From: Neil Smith (NSMITH@dmu.ac.uk)
Date: Mon 05 Feb 1996 - 15:35:22 EET
[Background part 1 of 2]
Gloranthan Background Information
"Note: This information is what a typical labourer, living in the
city of New Pavis at about 1615 ST (Since Time), would know about
the history, geography and politics of the world about him. This
information is limited by his knowledge and is coloured by his
prejudices. Much of this information is incomplete, some is
inaccurate and parts are just plain wrong.
"General background: The world is Glorantha, the continent
Genertela and the area is Prax. Pavis is the only city of note in
Prax. Much of the technology is Bronze Age and magic is commonplace.
People, place and things are often categorised by the god they are
affiliated to and draw power from.
"Currency: the basic unit is the silver piece, generally called a
Lunar (Lunars call them "Imperials"; die-hard Orlanthi call them
"Guilders"). One Lunar is the minimum needed for a day's food and
lodging in Pavis. There are ten copper Clacks in a Lunar and twenty
Lunars make a golden Wheel."
The River of Cradles (also known as the Zola Fel river) flows from
the Troll-infested highlands of Dagori Inkath in the north, through
the arid grasslands of Prax to the Rozgali Sea at Corflu. Pavis is
situated in the middle of Prax on the River of Cradles. The area
around Pavis is ruled directly from the city and is called Pavis
County. Pavis County is heavily settled and farmed, mainly by
Pavis is the jewel of Prax. People from all lands live here. Most
people are simple Orlanth-worshipping crafters and farmers,
descendants of the colonists that came when the Lunars took Sartar.
The Lunars control the lands of Prax from here and many Lunar people
have moved here recently, protected by the Marble Phalanx which is
barracked in the north of the city. A number of insular Sun Domers
control "their" quarter of Pavis. The Ingilli family, leaders of the
River People, live near their sacred river. Praxians are forbidden
to camp near Pavis as they once tried to capture the city.
Within the giant-built walls of Old Pavis, the ruins that are the
Big Rubble are a home for many outlaws, treasure seekers and worse.
Some people live in the Manside area, farming and seeking great
treasure. The Zebra Riders have their grazing lands in the Rubble.
These are often contested with the evil Trolls which live in the
south of the Rubble. Thankfully, they are kept in check by the Elves
of the Garden. Chaos abominations thrive in the Devil's Playground.
Down river from Pavis County is Sun Dome County, populated by
Yelmalion farmers. Great fields of corn surround the river. Border
controls are tight. The land surrounding the southern part of the
Zola Fel is known as the Grantlands. This area was forcibly taken
from the few settlers there by Lunar forces, and a program of
organised settlement by Lunar farmers is beginning. The area is
protected by Lunar troops based at Fort Ronegarth. In the delta near
the mouth of the river is Corflu, the only port for hundreds of
kilometres along the coast.
There are several swamps along the Zola Fel. They are choked with
reeds and thickets and are a favourite haunting (and hunting) ground
of biting insects, outlaws and chaotic monsters. In the spaces
between the swamps, the ground is fertile and fairly safe, as Praxian
bandits cannot scale the cliffs either side of the river valley.
To the west of the River of Cradles is the empty land of Prax. The
savannah of Prax makes for good grazing, especially around the oases,
and there are often disputes between Praxians trying to gain the best
foraging for their herds. There is a major Praxian temple complex at
the Paps oasis. The Sable nation dominates Prax now, a reward for
their collaboration with the Lunar conquerors at the Battle of
Moonbroth. Further west, Prax rises into the mountains of Sartar and
the Holy Country; beyond them lies the magical place of Dragon Pass.
East of the river, the Wastes quickly turn into desolate,
inhospitable desert, but this is where most Praxians live.
Orlanth is King of the gods, by right of his Quest to return Yelm
the Sun to life from the Underworld (that Orlanth killed Yelm in the
first place is a sore point with Orlanthi). But he is being
challenged by the Red Goddess, patron of the Lunar Empire. The Red
Goddess lived many hundreds of years ago and succeeded her HeroQuest
to be born again as the Red Goddess, and she now resides in the
Middle Air as the moon, her changing face visible in the far
north-west. Because she was born after the Great Compromise, her
followers have embraced Chaos and use it in her worship.
Pavis was an half-elf Hero of the Second Age. With the help of
Giants, he built Old Pavis and struck deals with dwarves and elves.
Eventually the Trolls, led by Gerak Kag, jumped over the walls of
the old city and sacked it. This made the Big Rubble and the
treasures of Pavis can still be found there. After many hundreds of
years, settlers came from Sartar and founded New Pavis, or Pavis
Outside The Walls, in 1550. Some 40 years later, the Lunars invaded
Sartar. After the Lunars had been defeated in the Holy Country,
they came to Prax. They defeated the Praxian nomads at the battle
of Moonbroth and took Pavis after token resistance. That was five
years ago, in 1610. Some of the army of occupation has returned
home, but there are many soldiers patrolling New Pavis, the Big
Rubble and the rest of Prax.
OLD PAVIC These are the people that have lived in Pavis and the
Rubble for generations. The are in a minority to the Satarite
colonists and mainly live in Manside in the Rubble. They speak
mainly Pavic, though some speak Old Pavic.
NEW PAVIC These are Orlanthi people whose ancestors lived in the
mountains of Sartar near Dragon Pass, to the west. Many came here
with Duke Dorasar many years ago to escape the Lunar invasion of
Sartar. Sartarites are loyal to their immediate family first, then
their extended family (clan) and then their tribe. All men are
expected to be warriors as well as farmers or herders. Sartarites
are a proud people, and detest the Lunars for invading their lands
and the suppression of Orlanth, as well as the Lunar embracing of
Chaos. Most of the New Pavis immigrants are from Satarite families.
They speak Pavic or Sartarite.
LUNAR The followers of the Red Goddess and the Lunar Way, these
people have a great empire in the far north west. They conquered
Prax and Pavis two years ago. They have brought with them many laws
and much bureaucracy, and are intent in stamping out all trace of
the original Orlanthi way of life. The lands between Sun County and
the coast (the Grantlands) are being settled by Lunar farmers, under
the protection of Duke Raus. Lunars speak New Pelorian.
PRAXIAN The Praxians are nomads that roam across all of Prax. They
are separated into Tribes according to what animals they herd and
eat. The Five Great Tribes are Impala, High Llama, Sable, Morokanth
and Bison. The lesser tribes are many and include Unicorn, Bolo
Lizard, Zebra and Rhino. To Praxians, horses are unclean and must
not be touched, even to eat. Praxians come to Pavis to trade their
animals for metal goods, though they prefer to steal. The exception
are the Zebra Riders which live in the Big Rubble. All tribes speak
dialects of Praxian.
RIVER PEOPLE These are the fishermen and boat people. They are
mainly newtlings, but there are a sizeable number of humans as well.
They live in small villages scattered the whole length of the River
of Cradles. Often criminals join the River People to avoid justice.
They speak Boatspeech, and some speak Pavic or Tradetalk.
OASIS PEOPLE These introverted people have lived near the desert
oases since the Godtime. No-one knows either their origin or their
language. They have no warriors and many are enslaved by the
Praxians. The Lunars have started to act against this practice.
SUN DOMERS The community of Sun worshippers that came to Prax when
Pavis lived. They control a large area of land and rule it with a
rod of Iron. Mercenary groups are often hired out, and a small
number of Sun Domers lives in New Pavis. Sun Domers speak Pavic
with Firespeech for formal and religious ceremonies. Sun Domers
prefer to trade using Wheels as gold is holy to them.
[End part 1 of 2]
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