Monday, 23 February 2015

The Aldrya Tradition

Mythos and History
In the beginning, there was only endless Potential. Into this came the ungrown Grower, who created from itself the waters of Eron, the land of Gata, and the light of Halamalao. The Grower then manifested itself upon Gata as Falamal, the first tree and center of the world. He sunk his roots deep through Gata to be nourished by Eron, and raised his leaves high to be warmed by Halamalao.
Falamal shook free seeds, which fell upon Eron, Gata and Halamalao. There they sprouted into the three sisters, Murthdrya, Haladrya, and the greatest who was Aldrya. Aldrya was the forests of the land, whose children were trees, bushes and flowers.
Into this paradise came many minor spirits, who created wild animals to live within Aldrya and her sisters. Eventually Falamal had covered the entire world, and still grew further. His roots and branches cracked the edges of the world, and released Oblivion.
Oblivion began to destroy everything it could, lessening the world with each death. Aldrya granted some of her children the ability to move and fight, and these became the first Elves. They fought with spear and bow against the forces of Oblivion, but could not hold it back forever.
A new force appeared in the world, equal to that of the Grower. It was Taker, and it sought to destroy the Grower. It turned Gata to dust, extinguished Halamalao, poisoned Eron and pulled up Falamal, leaving only Aldrya and her children to fight. Taker then created new creatures and twisted others, creating Trolls and Dwarves, and turning the animals into monstrous things that ate plants.
Eventually, between the Taker and Oblivion, the children of the Grower were all gone. The Taker then began to Take itself, until there was nothing left, and Oblivion was gone.
Now came a miracle. There was one seed left of the Grower, and from this was reborn both the Grower and Taker. They had both came to understand each other, and had learned of each other's roles in the world. The Grower would create new life from Potential. And the Taker would destroy that which was old, or weakened, so that new growth could occur.
With this arrangement made, Grower regrew the world.

Nature of the Cult
Humans often think of Aldrya as the goddess of the forest. Her worshippers know this is not true, and that Aldrya is the forest herself, and that without her worship, the trees themselves would sicken and die.
Aldrya is worshipped in some human cultures in secret, often disguised as the worship of a subcult of the local earth goddess.
A few rare elves are unable to initiate into the Aldrya Tradition. These rootless elves do not have the Lifesense which allows the greatest communion between elves, and so are outcasts, even when they have not left their communities. Rootless elves often join allied cults, often fulfilling some role that other Elves find taboo. Others leave the forests, and become wanderers and vagabonds.

Amongst elves, Aldrya is represented by a tree bearing many different kinds of leaves and fruits. Humans, including her few human worshippers, instead depict her as a dryad of some local tree.

Particular Likes and Dislikes
Aldrya has many friends amongst the human pantheons, usually amongst the Earth goddesses, such as Overdruva for the Orlanthi, or Erenbaya for the Pelorians. Solar cults are also common allies, especially Yelmalio, who the Elves claim learned his magic from Halamalao.
As well as friends, Aldrya has many foes. Especially the Dwarves and Trolls and their gods. The Elves have a special enmity for the Troll god Zorak Zoran (who the Elves know as Zazakor), who slew Aldrya's lover Falamal during the Great Darkness.
Like all right thinking entities, Aldrya is an enemy of Chaos, and Elves are willing to ally with their ancestral foes to destroy this mutual threat.

Cult Organization and Holy Places
The Aldrya Tradition is centred around the Great Trees, direct seedlings of Falamal, and in existance before Falamal perished in the darkness. Each of the great ancient Elven forests had a single Great Tree, although many have perished since time began. In the forests where that has happened, the Elves follow seedlings of the Great Tree, although their power and unity are diminished.
Surrounding the Great Trees are councils of Gardeners, who make decisions for Elven communities by means of their age and experience.

Holy Days
Aldrya has three High Holy Days over the course of the year.
The first occurs on Water Day of Fertility Week in Water Season. This day celebrates the awakening of the forests, and the return of Falamal. It is a joyous time, filled with rowdy festivals and ceremonies of unity.
The second High Holy Day is on Clay Day of Fertility Week in Earth Season. The day starts off with celebrations and ecstatic dances, but as the day progresses more and more of the revellers break off to sleep for the long winter ahead. The day ends with a recreation of the death of Falamal, and only the few Green or Yellow Elves remaining awake.
The last Holy Day occurs on Wild Day of Truth Week in Storm Season. As the forest is still asleep at this time, only the Yellow and Green Elves are awake to perform the rituals. They march around the forest, performing the dances and songs to begin the long awakening of the forest, while fending off attacks by their enemies, especially trolls.

The Aldrya Tradition
  • To join the Aldrya Tradition you must first have a Plant Rune. Almost all Elves are initiated to Aldrya as soon as they can walk and speak, as are runners and pixies. Non-Elves must petition a Gardener (a Shaman of Aldrya) to let them join the Tradition. Traditional Elf-foes such as trolls, dwarves or Chaos are never allowed to join the Tradition.
  • For game purposes, any hero with a Plant Rune can join the Aldrya Tradition at the same rating as their Plant Rune. Simply add Aldrya Tradition (Plant, Earth, Life) keyword after the Plant Rune.
  • Instead of providing the Spirit Sense ability, the Aldrya Tradition keyword provides the Lifesense ability, which as well as allowing you to hear, see and communicate with spirits, also allows you to sense the health and emotions of plants, including Elves. Non-Aldryami heroes cannot take Lifesense as a breakout ability.
  • When joining the Aldrya Tradition, you recieve a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the Aldrya Tradition typically include Bear Fruit, Change Paths, Deflect Weapon, Ever Green, Move Unseen, Shade from Sun, Strong, and Tall.

Spirit Societies:
Children of the Forest
The Children of the Forest is the core spirit society of the Aldrya Tradition; most members belong to it before joining any other spirit society. The Children of the Forest deals with the spirits of trees and other residents of the forests. A member of the Aldrya Tradition may join the Children of the Forest spirit society when they have an Aldrya Tradition rating of 1W or higher. Simply add the Children of the Forest Spirit Society (Plant, Spirit) keyword after the Plant Rune.
  • Animal Brother. These spirits were ancestors of many of the creatures that dwell in the forests. They grant the charm Command Woodland Animal. The taboo of this charm is Never Eat Meat.
  • Elf Bow. This plant spirit is always embodied in a special seed, planted when someone joins the Children of the Forest spirit society, which grows into a living bow. It grants the charm of Arrow Trance. Most Elves take the Elf Bow as a Spirit Ally. The taboo of this charm is Use No Other Bow.
  • Marching Tree. These plant spirits are the defenders of forests. Their charms can be used to awaken plants to aid in fighting enemies. The taboo of this charm is Always Attack Elf-Foes.
  • Medicine Tree. These plant spirits despise the White Lady and her plagues. They provide charms to fight many kinds of disease. The taboo of this charm is Never Deny Healing.

Gardeners - Aldrya Shamans
  • After at least twenty rings (or years, in human terms) of service to the forest, a worshipper with an Aldrya Tradition rating of 11W or higher can become a Gardener, a shaman of Aldrya.
  • The petitioner is taken by other Gardeners to a sacred grove, where they are buried to await the coming of the White Lady. The White Lady inflicts upon the petitioner all the pains the forest suffered during the Great Darkness. If the petitioner is able to weather the assaults and emerge from the soil in rebirth (as a major plot obstacle) they have awakened their fetch, becoming a Gardener of Aldrya.
The Fetch
A Gardener's fetch is a Great Tree, which manifests in the spirit world shading the Gardener from harm. The Great Tree performs all the functions of a fetch (c.f. HeroQuest pg. 114), but also manifests in the natural world when the Gardener sleeps. Eventually a Gardener may sleep forever, leaving the Great Tree to mark where they once lived.

