Re: So, why did Sartar found Sartar anyway?

From: Joerg Baumgartner <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 22:33:19 +0000

> Ben Waggoner <>:
> In some recent bathroom browing through KoS,

Another member of Erik's holy order?

> I was thinking about how
> unique Sartar and his actions where for Orlanthi society, and how little
> indication in the published sources as to what he was actually up to.

> What we know:

> He was a Larnsti from Heortland, and the only one who ever was able to
> leave, at the cost of not being able to return. He then shows up in
> Sartar, initially spending a few years wandering around and doing
> non-violent good deeds. These deeds eventually focus on building
> larger political entities, and peace between former enemies, and end
> in the formation of the unified Sartar kingdom.

Semi-correct. The land of Sartar never was a kingdom, but a tribal confederacy led by (admittedly hereditary) princes. There were only two kings of Sartar prior to the Lunar occupation, Sartar himself and Tarkalor, who both were Kings of Dragon Pass. Principality is a very clunky term, as is tribal confederation, so "kingdom" is the term commonly used, but misapplied.

> Sartar eventually apotheoses, leaving behind a hereditary
> kingship. No one seems to mind this, although we know the foundation of
> hereditary kingship in Tarsh was met with opposition by traditionalist
> Orlanthi factions.

Two good reasons: Sartar's descendants ought to have special access to his magics non-descendants wouldn't have, and the kingdom wasn't one.

I'm not entirely sure how the power of a king differs from that of a prince, but there certainly is some magical difference.

Hereditary warlordship (another term for princeship) isn't that uncommon. Look at Greymane's sons, for instance.

> The nation of Sartar is founded just a year after the birth of Lunar
> Tarsh, and the history of the nation is very focused on stopping

Sartar and Saronil made no overt moves against Lunar Tarsh. IIRC Jarolar is the first Sartarite prince to fight the Lunars, aiding Palashee.

> Unlike most Gloranthan heroes, Sartar seems to have much less of a dark
> side, or the morally ambiguous "can't make an omelet without breaking
> eggs" set of attitudes and deeds we expect.

> Why does he do this?

> The Do Gooder Theory:

Too sweet for my taste.

> The It's Good to be King Theory:

Sartar did not become King in the sense of the King of Heortland, or the King of the Heortlings. He became warlord and prince of the Quivini, then High King of Dragon Pass.

If his goal was to become High King of Dragon Pass, his "other way" would have been an excellent preparation.

> The Wants to be a God Theory:

IMO his apotheosis was a means to an end. He needed something lasting for his confederation.

> The Stop the Lunars Theory:
> This is my favorite, not because it is better supported by the evidence,
> but seems to have the highest MGF.

This is in part my theory.

> Again, the birth of Lunar Tarsh is followed by the founding of Sartar
> just a year later.

The city rings started a lot earlier. I don't know how long exactly Hon-eel had prepared her heroquest entry into the Tarsh rites, but Sartar's ringmaking process predates this.

> And Sartar rapidly becomes involved in keeping Tarsh independent
> of the Lunars, and keeps at it as long as possible, an unusually
> consistent goal for Orlanthi. Perhaps this mission is part of
> the legacy left to Sartar's heirs, either orally or through
> divination? One clue to suggest this is Dorasor's founding of New
> Pavis after a divination of the need to provide a place for refuge.

Divination to their ancestor, in my book.

> One thing that encourages this theory is the focus the heirs of Sartar,
> including Argrath, apply on destroying the Lunar Empire.

Hardly that before Argrath. Tarkalor, the greatest of Sartar's heirs, faced the might of the Lunar Provinces only, and failed to destroy the provincial Overseer (Phargentes, King of Tarsh), only bested him for predominance in Dragon Pass (for four years).

> In Argrath's case,
> he REALLY REALLY wanted to muck up the Lunars badly in order to take a
> doubled LBQ in order to bring back Sheng Seleris. There were plenty of
> other useful allies that could have been returned without being the
> inevitable difficulty Sheng would be, and the cost of the second Quest.

Asking for Sheng undid much of the last barriers between the worlds. Getting him accelerated things cooking up even more.

> The Only Old One would have been an interesting alternative. A very
> useful ally to have, if they could have kept their interests aligned
> (the OOO seems to have been a pretty good ruler and neighbor). A
> unified Holy Country would have made an excellent ally during the wars.

The OOO was a lousy ally in wars - see how much good he was against the True Golden Horde or the Jrusteli.

> (speaking of which, do we have any idea what goes on in the Holy
> Country after 1630 or so?).

We know nothing between 1628 (one Argrath becomes Hendriki king or protector of the Holy Country) and 1644 or thereabouts, when the floodings make the point moot except for refugees pushing into Tarsh.

> The Secret Mission from the Pharaoh Theory:

My best bet.

Sartar's mission was similar to Dormal's - reestablish lost trade and communication. The Lunar Empire was a factor which the Holy Country hadn't realized in full. By meeting the provincial Orlanthi north of Tarsh and learning about the empire, Sartar realized that the original idea wouldn't work.

The Pharaoh's attempts at conquering other places were hampered by his magic IMO. The term Godking implies limited free will, and the way I see it, the Pharaoh spent his special magics binding the Sixths to himself, recreating a local Golden Age or perhaps even Green Age. Any expansion wouldn't include anything really new.

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