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Notes on the Lunar Empire


jajagappa

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Posted by Jeff on FB:

Where Sartar is a silk road kingdom, with its riches coming from its command over the trade routes through strategic Dragon Pass, the Lunar Empire is a river-and-grasslands civilization. Because of its continental climate, it is not truly a hydraulic civilization, and the Lunar Heartlands perhaps looks more the Mississippi Embayment or much of Iowa.
I sometimes imagine the Lunar Heartlands superimposed on the American Midwest, with Alkoth being St. Louis, Glamour being Des Moines, and Yuthuppa being the Twin Cities. Elz Ast and Joranit are like Buffalo and Quebec City. No wonder the Kalikos Expedition gets such support!
Peloria is quite dry - wet air gets blown from the far west, but needs to go over Fronela or Valind's Glacier before it reaches Peloria. The immediate foothills of the Rockwoods and Yolp mountains might get 25 to 40 inches or so, but that drops in the plains.
 
> You definitely get tornados in Saird. And probably throughout Peloria - one more reason to fear and dislike the Storm Gods.
 
> One geographical oddity is the Crater itself. It rises some 3 to 5 km above the surrounding plains, covered in snow and acts as a cooling factor in the Silver Shadow.
The Crater is something like a small version of Niven's Fist of God. It is obviously not a natural geological feature - a high ring of mountains formed when the Red Moon rose into the sky. The Red Moon appeared in historical times, although it was a long time ago (the equivalent of our mid-17th century).
But unlike Fist of God, the Red Moon rose without explosions or visible destruction (although its enemies claimed it was accompanied with vast spiritual carnage). Instead a great red and black globe, more than 30 km in diameter and slowly spinning, rose from the earth leaving the Crater behind. It rose high into the sky, and then stopped its ascent, but continued spinning from red to black.
I'd rank the ascent of the Red Moon among the four greatest magical events in history - along with the Sunstop, the Closing, and the Dragonkill War. Little events like the Faceless Giant, the Cursing of Dorastor, or even the Moonburn barely count on that list.
 
> As an aside, I pointed out on another thread that it is probably easier and cheaper to buy silk in Boldhome than Glamour*. Let that sink in.
*That being said, there is more silk and more demand for silk in Glamour. Still, any Wind Lord or Earth Priestess who wants to deck themselves out with silk in Boldhome probably can. If they can afford it.
 
> Another thing keeping in mind is the amount of marshlands around Darjiin and Henjarl. The Henjarl Marshes cover about 1500 km2, while the Dorkath marshes are about 1000 km2. There are a number of other marshes that collectively are about 1500 km2. So altogether, we are looking at something about 4 times the size of the Upland Marsh in an area about the size of Sartar.
Now these marshes are socially like the Mesopotamian marshes in Iraq (even if they ecologically are more like the Great Black Swamp of Indiana). They are populated by numbers villages made of reeds and often reachable only by boat. There are numerous canals and dikes throughout the marshes to tame them. The marshes inhabited by countless species of birds and fish, and the Oslira crocodile.
 
 
 
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Some more Lunar stuff courtesy of Jeff:

There was a recent question on where the Red Emperor's revenues come from. Here's a few thoughts:
1. The Red Emperor in legal theory "owns" the Lunar Heartlands. Much of that has been given to his satraps who pay him annually in taxes (mostly in coin, rice, and grain, but also in crafted goods, animals, etc.), and soldiers. He has kept the Silver Shadow, although parts of that have been given to friends and favorites (although Red Emperor is perfectly willing to reclaim that whenever they feel like it). Everything in the Lunar Heartlands is theoretically his.
2. The West Reaches and the Provincial Kingdoms pay regular tribute to the Red Emperor.
3. The Red Emperor owns the Red Haired Caravan. He gets at least 2 tons of silk a year.
4. The Red Emperor is the head of the Red Goddess cult and the Yelm cult. This is probably tied into 1 though.
So when the Red Emperor wants something, he just decrees it. It is up to his scribes and administrators, satraps and generals to make it happen. Woe to the scribe who has to explain that the Red Emperor lacks the resources to send ten Heartland regiments to Dragon Pass while simultaneously suppressing the White Moon Movement and fighting off a Pentan invasion of the Redlands.
 
