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Joerg

The Trauma of the Dragonkill War

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10 hours ago, David Scott said:

There are two reasons for this - It's based on the destruction of homelands. Prax and the Wastes weren't depopulated by the Dragons although clearly Praxians died (but Praxians always die or get to go home) and in RQG Praxians can't get Fear Dragons from the 1625 Events table, although everyone else can (Lunar Tarshites more so).

Being born into a family with a refugee background and with one grandfather left missing in the aftermath of the war, I can relate to both these forms of trauma and hardship that result.

The force that destroyed the homeland objectively was the True Golden Horde, and it had done so for about 20 years. The Orlanthi of southern Saird (aka northern Orlanthland/EWF) experienced years of more vicious occupation than the Lunar occupation of Sartar at the hands of the Pelorian invaders. Even though they were able to reclaim their territory north of the Death Line after the Dragonkill, what they reclaimed was devastated for a generation or two. The fact that they were able to reclaim their territory was thanks to the destruction of the True Golden Horde by the dragons.

The 20th century parallel would be the fear of atomic cataclysm, something my generation managed to unlearn slowly, only to have it return in the last year thanks to a certain election. But still, even though the southern neighbors disappeared and the land was declared a fall-out area, the southern Pelorian Orlanthi know about their neighbors' fate under the invading True Golden Horde, and not a few would see the fiery end of those scourge of the hill folk as divine justice.

They would still fear the might of the dragons, but with an element of admiration, too.

The refugees to Kethaela who had managed to stay ahead of the avenging horde and who may have sent a good portion of those 40k participants as a rearguard to allow the escape of non-combatant refugees would suffer more mixed feelings. They wouldn't know to what causes their rearguard defenders have fallen, but there would be a sense that they had heroically bought time for the non-combatants to reach the lands south of the Crossline, even if they perished in the dragonfire devastation that they assumed hit the entirety of the Pass. (The systematic burn of parts that lie in modern Tarsh would have been visible from Kethaela, though hard to localize.)

Maybe the best example of inherited trauma of the invaders was in the description of Balazar history for the Yelmalian citadel dwellers who had lost the entire generation of fathers and uncles to the Dragonkill in Griffin Mountain.

The Praxians have a different situation, surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where Chaos still lurks. Confrontation with annihilation is their daily experience, and dragons are a lot more distant than Chaos, which means that their slot for existential horror is held by the Devil.

Still, the scale of loss they suffered in the Dragonkill was unparalleled in their history. IMO it took Jaldon's great raid in the time of the Twin Dynasty of Tarsh to overcome the notion that Dragon Pass was more deadly than the Devil's Marsh, the Krjalki Bog, or the Tunneled Hills, and more lucrative to boot. Hadn't Dragon Pass eaten up the remnants of the Pure Horse Folk, never to be seen again after Alavan Argay?

The Dragonkill raid will have destroyed entire clans of the Beast Riders, those who had committed more wholly to the raid. Without enough warriors to protect the herds, the surviving females would have little means to protect their herds, losing significantly more than half their herds to those clans who still had more raiders. Without the ability to dominate an oasis, a significant portion of their annual food balance was lost, too, and clans returning from more distant wanderings in the Wastes found easy prey and unoccupied oases.

BTW, I think that the Pure Horse Folk were part of that raid into the Dragonkill, possibly even leading the venture.

 

 

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If the current date is 1627 and the Dragonkill took place in 1120, that’s just over 500 years ago. Given that a generation is considered 20-25 years, this is a best 20 generations ago. I don’t think your analogies work over this timescale. The reminder of the cataclysm to sartarites is IMO based on the cross line still visible, no one went in for roughly 200 years. Fear Dragons come from the dragonrise not this event.

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39 minutes ago, David Scott said:

If the current date is 1627 and the Dragonkill took place in 1120, that’s just over 500 years ago. Given that a generation is considered 20-25 years, this is a best 20 generations ago. I don’t think your analogies work over this timescale. The reminder of the cataclysm to sartarites is IMO based on the cross line still visible, no one went in for roughly 200 years.

Dragon Pass is the Bikini Atoll of draconic power discharge... the crosses just marked the extent of it for centuries. That dragon skull across the pass road at the foot of Kerofin Mountain is a good reason for caravans to choose Orstan's pass or the Falling Ruins pass instead, or the wider gap at Too Far.

