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Akhôrahil

Whole slew of Talastar/Risklands questions

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I’m going to start a fairly traditional Risklands campaign (from Dorastor: Land of Doom) using Sartarite migrants for PCs, and I’ve collected a whole bunch of questions. I realize many of these might not have “correct” answers, but speculation and ideas are perfectly fine. What I’m not interested in is being told that I can make up whatever I like and that My Glorantha May Vary. I am already aware of this, so consider it as a given. 

1. Obsolescence or a genuine in-world difference?

D:LoD certainly shows its age, and one of the things I’m trying to sort out for myself is what parts are stuff that has been superceded by newer information, and what might be considered local quirks even where they differ from Orlanthi “standard” practices.

1.1. 300 members (size given in D:LoD for the Renekoti) is tiny for an Orlanthi clan, maybe less than is even feasible given that it has to support a basic clan structure! Should this be interpreted as correct and motivated by the fact that this is a “starter” clan that must fill out quickly in order to survive, or should we imagine that the number  doesn’t include children and maybe double it (still a tiny clan even then, but perhaps no longer an infeasible one)? 

1.2. The broadsheet in D:LoD says that immigrants will receive a plow and an ox (just the one), while we now know that the Barntar plow uses a pair of oxen. This could just be the product showing its age and that you really receive two oxen, but it’s also conceivable that the poorer soil of Talastar has resulted in different plowing technology (you could certainly plow with just one ox, even though most cultures seem to prefer two). I suppose another possibility is that they’re being cheap and only create half-carls.

1.3. How would you treat the Orlanthi naming standards in Dorastor: Land of Doom? Here, unlike in more modern publications, people have a first name and a family name, like the Burisons and Soderfalls - should this merely be considered as obsolete, or as a quirk of the place? Such last names could serve a purpose when the new clan is a hodgepodge of disparate people - it will tell you which immigrant group someone belongs to (“Oh, you’re a Burison”). It could be interpreted as the name of the “mini bloodline” a set of immigrants forms.

1.4. D:LoD makes it clear that marriage within the clan is accepted, even as this is emphatically non-standard in later Orlanthi descriptions. Perhaps this should be interpreted as traditional marriage customs being relaxed due to the immigrant nature of the clan? It’s not like there’s any risk of inbreeding at this stage. 

2. Religion

2.1. What is Orlanthi initiation like in non-Heortling Talastar? I'm assuming that it doesn't contain the Heort/Second Son parts? So what replaces them? Do the Talastari have their own I Fought We Won myth?

2.2. You fly to Top of the World rather than Kero Fin on High Holy Days. This is neat. Do we have any myths or other information about that mountain (apart from the ones listed in the Wiki)? 

2.3. What are the differences in cults? Any cults or subcults that would be unknown in the south, or southern cults that would be less common or even unknown here (apart from the obvious ones)? With Talastar being close to the Bull Belt (and with Dorastor close by), Storm Bull could be unusually strong, for instance? (I’m thinking Urox is the main war god, not Humakt.) Is Tarumath worship something that still exists? 

2.4. I imagine the Earth cult influences are weaker in the north due to distance from Esrolia - perhaps longhouses rather than the square Earth Rune houses we now see a lot of in Sartar? Possibly Water (few to no Helerings) and Darkness (further from troll strongholds) influences would also be reduced? More sun worship might be expected, but I also gather that Elmal is not a thing this far north (it’s a Heortland and Sartar phenomenon)? Would the Sun worship (where it happens) occur in the form of “integrated” Yelmalio (Yelmalio seen as part of the Storm Tribe, unlike isolationist Yelmalio as in Sun Dome culture)?

2.5. Are Orlanth and Ernalda magics shut down everywhere in Glorantha during the Windstop, even outside the radius of the actual Windstop (Talastar is outside it, good for them!)? 

3. Culture
What are the significant cultural differences between "Northern"/Alakoring Orlanthi (like Talastarings), and Heortlings? 

3.1. Language, of course. I'm assuming there's a specific Talastari language? 1/5th of Heortling sounds right for Talastari when it comes to base percentage? 

3.2. Closer contact with Solar cults have resulted in more Dara Happan styles of pottery, cloth, arms, armor. But what does this mean in practice?

(What I will probably do is run Talastar as much more Nordic Bronze Age, which will also work with a heavier Solar motif – the Nordic Bronze Age is really big with the solar thing. If Sartar is Switzerland, then Talastar is inland Sweden. Also, those horned bronze age helmets from Scandinavia are clearly Urox-significant! Sun worship probably means introducing a strong, non-canon Elmal presence. Possibly more battle axes, too. Petroglyphs. Funny boats.) 

3.3. What kind of effects on culture could we expect from closer Ralios contacts? 

3.4. Kanvulvretan (“Dog scratching”) instead of Murnulvretan (“Cat scratching”) in Talastar? The former is described as more common for Pelorian Orlanthi, but not sure whether Talastar counts?  

3.5. Are there differences in agriculture practices compared to Sartar? (See plow question above.)

4. Clans
How does it work when you form a new clan, like the Renekoti, and especially when it's not just a break-away part but one formed from very disparate new peoples? 

4.1. I imagine the clan founder has to heroquest for a wyter? Any thoughts what the Renekoti wyter might be like? Supposedly something that fits the clan’s purpose as the speed bump  very first line of defence against Dorastor? To what extent can you control what kind of wyter you get?

4.2. What kinds of ancestors does such a new-founded clan have? Does it pick up ancestors from all the members of the clan (weighted towards the majority, perhaps)? 

4.3. Does the clan "inherit" features like ancient myths and Godtime enemies, or is it a "blank slate" at first? 

4.4. Actually, just how new is the Renekoti clan? Just a couple of years? They're still working to get their Clan fort in acceptable order.

4.5. Do we know anything at all about the other Bilini clans (the Guide gives us the seven Talastari tribes, although potentially som might have been lost from Talastar when Lakrene seceded)? Even just the names? Bolthor Brighteyes is from the Osteri clan, at least, and given that he’s an appeaser, the clan might well lean in that direction, or at least be conflicted. What clan is king Hakon from (and hence, what is Chief Renekot’s original clan)? Which clans are heavy hitters like Hahlgrim and Oddi from (Cults of Terror shows us Hahlgrim’s lands, but doesn’t provide a name)?

4.6. The Bilini tribe seems to be a very dominant “super tribe” within Talastar, even more so (considerably more so!) than the Colymar tribe is in Sartar, and to the extent that there doesn’t seem to be a ton of difference between being King of Talastar and tribal King of the Bilini these days. How many clans do you think it has? Talastar has a population of 125,000 (Guide), and looking at the map the Bilini look like they make up somewhere between half and a fourth of Talastar. This is one giant tribe! I could easily see 25+ clans, which is bound to make tribal politics a mess.  