Other Aldrya Spirit Societies

Eron was the first of the ancient Protectors of the Elves. He formed from the Grower's tears and sap, freely given, to provide substance to the world. When Falamal rose to the heavens, his seeds mixed with Eron's body, producing the Blue Elves and their goddess Murthdrya. As such, he is most favoured by them, although all species of Elf revere him.
Eron's spirits are those of the cool water, providing succour and healing to those who need it.
  • Healing Water. These spirits are the pure tears of Eron mixed in with his sap, preserved since the Great Darkness. They provide charms to Heal Wounds. The taboo of this charm is Never Kill
  • Wetroot. These rain spirits dampen everything around them, making things harder to burn. They provide a charm to Quench Fire. The taboo of this charm is Never Seek Shelter From Rain.
  • Quiet Rest. These water spirits provide a gentle susurration which relaxes the spirit and body. They provide a charm to Sooth Aches. The taboo of this charm is Never Pollute Water.
Gata was the second of the ancient Protectors of the Elves. She formed from Eron, as resin forms from sap, to provide stability to the world. When Falamal rose to the heavens, his seeds fell upon Gata's body, producing the Green Elves and their goddess Aldrya. Later, the Green Elves were divided into the Green, the Brown and the Yellow Elves. But all revere their ancestor Gata.
Gata's Spirits are those of the soft Earth, providing food and strength for all who want it.
  • Lost Flower. These are earth spirits which once bore woods and forests, but are now bare earth, longing for plants to grow once more. They provide charms to Grow Plants. The taboo of this charm is Plant Seeds Every Day While Awake.
  • Quiverloam. These are earth spirits who have been touched by some of Eron's nature, making them malleable and capable of soothing wounds. They provide the charm of Healing Mud. The taboo of this charm is Sleep With Feet In Earth.
  • Earth Power. These are the earth spirits who raise the largest of trees and bear buildings of stone and wood. They provide the charm Strength of Earth. The taboo of this charm is Never Leave The Ground. (Due to their connection to Gata, trees are also counted as ground for the purposes of this taboo.)

Halamalao was the third of the ancient Protectors of the Elves. He formed from Gata, rising as light sparkles off amber, to provide hope to the world. When Falamal rose to the heavens, his seeds ascended into Halamalao's heart, producing the White Elves and their goddess Haladrya. The White Elves and their goddess were lost in the Great Darkness, as was Halamalao himself. The other Elves worshipped him still throughout the Darkness, and were rewarded at the Dawn when he returned. They hold out hope for the White Elves to return eventually as well.
Halamalao's spirits are those of warm Light, providing protection and joy to all who ask for it.
  • Light Child. These light spirits are those of sunbeams that shine through the canopy of the forest. They provide charms of Blind Foe. The taboo of this charm is Never Hide From Sun.
  • Petal Jewel. These blossoms contain light spirits which fell upon them at daybreak. They provide charms of Bright Light. The taboo of this charm is Always Greet The Dawn While Awake.
  • Sun Follower. These flowers constantly point towards Halamalao in the sky, and call upon their kin to do the same. They provide the charm of Ripen Plant. The taboo of this charm is Never Fight at Night.
Spirits of Reprisal
Any member of the Aldrya Tradition who violates their taboos risks a visit from the White Lady. Each night she inflicts one of her many blights against them, such as Frost, Petal Rot, or Galls.
If the member does not make amends with the spirit he has offended, the combined diseases will cripple them and eventually they will die. The blight spirits cluster around him on the spirit world, allowing members of other traditions to recognize the member as an oathbreaker.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Gorakiki Tradition

Mythos and History
Gorakiki is the greatest and most well known of the daughters of Kropa the many-legged.
Born when the first appeared in the darkness, Gorakiki thrived in this time of endless food and safety. She bore many children, who each went out to find their own place in the world.
Kyger Litor, the mother of trolls, befriended Gorakiki, pledging her protection for what gifts Gorakiki could offer, and together the trolls and insects thrived, becoming the greatest in all of existence.
When the burner arrived, Gorakiki fled with her children, arriving on the surface world. Here she had more room to grow, and although food was never as bountiful, her children grew new methods to hunt and catch it.
She once again became allied with Kyger Litor, and together their children expanded, conquering the shadowed surface world, and becoming masters of all.
When the burner returned to the surface, Gorakiki hid in the trolls' caverns, only coming out during the dark of night, although some of her more adventurous children adapted to the new light, and becoming fearless warriors.

Nature of the Cult
Gorakiki is the mother of all insects, the most successful of all creatures of darkness. As such her cult is found across all of Glorantha, even when it is not obvious.
While small bands of Hsunchen worship some of her aspects, and humans and elves sacrifice to Gorakiki to ward off her children, the most infamous worshipers of the Insect Mother are the trolls. To them, she is both provider and protector, even as they provide and protect her children.

Gorakiki is present in all depictions of insects. Among the trolls, her totems often resemble piles of refuse made from discarded carapaces and mandibles of their local totem.

Particular Likes and Dislikes
Gorakiki has few friends, and even fewer enemies, for she cares most about food and shelter, and ignores those who do not trouble her. Any who offer her tribute will be looked on with kindness though, and Gorakiki is willing to share her gifts with those who have helped her.
Among her worshipers, the cult of Argan Argar is often a convenient source of allies, for the nests of the insect mother produce many valuable creatures and resources which the Argan Argari are eager to trade for.

Cult Organization and Holy Places
Gorakiki's cult is spread out into many self-sufficient nests (Shrines of Gorakiki) and spirit societies. There is little inter-shrine communication, even between those of the same society, and rivalries are common within different nests within the same community.
A nest is devoted to breeding, caring, and aiding one of Gorakiki's children, and deep within them lie the actual breeding chambers, the most sacred place within each nest, and where the most powerful and dangerous rites of the Insect Mother are performed.
Each nest is divided into two groups, the workers and the guardians, each is led by an Imago, a Shaman of Gorakiki, and therefore each nest must have at least two shamans to remain sanctified, and both shamans must remain united in purpose, even if they do not care for one another personally.

Holy Days
The cult holds special rites on the Freezeday of each season's Fertility week, celebrating the emergence of new insects, or their progression to a new stage of life. During Dark season, these rites are especially frenzied, and few trolls will approach the cult's nests during this time.

The Gorakiki Tradition

  • Any hero with the Beast Rune has the potential to join the Gorakiki Tradition, although only among trolls and the strange insect people of Jrustela is this common. To join, you must convince an Imago (a shaman of Gorakiki) to initiate you into the tradition.
  • For game purposes, any hero with a Beast Rune can join the Gorakiki Tradition at the same rating as their Beast Rune. Simply add Kyger Litor Tradition (Darkness, Beast) keyword after the Beast Rune.
  • When joining the Gorakiki Tradition, you receive a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the Gorakiki Tradition typically include Climb Wall, Deadly Bite, Find Prey, Hide From Light, Kill Plant, Make Chitin Weapon, and Speak with Insects.
  • In addition, when joining the Gorakiki Tradition, heroes must choose a spirit society to belong to. This spirit society follows the rules found in HeroQuest page 113.

Spirit Societies
The Beetle was the first of Gorakiki's children, and has almost as many children as her mother. In the darkness of Wonderhome, Beetle provided food and protection to the trolls, and was fed and nurtured by them in turn. Even today beetle shells are the most common material for troll arts and armour, for they are far more common than lead, and do not require heat to work.
  • Carapace. Slumbering beneath the troll's skin, when awoken these spirits thicken the skin into a hard black and shiny shell, acting as a charm of Grow Carapace. The Taboo of this charm is Protect Others.
  • Many Arms. These spirits rest in the arms of the troll, and act as a charm of Grow Extra Arms, sprouting them from their sides when activated. The Taboo of this charm is Never Refuse to Help.
  • Sprout Weapon. These are spirits of many different kinds, but all inhabit the head of the troll. When awoken, these spirits act as a Sprout Weaponry From Head charm, allowing the troll to grow large horns, antlers, beaks, or shovel-like projections of carapace, turning their own face into a weapon. The Taboo of this charm is Never Retreat.

