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Kingdom of Beasts (Dawn Age Fronela)

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So while refreshing my sense of Dawn Age aldryami politics I was struck by this map from the Fortunate Succession:

951879968_kingdomofbeasts.png.a12af85826ecf70b692d7620aa438a3f.png

Sadly other archaic Pelorian maps in my possession end with the Sweet Sea so this is the only time I recall seeing all the way to the northwest coast in this era. When the bigoted Khorazanelmites said "Kingdom of Beasts," who exactly did they mean?
 

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I'd guess they meant it was ruled by beast people, like Hsunchen. Aren't the Uncolings pretty prominent up there, even in the third age?

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Sadly other archaic Pelorian maps in my possession end with the Sweet Sea so this is the only time I recall seeing all the way to the northwest coast in this era. When the bigoted Khorazanelmites said "Kingdom of Beasts," who exactly did they mean?
 

The Hykimi Alliance is depicted on the historical maps of the Guide (and the AAA) as existing in Fronela for that time period (265 ST and 400 ST).

 

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This happens at around the time that:

Quote

IIn Fronela, the wizards engaged in a thaumaturgical contest with a powerful heathen god, promising a great sign of their strength to destroy their foes...

The sun stopped in the sky...

The invading god was struck with weakness; the wizards used their magic to destroy his army, and the soldiers fled in panic, never again to be a great force.

GSB p.138f, following the Cults of Terror History.

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Glorantha-Northern-Continent-400ST.jpg

I'm still confused about how this map changes from the beginning of 400 ST to the end of Arkat and Nysalor's war. The Guide describes no fewer than 5 different groups of people fighting it out in Fronela during this time. Some of them might actually be the same group, some of them are possibly proxies of other empires, some of them seem to switch alliances multiple times, it's a lot to unpack. My sources here are from the maps and the Fronela chapter in the Guide. 

  • The Westerners (led by Talor) - Initially fighting the Enjoreli, later fighting the Bright Empire after Talor's return with Harmast.  
  • The Enjoreli (Led by Varganthar the Unconquerable) - Possibly allied to the Bright Empire, not clear. The Guide says Varganthar is allied with "terrible powers," which could mean Chaos. There could also be a possible connection between him and the wizard Arinsor. 
  • The Hykimi - Caught between the Westerners and the Orlanthi, led by the Eleven Beasts Alliance. The Enjoreli/Tawari could be considered part of this group even though they're represented separately on the map. They encourage the Hsunchen tribes to worship the Lightbringers, then Nysalor, then they get destroyed by Talor. Later the Hsunchen apparently ally with Talor and Harmast and join their march to Dorastor (Guide p. 200). 
  • The "Orlanthi" - Presumably this is the Talsardians, ancestors of modern Charg. When Talor returns with Harmast, he stops "a war between the Orlanthi and Akem." This part is really puzzling. Why were they fighting? What are Orlanthi doing near Akem in the first place? Talsardia is hundreds of miles away. Talor stops this war, unites Westerners, Orlanthi, and Hsunchen, and "drove the Bright Empire from Fronela." Which brings me to...
  • The Bright Empire - The actual identity of who these people are in Fronela, in the First Age, is very unclear to me. I'm not even sure who makes up the armies of the Bright Empire in a general sense, let alone just in Fronela. Dara Happans? Random barbarians? Chaos monsters? All of the above? Either way, they are apparently driven from Fronela after Talor comes back. At some point there's a battle in Oranor, at Ulros, called the Battle of Giants where the Empire is defeated. 

The next historical map in the Guide shows the year 700 ST. The Hykimi are gone, the Enjoreli are... assimilated I think. Presumably the empty places on the map are thinly populated with Orlanthi and Hsunchen. Talsardia becomes Charg. We won't see a big Hsunchen tribal alliance again until the White Bear Empire. 

Edited by Gallowglass
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32 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

I'm still confused about how this map changes from the beginning of 400 ST to the end of Arkat and Nysalor's war.

I hear you. This is why my question was open ended.

A lot happens between 265 and 400. For example, the sweep of the Reforestation and Clearing shows up in the 50-year maps of Peloria, which is why I went looking in the first place . . . but we would never know about it from the snapshots, as great as they are.

