Balazar HQ2 Keywords And Magic

Submitted by BlindGuyNW on Tue, 13/11/2012 – 17:35

Hi all, I’ve been looking through Griffin Mountain lately, which I bought on a whim a while back, and become rather impressed with the amount of detail packed into a fairly slim package. I think HeroQuest is my system of choice though, and so find the RQ stats a bit superfluous.Before I go through the process of combing the supplement for abilities, I wonder if anyone has done this already? Some initial googling doesn’t seem to have revealed anything definitive. Also, is there any consensus on how Balazaring magic might work? I have the Sartar book, and wonder if I could use the rune magic in there as a starting place.Thanks for any info,


The Balazaring Tradition

Submitted by David on Tue, 13/11/2012 – 20:19.

Griffin Mountain was my first ever Big Gloranthan supplement, I ran it for years. I love the whole Balazaring culture and their citadels.
The Guide says:

“The Balazarings are a Neolithic hunter-gatherer people divided into many small clans. Their tribal leaders dwell in massive citadels of cyclopean stone built in the Second Age. They use dogs extensively, but do not domesticate riding animals. The citadel Balazarings raise domestic pigs, but are not otherwise agriculturalists (except at Elkoi). They are distantly related to the Pelorians.” “The Balazarings religion can be divided into two types: the indigenous hunting and gathering spirit religion which has continued virtually unchanged since the Neolithic Dawn Age survivors of the Darkness, and the important religions brought be foreigners. These include rival cults of Theyalan and Lunar origin, plus the old Yelmalio worship of the citadels.”

So with that and the GM book you bought we get –
The Balazaring’s primary rune is mostly Fire. Like the Praxians, their secondary rune is mostly Spirit. Their tertiary Rune can be anything. The Balazaring Tradition (Death & Life) will follow the basic spirit tradition rules in HQ2. Charms key off the Spirit rune, Spirit societies are not keywords, everything keys off the spirit rune, keeps the paper work neater. There are following spirit societies in the tradition:

Hearthmother (Life & Harmony) Helpwoman provides charms that relate to Life (typically nurturing and life giving) and of Harmony (typically healing and blessings). Charm taboos are varied. Open to women only, has a shaman path.

Brother Dog (Beast). This Beast spirit provides charms that relate to dogs. The taboo of these charms is treat your own dogs as brothers (i.e., feed and heal them), to never willfully harm a domestic dog (while dogs promise never to attack a Balazaring). Open to either sex.

Votanki (Spirit & Man). This simple ancestor society concerns itself with only the Balazaring tradition. Charms are available from the ancestors (any rune in the tradition and its societies). Also Charm taboos are varied. Open to either sex, has a shaman path. Votanki shamans are actually Daka Fal shaman, but this isn’t important.

Foundchild (Death & Harmony). Foundchild’s spirit provides charms that relate to Death (typically hunting and weapon use) and Harmony (typically working in the landscape and animal stalking). Charm taboos are varied. Open to men only, has a shaman path.
In the Citadels,

Mralota the Sow Mother (Beast) is a small localised spirit society. This Beast spirit provides charms that relate to pigs. The taboo of these charms is to never mistreat your pigs. Open to either sex.

Hearthmother and Foundchild also have access to the Lowfires (fire). Typically these flame spirits and have the single ability to ignite a specific type of fuel. The taboo associated with these spirits is Light a Fire Every Day.

King Hawk (sky). This Sky spirit provides charms that relate to the Giant Hawks, their breeding and their care. The taboo of these charms is to never mistreat a hawk and the other actions listed in the text. This specialist & localised spirit society is open to either sex, but only at the discretion of the king.
There are also theistic cults present such as Balazar (Mastery) – a Hero of Yelmalio and Yelmalio himself. This theism is mixed in with the Balazaring Tradition, and is not at odds with it. Heroes can use both at the same time.

As for other theistic cults – as per Sartar, The Sartar Companion & Pavis.
I can do some same characters if that helps.


David Scott

It would help I think

Submitted by BlindGuyNW on Tue, 13/11/2012 – 21:27.

