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Fronela: Greenwood & Tundra & Uncolings


Garrik

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Reading the GtG, I got interested in Fronela. Three questions about the Greenwood & Janube:

1. GtG "The World of Time" historical maps, from Second Council onwards (p. 127), depict the Greenwood in lighter green than other Aldryami forests. Is this an indication that this vast region is not so much an Aldryami forest, but a distinct political unit - presumably a very loose federation of Aldryami and Hsunchen? Is the lighter green colour related to a similar political unit in the Elder Wilds around 400ST (p. 130), with Aldryami, Votanki and perhaps Trolls?

2. Between 700ST (p. 132) and 900ST (p. 134), the Greenwood gets divided in its western end, into Winterwood and a stumped Greenwood. The region between them largely corresponds to Talostar (and the Black Forest). What happens here? Couldn't find a hint in the history & Fronela texts. If this is connected to some sort of forest withdrawal/destruction, it's on the magnitude of destructions of Erigia and Rist combined. As a political/magical/ecological development, is it somehow connected to the God Learners' empire and the emergence of Frontem?

3. North-east of Fronela/Greenwood, and north of modern Erigia and Eol, there is a big patch of land before the White Sea. This land is largely forested, and where there is forest there must be animals etc. This region seems to go without name. Is it Troll land? Are there Aldryami in the forests? Do the Uncoling and/or Eol reindeer flocks range this far (there would be actual tundra, ie. real reindeer land, at the shores of the White Sea)? Anything written about it?

Related to the unnamed patch of land NE of Greenwood and E of Valind's Glacier, eastward over the gulf there used to be the Tallseed forest (Lentasia) (p. 126, 372). So Aldryami magical/political realms were present this far north. Why not on the western side of the gulf?

I have the GtG, and have read some Greg Sez & Daliath articles of old. There's a lot I don't have, notably the Glorantha: the Second Age Fronela-book.

Also the northern Fronelan material being this thin, I'd be interested to hear who has written/mapped it? All coming from Greg, or are there others who have contributed to this region?

Edited by Garrik
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Oh, I forgot the Janube quesiton:

4. GtG and GregSez give a bit different reasoning & order for the application of Janube (the Sea/River god) in creating the Janube river.

GtG (p. 690, under Waertagi) says the Waertagi summoned the Janube river/god to surround the Sog City, so that a prophecy about the city's end would not come true.

GregSez says that Janube came earlier and drowned all the lowlands, so that only the highlands remained above water/sea level. So it's one of the mythical Rivers that invaded the lands. Only later, based on the mythical existence of a now dried-up Janube (in the Sweet Sea), the Sog Waertagi/Kachisti summoned it back to break out from the Sweet Sea and to surround the Sog City.

Not a real conflict here, because things are mythically layered, the GtG must be short here and there, and god-time and all. More an observation, not a question. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Garrik said:

2. Between 700ST (p. 132) and 900ST (p. 134), the Greenwood gets divided in its western end, into Winterwood and a stumped Greenwood. The region between them largely corresponds to Talostar (and the Black Forest). What happens here? Couldn't find a hint in the history & Fronela texts. If this is connected to some sort of forest withdrawal/destruction, it's on the magnitude of destructions of Erigia and Rist combined. As a political/magical/ecological development, is it somehow connected to the God Learners' empire and the emergence of Frontem?

Glad to have another Fronelaphile around! This is a really good question, and I can only offer conjecture. It seems unlikely that this would be due to one single, destructive event like the Moonburn or Skyburn, since there seems to be no evidence of that. I wonder if it might be the result of repeated troll raids over the centuries, coming from Valind's Glacier. I'm imagining a long, drawn out conflict between Uz and Aldryami, possibly with the intent of dividing Greenwood. Eventually, the Uncolings and Noyalings may have migrated into this deforested area, grown in numbers, and driven the Uz back to the glacier. 

 

2 hours ago, Garrik said:

3. North-east of Fronela/Greenwood, and north of modern Erigia and Eol, there is a big patch of land before the White Sea. This land is largely forested, and where there is forest there must be animals etc. This region seems to go without name. Is it Troll land? Are there Aldryami in the forests? Do the Uncoling and/or Eol reindeer flocks range this far (there would be actual tundra, ie. real reindeer land, at the shores of the White Sea)? Anything written about it?

I don't think there is anything official about this area, it's "Glorantha Incognita." I think a mix of Eol tribespeople, Aldryami, and Uzhim makes sense. If you can get your hands on Sons of Kargzant, they develop that area a bit more. 

