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The material below is in part derived from material previously posted by Jeff and Harald, and inspired by a book on the logistics of the Assyrian Army... May seem like a very dry topic, but armies have to be fed and paid, and tribute and tax caravans are potential targets for 'adventurers' after the Liberation of Sartar...

[Other sections detail the Orlanthi system, and Cities and Temples.]

Tribute and Taxes

Whilst armies in the field can enrich themselves with plunder and loot, this is rarely a means of financing and equipping a professional army. Instead, soldiers and mercenaries are paid for their service, by means of taxes and tribute, and booty is treated as supplementary income.

In Solar (and Lunar) societies, soldiers are granted land upon retirement; in Storm societies (and the Sun Dome Templars), professional warriors are generally supported by the land granted to them by their liege, worked by tenant farmers or members of their own family.

 

Lunar Provincial Kingdoms

Each of the Provincial Kingdoms of the Lunar Empire is expected to provide a yearly tribute to the Provincial Overseer at Mirin’s Cross.

To pay this tribute, the Provincial Kings often impose forced collections, such as an extra tenth of the harvest, or a tax on land, herds, and other goods.

A similar system operates in each of the Lunar Satrapies, with a tithe in crops and herds, and taxes. Each satrapy includes tribute collection centers.

Permanent and temporary toll collection points may also be set up on roads, and at river crossings to impose transit taxes on traders and travelers.

On a smaller scale, tribute gatherers collect tribute from peripheral and client states. Until 1625 the Grazelands provided horses (mostly destined for the Provincial Army), and the tribes of Sartar, cattle. Much of the tribute collected is in the form of herd animals; these booty columns require an escort. Tax collectors have numerous opportunities to enrich themselves.

A tribute caravan is escorted by an armed retinue, but as the Hero Wars progress, professional soldiers drawn from the Provincial Army are utilized.

At one time the rulers of each kingdom were expected to present themselves and their tribute to the court of the Overseer, but in recent Wanes their envoys and other emissaries travel with the tribute caravans to Mirin’s Cross. These are either officials such as eorls, or senior Etyries merchants.

The tribute supports the offices of the Provincial Government: Procurement and Disbursement which collects taxes; the Provincial Army; the Guide for the Lunar Way. Each office is staffed by Buseri scribes.

The Office of Procurement and Disbursement is then responsible for collecting and collating the tribute and taxes sent downriver to the imperial heartland. It also distributes material to the other offices.

The Provincial Army, commanded by the Imperial Provincial General, uses its share of tribute to support the army. Foodstuffs are stored in depots; horses are distributed to cavalry regiments; metals are stored or worked into weapons and armor to fill the arsenals; coin is used to pay the scribes, artisans and other free workers.

Each Provincial Kingdom is expected to recruit, equip and pay the troops it contributes to the Provincial Army. The exact system varies, with some regiments being raised and maintained by cities or temples, and some effectively being hired mercenaries. When they are deployed, the Office of the Provincial Army takes responsibility for their wages and other logistical requirements. The same is true for imperial regiments serving with the Provincial Army. Traditionally, this changeover occurs when they march through the gates of Mirin’s Cross.

 

Provincial Kingdom

Tribute

Route to Mirin’s Cross

Aggar

Coin, Maize, Metalwork, Pottery, Wheat, Wine

From Eneal by barge on the Forantin and Oslir rivers.

Holay

Coin, Maize, Slaves, Wheat, Wine

From Filichet via the Daughter’s Road.

Imther

Bronze, Cheese, Coin, Copper, Furs

From Hillfort via the Singing Road to Jillaro and then by the Daughter’s Road or by barge on the Oslir.

Tarsh

Coin, Maize, Manufactured Goods, Silver, Slaves, Wheat

From Furthest by barge on the Oslir river.

Vanch

Coin, Gems, Herbs, Leather, Wool

From Bikhy by road to the Singing Road to Jillaro and then by the Daughter’s Road or by barge on the Oslir.

 

 As the Seventh Wane comes to a close, the flow of tribute is interrupted by turmoil in several of the Provincial Kingdoms: Aggar has been in civil war since 1620, reducing the flow of tribute; the supply of metal from Imther ended in 1623, and other tribute is reduced by upheaval in the kingdom; the successful rebellion in Sartar in 1625 reduces the level of tribute from Tarsh (especially curtailing the slave trade from Sartar and Prax), with agricultural tribute also decreasing as a result of the civil war in Tarsh from 1627 as the king loses control of Kordros Island, the breadbasket of his kingdom.

