Friday, 15 July 2016


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.

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