Julian Lord replying to Peter Metcalfe:
>>until recently, the Solanthi were dominated by the Trader Prince
>Not quite true IMO ; the coastal Solanthi certainly were (and still
>are). But the northern ones (who are quite primitive) are more
>involved with the Arstola elves (frinstance, they have some of their
>settlements actually within the Arstola forest), while the more
>central clans managed to hold on to a certain precarious independance
>(sandwiched as they were between several difficult customers).
Beware that the coastal Solanthi have no contact with the Trader Princes and rather draw material sophistication on possible trade with the New Coast cities, which are a distinct bunch, and more recent. Back in the Princes' time, there was no point at opening a road along the sea, especially if you had to avoid Ryzel getting through Bastis, and all those monsters who still roamed the place after the land goddess's going mad. The northern road (which is partly mapped in the Tradetalk Holy Country issue) looks like a shorter and safer way. The New Coasters came with the Reopening and don't acknowledge the Princes' claims to ruling them.
Of course, those very claims imply the Princes somehow maintain a presence in the river valley of Voilor and can somehow justify them.
As you say, probably the Trader Princes didn't maintain permanent rulership over the Solanthi and ilk, and central clans may have held to independence. Some chieftains may have had advisors from the Princes, wizards and knights among their followers, not more than one or two every three clans along the Voilor, and the Trader Princes would merely maintain a loose 'economic' control providing the barbarians with civilized goods. In the nearest vicinity of the Trader Princes' castles, the boar people's local leadership may have been subdued by the Princes for important matters without too much interfering with the Orlanthi's everyday life affairs. Apart from these formal relations, life goes on and both sides don't mingle that much. "Oh, just a raid or two on your caravans today, but you know you can count on us, my lord."
>Some more of it comes from their relationship with the elves : their
>"sophistication" is certainly relative, but they are more sophisticated
>than the Ditali, and any other Wenelian group for that matter.
They have a lot of friendly ties with the Ditali (Hey, friends, what about raiding Esrolia?). I think they're about the same level of social sophistication. Probably the Malkioni rulers of the Ditali are ruthless raiders like their followers and allies, whether they be Boars or Lions. As regards material sophistication, the Ditali warlords probably use more armor whereas lionish Solanthi favor a swifter style and care less for stone houses.
>Indeed ! It's a great place for a game. :-)
Yes! The whole of Wenelia is large enough so that the number of possible situations may be huge indeed. Surely there are many strange clans which don't fit with either Boar or Lion models. Just look at the Fire Clans of the Ditali. Glorantha Intro hints at other animals - maybe Deer Clans influenced by the Pralori. Certainly Elf-Friends with strange rites exist somewhere. The Nimistor people may be half-orlanthi, half-hsunchen, half-riverfolk, and a lot of stranger folk live in the deep woods between valleys. Maybe a Slime Deer Clan somewhere (shiver).
>This is being gradually junked IMO as the Trader Princes are leaving
>in droves (since the Opening, the Old Wenelian Road has had it)
>and the barely-repressed boarishness of the Wenelians starts to
Their common origins with the modern Safelstrans probably dwell in Jorstland, and this is a heck of a time ago. They must have maintained contact in their homelands so as to manage their business, but they've been here with their families for long, handling trade goods and news between Ralios and the Holy Country and dealing with local barbarians. Now, upstart seafarers are forcing the Trader Princes into retirement (though, with all those pirates...). A lot of practical sense may prevail, so that most leave and others try to conquer rights over the New Coast cities. Others are stubbornly holding to their castles. The Bastis seem to be more successful: maybe they still handle some trade along the Noshain through Pralorela, now focusing on Handra.
Once the local Trader Prince is gone, i gleefully agree that the Wenelians once again yield to their boarishness. And this is a major change for them: the Trader Princes have been there for long (erm... now that i'm beginning to repeat myself, maybe it'd be better to stop here.)
Most of this is unfortunately unrefrained speculations. :)
Joerg Baumgartner on the Plundering of Aron:
I've just begun to read TR so i didn't know. I thought the Westfaring was another name for a similar historical event, and that Talor was somehow involved!
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