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nomad Chariots?


g33k

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We know that (at least some of) the Morokanth use chariots.

Do any others of the nomad Tribes?  I've seen artwork with Sables, in particular (that may be specifically LUNAR chariots (but equally:  if the Lunars use the tribes' Sables, maybe the tribes make use of the Lunar idea of chariots...?)), but also IIRC Zebra.

I'm ... kind of having a hard time envisioning rhino-chariots, suspecting they'd look terrifying but actually be a nightmare for the operator & for logistical support.

OTOH, I'm having a hard time resisting the image of really t-a-l-l wheels (like, 10-15 ft diameter!) on some High Llama chariots; something like a pennyfarthing / highwheeler, but as a chariot.

 

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13 hours ago, g33k said:

We know that (at least some of) the Morokanth use chariots.

Do any others of the nomad Tribes?  I've seen artwork with Sables, in particular (that may be specifically LUNAR chariots (but equally:  if the Lunars use the tribes' Sables, maybe the tribes make use of the Lunar idea of chariots...?)), but also IIRC Zebra.

I'm ... kind of having a hard time envisioning rhino-chariots, suspecting they'd look terrifying but actually be a nightmare for the operator & for logistical support.

OTOH, I'm having a hard time resisting the image of really t-a-l-l wheels (like, 10-15 ft diameter!) on some High Llama chariots; something like a pennyfarthing / highwheeler, but as a chariot.

Morokanth chariots are probably more akin to carts with solid wheels. Other than the few roads and decent tracks, Prax is probably too rugged a terrain for true chariots. Beyond Prax, some but not all Praxian beasts are used to pull chariots - I believe there's an illustration in RuneQuest Glorantha of sables attached to a chariot.

For a full treatment of chariots in ancient and modern Gloranthan warfare, please see [shameless plug] this book - where there are several pages about chariots:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/296535/The-Armies-and-Enemies-of-Dragon-Pass

Edited by M Helsdon
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On 12/18/2019 at 3:25 AM, M Helsdon said:

Morokanth chariots are probably more akin to carts with solid wheels. Other than the few roads and decent tracks, Prax is probably too rugged a terrain for true chariots ...

I think it was ... Borderlands? ... that had a Morokanth slaver -- an unsavory sort, by implication -- who was an avid chariot racer.  IIRC, there was a challenge involving a cross-country race with him... I could be conflating another adventure, but I know there was a Morokanth 

Maybe this has been Gregged, or Jeffed...?

If so, I've probably found another area where My Glorantha Will Vary; I'm just unsure how MUCH.

 

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15 hours ago, g33k said:

I think it was ... Borderlands? ... that had a Morokanth slaver -- an unsavory sort, by implication -- who was an avid chariot racer.  IIRC, there was a challenge involving a cross-country race with him... I could be conflating another adventure, but I know there was a Morokanth 

It was. Have used it as a source.

However, there are chariots and there are chariots.

If you want a mobile missile platform or a battle taxi, a herdman-pulled cart is not effective for those roles, or in any competition with a chariot pulled by horses, or with ridden animals. A human (or herdman) has an output of roughly one horsepower, and a horse or equivalent anything up to 15 horsepower, and adding more herdmen to pull your 'chariot' isn't going to significantly increase its speed (unless it is very heavy), and, as with adding more horses to a chariot team, won't increase speed but will increase endurance in that it can be pulled for longer. 

An important factor is that an effective chariot requires a combination of several highly skilled technicians, and morokanth, lacking thumbs, won't have those skills, and are very unlikely to have access to craftsmen, whether slaves, or inhabitants of Pavis, who have those skills. The best they are likely to get is a 'chariot' made of pieces of old wagons (and then, solid wheels will last longer in Prax, but they add to the weight). That brings us to materials: most simply not available in Prax, and so have to be imported. Ancient chariot wheels, in their day, were very hi-tech, expensive and labor intensive.

There's only one real chariot in Prax, and that is an old old vehicle owned by the Count of Sun County, and it is only brought out on ceremonial occasions, when, for lack of horses, it is pulled, very slowly, by humans. It isn't now a war vehicle and even if he had horses (he wouldn't use any lesser non-Solar beast) I doubt he would drive it cross-country in Prax.

The next is terrain: in the ancient world chariots weren't used for any distance - they were usually carried in pieces in carts and put together before battle. With the lightest, even when put together, the wheels and axle were 'rested' on a stand, because the wheels would rapidly deform. Chariots, even the heavies, were fragile things, and there are reasons why they fell out of use both in our world and in Glorantha as a tactical force... They will still be used in ceremonies and to transport Dara Happan senior officers (their long robes make riding a horse difficult), and to carry priests and mobile altars or magicians, but as squadrons of fighting vehicles they are history.

If anything, a Morokanth 'chariot', to survive any significant use in Prax would be more like a fairly solid Sumerian war wagon, with four solid wheels, but much slower as onagers could pull it faster and further than any human team (have seen a recreated Sumerian war wagon, and on a level field it could go quite fast, but its cornering was poor - read, potentially lethal at speed).

sumermilitarycart.jpg

Edited by M Helsdon
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It is my understanding that the Scythians and the Huns used plenty of different forms of wagons to transport various cargoes.  This would include everything up to "Yurts on wheels", and something quite akin to the covered wagons of the old west in the USA.  While probably a better fit for Pent than Prax, it is worth a thought, as Scythians probably were likely to be the great pioneers in wagon design in the ancient world.

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On 12/20/2019 at 3:13 PM, M Helsdon said:

An important factor is that an effective chariot requires a combination of several highly skilled technicians

might not the factor of magical craftsmanship aid in the production of unique, special chariots?

i mean, the Lunar Empire has tule boats (not Orlanth tula, but the common name of Schoenoplectus acutus, from Nahuatl tōllin), which are marsh reeds bundled and lashed together, but because of Lunar magic these are trireme-sized boats that fly at a high speed, making them perfect for ferrying high-speed news, valuables, and commando units.

