Bell Digest vol03p02.txt

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 (

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 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.

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