In the Shadow of Griffin Mountain
This campaign is set up as an open sandbox. As such, this wiki will stand as a repository of information players may use to help guide their choices and decisions as the campaign unfolds. Seeds of Adventure provide some possible starting points, as well.
We’ll be using the 6th edition of the classic Runequest RPG. A freely-downloadable PDF containing the essentials of the system can be accessed here.
The realm of mortal races in Glorantha is in the center of a huge square of land which floats upon the Sea of Eternity. Around the edges of the world are lands known only through legend where immense and powerful races of beings live who defend the inner world from monstrous chaos demons living beyond the edges of the world.
Although the gods made the world, they are no longer its masters. They began existence by living in harmony but fell into hatred and war which destroyed most of their old world. Everything would have been destroyed during the Great Darkness except for the heroic struggles of the minor races to resist Death, even though their gods and most of their friends had fallen. Through their fight they found the threads of nature needed to survive. When the sun rose again, it followed the path of the first mortal being back into life from the darkness.
Time began with that historic sunrise. Dating begins from that day as Day One, Year 1, and the world was at the mercy of the mortal races.
This information is commonly known to citizens of Imther, Holay, Tarsh, Sartar, Shadows Dance, the Redlands, and Garsting. It can easily be gathered from accessible sources such as popular ballads, local legends, trader’s talk, and occasional contact with the natives of the land. It is generally vague enough to be believed and is mostly true.
Hearthmother—Hearthmother is a daughter of earth, a keeper of secrets, the teacher of ways to women of the tribes. She is the keeper of traditions and the teacher of women.
Brother Dog—Grodrulf the dog spirit, blood brother to Foundchild.
Balazar Lightson—Many descendents of Balazar pay homage to his greatness.
Votanki—The child of Hearthmother and Foundchild, he fathered many children on the Nymphs of the land and thus created the Votanki people.
Yelmalio—The Local Citadel Kings and their warriors worship Yelmalio in his hold guise, Tharkantus.
Seven Mothers—The Seven Mothers cult is making headway in Balazar through the Lunar occupation of Elkoi, and the construction of a Temple in the grounds outside the citadel itself.
Lightbringers—The lightbringer cults have a small foothold in Trilus, thanks to Yalaring Monsterslayer, who wanted a foil to play against the Lunar allies of Elkoi. He has provided them with a small building which has been furnished as a shrine to the Lightbringer gods.
Cacodemon—God of lawlessness and ogres.
Spirits of the Land
- Mralota – Domestic Pig Spirit, a foreign spirit won by Balazar.
- Blueface – Less a spirit than an immortal shaman sworn to protect the Votanki from their enemies. He is welcome at any hearth in Balazar or the Wilds.
- Velha – Wild Nymphs, beautiful women who could become hawks to hunt the land, daughters of Rigtania.
- Ashwoman – Griever, Burner, Protectress of women, the daughter of Hearthmother. Hides women and herself. Her spirit and those of the women she protects are beyond the reach of magic.
- Goldenboy – A foreign spirit, lover of Ashwoman, lost in search of her. Associated with Balazar Lightson.
Combat Styles of the Elder Wilds
While the generic combat styles from RQ6 can be used, generally, cultural weapon styles will be somewhat more effective. If one of the following styles is chosen, pick one of the two Traits when the style is learned.
Weapons included in the style are noted, along with the Style’s Traits in brackets.
- Balazaring Hunter: Hatchet, Dagger, Javelin, Light Club, Shortspear, Short Bow, Thrown Rock, and Peltast Shield. (Skirmishing, Trained Beast)
- City-State Spearman: Short Sword, Longspear, and Hoplite Shield. (Formation Fighting, Shield Wall)
- Hyalor Archery: Recurve Bow, Short Spear, and Buckler. (Mounted Combat, Skirmishing)
- Lunarian Pit Fighter: Unarmed, Dagger, Net, Shortsword, Trident, and Buckler. (Unarmed Prowess, Intimidating Scream)
A list of creatures encountered.
Folk Magic (aka Spirit or Battle Magic):
Folk Magic is the most basic form of magic available and in Glorantha, the most readily available type of magic. These are simple spells and Cantrips that offer limited magical effects and can, where permissible, be used by anyone. Folk Magic is frequently taught by communities from an early age with the types of spells reflecting community necessities. This means that the Folk Magic taught by a Barbarian culture will differ to that taught by a civilized one. Folk Magic is also taught by some professions or cults to aid their members in their jobs and duties. Folk Magic is therefore accessible and available to all.
Animism (aka working with spirits)
A higher magical discipline, Animism is the practice of dealing with the spirit world and spirits that are bound to the mortal realm in some form. Animists are shamans and totemists who deliberately develop relationships with spirits to work magical effects, usually on behalf of a community but also for obtaining personal power. Animists believe that all things, be they animate or inanimate, organic or non-organic, are possessed of a spirit or soul. A relationship with that spirit allows its power to be drawn upon and used by the animist. Animism usually teaches a profound respect for the natural and spirit worlds, inculcating in its practitioners a need for restraint and reciprocation. This does not mean, though, that there are no rogue shamans; even animism has its share of selfish individuals prepared to ignore this respect in favor of gaining greater personal power at the expense of the spirit world.