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2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

I wonder if it might be the result of repeated troll raids over the centuries, coming from Valind's Glacier.

I'd attribute it to a similar cause, but different perpetrators: the Brithini of Akem, possibly with the assistance of mostali contractors from Nida.  Deforestation efforts as part of their Dawn Age settler-colonial project to subordinate the Fronelan landscape and hsunchen, which ultimately spiraled into its own front of the Gbaji Wars.  Circa 1620 there are still live, strong forests right up to the edge of the Glacier, like Winterwood and Rathorela.  Looking at the map, I'd say the forests are retreating from the Malkioni, not the ice.

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19 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

I'd attribute it to a similar cause, but different perpetrators: the Brithini of Akem, possibly with the assistance of mostali contractors from Nida.  Deforestation efforts as part of their Dawn Age settler-colonial project to subordinate the Fronelan landscape and hsunchen, which ultimately spiraled into its own front of the Gbaji Wars.  Circa 1620 there are still live, strong forests right up to the edge of the Glacier, like Winterwood and Rathorela.  Looking at the map, I'd say the forests are retreating from the Malkioni, not the ice.

This would also make sense, although I would then wonder why there is no history of Western settlement in the region. Maybe there was, but traces of it have since been wiped out? 

My explanation for why the forest still hugs the glacier is that in the west, you have the power of the "Elf King" in Winterwood, and further east the forest would be protected by the Rathori. But between them is kind of a strategic weak spot for the Aldryami. So maybe the Snow Trolls focused their efforts there, in an attempt to reach the rest of Fronela, where there is greater food variety. 

Also, according to the Guide, there were Dark Trolls living in the Black Forest before the Ban. It doesn't explain where they came from, possibly with Xem and Jonat. If they came with Jonat, they wouldn't have arrived there until the end of the Second Age, and by then Tastolar was already deforested. But if there already were Dark Trolls in Fronela, they could have been partly responsible for the deforestation as well. 

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Just realized...

My Q 1 might actually help to answer the Q 2. If the Greenwood "hole" is not about a receding Aldryami forest, but about a political power vacuum, it might not be as drastic a mythical phenomenon after all.

The 400 ST map (p. 130) still has a huge Enjoreli Tribes region and Hykimi Alliance. Both are gone in the 700 ST map (p. 132), showing just white space. Some of this white space is still there, south of the Janube, on the 900 ST map, when we have the "hole" in Greenwood. This situation continues the next centuries, until the White Bear Empire unites the remaining Hsunchen north of the Janube in 1450 ST (p. 142), and Loskalm, Jonatela and the Arrolian cities have filled the southern vacuum to the brim.

....

In general, the Second Age and early Third Age have more white space on the Genertela map than the First Age. Which is funny when we remember how sparsely populated most regions were in the Dawn. Many later white space regions might have had denser populations than the First Age political entities, but they still lacked political importance.

So, the Greenwood "hole" might just indicate that modern Tastolar has been devoid of any meaningful "big power" political structure between 600 and 1400. How much this is connected to the Aldryami or the Rathori/Aldryami giving that structure in the First Age and then withdrawing, is an interesting question.

...

I'd be inclined to think that the Uncolings have been there all the time, from before the Dawn to the present. But on their own, they do not produce "big power" political organization. Possibly their 'ranger' lifestyle and the meekness of their companion animal doesn't lead into durable tribal organization that can claim and defend land.

On the other hand, they seem to lack a civilized enemy that would want to invade and conquer their range. Not Loskalm, not even the God Learners/Fontem aimed for that.

Possibly the gold found in Finho could change things.

...

Or, in a completely different vein, maybe our records about the Fronelan past simply do not mention anything here, even if there have been an Uncoling Tribal Chiefdom, or a Third Eye Blue Hegemony, or a Troll Queendom, or a Valind Long Winter, or all of these.

Yes, speculation.

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30 minutes ago, Garrik said:

My Q 1 might actually help to answer the Q 2. If the Greenwood "hole" is not about a receding Aldryami forest, but about a political power vacuum, it might not be as drastic a mythical phenomenon after all.

Then I guess the question is, was Tastolar always more thinly forested, even at the Dawn? Because it clearly is on the hex maps. 

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3 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

This would also make sense, although I would then wonder why there is no history of Western settlement in the region. Maybe there was, but traces of it have since been wiped out? 

