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Jon Hunter

Questions on the History of Balazar

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OK some questions on people opinions of the person of Balazar and the time in the land now called  Balazar just before he showed up.

Id be interested to know people opinions;

  • Was Balazaar a Sairdite, Dara Happan or a Pelorian?
  • In his reign was Balazaar more advanced or similar to now?
  • Had the EWF previously had an civilising effects on Votankiland before Balazar arrived?
  • Did the EWF build anything in Votankiland, which has now been destroyed?
  • Were there dragonewts in Balazaar in the EWF/ pre dragonkill war period?
  • Who built highbridge and when? ( at least first age, maybe earlier)?

 

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I once had Dragonewts travelling around the Eldar Wilds in the Second Age on the back of a very large dinosaur. They had a road plinth on it's back.

Though that game was a genre mash up as they were agents of the Culture's Special Circumstances. The Sun was their cloaked space ship.

Edited by Iskallor

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5 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Was Balazaar a Sairdite, Dara Happan or a Pelorian?

As a Yelmalion, he was probably a Sairdite.

5 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • In his reign was Balazaar more advanced or similar to now?

Probably at roughly the same level.

5 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Had the EWF previously had an civilising effects on Votankiland before Balazar arrived?

Votankiland had a human low population density, so EWF influence was limited in this borderland. Vontankiland was deemed as part of the empire, but probably more as a resource than as a territory.

5 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Did the EWF build anything in Votankiland, which has now been destroyed?

 

See above.

5 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Were there dragonewts in Balazaar in the EWF/ pre dragonkill war period?

Doubtless some were, as transient mercenaries of the EWF, but not a large presence.

5 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Who built highbridge and when? ( at least first age, maybe earlier)?

Legend says it was built by dwarves. It predates the Second Age, and is possibly a pre-Time relic.

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OK i'm going somewhere with this ....

  • We have Balazar who was at the tale end of the anti EWF rebels, invading/liberating the votanki
  • We have an Empire which was widley removed from history as much as possible throughout southern Peloria.
  • We have the great dragon project that would see the EWF taking an active interest in this area which would have been part of the wings
  • We also have a number of ruins and strange magical effects which kick off in Balazar and Elder wilds ( Griffin Mountain Special Encounters) which don't have explanation or reason.

It would seem there is room for a 100 or so years of interesting EWF background happening in Balazar which has been forgotten, removed from the histories or even rewritten. ie Did Balazar really create those 2 Citadels in 8 years before he got killed with the true Golden Horde?  Why did the Balazarings take to him so quickly? Balazar the liberator rings true there.

I know i'm pushing towards the edge of canon and maybe beyond, but it seems there is room for another layer in the history there.

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25 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • We also have a number of ruins and strange magical effects which kick off in Balazar and Elder wilds ( Griffin Mountain Special Encounters) which don't have explanation or reason.

All of the Mortal Lands of Glorantha are effectively a post-apocalyptic landscape. There was a great deal of 'history' before Time, and the current geography was very different in the God Time, and this has left an enormous number of scattered ruins and artefacts, most of which are inexplicable to the modern inhabitants. At the Dawn the ancestors of the Votanki at Arau numbered barely two hundred and fifty, and whoever they had been before, they survived the Great Darkness as hunter-gatherers. The region before Time seems to have been: part of the Solar Empire, drowned under water, covered by glaciers, a troll hunting ground, an Aldryami forest etc.

Edited by M Helsdon

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2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

As a Yelmalion, he was probably a Sairdite.

Agree.

2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Probably at roughly the same level.

Agree.

2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

so EWF influence was limited in this borderland

Agree.

2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Did the EWF build anything in Votankiland, which has now been destroyed?

I doubt it.

2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Were there dragonewts in Balazaar in the EWF/ pre dragonkill war period?

There was a dragonewt quest written up in WF14 which if I remember correctly crossed over the Rockwoods into Balazar, crossed through Tarsh, into Dorastor, with a goal of reaching some destination in Ralios.  I expect similar at various intervals in the past, including in EWF period.  Did such leave anything behind for some future 'return' by a subsequent reincarnated self?  Why not.

