A few sneak peak of the opening to one of the chapters of the RQ Campaign book.
PHASE 3: PRINCE OF SARTAR
This phase begins with the Dragonrise and is dominated first by the fate of Free Sartar and later by Argrath’s rise to power in Dragon Pass. By the end of the phase, Argrath is King of Dragon Pass. This is the default start of the RuneQuest: Glorantha Hero Wars campaign.
Events – A True Dragon awakens and devours the Lunar Army in Dragon Pass. The Lunar Empire itself is nearly torn apart by internal dissent and a major invasion by a confederation of Pentan tribes. Sartar is liberated but its first free Prince has a short reign, and the kingdom nearly collapses from internal rivalries. Argrath lights the Flame of Sartar and becomes the Prince of Sartar. As the Lunar Empire returns to Dragon Pass, Argrath renews his alliance with Harrek the Berserk and defeats the Lunar Army at the Battle of Heroes, killing the mortal shell of Jar-eel the Razoress. Argrath goes on to marry the Feathered Horse Queen and becomes the King of Dragon Pass. The current mask of the Red Emperor is sacrificed but a new mask does not appear.
Wars – Lunar war against confederation of Pentan tribes. Lunar attempts to reconquer Sartar; Argrath’s wars of unification; the Battle of Heroes. In Talastar, Hahlgrim fights a war against Ralzakark.
Changes – A True Dragon awakens as do draconic thoughts long quiescent. Long-forgotten spirits and heroes reappear. The Red Goddess is wounded by Harrek the Berserk. The Red Emperor is killed and the Glowline temporarily fails. Mad Sultanate released, and Charg is thawed from the Syndics Ban.
Elder Races – Reforestation of Fronela, and in Peloria and Maniria new woods appear overnight.
Other Events: True Dragon shadows Red Moon. First firebergs seen in the Homeward Ocean. Waertagi claim rule of the seas and attack all other sailors.
Major Characters – Argrath, Harrek, Jar-eel, Kallyr Starbrow, Gunda, Beat-pot Aelwrin, Ethilrist, Fazzur Wideread, Fazzur’s Sons, Feathered Horse Queen, Leika Ballista, Mularik, Pharandros
This phase experiences rapid change and transformation. It begins with Dragon Pass being in near anarchy with the collapse of Lunar dominance. By the end of the phase, Argrath has become the dominant leader in Dragon Pass and is acclaimed King of Dragon Pass.
During this phase the Orlanth cult grew in numbers and importance under the leadership of the Rex cult. Holy places were reclaimed, and temples reopened and restored. This happened throughout Dragon Pass, but most especially in Sartar. This has a growing effect on the weather. The Sartar priesthood effectively controls the Rex cult and the Prince of Sartar is recognized as the supreme priest of Orlanth Rex.
The Eurmal cult grows during this phase, and some clown societies are enrolled in the Sartar Magical Union.
Several spirit cults of Praxian origin grow in popularity, especially Thunderbird and White Bull. Storm Bull and Waha become increasingly important in Dragon Pass, largely because of the number of Praxian nomads following Argrath.
In contrast, the Seven Mothers cult declines outside of the protection of the Lunar Army. Pockets of the cult survive, but mainly in cities and often in secret.
Late in this phase several foreign cults gain shrines in Boldhome and elsewhere.
The White Bull cult, shared by the cults of Orlanth, Storm Bull, and Waha becomes popular among those who follow Argrath.
The Ygg cult is introduced late in the phase by Wolf Pirates. It is associated with the Orlanth cult.
The Sartar Magical Union disseminates a variety of magical techniques, including Discorporation and other shamanic secrets, Auld Wyrmish, and heroquesting techniques such as Join, Ranging, and Vertical Questing. Some even learn draconic magic. During this phase, this group is comparatively small, numbering a few hundred at most.
With the plundering of Muse Roost, there is a dissemination of heroquesting knowledge including a map of the pathways through the Underworld.
Old limitations on heroquesting are challenged and cast away. Kallyr Starbrow attempts the Lightbringers Quest, but it fails because of Lunar counter-heroquesting. The Orlanthi in turn being doing the same thing to Lunar rituals.
Argrath and Harrek encourage their followers to creatively and experimentally heroquest to seek new powers, allies, weapons, or treasures, and teach their followers new heroquesting techniques. Many of these heroquests fail, but enough succeed to later grow the Sartar Magical Union into the serious rival of the Lunar College of Magic.
The nonhumans of Dragon Pass are largely caught off guard by these developments, with one important exception. A new True Dragon awakens and devours the Lunar Army in Dragon Pass, setting off the phase. After this, dragonewts and other draconic entities are active and enter into human affairs again. The dragonewts teach those who go to the Trade Think Theatre and express an interest in learning. At the end of the phase the Inhuman King recognizes Argrath and the Feathered Horse Queen as the rulers of Dragon Pass.
The trolls of Cliffhome and Dagori Inkarth oppose both Sartarite and Lunar efforts to dominate Dragon Pass and stay out of the growing conflict between the two.
When did King Argrath make known his policy that Lunar merchants were to be tolerated? Pretty much as soon as he is acclaimed Prince. That’s one of the things a Prince does. The caravans must run! Why on earth would a Prince – whose main source of revenue is the caravan trade – allow the tribes to attack caravans on the Prince’s roads? I mean that is just stupid.