Kings and Queens of Dragon Pass, Tarsh, etc.

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Mon 19 Feb 1996 - 10:43:00 EET

Hmm. I broke loose a disagreement of some scale, it seems.

Peter Metcalfe

>I did however say that _both_ the Sartarites and the Tarshites
>are _wrong_ in thinking that marrying _their_ preferred queen confers
>sovereignity over Dragon Pass.

In fact, the Inhuman King does infer the sovereignty over DP to the victor
of the contest between the most successful suitor and the current avatar
queen of the land. Check p.136:

"The Inhuman King presided over the strange ceremony and he named Sartar to
be King of Dragon Pass during the marriage. Since that time every ruler of
his dynasty has been Prince of the Quivini (or later, the land of Sartar),
but only those who wed the queen of the Grazers has been called King of
Dragon Pass [Tarkalor, (Moirades), Argrath]."

Of course, Peter says that the Sartarites got it wrong, but Phargentes
apparently did not think that Tarkalor got it wrong when he married FHQ3.

Nick, speaking out of my heart's depths:
>>Without far more justification, I don't believe there need be any
>>difference between the "Feathered Horse Queen" and this proposed
>>"Feathered Queen".

>Far more justification, eh? You asked for it! (Don't howl, Joerg)

I didn't. In fact, I'm pleased that Nick managed to get you elaborate your
theory. You did make some points...

>The First King of Dragon Pass mentioned in KoS is Ironhoof. He gains
>sovereignity over Dragon Pass by coupling with the Lady of the Wild,
>Daughter of Kerofin. After this HeroQuest, KoS says:

>'And after this, he was called King of Sartar while he reigned'.

Nice Freudian mistake (well, sorts of, there is some sex involved).

KoS actually says

"And after this, he was called King Ironhoof while he reigned." No mention
of Dragon Pass (this is incurred by a much later document from the Jonstown
Compendium, which has been extracted from the CHDP because it uses the wrong
dates for Moirades' reign, the Zin Letter One, p.42).

>The next King of Dragon Pass is Arim the Pauper. He arrives in Tarsh and
>marries Sorana Tor. This is dated as 1330 ST.

>But Arim is not reckoned as King of Dragon Pass until 1345 ST (according
>to the King List in the First Zin Letter)!

Let's do some source criticism on this document. It has been written in
Argrath's lifetime, but after his final (?) marriage, to the (not any more)
infant queen of Holay.

As an aside: she has been educated at some Dragon Pass earth temple - I
can't say which, but either Argrath's first sovereignty wife's, the 1628+-1
FHQ8, or one of the Wintertop temples (Wintertop itself, or Shaker's Temple)
for at least 9 years. This would make her at least eleven or twelve, nubile
age indeed - compare Emperor Friedrich II's marriage (and wedding night) to
the daughter of the (crusader) King of Jerusalem.

Note especially the overlapping dates of Tarkalor's and Moirades' rule as
kings of DP. Keep in mind that Moirades did marry the Feathered Queen of
unspecified Kerofin origin in the later course of his reign.

I'd say the author of JTC #271,852 used the book delivered to the Grand
Wedding of '43 as his source for his indexing, and abstained from any
comments on the discrepancys, like the date of King Moirades' death.

>Fine. The date of his formation
>of the Kingdom of Tarsh and the date of his marriage to Sorana Tor (which
>made him King of Dragon Pass) are two seperate events.

I'd rather say that his courtship lasted for 15 years, and that the marriage
sealed this "arduous but pleasant experience".

>Then in the Tarsh King List we find that Illaro marries Sorana Tor in
>1455 but is not reckoned as King of Dragon Pass!

By the unnamed author of this scribble into the Jonstown Compendium digged
up by Zin. This is mainly because Illaro did not rule over even more than
40% of the human lands of the Pass.

>However, his cause of death:

>'He died during sexual intercourse during a religious ceremony'

>has a faintly familiar ring.

