Category Archives: Setting

Votanki vs Balazaring

There are two phrases which pertain to the hunters of the elder wilds, Votanki and Balazarings. The term Votank comes from the children Votank the ancestor who survived the Darkness and taught his children the ways of life.

The term Balazaring generally refers to people who dwell in the kingdoms of Balazar which was created for the humans of the Elder Wilds towards the end of the second age. Often these terms are used interchangeably but they have actually come to refer to two subtly different groups.

The foundation of the kingdom of Balazar brought change to the humans of the Elder Wilds,

  • the importance of the Clan was challenged by the importance of the tribe
  • domesticated animals (pigs) were brought to the area
  • foreign Gods were now worshipped
  • Dynastic leadership was introduced
  • Metal was sought and used on a much larger scale
  • Permanent dwellings were built
  • A professional a warrior cast started to exists

For some hunters this was progress for others it was affront to the ways of Votank that had been passed down via the ancestors. The humans in the Elder Wilds split, those happy with Balazar and his ways who have been called Balazarings since and those who wanted to maintain the ways of Votank who kept the title of Votanki.

The Balazarings gathered around the citadels and the central areas of Balazar. The Votanki removed themselves and hunted the wilder places, the fringes and the Elder Wilds proper. Votanki Clans can be found on the Redlands borders,  in woods and hills in the pent borderlands, in the less dangerous areas of the Elder Wilds and the fringes of Balazar.

Over the years the numbers of Votanki know of by the Balazarings dropped significantly some were killed by the elder races, some starved, other drifted too far away, some just retreated into their hunting grounds and never interacted with other Clans.

However since the Lunar Empires  invasion of Elkoi and the arrival of Lightbringers in Balazar, a new  Votanki movement has sprung up, clans have pulled away from the citadels, forgotten Votanki clans have moved back towards Balazar and Namara is leading a tradition of shamans exposing a Votanki philosophy.

A table showing some of the differences between Balazarings and Votanki

Balazaring Votanki
Affiliation Clan and Tribe Clan Only
Foreign Gods Yelmalio, Balazar, Seven Mothers, Lightbringers None
Use of Metal When Possible No
Eats domestic animals Will trade for Will avoid
Clan Leadership Council & chief Council
Clan Totem Animals, Plan, ancestor Animal, plants, ancestor, nature spirit, elemental
Worships Gods Yes No
Hereditary Leadership Sometimes Never
Permanent Dwellings Sometimes Never
Trade with foreigners Yes No

The Clans of Balazar

stream picThe Clan is the key social unit of Balazaring society. Clans are comprised of numerous family groups called hearths, which often have close extended family ties to each other. A clan is governed by a  council of 5 to 11 elders.

Clans average 420 people but can be as small as 200 or the citadel clans can be up to 1500 members in size. With an average clan size being 420 people and there being 130,000 humans in the Elder wilds this means there are roughly 310 different clans of humans including the three citadel clans.

The clans do come together to form the three Tribes of Balazar. A clans allegiance to a tribe is earned and not deserved, but there are many Clans who have been part of the same tribe since the three tribes formed.

However other tribes move allegiance between tribes regularly, others move between being part a tribe and  being independent, and some have always remained independent from the tribes as a matter of choice.

The current splits is as below;

Citadel

Elkoi
Clans

Trilus
Clans
Dykene
Clans
Independent
Clans
Votanki
Clans

Total

Firmly Associated 16 34 24
Moderately Associated 18 26 27
Loosely Associated 12 32 14
Total 46 92 65 68 39 310
Approx population 19320 38640 27300 28560 16380 130200

A firmly associated clan is fully committed to its tribe and its tribes current leaders. They respond positively to requests from tribal king, support tribal raids, hunts and initiatives. They will respond positively to other clans in the same tribe. They tend to be have hunting lands close to the citadels, visits their citadel often and have close ties between clan and tribe leaders.

A moderately associated clan is comfortable with its role in the tribe, but any not have close ties with the current king of Dynasty. It will make sure they do not upset the King or other clans in the tribe.  Responses will be varied, and clan issues are much more important than tribe issues. They usually have hunting lands further removed from the citadels, and ask for aid from Citadel warriors much less frequently.

Loosely associated clans have little interest in the tribe at all, but are not willing to take the risks needed to  leave the tribe and sever ties with the king. The try to isolate themselves from the affairs of the tribe as much as possible. This tends to be for reasons of geography, decisions of the clan elders or incompetence of the current King.

Independent clans are clans which have been part of a tribe before but currently have broken all ties with tribes and are self governing. they share very similar culture and outlook as clans in tribes and tend to be related within Balazar proper.

Votanki clans tend are independent and have never been part of tribe. They are much more conservative that the other clans and reject the tribal system and the worship of foreign Gods just as Yelmalio and Balazar. They are situated on the fringes of Balazar, across the Dangerground and towards the northwest of the Elder Wilds.

Holay Mercenary Companies

Just some background I did to give me an understanding of what company sized mercenary units the Lunars could rotate through Elkoi.

