Elkoi Timeline

I am looking to write a timeline for Balazar 1617 to 1625. This is a first draft  of the Elkoi. ( There will be more drafts). I’m just putting it out there ina an embryonic form for thoughts, comments, inspiration and sheer kicks.

More linked Balazar timelines will come. If I get good feedback and I can work out how to pull my material into a sensible cohesive whole without infringing on Chaosium’s IP, I will pull something significant together for the Johnstown compendium.

Just a note this Citadel has by far the most turbulent timeline, the rest of Balazar will have seen nowhere near as much change and trouble.  This is a first draft, additions and revisions will be made.

New Map of Elkoi | Adventure map, Dungeon maps

1617

  • Balazar as presented in the Griffin Mountain book

1618

  • Lunar citizen murdered in Trilus, tension rise between the two citadels
  • Lunar patrols sent deep into hunt the murders, one never returned

1619

  • Crimson Bat passes over Elkoi, Engenders panic amongst the populace.
  • Raids on Lunar Convoys from Soldier Ferry, Elmwood Clans aided by Orlanthi warriors. Food and supplies scarce in Elkoi for 2 seasons.
  • 3 Elmswood clans break away from Elkoi and pay allegiance to Trilus instead

1620 

  • Balazaring based Orlanthi raiders attack Tarshford, attack repulsed. Prisoners taken, but later to escape, believed to have headed South.
  • Murder of Lunar Electora Kindtounge, Marusa the Shrew accused and goes into hiding.
  • Yelmalio Priesthood moves the main Yelmalio temple to Dykene.
  • Blueface’s death is reported amongst the clans.
  • A former apprentice  of Blueface, Namara starts to gain Popularity in the Clans

1621

  • Great winter reaches southern Balazar, Many southern clans migrate north away from traditional hunting grounds, significant inter clan fighting, King Glyptus uninterested and ineffective in dealing with issues arising  or brokering a peace
  • Elkoi citadel warriors raid southern Trilus clans as part of the Imther Trilus war, slaves taken and sold to the Lunar Empire.
  • Tusk riders under Raddek Bloodtooth raid north into southern Balazar  deepening the problems, Citadel warriors remain in Elkoi.
  • Namara starts to preach that the Great Winter and tusk rider raids are punishment from the spirits for leaving the old ways and worshipping foreign Gods.
  • Halycon leaves in Storm season

.1622 

  • Great winter, Clans continue to  Migrate North.
  • Royal family leave Elkoi, Glyptus the Good poisoned by his  own family on route to Empire. No one really cares. Body left by roadside.
  • Lunar army and settlers Caravan back to Holay starving , much suffering on route.
  • Blueface reappears, reportedly in eastern Balazar
  • Many inhabitants of Elkoi starve, becomes a mostly deserted ruin.
  • Namara gathers her supporters  into a war party to that drives to tusk riders from the south woods, Tusk Riders were defeated at  battle of pure hearth, which was 3 day running skirmish through the woods, with the Balazarings aided significantly by nature spirits.
  • Elkoi Civil war factions major factions are Lunar Loyalsts, Northern Clans, Elmwood Clans, Migrating clans
  • Marusa comes out of hiding, dwells in the ruins of Elkoi

1623

  • Ravella the Greedy, Glyptus steward is killed as Elkoi citadel is burned as Elmwood clans raid Elkoi, defeating the loyalist faction.
  • Craggect Bloodspear leads the Nothern clans to drive the Elmswood clans out of citadel and back their traditional lands.
  • The shaman Namara leads many of the southern balazaring clans in rejecting the kings, the citadels, metalwork and foreign Gods. Declaring themselves Votanki not Balazarings
  • Desecration Of Lunar Temple at Elkoi by raiding Orlanthi
  • Elkoi temple becomes coven to Jakeel the witch ran by Marusa

1624

  • Ongoing skirmishes between northern Elkoi clans and Elmswood clans. Elmswood clans have support from Trilus Orlanthi.
  • Marusa allies with Cragget Bloodspear and the Nothern Elkoi tribes
  • Namara closes the Southwood to all but her followers, declaring the worshipping of foreign Gods(including Yelmalio and Balazar), use of metal , farming,  animal husbandry and sleeping in permanent building Taboo in Balazar 
  • Battle of Shamans,  Namara casts Blueface down and spiritually binds him.