Yes, it makes me think of the Year King sacrifices the Pharaoh usurped in

Omitting Peter's quote on a coitus barely uninteruptus, we come to his
Freudian theory of Tarshite-cum-Centaur claims for DP sovereignty:
>The nature of Illaro's death becomes clear. He attempted to mate
>with the Lady of the Wild to become King of Dragon Pass, 'lost his
>connection' and was struck dead.

Was this a veneral disease? His successors (sons from his earlier bedding of
the priestess who became Sorana Tor's avatar, looking at the dates - don't
howl, Peter) died after their terms of seven years, too, if not earlier.
(Illaro's 1455 date is acknowledged as polite convention only, even in the
Tarsh King list of CHDP).

>Therefore marrying Sorana Tor does not confer Kingship over Dragon

Marrying a Sorana Tor doesn't, evidently. But then Illaro did not even
manage to gain sovereignty over all of Tarsh, since he had to negotiate with
the Aldachuri.

>Any need to identify the Feathered Queen of the Kerofini Temple
>and the Feathered Horse Queen as the one and the same vanishes.

>Ditto the claim that marrying the Feathered Horse Queen confers sovereignity.

Sartar's claim was granted by the Inhuman King, an authority which should
account to something in Dragon Pass. The Tarkalorsaga (which does exist at
least in fragments) might tell us whether Tarkalor was installed by the
Inhuman King as well. I find it significant that Moirades has the use of
dragonewts (even though "hired at inhuman cost") at the final storm of
Boldhome. This is the second time of dragonewt military activity after the
Dragonkill War (the first being "Uz Eat Dragonewts", in the Ironhoof or
Harrjeen era).

>If we still wish to maintain that they are the same, then we will have
>to explain why Tarkalor and Moraides who are both considered Kings of
>Dragon Pass at the same time in 1579-1582.

Because the scribe collating these dates from CHDP was not very thorough in
his research, is my first answer.

Peter and I did discuss the discrepancy of the alleged death of Moirades in
1610 and his being alive and kicking as late as 1629 already in private.
David Hall unfortunately believes in the date given in the Tarsh section of
CHDP. Peter came up with a nice solution for the Moirades muddle:

Make "Moirades lived for 59 years" into "Moirades ruled for 59 years". This
would postpone his death to around 1630, quite in accordance with the date
we find for the first year of Argrath's Tarsh wars, both in his section of

CHDP and in the Argrath Saga. (Minaryth Blue's accounts are off by a year or
two in some instances, but corroborate the sequence of events in the Argrath
saga quite well.)

This would make Pharandros' activities in and around 1625 the activities of
a crown-prince or co-ruler of Tarsh, on behalf of the Phargantite faction
against the Fazzurite faction.

Also Pharandros' year of birth seems to have been calculated from the 1610
date, and might be subject to re-evaluation.

>Implications: Sartar is said to have married the Feathered Horse Queen.
>The contest is more of a trial of wits rather than the trial of ... er..
>strength and dexterity that Ironhoof and Illaro engaged in. Thus I am
>inclined to believe his claims are puffery.

IMO Sartar's claims are strong - after all the Inhuman King did invest him
and his bride as King and Queen of Dragon Pass.

>Tarkalor's and Moraides'
>claim to Kingship of Dragon Pass fail for the same reason.

Again, I am inclined to disagree. While we can't be sure in the case of
Tarkalor (whose main competitor, Phargentes of Tarsh, would have claimed
sovereignty as well, had he been successful), Moirades seems to have had
some measure of influence with the dragonewts, enough so to be able to hire
a suicide squad of them for the Boldhome conquest after the Bat had failed.

>Argrath is said to have married the Feathered Horse Queen (twice!) but
>he is not reckoned as King of Dragon Pass until 1643.

By our hasty collator of Jonstown Compendium #271,852, IMO a mere copyist
from the CHDP.

