Lunar Empire

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Wed 22 May 1996 - 02:52:17 EEST

Dominic McNamara:

>I must confess that my own perspective on the lunar empire is coloured
>strongly by what i know of the romans, so blame it on that.

The Lunars are not Romans. The main army is more alexanderine. Their
philosophy is Hindu-like. They incorporate practices from an Empire
which looked more Babylonian than Roman and were founded as a revolt
against an Persian-like Empire. Neither the Hellenistic Empires, the
Babylonians nor the Persians had or needed vast amounts of slaves so
I do not see why the Lunars should.

> Certainly, the glory of their gods is enhanced by expansion, but there
>are easier ways to expand rather than using military force, such as by
>using religion. Therefore why must they expand, why can't they just rest
>on their laurels and heroquest instead? The ultimate answer surely must
>be for economic reasons - any cash economy must expand if it is based on
>profit, or else it will eventually collapse if it does not revolutionise

And herein lies the fallacy. You assume that because the Lunars are
currently expanding *now*, they always have been or that they must.
None of this is *true*. They certainly weren't expanding during Sheng's
time and the Red Emperor was hostile to Hwarin Dalthippa at times
during her conquest of the Southern Lands.

>Surely, spiritual concerns feed the soul, but everyone (especially
>the lunar ruling classes) needs to purchase the things they like to
>enjoy - food, shelter, clothes, bribes, army maintenance, wall
>maintenance, sumptuous feasts, etc. Therefore - expand or die in this

And how is all this supposed to be gained by plundering a barren land
where the sun hardly ever shines?

>Certainly, from evidence it does appear that the lunar empire has
>an 'extensive' rather than an 'intensive' economy. ie. lack of internal
>economic development, expansion, acculturation process at work, etc.

What evidence? In the Gloranthan Book, it's mentioned that the Lunars
are reaping the benefits of a century of internal peace to such an
extent that saved wealth is beginning to have an effect on the economy.
And what prevents them from doing so?

> The lunars show no signs of developing a more advanced economy eg.
>feudal, like the west.

huh? You first have to show that they have Vast Amounts of Slaves first
before you can insist that they show no signs of developing! And part of
the Lunar Empire *is* feudal: Carmania.

>However, none of these use slaves on quite the same scale as the lunars
>do ( i suspect). I do not have my runequest materials up here in durham
>with me, but from what i can remember (from articles in 'tales of
>reaching moon..' too), the lunar empire does use large numbers of slaves.

umm. I don't recall anything along this line. I think you're far too
engrossed in the Lunars=Romans and thus they have Huge Amounts of Slaves.
This is Not True. The description of the Lunar Empire in the Genertela
Book hardly ever mentions slaves as opposed to Fonrit.

> however, i would suggest you read the following books....the evidence
>supporting the economic theory [for invading britain] is quite

Fiffle. AFAIK Caesar did not include a cost/benefit analysis for the
invasion of Britain in his memoirs. One should make a distinction
between what somebody percieves that he will get out of his actions and
what he (or the nation as a whole) *actually* gets. The percieved
benefits to Ceasar were not high enough to actually compell his
continued invasion for example.

The reason I mentioned this is that in the Fortunate Succession, most
of the actions of the later Red Emperors (post-TakenEgi) can be put
down to internal politics rather than a continued need to maintain
the wealth of what they have already. The Southern War which was made
into an institution during the reign of one Emperor is an attempt to
provide an outlet for a martial society at a time when virtually
nothing threatens the Empire.

David Cake:

>(the first stop along the way is the Arrolians, who are friendly to
>the Lunars, and religiously very similar except for not acknowledging
>the Emperor, and send religious tribute).

The main reason why the Arrolians are not part of the Empire is that
when they were under the Empire, they were under the thumb of the
Carmanians and treated like shit. Riverjoin is founded by Lunars
'fleeing oppression elsewhere' at a time when Eastpoint was ruled
by the Lunar Empire and 'liberated' itself a few years later. And

Sheng has long been dead!

But this is IMO.

- --Peter Metcalfde


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