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Maniria: Cross Referencing the Hero Wars


Nevermet

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I'm continuing to assemble my data on Maniria through published work.  One of the ways I'm doing this (I have 3 or 4 approaches I guess?) is I start with a question, which then explodes into a bunch of more specific questions about Glorantha as it exists in canon and publication.  I'm not interested in slavish devotion to canon, but I like to know when I'm diverging.  Also, more importantly, my imagination works best when it has extant information to build off of & use as parameters.

 

I'm starting a new Onenote Section based on the question, "How do the Hero Wars come to Maniria?" From there, I started going through the Guide and the Sourcebook reading up for the Hero Wars as they manifest in both Maniria and also in Maniria-relevant regions.  In other words, for these purposes I'm interested in the Hero Wars of the Holy Country to the extent they influence Maniria, but I'm not interested in regions that remain unrelated to Maniria (example: Northern Pent).

 

I don't have answers to all these questions, and I'm not even sure which can be answered with published material or not, but I thought they were worth trying to map out to an extent.  I've touched on some of this, especially the Reforestation, in other threads.  But Glorantha is at its best when things weave together, and the Manirian Hero Wars are more than just "Suddenly Trees".

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Big Question: How do the Hero Wars Come to Maniria?

Manirian Hero Wars

  • The New Seed / Reforestation
    • It starts in Arstola, but where does it spread?
    • What is the timeline?
      • (1637: Reforestation comes to Zamolkil in Pamaltela)
    • [Summary of previous threads: Maniria is cut in half by magical forest.  Eastern Maniria, the lands of the Ditali and the Western Allies (Volcano-worshippers politically independent of Caladraland) will deal with the forest, as will Esrolia.  Chance of Oakfed being introduced with extreme results] 
  • Lion King's Last Roar
    • What is the fallout of Pennel Ford and the death of Greymane and his sons?
      • [Summary of Previous threads: massive power vacuum among the Ditali and Solanthi.  Nimistori and Bastis not as hurt, as they are not as related to Geymane's wars.  Esrolian retribution is mobilized.  Overland trade is further disrupted, creating a short-term benefit to Handra.]

"Argrath vs Red Moon" Hero Wars

  • The Dragonrise
    • How do the Dragonewts of Ryzel react to the Dragonrise?
  • Sartar Rises
    • How does Argrath's apathy toward Manirira effect relations?
      • [Short answer: Argrath doesn't care about Esrolia's western border, but Esrolia will.  The question is how much will Esrolia be able to make autonomous decision making vs get sucked into Argrath's schemes focusing on the Moon.]
         

"Western" Hero Wars

  • The Five Arkats
    • Which Arkats are interested in Maniria, and why?
      • [Short answer 1: If any of the Arkats is trying to embody the Liberator, they may go to Kaxtorplose to get that title "validated.]
      • [Short answer 2: Pralori mercenary cavalry will be used by somebody.]
  • Seshnela
    • Does the One King of the West care about the remnants of Slontos?
    • [Short Answer: Probably not?]
  • Quest for the Red Sword
    • Does the quest pass through Maniria at all?
      • [No Idea]
    • Gebel brings back the Lopers as part of the quest for the Rest Sword of Tolat.  Do these new Zaranistangi care about Maniria?
      • [No Idea, but I feel it is thematically correct to have the Lopers come back to Maniria in some way.]
         

"Ocean-related" Hero Wars & HW Elements

  • Harrek & The Wolf Pirates
    • How much do they raid Handra & Fay Jee, and when?
    • [Short answer: I need to double check the dates in Blood over Gold and see if they make sense with what's in the Guide.  This would be the starting point, but it needs a lot of work]
  • How does the rising of the Boat Planet change things?
    • [No Idea yet]
  • The flood
    • What is the timeline?
    • Elements
      • Mostali rising of Tharkarn & Somalze
        • ?
      • Trilini & Eat Big
    • [No idea]
  • The Weartagi
    • Do the Waertagi care about anything in Maniria?
    • [No idea]
  • Vadeli
    • How much of a Vadeli presence is there in Maniria?
    • [No idea, but seafaring trade will inevitably bring a FEW Vadeli to Handra & Fay Jee]
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We know what the Elves are up to, and we kinda know what happens to the Trader Princes / Manirian Tribes.  But that's not everyone in Maniria.  So...

 

What are the Manirian Populations "under-discussed" in the Hero Wars?

