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Barbarian Town/Exilestead


Darius West

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All that is listed is that it is a walled settlement of Pol Joni that is currently home to Dundealos exiles, also known as Barbarian Town.  The population is around 1000.  As one of the few permanent settlements in Prax, it is probably worth comment.  Is there any other source of information on the place?  Its location makes it potentially both a back water, and important.  I personally have never had a character go there, nor have I GMed a party that wanted or needed to visit it.  Has anyone ever put anything in a fanzine about it?  Is there more canon material out there ?  Is there a map of the settlement, for example?  I figure if we are giving Adari a decent work out, and Pavis, Sun County, and even Corflu have material on them, what about Exilestead?  Consider, it is near to the Sounders River and the Block, not so far from Monkey Ruins.  It is likely to be one of the only settlements in Prax, the Heortlands or Sartar that is free of the Lunars, so perhaps it is worth some attention?

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The Guide gives an "urban" population of about 1000 and a rural population around it of about 5000 people.

This is where Harmast Barefoot was initiated during the Orlanth blackout caused by Lokamayadon, so there could be a holy place which saw some frantic activity during the great winter.

I picture the place as a market frequented by the Pol Joni, but run by traditional agrarian Orlanhti. The size appears to be that of a normal clan center in Sartar.

In my opinion, there are a number of rather hardy, old-fashioned and rather small clans living in the high valleys among the southern peaks of the Storm Mountains, a few of them even year round. Those with access to the foothills on the Praxian side may use Barbarian Town as their market, given the presence of the Queendom of Jab on the western side.

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Another rough and ready town. Where Pol Joni come to sell their cattle and spend their coin.

As Joerg says lots of nearby old fashioned hillfolk, trappers and isolated steads. Hillbillies.

It's where the urbanised Dundealos settled after exile.

Baboons hunt near here and frequent the town, even having their own ghetto.

Historically a place where nomads barter for weapons.

A fair few Vingans too, on their way to heroquest.

Edited by Iskallor
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Confusingly it's not just called Barbarian Town and Exile Stead, but Exile Town and Exilestead as well.

Here's some context for Barbarian Town

58ec8d51a517c_ExileStead.png.33357863d444e8915aa724fa2165eef7.png

It's only 10 miles or so from the edge of Prax, so that wall has been essential to survive raiding. Pink is the Devil's Marsh, Brown Orani's Mistake (no grazing), orange Morokanth Ancestral Grazing (Close to the Goddess), Monkey Ruins are purple, Yellow Sacred Ground.

Pavis GtA says it's effectively a Pol Joni Town:

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The central court holds a statue and shrine to Derek Poljoni, who founded the tribe and the town. Orlanth is the patron god, and Praxians who have not sworn allegiance to Derek and the Pol Joni are refused entrance. 

This means that although the Pol Joni are a Praxian tribe, they also graze in the Verge, outside of Prax. 

Sandy said in the Digest 16 Nov 1993, part 1

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Barbarian Town is primarily organized for their [Pol Joni] benefit, and is a little like the trading towns that sprang up in Cossack territory; i.e., a wild brawling place made up mainly of tents and ramshackle huts. Most of the population are transients.

Other sources are in the Dragon Pass Gazetteer, Anaxial's Rooster says there are baboons here as well.

 

 

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I see it pretty much similar to the above. A good mix of Pol Joni and backwater Orlanthi, making it live up to its namesake. I view it as the seat of power for the Pol Joni, although its primarily a ranshackle market town that swells at various times of the year, much of this as a tent city. Very dangerous, much like what you could expect if various Mongol hordes all met up for a moot.

One of the first characters we created back in the RQ2 days came from there. We set the game in Pavis, and my mate created his first RQ character using the old RQ2 char gen,  rolling a 'Barbarian' background on the social class table.  Arnie's movie was popular at the time, so he envisioned a character looking and acting like the film's portrayal of Conan.

