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Bellex Maximus

(previously General Zhaduun Ud-Kar)
The Imperial Warlord

Age: 64
Career: Military
Religion: Yanafal Tarnils
Culture: Dara Happan
Disposition: Confused and forgetful
The Red Moon
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Your name is, or rather was, Zhaduun Ud-kar, you were the General commanding Lunar forces in the Redlands. That was before you were badly wounded in the head. You are a Dara Happan by birth, from an important merchant family in Katchari.

Or at least that is what they tell you - you cannot remember any of this. Your mind is a blank. One day maybe it will all come back to you.

You are now called Bellex Maximus, the Imperial Warlord. You were chosen to wear the Steel Mask because of your brilliance as a General and because the previous incumbent was being promoted to sit amongst the Blessed Egi on the Red Moon. Luckily for you all of your military know-how and knowledge is still in your head.

It was unfortunate that you received your head wound just before taking up this new post since it has made life difficult these past six months. Most citizens think that Bellex Maximus is the same person, the Steel Proxy, who was appointed in 7/21 by Reclusus. This is why you must wear the Steel Mask to hide your true features.

You were blessed to have Fyodr Volkovos, your chief of Military Intelligence, around to help you with a smooth transition, helping to make it appear as if nothing had changed - even though you needed constant tutoring. You have grown to trust and rely on him. His advice has always proved to be correct. He is a good friend and confidant.

Even so, you have not confided in him about the horrible nightmares you have had these last few months. You always see a beautiful woman surrounded by a group of bearded men (brothers?) being stabbed repeatedly while you look on helplessly. An innocent baby cries in the background and you must save her, but when you try and find her you wake up crying and shaking. What can it mean?

In your role as Bellex Maximus you must destroy the enemies of the Empire. However, you have limited men and resources to do this. At present you see the main strategic goal as being to crush the civil war in Tarsh and then defeat the dangerous barbarian king, Argrath. You must avoid fighting on too many fronts! Dragon Pass is the key!

Background

Bellex Maximus

Bellex Maximus is the name given to the Imperial Warlord, commander of all of the Empire's military forces. This rank was once preserved for the Red Emperor himself.

The first Bellex Maximus was General Parg Ilisi in 2/30. However, his brutal and demented actions against Twice Blessed cause him to be removed from the post when the Emperor learned of his actions. The position did not exist again until the time of the mask Reclusus, when it was held by the Steel Proxy, whose face was hidden by a steel mask.

With the ascension of the mask Ignifer the Steel Proxy retired for a time, only returning after Ignifer was wounded during the siege of Boldhome.

The Steel Proxy has continued to hold the position of Bellex Maximus up to the present day.

The Comrades of Yanafal Tarnils

You are a devotee of Yanafal Tarnils, Lunar God of War. Yanafal Tarnils was one of the Seven Mothers, and his cult defines how the perfect Lunar soldier should behave. Most of his worshippers are career officers in the Red Army; the Scimitars of Yanafal are heroes of the Empire.

The followers of Yanafal Tarnils are honourable men, known to one another as Comrades of Yanafal; you address each other as 'Comrade General,' 'Comrade Satrap,' etc. You pride yourself on your skill with the scimitar, the sacred weapon of the cult, and are happy to resolve disputes over matters of honour by duelling.

As Imperial Warlord you are the High Priest of the Cult of Yanafal Tarnils.

The Imperial Lunar Army

You have followed a career in the Lunar Army. For young men and women of good standing entry to the army is made via the Yanafal Tarnil's Office Corps. After a probationary period officers are assigned junior officer positions in Lunar regiments and to the general staff. They then rise through a hierarchy of positions until they finally gain the Captaincy of a regiment. Patronage plays an important part in an officer's progress.

A few lucky Captains may be posted to the Staff College of Polaris, and from there enter the General Staff as Comrade Generals of the Army.

The head of the Lunar Army is General Bellex Maximus, the premier warrior and general of the Lunar Way.

 

Objectives

Personal

  1. Learn more about yourself. Try and remember more of your past.

  2. Try and find a cure or explanation for the nightmares you keep having.

  3. Act in an honourable and truthful way always. Protect the innocent... especially the innocent...

Career

  1. Serve Moonson and the Empire loyally. Destroy the enemies of the Empire.

  2. Impose your authority on your subordinates.

  3. Keep the Lunar Army focused on the Dragon Pass front. One of your first acts was to issue an order forbidding any deployment of troops to Arrolia in the West.

  4. You need 10 influence from the Military Budget to pay the Steel Sword Legion. You must pay this to the CPS Director before at the beginning of Windsday. Put in your claim to the Presidium when it decides on the Budget.