Name Troops Type Location Arms Cults
The Grey Lancers 100 Heavy Cavalry Filichet Lance, Sword, Shield, Leather Armour Redalya
Brother Hounds 80 Peltast Dog Plains Javelin, shield, short sword Jajagappa
Gowans Square 144 Heavy infantry Mrins Cross Pike, Shield, Sword, & Bronze Armour Lunar
Moon Swords 80 Infantry Thernan Spear, Shield,  leather amour Lunar
The Crimson Horse 180 Heavy Cavalry Mirins Cross Lance, Sword, Shield, Leather Armour Redalya
The Spears of the Dawn 300 Peltast Mirins Cross Javelin, shield, short sword Yelmalio
The Company of the Road 400 Heavy Infantry Mirins Cross Long Spear, Kopis, Shield, & Bronze Armour YanafalTarnis
Silver Stars 30 Light Cavalry Mirins Cross Lance, Bow, Shield, Leather Armour Yelorna
Grey Guards 3 * 100 Caravan Guards Filichet,
Fyliich Kwan
Dolsonin
Sword, Shield, Javelin leather armour Orlanthi
The Watchmen 80 Militia Holay Fort Spear, Shield, Leather  with some bowmen Lunar
The Ploughmen 80 Infantry Dolosin Sword, Shield, Leather Armour Banatar
Dragonbreakers 200 Heavy Infantry Barnborn Axe, Shield, Bronze Armour AlakoringDragonbreaker
Bostok Bows 50 Archers Bostok Bow, Kopis, Leather Armour Lunar
Jabers Spears 200 Infantry Saird Spear, Shield,  Leather Amour Lunar
Red Sisters 80 Mixed Filchet Mixed Redalya
The Rivermen 120 Peltasts Banborn Javelin, shield, short sword Mixed
Sundome 800 * 2 Heavy Infantry Sundome Longspear Yelamaio

 

A Mythic History of Griffin Mountain

By Quintas Von Orltas, The Empires leading scholar on Balazar and the Elder Wilds

Griffin Mountain has only be called that name for the past 160 years, it has been called many things many people’s over the years.

The horsemen of Pent call it ‘Little King Mountain’, the trolls of the Gork Hills call it ‘the lonely giant’, the Aldyrami of Er’oring Wilds call it the ‘High Place’  and Wind Children of the Rockwoods call it the ‘Sacred Cloud’.

Griifin Mountain

It is highly likely that mentions of the ‘Er’oring Mountain’ found in some EWF texts actually refers to what we now know as Griffin Mountain.

Its history is not well known by any of these groups, and has only been uncovered by consulting with the oldest of sources, talking with spirits who have remember these things but forget who they are and the performing of Goddesses’ deepest magic’s.

As with many mountains before the dawn it was associated with the Gods of Air, Birthed towards the end of the God War the mountain is a manifestation of a Kolati called Umi.

Umi was a quiet and peaceable Godling unlike many of her kin. Content with her solitary place between sky and  earth she took many lovers and was the mother of many sylphs and a number of aeries of Wind Children. Some who lived on the mountain, others who lived in the Rockwoods. She was friends with most, and shared her magic with the Elves of Er’oring wilds to create the Windberry trees which adorned the top of her mountain.

Little is known of how Umi was ripped asunder by Cacodemon in the Great Darkness and why she never returned after the Dawn. Her children continued to dwell on her mountain Slyph and Wind Child worshipping the Spirits and Gods of the Air.

The first age passed with little note, the Elves of the Elder Wilds talked with them, but they have no interest in councils and new gods, equally they had no interest in the wars which followed much to the  annoyance of the local Aldraymi.

It wasn’t till the Aldraymi of the Elder Wilds joined with the EWF in the 2nd age that things began to change. The Great Dragon project was under way and the mountain became an important site in preparation of the ‘Dragon to Come’.

Dragon friends failed to persuade Umi’s children to involve themselves in the project, and a result the Umi’s Mountain was attacked, many were killed those who were not fled to the Eastern Rockwoods. The Orlanthi of the EWF prepared the mountain for their use in the project from settlements in Gorks Hills.

The Aldryami uprising of 890 destroyed the EWF settlement in Gork Hills, who we can only assume they abandoned the mountain soon after as the Empire disintegrated.

The mountain went unoccupied for 50 years before a handful of Umi’s Children returned, however it was not long before they were forced out by a dream dragon which according to documents burned up much of the Redlands before it dwelt in the mountain for close to 100 years, only for it to disappear when our Glorious Lady ascended into the Sky.

Umi’s children returned and dwell on the mountain for many years forming two distinct aeries atop the mountain, but conflict begins with some of the local elves over hunting lands. The conflict stagnates as neither side is able to challenge the other  preferred environment.

Only when Seomal Sunfollower a yelmalian aldryami heroquester invites Griffin friends to aid the Elves that Umi’s Children are forced from the Mountain for the final time.  The Griffins claim the mountain as their own and have dwelt there since, and its current name has stuck with the peoples of the Redlands and Balazar.

Demographics of the Elder Wilds

A slightly more detailed breakdown of population than we get in the Guide to Glorantha(GtG), I have done this for a number of reasons.

Firstly it shows a number of the races which do appear in Balazar and the Elder Wilds, but not in significant enough numbers to merits space in the GtG. So Newtlings, Broos, Giants and dinosaurs were always in Griffin Mountain but not in significant enough numbers to get a mention in the guide.

The next reason is to add extra distinction within the major races, so troll numbers have been split down into subtypes. Humans have been split into social groupings, and other types of Aldyrami have been added to supplement the Elves.

Also one of the deviations from the standard background is the introduction of a significant number of  Tusk Riders mercenaries by the Lunar administration.

The final reason is to add some groups who would be present in the Rockwood mountains but never made it onto the GtG list, specifically the gargoyles and the wind children. These do not represent all of these species within the Eastern Rockwood Mountains, but those that are adjacent to and likely to interact with the Elder Wilds.