JR> This creates a situation where the Red Emperor can have the resources to give everyone feasting with him a priceless living crystal goblet so that they might drink wine from Fonrit and wipe their mouths with silk kerchiefs while they watch cleansed broo breath fire and dance around a live unicorn, but not have enough coin to pay the Arrowstone regiment in their war in the Redlands.
 
JR> The Lunar Heartlands were not a oligarchical republic before the Red Emperor came to power. It was an alliance of a theocratic monarchy with a self-made goddess who liberated/conquered the land from those that had conquered it about 60 years previously.
And more recently (like a century and a half ago), the Red Emperor reclaimed the Heartlands from the Pentan nomads that ruled it for the better part of a century.
 
JR> So in the Fifth Wane, the Red Emperor reclaimed land from the Pentan bands. This land was given to temples or individuals. Of course what the Red Emperor gives, he can take away, and of course the inhabitants of that land need to give the Red Emperor his share. Of course some places were ruled by the Pentans - and these cities and temples have land, markets, and other resources, which of course they acknowledge are derived from the Red Emperor.
For tradition and for convenience, the Red Emperor has appointed satraps to rule over most of his domains. All of these satraps are by now descendants of the Red Emperor, although some of the original satraps were allied kings or other rulers. The satraps must pay the Red Emperor regular tribute of coin, worship, food, goods, and soldiers - and legions of Irrippi Ontor scribes are present to make sure all has been paid. Even here, the Red Emperor has estates, temples, and other resources that are personally administered by his household.
 
JR> So expanding a bit on this, although legally the Red Emperor "owns" everything except the stuff he says (right now!) that he doesn't own, in practice, probably about half the land is owned by the state (including imperial estates, Lunar and Yelm temples, satraps, etc.). Another third is owned by "autonomous" cities, independent temples, or by nobles who derive their position from something other than the state.
Maybe about 10% of the land is owned by the farmers that work it. The rest is worked by semi- or unfree peasants.
> The Yelm cult is an instrument of the state. A key pillar so to speak. And Yelm Imperator initiates are rulers by definition.
 
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  • 2 weeks later...

More from Jeff on FB:

The Size of the Red Moon
Lunar celestialogists claim that the top of the Sky Dome is approximately 6000 km above Magasta's Pool and that the Red Moon is therefore about 3000 km above the Crater ("halfway between Earth and Sky"). The Crater is about 40 km in diameter and thus the Red Moon must be about 40 km in diameter according to these Irrippi Ontor cultists.
Interestingly, our own terrestrial moon is about 3500 km in diameter (a little less than 100 times wider than the Red Moon) but is about 384,000 km away from Earth (or more than 100 times further away than the Red Moon), and thus the Red Moon usually looks about the same apparent size as our moon (however, it looks smaller from Pamaltela).
BUT - within the Glowline, the Red Moon appears larger and closer to the Earth. And the closer you get to the Crater, the larger and nearer the Red Moon appears. It is said that from atop the Crater rim, the Red Moon appears near enough to leap to - and indeed, Sheng Seleris and his picked companions did just that.
Once on the Red Moon, the Moon becomes the person's point of reference - the surface of the Moon is down and away from the Moon becomes up. It doesn't matter where you go on the Moon the effect is the same - even on the Below Pole! Lunars who have traveled to the Moon suggest that one can travel from the Above Pole to the Below Pole in two or three days (assuming you have permission to do so), suggesting that the circumference of the Red Moon is somewhere around 125 km.
By all accounts, the Red Moon is a strange, surreal place, with forests, seas, mountains, and plains, all in varying shades of red. It has cities and palaces, the homes of Lunar gods, spirits, and heroes, as well as blessed visitors from the Lunar Empire.
 