Not knowing anything about the culture we just looked at the RQ2 map and saw the name 'Barbarian Town' and said he was from there 

Our Pol Joni are a cross between Howard's Cimmerians and The Huns. The more I uncover about the Pol Joni, the more I'm surprised how spot on we were.

Edited by Mankcam
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Barbarian Town is a walled Pol-Joni settlement and trading town. It is a place where the Pol-Joni bands trade for crafted and luxury goods (especially during the Lunar Occupation of Swenstown). It likely has considerable population of exiles and outlaws from Dragon Pass - again especially during the Lunar Occupation. 

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One of the important things to bear in mind with these places is the timescale. Only events in the current and last generation will be really important. The rest are vague hand me downs. The lunar occupation period is coming to an end so there are likely changes in population, and local events. 

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Yep. With the end of the Lunar Occupation, a lot of folk go home or leave to resettle the Dundealos valley. Swenstown becomes a more important market for the Pol-joni (who are back to being one of the tribes of Sartar once there is a Prince again).

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Urbanized Dundaelos: Do you mean citizens of Swenstown with Dundealos tribal membership sent packing or refused land rights in the city when the Lunars installed the Enstalos tribe instead?

30 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Confusingly it's not just called Barbarian Town and Exile Stead, but Exile Town and Exilestead as well.

Here's some context for Barbarian Town:

It's only 10 miles or so from the edge of Prax, so that wall has been essential to survive raiding. Pink is the Devil's Marsh, Brown Orani's Mistake (no grazing), orange Morokanth Ancestral Grazing (Close to the Goddess), Monkey Ruins are purple, Yellow Sacred Ground.

It loks like it sits on the vertical border of Prax. While a contour line doesn't immediately indicate a ridge, I expect Barbarian Town to sit atop a far-reaching extension of the Storm Mountain foothills, providing ample warning of approaching riders from the East.

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Pavis GtA says it's effectively a Pol Joni Town:

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The central court holds a statue and shrine to Derek Poljoni, who founded the tribe and the town. Orlanth is the patron god, and Praxians who have not sworn allegiance to Derek and the Pol Joni are refused entrance. 

 

Derik was born among the Dundealos tribe, and he might have convinced some of his natice tribal folk to follow him on his mission to take the conflict out of the foothills into the Praxian pastures. Having a town to house craftsfolk and especially smiths would give the new nomad tribe a lasting benefit on the plains. There might be a similar resource at the Paps, but that has less access to the mines of the Storm Mountains.

A statue of the founder - how common is it among Orlanthi to create a statue for major leaders? Is this statue meant to house the wyter of the otherwise nomadic Pol Joni?

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This means that although the Pol Joni are a Praxian tribe, they also graze in the Verge, outside of Prax.

Given that the herd cattle and horsese, there is no reason not to. I don't recall any reports that Praxian herd beasts could not survive on the bounty of the Earth outside of Prax. Praxians might avoid those places because their beasts might catch some lingering diseases of the wetland herds.

Just as in Khan of Khans, I think that they approve of cattle, as descended from Storm Bull's sons, and Eiritha does extend her care to any imported cattle, too.

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Sandy said in the Digest 16 Nov 1993, part 1

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Barbarian Town is primarily organized for their [Pol Joni] benefit, and is a little like the trading towns that sprang up in Cossack territory; i.e., a wild brawling place made up mainly of tents and ramshackle huts. Most of the population are transients.

 

My impression is that Derik went to the old sacred place of the Verge clans and elevated their little marketplace village to a full-sized town.

The place might even function in a way similar to the cities of Sartar, with each clan of the Pol Joni assigned certain camping and grazing areas inside the stockade.

The farming population of the Verge doesn't appear to field a military unit except for joint defense of the town in times of big trouble, when their fortified steads are in danger of being overrun..

