Ariran plows

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Sun 11 Jan 1998 - 17:56:00 EET

Andrew Behan
>(What follows is speculation on my part, reasonably constructive
>criticism isn't so much encouraged as begged for.)

I argue agaisnt your reason for the persistrance of the hunter/gatherer
culture only, not against the course of your history.

>The region now known as Doblian and specifically the western land of Arir
>was a hunter-gatherer society until the middle of the Second Age. The
>natives were backward tributaries of the Dara Happans in the Concilliar
>period, and of the Empire of Gloom for most of the Second Age.

Probably because of the heavy forestation rather than the nature of pelorian
plows. Arir had been subjected to various reforestations in the early ages,
cf TFS p.28.

>In common
>with the rest of the Pelorian basin it was heavily wooded and had heavy
>soil which could not be turned by the light pony drawn ploughs of the
>civilized Dara Happans and Pelandans.

Huh? It was the Orlanthi Barntar plow (ox-drawn!) which could not turn the
heavier clays (loess from Valind's glacial, like the Ukraine?) of the
Pelorian basin.

The heavy plow (ox-drawn) has been mentioned several times for both the Dara
Happans (lod-plow, Lodril plow) and the Pelandans (Tawari plow of the Bisosae).

In Greg's "Horses of Genertela" no horse-drawn plows are mentioned, although
the Galana hill pony (only) is said to have been used for work - a breed of

horse uncommon to early ages' Pelorian basin.

>The dispersal of Carmanian iron plough

Did the Carmanians have iron to spare for plows, or did you mean the heavy
Carmanian brass plow with a turning board (as opposed to the ard, like the
Barntar plow, which doesn't have a moldboard and may be constructed from
fire-hardened wood alone)?

Unlike our own history, where iron was very common throughout central Europe
whereas the inferior metal bronze was rarer and more expensive, on Glorantha
bronze (and/or brass, which - on the real world - is different from bronze
by containing _a lot_ less copper, but considerable amounts of zinc instead
of mere 10% of tin) is more easily accessible than iron. Probably because
the technique of refining iron ore (generally frequent, source of the dark
or brown colour of non-soil sand or rock) into the metal requires reduction
far beyond simple melting of the ore (although tin ore has to be treated
likewise, if less severely so because of a much lower melting point).

>in the ninth and tenth centurty
>precipitated the rapid decline, or transformation, of the formerly
>dominant hunter cults: Kenestrata, Orogeria and Arakang. The new cults of
>Oravinos, Turos and Oria came to prominence and the old ways survived in
>the rugged foothills of the Yolp Mountains and in the northeast near
>Mount Jenalf.

Perhaps it rather was the feudal culture of the Carmanians which demanded of
their subjects to farm, whereas the previous empires seem to have been
content to collect tribute. Probably there is a similar development in 3rd
Age Wenelia around the Trader Princes' castles.


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