Population
Humans  130,000
  Dykene Citadel 1,300
  Elkoi Citadel 2,000
  Trilus Citadel 1,700
  Dykene Clans 26,000
  Elkoi Clans 18,000
  Trilus Clans 36,000
  Independent Balazarings 28,000
  Votanki* 16,000
  Lunar Villages 850
Elves 70,000
  Elves Green 50,000
  Elves Brown 20,000
  Dryads 800
  Runners 20,000
  Beastmen 1,200
Trolls 430,000
  Trollkin 260,000
  Trollkin Superior 90,000
  Dark Trolls 65,000
  Great Trolls 12,000
  Misstress Race Trolls 8
  Cave Trolls 1,200
Dwarves 100,000
Baboons 4,000
Broos 2,500
Chaos Other 2,000
Dinosaurs – Assorted 360
Gargoyles 400
Giants 28
Griffins 50
Newtlings 1,200
Tusker Riders 900
Wind Children 8,000
Assorted Monsters & Weird Stuff 500

*Votanki are distinguish from Balazarings because they usually not found in Balazar. They have never sworn allegiance to Balazar or any other Citadels, they refuse to worship foreign Gods such as Yelmalio, and cling to a way of life as passed down from Votanki at the Dawn.  They are usually found in high mountain, deep forest throughout the Dangerground and the northwest of the Elder Wilds.

Troll Tribes of the Elder Wilds

There are 11 troll tribes currently dwelling within the Elder Wilds, they comprise about 18 percent of all trolls in Elder wilds but provide what limited structure there is to troll society.

Elder Wild Tribes Wild Clans Hunter Clans Barbarian Clans Total Trolls Hunting Grounds
Trag 14 10 5221 Troll Hills
Gar Tola 16 8 5026 Troll Hills
Bone Gnashers 27 5 6150 North Troll Hills
Gork 41 3 8081 Gork Hills
Danar Tol 38 38 2 10998 North Gork Hills
Thunder Pit 40 32 9584 East North Plain
Blue Dog Eaters 30 33 8781 West North Plain
Unta Mor 46 46 12650 East Troll Hills
Bara Du 56 54 15046 Troll Hills
Naxar 32 24 7384 Rockwood Mountains
Guttuz 32 43 10,747 Bear Woods/Hills
Indepedent Clans 1200 650 255540 All
Trollkin Mobs 2000 74000 All
Cave Troll Mobs 150 1800 Mountains/Hills
Total 430000(ish)

Trang

An Influential  Troll Tribe of the Black Spire Gorge Temple complex in Tork Hills, the tribe maintains wealth from tributes paid by other clans to access to great temples. It is not a large tribe but holds most influence and power of all the tribes.

The tribe is led by the “Great Old Mother” High Priestess of Kygor Lytor, a mistress race troll who claims to have met Arkat in her younger days. She despises and is despised by Cragspider for reasons no one but they can remember.

Gar Tola

A Tork Hills tribe that controls all the Creeping Place insect farms and all trade from Dragori Inkarth and to a lesser extent  the blue moon plateau. Once a year in sea season a great market is held outside the pits with Merchants from outside the elder wilds in attendance as well as many friendly clans from across the Elder Wilds.

The tribe has good relations with the Giants, and has be known to send  trollball team to Gon Ortas castle on occasion.

Leadership of the tribe comes from an unseen leader called ‘the spider’, who may be a spirit, a demon or an old mistress race troll. Her orders are communicated through her own priesthood, the priesthood of Gorakiki or the priesthood of Argan Argar who are powerful in the tribe.

Bone Gnashers

The most warlike of the tribes with a high proportion of Zorak Zoran and Arkat worshippers, they hold lands at the north end of Tork Hills, and consider themselves the guardians of the Wailing Place. They are also the tribe most likely to attempt to raid the elves of the El’oring wilds in force.

Though a compact tribe They run both a major Zorak Zoran temple and one the few troll forges operating within the Elder Wilds.  A Zorak Zoran Deathlord ‘Gnasher’ leads the clan from the front and is the only male mistress race troll some outside the priesthoods ever sees in the Elder wilds.

Gork

A large tribe based round am series of caves and old ruins at the south end of Gorks hills. They have a strong magical spirit in their protector ‘Gork’.   They trade with  both the Bone Gnashers and Gar Tola Tribes, despite the danger posed by the elves of the er’oring wilds.

They have poor relations with the Trang Tribe due to Gork tribe having their own temples. The Gork tribe is led by Gorks Daughter, a mystic figure presumably a mistress race troll who lives in the Temple of Gork.

Danar Tol

The Danar Tol tribe is large loose affiliation of hunting clans which hunts to north of Gork hills and  the Er’oing wilds. They are large in numbers, but often end up skirmishing with riders from the north, over hunting grounds.

Zong is the major Diety worshipped by the tribe, and worship is distributed between the clans. Leadership of the tribe is fluid, a clan leader will pull the tribe together for a common goal and then when the goal is complete fade to the background.

Thunder Pit

These hunters roam the North Plain just to the west of Tork Hills, and claim to be the best thunder lizard hunters known anywhere in Glorantha. They often use pit hunting  for all kinds of larger prey.  They usually hunt in large groups and are not usually that stealthy.

Tribe leadership always rest with mother of the winner of the Greathunt each year, so the tribe rarely has stable leadership.

Blue Dog Eaters

A hunting tribe to the west of the North Plain and the troll tribe most often encountered by votanki hunters who take to hunting in the Elder Wilds.  They are stealthy vicious hunters, who are equally cautious of human hunters and will not pick a fight for no reason.

The tribe is a loose confederation of Clans with no strong leader, they skirmish with the Thunder Pit over hunting rights. Worship of Zong, Kygor Lytor and Ancestors is common.

Unta Mor

This large tribe of hunting clans has its range on the east of the troll hills and the foothills of the rockwood mountains. A good third of its clans live and hunt in cave systems under the rockwood mountains and never see the open sky.

They are on good terms with the Trang Tribe, and many of its clans worship at Black Spire Gorge.

