Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson
"The Red Admiral"
Religion: Yanafal Tarnils
Disposition: Worried, overworked
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You are the Red General, commander of the Red Army. This includes all regular Lunar Army forces except for the Imperial Bodyguard, Great Sister's Army, Private Sultanate armies, parts of the Field School of Magic, the Black Army (Danfive Xaroni Punishment battalions), and the Blue Army (military intelligence and scouts).
Brought up on the steppe frontier, it was natural for you to join the Red Army, where you began your early career as a junior officer. You obtained preferment the easy way, agreeing with your superiors and maintaining a profile high enough to be noticed, but not high enough to be considered a threat. You served as an aide to Fazzur Wideread in Sartar, and then to Sor-Eel the Short, a descendent of the divine Hon-Eel, at the Battle of Moonbroth which brought Prax beneath the Lunar sway. Despite your loyal support for Sor-Eel, he transferred you from Pavis to command the garrison of the swamp-port of Corflu. Most people saw this as a dead-end posting, but you resolved to prove them wrong.
Your opportunity to shine came with the invasion of Heortland in 1619. A vital part of General Fazzur's plan was the naval attack on the strategic port of Karse, yet at that time the Lunar Empire had no surface fleet. Against a difficult timetable, you obtained the necessary funds and resources to construct and train a squadron of triremes; then, as the Red Commodore, you led them into battle and victory, seizing the Pharaoh's dockyards in a bold stroke which decided the course of Fazzur's campaign.
You were the Hero of Karse, shining in the reflected light of Fazzur's glory. Your promotion to Red Admiral brought with it the command of a combined force, the Red Navy (a part of the Red Army). This consisted of the surface fleet at Corflu, the Red Army's Moonboats used to ferry troops to the borders of the Empire, and the magical Icebreakers which battle demons every winter.
You held this command for a number of years before being promoted to your present assignment as Red General. While your old Naval command is still a part of this job, you now have far greater responsibilities and therefore less time to devote to purely Naval matters. Even so, your naval background is still a source of pride and you are pleased that many still call you the "Red Admiral" in honour of your naval achievements.
You understand, as few others do, how readily the Empire's power can be projected beyond its borders, to protect and defend those Lunar worshippers in distant lands, from frigid Arrolia to the Redland steppe. In your current role you have fortunately avoided being involved in the recent Provincial rebellions, led by Argrath and your former commander Fazzur Wideread.
Of concern to you is the constant infighting with other services of the Empire: the Punishment battalions and slave galleys of the Black Army, and the scouts, assassins and riverine patrol-boats of the Blue Navy. These clearly have minor or subordinate roles compared with your own branch of service, but there is always a risk they will encroach on your prerogatives.
You also have strategic command of the Úlite Full Moon Corps, a rapid-reaction force able to deploy swiftly wherever the Full Moon shines.
On a personal note, a year ago you decided to use the contacts you still have with the merchants of Corflu (who even now feel gratitude to the Lunars for opening up their port again) to start a commercial venture. You arranged, through a reputable agent, for investors to send in money to pay for a fleet to be built at Corflu and then sent to trade lucratively with the East Isles.
All went well until malicious rumours were spread that no ships had actually been built in Corflu! This caused a panic among the investors and your agent took fright and disappeared. All of this is now referred to as the East Isles Bubble and many people "lost" money.
However, the money did go to your merchant friends and you are sure they have built a fleet. You must try and find out what the real situation is.
The Orayan Pioneers
Your ancestors were among the hardy pioneers who followed Hon-Eel the Artess, settling the virgin land of Oraya in the Fifth Wane. You are proud of their tradition of independence and self-reliance, aware that your frontier upbringing has lent you advantages unknown to others, more reliant on the niceties of urban civilisation.
Unlike the Redlanders, who reject the Red Emperor while worshipping the Red Goddess, you Orayans are dutiful subjects, paying taxes and enjoying all the benefits of Imperial rule. You have a particular devotion to Hon-Eel the Artess, the Third Inspiration of Moonson, who died defending Oraya against nomad attacks at the Nights of Horror, and to Yara Aranis, Eater of Horses.
The Satrap of Oraya is Queen Penelori, of the Molari-sor clan. She rules from her capital of Palbar, a frontier city founded amid ancient ruins by Hon-Eel herself.
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.
The High Priest of the Cult of Yanafal Tarnils is Bellex Maximus, the Imperial Warlord.
The Imperial Lunar Army
You have followed a career in the Red Army. Young men and women of good standing enter the army through the Yanafal Tarnils Officer Corps. After a probationary period, junior officers are assigned positions in Lunar regiments and as aides to the general staff. They then rise through a hierarchy of positions until they gain the Captaincy of a regiment (or, in your case, a squadron).
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 Red Army.
You were the first ever Red Admiral, a rank you hold with pride. Your supreme commander is General Bellex Maximus, the Imperial Warlord, who is meant to be the premier warrior and general of the Lunar Empire.