>These weird effects of space and dimension as one gets closer to the Red Moon have caused many pilgrims to go mad through spontaneous Illumination.
> The mind-blasting "turning" of the Red Moon's proximity as one approaches the Crater is the subject of much Lunar poetry and song.
> I've heard tales of red tusked apes with an extra set of arms, ten-legged lions, and a mysterious blue fox. But that might be another red planet....
> I imagine the reality-defying impossibilities of the Red Moon as one approaches the Crater Rim makes R'lyeh look very tame. To reference the other game: 1D10/D100 SAN loss!
> The impact of the proximity of the Red Moon to the nerve center of the Lunar Empire cannot be underestimated. Some people sometimes get inspiration for the Lunars by watching the Life of Bryan; me - I think a better source of inspiration might be Lorenzo St. Dubois from the Producers
>In fact, there are a LOT of Lunar insights in "Love Power." Just let the insight wash over you and send your spirit to the Red Moon:
Love power. I'm talking about love power.
The power of a sweet flower is gonna rule the earth.
And there'll be a great rebirth.
>
> The map is by the amazing Eric Vanel and can be found in the Guide to Glorantha!
May be an image of map and text
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From Jeff on FB:

A few notes on the Red Emperor from the Cults Book.
The Red Emperor is the supreme high priest for the Lunar religion and for the Yelm cult. Within the Lunar Empire, all Lunar cults report to the Red Emperor and the leading priests of all Lunar cults are appointed (or at least confirmed) by the Red Emperor. Many Lunar cults require an oath of obedience to the Red Emperor as part of their initiation rituals.
It is very easy to become a lay member of his cult, and most cults in the Lunar Empire will include it without notice to their worshipers. The overwhelming majority of the Red Emperor’s worshipers are members of associated cults, such as the Seven Mothers, the Red Goddess, or Yelm. The Red Emperor is worshiped as part of every Lunar worship ceremony (just as the Red Goddess is).
However, there are far fewer initiates into his mysteries. To become an initiate of the Red Emperor cult, one must already be an initiate of the Red Goddess. Initiates serve as priests for the Imperial Cult. Whenever the emperor is killed, the priests in Glamour begin the rituals that will allow them to aid the Red Emperor in regaining himself and the parts of his soul that may have been damaged by his death. They also guard the sacred portals that allow the Red Emperor to travel from the Red Moon to the earth intact. The Red Emperor does not provide any Rune magic, but initiates may learn any Rune spells offered by associated cults.
The Red Emperor is also the supreme leader of the Yelm Imperator cult in the Lunar Empire. He performs the Yelmic rites necessary for cosmic survival. Among the non-Lunar population of the Lunar Empire, the Red Emperor is still entitled to deference and obedience as the avatar of Yelm.
 
> The Egi are those chosen by the Goddess to contribute to the Red Emperor whenever he changes his Mask. It is widely presumed that the Egi are all initiates of the Red Emperor cult. The names, precise number, and types of the Egi are a closely guarded cult secret, as is how they contribute to the Red Emperor. It is known that many Egi reside on the Moon and some have palaces in the Lunar realm.
> In short, the succession process for the Red Emperor is cloaked in mystery. According to the official histories, it is as simple as discarding a mask and putting a new mask on. But there are whispers of Dart Wars, thaumaturgical battles, and even skirmishes on the Red Moon itself.
> there are Lunar theories that the Red Emperor's Yelm connection is what allowed him to hide from Sheng Seleris, as the Celestial Emperor could not see his own shadow.
> comparatively few initiates of most Lunar cults are Illuminated.  The rank and file of Seven Mothers worshipers rarely achieve Illumination for example.
 
 
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And some more Lunar details from Jeff on FB:

So what are Lunars? At the most basic, they are initiates into a Lunar cult or its associates - including obvious things as the Red Goddess, the Seven Mothers, Hon-eel, Yara Aranis, and the Crimson Bat, but also in the Lunar Empire such cults as Yelm, Annilla, and Gorgorma (but those are generally not Lunar cults outside of the Lunar Empire). It also includes non Lunar Empire cults as the Red Mask secret society in Prax. It often includes Nysalor but not always.
Most Lunars can speak New Pelorian, but within the Lunar Empire, most people can speak New Pelorian. A Dara Happan can be a Lunar, as can a Pelorian peasant or a Provincial tribesman.
Many people in the Lunar Empire are Lunars, but not everyone. Except that just about everyone in the Heartlands offers at least a little worship to the Red Goddess and the Red Emperor. Most Lunars live in the Lunar Heartlands, which is the center of the religion, but there are many Lunars outside of the Lunar Empire. Some even oppose the Lunar Empire. In short, Lunar is not an ethno-religious category like Orlanthi or Malkioni - anyone can be a Lunar.
 
