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A Tale of Old Seshnela

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Drokionvedu players - I did not get home from the concert until 2 AM this morning, and got up for work at 6 AM this morning. If I am not there by 7:30 PM, I am asleep and I apologize for missing the game.
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A station in terms of HeroQuesting is an event that MUST happen in a myth for it to be the myth in question. If we look at The Conversion of Malkonesti, St. Monster the following stations are revealed:

The myth begins in the Court of the Queen of Darkness. This in itself can be dangerous for the average Malkioni community.

1) Reprobus decides to serve the greatest prince of this world.
2) Reprobus finds a great and powerful king among men

Note here that what happens between these two stations is up for grabs. In some versions of the myth, he wanders the earth far and wide, and in others, he hears of the king and goes straight to him. In some versions, Reprobus' appearance alone is enough to gain him a place in the king's court, while in others he must prove his might. What is important is the decision, and the finding of the king.

3) Reprobus learns of the Devil and that his king is afraid of the Devil.

Again, HOW he learns of the devil can vary.

4) Reprobus finds and offers his loyalty to the Devil.
5) Reprobus learns of Malkion and that the Devil fears Malkion.
6) Reprobus seeks Malkion, but fails to find Malkion himself.

It is very important that Malkion not be found at this stage. Deviating from this path leads into the realms of experimental HeroQuesting. Sometimes, the Devil does not want Reprobus to leave his service - this can become very dangerous for the Quester

7) Reprobus does find a holy man who gives the krjalki a holy task.

Sometimes the task is to bear people across a river, other times it is to lead them through a dangerous pass; whatever the task, it relies upon Reprobus using his strength to aid the weak in their travels. It is always dangerous enough that Reprobus is never COMPLETELY safe regardless of his strength. Refusal to perform this task results in failure.

8) A child calls Reprobus three times.

The myth cannot progress until the calls comes thrice, a number sacred to the Malkioni. If Reprobus does not "give up" twice before finding the child, the quest fails, or deviates into experimental heroquesting.

9) Reprobus bears the child, whose weight becomes that of the entire world.

If the HeroQuester representing Reprobus cannot successfully bear the child, the HeroQuest fails.

10) The child reveals himself to be Malkion, and rewards Reprobus for his service.

Success! The usual reward is the Cornucopic Staff - this is quest is sometimes dragged out of the dusty tomes when a village is in dire straits from a drought or famine. Very rarely, a troll will perform this quest and become recognized as a Malkioni. A handful of Stygian heretics keep this myth in their regular repertoire, and gain more obscure blessings.

In brief, the Stations are the skeleton on which the myth hangs. Campbell's Hero's Journey has some very generalized Stations, supposedly common to all major mythology. The Catholic Stations of the Cross are, unsurprisingly, stations. Each of the Twelve Labors of Hercules is a station in that myth.
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My internet was down when I left for work this morning, I have no promise that it will be up when I come home tonight. I will be on if it's back up, but if it's down at start time, then I cannot run the game.

I hope to see you then!


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Here followeth of Saint Malkonesti and first of his name.

Malkonesti tofore his baptism was named Reprobus, but afterwards he was named Malkonesti, which is as much to say as bearing Malkion, of that that he bare Malkion in four manners. He bare him on his shoulders by conveying and leading, in his body by making it lean, in mind by devotion, and in his mouth by confession and predication.

