To lead the
people of Sartar to liberty, new leaders must be found. Leaders
who bring noble blood, true and strong. To this end the resurgent
cult of Vingkot has searched the exiles and disaffected for those
who might make such a claim and risk the perils such status will
would-be nobles hero quest back to the age of Vingkot, to prove
themselves a legitimate part of the ruling Kodigvari tribe. Secondly,
they familiarise themselves with their lifestyle and to participate
in their greatest victories. Once done, the questors can return
to the material world secure in their right of nobility and empowered
by the ancient strength, rituals and knowledge of the ancestors
of the current Orlanthi.
A lengthy ceremony
is performed. Basically, conditions are created to bring the late
Storm Age to the site. The right gods (priests) are present, and
they set up around some Storm Age relevant landmark.
the deities shown should be ones of war and rule mostly, to emphasise
the glories of the Storm Age. Suitable sacrifices to aid the ceremony
might be the devotees of Gods defeated in this era, items from
such deities or a mythic enactment of their defeat by someone
performing their part.
is the best place to start given its role as Vingkot's Hall in the
Storm Age. How the players get there and how they manage to enact
a ritual in the presence of the Glow line, the Provincial Army and
Reaching Moon Temple is up to the GM. However, if they do manage
this difficult task, they will be rewarded for their efforts by
the opportunities awaiting them that will not come from any other
the players might attempt a more cautious course, to enter the Storm
Age from a different focus point - perhaps the Quivini mountains
etc. However entering the Storm Age from any point other than Grizzly
Peak will cause the players to have at least one encounter with
the armies of Uz raiding the region.
As the ritual
progresses, it gets colder, darker, and the stormy sky roils overhead,
edged by the light of Elmal visible from far off Kero Fin which
seems to loom larger and more imposing than ever it does in the
present. Lighting, wind and potent energies crash through the sky
maelstrom of activity. All of the Orlanthi feel enlivened and energised
by the spectacle overhead.
The object of
the questors is to find their ancestors and become a part of them.
The Hall of
the King is a mighty building surrounded by a great wealth of lesser
halls and houses of his thanes and servants. A strong wall surrounds
it and many spears hedge its towers. Elmal's light is both close
and warming here and all about the fields are fertile and lush,
the cattle healthy and numerous.
Yet, as the
players arrive they will see that trouble has come to this seeming
stands outside the walls of Vingkot's hall and speaks to the council
of the king who stand upon the walls in obvious fear and consternation.
is humanoid but horned, rancid and followed by a swarm of bloated
black flies who feed on his oozing pus. He demands that they pay
tribute to his lord, whom he names as Chaosman, or they will know
his magics. The messenger proves part of this power for with a wave
of his hand three weaponthanes on the walls gurgle and die, choking
on a stream of
turgid vomit summoned by his magic. The messenger laughs and all
are afraid for this is a new power to the Vingkotlings.
Only the players
have the capacity to act for they alone at the scene have known
chaos and understand that is beatable. Each of them will have passed
the Second Son rites during initiation and thus will have partaken
in the I Fought, We Won battle. Therefore players will have a healthy
fear of chaos but not the overwhelming, paralysing terror of the
Storm Age folk. Should they attack the messenger of Chaosman they
will find him a hardy foe but one they can defeat, especially if
any have anti-chaos magics. He will attempt to flee, carried aloft
by the swarm of flies around him who move like an insectoid sylph.
If slain the
chaos-fear will dissipate and the players will be feted by the council
of the King (who is away on a hunt with all of his sons except Hengall).
They will be asked to wait as guests for the King's arrival. The
council is made up of deities and legends of Orlanthi life and so
this is a great opportunity for the players to make contacts and
glean knowledge that they can take back with them. The councillors
Khalmon - Lawspeaker
Dagordi - Warrior
Kerona - Food Keeper
Hohenla - Midwife
Ebfurya - Herdmother
If the players
do nothing to hurt or hinder the chaos messenger, then they will
be guested but only after proving their right to such privilege.
(defeat a skilled foe in a contest of boasting, charm, oratory etc).