Religious

  1. Lead the Yanafal Tarnils cult. Make new converts and ensure all devotees are honourable, brave and truthful in their actions.

  2. Have Moonson declare next year to be a Blue Moon Year. This would be best for the Empire.

  3. Visit Great Sister. Can she help you with your memory?

Who You Know

Personal Acquaintances

Beatpot Aelwrin, General of the Imperial Bodyguard: a brave, but very blunt and bluff subordinate. He does not seem to care who he offends, yet he is a brilliant soldier much loved by his troops, who see him as one of their own. His Redlands blood, and the fact that he led a slave revolt in Aggar, mean he is disliked and distrusted by the Lunar hierarchy. You have the feeling that he could be of great use to you if you gain his trust... Surely you knew him before, or does your memory deceive you again?

Fyodr Volkhovos, Marshall of the Blue Army: your chief of Military Intelligence. He has been very supportive in helping you grasp the reins of power, prompting you where you have forgotten important people or facts. He and Thalia are the only ones who know of your amnesia. They are the only people you can trust.

Thalia Springtime, Colonel of the Guides: this beautiful woman is a subordinate of Fyodr. She helped nurse you to health and keeps a helpful eye on you.

Through your Career

Didius Copernicus, Director of the Field School of Magic: Your subordinate. He has strident, and unbalanced, views about the effectiveness of magic on the battlefield.

Jubba the Hood, Imperial Bureaucrat: Fyodr has warned to be wary of this man. He is not to be trusted. You must avoid him.

Murad Iznik, General of the Red Army: often known as the "Red Admiral" since his previous job was to lead the Red Navy. He knows that you replaced the previous Bellex. You have a strong feeling that you met him before you were Bellex, but he denies this. He supports opening up a new front in the west, which you have officially opposed. As a result no troops have been committed there since the original force seven years ago (and that was withdrawn soon afterwards). However, you do feel that Murad can be trusted.

Grand Master Orsorkhon, General of the Black Army: a difficult man since he heads the Danfive Xaron cult and seems to dispute your authority over him and his cultists. However, you do have authority over his military Punishment Battalions and his regiments of troops like the Grim Soldiers. Fyodr warns you that Orsorkhon is a dangerous man, given to assassination and evil mind control techniques. He is not to be trusted. You must avoid him.

Sitzmag Redmoon, Captain of the Antelope Lancers: You are told that this man saved your life when you were wounded. You obviously owe him a great debt.

Through your Religion

Sor-Eel the Short, retired General: he was removed from his last position in Prax as a result of the Cradle incident and the falling from favour of his patron, Fazzur Wideread. Even though he is in disgrace you are minded to help him.

Lergius Cassius, General commanding Lunar forces in Dragon Pass: you have a strange need to meet this man. You must find out if he knew you.

 

Other Knowledge

The Icebreakers are enchanted vessels which carry the Kalikos Icebreaker missions across the White Sea to face the ice demons of Valind's Glacier and keep the Lunar Heartlands fertile and free of bad weather.

The Moonboats are magical aerial craft, propelled by the moonlight. Within the Empire, they are used for rapid transport of troops and supplies. Their use beyond the Glowline is more limited, as the cyclical phases of the Moon and the untamed forces of Storm can leave them grounded or even damaged.

The Crimson Bat is a monstrous Chaotic demon, the Empire's ultimate deterrent. Once unleashed, it devours all who oppose it, a terrifying weapon of atrocity which has greatly aided the peace-making efforts of the Red Army. The Chief Feeder of the Crimson Bat controls this demon, taking orders from the Director of the Field School of the Lunar College of Magic.

The Seven Year Plan is the mechanism by which the major food and raw material requirements of the Empire are centrally planned and provided for. At the beginning of each seven year period every sultanate and province agrees to quotas of important foodstuffs and other raw materials and goods which they must achieve over a seven year period. A seven year plan has just ended and each of the sultanates and provinces will be audited this a sacred time on their results. Success is usually the route to promotion and Imperial favour, while failure is a sure road to political humiliation.


Secrets

  • You can remember hardly anything of your former life.

  • You have an incredible knowledge of military matters, both past and present.

  • You have recurring nightmares that you have not told anyone about.

  • You trust Marshall Fyodr Volkovos and Thalia Springtime with your life.

  • A strategic point in Glamour is the Citadel of Halfway.
 