For the answer to that, we'd have to know more about the specifics of the end of the Northern Gbaji Wars.  The rough course of events I've pieced together is that the hsunchen, the Eleven Beasts Alliance (and their presumed Aldryami allies), were in retreat in Fronela, having suffered defeat at the hands of settlers coming from both east and west: Malkioni in the west, Lightbringer-worshiping theistic colonists in the east (the ancestors of modern Charg, iirc).  The pressure from the west was more acute over time, which led the Eleven Beasts to seek peace with and support from the eastern theists, in exchange for allowing Lightbringer missionaries into their territory and some adoption of the theistic cults.  This gave them access to support like the magic of Nysalor's riddlers and Telmori wolf warriors, who at that point enjoyed the full benefits of Nysalor's blessing without the downside of spending a day each week in maddened beast-form.  The conflict continued to escalate as each side gained Heroic leadership: the mysterious figure Varganthar the Unconquerable, the Blue Knight, rises to become the warleader of the Eleven Beasts, while Talor the Laughing Warrior arrives from the south to champion the Malkioni.  Talor kills Varganthar but is himself slain; Harmast Barefoot, disillusioned with Arkat's crusade in the south, undertakes his Second Lightbringers Quest and returns from the Underworld with Talor, who had been dead for two years by then, if memory serves.  Between them, Harmast and Talor resolve what remains of the Northern Gbaji War and lead a combined host of the Fronelan peoples south to open a second front in the final assault on Dorastor.  When Talor returns from Dorastor he becomes the founding king of the first Kingdom of Loskalm.

No source I'm familiar with gives a blow-by-blow account of the Fronelan front of the Gbaji Wars, so I can't give you an exact chronology for all that.  The story, as presented in the Guide, leaves some very intriguing questions unanswered, like: what exactly happened on Harmast's 2nd LBQ?; what happened while Talor was dead, and immediately after he returned, that allowed him to rally together the disparate Fronelan factions for a united struggle in Dorastor?  I think the answer to the question of 'Why isn't there more evidence of Malkioni settlement on the Fronelan grasslands?' is to be found here, specifically in the events that brought Talor back to life.  Given the context and mythic resonances in play, I think an essential element of Harmast's 2nd LBQ was bringing about a rapprochement between Talor and Varganthar in the Underworld, so that when Talor returned it was with the blessing and obligation to ensure the end of the war was not also the end of the Fronelan hsunchen.  Given the story up to this point, we could be forgiven for expecting that after the founding of Loskalm we'd see a wave of Malkioni colonization north of the Ozur Sound and Janube, pushing out or conquering the defeated hsunchen to make room for agrarian development, but such a thing never really manifests.  The Hsunchen societies of Fronela retain their control of vast territories, with the Uncolings roaming both the deforested lands and the remnants of the Greenwood in their own Deerwood.  I think the reason for the apparent end of the aggressive colonization that characterized Fronelan Malkioni in the First Age is that down in Hell, Varganthar and Talor agreed to put a stop to it.  I think prohibitions against the sort of slave-making and god-breaking the Brithini and other Malkioni engaged in during their wars with the Eleven Beasts in the First Age may be woven into the founding magic of Loskalm itself, such that a King of Loskalm who engages in such things or allows the Akemi to do so might lose the Rightness of their caste, among other terrible repercussions.  Note that when the Middle Sea Empire came, rather than claim the crown of Loskalm for themselves the Seshnelans and Jrusteli instead founded new principalities like Frontem, whose founding basis could be whatever the God Learners intended, and when the Empire finally fell in Fronela it was to a coalition of all the Fronelan peoples, much like Harmast and Talor's last crusade.

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1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

Then I guess the question is, was Tastolar always more thinly forested, even at the Dawn? Because it clearly is on the hex maps. 

Which then begs the question why the Greenwood Aldryami might have wanted to include Tastolar in the Greenwood. Because it seems to have been an Aldryami forest at the Dawn.

And on the meta-level, do we want to pursue an inclusive or exclusive explanation. Do we want a rich and intertwined explanation where many things are true simultaneously or there is constant change? Or do we want single all-encompassing reasons and a status quo for century or two.

After all, the snapshots of Gloranthan (political) history shown in the GtG Genertela maps may not be the most informative or interesting moments of history when we zoom into regional and local level.

Yes, questions. 🙂

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14 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

I think the reason for the apparent end of the aggressive colonization that characterized Fronelan Malkioni in the First Age is that down in Hell, Varganthar and Talor agreed to put a stop to it.