If they appear
in any other place than Grizzly Peak, Trolls assail them in great
numbers in the hills. These trolls will be lead by several powerful
warlords equal or stronger than the players are. It should be a
terribly close fight and just when the players are losing hope,
the Vingkotlings will
come, having witnessed the battle. Hengall, the Second Son of Vingkot,
will lead the host. He has been pursuing the troll warband for some
time and the players' battle allowed him to catch the fast moving
Uz and destroy them.
All the players
who successfully defeated an Uz in battle will gain the Vingkot
feats against the Uz if they return to the material world.
Hengall is most
generous in his praise and soon shows himself to be a great man
and potential friend to the players. He asks them to accompany him
to Vingkot's hall where the king will gift them for their aid.
On arrival at
the Kings hall, Hengall will hear form the council that his father
is yet to return and the lands are under threat of a deadly new
enemy called Chaosman who struck such fear into them that they were
unable to act against his taunting messenger.
of the King
arrive with a splendid host of men. Their glittering mail and multitude
of rings displays their wealth while their gleaming spears and bejewelled
swords display their martial prowess for all to see. His four other
sons - Kodig, Korol, Janard and Jorganos the Archer, follow Vingkot.
The king is soon told of the new threat to the land.
If the players drove off or killed the messenger, he will summon
them forward and look at them with great seriousness. He will ask
them to tell the tale of their battle and will nod approvingly for
any well-told tale that is forward but not too boastful. He will
gift each player
one of his spare spears and a ring of gold forged by Gustbran. For
the warrior he deems the mightiest in valour (ie the player who
made the best boast, poem, song, story etc) he will declare him
a Thane worth 300 cattle in weregeld. He will also gift him with
Black Cloud - a huge umbroli in a Sky Bull leather bag. It takes
the form of an angry black cloud when released. Black Cloud has
powers over storm and thunder and is exceedingly bad tempered and
wilful. It is prone to destroying the area it is inflicted upon.
If instead the
players defeated the Uz and returned with Hengall, they will be
rewarded by the council with a wind horse each - a permanent umbroli
summoned for transportation purposes. However, the king will not
see them, as he is too busy with the latest crisis
will live among the Vingkotlings for at least two generations. To
the players the time will pass rapidly, perhaps punctuated by raid
and war against old foes and new - Chaosman's forces will return
to bedevil the Vingkotlings and the players will be called upon
to fight once more.
This will be
a good time to introduce the players to the troubles between the
sons of Vingkot. Each strives to outdo the other in contests to
prove themselves worthy of their father's name. Many of the warriors
and folk of Vingkot's hall support one son over the other and their
various wives from different lands often attempt to stir up jealousies,
strife and bad feelings against one or the other son to aid their
husband. Vingkot stands above all this with regal justice but stamps
down on overt idiocy.
The only son
who doesn't get involved in these affairs is Hengall, the Second
Son. He is liked by everyone who has kindness in his heart but even
in Vingkot's hall there are those who have room only for malice
in their souls.
It is after
a growing number of defeats at the hands of Chaosman's foul hordes,
that Vingkot sees the problem that stymies his efforts to counter
this new foe. His people are so afraid of Chaosman's powers that
they fight like weaklings and doubt their ability to win. Seeing
that ultimately only he can lead them in courage, as a king should,
Vingkot arms for battle with
the aid of his council (players might be struck by the similarity
of this to the Arming of Orlanth) and marches to his doom.
Any offers on
the players part to accompany him will not be mirrored by his own
peoples and this will shame them but Vingkot refuses aid.
The King is
gone for a long time and he is greatly missed. Kodig rules in his
stead but tribal morale crumbles without their king and is further
shaken by ever stronger raids from the Uz, the Dara Happans and
the Chaosmen. The sons of Vingkot begin to argue among themselves
and fear the death of their father and King. Many plan to follow
him and save him but no mission ever seems to gather support and
is quietly dropped after a while till a fresh one is aired.
returns. There is rejoicing, then sadness when the extent of his
wound is known. He battled Chaosman and was mortally wounded by
it. Yet he is an immortal and so cannot die from his injury, instead
he suffers the torments of chaos.
his folk around and tells them that he will and must pass on. He
announces that Kodig, the eldest of his line, will be his heir.
