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Ethilrist Timeline Question


scott-martin

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There's a feeling I get [as] I look to the West (beware) that I don't know enough about Ethilrist's heroquest orientation, so it starts with trying to get a grip on the slippery external facts behind his braggadocio.

Separate sources say that the Mislari crossing (Guide) and the establishment of the Atroxist colony (SKOH) happened roughly contemporaneously, "over a century ago." This suggests that he came south somewhere between circa 1468 and 1517, i.e. the Fifth Wane, and the emperor who authorized the grant was almost certainly the Magnificus complex, which makes sense in terms of the larger Kingdom of Conflict southern strategy.

However, we are also told (Guide) that he spent his 30-year commission harrying "Sartarite rebels," so the window narrows to 1491-1517 in order to fit all the facts. Lunar missionaries only show up after the apotheosis of Prince Sartar (SKOH), which means Ethilrist was an enemy of Boldhome for all or part of Saronil's reign but probably just misses his chance to be among the "strangers" who kill him. I'm sure people have explored this history in exquisite detail, possibly weaving conspiracy plots around the Telmorite migration, etc. What do you know?

And if people want him present at the Nights of Horror, this complicates the timing and the motivations a little more.

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Separate sources say that the Mislari crossing (Guide) and the establishment of the Atroxist colony (SKOH) happened roughly contemporaneously, "over a century ago."

Atrox is not mentioned in Sartar:Kingdom of Heroes.  The crossing of the Mislari was from Maniria to Ralios (rather than into Dragon Pass)  Given that after his journey to hell, he is intermingling with Tarkalor (Guide p750), it is likely he arrived in Dragon Pass shortly before or during Tarkalor's reign.

Guide p170 has Ethilrist serve the Emperor for 30 years and sack Dunstop the day after.  Now the date of Dunstop's sacking is not known but I've seen Jeff suggest a late date (post Grizzly peak IIRC).

 

 

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10 minutes ago, metcalph said:

it is likely he arrived in Dragon Pass shortly before or during Tarkalor's reign

Sacking Dunstop "a few years before Starbrow's Rebellion" might push the start of the 30-year commission back as far as circa 1580, which fits your timeline but is challenging to reconcile with settlement at Muse Roost "more than a century ago" (SKOH 257 . . . the currently deprecated "Atrox" is my placeholder for his real faith to be discovered).

But I'm eager to hear solutions. We have debated the Mislari crossing in the past . . .  if the fragment preserved in the Companion is the primary textual evidence then we're back in Volume III, once again "over a century ago" and a long way from hell. It's possible the grant and all or part of the 30-year commission happen as late as Volume V, in which case there's time later to hobnob with future kings, queens and emperors after the horse changes colors. 
 

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"Sacking Dunstop" reminds me of the WBRM scenario in Wyrm's Footnotes #4 (IIRC) which used the WBRM counters with reduced troop strength for that game. An interesting approach, although I think that the attackers in this scenario are Sartarites or possibly Exiles rather than Ethilrist's Black Horse troop.

Ethilrist's sojourn to Hell may have taken an arbitrarily long time. It is not like he emerged anywhere where he or his troopers would have known anybody.

Wenelia (the lands beyond Arstola from the Mislari Mountains) isn't exactly horsebreeding territory.  Having a White Horse troop sounds suspiciously like some Enerali origin for his original mercenary troop, possibly from the Helby region. The white horses of the Camargue come to mind...

Post God-Learner Ralios underwent the trouble of the three heroes, then the Kingdom of Jorstland, and finally the reign of Retter the Stalker in Delela (when Rindland had become the successor of Frowal). Ulianius' conquest of Safelster may have motivated the original mercenary troop to move into Trade Rrince territory before Ethilrist discovered that in case of doubt there is always a free space at the top of any organization.

Ethilrist's acquisition of Hell powers feels quite Hrestoli and Adventurist to me.

Ulianius' conquest of Ralios in 1455 is contemporary to Illaro founding the Sacred King dynasty of Tarsh.

