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Lunar Old Carmania


Joerg

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Most of the borders of the Lunar satrapies (other than Silver Shadow, which was defined by the naturally occurring Glowline emanating out of the Crater) follow rivers. However, the Oronin satrapy - taking over much of the Carmanian heartlands - has two straight borders with its neighboring satrapies (Doblian and Karasal) radiating out from some (rather random?) point in the Silver Shadow, somewhere southwest of the Crater in the Guide, somewhere in the western part of the Crater area in the Sourcebook's 5th Wane map.

I wonder how this border came about. The only measurable thing I can see for these two borders would be the shared day of the Full Moon effect, somethng very unique as all the other satrapies straddle more than one seventh of the circular border of the Silver Shadow.

The Redline History tells us that the clan of Vakthan, a son of the Red Emperor, more or less single-handedly cowed the rebellions in the West Reaches in the first and earliest second wane. That means that the Empire used a system of satrapies already that early, although the Redline History only shows the Heartland satrapies for the Fifth Wane.

Have the satrapies retained their area throughout the history of the established Lunar Empire? Or did Sheng Seleris's interregnum depopulate existing organisational structures in the west to an extent that new satrapy borders could be drawn in effectively no man's land? Could there be a ghost satrapy, lost to the ravages of Sheng, with a satrapial mansion still in upper Glamour?

Doblian and Oronin satrapies cover half of the original lands of the Lion Shahs of Carmania. Northern Oronin has quite a bit of Spolite territory, or at least some of the heartlands of the Spolite Empire that Syranthir's followers destroyed, and the empire of his son kept hold of.

Do we have any records about the internal organization of Carmania before its conquest of Dara Happa?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

I wonder how this border came about.

It has all the markings of a single person (Red Emperor perhaps) in the aftermath of Sheng's defeat looking down upon a map, drawing a few straight lines, and saying "That is Karasal, that is Doblian, that is Oronin."

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

ghost satrapy

This is of course fantastic. Thanks for opening up these early wanes to investigation.

Someone with immediate access to the 50-year Pelorian historical maps can confirm or deny (mine are not at hand right now) but I don't recall either the watersheds or the heartland borders shifting all that much, even around the Sheng Era when the imperial system essentially disintegrated and was put back together. While this might be because Greg hadn't heard about any landscape-scale magical projects or cataclysms that needed to be marked, I think it's the default assumption.

But this suggests a wheel of six spokes spaced fairly evenly around the central (seventh) hub of Silver Shadow and the high lunar properties within. In theory, something like a Holy Country. 

rounded.png.382afef69314eef841513d4d3dbb5830.pngConveniently most of the internal boundaries in this equidistant model are close to rivers as you point out. Draw a line west from the river modern Hylokoth sits on and bend around the northern edge of the Hungry Plateau and you have roughly the traditional southern border of Rinliddi or modern First Blessed. Extend it far enough and you hit the Crater. The upper Oslir is a convenient slice clockwise from there, followed by the Joat as gateway to traditional Suveria and Doblian. 

On the other side of First Blessed, the "natural" line would go straight from Elz Ast to the Crater but following the lower Oslir instead carves Esvuthil away from Yuthuppa, probably in the interest of practicality, politics or both. And then you have the Oronin lines. All sources agree that the northern boundary goes roughly from Graclodont (while carefully keeping it in Karasal) to the Crater but a more equal southern cut would theoretically go more or less due west of the Crater toward Tawenos and if you squint keep most of Sacred Lake Oronin in the province that bears its name. Instead, a lot of this fractious territory ends up over the Doblian line.

I think this reduction of "natural Oronin" was deliberate, whether part of the initial Dance of Returns rites or something that happened later and hasn't shown up in our documents yet. This was probably the most difficult of the early conquests from the Carmanians to assimilate so we can all probably imagine MGF strategic reasons why the Red Emperor would have wanted to constrain them to roughly one geomantic "phase" . . . or why Doblian became the major beneficiary of the tilt. (Karasal also gets minor geomantic concessions to ensure that the supply center of Graclodont and symbolic ruins of Shardash remain in its territory.) 