This unrest makes the transport of tribute increasingly hazardous, diverting additional military resources to protect it.

Edited by M Helsdon
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4 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

From Hillfort via the Singing Road

Should be Hilltown.

I wonder if the Sun Dome Temples pay their tribute to the kings of the respective provinces, or direct to the Lunar Provincial Admin?  I could see various "exceptions" being made over time.

I'm sure there is a long-term arrangement/tribute between the King of Imther and the Satrap of Sylila as well dating from the time of the Conquering Daughter.  Probably superseded for the most part by arrangements with the LPA, but I could see this as an area of tension.

9 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

At one time the rulers of each kingdom were expected to present themselves and their tribute to the court of the Overseer

There have only been two LPA so I suspect it's unlikely that there's been an expectation to present themselves regularly.  I could see an initial event where the respective king submitted to the 1st LPA (aka King of Tarsh).  When Appius took over, there may have been a call to join him in Mirin's Cross where some/all attended and renewed the tribute.

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15 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Should be Hilltown.

Corrected in the document.

15 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I wonder if the Sun Dome Temples pay their tribute to the kings of the respective provinces, or direct to the Lunar Provincial Admin?  I could see various "exceptions" being made over time.

My assumptions are covered in a later subsection:

Temples

Temples are always significant economic and political entities and many are militarily important, raising and maintaining their own warbands and regiments. Even temples not primarily concerned with war have their units of temple guards; temples are repositories of significant wealth, and do not rely solely upon their magical defenses.

As a rule, temples take a fifth to a quarter of the harvest of their tenant farmers on their lands and tithe their congregations. In Peloria some temples own large slave plantations and so profit entirely from the produce.

The Sun Dome Temples also derive revenue from the mercenary companies and regiments they hire out. Those within the Provincial Kingdoms often offset this against the taxes and tributes required by the king.

15 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I'm sure there is a long-term arrangement/tribute between the King of Imther and the Satrap of Sylila as well dating from the time of the Conquering Daughter.  Probably superseded for the most part by arrangements with the LPA, but I could see this as an area of tension.

I have no insight to this. From 1623 Imther is in a bit of a mess, politically and economically.

15 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

There have only been two LPA so I suspect it's unlikely that there's been an expectation to present themselves regularly.  I could see an initial event where the respective king submitted to the 1st LPA (aka King of Tarsh).  When Appius took over, there may have been a call to join him in Mirin's Cross where some/all attended and renewed the tribute.

Do you mean Lunar Provincial Overseer? I'd forgotten that the Provincial Government was only set up in 1545.

Edited by M Helsdon

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19 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Do you mean Lunar Provincial Overseer? I'd forgotten that the Provincial Government was only set up in 1545.

Yes.  I think the Lunar wane maps in Glorantha Sourcebook give us a good sense of who is taking tribute from whom, and when.  Sylila and Imther are dominant in the 3rd wane, Old Tarsh in the 4th wane, Hon-eel's Tarsh in the 5th wane, then in 1545 the Tarsh king becomes Lunar Provincial Overseer.  Aggar finally subdued in 1564, so only 3 generations of tribute there.

28 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

I have no insight to this. From 1623 Imther is in a bit of a mess, politically and economically.

I think Hwarin gained more than just a trade of some goods for blue furstones.  The Singing Road is both a magical road and a nice trade/tribute road.  And the metal from the dwarves/King of Imther is very lucrative/valuable.  Sylila remains strong in the period of Sheng Seleris, so have to think that trade/tribute in metal is part of that.

Likely struggles between the Lunar leaders in Jillaro (Errio-unit) and those in Furthest/Mirin's Cross (Eel-ariash) are played out in Imther, and to a lesser extent in Vanch.  Vanch clearly controls some of the territory of the Singing Road in the 4th Wane when Orios Longarms is strong.  By the 5th wane, Imther has reclaimed much of the territory south of the road.  Toll-keepers undoubtedly gathered tribute for interested parties.  That Imther and Vanch fall under the Lunar Provincial Overseer in 1545 suggests that the Eel-ariash gained ascendancy, and have kept until recently.

As of 1623, the King of Imther is dead and the trade with the dwarves is lost.  Orlanthi tribes and clans have resurged there leaving only Hilltown with a minor Lunar puppet king.  The Dragonrise shatters what is left of the LPA.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

I think Hwarin gained more than just a trade of some goods for blue furstones.  The Singing Road is both a magical road and a nice trade/tribute road.  And the metal from the dwarves/King of Imther is very lucrative/valuable.  Sylila remains strong in the period of Sheng Seleris, so have to think that trade/tribute in metal is part of that.

