History of the shrine and the valley: Two hundred and seventy years
ago, a Wind Lord with a reputation for add behavior named Forenn
Windvoice had a dream: a vision of a hidden fastness beneath a spire
reaching to the sky. He followed his dream into the mountains, and
after searching for sixty-six days discovered the mountain that he
named Wind Fang and the valley of Orlanth's Hold.
There he established a hidden Orlanthi stronghold. Why he did so is
open to question; at the time the Lunar Empire did not threaten the
region, and worship of Orlanth was both legal and widely practiced.
Nonetheless Windvoice was able to persuade a number of Initiates to
join him in building a secret religious retreat where he expounded on
a mysterious entity called "Dream Wind". Above the retreat he built
the Shrine of the Fang, to allow worship ceremonies to be held close
to Orlanth. The shrine also served as a watchtower and defense against
the only practical approach to the valley. The cave complex in the
base of Wind Fang mountain was used for storage and living quarters;
as the community grew, new buildings were built in the valley and
other caves were occupied. The increasing population made it possible
to build a small temple in the original caverns.
Forenn ruled the valley for twenty-seven more years. When he died, his
son Thalt Forennsson, a Storm Voice (priest of Orlanth) led the people
of the valley. Though he assumed the rulership at an early age (having
become a priest only a few weeks before Forenn died), he ruled well,
and for thirty-six years the community prospered under him.
The next ruler of the valley was Balt the Brave. A Wind Lord like his
grandfather before him, Balt aggressively expanded the community of
the valley. He made numerous trips to the outer world, recruiting many
Orlanthi into the retreat. In his day all of the caves in the valley
were inhabited, and many were dug out and expanded. New housing filled
the valley, and warriors spent countless hours in training. The people
of the valley were becoming a small and highly skilled army of
During all those years, the secret of the valley was kept. But in the
sixty-third year since its founding, the valley faced a crisis: the
population was so large that it was no longer possible to grow
sufficient food in the valley for their needs. It was necessary to
import food from outside. It is conjecture, but highly probably
conjecture, that at this point the secret of the valley got out.
For five years, nothing happened. When disaster came, however, it came
rapidly. A drought reduced the river to a trickle, causing many of the
crops and herd animals to die; more food was imported, but at a
ruinous cost. Shortly thereafter, the first few people got sick.
The Plague -- there is no other word for it -- spread through the
valley like wildfire. No one knew how Malia worshipers could have
spread the disease, but there was little doubt of the source of the
sickness. A delegation was prepared to recruit Chalana Arroy healers
to come to the valley from the outside world.
But as the delegation was being blessed in the Cave Temple, there was
a deafening crash and explosion of noxious mist. Krarshtkids poured
into the Temple, followed by other chaos horrors. The Orlanthi fought
valiantly, but were hopelessly overmatched. The sick soon joined their
healthy comrades in death.
Balt led the few remaining Orlanthi up the stairs of Mount Wind Fang,
to the sanctuary of the shrine. There on the mountaintop they looked
down towards the south, only to see a swarm of chaos monsters coming
up from outside the valley. Retreating back to the Shrine of the Fang,
they held their desperate last stand.
Their defense lasted for three days. One by one they fell, as many of
them dying from the plague as from the spells of their enemies. Last
to fall was Balt, struck in the breast by the acid pseudopod of a
gorp. As the armies of chaos trampled over his body to enter the
shrine, thunder roared and lightning flashed from the sky. As the bolt
struck the shrine, the roof fell in, crushing the krajalki within.
And there matters lay. A few people in the outside world knew of the
existence of the valley, but kept the secret; chaos creatures stalked
the valley, but as time passed many of them killed each other off, and
many more failed for lack of food and victims until the chaotic
population fell to the present low level.
History of the Pangyricon: Long ago in the West, a group of sorcerers
developed strange insights and a peculiar interpretation of reality.
They formed The Circle, a cabal of wizards who practiced unusual
magics and HeroQuests in pursuit of their metaphysical view: the
Authorian Legend. To that end, they manufactured the Pangyricon (among
Much of the lore of The Circle has been lost since their strange
disappearance. Some scholars believe that they came too close to the
forbidden RuneQuest Sight of the God Learners. Others believe that they
simply left Time in order to concentrate their studies in Godtime. No
one knows the truth.
But as far as it is understood, The Circle believed that the world was
on the most basic level a product of Mind: a fiction, written and
arranged in the fabric of reality. Some believe that they felt that
this work could be amended, even completely re-written; some suggest
that The Circle believed that the Will of more than one Author was
loose upon the world, and that their role was to help the true Creator
to refine and implement the great Plot.
Thus, the Pangyricon. The name is not an accurate one; a closer
rendition of the metaphysical phrase that described this tool might be
"Implement of Appropriate Transitions", or possibly "Transforming Plot
One thing is certain: the behavior of the Pangyricon is not easily
predictable. No rules seem to govern its functioning, unless they are
the obscure and virtually incomprehensible rules of the Authorian
Legend. According to some ancient scrolls it requires a full season
to re-charge itself after use, but this has not been confirmed. A wild
number of effects have been attributed to it, from the destruction of
an entire army to the removal of a wart. More disturbing are
suggestions that it can effect extremely subtle alterations in the
personalities and viewpoints of individuals. The limits on the power
of the Pangyricon are not known, but some have argued that its
apparent powers may be a matter of fortuitous timing more than any
ability of the device itself.
A comparatively recent record which mentions the Pangyricon gives a
third-hand recounting of the attempt of Jick Lokarian, a barbarian
priest of "knowledge", to analyze the device using primitive divine
magics. According to the notes of the Wizard Atranine Throckmore, the
priest reported that the device was powerless, its only magical
property being the false appearance of magical power (that the priest
failed to note that such a property would itself be ipso facto
magical, and therefore not false, is a typical example of sloppy
barbarian thinking). The device was apparently activated as the spell
ended, without apparent result. An appendix added thirty years after
original publication mentions a report of a song dating from
approximately that period which told of a priest named Jick who
returned home one day to find that no one in his family knew him or
remembered him at all. The nature of this data is too tenuous and
indirect to allow any conclusion to be drawn.
There is little solid evidence on which to judge the Pangyricon. The
ones most qualified to answer questions are no longer available to do so;
nonetheless, it may be fortunate that no members of The Circle remain
in the world. Given this lack of information, the wisest course of
action for any field investigator encountering the Pangyricon is to
refrain from activating it unless faced with a situation of absolute
-- end --