Or rather, the initiation of Orlanth and his brothers.
The myth for this quest is given in "King of Sartar". This is now back
in print, and can be purchased from Wizard's Attic. I have no intention
of breaching copyright by repeating the myth here until KoS is once more
unobtainable: then I'll ask permission.
I'm using this as the male-only HQ, though I gather others have made
it less gender-specific.
To start with, each player looks through the myth and picks which of
Orlanth and his brothers he wants to emulate. They have one extra choice:
Yinkin. I add him because he is one of Orlanth's brothers, and he
shows skills that may well be useful to PCs. He's put in the Darkness Pit,
and uses his sense of smell, excellent eye-sight in dark conditions, and
climbing to get out. Choosing "the other one" is not recommended.
They may decide to deal wtih the challenges faced by their chosen god in
their own way, of course. For example, PC Ducks may have their own ideas
on how to deal with Water. If they do things the way their god did, they
get bonuses: if not, they don't.
We go through the standard business of getting the PCs onto the HeroPlane.
They are led from the holy site to a wood, and left there. They will notice
that the trees are Spruces: if the spruce is not native to their area,
they'll notice that it's some sort of conifer.
They are approached by five giants, one tied to each element
Genert, Lord of the Earth
Kalt, the Renewing God (aka Kolat, god of the Air, and actually Orlanth's
Lodril, lord of Fire
Magasta, the Sea giant
The giants need not be introduced by name, but their description should
make it obvious which element is theirs. In fact these are adults of the
clan in costume, but now on the HeroPlane they look real.
Attempts to hide behind trees and in shrubbery should make it all too
clear that these are the Mutable Woods: bushes move aside, revealing anyone
The giants "offer" to take the candidates to tests which will make them
gods. Each will be taken to the test they have chosen, but any roleplaying
by the characters (and even by the players) should be encouraged. ("No,
don't throw me in the briar patch...!")
The Tests are done individually: to stop people getting bored, the rest
of the players get to be the opposition. If two players have chosen the
same test, the second one to go through it should not be the opposition
for the first player. Send him off to make the tea. Each Test involves
being thrown into a Pit (or similar enclosure), and trying to get out.
Problem: Pit is full of water (undines), and a lid is placed over
Solution:"Vadrus stirred the Well so rapidly that the gods
there streamed into one swirling pool of water, and Vadrus escaped through
the seams in the well lid." Which is all very well, but how does a
PC do this? Well, they'll have bonuses. Vadrus is the uncontrolled god
of Air, so while they're trying to emulate him, any Sylphs around will
be willing to take orders. A good Swim skill might help survive the results.
And of course they could always chat to those Undines.
Problem: Animal Corral, full of wild beasts.
Solution: "Urox confronted the carnivores of the wild, and did
not run from them, but stamped them beneath his bloody hooves. Then he
broke down the corral and released all the creatures."
The candidate is in a corral which also contains a small herd of whatever
animal seems appropriate: we used sheep, simply because we had the figures.
Cows might be better. The candidate is taking the role of the dominant
male of the herd (ram, Bull, whatever): there should be a certain dualism
of form during the test, especially if they try head-butt attacks! The
herd is under attack from carnivores. The challenge is to defeat the carnivores
and rescue the herd from captivity. Let the rest of the players run the
terrified sheep, or perhaps some of the carnivores. Making appropriate
animal noises is highly encouraged!
Problem: The Fighting Pit: a pit full of warriors who wish to fight
Solution:"Humakt already knew everyone in the Fighting Pit,
and they could not stand before him. They were all disarmed, or surrendered,
and Humakt climbed from the pit on their weapons." Warriors who the candidate already knows are easy: use the rest of
the PCs! (Don't ask me how they're both here and in their own challenges.)
The candidate gets a major bonus to all combat skills, because he's emulating
Humakt. The rest don't. Note that no-one gets killed: this is before Humakt
Problem: The Strange Gods, a nest of alien powers.
Solution: "Orlanth quarrelled at first with the Strange Gods,
but some of them were friendly. With them Orlanth prepared a plan, and
they escaped from the Prison of the Strange gods."
This is the fun one. Who are these Strange Gods? I took a look through
the LBQ, and found that some of the Lightbringers were gods Orlanth had
met before. This, I decided, is where he met them for the first time. So
the pit contains Issaries, Chalana-who-calms, The Knowing God, and Trickster.
Not that they are introduced by name, of course. They (and Orlanth, the
last to arrive) have been put here by the Evil Emperor, as a punishment
for causing trouble. The pit is guarded, and in any case the lid is too
high to reach. The four Strange Gods might have been able to get out long
before this, but have been too busy squabbling. And they're about
to be role-played by the rest of the players. Hand each of them a brief
character description, and leave them to get on with it. Some GM intervention
may be needed, but the idea is for "Orlanth" to get the rest to cooperate,
using their joint powers to escape.
Motivation and powers
Female, white robes
Stay calm. Keep the others calm. (Power: If you order someone to be
calm, they will be!) There must be no violence here. We can handle this
by persuading the guards politely and offering to help them. (Power: can
Male, no weapons or armour except a staff
Negotiate. Stay neutral if possible. Seek to change the situation through
communication and harmony, then you can find a path out of here. Of course,
this rash child who’s been dropped in with you may need careful handling.
Maybe introducing his grand-parents to each other was a mistake? (Power:
can speak any langauge, infinitely persuasive)
Male, bearded, educated accent
Your vast knowledge on all subjects will tell you the way out of here,
as long as these morons will listen when you lay down the Law. (Power:
knows everything. Yes, this does include having detailed knowledge
of the guards’ weaknesses: make ‘em up, in nauseating detail. And be obnoxious
Small, revolting, with a silly accent
You can trick the guards into letting you out, of course. But
maybe you should stay around for long enough to wind up these others first?
It might be fun! (Powers: illusionist, thief, sneak. Anti-power: most Tricks
Problem: The Pit of Darkness. A very dark pit, with unfriendly creatures
Solution: Yinkin smelt where the dark-folk were, and silently
avoided them. He climbed the steep walls and got out of the Pit.
Hand the player bonuses to all perpection and stealth skills, and to
Dodge and Climb. They have some hungry trolls to avoid, and a wall to climb.
If you want to get the other players really involved, a live game of blind-man's-bluff
might be amusing. (Yinkin is blindfolded because it's dark: the others
are blindfolded because he's good at sneaking!)
By now we hope each candidate has been through their test, and passed.
If by some mischance anyone has failed, the myth of the "other one" can
be used. The rest of the group, now re-united, can form a Ring and lend
him their strength to get him out of trouble. (Don't ask for the rules
on how this works. They hold hands, pray, chant. Tell them to add up all
their POW scores, then roll against the result, perhaps. Give them about
a 50% chance of success, and as many attempts as it takes).
Everyone goes back to the starting place, back to the holy site and
into the mundane. Time for a feast to celebrate!