Posts Tagged ‘my glorantha does vary’


Runa: The Empire of Mala

June 27, 2009

During the times of Darkness, the Mala lived in bloody war with the Cave People, the Trolls. It was terrible- not one village or clan could survive without every and all people trained to run and fight, at any moment – the Trolls would come up out of the ground at any time, full of hunger and ready to eat any living thing.

It was in this time of terror, that the people turned away from falsehood and found their heritage – the One God. By divine vision, the people each learned part of a written language, and all the 12 nations came together sharing their language- it was the lesson that by working as one, they could survive and prosper. The written language allowed them to develop Science, and teach across long distances and generations, and they found ways to coordinate their defenses against the Trolls.

And they found the Science of Prayer, and brought Light back into the world, driving out the Trolls back down to the depths.

Since then, the Mala have formed a vast empire built on trade and Science. Masters of Math, Astronomy, History, Engineering, Medicine, there is much they have learned and use to bring truth to the world of troubles.

When the Red Empire arose and smashed the Huangfan, no one expected it. Though the hazardous desert serves as a barrier between the two empires, the Mala have been ever aware that they might be attacked next.

Though they keep their eyes to the east, the troubles are, in fact, down below. The Trolls still fight for gold and ore, but what has become a real threat is that the Trolls have taken to destroying or stealing salt. And now a shortage is starting and the 12 nations are starting to feel pressed. Secret prayers and plans are being made, factions are forming.

The Mala have remained strong through unity… but can it last?


Educated in Words and Numbers 17

Politically Astute 13
Worldly 13
Science of (choose one: Math, Writing, Maps, Stars, Medicine, Architecture, History, Song, Jewelry, Strategy, Alchemy, Husbandry, Agriculture, Religion, Trade)

Family and Clan: 17
Faith in the One God 13
Fear of Trolls 13
Distrustful of Lunars 13

The Mala are a wealthy trading empire, so choose 3 items as traits at 13. These can be local or exotic objects.


The primary magic in the Mala Empire is the worship of the One God- people gather in Temples and make prayers and read the lessons from the Scroll of First Language and various other scrolls or books of sciences and laws.

Some Temples have symbolic pits representing the holes from which the Trolls once emerged to carry away and eat the people, which alternately serve as places to pray for protection, curses upon enemies, make divinations to foretell of danger, or to practice fighting arts. It is also believed that people who practice forbidden magic would use these pits as well.

Finding such a pit outside of a Temple would be an ill omen, a place of evil and bad magic. The cries of terror and the crunching of bone are sometimes said to be audible from such places. It is rumored that before the First Language, a few of the people allied with the Trolls and worshipped the same dark god, and happily sold their own people as sacrifices in trade.

The second type of worship is mysticism, by the Order of the Sufficient Ones, alternately known as the Seekers of Sufficiency, or the Worthy Ones. Their philosophy is that all things in the world are limited, and therefore, in want or need of something, which can only be fulfilled by the One. Their path of worship is to overcome the limitations and dissolve all unworthy traits until being “sufficient” of the Giver of Sufficiency.

They do not form larger groups, and mostly have small cells of teachers and students. They may also make prayers at Temples and participate, though it is said they have alternate, inner readings of all of the Scrolls and books.

Hero Questing

There are regular rituals of protection and prayer, and annual rituals acknowledging Salvation from the Dark Times- both the struggles of knowledge, the struggles of war, and the bringing of peace and unity.

Individuals are often encouraged to seek deeper and learn more by communing and heroquesting to learn from the First Teachers throughout history.

As it stands now, the salt is running out, and people will start getting sick and dying without it- many have begun either heroquesting to divine for locations to find more, or perhaps, to destroy the Trolls who have started taking it.

As times get harder, small vendettas and feuds have started coming up, and people have begun doing small quests against each other… This is forbidden by the law, but anyone can find a rationalization if they want to…

The One God has led the Mala from the Darkness, but will they learn to lead themselves?


Runa: The Shattered Clans

June 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.

Huang Fan

Traveler & Trader 17

Enduring: 13
Recognize Huang Fan Artifacts: 13
Bitter: 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.

Hero Questing

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.