immortal armies

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Sun 12 May 1996 - 13:17:47 EEST

Frank Rafaelsen:

I had stated that the Dwarves do not innovate.

>I belive the fact that dwarves invented gun powder, and started to
>use it for military purposes show that they are very innovative.

Gun powder...hmmm...They invented this before the Dawn and the
Mostali are using flintlock muskets 2000+ years later. IMHO the
only *innovative* dwarves are either heretics, diamonds (on the
off-chance they can break out of their mould) or True Mostali.
All others are anal-retentive stick-in-the-muds.

>I belive any race that have tied to invade their mountain
>fortresses have found out just how innovative they are.

Technogical achievement =/= innovative. Most of the Dwarven
Technology was invented in the days before the Clay Dwarves
were made. Since that time, the amount of 'progress' has
been abysmal by human standards.

>They [Dwarves] are short sighted? Now where does this piece of
>info come from?

C'mon, they spend their time in underground caves! What need do
they have of 20/20 vision? DW #24 p23 Dwarf Senses 'In daylight,
the human will sense much better than a dwarf, and at a longer
range by the notoriously nearsighted dwarf - of course, in the
caves, there is no need for distance vision.' They probably suffer
from Agoraphobia as well.

>I think it's worth remebering that we are talking about a sorcery
>using race here. Range isn't that much of a problem. Even lousy
>vision would be a relatively minor problem.

Eh? We are talking about an army operating above ground and lousy
vision is a minor problem? Operating above ground is the dwarven
equivalent of human nightfighting. And I don't see how using sorcery
solves their problem. The Malkioni are sorcery users but their

sorcery doesn't overcome any disadvantages they have at fighting at

On the Horali:

>And second, the fact that they have to use old tactics don't have to be
>that bad in Glorantha. This is a question of wether Glorantha is
>developing in the way our world is. Are you sure that the tactics, and
>technology of modern glorantha is any better than pre dawn equipmen and
>tactics? I don't think this is allways true.

Back in the Good Old Days (before the Ice Age), the most the Horali
had to cope with was Neolithic Hsunchen. The war against the evil
Vadeli was won by Zzabur's spells, not the Horali of Brithos. Come
the Dawn and a Brithini Kingdom got its arse kicked by metal-using
Basmoli and barely survived (by going apostate). Nowadays the Horali
have to cope with armoured knights on horseback and crossbowmen. If
it wasn't for their edge due to immortality, the Brithini would have
long perished.

>[The Brithini] most likely have vast ammounts of literature on how
>to do battles.

Whether or not this literature is any good for the modern era is
another question entirely. My opinion is that it is outdated.

>The Horali strike me as an army with only one objective: To win, no
>matter what. And I belive their cast regulations reflect that. "kill
>the ape men, and preserver our harmonious society"

They can't ride. They can't give orders. They can't cast magic.
They probably can't build fortifications (digging is a Dronar's
job). The last Horal who had the idea of 'to win, no matter what'
was Arkat.

- --Peter Metcalfe


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