Seattle Mini-con

From: martin (102541.3423@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Thu 23 May 1996 - 00:05:04 EEST


I recently attended the most excellent Seattle Mini-Con down in the US. I was
very kindly picked up and dropped off by Richard Fenner and Neil Robinson, both
from Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). They picked me up on the way. We
spent most of the two hour journey arguing about Onslaughts bite attack and
after much deliberation I convinced the two plucky Canadians of the justice in
my claims that 160% is simply too low.

Upon arrival at Glorantha guru David Dunhams house we drank plenty of Guest
Right beverages and waged verbal warfare over many issues of importance.

Neil, Richard and I then departed for Pams house where all the actual events of
the weekend were held. Needless to say, Pams understanding of the forms of
guesting was so acute that our stay was memorable and comfortable (Thanks Pam).

Then we got down to business. First was Jeff Richards cleverly balanced and
created farmer quest freeform "Volunds Bull" in which I played steadholder
Vargast. I will narrate the story from Vargast grandsons point of view:

        I am Vargast Vargavargastsson, third to bear that proud name.
        My stead lies burning and our clan is devestated. Lismelder warriors are
everywhere and I lie bleeding to death with a ring of my fallen men and foes
aorund me. How did this great evil come to pass? Even in my semi-delirium I
see it so clearly: It was Korgall, all Korgall......
        It began with my grandfathers dear friend Hardenstan losing his prize
bull to cowardly raiders. Then word came to Hardenstan (a mighty Thane within
our Clan) that steadholder Volund had aquired a new bull from Clearwine. Upon
seeing this bull Hardenstan knew immediately that he had been wronged for it was
_his_ bull and Volund was a mere thief and a liar to claim otherwise.
        Naturally my grandfather, being a man who stood ever by his friends, went
to prove this untruth with my father and his brother and several of our
strongest menfolk. My grandfather was not a warlike man but he was fearful of
the violent nature of Volund and his friends so took some small armed strength
to protect himself, a recognised precaution by Heorts law.
        Alas for our family and ultimately for our clan, Volunds' warrior friend
Korgall was at his stead. Korgall and his men didn't even attempt to greet us
or to hear our words. Instead they attack even as we saw that the bull truly
was Hardestans. A violent struggle began and my grandfather, who had not been
harnessed for war, unlike the killer Korgall, ordered a withdrawl. As we moved
back Korgall pursued and struck down Borast, eldest son of Vargast, my great
uncle.
        We grieved but we knew the way of Orlanth on this issue. We demanded
weregild for the death of the steads eldest son. Grandfather knew we could take
no less than 20 cows or be shamed forever for our weakness. Korgall seemed
willing at first to settle and my grandfather held out some hope that a feud
could be avoided. We hoped also that Hardenstans bull would be returned to him
via peacable methods.
        At that time our clan was troubled and weak as the offices of Priestess
and Godi were unfilled. My grandfather supported Kvedulf the warrior as Godi
and Tarkalor the steadholder as priestess. In two moots called by Chief Amund
we (Hardestans faction and allies) nearly elected both Tarkolar and Kvedulf but
were thwarted by the pointless quibbling of Korgall and his sister Arinea who
strove at every turn to anger my family and disrupt the Clan. In the end and
after several stymied moots Kvedulf became Godi and Arinea achieved
Priestesshood with our family and Hardenstans faction's support on the condition
that she support our claim for weregild.
        My grandfather asked her to propose to the moot that her brother pay the
20 cow weregild or be declared outlaw. She attempted to squirm out of this with
slippery words but my grandfather reminded her of his many manful efforts with
her in the past and swore to tell her brother of her free use of Ulerias
blessing unless she stuck to her word. Daunted, she did as she'd promised.
        Sensing defeat, evil Korgall stepped in to remind Tarkalor of a similar
indescretion with him and prevailed upon her to use her wiles upon my granfather
to seduce him to give up his claim. My grandfather was sorely tempted but stood
by his principles and his dead son with a will of iron and the vote occured.
        We won the vote handily but before it could be ratified by the chief,
Korgall, with his mind full of evil twistings of Heorts law, pointed out that
Wildsday not Deathday was the correct day to raise an issue of outlawry and the
Lawspeaker agreed after consulting precedent and the will of Orlanth. The moot
was over.
        Reeling from our sudden defeat we did not see the pact forming between
Chief Amund and Korgall. We should have suspected for my grandfather had seen
much suuport in the Clan for Amunds removal though inertia among the
independants stalled any actual attempt to remove him. Amund summond another
moot as was his right as Chief.
        In this moot Korgall came prepared and with a great oratory persuaded the
fickle and self-seeking clan members to vote on his propasal to pay a pitiful
weregild of only 10 cows for my grandfathers eldest son. Driven by his fiery
words the Clan voted with him and my grandfather was forced to accept the 10
cows or face outlawry for his whole family.
        Enraged by such ignominious treatment my grandfather led his warriors
across the moot to deal with Korgall once and for all but Chief Amund showed his
clear affiliation by placing his Huscarls between my grandfather and his
vengence.
        Though halted through overt action the burning anger we felt at such
injustice was such that grandfather struck a double blow. He sent men to set
fire to Korgalls stead and stole a large amount of his herd. Korgalls men
fought off the stead burning party though not without damage and Korgall came
looking for revenge. With the Chiefs aid he summoned the clan to see the formal
duel between Korgall and my granfather.
        It was a mighty fight but Korgall was strong in the ways of the sword and
even all my grandfathers great heart and spirit were not enough for him to
prevail. He died fighting to the last.
        Our family mourned and my father took over vowing vengence for his father
and brother. We summoned our friends and exchanged many cows for men and
weapons of war and prepared to settle it once and for all.
        We raided and stole more of Korgalls herd and made another attempt upon
his stead. Anger by this and calling for another duel Korgall fought and killed
my father as he had my grandfather and earned the fearsome name Korgall
VargastBane.
        Devestated by our losses we husbanded our strength while the feud between
Hardestan and Volund over the bull led to Volunds death at Hardestans hands
after the warlike Godi declared it a death match.
        Kvedulf the Godi then led the Clan on a mighty raid against the Lismelder
though our family stayed out of it, reduced as we were.
        Returning victorious, Korgall and his allies drove us to violence once
more by proposing to the moot that my family, of which I was now head, should be
declared outlaw and our herd and lands would be fair game for the VargastBane.
Enraged beyond all measure at our foul treatment I challenged him there and then
and such was my anger and recklessness in that moment that many held that Urox
had come to me for the fury of my attack broke even Korgalls great skill and I
slew him. So ended the VargastBane.
        After that we had three feuds in our small clan and an angry Lismelder
tribe as our neighbours. As I lie here dying, I reflect bitterly on what we
have lost and how no-one shall sing of the Vargast saga anymore....

I'll write about the other events at the mini-con in a later post.

Martin Laurie

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