The Heortlings of the Kingdom of Night got the message of the Inhuman King that no humans would be tolerated via the Kitori (whose not quite human nature meant they were still tolerated across the line), although I guess the Kitori made a point of crossing the line only in troll shape in order not to trigger the curse.

 

As for the life expectance of trauma: when did the phrase "save us from the furor of the northmen" fall out of use in medieval England, and did Bonnie Prince Charlie's invasion trigger it again? Revanchism doesn't count generations, either. 

 

I wonder how the sentiment of Irish Americans is towards the potato famine and the loss of their land of green. Or the relationship of confederate America to the civil war that is now more than 150 years ago? Ressentiments based on the battle of Amselfeld/Kosovo field a couple of centuries ago led to war and genocide less than 25 years ago. 

 

39 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Fear Dragons come from the dragonrise not this event.

Fear Dragons was part of the Heortlling psyche already before the Dragonrise, e.g. in The Coming Storm and Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes.

 

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1 minute ago, Joerg said:

I wonder how the sentiment of Irish Americans is towards the potato famine and the loss of their land of green. Or the relationship of confederate America to the civil war that is now more than 150 years ago?

But none of these are 500 years ago:

Potato Famine: 1845

American civil war: 1865

1 minute ago, Joerg said:

Ressentiments based on the battle of Amselfeld/Kosovo field a couple of centuries ago led to war and genocide less than 25 years ago. 

battle of Amselfeld/Kosovo: 1389

The site of the battle 600 years later was chosen for the then serbian president's rousing speech, which I personally believe was more to do with good political stage management than an actual historic basis. I don't think you can use the battle of Kosovo as a basis of memory comparison to the dragonkill then to the genocide and wars resulting from the breakup of Yugoslavia. My ancestry from the region dating from the 1850s gives me no traits...

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But Glorantha is magic and thus the fear carries on...for centuries and centuries...

 

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1 hour ago, Iskallor said:

But Glorantha is magic and thus the fear carries on...for centuries and centuries... 

This.

First came the Dragonkill; later, the Dragonrise.  I expect there was some element of "srsly?  dudes, wtf?  r u RLLY gonna PO dragonkind AGAIN?  k, whatevs...  we r DONE w this shit.  FIAT FORMIDO.  I'm out.  Thanks for the snack, btw..."  YGMV, but IMG the Brown Dragon has made it part of the universe that Fear of Dragons is just a common piece of human nature near DP & Tarsh.

There IS no RW cognate to any historical event.  It's now more like the RW fear of spiders, of snakes, etc.  Not everyone suffers from it, and even those who do can often overcome it enough to function even around the fear-object...  But it's just well-known around DP/Tarsh as a facet of human nature.

Edited by g33k
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1 hour ago, g33k said:
1 hour ago, g33k said:
3 hours ago, Iskallor said:

But Glorantha is magic and thus the fear carries on...for centuries and centuries... 

 

First came the Dragonkill; later, the Dragonrise.  I expect there was some element of "srsly?  dudes, wtf?  r u RLLY gonna PO dragonkind AGAIN?  k, whatevs...  we r DONE w this shit.  FIAT FORMIDO.  I'm out.  Thanks for the snack, btw..."  YGMV, but IMG the Brown Dragon has made it part of the universe that Fear of Dragons is just a common piece of human nature near DP & Tarsh.

IMO it didn't take the Dragonrise to keep fear of dragons alive. The arrival of the Green Dragon north of Arrowmound was a momentous reminder, too, just after humans had begun re-settling Dragon Pass (and it may have stopped further immigration from neighboring regions). The Red and Black Dragons were known for their presence anyway.

 

And in a purely rational way, awakening the brown dragon before the temple started to bore into its magic might have avoided a much worse eruption of draconic activity. Imagine a glowline powered by draconic energies... the universe might have folded.

 

1 hour ago, g33k said:

There IS no RW cognate to any historical event.  It's now more like the RW fear of spiders, of snakes, etc.  Not everyone suffers from it, and even those who do can often overcome it enough to function even around the fear-object...  But it's just well-known around DP/Tarsh as a facet of human nature.

There are a couple of such events. The Flood/Deluge may not have been a single event, but the massive loss of formerly ideal living space to rising sea levels has left traumatic memories all over the world, whether it refers to the tsunami of Doggerland, the flooding of the Black Sea Basin or the estuary of Mesopotamia, or the Thera eruption in the Aegaean.

Fallout years or even decades after huge volcanic eruptions with the subsequent mini-ice ages or the black death are other such deeply ingrained scenarios of cataclysms.

