many topics

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Sun 01 Jun 1997 - 03:16:13 EEST

Claude Manzato:

>I was wondering: is there some place in glorantha were democratic
>city-states are know to exist ?

The Democratic Republic of Wexten in Ralios. It's not shown on
the Genertela Box Map. I view it as the peasant commune in
Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Handra on the Wenelian Coast is said to be run by a "surprisingly
democratic council of guilds". I don't known whether this means
that it's a surprise that a few rich guilds have not subverted the
constitution of Handra or that it's a surprise that the obviously
corrupt syndocracy represents the people's wishes or that it's
a surprise that the people believe the government is actually

Golden Kareeshtu in Fonrit is said to be a confederation of
republics. However it's a overt plutocracy rather than a

Daniel McCluskey:

>It seems that
>there ought to be [Giant Ant Empires in Glorantha], but I don't think...
>nah... it couldn't be... the "six-legged empire" of Sandy's last post???
>thats just a name... isn't it?... (insert sinister music here) (YGMV)

The Six-Legged Empire is so named because they used cavalry who
has been interpreted in the RW by the Aztecs as Centaur-type
monsters. A real Giant Ant Empire could possibly be found in
Jrustela or the Kumanku Isles.

Joerg Baumgartner:

Me>>OLD SESHNEGI vs BASMOLI: At the Dawn, the people of Seshnela were
>>overrun by the Basmoli. Despite the Seshnegi being equipped with
>>Iron Armour, Sorcery and Aeons of Experience, they are amply defeated
>>by the Hsunchen Basmoli who have none of these things.

>Actually, a sorry bunch of ex-Brithini (who had just discovered that their
>Aeons of experience had about as much meaning as the ability to read punched
>cards has for modern programming) had taken some land granted to them by a
>generous and _city-dwelling_ king of the Basmoli, in exchange for some minor
>military service against some krjalki force during the Greater Darkness.

The fact that the Basmoli dwell in "cities" means diddley-squat (such
hidden information from the Book of Kings BTW can be found in the
Genertela Book) with respect to the rest of their technology or level
of culture (to wit iron armour and sorcery). For all we know, their
level of sophistication would be no better than the Rathori or the
Shan Shan Hsunchen. IMO the Basmoli empire was based on the conquest
of sedentary peoples and so they lived off the latter's labour. We

know the Pralori similarly 'oppressed' the people of Wenelia at the

Given Joerg's assertion that the Seshnehi aeons of experience had
as little meaning, one wonders why the Basmoli felt compelled to
give them land in return for military service! Furthermore

back on the Motherland, the Brithini who are even more outmoded
than the Dawn Malkioni, have successfully managed to repulse
at least two invasions.

>Seshnegi supply of iron armour was likely worse than that of the Basmoli -
>or Pendali, as this certain branch of Basmoli called themselves - since the
>Pendali had been living close to the Iron Mountains a lot longer than King
>Froalar's people.

Why should the Basmoli be wearing armour? The True Basmoli needs
aught but his skin IMHO.

>The Six-Legged Empire was doomed as long as it relied solely on its
>mounted forces to win their battles, since horses get sick on the
>plains of Jolar quickly.

Um, then how _did_ the six-legged empire manage to conquer the
plains in the first place? According to the Jolar writeup,
their steeds failed which implies that they must have been
effective initially.

Martin Laurie:

>Anyone want to classify Sandy?.....I think he's really Dayzatar....


>The Dara Happans are magically strong and their society makes it almost
>impossible to crush them for long given the nature of the Emperor and the
>magics that support him - the Lunars defeated and absorbed them by using
>their Emperor magic against them by simply making an Emperor that could
>fulfill the DH requirements.

To be fair, the credit belongs to the EWF and the Carmanians, both
of whom had Emperors that filfulled the Dara Happan requirements.
But then the first post-kazkurtum Emperor they had was an illiterate
horse-rider so I doubt Yelm's standards are really all that stringent.

>Shengs Empire existed because the nomads magic was based on their personal
>aestheticism and the power they gained from creating suffering focussed by
>a leader of suprassing strength. However, they also had the weakness of
>all centralisation - their magic was strong and unified beyond all measure
>while Sheng was there but without him they fell apart.

