More on the two Argrath's

From: Roger McCarthy (
Date: Sun 26 Mar 2000 - 23:21:44 EEST

Thanks to everyone for the HW clarifications.

Having got my Gloranthan stuff out of storage there's a few points on my
Argrath son of Argrath post I'd like to correct/add to:

1) Argrath of Pavis' parentage in KoS

Argrath is the son of Brenna who is the daughter of Verlain a son of Duke
Dorasar and a slave woman.

KoS then goes on to describe AoP as 'half-breed scum' which implies that
either a parent or grand-daughter was of hostile alien blood (which probably
means Praxian in the Pavic context) - I'd suggest that this is the slave
woman who was Verlain's mother rather than AoP's un-named father who in my
theory is Garrath Sharpsword/Argrath senior

2) Other Argrath genealogies

There are four other Argrath genealogies in KoS three of which are broadly
compatible with each other in that they agree that Argrath's father was
called Maniski, while the fourth in 'Argrath and the Colymar' makes him the
son of Venharl and has no relationship (i.e common names) to any of the

This is understandable if as stated in Argrath's Saga both of his parents
(Maniski and the thunderqueen) were killed before he reached the age of 7 in
which case Venharl is a foster-parent (rather as Jesus has two completely
different genealogies in the Bible - one being Joseph's).

Incidentally despite belonging to the long vanished Karandoli clan of the
Colymar (Jane Williams has a theory that they only went to Pavis although
'Argrath and the Colymar' seems to imply that they are living somewhere on
The Other Side) Venharl is still around in Sartar circa 1613 as he aids
friends of Queen Leika from Greg's original Sartar campaign.

In my original post I had forgotten that one of the three Maniski
genealogies gives Argrath another line of descent to Sartar through his
mother's descent from Onelisin Catwitch and Eonistaran the sage rather than
Duke Dorasor - meaning that both of my Argrath's are eligible to light the
flame of Sartar although Argrath of Pavis has double descent through Argrath
and Brenna and thus roughly twice as much of King Sartar's blood flowing
through this veins as either the older Argrath, Kallyr or Temertain.

3) The connection between the Garhound clan and the House of Dorasor

'The farmers in this district are the descendants of the followers of Sir
Declan Garhound a kinsman of Duke Dorasor' (Sun County - the spelling seems
to oscillate randomly between Dorasar and Dorasor in the sources).

My suggestion is that the connection was established by Verlain son of
Dorasor marrying a daughter/sister/whatever of Sir Declan Garhound and that
Brenna is the result of this match - after all we know about both of
Verlain's parents and any other connection would probably imply a connection
to Sartar himself rather than Dorasar and it is unlikely that the Lunar's
would have left the Garhound's in peace after 1610 unless the relationship
was purely by marriage.

4) Chronology of the House of Dorasor

P&BR has several dates for Pavis County history:

Late 1540's Dorasor preliminary expedition to Pavis at which point he meets
Varthanis Brighthelm a lord of the Yelmalio county seeking allies against
the Impala tribe and who according to Jane Williams' Secret History of Sun
County returns to Sartar with him and goes on to join Monrogh's new Sun Dome
Temple in Dragon Pass.

1550 Dorasor returns accompanied by a number of Sartarites including a group
of Sun Dome Templars led by Varthanis and founds New Pavis - subsequently
Varthanis returns to Sun County and expels the Impala riding overlords (KoS
implies a conflict between Dorasor and Varthanis as a result of which V
leads 'half the tribes' east to found the Sun Dome Temple)

1567 Varthanis becomes Count of Sun County and according to Jane continues
the Yelmalion reformation.

1572 A nomad attack on New Pavis nearly succeeds due to the treachery of
Praxians living within the city and leads to savage bloodshed and the
expulsion of the nomads whose camps are hitherto forbidden to come more to
within than 30km south of the city.

