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Refuge and Karse


jajagappa

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Jeff posted notes on both Refuge and Karse recently on FB:

REFUGE
The city of Refuge is port city in God Forgot and a Brithini outpost which continues its tenuous existence using the old caste systems of Brithos. Cautious and defensive, the rulers are ancient and canny politicians and rarely act rashly. The city has an ancient alliance with a tribe of Esvularing peoples called the Bandori. Beginning in 1620, a flood of refugees from Heortland has swollen the city’s population.
Refuge has a great temple to the Invisible God, major temples to Aeol and Choralinthor, minor temples to Orlanth, Ernalda, Issaries, and Lhankor Mhy, and shrines to Chalana Arroy, Dormal, Humakt, Waha, and Eirtha. Because of the refugees from Heortland, the temples to Orlanth and Ernalda are now effectively major temples.
The ruler of Refuge is the brother of the Talar of God Forgot. He is a Brithini, and is aided by several sorcerers and by his fearsome bodyguards.
About a third of the city's population are God Forgot Malkioni. About 10% are Aeolians. The rest is a motley mix of Heortlanders, Praxians, Boat People, and Esrolians.
 
There are caravans that head out from Refuge to the Monkey Ruins and into Prax. That route is greatly preferred to the route to Corflu and then upriver to New Pavis.
 
Note: Refuge is not Sanctuary and certainly won't be presented as such in Chaosium materials. (Nor can it in Jonstown Compendium materials.)
 
 
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KARSE (large city): This ancient port city is an important trade center with Dragon Pass. Goods are transferred from ship to caravan here. Karse is located on the coast, a few kilometers from the mouth of the Marzeel River. The high Heortland cliffs rise a few kilometers behind the city and the Shadow Plateau. Karse is a very old city, dating back to the Dawn. Temples to the Sea Gods stand near the harbor, a natural inlet that has been worked on for the last 1500 years or so. The city has many warehouses and inns, including a Geo’s Inn.
The main city is strongly fortified with two main gates – a Land Gate (the main gate) and a Sea Gate that leads to the harbor – and a fortress that guards the harbor. Despite the seemingly impervious fortifications, Karse fell to the Lunar Army in 1619, after a dramatic assault by land and sea.
Karse has major temples to Orlanth Adventurous, Ernalda, Issaries, Argan Argar, Choralinthor, and Aeol, minor temples to Chalana Arroy, and Lhankor Mhy, and shrines to Diros, Dormal, Humakt, Lanbril, Magasta, and the Seven Mothers.

Map Details: map is here:
https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10159174862289017&set=gm.2158485894327398
Size: 40 hectares assuming 150 people per hectare
Karse has a fortifications all around, with two main gates - a Land Gate (the main gate) and a Sea Gate (that leads to the harbour).
A. Fortress. This fortress guards the harbor. It fell to an assault of dragonewts in 1619. It is now the base of operations of whoever rules the city.
B. Main City. Here are the temples, residences, markets, and warehouses. The enclosed area probably has several open areas, for tanning, and other crafts, or for storage of bulk goods or animals. There are a lot of inns - caravanserai - in the city, including a Geo's Inn.
C. The Beach. This is where boats are beached. THere's a ship shed for repair, maintenance, etc., that probably can house 20 ships. There's a wall near the end of the harbor, past that small fishing boats are beached. Also on the Beach is the Sea Temple, with shrines to Magasta, Choralinthor, Diros, Dormal, and the gang.
The Harbor is a natural inlet that has been worked on for the last 1500 years.
Beyond the harbor are coastal pine woods and orchards, and a large fishing village.
 
I expect night comes a little early to Karse, as the kilometre high cliffs of the Shadow Plateau are only about five kilometres away. Before the Only Old One was defeated by Belintar, the Tower of the Palace of Black Glass would have been clearly visible about 20 km away, a huge structure that rose to the Middle Air.
 
Argan Argar is of course important in this area, second only to Orlanth and Ernalda.
 
Karse is an interesting base for a campaign as it has very strong connections to both Sartar and Nochet. It is the southern terminus of the Dragon Pass caravan route and so has merchants from the Lunar Heartlands, Esrolia, Prax, and even over the seas. Orlanthi are of course welcome there, but there are even some Lunars who remained after its conquest by the Hendriki.
From Karse, a campaign could easily link Sartar to the far off islands of Jrustela or Teshnos, get involved in Esrolian politics, and have to fight off Wolf Pirates.
But it is also right next to the Shadow Plateau and a stronghold of the Argan Argar cult, so very troll-friendly (by necessity if not by inclination).
 
