Ancient Cradle (second proposal)

From: Richard Develyn <>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 23:45:52 +0000

I have tried to incorporate most of the suggestions I've received into this second proposal for the Ancient Cradle saga. This has resulted in one fairly major change (to embrace the Cwim possibility) and a number of passages left deliberately vague (to allow tailoring for individual campaign needs and Gloranthas).

Once again thanks for all your help.

The Tale of Gina and Sofia

Many events were coming to a head in 374. Most of these are well documented and are thought to have been at least part of the cause for the SunStop. However what is not so well known is that other incidents of lesser magnitude were also coming to a head at about this time. They may not have been so world-shattering, they nevertheless had a profound effect on the people and lands where they happened.

One such incident concerns two baby giant twins called Gina and Sofia. In what is believed to have been a unique occurence, the giants of the Rockwood mountains floated both together in one cradle. Little is known about giant twins but theory has it that they bond much closer than their human counterparts. So although they may spend some time away from each other, separating them for a protracted journey to the underworld would have been unthinkable.

The cradle bearing the twins ran aground in the area now known as Sun County when the SunStop caused the magical protective and propelling spells upon it to fail.

What happened to Sofia?

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Sofia, being the more adventurous of the two, went out to explore. When the sun was blotted out prior to the SunStop's end she became scared and cried out. Her sobs were heard by HelpWoman who came to her and took her away to the Plateau of Statues. Here Sofia has been raised to adulthood by the strange denizens of that place.

There is speculation that she may have been tempted out of the cradle by the RattleSnake god, using its rattle as a lure for the infant. It is not known why the snake then left Sofia unharmed. Possibly it returned for the other child, and may have played part in Gina's transformation, or possibly it was going back to loot the cradle.

What happened to Gina?

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Only two things are known for certain about Gina:

  1. She is still alive.
  2. She has been transformed / corrupted by chaos.

On her 18th birthday, Sofia was told by HelpWoman about the circumstances of her early childhood and that she had a twin sister. Sofia reached out with raw empathic energy and touched the soul of her twin - a weak tormented voice lost in the wilderness.

Exactly what happened to Gina is a mystery. She may have fallen foul of the RattleSnake, or Malia, or another evil denizen of that area, and led away to a gruesome fate at some chaotic nest. She may have accidentally caused her own transformation - playing with the artifacts contained, and possibly malfunctioning, in the cradle. Possibly it was one of the guardians within the cradle who malfunctioned.

Some say that she has become the monstrosity known as Cwim and that she searches the Wastes for signs of her lost twin sister. The truth has yet to come out.

What happened to the Cradle?

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Only Zola Fel, god of the river where the cradle flowed, ever knew precisely what befell that twin-bearing cradle. Possibly the priests of his cult know, but they keep that secret safe.

The most popular theory todate suggests that the cradle submerged itself in one of the great bogs of the area, and that it will re-emerge should either of the twins appear to reclaim it. There are tales from this time indicating that it may have taken a few curious explorers down with it, and if so they would in all likelyhood be held within the cradle's protective magics in some form of stasis. None of the cradle's guardians emerged at this time so they too must be held inside it.

Another theory states that the cradle simply rotted and sank naturally but that parts of it may be reclaimed if they can be found and raised.

9th century
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When Paragua came to build the city later known as Old Pavis he was contacted by Zola Fel, who had formed kinship with the giants during the great darkness. Paragua made contact with HelpWoman and so learnt something of the fate of Gina and Sofia. His immediate reaction was to seek first Sofia and then the monster that had become Gina. But HelpWoman councelled otherwise, predicting that any contact between Paragua and Gina would most likely result in the youngsters death, and that the best hope of salvation for both twins would be to allow one to help the other.

So it was that Paragua charged HelpWoman with the responsibility for Sofia's safety and education, marking the spot where he did so with a huge boulder driven into the ground. This bolder became an obelisk in Old Pavis and a shrine to HelpWoman. Around it the priests of Zola Fel built a great temple, sanctioned by Paragua in gratitude for their God's help.

Early 17th century

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Sofia is now the human equivalent of 18 years old and about 30 metres high. She has not been "conventionally" educated, having missed her trip to the underworld, and now prepares herself for her quest to find and restore her sister.

The first stage of this quest is to retrieve her old cradle. HelpWoman has once more intervened and suggested that she should not venture into civilised territory herself but that, with Zola Fel's help, she would find a band of adventurers to bring the cradle to her. Sofia has agreed.

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What happens next for me will be to do with the way I want my campaign to proceed. It's going to be the Zola Fel temple in Big Rubble, as I detailed in my earlier post, with HelpWoman in close attendance. However, all the other suggestions about raising the cradle, having it half-submerged near the 5 eyes temple, being looted by baboons, using secret societies, etc, should also work.

For me, to start off with the PCs will think they're looking for an ancient temple. Significant incidents after this will be the new cradle floating down, finding some part of Sofia (like some ropes made from her hair) which will be used to fool the cradle into rising magically out of the bog, then floating down on it past Corflu and somehow getting it off to the east to rendezvous with Sofia. As has been said before, the Lunars wont be expecting this one, so it should be possible to get it out.

Sofia and Gina could then, of course, provide lots of MGF to those wanting to have the PCs tackling Cwim and so on.

I've deliberately left the GWD issue out - though I'm still keen to hear ideas. Equally I'd like to hear more about what could have happened to Gina, who might have been educating Sofia, and so on. Will the currents south of Corflu take the cradle to the east, or will I have to figure out some way for PCs to steer it?

As always, all help greatly appreciated.

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Richard Develyn

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