Reaching Moon Megacorp's Life of Moonson
Captain of the Antelope Lancers
Career: Red Army Auxiliary
Religion: Twin Stars and Yanafal Tarnils
Culture: Sable (Lunar Antelope) Rider
Disposition: Ambitious, proud, touchy
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You were born atop the cliffs of the Hungry Plateau, a bleak and desolate highland that overlooks the fertile green basin of Peloria. The plateau is inaccessible from the outside world: no travellers from foreign lands can journey there, and your Tribe lived by the ancient ways, surviving the great scarcity by cultivating harshness and a cruelly practical approach to life. You admired your Khan and revered your Queen as the tribe made its way across the barrens on sable-back, following pulsating directions from the enigmatic Twin Stars.
When you were made a man, your father led you to the Two Towers to enter the service of the great Sable-Khan. His palace - the first building you had ever entered - was a treasure-house of marvels undreamed-of: gold and silk, jewels and steel, firewater and rich red wine. You learned that the Sable-Khan dominates the lowlands: as well as being First Consort to the Sable-Queen, he is Sultan of the rich land of Kostaddi. Only his followers are permitted to pass between the Two Towers out into the world, after they have been toughened and seasoned by their life atop the plateau. The Red Emperor follows the brave Antelope Lancers to conquer foreign lands, and in return he sends the Sable-Khan the tribute of riches that are rightly his.
Honoured to be have been chosen, you passed into the lowlands and eagerly served in the personal army of Raffha Khan for two years, enforcing his often harsh justice upon the people of Kostaddi (this is a time you would rather not be reminded of). Then you enlisted in the Antelope Lancers and served with the Lunar Army in the liberation of Prax. Before the Battle of Moonbroth, you played a part in the skilled diplomacy that won the Sable Riders of Prax over to the Lunar Way. But it was in Prax that you learned the truth: the Hungry Plateau is but a confining prison compared to the great freedom of the Wastes. When you first felt the hot breath of the Storm Buck upon your face, and saw the Whirlvishes spinning on the high chaparral, you knew that the life of your people was but a mockery. The Sables should be free to roam Glorantha as they saw fit: not endlessly revolving in one fixed place like the Red Moon, but following their own ever-changing path like your patrons, the Twin Stars.
After Prax, you served in the Redlands under General Zhaduun Ud-kar, and rescued him from what seemed certain death. Your most recent mission has taken you far from your regiment and far beyond the Empire's borders: you served as a military adviser to the far-off Arrolian Colonies.
Recently on a trip back on to the Hungry Plateau you were saddened to learn of your mother's death. However, you grief was multiplied when you learnt that she has died from a simple ailment that, in the Empire proper, could have been treated with great ease. However, the Satrap of Kostaddi, Raffha Khan, forbids all medicines, foodstuff and any other "luxuries" from entering the Plateau in order to keep the tribe "strong". Surely this is foolishness? A few medicines and bit of grain during a bad year cannot weaken a great tribe such as the Sable riders?
The Sable Riders of the Hungry Plateau
In the First Age, the braves of the Sable Tribe came from distant Prax to throw out the evil Horse Nomads who ruled Peloria. Your ancestors had the wisdom to settle atop the Hungry Plateau and preserve their ancient ways of survival amidst the hardships of this bleak land. Other tribes had less forethought: living in the lush lowlands of Peloria, they became soft and succumbed to the tides of history. Only the Sable Riders have endured.
Following their conversion to the Lunar Way, the Sable Tribe has been a firm and loyal ally of the Empire. The regiment of Antelope Lancers is ever foremost in the conquests of the Empire, and has served with distinction in Dragon Pass, Prax and the Redlands.
The Warlord of the Sable Tribe is Rhaffa Khan, Lord of the Two Towers, who rules as Sultan over lowland Kostaddi. He is First Consort of the Queen of the Sables, your true ruler, but the Khan commands in matters of war and scarcity where the Queen rules in peace and plenty.
