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Heralds and Battle in Glorantha


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On 4/24/2021 at 9:00 AM, svensson said:

Moving a specific question from the RQ forum over here because it's more 'Gloranthan cultural' than RQ rules.

Question for the Collective Brain Jar: Are Issaries heralds considered inviolate in Gloranthan warfare?

Obviously some opponents wouldn't observe such niceties, such as broo, tusk riders, trolls, etc, but do 'civilized' opponents observe the neutrality of the herald?

Understand, I'm not speaking of an Issaries trader here, but specifically in the Issaries the Messenger /Herald /Neutral Party role.

I can legitimately imagine two clans going at it with two unarmed Heralds standing on top a hill nearby mutually observing the battle or exchanging messages for their principals.

My take on the matter is this...

Issaries is one of the more heavily "God-Learned" of the cults.  So much so that its name is actually a contraction of "Emissaries", hence the obvious joke:

P1: Who they?

P2: Emissaries.

P1: 'Em issaries huh? Issaries... Strangers have odd words.

P2: (sigh) Yup.

This means that in many ways the role of Herald Goodword, as a sub-cult and extension of Goldentongue, is likely to be very old and highly integrated, culturally into pretty much every ex-Jrusteli colony where Issaries is still worshipped.  Heralds IRL were not around in the bronze age, but given that Glorantha's Second Age was avowedly renaissance to industrial technology, and very Western, it makes sense for heralds to exist, even if they are an apparent anachronism.

As to how accepted Heralds are, well, they provide a specialized but useful service for warring parties.  They would be especially handy when negotiating ransoms and truces, and I suspect Herald Goodword would likely have an association with Humakt, due to the Humakti propensity for detecting assassins and stopping ambushes, and potentially acting as guards and protecting the peace.  Whichever civilization meets heralds, most will understand that messengers are useful and hence should be treated with hospitality, as they represent the fact that the enemy is seeking terms of some sort, and winning or losing, that is an interesting opportunity.

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Issaries is one of the more heavily "God-Learned" of the cults.  So much so that its name is actually a contraction of "Emissaries", hence the obvious joke:

Be thankful that the God Learners didn't create a combat version called Janissaries.  

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4 hours ago, metcalph said:

Be thankful that the God Learners didn't create a combat version called Janissaries.  

Definitely stealing this idea for my version of Fonrit though.

e: the Jann-Issaries

Edited by dumuzid
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7 hours ago, dumuzid said:

Definitely stealing this idea for my version of Fonrit though.

e: the Jann-Issaries

And their rebel opposition, the Comm-Issaries?

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On 4/29/2021 at 6:13 AM, metcalph said:

Be thankful that the God Learners didn't create a combat version called Janissaries.  

Elite Issaries caravan guards from Afadjann?

Edited by Darius West
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