A summary of a study by Bluebird ,Grey Lord of Lankhor Myh
My Lord this text is a summary of what to my knowledge is the most complete and accurate study of the extent of Chaos which lies within the Elder Wilds, its history and probable extrapolations into the nature of what else we may find.
As requested I have interviewed as many living experts as I can on the subject, referred to my previous studies on the subject and spent time in the Lankhor Myh temple in Pavis referencing the best documents they have on the subject.
Balazar is not a hotbed of chaotic activity. However there are permanent chaos scars and sites within this land which have been a constant presence since the dawn.
The Balazarings have very few surviving specific myths which relate to the pre dawn, however there are some detailed stories from the trolls which relate to the period which have been written down by the Sages of Llankor Myh in Esrolia.
In those stories in Godtime before the dawn after the unity battle in which the devils horde was repelled for the first time. The hordes of chaos moved though the Elder Wilds as they moved towards Generts Garden. It would seem for the most part the trolls that inhabited the Elder Wilds fell back and avoided the chaos horde for the most part but its seems as if some minor battles were fought.
Two documented instances which seem to have had ongoing consequences for the region are;
Firstly that a chaos creature not well documented before similar to a colossal Gorp which had been badly injured at the unity battle succumbed to its wounds and died, its body started to eat away at the very substance of the earth burning a hole in reality. The Seronde River sent a tributary to wash it away and heal the Land, but troll legends say it was corrupted as it washed the last of the body away.
It would seem sensible to equate these legends with the existence of both Festering Isle and the River of the Damned and would give good explanation to some of the current behaviours we have documented from within the area. These being
- The frequent restoration of Chaos to the site throughout recorded history
- The large supply of Gorps locally
- The emanation of chaos beings from the site as a matter of local legends amongst all races through the last ages.
Secondly that after battle a wounded Cacodemon fell and bled profusely upon the earth cursing the earth marking it with chaos and changing its nature. This would seem to strongly correlate with the site with Gondor Holst’s had referred to as the chaos holy ground.
However it would seem that the site has been magically structured, enhanced and protected from that point in time. This would suggest that intelligent chaotic beings of significant magical power and have been in operation in the Elder Wilds since the dawn.
There are no other instances from the troll stories of the pre dawn that we can correlate to any other activity which has been documented since or witnessed by any of sources. However there are some items documented which may present hidden threats.
First troll myths refer to a number of the Devils horde that tried to burrow under or through the Rockwood mountains and were caught in combat with trolls underground. We have no corresponding myths that to relate to them breaking out of the other side. Therefore we have to be aware that some may still be under the Rockwoods.
Second troll and Votanki myths tell of other chaos creatures wounded and falling on the march away from unity battle. It is possible that other sites, caves or cairns contain the taint, ancestors or the physical presence of these creatures. No evidence has been gathered which could correlate to this, but it should not be ruled out as it has been experienced in other regions.
Thirdly is a claim made in one troll legend that ,it was Genert himself cursed the “Ten Good Giants” into mountains because they stood aside and let the chaos hordes into his land. This both frightening , weakly supported and highly speculative, but if true would have incredibly far reaching consequences.
There is one strongly supported story of Chaos gaining a significant presence in Balazar and the Elder Wilds since the dawn is that of the infamous Vampire of Gork’s hills.
Each local culture has stories relating to it going back to EWF period and beyond, the stories are confused and would seem that vampire has been apparently destroyed many times only to come back in different forms.
We have at least one troll version of the vampire, several Votanki vampire stories at different times, there is a pentian version of the legend, the best documented story which relates to the EWF period and where he is a civilized human vampire, and there is even a story in which the vampire of the Gorks hills is a broo.
So we have many versions of similar vampire myths with different description vampires all of which are killed only to often reappear a generation or two later.
This can only lead us to one of two theories if a significant number of the myths are based upon some kind of reality;
The first is that vampire of Gorks hills is a vampire of considerable age and strength who can move between bodies and wishes to have bodies of different races, but is of limited power so that he can be defeated by reasonably modest hero’s of the relevant age and culture.
I would deem this very unlikely for two reasons, the first is that this patterns of existence matches nothing which has been documented yet in terms of vampires behaviour or capabilities, the second is that I think it is highly unlikely that a vampire 1000 years of age would be as fragile as some of these legends suggest.
