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Urban Orlanthi


Joerg

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The discussion has drifted a bit off-topic in the New glorantha fan - where to start thread, discussing how the Orlanthi are presented and how Orlanthi cities are supposed to work rather than how to introduce Glorantha.

2 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I think the tribal notion could work for Orlanthi cities. The urban cities of Sartar are not all that large, and the tribal confederations would present themselves as aligned political factions (although not always harmonious). People would probably live in suburbs perhaps defined by these tribal associations. These people would be primarily crafters and traders, with direct links to the rural tribal populations who travel to the settlements for their services.

There is no room for suburbs in the published map of Jonstown. Neighborhoods might work, but anything larger won't fit.

None of the Sartarite cities have significant housing outside of their walls. Some have empty plots inside, used for gardening or pasture, and one city (Duck Point) has empty stone shells that can be easily fitted for habitation.

Former Vingkotling strongholds like Clearwine 2 or Two-Ridge probably have more enclosed lands than the Sartar-founded cities, excepting Boldhome with its natural walls and branch valleys. It isn't clear whether these new cities included former tribal or clan seats and their population. Some fan histories of the Sartar cities like Ingo Tschinke's version of Jonstown worked from this assumption, but there is no evidence pointing in that direction. It would have elevated one tribe over the others, too, which would have been a bit antithetical to Sartar's intentions.

Tribal involvement in the cities is undisputed, but the question remains whether and how the clans are involved. Just because another clan is in the same tribe as yours doesn't mean that you are on speaking terms with them, so why would you huddle with them in a place full of other folk? You will have more in common with fellow cultists or crafters than with those X clan folk.

A clan shifting tribal allegiance might alter their city allegiance - the Lysang clan gained tribal access to Jonstown when they were separated from the Colymar, but they might still have folk with tenuous ties to their clan in Runegate or Clearwine.

New tribal allegiance will alter their choice of major temples a bit - many specialist cultists spend some of their temple time during tribal moots - but many of those major temples are important beyond tribal borders. Take for instance the earth temple of Greenstone, in Malani lands, but important even in Colymar lands, who have earth specialists in the Ernaldori clan.

2 hours ago, Mankcam said:

The larger Orlanthi cities are in Esrolia, and I think the Faction idea would be equally important here, perhaps it is even more organised. I could envision it being the same notion with a reverse-focus, having political factions governed by the various Grandmothers, and rural tribal regions associated with each of these factions. 

Nochet with its lack of directly adjacent farmland and its role in the grain trade has mostly entirely urban clans, but elsewhere there are few cities that could support such populations. Rhigos probably does, Karse might given its lack of hinterland, but I doubt that many other cities in Kethaela are big enough to provide this.

Kethaelan cities have ethnic quarters - coastal cities have Pelaskite communities, most cities have Esvulari who will tend to concentrate around their temples, and Esrolia might still have leftover Hendriki-style clans from the Adjustment Wars that keep to themselves rather than mingle with the matriarchs. Southern Esrolia has Porthomecans or Caladrans, and there may be a few God Forgot natives in major trading places, too. Argan Argar traders might be openly or secretly Kitori. But they also have ethnic majorities who won't be a monolithic organisational unit.

In Kethaela, the cities are administrative seats that report to Belintar's representants for the Sixths, too, in addition to whichever local nobility survived the changes the Godking wrought upon the former Kingdom of Night.

2 hours ago, Mankcam said:

totally agree that RQ2 did not define Sartar very well, which was unusual given it's implied importance in the RQ2 setting. Then the portrayal from late RQ3 onwards went in a different direction that was hinted at in the RQ2 products, which is why we have the different interpretations we now have. 

I made my peace with Apple Lane by referring to it as Gringlestead. That's what it is, really - the home base or retirement seat of an important heroquester and his exotic retainers. So Gringle accumulated a Third Eye Blue iron smith, an Ulerian entourage, and a bunch of Orlanthi followers taking care of basic needs of such a stead? Well done, old man, not quite on par with what Ethilrist collected, but still lots of creature comforts other leaders would love to have. Too bad he is saddled with a duck assistant/manservant, but not all heroquesting achievements can be beneficial.

 

The organisation of Boldhome could be quite close to that of New Pavis, although I expect quite different housing in Boldhome due to its altitude and climate. (On the other hand, the description of Pavis mentions thatch roofs, so the flat roof architecture seen in many pictures of Pavis may be restricted to richer houses.)

We know of tribal manors in Boldhome, basically steads. The map of Boldhome shows them to be surrounded by fields and pasture in their southern side branch of the valley. We know of the administrative buildings in the center of the city - Sartar's palace with the brazier, sitting on a ledge overlooking the fork of the valley. There are markets surrounded by merchant residences and storages, and there are crafters areas.

The Boldhome pockets are pretty unique - about 20 years ago I postulated that Vizel might have similar cliff-hugging architecture, but excepting Vizel and possibly the Wintertop settlement there aren't any other Orlanthi cities enclosed by cliffs shown on the maps of Dragon Pass or Kethaela.

The pockets will have a rather unique social structure, too. Their original inhabitants may have been cottars or stickpickers seeking a better life in the city than their less than generous clan leaders would have granted them, providing a source of unskilled labor. They may have been obliged to pay some lease to the princes, or perform some worship to provide magic for the royal building projects in lieu of a lease.

 

Cities have a wyter, very much like other Orlanthi group efforts do. The city wyter is also known as city god, and somehow the nominal founders of those cities of Sartar - Wilms, Jon Hauberk, Swen Leapfoot, and possibly an unnamed durulz - have become the city protectors, possibly posthumously merging with the genius loci originally contacted by Sartar.

The city god/wyter of Boldhome has never been defined. It is possible that the Flame of Sartar took over this role since 1520, but that leaves a quarter of a century when the city had a different protector, and there is no reason that this original protector has disappeared entirely. (The same goes for the earlier cities founded by Sartar.)

King of Sartar tells us that Sartar performed a Westfaring to attract a wyter for his new kingdom, a Ginna Jar. This entity has never been named, but we don't have any descriptions of the city from Sartar's reign. The one in King of Sartar is dated to 1535, slap dash in the middle of Saronil's reign. (The Rough Guide to Boldhome that was produced for the Home of the Bold freeform provided a description for the time of the Lunar occupation around 1621.)
 

The organisation of a city mayor and a city council resembles clan or tribal governing structures. The mayor appears to have quite different rights and obligations than a clan chief or tribal king, though.

I don't think that Sartar himself was born as a city-dweller, but his companion Wilms most likely was. It was Wilms who established city structure and organisation in the Quivini lands, the later cities Jonstown, Swenstown and the partial failure Duck Point were modeled on his project in Wilmskirk.

