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Gallowglass

Sartar politics in 1626

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I'll be starting up my campaign again soon after a short hiatus. We are entering Fire Season of 1626, which means the Battle of Queens is coming up. My players took part in the last big battle at Dangerford, in which many of the tribes of Sartar joined in. I'm going to give them the option of joining this next fight as well, but the situation is slightly different. According to various sources, only four tribes join in at the Battle of Queens: the Malani, the Colymar, the Cinsina and the Culbrea. I assume the Kheldon participate as well, since Kallyr is still their tribal queen. But 8 other tribes refuse to answer the call, including the PC's own tribe, the Dundealos. It seems weird to me that so many other tribes sit this one out, when the Tarshites are bringing some of their best to reclaim Sartar. 

I understand that many of the tribes are upset with Kallyr since her failed Lightbringer's Quest, which has brought Chaos, bad omens, and conflict to the kingdom. But presumably everyone also knows that she failed because Lunar assassins interfered and murdered most of her family. I've also seen it referenced in various places (like the Sourcebook and Vasana's Saga) that Kallyr is not trusted or respected by many of the tribes. Yet they still chose her as Prince after the Dragonrise. Is this mistrust simply because she failed in her last rebellion? Do people hate her so much that nearly two thirds of the people in the kingdom won't help her to defend Sartar from a Lunar army, clearly a major threat? Is Kallyr Starbrow basically the Hillary Clinton of Dragon Pass?

My other question concerns the aftermath of the battle. It is mentioned that Sartar degenerates into various "squabbling factions" after Kallyr's death, but I don't have a very clear picture of what this looks like. Vasana's saga implies that Leika burned the Prince's body as a move to encourage the other tribes to choose her as the next Prince. She is definitely the most powerful tribal leader. Are there any other sources about this period between the Battle of Queens, and Argrath's coming in 1627?

We're looking at a period of about 4-5 seasons, which I now know can mean at least 5-10 sessions in RQG. That's plenty of room to build some adventures out of political conflict. I'm curious about how Sartar functions (or doesn't function) as kingdom without a Prince. Are there any other claimants who try to become Prince, other than Leika? Do we see any armed conflicts between tribes during this period? Leika does not succeed obviously, but how hard does she push to become Prince before Argrath shows up? 

For the Dundealos tribe and their clans, I would think the logical course during this period would be to strengthen relations with their Swenstown confederates, plus the Pol-Joni, and give the finger to Leika and other tribes in Sartar. She and the Colymar haven't done much to earn their respect, and the problems they have to deal with regularly (Praxians, Chaos incursions from the east, trade and diplomacy with Pavis), likely don't mean much to her. 

Any answers or insights will help me to plan the next parts of our campaign. Apologies for asking a lot of questions (again). 

 

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35 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

I'll be starting up my campaign again soon after a short hiatus. We are entering Fire Season of 1626, which means the Battle of Queens is coming up. My players took part in the last big battle at Dangerford, in which many of the tribes of Sartar joined in. I'm going to give them the option of joining this next fight as well, but the situation is slightly different. According to various sources, only four tribes join in at the Battle of Queens: the Malani, the Colymar, the Cinsina and the Culbrea. I assume the Kheldon participate as well, since Kallyr is still their tribal queen. But 8 other tribes refuse to answer the call, including the PC's own tribe, the Dundealos. It seems weird to me that so many other tribes sit this one out, when the Tarshites are bringing some of their best to reclaim Sartar. 

I understand that many of the tribes are upset with Kallyr since her failed Lightbringer's Quest, which has brought Chaos, bad omens, and conflict to the kingdom. But presumably everyone also knows that she failed because Lunar assassins interfered and murdered most of her family. I've also seen it referenced in various places (like the Sourcebook and Vasana's Saga) that Kallyr is not trusted or respected by many of the tribes. Yet they still chose her as Prince after the Dragonrise. Is this mistrust simply because she failed in her last rebellion? Do people hate her so much that nearly two thirds of the people in the kingdom won't help her to defend Sartar from a Lunar army, clearly a major threat? Is Kallyr Starbrow basically the Hillary Clinton of Dragon Pass?

My other question concerns the aftermath of the battle. It is mentioned that Sartar degenerates into various "squabbling factions" after Kallyr's death, but I don't have a very clear picture of what this looks like. Vasana's saga implies that Leika burned the Prince's body as a move to encourage the other tribes to choose her as the next Prince. She is definitely the most powerful tribal leader. Are there any other sources about this period between the Battle of Queens, and Argrath's coming in 1627?

