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Backford Aeolian Campaign


Erol of Backford

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14 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

What if one of your campaign's PC's was an adopted Agmori Aeolian Emali who, of course loves fire and doesn't mind riding a horse, albeit a demonic one?

I'd personally say that's not so much a five-step plan, as about five on-the-face-of-it wildly incompatible things crammed into one character.  OTOH that's the very sort of things heroes do, nothing some moderate-to-high law- and taboo-breaking and if it comes to it Illumination won't cure, and tastes as to high-concept density will, as with your Glorantha, clearly vary.  But what'll you do for an encore, if that's just the opening bid for just one person's Unique Thing?

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Still reading up on the Aeolians and while looking at the old Wyrm's Hold scenario (Tales of the Reaching Moon issue #13) the chance for mounted combat via jousting is likely. If a character hits another while mounted who is also mounted and coming towards them wouldn't the damage modifier be increased? It just seems the closing speed would increase the damage done by say at least an additional half the opponents active damage bonus?

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On 11/16/2021 at 8:50 PM, jajagappa said:

There's no best map available yet, but there are certain things to be aware.

While there are tribes around Whitewall (e.g. Sylangi, Kultain, Bacofi, Curtali, Olontongi) and a large tribal confederation formed by Broyan (i.e. Volsaxi in the Marzeel Valley), once you are south of the Marzeel there are no tribes - they weren't needed/desired while Belintar ruled.

I guess a map with "Here Be No Tribes" on it would be the best available tribal map, then!

On 11/16/2021 at 8:50 PM, jajagappa said:

What you have are lots of Hendriki clans who generally oppose the idea of tribes, or who oppose the idea of any "king".  From the standpoint of clan rituals, Belintar was there as part of their rituals (he was a God after all), and from the standpoint of tribute, that was gathered by the Governor and whatever bureaucracy/tribute collectors they used (from 1460-1560 around Whitewall, the Kitori performed that task - then Tarkalor broke that arrangement).

My possibly-excessively-warm take would be that based on their history the Hendriki, aren't opposed to the concept of kings and tribal leaders, to the point of seeing Elder-Wilds-like situations where there are clans, and that's it, as ideal.  (TBF, I know even less about the EW situation, so who know if even they think that's ideal, either!)  But you don't pick a tribal or high king in conceptual terms, you have to pick an actual person, an actual rite, and actual authority for them -- and there's the whole series of rubs.

When you break down what sort of theory of the case different people might have, I think they might break down a little like:

  • The "Dar" model.  Every city, town, or whatever crossroads passes as the centre of a region of customary marriage (triaties and the like) is going to have a Chief, and that person may have some of the trappings of a tribal leader -- or maybe just the notions of being one.  What they'll notably lack is any great amount of authority:  no Rex magic, no High King recognition, no clearly demarcated top-down jurisdiction from any superior.  So this ends up being more like just one more squabbling clan than a Sartar-style tribe or city ring.
  • The "High King" precedent.  That'd work great, except you have to have a great candidate with a great claim, to essentially give the uppity Hendriki no choice but to recognise them.  But this is a tough call, as it's not been in operation for quite some time during Belintar's rule, so there's a lack of a candidate pool, and there's a lack of proximate precedent.  There's much less weight behind "well, he's no Hendrik the Free, but at least he's the son of the previous stiff, so he'll do".  Also one of the better recent possibilities is dead.
  • Appointing a count/earl/sub-governor/reeve/some fancy Greek term yet to be determined.  Not much of a flier as you can't have one appointed when there's no governor, and you can't appoint a governor if there's no Pharaoh to do that.  But it may have a certain sort of administrative inertia, in that people may be more willing to accept some sort of ruler within those boundaries than some more innovative grouping.  But anti-Belintar types may make a point of opposing it for that very reason though, and want to "knock through" into other Provinces.  But at least they correspond to obvious natural boundaries.  Assuming you see rivers as borders moreso than thoroughfares, which on balance given the geography here seems reasonable.
  • Rex-rite tribal kings.  OK, this is obviously WRONG, because filthy Alakoring heresy, we don't have no truck with that northern nonsense here, but bear in mind the whole Kultain/Olontongi plot arc.  Assuming the Kultain ever had Rex rites -- and I know mine did, though there was some coming and going in that in my game in that area! -- then they're a vector for smuggling that thinking back south of the Crossline.  Who knows, it might just catch on.
On 11/16/2021 at 8:50 PM, jajagappa said:

If you grew up in or around Backford, then you are from one of the clans in that area.

