Re: Glorantha Digest V3 #221

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Tue 08 Oct 1996 - 20:18:00 EEST

Michael Raaterova
>RoC says that Pavis County produces cavalry horses and high quality
>leather, and i assume that most of the people in Pavis County are orlanthi
>in origin, so is Elmal, who is the orlanthi horse god, widely worshipped
>among them,

Arandayla-Hippoi? I suppose that most of the horse stock around Pavis was
bought from the Pol Joni, who have sufficient Grazer ties to allow for this
horse Protectress.

The denizens of the Rubble - at least those with Old Pavic roots - have a
great deal of Pure Horse People blood in their veins, and might remember
Hippoi/Hippogriff, especially with the gate of the same name in handy

>or did the elmalites all move to Sun County (where the horse
>business was later dropped for some obscure reason)?

The obscure reasons that Sun County dropped usage of horses had to do with
- - a) the wet river climate the horses were exposed to even when wet season
would have allowed them to roam freely across the plaines, and
- - b) with the fact that Sun County was ruled by animal nomad counts through
much of its Solitude of Testing. I suppose more than one of these would have
been proud to be called Dispenser of Horses, sky relation or not.

>A lot of EWF orlanthi followed Pavis into Prax, but were they clan-based or
>did they have a slightly different social hierarchy?

Definitely clan-based, but a pre-Alakoring clan was about the size of a
Sartarite tribe.

Alakoring introduced the Orlanth Rex cult with its minuscule tribal kings to
counter the (EWF) priesthood controlling the large tribes. If we'd use Latin
instead of English to describe the titles, a tribal king would be called
regulus, whereas a pre-Alakoring king would gain the title rex. There are a
few rex-tribes left, or have been rebuilt: the Hendriki tribe of Heortland
never accepted the minuscule tribe concept, and the Tarsh tribe followed the
Hendriki example or earlier traditions kept "alife" by the Shaker Cult.

Prior to Alakoring, a tribe was about the size of a 3rd Age Orlanthi nation,
numbering between 50,000 to 200,000 members. The clans would have been about
2,000 to 6,000 people, led by chief thanes (chieftains) or lords (rune
lords...) or so. The village sized communities equal to a modern Sartarite
clan would have been led by thanes.

Southern coastal Heortland was never reached by Alakoring himself, and while
the refugees from Dragon Pass who fled before the True Golden Horde did
introduce the Alakoring tribal organisation to Kethaela, not all Kethaelan
Orlanthi would adopt it.

Don't forget that the later First Age Orlanthi and the 2nd Age Orlanthi of
southern Peloria and Kerofinela were a lot more organized and civilized than
the Ralian clans and tribes (whose life-style was (re-)introduced to Peloria
and Kerofinela by Alakoring). They built city-sized hillforts like Whitewall
or Alda-chur, oppidae like the ones encountered by Julius Caesar in Gaul
(and along the Danube River). These cities would be ruled by princes, IMO,
which may or may not have been subject to tribal kings, or have been such in
some cases.

The princes may have been mercantylers, trader princes. I often think that
four of the Lightbringer cults are city cults, and only Orlanth has some
rural aspects.

>I think that the old
>Pavis County orlanthi have very large 'clans' made up of unaffiliated
>households ruled by an ueber-family or noble house in a patron-client
>system. A civilized lunar would of course have big troubles trying to
>discern the difference between the 'noble' families from the rest.

Really? If she is from the Pelorian culture, she would recognize the same
pattern of egalitarian superiority the largest sub-culture of the Empire
has, IMO.

This patron-client system could be similar to the Sicilian mafia in its
origins (i.e. from the Saracen domination through the Norman and Staufer era
and into the Anjou occupation).

Similar patterns are known among the refugees from Lunar expansion who
settled in Tarsh, like e.g. Griselda's clan (who IMO resettled from Bagnot
to Alone after Grizzley Peak).

>What would be the effects of the immigrants following Dorasar and the
>recent waves of refugees from Sartar, and in what numbers did they come -
>in hundreds or in thousands?

I always imagined the first treck of settlers following Dorasar to resemble
a typical Western settler trecks, with lots of mule-drawn wagons bearing the
entire wealth of the families. Say about fourty wagons eastward, escorted by
a band of "our" barbarians (from a Pol Joni clan, or so? possibly zebra
clans who had lived among the Pol Joni during the later part of the troll
occupation of Old Pavis, see Pavis Box). They joined with the populace of
thieves' town (more Sartarite stock, or related to the Adarites) on the
eastern bank of Zola Fel, and attracted River Folk as well as Old Pavisites.