4.7. How do we think the Hold of the Bilini (pop. 3000) is run? Tribal seat ruled more directly either by the king or by some “city ring” style thing? I’m thinking Boldhome might be the best model?  

5. Local lore
5.1. Benksland and Skalland - what are they? Both are described as only occasionally affected by chaos from Dorastor, and there are some Skanthi living in Skalland. Is Benksland livable? Does anyone actually live there? If so, who? If not, they might be ripe for settlement. The Bestiary indicates that we get trolls from Halikiv here, which is cool and a potential source of trouble.

5.2.  What does the future history of the area look like? 1617 is the official campaign date. Hahlgrim slays Hakon the Swimmer in 1622. Hahlgrim's War happens in 1623, with Oddi becoming king during it. What else? What about Ralzakark's future history and endgame (I realize he will be Emperor eventually, but how, and it probably doesn't mean much fun for the people between him and the throne)? And I mean, just how many times does he get “killed” (twice in a day by Oddi!)? How will Talastar get involved in external politics once the HeroWars slam into the Lunar Empire? Has anyone compiled a timeline of the HeroWars?

(To me, a fairy clear plot point would be a shift in power between Traditionalists and Appeasers as the Lunar Empire gets thrown into crisis, and the Lakrene thing is certain to be a sore point. Kings are bound to at least try to re-conquer it, and anyone who does is in a great place to get declared as King of Talastar. It also seems like just the kind of place that Argrath might try to dragoon into his war.)

5.3. Finally, those little buckwheat pancakes named after the tribe, served with sourcream and caviar, are they good or what!

Edited by Akhôrahil
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57 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.5. Are Orlanth and Ernalda magics shut down everywhere in Glorantha during the Windstop, even outside the radius of the actual Windstop (Talastar is outside it, good for them!)? 

Only within the radius. (bigger map here https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/5135-windstop-the-waters-and-the-skyfall/?tab=comments#comment-75802)

 

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Not a LOT of answers for you, but a few notions...

1.4 Marriage:  I'd go with having the first generation or two consider "clan-of-origin" for marriage limitations.  As they found their new clan, they specifically permit marriages as if the couple were each with their originating clan.  Normal Orlanthi exogamy BOTH prevents inbreeding, AND creates social ties; so the new clan "ties itself together" by replacing any strong outward bonds with in-clan ones.  This may be a very conscious and intentional thing, with elders deliberately putting specific pairings together ("you two, thresh this grain!") or mixing specific groups, in hopes of specific ties / weakening other ties.  They may task their lawspeaker with helping formulate a "unified" tribe, etc.

2.3/2.4 Cults:  If starting a new campaign, I'd Rule Zero before anything else, and pull the PLAYERS into this decision!  I suggest, overall, that distance-from-major-centers isn't as significant as who came with them.  If a powerful Ernaldan priestess, with lots of influence in the new clan, was one of the founders, then the new clan likely has strong Ernaldan influences!  Same with Dark Orlanthi, etc.  Any specific Cult(s) can be present (or not), strong (or weak)... as needed or desired.  Start with the players & their PC's, and work backwards to see who the Clan Founders must have been (the GM obviously includes any elements needed for their own Evil Plans (tm)!)

2.5. Yes.  Orlanth is Dead.  He doesn't give new magic, doesn't refresh Rune Pools.  Ernalda is... asleep, probably?  But also not answering to prayer/worship. Serdrodosa the Earth Witch provides a Shamanic backdoor for a variant Ernaldori practice, that I don't think Kolatings do for the Orlanthi; so Ernalda seems to be in a different "state of being" from Orlanth... but maybe that's just an expression of who they are, as individuals:  Ernalda, after all, is the progenitrix of "there is another way!" 

3.2 "Possibly more battle axes, too"  Note the axe as an iconic Earth-rune weapon.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, g33k said:

3.2 "Possibly more battle axes, too"  Note the axe as an iconic Earth-rune weapon.

I know, but its also such a core of Nordic Bronze Age that it has been called 'the Battle Axe culture'.

I think we sometimes go over the top with the elemental associations. The Orlanthi farmers forming the fyrd will have a lot of spears, due to the combination of cost and effectiveness, without particularly caring that it's theoretically a Sky weapon. Vinga's preferred weapon is the javelin (and Argan Argar's is the spear, but I suppose that may be Vestkarthen-related). And then, there are the 'Axe Orlanthi'.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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This is already one of my favorite games of the year. Please keep us posted!

58 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

3.1. Language, of course. I'm assuming there's a specific Talastari language? 1/5th of Heortling sounds right for Talastari when it comes to base percentage? 

Genertela Box rules would have been 1/10 crossover (Manirian Theyalan to Pelorian Theyalan), which feels a little crippling unless people revert to Trade. Your number feels more playable for exiles . . . you can argue extenuating circumstances from the migration of the Second Council bringing their vocabulary, writing systems and so on.

Maybe Heortling became something like medieval Latin or Old Church Slavonic up there, once used by the foreign elites who colonized nearby Dorastor and surviving in ceremonial contexts while the vulgate does the job for everyday locals.

I think Talastar has IFWW now. Whatever their original survival story looked like is probably something your game will discover. Probably something to do with spiders.

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35 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

This is already one of my favorite games of the year. Please keep us posted!

The idea is to run it in a heavily simulationist style, which is what RQ supports best anyway (my players lean conservative, so I'm going RQ rather than HQ). I had the intended style of play worked out before I suddenly saw that something pretty similar had suddenly become the Next Big Thing in RPG Theory discussion circles. 

http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/22163/the-blorb-model-with-diagram

I'm not going full Blorb (for one thing, you sign yourself up for intense amounts of prep), but I think the idea is right. There will be no fudged die rolls here!

(I think I manged to sell the premise of Dorastor when one player said "Maybe Mobility will be a good spell, so that we can run away faster?")

Edited by Akhôrahil
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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.3. How would you treat the Orlanthi naming standards in Dorastor: Land of Doom? Here, unlike in more modern publications, people have a first name and a family name, like the Burisons and Soderfalls - should this merely be considered as obsolete, or as a quirk of the place? Such last names could serve a purpose when the new clan is a hodgepodge of disparate people - it will tell you which immigrant group someone belongs to (“Oh, you’re a Burison”). It could be interpreted as the name of the “mini bloodline” a set of immigrants forms.

I'd say those are the names of the steads, with the inhabitants taking their name from it. Only Vahn Burison was the son of Buri, but because he's the steadholder, his patronym's become a kind of identifier for everyone there.

 

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.3. What are the differences in cults? Any cults or subcults that would be unknown in the south, or southern cults that would be less common or even unknown here (apart from the obvious ones)? With Talastar being close to the Bull Belt (and with Dorastor close by), Storm Bull could be unusually strong, for instance? (I’m thinking Urox is the main war god, not Humakt.) Is Tarumath worship something that still exists?