All true; Hwarin's influence was geographically limited during the Celestial Empire, and other than Sylila (and perhaps Imther) didn't last in the other southern regions until the Lunar resurgence. But with the source of metal closed down, the Singing Road won't be carrying very much tribute.

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

As of 1623, the King of Imther is dead and the trade with the dwarves is lost.  Orlanthi tribes and clans have resurged there leaving only Hilltown with a minor Lunar puppet king.  The Dragonrise shatters what is left of the LPA.

It's interesting that the only regiment Imther provided to the Provincial Army is the Kareiston’s Templars, and I can't see that remaining unless the Overseer makes other arrangement with the Temple. Probably some very interesting politicking between whoever rules in Hilltown, the Temple, and the Provincial government...

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1 hour ago, M Helsdon said:

I can't see that remaining unless the Overseer makes other arrangement with the Temple. Probably some very interesting politicking between whoever rules in Hilltown, the Temple, and the Provincial government...

Well, I think there is an ambitious and unmarried Queen of Holay looking about for some help with some vision of her unborn daughter becoming Queen of the World... 🙂

1 hour ago, M Helsdon said:

But with the source of metal closed down, the Singing Road won't be carrying very much tribute.

Nope.  Of course, whoever can succeed in the quest to gain the aid/allegiance of the dwarfs and reopen the Brass Gates might become very, very wealthy and powerful.  Unfortunately, while it's easy to ritually maintain the allegiance once gained, it happens to be a most treacherous and difficult quest into the Gods War and the Greater Darkness.  However, I'm sure someone will want to try once they can figure out how to do it (the dwarves might know, but they aren't talking).

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1 hour ago, M Helsdon said:

It's interesting that the only regiment Imther provided to the Provincial Army is the Kareiston’s Templars

When alive, I think the King didn't like the idea of the Wilktar tribesmen going off en masse and leaving Hilltown vulnerable to the Vanchites.  The Laramite tribe on the other hand tended to send their sons to Kareiston's Temple to serve as mercenaries there.  So that leaves the Orlanthi clans in the mountains and eastern wilds.  They tend to follow the old adage "No one can make me do anything", and that includes fighting for someone else.

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How distant are the Tarshite royal house and the Errio-unit of Sylila? Philigos' sons' followers (and Fazzur's family) spent their exile during Palashee's reign on Sylilan holdings.

And how much influence to the Eel-Ariash have on the Tarsh court? Reuniting their Hon-eel bloodline with their more recent results (Jar-eel) needn't mean that Phargentes (son of Philigos) was their agent.

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

When alive, I think the King didn't like the idea of the Wilktar tribesmen going off en masse and leaving Hilltown vulnerable to the Vanchites.  The Laramite tribe on the other hand tended to send their sons to Kareiston's Temple to serve as mercenaries there.  So that leaves the Orlanthi clans in the mountains and eastern wilds.  They tend to follow the old adage "No one can make me do anything", and that includes fighting for someone else.

Yes. I've noted that each of the Provincial Kingdoms has its own military forces,  but haven't attempted to detail them - until now.... 8-)

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19 hours ago, Joerg said:

And how much influence to the Eel-Ariash have on the Tarsh court? Reuniting their Hon-eel bloodline with their more recent results (Jar-eel) needn't mean that Phargentes (son of Philigos) was their agent.

Based on GS p.31&33 "The new general was the greatest noble in Tarsh, Fazzur Wideread, chieftain of the Orindori clan who ruled Kordros Island. His father was Vostor Blacktooth, a loyal companion of King Phargentes and a member of the king’s household. Fazzur’s sister Harsta was the first wife of Moirades, making Fazzur the uncle of King Pharandros." and "With his old
friend Sor-eel of the noble Eel-ariash family
, Fazzur led the conquest of Prax"
- there appears to be some very close connection here by the Eel-ariash with the Orindori.

Also same source p.186 "..Eel-ariash. They control many temples, the Hon-eel cult, the satrapy of Oronin, and the province of Tarsh. They also have Jar-eel. A Three Fifths family." - and I'm sure they are raising and protecting young Phargentes, son of Moirades and Jar-eel.

Overall, I'd say very high.  Not the only influence, of course.  Philigos and Phargentes were the children of Kana-Telsor from the Valar-Telsor family, as well as grandchildren of Hon-eel.  But Philigos had little rule over Tarsh and mostly lived in exile in Sylila (before the Errio-unit became satraps).  

