[Glorantha]Just keeping that Karse thing going.

From: Light Castle <light_castle_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 19:15:58 -0400


On 28 Sep 2004 at 6:02, Joerg Baumgartner wrote:

> -- __--__--

> I think that the northern Pelaskites would be similar to the few
> Heortlings sharing their occupational god. Among these people, Pelaskos
> fulfills the role of Barntar or Orlanthcarl.

OK, now that I have Storm Tribe, I can buy this.

> Don't they remember Faralinthor?

Isn't he dead? (To be honest, I've never entirely understood the many deaths of Esrola and just sort of took it as one of those mystery things.)

> Having some practical experience with coastal fishing, why do you think
> that Pelaskites fish solo? Ok for harpooning or handline, I suppose, but
> netting fish usually is a group effort. (Nowadays an outboard motor may
> take over the role of part of the group, but hauling in the nets still
> profits from extra sets of hands...)

I have to agree with this. I saw Pelaskos as the Fisherman, but he has lots of minor gods and daimons helping him. (This would appear to be supported by the adventure in the HQ book.)

> I see Pelaskos as a Darkness leader or cultural hero for a number of
> peoples along the sea coasts.

They aren't called Pelaskites for nothing.

> IMO the other peoples Pelaskos can have met after leaving the Vingkotlings
> most likely included leaderless Dureving or Helering groups With Heler
> having lost his sea connections, I can believe that his people lost their
> skills to gain nourishment from the seas, too, and needed a cultural hero.

So much as Heort refounds the Vingkotlings, there is a cultural hero who re-learns the Pelaskos mysteries?  

> Pelaskos may be to many coastal groups what Foundchild is to Praxians or
> Pentans - an important side-track to their general way of life. To
> others, he might well define the culture (like Votank to the Balazarings).

See, I think that if they're Pelaskites, he's pretty damn important. Now, his survival group may never have been as large or as organized as Heort's, and so coastal people are really still mostly Heortlings/Orlanthi. But I think there is a "Pelaskite" strain in which he is more important.

<dragonnewt mercenaries>  

> That's an older theory of mine: he who gets acknowledged as King of Dragon
> Pass by the Inhuman King gets the option to hire the dragonewts (usually
> at inhuman prices, but Tarsh is extremely rich).

I'll accept that. That makes being KoDP a potentially huge advantage. If the dragonnewts have to treat with you (not obey you, but possibly offer advice, mercenaries, other trade or some such involving a certain respect) it gives you access to a powerful (if somewhat loose-cannon) tool.  

<The term Baron>

> > I suppose that's a nice, decent straightforward idea on it. I'm unclear on
> > what the size of an Andrinic Barony would be,
>
> So am I. Roughly a large Sartarite tribe, I'd guess.

Which makes it significantly smaller than a typical Heortland tribe.

> <The Castle and City>

> Also consider that even during the Closing, the new city of Karse was
> quite successful. Its port facilities were mostly self-serving (importing
> Esrolian grain to feed the city, which lacks agricultural land to be fully
> self-reliant, except for the fishing), so there had to be a few other
> factors to keep it going. An annual fair does wonders to an urban
> community and economy.

I like all of that. The new city was a decent, if not huge, city during the Closing. Then the opening hits and suddenly we have a boom town effect which results in the somewhat more sprawling, shadier, and more unruly city we have today.  

> <Karse the God/dess>

This part is definitely going to benefit from the Wiki.  

> > But may also have simply been abandoned/stomped out, or subsumed into one
> > of the other powerful goddesses in the region by the God Learners.
>
> Sure, especially since the God Learners built Lylket just a day's easy
> rowing to the west below Shadow Plateau. The ruins are still there,
> riddled with trolls and trollkin.

Right, I saw that mentioned somewhere. So that Karse had some more power than just a local city god at one point isn't impossible to fathom. (Also nice in that it can be th kind of things players might want to go tinkering with at some point.)

> >> The deity might (ought to) be a child of the land goddess, just like
> >> Choralinthor or Ezkankekko.
>
> Old Karse was never part of the EWF, but being the cosmopolite place we
> figure, had lots of EWF sympathizing citizens or even outright dragon
> worshippers (while the seas were open).

That I do agree with. The Shadowlands and the EWF obviously traded with one another for some time (although I do think in the end OOO sent troops as part of the True Golden Horde?).

