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Destroyed Lunar colony in southern Zola Fel valley circa 1625?


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So help out a newcomer to Glorantha. Make sure I have this straight in my head-- The Zola Fel river valley, AKA River of Cradles has three broad regions:

1. Northern stretch, centered around Pavis/Big Rubble. Sartartite/Pavis urban culture mostly.

2. Central region, "Sun County", culturally Yelmalian.

3. Southern Region. Page 126 of "Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha" says the lower valley had been settled by Lunar farmers, but this colony was destroyed around 1625.

Where could I find out more about this colony? Seems like an interesting region, and ripe for a campaign setting.

Also, wouldn't the ruins of Corflu be here as well? Or are they completely submerged? Do Wolf Pirates range along that coast?

Is there any canonical writing on this post Lunar colony in 1625 or later?

Or has your Own Glorantha (May Vary) touched down in this area? How did you handle it?

Keep in mind I am new to Glorantha, and my next planned purchase is the Bestiary, so I am a few months budgeting time away from owning Sourcebooks or Guides. But if someone is interested enough to summarize those sources, or even just speculate on their own theories, or point me to some blog posts or other material, I would be very grateful. I am interested in the Lunar Colony, both before and after 1625, and in that whole southern Zola Fel region in general.

Thank you!

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So this is the rumour: 34. Don Duras is actually Duke Raus of Rone, an exiled Lunar nobleman. (R) Here's some more about "Don Duras" from my as-yet-to-be-released (or even finished) Casino T

As I've alluded to previously, I've been noodling with mashing up Corflu and Sanctuary for some time.  This conversation inspired me to take my colored pencils out and liven up one of my working draft

Unending Winter When the Lunar Governor Sor Eel was recalled to Dragon Pass most of the hungry army went with him, having requisitioned all the food they could lay their hands on. Count Solanthos

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22 minutes ago, seasparrow said:

3. Southern Region. Page 126 of "Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha" says the lower valley had been settled by Lunar farmers, but this colony was destroyed around 1625.

This area was being used to grow hazia, a strong narcotic native to Dagori Inkarth highly in demand in the late Lunar Empire, as well as rice, flax, and cotton. The area is centered on Fort Raus, named for the appointed ruler, Duke Raus of Rone, and are known as the Grantlands.

There's also a deeply problematic infestation of broo, lead by a young human woman who has earned leadership by beating the devil out of the head broo and any others who challenged her. She's a Malian priestess.

The first survey and building was done in 1615, but the first settlers - who are all a mishmash of troublemakers from all over the Empire - arrived in 1617. There are even Talastaring Orlanthi.

The population of the Grantlands is about 10,000 Lunar humans at its height.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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1 hour ago, seasparrow said:

Where could I find out more about this colony? Seems like an interesting region, and ripe for a campaign setting.

In fact, it was one of the first RQ campaign settings called "Borderlands".  The original is available in the RQ Classics line here: https://www.chaosium.com/borderlands-pdf/ 

And there was a later edition in the Glorantha Classics line here:  https://www.chaosium.com/borderlands-beyond/  (This edition added original content from the RQ Classics of Plunder and Runemasters plus some extra bits - however, the Borderlands content itself is IIRC the same.)

Great setting and the campaign marked the arrival of Duke Raus of Rone (from the Lunar Empire) to settle and establish his Grantland estate (there were several other grantlands, but those were left to GMs to develop as they wished).  The campaign was set in the period 1615-6.  You could extend as you wished utilizing the RQ2 Pavis/Big Rubble packs.  Later RQ3 material had a River of Cradles book that also went through the area, though was a separate campaign focused on the river itself and only briefly stops in the Grantlands.  There was one additional scenario in the RQ3 Shadows on the Borderlands book that was connected to the Mallia priestess noted above.

1 hour ago, seasparrow said:

Also, wouldn't the ruins of Corflu be here as well? Or are they completely submerged? Do Wolf Pirates range along that coast?

