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Culbrea Partitioning


Grievous

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We know the Culbrea got dissected by the Lunars after Starbrow's Rebellion and a number of its clans were given to the Cinsina and the Aranwyth. However, our sources differ on who went where exactly. That's what I want to pin down here.

I see older sources mention that the Gorde, Greenhaft and Blueberry were lost to the Cinsina and the Kortal clan was lost to the Aranwyth.

In the Coming Storm, which should canonically take precedence, it is the Goldberry, Greenhaft and Blueberry clans which become Cinsina and the Aranwyth clan remains unnamed. Also, the Gorde do not exist and the closest equivalent is the Lorthing clan, which is still firmly Culbrea.

Sartar Companion - it's canonicity uncertain, I guess - names the Lorthing clan as now part of the Cinsina in contradiction with other sources.

The Coming Storm political map on p. 89 is interesting and somewhat unhelpful with its odd borders. Elsewhere there is this mention regarding the Owlflight Crest though: "This range of hills was the border between the Culbrea and the Aranwyth tribes but since Starbrow’s Rebellion, the hills have firmly been under the Aranwyth’s control." This gives the options that either the Owl clan that controlled the Crest lost this patch of turf (and maybe no clan was actually lost), or they themselves joined the Aranwyth in which case the Owl could be the Kortal (who are now absent from mention) who were stated to have gone to Aranwyth in older sources. It seems as likely that the clan lost to the Aranwyth could be the one to the west of Toena, too (Oramani? It is slightly unclear where they should be placed based on the map).

So, it's all a bit unnecessarily confusing, Do we have a canonical consensus on what actually happened?

On another note, I would kill for a map of the tribes with all the clans named and positioned (at least for the major and important years of our timelines, eg. at least 1620 and 1628). I know there's probably this idea that keeping them unnamed will allow for player/GM creativity, but I tend to think that it is easier to be creative and break something when you know what you are breaking and where you are diverging. It doesn't stop creativity, it just allows for you to better control the unfortunate ripple effects that may follow.

Edited by Grievous
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1 hour ago, Grievous said:

I see older sources mention that the Gorde, Greenhaft and Blueberry were lost to the Cinsina and the Kortal clan was lost to the Aranwyth.

Which older sources?  It's hard to comment across 20+ years of possible references.  I know some older material came from a specific GM's campaign (Martin Laurie's maybe?) and certain references from that (e.g. Gudnystead, Gwandor clan) have been renamed/replaced.

As the most canonical/recent, I'd just go with what is in Coming Storm re: Cinsina/Culbrea/Dinacoli/Torkani/Maboder.  It seems most complete on these.  Similarly for Colymar/Lismelder/Malani, I'd go with SKoH, Sartar Companion, and RQG.  Personally, I'd prefer to keep these as the 'documented' tribes/clans, and let GM's figure out the rest as need/interest arises.

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Some of the fan material on the Culbrea was definitely an inspiration for both Dragon Pass, and The Coming storm, including YBOT #2. I exchanged emails with folks behind that material, which itself had multiple authors that had tried to tie their work together at that time. But although it was an inspiration, and you can see the origins of the Two Pine in that material, @Jeff and I changed many details. Some names didn't feel right to our ears (although some of the older names persist as bloodlines or lost clans as a 'tip of the hat' to those authors). We also re-wrote the history of the region, which moved us quite away from material presented for Heroes of Wisdom and YBOT #2.

We also changed one or two details from Dragon Pass, which @Jeff had not been involved in, and again didn't make sense with the history we wanted to tell.

You should consider TCS canonical. Older sources like YBOT a source of inspiration if you have them, but are not canon. I am indebted to the creativity of those authors and you may find material there you want to use in your Glorantha. (The canon element is really only important for future Chaosium material, you can do whatever you want, and you should do whatever you want. I do).

Bear in mind of course that the Hero Wars will take its toll, even in your campaign. In my house presentation of the 11L the Cinsina ended up ceding clans other than the Blueberry back to the Culbrea, and I know that we will see some changes in the 1627 Dragon Pass  Sourcebook to reflect those years.

Edited by Ian Cooper
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Yes, generally where things come from non-Chaosium sources and differ from Chaosium sources, I tend to take the Chaosium sources as more canonical.