And those maps cut off roughly at the western tip of the Sweet Sea. Our sense of the northwest is less systematic. Every data point needs to do more work but is paradoxically more vulnerable to the limitations of perspective. 

What does the map maker's sense tell us about the Far West as it existed around 350-375? 

 

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1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:
  • The "Orlanthi" - Presumably this is the Talsardians, ancestors of modern Charg. When Talor returns with Harmast, he stops "a war between the Orlanthi and Akem." This part is really puzzling. Why were they fighting? What are Orlanthi doing near Akem in the first place? Talsardia is hundreds of miles away...

Sometimes Greg would answer questions like this in infuriating but eye-opening ways, for example by suggesting that given the much lower populations in the Dawn Age, champions could fly hundreds of miles with their personal warbands to engage in heroic single combat against their enemies, and that would count as "warfare." I'm not saying that's the case here, but Greg's view of what was plausible didn't necessarily align with everybody else's: and that's part of what made his vision of Glorantha so impressive.

Plus, we could be in a "What are all those Greeks doing outside Troy?" situation. If we knew more of the history, the geography might snap into focus. But I don't think we do.

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When Harmast comes among the Enjoreli, he manages to recruit them as fellow Orlanthi. Harmast appears with Talor in Hrelar Amali on Voria's Day 450. They travel to Ulros, where Harmast recruits the Enjoreli Orlanthi to join Talor (rather than oppose him) for the Battle of Giants against the forces of the Bright Empire (from Talsardia?).

Talor and Harmast end a war between the Orlanthi (who aren't on that map) and Akem. Ulros in the Nidan Mountains lies in lands shown as Enjoreli, from which I assume that the Enjoreli had taken on the Theyalan missionaries, but grew to loathe the means employed by the Bright Empire, as did the Hykimi who also had embraced Theyalan cults (Jonatela).

Talor led his new alliance into Ralios - it isn''t clear whether via Bad Deal or whether through Erontree Forest and Fornoar. Either way, they clashed with the Telmori before reaching Kartolin Pass, and entering Dorastor from the south.

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23 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

What does the map maker's sense tell us about the Far West as it existed around 350-375? 

Well, for one thing it’s interesting that the whole west coast is referred to as “ruins of logic.” That might imply that the Westerners were very isolated in their dealings with Peloria, who seemingly aren’t aware of their existence. That makes sense given all the barriers to the East. Other than that, it’s fairly accurate. Beast people, forests, etc.

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2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

The "Orlanthi" - Presumably this is the Talsardians, ancestors of modern Charg. When Talor returns with Harmast, he stops "a war between the Orlanthi and Akem." This part is really puzzling. Why were they fighting? What are Orlanthi doing near Akem in the first place? Talsardia is hundreds of miles away. Talor stops this war, unites Westerners, Orlanthi, and Hsunchen, and "drove the Bright Empire from Fronela." Which brings me to...

No, not the Talsardians.

There were many Storm God worshippers scattered around southern Fronela, some of whom had lost their Storm God in the Gods War - gone, dead. They were contacted much later by the Theyalan missionaries than people in southern Peloria, Ralios and Maniria because getting to them was difficult, and probably only achieved by 'mountain jumping' along the sacred peaks. They had and have in the Third Age a distinctive culture from the Orlanthi further east, with several gods in their pantheons you don't usually find in the Theyalan pantheon. There is material about this in the Guide.

Why were they fighting? Probably over territory and resources. Some were very close to the Brithini colonies on the west coast.

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3 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

The Bright Empire - The actual identity of who these people are in Fronela, in the First Age, is very unclear to me. I'm not even sure who makes up the armies of the Bright Empire in a general sense, let alone just in Fronela. Dara Happans? Random barbarians? Chaos monsters? All of the above? Either way, they are apparently driven from Fronela after Talor comes back. At some point there's a battle in Oranor, at Ulros, called the Battle of Giants where the Empire is defeated. 

 

Anyone converted and tainted by Nysalor's missionaries: Hykimi, Enjoreli, Malkioni, Orlanthi...