The original population of the cities - at least those of Wilmskirk and Jonstown - probably included a lot of refugees from clans that had lost their lands in the conflicts that the city confederation solved. In Wilmskirk that would have been former Balmyr and Sambari clans whose lands were taken by Locaem and Kultain clans, with the Balmyr suffering more losses than the Sambari. In Jonstown, a significant portion of the new settlers would have been survivors of clans that had been ravaged by the Telmori. I know less about Swenstown, but being neighbors to Praxians will have resulted in badly battered clans there, too.

Hardly anyone moved into Duck Point, even though the Undead from the marshes exerted severe pressure on their neighbors. A few traders moved in to trade with the durulz boatmen, anyway, and while the city didn't prosper, these traders probably did.

 

The Dragon Pass boardgame fields rather few tribal units, and those in the Sartar Free Army. The bulk of the Sartarite forces are described as city militias, and come in two qualities - mounted and foot, both of average quality.

It is highly unlikely that these troops were urban citizens acting as militia. I read those troops as the forces that the tribes of a city confederation could field when summoned by the Princes, and split into temporary warbands led by appointees of the city council.

The mayors don't appear to be military leaders by default. Apart from Brygga Scissortongue, the mayor of New Pavis, we only know two other mayors in official publications - Hauberk Jon, first mayor of Jonstown around 1485 who was a military leader, and Garaystar Flatnose, the mayor of Wilmskirk in 1613 (in the grandfather of all Glorantha Freeforms, Sartar High Council) who was the replacement for a mayor who fell afoul of the Lunar occupation officials, and not a military man at all. Both Brygga and Garaystar operate under Lunar occupation, though.

 

 

 

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On 3/27/2017 at 4:10 AM, Joerg said:

It is highly unlikely that these troops were urban citizens acting as militia. I read those troops as the forces that the tribes of a city confederation could field when summoned by the Princes, and split into temporary warbands led by appointees of the city council.

This is a good idea.  I like the notion of tribal warriors moving to the cities that then equip and supply mercenary militias in the field.  As old tribal feuds are subsumed and forgotten by the conflict with the Red Moon, I suspect that many of the City/Tribal confederations will detribalise to the point where a more national consciousness prevails and formerly enemy clans will more-or-less happily form a shield wall together, and cities won't care where the "warm bodies" they hire come from.

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Those units would be the militia of the city confederation. Since the tribes have a seat each in the city council, the joint warbands are likely to get a tribal leader, too - and quite likely the most warlike of the tribal kings sitting on the ring.

As these units are Orlanthi males and women who decided to act as males, they will come equipped with militia level weaponry - as men of the shieldwall with shield, spear and/or other hand weapon, helmet, or as skirmishers with whichever missile weapon they favor. The mounted militia will be made up of thanes and weaponthanes and other habitual riders (e.g. mounted herders). They don't appear to be shock cavalry, but they will be able to ride down skirmishers or fleeing enemies. They probably can be employed dismounted, too.

City-equipped mercenaries probably exist, too - they might be special warbands to provide guard duty when a city delivers valuable goods, when city leaders need to go on risky diplomatic missions, or similar needs. These mercenaries are likely to come from war clans or clan warbands, and may be weaponthanes or prospective weaponthanes. They might join for other kinds of payment, or for payment in the equipment.

Fairly often there will be mercenary bands with permanent barracks in a city from where they serve as caravan guards or extra manpower in conflicts.

A tribal warband will still be organized along clan units, possibly separated between mounted warriors, foot warriors and skirmishers. The magicians will be with their clansmen rather than joining in special groups, except for those who are direct followers of the king. The tribal federation war band will probably have less men (or women) from each tribe than a tribal muster of each of those tribes would field, and a tribal muster won't see all clan warbands at full strength, either.

It appears to be traditional to assign a leader to each wing and to the center of an Orlanthi or Pelorian war formation. Making special use of massed skirmishers, shock cavalry or magicians might involve another leader or two, but such is rarely done in Orlanthi warfare where everybody prefers to rely on kinsmen rather than confederated folk. Holding back a reserve isn't normally done, either - you are supposed to mean serious commitment in the initial deployment.

These wing leaders are likely to be the warleaders of constituent tribes who did not get the overall command.

 

 

 

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Good stuff.  The only thing I can even remotely think to add is what does Sartar do for archers and foot skirmishers ?  If you are going to defend city walls they are essential.  Off hand I can only think of one missle unit that Sartar has, the Bush Rangers mounted light cavalry, presumably mercenary Tarshites.  Presumably there are Elmali, Vingan and Odaylan archers and skirmishers to draw upon for the role.  I can't remember if this is reflected in the force pool for White Bear/Red Moon, probably not if I remember correctly. Typically skirmishers were made up of the poor and adolescents unless bows retained prestige in a culture.

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Good stuff.  The only thing I can even remotely think to add is what does Sartar do for archers and foot skirmishers ?

Hunters and shepherds, really - slingers, archers, javelineers. And of course special cultists like Hedkoranth slingers. They don't form separate regiments but act as support to the shield wall or heavier cavalry.

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If you are going to defend city walls they are essential.  Off hand I can only think of one missle unit that Sartar has, the Bush Rangers mounted light cavalry, presumably mercenary Tarshites.  

Sartar has three duck slinger units, two of which are going to be available in a full game (the third will start the Zombie chain).

The Sartar Free Army has the Pavis Royal Guard as an elite skirmisher force.

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Presumably there are Elmali, Vingan and Odaylan archers and skirmishers to draw upon for the role.  I can't remember if this is reflected in the force pool for White Bear/Red Moon, probably not if I remember correctly. Typically skirmishers were made up of the poor and adolescents unless bows retained prestige in a culture.

If you look at the Sun Dome Templars, the description in the rules mentions skirmishers and cavalry, but the units in the game look like elite phalanxes.

About half the Orlanthi sun worshippers are Yelmalians, especially north of the Creek. They too will field cavalry and archers, probably a lot more so than the Templars.

Vingans are more likely javelineers. Javelins or heavy darts can be used by heavier troops, too.

Orlanth uses the lightning javelin and the heavier thunderbolt or its lesser brother, the thunderstone. Then he goes into melee.

White Bear/Red Moon did not know about any of the deities you mentioned (probably not even Odayla, but definitely neither Vinga nor Elmal).

There used to be specialized archers among the Vingkotlings, the Jorganostelli, and some of their descendant tribes were among the original Heortling tribes. The bow was one of the weapons stolen from the solar deities, but that has not stopped the Orlanthi from claiming such weapons for their own. The bow doesn't have special prestige among the storm worshippers, though.

