Re: Re: Dragonrise arc

From: Jane Williams <janewilliams20_at_...>
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 20:45:25 +0000 (GMT)

> Chris made a point I wanted to make, too: Jane, the parallels you are
> using, and the public you are catering too, have a decidedly British
> background, which isn't shared by a large part of the rest of the
> Gloranthan community.

I am definitely assuming that we're writing (in English) primarily for people for whom English is their first language, yes. People who can write and RP in their second language are frighteningly clever and (I assume) quite rare. Is the rarity an invalid assumption, then? If so, we may have to drop any assumption of common historical "knowledge" at all, which will be awkward. I'd also assumed that anything non-British English-speakers know about history before their own history started would be from a British base, since that's where their ancestors would have been from. Not true?

>To me, Celts are people living in and around the Alps, not island dwellers.
Well, they occupied most of Europe originally, and invaded Delphi at one point. But the last bit to get conquered by the Romans was Gaul, then Britain, I believe?

> >> >Bou-who?

> >> She's a Kallyr analogue for Roman Britain.

> > I was trying so hard to avoid using that as primary description... even in
> > my admittedly biased opinion the analogue probably ought to be the other
> > way round.

> Not at all, in my opinion, except that she is a female leader of a
> pre-feudal society of warlike farmers.

Who had red hair, and led a rebellion that did well initially, then failed.

> Most importantly, Boudicca wouldn't have accepted exile at Larnste's
> Table, but there is also the lack of Kallyr's abused children and dead
> husband which makes a ton of differences.

No, as usual, when you start to look at the finer details, they're not identical. The broad strokes match, no more.

> But yes, this sort of thing is one reason why I view the Lunars
> as primarily Roman. Their conquest of Sartar is so obviously a parallel
> with the Romans in Britain (and Gaul, though I know less about that).

> I don't see the British parallel, myself - it is a very continental
> conquest. The closest parallel to me is the conquest/annexation of the
> Danubian Celts subsequent to the conquest of Gaul, with the Romans
> coveting their network of trading cities and the riverine trade route.

True about the trade routes: Britain I believe was wanted for the tin and silver mines, and the grain. Trade sources, not trade routes.

> Buy-out of some tribes, sharp conquest of others masked as "liberation"
> from the Suebes (Grazers? Praxians?).

That's true of Britain as well, and I'd guess anywhere tribal that they conquered. That's just the way human nature works.

> Perhaps a better analog is the Frankish conquest and cultural subversion
> of the Western Slavs. Heck, the Bohemian kingdom was founded by Frankish
> merchants... (Franks=Tarshites, Phargentes comparing to Charlemagne)

Sounds interesting: the school history I gave up at 13 didn't cover that. More reading to do...

> I can't point at any one individual and say "that's Cartimandua, who settled
> her differences with the next tribe and her ex-husband by using Roman
> allies", but I am pretty sure that Cogidubnus' palace at Fishbourne is in
> the Nymie valley.

> Those names tell me less than Ordenviru or Deshlotralas, Jane...

well, they're a bit shorter....

> as I am sure that my obsession with oppida such as Manching or Kelheim will be
> totally alien to you, despite the fact that they make excellent examples
> for Sartarite cities near the Creek-Stream River and tributaries.

Manching is in China? Kelheim is ringing bells... no, Googling that, you were talking about a different Manching. ah, yes, the rampart style, that's where I'd heard of Kelheim. Manching looks interesting.

Read up Cartimandua, she's fun. But no, no use as a general analogue. It's Boudicca who every schoolkid knows about, and who features in every bit of fiction set in that period. The Fishbourne palace is famous because it's so well-preserved, and because as a result, we all go on school trips there, but again, I wouldn't bother using that as a public analogue.

> > Hmm, some of the Far Place battles are echoes of what
> > happened to the Romans in Germania, too. TeutoburgerWald, anyone?

> Teutoburger Wald would be the battle where Fazzurites destroy a Heartland
> contingent marching into the Pass.

Could be. I was thinking Ghost Gors myself. But it can be borrowed for both.

> Far Place sounds a bit like the 9th Legion legend
> (which I only know through the young adult novel by Rosemary Sutcliffe).
Also could be (and that's how I know of it, too).

> > Did any invasion of Sartar use elephants? If it doesn't yet, we really
> > ought to write some in.

> No elephants. Dinosaurs.

Would they have been a strange new idea (and frightening because of their strangeness) to Sartarites? I'd have thought not.

> So let's not use analogs, but state these facts frankly, and then tell
> where the inspiration came from. Let's get productive, not controversial.

I think we're going to have to. If our audience don't know what we're refering to with ANY of this, the analogues are useless. Drat :( There's got to be some commmon cultural references somewhere, surely?

> The majority of Fazzur's command (as I envision it) are medium cavalry
> similar to that of the city confederation militias of Sartar,

(blinks) Cavalry? You see Sartarites as having that much cavalry, too?

> In my Glorantha there are thousands of Provincial veterans in
> western Tarsh waiting to return to action while Fazzur fumes against
> Tatius intrigues. They remobilize in 1625 after Tatius gets eaten....

That sounds like, again, good story.

> Fazzur has a lot in common with Belisarius as depicted in fiction. Both in
> Felix Dahn's "Ein Kampf um Rom" (a German young adults classic about the
> fall of the Ostrogoth kingdom in Italy) and in the Alternate History
> series by David Drake and Eric Flint.

I haven't read the German one - will have to find and re-read the David Drake.

> The standard Lunar presence are Hearland officers (with their funny
> plumes) and assorted auxiliary troops, and only occasional professional
> peltasts.

but as I was quoting a while back, we have officers in Pavis refering to the hoplites as being the real Lunar soldiers. He at least thinks of them as being the standard.

> The Hoplites are on garrison duty in the walled cities,
> impressing the urban population (and the rural yokels visiting).

which sort of fits, but implies this guy is only thinking in terms of city garrison, and that seems... odd.

> Lunar taxmen quite likely have mercenary guards along with Lunar auxiliary
>  troops.

Hire the PCs.... yes, it's got story, let's have it.

> Lunar engineers doing surveys or (somewhat futilely) trying to
> keep the Sartarite roads from falling apart will have some protection
> forces that may be recognizable as "legionaires" - Peltasts.

I'm sure they can have hoplites, too. The fact that they'd be no good at the job is almost irrelevant.

> (BTW an
> entirely Greek term for light to medium infantery, not at all Roman. But
> then the original run of RuneQuest miniatures had Sartarite Humakti in
> Greek mercenary style armour and helmets.)

Indeed. Maybe they nicked it from the Sundomers?

> Your average Lunar regular would be a Peltast, or Provinvial Militia. Take
> the bunch in Tarsh Wars, or think Heortling mercenaries pressed into
> militia service...

> Give them purplish coats to identify them, if you like, or at least
> reddish scarves.

Red cloaks. Nice and visible.

> In another post, the Lunar Empire was compared to the British empire, but
> the lack of the Channel was lamented. The Lunar Empire has the Glowline,
> folks...

Yes, but that's rather the wrong scale. "Inside the Glowline" would be more like "drawn in pink on the map of the world".

> Anyway, it is good to have the list back in activity. Keep it up!

Very true!       

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