Friday, 15 July 2016

Senbar



This evil place first appeared in 1051, when it was revealed by a gigantic earthquake that knocked horses over all across Pent. The denizens of Senbar terrorized the herds of Pent until they were finally defeated as a result of the Great Contest. The place is still haunted by demons and avoided by the Pentans.  (Guide to Glorantha)

It is also described as 'rising from the stone rubble'.

While there is a temptation to go down the path of living demonic walls, this appears to imply that it was actually built on the stone ruins of something older.

The denizens themselves are described as Huan To, ghouls, and 'other demons'. 
There are insufficient to appear as a separate category in the Pentan population table, and it is implied that their power is now severely constrained, but as a marked permanent settlement one can assume a population in excess of 1,000.  The Ten Arrows still avoid the Haunted Lands, so their ability to harm major Pentan tribal coalitions must be accepted.

11th century unknown painters - Sts Savinus and Cyprian are tortured - WGA19709.jpg
Humanoid Senbarites at leisure
What then, can we tell of the overall population?  The fact that there are a significant number of ghouls who (quoting Anaxial's Roster) must 'eat the corpses of intelligent beings... at least one corpse per week implies a very real difficulty for a balanced ecosystem.  If one were only to number 100 ghouls that would require their depredations to be more widespread than they are.  Even if we accept that they are the funeral directors for the other inhabitants of Senbar, this still leaves us with a drastic shortfall, or a host of short-lived demons.

Since the Huan To elsewhere exhibit a similarity to the Kralorelans, perhaps we may posit large herds of slave sentients in mimicry of cattle and pig herds.


What other demons would one expect to find here?  Since the Huan To are described as originating from the Vithelan Underworld, perhaps others of that brood, such as Andins?

There is also the fact that it would appear to be the Pentans defining them as demons, so perhaps those of the Pentan pantheons might also be present in some numbers.

Therefore, I think one might reasonably populate Senbar as follows.
Claude Noury 1506 The Torment of the Cauldron.jpg
Preparation for a ghoul-feeding

Huan To                               300
Ghouls                                  100
Andin                                   200
Other Vithelan                       50
Argoomi Diokos riders       100
Badaski weaponsmiths         10
Kon-Kon                               20
Bound Tilnta Brood-mares   40
Krarshtkids                           30
Romal                                   20
Enlo herd-slaves                1000
Dark Troll Brood-mares        10
Human herd-slaves              200
Various demonics                100
Various draconics                100
Chaotic elementals              100
Chaos ghosts                        500
Passion spirits                      100
Animated skeletons             500
Basilisks                                10


The magics available in the city's defence would be immensely varied and unpredictable, much to the inhabitants' advantage.

Coppo di Marcovaldo, Hell.JPG
That which awaits

The nature of the city itself might be quite dramatically varied also, with a stone basal ring, but then with towers and walls based on the whims and abilities of each quarter's inhabitants.  In some parts, demonic organics may yet hold sway.  Given the proximity of Hell and the abilities of many of the inhabitants, the old 'non-Euclidean' description could fit very well.  The powers invoked during a Great Contest might have been required to make any headway against them at all.
File:Stradano Inferno Map Lower.jpg
One survivor's memories of what he saw as part of the ritual at the Great Contest
 
That will be my Senbar anyway. YSMV.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Linguistic Features of Pent


The Language of Pent


 

The first and most important point to realise is that ‘Pentan’ as a language has only existed since the Seleran Empire produced a patois that permitted communication between the very disparate elements of the army.  Prior to that there were distinct languages spoken within major tribal groupings and in specific regions that were not mutually intelligible.  The languages of the Gamatae mixed with those of Nivorah, Dara Happa and Pelanda and numerous fragments of Peloria to produce a wild blend with local outcomes.

 Secondly, Pentan has no native written form, and therefore it is not sufficient to render it in the form of letters.  The sounds are exactly that, not a combination of letters, and the phonemes vary across the land, despite Sheng’s best efforts.  A result of this is that written forms may record the one phoneme in a number of different ways, and the language can seem far more varied than it actually is.  For example, Eusibus of Alkoth is a name rendered in Dara Happan.  The same initial sound might be rendered as Yu- in Pelanda and the Grazelands.

 Thirdly, no language is static when it has living speakers.  The settlement of Kralorelans, Teshnans, and Chern Durelites has continued to influence the ways in which the sounds are locally pronounced. 

