Re: God Forgot

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Mon 06 Jan 1997 - 19:04:00 EET


Peter Maranci:
> Has anyone ever played an atheistic character from God Forgot? I'm
>wishing for a character template (if there isn't one, maybe I'll make one
>up). How would such a character deal with religious types on a journey to
>Dragon Pass, say?

While not actually having played them as PCs, I have quite a lot of God
Forgot NPCs in the cities of Heortland. They perform obscure crafts and
magics, and are generally treated similar to the way the Jews were treated
in medieval England (think Ivanhoe).

In public, they won't remark a bit about the strange customs of the theists.
Who are humble they to judge the caste restrictions of lesser humans?

In private, I suppose they regard the gods' slaves as an "unholy" fifth
caste below even the farmer caste.

In my Glorantha the ancient Brithini caste rules followed by the God
Forgotten predate the anti-Gbaji crusade of Arkat, and also the changes

(sic) devised by Zzabur after the disruptions Hrestol left behind in
Brithos. A small shipload of Brithini teachers arrived with the early
Waertagi expeditions this far east, quite likely during the Silver Age
of Kethaela. They were accepted by the native Leftarm Islanders, who

(unlike the other main populaces of Kethaela) had been left without divine
protection (their god(s) had been destroyed, including all memories of
him/them, during the Greater Darkness, quite likely just before the Devil
was crushed by the Block) or a Silver Age Hero to guide them into Time.
Grateful for any kind of order, the Leftarmers adopted the Brithini caste
system under the guidance of the newcomers.

During the First Age they spread their farmland well into southern (modern)
Heortland, about half way between Mt. Passant and Duchamp. The Heortling
kingdom was still centered upon Kerofinela, and only few Heortlings lived
that far south. Those who did preferred the shelter of the Storm Mountains
over the open plateau.

After the Second Council broke up, the Heortlings were thoroughly suppressed
in their religion by the Pelorian and dwarf occupation troops under Palangio
the Iron Vrok. This gave another opportunity to the fertile Leftarm Islanders
to spread their urban settlements further north and west, and numerous
enclaves of God Forgot citizens grew in the Kethaelan cities, adding to
their cosmopolitan flavour.

When Arkat liberated Kethaela from Palangio's rule, he rewarded his allies,
often to the cost of the allies of his foe. The God Forgot farmers found
themselves driven out of southern Heortland, or put under Hendriki lords.
Much of the lands on the Plateau came under Heortling control again. (IMO
much of the Heortland Plateau had been (forcefully) settled during
Palangio's rule, both by expatriate Orlanthi, God Forgot volunteers,
immigrants from elsewhere in Kethaela, and possibly veterans of Palangio's
siege forces - remember that Palangio kept a circle of siege around key
positions on Shadow Plateau for 70 years!)

During the 2nd Age, there were three major influences on the God Forgot
populace. Their Orlanthi lords - somewhat westernized through contact with
Arkat's knights and later the God Learners, the EWF, and the God Learners
themselves. Of these three worldviews, the Zistorite philosophy spread from
Slontos suited the disillusioned Leftarmers best.

Adherents of Western philosophy (Brithini, also other atheist) or religion
(Malkioni) had always felt a great esteem for Logic. When Inolzi the
Learned, IMO a citizen of Jrustela or Slontos, invented mechanical devices

applying
logic on natural sciences, all westernized communities felt drawn towards
these results. Zistorism started as a mass movement in Slontos, but spread
also further east. Around 820 at least three Zistorite cities existed in
Kethaela: Lylket, Jadnor, and Locsil, the latter on the southernmost of the

Leftarm Islands. The majority of the Leftarmers will have been content
to profit from the inventions, but the ordinary farmers are unlikely to
have embraced the philosophy themselves.

