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Joerg last won the day on March 11

Joerg had the most liked content!

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About Joerg

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    Gloranthan studies
  • Birthday 01/03/1965

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  • RPG Biography
    Former president of Deutsche RuneQuest-Gesellschaft aka Chaos Society, Glorantha know-it-all (almost), some mentions in Glorantha publications
  • Current games
    Occasional HQG, RQ and Cthulhu
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    Into rpgs since1984, into world building since the 70ies, into RQ since 1989, active on RQ-Daily and successors since 1993
  1. My map of Volsaxiland

    Few modern Gloranthans have a clear idea about what happened an age ago, let alone two ages ago. What Arkat and his contemporaries did is mostly forgotten even by those who worship Arkat in the Modern Age. Harmast's efforts are best known from alliterative verse or poetic lists. Lokamayadon's methods are forgotten (much to the chagrin of the Lunars, assuming they remember that barbarian companion of Nysalor and Palangio at all). Unlike the Godtime, historical events usually cannot be visited in heroquests, although timeless events when gods walk the earth might be an exception. If so, there don't seem to be widespread quests to get to say the battle of Night and Day, although the uz efforts to undo D'Wargon's damage may have led them there. Godtime events may be better known even though only experienced through individual context of the questers.
  2. Dorastor: Land of Doom