A surprising conflict the tribe has is with some of the wind children of the rockwood mountains and the Unta Mor tribe believe the flesh of wind children to a particular delicacy.  This has led to some of the tribe becoming expert climbers.

Bara Du

The largest tribe of trolls can be found all over the troll hill. They are hunters with large expansive hunting ranges and they protect their hunting rights strongley.  This often brings them into conflict with the Thunder Pit Tribe.

The tribe is wise not to engage in conflict with the more structured tribes whoes services it benefits from, but is happy to ensure it keeps its advantages by intimidating the other hunting tribes and independent clans.

For the last 5 years the tribe has been led well by a Darktroll know simply as  ‘Mama Di

Naxar

The Naxar tribe hunt high in the rockwoods, and well into giant land. Which leads them into conflict with some of the younger giants. They are a smaller hunting tribe but one that those travelling through Gon Ortas pass are wise to pay.

Guttuz

A large tribe from the bear hill and woods who are in constant conflict with the Green elves and humans who also dwell in the woods, making it currently the most volatile spot in Elder Wilds.

They are a traditional hunting tribe who is trying to expand due to weight of numbers.

Their former Tribal Mother recently recruited  a Zorak Zoran warlord called Kieger Ba from Dragori Inkarth to fight for them. However things did not go as planned when his trolls slaughtered his employer and her whole clan before claiming leadership of the tribe for himself.

Currently Kieger Ba is waging war on the elves of Bear woods with little success, but is raising and sending notable number of undead trolls into the bear woods to cause havoc.

New Balazaring Rumors List

fire lake pic

Griffin Mountain isn’t  Griffin Mountain without a rumours list, so here as list for the new campaign, the 2nd line in italics shows the likely source of the rumour.