> So there is a major ideological movement within the Lunar Cults that opposes the Lunar Empires wars of imperial conquest, opposes the entire imperial structure of satraps, tax demons, and soldiers, and is strongly pacifistic.
> It is worth also thinking of the implications that the Red Emperor is the head of the Yelm cult BUT has also come from Pelorian peasant stock on more than one occasion. And Hon-eel was from a Pelorian peasant village in Doblian where she grew up without a father. But Jar-eel is from the most aristocratic Dara Happan lineage imaginable. All are Lunars. And in fact all members of the same family.
 
 
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Hard to keep up with all of Jeff's recent posts on FB! 

Dara Happa cities
The urban centers of the Lunar Heartland view themselves as the most perfect human society possible, living in accordance to divine laws and capable of great spiritual development. Governance is placed in the hands of the best - the members of the Yelm cult, who must rule with virtue and justice, avoid spiritual pollution, and act within the constraints of the proscriptive roles one is born into.
Dara Happa (the collective name of the people of these cities) carefully proscribe male and female roles. Their society is strongly patriarchal - men are expected to marry women and sire children. Women are expected to be dutiful wives to their husbands and nurturing mothers to their children. The Earth is blessed and brought to life by the glorious Sun. Men are expected to protect, cherish, and love their wives, and acts to the contrary are viewed as extreme spiritual pollution.
Self-control is highly valued by Dara Happans. Men and women are expected to confine sex to within the marriage bonds, or in Ulerian rituals. Chastity is considered a precondition for many paths to higher spiritual development. Dayzatar represents the highest possible spiritual opportunities (outside of Lunar Illumination) but at the price of total non-interference in mundane society.
Clothing reflects this. Nudity is viewed as shameful by the Dara Happans. One never removes their Loincloth of Morality except in certain ritual precincts (such as the marriage bed or within a Uleria temple). Good people wear shoes or sandals at all time - one does not place one's foot on the dirt!
The Lunar Way offers alternatives, and within the Lunar cults, women enjoy equal rights to men. As the Yelmic leadership IS Lunar, this means that effectively the Lunar Way has greatly moderated traditional Dara Happan patriarchy. The traditional cults such as Yelm, Dendara, Polaris, etc, which have thoroughly accepted the Red Goddess as part of the celestial heirarchy and acknowledge her place within that pantheon.
Dara Happa is less multicultural than Dragon Pass or the Holy Country. Almost everyone is at least a lay member of a Lunar cult. Almost everyone speaks New Pelorian as their primary language. Most foreigners people encounter are merchants or slaves, or the occasional folk from the Provinces or the West Reaches.
 
> So comparing the notes on Dara Happan society and Pelorian peasant culture, you can imagine the amount of social disdain most Dara Happans have for their peasantry.
> The Seven Mothers and other Lunar cults help bridge that gap, but of course it is still there in the background.
> Good Lunars go to their secret rites and do their transgressive sacred stuff, and then return to normal Dara Happan society where they look down on the peasants and barbarians for doing that stuff outside of sacred precincts!
NB> Yes, but also good Lunars do things in public which outrage traditional Dara Happan morality. And they’re proud of it, and it pleases the vulgar mob.
> ah yes but that is because they act in accordance with the mysterious spiritual insights of the Red Goddess. She proved her claims at Castle Blue and the foolish reactionaries who allied with barbarians to raise the Tripolis in revolt got the just rewards. Who dares judge an Illuminate’s reasons?
>So basically people in the Lunar Heartlands have three categories of social expectations:
1. Peasants. They are crass, drunken, and worship their phalluses.
2. Dara Happans. They are self-controlled, chaste, and avoid physical pollution.
3. Lunar cultists. They follow the Red Goddess and so can both dive into pollution and cleanse themself of it, just like the Red Moon itself does.
NB> 4. Barbarians. They are like peasants, but don't have the good sense to be crass, drunken and worship their phalluses in the proper manner. Unlike our peasants, they are often violent and disrespectful to their superiors (that's us), but they make good Bat chow.
 
