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 #2: The Castes of the Trader Princes

18 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I was loosely of the impression that the Trader Princes themselves (and their families) were basically Talars (possibly self-styled, but who is going to dispute that?), and they ruled over Orlanthi commoners in lieu of Horali and Dronari. 

I'll admit, I had not considered how the Solanthi and Ditali confederations played into the urbanized trader towns. I hadn't considered that there was a continuity between them, I always got the impression that they were separate entities, at least politically (ie. the Solanthi and Ditali were more hinterland "rubes", if you will, compared to the caravan-aligned trader city-states, but that they at least were independent of the Princes). But I could be way off here. 

From what I can tell, this is very much a "Blood over Gold" framing of the Trader Princes, which claims the Trader Princes and the Asharan Church are heretical offshoots the Rokari.  Additionally, they are explicitly described as negotiators and fair brokers between Wenelian "rubes" (completely fair term, IMHO, for describing BoG Wenelians).  (See BoG, P. 17)

However, this gets heavily revised for the Guide.  First and foremost, I don't think we can talk about the Asharan Church as a splinter-sect from the Rokari any more.  Castelein the Traveller was probably from Helby, as the Manirian Road starts in Drom, and we know he started his journey to pay a tribute to the Prolori, arriving in Esrolia in 1170.  I don't think someone from 12th Century Drom, east of Jorstland, would be a Rokari.  And I also don't think they would be a promoter of castes, as the Arkati were not about castes, and the Middle Sea Empire wasn't big on them either.

 

It is most likely that Castelein was always a henotheist, though an idiosyncratic one who viewed Issaries as the mask of God (kind of like how Idovanus was the mask for Carmanos).

 

I'll write more later, but I think this is a very important point for Maniria: Castelein brought a henotheist faith to a group of Orlanthi who leaned heavily into animism, and a hybridizing occured.

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20 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm not familiar with Blood over Gold or Ashara. Would anyone be up to just give me a little primer or something on it? I understand it's no longer in line with Chaosium's vision, but hey, I'm curious. :)

I will in a few hours :)

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1 hour ago, Nevermet said:

As I said in my OP, Maniria is "my" Glorantha because of Blood over Gold.  I realize it has some problems with sometimes having too much medieval art, having some continuity problems with teh Guide, and inventing another son of Umath, but darn it... its where I started :)

Well, someone from Kethaela would likely equate Vorlan with Kolat, given that they're both brothers of Orlanth who support the main spirit tradition of the local Orlanthi, with the differences in portrayal and traditions being well within the many different ways other gods are worshiped and named in different places but still recognized as the same. Spirit traditions would be especially prone to that, given that they'd necessarily be very different from place to place because of the different local spirits they'd need to deal with.

39 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm not familiar with Blood over Gold or Ashara. Would anyone be up to just give me a little primer or something on it? I understand it's no longer in line with Chaosium's vision, but hey, I'm curious. :)

Ashara is the "Latest Action" and the "New Revelation" of the Invisible God in the modern world; essentially, it's an anthromorphized version of the Motion Rune (or rather, a version or hero of Issaries worshiped as an aspect of the Invisible God?). Caselain the Traveler is the prophet of Ashara, a Saint (which we would now call an Ascended Master), whose additions to the Abiding Book (the Book of Ashara) and the words and deeds of himself and his companions (many of whom are themselves considered Ascended Masters, and several of whom are claimed by this or that Trader Prince as their ancestor) make up the core of the worship of the Trader Princes. It's a very open-minded, tolerant, and pragmatic take on Malkionism, easily incorporating and adapting itself to the worship of whatever local faiths are necessary or useful for survival, and each of the Trader Prince houses support their own essentially independent branch of the Church (or rather, School) of Ashara, and young Trader Princes often try to retrace his steps as a sort of pilgrimage.

As I recall, excerpts from either the Book of Ashara or Caselain's Travelogue paint his journey as at least partly an exodus to escape from tyranny (he was "led by piety, not greed," which was why he succeeded where others failed, for instance).

Also, even within Blood Over Gold, it's made pretty clear the Trader Princes are long past being "pure" Westerners in any sense:

Quote

Originally devout Rokari, the Trader Princes have become less   strict   in   their   interpretation   of Malkion’s  Word.  Since  then,  they  have adapted to local customs and conditions, and   several   strange   variations   exist. At  least  one  House  has  a  chapel  to Dark Ashara,  a  trollish  innovation. Conversely,  some  of  the Orlanthi have adapted to become “Trader  Princes,”  displacing  or absorbing  the  local  House.  By the  seventeenth  century,  some Trader   Princes   are Orlanthi, some  are Malkioni,  and  some have  become  something  else entirely. However, they all look and  act  similarly  and,  until the Opening,  were  united  in maintaining the Trade Road.