 

According to the Guide, Dunstop became Lunar only after King Phargentes took it by force - which dates the acquisition by Lunar Tarsh to past 1555. Tarkalor and his FHQ cousin had been lovers since about 1560, possibly earlier, interrupted by the Trollkiller's Kitori campaigns, but possibly only after Tarkalor's role in the Nochet assassinations. Since Fazzur's father had lands near Dunstop, this conquest must have been shortly after Palashee's death - probably as soon as Phargentes had recovered from losing his hand against the Longaxe.

Both Jarolar and Jarosar fell to Phargentes' aggression, clearing the way for Tarkalor to become Prince of Sartar and little later King of Dragon Pass.

The Feathered Horse Queen who allied with Ethilrist to sack Dunstop must have been Mother of Lands (#3) , and the Grazer king either Jardanroste Redhair or Jardanreal the Traveler, with the latter more likely (possibly taking over from Dastalpolti Peaceful through this action).

The Sack of Dunstop may have been significant for Phargentes' subsequent wooing of Mother of Lands, and his failure to win against Tarkalor. In that case, it must have taken place some time between 1565 and 1575, dating Ethilrist's arrival to some time between 1535 and 1545, possibly to the start of Palashee's reign. (But then, Ethilrist doesn't seem to have participated in Karnge Farm, where the auxiliary cavalry faced by Jardanroste were Char-un "False Sunhorses".)

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44 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Post God-Learner Ralios underwent the trouble of the three heroes, then the Kingdom of Jorstland, and finally the reign of Retter the Stalker in Delela (when Rindland had become the successor of Frowal). Ulianius' conquest of Safelster may have motivated the original mercenary troop to move into Trade Rrince territory before Ethilrist discovered that in case of doubt there is always a free space at the top of any organization.

The consolidation of "New" Seshnela and reconstitution of the caste system was probably a glorious time for mercenaries but I don't see him evacuating the region without a firm push. The timeline there is also tight: if we take the Companion fragment as a fair transcription then he knows about the Arrolian Properties under that name (post 1389) and believes they are still a viable destination (pre 1450 circa). 

He might of course be wrong and Arrolia had already fallen long ago, but since his internal misgivings about his hero status in the text don't sound like someone who has already harrowed hell, I am reluctant to insert an extra-temporal episode before he emerges from the Convergence zone, however we would approach that now. According to the information he had when he went in, Arrolia endures. Whether it had fallen when he came out is another question, but in that case the emperor is going to be busy until at least the early 1460s.

In this reconstruction I can see him helping to rebuild the empire in some capacity but the Nights of Terror put a hard stop on his participation before he needs to head down and build Muse Roost so he can start brooding. (Part of the impetus here is to start building a HQ/RQG transitional timeline so we can move beyond 1618 with some degree of confidence.)

The fact that he doesn't show up in FS may either reflect lunar chroniclers' chauvinism or Greg's exhaustion with a juvenile creation past his prime. Ironically I suspect the former scenario here. Greg remained engaged with our favorite asshole until close to the end.

So what are we seeing, now that Yomili and Halwal have both weighed in? He's on the run in the late 15th century and moving north (Companion). He ends up cutting a deal with an emperor, probably Magnificus. Magnificus or his immediate successor sends him south when the empire is restored. It's incidentally funny to see Hon-eel messing with the telmorites too. Evidently they were a problem or an opportunity for a lot of people once upon a time.

Maybe the horses turn black after Horror, maybe not. TBD.

Looking at the Companion again I suspect Keener Than is a useful algebra, a jungian cutout. Clever fellow, our Ethilrist, to deploy such an obvious achilles' heel, I mean hell, I mean "best friend." But this shows that I'm not a fan of easy "atroxian" placeholders after all.

 

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47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

The consolidation of "New" Seshnela and reconstitution of the caste system was probably a glorious time for mercenaries

On either side of the war, at least initiatlly - as the City States grew more and more desperate, the rates for mercenary forces may have risen, and as a cavalry force the White Horse Troop may have evaded the worst of defeats, fulfilling their contracts for advance payments. Their train may have become a lot more mobile during this time, too - a good feature for Ethilrist's subsequent march to Hell and Back. (Cue Jim Steinman operatic rock...)

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

but I don't see him evacuating the region without a firm push.