Q: I’m grasping for things that the Dara Happans do that gives them an advantage over Pelorians. I mean, they seem to have rigid rules and traditions, but how have these helped them survive and rule for so long.
> Yelm gives you a LOT of advantages over Lodril. Yelm also gives you a LOT of advantages over almost anyone. His cult has an incredible list of spells and associations.
Q: Is this because of justice, laws and morality, which Dara Happans follow but a Lodril peasant who somehow became a ruler would be corrupt, desolute, drunk, and prone to lewd behaviour. Or is it Yelm magic such as Command Peasant?
> Both. Plus things like associated cults, Lodril's own obedience to his brother, etc.
 
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A useful post by Jeff on FB re: Lunar history:

Going back to our Glorantha-terrestial convergence time line, it is worth thinking that about 1775 AD Sheng Seleris and his Pentan nomads invaded Peloria. For nearly a century, Pentans dominated the Pelorian bowl, until Sheng Seleris was finally overcome by the Red Emperor in the equivalent of 1860 AD.
During that long period, much of the Pelorian bowl was depopulated, and the Pentans were unbelievably brutal and cruel to the local populations. Ancient centers of civilization and cults were destroyed. The Pentans systematically depopulated vast regions particularly in Oraya, Rinliddi, and Karasal, and the area call Dara Happa on Horse was ruled by Yelm cultists who adopted the nomad lifestyle, at least in part. Places like Doblian were ruled by their own tyrants.
Over the Fifth Wane (so basically from 1863 AD to 1917 AD) the Lunar Empire resettled and rebuilt. Oraya was settled and a more broadly "Lunar" identity appeared in the Heartlands. Many ancient lands were depopulated, and resettled, and in this way the Heartlands became more culturally united. New Pelorian became THE language in the Lunar Heartlands, and Dara Happan AKA FIrespeech, became a liturgical language. The Pentans were defeated once and for all in 1906 AD at the Battle of the Nights of Horrors. For more than a century (since 1906 AD) there has been no war in the Lunar Heartlands.
This is when the Lunar Empire we all know really came into view - only about a century ago. Although antiquarians still study the Glorious Reascent of Yelm and imagine the world through its lens, and texts like the Fortunate Succession show the old Yelmic nobility (who are now completely Lunar) that the Lunar Empire is the modern and best version of the eternal Empire, in truth, those books describe something that has long been replaced.
 
>So when thinking about modern Lunars, remember:
1. Until recently, they have enjoyed peace in the Lunar Heartlands since about the end of WW1. That is a long period of peace, longer than the peace of the Five Good Emperors of Rome.
2. Many of the cities of the Lunar Heartlands are pretty new, being refounded in the "late 19th and early 20th century".
3. A lot of the cultural variation in the Heartlands described in GRoY is largely gone.
 
>So if we think about the Lunar equivalent of 1913-1967 AD (that's the Sixth Wane), we get this:
"The great losses at the Nights of Horror impacted the imperial attitude greatly. For the last decade of the Wane talk, discussion, and debate through the empire questioned the events which had just occurred. The effect was, at flrst, merely paralyzing. Later, it brought forth a conscious withdrawal from exploratory r expansionist policies. The rulers first, and later the citizens, increased their interest in their own and neighboring cultures and styles, and shunned the foreign. The increasingly complex art styles, starting with the Orayan Fifth style, are a reflection of the increasingly internalized, complex attitude of the late Fifth, and entire Sixth Wanes."
And the Lunars view the time from the late 1960s to now as their new golden age. This is the heights of Lunar splendor. Physical and magical arts have blossomed. The fields almost grow by themselves. The Lunars don't look backwards to the past for answers - they look forward to an ever greater future.
At least they did until a few years ago. Cracks have opened in that confident edifice. Cracks that open ever wider. And recently twin military disasters have struck the empire, shaking its resolve and confidence.
> Hon-eel, by all accounts, had no interest in GRoY. She was of Pelorian peasant background, and grew up fatherless in a Pelorian village in Doblian. I doubt she looked back at the past at all. She was building a new world.
 
May be an image of map
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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Dara Happan AKA FIrespeech

Did he say this verbatim? I understood Dara Happan to be related to Firespeech, not literally Firespeech. After all, it's changed since the ancient language, so we know it's not the same, and also it's been affected by contact with other cultures - the Storm Bull people, the Weeders, the Carmanians, and so forth, who have spent a long time ruling them. I bet Dara Happan now has a lot of borrowings from New Pelorian. We also have that map of languages provided in the books that shows the development of languages over time in Glorantha.