Corflu marks the end of the river.  The ruins are a place called Feroda.  They appear in the RQ Classic Pavis book, see here: https://www.chaosium.com/pavis-pdf/ (there is also a Glorantha Classics version of this on the Chaosium website).

The Feroda material was extended/added to with another scenario in the HQG line book, Pavis: Gateway to Adventure.  https://www.chaosium.com/pavis-gateway-to-adventure-pdf/

This scenario was more extended than the original one (and could be adapted into a Grantlands based campaign).  The ruins are not completely submerged - and Lunar excavations are busy recovering artifacts there.

As for Wolf Pirates, yes, they range along the coast, but Corflu is so poor, they don't bother with it.

1 hour ago, seasparrow said:

Is there any canonical writing on this post Lunar colony in 1625 or later?

Just that the Grantlands have been overrun and largely destroyed by the returning Praxian nomads.  Beyond that, it's up to your campaign to determine.

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As MoB said:

Quote

 

Here's an excerpt from the timeline in the (as-yet unpublished) "The Great Winter and the Time of Two Counts":

- 1624 -

Duke Raus and his entourage escape downriver from the nomads. Ronegarth is razed; Grantlands settlers flee or are taken as slaves by the raiders. [Storm]

 

 

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Yeah, I have a huge soft spot in my heart for Raus and Family, and not excited at the prospect of them being on the receiving end of Praxian ethnic cleansing.  But them's the wages of war, eh?

4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

As for Wolf Pirates, yes, they range along the coast, but Corflu is so poor, they don't bother with it.

That was as of 1613.  In 1619, the Lunars launch an invasion fleet from Corflu that establishes a headland in Heortland by taking Karse.  That means the ships in that fleet were built in Corflu, which means the Lunar Empire invested heavily in the construction not only of ships, but an entire naval production and supply facility.  So between 1613 and 1619, Corflu goes from being a quaint, shit-sticks backwater to bustling boomtown overnight.  All somehow in secret? 🤔 Legions of Lunar civil and military engineers are going to be filling in shallow channels to join small islets into larger, interconnected islands with modern shipyards and docks.  Think of Gold Rush San Francisco meets ancient Venice meets modern Chinese artificial island construction.

1 hour ago, 7Tigers said:

As MoB said:

- 1624 -

Duke Raus and his entourage escape downriver from the nomads. Ronegarth is razed; Grantlands settlers flee or are taken as slaves by the raiders.

And later in 1624, Argath and the White Bull Squad liberate Corflu.  Fingers crossed for the ill-starred Raus family and whatever "liberation" constitutes in this instance.  And fingers crossed that Argrath sees the trade benefit of a modernised Corflu downstream from Pavis and manages to ride herd on his marauding troops for a change.

So, come 1625, there are still going to be Lunar refugees in Prax, but prospects don't look good for them.  The romantic in me says that many, including Raus & Co., hang on in the Venetian/Casablanca-esque Corflu, many seeking safe passage elsewhere from the relative safety of the ass-end of the Zola Fel, many more just scraping by, and some even thriving on the chaos (small-c).  Upriver and inland, ethnic cleansing will have gotten ugly, as tribal nomads mercilessly persecute a generation of cultural Lunars who've known no home but the Zola Fel and the Grantlands.  I love me some 1615-21 Lead Up to War action, but I'm warming strongly to this vision of Corflu in 1625.

5 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

There's also a deeply problematic infestation of broo, lead by a young human woman who has earned leadership by beating the devil out of the head broo and any others who challenged her. She's a Malian priestess.

Oh, please tell me you're referring to Raus' daughter, Jezra.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
Whoops! Karse with a K!
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1 hour ago, Ian Absentia said:

In 1619, the Lunars launch an invasion fleet from Corflu that establishes a headland in Heortland by taking Karse.  That means the ships in that fleet were built in Corflu, which means the Lunar Empire invested heavily in the construction not only of ships, but an entire naval production and supply facility. 