2 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Legend says it was built by dwarves. It predates the Second Age, and is possibly a pre-Time relic.

Possibly a gift from the dwarves to the giants.

2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

invading/liberating the votanki

I don't think of him as specifically 'liberating' the Votanki.  More likely he was an adventurer chaffing under some aspect of Sairdite rule who went off and set up his own domain.

2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

this area which would have been part of the wings

The wings are the Rockwoods.  Whether they need 'support' of 'skin' from Balazar is another question.

2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

Did Balazar really create those 2 Citadels in 8 years

Could/did he get giants to help him build those citadels?  Seems reasonable.  The Sun Domes created are rather poor/crude affairs, so clearly he didn't spend much time building beyond the walls.

1 hour ago, M Helsdon said:

The region before Time seems to have been: part of the Solar Empire, drowned under water, covered by glaciers, a troll hunting ground, an Aldryami forest etc.

Not to mention a pathway for a chaos invasion which melted Tork and left remnants such as the Festering Isle and River of the Damned before destroying the Ice Dome over DH.  There's no earth/land goddess though so it seems to have been blessed more by the Lady of the Wild.

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2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

but it seems there is room for another layer in the history there

There's also room for the Starlight Ancestors to have crossed through here in mythic hunts during the Silver Age after the defeat of chaos and before the Dawn.  They still have descendants in Jarst/Garsting which may have occasionally penetrated or hunted within the great land that was the Elder Wilds (a path followed as well by some of Sheng's followers).

And, yes, Balazar may have pursued some other ancient legends, but don't think there's any EWF influence.

Another line you could pursue is its place in the Green Age.  It's outside the 'cultivated' gardens of Ernalda, but certainly could be part of an area where Genert and his giant followers wandered and the Lady of the Wild grew her riot of vegetation.  But odd statues, etc. may have been created and left (and giants certainly still cross through from Gonn Orta's land to Imther).

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12 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

Was Balazaar a Sairdite, Dara Happan or a Pelorian?

The Guide mentions that he came from the Northwest Lands (Guide p193).  That kind of rules out Saird which is to the west.  He could come from Vanch considering that it controlled Ozarkos at this time would have an interest in Votankiland.  

12 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • In his reign was Balazaar more advanced or similar to now?

Part of the problem with the writeup of Balazar is that there is a massive disconnect between what it is now and the fact that Greatway shuns trade with Dragon Pass but still have some mercantile interests in Balazar (Guide p90).  I don't see much evidence of dwarven trade in Balazar compared to what Dwarf Mine gets up to.

I kinda explained the discrepancy by having the Opili Tribe (under Sheng Seleris) reducing the Balazarings from a settled culture or sorts to one whose land was cleared for pasturage.  Farms, towns and villages would then be put to the sword.  Greatway retaliated by poisoning the land so that it became unsuitable for pasturage so that the Opili tribe eventually left it alone and only now is the poison wearing off,

 

12 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Had the EWF previously had an civilising effects on Votankiland before Balazar arrived?

The Guide maps don't show any EWF control into the Elder Wilds (although in 700 ST, it does show Votanki control over parts of Dragon Pass!).  That's probably because the Votanki were content to pay tribute to the EWF and perform whatever sacrifices they demanded.  

Now there was supposedly a nomadic dragonewt tribe under the leadership of Master Herds Allosaurs that wandered around the Elder Wilds but they do not appear upon either World Council Maps in the Guide (p709 and p715).  Master Herds is described as a Rebel (History of the Heortling Peoples p17) so he may have simply wandered off map to the northeast rather than put up with the Inhuman King.

So I think the EWF influence within Votankiland was of this sort.  They had herds of Dinosaurs wandering around being attended by Dragonewts.  Dragonewts that became dinosaurs, Magisaurs, Hadrosaurs etc  or Dragonewts that had doubts about the way were exiled to Votankiland and tasked to help in the worship of the herds.  They no longer survive because the True Golden Horde slew them all and their nomadicism means that very little was left in the way of construction.

 

12 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Did the EWF build anything in Votankiland, which has now been destroyed?

