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Holy Country notes


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Some notes you all might find interesting.
For centuries, Belintar was able to coordinate magical activity to everyone's benefit in the Holy Country. The gods were often manifest - so you didn't need tribal rites to have that contact. Belintar (or his stand-in) would invite the god to his palace, and everyone would enjoy the blessings. In Sea Season, big rites in Seapolis; in Fire Season, big rites at the High Temple in Caladraland; in Earth season, big rites in Ezel; in Darkness season, big rites atop the Shadow Plateau; and in Storm Season, big rites in Bullflood or whatever temple complex is below Stormwalk. Then the City of Wonders would tie it all together in Sacred Time - in fact, it always was like Sacred Time there. Crossing between the worlds was easy as long as Belintar was there to facilitate it.

The Sixths were able to specialize in their elemental resources and work in coordination with the others to create a harmonious magical whole. It was a Golden Age returned to the world. The main gods got identified with their Runes: Ernalda-Gata, Lodril-Aether, Choralinthor-Zaramaka, Kyger Litor-Nakala, and of course Orlanth-Umath. I think when Belintar was around, the Holy Country was like Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls - six lands, each with their own strong identity, landscape, and even light and weather!
Of course this had social changes.Tribal entities atrophied and disappeared. Having a God-King rule for three centuries of peace and prosperity added him to everyone's pantheon. Belintar was responsible for such phenomena as the harvest, the weather, defense against the enemy, for good luck with trade, and more. 
When Belintar disappeared, the Gods War came crashing back. Wolf Pirates, Western Barbarians, civil strife, Lunar invasions, and Chaos. Without Belintar, there are no established methods to handle these crises. Everything is ad hoc, and up for grabs. For twelve years, this continues, until finally many leaders decide to invite Argrath to be king - if he will protect them.

A brief history of Heortland
When Belintar came to the Holy Country, trolls and Hendriki tribe were dominant. The Hendriki were not an Orlanth Rex tribe, like the tribes in Sartar, and did not have access to that magic.
Initially they were a "clan" - Hendrik was a bandit leader, not a king. His warband was held together by his own charisma and magic. When Hendrik died in 439, one of his companions Selelmal took over leadership of Hendrik's band, aka the Hendriki.
It was Dinorth who actually founded the kingdom. He was given the magical regalia by Sindan Black who journeyed to the Western Ocean and returned. These were a crown, a scepter, and six magical items. Possession of this regalia + the tribal rites made one king. Clans obeyed the king or not, but the king was the king. The Hendriki expanded and contracted over the centuries. Sometimes they were little more than just the area around Whitewall. Sometimes they ruled all of Heortland and much of Esrolia.
In 1300, the Hendriki ruled most of Heortland. The Bandori were a subject tribe. Southern Heortland was ruled by the Bandori, a subject tribe of the Hendriki. The Orshanti were a large clan centered on what is now Jansholm. They split over the rise of the Red Moon, with Colymar and his Esrolian wife leading his Black Spear Clan - zealots, visionaries, and adventurers - into Dragon Pass. 
In 1313, Belintar arrived. We all know the story. He killed the Hendriki King, who supported the Only Old One, and then a year later resurrected him. Many Hendriki refused to acknowledge the returned king, others did, and others directly revered Belintar. Some groups decided to risk exile into Dragon Pass.
By 1350, the Hendriki kingdom is gone. Heortland - named after the great cultural hero who was often invoked by Belintar - was a Sixth of the Holy Country. The God-King kept good contacts with all the gods of the Holy Country, and to the rest of the world this was a part of the Otherworld manifest in the mundane world. Occasionally, gods or great monsters visited the Holy Country, and there were known to be many secret gates into the Otherworld. The Orlanth cult was strongly supported, but one that worked in conjunction with the other gods of the Sixths - a Monomythed Orlanth that could play A leading role (but not THE leading role) in something larger. This was intolerable to the would be heirs of the Hendriki and in 1340, a group of clans gathered at Whitewall and acclaimed Hardard the Green as king of the Volsaxi confederation. The Volsaxi proclaimed their independence and autonomy. Curiously Belintar took no direct action against the Volsaxi, although his governors in Heortland often fought against them. During this rebellion, other groups entered Dragon Pass - the Locaem, Kultain, and Dundealos tribes among others.
Heortland was mostly administered according to traditional law, but social institutions did change. Clans tended to have a single ruling family, from which the leader would be chosen, etc. Clans supported heavy chariot cavalry (that were eventually supplanted by heavy horse cavalry once large enough horses could be reliably obtained from the Grazelands.
Heortland itself is divided into four provinces: Vandarland, Gardufar, and Esvular. The fourth, Volsaxiland, largely governs itself. The borders change from time to time., but basically they are this:
Volsaxi - from the Crossline to the Marzeel River.
Vandarland - from the Marzeel to either the Syphon or the Bullflood rivers.
Gardufar - from the Syphon or Bullflood rivers to the Minthos.
Esvular - from the Minthos to the Nomad Marches.
In 1541, the trolls of the Troll Woods took control of Whitewall and broke the Volsaxi confederation. The Kitori took control of trade between Sartar (and Peloria and Prax) and the rest of the Holy Country, and imposed high tariffs (basically robbery). This lasted until Prince Tarkalor defeated the Kitori with the aid of the Yelmalio cult. He refounded the Volsaxi confederation at Whitewall and built a road between Whitewall and Karse. All of this was done with Belintar's tacit approval. This greatly increased trade between Sartar and the Holy Country, and made the Sartar princes rich enough to contend with the Lunar Empire for another 30+ years.
In 1616, Belintar disappeared. The governor of Heortland died and in 1617, two kingdoms divided Heortland between them. In the north, Broyan of the Volsaxi proclaimed the return of the Hendriki kingdom with himself as king. Much of Vandarland acknowledged him. Gardufar and Esvular supported the Western adventurer Rikard the Tiger-hearted, who proclaimed his kingdom of New Malkonwal. The two successor states lasted only two years before the Lunar Empire invaded in 1619. All of Volsaxiland (except Whitewall) quickly fell. In 1620, Malkonwal fell. Small Lunar garrisons were placed in all the larger cities of Heortland, and in 1621 Whitewall fell. 
But even this lasted only a short time. In 1622, Broyan reappeared and raised the Hendriki in rebellion, and many in the former Malkonwal supported him. The Bandori proclaimed their independence as well. Broyan inflicted a surprising defeat on the Lunar Army at Auroch Hills northwest of Whitewall and then fled to Esrolia to aid the new anti-Lunar queen. The Lunars followed in 1623 and besieged Nochet for a year to no avail, while their garrisons in Heortland were withdrawn. In 1624, the Lunar Army was routed at Pennel Ford and had to march all the way back to Sartar. Then in 1625, Broyan was killed and nobody knows how to perform his rites.
So that's where things are now. A confused mess. No tribes beyond the Bandori. Just a lot of warlords, adventurers, and ad hoc arrangements. I suspect that's how things will remain until 1628.

