Orlanth and The Blue Dragon



Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 17 September 1997
Last Updated On 10 September 2002
Copyright © 2002 Simon E. Phipp

Contents

Purpose
Preparation
Gaining the Six Winds
The Fight With Aroka
The Reward
Summary
Classification
Other Notes

Purpose:

1. Dragonslaying;
2. Defeating Daga;
3. Releasing Heler.

Mythos:

Orlanth fought many foes during the Darkness. One of these was his kinsman Daga, god of Drought. In order to defeat Daga, Orlanth had to fight Aroka, the Blue Dragon, and find a weapon which would defeat Daga.

Aroka was a fearsome beast with eyes that would paralyse any intelligent creature, a tongue which could choke any physical creature and a breath which could destroy any spirit. When it heard that Orlanth was coming, it hid away in its lair.

Orlanth prepared for the battle by praying to the Greater Powers, eating Splendourbread and Soma and gaining the Six Winds from Kolat Windfather. He also brought the Thunderbolt, a flint sword or Klanth and the Shield of Arran.

When Orlanth found Aroka's lair, the Blue Dragon would not come out to fight, so Orlanth sent the Lower Wind, or Darkwind, into the lair. The Darkwind carried the cries of lost souls into the lair and filled it with its terrible sound, causing Aroka to flee its lair.

As Aroka opened its eyes to paralyse Orlanth, he released the Four Winds who each threw a weapon into Aroka's eye, blinding it. As Aroka sent forth its tongues to choke Orlanth, he freed the Upper Wind to burn, dry and shrivel the tongues away. Finally, Aroka released its evil breath, but Orlanth trapped the breath in his Bag of Winds and threw it away.

Orlanth now went to Aroka and tore the Dragon apart covering the land in water, blood and mead. Inside the Dragon's belly was Heler, god of rain. Orlanth also took burning jewels from its heart and head, sinews from its back and the tooth which can scar adamant.

The Quest

Preparation

Mythos

Orlanth prayed to the Celestial Court and ate Splendourbread and drank Soma.

Game Terms

The Questor must prepare for a whole season. He must pray to the Powers for acceptance that he is worthy to travel the Quest. Each week of prayer means that he must pass the test of Holiness - either roll POWx3% or roll 3 out of 5 Virtues of Orlanth. If he passes the test, he can continue, otherwise he must pray for another week. If he has not passed the test after 7 weeks, he continues anyway having proved his piety and devotion.

For the rest of the preparation, the Questor must eat Splendourbread and drink Soma. These were made by Gata and now by Ernalda.

Splendourbread gives great strength and health to the eater - in game terms, this adds 1D3 STR and 1D3 CON per week of eating and allows the eater to regenerate 1 HP per round in a location of choice per week eaten, so a Questor who eats Splendourbread for 3 weeks gains 3D3 STR and 3D3 CON and can regenerate 3HP/round in a location of choice. Increases in STR and CON can take them over the normal species maximum.

Soma, or Widebrew, gives the drinker courage and skill in battle - each week spent drinking Soma gives + 20% to all attacks/parries and increases the Bravery character trait by 5%, so the above Questor would gain + 60% to all attacks/parries and + 15% Bravery trait.

All increases to skills/stats last for the duration of the HeroQuest, but the Questor has a percentage chance equal to the increase of retaining it permanently. The Soma permanent increase in weapons skill only applies to Shield parry, Klanth attack, Sword attack and javelin and must be rolled separately for each weapon.

Gaining the Six Winds

Mythos

Kolat Windfather helped Orlanth gain the Six Winds. Kolat gave him the Four Directional Winds in a Sack of Winds, but the Upper and Lower Wind had to be taken. First Orlanth fought Krakos, the troll avenger, who chased him because Orlanth had broken his fathers legs, and took from him the Lower Wind or Darkwind, trapping it in a leather rope. Next, Orlanth fought Gagarth, the Wild Wind, and took the Upper Wind from him, placing it in a twisted vine.

Game Terms

The Questor must persuade Kolat to give him the four winds. This is often a formality, but sometimes favours have to be called or offered.

The Questor must then defeat Krakos and Gagarth in order to gain their winds. These contests are separate Stations in themselves and can be used to defeat these Gods in other HeroQuests.

The Questor gains a Bag of Winds, the Upper Wind and the Lower Wind from this. This means that he may sacrifice for Rune Magic from these deities as if he were an initiate. If he were to keep any of the Winds, not using them in the HeroQuest, he could also keep the Rune Magic reusably as a priest would.

Obviously, if the Questor fails to gain the Lower or Upper Winds, he is at a great disadvantage in the next fight, as he will have to enter Aroka's Lair or face the tongue without help.

The Fight With Aroka

Mythos

When Orlanth found Aroka's lair, the Blue Dragon would not come out to fight, so Orlanth sent the Lower Wind, or Darkwind, into the lair. The Darkwind carried the cries of lost souls into the lair and filled it with its terrible sound, causing Aroka to flee its lair.

As Aroka opened its eyes to paralyse Orlanth, he released the Four Winds who each threw a weapon into Aroka's eye, blinding it. As Aroka sent forth its tongues to choke Orlanth, he freed the Upper Wind to burn, dry and shrivel the tongues away. Finally, Aroka released its evil breath, but Orlanth trapped the breath in his Bag of Winds and threw it away.

Game Terms

When Orlanth finds Aroka's Lair, the Dragon will not come out unless forced. The traditional way is to release the Darkwind to scare Aroka from its Lair. However, if Orlanth does not have the Darkwind, he must either force Aroka out in another way or he must enter the Lair and fight Aroka on its territory with all the disadvantages that implies.