This is a very geographically-limited form of magic in Glorantha (set in the land of Kralorela), and is a jealously-guarded secret.
Another geographically-limited form of magic in Glorantha (mainly in the Western lands of Fronela & Brithos), it is the manipulation of the runes through formulae that directly intersect with the very fabric of creation. These formulae are complex equations: a mixture of mathematical, psychological, existential and supernatural principals that allow the sorcerer to grasp a portion of reality and bend it to his will. Sorcerers do not need to rely on gods for their powers; nor do they need to engage with spirits to achieve their effects. Their manipulation of these metaphysical equations makes sorcery very powerful and very flexible.
However, it also means sorcerers are viewed with suspicion and even fear and hatred by those who come by their magic through less direct means. And, because sorcerers have little need for gods or spirits, it is not uncommon for them to develop a certain degree of arrogance and disdain for those who choose to venerate such entities. Although some sorcerers maintain a healthy respect for the gods and may even practice worship themselves, this does not lessen the fact that the sorcerer is, through his magic, attempting to perform acts that others may consider as the province of greater beings.
Theism (aka Divine Magic)
An almost universal form of magic in Glorantha, theists draw their magic from their gods. As the gods are manifestations of the runes, they are able to work powers based on those runes that form part of their make-up: theists, through worship and devotion, channel these runic powers in the form of miracles and thus gain the ability to work similar powers in the mundane world – albeit in a much diluted form. A worshipper of Orlanth the Storm God might be able to summon lightning; a worshipper of the sun god, Yelm, might be able to create brilliant daylight even in the midst of the blackest night. The magic theists can call upon is always based on the nature of the god or pantheon being worshipped and, more specifically, on the rune (or runes) those entities command. The strength of devotion to a god has a direct impact on the power of the magic worked; assuming that the deity retains some awareness of his worshippers, maintaining a cordial relationship with the god is necessary to receive its power.
In other words, the more they’re worshipped, the more the god/goddess will extend their power.
Average Spells Available per Temple or Teacher
Price of Spells
The average price is 100 Lunars per spell
Casting in RuneQuest takes one Action Point per point of spell. For each additional point, the caster will need to take an extra Action Point.
Running out of Magic Points
Once reaching zero, the magician must make a successful Willpower roll or collapse, unconscious. He/she is unable to cast magic, and will be at a fatigue level of “Exhausted” as per the standard chart.
Recovering Magic Points
In a magic-heavy world such as Glorantha, Magic Points will recover at a rate of 1/hour, unless the caster is unconscious. In a full night’s sleep, the average character will regenerate all their lost Magic Points.
In the case where a character uses a permanent magic point, they must disenchant the enchanted weapon.
Learning New Spells
|Magical School||RQ Type||Exp. Rolls||Time|
|Folk Magic||Cantrip/Charm||3||1 Week|
Restrictions on Casting
To cast a spell, the magician must be:
- Clear in the mind. Substances, alcohol, other spells will affect the ability of the caster according to the difficulty grade chart as determined by the GM.
- Free hands. Being tied up again uses the difficulty chart.
- Free mouth to make magical incantations aloud. The GM will determine the difficulty in such a situation.
- See the target, if the spell is appropriate.
While casting, a magician can only:
- Move at a maximum of walking speed
- Perform Free or Reactive actions
Parrying or Evading can be done at Formidable ability.
A magician performing complex invocations can be slowed down in their casting by reacting to threats, which eat up their available Action Points. If the caster is wounded, refer to the following chart:
|Minor Wound||Caster must make a Willpower check, failure makes casting one difficulty grade harder.|
|Serious Wound||Caster must make a Willpower check, passing makes casting one difficulty grade harder. Failing makes it two grades harder.|
|Major Wound||Casting roll automatically fails.|
|Mental Domination||Casting roll automatically fails.|
A character may dismiss their magic through a Free Action. No roll is necessary.
Magic of differing disciplines cannot be stacked together. In addition, magic of the same discipline which has a similar purpose cannot be stacked. So for example, two weapon enhancement magics such as Fireblade and Bladesharp cannot work together.
In situations where two incompatible spells are in simultaneous existence, the magic with the greater Intensity take precedence, suppressing or subsuming the lesser magic. Where both magics are of equal Intensity, the newer (most recently cast) magic replaces the previous one.
Magnitude and Intensity
These two terms are methods of describing the potency of magic. Magnitude is used to see how difficult it is to dispel the magic whereas Intensity reflects its level of effect. More detail concerning these terms is described for each discipline.
Although Intensity (and sometimes Magnitude) is based upon the value of a magical skill, they are not modified by any difficulty grades applied to the casting roll. For example, the Intensity of a sorcery spell is one tenth of the sorcerer’s Invocation skill, no matter whether the casting roll is Easy, Hard, or even Herculean.