The Cult of the Twin Stars
You are a worshipper of the Twin Stars. These two powerful spirits were daughters of the Red Goddess and the man inside the invisible shirt. They played vital parts in the Conversion of the Sable Tribe to the Lunar Way, and have been worshipped by your people ever since. Erelia is the patron of Eloquence with Barbarians, where Verelia is patron of Deadly Distraction in Crisis. Their cult is loosely organised, though it is said that the Twin Stars themselves will return to lead their followers when the Empire enters its time of greatest peril.
The Lunar Auxiliaries
You have followed a career as an officer of auxiliaries in the Lunar Army. The tribal allies of the Lunar Empire send detachments of their bravest men and women to fight for the Empire, commanded by officers drawn from their own traditional rulers. Junior liaison officers from the Heartland Corps' cult of Yanafal Tarnils are attached to these auxiliary regiments, to integrate their operations with those of the regular army. The size of the auxiliary forces was agreed long ago by treaties between Moonson and your ruler, and your people are richly rewarded for the service you render the Empire. The supreme commander of the Lunar Army is General Bellex Maximus, the premier warrior and general of the Lunar Way. Your forces are loyal to both the Empire and your homeland.
Your Military Career
Prax and Pavis
You served under Sor-Eel the Short in Prax. You were with him when he entered the Holy Paps and you alone spoke on his behalf with the Most Revered Mother of Sables. You fought with him at Moonbroth, and helped effect the Second Conversion of the Sables, when your Praxian cousins embraced the Twin Stars and the Red Moon, changing sides to ally with the Lunar Army. You patrolled the Pavis Road and the Cradles Valley, venturing as far afield as the great shining Block and the hellish barrens of Vulture's Country. You saw the Giant Cradle when it came surging down the Zola Fel River, borne by the melting snows of spring. And you were there when Sor-Eel was disgraced, apparently for failing to capture that ancient artefact. After so many great victories, this seemed a petty matter to bring down such a man: you are more than a little suspicious of the "Lunar Coders," a group of informers and special agents led by Count Julan.
You served there under General Zhaduun Ud-Kar who gladly accepted your strategic insights. Then 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 small number of loyal cavalry and dragoon forces of Oraya fought desperate defensive actions under your command, 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.
During the rebellion you rescued General Zhaduun from Pentan savages after he had suffered horrible injuries leading foot troops in a sally against the Pentan horse. When conventional healers gave up on him, he was given into the hands of the Blue Moon School and Thalia Springtime oversaw his subsequent recovery.
The Arrolian Colonies
The Arrolian Colonies lie in the distant West: although settled by Lunar refugees two centuries ago, until now they have not been a part of the Empire. Seven years ago, a young Carmanian nobleman named Artaphaestos led a diplomatic mission down the Janube River to the long-lost Arrolian colonies. The mission succeeded: the Arrolian colonies (now formed into a Confederacy) were being hard-pressed by an enemy kingdom, and were militarily weak, with defensive forces only. Artaphaestos was able to deploy the elite assault troops of the Full Moon Corps to assist the Arrolians, and with their decisive inter-vention, a key battle was won. The leader of the Arrolian Confederacy, an ancient priestess named Varnaro, awarded him the title of Satrap of Arrolia in recognition of his military prowess.
Very recently you were sent as part of a force of Lunar military advisors to help the people of the Arrolian Confederacy against their foes, creating a buffer zone between the Confederacy and its enemies. You were based at the city of Eastpoint, a thousand miles beyond the Glowline. You were well aware of the many frustrations felt by your commander: Artaphaestos was unable to gain the regiment-strength reinforcements he constantly requested, and believes his appeals were being blocked by political enemies at home.
Then you heard from your comrades in the officers' mess that Bellex Maximus, the Imperial Warlord, had been "kicked upstairs" (undergone apotheosis to a position of revered impotence on the Red Moon), and that his mask is now borne by the fully-recovered General Zhaduun Ud-kar. You and the General are on the best possible terms, and you are sure you can intercede with him to bail out the Arrolians.