He also announces that all his sons will be Kings of their own lands
but Kodig will be High King, able to speak to outsiders and enemies
for all of them. Alone of his sons, Hengall has no lands or desires
for them. Instead he will be adviser and warlord to the high king,
tasked with leading the Vingkotlings to battle against their many
foes while the kings spend more of their time with their peoples.
After that Vingkot
is seated on his throne set atop a huge bier and then he is burnt
till there is nothing but ash and the winds take even that away
in the end.
Now the players
watch while the Vingkotlings divide up the lands and wealth of their
father. Kodig is high king but Vingkot left the responsibility of
this division to Hengall, who most consider just and honest beyond
anyone else in the lands. Even under his virtuous hands jealousy
and anger simmers.
the south lands and declares all who will follow him to be the Kodigvari
and members of the ruling tribe. He says that only the greatest
and noblest can be Kodigvari for their blood will rule all of their
peoples. Thus the first Kodigvari must win their place by contest.
The players want to be Kodigvari and so must partake of the tests
which will tax their skills in war, piety, speaking, leadership,
tactics, hunting, rule etc. All of the opponents will be at least
15w3. It should be difficult and taxing but possible to win entry.
Kodig is building a strong tribe and wants the best but he needs
Now the players
live among the Kodigvari. They take part in the settlement of their
lands, driving off competition and those unworthy of their name.
Kodig is a wise and strong king and the Kodigvari flourish under
his rule and their own great skills and talents. The children of
the Kodigvari are golden, noble and trained in all the skills of
rule. Truly they are a blessed people.
Here the players
can prove themselves to be great Kodigvari by participating in battles
and events that bring them fame. To most of the Kodigvari this is
a good time but in truth they are already leaving the Vingkot Age
which ended with the death of Vingkot. Now is the coming of the
Greater Darkness. From this point things grow worse.
to keep the Vingkotlings safe from their foes and always led warbands
to battle them wherever they appeared. However, the foes grow more
numerous as the years went on and many of the tribes suffered to
provide him the warriors and resources he needed to keep them safe.
Many remembered what they though of as the uneven division of Vingkot's
possessions based on some imagined favouritism of Hengall. Many
saw his growing requests for more men and arms as a sign that he
was seizing more power for himself.
acted. While guesting in the hall of the Ifithtelli, he was poisoned
by a hidden foe. Yet the poison didn't kill him for he had the Star
Heart. Instead he grew to be a giant of ever greater height and
girth. So great was his size that a whole clan could not feed him.
Soon after this, he told all not to pursue his poisoner for they
would know their error when the darkness came. Then he armed, as
did his father, and walked, as did his father to the edge of the
world where he disappeared from the sight of the Vingkotlings.
So it was the
Hengall learnt that Kinstrife would only aid chaos and by avoiding
it he armed himself for his lonely battle.
War on Dara Happa
This will be
the last part of the quest for the players. Here they can join in
the arguments of the surviving sons of Vingkot as to who is the
most worthy of their father. Now that the unifying influence of
Hengall is gone, they find ever more ways to argue and struggle.
Finally Kodig says
they should wage war on a common foe and see who is the greatest
in deeds to prove their superiority once and for all. All the brothers
readily agree and muster their armies to battle Dara Happa. The
players will be leading warriors in this struggle.
The Dara Happans
are weakened by the darkness and soon fall to the combined powers
of the Vingkotlings. Several battles and personal contests will
show the players worth. Any great victories will give them feats
and powers on their return to the material world.
At this point
it would be wise for the players to return to their own time for
events gather pace and the doom of the Vingkotlings hurries forward.
Defeats on this
quest will have serious consequences. If they survive such defeats,
the players will experience permanent skill minuses or reductions
on return to the material world as well as a fear of the foe they
give them the opposite. Directed skill increases, new skills, bonuses
and feats against specific foes etc. If they were gifted with something
they may bring it back. To bring an object back from the Other Side
should increase the difficulty of the ritual to leave significantly.
Given that the players are carrying items that identify them with
a specific time that is not their own, they have to be strong indeed
to bring those things back with them.