Map of the Tunneled Hills and the Plateau of Statues
The Hills and Plateau combined are some 200 kilometers in the north-south direction and 80 kilometers at the widest in the east-west direction. The Plateau itself is only some 50 kilometers north to south.
Only Safe is on the western side of the Tunneled Hills. It is a rough circle with a diameter of about 25 kilometers.
Directly to the east and some 20 kilometers away was the area called Mostal’s Graveyard. It is about 20 kilometers in diameter. East of that is a chain of taller mountains that run almost directly north to south. They extend some kilometers north of Mostal’s Graveyard where they end for about 20 kilometers before continuing north again and about 30 kilometers south of the Graveyard, where it reaches the lava flow that extends from the volcano on the Plateau.
East of the mountains is a kind of fjord in the Hills that extends some 60 kilometers in from the eastern side. In this cul-de-sac is an extinct volcano that houses a city called Than-ulbar, supposedly for the Thanatari that dwell there. South of Than-ulbar some 50 kilometers, back in the Hills, is a valley that is unlabeled. We never discovered its name.
North of Only Safe, about 100 kilometers away is the valley called Bagogix, where scorpion men are said to dwell. East of that, across the mountain chain, is the valley called Weeping Vale.
South of there, some 25 kilometers, is a valley labeled Water Here. We never discovered why.
10 kilometers south of Only Safe is a valley where there stands a building made of stone.
Inside it and down a hole, there are some number of broos.
The lava flow from the Plateau is long-cooled. There are many tunnels through it and it extends some 40 kilometers from the Plateau. The border between the Hills and the Plateau is marked by mountains on the western side, which cluster around the lava flow. The eastern side had no such border mountains on our map.
The Plateau of Statues is a rough oval in shape. There is a small indentation almost in the middle of the southern side. At the apex of this indentation is the castle of the boggles.
Once on the Plateau, following the edge of the Plateau to the west, one first comes to a small lava flow and then to an area marked with Water Runes. This place contains many fountains with clear, drinkable water. Continuing west, one comes to a castle that is inhabited by water-drinking bats.
North of the Water Runes area, one comes to a huge statue of Storm Bull with horns of iron. To the northwest, there is a large grazing area with many different types of animals. Close to that is an area marked with Stasis Runes. The place contains many buildings, some of which were made of the minerals of the Decamony. Northeast of that is a strange blue pyramid that we had no time to investigate. Continuing to the northeast is an area marked with Death Runes. East of that, at the corner of the Hills and the Plateau is a castle marked with Chaos Runes.
South of that is an area marked with Plant Runes. Then heading west from there, one returns to the boggle castle.
Map of the Menial Valleys of the Brand Clan
The whole of the area we spent much time in is about 70 by 70 kilometers. Mistvale, the place where we first met the menials is nearly in the center of the inhabited valleys. Mistvale, a rough oval some 6 kilometers long by 4 kilometers wide, has a population of 200 or so, has two entrances, heading generally east and west.
The eastern exit stays in a deep gorge for some 4 kilometers until a fork is reached. If one continues to the east, then the trail slowly curves to the north, heading out of the gorge until about 13 kilometers later, one reaches Crook Halt, a triangular plain some 7 by 4 kilometers. Crook Halt has a population of around 70 and has two other exits, one heading east, the other west.
The eastern exit curves north for a total of 13 kilometers until the exiger fortress is reached. Continuing north, the trail forks off to the west until the ‘borders’ of the Kujerung clan is hit. If the northern fork is taken, one will eventually hit the jungle on the northern side of the Mari Mountains.
The western exit from Crook Halt goes for some 12 kilometers until a fork to the south is reached. Heading south for 5 kilometers, the valley of Orange Fire, a triangular valley 12 kilometers by 6 with a population of about 350 is reached.
This valley has no other exit, so continuing west from the fork for about 27 kilometers will take on to another fork. This fork is guarded by a small fort manned mainly by men-at-arms. The fort appears to mainly guard one from leaving to the northwest. However, if one turns to the southeast, the next 12 kilometers or so is called Many Gorges, for there are many small gorges that house a total population of around 100.