While the Only Old One would have
> been the overlord, I'm not sure that he would have been very present in
> city life. The Fleet of Black Galleys most likely was not stationed there.

No? I suppose the fleet doesn't have to be. He had bunches of ports to use. Keep Karse as a merchant port, even back then.  

> > <Suchara Vale>

> I'd say about 2/3 the distance to Enfrewstead (which gets the hinterland
> all the way to Vingaford). And I'd make that stretch of the river newtling
> or hidden ducks territory - boggy, unsuitable for the plow.

Thus a natural border. Hidden ducks? As in ones who have fled being persecuted for Kallyr's rebellion? I always figured a duck shanty town in Karse. (Which means a probable pogrom of some kind when the Lunars come in, unless Fazzur wants to change his policy. I suppose the vast majority of the Ducks could have died on the walls, knowing what was waiting for them anyway. The Dragonnewt massacre of the Ducks?)  

> While either could do without the other (before the Opening), both
> profited from mutual support. Living in a riverine valley it would be a
> mistake to raid the boating neighbours regularly, and lacking a direct
> border the usual neighbourly disputes remained low intensity.

Absolutely. Independent but allied, especially as it became obviouly beneficial to both. (And since both claim independence from the political structures immediately surrounding them.)  

> Enfrew arrived as a refugee from the EWF, from the north - i.e. pre-1020.
> (DP:LoT p.25) His successors expanded into the new acreage and pasture
> offered by the River bed after Belintar slew the Serpent, not downriver.

Ahh, so their land was less plentiful, but they survived. Post the death of the Serpent, the river bed opens up into prime farm land, and they benefit greatly.  

<The Sacred Marriage>

> Probably a question the Baron has heard, too. And IMO one answer is to
> train one of his daughters as priestess ASAP...

A fine solution.  

> In Tarsh, the political fiction of continuity of the Illaro dynasty has
> some magical reality, so I suppose that Fazzur will respect or humor the
> local sovereignty cult while hoping to suborn it.

And given that there is a magical reality underlying the sacred marriage here, Fazzur wants the same thing. A way to take control with as little disruption as possible.  

Maybe Fazzur has a nephew or bastard son of dubious use, too...

Would that not be perhaps a bit over-ambitious too early? How many kids does the king of Tarsh have, anyway? This person doesn't have to be close family to be useful, does he?

 > <The Merchant Houses>
>
> Indeed. It's obvious. Gift Giving day marks the start of the fair, which
> stays on for two weeks (in order to allow guests to participate in their
> rites and then arrive), IMG. Thanks.

Yeah, I think that works perfectly. I think you had it Harmony week in Sea Season? Given our timeline, that means it was already done before Karse falls. Perhaps this can't be easily messed with, so Fazzur (and whoever he leaves in charge) needs to wait a year to push new people into place? That gives a year of vicious political maneuvering for position. It also ties in nicely with the line that the port was fully functional by "next spring". Given the minimal damage, the port was functional, but it wasn't until next spring that the Lunars had replaced everyone with their lackeys.  

> Especially since there will be cults not represented in the council. Like
> the local Lanbril ring, or the Ulerians (which IMG are separate from the
> Pelaskite goddess, situated in two of the brothels of the Carse
> supplement).

I'm up for Ulerians as separate.
To be honest, I'm a little annoyed with Thunder Rebels and Storm Tribe concerning rings. I thought they would explain them, but they barely mention what seems to me a really important concept of how clans and such are run. Let alone not a single mention of what Orlanthi city life is like.  

> Good. Still, I mean to get this onto a wikiwiki for mutual development.

This *desperately* needs one. These long, sprawling conversations are difficult to sort through, a wiki would be a vast improvement.

> <Karse's growth>
 

> I have a bunch of Kostaddi Etyries cultists with Sable antelope caravans
> in the city as early as 1583 (i.e. as soon as news about the Opening
> reached Tarsh). For those who own the Carse supplement, they are the
> Hazara Khan caravanserai.

Yeah, I saw. I like the idea that they've been a force present (probably not on the rings or anything, though) for a generation or so. With the seige, I'm surprised they survived (they could be viewed immediately as traitors), unless they fled early. And then this lets them have greater ties to the city, which puts them somewhat at odds with the Tarsh newbies who come in under Fazzur. (conflict, conflict)

> <terminology>
 

> Sort of, yes. The Baron's guard is more a garrison force than a
> chieftain's hirdmen, closer to soldier than warrior. There will be
> swashbuckling personal retinue fighters among the houses, probably doing
> fancy Humakti stuff with lace, thin moustaches and slim blades. Berserks
> are sooo outre. Light infantry or shipboard fighters rather than shock

> troops, however elitarian.

