Haunted Lands (no quoting)

From: Joerg Baumgartner (jorganos@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue 05 May 1998 - 22:50:26 EEST


I'll try to avoid point by point quotation and sour replies of mine to
unproductive remarks:

Arim's relations among the Grazers:

Wyrm's Footnotes p.22

"Some of the immigrants had relations among the Grazers."

After over 200 years of no possible contact with the Pure Horse People
in Prax, and little incentive to have before, I doubt that the relations
were the horse-riders of the Grazer tribe.

Much more likely did they have relations among the slaves of the Grazer
tribe.

The text continues in the same paragraph:
"Arim the Pauper was ..."

Doesn't even explicitely state that Arim himself had relations among the
Grazers.

I still haven't seen any proof that the Old Day Traditionalists were a
localized Aggar/Talastar phenomenon. Most likely because it doesn't
exist.

Scholarly riots in Nochet:

The Lhankor Mhy library in Nochet has been accused of being heavily God
Learner-infested. The first Jrusteli explorers who came to Kethaela and

gathered information would have gathered it in the library, and since
the library worked on a quid-pro-quo basis of information exchange (in
addition to an access fee), the Jrusteli would have entered part of
their knowledge into the archives of the library.

This means that there are sources of early Jrusteli origin buried deep
within the library. If I want to incite scholarly riots, I could just
claim that valuable knowledge in these sources is withheld from the
customers of the library. Abelard's texts were banned in mediaeval

Paris, and this led to fierce student protests. Student protests in
mediaeval Paris could be quite serious and bloody affairs, mixing in
ethnic conflicts around the different lands of origin of the students.

There is no need to involve Malkioni craftsmen or merchants in scholarly
riots at all. Except as victims, in which case the proper term is
pogrom, and the best use for the God Learners would be to cry out
against this injustice and lead a crusade to liberate their oppressed
brethren, and justify an invasion of Esrolia.

The Auld Wyrmish school in Nochet needn't have been a permanent
institution. Once the Hunting and Waltzing Bands were around teaching
Draconic for free, there was no profit to be made of such a school, and
it would cease to exist.

Status of Karse wrt Kingdom of Heortland:

In my campaign's version of the city, based on the same source the
Chaosium campaign seems to have used, Karse was rebuilt by dissident
refugees from the Hendriki reformations around 1320-1350, and denied
vassalage to the Kings of Heortland. Most of the populace was of
Pelaskite origin anyway, and possibly included a sizeable faction of
Esrolian immigrants as well.

I don't believe that Belintar insisted that every little corner of his
lands could be assigned to one of the Sixths, as long as it maintained
allegiance to the Pharaoh. Given the somewhat forced allegiance of each
of the Sixths, the voluntary submission to Pharaonic rule smaller parts
of his realm could and would give may even have been preferable.
Magically, parts of the land may have been classed as being part of a
Sixth even if the population or the rulers were not exactly part of that
Sixth's culture. This goes for Porthomeka (Esrolia or Caladraland?), and
for coastal Heortland (Heortland or Islands?).

Am I the only one who wondered why Fazzur's conquest of Karse is not
referred to as an invasion into Heortland?

How to create a No-Man's Land between settled country and aggressive
raiding country:

Or, to be specific, between the Grazelands and Arkat's Hold.

Up to 1313, the Esrolian North Marches were an ill-defined expanse of
land northeast of North Esrolia, in the west rising into the Skyreach
mountains, to the north marked off by the eerie Crossline, to the east
reaching to the foot of the Shadow Plateau. The inhabitants were
Esrolian farmers using traditional Orlanthi methods, like the light
Barntar plow perfectly suited for the soil.

The direct neighbourhood of the Crossline was shunned, because monstrous
non-human raiders could emerge from beyond and hunt down humans for meat
or the fun of it.

Close to Shadow Plateau, the Kitori tribe offered protection from troll
raids, for a regularly paid tribute. Where there was good land, the
deal was acceptable, after all the Kitori were favourite subjects of the
lands' ruler, the Only Old One.

