re: Lunars in Orlanthi HQs

From: Denethor Hurin <sinherit_at_...>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 15:58:09 -0700 (PDT)

Been a couple of years since we were discussing how Heroquesting might be relevant to Whitewall under the topic of "Lunars in Orlanthi HQs" but I found this while "housekeeping" through my unmailed drafts and decided that it's still slightly relevant, is about as complete as it's ever going to get, and may as well be sent before I erase it. ^_^;

> I'm pretty sure that if the Lunars know what the
> Orlanthi are doing, they'll be trying to do hijacks,
> interference, and so on.
> And, we have a Lunar specialist in messing up Orlanthi
> magic.
> "Early on in his career he was allowed access to a
> Malkioni grimoire "Spells for the defeat of the
> heathen" and concentrated his energies on researching
> these spells and developing others"
> This looks to me like it has scenario potential.
> But, what does it look like when a Sorceror interferes
> with/gets dragged into an Orlanthi HQ? Lunar theists I
> can see, but a sorceror? I know next to nuffin about
> sorcerors (burn them!) myself - ideas?

One possibility is outlined in an "example" on P. 203 of Heroquest under "Duped by the Raccoon" when the sorceror behind the sorceress the PCs were heroquesting against was able to insert himself into a particular HQ station where the PCs had to deal with him on a peaceful basis (or at least hear him out) by virtue of being a very distant blood descendent of the Raccoon people and knowing their myths. Since "Ferodium Ezor" sounds like a Pelorian name to me this would suggest that that the use of ancestral ties to become a "necessary person" might be a fairly standard Lunar technique of coopting or exerting influence over somebody else's HQ. Can you imagine the dismay of the poor Heortling warrior who has to rescue, accompany and be advised by a princess in order to accomplish a heroquest only to find that in normal life she's a Lunar missionary whose nonstop sermonettes on the Lunar Way will now be something he has to listen to for the rest of the freaking adventure since the Heroquest doesn't allow you to tie a gag around the mouth of your "trusted adviser and closest companion"? :)

Sorcerors might with plausibility also contrive to substitute themselves for Lhankor Mhy sages. As long as they give the necessary technical information "on cue" I doubt the myth would really care just what flavor of wise man the hero had as an advisor. OTOH, it occurs to me that this might not be without risk for the interlopers either. Scripts, stories and characters all have a life of their own even in the real world, and in the Hero Plane that they are the substance of I'd figure their semi-sentience can only be even stronger and more resistant to tampering than they are here (Sorta like Time in the Fritz Leiber stories centered around para-temporal warfare between the "Spiders" and "Snakes"). They'd allow a certain amount of ad libbing and interpretation of one's role but would be vengeful towards anyone who became *too* "Out Of Character". In such a case the story might decide to "edit" the interloper.

For example the story might allow the "princess" to spam away as much as she wants to since she *is* supposed to be the hero's advisor and informant for the rest of the quest but if she were to physically hinder the quest or call warning to the story's villains to keep the hero from getting the nifty Widget of McGuffiness the story would edit away as much of her intellect and knowledge as was unneccesary for the fulfilling of her role. She can now smile sweetly and offer story information on cue and do other "princessy" things that she couldn't before (The *myth's* idea of princessy things as opposed to what such things might be in the real Glorantha) but the sum of her life skills would probably stop with that and anything else she'd want to know would now have to be learned or relearned. (Assuming the ability to desire anything beyond that were still left to her). (Rule of thumb: if we regard fanfics as Heroquests anything that would offend the main story's fanboys and fangirls would probably be enough to prompt the myth's retribution. The better loved the story, the fiercer and more powerful the retribution and the greater the semi-sentience with which to do it).

To some extent Heroquesters themselves encounter this sort of a thing as a professional quest but the myth allows them greater scope for variation and ad libs because they are the "stars" of the show and they're *expected* to bring variation to the story in the same way that fanfic writers are expected to bring some interpretation to what they write about even when they are trying to write their fanfics in the Original Flavor. Interlopers, otoh, have taken the role of NPCs which means that they better not step out of line. So this is risky business for any Lunar PC who wants to be "the princess". Also worth noting is that this might happen to our princess even if she limits herself to spamming should the story decide that she has violated its spam limit.

How are our interlopers to know what the limits are? That's for the story to decide and them to find out. If their patrons are very, *very* lucky the myth will take it out merely on the interlopers immediately instead of waiting several centuries to crackdown on "copyright violations" the way the myths did with the Monomythers. In having someone like Theogenes or whichever other Lunar NPC you have briefing the Lunar PCs assigned to this mission you might want to have him conclude the briefing with a cheerful phrase like, "But what's life without a little challenge anyway, right?"

*That* should be good for their morale. ^_~

Rereading this there's one scenario seed that occurs to me along the lines of the old "Big fleas have little fleas" poem: Given that the kingdom of Seshnelia was said to be developing interests in Dragon Pass might it be possible that Lunar Heroquesters and Lunar hijackers alike might have to deal with unexpected sorcery-based interlopers? This might allow both a use for the Whitewall scenario pack in a Western-based campaign as well as give Lunar PCs an additonal challenge. Nothing like having your own claim-jumping hijacked by somebody else's claim-jumping, is there? ^_^

"This is the Tokyo Police Cataclysm Division! Please flee in terror in an orderly manner!" - Fred Gallegher, Megatokyo,

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