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Sartar under the House of Sartar

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Among the first things Greg ever wrote about the Kingdom of Sartar was the following: 

"<Sartar's> magic turned smart men into chieftains, good men into loyal followers, and enemies into pack beasts. It is said that he took over the valley without a fight, though that is an exaggeration since others did his fighting for him. But the transition was an easy one and he soon organized the robbers into a principality. After marrying the Feathered Horse Queen, he was named King and Dragon Pass rapidly grew in power and prestige.

Under Sartar's rule, the tribes turned from pillage to trade. Sartar and the Queen set up tax posts, guides, and treasuries. Sartar also built roads and forts to protect the traders from possible nomad raids. He fostered literacy, experimentation, and luxuriousness upon his subjects. His short-lived dynasty grew and soon would have rivalled any empire for sheer splendor had it survived."

When I was working with Greg on the Guide to Glorantha, we decided to go back to WBRM as a touchstone. RQG very much reflects the Glorantha of WBRM, the Redline Histories, Pavis, Cults of Terror, and King of Sartar. But it does require rethinking some of the assumptions from the HW period. First and foremost - the nature of the Kingdom of Sartar itself.

Under the reign of the House of Sartar, Boldhome and the other cities were wealthy from trade. The Prince had substantial revenues at his disposal. Masons could build impressive stone buildings, grand temples to the Lightbringers could be founded - including markets, libraries, and hospitals, paved roads could facilitate trade, mercenaries could fight for the Prince, and so on. Caravans carrying goods and luxuries from all over the world traveled through WIlmskirk, Boldhome, and Jonstown, paying a toll for Sartar's protection (and for the convenience of the roads, inns, etc.). 

Tribal kings, chiefs, priestesses, etc. all looked to the Prince for gifts and support. Cities bought large amounts grain and meat, and their citizens had the right to an allotment of the public stores. It should be reminded that New Pavis is stereotypically Sartarite in its layout, its political institutions (mayor, public granaries and warehouses, etc.). It is unusual in the presence of the Big Rubble, the nomads, and so many adventurers seeking treasure in the Rubble. It is not unusual in its institutions.

There's no question about it, under the rule of the House of Sartar, Sartar was rich. Probably richer than Tarsh (dispute its smaller population), definitely richer than most Lunar satrapies. This also helps to explain the Lunar Empire desire to conquer Sartar - instead of it being an unimportant backwaters, Sartar was a rich, strategically important kingdom that controlled the bulk of all trade between the Lunar Empire and the rest of the world (let's skip the Red-Haired Tribe and the Ralios caravans and whatever trade goes through the Janube Valley).

It wasn't the Kingdom of Tarsh that defeated Tarkalor and the Feathered Horse Queen at Grizzly Peak - it was the Heartland Army and the Red Emperor (the Lunar advance was stopped at the Battle of Dwarf Ford). 

Trade continued during Lunar Occupation, although not at the levels seen during the rule of Sartar’s dynasty. The Etyries cult played a greater role in trade, although the Issaries caravans continued to travel between the Holy Country, the Lunar Empire, and Prax under the protection of the Lunar military. However, Lunar tax collectors and military leaders prospered more than the cities, as they took much of what used to go to city and tribal leaders. So during the Lunar Occupation, much of the traditional Sartarite elite became poorer, the cities stopped buying as much grain and meat from the farmers, and it all trickled down. 

With Sartar’s liberation, the Lunar Empire is no longer able to tax trade through Dragon Pass but also there is no longer Lunar protection of caravans. With political disintegration, much of Dragon Pass has returned to the state of banditry that prevailed prior to Sartar’ arrival. That's the situation at the start of RQG.

This might explain some of my desire to linguistically clear the decks of "misleading" terminology like "cottar, carl, and thane" or of using Early Medieval Ireland as a model for understanding Sartar. Heck, if anything Classical Macedon or the Ghaznavids might be a better analogy (although those have lots of limitations as well). At the very least, it helps me see Sartar for the very unique place it is. 

Anyways, good food for thought I hope!

