Boldhome, and Home Boldly?

S01 — Session 5

1625, Earth Season

Dramatis Personae


Berra Daughter of Jarang
Nala of the Unicorn Ladies
Tiwr, Unicorn of the Unicorn Ladies Tribe
Rajar son of Ranulph
Vestra, Grey Sage


Jaldis, High Priestess of Chalana Arroy in Whitewall
D’Val the Sword
Devolin the Deadly
Eril, Humakt High Sword Lord in Boldhome
Tennebris, High Priest of Orlanth in Boldhome
Kalis, High Priestess of Ernalda in Boldhome
Naril, Master of the Horses to the Prince of Sartar

As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, from The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia, The Lay of Serala, Lance of the Cold Sun , The Death of Rajar or The Sonnets to Vestra, Grey Lady of Wisdom. They are joined by NalaTwrSaga1 NalaTiwr saga is unusual, in that it is a saga of two heroes, not one. This is not totally unheard of, as it is often invoked in Heroes following the twin volcano Gods, [* Caladra & Aurelion] but this saga is unique in the surviving literature in linking a human and non-human hero. The style of the Saga is classic for the Praxian epic, but some of the construction suggests it was not originally written in Praxian, but in Esrolian, or possibly Tradetalk. The stylistic links to the ‘Death of Rajar’ implies the same author. . “Insertions will occur” in a cynical voice, of a manipulative outsider to these heroics, which is labelled in the literature as ‘The Q voice’ . Further {insertions} will occur in another cynical or sarcastic voice, best recalled amongst the Unicorns of Prax. Footnotes for the interested are included at the bottom of the extracts. [Editorial comments will be bracketed thus. See S1, ep 2 for other footnotes related to titles of epic poems.]


[Our events open in the City of Boldhome, and more specifically in its Citadel, where our heroes are guests of the Prince of Sartar, Kallyr Starbrow. In the absence of commentary by the Q voice this week, there may be more editorial comments. The prince being a good guest, excellent wine is on offer. We open with an extract from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga]

Gifts from Gracious Prince
Grapes blood given
Berra drank deep of destiny Duty
But delicate draughts of the drink

No beast, Berra2An obvious piece of foreshadowing., bearing
Best her dignity, becoming
Behaviour of Humakt’s Hall
Hating excess, Hailing unhopped honesty!

[Compare with a similar praise to ‘restraint’ in the Death of Rajar.]

When Urox drinks all
And he is still not drunken
Is there enough wine?

[However, their restraint was not shared by all participants. See NalaTiwrsaga]

Under moon vintage
Unicorns grow amorous
Ernalda understands

[Still, all survive at least that night, and the following day, worship, prepare themselves, and ride out. The Lay of Serala has a somewhat different emphasis to other, less Sky Pantheon poems, but covers the ground well.]

Serala did her band prepare
And bade them to Whitewall repair
She rode then forth, as Feathered Queen
As noble knight as ‘ere was seen.

Her lance with brazen fire was tipp’d
Her sword in scarlet scabbard lipped
With gilden tracings, which the Sun
Bejewled, and lit, His favoured one!

She led them forth, Orlanth and Earth
And Knowledge Child, and Umath’s birth3 Humakt was born of Umath, but renounced fellowship with the Primal Air
To Whitewall then, she led them out
To answer D’Val’s battle shout!

Before a day was burned and spent
Yelmal’o’s sight to her was sent
She saw th’ decievers way ahead
And quickly then she onwards sped.

[And Devolin’s fate was to have a really bad day. Fortunately, he too had Farsee, worked out the odds, and cast Mobility, and ran for his d’Orange. NalaTiwrSaga covers this.]

Unicorn outruns
Headaches to give them to duck
A road toll repaid.

[Or Serala’s version of the same event]

She saw him run, she cantered fast
Soon leaving others, as she sped swift past
All threat of ambush, for she scorned
The Ducks, who had their honour pawned!

But Ducks in plural? ‘Twas not true,
Serala saw the truth anew!
For single trickster was their bane
Whose pawn was swept like chaff in pouring rain!

[There was debate whether to continue. Nala saw and draw on the group.]