Once past Many Gorges, it is only 2 kilometers to Silvereye, a valley 6 by 5 kilometers supporting a population of 120. A trail north leads for 12 kilometers until the small circular valley of Turn’s Drop was reached, which had around 20 people living there.
Heading east out of Silvereye, the trail winds through a gorge for 15 kilometers until another trail joins it; then it is only another 6 kilometers until one enters the western entrance of Mistvale.
If however, one heads to the south after leaving Mistvale towards the east, then you stay in the gorge for 11 kilometers until the village of Stormwood, a valley about the same size as Mistvale’s is reached. Stormwood has a population of 150 and two other exits.
Heading west for 16 kilometers, a fork is reached. If the northern one is taken, then after some 6 kilometers, one joins the trail heading from Silvereye towards the western entrance of Mistvale. If the southern one is taken, after 17 kilometers and a curve towards the southwest, the village of Crystal Lake, with a population of 40 is reached.
Taking the southern exit out of Stormwood, one stays in the gorge for 8 kilometers until one reaches another fort placed halfway up the side of the cliff that forms the gorge. Its placement is absolutely perfect for hindering traffic through the gorge. If however, one can get past, it is another 6 kilometers to the biggest valley in this area, Halfwing. It is about 14 kilometers by 8, and has a population of around 500. The other exit from Halfwing heads south and to the Viter clan of exigers.
Mister Man’s Speech
“Everyone sit down. I am going to speak and you must all listen. I am 65 years old and you must have respect for the elderly. This is going to be a long speech so everyone sit down.
“My name is Mister Man. I have lived 15 years in Tradespot. I have lived many, many years, and I have one motto by which I live: ‘Anything can be stolen.’ I do not have to explain my motto to you.
“I am not an idiot. I may be a Trickster, but I do not worship Bolongo. I do not know why I have joined you. Maybe I shall never know. You say chaos is leaving my land to invade yours. At first I say, ‘Good! If more chaos leaves my land, fewer chaos remains.’ Then, I think, and I say, ‘If there is now so much chaos in my land that we can afford to export it, I must look into this.’
“You come from far away. You have traveled to many, many lands. You think you are civilized people, knowing many wonderful things — sorcery, metalworking, cities. But you do not know that all the lands you have been to are the same. You think, ‘No, we do not think so. We know that the land of the Doraddi is different.. All the places we have been are different. We are used to different places. This land is different too, so it is the same.’ You are wrong. This land is very, very different from the others you have been to. It is as if you had eaten many, many different kinds of fruit in your life, but only fruit. And then a man gives you a piece of good roast meat. That is how different my land is from the others you have been to.
“You call me a Trickster. You despise me in your hearts. You think, ‘What a shallow fellow, only thinking of his stomach.’ What else is there for an old man like me to think of? I say, Trickster sits on the council of the gods. I say Trickster is the only reason the sun is now in the sky. I say mygod is important.
“Of your country, so wonderful and civilized, I know much. I know more about your country than you do of mine. I know of your custom of blood feuds. When a man is killed, you do not mourn. You celebrate his death by killing more. And then more of your family is killed. And so on until everyone is dead. What a fine custom!
“If your king is old and senile or only five years old, you keep him on your throne. He is the King. So you have bad kings.
“What if you decide your king is bad? You kill him and replace him with another king. Or if your king has friends, they try to kill you. Maybe everyone is killed. What if you kill your king and put his murderer on your throne. Then you have a criminal for a king. The criminals do not rule in my land.
“What if your king wants you to give him money? And you do not want to? You call this taxes, and you pay it. Or else the king kills you or puts you in chains. I say that this sounds to me much like robbery. So your kings are robbers and killers. What fine kings! What a fine land!
“Your civilized land is overrun with chaos monsters and trolls. No? Tell me I am wrong and look me in the eyeballs.
“If you gave me much, much beer and told me to imagine a land as bizarre and foolish as possible, I could not imagine a land as foolish as yours. And you do not even realize how foolish it is! We will all be quiet now and think about it for a minute. Think!”
And he sat, thinking, for about five minutes.