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Among the first things Greg ever wrote about the Kingdom of Sartar was the following: 

"<Sartar's> magic turned smart men into chieftains, good men into loyal followers, and enemies into pack beasts. It is said that he took over the valley without a fight, though that is an exaggeration since others did his fighting for him. But the transition was an easy one and he soon organized the robbers into a principality. After marrying the Feathered Horse Queen, he was named King and Dragon Pass rapidly grew in power and prestige.

Under Sartar's rule, the tribes turned from pillage to trade. Sartar and the Queen set up tax posts, guides, and treasuries. Sartar also built roads and forts to protect the traders from possible nomad raids. He fostered literacy, experimentation, and luxuriousness upon his subjects. His short-lived dynasty grew and soon would have rivalled any empire for sheer splendor had it survived."

When I was working with Greg on the Guide to Glorantha, we decided to go back to WBRM as a touchstone. RQG very much reflects the Glorantha of WBRM, the Redline Histories, Pavis, Cults of Terror, and King of Sartar. But it does require rethinking some of the assumptions from the HW period. First and foremost - the nature of the Kingdom of Sartar itself.

Under the reign of the House of Sartar, Boldhome and the other cities were wealthy from trade. The Prince had substantial revenues at his disposal. Masons could build impressive stone buildings, grand temples to the Lightbringers could be founded - including markets, libraries, and hospitals, paved roads could facilitate trade, mercenaries could fight for the Prince, and so on. Caravans carrying goods and luxuries from all over the world traveled through WIlmskirk, Boldhome, and Jonstown, paying a toll for Sartar's protection (and for the convenience of the roads, inns, etc.). 

Tribal kings, chiefs, priestesses, etc. all looked to the Prince for gifts and support. Cities bought large amounts grain and meat, and their citizens had the right to an allotment of the public stores. It should be reminded that New Pavis is stereotypically Sartarite in its layout, its political institutions (mayor, public granaries and warehouses, etc.). It is unusual in the presence of the Big Rubble, the nomads, and so many adventurers seeking treasure in the Rubble. It is not unusual in its institutions.

There's no question about it, under the rule of the House of Sartar, Sartar was rich. Probably richer than Tarsh (dispute its smaller population), definitely richer than most Lunar satrapies. This also helps to explain the Lunar Empire desire to conquer Sartar - instead of it being an unimportant backwaters, Sartar was a rich, strategically important kingdom that controlled the bulk of all trade between the Lunar Empire and the rest of the world (let's skip the Red-Haired Tribe and the Ralios caravans and whatever trade goes through the Janube Valley).

It wasn't the Kingdom of Tarsh that defeated Tarkalor and the Feathered Horse Queen at Grizzly Peak - it was the Heartland Army and the Red Emperor (the Lunar advance was stopped at the Battle of Dwarf Ford). 

Trade continued during Lunar Occupation, although not at the levels seen during the rule of Sartar’s dynasty. The Etyries cult played a greater role in trade, although the Issaries caravans continued to travel between the Holy Country, the Lunar Empire, and Prax under the protection of the Lunar military. However, Lunar tax collectors and military leaders prospered more than the cities, as they took much of what used to go to city and tribal leaders. So during the Lunar Occupation, much of the traditional Sartarite elite became poorer, the cities stopped buying as much grain and meat from the farmers, and it all trickled down. 

With Sartar’s liberation, the Lunar Empire is no longer able to tax trade through Dragon Pass but also there is no longer Lunar protection of caravans. With political disintegration, much of Dragon Pass has returned to the state of banditry that prevailed prior to Sartar’ arrival. That's the situation at the start of RQG.

This might explain some of my desire to linguistically clear the decks of "misleading" terminology like "cottar, carl, and thane" or of using Early Medieval Ireland as a model for understanding Sartar. Heck, if anything Classical Macedon or the Ghaznavids might be a better analogy (although those have lots of limitations as well). At the very least, it helps me see Sartar for the very unique place it is. 

Anyways, good food for thought I hope!

A few more morsels to think about - while Sartar was free, the city ring (which remember is chosen by a combination of tribal leaders, major temples, and the Prince) agree on various taxes (especially on traders), purchase grain and meat from the local farmers, and so on. The citizens of the city choose one member of the city ring as Mayor - who also gets to lead the militia. 

