Various Imperial cults of war replies

From: Svechin@cs.com
Date: Fri 24 Mar 2000 - 19:50:37 EET


>From: "Davison Nick" <N.A.P.Davison@greenwich.ac.uk>
>Subject: Lunar Army Cults
>What about the Vampire legion?
>Presumably they worship Vivamort?

The cult they worship is of Spolite origin, which in turn comes from
elsewhere. I think that most Heortlings would see the cult as Vivamort, but
this is not necessarily the case. I think Greg will have to be consulted on
this one. However, the Vampire Legion does exist and has been created as a
special shock force by Militaris. Argenteus doesn't have them on public
display as they are a tad bloodhtirsty and tend to ruin the decor of any room
they are in (spraying blood does that)

>From: "Alexandre Lanciani" <alexanl@tin.it>
>Subject: Re: Lunar Humakti
Me:
> Yes there are! Also in the Imperial army, though the caveat to
> that is that they are mostly Carmanian Humakti.

Alex:
> But IMO in the Provincial Army there are a lot of "normal" Humakti. Young
>warriors from, say, Talastar or Tarsh who abandoned their clan, became
>mercenaries, devoted to Humakt and joined the greatest army in the world to
>visit strange places, meet exotic people... And exterminate them! ;)

Yes, there are Heortling Humakti (I prefer saying that instead of "normal")
in the Imperial military. There is a Imperial Bodyguard unit of Heortlings
recruited after Palashee Longaxe impressed the Emperor hugely with his
courage. Other barbarians are recruited individually into some units,
especially of the Modern Lunar tradition. Many are also hired by Satraps and
other high nobles to form imposing "barbarian" bodyguards to impress their
peers or to be used in Dart Competitions. Roughly 8000 soliders in the
Imperial army come from barbarian recruitment (Dragon Pass, Talastar, Brolia,
Balazar, Jarst, Garsting, Pent, Arrolia, Rathorela etc) which forms around
10% of their fighting strength and is thus a vital source of manpower (it
lets the citizens of the Empire off the hook)

> Joking aside, I think that one of the "evil" influences of the Empire over
>young Orlanthi is that it draws them away from their family and clan. They
>have a chance to travel the world, to be part of something bigger than their
>stead: the elder's traditions against the restlessness of youth. HW-wise,
>the essay that describes them would read: "... They renounced their clan as
>Humakt renounced his, so that the other clansmen would not be held
>responsible for what they did afterward."

This is not necessarily a Humakti trait alone. Orlanthi of all kinds are
wanderers. I think that its possible for an Orlanthi to join a Lunar
regiment, follow the regimental deity and still be initiated into Orlanth.
Consider Conan, no matter which army he joined, he always venerated Crom,
even if he mouthed the names of other gods.

>From: simon_hibbs@lycosmail.com
>Subject: Lunar military cults
Me:
>I could go on, there are a lot more.

>Two that are missing are Waha and Storm Bull (Storm Buck?),
>as worshiped by the Antelope Lancers from the Hungry Plateau.

Aha, the Hungry Plateau cults are indeed being done in the SGU book and they
do not include Waha and Storm Bull (Caveat - your Glorantha can have anything
you want up there). The Sable folk there have been on the Plateau for close
to 1300 years in which time they wiped out the other animal nomads who lived
there. They were a warband force when they originally conquered the area.
They venerate their founder as the heroic leader of ther dynasty and they
venerate the spirit of the Sable which allows them to keep their mounts
alive. However, their worship is only partly animist, mostly it is theist.
They have been influenced and have in turn influenced the local region
heavily and are mostly no longer pure nomads. The Khan spends most of his
year in Two Towers and comes out to do his progress around the Plateau every
frew seasons to ritually prove that he is a nomad and thus above the idiotic
farmers he rules in the lowlands. To survive, their culture has made being a
"nomad" a form of caste system.

Also, don't forget the Silver Shadow Sables of Glamour, who settled in the
city as a reward for their services against Jannisor. They are very Lunar
and keep strong ties to their Plateau brothers but are about as nomadic as I
am. - Around 20000 people in Glamour are registered as their blood
descendants and can thus serve in the Silver Sables.

>The game I'm running at the moment is set in Prax, so this
>is quite important. I'm assuming that there are Yanafal
>Tarnils officers assigned to the Antelope Lancers, much in
>the same way that British Army Officers are assigned to
>Ghurka units, but perhaps some of the Lancer's own officers
>would be full members of the YT cult?

Yes some of them would be. The command structure would look like this:

Commander - Khan (worships tribal founder and regimental founder)
Army Liasion - Worships founder AND Tarnils
Shaman - Keeps the Sable spirit happy and folows the Great Sable tradition
Priests - Founder and regimental cult
Company officers - Mostly worship founders, though some would follow Tarnils
too
Rank and file - Founder and either lesser spirits or herocult of regimental
founder.

>As for the role of the Seven Mothers cult in the army, I see
>it as being the cult of the army chaplain. It has proved to
>be an excelent background for a Seven Mothers priest in
>my game.

It would be the chaplain cult for only a few of the provincial army units,
not the Imperial army forces which worship specific deities and follow the
priests of those deities, whether they be regimental or higher. Certainly
there would be 7Ms _assigned_ to units as provincial liasion, especially if
the units were in troubled areas where a clamer hand was required. Consider
a unit of DH peltasts, used to killing barbarians at a whim - to avoid them
slaughtering the locals, a 7Ms priestess with power would be assigned to
their commander to influence his actions and maintain Imperial policy.

>These guys and girls provide the core magical
>support for many units.

Only if the units is of the modern lunar provincial tradition, because most
Heartland units have their own priests to do the magical stuff.

>The upside is that they get decent training in physical skills and access
>to regimental magical resources, some of which is seriously
>sexy.

In HW, the magical strength of a regiment makes a great deal of sense. A
regiment of 1000 men provides extraordinary support to the priests of high
levels. This means that when they cast their deitiy's ritual spells to aid
the men, they have serious bonuses in doing so. Its a reciprical
relationship - by aiding their priests, the priests aid the men in a very
real and physical sense. When a regiment goes into battle and has time to
prepare, each of the men takes on a role in the units mythology. The
commander himself will attempt to heroform the units founder into himself.
Should he succeed fully, then he may well manifest a 4w entity within
himself. Consider the implications of that!

Martin Laurie

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