Quêtes Héroïques

Pour parcourir l'univers mythique de Greg Stafford !

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Quêtes Héroïques

Message par 7Tigers » lun. 20 juil. 2020 09:46

Un gros pavé de Jeff Richard ce matin sur les Quêtes Héroïques (systemless):
Notes: Work in Progress, donc pas forcément la version définitive avant publication.

These notes are there to help give an idea about what IS a heroquest:


The process by which an individual contacts the world of the gods and grows in it is slow and gradual. When mortals participate in a religious ceremony, they expend energy and gain temporary benefits in perception and understanding of cult secrets. The depth of participation is based on a person's magical power and contact with the ceremony. In most ceremonies, priests are endowed with preternatural senses, while initiates see the dramatic participants bathed in their divine splendor. During annual ceremonies for large gatherings an entire temple's ground can be transported to the Hero Plane in what is called a Vertical Quest, for all to witness the mythical acts which empower the cult.

A normal person in most Gloranthan societies will have undergone at least one magical ritual in their life and taken part in its workings. This single ritual would be whatever initiation ceremony was required for adulthood, or acceptance into a guild or cult, participating in holiday festivals, and so on. As a member of a cult, they may also be offered a chance to participate in some special magic adventure, such as aiding a rune lord in a quest. Some cults have their own initiate magics, such as the Telmori quest for their wolf brothers.

Heroquests are a form of deeper contact between mortals and the world of the gods. Regardless of type, the quester straddles the mundane and divine worlds, and through their deeds and choices, alters the response of the cosmos to their magical acts. There are levels of consciousness or planes of being, which the quester activates with their presence. A brief and even accidental glimpse of the “deeper realms" may activate some divine presence there. However, if undisturbed the deities remain in their set roles, as unconcerned about a heroquester's passing as the constellations. Thus, a beginning heroquester might encounter only small spirits and the like at first, as they develop their otherworld presence called the Hero Soul.

The heroquest, or at least parts of it, will generally be known to the party who initiates it as a part of the myths of their religion. The quest will be an attempt to duplicate, or improve, the primal acts of their heroes and gods. By activating the proper portion of the cosmic matrix with their preparations and ceremonies, they alert the cosmos to their coming, and place themselves in the proper setting and spiritual state to follow the path of their quest. The alerted cosmos will bring forth whatever foe or opponent is analogous to the situation and most readily available as a natural function of its workings. Once begun, the quest must be maintained until it is completed. Some will take many adventures, with rests in between, to accomplish.

The cosmos may summon a person to answer someone else's quest only if the person summoned is also upon a heroquest of some sort or in some liminal place between worlds (such as a Worship ceremony or certain magically significant places). Thus, lay members are not troubled to be slaughtered by a champion, but another hero will be found. This may require some long journeys for powerful beings. And there is no guarantee that the foe summoned will be an exact fit, only analogous to it, and possibly with some nasty personal surprises of its own.

The length of a quest is variable depending on upon its complexity and danger. Some will require that they be completed in a predetermined length of time. Others will require rests in between, in the mundane world. Some may never be abandoned, and the person is subject to the constant dangers of the magical world intruding upon their daily life.

The result of successfully completing a magical quest is that the quester will acquire some benefit from it. This is a magical ability, a spell, increased characteristics, weapons, or many other things, depending upon the quest undertaken. The benefit may be personal to the quester, or may reside with the entire community that supported the quest.


Heroquesting is a powerful and rare Gloranthan activity in which the participants leave the material world and enter the realm of legend and myth to interact with heroes and gods, gambling precious Life Force to gain miraculous powers. Heroquesting provides the method for advancement for a character to grow towards heights of greatness. It takes them from the ordinary world and places them in the league of immortals, and grants them the opportunity and awareness to find the paths of immortality and glory.


There are three basic types of heroquest:

1) The “In-World" heroquests.

2) The Magic Road heroquest

3) The Other Side adventures


In-World Heroquests mostly take place in the world that the heroes know. They set off from a temple or other holy place and travel across the normal map, occasionally having to stop someplace special or do something at a certain place.

Despite this familiar terrain, the questers are present in the Hero Plane. They will run into the normal traffic of an overland adventure, but they must be doubly wary in case the things they meet are some ritual enemy, perhaps also on a heroquest, that has been summoned by the magic of the heroquest. Spirits and other magical beings often appear at places strongly tied to the gods or spirits, summoned by that same magic. It is often used to prepare the way for greater voyages, and to acquire magical items useful to the individual.


