Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson
Ivex Devouring Dog
Imperial Tax Collector
Career: Imperial Revenue Service
Culture: First Blessed
Disposition: Zealous, diligent, dull and lonely
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You are the Imperial Tax Collector, which means that you oversee the collection, handling, and checking of all of the Lunar Empire's tax revenues.
This is a very important job and it is claimed by some that you are an omnipotent demon. But of course this "omnipotence" is a confabulation of the apparent omnipresence of Lunar Tax officials, who "are in every house, every pig, and every mug of ale."
Many years ago you were born in the satrap of First Blessed, birthplace of the Red Goddess herself. Your family was a trading family and you joined the cult of Etyries and the family business. Such was your financial acumen and grasp of figures that you prospered and came to the notice of the Sultan of First Blessed, Garak-Taran, who hired you to help collect and count his taxes - as well as siphoning away as much as possible into his personal coffers. You and he became firm friends.
However, you and your sultan were caught - you don't know how. Instead of a dire punishment (Garak-Taran himself was executed) you were recruited into the Imperial Revenue Service, as a poacher turned gamekeeper. You proved expert at your job and just over fifty years ago became the head of the service. Since then you have laboured with great zeal and efficiency.
You are currently involved in a protracted dispute with Marshall Fyodr Volkovos, General of the Blue Army (or military intelligence) around the taxation of his operatives. Many of his assassins are hiring out their talents on a freelance basis and failing to pay tax on the income gained. Fyodr says this is a perk of the job! You are sure it is a flagrant tax abuse and you seek payment in full.
In your old age (though arcane magics keep you young in body, if not spirit) you are growing increasingly lonely and wish for female company, or, well, any human company. You just can't seem to make a connection with people or hold their interest. Worst of all is your infatuation with Jar-Eel the Razoress, the great (and beautiful) hero of the Empire. You dream of her every night. You've tried to tell her of your love, but so far each time you've got scared and fled in confusion.
Are you doomed to a life of loneliness?
You are from the most holy of satrapies, the birthplace of the Red Goddess herself. The people of the satrapy were the first to convert to Lunar beliefs and are blessed as a result.
The lands of the satrapy extend from the foothills of the Blue Moon plateau in the north to the Hungry Plateau in the south. The western border is the Oslir, while the satrap of Oraya is the eastern border.
The ruling clan is the Taran-il, who are descended from a mortal man and an incarnation of the Red Goddess who was called "Flower Poem". The clan has ruled the satrap ever since.
You are a devotee of Etyries, Goddess of Trade, Roads, and Merchants. She guided the Red Goddess on her Godquest and was made goddess of all exchanges. She is called Silvertongue for her eloquence. Her worshippers are merchants, diplomats, heralds and guides. She also possesses the secret lore of book-keeping.
Her greatest temple is in Glamour, and nearly every marketplace in Peloria has at least a small shrine dedicated to her.
The Red Dancer of Power, a demideity, leads the cult.
The Imperial Government
You have followed a career in the Imperial Governmental bureaucracy. Young men of good family study to pass the exams which will win them appointment to junior secretarial posts. Success brings promotion, at first to roving assignments, then to the Imperial Senate, and finally to a position in the Imperial Household as one of Moonson's trusted confidants. It is in the corridors of power that the fate of the Empire is determined.
The Chamberlain of the Imperial Household is Mikos Thiokonos, a devoted servant of Moonson.
Who You Know
Mikos Thiokonos, Imperial Chamberlain: A very close and trusted old friend. He diligently looks after the interests of the Emperor and the Empire. He once confided to you a very great secret, which you swore to keep, that his son is Count Julan, Captain of Imperial Household Foot. Julan would be a fine son to have, but isn't Mikos a eunuch?
Moonson Argenteus, the Red Emperor: Your Lord and Emperor. All taxation is his to give and take away. Given your important position you find it easy to gain audiences.
Through your Career
Amun-ilart, Ex-Sultan of Doblian (now dead): last year you came into possession of conclusive evidence of flagrant tax avoidance and evasion. Moonson decided the crime was heinous and had him executed. However, it still worries you a bit since his tax returns had previously always been correct and indisputably honest. Perhaps he had suffered in the East Isles Bubble?
Appius Luxius, Provincial Overseer: He is ultimately responsible for all of the Provincial revenues that are collected by Quinscion the Patient.
Commodus the Fair, Governor of the Redlands: he seems unaware of the fact that the Redlands tax revenues are due from him personally. He has so far ignored all of your requests for a meeting.
Jar-Eel the Razoress: the most beautiful woman in the world. If only you can declare your love then you are certain she would fall for your financial acumen and quick mind for figures.
Palamtales, Governor of the Western Reaches: a very pleasant man who never bothers you more than he needs to. He also owes taxes.
Quinscion the Patient, Provincial Tax Collector: An efficient man, though rather too fond of the pleasures in life. He owes the Provincial Tax assessment.
Ul-Rika, The Still Voice of Molanni: this beautiful girl controls the weather and is overseeing the Kalikos Icebreaker mission. Her beauty is almost comparable to that of Jar-Eel...
The Red Dancer of Power, Chief Missionary of the Lunar Way: This demideity heads the cult of Etyries, your patron deity. She also controls the Provincial Church of the Seven Mothers and oversees the Seven Year Plan, Imperial Monopolies and Economic Cycles. She is now attempting to exert influence on the tax policies of the Empire, an area within your remit.
Through your Culture
Gul-Taran, Satrap of First Blessed: The grandson of your old friend, Garak-Taran. However, you must be scrupulously honest as always.
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.
Your job is to collect provincial taxes from Quinscion, Palamtales and Commodus and also personal taxes from those people who live in the Heartlands (i.e. those areas not covered by Palamtales and Quinscion). Anything over and above what you owe to Mikos you can keep if you wish. You are personally liable for the taxes you owe.
IRS officials, ambassadors, and those bearing certificates of Tax Exemption from the Red Emperor are not liable to pay taxes. Moonson, the ultimate beneficiary of taxation is, of course, not liable.
IRS officials can use an Audit Card to open Tax envelopes. Inside will be the fully audited tax details. In most cases this will be a blank card, i.e. the same as the details on the outside. However, some players may have got their tax return wrong, or be seeking to defraud the IRS. If there is a discrepancy, the player becomes liable to pay the difference if they have under-paid, or receive a refund from the auditing officer if they have over-paid. Players who have deliberately defrauded the IRS are liable to investigation or even to have the Tax Demons sent against them. Not possessing a tax envelope is also an offence.
If the Presidium decide to raise extra taxes, IRS officers will be notified. Payment of any such extra taxes should be noted by hand on the tax envelope. IRS officials are given a target they must collect and present to their superiors. They may use any means to raise this sum, including intimidation, theft or blackmail. If they raise more than their target figure, they may use the excess themselves or present it to their superiors, as they think fit. They are personally liable if they do not reach their targets.
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 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.
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. Shocking!
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.
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.
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 Ivex Devouring Dog were David Hall and Kevin Jacklin.
Glorantha, HeroQuest, Hero Wars, and Issaries are trademarks of Issaries, Inc. The contents of this page are copyright by David Hall, 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.