Re: Horses, Sor-Eel/Argrath, Spirits, etc.

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Wed 04 Feb 1998 - 12:00:11 EET

_______ _____
Stephen asks Peter:

>> Feroda lasted up to 780 ST when the God Learners converted the Pure
>> Horse Tribe to their cause and built Robcradle.

> This doesn't sound familiar to me -- what is the source of the God
> Learner & Pure Horse Tribe friendship?

"River of Cradles" timeline, p.6:

: 780(?) -- Robcradle founded by Jrusteli leader Thantax the Fair in
: alliance with Horse People.

"River of Cradles history, p.9:

: ... Nomads told the Jrusteli that more cradles were captured upriver
: by the Horse People. Explorers went upstream and returned with shrewd
: political observations. Chieftains were called to make deals, arrange-
: ments were made, and at last a new alliance was formed between Thantax
: the Fair of the Jrusteli and Firegleam, king of the Horse People.
: About the year 780 the city of Robcradle was founded upriver from=

: Feroda. Walls were laid and buildings constructed. The river was thus
: secured to prevent the escape of any cradle. Trade quickly moved up
: and down the river, strengthening the Horse People as well as the
: Jrusteli...
: The native Praxians were outraged that the Jrusteli and Pure
: Horse People had allied against them and seized so much grazing land
: for their outlandish animals...

Now, twice in two days we've had people revealing their vast knowledge of=

the Second Age history of Prax ("I didn't know there were horse nomads in=

Prax!" -- "I didn't know the Jrusteli allied with the horse nomads!").

I may be assuming too much, but don't either of you (Andrew J. or Stephen=

M.) actually possess copies of "River of Cradles"? (For old-timers, the
information is unchanged from its first appearance in the "Pavis" box).

It does look a bit odd, when we have one clear account of Praxian history=
which makes this stuff explicit in both summary and main narrative, that
you're both... not so much *unaware* (hardly surprising: it's a big world=
but willing to jump into an argument and assuming your interlocutors --
let's not forget these are normally-well-informed people like David Dunha=
and Peter Metcalfe -- have "got it wrong".

(If I may say so, Andrew's attempted carping about David's EWF freeform
looked particularly un-called-for: not only was David right, but Andrew
appeared rather childish: "You got it wrong too!" -- not so).

When someone who's normally reliable says something that it's easy to
wouldn't it be wiser to check it before posting a contradiction, denial, =
declaration of ignorance? (Let alone mockery). Just a thought...

Stephen also proposed:

> Hmm, does anyone think the baby might have made it as far as the Platea=
> of Statues?

Tasty! If you want a live grown-up baby Giant, here's an out-of-the-way
to stick one. (More on the Plateau in Tales #15, inc. map and stories).

Alternatively: anyone think something *horrible* happened to the baby, an=
he's now called "Cwim" (or "Tom, Dick and Harry" to his friends).

Richard asks:

> Does Sor-Eel eventually get sent home in disgrace and replaced? Or is i=
> buisness as usual from the lunar empire?

It doesn't take that long to lose him, apparently. The Pavis Episodes boo=
mentions that "once the Cradle scenario is completed, no new adventurer
licenses wil be issued until the new Governor of Prax arrives." I think a=

combination of his obvious inability to stop a baby's cradle floating out=

to see, coupled with the anti-corruption investigations carried out by th=
Coders (cf. Strangers in Prax), *and*, of course, any blackening of the
family name caused by the incompetence of Jaxarte Whyded, Sor-Eel's far-
from-competent nephew (especially that resulting from his recent trip to
Glamour: cf. "Jaxarte and the Emperor", in the imminently-forthcoming Tal=
#17) -- add it all up, and it's hard to see how he could hang on.

We don't have any "official" version of who the replacement Governor of
Prax will be. My money's on Duke Raus: competent, self-effacing, loyal...=

a great first step back into Imperial favour, that *still* keeps him out
on the border where he can't do any (political) damage.

> Was I wrong about Argrath escaping on the cradle or is this possibly
> -another- Argrath (of Pavis)?

AFAIK, Argrath (aka Garrath Sharpsword) on the Cradle is the same person
as Argrath White Bull (the Praxian Warlord) -- or has taken over as head
honcho of the new White Bull Cult from A.N.Other -- and is completely un-=

related to the dental weirdo "Argrath of Pavis" (who explicitly *did not*=

participate in the defence of the Cradle, something we know *our* Argrath=

*did*!). "Argrath of Pavis" appears to couple secrets out of Black Fang,
the Dragontooth Runners, and Jaldon Goldentooth -- an all-purpose swords
and dentistry hero!

[Aside to Dave Cake: could "Argrath White Bull" be Jaldon Toothmaker's
latest return? Then the resulting confusion between White Bull (Tooth-
maker) and Black Fang (Argrath of Pavis) and Dragonspear's Dragontooth
Runners (Prince Argrath of Sartar) explains a lot of our problems.]

[Second aside to Dave Cake: Temertain says "Wasn't it a *wonderful* day?
And where *did* Timmy get to...?"]

> The main area not mentioned is what is happening at Sun County during
> these 8 years? What is Solanthos up to (esp with Sor-Eel)?

The plot of "Sons of our County" continues full-tilt, and nobody who hasn=
been following this exciting family saga of Black Gold, Big Hair, transve=
tite Light Daughters and impotent Counts has a hope of knowing what's bee=

going on. Though I *hope* for some back-plot in the "Secret History of Su=

County", apparently included in "Questlines II".

