Category Archives: Background

Dykene Timeline 1617 – 1625

Part 3 of the series of bringing he Balazar timeline up to 1625.

The aim was to create a citadel with a different flavour which was a religious dictatorship, with a capable religious king who had got so ill and paranoid he no longer knew friend or foe.

The old PC’s should be easy to spot but go with it, but I have hopefully stepped away from aren’t the old PC’s great vibe, and rewritten them as potential agent provocateurs, mentors, employers and antagonists to make other peoples games great.

So the 4th of this series will be the history of the Redrock clan.

1617

  • Balazar as presented in the Griffin Mountain book
  • Remnant of the Redrock  clan of  Votanki Tribesmen arrive in Dykene
  • King Skilfuls Kamara son is kidnapped by Ghondol Holst
  • Son is rescued by Redrock Tribe

1618

  • Increased raiding by broos in Northern Dykene lands
  • Redrock Tribe claim to have abated it by cleansing festering isle

1619

  • Increase raiding by trolls in Bear Woods. Some clans leave traditional hunting grounds
  • Many Griffin allies of King Skillful murder by Redrock clan. Redrock clan outlawed in Dykene lands and flee to Trilus

1620 

  • Taklong Woodheart and the other priests move the main Yelmalio Temple in Balazar to Dykene
  • Praxinia the kings concubines murdered by poisoning.
  • Blueface’s death is reported amongst the clans, Dykene clans in mourning.
  • A former apprentice  of Blueface, Namara starts to gain popularity in some southern Clans, is declared outlaw in Dykene lands

1621

  • Great winter reaches southern Balazar, Many southern Dykene clans migrate north away from traditional hunting grounds.
  • Dykene Citadel Warriors push into Dangerground to make it safer hunting territory
  • King Skillfull holds tribal conclave traditional hunting grounds suspended, clan hunting rights expanded into Dangerground.
  • Last visit of Joh Mith to Dykene.
  • Slyvanthi Brighteyes , Priest of Yelmalio disappears.
  • King of Imther pays Dykene to attack Trilus
  • Highbridge standoff where forces of Trilus and Dykene faced off. Trilus agrees to pay Dykene tribute

1622 

  • Worshippers of all Lightbringer cults are banned in Dykene
  • Great winter, Dykene Clans continue to  Migrate North.
  • Blueface the shaman reappears, in Dykene lands.

1623

  • End of Great winter Dykene Clans revert to southern hunting grounds
  • Death of Tayclon Woodheart his follower, Kararni Twelvespear, New High priest of Yelmalio
  • King Skillful calls on all hunters to worship Yelmalio instead of Foundchild
  • Lan of Redrock clan set up permanent camp and fortification at swim here, with Praxian Bison Riders and Orlanthi refugees from Pavis area. Start to patrol and pacify Dangerground area
  • Zorack Zoran war parties raiding in Bear woods, Clans in Bear woods supported by Citadel Warriors and war parties from Swim Here at different times.

1624

  • Dwarven Masons start to rebuild lower Bailey of Dykene
  • Redrock war band travels to from Swim Here to Trilus and back through Dykene lands. More Lightbringers gather at Swim Here including Eucleua Stromfollower .
  • King Skillfull sends large party of citadel warriors under Starnia to clear Redrock Clan from swim here. They met by mixed group of Orlanthi Warriors and Bison Riders. They retreat when realise they are outnumbered and would be overpowered.
  • Starnia exiled from Dykene for Treason.
  • 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. Kind Skillful puts price on her head
  • Battle of Shamans,  Namara casts Blueface down and spiritually binds him.