I'm less than satisfied with this explanation for merely a generation
after Sheng was defeated, the Pentans managed to mulch two Lunar
armies before destroying a third (as well as themselves) at the Nights
of Horror. Sheng was safely in the Pits of Perdition at this time
so I prefer to look at the initial lunar success as a sudden breakthrough
which is later nullified - despite Sheng's defeat, the horse nomands
still control Boshan and they are expelled only after the Nights of
Horror. Mine you, I'm really don't know what Sheng did to become
all powerful so I suspect many things are involved.

>The only societies in Genertela that don't produce large Empires are the
>monotheists (the GLs don't count given their heresy from true Malkionism,
>nor does the Dark Empire) because there is no unifying magical philosophy
>that is larger to the people than the daily lives they lead.

I dispute this. During the First Age the True Hrestol Way after
they outlawed the cult of the Serpent Kings founded the Silver
Empire. This 'once reached all the way up to Safelster, included
the Fronelan Coastline, and planted colonies in Jrustela'
Genertela Book 1 p 18. It fragmented after one of its leaders
lead an invasion of Brithos and was crushed. Gerlant Flamesword
was leading a small successor state to the Silver Empire.

And the God Learners are not heretics from true Malkionism. Their
'heresy' is apparent solely in 20/20 hindsight. They controlled
the Gods using similar spells that a modern Wizard controls an
elemental with IMO.

>Instead the magic of the West is relegated to a lower position of
>influence than that of social and military strength. These forces
>by themselves are not enough to create large Empires in Glorantha
>IMO as they can be easily neutralised by powerful esoteric theistic
>magical effects [...]

IMO Loskalm, Seshnela and Nikodros all the the elements of making
a successful empire. As for theistic neutralisation, the Malkioni
have a few tricks up their sleeve namely the Crusade. The God
Learners in their pious phrase managed to destroy the Waertagi
with the Sea of Flame and burnt the Vralos Elves with fire and
magic. Similar effects could be duplicated by the modern Malkioni.

Stephen Martin:

>However, after
>the whole Dragon's Eye thing in 375, apparently the Emperor left most of
>the Empire to be run by his more or less human exarchs and other
>functionaries, and after a few centuries, they had made a total mess of
>things. When he came back after the False Dragon Circle was routed, he
>set the land back in order, and drove those nasty hsunchen people out

Actually the New Dragons Ring enslaved the Emperor Dragon for the
Dragon's Awakening Shudder, according to the Elder Secrets book,
was the result of Godunya casting off their anthromorphic shackles.

I don't think Godunya was the Emperor at 375 ST. Sandy has a nice
story about the Passing On of Shang-Hsa May His Name Be Cursed at
the Sun Stop. Considering the enormities of his reign, the Kralori
thus regard the Sun Stop as a Happy Occasion.

It seems to me given the above, that after the Sun Stop, the human
exarchs decided not to conduct an Emperor Hunt (the Sun Stop was a

release from the curse of the Emperor!) but instead incarnated
part of the Draconic Essense within themselves with the Head Honcho
pretending to be an Emperor. After all we have another Emperor
mentioned in Wyrms Footprints (Thang Chow). But when the God

Learners came, they exploited this and eventually enslaved the
Draconic Essense (and ceased being God Learners).

So after the War in Heaven, the Mandarins returned and decided
that their previous policy was flawed and reinstituted the
Hunt for the Emperor for the first time since the Sun Stop.

>The God Learners couldn't sidestep the curse of the Closing, because all
>of them were destroyed before they had a chance to figure it out.

Really? The Seshnegi God Learners survived the Closing and were
really destroyed with the Luatha invasion of 1043 ST. Some might
say that the God Learners actually survived that disaster and was
only buried for good with the establishment of the Rokari Church.

In Slontos, the Temple of the United Eurmal seems to have been
founded after the Closing yet it is known as a God Learner
project (albeit a foolish one). It too was cleansed in 1043 ST.
The survivors who later occupied Ramalia are too thalassaphobic
to have attempt to dispell the closing.

