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HeroQuest Glorantha starting setting

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9 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

No, authoritarian rule is what lets them build cities on a pile of slaves and genocide. Ironically, Esrolia also thrives on authoritarian rule on a pile of slaves as well. The Lunar Way started out inspirationally, but then it just went all genocidal on a pile of slaves again.

i'd rather see the Theyalans work on their incipient Lightbringer Compact. A movement into diversity is what brought us the longhouse compacts of the New World such as the Dawn Confederacy (Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot), Haudenosaunee Grand Council (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora), and similar confederacies throughout the New World. (I live here, so they're most familiar to me).

American democracy was fundamentally affected by exposure to Iroquoian writings and practices.

I mean, the Arrolians aren't too bad (until Riverjoin joins the Kingdom of War). And the Lunar Way lacking any kind of sovereignty rites in and of itself (and of course the sacral weapons of the scythe, sickle, and kopis being adaptations of working tools) suggests that the ideal form of Lunar government is probably some sort of democracy, or at least something as oligarchic as the Buddhist sangha in terms of decision-making. Pity that they had to go and adopt Dara Happan methods of government, then...

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3 minutes ago, Eff said:

And the Lunar Way lacking any kind of sovereignty rites in and of itself (and of course the sacral weapons of the scythe, sickle, and kopis being adaptations of working tools) suggests that the ideal form of Lunar government is probably some sort of democracy,

Eh. The Egyptian pharaoh had a shortened shepherd's crook and a grain thresher as his main symbols of office. Didn't exactly make him very pro-democracy. 

Also, the Lunar nobility is based on blood-descent from the Goddess (or at least Takenegi and subsequent Masks), so again, I'm dubious on their symbolism or structure hinting at any particular idealized form of government.

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1 minute ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Eh. The Egyptian pharaoh had a shortened shepherd's crook and a grain thresher as his main symbols of office. Didn't exactly make him very pro-democracy. 

Also, the Lunar nobility is based on blood-descent from the Goddess (or at least Takenegi and subsequent Masks), so again, I'm dubious on their symbolism or structure hinting at any particular idealized form of government.

Well, I mean more that the imagery that Sedenya chooses for herself is that of a peasant revolt throwing off the oppressors (along with the human sacrifice imagery, of course). And then you have the aspect that Takenegi doesn't have any independent source of legal authority beyond being Dara Happan Emperor, which then leads to the civil war after the death of Argenteus, as no one has any real claim to rule the Empire until Phargentes the Younger...

Of course, the real reason here is that it makes for a great deal of Romanesque irony to have the idealized Lunar society be so beautiful in its egalitarian vision, and then the reality being massive latifundia, Roan-Ur, Moonburns, the Cult of the Crimson Bat. Like the contrast between Roman firm expressed belief in liberty and their meek acceptance of the destruction of the Republic (and also mass slavery, but that's slightly less hypocritical in the Roman's own terms...) 

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18 minutes ago, Eff said:

Of course, the real reason here is that it makes for a great deal of Romanesque irony to have the idealized Lunar society be so beautiful in its egalitarian vision, and then the reality being massive latifundia, Roan-Ur, Moonburns, the Cult of the Crimson Bat. Like the contrast between Roman firm expressed belief in liberty and their meek acceptance of the destruction of the Republic (and also mass slavery, but that's slightly less hypocritical in the Roman's own terms...) 

Gods damn, you are making me think of another entity that used peasant iconography for its ideal and then fell a little short... the USSR.

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1 minute ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Gods damn, you are making me think of another entity that used peasant iconography for its ideal and then fell a little short... the USSR.

Well, my formative Gloranthan experiences were, in order: the core book for Heroquest's first edition, King of Dragon Pass, then Nick Brooke's Etyries site...

Of course, one could also, if you were willing to keep your tongue firmly enough in cheek, suggest that as the Moon is Red, White, and Blue, the Lunar Empire is clearly the United States of America. Cue Fazzur Wideread and/or Jar-Eel saluting in front of a giant moon rune flag... 