1. The Lunars will be bringing a group of Broo Soldiers to Elkoi – False
Balzaaring Hunters, Trilus, Dykene, Orlanthi
2. There are more great artefacts hidden in the Elder Wilds – True
Religious Leaders, Orlanthi, Traders
3. The Vampire of Gorks Hills has been sighted after 80 years- Partial
Trolls, Troll fiends, Orlanthi, Votanki Hunter, Traders
4. Dragonewts are scouting Balazar under false pretences – True
Balazaring hunters, Dykene, Shamans
5. Troll numbers are growing the Elder wilds – Meaningless
Balazaring Hunters, All Citadels
6. Increased numbers of refuges from Satar and the Empire suggest troubled times are ahead – Meaningless
Balazaring Hunters, All Citadels
7. The Lunar command is split about pushing deeper into Balazar – Partial
Elkoi, Trilus, Associated clans
8. There is a massive troll temple complex at the heart of the Troll Hills – True
Trolls, Troll friend, Traders ,Votanki Hunters, Dykene, Orlanthi
9. The forest are on the move – Partial
Orlanthi, Votanki Hunters, Dykene, Trilus, Balazaring Hunters
10. Elves have been seen crossing the Elf Sea– False
Anyone
11. You can stop broos from breeding by killing all the local goats – False
Balazaring Hunters, Citadels
12. The Griffins are demanding the heads of those who raided their mountain –True
Dykene, Balazaring Hunters, Traders, Orlanthi
13. The baboons of the Elder Wilds are tainted with chaos – False
Balazaring Hunters, Citadels
14. A bounty has been put on the head of all baboons – True
Balazaring Hunters, Citadels
15. The Lunar Empire have put a bounty on the head of all baboons – False
Balazaring Hunters, Citadels
16. Foreign Orlanthi are planning raids against Elkio – Partial
Elkoi, Trilus, Dykene, Balazaring Hunter, Lunars, Lunar High Command, Traders
17. Both the Orlanthi and the Lunars are desperate to know where the Windsword is – Partial
Citadels, Hunters
18. A large party of tusk riders is heading up from dragon pass into Elkoi lands – True
Elkoi, Elkoi Clans, Balazaring Clans, Orlanthi, Traders
19. Orlanthi are planning on taking over the Citadel of Dykene – False
Trilus, Dykene, Elkoi, Balazaring Clans
20. The Lunars poisoned their own Priestess Electora Kindtounge – Rumour
Elkoi, Traders, Trilus, Orlanthi, Lunars
21. Relics of the Empire of Wyrms friends can be found within the Elder Wilds – True
Orlanthi, Traders, Sages, Religious Leaders, Shamans
22. The Lunars in Trilus are all Lunar spies and plotting invasion – False
Trilus, Dykene, Elkoi, Orlanthi, Balazaring Hunters
23. The Yelmalio temple moved to Dykene because the Lunars threatened the priests – Partial
Dykene, Yelmalions, Religious Leaders, Trilus
24. Now the Windsword has been found the Orlanthi will leave Trilus – False
Dykene, Elkoi, Hunters, Traders
25. Some tribes from Elmwood have abandoned the citadel of Elkoi – True
Elkoi, Trilus, Hunters, Dykene
26. Broos are mating with dinosaurs at Festering Island – False
Hunters, Lunars, All Citadels, Drunkards, Idiots
27. Wind child scouts have been chased away from Griffin Mountain by the Griffins – True
Dykene, Yelmalions, Votanki,Orlanthi, Elves
28. The Elf sea is shrinking ever year– False
Hunters
29. Pentian scouting parties have been seen in the Elder Wilds – False
Hunters, All Citadels
30. Something is stopping trolls moving into Balazar in numbers – False
Dykene, Trilus, Hunters
31. There are a number of Votanki Clans in and around the Elder Wilds – True
Hunters, Orlanthi, Traders
32. The presence of farming in Balazar is going turn the animals spirits against the hunters – False
Shamans, Hunters, Dykene
33. Undead have started to be seen in eastern Dykene Lands – True
Dykene, Hunters
34. Ruins dating from the Empire of Wryms friends can be found deep in the Eloring wilds – True
Orlanthi, Traders, Sages, Religious Leaders, Shamans
35. Fugitives from the south are travelling through GonOrtas pass in greater numbers than ever before- True
Traders, Orlanthi, Dykene, Trilus
36. Festering Isle is a pit that keeps spitting out chaos and will never be controlled – Partial
Trilus, Hunters, Orlanthi, Yelmalions
37. All merchants passing into the Elder Wilds are ogres on their way to chaos grounds – False
Hunters, All Citadels
38. Metal armour is offensive to nature and animal spirits – False
Shamans, Votanki Hunters
39. Local shamans are forming an alliance to push all foreign gods out of Balazar – Partial
Shamans, Hunters, Dykene
40. Three giant corpses have been found in the Dangerground – True
Orlanthi, Hunters, Dykene, Trilus, Traders
41. The wielder of Windsword is coming back to conqueror Balazar – Partial
Trilus, Dykene, Elkoi, Hunters, Lunars
42. Troll caravans travel to GonaOrtas castle and then to Dragori Inkarth and back again – True
Trolls Friends, Trolls, Dykene, Traders
43. Some of the trolls of the Elder Wilds can work metal – True
Trolls Friends, Trolls, Dykene, Traders
44. The Crimson Bat will visit Elkoi soon – Rumor
Lunars, Elkoi, Trilus, Hunters, Traders
45. Lunar Slavers operating out Elkoi are trying to capture anyone they can – Partial
Trilus, Orlanthi, Hunters
46. Rhegus Whitehair was killed by some Orlanthi for consorting with chaotic demons – Partial
Orlanthi, Traders, Trilus, Hunters
47. Orlanthi have been banished from Dykene – True
Dykene, Trilus, Orlanthi, Hunters
48. Starnia Stormreander Yelmalian daughter of King skilful heart piercer took an Orlanthi Lover – Rumour
Dykene, Yelmalions, Orlanthi, Trilus, Hunters
49. Praxena concubine of King Skilful heart piercer was murdered for being a Lunar spy – Partial
Dykene, Yelmalions, Lunars, Elkoi, Orlanthi
50. The Redrock clan were banished for Dykene about 20 years ago, and was much larger then – Partial
Dykene, Orlanthi
51. Gondol Holst was a friendly merchant ambushed by foreign outlaws – False
Lunars, Elkoi, Hunters, Dykene
52. The Lunars have promised tusk riders some of Elkoi’s tribal lands – Rumor
Elkoi, Hunters, Lunars, Orlanthi, Trilus, Traders
53. Lunar hunters don’t use the peaceful cut because they are tainted with chaos – Partial
Shamans, Hunters, Orlanthi
54. The Ancient & Great Brown Bear has been spotted in North woods, the great animals spirits are coming back – Rumor
Hunters, Shaman, Trilus
55. Foreigners have attacked Blueface the shaman – Partial
Shamans, Hunters, Dykene
56. Orlanthi warriors have attacked Blueface the shaman – False,
Lunars, Elkoi, Hunters, Shamans
57. Blueface has been killed – False
Anyone
58. Dwarves have stopped visiting Balazar and dealing with hunters- False
Trilus, Hunters, Elkoi
59. Dwarves will now only deal with the Dykene citadel and closely associated clans – True,
Dykene, Hunters, Traders
60. Dwarves built the new Yelmalion temple at Dykene in 2 Seasons – True
Dykene, Yelmalio, Traders
61. The Red Emperor is considering a hunting party to Balazar – Rumor
Lunar Nobles, traders, Elkoi
62. Dwarves will take a dim view on people exploring disused tunnels and mines that exist in the hills near Greatway – True
Prospectors, Elkoi, Dykene, Traders, Southern Hunters
63. There is still gold is disused dwarf mines near Greatway – False
Prospectors, Elkoi, Dykene, Traders, Southern Hunters
64. The dwarves will never give up Greatway as its sat on large iron deposit- Meaningless
Dykene, Traders, Prospectors
65. Elves are moving more than they ever have in living memory across Balazar and the eoring wilds – True
Votanki Hunters, Orlanthi, Trilus, Dykene
66. A troll warlord is building a significant powerbase within the troll hills – Rumor
Votanki, Hunters, Orlanthi, Dykene, Traders
67. The troll clans of the Elder Wilds fight amongst themselves more than the Balazaring clans – True
Hunters, Dykene, Trilus, Trader
68. Trolls are massing for an attack on Dykene – False
Dykene, Yelmalions, Hunters, Traders
69. Griffin Mountain is a place of Mystical and magical importance to the air rune which goes back before the dawn of time– True
Shamans, Priests, Sages, Orlanthi, Wind Children
70. Small numbers of Beastmen have been tracked and seen travelling across Balazar from south to north avoiding humans – True
Hunters, Shamans
71. Orlanthi are actively recruiting Balazaring warriors for raiding parties – Partial
Elkoi, Hunters, Trilus, Lunars
72. The healing house which is part of the lightbringers hall in Trilus is prospering and growing significantly under DushiSone. – True
Trilus, Hunters, Traders, Orlanthi
73. Orlanthi Heralds from the south have come to Trilus seeking military alliance – False
Hunters, Trilus, Dykene, Elkoi, Lunars
74. There is a blood feud between Orlanthi and certain baboon packs in the elder wilds – True
Hunters, Orlnathi, Trilus
75. The Lunar Empire has actively supported chaos within Balazar and the Elder wilds – Partial
Orlanthi, Trilus, Traders, Hunters
76. There is a chaos shrine in the Elder Wilds – True
Orlanthi, Hunters
77. Trolls worship at the chaos shrine within the Elder wilds – False
Yelmalians, Drunkards, Idiots ,Hunters
78. The king of Trilus is sponsoring raids on the Lunar and Elkoi – False
Elkoi, Hunters, Lunar Soldiers
79. Chaos worship happens within the Temple the Seven Mothers – Rumor
Orlanthi, Elkoi, Hunters, Traders
80. The hero wars will mean a army comes out of the troll strongholds to invade Balazar and then the Lunar Empire – False
Yelmalians, Dykene Hunters, Hunters, Shamans
81. Dykene has entered into an alliance with the surviving Griffins – True
Dykene, Yelmalions, Griffins, Hunters
82. The King of Dykene has become even more paranoid – Partial
Trilus, Elkoi, Hunters, Orlanthi
83. The presence of farming near Elkoi offends the ancestors – Partial
Hunters, Trilus, Elkoi
84. The Lunars want to steal the giant Eagles off the king of Dykene – Partial
Dykene , Yelmalians, Traders
85. Dushi Soan does not think she will survive another cold winter – Rumor
Trilius, Hunters, Traders
86. Bluebird has kidnapped by the Lunars – False
Hunters, Traders
87. A rediscovered troll holy site is bringing trolls from distant lands to the elder wilds – True
Trolls, Orlanthi, Hunters, Dykene, Trilus
88. The Lunars are hiring Mercenaries to form an invasion force – Partial
Orlanthi, Hunters, Trilus, Elkoi
89. Dykene Hawks have become famous, and are now wanted across the Lunar Empire -Partial
Dykene, Elkoi, Yelmalians, Hunters
90. The Orlanthi plan to bring Shadowcats to Balazar to fight all dogs – False
Yelmalaians, Lunars, Elkoi, Hunters, Dykene
91. There is a giant who is friendly with Trolls, Elves and Humans – True
Hunters, Trilus, Orlanthi
92. The elves of Eloring wilds hate humans as much as trolls – Partial
Dykene, Hunters
93. Lunars are considering setting up a mine with slaves in the hills west of Tarshford – Rumour
Hunters, Elkio, Lunars, Dykene, Trilus
94. The burned man knows most things happening in Balazar – Meaningless
Hunters
95. The Giants keep the Dragons out of Balazar and the Elder Wilds – Rumour
Shamans, Sages, Traders
96. The new lunar temple in Elkoi was a failure because it did not extend the Glowline – False
Trilus, Dykene, Hunters, Orlanthi
97. King Yalaring Monster Slayer of Trilius is partial to blue goats cheese from Imther – True
Traders, Trilus, Hunter, Imther
98. Trees in the Elf woods both talk and move – Partial
Hunters, Shamans, Trilus
99. The spirit of Elkoi left the Citadel with the Yelmalio Temple – False
Yelmalians, Ex Elkoi Clans, Hunters, Trilus, Orlanthi
100. Blueface is able to change his appearance and take a younger body when he wants. – Partial
Hunters, Shamans

