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The wives (and future children) of Argrath


Joerg

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Over in the Vinga in Pavis thread:

  

6 hours ago, radmonger said:

Argrath is an interesting example of the kind of cultural blending between Dragon Pass and Prax this thread occasionally returns to. He was a worshipper of Orlanth, initiated in Sartar, but also a Bison Tribe member. Initially he was a slave[1], but won his freedom by a feat of combat skill. He went on to become politically important in the tribe, and beyond, by founding a secret magical spirit society.

So far, that's probably a fairly typical path for a Praxian Orlanthi (including Vingans). But obviously he wasn't content with settling down and marrying someone with vast herds of bison.

This made me wonder what happened with the wives or lovers he took?

Founding the White Bull society and creating a pan-tribal following (no Morokanth, though, for whatever reason), shouldn't he have a treaty wife or similar from each major tribe?

That's in addition to the (possibly slightly mis-dated) Garhound harvest queen, and possibly other ritual flings as a wind  lord or priest in both New and Old Pavis?

Debarking from the Cradle, I would be surprised if the Circumnavigation didn't create a few "heroic post-adventure encounters" all around the Homeward Ocean. In Jeff's HQG campaign, Samastina had his twins. Then, shortly after Sword Hill and lighting the Flame of Sartar without really proving his ancestry, he gets to marry the FHQ.

I would be shocked if his visit to Leika to prove a Colymar ancestry hardly any Colymar was familiar with (unlike that of the orphan boy who was initiated in the Orlmarth clan, and exiled shortly afterwards) left him without female company at night.

All of this could build up a cadre of promising lads or gals ready to either quest secretly for greatness or to join his court/warband getting a name for themselves there. And possibly (if not probably) tragedy like that of the Harmastsons.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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23 minutes ago, Joerg said:

cadre of promising lads or gals

My intuition here has always been that as he gets deeper into the dragon way a big piece of his posterity precipitated into the Dragontooth Runner pouch and so whenever he calls them in extremis, he's deploying warriors who would have otherwise been fated to be born as his children. This might not necessarily substitute for more conventional fertility (I would hate to challenge Samastina's claims) but it definitely complicates the situation a little. 

This kind of thing (lineage magic, paternity proofs and mystic adoption) would make a great sidebar at least in the Dragon Pass Campaign.
 

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

as he gets deeper into the dragon way a big piece of his posterity precipitated into the Dragontooth Runner pouch

I thought “a big piece of his posterity” was a euphemism and that he’d gotten started on the utuma early, storing the severed bits in his pouch. (In my head: Julian and Sandy from Round the Horne.)

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7 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

I thought “a big piece of his posterity” was a euphemism and that he’d gotten started on the utuma early, storing the severed bits in his pouch. (In my head: Julian and Sandy from Round the Horne.)

Same difference! Reviewing the youthful presentation in a red-headed context the bits might have originally belonged to other people . . . multiple argrath theory returns in fresh guise, so yeah!!

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On 9/1/2022 at 4:35 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

One of our group's co-GMs has commented on the lack of known lovers and little Argraths.

Possible that Queen Samastina was one - assuming she had her (likely) children with Broyan by the time that Argrath was around.

Another possibility is Tarkala the Lover, who is one of Argrath's Companions, during this early period before he marries the FHQ.

 

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On 9/2/2022 at 4:53 AM, mfbrandi said:

I thought “a big piece of his posterity” was a euphemism and that he’d gotten started on the utuma early, storing the severed bits in his pouch. (In my head: Julian and Sandy from Round the Horne.)

The Dragon Tooth Runners are an idea borrowed from the Quest for the Golden Fleece.  While we might call this some sort of draconic mystery, the fact is that only 1 dragonewt is sexually active and has genitals (and is an egg-layer we somehow call the Inhuman King), the rest are prepubescent on a spiritual level. 

Now consider the purpose of the Sacred Utuma ritual.  It is there to sever you from your past attachments so they can't have power over your past self.  Typically the ritual will be used to stop someone who chooses to wear the skin of a dragonewt, by destroying the skin's spiritual attachment to the living dragonewt.  Instead I would suspect that dragontooth runners are a secret known to the orlanthi subcults that specialize in the secrets of dragon hunting.  I don't think any personal severing is involved, as it would effectively remove the magic. 

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

The Dragon Tooth Runners are an idea borrowed from the Quest for the Golden Fleece.

Don’t let Ray Harryhausen throw you off the scent and send you to Colchis with Jason. The dragon tooth warriors (Spartoi — sown men) are from the story of the founding of Thebes by Cadmus. Cadmus was “the brother of Europa who was carried off by Zeus in the form of a white bull” (Michael Stapleton).

It just had to be a storm god in the form of a white bull, didn’t it? Here they are as drawn for Robert Graves by my mum’s auntie Joan:

Europa-on-grey.png

Edited by mfbrandi
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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

While we might call this some sort of draconic mystery, the fact is that only 1 dragonewt is sexually active and has genitals (and is an egg-layer we somehow call the Inhuman King), the rest are prepubescent on a spiritual level. 