Dragon Pass and its nearby regions are crossed by several magic “roads” that enable a quester to quickly travel to specific holy places along paths that skip in and out of the mundane planes, covering the distance in far less time than travel wholly on the mundane plane. Deities and spirits, or their avatars, are presented here, summoned by the magic of traveling on the road; ritual enemies are often summoned by the same magic.

The magic roads are often used in combination with an in-world heroquest. Travel along these magic roads is dangerous. There can be enemies along each path; although their type is often known, the strength of the foes may vary widely. They are also used for rapid movement, though there are occasionally side- benefits that can or must be gained to use the road.


Hill of Orlanth Victorious to Kero Fin

Dragon’s Eye to Kero Fin

Kero Fin to Smoking Ruins to Arrowmound Mountain

Sun Dome Temple to Hill of Gold

Kero Fin to Cave of the Mother to Umath’s Point (this is going up the mountain)

Arrowmound to Halikiv to Balance Split to Wonderwood

City of Wonders to Durengard to Stormwalk

Starfire Ridge to Whitewall to Larnste’s Footprint to Stormwalk Mountain to the Block


Other Side heroquests are the most dangerous, for questers must leave the known confines of the paths and sacred ways to set off across the wilderness of the divine world. It involves actual travel in the Gods World which, if properly entered, will be as recognizable to the quester as his own world. In these travels the landscape and the inhabitants are set by God Time events, but this does not make it any more predictable or less risky.

This is the region beyond that must be entered and returned from many times by the would-be Hero wishing for immortality, where they can find great powers and abilities that will make them remembered by mortals for many ages yet to come. It is the place of Godtime, where mortals are not welcome and which they cannot know except through experience.



The long-term preparations can vary greatly from quest to quest. Some quests require lengthy periods of ritual purification and self-denial so that the quester can be a vessel for the divine powers. Others require merely that the quester has been a devout and consistent follower of the gods. Questers who have failed to make these preparations will find their task harder. Persons who are downright frauds trying to rob the cult are singled out for particular violence and overly vile opponents.


Many heroquests must begin in a specific mundane location such as a certain hill, group of standing stones, or temple to the god. Others are less narrow prescribed, requiring merely that it begins on hill, forest grove, open plains, etc. Many quests must begin at a certain time, such as at night, dawn, dusk, noon, or when a specific planet or constellation is in a particular place in the sky.


Mundane support is provided by one’s cult or other community. This might be magical gifts, weapons, or treasures to aid the heroquesters, or might be mundane supporters, such as healers, worshipers, preparation of the site, etc. Some heroquests require that the sacred grounds be defended by guards and sometimes priests while the heroquesters journey.


These are the preparations that need to be made immediately before the heroquest can begin. These include the preparation of the site by a cult priest, the summoning of spirits, sacrifices, and such rituals as the Arming of Orlanth or the Three Blow of Anger. These preparations typically take 1 to 3 days.



Holy places are locations where the boundaries between the mundane world and the Gods World are permeable. From the temple of a god, a worshiper can transcend the ordinary world and enter the home of the god, in what the God Learners called a “vertical quest”. Such a journey takes place at every Worship ceremony.


Every worship ceremony is a heroquest. Some worship ceremonies have more complex quests than just a vertical quest, and the God Learners called these Worship Quests. When History began, people were performing these worship heroquests. Worshippers got together in a sacred place, performed their ceremonies to summon the deities, and reenacted the actions that brought them there. To worshippers the action enlivened them to transcend the ordinary world and they become part of the Mythic Realm. Individuals might then leave the house of the god and participate in the deeds of their deities.

Worship Quests usually begin with a vertical quest, and then a departure from the god's house to be in the mythic story. Thus, an Oria priestess in the harvest ceremony summons the god plane of the Weeping Oria to her and departs from that place and wanders around the God Plane for a while, before returning with the secrets she sought.

As time passes, the participants will participate in many of the major stories of their deities. These events are usually pretty well known, with few variations, and well contained within the established ceremonies. That is, they know the basic religious world through acquired experiences.


Sometimes a leader, whether religious or mundane, would undertake an individual quest to achieve a specific objective. These were usually some unusual activity, needed for extraordinary reason. These were the early and later Hero Cults.

