Pol Joni and Moonbroth

From: Nick Brooke (Nick_Brooke@btinternet.com)
Date: Sun 22 Aug 1999 - 13:38:47 EEST


_____ _____
Peter and Chris were discussing the Pol Joni and Moonbroth:

Chris:
>> BTW, did the Pol Joni ride against the Lunars at Moonbroth? I
>> assume they did...

Peter:
> Suprisingly they are not listed in Borderlands as having done so...
> I'm not suprised about their no-show as circa 1607:
> "The Pol Joni, unsupported by Sartar help, were mauled
> in a battle against combined Praxian forces."
> So the Pol Joni are still very weak in 1610 and have a major
> grudge against the Praxians over the thumping they took less
> than three years before.

This is the line I've taken in developing the local history of Moonbroth.
Prior to 1607, the Pol Joni are dominant in the Good Place (around
Moonbroth) and Better Place (around Jaldon's Rest); from 1607 to 1610,
they're clinging onto power at both Oases but have lost their grip and are
suffering increased Animal Nomad pressure; in 1610 they're evicted from
Moonbroth by the Lunar advance (or sensibly flee ahead of it) and Moonbroth
and the Good Place become solidly held by the Sables; over time thereafter,
the tribe consolidates again around Jaldon's Rest.

> Wonder what the Pol Joni did to earn such treatment, if the
> Praxians didn't already hate them so much?

I've guessed that the Pol Joni were *always* hated to some extent, but with
the defeated Kingdom of Sartar no longer supporting its horse-riding allies
on the Plaines, the Animal Nomads saw a great window of opportunity to drive
them off forever. The "mauling" in 1607 left a pitiful remnant clinging onto
Moonbroth Oasis and its immediate surrounds; they were then chucked out of
the oasis by the Lunar invasion in 1610.

The "good news" for the Pol Joni was that the new Lunar/Sable dominance in
north-western Prax prevented aggrieved Animal Nomads from wiping out the
remnant stragglers. (Normal Praxian "ecology" would usually have prevented
this in any case -- cf. Drastic: Prax p.15 for the best explanation. But
with the precedent of Alavan Argary and the extermination or banishment of
the Pure Horse Tribe, there's all kinds of unpleasant possibilities for
defeated horse clans in Prax).

Below is a fragment I was writing to present this in trooper-speak. "The
General" is Fazzur, who I assume planned the invasion of Prax; "The
Commander" is Sor-Eel the Short, who led the 1607 incursion. Note that this
mission is generally seen as a military defeat and politico-religious
victory for the Lunars - the speaker here was in on the "victory" part at
the Paps, and knows that his comrades on the Plaines were bled white by the
nomads.

_____________________
THE MARCH TO THE PAPS

"It was the campaigning season of 1607, and the General wanted us to move
into the desert. Since the fall of Sartar, the horse-lords of the border
marches had been losing their grip, and an unlikely posse of nomad khans
were all set to ally, raise their demigod founder Waha - or Jaldon, or some
such ancient hero - and repeat Alavan Argary, wiping out the Pol Joni or
driving them into the Pass.

"Now, the General knew we could handle that, but didn't need the extra
complications, thank you, and besides, the last thing he wanted was another
costly battle so soon after the Building Wall, and a strong alliance of
nomads under a Great Khan. Nobody needs another Sheng, especially given his
plans for Pavis and the Valley...

"So, the Commander gets the independent duty he's been chasing after all
this time. Not an ideal mix of troops, maybe - that's the campaign where we
learned not to use horse soldiers in Prax, and nobody's too keen to send
hoplites unsupported through the high chapparal again.

"Still, the plan worked all right - enough skirmishes to show the nomads we
could bite, some neat combined-arms tricks they'd not seen before, and while
our outriders were skirling around the Plaines, the Commander marched
overland to the Paps, this ancient Green Age temple in the middle of Prax
which all the nomad tribes hold sacred, and cut a deal with the priestesses
there.

"We recognised the neutrality of all the oasis temples in Prax; they
accepted our protection and stopped working to bring all the tribes together
against us. The Goddess knows the whole story, mind - and everyone says
that's when the Sable Conversion began.

"So, three years later when we move in on this Oasis, three of the biggest
Praxian tribes are gathering all their braves to settle our hash. Except
that one of them's the Sable Tribe, and the night before battle they all up
sticks and join our army instead. Goddess, how the Bison and Impala khans
must have fumed at that!"

        * * *

BTW, a historic trivia question: who was the commanding Lunar general at the
Battle of Moonbroth? I can't see any case for Sor-Eel *not* taking this

role; Fazzur is said to have been second-in-command when the Lunar Army
invaded Prax ("He had proposed the invasion plan which worked so easily, but
became embroiled in an argument about how to handle the occupied city" --
WF#12 p.17).

I'm guessing that between 1607 (March on the Paps) and 1610 (Invasion of
Prax), the Glorious Sor-Eel overtook the Provincial Fazzur in the army
seniority stakes. The Battle of Moonbroth was executed to Fazzur's strategy
but under Sor-Eel's command; their subsequent falling-out at Pavis (and
Fazzur's demotion to impatient militia-training in Tarsh) was perhaps a
cunning and underhanded political ploy by Sor-Eel.

Maybe the 1607 invasion was all Sor-Eel's idea, after all? Finding out for
certain who planned that military fiasco could be a fun revenge motive ("My
daddy was killed in the Dead Place, so that fat-headed fool could become
Count of Prax...").

:::: Email: <Nick_Brooke@compuserve.com>
Nick
:::: Web: <http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Nick_Brooke/>

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

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