1625

  • 2 clans of Elmswood Hunters migrate to Dangergound area
  • 2 Dykene dangerground clans start to seek protection Redrock Clan
  • Dykene increases size of Citadel Guard significantly
  • The Sundome temple at Ever-Victorious Glory agrees to exchange military aid to Dykene for 2 breeding pairs of Vrock Hawks
  • King Skillfil taken ill, ruling from sickbed, aids will not call for Chalana Arroy healers from Trilus

Citadel of Dykene in 1625

  • King Skillful is seriously ill.
  • His son Karazar is just turned 17,a young a studious devout man, but no warrior or leader is not ready to rule in his stead.
  • The Yelmalio cult is dominate within the citadel. High priest Kararni Twelvespear is one of the most powerful men in the tribe, especially in the citadel.
  • The citadel is subdued and fearful, ruled over with a strict Yelmalio moral code, with some zealots and some highly resentful.
  • Lower Bailey is still partially built, but the dwarves are making good progress

Tribe of Dykene in 1625

  • The tribe is fractured
  • With a larger group of very loyal Yelmalio worshipping clans, with high loyalty and are very supportive of the King and the priesthood.
  • Most non Yelmalian tribes are slowly and subtlety becoming more distant from the citadel.
  • A few  conservative south wood clans have moved to support Namara
  • A handful of clans in the dangerground have started to support the Redrock clan

Trilus Timeline 1617 – 1625

To Supplement the Elkoi timeline I published a few months ago. Here is a draft of Trilus timeline to bring us up to 1625.

The aim is to create a citadel with a very different feel to Elkoi. So Trilus is strong, prosperous, stable and well run. It makes a good place for a storyteller/ref/gm to base the players if they want them to have a safe stable base from which to explore the rest of Balazar.

Characters from Old campaigns start to make an appearance in this timeline now. I hope thy add flavour rather than dominate the background, enjoy and feel free to comment. This is a draft version so comments may get amalgamated into a final version.


1617

  • Balazar as presented in the Griffin Mountain book
  • Remnant of the Redrock  clan of  Votanki Tribesmen settle in Trilus and convert to Worship of Orlanth.

1618

  • Rhegus Whitehair killed by Trilus by Redrock Clan stating he was tainted with chaos. Tensions rise between Trilius  and Elkoi and Lunar occupation forces as a result. Torath Manover speaks for the Redrock clan. However the most radical members Redrock clan leave the citadel for a number of seasons.
  • Lunar patrols sent across Trilus lands. Yalaring ordered them left alone. One patrol is found slaughtered further increased tensions with Lunars.

1619

  • Spring Season; – Raids on Lunar Convoys from Soldier Ferry, Elkoi & Trilus Elmwood Clans aided by Redrock Clan. Metal weapons and armour much more common in Trilus.
  • Yalaring send delegation to Eryptus declaring had no part in the raid, and promises to apprehend the ringleaders.
  • Dark Season – Redrock Clan claim to have discovered the Windsword in the Elder Wilds.  Retuning to a cold reception from most in Trilus.
  • 3 Elmswood clans break away from Elkoi and pay allegiance to Trilus instead. King Yalaring forgets promise to apprehend ringleaders of Elmswood raids. Representatives from Eryptus and Glyptus politely received but ignored.

1620 

  • Redrock Clan fight local clan and Lunar garrison at Tarshford. Most taken prisoner but later to escape, believed to have headed south into Dragon Pass.
  • Blueface’s death is reported amongst the clans, Trilus clans in mourning.
  • A former apprentice  of Blueface, Namara starts to gain popularity in some southern Clans

1621

  • Great winter reaches southern Balazar, Many southern Trilus migrate north away from traditional hunting grounds. King Yalaring holds tribal conclave traditional hunting grounds suspended and hunting rights reassigned. Minor clan squabbles over hunting rights continue through the year.
  • Last visit of Joh Mith to Trilus marked with extended stay throughout great winter.
  • Tusk rider raid into Trilus Hunting grounds , met by Citadel warriors South of Split Hills and driven off back into Elkio territory
  • Trilus clans hunt into Imther territory, Imther clans object and starts  the Imther war, which is a series of skirmishes running over 3 seasons.
  • Elkoi citadel warriors raid southern Trilus clans as part of the Imther Trilus war, slaves taken and sold to the Lunar Empire.
  • Citadel warriors and Orlanthi allies launch punitive raid into Elkoi lands, defeat Elkoi citadel warriors at the Battle of Burning Tree.
  • Highbridge standoff where forces of Trilus and Dykene faced off. Matter resolved by an honour duel of champions on the bridge. Trilus won and the Dykene forces agreed to stay on their side of bridge.