Gorakiki birthed the Locust mother after the exodus from Wonderhome, when food became scarce for the first time. The Locust mother and her children (including grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids) spread across all of Glorantha, eating anything and everything they could find in a massive swarming horde. It took the combined forces of the trolls and their enemies to kill and eat much of this horde, and even today the worshipers of the Locust mother follow and feast upon their totem, in contrast to other members of the tradition.
  • Insect Song. This spirit rests within the bones of the troll, when flexed the troll can create a deafening creaking noise, acting as a charm of Communicate Long Distances. This communication is not understandable to those who do not worship the Locust mother. The Taboo of this charm is Never Prevent Music From Playing.
  • Leaping Legs. Sleeping within the legs of the troll, when awoken, these spirits act as a charms of jumping and leaping. The Taboo of these charms is Never Sleep in the Same Place Twice.
  • Ravenous Jaws. This spirit inhabits the jaw of the troll and provide charms of hunger, eating, chewing and biting. The Taboo of these charms is Never Refuse Food.

Gorakiki-MothThe Moth mother is one of the most favoured of all Gorakiki cults, for their fur is pleasing to the darksense of trolls, and they hate the Burner as much as trolls for driving them into hiding.
When the burner returned to the sky, one of the moth mother's daughters stood unafraid of his light, alone amongst her siblings. While her sisters and brothers fled to the safety of the night, she clad herself with warpaint and became the warrior mother of butterflies.
  • Butterflight. These spirits dwell within the troll's back, hiding peacefully until awoken. Then they spread a pair of wings, either a plain white, or covered in bright colours, these wings act as a charm of Winged Flight. The Taboo of this charm is Never Hide from Enemies.
  • Featherscales. Acting as a charm of Make Weapon Harmless, these spirits release clouds of feathery scales to gum, up enemy weapons. The Taboo of this charm is Use No Cutting Weapons.
  • Feelers. Dwelling within the skull of the troll, when awoken they sprout a pair of large antennae, and become sensitive to movement. These act as a charm of Detect Enemies. The Taboo of this charm is Never Ally With Creatures of Light.

AraneaUnlike most of Gorakiki's spirit societies, Areana is not one of her children. Instead the great spider spirit is Gorakiki's elder sister and the two are often rivals for food and other resources.
Aranea is often seen as a mystical goddess, for during the darkness she met with the great goddess Arachne Solara, and the two bonded over their shared connections. From this gave rise to Arenea's power over the fate of all things.
  • Spider Fangs. These Spider spirits inhabit the teeth of the troll, and drip foul liquids. They provide the charm Agonizing Bite. The Taboo of this charm is Feed Any Hungry Spider they meet.
  • Many Legs. These spirits dwell within the troll's legs, and when awoken turn the troll's limbs into several horrifying legs like a spider, providing charms of freedom of movement, clinging to walls, and skittering movement. The Taboo of these charms is Never Harm A Spider.
  • Webbing. These spirits inhabit bundles of spider silk, providing charms of Throw Entangling Webs. The Taboo of this charm is Never Interfere With Prophecy.

Krolar was the younger brother of Gorakiki, born into hell when it was ruled by the evil Burner, and protecting the last remaining darkness there along side his twin. When Chaos emerged, Krolar's twin was devoured, and Krolar left the darkness (for it has gained other protectors) to search for a weapon to slay the Chaos.
Krolar found this with Zorak Zoran, the god of hate, who gave Krolar a spear of death, and armour of lead, and two claws of agony. Krolar confronted the Chaos thing, killed its children and drove it off to hide. Krolar is now worshiped by some trolls as a fearsome patron, who fears neither death nor Chaos.
  • Chitin. These spirits live in scars upon the troll's thick hide. When the spirits are awoken they provide the charm of Leaden Skin. The Taboo of this charm is Never Flee Chaos.
  • Jabbers. These spirits dwell within the trolls hands, and provide the Grow Claws charm. The Taboo of this charm is Never Harm a Scorpion.
  • Scorpion Tail. This spirit dwells within the troll's back, and provides the charm of Grow Deadly Tail. The Taboo of this charm is Never Use Antidote.

Imagoes - Gorakiki Shamans
  • Those worshipers of Gorakiki with at least two years of experience, and a Gorakiki Tradition rating of 11W or Higher may undergo a ritual to become an Imago, a shaman of Gorakiki.
  • The prospective shaman is led underground, to the secret nests of their spirit society, where they are placed among their totem insects. The insects cover the troll completely, until not an inch of skin can be seen, and send the worshiper to meet Gorakiki herself. If Gorakiki recognizes their kinship (a major plot obstacle), the worshiper is then able to rebirth herself as a fully adult member of Gorakiki's tradition, awakening their fetch, and becoming known as an Imago.

The FetchMembers of the Gorakiki tradition see the Imago's fetch as their true form, a giant insect or other arthropod the size of the shaman. As well as performing all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114) the Imago may become one with it at will, becoming a gigantic insect creature in the surface world.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Seshnegi Character Creation

For those (like me) who want to run a game set in Seshnela, I have created some character creation documentation, found here.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Kyger Litor Tradition

Well, it was inevitable. Can't have cults without one for Kyger Litor. The names of Boztakang's charms came from the Unspoken Word's Uz book, and no disrespect is intended by using them.

Mythos and History
Kyger Litor was originally an unknown spirit of the darkness, until Subere, Kyger Litor's mistress shaped her into the form of a troll. Kyger Litor became the first troll, and produced many children, most famously Korasting the mother of many, who gave Kyger Litor many grandchildren as well.
In the darkness of Wonderhome, life was perfect, there were many fungi and animals to feed on, and death was unknown. Into this paradise came the Burner, who came from a world of pain and light to destroy all that was good. Kyger Litor and her children first tried to destroy him, then drive him out, and when this failed they fled.
Many did not survive the journey, and became the first ancestresses. Kyger Litor took their spirits into herself to protect them, and eventually all who could made it to a new world.
This world had no roof, being the surface, and the sky was full of painful lights, and so this land became known as Komor, or Hurtplace.
Here, despite the pain, the trolls thrived, with new foods to eat, and new creatures to dominate. The trolls carved out a new empire.
Eventually the Chaos which lay beneath the deepest underworld found its way to the surface, and began to destroy everything. The trolls fought back, leading the other races against the Chaos things that attempted to destroy the world.
There were glorious victories and terrible defeats, but finally a god known as Orlanth, who had been both ally and enemy to Kyger Litor and her children, found a way to bring forth the hated Burner. He used it to force back the Chaos, and set it in the sky for half the time, although out of fear and respect of the trolls, he let it sink back to the underworld for the other half.
With the Burner now upon the surface world during the day, it was unable to prevent Kyger Litor from reclaiming Wonderhome for her children, providing a place of rest for the ancestresses who had perished since they were driven out. She taught the trolls how to call up these ancestresses up from Wonderhome for aid, along with other spirits, and so created the Kyger Litor Tradition.

Nature of the Cult
Kyger Litor is the great ancestress of all trolls, and is the foundation of trollish identity. All trolls are considered members of the tradition at birth, although they are not initiated until they come of age (usually fourteen years). Despite this, some trolls do not take the initiation rites, seeking other powers and mysteries. Because of their choice, they are viewed as outcasts, lacking a basic trollishness, and are often treated as little more than trollkin.
Non-trolls have been known to join the tradition, most famously Arkat Chaosbane. The initiation rituals are nasty, brutal and long, and upon completion the initiate takes on some trollish features.

Statues of Kyger Litor are chewed out from black stone, towering over the statues of other gods. Her form is depicted as that of an archetypal Mistress Race troll, clad in the trappings of power.

Particular Likes and Dislikes
Kyger Litor is the ancestress of all trolls, and most of their spirits are her children or grandchildren. Even those who are not her children pay her homage as ruler of the darkness, and this even includes darkness entities from other races.
Kyger Litor is a foe of all entities of fire and light, gods, spirits and essences, for to the trolls they are servants of the great Burner. This includes the Orlanthi Lightbringers, who the trolls see as bringing the Burner back.
The elves and dwarves are great enemies of the trolls, especially the dwarves who created the poison metal, iron, to burn the trolls. However, Kyger Litor is willing to ally with even her usual foes such as these to destroy Chaos, which is her greatest foe, especially the vile mother of the Broos, Thed.

