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Laughing Talor and Charg


scott-martin

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What prevented Akemite forces from simply following the Janube up to proto-Worian and then striking at Dorastor from the north? The Talsardians may have blocked an initial thrust in that direction but by 450 they were allies. Also it goes without saying that there is no Ban in force at this time. Nonetheless first Arkat and then Talor takes the long way around, finally forcing Kartolin despite all precedent. Did Talor's dealings with the Bull and/or blue people mandate what looks like an extensive detour? Was Rist simply a hairier prospect than the unvanquishable fort? I have theories but crowd wisdom is surer.

Bonus: does this shed additional light on Syranthir's unprecedented genius in daring to take his nation on a route his sainted predecessors refused to even consider?

 

Edited by scott-martin
lightning round
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3 hours ago, scott-martin said:

What prevented Akemite forces from simply following the Janube up to proto-Worian and then striking at Dorastor from the north? The Talsardians may have blocked an initial thrust in that direction but by 450 they were allies. Also it goes without saying that there is no Ban in force at this time. Nonetheless first Arkat and then Talor takes the long way around, finally forcing Kartolin despite all precedent.

Arkat didn't take the long way around as he never went through Fronela.

As for Talor, well there appears to be a bad place in Charg.  According to the Argan Argar Atlas, there is a place in Charg called Bleakland which may be connected to the profusion of Storm Bull worship there. The Entekosiad p70 mentions a place called Destarkos which lies in the west to Peloria and so could be related.  

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I suppose that much of this depends on Arkat's power bases. The Brithini expedition corps is sent to Arolanit in order to deal with an immediate problem, with Arkat in the ranks and file. After the liberation of Arolanit and Seshnela, the Brithini don't push further, so Arkat joins the Seshnegi, completes his Men-of-all training within a year, and participates as a leader in the war against the Bright Empire.

I notice that I am not sure whether he fought against the Vampire Kings of Tanisor as a Brithini or as a Seshnegi Man-of-all. We know that the Talar of the Palace of Pentacle was at the climactic battle of that partial conflict, but it isn't clear whether this was still a Brithini enterprise or whether this was a Seshnegi-led campaign with support from local Arolanit Brithini.

With each milestone against the Bright Empire reached, Arkat lost much of his support from the previous sponsor of the war, although his personal retinue grew by significant elements from each stage, creating a core force of various veterans. He never was commander in chief and ruler combined, unlike e.g. Alexander the Great who had the Macedon kingdom as his personal reliable power base (even though that did not extend to his hold over the contingents from the Greek city states).

Arkat's followers rode on a wave of success as he drove the forces of the Bright Empire before him, but  then the war bogged down in central Ralios. The siege of Kartoliin Castle was a first major setback. Arkat's followers still had some of the winnings from the previous campaigns, and their hatred for the Bright Empire grew with the intensity of the conflict and how they faced more and more blatant Chaos. There was attrition to his veteran followers, though - severly wounded or killed comrades, and disillusioned ones, dropping off at some points.

When Arkat got bogged down in Ralios, he had become a defector in both Arolanit and Seshnela, and the majority of his forces (though not his core) consisted of Ralians willing to fight for the liberation and pacification of Ralios, but not likely to support a war that would lead them through lands that had once supported Arkat's crusade but that would not support even his march through their border regions. A marching army - especially of the size that Arkat led - is like a swarm of locusts, and leaves hunger behind.

A march to support Akem would have led Arkat's forces through the lands of his allies, then through the lands of his former allies, now alienated, then through the unfathomable Erontree forest - a potential hostile - into a region that had seen similar warfare for some time, too, making foraging hard. The logistics and the threat of being attacked on the march would have eroded much of his military force, possibly more so than a war for territory that promised some form of compensation for his less fanatical followers.

There is High Llama Pass, a direct cut across the Nidan Mountains, which would have led to the establishment of a bridgehead in unknown territory in Bright Empire controlled lands far from any support. Granted, the attack across Kartolin Pass would have resulted in a similar tactical disadvantage, but it would have been a strike into the core of the enemy's lands, not into some backwater, promising only a few decisive battles to break the Bright Empire. The Ralian front would have remained contested, binding many of his allies and probably requiring a significant portion of his core followers to command the war efforts.

Harmast came to Arkat's rescue in the Underworld, with a promise of allies rising up against the Bright Empire if he would lead the core and some of the bulk of his army in their lands. Arkat's push into Maniria would have resulted in another entrenched war without the pincer movement of the Hendriki and other allies of Harmast at Kaxtorplose and elsewhere. Arkat could lead his forces into Dragon Pass as liberators - still meeting resistance, but also meeting a huge array of future allies.

The Fronelan route would have been viable if there had been a comparable support from that side, but Harmast's contribution to the Gbaji War led to the Manirian rather than the Fronelan route. Would Arkat have been able to muster a force comparable to the two armies (of trolls and Heortlings) emerging from Dragon Pass if he had gone to Fronela, or would that have resulted in little more than extending the front into another entrenched undecisive border war?

 

Talor was in a similar position - without new allies, he could not jump his armies forward.

 

Edited by Joerg
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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Pentallion said:

... the war between Arkat and Nysalor ...

I have to observe that, at this level of mythic potency, conventional "logistical" considerations may be among the LEAST relevant constraints on a conflict...