“In my land we do not have cities. So you think in your hearts, ‘What a savage land. What poor benighted people. I am glad I come from a land where we have cities, and metal, and sorcery, and Tap spells, and assassins, and taxes, and robbers and murderers to be king.’ Maybe you say it differently than I do. But you do not know anything about my land. Do you know that my land once had many, many cities? Big cities. Cities on the seashore. Cities with big roads, and sorcerers, and taxes. Better cities even than yours are now. We called that land the Artmali Empire. And did you know that in the last age we had another civilization. With many, many cities and with sorcerers, and taxes, and big roads. We called that civilization the Ill Empire, but its founders called it differently. Why do you think we do not have cities now? Because we have forgotten how to make them? Because we never knew how to make them? NO! Because we do remember how to make cities. That is why we do not have them. We had cities. We know that cities did not make us happy. We were not healthier. We did not have better clothing. We did not have more food and goods. What you do not understand is that we had cities, and we decided we were better off without them. So do not despise me for being an ignorant savage.
“You come to our land arrogant. You do not even bother to learn our language well. One of you does not bother to learn our language at all. You do not bother to find the least thing about our land. You have never heard of the Meeting Contest. I saw your faces when the oasis women said we must have a Meeting Contest. Every time two bands of our people meet for the first time, we have a Meeting Contest. And other times, too. And you had not even heard of it. If I went to your land and had never heard of cities, would you not think me ignorant?
“So. Here you are. Knowing little, and that little is false. Who will help you? How will you find your way around? How will you find your goal? Let me tell you. You will have to rely on the despised Tricksters. Me… and Mugumma. If you kill one Trickster, you lose all of us. Could you trust us after such a deed? So no more talk about killing. Another proof of your superior civilization
— I heard you talk seriously about killing one of your comrades because he played an annoying trick on a person you wished to speak to. Do you really think that murdering one of your own friends will earn you more respect than Mugumma’s and the duck’s juvenile tricks? No one in the oasis would even speak to you after such a foul deed.
“Now. To business. I trust you are all suitably humbled. I saw how you divided up the money when the troll had much metal and you all desired it. I thought, ’At last, the foreigners show sense! If someone else had metal to which he was not entitled, I, too, would desire it.’ But then, you divided the metal up evenly! Are you all equal? What a foolish notion.
“You need a leader. I suspect that even outsiders are not as foolish as you. I think that until recently, you had a leader, and something happened to him. Now you need a new leader. Pick one. In our land, leaders must belong to the proper family, that way they are trained from birth to be good leaders. So. Are any of you trained to be a good leader? I am not. Mugumma is not. The sorcerer is not, I know, because I know much about sorcerers. The dwarfs are not, because only dwarfs that are not leaders can come above ground. Who is left? The duck? The troll? I think not. Let us think about it in a minute.
“But we have something else to speak about. What is your goal? You must have a plan.
You say, ‘We want to talk to the gray ones.’ Well, you did. And you received remarkably unsatisfactory answers, no? So now what? Do you lack a plan? Yes? Let us make one. And while we make one, let me explain why I think the duck and the troll would make poor leader, though possibly good advisors. I am prejudiced. I think that non-humans do not think in the same way as humans do. Have you not found it so? So a non-human leader will often lead you in illogical ways, for a human. And this will lead you to more problems. Such as the money. I say you need a human for the leader. I say, even a bad leader is better than no leader. So. Pick a bad leader.”
The Dolmanyei Tribe
The Dolmanyei tribe is composed of 460 people: 200 men, 160 women, and 100 children. Of these, 105 are sworn members: 35 men, 55 women, and 15 children. The Manyei family itself consists of 41 members: 7 men, 11 women, and 23 children.
TRIBAL POTENTATES (age in parentheses)
Chieftain Sumigar (41) His wives, the twins Palalla (32) and Soroma (46). The old woman, Hamako (67) Her six hags, including Ranga. His war chief, Gornolog (36) His Eight Warriors, including Yapatan.