1625

  • Craggect Bloodspear leads war party intro Elmswood to raid the  
  • Cryriel returns to Elkoi with about 50 Lunar  mercenaries to declare himself King of Elkoi.
  • Craggect Bloodspear returns to Elkoi repulse Cryriel, Marusa offers him a secret way into Elkoi, but leads him into an ambush. Craggect Bloodspear and all his warriors slaughtered.  Nothern Elkoi clans are leaderless.
  • Cyriel marries Marusa and declares her Queen of Elkoi and his joint ruler.
  • Accompanying priests reopen the Lunar temple as  full temple to the Seven mothers, the coven of Jakeel moves to the Royal Palace.
  • Slavers appear from heartlands looking to turn a tidy profit
  • Namara declares holy war against Cryiels Lunars.

Citadel of Elkoi in 1625

  • The citadel of Elkoi is a  shell of what it once was, most buildings burned and few repaired. The stonework stands but is scorched in many places.
  • Run by Lunar merchants, mercenaries and freebooters – A hive of scum and villainy
  • Cyriel is bringing in tradesmen to repair, and is setting about ‘running the citadel properly’
  • A lawless place, with no law beyond the word of the king and queen
  • Cyriels Lunars are complemented with refugees from the conflicts
  • Thematically Elkoi in 1625 has the feel which is not very far removed from Deadwood.

Tribe of Elkoi in 1625

  • Vastly reduced and fragmented
  • Southwood tribes have renounced the clan and are following Namara
  • Elmwood tribes have broke away and formed their own group and are talking with Trilus
  • The clans that migrated from the south and the Northern clans have found an uneasy truce and are to exhausted to do anything but attach to whoever owns the citadel.

Irish Blood Oaths by Wargames Atlantic – Miniature Review

Box Art

Note; This review has be concluded by building one sprue, and extrapolating results from there. Also the review will be slanted to using these figures for Runequest and Glorantha RPG’s and war games.

Synopsis:

I just really love these figures and they have exceeded expectation in most departments. The design and build quality on them is outstanding. They have a great range of parts and some really neat design features.  

They complement my other plastic miniatures perfectly in terms of build and introducing new, interesting  and different components for my collection of parts.

What you get:

In each box you get 5 sprues, each with.

  • 6 Irish warriors 2, with leather jerkins, 4 not armoured. 2 with trousers, 4 with skirts.
  • 10 heads
  • 6 large shields
  • 9 small shields
  • 3 decorative shields( 3 variants)
  • 2 Cloaks
  • 6 arms with spears
  • 3 arms with swords
  • 2 with shelleighs
  • 4 more arms ( rock, sling, pointing & horn )
  • Rams head standard
  • 3 Assorted scabbards
  • 2 Irish Wolf hounds
Sprue

So in total that 10 Dogs, 30 Bodies, 90 shields, 50 heads, 10 cloaks, 75 right arms and more stuff as well.  Excellent value.

What I love about the box

  • The quality of the sculpts and figures are excellent
  • The miniature designs are interesting and dynamic
  • A shoulder join  and full arm rather than an elbow join on the right arm means we have more variations of figures and better options for conversions imho.
  • The sheer number of options is great for bits box, and as the designs are very different they add variation to parts I have available.
  • The heads, I was worried about the heads when looked at photos of the sprue but in real life they are awesome on the figures, also very different to standard Victrix/Gripping beast fair, again adding great parts for future conversions
  • Wolfhounds – What’s not to love about 10 plastic wolfhounds? I’ve been looking for dogs for my Balazarings for  ages, but haven’t been willing to pay metal prices for an add on, a perfect solution.
  • Loads of shields all varied, nicely designed, even the Viking round shields are a nicer large size to make them non standard.
    • One beautifully designed round shield is a piece that would grace an hero figure.
  • I always get unnaturally excited about cloaks for mini’s, but one  of the two design strikes me as the best I have seen yet on plastic miniatures.
  • Great design feature that means the arms for clothed figures have a different attachment to those designed for naked torsos, so  it much harder to attach the wrong arms to the wrong mini ( not that I would ever be that stupid. )
  • These miniatures can be readily modified by exchanging parts with Victrix, Gripping Beast and Fireforge miniatures.
This shows that awesome shield of to perfection

What frustrates me

  • Left arms as part of the body and thus locked in place means we have much more limited variations of figures that can be made. Thus from a full box of 5 spues, as a RPG player this worries me on how I can use all 30 effectively. However not a worry if you are a war gamer
  • Delivery time on my full box , minis ordered online May 6th and still haven’t arrived on May 27th. ( review was written from working with one sprue purchased from ebay). Hopefully things will get better after initial surge post launch and after Covid stops messing with delivery.
We need paint them in Bronze though don’t we

Using them for Glorantha and Runequest

However envisioning these in Glorantha we have a few uses for these guys;

  • The wolfhound are immediately useful for use with Balazarings and I feel the two figures with trousers also can be painted up to look right for that culture. I’m unsure on the skirted figures, but will try one or two painted to make it look leather not cloth.
  • All of the figures will work very well for Orlanthi Fyrdmen and skirmishes but the lack of heavy armour suggest they would not make great figures for Orlanthi warriors.
  • However with a relevant paint job these guys could look like bronze age street hoodlums from the wrong end of any town, or informal skirmishes and peasant militia from most areas of Glorantha.
  • Useful versatile figures but I already have many that fulfill these roles ( except the dogs ).