Eril paused- Ride on
And save the Sword, or pause and
Give him glory in death.

Nala rais’d the image
Of a Duck in victory
To spur to action!

[When finally, they settle for the night, Rajar discovers threats nobody had anticipated]

If no enemies,
Urox manufactures more.
Chaos indeed!

[Swapping for a moment back to Whitewall, Mellia has been working hard on the plague.]

Mell’a saw the wicked hands of plague in darkest night
Which drove the wretched poor folk’s plight
And unheeded by pale Jaldis ears
She thrust herself against her darkest fears.
And found the putrid sprite of pestil, foul
And made it then in dissipation howl!

[The following morning, the main group of the heroes push on to Whitewall. Once there, Vestra picks up the tale: ]

Vestra saw the priests at their sacred task
And alone did her God then softly ask
“If this effect should go, tis clearly good
But do we yet miss these trees for portals wood?

If we treat th’ effect but leave alone
The cause, our fault is graven into stone.
We must the root pluck up from out the hill
If we wish Delecti’s hopes to ever still!”

Our heroes (with the exception of Mellia) were last seen getting drunk in Boldhome. This was dialled back to ‘Lightly tipsy’ by the humans, but up to ‘off his horn’ by Tiwr, who CLEARLY recalls being the most awesome speed machine in all of Glorantha, having 8 legs, and effortlessly leaping into the pen, in which Kallyr, Prince of Sartar kept all her mares. The rest of the details of the evening are best left under a veil, or seven.

The heroes wake, to find Tiwr –loudly– quietly complaining, to all within earshot, that he had been poisoned, that Yelm was out to get him by dawning too noisily, and would someone please chop his head off. Rajar offers to help out with this. Nala and Serala diagnose the likely problem, and go and get healing herbs, and mix them into an equine paste respectively. Berra and Rajar help by TALKING VERY LOUDLY not too far away. The Keeper of the Royal Horses enlivens the scene by enquiring what the hell that stallion is doing in with the mares.

Tiwr tried to bury his head under some straw. He said it was for the hangover, but I suspect sparing his blushes was more to do with things.

The party set off. Towards midday, Serala, sending her hawk aloft, and transferring her vision to it, spies a Duck led roadblock way in the distance. She grimly prepares herself.

Towards early evening, they spy said Duck, and:
(1) Nala and Serala charge into action.
(2) The Duck skeddaddles into the woods.
(3) Berra and Rajar spur their respective mounts forward.
(3a) Billy the Bison goes forward
(3b) Pachydermis, Berra’s horse, opts not to, thank you very much.
(3c) Berra asks again, a lot more forcefully, calling upon her link to Movement to get some action.
(3d) Pachy lurches into motion.
(4) Serala watches the Duck vanish out of the woods, and into the river at the bottom, which he proceeded to high tail it down at high speed.
(5) Nala spots other Ducks hidden in the edges of the wood, in ambush, and fearful of missile attack, starts shooting her bow at them. Not a lot happens.
(6) Billy charges into scene, but Rajar fails to spot any targets, other than the barricade, and simply slams into it.
(7) Berra arrives, spots the Ducks, Semi-leaps the wall and gets up to stab…. the duck shaped dummy, complete with papier-mache mask.

They opt to keep riding into the dark, (although Nala and Serala both pick up that Eril, High Sword of Humakt is torn between stopping early, and giving a bit longer for D’Val to die or be unsuccessful, or continue, and stop D’val get even more glory) but all agree to stop when Kalis’ horse stumbles, and make camp. This is enlivened by Rajar rolling an “Alternative Success” at Sense Chaos. He charges into the woods, to attack the Chaos Trees which he sensed. He proceeds to hack the nearest of these beasts to matchwood, but unfortunately is not dissuaded from continuing. Equally unfortunately, the next tree along is home to a Dryad (although she was out at the time). Fortunately (?) for Rajar he was spotted by an Elf guard, who proceeded to lure him away from the Dryad’s home with arrows. Rajar eventually gave up trying to find a tree coloured elf in a tree coloured forest….. in the dark….. and returned to the camp. Nala wrapped the arrows (which lacked tips, or feathers, and just seemed to be grown) in fresh leaves, and they were gone in the morning.