The solar worshippers use the bow from horseback (Kuschile archery). I think that it is mainly a weapon for mounted herders, while foot herders are mainly slingers.

 

 

Edited by Joerg
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That is a really solid response Joerg.  I do hope that if WB/RM/Dragon Pass is ever re-released, that the units get updated to reflect the full diversity.  There is, if anything an over-supply of skirmishing options for Sartar looking at this long list.  It always struck me as odd that Sun Valley had no cavalry for example, I mean, if they're prepared to hire out hoplites, why not kuschile archer cavalry?  

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(Sorry, quickfired publishing while having trouble with the editor. This is now the finished edit.)

After discussing city officials over in @hkokko's thread  on ring structure, I took another look at the Sartar book, prompted by  @david scott.

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An Orlanthi Ring governs the city, its members appointed from among leading citizens and the tribes of the confederation. The City Ring levies taxes, controls the distribution of food, and keeps the peace with the aid of a small police force headed by a constable. A mayor heads the council, elected every five years by the citizens from among the city ring members.

The mayor acts as the chieftain inside the city.

Control of the distribution of food: Let's consider the consequences for professions like bakers, brewers, innkeepers, butchers etc.

From the example of Pavis, we know that some exchange of money is involved in taverns, and on the meat market. It isn't clear whether this applies to the ordinary apportioning to the resident households or whether it just applies to visitors.

Unlike in a clan, I doubt that a mayor can re-organize land ownership - that is a matter that was decided in the founding documents:

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The tribes, temples, guilds and other enfranchised communities who have rights within the city’s boundaries, own all land within the city. Land cannot be sold from these groups.

So there is no trading in land for money. I suppose that rearrangements can be made by consensus of the entire community of landholders in the city, and had to be made when the Lunars claimed parts of the city - or was this treated like an unwelcome but fact indeterminate lease of those properties?

Other enfranchised communities. Meaning communities which have votes in the city.

How does a community become an enfranchised community?

Quite recently through conquest and occupation - I suppose that the Lunars have established their presences, both military, civic, and private, as enfranchised communities. But what about earlier or more recent arrivals? E.g. mercenary bands establishing a chapter house in a city, such as the Army of Tomorrow or Sir Narib's Company?

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However, many buildings are leased to non-citizens, who effectively occupy the property for the duration of the lease, thanks to mutual oaths and magical defense. They don't own it, but they have the right to occupy it and use it (at least for the duration of the lease).

Making the non-citizen a client of the landholder. This can lead to a situation where a guild member has the workshop on tribally held land.

Interesting legal question about farmland in the city: Tribes don't usually own or maintain farmland. Clans do. Clans don't take land leases from tribes out there in the rural area.

A tribal king's stead may operate fields inside or outside of clan territories. Are tribally owned farmlands in the city reckoned to be part of the tribal king's stead?

Are there (assuming that this clan is enfranchised in the city, in some minor way) clan-owned and -operated areas of farmland and gardens inside the city walls, independent from whichever tribe the clan may belong to?

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Citizenship is like clan membership, judged by Heort’s laws of society. It extends to free members of the city’s confederated tribes and enfranchised residents of the city.

So Harmast Fieldtiller of the Red Cow clan of the Cinsina can claim citizenship if he takes up residence in Jonstown? While Ergentius Silversmith from Wilmskirk has to take a post as a non-citzen retainer from one of the guild masters?

How is the citizen status of children of citizen households who live away from the city much of the time? Dormant?

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A citizen has the right to speak at the city moot, receive food from common stores, and become a guild master.

So a citizen has the right to found a guild, and become its master? Or just become the head of an existing guild in the city?

Are all urban guilds landholders? Probably not. When did those guilds which hold a title to city land earn this? Not all guilds will have been present from the founding of the city, given the speed with which Sartar (or his descendants) realized these cities.

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Guilds are unions of people sharing a similar occupation. For city folk, they substitute for the extended kinship bonds in a clan, providing status, mutual aid, and protection.

Unlike clans, guilds will most likely encourage intermarriage between their members in order to become more like an extended family group, alongside with marriage to journeymen attracted from guilds in other places.
At the same time, it is probably quite common for some of the children of a guild member not to follow their parents' profession but to join some other guilds.

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Full members of a guild can become citizens, even if they were originally outsiders.

Making the guilds the arbiters for citizenship. I suppose that temples have similar rights.

Does citizenship extend to a guild member's family? To his retainers?

Would journeymen be full guild members if taking up residence in the city, or do they have to be acknowledged as masters?

What is partial guild membership worth (to wit, an apprenticehood)?

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The Lunars have settled in Sartar’s cities now, bringing with them strange laws and foreign customs.

Lunars expect that their residents are treated as citizens or better, right?

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Despite this, refugees flock to the cities, seeking work or at least food. The population of beggars has thus grown, and crime is a burgeoning problem.

Are these beggars guests of the city, or are they tribesfolk entitled to citizenship?

Edited by Joerg
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On 4/6/2017 at 5:49 AM, Joerg said:

So Harmast Fieldtiller of the Red Cow clan of the Cinsina can claim citizenship if he takes up residence in Jonstown? While Ergentius Silversmith from Wilmskirk has to take a post as a non-citzen retainer from one of the guild masters?

I think this sounds right for Jonstown.  Harmast Fieldtiller is kin.  He is known and vouched for at the Cinsina Hall.  Ergentius is an outside, and may have to become a retainer of an 'inferior' citizen/guild master.

 

On 4/6/2017 at 5:49 AM, Joerg said:

Would journeymen be full guild members if taking up residence in the city, or do they have to be acknowledged as masters?

I'd say the latter.

 

On 4/6/2017 at 5:49 AM, Joerg said:

Are these beggars guests of the city, or are they tribesfolk entitled to citizenship?

Likely both.  Who is worse but greedy and lazy kin?

 

On 4/6/2017 at 5:49 AM, Joerg said:

So a citizen has the right to found a guild, and become its master? Or just become the head of an existing guild in the city?

Founding one is likely difficult, and sounds like a good 'quest' story.  You're going to need to have/prove that skill, likely in some important contest.  You may have had to quest for the power from a god or spirit or have gained/stolen it from dwarves.  Likely acquiring some enemy along the way.  And finally requires approval of the Ring plus other temples and guilds, who are often jealous of privileges.  You're going to have to overcome some or most of their resistance.  And that's just the beginning.  What happens when one of the rival/jealous guild masters makes you "an offer you can't refuse"?

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 As far as tribes and city Militia.

 I remember ancient Athens raised its Hoplite force from 10 traditional tribes that founded the city. Each tribe formed its own unit. The tribes did not live in separate areas but you knew which tribe you belonged to.