Recommendations –

  • Bought By the spru 9 out of 10,
  • Bought By the box  8 out of 10

If you are using plastic miniatures for Runequest or any Glornathan RPG, buy at least a couple of sprues of these; good figures and the range of parts you get is well worth it.

If you want to put together an Orlanthi clan or warband, i’d recommend mixing a box of these with other figures ( Gripping Beast, Victrix & Fireforge ) to get a nice varied warband.

Note imagery is from Wargames Atlantic. I will add some shots of my less glorious attempts in a little while.

Rubble Runners – Vol 2 Preview 1

Orvost the Brave

Adventuring Healer, Initiate of Chalana Arroy

Male, 26 Satarite in New Pavis

Orvost presents himself as the traditional Orlanthi Hero – strong, boisterous, boastful, amorous, and full of life. And he really likes a drink or three!

An initiate of Chalana Arroy, Orvost claims that he emphasises the Lightbringer aspect of the goddess, the quester who risked all to bring healing into the dark and dangerous places of the world. He is  recent arrival from Sartar following the liberation of Pavis, he regularly joins and assists the various expeditions into the Big Rubble.

On these expeditions he always wears a stylized version of the healer’s white robes over metal armor and carries a large shield. He has never worn or used an offensive weapon, but has a reputation for bravery to the point of foolhardiness. Often wadding into midst of combat to heal comrades and defending the fallen with his armored body. Many think this behavior unbecoming of a follower of Chalana Arroy.

Continue reading Rubble Runners – Vol 2 Preview 1

Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 4 – Lunar Collaborator

Busara Ingilli

Lunar Collaborator, Ex Noble, Now Beggar, Initiate of the Seven Mothers

Female, Age 23, Pavis

Busara is a thin and gaunt woman, with badly shaved head and large beautiful if sorrowful Brown eyes. She lives on the streets of Pavis. Her dirty but previously quality clothes suggesting a previous life of wealth and opulence.

If you would have met Busara a year ago, you would have a bright, easygoing, pretty, vivacious young noble lady, hanging off the arm of young, attractive, rich and well connected Lunar Office.

Now people see  a scared, bruised and battered homeless girl, with the shaved head of a Lunar collaborator. She is nervous, defensive, subdued and more than slightly bitter.

She was the niece of the leader of the Ingilli family, who had asked her to help him court favour with Lunar Power. As such she became good friend of Jessica Raus, A regular at Moonlighters and became the lover of a well connected young nobler serving as an officer in the Antelope Lancers.

Continue reading Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 4 – Lunar Collaborator

Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 3 – Backstreet Evaluator

OK this is a character which I initially wrote up for Pavis in 1621 last year, mainly using the STG rules. So I thought id update for RQG and bring up to the 1625 time period.

Tulina

Senior Apprentice & Initiate of Lhankor Mhy

Human Female, Aged 20,  Senior Apprentice of Lhankor Mhy

First impressions of Tulina depend upon where she is met. If about official temple business she comes over a diligent slightly stressed apprentice with many things to do and neither the time or the organisational ability to fulfil them all.

If met in the evening at Gimpy’s she looks like one  of a small number of Griselda wannabes.  With no sign of her grey robes or leather beard,  she sports leather amour a short sword.  Holding a cocky attitude, but a softer easier manner.

Continue reading Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 3 – Backstreet Evaluator

Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 2 – Lunar Deserter

‘Sarro’, Farhad A Yanafal

Lunar Deserter, Initiate of Seven Mothers.

Male, Age 27, Lunar Empire

Farhad was a mercenary serving in a smaller company for  the Lunar Empire in Pavis. Had served for 10 years, being a street kid in Mrins Cross before joining up.

He survived the fall of Pavis, and has got separated from his company, and has no intention of returning to the Lunar Empire.

Continue reading Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 2 – Lunar Deserter

Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 1 – Veteran Templar

Harkar is one a number of NPC’s I am developing to fit in 1625 Pavis. He is one that fits well to be an hireling, companion, drop in or pregen character for an existing game.

