RuneQuest on Facebook July 2020 Highlights

Some you are probably aware that we have a RuneQuest group over on Facebook. Jeff Richard is one of the regular posters. here’s some links to some of his recent RuneQuest posts, Jeff’s replies and others are not included (Facebook membership required):

The cult of Lhankor Mhy is responsible for teaching and training scribes. The princes of Sartar have traditionally been patrons of the cult, and literacy is surprisingly widespread, with libraries in each of Sartar’s cities and in some towns and temples. Despite all that, only about 10 or 15 percent of the population can read and write. Writing is mostly in the Theyalan scripts, the same syllabary used for Esrolian and Tarshite (but not New Pelorian); as a result, literate Sartarites can read Esrolian and Tarshite texts as easily as they can their own.
Thanks to the scribes of the Lhankor Mhy cult, there are thousands of different texts. The most common genres are annals, chronicles, mythological and historical epics, lyric poems, liturgical texts, wisdom and didactic literature, laws, historiography, and humorous literature. Private and official correspondence are also written by scribes.

The Jonstown Library has a collection of approximately 10,000 scrolls, gathered from across the world. A scroll typically consists of numerous sheets of parchment sewed together—this can be quite long, as a scroll can be 40–75 meters (44–83 yards) long when full unrolled. An individual scroll may consist of many unrelated chapters sewed together. A scholar needs to know the contents of a scroll in order to know that the scroll List of Animal Gods (named after the title of the first chapter) also includes several chapters on the history of the Shadowlands and that collection of recipes from Nochet.

My favourite bit about the Jonstown Library is Eonistaran’s Catalog Wheel:

The great Catalog Wheel of Eonistaran is a wooden device like a broad water wheel. Each of the Wheel’s seven boards holds multiple scrolls containing a partial listing of the scrolls and codices within the Library’s collection. At least five different organizational systems coexist within these great scrolls; some are numbered, some are based on the first line, another based on a cryptic code, and so on. If a scholar cannot find what they are looking for in one scroll, they simply turn the wheel and look in another scroll. Most scholars agree that the 120 volumes comprising Garangian Bronze-Gut’s Compendium of Persons Eminent in Every Branch of Learning with a List of their Writings is more comprehensive (but far less practical) than Desosinderus the Librarian’s more concise Scheme of the Great Bookshelves.

During the reign of the Sartar Dynasty, the princes minted silver coins, called Sovereigns or Guilders, for use in trade. These were modeled on the silver coins used within the Lunar Empire (called “Lunars” or “L”), having the same weight and silver content, and, as a result, the same value. These coins had very wide circulation, and were used in lands as far away as Teshnos and Ralios. A copper coin, called a Clack (“C”) and modeled on the Holy Country currency, is used for smaller transactions.
During the Lunar Occupation, Lunar silver coins flooded Dragon Pass and the Lunar became the standard silver currency. The circulation of Lunar is even more wide than the old Sartarite guilders, and the silver Lunar can be found in markets as far away as Fronela, Jrustela, and Kralorela – even if none of the merchants have ever even seen a person from the Lunar Heartlands. With the liberation of Sartar in 1625, the silver Lunar remained the main coin in circulation, although beginning in 1627 the new dynasty began minting increasingly large numbers of silver coins.
Gold is primarily used for large accounts, such as trade or tribute. The Wheel (“W”), an ancient coin minted by the Wagon Cult, is widely used in accounts, even if it is rarely seen in daily life. The Sartar Dynasty never minted their own gold coin.
Nonetheless, most daily transactions were in barter. Among the rural tribes, cows, and not Wheels, were the instrument of accounts. Livestock or grain were more likely to be exchanged than silver. These exchanges were largely between members of the same tribe; when strangers or foreigners got involved, coins were preferred even by the most traditionalist Orlanthi.

One might view the entire Hero Wars as an extremely costly way of the Orlanthi and the Lunars teaching each other their core mythological secrets.

