Re: Blanks

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Fri 30 Jan 1998 - 23:32:00 EET


Richard expounds on his expectations of a scenario.

I'll try to tackle one of his complaints through giving an example, hence
the length. I hope the example is useful...

>Sufficiency

I'm afraid, Richard, that what you want is a world where all the facts
are already known, only not yet published. Most of Glorantha is not yet
developed, and any additional information is going to change your
impromptu descriptions. "What if I had a different file leader in Black
Rock, what about the ogre children now?"

>GM-friendly modules don't hide important things from me.

I don't know any module which intentionally hides important things.
You're redoing the RQ2-grognard argument "There were no sorcerers in RQ2,
sorcerers aren't Gloranthan."

There were no sorcerers in RQ2 because RQ2 was a first step towards
roleplaying in Glorantha, and the West had not been included in that
step. Its impact on Dragon Pass had been included in the White Bear & Red
Moon boardgame earlier, though...

>They tell me about all the major personalities and locations in their area.

At which date? What about people who remain obscure or hidden until
stepping (or being dragged) into prominence?

Or do you want to have provisional mentions of oodles of people, either
with name or function, without any substance, or worse, without any
originality behind them? "Clan X can't have a leader, there's none in Da
Book"

>If the campaign includes a time-line then they tell me about the
>major events that have happened there in the past, ones that are about
>to happen, and how the major personalities / locations were affected and
>are likely to be affected. I dont expect lots of detail, just the key facts.

Take my chosen region in Heortland. Campaign date 1617, recent events:

1615 Lunar spies (low-level heroquesters) map the mythic landscape of the
Holy Country for Jar-eel

1615/1616 The cousin of the king of Heortland is killed in a parody of a
duel. The duelist escapes, a bounty is offered for his head.

1616 Pharaonic army defeated in Ditaliland, many Hendriki knights die
there, including the uncle and last direct relative of the King of
Heortland.

1616 Wolf Pirates raid Mirrorsea Bay in strength, sink Pharaonic fleet

1616 Pharaoh disappears (now, how much information can this module give
about this?)

1616/1617 King of Heortland attempts to bring back the Pharaoh (or at
least his sovereignty) with a fleshed-up Short LBQ during Sacred Season,
is wounded and possessed by a crimson demon manifesting like a poisoned
wound (and madness).

1617 King of Heortland dies 8 weeks after having impregnated a dozen
girls of noble birth in a frenzy during the Vorian fires. The pregnancies
are well recognized by then, and the crown council keeps regency for the
firstborn of the king. Alas, one by one all thes pregnancies abort.

1617 Civil war is about to break out after the last "continued pregnancy"
is revealed to be a sham. Several contenders muster their support and
forces. In northern Heortland Laird Korlaman of the Orshanti, Warden of
the Footprint Marches, emerges as the sole candidate after the Duke of
Jansholm repeated his refusal to contend. Korlaman has the support of
Brian of the Volsaxi, most of the warriors guarding the Footprint, and
numerous local nobles. He also has distant blood ties to the Hendriki
royal family (not a requirement but a bonus when succeeding the Hendriki
line of kings, who are thought to be more willing to support a descendant
than a stranger).

In the capital Durengard, the crown council (the chancellor and other
members of the king's ring of councillors, including mercenary captain
Richard the Tigerhearted) decide not to support any claimant until the
land is united. The Seshnegi knights of Richard, recently reinforced by
other companies leaving Ralios in the course of the Seshnegi kingdom's
expansion into Dangim and the end of the Chaos Monk campaign, serve as
the military arm of the council, regarded as impartial in the native
conflict.

1617 Volsaxi supporters of Korlaman perceive an insult in the words of
the Sehsnegi embassy (including Mularik Ironeye, a lieutenant of
Richard), and honour-bind Korlaman to strike prematurely against the
Seshnegi, putting forth his claim for the capital. The Seshnegi chivalry
meets Korlaman's forces at a ford across the Syphon River east of
Backford (which had been closed to either force), and for a day the
battle wages without any decision. Just before nightfall a relief force
from Durengard led by Richard the Tigerhearted joins the fray and pushes
back Korlaman's bridgehead across the river. After a day or two of
occasional skirmishes across the river, Korlaman has to acknowledge that
he will not be able to reach Durengard, and steps back from his claim.
After this, the civil war continues in southern Heortland, but the north
is out of the picture.

1617 After only two native contenders are left, Richard the Tigerhearted
puts forth his own claim for the throne, based on achievements as
defender of the throne. The two native forces join up against him and are
defeated in a field battle. Richard is crowned king of the Hendriki by
his own bishop, Vancelain du Tumerine of the see of Nochet. He installs
his lieutenants as sheriffs of the ducal seats of Jansholm and Mt.
Passant to quell the residual unrest.

1617 Richard proclaims his kingdom to be Malkonwal, the new holy kingdom
of Malkionism. Orlanthi and many Aeolians protest.