I'm still having all kinds of problems figuring out what city Heortling (hell, Heortling's who aren't Sartarite) are like. I do like the swashbuckling, that's cool, although I thought Humakti were grimmer than that. Nobody in a city has berserk around, but they sometimes show up on the docks.  

> <Goddesses>
>
> >> But consider that the sea nearby (Choralinthor Bay) lies on the body of
> >> Esrola, the earth goddess, and is her child, too. I'd like to get some
> >> tradition taking in both sea and Esrola.
>
> > You know, do we have any good reason for Karse not to be this goddess?
>
> Not really. Now, who's the father? Engizi? Not Faralinthor (father of
> Choralinthor).

What are our options here? Enzigi and Esrola as the mother of Karse?  

> > Some kind of goddess of the river delta? Land and river and sea meeting?
>
> That would fit the name Karse (low-lying wetland).

That's why I thought of it. I like the idea if we can find a good use for it. That almost forces Enzigi to be the father, but unfortunately, Choralinthor is who Enzigi meets, so that doesn't work out right.

You know, we were talking about a new founding hero (similar to Heort's role for the Orlanthi) being needed. So how about Karse as the one who re-founds the secrets of fishing and good living, whatever. Pelaskos's secrets.

>
> Monogamous goddesses are almost a minority, yes.

That's why I like Glorantha, it's so familiar. :)  

> >> and the founder hero (in a role similar to Heort, who took a foreign
> >> woman, too, whose foreign origins the Heortlings keep silent about).
> >> There may be something to the perceived licentiousness of Pelaskite
> >> women in Karse ("famous for its brothels") which could be cultural, or
> >> could be caused by the nature of the city god.

So how about Karse (female) taking a foreign lover (OR more than one) in the refounding hero part? Some part of re-discovering the secrets or whatever or survival. The result? A founding hero, an ancient origin of the sacred marriage, and a reason for a rumor about licentious Pelaskite women.

> No reason not to come up with a local Uleria myth. Possibly tied to the
> survival during the Darkness. But I hesitate to make her that important.

Fair enough. Make Uleria give a gift to Karse that lets her seduce the unruly people she needs to seduce to found the city as a safe haven against the darknes. An important indirect role, and a reason for her to be honored in the city ever since, even if not the main thing.  

> Married Orlanthi are prudes, if only for contracts' sake. The city seems
> to have a more Helerite attitude. Which might be an idea to study as
> possible origin for (some of) the Pelaskites here.

Pulling out my brand-spanking new copy of Storm Tribe, it certainly seems Heler has something to offer to our little story here. Mind you, it seems much of that sexual ambiguity and licentiousness is attributed to Heler's nature as water tribe, which means we could avoid Heler and just lift some of those attributes for whatever we choose to do with this.

> I'd prefer a variant of Esrola or Triolina (or both) for the wife
> occupational cult (replacing steadmistress). Which might be one reason why
> Pelaskite marriages aren't as strong as Heortling ones.

I think some kind of Esrola/Triolina steadmistress thing works.

> A daughter of Esrola and Engizi would be one option. Rain isn't really
> important, but maybe some offspring of Heler before he lost his/her sea
> powers might work, too (now enstranged from Heler, but possibly keeping
> androgyny?)

It seems we've stumbled into a whole new slew of options here.

> > I think the Island Pelaskites were radically changed by outside invasion,
> > personally, and so their should only be minor links between the two.
>
> On the other side, the God Learners were farther from them then from Karse.

Good point. We might also want to think about whether or not we're doing the coastal Pelaskite culture here, or just Karse. (Admittedly, if Karse was a major survival center, then there is a great deal of overlap.)

> <What did the Lunars leave intact in 1619?>
>
> Unfortunately (?), there are at least two different Etyries factions -
> Fazzur's Tarshites (plus Rugbagian, who probably financed the Corflu
> fleet), and the Kostaddic Hazara Khan clan who have been resident for
> decades.

A feature, not a bug. What's Lunar life without warring factions? :-)

> At least in Dara Happan. A Tarshite term could be royal reeve, but I
> suppose the real office will mirror that of Gordius Silverus in Sartar.
> Chief of Karshin and Overseas Affairs, or something like that.