The Arrolian Venture
Seven years ago, you deployed the Full Moon Corps to the West under a young Carmanian nobleman named Artaphaestos, a favourite of Moonson. Their mission was to defend the Lunar-worshipping Arrolian Colonies against an enemy kingdom and thereby win their trust. Although Bellex Maximus told you that all personnel assigned to this mission must be considered expendable, they succeeded: with the decisive intervention of the Full Moon Corps, a key battle was won.
Subsequently, you despatched military advisors from the Red Army to Arrolia, to help the local Lunars against their foes by creating a buffer zone between the Arrolian Colonies and their enemies. The success of this strategy, though not yet publicly acknowledged, was behind your promotion to the High Command four years ago. It was an open secret that Bellex Maximus was due to be "kicked upstairs," promoted to an honorary position on the Red Moon itself; you had good reason for expecting to succeed him in that role.
It came as a great blow, then, when a subordinate of yours was appointed to the role of Bellex Maximus last year. Perhaps it was your association with Fazzur Wideread, then a rebel against Lunar authority in the Provinces, that dragged you down. Perhaps Sor-Eel has been spreading poison, for some unknown reason. The new Commander-in-Chief of all Lunar armed forces is an aloof and distant man, whom many of your fellow generals have denounced as a mere political appointee. He has short-sightedly ordered the cessation of all military operations west of the Sweet Sea: this would destroy all your gains in Arrolia.
Artaphaestos recently wrote requesting the deployment of the Malachite Phalanx, a crack regiment based at Kitor, to support the military mission in Arrolia. You had promised their support before Bellex Maximus's ban, which now prevents you from sending Artaphaestos the reinforcements he so badly needs. There are officially no Lunar troops or advisors in Arrolia, and you cannot admit to their continued presence.
In desperation, last week you contacted Rubinius, the assistant to the Chief Feeder of the Bat. You ordered him secretly to fly the Crimson Bat from its silo on the Red Moon and attack the enemies of Arrolia, hoping the bustle of the New Year rites would prevent anyone noticing its departure. You could not ask the Chief Feeder himself: you are unaware of how to contact him, and he must surely know that you are not authorised to unleash the Bat. You have informed Artaphaestos of the Bat's despatch in a coded letter, and intend to meet him as soon as possible to plan the necessary follow-up by deploying the Full Moon Corps and other conventional forces already stationed in Arrolia.
The Fall of Prax
This was particularly galling. Sor-Eel the Short was removed from his command in 1621 after letting a Giant Cradle slip between his fingers; fortunately, his public disgrace prevented anyone from noticing that the Triremes of Corflu also failed to catch the treasure-ship. Then, in 1625, Wolf Pirates led by Harrek the Berserk landed at Corflu and seized the port as a base for their own raiding expeditions. Allying with a force of Praxian nomads led by the enigmatic White Bull, they marched upriver to the city of Pavis, which rose in rebellion against the Lunar Way. At one stroke, all the gains made at the Battle of Moonbroth were lost.
The Revolt in the Redlands
Disloyal settlers along the Empire's steppe frontier raised the standard of revolt and allied with Pentan nomads led by Dranz Goloi, "King of the Wings". The loyal cavalry and dragoon forces of Oraya fought desperate defensive actions under General Zhaduun Ud-Kar, before hastily-redeployed reinforcements from Dragon Pass could arrive by Moonboat to crush the rebellion. The Lunar victory was only secured when Jar-Eel the Razoress personally defeated Dranz Goloi in hand-to-hand combat.
The Usurpers in Dragon Pass
Taking advantage of the Empire's weakness after the Reaching Moon Temple fiasco (which is still classified Top Secret by the Lunar College of Magic), two usurpers threw off the Lunar yoke in the kingdoms of Dragon Pass.
The barbarian tribes of Sartar rose in rebellion, throwing out their Lunar puppet-prince Temertain and installing Kallyr Starbrow as Queen. On her demise, Sartar's crown passed to Argrath Dragonspear, who claimed descent from King Sartar himself.
The Kingdom of Tarsh, formerly the most dependable of the Provinces, was torn by civil war when Fazzur Wide-read, formerly the Lunar Governor General of Dragon Pass, raised tribal forces in armed rebellion against King Pharandros. The ensuing conflict was bloody, and has only recently been brought to an end by loyalist forces under General Lergius Cassius.
The Icebreaker Expeditions
Every year, one of the Empire's prized Icebreaker vessels sails north across the frozen White Sea to do battle with the forces of Winter. Their successive victories give the Empire its mild climate, greatly improving the harvests. It would be disastrous if an Icebreaker failed in its mission: fortunately, there are three vessels capable of staving off Winter: the Red Storm Season, Herald of Kalikos, and Red Star. This year, the Red Storm Season is undertaking the Icebreaker mission.
Who You Know
Didius Copernicus, Dean of the Field School of Magic. He is in charge of magical strategy and tactics and theoretically co-commands your magical regiments (including the Full Moon Corps) - in an advisorial rather than executive role. His theories are of some interest, but you believe that it would be more efficient if he were your subordinate rather than your colleague.
