Ancient Cradle (second proposal)

From: Richard Develyn (richard@skaro.demon.co.uk)
Date: Mon 09 Feb 1998 - 01:45:52 EET


I have tried to incorporate most of the suggestions I've received into
this second proposal for the Ancient Cradle saga. This has resulted in
one fairly major change (to embrace the Cwim possibility) and a number
of passages left deliberately vague (to allow tailoring for individual
campaign needs and Gloranthas).

Once again thanks for all your help.

The Tale of Gina and Sofia
==========================

Many events were coming to a head in 374. Most of these are well
documented and are thought to have been at least part of the cause for
the SunStop. However what is not so well known is that other incidents
of lesser magnitude were also coming to a head at about this time. They
may not have been so world-shattering, they nevertheless had a profound
effect on the people and lands where they happened.

One such incident concerns two baby giant twins called Gina and Sofia.
In what is believed to have been a unique occurence, the giants of the
Rockwood mountains floated both together in one cradle. Little is known
about giant twins but theory has it that they bond much closer than
their human counterparts. So although they may spend some time away from
each other, separating them for a protracted journey to the underworld
would have been unthinkable.

The cradle bearing the twins ran aground in the area now known as Sun
County when the SunStop caused the magical protective and propelling
spells upon it to fail.

What happened to Sofia?
- -----------------------

Sofia, being the more adventurous of the two, went out to explore. When
the sun was blotted out prior to the SunStop's end she became scared and
cried out. Her sobs were heard by HelpWoman who came to her and took her
away to the Plateau of Statues. Here Sofia has been raised to adulthood
by the strange denizens of that place.

There is speculation that she may have been tempted out of the cradle by
the RattleSnake god, using its rattle as a lure for the infant. It is
not known why the snake then left Sofia unharmed. Possibly it returned
for the other child, and may have played part in Gina's transformation,
or possibly it was going back to loot the cradle.

What happened to Gina?
- ----------------------

Only two things are known for certain about Gina:

1) She is still alive.
2) She has been transformed / corrupted by chaos.

On her 18th birthday, Sofia was told by HelpWoman about the
circumstances of her early childhood and that she had a twin sister.
Sofia reached out with raw empathic energy and touched the soul of her
twin - a weak tormented voice lost in the wilderness.

Exactly what happened to Gina is a mystery. She may have fallen foul of
the RattleSnake, or Malia, or another evil denizen of that area, and led
away to a gruesome fate at some chaotic nest. She may have accidentally
caused her own transformation - playing with the artifacts contained,
and possibly malfunctioning, in the cradle. Possibly it was one of the
guardians within the cradle who malfunctioned.

Some say that she has become the monstrosity known as Cwim and that she
searches the Wastes for signs of her lost twin sister. The truth has yet
to come out.

What happened to the Cradle?
- ----------------------------

Only Zola Fel, god of the river where the cradle flowed, ever knew
precisely what befell that twin-bearing cradle. Possibly the priests of
his cult know, but they keep that secret safe.

The most popular theory todate suggests that the cradle submerged itself
in one of the great bogs of the area, and that it will re-emerge should
either of the twins appear to reclaim it. There are tales from this time
indicating that it may have taken a few curious explorers down with it,
and if so they would in all likelyhood be held within the cradle's
protective magics in some form of stasis. None of the cradle's guardians
emerged at this time so they too must be held inside it.

Another theory states that the cradle simply rotted and sank naturally
but that parts of it may be reclaimed if they can be found and raised.

9th century
- -----------

When Paragua came to build the city later known as Old Pavis he was
contacted by Zola Fel, who had formed kinship with the giants during the
great darkness. Paragua made contact with HelpWoman and so learnt
something of the fate of Gina and Sofia. His immediate reaction was to
seek first Sofia and then the monster that had become Gina. But
HelpWoman councelled otherwise, predicting that any contact between
Paragua and Gina would most likely result in the youngsters death, and
that the best hope of salvation for both twins would be to allow one to
help the other.

So it was that Paragua charged HelpWoman with the responsibility for
Sofia's safety and education, marking the spot where he did so with a
huge boulder driven into the ground. This bolder became an obelisk in
Old Pavis and a shrine to HelpWoman. Around it the priests of Zola Fel
built a great temple, sanctioned by Paragua in gratitude for their God's
help.

Early 17th century
- ------------------

Sofia is now the human equivalent of 18 years old and about 30 metres
high. She has not been "conventionally" educated, having missed her trip
to the underworld, and now prepares herself for her quest to find and
restore her sister.

The first stage of this quest is to retrieve her old cradle. HelpWoman
has once more intervened and suggested that she should not venture into
civilised territory herself but that, with Zola Fel's help, she would
find a band of adventurers to bring the cradle to her. Sofia has agreed.

Possibilities
- -------------

What happens next for me will be to do with the way I want my campaign
to proceed. It's going to be the Zola Fel temple in Big Rubble, as I
detailed in my earlier post, with HelpWoman in close attendance.
However, all the other suggestions about raising the cradle, having it
half-submerged near the 5 eyes temple, being looted by baboons, using
secret societies, etc, should also work.

For me, to start off with the PCs will think they're looking for an
ancient temple. Significant incidents after this will be the new cradle
floating down, finding some part of Sofia (like some ropes made from her
hair) which will be used to fool the cradle into rising magically out of
the bog, then floating down on it past Corflu and somehow getting it off
to the east to rendezvous with Sofia. As has been said before, the
Lunars wont be expecting this one, so it should be possible to get it
out.

Sofia and Gina could then, of course, provide lots of MGF to those
wanting to have the PCs tackling Cwim and so on.

I've deliberately left the GWD issue out - though I'm still keen to hear
ideas. Equally I'd like to hear more about what could have happened to
Gina, who might have been educating Sofia, and so on. Will the currents
south of Corflu take the cradle to the east, or will I have to figure
out some way for PCs to steer it?

As always, all help greatly appreciated.

Richard
- --
Richard Develyn

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