We're looking at a period of about 4-5 seasons, which I now know can mean at least 5-10 sessions in RQG. That's plenty of room to build some adventures out of political conflict. I'm curious about how Sartar functions (or doesn't function) as kingdom without a Prince. Are there any other claimants who try to become Prince, other than Leika? Do we see any armed conflicts between tribes during this period? Leika does not succeed obviously, but how hard does she push to become Prince before Argrath shows up? 

For the Dundealos tribe and their clans, I would think the logical course during this period would be to strengthen relations with their Swenstown confederates, plus the Pol-Joni, and give the finger to Leika and other tribes in Sartar. She and the Colymar haven't done much to earn their respect, and the problems they have to deal with regularly (Praxians, Chaos incursions from the east, trade and diplomacy with Pavis), likely don't mean much to her. 

Any answers or insights will help me to plan the next parts of our campaign. Apologies for asking a lot of questions (again). 

 

This is pretty much the subject of the RuneQuest Campaign book, which goes season by season to the acclamation of Argrath as Prince of Sartar, and then yearly going forward.

Kallyr has support among the Kheldon, Culbrea, Cinsina, and Aranwyth tribes, and by the "Mayor" of Boldhome. She is also supported by the ducks. She is mistrusted by the powerful Colymar tribe. But actually, the reason she doesn't have much help at the Battle of the Queens is just the nature of her authority - she does get the Colymar, Malani, Culbrea, and Cinsina tribes mobilised, as well as her personal supporters. That's pretty good considering that less than two seasons before, she catastrophically failed her attempt to perform the Lightbringers Quest (and lost many of her strongest supporters in the process).

The Wilmskirk tribes are disrupted by the Dragonrise, and by the rapid rise and fall of the Hendriki kingdom. 

After the Battle of Queens, there is nobody left in Sartar who can unite the kingdom. Queen Leika is distrusted by Kallyr's supporters and her bid fails to get any traction. And she's the strongest candidate. There's nobody else with a lawful claim + an army + charismatic authority. Except for that adventurer in Pavis and his Praxian war host.....

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Thanks for the response Jeff. Any insight into why the Dundealos tribe would not fight at the Battle of Queens? By 1626 I imagine they’re still relatively weak (they are in our campaign). But they are also strongly anti-Lunar, and I would think most of them support Kallyr. 

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Just now, Gallowglass said:

Thanks for the response Jeff. Any insight into why the Dundealos tribe would not fight at the Battle of Queens? By 1626 I imagine they’re still relatively weak (they are in our campaign). But they are also strongly anti-Lunar, and I would think most of them support Kallyr. 

They are re-establishing themselves in the Dundealos Valley. And as Pol-Joni, many of them already pledged themselves to Argrath White Bull. 

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In short, Sartar in 1626 is a mess. Kallyr dies barely chasing off a Tarshite attempt to reconquer the kingdom. Actually arguably, it is Leika who wins that battle. And afterwards, there is no leader, no unity, and lots of resentment and disputes.

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13 minutes ago, Jeff said:

They are re-establishing themselves in the Dundealos Valley. And as Pol-Joni, many of them already pledged themselves to Argrath White Bull. 

Okay, as long as I have your attention, one more question. Why would the Pol-Joni and Dundealos trust Argrath if he resurrected Jaldon, their ancestral enemy? This has been an issue in our campaign, and most of my players look at Argrath as a dangerous guy. I’ve dropped heavy hints that he is returning to Sartar with an army, and they think this is bad news. 

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1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

I'll be starting up my campaign again soon after a short hiatus. We are entering Fire Season of 1626, which means the Battle of Queens is coming up. My players took part in the last big battle at Dangerford, in which many of the tribes of Sartar joined in. I'm going to give them the option of joining this next fight as well, but the situation is slightly different. According to various sources, only four tribes join in at the Battle of Queens: the Malani, the Colymar, the Cinsina and the Culbrea. I assume the Kheldon participate as well, since Kallyr is still their tribal queen. But 8 other tribes refuse to answer the call, including the PC's own tribe, the Dundealos. It seems weird to me that so many other tribes sit this one out, when the Tarshites are bringing some of their best to reclaim Sartar. 

Part  of the problem is logistics. Tribes like the Dundealos or the Torkani are almost a week away from the action, and that is for fast moving military units, not for the support bringing in food. It isn't like the Swenstown militia will be fed by the clans along the royal highways, not without monetary compensation calculated for other uses.

It is possible to rush troops to the action, but Kallyr doesn't really have the  means to feed all the troops out of the royal coffers - not away from Boldhome.