The Battle of the Giants occurred on Harmast and Talor's trip north to Fronela, and was the beginning of their war with the Bright Empire in the north.

[I have spent quite a while working on the history of Fronela for my next Jonstown Compendium project, and of Ralios and Seshnela.]

Edited by M Helsdon
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8 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

There were many Storm God worshippers scattered around southern Fronela, some of whom had lost their Storm God in the Gods War - gone, dead. They were contacted much later by the Theyalan missionaries than people in southern Peloria, Ralios and Maniria because getting to them was difficult, and probably only achieved by 'mountain jumping' along the sacred peaks. They had and have in the Third Age a distinctive culture from the Orlanthi further east, with several gods in their pantheons you don't usually find in the Theyalan pantheon. There is material about this in the Guide.

 

So these people were there at the Dawn as well, living alongside but distinctive from the Hsunchen? Or are you a proponent of @Joerg's theory that the Enjoreli basically became Orlanthi, and the two become interchangeable. 

 

4 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Anyone converted and tainted by Nysalor's missionaries: Hykimi, Enjoreli, Malkioni, Orlanthi...

 

This is something that I had considered, and makes the most sense. I guess the only part that's still confusing is what this part of the Bright Empire is doing while Talor is dead. Maybe their leaders manipulated the Orlanthi into attacking Akem. 

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2 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

Sometimes Greg would answer questions like this in infuriating but eye-opening ways, for example by suggesting that given the much lower populations in the Dawn Age, champions could fly hundreds of miles with their personal warbands to engage in heroic single combat against their enemies, and that would count as "warfare." I'm not saying that's the case here, but Greg's view of what was plausible didn't necessarily align with everybody else's: and that's part of what made his vision of Glorantha so impressive.

 

That's a good point, and while initially I was thinking Talsardians, these mysterious Orlanthi could be from anywhere, including Ralios. 

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27 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

So these people were there at the Dawn as well, living alongside but distinctive from the Hsunchen? 

Yes, distinct from the Enjoreli and the Hsunchen.

27 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

Or are you a proponent of @Joerg's theory that the Enjoreli basically became Orlanthi, and the two become interchangeable. 

Not exactly. Some Enjoreli eventually were ultimately assimilated by the Westerners and/or Theyalans or withdrew to the east.

The Bull People were part of a very large cultural group, which included the Enelvi, Kereusi, and Bisosae; some turned Orlanthi, some turned into Horse People, and some became Pelandans. So Enjoreli and Orlanthi aren't interchangeable, though they were related. The last Enjoreli as a distinct people were probably in Charg in the Second Age, and when Charg emerges from the Syndrics Ban in the Third Age it is inhabited by Bull Lords who worship ferocious War Gods such as Urox, Humakt, and Orlanth.

27 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

This is something that I had considered, and makes the most sense. I guess the only part that's still confusing is what this part of the Bright Empire is doing while Talor is dead. 

Increasing their hold on Akem.

In researching warfare in the West I have had to dig deep into the history and religions of the regions, and have written (non-canonical) sections on the forces on both sides in the First Age. The wars in Fronela were mostly fought by Fronelan proxies for the Bright Empire, with a number of key sorcerer/priest/missionaries providing leadership and guidance. In Ralios, in contrast, there's evidence of Pelorians, including Dara Happans, fighting for the Empire, but Ralios was 'next door' to the capital, whereas Fronela was a long way away.

Edited by M Helsdon
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5 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:
  23 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

So these people were there at the Dawn as well, living alongside but distinctive from the Hsunchen? 

Yes, distinct from the Enjoreli and the Hsunchen.

 

I'd love to learn more about that, I can't find much in the Guide that mentions these folks. Everything I've read suggests that Fronelan Storm worship either came from the East (or maybe over the mountains), or existed on the isolated fringes like Ygg's Islands. Up until now I've assumed that Third Age Orlanthi in the region descend from Bull People, Theyalans from Peloria or Ralios, and Hsunchen. 

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34 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:
 

I'd love to learn more about that, I can't find much in the Guide that mentions these folks. Everything I've read suggests that Fronelan Storm worship either came from the East (or maybe over the mountains), or existed on the isolated fringes like Ygg's Islands. Up until now I've assumed that Third Age Orlanthi in the region descend from Bull People, Theyalans from Peloria or Ralios, and Hsunchen. 