That is a theory I haven't seen described like this before.

All dragonewts (including the Inhuman King) are neotenic dragons, not fully formed dragons retaining embryonic features. This doesn't need to mean that they lack organs for sexual reproduction. Dragons being mystical beings, these needn't be gross physical appendages or cavities worn on the body dreamt up by or projected the dragon egg containing the next life-cycle of the individual 'newt. There is a possibility that the dragonewts participating in reproduction do so by performing utuma, returning to their eggs, or maybe rather than returning to (or from) their eggs joining up to reform the body of their immature but sexually active draconic ancestress. Maybe an Inhuman King ascending leaves behind bunches of new dragonewt eggs?

 

 

7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Now consider the purpose of the Sacred Utuma ritual.  It is there to sever you from your past attachments so they can't have power over your past self.  Typically the ritual will be used to stop someone who chooses to wear the skin of a dragonewt, by destroying the skin's spiritual attachment to the living dragonewt.

While there is such a gimmick as a dragonewt armor (first presented in Griffin Mountain), the utuma ritual doesn't have the prevention of skin appropriation as a consideration. Utuma is a dragon rite inherited by the 'newts. Utuma may be self-inflicted, or it may be assisted, by witting or unwitting accomplices. And an utuma might be imperfect.

An utuma doesn't quite seem to clear the slate, or to remove all attachments.

 

7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Instead I would suspect that dragontooth runners are a secret known to the orlanthi subcults that specialize in the secrets of dragon hunting.  I don't think any personal severing is involved, as it would effectively remove the magic. 

I suspect that the dragontooth warriors might be a reversal of a EWF community achieving an identity as a draconic entity - maybe not (yet) a true dragon, but a draconic entity sufficiently advanced to escape the collective utuma of 1042 of the "lesser" dragonfriends ("lesser" including all the Great Dragon enabled leaders sitting on the Third Council). (Who knows whether all of those dragonfriends ended up dead, or whether they were among the supporting cast of wyrms and/or wyverns flying with the dragons in the Dragonkill?)

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Here is a myth of Enlil — Lord Air, son of An (Heaven, male) and Ki (Earth, female) — as recounted by Tivka Frymer-Kensky:

Quote

[O]nce Enlil had created the pickaxe, he used it to dig a hole in the earth, and laid into the hole a brick-mold that had the seed of humanity. After he did this, people sprouted up from the ground like grass. In this text, Enlil is clearly the motivating power, and humans are born from the seed that he created. Earth is the womb, but it is an earth devoid of “earth-mother”; it is inanimate and without volition.

This fits in with the notion of Argrath as storm god stand in and his Gloranthan Spartoi as the children of his seed alone.

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We should consider also that sons and daughters are also a weak point, both magically and politically, as it means potential claimants to the throne, and magical attack points. I suppose Argrath, like many powerful people before him, refuses to name a heir, or possibly even recognize one of his undoubtedly many children. Even in the LBQ he left Ynkarne in charge, possibly one of the few powerful people that could not claim his Empire, rather than any steward or potential heir. And that was probably his riskiest endeavour, though he probably believes so much in himself that he does not consider the possibility of failure.

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On 9/5/2022 at 2:53 PM, Jeff said:

Argrath had quite a few children. Probably his most famous child was Halifitoor, who became King of Dragon Pass in 1658.

Having recently re-skimmed King of Sartar (commercial plug: the PDF is on sale at Chaosium!) the only thing we "know" about Argrath is that "nobody knows anything."  (William Goldman quote).

Though Jeff is probably correct, he probably had a son named Halifitor, by a woman, perhaps a wife, named Sorana Tor.

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33 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Having recently re-skimmed King of Sartar (commercial plug: the PDF is on sale at Chaosium!) the only thing we "know" about Argrath is that "nobody knows anything."  (William Goldman quote).

Though Jeff is probably correct, he probably had a son named Halifitor, by a woman, perhaps a wife, named Sorana Tor.

When the Campaign Book comes out, there will be a LOT more information on these characters. But like the Cults Books, these are things Greg and then I have been working on for decades.

 

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

When the Campaign Book comes out, there will be a LOT more information on these characters. But like the Cults Books, these are things Greg and then I have been working on for decades.

 

Any chance that Argrath's great love was a petite Taraling Vingan who sings like a cross between June Tabor and Nina Simone?  🙂

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8 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Any chance that Argrath's great love was a petite Taraling Vingan who sings like a cross between June Tabor and Nina Simone?  🙂

Rather low, I suppose. He would have undergone the Ernaldan Bless Champion rite so many times that his "Love <Earth Priestess>", even distributed among plenty different individuals, probably is through the roof.

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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

Rather low, I suppose. He would have undergone the Ernaldan Bless Champion rite so many times that his "Love <Earth Priestess>", even distributed among plenty different individuals, probably is through the roof.

Actually, it only goes to 60%, as I read the spell.  I much prefer your take that it keeps going up on each use.

