[Glorantha]Re: Pelaskites

From: Joerg Baumgartner <joe_at_toppoint.de>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 13:33:26 +0200 (CEST)


Jeff Richard argues that the Karse fisherfolk are Heortlingized. So do I, this was my basic assumption in describing their subculture in Karse. A subculture of both the Rightarmer Pelaskites and the Heortlings.

>>Jeff: I'm not certain that the Pelaskites are that well-defined as a
> separate culture. I think that the humans that fish on the Mirrorsea
> worship Pelaskos and associated things, regardless of whether they live
> in Nochet, Karse, the Right-Arm or Left-Arm Islands. However, I think
> there social and family arrangements are probably defined by other gods
> or goddesses (Orlanth and Ernalda in Heortland, Ernalda=20

>>Simon: The Rightarm People are known as Pelaskites, I can assure you of
> that and are definetly a well defined culture, I have spent a long time
> defining them over the last 6 years. I would reveal more by NDA mean
> that I can't. :-D

Jeff:
> I have no problem with this - I think the term "Pelaskite" is being used
> very broadly to include not just Rightarmers, but the Heortlending and
> Esrolian fisherfolk on the Mirrorsea.

True. Lets say Pelaskos cultists for Heortling and Esrolian culture salt water fishermen and Pelaskites when we mean Islander and related culture.

> I think a Rightarmer is a
> distinct cultural group and has been since the Dawn.

And before. This group survived the Greater Darkness in two separated communities, Karse near Heortland (where the humans had a very strong stone fort) and the city of Amphibos in the Rightarm Isles, huddling with newtlings. Like with the Vingkotlings, it is safe to assume that other communities did not survive the Greater Darkness.

Already in the Silver Age, these people spread out along the coast of Choralinthor Bay. Small h heroes from either group will set sail to holy places remembered from better times, renewing contact. The wise women knowing about inbreeding there will be marriage ties arranged between the two groups.

Human re-occupation of the land around the bay is slow, except around Nochet. The fisherfolk have time to establish villages at suitable places around the bay. IMG Leskos on the Bullflood mouth is one of those places, and a place where the fisherfolk were slowly assimilated by the Hurlant Hendreiki in the 2nd and 3rd Age.

Karse is different. As a survival site, it is a holy place. There will be a temple here which receives pilgrimages.

> I don't think the
> same can be said about the fisherfolk of Karse who happen to worship
> Pelaskos.

I would agree if the Dawn Age Pelaskites of Karse had not been in contact with their Islander kin.

Take a look at the history of the region:

Dawn Age
>From the Imperial Age description, it doesn't look like Old Karse ever was
a typical Heortling place - no more so that Old Pavis. There the people of Opili Hill still remain as a separate culture, although admittedly in enforced reclusion.

Suchara Vale was settled only after the 6th century (probably in or after the 10th) by Kerofinelan Heortlings fleeing from the EWF. Andrinstula (basically Andrin's pasture - making Andrin a Garanvuli tribesman?) is nearby only if you can fly, which admittedly some of the Heortlings may have done, but flying is no way to trade.

Jansholm is pretty close by boat, and probably saw much trade from the Pelaskites from all around the Bay. The settlement was founded by Jon Ironclad of the Garanvuli during their expansion from their survival site at Seriasdova.

Garanvuli and Karse Pelaskites were equal in numbers. There is no reason to assume that the Garanvuli, who all but disappeared 300 years later (unlike Karse) would have dominated the Karse Pelaskites. Further up the Marzeel and Creek-Stream valleys, we have Volsax and Dreven settling the land. Peter Metcalfe has Gollan (not your typical Heortling either) wandering closer to the Print.

Bright Empire:
Palangio the Iron Vrok conquers the Heortling people, the Shadowlands and Slontos. The Hendreiki tribe is formed from a heroband, but survives mostly by hiding up in the valleys where the Pelorians wouldn't go. Karse remains a trading centre, and may have received an influx of Dorastan traders wanting access to the seas. I wouldn't call those Heortling, either, and I doubt they left much of a cultural stamp here.

