[Glorantha]Re: the map (as if we discuss anything else)

From: Douglas Seay <douglas-seay_at_nc.rr.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 08:33:41 -0500

joe_at_toppoint.de wrote:

>>> A non-contiguous tula?  What a strange idea.  I'm not sure that I like
>>> this at all.  I can handle non-contiguous tribes, even if I don't
>>> think it is practical.  But a tula?  Something else completely.  I'd
>>> prefer a tiny clan of ~300 to a clan spread out all over creation.

> Even a contiguous tula (viewed on the map) can be very disjoint if it
> spans several valleys. It is quite probable that a clan may have claim to
> several lesser valleys which are fairly badly connected across the hills,
> but conveniently reachable through other clans' territory (e.g. when
> driving cattle). High meadows used only in summer could well be fairly
> distant from the clan's winter settlements. Similar logic applies to
> sources of raw material (peat, salt, flint, metal ores...).

I can handle a tula that snakes here and there, but you should be able to walk from any point in the tula to any other point in the tula without stepping out of it. Leaving the tula might give you a short cut, but it shouldn't be mandatory. Alex keeps calling them "detached parishes", and I don't think that would be a long term solution for a clan. It could happen from growing or being pushed back, but I don't think being disjoint would be stable. I think that many more than "Orlanthi All" tulas are contiguous.

That said, I'm starting to like Jeff's idea that tribes can, and often do, have clans that don't touch the others. It seems more organic, which is how I see Orlanthi tribes.

> It also makes sense if you allow for transhumance. In my game, the Balmyr
> have been desperate enough for summer pasture that the PC clan (the
> Ereshea) even entered the Quivin Mountain high valleys, which are usually
> left unclaimed and regarded as infrequent dragonewt hunting grounds.

Are those summer pastures part of the tula, or just land that they use?

>>>>> The Gahlan-Palauss conflict is about the crossing of the royal road,
>>>>> nothing less. This is where trade caravans happen.

>>> No, I think it is more than that.  Alex has his wonderful standing
>>> lightning story.

> That's a more recent event, but when Tarkalor built his royal road, he
> would have linked all strategic and magical places to the road,
> strengthening it. Prior to the royal road, there was a traders' trail -
> basically a long stretch of meadow averaging some 500 yards wide (up to
> two miles wide) with various courses of wagon ruts avoiding the worst mud.

> That's how the "ridgeways" in Schleswig-Holstein worked, which have been
> in use since the Stone Age (and now are crowned with Autobahn highways).

I think it is more than that. Just being on the sides fighting for access doesn't seem like the same thing. The conflict, as I see it, was more for who had control of a major choke point (the ford) and could leverage that into tribute.

>>> But going along with your approach, basically the road is the border
>>> between the two tulas, so they are constantly fighting to control it.
>>> Having battles go back and forth across it would have to be bad for
>>> business, and anything that affects traffic is likely to get some
>>> attention from Boldhome.  Not that the royal family of Sartar could
>>> decree that it must stop, but they're a resourceful bunch and are
>>> likely to have found some working solution that ends the dispute.

> This would have been Tarkalor's doing. Terasarin's attention was focused
> to the north.

I don't know if any king would have gotten that involved in it. Send a deputy to try and work out an understanding. The king/prince's role would just be to put pressure on the tribe and the confederation. Arm twisting for trade if you will.

>>>>>>> I don't mind a few clans being south of the Crossline.  Perhaps
>>>>>>> the Kultain expanded to the south a bit under Tarkalor.

>>>>> Maybe that's saving our butts: When Tarkalor solved the Kitori
>>>>> troubles, the Kultain took a piece of the cake, too, and allowed
>>>>> some Balmyr to seep in at less desirable places?

>>> Much more likely that Tarkalor had to keep the balance of power in the
>>> WC.  But that is a historical semantical quibble.  Basically the
>>> Trollkiller gave some ex-Balmyr land back to the Balmyr.  Most likely
>>> the land would have been emptied so no clan had to move.  Perhaps a
>>> clan was slaughtered by the Kitori?  Everyone in the area is
>>> vulnerable to a bunch of Kitori ZZ slaughtering everyone.

