The Wild West

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Sat 14 Feb 1998 - 10:47:00 EET


Peter Metcalfe and I keep arguing about the early West while the rest of the
world remains silent. Shall we take this off digest, or are there people
listening in?

Dari Alliance
>>Maklamann was king of the Korioni. His defiance of the cult may well have
>>been a defiance against the priests, who were the real power among late 1st
>>Age Orlanthi, be they Heortlings, Dorastans, or Enerali.

>You are imposing Orlanthi cultural artifacts on the Dari who were
>not Orlanthi but Galalinae at the time.

"At the Time" reads after about 200 years of cultural exchange with the
Theyalans, and after learning some magic from the Council (and later the
empire).

Note that I implied a similar twofold division of mundane and religious
leadership for the city and church of Galin in "The World's Greatest
Tournament". IMO the "Galaninae" of Safelster kept about as much of their
original ancestor worship/Hykimi religion as the Orlanthi keep Daka Fal
shamanism - it persists, and helps define their culture, but the Theyalan
religion is stronger in forming their lives.

>Firstly the Humakti do not have a tradition of Priests and Lords.

Not really, no. The Humathi seem to, though, since the separation Maklamann
incited when he made Humath Swordlord semi-apart from Lokamayadon's Storm
Brothers - while Humath never was as important as all-encompassing cultural

deity of the Enerali, the general idea of the Enerali at the time of Arkat's
Crusade seems to have been "storm-worshippers".

>Secondly the 'cult defiance'
>is written from the viewpoint of third age Humakti when Humakt is
>a cult and not a social order. The correct analogy, methinks, would
>have been defiance of an assembly of chiefs rather than priestly
>command.

Since when did any assembly of chiefs equal or even below a king have the
power to force a king to do their will? A headstrong king may lose the
support of his allied chiefs if he decides to go against them, but he
doesn't have to follow their joint wishes, let alone commands.

The situation is different when it comes to dealing with an inter-tribally
connected priesthood exerting an active influence even over one's sworn
followers. Especially when this priesthood is allied to a powerful
organisation like the Bright Empire.

IMO through much of the 1st and 2nd Age, the kings of the Barbarian Belt
were little more than warleaders who were directed by the priesthood which
spanned tribal and even national differences, thanks to Lokamayadon as well
as Harmast (who had no interest to remove the priesthood from power, only to
dissociate it from allegiance through Lokamayadon).

>>Maklamann defied his priesthood, and with the aid of Arkat took over the
>>rule from the priests. He began the tradition of powerful, yet civilised
>>kings able to command the priesthood which Alakoring brought to Peloria and
>>Maniria in the late 2nd Age.

>I think Alakoring started the Cult of Orlanth Rex against the excesses
>of the EWF and I don't think he knew much about Maklamann or cared.

>He was East Ralian

I wasn't sure about that. To me, he sounds Vustrian - the East Ralians did
not have any Orlanthi tradition of their own by the time Arkat invaded, IMO
using the Councilic version distributed by Lokamayadon's priesthood instead
tailored to their smaller tribes.

>and they hate hate *hate* Arkat the last time I heard.

Yes. Now, let's have a look at the sources. CoT tells us that "Many tribes
of heathens followed too, despite their dislike of Malkioni monotheism."

Dorastor tells us that the city defenses held briefly, while the rural
population and the hill-people rose "in rebellion". Cities = centres
controlled by the priesthood...

>Me>>Likewise the Dorastor Book says that when Arkat invaded the Dari
>>>Alliance, they called from help from Dorastor who sent them Derinogus
>>>Pistol and some troops to help.

>>To me, this looks like the priests of the Dari called for help, whereas
>>Maklamann and his army supported Arkat.

>There is no mention of Maklamann having an army. He cut himself off
>from his cult/society and he is not Syranthir Forefront.

There is a mention of many people, especially those living along the upper
Tanier River, flocking to Arkat's banner, even despite their dislike. I
guess that Maklamann became Arkat's captain of these people. Probably

convinced them to follow his banner rather than the "corrupt" priests'.

Hrelar Amali
>>>>The Dangan confederacy collapsed around 160 ST, leaving ample room for
>>>>Seshnegi entrepeneurs to establish themselves there only to be thrown
>>>>out by the Dari confederation.

>Me>>Surprisingly no mention of this is made in the Broken Council
>>>Guidebook.

>>Nor is anything mentioned about the downfall of King Dan's realm.

>Because it never collapsed. What is said in the BCG:

: 'From Hrelar Amali, the very heart of the Confederation, came
: a man named Dari. In only ten years, he had united all of the
: tribes of lowland Ralios for the first time.'

>This occurs around 255 ST, which implies that the Dangan confederation
>remained in existance since it's contact by the World Council and that
>it has existed around Hrelar Amali. What happened to it is that it became
>subsumed into the Dari Alliance, which united _all_ the lowland tribes.