Late Gbaji Wars and Arkat's Command:
Arkat arrives with allies, rushes north to Traveling Stone where he defeats Palangio, then licks his wounds near Dagori Inkarth. Some members of Arkat's host may be stranded in Karse, but most would be in Arkat's Hold on the far side of the Shadow Plateau. No great influence now.

Tax Slaughter and early EWF:
The disturbances may send the first genuine Heortlings into Old Karse. The Pelaskites still would be a majority in the ethnic make-up of the place.

EWF and God Learner era:
Old Karse becomes known as a melting pot for all kinds of strangers (at least in Malkioni circles, who rely on Hrestol Arganitis' travelogue): "This is a place where people of many cultures meet, and also many races, as equals (unlike Nochet)." Viewed more relaxed, we learn that members of all Unity Battle races (possibly including even dragonewts) visit the city. This sounds like there is a permanent fair next to the city, or something like Old Pavis (a city made up from several distinct cultural groups joining into one city) in the late 9th century.

I still see a good argument for a Pelaskite community tending the holy place and maintaining their somewhat isolated lifestyle, in constant contact with the Islander Pelaskites.

The God Learners chose to establish their base of operations in Lylket some time after 700, where they were evicted around 910. They may have been interested in the boatbuilders Karse was famous for in the Dawn Age, or they may have ignored the fairly dull fisherfolk.

Closing:
In 935 the Closing reached Kethaela. The Mirrorsea Bay remained navigable (but experienced a wipe just like Ozur Bay in Fronela), but the Overseas trade fell away. The city starts to decline. Only the fisherfolk get by unscathed, doing their thing.

Fall of the EWF and Dragonkill:
This is the time when we get a lot of Heortlings (or at least religiously rootless people of Heortling descent after the slaying of the draconic leaders) move into the region. Suchara Vale was settled. Old Karse may have become a refugee camp for a while, but with its bad food situation most refugees would have to move on, or join the Pelaskites.

This is a moment where an argument can be made for the Pelaskites of Karse changing - simply by taking in refugees and teaching them their ways, like Pelaskos had done in the Lesser Darkness. Although the newcomers would become "Pelaskitized", they may have retained many elements of their former lifestyle.

Until the Belintar Wars:
The newcomers have 200 years to live in Old Karse besides the native Pelaskites, then the Creek-Stream River dries up as Belintar slays the Leaden Serpent. There still is contact with the Rightarm Islanders, until they side with Belintar.

Old Karse abandoned:
Without the Creek-Stream River, the port Old Karse dries up. Most fisherfolk leave the city in favour of better harbours (such as the fisherfolk village of New Karse). A few families remain to tend the shrines.

New Karse founded:
Some 20 years later, the Hendreiki founders of New Karse need the cooperation of the resident fisherfolk both at New Karse and in the old walled city. The Pelaskites become a necessary ritual component in the city. (1350ish)

Until the Opening:
New Karse quietly grows for about 230 years. Then Dormal makes his journey, and the ship-builders of Karse are faced with huge demand while the traders have enormous opportunities dangling before them. The city explodes into activity.

Many of the fisherfolk who mingled with the Hendreiki settlers of the new city have become absorbed into the urban creole, but there are traditionalist families isolated in their village apart from the main city, keeping contact with the Rightarmers, tending the traditional shrines for the good of the entire city. (I mean, if the traditionalist Orlanthi could cling to their cults during 400 years of EWF, why should _all_ Pelaskites be absorbed in half the time?)

With the Opening, the old wisdom of the seafarers is in demand again. Karse makes a back-roll, and probably even attracts Rightarm Islanders. A renewed and dynamic Pelaskite culture could be present, and be resented by parts of the Heortling majority of the population, leading to the situation described in the Midkemia Press publication around 1600.

--__--__-- Received on Sat 02 Oct 2004 - 06:57:16 EEST

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