>Argrath first
>marriage is to the Feathered Horse Queen in 1627 or so (before Harrek
>caused trouble in the Holy Country according to Argrath's Saga and
>Minaryth Purple's 'Events of my life'.

I agree with this evaluation. Note that, according to Minaryth Blue, Kallyr
still (or again?) was alive (after the Battle of Old Top), and continued to
be Prince of Sartar until Harrek slew her in revenge for Gunda's death
(which wasn't final, either... opposed to Kallyr's death this time). This
can even be implied in the Argrath section of CHDP. Keep in mind that the
CHDP was to be presented to Argrath at his wedding. The author would have
had to be heroic if he pointed out the questionable legitimacy of Argrath's
claims for Princeship during the prolonged lifetime of Kallyr.

Another hero who apparently made his heroic escape, or otherwise
resurrection, was Broyan of Heortland, who seems to have been killed by
Harrek during the expedition which was ended when Harrek invited him to
plunder Dragon Pass instead, which he did - Muse Roost first, then
Wilmskirk, and finally Boldhome. He did rid Argrath of his most successful
rival for Princeship, but at the cost of a ruined capital. Apparently a
price Agrath was willing to pay.

>The next marriage of the
>'Feathered Horse Queen' occurs when Argrath is invading Tarsh. This
>happened circa 1630. Because he was invading Tarsh at the time, I
>suspect this was a political marriage to cement the Tarsh Exiles to
>his side.

This may have been a different queen (though the Grazer Queen list doesn't
mention any, breaking off at #8), or the same queen after her initiation
into the Shaker's Temple rites. This was about 4-6 years before he sent the
infant queen of Holay to her, for her education. Compare the Argrath Saga,
p.30, for the time after his crunching defeat at Yoran:

"Jareel and her household learned where Argrath's beloved queen lived"...

This might refer to the Feathered Horse Queen of the Grazers, who seems to
have taken care of the young Queen of Holay.

>As corroborating evidence, Argrath has coupled with Sorana
>Tor according to the Sacred Kings List of Jain in KoS.

Sorana Tor may have been a title of the avatar of Kerofin, but I agree that
Argrath may have repeated the Grazer marriage with one of these. Earthquakes
come in nifty when fighting the Lunars...

>Argrath does marry again in 1640 or so, but that is to the Infant Queen
>of _Saird_.

Following up a betrothal he made about 3 or 4 years after the conquest of
Furthest, illustrated by the Mularik Fragment. Compare also Minaryth Blue,
who accompanied the girl queen of Holay to Boldhome.

>Since Holay which incorporates the plains of Saird had
>fallen to the Conquering Daughter _causing_ Arim to enter Dragon Pass,
>marrying the Queen of Saird cannot confer Kingship of Dragon Pass.

I agree with this statement, but not with Peter's conclusion:

>So the only possible event is that he attempted to couple with the Lady
>of the Wild, remained plugged in and became King of Dragon Pass in Fact
>as well as in name in 1643.

While the picture of Argrath mounting a (centaur?) mare, stag or whatever
form Tara would take from behind does have a certain Celtic appeal, I am, as

Peter states, not convinced.

I asked why an earth queen would wear feathers, and mentioned that the only
"earth" queen related to feathers I know of is the Pentan/Grazer horse goddess.

>Just because feathers play a large part in some horse rituals does not
>mean that all feathered regalia are related to horses.

I didn't claim that, either, but the sudden appearance of feathered regalia
parallel to the Grazer queen makes me suspicious. The theory of the FHQ4's
daughters does have some appeal, but hasn't convinced me yet.

>>What is the Feather connection of the priestesses of Sorana Tor? Where
>>is any Earth myth having feathered beasts, or people? Sorana Tor's
>>beasts of choice are the Earth Shakers aka dinosaurs. Are these
>>feathered, or have they ever been?

>For the definitive answer, one should ask Greg.

I will, next Lore Auction.

However, Greg's "definite" usually is an Orlanthi yes, if not a Lunar one...