   I can see Urban Orlanthi being the same way. They would form Militia company's with their brothers ,sisters, cousins and second cousin and other  family members in the same company's .

Edited by TRose
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 MIght also point out a good population of the ancient Greek cities  where in fact rural people who lived outside of the city. The rural folks where still considered citizen of the City, got to vote on all issues and served in the armed forces. And of course where given refuge during times of war. Also your wealth often determine what you where required to bring to war. The requirement of what each Roman citizen was required to come equipt with depending on their wealth  is well documented and I can see Orlanthi having similar rules saying if you have this much wealth, you have to own this armor and weapons and if you own say 30 cows you have to come with a Horse and fight as cavalry , 50 cows and you need to bring a horse, a chain shirt and weapons of your  choice.

 Some citiies also required their citizens to maintain a minimum amount of wealth. Go broke and you lost your citizenship until you got your wealth back.

 Athens  was one of the few city that had no minimum wealth for its citizen, but that was because the poorer classes in
Athens served as rowers on the Triremes where all equipment was provided by the city.

 Slave , those too poor to be citizens and foreigners did not normally serve in the military except in an emergency. After the defeat of the Roman army an Cannae Rome did raise a legion out slaves and foreigners and equipt it with weapons and armor captured from the Gauls twenty years earlier but then sent that  Legion  to garrison Sicily instead of employing it in front line combat against Carthage .

Edited by TRose
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Excluding the nautical familarity, I think culturally the Theylans may have more similarities with Mycenaean Age people like the Minoans, Archaeans, Dorians, etc than with the civilations that arose later in ancient history.

However it is often easier to find information on the populations of the later classical period of this region. I agree that using the Aegians of the Hellenic Age (such as Athenians, for example) are quite a useful reference in regards to ancient urbanisation; especially from the earlier period of that time when they were transitioning from the 'dark age' at the end of the 'Age of Heroes'.

The reference to the Founding Tribes of Athens is very much how I would envision the manner in which the urban Orlanthi might approach their tribal connections and associations.

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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4 hours ago, TRose said:

 As far as tribes and city Militia.

 I remember ancient Athens raised its Hoplite force from 10 traditional tribes that founded the city. Each tribe formed its own unit. The tribes did not live in separate areas but you knew which tribe you belonged to.

Making these tribes more like oversized Orlanthi clans.

4 hours ago, TRose said:

   I can see Urban Orlanthi being the same way. They would form Militia company's with their brothers ,sisters, cousins and second cousin and other  family members in the same company's .

Jonstown has less inhabitants than two Sartarite infantry militias in the Dragon Pass boardgame have fighters. While I fully expect the citizens to field their share in the city militias, and all citizens to man the walls or create a support structure behind the walls in times of assault, my point is that urban folk make up a rather small portion of the warband that is raised by the city confederation.

Unlike the clans, which have cattle raids or full raids as training exercises, the urban warband members will have to participate in training days - possibly linked to holy days.

Speaking of manning the walls in case of assault, I cannot think of a single city of Sartar attacked by any other force than the Lunar Army. The presence of the walls prevented the cities to become the victim of petty feuds, as no single clan and possibly neither a single tribe could muster enough force to overcome an even lightly guarded city wall. This is quite close to what the cities and castles of Edward I in Wales achieved (though with the difference that Edward did emphatically not give the Welsh tribes a vote in those cities).

4 hours ago, TRose said:

 MIght also point out a good population of the ancient Greek cities  where in fact rural people who lived outside of the city. The rural folks where still considered citizen of the City, got to vote on all issues and served in the armed forces. And of course where given refuge during times of war.

This is the result of centuries of identification with those cities. The oldest Sartarite city is 150 years old, or six generations. When you meet say a Red Cow clansperson, they will say that they are X of the Red Cow clan, perhaps add the Cinsina tribal moniker, but nary a mention of the Jonstown confederation. The Kingdom of Sartar might surface in times of crisis, though, as in "don't mess with us, we are way stronger than what you see here."

Another factor there might be the massive cultivation of wine and olives outside of the cities, rather than grain farming or cattle and goat herding. A lot of initial effort to set these up, but then it is mainly maintenance and harvesting, leaving time for urban activities. A grain farmer's winter may be similar, but a herder has to look after his beasts year round.

4 hours ago, TRose said:

Also your wealth often determine what you where required to bring to war. The requirement of what each Roman citizen was required to come equipt with depending on their wealth  is well documented and I can see Orlanthi having similar rules saying if you have this much wealth, you have to own this armor and weapons and if you own say 30 cows you have to come with a Horse and fight as cavalry , 50 cows and you need to bring a horse, a chain shirt and weapons of your  choice.

That's true for Orlanthi clans, where your standing depends on your household. However, the property of that household is pretty much decided by the grace of the clan chieftain and his ring, and tradition. A carl household is expected to field at least a man for the shieldwall, a thane's household is expected to field at least a mounted warrior. This may be the head of the household or the ablest of the household members. At the same time, a reasonable amount of the masculines (to use a term that includes Vingan and similar fighting women) of the household are expected show up regardless of equipment.

Note that a full Orlanthi warrior may actually be the leader of a team of five, with a shield man, a sword man, a spear man and a backboy, presenting a two to three men wide front in the shield wall and nearby skirmishing and ammunitioning support.

4 hours ago, TRose said:

 Some citiies also required their citizens to maintain a minimum amount of wealth. Go broke and you lost your citizenship until you got your wealth back.

You lose your vote in Orlanthi clans if you don't come sufficiently equipped to the clan moot. But all this means is that even the most miserable stickpicker will maintain a modicum of military readiness.

We mustn't forget that citizenship in Athens or Republican Rome meant that you belonged to an olgarchic elite - even with allowing the poor rowers a vote in the urban decisions, only a rather small percentage of the population was allowed to vote. Their democracies, pretty much like the farmers republics of the Germans and Iceland, were the representation of the household heads of the wealthy families that can trace their citizenship back through generations.

 

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6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I think this sounds right for Jonstown.  Harmast Fieldtiller is kin.  He is known and vouched for at the Cinsina Hall.  Ergentius is an outside, and may have to become a retainer of an 'inferior' citizen/guild master.

Interesting dichotomy here. I tend to think that the guilds used to be a stronger influence inside the city than the tribal groups. Leaving aside the matter whether a Cinsina crafter from a faraway clan is foremost a guild member or foremost a tribesman, the guilds are a major contributor to the wealth generated by the city, and will expect to be awarded according respect.

With tribal refugees flooding the cities, I tend to think that tribal citizenship is regarded as inferior.

6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

[Beggars as guests or as citizens:]

Likely both.  Who is worse but greedy and lazy kin?

