Something Wicked in Glorantha
The Orlmarth Clan
This is the characters’ clan.
The Clan Generation Questionnaire
Here’s the Orlmarth clan character sheet (2-page PDF) as the players created it in our first sessions. Following is a text description of the choices they made.
The Mythic Age
Of the eight Old Gods of the Celestial Court, the ancestors of the Orlmarth most favored Orenoar, goddess of Truth. This gave the clan a check in the Truth power rune.
The Goddess Asrelia, Empress Earth, gave treasures to the descendants of Grandfather and Grandmother Life that woke them out of the formless Green Age and named them as something specific. The ancestors of the Orlmarth received the Full Dish and Spoon, awakening in the emerging Masculine Universe of turbulent sky. This gave the clan a check each in the War resource and the Air elemental rune.
The Bright Emperor, Yelm, the Sun, ruled the cosmos with absolute power, but couldn’t control freedom. Umath Ever-Changing, the First Storm, led a growing rebellion against the Bright Emperor’s stagnation, beginning as one upstart god among many. The ancestors of the Orlmarth joined his cause as his ranks grew and the prospect of genuinely reshaping the world emerged. This gave the clan its motto, “No one can make you do anything”, a check in War, and three checks in Air.
Umath fell at the hands of the Bright Emperor’s lieutenant, the Red God Jagekriand, at the beginning of the Gods War. Umath’s youngest son, Orlanth, emerged as the next rightful leader of the gods, thanks to his unique sense of honor and his wide kinship ties with the gods of Air. He gathered followers by force of virtue, character, and example. The Orlmarth ancestors joined his army after he challenged the Bright Emperor to contests of dancing, magic, and music, and then killed the Emperor with the new weapon, Death. This gave the clan three checks in Air and two in Movement.
The Orlmarth ancestors first earned fame for taking part in the first dragonslaying, when Orlanth led a successful fight against Sh’harkazeel the Mover of Heavens and took the Dragon Power for his own. This gave the clan a check in Air and one in Magic.
Orlanth went on to woo Ernalda, the Earth Queen, and won her after many trials and tribulations. At their wedding, the Orlmarth ancestors helped guard the sacred circle to protect the couple and their rite from Orlanth’s many enemies. This gave the clan a check in Magic.
Vingkot, one of Orlanth’s many sons, was the first great king of the Orlanthi people. As the world fell apart under the weight of the Gods War, he and his children welcomed in refugees from all parts of the world. The Orlmarth ancestors, already part of his kingdom, received the shattered remnants of the Forosto Jann or “Deadly Archers”, and chose to incorporate them as equals rather than thralls. This gave the clan two checks in Fire and one in War, and the wyter a related ability. Furthermore, the clan established the tradition that it does not keep thralls.
The Vingoktlings inevitably had many enemies. The Orlmarth ancestors found themselves most often fighting against the dragonewts, and developed special magic and tactics to use against them. This gave the clan one of its ancient enemies, the wyter an ability helpful in fighting them, and a clan hatred; it also gave the clan a check in Magic.
As the Gods War worsened, the Great Darkness descended. Gods died or slept, and even Orlanth, most responsible of the deities, had to work so hard at saving the world that he had no time to protect his people in particular. Everything in the universe seemed uncaring or actively hostile, outside the little world of clan and tribal ties. The Orlmarth ancestors’ darkest moment came when there was no love, and ties based on emotion failed too. This gave the clan wyter an ability that helped in surviving that crisis.
Chaos monsters swarmed through the darkness, devouring people, clans, and whole nations. The Orlmarth ancestors’ closest brush with death came in their fights against the Thing with Many Bodies. It continues to torment the clan from time to time even now, seeking revenge. This gave the clan wyter an ability to fight it, and another ancient enemy.
The struggle against Chaos pulled Orlanth and the other remaining gods farther and farther from humanity. Everyone who survived the ensuing Die Off did so with the help of one of the Living Gods. In the case of the Orlmarth ancestors, that was a star captain knocked screaming from the sky by flying Chaos terrors. His light led the clan to a sanctuary that lasted until Orlanth and Ernalda could return. This gave the clan a check in Magic.
All potential for the future came down to a single individual against Wakboth the Devil, one of the great Chaos monsters. That person did prevail, in the battle known as I Fought We Won. Heort the King taught the Orlmarth ancestors the initiation rites that let them be that one, and so they became one of the Heortling peoples.
It was Heort who organized the reemergence of society after the Great Darkness. He re-instituted sacrifices to the gods, grouped people into new clans, and created new tribes. He also brought together humans and the Elder Races into a Unity Council that actually did cooperate in facing their common challenges. The Orlmarth ancestors formed a special bond with the nomads of Prax, who shared a hatred of Chaos despite a mutual history of raiding each others’ lands. This gave the clan an ancient friend, a ritual to interact peacefully with Praxians now, and a check in War.
The Heortling tribe thrived, and split into many tribes as it grew. None of the eleven tribes founded during the Dawn Age remain, but the Orlmarth clan remembers that its ancestors belonged to the Berenethtelli, the tribe of the Red-Haired Winter Daughter Redaylde and her horse-loving husband Bereneth the Rider, and that they lived in the north, in the land that’s now Saird. This gave the clan some ancestral heroes, checks in War and Movement, Horsemanship as a clan ability and a hatred of Dara Happans.
The Era of Time