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8 hours ago, jajagappa said:

And some more Lunar details from Jeff on FB

> It is worth also thinking of the implications that the Red Emperor is the head of the Yelm cult BUT has also come from Pelorian peasant stock on more than one occasion. And Hon-eel was from a Pelorian peasant village in Doblian where she grew up without a father. But Jar-eel is from the most aristocratic Dara Happan lineage imaginable. All are Lunars. And in fact all members of the same family.
 

All you have to do to become the Yelmic Emperor is pass the 10 tests, which has been done by a dragon, among other things.  Whatever some DH tell themselves about nobility and Yelm, ultimately, you could be born in a cardboard box in a DH garbage dump and still become Emperor if you can beat the tests.

8 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Q: I’m grasping for things that the Dara Happans do that gives them an advantage over Pelorians. I mean, they seem to have rigid rules and traditions, but how have these helped them survive and rule for so long.

> Yelm gives you a LOT of advantages over Lodril. Yelm also gives you a LOT of advantages over almost anyone. His cult has an incredible list of spells and associations.
Q: Is this because of justice, laws and morality, which Dara Happans follow but a Lodril peasant who somehow became a ruler would be corrupt, desolute, drunk, and prone to lewd behaviour. Or is it Yelm magic such as Command Peasant?
> Both. Plus things like associated cults, Lodril's own obedience to his brother, etc.
 

I think two big things are going on here.

1.  Dara Happa has actually spent much of its history in time being kicked down the stairs and being ruled by outsiders in one way or another.  IE, they often didn't have an advantage.  

2.  The Yelm cult gives them enough unity and there's enough Dara Happan cities that they could often beat up their neighbors because they cooperated; we know the Pelandans have never gotten their act together to unite against foes and everyone else is small, localized cultures that are generally going to be outnumbered.

Whenever anything bigger than the DH cities shows up, they get bulldozed - the Unity Council, Pentans, Sheng Seleris, the Lunar Empire itself, a Dragon just taking over for a while, etc, etc.

 

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I think the "success" of Dara Happa is fairly easy to justify even in mundane, non-magical terms:
- The culture controls the main waterway in an otherway fairly dry area.

- It is heavily populated (large tax and conscription base)

- with a well-functioning bureaucracy and well-developed infrastructure. 

As noted above, Dara Happa has *frequently* been conquered and ruled by outsiders, and while they certainly have been influenced and partially transformed by their rulers (The Fortunate Succession pretty strongly dispels notions of homogenous cultural continuity, even the Yelm cult, for all its pretense of purity basically gets "reset" every few centuries), it's also pretty clear that most of the conquerors found the area they took over to be so well-functioning that it was best to simply let things run *mostly* as before, and instead reap the benefits. 

- In other words, much like what happened to Egypt in the RW. 

------------------------------

On another note, I find the continued insistence of separating Dara Happans from Pelorian peasants interesting. Does this mean that "cultural Dara Happans" are exclusively urban, or exclusive Citizens and/or aristocratic?

For example, does a street corner cobbler in Raibanth hold themselves to the Dara Happan stereotypes above? Or is he considered a "peasant"?

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10 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Did he say this verbatim? I understood Dara Happan to be related to Firespeech, not literally Firespeech. After all, it's changed since the ancient language, so we know it's not the same, and also it's been affected by contact with other cultures - the Storm Bull people, the Weeders, the Carmanians, and so forth, who have spent a long time ruling them. I bet Dara Happan now has a lot of borrowings from New Pelorian. We also have that map of languages provided in the books that shows the development of languages over time in Glorantha.

Yes, a direct copy from the FB post.

And, yes, DH is derived from Firespeech (1/2 if I recall correctly). 

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6 hours ago, simonh said:

On the gorgeous map of the moon, am I right in thinking Wardrobe is sometimes called Spar Oom?

That would not surprise me.  Where you go when you enter may be a very interesting question too.

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51 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I find the continued insistence of separating Dara Happans from Pelorian peasants interesting. Does this mean that "cultural Dara Happans" are exclusively urban, or exclusive Citizens and/or aristocratic?