Malkonesti was of the lineage of the krjalki, and he was of a right great stature, and had a terrible and fearful countenance. And he was twelve cubits of length, and as it is read in some histories that, when he served and dwelled with the Queen of Darkness, it came in his mind that he would seek the greatest prince that was in the world, and him would he serve and obey. And so far he went that he came to a right great king, of whom the renomee generally was that he was the greatest of the world. And when the king saw him, he received him into his service, and made him to dwell in his court. Upon a time a minstrel sang tofore him a song in which he named oft the Devil, and the king, which was a Malkioni man, when he heard him name the Devil, made anon the sign of law in his visage. And when Malkonesti saw that, he had great marvel what sign it was, and wherefore the king made it, and he demanded of him. And because the king would not say, he said: If thou tell me not, I shall no longer dwell with thee, and then the king told to him, saying: Alway when I hear the Devil named, I fear that he should have power over me, and I garnish me with this sign that he grieve not ne annoy me. Then Malkonesti said to him: Doubtest thou the Devil that he hurt thee not? Then is the Devil more mighty and greater than thou art. I am then deceived of my hope and purpose, for I had supposed I had found the most mighty and the most greatest Lord of the world, but I commend thee to God, for I will go seek him for to be my Lord, and I his servant. And then departed from this king, and hasted him for to seek the Devil. And as he went by a great desert, he saw a great company of knights, of which a knight cruel and horrible came to him and demanded whither he went, and Malkonesti answered to him and said: I go seek the Devil for to be my master. And he said: I am he that thou seekest. And then Malkonesti was glad, and bound him to be his servant perpetual, and took him for his master and Lord. And as they went together by a common way, they found there a triangle, erect and standing. And anon as the devil saw the rune of law he was afeard and fled, and left the right way, and brought Malkonesti about by a sharp desert. And after, when they were past the triangle, he brought him to the highway that they had left. And when Malkonesti saw that, he marvelled, and demanded whereof he doubted, and had left the high and fair way, and had gone so far about by so aspre a desert. And the devil would not tell him in no wise. Then Malkonesti said to him: If thou wilt not tell me, I shall anon depart from thee, and shall serve thee no more. Wherefor the Devil was constrained to tell him, and said: There was a man called Malkion who gave the world The Law, and when I see his sign I am sore afraid, and flee from it wheresoever I see it. To whom Malkonesti said: Then he is greater, and more mightier than thou, when thou art afraid of his sign, and I see well that I have laboured in vain, when I have not founden the greatest Lord of the world. And I will serve thee no longer, go thy way then, for I will go seek Malkion. And when he had long sought and demanded where he should find Malkion, at last he came into a great desert, to an hermit that dwelt there, and this hermit preached to him of Malkion Lawgiver and informed him in the faith diligently, and said to him: This king whom thou desirest to serve, requireth the service that thou must oft fast. And Malkonesti said to him: Require of me some other thing, and I shall do it, for that which thou requirest I may not do. And the hermit said: Thou must then wake and make many prayers. And Malkonesti said to him: I wot not what it is; I may do no such thing. And then the hermit said to him: Knowest thou such a river, in which many be perished and lost? To whom Malkonesti said: I know it well. Then said the hermit, Because thou art noble and high of stature and strong in thy members, thou shalt be resident by that river, and thou shalt bear over all them that shall pass there, which shall be a thing right convenable to our Lord Malkion Lawgiver whom thou desirest to serve, and I hope he shall show himself to thee. Then said Malkonesti: Certes, this service may I well do, and I promise to him for to do it. Then went Malkonesti to this river, and made there his habitacle for him, and bare a great pole in his hand instead of a staff, by which he sustained him in the water, and bare over all manner of people without ceasing. And there he abode, thus doing, many nights. And in a time, as he slept in his lodge, he heard the voice of a child which called him and said: Malkonesti, come out and bear me over. Then he awoke and went out, but he found no man. And when he was again in his house, he heard the same voice and he ran out and found nobody. The third time he was called and came thither, and found a child beside the rivage of the river, which prayed him goodly to bear him over the water. And then Malkonesti lift up the child on his shoulders, and took his staff, and entered into the river for to pass. And the water of the river arose and swelled more and more: and the child was heavy as lead, and alway as he went farther the water increased and grew more, and the child more and more waxed heavy, insomuch that Malkonesti had great anguish and was afeard to be drowned. And when he was escaped with great pain, and passed the water, and set the child aground, he said to the child: Child, thou hast put me in great peril; thou weighest almost as I had all the world upon me, I might bear no greater burden. And the child answered: Malkonesti, marvel thee nothing, for thou hast not only borne all the world upon thee, but thou hast borne him that discovered and gave all the world its Law, upon thy shoulders. I am Malkion Lawgiver the prophet, to whom thou servest in this work. And because that thou know that I say to be the truth, set thy staff in the earth by thy house, and thou shalt see to-morn that it shall bear flowers and fruit, and anon he vanished from his eyes. And then Malkonesti set his staff in the earth, and when he arose on the morn, he found his staff like a palmier bearing flowers, leaves and dates.

Next: Stations!
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I might be a half hour late for tonight's session, everyone. Real life intrudes.
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It has been two days since the battle with the Sanguine Corsairs. The wounded corsairs all seem to have expired overnight on the second day, although Agata notes with some worry that the wounded sailors' wounds seem to be surrounded by angry red flesh that is slowly spreading. Ciro has sent Fidelio aloft several times to scout for landfall, and early this morning the clockwork hawk let out a piercing metallic shriek indicating he had spotted something. Course corrections were made, and spirits lifted as land approached.

By evening, the dark line of a landmass becomes hazily visible in the distance. It grows and swells steadily as you approach throughout the night, and by morning, one can espy a harbor on an island. A ragged cheer goes up among the crew, and whenever one of the dronari isn't occupied with a duty, they're climbing up to the crow's nest, or hanging off the prow to watch the land get closer. It's a high-cliffed harbor, very safe from storms and easily defended by the inhabitants - if there are any left.

As the ship approaches the entrance, however, a strange scene becomes visible.

A Strange SceneCollapse )
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In the name of Malkion, the Prophet and First Man, Most Blessed of Makan, by whom all things are possible, this is a story of the time before History. Blessed are those who hear and obey its lessons.

Waertag was one of Malkion's oldest children, born to him by the Queen of the Merfolk, and the first man to build both boat and ship. His rival was his youngest brother Vadel, who envied Waertag his father's love. Waertag sailed and explored, but remained within the laws of his Father, while Vadel tried to impress Malkion by sailing beyond the world into those places forbidden by God. They fought many times, never gaining the upper hand over one another.

