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Monday 9 January 2023

Jonstown Jottings #75: The Temple of Twins

Much like the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, the Jonstown Compendium is a curated platform for user-made content, but for material set in Greg Stafford’s mythic universe of Glorantha. It enables creators to sell their own original content for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, 13th Age Glorantha, and HeroQuest Glorantha (Questworlds). This can include original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, details of NPCs and monsters, and so on, but none of this content should be considered to be ‘canon’, but rather fall under ‘Your Glorantha Will Vary’. This means that there is still scope for the authors to create interesting and useful content that others can bring to their Glorantha-set campaigns.


What is it?

The Temple of Twins is a scenario for use with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha.

It is a fifty-two page, full colour, 32.56 MB PDF.

The layout is clean and tidy. The artwork is excellent.

Where is it set?
The Temple of Twins is set in Prax. It is a sequel, but not a direct sequel, to The Gifts of Prax and Stone and Bone

Who do you play?
Any type of Player Character can play The Temple of Twinsbut Eiritha and Ernalda worshippers will be useful. Members of the Straw Weaver clan or Player Characters with connections to or experience with the Straw Weaver clan will have interesting experience playing the scenario. Player Characters with Survival and Herd skills will have an advantage.

What do you need?
The Temple of Twins requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha only, but the Glorantha Bestiary may also be useful.

What do you get?
The Temple of Twins is a standalone scenario set in Prax. It takes place both outside and inside a temple to Eiritha. The Player Characters may have been sent there by a powerful priestess, by a Khan demanding or offering tribute, or simply because they have heard that water can be found there and it is a convenient place to stop. Whatever the reason for their visit, the guards protecting the temple ask the Player Characters for their help. They take them to an assistant priestess who explains that the Herd Mother, the head priestess of the temple, has gone missing in the temple. None of the guards can enter as it is taboo for them to enter the temple and she herself must remain outside, so she wants the Player Characters to enter the temple and find the Herd Mother. She assures them that the goddess has given her blessing for strangers to enter the temple. The Player Characters are free to conduct a little investigation around the temple, but are otherwise quickly ushered to its entrance. 

The main events of the scenario play out in the temple to Eiritha. The assistant priestess forearms them with the story of how Eiritha survived the early days of the Great Darkness. This is important because what the Player Characters will essentially be doing is re-enacting this in their quest to locate the Herd Mother. In effect, what The Temple of Twins is a HeroQuest, but one in which enforcing its myth, the Player Characters are actually carrying out a rescue mission. Thus, they are moving from one station of the HeroQuest to the next, enabling them to move deeper into the myth and towards its conclusion and so find the Herd Mother. However, the presence of the Player Characters sets up an interesting tension within the quest itself. They are not told that they will be going on a HeroQuest, but that they will face trials, though the likelihood is that the players and their characters will quickly realise that this is what they are on. Consequently, the Player Characters are free to adhere to the myth as told, or alternatively stray from it, and this can affect the final outcome. The balance here is between the female and male paths, between the paths of Eiritha and Waha, but fundamentally, both the guards and the assistant priestess are asking the Player Characters to be women when undertaking this task.

The Temple of Twins is not just a straightforward re-enactment of Eiritha’s legend, although this central section could easily be removed from the scenario and with slight adjustment run as a HeroQuest or even an initiation for an Eiritha worshipper. As written though, once the Player Characters do find the Herd Mother, they will also discover that something else is going on, something that ties back to the scenario, The Gifts of Prax. There is no easy solution to either the discovery of the Herd Mother or the problem that she reveals and the Player Characters will need to work hard to bring the latter to a conclusion that satisfies the various NPCs involved.

In addition to the scenario itself, the Game Master is provided with a detailed location to add to her Prax campaign, an enjoyable breakdown of the myth, various cultural notes, numerous detailed NPCs, and a dozen fully detailed and interesting encounters. Technically only the first is specifically designed to be run as part of the scenario, whilst the rest can very easily be used in any scenario set in Prax. The nature of the scenario means that it does focus on particular skills—notably Herd and Survival—although interaction skills will also be very useful. There are opportunities for combat, but they are not necessarily the focus of the scenario. The scenario also involves birth and sacrificial death as part of myth, which some players might find uncomfortable and so lines and veils may need to be drawn over some scenes.

Is it worth your time?
YesThe Temple of Twins is an engaging scenario which presents a highly detailed myth that the Player Characters can enact as part of another mission and so discover the bigger plot. An absolute must if a Player Character worships Eiritha. 
NoThe Temple of Twins is too location specific and the Game Master’s campaign may not have yet reached Prax, plus a gaming group may not want to confront the bloody nature of survival, even in myth.
MaybeThe Temple of Twins can be adjusted to anywhere in Prax or its central myth extracted and used for an Eiritha worshipping Player Character.

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