The second is that these vampires were individual vampires of limited age and power. Each distinct in there undeath and final demise. This would suggest either an item, place or being in the Gork Hills which attracts or creates these creatures.
The fact that most of these vampires are from local stock and race suggest they would be more likely created than attracted . The lack of any physical castle of Vivamort discovered or documented with the area despite their rumours to the contrary, suggests a place is unlikely.
A possible resolution this theory may also provide an answer to the question of who has magically strengthen , altered and structured the magic at the chaos Holy Ground. Which interestingly now has a functionality which could be described as vampiric.
If asked to suggest a single solution to the riddle of the vampire of Gorks Hills, I could put forward this theory. That there is no record of evidence or any story of any interaction with the most powerful of the vampires of Gorks Hills. The vampire which have been encountered are younger less powerful vampires, who serve the Vampire of Gorks Hills, who remains a powerful figure who is never seen.
As regards origins I believe that he predates the EWF period and can see no reason why such a being would come to the Elder Wilds since the dawn. Though Vivamort himself cannot be placed with the devil on his march through the Elder Wilds, a number of his most powerful followers can be.
It has been speculated by some of the most educated minds on the subject that older more powerful vampires need to feed not from peoples lifeforce, but from other vampires who have already consumed and processed the life force of others.
I think we should be prepared for the source of the vampire of Gorks Hills Myths to be much older, more diabolical and a deep secret than any may dare to fear.
Up until recently there is no documented or oral evidence of any significant new chaos incursion into Balazar or the Elder Wilds.
The final source of chaos in the Elder Wilds is the Lunar Empire. Though they have not stationed chaos troops within the confines of Balazar yet. We do know that there priest consorted with Gondor Holst and directed him to Chaos holy ground. Elkoi is within the lunar provinces so it is very possible that it may receive a visit from the Crimson bat
As far as quantifying threats from and abilities to strike against Chaos in the Elder Wilds and Balazar regions we can make the following conclusions;
Festering Isle is a wound in Glorantha herself and will continue to let chaos seep into the Elder Wilds unless it closed. It will also attract creatures of chaos to it, and increase the chaotic mutations of those chaotic creatures that spend long there.
We could expect to see any of the following chaos manifestations emanating from the area dragonsnails, giant gorp, indefinable chaos monsters, walktapi and corrupted animals.
We should expect it to attract organised groups of broo, scorpion men and ogres. It also does act as a holy site for the primordial worship of Chaos.
The only course of action to seek to close it would be to Heroquest to gain the knowledge to find out what we must do to close it, no living being to my mind would have that knowledge. It would then probably require further dangerous heroquests to heal the wound.
The chaos holy ground will continue to attract powerful priests of chaos from outside the area who would seek to use it for their own ends. I would draw special attention to the activities of the Lunar empire who have documented knowledge of the site and have directed chaos priests there already.
It would not be remiss to expect any and all priests of chaos seeking to make pilgrimages to the site, and such it should be watched often and its location guarded as much as possible.
Also if the vampire of Gorks hills become active again I would suggest he may make use of the site, in creating the power to aid the creation of new vampires.
On the matter of the Vampire of Gorks hills do not be surprised if a vampire reappears in the region as it has been the pattern for the last few hundred years, but be very aware that there may be a more powerful figure lying in the background.
if a new vampire was to appear I would suggesting quickly against it, as it will be a young vampire which has not attained significant power as yet.
As regards lesser threats it is always possible we may encounter other small pockets of chaos which are not as significant as the ones mentioned, and we should bear in mind the possibility of some of the more obscure threats without committing valuable resources to countering them.
- From Wonderhome to the Castle of Lead, a pre history of the Uz. Unta the Devout – 1248
- Legends of the Unity Battle – Rajesh of Esrolia, 2nd Age
- Wounds of Glorantha – Volume III – Unknown Author – 1542
- A summary of Chaos sites within southern Peloria – Bluebird, Esrolia 1611
- Vivamort collected myths and Legends – From the Pavis Rubble
- Torath Manover
- Garnst ‘the chaostracker’
- Lan Stormson
- Gerag Midem
- The Lady Seronde