Cult Organization and Holy Places
Among the trolls there is no separation between religious and temporal power, with the most powerful female member taking the position of rulership in any troll hierarchy. If one exists, then a Mistress Race troll will take this position, otherwise it is a Great Mother of Kyger Litor. Males very rarely gain any significant positions within troll society, however trolls respect power in all its forms, and a male troll of significant strength can achieve renown despite his sex.
Every troll clan possesses a shrine to Kyger Litor, honouring their kin, both living and dead, and decorated with the bones of their ancestress.
The greatest holy places of Kyger Litor are the Castles of Lead, each a massive structure created to celebrate the ancestress of all Trolls. They were built before time began, and only a single one at most exists in each troll land. The secrets of their construction are long since lost.

Holy Days
Troll clans perform great rituals every Freezeday of Harmony Week celebrating their ancestress, and Kyger Litor above all others.
Dark Season is the most sacred time of year for Trolls, and so their great rituals become all the more wild in that season, ending with recreations of Kyger Litor's great victories over the forces of Chaos.

The Kyger Litor Tradition
  • To join the Kyger Litor Tradition, you must first have a Darkness Rune. All Trolls have the Darkness Rune, and usually join the Tradition as soon as they come of age.
  • Other races, such as Humans, Trollkin or Tusk Riders, may join, but only after convincing a Great Mother (a Kyger Litor shaman) to initiate you into the Tradition.
  • For game purposes, any hero with a Darkness Rune can join the Kyger Litor Tradition at the same rating as their Darkness Rune. Simply add Kyger Litor Tradition (Darkness, Man) keyword after the Darkness Rune.
  • When joining the Kyger Litor Tradition, you receive a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the Kyger Litor Tradition include Block Starlight, Cause Fear, Conceal with Shadows, Suck Heat, Find Trail, Find Prey, Lash Out with Anger, Knows Names, and Shut Them Up.

Spirit Societies:
Korasting was Kyger Litor's first child, the mother of many. She is the core spirit society for females in the Kyger Litor Tradition, most female trolls belong to it before joining any other spirit society.
Some rare male trolls join the Korasting spirit society, to better protect their families, but these are few and far between.
Korasting's spirits are those of ancestress, both recent and ancient. Because trolls are long lived and have many children, the spirits are instead treated as family, rather than as figures of legend.
  • Brave Sister. This spirit is one of a brave sister who could stare at the Burner without flinching. They grant the charm of Withstand Light. The taboo of this charm is Pray at Dawn.
  • Cunning Aunt. The spirit of a wise and beautiful aunt who hears all which is said of her. They grant the charm of Hear Thoughts. The taboo of this charm is Never Speak Ill of Kin.
  • Loyal Brother. This spirit is one of kin who died protecting his sisters or mother. They grant the charm of Protect Me. The taboo of this charm is Honour Male Kin.
  • Lost Child. This family spirit is the jealous ghost of an troll who would have been born instead of a trollkin. They provide the charm of Birth Darktroll. The taboo of this charm is Abstain from Pregnancy. This taboo is unusual, in that it is expected to be broken after a year, and doing so does not anger the Gray Furies.

Karrg is Kyger Litor's Good Son, the first male Troll. He is the core spirit society for males in the Kyger Litor Tradition, most male trolls belong to it before joining any other spirit society.
Although primarily a male society, some rare female trolls have joined to learn Karrg's secrets.
Karrg's spirits are those of war, weapons and protecting, his sons (for he views all society members as his children) act as protectors, guardians, and soldiers for their mothers.
  • Stone Biter. These are Death spirits which hate Mostali and other creatures of Earth. They provide charms that relate to biting and chewing. The taboo of this charm is to Eat A Relative Every High Holy Day.
  • Tree Chopper. These are Axe spirits which were taken from an Earth goddess to destroy the forests of the Elves. They provide charms to destroy trees and elves. The taboo of this charm is Eat Plants Whenever Offered.
  • Mace and Mace. These Death spirits inhabit maces. These are charms to Crush Enemies. The taboo of this charm is to Never Speak With Trollkin.

Great Mothers - Kyger Litor Shamans
  • After decades of experience, a worshiper with a Kyger Litor Tradition rating of 11W or higher can become a Great Mother, a shaman of Kyger Litor.
  • She is led deep underground to a secret cave by another Great Mother, where Burner waits to destroy her. If the candidate manages to overcome Burner (who acts as a major plot obstacle), they return with their person and darkness runes separate but whole, making them a Great Mother of Kyger Litor.
The Fetch
The Great Mother's fetch is herself, specifically her Ancestral Darkness part, which manifests as her Shadow, which is visible even in pitch blackness, or in pure daylight. The Shadow performs all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114), but may also be sent out to wander the land for the Great Mother, in her place.
If her Shadow is somehow destroyed, the Great Mother dies as well.

Other Kyger Litor Spirit Societies

Boztakang was the third child born in Wonderhome to Korasting, and has fought Chaos even since his birth, where he plugged up a tear in the universe. He is the greatest fighter of Chaos, and destroyed the monstrous god Arrqong, and erased him from creation. Unlike other Spirit Societies, the spirits who follow Boztakang Chaos Fighter do not have taboos, but will only follow those who perform a special rite to attract them. They all inhabit coloured stones, which must be hurled at an enemy to function.
  • Razkanto. These spirits inhabit brown stones. The stones are charms to Tear Apart Chaos, which is effective against all but things like Gorp. To attract the spirit for this charm, the spiritist must devour a body which was slain by lightning.
  • Boljaanko. These spirits inhabit blue stones. They provide charms to Weaken Chaos Magic. To attract the spirit for this charm, the spiritist must devour the corpse of a wise creature.
  • Habkando. These spirits inhabit black stones. They act as charms to Negate Chaos Feature. To bind the spirit for this charm, the spiritist must eat the heart of a dead troll who died fighting Chaos.
  • Kavanag. These spirits of the hated fire inhabit yellow stones and provide blinding and burning charms. To bind the fire spirit into the stone, the spiritist must first devour it, so that it must swear to serve her.

Hombobobom is a daughter of Korasting. She was the first troll to discover music when she made sounds by banging on the shell of a great beetle. Her drumming entertained the other trolls, and when the Burner invaded Wonderhome, Hombobobom beat out new rhythms to keep the trolls fighting, and to demoralize the Burner and his armies of demons.
  • Thunder Drum. When Orlanth attacked the trolls and was chased off, he dropped his thunder. Hombobobom bound the thunder into drums, and her followers can use these thunder drum spirits to Call Thunder. The taboo of these spirits is to Never Shelter From a Storm.
  • Spirit Drum. These spirits are of past drummers of Hombobobom, when the spiritist drums out a rhythm, they do so in the spirit world as well, providing a charm to Calm Spirit. The taboo of this charm is Never Harm a Spirit.
  • Rhythm Drum. These spirits are those present in every gathering of trolls, they are the underlying sound of the harmony of Kyger Litor, and made manifest by the drumming of Hombobobom. They provide charms to aid other trolls in war or peace. The taboo of this charm is Never Argue With Trolls.

Jakaboom was the fourth child born to Kyger Litor in Wonderhome. She studied under her uncle Dehore, and when Kyger Litor and her children left Wonderhome to go to the surface, she remembered the teachings of her uncle, and was able to bring forth his children the Dehori with chant and song, becoming the first Shaman.
  • Foe Curser. These charms are in the form of totem poles carved out of logs, with the skull of an animal. The spirits inhabiting them provide curses to those who approach the Foe Curser. The taboo of this charm is to Fight All Intruders.
  • Dehori. Dehori are the most powerful of darkness spirits. They provide almost any kind of charm relating to darkness, although frequent examples include Steal Breath, Terrify Foe, and Destroy Light. The taboo of these charms is to Never Use Non-Darkness Elements.