Pavis: Gateway to Adventure mentions the Talastari cult of Matu (180) (after which Mount Matu is named, and sees to be a form of Orlanth Thunderous or Umath)

Ir and Irkingilla are given as other names of Ernalda in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (135) and the Book of Heortling Mythology (5), and according to an old glorantha mailing list post of Jeff's, they were Talastari names.

That same post mentions Vorios the Lightning Ram, who is pictured and named (129) and described (342) in the guide, and whose sacred mountain is Thunder Mountain/Ram Mountain, which lies north of Riskland.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

I’m going to start a fairly traditional Risklands campaign

sounds like fun! Be interested to hear how it goes.

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

300 members (size given in D:LoD for the Renekoti) is tiny for an Orlanthi clan, maybe less than is even feasible given that it has to support a basic clan structure! Should this be interpreted as correct

Yes, it is quite feasible. See RQ Adventures p.55 e.g. Hillhaven clan. "The smallest clan of the [Lismelder] tribe, the Hillhaven number little more than 300 people."  The smallest of the Colymar clans are the Varmandi and the Anmangarn, both about 450 members. 

One interpretation is that they are the result in a split from a large clan that roughly divided in two because of deep rivalries/conflicts. 300 people = ~150 adults (75 male/75 female). As Orlanthi marry outside the clan, almost all the females will be from one or more other clans. 75 men probably represents 2-3 bloodlines. 

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

a family name, like the Burisons and Soderfalls

Consider these the bloodline names. You'll find similar in the Coming Storm (or in varied notes online about the Orlmarth), e.g. p.11: The Sarostiping descend from Sarostip Breaker-Of-Men
and has about 100 adults. The Bolthoring descend from Bolthor Hairy-Breeks and has about 100 adults as well.

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

D:LoD makes it clear that marriage within the clan is accepted

Definitely not a standard Orlanthi custom. However, you could treat in a couple ways. 1) marriage across bloodlines is allowed (as they are trying to increase their population) if there is enough degree of separation; 2) marriage across bloodlines happens only through magical year-marriages (e.g. the winner of the Harvest Games marries the anointed Harvest Queen).

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

You fly to Top of the World rather than Kero Fin on High Holy Days. This is neat. Do we have any myths or other information about that mountain (apart from the ones listed in the Wiki)? 

From the Guide:

p.681: Early Golden Age: This mountain was raised by Mostal and Larnste to keep warring peoples apart. [Arcane Lore p.62 notes as raised by Mostal for better mining]

p.683: Late Golden Age: A massive quake has shaken so much debris from this mountain as to create a mountain range.

p.690: Middle Storm Age: The mountainous home of the Storm Gods. From here Orlanth and his companions raid across the world. [I'd consider that Orlanth's Storm Home mythically is here.]

p.693: Late Storm Age: Valind sought to supplant Orlanth as king of the gods, but was defeated by the Thunderer who did not even bother to leave his throne to drive the Winter King back.

Arcane Lore p.112: it's one of the destinations from the Crossroads of the 100 roads (i.e. a god lives there)

Don't think there is much else. I think it can serve as Orlanth's Throne from where he looks out upon the world. Probably considered the birthplace of a Storm God.

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

What are the differences in cults? Any cults or subcults that would be unknown in the south, or southern cults that would be less common or even unknown here (apart from the obvious ones)? With Talastar being close to the Bull Belt (and with Dorastor close by), Storm Bull could be unusually strong, for instance? (I’m thinking Urox is the main war god, not Humakt.)

Orlanth, Storm Bull, Humakt (perhaps in dual role of Death and the North Wind), and Valind should all be present. Probably more emphasis on herding than farming.

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Kanvulvretan (“Dog scratching”) instead of Murnulvretan (“Cat scratching”) in Talastar?

Sure!

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

And I mean, just how many times does he get “killed” (twice in a day by Oddi!)?

Ralzakark is a hero like Argrath, Ethilrist, and others. He knows how to escape hell.

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Benksland and Skalland - what are they?

Parts of Talastar. Or perhaps where some of the mountain peoples live (more hunters than herders in all likelihood). Could be Odayla worshipers.

 

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9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.1. 300 members (size given in D:LoD for the Renekoti) is tiny for an Orlanthi clan, maybe less than is even feasible given that it has to support a basic clan structure! Should this be interpreted as correct and motivated by the fact that this is a “starter” clan that must fill out quickly in order to survive, or should we imagine that the number  doesn’t include children and maybe double it (still a tiny clan even then, but perhaps no longer an infeasible one)? 

I think that a children gap can explain the feasible lower population base.  The clan also has a scheme to adopt late-comers who rather take this chance than face slavery.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.2. The broadsheet in D:LoD says that immigrants will receive a plow and an ox (just the one), while we now know that the Barntar plow uses a pair of oxen. This could just be the product showing its age and that you really receive two oxen, but it’s also conceivable that the poorer soil of Talastar has resulted in different plowing technology (you could certainly plow with just one ox, even though most cultures seem to prefer two). I suppose another possibility is that they’re being cheap and only create half-carls.

I think that half-carls are exactly what this aims at.  King of Sartar reckons a fully employed plow with four two-oxen teams, allowing for a lot of downtime for the draft beasts, so I would probably switch that to two oxen and a half-share to a plow.

Does the Riskland area have poorer soil? Dorastor used to be known for its fecundity.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.3. How would you treat the Orlanthi naming standards in Dorastor: Land of Doom? Here, unlike in more modern publications, people have a first name and a family name, like the Burisons and Soderfalls - should this merely be considered as obsolete, or as a quirk of the place?

The name of the bloodline. I'd translate that to Bjarni Otkelsson of the Soderfall bloodline, or perhaps the Burison stead (as marriage taboos don't play much of a role yet).

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Such last names could serve a purpose when the new clan is a hodgepodge of disparate people - it will tell you which immigrant group someone belongs to (“Oh, you’re a Burison”). It could be interpreted as the name of the “mini bloodline” a set of immigrants forms.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.4. D:LoD makes it clear that marriage within the clan is accepted, even as this is emphatically non-standard in later Orlanthi descriptions.

I would suggest that this is a necessity for a newly immigrated isolated clan. Marriages outside of the clan would all be long-range marriages with little political benefit, yet, as all those clans already have kinsfolk of the Renekoti clansfolk.

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Perhaps this should be interpreted as traditional marriage customs being relaxed due to the immigrant nature of the clan? It’s not like there’s any risk of inbreeding at this stage. 

Not for at least another generation. All clanfolk of this generation have family ties to their birth clans - it is like both halves of each married couple in the Renekoti married away from their home clan.

