Runequest Thursday #199 - A New Chaos Gang for the Big Rubble or Your Own Game!

Clint Staples

Since, as mentioned last week, the Brightwater Company is "exploring" the Big Rubble, as they flee a large band of Xaragang trolls and their Gorakiki Dragonfly riders, I thought it might be fun to add a Chaos Gang to the Big Rubble using 100 Oddities for a Chaotic Mutation!

If you have read Pavis and the Big Rubble, you know that a few chaotic broo gangs (the Mutations, the Losers and Leapers among others) already prowl, slither or otherwise peramibulate around in search of living critters to torment.  But as the chaots say, variety is the spice of Chaos, so there is probably room for another chaos gang. And since there already ARE a number of broo gangs, lets make this one a bit more varied.

Since 100 Oddities for a Chaotic Mutation is written to create mutants and chaotics of all sorts, we can use it pretty much as it to create a chaos gang for the Rubble. I am going to randomly roll 2d8 to determine the Number of Gang Members. I got a 2 and a 4.

So Six gang Members. Rolling 2d6 for Base creature gave me 2 humans, 2 animals and 2 monstrous humanoids. Then rolling d100 on the Animal Mutation  Table gave me a Panther and a Snail as the two Animals. I could certainly work with the panther idea, and what kind of snail goes great with Chaos – A dragonsnail of course – so I opted for a classic.


Since there are already a number of broo gangs in "Pavis and the Big Rubble", I think other monstrous humanoids are a better bet for this Chaos Gang. Ogres are common in parts of the Rubble, so we can make one of this bunch an ogre. For the other one, I made up a quick Glorantha-specific Monstrous Humanoid Chart (which you are welcome to use, of course). If you want broos to add to this gang, you can always roll up some more, or repurpose some from Pavis and the Big Rubble.

Roll 1d6: 1 – Ogre, 2 – Minotaur, 3 – Troll, 4 – Elf, 5 – Dragonewt, 6 – Tusk Rider.

I got Minotaur.

I decided that one of the Humans would be a Lunar Soldier who got a little too interested in chaos for his fellow Imperials. The panther then, could be his Lunar Panther, a gift from the governor in exchange for his long and excellent service, that follows him still, also bearing a mark of chaos.

To determine the background for the other human, another table, roll 1d6: 1 – Praxian, 2 – Lunar, 3 – Sartarite in Exile, 4 – Pol Joni, 5 – Sun County Yelmalian, 6 – Adventurer from a distant land.  

Much as I wanted to roll a 6, I got a 5. Since I really wanted a 6, I decided to treat myself and make an adventurer with a Yelmalian background – of sorts – a Yelornan Unicorn Rider, obviously twisted by chaos.

So here is the Gang. Currently led by Gargaras, they have internal trouble brewing, but are a force to be reckoned with, even without their chaotic mutations.


The Gargaras Gang:

This chaos gang is led by Gargaras, an ex-lunar soldier of many years’ experience, still wearing the remains of his Imperial armor. Gargaras has come to the attention of the Lunar Administration, who have put out an Extermination Order for him, because he is a walking embarrassment, and an ongoing example of Lunar chaotic laxity. The Order (or the reward that comes with it: 3000L) does not strictly include the rest of the gang, but anything that weakens Gargaras will probably be viewed with favor in Pavis, and therefore by the tottery Lunar Administration there.

Gargaras met the ex-Yelornan who now calls herself Illshadow, not long after succumbing to the effects of a chaos pit southeast of Puzzle Canal. She recognized a kindred soul, and the pair decided to band together to avoid filling a scorpionid stew pot or falling victim to the trolls or other chaos-killers haunting the Rubble. The old soldier relies on his panther, Scarlet, as well as Illshadow, for scouting. When the Unicorn Rider turned up a good lair on the edge of the ruins between Griffon Gate and the northern Huntland, the gangs fortunes improved. The appearance of what seems a friendly dragon-snail, has allowed their strength to grow further. Hrodr, an ogre who walks easily among men, made a fine addition, especially when it came to gathering a sizable hoard, and trading the gang’s ill-gotten gains at the Troll Market, or elsewhere. Unbeknownst to many adventurers, the bad reputation of the ruins near Griffon Gate is not only due to Balastor’s Barracks and the vampires who lurk in the region.

