Runequest Thursday #112 - War-Machines of the Clanking Ruin!

Clint Staples

A ten year siege by the greatest heroes of an age is an event that our legends record as The Trojan War, in which the heroes of ancient Greece, including Achilles, Oddyseus, Agammemnon and more, attacked Troy (Illium) until it was eventually taken with the strategem of the Trojan Horse. You don't have to read the Illiad to know that much.

But Glorantha has its own version of the Trojan War - the ten year assault by the greatest heroes of the age, to destroy the world-altering heresy of the Machine God, Zistor - whose followers hoped to rewrite creation in his image. The wreckage of that struggle is known to modern Gloranthans as the Clanking Ruin, and has been the subject of more than a few of my posts over the last several months.

Well, if you are a besieged city of machine-cultists, hoping to outlast the most devastating war in the history of your world, you will probably fight back - with - MACHINES!

And that is what the Zistorites did. During the entire period of the siege, they built, rebuilt, developed and perfected the art of making what they called War-Mechamagica. W can called them war-Machines. There were many, as the Brightwaters are currently finding out. They just came across the wreckage of a war-machine a hundred yards long, their encounter was with the imperfectly preserved crew that inhabited the head of the mechanical monster.

Another time, I will post the stats for that behemoth. Right now, here is the Doomstrider. A more modest, but extremely deadly assault weapon. The size of an aurochs, it is entirely plated in iron, capable of bulling its way through or over many obstacles and surviving considerable enemy attention, all while laying waste with the convection cannon on its back - which lays down a potent heat beam over a sizable area.

Because of their Repair routine, a few of these monsters are still extant in the ruins, still hunting down enemies of Zistor in their, admittedly simple-minded, way. But many of those that survived the fall of the Machine City have succumbed to a flaw in the design of the Convection Cannon that the Doomstrider's creators had not forseen. Thus they are more often to be encountered as interesting wreckage.

Salvage from such a find could include (roll 1d6 for each of the following, on a 4+, it is salvageable):

- 3d20 ENCumbrance of Iron plating

- 10d10 ENC of Bronze

 - A cube-shaped energy storage crystal with a capacity of 15 POW

- One Fire Rune Matrix

- One Air Rune Matrix