I ran a four hour one-shot session of RuneQuest yesterday for some very wonderful players. Our intrepid group of Praxians – a pair of twins from the Sable Tribe, a young Bison warrior, a High Llama apprentice shaman, and a Pol-Joni mercenary were participating in a religious quest to find a rare and magical lily from a ravine in Vulture Country and bring it back to the Paps.
But they were ambushed by broo, tried to escape in a huge sand storm., encountered the Eternal Battle. bluffed their way past Cragspider, sat at the feet of the Red Goddess, and brought Death into the Temple of Life. All but one came back with terrible curses, and the Sable woman ended up Illuminated.
Everyone had a great time!
As is obvious, most of that scenario took place as a heroquest. The players chose to avoid the Pit and the Valley of Lost Souls and instead went up Cliffhome to get to Sky. There they encountered the Red Goddess who, after the Sable proved an able student, showed them the path to the Temple of Life. Once there, the Humakti decided to bring Death into the place of Life, figuring it would give her and her people mighty war magic.
Narratively not all that complex. When we think of heroquesting like lucid dreaming or a myth rather than a dungeon crawl, we can move quickly from scene to scene. And although I would have preferred to do this in two sessions, we lacked the time, and it did not feel overly rushed, rather it had no “filler material”.