I like this idea because it gives a mythological solution to Loskalm's destruction in the Hero Wars. The bits and pieces we get in the Guide seem to imply that Loskalm is doomed, but maybe by following in Talor's footsteps and finding a way to make peace with their neighbors, they can survive in some form. 

 

18 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

The story, as presented in the Guide, leaves some very intriguing questions unanswered

I agree, Fronela in the First Age is interesting, and massively confusing

 

20 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

what happened while Talor was dead, and immediately after he returned, that allowed him to rally together the disparate Fronelan factions for a united struggle in Dorastor?

This is definitely one of the more confounding pieces, because whatever happened all occurred within one year (450). Harmast and Talor return to Fronela from Hrelar Amali (I think?), fought the Battle of Giants in Oranor, gathered allies from across the region, marched to Dorastor, and helped defeat Gbaji. 450 was one hell of a year. 

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20 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

For the answer to that, we'd have to know more about the specifics of the end of the Northern Gbaji Wars...

Grand!

You're answering questions I wasn't ready to ask yet.

The problem of retconning from a known 'present' situation to explain that situation, jumping on the few visible shards of history we happen to have, is that it's kind of circular thinking. We have no significant or lasting Western colonisation or evangelization in Fronela (outside of the very Janube river valley) after an early push, and we have an early war which seems to have led into some kind of settlement on the matter. So we connect the two and say that the present lack of Western push is a result of a settlement reached in this early war - and it was the result from an interaction between the only three persons we know of who were active in this region at the time.

I'm a historian by profession, and I'd say we lack the sources to make sense of the matter, and make fools out of ourselves trying to spin a logical story with so little evidence.

But it's a good story, nevertheless!

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25 minutes ago, Garrik said:

And on the meta-level, do we want to pursue an inclusive or exclusive explanation. Do we want a rich and intertwined explanation where many things are true simultaneously or there is constant change? Or do we want single all-encompassing reasons and a status quo for century or two.

I mean, we're just making stuff up here, I don't think there is an official explanation for any of this. It seems like Tastolar was once part of the Greenwood taiga forest, but now it's not. It also seems like there have never been any real settlements in the region, except for the Third Eye Blue People, and the ruins in Oral-Ta. So where did all that forest go? Trolls eat trees, especially hungry Snow Trolls, so if I had to come up with a story, I'd go with "prolonged Elder Race conflict, with Hsunchen caught in the crossfire." 

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19 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

I mean, we're just making stuff up here, I don't think there is an official explanation for any of this. It seems like Tastolar was once part of the Greenwood taiga forest, but now it's not. It also seems like there have never been any real settlements in the region, except for the Third Eye Blue People, and the ruins in Oral-Ta. So where did all that forest go? Trolls eat trees, especially hungry Snow Trolls, so if I had to come up with a story, I'd go with "prolonged Elder Race conflict, with Hsunchen caught in the crossfire." 

Making up stuff is totally fine!

My personal interest is primarily search for information and secondarily gauging fresh ideas.

Outside of Loskalm, Fronela is one of the least developed regions of Genertela, and in this sense the GtG essentially goes back to the Genertela: Crucible of the Hero Wars box. Which is about 40 years old by now. The sagas of Snodal and Harrek are older still. I was hoping that there was some extra knowledge to be gathered - possibly from people who knew Greg and had the opportunity to ask these things from him. Or have access to his archive.

Especially the Hsunchen make up a giant part of Fronela, yet the 'great powers' history' we have barely mentions them. Now that I dug out my old Genertela box, I'm actually astonished how little GtG has added to that.

Need to see if the Trollpak or the Troll Gods (Valind) have something about Fronela.

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4 minutes ago, Garrik said:

Outside of Loskalm, Fronela is one of the least developed regions of Genertela, and in this sense the GtG essentially goes back to the Genertela: Crucible of the Hero Wars box. Which is about 40 years old by now. The sagas of Snodal and Harrek are older still.

Fronela is one of the places where Greg's old stories collide with his newer vision of Glorantha, and that makes it all the more interesting. But also kind of muddled and confusing. 

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Just now, Gallowglass said:

Fronela is one of the places where Greg's old stories collide with his newer vision of Glorantha, and that makes it all the more interesting. But also kind of muddled and confusing. 