With what wood???  Redwoods floated all the way down the Zola Fel?  

My money says Lunar silvers (and wheels) bought a fleet for transport.  Could be Wolf Pirates.  Could be Teshnan traders.  Maybe even Handran merchants (the Lunars obviously got their money to Greymane in Maniria).  I don't think you'll find enough wood to build a whole transport fleet, but coins they've got a lot of (plus the plunder of the Big Rubble).

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7 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

 

There's also a deeply problematic infestation of broo, lead by a young human woman who has earned leadership by beating the devil out of the head broo and any others who challenged her. She's a Malian priestess.

 

But she makes more sense if she's a Thed priestess.  Given her backstory, she makes a great avatar of Thed.

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13 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

With what wood???  Redwoods floated all the way down the Zola Fel?  

My money says Lunar silvers (and wheels) bought a fleet for transport.  Could be Wolf Pirates.  Could be Teshnan traders.  Maybe even Handran merchants (the Lunars obviously got their money to Greymane in Maniria).  I don't think you'll find enough wood to build a whole transport fleet, but coins they've got a lot of (plus the plunder of the Big Rubble).

Yes, they floated barges downriver.  I can't remember where I read this, but it was integral not only in the building of Corflu, but the fleet as well.

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13 minutes ago, Pentallion said:

Yes, they floated barges downriver.  I can't remember where I read this, but it was integral not only in the building of Corflu, but the fleet as well.

Check out Pavis: GtA p.68: "In 1619 the Lunars staged from Corflu a surprise sea assault on the Heortland town of Karse. During the preceding two years, the Lunars attempted to keep their preparations for operation secret. Soldiers and supplies are funneled to Corflu under various pretexts until the garrison numbers 400 men and the warehouses are packed with innocuously labeled crates. Two warships and three transports appear in Corflu one day, and the ships are loaded with men and supplies within 24 hours.

During the preparations for the adventure, many Esrolian ships visited Corflu. It is remarkable that the Esrolians had no notion of the impending invasion, and a credit to Lunar counter-intelligence. Some rumor that the wolf pirates cooperated with the Lunar assault on Karse."

Barges may have transported soldiers or goods, but clearly the 5 ships came from elsewhere.

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Hello again, OP here. The replies here have been everything I could have hoped for! Thank you for your insight. Here are probably my top three takeaways:

1. OK, the area was called the Grantlands. I understand why that information wasn't included in the one sentence that RQG devoted to the area, but once you know the term a whole world of search engine queries opens up to you.

2. This one is embarrassing, but also proves my instincts were correct. This area and its brief description got me excited enough to ask my original question-- I knew there was something there that I was interested in. I made this post early this morning, and then as part of the answer @jajagappa let me know that it was also called the Borderlands. And this is where I get embarrassed, because I already read the description of Borderlands, and ordered one of the last remaining copies of the Glorantha Classics reprints. Nowhere in my memory of the description does it say that the Borderlands are the Grantlands, or southern Zola Fell valley. I assumed in my ignorance that it was somewhere else on the continent. I just ordered it because it was supposed to be a great campaign and the "help exiled Duke establish a new land" was something that interested me. Now I find out that it is actually the same region that my RPG radar pinged on earlier! 😆 And of course, to add insult to injury, guess what package arrived in my mailbox this very same evening? Of course-- Borderlands and Beyond. 

3. I really feel for people who said they liked the area before 1625. My only solace was that recently I heard on an old episode of "Mythic Tales of Adventure" an interesting comment by Greg Stafford that this new history was just legends that came down to us from the Third Age written by the Orlanthi victors. He said he could totally envisage someone writing a campaign where Argrath and the White Bull heretics are cleansed by the victorious Empire, the Glowline is extended, and a millennium of peace, tolerance, and Lunar unity descends upon the continent. I like that YGMV was built into the system from the start.