In Umathela, the Lord of the World's knowlege survived the
Closing until his destruction at the hands of an Elf Army
in 1020 ST. In Fonrit, a God Learner Fleet is reported
destroyed in Koraru Bay in 1077 ST more than a century after
the Closing (IMO it was probably based in Goan).

There are other survivors of the God Learner Empire but they
had quit the God Learner faith (Loskalm, Kralorela etc) before
the Closing and thus don't concern us here. But we are to
believe that one man in his own lifetime managed to accomplish
what a century of God Learner effort could not?

>Dormal was using some sort of ancient plans when he had hsi first ships
>built in the Holy Country, it may be that he even found some God Learner
>records on them, which the GLs couldn't test.

If the records were God Learner designs, then it is unlikely that
the designs were made in an attempt to thwart the Closing. The
local God Learners were the Zistorites who conquered Esrolia.
Since they had been vanquished in 917 ST before the Closing began,
it is unlikely that the plans were GL prototypes to thwart the


>As for Dara Happan Mytho-History, of course all the stories about
>Nysalor, Arkat, and Gbaji are myths now -- why else do you think they all
>contradict each other.

Quit obsfucating. I merely mentioned the basic details involving
the expulsion of the EWF from Dara Happa. Every Genertelan
Scholar knows that the EWF conquered Dara Happa and were violently
expelled. This is on the same historical level as Arkat fought a
war against Nysalor's Empire. For you to be complaining that I
am relying on a myth without making clear the substance of what
is wrong (eg the EWF weren't *really* kicked out, in fact they're
still running the DH empire!) is making heat and not light.

>Good god, look at Lords of Terror -- five pages of
>people saying who Gbaji or Arkat was, most of them very different, and no
>two that agree on even half of their particulars.

Rather a bad choice. It was ridiculously easy to synthesize a
composite solution that required one or two name changes without
violating the basic framework of the narratives. It's almost
as if the pampleteers had a basic definitive history of Arkat
which they pulled from the shelf and selectively edited it for
their political purposes. I would have expected more blatant
contradictions (but I realise this would have been rather
offputting for many).

To say that events sooner or later become unreliable myths
regardless of their historical documentation seems to me to
be fallacious in the extreme. The Peloponesian War was
fought nearly two and a half thousand years ago yet we know
more historically about that war than say the life of King
Arthur due to having one of the finest and driest historian
writing about that war.

For starters, we have the Call For Heroes and the Unity List
which were composed less than a century after the assasination
of the Dragon Sun. The Unity List mentions that an Emperor
known as the Dragon Sun succeeded Dismanthuyar and we are told
that the information is similar to the facts in the Fortunate
Succession. The following Emperor mentioned in the Unity List
is not Karvanyar but Shah Nadar who is noted as assisting the
'Dragonslayer'. Ergo we have evidence supporting the Fortunate
Succession's version less than _thirty_years_ after the Dragon
Sun's death. Mythical? I think not.

Me>>The Battle of the Falling Hills took place in Holay in 1374 ST could
>>be considered an invasion of Peloria.

>Since Falling Hills was prompted by Lunar aggression (in both versions of
>the story we have, the Lunar one and the Tarsh one), only the most
>pro-Lunar propagandist could say that it was an invasion of Peloria.

'Lunar agression'? The battle is fought in Holay which has been in
the Lunar orbit since Hwarin Dalthippa's time as the Daughter's Road
ends there. Arim, you'll remember, had to cross the Line of Death to
flee the Lunars. The only time we are told that Holay once belonged
to Tarsh is that Illaro is said not to have re-conquered it. So it
seems fair to me that the Battle of the Falling Hills marks the Tarsh
Conquest of Holay. Furthermore the lunar version of the battle mentions
no agression save that the army was looking for a grove of trees.

[and finally...]

>Now there is no further info on Jogrampur, but if it was his cult, it
>would be a nice joke about how the God Learners were really "voted out of

I suspect some RW joke is involved here but in my ignorance, I fail
to recognize it...

- --Peter Metcalfe


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