Orlanthi public opinion

Sun, 30 Jun 1996 12:14:04 -0400

I found Martin's estimates of public opinion persuasive for Sartar at first
glace... the sort of comment I'd could readily accept in a report from a
Lunar administrator to his superiors.

After 20 years of Lunar occupation, I expect a fair proportion of the urban
population to have found some accommodation with the Lunar administration.
But on reflection, I'm not sure I have a very clear idea of Sartar
demographics. I admit to have been greatly influenced by Home of the Bold as
a model, admittedly the location most likely to have had to adjust to Lunar
occupation. I am also strongly persuaded by the model of Roman Britain, where
one tribe might seek accommodation with the Romans to gain ascendancy over
another rival tribe. I admit to being shaky on the analogy where it applies
to religions; I've never quite figured out whether Gloranthans take religion
any more seriously than Earthlings.

Here are a couple of assumptions I've always made about occupied Sartar in
the 1620's. I'd like to test them against other campaigns and opinions:

1. Lunar occupation is relatively efficient and non-obtrusive, with tendency
to benignity in public works, and a tendency to brutal and dispassionate
brutality in punishing lawbreakers [including most explicitly sedition and
secret murder].

2. The influential members of Orlanthi tribes are constantly intriguing with
any faction that promises increase in personal, family, or clan wealth and
influence. The appearance of the Lunar military, civil administration, and
merchan factions have radically altered the balance of power in tribal
rivalries, and the desire not to be left out in the acquiring of these
potentially powerful sources of wealth and influence will drive Orlanthi
policy makers into the arms of the Lunars. [I assume the Lunars not to be
particularly efficient or enlightened in their ability to manipulate the
clans after only a generation of occupation, with some notable positive and
negative exceptions, like the earnest, fuzz-faced Lunar occupying soldiers
who befriend the local populace, and the rabid magistrate that executes a
hostage in reprisal, regardless of the consequences for influencing the
leaders of the hostage's clan.]

3. The Lunar cults are represented in Sartar by competent, sincere, and often
inspirational proselytizers of their faith. The primary commodity they market
is modernity -- an ever-fashionable and desirable product. For every
hide-bound traditionalist who recoils in horror at the Lunar ways, I imagine
a young Orlanthi intrigued and fascinated by novel ideas and opportunities. I
also see the cults offering resources that would appeal to power-gaming
player characters.

4. In the 1620's the prestige and power of the Lunar empire is at the flood.
They look like winners everywhere they go. Everybody loves a winner. When
you're a winner, nothing hurts (as Joe Namath says).

I blush to admit that all these notions were established in play long before
King of Sartar was published, and I am sensible of how the coming triumph of
Argrath calls into question the success of the Lunar occupation. I admit also
to admiring the Romans over the Celts, primarily because the Romans left more
enduring public monuments and literary works. [I also note with irony how
Cheiron comments on the recent amelioration of Lunar repute since the good
old days of his campaigns inspired by Sartar rebels; I'm almost exactly the
opposite, in that my campaigns always presumed the Lunars would triumph like
the Romans did in Britain.] Nonetheless, I'll stick to my guns on the
assumptions listed above. I doubt I'll ever have a campaign set in the latter
days of the Sartar occupation, and even if I did, I'd blame Argrath's triumph
on some tragic collapse of the Lunars, not on the superior military prowess
and political acumen of the Sartarites. 

So, again... what are your experiences? What reports can you give from the
Lunar occupied province of Sartar?

Ken Rolston


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #680

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