Artaphaestos has therefore allowed you to return to Glamour from Arrolia in order to petition Zhaduun for more reinforcements. So far you have been unable to gain an audience with him.
You also have a personal motive. One of the Moon Boats assigned to the Arrolian Expedition recently crashed in calm weather, killing a hundred Full Moon Corpsmen. You led the investigation of the crash, and found that the Moon Boat, from the shipyards of Haranshold in Darjiin, was built with sub-standard materials which led to its crash during in a minor downpour of rain.
There was also some confusion over the correct landing codes for the pilot of the Moonboat to use but, while this delayed the landing, it did not directly cause the crash.
Who You Know
Queen Penelori, Satrap of Oraya: her lands suffered badly from Pentan raids during your time in the Redlands. However, she seemed very impressed with your efforts to pursue and stop the raiders, and not impressed at all with General Zhaduun's static defence strategy.
Rhaffa Khan, Satrap of Kostaddi: your satrap and a fellow sable rider. You cannot help thinking him to blame for your mother's death, but if he relaxes the limits on imports to the Hungry Plateau your feelings can be mollified.
Sor-Eel the Short: the Ex-Count of Prax. He was removed in disgrace after the failure to capture the Cradle. Perhaps you should pay your respects to him? You hear he is an important senator now.
Thanuk of the Thunder Delta, General of the Reserve Corps: your regiment is part of his reserve corps spending its time in parades and spit and polish revues. The men are getting restless.
Zhaduun Ud-Kar: the former General of the Redlands. You saved his life when he was horribly wounded by Pentan savages: the General swore that he was eternally in your debt. Since then, you hear he has been elevated to wear the mask of Bellex Maximus.
Through your Career
Alehandro, Count of Spol and Captain of the Queens Regiment: you hate this man for his betrayal of your trust in Pavis. He was the official liaison for your regiment and you trusted and liked him. But soon after Count Julan's arrival he became thick as thieves with the Coders and began to help them investigate Sor-eel, the governor, for corruption. This had a very bad effect on the morale of the garrison. He could have been far more discrete!
His current regimental command has always been favoured by the army generals (probably due to his birth and connections) even though it is slow and ineffectual compared to yours. It would be very good to defeat him in the Regimental Games!
Now you come to think of it, there was that time a few years before Julan arrived when your regiment was involved in a Hazia smuggling scandal. At first Alehandro was implicated, but then GimGim the Grim (the mysterious head of intelligence) found proof of his innocence and much embarrassment was avoided.
Artaphaestos: the Satrap of Arrolia and your current commander. You wish to help him and the brother officers you left behind in any way you can.
Count Julan, Ex-Coder and now Captain of the Imperial Bodyguard: you suspect he was somehow behind the removal of Sor-eel. You don't trust him, or his Spoken Word.
Thalia Springtime: this officer from the Blue Army (the scouting corps of the Heartland Corps) arranged the specialist medical care from the Blue Moon School which kept Zhaduun Ud-Kar alive despite his wounds.
Varnaro of Riverjoin [NPC]: the Matriarch of the Arrolian Confederacy.
Hazia. You held the Praxian Hazia monopoly for the past seven year plan. You will be offered first refusal to buy it for the next plan, for eight influence. You know that it will produce three cards of Hazia, which can be traded to the Red Dancer of Power for a total of twelve influence.
The Most Revered Mother of Sables leads the Sable tribe in Prax and the Wastelands (cousins of the Antelope riders of the Hungry Plateau). Your audience with her was very special since you actually slept with her. Some Sable riders might actually regard this as a holy union which confers a degree of sovereignty over Sable riders upon you.
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 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.
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, another General took over the role of the Steel Proxy and donned his Steel mask.
The Comrades of Yanafal Tarnils are the devotees of Yanafal Tarnils, Lunar God of War. He 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.
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 Sitzmag Redmoon 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.