Even worse - these beggars are kin to maybe a fraction of city folk, and still consume the food stores of the majority who are not related in any way. Many might only be able to attend a city moot as females, no matter how bearded they are, waving about a bone needle and a dented pot after having sold their hard hat for some protection from the weather. They will probably hang on to their foot-long knife, though.

6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Founding one is likely difficult, and sounds like a good 'quest' story.  You're going to need to have/prove that skill, likely in some important contest.  You may have had to quest for the power from a god or spirit or have gained/stolen it from dwarves.  Likely acquiring some enemy along the way.  And finally requires approval of the Ring plus other temples and guilds, who are often jealous of privileges.  You're going to have to overcome some or most of their resistance.  And that's just the beginning.  What happens when one of the rival/jealous guild masters makes you "an offer you can't refuse"?

Yay, the seeds of an urban Orlanthi game.

So basically founding a new guild is the same difficulty as founding a new clan, like Enjossi did as per Colymar Book.

Bringing a new trade or craft into a city will probably mean that you have been away (as a journeyman) in foreign parts, where you learned some new technology or magic. Ofttime that just means that you spent time in Nochet with some exotic craftsfolk, perhaps in disguise as an ignorant muscle for their shop (Tsar and Carpenter comes to mind here). Since you are going to annoy other guilds, you will need the support of some of the tribes and temples in town, and whichever other enfranchised group there may be. Good relations to some of the gangs of the city are helpful, too, especially in light of "offers you can't refuse".

The only problem I have with a storyline like this (as with many heroquests) is that it caters to a single character, and not really to a group as a whole. So while this is fine in a one-on-one roleplaying game (apparently a new trend in the hobby?), involving your usual three to six player group in such a venture will steal much of the spotlight from other players.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Mankcam said:

Excluding the nautical familarity, I think culturally the Theylans may have more similarities with Mycenaean Age people like the Minoans, Archaeans, Dorians, etc than with the civilations that arose later in ancient history.

So basically, we are talking about typical late Bronze through early to middle Iron Age Indogermanic cultures. I would still call those people Celts, excluding any notion of Irish and British island Celts but including Ibero-celtic culture, but I learned that the Irish stereotype is too ingrained in the anglophone community, so I subscribe heavily to Jeff's "banded ceramics and urnfield culture" phrasing for the very same people. Aegaeans without olive tree cultivation and naval activities have lost 60 to 80% of their identity to me. Danubian cultures are way closer.

And the Pelaskites, the only naval culture we have among the Theyalans, have been depicted with distinctly non-minoan but polynesian or indonesian overtones, with only a little of the neolithic Bodensee stilthouse influence remaining. We get highly anachronistic triremes, though.

While long past the historical period of Sartar, I find strong parallels in the development of the Baltic Sea region in the Viking and Hanseatic League era. A southerner brings civilisation to the Obodrite chieftains by establishing cities (and villages) in their area, making the local chieftains the overseers of those new settlers and city folk. Sartar did not establish villages, but the cities he established attracted urban folk from Heortland and Esrolia, creating a third wave of immigration ignored in the histories of King of Sartar.

 

2 hours ago, Mankcam said:

However it is often easier to find information on the populations of the later classical period of this region. I agree that using the Aegians of the Hellenic Age (such as Athenians, for example) are quite a useful reference in regards to ancient urbanisation; especially from the earlier period of that time when they were transitioning from the 'dark age' at the end of the 'Age of Heroes'.

I find early Rome a better model than anything in the Aegaeis, really - here we have a farmers' kingdom turning into a city state and republic. The economic model fits a lot better than Athens, and the seas don't play a role until after the conquests of Latinum, the Etruscans, and surviving the Gaulic invasion (to avoid any association with Irish). The Etruscans might be another good model, even though they were operating with iron rather than terrestrial bronze. Their level of metal use was more similar to Orlanthi levels than anything in the terrestrial Bronze Age.

2 hours ago, Mankcam said:

The reference to the Founding Tribes of Athens is very much how I would envision the manner in which the urban Orlanthi might approach their tribal connections and associations.

 

I have problems with this sudden identification of "tribe" with "kin". The tribe is as much an identification for clan membership (legal kin) or blood ties as the European Union is an identification of say Polish or Irish nationality.

Your clan was formed at least 250 years ago, quite likely it was the result of a clan split that carries on traditions reaching back to the Dragonkill, or in extreme cases beyond the Dawn. There are comparatively new clans that formed specifically from distinct groups joining up to brave the wilderness the Dragonkill left behind, though, or clans that resulted from splits of extremely successful clans, like the four core Colymar clans. A few clans were formed even later, like the Black Spear clan of the Colymar.

Clans were destroyed in the course of Quivini history, too, as were tribes. King of Sartar mentions a few near-cataclysmic events - the Beastman Wars, the arrival of the Telmori, Jaldon's great raid that created the Pol Joni. The survivors usually were absorbed by other clans, or rarely formed new clans inheriting the tattered traditions of several clans.

It has joined a tribe some 200 to 250 years ago. It may have switched tribes once or twice since. The early tribes engaged in bloody warfare among themselves or with neighbors for up to 120 years.

The tribe joined a tribal confederation 150 to 120 years ago, then became part of the Principality of Sartar, also known as Kingdom of Sartar. (Unless you look at the Far Place, which has a different history.)

20 or 25 years ago (depending on which start you use - pre-Fall of Whitewall, or post-Dragonrise) the kingdom was conquered by the Lunar Empire. The invasion was the only major military intrusion into the Kingdom of Sartar during the reign of the Sartar dynasty, all other wars of the dynasty were fought outside of their territory. (Palashee's uprising, Tarkalor's Kitori war, the Nochet assassinations, the victory over Philigos, the battles of Dwarf Ford and Grizzly Mountain, and even the initial battles of the invasion. It took the thermonuclear arrival of the Bat at Runegate to carry the fight deeper into Sartar territory.)

The Lunars meddled with tribal association of many clans after Starbrow's rebellion, often also in response to local uprisings provoked for just this purpose.

 

Back to the relationship between clans and tribes. The clans joined tribes to find non-kin brothers in arms for conflicts against greater threats, and they marched side by side with these other clans' warbands in the conflicts between 1325 and 1492. Even before 1470, tribal warbands from different tribes marched side by side against others, like the Balmyr-Sambari alliance versus the Kultain-Locaem alliance in the war ended by Sartar through the founding of Wilmskirk.