In these ceremonies, supporters, several other people typically remain attendant upon the welfare of the traveler. They pray or perform, as appropriate, and lend their strength to the quester in case of emergency. The supporters are linked to the traveler in both blessing and curse.


Very early on, it was discovered in that some supporters could actually go along as participants and gain normal experience, and not always in what the ceremony normally required. This was a special type of supporter going along as active participant.


Harmast Barefoot was the first person to perform extended sequential heroquesting. He linked a number of stories together to reinforce each other, and to achieve long term and powerful consequences.

At the time everyone knew that even within a single myth, many variants exist and participants can actively and consciously affect which version of the story occurred by their preparations. Harmast discovered that it is possible to affect the very landscape of the quest after entering it. The God Learners called this Identification.


Arkat went even further than Harmast. Arkat had participated in several different religions and learned that different religions often portrayed the same event, but from different perspectives.

He went a step further and discovered that he could actually change paths in mid-quest and invade the mythic space of other peoples. The God Learners called this Ranging.

Ranging is extremely dangerous since more myths have many ways to preserve themselves and have little room for variance by intruders. But some people do it, and after Arkat learned how Harmast could manipulate the mythic landscape, he went to impossible places and discovered things to destroy his mystical foe.


The God Learners went further and discovered that they could forcibly alter the landscape. They called this Mutation.

Later, they learned to mutate the myths permanently, effectively destroying myths and their participants. They did this by applying sorcery to the myths, draining them. This is called Tapping.


Heroquesters develop enemies as a natural byproduct of their actions. Most people never leave the armies of the gods, and so have enemies that are large and generalized. They are not personal foes.

People who engage in more personal heroquesting develop personal, recognized enemies. The effect of appearing as one's self depends on having enough personal power to appear that way. An entity with that kind of identity always attracts a similar foe of similar power. Once attacked escape is impossible except through death in the mortal world and a subsequent failure in the divine.

People that persist on similar paths discover that their foe also does, almost haunting them. This link is called the Face Dance by the Orlanthi, because faces are visible in the otherwise generalized realm. It is also called Prey Love, Tempting Foe, Spider's Singer, etc.

Face Dancers appear in the God and Hero Planes in their Otherworld guise. It is, however, possible to see through and identify the individual beneath it. Indeed, every Face who is dancing has a living foe somewhere in the world who is doing their own dance.

As heroquesting advances these individuals are attracted towards each other, even though they are often separated by thousands of miles in the Mortal World.

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Re: Quêtes Héroïques

Message par 7Tigers » lun. 20 juil. 2020 10:45

> Do westerners (for example) think of magic roads as leylines or magico-tectonic faultlines or something?

Many of the magic roads in the West are broken, thanks to the Sunderinng of Seshnnela.

> Did the Syndics Ban break the magic roads in Fronela, permanently or temporarily?

It suppressed them. It is now up to bold and crazed adventurers to determine what Magic Roads work. And whether they have changed.

> Would it be correct to say that the different types of heroquest are not clearly divided in practice?

Correct. And sometimes part is on this world, then a magic road is taken, and then the Other World entered.

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Re: Quêtes Héroïques

Message par 7Tigers » lun. 20 juil. 2020 19:56


Keep in mind one of the key things in every hero quest and one of the biggest sources of danger is Identification. It isn't just you identifying the entity you are interacting with so you can handle it (though combat, fear, friendship, sex, whatever), but YOU are getting identified. Am I who I claim to be? How can I be Yelmalio if I have Fire powers?

For anyone curious how Identification works, here's an example:

The Earth Goddess begins: “I am the Green Goddess, Fertile Mother and Bringer of Union. I carry the Loving Cup and am served by the Entwined Serpents.” This is how the Green Goddess identifies herself.

She first identifies Yanioth: “I see you Earth-worshiper, Fertility-worshiper, and recognize you as a Daughter of the Earth. I embrace you.” Yanioth has been identified as a Daughter of Ernalda – which is what she hoped for. She can continue to emulate her deity in the heroquest.

She then identifies Vishi Dunn, but not how his player expects: “I see you, Lost Moon Soul, and recognize you as the Blue Moon without Name.” Vishi Dunn had hoped to emulate Waha here but the Goddess has not recognized him as such. He no longer receives any bonuses for emulating his deity.