 

I think that the establishment of Barbarian Town preceded Sartar's arrival by at least 40 years. Derik might have drawn enough Quivini followers unwilling to spend their lives as nomads to create a new clan, most likely from fellow tribesmen and personal kin from the Dundealos. He may have brought other "civilized" followers from the Tarshite court, too - remember that Derik spent a couple of years as a retainer of Yarandros, probably the leader of a heroband already. Derik was part in Yarandros' raid for the Goldeneye horse, and led other retainers of Yarandros during his raid against the Opili nation of Pentan horse nomads on his raid for the magical bull that he used to establish his future herd on the Praxian plains. Under Yarandros, Bagnot was second only to the big cities of Esrolia (Rhigos and Nochet) in terms of splendor and prestige.

16 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Yep. With the end of the Lunar Occupation, a lot of folk go home or leave to resettle the Dundealos valley. Swenstown becomes a more important market for the Pol-joni (who are back to being one of the tribes of Sartar once there is a Prince again).

Swenstown has the much better infrastructure to bring in luxuries or crafted goods, but IMO Barbarian Town will remain a place where you go to mend broken or badly bent metal weapons and armor, and where other sedentary resources are available.

That Sartar allegiation won't interfere with their position in Prax, I suppose. Praxians are bound to be involved in Argrath's future ventures, beast nomads alongside with the cattle bastards.

The Verge will likely remain a popular place of refuge after the Empire returns to Sartar in the aftermath of the Battle of Fyllich Kwan.

 

There will be bronze and brass mines in the storm Mountains, as well as some silver. If we take a look at Bronze Age mining technology, we might find steads which have a shaft or a tunnel to a deposit of metal which they trade at Barbarian town. The Hero Wars will make these supplies ever more important, so a reduced Exilestead is bound to continue while the Hero Wars haven't upturned all of the world. Exilestead is a proven place of hope for survival through years of cosmic conflict, and it might attract desperate refugees from some of the catastrophes expected to hit the world in the next decades.

(So you might get rowdy miners in addition to tent-dwelling horse nomad cattle herders and visting natives of the adjacent plains. All that is missing for a stereotype Wild West town are the colts and a train station...)

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I am glad this thread is proving popular.  

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

This is where Harmast Barefoot was initiated during the Orlanth blackout caused by Lokamayadon, so there could be a holy place which saw some frantic activity during the great winter.

True.  This makes me wonder about the whole "Death of Orlanth post Whitewall", as one of the few remaining non-Lunar settlements, did Exilestead have any role to play during the big winter?

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Those with access to the foothills on the Praxian side may use Barbarian Town as their market, given the presence of the Queendom of Jab on the western side.

Yes, that saddle ridge is quite a good wall against chaos.  Given the proximity to the Sounders River, even though Exile Stead is obviously in the rain shadow, I am betting it is better watered than much of Prax too.

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6 minutes ago, Darius West said:

This makes me wonder about the whole "Death of Orlanth post Whitewall", as one of the few remaining non-Lunar settlements, did Exilestead have any role to play during the big winter?

It would have been a last place to huddle after most resources in the more isolated steads were used up.

Being slightly paranoid and definitely targeted hillbillies, the isolated steads might have been better prepared for a prolonged state of siege than the better organized clans down in Sartar, with enough stockpiles to bring at least the humans through a summer and a second winter without death by starvation.

The Halogaland Vikings and coastal "Finns" (Sami) lived in the constant threat of a summer that would not support a grain harvest, or which returned less grain than was sown. While they were able to complement their diet with the reliably rich fishing, they still underwent the considerable effort to sow their grains in order to keep them from spoiling. I have no idea how  winter grain would react to a summer that doesn't come. Would the plants last another year to bear fruit?

I cannot think of any agriculture that attempts to wrestle more than one year's harvest from grain plots, although I know too little about rice paddies to exclude that possibility. In places which allowed two harvests a year such as the Nile delta, a second cycle of plowing and seeding was added to the agricultural calendar. Late mesolithic einkorn gathering/harvesting in Anatolia probably relied on those seeds the gatherers failed to collect when harvesting.

