What took place in Dragon Pass between those years was a revolution as great as any in Gloranthan history. At the start, the Principality of Sartar had nearly collapsed and was poised to tear itself apart in tribal strife. By the end of 1629, it had established itself as the dominant power in Dragon Pass and the former Holy Country.
Even more remarkable, the Sartarites had confronted the Lunar Army led by the Red Emperor and Jar-eel the Razoress and soundly defeated it. They did this with an army that matched every strength of the Lunar Army – the Lunar Cavalry Corps met equally spirited Praxian and Sartarite cavalry and the Lunar College of Magic was overwhelmed by the new Sartar Magical Union. Worse yet, Sartar revealed its own heroes – Harrek the Berserk and Gunda the Guilty.
This Battle of Heroes should be a grand moment of your campaign. Rune Lords, shamans, Rune priests, warriors, healers, Tricksters, Illuminates, sorcerers – all get their chance to shrine at Glorantha’s equivalent of the Kurukshetra War or the Trojan War or Gaugamela or whatever epic battle you can imagine.
Afterwards, Glorantha is changed. Argrath marries Inkarne and becomes the King of Dragon Pass. Heroes are in great demand, defeating monsters, Elder Races, and making it possible for a new Kingdom of Dragon Pass to be a moment of long-remembered glory.
With this we enter an Orlanthi Golden Age of adventure and heroism and the King of Dragon Pass competes as a peer to the Red Emperor. But of course, it is in the nature of Golden Ages to end…
And so after 1629, key parts of the setting have changed. Sartar is unified, rich and powerful, with a powerful cavalry army and a Sartar Magical Union. The Prince of Sartar is married to the Feathered Horse Queen and is King of Dragon Pass and Leader of the Sacred League (or whatever we are calling his Holy Country allies). It is only a matter of time before Furthest falls to the Prince. Adventurers are sent forth to fight monsters, gain magic, and extend the Prince’s authority. Praxian beasts get to graze on Kordros Island and in the maize fields along the Oslir.
Meanwhile the Lunar Empire reels and enters a prolonged crisis. Civil war and dangerous introspection. And of course, as the Red Goddess turns to her Black Phase we should be aware that she always continues turning. Nothing is always Dying. And even the Dead come to Life.
If we want any comparison post 1629 are comparable to the Conquest and Tournament Phases of Pendragon.
The Battle of Heroes makes an incredibly epic end to a volume of your campaign. Characters can fight their great enemies on a battle field boiling with spirits, elementals, and Rune Magic. Scores can be settled, characters can die gloriously or live in triumph. Think the Iliad or the Mahabharata.
Fighting at the Battle of Heroes should be an epic event for your players. Survive it and you have a good chance of being one of the Companions of Argrath, effectively a Knight of the Round Table, one of the makers of this new Kingdom of Dragon Pass.
The participants at the Battle of Heroes is pretty much a Who’s Who of Sartar and the Lunar Empire. The Red Emperor, Jar-eel, Beet-Pot, Pharandros, Argrath, Harrek, Gunda, Jaldon Goldentooth, Leika Blackspear, Vamastal Greyskin, and pretty much every Wind Lord, Storm Voice, Sword Lord, Storm Khan, and Rune Lord you could shake a stick at.
This kind of stuff:
In the aftermath of the battle, as we all know, the Lunars suffered the worst defeat the Lunar Army had taken in battle since the era of Sheng Seleris.
The Red Emperor fled along the road to Furthest. He left the Bagnot and 2nd Furthest Foot behind in Bagnot.
The Sartarites lost comparatively minor casualties. Argrath followed up with an assault of Bagnot, but afterwards he was prevented from marching on Furthest by Harrek, who reminded him of his promise to attack Black Horse County. And so the Sartarite army marched unopposed to Dunstop. He garrisoned both cities but then headed into the Grazelands before beginning his famous campaign against Muse Roost.While in the Grazelands, Argrath met and courted the Feathered Horse Queen and sent his companions to perform tasks on her behalf. The White Bull was said to be smitten by the charms and the wiles of the Feathered Horse Queen.
Meanwhile the Red Emperor did not tarry in Furthest, but fled to Mirin’s Cross and then on to Glamour. During the Sacred Time rites, he was murdered by the Great Sister, beginning the Lunar Civil War.
Big picture – the Lunar Empire clearly underestimated Argrath. They figured they were dealing with a traditional uprising or the kingdom of Sartar circa 1602, with maybe a hero or three. Instead, they were completely outclassed in magical units. The Red Emperor got the bulk of the blame here by the egi, which resulted in his sacrifice.
But like any good epic battle, I am sure there were plenty of monologues, philosophical and mystical speeches, and more. Can’t wait to send another group of players there!