Children born into the clan should marry outside of the clan for political and trade reasons, as much as possible, but the closest clans won't be much help in the special neighborhood of the Renekoti. Their best hope is that the Empire will sponsor another clan (or better two more) moving into the neighborhood.

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

2. Religion

2.1. What is Orlanthi initiation like in non-Heortling Talastar? I'm assuming that it doesn't contain the Heort/Second Son parts? So what replaces them? Do the Talastari have their own I Fought We Won myth?

The Talastari are descendants of the Hagolings (mostly), a group awakened from the terrors of the Greater Darkness only around 100 ST. They don't have any active survival myths of exiting the Greater Darkness, except for those that the Lightbringer missionaries who married into the group brought with them.

The Hagolings will have had myths about entering the Greater Darkness, including the shameful secret how they managed to survive. This should include Orlanth's departure on the Lightbringers' Quest, with the rest of that secret brought to them by the missionaries.

Under Lokamayadon, they will have had marriage relationships with the Dorastan Orlanthi, and possibly imported some of their Darkness-exit myths. There may have been Heortling clans which were annexed, so some Talastari may have the IFWW myth. The destruction of the Berennethtelli was as a tribe, not necessarily to the last clan.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.2. You fly to Top of the World rather than Kero Fin on High Holy Days. This is neat. Do we have any myths or other information about that mountain (apart from the ones listed in the Wiki)? 

Top of the World is one of the primal mountains on the God Learner Map, accounted for already at the onset of the Golden Age (before Lodril did his plunge into the upper underworld, from which he would push up his phallic mountains). It served as anchor for both mountain raisings - the planting of the Rockwood Mountains by Larnste and the Nidan uprising engineered by the Mostali (in cooperation with the Vadeli). It is known as the home and birthplace of Orlanth (or Humath, Erulat, or whatever the pre-Lightbringer-missionary-contact hill barbarians of the region may have called their storm god). Note that Kero Fin takes precedence over Top of the World where their two circular areas of influence overlap.

I guess there is no mention of Yinkin for Top of the World.

When the pastoral hill barbarian tribes arrived here, both the Rockwood and the Nidan Mountains were already in place, and Tobros had already laid down in his sleep.

It is possible that the various pastoralist tribes (like the Andam Horde, Bisosae etc.) touched down on Top of the World rather than the slopes of the Spike before entering the lowlands north of it - migrating through clouds, or something like that.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.3. What are the differences in cults? Any cults or subcults that would be unknown in the south, or southern cults that would be less common or even unknown here (apart from the obvious ones)? With Talastar being close to the Bull Belt (and with Dorastor close by), Storm Bull could be unusually strong, for instance? (I’m thinking Urox is the main war god, not Humakt.) Is Tarumath worship something that still exists? 

With the probable absence of Yinkin, the bull activities might be shared by Storm Bull, Orlanth, and tribal founders like Bisos and Keftavar.

Humakt probably exists, with the wolf as his companion. He may be a lot less sociable than in Heortling lands.

Tarumath and the path to reach him has been lost. For good.

The Ram of Thunder Mountain is important to the Talastarings. It served as Lokamayadon's steed at Night and Day.

I don't expect many extra deities from Talastar - the Hagoling mythical heritage was a lot more limited than that of the tribes who had their own Grey or Silver Age history. River deities might be more important.

The role of Elmal/Anatyr/Yelmalio/Antirius might be interesting. That of Shargash/Jagrekriand/Vorthan, too (the Hagolings don't remember any contact with Alkoth prior to the Lightbringer missionaries' arrival).

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.4. I imagine the Earth cult influences are weaker in the north due to distance from Esrolia - perhaps longhouses rather than the square Earth Rune houses we now see a lot of in Sartar?

Not necessarily. The center of Earth Cults in Saird isn't that far away, and would have been dominant in providing Earth Goddess influences since the Second Council

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Possibly Water (few to no Helerings) and Darkness (further from troll strongholds) influences would also be reduced?

Water would be there in the forms of both Heler and the rivers. Troll strongholds are in Yolp and Halikiv, well known to have interacted with the Orlanthi in between, and while the lesser uz-dominated strongholds from the Dawn SItes list probably were cleared of Uz after Night and Day or the Tax Slaughter, a few isolated clans similar to the Sazdorf clan may have survived that prosecution, or may have resettled ancient territory after the Dragonkill.

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

More sun worship might be expected, but I also gather that Elmal is not a thing this far north (it’s a Heortland and Sartar phenomenon)? Would the Sun worship (where it happens) occur in the form of “integrated” Yelmalio (Yelmalio seen as part of the Storm Tribe, unlike isolationist Yelmalio as in Sun Dome culture)?

That's what I would go for, yes.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.5. Are Orlanth and Ernalda magics shut down everywhere in Glorantha during the Windstop, even outside the radius of the actual Windstop (Talastar is outside it, good for them!)? 

I would rule that they were weakened (impose a 30% penalty on rune rolls in RQG or a mastery in difficulty in HQG), but not impossible.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

3. Culture
What are the significant cultural differences between "Northern"/Alakoring Orlanthi (like Talastarings), and Heortlings? 

3.1. Language, of course. I'm assuming there's a specific Talastari language? 1/5th of Heortling sounds right for Talastari when it comes to base percentage? 

Basically another language branched off Stormspeech, with Pelorian Earth and River influences, but also strong interaction with the northern Heortlings. Tarshite and similar Pelorian Orlanthi dialects should be quite intelligible. Skanthi dialects might incur some slight penalty.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

3.2. Closer contact with Solar cults have resulted in more Dara Happan styles of pottery, cloth, arms, armor. But what does this mean in practice?

Not just Dara Happan, but also Darjiinian/Manimati. Basically, Dara Happan influences come through the filter of the riverine culture of Dara Ni, and may be more influenced by Lodrili trends than by the stable Dara Happan chic. Hwarin's Sylila and Phargentes' Tarsh would have been the dominant influences in the last century or two.

Dress influences were rather weak, if you look at that White Shirt Day scene.

Armor may inherit more directly from Pelandan influences.

Overall, don't underestimate Sairdite culture. Way more civilized than the Talastari, Earth-centered, with occasional non-Orlanthi rule like that of Verenmars' Jajalarin dog people tribes prior to the Dragonkill. Prior to the Moonburn, Rist would have been another buffer for Pelorian influences.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

(What I will probably do is run Talastar as much more Nordic Bronze Age, which will also work with a heavier Solar motif – the Nordic Bronze Age is really big with the solar thing. If Sartar is Switzerland, then Talastar is inland Sweden. Also, those horned bronze age helmets from Scandinavia are clearly Urox-significant! Sun worship probably means introducing a strong, non-canon Elmal presence. Possibly more battle axes, too. Petroglyphs. Funny boats.) 