There's a bit about then in the Junora section of the Guide, though without other sources, you would assume they were Orlanthi Enjoreli. I have searched and found a fair number of moderately reliable sources elsewhere, which may or may not be canonical - but it is likely that there were pockets of ex-Vadrus worshipers in Fronela at the Dawn. None of the groups of survivors, whether Malkioni, Enjoreli, Hsunchen etc. were very large at that time.

One thing to bear in mind about Fronela is that the High Llama Pass was only created in the First Age (I don't have a date - just before the sixth century?) when Gonn Orta fell out with the dwarves of Nida and smashed open a mountain to free some of their Jolanti slaves. Even afterwards that pass wasn't an easy route between Ralios and Fronela.

Additional - found my source:

From: Jeff
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 09:20:52 -0000

> I think the Orlanthi of Fronela were indigeneous Vadrudi having been
> there since the Storm Age.

They were indigenous storm worshippers whose storm god disappeared in the Gods Age. Maybe the Theyalans identified that with Vadrus given how uncooperate the Fronelans were with the Council.

Edited by M Helsdon
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It makes sense for there to be a mix of Storm worshippers in Fronela. The Bull People (whether Enjoreli or other term) is really an umbrella term, referring to that particular blend of animist and theist pastoralists that, for the purpose of simplicity, come from a "Storm Bull tradition", as it were. 

Consequently, that Vadrus left behind a separate "Vadrus tradition" is pretty understandable. With their chief god dead, them being easy converts also rings true.

Now, granted, everything gets pretty muddled, since lots of Bull People also converted to become Orlanthi, and some Bull People also became Malkioni (ie. much of Loskalm), and moreover we obviously have Orlanthi of the "Vadrus tradition" who herd bovine cattle and using cattle imagery alongside boar imagery and bear imagery.

Imagery isn't tantamount to totemism or divine patronage, of course, but it does make it harder for us to decipher exact relations backwards in time. 

This muddled past is something I'm looking to deliberately incorporate into my Muskox People's worldview and mythology. Even if they are far away from Fronela, I'm working with a social and mythic status inspired by the one in Silver/Dawn Age Fronela (and arguably Prax), albeit with a different result.

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Vadrudi are likely to have goat associations, though. Possibly big goats, e.g. musk oxen. But then the sheep association of the eastern Orlanthi may be as out of place.

But then, both Rathor and Tawar are Hykimi equivalents of Storm deities (or vice versa(, and I think that the Hykimi of the west are mostly neo-Hsunchen who had accepted Kachisti and chthonic influences in the Golden Age, but unlike their eastern Genertelan kin, slipped back to their shape-changing beast animism as their survival mechanism.

 

The Enjoreli dominion will have included non-Bull people, much like that of the Bisosae or the Lendarshi. Not sure how much this applies to Safelster, but I suspect that you cannot have a river system like the Tanier/Doskior without powerful river gods and river folk worshiping them. The Janube, Sweet Sea, Poralistor and Oronin are different as they are (riverine)  Waertagi projects. Their tributaries may be yet another thing, like the Esel river in Brolia or the Janube tributaries.

 

High Llama pass has an origin myth from before the raising of the Nidan Mountains, creating a mythic precedence that even the Mostali orogeny magic could not override. I wonder whether the mention in the Dwarf Constructs boxed text is overstating the influence of Gonn Orta opening that pass. The majority of the action is likely to have occurred at the Brass Citadel.

The Guide is not exactly clear in its treatment of the pass. The Fronelan section says that the Llama people control the southern side of the pass, whereas the Ralian side calls them an extinct Hsunchen tribe. A compromise might see Ralian Orlanthi herding llamas on the southern flanks of the Nidan range.

Judging the extent of Mostali underground complexes on a map is difficult. Mount Nida is the original Mostali fortress, in one of the more ancient solo mountains as are most others - compare p.681 in the Guide, the Golden Age God Learner map showing several dwarf strongholds as solitary mountains. And yes, the seat of the Decamony in Slon is absent from this map, but then it may have been established only in the Somelz project shown on the map on p.691. The first map to show mountains at High Llama Pass is the Vingkotling Age map of p.688, the Flood Age map still has Mt. Nida and Top of the World as separate entities.