Fazzur Wideread, Ex-commander in Dragon Pass (now deceased): once you were loyal to this great general. However, he let his personal ambitions get in the way of the Greater Lunar Good. In the end he was a traitor to everything he had once stood for and deserved to be assassinated!
Sor-Eel the Short: the disgraced former Count of Prax is now in retirement. You have mixed feelings about your first general: he did post you to the miasmic swamp-port of Corflu, but on the other hand this was where you got your first big break.
Through your Career
Beat-Pot Aelwrin, Commander of the Imperial Guard: A former rebel, now a great hero of the motherland. His units would be more logically placed under your command. His position is really a political one.
Bellex Maximus, the Imperial Warlord: Your recently-appointed boss. A harsh, uncompromising disciplinarian. His strategic vision foolishly extends only to Dragon Pass, where Lunar victories are rare and very costly. He totally ignores the opportunities for relatively cheaply won expansion on other fronts, such as in Arrolia.
Jar-Eel the Razoress, the Superhero: Pin-up of the Red Army, but very young and inexperienced. She leads the Moonsword cult.
Moonson, the Red Emperor: Hail Moonson! He presented you with your commission. You love and revere him.
Queen Penelori, Satrap of Oraya: as a proud Orayan you are suitably in awe of, and deferent to, your beautiful satrap (and the whole ruling Molari-sor clan).
Grandmaster Orsorkhon: head of the feared Secret Police and leader of the Black Army. He should concentrate on his secret police and penitents and leave army and naval matters in your capable hands.
Ul-Rika: the Still Voice of Molanni directs the weather of the Empire, ensuring your Moonboats can sail as planned, and also supports the annual Icebreaker expeditions with her prayers and offerings.
Marshal Volkhovos of the Blue Army: Head of Military Intelligence and chief Assassin. A rather paranoid man who has his uses but must be treated with care.
Lergius Cassius, Commander in Dragon Pass: this general has risen from the ranks to lead Red Army and Provincial forces against Argrath and the Fazzurites. His recent victories deserve some recognition, though you must find out if he is politically ambitious.
General Roan-ur, commander in Aggar: he commands various forces (including a Chaos Legion) against the Orlanthi barbarians in the Autumn Mountains. His reports to you have been incomplete and intermittent for many years and you wish to discover exactly what progress he has made these last 15 years!
Sitzmag Redmoon, Captain of the Antelope Lancers: recently you gave secret orders for this man to be assigned to the Arrolian military mission (to help with cavalry training). Was it him or another sable rider you caught a glimpse of in the Temple of Peace yesterday? If so, what is he doing back, and does he realise he's never supposed to have been in Arrolia!
Thanuk of the Thunder Delta, General of the Reserve Corps: he commands your reserves and provides specialist advice on how to use your Thunder Delta Slinger units. A good and loyal officer.
General Zhaduun Ud-Kar, Ex-Commander in the Redlands: "Officially Dead". His position needs to be filled by you soon.
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.
This is the "official" story. Unofficially, insiders in the government know that the original Steel Proxy was Ignifer himself, before he became Emperor. When he became Emperor he took personal command of the Empire's military and no longer needed a proxy. Thus the Steel Proxy "retired". However, after Ignifer was wounded at Boldhome a strong military leader was required while he recovered. Therefore, General Fatalius Victor took over the role of the Steel Proxy and donned his Steel mask.
The Full Moon Corps is a military unit of crack assault troops, every member of which possesses the fighting prowess of a demigod. They are absolutely fearless in battle, knowing that any man who dies will unfailingly be reborn with the next Full Moon. For this reason, they are sometimes known as the Immortals. The Full Moon Corps are based on the Full Moon and can be rapidly deployed to trouble-spots around the Empire with a summoning ritual. Their range, and their immortality, make them ideal troops for assaults, commando missions, and projection of force. Recently you deployed part of the Corps in Arrolia where they were lost in an unfortunate Moonboat crash. Of course, they will all be reincarnated, but news of this crash might cause embarrassing questions about the Army's involvement in Arrolia!
The Malachite Phalanx is a Heartland Corps regiment of a thousand Lunar hoplites based at Kitor. Although you promised Artaphaestos that they would be deployed to Arrolia in support of his mission, Bellex Maximus has ordered that they remain at their base. Governor Palamtales effectively commands them and would need to assent to their release.
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 Icebreakers are enchanted vessels which carry the Kalikos Icebreaker missions across the White Sea to face the ice demons of Valind's Glacier.
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. You are less squeamish than many of your colleagues about employing the Crimson Bat, regarding it as another useful weapon in the Empire's strategic arsenal.
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.
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 Murad Iznik was Nick Brooke.
Glorantha, HeroQuest, Hero Wars, and Issaries are trademarks of Issaries, Inc. The contents of this page are copyright by Nick Brooke , 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.