Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson
The Red Dancer of Power
Chief Missionary and Economist of the Empire
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You are a demideity of the Lunar Way. You are a daughter of Erividia the Ceaseless Dancer, a lunar goddess who is also called Moon-Woman and Sister of the Moon. You are thus the Red Emperor's Cousin, a member of the Imperial family. You were born in Hero City on the Red Moon. Here you worked as one of the Archangels who adore the Goddess Etyries. Unlike your sisters, you sometimes felt dissatisfied with your lot, not through boredom but from a sense that your mission was incomplete. You would look up at the Surface World and see the sufferings of the Red Goddess's subjects there. You felt great pity for them and prayed continually that their lives could be made as full of peace and love as your own.
115 years ago, the Emperor Artifex petitioned his Mother for help reforming the Lunar Economy. You travelled to the Ruby City to beg the Red Goddess to be allowed to descent to the Surface World. She was moved by your love and compassion, and granted your wish. In return, she asked that you bear a mortal's child each year, to be sent to serve her in her Court.
The Emperor summoned you in Sacred Time at the end of the Fifth Wane. You worked with him to set the corner-stone of the planned economy which has worked so well over the years.
You are actually a form of Lune or Lunar Elemental, and your true form is a glowing, writhing mass of crimson light. Every year you adopt a different female form to bear a child to a different father. This year you look like frivolous young human girl. This is quite fun, but also gives you a psychological advantage over your colleagues, who are very prone to underestimate you and are therefore less guarded in your presence. Many people believe, wrongly, that there is a new Red Dancer every year. The father of the current child you are bearing is General Roan-ur.
Twenty-five Years ago, the Presidium conspired to assassinate the Emperor Ignifer. You were the only member not to collude in this. The conspirators kept you on because of your unrivalled economic experience. In the intervening years, you have gradually strengthened your hand in areas in which the military members of the Presidium have little interest. You have built up your areas of competence so now it can be truly said you are the corner-stone of the Lunar Empire. You became head of the Cult of Etyries, with all its subcults and departments, including the IRS and the Temple of Truth, seat of the Ministry of Information. As Chief Missionary of the Empire, you direct the Church of the Seven Mothers, together with the administration of the Lunar Provinces.
The Red Moon
You were born in Hero City on the Moon. Here there is no scarcity or want, all are nourished by the abundant radiance of the Red Goddess. The Red Moon is inhabited by all manner of creatures, and by the saints and heroes of the Lunar Way. There are glowing principalities, seas of mist and forests of unimaginable wonder. Hero City is the centre of the Network of Canals which channel energy around the body of the Red Goddess. It is not far from the Ruby City, where the Goddess has her main palace and the Egi meet to ponder on weighty matters.
You are a hero 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.
You lead the cult.
The Lunar Economy
You designed the planned economy upon which the prosperity of the Lunar Empire is based. Your actions also guide and dictate the economic cycles.
Your dances send you into a trance where you can feel the tides of the Moon and calculate your economic policies accordingly. You have to ensure that the economy is growing or in recession depending on the mythic forces of the wane. The Seven Year Plans are designed to provide epicycles which even out these boom/bust tendencies and alleviate their possible adverse effects on the ordinary citizens.
Within the fiscal domain Moonson controls the tax demons which ensure the collection of Taxes and you oversee the seven Monopolies. These monopolies are Salt, Paper, Hazia, Glass, Steel, Silver and Gin.
You thus control and direct much, but not all, of the economy of the Lunar Empire.
Who You Know
Moonson, the Red Emperor: He is a superb artiste, whose mission is to gain the love of his people before the predicted Hero Wars.
Jar-Eel the Razoress, the Superhero: This wonderful incarnation of the goddess is a true asset to the Empire.
Deneskerva the Great Sister, Daughter of the Red Goddess: This fellow demigod was an important member of the Imperial Family when you arrived on the Surface World. She is very wise in the ways of the Goddess, and you revere her for this. If only she would stop interfering in economic and social affairs - your area.
Mikos Thiokonos, the Imperial Chamberlain: An indispensable minister, who helps run Moonson's affairs smoothly. You will need to collect Taxation of 330 influence from him on Waterday (or earlier if possible)
Geilbonus the Sycophant: The Speaker of the Imperial Senate. An old fuddy-duddy. Quite sweet, really.
Roan-Ur: Lunar General commanding in Aggar. He is a Chaotic rogue, with great prospects, the son of a Previous Red Emperor, Militaris. You seduced him on a visit to Aggar and he is the father of your unborn child.
Through your Career
Appius Luxius: The Provincial Overseer. He is far too independent for your liking. Many say he is the son of the Red Emperor, but you know that he was really the father of the Emperor's current incarnation.
Bellex Maximus, The Imperial Warlord: The top general. He is the lead voice on the Presidium, but you must make sure he does not to high a share of the budget.
Brostangian Archmoor, Hierophant of Carmania: You haven't actually met this chap yet, even though he is your subordinate. He seemed to be doing just fine without your interference!
Grand Master Orsorkhon of the Secret Police: His spies are everywhere.
Marshal Volkhovos of Military Intelligence: A contradiction in terms. He is just a hired Assassin.
Jubba the Hood: He is a scheming and vengeful spy who heads the Spoken Word. This is the Emperor's own spy net-work.
Ivex Devouring Dog: The Chief tax collector of the IRS. Although you allow him a certain amount of autonomy, he should ultimately report to you on the rates and success of his taxation.