I'd steer away from boats other than dugouts or canoes - the rivers had powerful cults, but the river folk probably didn't start out as Orlanthi. Their heritage may be stronger in Lakrene than in

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

3.3. What kind of effects on culture could we expect from closer Ralios contacts? 

Hardly any, IMO. The only regular contacts were during the Bright Empire, moderated by urban Dorastor. The EWF managed to fly across the mountains, but after Balarzak's demise will probably have avoided the Dorastan airspace. Recent trade expeditions through Ralzakark's lands are maybe two a year, given the hefty toll claimed by the unicorn emperor and the vast emptiness south of the pass.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

3.4. Kanvulvretan (“Dog scratching”) instead of Murnulvretan (“Cat scratching”) in Talastar? The former is described as more common for Pelorian Orlanthi, but not sure whether Talastar counts?  

Dog scratching, or Pelorian script. Literacy among the Talastari will imitate Dara Ni.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

3.5. Are there differences in agriculture practices compared to Sartar? (See plow question above.)

The lowlanders might use some form of irrigation to get through the summer. Transhumance would be into lightly forested hills rather than up the mountains, as those are haunted by Telmori or trolls, or broo.

Lowlanders might use Lod plows for river bottoms, although I had the impression that those were downgraded in the Guide compared to the (modern) Barntar plows.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4. Clans
How does it work when you form a new clan, like the Renekoti, and especially when it's not just a break-away part but one formed from very disparate new peoples? 

You start by creating new traditions and laws for the migration, or otherwise quest for memories of the Godtime migrations and their laws. The Heortland clans had rather more recent migration histories to fall back upon, but Pelorian Orlanthi migrations date back to the VIngkotling/Daxdarian Age, and possibly earlier.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.1. I imagine the clan founder has to heroquest for a wyter? Any thoughts what the Renekoti wyter might be like? Supposedly something that fits the clan’s purpose as the speed bump  very first line of defence against Dorastor? To what extent can you control what kind of wyter you get?

Ideally, you have a hero or local deity in mind. E.g. the guy who brought Iron Breaker down from Thunder Mountain.

You may look out for a genius loci in your new settlement area. Unlike the Resettlement of Dragon Pass, the Renekoti were sanctioned by the Provincial Government and the Talastari king, and probably had an escort through those lands, and some means of supply for the migrating families, so making the clan wyter could be postponed to the foundation of the Riskland clan.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.2. What kinds of ancestors does such a new-founded clan have? Does it pick up ancestors from all the members of the clan (weighted towards the majority, perhaps)? 

Each (to be established) bloodline will probably bring in their spectrum of ancestors, but I still adhere to the Thunder Rebels picture that the clan ancestors of the Orlanthi are a lot less individualized than those individual (blood line) ancestor spirits called up in the Daka Fal rites. They are more like a quorum of ancestral prejudices and likes, with the occasional heroic figure possibly recognizable in the preferences. Something like sub-wyters.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.3. Does the clan "inherit" features like ancient myths and Godtime enemies, or is it a "blank slate" at first? 

I suppose these need to be established at the local shrines over the first few turns of seasons. The Godtime Enemies might be colored in by the wyter's previous identity.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.4. Actually, just how new is the Renekoti clan? Just a couple of years? They're still working to get their Clan fort in acceptable order.

Given your campaign year of 1617 I would guess that the initiative may have started around 1613 or 1614, sending out the call for volunteers from areas with special Lunar scrutiny - possibly encouraged by the Provincial supporter of Renekot. (When did Bolthor marry his Lunar contract wife? Her  connections might play a role here.)

Is the fort as described the first attempt to fortify the place? Did they move the site after suffering a similar fate as the first Colymar settlement? Such things are up to you to decide for your game.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.5. Do we know anything at all about the other Bilini clans (the Guide gives us the seven Talastari tribes, although potentially som might have been lost from Talastar when Lakrene seceded)? Even just the names? Bolthor Brighteyes is from the Osteri clan, at least, and given that he’s an appeaser, the clan might well lean in that direction, or at least be conflicted. What clan is king Hakon from (and hence, what is Chief Renekot’s original clan)? Which clans are heavy hitters like Hahlgrim and Oddi from (Cults of Terror shows us Hahlgrim’s lands, but doesn’t provide a name)?

If it isn't mentioned in Paulis Longvale's memories, this is uncharted territory. Go for descriptive names, don't hesitate to use two different names to refer to the same clan.

In case of doubt, run through the HeroQuest clan generation game a couple of times to get a few distinct NPC clans.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.6. The Bilini tribe seems to be a very dominant “super tribe” within Talastar, even more so (considerably more so!) than the Colymar tribe is in Sartar, and to the extent that there doesn’t seem to be a ton of difference between being King of Talastar and tribal King of the Bilini these days. How many clans do you think it has? Talastar has a population of 125,000 (Guide), and looking at the map the Bilini look like they make up somewhere between half and a fourth of Talastar. This is one giant tribe! I could easily see 25+ clans, which is bound to make tribal politics a mess.  

A situation not unlike the Volsaxar confederacy. It is possible that there are client clans which aren't quite voting members of the Bilini, too. The Talastari don't need to be as egalitarian as the Sartarite or Heortland clans.

Tribal politics is another word for mess, really.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.7. How do we think the Hold of the Bilini (pop. 3000) is run? Tribal seat ruled more directly either by the king or by some “city ring” style thing? I’m thinking Boldhome might be the best model?  

I'd go for Runegate or Whitewall, with a permanent garrison (possibly a native auxilia of the Provincial forces, with half the manpower serving elsewhere, on a semi-permanent mercenary retainer). From the description, the Hold should be able to protect ten times the number of its inhabitants, which might mean that there can be heavily under-populated clan manors inside the walls with maybe two cottar families and a lesser thane to provide the local presence and looking after the external granary of the clan placed here (yes, that's in imitation of Boldhome).

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

5. Local lore
5.1. Benksland and Skalland - what are they? Both are described as only occasionally affected by chaos from Dorastor, and there are some Skanthi living in Skalland. Is Benksland livable? Does anyone actually live there? If so, who?

Outlaws or down-on-their-luck Skanthi, if anyone. While risky in terms of Chaos encounters, I think that these parts of Dorastor are as good as seasonal (transhumance) pasture as are the unpopulated hillsides away from Dorastor. There would have to be hidden strongholds where some winter fodder could be stored, and some secret garden plots, perhaps a hidden field or two. In case of doubt, think of Game of Thrones Wildlings, in a way more clement climate but at least as nasty threats.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

If not, they might be ripe for settlement. The Bestiary indicates that we get trolls from Halikiv here, which is cool and a potential source of trouble.

Trolls will be happy to accept tribute, and might even provide protection against hostile Chaos or Orlanthi.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

5.2.  What does the future history of the area look like? 1617 is the official campaign date. Hahlgrim slays Hakon the Swimmer in 1622. Hahlgrim's War happens in 1623, with Oddi becoming king during it. What else?