1623 would have been a year without much (if any) local seed grain. What had not been in the ground by the time Whitewall finally fell to the Lunars would have been subject to depletion as the naked survival needs overcame the farmers' protection of the seeds for the spring sowing, especially after spring did not arrive by Sea Season 1622. The grain scarcity would have affected even Seshnela and Melib as a third of the Esrolian grain-growing area was covered by the windstop effect and the accompagnying winter.

For all its remoteness from usual Lunar activities, Exilestead was almost within spitting distance of the New Lunar Temple. The remaining Lunar occupation forces were hit almost as hard by the ensuing famine as were the Sartarites and other natives - the veteran settlements of Wulfsland sure didn't feel any love by the Provincial government, or see much in the way of support. Only Tarsh inside the Glowline had somewhat survivable conditions. Tatius' temple project had absolute priority in terms of supply trains, so many a local commander would either have been forced to go marauding beyond the usual oppressive tax collecting through tax farmers, or to join forces with some of the less hostile natives to ensure survival.

6 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Yes, that saddle ridge is quite a good wall against chaos.  

Unfortunately most of the Chaos types of the region are excellent tunnelers (Krarshtkids) or climbers (scorpion men, broo with mountain goat ancestry). Unless the upland folk pay tribute to the Nar Sylla eyries to help alert them and push back any such intrusions, chaotic raiders will be able to cross those saddles.

6 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Given the proximity to the Sounders River, even though Exile Stead is obviously in the rain shadow, I am betting it is better watered than much of Prax too.

Usually the watershed won't be identical to the rain shadow, so you get some fraction of the run-off from the mountains on the shadow side, too - like Sounders River. The strata of the Storm Mountains might also provide artesian wells along the foothills in the verge, even though I expect a fair bit of karst terrain in the foothills, too.

Maybe karst caves and underground water flows are a key to Verge survival in times of hostile conditions, whether by  invaders, summer-less years or other calamities.

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We had an entry for this in Dragon Pass, Land of Thunder:

Village in the Verge (E6) Source: History of the Heortling Peoples. Vargast made the first settlement here when he founded the Clan of the Verge. Since then the village has been settled, burnt, and resettled many times. Derik Poljoniwas lord here when he led the Poljoni out onto the Plains of Prax. It is home to the desperate, outlaws, and exiles. In troubled times the population swells with refugees fleeing the troubles in the Pass. The inhabitants are now largely Dundealos fugitives, nursing their hatred of the Empire

 

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51 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Unfortunately most of the Chaos types of the region are excellent tunnelers (Krarshtkids) or climbers (scorpion men, broo with mountain goat ancestry). Unless the upland folk pay tribute to the Nar Sylla eyries to help alert them and push back any such intrusions, chaotic raiders will be able to cross those saddles.

No wall is of much value if left undefended :)

I am sure that there is enough to trouble the chaos on the other side of the Stormwalks however, and it will be less effort to get at for the critters in question.  The other thing is, I would expect that there would be Stormbulls surplus to requirement in Exliestead, given its proximity to the block and the Devil's Marsh.  There is probably a time honored high pass that is littered with the bones of both.

50 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

We had an entry for this in Dragon Pass, Land of Thunder:

Village in the Verge (E6) Source: History of the Heortling Peoples. Vargast made the first settlement here when he founded the Clan of the Verge. Since then the village has been settled, burnt, and resettled many times. Derik Poljoni was lord here when he led the Poljoni out onto the Plains of Prax. It is home to the desperate, outlaws, and exiles. In troubled times the population swells with refugees fleeing the troubles in the Pass. The inhabitants are now largely Dundealos fugitives, nursing their hatred of the Empire

That is a nice find.