Lunar Legacy in Sartar
The Lunar Empire occupied Sartar for 23 years (from 1602 to 1625). For the first 11 years, they ruled directly through an appointed provincial governor, and then through a client king. During this period, Sartarite society and culture came under significant pressures.
New Pelorian is the language of the Lunar Empire, and was used by the rulers in administration. As a result, many Sartarite scribes and nobles learned New Pelorian, however Sartarite remained the language of tribal life, religion and culture. Nonetheless, the language is widely known at least in the cities.
A small but influential minority of the native population embraced the Lunar cult of the Seven Mothers; initiation granted citizenship in the Lunar Empire and many legal and social benefits. Many initiates were killed during the liberation of Sartar and more went into exile, but pockets of Lunar cultists can still be found in Free Sartar. Lay membership was more common (and less consequential) and most Sartarites have at least a cursory knowledge of the main Lunar deities. Other Heartland cults as well were introduced, and shrines to Yelm, Lodril, and other Fire/Sky deities can be found in some Sartarite cities, although their cults are miniscule.
The Lunar silver coin (called a “Lunar” or “Imperial”) was widely used in trade between Peloria and the Holy Country prior to the Lunar conquest. With the Lunar Occupation, it became the primarily currency in Dragon Pass and Prax. Lunar silvers were used to pay soldiers, mercenaries, and laborers, in trade, and in other transactions involving the Imperial or Provincial Governments. Although many coins were defaced after the liberation of Sartar in 1625, the new Kingdom has not stamped nearly enough new coins to make even a dent in the number of Lunars circulating in Sartar. For most Sartarites, any silver coin of a given size is called a “Lunar” regardless of who issued it or who appears on the coin.
An ironic legacy of the Lunar Occupation is the mythic experimentalism now practiced by many Orlanth cultists. The Lunar success at heroquesting has resulted in the suspension of the religious traditionalism within that cult, and encouraged experimental heroquesting in the hopes of finding magical and mythical weapons against the Lunar Empire.
The Lunar rulers made few innovations in government, beyond the inevitable strengthening of the central government at the expense of the tribes and the use of spies and emissaries. These changes were ultimately adopted by the Free Kingdom.

25 years of occupation will mean lots of city folk at least have a few points in New Pelorian.

But it is important to keep in mind that although Sartar is liberated from the Lunar Empire, plenty of things got left behind, from pockets of Lunar worshipers, the use of the Lunar silver coin, and so on.

For example, I suspect just as most educated Lunars know that the god of the rebellious hill kingdoms is Orlanth the Storm God, most Sartarites know the Lunars worship the Red Goddess and the Seven Mothers. And some might remember Doc, Dopey, Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy, Yanafal Tarnils, and Teelo Norri. Or something like that.

My guess is most Sartarites get one or two right, and then start naming Smurfs or something.

Etyries is basically an Issaries subcult – without the Lunar Empire it really doesn’t have much of a role or support. Same thing with Irrippi Ontor – being a member of the imperial scribe cult isn’t very useful without having an Empire to scribe for.

 A few small groups exist here and there, but the cult has no social role in post-Liberation Sartar. At least not until around 1630.

The problem is that many of the Lunar cults don’t really work outside of where the Lunars are the rulers and able to provide support. Many rely on imperial patronage to survive – and many others simply couldn’t function outside of areas ruled by Lunar cults (especially DX).

Argrath’s Thanes

I believe I have already listed Argrath’s principle khans as of 1625 – Yazurkial Blue Llama, Narmeed Whirlvishbane, Roneer the Hue, Zamalanth Blue Llama, Jarang Bladesong, Krogar Wolfhelm, Mularik Ironeye, Orlaront Dragonfriend, and Rurik Runespear. And Elusu, his Clown. Now let’s go the next level down – his thanes.
Including any player characters, Argrath has 15 thanes, many of whom who have claims on par of the Rubble. On average, each thane has 20-50 followers, although a few have more and a few have less. Not all of the thanes have charters – some like Sir Narib, Ostalina, and Tosti Rune-Friend, can be found anywhere.
I call them thanes, but actually the Praxians call them khans, and the Sartarites call a few of them “chief”. And others call them just “lord” or “sir”.

