Swings of the pendulum

From: Martin Dick (Martin.Dick@fcit.monash.edu.au)
Date: Thu 29 May 1997 - 07:53:43 EEST


In response to Pam:

The reason I listed the things I considered barbaric in the Lunar Empire
(not from a Sartarite POV but from a 20th Century Australian POV which is
especially apt for the red-headed Pentan children given we have just had a
report on stolen Aboriginal children) was to illustrate that while the
Lunars are undoubtedly more sophisticated technologically and economically
than Sartar, when using the term "civilised"with a positive meaning, it
would be hard to consider any of the Genertelan societies "civilised".

My point was not to say that Lunars are evil, just that they are as
unscrupulous as a whole as any of the other societies in Glorantha.
I actually think that is more MGF if rather than a small minority of the
Lunars being reasonable people, that quite a lot of them are. So that the
Lunar garrison is mostly soldiers who would fit fine into the Fyrd, that
many of the 7 Mothers initiates are basically reasonable people and not
chaos worshipping scum and that the Etyries merchant is no more likely to
rip you off than the Issaries merchant was last year.

I think it is very easy for the rabid anti-Lunars to rationalise away a
few deluded fools who are the dupes of the Evil Empire. If most of the
Lunars you meet are no worse or better than the Clan on the other side
of the mountain, then you have some dilemmas.

But the other point I was trying to make is that the Sartar of the 1500s and
1600s is a far different society to the same area in the time of the Taming of
Dragon Pass campaign that pam, jeff and david have been telling us about and
that I have enjoyed hearing about so much.

I agree totally that in those times, the Orlanthi in the area were extremely
clan and tribe oriented and deserving of the epithet "barbarians". But to
say that Sartar's effect on the culture and the 100+ years of Kingdom after
that just get blown away and they all revert to the 1350s political and
cultural situation the minute the Lunars walk into Boldhome is to denigrate
a major part of Dragon Pass's history. And as we have just been reminded
one of only three known 'peaceful' heroes arose in the land of Sartar.

Sartar of the 1600s in my opinion is a changing society which has moved
a long way from the simple barbarian culture of the 1350s. To say that
all Sartarites are bloody-minded reactionary savages whose only interest is
in chopping down the clan next door or even that the majority follow this
line of thought is less interesting. Of course a significant minority of
bloody-minded reactionary savages who think the Lunar conquest is a great
opportunity for chopping down the clan next door or even better getting the
Lunars to do it for them is also lots of fun as well.

I think that Sartar in the 1600s has a significant "civilised" element and
that also that there is a spirit of cooperation amongst Sartarites that
does allow Argrath to unite them against the Lunar Empire. I think one
of the main aims of the Lunars is to dowse that spirit of cooperation. So
I may be totally wrong about this, but I do think that quite a few of the
people of Sartar do think of themselves as Sartarites, they may think of
themselves as Varmandi first and their tribe second, but after that they
do think of themselves as Sartarites and that it is these people who
Argrath is able to take and forge into the force which defeats the Lunars.

In response to Peter:

Hail the Reaching Moon

Peterius Metcalfius let it be known that your application for
promotion to the position of Vice Assistant Functionary to the Deputy
Minister of the Ministry of Peace in Glamour has been endorsed by
the Propaganda Council. Your work in Sartar has been noted and is
considered of exceptional quality.

Josephus Gobellius

An excellent defense of the Lunar Empire and I have to agree with Sandy
that using the example of the Janissaries to show how reasonable the
Lunars were brought a smile to my face as well.

No humans killed in the Sky Burn?

But surely as any troll will tell you, it's much better to eat your
vegetables raw.

Historical Question?

Pam mentioned the many attacks from the south as a justification for
invading Dragon Pass, but a perusal of King Of Sartar and the Genertela
box, seemed to indicate that the last invasion of peloria from the dragon pass
area was the Empire of the Wyrms' Friends which is something like 600 years
ago. Have I missed a major invasion?

Martin

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End of Glorantha Digest V4 #435
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