57 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Usually the watershed won't be identical to the rain shadow, so you get some fraction of the run-off from the mountains on the shadow side, too - like Sounders River. The strata of the Storm Mountains might also provide artesian wells along the foothills in the verge, even though I expect a fair bit of karst terrain in the foothills, too.

Maybe karst caves and underground water flows are a key to Verge survival in times of hostile conditions, whether by  invaders, summer-less years or other calamities.

I like the visual image of karst in this setting, and the notion of artesian wells makes sense.  (lol, at first I thought karst was a mis-spelling of Krarsht until my crossword brain kicked in).  This all makes good geoscience sense, quite apart from any myths one might impose.

Perhaps there are some flooded Krarsht tunnels too (my "pre-remembering "karst" as a word" stupid interpretation of what you wrote), serving as underground rivers because the Storm Bulls got Waha cultists to re-do the whole Sounders River hero quest?  (Just a thought).  The fact the area is called The Verge, suggests both an area that is vergent, and a prelude to something else.

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4 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I see it pretty much similar to the above. A good mix of Pol Joni and backwater Orlanthi, making it live up to its namesake. I view it as the seat of power for the Pol Joni, although its primarily a ranshackle market town that swells at various times of the year, much of this as a tent city. Very dangerous, much like what you could expect if various Mongol hordes all met up for a moot.

One of the first characters we created back in the RQ2 days came from there. We set the game in Pavis, and my mate created his first RQ character using the old RQ2 char gen,  rolling a 'Barbarian' background on the social class table.  Arnie's movie was popular at the time, so he envisioned a character looking and acting like the film's portrayal of Conan.

Not knowing anything about the culture we just looked at the RQ2 map and saw the name 'Barbarian Town' and said he was from there 

Our Pol Joni are a cross between Howard's Cimmerians and The Huns. The more I uncover about the Pol Joni, the more I'm surprised how spot on we were.

I am wondering who named the place Barbarian town?  LOL, everyone who isn't a solar worshipper is a barbarian (of course), probably the Sun Domers.

So that means that you were playing about 1982 or thereabouts?  I was in highschool then and used to mainly RQ with the Uni students over the road.

Our crew generally treated the Pentans like mongols, and Praxians more like plains tribe Amerindians, which made the Poljoni a (sort of) Comanchero culture (a lot less rapey though) but also a bit (low tech) Rohirim.  

Do your Pol Joni practice head binding like the Huns?  

Did your Pol Joni take Onar Onari as his role model too or more Conan?

There were about a year of Onar Onari knock-off characters after theTrollpack handout regarding Munchrooms came out, hot on the heels of the "Coriander Before Whom Even the Crimson Bat Trembles" knock offs the year before.  I seem to recall that all the characters seemed to have ash blond hair and a clipped moustache too.  The 80s are a foreign country, they did things differently there :)

Edited by Darius West
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It was actually about 1986, I had only just moved into tabletop rpgs, graduating up from Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. I was initially wanting D&D, but my older cousin was into RQ and he conned me to get RQ2 instead, which was a great idea in hindsight. I only had RQ2 for a year or so, and moved into RQ3 but kept playing the content from the RQ2 supplements. 

Our Pol Joni were definitely more brutish Conan-types back then. It was the 1980s and all our adolescent notions of barbarians came from watching cheesy fantasy movies like Conan The Barbarian, Beastmaster, and The Sword & The Sorcerer. Later in the 1990s we started fleshing things out a bit more, and the Hun element crept in to our portrayal of the Pol Joni.

Ah, the '80s...

 

Edited by Mankcam
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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

Unfortunately most of the Chaos types of the region are excellent tunnelers (Krarshtkids) or climbers (scorpion men, broo with mountain goat ancestry). Unless the upland folk pay tribute to the Nar Sylla eyries to help alert them and push back any such intrusions, chaotic raiders will be able to cross those saddles.

I've set a fair few games in the Verge, especially Last Cast, Vargasgrave and Barbarian Town, and chaos seeping through the mountains has always been a theme of them. That and rapscallion Baboons nicking your stuff.