During the Lunar Occupation, the rebelling tribes (like the Culbrea and Cinsina) have had to operate outside of that structure, but now that Sartar is liberated, there is much incentive to return to it, just now that the folk who make the decisions are mainly former rebels (and no Lunars at all). For a few seasons things are still "rebel-led" but how long before the city rings decide that it is not such a bad thing to welcome Etyries back and place Seven Mothers worshipers under their protection? Or maybe some cities do that, and others do not. 

And when Kallyr dies, for a year there is no Prince. Perhaps the mayors become de facto regional warlords, and supplant the tribal kings? 

After the Dragonrise, the times are a-changing!

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7 hours ago, Jeff said:

This might explain some of my desire to linguistically clear the decks of "misleading" terminology like "cottar, carl, and thane" or of using Early Medieval Ireland as a model for understanding Sartar. Heck, if anything Classical Macedon or the Ghaznavids might be a better analogy (although those have lots of limitations as well). At the very least, it helps me see Sartar for the very unique place it is.

At some point we have to chose some terminology, and if we use terrestrial terms it comes with baggage. Given that we have weathered the baggage that we already have from Greg using terms such as odal, carl, cottar, thane, chieftain or even earl I am not sure that introducing new terrestrial terms won't just reset the clock to zero on those problems. Would using anax instead really help for example? The reference to Mycenean culture is probably more obscure than just using chieftain or king. And anyone reviewing older material, including the Guide to Glorantha is going to get very confused.

The category terms are fine for describing Glorantha cross-cultures, but lack resonance in play: "I am Koschei, a Free Common man of the Culbrea" is very flat.

I would suggest there is little to be gained from changing the established terms that we have in The Guide to Glorantha. The Orlanthi terms there are noble, thane, carl, cottar and thrall (and implicitly there is chief and priest). They have variants there too, if folks prefer 'translated' terms: noble, horseman, cattleman, sheepman, and slave if we need.

We know that the non-archeological evidence for Urnfield or Mycenean culture etc. is limited and we will always be limited to viewing them through the lens of the descendants be that the Irish of the Tain, the Scandinavians of Beowulf,  even the Myceneans of the Illiad (who are far more of Homer's time than their own). So be it. It's a fantasy world and we can explore such historical inaccuracies without fear.

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I feel that using appropriate terminology really helps set the tone for players. Though I use the common terms I often preface them for my players with the advice that these are 'nearest equivalent translations' and not to be taken literally. Unless we create a whole new lexicon we are going to mislead some people, but that can work too, by using Earth terms but presenting them in a unique way we highlight that this isn't Kansas.

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Urban Sartar was not described in Thunder Rebels, and while some of the cults in Storm Tribe would have tended to be urban rather than rural, little effort (and no description at all) was dedicated to the daily lives of urban Sartarites.

 

Quote

Cities bought large amounts grain and meat, and their citizens had the right to an allotment of the public stores.

So basically each full citizen has an allotment of meal tickets for grain, fish and meat, and probably a number of legumes, too. Do these come unprepared, or is it possible to go to the local baker rather than the granary to cash in that meal ticket (probably with some monetary fee accounting for the baker's work)?

Do people cook at home at all? (What is the fire policy, especially in multy-storied buildings with wooden floors?)

 

Another question is how the client system works in the cities. There is bound to be a concentration of rich free men and lesser nobles in the cities, and they will be able to take on non-citizens into their service. E.g. mercenary bodyguards, domestic servants, slaves.

Then, what about the beggars and vagrants, aka recognized residents. Who is feeding them? The priesthood of the urban wyter? Turn up to the sacrifices, donate some of your magic, and be rewarded with some gruel or soup and scraps of the sacrificial meat? Sounds like a way to ensure rather powerful community magic and blessings.

 

8 hours ago, Jeff said:

This might explain some of my desire to linguistically clear the decks of "misleading" terminology like "cottar, carl, and thane" or of using Early Medieval Ireland as a model for understanding Sartar

Honestly, not really. Life in the rural clans still went along the traditional lines, and while clan economy might have been adapted to producing surplus food for the cities, or for war clans to provide manpower for those mercenaries and royal guards, the traditional roles in the clan aren't likely to change that much.