Priest of Pamalt: Sumigar Priestess of Aleshmara: Hamako Priest of Rasout: Abmarong
(69) Priest of the Spear (Vangono): Yapatan (44) Priestess of Nomiama: Ramparo (30) Priestess of Yanmorla: Ranga (77) Shamans: Than (32), Opantsar (50), and Greeno (51)
MEMBERS OF THE MANYEI FAMILY
Chieftain Sumigar His six daughters (3, 7, 9, 12, 15, 20) and two sons (2, 12) His two
grandchildren, both girls (1, 3) Sumigar’s three sisters, Amalya (37), Songamma (36), and Iula (32)
Amalya’s four daughters (5, 12, 21, 23) and three sons (3, 15, 17) Songamma’s five daughters (3,
5, 9, 14, 20) Iula’s four daughters (4, 8, 12, 16) and three sons (2, 3, 11) Sumigar’s aunt Sambaba
(48) Sambaba’s daughter Ahala (30) still living at the tribe Ahala’s two sons (3, 14)
Note: The following are not in line for the chieftaincy, but still belong to the Manyei family.
Sumigar’s father, Amalayo (57) Sumigar’s brothers-in-law, Hamasigno (23) Amalya’s husband, Ordodandro (49) Songamma’s husband, and Kralako (32) Iula’s husband.
Secrets in the Campaign
What Slagstone told Grokk: Grokk told Slagstone that he was thinking of talking to the exigers about back-stabbing the humans. Slagstone didn’t like it, but told Grokk to go ahead and try.
What Slagstone told Thingol and Gorfang: He told them what he had told Grokk. He also said that he thought Harmast was fighting a losing battle against the exigers. Thingol agreed in principle, but Gorfang wanted to stay with Harmast. Slagstone also told them that he knew that the exigers were pure Death worshipers.
What happened to the two dwarfs that night: At precisely midnight, a nilmerg, wearing an iron breastplate and cap, crept into the cave and repeated: “It is probable that our elimination of the human threat was not a success. If we are mistaken, return to the Fortress at once. If the threat remains, join the group of humans you are nearest to and assist them in any way possible. At intervals, nilmergs will attend for messages about the human activity.
“To solve mysteries: you were not requested to join in the elimination so that you could survive and become spies, if necessary. You were not told about the attempted elimination so that when questioned, you would know nothing and thus be trusted by the humans. We are aware of the existence of Truth spells.
“The humans must not find out about your purpose in spying on them. You will not, at any point, be called upon to perform what the humans term ‘treachery’.
“It is imperative that the humans not treat the Fortress as just another human group, to be warred on, allied with, and dealt with.
“You must remain alive at all costs. Only if absolutely necessary switch your allegiance to an opposing human group. Thus will your loyalty be unquestioned.
“Assist this unit to escape the human area and return to the Fortress to the best of your ability.”
With that, the nilmerg awaited their instructions.
They helped the nilmerg to get away and accompanied it to a mountain area some distance away. There they found a band of nilmergs and no gremlins. The nilmergs carried 4 large brass cylinders, approximately 1 meter long, and 20 cm in diameter. One of the nilmergs explained.
“When instructed, apply fire to the blunt end of the cylinder, which must point to the open sky. Brace the cylinder soundly so that it will not fall over. Retreat to at least 4 meters distance. Do not permit the humans to discover these devices. These units will assist you to hide them as desired before they return.”
With that, they hid the devices and returned to Mistvale.
As I come back to this Campaign Log after many years and re-read what I wrote so many years ago, I am simultaneously amazed at some of the things we did, appalled at my occasional poor writing, and disappointed that I did not have the discipline to continue writing the Log. I can only blame my own prejudice on disliking dungeon crawls and not wanting to write about them.
In hindsight I wished I’d done so, since the campaign continued for another three years (of Glorantha time). By then, it was too late. I was unwilling to go back and write about all the dungeon crawls that had taken place, and had to content myself with keeping the Campaign Chronology.
I am pleased that I did so, since that came in handy some years later when Sandy returned to the Bay Area (for a computer gaming conference), and we spent two more weekends back in Mistvale with Harmast.
But that’s another story, and this one is done.
“Perforated corpses and broos with gross pustules, Hoolars with eggs, struggling with new rules, Tying my stumps off with small bits of string, these were a few of my favorite things…”
Geez, it seems so long ago that I was introduced to Sandy Petersen and his gaggle of gamers. I was 13 or so when I started playing in this campaign, and trying to remember specific bits of it will no doubt be difficult.