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23 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

No source, but I have a memory that it was the Praxians. The reference was to the horse-riding Orlanthi

So let me get this straight?  The...Praxians... named it barbarian town?  Because most people regard the Praxians as being virtually "savages" i.e. one step worse than barbarians.  I guess the Pol Joni must have beaten 17 colours of tar out of every Praxian in the area for the Praxians to start calling people "barbarians".  The issue can't have been hygiene... :)

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54 minutes ago, Darius West said:

So let me get this straight?  The...Praxians... named it barbarian town?

The other Praxian tribes likely call it Stinking horse enclosure, home of cheating Horse Founder who hides behind walls. This roughly translates to Barbarian town in Tradetalk. Lots of Praxian nuances are lost in translation.

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On 11/04/2017 at 10:59 AM, Joerg said:

My impression is that Derik went to the old sacred place of the Verge clans and elevated their little marketplace village to a full-sized town.

I think he did more than this, hence his statue. Derik had to accomplish a number of important steps not done since the formation of the Zebra tribe. He had to prove that he could live under the Covenant, not just that, but be part of it to get the blessing of Eiritha. I think to do this he proved he was the Pure Horse Founder, and did this by returning to the green age and siring a colt on a horse priestess from the Paps. This is powerful hero questing that changes the fabric of the world. In order for horses to be accepted at Paps there must be a horse priestess there as part of setup. Clearly not part of Eiritha's family, but likely through another avenue. My current thinking is that the link is through Sun Daughter (who is Lightfore), with a mashup of stuff from Sheng's time (the same time) - Lightfore is also Karzant the Sun Horse and also Elmal. Derik clearly found some important information / secrets somewhere - Barbarian Town is as good a place as any for this. I believe he used the town as the nucleus for his rituals and creation of the Pol Joni tribe. You can likely see the Paps from here.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

I think he did more than this, hence his statue. Derik had to accomplish a number of important steps not done since the formation of the Zebra tribe. He had to prove that he could live under the Covenant, not just that, but be part of it to get the blessing of Eiritha. I think to do this he proved he was the Pure Horse Founder, and did this by returning to the green age and siring a colt on a horse priestess from the Paps. This is powerful hero questing that changes the fabric of the world. In order for horses to be accepted at Paps there must be a horse priestess there as part of setup. Clearly not part of Eiritha's family, but likely through another avenue. My current thinking is that the link is through Sun Daughter (who is Lightfore), with a mashup of stuff from Sheng's time (the same time) - Lightfore is also Karzant the Sun Horse and also Elmal. Derik clearly found some important information / secrets somewhere - Barbarian Town is as good a place as any for this. I believe he used the town as the nucleus for his rituals and creation of the Pol Joni tribe. You can likely see the Paps from here.

I am certainly interested to hear you develop the idea of Lightfore/Karzant and Elmal more.  Clearly there is a link with Sun and Prax, perhaps through Yelorna, given that Unicorns are quite horse-like, and are definitely both Praxian and Light... and so are Ostritches now I consider it.  I have often wondered how the Sun Domers and the Praxians get around the whole "Kuschile Horse Archery" problem.  So the fact is that the Sun and Praxian/Genert pantheon have had friendly relations, and yet this horse antipathy remains.  Perhaps it is another example of the narcissism of minor differences at work?  I have certainly not read the actual myth which lays down the foundation for this hostility, I have always assumed it is mainly historical i.e. Post Time, but that just doesn't "sit right".