The Tarshite/Imperial troops face a similar logistics challenge across the dragonewt wildlands, but as the aggressor they know where and when the strike will come, making logistical preparations easier, and they have a very professional military supply chain, and one that survived the Dragonrise relatively unharmed.

 

But then, yes, there are tribes and clans still smarting from previous events, and there will be a sinifficant portion of "I didn't vote for her".

 

1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

I understand that many of the tribes are upset with Kallyr since her failed Lightbringer's Quest, which has brought Chaos, bad omens, and conflict to the kingdom. But presumably everyone also knows that she failed because Lunar assassins interfered and murdered most of her family.

The Princes of Sartar have a history of dealing with assassins (and Lunar assassins), it comes with the job.

 

1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

I've also seen it referenced in various places (like the Sourcebook and Vasana's Saga) that Kallyr is not trusted or respected by many of the tribes. Yet they still chose her as Prince after the Dragonrise. Is this mistrust simply because she failed in her last rebellion?

She led our father, uncle, etc. to his death, not in battle, but in exile.

She surrendered without a decisive battle.

(And yes, those two complaints are contradictory. Doesn't change how the German public of the Weimar republic regarded WW1...)

1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

Do people hate her so much that nearly two thirds of the people in the kingdom won't help her to defend Sartar from a Lunar army, clearly a major threat? Is Kallyr Starbrow basically the Hillary Clinton of Dragon Pass?

In some respects, yes. Her successful action at the Battle of Dangerford was overshadowed by her bad perfomance last Sacred Time. There are communities suffering from the magical backlash.

The Lunars have left Sartar. But they still strike at the Sacred Season rites!

1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

My other question concerns the aftermath of the battle. It is mentioned that Sartar degenerates into various "squabbling factions" after Kallyr's death, but I don't have a very clear picture of what this looks like. Vasana's saga implies that Leika burned the Prince's body as a move to encourage the other tribes to choose her as the next Prince. She is definitely the most powerful tribal leader. Are there any other sources about this period between the Battle of Queens, and Argrath's coming in 1627?

Not really. The Dragon Pass boardgame has two non-magical scenarios, and the Battle of Queens is the second of these. Things change with the result of the Battle of Sword Hill, and Argrath's supremacy.

King of Sartar remains our best source for this year, and it has two lines in Minaryth Blue's memoirs (one dealing with the Battle of the Queens, the other with the coming of Argrath) and something of a lacuna in the Composite History of Dragon Pass. Argrath Saga is even less informative.

There are a few future developments which are set into motion already by this time which you might be able to foreshadow. But then, that's what I expect from the Smoking Ruins scenario (are we there yet?).

Of the leaders of the rebellion, probably one out of three have been culled by the Short Lightbringers' Quest or the attrition of the Dragonrise. A lot of moderates who barely avoided being chased off as pro-Lunars will return to popularity.

1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

We're looking at a period of about 4-5 seasons, which I now know can mean at least 5-10 sessions in RQG. That's plenty of room to build some adventures out of political conflict. I'm curious about how Sartar functions (or doesn't function) as kingdom without a Prince. Are there any other claimants who try to become Prince, other than Leika? Do we see any armed conflicts between tribes during this period? Leika does not succeed obviously, but how hard does she push to become Prince before Argrath shows up?

Leika has the support of 10K Colymar tribesmen and -women, which is twice as much as the next tribal king or queen. Any other potential claimant would first have to get at least two tribes or a city confederation behind themselves before being in a position to challenge Leika. Sartar's system of checks and balances between the tribes backfires in the absence of the House of Sartar.

 

32 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The Wilmskirk tribes are disrupted by the Dragonrise, and by the rapid rise and fall of the Hendriki kingdom. 

The Dragonfall mostly affects southeastern Sartar - the Sambari will be strongly affected. The other tribes not that much.

Broyan has been missing since the Dragonrise. How does this disrupt them? Trade is a lot less secure, yes, but did the Kitori outbreak that destroyed Broyan carry over into the Chorms valley? Isn't this a greater problem for Sun Dome County than for the southern tribes?

The dissolution of the Kultain seven years ago would have left the then neutral or moderately Lunar-friendly tribes benefitting rather than suffering. The figureheads for good Lunar relationship in the Wilmskirk tribes would have ended up as dragonfodder, and their loyalists may have been targeted by feuds, so there is that much disruption - but the same goes for the Jonstown tribes, really.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

 

38 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

Okay, as long as I have your attention, one more question. Why would the Pol-Joni and Dundealos trust Argrath if he resurrected Jaldon, their ancestral enemy? This has been an issue in our campaign, and most of my players look at Argrath as a dangerous guy. I’ve dropped heavy hints that he is returning to Sartar with an army, and they think this is bad news. 