On the subject of feathered dinosaurs: I am aware of the theory that some
dinosaurs may have been feathered. That's why I asked... Still, they are
portrayed as draconic kin in Glorantha, and while the dragonewts do use tame
demi-birds, those are never claimed to be kin, opposed to the dinosaurs.

Fluffy feather-covered Triceratopians don't seem as awe-inspiring to me as
renegade warrior-newts blown up in size do, either.

>IMO such regalia
>stems from the EWF. Alternatively, she may be wearing flayed skins
>(a la Xipe Totec) made from Ducks (being the only defenceless creatures
>to prey on).

Bringing up Occam's Razor again, why go through this elaborate chains of
"perhaps" and "may"s?

On to FHQ chronology:

>In defence of my charges that making them the two Queens the one and
>the same makes a mockery of the texts, Joerg replies:

>>Not really. Tarkalor's queen "Mother of Lands" is said to have been killed
>>at Grizzly Peak, but may have made her Heroic Escape, or otherwise been
>>resurrected. Her rule continues for a few years.

>But then she would have to marry Moraides for her successor was:

>> "Splendid among the Proud", who did not marry,

>whereas Moraides is King of Dragon Pass according to the first Zin Letter
>in 1579 which is also before Tarkalor died.

See above.

>Like I said, this makes a
>hash of the Feathered Horse Queen List and assumes the scribes in Dragon
>Pass are brain-damaged at best. My intepretation causes less headaches.

To Peter, maybe. My head starts spinning...

For instance with the question who the oh-so-wealthy husband of FHQ5 could
have been, if not Moirades who was known for his extreme wealth (he even fed
the lowland Lunars in time of famine):

>Me>>Moirades did not marry the Feathered Horse Queen.

>>Peter still did not answer my question who did, instead.

>Yes, I did!

Peter answered me on the question about Moirades' wife with the expected
(and still unaccepted) answer, but not on the husband of FHQ5.

Sorry for my old habit of replying directly to quotes of Peter, but if I put
out my entire theory right now, I'd use up much more space. And rather than

being shot down for these somewhat crucial points after typing for about 20
hours, I'd rather discuss these problems before that effort.

Other voices:

Martin Crim suggests that Moirades cheated. Tempting... I tried to resolve
his FQ =/ FHQ by my proposal that the FHQ underwent some further initiation
at Kerofin Temple making her a Sorana Tor. How about that?

Andrew Joelson says that King of Dragon Pass may have been just another
meaningless title. I tend to disagree, why should Phargentes ruin his health
for such a trifle? Also the investment by the Inhuman King Sartar and
Reaches Farthest experienced must have had some meaning.

The Anglo-Saxon "Bretwalda" is a point in Andrew's favour, though...

David Hall provides an amusing synthesis of all the approaches. Let me say
that I am not insisting that the mother Estal and Pharandros ever wore
feathers. If she did, one of the daughters of FHQ4 seems to be a good choice.

The age of Estal must be about 18 or greater by 1613, this much is clear.
She is named as the sister (p.157) or mother (p.128) of Pharandros. The
latter seems wrong (I doubt Moirades would have given his wife away for this
scheme), as do some other "facts" in the accounts of Moirades' and
Pharandros' reigns in the Tarsh section of CHDP. I especially distrust the
dates, since I'm pretty sure that Lunar Tarsh used Lunar dating, and would
have given the start of Moirades' reign as 7/8. If he ruled for 59 years,
his death would fall into 1630, well into the period given for the death of
the "Evil King" in the southern text of the Argrath Saga, and somewhat in
agreement with most other sources.

I don't know whether Pharandros was co-ruler before Moirades death (after
1625, according to the Sartar section of CHDP), or whether he took over for
only one year. The wording in the Tarsh section makes it likely that he was
co-ruler by 1625. Whether his reign really started in 1610 I cannot say,
yet, but I'd like to find out.

Another round to the rest of you...


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