Backford's also going to be some of a centre of Loyalist sentiment, I think.  The Guide says, "Backford was the center of the God-King’s cult in Heortland, and was connected to the City of Wonders by a magical bridge. The magical Fish Road still stops here on its run from Deeper up the Syphon River."  Now, the first part of that might be an error or misleading, as the main map clearly sees the City of Wonders connecting to Durengard, instead.  Maybe it's a giant clover-leaf system!  Or some sort of ritually important connection between the two, at least.

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1 hour ago, Erol of Backford said:

Still reading up on the Aeolians and while looking at the old Wyrm's Hold scenario (Tales of the Reaching Moon issue #13) the chance for mounted combat via jousting is likely.

With the shift away from the old RQ3 era medieval view of the West/Malkioni, you should expect that the Aeolians would also shift away from a view of mounted, heavily armored knights jousting. 

Easier to think of the Aeolians as largely Heortlings with a caste structure.  And like Sartarite tribal kings maintaining a small warband, so Aeolian nobles may maintain a small warband to defend their local community (or provide warriors when called upon in the past by Belintar or his Governor).  There was an ancient Heortland tradition of chariot riders.  This would be replaced by heavy cavalry under Belintar. 

Would the nobles have held competitions between their warbands?  Perhaps that would be useful to keep the warriors occupied in the periods of peace, or when raiding Praxians were few and far...

1 hour ago, Erol of Backford said:

Along the same lines what is form/set lightning from an earlier post? "Do the Aeolian Cataphracts still ride around with form/set lightning lances?"

I would generally expect "no".  But if it seems to suit your campaign, then why not?

 

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26 minutes ago, Alex said:

My possibly-excessively-warm take would be that based on their history the Hendriki, aren't opposed to the concept of kings and tribal leaders, to the point of seeing Elder-Wilds-like situations where there are clans, and that's it, as ideal.

No, not opposed to the concept of a King - there was just one though - the King of Heortland.  And that king had set regalia to prove they were the King of Heortland.  No regalia?  Not the king.

And pre-Belintar, there were some larger tribes at times.  But Belintar pretty well suppressed that - and with Belintar there was no need for a tribe when Belintar was there and present in your community and providing his protection and blessings.

29 minutes ago, Alex said:

is going to have a Chief, and that person may have some of the trappings of a tribal leader -- or maybe just the notions of being one.  What they'll notably lack is any great amount of authority:  no Rex magic, no High King recognition, no clearly demarcated top-down jurisdiction from any superior.  So this ends up being more like just one more squabbling clan than a Sartar-style tribe or city ring.

Yes, this is pretty much what you get.  Now, in the post-Belintar period, at first you have two rival Kings: Broyan in the north, Rikard in the south.  Then Lunar invasion/Lunar Governor.  Then all three of those are gone, and what do you have?  Squabbling, rival clans ready to invoke old or forgotten feuds.

But the opportunity is there for ambitious leaders to form new tribes (just think of it as the Storm Age anew - and each tribe has to be forged anew).

32 minutes ago, Alex said:

The "High King" precedent.  That'd work great, except you have to have a great candidate with a great claim, to essentially give the uppity Hendriki no choice but to recognise them. 

It's a precedent.  But you need the right regalia.  And with Wolf Pirates busily raiding - you may have to get creative to find/retrieve (maybe time to open up those old barrows???).

33 minutes ago, Alex said:

Appointing a count/earl/sub-governor/reeve/some fancy Greek term yet to be determined.  Not much of a flier as you can't have one appointed when there's no governor, and you can't appoint a governor if there's no Pharaoh to do that.

(No Pharaoh - obsolete title.  Just God-king.)

Belintar's gone, the Lunar army is gone.  There is no one to appoint such, and nothing to enforce such.  But, there may well be ambitious leaders who can seize power and claim to be "governor" of say Durengard, or another city. 