Now what do we learn? First, I am no longer convinced that the earliest Lunar Way divided the weekly cycle into seven distinct phases . . . but instead their calendar might have revolved around six nights (one for each geomantic heartland) plus a sacred day of rest and contemplation, the Silver Shadow day when you can't see the conventional phases because the moon is technically always on top of you. This is my heresy. Come at me. However, it's possible that this changed once the Oronin boundaries were adjusted in the interest of heartland security, in which case the penalty they paid for forcing a sixth to become a seventh was accepting what amounts to a second "dead or dying" (1/2 MgF) night in every rotation cycle. Slow karma gonna get you but this means that by definition we're all trapped with your early choices now. This is probably a central feature of modern White Moon mysticism!

I also think it would be cool if the early wanes tried to straighten the rivers in order to confirm the geomantic borders but the rivers pushed back . . . and this helps at least partially explain why the modern empire remains antipathetic at best to blue magic. The lower Oslir in particular simply couldn't be adjusted, but in the process Yuthuppa was cut off from its traditional hinterland (this part may well be deliberate, further complicating the river story) and First Blessed is slighted in the process, turning their early satraps' eyes to the east in order to feel whole. This is what becomes core White Moon territory along with modern Karasal. Lunar Karasal, of course, has its own colonial guilt of the Empty Conquest to work through.

Speaking of the heroes and villains of the Empty Conquest, there's undoubtedly a much more complicated Tale To Tell of how the Jaranthites, having proved their worth again and again, finally wiped out the clan of Vakthan but decided not to abolish the satrapal system. My current working model is that this is where the Etyries movement really took off . . . and why you don't hear much about it in "mainstream" 7M propaganda.

And along with that, it's no shock the Eels are from the Red City of Karantes and never quite lose their grip on Oronin. That's worth noting in itself, all you following the early phases of the Great Lunar Civil War. For me I am looking toward what must have been enormous religious upheavals all around the Sweet Sea as the Syranthites become the Carmanians, Spolites and Chargites ebb and flow, countries like Valmark, Sasasor, the Harangvat culture and pre-Lunar Bindle spin up and down. The fortunate crumbs roll down the Janube. MGF!

Finally, the hexagonal overlay on many Gloranthan maps is clearly an in-setting convention, reflecting a sense of the middle world as six-directional. This comment may not be entirely tongue in cheek.

Edited by scott-martin
stinger + a little more clarity
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5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

I also think it would be cool if the early wanes tried to straighten the rivers in order to confirm the geomantic borders but the rivers pushed back

I think one attempt was called the Daughter's Road... 🙂

5 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Someone with immediate access to the 50-year Pelorian historical maps can confirm or deny (mine are not at hand right now) but I don't recall either the watersheds or the heartland borders shifting all that much, even around the Sheng Era when the imperial system essentially disintegrated and was put back together.

But what is interesting if you look over the maps of the 7 Wanes in Glorantha Sourcebook is that these spoke-like divides do not appear on a map until the 6th Wane. 

I think there's an implication in Jeff's notes on the Lunar Empire [see link], that Sheng effectively destroyed whatever earlier lands existed during his hundred or so years of Pentan rule.  "So in the Fifth Wane, the Red Emperor reclaimed land from the Pentan bands. This land was given to temples or individuals."

Also: "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."

And: "Many ancient lands were depopulated, and resettled, and in this way the Heartlands became more culturally united."

These satrapies that we know are thus 5th-6th Wane constructs and are resettled in accordance with this new division of the land in the western Empire - a division made by Magnificus?  Or perhaps Artifex???

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There are currently nine satrapies of the Lunar Empire. The Redline History indicates 2/25 (1326) for Sylila becoming a satrapy, while Oraya becomes a satrapy at some point after the Nights of Horror in 5/43 (1506), possibly as late as 5/54 (1519). The Sixth Wane map is the first one accompanying the Redline History which shows satrapy boundaries. So let's assume that the original form is the six-spoked Fate wheel, with seven satrapies. This is the six-plus-one cycle cosmos written out on the map. So does the seven-plus-one cycle emerge in 2/25? That seems unlikely, as there's no apparent restructuring of the Empire at this time. So I think that the 2/25 date is a semi-fiction, a glamour concealing the reality that Sylila only becomes a satrapy as a reward for its loyalty and resistance, and this is backdated to Hwarin Dalthippa establishing herself in Jillaro in 2/25, as a way to push the new week back further in time. Simultaneously, the Western Reaches receive citizen privileges, as the story about the "bastard daughter of the Blue Moon" (I think Charmain) playing ravenkaaz with the Red Emperor, calling in Aronius Jaranthir, and the Red Emperor conceding the game.

