Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson
Examiner of the Red Moon &
Religion: White Moon
Culture: First Blessed
Disposition: Calm, other-worldly
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You were born in Blessed Torang, and attended the temples there joyfully even as a child. You particularly enjoyed the Sacred Time recreation of the Birth of the Red Goddess. You joined the cult of the Seven Mothers, but one day, while debating with the Philosopher-Riddlers, you suddenly saw the secrets of the cosmos open before you. You had become illuminated. Joining the Red Goddess's own cult, you were especially chosen by Moonson himself to be one of the seven Examiners of the Red Moon. guarding and spreading the inner secrets of the Lunar Way.
While the other Lunar cults try to teach with inspiring stories of Lunar heroes or trite cult structures based on Dara Happan Cosmology or the Jrusteli Monomyth, you know that the Truth of the Lunar Way can only come by inner Illumination. You have the ability to ask the Riddles which are the usual ways of transmitting enlightenment. Most people you will meet here in Sacred Time have been Illuminated, but there is no harm in keeping their inner being refreshed. You also know the deeper Illumination of the White Moon. Try to get them to reach this level of enlightenment.
Your inner enlightenment was triggered when you discovered that your young wife Zalote had been unfaithful. She had wheedled you into stealing a fabulous Diamond called the Red Water (which Sultan Gul-Taran had bestowed upon your Temple of the Red Goddess) as a token of your love before she would marry you. While you were a away, she gave it to a visiting dignitary as a love token. She refused to tell you exactly what had happened, but you soon divined the reason. You were plunged into despair at her unfaithfulness. In this mid-life crisis, you met the Keepers of the White Moon. They taught you the Great Mantra and deep meditation, the techniques by which you achieved inner enlightenment.
The Devotees of the White Moon would meet regularly to plot the withering away of the Empire. Your own contribution was the concept of fiscal anarchy.
You warned the others against direct conflict with the authorities, but without convincing them. One by one, the Keepers of the White Moon have since been arrested, tortured and executed. You are now the only Keeper left at large. As far as you know, no-one has revealed your name, but you must be careful.
First Blessed Sultanate
First Blessed Sultanate is the spiritual heartland of the Lunar Empire. Here, in the city of Blessed Torang, the Red Goddess was born on the surface world. The back room where her Seven Mothers performed the ritual is a revered site of pilgrimage second only to the Crater. Most of the Sultanate is the Pelorian land of Rinliddi, extended by the Goddess to include the Dara Happan cities of Elz Ast and Yuthuppa, the largest urban centres. The economy is based on pig-farming, with copper mining at the base of the Hungry Plateau.
The ruling clan, the Taran-il, has been in place for about a century. They are descended from a reappearing spirit called Flower Poem. The current Sultan is Gul-Taran.
Red Moon Illumination
Illumination is a state of inner enlightenment which it is necessary to attain before one can worship the Red Goddess fully. It was first taught by the Nysalor, who spread the teaching by seemingly contradictory riddles which provided spiritual insights. In the Lunar Empire, Riddlers are honoured and encouraged. An Illuminate sees cult strictures and taboos as veils to be drawn aside to reveal the truth. Even Chaos is seen as what it really is, just part of an all embracing cosmos with which the Illuminate is at one.
A select few illuminated Priests of the Red Goddess are called Examiners. They examine likely candidates for illumination, interpret the Goddesses wishes, and examine the faith of others.
White Moon Illumination
The secret doctrine of the Lunar Way holds that the Red Moon is but the current manifestation of the goddess Sedenya. She has existed since the Golden Age before time, and seeks to heal the damaged universe. As Rashorana, she was the power of Illumination manifest in Nysalor the Bright One. As Rufelza, she conquered the Carmanians and rose to the air in her Red Moon body. Her mission will be completed when, as Zaytenera, she shines white across the unity of a healed Glorantha. The White Moonies know that her transformation is almost complete - the Eight Wane will be the Full Wane of the White Moon!
Who You Know
Mikos Thiokonos: Your most high ranking supporter, he works as Imperial Chamberlain in the City of Dreams. You are the only one to know that his encouragement of the Red Emperor's dissolution and inactivity is carefully calculated to hasten the withering away of the Empire. Communicate with him, but do not blow his cover.
Jar-Eel the Razoress: The Inspiration of Moonson is a powerful force for the New Age. Some years ago she was involved in constructive dialogue with the Keepers of the White Moon. This was done through messages passed through intermediaries. She seemed quite receptive to your teaching, but her loyalty to the obsolete institutions of the Empire is well known.
Through your Career
Moonson Argenteus, the Red Emperor: Dissolute, irresponsible and unsuited to government. He is the perfect vehicle to facilitate the withering away of the Empire.