Around 920 the Zistorite dream ended with the sieges of the cities mentioned
above. Locsil, aka Clanking City, and seat of the physical form of Zistor
(?), lasted the longest, and caused one of the epics of the late 2nd Age.
The Leftarmers had been the foot troops and swordfodder of the Zistori
lords, and most of their lands had been wasted by the war. Heortling lords

(though no members of the EWF) were imposed on most of the Leftarmers'
territory. The ancient Brithini overlords, who had maintained a strict
neutrality towards
the Zistorites, were allowed to continue around Talar Hold and Casino Town.
Slowly their subjects recovered from the catastrophe.

When the EWF collapsed in 1042, and the Dragonkill War sent hordes of
refugees south just before the final battle, the Orlanthi hold on the
southlands was disrupted. Internal religious strife in Heortland between
the old cult (in the tradition of Harmast) and the new one (in the tradition
of Alakoring Dragonbreaker) gave the Brithini lords an opportunity to take
back all of the island holdings, and also much of the mainland territory.
For the next three centuries, southern Heortland saw several conquests and
reconquests between Orlanthi warlords and Brithini Talars, the latter

yielding land when a charismatic warlord gathered a large following, and
taking back the lost ground when the charismatic leadership grew stale.
The Ralian merchant princes from Jorstland, who had established the trade
routes through western Maniria found southern Heortland not only as a place
to sell their goods, but also as good territory to establish another
stronghold. Under their influence Malkioni military achievements became
spread in southern Heortland. Finally, when Belintar changed the entire
power structure in Kethaela, the kings of Heortland managed to maintain a
unity (hard won, during two generations of civil war) and to maintain a
hold on the southern Heortland possessions. They even took Refuge and made
themselves overlords over the Marcher Barons of southwestern Prax.

Restricted in territory, the Leftarm populace turned inwards once again.
Outstanding individuals like Leonardo the Scientist rediscovered lost
secrets of the Zistorites, and once again filled the land with working
automatons, while the majority of the populace followed their
caste-proscribed activities of farming or fishing, military drill, or
sorcerous studies. For almost three centuries the Talars of God Forgot have
built up their subjects' strength, patiently waiting for their opportunity
to retake the holdings of Southern Heortland. When the Lunars crushed
Richard the Tigerheart's Kingdom
of Malkonwal in 1620, their troops occupied the southwestern part of the
Heortland plateau, and retook the city of Mt. Passant.

IMO they yielded the city of Refuge to the Lunars, who wanted another port
between Karse and Corflu. My main reason for assuming this is that I want
Prince Kitticat's (from the Sanctuary novels) Gloranthan alter ego to be a
Lunar. IMG Refuge is the city described in Chaosium's Thieves World box, and
I use part of the information in a French article (I believe from Tatou).

> How about a campaign set in God Forgot? Any thoughts on what it
>might be like there, beyond the skimpy material already published?

A lot of the land will be dull, agricultural country, using devices like the
Roman Gaul harvesting machines (basically metal combs on wheeled lafittes,
catching the fruit but leaving the straw standing), irrigation devices,
multi-shared plowing devices driven by clever combination of man- and
beastpower, mechanics, and magic; hellishly efficient mills (likely
windmills) and possibly even something resembling a railroad with draught
beasts. They
will also have manufactures with horizontal looms (most Gloranthans use
vertical ones), and are likely to have developed glass-blowing into mass
production as well. Since the Opening there are a lot of markets for their
cheaply produced mass articles, once again.

Peter Metcalfe gave an amusing, even more drastic picture: nice stuff,
though a bit too technical for my taste. Generally think dull when you have
to deal with Brithini, even weird ones like in God Forgot. The worse will
the devices break that pattern.

IMG Casino Town is one of the financial centres of Kethaela, BTW - they
accept all kinds of coinage, and can determine the exchange rates quickly.
Much of it is sent to the Talars who pay off their interest to the Pharaoh
(since 1616 the payments have been stalled, and used to equip their 1620
invasion force on short notice) or to import whatever basic goods cannot be
produced on the Leftarm Islands.

------------------------------

End of Glorantha Digest V4 #49
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