 

Edited by Leingod
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1 minute ago, Nevermet said:

 #2: The Castes of the Trader Princes

From what I can tell, this is very much a "Blood over Gold" framing of the Trader Princes, which claims the Trader Princes and the Asharan Church are heretical offshoots the Rokari.  Additionally, they are explicitly described as negotiators and fair brokers between Wenelian "rubes" (completely fair term, IMHO, for describing BoG Wenelians).  (See BoG, P. 17)

However, this gets heavily revised for the Guide.  First and foremost, I don't think we can talk about the Asharan Church as a splinter-sect from the Rokari any more.  Castelein the Traveller was probably from Helby, as the Manirian Road starts in Drom, and we know he started his journey to pay a tribute to the Prolori, arriving in Esrolia in 1170.  I don't think someone from 12th Century Drom, east of Jorstland, would be a Rokari.  And I also don't think they would be a promoter of castes, as the Arkati were not about castes, and the Middle Sea Empire wasn't big on them either.

I think it would be pretty hard to be a Rokari that early, as it was at best a new movement in the monasteries of the Makanist lineal Hrestoli sects of what remained of Seshnela, and Tanisor. Only when Bailifes the Hammer gains the support of Mardron of Leplain, a disciple or spiritual follower of Rokar, did the Rokari sect become mainstream Malkionism.

The County of Tiskos on the south shore of Lake Felster did embrace this new sect early on, without any armed prompting by the (new) Seshnegi required or asked for, which gives a ready pool of Rokarism not that far from Helby.

 

But then it seems to me that the unification of the Malkioni sects under Bailifes is mainly propaganda, with plenty local aberrations remaining, even after being uncovered and heavily persecuted by the authorites.

 

 

1 minute ago, Nevermet said:

It is most likely that Castelein was always a henotheist, though an idiosyncratic one who viewed Issaries as the mask of God (kind of like how Idovanus was the mask for Carmanos).

That's my assumption, too. Ashara as the name or title of that deity.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Nevermet said:

For some reason, and I'm not sure it's justifiable, I had been working off the assumption that most of Esrolia's attention would remain focused on Argrath and the Lunars.

Bear in mind that in 1625 there is not a Queen of Esrolia.  There is a Queen of Nochet (who dominates northern Esrolia) and a Queen of Rhigos (who dominates the Vinavale).  There are two predominant alliances, and other city-based queens (as well as the Queen of Ezel), but it's not a centralized state.

Queen Samastina's attention (and Nochet's) will be focused on trade and Harrek.  Nochet grew in two generations to a sprawling metropolis on the basis of sea-going trade AND trade northward with both Sartar and the Lunar Empire.  She will likely see Argrath as a means to stabilize the trade routes and to help suppress the Wolf Pirates.  

The Demivierge's attention (which includes her alliance with Caladraland) will be focused on westward trade as Rhigos lost out on domination of the seas.  She likely doesn't want Harrek in Rhigos (or Esrolia in general), but may encourage efforts that weaken Samastina.  In the meantime, she will likely look for additional allies, and the best opportunities are: the dwarves of Gemborg, the elves of the Arstola Forest, and the Manirians post-Greymane.

2 hours ago, Nevermet said:

A full march into the Solanthi lands of central Maniria, though, sounds like it would take a lot of effort for little reward.

Why march when intrigue will do just as well! That's what the Demivierge (and Esrolians in general) specialize in.

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm not familiar with Blood over Gold or Ashara. Would anyone be up to just give me a little primer or something on it? I understand it's no longer in line with Chaosium's vision, but hey, I'm curious. :)

Leingod already covered the big pieces.

In Blood Over Gold, The Trader Princes were heretical westerners who were a heretical sect that split from Rokar: they rejected castes, and they had a set of sacred texts that were about communication, ritual exchange, and change more than rigid laws.  Culturally, they had a very "Italian city-state" feel in some ways, especially from the artwork.  They were also culturally Western, but outside their cities were the Wenelians, who were presented as animist Orlanthi.  They Guide's version of Maniria tones down the cultural distinctives a bit.  Overall, the Trader Princes came across as more wealthy and powerful in BoG than they do in the Guide, and also less bronze age.  IMHO, etc.