  • Caratan / Aulorings
    • Possibly crushed by reforestation.  possibly have godlearner secrets that will be useful for something or someone.  
  • Handra
    • Port City with an exploding population and prophecies that are as Important(tm) as they are undefined.  Its location makes it somewhat insulated from the Reforestation, the 5 arkats, Sehsnela, and Argrath.  It will grow in importance, or at least refugees.
  • Kaxtorplose
    • There is a holy temple-city that resisted Palangio, fought the Lopers, survived Slontos turning.  It is associated with Arkat and the Godlearners.  ...I'm sure nothing happens there in the next century at all. 🤣
  • Khorst & Smelch
    • Isolated ports = their experience of the Hero Wars will be ocean-based
  • Mournsea Islands
    • A mix of Godlearner ruins and blue moon worshippers.  this has to connect to something.
  • Ramalia
    • Big question: Will the Reforestation retake Valekos or not?
    • Eventually, Demonic sorcerers vs. wereboars!
  • Western Allies
    • Mountainous terrain may slow down Reforestation.  Possible annexation by Caladraland?
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36 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I would have expected Ramalia to figure far more significantly in the Manirian Hero Wars.  The Players Book: Genertela described them as one of the two "Enemy Kingdoms" (the other was the Kingdom of War).

Same, but it just seems... inert?

Putting its overt evil aside, it is an isolationist kingdom, with very few canonical connections to anything in the 3rd Age.  From what I can tell, the noteworthy things are...

  1. It is eeeevil: post-hrestol sorcerors that tap, commoners that worship Mralot and a human version of ZZ.  Older pubs suggest the elite are Chaotic
  2. It has a mysterious pact with Tarinwood
  3. Its peasants are former Hsunchen
  4. It hates and fears the sea
  5. The Holy Country claimed to own its coasts for a few years, but didn't seem to act off that claim before their fleets were destroyed by Kralorela
  6. It probably has some Godlearner secrets.
  7. A massive predawn battle between "Veranich and Polarn" occurred in the Mralot Hills.
  8. It has iron mines

I use the word "inert" because while some of those of those are interesting, nothing really is putting Ramalia "in motion" in a way that makes it interact with anyone or anything beyond maybe Tarinwood.  It also is never described as a serious threat to any polities beyond its borders.  The Kingdom of War is most definitely described as a threat, and very much in motion

 

So, what puts Ramalia in motion?

Perhaps Paruzal's successor decides to wage war on Khorst & Handra?  This is plausible.

Perhaps the Chaos Monster Arkat from Ralios allies with them?  Possible

New Wyrmish creates a massive Dino-Army?  Funny, but... *shrug?*

Edited by Nevermet
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I can think of a couple of things that could open Ramalia up- for one thing, the Seventh Council of the Malkioni probably does exert an impact on their leadership. But that's not Maniria-centric, that's Ramalia getting sucked into the Seshnela-Ralios-Loskalm conflict.

I have some nascent thoughts about why Ramalia is the way it is, though- why does the Ramalian elite Tap the common folk? One answer is because they're Chaotic and Chaotic entities defy analysis. But that answer sucks, so having invoked it, I hereby dismiss it. So here's another possible answer- further west, in the remains of Old Seshnela, there's a population of Beast People who emerged after the shattering of the peninsula. Perhaps, and this is only a perhaps, this represents a more general spontaneous reemergence of shapeshifting and hsunchen characteristics in areas of the Middle Sea Empire, and what happened in Ramalia is that the majority of the population turned into wereboars.

Now, perhaps (and this is decidedly non-canon, maybe even anti-canon) this effect isn't limited to the "lower castes" who aren't "really Malkioni". Perhaps the outbreak of therianthropy extended its way up to the blues and the golds, mocking the pretensions of blood purity and of superior rationality. In Ramalia, though, by frequent use of Tapping, the rulers are able to suppress this possibility, and so they focus entirely on maintaining a rational society through magical force. And those people who prove stubbornly resistant to the suppression magic are driven to the fringes of society and embrace Mralot fully. But doing this consistently perhaps requires the use of Chaotic magic, because it involves the apex of antisociety- the idea that you can make the social world through force.

But what about fear and hatred of the sea? Well. Perhaps it's just the ocean as an expression of untrammeled irrationality, which degrades the power of the Ramalian magic. Or perhaps many of the people aren't wereboars, but descended from water creatures (Perhaps even the blue skin and white hair of the "helering" phenotype was seen as proof of Zzaburi status) and the ocean's call is too difficult to resist. There are giant talking otters not too far from Ramalia, perhaps their oceanic cousins once swam off its coasts. Perhaps they feel the urge simply to return to dolphin, or to monk seal.

Or perhaps they know the sea has a reason to hate them. Perhaps Slontos sinking was to forestall the reawakening of the goddess of Slontos, rather than a consequence of her rolling over in slumber. Several major possibilities!