Arama Peg-Leg

Tarshite armor and weapons dealer who runs a very successful salvaging operation based out of the Zebra Fort.
Aran Baragrat
This Zebra Rider was nephew to Hargran the Dirty, the self-proclaimed Khan of the Zebra Riders. He was exiled by his uncle and assembled a band of outlaws and exiles, He aided Argrath at the Battle of Moonbroth and led a group of followers into the Zebra Fort where he killed his uncle. He is now Zebra Khan and head of the Pavis Royal Guard. He is based out of Zebra Fort, where he is Argrath’s law.


Storm Khan, originally from Sartar. He leads a Storm Bull gang he calls the Rightfold Stompers, but everyone else calls the Dry Drunks. Based out of the Pavis Old Mint.


Chalana Arroy healer from the Grazelands. Wanders the ruins alone, healing people.

Denekriba Soultaker

Overseer of the Real City, a rebel priestess from Alkoth who swore loyalty to Argrath White Bull and who worships Argrath as an incarnation of the Destroyer. She rides a demon horse and leads one of the largest bands in the Rubble. She is the real power in the Real City, not the Pavis priests.

Karva Spoils-Seeker

This high llama rider calls herself khan and has the Rubble’s largest single force of some 250 veterans. She served with Argrath as a Wolf Pirate (and knows Nisk and Kulbrast) and claims Opili’s Fort on Temple Hill as her own, but needs to defeat the trolls that reside there.


This ruthless Sartarite warrior from the Colymar is famed for his willingness to do any task for Argrath regardless of any moral qualms and is notorious for his maxim “fear is a weapon.” He is a skilled recruiter of mercenaries and an efficient pillager. He is based out of Manside.


This veteran Old Tarshite noble has a well-equipped and disciplined band of followers and is a skilled captain. He is a strict disciplinarian and does not tolerate lawlessness. However, banditry sanctioned by Argrath does not count to him as lawlessness.


This dark-skinned Seshnelan sorcerer wears iron armor lives in New Pavis but frequently visits the ruins seeking rumors of magic and ancient lore.


This exotic woman is a sorceress is unusually open, pleasant, and serene for a member of Argrath’s retinue. She is highly valued by Argrath, who found her on the island of Jrustela and relies on her as an expert on the God Learners. She prowls the Rubble in search of secrets from the old city.

Salvaganth One-Arm

This heroic warrior from the Lismelder tribe slew two silver-armored Lunar Rune Lords before taking a terrible slash from a third Rune Lord’s sickle sword, losing his arm and gaining terrible scars. He is broken compared to what he was, but is honored by Argrath for what he was.

Tosti Rune-Friend

This Lhankor Mhy sage knows much about dragons and has even been to the Dragon Empire of Kralorela. He joined Argrath household last year and has rapidly risen to the close confidence of the White Bull. Even on the hottest days he wears thick, blanket-like robes and chatters his teeth as if painfully cold.


This aged Humakti Sword Lord of the Colymar tribe has been hunting the undead since the reign of King Tarkalor and even struck Delecti the Necromancer in the Upland Marsh forcing him to flee his current body. He is an old man except in battle when he is a whirlwind of death. He has claim to part of the Troll Stronglands, and resides there with a handful of followers.


This Lunar Tarshite sided with Argrath at the Battle of Pennel Ford and now leads a band of hardened-killers She is based out the Yelorna Temple near the Zebra Fort.

For those of you who are enjoying the White Bull campaign, here are some cartoon sketches from the mighty Mike O’Connor:

For anyone curious how Identification works, here’s an example:

The Earth Goddess begins: “I am the Green Goddess, Fertile Mother and Bringer of Union. I carry the Loving Cup and am served by the Entwined Serpents.” This is how the Green Goddess identifies herself.

She first identifies Yanioth: “I see you Earth-worshiper, Fertility-worshiper, and recognize you as a Daughter of the Earth. I embrace you.” Yanioth has been identified as a Daughter of Ernalda – which is what she hoped for. She can continue to emulate her deity in the heroquest.