The addition of Roan One-Horn has made the band more formidable still. Gargaras is torn between letting Roan and Hrodr work out their own differences in the “natural” way, or interceding and trying to keep both of them alive and together.

See below for personality notes, and tactics.


The Gang Members:

1. Gargaras, Human. Lunar. Once a File Leader of the Moonbleak Mauriaspids (Elite Pikemen, a small unit served as Honor Guard to the Imperial Office in Pavis, and a few were sent out to strengthen Lunar patrols into the Rubble). Gargaras is the only one to survive the eradication of his patrol by scorpionids. He was taken alive, with two Lunar peltasts, to the lair of the creatures, where the others were ritually consumed, Gargaras opted to eat of the flesh of his patrol-mates when offered, and eventually became a supplicant of Bagog, but only long enough to escape. Loyal Scarlet, waited in the Rubble for his return, and did not mind the alterations to his form. Gargaras has gathered other chaots to his dark banner since, but will never allow a scorpionid amongst them.

Afflictions: 2: Bestial Humanoid (Eel), Inhuman Dentition (Wasp).

Gargaras has mottled, slick, slimy skin reminiscent of a river eel. His mouth, however, is not eel-like at all, but in fact the jagged mandibles of a wasp. He generally wears the ragged and dented remains of his pikeman’s heavy armor and ogre-faced helmet when “working”. His shield still bears the Crimson and silver blazon of the Moonbleak, the crimson often renewed with fresh blood.

2. Scarlet, Lunar Panther, and companion to Gargaras. As a creature native to the Red Moon, Scarlet has 1 chaotic Mutation naturally.

Afflictions: 1, Eight foot long prehensile tongue.

Scarlet is a panther some three feet at the shoulder, and has red fur, shaggy at the jowls and shoulders. Typical of her species, her head has no obvious ears, and her face is hairless and noticeably ridged. She is a swift and deadly predator, domesticated by the will of the Red Goddess, and her prehensile tongue aids her greatly in the hunt.


3. Illshadow, Human. Chaos-tainted ex-Yelornan Unicorn Rider, with her corrupted tusked Unicorn. After succumbing to the effects of chaos taint, Illshadow gave up her former live rather than return to be destroyed at her temple as was proper. She has become more cruel and brutal, now reveling in the destruction of Yelmalians especially. Illshadow follows no god or chaos demon, and has defeated the spirits of reprisal repeatedly, though she bears the scars of their firedarts.

Afflictions: 3, Feeding suckers – left arm, Necrobiotic, Tendril Trail. Illshadow’s once lovely form appears grey-skinned and desiccated like a corpse, scarred in places as if by fire. Her left arm is covered in red, sucking orifices like those of a squid, each ringed with toothy projections that bite constantly. Illshadow can feed as readily from these mouths as through her own, and can only abide the taste of living flesh. She wears the harness she did in life, but has forsaken the star symbolism of Yelorna, instead adopted a wine-dark sleeved surcoat, from which constantly drop writhing, yellow worms that escape the gnashing fangs of her arm mouths. She rides what was once her living unicorn mount, Tirgas, itself now equally tainted by chaos. Its jagged horn is matched by an equally horrid set of tusks protruding from a jaw that is distinctly neither equine nor goatlike. Eyes like smoking lanterns pierce the darkness far better than vision should. The formerly fine white coat is stained in varying shades of red, from the remnants of Illshadow’s feasts, in which Tirgas now hungrily shares.  

- Tirgas, Tusked Chaos Unicorn mount of Illshadow.

Afflictions: 3; Beastly Tusks (Boar), Bioluminescence (Lantern Eyes), Volatile (Turns to ash upon death).