The first child born to Korasting in Wonderhome. He chewed out the first boat from the shell of a gigantic beetle, and used it to sail Adzurana. When the Burner came to Wonderhome, he was able to lead his family out upon a mighty boat across the goddess' body. He now ferries the souls of trolls back to Wonderhome after death.
  • Darkweb. These spirits are currents from Adzurana, who provide troll sailors with charms to navigate without seeing land or the hated stars. The taboo of this charm is Never Sail by Day.
  • Breathrobber. These spirits are those of drowned trolls, who seek to bring others to Azurana's embrace. They grant the charm of Drown Foe. The taboo of this charm is Drink Only Water.
  • Garrottes. These spirits are currents from Adzurana, who seek to take back the unwelcome dead back to her embrace. They grant the charm of Destroy Undead. The taboo of this charm is Bury Dead at Sea.

Kyger Litor's second daughter, Vaneekara, was always exploring Wonderhome, always testing everything she found. When the Burner invaded Wonderhome, Vaneekara attempted to wrestle him into submission, but was defeated and only survived because Xiola Umbar saved her. On the surface, Vaneekara became an expert in throwing rocks and stones, a patron of slingers and throwers. She once threw a Chaos god out of the universe, erasing him from memory.
  • Sky Hater. These spirits hate everything that flies on wings or magic. They grant the Hurt Flyer charm. The taboo of this charm is Never Fly.
  • Rock Hurler. These spirits inhabit stones and never stop moving. They provide charms relating to throwing stones, whether by hand or by sling. The taboo of this charm is Never Use Maces.
  • Chaos Hurler. These spirits hate all Chaos things, and become agitated when close. They provide charms to Hurl Chaos Thing. The taboo of this charm is Never Talk With Chaos.
Spirits of Reprisal
  • Any troll who violates his taboos knows that the Gray Furies now hunt her, and some time, whether in battle or at peace, the Furies will come to attack her as an oathbreaker.
  • If the troll appeases the spirit whose taboo she broke, she is no longer marked, and the Furies will end their hunt.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Hells of the Malkioni

All pious Malkioni know that when they die their souls will ascend to Solace to be with Malkion and the Invisible God. But how does this happen, and what happens to the impious ones?
Those who die in Glorantha begin a week long journey into the depths of the Underworld, recreating the journey of Malkion from the Tower of Reason, crossing such features as the Emerald Lake, the River of Blades, and the Roaring Bridge. Those who become lost are said to eventually make their way back to Glorantha as the unquiet dead, to harass the living until they can be sent to their proper destiny.
Those who successfully make the journey end up at the court of the dead. Here sits Malkionaru, Malkion the Sacrifice, surrounded by many of the Ascended Masters. When the dead kneel before him, Malkion hears all the sins and good deeds of their life, and judges whether they are worthy of going through the gate to Solace that he sits before, or if they must be sent to one of the hells for cleansing.

The Burning Hell
The first hell punishes the prideful. It is a seemingly endless desert of baked earth, beneath a harsh sun, where sinners must crawl from one end to the other in search of water to quench their thirst. All the while birds and harpies dog their steps, rending and tearing that their bodies, leaving unhealing wounds on their undying bodies.
Those who do make it across the desert find a river, made not of water but fire, which burns all who attempt to cross it. Those who do will often claim to be in paradise, for across this burning torrent lies a garden of flowers.
However, these merely illustrate the folly of pride, for the body of the sinner is unable to move even the smallest blade of grass, which cuts into them like a razor, showing them that for all their deeds, they mean nothing compared to the might of the Invisible God.
Even the errant True Beings are not safe from their pride. The lord of fire, Ehilm was imprisoned here, chained to a mountain in the middle of the river of fire. Here he burns eternally as his followers beg him for aid he cannot grant.

The Flaying Hell
The second hell punishes the wrathful. Here the winds never stop moving around a mighty hollow mountain, the air filled with the howling of the storm, and of the agonised cries of the realm's inhabitants. Here they struggle to move, their unjust rage pushing them forwards while the knife like winds push them back. There is no succour for those who are sent here, but people struggle to find shelter behind each other, or the broken rocks covering the mountain
Many try to find the way into the mountain, seeking out the large crack on one side, only to find it is filled with giants and their bulls, which tear the bodies of the unworthy apart, to build screaming buildings to hide them. But these are rent by the winds soon, and even the giants find no shelter.
Worlath the hateful was sent here, but is not visible to those in the Flaying Hell, since he has been torn to nothingness by the winds he sought to master. The eternal howling that fills this hell is in fact his screaming, and the frequent hails his bitter tears of rage.

The Buried Hell
Those whose hearts are overcome with greed and desire are sentenced to the third hell. Consisting of nothing but endless caverns within the earth, the damned wander these endless catacombs looking for something of true value, but the glittering jewels and shining metals within crumble to dust at their touch. The halls are also home to the serpentine guardians who protect the false treasures, and feed on those who dare touch them. The Underground Men called dwarves are also said to have come from this realm, but in their lust for the treasures of the Middle World, they escaped, to plague us with their greed.
Here lies the body of Likita, queen of the Earth Serpents, who lies coiled amongst the treasures she so desires, but weeping for their lack of value. She tempts men into damnation for the chance to lie with her, but cares only for the gifts that they might offer her.

The Drowning Hell
The fourth hell punishes those who betray their masters, family, or people. The hell is composed of many oceans, some of water, whether brine, boiling, or freezing; others are composed of less pleasant substances. Fire, acid, blood, or other fluids. The damned are tossed into these oceans, where the waters are ever flowing and changing, and there is no solid land to cling to. If sinners find each other in these oceans, they hold each other fast, providing the only piece of safety amongst the waters which attempt to destroy them. Some wizards have said, while viewing these realms, that they have seen the ghosts of the Waertagi lost in the closing, still piloting their dragonships through the abyssal depths, searching for a way back home.
Down at the bottom of the abyss lies Wakata, chained by the sea of darkness known as the Styx. Here he remains for his crime of attacking the Land of Logic, although his eternal thrashing churns the seas above him.

The Sightless Hell
The deepest hell is for those who knew no kindness in their hearts, who cursed their friends, and made deals with demons simply to make others suffer. Here these damned crawl amongst the bones of the fallen, forever seeking refuge from the horrors that wait in the eternal darkness. The dark men, the trolls, were imprisoned here originally, but were let out by soulless sorcerers to plague mankind. Still many of them remain here, and their blind searching for food is a constant hazard to all who are sentenced here.
While directions are meaningless when one cannot navigate, it is said at the centre of this realm sits Dadamus, the True Being who sacrificed his soul to rule all that was impure. Here he reigns as its prisoner king, lord of all he sees in a realm without sight.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Maran, the Shaker Goddess

Mythos and History
Maran was born in the green age, along with her sisters, and was given rulership over the greatest powers of Earth. She took many lovers, and produced many children, these being the mighty quakebeasts of legend, which shook the earth as they walked. Maran loved her children, whose thundering movement brought joy to her heart, no matter the destruction they caused.
In the Stagnant Age, the Evil Emperor came to power. He saw the quakebeasts as pests, and commanded his warriors to destroy them. Jagrekriand and Vestkarthan destroyed many of them, including the new warlike quakebeasts Maran shaped to defend the others from the Fire Tribe. Seeing so many of her children slain, Maran took up her mace, and marched to destroy the fire tribe. From then on, the goddess knew no joy.
The remaining quakebeasts were no longer as many, nor as great, but Maran loved them all the same. Then the Elves came, claiming that the beasts destroyed their forests and destroyed all they found. Maran shaped some of them into enormous shapes, who fed on trees as a cow feeds on hay. The elves sold themselves to the godless sorcerer Seravus for aid, who provided an army of men-who-were-animals to fight the giant quakebeasts. Maran avenged her children with the aid of Finovan the raider, and slew the sorcerer's son with a single mighty blow of her club.
When the great darkness came, the remaining quakebeasts were no match for the armies of ice and troll, who froze and devoured the last quakebeasts. Maran wept tears of blood, before coating herself in black blood and taking up her great axe and marching on the ice demons and the trolls. She slew countless monsters, men and gods, until the trolls relented, and promised her worship in exchange for letting them survive. Maran relented, but from then on, the goddess knew no love.
When Nontraya came for Ernalda, Maran saw she could not protect her sister from his ways, and slew Ernalda to save her from being dishonoured. In the end Maran slew all the world to protect it from the ravages of Chaos, until there was no one left to protect her from Tekakos the stillness. When he confronted her, she did not resist, and went to the Underworld to meet her kin.
When she met her sisters, they once again vowed their bonds of sisterhood, granting Maran the strength to provide life to her sisters, who used this power to return life to the entire world.