    Yes. Unless you have a rules lawyer in your game, few people will notice any inconsistencies. Dorastor has two kinds of monster stats - within player range, and insanely beyond of player capabilities without extreme magical preparation. The Riskland campaign should be playable with mid range experience characters, and rune level characters might actually be a little under-challenged. The encounters and horrors of Dorastor alternate between somewhat survivable and "run as if hell was on your heels, because it is". Quite a bit of the background information from the Dorastor book was included in the Guide appendices, but overall that book is one of the solid high quality products of the RuneQuest (3) Renaissance. There was sort of a companion volume, "Lords of Terror" which was mostly a reprint and partially a re-interpretation of Cults of Terror. If you have access to the Cults Compendium, those RQ3 changes won't matter. Do read the saga of Paulis Longvale to get a feel for the Hero Wars events in and around Dorastor.
  3. All of these (and basically most of the SAN loss in the games I have played) might as well come from PTSD, which wasn't exactly a diagnosis back in the 1920ies although well known from the trench warfare of WW1. In my Cthulhu games (as a player) I had only one character ever completely losing it upon direct confrontation with a Great Old One, and it was fun to keep playing him as an agent of Nyarlathotep without the rest of the party aware of that changeover.
  4. Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    True. Griffin Mountain on the other hand expicitely states: This has been an established fact since the lofty days of RQ2, and I see no reason to assume differently just because the Guide uses its limited space for Furthest and Tarsh for different topics. I was pretty sure that I had included this fact in my old encyclopedia entry for Furthest. I really need to get my database-fu up to current systems to get access to some of my older versions of that data, and then add the current canonical sources. But boy are we straying in our efforts to be more right(eous) than the other.
  5. Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    As somebody living in the area, I can authoritatively say that the Elbe flows into the sea south of Jutland - the estuary goes almost directly east from Hamburg. The south shore of the Baltic Sea is about 60 km further north (and significantly further east), apart from the Lübecker Bucht, and conventionally the peninsula starts north of the Eider. The core Saxon lands like Westfalia are two hours of German Autobahn further south. There was indication of warfare in Anglia since the second century, and a 90%+ depopulation by the middle of the fourth century, a full hundred years before the British kingdoms were begun. The Angles on the other hand lived significantly north of the Eider, around the Flensburger Förde. And somehow there was enough identification with the homeland they had already abandoned for about a century that parts of Britain still are called Anglia. The proto-urban centers in the region probably never exceeded 1000 people, but one or two almost reached that number before the exodus. Modern Anglia is extremely decentralized settled, and up to the first century AD the same seems to have been true for Anglia, according to Professor Gebuehr. An ongoing time of conflict led to significant concentration of settlements (traceable through their cemetaries) by the start of the third century. Yes and no. The Galatan recipients of the Paulus letter manage to display some streaks that go well with the La Tene culture they came from. And Hengist and Horsa... To make this sort of relevant at least to Glorantha, the pastoral hillfolk tribes of southern Peloria that made incursions well into the rice area in the Storm Age mostly disappeared, too. There are no traces of Ram People (other than Yanafal's helmet) or Andam People left, and only the Bisosae have left a lasting impression in Pelanda. Which brings us to Daxdarius vs. the Andam Horde, and the question whether the inventor of the Phalanx faced a similar determined opposition as Marius against the Teutons at Aquae Sextiae, with the collective suicide of the widows after killing their children, rather than facing slavery. Vandals and Visigoths vanished through self-inflicted assimilation with the Roman culture they had conquered. Langobards and Franks retained some of their Germanic identity (enough so that the eastern Franks became the basis for modern Germany). And the most recent invaders, the Normans, had gone native in the Frankish culture within two generations, giving up their language and creed (but retaining their warrior spirit). Other migratory groups had yielded their separate identities when joining e.g. the Visigoth trek. Maybe leaving some small idiosyncrasies or local customs, possibly some founding deities/ancestors surviving as medieval local saints. The Bison overlords of Kostaddi are the Gloranthan equivalent of this. Apart from keeping a few bison as herds, their Praxian ancestry is completely forgotten, and when the Heortlings invaded Dara Happa in the Gbaji Wars, the Kostaddi bison families were fighting (and losing) as Dara Happans, after little more than two centuries. Without the Hungry Plateau as a reservate, the Sable families would have lost their ties to Waha's way completely, too. The horse nomads had shown more cultural identity in their centuries of overlordship. And for the protocol, sedentary central European peoples with urban centers worth conquering by the Romans disappeared without many traces, too. The only place in continental Europe that retained some Celtic language was Brittany, resettled by Romano-British refugees from the Saxon invasion. The Dacians were forgotten within a century of their elimination by Trajan. You are right, but there is no Fantasy Earth forum here, and the Mythras Mythic Saxons supplement only deals with England. On another related topic, how bloody were the purges of residual presence of former occupators? The Yelmalio in Nochet thread deals with the garrisons left behind by Palangio. Did any of those cut off by Arkat's rapid advance past Kaxtorplose find shelter in Arstola Forest, or were they and their families killed or enslaved by the Manirian Orlanthi?
  6. Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    Corroborated in the description of Furthest, so I am comfortable to take the steady stream of maize-laden barges down the Oslir as a fact of Imperial economy. And even if it is just Tarsh undercutting the price of locally grown food, the sudden absence of this staple will cause a crisis. Brennus in all likelihood isn't a name, but a title. The Cisalpine gauls were newcomers and still in warfare about territory bordering on the Etruscans. The raid on Rome resulted from this establishment. Angles south of the Elbe river and no longer next to the Danes is a bloody migration, comparable to the distance the Resettlers of Dragon Pass did. Saxons aren't news, I agree. So, what made the Cimbri and Teutones (neighbors or tribe mates of the Angles) pack up and journey all the way to the Alps? What factors brought on the Helvetii migration, or that of the Suebes (another tribe from the Baltic Sea, which at this time bore their name)? Those migrations were reported by Caesar, and while De Bello Gallico is a work of propaganda and contains gems like the sleeping habits of elk (aka moose), its overall content is more trustworthy than Fox News. A lot of migrations had an "invitation" somewhere. I wonder how often the inviting party learned of that when the invitees arrived. Or the invitees kin of kin.
  7. Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    Yes. Still, King of Sartar states that the Lunar Empire had turned to relying on the Tarsh grain barges for sustenance. To me this indicates a higher degree of urbanisation, possibly tied in with the founding and growth of Glamour and the loss of some of the best dry farming lands to the Crater. The Heartlands are among the densest populated parts of Glorantha. Even assuming urban farmers (as is somewhat explicitely stated for the metropolis of Alkoth), the urban population not engaged in primary production may have outgrown the capacity of the nearby lands. The Brennus who raided Rome was the leader who had successfully settled the Cisalpine Gauls on the border of the Etruscans, claiming some of their land. I wasn't aware that there was another "king" (which is basically the meaning of Brennus) who failed in Greece. And another migration through northern Greece succeeded in establishing the Galatans n Anatolia, so that may only have been a local side affair. Honestly, I am less concerned with the British side of events than I am with the Anglian side, given that I live and work in the region. There is archaeological evidence for purely "Saxon" settlements on the islands, with burial sites the same as ones in lower Saxony, which in turn inherit from burial sites in largely abandoned Anglia half a century older. Details like children's grave goods (and do you think that acculturation was fast enough that within half a century would suffice to change what mothers place with lost children?). I don't have any information on genetic studies, though, and given that many of these digs happened more than 50 years ago, genetic information may be compromised. Interesting that the Danes are so easily distinguishable from the Angles, given that they lived next to one another for generations and probably exchanged wives or sired children on mutual visits, whether peacefully in or near the Ale Hall or forced during raids. My information may be outdated, but I had the impression that the Belgae who were encountered by Caesar had been less than two centuries in the country, too, possibly immigrating from the North Sea lowlands. If that is true, there wouldn't have been much genetic distinction between Saxons and Belgae. The Saxons were after all a conglomerate tribe with part of their homelands in the third part of Gallia named Belgia in De Bello Gallico, appearing about two centuries after Caesar's visit. I have read sources that place the Cheruskans and neighboring tribes halfway in the Celtic culture and language rather than in the Germanic group, If that is true, the Saxons may have been less Germanic than the chauvinistic historians from over a century ago may have established.
  8. My map of Volsaxiland

