some more answers for dominic

From: Loren Miller (loren@wharton.upenn.edu)
Date: Mon 20 May 1996 - 19:12:38 EEST


D M McNamara <D.M.McNamara@durham.ac.uk> asks:
> Also, i have another question (sorry) ...is ralzakark ragnaglar, or is
> that a vile rumour spread by his cronies?

Yes and no.

> What do you think is in the crater which the red goddess ascended into
> the sky from?

The Crater is right next to Glamour, and yes it is mind-shattering.
Unless you are a blood relation of Red Momma or Moonson, or have
some other cool heroic ability, you go mad if you so much as peek
over the edge.

> What on earth do praxians record on their 'quipus' ie. knotted strings
> (writing of a sort, mentioned in the Genertela box)????

Lineages, herd sizes, locations of watering holes and oases,
locations of predators, locations of trade caravans that would be
easy to raid or hard to raid, etc.

> where do slarges live? In the south east of genertela?

In the south-west of Pamaltela.

> For a great many people the lunar empire would not have been a good
> place to live, life would have been (to paraphrase that old cliche) 'nasty,
> brutish and short.' Presumably the lunars make extensive use of slaves,
> and a slave-driven economy, although initially possessing immense growth
> potential, ultimately sows the seeds of its own destruction.

Sartarites and Praxians keep slaves too. Every genertelan society
keeps slaves. Is the plight of a slave of Praxian Llama riders better
than that of a lunar slave? How about the slave of morocanth, or of
trolls?

Furthermore, I disagree with your final sentence. While I personally
abhor slavery it is a perfectly effective technique to organize a
society. What was feudalism and the serf system but slavery? What was
industrialized society before unions but mass-slavery? IMO slavery is
so entrenched in our societies that even our public schools are set
up to indoctrinate students to be good slaves. Slavery is a
stabilizing influence in a society, and it is effective as long as
those who are enslaved are not expected to think or act on their own
volition. But if they are then slavery becomes counter-productive.

> We must also not forget the great meditteranean sea, the romans
> friend. Apparently it cost far less to shift a cargo of grain by boat
> from one end of the meditteranean to the other, than take a cargo by oxen
> 100 miles on land (at this point the ox will have eaten your profit!).

The Lunar Empire's power is not founded on trade. The power of the
Lunar Empire comes from its Religion. On the other claw, nowadays
the province of Carmania (set on the Poralistor, Oronin and the Sweet
Sea) bases its power on trade. So guess why the Lunar Empire
conquered Carmania in the first place, and why they are trying to
conquer Sartar, Prax and Esrolia, if not to establish a clear path to
the sea? That is the reason, naturally, so they can exploit those
vast granaries in Esrolia and enrich the empire with trade. Of course
I think that Carmanian Houses are behind most of the southern effort,
as they are the most established mercantile groups in the empire and
stand to make the greatest profit out of the southern war effort.

> Also, the economy (i assume) is a slave mode of production,
> therefore operates off the everyday misery and humiliation of
> those that have been captured through slave raiding and warfare.

Disagree. The Lunar Empire is more likely to resettle people en masse
and assess stiff taxes than to enslave them. Sure, individuals will
be enslaved, but to repeat myself that happens everywhere in
Genertela.

> however, the romans had philosophies which represented the slave
> as inferior (Varro - a 'speaking tool'), and predetermined to toil
> for his/her master. Do the lunars have anything like this? I don't
> know.

To the contrary. Lunar religion emphasizes complete caste mobility.
Even the worst reprobates can join the cult of Danfive Xaron and
redeem themselves. Every slave has at least this option. And most
slaves have better options than this. Plus, there are lots of
Lunar Citizens who are not to be enslaved.

Methinks Dom is concentrating overmuch on slavery in the Lunar
Empire.

> I suppose there is a danger of viewing non-lunar, technologically
> 'primitive' societies, in a 'noble savage' light here. Certainly,
> every society in glorantha appears to contain misery, power
> relations, and the like. Certainly, there must be an alternative,
> but the greedy reaching moon of the lunars threatens to damage the
> uniqueness of the rest of glorantha. This is a Bad Thing.

The only way that you can justify these statements is by buying into
the Noble Savage idea you appear to reject. Let us listen to the
words of Vizir Azovit Laukolsty, currently residing in Furthest.

"The bounty and endless mercy of the Red Goddess encompasses all
peoples, and does not require them to forswear their ways or their
ancestors, but only to accept the Red Goddess as the source of peace
and harmony in the world, the unifying power that allows them to
cooperate with their neighbors rather than burn off their strength in
endless feuds, raids, and counter-raids.

"All hail the Red Moon. Pax."

- --
+++++++++++++++++++++++23
Loren Miller <http://hops.wharton.upenn.edu/~loren>
Life at the water's edge is the real life for men and women, and penguins

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