One imagines that a judicious application of stasis and movement spells to the correct bits would create a valuable and hardy chariot for a champion to ride.

I imagine Etyries' "ginger caravans" probably have wardings against insect infestations, rot, and broken axles and wheels on their wagons, as those are the number one source of problems (ask the Mitchif). That and "easy turning" as the grind of the axle on the housing in pre-modern times meant that the slightest addition of mud or grit turned that area into a self-sawing machine.

Here's what a tule boat looks like normally, incidentally, if you are having trouble visualising (yes, they are paddling to Álcatraz)

image.png

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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19 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

might not the factor of magical craftsmanship aid in the production of unique, special chariots?

Sadly an awful lot of skills are needed to build a chariot, and magic would only let it be stronger or go faster, but not for very long.

Whilst Greg's article on chariots describe a number of fantastic vehicles, the more fantastical ones fell out of use because they were utterly impractical. When it comes to things made by humans and other mortals, even magic only goes so far.

20 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

i mean, the Lunar Empire has tule boats (not Orlanth tula, but the common name of Schoenoplectus acutus, from Nahuatl tōllin), which are marsh reeds bundled and lashed together, but because of Lunar magic these are trireme-sized boats that fly at a high speed, making them perfect for ferrying high-speed news, valuables, and commando units.

Lunar Moonboats are made of magical wood, not reeds, and take an awful lot of magic. That's why the aren't used in mundane tactical deployments, because they are just so expensive to fabricate.

Afraid I won't be very active here in coming weeks as real life has just intervened in the worst possible way.

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2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Sadly an awful lot of skills are needed to build a chariot, and magic would only let it be stronger or go faster, but not for very long.

Whilst Greg's article on chariots describe a number of fantastic vehicles, the more fantastical ones fell out of use because they were utterly impractical. When it comes to things made by humans and other mortals, even magic only goes so far.

Lunar Moonboats are made of magical wood, not reeds, and take an awful lot of magic. That's why the aren't used in mundane tactical deployments, because they are just so expensive to fabricate.

Afraid I won't be very active here in coming weeks as real life has just intervened in the worst possible way.

I am sure the whole community will be thinking of/praying for you 

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3 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

...

Afraid I won't be very active here in coming weeks as real life has just intervened in the worst possible way.

Sending you & yours prayers, well-wishes,and visualizations of golden holy light, in whatever degrees they are welcome.

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5 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Lunar Moonboats are made of magical wood, not reeds, and take an awful lot of magic. That's why the aren't used in mundane tactical deployments, because they are just so expensive to fabricate.

That's literally not what the books say.. they say they are made from red reeds like tule, which is sensible because Greg was Californian, where tule is indigenous.

Imperial Lunar Handbook, 1:

Quote

The greatest moonboats are large galleons made of crimson moon-reeds, whose sails are v-shaped wings stretched from one large and two smaller masks. The reeds grow only around the Occluded Sea on the Red Moon. The cult of Vargar the Sky-Mariner holds exclusive rights, and the only knowledge, of how to harvest these reeds and prepare them for weaving into the ships.

Vargar, a Darjiini, harvests, but Yestendos knows the secret of reed boats, so Sur Enslib His wife must be petitioned for access through Her greatest shaman. In 1625, that is Belvetia.

The time the Red Emperor was devoured during the mating ritual of Sur Enslib? It was because he attempted to steal Yestendos' ability, as the mating ritual is a heroquest.

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4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

That's literally not what the books say.. they say they are made from red reeds like tule, which is sensible because Greg was Californian, where tule is indigenous.

Imperial Lunar Handbook, 1:

Yes. ILH1 was from a period before Greg changed his mind back.

Check the Guide p.310. "They resemble the sleek, oar-driven galleys often seen on the Oslir and Poralistor rivers, but without oars or a mast."

There is no way that one could row a reed boat with lateral oars like a galley has (the steering paddle, if attached to a stable frame, may be ued to row one gondola-like).

If you want to keep reed moon boats in your Glorantha alongside the canonical superseding one, they may be a rare hold-over from one of the other two clans who were wiped out along with their knowledge how to make alternative moon boats.

 

Or you can ignore canon. YGWV anyway.

 

On the whole, the idea of flying boats has been around for ages, much like the idea of flying chariots or steeds. The liftwood of Mars is probably the most iconic in modern fantasy. Maybe that reed boat phase was an attempt to ward off the accusation of plagiarism.

Tying the lift to the phase of the moon is something I haven't seen before I encountered it in Glorantha.

4 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Vargar, a Darjiini, harvests, but Yestendos knows the secret of reed boats, so Sur Enslib His wife must be petitioned for access through Her greatest shaman. In 1625, that is Belvetia.

The time the Red Emperor was devoured during the mating ritual of Sur Enslib? It was because he attempted to steal Yestendos' ability, as the mating ritual is a heroquest.

All of this past can remain available to canon, just make the clan (all but) extinct.

Where the "all but extinct" would make a great campaign theme.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

All of this past can remain available to canon, just make the clan (all but) extinct.

Where the "all but extinct" would make a great campaign theme.

I think the clan is almost extinct, and also the absolute hassle of getting the angry bird goddess of Darjiin to comply... I mean the Red Emperor tried to steal the secret and got eaten.

I'm fine making it smooth if that's the update. But yeah, they were and are very rare, delicate, and expensive. They are for urgent news, valuables (like super magical items and imperial governor-level personnel), and commando team deliveries, and deliveries outside the redline are gonna be so damn rare - relying on full moon days to risk it.

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