River of Cradles Campaign

From: jholzhauer@microprose.com
Date: Tue 03 Feb 1998 - 02:01:20 EET

Richard Develyn:

>The way I wanted to get this motley group of PCs together, all from
>possibly different tribes, is to conceive of a threat to the route down
>to Weis Cut. It needn't be a huge threat, just enough of one to cause a
>problem which must be solved, and which no one clan wants to attempt to
>solve by itself. So, there's some huge meeting of the Khans, and they
>all agree to contribute some manpower to exploring / solving the
>problem. Some Khans will send off people they don't want, others people
>they do - either way, the group of adventurers is born.
Here's my goofy suggestion:

Caveats: I'm certainly no Glorantha scholar, and I try to limit
my detail obsessiveness to computer games (where it belongs).
But, I understand that you (Richard) are very interested in conforming
to generally accepted Glorantha (GAG). The following almost certainly
does not, but should cause minimal disruption.

- ------

In the Great Darkness, after Waha introduced the covenant of survival,
and after the contests were over, and the winners selected, there
was great disunity, and even conflict. Each tribe thought they were
the best. Waha ordained that every generation, the tribes must make
a show of unity, to remind each other that they were all Waha's

Once a generation, since time began, each tribe contributes one person
and one herd beast. These people travelled together, visiting each tribe
in turn, and helping each tribe with a problem. The ideal was that
this group, the Five Friends, would prove that the tribes were stronger
when they worked together.

That's the *ideal*, anyway. Over the centuries, this tradition has been
continued, in letter, if not in spirit. Every generation each tribe
selects a member to join the Five Friends. Almost always, the Khan's
gather and pick the biggest trouble maker or misfit to send away.

The Five Friends travel throughout Prax, moving from tribe to tribe.
They are easily identified by the otherwise inconceivable presence
of one member of each tribe. Also, by the sigil of the five friends
(a symbol of each tribe, on a field of white) which is painted on
each shield and flown in a pennant on each lance.

Although the Five Friends are traditionally incompetent, the Khan's
are bound by tradition to show hospitality and ask a service. Most
Khan's with the misfortune to be visited by the Five Friends will
grudgingly provide food and shelter, and than ask a ridiculously easy
task (find the one "lost" bison, carry this message to another Khan).
Everybody would rather see the Five Friends moving on, to pester some
other clan.

- ------

This gives you an excuse to have PC's from different tribes travelling
together while not cutting them off from the support of their tribes.
Wherever they are, the local Khan will have to allow them to participate
in religious rites, since they are a Waha sponsored group.

It also makes the PC's special, without letting their heads swell too
much. Everywhere they go, they will be recognized. Unfortunately, they
will almost always be treated with amused contempt.

Until, of course, they prove themselves. This generation of the Five
Friends has the good(?) fortune to be select on the eve of the hero
wars. As great magic's stir and great events happen, even the lowest
can find greatness thrust upon them. Maybe this time, the wisdom of
Waha will become obvious to all. Or, maybe not. That's up to the PC's,
isn't it?

- ------

Of course, if you have a number of players other than five, it won't
work so well. You can always fill out with NPC's, or exclude the Morokanth,
if you have less. If you have more, than the legend miraculously changes,
and the minor tribes contribute a member or two.

Also, if your campaign is more serious, please pick a more serious name
for the group. Or let the players pick it, and reverse engineer the
mythical support.

Take or leave any parts of this, of course.

BTW, I love the ancient cradle idea. Thanks to Richard for sparking
it and Nick for elucidating. Sunstop throwing magic off-line, indeed!
That sparks numerous ideas.

- -Jeff


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