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M Helsdon

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Everything posted by M Helsdon

  1. Hmm, I seem to have used knee-protectors only once and that sketch is in Armies and Enemies. More recently - a rider with half articulated armor (sadly hidden behind the leg protectors in the final picture), three-quarter articulated armor worn by a Castle Coast noble, and 'full' articulated hoops.
  2. So far as I know (and I haven't got my books here), finds of actual ancient cataphract armor are very rare, and we have more examples of the horse armor than that of the rider. Most reliefs and graffiti from the actual period is very difficult to interpret. Like an awful lot about the ancient world, where we think we know a great deal as a result of modern illustrations, the opposite is true, and there's very little in the way of finds that provide definitive information. Here's the Balustrade Relief of the temple of Athena Polias Nikephoros at Pergamum, which shows arm manica, and two Sassanid depictions. About the best sources we have.
  3. Thank you - my reading suggests there were several styles of segmented articulated arm and leg armor - some almost fully enclosing the arm and leg, some only partially, towards the front or only where the limb would be exposed. In the photographs of the reconstruction, the maker has had to get around the problem that the segmented armor was inherently 'stiff', limiting movement in the arms and legs, by splitting it into upper and lower leg bands, with a separate piece protecting the knee. Whilst the form shown permits greater movement (and I think I've drawn something similar in one sketch) it was also much more vulnerable - a greater chance of the wearer being hamstrung behind the knee, or a blade slipping in under the knee protector and, well, it would not be pretty... In drawing cataphracts I believe I have used three or four different styles. The maker of the reconstruction has probably had to compromise in order to have a reasonable range of movement. In Men of the West, in different chapters: The armor worn by the rider is usually a form of scale or lamellar armor sufficiently flexible to give the rider and mount a good degree of motion in using a lance or kontos, but strong enough to survive the shock of a charge into an enemy formation. -------------------------- Horsemen may wear a bronze or cuir boilli short scale hauberk or a two piece bronze breastplate, a skirt of scale armor, with their arms and legs covered in bronze plates, either as hooped articulated manica or as hooped splints, or leather covered with fine scale reaching to the wrists or ankles with the heaviest entirely covering the hands and feet, with the neck protected with a gorget of riveted plates. Some may adopt very fine scale-covered gauntlets (of dwarven manufacture) and greaves. Those of great wealth may own fabulously expensive chainmail made by the dwarves. One drawback of the articulated armor is that whilst it provides a high degree of protection, it is also fairly inflexible. This matters little for the legs, used to grip and guide the horse, but the manica worn on the arms restricts movement to such a degree that whilst the wearer can hold and use a lance or kontos, they will be clumsy and slow when using a sword or mace.
  4. Safelstran Fortress Barge The fortress barges are exceptionally large, consisting of at least two broad beamed hulls lashed securely together to form a stable platform[1], with the deck railings removed and a joint plank deck added. This is raised above the rowing benches to leave space for the oarsmen and to give room for them to row. Each of the wide hulls carries as many as ninety oarsmen, up to forty-five a side. The design is similar to the large cargo barges used on the lake; those rely more on their sail than their rowers, unless a cargo must be rapidly transported. A multi-story square or rectangular siege tower or turret shaped like a truncated pyramid is then erected, each story smaller than the one below. This has a timber frame, sometimes wooden walls, often clad in thick hide either kept wet or treated with sorcery to prevent it being set afire, or thin bronze plates, with the weight kept to a minimum so that the tower can be tall enough to assault defenses, by ramps dropped down on the battlements, and to permit missiles and magic to be cast into the interior of the fortification. Portholes permit crossbows and long spears to be deployed from inside. The towers are usually mounted in the center of the barge, meaning that if boarding ramps are fitted, they are arrayed at the sides so that the vessel must come alongside a wall to deploy them. The hinged gangways have hooks at the end to latch onto the defenses and hold the barge firm, as the fighters disembark. The ramps are kept up when making the approach, acting as doors behind which the troops waiting to immediately sally forth shelter. [1] Some of the battle-barges of the Middle Sea Empire were also dual- or triple-hulled; it is unknown if the smaller Safelstran fortress barges were inspired by these, or are a separate development. ------------------ Spent the day cutting hedges... so this isn't exactly detailed.
  5. It's possible, given that New Malkonwal may not have been very far away before it vanished.
  6. Latest. I may work on the shading of the horse tonight. Am using the cataphract sketches in two places - smaller to illustrate the chapter on cataphracti, and in the regional chapter. Reworked version below. As I add more sketches to 'Men of the West' the page count increases; if I want roughly one illustration per three pages, ignoring the appendices, I need about eight more.