She then identifies Vishi Dunn, but not how his player expects: “I see you, Lost Moon Soul, and recognize you as the Blue Moon without Name.” Vishi Dunn had hoped to emulate Waha here but the Goddess has not recognized him as such. He no longer receives any bonuses for emulating his deity.

She then identifies Vasana: “I see you Air-Worshiper, Death-bringer, and recognize you, youngest child of the Primal Storm, called the Adventurer. I challenge you to prove your worth.” Vasana has been identified as Orlanth Adventurer, and receives bonuses for emulating her deity, but unfortunately, she is now confronted by the Green Goddess, who overcame Orlanth Adventurous.

Note that the deity identifies itself through titles, not cult names, and give one or two attributes or deeds that could be narratively useful for the players and the Gamemaster.

Now Vishi Dunn might be able to challenge his identification with the Blue Moon, but his player is not sure he can pull it off. If he challenges and loses, his connection to Waha might be permanently altered or even lost.

So what is the Hero Soul?

That’s the part of you that exists eternally in the God Time. It is part of you and means that you always exist partially in the Hero Plane. It can be encountered by other heroquesters, it can cause you to perceive the otherworld even when you do not. It is a conduit between the God Time and the Mundane World, and is the source of a hero’s power, but it also is a source of disassociation from the Mundane World.

Heroquesting II


The process by which an individual contacts the world of the gods and grows in it is slow and gradual. When mortals participate in a religious ceremony, they expend energy and gain temporary benefits in perception and understanding of cult secrets. The depth of participation is based on a person’s magical power and contact with the ceremony. In most ceremonies, priests are endowed with preternatural senses, while initiates see the dramatic participants bathed in their divine splendor. During annual ceremonies for large gatherings an entire temple’s ground can be transported to the Hero Plane in what is called a Vertical Quest, for all to witness the mythical acts which empower the cult.

A normal person in most Gloranthan societies will have undergone at least one magical ritual in their life and taken part in its workings. This single ritual would be whatever initiation ceremony was required for adulthood, or acceptance into a guild or cult, participating in holiday festivals, and so on. As a member of a cult, they may also be offered a chance to participate in some special magic adventure, such as aiding a rune lord in a quest. Some cults have their own initiate magics, such as the Telmori quest for their wolf brothers.

Heroquests are a form of deeper contact between mortals and the world of the gods. Regardless of type, the quester straddles the mundane and divine worlds, and through their deeds and choices, alters the response of the cosmos to their magical acts. There are levels of consciousness or planes of being, which the quester activates with their presence. A brief and even accidental glimpse of the “deeper realms” may activate some divine presence there. However, if undisturbed the deities remain in their set roles, as unconcerned about a heroquester’s passing as the constellations. Thus, a beginning heroquester might encounter only small spirits and the like at first, as they develop their otherworld presence called the Hero Soul.

The heroquest, or at least parts of it, will generally be known to the party who initiates it as a part of the myths of their religion. The quest will be an attempt to duplicate, or improve, the primal acts of their heroes and gods. By activating the proper portion of the cosmic matrix with their preparations and ceremonies, they alert the cosmos to their coming, and place themselves in the proper setting and spiritual state to follow the path of their quest. The alerted cosmos will bring forth whatever foe or opponent is analogous to the situation and most readily available as a natural function of its workings. Once begun, the quest must be maintained until it is completed. Some will take many adventures, with rests in between, to accomplish.

The cosmos may summon a person to answer someone else’s quest only if the person summoned is also upon a heroquest of some sort or in some liminal place between worlds (such as a Worship ceremony or certain magically significant places). Thus, lay members are not troubled to be slaughtered by a champion, but another hero will be found. This may require some long journeys for powerful beings. And there is no guarantee that the foe summoned will be an exact fit, only analogous to it, and possibly with some nasty personal surprises of its own.

The length of a quest is variable depending on upon its complexity and danger. Some will require that they be completed in a predetermined length of time. Others will require rests in between, in the mundane world. Some may never be abandoned, and the person is subject to the constant dangers of the magical world intruding upon their daily life.

