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.
Balazar as presented in the Griffin Mountain book
Lunar citizen murdered in Trilus, tension rise between the two citadels
Lunar patrols sent deep into hunt the murders, one never returned
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
6 large shields
9 small shields
3 decorative shields( 3 variants)
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
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.
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.
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 ).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.