They would have built many things but there was been at least two waves of invaders which have a nasty habit of taking what can be taken and destroying what cannot.  Much would have been sacked and destroyed.

12 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Were there dragonewts in Balazaar in the EWF/ pre dragonkill war period?

I think there were.  

12 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:
  • Who built highbridge and when? ( at least first age, maybe earlier)?

Dwarf-made.  It was sufficiently well known for a Pentan Horde to use it as a crossing in the Imperial Age.  Given the scale of the construction 15 feet wide, 180 feet long, I doubt that it was made in mythical times and so suspect during the World Council or the Bright Empire.  The origin of the curse against ownership looks interesting.

 

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7 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

It would seem there is room for a 100 or so years of interesting EWF background happening in Balazar which has been forgotten, removed from the histories or even rewritten. ie Did Balazar really create those 2 Citadels in 8 years before he got killed with the true Golden Horde?  Why did the Balazarings take to him so quickly? Balazar the liberator rings true there.

The Elder Wilds Elves secede in 890 ST.  The Votanki begin their revolt at an unspecified date, are overrun by a brilliant raid by Third Council mercenaries and are forced to ask help for outside help.  The Third Council collapses in 1042 but Balazar doesn't arrive until 1082.  So he's not exactly a liberator against the EWF.

Now Balazar did steal a magic idol of Mralota.  So what he might have done was defend the land against the Ivory Plinth (who ride pigs but seemingly do not herd them for food) which make anybody acclaim him as a liberator.  And defending the land against Darkness would be the kind of thing for a Yelmalion to so.

 Balazar has some 38 years to built the citadels rather than eight.

 

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

  There's no earth/land goddess though so it seems to have been blessed more by the Lady of the Wild.

Rigtaina (Dorastor: Land of Doom p116)

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

There's also room for the Starlight Ancestors to have crossed through here in mythic hunts during the Silver Age after the defeat of chaos and before the Dawn.  They still have descendants in Jarst/Garsting which may have occasionally penetrated or hunted within the great land that was the Elder Wilds (a path followed as well by some of Sheng's followers).

I thought the Starlight Ancestors were Votanki/Zarkosites in origin.  According to the Ancestors of the Lenshi Kings (a Gregly document now probably postcanonical) they migrated northwards and created the Elf Sea after a battle.  Soon afterwards after they became too numerous and some migrated southwards into elf territory (the document sez they were all destroyed but the document itself is described as guesswork).

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To paraphrase from Glorantha: The Second Age: Core Rule Book (page89)  and the same entry on the Glorantha The Second Age sourcebook on page 101.

The rugged borderlands of Votankiland  serve as a battleground for members of the Elder Races.  For centuries a human tribe called Votanki have prospered by playing the Elder Races off against each other.  In the 8th century their king made himself a vassal of the EWF, returning from Dragon Pass with carts laden with weapons and silver.  They secured the allegiance of the Elves by promising them support against the trolls.  Later EWF priests came to the region demanding more energy from worship.  This caused the Aldryami to rebel. Subsequently the Alrdyami raid into Votankiland frequently, and the Votanki mount reprisals.  Both sides employ adventurers and mercenaries to fight on their behalf and do their dirty work.   South of Votankiland the Mostali Openhandist heresy of Greatway have had to withdraw from their fight with the trolls to face attacks from their own kind.  Though the Dwarven atrefacts are not readily compatible with EWF mysticism, a dialogue continues, and the Nidan Decamony feels threatened.  The Nidan attack of 852 fails, but the Greatway expect them to try again.  Adventurers with news of the Nidan Decamony can expect generous rewards.

 

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Glorantha: The Second Age: Core Rule Book (page89)  and the same entry on the Glorantha The Second Age sourcebook on page 101.

Both, at best, dubious God Learner constructs and highly unreliable, in addition to being uncanonical. No Mongoose books are part of canon.

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Very true. But I find it hard when the stuff is so awful. I like working from canon first myself and listening to all of you lots non canonical ideas, which are far better.

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Oh dear.  I broke canon.  So what?  I like Mongoose's Second Ages stuff.  Isn't it up to individual GMs to decide? YGMV?