As far as I am concerned, these are terms that would be at home in the Roman Iron Age throughout the non-Celtic barbaricum, and probably carried over from the Nordic Bronze Age. By the time the Romans achieved literacy, they had already lost these systems to the patriciate, and few if any of those terms in Latin refer to their more archaic (Orlanthi-like) roles. They might be applicable to Esrolian culture.

The Greek farmer-warrior doesn't turn up in Greek documents, again for lack of widespread literacy while this stratum still was at large.

 

Old English is archaic English, and use of archaic terms in the koine of the Gloranthans will indicate archaic structures.

You seem to fear confusion with Mallory's Arthurian fantasy (that never was historical). I agree that 12th-15th century vocabulary might be misleading. But then Shakespeare has nearly as many plays in archaic or classical settings as he has the history of English kings (representing their Norman French as verse and the coarse peasants' Middle English as prose contemporary to the writing). Little or nothing about farmer warriors, though.

Most European farmer-warrior literature comes from Iceland. The Irish heroes are all nobles - typical Bronze Age or Iron Age demigods. Everywhere else, the self-sufficient farmer warrior was more or less the antithesis of the literate class. Only coastal Germany and the Netherlands maintained some of this past the Karolingian Age.

 

There is a nice Northern German word for the equivalent of the cottar class: Inste (also Instermann, Instleute). While it was used well into the 19th century, it resulted in all likelihood from the Germanic Farmer Republic social structures that survived in some places throughout the feudal era from settlements structured almost identical to those prior to the earliest migrations (Cimbri, Teutones).

 

One big difference I see between Sartar and Bronze Age lords is the absence of the god-kings. Apart from the Sartar Royal House with its palace in Boldhome, the probably best Bronze Age urban culture to parallel Sartar in terms of social strata as presented by architecture is the Indus Valley culture with its absence of a ruling class with its own districts. Or perhaps the Etruscan cities (although those were firmly Iron Age, as were the La Tene oppida which are good for the tribal towns like Runegate). Neither of these languages are available to us (there is a bitter debate about the language of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, with Indian scholars being patriotically obliged to demand a Dravidian language despite lack of evidence, and no modern version of Etruscan surviving, and few indications for any related languages other than extinct Lemnian dialects).

 

Edited by Joerg
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6 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So basically each full citizen has an allotment of meal tickets for grain, fish and meat, and probably a number of legumes, too. Do these come unprepared, or is it possible to go to the local baker rather than the granary to cash in that meal ticket (probably with some monetary fee accounting for the baker's work)?

many early city-states, from Sumer on, had small kitchenettes in residences but for daily eating relied on large kitchens where food was prepared professionally. Orlanthi longhouses likely worked the same way: food is prepared communally, although you might have room to make snacks on your own. That's the entire point of a longhouse and it scales up nicely to cities. Typically we'd imagine in Orlanthi territory the Earth Priestesses organising the women and the Orlanth chiefs the men; the Clan Ring would ensure the weaving, planting, infrastructure, defense, healthcare, cooking and the like were being handled.

In Earthly cities, this evolution lead to the first bureaucracies - usually organised around a temple and explicitly priests and priestesses - overseeing the management of civilian city supplies (food, water, division of labor) under a mayor. A parallel military role, the war leader, was responsible for the training and outfitting of the defenses with a commensurate military bureaucracy.

Sometimes a king was above both of them, and sometimes the king melded the two roles.

In Sartar we're clearly seeing something similar: the growth of the longhouse culture into the city-state, where your daily work is simply more elaborate. The sick-hut is now a hospital with many White Ladies and bonesetters and trainees. The communal cooking area is now a series of large "taverns" (early beer was rich oatmeal lightly fermented in a large stoneware pot and you drank the liquid while eating the more exciting dishes, then ate the oatmeal - prevented waterborne disease, easier on the teeth than early bread, and kept you merry). The Ring is now the royals and there is more to it than just a simple sacralised circle of elders - there's an entire bureaucracy.

The principles were the same, though, as the basic longhouse ideas: stand together as one.