 

A few key things, however, remain constant:  First, while the Trader Princes appear to have a very commercialized understanding of wealth (more in BoG, but in the Guide also), Castelein the Traveller, the founder of the Trader Princes, was a master of ritual gift exchange as a way of creating agreements and alliances.  And second, the Opening is presented as inevitably  destroying Trader Prince society as we know it.

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Why march when intrigue will do just as well! That's what the Demivierge (and Esrolians in general) specialize in.

Good point.  The Ditali will likely get some military retaliation, while the Solanthi will be more subtly messed with.

Heh... I'm now imagining the leader of Kithma / Thomble having delusions of granduer, believing it is their time to rise to dominance in Eastern Maniria.

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8 hours ago, Nevermet said:

I have them, and they are well worthwhile.  Especially for the Caratan stuff, since there is nothing on them elsewhere.

I'm pretty sure their creator, Dr Moose, would be delighted to fill you in with more details about Caratan. Is he on this forum? Can someone tag him in?

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On 5/20/2020 at 12:39 AM, Nevermet said:

Second, if the past is a mess, the future is too: Maniria is a Hero Wars Blind-Spot.  To the east, Esrolia is involved in all the Agrath vs the Moon wars.  To the west, the greater Safelster region gets sucked into the turmoil of the Five Arkats.  But what happens to Maniria during the Hero Wars? 

Once a hick backwater, always a hick backwater.

From memory, Greymane was active but then pretty much disappeared, that's about it.

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My favourite things in thinking about Wenelia were always the philosophy and metaphysics behind a Western school of thought that values Communication Rune over Law Rune (with Fair Exchange, an exchange that benefits and enhances both parties, as a metaphysical rule of Runic interactions from which all the beings of mixed Runes emerge), and how the various shattered or specialised cultures, societies, economies and religions of the region fit together. I can't find whether this is a BoG idea or my own addition, but I think that one of the reasons Wenelians needed Trader Princes is their rejection of anything that they associated with the God Learners after the calamities they visited upon them. Issaries was a god favoured by the Jrusteli IIRC, as his communication powers and trading language were useful for managing a huge empire. Therefore, Issaries cult would have been one of the first things rejected by Wenelians, leaving them without trade and diplomacy magic. If one wanted to go further, one might even say that Wenelians during the crisis at the end of the Second Age reverted to many of the traditions of the Darkness that helped their ancestors survive, rejecting most "newer" religion including much of Lighbringer mythos and worshipping Orlanth in a wilder local guise (I think the last part is at least partially present in BoG).

 

One strange bit of trivia - the unpublished Runequest: Adventures in Glorantha apparently lists the Trader Princes as being secretly Arkati. Don't remember that being used later.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Ufnal said:

One strange bit of trivia - the unpublished Runequest: Adventures in Glorantha apparently lists the Trader Princes as being secretly Arkati. Don't remember that being used later.

Back in the middle nineties, it was an uphill struggle to establish hentheist Malkioni without involving Arkat.

(In comparison, learning that most Malkioni use spirit and rune magic makes all of them, even the Rokari, henotheists compared to the doctrine back then that if you were a Malkoni, sorcery was your magic.)

 

I did quite a bit of research into the Malkioni back then, continuing into the years of Hero Wars and HeroQuest 1, and I had occasional access to talk to Greg. I gleaned a number of things from those talks and that research.

To be Malkioni is to have a caste and to act within its rules. Under Hrestolism it is fine to acquire core tasks of the other castes on your way toward personal and spiritual advancement. How you get your caste is not the same everywhere, and neither does it necessarily mean that you have that caste for life. Circumstances of birth are involved, but so can be initiation/adoption, or a gradual rise through the system as in Loskalm.

The trader princes of Maniria are one of many cases where there are hardly any farmer caste Malkioni. Instead there is an abundance of hill barbarians taking much of that role.

("Hardly any" as in the farmer caste usually makes up 80% or more of the Malkioni population. This does include urban crafters and small shop owners, and the occasional wealthy farmer or horse breeder working with their own property rather than that of some lord)

The trader prince Malkioni or the Jonating Malkioni form an "elite", they are an incomplete society without the non-Malkioni.