36 minutes ago, Alex said:

Rex-rite tribal kings.  OK, this is obviously WRONG

No Rex rites in Heortland.

But, the Volsaxing had the Vingkotling ways - prove yourself to be a bearer of the Divine Blood of Vingkot, as Broyan did, and you can claim to be King of the Volsaxings.

37 minutes ago, Alex said:

Backford's also going to be some of a centre of Loyalist sentiment, I think.  The Guide says, "Backford was the center of the God-King’s cult in Heortland, and was connected to the City of Wonders by a magical bridge. The magical Fish Road still stops here on its run from Deeper up the Syphon River."  Now, the first part of that might be an error or misleading, as the main map clearly sees the City of Wonders connecting to Durengard, instead. 

Yes, they would have been among the Loyalists to Belintar, particularly since the Fish Road passed through and that was one of Belintar's important connections through the Holy Country.  Like other cities across the Holy Country and Sartar, it still has clans - they gained a lot from Belintar's presence, so naturally would be loyal vs. the ever-rebellious Volsaxi.

Durengard was the center of the God-king's cult though and was where the Governor's Palace was located and the magic bridge from the City of Wonders.  If you look at the map of the magic roads, if you just keep extending from Durengard, you can see the true destination of the magic road: Stormwalk Mountain. 

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On 11/20/2021 at 4:18 AM, jajagappa said:

With the shift away from the old RQ3 era medieval view of the West/Malkioni, you should expect that the Aeolians would also shift away from a view of mounted, heavily armored knights jousting. 

Some form of lance riding contest would remain for any force fighting with a lance charge. Late medieval style steel plate armor obviously is not the answer, though.

But then, jousts appear to have been the pastime of war-less knights already during the Crusader era, with chainmail being the height of protective gear technology. All you need seems to be a saddle (and possibly stirrups) and a shield.

 

On 11/20/2021 at 4:18 AM, jajagappa said:

Easier to think of the Aeolians as largely Heortlings with a caste structure. 

And the talar caste Aeolians as noble cavalry when going to war. Ending up with the heavier armed mounted warrior who may fight on foot again.

 

On 11/20/2021 at 4:18 AM, jajagappa said:

Would the nobles have held competitions between their warbands?  Perhaps that would be useful to keep the warriors occupied in the periods of peace, or when raiding Praxians were few and far...

They would be in a situation similar to the Carmanians in the Lunar Empire. Nomadic neighbors on one side whose idea of mounted combat may be quite different, a large entity with occasional need for veteran cavalry on its far ends - whether against the Volsaxi or against Ditali and Solanthi.

 

On 11/20/2021 at 4:18 AM, jajagappa said:

I would generally expect "no".  But if it seems to suit your campaign, then why not?

There's always mercenary work, too. Various Dragon Pass kings would have employed mercenaries in their battles, like Yarandros, possibly Palashee, certainly Tarkalor and Terasarin.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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According to the History of Heortling Peoples p.88, Andrin the Mover, a Larnsting king who reigned 923-950, instituted the Dragonbreaker Cult. It would be weird if he had not adopted the Rex kingship at the same time.

 

Then there are the City Reges. Heortland has plenty of cities which will have a plenipotentiary mayor or city king or sheriff who acts as the local big man. A companion of the governor-king by virtue of the office, and usually replaced by such after a while, although the citizens (including the local clan heads) elect the office-holder. Going against the benevolent suggestion of the governor-king - possibly in his presence - may have taken some effort.

Much of the Sartarite city constitution was inherited from the Hendriki kingdom cities, as they were organized at the time Sartar left - about 150 years into Belintar's reign over the Holy Country. All those western ideas about government may have been around for longer, and Palangio had made sure that Dara Happan civilized city management had been spread into Kethaela and Maniria during the Bright Empire, all the way to Slontos (from which the westernized concepts returned to Heortland).

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

And the talar caste Aeolians as noble cavalry when going to war. Ending up with the heavier armed mounted warrior who may fight on foot again.