The result of successfully completing a magical quest is that the quester will acquire some benefit from it. This is a magical ability, a spell, increased characteristics, weapons, or many other things, depending upon the quest undertaken. The benefit may be personal to the quester, or may reside with the entire community that supported the quest.


Heroquesting is a powerful and rare Gloranthan activity in which the participants leave the material world and enter the realm of legend and myth to interact with heroes and gods, gambling precious Life Force to gain miraculous powers. Heroquesting provides the method for advancement for a character to grow towards heights of greatness. It takes them from the ordinary world and places them in the league of immortals, and grants them the opportunity and awareness to find the paths of immortality and glory.


There are three basic types of heroquest:

1) The “In-World” heroquests.

2) The Magic Road heroquest

3) The Other Side adventures


In-World Heroquests mostly take place in the world that the heroes know. They set off from a temple or other holy place and travel across the normal map, occasionally having to stop someplace special or do something at a certain place.

Despite this familiar terrain, the questers are present in the Hero Plane. They will run into the normal traffic of an overland adventure, but they must be doubly wary in case the things they meet are some ritual enemy, perhaps also on a heroquest, that has been summoned by the magic of the heroquest. Spirits and other magical beings often appear at places strongly tied to the gods or spirits, summoned by that same magic. It is often used to prepare the way for greater voyages, and to acquire magical items useful to the individual.


Dragon Pass and its nearby regions are crossed by several magic “roads” that enable a quester to quickly travel to specific holy places along paths that skip in and out of the mundane planes, covering the distance in far less time than travel wholly on the mundane plane. Deities and spirits, or their avatars, are presented here, summoned by the magic of traveling on the road; ritual enemies are often summoned by the same magic.

The magic roads are often used in combination with an in-world heroquest. Travel along these magic roads is dangerous. There can be enemies along each path; although their type is often known, the strength of the foes may vary widely. They are also used for rapid movement, though there are occasionally side- benefits that can or must be gained to use the road.


Hill of Orlanth Victorious to Kero Fin

Dragon’s Eye to Kero Fin

Kero Fin to Smoking Ruins to Arrowmound Mountain

Sun Dome Temple to Hill of Gold

Kero Fin to Cave of the Mother to Umath’s Point (this is going up the mountain)

Arrowmound to Halikiv to Balance Split to Wonderwood

City of Wonders to Durengard to Stormwalk

Starfire Ridge to Whitewall to Larnste’s Footprint to Stormwalk Mountain to the Block


Other Side heroquests are the most dangerous, for questers must leave the known confines of the paths and sacred ways to set off across the wilderness of the divine world. It involves actual travel in the Gods World which, if properly entered, will be as recognizable to the quester as his own world. In these travels the landscape and the inhabitants are set by God Time events, but this does not make it any more predictable or less risky.

This is the region beyond that must be entered and returned from many times by the would-be Hero wishing for immortality, where they can find great powers and abilities that will make them remembered by mortals for many ages yet to come. It is the place of Godtime, where mortals are not welcome and which they cannot know except through experience.



The long-term preparations can vary greatly from quest to quest. Some quests require lengthy periods of ritual purification and self-denial so that the quester can be a vessel for the divine powers. Others require merely that the quester has been a devout and consistent follower of the gods. Questers who have failed to make these preparations will find their task harder. Persons who are downright frauds trying to rob the cult are singled out for particular violence and overly vile opponents.


Many heroquests must begin in a specific mundane location such as a certain hill, group of standing stones, or temple to the god. Others are less narrow prescribed, requiring merely that it begins on hill, forest grove, open plains, etc. Many quests must begin at a certain time, such as at night, dawn, dusk, noon, or when a specific planet or constellation is in a particular place in the sky.


Mundane support is provided by one’s cult or other community. This might be magical gifts, weapons, or treasures to aid the heroquesters, or might be mundane supporters, such as healers, worshipers, preparation of the site, etc. Some heroquests require that the sacred grounds be defended by guards and sometimes priests while the heroquesters journey.


These are the preparations that need to be made immediately before the heroquest can begin. These include the preparation of the site by a cult priest, the summoning of spirits, sacrifices, and such rituals as the Arming of Orlanth or the Three Blow of Anger. These preparations typically take 1 to 3 days.