His troop may have been in a tactical situation similar to that of the Loper People after the defeat of Paslac. Do we know the direction of Ethilrist's crossing of the Mislari Mountains?

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

The timeline there is also tight: if we take the Companion fragment as a fair transcription then he knows about the Arrolian Properties under that name (post 1389) and believes they are still a viable destination (pre 1450 circa). 

While this gives a hint at the timeline, keep in mind that the canonical timeline for the histories of Ralios, Kethaela and probably Third Age Fronela and Peloria changed between the publication of Troll Pak (in 1982) and the canonical timeline RuneQuest Companion (1984, alters the date of Belintar's arrival from the 1220ies to 1313) and in Genertela Box (1987). The Redline History of the Lunar Empire was published rather late in the Wyrm's Footnotes, and chapter 5 (Hon-eel's Wane, including the Ban) appeared in an issue (1.6 or 2.1) of the Avalon Hill house magazine Heroes a good deal after the publication of RQ3. The timeline discrepancies in Troll Pak were not removed in the RQ3 release.

Now the publication dates are usually about a year after the manuscript was finished. Sandy Petersen (lead author of Troll Pak) was also the Lorekeeper for Greg's notes on Glorantha, tasked with keeping some consistency between Greg's spurts of creative output. (Source: various panels, interviews and private chats with Sandy, e.g. last Kraken.)

 

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

He might of course be wrong and Arrolia had already fallen long ago, but since his internal misgivings about his hero status in the text don't sound like someone who has already harrowed hell, I am reluctant to insert an extra-temporal episode before he emerges from the Convergence zone, however we would approach that now. According to the information he had when he went in, Arrolia endures. Whether it had fallen when he came out is another question, but in that case the emperor is going to be busy until at least the early 1460s.

IIRC the Arrolian territories were mentioned as a possible source of Lunar reinforcements in the same early Wyrm's Footnotes that also saw the first (non-APA-zine) publication of Ethilrist's memories, the ones reprinted in RuneQuest Companion. Details like the Fronelan Kingdom of Valmark might be older than the entire concept of the Lunar Empire, building on Jonat's and Syranthir's stories.

The Syndics Ban story is of course one of the oldest Gloranthan stories that created canon, but that makes its dating the least reliable (if it can be brought into line with any of the known dating systems at all, whether years ST or turnings of the red sands of time (? - Zzabur's dating).

And we are speaking of Mr Immensurable Ego here. Ethilrist may well have believed that the Ban was something that bothered only lesser people. (And Harrek would prove him correct in that assumption...)

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

In this reconstruction I can see him helping to rebuild the empire in some capacity but the Nights of Terror put a hard stop on his participation before he needs to head down and build Muse Roost so he can start brooding. (Part of the impetus here is to start building a HQ/RQG transitional timeline so we can move beyond 1618 with some degree of confidence.)

I regard the information in the Guide as the significantly more canonical data.

The first Lunar contact with "Sartar rebels" can only have been the 1555 Battle of Karnge Farm, in which Philigos was slain and Phargentes barely escaped alive. Two years later (unless you believe the Sartar chapter of CHDP which says 10 years later) Jarolar was killed interceding for the Far Point tribes striving to maintain independence from Lunar Tarsh. His son Jarosar also falls to Phargentes, although we don't get details about his death from CHDP. His burial site is Sacred Top (overlooking Boldhome?), which means that his mortal remains could be retrieved after his death in battle against Phargentes' forces (him being the other king of Sartar killed by Phargentes Kingslayer). His two children Jarnandar and Aransanda are mentioned only for being born - what became of them?

Anyway - Ethilrist was absent from Karnge farm, but involved in battles against Sartar forces afterwards - probably at Dwarf Ford, and possibly at whatever battle caused the death of Jarosar.

Other opportunities to fight Sartarites may have been Tarkalor's personal warband when he supported the FHQ Mother of Lands against the Tarshites, in between his campaigns against the Kitori. We have two dates for Saraskos in the Sourcebook genealogies, the FHQ dynasty one giving the dates 1575-1597 wheras the Sartar dynasty say "born in 1542" (when Tarkalor was 19, and his cousin Verala Tor was not even born according to the FHQ genealogy (which gives her dates as 1544-1582, with FHQ since 1565). Personally, I trust the Sartar data more, as we have to take into account that Saraskos son Sarasarin was sufficiently adult to attempt to avenge the assassination of his sister Saronna in 1596.