    To be fair, it is the Black Dragon, the one tied to Darkness (Red: Fire, Green: Earth, Brown: Storm). The Blue Dragon Aroka had been transformed into the Oslir River, and later Engizi brought Lorian's water down. Sure. His report gives about as much a full picture of the region as do the Persian and Cordoban reports on Hedeby. But unlike the rest of History of the Heortling Peoples, this report gives a description of the land, its settlement patterns, and the claim of Hendriki rule. I am far from clear whether the Tax Slaughter ended the Kitori tribute for the Hendriki, or whether they chose to continue to maintain their loyalty to the Only Old One through at least a semblance of this tribute. The Foreigner Laws of Aventus fail to mention Kitori, but that may just mean that Aventus did not claim authority over the OOO's kin at any time, and neither did future Hendriki kings. In that case, having Kitori holy places in Hendrikiland may have been just the natural consequence of their allegiance to the Kingdom of Night. I wouldn't necessarily equate these holy places with population centers, though. Dekko Crevice is a gateway to the Underworld that plays a role in Hendriki religious life. Does it say that Derensev used Auld Wyrmish? I don't think so. "The same curious script as the Kerofinelans" probably means that Heremel was served Western transscripts of Nochet volumes rather than the original documents in the Lhankor Mhy scratches. There is still some lingering confusion due to the claims in earlier documents (Uz Lore in Troll Pak and the Glorantha Book in Genertela Box) that "God Learners" inflicted Auld Wyrmish on scholars in Nochet in 575, significantly before the Jrusteli movement was even conceived. But Vistikos Left-Eye came from Nochet before he went into the wilds to establish the Hunting and Waltzing Bands, so the Nochet library would have documents about Auld Wyrmish that summarize Vistikos' knowledge. I am more disturbed by his claim that the "Imprinting One" was central to the Great Library famed for its maintenance of oral tradition. Akez Loradak is also named the Obsidian Palace. Greg Stafford is not a geologist either. Myself, I am a chemist with part-time knowledge of geochemistry, and Obsidian is basically slightly impure silica glass, whereas basalt is the silica-poor form of eruptive rock, and those two never occur side by side in our world. Both Stewart Stanfield (of duxploitation fame/notoriety) and Andreas Pittelkow (well known to the regulars of Eternal Convention), who are professionals on this field, have confirmed this. If Gloranthan magma is anything similar to terrestrial magma, then obsidian won't come out of the same magma chamber as basalt. Felsic lava is well suited to produce the phallic original mountain that was truncated by Argan Argar, before "chaining" Veskarthan to produce another, though slimmer and hollow, phalic extrusion, the Obsidian Palace aka Akez Loradak. I do wonder now, though, whether "Lodril's/Vestkarthan's spear lying about" in the Footprint myth might have been the shorn-off top of the Shadow Plateau. That city is admittedly difficult to place. "The Sun sets early in Anjoralini" clearly indicates that it lies east of the plateau cliffside, and not north of it. "on the left side" refers to the eastern shore of the river, yet "half a mile from the plateau" indicates that the river must lick the base of the plateau at Anjoralini. From talking to Greg about the Creekstream River while overlooking the Rhine at Bacharach, a river width of merely half a mile would indicate a narrow passage of the river rather than its usual wide bank - a situation not unlike the Lorely promontory a little to the north of Bacharach. Further north, if the travelogue in King of Sartar is correct. Hmm. I could back slurring "Durev" to "Drev", and hence "Durevan" to "Dreven", but barring strange strong declinations that insert an extra syllable in a word, I don't see any way to go the other way and insert lots of sounds to get towards Derensev. I'm not a linguist, but I learn related languages among other ways by using observations of linguistic shifts to guess at unfamiliar words. Simplification of words is the usual direction, and to get more complexity, chained words are collapsed into a single word, from which complexity slowly gets eroded. (Like in Pendle Hill.) The initial "Der" also occurs in "Derik". There is a possibility of that Der coming from Dur, with the "-ev" being omitted when chaining the word with whatever "ensev" may stand for, but the seconde "-ev" will hardly be related to the front "Dur". (Unless this is something like Dur-fucking-ev... Sorry about the f-bomb, but that's the only case of random insertion between two syllables of a name that I am aware of.) Ho hum. I don't think that the term "caste" is really applicable to Orlanthi. High status usually is inherited only when the office goes to the same household. The Vingkotling lineages are a distinct exception from this rule. It is clear that the Durevings are the Orlanthi of the Downland Migration. The wedding of Durev and Orane basically is the Wedding of Orlanth and Ernalda, on the demigod level. Heortling Mythology places the Downland Migration in the Discovery Age, aka Late Golden age, after the chaining of Umath, but well before the third and fatal contest. As far as linear sequence, or even sequence on a section of a cycle, can be asserted for Godtime. Janerra Alone's dalliance with Orlanth is from the onset of the Flood Age. The On Jorri are one of the northernmost peoples in Saird exempted from being flooded. The On Jorri don't seem to be of Dureving descent. It isn't even clear whether they were storm worshippers, agriculturalists, and/or pastoralists. They may even have been an offshoot of the gazzam-herding river basin culture that we call Dara Happa, with inheritance being a pre-requisite for chiefhood. (The entire story is sort of reprised by Denesia, the ancestress of the Dara Happan Denesiod dynasty...) Somehow, Vingkot's maternal people's traditions may have intruded into a much different Orlanthi culture. But basically, the Durevings are the traditional and original Orlanthi (demigods and mortals). The Vingkotlings are a later distinction for those of them who accept the rule of Vingkot's offspring (are blessed with it, or are forced to bear it like the Kodigvari who seem to have included indigenes from Kethaela who possibly never migrated northward to get there). But other than Vingkot's direct offspring, I don't see much of a Vingkotling ethnicity. Over the generations, descent from Vingkot spread out in those tribes, but quite likely also outside of those tribes if Orlanthi exogamy was practiced. The Helerings are a migratory group of blue-skinned folk that (if we can trust Malkioni mentions and the God Learner maps) migrated out of the lower sky into the southwestern corner of Glorantha, got into conflict with the Malkioni and Waertagi, and ended up making landfall in Maniria, preparing for battle against the Vingkotlings. That sounds like the Reclaimed Lands, after the Flood receded. Their genetic heritage can apparently be triggered by being strong in the Water rune. They are a different ethnicity at first, but apparently there are intermarriages with Durevings/Vingkotlings or indigenous earth folk (who also contribute big time to Dureving ancestry - the entire theme of the male hero going out and finding a wife in distant lands can be read as marriages to the land goddesses, repeated over and over again, like with Heort, Arim, or Sartar). Are the Aramites and the Harandings Durevings? Quite likely, though not necessarily. The same goes for the original human Kitori (who I suspect to have been Esrolvuli who had fled to Akez Loradak following Norinel and Kimantor, though possibly an ethnic minority who had joined the Esrolvuli as the Darkness proceded). I don't share your enthusiasm to make Derensev a second Hrelar Amali. The Hendriki de-centralized their holy places, almost to a migratory pattern that could be followed by pastoralists and hunters (and the Larnsti) through the seasons. And the God Learners would have noticed other major temples there.
  9. Yelmalio in Nochet