  

Sins of Omission


A great deal of what makes a language stand out can be summed up in what it does not do!  Initial sounds make a great impression, and what may be said of Pentan is that it lacks several of those which occur in Dara Happan and other ‘Firespeech’ languages.

 While there are apparent exceptions (explained hereafter) there are no (or rare) words starting with the following:

E, M, N, P, Qu/Kw, S, W or X.

This indicates that Pent is not a Pentan word.

 The exceptions are Eusibus, mentioned in the second paragraph, Sirdaryo, which may be seen as a softened form of an original Zirdaryo, Seleris which appears more of a Pelorian title, and one use of W which can be understood as a remnant of an ancient Hw, as still present in the Pelorian Hwarin.

 Similarly, there are numerous word endings missing:  D, F, G, J, V, W, X, Y and Z.

 In the central belt there is a significant influence from Teshnos and Kralorela, and in north and east from Chern Durel.  These influences are more matters of pronunciation rather than meaning.
 
These simple facts, along with standard patterns of elision, mean that the following may be taken as the Pentan versions of Dara Happan names from the Fortunate succession.

1740 Plate with Triumphal Entry of Alexander in Babylon anagoria.JPG
An Emperor of Dara Happa returning in triumph to Raibanth

 

DH                                          W Pent                           C Pent                        N& E Pent

Yelm                              Alm                           Am                        'al

Murharzarm                   Burharzarm              Burharsharm         Burarsharng

Khorventos                    Khorventos               Korvaindosh         Korvengkoth

Ovosto                                  Ovosto                            Ai'osto                       Ovotho

Orogoros                              Orokoros                        Airogoros                  Orogoroth      

Oravinos                              Orafinos                          Aira'inosh                  Ora'inoth          

Anaxial                                 Anazial                            Anashial                     'angatheel    

Lukarius                               Lukarius                          Lukariush                   Mlookareeth     

Urvairinus                           Urvairinus                      Urvairinush                 Urvairinuth        

Kestinoros                          Kestinoros                      Kaishtinorosh              Ketinoroth

Manarlavus                        Banarlafus                      Banarlafush                 Banarlavuth

Vanyoramet                      Vanyoramet                   Vanyoramait                Vanyaranget

Manimat                            Banibat                           Banibat                          Banibat

Kazkurtum                        Kazkartum                       Kashkartum                  Kathkartoon

Jenarong                            Jenarong                        Jainarong                       Jenarong

Gerruskoger                      Gerruskoger                  Gairukshogair               Gerungkogger

Vuranostum                      Vuranostum                  Vuranostum                   Vuranothun

Huradabba                        Huradabba                     Huraddaba                     Uratanga

 Dardaggus                        Dardaggus                     Dardangush                    Dardaguth

Kerunebbe                        Kerunebbe                     Kerunaibao                     Kerunengee

Dagguneri                         Dagguneri                       Dangunairi                     Daguneri

Kestinendos                     Kestinentos                     Kekshinaintosh             Kethinengkoth

Illadarga                            Illadarga                          Ai'addarga                      Ilatharga

Viramakradda                  Viramakradda                Viramakshradda            Virangakada

Eusibus                              Yusibus                            Yusibush                         Yusi'uth

Harkaztem                        Harkaztem                      Harkashtaim                   'arkatheng

Khordavu                          Khordafu                         Kordafu                           Kordavu

Anirmesha                        Anirbesha                       Anirbaisha                       'irbetsa

Wanthanelm                    Anthanalm                     Andanam                         'antanal              

Anirdavu                           Anirdafu                          Anirdafu                          'angirdavu

Erraibdavu                        Arraibdafu                      Araibdafu                       'arai'davu

Mahzanelm                      Bahzanalm                     Bashanam                       Bathanal

Erzanelm                          Arsanalm                        Ashanam                         'erthanal

Khorzanelm                     Khorsanalm                   Korsanam                         Korsanal

Radaidavu                        Rataidafu                      Rataidafu                          Grataidavu

Anirestyu                         Anirastyu                      Anirash'yu                         'anirathyu

(Nysalor)                          Byzalor                          Buesha'or                          Bithalor

(Ordanestyu)                  Ordanastyu                  Oddanashyu                      Danathyu

Erzanestyu                      Arsanastyu                   Ashanash'yu                      'arsanathyu

Anirinelm                        Anirinalm                     Anirinam                             'anirinal

Raibmesha                     Raibbesha                      Raibaisha                           Grai'etha

Elmharsnik                     Almharsbik                    Amharshbiksh                    'alarik

Sothenik                         Zothanik                        Sotaniksh                            Zothanik

Helemshal                      Helamshal                    He'msha                              'elangshal            

Vorandevu                     Vorandefu                    Voranddaifu                       Vorangdaivu

Fenaldevu                      Fenaldefu                      Fainaddaifu                       Vengaldevu             

Asvekhordevu               Asvekhordefu               Ashvekshoddaifu              'asvengkordevu

Desikselm                      Desiksalm                     Daisiksham                         Daithingksal

Desikanir                       Desikanir                       Daishikshanir                      Daithingkanir
 
Verendekelm                Verantakalm                Vairandaksham                  Verantakal

Denesiod                       Debeziot                       Daibaishiat                           Denethot

Elmesiod                       Albeziot                         Abaishiat                              'albethot

Dismesiod                     Disbeziot                       Dishbaishiat                        Dithbethot

Elmexdros                     Almazdros                     Amashdrosh                       'alathoth

Dismexdros                  Disbezdros                    Dishmekshdrosh                Dithbethoth

Karmexdros                 Karmazdros                   Karmakshdrosh                   Karmathoth

Elmatryan                    Almatryan                      Amadd'an                            'alat'an

Dismatryan                  Disbatrayan                   Disbadd'an                          Disbatrayan

Ulikarelm                      Ulikaralm                       Uddiksharam                     Ulingkaral

Dismanthuyar             Disbanthar                     Disbandar                           Dithbantar

Karvanyar                     Karvanyar                     Karvanyar                            Karvanyar

Sarenesh                       Zaranash                       Saranash                             Zaranath

Heredesh                      Heratash                       Hairatash                             'eratath

Karsdevan                    Karsdefan                      Karshdeban                        Kardevan

Karsdevesus                Karzdefasus                  Karshdebasus                      Kardevathuth

Kewetdesh                   Ketdesh                        Kaiddesh                              Ketdeth

Kewetdevsus               Ketdevsus                    Kaiddebsus                           Ketde'ooth

Kumardesh                  Kubardesh                    Kumaddaish                         Ku'ardeth

Khorviramaka              Khorvirabaka               Korvirabaksha                     Korvira'ka
         
Kumarstyu                   Kumarstyu                    Kumar'u                               Kungathyu

Kumardros                   Kumartros                    Kumartrosh                         Kungatroth

Alenvus                         Alanfus                         A'anfush                               'alangooth

Khorkestinus               Khorkastibus                Korkashtibush                     Korkathoos

Kumardroni                 Kubertrobi                   Kuber'obi                              Kubertsobi

Kewetdroni                  Ketrobi                         Kai'obi                                   Ketsobi

Vinyartyu                      Vinyartu                       Vinyartyu                             Vingyartu

Spengatha                    Zbengatha                   Saingata                                Zbeggatha

Yelmgatha                   Yelmgatha                    Yaimgata                              Yelgatha

Vinyargatha                 Vinyargatha                Vinyargata                            Vinyargatha

Desderius                    Desderius                    Daisdairiush                          Dethderooth

Vinyardavu                  Vinyardafu                  Vinyardafu                            Vinyardavu

Elmexdavu                  Almazdafu                  Amashdafu                             'alathdavu


File:Orlat plaque.jpg
A Pentan mirror-back depicting warfare against Kastoki raiders


With much gratitude to Tindalos for access to some of his (as yet unpublished) magnum opus on the language of Dara Happa












 
 

 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

A scholar's approach to the Gopher people


The Gor-Dun Precursor Culture

 
Many believe that, because of their present lack of any high culture, the Gor-Dun have never been more than they are.  However, wandering across the steppes will make the open mind wonder anew.  There are strange monoliths and petroglyphs, humps resembling the burial mounds found elsewhere in Genertela, and in the most parched areas ranks of stakes on small hillocks.

It is the purpose of this paper to indicate that there was once a culture, or series of cultures, spread across Pent.  I hope that the department will look upon this with generosity of spirit, and will not dismiss it as has been my experience with my previous three monographs.

 In the names and power of Irippi Ontor, Bright Arrow Of Truth, and She Who Guards Us.

 

Site 1  (Named as Falber Hill By my Red Haired guards)

 But one days travel east of the Place of Surrender, this mound was surmounted by three small monoliths, each about half the height of a human.  The monoliths were quite smooth, with engravings on the sides facing outwards from the centre of the mound.  These engravings were identical, being of the form     
                                                       - -
                                                        I
                                                       I I
                                                             which I suggest is a stylised Gopher face.

 

I first invoked protective wards against any remnant curses, wary of the terrible Fist Of Pain, removed the monoliths (which may now be viewed in Annex 3B)  and laid out a standard Buserian Grid Of Inquiry over the mound.  Our Divine Master guided the process of the dig, which resulted in laying bare a burial site. 

The ashes of the deceased were sealed within a pear-shaped ceramic vessel, and accompanied by the following grave goods:     A notched spear-thrower, engraved with a stylised gopher
                                                     A stone statuette of a pregnant female human
                                                     Multiple flint arrowheads

These may also be viewed in Annex 3B.

 

 Site 2 (Not named by my guides)

 A further lunation’s ride to the north east revealed a cliff whose lower portions were covered in petroglyphs.  The great majority of these were very rudimentary depictions of bison and mammoth.

There was, however, one very interesting inclusion of a reindeer with a solar disc impaled on its antlers, pursued by a human on skis!  Is it too much to conjecture that this might be the Gor-Dun myth of the loss and return of Yelm Invictus?

  

Site 3  (Named by the guides, but I was placed under a gaeas not to reveal it)

Avoiding a Korer raiding party, we took refuge in the lee of a hill, which revealed itself to be a shaft grave!  On my own, I was insufficient to lay out an effective Grid Of Inquiry over the whole hill, and had to undertake excavation in a less than adequate style.  However, Our Immortal Teacher led me to an inner chamber after but three nights of excavation.  This chamber was about eight paces across, and rooved throughout with mammoth bones, which proved sturdy after who knows how many years?  (My request for information failing to elicit The Great Lecturer’s grace)

Within were found six pots of the type encountered at Site 1, accompanied by a scattering of ivory shards and flint arrow heads.  Here, however, each pot bore upon it the symbols noted on the monoliths from Site 1, painted in red.  I conjecture these to be the spirit forms of the dead, but they were long past contacting, or so it seemed.

The night after opening the chamber our camp was attacked by six ghosts howling unknown words.

They were weak, and were easily driven off.

 

Site 4  (Un-named)

A series of nine monoliths across a valley.  These were rough and uncarved, and in two cases shattered.  However, the fact that they were perfectly aligned indicates sentient origin.

 
Site 5  (Un-named)

 
After two lunations journey to the east, into a most arid region, we came across a complex site with three mounds, a hillock bisected by a line of stakes; and numerous petroglyphs of gophers, humans, hsunchenised human-gophers, bison and mammoths.  While the petroglyphs deserve no special description (although small examples may be found in Annex 3B) the other four deserve special mention.  In many ways, this was the most productive site, although seemingly of a quite different culture, or possibly two cultures.

 
5A          The first mound was highly resistant to the Buserian Grid, and there were numerous wards and curses still active.  Once penetrated it proved to be a funerary mound, but the five persons buried were all intact skeletons.  One appeared to be male, with the remains of a heavy wooden shield and long bone spear.  Next to him were eight flint spearheads, covered in a reddish powder.

The other four appeared to be female, with numerous armlets and anklets of pierced beads.

 

5B          The second mound was poorly built and had collapsed inwards long ago.  Using this weak point, I was able to safely unearth three skeletons, all arrayed as per the presumed females in 5A.

 

5C          The third mound had no active defences, which was a surprise given the contents.  It appeared to be a female shamanic individual, with a variety of unusual items which may be viewed in Annex 3C.  The remnants of a cloak appeared to have been covered in circles of ivory, each marked with unknown runes.  Some of these contain animal spirits.  She also had a copper hand mirror of Sairdite manufacture, bearing on the reverse a scene of three dogs chasing around the exterior and Jajagappa the accursed in the centre.  A well preserved leather cauldron was flattened and used as a pillow.

 

5D          The hillock was bisected north/south by the stakes, which averaged two hand spans beneath and four above the soil.  Many had fallen, and several showed signs of fire-hardening of the tips.

North of the line there were no finds, wheras south of the line there were fifteen pot burials.  The pots were long and tubular (Cf Annex 3C) and filled with the bones of the deceased.  No other grave goods were to be found.

 

There being no time remaining for further explorations we returned to the Red Hair Place swiftly, and thence to this temple.

I believe that there can be no cause for doubting that the exhumed dead were Gor-Dun, nor that the cultures indicated were higher than that which we at present see.  I would conjecture that either their culture collapsed under Gamatae pressure, or that we do not see all of their present culture.

I request funding for a further expedition in the coming season.

 

Delardios Caranhir, Field Researcher Minor.