Holy places are locations where the boundaries between the mundane world and the Gods World are permeable. From the temple of a god, a worshiper can transcend the ordinary world and enter the home of the god, in what the God Learners called a “vertical quest”. Such a journey takes place at every Worship ceremony.


Every worship ceremony is a heroquest. Some worship ceremonies have more complex quests than just a vertical quest, and the God Learners called these Worship Quests. When History began, people were performing these worship heroquests. Worshippers got together in a sacred place, performed their ceremonies to summon the deities, and reenacted the actions that brought them there. To worshippers the action enlivened them to transcend the ordinary world and they become part of the Mythic Realm. Individuals might then leave the house of the god and participate in the deeds of their deities.

Worship Quests usually begin with a vertical quest, and then a departure from the god’s house to be in the mythic story. Thus, an Oria priestess in the harvest ceremony summons the god plane of the Weeping Oria to her and departs from that place and wanders around the God Plane for a while, before returning with the secrets she sought.

As time passes, the participants will participate in many of the major stories of their deities. These events are usually pretty well known, with few variations, and well contained within the established ceremonies. That is, they know the basic religious world through acquired experiences.


Sometimes a leader, whether religious or mundane, would undertake an individual quest to achieve a specific objective. These were usually some unusual activity, needed for extraordinary reason. These were the early and later Hero Cults.

In these ceremonies, supporters, several other people typically remain attendant upon the welfare of the traveler. They pray or perform, as appropriate, and lend their strength to the quester in case of emergency. The supporters are linked to the traveler in both blessing and curse.


Very early on, it was discovered in that some supporters could actually go along as participants and gain normal experience, and not always in what the ceremony normally required. This was a special type of supporter going along as active participant.


Harmast Barefoot was the first person to perform extended sequential heroquesting. He linked a number of stories together to reinforce each other, and to achieve long term and powerful consequences.

At the time everyone knew that even within a single myth, many variants exist and participants can actively and consciously affect which version of the story occurred by their preparations. Harmast discovered that it is possible to affect the very landscape of the quest after entering it. The God Learners called this Identification.


Arkat went even further than Harmast. Arkat had participated in several different religions and learned that different religions often portrayed the same event, but from different perspectives.

He went a step further and discovered that he could actually change paths in mid-quest and invade the mythic space of other peoples. The God Learners called this Ranging.

Ranging is extremely dangerous since more myths have many ways to preserve themselves and have little room for variance by intruders. But some people do it, and after Arkat learned how Harmast could manipulate the mythic landscape, he went to impossible places and discovered things to destroy his mystical foe.


The God Learners went further and discovered that they could forcibly alter the landscape. They called this Mutation.

Later, they learned to mutate the myths permanently, effectively destroying myths and their participants. They did this by applying sorcery to the myths, draining them. This is called Tapping.


Heroquesters develop enemies as a natural byproduct of their actions. Most people never leave the armies of the gods, and so have enemies that are large and generalized. They are not personal foes.

People who engage in more personal heroquesting develop personal, recognized enemies. The effect of appearing as one’s self depends on having enough personal power to appear that way. An entity with that kind of identity always attracts a similar foe of similar power. Once attacked escape is impossible except through death in the mortal world and a subsequent failure in the divine.

People that persist on similar paths discover that their foe also does, almost haunting them. This link is called the Face Dance by the Orlanthi, because faces are visible in the otherwise generalized realm. It is also called Prey Love, Tempting Foe, Spider’s Singer, etc.

Face Dancers appear in the God and Hero Planes in their Otherworld guise. It is, however, possible to see through and identify the individual beneath it. Indeed, every Face who is dancing has a living foe somewhere in the world who is doing their own dance.

As heroquesting advances these individuals are attracted towards each other, even though they are often separated by thousands of miles in the Mortal World.