Hi David, While I think I understand most of the explanation, some samples would probably make it a little more concrete. When you mention the guide, are you quoting from the manuscript of the guide we don’t yet have access to? I just want to confirm that this is the source of some of that information. :-)If you could write up a couple sample characters, it would be very much appreciated. Thus far, I’ve only ever had experience with Sartarite Orlanthi.

Sample Character 1

Submitted by David on Wed, 14/11/2012 – 19:29.

The upcoming Guide to Glorantha is the source of those snippets.
I’m trying to do the sample Balazarings the same way I did the ones for the Pavis book – to hopefully show how they work and for MGF. Here are a few more bits of info I’m working from to help you along:
I’m recommending a slightly altered version of the Spirit Magic system from HQ2. The difference is that everything keys off the Spirit Rune to simplify book keeping. I’m using the list method from Sartar page 13, with the addition that animists get up to 5 charms to start as part of the 9 additional abilities.

Balazaring occupations:
Rural: Hunter, Gatherer, Spirit-talker. Urban: Herder, Crafter, Entertainer, God-talker, Noble, Warrior. Shamans and Priests exist, but I don’t allow players to start as them. A spirit-talker is a shaman’s apprentice or assistant.

Bobandi the Keen Eyed Hunter
Fire 14
Beast 15
Spirit  7W
Balazaring Tradition (Death & Life)
(Fire) Grandfather Tarkaril keeps me warm +1, taboo is never light a fire.
(beast) The Black Lion Speaks (Ritual) +1, taboo is always have a midday knap.
Foundchild spirit society (Death & Harmony)
(death) In the Eye +1, taboo is always eat the eyes.
(harmony) I am like the Trees +1, taboo is to wear only a bark loin cloth.
Brother Dog spirit society (Beast)
(beast) Become Dog +1, taboo is eat only raw meat on Wildday.
Hunter 1W
Thrown Spear +1
Good Skinner +1
Black Lion Clan (Dykene) 15
Mother is clan Votanki Shaman +1

Keen Eyed 13
Hate Red Sable Clan (Trillus) 8W
Will not talk to citadel dwellers 8W
Socially inept (not with dogs) 8W
Other Magic
(stasis) Stop Bleeding (spell) 13
(beast) Imitate Animals (talent) 13
(darkness) Freeze water (spell) 13

Sidekick, Longnose the fast Hunting Dog
Hunting Dog 1W
Spirit 1W
(movement) Great Uncle’s Swift legs +1, taboo is to have feathers tied into fur.
Fast 15
coming soon – Enchanting Eyed Ororia the Spirit-talker—–David Scott

Balazaring NPC

Submitted by Herve on Wed, 14/11/2012 – 16:19.

Oonkor the Generic Hunter
Keywords : Hunter, Cultural background : balazaring
Magic : either Spirit Rune (as David says) or Foundchild Spiritist. sample charms : Fast Throw, Far Throw, Hide Scent, Leave No Tracks, Invisible in Woods, Call (Beast). Might also have a Totem (an animal spirit, such as Bear or Wolf, with proper animal-like abilities in spirits). Many also follow Brother Dog practise (Talk with Dog, Heal Dog, Sniff like a Dog, etc).
Exotic traits : Can speak to elves, Super Orientation Sense, Descendant of Balazar himself, Has been to the City, etc.
Possible disadvantages : complete hick. Speaks only balazaring. Half of family taken by tarshite slavers, etc.
HQ in Balazar

Submitted by Herve on Tue, 13/11/2012 – 17:57.

Ah, Griffin Mountain. Best RPG book ever written. I used it in HQ five years ago but all my notes are in french. In short :
– balazaring are animists, and use only spirits (hunter, animal, elemental spirits)
– the citadel’s Yelmalio cults are “old Yelmalio”, or Tarkhanthus, but using the Fire and Combat Runes as theist affinities is OK
– the lunars and orlanthi are just that, but making Halcyon Var Enkorth a sorcerer (maccabean maybe, or spolite) is cool.
In my tarshite campaign, the PCs ended up freeing Elkoi from the lunar yoke, after having gone to the Other Side to wake Balazar himself from his lunar-isolated and bobby-trapped citadel. They gathered the Three Artifacts (the Wings, the Orb and I Ring). They went to deal with Gonn Orta.
I envy you and wish you a happy campaign !

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