It is up to individual GMs to decide, but this is a public forum. Of all the Mongoose books, Dara Happa Stirs is the best and closest to canon. The others vary enormously in quality.

The penalty for using Mongoose books as canonical here is a trip to Dorastor with one of Ralzakark's avatars as your host...

8-)

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18 hours ago, metcalph said:

the Starlight Ancestors were Votanki/Zarkosites in origin.  According to the Ancestors of the Lenshi Kings (a Gregly document now probably postcanonical) they migrated northwards and created the Elf Sea after a battle

I don't have that source, so can't comment, but I've not seen anything to suggest the Starlight Ancestors were either Votanki or Zarkosites. 

18 hours ago, metcalph said:

Rigtaina (Dorastor: Land of Doom p116)

But in original Griffin Mountain, she was just Rigtaina the hunting nymph.  And I haven't seen her referenced since then.  She's not in the list of Land Goddesses in the Glorantha Sourcebook and does not appear in the Guide. 

3 hours ago, M Helsdon said:
7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Oh dear.  I broke canon.  So what?  I like Mongoose's Second Ages stuff.  Isn't it up to individual GMs to decide? YGMV?

It is up to individual GMs to decide, but this is a public forum. Of all the Mongoose books, Dara Happa Stirs is the best and closest to canon. The others vary enormously in quality.

It's certainly up to GM's to decide whether to use or not.  I've got some Blood of Orlanth stuff in my Orlmarth campaign because one of my players liked that line, but it doesn't mean I'll use or reference it outside of that, particularly where much of what I write is focused on new Glorantha content that needs to stay in canon.

 

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19 hours ago, metcalph said:

The Guide mentions that he came from the Northwest Lands (Guide p193).  That kind of rules out Saird which is to the west.  He could come from Vanch considering that it controlled Ozarkos at this time would have an interest in Votankiland.  

Another possibility is Kostaddi, perhaps with similar origin to that of Khordavu.

19 hours ago, metcalph said:

the fact that Greatway shuns trade with Dragon Pass but still have some mercantile interests in Balazar (Guide p90).  I don't see much evidence of dwarven trade in Balazar compared to what Dwarf Mine gets up to.

But due to various reasons, they may be forced to go overground from Greatway to the dwarf mines in Imther.  And that would mean mercantile interests to help avoid encounters with hostile elves or trolls.

 

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9 hours ago, Darius West said:

Oh dear.  I broke canon.  So what?  I like Mongoose's Second Ages stuff.  Isn't it up to individual GMs to decide? YGMV?

It doesn't really matter.  YG*WILL*V.

Everyones' does.  ( Even Greg's!  :P )

But it should be noted, when it happens... for folks to whom adherence-to-canon *DOES* matter, or who willingly diverge but want to know/notice when it happens, etc.  Citing one of the known-non-canonical sources, it's worth noting as such, that's all.

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6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I don't have that source, so can't comment, but I've not seen anything to suggest the Starlight Ancestors were either Votanki or Zarkosites. 

The Starlight Ancestors in the Glorious ReAscent were shown as coming from the region of Votankiland (PDF p33).  That region is generally known as Zarkos.  We know the Votanki are Zarkosites because Votank is mentioned in connection with Durbaddath on the Gods Wall (Guide p677) and their fighting equipment is similar to that of the Zarkosites.

Secondly although the myths of the Starlight Ancestors (Entekosiad) say they all came from the Sky in the Great Darkness, this would be rather unusual in that the Sky People generally fell to the ground to defend existing populations.  

 

6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

But in original Griffin Mountain, she was just Rigtaina the hunting nymph.  And I haven't seen her referenced since then.  She's not in the list of Land Goddesses in the Glorantha Sourcebook and does not appear in the Guide. 

Rigtaina would be a daughter of Pelora rather than being a daughter of Genert.  Since the Glorantha Sourcebook does not mention Dorasta (another daughter of Pelora) either, the argument from silence doesn't really apply.  Similarly the Guide does not mention Teshna or Kralora either, the argument from silence again is not compelling.  

I can't find the reference to Rigtaina in Griffin Mountain so I can't comment.

 

 

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