Re: Waer/deli, Esrolites, farting, KoI, Safelster

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Fri 20 Feb 1998 - 13:17:08 EET

______ _______
Andrew "Umm..." Joelson responds to Peter:

>>> Aren't the Waertagi coming back? Following the Firebergs? Once
>>> they regroup, the Vadeli are in for real trouble. =

>> If only. What looks likely to happen is that the Waertagi and
>> the Vadeli join forces!

> But why? Aren't they interested in re-asserting their maritime
> dominance? Why let the Vadeli just sail around without permission/
> tribute/etc. These guys have been sailing through Hell for centuries,
> surely they've acquired some pretty ugly abilities during that time?

Why did the Waertagi spend the Third Age in Hell? Because Zzabur sent
them there. Who are Zzabur's worst enemies? The Vadeli. Who might the
Waertagi choose to ally with on their return from Hell, to get back at
the guy who sent them there...?

I fully expect the Waertagi to double-cross the Vadeli, and be double-
crossed in turn. But the reasons for alliance ("We *both* hate those
Brithini bastards!") are very cogent in the shorter term, whatever the
two equally-despicable forces plan for their allies in the long run.

My Conspiracy Theory, generated when Greg told me privately that he
didn't think Brithos was coming back, is that the Vadeli raiders who
devastate the coasts of Seshnela claim to be the returning Brithini.
Any publicity is bad publicity...

Camo asks: =

> Esrolia is an Orlanthi society but matriarchal, right?

Matriarchal, civilised, settled, and worshipping different deities
(Orlanth relegated to a shared, minor role in the pantheon), not to
mention dominated by Trolls for two Ages of history and more recently
by the Pharaoh.

> What does this do to the "standard" makeup of the Orlanthi ring?

I would suggest that extrapolating from "stock Orlanthi" to try to
understand Esrolite society is absurd. My own preferred model for
the Esrolians would be something nice and archaic: Mesopotamia before
Kings, Minoan Crete without Minos, the pre-Hellenic Pelasgians, and
dashes of Egypt for extra flavour. Naturally, other "Land of Women"
ideas will creep in -- from stock Celtic "Tribes of the Goddess" (I
suppose this would be the "Orlanthi" view of Esrolia, though it
doesn't square well with urbanisation) through Maria Gimbutas' fine
collection of thunder-thighed Venuses of Willendorf (etc.).

Esrolia is ruled by a matriarchal council of Queens, territorial
rulers who are also sacred priestesses of the goddess Esrola. They
used to have temporary, disposable sacrificial Kings (the Year Sons,
cf. Wyrms Footprints and/or Mary Renault's "The King Must Die"), but
Belintar took over this role, turned it into a "dying and rising"
god, and occupied it for three centuries, destroying the old rites.
Which is one reason the Great Famine is coming -- and one reason for
the Esrolite Civil War (nobody agrees on how to bring back the Good
Old Days, because the Year King Rites were so successfully purged).

My money's on the Lunar faction -- arrange a "Caesar and Cleopatra"
wedding between Moonson and the dominant Esrolian Queen (that's her
with the eye makeup and the distinctive nose), because we *know* the
Red Emperor is a "dying and rising" god. Others have other views...

Ingo goes infinitely recursive:

> TT #4 - the Holy Country issue - will get published soon after TT #4.


MOB writes:

> A disgraced 79 year old Light Priest who farted in the temple or
> something. When Rich, the guy playing him asked what geases his
> character had, we all replied, "All of them!" It made for some
> very amusing roleplaying...

The first bit came from the extreme scriptural literalness of the
Yelmalion priests. They were going to "throw the book" at this guy
for farting on the High Holy Day", and began reading the list of
Every Yelmalion Geas at him. And the first entry on that list is:

        Favoured by Yelmalio, no geas.

If he'd had a better lawyer, he'd have got off there and then!

Dan McCluskey gives us:

> Great Mother (KL)
> Kind Sister (XU)
> Angry Brother (ZZ)
> Smiling Liar (AA)

Thanks, Dan, especially for that last one!

> They are now, of course, being manipulated Fu Manchu-like by the
> current Exarch of Bliss in Ignorance to furthur his nefarious
> plans of world domination, Mwahahahaha!

And, of course, the fact that Fu Manchu bases himself in the KoI
guarantees that nobody will take him seriously until it's too late.
Darned cunning, those heathen Kraloree...

Jose Ramos comments:

>> Early reconquista Spain (the age of El Cid) probably is as good
>> a parallel for Ralios as is earliest Renaissance Italy, with two
>> different creeds rivalling for supremacy.

> Nitpicking. El Cid is at the start of the Middle portion of the
> Reconquista, when the unified muslims fragmented in many bicker-
> ing states, to be conquered one by one.

Which is how the "Frankish" Seshnegi are picking off the "fragmented,
Mediterranean" Safelstrans, no?

> The muslim and christian armies in Spain, after centuries of war,
> were very similar. The muslims had slightly better skirmishers and
> the christians slightly heavier cavalry. And both used mercenaries
> of the other faith.

That sounds like a perfect description of what's going on in Ralios:
heavier Seshnegi/Rokari cavalry (though not the superchargers of
modern Loskalm), vs. light native Safelstran scouts and raiders.

> The battles in Safelster will resemble those in Condottieri Italy

Yep, 100% true. Right down to loonies like Machiavelli saying, "Why
don't we fight our battles ourselves??"

> That is why they detest the Orlanthi (wild savages without restraint)

Ain't necessarily so. When the Orlanthi migrate or invade, they're
Bad News. But Safelstrans would be happy to employ Orlanthi as mercs:
also, think of the "Thracian Archers" used as police in classical
Athens. (Or were they Scythians: I forget. Anyway, the parallel's
good). The "What the Wizard Says" piece from GoG criticises the
Orlanthi for being, not barbaric, but *unreliable* -- you can't ever
depend on them to turn up when you need them most.

> The Kingdom of Seshnela (no respect for "proper" war, or following
> the Rules of War).

Agreed. The Seshnegi haven't understood (or choose not to follow) the
traditional Safelstran way of war. Which is one reason they're winning.



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