As soon as Aroka leaves his lair, the Questor must make a Bravery roll or flee from the Dragon. As his Bravery should have been increased by the Soma, this should not be a problem. If he has to enter Aroka's Lair, he must make a Bravery roll to enter the Lair and a Bravery roll to fight Aroka.

When the fight begins, Aroka will try to paralyse the Questor with its eyes. If Aroka wins in a POW vs. POW struggle, it will paralyse the Questor for as long as it is alive with its eyes open. The Questor may release the Four Winds who will each put out an eye. Each eye closed means that the chance of overcoming POW is reduced by 25%. If the Questor is paralysed, he will be eaten and killed.

Aroka will then use its strangling tongues in order to choke the Questor. The number of tongues depends on the GM, but is normally 1D6. Each tongue attacks separately and will choke, doing damage until armour is overcome, then doing damage direct. The Upper Wind will burn the tongues away, leaving nothing left. If the Questor does not have the Upper Wind, he must cut each tongue in two in order to stop them Fortunately, he is armed with a Klanth, the Thunderbolts and the Shield of Arran. If the Questor is killed here, he will be eaten.

Finally, Aroka will use its breath to destroy the Questor's soul. The breath reduces the Questor's POW by 3D6. If the Questor's POW is reduced to 0, he is dead and will be eaten. Normally, the Questor uses the Bag of Winds to trap the Breath and throws it away, out of harm's way. If, for any reason, the Questor does not have the Bag of Winds then he must fight Aroka and dodge the Breath. Don't forget that Aroka can breathe each round unless its breath has been captured.

Once the Questor has defeated Aroka's magical attacks, he must defeat it physically. If in hand-to-hand combat with Aroka, the following should be borne in mind:

First, Aroka's Tooth can scar Adamant, this means that Great Parry has no effect on it, so the Shield of Arran acts as a normal shield.

Second, Aroka has a weakness in that he can be torn in two by grabbing its lower and upper jaw and pulling. It is up to the GM to determine how easy this is, but Aroka will not be able to attack the Questor in this position.

Third, if the Questor tries to fight Aroka in any other way, he will find it a very difficult combat. Aroka is a very strong dragon who should be able to defeat the Questor.

The Reward

Mythos

Inside the Dragon's belly was Heler, god of rain. Orlanth also took burning jewels from its heart and head, sinews from its back and the tooth which can scar adamant.

Game Terms

The greatest reward is that of slaying Aroka and surviving.

The next reward is freeing Heler. This may well mean that the Questor gains rain-summoning powers either for himself or for his people. It may also mean that he can start up the cult of Heler in his lands.

Several parts of the Blue Dragon are magically important. Its tooth can scar adamant, this also means that it ignores Great Parry, damages Rune Metals and can hurt Telmori and those only damaged by Rune Metals or magic. Its sinews and the jewels in its head and heart also have magical powers, as determined by the GM.

Summary

The Quest has several Stations:
1. Praying to the Greater Powers
2. Eating Splendourbread and Drinking Soma
3. Gaining the Six Winds
3a. Gaining the Four Winds
3b. Fighting Krakos and gaining the Lower Wind
3c. Fighting Gagarth and gaining the Upper Wind
4. Fighting Aroka
4a. Using the Lower Wind to force it into the open
4b. Using the Four Winds to stop its Gaze
4c. Using the Upper Wind to destroy its tongue
4d. Trapping its breath with the Bag of Winds
4e. Killing Aroka
5. Gaining the rewards

Classification

1. Runic Description - Storm Conquers Water/Dragon
2. Action Description - Dragonslaying
3. Spells/Powers used - Six Winds
4. People Met - Kolat, Gagarth, Krakos, Aroka
5. Gifts Gained - Heler, Parts of Aroka

Other Notes

The penalty for failure here is Death.

This Quest has many things which can be used in other HeroQuests and many parts which can be used on their own.

The full HeroQuest costs 4 POW to learn, each Station costs 2 POW and each sub-station costs 1 POW. Once learnt, the Stations will remain with the Questor until forgotten or taken from him. Obviously, somebody else can cast the full Quest for him, allowing him to use the Quest's abilities, but this means that he cannot be flexible in the Quest.

The fights with Gagarth and Krakos may be used to fight HeroQuestors from those cults in other Quests.

Station 4a can be used to frighten other creatures from their Lairs - this is normally effective against Dragons, but may be used against Hydras or other monsters.

Stations 4b, 4c and 4d may be used when fighting other Dragons or other monsters. Any creature with a deadly Glance can be blinded using the Four Winds. Creatures with strangling tongues can be defeated using the Upper Wind. Creatures with foul Breath can be defeated using the Bag of Winds.

Many HeroQuestors learn these Stations as individual Quests. This means that they can invoke those parts of the Quest that are useful in other situations without having all the baggage of the whole Quest. For instance, using the Lower Wind to scare a Dragon from its lair is fairly simple, but using the whole Orlanth/Aroka Quest to scare the Dragon carries a lot of difficulties - bringing forth Troll and Storm opponents.

As a matter of interest, Orlanth was not the first to use these techniques. His brother, Vadrus, used the same techniques to kill the Water Demon Enkoshons. However, whilst Orlanth frees Heler and takes him as a friend, Vadrus freed the Blue Woman and took her by force, fathering a child on her. Orlanth fought Aroka to defeat his kinsman Daga who was hurting his people, Vadrus fought Enkoshons in order to defeat Yelm. Orlanth prayed to the Greater Powers for help, Vadrus chanted songs to himself.

This is just a sketch HeroQuest to show how they could work. As with all scenarios, the GM must do a lot of work to flesh out the NPCs, to give them statistics and spells. The beauty of this kind of Quest is that it can be used for initiates, Rune Levels or Heroes with only the stats and rewards changed.

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