Welcome to a new issue of the Journal of Runic Studies, the premier Malkioni publication for studies into the nature of Glorantha. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please consult with the spirit bound to the appropriate electronic page.
This week’s newsletter is shorter than usual because I was at ChaosiumCon 2023 for the most part of last week… and in fact came back home very early today around 1:30 AM. I had a few naps to catch up on that missed sleep today! Big thanks to Joerg for writing a couple of short guest entries and make my life easier.
Here are this week’s Chaosium news!
Chaosium Con 2023
The annual gathering of fans of Chaosium games in the USA has taken place in Ann Arbor for the second time, with most of the Chaosium crew and many fans from all over the world assembled. There will be a full blog post about it some time in the next couple weeks, similar to last year’s post.
For now, here’s a quick bullet point summary:
- It was as great as last year. The small size makes it easy to meet new people that you run into a few times, and to catch up with people from last year. And of course, it makes Chaosium staff very easily approachable.
- I played more games and went to less seminars than last year, and I hung around more with the Call of Cthulhu and 7th Sea crowds than last year’s almost exclusive RuneQuest crowd.
- The creator community was great and very supportive. Bridgett and Nick did a great job selling a lot of POD books, too.
- I have the Prosopaedia! It was available on sale as expected. During the Chaosium auction I also bought Eldarad: The Lost City! If you are facepalming right now, that makes me happy.
- There were a few preview copies of the first three Cults books, and they look just about how you would expect. I only got to skim them quickly though. If you want to see a bonus feline, Noura has you covered.
Six Ages 2 Art Preview
Here is a great piece by Jan Pospisil for the upcoming video game Six Ages 2, in which you lead a tribe of Solar worshippers through the God Time’s Great Darkness.
A-Sharp, makers of the game, detailed their process:
Our process is typically: one-sentence description, detailed description (possibly with art reference), rough thumbnail, pencils, inks, and colors.
Jan Pospíšil’s illustration of battling ancestors developed from writer Robin Laws’s “In our clan hall, the spectral forms of our Rider ancestors on one hand, and our Ram ancestors on the other, square off as if reenacting a long-ago raid.”
You can see the original sketch and in-between steps from Jan’s art process in the original tweet. You can wishlist the game on Steam while waiting for it release.
You can also see more of Ian’s great art here.
The Jonstown Compendium is Chaosium’s community content program for all Gloranthan games, hosted on DriveThruRPG. Disclaimer: all the relevant links are affiliate links that hopefully will let us cover some of the hosting and maintenance costs for the website and podcast! Thanks for using them!
To Hunt a Much Bigger God
Austin Conrad’s farewell issue to the Monster of the Month series was “To Hunt a God“, featuring the Old Woods of northern Esrolia and its protector god. It took a bit longer than expected by Austin has now completed the second half of the book!
This 139-page publication includes:
- The longform cult of Hrunda, God of Bluepaw Monkeys, including rules for creating new adventurers, new Rune spells, and path to shamanhood.
- The macabre Temple of the Bones at which humans and animals worship Gods of Nature.
- A 50+ page adventure which sees the adventurers heroquest into the Old Woods—a forest near Dragon Pass inhabited by elves and talking animals—to perform an act of divine euthanasia.
- Extra encounters, magic items, and more!
Disclaimer: I have a few illustrations in this book. There are some things that might seem related to me but are just Austin fucking with me (check out “Ludvik’s Liquor“… enough said!)
If you have already purchased “To Hunt a God“, the new PDF is already in your library as an update. If not, what are you waiting for? Get this now! Also, you can get all the Monster of the Month issues in two bundles, here and here.
Jeff Richard, the current mastermind on everything Gloranthan at Chaosium, is often posting notes and thoughts on the RuneQuest Facebook group. Here’s our curated list from the past week. A partial archive of these sources is compiled on the Well of Daliath.