 

I found it hard to nail down Greg's concepts of the magic prevalence and the conditions for it. At times it looked like a resource allocation game to me, and I have played a few Hero Wars or HeroQuest games using such ideas (including a memorable one narrated by Greg where each player was a tribe of the Blue Moon trolls, with each ability being a part of the tribe). What I came to see was that worship (whether through sacrifice, veneration, ecstatic rites or whatever) was the main way of the denizens of the Inner World to create the energies that were used in magic. Malkioni worship apparently fuels the big magic of their wizards and the efforts of the Invisible God to maintain the salvaged Creation against entropy. The farmer caste has the magic of Life, and puts some of that to work providing the food and all the everyday stuff for everybody, while the three specialist castes put some of the communal magic to defense (soldier), organisation (noble) or special magics (wizard).

Now dealing with hill barbarians means that every farmer is a militia warrior, and unlike Rokari peasants, one that may see occasional action as a result of raiding, both on the receiving and on the performing side. That tends to devalue the soldier caste, to the point where Jeff's most recent description of the Aeolians says that every Aeolian is a soldier, and they don't have a caste for that any more. (Or maybe never had -- the history of the Esvulari is still very much guesswork from very few published mentions, and a few stalwart attempts at describing them.) The trader princes are their Malkioni neighbors, and almost as far away from mainstream Malkionism as people and ideas travel, or used to travel before the Opening.

 

When we read "Rokarism", fairly often I take that to mean "Makanism" aka mainstream linealist Hrestolism based on the Abiding Book, the dominating philosophy among the "pure" Malkioni of the Middle Sea Empire. RQ3 Genertela Box Player's Book "Hedenveld family" (reprinted in HeroQuest Voices) has a reference to the Rokari church that may be set before the sinking of Seshnela...

I guess that's one thing that irks me about Rokarism - their claim that they are the Malkioni continuity when their doctrine isn't at all. The practice away from Leplain may be, though. It seems to me that the most devout followers of the Malkioni continuity may be the Pithdarans, who were introduced to and converted by the truths of the Abiding Book from their very different Pamaltelan warrior tradition. And while they confess to follow the decrees of the High Watcher in Leplain, they keep maintaining the ways that their ancestors adopted. They have the true book, and the book hasn't changed. If they are to use the abridged version of it when holding services for the Watcher, so be it. Pithdaran wizards are renowned for their piety and their power, and found throughout the Kingdom of Seshnela. They are one of the pillars of the Rokari religious orthodoxy, and seen as reliable.

At least in my personal Glorantha, I don't see Rokarism as having taken root that deeply. Ascended masters, progression to the elevated state of Man-of-All, all these are ripe in much of the Rokari-dominated area. The Watchers prevent this from being apparent. The altered caste rules are obeyed in society, although institutions like the sergeants and the noble heavy cavalry cry "man-of-all", at least -in-training. Ascended Masters aren't acknowledged in the official worship. Well, neither are angels in Christian services (at least in the denominations familiar to me), yet there is a great subset of Christians I have met (from that selection of denominations) who are fervent  and at times pious believers in angels and their tangible help, and same for saints (who do get quite a bit more acknowledgement in less protestant denominations than just the Credo).

 

So: Rokari offshoot - they know the High Watcher of the Rokari as the highest ecclesiastic holder of office. That office may not have an infallibility decree in spiritual matters unlike the mid-19th century decree from Rome in our world, or it may have done so in as mundanely political and cynical a move as that pope. Their practices are different from the Tanisoran caste system. (The "Kingdom of Seshnela" is realy the Tanisoran kingdom. It is about as Seshnelan as the Holy Roman Empire of Germany was Roman, with the difference that the overseer of spiritual continuity comes from their midst.) Most Rokari are descended more from converts to Malkionism rather than from descendants of the original Malkoni of the west. Fornoari, Pendali, and whatever the original inhabitants of the Tanier estuary in Noloswal were - to my knowledge there was no Malkioni colony on the Tanier mouth at the Dawn, or if there was, it had no connection to Frowal. Noloswal and Alatan are part of the unknown southern coast of western Genertela in that respect. We know that the son of the first serpent King descended from Hrestol (who never became King of Seshnela) went to the east on a Waertagi ship and returned with a wife and a likewise serpent-legged son who succeeded the throne, so there were sufficiently civized people living there. Possibly something like the Ingareens, possibly the Ingareens themselves. Slontos wasn't civilized yet at that time, or not any more after the Pralori had become overlords in a style reminiscent of the contemporary horse warlords of Dara Happa, only without much acculturation. Erenplose was a city before the Great Darkness, and was sunk in Godtime. There are more such remnants of that urban culture in the region, but I can't say which culture they had, only that that culture is preserved in some way in Erenplose.

