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Created On 15 February 2001
Last Updated On 30 July 2017
Copyright © 2001 Simon E. Phipp

Javern Spithorn and the Sunset Leap

There is an excellent article (Thanks to Steve Hammatt for providing a working link) on Issaries' Gloranthan Website giving examples of Hero Powers. This got me thinking about how this would be reflected using my own HeroQuest rules and I was pleasantly surprised that it could very easily be reflected using these rules.

Javern has a Hero Ability called the Sunset Leap that allows him to leap into the sunset and perhaps take a number of people with him. Effectively this is a multi-person Teleport spell that can only be used at Sunset.

In my rules, Javern would know a Station from a HeroQuest, the Station would be called The Sunset Leap and it could be Invoked to produce a mass teleport effect at sunset, perhaps costing 1 (or 3) personal Magic Points per extra person affected or to increase the range of the Leap. If he prayed beforehand he could increase the effect, possibly storing up Magic Points or Support Points to bolster the effect. So far so good.

Javern was rescued from battle by Sareen who used the Sunset Leap when it was not Sunset. He performed this deed by using the Blood of Sunset as Javern had shed blood. In my rules, this would be another HeroQuest Station, Blood of Sunset, that could be Invoked to bring the powers of Sunset to bear with the cost of a number of General Hit Points lost by each participant. Invoking Blood of Sunset allows the Sunset Leap to occur because it makes the day effectively Sunset. As a side effect, the participants leave the Sunset Leap at Sunset, so this holds them in Time until the next Sunset. This is a nice example of cleverly combining HeroQuest Stations to produce new effects when Invoked together.

The next example was when Javern Invoked the Sunset Leap during the day to escape some Lunars and trolls. In doing so he caused a burst of light, as if at Sunset, and performed the Sunset Leap successfully. As a side effect the trolls were dazzled and the rest of his friends managed to defeat the trolls and the Hell Man who led them.

Here, Javern used the Sunset Leap during the day without the Blood of Sunset. I believe that Javern had found a way to use the powers of Sunset without the shedding of blood required by the Blood of Sunset. A good place this could come from is the Slaying of Yelm by Orlanth as this produces a Sunset. Javern could have performed this Quest and taken this Setting Sun Station, modifying it slightly so that it caused the Sunset and then Invoking this Station together with the Sunset Leap. So now he has three Stations, the Sunset Leap, Blood of Sunset and Setting Sun. Once again he would complete the Sunset Leap at Sunset, no matter when the Quest was Invoked.

The side effect of the Setting Sun Station may have been accidental or it may have been intentional. In fact, the Setting Sun may cause a blinding flash of light with the extra effect of acting as a Sunset so the Light Flash may have been the major part of the Effect. The description actually says that he caused the flash of light as a side effect.

Now we get a bit airy-fairy. Javern apparently practised with the ability so that he could visualize the Sunset anywhere and that way leap in any direction at any time. I do not think that HeroQuest Stations can be improved simply by practising. Instead I would prefer that he HeroQuested and found out how to visualize the Setting Sun in a different place, or invented a way to make it seem as though the Sun had set in a different place. He could then Invoke this Setting Sun Station and Invoke the Sunset Leap in order to leap in any direction at any time.

Now he tries to be clever, not just getting the effect of a Sunset but actually causing a Sunset. So, he would try to use the Setting Sun Station to actually make the Sun set, in other words changing the time of day without performing a Sunset Leap. Of course, this failed as Orlanth could not change time. In fact it would fail as no Deity can change Time within Glorantha. When Nysalor was born the Sun Stopped but that was a different effect and not one to be repeated.

Finally, Javern used the Sunset Leap to rescue a dead soul and bring it to life by leaping to the Sunset where the soul of his friend Berra was travelling after she had been killed. He found her there as she was entering the Underworld and pulled her back, bringing her to life. This is a rather nice use of the Station as it combines the Sunset Leap with the fact that Sunset is the Death of the Sun and that all souls follow the Sun Path when entering the Underworld. Simply put, he would Invoke the Setting Sun, Death of Yelm, Sunset Leap and Rescue Soul. The Rescue Soul Station is an unusual one but one that is known to Orlanthi as Orlanth himself is said to travel to where souls have been lost and bring them back to him. Presumably Javern had already performed a Quest that contained this Station and had it ready for use, although this was the first time he had tried it with the Sunset Leap.

However, such a Quest is not without its dangers for when Javern died the next time he could not be brought back as he had already leapt to the Cavern of Souls and it was too late for him. This shows that HeroQuest Stations have ramifications and effects that are not always visible or known at the time. A person may be indelibly marked by the use of a Station or HeroQuest and this may follow him for a number of years without becoming apparent.

So, the major differences between the HeroWars method of using HeroQuests and my method of using them seems to be that I say that HeroQuests must have been performed in order to use them and that HeroWars says that people can mess about with HeroQuests to get certain effects. I can see that this adds a little fluidity to HeroQuesting, but I am not convinced that it is a good idea. I personally prefer a bit more rigour so that HeroQuests are not completely freeform and have some limitations.