Unless the other sources make more sense, of course.

Who knows, perhaps the other sources tell stories of what actually happened, rather than what the corrupt Prince Temertain and his Lunar advisors want you to hear.

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

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2 hours ago, Grievous said:

The Lorthing clan is part of the Cinsina in the Sartar Companion and not listed as such in the Coming Storm. Not a huge issues, obviously, just saying it's there!

Yes, it is there.

I'd likely play it that they are part of the Culbrea still, but have a long-standing feud with their neighbors, the Two-Pines since that is noted (e.g. the Lorthing Gold Tribute which they've refused to pay/honor since Starbrow's Rebellion).  They hate the Telmori, so have tended to be friendly with and aid the Cinsina and likely have marriage relations with them.  Otherwise, per the map in the Coming Storm, they are a very isolated clan stuck between Telmori to the north, the aggressive Two-Pine clan to the west, the Sazdorf trolls of Battle Valley to the south/east (and I'm sure regular raids by Praxian nomads as well).

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While we're talking about this, are the Goodhavens part of the Cinsina or the Cubrea? In Coming Storm, p. 69, it says "The Goodhaven clan of the Culbrea has grown rich from the trade that passes through their lands between Jonstown and Boldhome." That seems to mean that they are currently Culbrea.

Most of the other references to the Goodhavens treat them as former Culbrea and current Cinsina. On p. 92 it says "The Goodhaven clan of the Cinsina has grown rich from the trade that passes through their lands between Jonstown and Boldhome." Note that the two sentences are identical except for which tribe they are in. On page 11, the Goodhavens are described as being one of the "other old Culbrea clans", and on p. 95 some of the Two-Pines consider them turncoats. 

But the odd thing is that the Goodhavens are located to the west of Dwarf Ridge, completely isolated from all the other Culbrea clans. To get from the Culbrea lands to the Goodhavens, you would have to go through the Frithan tula or over Dwarf Ridge. How would they have joined the Culbrea if they're geographically separated from them like that? Is the reference on p. 69 a typo and I'm just missing something about the geography that would make the Goodhavens being part of the Culbrea logical?

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I think it's clear they are one of the three clans to have switched over to the Cinsina. The geographical note is true (and they are neighbours to the Frithan, a War Clan of Cinsina!), and while geography is destiny in some sense, it doesn't have to always be so straightforward. They are after all holding a very key piece of terrain - the road - within their tula, so they look desirable to many tribal rings, no doubt. In fact, I read it so that because of the problematic terrain, they were an obvious clan to have switch over to the Cinsina (whether that switch was decided by the Lunars, Cinsina or the Goodhavens - or all three), because the Culbrea could not easily contest it. Also, the Lunars wouldn't want a potentially rebellious (considered as such due to being Culbrea) clan controlling that key road and they could trust the Cinsina more to keep them in line.

Interestingly, I note that Findar Longsword is probably operating somewhere around here, harrying that very road...

I think it's also possible due to all these factors that they may have an earlier history regarding this. They may have been Cinsina earlier (or maybe even Malani).

Edit/Addition:

So, yeah,  in Coming Storm it is noted as follows: "The Goodhaven refused to follow their king, Hofstaring Treeleaper, to war during Starbrow’s Rebellion and were cursed by that powerful hero. Fazzur Wideread placed them under the protection of the Cinsina tribe." So quite clearly a Lunar move to cover their supply route.

Thinking about Goodhaven history some more, we have some other interesting notes/options:

The map on p. 56 notes that the Arsgol clan of the Malani tribe used to be very near here (to the north) - of course, they got turned into the townspeople of Jonstown. But Malani interest in the area is not entirely unfounded.

Also, the Goodhaven did not occupy this turf when the Telmori came and in fact appeared on this spot during the Telmori troubles, at the same time as the Cinsina tribe formed (with the Arsgol as their northern neighbours).

This suggests they may be a) Sanchali who did not want to follow Cinsina (would explain their odd - consider the terrain - link to the Culbrea), b) they were people that had to move sometime during the Telmori fighting or c) one could also read this differently and say that they did in fact exist there previously, but were not affiliated with any tribe (their appearance on the map denoting their joining the Culbrea). They may have joined the Culbrea to avoid being swallowed by either the Malani or the newly appeared Cinsina (of course there were no royal roads yet to warrant that specific kind of ambition, but regular ambition will usually do).

