Sandals of Darkness Quest [1]

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Simon E. Phipp
Created On 17 March 2001
Last Updated On 10 September 2002
Copyright © 2001 Simon E. Phipp

The Myth [2]

When Orlanth was wooing Ernalda he searched for a gift for her that would impress her. He overheard one of her servants saying that she needed a new pair of shoes and Orlanth thought of the Sandals of Darkness worn by Kyger Litor. He went to  his brothers for help. "Raise an army and march into Hell" said Humakt. "Fill your lungs with air and fight the Troll Mother for that is all you need" said Storm Bull. "Why bother with gifts, just take the Queen with force and make her your own" said Vadrus. Orlanth could not agree with any of these suggestions so he asked another brother, Yinkin, for help. "I will go with you" he said, but Orlanth refused saying that he should remain home and guard his family. "Then take my Keen Smell to be your guide" said Yinkin. Orlanth thanked him but said that he would bump into walls and not see his enemies in the Darkness. "No problem, take my Darksight as well" said Yinkin and he lent Orlanth his senses.

This prepared, Orlanth set off for the World Mountain and entered the staircase that led down to Hell. He descended to the Underworld and through the Waters, smelling the cold vapours and musty odours that drifted up from below. He was plagued by insects as he entered Hell and had to summon a mighty wind to blow them away. He reached the bottom of the staircase and wandered through the Kingdoms of the Trolls trying to find Kyger Litor. At last he saw two trolls sitting a way of and talking, gesturing to a faraway mountain. Orlanth used the winds to bring their words to him and heard them talking about the Troll Mother who lived in the mountain yonder. Orlanth took heart at this and headed off for the Dark Mountain where he found a deep, dark cavern filled with the unmistakable odour of Kyger Litor herself. Orlanth descended deeper and deeper, guided by the strong scent of the Troll Mother until he found himself in a dark cavern with what seemed to be an empty couch in the centre. Orlanth approached the couch and saw the impression of a huge form laying on the couch but he could not see the person herself. Carefully, Orlanth made his way to the foot of the couch and found the feet there. Holding his breath, Orlanth unlaced the sandals and removed them one by one. As he removed the second sandal the sleeping form of Kyger Litor appeared and the room was filled with snoring. The second sandal cried out "Hey, who are you and what are you doing?" but Orlanth replied "I am Orlanth and you will obey me" and quickly fastened the sandals on his own feet where they shrank to his size and Orlanth disappeared.

At that moment, two giant trolls were passing and saw Orlanth talking to the sandals and disappearing, so they charged in and began swinging their clubs around the room, trying to bash him wherever he hid. Orlanth danced and jumped but could not evade the trolls so he skipped behind one of them and showed himself to the other. The troll swung his club as hard as he could as Orlanth slipped into the shadows and ducked out of the way. The club smashed into the other troll's leg, where Orlanth's head would have been, and smashed it into pieces. Orlanth slipped past and ran as fast as he could from the mountain, over the plains and up the staircase to the surface and did not stop running until he reached home.

Orlanth returned Yinkin's Darksight and Keen Smell and thanked him for his help, offering to repay him some day. He set out for the Queen's Court and gave her the Sandals of Darkness in person. Smiling kindly, she thanked him and said "We thank you for the kind gift and we bid you to wear them for us and, when you wear them, to think of us." In that way, she declined the offer of the gift without offending Orlanth for she could see what a proud and handsome young man he was.

The HeroQuest

There are several Stations on this HeroQuest:

Search for a Gift

Orlanth must try to find out what gift will impress Ernalda. He must try to overhear the servant's conversation, using a combination of Sneak, Listen and possibly Wind Words. The girls will tell of Ernalda's desire for a new pair of sandals.

This Station may be Invoked to find out the desires of another, normally from a third party. It allows the Invoker to find out from the person's friends what they desire.

