Xanadu?

From: joelsona@superman.cig.mot.com
Date: Wed 21 Jan 1998 - 20:01:54 EET


richard:
> It seems to me that Pent really ought to be a more interesting place
> than I have hitherto worked out. Not only did they successfully invade
> the Lunar Empire in the past, they're about to have another go now.

     Why? The same region of Asia spawned the Huns, the Timurids, the Mongols,
and I don't know who else. These peoples existed for generations as feuding
clans & tribes. The became conquering peoples when something exceptional
happened; they got orginized into one big horde. That happened under Sheng
Seleris. It is potentially happening again at the start of the Hero Wars.
These people may be culturally rich, but they are light on actual possesions;
everything they have has to be moved around with them. They don't have cities.

> Now the idea that a civilisation could mount such an assault 'on a
> shoestring' - so to speak - doesn't seem right to me. The Pentians must
> actually be quite rich in order to equip their armies, and given the
> lack of natural resources in Pent this wealth must have come about
> through trade.

     That does not necessarily follow. The average Pentan is at least a 'levy'
grade light cavalryman. It's inherent in the way they live; very similar to
Prax and the sable Tribe. Nomadic ways do not support as many people per
square mile as farming, but support them it does.

> then maybe there is a thriving spice industry taking place through Pent....
> ...So there could be spice caravans trecking across Pent, with some rich
> Khans raking off the profits in the middle....

     Okay by me. But what is treasure to a nomad. Arms, armor, costume
jewelry, spices, and wood.

> Following the parallel with Mongolia a bit more, there could be a Xanadu
> (or two) - centers of art and learning - with some lunar Marco Polos
> travelling back and forth.

     Xanadu was built by Kublia Khan, who inheirited a united Mongolia. Pent
hassn't have this sort of a leader since Sheng Seleris. Sheng had a great camp,

it is true, but it ws on his _star_. (The one that isn't there anymore; Yara
Aranis took care of that.) The Pentans who followed Sheng, gained their
strength
from following his way; they wouldnot admit the impurities to be gained from
foriegn loot. So who's going to build a city, and with what?

     For a couple of Gloranthan parrellels, let's start with Prax. The place is

full of animal nomads, and the only city built since the Dawn is Pavis, built
by the great hero Pavis, who was a unifier & peacemaker. And the place has
certainly gone downhill since then.
     How about the Grazelanders? No cities there that I know of. Predating
Sheng's
followers, the Pure Horse People follow set ways, that _make_ them Pure Horse
People.
No cities there....
     How about Sartar? It took Sartar the hero to build Boldhome, unifying the
scattered tribes and helping put down internecine wars. The other cities in
Sartar
were only founded as trade centers by the mutual agreement of multiple tribes.
That is too much unity to expect from the Pentans.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Y
Andrew Joelson joelsona@superman.cig.mot.com -|-
aka Rupert von Harl; Cults of Seven Mothers, Yanafal Tarnils and Humakt |
 "Contradiction? No, I always did tend to kill chaos creatures anyway" /

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