Nature of the Cult
Maran is the violent and rumbling earth, whose angry movements destroy the enemies of the Earth Tribe. All Orlanthi know that when the ground shakes, Maran is angry, and will immediately make propitiatory sacrifices to please her.
Maran is commonly worshipped as a subcult of Ernalda. However, Maran is also worshipped as an independent cult. This is more common in places such as Esrolia and Tarsh, and many traditional Orlanthi regard this form of worship as dangerous and unpredictable.

Maran is depicted as a monstrous and fearsome woman, and her terrible face is a favoured carving for clubs and axes. Along with Babeester Gor, Maran is one of the sacred guardians of all Earth Temples, and a statue or carving of her will always be at their entrance.

Rune Affinities
Maran is associated with the Runes of Earth and Disorder.
Earth Rune Affinity
Maran is associated with the Earth Rune in its malign aspect. An incomplete list of the abilities Marani have been known to use the Earth Rune for includes: call earthquakes, command quakebeast, curse crops, have the earth open up and swallow people or things, knock down buildings, summon and command lesser Earth gods, and to draw strength and power from the Earth. Cultists strong in the Earth Rune are patient, callous and relentless.

Disorder Rune Affinity
Maran is a major goddess of the Disorder Rune, although not its source. An incomplete list of the abilities Maran initiates have been used to know their affinity with the Disorder Rune to perform includes: assume a berserker trance, kill men, assume a terrifying appearance, thwart healing, wither plant life. Cultists strong in the Disorder Rune are destructive, reckless and selfish.

Opposed Runes
Maran is in conflict with the runes of Chaos and Harmony.

Particular Likes and Dislikes
Maran loves her sisters Ernalda and Esrola, and has pledged to protect these two pacifists. She is often a rival of male war gods, such as Elmal and Urox, but is friendly with the War Women cults.
All of Chaos is her enemy, as is anything else that seeks to harm the Earth tribe. She also hates the elves and ice giants for the slaying of her children the quakebeasts.

Cult Organization and Holy Places
Maran is not a popular goddess amongst the Heortlings, the few initiates to her in each clan usually being sacred Erantha Gori axe warriors. Most of her worshippers are found in Peace Clans, where they serve on the much smaller fyrd and act as bodyguards to the clans' priestesses.
In Dragon Pass, Maran has two great holy places: the first being the Shaker Temple at the base of Wintertop, this sacred building has survived since the Gods Age, and contains shrines to all the subcults of Maran. It is ruled by the Shaker Priestess, the incarnation of Maran upon Glorantha, who is served by forty seven male and female virgin cannibal initiates of Maran.
The second holy place of Maran is Giniiji, also known as Snake-pipe hollow. This valley and the neighbouring ones were created when Maran crushed a waiting army of Chaos. The remains of this army reformed from the bloody mess left after the valley was made, and holy warriors of Maran are often found waging holy wars against the Chaotic monsters found there.

Maran has relatively few full time priestesses maintaining her temples and shrines. They are all celibate, pledging their love to their goddess rather than to any man.

Holy Days and Sacrifices
Each week on clay day, Maran's worshippers perform worship ceremonies, and she is worshipped by all Orlanthi on Shutting the Door Day, which takes place on Wild Day of Fertility Week in the Earth Season. Here everyone feels the gate of the underworld close with a rumble, as the dead are separated from the living.
Maran is often given only propitiatory worship by the Heortlings, for they fear her as much as they love her sisters. They will often give offerings such as ritual knives and bowls to be sacrificed to her, but all know that Maran craves blood as a sacrifice most of all.

  • All initiates of Maran must possess an affinity with the Earth Rune; however they may initiate with either an Earth Rune, or a Disorder Rune affinity of 1W or higher. 
  • Few men join the cult, for those who do must sacrifice their masculine nature to the goddess, becoming eunuchs.
Maran has taken many names, many faces over her existence, and many of these are remembered as subcults of the goddess.
Dargeth Kor
When Ernalda slept, and Orlanth had gone, the people of the Storm and Earth Tribes went hungry. Their fields were barren, their granaries empty, and the forests held no game. When the Fire Tribe came to confront the two peoples, to take the women as thralls, and to slay the men, all fought until the ground was soaked with blood. Maran emerged as Dargeth Kor, fed and joyful at the blood, and shared her bounty with the survivors, as the empty earth brought forth food for the hungry. This subcult provides the Bloody Earth Feat.

Erantha Gor
Erantha Gor was the name Maran took the second time she went to war, after the last of her children were taken from her by ice and troll. She clad herself in the black blood of her foes took up her axe, and swore to never love again. No man may ever belong to Erantha Gor, and no member of this subcult may ever marry. Worshippers of Erantha Gor can use their Disorder Rune affinity to aid them in axe combat.

Gatara Tor
Before she was infertile, Maran was once Gatara Tor, the Mother of Quakebeasts. These creatures are mostly dead, but their spirits remain beneath the earth, in mountains and hills, and within the souls of her intitiates. Worshippers of Gatara Tor may use their Earth Rune affinity to take the form of a Quakebeast.

Maran Devor
Maran Devor was the name Maran took the first time she went to war, when many earthshakers were slain by elf and sorcery. With her mace she shattered forests, and broke the backs of giants, and finally avenged her children upon the sorcerers. This subcult is the least restrictive, and even some men join in the worship of the Mace Goddess. Worshippers of Maran Devor can use their Disorder Rune affinity to aid them in mace combat, and to Slay Elves.

Maran Gor
After all of her children were taken from her, Maran became Maran Gor, barren and loveless. Still she remembered her kin and aided her sisters when they could not protect themselves, by using her sorrow to shake the very earth itself. This subcult provides the Earth Shaker Feat.

Sorgoth Kor
When the Fire Tribe came to seize the goddesses of the Earth Tribe, Sorgoth Kor was there to meet them. This was Maran as the barren earth, the taker of her sister's bounty, and the destroyer of fertility. Every man she struck became impotent, and where she stood nothing would grow. This subcult provides the Blast Earth Feat.

  • A Maran initiate with a rating of 11W in either the Earth Rune or the Disorder Rune may dedicate themselves completely to Maran and become a devotee of their goddess. 
  • As well as the usual restrictions, Maran's devotees must vow never to marry or know the love and kindness of another's bed.

Devotees of Maran may perform magic feats; powerful repetitions of her mythic deeds. Some feats are universal to the cult, others are associated with specific subcults. Here are some examples of Maran's feats, although more exist:
Blast Earth
When Maran was sorely offended, when nothing another god did could please her, Maran would unleash the power of Ana Gor, the goddess of human sacrifice. By slaying another, whether friend, enemy or innocent, she could destroy her enemies crops, crack and blight their fields, and render them dead and empty for years.

Earth Shaker
Maran and her children carried all the weight of the world upon them, and when they walked their feet shook the earth. Together, by performing a rhythmic and thumping dance in a wide circle, they could shake the ground for miles around sending steads crashing down and leaving all around unable to stand.

Earth Blood
When the people are starving, when they have no food and their fields are bare, they will beg Maran for succor. In turn she releases Ana Gor, who is fed on human sacrifice. Through Ana Gor's power, Maran makes the fields fertile, and the crops plentiful.