That's about it.

Across Kartolin, a new kind of Chaos Horde is assembling, according to the Chaos metaplot for the Hero Wars. With the Unicorn Emperor gone, the Scorpion Arm broo might get his face time with Harrek and Argrath as per the cover of the RQ3 Genertela Box, but I would place that encounter a lot further east, in Saird.

Nothing much in the time of Phargentes, son of Moirades and Jar-eel. No effect from the 1652 flooding. Significant but not catastrophic consequences of Argrath meddling with the Kalikos quest. Probably not within the sights of Sheng Seleris after his return.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

What about Ralzakark's future history and endgame (I realize he will be Emperor eventually, but how, and it probably doesn't mean much fun for the people between him and the throne)? And I mean, just how many times does he get “killed” (twice in a day by Oddi!)?

"I'll be back." Presumably, the Emperor incarnation will be a re-hash of the unicorn, probably the product of a perversion of the LBQ, or the result of a failed one.

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

How will Talastar get involved in external politics once the HeroWars slam into the Lunar Empire? Has anyone compiled a timeline of the HeroWars?

I think @Jeff has one, as the basis for the Great Argrath Campaign, but that may well be under construction. The Hero Wars Chaos metaplot which was distributed to authors and experts in the days of the Hero Wars rpg has no material for Peloria beyond what Argrath Saga hints at that I can recall. I haven't seen or heard more of Jar-eel's apotheosis story line than two or three sentences.

Hahlgrim's War is the main spotlight for the region. The rest has Chaos incursions way outside of Dorastor, possibly fed by what accumulates south of the Pass. If so, the future of Talastar may be as grim as that of the to-be-flooded lands in the south.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

(To me, a fairy clear plot point would be a shift in power between Traditionalists and Appeasers as the Lunar Empire gets thrown into crisis, and the Lakrene thing is certain to be a sore point. Kings are bound to at least try to re-conquer it, and anyone who does is in a great place to get declared as King of Talastar. It also seems like just the kind of place that Argrath might try to dragoon into his war.)

The return of Sheng Seleris might actually kindle a Lunar-friendly climate in this corner - after all, Lunar magic has been proven effective in withstanding Sheng. Argrath himself allies with Yara Aranis to get rid of Sheng, and similarly might the Talastari.

 

9 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

5.3. Finally, those little buckwheat pancakes named after the tribe, served with sourcream and caviar, are they good or what!

No idea... that in-joke doesn't mean anything here in my part of continental Europe.

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Joerg, huge thanks! These are just the kinds of details I don't have a proper grasp on!

18 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Does the Riskland area have poorer soil? Dorastor used to be known for its fecundity.

It's described as sheep-country, and going with other areas up against the Rockwoods - Aggar, Anadiki, Brolia - they're rugged and not the best farmland. I do think you have a point about the fertility of the earth - I had the notion that it's perhaps not necessary to let the land lie fallow, but that on the other hand you have to weed and burn some mutated crops - but with the one-ox plow, I was rather thinking that the ground might be so rugged and stony that a lighter and more agile plow could be called for. The half-carl thing makes sense, though - the chief has every reason to try to keep settlers from becoming overly independent. Graciously lending out extra oxen could help there.

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I would suggest that this is a necessity for a newly immigrated isolated clan. Marriages outside of the clan would all be long-range marriages with little political benefit, yet, as all those clans already have kinsfolk of the Renekoti clansfolk.

Not for at least another generation. All clanfolk of this generation have family ties to their birth clans - it is like both halves of each married couple in the Renekoti married away from their home clan.

This seems to be the consensus view, and it makes every kind of sense. Settlers are likely to go "weird but ok" rather than "ew!".

Consequence: as the bride isn't leaving the clan and might still be of some help to her family (and you don't have to butter up or impress a neighboring clan), bride-prices might be absent or much reduced. Further, the new settlers aren't going to be very rich, and the system has to keep running. This goes double when a lot of widows are produced.

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Children born into the clan should marry outside of the clan for political and trade reasons, as much as possible, but the closest clans won't be much help in the special neighborhood of the Renekoti. Their best hope is that the Empire will sponsor another clan (or better two more) moving into the neighborhood.

That last part is a great idea - not only could some additional neighbours be useful, but anything that helps soak up impacts out of Dorastor...

Obviously, it will also come with its own problems.

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The Talastari are descendants of the Hagolings (mostly), a group awakened from the terrors of the Greater Darkness only around 100 ST. They don't have any active survival myths of exiting the Greater Darkness, except for those that the Lightbringer missionaries who married into the group brought with them.

Hey, cool! The Stafford Library books are being queued up for reading, but I'm not there yet.

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With the probable absence of Yinkin, the bull activities might be shared by Storm Bull, Orlanth, and tribal founders like Bisos and Keftavar.

You mean the herding? Yeah, I would think some herder aspect of Orlanth, perhaps with Voriof for some professional shepherds.

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The Ram of Thunder Mountain is important to the Talastarings. It served as Lokamayadon's steed at Night and Day.

Yeah, Thunder Mountain is a Big Deal. Trying to decide whether to keep that odd Feldichi machine or not...

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I would rule that they were weakened (impose a 30% penalty on rune rolls in RQG or a mastery in difficulty in HQG), but not impossible.

 

I always thought the implication that Orlanth was chained everywhere felt a bit off. The Lunars can go "ah, now we have crushed the last worship of Orlanth and smashed his temples, so he is chained everywhere and forever", but Orlanthi in Ralios would go "What the heck are you guys talking about, we have plenty of temples here, they count!"

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Ideally, you have a hero or local deity in mind. E.g. the guy who brought Iron Breaker down from Thunder Mountain.

That's good, plus it means they will have a connection once Ironbreaker becomes important in Hahlgrim's War.

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Outlaws or down-on-their-luck Skanthi, if anyone. While risky in terms of Chaos encounters, I think that these parts of Dorastor are as good as seasonal (transhumance) pasture as are the unpopulated hillsides away from Dorastor. There would have to be hidden strongholds where some winter fodder could be stored, and some secret garden plots, perhaps a hidden field or two. In case of doubt, think of Game of Thrones Wildlings, in a way more clement climate but at least as nasty threats.

This makes sense. Initially, bolder shepherds drive their flocks there. Later on if everything goes well, perhaps there's a push to colonize. Might even work with the idea of a new clan.

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Across Kartolin, a new kind of Chaos Horde is assembling, according to the Chaos metaplot for the Hero Wars. 

I have not heard about this at all. Could you elaborate? Is Dorastor (of all places!) getting a Chaos invasion?! 

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"I'll be back." Presumably, the Emperor incarnation will be a re-hash of the unicorn, probably the product of a perversion of the LBQ, or the result of a failed one.