  7. It's not unlike opinions of Alexander, which vary with time and place. For some he's a great conqueror who sought revenge for the treatment of the Greeks in Ionia and Aeolia and the burning of Athens, for others he is a ruthless conquer who overthrew the democracies of Greece, for others he is the ambitious tyrant who destroyed one of the most tolerant empires in the Ancient World, the general who misused his faithful troops and when they thwarted his plan to reach the Ganges punished them by having them march through the deserts of southern Persia where many died, for others he is the great statesman who sought to merge the Greeks and Persians, and for others the failed statesmen whose lack of preparations plunged his empire into centuries of war and ultimately partition between the Romans and Parthians. Alexander - hero or villain? Arkat - hero or monster?
  8. Is there also an issue that in some ways the Hill of Gold somehow reflects the Cosmic Mountain, even though it had been destroyed? Perhaps as the pilgrims (whether of Yelmalio, Kargzant, Manimat or Antirius (or even Elmalus?)) ascend the 'hill' they enter the mythic landscape which is very different to the terrain seen from below, so that the mere hill becomes something closer to a golden mountain. If it doesn't change then the motives of the pilgrims aren't sufficiently pure, or they haven't undergone the necessary purification rituals.
  9. Latest. May need more work on the face - difference in the definition between the laptop and the desktop. As this one is a Loskalmi light infantry, decided to go with a quilted corselet instead of lammelar.
  10. Latest. I hope that this is fairly faithful to Jan's original illustration.
  11. Thank you. I believe a mixture of lamellar vest and a pectoral is usable. To distinguish the Loskalmi from other Westerners I will probably go with winter gear for at least one. The Glorantha wiki, whilst useful, is sometimes unreliable, so I tend to use the Guide and its illustrations as primary sources. May attempt to start inking one this afternoon...
  12. Well, here's what I was working from.... Looked to be a pectoral over a quilted (leather?) cuirass, over a wool or felt tunic, with small vambraces, and leggings. Couldn't see the shoulders. Couldn't make out the shoulders, but perhaps there are shoulder protectors? Perhaps the cuirass is lamellar with a pectoral? Can't resolve it any further by adjusting contrast or brightness. [Curiously, I was using some Angus McBride illustrations of Tang dynasty soldiers as reference.]
  13. Or Kargzant means sun, so Kargzant is sun and Yu-Kargzant is Sun God?
  14. Decided that preparing for the next sketches might be more productive than launching directly to inking a 'finished' piece. The only armored Loskalmi reference I can find are small background figures in one of Jan's paintings. Hmm, the tower shield needs to be taller and the round shield smaller.
  15. I may be wrong, but the Yu- prefix means 'god', so Yu-elm means Sun God.
  16. Attempted drawing yesterday with the result below. For about the third time I cheated with the face, lifting it from a photograph as the nose and eyes I drew defied any attempt at correcting them digitally.. Afraid that when the arthritis flares I seem to lose co-ordination and can't control the pens as well as I would like. Have three more roughed out, but in two minds about attempting another.
  17. I suspect it depends upon whether the balance of the cosmos is threatened. There are heroes, and for want of a better word, super-heroes, so I suspect it depends on power and the size of the region affected, so both Delecti and Cragspider are fairly local, but Arkat and Nysalor, the Red Emperor and Sheng, Jar-eel and Argrath all have continent wide effects. Pavis was attempting to recreate the Green Age.