Unperturbed, our heroes push on towards Whitewall.

Meanwhile, in Whitewall, Mellia has been, along with Jaldis, battling the Creeping Chills. Mellia suspects a disease spirit may be to blame, and ops to try and deal with this, by the simple expedient of being too close to someone with the disease. She is fortunate (?!) enough to be attacked by the disease spirit, and competent enough to destroy it in Spirit Combat, settling the majority of the outbreak.

Our heroes return, and ride straight up to the Hillfort, to find D’Val sitting pretty much where they had left him, in meditation stance, but with his sword across his lap, and a large pile of dust in place between him and the portal. There was also the whole Fyrd, who seemed to have been doing 8 hour shifts of ‘Sleep, eat/rest, guard duty’.

The Chief and High Priests went into a minor dick waving contest about which Temple should be reconsecrated first as most important. After a knuckle bone throw, where both Tennebris and Kalis cheated outrageously, Orlanth’s temple was cleansed and reconsecrated first, then Ernalda’s, then Chalana Arroy’s and then finally Humakt’s.

The magical energies involved in all of this collapsed the portal, and everyone looked smug. Vestra, on the other hand, suspected this wouldn’t be the end of it, as they had dealt with the issue, but not the conditions (a massacre) which had allowed the issue to occur, and felt with was probably an Empire of the Wyrm Friends thing, as it had some historical parallels, and further, it brought to mind some of the things Dragonnewts sometimes seem to do. She felt more was needed and that part of the issue, to her mind, was that only some of the Lightbringers had been appeased, and therefore a Heroquest might be needed.

Going on a stroll to fix Whitewall in her mind, Vestra pondered the problem, whilst at the same time, Nala lay down to sleep in the Temple of Ernalda. Unfortunately, the hallucinogens involved in the reconsecration was enough to let her visualise the spirit world. At the site of a massacre. In her terror, she pulled away from the wraiths, and Ernalda succored her, by starting to open a ‘womb’ in the Earth for her to hide in. Tiwr noticed this, and performed his patented, “Timmy’s fallen down a well” dash for aid.

Kelis cast a quick Warding around the temple, and the issue receeded, allowing our heroes to compare notes, and plan. They decided, with a little prompting, primarily from Tennebris, to head to Mount Kero Finn, to seek inspiration from the spirits there, and perhaps begin the HeroQuest. Eril suggested that Berra, rather than D’Val take the Humakt seat. D’Val didn’t argue.

Post Credits Scenes:

Rajar trying to find quilted padding to go under his leather armour, in his XXXXXL size
Berra and D’Val having a chat about the politics of the Humakt Cult, and why sending only one Rune Lord would not be acceptable to other cults, who would feel sleighted if they were represented only by Initiates.

“Nala, you’ve clearly got a deficient one. What it says about Unicorns in the Bestiary…” – GM

“I can roll for you. Nothing can possibly go wrong with that.” – GM

rolls – “That’s not good.” – GM
They all not long have disease. Good news! Now the bad:- Anyone got a shovel?- Rajar

Rajar, that horse guy looks thirsty!
And the horn makes it really hard for him to get his head into a drink, poor thing.- Berra
But surely it’s a drinking horn…?- Serala
oooooo yes, fetch a bucket for the pointy horse- Rajar

If that pointy beggar puts his horn into the wine and makes it into pure water, that’s going to be bad.- Berra


“The sound of a drunk unicorn doing doughnuts.” – GM

Me, earlier: I should not make the power of the unicorn fluctuate based on whether the player is a virgin…- Berra
Game: Hold my beer.


Context: “I think I need to detach my head.” – Unicorn
I can do that
Fetch my axe- Rajar
Meanwhile me, looking at Rajar: So, did the unicorn get drunk?
Oh yes, oh yes indeed
He drank wine like a hero.- Rajar
And now he has wine poisoning?- Berra
He does, he was a very happy unicorn
Now not so much and the sky is loud- Rajar
That is HILARIOUS. SO FUNNY!!!- Berra
I dont know why unicorn was drunk, I matched him bucket for bucket- Rajar
I matched you bucket for sip, and I was blushing. So… THE UNICORN GOT DRUNK, THAT IS SO FUNNY.- Berra

“I can’t tense so good” – Nala fails at Tradetalk
“You stay relaxed then, love.”- Keeper of the Kings Horses.