Yes, we can be pretty certain it's the Unicorn look, from the depictions in the Guide.

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No idea... that in-joke doesn't mean anything here in my part of continental Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blini

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25 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

You mean the herding? Yeah, I would think some herder aspect of Orlanth, perhaps with Voriof for some professional shepherds.

Quote

 

1 hour ago, Tindalos said:

That same post mentions Vorios the Lightning Ram, who is pictured and named (129) and described (342) in the guide, and whose sacred mountain is Thunder Mountain/Ram Mountain, which lies north of Riskland.

This Vorios fella, aside from simply being a thunder god/demigod, might serve as some kind of beefed-up version of Voriof/Orlanth-as-a-Shepherd, to account of the larger focus on and tradition of sheepherding in this area.

Aside from lots of which has already been mentioned, would there be a greater influence of Odayla and Aldrya here, given the the vast forests to the west (and to a lesser degree south)?

Also, would Urox's mythical role be broader considering the proximity to greatly bull-influenced Storm cultures, or would he be very narrow considering the existential Chaos threat? Are both possible, perhaps? More Stormbull sub-cults than among Heortlings?

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16 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

This Vorios fella, aside from simply being a thunder god/demigod, might serve as some kind of beefed-up version of Voriof/Orlanth-as-a-Shepherd, to account of the larger focus on and tradition of sheepherding in this area.

Yes, you can really see the shadows of an earlier myth-cluster here. A big-time ram-god that the current, much-reduced boy's-god Voriof is just a shadow of, probably related to tough but now lesser ram-and-shepherd-deities like Uroth and perhaps even Varnaval, long since overshadowed by bull-deities.

 

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yes, you can really see the shadows of an earlier myth-cluster here. A big-time ram-god that the current, much-reduced boy's-god Voriof is just a shadow of, probably related to tough but now lesser ram-and-shepherd-deities like Uroth and perhaps even Varnaval, long since overshadowed by bull-deities.

The Ram People were the Heortlings that invaded Dara Happa in the Storm Age. The soon-to-be-released Six Ages might not be canon but calls the Vingkotlings the Rams as well.

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46 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

The Ram People were the Heortlings that invaded Dara Happa in the Storm Age. The soon-to-be-released Six Ages might not be canon but calls the Vingkotlings the Rams as well.

Well, they weren't Heortlings yet, but true.

Perhaps equally importantly, Orlanth is associated with the Ram in the Descent of the Mountain myth (where other gods are similarly associated with related animals, Urox Bull, etc.)

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14 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Well, they weren't Heortlings yet, but true.

I actually don't know what to call them at this point, I get confused. Are they all Vingkotlings in the Storm Age? Is that the catch-all term for ... whatever we call this ethno-cultural complex? I know the Vingkotling name isn't really used anymore but rather "Orlanthi" because we have names like Sartarite, Esroli, and so forth, but the nomenclature is pretty confusing for the Storm peeps.

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2 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I actually don't know what to call them at this point, I get confused. Are they all Vingkotlings in the Storm Age? Is that the catch-all term for ... whatever we call this ethno-cultural complex? I know the Vingkotling name isn't really used anymore but rather "Orlanthi" because we have names like Sartarite, Esroli, and so forth, but the nomenclature is pretty confusing for the Storm peeps.

Thread is drifting a bit here, but the peoples who later become the Heortlings were the Vingkotlings, the Durevings, and the Helerings.

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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I always thought the implication that Orlanth was chained everywhere felt a bit off.

But one of the effects you get outside the Windstop is that the winds only blow in one direction, towards Dragon Pass, during this period. Which means constant winds out of the north and northwest, i.e. Valind's winds. Outside the Glowline, and into the mountains, there's going to be strong, chilling winds with little rain and stinging snow.

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14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.3. How would you treat the Orlanthi naming standards in Dorastor: Land of Doom? Here, unlike in more modern publications, people have a first name and a family name, like the Burisons and Soderfalls - should this merely be considered as obsolete, or as a quirk of the place?

The Pavisites have a similar custom (Pavis: Gateway to Adventure p9 and p12)

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

1.4. D:LoD makes it clear that marriage within the clan is accepted, even as this is emphatically non-standard in later Orlanthi descriptions.

It's non-standard in Heortling descriptions.  The Talastari are a different Orlanthi nation and furthermore have been influenced by  foreign influences over the past thousand years (Carmanians, EWF, Lunar Empire).  So even if they see themselves as conservative Orlanthi, there will be plenty of ways in which they could have slipped up.

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

2. Religion

2.1. What is Orlanthi initiation like in non-Heortling Talastar? I'm assuming that it doesn't contain the Heort/Second Son parts? So what replaces them? Do the Talastari have their own I Fought We Won myth?

The Second Son myth and, the Secret of the Star Heart was transmitted to the Talastarings by the World Council.  

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.3. What are the differences in cults? Any cults or subcults that would be unknown in the south, or southern cults that would be less common or even unknown here (apart from the obvious ones)? With Talastar being close to the Bull Belt (and with Dorastor close by), Storm Bull could be unusually strong, for instance? (I’m thinking Urox is the main war god, not Humakt.) Is Tarumath worship something that still exists? 

I think Lhankor Mhy would be more fluid in terms of religious identity.  They would still be sages but consider Irrippi Ontor, Buserian, Lhankor Mhy and whatever the Carmanian version is to be religious teachers of the same God of Knowledge.  With Issaries the cultic identity would be stronger but his worshippers innate glibness will also blur the differences.  A smilar practice might exist for Chalana Arroy.  All this is centuries of foreign influence and Lunar philosophy even though those who adopt such fluidity may themselves be Moon-haters.  With Humakt subject to similar slipperiness by Yanafarl Tarnils, that could make Storm Bull/Bisos even more popular.

The Talastari would favour Sheep rather than Cattle Gods.

There is no organized worship of Tarumath in Talastar as far as I know.

.

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

2.4. I imagine the Earth cult influences are weaker in the north due to distance from Esrolia

Earth Cults would be just as strong.  Ernalda isn't important in Sartar because Sartar is close to Esrolia - she's important in Sartar because she's Orlanth's Wife and Queen of the Earth Tribe.  

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

More sun worship might be expected, but I also gather that Elmal is not a thing this far north (it’s a Heortland and Sartar phenomenon)?

Elmal is an Orlanthi God and would have been worshipped here.  Lowlanders would be promoting the worship of Yelmalio (or even Antirius) but since Yelmalio is not a chaos-fighting god, his influence would be limited.

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Would the Sun worship (where it happens) occur in the form of “integrated” Yelmalio (Yelmalio seen as part of the Storm Tribe, unlike isolationist Yelmalio as in Sun Dome culture)?

Yelmalio as part of the Storm Tribe is known as Elmal.  