There is no doubt that there is a dwarf trading post at Bad Deal, and that that is connected to the rest of the Nidan colony by a tunnel system. All I am saying is that for there to be a surface installation of the Mostali for Gonn Orta to attack, there would have had to be a reason this far from the main gate at the Brass Citadel (about twice the distance between Dwarf Mine and Greatway's Dwarf Hat). And for there to have been a significant number of Jolanti this far east of the main entrance to Nida, those would have had to be rather huge tunnels and gates, which in all fairness would have been reduced to a hill-slide by Gonn Orta. So, if there was a major terminus of the tunnels under the Nidan mountains anywhere near Bad Deal, it would have been oriented northwards (as Gonn Orta led the Hecolanti through Dara Happa, and wouldn't have been able to advance from the south).

The Llama people of the pass would have ceased to be Hsunchen in the Bright Empire conflicts. Unless they still exist as non-Hsunchen, why name the pass after them if it didn't exist while they did?

The statement that Gonn Orta created the pass is at the very least an exaggeration. He may well have altered it significantly, and Bad Deal may have been built after his destructions.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Vadrudi are likely to have goat associations, though. Possibly big goats, e.g. musk oxen. But then the sheep association of the eastern Orlanthi may be as out of place.

 

Y'know, I was just thinking earlier this morning that maybe the original Fronelan Orlanthi became the modern Noyalings. In my half-asleep state, I also got stuck on the word "Frolanthi." 

I always thought of them as "fallen Hsunchen" who started farming and building cities, but Muskoxen do have a strong "Vadrus Vibe." The Noyalings also were possibly closer to Akem, so it's easier to explain how they came into conflict there.  

One interesting guy in First Age Fronela is Dakal, the founder of the city of Ayos in Jonatela, and the "Kingdom of Dakal." He is described in the Guide as a Hero who fought with Talor and Harmast, then founded Ayos after the war ended. He seems like a pretty good candidate for "Leader of Frolanthi" during this period. I always imagined him as a rogue Talsardian who went West with his people, but maybe he was a Muskox Vadrudi who came from the north. 

Edited by Gallowglass
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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

The Enjoreli dominion will have included non-Bull people, much like that of the Bisosae or the Lendarshi. Not sure how much this applies to Safelster, but I suspect that you cannot have a river system like the Tanier/Doskior without powerful river gods and river folk worshiping them. The Janube, Sweet Sea, Poralistor and Oronin are different as they are (riverine)  Waertagi projects. Their tributaries may be yet another thing, like the Esel river in Brolia or the Janube tributaries.

This is as good a place as any other to tap in the piton and see how much weight it holds. I wonder now if the "river folk" who plagued the early colonists were another species of the elusive murthdryans. The sources from this era simply refer to "triolinae" but these are probably not saltwater cetoi. Following them up to the lakes may reveal a few things.

But the sources I have are fragmentary on the northwest. We have yet to accumulate the kind of systematic historical data that we now have for Seshnela, Heortland and Dara Happa. That's okay. It will come. 

What I have is a few snapshots that amount to anecdotes. There are no first wave Brithini missions to the northwest in the original Seshnegi Book of Foreigners. Instead, the expeditions go to Frowal, Neleswal, Hepedwal (in "southern Brithela, now sunk") and Horalwal in a then-unpopulated eastern region of Brithos. Either of these last two may be allegorical or esoteric in symbolism. What concerns us is that in the time of Kaldes there's a bride kidnapping, "a sister to our founder" seduced into a Fronelan bear nation, the Redeli. She was proud there, a queen. Her name is not Menela, by the way. 

These Redeli are at least occasionally allied with "Vadeli" as well as the Enjoreli who ride bulls. After this episode the Brithini are uncharacteristically humbled and leave the northwest alone.

