Fall of the Silver Empire

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@voyager.co.nz)
Date: Tue 17 Feb 1998 - 13:05:58 EET

Joerg Baumgartner:

>Peter Metcalfe gets the better of me in giving "political integration" a
>meaning opposite to what the term suggests. I'll yield to these semantics.

Sadly because of the gift, I have a geas to avoid Zebra Crossings.

But luckily Joerg breathes new life into this thread by unleashing
fresh divisions of new arguments.

>>And that the year of 385 ST, _after_ the Sunstop, _before_ Arkat lands
>>and just before the 'policical integration' begins is not a suitable
>>time for the Fall of the Silver Empire?

>I guess what ails me is that if the Brithini land mere moments after having
>beaten back a Seshnegi attack on their island, they aren't very likely to
>distinguish between Seshnegi, allies to the Bright Empire, or whatever else
>attacks them (like the trolls in the bit of the Arkat Saga Greg read at
>RQ-Con #1).

Which is why Arkat 'was instrumental in gaining aid from the Seshnegi
in the war' against Tanisor (Glorantha Book p18) IMO. The Brithini
believed that Seshnegi wouldn't aid them since they had tried to invade
Brithos not so long ago. Arkat challenged this and found that the
Seshnegi were all too willing to help against the Vampire Kings.

Besides, it isn't 'mere moments' (except from a Brithini PoV) as the
army lands in Arolanit around 400 ST, some 15 years after the purposed
date of the Seshnegi assault.

>The Brithini army landing in Seshnela included a fair number of youngster
>Horali-in-training (gleaned from RQ-Con 1) of about 80 years.

Arkat was born about 375 ST (calculated from Cults of Terror which says
that his life was 75 years of struggle against Gbaji) which would have
made him 25 years old when he landed in Arolanit.

>Unless the Brithini have effective means of prediction (then why would they
>have had to beat back the attack at all, rather than cause Seshnela to
>falter before setting sail), it appears to me that this breeding of new
>Horali would have been done in reaction to an outside threat. Like the
>Seshnegi enterprise which failed barely on the shores of the island.

I do believe Zzabur to be capable of that sort of prediction (he did
after all predict the Dawn, write maps of the future and all that).

IMO the Seshnegi fleet was sunk by Zzabur summoning a kamikaze or

>Now, around 400 S.T., the Brithini face another attempt of the continental
>people to take over their island, this time through missionaries (and
>possibly magical warfare). The Brithini decide to send their valuable new
>army (which had served admirably to keep the Vadeli even lower than usual)
>against this new threat, even though a greater part of it had not yet
>finished their training.

But they have already used the army to clear it from the Brithini

        'Later, in his youth, he saw the dark side of the foreign
        cult Gbaji, 'the Deceiver.' Because of this Arkat fought
        well on his island and helped drive the vile religion from
        the cities.'
                        CoT p17

>If this gut feeling is correct, the Silver Empire campaign would date back
>as far as 320 ST. In my timelines, not unlikely either.

The Brithini are having babies is a guard against _future_ troubles.
If Zzabur ordered more babies to be born in 320 ST and the Silver
Empire attacked 10 years later, then the kids are useless. It behoves
the Brithini to have adult horali with a lifetime of experience under
their belt when the crisis occurs.

I presume that Zzabur was aware that something was going to happen
circa 375 ST. Assuming babies were ordered in 320 ST, Brithos would

have troops with 55 years of experience (and bodies of 30 year olds)
at the Sunstop. Which is more than enough methinks.

>Whether in 320 ST or 360 ST, I feel that 375 ST or later for the fall of the
>Seshnegi empire would be too late.

I'm not grokking your line of argument here. If I understand things
correctly, you are arguing that a threat must have been apparent
to Zzabur for the Brithini to start having babies. Since the youngest

horali is 80 years old, that means they must have been born in 320 ST,
right? Ergo tensions were visible circa 320 ST?

Presumably what you then see wrong with the 385 ST fall is that the
Seshnegi invasion would be too long after the apparent tensions between
the Seshnegi and the Brithini in 320 ST? To wit, the Seshnegi would
have attacked much earlier after relations worsened?

If that is what you think is wrong (and feel free to twit me if I'm
wrong), then I do not believe that the Brithini decided to make Horali
like that. IMO they were aware for a long time that worse times were
coming. They decided to make babies to meet this threat. But they
did not _know_ the exact shape and nature of the threat. And when it
was revealed, it resulted in civil war which effectively negated their
lengthy preparations.

>The Brithini army might ignore the
>remaining Seshnegi if they can be sure that none lived (or were old enough)
>to have any part in the decision or support of the attack of Brithos, but
>otherwise Brithini Logic would demand to take a revenge on the perpretators
>remaining which would remain known to their descendants.

But the Brithini had serious domestic problems at home. Since Arkat
was turned over to the Brithini at the age of 13 and was fighting
them in his youth, that must mean that there were missionaries in
Brithos after 388 ST. How long this war lasted is unknown but the
impact must have been considerable.

Whereas if the Silver Empire assault was before the Sunstop, one
wonders why the Brithini did not attack there and then after the
fall of the Silver Empire instead of waiting until 400 ST?

>Then there is the wizard-knight dichotomy in Seshnela (oh well, another
>priesthood - rune lord conflict, seems to have been typical for the age...)
>which might be resolved to Brithini style government vs. heroic chivalric
>nobility of the Hrestoli.

The actual dichotomy in Seshnela was between linealists and idealists
as per the Glorantha Book. The Wizards (I feel the term also includes
the Old Malkioni) mentioned in Cults of Terror are the people of
Arolanit, Brithos and Sog City IMO.

I believe Arolanit was originally populated by Old Malkioni who did
not accept the Hrestoli relevations (mainly because they saw what the
rotter did to Seshnela and Brithos and knew that he was judge of the
Vadeli). The Brithini have conquered the place in the Chaos Wars and
thus it has become Brithini in outlook (I'm of course leaving out a
whole lot of things in this potted history).

>The Brithini had sent an army to liberate Arolanit (why just Arolanit?) and
>to destroy the false messengers (from the Bright Empire) for good. They
>succeeded in Arolanit, but failed against Tanisor.

I presume the landing was in Arolanit because that was the most
convenient place for a landing against Tanisor and contained a
population that could presume to be friendly towards Brithos. They
are stated to have landed to punish Tanisor for serious (although
unspecified trangressions). Seshnela was presumed hostile for daring
to invade Brithos and so no landing was attempted there.

>Arkat left the Brithini
>army and became a Seshnegi knight. He then led a crusade of Seshnegi, but
>with Brithini allies (like Talar Malaskan Philippe, who took part in the
>victory over the Vampire king of Tanisor). Why did the Brithini aid Arkat's
>crusade? Why had they remained in Seshnela, and not returned to Brithos?

Because they wanted to get rid of Gbaji?

>(Overpopulation due to the breeding program? After all, a Horali army
>requires a train of Dronar servants and supply, a team of Zzaburi enchanters
>and "chaplains", plus a corps of Talar commanders. Add to this an
>appropriate number of Menena class camp followers for whichever duty
>Brithini find for their female population, and Brithos might well have been
>taxed to support all these people.)

Arolanit is actually underpopulated and thus I believe that Brithos
could have easily sustained a higher level of population indefinitely.

>CoT may be long outdated, but it suggests a conflict between the knights of
>Hrestol and the wizard adherents to an older way. These wizards seem to have
>been allies of Brithos.

Ah, but it doesn't say the Wizards are Seshnegi.

- --Peter Metcalfe


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 23:09:19 EEST