One time, Vadel had stolen powerful magic from Zzabur, a spell that would bind the sylphs and the cumulides and the very fulgurids of the sky-dome to whisk his ship anywhere in the world. Vadel wanted to use this spell to appear in the middle of Waertag's shipyard and destroy his fleet. Keep in mind that this was before Waertag had tamed the Dragonships, and many wise men say that this even is why Waertag sought ships more powerful than vessels made of wood and pitch. So, Vadel spoke the runes of the Sorceror Supreme, and with a roar of the wind and lashing of angry rain, found himself transported to The Dock, which is where Waertag dwelled when not at sea. Vadel began to smash and destroy as much as he could; Waertag, ever protective of his creations, rushed to their defense. When the elder brother grasped his younger and begin to wrench at Vadel's arms, Vadel grew very afraid and invoked Zzabur's runes again. To Vadel's great terror, Waertag held on. But because he was not protected by the Great Wizard's magic, the Cumulides grabbed Waertag and threw him into the ocean.

Waertag was the first shipbuilder, and he had soon created a serviceable raft from driftwood and seaweed. He began to sail home, plotting revenge against his brother. (see how soon the seeds of Error are planted!) Waertag was in the warm oceans at the very eastern borders of Lost Danmalastan, and did not lack for food as he journeyed, and his magic allowed him to drink the seawater with no ill effect! But soon, he found himself surrounded by horrible merfolk. Green and scaled, faces that do not know love or joy or Solace, finned and clawed, and terrible they were, and they grabbed Waertag's raft to stop it. "Why do you blaspheme against Magasta and Triolina your mother by breathing the accursed air and disturbing the mirrored sea?!", they cried. "We shall tear this blasphemy apart, and we shall tear YOU apart!" Waertag was sore afraid, and began to pray to Malkion, blessed be his name. The merefolk, who were called Malasp because of their hateful attitude, were held motionless as the great power of the First Man descended upon the raft. When His spirit had left, there were five items on the deck.

The first, a bronze sword. Waertag, in his wisdom, did not fight the Malasp with it, for surely they would have then dragged him below the waves. He instead offered it to the fiercest of the merfolk, explaining that forged metal was much more powerful than the coral it wielded. The merman quickly took the sword and swam away, later to slay one of the Gloomshark's spawn with it. Second, a bottle of kvass. He offered the most sour of the merfolk a drink, and upon the first taste of such sweetness, the fish-man snatched the bottle away to drink it all by himself. Next, a loaf of good rye bread. The sharp teeth and savage mien of the merfolk led Waertag not to offer it to those who threatened him, but to instead break the loaf and cast it upon the waters. So many fish came to the surface to eat it, that one of the merfolk whooped their strange call of joy and ignored the raft to cast his net after the bounty. The fourth item, a ball of lead, heavy and dark. The keenest of the Merfolk had been eyeing for all this time, and Waertag asked, "Do you desire this? It is yours, a gift of friendship." The Malasp, whose shiver was at this time being threatened by the Krjalki, took the lead ball, and quickly sank beneath the waves.

This left one of the savage Mermen, who glared at Waertag contemptuously. "I cannot be bribed, or tricked, or enticed by sweets or glory. I am the chieftan and I will not countenance you." The fifth item was a simple scaling knife, wickedly sharp but too short to fight with. Waertag thought, and finally... "Chieftan, I would not presume to think such of you. I propose that in exchange for your forbearance, I and my children and my children's children, unto the return of the White Moon, will offer these gifts to your people whenever we meet them. You cannot be bribed or tricked, but I offer only tribute to you who are the most gifted of the sea." And to prove his sincerity, Waertag cut his palm with the scaling knife, and sealed this promise in blood with the merfolk.

This satisfied the malasp, and Waertag was free to sail home. And Waertag's skin grew green and blue, and scales could be found on his children, because of this oath; the Malasp, to their horror, discovered that they, too, could breathe air after this. But even now, in the clutches of History, even after Waertag, grown cold and proud and beholden to strange Gods, descended into the Underworld, even after the Closing and Dormal's Seven Voyages, this oath holds, and tribute is paid for safe passage in the warm waters. And none shall break it, save the Invisible God, in whom all things are possible, and the White Moon, whose coming will shatter all oaths.
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Seeing as how I *just* got home, I think I'm going to have to beg off running the game tonight. I'm really sorry - what's tomorrow night look like for everyone?
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Okay. No Heroquest tonight (01/14/08), but I do want to chat with players about the game some time during the week. Just whenever you have time.

01/21/08 restarts the madness!

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So, I thought September 24th was a Tuesday. Turns out this is not the case. I will be watching the New Pornographers tonight, and thus HeroQuest is cancelled - unless you guys want to try some GMless gaming.


Crossposted to cappadocius

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