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32 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So basically each full citizen has an allotment of meal tickets for grain, fish and meat, and probably a number of legumes, too. Do these come unprepared, or is it possible to go to the local baker rather than the granary to cash in that meal ticket (probably with some monetary fee accounting for the baker's work)?

Bread would probably be part of the ration anyway, as it is easy to make.

32 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Do people cook at home at all? (What is the fire policy, especially in multy-storied buildings with wooden floors?)

My mother remembers taking the Sunday Dinner down to the Bakehouse on Sunday mornings and fetching it back home when it was cooked. she would pick her father up from the pub on the way back. That would have been in the 40s/early 50s. So, I would expect every area to have a Bakehouse cooking of meals etc.

In Birmingham, we have Baltis, which are said to have derived from inns in Pakistan that cooked food in large iron pots, called Baltis, where people came along to eat the stew with a chunk of naan bread (Or bread bread, as it can be translated).  If used in a city, that would be the same thing, a communal cooking area, where everyone comes in and eats.

Edited by soltakss
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50 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

At some point we have to chose some terminology, and if we use terrestrial terms it comes with baggage. Given that we have weathered the baggage that we already have from Greg using terms such as odal, carl, cottar, thane, chieftain or even earl I am not sure that introducing new terrestrial terms won't just reset the clock to zero on those problems. Would using anax instead really help for example? The reference to Mycenean culture is probably more obscure than just using chieftain or king. And anyone reviewing older material, including the Guide to Glorantha is going to get very confused.

The category terms are fine for describing Glorantha cross-cultures, but lack resonance in play: "I am Koschei, a Free Common man of the Culbrea" is very flat.

I would suggest there is little to be gained from changing the established terms that we have in The Guide to Glorantha. The Orlanthi terms there are noble, thane, carl, cottar and thrall (and implicitly there is chief and priest). They have variants there too, if folks prefer 'translated' terms: noble, horseman, cattleman, sheepman, and slave if we need.

We know that the non-archeological evidence for Urnfield or Mycenean culture etc. is limited and we will always be limited to viewing them through the lens of the descendants be that the Irish of the Tain, the Scandinavians of Beowulf,  even the Myceneans of the Illiad (who are far more of Homer's time than their own). So be it. It's a fantasy world and we can explore such historical inaccuracies without fear.

To be honest, I find "Koschei, a Free Carl man of Culbrea" equally flat. It seems as wrong as saying "Koschei, Pleblian gens Culbrea."

In HQG, we dropped carl, cottar, and thrall. I wish I had done that in the Guide to be honest. I don't think those are even good translations of the Orlanthi terms.

Carl just means "free man" - which is fine, but that already exists in English. I suspect the Orlanthi word for "free person" is a pretty important word for them. Greg and I hypothesised that it is something like Karling, but honestly that's just a cheap use of Old German. And I agree that Theyalan is not PIE - for one thing the names we have don't come anywhere close to it.

Cottar means "someone who lives in a cottage" - which isn't quite what a semi-free landless tenant in Sartar is. I like semi-free because ties into Free. Also I think that is the Orlanthi word.

Thane - Greg operated on the belief it meant "horse man" when actually it means "servant" - which is not the basis of the title.

Thrall - another Norse word when we have a perfectly good English word "slave", "Unfree" might work better though as I suspect that is the Orlanthi word.

So until I find a linguist I enjoy working with who doesn't just want to make PIE but creates something that sounds Orlanthi - I am happy mainly using good English words.

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Setting aside artistic and philosophical terms for a moment, if one of Chaosium's goals is to grow the Gloranthan fan base, transparency is a good thing. Those of us who love Glorantha might not understand or like the sentiment that it is a difficult setting to come to grips with, but we only need to look at comments from new players on this forum to prove it exists. 

Most fantasy enthusiasts have at least a passing familiarity with terms like thane and carl, so the intent behind their use is pretty transparent. That intent might not be so clear if other analogous terms were used.

I think that the players who are attracted to Glorantha are intelligent and intuitive enough to understand that a Gloranthan thane is not the same as a terrestrial thane. Further information on social roles in regional guides and campaign books will further underline exactly what "thane" means within the context of the fiction. I think this approach maintains transparency much better than a migration to unfamiliar terms or, worse yet, accurate but unevocative terms.

