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Ohorlanth and the Thunderbolt

- by Wesley Quadros

A moment the wild umbroli like a flight
Of withered gust-caught leaves, serenely high,
Toss for the Greatstorm up the muttering sky.
The leaves hang still. Above the weird twilight,
The hurrying centres of the umbroli unite
And spreading with huge trunk over rolling realm,
Each wheeled about Ohorlanth beneath Yelm,
Tower darkening on. And now from Orlanth's height,
With the long roar of elm-trees swept and swayed,
And pelted waters, on the vanished valley
Plunges the blast. Behind the wild white flash
That splits abroad the pealing thunder-crash,
Over bleared fields and steads disarrayed,
Column on column the drenching rains rally.

-Based on A Thunderstorm by Archibald Lampman

Introduction
Ohorlanth devotees who feel they are ready to master Umbrol's thunderbolt perform this hero quest to gain that weapon and the cult's secret. The quest is dangerous with fatal consequences for failure.

This quest is designed to test the hero's mastery of the affinities of Ohorlanth. Failure to use them in the quest should be penalised by the narrator as should using one for more than one stage.

Requirements:

  • As stated in Hero Wars, the devotee must be double-mastery in all three of Ohorlanth's affinities: Wind, Storm, and Thunderstorm.

The quest must begin on a hilltop with a lightning-struck tree. The hero first summons a thunderstorm and then dances through the night (test Endure Weather (3w)).

All participants and helpers dance sky-clad (naked) with unfettered hair and are heavily painted in woad; the patterns represent the Great Storm and the Thunderbolt.

Scene 1 - Wind

Scene: When the hero arrives in the Storm Realm he will be floating over the side of Soren Mtn. Roiling umbroli, the storm daimones that serve Umbrol, also known as Ohorlanth, surround the hero who must prove that he is Umbrol by forcing the circling umbroli to his will.

Master Umbroli (Nobody can make you do anything 10w2): Command Air Daimone, Leadership (-5), Charisma (-10), Negotiate (-10), Pious (-15)

Complete Victory: The narrator may want to consider giving the hero a daimone ally or follower when he returns to the Mundane world.
Any Victory: The hero successfully proves that he is Umbrol, king of the umbroli.
Any Defeat: The hero fails to gain mastery of the Umbroli but is accepted as one of that unruly host.
Complete Defeat: The hero is dominated by Umbrol and is trapped on the Hero Plane as an air daimone serving the Great Storm, forever.

Scene 2 - Storm

Scene: The umbroli boil around Ohorlanth awaiting his command. The hero needs to gather his children into a sky-darkening mass and unleash them upon the world in defiance of the Evil Emperor.

Unleash the Umbroli (Order Will Prevail 10w2): Start Thunderstorm, Dynamic (-10), Leadership (-10)

Any Victory: The hero successfully unleashes a great storm in the middle of the Golden Age. Yelm will be a little miffed.
Any Defeat: The hero fails to create a storm but returns to the Storm Realm.
Complete Defeat: The hero is bound by Yelm to be a servant of Doburdan and is trapped on the Hero Plane as an air daimone serving the Loyal Storm, forever.

Scene 3 - Thunderstorm

Scene: The storm rages and crashes over the placid lands of the Emperor. As the golden hosts assemble Ohorlanth turns his followers towards home.The hero needs to turn his frolicsome children and usher them home before the full wrath of the golden emperor falls upon them.

Reigning in the Umbroli (Violence is always an option 10w2): Drive Storm, Leadership (-5)

Any Victory: The hero successfully drives the storm back into the Storm Realm where people appreciate it more.
Any Defeat: The hero fails to turn the storm and the umbroli are driven from the Solar Realm in bloody defeat by the Emperor's hosts.
Complete Defeat: The hero faces one of Shargash's Lords of Destruction in personal combat. The narrator should feel free to do anything she wants to the hero. If the player insists on a fight, the Lord should have abilities in the high w4 range. Failure is death, the hero's soul will be devoured by Shargash. Ouch.

Aftermath

Carry-Over Table:

Compete Victory
Major Victory
Minor Victory
Marginal Victory
Tie
Marginal Defeat
Minor Defeat
Major Defeat
Complete Defeat
+12
+9
+6
+3
0
-3
-6
-9
X

With success in the quest, the hero has learned Thunderbolt, Ohorlanth's cult secret. The woad patterns that were painted on during the ritual have become tattoos. Clasped in his right hand is a lightning-blackened spear with a twisted shaft and a shining blade. The hero knows, without reading the deeply engraved runes, that this is "Thunder". The level of ability is 12 + the final carry-over.

With failure, the hero has proven that he is not ready for this last power. Narrators may wish to penalise the character's affinities for the shock and loss of confidence resulting. Perhaps spread the carry-over evenly across the hero's affinities. The permanence of this penalty is up to the individual narrator to determine.

 

 

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September 23, 2001

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