[Glorantha]Re: Glorantha digest, Vol 10 #172 - 6 msgs

From: Joerg Baumgartner <joe_at_toppoint.de>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 20:45:27 +0200 (CEST)


Light Castle

Re: Siege of Karse

> Hello, oh sage one.

Or parsley or thyme?

> Don't know enough of the history. Mt Passant would be more Malkioni?

Yep. According to Thunder Rebels, founded by the Esvulari fairly recently, so probably with Malkioni city design translated to Heortling in action.

>> Actually sitting before the walls of Karse for a while.

> Is there anything official on the seige and how it was conducted? Since it
> would be the immediate backstory of the game, I'd like to have details.
> If it's all very vague, I'll tweak to my pleasure, but I like working in
> GAG elements as much as possible.

Very little. Nick nicely summed up Genertela Book, and in addition there is a single paragraph in King of Sartar.

IMO, the exact course of the siege depends much on the kind of fortifications Fazzur has to face.

My version of Karse has several districts loosely connected - the pre-OIpening walled city which has spread before the main city wall, a fisherfolk village on a peninsula nearby, and the boomtown shipyards and docks around the city's main anchorage. There is an outer fortification running from the river shore up to the cliffside, with big gates to allow commerce passing through, and a similar fortification towards the Mirrorsea Bay. The shoreline of the river is not fortified, but has underwater defenses (stakes, chains) to hinder unfriendly landing. On the river, there are "customs" towers controlling ship traffic, and possibly measures to close off the port against minor pirate invasions, but nothing either a full Wolf Pirate assault or the Lunar naval force would have treated as more than a delay.

In this kind of city, the siege would have seen several stages, with the outer defenses overrun at some time and infighting between the buildings. After a while, the defenders would be restricted to the pre-Opening walled city, with the Lunar forces keeping respectful distance from the engines and magics. Skirmishes among ruins may be daily occurrances.

>> The old city of Karse (now abandoned, somewhat upriver, atop an
>> escarpment
>> that used to be the river bank before the Leaden Serpent blocked the
>> Creek-Stream River) was famous for its fortifications which allowed the
>> mainland Pelaskites to survive the Greater Darkness. When the new city
>> of
>> Karse was founded, the protective deity was invited over to reside in
>> the
>> new fortifications (which IMG resemble those of Nochet, another site
>> famous for sitting out the Greater Darkness). Given inspiration from the
>> Whitewall List, I suspect that Panaxles the Architect had a hand in
>> creating Old Karse and/or Nochet.

> Any accepted info on the Guardian of Karse?

None whatsoever. It is a mostly unpublished but confirmed Gloranthan fact that Old Karse was on the opposite bank of the river, had cyclopean walls and was one of two major centers of Pelaskite survival during the Greater Darkness. (The other appears to have been Seapolis, sheltered by the Ludoch.)

My current thoughts make the guardian a "city god" along old RuneQuest guidelines, with powers to aid a fortification against assaults and boosting morale.

>> > (Fairly bloodlessly, if I recall correctly)

>> As far as the non-fighting populace is concerned, yes. Prior to the
>> dragonewt assault, there were Kethaelan contingents (IMO Caladrans or
>> Porthomekans) within the city, but they seem to have left when the Lunar
>> sea force turned up. The dragonewts which took the walls slaughtered all
>> identifiable defenders but spared everyone else.

> Hmmm... How much of this is official, and how much just generally > accepted? (I know I've seen the "fleet from Corflu" a couple of times.)

In addition to Genertela Book, King of Sartar has a few snippets of official information:

: The rest of the army pushed on, assaulted Smithstone, then marched down river
: to Karse. An assault failed, and they laid siege to Karse. After some weeks, a
: segment of the army [units from Caladraland] escaped by ship, leaving only the
: locals to defend. The next day an assault by dragonewts slew most of the defenders,
: but spared most of the inhabitants. The city was not sacked. Fazzur was welcomed
: by the populace. The army wintered, active only in vigorous defense against raiders
: from Hendrikiland. By the next spring the port was fully operational.

