Hrestoli and Rokari

From: Soren Petersen (
Date: Mon 05 Jun 1995 - 22:55:28 EEST

Thanks to all of those who answered my query about Hrestoli and Rokari. (both here on the Digest and via private e-mail). It helped a lot to clear up some misconceptions of mine regarding Hrestoli careers and society.

Some thoughts:

Mike Dawson:
>First off, it really depends on where you are in the story of Arlaten.
>Has he just gotten to Pavis? What "version" of Arlaten are you using?
>The sneak thief? The straight ahead wizard? The Evil Twin? Has the duel
>with the queen of the Afengeng even been hinted at, or has it already

No, Queen Aziok hasn't shown up yet. When last we stopped playing, the party had helped Arlaten ('the straight ahead wizard') clear out the Arm of Pavis (they *loved* the Siege Arbalest - one of them spent hours fiddling with it, adjusting sights, calculating trajectories etc.... - players, eh?)

>The religious differences between Rokarism and Hrestoli Idealism are deep
>and wide. Rokari deny that Hrestoli knighthood is "true" knighthood,
>because each knight (may) not be from the hereditary noble class.
>Hrestoli believe that Rokari are a bunch of inbred opressors of the lower
>But they are much closer to each other than either of them are to your
>typical Orlanthi or Lunar adventurer.

That's what threw me. I imagined the Hrestoli and Rokari to be somewhat like catholics and protestants: believing in the same God, but very much disagreeing on how to worship Him. I could well imagine an typical Rokari preferring to hire a pagan lowlife rather than a Hrestoli heretic.

>In either case, you have a great set up for the knight to gain a new
>sponsor or a dangerous enemy.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to that. I hope the Knight can control *his* arrogance...

Peter Metcalfe says:
>In reality, this is Fubar, as to become a knight in the first place, one
>has to be competent in Plant/Animal lore and Crafting, which for the
>average Hrestoli peasant means that he gets to be a fighter on the wrong
>side of thirty(!). And one wonders how the Kingdom of Loskalm managed to
>produce wizards and lords in regular quantities under the ban given that
>it was peaceful.

And Richard Crawley continues:
>Let's face it: the Hrestoli culture as practiced in Loskalm isn't
>even feudal in any meaningful sense so why should it adhere to real
>world feudal style?
>Perhaps Digesters would like to put forward some views on what life

>is really like in such a meritocracy?

Yes, the Hrestoli way of life does seem very odd. I have scanned through my archives of RQ Digests and other stuff (33+ MB - groan), but failed to find any articles that really sheds life on the Western lands. Maybe it's because I'm still in my heart prejudiced against Knights, Wizards and Lords - they just don't *feel* Gloranthan to me. I remember from the intro to RQ 2:

"Glorantha is an ancient period and early Dark Ages world. It has far more to do with Mesopotamia, ancient China, Hyboria and Lankhmar than it does with medieval Europe, Le Mort D'Arthur or the Carolingian Cycle. Its heroes are Conans, Grey Mousers and Rustums, not Lancelots, Percivals and Rolands".

It was actually easier back in the good old days, when everything outside Dragon Pass and Prax was a Blank Land :)

Finally, Dave Cake asks about Lunar Pottery. The article, "Gloranthan Pottery: First Wane", was in Heroes, Volume 1, Number 4 (from 1984). BTW, Dave - what did you tell your geas-happy Humakti in the end?


Soren Petersen

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