Date: Sun 19 Jan 1997 - 09:32:10 EET
MAD PRAX - BEYOND SUN DOME (part #14)
I. The Giant Cradle
The final scene of this tournament allows the characters to take part in a
great historical event; an event which marked the beginning of the Hero
Wars and the close of the Third Age of Glorantha. This event is simply
known as "The Cradle".
The idea behind this combat is to make it epic and heroic, rather than
devolve into a endless dice-rolling stat-fest. Run the events with this
end in mind. Hell, if you want to (and your players don't mind), you can
even run this as a story-telling session and largely ignore the stats. The
main thing is that the characters have a good time...
II. The Cradle Draws Near
It is now noon, of Wildday, Harmony Week, Season season (full moon). By
now, the Storm of the night before has totally blown itself out, and Yelm
once again shines over the golden fields of Sun County. Everyone sweats
under their armour in the hot sun, wondering what has happened to the
Suddenly, a pair of vrok hawk scouts fly in and land on their
priests' shoulders. The news soon spreads that the Cradle is on its
way. Several other familiar birds fly off to have a look, including
Invictus's ally "Tercel" who asks Bob if he's coming. The birds on the
wing get a magnificent aerial view of the Cradle.
The point where a stream flows into the river is marked by a huge white
boulder. As the Cradle passes this point, Bob and the birds notice a
group of perhaps a dozen figures leap up into the sky from cover,
flying on miniature whirlwinds. They leave behind the curious
circluar depressions in the fields. The figures fly over to the cradle
and embark on its deck.
Note: if Mad Prax wasn't killed or detained previously, Bob notices a
large alticamelus in the field.
Minutes later, the Cradle hoves into the army's view round the bend.
The Cradle is about 125 meters long, and sits about 20 meters above the
water, which churns magically to propel the Cradle along. From far away
it looks like a toy wooden boat carved from a single piece of wood,
with alternating wide and narrow rings visible in the rich grain. Huge
carved dragon heads with glowing eyes rise up from the stem and stern, and
other faces are carved around the hull, along with runes and sigils.
Visible only from above, Bob can report that the deck has a transparent
cover in it. Below a gigantic baby girl (SIZ 100) and an immense sow
(SIZ 50) rest on straw in separate compartments. Occasionally the baby
lifts the sow out of its stall and suckles from it as if it were a giant
milk bottle. There are approximately fifty or sixty human defenders on
the deck too, hurriedly preparing for the Sun Dome assault. In the water
below, a number of water creatures (newtlings, ducks, intelligent fish and
river folk) accompany the vessel.
As the Cradle draws closer, it becomes obvious that it has seen a lot of
action upriver. The hull is scorched and marred, and many of the carved
heads on it have been burned off. A huge boulder sits squarely in the
middle of the transparent deck, causing a long crack across it and the
charred remains of a fabric tarpaulin that once shielded the infant from
the sun now flutters fitfully in the breeze. The whole deck appears
scorched and seared (during one of their numerous assaults, the Lunars
tipped a huge vat of boiling oil onto the Cradle from the Pavis bridge,
as well as the boulder).
III. The Hawks vs. The Crows
A number of flying creatures swarm above the Cradle, familiars of the
defenders acting as lookouts over the Sun Dome forces. Tercel, the ally
of Lord Invictus, orders Bob and the other vrok hawks to attack them and
force them down. Play this like a scene out of top gun, with Tercel as
Bob gets fight Adelaide, the crow ally of a Lhankor Mhy priest. Adelaide
is no fighter, and instead wants to return to her master on the deck as
swiftly as possible. It takes her 10 melee rounds to get within arrow
range of the Cradle, and 2 more to get within spell range. If Bob
follows her in, he gets all manner of missile weapons and spells lobbed
at him the Cradle defenders. After each flying attack on his prey, Bob
must circle for 1d3 melee rounds.
Adelaide the Crow
Allied Spirit of a Lhankor Mhy Sage aboard the Cradle.
Move: 1/10 flying
Hit Points: 3
Magic Points: 15 + 19 master
DEX sr 1 + SIZ sr 3 = 4
weapon sr attk/par% damage Enc/AP
--- Does not attack physically ---
Spirit Magic (75%): Mindspeech 6, Countermagic 3, Protection 5,
Disrupt (1), Heal 3, (known by master, and not all that useful right now)
Detect Parchment (1), Detect Vellum (1), Detect Ink (1), Detect Magic (1),
Detect Spirits (1), Detect Fossil (1), Detect Blood (1), Detect Life (1),
Detect Water (1), Detect Gold (1), Detect Virgin (1), Detect Wine (1),
Detect Undead (1), Detect Glass (1), Detect Detection (1).
Divine Magic (one use): Heal Wound x1.
Skills: Dodge 85%, 6th-Century Pelorian Literature 93%.
Note: Adelaide's one concern is to get back to the Cradle deck. If
attacked, she casts her Protection and Countermagic, then Disrupts her
foe, hoping to knock out a vital location (eg. a wing).
IV. Target Shooting
As the Cradle draws closer, the PCs are directed to their positions on the
bank. Meanwhile the archers rake the deck of the Cradle with
Multimissiled arrows. Then, there is a tremendous TWANG as a great
arrow launches itself out of the spear-throwing machine. It travels
through the air in a graceful arc, trailing the chain behind it. The
harpoon embeds itself firmly in the hull of the Cradle and the Templars
give a rousing cheer!
Three minutes later another volley of arrows is accompanied by the next
harpoon; and three minutes after that it is repeated again. All three
arrows strike their target; a more a consequence of the enormous size of
their target than attribute to accuracy of the machine's crew. Once all
the harpoons have hit home, the teams of oxen pull taut the connecting
chains, in order to drag the Cradle into shore. As they watch this, a
junior Light Servant (acolyte) arrives to bless them, and casts the
On Yelanda, Sarshas and Melo Yelo: Coordination 3 (raises DEX by 6
points, and thus all DEX x5 rolls by 30%, and DEX-based skills by 6%).
On Melo Yelo: Protection 6.
On Mars: Multimissile 4 on his first arrow, and Speedart on 3 more.
Bob misses out. Once his job is done, the acolyte (his magic points are
gone) returns to the Count's entourage on the bluff.
Next: The Assault on the Cradle!
>From the Notes From Nochet files:
(XXIX.71/nat,bio,tar,mor) "Good principles and feelings are extinguished
in him. He loves himself, his own convenience and his pleasures. He
distrusts everyone, suffers from extreme weakness of mind, and is
tyrannized over by constant fear of death." Attributed to Dagius Furius,
Chief of Lunar Intelligence, describing King Moriades of Tarsh.
End of Glorantha Digest V4 #100
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