In that case, I guess the claim in the Jonstown Compendium in RQ Companion
is insubstantial, and there have been no Brithos-descended Seshnegi erecting
temples in Hrelar Amali. (And I fail to see why the Pendali would have

erected temples to Magasta and Orlanth, of all deities).

>>One can only expand when one is secure in one's position.

>Nonsense. The Romans advanced into Spain and Macedon during the
>Second Punic War at a time when they had Hannibal running around
>in the Italian Penisula.

This can be excused by causing direct harm to the enemy (Spain was
Carthaginan at the time, at least closely allied). I don't recall any
Macedon incident for the Second Punic War.

>The Athenians invaded Sicily when they had hostile neighbours
>(The Peloponesian League) on their doorstep.

They made a naval assault - the only kind of warfare where the Athenians had
superiority. The Seshnegi were pretty landbound during their wars with the
Pendali.

>Heraclius had the Persians besieging Byzantium. He landed an
>army in eastern Asia Minor and soon after expelled the Persians
>from Asia Minor, Egypt and Syria.

Again, a direct strike to the enemy from his rear. If the besieged place is
not in danger of being overrun, an eminently sound strategy - bind the enemy
troops at the siege, and make the cost of the siege exceed the possible wins
by far.

The Serpent Kings did no such thing. They fought their wars pretty
straightforward across the (quite long) direct borders to their enemies.

Raids and counterraids between border strongholds are different from an
expedition into a hostile city to establish probably hostile temples there.

Independent operators (freebooters) could have achieved this, but I doubt
the feudal army of the Serpent Kings could.

>Given that Joerg has already mentioned a Kingdom voluntarily joining
>the Seshnegi, I do not believe that these Basmoli states were
>unremittingly hostile to the Seshnegi especially since they have been
>recognized by Seshna Likita. Indeed some states may have been allied
>with the Seshnegi against the Basmoli.

Orphalsland seems to have remained neutral in the Serpent Kings' war against
Jorilland and Kaanilland (after their aquisition of Avalalsland). Relations
never got friendly enough that armed forces would have been allowed to pass
through peacefully...

To (ab)use and adapt your examples from above, did the Romans strike through
Carthaginan/Phoenician-held Gibraltar to the Ivory Coast? Did the Athenians
move their fleet overland through the Peloponnes to Sicily?

States allied with the Seshnegi against the Basmoli: The Tanisorans?
Indigenous Nolosites?

>Why would the Spaniards want to halt sacrifices to Xipec Tlaloc, our
>Lord of Flayed Skins who could have been exploited as a fertility god?

Because they were a) in power and b) did not (unlike the Malkioni) believe
that there were real powers to be harvested from that deity.

>You forget these people are religious zealots and they have been
>closing down pagan temples in their own home.

"Poisoning our good people"

>For them to junk this
>habit when encountering a foreign temple that might be useful to them
>is farfetched IMO.

"Ah, they are just benighted demi-beasts. They don't know better, and it
serves our purposes."

God Learner Secrets

>>I agree that the God Learner secret will probably have been limited to
>>very few people preparing the way.

>It was quite well known in its latter days. IIRC a university in
>Umathela had graduated about 50,000 God Learners before it was
>destroyed.

That was long after the few people I mentioned had prepared the way. We were
talking about events before and around the time the Stygian Empire fell, not
events of the Closing. (AKA: "I know!" - not THE secret, though.)

>>I am not convinced that the God Learner secret depended on having raided the
>>Stygian Empire and its methods of heroquesting. Some of that knowledge must
>>have leaked out earlier, anyway.

>AFAIK The God Learner Secret is not creative heroquesting and was never
>said by me to be dependant on creative heroquesting.

That's what I said.

>What has been said
>is that the Jrusteli gained creative heroquesting from the plunder of
>the Dark Empire

On the digest, not as explicitely in the sources.

: A holy war destroyed the cult of Arkat, driving its followers underground.
: Though the Arkat people attempted to destroy all their records in the Great
: Fire of Clarity, much of their knowledge and Heroquesting techniques passed
: into the hands of the God Learners. (Elder Secrets Secrets Book p.51)

I cannot find any hints that the Jrusteli knew nothing about creative
heroquesting before 740. Arkat "finally established a cult which preserved
the secrets of Heroquesting". (Elder Secrets Secrets Book p.51)

I.e. Arkat established a cult which _taught_ and _recorded_ the secrets of
creative heroquesting.

>and this enhanced them immeasurably.

No doubt the records of mythic paths, and the techniques to deal with
Darkness and Barbarian myths would have helped the Jrusteli greatly. Imagine
the Lunars get these...

------------------------------

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