We don't hear about any battles between 1492 (formation of the Principality) and 1535 (Saronil leading the city warbands against the Lunars to aid Palashee). The warband of Swenstown may have seen the most action, against the Praxians, while the Jonstown and Wilmskirk confederations may have seen a few punitive actions against nonhuman or Grazer raiders if those raids were beyond clan or emergency tribal warband level (basically the mobile warbands of clans, plus whichever local fyrds could be mobilized). The clans of Volsaxar may have caused trouble for clans of the Kultain. Their Kitori masters may have misbehaved now and then. Elsewhere, the main source for trouble would have been bands of outlaws, rarely big enough to exceed a clan's military resources (which include hiring mercenaries from nearby war clans).

From a clan perspective, tribal moots were more about prestige, and possibly clan influence on the wealth of the city, than of importance for the security of the clan. The tribe may have been useful as legal support in lawsuits with neighboring clans, but half of the time those clans would be members of the same tribe, and the other times they would often belong to the same city confederation.

 

So, the prospective craftsperson from a clan goes to the city at the heart of the city confederation, or (almost as likely) to Boldhome, in order to learn specialized secrets of that craft (or trade) - including guild spells. He or she will join the household of a guild member citizen and work in their shop. After a formal end of a (pre-?) apprenticehood (which may or may not take into account previous experience from the cottage industry in the clan), the craftsperson will be introduced to the guild and some of its secrets.

This status seems to be similar to the prospects in biker gangs - the individual gets to wear the guild colours and to participate in guild activities, but doesn't get (much of) a vote in guild affairs, and probably neither in city affairs except through tribal citizenship. There will be training exercises in the city militia, perhaps also detachment as deputy constables.

 

Or the clansperson goes to join one of the urban temples (instead of tribal ones under the control of other clans). Similar story.

 

After the first clanspeople have established themselves in the guilds or temples of that city, their households will be the focus for new arrivals from that clan, rather than the tribal manor. The household may be situated on tribally owned land rather than guild land, though, so a certain tribal influence might be felt. But kinship? Maybe comradry, when forming up gangs with the local age group on evenings. The warband kind of bond, rathet than the bond of kinship - yet another allegiance for the individual.

So we get:

  • the distant clan, and its representatives in the city.
  • the guild or temple for the chosen trade
  • whichever cult affiliation unless already covered by the choice of guild or temple
  • the tribal manor
  • the local gang/circle for free evening activities (might translate as patronage in a choice of taverns and other establishments, but might include covert or overt political or criminal activities, too).

The tribal affiliation doesn't seem to rank very high here, does it?

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

The only problem I have with a storyline like this (as with many heroquests) is that it caters to a single character, and not really to a group as a whole. So while this is fine in a one-on-one roleplaying game (apparently a new trend in the hobby?), involving your usual three to six player group in such a venture will steal much of the spotlight from other players.

This is exactly the challenge I'm finding right now building urban scenarios in Nochet.

For a House/Clan based scenario, the Grandmother or earth priestess or chieftain can drive such a group, and has selected the group for their varied skills to drive the 'quest'.  For a varied group, it's harder to drive this (unless one of the players has thought of this as their goal and now is bringing in the others to help them succeed).  But, it should be achievable, and I'm definitely interested in hearing thoughts on this.

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On 4/8/2017 at 6:15 PM, Joerg said:

So basically, we are talking about typical late Bronze through early to middle Iron Age Indogermanic cultures. I would still call those people Celts, excluding any notion of Irish and British island Celts but including Ibero-celtic culture, but I learned that the Irish stereotype is too ingrained in the anglophone community, so I subscribe heavily to Jeff's "banded ceramics and urnfield culture" phrasing for the very same people. Aegaeans without olive tree cultivation and naval activities have lost 60 to 80% of their identity to me. Danubian cultures are way closer.

Well said about the Irish stereotype.  The truly unfortunate thing being that mitochondrial DNA studies reveal that there are in fact extremely few genetic Celts in Ireland, their primary migration having come through Germany and Scandinavia, and being very close to the Scots.

On 4/8/2017 at 6:15 PM, Joerg said:

And the Pelaskites, the only naval culture we have among the Theyalans, have been depicted with distinctly non-minoan but polynesian or indonesian overtones, with only a little of the neolithic Bodensee stilthouse influence remaining. We get highly anachronistic triremes, though.

Yes, these are land locked cultures for the most part, which means they will either have a loathing or a hunger for the sea.  On the other hand, the possibility remains for a river culture, which is very viking indeed if you look to the spread ot he Vikings throughout the river systems of the Rus.  I think the Polynesian/Indonesian overtones are specifically the cultural effect of the Mermen in Choralinthor bay, who are in turn heavily influenced by the apparently dominant East Isles/Mer-person culture that seems to  covers the oceans of Glorantha.  Thai/Malay Sea Gypsy stilt houses spring to mind more than Bodensee with that being the case (the prime difference being the building material really).

On 4/8/2017 at 6:15 PM, Joerg said:

While long past the historical period of Sartar, I find strong parallels in the development of the Baltic Sea region in the Viking and Hanseatic League era. A southerner brings civilisation to the Obodrite chieftains by establishing cities (and villages) in their area, making the local chieftains the overseers of those new settlers and city folk. Sartar did not establish villages, but the cities he established attracted urban folk from Heortland and Esrolia, creating a third wave of immigration ignored in the histories of King of Sartar.

I particularly like this last inclusion that I underlined.  Good work Joerg.  Heortlanders and Esrolians are not too culturally dissimilar; they integrate seemlessly with the existing de-clanned urbanites, and the influx passes more-or-less unnoticed, save in the surnames in the tax records perhaps?

On 4/8/2017 at 6:15 PM, Joerg said:

I find early Rome a better model than anything in the Aegaeis, really - here we have a farmers' kingdom turning into a city state and republic. The economic model fits a lot better than Athens, and the seas don't play a role until after the conquests of Latinum, the Etruscans, and surviving the Gaulic invasion (to avoid any association with Irish). The Etruscans might be another good model, even though they were operating with iron rather than terrestrial bronze. Their level of metal use was more similar to Orlanthi levels than anything in the terrestrial Bronze Age.

A sort of cold weather Etruscan is a good fit.  Other possibilities include Illyrians, Macedonians, Dacians.  Perhaps Thracians? Possibly also northern Iberians or Basques? Essentially fractious bronze age pastoralists.

On 4/8/2017 at 6:15 PM, Joerg said:

I have problems with this sudden identification of "tribe" with "kin". The tribe is as much an identification for clan membership (legal kin) or blood ties as the European Union is an identification of say Polish or Irish nationality.

 The notion of "Tribe" derived from the Latin for 3 (tres)(because there were supposedly 3 original Roman tribes), is actually a Roman invention for the most part, being a legal term for a society that pay Roma "Trib-ute".  Of course we are inheritors of a Roman world view in many ways.  "Clan" is probably a closer fit for the kinship model in question, with everyone being relatives to the point where the Clans arrange marriages with other friendly clans as a way of maintaining exogamy.  The notion being that Clans form alliance systems that become Tribes, and then a confederation of Tribes becomes a Nation.