Trolls of the Elder Wilds

Though one of the largest bodies of trolls in Glorantha The trolls of the Elder wilds are a wild and disorganised mob even by Troll standards.  By and large they are primitive hunters with strong family & clans loyalty, but weak and limited Tribal structures.

The  main clusters of trolls society  based round two hilly regions known as Gork Hills and Tork Hills known simply as  Troll hills by the local Humans.

Troll Clans

The base troll community is the Clan and they are broadly categorised as follows

Wild Clans

Wild hunters clans which roam freely with no set  hunting grounds or permanent base of operations, wild clans can be independent or can be which are part of a tribe, but most wild clans are independent and have no tribal affiliation. Those associated with a tribe will usually roam around a tribes range, but may roam further if they wish too.

Wild clans of trolls can be found all over the Elder Wilds with the exception of the woods of the Aldryami.

The clans are smaller in size than hunting clans with regular hunting lands, as food is harder to come by and useless trollkin tend to be eaten or cast out more readily than with static clans, an average clan size is around 100 trolls and trollkin. There are approximately 1700 of these clans in the elder wilds.

A wild clan will usually comprise of ;

  • 20 – 40 dark trolls
  • 0 – 8 great trolls
  • 0 – 12 superior trollkin
  • 40 – 80 trollkin
  • 0 -6 cave trolls

Wild clans sometimes are lead by the highest ranking hunter rather than the ranking mother as usual with trolls much to the disgust of more conservative clans.

Usually worshipping ancestors, Zong  or Kyger Litor, they most will have a priestess or shaman within the clan, and they will visit shrines and other troll holy places on their travels.

Hunter Clans

Hunter clans are clans of troll hunters who have a fixed hunting lands and a permanent lair, they are clustered around the key trolls strongholds of Tork and Gork Hills, but are common right across the Elder Wilds.

A higher proportion of hunter clans are associated with tribes but still most are still free from tribal ties, however most clans close to major trolls sites are associated with the respective tribe.

Troll hunter clans are larger than the  wild clans with an average size or around 200 trolls. There are approximately 1700 of these clans in the Elder Wilds.

A wild clan will usually comprise of ;

  • 30 – 70 dark trolls
  • 4 – 12 great trolls
  • 4 – 16 superior trollkin
  • 80 – 160 trollkin
  • 0 -6 cave trolls

Leadership is always with the ranking mother and priestess, usually worshipping ancestors, Zong or Kyger Litor. They will have a priestess or shaman without fail, and most clans will support their own shrines or minor temples.  Hunter clans will usually allow friendly and neutral wild clans to use there shrines and temples for the right price.