Your 2L may vary, of course. ;)

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13 hours ago, Jeff said:

This might explain some of my desire to linguistically clear the decks of "misleading" terminology like "cottar, carl, and thane" or of using Early Medieval Ireland as a model for understanding Sartar. Heck, if anything Classical Macedon or the Ghaznavids might be a better analogy (although those have lots of limitations as well). At the very least, it helps me see Sartar for the very unique place it is. 

 

Well, I must say that I prefer this method of laying it down compared to a possible horrible and scary method of saying it that I will not subscribe to you, but to actions I have witnessed by others in other companies in our hobby over the years...

“Sorry, I know you have supported us for decades but throw away all your old gear or bring it out only to play legacy games with your hundreds of dollars invested and only use and talk about the new stuff from now on in public..”

Not say you were doing such horrible things or saying such things, or for that matter thinking such. That would not be my Chaosium. But the mind does leap... Worse yet,  my initial reaction was that you were bringing AD&D's Unearthed Arcana to RQ. That is... We will now have upper middle class, lower upper class and upper middle lower class in place of stick pickers and thanes, cotters and carls ad nauseum. Good to know that will not be the case.

I really was having a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around that perceived way of doing business with the usual attention to the players and supporters needs I have come to expect from that once little Californian company..

Now that the shock has worn off, and I have had a bit of a chin wag or at least the digital equivalent allow me to peruse this thread, (have yet to read anything but Jeff's original post and I see it is growing by the minute so, I will wrap this up and...)

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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56 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Urban Sartar was not described in Thunder Rebels, and while some of the cults in Storm Tribe would have tended to be urban rather than rural, little effort (and no description at all) was dedicated to the daily lives of urban Sartarites.

We had a fair amount on Sartarite urban Orlanthi Pavis, and that material has been echoed in different versions of that text. We don't have so much on the Heortlanders, or the Esrolians, or even the Orlanthi cities of the EWF however.

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4 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

well those would have been... very strange

Alda Chur I believe is one such...

Quote

Taros Ridgeleaper from Tarsh established Alda-chur on the ruins of a draconic city. Only some bizarre architecture remains, including the glass walls, and the new city surrounds it. Several delicate towers, a cluster of curiously organic buildings, and myr- iad double and triple gateways soar amid curving, twisting streets built since the Resettlement. A part lies in ruins now, destroyed by recent rebellions.

Dragon Pass a gazetteer of Kerofinela.

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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1 minute ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Alda Chur

No, Aldachur was founded on the ruins of Baran Or, a post-EWF hilltop fort, and RuneGate was built by the Hyaloring Triaty in 1332.

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9 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

In Sartar we're clearly seeing something similar: the growth of the longhouse culture into the city-state, where your daily work is simply more elaborate. The sick-hut is now a hospital with many White Ladies and bonesetters and trainees. The communal cooking area is now a series of large "taverns" (early beer was rich oatmeal lightly fermented in a large stoneware pot and you drank the liquid while eating the more exciting dishes, then ate the oatmeal - prevented waterborne disease, easier on the teeth than early bread, and kept you merry). The Ring is now the royals and there is more to it than just a simple sacralised circle of elders - there's an entire bureaucracy.

The principles were the same, though, as the basic longhouse ideas: stand together as one.

Are Heortling "longhouses" even canon anymore?

Instead, what more recent artwork seems to display are Bronze Age Greek palace economies in the case of Clearwine, at least. Granted, Clearwine is bigger than your average Heortling stead (is stead non-canon now too? It's awfully Scando-britannic), but I'd suspect the layout is somewhat similar: large, square-ish buildings with a central courtyard. Unless Clearwine's pre-Dragonkill heritage makes it an architectural outlier. Esrolia is definitely cited as having central courtyards in older material (they make a big deal out of it in Esrolia, land of 10k Goddesses), but I dunno for the Hendriki/Heortlings.

Regardless, I guess this doesn't have to be too much of a change. The Northern European longhouses (or similar structures from other regions across the world, like the Iriqois or Kamtchatkans) is loosely comparable to the Greek oikos - ie. it's a dwelling with a lot of focus on communal spaces where extended family groups and associated house servants and residing dependants join in the household chores and meals, for example. The central courtyard of the Mediterranean-style house takes, perhaps, roughly the role of the fireplace of the longhouse. Not exact parallels, but klos enuf.