I suspect "fighting" of any sort will violate the caste restrictions of the Aeolian nobles.  More likely they will ride in chariots to clearly mark them as nobles, and will command their cavalry to take appropriate actions.  The warriors, chariot drivers, etc. will all be of the common caste.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

According to the History of Heortling Peoples p.88, Andrin the Mover, a Larnsting king who reigned 923-950, instituted the Dragonbreaker Cult. It would be weird if he had not adopted the Rex kingship at the same time.

That sort of weird I can definitely rationalise and live with.  In fact, it might even act to reinforce the resistance to the Rex subcult, if Andrin "proved" that his Alakor was a Dragonbreaker, and very definitely not a Super King with Evil Emperor Tyrannical Mind Control Powers(TM).

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Then there are the City Reges. Heortland has plenty of cities which will have a plenipotentiary mayor or city king or sheriff who acts as the local big man.

But surely the point is they're pretty much anything but Rex-types.  They might be "Super Chiefs", usin Dar rites or some variation on those -- I think the BoHM mentions another entity or aspect of Orlanth significant to tribe-foundation, but I'm not clear if they're essentially the same rites.  They might be talars.  They might be sub-sub-(sub...)-governors.

41 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I suspect "fighting" of any sort will violate the caste restrictions of the Aeolian nobles.  More likely they will ride in chariots to clearly mark them as nobles, and will command their cavalry to take appropriate actions.  The warriors, chariot drivers, etc. will all be of the common caste.

That's only going to be the case if they follow the Brithini model -- or Rokari, those infamous wannabe Brithini! -- of caste, and do so pretty strictly in that regard at that.  As opposed to the manymanymany things they very much don't do the Rokari way!  I'd have thought that especially given the baseline Orlanthi cultural substrate, there'd be huge pushback to this from the governed.  Though I suppose you could flip that and say it's their distinctive point of difference from the Orlanthi leadership model.

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There is a tendency to overplay the influence of the Aeolians. Remember that geographically, all of Heortland is about the same size as Sartar, perhaps a little smaller.  

They are a fascinating group, but perhaps easier to imagine them as comparable to the Druze or Mandaeans. They combine elements of Orlanthi polytheism and Malkionism.

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13 minutes ago, Alex said:

That's only going to be the case if they follow the Brithini model -- or Rokari, those infamous wannabe Brithini! -- of caste, and do so pretty strictly in that regard at that.

 

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

I suspect "fighting" of any sort will violate the caste restrictions of the Aeolian nobles.  More likely they will ride in chariots to clearly mark them as nobles, and will command their cavalry to take appropriate actions.  The warriors, chariot drivers, etc. will all be of the common caste.

I think the Brithini are really the only Malkioni that totally forbid fighting to their Talars. Even the Rokari wizards found it pretty hard to take the "war" out of the warlords that make up their Talars, so they made loopholes that let them still fight. I doubt Aeolians of all people would have problems with their nobles throwing down, especially since they are still Orlanthi.

Edited by Richard S.
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Actually, don't Aeolians combine Horali and Talar into the same caste basically? I feel like I remember them only having three castes: wizards, nobles/thanes, and commoners. Don't recall the source.

Edit: even if it's not actually canon, after giving this some more thought I think I'll run with it for my Aeolians. Wizard-priests who simultaneously learn sorcery and sacrifice to Orlanth, a typical noble warrior class of chieftains and thanes who worship Orlanth normally, and a general "everyone else".

Edited by Richard S.
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It is also worth thinking about the importance of the Orshanti kinship group, which included Colymar (who cut off all ties to the clan spirits when he settled in Dragon Pass) and Sartar (who became a god). Presumably the Orshanti remained an influential kinship group in Heortland, linked by blood, trade, and religion to the House of Sartar. 

Edited by Jeff
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So if we think about Heortland in the last century or so, we have several dynamics:
1. Belintar as a God-King, whom the various groups in Heortland recognise as sovereign.

2. The House of Sartar, connected by kinship to an influential Heortland clan and kinship group. After 1570 they are far more influential, with the Volsaxi as a client kingdom (that still acknowledges Belintar as suzerain) and trade with Sartar becoming ever more important.

