[Glorantha]Carry on up Karse

From: Joerg Baumgartner <joe_at_toppoint.de>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 22:17:47 +0200 (CEST)

Light Castle
Re: Just keeping that Karse thing going.

>> 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.)

Yes, Faralinthor is dead. Some of his powers ought to remain with either his widow or his son.

>> Having some practical experience with coastal fishing, why do you think >> that Pelaskites fish solo? [...]

> 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.)

Which one?

>> 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.

How many of them are there?

>> 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?

I had Pelaskos rather in a Vingkot-like role. A hero rediscovering how to access the Pelaskos ways in the Silver Age (after the Godtime magics had changed and new ways had to be found, see Hantrafal) would be nice to know, so that we get a minor Silver Age hero for the Pelaskites.

>> 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.

My idea is rather that there are fisherman enclaves or minorities in Hendreiki coastal regions and coastal and riverine Esrolia.

> But I think there is a "Pelaskite" strain in which he
> is more important.

My current idea has at least two Pelaskite strains, with the Rightarm Islanders strongly depending on their Ludoch masters and the inland Pelaskites having different allegiances (e.g. the OOO, then the Pharaoh).

<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.

There's tribes and Tribes. The four great Tribes (Volsaxi, Jondalarings, Hurlant and Esvulari) are subdivided into smaller groups which are called (surprise...) "tribes" rather than superclans.

I'd rather have someone not involved in past (and unresolved) disagreements work this out, though.

<Karse the God/dess>

> This part is definitely going to benefit from the Wiki.

Up and crawling under: (and yes, the url ends with a "=")


Speaking of which, I started one to collect the ideas discussed here (and earlier over on HeroQuest-RPG yahoogroup) by threads.

I hope nobody minds if we take quotations from the mailing lists and insert them into the relevant Wiki documents?

>> > 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 the kind of things players might want to go
> tinkering with at some point.)

Yes. Basically, you have two settings of Imperial Age ruins nearby: Old Karse and Lylket. While I doubt that there will be much left in terms of tangible treasures, there might be hidden knowledge in mural paintings or carvings.

>> Old Karse was never part of the EWF [...]

> [...] 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?).

The OOO sent some 40000 troops into the pass - IMO to fight the Golden Horde. But there were Manirians entering the pass from the south to join the plundering. But then, the OOO might really have been an ally of the Inhuman King rather than the EWF. Check some obscure sections in the Uz Lore history about Eriyalaya of the Blue Veil (sp?) which point to the massacre of the EWF leaders.

>> 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.

Yep. My favourite scenario has the Black Fleet stationed in a grotto below the Plateau which could be entered only at low tide. Not sure whether this is already in Philippe's Shadow Plateau description on kethaela.en.free.fr

<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?)

Oh no... Personally, I'd like to downplay the involvement of ducks, but I can just see duck lovers demanding the legions of Humakti Deathdrakes fighting a lost hope action against the newts.

IIRC and IMG, the tax release for duck bills was put to rest fairly soon after 1615. The ducks preferred to remain in hiding nevertheless - once bitten, twice shy.

>> 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.)

Different origin, too - the Sucharans are no Hendreiki (except by adoption and maybe marriage ties).

>> 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.

Yep. And a new city springing up as a marketplace just when their cultivation of the former riverbed finally creates a surplus.

<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.

One of several campaign lines I'd like to offer. Of course the player heroes will have to help her into the mysteries and through the heroquests as faithful companions...

>> 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.

Fazzur wouldn't mind the disruption as long as he benefits, but getting Karse as a friendly base for the subsequent conquest of Kethaela surely seems to have been his motivation in 1619.

>> 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?

Exactly. Moirades has two named children - Pharandros and Estal Donge. His wife (not the FHQ, and possibly not the Durnsa woman who is mother of Estal Donge) or the wife of Pharandros is Fazzur's sister. Prince Orontes of Tarsh War fame most likely is only a distant relative or the second generation offspring of some (possibly ritual) extramarital affair of Phargentes (or Moirades) (likely with an unmarried mother of bastard blood, or something similarly unuseable for dynastic succession but still royal enough to keep up the stipend). That's a problem with the Illaro dynasty - too few children for an extended royal clan, unless you pull similar stunts to those legitimizing the majority of the Argraths.

<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?

That date isn't really important, and was created in thorough ignorance of the Heortling festivals.

> Given our timeline, that means it was already done before Karse falls.

If it still works out with the Gifting Day rites, that would be a benefit. Otherwise, one of Fazzur's goals might be to get stable conditions by the time the fair is supposed to start, resulting in better concessions to the Baron than one would otherwise expect.

> 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.

This reasoning has too much story potential to be ignored. But again, that's only one possible story line.

>> 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.

Many local customs have been compressed to the fines lists, and knowing John Hughes, much detail had to be dropped. Some might have resurfaced at the Stormsteads Yahoogroup?

> Let alone not a single mention of what Orlanthi city life is like.

Now that I regard as a creative challenge and a feature rather than as a bug.

>> 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.

Up and running, and even with a modicum of content.

<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
> to the city, which puts them somewhat at odds with the Tarsh
> newbies who come in under Fazzur. (conflict, conflict)

Tensions, different interests, player hero possibilities, yes.


>> 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.

See Jane's reply for tons of sense.


>>>> 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?

Let's prepare a list on the Wiki.

>>> 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.

If you don't believe in Engizi, then maybe Marzeel?

> 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

Another excellent option to be elaborated before we decide.

>> >> 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.

Please expand...

>> 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.

Noted for inclusion in the "myths to do" list, alongside the Mocker myth.

>> 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.

Hence the river gods as candidates. Or even sort of a former lake on the river mouth, which may have formed the harbour of Old Karse when Engizi still ran east of the Shadow Plateau.

>> 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.

Another one for the list of Gods of the Pelaskites, then.

>> 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.

let's make a diagram?

>>> 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
> a major survival center, then there is a great deal of overlap.)

Given my Karse character's backstory, I want to do the coastal Pelaskite culture. I feel that we are getting slightly different Pelaskites here who are worse as fishermen but less dependent on the Ludoch.


>> 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.

A lesser bureaucrat, then.

>> 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?

IMO a sacred marriage usually has a contest component (see also Melisande's hand, Sartar wooing the FHQ), so an ambitious bureaucrat would enter as a candidate or field a champion of his own choice (who might be a player hero).

<Wiki Wiki Wiki!!!>

> 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 relief of most of the guide readers, methinks. *grin*

Oh, as long as we get input from others and no red flag, I'm all for using the digest.

I don't regard Jane's offer to set up the wiki for us as such, yet... ;-)

>> 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.

Variant myths, too, if only in Prosopaedia short form.

> 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.

I'm inclined to put Pelaskos beside Vingkot and Durev, although for a lesser tribe. Probably closer to Harand Boardick in importance (founder of the Haranding Manirian Orlanthi inhabiting western Wenelia and parts of Esrolia).

Another term I have seen was "Diroti Boat People", but that may have been a God Learner seeing people moving along in boats.

Heortling Pelaskos worshippers wouldn't be called Pelaskites as an ethnic descriptor.

>> 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.

Good point. So what is the Rightarm Islander version (if they even know the story), and what do the Karse Pelaskites say?

I'm inclined to say that both Pelaskite strains have largely reunited during history, but there may be several differences left in completely local families that could explain local differences.

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

Let's move that to the wiki, and return with intermediate results.


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End of Glorantha Digest Received on Wed 29 Sep 2004 - 18:03:54 EEST

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