Ragnaglar's Breath

Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 1 October 1997
Last Updated On 1 October 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

In the world of my Glorantha, each region of the world has its own Storm Spirit which controls the weather for that region. So, Storm Bull controls the weather for The Wastes, Thunder Bird for Prax and so on. Mostly, these storm spirits are unimportant and are rarely worshipped, but they are still present.

In Dorastor, the Storm Spirit was captured by Lokamayadon and was bound in an experiment to try to gain influence over the Storm Dragon (in fact, he managed to merge the Storm Spirit with the Inhuman King of the Ralian Dragonewts, creating the Dragonewt of Storm, but this failed to influence the Storm Dragon). This meant that Dorastor was without a controlling Storm Spirit.

When Arkat came and ravaged Dorastor, many spirits and beings hid away and escaped his wrath. One of these was the Dragonewt of Storm. As it contained the Dorastoran Storm Spirit Dorastor had no proper weather of its own. The only rain which fell was blown in from outside, the only clouds were those which fleetingly passed by from elsewhere. This did not make for a pleasant place.

When Ralzakark was awakened by the God Learners he took many steps to improve the land of Dorastor which was then a blasted and sterile place. One of these steps was to replace the Storm Spirit of Dorastor. As Ralzakark had known Lokamayadon, he knew several Storm HeroQuests and began to search for a suitable Spirit. Eventually he made contact with the devastated Spirit of Ragnaglar, the Mad God and brought back his Breath to Dorastor. Ragnaglar's Breath was a fairly powerful Storm Spirit, being a grandson of Umath himself, and filled the vacuum perfectly.

However, because Ragnaglar was touched by madness and Chaos, his Breath did not act normally. From then on, the weather in Dorastor was unpredictable. Violent Storms would appear from nowhere and blast the land, sometimes a small cloud would settle over an individual and would gently rain on him wherever he went, the rainstorms in Dorastor were often made of things other than water, the wind was sometimes filled with stone, dust or metal, sometimes the rain would rip the souls from those it fell on.

In our campaign, while we were running on a round-robin basis, I often set scenarios in Dorastor and Ragnaglar's Breath was one of the things I used to set it as a dangerous place. For medium to high strength Rune Level parties, walking in Acid rain for more than a round is not pleasant as all their iron starts dissolving. For lower level parties these can be devastating. When I started GMing the campaign myself, I moved it to Dorastor and Ragnaglar's Breath became even more annoying as even Orlanthi could not predict what the Unusual Weather could be. Eventually the PCs located the Dragonewt of Storm and killed it in a certain manner, freeing the Storm Spirit and allowing the Inhuman King to be reborn as a True dragon. This had the effect of driving out Ragnaglar's Breath and making the weather more normal. However, the Breath was not completely replaced and still had a chance of appearing (1%) for old times sake.

In game terms, the weather in Dorastor was extreme, using a modified table from Griffin Mountain. In Summer it was hotter, in Winter colder. Storm Season had more violent Storms, Dark Season had more snow and more cold weather, Sea Season had harder rain and more flooding, Fire Season had incredibly hot days and occasional Electrical Storms which would appear from nowhere. Earth Season was always very mild due to the influence of Dorasta herself. However, each day there was a small chance (5-10% I think) of having unusual weather.

Unusual weather was rolled on a table (since in those days I liked random tables) and took various forms:

Normal but extreme weather
If it should have been hot it became incredibly hot
If it should have rained then you might as well have been standing under a waterfall
If it was windy you could have been blown away
Bad Wind
Sandstorms (who knows where the Sand came from)
Dust Storms (does damage)
Ash Storms (sucked form Ash Flat - suffocates)
Poison Wind (made from poison gas - Ragnaglar has Bad Breath)
Acid Wind (not pleasant)
Soul Draining Wind (drains Magic Points or even POW)
Spirit Wind (carries spirits which attack in Spirit combat)
Emotional Wind (causes a random emotion in those blown over - fear, rage and lust are always good ones)
Bad Rain
Acid Rain (Ha, ha - see the Rune Lord's iron melt away)
Poison Rain
Fire Rain (does damage)
Rain of Stones (does damage)
Beast Rain (rain of frogs, insects etc., occasionally larger beasts - sheep, horses, brontosaurs)
Soul Draining Rain (drains MP or POW)
Diseased Rain (Infects with a random disease)
Acid fog
Poison Fog
Soul Draining Fog
Movement Fog (when you leave you are in a different part of Dorastor)
Heroic Fog (takes you to the Hero Plane)
Individual Weather (Roll again for type but only affects one member of the party)
Harmless but annoying (Coloured Rain which dyes skin, foul smelling rain, wind which blows clothes and armour off)
Reverse Weather (roll again but effects are reversed - Diseased becomes Cure Disease, Acid becomes healing, Soul Draining becomes MP boosting etc.)
Obviously, there are many more effects which could be included - these are merely examples of the kinds of things which appear in Ragnaglar's Breath. The trick is to try and be inventive - if you think of something else then use it. After all, Ragnaglar is touched by Chaos and Disorder as well as being a Storm God - anything goes! Try not to make everything Acid as this gets boring after a while (actually it doesn't - I never tire of hearing Players whinge about their precious Iron dissolving and running down their legs!)