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As an Irishman I can safely say that Cromwell still impacts on the psyche of Ireland  😉 - I think however Jeorg's point is that some events leave such a scar on a culture that it defines them for many generations. The Dragonkill War was so cataclysmic it was bound have left it's mark deep in the DNA of Genertela

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Im pretty sure that i have read somewhere that so many of us fear snakes and spiders because of passed down fears from our early evolution.

Edited by Iskallor
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36 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Flood/Deluge may not have been a single event, but the massive loss of formerly ideal living space to rising sea levels has left traumatic memories all over the world, whether it refers to the tsunami of Doggerland, the flooding of the Black Sea Basin or the estuary of Mesopotamia, or the Thera eruption in the Aegaean.

As it happens the Ramalians still hate and fear the ocean, close to 600 years after the death of Slontos. 

IMG the Kill would have had a more crippling cultural impact on the northern nations if their sudden shock demilitarization hadn't opened them up to opportunistic conquest from neighbors who didn't participate and so never learned to Fear Dragons . . . arguably they learned to Hate Bull instead.

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The fear of dragons is both a reaction to the past, when Dragon Pass and a region to the north where the human population was almost totally wiped out, and to the present, both because of the presence of True Dragons, and the physical evidence of their destructive powers in the half melted ruins that still litter the landscape.

Edited by M Helsdon

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Wales fell to Edward Longshanks 700 years ago. Does anyone imagine that the English have been forgiven, or the conquest forgotten?

Hadrian reigned rather more remotely, and Haaman dominated the Achaemenid empire around 2400 years ago. They still figure strongly in some Jewish communities consciousness.

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I think in terms of memories of centuries-old calamities, we should be looking at its effects of the calamity to decide to determine its impact.  What did the event cause that still frightens people ?  For the effects of long ago battles, that usually means some despised ethnic group is living next to you or ruling over you.  

For distant magical events, such as the Dragonkill, I note that the Clan Generation questionnaire in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, a clan only receives the Fear Dragon trait if they decide that Dragons are Evil out of a number of other responses.

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Over in another thread, I posted an excerpt from the Great Winter and Time of Two Counts document that indicates the people of the Praxian Sun Dome eventually largely forgot the cataclysmic events of the Dragonkill War, probably because over the intervening centuries they had many other Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome existential crisies to deal with closer to home, during The Solitude of Testing.

In returning to the Unsulled Pure Light of Yelmalio after the Dragonkill, they even destroyed their old temple with its draconic associations. The damnatio memoriae was so effective, that by the time period covered in the RQ3 release Sun County, most people don't really remember what the Old Sun Dome is all about and thought the place was haunted. Their leaders did not encourage them to be curious about it, lest the Draconic heresy ever arise again. People also didn't remember that the "retirement towers" dotting the County were actually once part of a defense system, in case the Dragons came seeking retribution, and that the Harpoon now at the river was once stationed at the Sun Dome Temple for the same purpose.

Described further in the excerpt.

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10 minutes ago, MOB said:

People also didn't remember that the "retirement towers" dotting the County were actually once part of a defense system, in case the Dragons came seeking retribution, and that the Harpoon now at the river was once stationed at the Sun Dome Temple for the same purpose.

Wait that's what they were for? Never knew that, neat.

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12 hours ago, MOB said:

Over in another thread, I posted an excerpt from the Great Winter and Time of Two Counts document that indicates the people of the Praxian Sun Dome eventually largely forgot the cataclysmic events of the Dragonkill War, probably because over the intervening centuries they had many other Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome existential crisies to deal with closer to home, during The Solitude of Testing.

In returning to the Unsulled Pure Light of Yelmalio after the Dragonkill, they even destroyed their old temple with its draconic associations. The damnatio memoriae was so effective, that by the time period covered in the RQ3 release Sun County, most people don't really remember what the Old Sun Dome is all about and thought the place was haunted. Their leaders did not encourage them to be curious about it, lest the Draconic heresy ever arise again. People also didn't remember that the "retirement towers" dotting the County were actually once part of a defense system, in case the Dragons came seeking retribution, and that the Harpoon now at the river was once stationed at the Sun Dome Temple for the same purpose.

Described further in the excerpt.

The Yelmalians of Zola Fel valley had a good reason to fear dragons - they got consumed by dragonfire rather than by the True Golden Horde. The Heortlings from the south went there for a lost hope rearguard to buy their non-combatants time, not really expecting to return.