To the east, likewise arrangements had been made by Heortland clans and
tribelets seeking to escape population pressure, settling along the
Creek-Stream River up a bit more than half the way from Shadow Plateau
to the Crossline. These clans had splintered off established clans in
Heortland lacking space to accommodate more steads, and rather than work
on other peoples' lands those without land settled in the abandoned
valleys in the north. The Kitori didn't mind to have tributary clans in
the lands controlled by them, and the settlers preferred land they owned
with a tribute to be paid over being landless.

In 1313 Belintar the Stranger started his magical and physical conquest
of Kethaela. By 1315 (IMO) he had subjected the core lands of Esrolia,
and had started to turn his attentions towards the Shadow Plateau.
Armies had met and fought in the Lysos Valley between the Skyreach
Mountains and the plateau. Some refugees fled south, into Belintar's
lands, some east, where the Only Old One's rule still held firm, and
some fled the tides and terrors of a magical and physical war north,
even across the Crossline, preferring an uncertain fate over certain
death by Darkness Demons or exotic magics. The refugees fleeing
northward came into a land of rolling, unfarmed hills, but were soon
discovered by Grazer hunters and warriors who enslaved them for menial
tasks, or slew those who wouldn't submit.

Esrolian refugees and Heortlanders mingled under Kitori rule in the
Creek-Stream River valley. Formerly generously settled space became
sparse once again, and so one group around Colymar, wielder of the Black
Spear, and Hareva the Earth Priestess steeped in wisdom of the Goddess,
led a new clan formed by refugees and discontents voluntarily across the
Crossline. Both Colymar and his wife had prepared magics to protect them
when crossing into forbidden Dragon Pass.

Finally, Belintar the Stranger subjected the east of the Holy Country,
and after long and devastating struggles, conquered the Shadow Plateau,
ruined by the destruction of the Obsidian Palace. The Haunted Lands
north of the plateau were devastated by swamping when the Lead Hills
were formed from the bones of a chaos monster slain by Belintar. The
surviving Kitori had to leave their fields - now buried under dust from
the ruin of the City of Black Glass - and settled in the lands where
their tributary clans and tribelets had lived, taking their hillfort of
Whitewall as the new tribal centre. The troll component of the tribe
could easily cross the Crossline, and took possession of the lands
there, east of Beast Valley (in modern Sun Dome County).

Some of the tributary clans had lost their lands under the Lead Hills as
well, others had been flooded out by the blocked Creekstream River. By
the time Belintar had the New River dug more had decided to brave the
Crossline. They too were rounded up by Grazers and enslaved. Or they
followed the Kitori further east and sought new land there.

Other clans were more lucky and found their fields above the flooding,
but they found themselves also the target of troll raids once the Kitori
had left. Some decided to move southward into the protection offered by
Belintar, others remained, resigned to keep their lands no matter what
hardships.

Around 1325 Belintar's scouts made contact with the Grazers north of the
Crossline, and with the beastmen of Beast Valley. Belintar and Ironhoof
made their famous contract sealed by the Altar of Stone Cross.

This contract became known in Kethaela, and dissidents to Belintar's
sacred kingship saw their chance to escape into the unclaimed lands
north of the Crossline. IMO this migration included some of the Kitori
subjects, e.g. the Torkani.

When the Grazers learned that their previously hidden presence in Dragon
Pass had become known to the lands in the south, they started to cross
the Crossline as well, raiding the settlers there for grain, and slaves,
dealing harshly with resistance. Under Hendroste Goldheart, some also
learned to appreciate the grain produced by the farmers, and allowed
their slaves some farming as well. To get them started, they raided
south for agricultural implements, seed grain, etc...

Less than a generation later, mastery over farmers had become a valued
accomodation among the Grazers, and those who lacked farmer slaves went
south and collected some. As a result, the farmer population along the
Runnel River was diminished, killed or captured in raids. The Grazers
found out that Belintar's counter-raids would stop at the Crossline, and
so they avoided to resettle their slaves south of that line. They still
would graze their herds there, ready to withdraw should Kethaelan troops
approach slowly and clumsily. As a result, the lands between the
Skyreach Mountains and the Shadow Plateau were abandoned by farmers, and
became a grazing ground for the pony herds of the Grazers.

Joerg Baumgartner (via Hotmail)
mailto:joe@toppoint.de

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