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31 minutes ago, Eff said:

And the Lunar Way lacking any kind of sovereignty rites in and of itself (and of course the sacral weapons of the scythe, sickle, and kopis being adaptations of working tools) suggests that the ideal form of Lunar government is probably some sort of democracy, or at least something as oligarchic as the Buddhist sangha in terms of decision-making. Pity that they had to go and adopt Dara Happan methods of government, then...

the literal first thing Teelo did was ban all slavery in the Lunar Way and make women equal to men

Dara Happa followed nearly immediately thereafter with slavery (but not with women) and then shortly thereafter it was irrelevant because it got swallowed.

There really is a strong argument to be made that the problem is that people and institutions don't change that easily and while a lot of progress was made with regards to the rights of women, the slavery thing just ... failed once the Red Goddess became subject to the divine agreement. The existing system relied on slavery and the Lunar Way was too accommodating.

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7 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

the literal first thing Teelo did was ban all slavery in the Lunar Way and make women equal to men

Dara Happa followed nearly immediately thereafter with slavery (but not with women) and then shortly thereafter it was irrelevant because it got swallowed.

There really is a strong argument to be made that the problem is that people and institutions don't change that easily and while a lot of progress was made with regards to the rights of women, the slavery thing just ... failed once the Red Goddess became subject to the divine agreement. The existing system relied on slavery and the Lunar Way was too accommodating.

And of course, when Sheng Seleris comes along, all the "core" parts of the Lunar Empire defect to him (except for the area Glamour directly controlled and Alkoth proper) and it's the Carmanians and provincials on the fringes who save the day. And then immediately afterwards there's a major religious reformation, part of which involves the creation of a new writing system and language to tie the Empire together more closely. It makes me wonder about what the First/Second Wane Empire looked like in terms of governance- did Takenegi changing Masks lead to a centralization of power, or an effective decentralization and ceding of power that Great Sister and then Hon-Eel attempted to counter?

Edited by Eff
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I might've asked this question before, but were they really bans on slavery, or just state manumissions?

Also I'm surprised no one has mentioned Christianity for an arguably revolutionary ethos that got entangled into existing power structures that arguably subverted it against its ideals.

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9 minutes ago, Eff said:

that as the Moon is Red, White, and Blue, the Lunar Empire is clearly the United States of America. Cue Fazzur Wideread and/or Jar-Eel saluting in front of a giant moon rune flag...

Cue Fazzur Wideread Jar-Eel and the Coder's Count Julan saluting in front of a giant moon rune flag... 

 

6 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

the literal first thing Teelo did was ban all slavery in the Lunar Way and make women equal to men

And Count Julan as a hero of this view of the Empire would be the first to tell you of this...

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41 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I might've asked this question before, but were they really bans on slavery, or just state manumissions?

The Lunar Way banned slavery 100%. Teelo was a slave and they made her a God, not sure what they were expecting.

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43 minutes ago, Eff said:

did Takenegi changing Masks lead to a centralization of power, or an effective decentralization and ceding of power that Great Sister and then Hon-Eel attempted to counter?

this is I feel where deepest corruption happened, because the loss of the Egi meant now the Emperor was corruptible. His hosts maintained some of their drives and sentience when merged, hence the ferocious competition to be the body-in-waiting and the actual assassinations of the Emperor so that the right body got picked.

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9 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

this is I feel where deepest corruption happened, because the loss of the Egi meant now the Emperor was corruptible. His hosts maintained some of their drives and sentience when merged, hence the ferocious competition to be the body-in-waiting and the actual assassinations of the Emperor so that the right body got picked.

Perhaps the sacrifice of Argenteus was deliberately meant to keep Takenegi out of play for a while, then. Either to help purge all the gunk clogging his Moon Soul or to clear out the ranks of the schemers so that there could be a reckoning once he returned. 

And then Argrath sidles in with Sheng Seleris, Jar-Eel is dead, and that's how you end up with Emperor Ralzakark.