At least it would be possible (due to the geography) that they may have had to fend off assaults/politicking from either or both the Cinsina and the Malani at some point after all the trouble with the Telmori and the building of the road, but this would imply a level of in-fighting that might be considered rare (though probably not unheard of) during the Kingdom of Sartar.

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On 8/19/2018 at 6:39 PM, jajagappa said:

Yes, it is there.

I'd likely play it that they are part of the Culbrea still, but have a long-standing feud with their neighbors, the Two-Pines since that is noted (e.g. the Lorthing Gold Tribute which they've refused to pay/honor since Starbrow's Rebellion).  They hate the Telmori, so have tended to be friendly with and aid the Cinsina and likely have marriage relations with them.  Otherwise, per the map in the Coming Storm, they are a very isolated clan stuck between Telmori to the north, the aggressive Two-Pine clan to the west, the Sazdorf trolls of Battle Valley to the south/east (and I'm sure regular raids by Praxian nomads as well).

It was a change. The Lorthing are part of the Culbrea

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On 8/20/2018 at 2:47 PM, Bohemond said:

But the odd thing is that the Goodhavens are located to the west of Dwarf Ridge, completely isolated from all the other Culbrea clans. To get from the Culbrea lands to the Goodhavens, you would have to go through the Frithan tula or over Dwarf Ridge. How would they have joined the Culbrea if they're geographically separated from them like that? Is the reference on p. 69 a typo and I'm just missing something about the geography that would make the Goodhavens being part of the Culbrea logical?

Tribes are alliances, not contiguous areas of land. It is possible for a clan to be part of a tribe and share no border with other clans from the same tribe. However, most of the time when folks mapped the Sartarite tribes, they stuck with the simple model of showing all of them adjacent. For that reason, most of the tribes have ended up adjacent, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.

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On 8/20/2018 at 5:04 PM, Grievous said:

At least it would be possible (due to the geography) that they may have had to fend off assaults/politicking from either or both the Cinsina and the Malani at some point after all the trouble with the Telmori and the building of the road, but this would imply a level of in-fighting that might be considered rare (though probably not unheard of) during the Kingdom of Sartar.

And don't forget the Colymar have been involved in trying to take control in this area in the past as well. Sartar picked locations for his cities that were at the heart of historical conflicts between the tribes. This area has been fought over for some time, and tribes as well as clans have come and gone.

One thing Jeff and I wanted to show in the The Coming Storm is that the history of Dragon Pass is filled with the rise and fall of tribes and clans. It is much less constant that a map of the 'tribes of Sartar' today might suggest. 

As an aside, whilst the clan may say 'this is our mythic history' in most cases it is just an "agreed mythic history" and is often fictive. As a parallel, see the earthly genealogies of kings that proved descent from Odin or Jesus. The Red Cow actually take a lot of their mythic history from their wyter, not their own ancestors, for example.

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56 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

Tribes are alliances, not contiguous areas of land. It is possible for a clan to be part of a tribe and share no border with other clans from the same tribe. However, most of the time when folks mapped the Sartarite tribes, they stuck with the simple model of showing all of them adjacent. For that reason, most of the tribes have ended up adjacent, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.

While I subscribe to Ian's statement here, I will note that the oldest tribal map of Sartar I have seen used the White Bear and Red Moon hex map, assigned one clan per hex and drew outlines around continuous areas.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

While I subscribe to Ian's statement here, I will note that the oldest tribal map of Sartar I have seen used the White Bear and Red Moon hex map, assigned one clan per hex and drew outlines around continuous areas.

Yeah, I think we definitely limited ourselves with those approaches back in the day.

Some things I worked on in TCS to try and 'fix' some issues.