I toyed briefly with the idea that the dates in the FHQ genealogy might be initiation dates rather than birth dates, at least for some of the queens, but the Saraskos problem remains.

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

The fact that he doesn't show up in FS may either reflect lunar chroniclers' chauvinism or Greg's exhaustion with a juvenile creation past his prime. Ironically I suspect the former scenario here. Greg remained engaged with our favorite asshole until close to the end.

Not just Lunar chroniclers - Sartarite chroniclers (or at least Densesros' sources) fail to mention Ethilrist, too.

Ethilrist's early appearance in King of Dragon Pass (well before the founding of the Kingdom of Quiviniland) cannot be canonical if the bit of his history that mentions him fighting Sartar rebels is meaningful. While there is a raid of Quivini against Bagnot in the same year King Yarandros of Tarsh dies, the Lunars are far away, harrassed by Sheng, and nowhere near the Pass region. Probably blissfully unaware of the existence of the Grazelanders until Hon-eel takes over Tarsh in 1491, or slightly earlier.

Sartar himself never led an army into a battle (although he brought a sufficiently significant honor guard on his visit to Thieves Town in the position that would become Badside of New Pavis).

The Sourcebook (p.26) says

Quote

During Phargentes’ reign, the Red Emperor gave Black Horse County to Ethilrist, even though the Empire had no claim on the territory.

Phargentes reign - as what? His reign as Provincial Governor started in 1545 (as per Guide p.331), yielding 1575 as the earliest time for Ethel's sacking of Dunstop - if his service to the empire starts with the land grant, which I actually doubt.

Let's assume that Ethlrist received the deed to Muse Roost after 10, 15 or even 20 years of loyal mercenary service in Moonson's auxilia. That still makes him be about 20 years late for the Nights of Horror (aka last chance to meet Magnificus).

Unless he spent those two decades outside the service of the Red Emperor - but who would have been able to hire him? Local satraps or provincial kings have no business

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

So what are we seeing, now that Yomili and Halwal have both weighed in? He's on the run in the late 15th century and moving north (Companion).

The Companion story has him and his Black Horse troop emerge somewhere near Dorastor, without any clue where exactly that was. Keener Than is still on speaking terms with Ethilrist, who makes pumpkin jam out of Hungry Jack (whose WBRM counter is presented in the same issue of Wyrm's Footnotes as the first publication of that Ethilrist story - #2, IIRC).

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

He ends up cutting a deal with an emperor, probably Magnificus. Magnificus or his immediate successor sends him south when the empire is restored. It's incidentally funny to see Hon-eel messing with the telmorites too. Evidently they were a problem or an opportunity for a lot of people once upon a time.

Magnificus doesn't return from the Nights of Horror in 1506. His successor is Artifex, who lasts into 1522.

Philigos inherits Tarsh in 1535, and gets evicted in 1538. Thatt's in the reign of Venerabilis, the fifth mask (if Takenegi is  counted as the first mask).

 

47 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Maybe the horses turn black after Horror, maybe not. TBD.

The White Horses (a Sun Horse variety, IMO) are exchanged for the Diokos demon nightmares in Hell. Most of the time, Ethilrist appears to ride the Hound rather than a Black Horse.

This means that you suggest Ethilrist appears in Peloria before going to Hell, or before returning to Hell.

 

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

If I were going to guess at RE/historical inspirations, I'd be guessing at the Andalusian.

They would have been such fancy prancing beasts.One emergent heroquest aspect of all this is of course the way the Black Horses have evolved from speedy but otherwise un-noteworthy mounts in WBRM into what we could consider the bijiif horses of the RQG Bestiary, restorations of the mutilated perfect pony from parts available in the underworld. This is almost a parody of the Golden Horse or Feathered Horse program, an inversion of horse eschatology . . . Grazers by Night. They can outrun the FHQ counter and keep up with Ironhoof. Since he comes from the approximate region of the western horse tribes this is interesting, undoubtedly a quirk of his heroic psychology for allies and enemies to absorb, accommodate or counter.

