Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson
Quinscion the Patient
Provincial Tax Collector
Culture: Dara Happan
Disposition: Ill-humoured and hypochondriac
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You were born nearly 100 years ago to a well-connected family in Red Fish in Dara Happa. Always of a mind for logic and orderliness, you soon found your niche within the Imperial Revenue Service in Glamour, processing tax returns. Your nose for sensing some of the more 'creative' returns took you away from your dusty desk and - under the guidance of the Imperial Tax Collector - into the murky world of fishing subsidy claims. Your moment of triumph came when you managed to break a notorious ring of Karasali fishermen, who were cooking the books (not to mention the illegally-caught fish) in Joranit.
Thus, when Tarsh was liberated in 6/38 (1555) by Phargentes, and he invited the Emperor to assist in bringing peace to the long-troubled province, you were appointed as a Commissioner to oversee collection of new Imperial taxes. In a short while you were also assisting in the revitalisation of Tarsh, through providing road and fortification subsidies. And from there it was but a small step to becoming General of Procurement and Disbursement (or tax collector) for all the Provinces, a post you have held now for more than 50 years.
Your greatest worry these days is the risk of infection and disease that you run. Evil disease spirits are all around, and you are sure they are out to get you. You spend much of your time consulting healers about your various "symptoms" and ailments. In fact, at one point you spent such a large proportion of your time in the healing temple that you earned a nick-name of 'the Patient'. Strangely, you have not contracted anything major yet... unless those aches this morning are something more sinister...
Your main recreation is that of playing chess - a non-contact game where infection is unlikely. Even so, you prefer to play chess by post, using the Imperial Mail. Your best opponent is none other than the Red Emperor himself. Fortunately, the Emperor is a magnificent opponent, and you have never been able to beat him in all that time.
In all the long years in service to the Emperor, you have been looking forward to a well-earned retirement at your villa in Dara Happa. For many years you have put your savings and returns from investments into making it a luxurious and magnificent home, where you can contemplate your next chess move in peace.
However, you (amongst many others) were victim to the East Isles Company of Corflu 'bubble' scam, leaving you (temporarily) short of funds to complete your villa. You have borrowed from the floating tax account, and this may be noticed in the end-of-phase audit. you must find some way to to replenish your funds.
The Dara Happan Tripolis
You are from the antediluvian Dara Happan Tripolis. This state was founded by the Sun-God, Imperial Yelm, and has a continuous history stretching back over a hundred thousand years. The ancient ways of nobility and rulership are within all nobles of this land, and no-one should forget it - especially not the parvenu foreigners who now think to take a share in the government of the Empire.
Naturally, these new-fangled Lunars (whose religion is scarcely four hundred years old) depend on the accumulated wisdom and institutions of old Dara Happa. By displaying your adherence to the ancestral traditions, you prove yourself worthy to participate in the politics of Empire. All civilised values ultimately stem from the old ways of the Sun-God.
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
Moonson, the Red Emperor: your postal chess opponent. You ensure that you never win. You wish to present your views on free trade to him as you hope that he will promote you into Ivex's job when he realises you can double his revenues!
Through your Career
Appius Luxius, Provincial Overseer: as your immediate boss, Appius is looks to you for good order of the Provinces tax returns. His personal taxes are, as you have discovered both to his and your dismay, a mess. You reckon he owes at least 5 Influence.
Fod-Ariam, Scholar: he unsuccessfully defended the Karasali fishermen case (although he managed to get some charges thrown out on a technicality).
Ivex Devouring Dog, Imperial Tax Collector: the head of the Imperial Revenue Service, to whom you are responsible for the accuracy of all Provincial tax returns. He is an old-fangled monopolist who fails to see the beauty and simplicity of a free trade tax system.
Lergius Cassius, General of the Provincial Army: a loyal and brave officer, who you have assisted in the past with his tax returns.
Phirgia, Queen of Holay: a woman not to be messed with - she gives as good as she gets. You find her extremely attractive.
Rascius, King of Aggar: a gambler and spendthrift. He has yet to pay his Kingdom's tax contribution this year.
Through your Religion
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. Her interest these days seems to be turning to taxation policy.
Icilius Overholy, General Priestess of the Provincial Church: She is an interfering old bat. As a member of the Etyries cult she claims influence over you and your duties. She should stick to her religious duties.
Through your Culture
Didius Copernicus, Director of the Field School of Magic: A braggart and a show-off, but not without talent and a degree of charm. He is seeking to turn Saird into a separate Province (it is part of Holay, Aggar and Vanch at present).
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.
Quinscion the Patient deals with taxes from Provincials, Governor Palamteles with those from Carmania and Ivex Devouring Dog supervises them and collects from all other sources.
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 Lunar Provinces. There are four major kingdoms making up the Lunar Provinces: Tarsh, Holay, Vanch and Aggar. Each provides valuable resources to the Empire, in terms of taxes, trade and manpower. Additionally, they serve as a buffer against the primitive barbarian cultures further afield. Each province has its own political structure, but always leaning towards the Empire. The Provincial Government's home is at Mirin's Cross.
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.
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 author for Quinscion was David Hall.
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.