Barbarian Clans

These are more structured clans similar to ‘civilized’ trolls all over Glorantha, they make up a very small part of the population of the Elder Wilds, but they fulfil key roles in this troll heartland.

Barbarian clans are always central to tribal structures and located in and around key troll sites, they are considerably bigger than other clans, but do contain higher proportions of trollkin.

The barbarian clans are responsible for major innovations within troll society in the Elder Wilds such as trade caravans, insect breeding , metal working and the running of larger temples and holy sites.

The barbarian clans are led by powerful priestesses and their tribes may be led by mistress race trolls, they are traditional and conservative by nature.

The clans are much larger on average with approximately 300 trolls and trollkin each, but they are very few in number, with only 28 such clans existing in the heart of the Troll Strongholds.

A barbarian clan will usually comprise of ;

  • 0 – 1 Mistress Race trolls
  • 60 – 120 dark trolls
  • 8 – 14 great trolls
  • 8 – 24 superior trollkin
  • 150 – 300 trollkin
  • 0 – 6 cave trolls

The barbarian clans worship a range of gods and diverse spiritual variation can be found in these clans.

Trollkin Mobs

Many trollkin are flee or are forced from their families and clans, these congregate into small gangs or large mobs which roam around and away from major troll strongholds. Most are short lived either being eaten by ‘Proper UZ’ or heading away from troll lands and failing to survive. However mobs have been known to  reach human controlled Balazar or into the Redlands.

Trollkin mobs vary in size and can comprise of

  • 10 – 80 Trollkin
  • 0 – 8 Superior Trollkin

A large mob will usually cause devastation and chaos where it goes, eating most things in its path, and a such becomes a target for all hunters human, troll or otherwise in the area.

Occasionally a number if trollkin mobs will form into a trollkin horde, at this point the troll tribes will actively send war parties to destroy the horde before it does to much damage, or drive them towards elf woods.

Smaller gangs lead by superior trollkin to tend to have a longer lifespan and can be found hiding away in corners of the Elder Wilds trying to avoid everyone else.

Cave Troll Families

A number of small independent cave trolls families live deep within the eastern Rockwoods, they don’t interact much with most of the trolls of the Elder Wilds, and are as prone to eat fellow trolls as communicate.

Troll Tribes

Most trolls clans within the elder wilds are not part of a Tribe, however there are a small number of tribes operating within the Elder wilds and they account for about 100,000 trolls and trollkin in total, which is about 18% of the Elder Wilds population, but about 30% of proper trolls. I will do a more detailed breakdown of the troll tribes in a different post.

Troll Sites in the Elder Wilds

The Guide to Glorantha states we have 430,000 trolls in the Elder Wilds, The old Griffin Mountain gave us nowhere near that Kind of depth for the UZ in the Elder wilds, here are a few of my ideas for interesting troll sites and communities.

These are virtually unknown by humans and travellers will have to penetrate deep into the troll heartlands to find them.

Black Spire Gorge– Great Temple & Cave Complex deep within a river George the troll hills, A basalt spike rising from the centre of the gorge provides a mystical feature at the centre of what is the Elder wilds largest troll community. This site is in the domain of the Trang Tribe, but independent clans and  clans of many tribes visit the community to worship at the region’s largest temples.

The population is very transient but there could be up to 2500 trolls and trollkin within a miles radius of the major temples at any one point in time

The Creeping Place – The Gara Tol tribe controls these large insect breeding pits in a chasm in the Troll hills. It is also the site of great markets whenever troll caravans come from  the Blue Moon Plateau or Shadows Dance.

7 Sons of Zong – These 7 stone monoliths of troll faces are spread a couple miles apart across the  North plain leading away to the west from Troll Hills, they are sacred site to the cult of Zong and often prey is left on them as a sacrifice for further hunting success.

The Tar Pits – A Stretch of plains frequented by deep rich tar pits. It is a Zong Hunting site where trolls have traditionally hunted by chasing dinosaurs into the pits of tar.

Black Plinth – A troll fertility site holy to Kyger Lytor, it is said any mating made at the plinth in Dark Season will not be affected by the Trollkin curse.

Dragon Ruins of Gork -Ruins for EWF era magical settlement of some size built in Gorks Hills, there are signs it was destroyed by trolls or the Aldryami or maybe both. These are the supposed resting place of the mythical Vampire of Gorks hills.

The Wailing Place – A desolate place and former battlefield about 4 miles in diameter at the northern end of the troll hills. The ground here is blasted and nothing has grown here in close to a millennium.  This place is holy to Zorak Zoran and some obscure cults of Arkat. Ghosts and undead frequent, but never leave the area.

This place is still feared by the elves, who if given choice will not come within 15 miles of it.

The Shifting Pit – A deep hunting pit created by Zong that moves through troll hunting grounds changing its position by a few miles each night. it is  followed by  a troll Hunter Clan who worship both Zong and the spirit of the pit, who are able to predict  its movements.

The Dragons Spike -A small hill shaped like a single horn of bone growing out of the earth, it is magical place feared by the trolls but they don’t know why. However dragonnewt plinths are situated close to the site.


Shadow Creek – Stream of black water from springs at the bottom of the Black Spire Gorge where shamans often bind shades and undines. The stream flows to the Basalt spike outside the temple complex, where its seems to feed the pillars slow steady growth to the sky.

Offas Pile – Pile of refuse, rocks, junk, bodies and  bones which is home to some 200 – 600 trollkin at any one point. Most proper trolls avoid this place as it is ‘beneath them’. The Trollkin worship a  local spirit known simply as the  ‘The Eater’.

Animals of the Elder Wilds

Animals are very important in a Shamanistic Hunter society and though they probably are not central for game mechanics, they are great for background.  So for that reason I have provided a list of common animals by type and what the Balazarings call them.