Request For Aid

Orlanth's brothers offer advice. If he accepts the advice of one of the brothers then he gains a benefit from the advice and this marks the form of the rest of the HeroQuest. In any case Orlanth owes a debt of service to the brother whose advice he has taken and must help that brother free of charge if called on in the future.

If he takes Humakt's advice he must raise an army to go into Hell. Humakt will assist him in this.
If he takes Storm Bull's advice then he will go himself, naked and painted blue as if to war, and will fight Kyger Litor.
If he takes Vadrus' advice then he will try and abduct Ernalda and carry her off from her Court.
If he takes Yinkin's advice then he gains the use of Catseye and Identify Scent heroically for the rest of the Quest and also gains the skill Track by Smell.

This Station may be Invoked to force kinsmen to give advice to the Invoker. This advice must come from the heart and may not necessarily be good advice but it cannot be withheld.

Journey Through Hell

Orlanth must descend the Staircase into Hell and search for Kyger Litor. He has several encounters that may include Insect Swarms, trolls and other darkness creatures. He must fight or overcome each encounter. If he has taken Humakt or Storm Bull's advice then he must fight every encounter.

Eventually he will find two trolls talking about the Troll Mother and must use Wind Words to overhear them. He must then travel to the Dark Mountain where she is asleep. When at Dark Mountain he can use Track by Smell and Identify Scent to locate Kyger Litor.

This Station may be Invoked to cross Hell and to find someone in Hell. It allows the Invoker to find someone who knows where the person may be found and to overhear the conversation.

In the Troll Mother's Cavern

Orlanth must find the Troll Mother's Couch and must sneak over to her and find out where her sandals are. He must remove the sandals (Pick Pockets, Sleight). If he fails to Sneak or fails to carefully remove the sandals then Kyger Litor will wake up and call for her guards.

If Orlanth successfully removes the sandals and puts them on then he gains several benefits. He can sacrifice for the Dark Walk spell and can use the spell Heroically while wearing the sandals on the Quest.

The Troll Mother's guards will come in and will try and hit Orlanth in the Darkness. IN Practice Run Quests, these are normally Great Trolls with True Maul on their mauls. Orlanth must either fight them or trick his way out of the cavern.

If Orlanth arrives here with an army or as a warrior then he must try and defeat Kyger Litor and her guards. This is difficult and is normally doomed to failure.

This Station May be Invoked to act as the Dark Walk spell.

Return to the Surface

Orlanth must cross the Troll Lands and ascend the Staircase to the Surface. If he has gained the Sandals of Darkness then he can use Dark Walk to evade encounters, otherwise he must fight his way through.

Orlanth must return Yinkin's gift and offer a deed of service in return.

This Station may be Invoked to escape from an underground location without meeting any enemies.

Presenting to the Queen

Orlanth must present the Sandals of Darkness to Ernalda. If he does this then he can access Dark Walk but has penalties when wooing Ernalda in future. If Ernalda keeps the Sandals then she can sacrifice for Dark Walk but Orlanth gets no other benefits. If Ernalda bids Orlanth wear to Sandals then he may join the Sandals of Darkness sub cult and gains no penalties when wooing Ernalda in the future. If the Questor is an Acolyte or Priest of Orlanth then he gains the Dark Walk spell reusably. [3]


1. This is a Magical Weapons Quest.

2. This myth is based on the story "How Orlanth Won Ernalda's Attention" by Martin R. Crim as told in The RuneQuest Con Compendium. Since this is a published work, I reckon it is fair game for use in other articles. If Glorantha is an open world then we should be able to build on other people's work and to use mythology from other articles as part of the common body of Glorantha. I would expect people to be able to use extracts from my articles as if they were part of standard Glorantha.

3. This is part of the Wooing of Ernalda Quest and can be used either stand-alone or as part of that Quest. Many Questors use this Quest solely to gain the Dark Walk spell in which case they ignore the Search for a Gift and Presenting to the Queen Stations. The Quest works just as well without those Stations but this can affect future attempts to perform the Wooing of Ernalda Quest.