Holy Country_1300-1350.jpg

Holy Country_1350-1450.jpg

Holy Country_1450-1570.jpg

Holy Country_Present.jpg

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You don't "attempt" the Tournament - the leaders of the Sixths, along with other sacred people, invoke it at the City of Wonders and the participants find themselves participating, knowingly or unknowingly. Several Tournaments were held after 1616, all failed. Now the City of Wonders is no more, and it is pretty obvious there won't be another Tournament.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:
I think when Belintar was around, the Holy Country was like Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls - six lands, each with their own strong identity, landscape, and even light and weather!

Wouldn't it be the other way round? Since a RQ writer was the Lead Designer of Elder Scrolls.

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9 hours ago, Jeff said:

Some notes you all might find interesting.

Thanks. Heortland has been my home turf since I started playing in Glorantha, and it is nice to see what of my conclusions of the previously published material remains within the official line.

Do I read the first of your map and your description of the origins of the Colymar clan correctly? It appears like the group of Colymar split from the Orshanti following the ascendance of the Red Moon, way before Belintar swam up, and moved to lands just south of the Crossline by 1300.

What would the split have been about, how long did it take for the splinter group to move away from the Footprint marches?  There wasn't much anyone south of the Crossline could realistically do about the moon, or even to know about what happened underneath it. The discontents of the Black Spear could have left the "business as usual" faction behind, but for a motivation that is quite vague.

Leaving in disgust for the rest of the clan deciding to keep to business as usual after Belintar's victory over King Andrin, or then accepting the returned Andrin as the rightful ruler, now that makes immediate sense. It also aligns well with the claim of the second king of the Colymar tribe's grandmother having fought hand to hand with Belintar and the hidden clan, then tribe, knowing about that indicates that the clan cannot have left Kethaela prior to Belintar's arrival. (That's the only argument I can field which requires the Colymar clan to sit and wait until Belintar takes over to cross the line.)


Vandarland is a new name. Thunder Rebels gave us the Jondalar Tribe and Jondalings for that region. The two names don't need to contradict one another.

How old are these maps? I haven't  seen the spelling "Hendreiki" being used since the days of Hero Wars and HQ1. It was introduced in Genertela Book, if I recall correctly, and was favored in "Introduction to the Hero Wars" over the RQ Companion spelling which Greg used in History of the Heortling Peoples and Jeff used in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes.


I wonder why the migratory groups failed to support the Volsaxi and migrated onward into Quiviniland. By the time the Kultain and Locaem arrived, the Kingdom of Tarsh was (becoming) the overlord of the Quivini tribes.

Is the troll/Kitoi sortie against Whitewall in any way related to he Dragonewts Dream event? It does fall into Sarotar's diplomatic mission(s) to Esrolia, which started a year earlier, but postdated his possible first visit to the Big Rubble..

It looks like this development received Tarkalor's opposition from the outset.

Belintar's governor king of Heortland was a Hendriki tribesman in these years, possibly to soothe over the mismanagement of Doragrestol the Lisper.

Is it coincidence or meaningful that the last governor king of Heortland died (almost?) exactly 300 years after the last independent Hendriki king of Heortland died (the first time)?

Telling how it is excessive verbis


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Interesting stuff. As my campaign is currently in Sea or Fire season 1616 (there are two groups of PCs, each player has 2 - helps for when one or more players is absent) I suspect I'll need to work in this Belintar disappearance soon.

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2 minutes ago, Crel said:

Please share what you do--that sounds really interesting!

Happy to, but honestly my research will have to start with, "Holy Country, The" and proceed from there. :) I suspect someone far cleverer than me has already developed something far more interesting, but I'll see what I can do.

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Just now, GAZZA said:

Happy to, but honestly my research will have to start with, "Holy Country, The" and proceed from there. :) I suspect someone far cleverer than me has already developed something far more interesting, but I'll see what I can do.

Trust me, I've been there, am there, and will continue to be there :D. Just expressing my curiosity!

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