1618 Mularik Ironeye, Sheriff of Jansholm, starts a strong campaign of
iconoclasm against Orlanth symbolry in the Aeolian temples, transforming
them into austere white Rokari temples as propagated by the White Wyzards
movement. The valuable ornaments disappear into the bishop's and the
sheriff's coffers. Pagan worship of Orlanth is prohibited in the shared
temples. Protesting nobles are tried for treason. This way, Mularik
succeeds Duke Karlman of Jansholm. Korlaman of the Orshanti takes refuge
first at estates of Brian of the Volsaxi (just outside the Kingdom of
Malkonwal), but after a military strike of Mularik against the Volsaxi he
hides in the Troll Woods with a band of followers outlawed with him (and
no longbows in Glorantha, <sob>).

1619 The Lunar Empire conquers the Volsaxi lands, besieges Whitewall, and
assaults the city of Karse. No refugees from Volsaxi lands filter into
Heortland because of the religious suppression of the Orlanthi faith.

1619 Dark Season: the annual outbreak of scorpionman brood is a lot worse
for neglect of this pest during the last two years and destroys several
steads and villages before checked by local levies. The ducal troops of
Jansholm were held back to deal with rebellious tax-payers.

1620 Earth Season: The Lunar Empire invades the Kingdom of Malkonwal.
King Richard summons whatever support he can get from his subjects and
meets Fazzur in an open battle. He is betrayed by Mularik Ironeye, who
captures and sells his king and former captain for a considerable sum
plus all of his plunder from Jansholm. Mularik sets sail from the
Lunar-controlled port of Karse for the Three-Step Isles with a small
flottilla manned with his followers and joins the Wolf Pirates.

1620 The Talars and Horali of God Forgot invade southern Heortland and
capture Mt. Passant, as agreed upon in a secret treaty with the Lunars
who lay claim to Refuge and the access to Prax from the south, though.
The Marcher Barons submit to Lunar supremacy, faced with being cut from
essential support.

1620 The Lunar administration installed by Fazzur re-opens the temples
for worship of Barntar and Ernalda, and is greeted as liberators.
Recently landed Seshnegi knights are forced from their estates. Many
return to their former lives as mercenaries, whereas others linger in the
land hoping to regain their estates, meanwhile robbing the native
farmers.

1621 Mostly minor domestic troubles, the Lunar officials taken from
Fazzur's Tarshites offer little troubles for the natives.

1621 Fall of Whitewall, the defenders disappear.

1621 Stormgull Rock scenario (a "forgotten holy spot" crawl I published a
few years ago in German language).

1621/1622 Sacred Season: Fazzur is relieved from his office as
Gouvernor-General, succeeded by the Dara Happan Tatius the Bright. Many
of Fazzur's officers take their leave and accompany him to his lands in
Tarsh rather than take second rank to Tatius' Dara Happan preteges placed
over them. the new Dara Happan administration is effective in offending
Orlanthi sensitivities, and the climate of goodwill towards the Lunar
liberators soon fades away. Brian of the Volsaxi emerges among the
Hendriki, gathering support.

1622 Hendriki rebellion crushed with the help of the Scorpionman Queendom
of Jab released by Tatius' magicians from the Footprint. Brian and his
followers leave Heortland rather than endanger their supporters in a
guerilla warfare and join forces with the anti-Lunar faction in Esrolia.

1622 Archbishop Gwydion and a mix of Aeolian and converted Seshnegi
followers liberate Mt. Passant from the God Forgot occupation. The Lunars
don't push after them, being occupied in eastern Sartar. The Tarshite
prince-gouvernor in Refuge collects what Lunar troops are left to him,
and declares his city an independent province of Tarsh.

1623 The Hendriki followers of Brian defeat the Grazer mercenary army in
Esrolia, which is replaced by Provincial forces and more Grazers
mercenaries.

1623 The Queendom of Jab continues to lay waste to the foothill clans
along the Storm Mountains; local forces are led by rebels sought by the
Lunars and suffer from lack of equipment and provisions. The Lunar forces
are mostly withdrawn from the countryside and offer no aid, except for
single (mostly Tarshite) garrison commanders (some of which even accept
the rebels as their equals for the duration of the conflict).

1624 The anti-Lunar forces in Esrolia led by Brian defeat the Lunar and
Grazer occupation forces at Pennel Ford. Brian takes his followers and
Argrath the Wolf Pirate over to Heortland, lands at Milran and defeats
the local Lunar forces with the help of Argrath's firespear warriors
(Dragontooth Runners?). Argrath continues through the Border Marches and
Prax to Corflu.

This doesn't include regularly recurring events, like the financial fair
of Karse, harvest festivals, cattle fairs, craft fairs, religious
processions and larger pilgrimages, etc. - mostly because such traditions
have to be invented from scratch. Not even the excellent publications
Pavis -Threshold to Adventure, Carse, Sun County, or Griffin Mountain
covered _all_ of this. Couldn't cover all of this. And maybe shouldn't,
really -after all, you'll place a major horse fair where it aids your
campaign plot.

>Omissions don't tend to "come out" until some later publication appears.
>It causes problems and embarrassments.

Your examples have a very simple remedy: don't publish any new
information on the region. Sorry, that isn't the way Glorantha works...
if you want scenarios, NPCs, and information about the future of the
region, you will have to face developments in the region which might
differ from your own interpretation. My solution for this dilemma: place
your campaign in the past of the published timeline, say four to five
years, and you will be sure about the near future of the campaign.

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