> How about an Elmali clan or two joining Monrogh in the Amber Fields?

Certainly possible. But if one clan left, the tribe would claim that tula, even if the arguement was pure BS. If that tula had the salt mines mentioned in DP:LoT, then the Kultain king would fight very hard to keep it.

>>> The Kultain would go balistic if this was the wealthy salt mines at
>>> Halfort.  That is some serious money, so they would have to gain
>>> something of equal value.  Maybe leave it mysterious and open ended
>>> for everyone.

> Ancient salt mining (and I mean Stone and Bronze Age) was an unhealthy
> occupation. I can very well imagine a Kultain war clan leaving the salt
> tunnels to Balmyr tribesmen, taking hefty tribute from them for their
> "protection".

Or when the Balmyr ruled the area they figured out the magic needed to mine there, and the Kultain never mastered that trick.

>>>>> Hmm. What was the reason for the Kultain leaving Heortland? Can't
>>>>> have been "we hate the Pharaoh", that lately. Thus, no urgent
>>>>> reason to leave Kethaela  completely.

>>> Kinda.  IMG is "we can't live with him".

> Live with the Pharaoh, or live with the Andrinic reforms (no clan
> chieftains but sheriffs etc.)?

They don't see much of a difference. IMG the reforms were more of a problem than the Pharaoh. Ultra traditionalists can handle yet another change of secular head better than changing Orlanth's sacred system of clan chieftans.

>>> But you're back on the point
>>> that the crossline is the border.  As the crossline is a draconic
>>> thing, there is no reason to assume that it follows any boundry that
>>> we'd know or care about.  How blatant is that rationalization?

> Let me reply by replaying the history of that:
> The Crossline was established by the 'newts. Early in the Inhuman
> Occupation, Troll Woods trolls made a move into 'newt dominated territory,
> but were defeated - they faced both the Tusk Riders and Dagori Inkarth
> opposition. Finally, the 'newts ended the war with "Uz Eat Dragonewts" and
> its aftermath at Smoking Ruins.
> Afterwards, the Only Old One made no moves to enter the Inhuman King's or
> the King of Dragon Pass' (Ironhoof's) realm. After Belintar had taken over
> Kethaela, his scouts made contact with the centaurs and signed the treaty
> of Stone Cross roundabout 1320, accepting the Crossline as furthest extent
> of his claims.

OK. Those two powers can decide whatever line on a map that they like, but since norther Kethaela was Kitori, who don't seem to be overly pro-Pharoah, he may have had trouble projecting his power that far away from the City of Wonders. And since we've supposed that the Kultain were pretty good at fighting the Kitori, that agreed upon border made little difference in the real world.

And anyway, maybe the "press release" said the crossline, when the real border was more complicated. Dumbing down for the masses.

> At the time Sartar helped found the Wilmskirk Confederation, he didn't
> really care whether the Kultain held territory south of the Crossline or
> not. Evidently the Kultain were sufficiently strong to withstand Kitori
> rivalry (unlike the three Whitewall tribes of Volsaxar) AND wage a winning
> war against the Balmyr. The Principality of Sartar was a confederation of
> tribes (or, more to the point, of city confederations and a few
> associated, city-less tribes), not a territorial entity.

True. It does mean that Sartar could not to every point in his "kingdom". And if Twotops is Vallsta Tor (which is what I prefer), he couldn't even go to the tribal seat of one of his tribes. Again, assuming that the crossline is the boundry that Sartar had crossed and could never cross again.

> For some reason, the Balmyr had not claimed Vallsta Tor for themselves. I
> think a likely reason could have been the Kitori. The Balmyr started as an
> aggressive military tribe, but suffered several defeats against later
> settlers passing through their lands. (Their several wins manifested in
> the silver-tiled Gifting Hall of Balmyr, and numerous vanished clans...)

I'd said that they tried to clear out Vallsta Tor, but failed. With all that land, they didn't need to waste resources like that.