Yes. Glad you said this. Because I get the feeling that Fronela is almost like Mirkwood + Rohan + Gondor in Middle-Earth (Greenwood + Jonatela + Loskalm), cut through by Anduin/Danube. The story of Snodal could be an Arthurian otherworld trip, and Harrek is pure Conan. Of course I don't know for sure, but I feel the stuff Fronela was made of was kinda thin compared to the magnificence of Glorantha today.

I've created worlds of my own, like seriously and for decades, and I feel the pain with my original stuff. I've mostly thrown it away and started from scratch. Would Greg have done that with Fronela? I think Loskalm surely has been re-written after Snodal's adventures and the original Genertela box. The religion at least. But that wasn't an easy project. Hence we have Jamie's Loskalm too, and I'm glad that we do. I like to see the layers and different directions of creation. To see why and how others decided to create helps me to create mine. I'm not so much searching for one canonical truth, but the deep layers of ideas, the spirit of creation.

Greg was a shaman and something of a Finland-lover (thus in Glorantha we speak of reindeer instead of caribou). Could he have cooked something about Fronela in his later years? There live over a million shamanistic Hsunchen here, like a spiritual powerhouse and ecosystem straight from the time when the Spike still stood. I'm almost sure Greg has thought about Fronela, maybe visited it in his shamanistic travels. I know I would, with his scope.

Oh, this boils down to the loss of Greg.

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Love all of this. While I'd be happy to receive a dump of newly excavated pages from the 1960s not a lot of fragmentary documentation has made its way into circulation yet . . . there's a strong sense that as with other Soul Arrangers some nymph or other autochthonous force distracted Greg from this corner of the world and left it to develop out of sight. As a result, we have to either acknowledge that History is thinner here (after the Gbaji interruption, the God Learners, the Ban) or that the sources simply haven't been found. 

10 hours ago, Garrik said:

As a political/magical/ecological development, is it somehow connected to the God Learners' empire and the emergence of Frontem?

One thing that makes My Glorantha a little heretical is that I attribute the collapse of the Greenwood to the horrific struggle between Brown and Green that consumed so many forests in the post-Nysalor reconciliation. If any faction of western men did that deed they would have left records bragging about it. Instead, their silence tells me it was something not even the elves are fond of discussing. But this is unlikely to show up in the publishing.

I'll check the maps on Talastar to see the ebb and flow of forest there, or at least on the eastern frontier.

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29 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

One thing that makes My Glorantha a little heretical is that I attribute the collapse of the Greenwood to the horrific struggle between Brown and Green that consumed so many forests in the post-Nysalor reconciliation. If any faction of western men did that deed they would have left records bragging about it. Instead, their silence tells me it was something not even the elves are fond of discussing. But this is unlikely to show up in the publishing.

The interesting gap occurs between 700 and 900 S.T.  We suddenly go from a continuous woodland to a wide gap between the Winterwood and the Greatwood.

A few possibilities come to mind:

1) As you note, a war between the elves.  The Greenwood of earlier is in reality not one forest but a series of contiguous forests much as we see contiguous but distinct jungles within the broad "Errinoru Jungle" of contemporary Pamaltela.  The central forest of the Greenwood (and presumably its Great Tree) are destroyed in this war.  Note GtG p.231 re: Rathorela's forest: "though not dominated by elves, many exiles from another forest still reside here."  Also note on p.230, the presence of the Elf King of the Courtwood Forest (southwestern part of Winterwood): "He is a mercurial figure, sometimes very friendly and generous, but sometimes very cruel and malicious."  Perhaps even against other elves?

2) Variation on #1, but the war is between the Elder Races.  Trolls and/or dwarfs destroy the central forest leaving this great gap.  A variation on this is that the elves of the region sheltered and protected the Third Eye Blue, and the dwarf destruction of the Third Eye Blue center destroyed the forest in the process.  See GtG p.232: re: Tastolar: "The highlands of the region, from whence the Third Eye Blue people first came, are still cut off by the Ban."  The map on p.230 shows this area is right at the heart of the non-forested region.  Also note GtG p.83: "In the early part of the Second Age, many wars were fought against trolls and elves. The dwarves maintained their ancient lands and citadels, but took heavy losses."

3) There is one faction of men who might pursue this deed without leaving records: the Brithini of Akem/Sog City.  Why might they do so given they could have during the prior 9 centuries?  Possibly it could relate to the revelation of the Third Eye Blue.  Or it could relate to efforts to stop the God Learners.  Or a combination of the two.