In terms of how Derik integrated into the Paps, perhaps he opted for a non-horse route?  The Pol Joni ride horses but herd cattle, and they herd those cattle very close to Mt Stormwalk when you look at Barbarian Town.  As we know that the cattle are related to Urox and welcomed by Eiritha as a result, perhaps Derik merely had to tame and ride a Sky Bull as his Hero Quest, saying "we are the cattle people, we only ride horses to herd them, but behold, I ride a Sky Bull, a veritable son of Waha's Father, the Mighty Stormbull,  so who has more right to be here than I who has the favor of the Bull?".  After all, a "cattle seat" in the Paps is plausible, and Pol Joni are known as "Horse Bastards", as the inclusion of horses this way is not legitimate.  Perhaps the Priestess of the Pol Joni has to ride a cow to the Paps, and the rules are circumvented through a legalistic work-around?

The notion of the marriage of Male Horse and Cow is probably a Pentan idea, but by inference the marriage of Female Horse and Bull is also necessary, and Storm Bull has his place syncretically in the Pentan storm tribe myths.  I love the idea of Sheng performing Shamanistic cultural imperialism within the Paps, but I got the feeling the Sheng occupation of Prax was less nuanced and more "force majeur" than that; less Lakota, more Mongol; after all, it didn't really "stick", any more than the Pure Horse Tribe did in Prax.  This is not to play down the idea of a "duel of mysteries" in the dark caves of the Paps between Sheng and the various Praxians of his time, I really like the idea, but you need to "stick the landing" mythologically/gymnastically/analogically speaking.

A third possibility vis Derik's method is that we look hard at what makes Horses the enemy in Prax.  While it is common knowledge that the animosity exists, it has also periodically been ignored for the sake of pragmatism.  Praxians have always resisted the "hegemonizing swarm" of horse cultures around them, and in the First Age even stamped their imprimatur on Dara Happa.  Now when it comes to performing hero quests, it is often a good idea to have access to enemies, but better when the enemies are merely rivals rather than being locked in an atrocity fueled blood feud with them.  Perhaps the Pol Joni fulfil the ritual position of the "Horse Enemy" in certain rites, just as the Morokanth have their role to play in such ritualized hostilities?

I hope this "bouncing of ideas" was helpful and I look forward to hearing how you resolve the matter, because like you I have always been a bit conflicted about how to answer it too. 

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

I think he did more than this, hence his statue.

Sure - I didn't mean that founding the new market place was all that Derik did, but that is what was left in the Verge.

I don't quite see how Derik could have come that far into the Pure Horse knowledge of the Grazers or the nomads ruling parts of Peloria. Derik likely was part of the 1395 raid that gave Yarandros his Goldeneye stallion - a feat pretty much unparalleled outside of intra-Grazer raiding.

The Tarsh section of CHDP does tell us that Derik dreamed of the Horse Path.

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Derik prayed to Orlanth for a method to reach his mounted foes, out among the wastes of Prax. That night he dreamed of the Horse Path, and traveled it until he discovered and brought back the Black Net. With it he pulled in his followers from the dream, and within his lifetime Derik had created his own tribe of nomads which guarded the Praxian borderlands of Tarsh against the Animal Nomads.

Derik did manage to find Grazer allies in his establishment of the Pol Joni tribe - probably after Jardandarin Lifeshield made peace with the Tarshites again. The Grazers were beginning to disintegrate - dissident clans may already have looked for a different place to settle after Tarsh had proved to be a fickle ally. Derik's invasion of Prax occurred six generations after the Battle of Necklace Horse. Even though the Grazers had abandoned their Praxian Pure Horse ancestry through Ironhoof's adoption ritual, there may have been enough memory of the life in Prax that Derik's proposal could have drawn some of the Grazers out of their somewhat diminished lands.

 

2 hours ago, David Scott said:

Derik had to accomplish a number of important steps not done since the formation of the Zebra tribe. He had to prove that he could live under the Covenant, not just that, but be part of it to get the blessing of Eiritha.

Are the Pol Joni as much of a Praxian tribe? I view them more as a less confrontational repeat of the Pure Horse Folk presence. When he entered Prax, Derik had 20 years of support by Yarandros left before he had to survive by virtue of his own resources.

