Re: The Watchful House of Saint Gaspodi

From: Oliver D. Bernuetz <bernuetz_at_...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:56:40 -0000


> I see no reason why this order couldn't exist as Oliver wrote
> up. Religious minorities have existed in the past until or unless
> surpressed and we might be justified in thinking that the Orlanthi
> didn't think them worth surpressing. (I think the Hospitaliers still
> have an outpost in Jureusalem?). The 2 chief questions would be
what do
> they live off of and, given that they're celibate, where do they
> recruit from? Recruitment is actually the easier of the 2 to answer.
> In my Glorantha I attribute the difference between Humakti and Uroxi
> to the fact that the Humakti are drawn from the upper class
> society the way that Odin worshippers were drawn from Norse
> while the Uroxi get their recruits from young and ambitious
> stickpickers who'd prefer a short life to spending another day as a
> stickpicker. But there's no shortage of stickpickers in Heortling
> society so there's no reason that other military units such as the
> Watchful House of Saint Gaspodi couldn't recruit from there as well.

That's not a bad suggestion and I think they do get some recruits from Heorlting society but I think the bulk of their new recruits are from Esvulari society. People who've seen the light as it were and have abandoned their near heathen ways for the proper path of Malkioni. I suspect their contact with the West is very minimal, occassionally some Western zealot comes out to smite the heathen and then discovers the local existence is pretty damn boring. Or some bishop sends them orders, probably addressed to some Marshall General who's since died so his replacement ignores them.

> But that said, how do they get their daily bread? Funds from
> West would be one possibility. A scenario in one Hero Wars book
> the players had a chance to end up with the revenues from a couple
> Seshnelian villages in return for a phony exorcism point to this
> within the bounds of possibility. A traditional alliance between the
> Order and the Volsaxi might be another answer since the Volsaxi
> not remember Gbaji too fondly either (Given that Orlanthis are
> of Valindings, Gargarthi, Eurmali, Humakti and all other manners of
> riffraff it would seem odd if they couldn't be accepting of some
> reasonably useful Malkioni as well). And of course there's the usual
> warrior's way of making a living: plunder and then invest. That
> involve some diversion from their sentry duties but such had not
> unknown in the past.

Again I think that most of their food comes from local donations, again more likely to be from the Esvulari who've converted. I don't think there's a lot of members in the order, probably no more than 50 tops. They may have had local serfs as well doing some sad farming in the area before the seige. Now why does Broyan allow them to stay? Are they anti-Lunar because of the Lunar's embrace of Nyasalor? Could be.

> The scenario question is the impact the Order's existence would
> make on the local magical ecology. The Order's ability to detect
> Illuminati could be a scenario buster or a scenario driver
depending on
> how it was weaved into everything else. If a Lunar spy agency
> know about this Order and is in the habit of using Illuminati to do
> their infiltrations then they're going to be losing agents like
> without ever knowing why. ("Good Morning, Your Majesty! Is there a
> particular reason why the new merchant you're talking to is
> Illuminated?"). Finding out why their agents are being lost might
be an
> interesting mission for Lunar players. Trying to discreetly stop a
> that the Order has spotted might be an interesting mission for
> Orlanthi. ("Get what information you can out of him but don't let
> ask you questions!"). Later on, when the Lunars get wise to what's
> happening trying to keep the assasinations of Order members down to
> minimim
> might be an interesting job for any Orlanthi who wants to play
> bodyguard.
> - Denethor

They can detect Illuminates!?! I guess that is sort of implied by their guardian's abilities isn't it. Hadn't made that connection myself. That might be too gross an ability though (would a PC want to give up sex to get something that may never be useful?:->)

They're on the Tor because they've been there for over 13 centuries. They've stayed there through thick and thin and the Vaulted Hall is lousy with wards and magic. But why do the Volsaxi kings allow them to stay? Do they have some sort of charter that granted them the right in perpetuity? Are they respected/tolerated because they don't interfere in local politics (other than to root out suspected Gbajian influences which probably goes over quite well). I quite like the thought of them being some archaic leftover from the First Age. Makes 'em kind of poignant.


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