    How intertwined were Daysenerus and Nysalor? Their leadership being illuminated doesn't differ much from the later Tharkantus cult leadership being draconized. Compare Black Arkat - after Daramhy's vendetta against fellow Kitori (who happened to worship Black Arkat), the Hendriki king who hated the Arkatings (never making clear whether he meant Kitori darkmen/not-quite-humans or sorcerous Arkati) laid the seeds and the Tax Slaughter cemented their being pushed into hiding, but never extinction. So why would non-illuminated Daysenerus cult elements be completely eradicated? They could very well have hidden in the glow of Harono. From the Ezel episode, it does appear that Palangio did pay his respect to local cults that weren't Heortling. The Esrolians managed to retain their local names for Yelm (Harono) and Lodril (Vestkarthan), and kept their myths apart from the monomyth despite being (under)mined extensively by God Learner investigators/students.. Palangio would have built temple garrisons, and those structures would have been targeted and probably re-dedicated, depriving the cultists of their homes and their holy places.
  10. Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    Not in rural areas, where farmers alost always find ways to hang on to enough food and seeds to last into the next agricultural cycle regardless of taxation and requisitions, but the urban mobs upheld by maize bread distributed by Teelo Norri and similar Lunar charities will be hit badly, and then cause all manners of serious trouble. At least that's what I still think about Heartland urban populations led (or led astray) by Lunar populists, as often as not directly inspired by her Redness (or madness) rather than acting through an imperially sanctioned cult. We All Are Us is a fairly heavy tax burden if those prole mobs suddenly are considered holy people of some kind. While Victor Hugo's Paris in Les Miserables or the Hunchback of Notre Dame may be way to modern for the Bronze Age society of Dara Happa, the underworld shown in the Rome TV series mixed with religious fanaticism might work in a place and time closer to Babylon, too. I think that wIthout the Marian reforms, the Cimbri and Teutones would have been as bad news for the Romans as the Celtic migration under Brennus two centuries earlier, and Rome's reaction against the subsequent invaders in the next two centuries all benefitted from that. Sort of makes me wonder whether Hwarin Dalthippa is the Lunar equivalent to the Marian reforms for dealing with the Barbarians, or whether her taking over Sylila had more in common with Caesar's acquisition of transalpine Gallia putting such troops on the offensive rather than the defensive. There is a distinct possibility that dealing with the hill barbarians follows Carmanian doctrine. The problems basically started when the Romans stopped hiring them as legionaries or foederati for their internal and external security. Using up their regular forces in civil war and turning the limitati to a role not that different from chiefdom warriors certainly contributed. The eastern counter-attacks occurred only after the tribal nobility had adopted Roman ways. The Ostrogoths with their apartheit due to their Arian confession may have been the least romanized opponents of the Byzantine reconquista. The Vandals were thoroughly Romanized when Belisarius conquered them, out of their own desire, and bore little similarity to the effective barbarians under Geiserich who had received such bad press that the term vandalism persists into our days. If I interprete Jeff's recurring statements correctly, the northern Orlanthi are as willing to adopt the civilized trappings of their northern neighbors. The Yelmalio conversion probably profited greatly from this tendency. Only where Esrolia or fancy western stuff provides a closer role model. Pelorian trappings may be less prominent. However, the Sarotar murder did a lot to make it less fashionable to ape Nochet, maybe not up to the de-Frenching that occurred during and after the 100 Years War in Britain, but certainly measurable. And for all the traditionalist disgust of Meldeks, Malkioni trappings and concepts did seep into Kethaela. Maybe not as "Heortland knights" since knghts have been re-written out of Glorantha, but in similar ways. (And I don't mean just Belintar's adoption of Jrusteli administration.) And leaving no spectacular ruins behind them, might be forgotten more easily. The cause for the Anglo-Saxon migration for instance is largely unknown, although a century of local warfare precedes a century of unknown whereabouts of the Angles and Saxons from around Anglia. Then there is a distinct lack of tribal identity when migratory groups merge. I keep remaining uncomfortable to use the term "clan" for the continental hundreds or Sippen, and I am far from certain that these social units survived participation in a migration. Bloodlines would persist, of course, but the social unit may have shifted when no longer defined by the land claim that defined these units. And from certain story-lines in King of Dragon Pass, clans were re-formed and merged a lot during the Resettlement of Dragon Pass, too. While a few groups might rightfully claim a continuation of clan identity from before those migrations, in most cases it is a polite and political fiction. The Colymar clan was formed in Kethaela for the purpose of the migration, for instance, and had no real separate identity before that. The Helvetii are the poster boy case for a failed migration, but not due to bad logistics - rather due to a surprise new player. The later empire possibly faced too many immigrants at once to properly assimilate them as the Huns, climate change and/or (resulting) local warfare drove northern tribes beyond the limes. Not for lack of willingness, as the Vandal example shows, but simply for lack of time. In this regard, the Lunar empire with its inclusive doctrine is vastly different from its Dara Happan predecessor. The Carmanians as conquerers did not mind very much whether a subject population was indigenous or rather recently invaded the place, as long as they remained subject and provided their dues.
  11. My map of Volsaxiland

