Balazar Campaign – Introduction


Of all the campaigns I played as a role-player the one which I have always loved more than any other was the Griffin Mountain. I am still not sure what it captured that made it stand out more than any other campaign.

Looking back I can see holes and flaws in it. I can see things we enjoyed them that I probably would not enjoy now. However it still stands as the campaign I fell I love with more than any other.

I think we found attraction in the sparse setting, the sense of space, the room for characters to become important players in the setting quickly, all within the world of Glorantha which to my mind is the most complete fantasy roleplaying setting ever created.

We played through it, Gondo Holst was killed, Festering Isle cleared, Griffin Mountain raided and the WindSword recovered. The kings were annoyed, Halcyon von Enkorth frustrated and denied, the same wandering Zorak Zoran war party became our most hated and feared enemy.

However now in later life it means we can’t really go back and play it all again, to enjoy those same adventures, we know too much, we have read the book cover to cover to many times to actually be able to play it any more.

Well my hope for this project is to create a Griffin Mountain homebrew that keeps all of the originally vibe and maybe adds to the richness of the campaign, but changes enough that the setting can feel the same, but even for old players there is a sense of uncertain, the new, the exciting and unknown.

I was never a  good  GM, I am really a player at heart, so I guessing I will never run this version of Griffin Mountain, I do think it’s the Griffin Mountain I would love to play in again, but time will tell.

Also the feel of the Homebrew campaign is slightly different, out of the box GM was a world in stasis which hadn’t changed significantly for a long time and the Pc’s would start that change.

This Griffin Mountain is moving, the hero wars are almost upon us and things are changing and the pace of change is going to increase, tensions will mount. The timeline are fluid and if the PC’s don’t take a hand in driving events others will and the PC’s will have to deal with consequences.

Anyway some of the Key changes are linked to here, I am sure you will be able to spot the old PC’s as we look at some of the new characters.

  • Timeline
  • The Redrock Clan
  • Larger Population Numbers


To make the homebrew Griffin Mountain playable again need to mess about with the timeline, and put the previous campaign earlier in the history. The reason for this is simply so characters can play in the Griffin Mountain homebrew and still make some of the classic early Hero wars adventures elsewhere such as the cradle adventure.

This campaign is designed to start in 1617, the classic out of the box Griffin Mountain existed in 1612, and very few changes need to be made to make this time shift viable. The only one which I can think of so far is that we need Torath and Pay coming out of Sartar way before Starbrow’s rebellion, I placed their arrival in 1610 in response to more general Lunar oppression of the worship of Orlanth in Sartar.

The Redrock Clan

Activities of the Redrock clan have had a major effect on the setting and many original scenarios have been played through, these are the major changes they inflicted up on the setting;

  • Gondol Holst has been eliminated and Valka released
  • Festering isle as in the original has been cleared and mapped 1613, however new chaos has since returned
  • The griffins of Griffin Mountain have been significantly culled in 1614, survivors exist and a feud with the Redrock Orlanthi is ongoing.
  • The Windsword has been recovered 1614, has moved out and back into Balazar since that point
  • Members of the Redrock tribe have persuaded Bison riders and Pavite Orlanthi settlers to pass through Gon Ortas pass and set up a small community at swim here Late 1615, surviving members of the Redrock clan are gathering here.
  • Notable deaths
    • Waddle Greenback
    • Cracktwigg
    • Rhegus Whitehair
  • Orlanthi and Light bringer groups have been plundered for allies and retainers. The Light bringer Hall in Trilius is home to DushiSone and much reduced Orlanthi contingent of a merged group of Torath and Pay who are now married.

Larger Population Numbers

In the Guide to Glorantha  we are going to see population numbers for Balazar over 100,000 humans, and 600,000 of the elder races,  though it is absolutely right for an area the size of Balazar. It gives a very different understanding of the campaign than how we understood the scale of Balazar back in the day, where the campaign felt on a much smaller scale.

This change in scale would create differences in two main areas

Clans vs Tribes

With over 95% of the population living and surviving within the Clan structure the tribes and citadels become less important to Geo political situation in Balazar. Political power rests with Clan Heads with the Kings and Citadels being a social structure imposed from the top.

Leaders of large clans become significant people of power; people who can unite or call on the support of many clans are more powerful still.

Lunar Occupation of Elkoi

200 Soldiers to police 25,000 hunters and patrol a border with 70,000 other hunters and 500,000 hostile members of the elder races on the other side is nowhere near enough. This creates significant issues for the Lunar Administration in Elkio, which different members of the administration wish to deal with differently.

  • Euryptus is very aware that he does not have the troops to do the job at hand, so wants everything played safety first . He foresees that a rash political move could see his whole command wiped out easily.
  • Halcyon VarEnkorth Believes the best way the lunar occupation safe is to keep the Balazarings and other denizens of the elder wilds off balance and fighting each other

These two different approaches are creating significant tension within the lunar administration which is becoming a serious split.

It also means that there have been constant requests to the lunar authorities for more troops and resources to keep the border secure, which means something interesting, could appear from the Lunar provincial headquarters at Mrins Cross any time.