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difference between Tarsh and Sartar?


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In between Tarshites and Heortlings was the empty Dragon Pass, from 1120 to 1350ish. 
So there was no connection between these two Orlanthi groups. 

Sartar was resettled from Heortland (except for the Far Point region around Alda-Chur, which was repopulated by Tarshite settlers). 

In more than 200 years without contact with each other they developed a little bit differently. 

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There were a lot of minor differences in between these two groups. 
But the difference became much bigger with the Lunar occupation. 

Tarsh is much longer under Lunar occupation and the Lunar influences are all over the place, and the hardcore Tarshites are living in exile at Kero Fin. 
Sartar was conquered barely a generation ago, the Lunar influences are mostly limited to the cities, and only part of the hardcore Sartarites went to Heaortland and  Whitewall, a lot of them stayed in the hills of their clan territories. 

In MY Glorantha the differences in bewteen the (non lunarised Tarshites and Sartarites) are: 
- Different dialect (Sartarites and Tarshites still have a very good chance of understanding each other)
- Sartarites are Highlanders, which prefer to ride or just walking, Tarshites are Lowlanders, which prefer to use wagons and chariots
- Sartarite men prefer beards, while Tarshite men prefer mustaches
- Sartarites ride ponys or praxian beasts, Tarshites ride pelorian horses
- Besides Ernalda Maran Gor is more commonly worshipped among Tarshites than in Sartar
- Sartites are proud of their white wine (especially Clearwine), but Tarshites prefer red whine. 
- Sartarites are proud, Tarshites are arrogant

I don´t know how much of these differences were caused by the longer influence of the Lunars, or how much are just "being Tarshite"

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37 minutes ago, AndreJarosch said:

Different dialect (Sartarites and Tarshites still have a very good chance of understanding each other)

Language is one element.  Per the Guide p.169: "Sartarite is a Southern Theyalan dialect similar to that spoken in the Holy Country; Tarshite is a Northern Theyalan tongue that diverged from Southern Theyalan about 500 years ago when the Dragonkill divided the Theyalan speakers of Dragon Pass. It has many borrowings from Dara Happan, Talastaring, Carmanian, and New Pelorian."

Religion is another.  Orlanth worship is largely suppressed in Tarsh and has been for perhaps 3 generations - so local worship is of Ernalda and Barntar vs. Ernalda and Orlanth.  There is also considerable worship of the 7 Mothers and Hon-eel in Tarsh.

The Orlanth Rex subcult originated with Alakoring in southern Peloria, including the Tarshites.  This has spread through the Sartarite tribes now.  The Tarshite tribes might be larger, "uber"-tribes than in Sartar.  The Guide notes: "The clan chiefs owe allegiance to regional leaders who used to be tribally elected, but are now appointed by the king."

Edited by jajagappa
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The lowlands of Tarsh are a very different place to Sartar.  They draw their traditions from the Orlanthi tribes to the north of Dragons Pass rather than those of the Heortlands.  The Tarshites are people of the axe, historically, but now they are lunar converts and favor the curved blades of their conquerors.  They worship Hon-Eel and the Lunar pantheon and there has been an effort to introduce the weak god Doburdun to replace Orlanth in the countryside.  The Tarshites are far more horse cavalry oriented than most Sartarites, given than they have open plains.

Tarsh recognizes the Feathered Horse Queen as the ruler of Dragons Pass, and sometimes their kings have married her to become Kings of Dragons Pass, but they are far more tied into her religion than Sartar.  Many of the serfs of the Grazelanders, called the Vendrefi, are taken or traded from Tarsh.

The Tarsh Exiles remain responsible for the coronation of the Sorana Tor, as it can only occur at the Earthshaker Temple at the feet of Mount Kero Fin.  The Exiles hate the Lunars and plot with the various minor powers of Dragons Pass to form a coalition against them.  Over time, they began to resent the power of the Kingdom of Sartar reborn under Argrath, and made for jealous and inconstant allies.  The Tarsh Exiles have better relations with the Dragonewts than most, and the cult of Maran Gor is able to marshal dinosaurs to support its martial ambitions.

Tarsh has a larger population than Sartar, and has never had a problem with the ethics of blood sacrifice to serve the earth.  This was a fact that Hon-Eel incorporated into her cult, as will be elaborated in the forthcoming Gods of Glorantha.

While Tarsh is no stranger to the horrors of the Crimson Bat, they are also occasionally attacked by the Hydra, a multi-headed chaos dragon with powerful regeneration, that is even more destructive than the bat. Lunar illuminates are studying how to bring the hydra under Lunar control as a tool for future wars.

Tarsh settled Far Point, the northern reaches of Sartar.  As a result Northern Sartar speaks Tarshite, and has closer blood ties to the West than most tribes of Sartar.  Lunars are interested in Snakepipe Hollow and the Upland Marsh as a source of chaos mercenaries to be used in pacifying the region, especially after Sartar reasserts itself.

The mercenary lord Sir Ethilrist conducts a great deal of business with Lunar Tarsh, and almost invariably serves the Tarshite crown in any wars.  While the demon riding Black Horse Troop are sorcerous westerners, they choose to follow the Red Emperor, as he has granted them land, and due to Lunar proximity.  The Atroxic church of Sir Ethilrist is also hostile to he Rokari and Loskalmi mercenaries who work for Argrath in his Sartarite Magical Union.  It is unknown how the Black Horse Zzaburi feel about the city of 10,000 Magicians in Lunar Aggar, but it is likely to be mixed at best.

