Sunday, 21 November 2010

Lords of the West: Update 3

As many of you probably know, if you follow the Gloranthan mailing lists, my Facebook page, and so on, progress on Lords of the West has definitely been picking up recently.

Having said that, I should begin by saying that I have, as yet, no further news on LotW2: Kingdom of the Flamesword. It has a publisher, but no release date or further information. There is no reason to suppose this won't happen at some point, but for the moment, you'll just have to wait.

Progress on the Jonatela material that could potentially have formed LotW4 is slow but steady. The material currently available at my website deals with the more mundane aspects of Jonating life, the workings of the government, and what can laughingly be called the justice system. Obviously, Jonatela is not a very nice place, especially if you're a peasant, and this inevitably colours the material, but it's still enjoyable to write, so I'll keep on doing it. This background stuff will soon be finished, and I'll then move on to starting to compile a gazetteer of interesting places to visit across the kingdom, emphasising some of its magical power as well as its murky peril.

But what's really cool, of course, is the news about The Book of Glorious Joy, which incorporates bits of LotW1 with most of LotW3. As you can see, the cover has been completed - and a very fine piece of work it is, too, showing a valiant Loskalmi wizard-knight charging through a dark and chilly landscape so typical of many parts of Fronela. The interior artwork is well under way, and you can see a sample at the d101 Games product page. Proofing and editing are all completed, and the publisher is aiming at a release in January or February. As always, these dates can slip, but in this case, I doubt it will be by very much.

If you've already seen the article on Junora published in Hearts in Glorantha #4, you'll have a fair idea of what to expect from Part 2 of the book, at least. Junora originally would have been chapter 6, following on from the five chapters included in BoGJ, and follows a similar format and style. But let's talk a little about what's in each chapter:

Part 1
  1. The overview is all about the West taken as a whole. The West of Glorantha is not, let's remember, a single culture, but rather a collection of two or three major cultures and a bunch of smaller ones. They have a lot in common, but several differences, too - Loskalm and Seshnela differ more from each other than, say, medieval England differed from medieval France. Thus, this is inevitably a broad and sweeping overview of the region.
  2. The next chapter deals with the mythology of Malkionism (although, of course, the different sects do disagree on rather a lot), much of it written by Greg, but also with plenty of elaboration from myself.
  3. The final chapter of part 1 is the cults. Much of what would have been in this part of LotW1 is instead going to appear in Kingdom of the Flamesword, but hopefully there's enough here to fill it out and make it playable.
Part 2
  1. Part 2 deals specifically with the Kingdom of Loskalm, and contains the bulk of the material that would have been in LotW3. The initial chapter covers the Kingdom itself, and the more mundane aspects of its culture. This is similar in format - though much less dark in tone - to the web-only Jonating material currently at my website.
  2. The second chapter of part 2 describes the Loskalmi religion. The focus here is more on how to make this useful to player characters, rather than many of the details of the theology and myth (some of which are, in any event, in part 1). But it does explain in some detail how Idealism actually works.
  3. The gazetteer will probably be the largest single chapter - it would have occupied around 40% of LotW3 had that been published on its own. It covers all the major cities of the kingdom, and a host of other locations important for religious, military, or magical reasons, as well as major geographic features. It's based, of course, on the maps here, although these will not be the final maps used in the product.
  4. This short chapter deals with commonly encountered NPCs, from travelling knights to troubadours.
  5. Finally, Haut Ussle is a typical community, intended to be used either as is, or as the basis for creating your own Loskalmi communities. In this respect, it is much like the clan write ups one often sees for the Heortlings.
This is a corner of Glorantha that has not been looked at in as much detail as it could have been, especially in official publications. Many people, we know, prefer the more obviously bronze age and non-European cultures of Dragon Pass and Prax, so I'm under no illusions that this will do as well as Kingdom of Sartar. But there also seem to have been a number of people out there waiting for more on this region, and, while this book is not fully endorsed by Moon Design, I have tried to make it consistent with existing material, and, indeed, some of it was written in consultation with Greg, back when the project was still with Issaries.

The next update will hopefully be able to announce a definite release!


SpeedKing said...


All chapters of this book seem very interesting :)
I look forward to its release!

One last question: can you reveal the editor of LotW2: Kingdom of the Flamesword ?

Stephane (From France)

JRevell said...

I don't even know if an editor has been specifically assigned for KotFS, I'm afraid.

SpeedKing said...

But you say "it has a publisher..."....could you reveal the name of this publisher ?

Maybe the community could encourage, for example by participating in a subscription etc. ...

St├ęphane ( from France)