    I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't undo the topographical changes made by the death of the serpent which destroyed Akez Loradak and created the Lead Hills. From the travelogue of the God Learner expedition to Hendrikiland, I get the impression that Zatan Lake (now in Kitori lands) was part of the core Hendriki lands, and not really troll-dominated. The Sylangi and Bacofi appear to have been tributary tribes of the Kitori (almost like Vendref) before Tarkalor ousted the Kitori from the Amber Fields around Vaantar. The Kitori may have had an unfair advantage in the Crossline, providing a border they could cross (at least in troll shape), but their enemies couldn't. It isn't quite clear what there was before the Lead Hills collapsed across the Creek-Stream River. It may have been agricultural land used by Hendriki or Kitori. The Kitori certainly lost big way when Akez Loradak collapsed, and probably were more than just decimated. It took less than a century before Belintar supported them over the rebellious Volsaxi. We do know that there was a sufficiently large troll and/or Kitori population in the woods inside the Crossline that they formed a major faction in the troll conflicts that followed the Dragonkill. They appear to have acted independent from the Kingdom of Night, and without direct support from the Shadow Plateau. We learn from the God Learner expedition that even Hendriki lands were much heavier forested than what is shown on Third Age maps. Speaking of the Crossline - Centaur Cross was just one of many such crosses, and only received individual importance by the rite of neighborhood performed there by Belintar and the centaur king. I wonder why you chose to use Derensev as part of the urban territory. I suspect that Derensev was the Lhankor Mhy library of least use to the God Learners since they couldn't just copy the oral tradition kept there, and that may have been a deliberate decision by those priests. The Hendriki survived the Slontan activities further south once again by decentralizing and refusing to offer cities which could easily be taken over. Their neutrality to the dragons may have been bought with the Kitori tribute to the Kingdom of Night. The Kitori are sufficiently non-human not to have been excluded by the Crossline. They may have had to don troll or dehori shape to cross it, but once north of it they may have reverted to human shape. That means they only would have had to arrange their bit of the depopulated lands with the dragonewts of the Quivin mountains in the north, the beastfolk in the west and their troll allies in the east, and that translates to Sun Dome County. Darker secrets and dragon secrets aren't mutually exclusive. The monster slain by Belintar whose body and bones form the lead hills may very well have been such a draconic cum darkness secret. The role of the Kitori in the defense of Akez Loradak against Belintar is unknown, as are their losses when the obsidian palace collapsed.
  12. Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