1622 

  • Great winter, Clans continue to  Migrate North.
  • Truce with King of Imther. Imther agrees to pay Trilus tribute in metal goods, grains, textiles and exotic goats cheese for next 5 years
  • Lunar sage and petty noble Quintas Von Ortlas buys and sets up residence in the former Red Bear inn. Re-establishing a permanent Lunar presence in Trilus.
  • Blueface reappears, reportedly in Dykene lands
  • Elkoi descends into Civil war. Trilus supports and continues to court the Elmswood clans.

1623

  • Elmwoods clans raid citadel Elkoi supported by Orlanthi, Hunters from Trilus and maybe the odd citadel guard, defeating the Elkoi loyalist faction.
  • Trilus allies driven out of Elkoi and back to their  traditional lands.
  • Elements of Redock Clan re-appear in Trilus now as Windlords and Priests. Take residence in Lightbringers hall.
  • Dushi Sone declares that Quintas Von Ortlas is under her protection.
  • 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
  • Namara is outlawed in Trilus lands

1624

  • Ongoing skirmishes between northern Elkoi clans and Elmswood clans. Elmswood clans have support from Trilus Orlanthi.
  • Lan of the Redrock clan arrives a Trilus with escort of 20 Bison riders, is refused access. He leaves to the east with the Redrock clan already in Trilus and an a number of other Lightbingers heading towards Dykene.
  • 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. King Yalaring puts price on Namaras head. 
  • Battle of Shamans,  Namara casts Blueface down and spiritually binds him.

1625

  • Peace made with Cyriels Elkio & Trade relations opened. Agreement that no retribution be made towards the Elmwood clans that changed allegiance. Agreement that Trilus would not seek to influence any remaining Elkoi clans to change allegiance.

Citadel of Trilus in 1625

  • The citadel of Trilus stands strong, the pigs are still outside the walls, and Trilus outside the walls grows.
  • Well run by King Yalaring looking to protect the Hunting clans
  • Tradesmen have prospered under yalaring and now the citadel can boast a redsmith, weaver, potters, brew master, butchers, lamp maker, leatherworkers, boywer and fletcher.
  • The rule of law stands and is mostly fair
  • Lightbringers have a stronger permanent presence with many more local converts within the citadel than 1617
  • Quintas Von Ortlas is a well respected and liked lunar presence within the citadel, with his own retinue, under the protection of both King Yalaring  & Dushi Sone.
  • The Redrock clan though occasional allies are not welcome as permanent residents of Trilus
  • The citadel is stable, prosperous and well run.

Tribe of Trilus in 1625

  • Significantly  strongest tribe in Balazar gaining all of the Elmswood tribes and other tribes from Dykene and Elkoi
  • 2 Southwood clans have renounced the tribe and are following Namara
  • Tribal shamans are worried about the influence of Namara with local spirits
  • Trilus is still receiving Tribute from Imther

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

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?

Moonlighters Inn – New Pavis – Write Up

Write up is during the Lunar occupation of Pavis as that is when my game is set.  Who knows what it will be after they leave, so usable from 1613 to 1624.

Introduction

Moonlighters Inn has been established a few years after the Lunar occupation of Pavis It has been significantly rebuilt to model a more lunar design, as it caters for Lunar officers, bureaucrats and civilians of tastes with a less formal and more relaxed approach than either  Erigio’s or the Silk & Plume.

It is owned by a lunar merchant who visits the city only rarely but is managed by Cleopae a former Lunar soldier. She was a formerly an officer of the Silver Shields who now runs a safe establishment which is very hospitable to the right kind of clientele.

Moonlighters works as informal officers mess for all of the Lunar regiments in Pavis. The common soldiers are not welcome and encouraged to frequent to Hoplites home.  Due to the nature of its core clientele Moonlighters is one of the very few establishments not affected by the Pavis curfew.

Moonlights is renowned for its white wine which is kept magically chilled by means which are a mystery to most.

Continue reading Moonlighters Inn – New Pavis – Write Up