Fire rune Belovaking Clan Heroquest Fertility rune

The Belovaking clan's heroic ability is Fireblood, which carries the geas never extinguish a fire. It allows them to heal their Honor in hit points.

The Myth

Back when the world was still being formed, the Fire People came bursting out from underneath the earth. They covered the green pastures with hot black rock. When the people banded together against them, they built themselves a mountain fortress.

Kogall Strong Shoulder set out against them. Not wanting to leave his herds at risk, he first hunted and killed the huge predator that was threatening them. He skinned it and made a leather bag, and captured a rain cloud and a gust of wind inside. It was not hard to find the Mountain of Fire, which glowed red and gave off strange sounds. Many of the Fire Warriors were waiting outside, but Kogall released the rain cloud, which helped conceal him as he ascended the mountain. He found a way inside, to where the Red King sat. The Red King grabbed his flaming spear, and he and Kogall fought. Kogall gave the Red King many wounds with his sword, but his blood flowed out and as it cooled, sealed the wound. The Red King was barely weakened, and the mighty wounds he dealt out were starting to take their toll on Kogall. Kogall again opened a slash in his foe, but this time he let out the Forge Wind, which blew like a bellows and kept the Red King's blood hot enough to keep flowing. With this help, Kogall was finally able to defeat the Red King. He drank of his blood, and so was able to heal his own wounds. He then cut off his head, and left the Mountain of Fire.

When they saw Kogall with their king's head, half the Fire Warriors wanted to chase after him, but the other half were disheartened and wanted to return home. In the confusion, Kogall made his way home, and finding him gone, the Fire Warriors did return to whence they came.

The Quest

The thane takes the role of Kogall, and the clan all participates as his helper (chariot driver, healer, etc.) For example, Harstov the Saddlemaker usually makes the leather bag. This is like a dream where you dream you're someone else: when you take over a role, you temporarily become the original person.

Like most clan heroquests, it's relatively straightforward, and usually completed successfully. (Though recently, Ekel Field-Destroyer messed up one of the steps, and almost didn't return with the head so the clan could benefit.) We had a player take the role of the Red King in the most recent enactment; he wore a mask which Ekel took back. However, when one of the sentries gave the alarm, everyone in the clan swore it wasn't them. And although the Red King actor went to a nearby hill, he was indeed inside when Kogall showed up. Although the events seem to portray an earlier event (the Raising of the Rockwoods, as mentioned in the Book of Drastic Resolutions?), Pam Carlson suggested that perhaps this is really a myth of when the Dara Happans were in Ralios (if so, the Mountain of Fire would be a siege tower). Peter Metcalfe saw a draconic connection, and even if that wasn't the original myth, the heroquest could probably have been adapted to use against the dragons in the Second Age.

For more on heroquests, see Greg Stafford's address at RQ-Con 1, or Enclosure.

Copyright ©1996 David Dunham. Illustration by Mike O'Connor. Last updated 24 Aug 97.

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