  18. M Helsdon


    All non-canonical supposition, mainly material from the Guide glued together with speculation, two subsections taken from the sequel to The Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass. It is probably not correct. Talor the Laughing Warrior The Hero Talor[1] was born in Akem, and rose to be its greatest military commander, fighting not only the external forces allied to the Bright Empire but also internal enemies seduced and corrupted by the promises of the New God. Talor[2] is also claimed by some to be a son of Arkat. Defending his native land of Akem in Fronela, Talor suppressed the Hrestoli Telendarian School of Akem as Chaotic, for their magics included the powers of Tarumath, the ‘High Storm’, a god invented by Rasarus’[3] priest Lokamayadon[4]. The Eleven Beasts Alliance had encouraged the Hsunchen clans to worship the Lightbringers, and later many to worship Rasarus. The tendrils of Rasarus’ Bright Empire spread his corruption, reaching even into the heart of Akem, and the barbarian horde led by Varganthar the Unconquerable destroyed most river land settlements and threatened the borders of Akem, until Talor met him in battle. Even more so than in Ralios, the forces fighting for Rasarus were local; this was a war by proxy for the Bright Empire, its native armies led or advised by his priests and missionaries. The wars in Fronela were far distant from the core territories of the Bright Empire. Talor slew the wizard Arinsor[5] and the Chaos monsters he had summoned, which included the infamous Tarjinian Bull, and then closed the terrible Gate of Banir which it was said had permitted the Rasarus cult to enter Akem. In revenge, Talor was slain or was trapped in the Underworld by a curse sent by the Chaos God plunging Akem into utter anarchy. Seeking aid, after Arkat had become the Dark Destroyer, a troll, abandoning the cult of Humakt for that of Zorak Zoran, Harmast had set off again to find an end to the war and he obtained the Keys of Castle Kartolin. This second quest was not as successful as the first, for he was wounded but returned to Hrelar Amali the City of the Gods with the New Light of Talor the Laughing Warrior who had been trapped beyond the Gate of Banir. Talor's experience of his Lightbringers’ Quest was the ‘Eastfaring’, the journey out of Hell. The device on Talor’s shield was said to consist of a black dog’s head on a gold background[6], with a thin horizontal red bar behind the dog’s head. The Armies of Talor In 448 ST Harmast Barefoot left Dragon Pass on his second Lightbringers’ Quest and in 450 ST, returned from the Underworld bringing Talor with him. Journeying north, they came to the aid of the temple-city of Ulros, a refuge and center of resistance against the Bright Empire, winning the Battle of Giants against Rasarus’ supporters. Talor defeated and virtually exterminated the supporters of Varganthar the Unconquerable and his Eleven Beasts Alliance who had allied with the Bright Empire. The two marched to Akem, bringing allies from the south with them. They ended a war between the local Orlanthi and Akem, demonstrating to all the nature of their true enemy, and then led an army of Akemite horali soldiers and Men-of-All and combined southern talari and Men-of-All heavy cavalry, Orlanthi warriors, and Hsunchen scouts and skirmishers[7] unsullied by Rasarus’ gifts, to drive the god’s minions from Fronela. The army was then forced, lacking allies in the east of the Janube valley, to march south into Ralios to attack Kartolin Pass, and then entered Dorastor for the Final Battle. Unifying the disparate Fronelans, Akemites, and Ralians into an army was perhaps Talor’s greatest achievement after his ascent from the Underworld. Aided by a band of heroes from many lands, Talor commanded armies, led secret plots, plundered ancient secrets, and slaughtered all the foes who dared defy him. Some say he used the keys found by Harmast to break through Kartolin and so entered Dorastor to slay Rasarus’ evil priests, even as Arkat the Kingtroll met Nysalor in battle. Throughout it all Talor maintained a wry (some say insane[8]) sense of grim humor which failed him only twice, giving him his sobriquet as the Laughing Warrior. Afterwards, Talor returned to Akem where the rulers of Nenanduft joined with him to form the Kingdom of Loskalm and he was acclaimed as its first king. After many years of reigning as king, he was buried at Parche. He banned the Stygian darkness that overcame Ralios from his land, instead shining for all his people as a beacon of pure Light and hope. One of his Companions who had fought beside him at Kartolin Pass founded the Kingdom of Dakal, in the hilly lands between the Janube River Valley and the snow-capped Nidan Mountains, known then as Syanor[9]. Later, Talor was venerated by the Hrestoli as an Ascended Master. [1] Talor is viewed by many Hrestoli sects of the Third Age as an Ascended Master, and is worshipped in Jonatela as a demigod. The New Hrestoli claim that his song of battle enables them to achieve strength through Joy. [2] The similarity between the hero’s name and that of the talari caste causes some to wonder if he was of that caste instead of the soldier caste. [3] Rasarus was the name by which Nysalor was known in Fronela. [4] He himself was not Chaotic. However, for the Orlanthi after Harmast, Lokamayadon’s heretical Tarumath cult is joined together with Nysalor’s which is categorized as Chaos. The era of Lokamayadon and Harmast was a defining period for the cults of Orlanth. When initiated into the cult of Orlanth he met the part of his soul which became his beloved wind, whom he called Bearded Wind. A minor Storm God, it took the form of a ram partially composed of clouds, and manifested many powers. With the aid of this powerful being he performed the Hagodereth Heroquest in 339 ST, first learning the secrets of the golden sheep goddess Hethana and then flying upon Bearded Storm to find his great ancestor Hagodereth. Lokamayadon returned with his ancestor in the form of a supernatural golden ram which he put with his herd. Previously mighty, Lokamayadon was hereafter heroic. He commanded singularly great powers, and so many spear thanes wished to swear loyalty to him that he chose only the best, and soon led a mighty war band. [5] Arinsor was a priest or sorcerer in the service of Rasarus. He spread the cult across Fronela and summoned Chaos monsters to fight and terrorize his enemies. He is described as a tall brooding man with hooded eyes who used a staff of human bone decorated with jewels. [6] Suggestive of an ancestry in the talari caste. [7] Talor’s army included Lion Men from the south, and some Pure Telmori, Redeli and Enjoreli from Fronela. [8] His apparent bouts of insanity may have been a slur propagated later by the God Learners, or caused by the many horrors he witnessed and fought. A common Hrestoli proverb of the Second Age: was “Why was Talor laughing? Because he had experienced Joy and knew what awaited him.” [9] Syanor was the name of the region south of the Janube River and north of Samita Lake, including Charg, Jonatela, and Oranor. In the First Age it was the northern half of Telmoria, homeland of the Wolf People.