The ouranekki/ravenkaaz board is, of course, the Fate wheel, with Yelm fixed at the position where Glamour would be. So with that note set aside, we have Oraya as a new satrapy too, which ought to have meant a change to an eight-plus-one cycle. Instead, we have a numerological short-circuit: nine satrapies, one short of perfection with ten. The Lunar Empire is perpetually hollow and incomplete until it achieves a 10th satrapy. Around this time, the Examiners are founded, and most importantly, a serious effort is made to push south with the Seven Mothers cult, which may displace Etyries a bit at around this time, and all of this is happening before the Ban and before there's any "reason" to because of the need for a warm-water port. It may well be that the start of the Sixth Wane is when the Red Emperor enters into the Axis Mundi game with Belintar, since Artifex is the first short-duration Mask.

So perhaps the real unbalancing is when Oraya becomes a full satrapy. Who does this? And why? The Redline History claims that Oraya was intended as a buffer state- why is Oraya elevated like this after the Nights of Horror? The text is written in such a way as to suggest that this could have happened in the gap between Magnificus disappearing and the recognition of Artifex. Do the roots of the forthcoming civil war date from this era? Was it the Assiday who pushed through this "honoring" of departed Hon-eel?

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11 minutes ago, Eff said:

and most importantly, a serious effort is made to push south with the Seven Mothers cult, which may displace Etyries a bit at around this time,

To go a little deeper on this, in the 3rd/4th Wane maps, Sylila, the Western Reaches, Torang, and Glamour all maintain themselves against Sheng. Sylila and the Western Reaches have this attributed to the Hwarin Dalthippa and Aronius Jaranthir cults, Glamour to Yara Aranis, and presumably Torang has the prime centers of the original cults, the 7M, Etyries, etc.

Places that don't: Graclodont (Just what was Great Sister doing during this time?) and Karantes the Red City. I think that this suggests that the things which survived against Sheng, or weren't subverted by Sheng, (see his "red-skinned priestesses" who charm Alkoth) are not the "old" Lunar powers, but newer ones. Perhaps these older powers had more influence, larger cults, in the 1st-4th Wane Empire, and then Magnificus and Hon-eel, (who herself doesn't start out with Lunar abilities, but rather goes from the Earth to the Moon- you could strongly argue that Hon-eel is only the Third Inspiration because that was a way to assimilate her into the system! Or that her original Lunar magic was tainted and rebellious) purged these cults and shrank them down, or simply didn't build them back up in the Darsen/Naveria/Pelanda area that seems worst depopulated, which includes this Old Carmania region. Redrawing the borders would probably be a way of eviscerating the recalcitrant corruption.

EDIT: And this probably ties into that other Red Emperor hanging around in Kralorela- a manifestation of Sheng's subversion of the Red Emperor, something which was purged out through the adoption of a new Mask, an incorporation of new Egi and expulsion of the hypnotized.

Edited by Eff
added the gardener emperor
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40 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I think one attempt was called the Daughter's Road... 🙂

I love it! All hail the Daughter and her works!

All of this is great but I just can't be sure that the satrapy boundaries emerge with the Sixth Wane map until someone finds their Pelorian atlas and confirms whether the lines are there or not . . . their absence on the Seventh Wane map, for example, doesn't indicate that they've gone away. And we know Karasal and Oronin are satraps before the mid Second Wane even though they aren't shown on the maps.

But of course this doesn't mean the satrapies that emerge in the reconstruction have anything but nomenclature and geography in common with what they had in the Old Empire. While this relatively sudden collapse of imperial identity in the north and west is ominous (who are the Ancient Way Rebels who apparently hang on a generation or two?) the New Empire is presumably tighter knit.

Reading a little more closely between the lines, the spokes bend a little here and there after the Dara Happan revolt and the conversion of Henjarl, partition of Raibanth and so on. This would also have been a good moment to adjust the northeast spoke to hand Yuthuppa to First Blessed and cut it off from its hinterland . . . in this scenario, Karasal might have gone through a few capitals in its history before settling on modern Graclodont.

[The antiquity of Joranit as a northern port is curious, possibly related to that strange casus belli cited for the DH revolt in the first place. There might have been a thriving cold water trade route here for ages integrated into the Pelorian religious economy. Or maybe the climate has changed.]