OH YES.- Berra

“I’m a big meanie-head.” – GM

He [Devolin] seems to have ducked off – Vestra

Playing off honour vs Humakti principles. Result: want to kill this duck.- Berra

“Make me a twang roll.” – GM

…. If he is an illusionist who fakes ducks, that is so awesome.- Berra

Knows the urge to put the unicorn in a duck mask- Nala

“Where he appears to be going is ‘away’. A very long way ‘away’.” – GM
“Unicorn. He’s a con artist.” – Serala?
“Is that someone who makes these masks?” – Tiwr

“They never actually told me his name.” – Serala
“It’s Tiwr, the same as it has been all the time.” – Nala

“Is he alright?”- Nala

“Nothing here intends harm – I … Where is he going?” – Berra
I’m following on foot – then coming back to tell them how many trees are dead….- Berra

“THE MUSHROOMS ARE VERY LARGE!” – Nala’s Trade Talking continues

“Think of it as reconnaissance by fire. If there is anything out there, I’ll have found it.” – Rajar
“Have you ever heard of the Praxian that cried, ‘tree’?” – Serala

“The duck comes pre-stuffed with mushrooms.” – Berra

“Roughly 21 Meters. Rarrrr distance, as we like to call it…” – Rajar

“Two pairs of eyes turn and look at the unicorn.” – GM
“Look back in two directions, which I can…” – Tiwr

“I need to meditate upon the truth rune and what it means to me, because I had a big failure.” – Berra
“I’m going to meditate too, because the mushrooms were good.” – Nala

“Is this normal?” – Tiwr
“She’s meditating.” – GM
“Yeah, I’m asking someone who isn’t unconscious and being swallowed by the earth.” – Tiwr


I sometimes wonder if I’m doing this wrong…. looks at empty round house and unicorn, looks at twenty oiled young men- Nala

“Go to the temple. Later we must talk, but join your… comrades.” – D’Val

“But if I were going, I’d go around the North.” – D’Val
“Why?” – Berra the Merciless

“Does D’Val seem to be in any distress?” – Berra
“No. In fact he’s gently snoring.” – GM
“So he’s probably not under attack by spirits.” – Berra

“It wouldn’t be dramatically appropriate. But it would be funny as shit.” – Nala

“Why is the mountain called Paraffin?” – Nala

“The High Ssword is very powerful. He… does not like ducks.” – D’Val
“Oh.” – Berra
“Or those who associate with them.” – D’Val
“So now you’re going to tell me that if I want to do well in that temple, I shouldn’t associate with you.” – Berra
“Yess.” – D’Val
“I want to associate with you.” – Berra (Picks up Loyalty D’Val)

“You’re good, but you’re not a Sword Lord yet.” – D’Val
“I wondered why I am going.” – Berra
“Because you’re not a Sword Lord.” – D’Val
“I’m not the only other Sword Lord present…” – Berra

“It may be best if you don’t let yourself get sidetracked.” – D’Val
“Sorry, Sside-trackedt.” – GM
“I should admit it’s easier for a duck to cross a river than it is for me.” – Berra
“Oh yessh.” – D’Val

“I want to go the shorter way. It’s faster.” – Berra
“Probably faster.” – Berra
“Possibly fastder.” – D’Val

  • 1
    NalaTiwr saga is unusual, in that it is a saga of two heroes, not one. This is not totally unheard of, as it is often invoked in Heroes following the twin volcano Gods, [* Caladra & Aurelion] but this saga is unique in the surviving literature in linking a human and non-human hero. The style of the Saga is classic for the Praxian epic, but some of the construction suggests it was not originally written in Praxian, but in Esrolian, or possibly Tradetalk. The stylistic links to the ‘Death of Rajar’ implies the same author.
  • 2
    An obvious piece of foreshadowing.
  • 3
    Humakt was born of Umath, but renounced fellowship with the Primal Air