Dragon Pass has been the main avenue of Lunar Expansion for the last fifty years, and hence it is politically important to the Lunar military, and the site of much career building and nob-jockeying for power.  This occasionally becomes quite similar to a "dart competition" in Glamor, though can degenerate into a purge, but is often merely effected by the stroke of the Emperor's stylus with a word in his ear.

Commercially Tarsh is a prosperous crossroads for trade.  Tarsh exports grain and wool downriver to Nochet and imports a great deal from Peloria, being located on the major caravan route of Genertela.  When not ravaged by war, Tarsh is agriculturally rich in cropland, sheep and cattle.  The agricultural reforms of the Lunar Empire have taken hold in Tarsh, but the communal agriculture and noble estates and plantations of the Heartlands, while present, have not asserted dominance over the tribal people, and so the tribes still contribute warlike hill-folk to the Lunar Armies, in the form of the Tarsh Corps, who answer to the King of Tarsh, and then the Lunar Military.  Lunar Tarsh maintains nominal independence at best, and is a puppet state of the Lunar Empire, with the King of Tarsh being little more than a Lunar Satrap supportend by inheritance rather than appointment.

Edited by Darius West
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17 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

should have prefixed that I was most curious about pre-lunar tarsh, BUT I appriciate the info regardless and I will surely find it useful

You can find a fair amount of background in the Redline History of the Lunar Empire in Glorantha Sourcebook.  The maps are useful to see the large tribal confederations.  The Orlanth Rex cult is very important and likely plays a key role in uniting the smaller tribes together for a time before they break apart again.  The emergence of a Tarsh dynasty aligns with increased Lunar presence.

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11 hours ago, Darius West said:

Tarsh settled Far Point, the northern reaches of Sartar.  As a result Northern Sartar speaks Tarshite, and has closer blood ties to the West than most tribes of Sartar.  Lunars are interested in Snakepipe Hollow and the Upland Marsh as a source of chaos mercenaries to be used in pacifying the region, especially after Sartar reasserts itself.

It would be more correct to say that the people who settled the Far Place (and the Donalf Flats) were part of the same migrations as the people who settled what became Tarsh.

The Far Walkers appear to have come as one rather cohesive group around a strong leader, taking possession of Alda-chur as soon as they arrived.


The northern immigration has seen a lot less detail observation in King of Sartar, no big surprise given its topic. Arim making the preliminary contract with the powers of the land (centaur, grazer, dragonewt, Sorana Tor) for an unspecified number of people makes a difference.

The formative event of the kingdom may have been the success at the Battle of Falling Hills, where Arim and the twins demonstrated their tie to the land.


All of Dragon Pass served as occasional pasture by the then more nomadic Grazer people. While they have a prohibition against herding any other beasts, they clearly are allowed to hunt all manner of other beasts, and would have had a quite varying meat diet preying on the wildlife of the pass. Taking their toll from the annual Tusker migrations, going after deer, hunting small game through archery or possibly falconry.

The Grazers refrained from raiding across the Crossline or Deathline until their presence had become common knowledge outside of Dragon Pass. They would have raided Orlanthi settlers in Dragon Pass (including all those groups who became Vendref under the Feathered Horse Queen), and did show up raiding the Quivini clans and tribes.


There are many Vendref groups that come from the same migration that resulted in people becoming Tarshites. It is likely that any settlers west of the Dragonspine speak Tarshite, with immigrants from Esrolia ending up as Vendref in the southeastren Grazelands.

Arim's influence seems to have ended at Sikithi Vale or otherwise roughly the southern extent of the Glowline or the Exile territory. Anybody going beyond that would be fair game for the Grazers to dominate. So who were the hopeful settlers who went beyond where Arim could guarantee their freedom?

Telling how it is excessive verbis


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On 7/21/2021 at 7:56 AM, Doug said:

I believe in Tarsh clan is less important and city is more. See the base pasions on RQG p27. I know HW/HQ/TR is out of fashion now, but clan was *everything*, so switching to city-based is a fundamental societal difference

Except that tribe/clan ties follow you to the city, they just aren't quite as strong now you regularly mix with outsiders.  People don't suddenly become atomized modern individualists just because they live in a city.  Every Roman citizen knew their tribe and clan for example.  Clans form street gangs, guilds, sport clubs etc. to protect their interests, and factionalize with other groups to protect their interests.  This sort of urban tribal affiliation will be stronger in Sartar, but it won't be anywhere near extinguished in Tarsh, or even in Glamour.  I suspect that some suburbs of Nochet have a stronger tribal identity than some Sartarite clans who have low morale due to troubles and setbacks.

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Athens had 4 tribes up through Cleisthenes in 508 BC. But my understanding is that 10 tribes and 100+ demes broke the old clan+tribe system. I guessed that something similar is happening in Tarsh because clan bonds are no longer strong enough to produce a passion. Sure, everyone knows what clan they nominally belong to, but that is increasingly less significant. Since the clans often have traditions that involve a certain windbag, the lunar provincial government, in conjunction with the various lunar cults, are trying to refocus people to more acceptable identities. And the Solars think fidelity to a specific city is only reasonable.

As I said before, mostly I'm trying to justify why Sartarites have a passion for a clan and Lunar Tarshites for a city, and using it as a difference between the two. I could be way off base.

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