A lot of Karse likely has been built by Sartarite stonemasons.
"Temples to the Sea Gods stand near the harbor, a natural inlet that has been worked on for the last 1500 years or so, most recently by Prince Tarkalor Trollkiller and his Sartarite stonemasons. "
 
There likely was a shrine to Yelmalio but it was abandoned in 1619 and the cult played no part in the city's liberation by the Hendriki in 1624.
Not surprisingly, Karse after 1625 is in post-Liberation turmoil. The Lunars are gone, the Hendriki are leaderless and their brief kingdom is falling apart. Esrolians queen does not rule outside of her lands, although she has great influence on Karse. In the Shadow Plateau there are those that want to extend the Shadow again.
But trade with Sartar is returning, and there is once again a free Prince in Boldhome.
 
Argrath becomes Prince in 1627 and one of the first things he is tasked to deal with by the Heortlanders and Esrolians is to stop the Wolf Pirates.
Not only is Karse dependent on trade through Sartar for its livelihood but between 1570 and 1600, I would expect that most of the public architecture in Karse got built by the largesse of the princes of Sartar. Harbor, gates, temples, etc. That stopped after the conquest of Boldhome, and then it was whatever the city could get the merchants to pay for - either directly through gifts and donations, or indirectly through market fees and tolls. That stopped in 1619 after the city fell to a Lunar military assault. After 1621, trade was severely disrupted due to war. The Lunar garrison was withdrawn late in 1624 or early 1625 and the city was ruled by the Hendriki, but they collapsed early in 1625.
So it would seem likely that the place the oligarchs of Karse look to is Boldhome, now that there is a Prince again.
 
 
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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:
Argrath becomes Prince in 1627 and one of the first things he is tasked to deal with by the Heortlanders and Esrolians is to stop the Wolf Pirates.

Tasked is an interesting choice of words here!  Given he's not under any direct obligation to do so, and the apparently horrendous difficulty and danger of going so, others would have sprung to mind first...  ("Begged", "heavily bribed", "had his arm twisted"...)  Though no doubt by this point he has any numbers of favours owed elsewhere, and this might be two or three (or twenty) of them coming due at once.

Informative notes, and nice map, thanks!

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12 minutes ago, Alex said:

Tasked is an interesting choice of words here!  Given he's not under any direct obligation to do so

Not under direct obligation (that we know of), but it directly impacts his trade from Esrolia/Heortland.  He undoubtedly figures that the Empire will strike back soon, and will bring their big guns this time.  While he's got plenty of allied warriors with his barbarian horde, Esrolia has copper and Heortland has bronze/tin, and a place to forge weapons at Smithstone.  Likely a good trade incentive to help both out (and at the same time, try to ally Harrek to counter the Lunar Empire's heroes).

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14 minutes ago, Cassius said:

I don't understand this last sentence.

If anybody was to write something for the Jonstown Compendium about using Thieves World materials for Refuge, then Chaosium will withhold the necessary approval for it to be distributed in the Jonstown Compendium.

Edited by metcalph
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On 1/31/2022 at 11:13 AM, jajagappa said:

Note: Refuge is not Sanctuary and certainly won't be presented as such in Chaosium materials. (Nor can it in Jonstown Compendium materials.)

3 hours ago, Cassius said:

I don't understand this last sentence.

In answer, there was a supplement called Thieves World based on a fantasy anthology written in the 1980s around a city called Sanctuary.  Refuge, the city in in the Heortlands was specifically mentioned as the place that could stand in for Sanctuary.

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7 hours ago, Cassius said:

I don't understand this last sentence.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

In answer, there was a supplement called Thieves World based on a fantasy anthology written in the 1980s around a city called Sanctuary.  Refuge, the city in in the Heortlands was specifically mentioned as the place that could stand in for Sanctuary.

The Thieves World series were written and edited by Robert Asprin and Lynn Abbey.  See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thieves'_World

Further, Chaosium released a licensed version of Thieves World and the city of Sanctuary around 1981-2 which included stats for using in RuneQuest.  For those interested in setting Sanctuary in Glorantha, the site of Refuge was selected as an option.

Chaosium has not had the license for Thieves World for many, many years, so that sentence is an explicit note that not only will Chaosium not be publishing anything based upon the Thieves World setting, it is also a reminder to writers for the Jonstown Compendium that there is no license for them to do so either.

 

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