This would in my view lead to the stigmatising of those who like Verlain
have Praxian blood as half-breed scum and coincidentally would open up the
rest of the valley to settlement by Sartarite farmers (Garhound and the
border with Sun County are incidentally a bit under 30km SE of Pavis which
I'd suggest is the extent of the pale of settlement in all directions around
Pavis established after 1572 - remembering that in RQ2 all the nomads lived
in an extremely overcrowded Prax rather than being scattered around the

1575 Duke Dorasar comes to Sun County ending the Solitude of Testing and
offers an alliance to help Varthanis clear the valley of nomads.

i.e. up to 1575 Sun County was still isolated from Pavis and according to
the KoS account relations were not necessarily friendly. Therefore this
provides us with the earliest likely date for the foundation of Garhound.
I'd suggest that it is around this time that Dorasar's son Verlain marries
into the Garhound clan.

As 1575 is also the year Tarkalor marries the FHQ and that Sartar achieves
the apogee of it's power it's conceivable that he and/or Monrogh (who is
still around as he swears allegience to Tarkalor that year) make this
expansion possible by sending additional troops and settlers to help out the
colonists - or maybe they just send an embassy to resolve the earlier
conflict between Dorasor and Varthanis.

'Dorasar lived as duke until 1579... none of Dorasar's heirs could take the
title nor could any other. After Dorasar's death Pavis was ruled by a
council of the leaders'

This clearly implies that Dorasar had heirs who did try and take power - of
these heirs the only one we have a name for is Verlain whose half-Praxian
blood is hardly likely to have endeared him to the citizens just seven years
after the war.

My suggestion is therefore that Verlain is forced to leave Pavis after an
unsuccessful attempt to win power and ends up in Garhound where his wife's
family are able to protect him (and the Sun County border is nearby)and that
a some point around 1585 or so he has a daughter Brennna who is the Garhound
Harvest Queen in 1603.

5) Garrath Sharpsword chronology up to 1625

In 1603 'young Garreth Sharpsword' wins the Garhound contest which is
followed by the marvellous harvest of 1604 (Sun County).

As Argrath's Saga states that he fled Sartar for Pavis at the age of 14
after killing Lunar tax collectors he must have arrived in Pavis in late
1602 or early 1603 and would have been no more than 15 at the time of the

An interesting question is why he felt the need to change his name so early
on - presumably as Argrath Maniskisson he was on some sort of Lunar wanted
list but this must have been true of hundreds of other Sartarite exiles at
the time.

In 1614 Biturian Varosh's marriage ceremony is conducted in Adari by the
Orlanthi wind-priest Argrath Dragonspear who is identified with Garrath by
their common relationship with Jarang Bladesong (who is Garrath's lieutenant
in the Cradle and also appears after 1625 in Minaryth's Blue's Events of My

This suggests that Argrath maintains two distinct identities at this time as
the well known adventurer and weaponmaster Garrath Sharpsword in Pavis and
as the Orlanthi priest Argrath Dragonspear in Adari (oddly the Dragonspear
doesn't appear in the list of Argrath's draconic connections in KoS so he
must have lost it by 1625)

I also think he is probably Argrath Whitebull to the Praxians as well by
this stage.

By 1621 and the Cradle Garrath Sharpsword is 'a famous instructor who lives
in Oldtown. He is known to worship Orlanth Adventurous and has spent time
among both the nomads of Prax and the Wolf Pirates of teh Rozgali Ocean'
(P&BR p132).

It is thus clear that Argrath's adventures with the Bison Riders and his
founding of the White Bull Brotherhood had taken place by 1621 as he floats
off out of Prax that year and spends three years with Harrek before
returning to raid Kethaela and liberate Pavis with the Barbarian Horde in

(The reference to his having already sailed with the Wolf Pirates before
1621 surprised me - as Argrath's Saga states that he did not know Harrek
when his ship found the Cradle this must have taken place before Harrek
joined the Wolf Pirates in 1617)

All of this seems to give us a pretty clear idea of what this Argrath was up
to between 1602 and 1625.

6) Argrath of Pavis chronology up to 1625

Argrath of Pavis is however clearly a very different person from Garrath

For a start he is not of pure Sartarite descent, and is evidently born in
Pavis County rather than Sartar.

He is descended from Brenna, Verlain and Duke Dorasar and has no evident
Colymar links.

