Re: PEOPLE: Broyan and the Larnsti

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_...>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 23:38:55 +1300

At 10:22 AM 3/8/04 -0800, you wrote:

>Me > Broyan isn't aiming for restoration of the Hendrieki tribe, he's
> > aiming for rule over the entire Holy Country according to Greg.

>I don't think that Broyan is "aiming for rule over the entire Holy
>Country" - are you basing this on the reference to Broyan being King of
>Kethaela in the Annotated Argrath Saga?

No, I'm basing it on a statement from Greg in the Heroquest list:

         JB>While I don't regard Broyan as a fervent supporter of the
         >Pharaoh, his conduct in 1622-24 suggests that he does support
         >the concept of a unified [Kethaela]

         Well, I see him as wanting a unified Kethaela -- under his command!

         > To make him an active foe of the Pharaoh would take some

         I myself see him as anti-Pharaoh. He sells out the entire land 
when he
         opens the doors of the City of Wonders in return for Harrek's 
help. His
         activities in Esrola are, I think, overemphasized when he is 
called King
         and so on. He had a desperate mercenary force in the time he was in
         Esrola. He became successful later. His later importance makes his
         presence in Esrola even more serious in retrospect than it might ave
         been at the battle.

>Frankly, I don't think that
>Broyan has any interest in the Holy Country per se - definitely
>Heortland and maybe Esrolia, probably not the Shadow Plateau.
>Definitely not Caladraland, the Islands or God Forgot.

Why not? To use a non-loaded example that's like suggesting that the English Kings don't have any interest in Ireland, Scotland or Wales because the people there are not English. Kethaela was originally an Orlanthi land while the Trolls, the Caladrans and the God Forgotten are latecomers.

>following the Battle of Iceland, I think that Broyan is generally
>recognized as High King of the Hendriki (and of Heortland).

By whom? He is a Vingkotling King, a title that is geographically unbounded. He wouldn't have anything to do with Heort.

>As a
>result, he meets the qualifications for ruler of a Sixth and can enter
>the City of Wonders.

I doubt that Broyan's influence extended beyond the Volsaxar which isn't enough to confer hexarch status. His victories at Iceland mean damn little to the unreconciled Andrinic Heortlanders and their Malkioni counterparts.

Moreover being one of the six rulers implies recognition of the Pharoah's status which is anathema to Broyan.

>However, I think that Broyan is aiming to restore the Hendreiki - in
>order to resist the Lunars.

The Hendreiki are still alive and don't need restoration.

> > The Larnsti isn't a heroband but fully fledged worship of Larnste.

>Let's talk about the Larsnti for a moment. They exist in precisely
>three published sources: (1) G:IHW, (2) OiD; and (3) DP:LoT. Of these
>three, OiD is the most important.

No. OiD is simply a character bio which makes a simple statement about Broyan leading some Larnsti and the precise implications of which are contradicted by the other sources. When I was writing up the Larnsti, I fully intended them to have magic along the lines of what Sartar had in KoS and not the limpid Escape Power.

>This passage contains quite a bit of information for us.

>(1) The Larnsti are a magical brotherhood founded by Hendreik so that
>his people would never be conquered. This is strongly paralleled with
>Broyan the Last Free King. They are a heroband.

Wrong. Heroband in Heroquest has a specific meaning namely a group protected by a guardian (Heroquest p227). The patron of the Larnsti is the former cosmic god of motion, now crippled. He is not a guardian in the terms of Heroquest rules but a god. As such, the Larnsti are a cult.

>(2) The Larnsti are not restricted in the mysteries of the god they
>chose to study - they worship freedom and liberty. They are likely
>initiates of Orlanth as well - in fact I see now reason why Free
>Hendreik is not a subcult of Orlanth who then provides access to Larnst.

They are not initiates of Orlanth but initiates of Larnste. The nearest an Orlanthi can come to understanding Larnsti magics is through the worship of Mastakos. The Larnsti are outside the cult of Orlanth although they are communal worshippers of the Orlanthi Pantheon.

