Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Monday 13 November 2023

Jonstown Jottings #84: Tarkalor’s Keep

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?
Tarkalor’s Keep is an adventure location for use with RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha which presents a simple situation that the Game Master can run and prepare for a single session’s worth of play.

It is an eleven page, full colour 2.03 KB PDF.

The layout is tidy, the artwork and cartography rough, but serviceable.

The scenario is can be easily be adapted to the rules system of the Game Master’s choice.

Where is it set?
As written, Tarkalor’s Keep takes in the disputed territory between the lands of the Varmandi and the Malani clans, close to Apple Lane. The suggested time frame is during dark season of 1626 after the death of Kallyr Starbrow. However, with some adjustment, the scenario can be placed anywhere where there are rival, sometimes feuding clans.

Who do you play?
Tarkalor’s Keep does not require any specific character type.

What do you need?
Tarkalor’s Keep requires RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha; Cults of RuneQuest: The Lightbringers for information about the Cult of Gagarth; and the RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack for its information about the Varmandi clan and the surrounding area. The scenario, Vinga’s Ford, also contains useful information and could be run as an uncconected prequel to Tarkalor’s Keep.

What do you get?
Tarkalor’s Keep presents a situation that the Player Characters are tasked with investigating and resolving. With tensions high between the Varmandi and the Malani clans, the Varmandi clan chief, Korol Serpent Tongue, suspects that they are responsible for the reports of the recent occupation of nearby Tarkalor Keep. He wants the Player Characters to investigate, confirm his suspicions, and if so drive them out in readiness for occupation by his own clan warriors.

The majority of Tarkalor’s Keep is devoted to describing Tarkalor Keep and its current occupants—and it is not who Korol Serpent Tongue thinks it is. In fact, the situation is nowhere near as straightforward as the tower being occupied by Malani tribesmen. The occupants are in fact two-fold, making the best of living alongside each other, using the tower as a refuge. The dominant group consists of Gagarthi outlaws, whilst the other consists of cowed Seven Mothers worshippers. The former are not welcome in good society because they have been exiled from their tribes for the crimes they committed, whilst the latter are unwelcome across Sartar because of the recent occupation of the region by the Lunar Empire. Neither group is spoiling for a fight, but the situation is difficult and neither group wants to be driven out, especially at this time of the year.
Ultimately, the situation at Tarkalor’s Keep is one that the Player Characters are going to have to resolve and it is unlikely that this is can be done to the satisfaction of everyone concerned, whether that is the occupants, Korol Serpent Tongue, or the Malani. The choices made by the Player Characters will have ongoing ramifications on the campaign.

Tarkalor’s Keep includes the stats and background for all its NPCs, plus a description and floorplan of the keep itself. There are ideas too as to possible outcomes, but they are only suggestions. What the scenario does lack is suggestions as to the rewards that Korol Serpent Tongue might offer the Player Characters.

Is it worth your time?
YesTarkalor’s Keep presents a short and knotty problem that the Game Master can quickly prepare and drop into her campaign, especially if based at Apple Lane.
NoTarkalor’s Keep involves the Gagarthi, is in Sartar, or its suggested time frame is in the future of the Game Master’s campaign, so is not suitable for the campaign.
MaybeTarkalor’s Keep presents a short and knotty problem which with a few adjustments can easily be set wherever the Game Master has set her campaign.


  1. Link to the product is wrong, links to something called Eurmal's Truth.

  2. Thank you for the review Pookie! It's a funny coincidence that we actually ran Vinga's Ford just before Tarkalor's Keep. We also ran the Cattle Raid from GM pack earlier and the scenario in Tarkalor Keep should tie neatly to themes in that adventure (and the feud between the Varmandi and the Malani clans).

    btw I think the map of the keep could be useful even if you don't play in the current canon time (post 1625) as the keep has been there for a long time and it used to be haven for bandits during the lunar era too.