She then identifies Vasana: “I see you Air-Worshiper, Death-bringer, and recognize you, youngest child of the Primal Storm, called the Adventurer. I challenge you to prove your worth.” Vasana has been identified as Orlanth Adventurer, and receives bonuses for emulating her deity, but unfortunately, she is now confronted by the Green Goddess, who overcame Orlanth Adventurous.

Note that the deity identifies itself through titles, not cult names, and give one or two attributes or deeds that could be narratively useful for the players and the Gamemaster.

Now Vishi Dunn might be able to challenge his identification with the Blue Moon, but his player is not sure he can pull it off. If he challenges and loses, his connection to Waha might be permanently altered or even lost.

And I'm not spelling out the mechanics at this point. I am content merely to point in a direction.


Worst of all happens when you swap identities and cross paths so often you summon yourself as your own enemy.

This is worth keeping in mind: as of 1625, there are only about a score or so mortals alive that have Ranged. And most of them are about to gather in Dragon Pass.

Argrath, Beat-Pot, Cragspider, the Dwarf, Ethilrist, Gunda, Harren, Jaldon, Jar-eel, and Red Emperor. Belintar, a master of Ranging, is gone. The Red Goddess was another master of Ranging and she became a god.

Most other heroes stick to identification and that kind of thing.

Hero Soul

Hero Soul is the part of you that exists eternally in the God Time.
It is part of you and means that you always exist partially in the Hero Plane.
It can be encountered by other heroquesters, it can cause you to perceive the otherworld even when you do not.
It is a conduit between the God Time and the Mundane World, and is the source of a hero's power, but it also is a source of disassociation from the Mundane World.

> Do all mortals have a hero soul?

No. Most have not awakened one. And Hero Soul is not the same as Star Heart in HQG.

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Re: Quêtes Héroïques

Message par 7Tigers » mar. 21 juil. 2020 12:28

About "improving" a myth:

"Improve" is the entirely too human temptation to make the myth what you think it should be.

Yelmalio on the Hill of Gold. Every few seasons, someone complains that Yelmalio loses to Zoran Zoran and Orlanth, ties with Inora, and defeats Chaos in that myth. If only I beat Zoran Zoran and keep my fire weapons! If only I defeat Orlanth and keep my weapons and armor! Yelmalio would be so much more awesome.

Except surviving his defeats IS the point of Yelmalio. It is the appeal of his cult and its mortal strength. Win those contests and you have a Yelm lite cult, and Yelmalio probably disappears. Suffer those defeats and survive - that's Yelmalio.

And sure enough, from time to time there are hubristic wanna-be heroes who want to beat Zorak Zoran and Orlanth on the Hill of Gold. And probably one or two have even succeeded - why not? But their reward is cold and thin.

Reminds me off the story of Jesus being taken off the Cross before he died. That's hardly as compelling a figure as the Jesus who dies on the Cross and returns. Is that an "improvement" of the myth?

So let people try to "improve" things through their heroquest. And let them live with the consequences. But as Neil Robinson knows, that's a hallmark of my games.

You know there's a version of the Red Goddess' Godquest where she just plain is lost. She has to admit to herself, she's failed and she has no idea what she is doing. Her companions can't save her, nobody can. She hits BOTTOM.

Because only then can she truly rise.

Funny thing is that same thing happens to Orlanth in the LBQ. He loses. Fails. Has no idea what to do. Only by hitting the BOTTOM can he rise.

So if you succeed where the god failed, do you improve it?

Personally, I suspect most "improvements" or changes to myths are not because the heroquester chooses to do so - but because they have no other option. They get lost. They fail an identification contest and their path is blocked. They discover to their shock and horror, that this is not going to be as easy as they thought, and they have already played out their bag of tricks.

Which is when the fun can really start.

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Re: Quêtes Héroïques

Message par 7Tigers » mar. 28 juil. 2020 20:33

Rappel du séminaire de Jeff Richard du Kraken de 2017 où il explique comment il gère "simplement" la structure de la mythologie gloranthienne (1 heure):

Sous-titres anglais (générés automatiquement par YouTube, donc pas forcément toujours tip top) disponibles en cliquant en bas à droite de la vidéo sur CC (ou le symbole le plus à gauche) .

Capture du paperboard: