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Pentan Nomads

Ran the Dara Happan Empire at the Dawn of Time (cf. the Glorious ReAscent of Yelm for their early origins). Nowadays generally seen as horrible coarse usurping types, pasturing their steeds in the ruined cities of the Golden Age. Driven out of Peloria in the First Age by the forces of the Second Council (who used Praxian mercenaries), to the desolate steppeland of Pent. (See Uz Lore for local colour. Some of those Praxians were the ancestors of the wonderful Sable Tribe of the Hungry Plateau).

There's not much Second Age history from Pent, apart from a cavalry probe by General Kastok from Dara Happa, and a tribe of stick-in-the-mud traditionalists migrating to Dragon Pass and beyond ("Good riddance!") -- see below for more.

The Pentans came back big-style in the mid Third Age under a shaman-demigod-mystic called Sheng Seleris, who ruled Kralorela and the Lunar Empire in Ghengis Khan fashion for over a century before the Lunars defeated him. Just over a century ago, the Lunars practically wiped out the Pentans in a genocidal battle (and magical disaster) called the Nights of Horror. Since then, surviving tribes have fled and bred and spread, and have done deals with all kinds of weird gods -- including those of Storm. Nobody in the Empire is quite sure how many Pentans are out there, what they worship, or when their horde is going to hit the Redland settlements...

Some of the Pentans have stayed über-traditionalist (these are Pure Horse peoples, who never herd or eat anything but horses); others have sullied their ancestral ways with cattle-herding. (There are, naturally, far more of the latter). The best sources for them prior to Glorantha (pp.162-5 & 173-5) were the Genertela Book chapter on Pent, or the Wyrms Footprints article on Yelm.

UPDATE: The tendency towards "orthodoxy" when writing about Pentans prompts me to mention that Pentan customs and manners have been horrendously warped since the Nights of Horror. Some tribes worship spirits their ancestors never dreamed of following: the Storm Tribes are only the best-known example of this. Social roles have been similarly thrown into turmoil, as one would expect in the wake of the catastrophic near-genocide wreaked on the Pentans by Lunar chaos magics at that battle. Thus, while we know where Pentans came from (Yu-Kargzant / Arandayla / La-Ungariant), the gods of any particular clan or tribe these days cannot and should not solely be extrapolated from this ancient and, perhaps, irrelevant history.

Note too that this means typical gender roles may well have been re-assessed by many Pentan peoples: after all, for a generation after the Nights of Horror there were almost no Pentan men of military age in any of the horse nomad nations which participated in that conflict -- and histories suggest this was most if not all of the tribes of Pent.

I'd strongly advise against being straitjacketed by the published sources on Pentan religion and culture. Deviations from the ancient norm can be explained in terms of "What Happened in the Year of Many Tears", "What Happened When Women Ruled the Clan", "What Happened When The Strange Spirits Came", etc. Adaptation often meant survival: sticking to the Old Ways is admirable, sometimes, but can also wipe out the unfortunate.

Let's develop a properly patchworked and confusing Pent!

Pure Horse Tribe (in Prax)

These were a Pure Horse people from Pent whom the Empire of the Wyrms Friends hired to come and beat up Praxians for them, most notably at the battle of Necklace Horse (early Second Age). They were dominant throughout Prax for most of the Second Age, reducing the Animal Nomads to second-class citizens in their homeland (apart, that is, from the ones who fled to the Wastes, grew tough and lean and hard, discovered magical dentistry, and returned to sack Pavis etc.). Allies of the EWF, Pavis, Jrusteli and Sun County (all of which have gone rather downhill recently). Wiped out by the seemingly genocidal battle of Alavan Argary at the start of the Third Age (but see below). More story in the River of Cradles timeline, and some odds and ends in King of Sartar.


Two origin stories here. The "old/sensible" one is that the defeated remnants of the Pure Horse Tribe fled Prax (using the Black Net for concealment) to haunted, deserted Dragon Pass. They settled there, enslaved occasional pedestrians, and have done rather nicely since. The "new/magical" origin story is that Ironhoof the Centaur cut some of his chums into their man and horse halves, to make them happier. But you knew that already from King of Sartar (which is, taken with Hero Wars, Glorantha p.157f, and the old Dragon Pass boardgame, our best source. Neat stuff in Enclosure 2 BTW).

Anyhow, the Grazelanders are a Pure Horse Tribe, recognisably Pentan in detail (e.g. worship of Kargzant, the Pentan sun god), who herd, ride and eat horses. Their "vendref" groundlings herd, ride and eat turnips. Of course, the wealthy Grazelanders (plenty of them!) wear cloth-of-gold outfits, with lots of jewelry and rhinestones.


These were a Pure Horse people from Pent who converted to the Lunar Way after a terrifying encounter with the Red Goddess at the Battle of Seven Horses. They served the New Moon Queendom more-or-less loyally (some say they joined in Jannisor's attack on Glamour), and were more-or-less rewarded by being offered the taiga of Erigia as a new homeland. To "improve" this elf forest, in the now famous Char-Un style, they burned it utterly to the ground and then trampled over the ashes. They now serve as the Lunar Empire's loyal cossacks. You can find more about them in Glorantha p.132, in Tarsh War, in our Life of Moonson background materials and characters, and on Wesley's website.

Pol Joni

The odd ones out. They are not descended from a Pentan tribe, and do not follow Pentan customs, at least not directly. Many Pol Joni ancestors were of Orlanthi or Praxian stock; some were doubtless Grazeland outcasts. They had an alliance with the Kingdom of Sartar, and used to keep its Praxian borderlands safe. They have a shaky understanding with the Praxian nomads, and are just about acceptable at the Paps. The Pol Joni ride horses, but herd cattle: this is one of the reasons why they are called the "Cattle Bastards." Best source: King of Sartar. Little bit more in Glorantha (p.172).

Lunar Trooper by Dario Corallo

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