Does anybody view this relationship, "I give you great powers and you must love me", as, well, a bit unhealthy🙂

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Argrath seems like a bit of a mix of various Nomadic "Hero's" such a Ghinggis Khan who was also a slave for and was also famous for his fertility (think they say 1 in 7 Asians have his DNA).  Timur i Lenk who had all the stars linked up at his birth to give good omans and great Propaganda.  Attalia "The Wrath of God" and various others who all basically used a mix of terror and great cavalry tactics to build an Empire from feuding steppe Clans.  While at the same time removing a lot of annoying civilized settlements which were clutting up good pasture land in the process.  Like the Settlements in the river of Cradles destroyed by Argrath and his horde who players of Borderlands spent so much time and effort to build !!  Thanks Argrath !!!

Big moment of danger for all of these Nomadic Empires based a "Chasismatic" founder who has lots on sons by different wives is when that founder dies.  Attalia is believed to have choked on a nose bleed or his own vomit at his latest wedding feast and his "Empire" fail to bits as various sons fought and former "allies" revolted.  This is a pretty common end for Nomadic Empires.  The Timurids also went down hill rapidly after the death of Timur though later generations were able to establish a new Empire in India.

The Mongols are pretty unique in being able to keep expanding for several generations after the death of Ghinggis though the Empire did start to split up into various factions like the Golden Horde, Ilkhanids, Yuan dynasty in China etc fairly quickly after the death of Ghinggis.

Argrath's Empire with no obvious heir and made up of an alliance of stuffy old traditional Nomadic Waha Khans,  Olanthi farmers and various Pirates and Storm Bull Fanatics who are great in a fight but probably dire at local admin and actually getting anything to work would seem to have nothing at all holding it united apart from Argrath.  Which rather leaves the question of how many bits does it break up into and does anyone try to re-unite them (bit like Alaxanders generals did after his death).

With succession fights, Nomads v Farmers, Pirates going back to traditional trade

and all of the other tribal and clan feuds do the Seven Mothers and Lunar Int services actually have to do much with the oil and matches before Argrath and his Empire goes up in flames?

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21 hours ago, stuart bailey said:

Argrath seems like a bit of a mix of various Nomadic "Hero's" such a Ghinggis Khan who was also a slave for and was also famous for his fertility (think they say 1 in 7 Asians have his DNA).  Timur i Lenk who had all the stars linked up at his birth to give good omans and great Propaganda.  Attalia "The Wrath of God" and various others who all basically used a mix of terror and great cavalry tactics to build an Empire from feuding steppe Clans.  While at the same time removing a lot of annoying civilized settlements which were clutting up good pasture land in the process.  Like the Settlements in the river of Cradles destroyed by Argrath and his horde who players of Borderlands spent so much time and effort to build !!  Thanks Argrath !!!

Big moment of danger for all of these Nomadic Empires based a "Chasismatic" founder who has lots on sons by different wives is when that founder dies.  Attalia is believed to have choked on a nose bleed or his own vomit at his latest wedding feast and his "Empire" fail to bits as various sons fought and former "allies" revolted.  This is a pretty common end for Nomadic Empires.  The Timurids also went down hill rapidly after the death of Timur though later generations were able to establish a new Empire in India.

The Mongols are pretty unique in being able to keep expanding for several generations after the death of Ghinggis though the Empire did start to split up into various factions like the Golden Horde, Ilkhanids, Yuan dynasty in China etc fairly quickly after the death of Ghinggis.

Argrath's Empire with no obvious heir and made up of an alliance of stuffy old traditional Nomadic Waha Khans,  Olanthi farmers and various Pirates and Storm Bull Fanatics who are great in a fight but probably dire at local admin and actually getting anything to work would seem to have nothing at all holding it united apart from Argrath.  Which rather leaves the question of how many bits does it break up into and does anyone try to re-unite them (bit like Alaxanders generals did after his death).

With succession fights, Nomads v Farmers, Pirates going back to traditional trade

and all of the other tribal and clan feuds do the Seven Mothers and Lunar Int services actually have to do much with the oil and matches before Argrath and his Empire goes up in flames?

One should keep in mind the other key figure in Argrath's "Empire" - his wife Inkarne. Although we talk a lot about King of Dragon Pass, largely because of the computer game, it should be remembered that she is Queen of Dragon Pass, and the source of sovereignty. And according to traditional sources, her reign lasts generations after Argrath's apotheosis.

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12 minutes ago, Oracle said:

Halifitoor is the son of Argrath and Sorana Tor.

Isn't Sorana Tor just another name/title of the Queen of Dragon Pass? See KoS p.228: "If we accept the entry about Halifitoor, then we also have the name or, more likely, another title, of Argrath’s wife: Sorana Tor. Thus we can conclude that Inkarne Long-lived, Queen of Holay, Feathered Horse Queen, Sorana Tor, was the wife of Argrath."

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4 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Isn't Sorana Tor just another name/title of the Queen of Dragon Pass? See KoS p.228: "If we accept the entry about Halifitoor, then we also have the name or, more likely, another title, of Argrath’s wife: Sorana Tor. Thus we can conclude that Inkarne Long-lived, Queen of Holay, Feathered Horse Queen, Sorana Tor, was the wife of Argrath."

Good point.

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