But then Erenplose had very few visitors. Some say that Palangio was the last visitor, others claim that Dormal visited. Harrek might be interested in visiting - he needs something to do between 1624 (plundering the City of Wonders) and

1628 (plundering Kethaela bigly until Argrath hires him after a duel under the warchful guardian cranes (spoilers to satisfy my barbarian co-worker) or possibly a few years later wearing Jar-eel's heart and a peg leg, alternating between Laskal and Genertela.

). Or your player heroes then coming to Harrek's attention, or some other great hero, e.g. Gebel of the blue-skinned fleet.

Erenplose is pretty similar to what the City of Wonders is becoming as the consequence of Belintar's disappearance and Harrek taking away parts of the magic that anchored the place in reality. The city is alive and inhabited, although we cannot be certain that Time flows normally there.

There may have been some system to the God Learner (Malkioneranist) madness of researching all Trickster magic in the Archduchy of Slontos - they may have hoped to find a way to access Erenplose. To my knowledge, the God Learners didn't manage to get there. It doesn't look like Arkat had time for a short detour, either, at least not on his passage through the region to liberate Kaxtorplose. Palangio's visit in 423 (History of the Heortling People p.97) allowed him to retrieve his signature Iron Vrok in the Mislari Mountains, likely from Selon Mountain (which is after all a piece of the Sky fallen down to the Surface World). A visitor like Harrek would expect a similar boon.

The Zaranistangi march to the Sea after the fall of Paslac may have been in search of tidal secrets from Erenplose, but boy did they take their time. In their defense, they came in army strength, and keeping an army fed in the field away from any support takes most of its time.

 

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24 minutes ago, Joerg said:

(including a memorable one narrated by Greg where each player was a tribe of the Blue Moon trolls, with each ability being a part of the tribe)

So basically an RPG version of KodP/Six Ages? That's so cool! (And that's so doable with HQG or FATE or Reign or... Ok, I'll shut up)

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As of the Guide, I take "Rokarism" to mean a post-Godlearner Makanism that actively tried to be traditionalist, bending the Makanism back toward (but not becoming) the Brithini, as it rejects Hrestol.  So, editing down the Abiding Book, they have Solace and a more rigid caste system than the Middle Sea Empire had, and no Joy (the jokes abound).  This goes to another point you raised, which is a tricky issue when talking about religion in both Glorantha and the real world: the public rarely perfectly subscribe to the careful and exacting doctrine developed by philosophers & theologians, instead coming up with their own local innovations and syncretisms.

8 hours ago, Ufnal said:

One strange bit of trivia - the unpublished Runequest: Adventures in Glorantha apparently lists the Trader Princes as being secretly Arkati. Don't remember that being used later.

 

Similar to Joerg (maybe?), I'm seeing "Arkati" in this instance being less a direct link to Arkat, and more a shorthand label for "Henotheist from Ralios," where I take henotheist to not only mean the use of multiple magics, but a relatively coherent worldview where there is an invisible god behind the theistic gods of the runes.

The more I get into this, the more messy it gets.  The city of Drom and Helby are Galanini, matriarchal worhippers of the sun and horses.  As such, I do not believe Ashara is an indigenous belief to Helby.  I'm currently leaning toward thinking Castelein invented the School of Ashara, possibly after spending time in libraries or among cults elsewhere in the greater Safelster region.

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Hmm

If I ever made a clan questionnaire for the Wenelians, I would write it up in such a way that there were no clans that could favour Darkness.  Instead, it would be Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Law.  Law clans would be rare, but they would indicate a "Malkionized" clan that has its local leadership engaged in the Ashara School in some way.  There also needs to be a discussion of the Beast Rune to indicate affiliation with Hsunchen / Entruling heritage  Argh... so many things...

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21 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

Argh... so many things...

Maybe have some real fun, give them a version of one of the archaic western elemental systems that separate Sky from Fire. ASHARA may do the duties of Man in that world to push against the old totemic tribal world.

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1 minute ago, scott-martin said:

Maybe have some real fun, give them a version of one of the archaic western elemental systems that separate Sky from Fire. ASHARA may do the duties of Man in that world to push against the old totemic tribal world.

Oh, that's tempting.  Where is that from?

 

sigh... I really need to make a to-do list...