3. A governor-king of Heortland who functions as Belintar's satrap.

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39 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Actually, don't Aeolians combine Horali and Talar into the same caste basically? I feel like I remember them only having three castes: wizards, nobles/thanes, and commoners. Don't recall the source.

Edit: even if it's not actually canon, after giving this some more thought I think I'll run with it for my Aeolians. Wizard-priests who simultaneously learn sorcery and sacrifice to Orlanth, a typical noble warrior class of chieftains and thanes who worship Orlanth normally, and a general "everyone else".

I hope this point, and all aeolian organization (aka who can do what, sorcery, invisible god, orlanthi gods, etc...), will be published and then become a canon.

What canon , i have no preference, but a canon. There are so many, too many options.

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Actually, don't Aeolians combine Horali and Talar into the same caste basically? I feel like I remember them only having three castes: wizards, nobles/thanes, and commoners. Don't recall the source.

I'm not sure, but I'd be any money that's not how they view -- or rationalise -- it.  Depending on how Heavy on the Hrestol they are, perhaps they see themselves as closer to a Men-of-All caste on the one hand, and a Common one on the other.

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29 minutes ago, Alex said:

I'm not sure, but I'd be any money that's not how they view -- or rationalise -- it.  Depending on how Heavy on the Hrestol they are, perhaps they see themselves as closer to a Men-of-All caste on the one hand, and a Common one on the other.

Checking RQG, it does describe them as just having wizards, nobles, and commoners, the latter two of which don't practice sorcery. I doubt there's much Hrestoli influence in them, considering they seem to have been in Heortland since the dawn.

Edited by Richard S.
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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

There is a tendency to overplay the influence of the Aeolians. Remember that geographically, all of Heortland is about the same size as Sartar, perhaps a little smaller.

So given the Guide numbers of 8k Urban and ignoring the 42k rural (they are all farmers), that gives us 2k men, 2k women, and 4k children. So if 1 in 100 (usual rune/shaman/wizard levels) of the men are Brithini wizards, that means there are about 20 Brithini Wizards leading the whole lot? Or is that too low? 

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I suspect "fighting" of any sort will violate the caste restrictions of the Aeolian nobles. 

According to Jeff's notes on them from a while back, the Aeolians have no warrior/soldier caste, and all three (!) castes fight - even the Zzaburi.

5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

More likely they will ride in chariots to clearly mark them as nobles, and will command their cavalry to take appropriate actions.  The warriors, chariot drivers, etc. will all be of the common caste.

If the Tanisoran Talar caste gets to play Man-of-All as a martial caste alongside their beast-society soldier caste, why would the Aeolians be banned from that?

My question from five years ago when this caste system variant would have appeared still remains open. From the looks of it, all four Brithini castes are present in God Forgot, even if their Talar caste consists of a single person.

I don't know whether the Ingarens follow the caste system closely.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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45 minutes ago, Joerg said:

My question from five years ago when this caste system variant would have appeared still remains open. From the looks of it, all four Brithini castes are present in God Forgot, even if their Talar caste consists of a single person.

 

IMG this remains an unsettled question of history. For purposes of both art and expediency, I want to believe that this may be the most ancient surviving mortal caste expression left on the lozenge . . . maybe even the original Malkonwal settled after the Expulsion if you believe the local street prophets. 

In pursuit of maximum gloranthan complexity, I am willing to be convinced that the current aeolian system emerged at a specific time and in specific circumstances, maybe in the wreckage of empire or even in the early Belintar revelations ("Demi-Birth Era") that also fed into the modern Trader Prince doctrine and so on. But there were probably people here in ancient times who acknowledged that the prophet was descended from storm.

ObDumb: demibirth, demivierge, demiurge, demibird

Edited by scott-martin
correcting typo is the occasion for an expanded stinger
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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

So given the Guide numbers of 8k Urban and ignoring the 42k rural (they are all farmers), that gives us 2k men, 2k women, and 4k children. So if 1 in 100 (usual rune/shaman/wizard levels) of the men are Brithini wizards, that means there are about 20 Brithini Wizards leading the whole lot? Or is that too low? 

Jeff's FB notes suggest it's closer to 1500 or slightly less people with sorcery training, though of course not all of those may be considered proper wizards.

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