2 hours ago, David Scott said:

I think to do this he proved he was the Pure Horse Founder, and did this by returning to the green age and siring a colt on a horse priestess from the Paps. This is powerful hero questing that changes the fabric of the world.

Sorry, but Derik did not follow the Pure Horse tenets - his tribe herds cattle, children of Storm Bull if not necessarily of Eiritha, and this makes his herds attractive and acceptable for Praxians. Praxian intertribal raids rarely go for the steeds, but for the herds which feed the tribes.

The Black Net is a reference to the Battle of Alavan Argay, true. The Teshnan presence around the Zola Fel delta will have been eliminated by the time Derik entered the marches in force, which might re-open the solar magics for horse riders.

2 hours ago, David Scott said:

In order for horses to be accepted at Paps there must be a horse priestess there as part of setup. Clearly not part of Eiritha's family, but likely through another avenue.

I find this pretty far-fetched. And we never learned about this important female in any of the stories about the Pol Joni - not as an ancestress or goddess for their steeds, not as a human heroine or avatar.

Does the Paps reach back into the Green Age at all? Eiritha was a mobile daughter of Genert, if present in the Green Age at all. It was Tada who rooted her under the mountain and hill range when hiding her from Death - definitely not a Green Age event.

On the other hand, going that far back will make Ernalda the ruler of this holy place. She does not have a problem with horses, and might provide a horse handmaiden. The question is whether this affects the Eirithan stance.

2 hours ago, David Scott said:

My current thinking is that the link is through Sun Daughter (who is Lightfore), with a mashup of stuff from Sheng's time (the same time) - Lightfore is also Karzant the Sun Horse and also Elmal. Derik clearly found some important information / secrets somewhere - Barbarian Town is as good a place as any for this. I believe he used the town as the nucleus for his rituals and creation of the Pol Joni tribe. You can likely see the Paps from here.

I don't see the Paps as integral to Derik's success. The Pol Joni never approached the Sacred Ground around the Paps in clan or tribal groups. I see no indication that horses are accepted at the Paps. We do know that individual Pol Joni visit the Paps, and being Praxians, they probably approach the place mounted on their tribal steeds, but we cannot say whether these horses are allowed to graze on the Sacred Ground or whether they must carry bags of oats to feed from. Joraz Kyrem's "only in bondage" doesn't have to mean painting stripes on the beasts, it might as well be realized by applying something similar to shackles to the steeds. There wouldn't be any problem leading a herd of cattle onto the Sacred Ground, though, and the priestesses would appreciate these as gifts or sacrifices without the least qualms.

We know that Olgkarth's zebra riders shared the pastures of the Pol Joni some 120 years after Derik led his tribe into Prax. I find it quite possible that they provided the escorts for those Pol Joni who wanted to visit the Paps.

Derik's arrival fell into a time when the hatred for horse folk was somewhat mitigated by the Beast Riders following Sheng Seleris. By bringing cattle bred from the sacred bull of the Opili tribe of Pentans he may have provided a sufficient link to the Garden to let the tribes ignore the fact that his folk weren't riding these bulls.

 

Derik did undo the magic of the Alavan Argay aftermath. He did release the horse folk back onto the plains. I am not sure about the canonicity about this information, but I learned years ago that at least one Pol Joni clan - IIRC the Amber - was more or less a Grazer clan converted to Pol Joni ways.

In the Gloranthan now, there have been horses in Prax for slightly more than half the history - Pure Horse Folk from slightly before 620 to 1250, and Pol Joni since 1420. They weren't accepted by the Paps for their first 630 years, and I don't see why they would have been for the last 200 years.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Tada's daughter the Winter wife was the mother of Redaylda and she married Beren (A descendant of Yamsur) a foreigner. Was he perhaps a Praxian? Derik might claim kinship with these two. Redaylda might be contacted at the Paps through her connection with Tada. Longshot...

 

Edited by Iskallor
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