Harkar Goldbeard

Mercenary, Initiate of Yelmalio.
Male, Age 48. Pavis

Born in Sun Town, New Pavis and served his 21 year term with the Sun Dome Templars with some distinction.

Harkar spent many years as file leader, fought at the first battle of  Moonbroth and was one of the few Sundomers who fought his way onto the deck of the cradle and survived.

Harkar has left the farm he got for his service in Sun County and come back to Pavis to work as a mercenary.  He claims he is a bad farmer but the  real reason  is he was left by his younger wife, and now feels shamed and his honour challenged. This has lead to a dislike and even hatred of women

Continue reading Pavis NPC’s for Runequest Glorantha: Part 1 – Veteran Templar

The Art of being a Better Runequest Player

The Art of being a Better RQ Player

Unlike most people who write about RPGs I would consider myself much more of player than a GM, and after nearly 40 years playing RPGs on and off I think I’m starting to get the hang of becoming a better player.

The majority of the following advice comes from me at my most reflective and self-critical, examining times when I could have been a better player, companion and friend. So if elements of this may make you feel a little uncomfortable, be assured than lots of this make me feel much more uncomfortable. The best advice comes from people who understand and can reflect on their own mistakes, plenty of mine can be found detailed below.

What makes a great RQ player?

Before we can progress we need to define what makes a great player.

Which, in my opinion, is someone who adds the maximum enjoyment to the gaming experience of everyone else at the table.

Continue reading The Art of being a Better Runequest Player

Pavis 1618 – 1621 Rumors

I’m back to gaming with my guys so, inspired by MOB’s Casino Town rumours I created a list of rumours/plot list and silly fun for my guys as they explore Pavis again. I hope you enjoy.

Key

  • (t) – True
  • (f) or (u) – False or Untrue, unless you think it makes a nice plot hook
  • (b) – Broadly True, but has untrue, embellished or imprecise elements
  • (p) – Possibly true if it makes you game more fun
  • (a) – To awful to even contemplate
  • (m) – so vague its meaningless

General

  • Bobs Bison Burgers contain unsavoury meat which is more Bob than bison (a)
  • The Blood Knives of Badside are feuding with the Fine Fellows, from rich hill (t)
  • Fist fights have broken out between elderly Lankhor Myh and Irripi Ontor scholars about access to the library(b)
  • Anti Lunar Graffiti has been appearing round town in badly written New Pelorian (t)
  • The ‘Magic Needle’ is a hidden reference to Byrgga Scissortongues elicit but very talented lover……. *insert name here* (f)
  • 2 promising Pavis Initiates have recently died whilst searching Near the Balistors Barracks for his Axe (t)
  • The Lanbril guild has infiltrated a number of city cults (p)
  • A trickster has been publicly flogged, after assaulting lunar guards with 2 bananas and a finely pointed mango (p)
  • The free Pavis faction has split into 3 rival factions which are fighting amongst themselves (f)
  • Moonlighters keeps an ice demon in its cellar to chill the wine (b)
  • Benderri, Son of Pavis is pro lunar because they provide for his many various vices (f)
  • Pavis will return to point out to his priests that he doesn’t want to marry the Red Goddess (a)
  • There is an ancient alliance between trolls and the giants (t)
  • Cyrilius Harmonious is an assassination target for radical Orlanthi factions of the Free Pavis Movement (p)
  • Fleeter Nemm will pay well for any incriminating information of Hargan the Dirty (t)
  • The Blonde Pipers songs have mystical meaning and she is performing a very long trickster ritual (f)
  • Sakuro the Conjurer is a God learner Come to find the secrets of RobCradle (b)
  • Many of the robberies in the city are being performed by a family of intelligent raccoons from Dragon Pass (p)

Continue reading Pavis 1618 – 1621 Rumors

Why do we expect that a Gloranthan “Bronze Age” to be so similar to our own?

Within the RQ and Glorantha community, posts, forums and online discussions are often full of experts(many genuinely well informed and reasonably intentioned individuals) informing us that because it wasn’t like that in earths bronze age, Glorantha can’t be like that.

  • “2 handed swords didn’t exist in the bronze age”
  • “Stirrups were not invented till much later”
  • “The hilt on the sword wielded by the two-headed great troll didn’t exist until the late Roman period, so breaks my suspension of disbelief and Glorantha is forever ruined for me.”

OK, I may have exaggerated the last point.

I find the lengths that many would have us go to tie Glorantha directly with a period in our worlds bronze age history to be questionable, both in understanding the function of Glorantha and also as an exercise in believable fantasy world building.

Continue reading Why do we expect that a Gloranthan “Bronze Age” to be so similar to our own?