On 4/8/2017 at 6:15 PM, Joerg said:

So we get:

  • the distant clan, and its representatives in the city.
  • the guild or temple for the chosen trade
  • whichever cult affiliation unless already covered by the choice of guild or temple
  • the tribal manor
  • the local gang/circle for free evening activities (might translate as patronage in a choice of taverns and other establishments, but might include covert or overt political or criminal activities, too).

The tribal affiliation doesn't seem to rank very high here, does it?

I liked the conclusions you reached.  It seems that Tribes were formed at an inconvenient time, a bit too late after the Heortlanders resettled the Quivin foothills, and Sartar comes on the scene just after the main tribal confederations stitch themselves together, making them less relevant, despite all the effort that went into their formation.  Tribes are basically rural defence alliances, and there are many cases of clans within tribes maintaining mutual feuding but banding together against external aggression.  A bit like a couple in an abusive marriage ganging up on the police when they show up to keep the peace perhaps?

What a tribal affiliation does give you is the ability to deal with a regional authority as a member. e.g. If you want to get a lot of wool and sell a lot of finished cloth dealing with a Tribal council makes sense.  You bring cloth to trade, and the wool is brought in seasonally to the tribal council, taxed collectively and shipped in bulk.  As a tribe member you will probably get better rates, protection on the road and through clan territories that aren't your own back to your city.  I suspect guilds would actively cultivate representatives from different regions for this reason.  Also it is highly likely that there are postings on City Rings that must be filled by one tribe or another, and even reserved areas that offer rental privilege through affiliation, as well as access to guilds.  Basically this means that being a member of a tribe may carry certain privileges in some cities.  And of course those ties will be fiercely guarded by a local tribal faction and associated sub-legal street gang. In a city your fellow clan member becomes your brother, and your tribe member becomes upgraded to a fellow clansperson, as the cities aren't large, and they are places where Tribes do business as much as or perhaps more than little rural clans.  This fits nicely with the way Orlanthi like to decentralize power if you think about it.  The King will deal then with City Rings or Tribes, the City Rings deal with Major Cult Sites and Tribes, Tribes deal with Clans, and the Clans deal primarily with individuals.  The point being that the King then isn't telling the individual how to live, nor is the City Ring, nor is the Tribe.  "Coercion" then comes from kin and cult, which is an individual transaction based largely on trust either kin to kin or God to cultist.  

As you say, tribal affiliation doesn't matter too much, except come tax time or war time, but it does mean that the burden of large expenses can be distributed, and little clans that band together can achieve a lot more than they can on their lonesome.   It is a lot easier to maintain a major temple, for example when your clan is part of a tribe, plus there is the advantage that other clans in the tribe then come to your people's tula cap in hand and pay your clan's priests increasing your clan's prestige in the process, and all you are required to do is not kill them.  It is the duty of the clan to offer hospitality after all, not your personal duty.  Of course that also means that you can go to other clan tulas in your tribe too without too much fear of being molested.

So it all becomes a bit like your place in an army... 1st Squad, 2nd Company, 4th Regiment, 5th Batallion, 6th Division, 7th Army, except it is Son of Hrothmir the Grumpy, from Fire Ridge Stead, Orlmarth Clan, Colymar Tribe, Sartarite, living in Wilmskirk in the Colymar neighborhood and part of the Vintner's Guild.

The point being, this isn't a criticism Joerg; you point out what a tribal affiliation doesn't mean, and I am trying to insert what it does, or might mean, and you're right, the nation rapidly becomes the point of identification and subsumes the role of the Tribe, as a "tribe of tribes".  Through a psychological process regarding identity crisis called  "the narcissism of minor differences", the tribes must then fight three times as hard to stay relevant as an identity in people's lives, and they will.  After all, you don't fight your way up to being King of a Tribe to be irrelevant.

Edited by Darius West
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6 hours ago, Darius West said:
15 hours ago, Joerg said:

While long past the historical period of Sartar, I find strong parallels in the development of the Baltic Sea region in the Viking and Hanseatic League era. A southerner brings civilisation to the Obodrite chieftains by establishing cities (and villages) in their area, making the local chieftains the overseers of those new settlers and city folk. Sartar did not establish villages, but the cities he established attracted urban folk from Heortland and Esrolia, creating a third wave of immigration ignored in the histories of King of Sartar.

I particularly like this last inclusion that I underlined.  Good work Joerg.  Heortlanders and Esrolians are not too culturally dissimilar; they integrate seemlessly with the existing de-clanned urbanites, and the influx passes more-or-less unnoticed, save in the surnames in the tax records perhaps?

I really like that inclusion as well.  And since Sartar came from Heortland, he may well have been part of this wave of immigration (rather than coming before it).

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Rural and regional Orlanthi can be modeled quite well with late bronze age/early iron age central european influences like Urnfield, Hallstatt, and La Tene cultures. However Orlanthi from larger urbanised centres are certainly a bit trickier to find real-world historical influences, so this is a useful thread for GMs trying to delve a bit further with this.

I think the Mycenaean Age people have been previously suggested by the authors, although these cultures were also extremely nautical so this does affect things somewhat. Mixing Minoans, Achaeans, Ionians etc with Thracians can work well for broad strokes when portraying these people from an average gamer's visual perspective. This certainly fits some of the artwork that is coming out in regards to Orlanthi these days.

Definitely for a more extensive approach I think both the Etruscans and Macedonians probably work better as analogies from a socieo-cultural perspective. Also a lot of those Baltic influences mentioned work really well, especially regarding how the Hanseatic alliances developed. Some really good analogies there for examples of early inter-dependent urbanised settlements.

 Great food for thought in this thread.

Edited by Mankcam
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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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Keep in mind that clan and tribal loyalties do exist in urban environments. Frex, MOB (who lived in Abu Dhabi for a decade) likes to point out that even in the modern Arab world, tribal loyalties persist, even in ostensibly Westernized cities. Ancient Israel had its tribes (even in Jerusalem), Rajput clans could be found throughout northern and central India, and so on. Same thing in Glorantha. For example, Nochet has scores of clans, and even tribal groups, but the high priestess of Ernalda in the Sacred City (aka the queen) is the city ruler. She needs to rule by obtaining a critical consensus among these kinship groups, through her semi-divine status, favoritism, strategic marriages, bribery, blackmail and intimidation, etc.

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36 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Keep in mind that clan and tribal loyalties do exist in urban environments.