> The Kultain and Locaem arrived pretty much like the Cimbri and Teutones in
> northern Italy - two powerful migratory groups able to push native
> settlers aside. We don't know if there were any tribes or unaligned clans
> south of the Balmyr - if there were, both Kultain and Locaem either
> assimilated, expatriated or annihilated them.
> Hmm. The Kultain had this ring-shattering sword. Did they use it to
> shatter a ring of ghosts haunting Vallsta Tor?

Its ability is more of to force a Wyter to leave the mundane world. I guess it could (should?) be generalized into a killer of Guardian Beings. If those ghosts were the wyters of whomever lived there pre-Dragonkill, then yes, it would have been rather effective. If they were "run of the mill" ghosts, then I'm not so sure. That is a detail that I won't bother with until it becomes important. The Balmyr couldn't claim the Tor, but the Kultain could. And did.

> More immigration history: Salvi led the Locaem down the Branstream,
> established Owlstead and probably pushed out a Balmyr clan or two out of
> lower Branvale and the Branlands, or absorbed them. More likely pushed
> them out, denying them the pasture there.
> The Kultain settled south, controlling the trade routes.
> First off: what trade routes? 80 years after the start of the
> Resettlement, the Quivini had little to trade.

I've wondered that myself. Other than goddar travelling to holy spots, I don't see too much traffic before the liberation of the Volsaxi.

> If this was one of the Kultain motivations to settle here, it makes sense
> that the Palauss and Gahlan went for the Chorms Ford (and at each others'
> throats, once the Balmyr were out of the way).

I think they just ended up there while they were looking for land. Heck, they most likely got along reasonably well back in 1400 because if they didn't stick together, they'd have no chance. Fighting over the ford happened later.

> Roadend was established by Tarkalor, probably around 1574. The description
> in DP:LoT makes it sound as if the royal road was older than Tarkalor's
> conflict with the Kitori (doesn't say so, though). Fact is that Tarkalor
> drove the Kitori out during Jarosar's (or Jarolar's) reign, and started to
> build the road only after finishing that to Duck Point. The fortress
> against the Kitori sound much like an afterthought during the
> roadbuilding.

I can live with that.

> Basically, Roadend is a foreign element in the side of the Kultain (and
> Balmyr). However, given the sorry Balmyr state since 1476, I find it
> likely that a lot of impoverished Balmyr cottars from around Wilmskirk
> found work in Tarkalor's road project, and settled there, along with other
> road-workers from all over the principality. This makes Roadend a
> settlement similar to Apple Lane or Tarkalor Keep (as described by
> Minaryth Blue), a place for stickpickers and strangers willing to follow
> an official of the Prince. Definitely no Vallsta Tor. After 1602, this
> becomes a small Lunar garrison guarding the Heortland border further
> south, leaving the Kultain and Locaem to bear the brunt of Volsaxi raids.

Hmm. I need to think about this some more. But at first glance making Roadend a local hangout for the dregs of society doesn't seem bad.

> I found Alex' proposal of Vallsta Tor in the neighborhood of Blacktree
> Shrine quite convincing. The Upper Branvale now is Sylangi.

I'm not on the team with this one. When I read the description of Twotops, I thought "this is Vallsta Tor". I still feel that way. It sucks that it is south of the crossline, but that's life.

> My current idea for Balmyr distribution is a longish clan tula connecting
> Halfort and some land northeast of Roadend, leaving much of the hills in
> between to the Palauss. Another clan tula in the Charandar Hills and the
> Sorang Vale pointing to Wilmskirk - probably the Endaling clan. The
> Ereshea roughly where the 1612 map has them - east of the lower Sorang.
> The Thronstan and Tongarlting would move somewhat south in this picture.

I'm holding off on deciding where the clans go. I'm only up to "S" in DP:LoT. And then I'll start thinking about it. My one thought about Alex's map was that it seemed a bit too crowded. I'm not sure what I'd change, though.

> After 1619, I see the Palauss and possibly the Tamarlings joining the
> Balmyr, with the Gahlan going to the Locaem and the rest experiencing
> Sylangi anarchy.

Certainly possible. Also possible is that one or two clans get slaughtered in the breakup. I don't think that Lunars were playing around when they struck.

--__--__-- Received on Fri 30 Jan 2004 - 06:56:44 EET

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