Tame Fire
Once Vestkarthan attempted to claim Esrola as his bride. Maran was there, guarding her sister, and confronted the volcano god. Vestkarthan attempted to burn Maran, who was blackened but survived. Then Maran took Veskarthan's burning spear and broke it in two, and smothered his fire with her breath. From then on, Vestkarthan became Maran's thrall.

Divine Retribution
Maran shares the Driman agents of reprisal with her sister Ernalda, but she also curses those who fail in their vows. Against her worshippers who ignore her holy days, Maran sends the Wounding curse, which blocks any attempt to heal the worshipper. Against her devotees who break the goddess' vow of celibacy, Maran unleashes the Blood Debt, which turns the very earth against the worshipper, drinking in their magic until the worshipper has nothing left. The only way to end this curse is to sacrifice their lover in the bloody rites of Ana Gor.

Lesser Gods of Malign Earth
Maran is the source of Ernalda's Gornans, who lends her the Talosi serpents in turn. The description of these lesser earth gods can be found in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, page 144.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Doburdun, the Loyal Storm

Mythos and History
Long ago, the Middle Air was calm and peaceful, with nothing disrupting the gentle clouds which drifted under the rule of Entekos. However, Umatum the rebel and his frightful kin invaded the heavens to loot and to destroy what they could. Entekos saw the destruction they unleashed and became angry for the first time. This anger brought forth a rumbling dark cloud above her brow, which thundered and bellowed until the lesser rebels fled, and took a great oak tree and fashioned it into a club with which to strike Umatum down to the ground where he made a great crater. Doburdun called forth all his rains and filled the crater with water to drown Umatum, so that he would never rise again to challenge Entekos for the Middle Air, this created the White Sea to the north of Entekos' realm.
After this, Doburdun rested beneath his mother, forming his Black Cloud Castle, which floats above the ground to frighten all rebels who would invade the Middle Air.

Nature of the Cult
Doburdun is the large but untroublesome summer storm of the Pelorian region, worshipped along side his mother, Entekos, by many peoples of Dara Happa. His clouds are loud and dark, but are peaceful and rarely cause any danger to anyone.
The Lunars have brought many missionaries of Doburdun with them from Peloria to Dragon Pass, recognizing his ability to defeat and calm the rowdy rebel storms, and his cult has spread amongst clans Loyal to the Lunars, although many Orlanthi view them as cowards and traitors.

Doburdun is shown in art as a tall, loincloth clad god, armed with his thundering crooked club, known as an Addi.
His followers claim that their god is shown on the Gods Wall, and often clash with the Priests of Antirius who claim the figure is their god.

Rune Affinities
Doburdun is associated with the runes of Air and Stasis.
Air Rune Affinity
As the protector of Entekos, Doburdun has power over her realm of the Middle Air, although his powers are limited to those concerning clouds and storms such as: to call rainclouds, to summon and command Lesser Gods of clouds and storms, to create powerful thunderstorms, to create blasts of thunder, and to call forth lashing winds. Initiates who are strong in this rune are brooding, combative and proud.

Stasis Rune Affinity
As the loyal storm, Doburdun is associated with the power of stasis and control, allowing him to resist the wild powers of the rebel gods. An incomplete list of the abilities Doburduni have been known to use the Stasis Rune for includes: calming winds, commanding thunderstorms, shrugging off storm magic, and grounding flying enemies. Initiates who are strong in this rune are stubborn and loyal.

Opposed Runes
Doburdun is opposed to the rune of Movement.

Particular Likes and Dislikes
Doburdun is friendly with most celestial deities of Peloria, displaying no rivalry with gods of fire and sky. He is firmly defensive of his mother, Entekos, protecting her realm from the rebel winds who might approach, especially Umatum the Invader, who Doburduni view as a vicious murderer and their great foe.
The cult possesses a rivalry with that of Shargash, for each views themselves as the rightful guardian of the Middle Air. They have been known to work together against great foes, but after the battle has passed the two cults are quick to insult each others' honour.

Cult Organization and Holy Places
The centre of Doburdun's cult lies in the hills of Darsen, where the cult acts as guardians for the temples of Entekos and her daughters. Worshippers here are found in every tribe and city, and their shrines are found guarding every sacred district.
Outside of Peloria, there are few shrines to Doburdun. The most infamous is the Black Oak Shrine in the Colymar lands, which is protected by the Lunar-friend King Blackmoor.

Holy Days and Sacrifices
Doburdun's high holy day is the first Windsday of the Dara Happan summer season, when the summer rains start. During this time, everyone sacrifices to him, even those who would normally look down on the god, for he keeps away the wild and dangerous storms and brings the fields the gentle rains which nurture life. Sheep and Goats are the most common sacrifices to Doburdun, although most citizens of the Tripolis only offer up small idols in the shape of these creatures, preferring not to stain their hands with the blood of these wild animals.

  • All initiates of Doburdun must possess an affinity with the Air Rune, and Doburdun can only be approached through the Air Rune. 
  • All initiates of Doburdun must be men and must obey both the high priest of their temple, and also the high priestess of the local Entekos temple. 
  • They must swear oaths to defend any woman who cannot fight for themselves.

Doburdun has just one recognised subcult, that of the Black Oak:

Black Oak
The Black Oak is Doburdun's sacred tree, which resists the predations of rebel gods, and re-sprouts after their lightning has shattered and burned all other trees around them. In Peloria, black oaks are known to provide shelter for any who have been caught out in rainstorms. His worshippers use the Air Rune to Be Unharmed By Lightning.

  • A Doburdun initiate with a rating of 11W or more in their Air Rune may seek to devote himself completely to Doburdun and become a devotee of the god. 
  • A devotee of Doburdun is subject to the usual restrictions (See HeroQuest, page 111).

The Thunder Addi Feat
When the Rebel Gods came to attack his mother Entekos, Doburdun took his Addi, a club of black oak, and marched out to face them. Whoever he struck with the club fell from the skies in a clap of thunder, and no winds could divert Doburdun from his path. When the Rebel Gods tried to flee in shame, Doburdun rode his Addi after them, sending them tumbling in a thunderous charge.

Lesser Air Gods
As a god of the middle air, Doburdun's worshippers may command many of the minor air gods of the area, who often appear as clouds or winds. The Gods Learner classified such beings as Umbroli, but to the Doburduni they are known as Daveki, the Air people.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Coins of Seshnela

"In the Fourth Action, when Malkion and his followers were building New Malkionwal upon the shores of Gennerela, a pair of Talari brothers came to the Prophet to ask for instruction. they each claimed the other had borrowed a portion of their wealth to build their manor, but none could determine the truth of the matter.
Malkion, listening to this, scooped up a portion of the soil beneath him and shaped it into two discs of perfect Silver.
"These discs I name coins, they shall be used to mark when a favour has been performed that cannot be repaid immediately. So that all may know what is truthfully due." He gave one of the coins to each of the brothers.
At this, the brothers complained that although this would stop it happening in the future, it did not determine who owed the original favour.
Malkion declared that for this teaching, the brothers both owed him a favour, and in payment they would forget past wrongs, and work together for the good of all.
The brothers saw the Logic in this."
- The Revelation of the Coin.
This passage from the Abiding Book has provided the origin of Malkioni coinage, the issuing of which has long remained the province of the noble caste. While the guild of silversmiths create the coins themselves (manual labour being anathema to the nobility).

Exactly which nobles can issue coinage remained a subject of much debate during the first age, as did the value of the coins in question. As such coins dating back to this time fluctuate wildly in size, material, shape, and quality, such as the rare and infamous Priina Baronic coins, which were almost pure gold and double the size of modern coins; or the ubiquitous and scorned Tanewal Purple, a square cut coin cast from an alloy of lead and silver.

During the reign of the Middle Sea Empire, in an attempt to unify the Malkioni, the Emperor Miglos issued a proclamation restricting the right to mint coinage to the Governor of each province of the Empire. This proclamation also enforced a more unified form for these coins. They were now to be made of silver, almost all were circular, and bore the portrait of the issuing governor one one side, with the other bearing their personal sigil.

