[Glorantha]Karse, Carse, and more Karse

From: Light Castle <light_castle_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 15:50:26 -0400


On 22 Sep 2004 at 6:56, (Joerg Baumgartner) wrote:

> I'm carrying this over from HeroQuest-RPG@yahoo because I tend to go
> beyond the level of detail and historical annotations accepted over there.

Oh, just a wee bit. :-)

But that's fine, why I just want a working outline of Herotland so I can track politics if people want to be involved, I need to work out a good sense of Karse since the campaign is based there.  

> If you want to use Caernarfon for the city layout, about any rough map
> should suffice, like the one on my website or the one in the Palladium
> Book of Castles.

Already have the one on your site bookmarked. (You don't think I haven't already read your whole site on it from start to finish, surely? *grin*)

There was a siege, and the latter stage of the siege
> would have concentrated on the walled city extension of the citadel.
> Houses outside the wall would have been damaged or destroyed, and
> need rebuilding. Houses inside the wall may have suffered from siege
> engines or siege magics. I'll collect a list of key establishments if you
> like, since I'm re-writing (slightly, to fit the HeroQuest-imbued changes)
> and expanding my Karse background anyway.

Would love that. I see no reason to not have the basic structure of the city consistent from my campaign to yours. Concerning the seige, I know they sent dragonnewts against the walls. I've always wondered, why would the dragonnewts agree? From what I can tell, they have mysterious motivations, so for all I know they were bought off with shiny beads, but why dragonnewt mercenaries?  

> The ruling Heortling re-founders of Karse would be Jondalaring or
> Gardufari in origin. My old history has them as somewhat dissident from
> the King of Heortland after Belintar intervened (yet friendly to
> Belintar), but using the title of Baron for the city ruler rather than
> Eorl. Originally, this was a nod towards the Karse supplement which had
> Carse as a Barony. Now I need to say why... which might take some time.
> I'm happy to discuss ideas, though.

Possibly the Baron term is to mark it as a free city/region? Since the Eorl's are under the High King of Heortland (and not directly to Beltinar) then Beltinar wants to establish that this is independent. At the sime time (since I believe there are people with the term Baron in Herotland) he gives a slightly lower title than Eorl in order to smooth the ruffled pride of the Heortlanders who are upset with this dissident mini-state getting its own place?

> IMG, the old city of Karse was largely abandoned when its primary purpose,
> that of the overseas port for the EWF, became obsolete as the Seas closed.
<snip>
> in hiding and maybe one or two decent folks keeping up the shrine to
> Karse, protecting god of the city and still worshipped by the northern
> Pelaskites.

Is Karse a god or Goddess? Given the matriarchal Pelaskite thing, I thought goddess might be interesting. (I don't know if I'm treading on canon here.)

> The same motivations which send lots of clans into the dangerous lands of
> Kerofinela brought a group of adventuresome thanes, god-talkers and
> merchants to re-found the city of Karse on the opposite shore of the
> former Creek-Stream River, now the Marzeel River, closer to the Mirrorsea
> Bay. Gaining support from the Pharaoh and the Pelaskite fisherfolk whose
> village still forms a separate but important part of the city, they built
> a keep and a walled city in the current place as a protected port for the
> sea traffic across the Mirrorsea Bay. About the same time, Suchara Vale
> (recently fallen dry as well) was settled, and became the hinterland of
> the city.

So the independent clans mentioned in Suchara Vale are really part of the Barony of Karse?  

> The re-builders contacted the shrine at the Old City and quested to
> transfer the god of Old Karse into the new city. They invited masons from
> Nochet for the construction of keep and walled city, which had to be a
> solid fortress at the demand of the old protector. The thanes also had to
> compete for the marriage to the Pelaskite priestess of Karse. The victor
> became the Baron.

I'm a huge fan of the sacred marriage motif, so this works for me. Also serves to maintain the Pelaskite presence in the city ritually, which has upon occasion been a source of conflict.  

> IMG the Baron is a hereditary ruler (i.e. using Vingkotling rites) whose
> line has to marry the chief priestess of Karse every third generation, as
> part of the "deal" with the protector god of Old Karse, thereby uniting
> the two main population groups of the city.