Because he is the White Bull. He has the full backing of the Storm Bull cult, of the White Bull societies, and recognises their rights to the March. The Pol-Joni were among the first to support him - crafty bastards, aren't they?

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56 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

But 8 other tribes refuse to answer the call, including the PC's own tribe, the Dundealos. It seems weird to me that so many other tribes sit this one out, when the Tarshites are bringing some of their best to reclaim Sartar. 

Many folk dislike Kallyr - she's arrogant and aloof, and her earlier rebellion brought harsh ramifications to many tribes. 

Many tribes are in disarray - those that were strong Lunar allies (i.e the Locaem, probably the Enstalos) saw their tribal kings devoured by a dragon! Their clans now fight, taking revenge against the pro-Lunar leaders/clans, perhaps even tearing the tribes apart. 

8 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

Why would the Pol-Joni and Dundealos trust Argrath

Think of what happened to the Dundealos. In 1618, the Lunars trigger a rebellion there and then destroy it.  Many of the Dundealos are sent as slaves to work on the new Lunar Temple.  The tribe becomes the pro-Lunar Enstalos. Then the Crimson Bat comes and you know it's not the Enstalos leaders being fed to the bat! And then the Great Winter comes, and the pro-Lunar clans survive the best, at least until 1622.  And while the Culbrea rise against the Lunars, this area remains firmly under Lunar control while the Lunar Temple moves towards completion 3 years later. Kallyr is doing nothing for them - she's off raising the Boat Planet. Broyan is nowhere near.  But there is this fellow Argrath and maybe he can help them overcome the Lunars.

And then the Dragon rises right amidst their lands. Lunars gone. Enstalos leaders gone. But the old Dundealos leadership is probably all gone too. And those that maybe worked with Argrath see him as someone who might have some power to help them.

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28 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

And then the Dragon rises right amidst their lands. Lunars gone. Enstalos leaders gone. But the old Dundealos leadership is probably all gone too. And those that maybe worked with Argrath see him as someone who might have some power to help them.

In our campaign, the old Dundealos leaders are indeed gone. The clan we created is half Pol-Joni deciding to resettle, half exiles of the old clan, some of whom don't even remember Sartar. 

32 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Think of what happened to the Dundealos. In 1618, the Lunars trigger a rebellion there and then destroy it.  Many of the Dundealos are sent as slaves to work on the new Lunar Temple.  The tribe becomes the pro-Lunar Enstalos. Then the Crimson Bat comes and you know it's not the Enstalos leaders being fed to the bat! And then the Great Winter comes, and the pro-Lunar clans survive the best, at least until 1622.  And while the Culbrea rise against the Lunars, this area remains firmly under Lunar control while the Lunar Temple moves towards completion 3 years later. Kallyr is doing nothing for them - she's off raising the Boat Planet. Broyan is nowhere near.  But there is this fellow Argrath and maybe he can help them overcome the Lunars.

 

This all makes perfect sense. I think I just had a moment at some point where I realized, "wait, the tribe is nicknamed the Jaldonkillers!" But at the same time, I can see how the new, traumatized generation of Dundealos would see things differently. Knowing my players, and how they play their characters, they will probably will go fight in the Battle of the Queens, because they hate the Lunar Empire, and don't have any particularly strong feelings about Kallyr (it's the one Passion they all share). 

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I'd point out that if the tribe was called the Jaldonkillers there are two ways to approach the idea of an ancestral foe: demonization, or grudging respect. Compare how the Persians approached the deeds and legend of Alexander the Great in the early Middle Ages: he was both a hero and their enemy (and secretly, really a Persian, as the Shahnamah argues...).

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15 hours ago, Jeff said:

The Wilmskirk tribes are disrupted by the Dragonrise, and by the rapid rise and fall of the Hendriki kingdom. 

I would like to   ask more about this please...what impact does this have and what is the impact of the Hendriki rebellion have on each of the tribes in the Wilmskirk area?

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17 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

most of my players look at Argrath as a dangerous guy. I’ve dropped heavy hints that he is returning to Sartar with an army, and they think this is bad news. 

This seems like an astute analysis.

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Wow, I am really hanging out for the Great RuneQuest Campaign Book!

Edited by Mankcam

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1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

Wow, I am really hanging out for the Great RuneQuest Campaign Book!

I've circulated a few chapters of it to some key people. For me, that and the Cults book are the most interesting things I've worked on since... I dunno RQG itself. :D

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