4) God-learner meddling.  Normally we know of God-learner activity.  But, if their actions occurred on the Hero Plane, and they never saw the result of their actions, then they might not have any reason to note this in a way that was meaningful to Fronelan scholars.  They might have slain the Great Tree or the High King Elf of the region, opening it up to other events.  Perhaps they sought the secrets of the Third Eye Blue?  And had to destroy/slay the others to plunder those?  Note GtG p.83: "When the predatory God Learners rose, they looted dwarf kingdoms for their lore."  Why not Third Eye Blue as part of that looting?

5) The Carmanians.  There are interesting notes regarding Kitor and the Brass Mountains.  GtG p.325: "A tribe of sorcerous metal-workers, called the Third Eye Blue people, inhabit these [Brass] mountains. They claim to have stolen the metallurgical secrets of the dwarves and to have ruled a great empire in Fronela."  And p.326 re: Kitor: "Beneath Kitor is an underground labyrinth of mines, dug by the dwarf slaves of a god known as Three-Eyed Piku. Bound by ancient oaths, their unceasing toil ..." 

When did Third Eye Blue rule a great empire?  Perhaps during the Age of Empires (e.g. 700-900)?  Did they join or aid the Carmanians?  Did they war with the dwarfs?  Why did they depart to the Brass Mountains? 

I also note that 700 marks the emergence of the dwarf heresy of Individualism.  GtG p.87: "Individualism was born in the Second Age, around 700, founded by a dwarf later
called Chark the Liberator. Chark had been alive before the Dawn, and the shock of the Openhandist heresy disturbed him to seek solace in the mysteries of Mostal. While
probing in the depths of the earth, he met young Arkat. The combination of Arkat’s knowledge, plus Chark’s own seeking, brought him to the secret of his heresy."

Given the 200 year time period, it's likely there was a multi-player conflict here.  Elf vs. elf, elf vs. dwarf, dwarf vs. 3rd Eye Blue, Nidan Decamony vs. Individualist dwarfs, God Learner vs. dwarf, Carmanian + 3rd Eye Blue vs. dwarf, Brithini vs. Carmanian + 3rd Eye Blue?

 

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jajagappa, this super interesting!
 

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The interesting gap occurs between 700 and 900 S.T.  We suddenly go from a continuous woodland to a wide gap between the Winterwood and the Greatwood.

Only if we think that the light green colour denotes continuous woodland. Note the first First Age map shows Greenwood with dark green colour, but it changes into light green from Second Council onwards.

We have similar colour change in the Elder Wilds, where the dark green Aldryami forests at the Dawn give way to the Second Council tan (forest burned, Votanki dominance); then a lighter green, when the humans and Aldryami were allied; and are then divided into small dark green Aldryami forests, Votanki and occasional Trolls.

I think these changing colours are telling a story. Then again Winterwood is an Aldryami forest even if it's coloured lighter green. Or could THAT tell us something too? After all the Aldryami/Fronela entry (GtG 67-68) for Winterwood tells that it's primarily inhabited by green elves, and then notes that the Maidstone Mountains are inhabited by green and brown elves, and Maidstone Archers. So the Winterwood is not completely an Aldryami forest, but includes the Maidstone Mountains and the Archers. A reason for a different colour to other Aldryami forests?

 

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Note GtG p.231 re: Rathorela's forest: "though not dominated by elves, many exiles from another forest still reside here." 

Agree this is a veiled expression. But these are the Aldryami refugees from skyburned Erigia. After all, an identical quote under the Aldryami of Fronela, in the Aldryami section, continues with the notion that they have a deep hatred for the Lunar Empire and its allies because of Skyburn (GtG 68). Also, the Rathori entry clearly tells that it is the Erigia refugee Aldryami who taught the Rathori the use of longbow (GtG 233). So I wouldn't speculate about the exiles being the result of inter-Aldryami warring. They clearly aren't.

Then again if the Greenwood Aldryami are all refugees from Erigia, was the Greenwood an Aldryami forest AT ALL after the divide from Winterwood? Is Winterwood the only real Aldryami part of the First & early Second Age Greenwood? The Fronela entry in the Aldryami section (GtG 67) tells that the original Fronelan Aldryami forest is now divided into smaller pieces, but it only gives Winterwood and Erontree as real Aldryami forests.

 

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2) Variation on #1, but the war is between the Elder Races.  Trolls and/or dwarfs destroy the central forest leaving this great gap.