What the dragons did saved the refugees who had made it south of the Crossline before the advancing horde. Their main complaint might have been "why this late, and not 20 years ago in Saird, so we could have kept our homes?"

It isn't entirely clear what and who killed the draconic leadership of the EWF overnight in 1042, 58 years before the horde began its systematic advance on the pass. Certainly no dragons, unless this was a collective utuma advancing all of the draconic minds to the next level of existence all at once. Maybe the Great Dragon project did succeed.

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24 minutes ago, Joerg said:

It isn't entirely clear what and who killed the draconic leadership of the EWF overnight in 1042, 58 years before the horde began its systematic advance on the pass. Certainly no dragons, unless this was a collective utuma advancing all of the draconic minds to the next level of existence all at once. Maybe the Great Dragon project did succeed.

I've always heard it was either dragonnewts or dragonnewts and blue moon assassins working together.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

The Yelmalians of Zola Fel valley had a good reason to fear dragons - they got consumed by dragonfire rather than by the True Golden Horde. The Heortlings from the south went there for a lost hope rearguard to buy their non-combatants time, not really expecting to return.

They may well have been part of the True Golden Horde.

As to Fear Dragons, I always thought this was overrated and probably wouldn't have had it in my Glorantha.

It was an awfully long time ago, people came back through the Cross Lines and survived. People saw dragons coming back and survived. They even saw a dragon fight the Crimson Bat and survived.

Some Dragons are creepy, dangeorus things tyat killed us a long time ago. Some people might have gained Fear Dragons through recent encounters with dragons, or their Fear Dragons was reawakened. 

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4 hours ago, Richard S. said:

I've always heard it was either dragonnewts or dragonnewts and blue moon assassins working together.

Yes, dragonewts (not dragons) and blue moon trolls are rumored to be instrumental in those deaths. But was it simple assassination, or was it a coordinated mass utuma (self-sacrifice to reach enlightenment) on those who stood a chance to join into the Great Dragon at this time? As those leaders passed on, so did the draconic energies that had altered the central lands of the EWF. From one day to another, things that required those draconic emanations stopped working as they used to. Architecture bereft of this magical support collapsed. Animal husbandry that had taken on too much draconic identity ailed, then died off. The wonder grains of the draconic dream withered and rotted away.

Did all that energy just dissipate, or was it collected in a mass transformative act?

 

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12 hours ago, Joerg said:

But was it simple assassination, or was it a coordinated mass utuma (self-sacrifice to reach enlightenment) on those who stood a chance to join into the Great Dragon at this time?

You know, in all these years that thought had never even entered my head. Thanks. The idea that at least part of the ending of the EWF was a mass utuma opens up so many ideas.

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7 hours ago, soltakss said:

You know, in all these years that thought had never even entered my head. Thanks. The idea that at least part of the ending of the EWF was a mass utuma opens up so many ideas.

It was a very recent idea for me, too. But we only have the reports of the descendants of the non-draconic survivors of the EWF, and only those who did not get caught up in the genocide of the True Golden Horde.

Was there a betrayal by the dragonewts? Or rather a rush to fulfill their promise before the next cataclysm? The end of human use of draconic magic in the EWF happened just a few years before the arrival of the Luatha in Seshnela. Carrying over an unfulfilled promise would have damaged the spiritual progression of more dragonewts than perished at the hands of the Golden Horde.

The non-draconic thinkers wouldn't understand what went on, and that's how we got the history.

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I dunno...it seems to me that anyone not of Hero level might feel a bit of fear when they see the mountain-range-sized, firebreathing (or not, depending on your point of view) reptile flying at them with hunger in its eyes and talons the size of housing tracts...

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3 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

I dunno...it seems to me that anyone not of Hero level might feel a bit of fear when they see the mountain-range-sized, firebreathing (or not, depending on your point of view) reptile flying at them with hunger in its eyes and talons the size of housing tracts...

Yes, but should that fear stretch into your children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and so on for centuries?

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1 minute ago, soltakss said:

Yes, but should that fear stretch into your children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and so on for centuries?

When you see one?  Absolutely.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

Yes, but should that fear stretch into your children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and so on for centuries?

Given that there are still dream dragons and dragonewts that will hunt and kill humans, yes.  And with the stories passed on to children of whole mountain ranges rising up to devour entire clans and tribes, in a world where monstrous beings like the Crimson Bat can swoop down upon your village or terrors like Cwim haunt Prax, definitely yes.

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