Marcher Barons

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Wed 01 Oct 1997 - 23:50:00 EEST


Michael Cule

>Does anyone have any info about the Marcher Barons who live between
>Heortland and Prax? Are they the same religious composition (Aeolian or
>Rokari?) as the Heortlander nobility or are they something more obscure.

Not so obscure. From what I know about the region, it was originally settled
by Trader Princes from Ralios who came about 50 to 100 years after Slontos
and Seshnela had been drowned. Troll Pak tells us that this was the time of
the Kingdom of Jorstland in Safelster, at least in contact to Halikiv, and
thus likely also in contact to Wenelia. Thus I picture the trader princes
who came to Kethaela, and who settled in southern Heortland, to have been
neo-Stygian Malkioni, emphasizing Issaries (and possibly Argan Argar as well).

Their influence strengthened (and changed) the obscure subcult of Orlanth
Aeolus (the Wizard) enough to become a strong political force by 1315.

They chose to settle in southern Heortland because the natives there were
already used to some sort of Malkioni neighbours and Malkioni rules: they
had been in contact with God Forgot for ages.

Whatever the reason, after a while the knights had new ambitions (probably
they had grown tired of being vassals of their merchant prince lords) and
went into the Praxian March to carve out an existance for themselves. They
became the Marcher Barons, and they repaired the ancient and mighty fortress
known as Knight Fort. (Krak des Chevaliers in my Glorantha...) In this they
were joined by Aeolian minor nobles, sometimes through marriage (and how
many Ralian wives do you expect at this end of the world), sometimes through
ambition.

Nowadays the Marcher Barons are a group of grim, not very chivalrous (but
somewhat effective) knights and landholders lording over Kethaelan settlers
(likely brought in with hard-to-keep promises of lots of lush land waiting
to be plowed, and no mention of beast-riding nomads) and native farmers (I
seem to recall claims for Oasis people folk around Knight Fort).

They are some sort of warrior Malkioni, with no true wizards. IMG they
relied on Aeolian and rare Ralian expatriate wizards for their Malkioni magics.

Recently there has been an insurge of Rokari mercenaries, including
chaplains, who had come to Heortland in the wake of Richard the
Tigerhearted. Some had been hired as mercenaries for Knight Fort to replace
Richard's company, others had followed Richard's call for knights of the
true faith. Whatever the reason, after Richard's defeat in 1620 many were
stranded in Heortland, and whether disowned by the conquerors or natives, or
not yet that far, many have coagulated here in Knight Fort, waiting for a
second chance.

Being soldiers with Ralian and Wenelian experiences, there will be few
religious issues among the mercenary knights at Knight Fort. After a lapse
in strength during Richard's reign in Malkonwal, the knight force of Knight
fort has strengthened rather than weakened recently, and their leaders have
become more likely to take Praxian employers as well. Of course, there is
Refuge, with an ambitious Lunar resettlement project... and Waertagi ships
due to arrive in only a couple of years (initiating the parallel to the
Beysib occupation of Sanctuary IMG).

>I'm currently trying to decide whether to restart my Glorantha campaign
>in Pavis or shift them to somewhere new so any suggestions as to what
>might be going on in either Pavis or Heortland after the Cradle but
>before the return of Argrath will be appreciated.

Pavis is outside of my immediate radius, and other than Enostar Bad-Dream's
plotting in the city and Gimgim's reign of terror over the Black Fangs I
know little about it.

Heortland, however...

I should have some information on my (long neglected) homepage. If you are
unhappy with frame format, try
http://www.toppoint.de/~joe/heortmain.html
plus the files heortpoi.html and heortpon.html for the information I have on
that region so far. Most of this is concerned with central Heortland, i.e.
the region between Karse and Backford, where everything meets.

Basically, Heortland is going to live in Interesting Times...

With Fazzur's dismissal, the Fazzurite officers (who are culturally
civilized Orlanthi who happen to worship Lunar deities) are systematically
demoted or transferred, and replaced by Dara Happan officers from Tatius
clique. These are overbearing types happy to remind the natives of Palangio
the Iron Vrok, and ready to inflict severe punishments on minor delicts.
Where Fazzur and his troops had been greeted as liberators from Rokari
oppression (the Rokari had forbidden even Ernalda and Barntar worship near
the cities) the new decision-makers make a mess out of the Lunar occupation.
(Figure some remaining second-line officers schooled by Fazzur forced to
carry out idiotic Dara Happan prejudices, and you get perfectly tragic
characters, so-called "good Lunars" forced to obey.)

Speaking of Malkioni oppression, southern Heortland (Mt. Passant and
southward) had been traded to the Talars of God Forgot for Lunar access to
Refuge, which has received a Lunar princeling governor. (I am tempted to use
Prince Orosius, of Tarsh War Fame, for this assignment, but Kadakithis in
the Sanctuary novels had a bit more competence. Suggestions for a Lunar
governor of imperial family are welcome - the Tarshite royals do qualify,
through Hon-eel, but we know of no brother of Pharandros, and that prince
has work to do at home. An Eel-ariash might work, though...) The Aeolian
rebels in the south are less obsessed with the Lunars in Durengard than with
the Atheists in Mt. Passant, led by the displaced bishop of Mt. Passant, and
Sir Gerard de Montanpieu, a former Rokari who married a local noblewoman.

If you want chaos, you get it: Scorpion Queen Gagix Twobarb in Foulblood
Forest is ready to release her spawn into the foothills of the Storm
Mountains and down the Syphon River. Down the Syphon there will be some
organized defense of the natives, severely hampered by Lunar (DHan)
bureaucracy but probably supported by some Fazzurite officers "interpreting
orders", whereas the less populated foothills, home of the traditional
Orlanthi of Heortland, will suffer worse.

Krarsht will bloom in the cities underworld, with gang wars against a few
stalwart Lanbril thief covens. And of course Lunar police forces (if you
believe that...)

What does Pavis have to rival this? a brief nomad occupation, to be
destroyed less than four weeks later in the second battle of Moonbroth.
Griselda left Pavis, too - her Cradle interview was given in a hideout near
Boldhome, around 1625, if I recall correctly. (Oliver Dickinson's part in
the sadly delayed Heroes of the King project, read in parts at Convulsions
'94 and '96)

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