Subject: The Duckpoint Daily Dribble, Volume 3, Number 2 First distribution: March 3, 1989 This Issue: Heroquesting (David Gadbois) Ed's note: Things have been rather quiet, with the exception of ~15 new subscribers being added. The above title was provided by Rich McAllister. The following was provided by one of these new subscribers. Ed's note #2: Yesterday, I found out why I was not getting any mail on my Duke account -- everything was .forwarded to a machine I didn't know I had. I will be putting together an issue or two with the comments sent there, and my apologies to those of you who wondered why I didn't use your article... --- From: David Gadbois (email@example.com) Subject: Heroquesting I have been curious about the mysterious references to heroquesting in the Gloranthan literature. A while back, I got photocopies of several issues of Dragons Past, which apparently was the "fanzine" for Greg Stafford Dragon Pass campaign, one of which had an article about a gaming session involving a heroquest. This article is the only decent explanation of heroquesting I've seen. (The only other detailed look at heroquesting that I know of is "The History of My Black Horse Troop" (I'm not sure if that's the exact title), which appeared in the RuneQuest Companion.) The article was in Dragons Past #7, which was dated 1980. It is copyrighted by Greg Stafford and is copied without permission. All typos are mine, though I won't take responsibilty for the grammar. Note the reference to Naimless, who appeared in Cults of Prax. ******************** Article follows ******************** THE JOURNEY TO FRONELA: A HEROQUEST PATH The following transcription is taken directly from Azmandian Tales #4 by Bill Keyes and has appeared elsewhere (A&E). As mentioned elsewhere, I'd like to get some short notes on what happen to the Wooden Sword wile in Fronela. THE GREAT HUMAKTI QUEST (or, It's Alebard's Quest) Greg Stafford and his crew spent a long time building up to this quest. I heard about it when Steve Perrin mentioned it. At Grimcon I was invited to take my two Humakti along. The basic idea about heroquesting is to go onto the Spirit Plane and try to gain a power or two, besides the usual chances for experience and power gain roles. If you gain enough powers you reach the rank of hero. The exact rules are only now being written and tested. This run was an introduction to the spirit plane for us. Before I get onto the quest, let me explain about the Spirit Plane a little. When a person travels with his body to the hero plane he enters a region with different rules. There is no real time on the spirit plane, but living creatures entering from a time after the great compact induce a pseudotime upon the region around them. You cannot call for Divine Intervention on the spirit plane. You are your god, in effect, as you represent him there. Instead each person has a certain amount of will, which they can use like Divine Intervention to impose their will upon the spirit plane. A character gets one point of will for each three points of power (1-7 for humans), one point of will for each 50% level reached in the best five of the cult skills (a Rune Lord with 100% in five cult skills, either fighting or non-fighting, would thus get 10 points of will), one point of will for every five points of Rune Magic sacrificed for, one point for each cult you are an initiate, and one point for each cult you are a Rune Lord or Priest in (Thus a Rune Priest-Lord would get two points, one for being an initiate and one for being at the Rune level). The highest total we had was 28 points by Londra. One uses will in two ways, either as a Rune Lord with Divine Intervention, rolling to see how many points of will are gone, with a 95% certainty of getting what you want, or as a Rune Priest with Divine Intervention spells, risking X points for an X times 10% chance, where if you don't get what you want you don't lose the will. If you are on the spirit plane and lose all your will you can never leave it. Most beings on the spirit plane, including most gods, used up their will long ago. If you lose all of your hit points on the spirit plane you don't die, you just start losing power. If you lose all your power you are permanently gone. Now to the quest: I took Jonathon Trollsbane and Jondar Blackmane, both Rune Lord-Rune Priests of Humakt. Our leader was Londra,a Humakt Rune Lady-Rune Priestess, who was the High Priestess of the Temple of the Wooden Sword, by virtue of the fact that she owned the wooden sword, which was a Humakt artifact with a 30 POW spirit, plus a number of former Temple members bound as ghosts to the sword. Greg Stafford gave this out some time ago, and Londra then used it to found her own Humakt Temple. Our fourth Humakt Rune Lord-Rune Priest was Errol Flynn. We had two Humakt Rune Priests, Naimless and Alebard. Tagging along was Apattar, Orlanth RUne Priest, Madlan, Umath Rune Priest, Urgrurl, Daka Fal Rune Lord, Genevieve Le Clerecq, Orlanth Adventurous Rune Priestess, and Ururg, who worshiped his gold coins, and had an IQ of 5, 1 less than his horse. All of these except Urgrurl and Ururg were also lay members of the Humakt cult. The object of the quest was to accompany Alebard back into Godtime and enter the spirit plane and travel to the spot where Arroin fought a creature of Chaos. There Arroin might lose some of his healing powers and Alebard would get the chance to gain one. We also had such a chance, if we were lucky. (On the spirit plane, if a god uses a power and fumbles, the power drains away and others nearby may gain it. Also, if a god is wounded while using a power it may bleed away.) So we all gathered together and prayed to Humakt and we were transported back in