Many are real world creatures, others are by different names or but some could be something completely unique to this area of Glorantha.

mouse_pic

I’m not going to spend my timing defining all of these it is just a little something add flavour, to wet appetite, save time and maybe get some creative juices flowing

It is also a good guide to clan and totem names.

I have gone for  a range of animals I think would be at home in either the Pacific Northwest or a primal Northern Europe. So if my colonial cousins don’t recognise some animals types there probably British/European.

  • Armadillos – Golden Armadillo
  • Baboon – Long Haired Baboon
  • Badgers – Great Stripped Badger, Dirt Badger, Black Headed Badger, Bodgers Badger
  • Bats – Giant Bat, Ghost Bat, Mouse Bat, Long Eared Bat, Pug Nosed Bat, Blood Bat
  • Bears – Brown Bear, Black Bear, Great Bear, Climbing Bear, Red Fanged Bear, Spirit Bear, Sun Bear
  • Beavers – Common Beaver, Sea Beaver, Great Beaver, Mountain Beaver
  • Bison – Great Plains Bison, Lesser Black Bison, Wood Bison, White Bison
  • Birds – Woodpeckers, Thrush, Swift, Green Jay, Swift, Magpie
  • Boar – Bristleback Boar, Black Boar, Grey Boar, Wild Pig, Tusk Boar, Red River Hog, Many Horned Boar
  • Cats – Bob Cat, Feral Cat, Cougar, Mountain Leopard
  • Cattle – Auroachs, Shaggy Backed Cattle, Long Horn Cattle, Forest Buffalo, Small Horned Hill Cattle, Yak
  • Chipmunks – Stripped Chipmunk, Red Chipmunk, Brown Chipmunk, Badger Chipmunk
  • Coyotes – Grey Coyote, Red Coyote/Moon Coyote
  • Crow – Ragged Crow, Hooded Crow, Long Beaked Crow
  • Crocodile – River Crocodile, Sea Crocodile, Ridged Crocodile
  • Deer – Giant Sable, Impala, Eubuck, Barking Deer, Red Sable, Black Sable, Shell Deer, White Tailed Deer, Roe Deer, Great Horned Elk, Swamp Mouse, Vampire Deer
  • Dogs – Fighting dogs, Hunting Dogs, Uvathasa – False Alynx *
  • Doves – Turtle Doves, White Doves, Lunar Doves
  • Ducks – Moorhen, Peeking Duck, Sea Duck, Rainbow Duck, Mud Duck
  • Eagle – Sun Eagle, Bald Eagle, Mountain Eagle, Snow Eagle
  • Fox – Red Fox, Wood Fox, Mountain Fox, Singing Fox, Silver Fox, Blue Fox, Snow Diving Fox
  • Frogs – Forest Toad, Pool Frog, River Frog, River Toad, Black Ridged Toad, Dream Toad, Arrow Toad, Stream Toad
  • Goats- Mountain Goat, Grey Haired Goat, Long Horned Goat, Black Necked Goa, Markhor
  • Gopher – River Gopher, Sand Gopher
  • Geese – White Geese, Black Headed Geese, Red Necked Geese, Blackfoot Geese
  • Hares – Long Legged Hare, Brown Hare, Jumping Hare, Kicking Hare, Snowshoe Hare
  • Hawks – Vrock Hawks, Giant Hawks, Red Kites, Buzzards, Kestrels, Falcon, Star Hawks, Red Tailed Hawk, Bat Hawk, Sea Osprey
  • Horses – Hill Ponies, Wild Donkey, Unicorns
  • Lion- High Mountain Lion
  • Lizards – Green Lizard, Sun Lizard, Red Crested Lizard, Rock Lizard
  • Moles – Hairy Tailed Mole, Star Nosed Mole, Short Faced Mole
  • Mice – Brown Mouse, Wood Mouse, Sand Mouse, River mouse(shrew)
  • Newts – Pond Newt, River Newt, Crested Newt, Greater Newt
  • Otters – River Otter, Sea Otter, Black Headed Otter, Diving Otter, Smooth Coated Otter

bison on water pic

  • Owls – Hooded Owl, Ghost Owl, Little Owl, Rock Owl
  • Polecats – Stoat, Ermine, Mad Ferret, Mink, Pine Martin, Weasel
  • Porcupines – Long Quilled Porcupine, Short Quilled Porcupine
  • Rabbits – Long Eared Rabbit, Brush Rabbit, Grey Rabbit, Brown Rabbit, Thunder Rabbit
  • Racoons – Racoon, Ghost Racoon, Bear Racoon, Magpie racoon
  • Raven – Royal Raven, Night Raven, Wood Raven
  • Rats – Grey Rat, River Rat, Brown Rat
  • Rhino – Long haired Rhino, Short haired rhino, Great Tusked Shaggy rhino
  • Sheep – Tahr, Hill Sheep, Black Headed Sheep, White Horned Sheep
  • Skunks – Striped Skunk, Spotted Skunk, Hooded Skunk and Hog Nosed Skunk
  • Snakes – Grass Snake, Rattle Snake, Tree Viper, River Snake, Great River Snake, Black Rat Snake
  • Squirrels – Red Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, Jumping Squirrel, Knocking Squirrel, Giant Squirrel, Long Eared Squirrel
  • Tigers – Mountain Sabre Tooth, Forest Sabre Tooth, Sakkars
  • Wolves- Timber Wolf, Fell Wolf, Black Headed Wolf, Snow Wolf, Mained Wolf
  • Wolverine – Greater Wolverine, Black wolverine, Barking Wolverine

*will be revisited with its own article