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Author Topic: My Bronze Age setting (for Runequest 2)  (Read 260 times)

Trond

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My Bronze Age setting (for Runequest 2)
« on: November 21, 2022, 11:20:49 AM »
I'm just scribbling frantically about the Bronze age these days. Suggestions are welcome (particularly RQ cults that I can import just by changing names, see section on religion below)

Fantasy Aegean  (Bronze age, Rules: Runequest 2, 1979)
Island of Ekhinira


Before the fall of Kaftor* and the coming of the Sea Peoples, there was a prosperous small island in the Aegean called Ekhinira, or the “spiky island”, named for its impressive mountain tops, tall for such a small island. It was a land known, and feared, because of its many spirits and ghosts. The island itself seemed to be magical, and most islanders knew a spell or two to help in daily life. The culture was rich and colorful, with numerous gods being worshipped, and festivals with sacrifices and daring competitions like wrestling, boxing, and bull leaping. However, it was also plagued by interminable wars and blood feuds. The three main cities were frequently at war, and proud families would often turn against families in age-old vendettas. In the past only the legendary King Minos of Kaftor was ever able to bring the whole island under his domain, ruling from Keftos, but that was over a hundred years ago.

The island culture is influenced by nearby nations of the Acheans, Hatti, and above all Kaftor, but the islanders are known for their proud resistance, and they like to keep their independence from larger political powers.  Ekhinira is dominated by three cities. Keftos to the south has the strongest ties with Kaftor, and is often considered highly cultured, even if also seen as a little decadent by others. Drakomaxos to the northeast has trade ties with the Hatti and Phoenicians, in addition to obvious cultural ties to Kaftor and Achaeans like the others. Argurios to the northwest is the city with the strongest ties to the Achaeans, and may have been founded by them originally.
(*or Keftiu, similar to Crete)

Religion and spirits:
Everything has spirit, including mountains, lakes, and even concepts like dreams and victory. Nature spirits include nymphs found in springs, dryads among woods, fire elementals etc. Sacrifices to gods are often done near mountain tops, or in caves.
Spirit magic (basic magic) is the use of your willpower (POW) to make the spirits do your bidding.
Daemons are powerful spirits, messengers of the gods that sometimes take physical form: griffins are usually seen as a positive force, helpful if you are a worshipper of the particular god that sent it, while minotaurs are usually seen as a negative sign, being destructive daemons of vengeance.






Gods:
Divine magic (Rune Magic) requires offerings/libations/sacrifice to a god. Uses power of the god instead of character POW. Requires initiation to a cult.
Diktaios (somewhat similar to Zeus), main male god, usually shown as a bull, worshipped in mountain caves, can cause earthquakes if angered
Potnia (somewhat similar to Athena)– main female deity, particularly worshipped on Kaftor, but also on Ekhinira, protected by snakes and the Labrys double axes (also associated with the palace)
Rhea (somewhat similar to Aphrodite)–fertility and earth goddess.
Eileithyia protector of birth, also worshipped in caves
Enesidaon (similar to Poseidon) worshipped in caves by the sea, can cause earthquakes if angered
Daedalus – legendary builder/craftsman, worshipped as a god of crafts. Said to have a hidden home among the hills. Beautiful/magical items of unknown origin are often ascribed to Daedalus.   
The Winds are worshipped as gods and have special priestesses. Particularly important to make sacrifices before going out to sea.
Temples: Mountain top sanctuaries, and smaller sanctuaries inside palaces are often decorated with protective “horns”, and images of bulls, sacred altars are further protected by images of double-axes.

Typical bronze age weapons: spears, short swords, bronze rapiers, daggers, Syrian axes, double axes, bow and arrow, slings.

Trond

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Re: My Bronze Age setting (for Runequest 2)
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2022, 11:22:24 AM »
Inspirational art:


Trond

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Re: My Bronze Age setting (for Runequest 2)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2022, 11:24:17 AM »

Trond

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Re: My Bronze Age setting (for Runequest 2)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2022, 11:31:15 AM »

Trond

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Re: My Bronze Age setting (for Runequest 2)
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2022, 06:27:38 PM »
Found some more great resources. This is probably the best illustration I have seen of Minoan arms and armor (Kaftor in my setting, based on an old name for the island that pops up here and there in the sources)