Grandmaster Orsorkhon, leader of the Danfive Xaron cult: Head of the Feared "Truth Commission" responsible for torturing and executing your fellow Keepers of the White Moon. Avoid his clutches.
Through your Religion
Icilius Overholy, General Guide for the Lunar Spirit: a fellow Examiner of the Moon, she leads the Cult of the Seven Mothers, the provincial missionary cult. However, you have detected recently that she may be losing her religious fervour. Perhaps knowledge of the White Moon would fortify her?
Meritus: A fellow Examiner of the Red Moon and High Priest of Jakaleel. He sees it as his responsibility to root out followers of the White Moon, not understanding that this is the culmination of the Lunar Way. He would be the one most likely to discover your true feelings, if he suspected, but you must never-the-less work closely with him.
Great Sister: The Emperor's sister is known for her love of the poor and oppressed. She evidently shares many of your own goals, and her divine status gives her access to the inner truths of the Lunar Way.
Through your Culture
Gul-Taran, Satrap of First Blessed: you must ensure that you remain in his favour. He would be a good convert to the White Moon, or at the very least a useful ally if you get into difficulties.
Maculus the Monitor (NPC) is a relatively recent convert to the White Moon. He used to be one of the famous Coders (special government agents) until they were disbanded ten years ago. At the time he was investigating the disappearance of White Moonies who had been sent from the Heartlands to settle in Prax. It was during these investigation that he became illuminated to the White Moon and, even after the Coders were disbanded, he continued his investigations. You had not heard from him for a few years, when a few days ago he arrived on your door-step half-dead with horrible chaos diseases, sores and eruptions. All he could say was that there were terrible things happening to White Moon settlers sent to the Redlands. Since then he has hovered between life and death and you fear the worst.
The Examiners of the Red Moon only number seven individuals. In theory they are not affiliated to any particular religion except that of the Red Goddess and all of her pantheon. The primary duty of the Examiners is to interpret the thoughts and wishes of the Red Goddess and provide guidance to her worshippers on her attitude and stance on spiritual and secular issues. They are the conduit through which her commandments are made. Examiners also have an innate ability to sense the core essence of a being: that is to know if they have the potential to be illuminated by the teachings of the Red Goddess - this is a state of illumination higher than that offered by Nysalor. Those who have a high potential are destined for great things in their chosen career path. Use your normal Examination card (with a Nysalor riddle) to test for those with a high potential. Use your other Examination card to test for those who can be illuminated by the White Moon.
Fiscal Anarchy. The Lunar Authorities see the Fiscal Anarchists as chaotics, acting at random. In fact they are a front organisation for the White Moon. Simply withholding taxes has been met by rigorous application of the law, even to the extent of tax demons, and has proved counter productive. Better results have been achieved by swapping tax returns at random, and distributing money evenly.
The East Isles Bubble is the name given to a failed commercial and trading venture which was to be launched from the frontier port of Corflu. The East Isles company was set up to manage the venture and collected investments from Lunar citizens, promising them large returns. Unfortunately, the venture collapsed and Lunar trading vessels never left Corflu for the East Isles. None of the investors money has ever been recovered or the perpetrator's behind the scam arrested. The Red Dancer of Power was a major supporter of the venture, though her losses were minor. You had a hand in the collapse of the East Isles Bubble when you spread rumours that there were no trading vessels being built in Corflu - little realising that you were in fact correct!
The White Moon is a teaching which has grown up from nowhere in recent years. It holds that it was never the intention of the Red Goddess to create an enduring Empire. The Empire was a means to an end, to confront those states which violently opposed the Lunar Way to allow the liberation of their peoples. Since the days of the First Wane, the Empire has become a self-serving structure, its expansion never matching the speed at which the Lunar Way first spread. The White Moon Cult holds that the Red Moon is not yet perfect. The Empire must wither away. Then, and only then, will the Lunar Way be able to spread throughout Glorantha and the Moon shine White in the Air. From a fringe, harmless teaching, the cult has spread. Its devotees refuse to pay taxes or serve in the militia. They have now taken to attacks on Imperial Monopolies, tax collectors and so forth.
The Prophesy of the White Moon
As blood precedes a birth,
The Imperial Revenue Service collects, counts and oversees the taxes due to the Red Emperor. Most taxes are collected directly from the Sultans, Provincial Governors, and Monopolists. The service is supplemented by a force of spies and informers who report on abuses of tax. The feared Tax Assessors are inspectors who check on the information used for tax assessments and who investigate abuses of the system. In certain circumstances they can recommend the use of the feared Tax Demons against dangerous tax dodgers. The Sultans and Governors normally farm out the collection of taxes to Tax Farmers (who usually take a cut of the taxes they collect). Some forms of taxation are farmed out directly by the IRS.
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.
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 Hasperat 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.