>Did they all move into Pavis or did they
>predominantly settle in Pavis County?

I suppose the first farmers to come settled within Dorasar's walls, or in
Sun County - after all, this was the time of the sun-strife in Sartar, and
not all sun worshippers followed Tarkalor's lead into Volsaxi Valley. Only
after Dorasar had survived the first nomad raids I expect other Orlanthi to
settle in the meagre security of the nearby city.

Did the Zebra people under Olgkarth act like the US Cavalry against the
nomads during this time?

The Orlanthi settlers leaving (Old) Sartar may have been members of losing
tribes who disagreed with their new distribution. The Nostali tribe (which
had a tribal residence in Boldhome under Prince Saronil, according to the
KoS description of that city, p.218-223) has disappeared from the map, and
certain clans of other tribes have disappeared and been encountered in or
around Pavis as well (Karandoli, p.235)...

>What were their effects on the local
>traditions - did they assimiliate into the existing culture without major
>disruption or were the local traditions replaced with Sartarite practices?

The existing culture had been held down through at least two centuries by
the trolls, and would have survived only in rudiments. IMO the (royal,
somewhat urban) Sartarite culture merged with the Old Pavic rudiments to
form a new upper class. Tribal Sartarite culture would have been weaker in
and around Pavis than in Sartar proper.

For a recent publication on how (New) Pavic upper class (though
impoverished) lives, read Ken Rolston's piece in the Convulsion 3D con
booklet. (There might be a few left...)

>What about Issaries and Desert Trackers? Kost the Tracker is a beast rider,
>so is Issaries or the DT subcult widely acknowledged among the beast

Issaries was a favourite cult of the Zebra people, whose heralds were
accepted even by the nomad clans. Kost is a member of that tribe...

>Seeing that Issaries was a major player during the second age, i
>guess that the cult was widely disseminated among the nomads, especially as
>a go-between in dealings between the farmers and the nomads.

IMO Issaries was one of the ruling deities of Pavis. The founder of the
Arrowsmith Dynasty, Joraz Kyrem, was famous for doing an Issaries trick
(cross-breeding horses with native Praxian beasts, in his case zebras which,
with EWF magics and Eiritha's blessing, became fertile war zebras), and his
people, for a long time the cavalry of the city of Pavis (until the zebra
cavalry was crushed by Jorbal Rhino Khan along with Garngar Gateguard).
Afterwards, the Pavis Survivors remained a tribe apart for a long time, and
still performed herald services.

>Is Ronance a son of Issaries and a daughter of Genert?

I doubt that, at least originally. Ronance was indigenous to the Golden Age
people of Prax, and Issaries is known as one of the Invader deities of the
Theyalan Council era (yep, the Lightbringers fit the same bill as does Humakt).

Modern believes might well put Issaries into a father role, but in the Dawn
Age Ronance would have been totally separate from Goldentongue.

>G:CotHW says that Beast Riders move about in 'tribes'. Bison Riders number
>80 000 and i refuse to believe that the tribe includes all of them, as they
>could never find a place that could sustain such a large herd. So how large
>is a tribe?

Bison clans are the size of minor Sartarite tribes, AFAIK, and there tend to
be more bisons in one place than any other Praxian nation's beasts, except
on migrations or campaigns.

>Speaking of Bison - Between Adari and Tada's High Tumulus lies the Bison
>Plains. Is this place a Bison Rider haunt or do wild bison roam there?

IMO both is true, although the dominant tribe there are the horse-and-cattle
nomads. The Bison Plains are traditionally good horse country (given Prax as
comparison) and were used already by the Pure Horse Tribe. The horse riders
simply are more territorial about this region because they can muster more
of their people there, and only bison clans would be able to withstand their
pressure for long.

>From DP the boardgame i know of three secret societies - the Twin Spears,
>the Sword Brothers and the Bullocks. I guess the Bullocks is the same as
>the White Bull society. But what are the other two? Are other societies
>mentioned somewhere? I don't have the OOP Prax stuff, so wouldn't know if
>any appear there.

In the Nomad Gods boardgame (French edition) there are six more secret
societies, each providing one element's magician: the Red School of Masks
(Lunar), the Serpent Dancers (Water), the Star Witches (Sky/Fire), the
Sunset Society (Darkness) and the Wind Singers (Storm).


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