As mentioned above, Solanthos is unlikely to be up to anything with Sor-
Eel, if Sor-Eel is living in disgraced early retirement somewhere inside
the Empire.

Nils twits me for "forgetting" the citadels of Balazar. As these have a
sizeable civilian population, I'll twit him right back and carry on. (See=
it's easy to lose track of an argument and say something out of place,
isn't it, matey?).

Dave's confused:

> Lately I've been feeling uneasy about my understanding of the differenc=
> between Spirit Magic and Divine. Aren't the spirits supposed to dwell i=
> the Underworld whereas the Gods dwell on the God Plane? Why then should=

> Divine Magic practitioners have any Spirit Magics at all? On the other
> hand Daka Fal is clearly concerned with Spirits and yet is considered
> Divine? I guess I'm having trouble keeping it all straight in my mind.
> It'd be much simpler if Divine practitioners had no Spirit Magics and
> vice versa.

Nope: spirits don't only dwell in the Underworld. That sounds like a hang=
- -
over from RQ2, when it was generally assumed that all spirits were the
ghosts of people. We now know that the spirit plane has a complex ecology=

of its own, including plant spirits, predator spirits, mineral spirits,
etc. etc. -- the RQ3 paradigm. Any given spirit is not particularly likel=
to be "a dead person" or "a recycled dead person". Spirits live on the
Spirit Plane, which is not the Underworld -- although there are Darkness
spirits and Hell spirits and Torture spirits and Ghost spirits and Ghoul
spirits and all kinds of others, it'd be wrong to associate the two.

Shamans consider gods to be "big spirits" -- it takes a long journey over=

the Spirit Plane to get to the place where the Great Spirits dwell. Pries=
say that the Shaman has crossed between the Spirit Plane and the God Plan=
when he reaches a god they recognise; alternatively, they say that poxy
"little" gods worshipped by shamans are just "big spirits" and nothing to=

do with *their* proper deities. Daka Fal is either a Big Spirit or a God
with a special remit for Spirits: depends who you talk to. (Think too of
Ty Kora Tek, a Goddess of the Dead who controls the spirits of the dead
of Esrolia, but has a normal -- non-shamanic -- Divine cult).

Gods have flocks of hanger-on spirits: think of these as angels, or demon=
or valkyries, or lares and penates, or whatever RW parallel you like. The=
include the Temple Guardian Spirits (cf. Humakt), Allied Spirits (not all=

of which are "recycled dead worshippers"), Spirits of Reprisal, and the
like. Naturally, any uptight religion will say that *its* spirits are --
of course -- qualitatively different and *better* than anyone else's.
"The shaman can summon little firebringer spirits, but *WE* have Luxites!=

So Kyger Litor has zillions of Darkness and Troll spirits at her beck and=

call, including spell spirits, which teach the spells of the Kyger Litor
cult to her cultists. *That's* how initiates and priests get spirit spell=
Getting one from any random Spell Spirit someone dug up off the spirit
isn't (usually) "morally wrong" or anything -- that's why cults prohibiti=
specific spirit spells say so; the assumption is that it's OK to have non=
- -
cult magic unless someone twats you for it -- but it does nothing to
the temple coffers, and means you don't look like a Good Yelmalion (or
ever) when you cast your unorthodox spirit spells under the eyes of your
cult leaders. "Wouldn't the Wheel you paid to that outland Shaman have be=
better donated to the temple treasury, brother Yelonidas?"

The "rigid" division between Spirit and Divine magic is an artificial lin=
drawn by the God Learners: it doesn't really correspond to Gloranthan
reality, although they'd have liked it to (and, given time, would have
to make it so). Similarly, the division between Spirit and Divine magics
Sorcery is less hard-and-fast than the naked rules would make it appear:
consider the Stygian heresies, the Malkioni saints, the Invisible God (wh=
he? big spirit, big god, or something else?), etc.

Loren asks:

> Does anybody have digitized regional maps of areas of Seshnela, Fronela=
, =

> Ralios, Maniria, the Holy Country, Teshnos, Kralorela, Kingdom of =

> Ignorance, or other parts of Genertela and/or Pamaltela? I'm looking fo=
r =

> maps to add to the ones I've made for my web page.

Yep: send me another mail about preferred file formats, whether you like
getting binary ZIP files, etc., and I'll send them your way pronto. They'=
be straight from the "Genertela Book", so you'd probably have to redraw '=

completely before you could upload them. Still, it can only be an

I'm working part-time on a "Campaign Cartographer II" map of western and
central Genertela, to the level of detail given in the "Genertela Book" -=
- -
the software is clunky and unfriendly, and I can't honestly recommend it,=

but the output looks *fine*.

Rich mentions:

> Is there a convenient way to go from Apple Lane to River of Cradles?

Easy: "Your uncle Tostarl emigrated to Pavis with Prince Dorasar, back in=

We had this letter from him just the other week, saying his wife is poorl=
needs a fresh supply of quince jam | the Magic Maguffin you found in the
Mounds | a visit from her long-lost brother. So hit the trail, head out
Boldhome (cf. "King of Sartar" or "The Rough Guide to Boldhome") and
Oasis (cf. Tales #15) and along the dry'n'dusty Pavis Road til you get to=

City at the other end."

> Any ideas on where I could get a copy of Griffin Mountain/Island?

Try a RQCon auction (next one's in LA in May) or an Internet auction
else can tell you how these work, or do an AltaVista search on Usenet for=

product name and look for recent hits in things called ".marketplace").



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