6 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Sourcebook (p.26) says

 

I keep forgetting to check the sourcebook now that it exists! Nice to pin down the grant to 1545+ in current materials, even though it means some fancy footwork if people want to keep "over a century" or the Resettlement Sagas / KODP presence in the region. 

Like all good monster manuals, the Bestiary is full of the good stuff. Ethilrist becomes relevant after the Carmanian collapse and the hell ride is him ducking under the Ban, which dates that portion of the story (Volume VI) to 1499+. I'm happy with that. This gives the Mislari crossing, Companion fragment, etc. room to happen "over a century" from a 1618 start date. He might have made Nights of Horror, he might not. I'm not married to that piece of his mythos but know some people are.

It's possible that Muse Roost was in place decades before Ethilrist took possession of the place, but I'm not eager to ascribe either serial incarnation ("Sir Ethilrist" as an inherited job title like "Dread Pirate Roberts") or straightforward time travel here. The "convergences" he chases in the fragment are bizarre and possibly take him outside the circles of time, but from the outside this probably looks more like big gaps in his narrative than opportunities to insert him where he doesn't belong. He's more likely to be absent from an era when a sequential life would mandate him being active than he is to emerge somewhere he shouldn't be. After all, he wasn't a Hero yet in the Companion fragment so wouldn't have access to attributes like heroic movement, escape, etc.

The fragment is an interesting look at his ambition as well as his trajectory. He looks a lot like Greg in one of the portraits.

My notes on his interaction with the Empire also say "ego = egi" but who has time to figure that out. Another shadow of the man in the red shirt, those early Carmanian syncretisms.

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:
They would have been such fancy prancing beasts...

🤡

That photo is obviously a "show" horse groomed for the photoshoot!

 

Andalusians were used as working horses, warhorses, etc.  These days, dressage is popular... and lots of use in movies and TV!

Andalusian-horse-best-show-picture.jpg

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45 minutes ago, g33k said:

Andalusians were used as working horses, warhorses, etc.  These days, dressage is popular... and lots of use in movies and TV!

I come from appaloosa country so they all look fancy to me. Kind of fond of the idea that the White Horse knew how to dance like the Lipizzaners . . . the depth to which they fell becomes more poignant in the light of how sublime they once were.

Speaking of origins . . . 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Syndics Ban story is of course one of the oldest Gloranthan stories that created canon, but that makes its dating the least reliable (if it can be brought into line with any of the known dating systems at all, whether years ST or turnings of the red sands of time (? - Zzabur's dating).

Now that you mention it, the Ban may actually be newer than Ethilrist. Oldest reference I can find is WF 5 when Greg identifies Arrolia with Fronela. Before that, if there's a reference to Snodal closing off the region in the archaic texts, I haven't seen it . . . if anything, Siglat demonstrates remarkable freedom of action when he appears.

On the other hand, Ethilrist seems to appear fully formed in WBRM, when all we knew about the lands west of the Lunar Empire was that the Jungle was south of the Rockwoods and the Properties were north, arcing around to meet the Thunder Delta. WF 4 is the hinge where the world around the WBRM map fills out to make space for the old Western sagas. Before that, Ethilrist may just as logically have come from another world, a parallel Glor[a]ntha. Hell may well be an infinity of untaken paths, people we could have been but never became.

It's worth refreshing our sense of who Greg thought the Arrolians were then and how the Ban worked. In WBRM through WF 4 the northwest is wide open and the Arrolians send seasonal gifts across the river (a proto-Janube?) to the Crater. Ethilrist requires no temporizing footnote in WF 1 / RQC. But by WF 5 Greg wanted to create some distance between the Snodal material (then not even a decade old, look how young he is) and these new lands of Peloria and Prax: there had been an interruption that lasted almost a century. The curtain has already come down of course. It's always already down, receding into the narrative past.

Arrolian magicians have cyclical range but steady state MgF, which suggests a creative alternative to the Permanent Full of the Glow.

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