Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson
Sultan of Karasal
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You were born in the opulent palace in Graclodont, eldest son of Sultan Mehmet al-Rastari. You were groomed to rule from childhood. The best tutors in the Empire were hired to teach you politics, economics, social skills and every other necessary accomplishment. Your father gave them strict orders to admonish and even beat you if you strayed from your studies. And the Goddess be thanked that he did! Otherwise you might have ended up a pampered fop like most of your fellow Sultans or (careful, these thoughts must be guarded), like Emperor Argenteus himself.
You progressed in the Cult of Moonson Imperator. You were appointed to the post of Red Tribune and Aide to the Commander of the Karasal Sultanate Guard regiment. You became noted for your drive against waste and corruption. If there was blame to be apportioned, you would always pick on the most vulnerable officer. The men were spared, and grew to love you, while the other officers tightened their act.
Though still very young, you became a Moonlord in the entourage of the Emperor Ignifer. You were away supervising the Minority Rights Commission in Glamour when you heard that he had been assassinated while convalescing on his country estates.. Shortly after, the Red Smoke was seen from the Citadel of Halfway. Bellex Maximus, flanked by Great Sister and the Imperial Chamberlain, appeared to announce that the Emperor had been reborn. His new mask-name would be Argenteus.
Troops of the Black and Blue Armies were rounding up loyalists to the old Mask so you resigned your Commission and returned to Karasal. Your father was ailing, and you acted as his Grand Vizier. Here you learnt to manipulate the reins of power. It is incredible what people will do once convinced that you are acting in their own interests. You took to the streets, organising festivals, meeting the public and helping them to feel involved in the political process.
You inherited the Sultanate fifteen years ago. You consolidated your
position by signing a treaty with the King of the Char-Un, Orgrol the
Fat. He agreed to stop raiding Karasal in return for trade concessions.
You turned this deal to your advantage by supplying illegal consignments
of home produced and addictive gin. You sponsored prospectors in the
Gan Mountains of Eol, a rich source of iron ore. Over the last two years
the mines established there have made it much easier for you to fulfil
your quota of swords. Expedients like this have been bringing in a handsome
profit year on year.
Last year, while hunting in the Darsen Hills, you heard the call of the Red Goddess, saying that the Mandate of the Moon had descended on you. You must become the true Red Emperor. The path to power will be difficult, but you are confident that you will prove worthy to the task. You are suave, elegant and sophisticated. You must charm them and beguile them, but let them know you have power, real power, and will soon have more. You are the Emperor.
The Satrapy of Karasal takes its name from an ancient Kingdom conquered by the Red Goddess.
The majority of the population are Dara Happans in the Oslir Valley, centred on the new city of Red Fish. The main industries, however, including the forges of Katchari, are found in the Darsen hills. The people here are Pelorians. Their land was known in ancient times as the Land of the Goddess and they take pride in their loyalty to the Moon.
The ruling family, the Rastari-ining, are from Darsen and tend to favour their fellow countrymen. The capital city, Graclodont, is on the Poralistor river north of Darsen. The largest city, Joranit, lies between the two areas and thrives on trade. It is an important Red Naval base and an entrepot for the Thrice Blessed to trade their fish and furs.
You are a devotee of the Red Emperor. Your right to rule comes from worshipping the founders of your family clan as a subcult of Moonson Imperator.
The cult worships the Red Emperor as the perfect embodiment of the Lunar Citizen. It does so by enforcing his Justice, supervising the actions of all other governing institutions in the Empire, and providing structures for all citizens to aspire to and achieve the highest rank. As such, it determines the basic social structure of the Empire, overlying the Empire's disparate cultures.
The Red Emperor leads his cult personally.
Sultan of Karasal
Yours is one of the nine full sultanates of the Lunar Empire. Each is governed by a powerful ruling family responsible for extracting the emperor's taxes, protecting the people, assuring respect for the Red Goddess, and enforcing the emperor's personal commands. Your family holds large estates across the sultanate and commands a large private army.
However, you must always be on your guard since your family only holds this sultanate for as long as you have the power. You have many noble family rivals who wish to remove you in a Dart War and take your place.
As a sultan of the Empire you are eligible to sit on the Court of the Silver Gate.
Who You Know
Moonson Argenteus, the Red Emperor: This man is a worthless impostor.
Great Sister, Daughter of the Red Goddess: This Powerful demigod lives in a palace in your capital city, Graclodont. She is obsessed with various social welfare programmes for the poor of the Empire. She is consequently revered by the masses and you have considered it wise to help her out and to be seen to be doing so. It also keeps her from interfering too much in the political affairs of the Sultanate, which is useful.
Miriros Conradin, Colonel of the Grim Soldiers: you helped this senior Danfive Xaron penitent in his study of the cultic lore of Orogeria, the Divine Moon Huntress by opening up the temple and record to him. He seemed very grateful. More recently he bought a large number of swords and shields from your factories in Katchari. More than his cult or regiment would ever need.
Orgrol the Fat, King of the Char-Un Cossacks: This brutal imperial ally leads his nomads to the North of your Sultanate.
Through your Culture
Acutus, Prefect of the Mothers Guard: he is an ambitious Dara Happan Shargashi from Karasal. You wonder how ambitious?
Geilbonus the Sycophant:
The Speaker of the Imperial Senate. A revered wise man, known for his
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.
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.
There is a rumour that the Icebreaker Red Storm
Season has been lost. You could use the information to further your
objective of becoming Emperor. Ensure that its loss does not become
public knowledge until you have been able to pin the blame on an enemy.
The Icebreaker was berthed in your port of Joranit, where its obsolete
predecessor, the Herald of Kalikos, is supposed to be kept as
a back-up. In fact it is used as a floating palace for orgies, sorry
"diplomatic receptions". The Imperial Government has continued
paying subsidies for it. The rowers are hard at work on the massive
The Moonsword Cult is a special sub-cult of Yanafal Tarnils for military heroes of the Empire. Candidates must be recommended by Jar-eel. Those who are accepted are given their steel Moonsword by Moonson himself.
The Empty Conquest of the Thrice Blessed. The Twice Blessed, as they used to be known, were once ruled by the Kingdom of Karasal. They pledged friendship to the Red Goddess when she liberated them. Many studied in the Empire's Magical Schools, sharing their knowledge of the standing stones which dot Peloria. In the Second Wane, the shameful "Salt-diamond incident" led to the expulsion of the Twice Blessed from south of the Poralistor river. 26 years later, further trouble led to the Empire sending in General Parg Ilisi who raped the land and its inhabitants for ten years. When the Emperor found out, he conceded the Treaty of Eol, by which reparations were made and the folk granted full Imperial protection. In return the Twice Blessed embraced the Lunar Way and changed their name to Thrice Blessed.
Gin is a spirit distilled from malt and maize and flavoured with the Juniper berry. The word Gin comes from the Pelorian word meaning "Fire Spirit". Its sale and manufacture are one of the Seven Imperial Monopolies, controlled by the Red Dancer. However, you run an illegal distillery in your capital city, Graclodont, and you draw a good corrupt profit from it.
You have some consignments of gin with you (labelled in order to avoid suspicion) which you wish to sell to raise funds. No doubt Orgrol will want some.
The Mandate of the Moon
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. They 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.
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.
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.
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 author for Haroun al-Rastari was Chris Gidlow.
Glorantha, HeroQuest, Hero Wars, and Issaries are trademarks of Issaries, Inc. The contents of this page are copyright by 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.