As shocking as this might sound to some folk, the Lunar Army is actually tactically quite lazy. Their ace in hole is the Lunar College of Magic which is how they get most of their victories. Battle of Grizzly Peak? That was the first time the Sartarites felt the full brunt of the College of Magic in battle (“the Lunar magicians swept them from the field.” Siege warfare? The usual Lunar answer is “Send in the Bat.” See Runegate, Boldhome, First Battle of Chaos, Second Battle of Chaos, etc.

Look at the siege of Runegate – the Lunars went to the city and stopped. The next night Delecti marched his army of zombies and skeletons out of the marsh. They climbed on top of themselves to get to the top of the walls, but were fought off by the Sartarites, who no doubt hurled lightning, thunderbolt, shield, you name it. And they repulsed the attack.

And then came the main assault. The Lunar Army withdrew further, and the Crimson Bat came. The poor defenders had expended all their Rune points, and the Crimson Bat landed on the city and ATE EVERYONE.

Similarly Boldhome. The main Lunar army got there and couldn’t get up to the wall. But the Red Emperor ordered his daughter to lead the Full Moon Corps over the mountains and into the city. Meanwhile the Crimson Bat was sent against the defenders, but a huge dream dragon forced it off. The Lunar College of Magic threw everything it could at the city, and the Red Emperor himself came in with his bodyguard.

Then you have fiascos like Whitewall or Nochet. Whitewall took three years because the traditional, “Send in the Bat” failed. And Nochet had the Lunars camped out of the city like the Athenians outside of Syracuse.

The Lunars can do this because alone of all the armies of the Third Age, they have massed thousands of magical specialists into their own units, trained them work together, and made them effectively mobile temples, with sacrifices, worship, etc. And provided them with the resources to stay in the field for seasons at a time. And put the Crimson Bat in tow.

This approach is so overpoweringly successful that even in the hands of a lazy commander, it overwhelms pretty much every foe. Only when they have to go up against something similar does it really matter – but since Belintar has been removed, there is nothing like the Lunar College of Magic in the world.

And that is why Argrath proves so dangerous as he manages to build his own version of the Lunar military machine….

Last night’s RuneQuest session involved our intrepid adventurers and their dozen or so followers and mercenaries fight their way through zombies and skeletons into Blind King’s Castle. They succeed, although in the process they lose a few followers to enemy blows and expend pretty much all their Rune points and much of their magic.

Then they get into the castle. It is dark. It is spooky. The shaman and the grave dancer see ghosts. They are spooky. The shaman’s fetch says this is a “bad place” and murmurs about “bright death” below. The players realise how dangerous fighting with torchlight and candle light is – and how short lived Light is.

Then the fetch says the ghosts are moving. All the heroic adventurers flee the castle. Iiiiaaah!

Gods I love RuneQuest.

As an aside. it should be pointed that Esrolia, Caladraland, God Forgot-Esvular, and much of Maniria have conditions where you could grow olives.

In addition, in Esrolia-Caladraland, you can grow lemon fruits and oranges, along with grapes, and olives. Add in sassafras, plenty of spices, chili peppers, oregano, and sugarcane.

One very important thing in RQG is that much of the character stats are player facing. As a GM, it is perfectly fine detailing a zombie as nothing more than:

Hit Points 16
Magic Points 5
Armor: heavy scale hauberk, bronze greaves and vambraces, open helm
IH Spear 50% 1d6+1+1d6
And then add the hit location chart. And that’s it. I always find the hit location chart handy. 😀

Only worry about the stuff that will matter in how your players are likely to interact with it. Don’t bother to worry about the rest. You might discover in play that Zombie 3 has glimmerings of memories of life and keeps muttering “Rosebud.” But don’t worry about that until then.

Why write down armor? Because in my experience that is the first thing that gets looted. I have a party that just got their hands on 18 scale hauberks, and an equal number of pairs of bronze greaves and hauberks, and open helms. That’s enough to equip a raiding force!

In short, much of the material in the rules exist to support the players so that they know what they can do, so they have options, and they have a means of describing their character that has mechanical meaning. But as the GM you don’t need all that stuff. So don’t sweat it.

Here’s neat comparison of mountains in Dragon Pass by the amazing Matt Ryan that is being done as part of another project.

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