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47 minutes ago, Eff said:

Perhaps the sacrifice of Argenteus was deliberately meant to keep Takenegi out of play for a while, then. Either to help purge all the gunk clogging his Moon Soul or to clear out the ranks of the schemers so that there could be a reckoning once he returned. 

And then Argrath sidles in with Sheng Seleris, Jar-Eel is dead, and that's how you end up with Emperor Ralzakark.

I believe technically we say "Jar Eel Harmonised with Harrek's Death rune", haha

I ran out of whuffies so just pretend I liked this post. What kind of economy does this site have that you can't turn your own likes around?

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Lunar Way banned slavery 100%. Teelo was a slave and they made her a God, not sure what they were expecting.

The Red Goddess did not ban slavery. Nor did She legally emancipate the peasants. Her liberation was largely spiritual, although she did destroy the Carmanian Empire in the process. I'm sure she had followers who "thought" She was leading a peasants' revolt or something similar, and when they confronted her, She showed them Her Illumination.

Now that the White Moon Movement is in full rebellion, these old heretics are no doubt being revived, and their errors must be confronted by the Goddess's Incarnation, Jar-eel. So many things for the Fourth Inspiration to do - defeat Pentans, hold the Empire together, and teach the misguided and mislead the errors of their ways. But then again, she is Her Incarnation!

 

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20 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Heortling society probably has more social mobility (although not as much as the "Noble Savage"-stereotype might imply) than Esrolians or Dara Happans, but it's really hard to define "civilizational level" in terms of specialists and generalists. Is a Heortling barley-cattle farmer a generalist and a Lodrili rice farmer a specialist for example? 

Hell, arguably Orlanthi society has more specialists than Dara Happa due to them having a more widespread personal-initiation cult system than Solar Pelorians, it's jut that, again, social stratification is on a smaller scale and less entrenched.

I see what you mean. What I meant was it could make the Dara Happan society seem more advancedor complex than the Orlanthi. Another excuse for them to swell their ego over ther more 'primitive' rivals where (almost) everyone  is just (largely ignoring sub-cults) mashed in under Orlanth or Ernalda. Having the general urban population favour their city-gods over Yelm (and Dendara if she is exclusive to women of the actual nobility) ads to that image.

 

21 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

So - in summary, I'd agree that Dara Happa (and arguably Esrolia) as mass-irrigation agriculture societies are more heavily stratified, which arguably can be called "civilized" (or at least urbanized, although the Heortlings are no strangers to cities/towns either, they're just less densely packed usually), or "despotic" if you want to be subversive about it.

Actually urbanized might be a better word than civilized. Persnaööy I would prefer something in between civilized and urbanized.

 

19 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

They're a... rowdier bunch. More inclined to solve problems at a lower societal level, more inclined to involve the local community members in said problem solving, and value individual and small-scale group autonomy more.

I would also say the're less bound by stricture, tradion certainly and especially clan traditions, but not stricture in the way I immagine Dara Happa and to a lesser degree Esrolia (they seem to be a bit more fluid and instead bound by what the current Grandmothers think).

(Assuming i use the word 'stricture' corectly here, I admit I dn't feel as confident with how I use it as I would want to be.)

 

9 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

No, authoritarian rule is what lets them build cities on a pile of slaves and genocide. Ironically, Esrolia also thrives on authoritarian rule on a pile of slaves as well. The Lunar Way started out inspirationally, but then it just went all genocidal on a pile of slaves again.

This makes me think of ancient Rome.

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5 hours ago, Jeff said:

I'm sure she had followers who "thought" She was leading a peasants' revolt or something similar, and when they confronted her, She showed them Her Illumination.

Ah, the ooooooole' Gandhi.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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7 hours ago, Jeff said:

Now that the White Moon Movement is in full rebellion, these old heretics are no doubt being revived, and their errors must be confronted by the Goddess's Incarnation, Jar-eel. So many things for the Fourth Inspiration to do - defeat Pentans, hold the Empire together, and teach the misguided and mislead the errors of their ways. But then again, she is Her Incarnation!