Outlining a Campaign 20 Years from 1625
Guest entry by Joerg
Jeff shares his latest Gloranthan idea, a game during what he calls The Second Lunar Occupation of Dragon Pass:
Jotting down a few notes for my RQ and Cthulhu games I’ll be running at Chaosium Con, and had a crazy idea of doing an RQ short campaign set around 1645, during the Second Lunar Occupation of Dragon Pass. Everyone would play characters born around 1624, heck maybe Yanioth’s kids could be the among the pregens.
[…] I’m fascinated by the Twilight period in both Pendragon and RuneQuest, and am really interested in playing around with it more.
If you want context for what Jeff is talking about, check volume 2 of the Guide to Glorantha, especially the Takenegi Stele on p.744, the Black Mountain Pictoglyphs on p.747-749, The Fourth Inspiration of Moonson (p.749) and the excerpt of Ethilrist’s My History of the Black Horse Troop on p.750.
Some of the earlier imagery of the Takenegi Stele is found in the history section of the Sourcebook:
- The Battle of Grizzly Peak on p.26,
- The Fall of Boldhome on p.29,
- The Building Wall Battle on p.30,
- Starbrow’s Rebellion on p.31,
- The dismemberment of the Holy Country on p.34,
- The Battle of Auroch Hill and the overthrow of Queen Hendira of Nochet on p.36,
- The Battle of Pennel Ford on p.38,
- The Dragonrise on p.39,
- Kallyr’s failed Lightbringer’s Quest on p.42.
As artistic counter-propaganda goes, these pieces of art are almost completely impartial in their presentation, showing both Lunar triumphs and defeats.
Jeff is giving a preview of what the occupied Dragon Pass is going to have to suffer:
Even if you start the campaign in 1645, we still have a lot of story to go!
Argrath’s disappeared, the Empire is aided by broo, vampires, Vadeli, Ethilrist, dwarf mercenaries, and more. All of the True Dragons are awake. The elf forests have expanded (although the Red Emperor has destroyed much of the new forests in Peloria and Fronela), the trolls raid far and wide, and many can speak with the dragonewts.
And much of that may be the result of the actions of your players in your campaign.
The community roundup is our highlight of interesting things being mentioned in the Glorantha-related Facebook groups, sub-Reddits, and other similar online places.
Found Counters of Dragon Pass
The Kraken convention (which Joerg knows very well) has done many “fundraiser chapbooks”, a lot of which are now on sale on the All Rolled Up store.
I wasn’t aware of this until now but it looks like the Kraken convention has also designed some extra counters for the Dragon Pass board game with Greg Stafford. As far as I can tell this was done in 2016, with a limited production run of 50 copies.
Anyway, this year’s Dragon Pass game at the Kraken convention was run with these extra counters! I can spot some elephants, maybe some other Teshnan, or Kralorelan units… listen, I’m not good at this kind of stuff, I’ll let the nerds figure it out.
Gloranthan Short Fiction
Guest entry by Joerg, edited by Ludovic
Austin Conrad (him again) describes an Ernaldan summoning rite in his short story “Calling on Ernalda“:
This week’s post is a short story I wrote to explore what the process of summoning and binding an earth elemental in RuneQuest feels like to the characters. Originally I was planning to set this at the Clearwine Earth Temple, but my fingers put it in Sylthi instead.
The great thing is that while the story describes what happens in-character, the section at the end goes over what happens in terms of RuneQuest mechanics.
Austin’s blog has other Gloranthan goodness, too, take a look around!
Elsewhere on Arachne Solara’s Web
Not everything is about Glorantha, although most things are! Here are loosely relevant things that we found on the interwebs.
Bronze Age Female Beauty
Guest entry by Joerg
Dan Davis explores Bronze Age standards of female beauty in Bronze Age Europe, offering visuals from many archaeological finds.
Thank you for reading
That’s it for this week! Please contact us with any feedback, question, or news item we’ve missed!
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