer was there to collect the helmet (which doubled as the crouwn) of the Vampire King when Arkat beheaded him, performing a service only a Talar caste member could in the Brithini army. That worthy way Talar Malaskan Philippe, who is still alivc, and has been the ruling Talar of Arolanit for the last five centuries. Jörg dispels Ludo’’s notion that he might be a vampire, pointing out his Brithini nature.
Ludo asks whether there are still nests of vampires in the region, and Jörg claims that vampires never go away for good. The Vampire Legion now serves in the Lunar Empire. (Jörg thinks that some might be able to boast that they were decapitated by Arkat once or twice.)
Jörg also points to the Kingdom of Ramalia in Maniria where the rulers might use magics similar to those of the Vampire Kings.
Ludo gets enthusiastic about ancient vampires acting as strategicians and grey eminences, not limited to the Vampire Legion. Jörg counters that he wouldn’t be surprised if some of them were teaching at the Lunar College of Magic, although only the very advanced courses.
Ludo imagines a Harry Potter style campaign in the Lunar College of Magic, and asks for someone to write that up for the Jonstown Compendium (or official releases).
Jörg puts a mild damper (and a spoiler for Sun County) that some ancient vampires may have lost their memories in the centuries since.
We briefly digress about that unhealable wound that Arkat contracted – apparently a spear wound to the foot rather than a Rand al-Thor stab into the abdomen – during his initiation to the Cult of Hhumakt.
The Ralian Campaign
Early in the Ralian campaign, Holy Estorex opposes Arkat’s advance, but gets beaten up and escapes limping, barely alive.
In 418, Arkat approaches Kartolin Castle and asks for a challenger for single combat. Palangio responds, slays Arkat, wipes the floor with his companions and his army. The next four years, the Bright Empire retakes what it lost in Ralios, while Arkat lingers in Hell.
The Seshnegi Kings believe that they are done with the Gbaji Wars, and the Bright Empire thinks they are done with Arkat. Harmast Barefoot’s Lightbringers’ Quest changes all that.
Harmast brings Arkat to Hrelar Amali, thie most holy place in Ralios, where the tree of Flamal used to stand in Godtime before Zorak Zoran hewed it down, in the Tanier Valley, nowadays only a ruin.
There is a Ralian Humakti whose name is remembered – Makla Man, a cult hero of Humakt, who aided Arkat against the Vampire King and who invited him to his father’s cult after he had become an Orlanthi. He has special magics against resurrection. We discuss how escaping the Underworld in other ways than Chalana Arroy resurrection doesn’t trigger the Humakti.
We discuss the Telmori gift by Nysalor (later turned into a curse by Talor). We meniton the Telmori temple city in northern Vesmonstran, destroyed by Arkat when he drove the gifted Telmori north of the Nidan range (making them another problem for Talor to solve)
Even with the Telmori out of the way, Arkat was thwarted again and again at Kartolin Castle, so he left a siege force there and turned south into Slontos, rule by Palangio at the time.
Jörg briefly digresses to Palangio having established the dragonewt colony at Ryzel in Maniria.
Ludo asks about Palangio’s relationship with the dragonewts. Jörg assumes that the dragonewts were obliged to give Palangio some form of support, and that the Ryzel colony was their way of dealing with that oligation.
We briefly mention the siege of Kaxtorplose, and a naval operation on board of Waertagi ships bringing Arkat’s army into the east.
Kaxtorplose still has ruins and temples remembering the Gbaji Wars.
We briefly talk about the Hendriki, the last free Heortlings against the Bright Empire.
The theater of war enters Dragon Pass, with the fighting getting more and more bitter, Chaos coming into the fight more often, and troll forces becoming more important.
Jörg brings up Gerlant Flamesword again, now a Seshnegi noble who married the sister of the new king Hupala, and who lost several sons fighting alnogside Arkat even though he condemned his conversions to Orlanth and Humakt, and ultimately to Kyger Litor and Zorak Zoran.
Jörg muses about Arkat’s nameless companions who joined him in beciming trolls, expecting at least one Brithini and one Man-of-All, plus various Orlanthi both from Ralios and from the Dragon Pass region among them.
The troll politics around Arkat’s rebirth are mentioned, and Arkat’s initial fecundity siring Mistress Race daughters.
