Drew Baker is back on the show to accompany Ludovic on the last leg of Biturian Varosh’s travels. Sadly Joerg could not make it this time, and stayed behind in Pavis to rest.

Introduction

Drew introduces himself and talks a bit about the upcoming book 4 of Duckpac, the last in the series about playing Duck characters in RuneQuest Glorantha. The three first books are available here:

Appropriately for the topic at hand, Drew also wrote “Highways & Byways“, a book on travelling across Dragon Pass. All the other books by Drew can be found here.

Ludovic mentions that the Glorantha Initiation Series has reached the end of its “first season”, so to speak, but that other interviews with newcomers to Glorantha will be scheduled soon.

Drew mentions New Pavis: City on the Edge of Forever, by Ian Thomson and friends, which is a reprint of some of the materials from Ian’s old “Pavis & Big Rubble Companions“, which are hard to find these days.

Main Topic

As this is part 5 in our series on Biturian Varosh, Drew and Ludovic tell the story so far.

You don’t need to be an old grognard from the 1970s to get Cults of Prax: it’s available in Print-on-Demand and PDF from Chaosium.

Kyger Litor

Ludovic tries to bring up the fandom in-joke about Kyger Lytor having had more write-ups than any other cult somehow… (RuneQuest 1st and 2nd editions, Cults of Prax, Trollpak, and then in RQ3’s Gods of Glorantha, Trollpak, and Troll Gods, and I might still be missing some other ones)

Where is this Trolltown that Biturian goes to? It’s not on the Argan Argar Atlas or the Guide to Glorantha, so we speculate a bit (including the fact that it might be just about too small to show up on those maps). We also take a quick tour of the region, which has been developed with new landmarks since Cults of Prax was written.

We take a closer look at the troll population in this settlement, and how trollkin are treated.

Speaking Old Pavic to reduce the Bargain skill… it depends on the language rules in play.

How is Bladesharp called in practice in Glorantha? Biturian probably uses God Learner shorthand or Tradetalk terms. Ludovic mentions Austin Conrad’s head-canon about Tradetalk terminology and its use in non commercial contexts.

We looking at the items that Biturian trades with the trolls… and conclude that the trolls are French. Not the Morokanth, which Drew pictured as French because of the RuneQuest 3 Gloranthan Bestiary cover for some reason:

Drew has a theory involving framing trolls for Orlanthi rebel activities.

Next we look at dragon teeth and figure out what size those might be, depending on what kind of teeth they are.

What’s up with animal tails? Ludovic has a “completely bonkers conspiracy theory”. Drew has a much more reasonable one.

The Kyger Lytor priestess is on a heroquest, of course… is everybody heroquesting in this story?

Which ancestor do you get when you trade the Summon Ancestor spell? Drew and Ludovic exchange opinions.

A bunch of trollkin get trampled, which is both awesome and sad.

Zorak Zoran

We revisit the question of whose ancestor spirit shows up when you cast a spell you got from someone else. Ludovic also assumes that Biturian got lucky by not getting a malign ancestor or a weak one.

Biturian is packing good healing magic for RQ2 rules… but healing a severed arm is a lot more accessible in RQG.

Drew thinks about the poor Chalana Arroy (from the last episode) who went on a heroquest with Biturian’s spells inside a Truestone… assuming that things didn’t go very well since she had to cast all these spells for Biturian to get them back by now.

Drew does some forensics on the combat between Biturian’s camp and the trolls, making fun of Biturian’s motivations in the process.

Drew has a problem with Rurik, who is (of course!) heroquesting. Ludovic makes up a stratagem to get more out of Rurik.

What has made the Zorak Zorani to attack the camp? What is Rurik doing around here? Ludovic and Drew have theories.

We look at Biturian’s use of the Lock spell and, again, have a quick thought for the poor Chalana Arroy adventurer.

The Zorak Zorani blood vengeance is mentioned, along with the tricky prospect of having to explain to berserker trolls that Biturian didn’t technically kill any troll.

Aldrya

We reach the Redwood Forest, which was unnamed back in Cults of Prax, but is featured in the Argan Argar Atlas maps.

Drew spots an error in the dates, which is also present in the Cults Compendium. Ludovic mentions some typos in the new PDF version of Cults of Prax, possibly from OCR gone wrong.

Ludovic talks about the bow seeds and how cool it is that Aldryami grow their tools. We actually have an episode on the Aldryami and everything else that’s cool about them.

Drew goes over the increasing foreshadowing of Morak’s true nature by way of the Aldrya cult’s limitation for lay members, which indicates that Morak is most likely a Beastfolk.

It is implied that Biturian and Norayeep eloped, possibly back at the Pairing Stones.

The Beastfolk can be found outside of Beast Valley in elf forests so it makes sense they would be Aldrya lay members at the very least.

Drew has another cynical theory about Biturian’s motivations here, as Morak is taken by the local Minotaurs.

Epilogue

We chat about the travel logistics of Biturian, and his wedding costs.

Drew puts on his “Joerg hat” to mention the “Biturian is on a heroquest” theory, but Ludovic doesn’t buy it… although he is intrigued by the “inception” aspect of a heroquest inside a heroquest.

We take a look at Vareena Coweye, the Bison Rider chieftain’s wife, her role in the wedding, and what magics she could be casting.

Drew goes back to the wedding costs in detail, because, of course, he has crunched the numbers for you! We compare these costs to Biturian’s gifts to the Bison Rider chieftain’s wedding (which we talked about back when the podcast was named “Wind Words”). Ludovic theorizes that the Bison Rider tribe paid for the whole of Biturian and Norayeep’s wedding in return.

Drew thinks that the elves will scam the Bison Riders with their deal on freed elves vs bison tails.

Outro

Drew tells us what became of Biturian in the RQG timeline, and quotes Greg from the letters found in the Stafford House Campaign.

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