Although less significant, since they aren't ruling a kingdom like Sartar, just the barony here.  

> Not necessarily. Fazzur's family has holdings and followers in Sylila, and
> he has been known to recruit talent wherever he found it. (and dump it
> when things got rough, like Sor-eel found out...)

True. Wouldn't the beuraucrat in charge also be who he's grooming for the sacred marriage, though?  

> Indeed. IMO Fazzur's objective in taking Karse is at least as much to make
> long term money as it is getting a sea port for the logistic support in
> the conquest of the rest of Kethaela. Jeff and I liked to compare Fazzur
> to Wallenstein - making war a business. IMO Fazzur's holdings are main
> suppliers for the Cavalry Corps and other parts of the Provincial Army.

Absolutely. He's supposed to be quite clever, this Wideread. He also thinks long term. The more insurgency in your occupation, the harder it is to make extra money. (Sure, you can gouge the empire back home for funds to "keep the rebellion down" or "provide essential services", but you can't milk the natural resources nearly as well.)

<Wiki Wiki Wiki!!!>

> > That would be a good idea. Might make it easier to keep track of
> > suggestions as well. I'd be up for that project.
>
> I've got me an account at seedwiki.com. I'll announce when there is a bit
> of content.

Cool. I actually put a few things on the Whitewall list, but didn't want to just mooch off of them, since this detail would mostly be vastly irrelevent to that seige. Tell me where you get it set up and I'm all for tranferring great chunks of this over, to the releif of most of the guide readers, methinks. *grin*  

> > Oh, because you write so little NOW. :-)
>
> Well, you wanted info about main features. I'll prepare some stuff for the
> wiki.

I wasn't scolding. I'm glad you write so much. But this desperately needs the organization a wiki will provide.

> > Oh really? I hadn't realized Esrola was also Bab.
>
> God Learner stuff. Bab is the entirety of dry food, said to be called Gata
> as well. However, Esrola is how Theyalans would understand Bab.

Fair enough. (Damned God Learners!!!)

> Provider of seaweeds could be a grain goddess function. Since Isbarn the
> Goose Girl is not the beast mother of water fowl but still provides
> related magic, I don't quite see why there couldn't be an aspect for
> harvesting sea food known to the Pelaskites.

Sounds like the Pelaskites are going to need a few major tweaks on some gods and goddesses here.  

> > Could Karse then be a child of Pelaskos and Esrola?
>
> Another possibility, but not my favourite one.

It's not at the top of my list right now, either.  

> Not really - she is his treaty wife, given in exchange for the release of
> Oskippos. There was no wooing, just an afterthought for releasing
> Oskippos. Oskippos is called a sea demon, i.e. an unpleasant deity of the
> wet deeps. While he could be a husband or child of Tholaina, it is as
> likely that he was the ruler of some mertribe.

I'm thinking I don't want Pelaskos in too much of an allfather role. To be honest, the more this discussion goes on, the more I think "Pelaskites" may be a term the Orlanthi use to describe fisher folk, and not necessarily what they use themselves.  

> Tholaina is a fairly general fertility goddess of the sea, worshipped by
> (mostly unintelligent) sea creatures. She will be propitiated by
> fisherfolk (Pelaskos' deal with Oskippos). Oskippos appears to have been
> her champion or avenger (aspect? - we know nothing about its real gender,
> often a moot questions with the Water Tribe anyway).

Hmm.. I like the more distant, propritiated version. And Oskippos as an avenger of some kind. I'm not sure that the Orlanthi version of the myth (with an unhappy marriage) is true from the Pelaskite view of things.  

> Unrelated: What is Natelna's role as a deity? Netmaker? Smoker of fish?
> Who is her father (if any - possibly from the fire tribe?)

No idea?  

> Is Heler the mother of the Fisher Twins? Were they born during (or rather
> as a result of) Orlanth's roaming with the Vadrudi?

There's an interesting idea.  

> > Maybe sticking with Esrola is better.
>
> Illuriad as an aspect of Esrola might work - while she is no daughter of
> Esrola, she offers similar magic. Unlike Redalda, I wouldn't make her a
> different Ernalda aspect.

OK, I think we need to do the Pelaskite mythology (sketch version) soon before I get completely lost. :-)

LC

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