Runa: The Shattered ClansJune 26, 2009
Being excited for the HQ2, I’m coming up with my own setting, sort of an AU of Glorantha – Runa. Part of this is after really looking at -how- problematic the POC stuff is, it’s just easier to take the ideas I like, and make my own, instead of banging my head against a wall…
Once part of the great Northern Dynasty, the Shattered Clans are the survivors of the great cataclysm more than 400 years ago.
The Red Empire had just unified and was still fractious when the Red Goddess began war upon the Northern Dynasty – forcing those under her to work towards a common cause, and playing on centuries of envy and fear.
For the Dynasty, and their people, the Huangfan, it was a disaster that threw off a golden age they had achieved after hundreds of years of corruption and unrest. For once, people had known two generations without war, senseless corruption and abuse, nearly everyone was fed and so many could read. It was a time of unity.
As such, the war was fierce. The Dynasty brought all of it’s power to its defense, but the Empire had bloodlust, greed, and fanaticism. And new magic. Forbidden magic.
It came to a head at the Blue Palace. The Siege was a struggle both in the mortal world and the spiritual- across the nation, everyone who could also engaged in prayer and ritual – calling upon ancestors, gods, pulling the hidden family rituals and powers kept secret, to save their culture.
But even then, it was not enough. The Blue Palace fell to the massive assault. Countless people were lost to the spirit world, ripped away both body and soul, the gods themselves had disappeared, the and entire land of the Huangfen was reduced to a spiritual desert- animals and growing things simply died on the spot.
The magic of an entire people was stolen. And a Red Moon rose, signifying the Goddess’ power and ascension.
The Huangfen saw their darkest days. So much was lost. No gods for salvation. No poetry of lament. No one could remember or perform the art of smithing, architecture, ceramics. Even the ability to grow the simplest crops all died each time one of them took hand to the task- the Siege had ripped away their very heritage and arts, cursing an entire people to a nomadic existence.
Most died. A few gave up their names and past and lived with the enemy. A few continued West to the Mala Empire beyond the sands. And the most? They live as traders between the Mala and their cursed enemies of the Red Empire, dreaming of the day they rise again and restore their homeland.
Traveler & Trader 17
Recognize Huang Fan Artifacts: 13
Looked down upon by others: 17
Traveling Clan: 17
Kinship with Other Scattered Clans: 13
Hate for the Lunars: 13
Hate for Huang Fan who joined the Lunars: 17
Huang Fan are unable to take any traits related to: Poetry, Smithing, Ceramics, Agriculture, Architecture, or theist/divine magic.
Huang Fan have two types of spirit magic- worshipping the ancestors and spirit binding.
The first is common and approved, it provides no direct magical effects, though it might be small bonuses here or there, and sometimes stuff like guiding visions. In the barren spirit side of their homeland, millions of ghosts and ancestors await, who might be able to impart great skills or teachings to them, if one can survive the horrible ordeal of the spirit world there.
The second, spirit binding, is commonly used to curse people or cause illness or mind control. It’s not approved, but at the same time, the desperate will find such a worker for revenge. Some have made a living selling spirit seals and empowered charms.
In terms of mysticism, the Huang Fan have always had a history of ascetic sages, though it’s much harder to encourage a people on the brink of extinction that following a path of giving up EVEN more will lead to salvation. Nonetheless, a few still live in the distant areas, building merit through privations.
A few who have traveled to the Mala, have embraced the teachings of the Sufficient Ones – which is said to mirror another lineage that once existed in the lands of the Northern Dynasty.
The Huangfan are desperate to collect artifacts of their past- as they serve as keys or foci for rituals to enact Heroquests.
If they were able to enact a quest to restore their ability to raise crops, or build homes, they might have a settled life again. But until then, they live and “roll with the dust” in sorrow.
No one even knows who the gods -were-, so wretched is their state.
Some believe if they destroy the Red Goddess, they can take their power back.