Jörg talks about how the Heortlings get to conquer a largely undefended Dara Happa while their best forcces try to stem Arkat’s dark tide towatrds Dorastor. The Heortling take great riches (which might have been plundered from their lands before) and establish a tribute after having deposed the former emperor.
We talk about Arkat’s trail of destruction towatds Dorastor, still haunted and forbidding.
In Dorator, Arkat faces off with Ralzakark and kills him. When asked who Ralzakark was during the Bright Empire, Jörg speculates that he was a civilized, unicord-headed guy who operated Feldichi technology amd helped manage the empire, a good conversationalist, possibly a good dancer who had the misfortune to have to fight Arkat, the most monstrous troll you can imagine. Ralzakark was killed and dismembered, and to bring him back some rite or quest of resurrection would have been required. Something nobody in their right mind would do, which is why some God Learners did it.
We briefly discuss the Lunar depiction of the conflict from the Appendix in the Guide.
The Fronelan Side Story
A very quick run through Talor the Laughing Warrior’s achievements, re-founding Loskalm, overcoming Varganthar the Unconquerable Knight, but dying and ending up in Hell.
Harmast goes onto another Lightbringers’ Quest, returns with another western warrior, Ludo speculates there may have been even more people brought back from Hell by Harmast, but there is a list of his quests somewhere.
We touch upon the Hrestoli concept of Joy of the Heart (again a topic for the History of Malkionism mentined above), It is not illuminaiton, but hard to tell apart.
Harmast and Talor unite the Loskalmi Malkinio and the Orlanthi of the region, fight the Telmori in Ralios and enter Dorastor in time to witness Arkat’s assault on the Tower of Dreams and him cirsomg the amcoemt technology of the Feldichi. Talor takes inspiration and casts his own curse on the (few surviving) Telmori with the gift.
We discuss whether the Telmori shape-shifting could be done through the wyter with multi-casting etc, and the pitfalls of using the wyter’s permanent POW to fuel these spells.
Jörg doubts thtt Telmori packs can support a regular wyter.
The Shadow Tribute, expanded to the Dagori Inkart trolls by Arkat’s command, to compensate for missed booty from the Dara Happans, whose tribute initially paid for the troll portion.
Jörg points out the irony that subsequently, the Heortling lands become the urbanized, (and ultimately enlightened) civilization Lokamayadon would have wanted, the Kingdom of Orlanthland and later the EWF.
And now Jörg asks how any of this is relevant to your game set in the now of RuenQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.
Ludo talks about three levels of artefacts etc. to unearth – recent history, old history, and the Godtime.
There are two approaches – either you can use all this history, sprinkle in odd facts (like the connection fo the magical sword Ironbreaker with Arkat), or you can just improvise ignoring established history, expanding it with your own.
Ludo argues you can just “make up some shit”.
Jörg talks about players researching these layers, pulling together artefiacts etc. There is also the cyclical nature of Glroanthan history, and it would be weird not to re-use stuff that happened to Arkat which doesn’t happen to Argrath.
Jörg talks about similarities between Morag, the horned brother of Biturian’s sister Norayeep, and how this character might emerge as a companion of Arkat, a horned hero, either overtowering physique or weird magic. Listen to the Bitouran Varosh series of podcasts if you want to know more about this.
Ludo asks whether Argrath is expected to multiclass like Arkat did, and Jörg doesn’t think so.
We talk about how player characters can become necessary elements of Argrath’s heroquesting. Basically the stuff Biturian is offered again and again, and rejects. Ludo tells a similar story about his current players refusing to meet Argrath (during the Lunar occupaiton of Pavis).. Jörg suggests offers that cannot be refused (when offered in a raspy voice).
Arkat’s foes were people, too.
Arkat’s friends had some very strange stories.
Ludo accuses Jörg of pulling a historian’s agenda, but Jörg counters with the developments in Ralios where Arkat is bound to return. Five Arkats (plus a few more false ones).
Jörg makes a case for Arkati bringing knowledge to heroquesting where Harmast brought emoition and passion, and for the power of invoking the appropriate mythical identifications. Know your history, know your enemies, outsmart them.
In conclusion, we address the parallel with the Exploring Glorantha series covering the same time-frame.
Notice that this is the text version only. Return for page references and links soonish.
The intro music is “The Warbird” by Try-Tachion. Other music includes “Cinder and Smoke” and “Skyspeak“, along with audio from the FreeSound library.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (43.6MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS | More