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Gallowglass

What's Happening in Fronela after 1621?

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Hello everyone, this is my first post on the forums. Ever since I initially read the Guide to Glorantha I have been fascinated by the region of Fronela. It features a diverse mix of cultures, and some epic happenings centered around the conflict between Loskalm and the Kingdom of War. However, the Guide is set in 1621 (I believe?), and it only offers vague hints about what will happen in the region over the next few years, and beyond. The clues I can gather from the Guide are as follows -

- On p. 202 of the Guide they mention the KoW conquering Junora, and many different groups joining the Warlords as mercenaries. 

- On p. 318 in the Lunar Empire chapter, there is a section describing events in the empire in detail up to 1630. This includes Carmania declaring independence and "coming to the aid of the Arrolian Properties against Loskalm." It also mentions Charg being set free from the Syndic's Ban in 1628. 

- On p. 744 in the Takenegi Stele, the text describes the Red Emperor marching against the "King of the West" who had "oppressed the Arrolian Properties." It then claims that he destroyed the Western armies, and took tribute from Sog City and the Bear Kings (Jonatings?). 

I have also read this document on the Kingdom of War, which is interesting but doesn't tell me much about what will happen there in the future. 

https://www.glorantha.com/docs/kow/

Putting all of that together, the picture I'm getting is that after 1621, Loskalm and the Kingdom of War clash. Over the next few years, the Loskalmi apparently win the war, or otherwise contain their enemies. They then expand for some reason and take control of the Arrolian Properties. Then the Carmanians intervene in 1630. Somewhere between then and 1644, the following events occur: Carmania is brought back under the Empire's control by a new Red Emperor (Phargentes the Younger I think?), Loskalm becomes part of the dominion of the mysterious "King of the West," and the king and his armies are then likely destroyed by the Lunars. What happens after that is a mystery indeed. 

I have a lot of questions here. What actually happened with the Kingdom of War? Why would Loskalm try to conquer the Arrolian Properties? Is the King of the West actually from Loskalm, or some other place like Seshnela or Ralios? If he is a foreigner, how did he take control of Loskalm in such a short time? Any additional insights would be helpful. I have a lot of ideas for setting campaigns in Fronela, but I would like to have a better idea of the larger events taking place in the region's history before I run any games there. 

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From what I understand, a good deal of this is deliberately unspecified for the benefit of players, however, I've seen a few suggestions:

- The King of the West is believed to be a Seshnelan, a further consquence of the unification of Seshnela/Ralios.

- At some point, much of Fronela will be flooded due to a plot by the trolls of the Great Glacier, along with Kethaelan, Kerofinela, Maniria and Prax at least.

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2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

the picture I'm getting is that after 1621, Loskalm and the Kingdom of War clash. Over the next few years, the Loskalmi apparently win the war, or otherwise contain their enemies.

Based on what's available, that is correct.  Somewhere there was a note that Loskalm basically must become as warlike ("evil") as the Kingdom of War to defeat it.

In 1628, Charg is freed from the ban.  Likely Loskalm attempts to conquer the Janube valley cities (including the Arrolian Properties) and then confront Charg.  The King of the West at this point should be the King of Loskalm.  The King of Seshnela is busy conquering Ralios and fighting the Arkats.

There may be Elf Reforestation across Fronela during the late 1630s or early 1640s.

Around 1644, the Red Emperor retakes Carmania, then marches west to regain the Arrolian Properties, defeats (and probably kills) the King of the West, and sacks Sog City.

And then by end of the 1640s & early 1650's things get really bad. The Great Winter comes, and then the Flood comes (and what Prince Snodal tried to stop comes true after all).

2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

What actually happened with the Kingdom of War?

Should be defeated by Loskalm, but perhaps Loskalm effectively becomes the Kingdom of War in defeating it.

2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

Why would Loskalm try to conquer the Arrolian Properties?

Tribute.  Someone's got to pay for the War against War.

2 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

Is the King of the West actually from Loskalm, or some other place like Seshnela or Ralios?

Should be Fronelan at this point. Seshnelans are busy with their own war.

And also remember that there is the opening the gate of Banir.  I.e. Chaos emerges/returns in various forms.

 

Edited by jajagappa

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4 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Should be Fronelan at this point. Seshnelans are busy with their own war.

 

So the King of the West is likely from Loskalm, maybe even Meriatan or King Gundreken? The Black Dragon Mountain Pictoglyphs describe a king receiving a crown from three kingdoms. So by 1644, the King has taken control of Seshnela (Serpent Crown), Loskalm, and a third kingdom? And still gets defeated by the Red Emperor, ouch. 

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The kingdoms could be Akem and Jonatela though, if it needs to be kept local.

(Although Akem seems to be a country in name only)

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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11 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The kingdoms could be Akem and Jonatela though, if it needs to be kept local.

I guess that could be an option. My interpretation of the Pictoglyphs 13-17 was that it described King Guilmarn fighting against the Arkats in Ralios. He then dies, but his crown (the Serpent Crown) is taken up by another, who I assume to be the King of the West described in other places. So if the KotW is from Loskalm, that's one kingdom, and Seshnela must be another one since it's the Serpent Crown, and he's "coupling" with the Snake Goddess, who I guess would be Seshna Likita. The third kingdom could be Akem, Safelster, Arolanit or maybe even Brithos. 

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21 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

The Black Dragon Mountain Pictoglyphs describe a king receiving a crown from three kingdoms. So by 1644, the King has taken control of Seshnela (Serpent Crown), Loskalm, and a third kingdom?

No, I believe Loskalm and Seshnela are on two distinct tracks. The Serpent Crown is clearly associated with the Seshnelan expansion. The three kingdoms might be Seshnela (probably Tanisor specifically), Arolanit, and some part of Ralios (Naskorion most likely).

The Black Dragon Pictoglyphs all suggest this action is going on in the Seshnela/Ralios area, not Fronela.

13. An Uzko and four Men, each marked as Arkat, fight against a King of Men wearing a Serpent Crown, his Blue Sorcerers, and Stone Men. This is Seshnelan king vs. Ralios backed by his zzaburi + the dwarfs.  This should tie into Guilmarn's campaigns as noted in GtG p.424: Once Seshnela is unified, Guilmarn turns his attention to Ralios and Fronela. The king launches an even greater invasion of Ralios with the goal to exterminate all Arkati. The Arkati strike back, with unexpected magic and new Heroquesting secrets.

14. The Serpent Crown is on the ground, fought over by Men. The Arkats wear a collective crown but fight amongst themselves. Presumably the Seshnelan king dies, and now it is fought over.

15. A Man carrying a sword, a woodsman’s axe, and casting sorcery couples with the Snake Goddess and receives the Serpent Crown from three kingdoms. Stone Men guard the scene. New figure receives the Serpent Crown. Sword, axe, and sorcery could be the symbols of the three kingdoms. The dwarfs are allies here. Snake goddess should be Seshna Lakita.

16. The Arkats flee from the Serpent Crown king and his Stone Men who shoot fire from sticks. They flee to a Storm King who breathes fire. Arkats go and join Ardinyar Kocholangsson in Otkorion.  [He is noted in KoS p.27: In the third direction, Argrath got the help of Ardinyar Kocholangsson, Lord of the Seven Storms and King of Ralios. He had been sent by Orlanth and brought the Storm Dragon.]

 

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22 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

So the King of the West is likely from Loskalm, maybe even Meriatan or King Gundreken?

Yes, and their focus is the Janube Valley, perhaps with a goal to unite with Carmania vs. the Lunar Empire.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

No, I believe Loskalm and Seshnela are on two distinct tracks. The Serpent Crown is clearly associated with the Seshnelan expansion. The three kingdoms might be Seshnela (probably Tanisor specifically), Arolanit, and some part of Ralios (Naskorion most likely).

 The Black Dragon Pictoglyphs all suggest this action is going on in the Seshnela/Ralios area, not Fronela.

 

Okay, so you're saying the "King of the West" from the Takenegi Stele is not necessarily the same person as the one depicted in the Pictoglyphs. That sort of makes things easier to explain without having every major Western nation united into one kingdom over just a few decades. I think I got a little confused after reading the Glorantha wiki page on the King of the West. 

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

A Man carrying a sword, a woodsman’s axe, and casting sorcery

Sounds a bit like a Man-of-All too. The Woodsman's axe is perhaps not quite Dronari staple, and the Talar aspect is not there yet (unless you count the imminent crowning), but still.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Sounds a bit like a Man-of-All too. The Woodsman's axe is perhaps not quite Dronari staple, and the Talar aspect is not there yet (unless you count the imminent crowning), but still.

That was my interpretation, too. He is (if you count the crown he is about to receive) showing symbolically  that he is of all four castes, and so a Man of All. 

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Quite how the Kingdom of Loskalm defeats the Kingdom of War is a good question. 

I don't think they are able to do so by military might alone, though the Loskalmi will do their best.

I think the Zendamalthan military engineers will do a good job of inventing some form of artillery, perhaps catapults and ballista with sorcerous or alchemical payloads. The Wizard Knights will perform incredible magical rituals. And it all won't be enough, the KoW have such a range of vicious military magic, and will have all sorts of tactics including undead armies, blood sacrifice powered magic, hell demons, forbidden sorcery, etc. 

The is mysterious stuff going on behind the scenes, that I think will hold part of the answers to what happens with the Lunars later. I've heard the KoW situation is somehow being manipulated by the Queen of the Kiss in Zoria, who in turn may be in touch with the Lunar powers somehow. She gets defeated by Gunda the Guilty, but perhaps that defeat is not permanent? 

There is also Sandy's revelations to consider - that in the desolated, ravaged dead and empty heart of the Kingdom of War there are innocents who can form the heart of a new society after the KoW destroys everything, but only if the KoW never find out about their existence. It does kind of sound like some sort of project to form a new creation. 

Then there are the Prophecies on pg 222 of the Guide. I think the Nameless Man is somehow the instigator of the KoW, and the Chaos magic of Arinsor returns sounds like it might more likely by a Kingdom of War project - but how much worse would it be if it was actually the Loskalmi resorting to Chaos Wizardry to defeat the KoW! Gathering the Three Weapons of Talor sounds like (as I suspect it was always intended to be) a project for player characters. 

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I dislike the idea of Loksalm falling into corruption and tyranny. I much prefer the arc there to be the challenge of learning how to balance living one's ideals with the reality of living in an imperfect world rather than abandoning them in frustration or sinking utterly to the level of one's enemies.

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IMHO The Loskalm Empire still sees iteself as the ideal kingdom, and sees everyone aroud itself as imperfect, and will do evil deeds to conquer these other counties to bring them their ideals. 
Much like the Lunar Empire, but without all inclusiveness Lunar understanding of the world, more like stern ideals forced upon others. 

Edited by AndreJarosch

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17 hours ago, davecake said:

the Chaos magic of Arinsor returns sounds like it might more likely by a Kingdom of War project - but how much worse would it be if it was actually the Loskalmi resorting to Chaos Wizardry to defeat the KoW!

I would not be surprised if this turns out to be the method by which the Loskalmi defeat the KoW.

9 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

IMHO The Loskalm Empire still sees iteself as the ideal kingdom, and sees everyone aroud itself as imperfect

Sounds like something we've heard before... where could that be... oh, Dorastor! What better Man-of-All than a Nysaloran!

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13 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

IMHO The Loskalm Empire still sees iteself as the ideal kingdom, and sees everyone aroud itself as imperfect, and will do evil deeds to conquer these other counties to bring them their ideals. 
Much like the Lunar Empire, but without all inclusiveness Lunar understanding of the world, more like stern ideals forced upon others. 

The Ban wasn't that long ago. IMO the Loskalmi Empire not only sees itself as ideal compared to its neighbours, its ignorance about them is huge, and in many cases their knowledge is just a list of errors, historical grievances, and deviations from the ideal. Its xenophobic and arrogant at a deep level due to its combination of ideology and history of isolation.

In some ways sorcerously weak compared to eg the Rokari, they are not able to rely as much on a deep knowledge of sorcery and broad expertise and organisation - many of the Hrestoli sorcerers begin seriously studying sorcery only in middle age, or at least well into adulthood, compared to the Rokari zzaburi who begin at age 6 and are solely dedicated to it. So the Hrestoli approach to sorcerous warfare is going to be very different. The Rokari are conservative and organised - I suspect many of their sorcerous workings are huge rituals that are slowly worked on, or prepared for, over long periods of time, and discussed with the Talars at many points. The Hrestoli must leverage their other strengths - I suspect more reckless, relying on magic techniques other than pure sorcery on occasion (a lot of alchemy I think), and particularly heroquest type workings that rely on the their men of all to achieve magical ends by dint of personal heroism and their additional capabilities beyond sorcery. They try to build heroes. And a potential problem with that approach is that the personal authority and power of a Grand Wizard Knight is hard to challenge - if one of them goes way off the deep end and decides to veer into forbidden sorcery to win a battle that seems otherwise doomed, it is hard for anyone else to do anything about it. And their Men of All, especially those that have risen to power mostly within the Ban or within central Loskalm,  have been told how correct they are their entire lives, and have never faced a serious threat, must surely be very prone to arrogance and hubris.

So while I am sure the KoW embraces Chaos somewhat ( I see their hundred gods of war as including Than headhunters, Vampire led ghoul bands, Cacodemon bushwackers, etc.), the idea that it is a faction within the Loskalmi that resorts to reviving Arinsors Chaos Sorcery seems more and more likely. Even if they do not, Sir Meriatram seems headed straight into God Learner territory ("He has learned of several secret ways to enter into the God Time and rob its denizens of magic and artifacts to aid his war.")

 

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6 hours ago, davecake said:

Even if they do not, Sir Meriatram seems headed straight into God Learner territory ("He has learned of several secret ways to enter into the God Time and rob its denizens of magic and artifacts to aid his war.")

I'm leaning more towards that's just Arkatism. I'd place the God Learners as having a more industrial attitude on top of that. (Both Lunars and God Learners might also classify as being systematically disrespectful to the deities.)

 

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A defense of Meriatan,

People are calling him a God Learner and other horrible names because he enters the God Time and seeks to rob its denizens of magic and artifacts.  It kind of depends on who these denizens are, doesn't it?  Merely because they live in the God Time doesn't make their possessions any less lootable than that of wordly countries (ie any of the several dozen that Harrek has plundered).  His intention of stealing their magics may be morally laudable in a Promethean way if the denizens unjustly withheld their secrets from the mortal world..  

He might even be the Great King of the West.

I'm not really seeing the Loskalm becomes corrupted by Chaos in that the Gate of Banir lies on the other side of the Kingdom of War, and that neither the TakenEgi Stelae or the Black Dragon Mountain pictographs show chaos on Loskalmi behalf.

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On 4/28/2019 at 8:59 PM, jajagappa said:

And also remember that there is the opening the gate of Banir.  I.e. Chaos emerges/returns in various forms.

There's also some unpublished stuff that may or may not be relevant now. In Fronela a Chaotic Miasma, one of the Tentacles of Urcheth appears and is spread or supported by Selkorze, Lord Death Riding (AKA lord Death a Horse). 

Quote

The Miasma expands, vile magics drive the Loskalmites to desperate measures. At last the forces confront, and though the Army of War is destroyed, Edzene shows to Meritan how he and his army have become what they hated in destroying the KoW.

The Loskalmi are now built up on a war footing and now become the aggressors.

Urcheth is a new Chaos god that appears early in the Hero Wars. Its many organs are new chaos outbursts and manifestations across Genertela.

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4 hours ago, The God Learner said:

I'm leaning more towards that's just Arkatism

Its kind of literally the opposite of Arkatism - Arkat (post-Gbaji war at least) has been associated with respect for heroquesting. Remember the Arkat cult and the God Learners were bitter enemies. 

Eg from Arcane Lore

"Arkat's cult controlled heroquesting. They had rigorous entrance requirements and maintained strict rules and iron discipline. They demanded respect for the magics, and a tender care in treating with them. The cult policed the Hero Plane, seeking unwanted or obtrusive heroquesters and expelling them. They made many enemies that way, but maintained stability on the Hero Plane."

3 hours ago, metcalph said:

People are calling him a God Learner and other horrible names because he enters the God Time and seeks to rob its denizens of magic and artifacts. 

That does sound more or less like people are calling him a God Learner because he has a plan to act like a God Learner, yes. 

3 hours ago, metcalph said:

It kind of depends on who these denizens are, doesn't it?

Yes. Is he talking about venturing in to myths of his home culture and following the paths of previous culture heroes? Or is he intent on looting the myths of other cultures for quick magic power. The latter is rather implied. 

 

3 hours ago, metcalph said:

not really seeing the Loskalm becomes corrupted by Chaos in that the Gate of Banir lies on the other side of the Kingdom of War, and that neither the TakenEgi Stelae or the Black Dragon Mountain pictographs show chaos on Loskalmi behalf.

It is far enough that it is not that much harder for either to reach there. The Kingdom of War is not preventing anyone from Loskalm from getting to Timms. 

All it says really in the Stelae is that the Kingof the West has "had rebelled against the gods and oppressed the Arrolian Properties." The Arrolian properties are very close to Timms. And rebelled against the gods could mean lots of things. The pictoglyphs don't seem to have much mention of it at all - their commentary on goings on in the West seem mostly concerning Seshnela. 

Not that it;s a theory I'm committed to, its just a suggestion. But it seems plausible enough at this point. And if the Loskalmi aren't messing with God Learning or Chaos or something, we don't really have a theory how they survive. 

 

 

Edited by davecake

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1 hour ago, davecake said:

Its kind of literally the opposite of Arkatism - Arkat (post-Gbaji war at least) has been associated with respect for heroquesting. Remember the Arkat cult and the God Learners were bitter enemies. 

I might have confused the discussion by calling it 'Arkatism'. I don't mean the Arkat cult, I mean the way Arkat himself did things. He basically invented the sneaky heroquest techniques, as far as I recall. That's what I know as "Arkatism", but perhaps I acquired that piece of jargon locally in a previous era.

Afterwards, he didn't want anyone else to do the same, so it's not a surprise there was some subsequent friction. 

In summary, my point was that it seemed like Sir Meriatram was heading into 'Arkat' territory, though not necessarily 'God Learner' territory.  

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

And rebelled against the gods could mean lots of things.

Seems to me that the simplest interpretation is just that it's referring to the king being Malkioni as opposed to a theist.

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Arkat discovered links in the heroplane, and eventually began to creatively go 'off script'. He invented creative heroquesting, and changed his role over time to suit his purposes at the time. He began by simply changing his cult affiliation over time, and questing as each, until he eventually noticed they overlapped.

For the first time, rather than a series of set scripts, he treated it like a place that could be explored. 

But just like any other place, there is a big difference between exploring the heroplane and simply treating it as a place where you know there are some people you can beat up and rob and take their cool stuff, as the Meriatram quote states. That attitude, that the heroplane is simply a place full of things to rob and steal with no other intrinsic value, is exactly one of the things that got the God Learners in trouble (and actually, something that I don't know Arkat ever did - as far as I'm aware, when Arkat quested a Zorak Zoran troll, he did so sincerely). 

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