I should be crying, but I just can't let it show
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking
Of all the things we should've said
That were never said
All the things we should've done
That we never did

-- afterword, Aelwrin's Complaint

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On 11/28/2019 at 3:56 AM, None said:

... I would prefer something in between civilized and urbanized ...

I think it's worth looking at "civil" vs. "urban" here.

"Civil" refers to rule of law (or tradition; but external, commonly-understood rules), an eye to the common weal (and also to polite behavior, "civil" behavior).

"Urban" merely requires certain kinds of organization.  You need food in the cities, and fresh water.  You need waste-disposal.  Much of the city is inward-turning -- goods and services oriented toward the city-dwellers & city life -- but there still needs enough outer facing to get the resources, and dispose of the waste, and enough organization for all those in-town goods and services to keep the internals of the city operating smoothly.

A very "urbanized" place need not be very "civilized" -- it can be ruled by a deranged despot whose whims are law; so long as it's organized enough to sustain the necessities.   Similarly, a "civilized" place need not be at all "urbanized" -- rural/agricultural places work just as well under rule of law & with politeness, as they do when ruled by the moods of a dictator.

 

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

I think it's worth looking at "civil" vs. "urban" here.

"Civil" refers to rule of law (or tradition; but external, commonly-understood rules), an eye to the common weal (and also to polite behavior, "civil" behavior).

"Urban" merely requires certain kinds of organization.  You need food in the cities, and fresh water.  You need waste-disposal.  Much of the city is inward-turning -- goods and services oriented toward the city-dwellers & city life -- but there still needs enough outer facing to get the resources, and dispose of the waste, and enough organization for all those in-town goods and services to keep the internals of the city operating smoothly.

A very "urbanized" place need not be very "civilized" -- it can be ruled by a deranged despot whose whims are law; so long as it's organized enough to sustain the necessities.   Similarly, a "civilized" place need not be at all "urbanized" -- rural/agricultural places work just as well under rule of law & with politeness, as they do when ruled by the moods of a dictator.

 

A bit of a moot point since modern English usage is the standard here, but to the Romans at least, urbanization and civilization were basically the same. The term "civilis" basically means "relating to city matters".

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6 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

A bit of a moot point since modern English usage is the standard here, but to the Romans at least, urbanization and civilization were basically the same. The term "civilis" basically means "relating to city matters".

I mean, true, but whether urbs and civitas are the same, Solar and Theyalan societies are very different. (I say Solar but it's clear that there are outliers from the Genertelan Solar pantheon who either always have to get knocked back into line or refuse to participate in the first place, from Arir to Lodrilites to Yelornans and Sun Domers).

It's worth sorting out the urban from the civilised. The latter, of course, meaning "deeply hierarchical but also wedded to city life, with social structures enabling it." The Theyalans are still working out how they want to enable those social structures.

As an anarchist, I think their major issue is sorting out conflicts without murder (or a regent); clan steads aren't so far apart that traditional clan law works so efficiently.

In Gloranthan terms the gods are always going to be involved, bah authority, so a rise of a role for a Harmony deity for courts. And Ana Tor for those who refuse gini and then the result is mayhem would work, I suppose? She punishes those who harm innocents with their bloodlust and then the inevitable cannibalism. Keeps Her happy, strongly encourages people to accept weryield instead of wilding out with knives.

The problem with feuding in close quarters has plagued many societies and the result is paralysed communities. Albania had this problem for so long that they developed women-men, since women could not be killed under traditional law. Sworn virgins played the man's role but could not be harmed, thus enabling things like "the harvest" and "sheepherding" and the like to happen - kinda like Vingans except everyone was Muslim lmao. They couldn't marry a woman because they were female, but they did the "outside work". All the actual men were stuck in bunkers their entire lives hiding from murder.

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13 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

A bit of a moot point since modern English usage is the standard here, but to the Romans at least, urbanization and civilization were basically the same. The term "civilis" basically means "relating to city matters".

Also to the Greeks - compare Aristotle's Zoon Politikon, "Man is the city-dwelling [or political] animal".

Dara Happans will agree, of course. Outside the city are only filthy and revolting peasants.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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