I think a lot of it may be due to religious affiliation.  Pelorian peasants worship Lodril and Oria - a very wild, orgiastic religious culture.  Urban DH worship a very ordered set of deities from Yelm to Buserian and Erissa to the regimental deities to the Lowfires and the 10 Sons of Lodril as well as the Oslir.  Lodril is still present, but seems to take on more specific and organized tasks.

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I think a lot of it may be due to religious affiliation.  Pelorian peasants worship Lodril and Oria - a very wild, orgiastic religious culture.  Urban DH worship a very ordered set of deities from Yelm to Buserian and Erissa to the regimental deities to the Lowfires and the 10 Sons of Lodril as well as the Oslir.  Lodril is still present, but seems to take on more specific and organized tasks.

Yeah, but once again, does an urban Dara Hapan water-carrier, street sweeper, potter, etc. follow those "high" ideals? That seems.... weird.

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29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Yeah, but once again, does an urban Dara Hapan water-carrier, street sweeper, potter, etc. follow those "high" ideals? That seems.... weird.

An urban water-carrier who is a full citizen probably does. But few of those people are.

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

For example, does a street corner cobbler in Raibanth hold themselves to the Dara Happan stereotypes above? Or is he considered a "peasant"?

I like the way you divide the question in such a way that both answers can be "yes." The urban worker is considered something like a peasant within the Dara Happan hierarchy. He can't trace his lineage to any known aristocratic cult or ancestor. As such, he's nominally a peasant, a child of Lodril whose family was brought into the city from the fields at some point and important people are unlikely to care about the story. He interacts with important people via an overseer who leverages "half citizen" privileges to mediate. His spirituality might be an urban version of rural Lodril with some inflection from the Lunar Way, Young Sun and other mystery movements. 

He generally knows his place in the Dara Happan hierarchy, which makes him different from the barbarians and is often a point of pride. If interviewed, he might formulate his identity in those terms. He plays a certain function within the urban universe and like the jeweler in the Pearls Before Swine song might privately ascribe cosmic significance to his sandals and shoes. But in general all he really thinks about is that he lives in such and such a city and needs to follow its ordained rules in order to maintain his living. 

If exposed to a more aristocratic ethos he can hold himself to that standard and aspire toward a more "moral" life. But in general I think you'll find the entry-level cults around the Goddess are a more inviting outlet for that aspiration. If you want to do more with your life than fix sandals, a street preacher is never too far away to release you at least a little from the Dara Happan system. You can become a little more. 

At that stage, of course, you're still a peasant on the outside, urban trash, but on the inside you're now following a different ideal for living. This can create friction with the aristocrats if they ever think too hard about it.

A Pelorian Hero War will be interesting.

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On 7/4/2021 at 1:01 AM, jajagappa said:

Lunar celestialogists claim that the top of the Sky Dome is approximately 6000 km above Magasta's Pool and that the Red Moon is therefore about 3000 km above the Crater ("halfway between Earth and Sky"). The Crater is about 40 km in diameter and thus the Red Moon must be about 40 km in diameter according to these Irrippi Ontor cultists.

I don't expect that much unity of interpretation of these measurements.

"Any true student of the moon sure must have noticed that the Crown Mountains occupying the visible upper edge of the moon are the mirror image of the Crater rim, and those sit at about 70° latitude. The equatorial circumference must be more than double those 4ßkm."

 

On 7/4/2021 at 1:01 AM, jajagappa said:

Lunars who have traveled to the Moon suggest that one can travel from the Above Pole to the Below Pole in two or three days (assuming you have permission to do so), suggesting that the circumference of the Red Moon is somewhere around 125 km.

Assuming that such a traveler would have used the primary roads connecting the holy sites on the moon, two days travel would correspond to 12 hexes on the AAA, three days 18 hexes, assuming the marching tempo of infantry as per Dragon Pass rules. Heroic travel would double that distance, and I would assume some heroic qualities of visitors to the moon.

This means that you could use one of those icosahedral maps used by Traveller to map the moon in a way compatible to the AAA.

128 km corresponds to 16 hexes (or pentagons when using icosahedral mapping). Halfway around the moon means that you travel through three of those triangular areas, around the equator means you travel across 10 halves of those triangles, not exactly following the hexes.