Governing Bodies of the Lunar Empire

The Imperial Presidium

In recent years, an executive body, known as the Imperial Presidium, has taken over the reins of power. All Imperial Agencies ultimately report to a member of the Presidium. You are the wielders of real power, usually through control of military forces in the Empire. Presidium means garrison in New Pelorian. The function of the Imperial Presidium is to safeguard the Empire until Moonson again decides to take an interventionist role in government.

  • You sit on the Presidium as the Imperial Warlord, the Supreme Commander of all Lunar Military forces, and Leader of the Cult of Yanafal Tarnils. The other members of the Presidium are:
  • The Red Dancer of Power is the demi-deity who heads the Cult of Etyries and originates the economic and missionary policies of the Empire. She is Directress of the Half-Wane Economic Plan and offers the theoretical interpretation of Lunar doctrine.
  • Marshall Fyodr Volkovos is Commander of the Blue Army and Head of Military Intelligence. His command includes Guides, Assassins, and the Blue Moon School (which seeks out sedition within the ranks of the Red Army), as well as the Blue Navy, the riverine surface fleets of the Empire.
  • Grand Master Orsorkhon is the head of the Order of Danfive Xaron. His feared forces of punishment, the Black Army, seek out sedition throughout the Empire.
  • Moonson himself, who chairs the meetings of the Presidium when his duties permit. In his absence, his place is left vacant and Bellex Maximus presides.
  • Great Sister has taken upon herself the moral guidance of the Empire, and takes a keen interest in the workings of the granaries and the distribution of surpluses to the poor. No-one considers stopping her interference, as Great Sister commands 10,000 troops in her own army. Her views are generally inscrutable, but tend to the safeguarding of the Empire, especially its poor and downtrodden, against the factional interests of the powerful.
  • Until his demise seven years ago, Tatius the Bright sat on the Presidium as Dean of the Lunar College of Magic and Head of the Strategic Forces, commanding the Chief Feeder of the Bat and the Crater Makers. His place is currently vacant.

The Imperial Senate

The Senators are the guardians of the social structure of the Empire. They meet collectively in Glamour to advise Moonson and assist him in implementing his Mother's Will. They also co-ordinate the actions of other Lunar agencies when necessary. Senators sit as Judges in cities throughout the Empire, act as Ambassadors, and head Commissions of Inquiry into law reform and abuses of power. Only Senators are entitled to wear the Toga.

All Senators must possess extensive landed property. Those with so great a stake in the Empire are most likely to want to safeguard it, and less likely to be swayed by factional interests, greed or bribery. Financial peculation is grounds for expulsion from the Senate.

The Red Emperor is an absolute ruler, and has no legal obligation to consult the Senate or to listen to its advice. In practice, the Senate always supports Moonson's policies, and is used for the public promulgation of laws and edicts. Senators do criticise other imperial agencies which have come under the scrutiny of the cult, and in this capacity they act as a useful counterbalance to bodies such as the Imperial Presidium or the Court of the Silver Gate. When Moonson decides between conflicting advice, it is the Senate which puts the case for stability, tradition and social cohesion. The Senate also acts a debating chamber, legislature and appeal court.

The Court of the Silver Gate

Although Provincial Kings and the officials of Silver Shadow report to Moonson directly, most of the Heartland is under the sway of the Sultans. They head the Red Emperor's Cult in their own domains. Thus, within their own lands, their decisions command the same authority as those of Moonson.

At present, the Emperor only intervenes in the internal affairs of the Sultanates to enforce political decrees and raise troops. The Sultans enjoy access to the Emperor and expect to be consulted by him in major matters of economic and military policy. The Sultans infrequently meet collectively, as the Court of the Silver Gate.

  • Moonson, Satrap of Silver Shadow
  • Gul-Taran, Satrap of First Blessed
  • Var-Eel, Satrap of Oronin
  • Haroun al-Rastari, Satrap of Karasal
  • Makkrit-Oor, Satrap of Darjiin
  • Prince Pardidas, Satrap of Sylila
  • Raffha Khan, Satrap of Kostaddi
  • Queen Penelori, Satrap of Oraya

The Satrap of Doblian will have a place on the council, when one is appointed. Either collectively or individually, the decisions of the Sultans are subject to appeal to the Imperial Senate.

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Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson was written by Nick Brooke, Chris Gidlow,David Hall and Kevin Jacklin, with Rick Meints and MOB. The lead authors for Bellex Maximus were David Hall and Chris Gidlow.

Glorantha, HeroQuest, Hero Wars, and Issaries are trademarks of Issaries, Inc. The contents of this page are copyright by David Hall and Chris Gidlow, 2001; any material derived from Greg Stafford's world of Glorantha is also copyright by Greg Stafford. Glorantha is the creation of Greg Stafford, and is used with his permission.

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