Quinscion the Patient: An irascible old man who has been provincial tax collector for over 50 years. It surprises you how he manages to keep so sprightly as he must be in his nineties. He works for Ivex, but is not above exploiting his position as one of the Emperor's best friends.
Icilius Overholy: Your subordinate as head of the Provincial Church. She is charged with spreading the Lunar Way among the Barbarians. You chose her personally for the post she holds, and are usually ready to listen to her petitions. She provides spiritual guidance to Quinscion and to Appius Luxius.
Orgrol the Fat, Chief of the Char-Un Cossacks: A northern ally who provides men and horses. He easily responds to bribes.
Squire Flint: You met him when he was a mischievous little boy. He has come as ambassador from Eol to complain that Lunar Miners have been prospecting in their mountains. Technically this is a violation of the friendship treaty, but there is no doubt the Lunars have been far more productive than the primitive Thrice Blessed. Perhaps a compromise can be reached?
Ul-Rika, The Still Voice of Molanni: a very important girl since she controls the weather upon which the economy depends. She also reports to you.
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.
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. You realised that unhealthy inflationary pressure were building up in the economy, with too much wealth in the hands of the rich. The East Isles Company looked like a good opportunity for them to invest, rather than spend on short-term luxuries.
You realised the venture was very risky, but even a complete collapse of the company would still have the desired effect of removing surplus cash from the economy and promoting the down-swing. You publicised it widely and enthusiastically. Many were persuaded to invest, and lost their money. It may have been hard on individuals, but they could easily afford it and the economy as a whole benefited.
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.
Of course, you encourage this since it helps in the down-swing. However, you must ensure that this doctrine remain a minority sect since larger numbers of followers all failing to pay taxes, etc., might upset your plans.
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. You 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.
The Planned Economy
You have planned the economy of the Empire to work in an ultimately simple and circular pattern. The Imperial Revenue Service collects taxes from the citizens. You use these taxes to pay for Commodity cards according to the quotas you have set. You cash in these sets for even greater amounts of influence, which is given to Presidium. The Presidium sets the Imperial Budget, sending influence to the spending departments of governments. They allocate the influence to the citizens, who then become liable to pay taxation.
You must pay in influence the face value of any Commodity cards presented to you. If they are presented by some-one with a quota, and equal or exceed the quota, you must pay double their face value.
Monopolists, Allies and Governors have quotas of Commodity cards which are non-negotiable. The Sultans and Satraps have greater autonomy and may try to renegotiate their quotas. If they do so, they will present their alternative Plan to a special session of the Presidium. You will have to make sure your Plan is passed. Otherwise, if they set their quotas too low, inflation could wreck the balance of the economy, forcing you to raise taxes. If their alternative Plan is passed, you will have to accept their quotas instead of your own.
If you do not have enough influence to pay for the commodity cards, you can pay with an IOU (provided in your character pack). Failure to honour your IOUs could throw the entire economy into chaos, and leave you liable to investigation.
The face value of all the commodity cards in the game is about 140 influence. You might have to pay 280 influence, the unlikely event that all are purchased at quota price. You have budgeted to pay 230 influence for the quotas, and should chase up Mikos Thiokonos for this amount.
Collecting Sets of Commodity Cards
You are collecting Commodity cards to form sets of seven cards which can then be cashed in with the CPS Director.
Sets are either:
Red-haired kids can be used to replace any other commodity for making sets of seven. Black-haired kids have no special value and cannot be used as part of a set of seven.
Each Set is exchanged for 50 influence. You are expecting 8 sets and thus 400 influence in total. The Maximum you could ever pay for a set is 40 influence, the minimum 17 , so you are bound to make a profit by cashing in sets.
Mikos Thiokonos is due to give you 330 influence from taxation, giving you a total of 500 influence to present to the Presidium. Any excess is yours to keep or present to the Presidium, as you see fit.
The tribute quotas from the provinces and allies are as follows:
Commodity (Quota) From
War-horses (2) Palamtales
The Sultanate BudgetCommodity (Quota) From
Iron (2) Queen Penelori
Note: The sultans can decide at their Court of the Silver Gate to change their quotas. The Presidium would then have to decide whether to use your quotas or theirs. Any change from your plan would be inflationary!
Monopoly Quotas: See below
Early in the game, immediately after the Parade of Nations, you must arrange for Monopolies to be auctioned off. You have in your gift the Offices of the Imperial Auctioneers. You may give them away, but as they can be very profitable you would be well advised to sell them for the cost given. You might even put the offices of Auctioneer up for auction! You are forbidden by Law from acting as an Imperial Auctioneer yourself.
Silver Auctioneer PR3 cost 18 influence
As soon as you have appointed the auctioneers, you must arrange and publicise the auction of Monopolies. Once the monopolies have been sold the new monopolists will find out what has been produced this year compared to the quota you have set them. Your quota is:
Brass Mts. Bronze (2)
The Imperial Revenue Service
The Imperial Revenue Service collects, counts and oversees the taxes due to the Red Emperor. Quinscion the Patient deals with taxes from Provincials, Governor Palamtales 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.
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.
Because of petty political problems Ivex refuses to hand the taxes he collects directly to you. Instead he will be giving them to Mikos Thiokonos.
You must ensure that you get taxes as quickly as possible to avoid having to use IOU's too much!
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 The Red Dancer of Power was Chris Gidlow.
Glorantha, HeroQuest, Hero Wars, and Issaries are trademarks of Issaries, Inc. The contents of this page are copyright by Kevin Jacklin, 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.