A fresh Sister is in place in Graclodont before the Nights of Horror and can readily pick up the pieces, possibly even discovering an emperor who will patronize mystical architecture, the Order of Day and so on. 

Oraya may reflect some combination of Hon-Eel's ambition and the neo-Carmanian imperial system taking its cues from the Reaches. As far as I know the Eels are the only family who ever ran two satrapies simultaneously . . . but there's a lot we don't know about how the far western great families operate, to return to the original post.

 

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Let's get really silly, and overlay an ouranekki board on the Lunar Empire. Now, if you turn the board just slightly, you get one of the lines of the :20-condition-fate:to cross Mt. Jernotius. Doing so places the Blue People near to Lake Oronin, Kargzant out on the prairie, the Dark (or the Cold) due north, almost, and the Sea due south, though awkwardly placed by comparison to the Oslira, which instead makes up another Fate line. One thing of note here is that the suspiciously regular borders of Oronin in the post-Sixth Wane environment are nearly parallel to its borders here. They've merely been shifted a bit, pushing Karasal's westward to get Graclodont in and Yuthuppa and Elz Ast out. Doblian's has been shifted southwards, giving Oronin access to Lake Oronin, and possibly making Karantes more clearly the center and capital. (Was Katchpidi, where the Vakthan-ilart have their tombs, the original Oronin capital, well back from the frontline with the Blood Kings?) 

Kostaddi was shifted northwards a bit to cut back First Blessed, and of course First Blessed absorbed Elz Ast and Yuthuppa. Darjiin seems almost unchanged. Funny that Shargash and Buserian are neighbors in this layout of the ouranekki board, though. 

image.png.90e3fbfa475d0a8fc1a04dffd4aac2bf.png

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11 hours ago, scott-martin said:

All of this is great but I just can't be sure that the satrapy boundaries emerge with the Sixth Wane map until someone finds their Pelorian atlas and confirms whether the lines are there or not . . . their absence on the Seventh Wane map, for example, doesn't indicate that they've gone away. And we know Karasal and Oronin are satraps before the mid Second Wane even though they aren't shown on the maps.

Quite true - the maps are intended to show specific aspects of each Wane, and we know from the current map in the Guide what the Seventh Wane configuration is (i.e. the same as the Sixth). 

What seems to be important though as you pass from 1st/2nd Wane to 5th/6th Wane, is that these old cultures (Pelandan, Naverian, Darsenite, etc.) are largely obliterated.  The cultural forces that would have kept distinct groups at odds with each other in say Oronin or Karasal are gone.  Instead we can get "Lunar" settlers (or perhaps more specifically Lunar rulers with Lodrilite peasants) who gradually resettle the empty lands.  They will undoubtedly uncover and restore some of the old temples and deities (have to make good with the local spirits after all), but it is not the same as before.

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1 minute ago, jajagappa said:

Quite true - the maps are intended to show specific aspects of each Wane, and we know from the current map in the Guide what the Seventh Wane configuration is (i.e. the same as the Sixth). 

What seems to be important though as you pass from 1st/2nd Wane to 5th/6th Wane, is that these old cultures (Pelandan, Naverian, Darsenite, etc.) are largely obliterated.  The cultural forces that would have kept distinct groups at odds with each other in say Oronin or Karasal are gone.  Instead we can get "Lunar" settlers (or perhaps more specifically Lunar rulers with Lodrilite peasants) who gradually resettle the empty lands.  They will undoubtedly uncover and restore some of the old temples and deities (have to make good with the local spirits after all), but it is not the same as before.

With that in mind, it's interesting that there aren't more cultural Lunars around in these resettled areas. This probably relates to Hon-eel intruding on Sacred Time offering a negotiated deal to bring Doblian back into the Empire, but that mysterious Ancient Way Rebellion may also be related too...

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On 8/22/2021 at 2:09 AM, Eff said:

Instead, we have a numerological short-circuit: nine satrapies, one short of perfection with ten. The Lunar Empire is perpetually hollow and incomplete until it achieves a 10th satrapy.

The "Tenth Satrapy" is on the Red Moon, you impudent dolt. The Lunar Empire is perpetually full, complete and perfect, and the Grand Master will be seeing you shortly.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/21/2021 at 3:11 PM, scott-martin said:

Finally, the hexagonal overlay on many Gloranthan maps is clearly an in-setting convention, reflecting a sense of the middle world as six-directional. This comment may not be entirely tongue in cheek.