In any case, all of this rambling means that the Ramalians would have very strong reasons to object to the Reforestation and Pralori revival of Serpent Beast Brotherhood magic. This puts them in an uneasy position as far as assumed PC groups go- they have a shared interest in not becoming elf-"friends", but they also are clearly malevolent. What will the PCs do? Will they accept possible damnation by allying with Ramalia? Will they break the repressive core of Ramalia?

And when are those Fire Elves going to fall from the sky, anyways?

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

"I just read an article in The Economist by a guy who was riding around with the Sartar rebels, I mean Taliban," -Greg Stafford, January 7th, 2010

Eight Arms and the Mask

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21 minutes ago, Eff said:

One answer is because they're Chaotic and Chaotic entities defy analysis. But that answer sucks, so having invoked it, I hereby dismiss it

I'm still digesting your answer, but I just want to say I grinned WIDELY at this, as I agree with your standards of what makes a good argument.

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The history of Ramlia is fairly dynamic according to the Guide.  Around 1220 St, there was no Ramalian Kingdom but Valekos.  It was not extant in 1100 ST.  In the next map, the whole region is simply Ramalia.  Ergo, once Valekos became organized, they become part of Kingdom of Ramalia. This meshes with Baranwolf the Imposter who offhandedly mentions Ramalia in 1203 ST as a placename.  

I did once have a theory about how the Ramalian Nobility were cursed by the Book of Secrets but the chronology and geography no longer makes this tenable (the Book of Secrets was at Thanor now in the Mournsea.  The Ramalians weren't conquered by the Slontans fleeing the Deluge from the east but by the Valeks from the West which was comparatively untouched).

So why is it the Kingdom of Ramalia and not Valekos?  My guess is that Valekos was always a bit of a nasty place but one of the many noble families therein resorted to the use of the Mraloti of Ramalia as a source of troops in their wars against the others.  In becoming King, he has cemented his authority over the Mraloti.  As a result, the Kings of Ramalia quite happily use both the Valeks and the Mraloti to oppress each other.   

As for the future, I think that Ramalia has foreknowledge of the Reforestation and has contributed to it in return for being granted dominion over all conquered humans within its lands.  The Elves of Tarinwood are too out of touch with Humanity to be aware that this will be a Bad Thing.

 

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I've thought it "inevitable" that Ramalia would lay siege to Handra, in league with the New Fens broos, and then this would involve some stages, with "someone" potentially being PCs:

1) Handra needs to unite its bickering factions and someone helps.

2) The broos and Ramalians and such raid the city and other important places, and someone needs to fight that back in a series of pitched battles and counter-raids, bringing together an alliance of "beasts" (Pralori, otters, anti-Ramalian Mraloti) and "dragons" (magisaurs, dragonewts), maybe via some Hykim-Mikyh power.

3) But the Ramalians have a terrible master plan involving a hidden ally and they unleash the power of Urcheth/Big Chaos Mojo, which someone must heroquest to oppose.   (climax 1)

4) Then it's time to take the fight to Ramalia with a united army led by someone, and... (I'm not sure what happens next but it's fun, involving finding out just how awful Ramalia is, maybe drawing in Waertagi/Wolf Pirates as the sea things that Ramalia so hates)

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With the Zaranstangi/Lopers in Genertela, it makes sense that they rebuild their former alliance with the Pralori, and the latter try to bring them into the Serpent Beast Alliance (they are beast-riders after all) but the Loopers aren't so keen, the Pralori alliance is all they care for except as means to an end.

But the Lopers won't like the rising of Seshnela's power, seeing that as too reminiscent of the kingdom that (seemed to have) killed their old king, so they help w/Ralios conflict, maybe via the link between Arkat's Godcleaver and The Red Sword.

IMG some few Loper heroes who went on the Boat Planet quest returned with Far Leaping ritual abilities enabling them to teleport much further and bring others along with them, as a magical "Great Blue Ship". That makes them even handier, bringing small bands of them and Pralori etc. in for sneak attacks, forays into dangerous areas for adventuring, etc.

The Pralori might make the best of a bad thing w/the Reforestation, saying hey, too bad about your trade route and all, but it just so happens that we're cool w/the elves and so we're the best guides for you through those forests if you dare. I'm sure there's more to it than that. I've probably forgotten something written/hinted about it.

And with Ramalia, the Pralori/Beast Alliance won't like the subjugated/corrupted Mraloti there so there is great potential for a big conflict there (liberation attempt), with both sides using the Aldryami/Reforestation to their advantage when they can.