Fazzur's being welcomed probably was for sparing the non-fighting citizens and leaving the remaining economy intact. IMG the Baron was a fairly popular ruler. I've not quite decided how he and his family fared in the siege.

Those raiders from Hendrikiland cannot have targeted the city of Karse, but rather the trade route through Suchara Vale to Smithstone.

>> What could have taken Fazzur that long?

>> 1. getting the dragonewts hired after the surprise assault failed to
>> take
>> the fortifications. (The 'newts marching past Whitewall could make an
>> interesting siege portent, too - cries of "Remember Boldhome" etc.)

> That's a nice touch. I certainly like the idea of an initial break against > the walls, and then bringing in something like the 'newts.

King of Sartar.

>> 2. getting the Corflu fleet on its way and to the mouth of the Marzeel
>> River.

> That seems eminently reasonable. (That is one thing that seems to be
> consistently mentioned. There was a seige, and the turning point was
> the arrival of a fleet that came up the bay.)

I think Fazzur was eager to try a new combined forces doctrine. This episode reminds me strongly of Wallenstein conquering the duchy of Mecklenburg and then trying to establish new naval connections.

>> 3. feeding and housing his expeditional corps outside of Karse. (I want
>> to set a few cameos in that period...)

> I was certainly thinking that since he stormed in and didn't get his main
> battles, Fazzur is suddenly faced with a seige at Whitewall and a seige
> at Karse. With that situation, he
> gets very patient in setting up his troops, expecting a long haul at
> either. Karse goes
> fairly quickly, and then Whitewall becomes a huge problem.)

As far as Fazzur is concerned, Whitewall is not a problem. From a military POV, having Broyan bottled up without any great losses is the next best solution over a quick decisive victory in a field battle. It is a place to dump Imperial observers (and tabloid poets) while retaining a free hand in the conquest of Heortland.

>>> Exactly the sort of thing she might be going through. And isn't Rikard
>>> trying to impose Rokari monotheism on the "too tolerant"
>>> Aeolians? Or did I misunderstand that?

>> IMG some of Rikard's followers/allies have this as their agenda, most
>> importantly the Rokari bishop of Nochet (of the du Tumerine family of
>> Nolos/Pasos) who seeks to expand his parish drastically. I see Rikard
>> himself as dependent on the bishop and his magical support, but gnashing
>> his teeth at the effect on the morale of his native supporters. Also, in
>> my game the northern Aeolians (a minority among Andrinic Heortlings,
>> concentrated in the cities and around a few local holy places) are the
>> main victims, whereas in the south there is a contrary movement where
>> Rokari become enamoured by the "romantic barbarian" notions of the
>> Aeolians. Sheriff of Nottingham and Abbot in Karhend...

> That's cute. Since I don't intend to focus this story in Rikard's lands,
> that level of detail probably isn't necessary for me. I always prefer
> having multiple levels of these things, so I'd lean towards something
> more like your interpretation. As it is now, the players mostly
> think of Rikard as a crusader who is stifling the Aeolians and their
> "pagan heresy".

IMG, this is how the situation would appear from Karse. If they made their way into Esvular, they might well be surprised.

> If anyone takes a background that overlaps that, I'll probably stick in > this much more nuanced version.

My website has a few People of Note and their role in the timeline. Replace Mularik with William the Bloody of Jansholm, though.

>> I'll try to summarize it on the Whitewall Wiki, then.

> Thanks, that would be nice. Not crucial though. If she picks something in > that vein/region/time, I'll sign up for the info.

Right now the Wilmskirk list is dormant once again, and there's always the "receive no email" option.

Nick Brooke quotes from Genertela Book and goes on:

> For the rest, Joerg is a good inventive source, if you take my > meaning... :-)

Apart from a few other minor sources and KoS, most of the details are from my campaign layout. As unofficial as you can get while using the existing sources.

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End of Glorantha Digest Received on Sat 17 Jul 2004 - 06:56:38 EEST

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