Found a direct reference about Trolls fighting another Elder Race in Fronela (Trollpak): '[The battle of] Nebuchaxa in Fronela wiped out the inhabitants of Oral-ta.'

This reference doesn't clarify who the enemy was and who was wiped out. Googling around showed that others have interpreted this as Trolls fighting Dwarves, and the Trolls were wiped out. This might be connected to the general waning of Troll presence in Fronela, after the Dawn age realm of Borklak. Nevertheless, it's clear that Trolls - and Dark Trolls at that, not Snow Trolls - continued to have a presence precise in this sparsely wooded region at least up to the Ban (Dark Wood).

And then there's Xemstown, which I understand was a colony - but from where did these Trolls come? Probably not over the Rockwoods, where the only pass is guarded by Dwarves? So more probably from somewhere in Fronela.


The Brithini & God Learner meddling is possible. But at least it didn't lead into annexation of the 'white spaces' in Fronela. Perhaps the long-existing 'white space' is a result of political savvy, a kind of buffer around Loskalm/Akem/Frontem?

Here is a loooong-stretched speculation: English is not my native language, but could the exact term 'Syndics Ban' somehow refer to a specific representative body of some sort of official/bureaucratic syndics in the Fronela/Janube region? A general cutting of communication between polities could have many different names, and I've always wondered why so specific a name was chosen for this curse. What syndics? Sounds so official. Somewhere I read the Malkioni have influenced the Janube region terminology a lot. So maybe this echoes some sort of continuing, low profile Loskalmi/Malkioni meddling without conquest.

EDIT: Or maybe the syndics were Lunar, and the ban was directed against Lunar influence in the Janube region. An subtle yet terrible influence that could not be fought against in any less drastic manner?

Don't know if this speculation about a word/phrase makes any sense to you guys. 🙂

Also I don't know near enough about the Third Eye Blue people. The Carmanian entry definitely seems to say that the TEB had a political body in Fronela, and they had conquered some Dwarves. Tastolar highlands seem a plausible place for this. But did they cause (even indirectly) the divide of the Greenwood? Did they come from elsewhere and found their empire here? Or are they native to the region and started as partners in a Greenwood coalition? Are the TEB an itinerant remnant people from before the Dawn?

I like the idea of entwined, long-stretched multiplayer conflict!



 

Edited by Garrik
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24 minutes ago, Garrik said:

Only if we think that the light green colour denotes continuous woodland. Note the first First Age map shows Greenwood with dark green colour, but it changes into light green from Second Council onwards.

I think that is largely immaterial (or, perhaps should say not to read too much into the coloration)

 

.  Remember at the Dawn, only the green elves were "alive" - the brown and yellow elves had not yet reawoken.  I think they just used one color for all the elf woods at that point.  The subsequent maps use lighter green for the woodlands that would be predominantly green elf forests.  The darker green for mixed elf forests (and a yellower green for the yellow elf jungle in Teshnos).

28 minutes ago, Garrik said:

But these are the Aldryami refugees from skyburned Erigia.

Yes, true, those of Erigia would flee westward.

30 minutes ago, Garrik said:

The Fronela entry in the Aldryami section (GtG 67) tells that the original Fronelan Aldryami forest is now divided into smaller pieces, but it only gives Winterwood and Erontree as real Aldryami forests.

Based on the map on p.230, that could be referencing the Courtwood, the Deerwood, and then the core of the Winterwood.

33 minutes ago, Garrik said:

Found a direct reference about Trolls fighting another Elder Race in Fronela (Trollpak): '[The battle of] Nebuchaxa in Fronela wiped out the inhabitants of Oral-ta.'

And the Oral-ta reference notes "riddled by ruins inhabited by creatures like lead centipedes, which roll themselves downhill against invaders. They are believed to be the tortured souls of First Age trolls."  Suggests that the trolls were defeated there.

35 minutes ago, Garrik said:

but could the exact term 'Syndics Ban' somehow refer to a specific representative body of some sort of official/bureaucratic syndics in the Fronela/Janube region?

My interpretation of "Syndics" is that it may be another word for "zzaburi", wizards, etc.  Quite possibly Brithini.

37 minutes ago, Garrik said:

Are the TEB an itinerant remnant people from before the Dawn?

I suspect yes - their fire and metal-working suggests those were powers taken from the dwarfs during the Great Darkness in order to survive.  But, one might also speculate that they were the recipients of a gift from an Individualist dwarf such as Chark the Liberator.  (Or, optionally, that Chark "liberated" them from where they were confined in Tastolar.)