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8 minutes ago, Snugz said:

he best of a bad thing w/the Reforestation, saying hey, too bad about your trade route and all, but it just so happens that we're cool w/the elves and so we're the best guides for you through those forests if you dare. I'm sure there's more to it than that. I've probably forgotten something written/hinted about it.

But the Pralori won't be homogeneous; some faction/s will reinforce the Reforestation, raiding/blocking trespassers, and this divisiveness could make for fun in-game politics.

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Some loose ideas.

I would expect the rise of the Boat planet will be the last nail on the Trader Princes coffin, as at that point almost all trade goes by sea. Tanisor (I still hope for Old Seshnela to be remade, and that probably is one of the reasons the One Talar becomes the big honcho) invading Ralios does not help with trade, either, though I suppose the kingdom is trying to raise funds by restarting the Quinpolic league trade routes. Good for Handra, desperate westerners willing to send iron, tea and other luxuries cheap to pay for a war. However that also brings Rokari and Theoblanc's manipulations to the ports...

It would feel right that the war strengthens the Galanini and other post-hsunchen to join the new Beast alliance, possibly combined with a new Dangan Alliance as a buffer, and I am sure they will extend a hand to the Pralori, and maybe some efforts in Ramalia. Hrelar Amali becomes a mighty holy site again.

However I see Ramalia as a Manirian problem that will be solved by the Manirians, possibly with Beast Alliance help. Pralori, former trader Princes looking for a new identity and Handra. I would have Ramalia being the first big problem of the Hero wars (1626-1630) with the Reforestation the second (1631-1635) and the flood coming later. 

Vadeli are in any oceanic port, though in small numbers, and I am sure they feel perfectly at home in Ramalia. However I do not see them interested in land except as a source of trade goods and slaves. So I see them more doing Faustic deals. What if rather than the Wolf Pirates, it is the Red Vadeli who come from the sea to save Handra from a Ramalian army? What do they get in exchange?

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On 11/26/2022 at 6:23 PM, Nevermet said:

Quest for the Red Sword

  • Does the quest pass through Maniria at all?
    • [No Idea]

I have done some 'field research' on this question, as part of running my current Quest for the Red Sword and Bones of Artmal campaign.

My campaign first took to the sea with Gebel and Gabaryanga at Corflu, after the players determined the current resting place of the Red Sword: Spada, Loskalm.  They sailed west along southern Genertela, stopping at Nochet before reaching the Manirian coast.  In Maniria the quest stopped at Handra and Khorst, where their ship contributed to a force sent from Handra to break a blockade staged by the Alatan pirates around Khorst.  The blockade was supported by a land expedition from Valekos.  The companions of Gebel and Gabaryanga learned enough about Ramalia to understand that it was a slaving society descended from the God Learners before they proceeded on to Seshnela.

In my campaign they have since drawn the Red Sword and are participating in the War Against War in Fronela.  The Sword was drawn with an oath to wield it against the surviving remnants of the God Learners, and there is a strong possibility that once the quest has found the last Bones of Artmal in Genertela the questers are likely to retrace their path along the Genertelan coast before setting off to Teshnos or Jrustela.  Given what they know about Ramalia, they are likely to pay the place a visit on their return trip and attempt to overthrow the current regime.

The Alatan blockade was my own invention, but the general shape of the quest (starting in Teshnos, sailing along the Genertelan coast to eventually reach Fronela, ultimately leaving Genertela for Jrustela and Pamaltela) means the sailor-heroes will pass the Manirian coast at least once.  Given the strong anti-slavery flavor of the quest (Gabaryanga is a former rebel slave from Fonrit destined to lead the Veldang Revolution etc), it is highly likely that in most Gloranthas the Red Sword questers will be opposed to the rulers of Ramalia, and if they've gained enough power before leaving Genertela they're likely to try doing something about the state of things in Ramalia before they head for the open ocean.

Edited by dumuzid
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On 11/26/2022 at 6:23 PM, Nevermet said:

Gebel brings back the Lopers as part of the quest for the Rest Sword of Tolat.  Do these new Zaranistangi care about Maniria?

When the Lopers were last in Slontos they were fighting the modern Ramalians' ancestors on behalf of the Autarchy.  When they return in force during the Hero Wars I expect most of them will be in the East and Pamaltela, but there may be some who return to Maniria to visit some long-delayed revenge on the surviving heirs of the God Learners and reconnect with the suddenly renewed Autarchy in Ralios.

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On 11/28/2022 at 10:15 AM, JRE said:

Vadeli are in any oceanic port, though in small numbers, and I am sure they feel perfectly at home in Ramalia.

Ramalia doesn't allow any naval exchange - that's pretty much the point of their paranoia. True, Vadeli would feel right at home, but they need to enter overland, not by sea.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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