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6 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Don't underestimate the degree to which Entru was integrated into the Earth-complex, I'd say.

Hmm.  I'm of two minds about this, and neither is coherent enough for words.

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1 hour ago, Nevermet said:

Oh, that's tempting.  Where is that from?

Why not, right? You're already in for the project of a lifetime, why not make it more complicated? 

The most accessible version of the western elemental system is HERE but it's backed up in other places. I forgot that they would also break Cold out separately from Darkness but doubt that's going to come up a lot in this part of the world. 

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11 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Why not, right? You're already in for the project of a lifetime, why not make it more complicated? 

You clearly understand academia 🤣

And thanks.  I'll read this later today.  

 

One of the biggest pains about trying to figure out Maniria is one of my own, consciously chosen goals: I want to maximize my ability to justify my setting choices based on pre-existing publications.  Not just what I think is cool, but what makes sense according to the Guide, the Sourcebook, the Stafford Library, etc.  One of the things I'm dreading the most is trying to justify my choices of exactly how much the Wenelians are similar to other Orlanthi, vs their own, distinct thing.  There are so many fragments to consider.  Figuring out the theology of the School of Ashara, by contrast, is easy.  Figuring out the the goals of the Aldryami?  Eh, not too worried.  Figuring out how much the Wenelians are like Esrolians, Caladralanders, Heortlings, the Ralians... oh, the headache.  And then trying to then define the influences from Entruling, Haranding, Mraloti, Paralori, Helering.... oh, I need a drink.

 

And then there's Handra, Kaxtorplose, Ramalia, and Caratan, which are all completely different messes.

 

Trying to make justifiable decisions about all that is Hell.  A glorious, wonderful Hell.😎

Edited by Nevermet
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On 5/19/2020 at 8:23 PM, jajagappa said:

Alatan and Smelch are primarily pirates.  Some probably joined the Wolf Pirates, but others are locals who simply try to wreck ships and take salvage.  Nuisances as much as anything.

 

Just wanted to say I agree with you.

It's more likely that Alatan and Khorst are most similar in terms of their heritage, with the Ramalians as a cousin culture.  All three are descended from Slontons, as are the commoners of Highwater and Kaxtorplose (well.... Kaxtorplose was around before and after Slontos, but its experience of being absorbed by the Middle Sea Empire is another issue.

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2 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

There are so many fragments to consider.

Love it. Development in this part of the world has faced its challenges but humble questers can still make hellacious discoveries here. 

These hexes deserve it.

 

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1 minute ago, scott-martin said:

Love it. Development in this part of the world has faced its challenges but humble questers can still make hellacious discoveries here. 

These hexes deserve it.

 

Agreed.  And in most ways, just playing with the texts is my goal.  I'm not trying to write a Maniria sourcebook.

I will admit, though, that I am tempted to try to write a Kaxtorplose book, as (1) I'm as fascinated by Kaxtor as I am Castelein, and (2) it feels manageable, at least in comparison to Maniria as a whole.

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5 hours ago, Nevermet said:

The more I get into this, the more messy it gets.  The city of Drom and Helby are Galanini, matriarchal worhippers of the sun and horses.  As such, I do not believe Ashara is an indigenous belief to Helby.  I'm currently leaning toward thinking Castelein invented the School of Ashara, possibly after spending time in libraries or among cults elsewhere in the greater Safelster region.

Did you consider treating Ashara as the same kind of phenomenon that gave us the self-writing Abiding Book? I.e. a direct epiphany/intervention from the Invisible God, or whatever other kind of phenomenon the Abiding Book actually was?

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10 minutes ago, Ufnal said:

Did you consider treating Ashara as the same kind of phenomenon that gave us the self-writing Abiding Book? I.e. a direct epiphany/intervention from the Invisible God, or whatever other kind of phenomenon the Abiding Book actually was?

Honestly?  I didn't.

As I think of it now.... it's possible Castelein has a revelation leading him to Ashara, which would make him very different than, say Rokar's application of logic.  But revelation is a very different beast than what happened with the Abiding Book.  I lean away from replicating that, as the manifestation of the Abiding Book is one of those defining, unique moments in Glorantha.

 

I don't have time right now to figure it out, but I think Castelein developed his understanding of Ashara through a combination of communication and movement, rather than law.  He travelled, he saw very different people, he ritually traded with them, tried to understand them, and through that saw something "beyond".

 

NOTE: None of this is a defensible claim about what the books say, but IMG preferences.

Edited by Nevermet

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