4. Grabby, Snail (Dragon-snail, Two-Headed). No one knows why this dragon-snail follows Gargaras band around. Perhaps it is because they are successful hunters. Mayhap the near-mindless beast has formed some inexplicable attachment to one of the gang. Or it may simply be because they do not drive it away. Instead, Hrodr nicknamed it Grabby, and it has become a useful lure for chaos hunting Orlanthi and Stormbulls in the Rubble. Slow as it is, Grabby is left behind temporarily when one of the gang detects prey. The dragon-snail follows along, Emitting light from both of its dragonish mouths, which often attracts the attention of those the gang hopes to attack, and the gang does so when their intended prey are fully engaged with the many-tentacled dragonsnail. While the occasional do-gooder does make its way down Grabby’s gullet, overall the stratagem has worked well.

Afflictions: 3, Energy Projection (Fire), Bone Spurs on shell, Tentacular Body.

This monstrosity is slow, but deadly. With a heavy spiral shell covered in long and deadly spines, it is a danger to be near even discounting the nest of tentacles sprouting from its body, or the pair of wyvern-like heads on long necks capable of attacking in just about any direction.


5. Roan One-Horn, Monstrous Humanoid – Minotaur. Roan was cast out as an infant for having been born with only one horn. Somehow he survived into his teens, when he was captured by trolls. Instead of eating the prime young fellow, they gelded him as a trollish joke, then sold him to Icoras, flesh-trader of the Morokanth. Before the Flesh-Trader could make Roan a herdbeast, the caravan was attacked by ogres in the Wasteland. The ogres took Roan’s single horn as a mark of the Chaos God Cacodaemon, and intended to sacrifice the minotaur there. Instead, Cacodawmon blessed Roan with chaotic features sufficient to slay the ogres. Roan then wandered back to the Rubble, and only recently has joined Gargaras’ band. He has not yet decided if he will challenge the Lunar for chiefdom of the gang.

Afflictions: 2; Mouthy (Abdomen, predatory beast), Spinnerets.

Roan has one long curving horn on the right side of his head, and no horn at all on the other side. Standing as tall as a great troll, Roan’s bull neck and heavy body are immensely strong, and Roan wields a looted Orlanthi great-axe in one hand. His other arm ends in a set of working spidery spinnerets capable of shooting webbing, a feature that Roan has used often to even the odds, or to enhance the joy of a good slaughter.


6. Hrodr, Monstrous Humanoid – Ogre. Hrodr has been with Gargaras for a year, and has eaten well during that time. A dastard with a ruggedly handsome face, Hrodr is most useful because he can move among normal society and in Pavis, posing as a guide for parties hoping to adventure in the Big Rubble, and because he has allies on Ogre Island. Since the arrival of Roan One-Horn, Hrodr, is unsure of his status. He knows that Roan hates him and his kind, and is reasonably certain that he cannot stand up to the minotaur in a fight. Thus far, Gargaras has kept the two apart, sending Hrodr into Pavis to lure away good eating.

Afflictions: 2 Volatile (Explosive Body), Corroded mechanical left arm with Chaotic Mutation: Precious (Its power supply is a potent magical gem).

Hrodr is a powerfully man of early middle age, with a handsome face and easy charm. Having moved between human settlements and the wilds of chaos for two decades and more, he can portray a number of personae: Wandering Humakti Mercenary, Retired Explorer of the Clanking Ruin, even a traveling swordsage of Lhankor Mhy. He enjoys the challenge of the masquerade as much as he does the inevitable betrayal, and has enemies among men and the creatures of chaos. He carries a spotless longsword and a heavy dagger, wears a battered cuirass and plate arm harness on his right arm, constructed to match stylistically with the artificial left arm, such that many assume both limbs are armored identically. Because of the magical gem that empowers the chaotic arm, he will always detect as Magic.  


Come back next week for Stats for all of them. The Thursday after that, I will provide a map of their lair and their hoard.