Which gives a good reason for the Lunars to not exterminate the Baron when they take over, since the marriage keeps the protector god happy until they can figure out a way around it. (Probably by plotting some kind of future marriage involving part of the Goddess's family.)

> The council of merchants and guild leaders includes the thanes, who retain
> some hand in the business and each are awarded certain privileges.

So a somewhat hereditary merchant class controlling the area. So to be a mover and shaker in the city, you would have to be part of one of the original clans. Outside businessmen and traders would be limited and forced to use these people as middlemen?  

> So, IMG the answer "why a barony" would have socio-religious reasons
> mainly. A class of petty rural nobles (the thanes) participating in the
> urban council via their privileges and economic activities, while doubling
> as the proto-feudal army defending the city, produces a model not that
> different from Sartar's cities (which has kings and influential chieftains
> on the city rings).

Indeed. The Baron keeps them stitched together and controls the city proper, which needs to be stable as the focal point for all their fortunes.  

> I'm not sure which terminology to use for the Karse institutions. I could
> say "clans" for the manorial stead groups and their followers and city
> residents, and "rings" for the council structures. "Baron" has a Malkioni
> ring, and we know that the Heortlanders have adopted Malkioni terms to
> some extent, so I could call the steadholders and thanes "landed knights".
> (Medieval Galway had a dozen such clans headed by robber knights.) Input
> welcome.

I'm utterly lost with lots of the terminology in Glorantha for this kind of thing. Given that Karse is a little unique, I like the term "house". Maybe for "clan" in this case. Merchant House has a nice ring to it, stresses the mercantile nature of the set up, and differentiates it a bit from the surrounding area. Thus the manorial stead groups are House Whatever instead of Clan Whatever. I'm not sure which council structures you mean when you are discussing the rings.

 While the thanes could be called landed knights, (especially fun if we stress the roaming Larnsti nature of the knights and king in Heortland), they should have some kind of title, methinks.  

> IMG the northern and coastal Pelaskites are different from the
> Rightarmers:

That absolutely. Some similar cultural skills and magic from the fishing point of view, but not nearly as beholden to the sea and freer of the Ludoch inflence.

predominantly theist, quite Orlanthi with Pelaskos taking
> over several other Allfather functions.

That seems reasonable.

Ernalda would be relegated to a
> lesser role, similar to Esrola's, with a sea fertility and harvest goddess
> taking precedence: a variation of Esrola, as mother of Choralinthor and
> Food goddess, I suppose, and possibly adopted daughter of Triolina or
> something like this, which would take care of some of the social Ernalda
> (Queen) functions, too.
 

> Or is Esrola similar to Kero Fin, as mother of the main elementar gods of
> the region (Choralinthor, Ezkankekko, ?)?

I'm not sure of the Esrola thing. Wouldn't Triolina fill the role of Kero Fin better? Certainly you need a food/life goddess to be all mother to Pelaskos as all father, no? I wouldn't make it Illuriad the Oyster goddess proposed for the Rightarm islands on http://kethaela.en.free.fr/ But somehow Ernalda doesn't seem right. Maybe some version of Tholaina (mother goddess of the creatures of the sea), who brings us our bounty from which we eat?  

> What did the Lunars leave intact in 1619?
>
> My current vision of Karse has several somewhat independent sections: the
> walled city and its overspill outside of the walls, the nearby fisherfolk
> village on a peninsula, and a docks region boomtown which shot up when the
> Seas were opened.

I like putting the fisher village out on the peninsula, and not within the city walls.  

> The businesses and residences outside the walled city had been plundered
> during the siege, or requisitioned by Anqus Farquilis and his body of men.

Angus Farquilis?

> After taking the citadel and walled city, Fazzur established a greater
> part of his forces as garrison, and returned the rest to the fighting in
> Volsaxar.
>
> Fazzur himself and his immediate staff (as per Genertela Book) remained
> for a while and sorted things out.

Yup, I think I'm starting my campaign just as they are heading back out, probably leaving some sort of overseer to "help coordinate things with the Baron".  

> Details escape me yet, but keep on asking, and I'll find them...

Indeed.

LC

--__--__-- Received on Thu 23 Sep 2004 - 07:05:13 EEST

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