  19. Heroes in myth are often agents of change, intentionally or inadvertently ultimately bringing death and destruction to those around them and often to themselves. Hercules, Jason, Beowulf, Arthur... the list goes on. Very few leave their world more stable. Gilgamesh might be an example. The same is true in Glorantha, where one person's hero is another's antihero. Even Snodal's heritage of a perfected society is ultimately doomed.
  20. The Castle Coast is probably the most useful remnant of the MSE and seems to maintain much of its society and structure, in that it includes a version of Hrestolism (including Joy), and a meritocracy in that able individuals can rise in class/caste, though the old powerful noble houses stay powerful. One problem is that there are many versions of Hrestolism, and they differ in their interpretation and implementation of social and religious matters. The other complication is that the attitudes of the MSE developed and changed over time. The MSE version of Hrestolism is distinct from both the earlier versions and very different from the New Hrestolism of Loskalm. The freedoms created by Hrestol were the basis of the freedoms that permitted the God Learners the philosophical insights to exploit the natural magical world, but it also permitted the MSE to exploit and use gods, so that Tolat was important for their armies and Wachaza for their navies. Even before the formation of the MSE Hrestolism was divided regarding the use of gods. The MSE also mostly divided its imperial bureaucracy into a civil structure, and a military one, and after its fall, the military rankings became the basis of the surviving aristocracy in many places, much as the Roman office of Dux, War Leader, became the social rank of Duke.
  21. One constant in every Age since Time began is that anything that seriously alters the state of the Gloranthan cosmos ultimately summons its own destruction. The birth of a new manufactured god, the attempt to create a new manufactured dragon, the exploitation of the cosmos, the creation of a perfect society, the rebirth of a moon, all lead to their equal and opposite and massive destruction. Nysalor's Bright Empire led to a war across a continent; the EWF tried to utilize draconic powers and the dragons returned to eat it; the Middle Sea Empire rose to great heights until the laws of nature brought it down; the New Hrestolism of Loskalm is mirrored by the Kingdom of War; the rise of the Red Moon will ultimately cause it to fall. Nysalor summoned Arkat. The Red Emperor summoned Sheng Seleris. Jar-eel summoned Argrath. All these things will bring massive destruction because each distorts Glorantha, and as before Time, each leads to an increase in entropy and the devolving of nature and magic. Morality in these events is almost impossible to determine, but they all bring a massive increase in mortality.
  22. Safelstran militia are certainly mediocre; Safelstran mercenary armies are likely to be very diverse, with the best highly professional. (Sir Ethilrist and his White Horse Troop began as Safelstran mercenaries, and went north because of setbacks). Regarding logistics - the caravan route from Drom to the Manirian Road will require a network of depots to keep the trade caravans fed and watered, mostly probably too small to appear on the larger scale maps, and the network might be used for military campaigns, but probably won't be, as for at least part of the route the Pralori are probably part of the supply chain. Similarly, some of those mercenaries in Safelster are probably from Pralorela...
  23. Whilst it is not RuneQuest based, The Coming Storm may be of interest because internal clan politics and the roles of men and women are important to the plot of some of the scenarios in The Eleven Lights.
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