As the later wars against the Draconic Empire drove the Middle Sea Empire into a militaristic stance, the positions of Duke and Governor were combined, granting absolute authority to the ruler of each Province. Because of this, the coins they issued became known as Ducats, after their new title.

By the time of the closing, the excesses of the God Learners combined with the many wars and uprisings across the Empire, and the need to pay all their soldiers left many Dukes unable to mint coins of high quality, leading to debasements at a previously unheard of level. Many coins were found to be merely silver foil over copper bases, leading to desertions en masse as soldiers refused to fight.

The Interregnum of Seshnela led to a resurgence in varied coinage, as without a stable central government enforcing Miglos' proclamation, each feuding duke took it upon themselves to make their own coins bearing their face, regardless of if they were made of silver, gold or brass. The soldiers, acting as mercenaries and bandits, preferred to barter for their service, not trusting these coins, and when they were accepted, it was usually only for their mineral value. Shirts of scale amour have been salvaged from ancient battlefields where each scale was made from a copper coin bearing the profile of an unknown nobleman.

The rise of the Balifids, and the creation of the modern Kingdom of Seshnela once again created a stabilizing influence on the local currency. With a proper relationship between the Dukes and the King, the ancient minting rites were reissued, and many old and worthless coins were destroyed.

King Vikard's reign was marked with many disasters, including many economic ones. Beliving that all currency should resemble that used by the earliest Malkioni, he organized a massive reissuing of currency, collecting all he could in taxes, so that the coins could be reminted to be as pure as possible. This decision inspired many dukes to rebel, as they felt their ancient rights to mint currency were being infringed. Despite this, the Vikardi silvers are famous for their purity, although many of the remaining coins are said to be cursed by their creator's foolishness and greed.

The Quinpolic League, having gained their independence from Seshnela, created their own coins, although it is said that few residents of the league have ever seen one, as coins gained from foreign trade far outnumber the native coins, and it is not uncommon to receive change in Esrolian clacks from a transaction paid with Dara Happan Wheels.

With the rise to power of Guilmarn the Fat, the Kingdom of Seshnela has prepared itself for a new great reissuing. Having learnt from the errors of his ancestor, these coins are not minted for their quality, but instead for their quantity. Like his father, Guilmarn has sought to centralize the power of the Kingdom, and has set himself up as the only noble with any rights to mint currency. With this arrangement, he has all but criminalized the use of any coin but the new one, which is known by many names such as Shekel, Shilling, or most commonly, Imperials.


Mythos and History
Buserian is one of Yelm's ten sons, the former Overseer of Abgamman, the City of Priests. When his city fell, he accompanied his great-nephew Anaxial on his Ark, and with him built the city of Yuthuppa along the ancient Celestial plan to make Yuthuppa a paradise.
After this, Buserian was forgotten, even by the city he helped found, and went into the wilderness. There he built a hut of bent sticks covered with hides for protection, for now the sky had gone dark and the Empty Emperor Kazkurtum sat upon Yelm's throne
Buserian did not leave his hut, even when his enemies removed the hides, for within the frame of sticks, he could not be harmed.
From here, he meditated to approach the mind of his uncle Dayzatar, but was unsuccessful, distracted by the darkness, until he found Polaris, son of Dayzatar. Seeing Polaris, Buserian was able to approach his mind, and from there Buserian could reach other stars in the heavens. By meditating and speaking with them, Buserian learned many secrets and powers.
Eventually, Buserian was approached by outcasts who had no walls to protect them, and no magic to feed them. Buserian was moved by their desperation, and taught them the secrets of the stars. These people became the Stargazers, Buserian's first worshipers, and took Buserian and his knowledge with them to Yuthuppa within a new frame which they carried with them.
In Yuthuppa the inhabitants had long forgotten the ways of Anaxial and Murharzarm and had forgotten how to be true people. The Stargazers showed them the secrets that Buserian and given them, and showed the Yuthuppans how to meditate and communicate with the stars for their blessings and secrets.
In this way, the Yuthuppans once again became priests of Dara Happa, and when Yelm reascended, the city was once again prosperous and glorious.

Nature of the Cult
Appointed by his father, Yelm, to record all that went on in his domain, Buserian is the god of scribes, scholars and other bureaucrats. His worshippers must be literate, and are recruited only from amongst the ranks of the nobility.
Buserian is also the god of Stargazing, and his frame is used to mark out the positions of stars and planets in the skies and record their positions in the houses of the heavens. To aid in this, Buserian has taught his worshippers how to commune with celestial bodies, by recreating his frame and sitting beneath it, a worshipper of Buserian may engage in meditation to approach the mind of the stars to learn the secrets of the heavens.

Buserian is depicted as a Dara Happan nobleman, clad in finery and surrounded by the trappings of bureaucracy. He is often shown beneath his frame, a dome of woven sticks replicating the heavens above.
On the Gods Wall, Plentonius identified Buserian as the third figure on the first Row.

Cult Organization and Holy Places
Each temple of Buserian is mostly independent, acting only nominally under the control of the Block Pyramid in Yuthuppa, which as well as being his greatest shrine, is also the greatest storehouse of astrological lore in Glorantha.
Buserian's temples also act as schools, tutoring young Dara Happan nobles in reading, writing, and mathematics. This is done as a religious duty, but many nobles will offer patronage to the temple that educated them in their youth.

  • Any male Dara Happan hero of noble birth may begin play as a member of Buserian's cult.
  • Initiates begin play with a relationship to one of Buserian's grimoires at 17, and chose four spells appropriate to this grimoire as spells they have already learned.
  • Initiates with a rating of 1W or above may learn additional spells in a grimoire or gain a relationship to another of Buserian's grimoires. This may be done during character creation, or during play by overcoming a plot obstacle to learn the secrets of that grimoire.
  • If successful, the Initiate may spend two hero points and add the grimoire at a starting rating of 13.

Grimoires of Buserian
The Perfect Sky
One of Plentonius' many lengthy texts, this one describes each of the hundred most important stars of the heavens, the gods they represent, and the powers they may grant. The text teaches two widely known spells. The first allows worshippers to Identify Constellations and Stars, allowing for quick and simple estimations of locations and the time of year, no matter where the Initiate is.
The second spell allows the Initiate to Create Horoscopes, letting them divine the future by means of the positions of the stars within the various houses of Buserian's frame.
At least four other spells are known to be hidden amongst the scrolls that make up this work. 
The Changing Sky 
This set of scrolls from Yuthuppa date back to the first age, within this work the story how the heavens were corrupted and altered into their present form, of how Yelm reordered it, and of how the stars themselves deviated from the divine order. Seven spells are known to be found within this text, including how to Call Down an Elemental of the Celestial Sky to connect the sky with the earth; another spell details how to See the Unseen, using the light of heaven to see through illusions and darkness; a third allows the Initiate to Bind Wandering Daemons of the heavens to specific purposes.
The Celestial Record
Dating back to the earliest years of Dara Happa, these tablets have been copied many times over the millennia, enabling a continuous record from the dawn of Yelm's reign to exist amongst the followers of Buserian. This record contains five spells that are key to recording information, including a ritual to grant Unfailing Recall of Memories, a set of instructions to Repel Ink and other stains, and exercises to grant a Tireless Hand.

  • Once an Initiate has reached 11W in one of their grimoires, they may become a Stargazer, a Devotee of Buserian. They must overcome a significant plot obstacle to convince the other Stargazers they are worthy of this rank.
  • A Stargazer never fails in their attempts to reach the Sky World; their attempts are at worst Costly Successes. They may also learn new spell effects within their grimoires by communing with beings in the Sky World.
  • They must make a Sky World journey, overcoming at least one dangerous obstacle to reach their teacher, and then test their rating in their grimoire against a Very High resistance. If successful they have managed to learn a new piece of celestial lore, allowing them to practice this spell and to teach it to other worshippers of Buserian. If they fail they cannot gain any other spell during the current session.
  • As a Stargazer, the worshipper has many duties including teaching new Initiates, performing divinations for the nobility, and furthering their knowledge of the heavens. When using their grimoire rating as a flaw, they always suffer at least a -6 penalty.