This is of course Known but I had forgotten it until comparing the "west on top" WBRM map to contemporaneous SCA maps of the Known World. But in Glorantha north and south are cardinal points while two wests and two easts appear.

sixtant.png.a2e560bd624ebb8428ff88f5a530d9fd.png
 

The question is who believes there are two east poles and two west poles . . . intersecting sun paths or some kind of wobble, maybe.

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Clearly the Old West is the Mediæval Malkioni one, and the New West is the Bronze Age Vedic version from the Guide. But what are the two different versions of the East? Needs more research…

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32 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Ignorance vs. Splendor?

Love it all. The elliptical trajectory of East is Known (Splendor Becomes Ignorance, Ignorance Becomes Splendor: No Blame) so it does raise serious questions about how West on the other end pivots around multiple axes. It might be expressed as Mostal and Malkion on the extremes or in Nick's cherished metaphor, the mythic "past" versus a projected (future) "middle ages." 

But then one of my secret theories is that Gloranthan "west and east" are not so much compass directions anyway but a literal relationship to Death, with everything following something like a sun path or LBQ from a hypothetical "vithela" (age of dawn) into normal adult consciousness / history and thence toward the ultimate rausa encounter. Everything mortal rolls "westward." This means that the local "west" isn't completely concentrated in the sorcerous quadrant at all but can be found distributed across the lozenge, wherever the world starts to show its age.

Having two axes on either end of the (bifocal) lens of Time would then imply decision points or choices that can be made. This in turn is Known within the surviving body of Carmanian Sorcery but is usually finessed as "a kind of manichaean dualism." We know it in the work of William Blake, experience and innocence etc. Since the Lunar Way inherits this technical understanding they become good at Time; the emergence (conversion) of "the historical Kana Poor" is a metaphor for this. 

What was the question again? This is also the Gloranthan "precession of equinoxes" and why a single point of blue divination will reveal that "Polaris not the first polestar or last," whatever that means.

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A puckish suggestion came to mind- Betty or Veronica as the two axes of the entropic directions. But then you'd have to incorporate Cheryl Blossom... Of course, each hexagon recreates that binary (or quarternary, or hexagenary) decision tree. The fractal offers a truly stunning number of pathways between Theya and Rausa even as they all come together in the singularity points. 

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24 minutes ago, Eff said:

Cheryl Blossom

Not puckish in the slightest but it generates a separate axis . . . I saw that on a website somewhere once, building a mystery as it were

hamburger.thumb.png.bd609754c70653b2585079c998761cf4.png

EDIT Oh, I need to be "on topic." OK. So this is the Revelation of Kana Poor: the intrinsically dualist "blondes or brunettes" stratification of Carmanian society (I think Nick has called it "the Ivanhoe Problem") had become unbearable but they had no language to resolve it. The colonial Veronicas were too far out of touch with the humble but scrappy Betty . . . until they saw a red light rise into the sky (local "east" from Carmania; the direction of possibilities and disruption) and it wasn't actually Archie. You could have a Third Girl, a Third Mother, a triplicate goddess free to be neither whore nor nun.

Unfortunately choices were made that then set the clock on the hamburger wars.

Edited by scott-martin
hassled by something like conscience
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This analytical approach certainly offers a different context on Oria and Dendara, as well! I think you could go even further and attribute other liminal/unusual goddesses (Ourania, Gorgorma, etc.) to the similarly liminal figures of Sabrina Spellman and Valerie Smith, especially where they offer crossover points into strange cosmologies. Of course, as dedicated fans of Josie and the Pussycats know, any divine trio is a bit unstable. Prone to breaking down, getting cancelled, having to replace members.

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12 minutes ago, Eff said:

dedicated fans of Josie and the Pussycats

I think you've hung a bell on the primal pain of the terminal imperial moon, or at least one of them. Once you get a Third Girl you can project toward a fourth and before you know it you're free to multiply girls to fill the world. Each one distinct, unique, her own person. Infinite hair colors and textures. Platinum witch girl. Valerie's astounding dreads. Whatever is going on with Alexandra. 

But it's a lot of freedom and a lot of people in the terminal wane step back from that. A burger appears in the western sky, an omen. Butcher gods. Magic butcher blocks. It is coming. Reject the redhead (who might be a "blonde" redhead, a "black" redhead, even a blue redhead) and call the bull.

EDIT of course high class lunar women are bald

Edited by scott-martin
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