    If Fazzur had succeeded to keep Hendira in power in Nochet, supply lines from the heartlands would have been rather meaningless. The Heartlands already relied on the Provinces for civilian supply, like maize. With the Tarsh river barges failing to procure grain for the Heartlands, the empire will have to struggle to keep its population fed. Imperial supply lines rely heavily on river transport. Crossing the Dragonspine means that they are cut off from that resource, and have to rely on King Sartar's network of overland routes instead, even with Duck Point as transshipping point down the Creekstream and Lyksos river. Pavis, Corflu and the Zola Fel were little more than a tactical ploy to get some sea access, and instrumental in Fazzur's capture of Karse. Karse controls the eastern transshipment of goods coming across the Pass, but has hardly any hinterland, and requires support. Nochet needs the support of rural Esrolia, but if it has that, its capacities are a multiple of those of Tarsh. Little use beyond the Dragonspine, but able to support a big fighting force down south. Tribal cultures may find charismatic leaders getting them into migration mode, basically putting them in a temporarily nomad mode. When that happens, empires fall since the border arrangements are only made for repelling raids, not invasions where every able-bodied tribesman becomes a warrior in the field. And without regard for harvests for a few years, the barbarians have the advantage over the empire which doesn't usally have the herds to catch up some of the missing harvest. For the migrating tribes, it is a win or die situation, though. But Argrath does not head a migration. If anything, he copies Arkat's model of recruiting new local forces and hanging on to those original forces of his that he manages to keep around. The Kingdom of War does resemble a Migration era force in some respects, turned up to eleven. Their logistics are quite trollish or ghoulish, provisioning themselves from the battlefields and the civilian population. And we have no idea what might arise far behind its circle of devastation. The Orlanthi are the only tribal culture in contact with empires (Lunars, Loskalm, Tanisor). Jonatela is on the verge of becoming an empire. Kralorela relies on isolation through mountains and dragon powers, and only has nomads and the ignorants as neighbors on the land. The Sea of Fog forms a pretty good border to naval invaders, although it would have been interesting if Harrek had turned north rather than south from Teshnos. Vormain has no real rivals once it gives up its isolation, until they encounter the Andins. Pamaltela is rather de-centralized, without any major empires. Maybe more populous units that Ralios in Fonrit, but split into factions much like Safelster.
  13. Children and young adults