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

When did Third Eye Blue rule a great empire?

I would suggest that this is a distorted recollection of a likely role of the Third Eye Blue as itinerant sorcerer-smithss among the hsunchen tribes of the Eleven Beasts Alliance, before and during the Gbaji Wars.

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22 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I think that is largely immaterial (or, perhaps should say not to read too much into the coloration)

.  Remember at the Dawn, only the green elves were "alive" - the brown and yellow elves had not yet reawoken.  I think they just used one color for all the elf woods at that point.  The subsequent maps use lighter green for the woodlands that would be predominantly green elf forests.  The darker green for mixed elf forests (and a yellower green for the yellow elf jungle in Teshnos).

GtG 69 shows the Aldryami forests with the colour codes you mention. There, Erontree and Winterwood are same colour, which is not the case on the political maps after the Dawn, even if these are Green Elf forests. And even the Winterwood isn't a solid Green Elf forest. Brown elves are mentioned too.

I agree the colour coding on the political maps might not be thoroughly controlled, but I also think the coding aims to be controlled. Changes of colour correspond to political changes, so I do think that the Greenwood colour being different from other Fronelan and Ralian Aldryami forests, but remaining the same east and west even after the split, does imply something.
 

Quote

Based on the map on p.230, that could be referencing the Courtwood, the Deerwood, and then the core of the Winterwood.

It might, but then again GtG 67-68 is quite clear that the Greenwood they're talking about is the Dawn Age forest that encompassed the whole of Fronela, and that Winterwood and Erontree are the pieces. The scope is clearly bigger than the woods around Winterwood. I don't think the eastern Greenwood/Rathorela is counted in.

Yet all of this might be confusion in the MoonDesign end, or haphazard editing. After all we're splitting hairs and trying to read a lot out of it. 🙂
 

Quote

My interpretation of "Syndics" is that it may be another word for "zzaburi", wizards, etc.  Quite possibly Brithini.

Yes. This sounds much more solid than my meandering speculations. Then again, based on GtG 200, nobody seems to understand, or is willing to clarify, what really happened in the Syndics Ban and why. 🙂

But to add to the actual discussion:
There is Harram Wall in northern Loskalm (GtG 206-207), built in the Second Age to guard against something coming from the north. Not against the Chaos-ridden Dilis Swamp, which is very close. So clearly at one point during the Second Age there was a threat of invasion from the north. Alternatively, it could have been an 'agressive' wall that divided the Enjoreli in order to subjugate them. Pity the wall is not better dated, as the Second Age is such a long period of time.

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22 minutes ago, dumuzid said:

I would suggest that this is a distorted recollection of a likely role of the Third Eye Blue as itinerant sorcerer-smithss among the hsunchen tribes of the Eleven Beasts Alliance, before and during the Gbaji Wars.

This would also echo with the (perhaps romanticized) idea that early smiths were perceived as magicians, and lived somewhat removed from others, moving around. So not so much selling their ready-made product but instead visiting a place, building a small-scale production site, smithing and fixing things, and then moving on. This is echoed in some Norse sagas and Finnish oral poetry, and fits the archaeological findings too. For communities without smiths of their own, but perhaps still dependent on metal tools, smithing is a peculiar skill.

I think this theory was and still is widespread enough that it might have influenced Glorantha. And it does have great story potential!

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

When did Third Eye Blue rule a great empire?

I had understood based on the original text in Different Wolds that the Third Eye Blue Empire was in mythical times (ie in the Storm Age) and that the casting down of their Empire was the eruption of Nida.  They did aid Daxdarius (fortunate succession p82, entekosiad p85) but no mention of iron then.

EDIT:  The relevant text from different worlds is:

Quote
They are the blacksmiths and they once held the secret of
working iron inviolate until robbed by the Third Eye Blue
people of the land of Fronela many centuries ago.

And

The Third Eye 
Blue people, for instance, were once 
rulers of Fronela (so they say), but 
were overthrown by dwarf-supported 
humans who resented the theft of 
iron-working secrets by the Third 
Eye Blue Founder hero in a previous 
age.

So the TEB were the first to work iron after the example of their founder.  Since the TEB were active in the Storm Age, their Empire and overthrow would have been around then.  The parenthetical so they say would be untenable for an Imperial Age Empire because other people would have noticed.

Edited by metcalph
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  • Garrik changed the title to Fronela: Greenwood & Tundra & Uncolings

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