>(3) King Andrin replaced the true Larnsti with Larnsti-lite. The
>sheriffs have weakened the Spirit of Hendreik.

No, they haven't. That is a subjective interpretation and one not shared by everybody (including most of the people of Heortland). Moreover look at what the Larnsti did when Andrin created the Sherrifs - they didn't revolt but stayed silent indicating that they were unable to say whether the change was good or bad. Many people (including some Larnsti) now say that the change was bad but in truth, the Larnsti still don't have a clue from their God.

>(4) The Larnsti - and Broyan - cannot leave Heortland (which includes
>the lands of the Volsaxar Confederation of the Bacofi, Curtali, Sylangi,
>and Volsaxi - and once upon a time the Kultain).

Broyan can leave Heortland. He was in Esrolia.

>The true Larnsti - like the Spirit of Hendreik - are almost gone.

No, they are not. They are still around in Gollanstead and other places. If they were almost gone, then I wouldn't have wasted so much space in describing them. I note that Sartar left Heortland almost two hundred years after the first Andrini were created.

>Proceeding on to source number two, OiD. From that we know that:
>"Broyan is fated to be the Last High King of Heortland. He will die in
>1625, so we recommend that the narrator reserve his personal hero band
>(the 25 members of the Larnsti) as an exemplar rather than as an option
>for player characters to join. Even if the narrator does allow player
>heroes to join, attaining this high honor is very difficult, and any
>player hero will have to work up to joining the household of the High
>Broyan is "Leader of the Larnsti 5M2"

A relationship that only takes 10% of his time as opposed to an initiate relationship to Vingkot (30%) and gives him a 25 warriors with escape skills. For a magical brotherhood that's extraordinarily weak.

>We also know that a "Typical Larnst Warrior" has as keywords - "Warrior
>7M2", "Escape 19 M2" and uses spear and javelins.

Nope. That's the typical Larnsti warrior that follows Broyan.

> From OiD, I think it is safe to extrapolate that the Larnsti are
>Broyan's personal heroband and that there are "25 members of the
>Larnsti" left.

I disagree strongly. That interpretation flies in the face of everything else that has been written about the Larnsti.

>Most Larnsti have no Sartar-like changing magics, -

Again I disagree. That is solely based on the OiD Broyan writeup and ignores what they were described as having in other sources.

>instead they are each the near-equivalent of a clan champion and have an
>Escape ability (which is presumably a magical affinity).

It's not described as an affinity in Broyan's own stats but a magical skill. It's probably an ability conferred by the Guardian of Broyan's own heroband but it is not

> This makes me
>believe that the Spirit of Hendreik is the main source of cool Larnsti
>magic. The Spirit of Hendreik is the Guardian of the Larnsti.

So why does Sartar who is explicitly mentioned as a Larnsti in Storm Tribe as well as the Glorantha: Intro have much more powers than the escape powers supposedly available to the Larnsti in OiD?

> > Look at Sartar's powers for an example of what Larnsti magic
> > is like (break a tree into water, create flying fish, turn assassins
> > into termites, jinx shaman's drumbeat of power on KoS p133 alone).

>No - look at Sartar's power for an example of what Larnste magic is

Which is what I said, no? Instead you seem to want to cripple them with a bog-standard escape power.

> Sartar was not the run of the mill Larnsti.

So? I never implied that he was. I specifically pointed to Sartar as an example of what the Larnsti were like. But instead, the cult is dumbed down to a heroband on the basis of a statement in a character sheet in OiD.

> > Looking at Broyan's stats, his magic is Vingkot and nothing
> > else.

>He is leader of the Larnsti. Period.

Wrong. Period.

> > Broyan may be a worshipper of Hendreik Freeman as part
> > of a political movement among the Larnsti but I doubt that all
> > Larnsti share this belief.

>On the contrary, I think that Hendreik Freeman is the Guardian of the

Hendreik Freeman is a Hero and not a Guardian.

--Peter Metcalfe

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