    Young adults get almost the beginning skills, but (regularly) no magic. Children may have a different set of abilities based on being small that they grow out of eventually. The lazy narrator might simply assign a hefty disadvantage "underage" and a linked ability "small", where the underage disadvantage recedes as initiation approaches. Any advantages from being small (nimble, whatever) disappear along with the disadvantage.
  14. Esrolian Merchant Ships

    I wonder how feasible that is where the remnants of volcanic activity pierce through the sediment. The Rightarm isles cannot be just a spit of drifted sand, not the least because the dominant current runs in the false direction (east to west), and has done so in mythical times, too (at least when the currents were alive). Those sunken lands must have sunk (again) when the Seas reformed and closed the chaos rift. It is noteworthy that Kethaela was exempt from the coastal sinkings to the end of the Imperial Age that affected Old Seshnela, Slontos, and Kralorela. Vestkarthan's Shudder did affect the land, but didn't cause any sinkings. But then, if any parts of the coast between Pithdaros and Ramalia sunk, there were hardly any humans there to notice, and neither mermen. Teshnos didn't sink (significantly), either, even though no longer upheld by Tolat's Sword (since Avalor's departure in 950). Maybe the cleansing after the Machine War was good enough not to drown those coastal parts.
  15. Esrolian Merchant Ships

    There are no reports of vessels sunk between Iceland and the other islands or the continent. Ships did go missing, but on a sometimes hostile coast that could as often be blamed on hostile encounters than on navigational mishap. Erik the Red's Saga reports 11 out of 25 ships (presumably knarrs similar to the Gokstad ship) lost at sea for the journey from Iceland to Greenland. This rate of loss would have been extraordinary. On the other hand, a 30 years old fisher was considered an elder in his profession along much of the Atlantic coast. The sea fed, but it also consumed. The main cause of sinkage would be extreme weather. Treacherous coasts add reefs and sandbars to the perils (getting stuck on a sandbar in a storm will likely destroy a ship due to wave action, which explains why the west coast of Juteland which doesn't have any rocky skerries or reefs is such a veritable ships' graveyard). River ports were pretty much the norm outside of the Fjords of Scandinavia. There are different degrees of river and river estuaries, however. Many "ports" did not sport a quaye and required beaching. In those places a rather flat bottom was a bonus, preventing too much of a lopside while beached.