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4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Based on GS p.31&33 "The new general was the greatest noble in Tarsh, Fazzur Wideread, chieftain of the Orindori clan who ruled Kordros Island. His father was Vostor Blacktooth, a loyal companion of King Phargentes and a member of the king’s household. Fazzur’s sister Harsta was the first wife of Moirades, making Fazzur the uncle of King Pharandros." and "With his old
friend Sor-eel of the noble Eel-ariash family
, Fazzur led the conquest of Prax"
- there appears to be some very close connection here by the Eel-ariash with the Orindori.

Yes, this is Fazzur's friendship with Sor-eel. While Fazzur has kinship ties with Moirades, I read this as a professional and personal relationship through shared service-time in the Provincial Army and/or cooperation with the Cavalry Corps. Does Sor-eel have any direct ties to the Royal Family of Tarsh?

It isn't clear whether this friendship extends to a good relationship between Sor-eel and Fazzur's sons, after Sor-eel is removed from the governor post in Pavis and disappears from the written record.

 

4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Also same source p.186 "..Eel-ariash. They control many temples, the Hon-eel cult, the satrapy of Oronin, and the province of Tarsh. They also have Jar-eel. A Three Fifths family." - and I'm sure they are raising and protecting young Phargentes, son of Moirades and Jar-eel.

I have little doubt that they don't let his older half-brother Pharandros meddle with the education of young Phargentes, but there might be significant meddling by the Great Sister (since the Red Emperor doesn't seem as if he could be bothered to care).

I wonder whether their influence over the Molari-sor ruling clan of Oraya isn't greater than over the royal house of Tarsh, both through Hon-eel and because of their role in installing the Molari-sor over the previous satraps from the Ari-ji.

 

4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Overall, I'd say very high.  Not the only influence, of course.  Philigos and Phargentes were the children of Kana-Telsor from the Valar-Telsor family, as well as grandchildren of Hon-eel.  But Philigos had little rule over Tarsh and mostly lived in exile in Sylila (before the Errio-unit became satraps).  

On the other hand, Phargentes all but cancelled the influence of the Sylilan lineage of the Conquering Daughter in the Provinces. But I don't see him as very manageable. Moirades may have been more biddable. Pharandros appears to be torn between advisors. Would the Eel-ariash be behind the Phargantites?

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18 hours ago, Joerg said:

I wonder whether their influence over the Molari-sor ruling clan of Oraya isn't greater than over the royal house of Tarsh, both through Hon-eel and because of their role in installing the Molari-sor over the previous satraps from the Ari-ji.

The Molari-sor are effectively a client of the Eel-ariash, and I'm sure the hand of the Eel-ariash is strong in Oraya.  But it's not where the action is.  You can look at the Governor-Generalship of Dragon Pass (or even King of Dragon Pass) as the political battleground between the Eel-ariash and the Assiday.  

18 hours ago, Joerg said:

Phargentes all but cancelled the influence of the Sylilan lineage of the Conquering Daughter in the Provinces

Yes.  The Hwarin-ony (if memory serves me correctly) are wiped out.  The Errio-unit use that as their opportunity to rise (and they have connections across the Lunar Provinces, though not Tarsh).  Btw, this is the lineage of the Errio-unit dynasty of Sylila I put together.

 

SylilaDynasty3.JPG

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9 hours ago, jajagappa said:

The Molari-sor are effectively a client of the Eel-ariash, and I'm sure the hand of the Eel-ariash is strong in Oraya.  But it's not where the action is.  You can look at the Governor-Generalship of Dragon Pass (or even King of Dragon Pass) as the political battleground between the Eel-ariash and the Assiday.  

Yes.  The Hwarin-ony (if memory serves me correctly) are wiped out.  The Errio-unit use that as their opportunity to rise (and they have connections across the Lunar Provinces, though not Tarsh).  Btw, this is the lineage of the Errio-unit dynasty of Sylila I put together.

 

SylilaDynasty3.JPG

Looking at my notes, I notice that your old Kings of Vanch list included the following comment: [Hastormal the Walker] later aided Phargentes and Algaratum Errio against the heirs of Hwarin in Jillaro. So, how does Algaratum Errio figure in the above list? Intended to be the same person as Unitadas? It perhaps seems likely Unitadas would've married his daughter to King Tantaral (the second son of Hartormal) as part of this deal/alliance (maybe she was first married to the first son, too?).