Loyalties exist, no doubt, but: Are these like the loyalty of a daughter of a clan married into another clan? Or are they the loyalty of a clan member on prolonged absence, but certain to return to the clan (unless perishing e.g. during a term as mercenary)?

And how does this clan loyalty work out in reciprocation?

Is it possible to be a clan member of say the Famous Bell clan and living as a citizen of Jonstown?

 

36 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Ancient Israel had its tribes (even in Jerusalem),

At least some of these tribes (Levi, Simeon) turned out to be castes rather than tribes. Jerusalem had Mount Zion, much like Samaria had Mount Gerizim - a pan-tribal holy place, attracting pilgrims and even permanent settlers from other tribes.

36 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Same thing in Glorantha.

I have been wondering about the Malkioni. The Brithini have two pre-histories - one as a separate folk native to that island, descended from the land goddess, and the other as refugees from Danmalastan and its six tribes (actually three, given the secession of the Vyimorni as Vadeli, the elimination of the Tadeniti, and the exodus of the Waertagi). Do or did the Brithini of Brithos identify themselves as mainly Enrovalini with Kadeniti and non-emigrated Kachasti, or are their divisions mainly along caste lines?

36 minutes ago, Jeff said:

For example, Nochet has scores of clans, and even tribal groups, but the high priestess of Ernalda in the Sacred City (aka the queen) is the city ruler. She needs to rule by obtaining a critical consensus among these kinship groups, through her semi-divine status, favoritism, strategic marriages, bribery, blackmail and intimidation, etc.

I wonder how much influence the inhabitants of Nochet not represented by Grandmothers of Enfranchised Houses really have in the government of the city. The Grandmothers have tyrant power over their houses, and can and will order their subject kin to act opposed to their personal well-being. A coven of Grandmothers forms the Eminence Grise behind the Queen of Nochet, who often enough becomes just a pawn in their intrigues. Less often since the reign of Bruvala, though she used up two of her daughters in such struggles.

Again, I wonder which role the other enfranchised groups play - e.g. the Great Library and the Grand Hospital, or the massive but Grandmother-less Sartarite population. The Grandmothers of the Esrolian houses can form a comfortable majority if presenting a unified front, if they choose to do so. When they don't, they may look for support from other enfranchised groups, but I don't see how other enfranchised groups could start an initiative without a Grandmother's authority.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Third Wave of immigration to Sartar by urban folk from Kethaela:

5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I really like that inclusion as well.  And since Sartar came from Heortland, he may well have been part of this wave of immigration (rather than coming before it).

Sartar came before there were any meaningful cities. The biggest settlements were places like Clearwine - an earth temple and tribal center in an ancient hillfort - or Runegate - a tribal center at a crossing across the Swan River and traditional starting point for the route across the Dragonspine to Shaker's Temple. Neither such place would have welcomed many foreigners, except as new kin marrying into the clan.

Wilmskirk was the first city which welcomed guilds - organisations which routinely attract foreigners to join them. The urban population of Sartar around 1495 probably included some 5000 recent urban immigrants. In 1470, Wilms was one of the very few urban immigrants from Heortland.

According to KoDP, there would have been routine marriage contacts to Heortland in cases when many widows were left after bad attrition in battles.

4 hours ago, Mankcam said:

Rural and regional Orlanthi can be modeled quite well with late bronze age/early iron age central european influences like Urnfield, Hallstatt, and La Tene cultures. However Orlanthi from larger urbanised centres are certainly a bit trickier to find real-world historical influences, so this is a useful thread for GMs trying to delve a bit further with this.

I find the urban development in the pre-Roman Danubian area quite adequate for comparison with Sartar. Chieftains' seats like Glauburg or Heuneburg gave way to oppida like Kelheim or Vindobona, or even planned cities like the oppidum of Manching which adopted the layout promoted by Hippodamus.

 

4 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I think the Mycenaean Age people have been previously suggested by the authors, although these cultures were also extremely nautical so this does affect things somewhat. Mixing Minoans, Achaeans, Ionians etc with Thracians can work well for broad strokes when portraying these people from an average gamer's visual perspective. This certainly fits some of the artwork that is coming out in regards to Orlanthi these days.

If we want to fit the ethnic stereotype that Orlanthi art direction is going to aim for, we might want to look at the Indus Valley for inspiration, too.

Mycene and Troy both were kings' castles with an adjacent trading center rather than cities with a strong urban oligarchy.

Classical Greece apparently relied very strongly on a broad class of slave labor, whether in their mines or in their agriculture. The concept of the free farmer as the backbone of the military was replaced by that of the slave-owning citizen serving as warrior-nobility. Not a model we find among the Theyalans except among the Sun Domers, which is why I am not too happy about proliferation of hoplite-like weapons and armour among the Sartarites. Helmets are ok.

Minoans or Aegaeans without the ships - that is similar to imagining huns or mongols without their horses, or Praxians on foot. The little that is commonly known about Thracians does fit the "hill barbarian" culture.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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 One problem we have is we don't know much about Bronze age cities except those Ancient cities except the Highly Centralized Monarchy of Egypt or Highly Stratified ones of Sumeria and later Babylon. It would be nice to know about the ancient city that stood outside Stonehenge but  outside it existed we know hardly  any thing

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On 4/9/2017 at 11:41 AM, Joerg said:

Loyalties exist, no doubt, but: Are these like the loyalty of a daughter of a clan married into another clan? Or are they the loyalty of a clan member on prolonged absence, but certain to return to the clan (unless perishing e.g. during a term as mercenary)?

And how does this clan loyalty work out in reciprocation?

I would presume this varies on a case-by-case basis, per individual and bearing regional customs in mind...

Those with substantial personal ambition might hew to whichever loyalty best advanced their own power -- or to none of them very closely, claiming to be "balancing" all the possibly-conflicting loyalties.  A married-in daughter from out-clan might hold her new clan as her higher loyalty, or her original one (and depending on regional custom, one choice or the other might be the "better" one, or either might suffice as an "honorable" choice).

Etc ...

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8 hours ago, g33k said:

I would presume this varies on a case-by-case basis, per individual and bearing regional customs in mind...

Those with substantial personal ambition might hew to whichever loyalty best advanced their own power -- or to none of them very closely, claiming to be "balancing" all the possibly-conflicting loyalties.  A married-in daughter from out-clan might hold her new clan as her higher loyalty, or her original one (and depending on regional custom, one choice or the other might be the "better" one, or either might suffice as an "honorable" choice).

Etc ...

Yep. Kinship ties are not so neat and tidy as they are sometimes presented. One person might be more loyal to a warleader (unrelated to them by blood or tribe) than to their clan, or to their tribal leaders than to their immediate family. Others in the same kinship group might be the opposite. 

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