Around 110, the scribes of King Sonmalos recorded a memoir from a man who described himself as a member of the Redeli people. We learn that they were a bear nation who competed with the bull riding Enjoreli of the central plain and had an ambivalent relationship with the Telmorites. They used copper implements and had at least coastal boats in imitation of the Brithos colony at Isefwal. (The origins of this colony are a little controversial unless I am misremembering a source. I'll report back on that when time permits.)

Then by 396 one of the Arkat narratives discusses the way the Gbajites "managed to gain a foothold in the kingdoms of Nenanduft and Iselfwal [sic]." A more organized bull nation, the Losk-alim, retaliate by sacking Iselfwal and a third city, Alorket. Then the northern Telmorites get involved on behalf of their Ralian cousins. Mostali and "their new Jolanti allies" are also present. 

We know that by 415 Talor has allied Losk-alim, Redeli and presumably anti-Gbaji wolf people against Nenanduft. These are all beast peoples. Bright Empire presence is allegedly eradicated by 420. A separate epilogue tells the tale of "Talor the Old" but feels more apocryphal than usual and the dynastic continuation is missing. 

The sources I have are then silent on the north until the terminal imperial age.

A "Kingdom of Beasts" hykimite pantheon becomes very interesting as an alternative to lightbringer-centered storm worship in the south. Obviously they correspond to something like the modern universal cults now but at one time they would have demonstrated more totemic aspects. This may actually have been a major source of their resistance to Loko-style storm since they would balk at worshipping an entity they would understand as a goat.

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On 5/4/2020 at 1:07 PM, Gallowglass said:

“ruins of logic.”

Possibly a traveler's tale or allusion to what can be read as a social war between Brithini and Seshnegite factions.

"Slashela" is also really interesting here, since not even Greg would ever make that kind of typo around one of his oldest creations. We can simply ignore it as a garbled label on a land far from the Khornazelmite POV or dig into it a little as the sign of something going on in the wreckage of the Silver Empire. 

"Incompletes" might refer to the shrunken nature of the realm, although this implies knowledge of the "complete" Seshnelan realm that preceded it. And it still includes Tanisor. EDIT: My guess is that it is actually a technical term like "meldek" to indicate that these are not quite full people. Would love to know more about the informant here. 

Dari as occupying an intermediary "sub" human position between humanity in the perfected Council/DH condominium and the "non" human realms is also worth playing with. Does this refer to a non-hsunchen/hykimite barbarian culture or something more specifically religious or cultural? Jarasan doesn't get this label. 

The Kingdom of Night, on the other hand (which incorporates Arstola and the Elder Wilds), is fully nonhuman. From recent DH experiences with aggressive elf conquest, this hints at a different sense of the relationship between aldryami and uz in this era . . . which is what I'm here for right now. This looks like it reflects a moment when the Council was in the process of Breaking, with the trolls and dragonewts (and southern elves) out while  the southern storm people are still nominally in.

Other notes: I need to check the Lofting file for his northern war but recall the results being thin. The Redeli are described as being a race apart from the pale Brithini closer to the Pendalites and other continental "beast people" we might classify as proto-warerans today. Interestingly enough the account alludes to the lion cities as centers of maritime trade . . . clearly and unequivocally a lie, right? Right? Everyone today knows those "people" were lucky to have mud huts.

Edited by scott-martin
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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

the Lofting file

Very thin despite his long reign. The most immediately interesting thing about these documents from a broad Western POV is that Greg originally knew him as Damoling and this is then crossed out here and there. "Damol" of course evokes the syncretic storm people of the southwest, apparently still a powerful faction in the mid second century and maybe beyond. The prospect of someone emerging from that milieu in the post-Torphing upheavals and then undergoing some kind of conversion/renunciation is very attractive . . . Lofting as last of the continental Children of Damol and under his new rule name the patron of a Hrestolite revival to follow. 

For our purposes that stretch of the Book of Kings alludes to sporadic intervention to prop up Iselfwal at least from Torphing through Nirgalor, at which point the Enjoreli finally overrun the city and start pushing south. This is of course only the late 280s so presumably the client states are revived and even expanded sometime before the 400 snapshot.  Unfortunately I'm missing the late Ahmosing and early Iwerlos reigns (roughly 310-345) so clearly the knowledge eaters have something to hide here.

Edited by scott-martin

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