 

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It's the logistics of magical and physical support. Arkat went forward finding new allies on the way. That's impressive since athe usual way of an army to sustain itself is .foraging, basically extolling tribute from or plundering the locals. Having parted on less than amicable terms form both his Brithini commanders and King Gerlant, I doubt they would have let his army pass without prolonged and costly skirmishes, weakening his forces and more importantly the morale and resolve of his followers. It is fine to plunder the subjects of your enemy, but it is counterproductive to fight off former comraedes-in-arms or to suffer from hunger and bad equipment. However mythical the scale of the conflict, the morale and motivation of the allied warriors will still be human and quite mundane.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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He tried from the South and failed, then he tried from the East and succeeded. Had he failed, he would have probably tried from the North.

He probably tried East rather than North because he had help from the Theyalans of Dragon Pass, due to his being Humaktsson, so it made sense for him to go through Dragon pass and then westwards to Dorastor.

If he had aid from the northern people of Dara Happa then he would have come from the north, but that is unlikely due to the closeness of Dara Happa and Nysalor's Bright Empire. I am not entirely sure what was in the North West at that time, Fronela seems to be too primitive for him to relate to and he would not have had natural allies there. The Rockwoods would have blocked his path unless he went in a great arc around the West.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

He tried from the South and failed, then he tried from the East and succeeded. Had he failed, he would have probably tried from the North.

He probably tried East rather than North because he had help from the Theyalans of Dragon Pass, due to his being Humaktsson, so it made sense for him to go through Dragon pass and then westwards to Dorastor.

If he had aid from the northern people of Dara Happa then he would have come from the north, but that is unlikely due to the closeness of Dara Happa and Nysalor's Bright Empire. I am not entirely sure what was in the North West at that time, Fronela seems to be too primitive for him to relate to and he would not have had natural allies there. The Rockwoods would have blocked his path unless he went in a great arc around the West.

The only group north of the Bright Empire would have been the uzhim and hollri of Valind's Winter Waste. If his Dragon Pass approach had failed, Arkat might have gathered the horse nomads who still had a grudge against the rebellious walker peoples before ending up with the uz of the north.

The Serpent Beast Hykimi of Ralios had been fighting the Second Council settlers, but that was a thing of the past when Nysalor recruited the Telmori (and possibly other beast peoples) to his purpose. Arkat had antagonized the Serpent Beast folk - at least those of Telmoria. Talor had, too, but joined by Harmast he found allies beyond his immediate bull people foes. It isn't clear what the Bear people of Resat or Rathor did in this conflict. The Guide (pp.199f) tells us that Harmast emerged at Voria's Day from Hrelar Amali, traveled with Talor to Akem, made peace between Akem and the Orlanthi, recruited "Hsunchen" (other than the Telmori) and led them against Dorastor - presumably from the west. Syranthir might have tried to follow Talor's trail, if not for the constant harrassment of his ten thousand.

Note that the two Chaos curses which concluded the Gbaji Wars - that on Dorastor and that on the Telmori - were pronounced by Arkat and Talor, but both affected pre-existing Nysalorean chaos blessings. I wonder what Harmast made of that.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 1:29 AM, scott-martin said:

What prevented Akemite forces from simply following the Janube up to proto-Worian and then striking at Dorastor from the north?

Logistics.

Any army in the field requires constant resupply: by foraging, plundering, supply depots or allies willing to provide supplies. Plundering, and even foraging will alienate people on the line of march, and there's the risk of ongoing ambuscade (a favorite tactic of Orlanthi and related peoples) and eventually open warfare. To gain and maintain supply would have either required conquest, or winning allies - both processes that would take a very long time.

An army on the march needs supply depots every sixty miles or so, otherwise its effectiveness starts to reduce. A more recent example is Lunar expansion south, with major supply depots at Miren's Cross, Furthest, Alda-Chur... And by the time the Lunars reached Corflu and Nochet they were in an increasingly weak position, if their local allies disappeared.

Arkat, and Talor, relied upon friendly peoples on the line of march, because their supply lines were either over extended or gradually withering away behind them. Arkat used the tactic of adopting the ways of the people closest to him in a position to supply his army: eventually becoming a Troll to be able to push into southern Peloria.

Edited by M Helsdon
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5 hours ago, soltakss said:

Had he failed, he would have probably tried from the North.

Of course, mythically what comes from the North is Chaos, so he would have had to become Arkat the Devil well before the battle with Gbaji.  Perhaps this is what Nysalor hoped for:  it might have freed Nysalor from the taint of Gbaji, or simply destroyed the world.

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On 4/28/2017 at 2:29 PM, g33k said:

I have to observe that, at this level of mythic potency, conventional "logistical" considerations may be among the LEAST relevant constraints on a conflict...

Logistics never goes away as a problem for an army.  The larger the armies get, the more of a headache the logistics become.  Prices for everything go up as the military levies labor for combat, weather becomes crucial for every step of the campaign, moving goods to the front a continuous series of nuisances as terrain and "local entertaiers" get in the way.  Magic used to aid supply is magic not being used in the actual fighting.  Armies that forage and "live on the land" rapidly find themselves despoiling the local population.  In the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian war, the Prussian troops actually sowed fields of wheat in France and harvested their crop before the siege was completed for example.  Most armies were not so forward thinking.  Of all societies it is (strangely) nomads who are the best at it, as their herds give them a natural advantage.  Meat on the hoof doesn't need storage and provides its own transportation.  This allowed the mongols to field over a million men in the past.  Ships are also excellent but vulnerable sources of supply transportation.  While there are deities of trade and transport, there are no deities specifically "of military logistics", and that means no land power anywhere on the lozenge has a true advantage in this area of broad strategy, so effectively even superheroes are merely gifted amateurs in this role.  

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