Based purely on the known dates for Dorasar Verlain could have been born
anytime between 1545 and 1579 but a date in the 1550's would seem sensible.

Brenna would therefore be born somewhere between 1570 and 1590 making her
old enough to qualify as Harvest Queen in 1603. (I would suggest that
Brenna's mother was the daughter of Sir Declan Garhound and that she was
also a Harvest Queen and that Verlain won her in one of the earlier Garhound
contests sometime after he is driven from Pavis in after 1579)

The first date we have for Argrath of Pavis is that he escapes Lunar
assassins after 1610 by hiding amongst the common people of Pavis -
whereas Garrath is clearly a quite well-known figure living openly in Pavis.

He makes his living by 'conveying nightmare laughs' and singing rude songs
to the Lunar soldiers - an activity which somehow helps him to learn
important things about the Lunar's deepest fears - thus my description of
him as a 'minstrel/psychotherapist - although on reflection he sounds more
like a Trickster, a Shaman (perhaps even a Jakaleel Witch?) or someone whose
somehow learned something of East Isles dream magic.

As a result he is called 'Bad Dream Enostar'('Convey Nightmare Laugh 1ww'
and 'Sing Rude Song 5w'?).

At some point he seems to have been forced to spend time in the Rubble after
Sor-Eel cleared Riverside and the Farmer's quarter in a failed attempt to
gentrify them.

He was employed by one of the foreigners (probably a Lunar)at the time the
Cradle and had no interest whatsoever in saving it.

He is only converted to Orlanth after 1621 when he almost dies from a plague
that the Lunar priests are powerless to heal - suggesting strongly that he
was not initiated as an Orlanthi before then and may indeed have actually
belonged to a Lunar cult (how about the Lunar School of Red Masks which
Martin Laurie has Morthander Deville organising around 1620).

While Argrath Whitebull in several accounts comes to attack Pavis at the
head of thr Barbarian Horde, Argrath of Pavis has with all the zealousness
of a new convert built up an anti-Lunar resistance group that attacks the
Lunars from the rear and opens the gate to the nomads.

Argrath of Pavis only reveals his ancestry after the sack and stays behind
to rule the city while Argrath Whitebull leads the nomads west against

It seems fairly clear therefore that Argrath of Pavis is a son of Garrath
Sharpsword, born in Garhound in 1604, taken to Pavis in 1610(on the
assumption that this was the last place Lunar agents looking for members of
the line of Dorasar in Garhound would expect to look),
brought up in the poorer quarters of town, fraternising with the Lunars, and
only becoming aware of his ancestry and becoming an Orlanthi revolutionary
leader some time after the Cradle and perhaps not even learning of his true
identity until he meets Argrath Whitebull after the fall of Pavis.

Comparing the two Argrath's it strikes me that a novelisation of Garrath
Sharpsword/Argrath Whitebull's life before 1625 would be very Conan-like
while Argrath of Pavis' life would be a lot darker and more interesting and
need a Tanith Lee or Jack Vance in his dying earth phase.

6) The two Argraths after 1625

Looking back over KoS and my notes I am still far from clear as to which
Argrath marries Kallyr or which FHQ and realise that the whole Mularik
episode takes place after 1631 when I am inclined to think at least one of
the Argrath's has dropped out of the picture so maybe this is not such a
neat solution to that problem.

However it still seems clear that there are two Argrath's (or maybe two main
Argrath's...)around for at least the first ten years of the Hero Wars and
that my solution does actually resolve some of the questions about Argrath's
and Kallyr's different regnal dates in sources that are meant to be nearly
contemporary to the events they describe as of course in 1640 when the CHoDP
was compiled everyone knew there were two Argrath's and the author didn't
need to point out which did what - particularly if as seems to be indicated
by Minaryth Blue they feel out big time around 1630 and this needed to be
carefully skated over.

Anyway just a theory which Sartar Rising may completely explode if it
includes a more detailed chronology than KoS - although I rather hope it
doesn't as it's much more fun having Argrath as a figure of mystery(who was
that masked Orlanthi?)


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Cave and the Bad Seeds - Tender Prey)
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