time and space to the spirit plane in Godtime, specifically at Six Stones. We left on the Humakt High Holy Day. If we were successful we would return the same day. We took the Jackel's path from Six Stones, headed towards the Frostwood, where Arroin dwelt with the elves. The spirit plane is dark. The Wooden Sword flew above us shedding light, and we knew the road we traveled was safe, but it was dangerous to stray from it, although we couldn't see where the edge was. The first "day" we saw in the distance a Tumblewood, a whole forest tumbling towards us blown by a wind. Madlan, the Umath Priest, used his Control Weather Rune Spell to turn the wind, and so we got through that situation. Jondar, having come up through the ranks as Jonathon's squire, did what all soldiers know well to do, he got out a shovel and dug a foxhole to hide in. However it wasn't needed when the wind changed. We slept and walked and slept again. On Day 3 a glowing green object fell from the sky and landed just off the road. It detected as magic and looked like an oversized green elf's brain, probably from some dead Elf god. Heeding the instructions about the road we continued on our way. The next day we heard a sound like breaking glass, and then we saw up ahead a rain of large bronze bones. We investigated and found two magic crystals left over when the dead god's blood congealed and crystallized. The next day was uneventful. On Day 6 we had our first fight. We saw to statues of hounds, one bronze and one brass. Jonathon detected life and located several hidden sources off the road. These turned out to be four more hounds and Rortow the Hound Master. Rortow fired a bow at Ururg, hitting him, and Ururg charged, thereby leaving the road. He and his horse were met by two dogs as the others appeared and attacked us. These were blink dog-analogues, each round they would blink out and then reappear to attack the next round. Alebard went to help Ururg, Londra sent off some spirits from the Sword to help and used Rune Magic, and the rest of us fought. Jonathon got people to form squares to prevent the dogs from blinking in behind people. It was a long fight but we finally won. At the end another figure showed up. Jonathon tosses a spell at it (Demoralize) as it was looming over Ururg and Alebard, who were near death (only the Vigor spells on them were keeping them alive). It turned out to be a Chalana Arroy angel, who was offended, slept Jonathon, and left. We reformed and kept going, after healing Alebard and Ururg. On the spirit plane you do not recover lost power unless you can rest in a holy place or temple. As we were bringing our temple with us, all we had to do was stick the Sword in the ground and rest for a day, but we elected to press on. The next two days were uneventful. On Day 9 we saw a dust cloud. Madlan used Control Weather again, and the dust blew away, showing a stampede of bison-like animals. Jonathon estimated that we could outrun the herd and pass by the point where they would cross the path, so we all ran for some time and evaded the herd, and then rested. The next day we were jumped by three Chaos Leapers. One came up the road from behind. Jondar mind spoke it, found it hostile, and killed it with a composite bow shot with Blade Venom 20 and multimissile 4 on it. He went to investigate and two more leapt onto the road. Jondar killed one with his second arrow, which was similarly treated (the spell done by his allied spirit(, and Jonathon killed the third the same way, after it missed hitting Jondar from behind. On Day 11 we reached an oasis, where shreds of darkness dripped from the trees. We proceeded down a black tunnel formed by these trees and came to the Forge of Terror. The Wooded Sword formed a magic bridge over it and we walked across, each making a dexterity roll of a given difficulty depending on our status in the Humakt cult. Everyone linked themselves to the Humakt Rune Lord-Rune Priests and we got across. We reached the Frostwood and rested, regaining power and some Rune Spells. Then we found (or were found by) the elves and Arroin. We went with Arroin down to the third level of the spirit plane to fight the chaos creature. It showed up as a group of identical humanoids, one to each of us, including horses. We managed to kill it (it took over 400 points to do it), but Alebard was down to one point and both horses were hurt. Arroin healed them all, but didn't fumble. He critical healed (01) Alebard, and Alebard used his will to gain the reusable use of the Rune Spell Heal Body (it cost him one point of will). We returned Arroin to the elves, and did our ritual to return to the material plane, arriving at our destination the same day we had left. We all gained something from the trip and as luck would have it we lost nobody. One other thing of note was the time when Ururg prayed as usual to his gold, rolled an 01, and was answered by a vision by the Wheel of Wheels. Five golden leaves appeared among his hoard (he carries 7000 wheels with him). They were identified by the Elf King as healing leaves. We also found a magic moving stick we had was one of Aldyas fingers, which the Elves accepted with great reverence. We were all made Elf-friends, and guaranteed friendship by all elf groups. It was an interesting introduction to heroquesting. --- The RuneQuest(tm) mailing list is a courtesy of Andrew Bell. All opinions and material above are the responsibility of the originator, and copyrights are held by them. RuneQuest is a trademark of Chaosium, Inc. Send submissions, mailing list changes, requests for old article lists, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org ...!mcnc!unc!bell Request old articles by volume number and issue number.