Now that we're at it, I wonder if Tundarkal (Hastormal's uncle) had a political marriage which helped his nephew secure his rule.

Also, can you tell I'm a sucker for lineage charts? :D

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9 hours ago, jajagappa said:

The Molari-sor are effectively a client of the Eel-ariash, and I'm sure the hand of the Eel-ariash is strong in Oraya.  But it's not where the action is.  You can look at the Governor-Generalship of Dragon Pass (or even King of Dragon Pass) as the political battleground between the Eel-ariash and the Assiday.  

Then are the Errio-unit a client of the Assiday, or are they near-equal partners bound by marriage? (Similar to the Orindori and the Phoronestes bloodline?)

The Farquinils lineage of Red Fish (Karasal/Dara Happa) is another branch off the Red Emperor's offspring. With the indicated amount of inter-marriage, there would be quite a few people whose male ancestors 

9 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yes.  The Hwarin-ony (if memory serves me correctly) are wiped out. 

Wiped out as a clan, I assume. The bloodline of the Conquering Daughter will continue in other houses, through maternal descent.

9 hours ago, jajagappa said:

The Errio-unit use that as their opportunity to rise (and they have connections across the Lunar Provinces, though not Tarsh).  Btw, this is the lineage of the Errio-unit dynasty of Sylila I put together.

 

SylilaDynasty3.JPG

Very nice chart, holding a few surprises to me. Mainly Appius Luxius as descended from the Errio Unit (his father being the Red Emperor possibly is of less consequence - if I had to make a guess, more than 100 children are sired by the Emperor in any given year. But with this, Appius is extremely well-connected in the Provinces, and is by any measure the King of Saird.

 

Seralda of Cafol sounds like a Sairdite earth priestess rather than your typical Pelorian Lunar upstart family.

 

None of these Red Emperor lineages claim descent from Takenegi (as e.g. Hwarin did, and possibly Hon-eel, too). In fact, I am a bit surprised that Valare Addi had a child with Magnificus, who only appears in the middle of the Seleric occupation. While she lived her life as a divine and presuably unaging Lunar on the Red Moon, she was well over 200 when Magnificus took over. I would have expected  that her lineage reached back inte the first or at latest second wane.

 

Speaking of later Masks of the Emperor, we have the same effect as with the winners of the Tournaament of the Mastes of Luck and Death - their previous lives and affiliations would carry over into their Emperor persona, creating all kinds of political undercurrents with their houses of origin when having offspring marrying into existing or newcomer houses.

 

Does anybody have similar genealogies for other Lunar houses?

 

 

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Not sure, but I think this genealogy discussion is worth its own thread (at least if there is any form of continuation ... 😉)

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57 minutes ago, Oracle said:

Not sure, but I think this genealogy discussion is worth its own thread (at least if there is any form of continuation ... 😉)

True. But this genealogy discussion has Quinscion the Patient's family, the Farquinils from Red Fish, so still marginally on topic.

 

Given the evidence of Tax Farming in Sartar (which is how Gringle all but bankrupted himself), I wonder what the prevalence of this practice is in the older Provinces.

 

Looking back at the tribute list provided by Martin earlier in this thread, I notice the delivery of slaves from both Tarsh and Holay, but not from the other Provinces. Both provinces are transit areas for the more wild areas beyond - the war zone of Sartar, Kethaela and Prax, and the destination of slave hunters in Balazar.

I would have expected some debt slavery (caused by "selective taxation") in places like Aggar and Talastar, too, but possibly there they are just commodities, not part of the traditional tribute.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Very nice chart, holding a few surprises to me. Mainly Appius Luxius as descended from the Errio Unit (his father being the Red Emperor possibly is of less consequence - if I had to make a guess, more than 100 children are sired by the Emperor in any given year. But with this, Appius is extremely well-connected in the Provinces, and is by any measure the King of Saird.

Seralda of Cafol sounds like a Sairdite earth priestess rather than your typical Pelorian Lunar upstart family.

None of these Red Emperor lineages claim descent from Takenegi (as e.g. Hwarin did, and possibly Hon-eel, too). In fact, I am a bit surprised that Valare Addi had a child with Magnificus, who only appears in the middle of the Seleric occupation. While she lived her life as a divine and presuably unaging Lunar on the Red Moon, she was well over 200 when Magnificus took over. I would have expected  that her lineage reached back inte the first or at latest second wane.

Speaking of later Masks of the Emperor, we have the same effect as with the winners of the Tournaament of the Mastes of Luck and Death - their previous lives and affiliations would carry over into their Emperor persona, creating all kinds of political undercurrents with their houses of origin when having offspring marrying into existing or newcomer houses.