Thanks again, everyone.

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2 minutes ago, seasparrow said:

3. I really feel for people who said they liked the area before 1625. My only solace was that recently I heard on an old episode of "Mythic Tales of Adventure" an interesting comment by Greg Stafford that this new history was just legends that came down to us from the Third Age written by the Orlanthi victors. He said he could totally envisage someone writing a campaign where Argrath and the White Bull heretics are cleansed by the victorious Empire, the Glowline is extended, and a millennium of peace, tolerance, and Lunar unity descends upon the continent. I like that YGMV was built into the system from the start.

 

Absolutely! The fate of Glorantha is decided on the tabletop. 

Also, there are people here who will passionately argue that it's now YGMV, but YGWV - Your Glorantha WILL Vary. ;) 

3 minutes ago, seasparrow said:

2. This one is embarrassing, but also proves my instincts were correct. This area and its brief description got me excited enough to ask my original question-- I knew there was something there that I was interested in. I made this post early this morning, and then as part of the answer @jajagappa let me know that it was also called the Borderlands. And this is where I get embarrassed, because I already read the description of Borderlands, and ordered one of the last remaining copies of the Glorantha Classics reprints. Nowhere in my memory of the description does it say that the Borderlands are the Grantlands, or southern Zola Fell valley. I assumed in my ignorance that it was somewhere else on the continent. I just ordered it because it was supposed to be a great campaign and the "help exiled Duke establish a new land" was something that interested me. Now I find out that it is actually the same region that my RPG radar pinged on earlier! 😆 And of course, to add insult to injury, guess what package arrived in my mailbox this very same evening? Of course-- Borderlands and Beyond. 

 

You and me both. I'm woefully undereducated on Prax, as I came to Glorantha from the literary angle, not the RPG angle, so there's a wealth of campaign books and supplements - many of which focus on Prax - that I've not yet read. I vaguely assumed that the Borderlands referred to an area to the immediate west of the Stormwalk mountains, around Pol-Joni lands. Not sure why. This thread corrected that assumption for me. :)

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2 hours ago, seasparrow said:

Thanks again, everyone.

Oh, I don't think we're done here by a long shot.  Bear witness...

2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Check out Pavis: GtA p.68: "In 1619 the Lunars staged from Corflu a surprise sea assault on the Heortland town of Karse. During the preceding two years, the Lunars attempted to keep their preparations for operation secret.

Lord help me if I can recall where I read it, but ostensibly the point of the southward Lunar offensive in Prax was in reaction to their failed invasion of the Holy Country by land in 1605 -- they were looking for a southern ocean port now that the seas were Opened.  All that trouble just to take lease on five foreign ships and make landing on only one Heortland town?  I roll to disbelieve.  I recall now reading that in Pavis:GtA, but that can't be all the story.

Later, in 1623, the Lunar fleet is refused landing at Nochet and the Lunars lay siege.  Again, I'm uncertain of the original citation, and reference to a "fleet" has been excised from the brief summary in RQG Family Histories, but it was there once.  Where did that ephemeral fleet come from?  The Lunars have a port at the mouth of a major river to transfer supplies and troops through relatively secure territorial holdings, and clearly a will to do so -- why wouldn't they take advantage of naval resources?  Because they're an inland empire and not very good at it?  The seas have been Open for barely 30 years -- no one's very good at it yet.  Because as of 1619 they have Karse and can use that as a naval base instead?  It's still an isolated pocket in hostile territory.

So I'll give them their silly "secret" attack on Karse in 1619, but after that it should be kick out the jams, mother****ers!  Between Karse and Nochet it's another four years of potential boomtown military expansion in Corflu.  I agree with the logistical nightmare of getting timber to shipyards in Corflu, but after the secret attack's over they have forests north of the Zola Fel and maybe trade with Teshnos as you suggested.