(Who would buy a big D20 with the map of the Red Moon on it? Or DIY a cardboard one?)

 

But then, the Moon sits in the Outer World where distances and sizes become subjective or dependent on context. When Sheng and his disciples jumped on the moon, they would have experienced it differently from someone using the silver bridge. Those scars are said to be the results of Sheng's saber striking the moon.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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As far as I can tell, using the dates from the Fortunate Succession, Dara Happa only existed as the (independent and whole) Tripolis for 852 years since the Dawn, with numerous interruptions.  That date includes some years that should, perhaps, be excluded.  Therefore it is worth noting that for much of the post-Dawn era, around 770 years were spent under others, or as a partial nation.  Separate traditions will have emerged as part of this, not simply due to the Pre-Dawn 'history'.

The Empire can easily manipulate these different strands of thought to weaken ideas of unity, so after 370 years I am not sure how much of a 'Dara Happan identity' will remain.

Edited by Ali the Helering
grammatical clarification
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How are you reckoning the reign of the horse warlords in that calculation? It was them (or at least the first three of them) who created Dara  Happa after the Greater Darkness.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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24 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

As far as I can tell, using the dates from the Fortunate Succession, Dara Happa only existed as the (independent and whole) Tripolis for 852 years since the Dawn, with numerous interruptions.  That date includes some years that should, perhaps, be excluded.  Therefore it is worth noting that for much of the post-Dawn era, around 770 years were spent under others, or as a partial nation.  Separate traditions will have emerged as part of this, not simply due to the Pre-Dawn 'history'.

The Empire can easily manipulate these different strands of thought to weaken ideas of unity, so after 370 years I am not sure how much of a 'Dara Happan identity' will remain.

That's nearly a thousand years of being the rulers of an independent, powerful and culturally important polity. Few places in our world can make longer claims. The result is that the Tripolis (or Dara Happa) has a very strong sense of identity.

Dara Happa is an important pillar of strength for the Red Emperor. One might reverse your proposition and say that the Emperor can easily manipulate the different strands of Lunar thought and use his Dara Happan and Glamour power base (along with his personal feudatories in the West Reaches, the Provinces, and the Lunar Allies) to maintain his dominance over the Lunar Religion.

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44 minutes ago, Joerg said:

How are you reckoning the reign of the horse warlords in that calculation? It was them (or at least the first three of them) who created Dara  Happa after the Greater Darkness.

How dare you suggest I got the date of the Dawn wrong, particularly when I got the date of the Dawn wrong????🤪  Okay, that is an extra 215 years under alien domination, at least as far as the understood 'Dara Happa' of the Tripolis ruled by itself.

 

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10 minutes ago, Jeff said:

That's nearly a thousand years of being the rulers of an independent, powerful and culturally important polity. Few places in our world can make longer claims. The result is that the Tripolis (or Dara Happa) has a very strong sense of identity.

Dara Happa is an important pillar of strength for the Red Emperor. One might reverse your proposition and say that the Emperor can easily manipulate the different strands of Lunar thought and use his Dara Happan and Glamour power base (along with his personal feudatories in the West Reaches, the Provinces, and the Lunar Allies) to maintain his dominance over the Lunar Religion.

Except that it isn't a continuous period.  If you allow every nation to 'fill in the gaps' then there are actually many nations that could make such a claim in the present RW.

Your latter point is entirely correct, of course, but I was commenting on Dara Happan identity, rather than Lunar.  Particularly since the Celestial Empire, I think that Lunar identity is mediated almost entirely through the temples.  The arch and arrogant Dara Happans aren't going to impress the peoples of the west of the Empire, particularly since they share in a heritage of the Spolite Darkness which opposed - and broke - it.

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11 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

The arch and arrogant Dara Happans aren't going to impress the peoples of the west of the Empire, particularly since they share in a heritage of the Spolite Darkness which opposed - and broke - it.

I've been hunting an entry point into the Arrolian Way that fled and then resisted the Celestial Empire separate from Sylila or Glamour and think this is it. Thank you.

Naturally Carmanian Sorcery would have access to a repertoire of horse-killing and sun-killing techniques as well. I wonder if any of this was incorporated into Yara Aranis.

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