Does anybody have similar genealogies for other Lunar houses?

Appius Luxius featuring there was a surprise, simple because my notes put him into a different lineage based on the Life of Moonson sources. Indeed, that material claims his family was killed by Celestinus (and that his father was favored by the previous Mask, Robustus). All that's hardly considered canon anymore though, but it is there.

I also had been thinking that maybe the Red Emperor Celestinus was actually from ErrioUnit, due to the nature of the latter Masks, but this puts him as married to the line and thus favoring it. This take certainly works too!

I do have a bunch of lineages collected from various sources in my notes and if we get the lineage discussion properly going I might have to dig 'em up. They're just collections though, not original work/development (I haven't gotten around to that point yet - they exist as very preliminary work for an eventual Lunar focused campaign).

Edited by Grievous
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On 6/5/2018 at 7:20 AM, Joerg said:

On the other hand, Phargentes all but cancelled the influence of the Sylilan lineage of the Conquering Daughter in the Provinces. But I don't see him as very manageable. Moirades may have been more biddable. Pharandros appears to be torn between advisors. Would the Eel-ariash be behind the Phargantites?

Oh, I can't seem to place this in its correct context: why do you say Phargentes cancelled the influence of the Sylilan lineage of the Conquering Daughter in the Provinces?

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2 hours ago, Grievous said:

Phargentes cancelled the influence of the Sylilan lineage of the Conquering Daughter in the Provinces?

Probably because the Hwarin-ony lineage was wiped out in Dart War, and Phargentes became Lunar Provincial Overseer, giving Tarsh and the Eel-ariash dominance for a generation plus in the Provinces.  There's a reason you see the Seven Mothers cult in Sartar and not the Conquering Daughter cult.

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11 hours ago, Grievous said:

Oh, I can't seem to place this in its correct context: why do you say Phargentes cancelled the influence of the Sylilan lineage of the Conquering Daughter in the Provinces?

 

When I wrote that statement, I wasn't sure how much of Hwarin's lineage was alive or not with the Errio-unit. For all I know, Serenalda (presumably of Cafol) may have been a descendant of Hwarin.

But prior to Phargentes, there was no such office as Provincial Governor/Lunar Provincial Overseer. The provincial kingdoms were tributary to the Empire, and the satraps of Sylila managed all that for the empire, relying on ancient oaths sworn to Hwarin and Ingkot, I suppose. The Orlanthi way of establishing precedent and binding vows rather than a bureaucratic administration.

To keep on topic with tributes and taxes, compare the Kitori tribute (the contract that defined the Kingdom of Night, after liberation from Palangio's usurpation also known as Arkat's Command) in Kethaela. There are no written records about what exactly each group has to contribute, although the terms of the tribute (and the return services, as well as penalties) are well known to all involved. All of this is on the power of oaths, which possibly can be recalled using some  Lhankor Mhy magic (e.g. Divination) or Humakt magic if the oath was witnessed by Humakti. (Now there is an application for Humakti godtalkers rather than swords...)Installing a Dara Happan style Overseer who had all these obligations written down by his bureaucrats cut out the Sylilans, and their ability to skim off before writing the records for these tributes before passing them on to the Imperial machinery.

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Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I do see the point now and ended up doing a bunch of pointed reading, so now I got a better insight into the Lunar Provinces. Definitely some potential plot hooks there for Lunar focused action, considering a possibly snubbed Hwarin cult seeking to regain influence, subjugated Orlanthi tribes who might be more willing to deal with them than the bureaucratic LPA (perhaps bolstered by old oaths still considered honorable and binding), and families seeking to exploit this to rival Tarsh/ErrioUnit influence in the Provinces.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

But prior to Phargentes, there was no such office as Provincial Governor/Lunar Provincial Overseer. The provincial kingdoms were tributary to the Empire, and the satraps of Sylila managed all that for the empire, relying on ancient oaths sworn to Hwarin and Ingkot, I suppose. The Orlanthi way of establishing precedent and binding vows rather than a bureaucratic administration.

I think this is on target.  Hwarin's conquests in Saird and Vanch clearly bound folk via oaths.  Even her non-conquest in Imther seems to have established a reciprocal trade in order to get access to the dwarf goods.  Probably broke down during the years of Sheng.  New and conflicting oaths made when the Kings of Tarsh expanded.  The Lunar Provincial Admin seems to be either something new, or a more effective enforcement of the oaths/tribute.

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