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

3.3. What kind of effects on culture could we expect from closer Ralios contacts? 

I don't think Ralian contacts are a thing among Talastar.  The few caravans that have travelled back and forth would visit civilized places rather than clan-hearths in Talastar.

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.3. Does the clan "inherit" features like ancient myths and Godtime enemies, or is it a "blank slate" at first? 

The Coming Storm partially answers this question.  The Red Cow clan's wyter is Many-Breath who lived in Ulanin's time when the Red Cow Clan did not exist.  It's something they discover in worship ceremonies.

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

4.7. How do we think the Hold of the Bilini (pop. 3000) is run? Tribal seat ruled more directly either by the king or by some “city ring” style thing? I’m thinking Boldhome might be the best model?  \

A better model might be Clearwine.  The rulers of the Hold would be the boon companions of the King.  Representatives of the masses is lowlander customs.

14 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

 Is Benksland livable? Does anyone actually live there?

I assume there was a settlement but it was wiped out.  Have it as a Roanokae styule mystery with the perpetrators yet to be identified.

 

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11 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Yeah, Thunder Mountain is a Big Deal. Trying to decide whether to keep that odd Feldichi machine or not...

It's not a Feldichi machine.  It's assumed to be a Feldichi machine but other origins are mentioned.  In terms of it's technological nature, it looks more historical than mythical.

 

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18 hours ago, g33k said:

Serdrodosa the Earth Witch provides a Shamanic backdoor for a variant Ernaldori practice, that I don't think Kolatings do for the Orlanthi; 

The Kolatings I don’t think provide a back door method of Orlanth worship, but they do provide access to non-Orlanthi magic (Oakfed, Chalk Man, etc), giving Orlanth some options (mentioned in the Eleven Lights campaign).

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23 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

What does the future history of the area look like? 1617 is the official campaign date. Hahlgrim slays Hakon the Swimmer in 1622. Hahlgrim's War happens in 1623, with Oddi becoming king during it. What else? What about Ralzakark's future history and endgame (I realize he will be Emperor eventually, but how, and it probably doesn't mean much fun for the people between him and the throne)? And I mean, just how many times does he get “killed” (twice in a day by Oddi!)? How will Talastar get involved in external politics once the HeroWars slam into the Lunar Empire? Has anyone compiled a timeline of the HeroWars?

Probably useful to review the Redline History in the Glorantha Sourcebook for some key lead-in events. As Joerg noted, Jeff has compiled a history for the Hero Wars campaign.

1590 - p.186 White Shirt Day; the "buying" of Talastar. The chieftains of Talastar "converted to the worship of the Seven Mothers en masse. Any protestors were killed, sold into slavery, or driven into the wilds of Brolia or Dorastor." This is but a generation before the official campaign date - the most significant date in the background but one still working through clan politics and loyalties.

1608 - p.187 "a large Chaos army from Dorastor troubled the peace of Talastar and Sylila. This was the origin of the Seven Problems from Dorastor. To prevent future eruptions from upsetting the peace of the Empire, the Red Emperor tasked King Hakon of the Bilini with the duty of holding the forces of Dorastor at bay."  This is clearly the key background event leading to the Riskland settlement. What loyalty to the settlers owe/have to King Hakon? What fears do they have of chaos?

1625 - p.188 The Dragonrise. Obviously a disaster to Lunar army in Dragon Pass. But also note "The destruction would have been worse, had the Red Emperor not used every iota of magic he could gather to ward off the True Dragon, at great personal sacrifice." The Lunar Provincial Administration/army is effectively gone, Talastar and the Risklands left largely on their own, though undoubtedly the Satrap of Sylila has a high interest in both Talastar and in trying to take over the Lunar provinces (at least in practice, if not in name).

1626 - p.189 The Third Battle of Chaos - the Pentan nomads overrun the Redlands and push into First Blessed. While far from Dorastor, what is significant is that "Jar-eel, riding atop the Crimson Bat, routed [Dranz Goloi, the Pentan warlord] outside the walls of Blessed Torang, and revealed herself to be the incarnation of the Red Goddess in the Third Battle of Chaos."  This unleashes more chaos into the world, undoubtedly reflected in Dorastor.

Beyond that, Jar-eel will come south in 1628 to stabilize the Lunar provinces and then confronts Argrath and Harrek at the Battle of Heroes. Harrek kills Jar-eel, the Red Emperor flees. Anarchy will follow and there will be chaos incursions subsequently both from Tork and Dorastor. I think you can figure Talastar will be on the fringes after that, likely trying to constrain the horrors of Dorastor from flowing out.

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9 hours ago, metcalph said:

Earth Cults would be just as strong.  Ernalda isn't important in Sartar because Sartar is close to Esrolia - she's important in Sartar because she's Orlanth's Wife and Queen of the Earth Tribe. 

The land/grain goddess will be Pelora, not Esrola, and Pelora (aka Oria) is the mother of Dorasta. Ernalda is still strong and important for the reasons Peter notes. And there is a long history of Ernaldan power in Saird/Terarir and surrounding lands. 

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29 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

1590 - p.186 White Shirt Day; the "buying" of Talastar. The chieftains of Talastar "converted to the worship of the Seven Mothers en masse. Any protestors were killed, sold into slavery, or driven into the wilds of Brolia or Dorastor." This is but a generation before the official campaign date - the most significant date in the background but one still working through clan politics and loyalties.

Guide to Glorantha (p.339) paints this very differently:

Quote

In sweeping statements a certain Lunar official made grandiose conversion gestures and then proclaimed that all of Talastar, Bilini, and Anadiki had been Lunarized. And, like the churls that they are, the Talastari fell for it and agreed. So goes the Lunar story. After 1590, Talastar is listed among the foreign lands which follow the Lunar Way. The truth is more complex, and less flattering to the Lunars than they want to remember. The Lunar missionaries had been present for years, popular especially among the poor and dispossessed. Many people of Lakrene followed their ways and goddesses, and some among the tribes too. [...]In fact, many of the people who had taken these oaths were not qualified to speak for their clans. Some of them had been placed there in outright defiance of the Lunar lord, but he never noticed the insult. Others did it to be tricky, and got away with it. Some went as far as creating fake gifts and artifacts to give the foolish lowlander. Among the tribes it is called “White Shirt Day” for the gifts which they got for doing nothing. Only the city folk were foolish enough to obey Chaos, and they soon paid for their error.

Perhaps protesters were killed, enslaved, or exiled, but anyone who just rolled their eyes seems to have been fine?

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23 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Guide to Glorantha (p.339) paints this very differently:

Agree, it looks like a farce where the big takeaway was "hey, free clothes!"

The Lunars might actually believe their own propaganda, though.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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Isn't Hedkoranth associated with a ram? Maybe he plays a bigger role in Risk/Talastar than in Kerofinela given Vorios and the preference of the Talastarings for sheepherding.

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