So what was my first impression of Sandy? Well, Sandy’s just this guy, you know? When I first came to Sandy’s game, I didn’t really know what to do. I mean here was this guy who had written (actually written!) one of my favorite games (Call of Cthulhu) and really worked at Chaosium! Wow! What more did a 13-year old kid who had been playing RQ for 3 years need to impress him? (Shut up…) Anyway, so here was this guy, and all his cronies, the youngest of which (Steve Leary) was like a junior in high school. I was in 7th grade fer cryin’ out loud! Well, as nervous as I was going into this situation, it seems the rest of “the guys” were equally thrilled at having me there. Sandy told me years later that after I had been around for a few weeks, some of the other guys asked him to get rid of me, but he kept me around because I amused him.
Well, I can hardly blame them, I mean, here I am, this gangly, inarticulate kid imposing myself on their little clique. So, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I stuck around and (I hope) became one of the most influential players in the group.
For those who haven’t checked the registry of players at the beginning of this tome, I played any number of characters in the game, most of which I can’t remember (sorry). To my memory, I played: Toran Windblade, Norac of the North, Miles Letum, Mugumma, Tommy Flanagan, and Jihad. I guess the best way to go over my experience in the game is to go in order of the characters I played. And so we begin at the beginning…
TORAN WINDBLADE: well, I remember almost nothing about this guy I know that he ended up dying, and tried to DI to Orlanth to let him live to continue the battle he was in.
Unfortunately, he rolled exactly his POW, and so while Orlanth healed Toran, he was not returned to life and went to Orlanth’s hall. After the battle, Toran’s companions found him, unscarred, and so assumed he had died of a heart attack.
NORAC OF THE NORTH: Another wind lord of Orlanth, I remember nothing about what he did other than to die in battle, DI to Orlanth, roll exactly his POW and fall victim to the “curse of the Orlanthi” and become the second Orlanthi in a row to die of a heart attack in battle.
MILES LETUM: Ah, Miles, here was a character I could really sink my teeth into… Miles was an Ogre with the chaos feature of 9pt skin armor. I discussed this with Sandy before the game began, and we decided that Miles had a layer of fibrous wood just under his skin, affording him the armor. Over time, Miles generated other chaos features, none of which aroused the suspicion of the other players. Miles’ greatest accomplishment was when he went into battle alongside Harmast against the exigers. Before the battle began, I wrote down all the HIT NEAREST FRIEND fumbles on the side of my character sheet, and as the battle went on, I kept rolling to hit Harmast, and pretending to fumble by calling out the numbers I had marked earlier. Over time, I began to get bored of this character (it was becoming hard for me to keep deceiving my friends week after week) and so Sandy and I engineered the “Final Metamorphosis.” Miles was discovered missing after his turn at watch one night and when the other characters went out looking for him, they found a horrible, half man, half insect thing with gruesome swords terminating each arm (one of Miles’ chaos features was a sword growing from his right hand). As the battle went on, Miles was critically injured and DI’d to Cacodemon, who promptly came down and ate him. After the battle the players figured out that Miles had been an ogre whose mission had been to disrupt the other character’s plot against the chaos monsters. When they figured out that he had been an ogre, they decided that his name, Miles Letum, really described his hoped plan of action (Miles ‘l eat ’em). Actually, the name was pidgin latin for Warrior of Death, or Warrior of Darkness or something (I can’t remember, it’s been a while).
TOMMY FLANAGAN: Well, Tommy was this pathological liar duck thief, see… Anyway, if you can come up with a more annoying character, my hat’s off to you. He lasted for one evening, at the end of which, the other characters in the group ran the poor duck up a tree and set fire to it, killing him slowly.
MUGUMMA: Mugumma was one of my most favorite characters. He was a Pamaltelan shaman. Friend of hoolars, trickster cultist (though he dropped the cult after about a month, but the cult wouldn’t drop him), and all-around nice guy. Mugumma’s exploits were extensive, and, sadly, mostly forgotten by myself. One of the things I do remember about him, was when his INT was tapped down to 4 by a warding and his fetch swapped places with him. I don’t even remember what happened to him in the end. I suppose he was either killed off, or ended up wandering the continent of Pamaltela.
JIHAD: Jihad was my last character in “The Game” and the one which was truly my own character. I was 17 when I started playing Jihad.