Jonstown Jottings #2: The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths

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Much like the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, the Jonstown Compendium is a curated platform for user-made content, but for material set in Greg Stafford's mythic universe of Glorantha. It enables creators to sell their own original content for RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and HeroQuest Glorantha (Questworlds). This can include original scenarios, background material, cults, mythology, details of NPCs and monsters, and so on, but none of this content should be considered to be ‘canon’, but rather fall under ‘Your Glorantha Will Vary’. This means that there is still scope for the authors to create interesting and useful content that others can bring to their Glorantha-set campaigns.

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What is it?

The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths is a short, two-session scenario set in Dragon Pass during Dark Season easily run as part of the Colymar campaign begun in RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – QuickStart Rules and Adventure and then continued in and around Apple Lane as detailed in the RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack.

It is a twenty-six page, full colour, 7.76 MB PDF.


The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths is well presented and decently written. The internal artwork is okay, but the map is decent and the front cover is excellent.

Where is it set?

The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths by default takes place in Apple Lane in the lands of the Colymar tribe and then on the Big Starfire Ridge. Ideally, it takes place after the events of the scenarios presented in RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack when one of the player characters has been appointed the hamlet’s Thane. Alternative locations are given for the scenario in Sartar, as well as Prax, Grazelands, and Tarsh, should the Game Master decide to set it elsewhere as well as an alternative hook should one of the player characters not hold the position of Thane.

Who do you play?

The scenario does not have any strict requirements in terms of the characters needed, but ideally, the player characters should include an Orlanthi worshipper and an Ernalda (or other Earth deity) worshipper. A Shaman may be of use as well.

What do you need?

The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths can be run using just
RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. If scenario begins in Apple Lane, then the RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack is recommended.

What do you get?

The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths is relatively straightforward scenario which begins deep into Dark Season with the villagers asking for the adventurers’ help in locating a boy who has been abducted by what might be a bogeyman or a demon out of folklore, a figure known as Krampus. Clues and legend point to a mysterious wall of ice on the Big Starfire Ridge, but getting there means venturing out into the worst weather of the year.

The main location for the adventure is the ‘Throat of Winter’ itself, a frigid cave system home to Krampus and his minions as well as one or two secrets that keep him—mostly—in the cave system. The incredibly cold caves have a dungeon-like quality, lots to explore, treasure to be found, and a trap or two as well as the monsters. Then there is the choice of the Krampus, the ‘half-goat, half-demon’ anthropomorphic figure of Central European folklore who Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, as the main villain, which essentially makes
The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths a Christmas (in Glorantha) story. That may not sit well with every Gloranthaphile, but of course, ‘Your Glorantha May Vary’, and anyway, it is easy enough to change the name.

Nevertheless, the author presents plenty of background explaining who the Krampus is and what he does as well as what exactly is going on in the ‘Throat of Winter’. He also suggests means other than combat for dealing with the situation, but since that means dealing with a demon, the player characters do have to be careful if they are to gain anything from the situation. Various possible outcomes are explored, including one or two which will have long term consequences for the player characters and the surrounding region. The most positive outcome does feel a little too similar to that of the scenario in RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha – QuickStart Rules and Adventure, so this should definitely not be run too soon after that scenario.


Is it worth your time?

Yes. If you are looking for a slightly festive scenario to run for your RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha at Christmas, or you want another scenario to run as part of the Colymar-set campaign from the RuneQuest Gamemaster Screen Pack in and around Apple Lane, then The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths will be a solid addition to your campaign with nicely done background lore and wintery atmosphere.
No. If are not looking for a slightly festive scenario to run for your RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha at Christmas or a village-set scenario in Dragon Pass, The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths is unlikely to be of use to you.

Maybe. Some groups may balk at the obvious Christmas-theming of The Throat of Winter: Terror in the Depths, but that can be changed.

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