I decline to accept that Corflu remains insignificant following the events of the Cradle.  I suggest that it's place in history has been neglected out of convenience.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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6 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Upriver and inland, ethnic cleansing will have gotten ugly, as tribal nomads mercilessly persecute a generation of cultural Lunars who've known no home but the Zola Fel and the Grantlands.

10 years (tops, and only for the first wave) isn't a "generation," since only young children would have actually "known no home but the Zola Fel and the Grantlands" at that point. Still sucks for them, of course, given that a lot of them didn't actually have a choice in settling there, so they're paying the price for their government's policies that they had no say in. But hey, that's empire for you.

Edited by Leingod
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11 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Still sucks for them, of course, given that a lot of them didn't actually have a choice in settling there, so they're paying the price for their government's policies that they had no say in. But hey, that's empire for you.

Isn’t it funny how easily some people twist “Hate (Lunar Empire)” into “Hate (victims of the Lunar Empire)”? Almost uncanny.

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5 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

Isn’t it funny how easily some people twist “Hate (Lunar Empire)” into “Hate (victims of the Lunar Empire)”? Almost uncanny.

Of course I find the Sturm und Drang over the Grantlands kind of funny, and save my tears for what is happening in the Redlands and Oraya.

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2 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Later, in 1623, the Lunar fleet is refused landing at Nochet and the Lunars lay siege.  Again, I'm uncertain of the original citation, and reference to a "fleet" has been excised from the brief summary in RQG Family Histories, but it was there once.  Where did that ephemeral fleet come from? 

A theory is that the Lunar Empire has no fleet but was transported on boats and ships from the Rightarm Isles and Esrolia (taking a page from the Archaemenids who fielded a massive fleet at Salamis which had not one Persian ship).

 

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The basic story of the Grantlands is that once the Lunar army is no longer able to protect it from nomads, it isn't protected any more from nomads. What that means differs depending on your campaign. But in one way or another the colony is destroyed. I don't think that means that the nomads slaughtered every settler - rather I suspect most settlers were forced to flee somewhere else. New Pavis, Sun County, Corfu, Horngate, Moonbroth, wherever. 

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7 hours ago, Pentallion said:

But she makes more sense if she's a Thed priestess.  Given her backstory, she makes a great avatar of Thed.

Except that Thed absolutely hates women and does not allow them to worship her.

Thed has issues.

2 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:
4 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Where did that ephemeral fleet come from?

It can’t have sailed through the seas and rivers of myth to get to Corflu, that’s self-evidently ridiculous. 😛

In our last Gloranthan campaign, the PCs did this in reverse. They did a HeroQuest to equate all rivers and matched Zola Fel with the Oslir, allowing the Wolf Pirate Fleet to sail  up the Zola Fel and down the Oslir in a surprise attack.

 

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@soltakss

Quote

n our last Gloranthan campaign, the PCs did this in reverse. They did a HeroQuest to equate all rivers and matched Zola Fel with the Oslir, allowing the Wolf Pirate Fleet to sail  up the Zola Fel and down the Oslir in a surprise attack.

GREAT STUFF!

In real world history, one Crusader lord (Renaud de Chatillon IIRC) prepared the various pieces of five war galleys in his fief of Outre-Jourdain (let's say present-day Jordania) and had the plan to transport them to the Red Sea (in the Eilat Gulf IIRC), assemble them there and raid the coast of Arabia. I would say the distance involved (Kerak-Eilat is ca. 250 km) must be greater than between Northern Sartar and Corflou, the environment harsher and the Ayyubid army more dangerous than the Praxian nomads.

A good challenge for a bunch of Lunar'officers PC!

Edited by Minlister
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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Except that Thed absolutely hates women and does not allow them to worship her.

Thed has issues.

Except Thed IS a female, like it or not, and Muriah thus is perfect as her avatar.  She was the perfect embodiment of Thed in my glorantha.  :Muriah was vengeful and tragic, like Thed.

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