Sartar's magic and his dynasty (Re: A few Sartar questions)

From: jorganos <joe_at_NjccI94nCP5yiaQu0xpoA3VrxLcLEsB0Cgwz9qhq35Z7TT3zPsuDRHWEFnu1z-SGfHncJac0>
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2008 14:41:19 -0000

Adept quoting History of the Heortling Peoples p.87

> "Sartar was an heir to the Hendriking "old ways". He went to Dragon
> Pass for this purpose, with a long-term plan to go to the homeland
> (or for his descendants to do so) and rescue them from the
> oppression of Belintar."

Actually, I read this as an "Other Way" strategy to create a more civilized version of the old ways that would eliminate the need for Belintar installing puppet kings.

Heortland had been tributary to the leader of Kethaela since before the Dawn. Belintar simply replaced the Only Old One. For reasons I don't quite understand, there seems to have been resentment that their darkness-loving former tyrant was about to be displaced during Belintar's wars with the Only Old One.

I still picture that event like Belintar telling King Andrin: "You think you are doing things the Old Way? I'll show you the Old Way, and I'll show you my way," summoning Silver Age Heroes to prove his point.

Of course, part of the point of being a Hendriki is to welcome change. Just not any change, it appears... Freedom and "unconquered" loom high in Hendriki self-esteem.

> Sartar was a peaceful man for a Hero, but that sounds pretty
> antagonistic, with the descendants explicitly mentioned. Possibly
> I'm reading too much into it though.

MGMV: The Hendriking "old ways" were different from both what Belintar imposed on the Heortlanders and from what the ultra-ruralist dissidents created in Quiviniland.

Whether their own or neighboring peoples' cities, the rural population of Heortland had been in contact with urban neighbours throughout history. They had access to specialist crafts and magics, and had been involved in trading with these places.

To some extent, the Hendrikings also appear less ridden with internal tribal warfare than e.g. the pre-Sartar Quivini. Presumably those are the benefits of having a High King, and an independent organisation of judges/advisors. Facing external enemies or rivals apparently helped take the steam out of otherwise restless warriors, too.

> It's 1601 ST in my game, and Belintar's agents
> are looking into ways to help Sartar against the Empire.

Whatever the initial feelings, the land of Sartar is all that remains between the Lunar Empire and the not too secure northern provinces of the Holy Country.

Belintar had made an agreement with Ironhoof, the King of Dragon Pass, a non-invasion, mutual benefits pact. I think that this agreement carried over to Ironhoof's successors in that office (even Moirades, who did not lead the Lunar invasions himself, and I tend to think he would have cut a better military leader than Euglyptus).

> I'm getting the impression that the antagonism towards Belintar is
> motly in the past. Those who stayed, have learned to appreciate the
> Pharaoh,

Or have resigned themselves to his presence as a necessary evil. Which wouldn't be much different from earlier attitudes towards the Only Old One, IMG.

> and those who left are now proud of their new lands. Besides
> the Sartarites have kinship ties to Heortland, and their relatives
> don't seem to be suffering cruel bondage, I should think.

People who buy the "enslaved tribes" propaganda about e.g. the Colymar, Balmyr and Culbrea in the Sartar Rising books will see cruel bondage when looking at Pharaonic Heortland, too.

As a child of a nation divided by cultural paradigms, I see much potential for misunderstandings between Heortlanders and northern Heortlings. Even without hinting at "red occupied country" parallels.

> Indeed, I almost forgot this. What are his descendants like. Are
> they great magicians more than fighters, like their ancestor.
> Sartar was afterall the "Warlord of the Quivini", as are the later
> princes. They also seem to lead battles a lot. They have to be
> good generals, even if they aren't heroic warriors.

The first warrior prince of Sartar was Jarolar, who led the charge that crushed Philigos' attempt to remove Palashee Long-Axe.

Saronil, Sartar's son, appears to have been similarly skilled as his father when it came to building projects. His diplomatic skills were less well developed, when he angered the dwarfs (which killed him in the end).

Sarotar, Saronil's eldest son, appears to have been King of Dragon Pass material but for his fateful love affair with that Esrolian noblewoman. His cousin and sidekick Dorasor created New Pavis, overcoming quite a few impossibilities like his grandfather had.

Onelisin Cat-Witch appears to have inherited the magical talent of her grandfather, but the social skills of her father (or those of Yinkin). I suspect that Saronil's family life was more entertaining than any combination of daily soaps and contemporary royals observation shows. Unfortunately, we have practically no stories from that era. (Significantly, there is no royal keep from Saronil's era named after her, but there is one named for her bastard brother.)

Jarolar, Saronil's heir, appears to have been second choice. Three or four years junior to Sarotar, possibly trained to serve the dynasty as a warlord or builder. Possibly "the dutiful son" of Saronil's get?

Tarkalor started out as another highly-gifted misfit under his father's or brother's rule, and earned much glory in his external adventures. Both a warrior and a skilled organisator, he finally became King of Dragon Pass against the formidable Phargentes.

The rest of Eonistaran's (bastard? less eligible?) branch of the dynasty chose to work outside of the Principality, too. I'm toying with Jotisan of Karse as a major influence in that booming city during the Opening.

Jarosar followed family tradition only in initiating a road building project before being killed in battle. His brother doesn't appear even as a consideration for the next prince, instead his (by now heroic) uncle Tarkalor takes over.

Terasarin appears to have been fairly competent, leading the recovery from the disaster at Grizzly Peak and ruling for 18 years despite increasing pressure by Moirades. He doesn't display any special magics, appears to have been an able organisator, then dies from a Lunar spell on a (harebrained?) attempt to personally rescue his granddaughter.

Saraskos appears to be a heroic Grazelander aiding his Sartarite paternal kin, probably with his personal heroband formed by Grazer warriors. Most of this is gleaned from the description of his burial site...

Sartar's other (known) direct children were Eonistaran the Sage - possibly the head behind the organisation remaining intact even after Sartar's apotheosis - and Yorestina, who most likely became a leader in the Feathered Horse tradition of the Grazers, and likely the ancestress of a number of influential Grazers. (Possibly including Jandetin.)

I'm a bit unclear about the age of Eonistaran - for Dorasar to be an age companion of Sarotar, I would expect the Sage to be considerably older than Saronil (after all academics are notoriously late parents... ;).

There is no discernable family magic here, although there seems a great potential for strong magics.

BTW, years ago Greg stated in a panel that Sartar was a hero of Issaries. Should that read "a hero working to the ends of Issaries" now?

> I'm thinking about things said on this list earlier. I'm pretty sure
> there was talk about inherited magic in the line of Sartar, and this
> being a feat only a few orlanthi Heroes have managed. I'll try to
> look it up.

What I remember pointed out here is that Vingkotling inheritance (and Vingkot royal magic) was achieved by Sartar for his descendants. That's a rare feat, although comparably recently earlier accomplished by Yarandros of Tarsh (even while his father still ruled).

There was something like a Cult of Sartar. I used to paint this as ancestor worship for his descendants, and something similar to thanes worshipping Dar the Leader by avid supporters of the Principality.

There is a possible practical side to the Cult of Sartar, too - maintenance of the royal highways, and possibly the fortifications as well. There might even have been a holy day of road maintenance labor or support (providing material, etc).            

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