  • Wild areas. You need wild areas between clans that hunters can enter or cattle raiders that are "no-man's land" to allow for interesting encounters
  • Common villages. You need villages that are mixed along borders, particularly natural ones (Apple Lane is the prime example) so that people from the clan can mix with people from other clans for romance, feuds, etc. In TCS we postulate that the settlements along the borders, which are also the sources of water etc. often have a 'twin' from the neighboring clan 'across the bridge' or even have flowed into one another.
  • Tribal and clan lands may not all be contiguous. We are probably too late in Sartar for this, but we should think about varying this up elsewhere. Again, it gives a lot more opportunity fr conflict.

 

 

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King of Dragon Pass allowed all of this during its gameplay, except transhumance and traditionally used upland (or plains) pasture. Both terrain conquests and clan splits could leave you with rather disjunct territory.

Jointly formed villages/trading steads are a fairly new concept. There is no indication that this is something done on the tribal level, except perhaps for a place where tribal thanes move along with their immediate kin. With tribal membership a somewhat fluid institution, such centerd may be shrines or small temples used by more than one clan, or may be downgraded to an unremarkable single stead again.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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13 hours ago, Joerg said:

Jointly formed villages/trading steads are a fairly new concept. There is no indication that this is something done on the tribal level, except perhaps for a place where tribal thanes move along with their immediate kin. With tribal membership a somewhat fluid institution, such centerd may be shrines or small temples used by more than one clan, or may be downgraded to an unremarkable single stead again.

Discussion with Greg implied that he didn't like the clean separation of settlements that we ended up with post RQ3 and TR. The 'tula' was much more the sacred parts, not the whole clan lands, and the villages definitely more mixed along the borders. But I do agree it is a shift in how many saw this. However, I think that in a clan you will have strong central places like Red Cow Fort, that are your 'sanctuary' as well as mixed villages on the borders with other clans, especially if they are from the same tribe or friendly.

And overall, it's a lot more fun for stories if the clan boundaries are less 'hygienic'.

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Common usage of Clearwine by three of the original clans of the Colymar certainly makes more sense than exploding the size of the Ernaldori clan. The Ernaldori might still be the landlords, but the other clans may have some rights and title to parts of the oppidum.

With this, it could also be possible to have tribal herds in summer pasture, with herders and herds from multiple clans forming up a herd and a herdguard to rival Praxian dimensions. It does take quite a bit of trust and/or very good marking of the beasts, but it would be a way to use the fringes of Prax more securely than with the forces of a clan alone.

The three royal keeps built by Saronil for his sons south of the Creek might be such places, too.

 

Certain industries might be shared by neighboring clans, too - e.g. permanent fish traps or game traps (for migrating herds of wild animals).

Right of passage between disjunct portions of claimed territory may be long established, but feuds and vagaries may cause clans to re-negotiate these. KoDP has something similar for longer range raids, when a neutral clan in between may ask for a tribute for the raiding host to pass through.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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This reminds me a bit about the Nuer people of South Sudan, who are also a pastoral cattle-raising people who organize in clans (by descent) and tribes (by affiliation). They did not traditionally have villages or forts (the Sudanese Nilotic plain barely has rocks, even), but they do organize pastures. 

The way they do this is that other clans from the tribe can enter the clan's pastures, but they will then relate to the proprietor-clan as "nobles". Consequently, if members of the noble clan moves out of their ancestral lands and into another clan's lands, they "lose" their noble status and become, in a word, tenants of a different noble.

Orlanthi clearly don't quite work like this, but it's model that's neat to think with, and it opens for settlement dynamism.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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10 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The way they do this is that other clans from the tribe can enter the clan's pastures, but they will then relate to the proprietor-clan as "nobles". Consequently, if members of the noble clan moves out of their ancestral lands and into another clan's lands, they "lose" their noble status and become, in a word, tenants of a different noble.

Orlanthi clearly don't quite work like this, but it's model that neat to think with, and it opens for settlement dynamism.

I have a feeling that the Esrolians act very much in this manner in regards to land and land rights/obligations.  The Dividing Familyland myth in the Esrolia book is very suggestive of which ancient families gained "ownership" of the land (and one of the maps highlights the divisions around Nochet between the Evaeo, the Oranaeo, the Deleaos, and the Delainaeo clans).  These and other Enfranchised Houses continuously try to assert their rights over others on "their" lands including paying tribute, offering sacrifices to selected deities, demanding labor or goods, or even allowing buildings to be constructed and occupied, etc.  

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