The only thing that somewhat bothers me is the flat roofs in a location where it rains cats and dogs, but that's not exactly a massive complaint.

The timber-and-thatch houses in 13th Age artwork looks pretty longhouse-y though, so maybe I'm way off the mark. I'd kinda like to be. Wealthy, fortified steads have stone palaces, poorer settlements use timber, thatch and other nearby materials. I could quibble about the presence or absence of inner courtyards, but down that road lies really nitpickery I'd rather just wait out to see what Chaosium does, I think.

So, uh, yeah. In summary: I hijacked your post to ponder a bit, and while I guess we don't know if the terminology still stands, the communality of the societies work either way.

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A while back I considered making a thread on why Sartar seemed so powerful, able to punch radically above its weight, but some of the answers kind of stood out by themselves, as Jeff noted here. It tied into powerful regional magics (Feathered Queen marriages are no joke, and Sartar's approach seems almost Belintar-ish in how he's prepared to use the mythical landscape to his advantage), and it lay across an extremely important trade route. In effect, it was almost like a Afghani/Swiss/Kwarezmi Malian Empire kind of deal. 

While I still maintain that there probably is a bit of the old "Mary Suevilization" about the Sartarites (they're the long-time protagonists, after all, you grow fond of them), I feel reasonably satisfied, and Jeff's opening post has pretty much put this to rest. So thanks!

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3 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Are Heortling "longhouses" even canon anymore?

Certainly the ideal of the clan suggests they are not living in villages? Bronze Age parallels are explicitly walled longhouse cultures, or, as you mention, expanded from a longhouse into a kind of walled Greek-style "palace", as they are so improperly called.

Esrolia is pretty far outside the norm for Orlanth; it's been city-states for a while and under strong uz influence.

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38 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

but I'd suspect the layout is somewhat similar: large, square-ish buildings with a central courtyard.

I believe square is correct and that is to make the hearth welcoming to Ernalda. I would love to cite sources here but I will simply say I think KoDP, the video game.

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The King of Dragon Pass video game made many people fans of Glorantha, and changing the names used in that game and Guide and other old products will not benefit anyone.

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2 hours ago, Brootse said:

The King of Dragon Pass video game made many people fans of Glorantha, and changing the names used in that game and Guide and other old products will not benefit anyone.

not all of Glorantha is Kerofinela, not even all of Genertela is even Orlanthi. Should we talk about Praxian or Dara Happan thanes, cottars, or stickpickers?

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

not all of Glorantha is Kerofinela, not even all of Genertela is even Orlanthi. Should we talk about Praxian or Dara Happan thanes, cottars, or stickpickers?

Has any source ever mentioned Praxian or Dara Happan cottars etc.? No.

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4 hours ago, Brootse said:

The King of Dragon Pass video game made many people fans of Glorantha, and changing the names used in that game and Guide and other old products will not benefit anyone.

 KoDP (and for that matter, our Taming of Dragon Pass campaign - which had a big influence on both KoDP and the HW material) doesn't describe Sartar. It describes PRE-Sartar. The game is set prior to Sartar's roads, cities, and trade. 

With perfect 20/20 hind-sight, KoDP had more Anglo-Saxon window-dressing than was appropriate. A great game, but we know the Sartarites look different and dress different from that. But it is a computer game and it is perfectly fine for some of the window-dressing to be different. 

If you find it helpful to throw on an Anglo-Saxon/Norse veneer on the Orlanthi - by all means, do it! 

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5 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I believe square is correct and that is to make the hearth welcoming to Ernalda. I would love to cite sources here but I will simply say I think KoDP, the video game.

Source: Pavis. A middle class freeman’s dwelling is a common building. This house measures from 10-20 meters on a side. If square, a shape popular among Earth worshipers, 15 meters to a side is common. This rectangular style is a carry over from the hill dwelling barbarians and reflects some rustic throwbacks among some of the most conservative families of the city. 

Those "hill dwelling barbarians" are of course the Sartarites who settled New Pavis and Pavis County. 

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